Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rendell caught in another lie?

Gov. Ed Rendell wants to raise your taxes ... again.

In order to drum up support for a $4.5 billion tax hike over the next three years, Rendell, aka Chicken Little, has been predicting the sky will fall over Pennsylvania if he doesn't get his way.

An early scare tactic about school boards having to raise your property taxes if the state doesn't raise your income taxes first has been exposed as a sham.

Funding for education has risen every year under Rendell and will go up again under a balanced budget adopted by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Another scare tactic was the closing of state parks if Rendell doesn't get his way, but that won't happen as the state's fiscal year ends today. Parks can remain open all summer under current funding levels.

Rendell's latest scare tactic is his best one yet. Rendell is now saying that he will have to eliminate 800 Pennsylvania state troopers -- that's 1 in 5 -- if he doesn't get his tax increase.

Columnist John Baer of the Philadelphia Daily News tried to get to the truth of Gov. Chicken Little's latest doom-and-gloom prediction, but didn't have much luck.

From Baer's latest column:
The administration says that the GOP would toss 800 troopers off the 4,400-member force, giving evildoers, drunken drivers and child-molesters free reign over Pennsylvania.

"The Senate's plan is reckless if not criminal," Rendell said in a recent statement. And at a news conference Friday, he said: "The only way to meet that [GOP budget] is with 800 layoffs."

Republicans say that Ed's dead wrong and using scare tactics to sell his plan to hike the personal-income tax (which Republicans oppose) to raise another $1.5 billion for the state.

"It's shameful," Republican Senate President Joe Scarnati said on statewide TV last week. "When you're selling snake oil, you really need to up the hype."

Rendell says that Republicans put 1,720 communities (83 in the four counties surrounding Philly) with part- or full-time State Police coverage at risk.

Senate GOP Leader Dominic Pileggi says that Rendell's read on this is "based on either a misunderstanding or a deliberate evasion" of facts.

But the facts aren't easy to find.
Especially when the governor is working overtime to fool everyone.

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

Also check out this Associated Press story on the GOP disputing Rendell's claims about state trooper layoffs.

Toomey applauds 4 Democrats for rejecting energy tax

U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey is reaching across the aisle to extend a pat on the back to four Democratic members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation for their recent vote against the cap and trade bill.

The climate change tax bill passed the House by a 219-212 margin, with 44 Democrats voting against it.

Toomey commended Democratic Reps. Jason Altmire (PA-04); Chris Carney (PA-10); Tim Holden (PA-17); and Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03) for "joining the bipartisan opposition to the cap-and-trade bill that promises to raise taxes and destroy American jobs."

More from a Toomey press release:
"Along with 40 other Democrats, these Pennsylvania Democrats had the courage to stand up to one-party rule in Washington," Toomey said. "They understand that protecting the environment is an important goal, but they are not willing to sacrifice American prosperity and hardworking taxpayers in the process. It is a shame Rep. Joe Sestak (PA-07) couldn't muster up the same courage. Instead, he voted to support Nancy Pelosi's extreme agenda. The question is, will Senator Specter choose the same path?"

"Only a couple of weeks ago, Senator Specter argued in support of maintaining balance in Washington in order to protect the country from extremism," said Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik. "He told The Hill newspaper that 'The United States desperately needs a two-party system.' But now that he has joined the Democratic Party, he seems intent on marching in lockstep with his new party in order to avoid a Democratic primary, even if it means throwing hardworking Americans under the bus. Senator Specter has the chance to prove he is serious about bringing balance to Washington — will he have the courage to do it?"
For more on Toomey's bid for a U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania, visit his campaign Web site,

Cardinal Rigali Protests Move to Fund Abortion in District of Columbia

Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to members of the House Appropriations Committee today urging them not to fund abortions in the District of Columbia.

Last week the House subcommittee considering the Financial Services appropriations bill for 2010 voted to permit direct public funding of abortion in the nation's capital.

Read the full release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities at the link below:

Cardinal Rigali Protests Move to Fund Abortion in District of Columbia

'No: The Real Obstacle to Peace'

New AJC Film: 'No' is the Real Obstacle to Middle East Peace

The Obama Doctrine

Newspaper: Only Warming Is On The Left

Investor's Business Daily has another terrific editorial about the global warming hoax and how so many Democratic members of Congress fell for it in supporting the energy tax bill last week.

The newspaper also says the eight Republican members of Congress who gave Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama a victory should be ousted in 2010.

From the editorial:
A switch of four Republican votes would have defeated Waxman-Markey, the Democrats' global warming legislation. But like the Clinton Btu tax, the bill could die in the Senate and turn the House over to the GOP.

Early in the Clinton administration, the House passed by an almost identical 219-213 vote the infamous Btu tax — a levy on each unit of energy consumed. The tax would have been assessed on the energy content of all fossil fuels as measured in Btu, or British thermal units.It died in the Senate and was used as a campaign issue as the GOP regained control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

Far from being morose, the GOP mood after Friday's vote was almost giddy. "On the floor, it felt like we won," said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma. After the final gavel fell, Republicans were chanting, "Btu, Btu."

"A lot of Democrat members got burned on that vote," (House GOP Leader John) Boehner said. Something tells us they, and eight Republicans, may get burned on this one too.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Judge: Teacher guilty in sexual relation with student

A verdict in a case involving a former charter school teacher and a 17-year-old female student.

From Carl Hessler Jr. in today's edition of The Pottstown Mercury:
A judge has determined that a former Phoenixville charter school teacher intended to corrupt the morals of a 17-year-old girl when he had an intimate relationship with her but that his conduct did not place the girl in danger.

Timothy Hammond, 33, of the 200 block of South Cedar Street, Spring City, was convicted Monday in Montgomery County Court of two misdemeanor counts of corruption of a minor but was acquitted of a more serious felony charge of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with incidents that occurred with the girl between September 2007 and August 2008 while he was a teacher at the Renaissance Academy.

Hammond showed no emotion as Judge Thomas P. Rogers announced the verdict. The judge determined the verdict based on testimony he heard during a two-day, non-jury trial earlier this month.

Hammond faces a possible maximum sentence of 5- to-10-years in prison on the child corruption charges. However, state sentencing guidelines also would allow for a minimum sentence between probation and several months in jail.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

National Beer Day

Quick, what's the first thing you think about when somebody mentions "The Fourth of July"?

Fireworks? Picnics? Celebrating the nation's birthday? Forget-about-it.

The Fourth of July is now most associated with beer.

Check out the release below:

U.S. Beer Sales Rank #1 on 4th of July

Billy Mays, 1958-2009

New Fiscal Year Brings Painful Spending Cuts, Continued Budget Gaps in Almost Every State

Pennsylvania is not alone in dealing with a fiscal mess.

I wonder how many of these states have Democratic governors or legislatures with Democrats in the majority?

