Ann Coulter: Liberal Lies About National Health Care, Part 2
Best-selling author and columnist Ann Coulter has launched a series of columns exposing "Liberal Lies About National Health Care."
The first part covered five major lies:
(1) National health care will punish the insurance companies. 2) National health care will "increase competition and keep insurance companies honest" -- as President Barack Obama has said. (3) Insurance companies are denying legitimate claims because they are "villains." (4) National health care will give Americans "basic consumer protections that will finally hold insurance companies accountable" -- as Barack Obama claimed in his op/ed in the Times. (5) Government intervention is the only way to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The Mother of All Tea Parties is about to hit Washington, D.C.
Americans who believes in limited government, want to see lower taxes, less government and more freedom are invited to join the March on Washington scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009.
The 9-12 March on Washington national coordinators are FreedomWorks.org; TeaPartyPatriots.org; and Grassfire.org/Resistnet.com
They are being supported by a who's who of conservative, anti-tax, libertarian, free-market and patriotic organizations.
POLICY BLOG has a information on buses scheduled to take Pennsylvania protesters to the event.
From the official protest Web site:
"It's time to take the tea party movement directly to Washington, D.C. Please join thousands of local organizers and grassroots Americans from across the country as we gather in our nation’s capital to deliver a message to the politicians: Enough!
We've had enough of the out of control spending, the bailouts, the growth of big government and the soaring deficits. And we reject the future tax increases to pay for all of this spending and debt down the road. We are gathering on 9-12-2009 to deliver our message in person that we’ve had enough!"
New Poll: 57% Would Like to Replace Entire Congress
Job approval numbers for members of Congress have plummeted since the Democrats took control after the 2006 election. Now a majority of Americans say we should flush all of Congress away and start over.
From Rasmussen Reports:
If they could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress, just 25% of voters nationwide would keep the current batch of legislators.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% would vote to replace the entire Congress and start all over again. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure how they would vote.
Overall, these numbers are little changed since last October. When Congress was passing the unpopular $700-billion bailout plan in the heat of a presidential campaign and a seeming financial industry meltdown, 59% wanted to throw them all out. At that time, just 17% wanted to keep them.
There has been a bit of a partisan shift since last fall. With Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress, it's not surprising to find that the number of Democrats who would vote to keep the entire Congress has grown from 25% last fall to 43% today. In fact, a modest plurality of Democrats would now vote to keep the legislators. Last fall, a plurality of Democrats were ready to throw them all out.
That's the minimum number of Pennsylvania jobs that would be lost if the Waxman-Markey bill, better known as Cap-and-Trade, is passed by the Senate. The House already approved the bill and President Obama said he would sign it if passes both chambers of Congress.
The 71,500 estimate comes from the National Association of Manufacturers, which commissioned a study to look at the impact of the Waxman-Markey bill in each state. The job loss number could go as high as 97,500 in Pennsylvania.
More from the study:
Higher energy prices would have ripple impacts on prices throughout the economy and would impose a financial cost on households. Pennsylvania would see disposable household income reduced by $148 to $285 per year by 2020 and $926 to $1,507 by 2030.
The study concluded that bill would cots 2.4 million jobs across the United States.
To review the complete study, visit the National Association of Manufacturers Web site, http://www.nam.org/
Taxpayers must fight Rendell and the 'spending interests'
Lowman S. Henry has some sound advice for Pennsylvania taxpayers: "If YOU don't speak up now, then the outcome of the budget crisis will be determined by those who do."
While it appears nothing much is happening while the state budget impasse marks its ninth week, Gov. Ed Rendell and the "spending interests" are working feverishly to weaken the resolve of Republican lawmakers, who have taken a "No New Taxes" stance.
From Henry's most recent post at his Lincoln Blog:
The spending interests are deploying a new tactic in their effort to inflict higher taxes on the working families of Pennsylvania: they are picketing the offices of their local state senators and state representatives and calling a compliant news media in for coverage.
In an effort to put pressure on fiscally responsible legislators, the spending interests are now resorting to pickets and demonstrations all the while chanting the mantra that it is time to end the stand-off.
I agree the budget stalemate should come to an end - but it should do so with state government living within OUR means and not raising any taxes. Otherwise, the budget crisis can go on until Easter if necessary.
Rendell has been manufacturing all sorts of doomsday scenarios for weeks now. In recent days school district officials - whose coffers are currently flush with local tax revenue - have be whining like spoiled children over the delay in state money, and over the fact Republicans want to give them less of an increase in their allowance, er, subsidies than they want.
Henry suggests Pennsylvania taxpayers give Rendell and the "spending interests" a taste of their own medicine.
"The tactic of demonstrating in front of legislative district offices is one taxpayers and taxpayer groups should emulate. Why should the spending interests be the only ones who make their voices heard?"
It would benefit every taxpayer to take time to call, write, visit - or take to the streets - in front of his/her legislator and senator's offices to either thank them for standing firm against tax hikes, or call upon them to put taxpayers first.
Here's this week's State Capitol Roundup courtesy of state Rep. Bob Mensch, R-147:
GOP Leader Smith Challenges Democrats to Bring House Back Into Session to Deal With Budget
House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) this week called on House Democrat leaders to bring state lawmakers back to Harrisburg and get to work on the state budget, which is now 58 days late. Smith said the only way to resolve the disagreement among lawmakers and the governor about how much the state can afford to spend this year is to vote on it. He challenged Democrat leaders to run their proposals to increase taxes on Pennsylvanians. If there are not enough votes to support the tax hikes, then it's time to debate a fiscally responsible alternative, such as House Bill 1943, offered by Republican Appropriations Chairman Mario Civera. The plan increases the state's investment in public education and funds all vital state programs without increasing taxes. For more information on the Republican budget proposal, visit www.PAHouseGOP.com
Reining in Welfare Fraud Will Help Balance State Budget
In the wake of Democrat Auditor General Jack Wagner's recent report of mismanagement in the state's welfare system, House Republicans are renewing their call for reform to help save taxpayer money and balance the state's budget. An audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's (DPW) special allowance program, which assists welfare recipients in work training, turned up insufficient documentation for 45 percent of the payments reviewed. In one case, a Philadelphia man was paid thousands of dollars to watch his own children. In another, two beauty school students were reimbursed by the state for supplies they never purchased. Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) said this week that evidence of fraud has been building for the last three years, but he has little faith that DPW Secretary Estelle Richman will do anything to address the problem. House Republican Whip Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) is proposing legislation to tighten up the special allowance program, by limiting payments for child care, transportation, union fees, testing fees and professional fees, to reduce incidents of fraud and to ensure that state funds are reaching those truly in need of assistance. For the latest legislative news, visit PAHouseGOP.com
Hmmm ... Two struggling television networks won't accept money to air an advertisement critical of Obamacare. And I thought they were in business to make money. Didn't ABC give Obama free air time to promote his government-run plan? Just keep telling yourself there's no liberal bias in the media.
ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, announced today it has endorsed Republican state Rep. Bob Mensch for the 24th Senatorial District.
Mensch, who has represented the 147th House District in Montgomery County since 2007, will face Democrat Anne Scheuring in a Sept. 29 special election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Robert Wonderling, who resigned to head the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
Scheuring is a newcomer to politics, serving on the Lansdale Borough Council since January.
The winner of the special election will complete the remainder of Wonderling's term, which runs through the end of 2010. Candidates will have to compete again in November 2010 for a full four-year term in the state Senate.
The 24th Senate District includes parts of Montgomery, Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks counties.
"Rep. Mensch's election to the state Senate would be a natural extension of his dedicated public service in the state House," said Gene Barr, PA Chamber vice president of government and public affairs.
Barr said Mensch understands the concerns of job creators and has voted consistently for policies that promote economic and job growth to the benefit of his constituents and all Pennsylvanians.
"With an economy in crisis, it is essential to have someone in office who understands what it will take to move Pennsylvania forward," said Barr, noting as well Mensch's past 28 years of experience with AT&T.
"For these reasons, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry wholeheartedly supports his state Senate candidacy. Constituents in Montgomery County will be well served by Mensch as their senator."
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, serving more than 24,000 members and customers statewide. For more information, visit the group's Web site at www.pachamber.org
Six months of failure under the Democratic leadership of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid has convinced 7 in 10 Americans that big government liberalism is not the way to go, according to a new poll.
From the latest Rasmussen Reports:
Seventy percent (70%) of likely voters now favor a government that offers fewer services and imposes lower taxes over one that provides more services with higher taxes, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
That’s up five points over the past month and is the highest level measured in nearly three years.
Just 19% would prefer a government that provides more services in exchange for higher taxes, down five points from July and the lowest level in over two years. This marks the first time the percentage of voters who prefer this type of government has fallen below 20%.
Most Republicans (88%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (78%) like a government with lower taxes and fewer services, and 48% of Democrats agree. However, one-in-three Democrats (34%) prefer more government services and higher taxes.
White House estimates of a $9 trillion budget deficit over the next 10 years ($2 trillion more than the White House predicted just a few months ago) are still way off the real deficit projections, according to an editorial in The Wall Street Journal.
The Congressional Budget Office predicts that debt held by the public as a share of GDP, which was 40.8% in 2008, will rise to 67.8% in 2019 — and then keep climbing after that, says the newspaper.
The CBO says this is "unsustainable," but even this forecast may be optimistic, the newspaper says.
From the editorial:
The real fiscal crisis in Washington is that neither Congress nor the White House are offering any escape from these trillion-dollar deficits. Mr. Obama has not called for automatic and immediate spending cuts. He has not proposed eliminating hundreds of wasteful programs. To the contrary, the White House still hasn't ruled out another fiscal stimulus, as if a $1.6 trillion deficit isn't Keynesian stimulus enough. The Administration's celebrated scrub through the budget this summer identified $17 billion in agency savings. That's what Uncle Sam is borrowing every three days.
Obamanomics has turned into an unprecedented experiment in runaway government with no plan to pay for it, save, perhaps, for a big future toll on the middle class such as a value-added tax. White House budget director Peter Orszag promises that next year's budget will have a "plan to put the nation on a fiscally sustainable path." Hide the children.
Attorney Gary Silow, a candidate for Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge, will be the studio guest on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM
You can call the station with questions or comments at 610-326-4000.
If you can't receive the radio signal, you can listen to the broadcast online at www.pottsmerc.com or www.1370wpaz.com
Silow has been practicing law in Montgomery County for the past 29 years.
The non-partisan Judiciary Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association has rated Silow "HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" after an exhaustive review of his career.
Silow graduated from Abington High School, with honors from the Pennsylvania State University, and from Temple Law School. He has been a member of the Montgomery Bar Association for more than 28 years, and has been a practicing Montgomery County attorney since graduating from law school.
Following his tenure as an Assistant District Attorney in Montgomery County, Silow began a private practice in the Jenkintown area. Silow has lived in Montgomery County for 48 years.
Harris Poll: Americans Give Obama Negative Ratings on 12 Issues
Bad news across the board for Barack Obama and his failed presidency from the latest Harris Poll:
As President Obama's overall job approval remains just barely positive, when presented with a list of 12 issues he is currently facing, the American public believes that the job he is doing on all 12 of them is negative. The one that is closest to an even split among adults is reducing the threat of terrorist attacks against the United States where just over half of Americans (51%) give the president negative ratings and 49% give him positive ratings.
These are some of the findings of The Harris Poll, a new nationwide survey of 2,498 U.S. adults surveyed online between August 10 and 18, 2009 by Harris Interactive.
Looking at the economic issue overall, three in five Americans (61%) give President Obama negative ratings on the economy, while 39% give him positive ones. In June, 43% of Americans gave President Obama positive ratings on the economy. When it comes to specific economic issues, the news is worse for the president. On regulating the financial system, 63% give President Obama negative marks and on taxes two-thirds of Americans (67%) give him negative marks. Seven in ten Americans give the president negative ratings on employment/ unemployment (69%) and social security (70%) while over three-quarters (77%) give him negative marks on the job he is doing on the federal budget.
Looking at the environment, 57% of Americans give President Obama negative marks for his handling of that issue. When it comes to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public is of a similar mind. Almost three in five U.S. adults (58%) give President Obama negative marks on his handling of the war in Iraq and 59% give him negative ratings on his handling of the war in Afghanistan. More than three in five Americans give President Obama negative ratings on the overall job he is doing on education (63%) and health care (65%).
