Saturday, May 30, 2009

Taxpayer protest set for June 9

POLICY BLOG has information on a taxpayer protest scheduled for June 9 in Harrisburg.

If you're tired of the Rendell/Obama tax-and-spend agenda, it's time to be heard.

From POLICY BLOG on the current fiscal state of Pennsylvania: "This is your chance to keep the pressure on your elected officials to end years of out-of-control spending, borrowing, and unprecedented fiscal irresponsibility. Policies that have resulted in an estimated $3 billion budget deficit."

For more details visit

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Rep. Curt Schroder eyes Gerlach seat

A state lawmaker from Chester County is interested in running for Congressman Jim Gerlach's 6th Congressional District seat if Gerlach ends up running for Pennsylvania governor in 2010, according to CQ Politics.

State Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155, has been a member of the Pennsylvania House since 1995. A staunch conservative and thorn in the Harrisburg establishment, Schroder has organized a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission to allow him to raise money for a possible Congressional bid, says CQ Politics.

From the CQ Politics post:
Schroder, who couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, was first elected in 1994 from a legislative district in Chester County, which is one of four counties from which the 6th claims territory. The Democrats haven’t fielded a candidate against Schroder in any of his seven re-election campaigns.

But Schroder would be put to the test in the 6th District, where Barack Obama took 58 percent of the vote in the 2008 election. Pennsylvania's 6th is one of just six districts that voted for Obama and also for John Kerry in 2004 that is presently represented in the House by a Republican.

Gerlach bucked the Democratic trend in his district, but just barely: he took 51 percent of the vote in 2002, 2004 and 2006 and 52 percent of the vote in 2008.
Here's the scoop on Gerlach. Although he has set up an exploratory committee, he will not run for governor, but will seek reelection to his 6th District seat for three reasons: 1) Gerlach trails Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett in the polls and is unlikely to make up any ground; 2) Gerlach has never run a statewide race is a virtual unknown in most of Pennsylvania; 3) Gerlach is the only Republican who can hold the 6th District seat and will be under tremendous pressure from GOP leadership to seek another term.

As for Schroder, there's nothing wrong with being the first announced Republican to show interest in the seat on the very slim chance Gerlach decides not to seek reelection, but Schroder's future is in a House leadership position should Republicans regain control of the state House in 2010.

For more on Schroder, visit his web site,

For more on Gerlach, visit

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Obama runs GM into the ground

Despite more than $19 billion in taxpayer dollars that was suppose to keep GM from going under, the giant auto maker is expected to file for bankruptcy on June 1.

Barack Obama promised that the government bailout would allow GM to restructure without filing for bankruptcy. Guess what? He lied. What's next? Will Obama do to health care what he did to the banks? To the car companies? With his track record, can bankruptcy for the U.S. be far behind?

Robert Romano, writing at, says the Treasury will now finance GM with another roughly $30 billion while in bankruptcy, which would last 60 to 90 days, bringing taxpayers' burden to $50 billion to "save" the company.

And, of course, the Obama Administration will nationalize one-third of the "Big 3," Romano says.

More from Romano:
Simply put: The fact is, GM was failing just fine without government assistance. And left to tried and true free market devices, the problems between bondholders and GM brass could have been effectively resolved, without presenting taxpayers with the tab. But since bankruptcy was not averted—despite a $19.4 billion infusion of taxpayer capital—the only thing that has now been achieved is that GM is now a de facto agency of the federal government, just like Chrysler.

In short, both are now line items on the federal budget. All at taxpayer expense.

There really is no description for what is taking place other than redistributionism. A new favored political class is being built under the guise of law, and it is all happening under the auspices of his imperial, impervious majesty, Barack Obama. So corrupt is this new system that even the courts are going along with it. Lawmakers speak nary a word against it. And the American people are left only to watch in horror as their own government turns against them, leaving them to wonder if they are next in line for wholesale asset confiscation.
Read Romano's full post at

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Friday, May 29, 2009

State Capitol Roundup for May 29

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

House Republicans Boycott Farce Budget Hearings

House Republicans boycotted a House Education Committee hearing this week, citing it as another example of Democrats' advocacy for increased spending. For the current fiscal year, tax revenues are expected to fall short by more than $3 billion. While House and Senate Republicans are committed to controlling spending, House Democrat leaders continue to say broad-based tax increases are needed to address the deficit. Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) is asking when hearings on the effects of the proposed tax increases will be held. Smith also noted misleading testimony offered during budget hearings suggesting a long-planned school closure in his district was the result of decreased funding in a Senate-passed budget proposal and questioned the validity of other testimony.

Economic Realities Demand Pragmatic Spending Solutions

Earlier this month, the state Senate passed a $27.3 billion budget spending approximately $1.7 billion less than Gov. Ed Rendell's proposal to increase state spending. Since then, at least 15 media releases from Rendell's agency heads have predicted dire consequences for Pennsylvanians. House Republicans say these efforts are little more than scare tactics in the face of good-faith attempts to negotiate a responsible budget. Ultimately, spending will need to be curtailed to close a looming $3 billion deficit for the current fiscal year. With a month left to pass a balanced budget before the June 30 deadline, it's time to engage in genuine negotiations that acknowledge the state's challenging financial situation. For more legislative news, visit

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Draws Closer

The June 30 deadline to file applications for the Department of Revenue's Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program is quickly approaching. PTRR participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2008. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. As many as 110,000 Pennsylvania seniors will pay no school property taxes again this year as a result of the program. Individuals are reminded to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. For additional information, visit Rep. Bob Mensch's (R-Montgomery) eb site at


Obama plans big tax hike to fund government health care

The Climate Change Lobby

The Center for Public Integrity has posted all sorts of information on a new section of its Web site called The Climate Change Lobby, examining "the forces attempting to influence this pivotal issue."

From the Web site:
As Congress focused last week on landmark legislation to reduce global warming, the timing of this release — which includes a list of the top 10 firms representing climate change interests — couldn't have been better. It's a great reminder of how essential our in-depth investigations have become, keeping the public clued in to issues that other news organizations increasingly can't cover."
In other words, it's all about money. Lobbyists, special interest groups, corporations and politicians stand to make billions by diverting your tax dollars to solve a non-existent problem.

The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy, according to its Web site.

Check out The Climate Change Lobby here.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Save the planet or line their pockets?

What's behind the move in Congress to enact a global warming tax on the beleaguered American taxpayer?

"The public is told that climate change legislation is urgently needed to save the planet. But the evidence that the global warming scare is all about power and politics, not the environment, keeps piling up," notes Investor's Business Daily.

From an IBD editorial:
The legislation might not get such a cushy ride on the House floor. Rep. Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, is threatening to derail it and says he has the support of 40 to 50 other Democrats.

Peterson is not opposing Waxman-Markey because he's a skeptic of global warming. Nothing so noble as that. His opposition is purely political. He wants parliamentary power over the bill. Should he fail to get it, he's willing to sink the legislation.

Which brings up the question: If global warming were a grave threat, wouldn't getting a CO2 emissions restriction law passed and signed take precedence over lawmakers' objections on behalf of their constituents?

The fact that Peterson and so many Democrats would rather have no bill than to let it become law without input from the Agriculture Committee exposes the global warming scare: It's not about the environment — it's about power and politics.
Read the full editorial, "Where's The Crisis?" at the newspaper's Web site.

