Saturday, August 30, 2008

Newspaper: Palin a bold, strategic pick

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review believes Sen. John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate "will go down in history as one of the boldest, most deft and wonderfully strategic vice-presidential picks ever."

From an editorial in today's edition:
Talk about "change." And talk about taking the "oomph" out of -- and the media's attention off of -- Democrat Barack Obama's Thursday night acceptance speech.

Palin has the same maverick reputation as Sen. McCain and has been a pull-no-punches reformer in The Last Frontier. She even took on the ethically challenged hierarchy of her own state GOP.

Palin's candidacy immediately and drastically changes the dynamics of this presidential race. The women's vote that Democrats squandered by not placing Hillary Clinton on their ticket now is in play. But just as important is that her selection goes a long way to allay the concerns of a Republican base suspect of McCain's conservative bona fides.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

DUI deaths rise in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania was one of only 18 states that showed an increase in drunken-driving deaths in 2007, according to new government statistics released this week.

Does the fact that Pennsylvania is in the liquor business have something to do with this? Pennsylvania relies heavily on its monopoly of state-owned liquor stores for tax revenues.

While drunken-driving deaths dropped in 32 states in 2007, they went up in Pennsylvania, according to a new government report.

Pennsylvania had 500 drunken-driving deaths in 2007, up from 492 in 2006.

Across the nation, nearly 13,000 people were killed in DUI crashes.

Overall, alcohol deaths were down nearly 4 percent compared with 2006, when nearly 13,500 people died on the highway, according to The Associated Press.

However, alcohol-related fatalities rose among motorcycle riders in 25 states, including Pennsylvania, the government reported.

The number of deaths among motorcyclists involved in DUI crashes also rose in Pennsylvania to 80 in 2007, compared to 61 the previous year, the AP reported.

Read more at The Mercury's Web site.

Take a stand against tax hikers

Check out this new blog set up by the National Taxpayers Union. It's time for Americans to take a stand up against free-spending politicians. The government takes enough of your money. (Are you listening Barack Obama?)

Find out more about the campaign (and how to get a free bumper sticker) at

President Bush salutes American workers

President Bush uses his weekly radio address to salut the American worker as we head in the long Labor Day weekend.

If you missed it, there's a transcript at the link below:

Radio Address by President Bush to the Nation

Is Rendell spending PA into the poor house?

Pennsylvania finished the month of August $117 million in the red. And to hear the Democrats speak, we're headed for another Great Depression. What does that do to Ed Rendell's $28 billion General Fund budget?

Pennsylvania Revenue Department Releases August Collections

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain has class, Obama has no class

On the night Sen. Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party nomination, Sen. John McCain released a television ad marking the historic occasion and congratulating his Democratic opponent.

That's class.

On the day John McCain announced that he was picking Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton issued a statement calling Palin "the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience."

No class.

Burton also referred to Gov. Palin as "an abortion-rights opponent."

I guess that's to draw a contrast from Barack Obama, who supports abortion-on-demand.

And being the mayor of a town of any size is more executive experience than Barack Obama has.

Most Voters and Catholics Would Oppose a President Who Doesn't Know When Life Begins

Bad news for Barack Obama. A majority of likely voters who are Catholics don't like the fact that Sen. Obama couldn't answer the simple question: "When does life begin?"

The abortion issue is an albatross around Obama's neck. The selection of Sen. Joe Biden, a Catholic who supports abortion, isn't helping.

Most Voters and Catholics Would Oppose a President Who Doesn't Know When Life Begins

Chesco GOP 'swamped' with calls since Palin announcement

The phone was ringing off the hook at Chester County Republican headquarters Friday after Sen. John McCain announced his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for vice president, county GOP officials report.

"We were swamped with telephone calls as soon as the announcement was made," Christine Thomas, executive director of the Republican Committee of Chester County, said in a written release. "This is a historic ticket. We received calls from Republicans, Democrats and Independents. The enthusiasm was amazing."

From Skip Brion, chairman of the Republican Committee of Chester County:
"John McCain has made an outstanding choice for his vice presidential running mate. Gov. Palin is a positive addition to the ticket and one that the voters of Chester County will like. She is a dynamic person and the right person to help lead our county with Sen. McCain. Gov.. Palin is a reformer and knows how to get the job done. Her leadership and ability is exactly what our country needs in Washington."

Sarah Palin a 'Natural Choice for Catholics'

Catholic groups are pleased with John McCain's selection of Gov. Sarah Palin, who holds strong pro-life beliefs.

It should be noted that both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden are pro-abortion. Sen. Obama has the most extreme abortion voting record of any member of Congress.

Palin a 'Natural Choice for Catholics'

PA headed for a deficit?

"It's too early to jump to conclusions," says the Rendell administration, but for the second straight month, Pennsylvania has taken in less tax revenue than it anticipated.

The state collected $1.7 billion in General Fund revenues in August, which is 6.6 percent less than it anticipated. That leaves a $117.5 million budget shortfall for the state.

July revenues were also below what the state anticipated. The fiscal year runs from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009.

Don't say a lot of people didn't see this coming.

Many of the Republican lawmakers who voted against Gov. Rendell's $28.3 billion budget stated publicly that the state was going into deficit spending and could end up more than $1 billion in the red by the end of the current fiscal year.

By the way, only 1 Democratic legislator voted against the budget, so that's why I highlighted the fact that it was Republican lawmakers who sounded the alarm bells in June and July.

Perhaps you would like to ask your incumbent state lawmaker who voted for Rendell's deficit budget how the state will dig itself out of a $1 billion hole? If they can't come up with a good answer, maybe you should elect a new state lawmaker on Nov. 4.

Follow the link below for more information from the Revenue Department.

Pennsylvania Revenue Department Releases August Collections

Even the NEA has nice things to say about Gov. Sarah Palin

This is a surprise. The National Education Association is praising John McCain's pick of Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

The NEA almost always endorses Democrats, who in turn funnel tons of money into the failed public education system, prevent accountability for teachers' union members and fight against school choice measures.

But the NEA leadership, which is way too political for its own good, couldn't resist this dig:

"Her selection, however, has certainly taken the issue of experience off the table for political debate," says NEA President Reg Weaver.

Two thoughts about that remark. It's an admission by the NEA that Barack Obama doesn't have the qualifications to be president. Second, Palin is running for vice president, not president. That's an important distinction.

NEA Responds to Naming of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as Republican VP Nominee

Let's have that experience debate

I can't believe the Obama-lovers are actually going to use the experience factor to criticize Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The last thing any Democrat wants to bring up is how inexperienced Barack Obama is to be president. (What's next? A comparison of John McCain's military record to Barack Obama's military record?)

Look at this way. Palin is running for vice president. If she gets in with John McCain, she'll have plenty of time to earn more experience. What's Obama going to do if he's elected president? Name Joe Biden as "acting president" until Obama gets enough training for the job?

SAVE THE GOP has an excellent comparison of the political experience of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. The key numbers: Palin Executive Experience - 8 years; Obama Executive Experience - 0 days.

Rep. Joe Pitts named 'Taxpayer Hero'

Citizens Against Government Waste has recognized Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Pitts as a 'Taxpayer Hero' based on his "fiscally responsible voting record" during 2007.

Pitts, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District, was the only representative from Pennsylvania's 21-member Congressional delegation (19 in the House and two in the Senate) to earn the honor.

Pitts received a score of 94 percent out of possible 100 percent in the group's annual rankings.

"I'm pleased to be called a hero of the taxpayer by the Citizens Against Government Waste," Pitts said in a written statement. "At a time of runaway spending, ballooning deficits, and a looming entitlement tsunami, we need many more leaders in Congress to stand up for the taxpayer and demand greater fiscal responsibility."

More about the rankings from a CCAGW release:

Since 1991, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste has examined roll-call votes to separate the taxpayer advocates in Congress from those who favor wasteful programs and pork-barrel spending.

House Republicans averaged 60 percent, up 14 percentage points from their grade of 46 percent in 2006; House Democrats averaged 5 percent, down 4 percentage points from their 9 percent score in 2006.