There is also a generation divide on these issues. The youngest generation, Echo Boomers (those aged 18-32) are less likely to give President Obama negative ratings on 11 of the 12 issues. On one, the environment, Baby Boomers are the most "positive" on the job the president has done. In comparison, Matures (those aged 64 and older) and more likely to give President Obama negative ratings on 11 of the 12 issues. On social security, Gen Xers (those aged 33-44) are the most negative.
John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, offers an excellent analysis of the growing anger exhibited by Americans toward the political class in Washington.
From his recent column in The Wall Street Journal:
Why are they so angry? The reasons are manifold, but the single biggest reason is the arrogance of our elected officials in Washington. Think about it. For the past seven months a small group of politicians has been meeting behind-closed-doors with powerful special interests to decide whether you will be able to keep your current insurance, where you will be directed to get new insurance and at what price, what fines you and your employer will have to pay if you don't conform, and how they're going to get your doctor to change the way he or she practices medicine. In the process, they never asked you what you thought about anything. If you are not mad about this, odds are you don't understand the situation.
Rep. Rohrer blasts Rendell plan to expand sales tax
For the past six years, Gov. Ed Rendell has opposed efforts by state Rep. Sam Rohrer's efforts to expand the state sales tax in order to eliminate school property taxes.
Now that Gov. Rendell is floating the idea of expanding the state sales tax to help cover his $3.2 billion budget deficit, Rohrer is among the first state lawmakers to publicly condemn the idea.
From a press released issued today by Rohrer, a Republican who represents the 128th District in Berks County:
"The governor seems unable to understand that, on taxes, no means no," Rohrer said. "There is only one acceptable solution to the ongoing budget stalemate. The state must reduce spending to match its income. State government should not be adding to the burden of working families by raising taxes during this economic recession. That would be cold-hearted and wrong. Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve a compassionate government that does not kick them while they're down."
Rohrer is the Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee and the sponsor of the School Property Tax Elimination Act (SPTEA), a plan to free Pennsylvania homeowners from the burdensome property tax. Rohrer's plan would use an expanded sales tax, among other revenue sources, to fund education in the Commonwealth.
Rohrer warned residents not to be confused by the governor's proposal. While Rohrer's is about eliminating property taxes, the governor's is about expanding the state budget.
"My plan offers the hope of a property tax-free Pennsylvania," Rohrer said. "The governor's proposal is just another attempt to dig deeper into the pockets of taxpayers. He just wants more money to spend on more government."
Rendell is proposing the sales tax expansion after his earlier proposal to increase the state income tax was shot down by the General Assembly.
"The governor just doesn't get it," Rohrer said. "Whether it's an income tax, a sales tax or any other tax hike proposal he cares to offer, people just can't afford it right now. Instead of always expecting taxpayers to sacrifice and do more with less, the governor might actually have to sacrifice for a change."
Rohrer also noted it would be interesting to see which House Democrats would rise to support the governor's call for an expansion in the state sales tax to pay for additional state government spending.
"In the past, some House Democrats have adamantly opposed my plan to use a sales tax expansion to eliminate school property taxes," Rohrer said. "Will those same lawmakers now rise to support the governor's proposal to expand the tax to pay for more government? If that's the case, they would essentially be saying that they'd support a sales tax expansion to help the governor, but not to help homeowners. That's one heck of a message to send to property taxpayers in your district."
Rohrer said he will encourage his colleagues in the General Assembly who have supported the SPTEA to oppose the governor's sales tax expansion.
"The sales tax was instituted in 1953 for education only. It should remain for education only," Rohrer said. "It should not be used as a back door into the pockets of taxpayers to pay for more government spending."
House GOP Leader: Democrats still want to raise taxes on PA residents
House Republican Leader Sam Smith is warning that Gov. Ed Rendell is working on another sneaky tax increase as the state's budget crisis enters its ninth week.
Smith issued the following statement regarding the Sales and Use Tax expansion proposal being offered by the governor as a means to fund his bloated state spending proposal.
For 55 days, Pennsylvania has not had a full operating budget in place, and the latest official budget proposal put forth by the Democrats increases state spending to $29.1 billion, far more than is supported by anticipated state revenues and federal stimulus dollars.
"One way or another, the governor wants your money. In this climate, more taxes can be devastating for Pennsylvania families and employers.
"Last week, Democrats were looking to tax legal services and limit access to the courts.
"Now, we learn 'everything is on the table,' and they have a list of items, including many other 'services' they are looking to tax for more revenues – including each and every ATM transaction.
"Newspapers and magazines; movie, sports and theater tickets; museums, historic sites and the zoo will all have the state Sales and Use Tax added to their costs just to increase state spending. Research and development, advertising, and administrative services will be taxed under the governor’s plan. In order to pay for big government services, Democrats are even looking to tax Unemployment Compensation Claims, mass transit, textbooks, flags and dry cleaning.
"In order to spend, they are looking to tax. More taxes on Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvania employers are wrong and cause harm. Republicans have a better idea.
"House Republicans have introduced the $27.5 billion, no-tax-increase 2009-10 Republican Compromise Budget, House Bill 1943, which includes a $150 million increase for basic education as well as an increase for services to non-public schools; money for hospitals and health care programs that were eliminated from the governor’s proposal; and necessary dollars for human service programs.
"The House Republican proposal is a complete budget that funds the needs and priorities of Pennsylvania. Reflecting the state of the global economy, some may have to do with less, but none will have to do without.
"By using reason and setting realistic priorities, a no-tax-increase budget is indeed possible."
The Montgomery County Bar Association and Montgomery County Bar Foundation are holding a second annual video contest. This year's theme is "There Ought To Be A Law," promoting awareness and respect for law.
Contest participants can enter under two categories: under 18 and over 18. Participants are expected to create a video entry describing a new law they feel should exist or a law that should be changed.
The deadline is Oct. 18. And there will be People's Choice Awards given out.
The winner could walk away $1,000 richer.
The contest is open to everyone who is a resident of Pennsylvania, including licensed lawyers. Those under 18 must have their parents' permission to enter.
Go the the Montgomery County Bar Association Web site for full contest rules.
Nat Hentoff is the kind of hard-core liberal who should have no problem embracing Obamcare. But unlike most members of Congress, Hentoff has read the various provisions in Obamacare ... and he's scared to death about a government takeover of our health care system.
Keep in mind that we're not talking about Glenn Beck here. This is Nat Hentoff, liberal icon, champion of left-wing causes for decades.
