Monday, August 31, 2009

March on Washington set for Sept. 12

The Mother of All Tea Parties is about to hit Washington, D.C.

Americans who believes in limited government, want to see lower taxes, less government and more freedom are invited to join the March on Washington scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009.

The 9-12 March on Washington national coordinators are;; and

They are being supported by a who's who of conservative, anti-tax, libertarian, free-market and patriotic organizations.

POLICY BLOG has a information on buses scheduled to take Pennsylvania protesters to the event.

From the official protest Web site:
"It's time to take the tea party movement directly to Washington, D.C. Please join thousands of local organizers and grassroots Americans from across the country as we gather in our nation’s capital to deliver a message to the politicians: Enough!

We've had enough of the out of control spending, the bailouts, the growth of big government and the soaring deficits. And we reject the future tax increases to pay for all of this spending and debt down the road. We are gathering on 9-12-2009 to deliver our message in person that we’ve had enough!"
For more information, visit

Night of the Living Debt

New Poll: 57% Would Like to Replace Entire Congress

Job approval numbers for members of Congress have plummeted since the Democrats took control after the 2006 election. Now a majority of Americans say we should flush all of Congress away and start over.

From Rasmussen Reports:
If they could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress, just 25% of voters nationwide would keep the current batch of legislators.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% would vote to replace the entire Congress and start all over again. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure how they would vote.

Overall, these numbers are little changed since last October. When Congress was passing the unpopular $700-billion bailout plan in the heat of a presidential campaign and a seeming financial industry meltdown, 59% wanted to throw them all out. At that time, just 17% wanted to keep them.

There has been a bit of a partisan shift since last fall. With Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress, it's not surprising to find that the number of Democrats who would vote to keep the entire Congress has grown from 25% last fall to 43% today. In fact, a modest plurality of Democrats would now vote to keep the legislators. Last fall, a plurality of Democrats were ready to throw them all out.
Read more poll results at Rasmussen Reports

Partisan Rivals Unite to Modernize Voter Registration System

Partisan Rivals Unite to Modernize Voter Registration System

Litter Bug Captured in the Act by Photo Bug

Litter Bug Captured in the Act by Photo Bug

Meanwhile ... in Harrisburg

Rush Limbaugh can see the future

From the "Whispers" column in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Byrd echoes Limbaugh

Rush was right.

Does anyone recall Rush Limbaugh's prediction in March regarding health care reform? The nationally syndicated talk show host predicted that by the time any legislation was passed, it would be known as the "Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill."

After the Massachusetts senator succumbed to brain cancer last week, The Wall Street Journal reminded everyone about the Democratic National Committee's indignant response to Limbaugh's prognostication.

"It is outrageous to demonize a patriotic senator who has spent his life fighting so that every person has the opportunity to live the American dream," a DNC release stated. "Tell Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele to denounce Rush Limbaugh once and for all."

Bet the DNC would like to have that release back. Especially after Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., issued this statement following Kennedy's death:

"In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American."

We're still waiting for the DNC to be consistent and issue a statement denouncing Byrd for making such an outrageous remark.

By The Numbers: 71,500

Today's number is 71,500.

That's the minimum number of Pennsylvania jobs that would be lost if the Waxman-Markey bill, better known as Cap-and-Trade, is passed by the Senate. The House already approved the bill and President Obama said he would sign it if passes both chambers of Congress.

The 71,500 estimate comes from the National Association of Manufacturers, which commissioned a study to look at the impact of the Waxman-Markey bill in each state. The job loss number could go as high as 97,500 in Pennsylvania.

More from the study:
Higher energy prices would have ripple impacts on prices throughout the economy and would impose a financial cost on households. Pennsylvania would see disposable household income reduced by $148 to $285 per year by 2020 and $926 to $1,507 by 2030.
The study concluded that bill would cots 2.4 million jobs across the United States.

To review the complete study, visit the National Association of Manufacturers Web site,

Why We Don't Need Socialized Medicine

Obama Adviser on 9/11: Blame 'U.S. Imperialism'

Obama Adviser on 9/11: Blame 'U.S. Imperialism,' Reports Aaron Klein

September is 'National Preparedness Month' in Pennsylvania

Governor Rendell Proclaims September 'National Preparedness Month' in Pennsylvania

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ann Coulter: Liberal Lies About National Health Care, Part 2

Best-selling author and columnist Ann Coulter has launched a series of columns exposing "Liberal Lies About National Health Care."

The first part covered five major lies:
(1) National health care will punish the insurance companies.
2) National health care will "increase competition and keep insurance companies honest" -- as President Barack Obama has said.
(3) Insurance companies are denying legitimate claims because they are "villains."
(4) National health care will give Americans "basic consumer protections that will finally hold insurance companies accountable" -- as Barack Obama claimed in his op/ed in the Times.
(5) Government intervention is the only way to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Read the full column at

The second column covers three more lies:
(6) There will be no rationing under national health care.
(7) National health care will reduce costs.
(8) National health care won't cover abortions.
Read the full column at

How to order pizza after Obamacare

'Final Destination' kills at weekend box office

"The Final Destination" topped the box office this weekend with an estimated $28.3 million, according to

The fourth installment in the popular series depicting ingenious ways to kill off cast members recorded the biggest opening weekend in the series. The $28.3 million beat the $19.1 million opening of "Final Destination 3" in 2006. That film ended up grossing $54 million. "Final Destination 2" opened with $16 million in 2003 and made a total of $46.9 million. "Final Destination" opened with $10 million in 2000 and grossed a total of $53 million, prompting the string of sequels.

Last week's No. 1, "Inglourious Basterds," dropped to No. 2, but brought in a respectable $20 million, bringing its two-week take to $73.8 million.


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

1. The Final Destination (Warner Bros. (New Line))
$28.3 million | 3,121 | $28.3 million | 1

2. Inglourious Basterds (Weinstein Company)
$20.0 million | 3,165 | $73.8 million | 2

3. Halloween 2 (2009) (Weinstein / Dimension)
$17.4 million | 3,025 | $17.4 million | 1

4. District 9 (TriStar)
$10.7 million | 3,180 | $90.8 million | 3

5. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Paramount)
$8.0 million | 3,467 | $132.4 million | 4

The Truth About Canadian Health Care

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fight Rendell and the 'spending interests'

Lowman S. Henry has some sound advice for Pennsylvania taxpayers: "If YOU don't speak up now, then the outcome of the budget crisis will be determined by those who do."

While it appears nothing much is happening while the state budget impasse marks its ninth week, Gov. Ed Rendell and the "spending interests" are working feverishly to weaken the resolve of Republican lawmakers, who have taken a "No New Taxes" stance.

From Henry's most recent post at his Lincoln Blog:
The spending interests are deploying a new tactic in their effort to inflict higher taxes on the working families of Pennsylvania: they are picketing the offices of their local state senators and state representatives and calling a compliant news media in for coverage.

In an effort to put pressure on fiscally responsible legislators, the spending interests are now resorting to pickets and demonstrations all the while chanting the mantra that it is time to end the stand-off.

