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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Columnist: Do school districts have to raise property taxes?

What is getting lost in the uproar about cutting back state subsidies for public education in Pennsylvania is the fact that nearly every school district in the state was planning to raise property taxes before Gov. Corbett announced his 2011-12 budget.

The beef taxpayers have is with their local school districts, which raise taxes every year. School boards have done a terrible job of balancing their budgets over the years.

Do school districts have to raise property taxes? - pottsmerc.com

The insoluble Cyprus problem

The illegal occupation of Cyprus by Turkey is in its 37th year. When will Obama start bombing Turkey?

The insoluble Cyprus problem

Your daily dose of liberal media bias

Modest efforts by Republicans to curb runaway federal spending will lead to mass starvation, according to a New York Times writer, who appears to have overdosed on Kool-Aid.

MRC.org - Media Research Center: NYT Food Writer Mark Bittman: People Will 'Starve to Death' Under House Budget

Democrats elevate voter fraud to an art form

GOP says 5,000 non-citizens voting in Colorado a 'wake-up call' for states - TheHill.com

Video: Chinese Professor

PA Takes Disciplinary Actions Against 116 Licensed, Commissioned Professionals, Organizations

Pennsylvania Department of State: Disciplinary Actions Taken Against 116 Licensed, Commissioned Professionals, Organizations

Something On The Tracks

Julia Hearthway to Lead PA Department of Labor and Industry

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Completes Cabinet by Naming Julia Hearthway to Lead Department of Labor and Industry

15 Pennsylvania residents prosecuted for welfare fraud

While former Gov. Ed Rendell looked the other way and allowed welfare fraud to skyrocket during his eight years as governor, things will be different under Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

The Corbett Administration has announced the prosecution of 15 individuals for welfare fraud.

Office of Inspector General Announces February Welfare Fraud Adjudications

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Corbett to sell Rendell 'Tour Bus'



A tour bus used by former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to push his big government agenda - at taxpayer expense - will be sold, Gov. Tom Corbett announced Wednesday.

Corbett called the bus a "white elephant" that cost Pennsylvania taxpayers more than $66,000 for maintenance "despite it being driven less than 26,000 miles in eight years."

It appears Rendell shot the transmission on the bus, leaving behind an anticipated repair bill of at least $5,000.

"My administration is committed to refocusing state spending on the core functions of government and that does not include maintaining a 41-foot motor coach that has largely sat in the garage," Corbett said in a press release. "This fiscal year alone taxpayers have paid for batteries, towing and window tinting. As of today, we will not ask taxpayers to put one more cent into the upkeep of this vehicle."

On a more serious note, Corbett has commissioned a review of the state's massive vehicle fleet to determine if the state can save money by reducing the number of vehicles it owns.

Read the full release at the link below:

Governor Corbett Sends Defunct Tour Bus to the Auction Block

March Madness

Democrat Announces Bid for Pennsylvania Attorney General

The election isn't until 2012, but a Scranton-area prosecutor is the first candidate to announce for Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Tom Corbett resigned as Attorney General when he was sworn in as governor on Jan. 18.

Corbett nominated Pittsburgh federal prosecutor Linda L. Kelly to succeed him as Attorney General on Feb. 8 but Kelly has not been confirmed yet by the State Senate.

William H. Ryan Jr. is currently serving as Acting Attorney General.

Kathleen Granahan Kane Announces Candidacy for Pennsylvania Attorney General

Report: PA leads nation in worst bridges

After eight years of neglect by Gov. Ed Rendell, it's a wonder none of Pennsylvania's deteriorating bridges have yet to collapse.

From a new report, "The Fix We're In For: The State of the Nation's Bridges," which ranks states in terms of the overall condition of the state's bridges:
The five states with the worst bridge conditions have over 20 percent structurally deficient bridges: Pennsylvania has the largest share of deteriorating bridges at 26.5 percent, followed by Oklahoma (22.0%), Iowa (21.7%), Rhode Island (21.6%), and South Dakota (20.3%).
New Report Highlights Mounting Challenge of Aging Bridges

Rep. Joe Pitts to Obama: 'We shouldn't be half-way at war'

Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16) released the following statement after a Congressional briefing on the Obama Administration's military mission in Libya:
"Today, my colleagues and I were briefed on the Libyan engagement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen. Unfortunately, many of our questions remain unanswered.

"My first concern is that we are refusing to admit that this is a war. If anybody fired 160 missiles at us, flew bombing missions and sent in attack gunships, we would call that an act of war. This engagement and our involvement in it are both ill defined.

"Even after today's briefing, it is obvious that we do not have a clear picture of the Libyan rebels. In fact, there are reports that Al Qaeda militants are involved in the fight against Qaddafi. When we engage American forces, we must have clear goals and a strategy to accomplish these goals.

"As a young man, I fought in the Vietnam War, another engagement with unclear objectives and uncertainties about our allies. I know that the men and women of our armed forces are conducting this engagement with dedication and professionalism. The President should first seek direction from Congress, which has the constitutional power to declare war. Then he has a responsibility to give our troops the tools and direction to achieve the mission he has laid out for them.

"We shouldn't be half-way at war."

Columnist: Obama's Libyan War

Bozell Column: Obama's Libyan War

Jon Stewart Undresses Obama on Libya



I'm not a fan of Jon Stewart, but he's a very bright man. When he puts down the Kool-Aid and stops carrying water for the Democratic Party, he can be a very effective political commentator.

Are 'microbudget films' the future for Hollywood?

Lionsgate has announced plans to produce three films with budgets under $2 million each. That's usually the catering bill for most Hollywood productions.

LIONSGATE ANNOUNCES INITIAL SLATE OF MICROBUDGET FILMS

Columnist: Planned Parenthood guilty of mass murder

Planned Parenthood is guilty of mass murder - pottsmerc.com

Corbett secrecy getting national attention

POLITICO: Post-Rendell, less media love - Ben Smith - Post-Rendell, less media love

NewsBusted 3/29/11

Group: Pennsylvanians Obligated to Report Suspected Child Abuse Lack Training, Clarity About Their Role

Pennsylvanians Obligated to Report Suspected Child Abuse Lack Training, Clarity About Their Role

Quote of the Day

"The educational community and its unions have grown fat, dumb and happy with an unlimited source of revenue, political clout, threats of strikes and passive, compliant school boards."

- Berks County resident Jim Chett

Read his full letter to the editor at the link below:

Teachers must fix their own house (3/29/11)

D.C. Parents for School Choice: Obama Betrays Low-Income Families on Education

D.C. Parents for School Choice: Obama Betrays Low-Income Families on Education

Gerlach: Cut the beer tax

Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) has introduced bipartisan legislation to cut in half the federal excise tax on a barrel of beer produced by 102 of Pennsylvania's craft and small breweries.

The proposed Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce (BREW) Act would reduce the tax on the first 60,000 barrels small breweries produce each year to $3.50 per barrel from the current $7 per barrel rate, according to Gerlach.

From a Gerlach press release:
"With the economy sputtering, Congress must create conditions that allow small businesses to become more competitive, protect existing jobs and create new employment opportunities," Gerlach said. "This legislation would be a major boost to some of Pennsylvania’s most innovative small businesses. In addition to producing world-class products, small brewery owners provide paychecks to thousands of Pennsylvanians. And many of these companies are engaged in community revitalization and other civic activities that enhance the quality of life in the neighborhoods where they are based."

