Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Third month of red ink for Rendell budget

It's not looking any better for Gov. Ed Rendell's deficit budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year.

For the third month in a row, the state took in less than it spent.

The three-month deficit in Rendell's $28.3 billion budget now totals $281.4 million.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue today released its monthly revenue figures, showing Pennsylvania collected $2.3 billion in General Fund revenue in September, $163.8 million, or 6.5 percent, less than anticipated.

Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $5.8 billion, which is $281.4 million, or 4.7 percent, below estimate, Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf said in a written statement.

"September is the first significant collections month of the fiscal year, as quarterly corporation tax and personal income tax estimated payments were due this month," Wolf said. "Pennsylvania has weathered the economic storm better than other states, but it's clear that the uncertainties in the national economy are affecting our tax collections in Pennsylvania."

Earlier this month, Gov. Rendell ordered a hiring freeze and a ban on out-of-state travel and instructed most state agencies to reduce spending by 4.25 percent to save about $200 million.

But those savings won't even cover the $281.4 million running deficit and there are still nine more months to go in the fiscal year. Republican lawmakers want to re-open the $28.3 billion budget to find more places to cut.

Can somebody bail out Pennsylvania?

Here are the revenue totals released today by the state:
Sales tax receipts totaled $688.3 million for September, $33.3 million below estimate. Sales tax collections year-to-date total $2.2 billion, which is $61.1 million, or 2.7 percent, less than anticipated.

Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in September was $954 million, $50.9 million below estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $2.4 billion, which is $58.2 million, or 2.4 percent, below estimate.

September corporation tax revenue of $502.1 million was $42.7 million below estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $629.6 million, which is $61.8 million, or 8.9 percent, below estimate.

Other General Fund revenue figures for the month included $62.6 million in inheritance tax, $3.9 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $203.6 million, which is $13.5 million below estimate.

Realty transfer tax was $31.5 million for September, bringing the total to $103.7 million for the year, which is $15.4 million less than anticipated.

Other General Fund revenue including the cigarette, malt beverage and liquor tax totaled $105.2 million for the month, $24.3 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $274.3 million, which is $71.3 million below estimate.

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $182.1 million for the month, $14 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund total $616.4 million, which is $50.1 million, or 7.5 percent, below estimate.

The Gaming Fund received $47.7 million in unrestricted revenues for September. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund total $150.3 million. Gaming Fund receipts include taxes, fees and interest. Of the total for the month, $47.2 million was collected in state taxes for property tax relief, bringing the year-to-date total to $149 million.

Other gaming-related revenues collected for September included $5.6 million for the Local Share Assessment, for a total of $13.4 million for the year; $6.9 million for the Economic Development and Tourism Fund, for a year-to-date total of $21.9 million; and $16.7 million for the Race Horse Development Fund, bringing the total for the year to $52.6 million.

Richard Viguerie: Unleash Sarah Palin!

Richard Viguerie, chairman of, has some advice for the McCain camp: Turn Sarah Palin loose.

"The McCain campaign has put this 'pit bull with lipstick' on a leash," Viguerie says. "He must free Sarah Palin to go after Barack Obama and the liberal Democrats, or he will almost certainly lose."

With a Democratic Party ticket that includes the No. 1 liberal in the Senate, Barack Obama, and the No. 3 liberal in the Senate, Joe Biden, McCain is missing an opportunity to frame this election for the American voters, Viguerie says.

Nationalizing the election along liberal-conservative lines is McCain's key to victory, Viguerie says.

"America is a center-right country. So, for four decades, when elections break along the liberal-conservative faultline, the more conservative candidate wins."

For more by Viguerie, follow the link below:

Richard Viguerie: Unleash Sarah Palin!

A Conversation on America's National Identity

A group of prominent scholars, political scientists and social commentators have released an open letter calling for "a conversation on America's national identity" before voters select the next president.

The group, known as The Bradley Project, says America is in danger of becoming a nation not "From Many, One," but, "From One, Many."

Presidential Debates Must Address America's Identity Crisis

Nancy Pelosi shows her true colors

Taxpayer Group Hails Defeat of Bailout Package

The National Taxpayers Union continues to oppose the Wall Street bailout plan and says it will campaign for alternatives to holding up the American taxpayer for $700 billion.

Taxpayer Group Hails Defeat of Bailout Package, Plans Next Steps for Sensible Alternatives

CAIR Asks IRS to Probe Group Behind Swing State Anti-Muslim DVDs

If you live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada or New Hampshire (the states that will decide the next president), you probably received a DVD with your Sunday newspaper.

The DVD, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," has created a stir among Muslims. A group that says it fights for Islamic civil rights, CAIR, wants the IRS to investigate the group that paid for the distribution of the DVD.

CAIR Asks IRS to Probe Group Behind Swing State Anti-Muslim DVDs

Richard Viguerie calls for resigation of GOP House leaders

Richard Viguerie: House Republican Leaders Falsely Attacked Their Own Members, Hurt Their Party's Chances in November, and Should Resign

Support for American Revolution Center in Montgomery County

The State Camp of Pennsylvania of the Patriotic Order Sons of America Supports Creation of American Revolution Center in Lower Providence Township

'An American Carol' opens Oct. 3

'Do As I Say' premieres Oct. 2

Do As I Say

"Do As I Say," a documentary by Nicholas Tucker and Lucas Abel exposing liberal hypocrisy, opens Oct. 2.

The film is based on the best selling book by Peter Schweizer.

For more information on the film, visit its official Web site,

Hollywood conservatives coming out hiding?

A terrific op-ed by Chuck Norris on the "clandestine" conservative community in Hollywood, driven underground for years by the militant liberals who control the film and television industries.

Norris said there are signs that conservatives are willing to challenge the new Hollywood blacklist and exercise their right to freedom of speech and assembly.

From his column:
This is America, and we should respect the fact that we will have strong, diverse opinions, and we must allow one another the freedom of speech to air such opines, not suppress them through peer pressure of any type like children. I have many acting friends and many friends in politics. I vehemently disagree with some of them, and that is my American right, as it is theirs. We must agree to disagree agreeably, without blogging about or denigrating someone's life and character before the nation and rest of the world. We must do better at keeping the focus on the fact that we are Americans first; we are not just conservatives and liberals.
Read the full column, "Clandestine Conservatives in Hollywood," at

'None of this will take place if you continue to elect the same people to Harrisburg'

Change or more of the same? Where have we heard that before?

Reform candidate Stephen Fuhs, the Republican running for the 11th state Senate seat in Berks County, made several good arguments during a televised debate on why Berks voters should reject longtime incumbent state Sen. Mike O'Pake.

From a Reading Eagle story on the debate:
Fuhs argued that O'Pake's usual refrain isn't working for the people of Berks County.

"The senator more than once tonight and in many of his mailings complained about the Republican leadership," he said. "If that's the case, send me up there. I'll work with my Republican colleagues."
Fuhs also challenged voters who want to see an end to the Harrisburg culture to retire O'Pake, who has served in the General Assembly for 40 years.