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Obama's Anti-Gun Strategy Is to Stack Courts

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms believes Barack Obama's nomination of anti-gun Judge Sonia Sotomayor is part of his strategy to ignore the Second Amendment and impose gun control measures across the country.

Read the group's release at the link below:

Obama's Anti-Gun Strategy Is to Stack Courts, Says CCRKBA

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What Constitution?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Legal scholar: Sotomayor an intellectual lightweight

Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley has read 30 written opinions by Judge Sonia Sotomayor and says she is an intellectual lightweight. Kinda like the president who appointed her?

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State Police Skippack Barracks open 24/7

The photo above was taken in front of the State Police Barracks in Skippack after the barracks re-opened on a full-time basis, staffing around the clock for the first time in years. The new 24/7 operation is due in part to state Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr. (R-44), state Rep. Bob Mensch (R-147) and state Rep. Matthew Bradford (D-70) who pushed to reverse a cost-cutting move to institute a pilot program in which the State Police began closing the Skippack barracks for 16 hours every weekday and all weekend. Pictured left to right are Rep. Matthew Bradford, State Police Lt. David Buckley, Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr. and Rep. Bob Mensch.


Rendell, Democrats want to raise taxes

Ed Rendell began his tenure as governor in 2003 by signing the second largest income tax hike in Pennsylvania history. Rendell then proceeded to spend $8 billion over the next six years, increasing state spending at twice the rate of inflation.

The results of Rendell's failed fiscal policies is a $3.2 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year. With less than two years before he leaves office, Rendell is pushing for another massive income tax hike to make up the huge deficit he created.

The Democratic doormats in the House of Representatives will do whatever Rendell wants. Raising taxes during a recession is a bad idea, but that hasn't stopped Democrats in the past.

Lowman S. Henry, writing at Lincoln Blog:
"That would be the quick, easy, and most destructive resolution possible to the budget crisis currently gripping the state. The real issue here is not financial; rather it is the unwillingness of state Democrats to make the hard decisions demanded of those governing in tough times. The real issue here is the unwillingness of state Democrats to begin living within our means."
It's time to let your Democratic state House member know that he or she will be out of a job in 2010 if they support a tax hike to bail out Rendell.

Read more about the state's sad state of financial affairs and how Rendell and House Democrats are working on a tax hike in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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Corbett refiles charges against Veon

Less than a week after a district judge threw out the case citing a lack of evidence, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett has refiled corruption charges against former state Rep. Mike Veon, the onetime No. 2 Democratic leader in the state House of Representatives.

This time, Corbett wants a real judge -- someone on the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas -- not a district justice -- to hear the case.

That makes a big difference. District judges are elected locally and do not have to have any legal background. (In two local races for district judge in the Pottstown area, a hairdresser and a landscaper were on the ballot.)

The attorney general's office also asked for the proceedings against former Beaver County Rep. Mike Veon and his district office supervisor, Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink, to be heard by a Dauphin County Common Pleas judge.

District judges often make bad decisions and the AG obviously believes Harrisburg District Judge Joseph Solomon was over his head in one of the biggest corruption cases brought against a powerful political figure.

Mike Veon and his district office supervisor, Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink are accused of illegally diverting taxpayer dollars through the Beaver Initiative for Growth, a nonprofit agency he controlled, to hire consultants, rent office space and handle various political and legislative chores, according to The Associated Press.

They are both charged with theft, misapplication of entrusted property, conflict of interest and conspiracy, the wire service reports.

From The Associated Press:
Judge Solomon prosecutors argued, improperly let defense lawyers delve into irrelevant issues and inadmissible evidence during an eight-hour preliminary hearing last week to determine if the case should advance to county court.

"It is clear from (his) comments that he expected the commonwealth to present 'conclusive' evidence or proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," wrote Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek. "This is contrary to the well-established standard applied to preliminary hearings."

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In a galaxy far, far away

FRC: CA Supreme Court Upholds the People's Right to Amend Constitution

A significant victory today for those who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

FRC: CA Supreme Court Upholds the People's Right to Amend Constitution

Americans United for Life: Obama Nominates Avowed Judicial Activist Judge Who Undermines Common Ground

Americans United for Life (AUL) President & CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest on Sonia Sotomayor:
"A vote to confirm Judge Sotomayor as the next Supreme Court Justice is a vote to strip Americans of the ability to choose for themselves how to regulate abortion. Our recent polling data speaks to this point of judicial activism: 69% of the American people believe that 'some federal judges have gone too far by doing more than just interpreting the law and instead are making new law.'
Americans United for Life: Obama Nominates Avowed Judicial Activist Judge Who Undermines Common Ground

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Judges Making Policy

Radical judicial activist need only apply

Barack Obama has found the perfect Supreme Court nominee in Sonia Sotomayor.

Far-left radical. Check.

Judicial Activist. Check.

Female. Check.

Minority. Check.

Those appear to be Sotomayor's chief qualifications for serving on the Supreme Court.

This is a woman who has said publicly that "empathy" is as important as the law when considering cases. From The Washington Post: Sotomayor "has stirred controversy by saying that judges' legal findings are informed by their own life experiences as well as their legal research."

This is a woman has has stated publicly (it's on tape) that judges have a policy-making role. And I thought the Constitution reserved that right for the Legislative branch. Has Sotomayor ever read the Constitution?

This is a woman who believes in racial quotas and supports partial-birth abortion.

This is the country's worst nightmare in electing Barack Obama last November. The radicals will take over the Supreme Court and will change this country by decree.

It's clear that the Sotomayor nomination is payback to the far-left loons who helped Obama get elected. Obama did not pick the most qualified person for the job, just someone who fit the liberal stereotype of a judge.

From The New Republic:
The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank You

'Where Poppies Blow'

On this Memorial Day Weekend, a guest column by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council about the significance of the holiday:
Where Poppies Blow

Until about 40 years ago, Memorial Day was observed -- not celebrated -- on May 30 every year. Eager Cub Scouts would work their way through the crowds at small town parades selling bright red artificial poppies. In reviewing stands, graying veterans would salute or place their hands over their hearts as high school bands marched by. Often a young girl would be called upon to read the World War I era poem "In Flanders Fields" that describes the poppies blowing row upon row among the graves of fallen warriors of the Great War.

You can gain a real appreciation of Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery. There, soldiers of the Third Army, the ceremonial "Old Guard" will place little American flags on thousands of well-tended graves. Visitors will be told the story of Arlington, how Col. Robert E. Lee paced the floors of the Custis-Lee mansion back in 1861, praying and pondering. He had to decide whether to serve in the U.S. Army to which he had dedicated his life or to leave the Union with his beloved Virginia. The terrible Civil War that followed for four long and bitter years helped to fill thousands of graves at Arlington, once Lee's beautiful hilltop home.

When the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated in 1921 at Arlington, President Wilson spoke as a Bible was included among the objects placed in the cornerstone of this sacred space. Today, 24 hours a day, Tomb guards march their appointed rounds, honoring those who have fallen to defend our freedoms. The bumper sticker dates from our own time, but the sentiment it expresses goes all the way back: "America -- land of the free because of the brave."

Americans have always loved their country. We love our country still. And we have a special reverence for those who gave what Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion."