The legislation introduced along with Congressman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, would define small breweries as those producing less than six million barrels per year. In addition to a 50 percent reduction in the rate on the first 60,000 barrels, small breweries would get a $2-per barrel tax cut for beer production between 60,000 and 2 million barrels per year. That rate would fall to $16 from $18.

Iron Hill Brewery, McKenzie Brew House No. 2, Prism Beer, Sly Fox and Victory Brewing Company are a few of the small brewers in the 6th District that would receive tax relief, under the legislation.

Bill Covaleski, Brewmaster and President of Victory Brewing Company based in Downingtown, said the legislation would be a big help to small American manufacturers that often struggle to succeed in a daunting economic climate.

"Lowering the federal excise tax would allow Victory to add to its current team of 185 talented and dedicated employees and continue making vital reinvestments in the great community we call home," Covaleski said. "This legislation represents an investment in American job growth with a delicious upside for all."

Brian O'Reilly, Brewmaster of Sly Fox Brewing Company in Royersford, said the legislation would help the business continue to grow and add to its payroll.

"Sly Fox Brewing Company has grown 781% in the last 6 years and added more than 40 jobs," O'Reilly said. "The Federal Excise tax credit would help Sly Fox to continue to reinvest in its growing business. If this tax relief had been in place last year, Sly Fox could have used the money it saved on taxes to buy 508 stainless kegs. These kegs would have helped Sly Fox package more beer, expand their market and add jobs."

Judicial Watch Challenges Obama 'Stealth Amnesty' Plan

Judicial Watch Files Two Lawsuits Against Obama Department of Homeland Security for Records Detailing Alleged "Stealth Amnesty" Plan

'Quality Schools - We Can Afford'

There is a 32-page special insert in today's edition of The Mercury that provides a wealth of information about the Pottstown School District.

The tabloid was produced by Pottstown Citizens for Responsible Government.

If you're interested in the future of Pottstown schools or quality education in general, I urge you to pick up a copy of today's paper.

For more about Pottstown Citizens for Responsible Government, check out the group's website at http://www.pottstowncitizens.org/

An 8-letter word for 'sucker'

Rep. Doug Reichley to Hold 3 Town Meetings

Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh) will hold three town meetings for residents of Pennsylvania's 134th Legislative District on April 6, 9 and 16.

From a Reichley press release:
"I know many of you have questions about some of the proposals in Governor Tom Corbett's state budget recommendations," said Reichley. "Check for a town meeting time and location that suits your schedule. I hope to see you there and await your questions."

Three town meetings are scheduled on the following dates at three locations:

Wednesday, April 6
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Cetronia Fire Company
18 South Scenic St., Allentown

Saturday, April 9
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Lehigh Lodge
2120 Route 100 South, Macungie
Route 100 Macungie

Saturday, April 16
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Bally Senior Center
425 Chestnut St., Bally
For more information, or to RSVP, contact Reichley's district office at 1245 Chestnut St., Unit No. 5, Emmaus. The phone number is (610) 965-9933. Reservations are suggested, but not required. Walk-ins are always welcome.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Newspaper: Unpaid Parking Tickets Pile Up For Members of Congress

Another example of arrogant lawmakers who consider themselves above the law.

From Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Congress:
According to a Roll Call survey of vehicles parked on Capitol Hill and at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, as of mid-March, lawmakers were carrying at least $15,000 in outstanding tickets — ranging from expired meters to speeding camera violations — and potentially thousands of dollars more.
Among the worst offenders are - surprise - a couple of Democrats: Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)

Members Collect Many Unpaid Tickets : Roll Call News

Obama Rehearses His Libya Speech Sans Teleprompter

Obama's Libya Strategy

Getting Hosed At The Pump Courtesy of Obama

The price of regular unleaded when Obama took office: $1.83 per gallon. The price of unleaded regular today: $3.59 per gallon. Heckavu job, Barack.

State Police: 162 Trucks Placed Out of Service During Operation SAFE

State Police: 162 Trucks Placed Out of Service During Operation SAFE

Auditor General Jack Wagner Calls for Hearings on Reallocation of $370 Million in Tobacco Settlement Funds

Auditor General Jack Wagner Calls for Hearings on Reallocation of $370 Million in Tobacco Settlement Funds

Few government employees denied pay increases for poor performance

Few employees denied step increases for poor performance - FederalTimes.com

Obama Administration Should Halt Health Reform Waivers, Says Consumer Watchdog

Obama Administration Should Halt Health Reform Waivers, Says Consumer Watchdog

FRC Action's New Super PAC Launches Radio Ad Campaign In Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

FRC Action's New Super PAC Launches Radio Ad Campaign In Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

Powerful message from former (C.I.A. Agent) to all Americans!

'Teachers must fix their own house'

Terrific letter to the editor from a Berks County resident that sums up the current state of our public education system:
"The educational community and its unions have grown fat, dumb and happy with an unlimited source of revenue, political clout, threats of strikes and passive, compliant school boards."
Teachers must fix their own house (3/29/11)

CCRKBA 'Guns Save Lives' Event Scheduled Wednesday in DC

CCRKBA 'Guns Save Lives' Event Scheduled Wednesday in DC

ACLJ & Nearly 50 Members of Congress Back Virginia's ObamaCare Challenge Urging Appeals Court to Declare Entire Health Care Law Unconstitutional

ACLJ & Nearly 50 Members of Congress Back Virginia's ObamaCare Challenge Urging Appeals Court to Declare Entire Health Care Law Unconstitutional

Sen. Rand Paul Responds to President Obama's Libya Address

Monday, March 28, 2011

Newspaper: CBO's toll-road fib

Obama and Congressional Democrats keep trying to find new ways to take more of your money. The latest scheme is a vehicle-mile tax.

From an editorial in The Washington Times on why this new tax would hurt everyone
There's no such thing as a "nonuser" of the road network. America has 208 million licensed drivers out of a population of 240 million of driving age. Only a handful of people depend on the bicycles, buses and trolleys that meet with liberal approval. Everyone benefits from having food and other goods delivered by truck. Motorists are one of the most overtaxed groups in America, and the automobile has done more to enable this country's economic success than any other invention.
EDITORIAL: CBO's toll-road fib - Washington Times

Your daily dose of liberal media bias

Executive Editor Bill Keller Confesses to NYT's 'Culturally Liberal' Outlook, Makes It Sound Appealing

Talk about a 'Sucker Punch'

"Sucker Punch," the much-anticipated new film from Zack Snyder, director of "300" and "Watchmen," got its clock cleaned at the box office this past weekend by a real underdog.

From Brandon Gray's analysis at BoxOfficeMojo.com:
"Sucker Punch" may not have seen it coming, but "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" packed more wallop than the hyped action movie in their debuts. Overall business was down six percent from the same weekend last year, when "How to Train Your Dragon" led.

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" bagged $23.8 million on close to 4,000 screens at 3,167 locations, boasting a brawnier start than its predecessor. The first "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" drew $22.1 million on around 3,400 screens at 3,077 locations in its first weekend last March, which led to a $64 million final gross. Striking while the iron was hot seems to have helped the sequel, which was all the more impressive considering the historic difficulty in maintaining momentum for kids franchises. Distributor 20th Century Fox's exit polling indicated that 51 percent of Rodrick Rules' audience was male and 59 percent was under 25 years old, which was nearly the same as the first movie.

