When supporters of Obamacare tell you the massive government takeover of health care is "revenue neutral," it just means they've figure out a way to hide the fact that you will get hammered with new taxes to pay for it.
From the latest column by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann:
While Obama has been at great pains to make a show of avoiding taxes on the middle class to pay for his health care changes, his proposed increase in Medicaid eligibility will have a huge impact on the 39 states whose income cutoffs for the program are below those required in the new federal legislation.
All states except for Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin (plus the District of Colombia) will have to raise their eligibility for Medicaid under the Senate health care bill. And they will have to pay for part of the cost. Under the House bill, with a higher Medicaid eligibility standard, Massachusetts and Vermont would also have to pay more.
The magnitude of the new Medicaid spending required by Obamacare is such as to transform the nature of state finances. A large part of the reason that some states, particularly in the South, have been able to avoid higher taxes is because they have chosen to keep down the Medicaid eligibility level.
Pennsylvania taxpayers will have to come up with $1.7 billion in additional revenues to make up for the costs of Obamacare should it pass, according to Morris' analysis of the current health care bills being debated by Democrats.
Read the full column, "Obamacare To Hike State Taxes," at Townhall.com
'Global Warming Consensus: Garbage in, Garbage out'
Washington Examiner political analyst Michael Barone does his best to make sense of the revelation that much of the "scientific con census" over global warming is fictitious.
From his latest column:
For those of us who have long suspected that constructing scientific models of climate and weather is an enormously complex undertaking quite possibly beyond the capacity of current computer technology, the CRU e-mails are not so surprising.
Do we really suppose that anyone can construct a database of weather observations for the entire planet and its atmosphere adequate to make confident predictions of weather and climate 60 years from now? Predictions in which we have enough confidence to impose enormous costs on the American and world economies?
Copenhagen, despite Barack Obama's presence, seems sure to be a bust -- there will be no agreement on mandatory limits on carbon emissions. Even if there were, it would probably turn out to be no more effective than the limits others agreed to in Kyoto in 1997. In any case, China and India are not going to choke off their dazzling economic growth to please Western global warming alarmists.
The more interesting question going forward is whether European and American governmental, academic and corporate elites, having embraced global warming alarmism with religious fervor, will be shaken by the scandalous CRU e-mails. They should be.
Read the full column, "Global Warming Consensus: Garbage in, Garbage out," here.
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll has 41% of Americans supporting the Democrats' health care legislation, but 53% opposed to it. So, of course, Congressional Democrats will push ahead with an ill-conceived plan that will add to the national debt, increase the federal bureaucracy, raise taxes and kill jobs.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of voters nationwide favor the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. Fifty-three percent (53%) are opposed to it. Those figures include 22% who Strongly Favor the plan and 40% who are Strongly Opposed.
Support for the legislation is up three percentage points from a week ago. However, last week's results were the lowest level of support ever recorded for the plan. With the exception of a few days following nationally televised presidential appeals for the legislation, the number of voters opposed to the plan has always exceeded the number who favor it.
While advocates say the plan is needed to control the cost of health care, 56% of voters now say it will have the opposite impact and push prices even higher. Just 17% believe passage of the plan will lead to lower costs.
Fifty percent (50%) believe passage of the legislation will lead to a lower quality of care while just 18% believe the care will get better.
Al Alberts, who hosted a Philadelphia-based television talent-show for decades, died Friday at his home in Florida at the age of 87.
Although he was a founding member and lead singer of The Four Aces, an all-male harmony group that scored several hits, including "Three Coins in the Fountain," "Tell Me Why," and "Love is a Many Splendored Thing," Al Alberts will forever be remembered as the host "Al Alberts Showcase" which aired on Philadelphia's Channel 6 for 32 years.
His real name was Al Albertini, but with his wife Stella by his side, Al Alberts launched hundreds of careers on "Al Alberts Showcase."
Some of the biggest stars who got their start on "Showcase" include Teddy Pendergrass, Sister Sledge, Andrea McCardle and The Kinleys, a country music sister duo.
The Four Aces sold over 100 million records internationally, according to Al Alberts Web site.
Most recently, Roberts served as executive producer and host of a syndicated radio program called "Harmony."
You can visit Al Alberts' Web site at www.alalberts.net, where you can also order a copy of "Al's Song," his autobiography and the story of The Four Aces.
How's this for a vote of no confidence on Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats?
Only 31% of American voters say the country is heading in the right direction, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national survey.
From Rasmussen Reports:
The percentage of voters who feel this way has remained in the narrow range of 31% to 35% since late June, but voter perceptions of the nation’s current course have only been this low two other times this year, the last time in early October.
Following President Obama’s inauguration in January, voter confidence in the direction of the country began steadily increasing, peaking at 40% in early May. While down since then, the latest finding is still four points higher than the week Obama took office and up 10 points from the week he was elected president in early November.
The majority of voters (64%) continue to believe the nation is heading down the wrong track, up slightly from last week. This finding has remained fairly consistent for months.
The new blockbuster film "2012" depicts the end of the world in three years, but that scenario could come about in 2010 for the Democratic Party, which is poised to lose big in the midterm Congressional elections, crippling its far-left agenda and making Barack Obama a lame duck with two more years left in his term.