Even today, with casualties in the War on Terror mercifully coming down, there are still flag-draped caskets returning regularly to Dover Air Force Base. There are fresh graves being filled daily at Arlington -- and across America. So great is the call of America that even foreigners feel its pull. The Marquis de Lafayette -- a brave hero of our Revolution -- took home to France enough American soil to bury his earthly remains.

In recent years, Memorial Day has become the occasion for sales at the mall, cookouts, rock concerts, and days at the beach. Our fallen heroes died for this America too. They knew that a certain lightheartedness, of ever-youthful exuberance, is a part of what it means to pursue happiness. It is for all of this, the paths of laudable pursuit, the fruits of honest toil, that America stands. May we always be worthy of those who died to give this America to us.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

'May We Never Forget ...'

Matt Bruce, writing at The New Media, reminds us why we celebrate Memorial Day.

From his poignant column:
From the current War on Terror, to World War's I & II, along with Vietnam, Korea, Grenada and even the Spanish American and Civil War's we honor the memory of all of those who have died serving America in our Armed Forces so that we might now all be free and safe ...

To those of us who have survived serving in the Military during combat or peace, we take the time to stop and remember those brave young men and women who served right along beside us who are no longer with us ...

We also all look forward to what their sacrifices have done in helping keep America the greatest Country on the face of the Earth ...

A Country that people are willing to risk their lives crossing hundreds of miles of desert just to get in to ...

Let's remember why we celebrate Memorial Day because so many have forgotten the real reason ...

We are not Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives or Liberals on Memorial Day. We are all Americans honoring those who did not return home to be able to celebrate with us ...

So we celebrate and honor those who died protecting our great Country, the United States of America...
Read the full column, 'May We Never Forget The Reason ...' at The New Media Journal

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dems have a Pelosi problem

Memorial Day Tribute

America's war heroes

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan offers a tribute to America's war heroes, past and present on this Memorial Day Weekend.

From her column:
The category of military hero — warrior — fell off a bit, in part because of the bad reputation of war. Some emerged of heroic size — Gens. Pershing and Patton, Eisenhower and Marshall. But somewhere in the 1960s I think we decided, or the makers of our culture decided, that to celebrate great warriors was to encourage war. And we always have too much of that. So they made a lot of movies depicting soldiers as victims and officers as brutish. This was especially true in the Vietnam era and the years that followed. Maybe a correction was in order: It's good to remember war is hell. But when we removed the warrior, we removed something intensely human, something ancestral and stirring, something celebrated naturally throughout the long history of man. Also it was ungrateful: They put themselves in harm's way for us.
She devotes the column to Alvin York, Audie Murphy and Chuck Boyd, but this is a time to honor everyone who has served their country.

Take a few minutes to read it.

Check out Those Who Make Us Say 'Oh!' at the newspaper's Web site.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

ABC News exposes 'Airport to Nowhere'

Gas prices on the rise

Remember last year when the liberal media kept blaming the "oil men" in the White House for rising gas prices? You don't have George Bush and Dick Cheney to kick around any more. So where's the outrage now that gas prices are spiking under Barack Obama? Why has Obama reneged on his promise to allow drilling for oil off U.S. shores? Do Americans know what the new energy tax Obama is backing will cost them?

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Cheney mops the floor with Obama

It wasn't much of a fight. The flashy newcomer against the grizzled veteran. Platitudes versus facts.

After a muddled and unconvincing teleprompter reading about terrorism by Barack Obama at the National Archives, former Vice President Dick Cheney gave on the most cogent analysis of the war on terror during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.

If this had been a boxing match, "it would have been stopped in the first round," says Investor's Business Daily.

In other words, Cheney took inexperienced and naive Obama to school.

From the IBD editorial:
For those with short memories, Cheney talks of being hustled into a bunker on 9/11, where he got "word of the crash in Pennsylvania, the final phone calls from hijacked planes, the final horror for those who jumped to their death to escape burning alive."

"I'll freely admit," he says, "that watching a coordinated, devastating attack on your country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities."

That is a sane, grown-up response — not a lawyerly response premised on the trendy idea that, somehow, we are to blame for the attacks, that America, as some on the left have said, "had it coming."

When called upon, President Bush and Vice President Cheney took their responsibilities seriously. They made tough decisions to keep us safe from the predations of terrorists whose ultimate goal is to murder our people and destroy our civilization.
Read the full editorial, "A War Defended," at the newspaper's Web site.

Read the full text of Cheney's speech, in which he also exposes Nancy Pelosi as a liar, at The Weekly Standard Blog.

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State Capitol Roundup for May 22

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

House Republicans Urge Introduction of Funding Bill

As the state faces a $3 billion deficit, House Democrats and Gov. Ed Rendell appear to be setting the stage for massive tax increases to pay for their $29 billion budget proposal. In discussing the state budget at an event in Pittsburgh earlier this week, House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) said "Rendell is going to have to raise taxes." Despite these comments, neither the House Democrats nor the governor has introduced a funding bill for their budget proposal. The Democrat-led House Appropriations Committee held two days of public hearings this week on the Senate-passed budget, which funds essential state services and spends only money we have. Both Democrats and the Rendell Administration have expressed great opposition to the Senate-passed budget. For more budget news, visit

Solar Panel Grants Now Available

The PA Sunshine Solar Program opened this week, providing homeowners and small businesses in Pennsylvania with grants for up to 35 percent of the cost of solar electric and hot water improvements. In combination with federal tax credits for the use of solar energy products, consumers have the opportunity to reduce system costs by 45 percent. The PA Sunshine Solar Program was enacted last year as part of the $650 million Alternative Energy Funding Act. Funding will be dispersed in the form of reimbursement grants for residential and small business projects. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to approved applicants. For more information, visit and click on "Solar Rebates."

Bill to Allow Direct Reimbursement for Ambulance Services Advances

Republican-sponsored legislation to help volunteer ambulance companies better recover fees for their services recently won the support of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. House Bill 867, sponsored by Rep. Bernie O'Neill (R-Bucks), changes the reimbursement structure between ambulance corps and insurance companies so that the insurance company can pay the ambulance service directly instead of going through patients. If enacted, volunteer ambulance units that benefit from the direct payment could not be denied from joining a health care network. In addition, the bill allows payments to be made directly to the ambulance company via a release signature from the patient in situations where ambulance companies are not part of a health care network. House Bill 867 now goes to the full House for consideration.


New Line of GM cars

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Democrats cover up Pelosi lies

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 252-172 Thursday to reject a measure pushed by Republicans to investigate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's assertion that the CIA misled her on the use of torture.

Odd that Democrats don't want to know the truth, isn't it?

The evidence is overwhelming that Pelosi knew about the "enhanced interrogation" techniques and signed off on them, but Democrats don't want to dig too deep for fear of exposing their leader as a habitual liar.

Here's a roll call of Pennsylvania House members, with a "yes" vote signifying they don't want to investigate Pelosi. Hint: Every Democrat voted to cover up Pelosi's lying.
Democrats — Altmire, Y; Brady, Y; Carney, Y; Dahlkemper, Y; Doyle, Y; Fattah, Y; Holden, Y; Kanjorski, Y; Murphy, Patrick, Y; Murtha, Y; Schwartz, Y; Sestak, Y.