From the Reading Eagle:
Fuhs said he appreciated the fact that O'Pake was willing to engage in a spirited discussion, but urged voters to recognize that a change is needed to eliminate property taxes, create a better climate for businesses and create jobs.

"None of this will take place if you continue to elect the same people to Harrisburg," he said.
Read the full story on the debate at the newspaper's Web site.

For more on Fuhs, visit his campaign Web site.

Watchdog group: Media promote a socialist America

Accuracy in Media says the Wall Street bailout is "subject of more one-sided media coverage than Barack Obama's campaign."

Is that possible?

The march toward socialism is being paved by the liberal media, says Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid.

"There is no legal or constitutional basis for the seizure of America's financial sector by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve," Kincaid says. "What we are witnessing, if the federal takeover goes through, is the destruction of America's free enterprise system. What's more, because the 'bailout' constitutes piling more debt on more debt and more spending on more spending, there is no reason to believe it will ultimately succeed."

Read more at the link below:

Media Promote a Socialist America

U.S. Department of Labor issues union transparency final rule

U.S. Department of Labor issues union transparency final rule

Rendell may turn to Plan D

Plan A: Toll Interstate 80 - (rejected by federal government)
Plan B: Lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike - (the Spanish firm that offered $12 billion backed out of the deal today)
Plan C: Raise the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon - (Not if members of the Legislature want to live)
Plan D: How about a bake sale?

'Washington elite earned disdain'

A must-read editorial from The Wall Street Journal on the failure of the Democratic-controlled Congress to pass the bailout plan.

From the editorial:
The 228-205 defeat reflects badly on all concerned, starting with the Democrats who run the House. The majority party is responsible for assembling a majority vote, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed in that fundamental task.

Her highly partisan speech on the floor -- blaming "right-wing ideology of anything goes, no supervision, no discipline, no regulation" for the financial distress -- is no excuse for Republicans to vote no. But it is indicative of the way she has governed for the past two years -- like Tom DeLay without the charm. The cynics are saying Ms. Pelosi deliberately tanked the bill by giving 95 Democrats a pass, knowing failure would hurt John McCain, and given her track record we can see why people would believe it.
Read the full editorial, "The Beltway Crash" at the newspaper's Web site.

And don't forget you have a choice about Congress on Nov. 4: Change or more of the same.

Richard Viguerie: Bailout Defeat Shows Power of New and Alternative Media and Is Evidence of "A Permanent Shift In Power From the Establishment to the People"

Richard Viguerie: Bailout Defeat Shows Power of New and Alternative Media and Is Evidence of "A Permanent Shift In Power From the Establishment to the People"

RNC Launches New Ad: 'Worse'

If you think the economy is bad now, wait until Barack Obama gets his hands on it. That's the theme of a new ad running in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania.

RNC Launches New Ad: 'Worse'

Monday, September 29, 2008


The stock market plunged today on news that the $700 billion bailout plan was defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Last time I checked, the Democratic Party had the majority in the House. Last time I checked Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker. How do the Democrats explain the fact that 40 percent of their caucus rejected the bailout plan?

Why would you allow a vote on a bill unless you knew it was going to pass? If Nancy Pelosi knew that more than 90 Democrats were going to vote "No" why hold a vote?

The Democrats in the House are the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

Since the roots of the current financial mess can be traced to Democrats (going back to Bill Clinton) why would anyone in their right mind think Democrats can solve the problem?

America does need change. It needs to unload the Democrats who have run Congress over the past two years.

FRC Action and Focus on the Family Action Release Scorecard on 110th Congress

FRC Action and Focus on the Family Action Release Scorecard on 110th Congress

Pelosi poisons bailout plan

Here's an idea. Next time the House votes on the bailout plan, somebody should lock Nancy Pelosi in the executive washroom.

How dumb is this woman? She makes a speech blaming George W. Bush and Republicans for the financial mess before the House votes on the bailout plan.

And why is everyone blaming Republicans? More than 90 Democratic members of the House voted against the bailout plan.

Don't you think Pelosi should have spent a little more time getting her own troops in line before blaming the Republicans.

The vote counters say there were only 70 sure Republican votes for the bailout scheme, so Pelosi should have worked on those 90 renegade Democrats.

Just another example of the dumbing down of Congress under Democratic Party leadership.

American voters can get rid of Pelosi and the incompetent Democratic leadership on Nov. 4.

Viguerie Predicts Bailout Supporters Will Be Defeated

Richard A. Viguerie Predicts Bailout Supporters Will Be Challenged, Defeated In Primaries, General Elections

By the way, McCain won the first debate

I asked a lot of people over the weekend what they thought of the first presidential debate on Friday, but most said they didn't watch it. Some didn't even know it was on. Holding the debate on a Friday night in the fall was a stupid idea.

If you missed it, John McCain showed once again why he's ready to lead. Barack Obama regurgitate the same talking points from his convention speech and otherwise ducked and dodged the questions.

His grasp of foreign policy is woefully short.

Here's a terrific assessment of the debate from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial page:

The often stammering Democrat nominee showed yet again -- to borrow a phrase he filched from Hollywood -- that he doesn't get it, especially when it comes to matters economic.

Sen. Obama seemed to blame the current financial crisis primarily on some mythical Republican ideology "that regulation is always bad." And in the World According to Barack, no economic policies predating the Bush administration could possibly have contributed to the implosion.

The junior senator of Illinois also endlessly played the class-warfare card, oddly implying that the investment needed to create jobs -- an investment climate that his policies would kill -- somehow comes from the "bottom up," not the top down.

And Sen. Obama repeatedly misrepresented his proposed massive tax increases as tax cuts for virtually all. It's a neat trick that is political charlatanism at its worst.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

CRL: ACORN Will Still Reap Windfall from Financial Crisis

Those sneaky Democrats are up to no good again. While screaming "crisis" and the need for a bailout, they're still putting politics first by helping fund the voter fraud group, ACORN.

There's an election to steal, so the Democrats are pulling out all the stops.

CRL: ACORN Will Still Reap Windfall from Financial Crisis

Obama tax plan exposed

Sen. Barack Obama continues to repeat his line about reducing taxes on "95 percent of Americans" when even the most elementary understanding of economics tells you that is impossible.

But Obama, his surrogates and the sycophants in the liberal media continue to spread the lie.

Veteran political observer Michael Barone, writing in U.S. News & World Report, gives the best explanation of what Obama tax policy is all about.

From his column:
So the economic argument may focus on something voters do understand—taxes. Here, Barack Obama can argue that he represents change. He wants higher taxes on high earners and promises "tax cuts" to 95 percent of taxpayers. Actually, they're refundable tax credits, which means cash payments to the 40 percent or so of households who don't pay income tax. But those refundable tax credits are phased out as incomes rise, so his proposal amounts to, as my American Enterprise Institute colleagues Alex Brill and Alan Viard have written, "marginal rate hikes in disguise" on those with incomes as low as $27,000.

Gaining traction. The best argument against higher rates on high earners has come from Sarah Palin in her acceptance speech, in a line obviously not written by her speechwriter. "My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business—like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up?" Note that she doesn't say that Heather and her husband will be paying higher taxes themselves. She's arguing that higher taxes will hurt the economy and will hurt the little gal and guy.
Read the full column, "Democrats Might Not Benefit From Economic Distress," at the magazine's Web site.