From Rasmussen Reports:
Republican candidates have extended their lead over Democrats to seven points, their biggest lead since early September, in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% would vote for their district's Republican congressional candidate while 37% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.
Support for the Republican party held steady from last week, while support for Democrats dropped slightly. Republicans have held the lead for over four months now. Democrats currently have majority control of both the House and Senate.
Voters not affiliated with either party continue to heavily favor Republicans, 44% to 20%.
If you can't wait until the midterm elections to put a stop to the radical Obama agenda, you can add your name to the growing campaign to impeach Barack Obama.
"How long must we wait ... how long should we sit back and permit Barack Hussein Obama to rip apart the fabric of this country before we take action? Why are we calling for the Impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama? Radio-personality Tammy Bruce may have said it best: '... ultimately, it comes down to... the fact that he seems to have, it seems to me, some malevolence toward this country, which is unabated.'"
State Rep. Curt Schroder has announced the endorsement of seven fellow state lawmakers representing portions of the 6th Congressional District.
"I am pleased and honored to have the support of colleagues who know me well and have worked with me on many efforts to improve our region" Schroder said in a release.
State elected officials supporting Schroder include:
State Rep. Tim Hennessey (PA-26) Chester County
State Rep. Chris Ross (PA-158) Chester County
State Rep. Sam Rohrer (PA-128) Berks County
State Rep. Jim Cox (PA-129) Berks County
State Rep. Doug Reichley (PA-134) Portions of Berks and Lehigh Counties
State Rep. Kate Harper (PA-61) Montgomery County
State Rep. Michael Vereb (PA-150) Montgomery County
Schroder said the endorsements are an indication that he is the only candidate with the right experience to step into the 6th District Congressional seat.
"The problems we face mean the next Congressman from the 6th District will need to be prepared to get to work from day one," Schroder said. "I look forward to working with these elected officials as well as leaders from across the district to restore economic prosperity in our communities and create jobs in Pennsylvania."
Curt Schroder was first elected to represent the 155th District of Pennsylvania in the State Assembly in 1994. He and his wife reside in East Brandywine Township with their two children.
Frustrated 'reformer' will give up PA House seat in 2010
State Rep. Barbara McIlvaine Smith was swept into office in 2006 on a wave of reform talk after the pay-raise debacle of 2005.
Three years in Harrisburg has convinced McIlvaine Smith that reforming Harrisburg is a lost cause. She's bailing out, announcing this week that she will not seek re-election next year to her 156th House District seat.
McIlvaine Smith, a Democrat, told The West Chester Daily Local News she can no longer be part of a legislative body that is dysfunctional and unwilling to institute meaningful reform.
"The system is such that it's not set up to accomplish anything or to resolve issues," she told the newspaper. "The way it's set up, the leadership in all four caucuses has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo."
McIlvaine Smith blamed both Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate for blocking meaningful reform.
"When I was elected, I got to Harrisburg with 50 reformers," she told the newspaper. "But the leaders pulled them in."
The 156th District had been held by Republicans from its creation in 1969 until 2006. McIlvaine Smith was a surprise winner when Republican Elinor Z. Taylor retired after holding the seat from 1971 to 2006.
Republicans should be able to win back the seat in 2010 if Chester County GOP Chairman Joseph "Skip" Brion gets his act together. Some inside the Chesco Republican Party blame Brion for picking the wrong candidate to run against McIlvaine Smith in 2006 and 2008 and then failing to support the candidate. Maybe this time, Brion can get it right.
Read the full story by reporter Dan Kristie at the link below:
As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leads the Democratic Party to its Waterloo, a new Rasmussen poll shows just 38% of voters favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.
That's the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June by Rasmussen Reports.
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 56% oppose the plan a clear majority and a warning to Democrats that their control of Congress will likely slip away in 2010 as they continue to push their big government higher taxes agenda.
From Rasmussen Reports:
Half the survey was conducted before the Senate voted late Saturday to begin debate on its version of the legislation. Support for the plan was slightly lower in the half of the survey conducted after the Senate vote.
Prior to this, support for the plan had never fallen below 41%. Last week, support for the plan was at 47%. Two weeks ago, the effort was supported by 45% of voters.
Intensity remains stronger among those who oppose the push to change the nation's health care system: 21% Strongly Favor the plan while 43% are Strongly Opposed.
Rasmussen Reports is continuing to track public opinion on the health care plan on a weekly basis. Next week's Monday morning update will give an indication of whether these numbers reflect a trend of growing opposition or are merely statistical noise.
Only 16% now believe passage of the plan will lead to lower health care costs. Nearly four times as many (60%) believe the plan will increase health care costs. Most (54%) also believe passage of the plan will hurt the quality of care.
As has been the case for months, Democrats favor the plan while Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party are opposed. The latest numbers show support from 73% of those in the president's party. The plan is opposed by 83% of Republicans and 70% of unaffiliated voters.
If the midterm Congressional elections were held today, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would be out of a job, with significant loses predicted for the Democratic Party.
Republican candidates maintain a six-point advantage over Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot published at Rasmussen Reports, which shows that 44% would vote for their district's Republican congressional candidate while 38% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.
What could cost Democrats control of Congress is independent voters, who are expressing widespread disapproval of the way Democrats are running Congress.