Excerpts from a recent Hentoff's column on Obamacare:
I was not intimidated during J. Edgar Hoover's FBI hunt for reporters like me who criticized him. I railed against the Bush-Cheney war on the Bill of Rights without blinking. But now I am finally scared of a White House administration. President Obama's desired health care reform intends that a federal board (similar to the British model) — as in the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation in a current Democratic bill — decides whether your quality of life, regardless of your political party, merits government-controlled funds to keep you alive. Watch for that life-decider in the final bill. It's already in the stimulus bill signed into law.
No matter what Congress does when it returns from its recess, rationing is a basic part of Obama's eventual master health care plan.
This end-of-life consultation has been stripped from the Senate Finance Committee bill because of democracy-in-action town-hall outcries but remains in three House bills. A specific end-of-life proposal is in draft Section 1233 of H.R. 3200, a House Democratic health care bill that is echoed in two others that also call for versions of "advance care planning consultation" every five years — or sooner if the patient is diagnosed with a progressive or terminal illness.
Who'll let us know what's really being decided about our lives — and what is set into law?
Condemning the furor at town-hall meetings around the country as "un-American," Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are blind to truly participatory democracy — as many individual Americans believe they are fighting, quite literally, for their lives.
I wonder whether Obama would be so willing to promote such health care initiatives if, say, it were 60 years from now, when his children will — as some of the current bills seem to imply — have lived their fill of life years, and the health care resources will then be going to the younger Americans?
Human services providers and the people they serve have been put in a very precarious situation as a result of the state budget impasse. Unfortunately, they have become the new prisoners in the budget battle. When Gov. Ed Rendell signed the so-called interim budget and vetoed funding for vital government services, he released one set of hostages, the state employees, and claimed another. Now human services groups, social services programs, libraries, school districts and students heading off to college this fall, are suffering.
They are suffering, not because lawmakers don't want to fund them but because the governor would rather use them as leverage to get his higher spending and higher taxes. His actions are cruel and lack compassion. With many human service programs and child care centers now on the brink of closure as a result of the governor's actions, Senate Republicans tried to override more than $2 billion of his vetoes. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats voted against the effort, forcing human service providers, their consumers and others to continue going without the funding they need indefinitely.
The budget impasse could end tomorrow and could have ended months ago if the governor would take the approach that millions of Pennsylvanians have already taken during this recession. People have adjusted their lifestyles to live within their means, and the taxpayers of this state have every right to expect state government to do the same! We must encourage economic growth by keeping taxes low in order to see state revenue rebound. Only then will our schools, libraries, human services and other programs have the funding necessary to sustain them.
Unlike the governor, most Pennsylvanians know that a tax increase is not the answer. I will not yield that ground and, in fact, both Republicans and many Democrats in the House and Senate have stood up to the governor on this issue. Pennsylvanians deserve an end to the games and brass knuckle tactics of the Rendell Administration that have prevented a reasonable resolution to this budget.
Here's this week's State Capitol Roundup courtesy of state Rep. Bob Mensch, R-147th:
House Republicans Offer $27.5 Billion Budget Compromise
In an attempt to quickly resolve the budget stalemate and release funds for those depending on them, House Republicans have offered yet another responsible, balanced budget compromise. Developed in conjunction with several House Democrats, the $27.5 billion plan funds vital services, increases funding for education and does not raise taxes. House Republicans are eager to adopt this compromise now as Pennsylvania has entered its eighth week without a final budget. Since Gov. Ed Rendell decided at the beginning of the month to veto billions of dollars in funding from the interim state budget, human service providers and the people they serve have become leverage in the continuing budget crisis he created. College students are also still waiting to see if or when they will get the state grants they were guaranteed. Senate Democrats this week voted against immediately releasing funding for state grants for college students, mental retardation services, rape crisis and domestic violence services, veterans' assistance programs, and mortgage assistance programs as Senate Republicans attempted an override of the governor's veto. For the latest budget news, visit PAHouseGOP.com
Barack Obama begins a 10-day vacation with his job approval numbers continuing to sink.
From Rasmussen Reports:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 29% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-nine percent (39%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -10 This is the first time since July 31 that the President's Approval Index has fallen to negative double digits.
Rep. Reichley Supports Senate Move to Restore Funding, End Crisis
Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh), Republican vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement in response to the Pennsylvania Senate's attempts to override certain line-item vetoes made by Gov. Ed Rendell to Senate Bill 850:
"I support the Senate's attempts Wednesday to fund $2 billion worth of vital services for the citizens of Pennsylvania. This was a responsible effort to ensure that people who rely on needed services from day care centers, from autism, mental health, and drug and alcohol service providers, and from veterans' outreach services can all continue to obtain that assistance. It should be abundantly clear that all those service providers, along with libraries, hospitals, school districts and college students have all been placed at risk to proceed through the fiscal year without funding because of the actions of one person - Governor Rendell.
"The Senate attempted to restore much of what the governor line-item vetoed for his stated intent of continuing the pressure on members of the House and Senate to pass a tax increase to fund more spending. I don't agree with the governor's tactic of cutting this vital funding and delaying state funding for more than 50 days past the end of the fiscal year.
"Delaying passage of crucial budget components will not serve to sway those of us who are standing firm against a tax increase during a recession.
"The governor doesn't seem to understand or care that there is no public support for a tax increase. Those service providers and funding recipients who have been pushed to the brink of ruin need to clearly question the strategy which seeks to make them martyrs on the altar of Governor Rendell's tax hike platform.
"Two times before, House Republicans have offered a compromise budget. We have now introduced this same budget in House Bill 1943. This compromise budget cuts spending by nearly $1 billion and funds essential services without a single tax increase. Admittedly, the funding levels in our compromise bill are at lower levels than last year's budget, but we are in a different economic climate than last year. The governor needs to learn how to tighten his belt and his appetite for spending other people's money."
The Commonwealth Foundation has released a report showing that President Obama's proposed takeover of health care by the federal government would have dramatically negative effects on Pennsylvanians.
The report, written by a research team headed by noted economist and former presidential advisor Dr. Arthur Laffer, entitled, "The Prognosis for National Health Insurance: A Pennsylvania Perspective," finds that President Obama's health care proposal would have the following effects:
* It would add $4,453 in additional health care costs for every man, woman, and child in Pennsylvania.
