Sunday, May 31, 2009

'Up' rises to No. 1 at box-office

The best-reviewed film of 2009, Pixar's "Up," was No. 1 in the Weekend Box Office, bringing in an estimated $68.2 million, according to

The 10th release from Pixar took in more than last year's Pixar offering, "WALL-E," which opened to $63.1 million and eventually took in $223.8 million.

Last weekend's No. 1 film, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," dropped to No. 3, behind the Sam Raimi's "Drag Me to Hell," which earned $16.6 million. "Night at the Museum" added $25.5 million, bringing its two-week total to $105.3 million.

Dropping to No. 4 was "Terminator Salvation," which took in an estimated $16.1 million, bringing its two-week total to $90.7 million.

At No. 5 was "Star Trek," which took in an estimated $12.8 million over the weekend for a total box-office haul of $209.5 million. "Star Trek" passed "Monsters Vs. Aliens" as the top grossing film of 2009.

All the weekend numbers are estimates. Final weeken totals will be released Monday evening.

My 10 Favorite Clint Eastwood Movies

On the occasion of his 79th birthday, I'd like to offer my list of favorite (and least favorite) Clint Eastwood films. With so many feature films to his credit, there's plenty of room for debate.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Dirty Harry (1971)
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Unforgiven (1992)
Bronco Billy (1980)
Gran Torino (2008)
Pale Rider (1985)
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
High Plains Drifter (1973)
Honkytonk Man (1982)

Paint Your Wagon (1969)
City Heat (1984)
Pink Cadillac (1989)
White Hunter Black Heart (1990)
Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
The Dead Pool (1988)
Space Cowboys (2000)
The Eiger Sanction (1975)
True Crime (1999)
The Rookie (1990)

Pottstown Mercury staffers take top honors

Congratulations to my colleagues at The Mercury for winning various journalism awards in state and national contests. Pictured above, l-r: Carl Hessler Jr., Brandie Hessler, Michelle Karas, Evan Brandt and Nancy March.

From a story in today's edition:
GETTYSBURG — Staff and former staff members of The Mercury were among newspaper employees honored this weekend with awards at the Pennsylvania News Conference annual meeting of state news organizations.

Editor Nancy March and staff writer Evan Brandt were awarded first place honors in the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors annual news and photo contests. March won a first place in the editorial writing category for the editorial, "State budget plan built like a straw house."

Brandt took top honors for column writing for a piece, “Remember kids ....”

March and Brandt also shared a second place award in the same competition for a public service entry, "Keeping local officials on track." The entry included news stories and editorials about Pottstown borough government throughout 2008.

Daniel P. Creighton, former staff photographer, received a second place award in the photo story category for photo coverage of a High Street fire last September, "Fire ravages three buildings."

Winning first place honors in the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Keystone Press Awards competition were staff writer Carl Hessler Jr. and former staff writer Michael Hays, as well as Creighton.

Hessler and Hays won in the spot news category for the comprehensive single-day reporting of the Dec. 9 incident at Pottstown High School in which a violent threat by a student was uncovered. Creighton won first place photo story for the September fire.

Mercury photo supervisor John Strickler took top honors for a photo story in the Society of Professional Journalists Spotlight contest for "Fires reshape High Street," a pictorial perspective published in January 2008 on how fires have changed Pottstown’s downtown streetscape.

Brandt received a second place award in the same contest for environmental reporting for "An Absence of Data before Deluge," a news story from last year's watershed congress.

Creighton won an honorable mention in news photography for a single photo from the September High Street fire, "Tenants rescued from rooftops."

In addition to the state awards, several awards were also announced recently by the Suburban Newspapers of America for the 2008 Editorial Contest.

Creighton won a first place photojournalism award for the High Street fire coverage.

A third place for best breaking news story was awarded to staff writers for coverage of the High Street inferno in downtown Pottstown in January 2008. Staff writers who contributed were Brandt, business editor Michelle Karas and staff writer Brandie Kessler.

The Mercury staff also received a second place promotional community service award for ongoing coverage during 2008 of the Pottstown Relay for Life. The award acknowledged writing by Kessler and March, online initiatives by online editor Eileen Faust and photography and videography by Strickler, Creighton and staff photographer Kevin Hoffman.

The community service award was for papers of all sizes. Other awards were by circulation category.

Happy Birthday Clint Eastwood

My favorite actor, Clint Eastwood, is 79 today. He's still the man!

Skeletons in the Closet

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What taxes would you like raised and by how much?

A guest column by state Sen. Rob Wonderling about Pennsylvania's budget crisis and the disingenuous way Democrats approach taxes and spending.

An honest conversation

By Sen. Rob Wonderling

"I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money." — Arthur Godfrey

When a conversation begins "Do you want the good news or the bad news first?" you have to brace yourself. So here goes, brace yourself.

The bad news is the White House has revised its budget for the year stating that the deficit will rise by $89 billion to above $1.8 trillion — about four times the record set just last year. The red ink comes from the recession, the economic stimulus bill, and the imbalance between what the government spends and what it takes in.

The bad news is that Pennsylvania has been hit hard too by this national economic crisis. Pennsylvanians have lost jobs, businesses have cut back, and our state revenues have fallen dramatically.

As of May 1st, the actual revenue shortfall for the current fiscal year is $2.6 billion. We expect that shortfall to grow to 2.9 billion by June 30th — a drop of more than 10 percent from the official revenue estimate.

Unlike the federal government, Pennsylvania cannot operate with a deficit. We cannot borrow without limit to balance the budget or to attempt to stimulate the economy. Pennsylvania's constitution requires a balanced budget.

So you are thinking, "Where's the good news Wonderling"?

Recently, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a budget, Senate Bill 850. It is a balanced budget that does not increase taxes.

This budget represents a responsible spending plan that preserves the core governmental functions of public health, public safety, and education.

More bad news.

Budget cuts always come with pain, and I recognize that. Hundreds of difficult choices were made in this budget. Many good and important programs had to be put on hold to bring the budget into balance. I believe this short-term sacrifice is the best long-term approach for the citizens of Pennsylvania.

I have supported these programs in the past and look forward to the day when funding for these programs can be restored, but families and businesses across Pennsylvania are making cuts in their own budgets, and state government needs to do the same. We must live within our means.

I believe taking these difficult steps now will allow our Commonwealth to restore many important programs as soon as possible without a tax increase in the future. Senate Bill 850 is built on a spending level that is in line with our revenues. This budget will position our state to rebound quickly when the national economy begins to improve.

The only honest alternative to cutting spending is increasing taxes, and history shows us that solving a budget crisis with tax increases kills future economic growth.

This budget maintains the $750 million Rainy Day Fund, which we will need for future year budgets when we no longer have an infusion of national stimulus funding.

Unlike many other line items, basic education spending is preserved by using federal stabilization funds. Combined with the additional federal stimulus funds which are being sent directly to school districts under Title 1, Title 2, and I.D.E.A., this budget represents a real net increase in funding for school districts.

For example, in my Senate district, every school district will received more than it did last year. For example, East Penn School District will receive a 10.7 percent increase, Palisades School District will receive an 11.9 percent increase, and North Penn School district will receive a 20.2 percent increase.