Voters not affiliated with either party continue to heavily favor Republicans, 41% to 24%, the Rasmussen survey found.
Working families in Pennsylvania pay a far higher share of their income in state and local taxes than their wealthiest counterparts, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy.
Other highlights (or low lights) from the study:
* Pennsylvania families earning less than $19,000 - the poorest fifth of Pennsylvania taxpayers - pay 11.3% of their income in Pennsylvania state and local taxes.
* Middle-income Pennsylvania taxpayers - those earning between $35,000 and $56,000 - pay 9.6% of their income in Pennsylvania state and local taxes.
* The richest Pennsylvania taxpayers - with average incomes of $1,369,600 - pay only 5% of their income in Pennsylvania state and local taxes.
* After accounting for federal deduction offsets, the discrepancy is even starker: the poorest fifth pay 11.2% of their income in state and local taxes, middle-income families pay 9.1%, and the richest Pennsylvanians pay 3.9%.
* Washington, Florida, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Alabama were named as the 10 Most Regressive Tax States. Pennsylvania ranked ninth.
The review the entire report, "Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States," follow the link below:
A great video posted at YouTube by the College Republicans at the University of Connecticut showing that world leaders routinely greet the Japanese emperor without bowing before him, something Barack Obama indistinctly does to show U.S. weakness.
Study: Every GM Vehicle Sold Costs Taxpayers $12,200
The American taxpayer has put up $12,200 for every General Motors vehicle sold through the beginning of 2011, and $7,600 for every Chrysler vehicle sold as well, according to a new report issued by the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union.
Did Rep. David Kessler read the budget before voting on it?
State budget cuts will force the closing of the Daniel Boone Homestead in Berks County.
The most interesting part of this story is the fact that state Rep. David Kessler, a Democrat who represents part of Exeter, where the Boone Homestead is located, admits he didn't bother to read the state budget that he voted "yes" on. He simply did what Ed Rendell and the Harrisburg party bosses told him to do.
That budget has cut off funding for one of the area's best-run historical attractions.
When asked a very direct question about why he supported a budget that cut off funding to his own district, Kessler did his best to weasel out of answering it:
He said he could not answer whether he would have voted for the budget if he knew it meant the closing of the homestead.
"I need to dig in to what the numbers are and find out what we need to keep it open at some level," Kessler said.
Keep up the good work, Mr. Kessler. And voters in the 130th House District should remember how well Mr. Kessler represents their best interests when they go to the polls in May 2010.
The Fringe Media (formerly known as the Mainstream Media) has launched an all-out assault on Sarah Palin as she begins her book tour to promote "Going Rogue."
The book goes on sale Tuesday, but liberal book critics and left-wing pundits have already savaged the book, which is destined to become one of the biggest sellers of the year.
Despite the constant negative commentary about Palin in the Fringe Media, a new poll says most Americans share Palin's values.
From Rasmussen Reports:
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Republican voters say former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shares the values of most GOP voters throughout the nation.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 21% of Republican voters disagree and think the 2008 vice presidential candidate does not share their values. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.
By contrast, 74% of Republicans say their party’s representatives in Congress have lost touch with GOP voters nationwide over the past several years. Only 18% of Republican voters believe their elected officials have done a good job representing the base.
The findings in these two surveys highlight the political debate within the Republican Party. Party leaders worry that Palin is pushing the GOP too far to the right to win general elections by aligning herself with Tea Party voters frustrated with both parties in Washington and the big government policies they have produced.
Still, just 18% of Republicans - and 26% of voters nationwide - see Palin as a divisive force within the GOP. A plurality believes Palin is representative of a new direction for the Republican Party. That view is held by 57% of Republicans and 41% of all voters. A plurality of Democrats aren't sure what to think of Palin's role within the opposing party.
Government Watchdogs call for Constitutional Convention in PA
The latest corruption scandal to hit Harrisburg has prompted calls for a Constitutional Convention to reform state government. The problem is that a convention needs approval by the Legislature. The people of Pennsylvania can clean up the mess in 2010 when all 203 members of the state House and 25 members of the state Senate are up for reelection.
Independent reviews of Obama's claims of job created by the stimulus bill show that the government is making up numbers. As Rep. Joe Wilson so aptly said it, "You lie!"
Just how big is the stimulus package? Well for one, it has doubled the size of the House of Representatives, according to recovery.gov, which says that funds were distributed to 440 congressional districts that do not exist.
According to data retrieved from recovery.gov, nearly $6.4 billion was used to “create or save” just under 30,000 jobs in these phantom congressional districts–almost $225,000 per job. The Web site operates on an $84 million budget and is tasked with monitoring the distribution of the $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress–which, for the record, counts 435 members–in early 2009.
It's clear you can't trust anything coming from the Obama Ministry of Propaganda or the state-run media that should be reporting on the most corrupt and deceptive administration ever.
Newsweek Photo of Sarah Palin Shows Media Bias, Sexism
Nice legs. Oh wait, that's Sarah Palin. I thought it was Sports Illustrated, but turns out it's the new issue of Newsweek. When was the last time a "news" magazine put Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi in shorts on the cover?
David Brody, CBN News White House correspondent, says on his blog that this an another example of liberal media bias, not to mention sexist coverage of the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee.