House votes included 50 amendments relating to pork-barrel spending in the appropriations and authorizing bills, amendments to cut spending across the board by 1 percent and 0.5 percent, and the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

For more information, visit

'Because he's got class'

The White House released a transcript of the daily press briefing by spokesperson Dana Perino. Part of the exchange with reporters included questions about the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Here’s part of the transcript:
Q Can you give us any indication of what he's going to be speaking about?

MS. PERINO: The speech reviews the major issues facing the country, from terrorism and war to the economy and the direction of our culture. Above all, the speech reflects on the role of the presidency and the qualities that are demanded by the job, and makes the case that John McCain is the best qualified to be our next leader and commander-in-chief. In particular, it highlights McCain's unique judgment, perspective, and experience to deal with the unexpected, to stand firm on his convictions, put the country above himself, and make hard decisions necessary to protect the American people.
The speech rallies Republicans to have confidence in America's future and to do everything they can to elect John McCain to the presidency.
A couple of things that the speech does not do: Do not expect this speech to define the President's legacy. This is not an opportunity to recap accomplishments of the past seven and a half years. It will not serve as a farewell to the American people, and it certainly will not attack Barack Obama.

Q Why not? I mean, this week –

MS. PERINO: Because he's got class.

Q -- the President has taken a great deal of criticism. Every speaker it seemed at the Democratic Convention spoke about the failed policies of the Bush presidency. Does he not want a forum in which to answer that criticism?

MS. PERINO: But this President knows better than almost any politician in America what it's like to face criticism. He watched his dad as vice presidential candidate for two terms go through that, and then when his dad ran for President, he saw it again, and then in his own campaigns, the two national elections. He knows what it's like in high political season, and he's not going to respond to every attack.
But some of the attacks are just out-and-out false; for example, suggesting that the Bush administration hasn't invested in alternative or renewable energies. Everybody in this room knows that that's not true. So we're in high political season. We're not going to let it get to us. We're going to focus on the big picture. And most importantly, President Bush will be working to make sure that John McCain is the next President of the United States.

Tony Perkins: Gov. Palin a Pro-Family, Pro-Life Champion

"Sen. McCain made an outstanding pick from the choices that were on the table," says Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council Action. "Gov. Sarah Palin is an outspoken advocate for pro-family policies that energize social conservatives. She has a record of advancing the culture of life at every opportunity including championing a ban on partial-birth abortion and promoting parental consent for minor abortions."

Read more of his statement at the link below:

FRC Action's Tony Perkins: Gov. Palin a Pro-Family, Pro-Life Champion

Richard Viguerie: She's Perfect

"McCain has chosen to balance his ticket with a principled conservative. Gov. Palin's life story is one of sticking to principle. She is living proof that a person can take on the corrupt political establishment - including corrupt leaders in her own party - and achieve great things," says Richard Viguerie, the chairman of "There's an old expression in politics: Go along to get along. Not this time. The selection of Sarah Palin is one big kick-in-the-pants to the corrupt establishment in
both parties."

Read more of his statement at the link below:

Richard Viguerie: She's Perfect

Is Sarah Palin for real?

I'm trying to gather information about Sarah Palin. I'm amazed at this woman's accomplishments and her background.

She's a fiscal and social conservative and a woman who has succeeded in a man's profession (politics) at a young age. In 2006, she became the youngest person ever elected governor of Alaska at age 42.

Born in Idaho, her parents were working-class people. Her mother was a school secretary and her father was a high school teacher.

Sarah Palin, 44, is married to Todd Palin, a commercial fisherman who works in the winter one one of Alaska's oil fields.

Palin is the mother of five children, two boys and three girls.

Her oldest son serves in an Army infantry brigade scheduled for deployment in Iraq on Sept. 11. Her youngest son, born this April, has Down syndrome. She had the baby even though pre-natal testing determined he would be born with Down syndrome. She solidly pro-life.

She hunts and fishes. She even rides a snowmobile.

This is somebody who actually lived in the real world, unlike Joe Biden, a professional politician and Washington insider.

Palin ran for governor on a reform platform and by most accounts has carried through on her campaign promises.

The Misery Party

Investor's Business Daily has an interesting editorial today about the doom-and-gloom Democrats attempting to make Americans feel worse about their country. The Dems spent the first three days of their national convention throwing out lines like, "The American dream is over" ... "We're headed for another Great Depression" ... "America's best days are behind us"

From the editorial:
... we do know that, if the Democrats did not succeed in dampening the nation's spirits, it wasn't for want of trying.

The convention's list of speakers on just one day (Tuesday) included a laid-off North Carolina textile worker, an Iowa flood victim, an autoworker about to be laid off and an unemployed nurse.

Then there was Joe Biden, who on Wednesday told how he looks into the windows of homes he passes on his way home from work and sees the middle class — or should it be called the misery class? — in pain. They're wondering, he says, how to keep from freezing this winter, how to manage without a raise and how to cope as their health care, home equity and retirement dreams fade away.

Some people really are living this American nightmare. But if they're the Democrats' electoral target this year, they may turn out to be a disappointingly small group. Look at those happiness numbers again. Even on a bad day, the decidedly happy outnumber the decidedly unhappy by nearly 3 to 1. When the weekend rolls around, the contented class beats the misery class by about 7 to 1.

If the Democrats talk long enough, they might push a few more Americans into despair. But to do really well, they'll have to get worse news than the economy has been offering up lately, and they will have to overcome most Americans' natural tendency to look on the bright side. To judge from the party's rhetoric this week, optimism may be its worst enemy right now.
Read the full editorial, "The Misery Class," at the newspaper's Web site.

Ted Nugent on Obama the rock star

Guitar hero Ted Nugent offers a rock star's assessment of Barack Obama's Thursday arena extravaganza in an article posted at

Nugent writes:
Though the Obaminator may be treated like a rockstar, he has much more in common with a one hit wonder, no talent pop star.

The Obaminator brought in Fedzilla musicians Sheryl Crowe and Stevie Wonder to electrify the throngs of Fedzilla supporters. Political ideologies aside, these gentlemen and their killer musicians are the real McCoy when it comes to music, and I salute them for that.

The title of rockstar is meaningless and petty, and typically indicative of a fashion-driven dope. Like those dedicated musicians still celebrating our honed craft 50 plus years later, it is the soul and genuine emotion and authority of the music of our black heroes like Bo Diddly and Chuck Berry that still lives on in my musical dreams that puts timeless integrity into every glowing guitar lick. Not the transparent symbolism of celebrity or rockstar sillyness. Go figure.

The Obaminator will say anything, change any position, and obfuscate his socialist intentions and beliefs to get elected. I’ve never compromised or wavered on my musical vision. I only play music that singes the pure, aboriginal musical soul.
Click here to read the rest of "Rockbama Does Invesco"

HT to Gunservatively!

State Capitol Roundup for August 29

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

Lawmakers Rally Against State Tax on Single Parents Getting Child Support

Republican lawmakers joined affected families this week to unveil legislation that would repeal a $25 tax on single parents collecting child support. Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) has introduced House Bill 2749, which has 40 co-sponsors, to repeal the tax. The tax was prompted by a 2005 federal law requiring certain levels of reimbursement from states that receive child support funds from the federal government. State lawmakers were left to determine how that reimbursement was to be funded. Earlier this year, Harper and a number of other lawmakers attempted to amend legislation to make the state solely responsible for that fee, but failed when 117 legislators voted against the bill. Harper is hoping that her legislation can be acted upon in the upcoming legislative session.

Proposal to Allow Low-Cost Prescriptions in Pennsylvania Touted

Legislation introduced by Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) to allow retail pharmacies to offer extensive low-cost prescription drug programs sometimes available in other states was the subject of a recent press conference. Under Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices Act, which was enacted in 1941, pharmacies offering discounted prescription drug programs are prevented from selling some drugs at the same low price that they can in other states. Murt's legislation, House Bill 2486, would remedy this situation by exempting prescription medications from the Unfair Trade Practices Act. House Bill 2486 is currently before the House Consumer Affairs Committee.

Fire and Ambulance Service Grant Information Now Available

Lawmakers are reminding volunteer fire departments and ambulance services that the window to apply for thousands of dollars in state grant funding is quickly approaching. Volunteer fire companies and ambulance units will be able to apply for the grants, via the Internet, no later than Sept. 5 at the latest and lasting for 45 days. Grants are used to improve and enhance capabilities of vital emergency preparedness services such as construction or renovation of a unit's station, the purchase or repair of equipment, training or debt reduction. Maximum grant awards for this year are $15,000 for volunteer fire companies and $10,000 for volunteer ambulance services. For more information on Fire and Ambulance Service grants, visit online.