Republicans — Dent, N; Gerlach, N; Pitts, N; Platts, N; Shuster, N; Thompson, N.

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This is not a movie, Arnold

Veterans Fight to Be Remembered

A coalition of veterans groups is fighting to save monuments to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.

The ACLU is pushing to have monuments removed from government property.

"Our nation is only as secure as we remember those who have given their lives for the freedom that we now have," said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel of Liberty Legal Institute and attorney for the veterans groups. "The issue of saving this veterans memorial is something nearly every American will be interested in."

Read the full release at the link below:

Veterans Fight to Be Remembered

Cheney confirms Pelosi lied

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking today at the American Enterprise Institute, confirmed that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lied when she claimed the CIA misled her about the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques against terrorist leaders.

From The Associated Press:
The former vice president bristled over the complaints about interrogation from lawmakers, pointing out that leading members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., were briefed on the programs and methods.

"Yet for all these exacting efforts to do a hard and necessary job and to do it right, we hear from some quarters nothing but feigned outrage based on a false narrative," Cheney said. "In my long experience in Washington, few matters have inspired so much contrived indignation and phony moralizing as the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists."

Pelosi has said the CIA misled her in 2002 about whether waterboarding, which simulates drowning, had been used.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Democrats come to their senses on Gitmo

On his second day in office, Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo terrorist prison camp in Cuba and bring some of the most dangerous men in the world to the continental United States.

It was an ill-advised move to pander to the far-left, card-carrying ACLU crowd that could care less if American lives are placed in danger.

No so fast, says the U.S. Senate, including most of its Democratic members.

From The Washington Post:
The Senate voted overwhelmingly today to deny funding for President Obama's plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, and lawmakers in both parties vowed to withhold federal dollars until Obama decides the fate of the facility's 240 detainees.

The 90-6 vote represented a potentially serious setback for Obama, who as a presidential candidate vowed to close Guantanamo and who signed an executive order beginning the process soon after he took office. But although most Democrats agree that the facility should be closed, they have grown increasingly wary of the consequences if terrorist suspects are moved to the United States.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller warned Congress today that if Guantanamo detainees are released in the United States, they could pose a domestic threat. Mueller raised the concerns in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee a day after Senate Democrats, under pressure from Republicans, announced they would not release federal funds until Obama produced an acceptable plan.
South Dakota Sen. John Thune expressed the feeling of many of his Senate colleagues: "The American people don't want these men walking the streets of America's neighborhoods. The American people don't want these detainees held at a military base or federal prison in their backyard, either."

And this from U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas: "No good purpose is served by allowing known terrorists, who trained at terrorist training camps, to come to the U.S. and live among us. Guantanamo Bay was never meant to be an Ellis Island."

Mueller echoed concerns during his testimony: "The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing, radicalizing others," Mueller said, as well as "the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States."

Read the full story at

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California voters reject $16 billion tax hike

Imagine if Pennsylvania voters had the power of initiative and referendum, like their counterparts in California do. Gov. Ed Rendell's disastrous fiscal policies could have been stopped six years ago before Rendell ruined the state's economy with tax increases and record deficit spending.

Michael Reagan Says CA Voters Sent Message to Sacramento and Washington, D.C.: 'No Way to 1A and No New Taxes'

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Rep. Joe Pitts launches Facebook page

First it was YouTube, then Twitter and now Facebook.

Politicians continue to take advantage of the latest social networking platforms to spread their message.

U.S. Congressman Joe Pitts, who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District in parts of Berks, Chester and Lancaster counties, is never shy about the latest technology.

From Pitts' office:
Washington – Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) announced today the launch of a page on the popular social networking site Facebook. The page, which can be found here, will provide Rep. Pitts an opportunity to better communicate with his constituents.

Congressman Pitts' statement follows:

"Facebook has become an increasingly popular way for people to keep in touch with one another. With this new page, I am pleased to have yet one more way to communicate with the people I represent about my work on their behalf. I encourage constituents to stop by and find information about bills I have introduced, video of speeches I have delivered on the House floor, pictures from events I have attended in Pennsylvania and more."
Check out Pitts' Facebook page here.

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Montco voter turnout just 13%

Suppose they held an election and nobody showed up.

As I predicted a couple of days ago, voter turnout for the May 19 Pennsylvania primary was going to be historically low.

Reporter Carl Hessler Jr. of The Mercury filed this report about Montgomery County turnout:
Only 13.02 percent of Montgomery County's 586,630 registered voters, or 76,394 people, showed up at the polls or cast absentee ballots on Tuesday to nominate their party's candidates during the municipal primary election.

According to unofficial results, 40,515 Republicans and 35,879 Democrats cast ballots.

The turnout was even less than the turnout recorded during a similar election in May 2005, when 15.2 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls.
It's the Obama factor. So many people are disillusioned by the scam Obama pulled last November that they've sworn off voting.

Salford Township recorded the largest voter turnout at 36.1 percent, according to unofficial results. Pennsburg, with 6.4 percent, recorded the lowest voter turnout, according to Hessler.

The following Montgomery County communities reported turnout under 10 percent, which means 9 out of 10 voters didn't bother to vote on Tuesday:
EAST GREENVILLE – 7.5 percent
HATFIELD BOROUGH – 8.4 percent
MONTGOMERY – 7 percent
NORRISTOWN – 8.6 percent
PENNSBURG – 6.4 percent
PERKIOMEN – 6.7 percent
SKIPPACK – 8.3 percent
UPPER FREDERICK – 8.5 percent
UPPER PROVIDENCE – 8.5 percent
The following Montgomery County communities had the highest voter turnout:
BRIDGEPORT – 21.4 percent
LOWER PROVIDENCE – 21.3 percent
NARBERTH – 26 percent
SALFORD – 36.1 percent
WORCESTER – 19.2 percent
Voter turnout in Berks County was 11.9 percent. In Chester County, turnout was 15 percent.


Incumbents tossed by voters

Incumbents typically have the advantage in any election, but not when voters are angry and want change.

Here's a sampling of some of the incumbents in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties who were kicked out by voters in Tuesday's primary election:
Reading School Board President Pierre Cooper

5 current members of the Owen J. Roberts School Board

Limerick Township Supervisor Renee K. Chesler

2 current members of the Pottstown School Board

2 current Exeter Township Supervisors

Lower Providence Township Supervisor Craig Dininny

Chester County Treasurer Alan Randzin

Chester County Clerk of Courts Teena Peters

Norristown Borough Councilman David Hodo

East Norriton Township Supervisor Lewis McQuirns

1 current member of the Boyertown School Board

1 current member of the Wyomissing School Board

Coatesville City Council members Patsy Ray and Kurt Schenk

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What did Nancy Pelosi know?

She's melting!!!

Not a good day for incumbents

It looks like a lot of people too my earlier advice and voted out incumbents in Tuesday's primary election -- at least in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties.

Longtime municipal and school board officials were ousted in many communities in the three Southeaster Pennsylvania counties.

This is only the beginning. The "throw-the-bums-out" attitude is spreading among voters and will continue into the November election ... and beyond.

The political class has every reason to worry. The electorate is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore.