The Pennsylvania Senate has taken unprecedented steps to further reduce spending including implementing a hiring freeze, donating the cost of living increase to charity, instituting a co-pay for health care for all state employees, eliminating automobile leases for public officials, and applying any legislative surplus to reducing the deficit.

Since voting in support of Senate Bill 850, I have received numerous e-mails from constituents supporting efforts to control spending and live within our means and then urging me in the next sentence to restore funding for independent colleges and universities, public television and the arts, to name a few programs.

To those citizens, I would ask that you e-mail me to let me know exactly what taxes you would like raised and by how much to fund your program. You may reach me at

If we are going to have true transparency in government then we must have a frank discussion about how we intend to pay for programs we simply cannot afford.

State Sen. Rob Wonderling is a Republican who represents the 24th district in Pennsylvania which includes parts of Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties.

Get ready to pay the Obama energy tax

State Rep. Schroder eyes Gerlach seat

A state lawmaker from Chester County is interested in running for Congressman Jim Gerlach's 6th Congressional District seat if Gerlach ends up running for Pennsylvania governor in 2010, according to CQ Politics.

State Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155, has been a member of the Pennsylvania House since 1995. A staunch conservative and thorn in the Harrisburg establishment, Schroder has organized a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission to allow him to raise money for a possible Congressional bid, says CQ Politics.

From the CQ Politics post:
Schroder, who couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, was first elected in 1994 from a legislative district in Chester County, which is one of four counties from which the 6th claims territory. The Democrats haven’t fielded a candidate against Schroder in any of his seven re-election campaigns.

But Schroder would be put to the test in the 6th District, where Barack Obama took 58 percent of the vote in the 2008 election. Pennsylvania's 6th is one of just six districts that voted for Obama and also for John Kerry in 2004 that is presently represented in the House by a Republican.

Gerlach bucked the Democratic trend in his district, but just barely: he took 51 percent of the vote in 2002, 2004 and 2006 and 52 percent of the vote in 2008.
Here's the scoop on Gerlach. Although he has set up an exploratory committee, he will not run for governor, but will seek reelection to his 6th District seat for three reasons: 1) Gerlach trails Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett in the polls and is unlikely to make up any ground; 2) Gerlach has never run a statewide race is a virtual unknown in most of Pennsylvania; 3) Gerlach is the only Republican who can hold the 6th District seat and will be under tremendous pressure from GOP leadership to seek another term.

As for Schroder, there's nothing wrong with being the first announced Republican to show interest in the seat on the very slim chance Gerlach decides not to seek reelection, but Schroder's future is in a House leadership position should Republicans regain control of the state House in 2010.

For more on Schroder, visit his web site,

For more on Gerlach, visit

All Bark and No Bork

Friday, May 29, 2009

9/11 Families United vs. Obama Administration

From a statement issued by 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism:
Today the Obama Administration filed in the Supreme Court a document that expressed the Administration's decision to stand with a group of Saudi princes and against the right of American citizens -- 9/11 family members -- to have our day in court. Let there be no doubt: The filing was political in nature and stands as a betrayal of everyone who lost a loved one or was injured on September 11, 2001.

We are deeply dismayed by this decision, filed by the solicitor general of the United States in response to the Supreme Court's February 23, 2009 invitation for the government to express its views in the 9/11 families' request to appeal a portion of the case to the Court. The Administration's filing mocks our system of justice and strikes a blow against the public's right to know the facts about who financed and supported the murder of 3,000 innocent people. It undermines our fight against terrorism and suggests a green light to terrorist sympathizers the world over that they can send money to al Qaeda without having to worry that they will be held accountable in the U.S. Courts for the atrocities that result.
Read the full statement at the link below:

Statement On Behalf of the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism In Response to the Solicitor General's Refusal to Support The 9/11 Families' Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court

Join taxpayer protest on June 9

POLICY BLOG has information on a taxpayer protest scheduled for June 9 in Harrisburg.

If you're tired of the Rendell/Obama tax-and-spend agenda, it's time to be heard.

From POLICY BLOG on the current fiscal state of Pennsylvania: "This is your chance to keep the pressure on your elected officials to end years of out-of-control spending, borrowing, and unprecedented fiscal irresponsibility. Policies that have resulted in an estimated $3 billion budget deficit."

For more details visit

State Capitol Roundup for May 29

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

House Republicans Boycott Farce Budget Hearings

House Republicans boycotted a House Education Committee hearing this week, citing it as another example of Democrats' advocacy for increased spending. For the current fiscal year, tax revenues are expected to fall short by more than $3 billion. While House and Senate Republicans are committed to controlling spending, House Democrat leaders continue to say broad-based tax increases are needed to address the deficit. Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) is asking when hearings on the effects of the proposed tax increases will be held. Smith also noted misleading testimony offered during budget hearings suggesting a long-planned school closure in his district was the result of decreased funding in a Senate-passed budget proposal and questioned the validity of other testimony.

Economic Realities Demand Pragmatic Spending Solutions

Earlier this month, the state Senate passed a $27.3 billion budget spending approximately $1.7 billion less than Gov. Ed Rendell's proposal to increase state spending. Since then, at least 15 media releases from Rendell's agency heads have predicted dire consequences for Pennsylvanians. House Republicans say these efforts are little more than scare tactics in the face of good-faith attempts to negotiate a responsible budget. Ultimately, spending will need to be curtailed to close a looming $3 billion deficit for the current fiscal year. With a month left to pass a balanced budget before the June 30 deadline, it's time to engage in genuine negotiations that acknowledge the state's challenging financial situation. For more legislative news, visit

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Draws Closer

The June 30 deadline to file applications for the Department of Revenue's Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program is quickly approaching. PTRR participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2008. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. As many as 110,000 Pennsylvania seniors will pay no school property taxes again this year as a result of the program. Individuals are reminded to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. For additional information, visit Rep. Bob Mensch's Web site at

How is Obama going to explain GM fiasco?

Despite more than $19 billion in taxpayer dollars that was suppose to keep GM from going under, the giant auto maker is expected to file for bankruptcy on June 1.

Barack Obama promised that the government bailout would allow GM to restructure without filing for bankruptcy. Guess what? He lied.

Robert Romano, writing at, says the Treasury will now finance GM with another roughly $30 billion while in bankruptcy, which would last 60 to 90 days, bringing taxpayers' burden to $50 billion to "save" the company.

And, of course, the Obama Administration will nationalize one-third of the "Big 3," Romano says.

More from Romano:
Simply put: The fact is, GM was failing just fine without government assistance. And left to tried and true free market devices, the problems between bondholders and GM brass could have been effectively resolved, without presenting taxpayers with the tab. But since bankruptcy was not averted—despite a $19.4 billion infusion of taxpayer capital—the only thing that has now been achieved is that GM is now a de facto agency of the federal government, just like Chrysler.

In short, both are now line items on the federal budget. All at taxpayer expense.

There really is no description for what is taking place other than redistributionism. A new favored political class is being built under the guise of law, and it is all happening under the auspices of his imperial, impervious majesty, Barack Obama. So corrupt is this new system that even the courts are going along with it. Lawmakers speak nary a word against it. And the American people are left only to watch in horror as their own government turns against them, leaving them to wonder if they are next in line for wholesale asset confiscation.
Read Romano's full post at

Newspaper: A judge blows it

Glad to see The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out the idiotic ruling by a district justice who threw out the original corruption charges against former state Rep. Mike Veon and an aide.