Fred Thompson likes McCain's VP pick

Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson issued the following statement:

"I am absolutely delighted by this selection. Once again, John McCain has shown that he is an independent thinker who paints in bold strokes. Sarah Palin is a conservative reformer with executive experience who will bring a breath of fresh air to Washington. She will be an ideal running mate for John McCain, and will make a major contribution to our country's future."

Sarah Palin & Tina Fey: Separated at Birth?

HT to Open Mike for noticing a striking similarity between Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former "Saturday Night Live" regular Tina Fey.

Sarah Palin

Don't know much about Sarah Palin, but I know she's no Joe Biden, a Washington insider with ties to lobbyists and one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate.

It was a bold move by John McCain, one that shifts momentum back to the Republicans after Barack Obama's "Lollipops and Rainbows" speech Thursday night.

A lot of Hillary Clinton supporters and independents will take a closer look at the McCain-Palin team.

Click here for more in Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska.

Cal Thomas: Obama's credibility problem

If you're going to run as an outsider trying to clean up Washington, D.C., why would pick the consumate Washington insider in Joe Biden?

That's what columnist Cal Thomas wants to know.

"In selecting Sen. Joseph Biden as his running mate, Barack Obama gains some needed foreign policy expertise, but loses some credibility," Thomas writes. "If Washington is as bad as these two say it is, was Biden a contributor or an enabler during his six Senate terms? If 36 years in the Senate doesn't make you an 'insider' and part of the problem, what does?"

This is just one of the many inconsistencies of Barack Obama's campaign.

More from Thomas:
Biden is not "change we can believe in." He is change to deceive with. Biden's toughest opponent is not John McCain and whoever he picks as his running mate. Biden's toughest opponent is himself.
Click here to read Thomas' full column.

Gerlach files ethics complaint against Democratic opponent

U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, who represents Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, has filed a complaint against Democratic opponent Bob Roggio with the Fedederal Elections Commission.

Gerlach's campaigns says Roggio of failed to submit a complete financial disclosure statement.

Roggio's camp says Gerlach is playing politics.

Read more in today's edition of The Norristown Times-Herald.

2008 Republican National Convention's New Web Site Goes Live

2008 Republican National Convention's New Web Site Goes Live

'Raisin' McCain'

Country Music Star John Rich to Perform 'Raisin' McCain' at Republican National Convention

Thursday, August 28, 2008

PA casino fined $30,000 for underage gambling, security lapses

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is on the case. And you thought the board was just wasting money.

The board fined Harrah's Chester Downs and Marina $30,000 for allowing an underage gambler on the premises and for not having security in some areas of the gaming floor.

PGCB Fines Casino Operator for Underage Gambling and Security Lapses

Pennsylvania residents boozing it up more

Maybe it's the fact the Ed Rendell is still governor.

Or it might be the prospect of tax-and-spend liberal Barack Obama being elected president.

Something is driving Pennsylvania residents to drink more.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board reported record revenues for the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

From an article posted on the newspaper's Web site:
The Liquor Control Board, which oversees or directly operates 620 Wine & Spirits stores across the state, said it brought in $1.77 billion in sales during the year. That revenue generated $428 million in sales tax, liquor tax and profits for the state, the board said.

The latest revenue figure was a 4.8 percent increase over the previous year's sales, which were $1.69 billion.
Pennsylvania has found a great way to unburden residents with their hard-earned cash by taxing all sorts of vices.

With the state lottery, legalized slot parlors and taxes on liquor and cigarettes, are there any vices Rendell hasn't figured out how to tax?

Poll: Physician split on universal health care

The Democratic Party is promising universal health care coverage for all Americans, although nobody is willing to say who will pay for the program.

A new survey of doctors shows that many are skeptical of the concept of "universal health care" or whether it would improve medical care for their patients.

Physicians were asked if they believe that universal health care insurance will significantly improve access to health care for all Americans by Inc. The results of the survey? About 38% of doctors indicated no improvement while 33% of physicians feel that it would significantly improve access to health care. More than 44 feel that there is no evidence to support that expanding insurance coverage is a cost-effective way to promote health.

Read more from the survey at the link below:

Study Polls Physician Views on Universal Healthcare

Government secrecy continues in PA

Pennsylvania's new open-records law can't get here soon enough.

The new law, which establishes and Office of Open Records to police government agencies, begins Jan. 1, 2009. Under the new law, all government documents (with the exception of specific items excluded under the statute) are assumed to be open for public inspection. It will up to the government agencies to prove the information should not be made available to the public.

In the meantime, officials continue to obstruct the public's access to public records.

A good example of how the taxpayers are being kept in the dark by politicians and bureaucrats occurred in Pottstown.

From a story by reporter Evan Brandt in The Mercury:
Despite the Pottstown Borough Authority's unanimous vote at a public meeting to approve a contract to treat Pottstown Landfill's leachate at a publicly-owned sewer plant, the terms of that agreement are not for the public to know — at least not right away.

That was the legal opinion offered last week by David Garner, the solicitor for the authority as well as the president of Pottstown Borough Council.

Garner said because the agreement is among three parties, the borough, the authority and Waste Management, the document does not become a "public document" until Borough Council has voted on it and signed it.

But that argument doesn't carry much weight with Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and an expert on the state's Right to Know Law.

She said because the Borough Authority is a public agency under the law, the contract with Waste Management became a public document as soon as it was authorized by the board.

"When they take action, it's a public document as it pertains to that authority, no matter whether or not the borough has taken action yet," she said. "They've taken an affirmative vote and they've committed to a course of action and that is the public's business."

She said Garner's dual role as authority solicitor and Borough Council president may be blurring the lines.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

Santorum anticipates 'huge defeat' for Obama, Democrats

Leave it to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum to burst the Democratic Party's bubble. And on the same day rock star Barack Obama delivers his acceptance speech as the party's presidential nominee. Party pooper!

Writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Santorum said the Democratic Party is facing an embarrassing and potentially huge defeat" by nominating Sen. Barack Obama.

The reason? Obama's extremist views on so many issues and his questionable associations with a number of far-left figures.

Obama's ability to give a great speech won't be enough, Santorum argues.

Obama's populist rhetoric doesn't match his well-documented extreme views on abortion, gay marriage and gun control.

"Having one's values untethered from external restraints does give one a certain moral flexibility," Santorum writes of Obama.

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

It's time for a change!

Oink, Oink

Check out the list of Pennsylvania members of Congress on the 2007 Congressional ratings released by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste. It's posted today at POLICY BLOG

The citizens watchdog group keeps track of pork spending.

The worst offender is Democrat John Murtha, but several other prominent Democrats also scrape the bottom of the barrel when it comes to wasting taxpayer dollars.

Many of the Democrats from the Class of 2006 who promised to help clean up Washington, D.C., decided it was more advantageous to wallow in the slop instead.

Media in the tank for Democratic congressman

More proof that you can't trust the left-wing media offered today at the Bucks Right blog.

The main newspaper in Rep. Patrick Murphy's district appears to be working hand-in-hand with the Murphy campaign to put the freshman congressman in the best possible light.

From Bucks Right:
If you were looking for a fair and unbiased reaction to Patrick Murphy's speech at the Democrat Convention that genuinely reflected the pulse of the community at large, where would you go? Would you head to a local bar? Perhaps a community center? Would you talk to people in the street?

If you were a writer for Calkins Media's Bucks County Courier-Times, you would head straight for a partisan "Patrick Murphy Watch Party and Phone Bank" organized through Barack Obama's official web site at the home of a "Proud, Loud, and Excited Volunteer" for the Obama campaign. Then you'd obscure the fact that your quotes were gathered at a partisan event for volunteers. Of course, that doesn’t warrant a mention. Everyone assumes what they read in the Courier-Times is biased in favor of Murphy anyway, right?

The Courier-Times never mentions the nature of the gathering where they sought reaction to Li'l Pat's speech. In fact, that information seems to be intentionally suppressed. The Courier-Times identifies this Obama volunteer and organizer who blogs on Obama’s official site with the group "Bensalem4Obama" as below. Writer Gary Weckselblatt seems so excited to relate all the glowing praise for Murphy that he even makes a grammatical error.
Check out the full post here.

