Story of the day: Republican Tom Smith, who has been running an uphill campaign against incumbent Democrat Bob Casey, becomes this week's Todd Akin by suggesting that an outside-of-marriage pregnancy is "similar" to rape -- at least from "a father's position." You can find take-downs of Smith all over the internet and on Twitter, so no need to rehash them here. I'll just say that Smith has, at least, figured out a way to address his lack of name recognition. He's also managed to make Bob Casey look like a champion of women's rights by comparison -- no easy feat.
Be the first on your block to own one: The state is now issuing its long-promised non-driver photo ID cards, perfect for use at polling places this November. Judging from the illustration accompanying this Philadelphia Inquirer story, the first card was issued to one "Francesca Sample." Seems like the Sample family gets dibs on a lots of stuff. Must be Republicans.
Meanwhile, hundreds of home-health care workers in the region have been waiting weeks to get paid by the Pittsburgh company tasked with issuing checks. WTAE has been sticking with this story about these often-overlooked foot-soldiers in the healthcare system.
Are Republicans giving up on Pennsylvania in this year's presidential election? Some observers think so, given polling this weekend showing President Obama over Mitt Romney by 9 points. Another sign: Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers' Super PAC, is pulling down ads. But progressives -- who can always find the cloud to every silver lining -- are worried the lack of attention might be a bad thing, at least for Democrats in down-ballot races.
Cue another round of self-pity from PSU fans: The school is scrapping the use of "Sweet Caroline" from football games. Already there is speculation that the song is being ditched because of post-Sandusky sensitivity to the lyrics "touching me, touching you ...." A Penn State spokesman, however, assures us that sensitivity is not to blame -- whew! I was worried there. Instead, the song is being scrapped because too many other schools use it -- and the song has no particular Penn State relevance. I mean, c'mon: Pitt uses it.