Striking approximately 3,900 screens at 3,033 locations, "Sucker Punch" mustered $19.1 million, which included around $4 million at 229 IMAX venues (representing a record share for regular IMAX at 21 percent). That was a tad behind "Kick-Ass's" opening last Spring but much greater than the debuts of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and "Jennifer's Body." However, it was no match for the "Kill Bill" and "Resident Evil" movies among other comparable titles, and, for all its hype, it was barely average for an action heroine movie. It was also director Zack Snyder's worst live-action start yet, following "300," "Watchmen" and "Dawn of the Dead."

Don't forget bloggers

"We do not talk — we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests." — Henry Miller, American author (1891-1980)

Former FRC Adjunct Fellow Publishes Major Study on Abortion in Top State Politics Journal

Former FRC Adjunct Fellow Publishes Major Study on Abortion in Top State Politics Journal

Top Ten Movies-On-Demand Titles Week Ending March 20, 2011

Rentrak Announces Top Ten Movies-On-Demand Titles Week Ending March 20, 2011

Meanwhile In California

No Traces of Radioactivity Found in PA Rainwater

Governor Corbett Says Public Water Supply Testing Finds No Risk to Public From Radioactivity Found in Rainwater

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in PA

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

GOP questions HHS authority to grant healthcare waivers

GOP questions HHS authority to grant healthcare waivers - The Hill's Healthwatch

'I Want Your Money' Trailer

Environmentalists obstacle to clean energy production

Trying to have an intelligent conversation with a liberal is like hitting yourself over the head with a hammer.

Environmentalists obstacle | clean energy production | NIMBY | The Daily Caller

George Soros: Demagoat

George Soros: Demagoat - HUMAN EVENTS

Friday, March 25, 2011

Remarks by the President at a Reception Honoring Greek Independence Day

Remarks by the President at a Reception Honoring Greek Independence Day
East Room

THE PRESIDENT: Well, good evening, everybody.

AUDIENCE: Good evening.

THE PRESIDENT: Kalispera. (Laughter.) Thank you, your Eminence, for the kind introduction. It is always an honor to welcome you here in the White House. We’ve been friends for quite some time now, and his Eminence always displays such grace and good humor and is so generous. We are so very grateful for your leadership.

It is a wonderful pleasure to see so many friends and leaders of the Hellenic American community here as we celebrate the 190th anniversary of Greek independence. (Applause.) I want to acknowledge several people. First of all, we’ve got some members of Congress here: Michael Grimm from New York. Where’s Michael? There he is. (Applause.) Carolyn Maloney, also from New York. (Applause.) John Sarbanes, from Maryland. (Applause.) And then we have another guy -- I don’t know if he’s any relation -- Paul Sarbanes, also of Maryland. (Applause.)

We’ve got Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, Deputy USTR. (Applause.) He’s got a few fans here. We’ve got Nicholas Karacostas -- (applause) -- the President of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association.

I want to especially welcome Deputy Foreign Minister Dollis for traveling all the way here from Athens to join us today. (Applause.) I spoke with your Prime Minister, our good friend Mr. Papandreou today, and I wanted him to extend our congratulations to the entire Greek nation. And we very much appreciate you being here to represent your government.

We are also joined here by Greek Ambassador Kaskarelis. Where is he? There he is. Good to see you, Mr. Ambassador. (Applause.) We have the Cypriot Ambassador -- (laughter) -- Anastasiades -- there you go -- (laughter) -- and his wife Maria. (Applause.)

Tonight we reaffirm the bond our two nations have shared for as long as we’ve existed. Our Founding Fathers were students of Greek philosophy and Greek history, drawing on Greek principles to guide our own nation in its earliest days.

When it was time for Greek revolutionaries to fight for freedom, they looked to the United States for strength and support. And to this day, the United States and Greece shares a bond rooted in common values and common ideals.

As allies, we stand together -– not only for our own security, but for the freedom of peoples around the world. Right now, Greek and American soldiers are serving together in Afghanistan. And as we celebrate the independence of the Greek people, the United States and Greece are standing with our NATO allies to support the Libyan people as they stand up for their own freedom.

So I just want to express the extraordinary thanks that I give to the people of Greece for their friendship, and for their contributions to the life of our nation and so many others. I also obviously want to say to all my great friends in the Greek American community, how much I appreciate your support and your friendship, and I’m glad that we have one more occasion to celebrate together here in the White House. So it’s wonderful to see you again, and I hope you guys have a great time today.

All right? Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. (Applause.)

Bush Offers Obama Advice

Columnist: Obama behind rising gas prices

A Man-Made Energy Crisis - Victor Davis Hanson - National Review Online

Billboards Spread the Message: Learn How to Protect Children from Child Abuse

Billboards Spread the Message: Learn How to Protect Children from Child Abuse

PennDOT Driver License Centers to Offer Limited Services on Saturday

PennDOT Driver License Centers to Offer Limited Services on March 26

All Over The World Obama (Conservative Anthem) SPOOF

MSM: Obama's War is a Good War

Networks Stressed Importance of Congressional Approval Before Iraq War; Now Barely Notice Obama's Bypassing of Congress

Presidential Proclamation - Greek Independence Day

Presidential Proclamation - Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy

A PROCLAMATION

One hundred ninety years ago, Greece regained its independence and became a symbol of democracy for the world for the second time in history. As America recognizes this milestone in the birthplace of democracy, we also celebrate our warm friendship with Greece and the lasting legacy of Hellenic culture in our own country.

America's Founders drew upon the core democratic principles developed in ancient Greece as they imagined a new government. Since that time, our Union has strived to uphold the belief that each person has a fundamental right to liberty and participation in the democratic process, and Greece has continued to promote those very principles. Over the centuries these cherished ideals -- democracy, equality, and freedom -- have inspired our citizens and the world.

The relationship between the United States and Greece extends beyond our common values and is strengthened by the profound influence of Greek culture on our national life. From the architecture of our historic buildings to the lessons in philosophy and literature passed on in our classrooms, America has drawn on the deep intellectual traditions of the Greeks in our own establishment and growth as a nation. Reinforcing the steadfast bonds between our two countries, Americans of Greek descent have maintained the best of their heritage and immeasurably enriched our national character.

The American people stand with Greece to honor the legacy of democracy wrought over 2,000 years ago and its restoration to the Hellenic Republic nearly 200 years ago. As we celebrate the history and values of Greece and the United States, we also look forward to our shared future and recommit to continuing our work as friends and allies.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 25, 2011, as "Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy." I call upon all the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

Columnist: Big labor its own worst enemy

Columnist Lowman Henry examines the out-of-control behavior or labor unions:
Wisconsin is not the only state where leftist thugs have behaved inappropriately. In Idaho an education reform bill that would have eliminated tenure and seniority and allowed more charter schools to be established drew the ire of unions. The superintendent of Idaho's public schools, Tom Luna, who championed the reform plan, had his car vandalized. One protestor even showed up at the home of Luna's mother.Read the full column at the link below:
Uncivil unions: Big labor its own worst enemy - pottsmerc.com

Obama celebrates Greek Independence Day

For those who say I never have anything nice to say about Barack Obama, I'm glad he's taking time out to recognize Greek Independence Day, which is today, March 25.

Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Turks on this day in 1821. The struggle lasted until 1832 when the Greeks finally drove the Turks out, ending 400 years of occupation.

"Zito H Ellas"

Obama to celebrate Greek Independence Day - San Jose Mercury News

2011 Greek Independence Day Parade

2011 Greek Independence Day Parade on New York's Fifth Avenue Dedicated to "Visit Greece"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your daily dose of liberal media bias

MSNBC Celebrates ObamaCare Anniversary, Condemns Republican 'Lies' About Law

Time for another Obama vacation

Judicial Watch Sues Obama HHS for Records Related to Obamacare Propaganda Campaign

Judicial Watch Sues Obama HHS for Records Related to Obamacare Propaganda Campaign

Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission to Hold Inaugural Meeting

Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission to Hold Inaugural Meeting

Final Weeks to Apply for LIHEAP Grants

Final Weeks to Apply for LIHEAP Grants; Gov. Corbett Extends Application Deadline Until April 15

Flying High on Taxpayer Expense

Corbett Testifies on Federal Health Care Law

Governor Corbett Testifies on Federal Health Care Law

Top 10 Failures of ObamaCare After One Year

Top 10 Failures of ObamaCare After One Year - HUMAN EVENTS

Obama Changes His Tune

PA Casinos Fined $72,000 For Violations

Gaming Control Board Fines Casinos $72,000 For Violations

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Corbett orders re-bid of Graterford Prison expansion project

Gov. Tom Corbett has put the brakes on a $400 million expansion of Graterford Prison in Montgomery County. The project was approved by Gov. Ed Rendell, but Corbett thinks he can save the state millions by redesigning and re-bidding the work.

"This, by no means, is a failure in design – it's an opportunity for us to improve upon the design," acting Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said. "Before we spend millions of dollars building a new prison, we need to ensure the money is being spent in an appropriate manner and that the prison design is in line with our department's mission."

Read the full release from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at the link below:

Corbett Administration Redefines Focus of SCI-Graterford Construction Project

The defending Nobel Peace Prize winner

Americans Fear Loss of Freedom on Anniversary of Health Care Reform Law

Americans Fear Loss of Freedom on Anniversary of Health Care Reform Law

Gov. Corbett to Nominate Richard J. Allan to Lead Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Governor Corbett to Nominate Richard J. Allan to Lead Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Gwen Stefani Donates $1 Million to Japan Earthquake-Tsunami Relief

Haven't heard of too many celebrities coming through for the victims in Japan.

That's odd because so many celebrities cash in on commercials in Japan.

Gwen Stefani Donates $1,000,000.00 to Japan Earthquake-Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund

U.S. in quagmire under Obama

A Pennsylvania resident sums up Obama's presidency nicely:
"After two years of Obama-rule, the country is stuck in a quagmire of political and economic stagnation. He has proved to be a president who cannot make decisions, particularly at a time of national peril."
Country stuck in a quagmire (3/22/11)

Columnist: Rendell leaves behind mountain of debt

Mark W. Hendrickson, a fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College, offers a look at the huge debt former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell left behind for future generations:
That indebtedness soared 93 percent under Rendell. In total, Pennsylvania's state debt swelled 82 percent in eight years to $43 billion.
Budget tightening in Pennsylvania

Comedian explains why comics can't do Obama Jokes

Obamacare: One year of broken promises

By Rep. Joe Pitts
Guest columnist

March 23 marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama's signing of the health care reform bill. On the day of the signing, the President singled out a business owner for praise saying, "I'm signing it for Ryan Smith, who's here today. He runs a small business with five employees. He's trying to do the right thing, paying half the cost of coverage for his workers. This bill will help him afford that coverage."

The President said that Ryan was trying to do the right thing, but Obamacare might still penalize his business. In fact, the law requires employers to pay more than 50 percent of employees' health coverage. If they fail to do so, they pay a hefty fine.

It seems like almost everyday we see new facts about Obamacare that don't square with the talking point promises that were made in the run up to passage. One of those talking points was that 4 million small businesses, like Ryan Smith's, would receive tax credits to help pay for covering employees.

Unfortunately, Obamacare's definition of small business is much more restrictive than typical. Only businesses with 25 or fewer employees qualify for credits. The Small Business Administration has a variety of definitions for the size of a "small" business. The definition ranges from 50 to 1,000 employees, depending on the industry. This means tens of millions of workers are employed at business too big to qualify for this help.

Every American was promised that if they like their plan, they could keep it. According to a survey by the National Business Group on Health, 26 percent of companies plan to discontinue insurance for current and future retirees. According to this same survey, over one-third of businesses are revisiting their health care strategy for workers and may exit the market.

To prevent millions of workers from losing their health care coverage right now, the Department of Health and Human Services has handed out more than 1,000 waivers to the law. While HHS is wise to grant flexibility for employers, the huge number of waivers demonstrates that the law is poorly written.

Despite all of the claims that Obamacare would reduce the cost of insurance, the Medicare actuary and the Congressional Budget Office have both crunched the numbers and found that spending increases because of the law. Overall spending on health care increases by $311 billion in the coming years.

Without the various budget gimmicks included in Obamacare, the law actually increases the budget deficit. In recent weeks, we've also looked close at some of the various spending programs contained in the bill. The program to set up health insurance exchanges in all 50 states actually has no cap on spending. The HHS Secretary can spend as much as she feels is needed.

While we estimate that Obamacare could increase the national debt by $701 billion over ten years, there are potential cost overruns everywhere. The bill could end up being much higher.

What do we get with Obamacare? Even after full implementation, millions of Americans will still go without insurance. This week, the Health Subcommittee took a look at the CLASS program contained in the law. In two decades, this program will go bankrupt, prompting another taxpayer bailout. Over 80 percent of businesses say the law has increased their administrative burdens.

I know that we can do better, but government mandates and bureaucracy won't expand care and increase the quality of health care. The United States came to its position as the world leader in health care innovation because we have a dynamic system grounded in free market principles.

The market works when prices are transparent and consumers have the freedom to make choices. As I lead the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, I'll be putting forward solutions that empower individuals to make their own choices. This means market-based alternatives like allowing for interstate competition, pooling across state lines, medical malpractice reform, giving individuals the same tax treatment as businesses, and reforming Medicare so that it works better for doctors and patients.

We have to repeal Obamacare, but we must still reform a health care system that excludes far too many Americans. The best way to provide is not by government mandate, but by empowering individuals.

Rep. Joe Pitts is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District in parts of Berks, Chester and Lancaster counties.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What They're Saying About Obamacare

As we approach the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Peter Ferrara, senior fellow for health care policy at The Heartland Institute and author of "The Obamacare Disaster," has this to say about the ill-conceived government takeover of the nation's health care system:
"Obamacare is a disaster. Rather than liberate the American health care system from bureaucracy and waste, it blankets it with more of both, suffocating innovation and destroying freedom. The result is a system that is inconsistent with the freedom, prosperity, high living standards, and traditions of the American people."
Read more of what Ferrara has to say about the centerpiece of the failed Obama presidency at the link below:

The Obamacare Disaster - by Peter Ferrara - Policy Studies

Bush or Obama? It's So Confusing

PA State Rep. Scott Petri Calls for Investigation into Philadelphia School Funding

A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to know why Philadelphia will not be sharing the burden of Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed cuts in education funding?