I agree the budget stalemate should come to an end - but it should do so with state government living within OUR means and not raising any taxes. Otherwise, the budget crisis can go on until Easter if necessary.

Rendell has been manufacturing all sorts of doomsday scenarios for weeks now. In recent days school district officials - whose coffers are currently flush with local tax revenue - have be whining like spoiled children over the delay in state money, and over the fact Republicans want to give them less of an increase in their allowance, er, subsidies than they want.

Henry suggests Pennsylvania taxpayers give Rendell and the "spending interests" a taste of their own medicine.

"The tactic of demonstrating in front of legislative district offices is one taxpayers and taxpayer groups should emulate. Why should the spending interests be the only ones who make their voices heard?"

It would benefit every taxpayer to take time to call, write, visit - or take to the streets - in front of his/her legislator and senator's offices to either thank them for standing firm against tax hikes, or call upon them to put taxpayers first.
Read the full post at LINCOLN BLOG

Friday, August 28, 2009

Firearm Owners and Seniors Coalesce Against Obama Agenda, Says Gun Law Expert

Firearm Owners and Seniors Coalesce Against Obama Agenda, Says Gun Law Expert

PA Gaming Control Board Fines Casino for Underage Gambling Violations

Downs Racing, L.P., operators of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs had to pay a total of $97,500 for 11 incidents of individuals under 21 caught playing slots and for four incidents of individuals under 18 gaining access to the gaming floor.

PA Gaming Control Board Fines Casino for Underage Gambling Violations

The Lion of the Senate

GOP challenges Democrats to bring House back into session to deal with budget

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

GOP Leader Smith Challenges Democrats to Bring House Back Into Session to Deal With Budget

House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) this week called on House Democrat leaders to bring state lawmakers back to Harrisburg and get to work on the state budget, which is now 58 days late. Smith said the only way to resolve the disagreement among lawmakers and the governor about how much the state can afford to spend this year is to vote on it. He challenged Democrat leaders to run their proposals to increase taxes on Pennsylvanians. If there are not enough votes to support the tax hikes, then it's time to debate a fiscally responsible alternative, such as House Bill 1943, offered by Republican Appropriations Chairman Mario Civera. The plan increases the state's investment in public education and funds all vital state programs without increasing taxes. For more information on the Republican budget proposal, visit

Reining in Welfare Fraud Will Help Balance State Budget

In the wake of Democrat Auditor General Jack Wagner's recent report of mismanagement in the state's welfare system, House Republicans are renewing their call for reform to help save taxpayer money and balance the state's budget. An audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's (DPW) special allowance program, which assists welfare recipients in work training, turned up insufficient documentation for 45 percent of the payments reviewed. In one case, a Philadelphia man was paid thousands of dollars to watch his own children. In another, two beauty school students were reimbursed by the state for supplies they never purchased. Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) said this week that evidence of fraud has been building for the last three years, but he has little faith that DPW Secretary Estelle Richman will do anything to address the problem. House Republican Whip Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) is proposing legislation to tighten up the special allowance program, by limiting payments for child care, transportation, union fees, testing fees and professional fees, to reduce incidents of fraud and to ensure that state funds are reaching those truly in need of assistance. For the latest legislative news, visit

Ryan Costello: Change direction of country in 2010

Voters can change direction of country in 2010

By Ryan Costello

Has the historic spending and expansion of government by the Democrats gone too far? The combined costs of the various "stimulus" and bailout programs rammed through Congress are projected to reach $9.7 trillion, according to Bloomberg News.

That amounts to almost two-thirds of the value of everything produced in the U.S. during 2008. It would be enough to pay off 90 percent of the mortgages in the United States. It equals $30,000 for every man, woman and child in America. With $9.7 trillion, you could send a $1,430 check to every man, woman and child in the world.

It gets worse. It is certainly appropriate to evaluate legislation to address climate changes concerns. However, according to the Heritage Foundation, the recent cap-and-tax proposal approved by the House of Representatives would result in the loss of 3,117 jobs in the 6th Congressional District in the year 2012. The same study found that the act would result in a personal income loss of $415 million for Pennsylvanians in the 6th District alone.

Democrat proposals regarding healthcare reform for a government run healthcare system will prove even more costly to taxpayers and fail to address the problem of ensuring quality care to all Americans. Starting, owning or operating a small business will become even more burdensome —discouraging economic growth at the very time we need it most

For fiscal years 2009 and 2010, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the federal government will record its largest budget deficits as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since shortly after World War II.

In fact, the CBO estimates that the federal debt held by the public will soar from 41 percent of GDP at the end of fiscal year 2008 to 60 percent at the end of fiscal year 2010.

The "stimulus bill" has proven a failure at stimulating the economy. Less than 10 percent of stimulus money has been spent in the six months since enactment. Unemployment is now at a 26-year high of 9.5 percent, up from 7.6 percent when President Obama took office. The economic indicators are so bad that the Obama Administration postponed its mid-year economic report from mid-July to mid-August to avoid releasing a host of bad economic news as it seeks to push health care reforms through Congress. It is obviously not having the immediate economic impact promised by Congress.

What we really need are policies directed at job creation and lowering small business taxes to kick-start investment and innovation in the economy. The Democrats in Congress are failing to recognize that growing small businesses is the only way to truly create short term and sustainable job growth. The Democrats' plan — increasing government spending — only means more money out of the pockets of working families, seniors and future generations. Will federal leadership rely on the ingenuity and entrepreneurial characteristics that America was built upon? Or will federal leadership further expand government in an attempt to solve problems, regardless of the damaging effects on the future of our country? Attempting to solve our current financial crisis by burdening future generations with even more debt is not the solution.

To date, the majority party in Washington, D.C., has not been providing the true leadership our country, our economy, and the American people need. We are headed in the wrong direction. Ultimately, it may be up to the voters in 2010 to change the course through electing new leadership in Congress.

Ryan Costello is an attorney and the Chester County Recorder of Deeds. He is seeking the Republican nomination to run for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District in 2010.

For more information, visit his campaign Web site,

AJC Condemns World Council of Churches Head's Hypocritical Assault on Israel

AJC Condemns World Council of Churches Head's Hypocritical Assault on Israel

In Case of Nuclear Emergency ...

Pennsylvania Health Department Distributing Potassium Iodide to People Living, Working Near Nuclear Power Plants

The Revolution Is On!

The American Revolution of 2010 has launched a new Web site to help Americans oust the career politicians in Congress who have helped bankrupt this nation.

Revolt Against Career Politicians in the US Congress Begins Today

The ad ABC, NBC refuse to air

Hmmm ... Two struggling television networks won't accept money to air an advertisement critical of Obamacare. And I thought they were in business to make money. Didn't ABC give Obama free air time to promote his government-run plan? Just keep telling yourself there's no liberal bias in the media.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Business group backs Mensch for PA Senate

ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, announced today it has endorsed Republican state Rep. Bob Mensch for the 24th Senatorial District.

Mensch, who has represented the 147th House District in Montgomery County since 2007, will face Democrat Anne Scheuring in a Sept. 29 special election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Robert Wonderling, who resigned to head the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Scheuring is a newcomer to politics, serving on the Lansdale Borough Council since January.

