Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Obama takes the wheel

Hollywood's Free Speech Hypocrisy

From the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace:
With support for the anti-worker card check bill coming to a screeching halt, the nation's labor unions are hoping that a little Hollywood glitter will revive the prospects of the Employee Free Choice Act. Actors Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff, who starred in NBC's West Wing series, are descending on Capitol Hill today to lobby for the anti-worker card check bill.

"It's ironic that the same actors who vote by secret ballot when choosing the leadership of the Screen Actors Guild, are here in DC lobbying to take the secret ballot away from millions of American workers," said Brian Worth, the chairman of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. "More than anyone, the creative community in Hollywood should understand that free speech and the right to self expression should be protected. I guess these actors believe that empowering labor bosses is more important than protecting a fundamental tenet of our democracy. It must be nice to have the luxury of applying free speech principles when it's convenient."
Read the full release below:

Hollywood's Free Speech Hypocrisy

Rendell Administration makes its case for closing the Scotland School

The Rendell Administration continues to make its case for closing the The Scotland School for Veterans' Children as a cost-cutting measure.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education says the Scotland School has the highest per-pupil spending of any public school in the state but has "curriculum deficiencies that result in many of its students falling short of Pennsylvania's academic achievement goals."

PA Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak said the state can find a more cost-effective way to educate the 240 students currently attending the Scotland School.

"To continue operating Scotland School is not in the best interest of its students or the commonwealth's taxpayers," Zahorchak said. "Clearly, there are more effective, less costly alternatives for Scotland students, and the Department of Education is committed to helping all Scotland students and families identify those alternatives for the coming school year."

Read more about why Gov. Ed Rendell wants to close the school to save taxpayers $10.5 million a year in this press release by the Department of Education:

Scotland School's Academic Performance, Course Offerings Make Strong Case for Closure

PA disciplinary action against licensed professionals

You may not be aware of this, but Pennsylvania licenses and regulates many types of professionals, including accountants, barbers, car dealers, chiropractors, dentists, doctors, funeral directors, optometrists, pharmacists and others.

When they violate the terms of their licenses or otherwise break the law or mistreat customers, the state can issue fines, suspend licenses or revoke licenses.

From a press release issued by the state:
The Pennsylvania Department of State took disciplinary actions against 94 licensed or commissioned professionals from February through March 2009.

A comprehensive list of sanctions imposed by the 27 boards and commissions under the department's Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs is available at the Department of State's Web site,

New and archived disciplinary actions can be accessed by clicking on "Professional Licensure" under the "Areas of Interest," then selecting "Disciplinary Actions" from the left-hand side of the Bureau of Professional and Occupation Affairs page.

Each entry includes the name of the respondent, the license number (if any), the respondent's last known business address registered with the bureau, the sanction imposed, a brief description of the basis for the disciplinary or corrective measure and the effective date.

Anyone who suspects unlicensed activity by an individual or facility, or who has been a victim of unethical treatment, can file a complaint online or by calling the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs at 1-800-822-2113.

Newspaper: Barack Obama as CEO

Good editorial in the Trentonian about Barack Obama, a man without any experience running anything, has appointed himself the overseer of American business.

From the editorial:
Barack Obama spent virtually all of his adult life after college and law school as a community activist and politician. If he possessed a managerial talent for running a major corporation, his campaign was unusually modest in not mentioning it.

Apparently, however, the president has come to believe he knows more about running General Motors than the CEO of GM does, or at least as much.

The Obama administration has pressured Rick Waggoner, CEO of GM, to resign under threat of having bailout money withheld from the faltering automaker. This move is reported to be part of a corporate "restructuring" plan the Obama White House has in mind for GM.

To Obama's title Commander in Chief, add Captain of Industry.
How effective will Obama be in restructuring the giant automaker considering that $25 million of his campaign contributions came from the United Auto Workers union. I think we all know the answer to that one.

And why didn't Obama fire the CEO of AIG or any of the banks that squandered taxpayer money?

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

Stop Spending Our Future launched to bring transparency to stimulus spending

If you don't trust the government, there's an independent Web site that promises to track every dollar of spending by federal, state and local government agencies from the trillion-dollar stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this year. promises real-time data, maps and graphs that allow taxpayers, businesses and journalists to track American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spending in each state, city and congressional district. (Not to be confused by the Obama site,

For more on the independent site, check out the press release below: Launched to Bring Unprecedented Transparency and Accountability to Recovery Spending

Rendell names accountability officer

Politicians, labor leaders, a couple of people with business background and more politicians will oversee how Pennsylvania spends the federal stimulus money.

And you thought the money was going to be squandered didn't you? Who best to trust with billions of dollars than Ed Rendell and some of his closest associates?

Rendell announced today that Ronald J. Naples of Montgomery County will serve as chairman of the Governor's Working Group for Stimulus Accountability and Chief Accountability Officer.

Naples is the former CEO of Quaker Chemical Corp. in Conshohocken.

Brad Bumstead of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes that Naples, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia will be paid $120,000 a year from the $16 billion Pennsylvania will receive in federal stimulus money.

From Busted's article:
Under the act, Pennsylvania can spend up to $500,000 on administrative costs for distributing the stimulus money, Rendell added.

When asked if he could find a volunteer for the job, Rendell said, "You can go out and buy a car. Or you can have someone give you a car. My guess is the one you buy will run better."

Rendell previously hired Ken Snyder, a Philadelphia public relations man, for a $100,000 contract to tout the stimulus law.
Here is a list of the members of the Pennsylvania Stimulus Oversight Commission and who or what they represent:
From the Administration:

Governor Edward G. Rendell

General Services Secretary James Creedon, Chief Implementation Officer

Ronald J. Naples, Chairman of the Governor's Working Group for Stimulus Accountability and Chief Accountability Officer

From the PA Chamber of Business and Industry:

Gene Barr, Vice President, Government and Public Affairs

From the United Way of Pennsylvania:

Tony Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Pennsylvania

From the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Donald C. Siegel, International Vice President, District 3, IBEW

From the Pennsylvania House of Representatives:

Democratic Caucus: Rep. Jennifer Mann, Caucus Secretary (132nd Legislative District)

Republican Caucus: Rep. Brian Ellis (11th Legislative District)

From the Pennsylvania Senate:

Democratic Caucus: Sen. Robert J. Mellow, Leader (22nd Senate District)

Republican Caucus: Sen. Michael Waugh, Caucus Chair (28th Senate District)

From Pennsylvania's U.S. Congressional Delegation:

Republican Representative: former U.S. Congressman Phil English

Democratic Representative: Paul E. Kanjorski, U.S. House of Representatives

J. Terry Kostoff, U.S. Senator Robert Casey

Charles Battaglia, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter
Read Rendell's press release announcing Naples' appointment at the link below:

Governor Rendell Names Accountability Officer, Continues To Promote Transparency for Federal Stimulus Investments

Liberal chattering

'Obama taxes, spends, borrows too much'

From an op-ed by Congressman Joe Pitts, R-PA:
President Obama has been spending the last couple of weeks attempting to sell his massive new budget plan. He recently held a prime time news conference in an effort to convince the American people, and, presumably, members of his own party in Congress, to sign up for his big spending, deficit increasing, tax raising budget.

Let me just be clear. The President's budget spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much. This is the most fiscally irresponsible budget in the history of our nation.

It raises taxes on every American family and business. The President has talked extensively about tax cuts for 95 percent of working families, but his cap and trade proposal would more than make up for those cuts with massive tax increases in energy costs that will be passed on to everyone who uses energy in any form.