Way to go Phils!

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies on winning their second consecutive NL East Division title.

I like the Phillies chances in the playoffs. They should beat the Brewers in four games and they have a decent shot of getting past either the Dodgers or Cubs to get to the World Series.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My bailout plan is better

Congress is working on a plan to spend $700 billion to bail out greedy corporate CEOs and Wall Street speculators.

I have a better idea. I would like to see Congress send a check for $50,000 to every American household. Let's bail out working people instead.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are 140 million households in the U.S. So multiply 140 million by $50,000 and you come up with $700 billion, the exact amount Congress wants to spend to bail out corporations.

If you send the money to working Americans, you know where it went. People can pay off part of their mortgages, start a college fund for their kids, buy a new car or make repairs to their homes. At the very least they can use the money to heat their homes this winter.

That money goes right back into the economy and helps prevent a recession.

If you sink $700 billion into corporate America, you have no accountability for that money.

Let's send Congress home this weekend and hold a national referendum. Let the American people decide.

Do we bail out the American worker who is the victim of corporate greed and government collusion or do we bail out the very people who created the crisis?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Piling on more debt

The federal government wants to plunge American taxpayers deeper into debt with the $700 billion bailout of the financial community. On a smaller scale, Gov. Ed Rendell wants to send Pennsylvania deeper into debt with a $400 million plan to pay for water and sewer projects.

When Pennsylvania voters go to the polls on Nov. 4, they will be asked to approve a referendum authorizing Rendell to borrow $400 million to provide grants and loans to municipalities and public utilities for the water and sewer infrastructure projects.

I don't know about you, but I'll all tapped out. I'm voting "NO" on the referendum question.

State spending has increased by $8 billion since Gov. Rendell took office in 2003. And Rendell also increased the state debt by $3 billion. Where did the $8 billion go? I know that at least $1 billion went for no-bid contracts Rendell awarded to political cronies. As for the rest, it's anyone's guess.

I do know Rendell included $800 million in spending for water and sewer projects in his $28.3 billion General Fund budget this year, but that budget is hemorrhaging red ink and the state could end up facing a $1 billion deficit by the end of the fiscal year.

Rendell spent an entire week on a bus this summer stopping at various places across the state to hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in giant checks to various public and private interests. He's addicted to spending other people's money.

I'm tired of Rendell spending my money. I'm voting "NO" on the referendum question on Nov. 4 and I urge my fellow Pennsylvanians to do likewise.

We have to draw a line in the sand. It looks like taxpayers won't get a say in the Wall Street bailout, but at least Pennsylvania voters can have a say in how much more debt the politicians pile on.

Democrats consistently blocked financial reform

Good post at Gateway Pundit showing how Congressional Democrats repeatedly blocked legislation to reform and provide more oversight of the financial community.

Something to keep in mind as you prepare to decide who deserves to go back to Congress on Nov. 4.

If you want more of the same, keep the Democrats in control ... and be prepared to pay for their stupidity.

No justice in the world

State Capitol Roundup for Sept. 26

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

Committee Approves Alternative Energy Legislation

Legislation designed to help promote private investment in alternative energy advanced out of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week. Special Session House Bill 55, which is sponsored by Rep. Michele Brooks (R-Crawford/Mercer/Lawrence), would direct the Department of Environmental Protection to establish tax incentives for the planting of switchgrass or other bioenergy crops to restore areas of vegetation that were destroyed by surface mining. Switchgrass and a number of other plants can be used in the production of ethanol, an additive to fuel that offsets some of a driver's gasoline usage. The bill, which would apply to all surface mining activities in the state, now heads to the full House for consideration.

Legislation to Restore Integrity to State Government Contracting Unveiled

Republican-sponsored legislation to stop "pay-to-play" politics and restore integrity to how the government awards contracts has been introduced in the House this week. The administration's prevalent use of no-bid or "emergency" contracts has led to possibly qualified employers from being shut out of the process - and most likely has cost taxpayers additional money. Reps. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery), Glen Grell (R-Cumberland) and Doug Reichley (R-Lehigh) have introduced a package of bills designed to improve transparency and accountability during the government procurement process. For more information, go to

House Legislation to Combat Violent Crime Seeks Senate Attention

Following another fatal confrontation between police officers and criminals in the City of Philadelphia, House Republicans are continuing their push to deliver responsible legislation to combat gun crimes. House Bill 1845, which is being co-sponsored by a number of GOP lawmakers, was approved earlier this year with the full support of the House. Under the legislation, individuals in possession of a firearm with an altered serial number would face tougher penalties. Additionally, heightened penalties for straw purchases and for lying on federal paperwork to buy a gun are key components of the proposal. Unlawful seizures of firearms during emergencies would also be prohibited, and members of the U.S. military deployed overseas would be eligible for a license to carry a firearm upon return. For more news about legislative public safety efforts, visit

Columnist: A disturbing picture of Obama

Dimitri Vassilaros, writing in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, has found a Web site that documents Barack Obama's radical past.

It's the most comprehensive collection of historical information about Obama's ties with far left extremists such as domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and fellow radical Bernardine Dohrn.

The man behind the Web site is David Horowitz, a one-time liberal activist who saw the light.

From Vassilaros' column:
These revelations about Obama's truly radical past and attempts to minimize his relationships with some very bad characters like Ayers and Dohrn are just a tip of a titanic iceberg.

Go to the site and judge for yourself. Don't be dissuaded by Obama apologists claiming its nothing more than guilt by association.

Given his close associates, Obama's guilty as sin.

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

Find out more about Obama's past at

Hey Al Gore, the Earth is cooling

Terrific editorial in today's edition of Investor's Business Daily once again exposing the charlatan Al Gore.

On the same day Gore was spewing more hot air about his junk science of global warming, real scientists at NASA released information that says the Earth is entering a period of global cooling.

From the editorial:

On the same day Gore spoke, scientists involved in NASA's Ulysses project reported that the intensity of the sun's solar wind was at its lowest point since the beginning of the space age — one more indication that the sun, the biggest source of energy affecting the Earth, is getting quiet.

The weaker solar wind appears to be due to changes in the sun's magnetic field, but the cause is unknown. Sunspots, which normally fluctuate in 11-year cycles, are at a virtual standstill. In August, the sun created no visible spots. The last time that happened: June 1913.

The results of the Ulysses spacecraft's mission, according to Jet Propulsion Laboratory project scientist Ed Smith, show that "we are in a period of minimal activity that has stretched on longer than anyone anticipated."

The consequences for Earth are enormous. The lack of increased activity could signal the start of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event that occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century. It leads to extended periods of severe cooling such as what happened during the Little Ice Age.

Read the full editorial, "The Day The Earth Cooled," at the newspaper's Web site.

The gift that keeps on giving: Joe Biden

Running Home To Mama

For a great 5-minute speech on the Wall Street bailout by Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, follow this link to YouTube

Veterans could pick the next president

The national commander of the nation's oldest veterans' group, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, has issued a call to America's 23.5 million veterans and 2.2 million uniformed personnel and their families to make sure they are registered to vote for the Nov. 4 election.