Check out The Mercury's Web site for the latest results, which will be updated throughout the morning.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Knowles takes early lead in race to replace Argall

Republican Jerry Knowles is leading Democrat Bill Mackey in both Schuylkill and Berks counties in a special election to fill the 124th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The seat became vacant when longtime Rep. David Argall was elected to the state Senate earlier this year.

Only a few precincts have reported, but Knowles is ahead by a comfortable margin in both counties.

Knowles, 60, is a former Schuylkill County commissioner. Mackey, 65, has failed in two previous tries against Argall to win the 124th seat.

Even if Knowles wins, Democrats will still control the House by a 104-99 margin.

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Follow Jim Gerlach on Twitter

From Congressman Jim Gerlach's office:
Gerlach Invites Constituents to Follow Him on Twitter

Washington – Congressman Gerlach has a new way to communicate what's going on in the 6th District and in Washington thanks to the social-networking site Twitter.

The congressman will begin posting messages -- or tweets – starting today. Visit the congressman's Web site at for a link to Twitter to follow the congressman and receive updates on legislation, key votes, events and other items.

"I am excited about the chance to share information about the work we do each day with the people of the 6th District," Gerlach said. "Twitter offers a great opportunity to speak directly to constituents and hopefully enhances the service we provide to the district."

Twitter users can also find Congressman Gerlach's page at


World's Oldest Valley Girl

Where are the voters?

I stopped by two voting places today in Berks County and there was not a single person in line at either polling site. (No, I wasn't trying to vote twice. The second site was a library that I frequent.)

Not only could I not find any voters, but there was only one candidate outside the first polling site handing out literature and no candidates at the second location.

The chairmen of the Democratic and Republican parties in Berks were quoted in a newspaper last week expecting a high turnout. Not sure what they were smoking. I think this will be one of the lowest turnouts in primary history in Pennsylvania.

I have a theory about the dismal turnout. So many people are disgusted with the way last November's election turned out that they are soured on voting. Not just the Republicans who supported McCain, but a lot of people who voted for Obama are feeling like they were scammed by the "hope and change" candidate.


Expert: Democrats target 'thought crime'

Nat Hentoff is a leading authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He also happens to be one of the most liberal syndicated columnist in the country. So when Hentoff wants to discuss how the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has clearly violated the Constitution by passing a law to target "thought crime," everyone needs to pay attention.

From a recent Hentoff column:
Why is the press remaining mostly silent about the so-called "hate crimes law" that passed in the House on April 29? The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in a 249-175 vote (17 Republicans joined with 231 Democrats).

These Democrats should have been tested on their knowledge of the First Amendment, equal protection of the laws (14th Amendment), and the prohibition of double jeopardy (no American can be prosecuted twice for the same crime or offense). If they had been, they would have known that this proposal, now headed for a Senate vote, violates all these constitutional provisions.

This bill would make it a federal crime to willfully cause bodily injury (or try to) because of the victim's actual or PERCEIVED "race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability" — as explained on the White House Web site, signaling the president's approval. A defendant convicted on these grounds would be charged with a "hate crime" in addition to the original crime, and would get EXTRA prison time.
Liberal fascism is upon us. And if Obama stacks the Supreme Court with far-left idealogues, who will be left to protect our Constitutional rights? This could help explain the rise in gun ownership in this country.

Read Hentoff's full column here.

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Global warming taxes on the horizon

Two good editorial published recently by The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on the global warming hoax and how the far-left is using the climate change hysteria to raise your taxes.

In "Bogus climate bill," the newspaper argues:
If the Waxman-Markey global warming bill becomes law, it will have a devastating impact on people but virtually no impact on the planet.

It's a massive energy tax in disguise that promises job losses, income cuts and a sharp left turn toward bigger government...
In "The Coming Frost," the newspaper says:
Carbon dioxide is odorless. But the Obama administration's prioritization of politics and eco-wacko dogma above all else regarding this so-called "greenhouse gas" stinks.

The administration is on a chilling path -- as in a chilling effect on dissent now and chilly winters to come when Americans will see their own carbon dioxide emissions as every breath they exhale frosts the air in homes they can't afford to heat.

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Rule No. 1 on Election Day

My No. 1 rule on any Election Day: "When in doubt, vote the incumbents out."

Keep that in mind as you go to the polls Tuesday to vote in Pennsylvania's Primary Election.

You already know how screwed up things are, so why send the same people back to do more damage?

If you recognize the name on the ballot, vote for the other person.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Advice from Democrats

Who represents the taxpayer?

I received a flier over the weekend from four candidates running as a team for my local school board. I looked over the four-page flier and could not find a single reference to keeping property taxes from going up. Isn't that what we elect people to do on school boards?

School administrators have their own lobbying association in Harrisburg and typically do not live in the district so they don't care how high taxes go up each year. The teachers have the most powerful union in the state watching their back.

Who do the taxpayers have? Isn't the elected school board suppose to represent the interests of the beleaguered property owners who have seen their taxes go up 40 percent since Gov. Ed Rendell signed the casino gambling bill way back in 2004 with a promise that all Pennsylvania residents would see substantial property tax reduction?

If they're not looking out for the taxpayers of the district, what do the four candidates stand for?

According to their campaign literature, their platform consists of four items:
1) Responsive Budgeting (Translation: Rubber-stamp everything the administration wants to spend money on.)

2) Quality Education (Translation: Give the teachers' union everything it wants during contract negotiations.)

3) Improving the Quality of life for All Citizens -- Young and Old (Translation: Drive seniors out of the district with the highest tax rate in the county and prevent young people from being able to afford their first home by high taxes)

4) Preserving our Sense of Community (Translation: Fight any efforts to merge the smallest school district in the county with a neighboring district to save money, improve offerings for students and reduce property taxes).
I'm glad the four candidates dropped a flier in my mailbox to remind me which candidates I won't be voting for on Tuesday.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

State Capitol Roundup for May 15

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

Education Officials Push Forward with Questionable Graduation Exam Plans

As Pennsylvania faces a current $3 billion budget deficit and an uphill battle to craft a balanced state budget for next year, lawmakers are expressing major concerns over the Rendell administration signing a state contract for development of a new high school Graduation Competency Assessment program without legislative approval. A $201.1 million deal was reached this week between the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Data Recognition Corp. to develop "voluntary" exams for high school seniors. The state is already contracted with the same company for $91 million over the next three years on PSSAs, the state's existing and objectively validated assessment system. The idea of a new round of proficiency exams lacks broad support among many parents, students and legislators, as well as the education community, so much so that lawmakers enacted legislation to specifically prohibit development of GCAs last year. However, it appears the Rendell Administration feels they know better than others, as it continues to ignore alternative opinions.

Proposal to Allow Children to Remain on Parents' Insurance Plans Passes

Legislation permitting individuals through the age of 29 to remain on their parents' health insurance plans received the approval of the House this week. According to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, as many as 400,000 individuals, ages 19 to 29, are currently living in Pennsylvania without health insurance. Several officials note that high unemployment figures have exacerbated the problem, forcing otherwise qualified individuals to rely on part-time jobs with limited or no health benefits. The legislation is currently awaiting the governor's signature. House Republicans are hopeful other proposals to reform the state's health care industry will also be considered in the coming months. For more information on House Republicans' efforts, visit

Applicants Can Now Check Status of Property Tax/Rent Rebate Online

Individuals applying for tax rebates under the state's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program can now check the status of their application using a newly launched Web feature. Six weeks after a resident submits an application, he or she may visit the site to check the status. To use the system, individuals will need to have their Social Security number, date of birth, and the anticipated rebate amount. The new service will allow applicants to confirm the status, rebate amount and the date a rebate is expected to be mailed or directly deposited. The Department of Revenue will begin distributing rebate checks on July 1. To check the status of a rebate, individuals can visit and click on "Where's My Property Tax Refund?"


