Thursday, April 30, 2009

Air Farce One

100 days of exhausted ideas

For one of the best assessments of Barack Obama's first 100 days in office, check out "Obama's Vision Deficit" from Reason by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch

From their column:
So here we are, 100 days into the great eight-year triumph of Hope over Change, a new Era of Really Good Feelings in which only one thing has become increasingly, even irrefutably, clear: President Barack Obama is about as visionary as the guy who invented Dippin' Dots, Ice Cream of the Future. Far from sketching out a truly forward-looking set of policies for the 21st century, as his supporters had hoped, Obama is instead serving up cryogenically tasteless and headache-inducing morsels from years gone by.

On issue after issue, Obama has made it clear that instead of blasting past "the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long," (as he promised in his inaugural address), he's moving full speed ahead toward policy prescriptions that already had less fizz than a case of Billy Beer back when Jimmy Carter was urging us all to wear sweaters and turn down our thermostats. Instead of thinking outside the box, Obama is nailing it shut from the inside.
Read the full column at reasononline

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6 million jobs lost under Democrats

More than 6 million Americans have lost their jobs since Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Democrats took control of Congress after the 2006 elections. The worst recession in U.S. history would begin one year into the Democrats' reign ... and continues today under the Obama Administration.

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GOP launches anti-Specter Web site

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has launched a new Web site -- Meet Democrat Arlen Specter -- to help Pennsylvania Democratic voters get to know their new U.S. senator.

Arlen Specter has a long history with the Republican Party and has represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate since 1981 as a Republican. Specter's days with the GOP ended Tuesday when he announced he is switching his party registration to Democrat and would seek re-election in 2010 as a Democrat.

While Specter has attracted substantial support among moderate Pennsylvania Democrats, will the liberal base of the Democratic Party support Specter in 2010 as he seeks the Democratic Party nomination to run for another six-year term in the Senate?

Potential Democratic voters may want to view the YouTube clip of George W. Bush endorsing Arlen Specter in 2004. There's also a clip of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum endorsing Specter.

The Web site includes postings such as "Specter Opposing Democrats And Their Priorities" and "Specter Supported Republican Policies That Democrats Opposed" and one of Specter praising Rush Limbaugh.

It's all designed to give hard-core Democrats second thoughts about supporting a political opportunist like Specter.

(If you're Rep. Joe Sestak or Joe Torsella -- two Democrats considering running against Specter next year -- you can thank the GOP for digging up all this dirt on Specter for you.)

Visit Meet Democrat Arlen Specter at

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Specter's Reward

'Generational Theft'

Georgia Congressman Tom Price, who is chairman of the Republican Study Committee, offers a scathing critique of Barack Obama's first 100 days in office.

From a column published at
The President, with a gleeful seal of approval from his liberal allies in Congress, has already managed to bury future generations of Americans beneath a mountain of debt. Sadly, the President’s hallmark policies -- the $787 billion non-stimulus, the meddlesome bailouts, and the budget plan working its way through Congress -- all send a clear signal that attempts at more generational theft will continue for the foreseeable future.

In just 100 days, President Obama has laid the groundwork for the most intrusive federal overreach in the country’s history, all funded with money we simply do not have. This agenda will not proceed uncontested. As President Obama and Congressional Democrats continue to treat taxpayers like their personal ATM, conservatives will continue to offer bold, positive ideas that prove that we are, once again, the party of solutions.
Read the full column at

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Obama runs out of money

Obama Doesn't Make It Through 100 Days Before Running Out Of Money

Debt Day falls three days before 100-day mark

Republican Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) took to the House floor today to explain how much spending and borrowing President Obama and Democrats in Congress have undertaken this year.

For 2009, Debt Day (the day on which the government runs out of revenue and starts borrowing to pay for spending) fell on April 26 -- three days before President Obama's 100th day in office.

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Suze Orman to Keynote Sixth Annual Pennsylvania Governor's Conference for Women

Maybe Suze Orman can offer Gov. Ed Rendell some advice on spending, like how not to spend $2.3 billion more than the state took in this year.

Suze Orman to Keynote Sixth Annual Pennsylvania Governor's Conference for Women

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Obama's 100 Mistakes, Misstatements and Missteps in His First 100 Days

The Biggest Spending Spree in American History

As Barack Obama marks his 100th day as president, the United States has witnessed the most debt-riddled first 100 days of any administration in history, according to the Republican Study Committee.

Obama has vaulted far past the debt numbers accumulated by his two predecessors in their first 100 days (in fact past their entire first years!), the RSC says.

In just 100 days, Obama has left future generations $564 billion in new debt. Unfortunately for taxpayers, this is only a preview of what is to come, the RSC says.

More from the RSC release:
As American taxpayers continue to hand over their money to pay for President Obama's reckless spending agenda, it is appropriate to compare his first 100 days to those of previous administrations. The chart above shows the debt accumulated in President Obama's first 100 days compared to those of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Even given the size and scope of President Obama's reckless spending agenda, the figures are sure to surprise. (Source: Bureau of Public Debt)

Obama even blows away the competition when comparing his first 100 days to his predecessors' first full year.

Clinton's 1st YEAR: $312 Billion

Bush's 1st YEAR: $194 Billion

Obama's 1st 100 DAYS: $564 Billion

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2 million Americans have lost jobs since Obama took office

You're going to hear a lot of numbers today, which marks Barack Obama's 100th day in office. Most of the spin from the Obama-controlled medial will be positive. The most telling is 2,055,000. That's how many Americans have lost their jobs since Obama took office. Where's the hope? Where's the change? The $1 trillion "stimulus" package that Obama signed will send money to far-left causes, but few working-class Americans will see any benefit. The Obama recession will continue and millions more Americans will lose their jobs.

The Associated Press put together an interesting look at Obama's first 100 days. Here are some of the lowlights of Obama's failed administration:
Doing the math on Obama's 100 days

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama marks his hundredth day in office on Wednesday, but it's hardly the only digit that matters to the new administration.

Here are some highlights of Obama's first 100 days, by the numbers:

$3.6 trillion — Total spending in Obama's proposed federal budget for 2010.

$1.75 trillion — Total projected deficit in Obama's proposed federal budget for 2010.

$787 billion
— Cost of tax cuts and new spending in economic stimulus package approved by Congress.

$558.4 billion — Increase in the public debt, from Jan. 20 through April 24.

$235 billion
— Tax dollars spent to bail out failing financial institutions, Jan. 20-April 20.

2.055 million — Number of jobs lost, January-March.

908,666 — Housing foreclosures, Jan. 20-April 24.

106 — U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan since Jan. 20.

49 — U.S. military deaths in Iraq since Jan. 20.

27 — Bank failures.

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Will PA GOP turn to Tom Ridge?

A lot of speculation about what the defection of Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party will mean for the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race.

While conservative Republicans are backing former Congressman Pat Toomey, there's still some doubt about Toomey's ability to win in the General Election.

Bill Pascoe, writing at CQ Politics, suggests the GOP establishment that has backed Specter for the past 25 years, will soon be looking for an alternative to Toomey.

"The moderate-to-liberal David Brooks-reading Republicans who form the core of the Pennsylvania GOP establishment aren't about to hand over their U.S. Senate nomination to the conservative Toomey," Pascoe writes. "There's too much at stake, and it has little to do with a seat in the U.S. Senate."

From Pascoe's column:
Knowing how moderate GOP establishment types think, I'll wager they've already reached out to some major moderates.

But I'm willing to bet there's a bigger play about to unfold -- a call to former two-term Gov. Tom Ridge.

