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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another terrific editorial cartoonist



Add Rob Tornoe of PolitickerPA.com to the very short list (Randy Bish, John Cole) of great editorial cartoonists in Pennsylvania.

To view an archive of Tornoe' cartoons, visit www.politickerpa.com

At least Republicans are fighting for America's energy future

While Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the rest of the Democratic doormats in Congress keep saying "No" to lower gas prices, Republicans in Congress are pushing for a comprehensive energy policy.

Voters can decided the stalemate in Novemember. If you like paying $4 for gas, keep the Democrats in power. If you want lower energy prices and less reliance on foreign oil, go with the GOP.

Blunt, Republicans Fight for American Energy

Illegal Immigrant Population Dropping

Is the slowdown in the U.S. economy or increased enforcement efforts the reason the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. is declining?

A new Census Bureau report says the number of illegals had dropped.

Follow the link below to read the full report.

Illegal Immigrant Population Dropping

Study Finds Existing U.S. Natural Gas Supply Extends Into the 22nd Century

The environmental cult doesn't want you to know that the U.S. has existing natural gas reserves to last more than 100 years. But government policy, dictated to the Democrats in Congress by the environmental cult, won't allow the U.S. to tap into its natural gas reserves, which offer clean, reliable fuel into the next century.

Follow the link below for more information

Video: Study Finds Existing U.S. Natural Gas Supply Extends Into the 22nd Century

Dems add insult to injury for PA taxpayers

Talk about adding insult to injury. If it wasn't bad enough that the Democratic House Caucus handed out $1.8 million in illegal bonuses to state workers doing political work on your dime, we now learn that taxpayers will get stuck with at least $2 million in legal fees to help the Democrats get themselves out of trouble.

Read "Legal fees double taxpayers' cost in bonus scandal" at POWERBLOG! and "Legal fees double taxpayers' cost in bonus scandal" at POLICY BLOG.

The original story is on the Tribune-Review's Web site.

Some other good stuff at Pennsylvania-based blogs that are worth reading:

"Pelosi competing with Obama for Messiah job" at NEPALibWatch

"Warped Congressional Liberal Priorities" at Gunservatively!

"Pork in Pennsylvania Budget" at PennPatriot Blog

"Obamanomics Is a Recipe for Recession" at POWERBLOG!

"Barack's Ten Commandments" at Page 13 News

Phishing for your bank records

I still can't believe people fall for these scams, but the Daily Local News in West Chester has a good consumer piece about crooks trying to get information about bank accounts so they can clean you out.

As a rule, never respond to any e-mails or phone calls from anyone claiming to represent your bank.

Read "Phishing scam hits area banks" about scammers targetting Chester County residents at the newspaper's Web site.

RNC Launches New Web Site: 'Obama Audacity Watch'

A Web site devoted to chronicling Obama's audacity? I bet it's going to stay busy.

RNC Launches New Web Site: 'Obama Audacity Watch'

Tune in to 'Talking Politics' on Thursday

"Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas and Mike Pincus" returns at 5 p.m. Thursday on WPAZ 1370 AM

The one-hour program is hosted by Tony Phyrillas, city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, and Mike Pincus, a political strategist based in West Chester.

Call with comments or questions during the live broadcast at 610-326-4000.

You can also listen to the program online by going to www.1370WPAZ.com and clicking on the "live audio" button at the top of the page or you can listen to it at The Mercury Web site at www.pottsmerc.com

Gambling in Pennsylvania

Obama starting to believe his own hype?

An interesting post at The Washington Post online asks if Barack Obama is starting to believe his own hype.

From Jonathan Weisman at the very liberal Washington Post:
In his closed door meeting with House Democrats this evening, presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama delivered a real zinger. According to a witness, he was waxing lyrical about last week's trip to Europe, when he concluded, "this is the moment, as Nancy[Pelosi] noted, that the world is waiting for."

The 200,000 souls who thronged to his speech in Berlin came not just for him, he told the enthralled audience of congressional representatives.

"I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions," he said.
Follow the link below to read the rest of the editorial: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/

RNC Launches New Web Site: 'BarackBook'

Ah, the company you keep.

Social Networking Web Site Highlights Obama's Noteworthy "Friends"

Follow the link below to see who some of Barack Obama's closest friends are:

RNC Launches New Web Site: 'BarackBook'

The Abortion Party

I saw a T-shirt the other day that read: "You can't be Catholic and pro-abortion."

The most pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the presidency has narrowed his field of vice presidential nominees to a group of pro-abortion candidates.

Catholics Fear Obama Considering Pro-Abortion Catholic Veep

Viguerie: Stevens Indictment Symptomatic of Culture of Corruption in Politics

Richard Viguerie makes a strong case for voting out all incumbents -- Democrats and Republicans -- in November.

Richard Viguerie: Stevens Indictment Symptomatic of Culture of Corruption in Politics

Why a McCain/Ridge ticket makes sense

Political insiders say former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is on the short list of vice presidential candidates being considered by Sen. John McCain.

I've been worried for months that Ridge would end up as McCain's VP. They've been close personal and political friends for years and McCain is loyal to his friends.

I've never been a fan of Tom Ridge, but I can see McCain's thinking in picking him for VP.

Ridge remains a popular former governor in Pennsylvania and could help deliver the Keystone State for the Republicans come November.

People's fondness for Ridge has a lot to do with what a terrible governor Ed Rendell has been. It's the same nostalgia people invoke about the Bill Clinton administration. George Bush has screwed up so badly that his predecessor looks much better even though most of the country's current woes can be traced to the Clinton years.

The problem I have with Tom Ridge is that he's pro-abortion and is not a fiscal conservative. Picking Ridge would alienate the conservative base of the Republican Party, but McCain is gambling that the base will come around because the alternative -- Barack Obama -- is unthinkable.

Pennsylvania is considered a swing state, but leans toward the Democrats. If McCain wins Pennsylvania, he will be the next president.

Barack Obama can't win the presidency without taking Pennsylvania. McCain could still get enough electoral votes to win even if he loses Pennsylvania, but the Keystone State could be the knockout state for the Democrats.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Economics 101 for Journalists

The release of a new book by Chris Warden, "Voodoo Anyone? Economics for Journalists," couldn't come at a better time.

Americans are getting too much bad economic news (and I don't mean bad as in the economy is in the tank, I mean bad as in biased, slanted, one-sided, partisan).

Unemployment is still 5 percent, which means 95 percent of Americans have a job.

The so-called "mortgage crisis" covers 1 percent of the real estate market.

When you hear bad economic news, keep in mind that this is an election year and the majority of the mainstream media wants you to elect Democrats, so the news will always be tainted.

Accuracy in Academia Hosts Book Forum Introducing Voodoo Anyone? Economics for Journalists

Taxpayer Group Provides Fiscal 'Snapshots' of Leading Presidential, Vice Presidential Candidates

The nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union has issued grades for 16 potential vice presidential nominees.

Check the link below to find out where the candidates rank, but does it really matter? We know where the presidential candidates stand on taxes.

Barack Obama will raise taxes for most Americans. John McCain will lower taxes.

Taxpayer Group Provides Fiscal 'Snapshots' of Leading Presidential, Vice Presidential Candidates

Bumstead: 'Arrogance constant in Legislature'

Brad Bumstead does a great job of covering the Pennsylvania Legislature and once-a-week he gets to tell us what he really things of the men and women who make up the largest, most expensive state legislature in the country.

In his latest column, Bumstead says the one word that best describes the Pennsylvania Legislature is "arrogance."

Bumstead writes:
Thanks to Attorney General Tom Corbett's investigation, we now know how millions of our tax dollars have been spent getting incumbents and Democrat candidates elected. It's clear tax dollars were abused even in the aftermath of the 2005 pay-jacking.

Corbett is continuing to investigate House Republicans and the Senate GOP and Democrats. More arrests are expected, he says. And with them, no doubt, more revelations of stunning, damn-the-taxpayer arrogance.
Read "Arrogance constant in Legislature" at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Web site.

Elizabeth Berkley turns 36 today

Rendell, national transportation leaders release bridge report

After six years in office, Gov. Ed Rendell has finally figured out that Pennsylvania bridges are crumbling and are in desperate need of repair.

Read more about the sad state of the state's bridges at the link below.

Governor Rendell, National Transportation Leaders Release Bridge Report

Preliminary Hearing Date Set for Defendants in Bonus Investigation

The 12 Democrats charged in the Bonusgate scandal will have their preliminary hearings on Oct. 7 in a Dauphin County courtroom.

That's about one month before the Nov. 4 election. Let's hope the scandal is fresh on voters' minds as they decided the future of Pennsylvania government.