* Despite the additional $1 trillion in expected health care subsidies, 30 million people nationally would remain uninsured. The cost to reduce the number of uninsured by 16 million is $62,500 per person insured.
* Pennsylvania's economic growth in 2019 compared to the baseline scenario would be reduced by 5.1 percent.
Auditor General Jack Wagner: Potential for massive welfare fraud in PA
One of the reasons for the growing mistrust of government is the fact that there are so many documented examples of money being wasted or handed out without property accountability.
A new audit conducted by the Pennsylvania Auditor General has found that 45% of the payments in the Department of Public Welfare's Special Allowance Program were issued without documented justification.
From a press released issued today by Wagner's office:
Auditor General Jack Wagner said today that a Department of Public Welfare program that provides cash assistance to welfare recipients seeking employment was rife with mismanagement and poor oversight, creating an environment for potential fraud and abuse that could cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
In a special performance audit released today, Wagner's auditors found insufficient documentation to justify 45 percent of the 3,201 special allowance payments examined. Specifically, auditors found insufficient documentation for 163 recipients totaling $564,700 in cash for clothing, child care, tools, transportation and other expenses.
Wagner said his concern over potential fraud stemmed, in part, from the fact that DPW has acknowledged potentially fraudulent handling of special allowance funds in Philadelphia and reported cases to the Office of Inspector General for further investigation.
"With the commonwealth facing its greatest budgetary challenges since the Great Depression, all of us in state government must do everything we can to stretch every dollar and eliminate the potential for waste, fraud and abuse," Wagner said. "Department of Public Welfare management must provide greater leadership and be held accountable for its mishandling of taxpayer dollars, and must ensure that these vital funds are not wasted and are used appropriately so that these funds are available to assist some of Pennsylvania's most vulnerable citizens who are eligible and truly need the benefits."
Rendell urges Senate GOP to 'cancel their vacations, their fun'
Gov. Ed Rendell issued the following statement after Senate Democrats refused Wednesday to join their Republican colleagues to override Rendell's veto of funding for education and social services.
"The Senate Democratic caucus did the right and courageous thing today: they put the next generation before the next election, and they demonstrated a strong and long standing commitment to passing a real and responsible budget for the citizens of this state.
"The failed attempt to override my veto of SB 850 further demonstrates the extreme and politically motivated nature of the position held by the Republican leaders. Once again, I call on them to cancel their vacations, their fun and their fundraisers. Return to Harrisburg. Immediately begin non-stop negotiations. Convene the conference committee. Get real. Lead, negotiate and compromise until a final comprehensive budget is in place for the commonwealth."
Now I'm really confused. I thought Rendell and the Democrats were looking out for the little people. But it was Rendell and the Democrats who refused to fund education and the social services.
Sounds like Rendell and the doormat Democrats are the ones playing politics.
Pennsylvania's ongoing budget stalemate and the growing anger of Americans over Obamacare will be among the topics of discussion on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM
You can call the station with questions or comments at 610-326-4000.
We know what the Pennsylvania Senate has been up to this week. Senate Republicans attempted Wednesday to override Gov. Ed Rendell's veto of education and social services funding.
But what was the House of Representatives up to as the state's budget impasse began its eighth week?
Here are some of the Resolutions that passed the House on Wednesday:
House Resolution 415 - Commending the Chiropractic Fellowship of PA for its educational efforts, and recognizing the month of September 2009 as "Vertebral Subluxation Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania.
House Resolution 417 - Recognizing September 13, 2009 as Commodore John Barry Day in Pennsylvania.
House Resolution 443 - Recognizing September 13, 2009 as Grandparents Day in Pennsylvania.
P.S. - Senate Democrats blocked the GOP attempt to free up money for college tuition grants and homeless shelters, as well as services for veterans, mentally retarded and victims of rape and domestic violence, according to The Associated Press.
The votes on each were 30-19, three votes short of the two-thirds count necessary to override a gubernatorial veto. The votes were nearly along partisan lines, as just one Democrat — Sen. Lisa Boscola of Northampton County — crossed party lines to defy Rendell, the AP reported.
P.P.S - It costs taxpayers between $30,000 and $50,000 a day for every day the Legislature is in session past the end of the last fiscal year (June 30). Is it worth $30,000-$50,000 to have the Legislature proclaim Commodore John Barry Day in PA?
The Workforce Fairness Institute has launched an online petition demanding Sen. Arlen Specter explain his position on the Employee Free Choice Act, aka Card Check.
The group refers to EFCA as Employee FORCED Choice Act.
Pennsylvanians deserve an honest and clear answer on where Senator Specter stands on the elimination of the secret ballot and mandatory, binding arbitration! Sign the online petition at the group's Web site, http://www.workforcefairness.com/SpecterExplain
We all know about the $3.25 billion deficit Gov. Ed Rendell ran up in the General Fund budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year, but Pennsylvania is drowning in red ink when you take into account all other state and local debt.
The Commonwealth Foundation has a terrific post at its Web site about the state of "Debtsylvania."
Pennsylvanians owe $115 billion in state and local government debt, according to the Foundation, which reviewed spending from 2002 to 2008.
No surprise here, but the debt has skyrocketed during the tenure of Gov. Rendell.
"Under Governor Rendell, total state general obligation debt outstanding has increased from $6.8 billion to a projected $9.5 billion with his 2009-10 budget proposal, a 40% increase in seven years," The Foundation says.
To read the full report visit The Commonwealth Foundation Web site.
"Political Talk," a new weekly program offering an inside view of politics and the political process, with an emphasis on and how politics impacts your daily life, will air every Wednesday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM on WCHE 1520 AM and www.wche1520.com
"Political Talk" will be hosted by Mike Pincus, a political consultant and strategist who has advised candidates and managed campaigns on all levels of government in Southeastern Pennsylvania for the past 30+plus years. In addition to his campaign work, Mike co-hosts "Talking Politics" with Tony Phyrillas, an award-winning political columnist for The Pottstown Mercury. "Talking Politics" airs every Thursday, from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, on WPAZ 1370 AM, and www.1370wpaz.com. It can also be heard at www.pottsmerc.com
Mike's guest on the debut of “Political Talk” will be investigative reporter/columnist Christopher Freind, who authors hard-hitting investigative reports and writes a commentary column for The Philadelphia Bulletin. Branded "Freindly Fire,” he tackles issues with fire and passion not often found anywhere else.