Ridge is a serious man, who left a serious footprint.
I'm not sure Pascoe realizes Ridge moved out of Pennsylvania years ago, but there's no denying Ridge is a proven vote-getter, having won two terms as Pennsylvania governor before resigning to become the nation's first Secretary of Homeland Security.

After the disastrous administration of Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, who has left Pennsylvania in a fiscal hole of historic proportions, Pennsylvania residents will be looking to elect a Republican governor in 2010. And with the Democratic majority in the state House dogged by the biggest corruption scandal in the state's history, voters may end up sending a Republican majority to the Legislature, too.

The reason the top-of-the-ticket U.S. Senate race is so important is that redistricting will occur after the 2010 Census and that means the party in power in Harrisburg will get to redraw Congressional and Legislative seats.

With so much at stake, Pascoe argues the GOP party bosses will not take a chance on Toomey. They would rather have a "moderate" like Tom Ridge, somebody closer to Arlen Specter, who has held the Senate seat since 1981.

While many Pennsylvania GOP figures harshly criticized Specter for his defection to the Democratic Party, Ridge released a wishy-washy statement praising Specter: "In no way does his departure from the Republican Party diminish his long record of service to his country and to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

It sure sounds like Ridge and Specter have a lot in common.

Ridge would attract independents and Democrats and would negate any appeal the 80-year-old Specter would have with many of those same Pennsylvania voters. In other words, Ridge would mop the floor with Specter.

But is he willing to move back to Pennsylvania? And could he beat Pat Toomey in a Republican primary?

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rep. Curt Schroder on why 'Card Check' must not pass

Two-faced Arlen Specter

Arlen Specter earlier this year on why Pennsylvania Republicans need to support his re-election in 2010:
"If we lose my seat they have 60 Democrats, they (Democrats) will pass card check, you will have the Obama tax increases, they will carry out his big spending plans. So the 41st Republican, whose name is Arlen Specter, is vital to stopping tax increases, passage of card check and the Obama big spending plans."
Arlen Specter today after announcing he is switching to the Democratic Party in a last-ditch effort to save his political career:
"I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party. I am not prepared to have my 29 year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate."
Let's face it. This guy will say anything, do anything to save his own skin. His loyalty is to himself, not to the voters who elected him. He's two-faced an lacks principles. The Democrats can have him.

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Obama's mock attack on NYC

While The New York Times, the official propaganda arm of the Obama Administration, downplays the story, New York's tabloids appropriately put the Air Force One flyover story on Page 1 of today's editions.

Imagine the coverage if George W. Bush had pulled a bonehead move like this.

Read the New York Post coverage, "AIR HEADS IN DC TERRORIZE CITY," at the newspaper's Web site.

Check out the New York Daily News coverage at the newspaper's Web site.

Check out the YouTube video below of terrified civilians who thought Obama's PR stunt was another 9/11.


Poll: 53% Say Next President Likely to Be a Republican

Some not-so-good news for Barack Obama and his media supporters, who are busy celebrating The Chosen One's 100 days in office.

From Rasmussen Reports:
For the first time since Barack Obama was elected president last November, more than half of US voters (53%) say it is at least somewhat likely that the next occupant of the White House will be a Republican.

Thirty-one percent (31%) say it is Very Likely. Thirty-five percent (35%) say it is not very or not at all likely, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twelve percent (12%) arent sure.

This is not an expectation related to the 2012 election. It is a question about the President following Obama which could happen in either 2012 or 2016.

Naturally, there is a partisan divide -- 77% of Republican voters say it's likely the next president will be from their party. Just 39% of Democrats agree. Still, that's an increase among both parties from previous surveys. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 47% now say a GOP president is likely, while 33% think not.

Just after Obama's election, 50% of voters said the next president is likely to be a Republican ... Forty-six percent (46%) of voters now say President Obama is governing like a partisan Democrat, down four points from last month.

But the new finding is still higher than those in surveys during Obama's first few weeks as president. Thirty-five percent (35%) believe the president is governing on a bipartisan basis, and 18% are undecided.
Read more poll results at the Rasmussen Reports Web site.

And more good news for the GOP. Rasmussen Reports says that "for just the second time in more than five years of daily or weekly tracking, Republicans now lead Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot for the 2010 elections."

Read those poll results here.

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Specter still may lose in Pa.

From a March 6, 2009, post at this blog:
Specter's only option for retaining his Senate seat is to switch his party affiliation to Democrat. The question is, would the Democrats take him back?
Well, I guess we found out the answer today.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele issued the following statement:
"Let's be honest: Senator Specter didn't leave the GOP based on principles of any kind. He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record. Republicans look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don't do it first."
Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Rob Gleason suggested Specter give back campaign contributions he received from Republicans now that he's abandoned the party.

Keep this in mind, also from my earlier post:
Pennsylvania is trending blue and the Democrats could win the Senate seat without Specter, so why take a GOP retread when the Dems could run a younger, more liberal candidate. If Specter can wheel-and-deal his way to the Democratic Party nomination, it sets up a November 2010 showdown between Toomey and Specter. And that's a toss-up.
Avoiding a primary fight against the GOP's Pat Toomey is not the end of Specter's problems.

Can Specter win the Democratic primary in 2010? Stay tuned.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Voters may get a say on property taxes

The newest member of the Pennsylvania Senate wants to give Pennsylvania voters an opportunity to have a say on property taxes.

Property tax reform has been debated the Legislature for more than 30 years without any results. Efforts to eliminate property taxes have stalled in both the House and Senate, with legislative leaders reluctant to change the current system of funding public education.

Sen. David Argall, R-29th Dist., wants to give taxpayers a chance to tell lawmakers exactly what they want done with property taxes.

Senate Bill 818 and House Bill 637 would allow voters to decide between the current property tax system and the three most popular property tax replacement proposals in the General Assembly, based on the number of co-sponsors for legislation in the House and Senate, Argall said at a press conference Monday.

The property tax proposals would be placed on the November ballot. Voters would then be given the opportunity to choose between the three proposals or leave the current property tax structure intact, Argall said.

"I have introduced legislation that would allow voters to bring real property tax reform, through the touch of a button in the voting booth in November," Argall said.

While the referendum is non-binding, it should show legislators who have consistently opposed property tax reform that most Pennsylvanians support some form of property tax relief, said Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist., who is a co-sponsor of Argall’s bill in the state House.

Co-sponsors of Argall's legislation in the Senate include: Sens. John Rafferty, Michael Waugh, Michael Brubaker, Kim Ward, Richard Alloway and Rob Wonderling.

Co-sponsors in the House include: Reps. Matthew Baker, Robert Belfanti, Kerry Benninghoff, Karen Beyer, Paul Clymer, Thomas Creighton, Garth Everett, Richard Geist, Jaret Gibbons, Keith Gillespie, Mauree Gingrich, Robert Godshall, Neal Goodman, Seth Grove, Sue Helm, Tim Hennessey, David Hickernell, Scott Hutchinson, Rob Kauffman, Mark Keller, Sandra Major, Bob Mensch, David Millard, Thomas Murt, Donna Oberlander, Scott Perry, Jeffrey Pyle, Tom Quigley, Mario Scavello, John Siptroth, Timothy Solobay, Curt Sonney, Rosemarie Swanger, W. Curtis Thomas and Randy Vulakovich.

Argall is the newest member of the state Senate, which has a 30-20 Republican majority. Argall, who spent 24 years in the House, was elected in March to fill the Senate seat formerly held by the late James J. Rhoades.

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The dangers of deficit spending

Veronique de Rugy, writing in the May issue of Reason magazine, notes that the federal deficit is three times higher than it was under Ronald Reagan, who is still blamed by Democrats for raising the national debt to historic levels.