This cover has got to be a new low right? They don't use a photo of Palin on the campaign trail. No instead they take the sexy Runners World photo. Yes she posed for it but don't tell me they didn't purposely use that photo to make a point? I predict this cover will become a bigger story over the next 24-48 hours and let's face it. This isn't JUST about media bias. This cover should be insulting to women politicians. Where's the sexy photo of Mitt Romney? Why not a picture of Tim Pawlenty with an unbuttoned shirt relaxing on a couch in the Twin Cities?
Where does Arlen Specter stand on the issues? It depends on which day of the week it is. Specter is pushing John Kerry aside as king of the flip-flop.
Specter sat down a few days ago for and extensive interview with The Mercury.
On health care, Specter said "I will only vote on a health care bill that does not add to the deficit."
Does that mean he will defy Barack Obama and Harry Reid?
I also enjoyed this quote from Specter about the fact that it took him a couple of decades to figure out he wans't a true Republican: "I found I was voting more often with the Democrats than the Republicans during my tenure."
Check out what he has to say on a variety of issues ... before he changes his mind again.
Read the story at the newspaper's Web site, where you can also view videos of Specter at the offices of The Mercury.
Barack Obama recently left the country for an Asian trip, but the country left Obama months ago as he continues to push a left-wing agenda the majority of Americans don't want.
Most Republicans saw through Obama, but now independents have opened their eyes, with 47% of independent voters telling Rasmussen Reports they strongly disapprove of Obama's job performance.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen warn that Obama must drastically change course or his presidency is doomed.
From their column:
The off-year elections in New Jersey and Virginia were indeed a warning sign to Mr. Obama. While the presidents ratings aren't likely to dip much further by year's end — given the size and support of his base — by focusing exclusively on his base he could create lasting political problems that plague the remainder of his term.
Unless Mr. Obama changes his approach and starts governing in a more fiscally conservative, bipartisan manner, the independents that provided his margin of victory in 2008 and gave the Democrats control of Congress will likely swing back to the Republicans, putting Democratic control of Congress in real jeopardy.
The latest Rasmussen Reports give Obama little hope unless he starts listening to the people:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday 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.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats Strongly Approve while 66% of Republicans Strongly Disapprove. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 20% Strongly Approve and 47% Strongly Disapprove.
The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve.
Overall, 50% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Forty-nine percent (49%) now disapprove.
Ten Republicans with ties to the Pennsylvania Legislature, including former Speaker of the House John Perzel, are facing corruption charges. That's on top of 12 Democrats, including former House Democratic Whip Mike Veon, charged last year with corruption by the Pennsylvania Attorney General.
Do you sense a pattern here?
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review asks in an editorial when Pennsylvania residents will finally say they've had enough of public corruption.
From the editorial:
Tragically, these likely are not the last charges to be lodged in the investigation into a state Legislature that has been operating a continuing criminal enterprise. So, Pennsylvanians, are you now ready to demand reforms that will return your government to you?
Just posted on the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Web site:
HARRISBURG - As part of an ongoing public corruption investigation into the Pennsylvania Legislature, agents from the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit today filed criminal charges against Representative John Perzel and former Republican Representative Brett Feese. Also charged are eight current or former aides to Perzel and Feese.
Attorney General Tom Corbett said the charges are part of an ongoing grand jury investigation into the misuse of public resources and employees for campaign purposes in the Pennsylvania Legislature.
Corbett said the grand jury issued a 188 page presentment recommending that he file criminal charges against the defendants.
Among those charged, in addition to Perzel and Feese, are Perzel's former Chief of Staff, Brian Preski; his current Chief of Staff, Paul Towhey; Perzel's brother-in-law and former House employee, Samual "Buzz" Stokes; Perzel legislative aide John Zimmerman; Perzel campaign aide Don McClintock; Feese aides Jill Seaman and Elmer Bowman; and former House Republican Information Technology Deputy Director Eric Ruth.
The defendants are each charged with numerous theft, criminal conspiracy and conflict of interest charges. Additionally, Perzel, Preski, Feese, Seaman, Towhey and Zimmerman are each charged with obstruction of justice.
Corbett said that in the first phase of the investigation his agents charged 12 defendants in July of 2008. Trials are scheduled for December and January 2010.
Chutzpa: 1. unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall. 2. audacity; nerve.
File this under chutzpa in the dictionary.
ACORN has sued the federal government demanding that it give back taxpayer dollars to the corrupt agency that Congress voted to deny it earlier this year.
ACORN claims that the legislation was of "malicious and punitive intent." The suit also claims Congress violated the Fifth Amendment by skirting due process before doling out the punishment of the funding cut. OMB Director Peter Orszag and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are listed as co-defendants in the suit.
This is what America has come to in the Age of Obama. Criminals are suing the government demanding that taxpayers continue to fund their corrupt ways.
Economist and author Allen W. Smith is on tour to promote his book, "THE BIG LIE: How Our Government Hoodwinked the Public, Emptied the Social Security Trust Fund, and caused The Great Economic Collapse"
10 Republicans, including John Perzel, charged in corruption probe
The other shoe has dropped.
Ten Republicans connected to the Pennsylvania Legislature, including former Speaker of the House John Perzel, have been charged in a wide-ranging corruption case, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett announced today.