Listeners are encouraged to call 610-701-WCHE (9243) with comments or questions during the live show.
With the state budget stalemate dominating the news, hardly anyone is talking about property tax relief. David Baldinger, administrator, of the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition, checks in with this update on the elimination of property taxes front:
It's been quite a while since the last PTCC Update and many of you have written to ask what's happening with HB 1275, the School Property Tax Elimination Act (SPTEA). In a word, nothing. The General Assembly and the House and Senate leadership are far too occupied with budget concerns right now to consider any far-reaching legislation.
The SPTEA has been fully drafted and is still available for co-sponsorship. It is Representative Sam Rohrer's intention to issue a second co-sponsorship memorandum shortly and then formally introduce the bill this autumn.
In the meantime, if you want to help you can contact your Representative to request his or her co-sponsorship of the School Property Tax Elimination Act. The bill currently has 26 sponsors but more is always better. The current sponsors are listed below; please contact your Representative if he or she is not on this list. In many cases you will be offered phony excuses why they won't co-sponsor or why the plan won’t work, but this is almost always because of petty political maneuvering that has nothing to do with the worthiness of the bill. Accept no excuses!
The current School Property Tax Elimination Act co-sponsors:
Rep. Sam Rohrer R-128 (Berks) Rep. Kerry Benninghoff R-171 (Centre, Mifflin) Rep. Karen Boback R-117 (Columbia, Luzerne, Wyoming) Rep. Thomas Caltagirone D-127 (Berks) Rep. Jim Cox R-129 (Berks) Rep. Tom Creighton R-37 (Lancaster) Rep. Gary Day R-187 (Berks, Lehigh) Rep. Gordon Denlinger R-99 (Lancaster) Rep. Russell Fairchild R-85 (Snyder, Union) Rep. Jaret Gibbons D-10 (Beaver, Butler, Lawrence) Rep. Keith Gillespie R-47 (York) Rep. Neal Goodman D-123 (Schuylkill) Rep. Seth Grove R-196 (York) Rep. C. Adam Harris R-82 (Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder) Rep. Rob Kauffman R-89 (Cumberland, Franklin) Rep. Mark Keller R-86 (Franklin, Perry) Rep. Jerry Knowles R-124 (Berks, Schuylkill) Rep. Tim Mahoney D-51 (Fayette) Rep. Bob Mensch R-147 (Montgomery) Rep. Merle Phillips R-108 (Northumberland, Snyder) Rep. Thomas Quigley R-146 (Montgomery) Rep. Dante Santoni D-126 (Berks) Rep. Stan Saylor R-94 (York) Rep. Curt Schroder R-155 (Chester) Rep. Tim Seip D-125 (Berks, Schuylkill) Rep. RoseMarie Swanger R-102 (Lebanon)
The PTCC and the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations send our heartfelt gratitude to those Representatives who have agreed to co-sponsor the SPTEA. If your Representative is on this list, we STRONGLY request that you contact him or her to thank them for their co-sponsorship. These legislators are always very encouraged to know that their help is appreciated.
The White House posts on their blog tonight their explanation on changes to their Reality Check site, and specifically the removal of firstname.lastname@example.org. This post was put on the blog moments ago and was not sent out as a press release from the White House Press Office.
For more on the growing e-mail controversy, including allegations the White House participated in a "spam" campaign, check out Fox News.
The West Chester Daily Local News is reporting that popular Chester County state Sen. Andy Dinniman will not seek the Democratic nomination for the 6th Congressional District in 2010.
Most political observers familiar with the 6th District agree that the nomination was Dinniman's for the taking.
But Dinniman told the Daily Local News he's afraid the 6th District, now held by Republican Jim Gerlach, would be gerrymandered out of existence after the 2010 Census is completed.
"If you ran in the 6th District, you would work hard to get elected, and then your district might disappear," Dinniman told the newspaper.
In other words, Dinniman could have won the seat, but might be out of a job in 2012 or 2014. There has been speculation that those very same concerns led Gerlach to announce he will not seek re-election, opting instead for a run for the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania governor.
The question I have is this: What does Dinniman know about the 2010 Pennsylvania legislative elections? The Pennsylvania Legislature will decide how to redraw the 6th District lines and if Republicans control the Legislature, they can change the 6th to make it easier for a Republican to win.
Is Dinniman conceding that Republicans will take back control of the state House next year? Sure sounds like it.
With Dinniman out, the only announced Democratic candidate is former newspaperman Doug Pike, who has never held elected office.
On the Republican side, longtime state Rep. Curt Schroder and Chester County Recorder of Deeds Ryan Costello have announced their candidacy for the 6th Congressional seat.
Rep. Sam Rohrer on state budget: 'What's Really at Stake?'
State Rep. Sam Rohrer, Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee, has released the first in a series of videos where he will lay out the facts underlying the ongoing budget stalemate between Gov. Ed Rendell and the General Assembly.
Poll: 54% Say No Health Care Reform Better Than Obamacare
Is that a white flag of surrender coming from the White House?
The Associated Press is reporting that the Obama administration may drop a keystone of Obamacare -- a government-run insurance plan -- in order to get something that remotely looks like health care reform through Congress.
The so-called 'public option' provision has been among the most controversial proposals being debated in Congress and has met widespread resistance from the American public.
And speaking of the public, a new Rasmussen poll says the majority of Americans would rather see no health care reform at all rather than swallow the socialized medicine contained in the Obamacare plan.
From Rasmussen Reports:
Thirty-five percent (35%) of American voters say passage of the bill currently working its way through Congress would be better than not passing any health care reform legislation this year. However, a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that most voters (54%) say no health care reform passed by Congress this year would be the better option.
This does not mean that most voters are opposed to health care reform. But it does highlight the level of concern about the specific proposals that Congressional Democrats have approved in a series of Committees. To this point, there has been no Republican support for the legislative effort although the Senate Finance Committee is still attempting to seek a bi-partisan solution.
Not surprisingly, there is a huge partisan divide on this issue. Sixty percent (60%) of Democrats say passing the legislation in Congress would be the best course of action. However, 80% of Republicans take the opposite view. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 23% would like the Congressional reform to pass while 66% would rather the legislators take no action.
Voters who earn less than $20,000 a year are evenly divided but a majority of all other voters would prefer no action. Middle income voters, those who earn from $40,000 to $75,000 a year, are most strongly in favor of taking no action.
