Scrapple TV News: Republican Wingnuts, Stu Bykofsky, Charles Chaput, and the Philly Going Out of Business Sale

Scrapple News: we tell you what to think, and you obey.

In this episode: Republican front-runners still crazy; Stu Bykofsky doubles down; Archibishop Charles Chaput climbs into bed with YOU; and how much would you pay for a 330 year old city?


Bank Swap Deals Cost Philadelphia City, School District

Large financial institutions, including many that received financial bailouts in the wake of the financial crisis, are making hundreds of millions of dollars off interest rate swaps negotiated with the City and School District of Philadelphia.

That's the key finding in a new report from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. We found that swap deals negotiated with banks such as Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have cost the city and school district $331 million in net interest payments and cancellation fees. If interest rates continue to remain low, still-active swaps could cost the city another $240 million in future net interest payments.

WHYY's NewsWorks was there and posted this brief video clip.

Our report recommends that banks refund a portion of the cancellation fees they received for terminating bad deals and renegotiate those deals which are currently active.

Financial institutions have returned to profitability after the financial crisis, yet some Philadelphia schools cannot afford to keep nurses on staff. Now the banks have an opportunity to step up and help prevent more damaging cuts to schools and public safety, just as taxpayers helped the banks avoid total collapse just a few years ago.

Some other news outlets covered our release of the report yesterday. Check out the coverage.

Philadelphia Mayor Vetoes Paid Sick Leave Bill

A blog post from Stephen Herzenberg, originally published on Third and State.

Some bad news out of Philadelphia Tuesday — Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed legislation that would have allowed every worker in the city to earn paid sick days.

As Lonnie Golden, a professor of economics and labor studies at Penn State Abington, and I wrote in an op-ed earlier this month, a paid sick days law would be good for business, good for the economy and good for public health in Philadelphia.

The public seems to agree. Seven in 10 Philadelphians supported the bill, according to a recent poll.

As we wrote in our op-ed:

Paid sick days are good for business and the community, as well as for families. Businesses save because worker turnover declines, lowering hiring costs and eliminating lost productivity as new workers get up to speed.

The cost of hiring is high compared to paying for sick days because managers and human-resource professionals who recruit earn more than lower-wage workers. Businesses also save because paid sick days reduce worker resentment and improve worker-manager relations.

The community benefits because, when sick workers stay home, disease doesn't spread to other workers or to customers. Workers also obtain more timely medical care and recover faster, reducing lost productivity and holding down health-care costs.

Hopefully, City Council will agree and override the Mayor's veto when it reconvenes in September.

Paid Sick Days Can Help Make Philadelphia a High Road City of Opportunity

A blog post from Stephen Herzenberg, originally published on Third and State.

Last week, I wrote that when you look at the positive benefits and the low costs of Philadelphia’s proposed paid sick days legislation, it could end up paying for itself.

As I wrote that, I could almost hear a collective gasp from neoclassical economists: “If it paid for itself, employers would already do it!”

Third and State This Week: Teacher Salaries, Legislative Updates & Paid Sick Leave in Philadelphia

This week at Third and State, we blogged about teacher salaries and a paid sick leave bill in Philadelphia City Council, along with providing legislative updates on efforts to cut unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania and advance a state budget with deep cuts to education and human services.


Using NFIB Economist’s Estimates on Paid Sick Days: It’s Not Cricket

A blog post from Stephen Herzenberg, originally published on Third and State.

As a kid living near Manchester in the north of England, my first love was cricket. The sport (it is a sport) comes up nowadays when I use the phrase “it’s not cricket” — as in, it’s not acceptable, it’s not done.

Cohen, Goode and Reynolds-Brown get the green nod in At-Large race

Reynolds-Brown, Goode and Cohen get the green vote
Clean Water Action releases its endorsed candidates in the at-large City Council election

(Philadelphia) – This morning, Clean Water Action released its list of endorsed candidates in Democratic Primary for At-Large Council Seats. The environmental organization with almost 8,000 registered voters in its membership in the city is supporting Councilwoman Blondell Reyolds-Brown, Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. and Sherrie Cohen. Speaking outside City Hall this morning, environmentalists stood alongside these three endorsed candidates to show their commitment to an environmental agenda.

Brady Russell, Eastern PA Director for Clean Water Action said, “We decided we were only going to support candidates for these seats who got 100% on our environmental questionnaire. We wanted to throw our support to a small group of candidates who were willing to make the strongest commitment to the environment. With the support of the Southeast Pennsylvania Steering Committee, we decided these three were the right choices to recommend to our members.”

