By stonewalling Congress at every turn and thumbing his nose at the constitution’s separation of powers, Trump seems to be begging for impeachment.
Trump and his enablers have grown fond of harping on the cost of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in our elections and whether Trump himself obstructed that investigation. Trump’s claimed $35 million price tag is a lot of money (the DoJ pegs it at less than half that, by the way), but it should be noted that much if not all of the probe’s expense will be recouped through asset forfeiture of convicted individuals like Paul Manafort and others caught in its net. Further, that total is but a third of what U.S. taxpayers have so far shelled out for Trump’s frequent golf outings, with much of that going into Trump’s own pockets.
Lackawanna County Democratic voters ousted Commissioner Patrick O’Malley Tuesday. His fate was shared with a large number of local incumbents.
Today’s odd-year primary ballot will be filled with local races that nevertheless are just as important as the larger statewide and national elections. So get out and vote.
The costs for Lackawanna County’s renovation and conversion of the former Globe department store are coming in millions more than originally advertised.
Pennsylvania Attorney-General Josh Shapiro was flagged by online encyclopedia Wikipedia for improper apple-polishing. It seems that one of his paid (as in $65,526 a year) communications staffers was tasked with burnishing the prospective 2022 gubernatorial candidate’s entry on the site.
National Security Adviser John Bolton’s flimsy rationale for war with Iran sounds suspiciously familiar.
In the wake of effective abortion bans enacted in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio, I thought I’d update this cartoon from August, 2012, drawn after the tea party takeover of congress.
A whopping 51 years have passed since Lackawanna County last conducted a comprehensive property-value reassessment, an act of political and official malpractice that has created an unrealistic and unfair system of property-tax valuations. Rather than correct the situation, politicians on both sides — with current commissioners O’Malley and Cummings being the worst offenders — continue to play to the fears of taxpayers, telling them that their taxes will skyrocket in a reassessment takes place, and attacking any opponent who entertains the idea of actual good governance.
Times are tough for the once-mighty National Rifle Association. The gun-rights organization has hemorrhaged money over the past years. Its president was forced to resign after a nasty and very-public spat with its longtime CEO. There are allegations that Russian interests laundered donations to the Trump campaign through the organization. And the New York Attorney-General has opened an investigation into its murky finances and extravagant spending on executive salaries, bennies and travel — much of which is underwritten by the rank-and-file due-paying membership — in an effort to determine if it can remain tax exempt.
Having helped establish the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policies — which include family separation at the Mexican border and holding migrant children in private detention facilities — former White House Chief of Staff has decided to accept a board seat with the company that operates one of the largest such operations. This unseemly (to say the least) arrangement reminded me of another story with a more local connection.
Protesters rained one-dollar bills down on the Pennsylvania House of Representatives yesterday while chanting “STOP TAKING BRIBES” — a demonstration highlighting the state legislature’s light-handed rules and laws allowing unlimited gifts to lawmakers from special-interest groups. Given that body’s established fondness for self-enrichment, however, it’s going to take more than $1 to get the members’ attention.