Barack Obama's job approval numbers melting with the August heat. His approval rating has dropped 16 percentage points in just six months, worse than any other president in his first term in office since polling began.
The faltering economy and the ill-conceived health care plan have combined to drop Obama's job approval rating to 49%, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports.
"Last November, the President won 53% of the vote nationwide. His overall approval has now been below 53% among likely voters every day for a month," Rasmussen Reports states.
More from Rasmussen Reports:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 30% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -8.
Forty-four percent (44%) of voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on health care. Forty-one percent (41%) trust the Democrats more. While those numbers are essentially a toss-up, they represent a significant shift in opinion. It’s the first time Republicans have held any advantage on health care in years of tracking the issue. In June, the Democrats held a ten-point advantage on health care.
The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. Overall, 48% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. That's up a point from yesterday but down five points from a month ago.
Last November, the President won 53% of the vote nationwide. His overall approval has now been below 53% among likely voters every day for a month.
Just because your Congressman hasn't bothered to read the 1,000-plus pages of the Obamacare bill doesn't mean you can't.
U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach is making it possible for his constituents to spend what's left of their summer reviewing the Democrats' health care bill by dropping off copies of the bill at his district offices and selected libraries.
From a Gerlach press release:
Looking for something to read in addition to a dog-eared paperback novel in the waning days of summer?
Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) has provided copies of the House Democrats' Health Care legislation to his district offices in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties as well as seven public libraries throughout the district.
"This 1,017-page tome may not be as exciting as the titles topping the New York Times Best Sellers List, but the public deserves a chance to read the legislation before Congress votes this fall," Gerlach said. "That's why I believe it's important to make copies of the bill available throughout communities in the 6th District.
"I hate to spoil the ending for readers. However, the plan House Democrat leadership proposes would allow the federal government, rather than doctors and patients, to make more decisions about treatments ranging from knee-replacement surgery to chemotherapy for cancer patients. The plan also will impose higher taxes and burdensome mandates on small business owners, family farmers and other job creators as they attempt to shrug off the effects of the worst recession in more than two decades. That's why I oppose this attempt to usher in an era of government-controlled health care that the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan researchers for Congress, concluded would fail to stem the rising cost of health care and balloon our national debt to staggering levels.”
Below is a list of locations where you can read a copy of the health care bill:
Narberth Community Library 80 Windsor Avenue Narberth, PA 19072 610-664-2878
Montogomery County – Norristown Public Library 1001 Powell Street Norristown, PA 19401 610-278-5100
Pottstown Public Library 500 High Street Pottstown, PA 19464 610-970-6551
Mifflin Community Library 6 Philadelphia Avenue Shillington, PA 19607 610-777-3911
Louisa Gonser Community Library 70 Bieber Alley Kutztown, PA 19530 610-683-5820
Honey Brook Community Library 687 Compass Road PO Box 1082 Honey Brook, PA 19344 610-273-3303
Treddyfrin Public Library 582 Upper Gulph Road Strafford-Wayne, PA 19087 610-688-7092
Congressman Gerlach's Chester County Office 111 East Uwchlan Avenue (Route 113) Exton PA 19341 610-594-1415
Congressman Gerlach's Montgomery County Office 580 Main Street, Suite 4 Trappe PA 19426 610-409-2780
Congressman Gerlach's Berks County Office 840 North Park Road Wyomissing PA 19610 610-376-7630
Here's this week's State Capitol Roundup courtesy of state Rep. Bob Mensch, R-147:
Republican Leader Calls for Return to Session to Solve Budget Crisis
More than 40 days into the new fiscal year without a full budget, Gov. Ed Rendell's decision to line-item veto funding for many important programs and services is taking its toll on millions of Pennsylvanians. Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) called on House Democratic leaders this week to return to session immediately so that schools, day care providers, mental health counseling services, preschool programs, nonprofit organizations and other vital services across the Commonwealth will not be interrupted in continuing to provide assistance to residents across the state. Thousands of college students may be forced to find other ways to fund their education in the coming weeks as the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) can neither finalize grant award amounts nor disburse money to campuses on students' behalf until a final budget is adopted. The House-Senate conference committee, charged with reaching a budget agreement, has not met since the end of July and has not planned or announced meetings in the coming days. For the latest budget news, visit PAHouseGOP.com
Gaming Expansion Considered by House Gaming Oversight Committee
The House Gaming Oversight Committee heard this week from casino executives seeking to add table games to Pennsylvania's casinos. Legislation that would authorize table games, providing an additional revenue source for Pennsylvania, could come before the House as part of the budget process. Republican members of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, including chairman Rep. Curt Schroder (R-Chester County) and Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks County) oppose expanding gaming in Pennsylvania, at least until sweeping reforms of the gaming process are instituted, including banning political contributions by gaming interests, prohibiting outside employment for members of the Gaming Control Board, and forbidding anyone with a felony conviction from obtaining a gaming license. For the latest legislative news, visit PAHouseGOP.com
Adolph Calls for Override of Vetoed Student Financial Aid
Rep. William Adolph (R-Delaware County) Thursday called for an override of the governor's veto of funding for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) to ensure students get the financial aid they need as they head back to college. Joined by House Appropriations Chairman Mario Civera (R-Delaware County) and Delaware County Community College officials, Adolph said the governor's decision to blue-line PHEAA funding is leaving many students and their families wondering when or if they will get their state grants. While some higher education institutions intend to front the anticipated grant money for students, others may not be in the financial shape to do so. An estimated 172,000 state residents are eligible for need-based grants and have been held hostage by the governor. Senate Bill 850 contained $386 million for PHEAA grants, but those funds were vetoed by the governor when he signed a temporary spending plan last week. For the latest legislative news, visit PAHouseGOP.com
Senate Republican Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and State Rep. Mario Civera, R-164, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, met with the editorial board of the Delaware County Daily Times to discuss the state's seven-week-old budget stalemate. The two Republican leaders placed the blame for the budget mess on the shoulders of Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.
As long as Rendell insists on raising taxes and increasing state spending, don't look for the Republicans to budge.
This comment from Pileggi doesn't sound like a budget deal will come any time soon:
"The governor is still actively going around the state saying we need to increase the personal income tax by $1.5 billion and we need to increase our spending in the state by close to a billion dollars over last year. This isn't maintaining services. This is massive new taxation and massive increases in spending at a time when we're going through the worst recession in Pennsylvania since the Great Depression ... The problem, and the reason we're so far apart, is that the governor hasn't changed his objective even though the bottom has fallen out of the economy."