PA State Rep. Scott Petri - Petri Calls for Investigation into School Funding Irregularities

Columnist: Drilling ban fueling Obama's hidden agenda

Diana West on President Obama's failed energy policies:
To this president's way of thinking, high gas prices are a solution, not a problem. Cheap energy is the launch pad of a soaring economy, one beyond government (his) control. And this president wants control: over what we eat (less), drive (smaller) and live (lower thermostats).
Drilling ban fueling Obama's hidden agenda - pottsmerc.com

MADD and Archie Comics Team Up to Prevent Underage Drinking

MADD and Archie Comics Team Up to Prevent Underage Drinking

Daily dose of liberal media bias

Baltimore Sun Double Standard on Noting Party Affiliation of Maryland Politicians

Support for PA School Choice Legislation Grows

Groups Join Together in Backing PA Education Legislation

Alliance: Obamacare 'limits freedom and increases costs'

Eric O'Keefe, chairman of the Health Care Compact Alliance, released the following statement to mark the anniversary of the President Obama's signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
"It is clear that the President was right about one thing: The American health care system was financially unsustainable.

Proponents claimed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would address the symptoms. But the early evidence is that it limits freedom and increases costs. This is evidenced by the 1,040 waivers granted to states and organizations that sought exemptions from new regulations.

Our healthcare system is too large and too complex to manage at the federal level -- and too important to be debated outside the earshot of citizens. The Health Care Compact enables citizens to engage in the policy process at the state level, and to prescribe laws that match the needs of their communities.

PA GOP On the Ground: Governor Corbett's Budget

Concord Coalition Supports Senators' Call for Comprehensive Deficit Reduction

Concord Coalition Supports Senators' Call for Comprehensive Deficit Reduction and Asks House To Make A Similar Commitment

Popcornflix.com Launches New Free Online Digital Movie Platform

Popcornflix.com Launches New Free Online Digital Movie Platform

Obama Policies Driving Up Gas Prices

Coalition of Economic Groups Demand Spending Cuts

Coalition of Economic Groups Demand Spending Cuts

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gallup: Concerns About Global Warming Drop

Bad news for Al Gore and the global warming alarmists.

From the latest Gallup Poll:
Americans continue to express less concern about global warming than they have in the past, with 51% saying they worry a great deal or fair amount about the problem -- although attitudes appear to have stabilized compared with last year. That current level of worry compares with 66% just three years ago, and is only one percentage point higher than the low Gallup measured in 1997.
The poll results are amazing considering the non-stop propaganda by the liberal media and Democrats to indoctrinate Americans about the global warming hoax.

In U.S., Concerns About Global Warming Stable at Lower Levels

Minimum wage for Pennsylvania lawmakers?

A Berks County resident suggests Pennsylvania legislators, among the highest paid in the nation, should take a drastic pay cut - down from $79,000 to minimum wage.

Legislators should get minimum wage (3/21/11)

Pennsylvania lawmakers must sacrifice

A Berks County residents wants to know why Pennsylvania legislators are not sharing in the sacrifice over the state's fiscal woes.

Lawmakers must sacrifice (3/21/11)

Just 31% Now Give Obama Positive Marks for the Economy

Just 31% Now Give Obama Positive Marks for the Economy

Obama's Official Calendar

Obamacare: One Year Later, Even Less Popular

Obamacare: One Year Later, Even Less Popular | The Weekly Standard

Obama's Voodoo Economics

Who hasn't made a math error when balancing their checkbook or filling out tax forms? But in Obama's case, the error adds up to $3.2 billion. That's how much Obama has underestimated his astronomical budget deficits.

CBO: Obama budget worse than projected on 10-year deficit - The Hill's On The Money

One Year Later, Americans Still Won't Swallow Obamacare

Americans have had an entire year to be sold on Obamacare, but a new Gallup Poll says 44% believe the government takeover of health care is a bad thing.

Most Americans are skeptical that the law will improve medical care in the U.S. or their own personal medical care, the poll results show.

One Year Later, Americans Split on Healthcare Law

Video: Tim Pawlenty 2012

Tim Pawlenty Exploratory Committee for President of the United States Visual Announcement from Tim Pawlenty on Vimeo.

Poll: Only One-Third of Americans Give President Obama Positive Marks on Economy

Only One-Third of Americans Give President Obama Positive Marks on Economy

Obama Promises Hope and Change for Libya

Sticks and Stones in Libya - By Daniel Foster - The Corner - National Review Online

Associated Press continues to spin for Obama

Oddly, AP's Kravitz Avoids Using 'Existing' To Describe Awful Feb. Existing-Home Sales Report

Congress Should Support the Fiscal Accountability and Transparency in Infrastructure Spending Act

Congress Should Support the Fiscal Accountability and Transparency in Infrastructure Spending Act

Pennsylvania Kids 'Kick Butts' on March 23

Pennsylvania Kids 'Kick Butts' on March 23

Obama's Blast From The Past

Phillies the Favorite to Win 2011 World Series

Do the people who participated in this poll know Chase Utley is probably out for the season with a bad knee?

Phillies the Favorite to Win 2011 World Series

Lefty Blogger Exposes How Political Lies Are Spread Over Liberal Blogosphere

Lefty Blogger Exposes How Political Lies Are Spread Over Liberal Blogosphere

Weekly Republican Address: Job Creation

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Democrats spin special election results

By Tony Phyrillas

Caution! You are about to enter the "No Spin Zone." With apologies to Bill O'Reilly, welcome to The Phyrillas Factor.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party along with its allies in the blogosphere and an ultra-liberal newspaper in Berks County have been working feverishly this past week to persuade anyone who will listen that a special election for a vacant state Senate seat has statewide, and even national, significance.

The spin put out by the Democrats and their allies goes something like this: The election of Democrat Judy Schwank to complete the final two years of the term held by the late Sen. Mike O'Pake is a message to Gov. Tom Corbett to raise taxes and not cut state spending, and to governors across the nation to leave unions alone.

"This election has marked a change in momentum, and one that we will carry through the 2012 elections," said state Sen. Daylin Leach, chairman of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.

Oh, please!

Anyone who believes the election of a Democratic candidate in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin is a seismic shift in the political landscape needs to put down the Kool-Aid.

Schwank won the seat O'Pake held for 38 years by a comfortable margin (58 percent to 42 percent) but the six-week campaign was hardly a referendum on state or national issues. (O'Pake won 71 percent of the vote when he last ran in 2008.)

Schwank and her Republican opponent, Larry Medaglia, agreed on most key issues, including lowering property taxes, creating a more business-friendly climate in Pennsylvania, fiscal responsibility and reforming the state Legislature.

If anything, the special election was seen by many Berks County residents as a way to pay a final tribute to the popular O'Pake, the only state Senator most Berks voters knew. Schwank shrewdly positioned herself as the heir to O'Pake's legacy. She invoked his name at every public appearance and in campaign literature. She also made a point to publicly announce she would keep most of O'Pake's staffers if she was elected.

