U.S. Census Bureau: 308 million Americans will ring in 2010
From the U.S. Census Bureau:
On this New Year's Eve, some 308 million Americans of all ages are ready to greet the year 2010 -- the year of the nation's 23rd census. A hundred years ago, the U.S. population was 90.5 million -- fifty years ago, it was just over 177 million. To show how fast the nation is growing, by this time tomorrow, there will be more than 12,000 new babies on hand to welcome the new year. Tonight's celebration will see many of the 180,000 musicians and singers in the U.S. entertaining crowds in night clubs, bars, and restaurants across the country. Also on hand will be most of the 375,000 bartenders and nearly 2 million waiters and waitresses. The men and women of the U.S. Census Bureau wish you a happy, safe, and prosperous new year.
The Democrats' Dirty Dozen Debacles of 2009 A Year-in-Review of Democrat-Controlled Government
The Republican Study Committee released the following list of disappointments from 2009, documenting the 12 most destructive actions, policies, and events of the past year:
1) January 22: Obama Announces Closure of Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility In one of the first actions of his presidency, President Obama declared that international appeasement trumps common sense security by signing executive orders to shutter Gitmo. The facility has been used since 2002 to detain enemy combatants who pose a national security threat. As we learned on Christmas Day, releasing those held at Gitmo, as the President seeks to do, is a significant threat to the safety of the American people.
2) January 23: President Repeals Mexico City Policy, Freeing Up Tax Dollars for Overseas Abortions In a blatant flip-flop from the campaign trail, the President continued his use of the executive order, this time to funnel U.S. tax dollars to abortion providers overseas. As a candidate the President said he sought to reduce the number of abortions; instead, he put taxpayers on the hook for abortions outside our borders.
3) February 17: President Obama Signs the So-called "Stimulus" With promises of millions of jobs "saved or created" and unemployment under 8%, the President shackled generations of Americans to reckless spending by signing a 1.1 trillion dollar package of political pet projects and misguided fiscal policy. As Republicans predicted, the so-called stimulus has done nothing but stimulate unemployment, debt, and bigger government.
4) April 2: House Passes Budget that Borrows, Taxes, and Spends Too Much Casting aside even the appearance of fiscal restraint, Democrats passed a budget resolution that proposed a record deficit in every year and would likely put a balanced budget out of touch for more than a generation. The smallest budget deficit over the next ten years is a stunning 28% higher than the previous record deficit.
5) April 17: Administration Releases Interrogation Memos Opening the U.S. counter-terrorism playbook to our enemies and the world, the Justice Department released documents detailing the methods our intelligence community uses to extract intelligence from terror suspects. This action set the stage for a year full of CIA politicization, most notably when the Speaker of the House called the CIA liars with no justification.
6) June 1: White House Buys Car Company In what represents the culmination of the new political economy, in which Washington, not markets, picks winners and losers, the administration upped its investment to $50 billion and took a 60 percent stake in auto giant GM. It's become clear that taxpayers will not be seeing their money back any time soon, if ever.
7) June 26: National Energy Tax Passes the House After twisting and perhaps breaking enough arms, Democrat leaders cobbled together the votes needed to pass a massive national energy tax that would cripple the American economy. The bill contains 397 regulations and 1,060 government mandates, is projected to cost American families more than $3,000 a year and would reduce employment by more than a million jobs.
8) October 28: Unconstitutional Thought Crimes Law Hitches Ride on Defense Bill With truly stunning cynicism for our military, the President enacted a law that puts justice for one classification of people before others by attaching it to a bill that is supposed to provide resources for our men and women in uniform. The bill was a grave abuse of both policy and procedure.
9) November 17: House Passes a Government Takeover of Health Care With more than three dozen brave Democrats joining Republicans in opposition, Democrat leaders in the House rammed through a massive government intervention into the health care system that has been completely rejected by the American people. The package is chock full of government decision-making, huge tax hikes, slashes to Medicare without real reform, limited access to care, and cost increases for American patients.
10) December 1: Obama Delays and Then Tips Our Hand on Afghanistan After his top commander said resources were needed and time is of the essence, the President "deliberated" for nearly three months on the way forward in Afghanistan. When he finally made his decision, he somehow managed to declare the beginning and the end of a new operation at the same time.