That's a potential of 50 million votes up for grabs, says Glen Gardner.

Veterans understand better than anyone what's at stake in making sure the best person is elected president. In 2004, 74 percent of U.S. veterans cast ballots, compared to 63 percent turnout among the general population.

I'm not sure if this has national implications, but I've spoke to two veterans in the past couple of weeks about the presidential race. Both are registered Democrats. Both told me they are planning to vote for Sen. John McCain on Nov. 4.

I have a feeling that the majority of veterans, regardless of party affiliation, will support one of their own over a 47-year-old Chicago community organizer with no military experience.

McCain understands veterans and their families and he is more likely to look out for them.

Read the full release from the VFW commander at the link below.

VFW Urges Military Veterans' Community to Vote

Bailout 'only a liberal Democrat could love'

Sen. John McCain and House Republicans appear to be the only people standing in the way of one of the biggest expansions of government in U.S. history. And the cost is staggering.

Richard Viguerie: Senator McCain is Horatio at the Bridge

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tax group: Obama promises would cost $293 billion a year

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation has been adding up the cost of all the campaign promises made by Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain since January.

The bill so far? Sen. Obama's promises would cost American taxpayers $293 billion in annual federal spending, according to the latest NTUF candidate cost analysis.

Sen. McCain's promises would cost $92.4 billion, the group says.

From a release issued by NTUF:
Though it appears that Obama's platform cost has dropped since NTUF's last update on June 3 ($343.6 billion), excluding a previously unavailable savings estimate for reducing troop levels in Iraq ($90.5 billion annually), Obama would actually boost annual federal outlays by $383.4 billion - a 12 percent jump from June, Brady noted. Obama's annual spending platform has increased by about 34 percent since January 29 (when it was $287.0 billion).

Likewise, McCain's spending total has jumped by 37 percent since June 3 ($68.5 billion) and by more than 13 times the amount he was backing in January ($6.9 billion).

"If eight months on the campaign trail can mean an increase of tens of billions of dollars in yearly federal outlays, imagine what four - or potentially, eight - years in office could bring," says Demian Brady of the NTUF. "Both candidates have talked about reducing wasteful spending, but neither has been specific enough."
Pretty scary numbers, especially when you consider the federal government is about to sign a check for $700 billion to bail out the nation's financial institutions.

Oh well, there's always Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. The tax group says Barr promises to cut federal spending by $200 million. That's right, cut spending, not increase it. Too bad he doesn't have a chance of winning.

Read the full release at the link below:

As Election Day Nears, Presidential Candidates Continue Out-Promising, Out-Spending Each Other

The ad Obama doesn't want you to see

If you're a hunter, an outdoorsman or somebody who believes what the Second Amendment says, check out the gun control ad Barack Obama doesn't want you to see posted at YouTube

Find out why Obama is trying to have the ad pulled at

157th District candidates talk taxes, reform

The two candidates hoping to replace veteran state Rep. Carole Rubley in the 157th House District participated in a joint forum attended by about 80 residents.

The candidates, Republican Guy Ciarrocchi and Democrat Paul Drucker agreed on what the most important issues facing the state are, but differed on how to address them.

Here's a highlight from The Phoenix newspaper:

Ciarrocchi was critical of state inaction on economic development issues "when times were good. Pennsylvania is 46th or 47th in job creation. Why do we continue to be so far behind?"

One reason, he said, is that the state imposes the second highest corporate tax in the nation; another is that "some elements of the legal system create disincentives" for business to locate and thrive here.

"We need to make sure that Pennsylvania is a good place to do business," he said, "and in a slow economy be certain that not a penny more than necessary is spent by the state government."

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

Rubley, who has held the 157th District seat since 1993, did not seek re-election.

Liberal energy politics

The Wall Street Journal wants voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio to pay close attention to what Sen. Barack Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, have to say about America's energy future.

Both states stand to benefit if America turns more to clean coal technology to break the grip of foreign oil. But Biden slipped again during a recent speech. If you listen closely to what Obama and Biden have to say about energy, they're more concerned with global warming and imposing a carbon tax on Americans than they are with finding clean, reliable and affordable energy alternatives.

From the WSJ editorial:
Mr. Biden, then, only stated an obvious if politically unutterable truth. The real costs of green ambitions won't be paid by well-heeled coastal liberals, but will fall disproportionately on the Southern and Midwestern states that depend on coal for jobs and power. The blue-collar voters of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and so forth will get hurt most -- notwithstanding Mr. Biden's campaign reinvention as the scrapper from Scranton.
Read the full editorial, "Biden's Coal Slaw," at the newspaper's Web site.

Biden makes Palin look good

Un-American activities in Bucks County

This is an interesting op-ed column by Simon Campbell, best known for his leadership in trying to ban teacher strikes in Pennsylvania.
Denying workers freedom of association

Suppose you are Jewish and attend synagogue. There is a Catholic church across the street. Members of both faiths are exercising their right to support only those private organizations that represent their personal values and beliefs.

This is the American way i.e. equal rights, freedom of association, and freedom of speech. The official Bucks County Democrat party’s platform even touts such virtues on its Web site. Article 1 of their platform reads “we believe in equal rights and individual freedoms for all.”

Consider this scenario. One day a law is passed by a Democrat-majority government that says all members of the Jewish congregation must pay nonmember dues to the Catholic Church. The government has declared that the Catholic Church does good work in the community — work that benefits every resident. Besides, there are more Catholics than Jews and this is what they voted for.

The Catholics call their vote “workplace democracy” to make it sound nice. Every Jew must now pay their fair share of dues to the Catholic Church. To ensure compliance, the law requires all Jews to have the dues deducted at source from their paychecks, whereupon their employer forwards it to the Catholic Church. If the Jews don’t like it, they can go live somewhere else.

If a law like that were enacted, there would be riots in the streets. Well, I just described the law in Pennsylvania EXACTLY as it pertains to compulsory unionism. Elected officials like county commissioners, township supervisors, and school board directors, are empowered by state law to force non-union employees into paying union dues as a condition of their employment. It is despicable. Individual employees all across Bucks County are being denied that most fundamental of American rights — freedom of association.

The Bucks County Democrat Party’s platform of “individual freedoms for all” is pure hypocrisy. The truth about this political party is that not one of their elected officials supports the right of workers to freely accept or reject union affiliation.

Democrat County Commissioner Diane Marseglia just voted to force all nonmember employees to pay union dues in order to keep their jobs. She also voted to prohibit county employees from freely resigning their union membership whenever they like. And she voted to use the resources of government to help pump election money to the union that endorses her campaigns.

There are 22 Right-to-Work states in which it is illegal to force non-union employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. House Bill 150 in the state Legislature would make Pennsylvania a Right to Work state. It has 36 co-sponsors. Not one of them is a Democrat. Meanwhile, Republican John McCain supports passing a National Right to Work law, while Barack Obama opposes it.