Murphy's Republican opponent is Tom Manion.

Rendell administration in 'denial of basic facts'

The letter to the editor below was originally published in The Mercury. The writer, Nathan Benefield, is responding to an op-ed from Gov. Ed Rendell criticizing the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy in Pittsburgh for daring to say that Rendell's idea of economic development -- passing out large cardboard checks to corporations -- does not result in the promised job growth.

Benefield, who works for the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives in Harrisburg, comes to the defense of the Allegheny Institute:
Gov. Rendell is in 'denial'

In an opinion column on Aug. 21, "Pennsylvania economy doing well," Gov. Ed Rendell claims that Pennsylvania's economy is thriving, thanks to his "investments" in the economy.

Of course, Gov. Rendell isn't "investing" his money, but taxing the entire population to offer corporate welfare handouts to politically selected companies. Like splashing water from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end, this redistribution of wealth doesn't make the pool any larger.

The taxes needed to pay for these economic development schemes destroy more jobs than the grants "create." Indeed, an audit of one economic development program found that recipients did not add the number of jobs they promised and some companies went out of business after receiving taxpayer grants. In short, these "investments" represent failed economic policy.

Since Gov. Rendell took office, Pennsylvania has lagged behind the rest of the nation in job growth, ranking 40th out of 50 states. Forbes magazine recently said Pennsylvania had the 10th worst state business climate, which is consistent with state rankings from the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, the Beacon Hill Institute, CEO Magazine, and others. Data from both the US Census and United Van Lines indicate that far more residents are leaving Pennsylvania for other states than the number migrating to Pennsylvania.

None of these indicators point to a strong economy or an attractive business climate. The Rendell administration's denial of basic facts makes it impossible to debate which policies are better suited for economic growth.

Director of Policy Research
Commonwealth Foundation

Democratic state House candidate admits criminal record

As if James Prendergast didn't already have an uphill battle to unseat popular state Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th District, the Democratic challenger told The Mercury that he was arrested and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges during a domestic dispute with his first wife

The incident occurred 11 years ago, but Prendergast decided to be up front about his past for fear that his opponent would use the arrest against him.

Prendergast, who has never held elected office, told reporter Evan Brandt that he wanted to explain the matter on his terms, and not have to respond to a possible attack ad from his opponent in the closing days of the campaign.

When asked to comment about his opponent's unusual strategy, Quigley told Brandt, "I'm a little disappointed that Mr. Prendergast would take a shot at me like that. I've never had to resort to that type of tactic in the past and I have no intention of bringing that issue up in this campaign. If he wants to reveal his past, that's his prerogative."

I don't know Prendergast, but I've gotten to know Tom Quigley fairly well in recent years. Quigley is one of the good guys in Harrisburg.

Since he was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2004, Quigley has earned the respect of his colleagues in the House and is well-liked in his district, where he has a reputation for outstanding constituent response and availability.

Quigley is a fiscal conservative who has been among the leaders in pushing for the elimination of property taxes as well as cuts in the state income tax.

I'm certain Quigley would never have used Prendergast's past legal troubles against his opponent.

Prendergast may have outsmarted himself. It's unlikely anyone would have found out about his arrest. Give him credit for being up front about it, but the revelation may cost him more votes than it brings him.

RNC Restarts Biden Gaffe Clock

Joe Biden, the Democrat vice presidential nominee and chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee mixed up military "battalions" with "brigades." This comes only four days, 17 hours, and 59 minutes since his last gaffe, made shortly after beginning his vice presidential bid.

Am I the only person who keeps hearing Barack Obama is planning to move 50,000 to 100,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan and possibly into Pakistan.

How is expanding the war going to sit with his promise to surrender in Iraq? This sounds a lot like the Democrats' Vietnam strategy: Expand the war into Laos and Cambodia while abandoning South Vietnam.

Obama is not ready to be commander-in-chief.

RNC Restarts Biden Gaffe Clock

Another Obama magazine controversy?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

'Obama/Biden — Left And Lefter'

You've probably heard of "Dumb and Dumber." Investor's Business Daily would like to introduce you to "Left and Lefter."

From a recent editorial:
The Democratic convention is about to nominate two of the three most liberal members of the U.S. Senate as its presidential ticket. In some ways, Barack Obama's running mate is further left than he is.
Sen. Barack Obama is the No. 1 liberal in the U.S. Senate. His new running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, is ranked the No. 3 most liberal member of the Senate.

The newspaper points out another disturbing fact about Sen. Biden: He is owned by the credit card industry, the very same industry that preys on working people that Biden is supposed to represent.

From the editorial:
Barack Obama in 2005 voted against the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act." So did Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John Kerry, D-Mass.

As recently as last month, Obama even attacked his GOP opponent Sen. John McCain for voting for it. "While I was opposing the credit-card industry's bankruptcy bill that made it harder for working families to climb out of debt, (McCain) was supporting it," Obama said, "and he even opposed helping families who were only in bankruptcy because of medical bills they couldn't pay."

But now Obama has a running mate who did vote for "the credit-card industry's bankruptcy bill" (as he pocketed more campaign cash from the credit card industry than almost anyone) — a law that President Bill Clinton in 2000 pocket-vetoed because, as Clinton said at the time, it was "tilting the playing field against those debtors who genuinely turn to bankruptcy for a fresh start."

It seems that the "regular Joe" Sen. Obama is running with is just as radical as he is, if not more so — except when he gets paid off by a big industry to stick it to working families.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Bankruptcy filings up in PA

It's getting harder to believe Gov. Ed Rendell's rosy assessment of the economic conditions in Pennsylvania during his nearly 6-year stay in the governor's mansion.

Bankruptcies rose more than 10 percent over the past year in Pennsylvania, according to The Associated Press, which reviewed federal statistics released Wednesday.

Nearly 31,500 Pennsylvania residents and businesses sought bankruptcy protection in the 12 months ending June 30, the news service reported.

Western Pennsylvania was the hardest hit, with with 12,471 bankruptcies reported in the 25-county area the federal government combines for record-keeping purposes.

Central and northeastern Pennsylvania were also hard hit, the wire service noted.

Pennsylvania ranked 11th among the states in bankruptcy filings during the 12-month period ending June 30, the AP reported.

PA research group offers economic plan to Obama and McCain, Scorecard to voters

This is a left-leaning group, but Gov. Ed Rendell isn't going to like the group's bashing of the Pennsylvania economy when Rendell keeps telling everybody what a great job he's been doing with the state's economy.

The group's prediction that the economy resembles the pre-Great Depressions days of the 1920s is a bit over-the-top, but there's no debate that working families are struggling in Ed Rendell's Pennsylvania.

And electing Barack Obama isn't going to change things.

Follow the link below to read more about the economic plan, but be forwarned, the group's board of directors is made up of union leaders and academics.

PA Research Group Offers Economic Plan to Obama and McCain, Scorecard to Voters

Convention critique on radio Thursday

A recap of the Democratic National Convention and a preview of next week's Republican National Convention will be among the topics of discussion on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas and Mike Pincus" at 5 p.m. Thursday on WPAZ 1370 AM

Listeners can call in with questions or comments during the live broadcast at 610-326-4000.

You can also listen to the program online by going to 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

Whose side is Ed Rendell on?

The Democratic Party bigwigs thought Joe Biden was going to be the problem because he has a tendency to say things in public that he's not supposed to. But leave it to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to take the Foot-In-Mouth title at this week's convention in Denver, says Clout, the Philadelphia Inquirer's online column.

According to the post "Ed has foot-in-mouth relapse," Rendell told a Washington Post blogger that Barack Obama is "not exactly the easiest guy in the world to identify with."

The gov went on to compared Obama with Democrat Adlai Stevenson, who lost the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections.

Is that wishful thinking on the part of the former Hillary Clinton supporter?

Click here to read the full Clout post.

To read the original post by Jonathan Weisman, click here.

In the meantime, Howard Dean is ordering a muzzle for Rendell.