Preliminary Hearing Date Set for Defendants in Bonus Investigation

Bra thief strikes again

This is the third time the Victoria's Secret store at the Coventry Mall near Pottstown has been robbed in the past year.

North Coventry Police are investigating the July 23 theft of 24 bras and 10 sleep garments from Victoria's Secret inside the Coventry Mall, according to The Mercury.

An unknown person took the clothing, valued at $1,560, between noon and 1 p.m.

The earlier thefts were much bigger ... in terms of the amount taken, not the bra size.

Anyone with information is asked to call 610-323-8360.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

'What Bush and Batman Have in Common'

Conservatives as superheroes?

Excellent op-ed by Andrew Klavan in The Wall Street Journal comparing George W. Bush's steadfast war on terror with the Dark Night's battle to clean up Gotham City. No, I'm not kidding. Read it for yourself.

Klavan writes:
Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.

"The Dark Knight," then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year's "300," "The Dark Knight" is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.
Read the full column, "What Bush and Batman Have in Common," at the newspaper's Web site.

General Obama's plan for endless war

Based on his statements during visits to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, it appears General Barack Obama is planning to have us stay in that dangerous part of the world for a very long time -- much longer than Sen. John McCain.

Obama has the prerogative to change his mind -- as he's done so many times already -- but based on his new grand strategy for fighting the war on terror, Obama intends to escalate the war in Iraq and possibly send U.S. troops into Pakistan, where the Taliban (and Osama bin Laden) are hiding.

And if Obama's plan to withdraw troops from Iraq leads to a collapse of the fragile Iraqi government and intervention by Iran, the U.S. will have to return to Iraq and fight both the terrorists and Iran.

So let's review. If we follow the Obama plan, we will end up fighting in three or possibly four countries instead of two. Does that sound like the same man who won the Democratic Party nomination by promising to end the war in Iraq on the say he is sworn in as president?

If you like the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama is your man. He will not only continue it during his presidency, but escalate the war.

Dick Morris offers some advice for John McCain on how to deal with General Barack Obama.

From a new column by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann:
McCain needs to hammer at one basic theme: that Obama's pullout plan will lead to a third Iraq war. The Democrat wants to keep substantial numbers of troops next door, to go back into Iraq if necessary. McCain should stress that a premature withdrawal will lead to a collapse - losing the hard-won stability in Iraq, opening the door to an Iranian takeover and al Qaeda revival, and potentially forcing a new US invasion.

Obama isn't a peace candidate, McCain can say - just an advocate of a deferred war. Just as the first President George Bush left the ingredients in place for a second war when he failed to depose Saddam Hussein in 1991, so Obama will fail to finish the job and invite yet another war if he abandons Iraq before our gains have been consolidated.

With Ralph Nader running on a strict antiwar platform, Obama is vulnerable on the left. If he seems to falter on a withdrawal from Iraq, or leave the door open to re-entry, McCain's attacks can drive liberals away from the Democrat.

It's literally true that if McCain is elected, there will be fewer US deaths in Iraq than there will be if Obama prevails. By pulling out only when it's safe to do so, McCain would finish the job and allow a peaceful transition to a stable democratic government. If we pull out too fast - and then have to go back in - the casualties will be many times those we now face.
Read the rest of MCCAIN'S WAY FORWARD at the New York Post Web site.

Obama, Democrats are 'Antiwar Hypocrites'

Ralph Peters, one of the top experts on military strategy notes in a column published in the New York Post that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have turned their back on the anti-war movement that won then control of Congress in 2006 and gave Obama the Democratic nod for president in 2008.

The silence on the left over the about-face is deafening. Could it be that the far left doesn't really care about the war in Iraq? They just want control of the U.S. government, even it means sacrificing what they used to refer to as their basic principles?

From Peters' column:
Am I the only one who's noticed the silence? Mere months ago, left-wing bloggers and demonstrators were wailing Support our troops, bring them home! seven days a week.

Now their presidential candidate has announced that he won't bring all those troops home, but will simply transfer combat forces from Iraq to Afghanistan - expanding that war. (He's discussed possibly invading Pakistan, too.)

And the left's quiet as a graveyard at midnight.

Where are the outraged protests from MoveOn or the DailyKos? I thought the extreme left felt sorry for our service members in harm's way and wanted to reunite them with their families.
Peters further argues that Barack Obama is looking more like Lyndon Johnson, who escalated the war in Vietnam to catastrophic levels. It may turn out that Barack Obama is the war-monger, not John McCain (as the far left is portraying).

Under Barack Obama, there will be an expansion of war in Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan. U.S. forces will be fighting for 100 years -- if Barack Obama is elected president.

Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

Radio Address by President Bush to the Nation

If you missed the president's weekly radio address, follow the link below to read a transcript.

Radio Address by President Bush to the Nation

Columnist: Rendell budget is a shell game

Mary Young of the Reading Eagle has been reading over Gov. Rendell's 2008-09 General Fund Budget and has come to the conclusion that state spending is a shell game.

"I think this year's budget is an increase of about $1 billion, or 3.7 percent, over last year," Young writes. "I can't be sure because my budget book from last year didn't come with an interpreter."

Young later concludes that the state budget is a moving target. In other words, nobody is really sure how much the state spends each year.

"Whether you look at it as a $1 billion increase or $3 billion in new spending, there has to be a whole lot of shuffling going on to cover it, especially now that legislators have said they won't support Rendell's plan to lease the turnpike," Young writes.

One of the ways Rendell gets away with spending more than what the Legislature approved is by utilizing a system where Rendell forces counties to spend money with the promise of state reimbursement down the road.

Read her full column, "It's big! It's dense! It's a shell game!" at the newspaper's Web site.

Kate Beckinsale turns 35 today

Friday, July 25, 2008

Democrats staging a coup?

Are we going to make it to the Nov. 4 election or will the Democrats in this country take power by force before then?

Greg Lewis is wondering if the Democratic Party machine (including the mainstream media) will not only steamroll John McCain but flatten our system of democracy.

Writing at GregLewis.org, he says:
It appears as though McCain is but the latest victim of the coup that's taking place in Congress and among the so-called "mainstream" media. The Republican presidential candidate could either rework his submission so that it conforms to the New York Times and the communist party's idea of what the U.S. strategy should be, or he can simply choose not to have the article appear in the Times. To his credit, he chose to publish it in the New York Post rather than capitulate to the adversary of free speech that the NYP has become.

What's happening in America right now is no longer an election, it's a coup d'├ętat, and the degree to which we as free Americans let this happen through our not opposing Obama's candidacy and the candidacies of other Democrats who support the coup is the degree to which we guarantee that the hell that Democrats have in mind for us comes nearer to realization.
Read the full column, "We're Experiencing a Democratic Coup," at his Web site.

Chester County kennel owner pleads guilty to animal cruelty charges

Chester County Kennel Pleads Guilty to Dog Law and Cruelty Violations, Surrenders Dogs

Karl Rove: 'A Tale of Two Flip-Floppers'

Karl Rove, writing in The Wall Street Journal, does a nice job of explaining the difference in a politician changing his mind when a new set of circumstances present themselves (John McCain on rising gas prices) and a flip-flopper, aka Barack Obama.

Rove on McCain:
Sen. McCain has changed his position on drilling for oil on the outer continental shelf. But because he explained this change by saying that $4-a-gallon gasoline caused him to re-evaluate his position, voters are likely to accept it. Of course, Mr. McCain doesn't explain why prices at the pump haven't also forced him to re-evaluate his opposition to drilling on 2000 acres in the 19.2-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But, then, what politician is always consistent?
Rove on Obama:
Sen. Obama has shifted recently on public financing, free trade, Nafta, welfare reform, the D.C. gun ban, whether the Iranian Quds Force is a terrorist group, immunity for telecom companies participating in the Terrorist Surveillance Program, the status of Jerusalem, flag lapel pins, and disavowing Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And not only does he refuse to explain these flip-flops, he acts as if they never occurred.

Then there is Iraq. Throughout 2006 and early 2007, Mr. Obama pledged to remove all U.S. troops, even voting to immediately cut off funds for the troops while they were in combat. Then, in July 2007, he started talking about leaving a residual U.S. force, in Kuwait and elsewhere in the region, able to go back into Iraq if needed.

By October, he shifted again, pledging to station the residual U.S. troops inside Iraq with two "limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on al Qaeda."

Last week, writing in the New York Times, Mr. Obama changed again.
Thank you Professor Rove for the Politics 101 lesson. Class dismissed.

Read his full column at the newspaper's Web site.

Day Spa or Suburban Brothel?

Did you ever see those ads in the back of the newspaper for spas that specialize in table showers, body shampoo and the ever-popular Thai bath?

I've often wondered what goes on inside these "massage parlors."

Federal authorities have also been wondering about two day spas in affluent Chester County.