The winner of the special election will complete the remainder of Wonderling's term, which runs through the end of 2010. Candidates will have to compete again in November 2010 for a full four-year term in the state Senate.

The 24th Senate District includes parts of Montgomery, Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks counties.

From ChamberPAC:
"Rep. Mensch's election to the state Senate would be a natural extension of his dedicated public service in the state House," said Gene Barr, PA Chamber vice president of government and public affairs.

Barr said Mensch understands the concerns of job creators and has voted consistently for policies that promote economic and job growth to the benefit of his constituents and all Pennsylvanians.

"With an economy in crisis, it is essential to have someone in office who understands what it will take to move Pennsylvania forward," said Barr, noting as well Mensch's past 28 years of experience with AT&T.

"For these reasons, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry wholeheartedly supports his state Senate candidacy. Constituents in Montgomery County will be well served by Mensch as their senator."
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, serving more than 24,000 members and customers statewide. For more information, visit the group's Web site at

For more on Mensch, visit his campaign Web site,

Auditor General Jack Wagner: Sale of State Office Building Will Cost Taxpayers $55 Million

Another shot at Ed Rendell by a Democrat who would like to be Pennsylvania's next governor.

Auditor General Jack Wagner's Investigation Shows Sale of State Office Building Will Cost Taxpayers $55 Million, and Decentralize State Government Services

Framing the Debate

Newspaper: Rendell must read writing on the wall

One of the state's most liberal newspapers wants Gov. Ed Rendell to stop playing political games with the nine-week-old state budget stalemate and urges the governor to compromise with Republicans who are trying to hold the line on spending and taxes.

The Wilkes Barre Times Leader is telling Gov. Rendell that it's time the state started living within its means.

From the editorial:
It's time for our governor to face the realities of education funding and close this sad chapter of partisan politics so the state can resume helping all of the people with the resources it has.
Rendell must read writing on the wall | Opinion | - The Times Leader

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Poll: 70% want smaller government

Six months of failure under the Democratic leadership of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid has convinced 7 in 10 Americans that big government liberalism is not the way to go, according to a new poll.

From the latest Rasmussen Reports:
Seventy percent (70%) of likely voters now favor a government that offers fewer services and imposes lower taxes over one that provides more services with higher taxes, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

That’s up five points over the past month and is the highest level measured in nearly three years.

Just 19% would prefer a government that provides more services in exchange for higher taxes, down five points from July and the lowest level in over two years. This marks the first time the percentage of voters who prefer this type of government has fallen below 20%.

Most Republicans (88%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (78%) like a government with lower taxes and fewer services, and 48% of Democrats agree. However, one-in-three Democrats (34%) prefer more government services and higher taxes.
Read more at Rasmussen Reports

The American Legion has new national commander

Florida Veteran Elected Leader of The American Legion

New Eagles logo in honor of Michael Vick

Michael Vick will make his pre-season debut in an Eagles' uniform tonight. Keep an eye out for the new Eagles' logo.

Rendell Signs Bill Protecting Dogs

PA Governor Rendell Signs Bill Protecting Dogs from Painful, Inhumane Procedures

Governor Rendell Says U.S., PA Flags to be Flown at Half-Staff in Honor of Sen. Kennedy

Governor Rendell Says U.S., PA Flags to be Flown at Half-Staff in Honor of Sen. Kennedy

Doctors sue White House over free speech violations

White House Sued Over Free Speech Violations In Healthcare Battle: Doctor & Patient Groups Say White House Intended to Shut Up Opponents

Everything Teachers and Parents Need to Know About Swine Flu

Everything Teachers and Parents Need to Know About Swine Flu

Facebook Announces Privacy Improvements

Facebook Announces Privacy Improvements in Response to Recommendations by Canadian Privacy Commissioner

Obama is lying again

By The Numbers: 81

Today's number is 81.

That's the number of U.S. banks that have failed since Barack Obama became president, according to the Federal Insurance Deposit Corp.

By comparison, just 26 banks failed in all of 2008 when Republican George W. Bush was president. In 2007, just 3 U.S. banks failed.

Industry analysts predict that another 150 to 200 banks will fail. Keep that in mind next time the Obama media tells you the recession is over.

Judicial candidate on 'Talking Politics'

Attorney Gary Silow, a candidate for Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge, will be the studio guest on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. 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

Silow has been practicing law in Montgomery County for the past 29 years.

The non-partisan Judiciary Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association has rated Silow "HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" after an exhaustive review of his career.

Silow graduated from Abington High School, with honors from the Pennsylvania State University, and from Temple Law School. He has been a member of the Montgomery Bar Association for more than 28 years, and has been a practicing Montgomery County attorney since graduating from law school.

Following his tenure as an Assistant District Attorney in Montgomery County, Silow began a private practice in the Jenkintown area. Silow has lived in Montgomery County for 48 years.

For more on Silow, visit his campaign Web site,

Obamacare's Contradictions

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WSJ: Obama budget projections 'laughably implausible'

White House estimates of a $9 trillion budget deficit over the next 10 years ($2 trillion more than the White House predicted just a few months ago) are still way off the real deficit projections, according to an editorial in The Wall Street Journal.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts that debt held by the public as a share of GDP, which was 40.8% in 2008, will rise to 67.8% in 2019 — and then keep climbing after that, says the newspaper.

The CBO says this is "unsustainable," but even this forecast may be optimistic, the newspaper says.

From the editorial:
The real fiscal crisis in Washington is that neither Congress nor the White House are offering any escape from these trillion-dollar deficits. Mr. Obama has not called for automatic and immediate spending cuts. He has not proposed eliminating hundreds of wasteful programs. To the contrary, the White House still hasn't ruled out another fiscal stimulus, as if a $1.6 trillion deficit isn't Keynesian stimulus enough. The Administration's celebrated scrub through the budget this summer identified $17 billion in agency savings. That's what Uncle Sam is borrowing every three days.

Obamanomics has turned into an unprecedented experiment in runaway government with no plan to pay for it, save, perhaps, for a big future toll on the middle class such as a value-added tax. White House budget director Peter Orszag promises that next year's budget will have a "plan to put the nation on a fiscally sustainable path." Hide the children.
Read the full editorial, "The Pelosi-Obama Deficits," at the newspaper's Web site.

Illegal Aliens Can Receive Benefits Under House Health Care Bill

Disturbing news from the Federation for American Immigration Reform:
Tuesday, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the "research arm" for the United States Congress, issued a report validating an analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), that illegal aliens would be able to receive benefits under the House health care reform bill, America's Affordable Health Care Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200).

The report, Treatment of Noncitizens in H.R. 3200, states definitively, "H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitizens - whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently - participating in the Exchange." H.R. 3200 establishes a Health Insurance Exchange which would provide individuals and small businesses with access to health care plans, including the "public option" to be managed by the government.