The levels of spending in the budget are just staggering. During the tenth year of his budget, spending for just one single year would reach $5.1 trillion. In fact, if you add up all of the debt that's been accumulated by the 43 prior Presidents over the last 220 years, it comes to just half of the deficit spending the President is proposing over the next six years.

The administration isn't being honest about the true cost of the budget. They are manipulating the numbers with an overly optimistic economic outlook and unrealistic tax revenue projections. These are the very budget gimmicks the President claims to have done away with. In fact, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports that the President wants to spend $2.3 trillion more than the White House claims.
Read the full column at The Pottstown Mercury Web site.

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Taxes just might kill you in Pennsylvania

From an article by Brian Bowling in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Benjamin Franklin once quipped that nothing is certain "except death and taxes," but even he couldn't know a tax on death would be just as certain in his home state.

Census Bureau figures released Monday show that about 2.5 percent of Pennsylvania's 2008 revenue came from "death and gift" taxes, the highest percentage of any state. Death taxes can take one of two forms — a tax on the estate of the deceased or a tax on the amounts inherited by survivors. Until 2003, Pennsylvania had both.

While the state has followed the federal government and a majority of states in phasing out the estate tax, Pennsylvania clings to its 183-year-old inheritance tax.
Most states have eliminated or drastically reduced the "death tax" but not Pennsylvania. Another glaring example of why Pennsylvania should be renamed Taxsylvania.

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

Ripped-off in alphabetical order

Montco GOP moves into new headquarters

Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Bob Kerns has fulfilled one of his early campaign promises to party faithful: Move the county party headquarters back to the county seat.

On the job since last May, Kerns has announced that the Montgomery County Republican Headquarters has relocated to new gigs in Norristown as of this week.

The party is officially in its new offices at Hera Business Complex, 314 East Johnson Highway, Suite 200, Norristown, PA 19401.

The office is just down from Kennedy Kenrick High School between Old Arch Road and New Hope Street, in the complex that includes Eve's, Snap Fitness and Joe's Water Ice (Enter next to Snap Fitness).

The party headquarters is handicapped-accessible and features a 1,200-square-foot meeting room available to all Republican organizations and candidates throughout the county, Kerns says.

"Our spacious office and state-of-the-art technologies will allow MCRC to serve as a hub for municipal, county, and state elections," Kerns said. "Finally, the convenient location provides a spot close to the county seat but in a safe neighborhood with minimal traffic congestion."

The Montco GOP is planning a grand opening of its news office on Friday, May 8th, beginning at 2 PM and lasting through the evening.

In the meantime, Republicans (and would-be Republicans) are invited to stop by the new location to meet the staff and view "a number of GOP artifacts" on display, Kerns says.

For more information, visit the Montco GOP Web site,

Hayden Panettiere saves the whales

I hadn't given much thought about saving whales, but now that Hayden Panettiere is taking up the cause, count me in.

This is no April Fool's joke. The star of NBC's "Heroes" will be in Australia on April 1 to rally support for a campaign to gather 1 million signatures to save the whales from commercial fishing.

Since the whaling moratorium went into effect in 1986, more than 25,000 great whales, including endangered species, have been killed by Japan, Norway, and Iceland while Japanese fisherman have killed hundreds of thousands of dolphins and small whales in their coastal drive hunts, according to The Whaleman Foundation.

I'm not big on celebrity endorsements, but how can anyone resist Hayden's plea to save the whales?

Find out more about the petition drive at the link below:

Hayden Panettiere in Sydney Australia on April 1 to Ask for 1 Million Petition Signatures to End Commercial Whaling

Monday, March 30, 2009

Second Amendment Foundation Sues Eric Holder Over Gun Rights of Non-Resident American Citizens

The battle to preserve Second Amendment rights is heating up with a leading gun-rights group suing Obama's attorney general, who is enforcing unconstitutional restrictions on gun ownership, according to the lawsuit.

Read more in this release from the foundation:

SAF Sues Eric Holder Over Gun Rights of Non-Resident American Citizens

PA residents spend $2,175 a year on health care

A Consumer Expenditure Survey may be finding its way to your mailbox soon as the U.S. Census Bureau begins gathering all sorts of information on spending habits.

The information is used by various government agencies to determine the Consumer Price Index.

In announcing the April Census drive, the bureau released examples of numbers it uses. In the Philadelphia region, people spend $2,175 a year on health care, according to government statistics.

Census Bureau to Survey Nation's Spending Habits

Global poll: Economic System Needs 'Major Changes'

A survey by BBC World Service finds that the majority of residents of 24 countries around the globe believe major reform of the international economic system is needed in order to solve the current crisis.

As G20 leaders prepare to meet in London this week, 70 percent across the 24 countries polled by GlobeScan think 'major changes' are required to the way the global economy is run, the poll found.

Majorities in most countries -- on average 68 percent -- also see the need for major changes to their own country's economy, according to results.

Of the 24 countries polled, 15 are part of the G20 and among those countries, 65 percent think major changes are required to the international economic system, while 62 percent see the need for major changes to their own country's economy, the poll found.

See more results at the link below.

Economic System Needs 'Major Changes': Global Poll

Attorneys: Card check is unconstitutional

Two prominent attorneys offer another reason the Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 -- also known as "card check" -- should be rejected by Congress: It's unconstitutional.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey argue that the card check legislation that denies workers the right to a secret ballot violates the First Amendment and probably the Fifth and 14th Amendment due process clauses too.

From their column:
There can be little doubt that the act of voting on important issues is a form of symbolic speech, residing at the very core of the interests protected by the Constitution. The secret ballot has not only been adopted in federal and state elections, it is recognized as a fundamental human right in a number of international instruments. This includes the U.N. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the United States is a party, that requires secret
ballot voting as "guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors."Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

Lost on Obama Island

Rendell official back at work after stint in alcohol rehab

Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor & Industry Sandi Vito is back on the job after spending two weeks seeking treatment for an alcohol problem that was exposed after Vito was cited by police for public intoxication.

Gov. Ed Rendell welcomed Vito back with a vote of confidence.

"Sandi's personal difficulties are no reflection on her work performance," Rendell said in a statement. "In the past 14 months she has led the Department of Labor & Industry brilliantly. Since 2003 she has been an invaluable leader in reforming Pennsylvania's workforce development system to align it with the needs of business and industry."

Read Rendell's full statement at the link below:

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Welcomes Return of Acting Secretary Vito to Lead Labor & Industry

Charitable Fundraising Hit New Low in 2008

Half of all charities reported less giving in 2008 than the previous year.

And imagine what will happen in 2009 if Obama gets his way and eliminates tax deductions for charitable giving.

Charitable Fundraising Hit New Low in 2008

Newsweek: 'Obama is wrong' on economy

I've never been a big fan of far-left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, but when the Nobel Prize-winning economist says Obama is wrong, I'm willing to listen.

Read this week's cover story about how Obama has bungled the economy, in Krugman's opinion, at the magazine's Web site.

U.S. Census Bureau: State Tax Collections Reach Nearly $782 Billion in 2008

Some interesting facts and figures released by the Census Bureau about tax collection.

U.S. Census Bureau: State Tax Collections Reach Nearly $782 Billion in 2008

Newspaper: 'Legislature imitates itself'

The Pennsylvania Legislature spending time debating whether to make the box turtle the official state reptile is so fitting because any progress in the most expensive, least effective legislature in the country comes at a slow pace, says The Pottstown Mercury.