From de Rugy's column:
Now, three decades later, Democrats have changed their minds about the dangers of deficit spending. In February 2009, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the deficit will reach $1.2 trillion this year — roughly 8.3 percent of GDP. That giant increase is attributable mainly to Washington's September 2008 bank bailout and the federal takeover of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

And that figure assumes that the 2009 budget issued last year by the Bush administration will stay at its proposed level, which it surely won't. The calculation does not include the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and it doesn't include the chunk of the new $787 billion stimulus bill that will be spent in 2009. Add all these numbers together, and the deficit swells to $2 trillion, or roughly 13.5 percent of GDP (see Figure 1).

This is by far the highest share of the economy that deficits have taken up since World War II. It is well over twice the record set by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Yet we don't see Democrats denouncing the deficit explosion on the network news, like they did two decades ago.
A senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, de Rugy believes there will be severe consequences to the Democrats' unchecked spending:

From her column:
Deficits certainly do matter if you care about shrinking the size of the state. Budget gaps are a kind of Ponzi scheme. Any year the federal government spends more money than it collects in tax revenue, we have a budget deficit. That means the citizens through their taxes authorize politicians to spend a certain amount yet the government spends more.

The plan is to pay this additional spending back with future taxes, just as Bernard Madoff figured he'd pay off early investors with dollars from pigeons he conned down the road. As with any Ponzi scheme, there will inevitably come a time when the con is exposed, along with all the participants' losses.

John Maynard Keynes, the 20th century's preeminent defender of deficit spending, famously quipped, "In the long run, we are all dead." Keynes did not give much guidance, though, on how we would pay for the funeral.
Read the full column at Reasononline

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Reforming gambling in PA

The appointment of Greg Fajt, Gov. Ed Rendell's chief of staff, to replace Mary DiGiacomo Colins as chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has not instilled confidence in the editorial board of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

From a recent editorial:
Pennsylvanians haven't exactly hit the jackpot with the state's continually spinning, always controversial Gaming Control Board. They've received lots of lemons along the way.

Loose licensing. Board employees at odds with the law. "Transparency"? What's that? And talk of a possible FBI and/or state grand jury investigation doesn't exactly instill confidence in this enterprise.

What's needed, now, is an advocate for the public interest, not an arrogant bureaucracy that has gambled away its credibility.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

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Ex-Veon aide promoted by Rendell

Just because your former boss has been indicted in the biggest corruption scandal in state history doesn't mean you can't rise to a top position in the Rendell Administration.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Colleen Kopp, the former aide and lobbying partner of ex-Rep. Mike Veon, has been promoted to the post of Rendell's secretary for legislative affairs.

The promotion comes about a month after Kopp joined the Rendell Administration as deputy legislative secretary.

Kopp is not facing any charges in the Bonusgate corruption case, but her name was mentioned in a recent grand jury report that led to the arrest of Veon and 11 other members of the House Democratic Caucus, according to reporter Brad Bumsted.

Kopp was hired by Rendell in March to a $102,000 state job despite a hiring freeze Rendell imposed last fall.

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

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The Obama Media

Howard Kurtz, who covers the media for The Washington Post, says a new study shows that the television networks provided more coverage of Barack Obama's first 50 days in the White House than they did in a similar time period for George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined!

From Kurtz's Media Notes blog:
The networks have given President Obama more coverage than George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined in their first months -- and more positive assessments to boot.

In a study to be released today, the Center for Media and Public Affairs and Chapman University found the nightly newscasts devoting nearly 28 hours to Obama's presidency in the first 50 days. (Bush, by contrast, got nearly eight hours.) Fifty-eight percent of the evaluations of Obama were positive on the ABC, CBS and NBC broadcasts, compared with 33 percent positive in the comparable period of Bush's tenure and 44 percent positive for Clinton. (Evaluations by officials from the administration or either political party were not counted.)

On Fox News, by contrast, only 13 percent of the assessments of Obama were positive on the first half of Bret Baier's "Special Report," which most resembles a newscast. The president got far better treatment in the New York Times, where 73 percent of the assessments in front-page pieces were positive.

A striking contrast: Obama's personal qualities drew more favorable coverage than his policies, with 32 percent of the sound bites positive on CBS, 31 percent positive on NBC and 8 percent positive on Fox.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Liberal media spins Obama approval numbers

Should anyone be surprised that the Obama Media is misleading the American public about The Chosen One's job approval numbers? After all, this is the same media that helped elect Obama.

Judith Apter Klinghoffer, writing for George Mason University's History News Network blog, says that the Gallup poll shows Obama's 56 percent job approval rating trails that of George W. Bush's 62 percent approval for the same time in his presidency.

Yet, the Obama Media continues to report that Obama is riding high in the polls.

Shockingly, Obama's approval numbers after three months in office rank 7th when stacked up against the last nine presidents.

From Klinghoffer's post:
Gallup reports that 56% of the public believes that Obama is doing an excellent/good job. Gallup reported 62% approved of George W. Bush's job performance after the first 100 days. MSM tells us how popular Barack Obama is but the numbers tell a different story especially when used comparatively. Comparing the Gallup poll taken following the first 100 day of George W. Bush and Barack Obama is rather informative especially given the highly contentious nature of the 2000 election.
Read the full post here.

Another recent polls shows the bipartisan divide on Obama's job approval numbers. While Democrats continue to fawn over Obama despite record unemployment, massive government debt and the continued collapse of the economy, Republicans do not believe Obama is doing a good job after three months in the White House.

From the IBD/TIPP Poll:
Some 69% of Democrats give him an A or a B for handling the federal budget, while a solid 66% award him an A or a B on the economy. Only 17% of Republicans, by comparison, give him an A or a B on the budget. And 54% give him a D or an F. On the economy, 25% of GOP backers grant him an A or a B, 49% a D or lower.
See more results at the Investor's Business Daily Web site.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

100 mistakes in 100 days by Barack Obama

The New York Post has compiled a list of 100 mistakes made by Barack Obama in his first 100 days as president.

Why stop there? These are the 100 mistakes we know about. This has turned out to be the most secretive administration since Nixon occupied the White House. And then you have the mainstream media working overtime to cover up Obama's incompetency.

Can this nation survive another 1,365 days of an Obama presidency?

I dare Obama supporters to look at the list and refute a single item. It's time to put down the Kool Aid, stick your head out of the sand and admit what a monumental mistake was made on Election Day.

In addition to compiling the list of Obama blunders, The New York Post asked for guest commentaries on Obama's 100 days of failure from such luminaries as Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, FOX News TV/radio host Glenn Beck, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, former Bush White House Spokesperson Dana Perino and Col. Ralph Peters.

You can review the New York Post list of mistakes at the newspaper's Web site.

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The Green Letter

Al Gore keep warning us about global warming. With more than 60 percent of Americans classified as obese, we're in a lot of trouble.