CRS also confirms FAIR's assessment that the House bill does not include a mechanism to prevent illegal aliens from receiving "affordability credits" that would subsidize the purchase of private health insurance. CRS specifically noted the absence "of a provision in the bill specifying the verification procedure." Because the language is ambiguous, all CRS could reasonably conclude is that any eligibility determination would be the responsibility of the Health Choices Commissioner.
Read the full release at the link below:

Congressional Research Service: Illegal Aliens Can Receive Benefits Under House Health Care Bill

Walter Cronkite is turning over in his grave

Katie Couric and "Excellence in the Media" should never be used in the same sentence.

CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric to Receive Al Neuharth Award at University of South Dakota on Oct. 8

Obamanomics: From Bad To Worse

From Investor's Business Daily:
When it comes to the budget deficit, things just keep getting worse. As recently as May, the White House predicted $8.95 trillion in deficits over the next decade. Today, just four months later, thanks to slower economic growth and higher spending, the 2009-19 deficit is expected to hit $10.63 trillion — more than $1.68 trillion higher. This means more debt. Since its founding in 1776 all the way to last year, the U.S. had accumulated a total net debt of about $5.3 trillion. According to new estimates, that will nearly triple to $14.1 trillion by 2019.

Toomey, Sestak to host joint town hall

Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak, the two men who will likely face each other in 2010 for Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate seat, have agreed to hold a joint town hall meeting in Allentown next month.

From a press release issued by the Toomey for Senate campaign:
After a number of exchanges on health care reform, U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey will be participating in a joint town hall meeting next week with Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak. Pat is eager to welcome Joe to his hometown of Allentown and has invited to take Joe out for a beer following the meeting.

The event will be held on September 2, 2009 at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.

Here are the particulars:
Town Hall Meeting Itinerary – September 2, 2009

Where: Muhlenberg College
Baker Center for the Arts, Empie Theatre
2400 Chew Street
Allentown, PA 18104

When: Wednesday, September 2, 2009, 6:30 – 8:00 PM EST.
Doors open at 5:30 PM EST.

Host: Dr. Chris Borick, Director of the Institute of Public Opinion, Muhlenberg College

Santorum statement on Ted Kennedy

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum issued the following statement on the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy:
"Passionate, tough, committed, persistent, theatrical and obstinate. That was Ted Kennedy.

If you were not on the very top of your game negotiating with Ted Kennedy and his loyal staff, the blood on the mat would undoubtedly be all yours. I respected him as an incredibly skilled senator and unbending fighter for the most liberal of causes that he believed would benefit our country.

When he was out of the arena, he was an affable colleague who was fun to be around. On a personal note, I will always warmly remember in October of 1996 that he was the first of my Senate colleagues to call me and express his condolences for the loss of our son Gabriel.

My deepest sympathies go out to his wonderful wife Vicki and the Kennedy family."

Obama on Ted Kennedy: 'The greatest senator of our time'

I know you're supposed to say nice things about the departed, but come on.

Historian Barack Obama said today that Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts is the "greatest senator of our time."

Obama is only 48, so did he mean of the past 50 years? Isn't that a slap against his own Vice President Joe Biden, who served in the Senate from 1973 to 2009? What is he, chicken liver?

And what about Lyndon Johnson, who served in the Senate from from 1949–1961, including six years as Majority Leader?

Or for that matter, John F. Kennedy or Robert F. Kennedy? They had brief careers in the Senate, but who wouldn't pick them over Ted Kennedy?

From the JFK Library archives: In 1957, Senator John F. Kennedy headed a committee that selected five senators as the nation's greatest.

The final report of the Special Committee recommended five Senators whose portraits were placed in the Senate Reception Room. They were the following:

Henry Clay of Kentucky
John C. Calhoun of South Carolina
Daniel Webster of Massachusetts
Robert Marion La Follette of Wisconsin
Robert A. Taft of Ohio

Here's the full text of Obama's statement on the death Tuesday of Sen. Kennedy:
Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.

For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.

I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've profited as president from his encouragement and wisdom.

An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.

And the Kennedy family has lost their patriarch, a tower of strength and support through good times and bad.

Our hearts and prayers go out to them today — to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.

Tough season for the Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates at in sixth place in the six-team National League Central Division. At 52-71, they are 19 games behind the division-leading Cardinals. Do you remember when Pennsylvania had two good baseball teams?

Government Loophole Will Slow Economic Recovery for Middle Class America, According to the American Small Business League

Government Loophole Will Slow Economic Recovery for Middle Class America, According to the American Small Business League

Rendell statement on Ted Kennedy

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell today issued the following statement on the passing of Sen. Kennedy of Massachusetts:
"I was saddened this morning to learn of the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, one of the true giants of American public life. It marks the end of an era in our nation's politics, and indeed in our nation's history.

"During almost five decades in the United States Senate, Ted Kennedy led the fight for the most vulnerable and least fortunate among us. He valued every person, no matter their station in life, and he worked tirelessly until the very end to make sure that all Americans could live in dignity and peace.

"He knew that the strength of a nation lies in the strength of its people, so he dedicated himself to fighting for all children to receive a good education, for everyone to have access to high-quality health care, and for everyone to have the opportunity for economic progress - in short, that everyone had the chance to share in the American dream.

"The United States has lost one of its greatest statesmen of all time. I will miss him as a friend, and the nation will miss him for the leadership, the guidance and the love that he gave to all of us."

Nearly $1.3 Billion in Payments to Pennsylvania School Districts Delayed Due to Budget Impasse

If Ed Rendell would only drop his demand to increase state spending and raise taxes, the school districts would get their money. It's that simple.

Nearly $1.3 Billion in Payments to Pennsylvania School Districts Delayed Due to Budget Impasse

Are the wheels coming off the economic recovery?

The American Legion Calls VA's so-Called Death Book an 'Awkward Attempt to Help'

The American Legion Calls VA's so-Called Death Book an 'Awkward Attempt to Help'

Pennsylvania State Parks Open for Early Goose Hunting

Pennsylvania State Parks Open for Early Goose Hunting


Harris Poll: Americans Give Obama Negative Ratings on 12 Issues

Bad news across the board for Barack Obama and his failed presidency from the latest Harris Poll:
As President Obama's overall job approval remains just barely positive, when presented with a list of 12 issues he is currently facing, the American public believes that the job he is doing on all 12 of them is negative. The one that is closest to an even split among adults is reducing the threat of terrorist attacks against the United States where just over half of Americans (51%) give the president negative ratings and 49% give him positive ratings.

These are some of the findings of The Harris Poll, a new nationwide survey of 2,498 U.S. adults surveyed online between August 10 and 18, 2009 by Harris Interactive.

Looking at the economic issue overall, three in five Americans (61%) give President Obama negative ratings on the economy, while 39% give him positive ones. In June, 43% of Americans gave President Obama positive ratings on the economy. When it comes to specific economic issues, the news is worse for the president. On regulating the financial system, 63% give President Obama negative marks and on taxes two-thirds of Americans (67%) give him negative marks. Seven in ten Americans give the president negative ratings on employment/ unemployment (69%) and social security (70%) while over three-quarters (77%) give him negative marks on the job he is doing on the federal budget.