From today's edition of the Daily Local News:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, assisted by state and local police, conducted raids at day spas in Easttown and Upper Uwchlan. Authorities arrested three people.

According to a federal indictment, the three defendants operated the Swan Day Spa in the 500 block of Lancaster Avenue in Easttown, where multiple women were allegedly paid to perform sexual acts for men. The indictment characterizes (the three owners) as being co-conspirators in the brothel as far back as April 2005.

One of the women taken into custody reportedly managed both spas at one time and allegedly performed sexual acts for money, the newspaper says.

I'm still wondering what a "relaxation station" is.

Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

Hopkins needs help to dump DeWeese

Eric Heyl has an interesting column in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about Greg Hopkins' uphill battle to oust House Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese, who is seeking re-election to his 50th House District seat.

DeWeese is embroiled in the Bonusgate scandal, the biggest political corruption case in Pennsylvania history, but he still has tons of money to spend on his re-election (assuming he is not indicted before Election Day in the ongoing corruption probe.)

Hopkins came within 1,004 votes of defeating DeWeese in 2006 because of the pay-raise fiasco of 2005. DeWeese was one of the legislative leaders who pushed for the middle-of-the-night pay raise for lawmakers, the governor and state judges.

As we learned in the Bonusgate indictments, money tends to rule in politics. DeWeese enjoys a huge advantage over Hopkins.

"To do better this time, Hopkins will have to overcome DeWeese's considerable monetary edge," Heyl writes. "According to the most recent campaign finance reports, DeWeese has $202,000 in his coffers. Hopkins? A little less than that -- $2,125."

Read the full column, "DeWeese opponent just might bench him," at the newspaper's Web site.

To learn more about Greg Hopkins, visit his campaign Web site, http://www.votegreghopkins.com/

Cops: Little League mom steals $74,000

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

State police in Chester County arrested a Little League mom after she allegedly stole more than $70,000 raised through hot dog and candy sales, raffles and donations, according to the West Chester Daily Local News.

From a story by reporter Jennifer Miller:
Gretchen Ray Vickers, 36, of Nottingham, surrendered Wednesday after police issued a warrant for her arrest July 18. Vickers — a member of the Avon Grove Area Little League Parents Auxiliary — was arrested following an 18-month investigation allegedly revealed she stole about $74,000 over a three-year period, police said. The stealing started in September 2003 or earlier when she became a member of the auxiliary, police said. Vickers was in charge of concession-stand operations, which included managing and depositing concession-stand cash into an auxiliary bank account, police said.
How many times does this have to happen before athletic groups and other clubs figure out that you can't have one person in charge of all your finances.

Read the full story in today's edition of the Daily Local News.

PA fails to restrict access to phone records

Montgomery County lawmakers and law enforcement officials are pushing to plug a loophole in Pennsylvania's wiretap law that allows anyone to access personal phone records without your knowledge.

"That is a very frightening prospect on many levels. That is simply something that should not happen," Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said during a press conference to support legislation by state Rep. Mike Vereb, R-150th Dist., to close the loophole. "What that allows is for any criminal defendant, any person, to invade the privacy of another person by getting their personal cell phone records. I would suggest that is not a loophole, that is like the Grand Canyon."

Read more about the problem in today's edition of The Mercury.

To read more on Vereb's proposed solution, go to his Web site, www.repvereb.com

Chuck Norris on the 'N' word

I never thought I'd use the word "profound" and Chuck Norris in the same sentence, but you have to read a column by the Hollywood tough-guy posted at Human Events.com

It's about the use of the "N" word and the recent debate after Jesse Jackson shot off his mouth about Barack Obama, which lead to the intellectual giants on "The View" to chime in.

Norris makes some excellent points about the deterioration of civility in modern American society.

Norris writes:
This is more than a race issue and far more than a debate over freedom of speech. When will we learn that just because we can say something doesn't mean that we should? Once again, we're confusing liberty for licentiousness. It is a classic example of what happens when a society leaves its moral absolutes: Everything becomes culturally relative, with each deciding what's right in his own eyes. Language is one more infected arena in America's societal degradation.

Think about it. What word is nasty or unwholesome anymore? There are no "bad words." Words once considered evil are now terms of endearment. There's the B-word, the D-word, the A-word, the F-word, etc. Even bleeps are mere blips on America's moral radar screens. When ministers use G-- d--- in their sermons and moral activists threaten to cut off a presidential candidate's genitals and call him the N-word, can't we see the signs that we're heading in the wrong direction? We have become desensitized to everything, from profanity to pornography.

Today's America is certainly not the one in which I grew up during the '40s and '50s. Profanity of any sort was wrong back then and frowned upon by most in private or public use. Today profanity has become a positive form of expression, with studies even showing that it releases stress and boosts morale at the workplace!

I genuinely believe we can do better. I believe we must do better. We need to leave a better legacy of decency, civility and respect for future generations. I believe we need to give them our best, and our best must be more than justifying the use of derogatory language based upon cultural or racial relativity or even freedom of speech. If we're going to reverse negative trends among our youth, it's going to begin with us establishing a better model for them of how we treat and speak about others.
Read the full column, "What the Bleep?!" at Human Events.com

New Study Confirms Rising Energy Costs Disproportionately Impacting Minority Households

Hey, Nancy Pelosi -- You're screwing your own constituency by blocking plans for drill for domestic oil and use clean coal technology and build more nuclear plants.

It's the poor (the people the Democrats allegedly represent) that are getting killed by high energy prices.

Maybe the sheep will finally wake up and realize it's the Democratic Party that's kept them poor for so long.

New Study Confirms Rising Energy Costs Disproportionately Impacting Minority Households

Obama Builds On His Resume


For more terrific work by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez, visit his archive at the Investor's Business Daily Web site.

RNC Memo: Nearly 100 Days to Go

The presidential race remains too close to call as we approach the 100-day mark before the Nov. 4 election.

When you consider how many advantages Barack Obama has -- including unlimited funding and allies in the mainstream media who give him round-the-clock positive coverage -- you have to wonder why he isn't running away with the race.

RNC Memo: Nearly 100 Days to Go

Barack Obama: Statesman or Political Huckster?

If Europeans could vote for president of the United States, Barack Obama would run away with the election. Did anyone from the Obama campaign think to pass a collection plate at that big rally Obama held in Germany?

Maybe they don't have to. The Republican National Committee says the campaign used the speech as a fundraising gimmick.

Obama Uses Berlin Speech to Raise Campaign Cash, says Republican National Committee

U.S., Turkey stand in the way of peace on Cyprus

Excellent column in The Washington Times by Kathryn Cameron Porter, president of the Leadership Council for Human Rights, about the 34-year occupation of Cyprus by Turkey and the continued violations of human rights since the invasion.

From Porter's op-ed:
How can the United States stand for human rights and allow cultural genocide to continue in Cyprus unabated? How can our government view Turkey as a true friend and partner until it withdraws its troops and offers meaningful remediation for the immense harm done to Cyprus since 1974? On this solemn commemoration, it is not enough simply to ask these tough questions of our government. We must demand its strong support for the genuine reunification of Cyprus and its people within a bicommunal, bizonal federation with a single sovereignty, citizenship, and international personality, and the withdrawal of all Turkish occupation troops from the island. Only then will human rights be respected and vigorously protected, and a national healing process can finally begin.
Read the full column, "Cyprus solution, please," at the newspaper's Web site.

Bill O'Reilly: A vote for Obama is a vote to raise taxes

Not giving the federal government enough of your money? Then, you can help the government take more from your paycheck after Nov. 4, 2008, by electing Barack Obama as president and returning more Democrats to Congress.

I'm amazed at how many Obama For President signs I've seen in rich suburban neighborhoods. You have to wonder if these people have a clue about what's going to happen to them after Obama is elected.

From Bill O'Reilly's latest online column, "A Cash Transaction" --
If Senator Obama becomes President Obama, my taxes will go up... way up. But I know neither Argentina nor anyone else will cry for me, because I am the rich guy Al Gore warned you about — the one that got all those tax cuts from the evil Bush administration.

Senator Obama believes in "income redistribution," a concept practiced by Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest. Like Robin, Obama wants to take from the rich and give to the not-so-rich. He wants to raise taxes big time on those making $250,000 or more.

That means that if you live in New York and earn a quarter of a million bucks, you could be paying close to half of your income in taxes. Even Robin Hood might find that somewhat extreme.

And then there's the accountability factor. Without being forced by the federal government, I give plenty of cash to folks who need a hand. But I check out the charities before the check goes in the mail. I make sure my donations go directly to people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in difficult circumstances.

Will Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid do that when the massive income redistribution train gets ready to roll? No, they will not.