Schwank won a heavily--Democratic district because labor unions in Berks County, and especially in the city of Reading, managed to get their supporters to the polls. Labor unions also accounted for most of Schwank's campaign contributions.

So before Democrats pop the champagne bottles thinking they've stopped the hemorrhaging from last year's disastrous midterm elections, let's step back and take in a dose of reality.

Turnout for the March 15 election was higher than anticipated at 22 percent, but still pitiful when you consider that eight out of 10 voters in the 11th Senate District did not bother to show up.

What is the significance of Schwank getting the opportunity to finish the remaining two years of O'Pake's term? Absolutely nothing.

Republicans held 30 of the 50 seats in the state Senate before the March 15 election. Republicans hold 30 of the 50 seats after the election.

Schwank winning the 11th District is akin to a Kennedy winning in Massachusetts. It's what you expect. Had Medaglia won, it would have been one of the biggest political upsets in Pennsylvania political history. Something similar to Republican Scott Brown winning Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat in the 2010 special election.

You could even make the argument that residents of the 11th Senate District are worse off today than they were before Schwank won the election. After nearly 40 years in the Senate, O'Pake was the No. 2 leader among Senate Democrats. He built strong relationships on both sides of the aisle and had clout to get legislation passed. Schwank is now the Democrat with the least seniority in the Senate and ranks 50 in terms of clout. She will never get a bill passed and the Republican leadership in the Senate will make sure she doesn't get any money for projects back home.

Had Medaglia won, the Republican governor and legislative leaders would have steered state funding into the 11th District to bolster his chances of winning a full four-year term in 2012.

So why all the hoopla? Pennsylvania Democrats suffered a string of embarrassing defeats in 2010 and were desperate to win something — anything. The special election was the closest thing to a high-profile race anywhere in the state this year. Demoralized Democrats needed a win. Even table scraps are a banquet to a starving man.

How bad was 2010 for Pennsylvania Democrats? The party lost a U.S. Senate seat, five U.S. House seats, the governor's mansion and the majority it held in the state House for four years. Democrats failed to pick up a single state Senate seat last November despite pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into races across the state.

So keeping a state Senate seat that has been in Democratic hands since the district was created in 1961 — one that was never in danger of going over to the Republican column — is the glimmer of hope some Dems need to step away from the ledge.

That speaks volumes about the challenges Pennsylvania Democrats face in 2011 and 2012 to prevent becoming a permanent minority party.

Sen.-elect Schwank will be sworn in sometime in April, but nothing has changed in Harrisburg.

Tony Phyrillas, who writes about politics for The Mercury, won a first place award for column writing in 2010 from the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors.

Weekly GOP Address: Energy Solutions

Friday, March 18, 2011

Making elected officials comfortable

Columnist: Obama As Hamlet

Obama: To Be Or Not To Be A Real Leader - Investors.com

Pennsylvania Unemployment Rate Drops to 8%

See what happens when Republicans take over. Pennsylvania's unemployment rate for February dropped from 8.3% to 8%.

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: February 2011

PennDOT Driver License Centers to Offer Limited Services on March 26

PennDOT Driver License Centers to Offer Limited Services on March 26

Poll: American Voters Back Governors Against Public Employee Unions

The Dick Morris Poll: American Voters Back Governors Against Public Employee Unions

Gov. Corbett breaks major campaign promise

You have to wonder about the people Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has surrounded himself with in his fledgling administration. He's stepped on one land mine after another over the past two months.

From the editorial page of The Pottstown Mercury:
THORNS to Gov. Tom Corbett for reneging on his campaign pledge to end legislative grants known as WAMs and approving more than $48 million in pet-project grants. The requests had been submitted during the administration of former Gov. Ed Rendell, and a Corbett spokesman said the new administration felt an obligation to honor them. Tell that to local school districts, who feel there should be an obligation to support public education. Or, to taxpayers who believe Corbett has an obligation to clean up Pennsylvania's legislative spending practices. All told, the Corbett administration provided a list of more than 1,200 grant applications it was approving from programs previously submitted. The biggest grant was for $5 million for a nonprofit-run statewide program called the Fresh Food Financing Initiative. WAMs, state grants known as "walking around money," are requested by legislators to court favor in their home districts. In his successful campaign for governor, Corbett aired a TV ad attacking WAMs, in which he said, "The first thing we're going to do is put a stake in the heart of the WAMs program. Millions of dollars spent on legislative pet projects with little oversight." Maybe it could be the second or third thing he does.

Obama's March Madness

Governor Corbett Orders State Flags to Fly at Half-Staff March 19 in Honor of Former Pennsylvania First Lady Mary Jane Leader

Governor Corbett Orders State Flags to Fly at Half-Staff March 19 in Honor of Former Pennsylvania First Lady Mary Jane Leader

Columnist: The Rising Irrelevance of Obama

It's Jimmy Carter all over again.

The Rising Irrelevance of Obama - HUMAN EVENTS

Obama to worried nation: Trust me

President Obama reassured the nation Thursday that radiation from the crippled Japanese nuclear reactors will not reach the U.S.

Isn't this the same guy who reassured us that unemployment would not rise above 8% if Congress passed his $787 billion stimulus package in 2009?

Isn't this the same guy who assured us he would end the war in Afghanistan?

Isn't this the same guy who promised transparency and accountability in government?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Columnist: Why Is Philly Spending $500,000 to Build Another Statue?

Philadelphia is nearly bankrupt but city officials have decided to spend $500,000 for a statue. And you wonder why so many Pennsylvania taxpayers are sick and tired of subsidizing the city. Might as well dig a hole and bury the money.

From a column in Philadelphia Magazine by Victor Fiorillo:
Whether the city wants to admit it or not, we are on a long and painful road that terminates in bankruptcy — unless we change direction. And in addition to the fat union benefits, unconscionable D.R.O.P. payments, and the huge contracts that go to political cronies and the good old boys, we need to look long and hard at all of these "small" expenses — no matter how feel-good they are or how many votes they guarantee—because they add up.

I don't want to be the one to tell the thousands of inner-city kids who depend on the community pools for recreation, No, I'm sorry. No swimming this year. We decided to build a statue. In fact, the city is desperately searching for money to keep the pools open this summer, and that earmarked $500,000 would guarantee that 58 of the 70 pools in question would be filled with splashing kids for one more season.

My proposal: Sink that $500,000 into the pools (or any of the other cash-strapped programs that benefit our kids), and I'll personally give each city library a copy of Inquirer reporter Daniel Biddle's new book, Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America. That way, the children of Philadelphia can actually learn something about Catto. Assuming the libraries are still open, of course.
Why Are We Spending $500,000 to Build Yet Another Statue?

Obama's Blast From The Past

Local school boards give away the store

While Pennsylvania residents keep looking to the state for property tax relief, local school boards continue to give away the store.

This Berks County school board voted 7-2 to give administrators a 4% pay hike. Why? Where are these administrators going to go in today's economy? Why give anyone a raise when so many people are out of work?

You can't go wrong voting out every incumbent school board member on the ballot in the May 17 primary.

Administrators get retroactive raises

Country music legend Ferlin Husky dead at 85



Country music pioneer Ferlin Husky, whose hits included "Wings of a Dove" and "Gone," has died at age 85.