From an editorial in today's edition questioning the Legislature's priorities:
These are apparently the priorities endorsed by the new House Democratic leadership, Speaker Keith McCall and Majority Leader Todd Eachus. All talk of reform in getting down to business and making the Legislature more accountable has not materialized into action under this leadership.

Truthfully, special designation of a turtle, as opposed to say a fast-moving snake or hopping frog in the amphibian class, actually makes sense.

The turtle could be the official mascot of the Legislature, symbolizing a slow moving body that accomplishes little over a long period of time.

The turtle could be the symbol for the Legislature's attitude toward tax reform: Move slowly, stop for long rests in between steps, and get nowhere.

Voters should expect and demand more from their elected representatives.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Corruption rampant in Obama administration

It's still early, but it's becoming clear that the Obama administration will down in history as one of the most corrupt in the nation's history.

A must-read editorial in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about corruption in the Obama White House, leading all the way to Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

The Democrats truly are the party of corruption and continue to sink this country further into an economic abyss, while lining their own pockets.

From the Tribune-Review:
A White House that insists it's part of the solution to our economic crisis doesn't have any credibility when it's harboring one of the poster children for the problem.

That's why President Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, should resign.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Mr. Emanuel, as a board member beginning in February 2000, was paid "at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint at Freddie Mac that required little effort" and, in our view, coincided with reprehensible corporate behavior.

"On Emanuel's watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders," the newspaper reports. The goal was to make the mortgage giant look profitable on paper to help maximize annual bonuses for executives, it says.

Passive or active, Emanuel was a part of the problem. That he now is a member of an administration professing to be part of the solution is a farce and a hypocrisy that cannot be reconciled.

It's time for Rahm Emanuel to go.

'The American People Do Not Want a New World Currency That China Would Control'

Eagle Forum warns that the idea of a new world currency would be disatrous for the United States. Yet, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said last week he was "actually quite open" to the idea of a global currency to replace the U.S. dollar.

Eagle Forum Warns U.S. Treasury Secretary: 'The American People Do Not Want a New World Currency That China Would Control'

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Newspaper: Rendell's latest hire worked for Mike Veon

Gov. Ed Rendell has made another exception to the hiring freeze he imposed last fall, offering a $102,000-a-year state job to ex-state Rep. Mike Veon's lobbying partner, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Her name is Colleen Kopp and she is Rendell's new senior deputy secretary for legislative affairs.

Veon, the former No. 2 ranking Democrat in the state House, is right smack in the middle of two of the biggest corruption scandals in Pennsylvania political history.

He is facing charges involving the Bonusgate scheme in which millions of dollars were awarded to state workers for allegedly conducting political work on taxpayers' time. Veon has also been charged in a scheme involving misuse of state money to fund a nonprofit organization that received $10 million from the state.

Kopp has not been charged with any wrongdoing. She does, however, have a long association with Veon, including stints as executive director and chief of staff of Veon's legislative staff.

Reporters Brad Bumsted and Debra Erdley said Kopp is the third prominent Democrat hired by Rendell since the hiring freeze was imposed.

From their article:
Rendell hired Colleen Kopp last week, the third high-profile exception he has made to the freeze he implemented in September. He hired defeated Democratic Rep. Dan Surra of Clearfield County for $95,000 a year to oversee a nature-tourism project, and last week agreed to pay Ken Snyder of Philadelphia $100,000 to tout the federal stimulus package. Snyder, a public relations man who consulted for Rendell in 2003, represented a nonprofit pillaged by convicted former Sen. Vincent Fumo.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

Obama Afghan policy: 'Bankrolling our own defeat'

Disturbing editorial in Investor's Business Daily about the flawed Obama strategy in Afghanistan.

At the same time Obama is sending 21,000 more troops to battle the Taliban in Afghanistan, the president is sending another $15 billion to Pakistan, which is harboring the Taliban ... and some guy named Osama bin Laden.

Where is the outcry from the anti-war far left? This is Obama's war now. He can't blame George W. Bush anymore.

From the IBD editorial:
The plan to reward Islamabad with another $15 billion comes as stunning new U.S. intelligence — gathered from electronic surveillance and trusted informants — reveals Pakistan's spy service has been supporting the Taliban.

And they've been doing it with our intelligence, our weapons and our money. In effect, we are funding the Taliban.

Pakistan's secret war has pushed violence in Afghanistan to its highest level since U.S.-led forces invaded in 2001. U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan rose 35% in 2008.

Why would Pakistan's military intelligence destabilize the Afghan government? To limit archenemy India's influence next door. It's now confirmed that the Taliban bombed the Indian Embassy in Kabul with help from Pakistani intelligence, the ISI.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

The new face of evil

The front cover of the latest issue of New York Magazine features an illustration of Bernard Madoff as the Joker character from "The Dark Knight."

Sen. Gregg on Obama's deficit spending

How to bankrupt the United States

What's wrong with Barack Obama's proposed budget for the 2010 fiscal year?

Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire has the answer:
"In the next five years, President Obama's budget will double the national debt; in the next ten years it will triple the national debt.

"To say this another way, if you take all the debt of our country run up by all of our presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush, the total debt over all those 200-plus years since we started as a nation, it is President Obama's plan to double that debt in just the first five years that he is in office.

"He is also planning to spend more on the government as a percentage of our economy than at any time since World War II.

"His budget assumes the deficit will average $1 trillion dollars every year for the next 10 years and will add well over $9 trillion dollars in new debts to our children's backs.

"He also is proposing the largest tax increase in history, much of it aimed at taxing small business people who have been, over the years, the best job creators in our economy. And further, he is proposing a massive new national sales tax on your electric bill. So that every time you turn on a light switch in your house, you will be hit with a new tax -- and it averages over $3,000 per household.

"These are staggering numbers and represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.
Read the full GOP message below:

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) Delivers Weekly Republican Address

Consumer Advisory - Beware of 'Missed Calls' from International Area Codes '649' and '809' Scam Consumer Advisory - Beware of a New Form of an Old Scam: 'Missed Calls' from International Area Codes '649' and '809'

Rendell Creates PA Stimulus Oversight Commission

Let me get this straight. Gov. Ed Rendell has created the Pennsylvania Stimulus Oversight Commission and appointed himself to the commission to "ensure that federal stimulus dollars are spent wisely, transparently and in a manner that ensures accountability." Gimme a break!

It's like the fox guarding the chicken coop.

Trust Ed Rendell to make sure tax dollars are spent wisely? This is the man who has increased state spending by spent $8 billion in the past six years and has left the state with a $2.3 billion deficit.

Transparency? Rendell has awarded more than $1 billion in no-bid contracts to political cronies since taking over as governor.

Accountability? I'm still waiting for that "substantial" property tax Rendell promised.

With Rendell watching over the "stimulus" money, we might as well dig a hole and bury the Obama dollars.

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Creates Stimulus Oversight Commission

Friday, March 27, 2009

Report Card: 'D' Grade for PA Infrastructure

The American Society of Civil Engineers has given Pennsylvania a "D" on its annual report card reviewing the condition of roads, water systems and critical infrastructure in the state.

