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.

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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.

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Week One Draws to a Close

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

For many Pennsylvania state employees, today is a red-letter day.  Today is the last day that I’ll get a full paycheck for an indeterminate period of time.  Because our legislature and governor have gone on vacation, our state budget remains deadlocked.  Without a budget, the state can’t spend any money (well, except for inmates and the legislators).  Without any money, paychecks for every state employee will dry up by the end of this month.  Every employee, from temporary employees to the upper echelons of management, is being asked to work without pay.

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I Just Joined Integrity Bank

I’ve spent the better part of the past two weeks searching for a replacement bank.  I went into branches, called customer service numbers, asked the same questions of different employees, and asked friends & coworkers for advice.  I’m pretty sure I compared all the locals (Mid Penn, Members 1st, Centric, etc), regionals (PNC, Citizens), and nationals (E*Trade and ING).  Almost every bank had its benefits, but Integrity Bank really stood out.  I’ll try and outline my reasons here, but remember that there is no end-all be-all bank for everyone.  Note: If things like free gourmet coffee and a well-designed interior don’t interest you, skip the next two paragraphs.

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Cough It Up: PA Budget Impasse, Part 4

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

Just read an article in The Patriot News about our legislators:

Taxpayers pay up to $33,445 a day to feed and house state lawmakers every day that House and Senate members are in Harrisburg waiting to vote on a budget. Lawmakers’ pay stopped on July 1 and will not resume until a budget is enacted. But per-diem checks, paid out of legislative reserve accounts, will continue to be issued.

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