11) December 24: The Integrity of the Senate Put On the Auction Block In an historic disgrace to the great legislators who have graced the Senate before him, Majority Leader Reid engaged in a brazen operation of political bribery to pass a health care bill that is growing less popular by the day. The handouts that greased the skids to pass the government takeover of healthcare on Christmas Eve will surely haunt this Congress for decades to come.
12) All year long: Missed Opportunity to Work Together and Change the Tone Despite hollow speeches and faux sincerity, Democrats set forth one of the most partisan and opaque agendas in American history. Rejecting Republican input, and shutting the minority out of the legislative process in an unprecedented manner, Democrats jammed nearly all of their major proposals through the House on near party line votes, often only releasing legislation just hours before it came to the floor. The American people were looking for a new day, however what they saw was old Washington (and Chicago) on overdrive and a government that is not responsive to the American people.
From Rasmussen Reports: At midnight on New Year's Eve, 62% of American adults say they'll be awake to welcome in the new year. But a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 21% expect to be sound asleep, while 17% aren't sure if they'll be able to wait up that long.
Corbett, 12 other AGs threaten lawsuit against Obamacare
Could the U.S. Supreme Court end up deciding the fate of Obamacare?
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett and 12 other Republican attorney generals have threatened a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Senate health care bill.
In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday, South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster said he had "grave concerns" about the deal Senate leaders cut with Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson to secure his crucial vote for the health care package.
"The current iteration of the bill contains a provision that affords special treatment to the state of Nebraska under the federal Medicaid program," writes McMaster. "We believe this provision is constitutionally flawed. As chief legal officers of our states we are contemplating a legal challenge to this provision and we ask you to take action to render this challenge unnecessary by striking that provision."
"In addition to violating the most basic and universally held notions of what is fair and just, we also believe this provision of H.R. 3590 is inconsistent with protections afforded by the United States Constitution against arbitrary legislation," writes McMaster.
John Hawkins loves to make lists and he's usually right on the money.
His latest: A list of "The Top 10 Conservatives of 2009" -- you know, the people the mainstream media ignores. (I was little disappointed I didn't make the list, John). The list will surprise you.
From his column:
Let's face it: if you're conservative, you're not going to get your proper due from the mainstream media for your accomplishments. Case in point: Barbara Walters named Michelle Obama the most fascinating person of 2009. Really? Based on what? Her big arms? Her terrible fashion sense? The fact that she's married to the worst President in American history?
I mean, you could understand if Walters named Michelle's husband the most fascinating person of 2009. He is at least the President and it is fascinating to wonder if there's anything going on in his head beyond clichés about hope and "must read teleprompter" repeated over and over.
Of course, Barack Obama was Barbara Walters' most fascinating person of 2008. Wonder who'll be next in 2010? Joe or Jill Biden? In any case, just in case no one else does it, I want to give a little credit where credit is due to some of the conservatives who made a real difference in 2009.
Below is Hawkins list and check out the full column at Townhall.com to find out why they made the Top 10.
10) Andrew Breitbart 9) Marco Rubio 8) Rush Limbaugh 7) Jim DeMint 6) Carrie Prejean 5) Dick Cheney 4) Sarah Palin 3) Glenn Beck 2) James O'Keefe & Hannah Giles 1) The Tea Party Movement
Obama signs debt ceiling increase to $12.4 Trillion
How high will the U.S. deficit go? Depends on how long Democrats stay in power. If you'd like to bury your children and grandchildren in debt, keep voting Democrats back into Congress. If you think it's time to stop the madness, vote Republican in 2010.
Obama Signs U.S. Debt Limit Increase Into Law
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Monday signed into law an increase in the U.S. national debt limit to $12.4 trillion, the White House said in a statement.
Congress approved an increase in the debt limit from $12.1 trillion on Thursday, winning two more months of funding for a record U.S. deficit as Obama tries to stimulate economic growth after the country's worst recession in 70 years.
Critics say Democrat Obama is making the deficit worse, but the White House blames the recession and unfunded cuts in taxes and prescription drug aid, which were all inherited from his Republican predecessor George W. Bush.