As I said in an earlier post, this is what you get when you elect anybody off the street to be a district judge in Pennsylvania.

From the Tribune-Review:
A grossly misguided ruling by Dauphin County District Judge Joseph Solomon denied the public its right to judge if anyone in the BIG mess should be held accountable.

Judge Solomon's dismissal on May 21 of charges of theft, conflict of interest and conspiracy against Veon and Ms. Peretta-Rosepink was effectively grand jury nullification.
Attorney General Tom Corbett refiled the charges this week (and asked a real judge to handle the case.

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

Go Penguins!

Putting Pittsburgh on the map

I wonder why Philadelphia wasn't chosen? I'm guessing Rendell left too much of mess behind in Philly.

Governor Rendell Hails Plans for Summit of Global Economic Leaders in Pittsburgh

Higher taxes to fund Obama-care

Americans for Tax Reform is warning that the Obama administration is planning to raise taxes to fund its massive socialized medicine scheme.

ATR: Obama's VAT Trial Balloon Dusts Off Bill Clinton's 1993 Playbook

13-Year-Old Kansas Girl Wins 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee

Laodicean. Is that even a word?

Kavya Shivashankar (try spelling that) is the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee after she successfully spelled "Laodicean," which means "lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics." No wonder I never heard of the word.

Read more about the competition at the link below:

13-Year-Old Kansas Girl Wins 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Climate Change Lobby

The Center for Public Integrity has posted all sorts of information on a new section of its Web site called The Climate Change Lobby, examining "the forces attempting to influence this pivotal issue."

From the Web site:
As Congress focused last week on landmark legislation to reduce global warming, the timing of this release — which includes a list of the top 10 firms representing climate change interests — couldn't have been better. It's a great reminder of how essential our in-depth investigations have become, keeping the public clued in to issues that other news organizations increasingly can't cover."
In other words, it's all about money. Lobbyists, special interest groups, corporations and politicians stand to make billions by diverting your tax dollars to solve a non-existent problem.

The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy, according to its Web site.

Check out The Climate Change Lobby here.

I also have links to more than two dozen Web sites offering factual information about the global warming hoax on the left site of this blog. Just scroll down until you see the GLOBAL WARMING category.

Road 'Thumping' coming to PA in July

DCNR to Collect Seismic Data by 'Thumping' Roads

No Automatic Recount Needed for May 19 PA Primary Results

No surprise here. Hardly anybody voted and none of the statewide judicial races were close.

PA Department of State Says No Automatic Recount Needed for May 19 Primary Results

Columnist: Jim Matthews is off the team

From a recent column by Margaret Gibbons, who covers Montgomery County government for the Doylestown Intelligencer:
Have you checked out the Montgomery County Republican Committee's new Web site at

Go to the section where it lists the GOP "team's" roster of elected county officials. Notice anything missing?

That's right - there is no photo or even a mention of commissioners chairman James R. Matthews, who was censured last year by party leaders because of his unprecedented alliance with Democrat Joseph M. Hoeffel III that left Matthews' running mate, Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., as the odd man out in the current administration.

Guess there is no room under that so-called Big Tent for Democrat-leaning GOPers.

Sotomayor: Equal Justice Under Law?

Ann Coulter: God save us from liberal 'empathy'

Ann Coulter offers her take on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court in her latest column, "I Feel Your Pain. Not Theirs. Yours."

From her column:
But all liberals only have empathy for the exact same victims -- always the ones that are represented by powerful liberal interest groups. As Joe Sobran says, it takes a lot of clout to be a victim.

Thus, the media and Democrats seem to find successful Hispanic attorney Sotomayor much more "empathetic" than successful Hispanic attorney Miguel Estrada.

After aggressively blocking Estrada's nomination to a federal appeals court during Bush's first term solely on the grounds that he is Hispanic and was likely headed for the Supreme Court -- according to Senate Democrat staff memos -- now Democrats have the audacity to rave that Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice!

If Sotomayor is not more empathetic than Estrada, liberals at least consider her more Hispanic -- an interesting conclusion inasmuch as Sotomayor was born in New York and Estrada was born in Honduras.
Read the full column at

Obama's Anti-Gun Strategy Is to Stack Courts

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms believes Barack Obama's appointment of Sonia Sotomayor, an advocate of gun control, to the Supreme Court, is part of Obama's overall strategy to ignore the Second Amendment and deny American citizens their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Read the group's latest release at the link below:

Obama's Anti-Gun Strategy Is to Stack Courts, Says CCRKBA

Harrisburg Blind Spot

'Talking Politics' on the radio today

Tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

"Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. You can call the station at 610-326-4000 with questions or comments.

If you can't pick up the station's signal, you can listen to the program on your computer. The show is simulcast at and

Auditor General Jack Wagner Calls for General Assembly to Clarify Flaw in Gaming Industry's Background Checks

Auditor General Jack Wagner Calls for General Assembly to Clarify Flaw in Gaming Industry's Background Checks

'Hidden Health Tax' for Family Health Care Coverage Climbed to $1,017 in 2008

'Hidden Health Tax' for Family Health Care Coverage Climbed to $1,017 in 2008

Morale booster

How's this for a morale booster?

Miss California USA Carrie Prejean will tour the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 7, departing from San Diego to begin a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment.

Prejean and her sister, Christine, will be the guest of Michael Reagan, author and eldest son of former President Reagan, and the U.S. Navy. Reagan will meet the Prejeans in San Diego this afternoon and personally escort them aboard the aircraft carrier.

Miss California USA to Tour the USS Reagan as Guest of the Michael Reagan Family

Law professor: Obama pick a lightweight

Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley has read 30 written opinions by Judge Sonia Sotomayor and says she is an intellectual lightweight. Kinda like the president who appointed her?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Save the planet or line their pockets?

What's behind the move in Congress to enact a global warming tax on the beleaguered American taxpayer?

"The public is told that climate change legislation is urgently needed to save the planet. But the evidence that the global warming scare is all about power and politics, not the environment, keeps piling up," notes Investor's Business Daily.

From an IBD editorial:
The legislation might not get such a cushy ride on the House floor. Rep. Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, is threatening to derail it and says he has the support of 40 to 50 other Democrats.

Peterson is not opposing Waxman-Markey because he's a skeptic of global warming. Nothing so noble as that. His opposition is purely political. He wants parliamentary power over the bill. Should he fail to get it, he's willing to sink the legislation.

Which brings up the question: If global warming were a grave threat, wouldn't getting a CO2 emissions restriction law passed and signed take precedence over lawmakers' objections on behalf of their constituents?

The fact that Peterson and so many Democrats would rather have no bill than to let it become law without input from the Agriculture Committee exposes the global warming scare: It's not about the environment — it's about power and politics.
Read the full editorial, "Where's The Crisis?" at the newspaper's Web site.

How American Health Care Stacks Up

Even with its faults, the U.S. health care system remains the best in the world. That's something to keep in mind as Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats attempt to perform major surgery on the system. The information in the graphic was provided by Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and was posted at Investor's Business Daily:
Supporters of universal, government-run health care believe the U.S. should establish a system like those found in Canada, Great Britain and the other European nations that have socialized medicine. The data, however, show that American health care is superior to that available in those countries.

