Editorials from around Pennsylvania

Associated Press Published: November 8, 2012
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MORE OF THE SAME GRIDLOCK?

Those who may have hoped that President Obama's re-election on Tuesday would signal an end to Washington gridlock are likely to be in for a letdown.

Obama's win does not ensure an end to the divisive politics that has prevented action on important issues — tax reform, federal-deficit reduction, immigration and the like.

If anything, there will be more of the same gridlock, since the balance of power did not change after Tuesday's results were tallied.

In his first term, Obama expended a lot of effort on health care reform that Americans didn't necessarily want and a costly economic stimulus that had dubious results while driving up the deficit.

The second Obama term looks to be no different. The president will try to spend more taxpayer dollars with the help of a compliant, Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate, and much to the chagrin of a Republican-controlled House.

The first test of the newly re-elected president comes even before he gets to deliver his second inaugural address in January.

That's when the so-called "fiscal cliff" — a combination of automatic tax increases and drastic across-the-board spending cuts — threatens to take effect, unless Obama and the divided Congress agree on a budget deal.

While many of the issues are the same, circumstances have changed markedly for Obama since he first won the right to succeed George W. Bush in 2008.

Going forward — "Forward," ironically, being Obama's campaign slogan — the president can no longer blame Bush for the nation's economic problems. Now, Obama's problems are his own.

Four years ago, Obama promised to reach across the aisle in a spirit of compromise — "The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states ..." Obama famously observed in 2004. "But I've got news for them: There's the UNITED States of America."

How did that work out for the president? Not very well.

Now he's promising to try harder. He even reached out to his vanquished opponent, Mitt Romney, saying he wanted to discuss how the two men can work together for the good of the nation.

But does anyone really think that true compromise is really going to happen?

The track record of the Obama administration suggests the answer to that question is no.

— Lancaster New Era

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SPANIER CHARGES JUSTIFIED

Despite former Penn State President Graham Spanier's protestations, a state grand jury presentment offers compelling evidence to justify the criminal charges filed against him.

Spanier, who was fired nearly a year ago after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested for sexually abusing boys, is facing charges of perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy.

State Attorney General Linda Kelly announced the charges against Spanier and additional charges against Tim Curley, former Penn State athletics director, and Gary Schultz, the former university vice president who oversaw the university's police department.

Curley and Schultz previously were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. They now face additional charges of endangering the welfare of children, criminal conspiracy and obstruction.

Kelly said she expects all three cases will be tried together.

Spanier's attorneys issued a statement declaring his innocence and trying to blame Gov. Tom Corbett for the charges.

"These charges are the work of a vindictive and politically motivated governor working through an un-elected attorney general, Linda Kelly, whom he appointed to do his bidding and who will be a lame duck five days from now," read part of the statement, issued before the election.

The grand jury presentment paints a markedly different — and damning — picture. The grand jury document details communications between Curley, Schultz and Spanier about reports of inappropriate contact between Sandusky and boys in 1998 and 2001 and actions or inactions of the three university administrators.



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