I feel certain you'll be shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that the state's long-touted, long-"working" bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission has failed to meet a deadline imposed by law a year ago.
With its report on how to make state school spending fairer to all school districts (read: especially Philadelphia) due today, June 10, the commission yesterday issued a statement at 5:25 p.m. saying, yeah, well, we're not going to make that deadline so we're extending it another week.
I've always questioned why those at the top of the education food chain -- all of whom no doubt argue that education is a critical if not THE critical element in maintaining and advancing a civil society -- seem to collect salaries and perks far beyond anything anyone would consider, well, reasonable.
This applies to school superintendents, administrators, college football coaches and college presidents.
Release Sunday of a new report on higher education spending does little to smooth the edge of my question.
It likely comes as no surprise that the 2016 GOP field for president is polling like a smorgasbord, which is to say a variety of hot and cold meats and what not, or that Hillary Clinton, while way ahead, still has image problems.
But what's striking in a brand new Washington Post/ABC News national poll is that Americans rank all top candidates (except for one) as more "unfavorable" than "favorable."
In other words, we really don't like anybody.
Last week, I growled about Rick Santorum stretching the truth regarding his role in creating U.S. sanctions against Iran. He claimed he did it. Fact-checking showed he didn't.
Well, now comes some fact-checking on Hillary Clinton's claims that three Republican candidates for president dismiss the issue of equal pay for women as bogus, a waste of time and reminiscent of communism.
Now I understand it's standard practice for politicians to self-inflate their own importance and/or take opponents' quotes way out of context.
And now in the category of news that never goes away no matter what -- like a Bush for president or a Clinton for president -- we have the return of Rick Santorum and the resurrection of Joe Paterno.
Santorum on Wednesday announced he's again running for president, and a Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to name a turnpike bridge spanning the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg in honor of the late Penn State coach.
These are things that stir things up. Again.
If it's the year before a presidential race, it's another year for Pennsylvania to try to become more relevant in the selection of presidential candidates.
Just don't count on it happening.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports another effort is brewing to move the state's 2016 presidential primary up from April to March in order to make us more of a national player, bring the state more political attention (and campaign spending) and generally boost our political profile.
State Rep. Keith Greiner, R-Lancaster County, is sponsoring a measure to move the primary from the fourth Tuesday in April to the third week in March.
This would put Pa. on the same day as other big states -- Florida, Illinois, Missouri -- currently scheduled to hold primaries March 15.
"Super Tuesday" next year is March 1 with seven state primaries and two caucuses.
(You can see the currently-scheduled full primary slate here.)
The argument for an earlier primary here isn't new but it's never gotten much support. In 2008, by accident, the state got attention despite it's later primary because the fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton dragged out longer than most (Hillary, you'll recall, won Pa. back then.)
Why don't we move our primary up? Same reason we don't do anything politically progressive -- inconvenient to our politicians.
Both party heads tell the Post-Gazette (as they have every time the issue comes up) that pushing forward would require others running for other offices -- read especially incumbents -- to get out and get their nominating petitions signed in the dead of winter, even pushing back into December.
GOP chairman Rob Gleason tells the P-G, "I've always kind of resisted that." Democratic Party chief Jim Burn says, "I see no reason to change it...it throws everything out of whack."
So, you know, get ready to have your say in picking the next president next April 26 -- right after more than half the state have their say.
In the aftermath of yet another low, low voter turnout election -- the lowest of the last four open-seat primary races for mayor and, according to the Inky, even lower in the burbs -- a few things beyond general disinterest strike me.
KANE, KANE, KANE: with the state's political and legal community fixated on what happens when to the case of Kathleen Kane, the Montco electorate just might have given the issue a little push.
That's because Montco DA Risa Vetri Ferman, a Republican who cross-filled for county judge, won her party's nomination for one of three open spots on the county bench but did not win the Democratic nomination.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a/k/a he would be president (again), today picked up The Washington Post's highest, um, political honor: four Pinocchio's, for what The Post designates as "whoppers."
The notice comes in response to Santorum's latest version of his role in U.S. sanctions against Iran which he spelled out in a speech in Iowa over the weekend.
Santorum said,“Twelve years ago I introduced a bill on Iran to put sanctions in place. You know those crushing sanctions that brought Iran to the table? I was the author that put those sanctions in law twelve years ago. And I was opposed by none other than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the process.”