What About The Constitution?

Group: Judge Sotomayor is anti-gun

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms warns that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a longtime opponent of Second Amendment rights to gun ownership.

From a CCRKBA release:
Judge Sotomayor was part of a Second Circuit Court panel that ruled in January that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states, in Maloney v. Cuomo. That is in direct conflict with a Ninth Circuit opinion earlier this spring in Nordyke v. King that the Second Amendment is incorporated to the states, and therefore does place limits on states' ability to regulate the individual right to keep and bear arms.

"A Supreme Court nominee's philosophy generally reflects the philosophy of the president that nominates them," CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said. "Judge Sotomayor's position on the Second Amendment is a clear signal that Mr. Obama's claim that he supports gun rights is nothing but lip service from a man who consistently argued and voted against those rights in the Illinois Senate and the U.S. Senate. American gun owners have every reason to oppose this nomination, and let their senators know why."
Read the full release at the link below:

Obama's Court Nomination Validates America's Rush to Buy Firearms

State Police Skippack Barracks open 24/7

The photo above was taken in front of the State Police Barracks in Skippack after the barracks re-opened on a full-time basis, staffing around the clock for the first time in years. The new 24/7 operation is due in part to state Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr. (R-44), state Rep. Bob Mensch (R-147) and state Rep. Matthew Bradford (D-70) who pushed to reverse a cost-cutting move to institute a pilot program in which the State Police began closing the Skippack barracks for 16 hours every weekday and all weekend. Pictured left to right are Rep. Matthew Bradford, State Police Lt. David Buckley, Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr. and Rep. Bob Mensch.

Rendell, Democrats want to raise taxes

Ed Rendell began his tenure as governor in 2003 by signing the second largest income tax hike in Pennsylvania history. Rendell then proceeded to spend $8 billion over the next six years, increasing state spending at twice the rate of inflation.

The results of Rendell's failed fiscal policies is a $3.2 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year. With less than two years before he leaves office, Rendell is pushing for another massive income tax hike to make up the huge deficit he created.

The Democratic doormats in the House of Representatives will do whatever Rendell wants. Raising taxes during a recession is a bad idea, but that hasn't stopped Democrats in the past.

Lowman S. Henry, writing at Lincoln Blog:
"That would be the quick, easy, and most destructive resolution possible to the budget crisis currently gripping the state. The real issue here is not financial; rather it is the unwillingness of state Democrats to make the hard decisions demanded of those governing in tough times. The real issue here is the unwillingness of state Democrats to begin living within our means."
It's time to let your Democratic state House member know that he or she will be out of a job in 2010 if they support a tax hike to bail out Rendell.

Read more about the state's sad state of financial affairs and how Rendell and House Democrats are working on a tax hike in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

WSJ on the 'Empathy' Nominee

Is Sonia Sotomayor judicially superior to 'a white male'? The Wall Street Journal wants to know and somebody in the U.S. Senate should ask that question when Sonia Sotomayor appears for her confirmation hearings.

From a WSJ editorial:
In making Sonia Sotomayor his first nominee for the Supreme Court yesterday, President Obama appears to have found the ideal match for his view that personal experience and cultural identity are the better part of judicial wisdom.

This isn't a jurisprudence that the Founders would recognize, but it is the creative view that has dominated the law schools since the 1970s and from which both the President and Judge Sotomayor emerged. In the President's now-famous word, judging should be shaped by "empathy" as much or more than by reason. In this sense, Judge Sotomayor would be a thoroughly modern Justice, one for whom the law is a voyage of personal identity.
With Democrats holding 59 seats in the Senate, Sotomayor's confirmation is a forgone conclusion, but Republicans should use the hearings as an opportunity to expose the judicial activism of the far left.

From the editorial:
"Republicans can use the process as a teaching moment, not to tear down Ms. Sotomayor on personal issues the way the left tried with Justices Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito, but to educate Americans about the proper role of the judiciary and to explore whether Judge Sotomayor's Constitutional principles are as free-form as they seem from her record."
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Corbett refiles charges against Veon

Less than a week after a district judge threw out the case citing a lack of evidence, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett has refiled corruption charges against former state Rep. Mike Veon, the onetime No. 2 Democratic leader in the state House of Representatives.

This time, Corbett wants a real judge -- someone on the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas -- not a district justice -- to hear the case.

That makes a big difference. District judges are elected locally and do not have to have any legal background. (In two local races for district judge in the Pottstown area, a hairdresser and a landscaper were on the ballot.)

The attorney general's office also asked for the proceedings against former Beaver County Rep. Mike Veon and his district office supervisor, Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink, to be heard by a Dauphin County Common Pleas judge.

District judges often make bad decisions and the AG obviously believes Harrisburg District Judge Joseph Solomon was over his head in one of the biggest corruption cases brought against a powerful political figure.

Mike Veon and his district office supervisor, Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink are accused of illegally diverting taxpayer dollars through the Beaver Initiative for Growth, a nonprofit agency he controlled, to hire consultants, rent office space and handle various political and legislative chores, according to The Associated Press.

They are both charged with theft, misapplication of entrusted property, conflict of interest and conspiracy, the wire service reports.

From The Associated Press:
Judge Solomon prosecutors argued, improperly let defense lawyers delve into irrelevant issues and inadmissible evidence during an eight-hour preliminary hearing last week to determine if the case should advance to county court.

"It is clear from (his) comments that he expected the commonwealth to present 'conclusive' evidence or proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," wrote Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek. "This is contrary to the well-established standard applied to preliminary hearings."

Richard Viguerie: Congratulations, President Obama, You've United the Entire Conservative Movement

"The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor unites all wings of the conservative movement -- economic, foreign policy, social, traditional, neocon, and libertarian -- in a way we haven't seen since the early Clinton years," says Richard Viguerie.

(Maybe not Colin Powell or Tom Ridge, but nobody ever mistook them for conservatives.)

Richard Viguerie: Congratulations, President Obama, You've United the Entire Conservative Movement

Libertarians blast Sotomayor pick

America's third largest political party is critical of Barack Obama's nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

The Libertarian Party says past rulings that public employers should discriminate in hiring based on race is enough to disqualify Sotomayor from the high court.

"While Judge Sotomayor deserves a fair and impartial hearing, Supreme Court justices should be nominated for their thorough knowledge of and adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law," William Redpath, Libertarian National Committee chairman, said in a release.

"By nominating Sonia Sotomayor, Barack Obama has made it clear he prefers an activist for his personal causes over a rational interpreter of law," said Redpath.

More from the Libertarian Party:
Sotomayor is best known for the Ricci v. DeStafano case, in which the New Haven, Conn. fire department decided it didn’t like the results of an officers promotion exam in which whites and Hispanic firefighters outperformed black firefighters. The city threw out the results of the exam, denying several firefighters promotions solely because of their race. The firefighters sued the city, claiming racial discrimination under Title VVI of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Cato Institute, Reason Foundation and the Individual Rights Foundations filed briefs on behalf of the firefighters, citing the absurdity of allowing public employers to throw out the results of valid, race-neutral exams that produce racial disparity because the racial disparity produced wasn't politically correct. The firefighters and the libertarian foundations filing briefs argued that public employment practices should be color-blind.