New Fiscal Year Brings Painful Spending Cuts, Continued Budget Gaps in Almost Every State

Obama Rockets to Top of Poll on Global Leaders

While his popularity is declining in the U.S., Barack Obama is beloved throughout the world. Maybe it's because people in other countries don't have to pay all the taxes Obama is proposing.

Obama Rockets to Top of Poll on Global Leaders

Pennsylvania Department of Health Workshops Will Help Businesses Prepare for Flu Pandemic

Pennsylvania Department of Health Workshops Will Help Businesses Prepare for Flu Pandemic

'Hyperinflation Nation'

Want a peek into your future if Obama continues printing money?

Hyperinflation Nation Surpasses 25,000 Views in 36 Hours

National Beer Day

Quick, what's the first thing you think about when somebody mentions "The Fourth of July"?

Fireworks? Picnics? Celebrating the nation's birthday? Forget-about-it.

The Fourth of July is now most associated with beer.

Check out the release below:

U.S. Beer Sales Rank #1 on 4th of July

The truth about Obamacare

Rep. Rohrer: Pa. residents pay enough taxes

State Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks, made the following comments at a PACT with PA Press Conference in Harrisburg regarding the move by Gov. Rendell and House Democrats to raise taxes for Pennsylvania families and business owners:
Can we really afford to raise taxes? What will be the impact on our taxpayers – our small businesses- our struggling economy – on jobs? If taxes are raised, can the honestly be called "temporary?"

These are all great questions and they must be openly discussed, not twisted and spun to try and convince the public that what they know to be poison is really medicine.

Well if we look at history, this legislature hasn't done so well in regard to this principle. In 1991 we were faced with a $1 billion deficit—but instead of cutting back on spending, taxes were raised $3 billion - $ 1 Billion in needed revenue, $2 Billion to “buy” the votes. That $2Billion/yr has resulted in taxpayers losing over $35 Billion dollars. You see raising taxes is VERY expensive.

In fact, this legislature has resorted to raising taxes in every previous recession (1983, 1991, and 2003). Today, we're facing a $3 billion+ deficit from just this current year with the need to address in this budget an equivalent of around $7Billion. Does anyone think we can afford to raise taxes without absolutely destroying our economy and breaking the backs of our taxpayers? So history doesn't look to good. Now is the time to learn from history, consider the negative impact of the previous tax increases and live within available revenues.

Fact 1: Tax Freedom Day, or the day where Americans stop working to pay taxes and start working for themselves, fell on April 13th. Pennsylvanians work a full 103 days, or three and a half months, to pay federal, state and income taxes. During 2009, you and I will pay more in taxes than we spend on food, clothing, and housing combined.

Fact 2: Pennsylvanians in particular shoulder a heavy burden: with the 11th high state and local tax burden in the country, Pennsylvanians pay on average $13,000 PER PERSON (not wage-earner) in taxes. In 2008-2009, our Pennsylvania state and local governments spent $10,000 for every man, woman, and child.

Fact 3: Raising the PIT as the Governor wants to do will destroy jobs: According to the PA State Tax Analysis Modeling Program, or PA-STAMP, a 1% increase in personal income tax would result in a net loss of 47,633 jobs next year.
Originally published at THE CENTRIST

Monday, June 29, 2009

Are you better off today than you were six months ago?

It's a shame we can't cast a vote of no confidence against the Obama Administration. Six months into the era of "hope and change," we've gotten "despair and more of the same."

More than 3 million Americans have lost their jobs since Obama took office, bringing the nation's unemployment rate to nearly 10 percent.

Gas prices are creeping toward $3.00 per gallon.

The trillion-dollar "stimulus" bill turned out to be what many predicted: A Democratic Party pork bill to reward the special interests who helped get them elected.

The government has taken over the banks, the car companies and now wants to run the health care system.

If Cap and Trade passes the Senate, electricity rates will skyrocket.

And what about the price of potatoes? Yes, potatoes.

That's what tipped off Mark Cour at the Circumlocution for Dummies blog that something is terribly wrong with America in the age of Obama.

From Circumlocution:
I'm not sure if anyone other than myself noticed, but the price of practically everything you may set out to purchase has escalated of late. Escalated and then some, I’d say. On Friday I paid $6.99 for a 10-pound bag of potatoes. That same bag of spuds would have set me back for $2.99 as little as a year ago.

And as I was exiting the supermarket with my overpriced veggies in hand, I passed a guy wearing a T-shirt with that “Yes we can” bit emblazoned on it. And after a quick mumble to myself, I thought, Yes we can? Yes we can, what?

Exactly what are we doing?
It get much better. It's one of the best commentaries I've read anywhere about the current state of affairs in this country.

Read the full post, "Yes we can, what?," at Circumlocution for Dummies

Bauer Commends Supreme Court Ruling in the Ricci Case: Applauds the Use of 'Martin Luther King Test'

Bauer Commends Supreme Court Ruling in the Ricci Case: Applauds the Use of 'Martin Luther King Test'

Another example of how Democrats screw things up

Pew Report Documents Challenges Faced by Philadelphia in Paying for City Workers' Pensions and Health Care

'The Demographic Bomb'

Contrary to left-wing propaganda, the world is not overpopulated. In fact, declining birth rates could spell doom for Western Civilization, according to a new documentary.

Announcing the Release of Demographic Winter Part II - 'The Demographic Bomb'

New Bill Could Divert Billions in Small Business Contracts to Corporate Giants

Congress is working to put small business out of business, according to the American Small Business League.

New Bill Could Divert Billions in Small Business Contracts to Corporate Giants

Sotomayor Smackdown

The Supreme Court today overturned a lower court ruling written by Judge Sonia Sotomayor establishing racial quotas in a case involving New Haven, Conn., firefighters.

The top court ruled 5-4 that racial quotas are unconstitutional and sent the case back to the appeals court.

The ruling shows clearly what an intellectual lightweight Sotomayor is and also exposes her lack of basic understanding of the U.S. Constitution. That might explain why Barack Obama picked her for the court. Peas in a Pod.

Sotomayor will still get confirmed by the intellectual lightweights in the U.S. Senate, but at least the pretense of her qualification for the Supreme Court is no longer in question.

We now understand she was nominated because she's a Hispanic woman ... and not the most qualified person for the job. Isn't that filling a racial quota?

The problem with liberals is that they're stuck in the 1960s and 1970s. Time has passed them by.

Barack in Wonderland

Help stop the Rendell tax hike

Can your family afford a state income tax increase right now? If not, you must make your voice heard in Harrisburg, where Gov. Ed Rendell and his doormat Democrats in the House are planning to raise the state income by 16 percent to cover the $3.2 billion budget deficit they ran up in the past year.

If you're tired of sending your paycheck to Harrisburg, if you're tired of uncontrolled spending by professional politicians, you need to send a message to your state House member that you will vote them out in 2010 if they vote to raise your taxes in 2009.

