Prison Scandal....It was reported last week that state investigators found lots of things wrong at the Lackawanna County Prison, not many of which seem directly tied to the "stomping into a coma" of a former prisoner. We also heard that Lackawanna County DA Jarbola, who also conveniently happens to serve of the prison board, has decided that there is no need for an investigation into the beating of Mr Pinto (reference HERE). As I have noted on many, many occasions, Nicholas Pinto was a bad, bad man. But he also deserved to be treated better than an animal at a slaughter house (in fact slaughter house animals must be protected from the kind of beating that Mr Pinto endured). The trifecta of this all? The Priest who warned prison officials that this kind of thing would happen has been permanently banned from the prison.
This story contains a bit of everything that is bad about Lackawanna County politics & business as usual: an insular mentality of "insiders", protection for employees, protection for managers, finger pointing, and a general propensity to basically do nothing to rock the boat. We should all be ashamed.
Election Time...and as I have noted, for the first time in my adult life I will not be voting. The timing of my recent move just didn't allow this to happen. I'll be watching the results closely, especially when it comes to the Kanjorski vs. Barletta race. That one is too close to call, and in all honesty I can't say that I feel very strongly about either candidate, despite having met the Congressman and his very public work on behalf of employees being outsourced. On the GOP side, Barletta is a self-indicted one-trick pony who apparently still has trouble reading the U.S. Constitution (as in the federal government is responsible for securing the borders and enforcing immigration law).
Every more interesting though is the Carney vs. Marino election. The fact that there is even a race to talk about is remarkable. Simply put, Carney is not the most liberal member of Congress and Marino is not the most ethically pure candidate out there. If Carney does lose, it will end up being a horrible, horrible night for the Democrats.
The Next Governor...will most likely be Frank Drebin (I mean Tom Corbett). I as I told my dear friend Kay Crawford (who happens to work in county government), "be afraid, be very afraid". If you work for any level of government in Pennsylvania, I think you should be worried. Some may think that's okay, and maybe in some areas a little job insecurity fear is warranted, but on balance Corbett's budget rhetoric will require some massive governmental cutting. This is the man that is basically said "we don't need gas extraction tax revenue", so that money will have to come from somewhere else. State services? State funding for county programs? We shall see.
Who Ya Gonna Blame?...that is when the Republicans take control of the House and possibly (but not likely) the Senate? I blame younger voters. The groups that came out to vote for President Obama two years ago are probably going to stay home in much greater numbers this time around. In fact, I saw a recent poll that showed that less than a third of voters under the age of 30 will actually vote this time around. Slightly more than fifty percent of those age 50 and older will actually vote in this election. That's the problem with political power: it's meaningless unless actually used.
My Next Read....will probably the new Keith Richards autobiography, Life. I read some snippets of it in the last edition of Rolling Stone magazine, and it sounds great. I walked away with a different view of Richards from just the few pages printed in RS.
Oh, I also forgot, the next installment in the Bloom County anthology (volume 3) series will be coming out shortly. Lots of reading to do.