A grand jury found that Perzel was the architect of an illegal scheme in which more than $10 million in taxpayer money was spent to help win political campaigns, according to The Associated Press.
Also charged in the ongoing grand jury probe were Perzel's former chief of staff, Brian Preski, and former House GOP counsel Brett Feese, the news service reports.
The charges come 16 months after 12 Democrats were charged in what became known as the Bonusgate case.
Just four years ago, Perzel was arguably the most powerful politician in Pennsylvania, with more influence than Gov. Ed Rendell. But the pay raise fiasco of 2005 and Republican loses in the House (which Perzel had a hand in) cost Perzel his post as Speaker. Now he is facing criminal charges and a lengthy jail sentence if found guilty.
Perzel, who has represented parts of Philadelphia in Legislature since 1979, was Republican Whip in 1993-94; Majority Leader from 1995 to 2003; and Speaker from April 15, 2003, to the end of 2006, when a half-dozen Republicans joined with Democrats to deny him another term as Speaker.
Lawmakers Are Elected To Serve, Not To Dehumanize And Demean
From a terrific column by Kerry Jackson on the House Democrats move to socialize medicine in the United States:
Passage of the 1,990-page bill is a national disgrace. Agitators say it's a shame that the government in the world's wealthiest country doesn't provide health care for all. But the real blemish on this nation is a political party pushing the U.S. ever closer to being a nation of dependents.
Congress has no constitutional authority, no moral standing to force a federal health care system on a people whose nation-founding forefathers promised them they'd be free of government coercion — not even if a wide majority was demanding it.
Recount in tight judicial race to cost PA $1.3 Million
They say every vote counts.
Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortes announced Tuesday that final unofficial returns from Pennsylvania's 67 counties show the race for a fourth Superior Court seat is so close that it will trigger an automatic recount.
The recount will cost taxpayers at least $1.3 million. Now, aren't you sorry you didn't bother to vote on Nov. 3? You know who you are.
Act 97 of 2004 provides that any statewide race or ballot question where the margin of victory was less than one half of one percent of the total number of votes cast for that office or ballot question would automatically trigger a recount in all 67 counties, according to Cortes.
If a Superior Court recount is required, it would be the first one in the act's brief history, Cortes said.
Four seats on the Superior Court were open this year. Judy Olson, Sallie Mundy, Paula Ott and Anne E. Lazarus received the four highest vote totals on Election Day.
The unofficial returns provided by the counties show three candidates are within the one-half of one percent margin for that fourth seat:
• Anne E. Lazarus - 723,954 (11.465%) • Robert J. Colville - 721,948 (11.434%, trails Lazarus by 0.032%) • Temp Smith - 720,624 (11.413%, trails Lazarus by 0.053%) • Kevin Francis McCarthy - 711,240 (11.264%, trails Lazarus by 0.201%)
• Sum of all votes - 6,314,250 • One-half of 1 percent - 31,571
Cortes indicated the recount may begin as soon as Nov. 16, unless all the defeated candidates request in writing that a recount not be made.
Robert J. Colville and Kevin Francis McCarthy submitted to the Secretary such a letter Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 respectively. Both Colville and McCarthy stated they would opt out only if the other trailing candidates decided not to pursue a recount as well. So it's all up to Temp Smith (if that is his real name).
If a recount is necessary, state law requires the counties to complete the recount by Nov. 25 and to report the results to the Department of State by noon, Nov. 30.
Group Launches Drive for Balanced Budget Amendment
I applaud the efforts of the group Deficit Free to push for a Balanced Budget Amendment, but with Obama and Congressional Democrats spending money faster than the government can print it, it may be a lost cause.
The only way to stop the bankruptcy of the United States is to vote out every Congressional Democrat in 2010.
Join Pennsylvania Tea Party Coalition, Smart Girl Politics, Freedomworks, and other organizations for a Nov. 14 "March on Harrisburg" to take our message of fiscal responsibility and lower taxes directly to state lawmakers. Please join us for a big march and rally on the capitol steps in Harrisburg!
Who: Coalition of Tea Party groups and taxpayer advocates What: March on Harrisburg (State Capitol Steps) When: Saturday, Nov. 14th from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Why: To send a message to state lawmakers that we support limited government and lower taxes
FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey will be the keynote speaker at the state capitol.
In case you're wondering which Pennsylvania members of Congress supported the Pelosi Health Care Bill, which will raise taxes and put your family's current health care coverage at risk, see the list below.
If you see any of the names on a ballot next May or November, vote for the other person:
Robert Brady (D-PA-1) Chaka Fattah (D-PA-2) Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA-3) Joe Sestak (D-PA-7) Patrick Murphy (D-PA-8) Christopher Carney (D-PA-10) John Murtha (D-PA-12) Paul Kanjorski (D-PA-11) Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13) Mike Doyle (D-PA-14)
ALG Condemns $2.1 Trillion 'Takeover of Nation's Health Care System'
Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson condemned the House of Representatives for voting to approve "$2.1 trillion takeover of the nation's entire health care sector in spite of overwhelming public opposition to the measure."
Americans for Limited Government estimates the legislation will cost $2.1 trillion over 10 years once fully implemented, and "will drive millions Americans off of private, employer-based health care, on to substandard, below-average government-run care, and open the door for a single payer system," said Wilson.