Democrats who justify union dues extortion often say “unions benefit workers.” Whether this is true is irrelevant. The issue is this: Who should decide whether a union benefits an employee — the union or the employee? Democrats like Obama and Marseglia believe that employees should have the right to join and pay dues to a union. But they don’t believe that employees should have the equal right to refrain from doing so. These hypocrites with their phony platform of freedom take the Orwellian view that all workers are created equal, but some workers are more equal than others.

Individual liberty and freedom is precious to most Americans. A blind eye should never be turned when the First Amendment is being trampled upon. This November my wife, who is Jewish, will be voting for the man whose love of liberty left him tortured in a prison cell; the man whose unset broken bones today render him unable to freely move his arms. John McCain will never force her to financially support any private organization against her wishes.
This presidential election isn’t about Republican vs. Democrat. It’s about American vs. un-American.

Simon Campbell is president of StopTeacherStrikes Inc., a nonpartisan group working to ban teacher strikes in Pennsylvania. For more information, visit

Columnist: Crisis can be traced to Bill Clinton

Looking for more villains in the current economic crisis? It's not just the Bush administration and the Democrats who control Congress who bear responsibility.

The roots of the problem can be traced back to Bill Clinton, argues columnist Terry Jones, writing in Investor's Business Daily.

From his column:
One of the most frequently asked questions about the subprime market meltdown and housing crisis is: How did the government get so deeply involved in the housing market? The answer is: President Clinton wanted it that way.
"Fannie and Freddie, with their massive loan portfolios stuffed with securitized mortgage-backed paper created from subprime loans, are a failed legacy of the Clinton era," Jones concludes.

Read the full column, "How A Clinton-Era Rule Rewrite Made Subprime Crisis Inevitable," at the newspaper's Web site.

Biden does it again

Columnist: Congressional liberals fueled Wall Street collapse

Everyone is looking for answers. The American people want to know who is responsible for the financial collapse that will end up costing taxpayers billions.

Stan Liebowitz, an economics professor at the University of Texas, lays out a case that it was liberals in Congress who opened the way for the financial scandals that have rocked the foundation of the U.S. economy.

From an op-ed, "House of Cards," published in The New York Post by Liebowitz:

Now that the popped bubble has left us swimming in foreclosures, the supporters of loosened credit standards seem shy about taking credit for their "mortgage innovations." Instead, they blame subprime lenders for becoming "predatory" - when they were simply taking the Boston Fed rules to their logical conclusion while broadening the mortgage market.

Investors holding mortgage-based assets now want out. Perhaps they deserve a $700 billion refund - since they were sold a bill of goods by "progressive" politicians, academics and government officials who, in the hope of remaking society, insisted that loans based on relaxed underwriting standards were sound.

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

Angel statue stolen from religious shrine

If you spot an 8-foot-tall bronze statue of the Angel of Roses in your neighbor's back yard, call the state police.

The statue, which weighs 1,500 pounds, flew off from its stand at the Padre Pio Center in rural Washington Township in Berks County, according to police.

Police do not believe the theft is the work of pranksters, according to The Mercury.

Pranksters? No," Cpl. Douglas Bendetti of the state police at Reading told the newspaper. "It had to be two or more people. This was too heavy to be carried around."

The statue was purchased by the Padre Pio Center about 10 years ago for $26,000. It is now valued at between $50,000 and $60,000, according to police.

There is concern that the thieves will cut up the statue and attempt to sell it to scrap dealers, but police said they will be on the lookout for this.

Anyone who sees the statue or has any information on its whereabouts should call the state police at Reading at 610-378-4011.

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

Also visit The National Centre for Padre Pio Web site to learn more.

F&M Poll: McCain leads Obama 45% to 43%

A second national poll conducted by Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., has John McCain leading Barack Obama in the race for the White House, although the contest is a statistical tie.

Read more results at the link below.

New National Poll Finds McCain/Palin Leads Obama/Biden 45% To 43%; Running Ahead Among Men

'Talking Politics' on the radio

With just 40 days until Election Day, the race for the White House is heating up.

For the latest on how the race is shaping up, tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" Thursday at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

You can join the conversation by calling the station at 610-326-4000.

"Talking Politics" can also be heard online at and

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

'We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans'

Sen. John McCain today called on Sen. Barack Obama to join him in suspending their political campaigns for a few days to deal with the economic crisis facing the nation.

Obama has rejected McCain's offer.

Who is putting country first? Who is putting politics first? Americans should ask themselves those questions.

Remarks by Sen. John McCain:
America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system. We must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees. If we do not act, every corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.

Last Friday, I laid out my proposal and I have since discussed my priorities and concerns with the bill the Administration has put forward. Senator Obama has expressed his priorities and concerns. This morning, I met with a group of economic advisers to talk about the proposal on the table and the steps that we should take going forward. I have also spoken with members of Congress to hear their perspective.

It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration’s proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.

Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.

I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.

Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now. Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.

Government Bailout Must Put Americans First

Is anyone in Washington, D.C., looking out for the people or is Congress trying to cover its tracks?

Should we trust the very same people who took millions in campaign contributions from the financial community to do the right thing?

How much of a crisis are we in if Sen. Barack Obama wants to continue campaigning and has rejected Sen. John McCain's call to suspend politics for a few days and actually show up for their jobs in the U.S. Senate?

Two government watchdog groups want Congress to slow down in the massive bailout of greedy Wall Street companies.

Government Bailout Must Put Americans First

'The most incompetent, inept, cowardly and corrupt legislative body on the world stage'

Charley Reese, one of my favorite columnists, has retired because of health issues. I'm going to miss his writing. Below is one of my favorite Charley Reese columns, featuring one of the best assessments of Congress I've ever read. It's worth reading again in light of the current financial collapse, which happened while almost everyone in Congress slept. Read the column and do something on Nov. 4 that will benefit you and the rest of this country: Vote out every incumbent member of Congress.

The Congress of the United States is without a doubt, to use one of the vice president's favorite phrases, the most incompetent, inept, cowardly and corrupt legislative body on the world stage.

The members of Congress do not do their duty. One reason they don't is because they are the biggest time-wasters on the planet. Flipping around C-SPAN the other night, I saw a congressman take the floor to lament the fact that there was a shooting in a small Missouri town. Dearly beloved, there have been shootings in small Missouri towns long before Missouri's most famous son, Jesse James, roamed the state. And lest anyone take this as a slam against Missouri, there have been shootings in small towns in every state of the union. Such affairs are not worthy of Congress' time.

Then another congressman took the floor to eulogize a colleague who just died. Heck-fire, man, go to his funeral or send his family a sympathy card. Don't waste time spreading heifer dust on the floor of the House. Those who knew him will either lament or smile, depending on their opinion of him, and the vast majority of Americans who never heard of him don't give a flip. Americans die every day, and death is a matter for private grief, not official congressional bloviating.

You see, Congress, which takes more time off than most malingerers, doesn't do its job even when it does show up for work. The members have a budget to pass, and they almost never pass it on time. They have oversight duties to perform, which they rarely perform because they are too busy grandstanding about matters that are none of their business, such as the health habits of baseball players or cigarette smokers.