Find out more at

Sunday, June 28, 2009

State Capitol Roundup

Here's the latest edition of State Capitol Roundup courtesy of state Rep. Bob Mensch, R-147:

House Republicans Unveil, Press for Budget Progress

While Gov. Ed Rendell continues to push for higher income taxes, House Republicans have unveiled a new Web site for taxpayers to voice their opinions on the plan. allows visitors to sign a petition against the tax increase, as well as make both written and video comments on the proposal. Thousands of Pennsylvanians have already signed up, supporting Republican claims that now is not the time to be taking more money out of the pockets of already struggling taxpayers, and that it is time to cut spending and force government to live within its means. The end of the current fiscal year and the deadline for a balanced budget is June 30. For the latest state budget news, visit

GOP Wants Stronger Gaming Laws Before Industry Expansion Considered

With some lawmakers calling for an expansion of the state's gaming industry to generate new revenue, House Republicans say the first priority must be reform of the current gaming law. While praising a Senate-passed reform measure, the lawmakers say additional changes are needed. Those changes include: prohibiting convicted felons from being employed in the gaming industry, making the license application process more transparent, and granting the Attorney General or Pennsylvania State Police the authority to enforce the state's gaming laws. The Senate bill is expected to be considered in the House in the near future, at which time House Republicans will offer their amendments. For the latest legislative news, visit

Republican Tax Amnesty Proposal Could Raise an Extra $100 Million

Legislation sponsored by Rep. John C. Bear (R-Lancaster) to create a one-time tax amnesty program in Pennsylvania could bring in at least $100 million worth of delinquent taxes. Under the bill, a 90-day tax amnesty would be declared during the 2009-10 fiscal year. All penalties would be waived if the person or business filing for amnesty pays all back taxes in full or enters into an approved payment plan. Applicants for previous amnesty periods would not be eligible, nor would filers be able to apply for future amnesty programs. New Jersey recently reported that its own tax amnesty program brought in at least $400 million in back taxes, and could generate as much as $700 million in total revenue after all tax filings at the program deadline are counted. House Bill 1627 has received bipartisan support and currently has 52 co-sponsors. It has been referred to the House Finance Committee for consideration.

Lawmakers Gather to Promote Online Transparency Database

Lawmakers, led by Rep. Jim Christiana (R-Beaver), this week announced their support for an online accountability and transparency database like that proposed in House Bill 1460. The legislation, sponsored by Christiana, would create the Pennsylvania Web Accountability, Transparency and Contract Hub (PennWATCH) to organize information about state spending and government-awarded contracts. The proposal is part of a wider effort by House Republicans to restore the public's faith in government after allegations of pay-to-play relationships between the Rendell administration and several campaign donors who later received lucrative, no-bid contracts for work. For details, visit, and click on "government reform."

Top 10 Reasons You Know You Are On Obamacare

Transformers 2 grosses $200M in 5 days

Despite mediocre reviews, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" topped the box office this weekend with an estimated $112.0 million, bringing its five-day haul to $201.2 million, according to

We have a certified blockbuster on our hands, a film that should end up as one of the top moneymakers of all time. The first "Transformers" film made $319 million domestically in its entire 2007 run.



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

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Paramount (DreamWorks))
$112.0 million | 4,234 | $201.2 million | 1

2. The Proposal (Buena Vista)
$18.5 million | 3,058 | $69.1 million | 2

3. The Hangover (Warner Bros.)
$17.2 million | 3,525 | $183.2 million | 4

4. Up (Buena Vista)
$13.0 million | 3,487 | $250.2 million | 5

5. My Sister's Keeper (Warner Bros.)
$12.0 million | 2,606 | $12.0 million | 1

Obamacare for you, but not for Obama

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hey, Obama: Where are the jobs?

A Tragic Silence

8 Republicans vote with Democrats to raise taxes by $1.9 trillion

Democrats control the House of Representatives by a 255-178 majority, but Nancy Pelosi could barely muster enough votes to pass the $1.9 trillion cap and trade energy tax.

In fact, the Democrats didn't have enough votes until 8 Republicans crossed over to support the largest tax increase in U.S. history.

Michelle Malkin has the names and photos of the 8 turncoat Republicans who sold out the U.S. taxpayer to appease the global warming fanatics. Here are the names:

Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
Mike Castle (R-DE)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)
John McHugh (R-NY)
Dave Reichert (R-WA)
Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Electricity rates (and all energy costs) will skyrocket for American families and businesses if the cap and trade bill passes the Senate. Barack Obama has already vowed to sign the tax increase into law.

Read Malkin's full post, "The 8 cap-and-tax Republicans…and the 44 Democrats who voted no" at her blog.

And be sure to remember their names when they're up for re-election in 2010.

Another 1,300-page bill nobody read?

The largest tax increase in American history, $1.9 trillion, was passed Friday by a 219-212 vote in the House of Representatives. Did anyone bother to read the bill? Probably not. Same as the stimulus bill that nobody read.

Moment of silence for those who will lose their jobs thanks to Democrats' energy tax

The honeymoon is over

All the propaganda. All the back room deals. All the pork amendments to buy votes.

And all Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi could get was a 219-212 margin to pass the cap and trade energy tax in the House?

Don't be surprised if the $1.9 trillion global warming tax fails in the Senate.

A 7-vote margin in the overwhelmingly Democratic House? That's pathetic. A total of 44 Demcorats voted against cap and trade! It took 8 GOP House members to pass it.

It's not looking good for Obamacare or other future Obama spending sprees.

House Democrats are beginning to worry about their re-election chances in 2010 as the Obama recession continues, unemployment is reaching record levels and the unprecedented debt Obama has piled on the U.S. takes its toll.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Video: Turning Japanese

No such thing as a 'temporary' tax

This letter from a Chester County resident originally published in The Mercury gets right to the point about the tax hike proposals being pushed by Gov. Ed Rendell and House Democrats. You should send something similar to your state representative, especialy if he's a Democrat.
No tax is ever 'temporary'

An open letter to state Rep. Paul Drucker, 157th District:

Consider yourself lucky. You have a job. Unlike many citizens of Pennsylvania who are unemployed and senior citizens who have seen their life's savings disappear in the last two years, you don't have to curtail your spending.

Now Gov. Rendell wants another temporary tax on the books, like other temporary taxes to never go away.

Remember, your job is only temporary too. It'll be easier for voters to vote you out of office than it will be for elected officials to remove a temporary tax. Keep that in mind when you cast your vote.


Snake hitches ride from Georgia to Pennsylvania

It wasn't as bad as "Snakes on a Plane" but still ...

From a story by Brandie Kessler in today's edition of The Pottstown Mercury:
NORTH COVENTRY — A truck driver making a delivery stop in North Coventry Thursday morning got a slithery scare in the back of his trailer when he opened the doors and discovered a 3-foot snake cooped up inside.