ALG issued the following press release after the 220-215 House vote:
"This Congress is rotten to its core," said Wilson, adding, "Members no longer represent their constituents, they serve the Washington political elite. They have succumbed to the insider deals, handouts, and kickbacks Nancy Pelosi needed to secure the votes for the federal government to claim an iron grip of one-sixth of the nation's economy."
Citing the Congressional Budget Office cost estimate of H.R. 3962, Wilson said, "This bill will raise taxes by more than $780 billion and cut Medicare by more than $450 billion. In the process, they are enraging political independents and seniors, both critical voting blocs for whom dozens of vulnerable members in the majority must answer to."
"Members that voted for this abomination have signed a political suicide pact for which they will be held accountable," Wilson declared. "They have gone against the express will of their constituents who opposed this legislation."
The bill would force millions of uninsured Americans to obtain insurance or else pay a fine, includes employer mandates, and creates a national, government-run "public option." Americans for Limited Government estimates more than 45 million Americans would ultimately be required to enroll in government care at an average cost of $4,700 per individual to taxpayers.
"As health care costs skyrocket because of the elimination of the private sector health options contained in this bill, so too will the costs owed by taxpayers, resulting in hundreds of billions of deficit-spending," said Wilson. "Because insurance under the plan is mandatory, the more private insurers that are driven out of business by diminishing insurance pools, the more Americans who will be forced onto government-run and subsidized care."
"This bill will ration care away from seniors, water down and reduce the quality of everyone's care, increase health premiums, put bureaucrats between doctors and patients, break the public treasury, and leave taxpayers with a bill that cannot possibly be paid back," Wilson added.
According to Rasmussen Reports, 54 percent of voters oppose the "public option" proposed, which only 42 percent support. In addition, James Carville's Democracy Corps polls found a full 54 percent of seniors oppose the nationalized health care plan. According to the poll conducted in June, 41 percent of seniors strongly oppose the Obama plan and only 14 percent strongly favor it.
"To pass this monstrosity on the heels of Tuesday's overwhelming election results against her party, Nancy Pelosi has clearly lost her mind and needs to check her meds. She doesn't care if vulnerable members in her caucus are wiped out in 2010 or not," Wilson said.
"Democrats are throwing away seniors as a political constituency," Wilson added, stating in conclusion, "They are enraging independents, who see their children and children's children being burdened with an unsustainable debt that will rise to $20 trillion in 2020 and top the Gross Domestic Product in 2011. And taking over health care against the express wishes of tens of millions of Americans who like their private health options and want to keep them."
The Joint Economic Committee (JEC) House Republican staff, which earlier this year created a chart mapping the bureaucratic complexity of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's original health care proposal (H.R. 3200), has combined similar analysis by the House Republican Conference with the earlier chart. The analysis details new additions to the health care bureaucracy contained in the new version of the Speaker's bill (H.R. 3962) that were not previously listed. Let's just say the Speaker's vision for government-run health care hasn't gotten any simpler.
"This is the blueprint for a taxpayer-funded mega-bureaucracy," Boehner said "The new chart is an astonishing and unsettling glimpse of the future that awaits American health care, should H.R. 3962 be passed by the House and signed into law."
The chart, completed at the direction of Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the committee's ranking House Republican Member, shows that the Pelosi plan has grown even more complex in the months since it was originally unveiled by congressional Democrats.
By formally endorsing the House health care bill, President Barack Obama effectively announced that the central promise of his 2008 campaign was a lie, says Americans for Tax Reform, a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups.
During the campaign, Obama made a "firm pledge" not to raise "any form" of taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year but the Pelosi bill would impose those taxes on middle-class familes, ATR argues.
Sam Rohrer to announce run for governor on Nov. 17
State Rep. Sam Rohrer is expected to announce his candidacy for Pennsylvania governor at a Town Hall Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Spring Township Fire Company in West Lawn, Berks County.
Rohrer sent the following e-mail today to potential supporters:
Over the past few weeks Ruth Ann and I, and our entire family have been weighing the decision to seek the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania Governor. We've approached it understanding the risk, but knowing fully the incredible need for leadership in our state and nation.
There have been few other moments in my lifetime when the collective call of duty has been greater, and the responsibility to act so urgent. More than winning elections for political parties or discovering a way for Republicans to reach a legislative majority, the 2010 campaign must be waged to give voice for the ideas and principles that matter most.
I want to personally invite you to a special Townhall on Tuesday, November 17 at the Spring Township Fire Department, 2301 Monroe Avenue in West Lawn, PA. I'm organizing this forum to announce the decision on the race for governor, and begin a statewide conversation about the challenges and real opportunities facing Pennsylvania.
We can change the direction of our state, but it will take all of us – "We the People!"
Rohrer, who has represented the 128th House District in southern Berks County since 1993, is best known for leading the fight to eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania. He has also taken the lead in the state's rights movement.
If Rohrer decides to enter the 2010 Republican Primary, he will face a crowded field that already includes Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett and Congressman Jim Gerlach, R-6th Dist.
Rohrer announced the Town Hall Meeting at http://samrohrer.org/, which will probably turn into his campaign Web site after Nov. 17.