State Capitol Roundup

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

Time to End Pay-to-Play, Republican Lawmakers Say

Government contracting procedures must be cleaned up, and House Republicans introduced a bill this week aimed at effectively ending pay-to-play politics in Pennsylvania. The pay-to-play remedy is part of the much larger "Pennsylvania's Agenda for Trust in Harrisburg" (PATH) plan. Specific proposals include: creating a seven-member board to oversee how the state awards contracts; prohibiting the use of sole-source, emergency, legal and insurance work from campaign contributors; requiring a competitive bidding process for legal contracts; expanding open record requirements; and prohibiting the executive and legislative branches from hiring lobbyists as consultants. House Republicans are responding to numerous allegations of pay-to-play relationships between the Rendell administration and several campaign donors who later received lucrative, no-bid contracts. For additional information, visit

Governor Rendell Joins Republicans' Gaming Reform Effort

With the support of the governor, Attorney General Tom Corbett, other members of the law enforcement community, and gaming industry experts, House Republican Gaming Oversight Committee Chairman Curt Schroder (R-Chester) this week urged House Democrats to immediately take up gaming reform measures. The impending departure of Gaming Board Chairman Mary DiGiacomo Colins offers the best opportunity to push the board in a new direction. Republicans want to ensure law enforcement agencies' involvement in gaming investigations, ban felons from operating or working at casinos, and open the licensing process up to the public. The state's 5-year-old gaming law has been the subject of persistent debate, during which glaring deficiencies have come to light. The proposals offered by House Republicans are the product of several years' worth of hearings and public input.

Lawmakers Rally to Protect Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Dozens of lawmakers gathered this week to present a united front against any infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms in the protection of themselves, their families and their homes. The rally comes on the heels of Gov. Ed Rendell's announcement that additional gun restrictions are needed, including allowing municipalities to adopt their own regulations and requiring owners to report any lost or stolen handguns. House Republicans have already taken strong action to punish those who commit violent crimes through the adoption of Act 131 of 2008. Any further legislation, House Republicans say, must address the criminal element while continuing to uphold the rights of law-abiding citizens.

House Acts to Discourage Distracted Drivers

An amendment to penalize distracted driving resulting from activities such as using a cell phone, eating, drinking or putting on makeup was approved by the House this week. The amendment, which was sponsored by Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester), was approved by a vote of 179-16. A similar amendment that contained an outright ban on motorists' use of hand-held cell phones was defeated; opponents argued it did not cover all distractions, would have been difficult to enforce, and it could have made it illegal to use a cell phone even if the vehicle was not in motion. House Bill 67, which also makes changes to the state's graduated licensing system, must now be voted upon in its entirety by the House. If passed, distracted drivers could face a $50 dollar fine in addition to penalties relating to the primary traffic offense for which they were stopped.


Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm With Stupid

New prison names not exactly memorable

When you think of famous prisons, names like Alcatraz, Leavenworth, Attica, Folsom and San Quentin come to mind. In Pennsylvania, Graterford and Eastern State Penitentiary jump out.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections officials have settled on names for the two new prisons to be built on the grounds of the existing state prison in Graterford in Montgomery County.

Maybe they should have sponsored a contest ... or asked the inmates for suggestions. It does not appear a lot of thought went into the naming of the new facilities.

The names -- the State Correctional Institution at Skippack Township East and State Correctional Institution at Skippack Township West -- don't exactly have the ring that "Graterford" did, but they are geographically correct since "Gaterford" is a section of Skippack Township.

I'm not sure how the residents of Skippack feel about their new claim to fame: Home of the state's largest prisons, where more than 4,000 inmates will be housed.

Pennsylvania Corrections Officials Select Names for New Prisons in Montgomery County


Newspaper: Trust Rendell? Hardly

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review joins Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner in expressing concerns that the Rendell Administration will properly spend billions in federal "stimulus" dollars coming to Pennsylvania.

From an editorial in the newspaper:
Wagner suggests that an agency independent of state government provide oversight.

The auditor general's red flag and proposal raised the kind of hackles we've come to expect from the Rendell administration. Wagner's "assertions are unwarranted," said gubernatorial spokesman Chuck Ardo.

Hardly. The Rendell administration's record of sloppy oversight is a textbook case in how not to oversee disbursement of public dollars. Witness the horrendous record of the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Millions of public dollars have been squandered.

Taxpayers should have no confidence that Rendell & Co. -- even with its highly touted Stimulus Oversight Commission -- can properly account for a much larger pool of money.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Obama job approval matches Jimmy Carter

The Pew Research Center has an exhaustive analysis of Barack Obama's job approval numbers as he approaches 100 days in office.

Obama's 63 percent approval rate matches that of another Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, who also registered a 63 percent approval rate at the same period of his presidency. And we all know how well Carter's presidency fared, don't we?

Ronald Reagan's job approval numbers reached 67 percent after 100 days in office in 1981, according to Pew.

From the Pew survey:
Obama's job approval stands at 63%, while 26% disapprove of the way he is handling his job as president. His approval rating is up slightly from March (59%). Opinions about Obama's performance remain highly partisan. Fully 93% of Democrats approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, compared with just 30% of Republicans. Independents' opinions fall in between, with 58% expressing positive views of his performance and 27% negative opinions.
The numbers that jump out are the approval ratings among Democrats and Republicans. There really are two Americas.

More from Pew:
Pew Research previously found a greater partisan gap in Obama's early job approval ratings than in the ratings of past presidents. That continues to be the case. Obama's approval rating among Republicans (30%) is about the same as Bill Clinton's at a comparable point in his first year (25%), but Democratic approval -- particularly strong approval -- is much higher than it was for Clinton. Fully 79% of Democrats very strongly approve of Obama's job performance; only about half as many Democrats (39%) expressed very strong approval for Clinton at this stage in 1993. Obama's highly positive ratings from members of his own party also surpass Bush's 71% very strong approval among Republicans in April 2001.
For more numbers and comparisons with previous presidents, click here.

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800 attend Expo in Pottstown

No one is sure if it was an appearance by Tony Phyrillas or the offer of free lunch, but the Fourth Annual Healthy Lifestyles Expo sponsored by state Rep. Tom Quigley attracted about 800 people.

Quigley said the 2009 event easily topped last year's attendance of 600.

On second thought, it must have been me because there was free lunch offered last year, too.

I had the privilege of addressing a standing-room only crowd at Montgomery County Community College West Campus in Pottstown on April 17 as part of the Expo events.

With the exception of a couple of Obama campaign workers in the crowd who attempted to hijack the program, I enjoyed talking to the crowd about state and national politics.

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PennDOT Offers Sobering Reminder to Students, Parents as End of School Year Approaches

Pennsylvania drivers between the ages of 16-20 were involved in more than 1,600 alcohol-related crashes in 2008, according to PennDOT.

PennDOT Offers Sobering Reminder to Students, Parents as End of School Year Approaches

Pennsylvania DEP Announces Grants to Clean Up Illegal Dump Sites

Three sites in Berks County and one in Montgomery County are on the list.

Pennsylvania DEP Announces Grants to Clean Up Illegal Dump Sites

'Fiscal Responsibility'

NEWS ITEM: Barack Obama asks his Cabinet to trim $100 million in federal spending. This would be the same Barack Obama who pushed through $4 trillion in new spending past the Democratic doormats in Congress in just three months. And we're supposed to take this guy seriously? Whatever happened to the deficit Democrats were worried about during last year's campaign?


Skippack State Police Barracks to re-open in May

State Senator John C. Rafferty Jr., R-44th, has announced that Pennsylvania State Police has agreed to re-open the Skippack State Police barracks in Montgomery County on a full-time basis, effective May 2.

For more than two years, Rafferty has been pushing Gov. Ed Rendell and State Police officials to reverse their decision to institute a pilot program in which the State Police began closing the Skippack barracks for 16 hours every weekday and all weekend.

Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, a clerk was available to answer phone calls and assist visitors, Rafferty says, but after these hours, the barrack would “go dark” and all calls and visitors were directed to an automated Consolidated Dispatch Center. The program began in December 2006.

"My concern has always been about public safety. People expect that a state trooper or an official clerk will be at barracks when they go there." said Rafferty, chairman of the Senate Law & Justice Committee.