Networks Ignore Faith-Based Groups in Japan Disaster Aid Coverage

Networks Ignore Faith-Based Groups in Japan Disaster Aid Coverage

Columnist: Obama Can Be Beaten in 2012

Byron York offers a history lesson for those who think Republicans can't win back the White House.

GOP should heed lesson of 1991: No guts, no glory - pottsmerc.com

Obama's Priorities

Nuclear crisis in Japan. Battles erupt throughout the Middle East. 15 million Americans out of work. Food prices on the rise. Gas nears $4 per gallon.

So what does Barack Obama do? He's off to Chicago to raise money for his 2012 re-election. The man knows his priorities.

Obama to headline Chicago reelection fundraiser - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Drunk with Debt (a St. Patrick's Day special)

House votes to defund NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today by a 228-192 margin to defund taxpayer subsidies to National Public Radio, a far-left propaganda operation.

If liberal elites want their own radio network, let them pay for it.

NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell released moments ago:
Republicans said today that the arrogant liberal sneers at taxpayers in Flyover Country deserve to be met by NPR raising its own money in its own fancy cafes. And an organization that admits catering to a "core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite" is among the last that should survive budget cuts if legislators are serious about cutting unnecessary spending.

We applaud the 228 Representatives who stepped up to say so with their votes in the House today. If the Senate and President Obama really care about reckless spending, they'll pony up and do the same. The time is now to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on funding NPR.
House approves GOP bill to defund NPR - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

PA Gaming Control Board Releases Table Game Revenue Figures for February

PA Gaming Control Board Releases Table Game Revenue Figures for February

Video: Public Sector Unions at Work

Officials: Japan's Nuke Plant Crisis Poses No Present Risk to Pennsylvania Residents

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency: Japan's Nuke Plant Crisis Poses No Present Risk to Pennsylvania Residents

PA Approves 13 New Historical Markers

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Approves 13 New Historical Markers

Poll: Majority of PA residents oppose Corbett education cuts

Ed Rendell may be gone but the aftermath of his disastrous tenure as governor of Pennsylvania are still being felt today.

A new Franklin & Marshall College Poll of Pennsylvania voters released today shows that most Pennsylvania residents don't believe the state has recovered from Rendell's fiscal mismanagement.

Here are the poll highlights from Terry Madonna, director of the F&M Center for Politics and Public Affairs::
1) Most (53%) Pennsylvania adults believe the state is headed in the wrong direction, and most say they are worse off (31%) or the same (57%) financially as they were last year. Equal proportions of adults believe they will be better off financially (27%) as believe they will be worse off financially (26%) in the coming year. Pennsylvanians feel no better about their financial conditions than they did last fall.

2) Most state residents believe the state's financial condition is bad (47%) or very bad (31%), although only one in five (20%) believes Pennsylvania is in worse fiscal condition than most other states. Residents generally have confidence in Governor Corbett's ability to handle the state’s budget problems, as 53 percent express confidence (8% very, 45% somewhat) while 39 percent lack confidence in the governor, (23% not very, 16% not at all)

3) There remains strong opposition to increasing the state income and sales tax—only one in four (27%) residents supports increasing the income tax and only one in three (36%) favors increasing the sales tax. There is strong support for taxing the companies that extract and sell natural gas (62 percent favor while 30 percent oppose) and an even larger percentage of residents favor taxing smokeless tobacco and cigars (72 percent favor while 26 percent oppose).

4) Pennsylvanians are not in favor of the education cuts proposed by the Corbett Administration. Funding cuts to school districts are opposed by 78 percent of respondents while cutting funding to public universities in the state is opposed by 67 percent of respondents. Cuts to Medicaid do not draw much support either (70 percent of Pennsylvanians oppose these cuts).

5) Two in three (64%) Pennsylvanians favor selling the state liquor stores.

6) Respondents were divided about reducing the pay and benefits of state employees (47 percent opposed while 45 percent favored the reductions) although three in five (60%) support reducing the number of state employees.

7) Pennsylvanians are divided in their opinion about how to handle the state's fiscal situation. Two in five (39%) state residents believe the state should balance its budget through program and service cuts while a similar proportion (38%) believes the state should both cut spending and increase taxes to balance the budget. Few (6%) believe that tax increases alone are the way to solve the state's budget problems.
Complete results can be found in the attachment or at http://politics.fandm.edu

'Boiling Middle America Slowly'

Boiling Middle America Slowly - HUMAN EVENTS

'Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less' campaign

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A little perspective on 11th Senate District results

Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees.

The pundits are trying to make a big deal about a Democrat winning an election in legislative district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin.

A little perspective is in order on the Judy Schwank-Larry Medaglia race to fill the seat of the late Sen. Mike O'Pake.

Republicans held 30 of the 50 seats in the Pennsylvania Senate before the election. Republicans will hold 30 of the 50 seats after the election.

O'Pake was the No. 2 ranking Democrats in the Senate after spending nearly 40 years in the chamber.

Schwank will be the No. 20 ranking Democrat and the lawmaker with the least seniority in the minority party until her term ends at the end of 2012.

Nothing really changed for residents of the 11th Senate District other than losing what little clout O'Pake had.

Ballooning Deficits

Congressman Lou Barletta: 'This is our country, and English is our Language'

Columnist: Not Enough Millionaires

There Aren’t Enough Millionaires - Kevin D. Williamson - National Review Online

Teachers Union Responds to Gov. Corbett Call for a One-Year Pay Freeze

PSEA President Responds to Governor's Call for a One-Year Pay Freeze

Consumer Groups Warn Obama Privacy Law Could Be Dominated by Industry

Consumer Groups Warn Obama Privacy Law Could Be Dominated by Industry

FRC Commends House Members Opposed to Continuing Resolution

FRC Commends House Members Opposed to Continuing Resolution

Sen. Argall: Time is right to reduce size of Pa. Legislature

State Sen. David Argall, R-29th, is the latest member of the Pennsylvania Legislature to jump on the "cut the size of the Legislature" bandwagon.

"The General Assembly cannot continue to ask state agencies to continue to cut costs unless we are also willing to lead by example," Argall writes in a recent op-ed.

Time is right to reduce size of Pa. Legislature - pottsmerc.com

Video: Keep the change

NPR: Radio for liberal elites

U.S. News: Political Donations of NPR Board, NPR Foundation Officers Dramatically Lean Left to Democrats

Obama in Wonderland

Fox's Baier: As Japan Reels From Disaster, Media Yawn as Obama Golfs, Tapes His NCAA Picks (Bozell Quoted)

Pennsylvania Department of Education: New 'Four-Year Cohort' Graduation Rates Now Available

Pennsylvania Department of Education: New 'Four-Year Cohort' Graduation Rates Now Available

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Schwank wins special election for PA's 11th Senate seat

There's a reason Pennsylvania's 11th State Senate District has been represented by a Democrat since it was created in 1961.

It's one of the most heavily Democratic legislative districts in Pennsylvania.

Democratic Sen. Mike O'Pake first won the Senate seat in 1972 and had two more years left in his current term when he died Dec. 27 at age 70 from complications following heart surgery.

Democrat Judy Schwank, a former two-term Berks County commissioner, won the special election Tuesday to finish O'Pake's term, with 20,124 votes to Republican challenger Larry Medaglia's 14,794.

The 11th District includes the City of Reading, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 5-1 margin. The most recent voter registration numbers show 82,727 registered Democrats to 48,674 Republicans in the 11th District.