Some of the key findings in the report card for Pennsylvania include:
* 50% of Pennsylvania’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
* There are 781 high hazard dams in Pennsylvania. A high hazard dam is defined as a dam whose failure would cause a loss of life and significant property damage.
* 529 of Pennsylvania's 3,196 dams are in need of rehabilitation to meet applicable state dam safety standards.
* 9% of high hazard dams in Pennsylvania have no emergency action plan (EAP). An EAP is a predetermined plan of action to be taken including roles, responsibilities and procedures for surveillance, notification and evacuation to reduce the potential for loss of life and property damage in an area affected by a failure or mis-operation of a dam.
* Pennsylvania's drinking water infrastructure needs an investment of $10.99 billion over the next 20 years.
* Pennsylvania ranked 16th in the quantity of hazardous waste produced and 5th in the total number of hazardous waste producers.
* Pennsylvania’s ports handled 108 million tons of waterborne traffic in 2005, ranking it 10th in the nation.
* Pennsylvania reported an unmet need of $43.2 million for its state public outdoor recreation facilities and parkland acquisition.
* 44% of Pennsylvania's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
* 34% of Pennsylvania's major urban highways are congested.
* Vehicle travel on Pennsylvania’s highways increased 27% from 1990 to 2007.
* Pennsylvania has $3 billion in backlogged road repairs.
* Pennsylvania has $7.18 billion in wastewater infrastructure needs.
The Society says the nation's infrastructure needs now total $2.2 trillion over the next five years -- an increase of 38 percent from just five years ago.

The American Society of Civil Engineers 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, including a link to state-specific report cards is available online at:

Gov. Rendell has issued a self-serving press release that almost says he hasn't been around over the past six years as the state's infrastructure has deteriorated.

You can read that one at the link below:

Governor Rendell says 'D' Grade for PA's Infrastructure Demonstrates Need for Greater National Investment, Better Planning

The DREAM Act Illegal Alien Amnesty: A Bad Idea at the Worst Possible Time

The Federation for American Immigration Reform has issued a warning about another attempt by Congressional Democrats to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.

"Once again, Congress is ignoring the interests and concerns of hard-working, law-abiding Americans in order to reward illegal immigrants and pander to the illegal alien lobby," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "Even as American families are struggling, and nearly every state is facing a budget crisis, Congress is prepared to mandate huge additional burdens in the form of a massive illegal alien amnesty."

Read more at the link below:

The DREAM Act Illegal Alien Amnesty: A Bad Idea at the Worst Possible Time, Says FAIR

Changing the rules

State Capitol Roundup for March 27

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

Proposals to Increase Health Care Accessibility Road Blocked

Three Republican-sponsored proposals that would have helped the uninsured obtain quality and affordable health care services failed in the Democrat-controlled House. Reps. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks) and Scott Boyd (R-Lancaster), who chair the House Republican Policy Committee's Health Care Task Force, expressed frustration that commonsense solutions are being road blocked. The measures included proposals by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) to offer grants to health care facilities for upgrading equipment that would reduce medical errors; Rep. Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny) to retool the state's AdultBasic Program by applying sliding income scales to cover more of the uninsured; and Rep. Tom Killion (R-Delaware/Chester) to offer an affordable, basic insurance policy.

Lawmakers Push for Legislative Oversight of Federal Stimulus Funds

House Republican lawmakers gathered this week to call for legislative oversight over the acceptance and distribution of more than $9 billion in federal stimulus funds. House Bill 993, sponsored by Rep. Curt Schroder (R-Chester), would require the Legislature to approve all highway and transportation projects using stimulus funds. Additionally, Schroder is authoring House Resolution 165 to require the House and Senate to approve or reject stimulus money slated for Pennsylvania. Other measures include House Bill 991 from Rep. Jim Christiana (R-Beaver) to create a stimulus oversight council and House Bill 992, authored by Reps. Tim Krieger (R-Westmoreland) and Mike Reese (R-Westmoreland), to require that state agencies show the Legislature how stimulus funds are intended to be spent before the money is distributed.

House Republicans Unveil 'Energize PA' Proposal to Tap Marcellus Shale

House Republicans have unveiled a comprehensive alternative to the job smothering "severance tax" on natural gas proposed by Gov. Ed Rendell. The "Energize PA" plan would open 390,000 acres of state forest land to drilling during the next three years, providing at least $260 million per year for state and local governments as well as conservation districts. Drilling companies would pay a minimum of $2,000 per acre under the plan, a percentage of which would be used to address the state's growing budget deficit. The plan also has the potential to create 7,300 new private-sector jobs in the state's emerging Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling industry, a stark contrast from the 53,000 jobs estimated to be lost if Rendell's plan is implemented. The Marcellus Shale formation has been estimated to contain enough recoverable natural gas to supply the entire country for at least two years.

Legislation to Require Ignition Interlocks for DUI Offenders Reintroduced

Legislation recently reintroduced by Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks) to require ignition interlocks on vehicles of first-time DUI offenders was the subject of discussion in the House Transportation Committee this week. If passed, offenders would be required to operate their vehicles with the interlock device for a minimum of six months. Depending on the individual's blood alcohol content at the time of arrest, the period could climb to a maximum of one year. In 2007 alone, there were more than 53,000 drunk driving arrests on Pennsylvania's roads. The Pennsylvania State Police estimate that 535 deaths were caused by drunk drivers in that year. Current law in Pennsylvania requires ignition interlock systems for only second-offense DUI convictions.

Eat Your Heart Out, Eddie Van Halen

Have you seen the new cover of People?

It's refreshing to see a mature woman on a magazine cover instead of the pencil-thin teenagers who normally pose in swimsuits.

And for the record, Valerie Bertinelli (48, soon to be 49) is older than me.

Columnist: Why some are happy to see newspapers fail

Everyone knows the newspaper industry is struggling, but there seems to be a growing number of people enjoying the demise of some of the nation's great newspapers.

Who are these people and what do they have to gain?

Randy Siegel, co-founder of the Newspaper Project, argues that many of the people who are sounding the death knell have ulterior motives.

From Siegel's column in The Providence Journal:
As newspaper companies fight for survival and try to rectify many of the mistakes they have made in the last decade, they don’t deserve a break from anyone — their readers, their advertisers, or their competitors. What they do deserve, however, is a little more objective coverage of their problems and more detailed disclosure about the possible motives of those "critics" and "analysts" who are hardly unbiased observers.
Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

You can find out more about the Newspaper Project at

There's also an interesting column by Leonard Pitts Jr. that says politicians and government bureaucrats would love to see fewer newspapers because there would be no one left to hold them accountable.

From Pitts' column:
Too many of us fail to understand what that death would mean, believe newspapers provide no service they can't get elsewhere ... Local TV news specializes in crime, weather and sports. CNN has a national purview. Even the Internet primarily synthesizes reporting done in other media.

No, only the local paper performs the critical function of holding accountable the mayor, the governor, the local magnates and potentates for how they spend your money, run your institutions, validate or violate your trust. If newspapers go, no other entity will have the wherewithal to do that. Which means the next Blagojevich gets away with it.
Read "Don't expect sympathy cards from crooks, corrupt politicians," at The Miami Herald's Web site.

Knowles vs. Mackey for 124th state House seat

We now know the candidates for the vacant seat to represent the 124th state House District in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

For the Democrats, it's Bill Mackey, who has lost two previous bids to unseat Rep. Dave Argall, who held the 124th District seat for the past 24 years.

Argall won a special election to the state Senate earlier this month, leaving the 124th House District in Berks and Schuylkill counties open.

The Republican candidate will be Jerry Knowles, a former legislative aide to Argall.

The special election for the two-year term in the Legislature will be held May 19, the same day as the primary election in Pennsylvania.

Read more about the candidates in the Reading Eagle.