Who will Obama pick?

Will ACORN conduct 2010 Census?

House Republican Leader John Boehner today issued the following statement on the public hearing of Robert Groves to be the Director of the Census before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs:
The Census is a constitutional exercise that is fundamental to our democracy and must not be influenced by partisan politics. I appreciate Mr. Groves' opening comments and his responses to direct questions to commit, under oath, that statistical sampling and statistical adjustment will not be a part of the 2010 Census nor will such practices be a part of the 2020 Census. However, our concerns about the Census potentially being tainted by political influence remain, and if Mr. Groves is confirmed, I look forward to regular reports from him to illustrate that the Census is free of partisan interference and manipulation.

I am also greatly concerned that the Census would enter into a national partnership with ACORN, an organization rife with internal corruption and that was responsible for multiple instances of vote fraud in the 2008 presidential election. Asking an organization like ACORN to help recruit the 1.4 million temporary workers that will go door-to-door is akin to inviting the fox into the henhouse. Corrupt organizations like ACORN should have no part in this process and, if Mr. Groves is confirmed, he should sever all ties between the Census and ACORN and its affiliated organizations.

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Newspaper endorses Melvin for PA Supreme Court

The state's leading conservative newspaper, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, weighs in on judicial races on Tuesday's Primary Election ballot.

The newspaper is endorsing Joan Orie Melvin for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

From the editorial:
We've long admired her dedication to the law and her moxie. To wit, she filed a lawsuit seeking to refuse the scandalous 2005 pay raise. She lost. But she continues to return the untaxed portion of the raise to commonwealth coffers. Now that's fealty to principle.
The newspaper also recommends two of the six Democrats seeking three nominations for Pennsylvania Superior Court (the three Republicans are unopposed) and two Republicans for Commonwealth Court.

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

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Democrats Build Airport For No One

U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent endorses Toomey for Senate

The man who succeeded former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey in representing Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District had nothing but nice things to say about his predecessor in a radio interview.

Moderate Republican Congressman Charlie Dent publicly endorsed Toomey for the U.S. Senate on WAEB this morning.

Listen to the endorsement at this link:

Among the compliments Dent offered:
"Pat is a man of great character, integrity, and he has a great intellect."

"Pat can bring people together ... He's a guy that is going to carry the message for the Republicans."

"Pat is the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party for the United States Senate ... He is the front runner, and I believe he's going to be well-positioned and prepared to face whoever the Democrats nominate."

"I'm supporting him because I think he's a fine man, a friend, and I think he's going to be able to pull the Republican Party together. He's going to be able to unite people of different ideological persuasions."

"Pat Toomey, I would tell you, is probably as strong a leader and as knowledgeable as anyone on the federal budget as anybody I've met in Washington, to be perfectly candid."
This is a key endorsement because Dent is definitely not in the conservative camp that Toomey represents. It should open up the floodgates of endorsements for Toomey from the Pennsylvania GOP establishment. Like it or not, Toomey is the Republican Party's best chance to win a Senate seat in 2010.

Toomey released the following statement:
"I am honored to have Congressman Dent's support and I look forward to him playing an important role in my campaign. Charlie Dent is a great leader in Pennsylvania and in Congress. His dedication to his constituents and his country, his compassion, and his integrity are the reason Pennsylvania voters of all political stripes reelect him year after year."

"I look forward to campaigning with Congressman Dent over the next year and a half in support of our shared values. Together, we will win the fight to return prosperity to Pennsylvania taxpayers."

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Harvard economist: Obama tax hikes could kill recovery

"The barrage of tax increases proposed in President Barack Obama's budget could, if enacted by Congress, kill any chance of an early and sustained recovery," writes Martin Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan and a professor of economics at Harvard University.

From Feldstein's latest column in The Wall Street Journal:
Even if the proposed tax increases are not scheduled to take effect until 2011, households will recognize the permanent reduction in their future incomes and will reduce current spending accordingly. Higher future tax rates on capital gains and dividends will depress share prices immediately and the resulting fall in wealth will cut consumer spending further. Lower share prices will also raise the cost of equity capital, depressing business investment in plant and equipment.

The Obama budget calls for tax increases of more than $1.1 trillion over the next decade. Official budget calculations disguise the resulting fiscal drag by treating Mr. Obama's proposal to cancel the 2011 income tax increases for taxpayers with incomes below $250,000 as if they are real tax cuts. The plan to modify the Alternative Minimum Tax to avoid increases for some taxpayers is also treated as a tax cut.

But those are false tax cuts in which no one's tax bill actually declines. In contrast, the proposed tax increases are very real. And despite the proposed tax increases, the government's new spending and transfer programs would cause the annual budget deficit in 2019 to exceed $1 trillion, or 5.7% of GDP.
Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

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National debt under Obama

The Heritage Foundation has a terrific Web site offering clear and concise information on the path Barack Obama is taking this county. Hint: It's a steep drop over the cliff.

Follow the link below for more:

Charts On Federal Spending, Taxes Make For Wealth of Data to Share

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PA travel ban violated again

Gov. Ed Rendell imposed a hiring freeze last fall to help deal with the state's massive budget deficit. The ban has been violated at least 100 times, including by Rendell himself.

Rendell also imposed a ban on out-of-state travel. That's been violated too.

The latest example of government workers taking expensive trips was uncovered by a Pittsburgh television station.

From the station's Web site:
A Team 4 investigation finds pension fund employees staying at five-star resorts in London, Paris and even Monte Carlo -- and the way they're paying for these trips is raising concern with top state officials.

Earlier this year, Team 4's Paul Van Osdol found state employees spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on trips after Gov. Ed Rendell ordered a travel ban.

Officials of the two big state pension funds say they've been able to get around the travel ban because taxpayers are not paying for most of their trips. Instead, the investment managers hired by the state are covering the cost.

Here's the catch: The state employees traveling to these exotic places are the same people whose job it is to keep an eye on the money managers paying for the trips.
Read the full story, "Team 4 Investigates: Pa. Pension Workers Taking Lavish Trips," or watch the actuall report at the station's Web site.


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Modern Day Robber Barons

Chester County GOP losing ground

Primary elections in Pennsylvania are basically private events hosted by the respective political party. Under the state's closed-primary system, registered Democrats and registered Republicans will pick their fall candidates on May 19.

One of the main roles of the party chairman, both at the county and state level, is to avoid costly and potentially divisive infighting among candidates in their own party.

In this regard, Chester County GOP Chairman Joseph "Skip" Brion has failed.

A lot of attention has been given to the divided Republican Party in neighboring Montgomery County, where GOP turncoat Jim Matthews and former party chief Ken Davis have done irreparable damage to the party in recent years, opening the door for Democrats. A similar pattern is emerging in Chester County.

