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Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker walks off the stage after speaking at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, in a January 24, 2015 file photo. (Jim Young/REUTERS)Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker walks off the stage after speaking at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, in a January 24, 2015 file photo. (Jim Young/Reuters)

1) Scott Walker has officially joined the race for the Republican nomination for president, a few days after unofficially joining the race with a premature announcement tweet. The jumping-the-gun tweet wasn't the fault of the Walker campaign, though – at least, that's what the folks at Twitter said – so another Republicans Aren't Good at the Internet post isn't warranted in this case.

2) FBI raids of the municipal offices in Allentown were responsible for the suspension of the U.S. Senate campaign of Ed Pawlowski, that city's mayor. On Friday, the FBI served similar warrants at the home and offices of Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer. Any obvious connections? Politics PA notes that Mike Fleck served as a political adviser to both mayors; it also notes that Mr. Fleck just abruptly shut down his campaign strategies business and moved out of Allentown.

3) The Republicans have their candidate to fill the state Senate seat of Matt Smith; Guy Reschenthaler resigned from his seat as a district judge in Jefferson Hills so he could begin campaigning immediately.

4) The Washington Post has an interesting piece that tries to figure out just what exactly Donald Trump is hoping to accomplish with his "presidential campaign," the goals for which surely don't include an actual residency at the White House (unless he manages to buy that property, turning it into the Trump White House Resort on Pennsylvania Avenue). We're betting that it's actually pretty simple; we're all talking about Trump (The Brand), and that's pretty much all Mr. Trump wants to accomplish.

er bloom county trump

5) But there is apparently one thing for which we should thank Mr. Trump: Berkeley Breathed is resurrecting the Bloom County comic strip, and Mr. Trump's campaign is at least partially responsible for the rebirth of Opus and Milo. And that, Mr. Trump, may be the greatest thing you've ever accomplished.

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On the right side of history: Confederate flag comes down

Published by Mike Pound on .

There is still plenty of work to be done. But this is a great first step.

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Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign event in Iowa City, Iowa, United States, July 7, 2015. (Jim Young/Reuters)

1) Hillary Clinton did an interview! She addressed various Republicans, Donald Trump, the State Department email scandal and – our favorite part – she said she'd talk to us more.

2) Ted Cruz has some special people – and by "special," we mean "bitter, bigoted cranks" -- in his state-level campaign organizations, and the Republican presidential candidate doesn't seem to be bothered a whole lot by what they say publicly.

3) It will soon become easier to own backyard chickens – and other barnyard critters – in the city of Pittsburgh.

Diverse members of Pittsburgh's furry community at Fernando's Cafe on Liberty Avenue on Friday, July 3, 2015. (Allison Farrand/Post-Gazette)Diverse members of Pittsburgh's furry community at Fernando's Cafe on Liberty Avenue on Friday, July 3, 2015. (Allison Farrand/Post-Gazette)

4) Let us be among the first to welcome the furries -- especially those who don't live here year round -- back to town.

5) We have furries. We have chickens. It's no wonder everyone loves us. Everyone, that is, except Deadspin's Kevin Draper. Next time you're in town, Kev, we'll make sure to set you up with dinner at Poli and prime seats for a hockey game at the Civic Arena.

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Corman: 'This is going to be a while'

Published by Karen Langley on .

Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, speaks at a press conference at the state Capitol in Harrisburg Pa., Friday Jan. 16, 2015. (Chris Knight/Associated Press)Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, speaks at a press conference at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Friday Jan. 16, 2015. (Chris Knight/Associated Press)

Leaving a meeting with the governor this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman did not sound optimistic about a quick resolution to the impasse over the state budget.

"This is going to be a while," he told reporters. "The governor's holding to the fact that he needs a broad-based tax increase. We don't believe that we do. And until that issue can be resolved, we're going to be here a while."

Mr. Corman said Republicans will continue to oppose Gov. Tom Wolf's proposals to increase the rates of the personal income and sales taxes and to expand the roster of goods and services subject to the sales tax. But he said they could consider accepting some increases in state revenue.

"We're open to discussions about some more revenue sources, if that's what he needs, around the edges," Mr. Corman said. "But we're not open to a discussion on an income tax increase. We're not open to a discussion on a sales tax increase. We're not open to a discussion on closing sales tax exemptions. Those broad-based tax increases are not going to be part of the discussion."    

Asked about proposals to raise the cigarette tax or impose a severance tax on natural gas drilling, he said: "Everything else is open for discussion."

Mr. Wolf's press secretary, Jeffrey Sheridan, said the governor wants to continue talking. But he said new recurring revenues are needed, and enough to fill the state's budget shortfall.

"He wants to find recurring revenues to close the structural budget deficit that we have, and the only way to do that is to find those new revenues," Mr. Sheridan said. "He is more than willing to continue talking with them about finding ways to do that. Right now there has not been any better ideas presented to us than increasing the personal income tax, increasing the sales tax while also providing the property tax relief that was not included in their budget."

Mr. Corman's office announced this afternoon that the Senate will return to work next week, with voting days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

pollster

1) We're just a month away from the first Republican presidential debate, so now would be a good time to check and see who might make the stage as part of the Top 10 candidates at that point, as per the Fox News rules. As we've pointed out before, Huffington Post's Pollster tool, which updates and averages poll numbers, is a good way to check and see how our favorite candidates are faring. If the debate were held today, here's what we would have. Squeaking in a No. 10 is Chris Christie, followed by Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Scott Walker. At No. 5 is Rand Paul, followed by Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush. And at No. 1, boys and girls – Donald Trump.

2) OK, so maybe Hillary Clinton doesn't totally hate us. She's agreed to do an interview on CNN later this week.

3) We mentioned yesterday the FBI serving search warrants in the offices of Allentown. Now, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski has suspended his campaign for U.S. Senate to cooperate with the investigation.

4) The South Carolina legislature has taken the first steps toward removing the Confederate flag from the grounds of its statehouse.

5) We loved this NPR piece about how Michael Jackson killed the advertising jingle – and, simultaneously, political campaigns. But that still doesn't explain why candidates don't listen to the words of the campaign songs they choose.

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