For more inside news on Schuylkill County politics, visit The Clarke Report

American Right To Life: The Ann Coulter Hang-Ups

American Right To Life: The Ann Coulter Hang-Ups

Ralph Nader on the 30th Anniversary of Three Mile Island

It's been 30 years since a significant accident involving a nuclear plant in the United States. In fact, it was the one and only major accident.

That's a pretty good track record, don't you think? But there are still a lot of people who want to shut down all nuclear power in the U.S., even as more of the world turns to nuclear for energy.

Statement of Ralph Nader on the 30th Anniversary of Three Mile Island

World Jewish Congress Blasts UN Vote Threatening Freedom of Expression

Explain to me again why the United States is a member of the United Nations and why we pay most of its bills?

World Jewish Congress Blasts UN Vote Threatening Freedom of Expression

How Congress Affects the Economy

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obama disses Greek-American community

Another example of how dysfunctional the Obama White House is: The head of the largest Greek-American heritage organization is upset with the management of the Greek Independence Day celebration at the White House held March 25.

The following is from a letter written by Ike Gulas, president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) to the White House:

"Despite proactive outreach to the White House, and several attempts to offer AHEPA's resources to your Public Liaison Office, many integral people involved in our leadership, including the National Presidents of our junior auxiliaries, were left off of the invitation list for the March 25th festivities," wrote Gulas. "Therefore, I feel it is my duty to call to your attention this failure to recognize AHEPA's status in the Greek American community and to treat it accordingly."

Read he full statement at the link below:

Leader of Largest Greek American Association Displeased With Management of Greek Independence Day Event at White House

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Pajamas TV Kicks Off 'Generational Theft Contest' Today

Pajamas TV Kicks Off 'Generational Theft Contest' Today

Columnist: 'Gordon Gekko is a Democrat'

Next time you hear that cliche that Republicans are the party of the rich, show the person who says it the following column by Ann Coulter.

Writing at Human, Coulter says Wall Street owns Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats, which might help explain the rush to bail out so many failing companies at taxpayers' expense.

From Coulter's column:
How did Republicans get saddled with Wall Street? Obama just got the biggest campaign haul from Wall Street in world history, and Republicans still can't shake the public perception that they are tied at the hip to Wall Street bankers who hate them.

Last September, The New York Times reported that individuals associated with the securities and investment industry had given $9.9 million to the Obama campaign, $7.4 million to the Hillary Clinton campaign and only $6.9 million to the McCain campaign. Either they're all Democrats or some commodity named "hope" was going through the roof last year.

Employees of Lehman Bros. alone gave Obama $370,000, compared to about $117,000 to McCain. (No wonder Bush let them go under.)

According to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records by the Center for Responsive Politics, the top three corporate employers of donors to Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Rahm Emanuel were Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and JPMorgan. Six other financial giants were in the top 30 donors to the White House Dream Team: UBS AG, Lehman Bros., Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse Group.

Since 1998, the financial sector has given a total of $37.6 million to Obama, compared to $32.1 million to McCain. But Obama ran for his first national office only in 2004. So McCain got less from the financial industry in a decade that included two runs for president than Obama did in four years.

As we've seen in recent weeks, Wall Street gets what it pays for. Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd included language in the stimulus bill allowing executives of the bailed-out banks to collect million-dollar bonuses.

And yet the Democrats' endless favors for their Wall Street friends never sticks to them because everyone treats Democrats' shilling for their own contributors as if it's a Nixon-goes-to-China moment.
Read the full column at Human

'State Lawmakers' Outside Income, Private Interests' exposed

WTAE-TV4 in Pittsburgh has been doing some outstanding investigative reporting on the Pennsylvania Legislature, the most expensive in the country and arguably the most inefficient and corrupt state legislature in the U.S.

The latest investigation by reporter Jim Parsons exposes cases of lawmakers who benefit financially from ties to private interests, often leading to conflicts of interest.

A common example: Lawmakers leasing office space in buildings they own or buildings owned by political allies, all paid for by taxpayers.

From the Team 4 report:
Now, a Team 4 investigation finds many of our full-time legislators in Harrisburg get outside income from private interests -- and sometimes, those interests can conflict with the public's.

Remember, we pay our state lawmakers a minimum of almost $80,000 each to represent us full-time -- but our Team 4 investigation found a majority of lawmakers report income from at least one other source.

And in reading through this annual financial interest statement for each state lawmaker, we also discovered something else: More than one-third of state senators and a quarter of House members sit on legislative committees that oversee the industries from which those same lawmakers reported receiving income, owning stock or serving on a board of directors.

Critics say that's a conflict of interest. But there's no law against it.
You can read the transcript of the report online or watch the actually report by the Team 4 investigation online at the station's Web site,


Bowling for Dollars

Columnist: 'Fairness Doctrine' should include NPR, PBS

From out hypocritical liberals file, we find this excellent op-ed by L. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center.

Writing in Investor's Business Daily, Bozell wants to know why liberals are working feverishly to impose the "fairness doctrine" on conservative talk radio when the far-left has two government-supported institutions all to itself.

From Bozell's column:
There's a huge hole in all of the public discussion about the reimposition of a "Fairness Doctrine" or a return to "localism" on the talk-radio format: What about National Public Radio (NPR)?

Liberals would like to "crush Rush" and his conservative compatriots by demanding each station balance its lineup ideologically. But since when has NPR ever felt any pressure to be balanced, even when a majority of taxpayers being forced to subsidize it are center-right?

Why no Fairness Doctrine attention to NPR? It is because those preaching "fairness" on the radio are hypocrites.

It's only "inserting politics" when anyone bothers to object to the everyday liberal politics of NPR and PBS. Ever since Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, the nation's taxpayer-funded news outlets have operated free of any real fear that someone would disturb their pattern of putting their big broadcasting thumb on the scale of liberalism.

If NPR's drawing a Limbaugh-sized audience, isn't it time someone started asking why a "Fairness Doctrine" shouldn't apply to them?
Read the full column at the IBD Web site.

Democrats' assault on U.S. business

Karl Rove: Obama may be the best thing that's ever happened to the GOP

Karl Rove: Obama may be the best thing that's ever happened to the GOP

Interesting column by Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal arguing that voters have figured out that Emperor Obama Wears No Clothes.
Something powerful is stirring in the land, and it may not be good news for President Barack Obama, his agenda or the Democratic Party. Mr. Obama said Tuesday night his budget moves America "from an era of borrow and spend" to "save and invest." But people are realizing he would add $9.3 trillion to the national debt, doubling it in six years and nearly tripling it in 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). How can that be "save and invest"?

Many Americans are anxious -- and in some cases angry -- about a set of old issues: deficits, taxes and the national debt. Mr. Obama's radical budget, his administration's slapdash operating manner, and events such as the AIG bonuses have revived animosity over government's size and cost.

In response, tea parties are sprouting up, and opposition is growing to more bailouts, more spending, higher taxes and larger deficits, even among Congressional Democrats.

Last fiscal year, the deficit was $459 billion. For this fiscal year, it was $569 billion when Mr. Obama took office. Under his proposals, another $1.276 trillion will be added to the deficit this year, for a total of $1.845 trillion.
In other words, the American people just remembered why they can't trust Democrats with important decisions. It's a shame we can't go back and elect a real leader, Sen. John McCain, to the White House. His plan, freezing federal spending and cutting taxes for the middle class and businesses, was the right way to go.