Brion is hurting the GOP in Chester County by allowing primary challengers against two incumbent Republican county row officers. Nothing good will come out of the races. Half the voters will go away mad and may not support the winner in November, helping the Democrats in the end.

Because of Brion's inability to show leadership, incumbent Chester County Treasurer Alan J. Randzin is facing a primary challenge from Ann Duke; and incumbent Clerk of Courts Teena A. Peters is being challenged by Frank McElwaine.

The Republican Party has been playing defense for most of Brion's tenure and primary fights will only weaken the party at a time it needs a united response to the growing threat from Democrats.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

School consolidation hearing planned for May 18

School officials and some of the people who might decide on the consolidation of school districts will meet Monday at the Montgomery County Community College West Campus in Pottstown.

The House Republican Policy Committee is conducting the hearing at the request of state Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist.

The hearing takes place at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.

"Many people are interested in the proposal to consolidate Pennsylvania's school districts, but I have also spoken to those who are alarmed by the plan," Quigley said in written statement.

"School property taxes are a huge burden on people, but I am not convinced that school consolidation is the answer to lowering taxes," Quigley said. "Whatever method we choose to address the issue of school taxes, we must ensure that the priority remains providing the best education to Pennsylvania’s students."

Although the public is allowed into the hearing, it will not be an opportunity for the public to address the committee.

Five speakers have been scheduled to participate: John Armato, director of community relations for Pottstown School District; Reed Lindley, assistant superintendent of the Pottstown School District; Marsha Hurda, superintendent of the Spring-Ford School District; James Testerman, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association and Greg White, an education consultant.

Consolidating Pennsylvania's public school districts from 500 to 100 was first proposed by Gov. Ed Rendell during his annual budget address in February. His plan involves creating a commission that would have on year to formulate two consolidation strategies. If the legislature does not approve either plan, Rendell would allow the state board of education to choose the strategy.

The issue of school consolidation was studied in 2006 by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee and the study found that districts of less than 3,000 students offer the most cost-effective scenarios for merger, Quigley said.

Based on enrollment figures and geography, the commission only identified 80 districts for possible consolidation.

"Certainly, if consolidation would lower school district operating costs without impacting the quality of education, it deserves examination," Quigley said. "I am looking forward to hearing the testimony of those who are closes to the issue."

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GOP Supreme Court race tops May 19 ballot

Which carries more weight among Republican voters: The state GOP committee's endorsement or the backing of two of the state's biggest newspapers?

Three Republicans are running for the party's nomination to seek a vacant seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. All three are currently serving on the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

The state party is backing Judge Joan Orie Melvin. The other candidates are Judge Cheryl Lynn Allen and Judge Paul Panepinto.

All three candidates earned a "highly recommended" designation from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, but Allen has picked up key media endorsements

Allen is recommended by two of the state's leading liberal newspapers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Will the endorsements help or hurt Allen? We'll find out on May 19.

Allen has also been endorsed by LifePAC and Firearms Owners Against Crime.

Melvin has her own impressive list of endorsements including: PA Chamber of Business and Industry; PA State Troopers Association; PA State Corrections Officers Association and the NRA.

Panepinto is endorsed by LIFEPAC 2009 and the NRA.

The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Jack Panella, also a Superior Court judge, who is running unopposed.

For more on Allen, check out her campaign Web site.

For more on Melvin, check out her campaign Web site.

For more on Panepinto, visit his campaign Web site.

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Struggling to get by in Ed Rendell's Pennsylvania

A new report says more Pennsylvanians are struggling to survive economically.

From an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
One in five Pennsylvania households do not make enough money to meet basic needs even though many live above the federal poverty level, according to a study released Monday.

"It's not a lack of work effort that's a problem," Diana M. Pearce, director of the Center for Women's Welfare at the University of Washington, said during a telephone news conference. "It's the lack of adequate wages."

Pearce is author of "Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania," a study conducted in cooperation with the nonprofit PathWays PA for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The report found that twice as many of the state's 3.4 million households are having a hard time making ends meet compared to data based on the federal standard for poverty. Just one in 10 households in the state lives in poverty, according to the federal standard.
How can this be?

Hasn't Gov. Ed Rendell increased state spending by $8 billion since he took office in 2003? Isn't he a Democrat and don't Democrats help the little people?

Where did all that money go?

How else can we deal with rising poverty except spend more money? That's what Ed Rendell has been saying and doing for the past 6 years. That's what Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats keep saying.

I'm confused. I'm beginning to lose faith in Democratic politicians. I can't believe they've misled us all these years. I can't believe they waste our tax dollars on pork projects that don't benefit working people. I'm not voting for Rendell again.

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

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Give GOP credit for trying to balance state budget

Pennsylvania Senate Democrats, pandering to their various special interest groups, have launched a full-out assault on Senate Republicans who last week passed a balanced budget that reduces state spending while funding essential services.

The 30-20 vote was along party lines, but it shows that somebody in Harrisburg is serious about the state's fiscal crisis.

Despite a projected $3 billion shortfall in the current General Fund budget, Rendell and Democrats in the Legislature want to increase state spending next year. That's right. They've spent $3 billion more than they've taken in this year and they want to spend more next year.

For a good perspective on state spending, see the following posts at POLICY BLOG, which is affiliated with the Commonwealth Foundation, a non-partisan think tank based in Harrisburg:

PA Senate Budget by the Numbers

Pennsylvania Budget by Department Under Rendell

PA School Districts to Get 12% Increase in Support

Will Pennsylvanians Starve Without Farm Subsidies?

Shining Some Light on Pennsylvania Spending

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Not the same without newspapers

The Newspaper Project, the grassroots organization launched in February to support a constructive exchange of information and ideas about the future of newspapers, has released this new animated video by Bill Hinds, creator of the Tank McNamara cartoon series.

For more on The Newspaper Project, visit

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS


Monday, May 11, 2009

A guide to Democratic Doublespeak

Syndicated columnist Debra J. Saunders offers a handy guide to understanding Democratic Doublespeak in the Age of Obama.

From her latest column:
Doublespeak is alive as Democrats pull the strings in the White House and Congress 24 years after 1984. What do they mean when they engage in Democrat-speak?

I know I'm not worthy, but I've got an assignment, so I shall borrow a page from Ambrose Bierce, not with a Devil's Dictionary, but a Democrats' Dictionary. The easy part: There's no dif.
Here are some examples Saunders has uncovered:

Academic freedom: Full license to espouse liberal thought to unformed minds.

Bailout: Billions upon billions -- trillions really -- of government aid doled out to financial institutions to remind voters of the need for strong regulation.

Bipartisanship: 40 Republicans and 60 Democrats.

Clean coal: What Santa Claus puts in Democrats' stockings so they don't have to admit that their global-warming agenda is anti-coal.

CNN: Unbiased news network whose reporters battle "right-wing" media.

Overspending before 2009, or spending practices that President Obama inherited. For current usage, see: Investment.

Extremists: Abortion opponents.

Read the full column, "The Democrats' Dictionary," at

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Red ink flows under Obama

Take away this man's credit card!!! Four months in office and Barack Obama has set new records for deficit spending. And it's going to get worse. The government can't print enough money to keep Obama's head above the pool of red ink bleeding from Washington, D.C., under Democratic Party control.