"That's a first," said truck driver Steve Henry of finding the snake. Henry, of Ohio, who drove the semi carrying carpets to the Morgan Moving and Storage facility on Yarnell Road near River Road from Georgia, arriving before 11 a.m. Thursday, said he'd never previously found more than a mouse or a rat on a truck he was driving, including the times when he hauled trash in New England.

"Never in 27 years," Henry said when asked if he'd ever seen anything like the snake on a truck he was driving or heard about snakes on other drivers' trucks.
Read the full story and see more photos at the newspaper's Web site.

Four Wishes

The global warming fraud continues

As House Democrats prepare to pass a $1.9 trillion global warming tax, let's take a step back and review some of the facts about the greatest hoax in human history.

From an editorialin The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review exposing the global warming fraud:
Climate change Chicken Littles squawked last week and too many supposedly objective media outlets compliantly engaged in global warming stenography.

"The observed climate changes that we report are not opinions to be debated," said Jerry Melillo, one of the chief authors of a White House-released study predicting global warming Armageddon. "They are facts to be dealt with."

Selective facts presented dishonestly and dealt with hysterically, we would add.

Geophysicist David Deming offers some badly needed perspective:

• There has been no sea level rise for the past three years

• Hurricane, typhoon and tropical cyclone activity is at a 30-year low

• Satellite data don't indicate global warming but temperatures about the same or even lower than they were in 1979

• Mean global sea ice is at the same levels as it was when monitoring began that same year.

And then there's this from Dr. Deming:

"The new scare report issued by the Obama administration refers to the work of Stephen H. Schneider six times. You will recall that Schneider is infamous for telling Discover magazine (October 1989) that 'we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have ... each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.'"

Global warming is the greatest fraud ever committed by men against mankind. Who will hold these fraudsters accountable?

Whatever happened to separation of church and state?

Oh, right. That only applies to Christianity. What if a group wanted to hand out 100,000 Bibles to political leaders? You think the ACLU and other left-wing nut jobs would be jumping oup and down?

U.S. Muslims to Offer Qurans to 100,000 American Leaders

Groups to Congress: Don't Sacrifice Patient Safety to Lower Health Costs

Groups to Congress: Don't Sacrifice Patient Safety to Lower Health Costs

Record-breaking opening for 'Transformers' sequel

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" grossed a record-breaking $60.6 million in its first day of release Wednesday.

Just to give you an idea of what a typical movie grosses in the middle of the week, "The Proposal," which was last weekend's No. 1 film, took in $4 million on Wednesday.

The Paramount Pictures release bested the previous Wednesday record holder "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" by more than $15 million and became the second biggest single-day opening of all time behind "The Dark Knight," which took in $67.1 million in its Friday debut in 2008.

It appears "Transformers" will be the first (and probably only) 2009 release to reach $300 million at the box office. The top-grossing film of 2009 so far is "Star Trek" at $242 million.

The first "Transformers" film made $319 million in the U.S. during its 2007 release.

For more on the "Transformers" phenomenon, follow the link below:

Record Breaking Opening for Michael Bay's 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen'

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tough Talk From Obama

Call Your Congressman to Oppose National Energy Tax

Congressman Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, made the following statement on the House floor in regards to the Democrats' $1.9 trillion national energy tax:
"The Old Book contains an admonition to lawmakers with these words: ‘Woe to you because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry and you yourselves will not lift a finger to help them.' In the midst of the worst economy in a generation, remarkably House Democrats are poised this week to load the American people down with a national energy tax. And the American people deserve to know it.

"Now, there's lots of debate about what this bill will cost the average American but there is no dispute the Democrat cap and trade bill will raise the cost of energy to every household in America, every small business, every family farm, and it will cost millions of American jobs. And the vote is tomorrow.

"If you oppose the national energy tax, I say call your congressman. If you think the Democrat cap and trade bill will cap growth and trade jobs, call your congressman. If you believe the American people deserve an all-of-the-above energy strategy that will create jobs, achieve energy independence and a cleaner environment then endorse the Republican alternative, call your congressman.

"A minority in Congress plus the American people equals a majority. We can reject cap and trade this week and so we must."

Warren Buffett on Dems' cap and trade plan: 'A huge tax'

'Peeping Tom Landlord' admits he videotaped female tenants

A suburban Philadelphia landlord has admitted spying and videotaping about 30 female tenants who rented from him over the past 20 years.

Thomas Daley, 46, formerly of Phoenixville, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to 30 misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy, seven felony counts of interception of oral communications and five felony counts of possessing an electronic device for the surreptitious interception of oral communications in connection with incidents that occurred between 1989 and September 2008, according to reporter Car Hessler Jr.

Prosecutors say Daley put cameras behind mirrors and in ceiling fans in bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms at five apartment buildings in Norristown. Police were tipped off when a tenant found one of the cameras.

"If you start with the premise that a person's home is his or her castle, a place that you have solace and a place that you can get away from the world, by spying on their most intimate behavior, it would shake a person to their core," said Assistant District Attorney John N. Gradel. "It's really an egregious violation of privacy."

Daley faces 10 to 151 years in prison. The open plea means Daley has no deals with prosecutors regarding his potential punishment.

Defense attorney Tim Woodward says Daley never showed the videos to anyone else and "is extremely remorseful."

Read the full story in today's edition of The Pottstown Mercury.

Newspaper: Is bribery legal in Pennsylvania?

The revelation that Pennsylvania politicians received nearly $17 million from people connected to the gambling industry has prompted the Philadelphia Daily News to ask about the ethics and legality of cash flowing into the pockets of Pennsylvania politicos charged with overseeing gambling.

From an editorial in today's edition:
Is bribery legal in Pennsylvania politics? Thanks to the arcane rules that govern campaign donations, it's nearly impossible to know.

But a new Pennsylvania Common Cause study tracking donations from the gaming industry to state lawmakers over the last seven years suggests that anyone wanting to connect the dots can end up with a fairly ugly picture. During that time, nearly $17 million in contributions flowed to lawmakers from people with a stake in the gaming industry, including lawyers and lobbyists who represented gaming clients.

The report identifies the top donors - Ira Lubert, associated with the planned Valley Forge casino, tops the list at $455,000, with Peter DePaul & family, with interests in Foxwoods casino, a close second - as well as the top recipients. No surprise that Gov. Rendell has cleaned up at this particular table with contributions exceeding $1 million. Former state Sen. Vince Fumo, architect of the gaming bill, comes in second, at $400,000; Rep. John Perzel comes in third, at $236,000.

Even as lawmakers were cashing the checks, they were considering allowing casinos to come to Pennsylvania. The odds are good that all of this campaign cash played a role in the eventual success of the legislation.
Something to think about as Democratic House leaders push for expanded table games in Pennsylvania. Are they looking out for the interests of Pennsylvania residents or salivating at the prospect of more payouts for themselves from casinos?