Rafferty, whose district includes the Skippack barracks, held public hearings on the issue.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved Rafferty's Senate Bill 318 in May 2007 requiring all State Police barracks to remain open 24 hours a day, every day, but the bill was not considered in the Democratically-controlled state House last session.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sam Rohrer new GOP House Finance Committee chairman

The odds are good that property taxes will again be a priority in the state House of Representatives.

Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks), who has led the fight to eliminate the state's onerous property tax, has been named the new Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee.

Rohrer takes over the chairmanship from former Rep. Dave Argall, who recently vacated his House seat after he won a special election to fill a vacant seat in the Pennsylvania Senate.

"I am honored to become the new Republican House Finance Committee chairman," Rohrer said in a statement. "In our current economic situation, I am fully aware of the heavy responsibility that this position entails. I pledge to work tirelessly in order to get Pennsylvania's financial house in shape, and ensure that the interests of the taxpayers of this Commonwealth are fully represented in all fiscal and tax policy bills that come to my committee."

The Finance Committee deals with revenue issues and determines where money is available for use for state appropriations, Rohrer said.

"Before we decide how to spend taxpayer dollars, we need to know where those dollars are coming from and the impact on the taxpayer and economy those taxes will create," Rohrer said. "We can only spend what we have, and I will take my role very seriously in making sure that our spending does not outstrip the tax revenue that the Commonwealth will raise. I feel privileged to work on such an important component of our government and I will fight for the rights of our taxpayers across the Commonwealth. As we deal with tax codes changes, serious pension shortages and declining revenue for the state, we must understand that our fiscal decisions are going to impact not just this generation, but generations to come."

Rohrer has served in the state House for the past 12 years and has a statewide reputation as the champion for eliminating property taxes. More recently, he has also taken up the cause of supporting the 10th Amendment, which limits the federal government's authority over states.

Rohrer has served as the Republican chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee since November. He previously served as the chairman for the House Game and Fisheries Committee, and as a member of the Education Committee, as well as a 12-year member of the House Appropriations Committee.

For more about Rohrer, visit his legislative Web site,

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Pennsylvania Coalition for Responsible Government

If you believe government is out of control, you're invited to attend the inaugural meeting of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Responsible Government, featuring Keynote Speaker Matthew J. Brouillette of The Commonwealth Foundation.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, at The Radisson Hotel in Greentree.

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Responsible Government ( seeks to unite people who believe American exceptionalism, America's founding documents, and individual liberty are under assault and need to be defended.

Featured speaker Matthew Brouillette, president & CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation, will deliver an address entitled, "Capitalism Still Works."

Those wishing to attend can register for the event at

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Why is Obama threatened by veterans?

Ralph Peters, a retired Army colonel, national security expert, author and newspaper columnist, tries to make sense out of the recent news that the Obama Administration considers military veterans (among others) as a potential threat to national security.

From his most recent column:
Racism is racism (unless you're a left-wing celebrity; then it's just humor). The left-wing propaganda document, published officially by your government under the title "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," might be the shabbiest U.S. government publication of our time.

The report warns that "the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists ... carrying out violent attacks."

The document's evidence? None.

The report contains no hard data, no statistics. It's nothing but a racist, anti-military opinion column that might pass muster in The New York Times but shouldn't be issued by our government.

The report continues by saying "rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans" who "possess combat skills."

The point? Our hayseed, uneducated, unskilled, wacko vets aren't able to think for themselves and will be patsies for right-wing fanatics. Guess that's how things look from Harvard.

The Obama Homeland Security Department report is profiling at its worst and exposes the far-left's paranoia with anyone who disagrees with them, Peters concludes.

Read the full column here.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'Homeland Security' under Obama

PA may ban texting while driving

The Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee is expected to vote soon on a measure to ban texting while driving.

Senate Bill 143, introduced by Senator Robert Tomlinson (R-6th Dist.) would prohibit the use of electronic wireless communications devices while driving, according to Sen. Rob Wonderling (R-24th), who chairs the committee.

The hearing will take place at 11:00 a.m. in Room 461 of the Main Capitol Building on Tuesday, April 28.

Wonderling said the committee will also consider the following bills:
Senate Bill 110, by Senator Lloyd Smucker (R-13th), amending Pa.C.S. Title 74 (Transportation) providing for public logs of flights on State-owned or operated aircraft.

Senate Bill 152, by Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-12th), amending Pa.C.S. Title 75 (Vehicles) providing for limited operation of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles.

Senate Bill 380, by Senator Joseph Scarnati (R-25th), an act designating the bridge on Route 219 in Brockway Borough, Jefferson County as the Christopher E. Loudon Memorial Bridge.

Senate Bill 731, by Senator Rob Wonderling (R-24th), an act designating a portion of the Bushkill Drive, State Route 2019 in Northampton County as the Victor W. Anckaitis Memorial Highway.
While not on the agenda for the April 28 meeting, don't be surprised if the Pennsylvania Legislature moves to ban all cell-phone use by drivers sometime this year.


Out-of-work 'right-wing extremist'

PA Dems lose 100,000 voters since Nov.

The Pennsylvania Department of State released new voter registration numbers this week.

While registered Democrats hold a commanding lead over registered Republicans in Pennsylvania (4.4 million vs. 3.2 million), tbe number that jumps out at you is the fact that the Democratic Party has lost 100,000 voters since November.

Is this the Obama factor at play? Are people realizing the huge mistake they made by electing Obama?

Read more about the state's voter registration numbers in The Mercury.

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Stingy liberals

Allen Hunt, writing at, notes that the Obamas and the Bidens are not exactly the most generous people in the United States.

Based on the numbers in their 2008 tax returns, the Bidens gave a measly 0.2 percent of their income to charity, Hunt writes.

The Obamas did better, giving 6.5 percent, but Hunt points out that the Obama's generosity may have a lot to do with Barack Obama's high-profile run for president than his giving nature.

From Hunt's column:
Two observations: Biden is stingy, and Obama only began giving when he knew the public would be watching.

Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, who have given about 0.2% of their income to charity in each of the years between 2000 and 2008. Less than ½ of one percentage point given to persons in need, to ministries of their Catholic Church, to agencies that serve the poor and the hurting. In fact, this year they gave a total of $1,885 to charity, marking the first time they had even given a sum larger than $1,000 for the entire year. In every year of this decade, the Bidens' income has exceeded $200,000, and for the first time they gave away more than $1000 of their own money. Astonishing stinginess. Record-setting, in fact.

Their stinginess makes Barack and Michelle Obama appear generous. The Obamas gave away 6.5% of their considerable income ($2.6 MM) in 2008. They are showing progress. This percentage of giving (6.5%) marks their own personal best in the past decade. In fact, they gave less than 1% away in 2000, 2001, and 2002, only breaking into the paltry 1% category in 2003 and 2004, when he began to run for public office. Then, upon launching a bid for the presidency in 2005, their giving rose to 4.7%, and then 6.1% in 2006, and 5.8% in 2007.

Sadly, one has to wonder why the Obamas' giving only began to reach any meaningful level once they began to run for public office. Was it because they knew it would now be scrutinized by the public eye?
Read the full column at

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Monday, April 20, 2009

'The Un-silent Majority'

From an excellent commentary by Nathan A. Benefield and Matthew J. Brouillette of The Commonwealth Foundation on the growing Tea Party movement:

Nearly 10,000 Pennsylvanians rallied on Tax Day, April 15th, against wasteful government spending, high and rising taxes, and burgeoning government debt and deficits. The nonpartisan, anti-establishment "Tea Parties" were held in more than 30 cities across Pennsylvania and close to 800 nationwide, and more are scheduled.

