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Archive: July, 2011

POSTED: Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 10:08 AM

I am so sick of Washington's never-ending, self-absorbed caterwauling over each and every issue it undertakes, the debt ceiling duel included, and its insistence on wasting its time and our money (even in the face of looming deadlines) on stuff going nowhere.

Today, for example, the Republican-run House, with the debt clock ticking, is to vote on a tea party debt bill that includes more borrowing, deep spending cuts and a balanced-budget amendment.

This is a bill the Democratic-controlled Senate already proclaimed DOA and the president already said he'd veto.

POSTED: Monday, July 18, 2011, 10:18 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Well, boss, it's on.

BE: Already? It's Monday.

POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011, 10:46 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo, boss, you see state Democrats are touting a new poll showing Gov. Corbett's approval rating in Pennsylvania at a pretty sad 35 percent?

BE: Sounds like something Democrats would tout.

POSTED: Thursday, July 14, 2011, 10:25 AM

Here we go again. Another Republican Guv, another attempt to end the Prohibition-era state store system.

After past Guvs Thornburgh and Ridge failed to get rid of statewide control of the sale of booze, current Guv Corbett wants to try again, and the House GOP leader, Mike Turzai of Pittsburgh, yesterday introduced a bill to do just that.

I'm not sure this is the top priority of the citizens of the state, but Turzai says it will be "at the top of the agenda" with the Legislature returns from summer break in September.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 10:28 AM

It strikes me both ironic and sad that at a time we the people need government to provide sound leadership in the face of an uncertain economy, we instead get political pandering, zero compromise and a growing sense of gridlock.

In Washington, well, I don't have to tell you about Washington. It is increasingly sending a message to the nation that its live-in-a-bubble "leaders" have more interest in their turf, constituencies and partisan goals than in what's best for the country.

The no-compromise attitudes on both sides of the debt ceiling crisis (Obama refusing a temporary patch; Republicans refusing to consider closing tax loopholes or raising taxes on the rich) serves only their politics and not the people they were elected to serve.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:55 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Is Queen Arlene in France?

BE: Dunno, why?

POSTED: Monday, July 11, 2011, 12:06 PM

Rick Santorum & Michele Bachmann, those fun-loving Republican candidates for president, seem to be starring in their own version of a Punch & Judy show.

Except instead of whacking each other on the head, they each are content to hit themselves.

The latest self-imposed smacks, reported over the weekend in The Washington Post, involve both candidates signing a pro-marriage pledge issued by a socially conservative group in Iowa.

POSTED: Friday, July 8, 2011, 9:15 AM

Hey, kids, yesterday was the sixth anniversary of the infamous 2005 late-night pay grab by your esteemed state legislature, and reformers are reminding us we're still paying.

Leaders of activist groups Rock the Capital and Democracy Rising held a Capitol news conference yesterday to note that even though the raise was repealed four months after it was enacted -- due to widespread public outcry -- many lawmakers got a "pension bounce" from the short-term salary gain.

A full report is available on the Rock the Capital website.

About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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