It is March 12, 1881. The New York Times ran this article titled "NEW PENNSYLVANIA LAWS; SLOW PROGRESS IN DISPOSING OF IMPORTANT MEASURES.
Eric Heyl over at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review talks about the tortoise's pace our legislators are employing to solve Pennsylvania's budget woes. He pokes fun at the fact that they were able to come to a consensus on naming a state reptile but have not tackled Rendell's $3 billion deficit.
If the Senate approves the measure, Gov. Ed Rendell likely will sign legislation putting the eastern box turtle up there with the white-tailed deer (state animal), Great Dane (state dog), brook trout (state fish) and the ruffed grouse (state bird).
No one should be surprised that lawmakers devoted time to finally settle on a state reptile. If a decision is required on an utterly irrelevant matter, they have no trouble sticking their heads out.
But as evidenced by the budget crisis, when it comes to tacking tough issues, they have a disturbing habit of retreating into their shells.
Correct me if I am wrong. I believe Rendell has yet to sign anything into law passed by both chambers of the Pennsylvania legislature. Of course we are talking about the same Ed Rendell who welcomed that fresh face into the Democratic party, Arlen Specter.
It amazes me how the media attacked George Bush over increased government spending, but as Eric points out, Rendell gets a free pass with every new tax. It is also amazing that in 128 years things haven't changed in Pennsylvania.