President Obama and a Democratic congress will likely dole out entitlements like free health care, child care and cash payments to anyone who falls under a certain income level, no matter what their circumstance. That means that people who drink gin all day long will be getting some of my hard-earned money. Folks who dropped out of school, who are too lazy to hold a job, and who smoke reefer 24/7 will all get some goodies in the mail from Uncle Barack and Aunt Nancy, funded by me and other rich folks.

There will be no drug testing, no background checks, no accountability for those receiving the government's largesse. If you're an American citizen (or even an illegal alien) who doesn't make much money, you'll get stuff.
Read the full column at O'Reilly's Web site.

What the Democrats did to Ralph Nader was criminal

Maybe the Democratic Party should change its name to something more appropriate, like the Undemocratic Party.

The fallout from the biggest political scandal in Pennsylvania history continues.

We now know that not only did top state Democratic elected officials use taxpayer dollars to fund campaign work to win control of the state House in 2006, but those very same officials paid operatives to knock Ralph Nader off the ballot in Pennsylvania in 2004.

Without Nader on the ballot, John Kerry narrowly won Pennsylvania. But the bigger issue is whether one political party should be allowed to sabotage the political process.

Nader is planning to ask the Pennsylvania Supreme court to reopen a case stemming from a successful effort to remove him from the 2004 presidential ballot, according to The Associated press..

Nader’s appeal hinges on revelations that state Democratic legislative officials illegally underwrote the effort with taxpayer money, the news service reports.

From the AP story:
"The conduct of the Pennsylvania Democrats, through their criminally indicted representatives, shocks the conscience of those who believe in government of the people, by the people and for the people," Nader said during a Capitol news conference.

Nader's attorney, Oliver Hall, said he expected to file a petition with the court "within the next day or two."

A state grand jury alleged earlier this month that as many as 50 taxpayer-paid legislative employees reviewed signatures on Nader's petitions in an effort to disqualify him from the ballot.

Twelve people connected to the state House Democratic caucus were charged July 10 in an alleged wide-ranging scheme to use taxpayer-funded employees, equipment and other resources in political campaigns.

The defendants include former Rep. Michael Veon of Beaver County, the No. 2 House Democrat until he lost his 2006 re-election bid, and a top House aide, Mike Manzo. All the defendants are free on bail. Veon and Manzo are innocent, their lawyers have said.

Democrats mounted the ballot challenge out of fear that Nader's independent candidacy would hurt Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's chances of prevailing against President Bush, the Republican incumbent, in a key battleground state.

The grand jury alleged that Manzo orchestrated the review of Nader's nominating petitions, and noted that Veon praised employees for their efforts in an e-mail sent Oct. 13, 2004, the day Commonwealth Court threw Nader off the ballot.

"This would never ever have been successful without your work," Veon wrote. "You have given John Kerry an even better opportunity to win this state ... one of the most 5 important states to win this year."

State Capitol Roundup for July 25

Here's the weekly State Capitol Roundup courtesy of state Rep. Bob Mensch (R-147):

GOP Lawmakers Rally to Preserve Privacy and Safety of Residents

Flanked by a number of his fellow lawmakers, Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) held a press conference this week to unveil legislation expanding personal rights under Pennsylvania's Wiretap Law. Existing law permits individuals to obtain personal phone records with a subpoena, court order or a customer's permission. However, a loophole exists that could potentially endanger law enforcement officers, their families and the confidential sources of information upon which many investigations depend. Unlike civil trials, lawyers are not required to inform the judge or the person whose records they are seeking in criminal trials. Vereb's legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the near future, closes this loophole and provides greater protection of personal information under Pennsylvania's Wiretap Act.

Tax Break for Emergency Responders Becomes Law

Scores of emergency responders are set to receive tax breaks from the state for the vital services they provide to their local communities. Act 66 of 2008 provides members of volunteer ambulance, fire and rescue companies with a tax credit of up to $100. The credit is to be applied against state personal income tax liability and will apply to individuals' 2008 state income tax returns. Eligibility for the new program is contingent on a point system establishing annual requirements for certification of active volunteers. House Republicans supported the measure, hoping that the tax credit would not only help retain experienced emergency responders but also entice others to volunteer. The state has seen the numbers of volunteer firefighter, rescue and emergency medical personnel significantly decline in recent years.

Lawmakers Shocked at Veto of Property Taxpayer Protection Bill

Two pieces of legislation effectively designed to protect property owners from "spot assessments" resulting in higher property tax bills were recently vetoed by Gov. Ed Rendell. The vetoes come despite overwhelming support for the measures in the House and Senate. The bills would have prevented a county, municipality or school district from appealing the assessed value of a single property except in very specific circumstances. While House Republicans acknowledge this as a setback for homeowners in an already hostile environment, they point to the broad support for the legislation as evidence that it is not dead. Combined, the two measures garnered 485 votes of support and only 16 votes in the negative. When session resumes this fall, the Legislature could override the veto provided two-thirds of the members in each chamber vote to do so.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sam Rohrer on what needs to happen on property tax front

School property tax elimination: What else needs to happen?

By Rep. Sam Rohrer

When I began the fight for school property tax elimination, school taxes were a crushing burden on homeowners. Property taxes were the single biggest cost imposed on many of Pennsylvania's residents. Today, not only has the property tax burden continued to mount, we have seen an increase in many of the costs of day-to-day living. Now we must factor into our budgets increased gas prices; increased milk, bread, and egg prices; and increased energy prices. These items only add to an increasingly heavy load.

What else needs to happen before the governor and the Legislature take notice of the plight of millions of Pennsylvanians and do something to alleviate it? Gov. Rendell's Act 1, touted as a significant reprieve, has dismally fallen short of its promises.

The gambling money has barely covered the increase of property taxes from this past year, and in many places failed to meet even the projected 10 percent promise.

Chuck Ardo, Gov. Rendell's spokesperson, responded to our June "Save Our Homes" rally by saying that because of gaming revenues, "It's unlikely that seniors across the Commonwealth are bearing an undue burden." My response is, "Unlikely? You’ve got to be kidding." The hundreds of letters, e-mails, and phone calls, as well as the recent front-page news stories about seniors losing their homes, seriously belie Mr. Ardo's statement.

With a governor that chooses not to understand this pressing problem, what else needs to happen before we take action?

What else needs to happen before we face the financial hardship that is causing citizens to lose their homes-homes that these good people have lived in for 30, 40, even 50 years? Giving housing subsidies just raises different taxes for citizens. Gambling money has already failed to fulfill expectations. Granting more money to schools without spending reform leaves them hungry for even more. I ask again, what else needs to happen before we take action?

What else needs to happen before legislators in both the House and the Senate take decisive action on property tax elimination? "Reform" simply does not satisfy the citizens who are seeing increased millage on their tax forms but seeing no increase in their checking accounts from Act 1. Eliminating property taxes is the only real way to relieve citizens of this burden. What else needs to happen before we take action?

Unfortunately, the actions of the Legislature and the governor seem to say that more pain, more difficulty, and more foreclosures are needed before they finally respond to the gravity of this situation.

I believe that we must take proactive action. When I began this fight, it was an effort to address a known problem, and I knew that it would get worse. And instead of just talking about school, property tax reform, I posed a solution to bring about 100 percent elimination. How many fewer foreclosures would have taken place in these past five years? How many fewer sheriff sales; how much more peace of mind?

We cannot, however, dwell on what has happened before. Today, we need to resolve not to let another five years of foreclosures and sheriff sales happen as a result of inaction. The Legislature has too many people who seem only to react when a problem gets "bad enough." We, however, cannot be content to wait until that indeterminate day arrives. We must act now, and so I ask again - what else needs to happen?

Nothing else that is satisfactory can happen except action. As legislators, we are charged with protecting the rights of every citizen in Pennsylvania. We are to serve you, and make laws that are in your best interests. By ignoring this issue that reaches across the state, in rural and urban areas, the legislators and governor are failing you if they do not act.

House Bill 1275, the School Property Tax Elimination Act, is that answer.

House Bill 1275 would eliminate school property taxes with a constitutional amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would guarantee an abolition of property taxes (House Bill 2199). House Bill 1275 would then freeze and phase out property taxes in a workable, realistic, and effective manner. It would sufficiently provide alternative funds to maintain Pennsylvania's schools and education system.

If you are also not content to wait, please go to www.ptcc.us, to access the grassroots organization Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition’s (PTCC) website against property tax. The PTCC is collecting stories of homeowners, and is also hoping to begin taping live interviews. You can also download and distribute petitions in support of House Bill 1275.

Finally, to further ensure final passage of the constitutional amendment, encourage your family and friends to call their legislators in both the House and the Senate and ask them-what else needs to happen before you take action and pass House Bill 1275 and House Bill 2199?