Generally speaking, Congress doesn't show up on Mondays or Fridays, which leaves its members only three days a week to get their work done. Of course, they claim to be working even when they are not present, but what they mean is they are out campaigning and raising money for their re-election. If they really were working, then the legislative process would move faster, instead of like a molasses-coated ox trudging along in mud up to its belly.

The spectacle of the members of Congress jumping to their feet to applaud President George W. Bush at his State of the Union speech tells you all you want to know about their intelligence and courage, both of which are virtually absent. Bush's speech should have been called the state of his ego and delusions.

At the most recent congressional election, the American people gave the Democrats a majority in both Houses and learned rather quickly that a majority of Democrats are just as cowardly and worthless as a majority of Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has turned out to be an airhead, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a timid whiner. Neither of them could lead a two-float parade.

The Constitution quite plainly spells out a limited number of areas that Congress has the authority to act. The operative word is "limited." Congress does not have the authority to legislate on any topic it pleases. One of its most important duties is to set the budget. People often blame the president because he submits a budget. That is only a formality, however. The president has no power to authorize any spending or to levy taxes. The budget is the job of Congress, so you can squarely and fairly blame Congress for every penny of the mammoth budget deficit.

Congress also has the sole duty to declare war, a duty it has shirked since 1941. The authority to declare war does not mean passing a resolution authorizing the use of force. No such authority is needed if American forces are attacked, and if they are not attacked, no president has the authority to launch an undeclared war of aggression.

These 435 members of the House and 100 senators are (expletive) away your birthright. You ought to be angry about that.

Newspaper: Rendell gas tax hike is 'obscene'

With Pennsylvania residents struggling to put food on the table, a plan floated by Gov. Ed Rendell to raise the state gas tax to pay for transportation repairs is "obscene," says the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

From an editorial in the newspaper:

In a week in which the economy nearly failed from more stresses than at any time since perhaps the Great Depression, what trial balloon does Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell float?

A gasoline tax increase, raising a levy that's already among the highest in the nation.

What's wrong with this guy? What kind of signal does this send to an already overtaxed populace shaken by the Wall Street mess?

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

Ask Yourself Why Congress Didn't See the Financial Crisis Coming

Common Cause, the government watchdog group, wants to know why Congress didn't see the financial crisis coming. Could the $31 million the lending industry donated to members of Congress have anything to do with it?

This doesn't include the $180 million in contributions to Congress from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Common Cause says.

Common Cause released a report today detailing how campaign contributions and lobbying by the mortgage finance industry played a role in blocking legislation to regulate the industry.

"The financial services industry focuses its lobbying efforts around its immediate desires, and for more than the past decade, this focus has been on relaxing regulation of the mortgage lending and securitization market," the report says.

Both Democrats and Republicans are in bed with lobbyists and special interest groups. The only way to clean up the culture of corruption in Washington, D.C., is to kick out every incumbent member of Congress.

Follow the link below to read more.

Ask Yourself Why Congress Didn't See the Financial Crisis Coming

40 Days for Life kicks off campaign in 179 U.S. cities

40 Days for Life, a community-based campaign to raise awareness about abortion, runs from Sept. 24 to Nov. 2.

Abortion Opponents Launch Campaign in 179 Cities Today

Biden's Bad Day

Sen. Joe Biden is fumbling and stumbling his way. There's probably a good reason Democratic Party voters rejected Biden twice in runs for the White House.

Republican National Committee: Biden's Bad Day

Frighten A Democrat Releases Life-Sized Wall Graphic of Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin

Columnist: Obama running most negative campaign

Here's another case where you shouldn't believe what the liberal media tells you. A review of campaign ads finds that it's the Obama campaign that has been running the most negative campaign in 2008, says veteran political observer Michael Barone.

"Despite the meme of liberal commentary that McCain is running a scandalously negative campaign, the Obama campaign is running more negative ads than the McCain campaign," Barone writes.

Read his full post at Barone's blog.

Nader wants in on presidential debates

Ralph Nader, independent candidate for president, makes his case for inclusion of third parties in the upcoming presidential debates.

Writing in U.S. News & World Report, Nader says the Democrats and Republicans want to marginalize opposing voices by excluding them from the debates.

From Nader's op-ed:
Given the huge barriers to getting on state ballots, a fair and manageable standard would be that anyone on enough ballots to have a theoretical chance to win should be allowed in the debates — six candidates this year. I challenge the two parties to take a baby step: In the coming weeks, a third-party debate is set to take place. Will McCain and Obama allow the winner, as voted by viewers, into their last debate?
Read the full column at the magazine's Web site.

Newspaper: No 'fashion police' in voting booth

A recent controversy over what Pennsylvania voters can wear at the polls is the topic of an editorial in today's edition of The Mercury.

The newspaper says county elections officials have enough to worry about on Nov. 4 without being fashion police.

Each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties is responsible for running elections in their respective counties. But a recent letter from the Rendell Administration, at the behest of the ACLU, has muddied the waters about what voters can wear to the polls.

State law prohibits "passive electioneering" so voters should not wear campaign buttons, hats or T-shirts when they enter a polling site.

But Rendell and the ACLU want the counties to look the other way if voters come dressed up to support their favorite presidential candidate.

The Mercury disagrees.

From the editorial:

Polls workers will have their hands full without passing judgment on whether a button or cap is appropriate or not. Instead, banning all campaign messages will remain the rule.

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

Obama has 'contempt' for gun owners

If you're a gun owner or somebody who believes the Second Amendment protects your right to bear arms, read the statement from the Illinois State Rifle Association about Sen. Barack Obama's misleading attempts to portray himself as a friend of gun owners.

"One of the most blatant lies ever to come from a politician's mouth," says ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson about Obama's contention that he protected the rights of Illinois sportsmen. "(Obama) has nothing but contempt for the law-abiding firearm owner."

'Nobody Knows Obama's Record on Guns Better Than I Do,' Says Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson

RNC Launches New Web Site: 'The Joe Biden Gaffe Timeline'

Keep this guy away from a microphone. Better yet, keep him away from the White House.

RNC Launches New Web Site: 'The Joe Biden Gaffe Timeline'

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Joe Biden: Don’t Know Much About History

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"
— Sen. Joe Biden, Democratic vice presidential nominee
There's so much wrong with those two sentences, I just don't know where to begin.

OK, let's start with the stock market crash. It happened in October 1929, four years before Franklin D. Roosevelt took office. The president at the time was Herbert Hoover.

Regardless of who was in the White House at the time, it would have been impossible for the president to address the nation "on television" because television wasn't introduced until 10 years later and didn't find its way into most American homes for another 25 years.

Radio was the medium of mass communication at the time. I guess Sen. Biden, 65, doesn't remember those "fireside chats" FDR held during his years in the White House.

So Sen. Biden didn't know who the president was during the stock market crash and he didn't know that TV would not be introduced until 1939. What else doesn't he know?

This guy is supposed to be the smartest man in the Senate? That doesn't say much for the rest of the Senate, does it?

And the Democrats have the nerve to make fun of Sarah Palin.

'No Consideration of Bailout Until AFTER Full Investigation'

"The Washington establishment wants to move quickly, to railroad something through before we can determine who is to blame," says Richard Viguerie, chairman of "It's a clever way to avoid responsibility. We can't let them get away with it."