FactCheck: Dems distort McCain record

If you've tuned in to the Democratic National Convention this week, you probably heard these lines:

* John McCain voted 90 percent with George Bush

* John McCain gets millions from oil companies

* John McCain is promising tax breaks for Big Oil

Sounds like you shouldn't vote for this guy, right? One slight problem. The Democrats are lying about McCain's record.

How far are the Democrats willing to stretch the truth? Barack Obama has received more contributions from the oil companies and their employees than John McCain has.

The Associated Press did one of its occasional FactCheck stories on the Democratic Party claims and found the party stretching the truth.

Click here to get the facts.

Newspaper: Americans better off today than when Bill Clinton was president

To hear the parade of doom-and-gloom speakers at the Democratic National Convention, you'd think the United States was on brink of another Great Depression.

"Bush ruined the economy. McCain is the same as Bush" is the mantra the Democrats are repeating night after night. Only only problem. The Dems don't have the facts to back their rhetoric.

"We've heard a lot about how Bush has mismanaged the economy, but there's no evidence of this," the respected Investor's Business Daily states on its editorial pages. "In fact, incomes began growing in 2003 after falling in 2001 and 2002 and have trended upward every year since. The small bump in 2003 was followed by gains of $2,291 in 2004 and $2,210 in 2005."

From the IBD editorial, "The Pie Got Bigger" --
Thanks to a growing economy, Americans' real disposable income has increased every quarter but two from the beginning of 2003, when Bush's policies started going into full effect, to the first quarter of 2007. Some of the growth was remarkable, including a 7.5% jump in the fourth quarter of 2004 and a 6.3% increase in the third quarter of 2003.

In November, voters will pick a candidate to replace a president who did an exceptional job of steering the economy through tough circumstances, but hasn't gotten a shred of credit for it. The best choice is the man who's more interested in increasing income than redistributing — and ultimately shrinking — it.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

What Would Thomas Jefferson Think of Presidential Politics Today?

What Would Thomas Jefferson Think of Presidential Politics Today?

Republican National Committee: Temple of Obama

Can't wait for Barack Obama's arena rock debut on Thursday? I hear the Rolling Stones are his opening act.

Republican National Committee: Temple of Obama

A couple of questions for Rendell and Casey

I hope Gov. Ed Rendell and Sen. Bob Casey Jr. are having a good time in the Mile High City.

It sounded like they were enjoying themselves Tuesday when both spoke at the Democratic National Convention. Rendell and Casey, who collectively have held public office for more than 50 years, took a lot of shots at President Bush and Republicans.

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual survey measuring poverty and health insurance coverage.

The poverty level remained unchanged in 2007 and the number of uninsured Americans declined by 1.3 million in 2007. There was no mention of the report at the convention because Democrats keep harping about poverty and health coverage. They wouldn't want a dose of reality messing up their tired rhetoric.

But I do have a couple of questions for Gov. Rendell and Sen. Casey.

The Census Bureau reported that the 11.6 percent of Pennsylvania residents are living below the poverty level. How can that be when we've had such stellar leadership under Rendell and Casey?

Rendell has increased state spending by $8 billion since he took office in 2003. Where did that money go? Why wasn't it used to help bring more Pennsylvanians out of poverty?

The Census Bureau listed the median income in Pennsylvania at $48,576. The national average is $50,740. Pennsylvania ranks No. 26 in the nation. Why do Pennsylvania families earn less than the national median? If Rendell and Casey are champions of the working people (as they frequently remind us), why are so many Pennsylvanians struggling?

Rendell says there are 800,000 Pennsylvanians without health care coverage. The number of uninsured Pennsylvanians has grown each year Rendell has been in office. Yet he has failed to reduce that number since taking office in 2003. If it's such a crisis, why hasn't Rendell given the matter a greater priority?

Just wondering.

Mixed Message

211 PA lawmakers fail to support reform

Excellent letter from Bill McIntyre of Camp Hill asking why 211 incumbent state lawmakers are not supporting a move to hold a special session of the Legislature to reform Pennsylvania government. The letter was originally published in The Mercury.
Where was the Legislature's support?

Dear Senators & Representatives:

There were 211 of you absent this past Tuesday at the luncheon meeting hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation in Harrisburg where Sen. Jeff Piccola and Rep. Rosemarie Swanger spoke many words of wisdom and just plain common sense.

Our government is broken and only you can repair it; 26 senators and 102 representatives.

According to Sen. Piccola, he had 11 senators' and 31 representatives' signatures on his petition to call a special session of the Legislature that would focus on ethics and reform; two subjects that give some of you the cold chills.

211 are missing!

You can't all be out of the country vacationing.

I know there were at least a dozen of you in the Capitol attending the Pa. House State Government Committee Hearing's "Dog & Pony Show" Tuesday. The majority of you haven't signed the petition.

Why not?

We didn't expect anything would get done to improve our government at this hearing. Chairperson Rep. Babette Josephs and the majority of the speakers lived up to our expectations. What a waste of time and the taxpayers' money.

I admire Rep. Mark Musto (R-Allegheny 44) for his presentation of HB55 and his passion for positive change in the way business is conducted under the leaking dome.

Congratulations, Rep. Musto! Many of us feel your pain! Keep up your Herculean effort! David really did slay Goliath! Next time bring your slingshot.

Are we to believe that only 42 honorable members (as of last Monday night) of our General Assembly feel a need to reform "business as usual" in Harrisburg? If so, we have a much larger problem than first believed.

Where are all the freshmen reformers and converted reformers who ran on the reform platform when they were elected and re-elected in 2006? Have you gotten spoiled by the perks of the office? Have you forgotten why the voters put you in power? If you think that we, the voters forgot, you're mistaken. Remember the pay grab?

A former head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, Lou Holtz once said, "Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." Get motivated! Sign the petition! Repair what's broken!

Thank You!

A motivated,
Bill McIntyre
Have pen to sign anything, anywhere, anytime for true reform

'Country First': 2008 Republican National Convention

UPDATED: 'Country First': 2008 Republican National Convention Announces Full Program

Pa to join Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System

Pennsylvania to Join Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obama's 'fairy-tale promises'

What does columnist George F. Will think about Barack Obama's economic policies?

"Fairy-tale promises" is how Will describes Obama's economic and energy platform.

From Will's column:
Regarding taxes, Obama says "we don't want to return to marginal rates of 60 or 70 percent." The top federal rate was 70 percent until the Reagan cuts of 1981. It has since ranged between 50 in 1982 and today's 35. Obama promises that expiration of the Bush tax cuts will restore the 39.6 rate.

He also favors a payroll tax of up to 4 percent on earnings above $250,000 (today, only the first $102,000 is taxed), most of which also are subject to the highest state income tax rates. When the top federal rate was set at 28 under Reagan, payroll taxes were not levied on income over $42,000, so the top effective rate of combined taxes was under 35. Obama's policies would bring it to the mid-50s for many Americans, close to the 60 percent Obama considers excessive.

There never is a shortage of nonsensical political rhetoric, but really: Has there ever been solemn silliness comparable to today's politicians tarting up their agendas as things designed for, and necessary to, "saving the planet," and promising edicts to "require" entire industries to reorder themselves?

In 1996, Bob Dole, citing the Clinton campaign's scabrous fundraising, exclaimed: "Where's the outrage?" This year's campaign, soggy with environmental messianism, deranged self-importance and delusional economics, the question is: Where is the derisive laughter?
Read the full column here.

If McCain wants to win ...

Dick Morris knows his politics.

The man who helped get Bill Clinton elected has a slam-dunk strategy for John McCain to win the White House this November: Pick a female running mate, specifically Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas.

From a column Morris and partner Eileen McGann wrote after Barack Obama announced his veep pick:
Biden was the best of the names on Obama's short list. His experience in foreign affairs, his tough advocacy of the Democratic agenda, and his skill at handling himself will all help Obama's campaign, but not decisively.

But the most important thing is that Obama did not choose a woman. He needed one.

Now, John McCain can take advantage of Obama's blunder by coming back with a female nominee for vice president. Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison would be an excellent choice. She's been around for decades and is not going to start making mistakes now.

Her nomination would be a signal to American women that McCain takes their aspirations seriously, even if Obama does not.

I have previously written about the advantages of Joe Lieberman for vice president. His nomination would send a signal of bipartisanship which would be notable and would hasten Democratic defections. But conservatives would be horrified.

