It’s the End of the War on Drugs as We Know It

Kids, gather round. Let me share with you the horrors of my youth.

Behold:

And:

Back in the 1980s, these commercials were on a near-constant loop — especially on Saturday mornings and any other times kids might be watching TV. It was a steady drumbeat: Don’t do drugs. Don’t do drugs. Don’t do drugs. Don’t do drugs. Somehow, people kept doing drugs.

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Pennsylvania Bill Would Allow NRA to Sue Towns Over Gun Laws

Back in 2012, the NRA attempted to sue several Pennsylvania municipalities when they enacted gun laws stronger than Pennsylvania state laws. (Mayor Michael Nutter led this charge — in response to the Batman massacre in Colorado — after stricter gun laws failed in the state legislature.)

The NRA’s lawsuit was dismissed for lack of standing. But, back then, the State House worked on a bill that would automatically give the NRA standing to sue municipalities — including Philadelphia — if they enact stricter gun laws than the state requires.

The bill didn’t become law. But guess what: It’s back! State Rep. Mark Keller, who represents Franklin and parts of Perry counties, has introduced a bill allowing the NRA or another gun-rights group to sue municipalities over their stricter gun laws.

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Philly Cigarette Tax Moves Closer to Approval

A legislative spokesman passes along the following:

Just wanted to provide a quick update on where things stand with Philly schools. House Bill 1177, which contains the Philly $2-pack cigarette tax, was just voted out of the House Rules Committee by an overwhelming majority. The bill was also amended and stripped of all language related to the CRIZ and hotel taxes. It is now a “clean bill” that can be voted on the PA House floor in 24 hours.

At this point, we expect that the House will pass the bill tomorrow and it will be considered by the PA Senate early next week.

So far so good. Now comes the tough part.
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3 Reasons We Need to End the Pennsylvania Death Penalty

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Shutterstock.com

First of all, much praise to the Inquirer and City Paper. They’re among the publications joining the ACLU to sue the state to get information on the supplier of Pennsylvania’s lethal injection drugs. Journalism is all about getting information to the public, and sometimes a little extra pressure is needed: It’s good to see that both papers can still find ways to bring that pressure.

It would be better for everybody, though, if the suit weren’t needed.

It would be better for everybody if Pennsylvania didn’t have a death penalty at all.

Let’s skip the moral objections for now, because everybody has a moral stance on the issue — either for or against — and at this point, passionate moral arguments probably aren’t going to move the needle. So let’s talk about good governance. Because the death penalty — in Pennsylvania — and elsewhere, is lousy governance:

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Men Are (Still) Pigs

sexism

Oh, that’s right: Men are pigs.

Forgive a little bit of gender-based self-loathing. (And please, denizens of the Men’s Rights Twittersphere, please spare me your inevitable cries of “misandry!” Your whining undermines your claims to machismo.) But the news has been replete with examples lately of why feminism exists — and is needed — and why we men still need a few lessons in how to treat all people with a little more respect.

Just to pluck two examples from our local headlines:

• Monday, of course, brought us the TMZ video of Ray Rice knocking his fiancée unconscious last winter at the Revel Casino.

• And last week we heard about the good ol’ boys in then-Attorney General Tom Corbett’s office trading dirty emails and creating enough of a frat house atmosphere that the office had to pay out a $15,000 settlement to a female agent who felt discriminated against because she wouldn’t play along. Corbett has said he found out about the emails only after he became governor.

But jeepers, what is this, 1960?

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Pennsylvania Senate Library Has ‘50 Shades of Grey’ Audiobook

A report from WHTM-TV, an ABC affiliate serving the Susquehanna Valley, recently reported on the Pennsylvania Senate Library. The library, which moved to its current location in the Pennsylvania State Capitol in 1906, has a large selection of books for senators to check out for research.

It also has a large selection of audiobooks. And WHTM-TV got the list of audiobooks and flagged a bunch of titles it said were “eyebrow-raising.”

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