Sotomayor disagreed, ruling the city has a right to discriminate against white and Hispanic public employees to construct a politically correct racial mix in hiring, even if it goes against the results of a racially-neutral competency exam.

The case is now before the Supreme Court. Sotomayor has had her rulings thrown out by the court a troubling four times. In three of those cases, the Court ruled Sotomayor had incorrectly interpreted the law.

"It is troubling that Obama, who won the highest elected office in the world without racial preferences, would nominate someone who openly admits the government should racially discriminate against its own citizens to serve the needs of political correctness," said Redpath.

"Libertarians believe that, while the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of association allows private parties to hire whomever they please, government has no right to discriminate. Public employers should treat all citizens of all colors, races and ethnicities with equal respect and value and Sotomayor’s radical rulings are a jarring departure from that principle"

For more about the Libertarian Party, visit

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rush Limbaugh calls Obama nominee a racist

Rush Limbaugh took aim at Sonia Sotomayor on his radio show today, pointing out that the Obama Supreme Court nominee is a longtime proponent of racial quotas.

From a story by Andy Barr in Politico:
"Here you have a racist — you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist," Limbaugh said of Sotomayor on his show, alluding to the New York federal appeals court judge's past statement that a "wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Liberals, "of course, say that minorities cannot be racists because they don't have the power to implement their racism," Limbaugh said according to a transcript on his website. "Well, those days are gone, because reverse racists certainly do have the power. ... Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he's appointed one."
Read the full story -- Rush Limbaugh: Sonia Sotomayor a 'reverse racist,' 'hack' -- at POLITICO

In a galaxy far, far away

PA budget battle is heating up

The Democrats continued their dog-and-pony show Tuesday in Harrisburg, parading special interests groups that claim the world will come to an end if the state Legislature approves a balanced budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Republican House members have had enough of the circus.

From Rep. Sam Smith, House Republican leader:
House Republicans refuse to attend another House Democrat and administration-orchestrated hearing on increasing spending beyond what the economy affords us, House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) said today.

"The Commonwealth tax revenues are down $3 billion, and the administration and House Democrats are pushing to spend more and more money which the state does not have, unless we take it out of taxpayers' pockets," Smith said. "Today's House Education Committee hearing, along with the Appropriations hearings last week, are being aimed to increase state spending regardless of the consequences.

"More money is not always the answer, but higher taxes today will affect every Pennsylvania family. Where are the public hearings about the effects higher taxes will have on the people of Pennsylvania?

"Tax hearings are not being scheduled because the Democrats may not care about the impact. Every week, several state agencies have been putting out 'scare' press releases about services or programs which they claim will end if the Senate's budget bill is enacted, even though the spending matches actual state revenues. Next, we'll hear about the State Police being unable to fuel their vehicles or purchase ammunition.

"As to today's Education Committee hearing, the testimony being offered will be exactly what has been said before. This is obviously a lobbying effort coordinated by the administration, and it is clear they are using taxpayer dollars to lobby for more taxpayer dollars.

"Last week, the testimony of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) stated as fact the Punxsutawney Area School District will be closing an elementary school because of the Senate-passed budget. That is untrue; this closing has been in the works for several years. PSEA either left out this fact and is purposefully misrepresenting facts to scare people, or they have no idea what they are talking about. In either case, this is highly disingenuous.

"What else is being said that is untrue?

"House Republicans will not participate in hearings to trump up reasons for a major tax increase."

ACLJ on activist judges

From Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law & Justice (the sane alternative to the far-left ACLU):
Today's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court of the United States will generate national debate about the issue of judicial activism on the nation's highest court.

The background and philosophy of Judge Sotomayor clearly puts the Constitution front and center.

How will this nominee view the Constitution and the rule of law?

Will she embrace her past statement that the ''court of appeals is where policy is made''?

This nomination is a very aggressive decision and raises serious questions about the issue of legislating from the bench.

We're hopeful that the Members of the Senate will ask the tough questions about her judicial philosophy and temperament when the confirmation hearings get underway this summer.

The American people deserve to fully understand what kind of Justice is being nominated to serve on the nation's highest court for decades to come.

'Freedom from Tolls Act' introduced in Congress

This doesn't bode well for Gov. Ed Rendell, who still wants to toll Interstate 80 before he leaves office but there's a movement in Congress to make it tougher to install tolls on highways.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), would limit the spread of tolling on federal highways.

Senate Bill 1115 would prohibit states, private entities and private-public partnerships from adding tolls on existing federal highways, bridges or tunnels built with federal funding.

The measure is supported by American Trucking Associations.

ATA Supports Bill to Limit Spread of Tolling On National Highway System

Toomey statement on Supreme Court nominee

U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey released the following statement on Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee:
"For the past 20 years, the Supreme Court confirmation process has very regrettably become a political football. Arlen Specter has played those political games more aggressively than most, arguing against Judge Bork and for Justice Thomas, depending on Specter's calculation of his own political needs. That approach is bad for our country. Just as it was wrong for liberal Democrats to adopt a knee-jerk opposition to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, it would be equally wrong for Republicans to oppose Judge Sotomayor on a partisan basis. Judge Sotomayor deserves a fair hearing. If that hearing proves her to be of sound judicial temperament with the requisite knowledge of and respect for the Constitution, then she should be confirmed."

9 die in PA Memorial Day Weekend crashes

Seven of those killed were not wearing seat belts and four of the fatalities resulted from alcohol-related crashes, according to PA State Police.

Nine Killed In Memorial Day Weekend Crashes

Richard Viguerie: Sotomayor Nomination is a Major Opportunity for Conservatives to Define President Obama as a Radical Liberal

Richard Viguerie: Sotomayor Nomination is a Major Opportunity for Conservatives to Define President Obama as a Radical Liberal

If Pelosi ran a bank

Bauer Expresses Concern That Sotomayor Will Replace the Rule of Law With Her Feelings

Bauer Expresses Concern That Sotomayor Will Replace the Rule of Law With Her Feelings

Bauer Calls Proposition 8 Ruling 'A Victory For Democracy And Common Sense'

Bauer Calls Proposition 8 Ruling 'A Victory For Democracy And Common Sense'

'Avowed Judicial Activist Judge Who Undermines Common Ground'

From Americans United for Life (AUL) President & CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest:
"A vote to confirm Judge Sotomayor as the next Supreme Court Justice is a vote to strip Americans of the ability to choose for themselves how to regulate abortion. Our recent polling data speaks to this point of judicial activism: 69% of the American people believe that 'some federal judges have gone too far by doing more than just interpreting the law and instead are making new law.'
Americans United for Life: Obama Nominates Avowed Judicial Activist Judge Who Undermines Common Ground

'She has an extremely high rate of her decisions being reversed'

Wendy E. Long, counsel to The Judicial Confirmation Network, on Barack Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court:
"Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench.

"She reads racial preferences and quotas into the Constitution, even to the point of dishonoring those who preserve our public safety. On September 11, America saw firsthand the vital role of America's firefighters in protecting our citizens. They put their lives on the line for her and the other citizens of New York and the nation. But Judge Sotomayor would sacrifice their claims to fair treatment in employment promotions to racial preferences and quotas. The Supreme Court is now reviewing that decision.