Obama's failure to nominate a woman is such a glaring misstep that McCain should pounce and take advantage of it.

The ticket will nominally be Obama-Biden. But, to millions of American women it will be Obama and not Hillary.
Click here to read the full column.

Morris makes sense. The female vote will decide the 2008 election and there are plenty of disappointed women looking for any reason not to vote for the Democratic slate. A woman on the Republican ticket couldn't hurt. I don't know much about Sen. Hutchinson. Has anyone thought about Sen. Elizabeth Doyle as a VP selection for McCain?

Mom and dad behind bars

A new Justice Department report says more than 800,000 men and women in U.S. prisons are parents of 1.5 million minor children.

And you wonder about the decline of the American family?

Follow the link below for more fascinating (and disturbing) statistics about the U.S. prison population.

An Estimated 809,800 Inmates in the Nation's Prisons Were Parents to 1,706,600 Minor Children at Midyear 2007

State Rep. Daylin Leach moonlights as a blogger

Pennsylvania State Rep. Daylin Leach, D-149, is blogging again.

The last time Leach had a blog, he was forced to shut it down after newspapers reported he made questionable comments about women (and others) at his site. Click here for some background. Also, click here for The Associated Press account of the controversy.

Leach, now a candidate for Pennsylvania Senate, is trying his hand again at blogging, this time from the Democratic National Convention.

You can read "Daylin's Daily Denver Digest" at The Times-Herald Web site.

Meanwhile, Lance Rogers, Leach's Republican opponent for the 17th state Senate District, released a statement Tuesday questioning Leach's priorities as Leach "parties away in Denver."

The Rogers campaign is criticizing Leach for failing to support a petition calling for a special legislative session on government reform and supporting the "culture of corruption" by refusing to call on House Democratic Majority Leader Bill DeWeese to step down.

Here's more from the release:
State Rep. Daylin Leach is finding plenty of time this week to party it up at the National Convention in Denver. And as he neglects his job in Harrisburg, another week will pass without a single action or reform in the Legislature since the Bonusgate corruption charges were announced in mid-July. Meanwhile, there is a growing list of legislators demanding a special session on government reform, including 11 Senators and 38 State Representatives - and Daylin Leach isn't one of them.
Rogers, a Lower Merion Township Commissioner, supports Sen. Jeff Piccola's call for a special session on government reform.

"Daylin Leach claims to be a reformer but refuses to condemn his party's corrupt leadership, and has chosen vacation over a special session on government reform, even after some of his colleagues including leadership were arrested," Rogers said in a written statement. "As a state Senator, I would immediately sign on to Senator Jeff Piccola's petition to call politicians like Leach back from vacation and get to work on reforming state government."

For more on Rogers, visit his campaign Web site.

Part-time legislators at full-time pay

It may be the most expensive state legislature in the United States, but nobody can accuse the Pennsylvania Legislature of burning the midnight oil.

Actually that may be a good thing because when the Legislature stays in session after midnight, bad things happen, like the casino gambling bill in 2004 and the pay hike in 2005.

Eric Heyl, a columnist for The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, recently totaled the number of days the Pennsylvania Legislature was in session in 2007.

From Hey's column:
Many readers were upset to learn recently in this space that lawmakers with base salaries of more than $76,000 annually spend more time in recess than they do in session.

For those who missed that column, a brief recap: From January through June, legislators rarely spent more than three consecutive days in Harrisburg performing what is supposed to be their primary professional function: passing legislation.

Before beginning a recess in early July from which they haven't returned, lawmakers took breaks of three and four weeks at a time. In fact, they were not in session at all for 11 of the first 26 weeks of the year.
Now comes the kicker: The Legislature is planning to be in session for just 16 more days in 2008, Heyl says. You heard it right. The most expensive state Legislature in the U.S., costing Pennsylvania taxpayers $300 million a year for the 253 legislators and their 3,000+ staffers, is planning to work just 16 more days this year.

Click here to read "16 days of work in six months may tire House"

Obama Campaign's Efforts to Censor Ad

American Issues Project Responds to Obama Campaign's Efforts to Compel TV Stations, Government to Censor Ad

Bad news for Democratic Party; Good news for Americans

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report today showing the number of uninsured Americans declined in 2007.

While that's good news for the nation, it's bad news for the Democratic Party, which is making government-mandated health coverage (aka universal health care) a key issue in the presidential race.

The second bit of good news from the Census Bureau is that the poverty rate in the U.S. was unchanged in 2007. Again, this is bad news for Democrats, who continue to use class warfare as a wedge issue. (Do I need to remind you of John Edwards' poverty tour or his "two Americas" rhetoric?)

The Census Bureau reported that the number of uninsured Americans dropped by 1.3 million people in 2007.

The uninsured numbers dropped significantly, from 47 million in 2006 to 45.7 million in 2007, according to the Census Bureau. (Those numbers include an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.)

The poverty rate for 2007 was 12.5 percent, not statistically different from the 12.3 percent registered in 2006.

More good news in the report: The median — or midpoint — household income in the U.S. rose slightly to $50,233.

Democrats will bash the Bush administration during their convention in Denver this week and the story about the decline in the uninsured and poverty rate will be buried deep inside most newspapers.

You can bet that had the news been bad, you'd find it on the front page of your local newspaper or leading the evening news.

You can read the full report at the Census Bureau's Web site,

Smerconish: Tom Ridge logical choice for McCain VP

Michael Smerconish, the Philadelphia radio host and columnist, says John McCain needs to pick former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge as his vice president in order to negate Sen. Joe Biden's popularity in Pennsylvania, a key battleground state this November.

From Smerconish's column in The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Make no mistake: Sen. Joe Biden was a prudent pick. Senator Joe has the seasoning and foreign-policy experience that Obama lacks.

He has overcome personal adversity to lead an impressive career. He's both intelligent and telegenic. He's scrupulous. And he has the common touch.

Perhaps most important is this: Biden is an asset in the bellwether Philadelphia suburbs, which will decide Pennsylvania and possibly the nation.

The man who rides Amtrak home to Delaware after a day of Senate business is sometimes referred to as Pennsylvania's third senator, both for his continued proximity and his Scranton roots.

Selecting Biden was Obama's play for Pennsylvania by way of the Philly 'burbs, and it's a good one.

But by making that play, Obama has given McCain the political cover he needed to respond with his best available pick:

Tom Ridge.

Ridge has much to offer McCain. From public housing to Harvard, his narrative is ready for the history books: He's a Vietnam veteran, a former U.S. representative and governor, and the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

He's Central Casting handsome and loyal to McCain.

And to top things off, he is an abortion-rights advocate.

Yes, I am including that position as an attribute for the ticket - mainly because the very people McCain needs to reach are pro-choice.
I think Smerconish overestimates Biden's appeal to Pennsylvania voters. Just because the guy was born in Scranton doesn't make him Ed Rendell. I also think Smerconish overestimates Tom Ridge's popularity with Pa. voters. Ridge is no favorite of Pennsylvania conservatives, although he might bring a few independents to McCain's side.

I do think whoever wins Pennsylvania will end up winning the presidency, so a McCain-Ridge ticket could be the GOP's best chance to hold the White House.

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

The Obama Media

What do we know about Sen. Barack Obama? What don't we know about Sen. Barack Obama. The mainstream media has worked hand-in-hand with the Obama campaign to present one of the most flawed candidates in U.S. history in the best possible light.

Medica critic Brent Bozell says Obama owes his meteoric rise in the political arena, including winning the Democratic Party nomination, to the fawning mainstream media.

"Obama received his best press when it mattered the most," Bozell writes in Investor's Business Daily. "How could someone with his utter lack of national expertise and name identification seem to become an overnight heavyweight?"

From Bozell's column:
The networks also downplayed or ignored what could have been major Obama gaffes and scandals. Obama's relationship with convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko was the subject of only two full reports (one each on ABC and NBC) and mentioned in just 15 other reports. CBS played it down in just part of a story, with reporter Dean Reynolds insisting "no one has charged Obama with wrongdoing, something he has been quick to point out." No one cared very much that a political fixer headed to prison had helped Barack Obama buy his pricey house in Chicago.

