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Brooke’s mom is in town so news reading, and thus blogging, will be light through Sunday. I’ll leave you with some links:

  • Nate Silver says the polling evidence shows the Republicans’ no-revenues stance is outside the political mainstream…of the Republican Party
  • Pennsylvania’s HEMAP foreclosure prevention program was one of the most successful in the country. It was idiotic for Tom Corbett to cancel it. Local governments cannot afford a new wave of unnecessary foreclosures.
  • Air Products turns on the biggest thin-film solar farm in the country. Pat Browne is a booster. Carbon pricing would make this even more economical, so it’s hard to understand why Air Products keeps giving political support to climate neanderthal Charlie Dent.
  • I don’t know all the details yet, but there’s a lot to like about the Fleck/Brown proposal for a Community Development Fund, particularly the attention to parking. I’m still skeptical about whether this is politically sustainable.
  • John Sides on what political science says about the impact of a budget deal on 2012
  • And this is really the worst week for the liquor privatization bill to come out, but I’ll have comments soon. For now, check this Patch column I did to help consumers cut through the special interest noise that’s going to dominate this debate.

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Lucky for me, I went down the shore on a mercifully slow news week. Still, there are some things…

  • Trouble in Tea World. Please put Joe Hilliard in charge…
  • Contra LVCI, a higher level of immigration is the answer to our distant Social Security shortfall. Without undocumented workers paying into the system, the shortfall would be larger.
  • Easton real estate is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak market.
  • Noel Jones on CDBG cuts in Easton. Always a good time to point out that the Republicans’ cuts were completely unnecessary.
  • Blame gridlock at SteelStacks on underpriced parking. You really want more people taking the Loop from the parking garage on Northside to SteelStacks for big events.
  • House Republicans reject paternalism…for kids

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  • Hopefully the Perkins Chapter 11 situation will result in the Southside Bethlehem Perkins parcel getting replaced with something more characteristic of an urban neighborhood.
  • Shame on Bob Casey. GenOn can get cleaner, but it’s never going to be a clean power plant. It’s a coal-fired plant!
  • Air Products partnering with the White House on a jobs pipeline program. That’s nice, but it’s not going to add to the total number of jobs without more demand.
  • Tom Corbett and the majority Republicans want to cut off funding for PA’s highly successful program for mortgage modifications. Local government budgets are going to get wrecked with all the new foreclosures.

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  • Rich Wilkins says Ed Pawlowski and the NIMBYs are both getting the hockey arena attendance projections wrong
  • Christina Georgiou has a good explainer on Neighborhood Improvement Districts
  • Cool article on Andy Po and the organizing that goes into getting skate parks approved
  • MontCo Republican donors shifting their donations to Democrats
  • Credit checks as part of the job application process is extremely unfair
  • Kristen Dalton, guest blogger at ArtsLehigh, on town and gown relations between Lehigh University and the city of Bethlehem

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  • Seems pretty obvious that the state is going to have to raise the gas tax to fund transportation. All the fees and workarounds don’t make any sense. The problem is that you need more money, and the correct people to raise it from are the people who use the roads and highways.
  • People who want to debate the economic impact of arenas need to take location into account. It would be a major analytical error to compare an arena on the outskirts of a city to an arena in the downtown core.
  • Mark Price on Pennsylvania’s April  jobs report
  • Former GOP Rep. Karen Beyer has reemerged as a critic of the Corbett budget from the left
  • Predictably, the Senate transportation bill mostly sucks. But mercifully, it looks like a short-term fix.
  • Bruce Bartlett on how the debt limit game of chicken ends. Geithner should speed up the Republican cave-in by sending IOUs to Social Security recipients and government contractors right away.
  • Laini Abraham on why buying local food is good for the local economy

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  • Sharon Ward demolishes the Corbett administration’s analysis of taxes paid by natural gas companies. She catches them counting taxes paid by individuals and customers as taxes paid by the industry.
  • Pat Toomey’s Senate version of the Paul Ryan budget drops tomorrow.
  • Easton has a cool idea to offer you Panto Bucks for recycling.
  • I think LVCI is holding borrowers to a higher standard than banks here. Walking away from a house that’s underwater is the economically rational thing to do. That’s what a bank would do. That the overwhelming majority of underwater borrowers seem to want to do the “moral” thing anyway is a strong case for pushing banks to meet them halfway.
  • Common pleas court rejects Panther Valley’s random drug testing policy

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  • Lou Barletta appears ready to debut the dogwhistle racism that made him famous on the national stage
  • Mike Sturla rounds up Tom Corbett’s 100 Days of Bloopers