The U.S. government posted a record $1.4 trillion deficit in the fiscal year ended September 30 and is on track during the current fiscal year to spend at least $1 trillion more than it collects.
The debt has more than doubled since 2001, thanks to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, tax cuts and the recession, which has caused tax revenues to plunge and safety-net spending to rise.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh, writing at The Commonwealth Foundation Web site, makes a strong case for getting rid of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which he says is "a dumping ground for the institutionalized entitlement."
From Thornburgh's column:
During my campaign for governor more than 32 years ago, I made a pledge to restore integrity and efficiency to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
At the time, 40 percent of our roads and 25 percent of our bridges were in substandard condition. It was widely acknowledged that PennDOT served as a patronage dump; I went so far as to label it the "home of the three Ps – payoffs, patronage and potholes." It was clear that fixing PennDOT was a necessity.
The residents of the commonwealth agreed, having faith in my pledge, and elected me governor. Shortly after beginning my first term, I began a thorough reconstruction of PennDOT.
Working with state Secretary of Transportation (and future Federal Highway Administration head) Tom Larson, I ignored all threats of political retribution and scrubbed PennDOT clean of graft and corruption. The difficult task of fixing PennDOT was a resounding success. In 1981 PennDOT was recognized as "one of the best managed – and financed – public works agencies in the country" by trade magazines.
Larson was recognized by one publication as its Man of the Year. That was nearly 30 years ago.
Today the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) has replaced PennDOT as a dumping ground for the institutionalized entitlement we helped eradicate.
Read the full column, "A Road to Savings: Abolish the PA Turnpike Commission," at The Commonwealth Foundation's Web site.
It doesn't appear that Barack Obama's Muslim-heritage or his dazzling personality have won the U.S. many friends among the radical Islamic community.
Let's review what Obama has done in the past year to make life easier for Islamic radicals whose stated mission in life is to kill American citizens:
Obama has released dozens of terrorists from Guantanamo and plans to close the military prison entirely.
He intends to bring some of the world's most dangerous terrorists, captured on the battlefield, to United States soil for trial in civilian courtrooms.
He's traveled the world to apologize for U.S. foreign policy and has canceled major weapons system. The groveling hasn't worked, either.
The scheduled surrender in Afghanistan announced recently by our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president hasn't done the trick.
What's it going to take or how many Americans have to die before Barack Obama and his far-left cronies in the White House begin to take terrorism seriously?
The Nigerian man charged with the Christmas Day bombing attempt aboard Northwest Flight 253, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, reportedly spent time in Yemen after graduating from a London university in 2008. According to ABC News, Abdulmutallab has told authorities that, while in Yemen, Al Qaeda operatives crafted the explosive device which was sewn into Abdulmutallab's underwear.
"Yesterday just highlights the fact that sending this many people back — or any people back — to Yemen right now is a really bad idea," said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. "It's just dumb… If you made a list of what the three dumbest countries would be to send people back to, Yemen would be on all the lists."
"I think it's a major mistake," Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said about prisoner releases to Yemen. "I don't think Guantanamo should be closed, but if we're going to close it I don't believe we should be sending people to Yemen where prisoners have managed to escape in the past… Obviously, if [Abdulmutallab] did get training and direction from Yemen, it just adds to what is already a dangerous situation."
Read the full story, "Xmas bomb bid complicates Gitmo plan," at POLITICO.com
The most expensive state legislature in the country
Columnist Brian O'Neill of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette attempts to explain why the Pennsylvania Legislature is the most expensive in the country.
From his column:
How in the name of all that is holy can you spend $84.5 million in just 101 days?
"It's stunning, isn't it?" state Rep. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat from suburban Philadelphia, replied when I asked.
That's how much America's Largest Full-Time State Legislature spent this past summer and fall while dawdling over the only real job its 253 members have.
That would be passing a budget on time. It came in more than three months late.
The daily tab for tardiness came to almost $837,000. That covered all the costs -- salaries, perks, travel, utilities, printing, mail, phones -- for the House, the Senate, their office staff and the various agencies that support them: the Legislative Budget and Finance Commission, the Legislative Reference Bureau, the Department of Redundancy Department, etc.