Yet despite the clear message, defenders of the status quo kept asking, "Why?" But we have some questions for them: Why do you think the government that got us into our financial mess will somehow get us out of it? Why is it that those who think we need to pay more in taxes have trouble paying taxes themselves? Why are those who want to be more "charitable" with other people's money are the least charitable with their own? Why do you rail against the "rich" for not "paying their fair share," when the top quarter of income earners — those earning $65,000 or more — already pay more than 86 percent of all federal income taxes?

In addition to not answering these questions, many in Washington and Harrisburg are working to discredit and undermine the Tea Party protesters. Media reports and left-wing blogs have searched in vein for the boogeyman or conspiracy behind the Tea Party movement to marginalize it, often erroneously citing Fox News or FreedomWorks as the organizers. Even the Republican Party tried to take credit for the tea parties, which is ironic given how protesters are just as upset by the wasteful spending and increased debt by Republicans as they are with President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress. But no centralized organization could have pulled off the number of events and gathered more than 550,000 people. Indeed, the Tax Day Tea Parties were driven by local grassroots organizers and activists.

Read the full column at The Commonwealth Foundation's Web site.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Vote 'Em Out!

Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the May 19 Pennsylvania Primary Election.

This is considered an "off-year" election, but the people on the ballot (school board members, local officials, county row officers) have the most direct impact on the taxes you pay.

Since more than 80 percent of your property tax bill goes to your local school district, the Primary Election may be the only chance you get to vote out the people who keep raising your taxes every year.

It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or Republican. You have to hold the incumbents accountable for the current state of government at all levels.

April 20 Is Voter Registration Deadline for May Primary Election


Tea Parties Attendance Passes 540,000

A second American Revolution is taking place under the noses of the liberal elite who run this country.

More than 500,000 Americans attended the April 15 Tea Parties held across the country to protest high taxes and runaway spending.

More protests are scheduled as the beleaguered American taxpayer attempts to take back government from the political aristocracy.

PJTV Attendance Count for Tea Parties Passes 540,000

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Friday, April 17, 2009

The List

'Americans Are Not The Enemy'

From a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano from David K. Rehbein, National Commander, The American Legion:
Your report states that "Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages." Secretary Napolitano, this is more than a perception to those who have lost their job. Would you categorize union members as "Right Wing extremists"?

In spite of this incomplete, and, I fear, politically-biased report, The American Legion and the Department of Homeland Security share many common and crucial interests, such as the Citizen Corps and disaster preparedness. Since you are a graduate of New Mexico Girls State, I trust that you are very familiar with The American Legion. I would be happy to meet with you at a time of mutual convenience to discuss issues such as border security and the war on terrorism. I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are.
You can read the full letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano from David K. Rehbein, National Commander, The American Legion, at this link.

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Columnist blasts Obama 'Gestapo' tactics

Less than three months on the job, Barack Obama has designated conservatives as rightwing extremists who pose a threat to his utopian socialist society.

Michael Reagan offers his take on the revelation that the Obama Department of Homeland Security has issued instructions to law enforcement across the county to be on the lookout for potential terrorist acts by conservatives.

From Reagan's column:
Have we really come to this? Has Adolf Hitler's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels been reborn and recruited by the Obama administration to scare the heck out of the American people with absurdities such as this whacked-out document?

Obviously recognizing that public knowledge of the nonsense alleged in this document is very undesirable, the weirdoes who prepared it did not want you to see it.

They warn: "No portion of the LES information should be released to the media, the general public, or over non-secure Internet servers."

Too bad. The Washington Times got their hands on a copy and revealed it to the entire world.

Once it became public and many Americans reacted in disbelief, the Obama White House disavowed it despite the fact that a document as explosive as this could never have been distributed without the president's explicit approval in the first place.

The screed was prepared long before tens of thousands of outraged Americans banded together in today's peaceful Tea Party demonstrations, which by their very nature gave the lie to the outrageous allegations contained in the document.

The demonstrations were conducted by people who believe strongly in the very issues cited by the administration as those that incite violence, yet who themselves abhor violence as a political tactic.

They're getting ready to take names, so beware if you say anything negative about abortion or gay marriage or our out-of-control system of taxation.

Sounding like something out of a Gestapo directive, the document reveals that Homeland Security "will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization."
Read the full column, "The Obama Administration Says We're Dangerous, Rightwing Extremists," at The Reagan Exchange or

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Unless You're Conservative

Ann Coulter: Tea Parties struck a liberal nerve

Ann Coulter is both amused and amazed at the reaction of the far left to the April 15 Tea Parties.

"I had no idea how important this week's nationwide anti-tax tea parties were until hearing liberals denounce them with such ferocity," Coulter writes in her latest column.

The usual far-left suspects, The New York Times, MSNBC, Air America and "every unbathed, basement-dwelling loser on the left wing blogosphere" spent the week leading up to the Tea Parties riduling ordinary Americans for simply exercising their right to protest a government that has grown too big and takes too much of teir pay checks, Coulter argues.

From Coulter's column:
The point of the tea parties is to note the fact that the Democrats' modus operandi is to lead voters to believe they are no more likely to raise taxes than Republicans, get elected and immediately raise taxes.

Apparently, the people who actually pay taxes consider this a bad idea.

Obama's biggest shortcoming is that he believes the things believed by all Democrats, which have had devastating consequences every time they are put into effect. Among these is the Democrats' admiration for raising taxes on the productive.

All Democrats for the last 30 years have tried to stimulate the economy by giving "tax cuts" to people who don't pay taxes. Evidently, offering to expand welfare payments isn't a big vote-getter.

And all that government spending on the Democrats' constituents will be paid for by raising taxes on the productive.
Read the full column at

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Are you a domestic terrorist?

If you are a military veteran ...

If you believe the U.S. must do more to stem the flow of illegal aliens ...

If you oppose abortion-on-demand ...

If you protest high taxation and out-of-control government spending ...

You are a potential domestic terrorist, according to a new assessment released by the Obama Department of Homeland Security.

This would be the same Homeland Security Department that has banned the use of the word "terrorist" to describe Islamic extremists who want to kill Americans.

Now that we are living in the Obama-nation, the word "terrorist" is reserved for Americans with conservative beliefs.

And you wonder why gun sales are at an all-time high in the United States? It's only a matter of time before the liberal fascists move against Americans who believe in the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spent Thursday morning making the rounds on the morning news shows to defend the Obama Administration's latest assault on conservative Americans.

From The Associated Press:
Napolitano described the report, issued last week, as part of the department's routine of analyzing intelligence information to give law enforcement agencies guidance on possible security threats.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, assailed Napolitano's department for the report and pressed the agency to apologize to veterans.

"To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable," Boehner said.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meehan asks Corbett to investigate Rendell

Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, who is thinking about running for governor of Pennsylvania, wants Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is also interested in running for governor, to investigate Gov. Ed Rendell, who currently occupies the governor's mansion. Did you get all that?

Meehan for Pennsylvania, an exploratory committee set up for a possible 2010 run by Meehan, released a copy of a letter Meehan wrote today to Corbett asking the state's top law enforcement officer to open an investigation of "pay-to-play" allegations involving Rendell and a Texas law firm hired by Rendell under a no-bid contract.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Rendell received more than $90,000 in campaign contributions from attorney F. Kenneth Bailey between February and October 2006. In August 2006, Bailey's law firm -- Bailey Perrin Bailey LLP of Houston, Texas -- was awarded a lucrative no-bid contingency fee contract to represent Pennsylvania in a lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, according to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Rendell won a second term as governor of Pennsylvania in November 2006, far outspending his Republican opponent, former NFL star Lynn Swann.