Looking at the environment, 57% of Americans give President Obama negative marks for his handling of that issue. When it comes to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public is of a similar mind. Almost three in five U.S. adults (58%) give President Obama negative marks on his handling of the war in Iraq and 59% give him negative ratings on his handling of the war in Afghanistan. More than three in five Americans give President Obama negative ratings on the overall job he is doing on education (63%) and health care (65%).

There is also a generation divide on these issues. The youngest generation, Echo Boomers (those aged 18-32) are less likely to give President Obama negative ratings on 11 of the 12 issues. On one, the environment, Baby Boomers are the most "positive" on the job the president has done. In comparison, Matures (those aged 64 and older) and more likely to give President Obama negative ratings on 11 of the 12 issues. On social security, Gen Xers (those aged 33-44) are the most negative.

Video: Drop It

Rep. Pitts: 'We need the right kind of reform'

Health Care Reform Must Be Patient Centered

By Congressman Joe Pitts

We have a health care crisis in this country. Most people reading this know someone who is without insurance, or who has encountered catastrophic costs that are jeopardizing their financial standing. And we have simply too many people who do not have access to affordable health coverage. Something must change.

We need reform, but we need the right kind of reform. Almost everyone in Washington can agree that we need change, but the type of reform is critical to ensuring that you have access to quality, affordable health care. Any reform must maintain the doctor-patient relationship while helping to provide coverage for those who cannot afford it.

I stand firmly committed to providing genuine access to affordable, quality health care for every American. In order to accomplish this, we need to pursue a balanced, common sense approach that will guarantee that Americans can receive the care they deserve while protecting the sacred doctor-patient relationship. What we cannot have is a bureaucrat-run system imposed by politicians in Washington that takes away your power to decide health care treatment and denies you the treatments you need, when you need them.

There are two competing ideas regarding health care reform in Washington right now. One seeks to hijack health care and put government bureaucrats in charge, placing your relationship with your doctor in jeopardy. The other seeks to preserve the sacred doctor-patient relationship while reducing cost and increasing coverage. The first plan is being advocated by the President and Democrats in Congress. The second option is the plan I stand behind.

In countries where the government runs a single, one-size-fits all system, people often wait weeks or even months for tests when they are sick. Then they wait weeks or months more for treatment. In these countries, politicians and bureaucrats decide if you'll get the procedure you need, or if you are disqualified because the treatment is too expensive or because you are too old. This is rationed health care. The very sad case of actress Natasha Richardson is a tragic example of someone who did not receive the treatment she could have because of the government-run health system in Canada. This is unacceptable.

In addition, the proponents of a government-run health care plan claim it will decrease costs. This runs contrary to all other evidence from programs run by the government and to the experience of all other countries who have tried government-run health care.

I am pleased the President has been talking about waste, fraud and abuse in government lately. I think his words should lead to greater action, but at least he's talking about the reality of the situation in Washington. What I cannot understand is how someone can say these kinds of things about government waste and at the same time advocate for government ownership of your health care and your treatment decisions.

When the President recently released a detailed budget plan, he called for cuts in some government programs by saying that "there is a lot of money being spent inefficiently, ineffectively, and – in some cases – in ways that are actually pretty stunning." I completely agree. Yet, this is the very same President that wants to take over your health care in the name of saving costs. Government-run health care will not be magically less prone to waste, fraud, and abuse than anything else run by the government.

Instead, we need to retool our system in order to emphasize preventative care and reduce the need for doctors to practice defensive medicine. If we help protect doctors from frivolous lawsuits, they can stop ordering tests that aren't needed and we can use that money to put toward more preventative treatment and better promote wellness.

I will work with the President and my colleagues in Congress to reform our health care system because it needs to be changed. However, reform must start with the principle that doctors and patients should be making health care decisions, not some Washington bureaucracy. Health care must be patient-centered, not government-centered. With these principles, there is no reason we cannot commit to working with him on his stated goals of increasing efficiency and lowering health care costs for all.

I want to make health care coverage portable, so that you can take it from one job to another. Better yet, we should end the discriminatory tax treatment that provides a tax benefit to companies for providing health care, but not individuals for buying their own. I think we ought to allow individuals to band together to pool risk, which will reduce costs. Individuals ought to be able to buy insurance across state lines if they find a plan that works for them. We should be promoting health care IT, which has the potential to cut down on errors and increase the potential of preventative care.

These are just a few of the ideas that can help to reduce costs while preserving the doctor-patient relationship that is vital to quality care. I look forward to working with all parties to find a way to make high-quality health care affordable for everyone.

Congressman Joe Pitts represents the 16th Congressional District of Pennsylvania.

Video: Surf's Up

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rep. Sam Rohrer: Gov. Rendell addicted to 'Other's People Money'

State Budget Addiction

By Rep. Sam Rohrer

It's no secret that the governor is at odds with lawmakers, specifically Republican lawmakers, in this ongoing budget stalemate. Thus far the debate has been centered around how to close the deficit, whether through spending reductions or tax increases. Republicans believe that fiscally responsible reductions are essential in order to stop runaway government spending and force the state to make the same difficult decisions its citizens face every day. The governor insists not only on increases in spending, but on new revenues in the form of a Personal Income Tax (PIT) increase.

I believe it is imperative to give an honest questioning of why Gov. Ed Rendell is so fixated on a tax increase. Despite his posturing that he is open to other options on the table, his actions clearly demonstrate that he is determined to raise taxes on hard-working Pennsylvanians.

While I am no doctor, I fear Gov. Ed Rendell is addicted, in the words of the former Sen. Vincent Fumo, to OPM — Other People's Money. He will do or say anything to get more OPM.

Otherwise, why is the governor engaging in behavior that is harming those he claims to care about? The governor has long claimed to be an advocate for children and education; yet in early August, the General Assembly sent the governor a budget bill that would have provided significant increases in funding for local schools and students. Instead of supporting students, on Aug. 5, the governor single-handedly eliminated all funding in the state budget for basic education and special needs schooling.

In addition, the governor has also claimed to be the protector of state workers. Yet, despite his supposed concern for this group, the governor has failed for the past seven years to sign a budget into law by the July 1 deadline. In the past, this has led to temporary furloughs for some state workers. This year, it resulted in payless paydays, where state government was unable to pay state employees for the hours they worked.

And why is the governor showing his blatant disregard for the opinions of those who elected him? After proposing a 16 percent increase in the state's PIT and dragging the budget process long past the deadline, the governor's approval ratings have plummeted. When asked about this, the governor said he did not care if his approval rating dropped below 10 percent. In the wake of members from his own party saying a tax increase is off the table, he himself admitted that, "Right now I'm the only one talking about raising revenue."

In all these things, the governor has been willing to "railroad" whoever stands between him and his desire to spend more OPM. Other state lawmakers, state workers, students, the people who depend on state government services — the governor has run roughshod over all of them in his pursuit of more OPM.

Many Pennsylvania families are facing the real threat of losing their home through foreclosure because of job loss or because they can't pay their property taxes. Others shudder in fear at the prospect of losing their jobs and their livelihoods. For government to take more money away from these people through a tax increase would be cold-hearted villainy. Yet, the governor rationalized this all away, arguing that families can afford to send more of their hard-earned money to the state coffers.