State Rep. Sam Rohrer is a Republican who represents the 128th House District in Berks County.

RNC: Ich Bin Ein Hypocrite

Barack Obama is suddenly interested in winning the war in Afghanistan. At least that's what he told a bunch of Europeans in Germany. But Barack Obama failed to convene a single hearing as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee with jurisdiction over NATO operations in Afghanistan.

Once again, the rhetoric doesn't match the reality:

RNC: Ich Bin Ein Hypocrite

PA AFL-CIO endorses every Democrat running for office

Let's see if this makes any sense. Membership in labor unions has been shrinking for the past 50 years. The influence of labor unions has been declining. Wages are falling and jobs are leaving the U.S.

But Big Labor keeps endorsing Democrats. Has it occurred to anyone that the decline of the American labor movement is tied with its blind allegiance to the Democratic Party?

Just thinking out loud.

It appears that the AFL-CIO brain trust in Pennsylvania has once again found the Democratic Party candidates more qualified for every state and national office.

That includes Rep. Bill DeWeese, who presided over the state House of Representatives during the Bonusgate scandal.

The endorsements also include state Rep. Sean M. Ramaley, who is seeking the vacant 47th state Senate seat. Ramaley was one of the 12 Democratic Party officials indicted in the Bonusgate corruption probe.

"These candidates have proven themselves to be the friends and supporters of working families," Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President William George said in a written statement.

How many of the endorsed Democrats were "friends of working families" when they spent $4 million in tax dollars for illegal campaign work on state time?

What a joke.

For a full list of the incumbent Democrats who have raised taxes on Pennsylvania's working families and approved massive government borrowing that will saddle young Pennsylvanians with billions of dollars in debt, follow the link below:

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Resoundingly Reaffirms Endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President and Announces Endorsements for Statewide Row Offices, U.S. Congress and State Legislature

Technical difficulties

My apologies if you attempted to listen to this week's edition of "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" on the Web today.

The thunderstorms that rumbled through the region Wednesday night knocked out the Internet connection for WPAZ 1370 AM and the show could not be simulcast online at www.1370WPAZ.com or www.pottsmerc.com

The problem should be fixed in time for our next broadcast on July 31.

We had a good discussion today on the future of Pottstown School District facilities.

In addition to having School Board member Nat White in the studio, we had six callers during the hour.

Words that don't go together: 'Congressional ethics'

Congress is trying once again to police itself. It won't happen. The only way we're ever to clean up the mess in Washington is to vote out 90 percent of the incumbents.

Pelosi, Boehner Announce Appointments to New Office of Congressional Ethics

Cartoon gallery now online



Alan MacBain has been drawing political cartoons for The Mercury since 1985 and his work has been recognized with several awards.

Unless you're a regular reader of The Mercury, you probably never saw his work. Until now. MacBain's cartoons are now available online at a new blog linked to The Mercury Web site.

Sample some of his recent cartoons at Tooned In and keep checking back for more of MacBain's excellent work.

Why is this woman still on state payroll?

The Philadelphia Inquirer wants to know why Angela Bertugli, a former local beauty queen who told investigators she got her state job after having sex with the then-chief of staff to House Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese, is still on the state payroll.

Especially when Ms. Bertugli apparently has done little or no work on behalf of taxpayers other than providing sexual services to indicted DeWeese confidant Mike Manzo, according to the newspaper.

The Inquirer is also upset that "Terry Shaffer, an aide to former state Rep. Frank LaGrotta, is out of work after blowing the whistle on his boss' shenanigans. Shaffer went to prosecutors with evidence that LaGrotta's sister and niece had been given do-nothing state jobs."

In an editorial published today, The Inquirer says "Justice" in Harrisburg depends on "How you play the game."

From the editorial:
Shaffer, the whistleblower who got the investigation rolling, should be lauded for his courage in shining a light on alleged illegal activity involving tax dollars. Instead, he's out of work and his house is in foreclosure, he told Daily News columnist John Baer.

Meanwhile, the beauty queen continues to get paid. Bertugli - crowned Miss Rain Day 2001 at a Greene County beauty pageant - was 21 in 2004 when she met DeWeese's former chief of staff, Michael Manzo, 35, at a bar. They shared drinks and then had a tryst in a car.

The following year the beauty queen was given a state job as a researcher in a field office above a cigar store in Pittsburgh. By 2006, her salary jumped 42 percent to $30,000, plus she got a $7,000 bonus.

Bertugli remains on the state payroll, and now makes $45,344. DeWeese defended her employment because she cooperated with investigators and told the truth.
In an earlier interview with the newspaper, DeWeese's spokesman, Tom Andrews, said that since the middle of last year Bertugli has been working eight-hour days in the legislative research bureau, a support office for 65 House Democrats who do not have researchers of their own.

Every Pennsylvania taxpayer should be fuming about the cesspool of corruption that is state government in Pennsylvania.

It's your money, folks. Did you know that the 253-member legislature has 3,000 staffers working for it? It's obvious from the Bonusgate indictments that many of these people have nothing to do except political work on taxpayers' time.

Let Mr. DeWeese and the rest of the party bosses in Harrisburg know you're mad as hell and won't take it anymore.

Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

And for heaven's sake, stop sending the same people back to Harrisburg. Vote out incumbents on Nov. 4.

Federal Minimum Wage Increases to $6.55

Millions of workers get a raise as the federal minimum wage reaches $6.55 per hour as of today.

This increase is the second of three provided by the enactment of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. A third minimum wage increase to $7.25 an hour will become effective on July 24, 2009.

Last year, on July 24, the minimum wage increased to $5.85 an hour.

The minimum wage law is pretty much all Congress accomplished in the past two years under Democratic Party control.

And thanks to the Democrats' continued blocking of oil drilling measures, the price of gas has risen to $4 a gallon, erasing any benefit from the minimum wage law.

Remember, Nancy Pelosi giveth, Nancy Pelosi taketh away.

And the Democrats are supposed to be the party of the working man? I think that ended with Henry Fonda back in the 1940s.

Federal Minimum Wage to Increase to $6.55 on July 24

Did I miss the election?

Did I forget to vote for president? What day is it? Did I fall asleep for four months only to wake up on Nov. 5 to the news that Barack Obama has been elected president?

The Republican National Committee says the Obama camp has confirmed that it is already planning the presidential transition. That's what I call confidence ... or is it arrogance?

The polls have Barack Obama ahead of John McCain, but those very same polls had John Kerry ahead of George W. Bush. In fact, the exit polls on Election Day 2004 had Kerry winning the presidency.

Won't the Obama campaign have egg on its face if he loses? Why don't we allow the American people to actually cast their ballots before declaring Obama the winner?

Follow the link below for more from the RNC on Obama's presidential transition plans.

RNC: Obama's Campaign Planning Presidential Transition

All eyes are on Bill DeWeese

Montco GOP chairman: Come home 'little elephants'

Montgomery County Republican officials hope the "little elephants" return home, says reporter Carl Hessler Jr., who has a story in today's edition of The Mercury about the launch of a major voter registration drive.

Robert J. Kerns, the new chairman of the county Republican committee, wants to entice former party members who may have switched their party registrations to cast ballots during the Democratic Primary contest in April to return to the GOP fold, Hessler says.

"Part of this registration program is to bring home all those people who have kind of lost their way, if you would, and we hope the little elephants decide to come back to the GOP again," Kerns told Hessler during a news conference on the steps of the county courthouse in Norristown.

"We tell them, it's time to come home, little elephants. We think that we have the perfect home for you," added Kerns, surrounded by members of the party faithful who held a red, white and blue banner that said, "Welcome Home."

The registration drive will include a team of voter registrants going into communities throughout the county to get voters registered, as well as an opportunity for voters to request voter registration forms online at www.montcogop.com, according to Hessler.

The registration drive comes at a time when Democrats have made an inroad in the voter registration rolls, Hessler notes.

From Hessler's story:
For the first time the Democratic Party is the "majority" party in the county, enjoying an almost 10,000 voter registration edge over the once-dominant county GOP that has been weakened by years of in-fighting. The GOP once enjoyed a more than 2- to-1 voter registration edge over Democrats in the county.

The Democrats, who have been winning an increasing number of elections for state House and state Senate seats and congressional seats also had another first when their candidates grabbed five of the nine county row office positions (elected department heads) in last November's elections.

Adding to the Republicans’ woes is a controversial power-sharing pact Republican county Commissioners’ Chairman James R. Matthews undertook with Democratic Commissioners’ Vice Chairman Joseph M. Hoeffel III to secure the second vote he needed to become chairman. That arrangement left fellow GOP county Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. on the outside looking in.
Read the full story on the GOP voter drive in The Mercury.

Why Can't Obama Admit the Obvious?

