Time’s Up

It’s Christmas eve (at least it was when I started typing).  If you haven’t wrapped up your Christmas shopping by now, there’s no hope.  Most stores are closed, and of the ones that are still open … well, nobody wants that Imitation Designer Perfume / Cologne from the 24-hour truck stop, no matter how cheap the price.  Just cut your losses and move on.

Earlier today I completed my trek up to parts north to spend the holiday with family.  As I’m typing this in front of a roaring (gas-powered) fireplace, a dog of intriguing lineage has decided I’m her best friend.  She’s pretending to sleep right now, but every few minutes she inches closer and wedges herself in as close as she can.  I just finished off the last piece of homemade poppy seed roll while watching the season’s final three episodes of Dexter.  Life is good.

2009 has been an amazing roller coaster of a year.  For starters, floor9.com moved a little further from covering nightlife and a little more towards consumer interests.  I called out Privado for printing full, unmasked credit card numbers on their receipts (a practice which they have since corrected).  Circuit City went under and tried to take us all with them through unethical, anti-consumer behavior.  Metro Bank Harrisburg … don’t even get me started (although the story did earn me a link from The Consumerist).  The state decided not to pay 70,000+ state workers for weeks on end.

And then … I ran out of steam.  Don’t get me wrong — lots of other interesting and significant things happened in 2009.  I just didn’t have the momentum to cover them all.  I honestly think I’ve put forth more blog posts this year than I have at any point in the last seven years of floor9.com, and I’m only now starting to recharge.

And now it’s Christmas.  I’m exhausted from a day of shuffling presents around.  We polished off the last of the traditional Christmas Eve made-from-scratch pizza hours ago.   The though of spending the next 12 hours sleeping is awesome.

Merry Christmas* to all.  I doubt I’ll update again in 2009, but I do want to thank you all for being here.  The massive readership over the summer has been, if nothing else, therapeutic towards the shared causes so many of us took up.  And the gigantic spike I saw after the last post let me know a ton of you are still here.  Be safe, and see you in 2010!

* – To avoid offending the fragile sensitivities of Glenn Beck / Rush Limbaugh / et al listeners:  “Please partake in and/or observe an adequate non-secular event”.

Businesses & the PA Budget Impasse

Are you (or do you know of) a business that’s offering any special deals or programs to Pennsylvania employees because of the budget impasse?  Post a comment under this article, or use the contact link above, and I’ll add you to this list.  Whether you’re a bank offering zero-interest paycheck loans, a bar or restaurant offering drink or food specials, or a supermarket offering impasse specials, let us know!  Read on for the list…

Continue reading Businesses & the PA Budget Impasse

A State Employee Tries To Stand

The ongoing Pennsylvania budget impasse has obviously been a huge topic lately. Saturday afternoon I logged into my control panel and found the below comment waiting for approval.  I contacted the author of the comment and obtained permission to publish it as a guest post.

It seems as if the media coverage of the impasse is painting a rosy picture of zero-interest loans and creditors willing to show lenience.  The reality is that plenty of people like myself with good credit (around 700 FICO across two of the three bureaus) are being turned down for those loans.  And utility companies and lenders just don’t care.

What follows below is the story of one state employee who did her best to take control of her situation, but was shot down at every turn.  It is not my story, and the only editing done was to remove personally-identifying information and to clearly mark some sections.  My comments will be [bracketed in bold & italics].

Continue reading A State Employee Tries To Stand

Sprint and the 99-cent Netbook

I want to take a break from budget-related posting for a moment and go over this sweet, sweet HP netbook I just picked up for $0.99.  Yeah, that’s right — 99 cents.  Less expensive than (but not as tasty as) a double cheeseburger.  Don’t worry, fellow state employees — I will resume my kettle-banging and rabble-rousing on Monday.

Continue reading Sprint and the 99-cent Netbook

Chuck Ardo is Wrong

Note:  This is part of a series of posts detailing the 2009 Pennsylvania budget impasse.  To see all posts in this series, click here.

There was a very enlightening story in today’s Patriot-News.  In it, Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo is quoted as saying:

“The Pennsylvania Constitution outranks federal law, and that constitution bars us from spending any money without an enacted budget”

This is 100% completely and totally wrong.  As I have pointed out time and time and time again, the Court did not say that the Pennsylvania Constitution outranks federal law.  Don’t take my word for it — read the Court’s decision for yourself.  The Court very clearly said that because no conflict exists between the FLSA and the Pennsylvania Constitution, the answer to the question “Does the FLSA overrule the Constitution” is “no”.  To infer, then, that “because the FLSA does not overrule the constitution, the constitution must overrule the FLSA” is a logical fallacy.  One does not imply the other; non sequitur is in full effect here.

Continue reading Chuck Ardo is Wrong