These signs all seem to indicate that Rendell and House Democrat leaders are undoubtedly addicted to OPM. When other options are on the table-when tax increases are being opposed by most-when state workers are suffering as political hostages-when approval ratings are dropping daily-why must the governor insist on taking more of your money?

Is it simply because he can't envision the people of Pennsylvania surviving without government taking care of them? Is it because he doesn't see how he will survive without his taxpayer-funded cardboard checks to hand out? Or, maybe he's unconcerned about the lasting effect on the state far past when he is out of office? Whatever the reason may be, one thing remains clear: the governor cannot be allowed to ruin Pennsylvania through his fixation on raising taxes.

State Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks, is the Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee.

'Why don't my constituents trust me anymore?'

VA Chief's Vow to The American Legion: 'We Will End Vet Homelessness.'

VA Chief's Vow to The American Legion: 'We Will End Vet Homelessness.'

Deficit projection grows by $2 trillion

Should the United States declare bankruptcy now or wait until Obama and the Democrats dig a deeper hole? What's another $2 trillion among friends?

Deficit projection grows by $2 trillion - Mike Allen -

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Step Back From The Ledge

'Why are they so angry?'

John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, offers an excellent analysis of the growing anger exhibited by Americans toward the political class in Washington.

From his recent column in The Wall Street Journal:
Why are they so angry? The reasons are manifold, but the single biggest reason is the arrogance of our elected officials in Washington. Think about it. For the past seven months a small group of politicians has been meeting behind-closed-doors with powerful special interests to decide whether you will be able to keep your current insurance, where you will be directed to get new insurance and at what price, what fines you and your employer will have to pay if you don't conform, and how they're going to get your doctor to change the way he or she practices medicine. In the process, they never asked you what you thought about anything. If you are not mad about this, odds are you don't understand the situation.
Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

Rep. Pitts adds third town hall meeting

I guess Rep. Joe Pitts is making up for his Democratic colleagues who are afraid to face their constituents on the hot-button issue of Obamacare.

Just hours after announcing a second town hall on health care, Pitts released the following statement, adding a third meeting:
Rep. Joe Pitts will hold a town hall meeting to discuss health care reform legislation Friday, August 28 at Unionville Elementary School, 1775 West Doe Run Road, Kennett Square, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Residents of the 16th District are encouraged to come and ask questions about the legislation currently working its way through Congress and Rep. Pitts own views about the best way to improve health care for all Americans.

This town hall is in addition to a meeting in Lancaster County on Thursday night and another meeting in September that will be scheduled after House Democratic Leadership releases the version of H.R. 3200, the health care reform bill, which will be considered on the House floor. The bill was considered by three separate committees, including the Energy and Commerce Committee on which Rep. Pitts serves. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the three chairmen of these committees are currently working on a bill that could be significantly different from the original legislation.

Throughout the month of August, Rep. Pitts has met with concerned citizens to discuss health care including Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, hospital administrators and doctors and senior citizens communities. Additionally, Rep. Pitts held a telephonic town hall that reached out to 89,000 residents and answered live questions about health care reform and other subjects.

"I'm glad to have the opportunity to hold yet another meeting with residents of the 16th District," Pitts said. "Nothing is more important to me than hearing from my constituents and I welcome the opportunity to listen to their concerns about health care reform in an open forum.

"We need health care reform but the right kind of reform. We need to make sure every American can get health insurance, even if they have a pre-existing condition. We need to bring down the cost of insurance by creating real competition and consumer choice. We need a compassionate, effective system that controls costs and takes care of every American. But also we need responsible reform that will not be a costly burden to our children and grandchildren."

Rep. Pitts schedules town hall for Thursday

While most Democratic members of Congress are hiding under the beds instead of giving their constituents an opportunity to be heard on Obamacare, one area Republican Congressman is holding two town hall meetings.

Rep. Joe Pitts, R-16th, has added a second town hall meeting for Thursday night.

From a press released issued today by Pitts' office:
Rep. Joe Pitts will hold a town hall meeting to discuss health care reform legislation Thursday, August 27, at Conestoga Valley High School, 2110 Horseshoe Road, Lancaster, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Residents of the 16th District are encouraged to come and ask questions about the legislation currently working its way through Congress and Rep. Pitts' own views about the best way to improve health care for all Americans.

This town hall is in addition to a meeting in September that will be scheduled after House Democratic Leadership releases the version of H.R. 3200, the health care reform bill, which will be considered on the House floor. The bill was considered by three separate committees, including the Energy and Commerce Committee on which Rep. Pitts serves. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the three chairmen of these committees are currently working on a bill that could be significantly different from the original legislation.

Throughout the month of August, Rep. Pitts has met with concerned citizens to discuss health care including Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, hospital administrators and doctors and senior citizens communities. Additionally, Rep. Pitts held a telephonic town hall that reached out to 89,000 residents and answered live questions about health care reform and other subjects.

Rep. Pitts Statement Follows:
"Nothing is more important to me than hearing from my constituents. In the many meetings I have had with them this month they have expressed to me a multitude of concerns with the current system but also with the proposed legislation. I look forward to meeting many more 16th District residents on Thursday night in an open forum where I can share my views, listen to concerns and opinions and answer questions.

"We need healt hcare reform but the right kind of reform. We need to make sure every American can get health insurance, even if they have a pre-existing condition. We need to bring down the cost of insurance by creating real competition and consumer choice. We need a compassionate, effective system that controls costs and takes care of every American. But also we need responsible reform that will not be a costly burden to our children and grandchildren."
Originally posted at THE CENTRIST

Capitol South - 'MSNBC Said So' Edition

Rep. Rohrer Opposes Rendell Sales Tax Expansion

For the past six years, Gov. Ed Rendell has opposed efforts by state Rep. Sam Rohrer's efforts to expand the state sales tax in order to eliminate school property taxes.

Now that Gov. Rendell is floating the idea of expanding the state sales tax to help cover his $3.2 billion budget deficit, Rohrer is among the first state lawmakers to publicly condemn the idea.

From a press released issued today by Rohrer, a Republican who represents the 128th District in Berks County:
"The governor seems unable to understand that, on taxes, no means no," Rohrer said. "There is only one acceptable solution to the ongoing budget stalemate. The state must reduce spending to match its income. State government should not be adding to the burden of working families by raising taxes during this economic recession. That would be cold-hearted and wrong. Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve a compassionate government that does not kick them while they're down."

Rohrer is the Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee and the sponsor of the School Property Tax Elimination Act (SPTEA), a plan to free Pennsylvania homeowners from the burdensome property tax. Rohrer's plan would use an expanded sales tax, among other revenue sources, to fund education in the Commonwealth.

Rohrer warned residents not to be confused by the governor's proposal. While Rohrer's is about eliminating property taxes, the governor's is about expanding the state budget.

"My plan offers the hope of a property tax-free Pennsylvania," Rohrer said. "The governor's proposal is just another attempt to dig deeper into the pockets of taxpayers. He just wants more money to spend on more government."