Republican National Committee: Why Can't Obama Admit the Obvious? The Surge Worked From USA Today

$1.25 Million to Protect Open Space in Montgomery County

Gov. Ed Rendell was spotted in Montgomery County today carrying a very large check.

PA Governor Rendell Awards $1.25 Million to Protect Open Space in Montgomery County

Newspaper: Withhold pay from Bonusgate defendants

Everyone deserves their day in court and an indictment is not proof of guilt, but when it comes to people accused of mishandling taxpayer dollars, there should be another standard, according to the Reading Eagle.

In an editorial, the newspaper says "Public figures accused of crimes should be suspended and their pay put into escrow accounts until the charges are resolved."

Makes sense to me.

From the editorial, which also calls for House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese to step down:
No individual who is accused of violating the public trust should be permitted to continue in his or her job and get paid with public funds while charges are pending.

This law would not apply to Veon and the other former officials who no longer are feeding at the public trough unless they receive a state pension. Then the pension should be held in escrow until the charges are resolved.

At the same time, House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, a Greene County Democrat, under whose leadership these offenses reportedly occurred, has an obligation to the people of the commonwealth to at least step down from his leadership role until the charges are resolved.

DeWeese has not been charged, although the investigation continues, and he has claimed he knew nothing of what was taking place during his watch.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Michelle Malkin on the demise of John Murtha

In her latest column, nationally syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin says Bill Russell could be the man who helps topple Democratic Party heavyweight John Murtha.

The Pennsylvania Congressman has embarrassed himself and his state repeatedly by being named Porker of the Year for his voracious appetite for pork-barrel spending.

Murtha has also given the state a black eye by his numerous slanderous attacks on U.S. troops fighting valiantly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In comes Bill Russell, a decorated war veteran and political newcomer.

Despite the efforts of the Murtha camp to knock Russell off the ballot, the political newcomer received enough write-in votes in the April primary to win the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District and faces Murtha in November.

From Malkin's column:
Russell's clear on where he stands. No doubt Barack Obama would label him bitter and clingy. "I am a Conservative,” he says in his defining campaign statement. "I believe in the sovereignty and security of this one nation, under God. I believe the primary role of government is to provide for the common defense and a legal framework to protect families and individual liberty. … I believe that no one owes me anything just because I live and breathe."
Read the full column at michellemalkin.com

(HT to GUNSERVATIVELY! for pointing out the Malkin column.)

Catch me on the radio today

The future of Pottstown schools will be one of the topics of discussion on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas and Mike Pincus" at 5 p.m. Thursday on WPAZ 1370 AM

Pottstown School Board member Nat White will be a guest on the program to discuss the district's future facilities needs.

The one-hour program is hosted by Tony Phyrillas, city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, and Mike Pincus, a political strategist based in West Chester.

Call with comments or questions during the live broadcast at 610-326-4000.

You can also listen to the program online by going to www.1370WPAZ.com and clicking on the "live audio" button at the top of the page or you can listen to it at The Mercury Web site at www.pottsmerc.com

Citizen petition: 'No Recess for Congress' until ban on offshore drilling is lifted

With gas prices still above $4 a gallon, the Democratic-controlled Congress is planning to take a month-long vacation in August, having failed to address the nation's growing energy crisis.

An online petition allows U.S. citizens to express their displeasure with the do-nothing Congress.

The petition at Grassfire.org demands that that Congress lift the ban on offshore drilling to provide a greater supply of domestic oil and bring down gas prices.

Don't let Nancy Pelosi and her bunch off the hook.

"The energy crisis is crippling American families, and they want real action, right now. If that means Congress needs to stay overtime, and postpone vacation plans, so be it," says Steve Elliott, president of Grassfire.org, one of the nation's leading online citizen action networks. "Lifting the ban on offshore drilling makes sense, and based on the incredible response that we have seen since launching this petition over the last four days, it's something Americans are demanding."

Follow the link below for more information.

Citizen Petition says 'No Recess for Congress' Until Ban on Offshore Drilling is Lifted

They call it puppy love



Originally posted at PatriotPost.us (HT to GUNSERVATIVELY!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Media donations favor Dems 100-1

Still need convincing that the mainstream media is overrun with liberals?

William Tate, writing in Investor's Business Daily, says media donations favor Democratic Party candidates over GOP candidates by a ratio of 100-1.

Since less than 50 percent of registered voters are Democrats, how is it that journalists would favor one party over the other by a ratio of 100-1? Could it be that liberals in overwhelming numbers have control of the news media?

From his op-ed piece, "Putting Money Where Mouths Are: Media Donations Favor Dems 100-1" --
An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money journalists contributed so far this election cycle favors Democrats by a 15:1 ratio over Republicans, with $225,563 going to Democrats, only $16,298 to Republicans.

Two-hundred thirty-five journalists donated to Democrats, just 20 gave to Republicans — a margin greater than 10-to-1. An even greater disparity, 20-to-1, exists between the number of journalists who donated to Barack Obama and John McCain.

Searches for other newsroom categories (reporters, correspondents, news editors, anchors, newspaper editors and publishers) produces 311 donors to Democrats to 30 donors to Republicans, a ratio of just over 10-to-1. In terms of money, $279,266 went to Dems, $20,709 to Republicans, a 14-to-1 ratio.

And while the money totals pale in comparison to the $9-million-plus that just one union's PACs have spent to get Obama elected, they are more substantial than the amount that Obama has criticized John McCain for receiving from lobbyists: 96 lobbyists have contributed $95,850 to McCain, while Obama — who says he won't take money from PACs or federal lobbyists — has received $16,223 from 29 lobbyists.
Is there a liberal media bias? Is the sky blue? Is Al Gore making a ton of money from global warming hysteria? Yes, yes and yes.

Tate says liberal media bias is obvious and pervasive:
The New York Times' refusal to publish John McCain's rebuttal to Barack Obama's Iraq op-ed may be the most glaring example of liberal media bias this journalist has ever seen. But true proof of widespread media bias requires one to follow an old journalism maxim: Follow the money.

Even the Associated Press — no bastion of conservatism — has considered, at least superficially, the media's favoritism for Barack Obama. It's time to revisit media bias.

True to form, journalists are defending their bias by saying that one candidate, Obama, is more newsworthy than the other. In other words, there is no media bias. It is we, the hoi polloi, who reveal our bias by questioning the neutrality of these learned professionals in their ivory-towered newsrooms.
Read the full column at the IBD Web site.

Sen. Rafferty supports GPS monitoring of sex offenders

State Sen. John Rafferty Jr., R-44th Dist., supports state Auditor General Jack Wagner's call for Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring of convicted sex offenders.

The proposal is aimed at further strengthening Pennsylvania's Megan's Law, which protects children and communities by requiring convicted sex offenders to register their names and addresses on the publically accessible Megan's Law Web site, www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us

Sen. Rafferty, who chairs the Senate Law and Justice Committee, and Sen. Jane Orie, R-40th Dist., are sponsoring legislation to require the use of GPS for individuals determined to be sexually violent predators; sex offenders who have been convicted of a subsequent sex offense after having been required to register; and individuals required to register under Megan's Law and who have been convicted of failure to comply.

"This is part of an ongoing process to protect the children of this Commonwealth," Rafferty said in a written statement. "It amazes me that a person can drive into Philadelphia and use his or her vehicle GPS unit to locate open parking spots but for some reason we still don't widely use this same technology to track pedophiles who seek to harm our children. It makes no sense to me and it needs to change as soon as possible."

The New Jersey State Parole Board recently issued a report concerning the GPS Monitoring of Sex Offenders Pilot Project Act, according to Rafferty.

The board concluded that: "GPS monitoring has contributed to a significantly lower recidivism rate than nationwide data indicates for high-risk sex offenders. The monitoring also provides an invaluable resource for investigations, by providing data that can be compared with the times and places of new sex crimes."

Under the legislation GPS tracking would be done by either the body supervising the individual's probation or parole or by the Pennsylvania State Police, according to Rafferty. It would be a criminal offense to tamper with or remove the GPS device, he said.

Sens. Rafferty and Orie are also sponsoring Senate Bill 1130 to require Pennsylvania to implement the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act, which seeks to create a national sex offender registry available on the Internet as well as uniform enforcement.

AHI hosts forum on Cyprus: 34 Years After Invasion and Occupation

The American Hellenic Institute recently hosted a timely forum titled "Cyprus 34 Years Later: What Is Needed for a Solution?"

Several foreign policy experts taking part in the forum came to the same conclusion: A solution to the Cyprus problem won't happen unless the government of Turkey is willing to remove its occupation troops and illegal settlers from the island.

Read more about the forum at the AHI Web site.