Democracy in action. They used to say people vote with their feet. It appears the American public now speaks with the click of a mouse.
The Associated Press is reporting that the volume of e-mails from the public to their elected members of Congress about Obamacare has been so great that it has overloaded the House of Representatives' Web site.
From The Associated Press story by Anne Flaherty:
WASHINGTON — Amid a boisterous debate on health care reform, people flooded members of Congress on Thursday with so many e-mails that they overloaded the House's primary Web site.
Technical support issued a warning to congressional staff that the site — www.house.gov — may be slow or unresponsive because of the large volume of e-mail being sent to members.
Jeff Ventura, a spokesman for the House's chief administrative officer, which maintains the Web site, said traffic data was not available and could not be released without the lawmakers' consent.
But anecdotally, he said, the spike in e-mail volume was widely believed to be a result of the health care debate.
"It is clearly health care reform," Ventura said. "There's no doubt about it." Lawmakers are in their home districts this month for the August recess, where a populist backlash has emerged in some quarters against President Barack Obama's plan to reform the nation's health care system.
Democrats are trying desperately to regain control of the debate, with the White House posting a new Web site designed to dispel what it called "the misinformation and baseless smears that are cropping up daily." House Democratic aides have set up a health care war room out of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office. It is designed to help lawmakers answer questions about the legislation.
If you want to try your luck, the Web site to reach members of Congress is www.house.gov
The Democrats have a real problem on their hands. Angry old people are turning out in large numbers to oppose Obamacare. These are the same people who tend to show up on Election Day.
From a story by Victoria McGrane and Chris Frates in POLITICO:
The senior citizen problem could pose a serious problem for the 2010 election cycle.
Older Americans turn out in much higher numbers than other age groups during midterm elections. In 2006, the 55-and-older age group still had the highest voting rate of any age group, at 63 percent, even though younger voters turned out in record numbers for a midterm, according to census data. Half of all votes cast in the 2006 midterms were from voters age 50 or older, according to AARP. And one out of four were AARP members.
But voting statistics tell only part of the story. Look at the faces at these chaotic congressional town hall events across the country. They are the faces of older Americans who paid into Medicare most of their working lives and are now enjoying the health care benefits they believe they’ve earned for their senior years.
They exhibit a vocal distrust of the government taking a larger role in health care — despite the fact that the very popular Medicare program is run by the government.
Read more about "The Democrats' senior problem" in POLITICO
Sickening story in today's Delaware County Daily Times about a man who photographed and videotaped children he sexually abused while they attended a day care center the man's wife operated out of their home.
Police said 1.2 million images of child pornography were seized from John Worman's computers. The images included 11,000 video clips of him sexually abusing the children, several of whom considered him like a father, prosecutors said.
From a story by reporter Marlene DiGiacomo:
PHILADELPHIA — Convicted child predator John Worman was sentenced Wednesday to 120 years in federal prison by a judge who described the defendant's horrific crimes involving sexual abuse on children as young as 6 weeks old as the worst in the country.
U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Stengel said that Worman, 42, of Colwyn, does not know right from wrong and continues to deny the charges "despite overwhelming evidence."
A jury convicted him in September 2008 of 55 counts of manufacturing child pornography and one count of child pornography in which he documented in sickening detail on videotape and photos of himself forcing sex on a dozen children ranging from infancy to 15 years old.
"John Worman manufactured grief … psychological and physical havoc on the lives of these children," said Stengel. "One victim is too many. One time is too much."
The jurors who convicted him were so traumatized by the videos they had to watch during the trial that the judge provided a chance for them to talk to a psychologist following the verdict.
One juror said after the trial that he felt like he was "looking at Satan sitting over there," referring to Worman.
Obamacare appears to be sinking the Democratic Party.
A new poll by Rasmussen Reports on the 2010 Senate race in Pennsylvania shows Republican Pat Toomey beating both incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter and Congressman Joe Sestak.
A lot can change between now and November 2010 and Specter has $8 million to spend on his re-election bid. But that's assuming Specter can beat back a primary challenge from Sestak, a two-term House member. Let the Democrats fight it out. Toomey will be waiting.
From Rasmussen Reports:
Uncomfortable town hall meetings are just the tip of the iceberg for Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter. He now trails Republican Pat Toomey by double digits in his bid for reelection next year and is viewed unfavorably by a majority of the state’s voters.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Pennsylvania voters shows 48% would vote for Toomey if the election were held today. Just 36% would vote for Specter while four percent (4%) prefer a third option, and 12% are not sure.
These figures reflect a dramatic reversal since June. At that time, before the public health care debate began, Specter led Toomey by eleven.
Just 43% now have a favorable opinion of Specter while 54% offer an unfavorable assessment of the longtime GOP senator who became a Democrat rather than face Toomey in a party primary. Those numbers have reversed since June when 53% had a favorable opinion of him.
The current figures include 15% with a Very Favorable opinion of Specter and 36% with a Very Unfavorable view.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Drowning in a Cesspool of Hypocrisy
The National Republican Trust PAC points out another glaring example of liberal media bias. MSNBC's far-left TV host Rachel Maddow ignores anti-Obamacare ads paid for by average Americans and pro-Obamacare ads funded by pharmaceutical companies.
The American College of Surgeons is upset with the "uninformed" comments Barack Obama is making about the American health-care system.
From a press release issued by the American College of Surgeons:
The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight.
* Yesterday during a town hall meeting, President Obama got his facts completely wrong. He stated that a surgeon gets paid $50,000 for a leg amputation when, in fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation. This payment also includes the evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation. Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for this service.
* Three weeks ago, the President suggested that a surgeon's decision to remove a child's tonsils is based on the desire to make a lot of money. That remark was ill-informed and dangerous, and we were dismayed by this characterization of the work surgeons do. Surgeons make decisions about recommending operations based on what's right for the patient.
Tony Phyrillas is the managing editor and political blogger at The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. Phyrillas has won several national and state awards for commentary, including first place for column writing in 2010 by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors. Phyrillas has been featured on National Public Radio and The New York Times and is a frequent commentator on radio and television programs. He co-hosted 'Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus' on WPAZ 1370 AM from 2008 to 2009.