"She has an extremely high rate of her decisions being reversed, indicating that she is far more of a liberal activist than even the current liberal activist Supreme Court."

Judges making policy? You bet!

Reaction to Sotomayor nomination

The Associated Press has complied reaction to Barack Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Among the most interesting:
"We must determine if Ms. Sotomayor understands that the proper role of a judge is to act as a neutral umpire of the law, calling balls and strikes fairly without regard to one's own personal preferences or political views." — Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

"She must prove her commitment to impartially deciding cases based on the law, rather than based on her own personal politics, feelings and preferences." — Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, member of the Judiciary Committee.

"Senate Republicans will treat Judge Sotomayor fairly. But we will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law evenhandedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences." — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

"The Judiciary Committee should take time to ensure that the nominee will be true to the Constitution and apply the law, not personal politics, feelings or preferences." — Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, member of the Judiciary Committee.

"She has an extremely high rate of her decisions being reversed, indicating that she is far more of a liberal activist than even the current liberal activist Supreme Court." — Wendy Long, counsel to the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network.

Another shady Rendell deal

Despite putting the state in a $3.2 billion hole, Gov. Ed Rendell is still spending your money with little regard.

From a recent Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial:
Taxpayers deserve to know much more about Gov. Ed Rendell's signing of a $201 million Department of Education contract for development of controversial high school graduation exams.

Majority Whip Jane Orie of McCandless is among Senate Republican leaders urging Gov. Rendell to withdraw immediately from the seven-year pact with Data Recognition Corp. of Minnesota. Senate Bill 281 would prohibit the department from developing new statewide high school graduation requirements "until the General Assembly specifically appropriates funds" for that purpose
. Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Joe Biden Can't Keep A Secret

Calif. Supreme Court Upholds Traditional Definition of Marriage

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins on the California Supreme Court ruling upholding Prop 8, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman:

"At every opportunity, the people of California have voted to protect marriage because they recognize the far reaching consequences that redefining marriage will have for children, the family, religious liberties, businesses and every facet of American society. Today's decision should encourage pro-family activists not only in California but across the country. Marriage redefinition is not inevitable unless advocates of the family stand aside and allow it to happen."

Read the full statement at the link below:

FRC: CA Supreme Court Upholds the People's Right to Amend Constitution

Sotomayor nomination bad for gun owners

The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court is a slap at gun rights and the Second Amendment, according to the Second Amendment Foundation.

"While Democrats in Congress have been making great strides in the gun rights arena, refusing to consider a renewal of the Clinton gun ban, and offering overwhelming bipartisan support for legislation allowing citizens to carry firearms in national parks, President Obama just demonstrated that he prefers judges who oppose Second Amendment rights," said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb.

Read the full statement at the link below:

Sotomayor Nomination an Obama Slap at Second Amendment

A policy maker for the Supreme Court?

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
"President Obama has chosen a nominee with a compelling personal story over judicial pick with a solid constitutional judicial philosophy. A compelling personal story is no substitute for allegiance to the Constitution and its sound application to public life.

"Judge Sotomayor's failure to premise her decisions on the text of the Constitution has resulted in an extremely high rate of reversal before the high court to which she has been nominated.

"With that fact in mind Judge Sotomayor appears to subscribe to a very liberal judicial philosophy that considers it appropriate for judges to impose their personal views from the bench. President Obama promised us a jurist committed to the 'rule of law,' but, instead, he appears to have nominated a legislator to the Supreme Court."
Read the full statement at the link below:

Sotomayor: A Policy Maker or a Jurist?

A different path

Colin McNickle, writing in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, says many people missed the significance of Michael Steele's recent speech on the future of the Republican Party (and this United States).

McNickle says this country can take two different paths. One leads to an American renaissance. One leads to America's suicide.

Obama and the doormat Democrats in Congress have chosen the latter course.

Read the full column, "Preventing America's suicide," at the newspaper's Web site.

Radical judicial activist need only apply

Barack Obama has found the perfect Supreme Court nominee in Sonia Sotomayor.

Far-left radical. Check.

Judicial Activist. Check.

Female. Check.

Minority. Check.

Those appear to be Sotomayor's chief qualifications for serving on the Supreme Court.

This is a woman who has said publicly that "empathy" is as important as the law when considering cases. From The Washington Post: Sotomayor "has stirred controversy by saying that judges' legal findings are informed by their own life experiences as well as their legal research."

This is a woman has has stated publicly (it's on tape) that judges have a policy-making role. And I thought the Constitution reserved that right for the Legislative branch. Has Sotomayor ever read the Constitution?

This is a woman who believes in racial quotas and supports partial-birth abortion.

This is the country's worst nightmare in electing Barack Obama last November. The radicals will take over the Supreme Court and will change this country by decree.

It's clear that the Sotomayor nomination is payback to the far-left loons who helped Obama get elected. Obama did not pick the most qualified person for the job, just someone who fit the liberal stereotype of a judge.

From The New Republic:
The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."

Americans United for Life: Sotomayor is an abortion advocate

Americans United for Life President & CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest on Barack Obama's pick of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court:

"For all the President's talk of finding 'common ground,' this appointment completely contradicts that hollow promise. Judge Sonia Sotomayor's judicial philosophy undermines common ground. She is a radical pick that divides America."

Read the full statement at the link below:

Americans United for Life on Sotomayor Nomination

PA needs a Right to Work Law

A guest column by Susan Staub, president of PA Right to Work on important legislation needed to save Pennsylvania jobs:
Pa. needs a Right to Work Law to keep jobs from leaving state

In this sluggish, lackluster economy, the time could not be more right for a Right to Work law for Pennsylvania.

Consider these statistics from the National Institute for Labor Relations Research:

Private sector jobs in the 22 Right to Work states increased by an aggregate 9.1 percent between 2003 and 2008.

Among the eight states with the biggest gain in private-sector employment over the past five years, seven — Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and North Dakota — have Right to Work laws.

Seven states had private-sector job growth of less than 2 percent. All seven — Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont — are forced-dues states like Pennsylvania, which had 3.82 percent job growth.

If private-sector employment in forced-unionism states had grown from 2003-2008 as much as it did in Right to Work states (9.1 percent), there would be an additional 3.7 million Americans employed in the private sector today.

Right to Work law protect the freedom of both private and public sector employees to keep and hold a job without handing over dues or fees to a union recognized as their exclusive bargaining agent.

Almost every economic indicator shows that forced union dues inhibit job growth.

Please join with Pennsylvanians for Right to Work now as we work to advance Right to Work law legislation in both the Pennsylvania Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

State Sen. Mary Jo White (R-21st Dist.) and state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12th Dist.) are both circulating for co-sponsors for their respective Right to Work Law legislation.

If your state senator and/or representative is not a co-sponsor, please contact them and urge them to be a co-sponsor. If they are a co-sponsor, please thank them for being a true statesman — for standing up for the liberty and individual rights of Pennsylvania's citizens

President, PA Right to Work

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend Box Office: 'Museum' tops 'Terminator'

The family-friendly "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" topped the Memorial Day Weekend box office with an estimated $70.0 million, according to

The Ben Stiller comedy sequel was followed closely by the latest installment of the "Terminator" series, but with Christian Bale subbing for Arnold as the film's lead, "Salvation" couldn't reach No. 1 during the long holiday weekend.