Pitts provides boost to Royer campaign

U.S. Congressman Joe Pitts, R-16th, recently visited West Chester to stump for Shannon Royer, the Republican candidate in the 156th District race, according to the West Chester Daily Local News.

Royer hopes to unseat incumbent state Rep. Barbara McIlvaine Smith, D-156th, of West Chester, in the November general election.

From the Daily Local News:
"I'm looking forward to working with you on the campaign trail," Pitts said to a lunchtime crowd of supporters at Royer's South Church Street office. "It's a winnable office."

Royer campaigned against McIlvaine Smith in 2006 and narrowly lost following a recount. The publicity surrounding the recount has proved helpful in this campaign.

"I've been out since January knocking on doors. Everyone remembers me," Royer said.

"People are frustrated when the economy slows down. People look at how the state spends money, and they want new leadership," Royer said.

He unveiled an eight-point plan for changing the way the state spends money and taxes families and businesses.

Chief among his proposals is to increase state funding for education. The West Chester Area School District, in particular, receives the minimum state funding increases, he said, which is one reason why property taxes are rising.
McIlvaine Smith did not support a measure to eliminate property taxes and voted in favor of the $28.3 billion deficit budget introduced by Gov. Ed Rendell. McIlvaine Smith has one of the worst records in the House when it comes to supporting reform measures and votes with the Democratic Party leadership nearly 100 percent of the time.

Read more about this closely watched House race at the newspaper's Web site.

Obama Replaces American Flag With Obama Logo

A cult of personality? This isn't South Korea or Venezuela.

Is the United States turning into an Obama-nation?

The Washington Examiner reports that the Barack Obama campaign had the U.S. flag painted over with an Obama logo on the 737 airplane Sen. Obama is using to travel to the Middle East and Europe.

Wasn't this the same guy who was ashamed to wear the flag lapel pin? I guess he didn't want anyone to know he was representing America on his overseas trip.

This is either a new height in personal vanity or another sign that Obama has nothing but contempt for this country.

Follow the link below to read the story in the Washington Examiner.

RNC: Obama Replaces American Flag With Obama Logo

'Obama Chooses Washington Over Our Military'

RNC Launches New Radio Ad: 'Obama Chooses Washington Over Our Military'

Blunt: Democrats Push Flawed Housing Legislation

Congressional Democrats who brought you the housing market collapse are at it again.

Blunt: Democrats Push Flawed Housing Legislation, Block Republican Attempts to Protect Taxpayers

America For Sale?

What do you mean "For Sale?" It's already been bought and paid for. Do you really know how many foreign companies and governments own a piece of this country?

There's a disturbing report out about the true ownership of American companies. Follow the link below to learn more.

America For Sale?

No Socialism No Obama

I saw a passing freight train in Pottstown today with the following graffiti spray-painted on the side of one of the cars: No Socialism No Obama.

I guess Obama can't count on the hobo vote for 2008.

Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus

The future of Pottstown schools will be one of the topics of discussion on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas and Mike Pincus" at 5 p.m. Thursday on WPAZ 1370 AM

Pottstown School Board member Nat White will be a guest on the program to discuss the district's future facilities needs.

The one-hour program is hosted by Tony Phyrillas, city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, and Mike Pincus, a political strategist based in West Chester.

Call with comments or questions during the live broadcast at 610-326-4000.

You can also listen to the program online by going to www.1370WPAZ.com and clicking on the "live audio" button at the top of the page or you can listen to it at The Mercury Web site at www.pottsmerc.com

Who Really Profits From Smoking Bans?

Interesting information from Ohio, which is considering a statewide smoking ban.

So you mean that Gov. Ed Rendell and the Legislature didn't have our best interests in mind when they imposed a smoking ban in Pennsylvania?

Who Really Profits From Smoking Bans?

The Top 10 Healthiest Places to Live in America

None of them are in Pennsylvania. Does that surprise anyone?

AARP the Magazine Names the Top 10 Healthiest Places to Live in America

The Iraq We'd Have If We'd Heeded Obama

We tried putting an inexperienced outsider in the White House in 1976 and look what four years of Jimmy Carter led to. America may be making the same mistake again with Barack "Which Way to Iraq?" Obama.

Bob Owens, writing in The New York Post, offers an insightful look at what Iraq would have looked like had Barack Obama been in charge.

Follow the link below to read the column.

RNC: The Iraq We'd Have If We'd Heeded Obama

Obama's Rogue Anniversary

Republican National Committee: Obama's Rogue Anniversary - Obama Spends a Year Shifting His Position On Meeting With Rogue Leaders His First Year in Office

Help clean up the Schuylkill River on Aug. 2

The Greater Pottstown Watershed Alliance will be sponsoring a cleanup of the Schuylkill River on Saturday, August 2.

The group will paddle boats from the North Coventry boat ramp to Tow Path Park picking up all the trash and tires it can fit into the boats.

All boats that can navigate the river from North Coventry to Tow Path Park are welcome to join in the fun, says Bill Cannon, president of the Alliance.

"We always run out of space in the boats before we run out of trash, so we need all the help we can get." Cannon says.

Volunteers will meet at the Norco boat ramp (off Hanover Street) at 8 a.m. and can expect to be finished around 1 p.m. The Alliance is coordinating with East Coventry and North Coventry to handle the transportation of the debris volunteers pull out.

If you can't participate in the "on water" cleanup, you can help by shuttling paddlers back to the Norco ramp from Tow Path before the group launches, or by helping empty the boats at Tow Path when the cleanup is complete, Cannon says.

Pottstown is the farthest upstream community on the Schuylkill River to get its drinking water from the river. Lets show our down stream neighbors that we care enough to keep the hidden river trash free.

The Alliance has conducted more than 40 cleanups along the river so far.

Anyone interested in helping out is asked to contact Cannon at 610-326-3918 (after 6:30 p.m.)

Taxpayer group: No fiscal discipline in Congress

Spending other people's money continues to be the favorite activity of members of Congress, according to a new study by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

For every single bill introduced to save money, the House of Representatives introduced 22 bills to spend more money and the Senate introduced 30 bills to increase spending, according to the NTUF.

The study compared spending under the 109th Congress to the Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid-led 110th Congress.

The number of House spending bills (1,078) rose by over one-third since the last Congress, while Senate spending bills grew by nearly 25 percent (to 745), according to the study.

These people are addicted to spending your money. They have to be stopped. You can't go wrong by voting out an incumbent, especially the hypocritical Democrats who fooled you into voting for them in 2006.

Follow the link below for more highlights from the study.

Study: Lawmakers' Bill-Writing Habits Stall Drive for Budget Discipline

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Did you know Dr. Kevorkian is running for Congress?

Was I out of the country when this news broke? I didn't know that Dr. Jack Kevorkian was running for U.S. Congress.

He's running as an independent in Michigan's 9th Congressional District. Good luck, Doc. We could use someone to pull the plug on Congress, which has been in a coma for years.

Kevorkian Outlines Campaign Goals, Welcomes Questions at Local Meeting

Which way to the front?

If Americans are looking for decisive leadership in the war on terror, forget about Sen. Barack Obama. The same man who said the surge would never work is apparently taking credit for the success of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Obama's misjudgment on the surge and ignorance of the consequences of his withdrawal plan show he is not ready to lead, says the Republican National Committee.

Follow the link below for more.

RNC: Obama's Leadership Failure II

Taking flight on Air Obama

Has there ever been a more arrogant person seeking the White House than Sen. Barack Obama. What's this guy going to do if he loses the election on Nov. 4?

Three years out of the Illinois state house and Obama is acting like he's the second coming of Abraham Lincoln.

RNC: White House Rules On Air Obama?

The real story behind the New Yorker cover

The uproar over the New Yorker cover illustration of Sen. and Mrs. Barack Obama faded after a couple of days, but Michael Smerconish, writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer, says the real bombshell wasn't the cover, but the story inside the magazine.

The New Yorker published a 14,619-word story by political writer Ryan Lizza that paints an unfaltering picture of Sen. Obama.

From Smerconish's column:
The Barack Obama who was elected to the Illinois state senate, ran for a U.S. House seat unsuccessfully, and ultimately won a seat in the U.S. Senate was willing to get his hands dirty in the street politics of Chicago and mold his views to suit his ever-changing career milestones. When Obama decided to run for state senate in 1995, he turned to Toni Preckwinkle, who was then his alderman. Preckwinkle supported Obama in that bid, again in his failed U.S. House bid, and in his race for the U.S. Senate. Preckwinkle is now "disenchanted" with Obama, according to the article: "In retrospect, I think he saw the positions he held as stepping-stones to other things and therefore approached his public life differently than other people might have."