Read his full column, "Legislature works at its hardest when taking care of itself," at the newspaper's Web site.
And after you read it, you find your blood pressure reaching the boiling point, just remember that all 203 members of the House and 25 members of the Senate face re-election in 2010. You can do something about it ... but only if you're willing to change the cast of characters currently occupying Harrisburg.
If Democrats are doing something good for the country, why did the party bosses have to spend so much taxpayer money to bribe Democratic members of Congress into voting for the "health care reform" bill? Just wondering.
Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab ruins Obama's Christmas
Leave it to Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab to ruin Christmas (not to mention the vacation in Hawaii) for Barack Obama.
Democrats were expecting to bask over the holiday with their strong-armed passage of Obamacare, but a Nigerian terrorist spoiled everything by focusing America's attention on the ongoing War on Terror that the Obama Administration spent 10 months pretending didn't exist.
The Fort Hood terrorist attack and the attempted downing of a commercial airplane loaded with holiday travelers are a double-dose of reality in the Neverland that Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack Obama and his far-left cronies live in.
I guess that plan to bring more than 100 of the world's most dangerous terrorists from Guantanimo to Illinois isn't looking so hot right now.
Poll: Just 29% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction
The American people left a lump of coal in Barack Obama's Christmas stocking this holiday season.
Just 29% say the U.S. is heading in right direction, according to Rasmussen Reports.
And the poll was conducted before the Senate approved the disastrous Obamacare bill that will raise taxes and increase insurance premiums for tens of millions of Americans.
From Rasmussen Reports:
Just 29% of U.S. voters now say the country is heading in the right direction, the lowest level measured since early February, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
The percentage of voters who felt the country is heading in the right direction remained in the narrow range of 31% to 35% from July to early November. For the previous three weeks, however, confidence in the country’s current course has held steady at 30%.
The majority of voters (65%) continue to believe the nation is heading down the wrong track. The latest finding is up slightly from last week and has remained fairly consistent for months. In the weeks just prior to Barack Obama's election, more than 80% of voters felt that way.
This time last year, 17% said the country was heading in the right direction, while 77% said it was heading down the wrong track. Following Obama's inauguration in January, voter confidence in the direction of the country began steadily increasing, peaking at 40% in early May. Since then voter confidence has steadily declined.
Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Republicans and 74% of unaffiliated voters believe the nation is heading down the wrong track, findings that have held roughly steady for months. Democrats are more closely divided on the question: 52% say right direction, 38% say wrong track. Just nine percent (9%) of GOP voters say the United States is heading in the right direction.
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was 30. Then for three years, He was an itinerant preacher.
He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself.
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth — His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
[Twenty] long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.
— This excerpt is from a sermon by Dr. James Allan Francis in "The Real Jesus and Other Sermons," a collection published in 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia.
FRC on the Christmas Eve Passage of the Health Care 'Reform' Bill
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments on the passage by Senate Democrats of the so-called "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act --
"Today's Christmas Eve vote may signal the end of the debate in the Senate, but it's far from the end of the debate at large. Since Senator Reid's bad bill is substantially different from the House's bad bill, the lower chamber will have to vote on the plan again. The Senate bill's massive funding for elective abortions and the construction of abortion facilities are among the most radical differences. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted in an interview that the Senate health care bill will force 'everybody' in the exchange to pay an abortion premium. The so-called Nelson 'compromise' ensures that everyone will pay for abortion--no matter how the funds are divided up.
"According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Americans -- by a huge three to one margin -- are overwhelmingly opposed to using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. Seventy-two percent of the country is now firmly on the side of Congressman Bart Stupak's (D-Mich.) solution to ban the government's financial involvement in the deadly procedure. House and Senate conferees would do well to heed that warning when they come together to iron out their differences with the final bill, else this bill could collapse because of it.
"Disagreement over abortion funding is one of the many reasons this fight is far from over. Both House and Senate versions of the bill are seriously flawed. Both bills still allow rationing of health care for seniors, raise health costs for families, mandate that families purchase under threat of fines and penalties, offer counsel about assisted suicide in some states, do not offer broad conscience protections for health care workers and seek to insert the federal government into all aspects of citizen's lives. Additionally, the bills would place a crushing debt on both current and future generations."