The unemployment rate in the U.S. rose to 10.2 percent today despite guarantees by Barack Obama when he signed the $787 billion "stimulus" bill in February that unemployment would never rise above 8 percent. Of all of Obama's lies, this one is the biggest.
More than 16 million Americans are out of work, while Obama continues to insist that his "stimulus" package has "saved or created" 1 million jobs.
The Obama Administration has offered no proof of those 1 million jobs and has been caught several times "cooking" the numbers. The Associated Press continues to report on massive fraud involving the so-called "stimulus" jobs, whereby agencies receiving government money are counting jobs more than once or counting minimal raises given to workers as "saved" jobs to please their Washington masters.
On the same day the Labor Department released the new unemployment figures, Obama signed a 20-week extension of unemployment benefits for 1 million out-of-work Americans whose benefits had run out.
But there are another 6 million Americans who are out of work and have exhausted all unemployment benefits including extensions. Those 6 million will have to put "hope and change" on the table to feed their families as the Obama Recession continues to get worse. (A record 23 million Americans are now collecting food stamps.)
Six of the seven Republican candidates for Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas won Tuesday.
The only Democrat elected to the bench was Lois Murphy. If the name sounds familiar, Murphy ran twice against U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, which includes Montgomery County.
Murphy lost both times, but she and the Democratic Party spend more than $6 million on those campaigns. For that kind of money, Murphy bought herself name recognition and a job in the Montgomery County Courthouse. Not exactly the halls of Congress, but it's a living.
Common Pleas Court judges earn $161,850 a year and serve 10-year terms, after which they can seek retention until a mandatory retirement age of 70. The current salary for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $168,000 per year, with annual COLA increases.
While Murphy is relatively young, she's stuck in a courtroom for the next 10 years, effectively ending her future in politics.
Talk about bad timing. Murphy committed to running for a county judge seat before Congressman Gerlach announced he would not seek another term. Murphy could have won the 6th Congressional District seat next year.
The Montgomery County Republican Committee couldn't resist taking a shot at Murphy in this statement released Thursday:
We fielded a very talented team of experienced public servants in the Court of Common Pleas race. In the campaign, we talked about the candidates, their backgrounds and their commitment to Montgomery County.
Tuesday, it was the voters turn. They spoke loudly and clearly. They rejected partisan cries and today, we are celebrating the election of 6 members of our Judicial Team to the Court of Common Pleas.
Carolyn Tornette Carluccio, Garrett D. Page, Wendy Demchick-Alloy, Kelly Wall, Gary S. Silow and Patricia Coonahan captured 10-year terms on the bench.
This victory was the result of a complete team effort. We had a terrific ticket that worked very hard. We had tremendous support from our Committee and hundreds of volunteers. We had a sound strategy and executed it well.
"Tuesday night was a hell of a night for Republicans in Montgomery County," MCRC Chairman Robert Kerns said. "Congratulations to our entire team."
Were it not for a Democratic candidate benefiting from spending $6 million in two unsuccessful Congressional campaigns, it may have been a clean sweep for the Republican ticket.
Republicans also did very well in local races across the county, with significant victories in North Wales, Lansdale, Hatfield and Abington, to name a few.
Thank you to our volunteers, supporters, candidates, and committee people. We couldn't have done it without you. And we can't do it again in the future without you.
Independent voters helped elect Barack Obama in 2008, but appear to have abandoned the Democrats in 2009. Not a good sign for Dems as the 2010 midterm elections approach.
From The Washington Times:
In a sign that there's more trouble ahead for Democrats, voters in New Jersey and Virginia said they were driven by the economy and spending, and Republicans said their showing on Tuesday gives them momentum heading into the 2010 congressional elections.
Campaigning in Virginia, Republican Robert F. McDonnell said Democrats' "overreach" in Washington helped boost him to what was a trouncing of Democratic nominee R. Creigh Deeds. And in New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie unseated the broadly unpopular Gov. Jon Corzine despite being outspent in a solidly blue state.
Commenting on Tuesday's repudiation of the Obama presidency, Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Pat Toomey said the election results show voters oppose the extreme big-government policies of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
From Toomey's statement:
"Last night, election results around the country and in Pennsylvania demonstrate that the tide is turning against big-government, big-spending policies. In Pennsylvania, six out of seven Republican judicial candidates were victorious in their statewide bids.
Congratulations to all of our great Republican candidates who won yesterday in Pennsylvania That tells us there is real energy in our state party, which will only continue to grow into next year."
Toomey said he was pleased with the results from neighboring New Jersey, where Republican Chris Christie upset the Obama-backed candidate, liberal Gov. Jon Corzine, and also applauded the outcome in Virginia, where the GOP candidate won the governor's race by a large margin.
“For nearly a year, the one-party monopoly in Washington has been pushing extreme policies on the American people, including government-run health care, unprecedented spending increases, and record deficit and debt levels," Toomey said. "Yesterday, voters made their voices heard. It's time we stopped the parade of bailouts, government takeovers, and record-breaking spending, and replaced it with commonsense reforms that do not bankrupt our country.”
Republican Joan Orie Melvin wins seat on PA Supreme Court
Republican Joan Orie Melvin won a hotly-contested seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tuesday, giving Republicans a 4-3 majority on the court.