From Meehan's letter:
I very much hope a thorough review will clearly establish that no wrongdoing occurred. All of us who have built the public trust know how important it is for the dealings of government to be truly transparent and free from the taint of corruption. It is long past time for Pennsylvanians to stop shrugging off allegations of improper dealings and "pay to play" as "business as usual."
Rendell has awarded more than $1 billion in no-bid contracts to politically-connected firms since he became governor in 2003.

Corbett is troubled by the contract with the Texas firm because he says the work the out-of-state law firm was hired to do could have been done by the Attorney General's Office.

Citing a recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal questioning the propriety of Rendell's relationship with the out-of-state law firm, Meehan urges Corbett to "assert your power as Attorney General and take control of this case on behalf of taxpayers."

The letter appears to take political shots at both Rendell and Corbett. Meehan accuses Corbett of enabling Rendell "to assume certain of your authority to pursue healthcare fraud on behalf of Pennsylvania taxpayers."

"Taxpayer dollars already underwrite a Medicaid Fraud Unit in your office," Corbett writes. "These lawyers should be in a position to pursue this litigation. By taking over this case from the Texas firm, the Commonwealth will be in the immediate position to realize the benefit of seven million dollars by settling with Eli Lilly, one of the defendants in this scope of litigation."

If Corbett doesn't want to pursue the case, Meehan said the attorney general should at least insist that a Pennsylvania law firm handle the case.

From Meehan's letter:
"The allegations and insinuations in the media concerning the award of this contract are serious. Pennsylvania has long been plagued by a 'pay to play' political culture that hinders our competitiveness as a state and undermines our citizen’s trust in government. Rooting out corruption and reversing perception must be a priority. A full investigation should be conducted to determine whether anything improper or illegal has occurred in this matter."
No comment yet from Corbett or Rendell about Meehan's letter, but I'm sure both will have plenty to say.

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Rohrer: Rendell misses point about property taxes

State Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks, who has led the fight to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania, says Gov. Ed Rendell still doesn't get it.

Pennsylvanians are no closer to truly owning their homes than they were when Rendell took office in 2003, according to Rohrer.

While Rendell is touting his administration expects to deliver $200 in average property tax relief to Pennsylvania homeowners this year, Rohrer says Rendell misses the point about Pennsylvania's onerous system of property taxes to fund schools.

"At the end of the day, not one single Pennsylvanian is any closer to truly owning their home as a result of legalized gambling," Rohrer said in a statement. "The only way Pennsylvanians can truly own their homes is if the state completely eliminates the school property tax. Until that happens, homeowners are merely renting their homes in exchange for school property tax payments. After all, if a homeowner fails to pay, the government will evict them."

Rendell's budget secretary announced today that she has certified approximately $770 million in property tax relief for 2009, but Rohrer argues that that is simply proof that people continue to lose money at Pennsylvania casinos.

"In order for homeowners to win, the Pennsylvanians who put their money in slot machines must lose," Rohrer said. "The entire system is built around creating more dependence. It seems that the governor desires that homeowners, from senior citizens to working families, become dependent on this state tax 'relief' program in order to be able to pay their school property tax bill rather than fixing the problem so they can keep their home. Schools are increasingly dependent on people losing their hard-earned money as the way to fund our public schools. Compulsive gamblers are then encouraged to look to government services to help them quit the addiction government encouraged them to start. The whole thing is set up so that people look toward government for the answers to their problems when, in fact, the existing school property tax system is the real problem."

The Rendell property tax relief provided an average of $169 per household in relief in 2008, although some homeowners received as little as $50.

Rohrer said the "relief" that Rendell is promoting has already been eaten up by higher property taxes imposed by most of the state's school districts.

"For many homeowners, the $200 in so-called 'relief' they will receive is less than the amount their property tax bills were raised since 2006," Rohrer said. "Pennsylvania homeowners deserve more than the false hope the governor’s gambling scheme has to offer."

Read Rohrer's full release at the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus Web site.

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Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Certifies $770 Million for Second Year of Statewide Property Tax Relief

Pennsylvania taxpayers pay more than $10 billion in school property taxes every year. The Rendell Administration is promising to hand out $770 million in "property tax relief" in 2009.

That's not even 10% of what taxpayers are forced to turn over every year to school districts. Rendell promised "substantial" property tax relief. As a candidate he promised 30% to 40% relief standing on his head.

Obviously, the blood has rushed to the governor's head if he think less than 10% is "substantial" relief.

Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Certifies $770 Million for Second Year of Statewide Property Tax Relief

White House pet

Toomey vs. Specter

A couple days after stepping down as president of the Club for Growth, former U.S. Congressman Pat Toomey made it official: He will challenge U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 Republican Primary.

"Pennsylvanians deserve a voice in the U.S. Senate that will honor our values and fight for limited government, individual freedom and fiscal responsibility," Toomey said. "I will be that voice."

It's no coincidence Toomey chose April 15 to make his announcement.

From The Associated Press:
Toomey headed the Club for Growth, a national conservative group that advocates smaller government and lower taxes, from the time he left Congress in 2005 until he stepped down Monday. The group was a major supporter of his 2004 campaign.

Prior to his election to the first of three terms in Congress in 1998, the Harvard-educated Toomey worked as an investment banker and operated several restaurants and bars in Pennsylvania with his brothers.
How worried is 79-year-old Arlen Specter about Toomey?

From the AP:
More than a year before the May 2010 primary, the campaign was already under way as Toomey publicly confirmed his candidacy.

Specter this month put up a cable TV ad that sought to link Toomey's career as an investment banker more than a decade ago to the current chaos in the nation's financial markets.
Imagine that. A guy who has served in the Senate since 1990 and been asleep at the wheel while the economy collapsed is trying to blame Toomey for the meltdown.

As I predicted in an earlier post, Specter will drop out of the race before 2010 because of unspecified health reasons. Specter knows he can't win the Republican primary, so he will bow out before he is handed a humiliating loss at the hands of GOP voters.

Read more about Toomey's challenge in today's edition of The Pottstown Mercury.

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Politicians target newspapers

Some members of the Pennsylvania Senate are working on a plan to put a final nail in the coffin of many newspapers across the state.

A bill in the Pennsylvania Legislature proposes removing public notices from newspapers and allowing government agencies to post information online on various Web sites.

That would not only drive away much-needed revenue for struggling newspapers, but would leave taxpayers in the dark about how government spends their money, argues the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.

From an editorial in The Mercury:
Nearly a century ago, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a law requiring local townships, boroughs, school districts and other government entities to place notices in the local newspaper advising citizens of pending ordinances, budget spending proposals, property sales, election information, zoning changes, among other important issues.

The idea behind that early law was to inform residents affected by government plans. For years, that legislation provided a safeguard of open government — making it more difficult for elected officials to enact laws and spend money without notifying taxpayers.

Now, Senate Bill 419 would allow the government to control its own public notices and eliminate the independent, third-party verification that newspaper publication provides. It would be all too easy to manipulate the bidding process, favor certain contractors, and shield critical information.
Have you ever tried to navigate through a state Web site? It's nearly impossible to find information. And believe me, government bureaucrats will make it as difficult as they can to find legal notices online.

And what about the people who don't have access to the Internet? SB 419 clearly falls under the category of "If it's not broke, why fix it?"

It also makes you wonder what the real motive of lawmakers is. Could the bill be payback for newspapers exposing all the corruption in Harrisburg?

It's time to contact your local state senator and tell them that SB 419 should never see the light of day.