Carter Clews offers an instant Christmas classic in his tale of the Gimme posted at GetLibety.org, the Web site of Americans for Limited Government.
Here's how the story begins:
Once upon a time, not too long ago, in a land where each of us has often been, there lived a very strange, yet vaguely familiar-looking character. He was not too big, but not too small. Not too short, but not too tall. He had big, over-sized hands, a terribly undersized heart, and, I'm afraid, a very sour-puss face.
Yes, it was true. He was one of those terribly rude, often crude, rarely good creatures known as a Gimme.
This Gimme, as it turns out, lived in a big old mansion on the top of the town's highest hill. It was often said among the townspeople that the mansion at one time had been the grandest, happiest home in the village – cool in the summer and warm in the winter, with huge brick fireplaces that heated every room with the warm fragrance of burning, crackling logs.
Now, however, since Mr. Gimme had lived in the house, it was old and crickety, with such high grass and thick vines that it really resembled very strongly a deep, dark cave – with Mr. Gimme as its hermit.
And what a sad, grouchy old hermit Mr. Gimme was. He would yell, and he would holler, and he'd pinch every dollar 'til you’d almost hear the poor thing scream for help. It was said that when old Mr. Gimme went to the store to buy things, he'd never be polite, but would bark out angrily, "Gimme this and gimme that, or I'll hit you with my hat!"
If Santa Claus represented the American people, he'd leave lump of coal under Barack Obama's tree this Christmas.
From Rasmussen Reports:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 25% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-six percent (46%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21 That's the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President.
Fifty-three percent (53%) of men Strongly Disapprove along with 39% of women. Most African-American voters (58%) Strongly Approve while most white voters (53%) Strongly Disapprove.
Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans Strongly Disapprove as do 52% of unaffiliated voters. Forty-seven percent (47%) of Democrats Strongly Approve.
For the second straight day, the update shows the highest level of Strong Disapproval yet recorded for this President. That negative rating had never topped 42% before yesterday. However, it has risen dramatically since the Senate found 60 votes to move forward with the proposed health care reform legislation. Most voters (55%) oppose the health care legislation and senior citizens are even more likely than younger voters to dislike the plan.
The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve.
Overall, 44% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Fifty-six percent (56%) now disapprove.
Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Democrats approve while 88% of Republicans and 62% of unaffiliated voters disapprove.
For more analysis, check out Rasmussen Reports here.
Who you gonna trust with your family's health care? Harry Reid and Barack Obama or your doctor?
More than 500,000 U.S. doctors oppose the Obamacare bill about to be rammed through the U.S. Senate.
To date 43 state, county and national medical societies, representing nearly one‐half million physicians, have stated their public opposition to the Senate healthcare overhaul bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590). It is time for Congress to slow down, take a step back, and change the direction of current reform efforts to ensure that it is done right!
Pennsylvania has lost more than 105,000 jobs in the past year alone, so why is Ed Rendell in such a hurry to lay off more state workers?
Taht's what columnist Kevin Cramsey is wondering, too.
From a new column at Harrisburg Examiner.com:
The administration's head count is something like 721, but it doesn't include 60 or so who were offered up from the treasury and another 100-150 teachers, administrators and others who were cast out when Rendell ordered the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to shutter the Scotland School for Veterans Children. There's probably more casualties out there if look hard enough.
Curiously, though the governor fusses and worries about state revenues being down due to a bad economy, he's willing to worsen the state's unemployment picture by putting even more people out of work and overtaxing the state's unemployment compensation fund.
Gerlach: Health Care Bill Brings Blizzard of Spending, No Real Reforms
U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate's rush to pass a health care bill before Christmas:
"While Mother Nature was dumping a record-setting amount of snow on southeastern Pennsylvania this weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Democrat leadership colleagues unleashed a blizzard of taxpayer dollars in a frantic attempt to pass a health care bill that has more to do with scoring political points than making insurance affordable and improving the quality of health care. And American taxpayers will be paying for these deals aimed at paving the path to government-controlled health care long after the snow melts.
