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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Yee Haw! On to Pennsyltuckey

Jack Lynch

Let's say right off that we in Frederick, Maryland share a great similarity to our kin up there in the great land of 'Virtue, Liberty and Independence.' In fact, the folks up there sound like a poster for property rights – and that gives pause as the national focus comes to a state where 'Jeffersonian Democracy run amok' has led to:

"Dozens of municipalities have sued the state government over the cost to upgrade wastewater plants as part of a strategy to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

The lawsuit, filed in Commonwealth Court on Friday, argues that wastewater ratepayers in towns across much of central and eastern Pennsylvania bear an unfair share of the cleanup costs. The lawsuit also contends that Pennsylvania entered into an illegal agreement in 2000 with Maryland and Virginia to improve the water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, which led to the federal government making the agreement mandatory five years later." Link

In addition, the anti forces in Pennsylvania will likely spoil the national scene with their deep Pennsyltuckey tendencies: "Rural parts of Pennsylvania with large concentrations of country folk, noted for interest in Hunting, Country Music, NASCAR, trailer life, Wal-Mart and working at the plant. [They are] often spotted wearing camouflage with full grown beards, or an unkept caveman appearance, driving pickup trucks with gun racks." Link

Hillary could drop by Texas Motor Speedway on April 15th for the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 a week before the primary. It would be much noted in Pa. among blue collar workers. March 20th is National Ag Day, honoring agriculture for providing safe, abundant and affordable food products, a strong economy, a source of renewable energy, and a world of job opportunities. The Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education could also offer an opportunity to reach out to African-American concerns in late February.

As of the 2000 U.S. Census - Pennsylvania is the sixth most populous state in the USA, after California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois. Yet just two years ago, their professors were expounding on Pennsylvania's 'Primary Problem': "Pennsylvania has a serious problem that needs urgent attention--call it Pennsylvania's "primary problem." Although it's the 6th largest state, an Electoral College powerhouse, and a state bitterly fought over in presidential elections, Pennsylvania has little or no influence on the nominees for president. When it comes to nominating presidents, Pennsylvania is always a day late and a dollar short." Link

But there are rays of light, and the maligned Bill Clinton, who predicted that Hillary had to win both Ohio and Texas to be viable, recently spoke at the Kerner Forty Plus event at the University of Pennsylvania: Kerner Plus 40" marks the 40th anniversary of the 1968 report issued by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, known as the Kerner Commission. The Commission was formed to assess the causes of race riots that occurred in U.S. cities during the 1960s. The Commission's most chilling words came in its assessment that the nation was "moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal."

Clinton said that "…the dramatic increase in diversity in the United States, which you can see with just a glance around the crowd today, has helped us to move closer to one America at least in the minds and hearts of those with the space to make conscious movement".

"The whole world today is in a struggle between competing forces that drive us together and take us apart…Our interdependence makes it possible for us to work together to generate wealth and opportunity. But if we continue on the same energy course we will also interdependently burn the planet up for our children and grandchildren. And our interdependence means that we all make money as a result of each other's activity, but when the rewards to capital and education so outweigh the rewards to labor that if you have the wrong government policies, you're going to actually crush people who are low on the education and capital scale and high on the labor capacity scale..." Link

Clinton could not have known that his words would imply a renewed campaign image, so there is much to hope for from their suggestions – that a focus on labor and economy, and working class folks, and minorities, will bring back a positive force against the Republican causes of immigration and benefits to the wealthy, and a war where lower class people die while contracting corporations profit tremendously.

From recent polling reports: "In the Keystone State, Clinton is viewed favorably by 74% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters. That figure includes favorable reviews from 80% of women and 65% of men.

Obama is viewed favorably by 71% overall.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of those likely to vote in the Primary view the economy as the most important voting issue for Election 2008. Twenty percent (20%) say it's the War in Iraq while 15% name Health Care.

Among voters who consider the economy as the highest priority, 47% will vote for Clinton and 42% for Obama.

Obama leads by twenty-one points among voters who consider the War in Iraq as the top priority. Clinton leads by twenty-three among those who see Health Care as the most important issue." Link

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