Read more in this editorial published in The Pottstown Mercury.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Americans for Tax Reform sets record straight on Obama tax hikes

Americans for Tax Reform, a non-partisan watchdog group, detailed the impact of the Obama tax hikes on the average American at a press conference:
* Obama's budget claims that it cuts taxes for families by $770 billion. Yet, the same document admits that fully $326 billion -- nearly half -- is in fact new spending, not tax cuts

* The budget raises the top two income tax brackets from 33 percent and 35 percent to 36 percent and 39.6 percent, respectively. These are the tax rates in which $2 out of every $3 in small business profit is taxed. That includes 90 percent of the profits from partnerships and Subchapter S corporations, and 40 percent of the profits from sole proprietorships. This small business tax hike alone is $339 billion

* The Obama budget imposes a "cap and trade" tax of $646 billion. Every American family will pay this tax in the form of higher gasoline, heating, and electric bills -- an average of $3100 per family per year.

* The Obama budget raises taxes on investors in several ways. The capital gains tax is hiked from 15 percent to 20 percent. The dividends tax is raised from 15 percent to 20 percent. Capital gains earned by investment partnership managers are taxed as high as 39.6 percent. At a time when the stock market wealth has nearly been cut in half, why is Obama proposing a $142 billion tax hike on the stock market?
Read more at the link below:

ATR Hosts 'Tax Day Eve' Press Conference

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The latest in pirate fashion

Sam Rohrer: Tea Anyone?

From state Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-128th District:
Tea Anyone?

In just another day, April 15th will be here. This is the day we are all reminded of how much of our hard-earned wages are lifted by government – at all levels. From the property tax to the sales tax, to the State and federal income tax, to the myriad of fees on literally everything, to the excise taxes, to taxes when you are born to taxes when you die, we are taxed on almost everything.

It's not that every tax is onerous or evil. Some may not like any tax. But, taxes are a legitimate way to fund legitimate government. It's just that when government begins to spend our tax dollars on unconstitutional programs or bailouts and then expects us to continue to dig ever deeper to fund those illegitimate programs that folks develop a very bad taste in their mouths. And like bad tastes in our mouths, normal folks try to get rid of that bad taste. It's only normal.

So, the focus of the April 15th Tea Parties provides the opportunity to people across this Commonwealth and nation to gather peaceably together to say that we're tired of that very bad taste. But is it the taxes that are the cause of this very bad taste or is it something else? The truth be told, taxes aren't the cause, they are the symptom. Out-of-control, unconstitutional and illegitimate spending is the cause. Illegitimate spending is why a crumbling economic system confronts us today. Illegitimate spending including unconstitutional programs, bailouts, subsidizing of those who don't or won't work and earmarks of all types to the favored few identify both the cause and the solution.

The solution: quit spending on unconstitutional programs, quit spending on government programs that compete with private non-profits and churches that exist to meet the needs of the needy, and quit spending on things that grow the size of government beyond the restraints of constitutional boundaries! Just let the people keep their own money! The solution is very simple – if you support the concept of independence and personal freedom. I think the solution is easy to see, a little harder to accomplish, but impossible to oppose – if you support the concept of independence and personal freedom.

So, if you have not yet decided to attend a "Tea Party" on Wednesday, please plan on doing so. It will be good for you, your children, and the cause. I will be one of the speakers at the "Tea Party" in the front steps of the Capitol in Harrisburg beginning at noon and at Lancaster Tax Day Tea Party at 4 p.m. in Musser Park. Hope to see some of you at one of these events.

For the Cause of Independence and Personal Freedom,
Sam Rohrer

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The real Patrick Murphy

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy spends a lot of time trying to fool voters in Bucks County that he's a moderate Democrat.

Turns out Murphy votes 99 percent of the time with far-left Nancy Pelosi.

A new Web site is helping expose Murphy's liberal voting record.

From the welcome message at Murphy Watch:
This site is dedicated to chronicling the votes of Patrick Murphy a self described Blue Dog "Conservative Democrat." Already Mr. Murphy has had one of the most partisan voting records of any Congressman from Bucks County in decades. While he uses this label as a conservative or moderate Democrat his voting record does not reflect an independent voting record that citizens of the 8th Congressional District have come to expect. In 2007 the National Taxpayers Union gave Murphy a grade of an F and placed him in their "Big Spender" category. As of March 2009 Murphy had a 99% party unity score voting with Nancy Pelosi 99% of the time.
Keep tabs on Murpy at

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Monday, April 13, 2009

You call this property tax relief?

What Gov. Ed Rendell considers "property tax relief" is probably dinner for the family at a local restaurant.

So much for that "substantial" property tax relief Rendell promised when he signed slot gaming into law in Pennsylvania in 2004.

Most residents will see a reduction of between $50 and $200 on their school property tax bills this summer.

With most school districts in Pennsylvania proposing property tax hikes of at least 5 percent, the "relief" Rendell is touting is a wash at best.

"Property tax relief is real and it is making a difference in the lives of older adults and hard-working families across Pennsylvania," Rendell said today.

What's real is that $50-$100 savings on a $3,000 tax bill is a joke, governor.

You can read Rendell's propaganda at the link below:

Governor Rendell Announces Another Year of Property Tax Relief for Homeowners

For a dose of reality, see what POLICY BLOG has to say about Rendell's "relief"

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Social Security = Ponzi scheme

Admitted swindler Bernie Madoff is an amateur compared to the U.S. government, which has been running the largest Ponzi scheme in the world for more than 70 years.

We've been hearing for decades how Social Security is going broke. The scheme simply can't sustain itself because more people are retiring than are entering the work force. Fewer people paying into the system and more people collecting is a recipe for disaster.

The part of the scheme is that politicians (mostly Democrats) have been raiding the Social Security system for decades to fund other government programs.

The dramatic decline of the U.S. economy in the past year has put more pressure than ever on the Social Security system, says the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which warns that the day of reckoning is fast approaching.

From an editorial in today's edition:
America's job losses are taking a toll on the surplus from government's favorite Ponzi scheme. That means the feds will have to look elsewhere, and a lot sooner, for the cash that's being borrowed from Social Security.

With the ongoing decline in payroll tax revenues, the Congressional Budget Office projects that Social Security's surplus could drop to $16 billion this year and about $3 billion next. The surplus projection for '09 was $80 billion.

Liberals are quick to point out that the dwindling surplus doesn't affect current Social Security recipients. It's the same head-in-the-sand reasoning that has allowed Social Security to reach this precarious state.

Based on the CBO's projections, the government will have to borrow another $700 billion over the next decade to cover what it would have borrowed from Social Security. And perhaps as early as 2017, the Treasury will have to start paying back the billions it has taken from Social Security for the past 25 years.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

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Obama lays and egg

Rep. Quigley to Host Town Hall-Style Conference Call

It may sound like a telemarketing call at first, but don't hang up.

State Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th, is planning a town hall meeting via telephone for residents of the 146th District at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15.

"I am hosting this town hall-style conference call to give everyone I represent the opportunity to find out what is going on in Harrisburg and our community and also ask questions without having to leave their home," Quigley said in a release.

At about 7 p.m. Wednesday, automated calls will be placed to residents of the 146th District inviting them to participate in the hour-long call, Quigley said.

Individuals who do not receive the call but would like to participate can do so by calling toll-free to 1-877-229-8493 and providing the pass code 13914.

Quigley stressed that at any point during the phone call, people will be given the chance to ask questions by pressing *3, and he will try to get to everyone's inquires during the allotted hour.

And you don't have to listen for the entire hour. You can hang up at any point if you have something else to do.

For more about Quigley, visit his Web site,

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