Melvin defeated Democrat Jack Panella in the most expensive judicial race in Pennsylvania's history. Panella raised more than $2.5 million, largely from trial lawyers and organized labor, according to The Associated Press.
With 98 percent of the state's precincts reporting, Melvin had 910,270 votes or 53 percent to Democrat Jack Panella's 806,157 votes or 47 percent, the wire service reported.
Panella was widely criticized for running a negative campaign, resorting to personal attacks on Melvin.
Melvin's victory, which restores a one-seat majority that the GOP lost in 2007, continued a good night for Republicans, who have won the governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey.
Four Republican candidates for four open Pennsylvania Superior Court seats and two Republican candidates for two open Commonwealth Court seats were also leading their respective races at midnight, although final results were not in yet.
In blow to Obama, Democrats lose NJ, VA governor races
In a stunning upset, Republican Chris Christie defeated Democrat Barack Obama ... I mean Jon Corzine ... to win the New Jersey governor's race Tuesday.
Despite spending $23 million dollars and having Barack Obama campaign for him three times, Corzine, the free-spending liberal and Obama doormat, was tossed out by New Jersey voters in a a clear repudiation of the Obama agenda.
Christie's victory in heavily Democratic New Jersey should send shock waves through the Democratic Party establishment. Earlier in the evening, Republican Bob McDonnell won the Virginia governor's race in another litmus test of Obama's failed presidency.
Look for Democrats in Congress to bail out of Obama's big government, big deficit socialist agenda overnight.
Obama himself told New Jersey voters that the Christie-Corzine election was a referendum on his 10 months as president.
Corzine ran a nasty campaign of personal attacks, including making fun of Christie's weight.
The 300-pound Christie told supporters at a victory rally Tuesday night "we are going to pick Trenton up and turn it upside down."
With 75 percent of precincts reporting by 10:30 p.m., Christie had 50 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent for Corzine. Independent Chris Daggett had about 5 percent of the vote.
(Update: With 97 percent of precincts reporting at midnight, Christie had 49 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent for Corzine. Daggett finished with 5 percent.)
One year after the election of Barack Obama, voters could send a strong message they don't like the direction the country is headed by sweeping Republicans into office in the governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey and the special election in New York for a House seat.
It may be a new fiscal year, but Pennsylvania is experiencing the same problem. The state is spending more money than it takes in. That practice led to a record budget deficit last year and caused a 101-day budget impasse.
It appears Gov. Rendell and the Pennsylvania Legislature haven't learned a thing.
New figures released today by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue show fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $8.8 billion, which is $160.2 million, or 1.8 percent, below estimate.
The new fiscal year began July 1, although the state Legislature was 101 days late in approving a new budget.
The state finished the 2008-09 fiscal year with a $3.25 billion deficit.
From the Revenue Department:
Secretary of Revenue Stephen H. Stetler today reported that Pennsylvania collected $3.5 billion in General Fund revenue in October, which was $19.5 million, or 0.6 percent, less than anticipated.
Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $8.8 billion, which is $160.2 million, or 1.8 percent, below estimate.
Sales tax receipts totaled $696.6 million for October, $37 million below estimate. Year-to-date sales tax collections total $2.7 billion, which is $89.3 million, or 3.2 percent, less than anticipated.
Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in October was $719.9 million, $13.7 million above estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $2.9 billion, which is $84.2 million, or 2.8 percent, below estimate.
October corporation tax revenue of $116.6 million was $500,000 above estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $658 million, which is $7.8 million, or 1.2 percent, above estimate.
Other General Fund revenue figures for the month included $61.2 million in inheritance tax, $800,000 above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $242.8 million, which is $5.3 million below estimate.
Realty transfer tax was $26.1 million for October, $1.4 million above estimate, bringing the total to $108.3 million for the year, which is $2.3 million less than anticipated.
Richard Viguerie: Tea Party Activists Are the New GOP
From Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, on the withdrawal of GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava from the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district:
"Doug Hoffman and NY-23 is an earthquake in American politics, and is the first of many challenges to establishment Republicans that we will see for the 2010 elections and beyond. The stupid decision by Republican leaders to pour $900,000 into the NY-23rd race against a conservative has unleashed a fury that will lead to new GOP leadership.
"Conservatives anger at Washington-establishment Republicans will cost the national committees tens of millions of dollars as conservative money will start flowing directly to the Tea Parties and their candidates."
Barack Obama came into office with a 62% job approval number, but that has dropped to 48% by October. Rasmussen offers a month-by-month look at Obama's failed presidency.
From Rasmussen Reports:
The president's ratings dipped slightly in October after stabilizing in September.
In October, for the third straight month, 39% Strongly Disapproved of the president's performance. The number who Strongly Approved fell two percentage points to 29%, the president's lowest full-month total to date. That leads to a Presidential Approval Index rating of -10, also a new low for Obama.
Also in October, the president's total approval slipped a point to 48%. His total disapproval remained stable at 51%.
Another major Pennsylvania newspaper is backing Joan Orie Melvin for Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Tuesday's General Election.
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
What we do care about is legal acumen, temperament and moxie. And on all three counts, Judge Orie Melvin of Marshall, a Republican and a state Superior Court judge since 1997, is the best choice for the state's highest court.
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.