Viguerie is on to something. Why else would Democrats and Republicans put aside their differences overnight and work together on the bailout? Are they looking out for the American people or trying to cover their tails?

There's growing evidence that Sens. Christopher Dodd and Barack Obama were up to their necks in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac scandals.

Congress was caught in bed with Wall Street once again. Sweeping this scandal under the rug with five weeks to go before the election is not the way to go.

Americans should demand accountability. Now is the time to clean up Washington.

Richard Viguerie: No Consideration of Bailout Until AFTER Full Investigation

McCain-Palin wow SE PA crowd

A crowd estimated at 10,000 to 15,000 attended a Monday afternoon rally for John McCain and Sarah Palin in Delaware County.

The Delaware County Daily & Sunday Times had wall-to-wall coverage of the event.

The newspaper noted the audience was twice the size of one that showed up to see Ronald Reagan in 1984 at a similar campaign stop.

From the story by reporter Alex Rose:
During his remarks, McCain chastised his opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for voting "present" nearly 130 times during his stint as an Illinois state senator and for offering no plan to fix the current financial crisis.

"You don't get to vote 'present' when you are president of the United States of America," said McCain, challenging Obama's leadership skills.

He proposed a high-level board oversee the distribution of $700 billion in bailout funds from the Federal Reserve System to failing financial institutions and ensure the government is a careful stewardship of taxpayer dollars, while holding accountable executives who recklessly run their companies "into the ground."

McCain also urged transparency with the process, saying taxpayers have a right to know which firms will be bought out, what that selection will be based on and how much it's going to cost, all of which should be available online.

"What we need in any reform is accountability for Wall Street, accountability for government, and a commitment for protecting people's homes and life savings and restoring our financial markets," McCain said.
Read the full story and check out video of the event at the newspaper's Web site.

Newspaper: Reject insurance merger

Pennsylvania residents have until Oct. 10 to express their opinion on the proposed merger of the state's two giant Blue Cross insurance companies.

Comments should be sent to Robert Brackbill, Chief, Company Licensing Division, Pennsylvania Insurance Department, 1345 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120. The fax number is 717-787-8557. Brackbill's e-mail is:

The state's biggest newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, says the merger offers few benefits to state consumers, already paying some of the highest health insurance rates in the country because of the lack of competition in Pennsylvania.

From an Inquirer editorial:
After listening to all the differing views on the proposed merger of Pennsylvania's two Blue Cross giants, the state Insurance Department recently got an unbiased report that concluded customers and health-care providers would benefit more if the two Blues would compete rather than merge.

The 192-page report by LECG Inc., an independent health-economics firm hired by the Insurance Department, says that competition between Independence Blue Cross and Highmark Inc. would result in lower premiums and better deals for health-care providers.

The report's findings are supported by basic economics and common sense, and should be taken seriously.

The impact on competition is the key factor that Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario must weigh in deciding whether to approve or reject the proposed merger. Now, Ario's own independent consultant has helped make the case against the merger.

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

Who's watching out for us?

The Institute for America's Future has launched a seven-week ad campaign calling for "a debate worthy of a great nation in crisis."

The non-partisan group's message:
"We cannot afford to have another election decided based on manufactured controversies, political gamesmanship and gratuitous mudslinging. We cannot afford to have our news media distracted by superficiality or preoccupied with horse-race jockeying."
The latest newspaper ad, shown above, is timely in light of the current financial collapse on Wall Street.

Cops: Landlord secretly videotaped female tenants

A Norristown landlord is behind bars on charges of allegedly videotaping current and former female tenants by installing cameras in bathrooms and bedrooms of apartments he rented to the women, authorities said.

Thomas Daley, 45, of Phoenixville, is charged with invasion of privacy, criminal use of a communication facility and violations of the wiretap and surveillance laws. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman told reporter Margaret Gibbons that Daley installed hidden cameras and audio equipment in three of the four apartments in a building he owns.

This equipment, which was hidden in bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms, was hooked up to enable him to spy on the private activities of his clients from his computer at home for his own sexual gratification, Ferman told Gibbons.

"This is just creepy at its worst," Ferman told Gibbons. "This kind of personal invasion is just harrowing. These victims just now are finding out that their most private, most personal times in their own homes have been captured on videotape and that somebody else has been watching them for their own personal gratification."

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

Rendell wants to raise the gas tax

After six years of fumbling around to find a way to pay for fixing Pennsylvania's crumbling roads and bridges and subsidizing mass transit, the Rendell administration may fall back on its favorite option: Raising taxes.

Rendell's plan to make Interstate 80 a toll road was rejected by the federal government. His backup plan, lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a Spanish firm, has met stiff resistance in the state Legislature.

So what's a tax-and-spend career politician to do? Raise the gas tax, of course.

Pennsylvania residents already pay 32.5 cents per gallon, one of the highest tax rates in the country. Rendell said the gas tax would have to go up at least 10 cents a gallon to raise enough money to fund transportation needs.

"To make up the shortfall, we're looking at a gas tax increase," Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Where else are we going to find the money for the shortfall in transportation funding?"

Republican lawmakers say the state can find the money in its existing revenues to repair roads and bridges and fund mass transit.

State spending has increased nearly $8 billion since Rendell became governor in 2003, but little of that money has been used for transportation.

Read more about Rendell's gas tax plans in today's edition of The Tribune-Review.

Ellis, McCord vie for Pennsylvania Treasurer

Here's a prediction: The next Pennsylvania Treasurer will be from Montgomery County.

Few Pennsylvania residents could name the candidates for state Treasurer, but the office has been a stepping stone to higher office.

Just look at what Bob Casey Jr. was able to accomplish, leaping from state Treasurer to U.S. Senator in 2006 by defeating incumbent Republican Sen. Rick Santorum.

It's a high-profile office that doesn't involve a lot of heavy lifting, bit it keeps you name in public and allows you to campaign on the state's dime, which is what Casey did so well.

So who will be the next state Treasurer? The Nov. 4 race pits former Montgomery County Commissioner Tom Ellis, an attorney who specializes in public finance matters, against Democrat Rob McCord, a former Congressional aide who also has a background in finance. McCord also lives in Montgomery County.

The winner of the race could come down to voter turnout and whether voters vote along party lines.

Read more about the candidates in this Associated Press story posted on The Mercury Web site.

'The American Voter ... A Study In Stupid'

Thomas D. Segel, writing at The American Daily blog, says American voters deserve the blame for the current state of the nation. We keep electing the wrong people, Segel argues.

"The reality is .... it really doesn’t matter which party is in office any longer. What the voters are doing is attempting to choose one bad group, hoping it will be better than the other bad group," Segel writes.

From his column:
The American voter … What logic. He or she looks at the current administration and ranks it among the bottom dwellers of the local sewer system. Then a vote is cast to remove this vile gang from the seats of power, only to replace them with the opposing group of bottom dwellers that had been cast aside four or eight years previously.
Read the full column,
"The American Voter... A Study In Stupid," at

You can find more articles by Segel at his blog,

Columnist: Democrats caused current financial crisis

Only in America. Sher Zieve, writing at, finds it ironic that the very same people who caused the economic collapse on Wall Street, the Democrats in Congress who were supposed to provide oversight in the past two years, are now working on a plan to solve the problem.