Philadelphia's forum on hydrofracking our watershed


Speak out, Philadelphia -- for your water supply

Local environmentalists partner with Councilwoman for hearing on new rules for hydrofracking the Philadelphia watershed

Contact: Brady Russell, Eastern PA Director, 215-545-0250

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has partnered with Clean Water Action and other environmental groups to host a forum on natural gas drilling in the water supply of Philadelphia. The Delaware River Basin Commission, which was created to protect the special waters of the Delaware River Watershed, has released a set of draft rules for hydrofracking for natural gas.

If these rules go into effect, natural gas drillers will put the water we all drink at the same risk from dangerous chemicals that have made so many concerned in other parts of the state. Many Philadelphians drink water taken from the Delaware River, with intakes downstream from many future natural gas developments.

Philadelphia groups and elected leaders are banding together to create a forum for spoken comment which will be transcribed and sent to the DRBC before the April 15th deadline for comments.

What: Public Forum on the Draft DRBC Natural Gas Drilling Rules
When: March 8th. Doors at 5:15PM. Forum Begins at 5:30PM. Ends at 7:30PM
Where: City Hall, City Council Chambers (Room 400)
Co-sponsoring organizations: Delaware Riverkeeper Network, PennEnvironment, Protecting Our Waters, Sierra Club Southeastern PA

Water pouring from the Fairmount SEPTA station is even worse

Three years ago this month I wrote about water seen streaming in from the ceiling of the Fairmount SEPTA station, on the Southbound platform. Since then, it's gotten a lot worse. I was fairly shocked to see how bad it was this morning. This time, I made a video. You get a good gush of water in the video, toward the end.

If you look at the photo in the post I linked above, it's not nearly so bad. Just a serious leak. This video shows that whatever is failing to seal water out has gotten much, much worse.

I would love to run, but who wants the headache???

I see that no one wants to run against Mayor Nutter or doesn't have the balls to run on a Democratic ballot. This is a chance with all that's going on in the city to give the Mayor a real run for his money. And the only person that's willing to give it any kind of shot is Milton? Is this job that undesirable that a convict is willing to throw his hat in? Can some tell me the perks of running for a city that's dwindling in every category except obesity?

I would love to get a shot at the title but would it be worth it? I love my city and all it has to offer. But is it worth the time , pain and effort to really run against Mike Nutter. Even if I had the chance, ran , and actually won would I really want the job. I'm tired of the same losers on the campaign trail just to back out after 4 months. The funny thing about this race is that Nutter doesn't think its going to be a walk in the park!

State of What Union?

I was with a group of Obama volunteers and Neighborhood Network members Tuesday night gathered to hear the State of the Union. My first impressions were positive. Obama recognized the country needs investments in infrastructure to move forward. He pledged clearly that gays would be openly serving in the military this year. He refused to commit to any cutbacks in social security. He called for eliminating stupid subsidies to the oil industry and for cutting back other corporate tax breaks. And he renewed his call for ratcheting up the taxes of the rich and super-rich.

"Beyond Obama" - A Day in Solidarity With African People November 6th

Group Challenges Racial Divide in U.S.

What: Conference
When: Saturday, November 6, 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA
Contact: Harris Daniels, 857-233-7508

On Saturday, November 6, the African People’s Solidarity Committee will hold a public event entitled, “Beyond Obama: Seeking real solutions to the growing racial divide in the US.” The conference will feature presentations by leaders of the “Black is Back!” Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations; Friends and Family of Mumia Abu Jamal; the Black Agenda Report; and the Harlem Tenants Council. It is the culmination of an effort to raise $10,000 for the Uhuru Movement’s black community justice campaigns.

public school teacher bashing in local media

At least two local media reports Thursday morning discussed Philadelphia public school teacher absences during the first two days of student attendance this fall.

Largely an outlet for bashing public school teachers by their own employer, the reports verged on propaganda, relying solely on quotes from the School District administrative offices. Phrases like 'truant' and 'teachers just didn’t show up for work' were used to describe the absences.

New City Committee Member Needs Help.

This will be a fairly short entry. I somehow got elected to the City Committee up in the 58th Ward with just my one write-in vote for myself. Needless to say, I'm collecting information and suggestions on how best to go about filling out my four year term. Any suggestions on how to move forward?

COUNTDOWN...Historical, Unprecedented, Urgent! "Philadelphia Town Meeting: Our Budget, Our Economy"

AmericaSpeaks, "Our Budget Our Economy"

Philadelphia Town Meeting: Our Budget, Our Economy

Our national deficit is projected to grow at an unsustainable rate over the next 10 years. This threatens our ability to fund what’s most important to us. We remain deeply divided over what our national priorities are and what we, as a people, are prepared to do to support them. Clearly we need to do something and let our leaders know what we will support. It's time to come together as a country to make the tough choices that will ensure America's future.

Sign Up Online today! or call toll free at 866-755-6263

Join Americans at meeting halls across the country linked together by satellite and the Internet! This is a chance to:

-Learn About the Issues
-Find Common Ground
-Present priorities to leaders in Washington

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