Read the full editorial, "Casinos' big payouts - to lawmakers," at the newspaper's Web site.

Obama Math

Pitts: Cap and trade will hurt Pennsylvania

Rep. Joe Pitts, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District, is a straight shooter, especially when it comes to looking out for the taxpayer.

Pitts is warning that Nancy Pelosi and Democrats are rushing the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill through the House before taxpayers can figure out how much it's going to cost them.

From a statement issued by Pitts:
"Every American should be gravely concerned about this legislation. Protecting the environment is extremely important, but we should do so wisely and carefully. This is reckless and extreme legislation that will hurt people who are already suffering and do significant damage to the American economy. It will drive manufacturing jobs out of the country to places like China. It will hurt American competitiveness in the world economy. Pennsylvania will be among the hardest hit states.

"The economics of this are simple: affordable energy is critical to prosperity. This legislation will make energy much more expensive. That translates to a less prosperous America with higher poverty rates, higher taxes, and a much bigger national debt. The right way to protect the environment is to make clean energy cheaper by encouraging proven sources of clean energy like wind, solar, and nuclear along with the development of cutting-edge technologies like plug-in hybrid cars and hydrogen fuel cells.

"I will be offering amendments to this bill in an attempt to limit its damage to the economy. However, I expect Democratic leaders to block votes on those amendments."
Pitts is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the legislation. He is also a member of the committee's Energy and Environment Subcommittee.

But Wait! There's More!!

Libertarians urge 'no' vote on $1.9 trillion energy tax hike

America's third largest political party is warning that Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats are rushing toward a massive new energy tax on American families known as "cap and trade," or the Waxman-Markey bill.

"With unemployment rising above and beyond what President Obama said it would be with the multi-hundred billion dollar stimulus bill, now is not the time to dismantle our economy with a multi-hundred billion dollar energy tax hike," said William Redpath of the Libertarian Party.

"Libertarians urge House members to defeat this job-killing tax hike on Americans," said Redpath. "Libertarian candidates are out there every day proposing proven solutions to create the jobs we need and restore our prosperity. This $1.9 trillion tax hike would destroy millions of jobs and impose dramatically higher prices for everything."

More from a Libertarian Party release:
At nearly 1,000 pages, H.R. 2454, sponsored by Democrat Reps. Henry Waxman and Edward Markey, imposes new taxes on any economic activity that produces carbon dioxide. Pelosi hopes to rush the bill to a vote, despite no net temperature increase globally over the last decade, significant research showing man-made carbon dioxide isn't changing the climate and opposition from thousands of scientists.

The economic impact would be harsh. According to research from the independent, non-partisan Heritage Foundation, the bill would have devastating impacts on the average American family.

The research found that by 2035, gasoline prices would increase 58 percent, natural gas prices would increase 55 percent, prices for home heating oil would increase 56 percent, and worst of all, electricity prices would jump 90 percent.

While the average American would pay the tax once in the form of higher energy prices, they also pay it again in higher costs for goods that must be manufactured and services that must be provided using energy.

The average family of four could see $2,979 in higher prices per year, paying $4,609 more in 2035 alone. The total costs to the average family in higher prices, from 2012 to 2035, reach $71,493.

The bill would also destroy millions of jobs, even taking into account Obama administration promises of new “green” jobs. The research finds an average annual job loss of 1,145,000 jobs per year because of Waxman-Markey. In the worst years, 2,479,000 Americans will lose their jobs annually under Waxman-Markey.

'Talking Politics' today on the radio

The skyrocketing cost of Obamacare, estimated at $3.5 trillion, and the push by Gov. Ed Rendell and Democrats to raise the Pennsylvania income tax will be among the topics discussed today at 5 p.m. on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" on WPAZ 1370 AM

You can call the station with questions or comments at 610-326-4000.

If you can't receive the radio signal, you can listen to the broadcast online at or

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Barack Obama - Superhero

Blogger Arrested by Feds for Gun Posts

All we're hearing so far is the Obama Administration's version of things, but a N.J.-based blogger and radio talk show host was arrested today by the FBI for allegedly threatening federal judges who upheld a gun ban.

The investigation was launched after someone tipped the feds to a blog post titled, "OUTRAGE: Chicago Gun Ban UPHELD."

You can read the U.S. Department of Justice press release announcing the arrest of Hal Turner at the link below:

Internet Radio Talk Show Host Hal Turner Arrested for Threatening Three Federal Appeals Court Judges in Chicago Over Recent Decision Upholding Handgun Bans

Video - Card Check: Poison for Jobs

Coalition for a Democratic Workplace Releases New YouTube Video

White House Immigration Meeting Leaves Out Interests of American Public

White House Meeting on Immigration 'Reform' Likely to Leave Out Interests of the American Public, Cautions FAIR

Major League Baseball to Begin In-Market Online Streaming of Live Games in Two Markets Beginning in July

The first team to be featured online is ... the Yankees.

And you would have thought it would have been the world champion Phillies, right?

The second team that will be streamed live online will be announced next week. Maybe it will be the Phils.

Major League Baseball to Begin In-Market Online Streaming of Live Games in Two Markets Beginning in July

Volunteers Needed

The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania has launched a new Web site that connects volunteers to projects in the Greater Philadelphia area. So there's no excuse for getting involved in your community.

United Way Launches New Website to Boost Area Volunteerism

Imagine if the people of Iran owned guns

This is the gun control debate in a nutshell. Governments don't want citizens to own guns so the people can never stand up to a tyrannical government. How different things would have turned out in Iran if the people had more than stones to fight back with against the government thugs carrying the guns.

Will GOP hold the line on taxes?

Veteran Harrisburg reporter Brad Bumsted does a good job of getting to the heart of the current stalemate between Gov. Rendell and his doormat House Democrats versus the Republican-controlled Senate.

Rendell and Democratic leaders want to raise the state income tax by 16 percent to make up for the $3.2 billion deficit Rendell ran up this year.

Senate Republicans (and their House counterparts) say they will not support any new taxes.

What's at stake is control of the Legislature in 2010 and beyond. Rendell is a lame duck. What he wants doesn't matter.

If Senate Republicans cave on the tax issue, they lose all credibility with voters and Democrats will chip away at the GOP's 30-20 majority.

If even one of the 99 Republicans in the House caves on the tax issue, Republicans will become a permanent minority.

Voters are angry. Angry about runaway spending. Angry about the state's economic woes, brought on largely by Rendell's failed policies.

Voters changed 1 in 3 members of the House over the past two election cycles since the infamous pay raise vote in 2005. If House members give in to Rendell and approve a tax hike, expect another large-scale voter revolt in 2010.

That's what Busted thinks, too.

From his latest column in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Will the GOP hold the line?