Hey, the way things are going in California, Arnold might be back starring in Terminator 5.

Here's the preliminary totals for the Top 5 films (final numbers will be released Tuesday evening):

Rank. Movie Title (Distributor)
Weekend Gross | Theaters | Total Gross | Week #

1. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Fox)
$70.0 million | 4,096 | $70.0 million | 1

2. Terminator Salvation (Warner Bros.)
$53.8 million | 3,530 | $67.2 million | 1

3. Star Trek (Paramount)
$29.4 million | 4,053 | $191.0 million | 3

4. Angels & Demons (Sony / Columbia)
$27.7 million | 3,527 | $87.8 million | 2

5. Dance Flick (Paramount)
$13.1 million | 2,450 | $13.1 million | 1

'Where Poppies Blow'

On this Memorial Day Weekend, a guest column by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council about the significance of the holiday:
Where Poppies Blow

Until about 40 years ago, Memorial Day was observed -- not celebrated -- on May 30 every year. Eager Cub Scouts would work their way through the crowds at small town parades selling bright red artificial poppies. In reviewing stands, graying veterans would salute or place their hands over their hearts as high school bands marched by. Often a young girl would be called upon to read the World War I era poem "In Flanders Fields" that describes the poppies blowing row upon row among the graves of fallen warriors of the Great War.

You can gain a real appreciation of Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery. There, soldiers of the Third Army, the ceremonial "Old Guard" will place little American flags on thousands of well-tended graves. Visitors will be told the story of Arlington, how Col. Robert E. Lee paced the floors of the Custis-Lee mansion back in 1861, praying and pondering. He had to decide whether to serve in the U.S. Army to which he had dedicated his life or to leave the Union with his beloved Virginia. The terrible Civil War that followed for four long and bitter years helped to fill thousands of graves at Arlington, once Lee's beautiful hilltop home.

When the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated in 1921 at Arlington, President Wilson spoke as a Bible was included among the objects placed in the cornerstone of this sacred space. Today, 24 hours a day, Tomb guards march their appointed rounds, honoring those who have fallen to defend our freedoms. The bumper sticker dates from our own time, but the sentiment it expresses goes all the way back: "America -- land of the free because of the brave."

Americans have always loved their country. We love our country still. And we have a special reverence for those who gave what Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion."

Even today, with casualties in the War on Terror mercifully coming down, there are still flag-draped caskets returning regularly to Dover Air Force Base. There are fresh graves being filled daily at Arlington -- and across America. So great is the call of America that even foreigners feel its pull. The Marquis de Lafayette -- a brave hero of our Revolution -- took home to France enough American soil to bury his earthly remains.

In recent years, Memorial Day has become the occasion for sales at the mall, cookouts, rock concerts, and days at the beach. Our fallen heroes died for this America too. They knew that a certain lightheartedness, of ever-youthful exuberance, is a part of what it means to pursue happiness. It is for all of this, the paths of laudable pursuit, the fruits of honest toil, that America stands. May we always be worthy of those who died to give this America to us.

So Much To Be Thankful For

Honoring Those Who Have Fallen

A guest column originally posted at :
As Americans celebrate Memorial Day, and honor those who have served their nation, Americans for Limited Government would like to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of liberty over this nation's history.

We thank all of our service men and women, for the work that they do, and for sacrifices they have made to keep us all safe. And as we support them, we are also ever mindful of those who are still in harm's way today.

The great work that our military does often requires Americans to be far away from home, liberating captive peoples, and facing grave dangers. Many of them never return home to see their loved ones again. Today, our nation honors their sacrifice, and we are humbled by our servicemen and women's resolve in completing their mission.

Theirs is the greatest work that can be done in a world where tyranny still exists. Such service has made it possible for freedom and independence to spread into regions where once it had been suppressed. For fighting not just in the defense of Americans' liberty, but of all peoples, speaks of the nobility, honor, and courage of our fighting men and women. They do not have to risk life and limb, but they volunteer for the cause of freedom.

We are also reminded that it is the soldiers — Marines, airmen, sailors and others — who risk their lives to protect our way of life here at home, and the principles upon which this nation founded. Ours is a philosophy of liberty and limited government. And the exercise of natural rights is defended every day by the nation's military. We honor them because our way of life would be in great peril without their vigilant watchfulness.

The debt that is owed to those who serve can never truly be repaid. But as Americans, we must never turn its back on her veterans, their families, and the families of those who have fallen. It is up to each of us to do all in its power to honor them. And it is incumbent upon our elected leaders to ensure they have the best care possible when injured, and to make sure those families are looked after when they lose a father, a mother, a son, or a daughter.

Regardless of one's political stripes that should be a sacred trust all can agree upon.

To defend liberty in its hour of danger is the greatest call any American can ever answer. And the depths of our gratitude can never be adequately tapped.

From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go:
Thus ever let there rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Alien Invasion Led By Obama?

There were questions raised last year whether Obama was an natural born American but this is much bigger. Is Obama a space alien sent here to take over the planet? Don't laugh. Watch the trailer above for the new ABC series and then check out this post, ABC's ‘V’: Obama Parable?" by John Nolte at Big Hollywood. And look to the skies.

Survey: 44% rank Memorial Day one of nation's most important holidays

A new survey by Rasmussen Reports says 44% of Americans say Memorial Day, which honors those who gave their lives for our country, is one of the nation's most important holidays.

Just 7% rate it as one of the least important holidays, while 47% say it's somewhere in between the two, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

More from Rasmussen:
The holiday is viewed as one of the most important one by 51% of those who have served in the U.S. military. Older Americans hold Memorial Day in higher regard than those who are younger.

The majority of all Americans (51%) plan to do something special to commemorate the day. That figure is up three points from last year. Twenty-nine percent (29%) say they have no plans for Memorial Day.
Read more survey results at Rasmussen Reports

The Price of Freedom

Small-town politics turns ugly

If you thought negative advertising and personal attacks were reserved for national political races, think again.

Nancy March, editor of The Pottstown Mercury, has been writing about the political scene in Pottstown for decades, but she's never seen politics turn so negative as they did in the May 19 Primary Election.

From her most recent column:
Politics in this town is becoming increasingly personal and divisive. The factions no longer fall strictly along party lines. On Election Night, there were at least five different alliances gathering separately — three groups of Republicans and two of Democrats.

In some cases, individuals who worked together on campaigns in the past this time attacked each other in published comments, conversation and at the polls.

The rhetoric became so severe at one polling place that first a sheriff's representative was called and then the local police department to warn a former public official that her strongly worded opinions were getting close to voter intimidation.

The attacks were often not sanctioned by a candidate or a party, but were lodged on a battlefield of personalities. On Election Eve, campaign signs for both Pottstown Democratic mayoral candidates were shredded, apparently by supporters acting without the candidates' knowledge.

In another case, signs with one person's name and a hash mark through it appeared overnight throughout town in what can only be characterized as a personal smear campaign.