From The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON – The government will have to borrow nearly 50 cents for every dollar it spends this year, exploding the record federal deficit past $1.8 trillion under new White House estimates. Budget office figures released Monday would add $89 billion to the 2009 red ink — increasing it to more than four times last year's all-time high as the government hands out billions more than expected for people who have lost jobs and takes in less tax revenue from people and companies making less money.

The unprecedented deficit figures flow from the deep recession, the Wall Street bailout and the cost of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus bill — as well as a seemingly embedded structural imbalance between what the government spends and what it takes in.

As the economy performs worse than expected, the deficit for the 2010 budget year beginning in October will worsen by $87 billion to $1.3 trillion, the White House says. The deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps.

Just a few days ago, Obama touted an administration plan to cut $17 billion in wasteful or duplicative programs from the budget next year. The erosion in the deficit announced Monday is five times the size of those savings.

For the current year, the government would borrow 46 cents for every dollar it takes to run the government under the administration's plan. In 2010, it would borrow 35 cents for every dollar spent.
Read the full story here.

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GOP: Closing Gitmo a 'dangerous gamble'

Report: Rendell forgot to disclose $2,000 in slots winnings

Gov. Ed Rendell, who signed the 2004 bill legalizing gambling in Pennsylvania, hit the jackpot last year to the tune of $2,000 while gambling at one of the state's slot parlors.

The news is being reported more than a year later because Rendell neglected to report the winnings on his 2008 Statement of Financial Interest, a form elected officials are required to fill out every year.

The governor's spokesman called it a "clerical oversight." You don't say. I'd like to believe him but this is Ed Rendell we're talking about.

From a story in The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Rendell reported his winnings on his 1040 tax form, which he filed jointly with his wife, a federal appellate judge, to the IRS last month. (The couple reported $446,682 in adjusted gross income in 2008, primarily from their government salaries.)

Tax returns are not public documents, though Rendell has provided them when reporters have asked.

If he had not released his return this year, the public might never have known about his winnings. That's because Rendell did not disclose them on his 2008 Statement of Financial Interest, a public document filed with the state Ethics Commission last week.

The commission considers gambling winnings income, and public officials must report them on their financial interest forms if they exceed $1,300 annually.

Chuck Ardo, Rendell's press secretary, said aides who help the governor fill out such disclosures simply had failed to note the winnings on his seven-page ethics report. Ardo called it a "clerical oversight."
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

The $328,000 photo you paid for

The White House late Friday released the infamous NYC flyover photo ... and released the top Barack Obama aide responsible for the fiasco.

The April 27 photo-op, which panicked New Yorkers, ended up costing taxpayers $328,835. It also cost Louis Caldera, the White House official who authorized the stunt, his job as head of the White House Military Office.

From The Associated Press:
As former Army Secretary Caldera took the fall for the flyover, the White House put out the findings of an internal investigation that portrayed him as out of the loop in a cycle of missed messages and questionable judgments as plans for the photo shoot proceeded.

Caldera said he didn't know Air Force One would fly at 1,000 feet during the April 27 photo promotion, according to the investigation findings. He also failed to read an e-mail message describing the operation and seemed unaware of the potential for public fear, the findings said.

Local officials had been notified in advance. But it was a shock to New Yorkers who looked up to see the Boeing 747 and its fighter jet escort flying near the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan's financial district, a terrifying reminder of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which jets brought down the two towers of the World Trade Center.
Just another day in the most incompetent administration to ever occupy the White House.

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ACORN scandal in Pennsylvania

The mainstream media covered up that fact that the Obama administration funneled millions of dollars into ACORN as part of the February "stimulus" bill. Is it payback for helping Obama win last November's election despite widespread allegations of voter fraud on the part of the left-wing activist group? To borrow a phrase from Obama's former spiritual leader, the chickens are coming home to roost.

From an article by Walter F. Roche Jr. in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
A worker for a grassroots organization was so eager to fulfill a voter registration quota during the presidential campaign that she filed a fraudulent application in the name of a county elections employee, but got the Social Security number wrong, prosecutors said Thursday.

In all, seven canvassers for ACORN in Allegheny County are accused of forging 51 signatures and violating election laws in connection with last year's registration efforts, said District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.

Zappala said a six-month investigation by county police and the Pittsburgh FBI office found clear evidence of an illegal quota system in use by ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. The investigation continues, and the arrests mark the end of only one phase, he said.

"We're comfortable from the evidence that we can show there was a quota system," Zappala said. "These people all had an association with ACORN."
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

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What's behind the flu frenzy?

The Obama recession continues

More bad economic news the Obama media may not get around to telling you about:
U.S. Unemployment Rate Jumps to 8.9 Percent (the highest since late 1983).

U.S. employers shed 539,000 jobs in April.

2.6 million Americans have lost their jobs since Obama became president.

Here's a month-by-month look at job losses under President Obama:

January: 741,000

February: 681,000

March: 699,000

April: 539,000
How's that stimulus spending working out so far? Even if Obama's prediction of creating 3 million new jobs is real, that just brings us back to square one. What about the millions of others who lost their jobs during the current recession?

Check out this post at NewsBusters about how the Obama media is manipulating economic news to cover Obama's incompetence.

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State Capitol Roundup for May 8

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

State Court Puts Gaming Interests Above Those of the Public

A recent ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to permit contributions to political campaigns from gaming interests has several House members worried that the gaming industry may soon be able to exert undue influence over policy makers. Some House Democrats want to study the ruling, while others believe donations could continue to occur in the interim. Rep. Curt Schroder (R-Chester County), Republican chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, is already moving forward with legislation to address the court's concerns. In the meantime, lawmakers from both parties are calling upon their colleagues in the General Assembly to adopt a self-imposed moratorium on fundraising from gaming interests.

Senate Passes $27.3 Billion Budget

The state Senate passed a $27.3 billion budget which ensures necessary government operations continue functioning in these challenging economic times. The Senate-passed budget spends approximately $1.7 billion less than Gov. Ed Rendell's and the House Democrats budget proposal, which increases state spending despite an estimated $3 billion deficit. Revenue collections in recent months have come in far lower than projected. The Senate's version funds essential government functions and does not raise taxes. House Republicans are hopeful their colleagues will bring the budget to a vote before the June 30 deadline.

Lawmakers Propose to Pay Down Pension Spike with Stimulus Funds

Several House Republicans introduced a proposal this week to allocate $435 million in federal stimulus, funds that are currently set aside for "unspecified uses," to pay down a looming public school employee pension spike. The legislation would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to allocate federal stimulus money to school districts to remit to the Public School Employees' Retirement Fund (PSERS). Over the past two years, the state has reduced its contribution to PSERS by $116.7 million, or about 26 percent. Left unanswered, residents could be subject to an avoidable increase in school property taxes. For the latest legislative information, visit

Negative Effects of Government-run Health Care Focus of Committee Hearing

The cost and rationing of care in universal, government-run health care programs and the inherent weaknesses in such expensive systems were the focus of testimony presented to the House Republican Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York), this week. The overwhelming themes throughout the hearing were the unforeseeable expenses promised by the implementation of a universal health care system and the long waiting lists for patients to see physicians and receive treatments. The hearing was the second held by the committee and Health Care Task Force to better determine how the state should proceed in ensuring residents' access to affordable and quality health care services. House Republicans will be announcing legislation to meet these goals in the near future. For more information, visit