There are other details the Obama campaign will not be anxious to see re-aired. Like the campaign event hosted by Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, former leaders of the Weathermen, the group that once bombed the Pentagon. Or that Obama attended the Rev. Louis Farrakhan's Million Man March in 1995. Maybe the image of him getting his opponents for state senate knocked off the ballot - or his dining and vacationing with now-convicted developer Tony Rezko - will come as a surprise to those who see him as different from most politicians.

Maybe his comments in the Hyde Park Herald eight days after 9/11, wherein he recommended engaging in the difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness, will become a newfound liability: "The essence of this tragedy . . . most often . . . grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair." Such a reflection may not play so well in Middle America.

"Perhaps the greatest misconception about Barack Obama is that he is some sort of antiestablishment revolutionary," Lizza writes, in a profile far too few people will now read, having had attention diverted by a clever cover and the resulting furor.
Read the full column, "The real story behind the cover," at the newspaper's Web site.

Do you get the feeling the Obama camp knew about the article and made such a big stink about the cover illustration to draw attention from the skeletons in Obama's closet?

Pennsylvania has lost track of 923 sex offenders

A new report has some startling news about Megan's Law offenders in Pennsylvania.

The state has lost track of 923 registered sex offenders, according to Auditor General Jack Wagner.

Read more below.

PA Auditor General Jack Wagner Recommends Use of GPS Technology to Keep Track of Registered Sex Offenders

State Government Contracts Online Database

PA Treasurer Unveils State Government Contracts Online Database

Tests Confirm Pennsylvania's First Human Case of West Nile Virus for 2008

A 27-year-old Montgomery County woman is the state's first victim.

Tests Confirm Pennsylvania's First Human Case of West Nile Virus for 2008

Meet the very first 'Pennsylvania Wilds' Ombudswoman

A Warren County woman has been named the state's first Pennsylvania Wilds ombudswoman.

New 'Pennsylvania Wilds' Ombudswoman Will Cultivate Tourism-Related Small Business Growth

Chester County Kennel License Revoked

The state has shut down a Chester County dog kennel. The owner has 60 days to sell or transfer his dogs to other kennels.

Chester County Kennel License Revoked

Agenda for Berks Tax Forum

Berks County in conjunction with Penn State Cooperative Extension will be hosting a Berks County Tax Forum on Monday, July 28th at 7:00 PM. The event will be held at the Berks County Ag Center, 1238 County Road, Leesport.

This Local Tax Forum is not advocating any specific tax reform proposal, but is intended to create civil local dialogue and discussion about local tax fairness, and to increase public awareness of local tax issues, says Berks County Commissioner Christian Y. Leinbach said.

Participants will be encouraged to share their thoughts and concerns, and similarly to listen thoughtfully to others’ comments, Leinbach says.

At the end of the Forum, participants will be encouraged to share their individual perspectives with legislators and others, Leinbach says.

FORUM AGENDA

How do Pennsylvania Local Taxes Measure Up?

Overview of which taxes are available and used by local jurisdictions

Taxation From a Local Official Perspective (Panel Discussion)
Christian Leinbach, Berks County Commissioner
Ken Grimes, Upper Tulpehocken Township Supervisor
Don Raifsnider, Muhlenberg Township School Board

Small Group Discussion and Report Out
Participants discuss tax fairness and what they think needs to be done to reform local taxation in Pennsylvania

Your Next Steps?
What are your options – how to contact your local legislators, local officials, and others with your concerns

For more information, call 610-478-6136 Ext. 6127

PACleanSweep Call to Action

Pick Up the Phone for a Convention!

Now that PACleanSweep's recommended language to enable a constitutional convention has been introduced in both the Senate and House, it's time to get on the phone and start pressuring members of the two State Government Committees to move this bill along.

Below, you'll find a phone list of all the members of these committees, the leadership of both chambers and the Governor. Without input from citizens, these people will not act. The most effective citizen input is via live phone calls.

It is highly recommended that you call ALL elected officials listed in bold, because in their committee or leadership roles they are acting on behalf of all Pennsylvanians. If your own Senator or Representative is a member of the committee, place a call to them as well.

When you call these folks, simply urge them to support SB1290 (for Senators) or HB2714 (for Representatives) and ask what they will do to move it along, get it out of committee and on the floor for a vote. Be courteous!

Then call again in a week or so to follow up on what they've done. Keep calling until we get some results!

Each legislator's Harrisburg office number is listed first and the subsequent phone numbers will put you in touch with their district offices.

In the Senate (SB1290)

Senate State Government Committee

Sen. Jeffrey E. Piccola, Chair (co-sponsor)
(717) 787-6801
(717) 896- 7714

Sen. Mike Folmer, Vice Chair (prime sponsor)
(717) 787-5708
(717) 274-7705
(610) 693-3200
(717) 361-8623

Sen. Anthony H. Williams, Minority Chair
(717) 787-5970
(215) 492-2980

Sen. Michael W. Brubaker
(717) 787-4420
(717) 627-0036

Sen. Jake Corman
(717) 787-1377
(814) 355- 0477

Sen. Wayne D. Fontana
(717) 787-5300
(412) 344-2551

Sen. Vincent J. Hughes
(717) 787-7112
(215) 471-0490

Sen. Charles T. McIlhinney, Jr.
(717) 787- 7305
(215) 489-5000

Sen. Terry L. Punt
(717) 787-4651
(717) 264- 6100

Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione
(717) 787-1141
(215) 533-0440

Senate Leadership

Sen. Joseph B. Scarnati, III, Senate Pro Tempore
(717) 787-7084
(814) 726- 7201

Sen. Dominic Pileggi, Senate Majority (Republican) Leader
(717) 787-4712
(610) 565-9100

Sen. Robert J. Mellow, Senate Minority (Democrat) Leader
(717) 787-6481
(570) 489-0336
Click here to track SB1290

In the House (HB2714)

House State Government Committee

Rep. Babette Josephs, Majority Chairman
(717) 787-8529
(215) 893-1515

Rep. Thomas W. Blackwell, Majority Vice Chairman
(717) 783-1491
(215) 748- 7808
(215) 978-2595

Rep. Jaret Gibbons, Majority Secretary
(717) 705- 2060
(724) 752-1133
(724) 794-1215
(724) 773-7499

Rep. Matthew E. Baker, Minority Chairman
(717) 772-5371
(717) 772-5371

Rep. Carl W. Mantz, Minority Secretary
(717) 787- 3017
(610) 366-2330

Rep. Kerry A. Benninghoff
(717) 783-1918
(814) 355-1300

Rep. Mike Carroll
(717) 787-3589
(610) 681- 2940
(570) 655-4883

Rep. Paul I. Clymer
(717) 783-3154
(215) 257-0279

Rep. Tom C. Creighton
(717) 772-5290
(717) 336-2199
(717) 664-4979

Rep. Mark B. Cohen
(717) 787-4117
(215) 924-0895

Rep. Lawrence H. Curry
(717) 783-1079
(215) 572-5210

Rep. Florindo J. Fabrizio
(717) 787-4358
(814) 455-6319

Rep. Robert Freeman
(717) 783-3815
(610) 253-5543

Rep. Mauree Gingrich
(717) 783-1815
(717) 270-1905

Rep. Glen R. Grell
(717) 783-2063
(717) 795- 6091

Rep. William C. Kortz, II (co-sponsor)
(717) 787-8175
(412) 466-1940
(412) 886- 2870

Rep. Deberah Kula
(717) 772-1858
(724) 547-4057
(724) 626-2761

Rep. Jim Marshall
(717) 260-6432
(724) 847- 1352

Rep. Fred McIlhattan
(717) 772-9908
(814) 226-9000

Rep. Michael H. O'Brien
(717) 783-8098
(215) 503-3245

Rep. Frank Louis Oliver
(717) 787-3480
(215) 684-3738

Rep. Cherelle L. Parker
(717) 783-2178
(215) 242-7300

Rep. Thomas J. Quigley
(717) 772-9963
(610) 326-9563

Rep. Sean M. Ramaley
(717) 787-4444
(724) 266-7774
(412) 761-1701

Rep. Kathy L. Rapp
(717) 787-1367
(814) 723-5203

Rep. Mike Vereb
(717) 705-7164
(610) 409- 2615

Rep. Greg Vitali
(717) 787-7647
(610) 789- 3900

Rep. Katharine M. Watson
(717) 787-5452
(215) 674-0500

Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood
(717) 787-7727
(215) 849-6426

House Leadership

Rep. Dennis M. O'Brien, Speaker of the House
(717) 787-5689
(215) 632- 5150

Rep. H. William DeWeese, House Majority (Democrat) Leader
(717) 783-3797
(724) 627-8683

Rep. Samuel H. Smith, House Minority (Republican) Leader
(717) 787-3845
(814) 938-4225
Click here to track HB2714

Call the Governor, too!

Edward Rendell, Governor
(717) 787-2500