Even with Schwank's victory, Republicans hold a 30-20 majority in the state Senate. Republicans also control the state House and the governor's mansion.

Schwank continues to lead

With 95 of 128 precincts reporting, Democrat Judy Schwank continues to hold a 4,000+ vote lead over Republican Larry Medaglia in the race for the vacant 11th Senate District seat.

Schwank leads Medaglia in 11th Senate District race

With 59 of 128 precincts reporting, Democrat Judy Schwank leads Republican Larry Medaglia in the special election for Pennsylvania's 11th State Senate District.

Schwank has 9,026 votes to Medaglia's 5,641 ... but of the votes counted so far, 32 of the 59 districts are in the City of Reading, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 5-1 margin.

The eastern Berks County precincts, where Republicans hold the majority, still have not reported.

Schwank should have built up a much bigger lead over Medaglia in the Democratic-rich precincts in Reading and its immediate suburbs.

Newspaper: Some PA teachers earn $100,000 a year

Teachers in Pennsylvania can make $100,000 after 15 years in the classroom. (And that's working nine months out of the year).

Keep that in mind next time some union-fanatic says how tough it is in the public sector.

Read more about teacher salaries in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Columnist: Obama Is The Whiniest President Ever

The Whiniest President Ever - Rich Lowry - National Review Online

Check the ingredients

DCNR Offers Federal Grants to Help Volunteer Firefighters

DCNR Offers Federal Grants to Help Volunteer Firefighters

American Red Cross Contributes an Initial $10 Million to Assist Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Survivors

American Red Cross Contributes an Initial $10 Million to Assist Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Survivors

Summer jobs with Pennsylvania Turnpike

State Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester/Montgomery) has announced that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has authorized a Summer Turnpike Program for college students.

From a press release issued by Kampf's office:
Several positions are available, including toll, maintenance and clerical. Candidates applying for toll collector positions must be available to work any of the three shifts over a 24-hour period, including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. All positions reflect a 40-hour work week and run from May 1 to Sept. 30, is limited to 16 weeks per employee.

The application is available online at http://www.paturnpike.com/pdf/SummerApp.pdf. All applications must be submitted to Representative Kampf's Harrisburg office at 429 Irvis Building, PO Box 202157, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2157.

Newspaper: We'll keep pounding Sunshine Act's drum until it's heard

We'll keep pounding Sunshine Act's drum until it's heard (3/15/11)

Rush Limbaugh: Japan Will Rebuild Its Country Before We Rebuild Ground Zero

Gov. Corbett Signs 2 Execution Warrants

Governor Corbett Signs Two Execution Warrants

Group: 'President Can't Tell Gun 'Safety' Advocates from Prohibitionists'

CCRKBA: 'President Can't Tell Gun 'Safety' Advocates from Prohibitionists'

FRC to Host Live Webcast on Sex Trafficking in America

FRC to Host Live Webcast on Sex Trafficking in America

Poll: No Evidence of Economic Uptick

Obama's policies continue to hold back a recovery.

No Evidence of Economic Uptick in Reported Spending and Saving Behavior

Columnist: Republicans Need New Blood to Win the Presidency

Republicans Need New Blood to Win the Presidency - HUMAN EVENTS

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meanwhile, In Wisconsin



See related editorial, "Wisconsin's Lesson," at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review website.

Liberal Meida Ignores Death Threats to Wisconsin Republicans

ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC and NPR Ignore Death Threats to Wisconsin Republicans

Columnist: The problem with helping everyone reach 'average'

Education reform: the problem with helping everyone reach 'average'

Bring Lots of Cash

Columnist: Unions show no class in Wisconsin 'war'

Robert Wright: Unions show no class in Wisconsin 'war' - Washington Times

Consumers cautioned about Japan reliev scams

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General: Consumers cautioned about possible scams linked to earthquake & tsunami relief in Japan

Obama OK with $4 or $5 per gallon gasoline

Obama leery of tapping oil reserve - Washington Times

Corbett Administration Extends Home Heating Help for Low-Income Families

Corbett Administration Extends Home Heating Help for Low-Income Families

Improved PA Unemployment Rate Brings Six-Week Reduction in Benefits

Improved Unemployment Rate Brings Six-Week Reduction in Benefits

Larry Medaglia on the issues

Pa. Legislature's cash surplus bound by few rules

The Pennsylvania Legislature is sitting on $188 million of your tax dollars.

Pa. Legislature's cash surplus bound by few rules | Associated Press | The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre & Scranton PA

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Larry Medaglia makes his case for PA's 11th District Senate seat

Larry Medaglia makes a pretty strong argument about why Berks County voters should elect him Tuesday. He would be part of a GOP majority for the next two years. 11th District residents would have a seat at the table. His opponent would have the least seniority in the minority party.

Berks special election: Medaglia believes his GOP affiliation will help constituents - pottsmerc.com

Saturday, March 12, 2011

PA Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley stumps for Medaglia

At GOP dinner, Medaglia says he applauds budget's education cuts

Let the liberal elites pay for it

NPR Board Member Admits It Serves 'Liberal, Highly Educated Elite,' Wonders How to Justify Public Funding

Your daily dose of liberal media bias

NPR Hosts: Employees Here Are 'Overwhelmingly Liberal' - But We're Not Biased

Columnist: PA budget woes worse than Corbett says

The Pennsylvania Budget: Can Corbett Sell It?

A Message From a Pennsylvania Union Worker

Columnist: All Aboard the Climate Gravy Train

There's lots of money to be made by scamming the public with global warming. Just look at how rich Al Gore has gotten.

All Aboard the Climate Gravy Train - Iain Murray - National Review Online

'A Very Modest Victory in Madison'

A Very Modest Victory in Madison - The Editors - National Review Online

Obama's Idea of Cutting Back

Newspaper questions 'benefit envy' in public sector

From a recent editorial in The Pottstown Mercury:
THORNS to public employees — and that includes teachers and police — who continue to think they are deserving of the generous benefit packages they get on the taxpayers' dime. The "benefit envy" generated by public employee perquisites is at the heart of the protests in Wisconsin and discontent throughout the nation. The Associated Press characterizes the divide as a national issue that has "set off resentment in a time when economic doldrums have left practically everyone tightening their belts." Health-care packages in particular remain at the heart of stalled public employee contract negotiations, as employees argue against benefit reductions that if accepted would still leave them with plans superior to those in the private sector. The costs and promise in public employee pensions are among the factors driving fiscal crises in state and municipal governments. And the situation is certain to get worse before it gets better in the wake of Gov Tom Corbett's budget proposal that puts a funding squeeze on local school districts and municipalities. Local taxpayers are not going to welcome a tax hike if they see teachers and other public employees with better benefit plans than the private sector. No one is winning this battle; something has to give.

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Orders Flags Statewide to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of WWI Veteran Frank Buckles

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Orders Flags Statewide to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of WWI Veteran Frank Buckles

Welfare State: Handouts Make Up One-Third of U.S. Wages

Now we see Obama's vision of America.

CNBC's Fast Money: Welfare State: Handouts Make Up One-Third of U.S. Wages - CNBC

Obama Legacy: U.S. sets $223B deficit record

U.S. sets $223B deficit record - Washington Times