Rendell is proposing the sales tax expansion after his earlier proposal to increase the state income tax was shot down by the General Assembly.

"The governor just doesn't get it," Rohrer said. "Whether it's an income tax, a sales tax or any other tax hike proposal he cares to offer, people just can't afford it right now. Instead of always expecting taxpayers to sacrifice and do more with less, the governor might actually have to sacrifice for a change."

Rohrer also noted it would be interesting to see which House Democrats would rise to support the governor's call for an expansion in the state sales tax to pay for additional state government spending.

"In the past, some House Democrats have adamantly opposed my plan to use a sales tax expansion to eliminate school property taxes," Rohrer said. "Will those same lawmakers now rise to support the governor's proposal to expand the tax to pay for more government? If that's the case, they would essentially be saying that they'd support a sales tax expansion to help the governor, but not to help homeowners. That's one heck of a message to send to property taxpayers in your district."

Rohrer said he will encourage his colleagues in the General Assembly who have supported the SPTEA to oppose the governor's sales tax expansion.

"The sales tax was instituted in 1953 for education only. It should remain for education only," Rohrer said. "It should not be used as a back door into the pockets of taxpayers to pay for more government spending."

Scaling back Obamacare

'No separation of mosque and state?'

Excellent Letter to the Editor originally published in The Pottstown Mercury about how the liberal education establishment is bending over backwards to accommodate the tiny Muslim minority in schools while continuing to battle the 85 percent Christian majority. Where is the separation of church-and-state when it comes to religions other than Christianity?
Does The Koran belong in school?

It won't be long until school starts.

Now that public school textbooks (see 6th grade Social Studies book, The World, and more) are being printed with pro-Islamic religious content and pro-Islamic political views, and because Islam is a religion, I am wondering about the response to this material from people who have been known to raise one unholy howl whenever there has been a hint that their children have been or might be exposed to any mention of Jesus or the God of the Bible or oh, may God forbid (God?), the terror of prayer in the name of the Savior. (Oddly, people do not mind dishonorably using His name in general conversation do they?) Granted, Jesus is mentioned in the Islamic teaching in the textbook, but what is written abut Him is very seriously not true.

Any person agreeing to accept the Koran for facts about Mohammad should logically regard the authority about Jesus to be the Bible, certainly not the Koran or any other extra biblical religious books that contain distorted passages from the Bible.

Some schools are even allotting times for Muslim students to spread their little prayer rugs and recite Islamic prayers. What? No separation of mosque and state? Maybe people who are not too acquainted with Islam just don't take this religious bias seriously enough to fret over it, but we certainly should regard the consequences of some of its teachings seriously. They are of a lot more concern than bowing heads for prayer at lunch times or, scarier yet, flagpoles. If there is no separation of mosque and state, there should be no separation of church and state (by secular definition).

It is a religious controversy, so ask yourselves: Why do we tolerate those in our society who would have us legally reject the religion that formed the character of the men who originally built our national foundation and culture into the once strongest, most influential in the world, while we educationally promote the religion of our country's greatest enemies that had nothing, nothing, nothing to do with our development or founding ideologies?

The Bible, the first holy book to exist, with its teachings that have been twisted by false religions, and misquoted by any number of people who critically critique it or misuse it as an excuse to do wrong, has remained remarkably well preserved and offers a thorough understanding of right and wrong, and it tells of the real God who died for our sins, rather than one who requires his followers to die for him. Also, the Bible never tells us to inflict cruelty upon those who reject it like the religion being taught in those textbooks.

Yet the Bible seems to be the book that an awful lot of people fear. Could it be the truth spoken from the Bible somehow feels more unnerving than the lies we hear and the lies we tell to ourselves? Does anyone care about school children being taught to accept error as truth? It's been happening with more than religious and political thought.

If you care, please, plan an alternative to public education for your children.


Philadelphia Selected for 2014 NALC Convention

Philadelphia Selected for 2014 NALC Convention

Survey: Americans skeptical health care reform will improve quality or affordability

Another survey, another condemnation of Obamacare.

From Thompson Reuters:
Majority Satisfied with Status Quo: The survey asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with their healthcare providers, costs, and insurance coverage. About 80 percent said they were satisfied with their doctor, nearly 70 percent were satisfied with their health insurance coverage, and about 53 percent were satisfied with the amount they pay out-of-pocket for healthcare.
Read more survey results at the link below.

Thomson Reuters Survey: Americans Skeptical that Healthcare Reform Will Improve Quality or Affordability

FRC Challenges President to Support Ban on All Federal Abortion Funding in Health Reform

FRC Challenges President to Support Ban on All Federal Abortion Funding in Health Reform

Gaining the High Ground

Monday, August 24, 2009

'There Ought To B A Law' video contest

The Montgomery County Bar Association and Montgomery County Bar Foundation are holding a second annual video contest. This year's theme is "There Ought To Be A Law," promoting awareness and respect for law.

Contest participants can enter under two categories: under 18 and over 18. Participants are expected to create a video entry describing a new law they feel should exist or a law that should be changed.

The deadline is Oct. 18. And there will be People's Choice Awards given out.

The winner could walk away $1,000 richer.

The contest is open to everyone who is a resident of Pennsylvania, including licensed lawyers. Those under 18 must have their parents' permission to enter.

Go the the Montgomery County Bar Association Web site for full contest rules.

Veterans Administration Must Suspend Use of So-Called 'Death Book' on Veterans, Malley Says

Veterans Administration Must Suspend Use of So-Called 'Death Book' on Veterans, Malley Says

FRC Challenges President to Support Ban on All Federal Abortion Funding in Health Reform

FRC Challenges President to Support Ban on All Federal Abortion Funding in Health Reform

'Emergency' Extension of FAA Must Include Passenger Protections

'Emergency' Extension of FAA Must Include Passenger Protections

Astroturf Liberals vs. Grassroots Conservatives

Watch this video and see if you notice the difference between the professionally printed "official" pro-ObamaCare signs and the homemade unofficial anti-ObamaCare signs.

(H/T The American Spectator)

House GOP Leader: Democrats still trying to raise taxes on PA residents

House Republican Leader Sam Smith is warning that Gov. Ed Rendell is working on another sneaky tax increase as the state's budget crisis enters its ninth week.

Smith issued the following statement regarding the Sales and Use Tax expansion proposal being offered by the governor as a means to fund his bloated state spending proposal.
For 55 days, Pennsylvania has not had a full operating budget in place, and the latest official budget proposal put forth by the Democrats increases state spending to $29.1 billion, far more than is supported by anticipated state revenues and federal stimulus dollars.

"One way or another, the governor wants your money. In this climate, more taxes can be devastating for Pennsylvania families and employers.

"Last week, Democrats were looking to tax legal services and limit access to the courts.

"Now, we learn 'everything is on the table,' and they have a list of items, including many other 'services' they are looking to tax for more revenues – including each and every ATM transaction.