"After promising Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu $300 million in taxpayer dollars last month in exchange for her vote, Reid struck backroom deals that will force Pennsylvania taxpayers to help finance a $1.1 billion Medicaid bailout over the next 10 years for Nebraska, Massachusetts and Vermont. That is in addition to an estimated $2.2 billion Pennsylvania taxpayers will have to cover during the next decade if the Democrats’ health care proposal becomes law. Reid also slipped in a $100 million earmark for an unidentified hospital in an unidentified state to build a new facility.
"This avalanche of spending would be bad enough. But the Senate bill also retains the same job-crushing taxes and big government bureaucracy contained in the House health care bill, which I voted against on November 7. Taxes would climb by about $400 billion per year. That includes a $2 billion per year tax on medical testing products that help detect ovarian, breast and pancreatic cancer; products used in hip-replacement surgery and to help patients heal broken limbs; heart stents used in life-saving operations; and other medical devices. This tax would hit Pennsylvania particularly hard because of the approximately 600 medical device manufactures in the Commonwealth that employ roughly 20,000 people in jobs that often pay more than $50,000 per year.
"All of this taxing and spending will result in a bill that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed would raise health insurance premiums by $300 per year for individuals and $2,100 per year for middle-class families. That’s unacceptable.
"Rather than buying votes, leaders in the House and Senate should be working on medical malpractice reforms that could save patients up to $140 billion per year and other bipartisan measures that would increase competition among private insurers to lower the cost of premiums and give consumers greater freedom and choices in buying coverage. I will continue working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to achieve these goals."
Reform candidate to challenge incumbent in 130th House Dist.
Two-term state Rep. David R. Kessler will face a Republican challenger in 2010.
David M. Maloney Sr. has announced he is seeking the Republican primary nomination to challenge Kessler, a liberal Democrat who won the traditionally Republican Eastern Berks County House district in 2006.
"As a patriotic Republican, I feel that 2010 will be a critical election year as we the people, rise up to stop expanding government and the over-reaching of the Democrats in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C.," Maloney said in a prepared statement.
Maloney has lived in rural Pike Township with his wife and four children for the past 30 years. He served on the Oley Valley School Board from 2005-09.
As a self employed carpenter for the past 25 years, Malone said he has seen "the effects of this down economy and the hindrance government has placed on job growth."
His platform includes getting government out of the way of creating jobs; the elimination of school property taxes; Personal property rights; reducing the size of government; and improving public school performance and accountability.
"I would work to reduce taxes and eliminate wasteful programs," Maloney said. "I believe the job of our elected officials is to serve and represent the people, not the people supporting career politicians. I approach this campaign with a servant's heart and a deep affection for the people I have lived with in this district from the time I was a young boy."
Since announcing his intention to run for the state Legislature, Maloney says he has been encouraged by the positive reception he has received from residents of the 130th District and "it has confirmed and reinforced my decision; a decision I made humbly and prayerfully."
Among Maloney's civic activities are serving on the "Victory Mile" committee at Boyertown High School, an American Cancer Society Relay For Life Team Captain, member of several area sports clubs and associations, and serving as a PIAA official.
Maloney will formally announce his candidacy before friends and supporters on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Multi-Service building in Boyertown.
Former state Rep. Dennis Leh, a Republican who held the 130th Dist. seat for 20 years, will serve as Maloney's campaign chairman.
The 130th District includes Amity Township; Birdsboro; Boyertown; Colebrookdale Township; Douglass Township; Earl Township; Exeter Township (Districts 01, 03, 06 and 07); Fleetwood; Oley Township; Pike Township; Rockland Township; Ruscombmanor Township; and Union Township.
Terrific post at the always amusing DotPenn blog setting the record straight about Ebenezer Scrooge's political affiliation.
From "Eleven Reasons Why Scrooge Is A Progressive" --
Ebenezer Scrooge, or just Scrooge, has often been portrayed as a miserly Conservative.
However, a closer examination of the skinflint character from Charles Dickens's Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, reveals that, on the contrary, Scrooge is a progressive.
Here are eleven reasons why Scrooge is a progressive.