CBS and NBC also initially downplayed controversial statements from Obama's longtime pastor Jeremiah Wright, but excessively praised Obama's March 18 speech on race relations, his response to the Wright furor. The networks ran minute-long sound bites complete with family pictures. Liberal and conservative pundits alike came on TV and honored the Obama address as a historic moment.

What of Wright's more outrageous claims, such as the ridiculous conspiracy theory that the U.S. government invented the AIDS virus as part of a plan to eliminate the black race? Rev. Wright appeared on Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" on March 1, 2007, but it took the networks an entire year to even mention his name. By the time ABC ran its first vicious Wright sound bite, 42 states and D.C. had already voted.

With the convention starting in Denver, viewers might want to step into their rubber hip boots and wade through all the sugary goo. The nominee will be compared with Moses, George Washington, Frederick Douglass and Tiger Woods before it's all through. We can only imagine how monstrously upset they'll be that the Republicans dare to assemble and oppose their beatific vision.
Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

Strange Bedfellows: Obama & Biden

Investor's Business Daily couldn't help but notice the strange pairing of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden as the 2008 Democratic Party ticket.

"Barack Obama picks a loose-lipped running mate who voted for the Iraq War and questioned his readiness," the newspapers says in an editorial. "Obama says he wants a veep who'll challenge him. Instead, he got one who'll need to tutor him."

From the editorial:
It will be quite possibly the most verbose ticket in political history now that Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., has accepted a vice presidential nomination he earlier said he wouldn't accept from Barack Obama, who Biden once described as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

Obama, the outsider candidate of change and hope has picked one of the few people who has been in Washington longer than John McCain. This is hardly the "change" Obama promised.

Obama has spoken proudly of always being against the war. Speaking to the Brookings Institution in 2005, Biden said: "We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a tragic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out — equally a mistake."

Barack Obama is not ready for prime time and electing him president may be the biggest mistake of all. But that's not us speaking — it's Obama's running mate, Joe Biden.
Read the full editorial, "Strange Bedfellows," at the newspaper's Web site.

Democratic Platform Dodges Key Small Business Issues

Democratic Platform Dodges Key Small Business Issues

World's Largest Protest Sign: DNC Sheets Of Shame

American Right To Life Unfurled World's Largest Protest Sign: DNC Sheets Of Shame

Monday, August 25, 2008

Will voters support an 'unabashedly liberal' ticket?

Columnist Jim Callahan, writing in the West Chester Daily Local News, wonders if American voters are so fed up with Republicans that they would support the most liberal presidential ticket in perhaps 30 years.

National Review ranks Sen. Barack Obama as the No. 1 most liberal member of the U.S. Senate. The same publication, highly respected an nonpartisan, ranks Sen. Joe Biden as the No. 3 most liberal member of the Senate.

"Ever since the Vietnam War, being tagged a liberal in American politics could sometimes lead to trouble for a politician. Plenty survived, but many went down the chute," Callahan writes. "The suspicion here is that the Democrats don't think it matters anymore. The theory here is that Obama is reasoning that after nearly eight years of conservative Republican government under President Bush, the public is weary, and really does want change."

Democrats are fighting against history. There's a growing list of liberal Democratic Party presidential nominees rejected by voters: George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry.

Read the full column, "An unabashedly liberal ticket," at the newspaper's Web site.

Obama who?

A must-read: 'The Audacity of Socialism'

If you get bored with the Democratic National Convention, which is just slightly less staged than the show the Chinese put on at the Olympics, may I suggest a 10-part series published by Investor's Business Daily on the life and times of Barack Obama.

"The Audacity of Socialism" is available online at the newspaper's Web site.

From the introduction to the series:
Barack Obama has styled himself a centrist, but does his record support that claim? In this series, we examine Senator Obama's past, his voting record and the people who've served as his advisers and mentors over the years. We'll show how the facts of Obama's actions and associations reveal a far more left-leaning tilt to his background — and to his politics.

Lawsuit claims Obama ineligible to serve as president

Is Barack Obama eligible to run for president?

A Pennsylvania attorney has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging Sen. Barack Obama's claim to United States citizenship, according to The Times Herald newspaper in Norristown.

The lawsuit by Philip Berg seeks to remove Obama from the November ballot, says reporter Keith Phucas.

Berg claims in the lawsuit that the presumptive Democratic Party nominee was born in Africa, not in Hawaii, which Obama lists as his birthplace.

"We really don't believe he was born in Hawaii," Berg told Phucas. "We think he was born in Kenya."

The U.S. Constitution states that a person must be born in the United States to be eligible for the presidency.

From Phucas' article:
According to Obama's birth certificate, which his campaign posted on its Internet site in June to quell rumors that he is foreign born, the Illinois senator was born in Hawaii on Aug. 6, 1961.
Read the full story in today's edition of the newspaper.

Ad showing Obama ties to domestic terrorist strikes a nerve

Sen. Barack Obama's relationship with domestic terrorist William Ayers is the subject of a new campaign ad by American Issues Project.

The Obama Campaign is in full damage control mode, launching an attack on the American Issues Project.

"Sen. Obama is pretending to barely know the man who hosted the launch of his political career and with whom he has worked for years to advance a liberal agenda," says Ed Martin, president of American Issues Project.

You can view the ad by following the link below.

Obama Campaign Launches Desperate, Misleading Response to Ayers Ad

For more on the Obama-Ayers relationship, check out WRITEMARSH!

National Poll: Even Democrats admit media bias toward Obama

Majorities of both Republican and Democratic voters surveyed agreed the national media love affair is real - 78.3% and 58.5% respectively, according to a new poll.

National Poll: It's Real - The Media Love Affair With U.S. Senator Barack Obama; Democratic Voters Agree

Madonna compares John McCain to Hitler?

Do you get the feeling 50-year-old Madonna is trying to get some attention?

The Anti-Defamation League is weighing in with this comment:
Whatever Madonna's political or personal views, it is outrageous to invoke Nazi imagery in the context of John McCain's candidacy or to make a comment on American political leadership.
Read more at the link below:

ADL Condemns Madonna's Use of Hitler in Concert Photo Montage

New format for Pennsylvania Lottery drawing

Do not adjust your TV set.

Starting Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Lottery is changing the format of its nightly drawing in addition to adding a new game to its roster.

Pennsylvania Lottery Introduces New Format for Nightly Drawing Show

Election on the 'Felons for Obama' drive

Election, a Web site "dedicated to raising public awareness of vote fraud and election irregularities," has noticed that the Barack Obama campaign is encouraging convicted felons to get more involved in the political process by registering to vote (and presumably support an Obama presidency.)

The Web site, which specializes in "Fraud, Cheating, Dirty Tricks, Absurdity, and other election news," notes that Pennsylvania has 10,000 registered sex offenders. Many schools are used as polling sites in Pennsylvania.

The Web site asks if Pennsylvania residents want convicted sex offenders to wander in and out of schools on Election Day?

"How long does it take for a PREDATOR to figure out his voter registration card puts him is striking distance of hundreds of kids?" the site asks.

Read the full post, "Violent Felons Can Vote in Elementary Schools" at Election

Pennsylvania smoking ban begins Sept. 11

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, but only until Sept. 11, when the Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act, otherwise known as the smoking ban, begins.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has a took kit to help Keystone State businesses deal with the new law, which will prohibit smoking in most public places, including restaurants, workplaces and a portion of casino floors.

You can also get more information at the Department of Health Web site,

Follow the link below for more information on how the state is preparing for the smoking ban.

Pennsylvania Department of Health Prepares for Implementation of Clean Indoor Air Act

15th Annual Labor Day 'Executive Excess' Report

Labor Day is almost here. A new report by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy says U.S. taxpayers are helping subsidize executive compensation packages by more than $20 billion a year.

"Loopholes allow top executives to avoid paying their fair share of taxes," says Sam Pizzigati, who co-authored the report. "As a result, ordinary taxpayers wind up picking up the bill."

Congress refuses to close the loopholes. Could the fact that so many members of Congress are at the mercy of corporate lobby groups have something to do with it?

Follow the link below to read the report:

New Report Finds $20 Billion in Tax Subsidies for Excessive Executive Compensation

What was Obama campaign thinking?