Are we in for a replay of the 1991 budget battle under then-Gov. Robert P. Casey when it took until mid-August to round up the votes for an income tax hike?

That began as an effort to close a $1 billion deficit. In the end, the tax hike was almost $3 billion. About $2 billion in additional spending bought members' tax votes. Hundreds of millions went for increased program spending sought by Democrat lawmakers, along with millions for their pet projects.

But the bigger question comes if the full Legislature acquiesces to Rendell and goes along with a tax increase. With the 2005 pay-jacking outrage still fresh in the minds of many, will a full-scale public revolt be next?
Read the full column, "Rendell's tax hike shell game," at the newspaper's Web site.

New name for ACORN, but still the same nuts

Terrific editorial in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about Barack Obama's favorite group of community organizers, ACORN, changing the group's name now that it has been exposed for voter fraud. Here's the editorial:
ACORN's new name

When the term "liberal" became too big an albatross around the necks of the leftists among us, they decided to use the "progressive" moniker. But no matter what they call themselves, most people understand them to be garden-variety socialists.

Now comes word that ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is changing its name. But no matter if it's ACORN or COI -- Community Organizations International -- it can run but it cannot hide.

ACORN is under investigation in at least 14 states, Pennsylvania included, for allegations of voter registration fraud. The FBI is involved. ACORN is responsible for 400,000 fraudulent voter registrations nationwide, says Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. And the Obama administration and Democrats want ACORN to have a role in next year's census?

ACORN also played no small part in the subprime mortgage mess, championing loans to those who could not afford them.

And ACORN is involved in a nasty internal mess. An embezzlement scandal of a decade ago, long kept silent, spawned whistle-blowers to act. They're now being threatened with a lawsuit, The Washington Examiner reports. An ACORN affiliate has filed a lawsuit against the voter registration whistle-blower, it says.

So, ACORN is changing its name -- Community Organizations International, or COI. Remember that new name. Remember that new acronym. And beware.

Newspaper: Obama shows weakness on Iran crisis

Investor's Business Daily says Barack Obama needs to take a firmer hand toward Iran after the brutal crackdown against its citizens.

From an IBD editorial: Apart from rhetoric, the U.S. has yet to take a firm stand against the Iran's brutal oppression of its own people. For a start, how about rescinding the invitation to Iran's diplomats to attend our 4th of July celebrations?

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

Lame duck school boards can do a lot of damage

Five incumbent members of the Owen J. Roberts School Board were ousted by district voters in the May primary election.

So what does the school board do at its June meeting? The board voted 5-4 to fire Superintendent Myra Forrest, who has a five-year contract that runs through June 2010. District taxpayers will pay Forrest's $165,000-a-year salary even if she sits at home for the next year.

Over in neighboring Pottstown, two incumbent school board members were ousted in the May primary and another two will probably lose their seats in the November election.

The current lame duck board is considering a recommendation from its personnel committee to extend the contracts of the superintendent and other top administrators for another three years.

The current contracts run through 2010 and the logical thing to do is allow the new school board to make a decision on the administrators. A vote on extending the contracts was tabled at the last school board meeting, but could be brought back at a future meeting.

What's the solution? Shouldn't there be a law in Pennsylvania that prevents lame duck school boards from making rash decisions that could impact taxpayers for years to come?

Or maybe a new law isn't needed. A judge in Schuylkill County has removed eight elected members from the North Schuylkill School Board in a case involving a superintendent controversy. See story in the Pottsville Republican.

Read more about the OJR superintendent firing in today's edition of The Mercury.

Also check out a Web site set up by critics of the school board decision,

AAA Offers Tips to Make Travel Dollars Go Farther

AAA Offers Tips to Make Travel Dollars Go Farther

'Prowl the Sproul' State Forest Activities Set for July 17-19

'Prowl the Sproul' State Forest Activities Set for July 17-19

SpongeBob SquarePants turns 10

Nickelodeon Celebrates 10 Years of Pop Culture Icon SpongeBob SquarePants

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon & Kate file for divorce in Montgomery County

This isn't the kind of "reality" TLC had in mind when it gave the green light to a show about two young parents raising eight children, twins and sextuplets.

The happy couple have been living "separate and apart" for at least two years, Kate Gosselin says in divorce papers obtained by The Associated Press. So where's the reality, guys? You've been duping the American public for at least two years, even going as far as renewing your wedding vows in Hawaii last year. Jon and Kate should be nominated for an Emmy for their "performances" as real people.

Not that anyone's complaining. More than 10 million people tune in every week to watch Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight kids. The couple has earned millions from the TV show and other marketing opportunities. Everyone's making money pretending to do a "reality" show.

The big news of the week is that Jon & Kate are getting divorced.

Reporter Keith Phucas, our man at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, has some of the details:
NORRISTOWN — The parents on one of television's best known reality shows — Jon and Kate Gosselin — filed for a no-fault divorce Monday in Montgomery County Court.

The Gosselins, who are featured in the TLC show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" with their eight children, created a media buzz when they let it be known they were having marital problems. The couple has been featured on tabloid magazine covers for months.

Kate Gosselin says in divorce papers that her marriage to Jon is "irretrievably broken." She says in court papers that she's willing to "negotiate a fair and reasonable" settlement with her husband of 10 years.

Now in its fifth season, the hit show has documented the Berk County family's semi-chaotic, day-to-day life, as Jon and Kate, and their occasional adult helpers, try to keep pace with their twins and sextuplets as they scurry around the house glancing off furniture, bouncing on beds and bumping into one other.

Though the couple lives in Berks County, they filed in Montgomery because the divorce lawyers practice here. Court records lists one of the attorneys as Cheryl L. Young, of Hangley, Aronchick Segal & Pudlin, in Norristown. A second lawyer is rumored to practice at the Elliot Greenleaf law firm in Blue Bell.

State residents can file divorce papers in any county they choose, according to David L. Ladov, a veteran divorce attorney with Cozen O'Connor.

"You can file for a divorce anywhere in Pennsylvania, as long as no one objects," Ladov said.

The Gosselins paid a $282.50 fee to file in Montgomery County. If they'd chosen Cameron County, the fee is only $50, he said.

"So for a quick, no-fault divorce, it's all done by mail," Ladov said, referring to the Cameron County option.

Also, the fact that divorce records are sealed in Montgomery County may have played into the couple's decision to file in Norristown.

In Berks County, divorce records are open for public inspection, according to an employee at the Berks County Prothonotary's Office.
The biggest losers appear to be the children, who have been exploited by the parents and television execs for ratings and a big pay day ... and then there's the American viewing public, which will watch anything on television.

TV viewers lost interest in the eight Gosselin children years ago. The show is really about a shrew of a wife and a hen-pecked husband. Now that they're getting divorced, what's the point of watching the show?

Read the full divorce story in Wednesday's edition of The Pottstown Mercury.