Look for a major adjustment, as in a Republican sweep, in the 2010 Congressional elections. That is the first opportunity voters get to correct the mistake they made by electing Barack Obama as president.

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

Absolute power ...

Are you responsible for Mexican drug violence?

The Obama Administration in general and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in particular are blaming the U.S. for drug violence in Mexico.

It's all part of Obama's overall plan to impose gun control measures on American citizens and open the borders even more with Mexico.

A new polls does not support Obama's beliefs.

Follow the link below to see results:

Zogby/O'Leary Report Poll Finds Majority of American Voters Don't Fault U.S. Gun Laws for Mexican Drug Violence

A quarter-century later, PA updates state water plan

With something as important as water, you'd think state officials would spend a little more time on it.

It's been more than 25 years since the State Water Plan has been updated.

"The state water plan represents years of exhaustive and difficult work, and provides Pennsylvanians with a vision, goals and recommendations for meeting the challenges of sustainable water use over the next 15 years," Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary John Hanger "Each region came to the table with its own priorities -- protecting drinking water supplies, creating jobs, avoiding devastating floods, reducing mine drainage, and ensuring well thought out plans for how to use the land -- but the statewide committee was able to craft a document that takes into account these many conflicting priorities and demands."

Read more at the link below:

New Plan Outlines Statewide, Regional Priorities to Balance Competing Demands for Water

'Talking Politics' on the radio today

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

"Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM.

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

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'Let's Get Back to Making Things'

Interesting commentary from Mark C. Tomlinson, executive director and general manager of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, on the double-standard Congress and the Obama administration have for "money people" versus the manufacturing sector.

Tomlison writes:
Before AIG got its recent comeuppance on Capitol Hill and in public opinion, members of the manufacturing community, in the form of the Big Three, sat before Congress like errant schoolchildren waiting to be expelled.

After several days of Congressional finger-wagging, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM were sent to detention, while the banks got a free hall pass to run amok in the Federal Reserve.

There was even a whiff of classism in the air. Somehow Wall Street's "Masters of the Universe," who created "paper" wealth got more help than an industry that creates real wealth by making things.
Maybe the manufacturers aren't leaving big enough envelopes full of money for Congress and the administration.

Read the full commentary, including advice to Congress and Obama, at the link below:

Want to Jump Start the Economy? Let's Get Back to Making Things

Another cartoon controversy

This drawing by far-left editorial cartoonist Pat Oliphant, published in many newspapers Wednesday, has drawn the ire of the Anti-Defamation League.

Remember all the fuss over the monkey cartoon last month? I wonder how the far-left media will treat this one, considering it was drawn by one of their own.

Read the ADL's press release condemning the cartoon at the link below:

ADL Calls Oliphant Cartoon 'Hideously Anti-Semitic'

Card Check Exposed

'The Power of 41'

To put Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to oppose the Democrats' card check bill into perspective, check out the "The Power of 41" editorial in the Wall Street Journal:
If anyone were still in doubt as to the importance of a Senate filibuster, we'd point them to Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter's announcement yesterday that he will not support "card check." Maybe Big Labor won't be able to up-end the economy, after all.

Mr. Specter's decision means Republicans now have 41 votes against "card check" -- legislation that would do away with secret ballots in union organization elections. The Pennsylvanian was the only Senate Republican to have previously voted in favor of a debate on the bill, and as such had been the target of a furious lobbying fight by unions and the business community. Yet to be seen is whether Mr. Specter's decision will inspire any number of swing state Democrats to follow his lead, and thereby neutralize an issue for which they are getting pilloried by their home-state business communities.
It's a shame Specter couldn't come to his senses when the Obama trillion-dollar stimulus bill was up for a vote earlier this year. Forget about Snowe & Collins up in Maine, it was Specter who gave Obama a blank check to spend a trillion dollars on far-left programs disguised as "stimulus."

The Congressional Budget Office says only 23 percent of the money allocated for this year will go toward anything remotely close to a job-creation program. The rest will reward Obama loyalists.

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


Pennsylvania is facing a $2.3 billion budget deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30.

Thousands of state workers could be furloughed in the next couple of months.

More than 41,000 Pennsylvania residents lost their jobs in February.

Nearly 1 million Pennsylvania residents are without health insurance.

Pennsylvania has the most "structurally deficient" bridges in the United States.

There's a strong possibility the state's slot parlors won't generate enough revenues to trigger any property tax relief this year.

With so many pressing issues, what is the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives up to these days?

What are the legislative priorities the most expensive state legislature in the country is working on? Here's a prime example:
House Bill 621 - An act selecting, designating and adopting the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) as the official reptile for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, passed out of the State Government Committee today. A full House vote is expected next week.
Glad to see House Speaker Keith McCall and Majority Leader Todd Eachus have their priorities in order. Keep up the good work, boys.

Auditor General to review PA 'fire sale' of state office building

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner is reviewing the Pennsylvania Department of General Service's agreement to sell the State Office Building in Pittsburgh for $4.6 million, claiming the purchase price amounts to a "fire sale."

The Department of General Services announced Tuesday it was selling the 16-story structure to River Vue Associates LP of Canonsburg.

"I continue to believe this is the worst possible deal for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania," Wagner said in a statement. "It makes no sense for the commonwealth to sell this prized asset -- the signature building of state government in Western Pennsylvania -- for the lowest possible price during the most depressed real-estate market in decades."

Department of General Services Secretary James P. Creedon countered that selling the Pittsburgh State Office Building is in the best interest of taxpayers.

Creedon said he welcomes the audit from Wagner's office.

"We have discussed this decision and engaged in the process to sell the Pittsburgh State Office Building publicly for more than two years," Creedon said in a statement. "While the auditor general seemed to only become interested in this topic during the last month, he is welcome to review any and all of our material and we will fully cooperate with him in that review."

Creedon says the decision to sell the 50-year-old building was based on many factors, including "significant annual operating costs and the substantial costs necessary to rehabilitate the structure."

Engineering estimates show that nearly $65 million in state funds would be needed to thoroughly rehabilitate the building, Creedon said.

The state will save $14 million by selling the building and moving state employees into leased space in downtown Pittsburgh, Creedon said.

Wagner isn't buying it.

"The land alone is worth more than the sale price," Wagner said in a press release, adding that the state has agreed to purchase the City of Pittsburgh's Municipal Courts Building, which is one-fifth the size of the State Office Building and is situated in a less desirable location, under the Liberty Bridge and next to the Allegheny County Jail, for $9 million.

The State Office Building sale is a bad deal, Wagner argues, because "there would not be enough profits from the sale to offset moving expenses and pay for the first year of leases at multiple locations in downtown Pittsburgh, saddling taxpayers with an additional spending burden."

Read Wagner's press release at the link below:

Auditor General Jack Wagner Will Review State's Agreement to Sell Pittsburgh State Office Building

Read Creedon's response at the link below:

DGS Secretary Says Sale of Pittsburgh State Office Building Is in Best Interest of Taxpayers

Obama needs a dictionary

An interesting observation about Barack Obama's view of the world from CNSNEWS.COM:
Obama Used 'Invest' or 'Investment' 18 Times in Press Conference to Describe Government Deficit Spending

By Terence P. Jeffrey,

In Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary the first meaning listed for the word "investment" is "the outlay of money usually for income or profit," and the meaning of the word "invest" is "to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return."

The idea is that investing money is something private individuals and businesses do on the calculation that they will get back more money than they put into a particular enterprise.