More than one faction tried to use this newspaper as a battleground as well, dropping off photocopies of old news articles, calling with tips, and e-mailing messages about candidates' relatives, business dealings and suspected motives.
Read the full column, "Display of politics by attack is not a pretty picture,"
at The Mercury's Web site.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Nancy Pelosi as new James Bond girl?

Dick Morris: Pelosi is expendable

Political analyst Dick Morris, who spent years trying to clean up political scandals in the Bill Clinton administration, believes the current Nancy Pelosi/CIA dispute over who is telling the truth can end one way: Pelosi will be forced out as Speaker of the House.

From Morris' most recent column with wife/co-writer Eileen McGann:
It's obvious that either Leon Panetta, Obama's head of the CIA, or Nancy Pelosi, his party's speaker of the House, has to go.

No administration can tolerate a permanent, public civil war between two such high-ranking officials. Especially when their disagreement stems not from issues of policy, but from matters of veracity and credibility.

Their battle must end in one of their resignations.

But Pelosi is expendable. The job of a Democratic speaker is to pass the program of the Democratic president. Her ability and track record is measured on a scale of effectiveness. If she is ineffective, she's not up to the job.

The speaker is the hired help. Her role is serve her president — not to feud with the man the president put in charge of the CIA.
Morris & McGann also point out that the flaky Californian barely won the Speaker race after the Democrats took control of the House after the 2006 elections and she hasn't exactly endeared herself to moderate Democrats by pushing a far-left agenda in the past two years.

"Remember that Pelosi won by only 118 to 95 in her election as speaker. Her support was not overwhelming to begin with" Morris & McGann write.

Read the full column, "Speaker skating on thin ice," here.

Cheney You Can Believe In

Newspaper: Far left turns on Obama

The honeymoon is definitely over between Barack Obama and the far left ideologues who worked so hard to get him elected.

From an editorial in The Trentonian:
There hasn't yet been a mass rally to turn in those "Hope" and "Change" campaign buttons. But there's definitely some seismic rumblings of discontent among the peace-at-any-price community of the left.

And remember, these were the anti-war folks who played a key role in turning Obama's improbable presidential primary campaign into a bandwagon, enabling it to speed past Hillary Clinton like an Indy 500 driver taking the inside, left lane going into the straightaway.

Now look what's happening on the "peace" front: not much.

The president is vacillating on Iraq instead of getting the heck out of it, indicating that a residual force of, oh, maybe 50,000 will stay there indefinitely. Meanwhile, he's temporizing on his promise to shut down Guantanamo pronto, while Democrats in Congress are running for cover on the issue.

Plus, now the "peace candidate" is dispatching an additional 20,000 U.S. troops to the hellhole quagmire of Afghanistan, where Bush's Gen. David Petraeus — still the top dog in charge at U.S. Central Command — is calling for more attack and lift choppers, unmanned aerial vehicles, route-clearance units, mine-resistant-ambush-protected vehicles and other materiel in anticipation of a long, hard, nasty slog.
Read the full editorial, "Obama disillusions fans on the left," at the newspaper's Web site.

'May We Never Forget The Reason ...'

Matt Bruce, writing at The New Media, reminds us why we celebrate Memorial Day.

From his poignant column:
From the current War on Terror, to World War's I & II, along with Vietnam, Korea, Grenada and even the Spanish American and Civil War's we honor the memory of all of those who have died serving America in our Armed Forces so that we might now all be free and safe ...

To those of us who have survived serving in the Military during combat or peace, we take the time to stop and remember those brave young men and women who served right along beside us who are no longer with us ...

We also all look forward to what their sacrifices have done in helping keep America the greatest Country on the face of the Earth ...

A Country that people are willing to risk their lives crossing hundreds of miles of desert just to get in to ...

Let's remember why we celebrate Memorial Day because so many have forgotten the real reason ...

We are not Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives or Liberals on Memorial Day. We are all Americans honoring those who did not return home to be able to celebrate with us ...

So we celebrate and honor those who died protecting our great Country, the United States of America...
Read the full column, 'May We Never Forget The Reason ...' at The New Media Journal

'Eliminate property taxes now'

I like this Letter to the Editor originally published in The Pottstown Mercury. It was written by a 74-year-old woman who is tired of the empty promises from Gov. Ed Rendell and Democratic legislators.

House Bill 1275 has been introduced by state Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks to eliminate school property taxes. It needs co-sponsors. Why isn't your legislator supporting this bill? For more information, visit

Here's the letter from Spring City resident Florence Biehl:
Eliminate property taxes now

State Rep. Sam Rohrer is absolutely correct in introducing House Bill 1275, The School Property Tax Elimination Act, which is the only real solution that makes an ounce of sense.

This will stop these schools from taking our homes through extravagance.

In the last several months with the obvious low economy, the schools continue to spend OPM (Other People's Money) because they insist on having the most, the best and the most expensive, at our expense — OPM. I was taught to always live within my means and I always have done this. A shame that those at our schools never were taught this.

I am 74 years old. When we moved here in 1964, the taxes were only a few hundred dollars. Now they are a few thousand, even though no improvements were made. I have been saying for years that the only answer is elimination of taxes and maintain that our homes should have nothing to do with the schools.

Please, you have nothing to lose and your tax money to enjoy. Please sign Rep. Sam Rohrer's petition online ( or print petition out to sign and have others also sign. Let's put this nightmarish threat to death once and for all and relax at its funeral.

Thank you Rep. Rohrer for your common sense, dedication and concern for Pennsylvania citizens. God bless you and I hope that you are successful.

Spring City

Castor exposes more cronyism in Montco

The patronage system is a alive and well in Montgomery County under the direction of Democratic Commissioner Joe Hoeffel and his doormat accomplice, one-time Republican Jim Matthews.

The lone Republican commissioner, Bruce L. Castor Jr., objected to another example of cronyism by Hoeffel/Matthews when Matthews' longtime secretary was appointed to head the county's Human Resources department, bypassing a more qualified applicant.

The hiring of Eleanor Schneider comes several months after her husband, Thomas, was hired as the county's fleet manager even though he lacked qualifications for that job.

Matthews is headed in the same direction as Arlen Specter. He will never get the Republican nomination to run for re-election. He might as well join the Democratic Party, especially if he continues serving as Hoeffel's lapdog.

Read the full story at the Norristown Times-Herald Web site.

A tribute to America's war heroes

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan offers a tribute to America's war heroes, past and present on this Memorial Day Weekend.

From her column:
The category of military hero — warrior — fell off a bit, in part because of the bad reputation of war. Some emerged of heroic size — Gens. Pershing and Patton, Eisenhower and Marshall. But somewhere in the 1960s I think we decided, or the makers of our culture decided, that to celebrate great warriors was to encourage war. And we always have too much of that. So they made a lot of movies depicting soldiers as victims and officers as brutish. This was especially true in the Vietnam era and the years that followed. Maybe a correction was in order: It's good to remember war is hell. But when we removed the warrior, we removed something intensely human, something ancestral and stirring, something celebrated naturally throughout the long history of man. Also it was ungrateful: They put themselves in harm's way for us.
She focuses on Alvin York, Audie Murphy and Chuck Boyd but this is a time to honor everyone who has served their country.

Take a few minutes to read it.

Check out Those Who Make Us Say 'Oh!' at the newspaper's Web site.