"Newspapers and magazines; movie, sports and theater tickets; museums, historic sites and the zoo will all have the state Sales and Use Tax added to their costs just to increase state spending. Research and development, advertising, and administrative services will be taxed under the governor’s plan. In order to pay for big government services, Democrats are even looking to tax Unemployment Compensation Claims, mass transit, textbooks, flags and dry cleaning.

"In order to spend, they are looking to tax. More taxes on Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvania employers are wrong and cause harm. Republicans have a better idea.

"House Republicans have introduced the $27.5 billion, no-tax-increase 2009-10 Republican Compromise Budget, House Bill 1943, which includes a $150 million increase for basic education as well as an increase for services to non-public schools; money for hospitals and health care programs that were eliminated from the governor’s proposal; and necessary dollars for human service programs.

"The House Republican proposal is a complete budget that funds the needs and priorities of Pennsylvania. Reflecting the state of the global economy, some may have to do with less, but none will have to do without.

"By using reason and setting realistic priorities, a no-tax-increase budget is indeed possible."

How come we never hear about the GOP health care reform bills?

With 24 hours to fill every day, you'd think the news channels would find some time to provide information about three Republican-sponsored bills for health care reform, but I haven't seen any on CNN or MSNBC about Republican alternatives to Obamacare. And forget about ABC, CBS and NBC, which are vying to be designated the official TV network of the Obama White House (NBC is in the lead so far.) - Republicans Have Offered Three Alternative Health Care Reform Bills

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Obama's Spending Plans Will Nearly Double the National Debt - White House Leaked the News Late on Friday - Obama's Spending Plans Will Nearly Double the National Debt--White House Leaked the News Late on Friday

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'Americans need patient-centered reform'

Columnist: Time to treat health care like commodity

Spencer: Time to treat health care like commodity - The Delaware County Daily Times : Serving Delaware County, PA(

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'Gov. Rendell has Cadillac tastes with a Chevy pocketbook'

Another great letter from Camp Hill resident Bill McIntyre to Gov. Ed Rendell and every other elected official in Pennsylvania:

August 24, 2009

To: Friends of Responsible Government
Subject: Budget; what else?

Dear Friends,

What else? Plenty! The U.S. Postal Service is poorly managed and billions of dollars in debt. Amtrak is a similar story. Auto dealers not being timely reimbursed under the "cash for clunkers" program; Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare in financial trouble; and now President Obama wants government to run our health care. Government has proven it can't run itself, let alone everything else.

Here in Pennsylvania we have similar problems with our leadership (what leadership?). Gov. Rendell has Cadillac tastes with a Chevy pocketbook (I can say that as I own a Chevy). His actions remind me of a story that has a moral:
Looking for an inexpensive gift for a friend, a tightwad entered a gift shop, but found everything too expensive.

Pricing a glass vase that had been broken, he found that he could buy it for practically nothing. He requested the store to send it; hoping his friend would think it had been broken in transit.

In due time, he received an acknowledgement that read – "Thanks for the vase. It was so thoughtful of you to wrap each individual piece separately."
This is the approach being used by our governor; but he is mailing each piece separately and at different time intervals using the U.S. Post Office. First, he sent the delayed salaries to most state workers. Second, we're still waiting! He missed the opportunity to mail half of the broken vase that contained some help for our schools of which he champions; along with help for the homeless, day care centers, drug and alcohol services and food pantries to name a few.

Gov. Ed Rendell reasoned it would put the pressure on the legislature to pass his budget; but it has backfired. He is the roadblock in this budget mess. His attitude is all; or nothing at all. So, when the money runs out and services end, look towards the person who occupies the governor’s office until the 3rd Tuesday of January 2011. Much harm can and will happen before then, unfortunately!

Sick of politics as usual,
Bill McIntyre
Change! You can keep it!

CC: Gov. Ed Rendell
Executive, Legislative & Judicial Branches of PA Government

Toomey on skyrocketing federal deficit

If you're enjoying seeking record deficits in Washington, D.C., then either Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak is your man. If you're concerned about the record deficits approved by Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats, you have an alternative in the 2010 Senate race.

From the Toomey for Senate campaign:
Pennsylvanians have yet another reason to be concerned about the growing extremism in Washington.

The Obama administration announced that it is raising its 10-year budget deficit projection to $9 trillion from $7.108 trillion. In the seven months since the Democrats have taken control of Washington, the 10-year deficit has grown nearly $3 trillion, from $6.3 trillion.

This new information should not come as a surprise to most taxpayers. Since June, the independent and nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has predicted that the 10-year deficit would rise to $9.1 trillion, but the Obama administration refused to listen. It is time for the administration to be candid with the American people about the extent of the government's runaway spending.

"One-party rule in Washington has produced extreme spending policies that are pushing the deficit to unprecedented levels," said U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey. "When the Democrats took complete control of the government, they promised taxpayers they would bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington and cut the deficit in half. Instead, we've seen the exact opposite."

"The question for Democratic Senate candidates Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak is, will they continue to support policies that promise to grow the deficit even more, like government-run health care and continued Wall Street and auto company bailouts? Washington desperately needs balance and fiscal responsibility. Pennsylvanians cannot afford the irresponsible spending, the growing size of government, and the enormous debt burdens that are being placed on future generations."

Video: Obamacare Explained

PennDOT Reminds Drivers, Students to Be Alert, Be Safe As School Begins

PennDOT Reminds Drivers, Students to Be Alert, Be Safe As School Begins

Rep. Schroder: Blame suffering on Rendell

For some perspective on the "suffering" of social service agencies and the education community because of the state budget impasse, we turn to state Rep. Curt Schroder (R-155):
Governor's Vetoes Unnecessarily Harm Vulnerable Pennsylvanians

Human services providers and the people they serve have been put in a very precarious situation as a result of the state budget impasse. Unfortunately, they have become the new prisoners in the budget battle. When Gov. Ed Rendell signed the so-called interim budget and vetoed funding for vital government services, he released one set of hostages, the state employees, and claimed another. Now human services groups, social services programs, libraries, school districts and students heading off to college this fall, are suffering.

They are suffering, not because lawmakers don't want to fund them but because the governor would rather use them as leverage to get his higher spending and higher taxes. His actions are cruel and lack compassion. With many human service programs and child care centers now on the brink of closure as a result of the governor's actions, Senate Republicans tried to override more than $2 billion of his vetoes. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats voted against the effort, forcing human service providers, their consumers and others to continue going without the funding they need indefinitely.

The budget impasse could end tomorrow and could have ended months ago if the governor would take the approach that millions of Pennsylvanians have already taken during this recession. People have adjusted their lifestyles to live within their means, and the taxpayers of this state have every right to expect state government to do the same! We must encourage economic growth by keeping taxes low in order to see state revenue rebound. Only then will our schools, libraries, human services and other programs have the funding necessary to sustain them.

Unlike the governor, most Pennsylvanians know that a tax increase is not the answer. I will not yield that ground and, in fact, both Republicans and many Democrats in the House and Senate have stood up to the governor on this issue. Pennsylvanians deserve an end to the games and brass knuckle tactics of the Rendell Administration that have prevented a reasonable resolution to this budget.

Closing in on Democrats