Friday, November 30, 2012
Gov. Tom Corbett held a series of interviews with reporters in the Capitol press corps. Yeah, we weren't there either. But Corbett held forth on a number of issues: Among them are pensions (look out!), taxes (he's sticking to that idiotic pledge), and healthcare exchanges (?!? actually, still not real clear where he's at on that one.) The great John Micek directs you to the key headlines.
Over at the Keystone Research Center, Stephen Herzenberg calls on the state's business leaders to rally behind a continued investment in renewable energy. Herzenberg notes that, since renewable energy is almost self-evidently the technology of the future, encouraging state investment in it isn't some hippie dream ... but makes practical business sense. It's a cogent, sensible argument, which is why I'm not optimistic that the folks at the Chamber of Business and Industry will pay it any mind. In other call-to-action news, meanwhile, the folks at Keystone Progress are urging you to speak up on behalf of letting tax cuts expire on the wealthiest 2 percent. This, too, is an eminently sensible position, which explains why it is also opposed by many conservatives. But the prospects for victory seem reasonably good.
Remember when the West Penn Allegheny Health System wanted to abandon its acquisition by Highmark, because it thought Highmark was going to force it into bankruptcy? Gotta say, that's starting to look like an increasingly moot point today.
Here's a story first anticipated by Chris Briem a couple days back: The Army Corps of Engineers' response to ongoing drought conditions may crimp river shipping ... and thus Pittsburgh's prosperity. This is the kind of problem we're going to be facing in the decades ahead, courtesy of our previous lack of response to the threat of global climate change.
An interesting discussion over at Keystone Politics about Congressional District 12, which of course just elected Republican Keith Rothfus over incumbent Mark Critz. Jake Sternberger argues, not for the first time, that if Democrats are going to take the seat back, we dippy progressives need to reconcile ourselves to a candidate who is anti-choice, a backer of Big Coal and high-power firearms. What? That doesn't excite you? Maybe this piece will ease the pain. It argues that being a "Blue Dog" doesn't necessarily mean being a lap dog for the health care and financial industries: There's still room for an economic populist out there in the hinterlands.