Guide to political pork in PA

The Associated Press ran a three-part series this week in newspapers across the state about the pork spending by the Pennsylvania Legislature, the very same group of lawmakers who will soon have to decide if they should raise your taxes to continue funding irresponsible spending.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review couldn't help but notice that most of the spending took place in legislative districts held by legislative leaders. Funny how that works out.

From an editorial:

Against the backdrop of Harrisburg seeking more of taxpayers' hard-earned money to cover up its continued profligacy come new details of a long-outrageous practice.

The Associated Press reports that "tens of millions of dollars that support Pennsylvania lawmakers' favorite causes are directed by legislative leaders through a secretive process that appears to benefit some of the leaders' constituents the most."

To wit, Greene County, 56th out of Pennsylvania's 67 counties in population and home to Bill DeWeese, last year's House Democrat leader, ranked first in grant dollars per person, an AP analysis concluded.

Then there's Carbon County. As home to current House Speaker Keith McCall, the Democrats' whip last year, the county that ranks 40th in population ranked second in grant dollars per person.

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

Amnesty International to Hold Iran Vigil in NYC

Amnesty International to Hold Iran Vigil in NYC

Raid Permanently Shutters Almost Heaven Kennel

Raid Permanently Shutters Almost Heaven Kennel

Here he comes to save the day

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Aichele announces for PA Lt. Governor

"It's time to write a new chapter in Pennsylvania's history," says Chester County Commissioner Carol Aichele in announcing her intention to run for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor.

The two-term Republican Chester County commissioner officially launched her bid to become Pennsylvania's next lieutenant governor today.

Aichele said it was time for a new approach to governing in Harrisburg.

"Pennsylvania has steep challenges ahead that require strong leadership," Aichele said in a prepared statement. "It's time to write a new chapter in Pennsylvania's history and fix what is broken in our state. If I have the honor of serving as lieutenant governor, I'll work hard with the newly elected governor to do just that."

Aichele's first official event as a candidate is a fundraiser in King of Prussia hosted by former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman. The event is expected to raise $100,000 for the Aichele campaign.

Joseph "Skip" Brion, treasurer of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania and chairman of the Chester County Republican Committee, enthusiastically endorsed Aichele and said she is the right person for the job.

"Carol Aichele has been a top vote-getter in one of Pennsylvania’s largest suburban counties," Brion said." She will help attract voters next year in all areas of the state, but especially in large suburban areas that are critical in statewide elections. Carol is the kind of accomplished and experienced leader we need working for us in Harrisburg."

Aichele, who calls herself a fiscal conservative, noted that Pennsylvania's next administration will face many daunting tasks after eight years under Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.

"We must focus on creating jobs, fixing our economy and providing relief to families and businesses struggling with high taxes," Aichele said. "Pennsylvania needs a new beginning."

As a Chester County commissioner, Aichele led the effort to help the county achieve a Triple A bond rating from Moody's Investors Services, one of the few counties in the country to achieve this status, resulting in millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers each year, her campaign noted.

She also worked to Chester County's tax rate among the lowest in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

In addition to serving two terms as commissioner, Aichele was the first woman elected controller in Chester County and has served as the chairwoman of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

Aichele, a former math and science teacher, also served six years as a member of the Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board, with two years as board president. She has served in numerous leadership positions on various boards and community organizations for more than 25 years.

Aichele is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in economics. She and her husband, Steve, have three grown children and three grandchildren.

Additional information can be found at her campaign Web site,

Rendell wants $500 from you

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania released a new Web ad titled “$500” today, examining the true cost of Gov. Ed Rendell and the Democrats’ plan to raise personal income taxes by 16% on Pennsylvania families.

From a GOP press release:

“Pennsylvanians should be outraged by the Governor’s proposal to increase taxes,” said PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason. “Rather than make fiscally responsible decisions in Harrisburg, he has decided to shift the burden of the state’s $3 billion budget deficit to Pennsylvania families by calling for a major tax hike. Governor Ed Rendell’s decision to cut the annual budget of every hardworking Pennsylvania family by $500 is deplorable.”

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania encourages Pennsylvanians to contact Gov. Ed Rendell and Democrat Party leaders and to pass a fiscally responsible budget that will not increase taxes before the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

“For months, Republicans have put forth real solutions that will balance our budget without raising taxes. It is time for Democrats to do the job they are paid to do and make tough decisions in Harrisburg, not force hardworking Pennsylvanians to carry the burden of their out-of-control spending proposals and decision to increase taxes.”

PA Human Relations Commission Dismisses Sex Discrimination Complaint Against City of Bethlehem

Human Relations Commission Dismisses Sex Discrimination Complaint Against City of Bethlehem

Is Rendell lying? Part 1

I draw your attention to the press release below from Gov. Ed Rendell only to point out that Rendell previously bragged that he has provided historic property tax relief for all Pennsylvanians thought his slot parlor scheme. Now he's worried about property taxes? Was he lying before?

Governor Rendell Urges Adequate State Education Funding to Avoid Drastic Local Property Tax Hikes

Obama screws up on Iran

You get the feeling the United States under Barack Obama is not prepared to deal with any crisis around the globe? It's 3 a.m. and Obama is out back sneaking a cigarette when the phone call comes.

From Investor's Business Daily editorial:
Last week's postelection protests had the makings of an uprising that might have overthrown mullah rule. The missing ingredient: well-prepared, preplanned leadership from the United States.

We refuse to halt Iran's nuclear program with military force. We won't try to stop it with serious economic warfare that goes beyond slap-on-the-wrist sanctions. And now it also seems clear that we won't stand with Iranian freedom fighters in their hour of need.

Apparently, the secret weapon the U.S. is intent on using (but only when the time is right) against Iranian nuclear jihad is: Our president's irresistible personality.

Get the point launches

Can your family afford a state income tax increase right now? If not, you must make your voice heard in Harrisburg, where Gov. Ed Rendell and his doormat Democrats in the House are planning to raise the state income by 16 percent to cover the $3.2 billion budget deficit they ran up in the past year.

If you're tired of sending your paycheck to Harrisburg, if you're tired of uncontrolled spending by professional politicians, you need to send a message to your state House member that you will vote them out in 2010 if they vote to raise your taxes in 2009.

Find out more at

Getting Older

In the United States, the population 65 and older will more than double by 2050, rising from 39 million today to 89 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

While children are projected to still outnumber the older population worldwide in 2050, the under 15 population in the United States is expected to fall below the older population by that date, increasing from 62 million today to 85 million, the Census Bureau reports.

Census Bureau News - Census Bureau Reports World's Older Population Projected to Triple by 2050

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Breaking Point

"With 9.4 percent unemployment and the price of gasoline climbing to $2.69, it defies common sense why any politician could support legislation like Waxman-Markey that would kill more jobs and drive the price of a gas even higher," said Dan Varroney, senior vice president of American Solutions for Winning the Future.