In his prime-time Tuesday press conference, however, President Barack Obama used the words "invest" or "investment" 18 different times to describe the deficit spending he wants the federal government to undertake in pursuit of his budget plan.

When the government engages in deficit spending it has to borrow money — part of it from foreign sources — and then charge future taxpayers to pay the interest on the borrowed money. As long as the government's loans are not paid off, the taxpayers must continue paying interest on the debt year after year — just as an individual citizen would need to pay interest year after year on a credit card whose principal is never paid down.

The money that goes each year to pay the growing interest on the federal government's credit card cannot be "invested" by private citizens and businesses to create jobs and grow the economy.
Read the full column at CNSNEWS.COM

The Two Faces of Barack Obama

Argall will help pick his successor

The Pennsylvania Republican Party has released the names of 17 conferees who will gather Thursday in Schuylkill County to pick a candidate for the May 19 special election to fill the vacant 124th state House seat in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

The seat became available when state Rep. David Argall won a special election to fill the 29th state Senate seat held by the late Sen. James Rhoades.

One of the 17 conferees is a familiar name: None other than Sen. David Argall, who held the 124th House seat for the past 24 years.

Here's the full list of conferees:

Berks County:
Martha Bertolet
Sandra Christman
Ernest Comisac
David Hunsberger
Joseph Rudderow
Michael Stevens
Jason Valick

Schuylkill County:
Frances Adams
David Argall
Rudy Gherghel
Micah Gursky
John Halabura
Carole Miller
Tom Nickels
Nick Sanko
Adolph Slovik
Diane Thompson

Here's some background on the conference provided by the state GOP:
Due to the fact that this State House District is made up of more than one county, PA GOP Bylaws dictate that the State Party preside over the conferee meeting. Each of the counties that comprise the 124th House District, both Berks and Schuylkill counties, are represented by their respective number of allotted conferees based on the electoral results of last year's presidential race. Conferees must be registered Republican electors that reside in the 124th House District. County Party Bylaws dictates the counties' conferee selection processes.

During the conferee meeting, each candidate will have the opportunity to make a short presentation. After each candidate has an opportunity to be heard, the conferees will vote to nominate a candidate to fill our Party's position on the ballot. A nominated candidate must secure a majority plus one of the votes cast to earn the nomination. No proxies will be permitted at this meeting, and only conferees will be permitted to vote.

Any registered Republican, 21 years or older, who has resided in the 124th State House District for at least one year may seek the Party's nomination. All candidates interested in seeking the Party's nomination must contact Republican Party of Pennsylvania Political Director Chad Weaver by calling 717-234-4901, ext. 118 or by e-mailing
While there will be a Democratic candidate on the ballot, this is a heavily Republican district and the GOP nominee will probably end up winning the seat, especially with Argall's endorsement.

That sinking feeling

Greek Independence Day

I can't stand Nancy Pelosi either, but she did take the time today to acknowledge Greek Independence Day.

Follow the link below to read her statement:

Pelosi Statement on Greek Independence Day

Census Workers to Verify Addresses in the U.S.

More than 140,000 Census workers will begin canvassing across the United States on March 30 in an effort to verify 145 million addresses.

What can possibly go wrong?

Census Workers to Verify Addresses in the U.S.

U.S. Postal Service Asking for Bailout

Guess who's looking for a bailout?

Postmaster General John Potter told Congress today the U.S. Postal Service will run out of money this year without help from the government.

The Postal Service lost $2.8 billion last year and expects a bigger loss this year, Potter said. The agency is projecting a $6 billion loss in 2010.

How the hell do you lose that much money when you're a government monopoly?

Potter is asking Congress for permission to cut Saturday mail delivery to save $3.5 billion, but it still doesn't get the Postal Service out of the red. Maybe Potter can hire some of the executives at AIG.

If you need any further proof that the government can't do its most basic jobs, look no further than the Postal Service.

So of course, Barack Obama wants the government to do more, including taking over the health system in this country.

Picture yourself waiting in line to see a doctor just like you wait in line to buy stamps.

Stop the madness.

U.S. Postal Service Details Economic Viability Strategy

RNC: A Taxing Night

The Republican National Committee offers a response to Barack Obama's latest press conference:

RNC: A Taxing Night

Obama Stimulus Plan 'Way to Hell'

In a Wednesday speech to the European Parliament, Czech Premier Mirek Topolanek described the U.S. stimulus measures as the "way to hell," adding that they "will undermine the stability of the global financial market."

It's not something you'll read in the Obama media. And I thought all of Europe was behind The Chosen One.

Obama's Stimulus Plan 'Way to Hell,' EU Chief Topolanek Says; EIN News Offers Extended News Coverage

Something stinks

Attorney General files more corruption charges

Breaking news on the corruption front involving the Pennsylvania Legislature.

From an article by Brad Bumsted and Debra Erdley in today's edition of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Additional charges of theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest were filed against former House Democratic Whip Mike Veon today, accusing him of using a Beaver County nonprofit for his personal and political benefit, the state Attorney General's Office said.

Attorney General Tom Corbett is holding a news conference in Pittsburgh to announce the latest phase of his investigation of possible corruption in the Legislature.

Charges were filed against Veon, 52, formerly of Beaver Falls, and former district office staffer Annamarie Peretta-Rosepink, 46, for their use of the Beaver Initiative for Growth. Veon and former Sen. Gerald LaValle, D-Rochester, funded the nonprofit with more than $10 million in state grants over a decade.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

Richard Viguerie: Notre Dame Honor for Obama is Part of a Collapse in American Institutions and Their Leaders

A noted Catholic university invites a pro-abortion politician to speak at its spring commencement. What's wrong with this picture?

The Obama/Notre Dame scandal is part of a wider pattern, says President Richard Viguerie, "not just in Catholic institutions. One institution after another has failed the American people. Wall Street, the National Media, Corporate America, Washington, Hollywood, and leaders of most religious organizations have betrayed the American people who look to them for guidance. In turn, Americans have lost confidence in the leaders of these institutions."

Read more from Viguerie at the link below:

Richard Viguerie: Notre Dame Honor for Obama is Part of a Collapse in American Institutions and Their Leaders

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meehan campaign raises $700,000

From the Patrick Meehan camp:
The Meehan for Pennsylvania Committee announced today it has raised over $700,000 to date.

"I am grateful for the tremendous support we have received up to this point. It is clear that Pennsylvanians are hungry for a change in leadership, and I'm pleased that our message of fiscal responsibility, ethics reform and accountability in government is resonating," said Pat Meehan. "I look forward to continuing to explore a run for governor and to visit with Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth to listen to their concerns and ideas to best develop a strong plan that tackles Pennsylvania's many challenges."
Meehan, the former U.S. Attorney for Southeastern Pennsylvania, is one of three high-profile Republicans exploring a run for Pennsylvania governor in 2010. The others are PA Attorney General Tom Corbett and Congressman Jim Gerlach, PA-6.

For more information about Meehan, visit

10th Amendment Resolution introduced in PA House

Following up on a successful rally in Harrisburg to promote state's rights, Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks, has introduced the 10th Amendment Resolution in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

"Together, we sent a strong signal to federal and state lawmakers that we expect them to live up to their commitment to defend the U.S. Constitution," Rohrer said of the 10th Amendment Rally on March 16.

To track the status of the 10th Amendment Resolution – House Resolution 95 – visit (In the top-right corner of the Web site there is a box titled "Find Legislation By." Click on the circle to the left of "Bill #" and type in "HR 95" to view the legislation and track its progress.)

State Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Berks/Lebanon, plans to introduce a similar resolution in the Pennsylvania Senate.

You can learn more about the state's rights movement at Rohrer's Web site

The pot calling the kettle black

Group Thanks Specter for Listening to Voters on EFCA

Save Our Secret Ballot, a group working in a dozen states to protect workers from union intimidation, is pleased that Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter has publicly stated he will oppose the EFCA or 'Card Check' bill pushed by Big Labor to force workers to unionize.

Public opinion surveys taken in 10 states by Wilson Research Strategies show 81% to 94% support for a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to secret ballot. That includes support from 84% of union members.

Read the group's full statement below:

SOS Ballot Thanks Specter for Listening to Voters on EFCA

Coalition Applauds Specter for Opposing Card Check Bill

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace is pleased with Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to oppose the job-killing EFCA (aka Card Check) bill.

"CDW appreciates Sen. Specter's principled decision to protect worker privacy and secret ballot elections," said Brian Worth of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.

Without Specter's support, the Democrats don't have the 60 votes needed in the Senate to pass the bill.

Coalition for a Democratic Workplace Applauds Senator Specter for Opposing Anti-Worker Card Check Bill

The GOP Comeback Begins Now

Check out more at the Republican Governors Association Web site,

The entitlement class in Harrisburg

Excellent editorial in the Allentown Morning Call contrasting the penny-pinching by Pennsylvania taxpayers to make ends meet in these tough economic times while the political class in Harrisburg continues to squander public dollars.

From the editorial:
Taxpayers understand what it means to pinch pennies. And, they grasp that in this economy, doing so is a must. It's too bad more people in state government don't get it.

Pennsylvanians are trying to economize and spend smarter so it is outrageous that in Harrisburg it's still business as usual. These elected officials and public employees need shorter leashes.
Taxpayers had a golden opportunity to reign in the professional political class in Harrisburg last November, but swept up by Obama fever, too many voters cast party-line votes and sent the same people back to the Legislature.

It's clear that the "new" Legislative leadership is just an extension of the Perzel/DeWeese era. House Democrats, especially, are abusing their privilege and sticking taxpayers with the bill.

The next opportunity to storm the gilded palace known as the state Capitol won't come until 2010.

Read the full editorial, "Harrisburg spenders send a message of entitlement," at the newspaper's Web site.

RNC: Debtor Days Ahead

Should we be concerned that Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are planning to double the national debt over the next 10 years?

The Republican National Committee thinks so ... and hopes somebody corners Obama at tonight's press conference about his voodoo economics.

The Congressional Budget Office has issued a report essentially saying Obama's runaway spending plan will bankrupt the United States.

Read more at the link below:

RNC: Debtor Days Ahead

Taken for a ride

Judge: Flipping the 'finger' is free speech

One man's obscene gesture is another man's Constitutional right to free speech, according to a federal judge.

From The Associated Press:
A federal judge says a man who flipped his middle finger at a Pittsburgh police officer shouldn't have been cited for disorderly conduct.

David Hackbart, of Pittsburgh, made the gesture at another driver in April 2006, then made the gesture again when he heard someone yelling at him — realizing only later the second person was a police officer.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on Hackbart's behalf saying the gesture is protected speech and U.S. District Judge David Cercone agreed in a 19-page decision filed Monday.

Still to be determined at an upcoming trial is whether city police were improperly trained. The ACLU claims city police have filed 188 citations for similar offenses in 2005, 2006 and 2007. A trial date is pending.

Capitol South - March Madness Edition

1 Question for Obama

From the American Small Business League:
As America slides deeper and deeper into recession, 27 million small business owners want President Barack Obama to answer one question at his press conference Tuesday.

Why are you allowing Fortune 500 firms to participate in government economic stimulus contracting programs designated for small businesses?

Since 2003, over a dozen federal investigations have been released, which found billions of dollars in federal small business contracts have been diverted to Fortune 500 firms and thousands of other large businesses around the world.

A recent investigative story by the Washington Post found up to 38.5 percent of all federal small business contracts were actually going to Fortune 500 firms alone.
Read the full release at the link below:

Small Businesses Want President Obama to Answer One Question

PA to sell office building for $4.6M

Pennsylvania Department of General Services Secretary James P. Creedon announced today that the state is moving forward with its plans to sell the Pittsburgh State Office Building to River Vue Associates LP, of Canonsburg, for $4.6 million.

The sale will not only bring much-needed revenue to state coffers, but it will save the state much more in the long run.

The state will save $14 million by selling the building and moving state employees into leased space in downtown Pittsburgh, Creedon said in a press release. Driving this cost-savings is the avoidance of almost $65 million needed to renovate the building, he said.

Read the full release at the link below:
State Announces Plans to Sell Pittsburgh State Office Building

What's so funny?

If you missed the Barack Obama interview on "60 Minutes" the other night, you missed one of the most disturbing television events of all time.

Without a teleprompter to read from, Barack Obama fumbled his way through the segment with CBS News correspondent Steve Kroft, but also exhibited a disturbing laugh when Kroft asked about the sagging U.S. economy.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review called Obama's performance "shocking" and more proof that Obama, the media-created celebrity, doesn't have a clue about the presidency.

From the editorial:
The economy continues to struggle. Americans keep losing their jobs. Politicians keep insisting we can spend our way back to prosperity. The administration proposes stealth tax increases. Wealth redistribution is far outpacing wealth creation. And Barack Obama is nervously chortling, one minute striking an optimistic tone and the very next talking of a new depression.

Can you imagine a similar performance from Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression? Or John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Or Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War?
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Knock ... knock

New Ad: Obama and Liberals Shouldn't Be 'Shocked' About AIG

The very same people who created the AIG mess are displaying indignation over it and attempting to point fingers.

"Our elected officials are feigning shock over schemes that they themselves oversaw," said Ed Martin, president of the American Issues Project, which has launched a new ad campaign exposing the hypocrisy of the Obama administration and its Congressional allies.

"While it's a clever PR stunt in the face of sharply declining approval ratings, two-faced politicians are not helping the American economy -- and, more importantly, the American people--recover," Martin said.

You can view the ad at the link below:

New Ad: Obama and Liberals Shouldn't Be 'Shocked'; American Issues Project Highlights the Hypocrisy of 'Change' Amidst AIG Bonuses and Overall Spending

Rendell turns to ... another Philly lawyer

Here's a surprise. There's a vacancy in state government and Gov. Ed Rendell turns to a Philadelphia lawyer to fill the position.

Is Pennsylvania an employment agency for Philadelphia lawyers?

Does Ed Rendell know anybody other than Philadelphia lawyers?

Rendell has nominated A. Michael Pratt, a Philly lawyer, to fill the four-year term on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

I think there should be a moratorium on any more Philadelphia lawyers serving in any government capacity in Pennsylvania.

Rendell's pick is subject to Senate confirmation.

Back on top

After one week at No. 2, TONY PHYRILLAS has returned to its familiar spot at No. 1 in the Weekly Influence Index published by

If you're keeping score, TONY PHYRILLAS has held the No. 1 spot for 9 of the past 11 weeks, including a record-setting six weeks in a row.

Alas, THE CENTRIST dropped out of the Top 10 for the first time in 2009, sliding down to No. 11 for the week.

Here's this week's Top 10

Save The GOP (2) (3)
GrassrootsPA (4)
Lehigh Valley Somebody (5)
Capitol Ideas (6)
Suburban Guerrilla (7)
Lehigh Valley Ramblings (8)
Comments From Left Field (10)