More fallout from a sign Barack Obama supporters put in the front window of their Pottstown headquarters encouraging felons to register to vote. For more Alan MacBain cartoons, visit his blog, Tooned In

Berks D.A. targets landlords where drug deals occur

The City of Reading has a drug problem. The City of Reading has a crime problem. The City of Reading has an absentee landlord problem.

All three are related, says Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams, who has announced he will go after landlords who rent to drug dealers.

Drug dealers need a place to conduct their business. They often rent homes or apartments in the city. Their landlords are often out-of-state and don't particularly care what happens in their properties as long as the rent is paid on time.

That's about to change under Adam's new crackdown. Adams is mailing letters to landlords where drug activities have occurred, according to a story in the Reading Eagle by reporter Holly Herman.

Adams will provide tips to landlords for screening tenants. He is also putting landlords on notice that if one of their tenants is arrested for drug dealing, the D.A.'s office will move against the landlord to confiscate the property.

"We are not just going to sit back and prosecute cases," Adams told Herman. "We want to improve the quality of life in Berks County. The landlords are being put on notice that drug dealing will not be tolerated."

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

Adams has been in office since January, having ousted four-term District Attorney Mark Baldwin in one of the biggest political upsets in county history.

Adams used to work for Baldwin and won the Democratic nomination last spring to run against the Republican D.A. even though Adams was a registered Republican. Adams' proactive approach to crime-fighting contrasts with Baldwin's laid-back approach.

PA emergency response 'a disaster waiting to happen'

An interesting and disturbing column by John Forrester in the Reading Eagle says that despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars, Pennsylvania's emergency response agency is no more prepared to handle a crisis than it was before 9/11/

From Forrester's column:
Pennsylvania has received some $388 million in federal Homeland Security funding over the past five years. But there are questions as to whether that spending really has made us safer.

An audit of security spending, conducted by the state joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, found emergency response programs in Pennsylvania are a disaster waiting to happen.
Forrester also points out that the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) failed miserably in responding to a February 2007 snowstorm in a corner of the state. Imagine how PEMA would respond to a terrorist attack.

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

RNC Launches New Web Site: ''

RNC Launches New Web Site: ''

Back To School

If the Democratic Party and the nation's teachers weren't in bed, imagine the improvements we could make to the public education system.

Prominent Education Reformers Call for Longer School Days, Performance-Driven Teacher Pay, Expanded Public School Choice

RNC Launches Biden Gaffe Clock

RNC Launches Biden Gaffe Clock

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden's record on family issues

FRC Action Releases Fact Sheet on Family Record of Senator Joe Biden

The excitement ... is underwhelming

Who let the air out of Barack Obama's campaign on the eve of the Democratic National Convention?

Oh, yeah, it was Barack Obama himself. The choice of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden for his vice presidential running mate was greeted with a deafening silence. I was at a soccer practice this morning with my son and there was about a dozen parents milling about waiting for the kids to finish. Not one word about Obama's pick. Nobody seems to care anymore.

All that suspense. All that excitement about the text message business. (By the way, if you're one of the millions of Obama-maniacs who thought you'd get the new first, don't you feel a little silly today? The news leaked out overnight, long before the Obama camp sent out its text message.)

Anyway, here's what some of my favorite blogs have to say about the Obama-Biden ticket:

PAWaterCooler says the Obama/Biden pairing is the "Contradiction Ticket."

Gunservatively! says "It's an admission that Obama's inexperience has finally begun worrying voters."

Is This Life? says by picking Biden, Obama "throws in the towel."

Page 13 News brags that he predicted the Obama/Biden ticket 10 days ago.

From NEPALibWatch: NEPAConservative says: "As if Tony Rezko and William Ayers wont be enough of a problem, now Barack has got Joe Biden’s mouth to contend with."

Along the same lines, SAVE THE GOP says "Biden's Own Words To Bite Him."

Also check out the Obama's Con blog for comments Joe Biden made about Obama last year.

And check out my earlier post, "Joe Biden? You're kidding, right"

Obama & Biden: The Abortion Ticket

Two of the most pro-abortion members of the U.S. Senate make up the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential ticket.

Choice of Biden Re-Opens Catholic Wound

Senator Biden's Priorities?

Senator Biden's Priorities -

Radio Address by President Bush to the Nation

For the third week in a row, President Bush uses his weekly radio address to hammer the do-nothing Democratic Congress for failing to take action on the nation's energy needs.

If you missed it, you can read a transcript of the message by following the link below:

Radio Address by President Bush to the Nation

Joe Biden? You're kidding, right

Joe Biden?

The guy from Delaware who couldn't even get his own family members excited in two previous runs for president?

This is the new face of the Democratic Party? A 65-year-old lawyer who has spent the last 30 years talking to himself in the U.S. Senate?

Is that the same Joe Biden who told George Stephanopolous in a televised interview last August that Obama isn't ready to be president?

Biden: "I think he (Obama) can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job-training."

This is the best the Democrats could do?

Joe Biden?

I guess Obama really wants to lock up the electoral-rich state of Delaware in November.

Did anyone bother to tell Obama that Sen. Biden voted to authorize the war in Iraq? How is Obama going to square that with the anti-war left that handed him the Democratic Party nomination?

As for Biden appealing to independent voters, forget about it. Biden has voted with a majority of his Democratic colleagues 96.6% of the time during the current Congress, says The Washington Post.

Lockstep liberal? You bet.

By the way, Biden's term in the Senate is up this year. He was planning to run for re-election this November. Maybe Joe should continue to campaign for his Senate seat. I have a feeling he won't be moving up to vice president any time soon.

Check out NEPALibWatch for a collection of some of the dumbest things Joe Biden has said recently.

'Saving America From The Radical Leftist Agenda Of Barack Obama'

I came across an interesting Web site, Stop Him Now.

The "Him" refers to the Chosen One, the Deliver, the presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama.

It's a fun site, featuring animation and music. So while the Democrats are giving those endless speeches over the next few days, spend some time at Stop Him Now.

My favorite feature on the site is the game of "Obamanopoly"

Check out the site by clicking here.

Nothing fair in 'Fairness Doctrine'

Dimitri Vassilaros, my Greek compatriot from the western end of Pennsylvania, does an excellent job of exposing the attempt from the far left to silence conservative talk radio by bringing back the much-maligned "Fairness Doctrine."

Vassilaros says the odds are good that the "Fairness Doctrine" will be back if Democrats win the White House and expand their control of Congress, but "the public should do everything in its power to drive a wooden stake through its heart."

From his column:
The Fairness Doctrine is evil disguised as goodness. It's fair in the same way the communist Chinese government is fair about airing various points of view at Tiananmen Square. No one gets to speak his mind. The government's doctrine ensures that no one voice dominates that public forum.
Read the rest of the column -- Nanny state 'fairness' -- at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Web site.

Lawmaker: No more 'dark' State Police barracks

In the wake of a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling, state Sen. John Rafferty, R-44th Dist., wants Gov. Ed Rendell and State Police to re-open the Skippack barracks on a full time basis.

The Supreme Court ruled Aug. 21 that Rendell did not have the authority to veto language in the 2005-06 budget bill. The vetoed language required a public hearing prior to the closing of any State Police barracks, according to Rafferty.

On Dec. 18, 2006, the State Police began closing the Skippack Barracks for 16 hours every weekday and all weekend, Rafferty said.

Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, a clerk is available to answer phone calls and assist visitors but after these hours, the barracks "go dark" and all calls and visitors are directed to an automated system that redirects the caller or visitor to a Consolidated Dispatch Center.

"My concern is for the public safety. People expect that a state trooper will be at barracks when they go there." said Rafferty, who is chairman of the Senate Law & Justice Committee.

"The Senate was very concerned about the safety of Pennsylvania residents who may need to go to a State Police barracks, and inserted this language into the budget bill," Rafferty added. "Unfortunately the governor did not share that same level of concern and vetoed the language. You can't put speculated savings ahead of public safety."

Rafferty also noted that the Senate overwhelmingly approved Senate Bill 318 in May 2007 that would require all State Police barracks to remain open 24 hours a day, every day.

The bill has languished in the state House of Representatives for more than a year, Rafferty said.

Rafferty is urging House leadership to pass this important piece of legislation before the end of session this fall.

Rafferty plans to address this issue at the hearing for the new nominee for commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police.