Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Altmire Voting with Insurance Lobbyists

Buchanan’s bid: Altmire had better dance with his original partners
Monday, October 12, 2009
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If politics were tag team wrestling, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan would get in the ring against Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire in the 4th Congressional District race next fall, taking up the fight where Melissa Hart, another conservative supporter of George W. Bush, left off. And like tag team wrestling, it would be sort of fun for those of us in the cheap seats.

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Oct 17: Beaver Rally for Medicare for All – End the Wars

Healthcare NOT Warfare!




Saturday Oct. 17th 1:00 pm

Beaver County Courthouse

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The top ten things you didn’t know about Iran

Juan Cole
Juan Cole

by Dr. Juan Cole, President of the Global Americana Institute


Oct. 1, 2009

Belief: Iran is aggressive and has threatened to attack Israel, its neighbors or the U.S.

Reality: Iran has not launched an aggressive war in modern history, and its leaders have a doctrine of “no first strike.” This is true of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as well as of Revolutionary Guards commanders.

Belief: Iran is a militarized society bristling with dangerous weapons and a growing threat to world peace.

Reality: Iran‘s military budget is a little over $6 billion annually. Sweden, Singapore and Greece all have larger military budgets. Moreover, Iran is a country of 70 million, so that its per capita spending on defense is tiny compared to these others, since they are much smaller countries with regard to population. Iran spends less per capita on its military than any other country in the Persian Gulf region with the exception of the United Arab Emirates.

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Send a fax to PA Senate Key Republicans to Vote for Budget

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a state budget revenue plan late Friday night and sent that bill to the Republican-controlled Senate for concurrence.  The Senate is scheduled to vote on Monday.

While this budget is far from perfect, it is the best we can hope for this year.  It creates a more stable funding plan for most essential services for our state’s families, seniors and children. It includes a $300 million increase for basic education funding that will provide some relief for local school districts. 

Tell the Senate to pass the budget on Monday. 


The revenue plan also includes the following changes that shift the burden away from non-profit and community organizations, and on to polluters and tobacco products:

  • Eliminates the proposed tax on the arts and museums.
  • Eliminates the proposed tax on small games of chance run by non-profit groups like the American Legion, churches and other community groups.
  • Imposes a severance tax on natural gas drilling.  This will bring in over $100 million a year from this highly risky, polluting industry.  The money will go to the general fund as well as to the counties and municipalities where the drilling occurs, and to low income heating and energy assistance, and to the Environmental Stewardship and the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.
  • Imposes a tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco that will bring in over $50 million a year.  PA is the only state that taxes cigarettes that doesn’t tax these products.