From her column:
The current financial crisis facing the United States of America and the world began with the US home ownership debacle and President William Jefferson Clinton.

Democrats Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) also the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee — of all things — and Democrat presidential Candidate Barack Obama (who is reported to be the 3rd largest recipient of Fannie Mae political contributions — said to be over $100K in less than 4 years) have also benefited greatly from these Democrats' personal slush funds. However, in the worst cut to We the People from the knife of corruption, the very people who created this problem will now be in charge of "correcting" it! Does this make any sense to anyone except those who have received and continue to receive funds from these institutions?
Click here to read the full column.

I've said this before. The only way to shake up Washington is to vote out most of the incumbent members of Congress. They're the people who got us into this mess. You need to fire them.

YouTube censors anti-Obama video

It's not just the mainstream media that is conspiring with the Democratic Party to elect Barack Obama as president. Internet outlets such as YouTube have also snuggled up to Obama in bed.

From Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council:

YouTube Censorship: Another Chinese Import?

As more organizations try to shine light on Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) abortion record in Illinois, his campaign has possibly found an ally in YouTube. The video clearinghouse, which has become one of the Internet's biggest sensations, blocked a pro-life post from the Kansas Coalition for Life that detailed Obama's unconditional support of abortion--including partial-birth abortion. As an explanation, the Coalition received only a simple message from YouTube stating that the video violated its "community guideline[s]." Although other posts contained similar footage of abortion procedures, they were not removed-presumably because they made no mention of Obama.

Google, YouTube's parent company, is no stranger to censoring pro-life message. As we mentioned last week, a Christian group just took the online superpower to court for refusing to let a British organization buy ad space to promote life. Unfortunately, this is hardly the first time YouTube has engaged in political censorship. Lila Rose, the UCLA student who taped Planned Parenthood's willingness to earmark donations for black babies, has also been blocked from posting videos that would incriminate the nation's largest abortion merchant.

Hoping to defray his opposition to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, Obama's campaign released a new ad saying his votes on the issue "were taken out of context" and people suggesting otherwise were guilty of "despicable lie[s]." Yet even the Associated Press corroborates pro-lifers' claims, writing, "As an Illinois state senator, Obama opposed three legislative efforts in 2001, 2002, and 2003 to give legal protections to any aborted fetus that showed signs of life."

Additional Resources
LifeSiteNews: YouTube Yanks Video Exposing Obama's Abortion Extremism

Are bloggers choosing our next president?

A new book takes a look at the influence blogs are having on the political discourse. And it's not all good.

"Political blogs are giving our presidential candidates' grassroots supporters and detractors the opportunity to influence others unlike any prior election," says David Wallace, author of "One Nation Under Blog. "The 2008 election will set a precedent for the future with the speed and volume of information disseminated, regardless of accuracy."

Too bad Wallace's book was finished before Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain's running mate. He devote entire chapters to the attacks against Palin initiated by bloggers ... and picked up by the mainstream media.

Follow the link below for more information on the book.

Are Bloggers Choosing Our Next President?

Columnist: Craig Williams ready to lead

Veteran political observer Gil Spencer likes what he sees in Craig Williams, the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District.

The incumbent, Joe Sestak, was a one-issue candidate in 2006 and that issue, the Iraq War, is no longer being debated, Williams told Spencer.

From Spencer's column:

If the president had listened to Joe Sestak, Barack Obama and the rest of the Democrats, instead of say, McCain, there is no telling how much worse things would be in Iraq today.

That, Williams says, was the same "self-serving political position Sestak adopted when he left the military."

And when Williams says "left," he makes the quote marks sign with his fingers, meaning what all military insiders know. Sestak didn't leave of his own accord. He was fired."

My conclusion was — for Joe Sestak, this was about self and not about country."

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

Monday, September 22, 2008

'How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis'

Looking to blame someone for the financial collapse we've witnessed so far this year?

The origins of the current crisis can be traced to actions by the United States Senate in 2005, says Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Writing at, Hassett says Senate Democrats, including Barack Obama, blocked legislation that would have prevented the mess.

Many of the Democrats who opposed Sen. John McCain's reform bill received enormous amounts of campaign contributions from the financial institutions that went belly up this year.

From Hassett's column:

Now that the collapse has occurred, the roadblock built by Senate Democrats in 2005 is unforgivable. Many who opposed the bill doubtlessly did so for honorable reasons. Fannie and Freddie provided mounds of materials defending their practices. Perhaps some found their propaganda convincing.

But we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years.

Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000.

Clinton, the 12th-ranked recipient of Fannie and Freddie PAC and employee contributions, has received more than $75,000 from the two enterprises and their employees. The private profit found its way back to the senators who killed the fix.

There has been a lot of talk about who is to blame for this crisis. A look back at the story of 2005 makes the answer pretty clear.

Oh, and there is one little footnote to the story that's worth keeping in mind while Democrats point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of S.190, the bill that would have averted this mess.

Read the full column, "How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis," at

History Repeats

'Politicking at its worst' on energy bill

A veteran Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania exposes the sham energy bill being pushed by Democrats in Congress to fool voters long enough to get past the November elections.

From an op-ed published in The Mercury by U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts:
In an effort to quell the public's increasingly loud call for action on the issue, (Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats) have offered up a piece of legislation that represents election year politicking at its worst. This bill, which was railroaded through the House, allows for offshore drilling — something that has become increasingly popular in opinion polls with the high price of gas. But it would also make the exploration contingent on states' approval while barring states from sharing the revenue. This provision nearly ensures no oil exploration would happen.

In fact, this provision would keep more offshore exploration off limits than if Congress simply allowed the current ban to expire on Oct. 1.
Read the full column, "A 'no-energy' energy bill thanks to Democrat," at the newspaper's Web site.

Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome

I like this Letter to the Editor originally published in The Mercury. It's clear that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has connected to the American public like no other politician since Ronald Reagan.

The writer believes the far left has come down with a bad case of Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome.
Palin is a threat to the far left
It seems that some angry liberals and most of the mainstream media now have an acute case of Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome.

She is such a threat to the angry left agenda they have to make the statements like she is not qualified to be vice president, yet ironically she has more executive experience than Barack Obama.

They have attacked her in every which way imaginable not even sparing her young.

The Obama campaign is stunned and does not know how to deal with this self-proclaimed hockey mom, which raises the question: How would an Obama administration deal with real threats to this country?

They cannot understand why she is so appealing to so many Americans regardless of their political affiliation. She has energized many now to start looking at the real issues of this election instead of the prepared soaring speeches.

She's appealing because she is a self-made successful leader starting from the PTA in her hometown to where she is now, governor of one of our most important states.

She is a true American woman and all the juvenile attacks on her will never discredit her. We connect with her because we see women like her every day running businesses, volunteering or working in our schools, churches and in every aspect of our community, while also taking care of their families.

She will make a great American vice president but we have to give her a chance to serve. If Pennsylvania supports her in the upcoming election, she'll have that chance.