American Solutions Launches New Television Ad To Stop Waxman-Markey National Energy Tax

PA sued by mental retardation advocacy group

A class action lawsuit has been filed against the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare for violating the rights of over 1,200 Pennsylvanians with mental retardation and intellectual disabilities, according to the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania's Illegal Institutionalization of More Than 1,200 People with Mental Retardation Challenged

Death at Assisted Living Facility Points to Desperate Need for Better Regulations from PA

Death at Assisted Living Facility Points to Desperate Need for Better Regulations from the State

'Drunk on Anti-Zionism': Jewish group responds to New York Times Op-Ed

'Drunk on Anti-Zionism': AJC Responds to Tony Judt's New York Times Op-Ed

Thorns to Rendell for fudging tax numbers

From a recent editorial in The Pottstown Mercury:
THORNS to Gov. Ed Rendell for misrepresenting the taxing rank of Pennsylvania among other states in proposing an income tax increase. The governor claimed that, after the proposed increase, Pennsylvania's rate would still be the third-lowest among 40 states that also have a personal income tax, citing information compiled by the Federation of Tax Administrators. However, a report on the group's Web site detailing 2008 personal income tax rates shows that Pennsylvania was one of just seven states with a flat income tax, and the rate under Rendell's plan would be the third-lowest only when compared with the highest tax rates in all states. There are 29 states whose minimum income tax rate was lower than the 3.57 percent Rendell proposes, according to the group's report. When you're talking taxes, it's wise to get the facts straight.

Columnist: Hope and change — but not for Iran

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer chides Barack Obama for his ineffective response to the Iranian crisis, essentially calling Obama a coward for his failure to act decisively as the Iranian people stand up to their tyrannical government.

From Krauthammer's latest column in Investor's Business Daily:
All hangs in the balance. The Khamenei regime is deciding whether to do a Tiananmen. And what side is the Obama administration taking? None. Except for the desire that this "vigorous debate" (press secretary Robert Gibbs' disgraceful euphemism) over election "irregularities" not stand in the way of U.S.-Iranian engagement on nuclear weapons.

Even from the narrow perspective of the nuclear issue, the administration's geopolitical calculus is absurd. There is zero chance that any such talks will denuclearize Iran. On Monday, Ahmadinejad declared yet again that the nuclear "file is shut, forever."

The only hope for a resolution of the nuclear question is regime change, which (if the successor regime were as moderate as pre-Khomeini Iran) might either stop the program, or make it manageable and nonthreatening.

That's our fundamental interest. And our fundamental values demand that we stand with demonstrators opposing a regime that is the antithesis of all we believe.

And where is our president? Afraid of "meddling." Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror — and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world.
Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

Obama poll numbers falling

The mainstream media lost interest in presidential approval numbers after George W. Bush left the White House, but Michael Falcone and Andy Barr of Politico have been looking over Obama's poll numbers and have noticed a definite trend: Obama's job approval numbers are heading south.

From their article at Politico:
Eroding confidence in President Barack Obama's handling of the economy and ability to control spending have caused his approval ratings to wilt to their lowest levels since taking office, according to a spate of recent polls, a sign of political weakness that comes just as he most needs leverage on Capitol Hill.
Read the full story, "President Obama's poll numbers start to wilt," here.

The Iranian Falcon

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Sign 'No Taxes Pledge'

POLICY BLOG has compiled a list of Pennsylvania lawmakers who have signed the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge."

Of the 29 lawmakers on the list, 6 are Democrats!

"Assuming politicians can be trusted to keep their word, this would seem to put another nail in the coffin of Gov. Rendell's proposed income tax hike," notes POLICY BLOG.

Here's the list so far:

Lisa Boscola (D-18)
John J. Eichelberger (R-30)
Mike Folmer (R-48)
Jane Orie (R-40)
Gene Yaw (R-23)

Stephen Barrar (R-160)
Kerry Benninghoff (R-171)
Scott W. Boyd (R-43)
James E. Casorio, Jr. (D-56)
Jim Cox (R-129)
Brian Ellis (R-11)
Camille George (D-74)
Richard Grucela (D-137)
Ted Harhai (D-58)
Susan C. Helm (R-104)
Rob Kauffman (R-89)
Tim Krieger (R-57)
Jim Marshall (R-14)
Daryl Metcalfe (R-12)
Scott Perry (R-92)
Joseph A. Petrarca (D-55)
Jeff Pyle (R-60)
Dave Reed (R-62)
Brad Roae (R-6)
Todd A. Rock (R-90)
Samuel Rohrer (R-128)
Mario M. Scavello (R-176)
Rosemary Swanger (R-102)
Katherine McDowell Watson (R-144)

Why isn't your state representative or state senator on the list? You should ask them.

Capitol South

'Get Help Now, Pennsylvania' launches

Gov. Ed Rendell must be schizophrenic. He wants to help Pennsylvanians in need, but won't acknowledge that many of his policies have created the economic climate the placed so many state residents in distress.

Rendell keeps forgetting that he's been governor for the past seven years.

From a press release issued by the Rendell administration:
Many Pennsylvanians -- like other Americans -- are struggling financially due to the national recession. Nearly 115,000 Pennsylvania homeowners were delinquent with their mortgages in the first quarter of 2009. In 2008, there were 42,949 foreclosures across the state - an increase of 127 percent from 2007. As foreclosures continue to rise, so does credit card debt and bankruptcies.
There's help available for Pennsylvania residents struggling financially (see release below) but Rendell and Obama have to stop blaming everyone else for their sorry economic records.

Governor Rendell Launches 'Get Help Now, Pennsylvania' Volunteer Service Initiative

Pennsylvania Department of Health Applauds New Federal Anti-Tobacco Law

Pennsylvania Department of Health Applauds New Federal Anti-Tobacco Law

Rep. Schroder: It's the spending, stupid!

Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155, on the Rendell drumbeat for higher taxes to help the governor dig out of the $3.2 billion deficit he created:

"The Rendell administration is spending a lot of time selling the idea that we have a revenue crisis in this state and more money is needed," Schroder said in a written statement. "We don't have a revenue crisis in Pennsylvania. We have a spending crisis and it's time we acknowledge it and begin dealing with it responsibly."

Schroder said the Senate's budget bill, which was killed by Democrats in House committee, was widely criticized for the depth of cuts it proposed. While acknowledging that the bill was far from perfect, he said it reflected the economic realities facing lawmakers and Pennsylvania citizens.

"Now is the time to scale back state government, to cut non-essential services and discretionary grant programs, and hold the line on spending," said Schroder. "The governor's budget proposes $700 million in new state spending at a time when people are losing their jobs, and losing their homes to foreclosure. Now he proposes to take even more out of their paychecks. This is not a responsible solution. It's time to cut spending now!"