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Friday, November 16, 2012

Heads Up: Morning Headlines for Nov. 16

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 8:53 AM

So if you're hoping that the country's leaders can do something about global climate change, here's what you are up against: According to a new Quinnipiac poll, while nearly two-thirds of Pennsylvanians say they are concerned about global climate change, just over one-third of Republicans are. Chalk that up to another symptom of people living in a Fox News bubble, I guess. On the bright side, this also means that taking climate change seriously is a winning election issue: Independent voters worry about climate change by two-to-one margins.

In other environmental news, DEP secretary Michael Krancer came to town yesterday (where he was met by some protesters) and among other things denounced state Rep. Jesse White, who as noted here yesterday has been a sharp critic of the natural-gas industry. When not foaming at the mouth, Krancer offered up a vision in which Pennsylvania becomes an "energy superpower." Which, no doubt, will help facilitate our plans to secede from the United States!.

A new study published yesterday by progressive economists at the state and national level finds that, as in much of the country, income inequality in Pennsylvania has grown over the past decade. The key takeaway: "Between the late 1990s and mid-2000s, the annual incomes of the richest fifth of Pennsylvania households grew by 7.2 percent ($11,190), while those of the poorest fifth fell by 7.9 percent ($1,907)."

Days after a watchdog group started ringing alarm bells about backsliding performance at the Pittsburgh Public Schools, superintendent Linda Lane is trying to accentuate the positive. For example: Test scores in middle-school grades are better than the state average, you'll be reassured to learn.

From the conservative-skewing Pennsylvania Independent website comes this dire news: Your pitiful attempts to balance the budget are in vain! For rising pension costs -- which will cost an additional half-billion dollars in each of the next few yeares -- will make a mockery of your fiscal prudence! Since this involves beating up public-sector unions, among other things, expect it to be a popular topic of conversation in Harrisburg next year.

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