Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cronies and Phonies in the Philly School Mess

When the crony stacked School Reform Commission decided to cancel the Philly Teachers' contract in one of those clever clandestine ed reform meetings here is a sampling of the bullshit rhetoric Commissoner Goodhair ejaculated for the cameras:

“We can’t say to students, ‘We would like to give you millions of dollars to improve schools, but the PFT won’t let its members pay for some of its health insurance,’” School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green said, referring to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. It is time for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to share in the sacrifice,” Green said in an interview before the vote.
Lawyer, Stooge and Corbett Appointed Douchebag Bill Green

And when Governor Tom Corbett took office he issued similar rumblings, surely aiming to rouse the teabagger sentiments of Keystone staters: 

"If government is here to share the taxpayer's wealth then everyone needs to share in the sacrifice," said the new governor, whose relaxed posture and shock of white hair threw off an aura of imperial calm, even as he metaphorically jabbed a budget dagger so sharp that would have made Caligula proud. "Educators, Pennsylvanians await your decision."

A lot of "tough talk" and "rugged individual responsibility" being shoveled around in PA. Time for teachers to get a haircut as one of our local ed reform erections likes to suggest would happen if he and his pals ever get their hands on a public school. Here, Corbett calls teachers out directly, much the same way Commissioner Goodhair his handpicked lawyer and stooge who runs the "Reform Commission" in Philly. (The other members of this bogus "commission" include another lawyer, an HMO executive, The Principal of an Honors School and a "Parent Advocate" of some sort. We have a similar situation here in B-Lo with a so called Parent Advocate who serves as the ed reform stooge and poop boy.)

Yes, no doubt Governor Tom Corbett is a weapons grade asshole when it comes to public employees. He seems to be a much nicer guy to some folks though. And at this point we see there are certain rules for some and vastly different rules for others in Pennsyltucky. If you are a teacher in PA you are part of the problem, you steal money from kids and their classrooms and Governor Corbett is going to put you in check, fast. If you don't like it that's just too goddamned bad. 

If you are an out of state hydrofracker though your rules are a lot more accommodating. And if by some chance your business friendly rules put you ahead by a few billion there's nobody in the Governor's mansion who's going to refuse a little baksheesh toward the campaign fund: 

The companies take in hundreds of millions of dollars without paying any dedicated Pennsylvania tax -- even as such levies are imposed in the other 14 of the top 15 gas-producing states, even in red-state bastions of free-market libertarianism like Dick Cheney's native Wyoming and George W. Bush's Texas.

In a remarkable coincidence, 2010 gubernatorial candidate Corbett received a whopping $835,720 from oil-and-natural gas interests, including his largest single contributor - Marcellus Shale driller Terry Pegula and his wife Kim, who gave $305,000 to the Republican's campaign at the same time Pegula was selling his exploration firm to Royal Dutch Shell and pocketing a $3 billion check. Indeed, Corbett's career in elective Pennsylvania politics was launched in 2004 when an Oklahoma gas driller - Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy - funneled most of the dollars for an eye-popping $480,000 donation that went to Corbett's attorney general campaign from an obscure GOP fund.

As a Buffalo Bills' fan I am in some real way glad the team is staying here. In a more abstract way I am glad the Sabres will remain here too for the foreseeable future. But the fact that the guy who owns both teams donated more money to a piece of shit like Tom Corbett than anyone else makes me wonder just how bad would it have been if the Bills ended up in Toronto? 

Tom Corbett thinks a teacher earning 50K with kids, a mortgage, car payments and college tuition to worry about needs to "share in the sacrifice." But somehow on Planet Corbett, a billionaire who writes him a  campaign donation for almost half a million is somehow exempt from sharing even one penny in state taxes in that same "sacrifice." Repeat that, teachers salaries are slashed, frackers pay not one cent in taxes on billion dollar earnings. "Wealthy drillers are making tons of money while dramatically changing the character of the countryside - and they ought to pay their fair share,"  Senator Greg Vitali said. "It's absolute insanity. It's absolutely indefensible." Governor Corbett, his Reform Commission and the Pegulas can all go fuck themselves. This is why we need a revolution. The sooner the better. 

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