1) Scrooge relies on government programs to handle poverty.
And the Union workhouses demanded Scrooge Are they still in operation? The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full then? said Scrooge.
2.) He ignores private charities as the most effective way to help people in need.
I help to support the establishments I have mentioned they cost enough and those who are badly off must go there.
3.) Scrooge, an environmental progressive, refuses to allow his staff members to burn coal.
Scrooge had a very small fire but the clerk's fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn't replenish it for Scrooge kept the coal box in his own room and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part.
If the growing national debt of $12.4 trillion doesn't scare you, add the cost of unfunded liabilities (currently $62.9 trillion) to that total and you'll get a sense of how close this country is to declaring bankruptcy under the free-spending Democrats.
While Congress has voted to raise the national debt ceiling to $12.4 trillion, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that the federal government's unfunded liabilities – the costs of promised benefits through Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and several other programs – total $62.9 trillion in today's dollars.
When asked about these costs and the government's entitlement promises to the American people, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told CNSNews.com that it is "irresponsible" for the federal government to continue to spend money it does not have and that this issue will be the “most important thing” Congress will discuss next year.
"I said on the floor last night, American families can't spend more than what they bring in for 36 of the last 40 years," Boehner told CNSNews.com at his weekly briefing. "No business in America can exist that spends more than it brings in for 36 of the last 40 years, and certainly, our government can't continue to exist if we continue to spend money that we don't have."
Newspaper: Obama/Pelosi 'stimulus' the costliest fiscal failure in U.S. history
From Investor's Business Daily:
This year's $787 billion "stimulus" is now the costliest fiscal failure in U.S. history. Put bluntly, it didn't work — in fact, it made things worse. So what do you follow it up with? Why, "Stimulus, Part II."
Government is by its very essence wasteful, but it doesn't have to be stupid. Yet, with more than a year's experience under our belt and no real progress seen in ending our jobless recovery, you'd think Congress would be hesitant to pass another big-spending, job-killing failure like the last.
On Thursday, however, the House passed another $175 billion "jobs" bill. Given what we know, this is an act of either total ignorance or breathtaking political opportunism — or a bit of both.
It amounts to a third round of stimulus. In 2008, President George W. Bush tried one, handing out some $152 billion — a bit under 1% of GDP — to Americans and inviting them to spend it to get the economy growing again. Instead, they saved it or paid down credit cards.
This year's mammoth stimulus, we were assured by the Obama White House, would be different. It would cap unemployment at 8% and kick-start the economy. But the unemployment rate soared above 10%, and we've lost 4 million jobs this year alone.
So it's no longer debatable: Based on what was promised, the stimulus has failed. Even so, we now may get another one (called a "jobs bill" this time), which no doubt will be just as wasteful.
While millions of Americans struggle with unemployment and declining wages, Uncle Sam is paying big salaries to federal workers.
From The Washington Examiner:
While many workers in the private sector have despaired of a pay increase in the past few years, Congress takes care of federal employees with annual raises, awarding 3.9 percent in 2009, 3.5 percent in 2008 and 2.7 percent in 2007.
The average pay for the nation's 1.9 million federal workers is a little over $71,000, with the 372,041 federal workers in the Washington area earning an average of $94,047. The average salary for the nation's 108 million private-sector workers is $50,028.
While the proposed pay increase for next year is relatively small, the boost combined with an increase in federal government salaries amid a looming budget deficit crisis and the nation's 10 percent unemployment rate managed to raise some eyebrows.
"I about fell off my chair when I saw that the number of federal employees making more than $150,000 have more than doubled in the last 18 months," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican. "While the American people are hurting, the federal government is padding its pocket. This is totally inappropriate and unacceptable."
State Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks, a candidate for Pennsylvania governor, has sent a scathing message to supporters blasting the current governor and the Democratic leadership in the House for linking state funding to colleges with passage of expanded gambling.
Here is Rohrer's comments:
Lobbyists for Organized Gambling are at it again! This time, their ally-in-chief, Governor Ed Rendell and a majority in the state House of Representatives are holding up hundreds of millions of dollars in higher education funding to Pitt, Penn State, Lincoln and Temple in an unprecedented push to legalize high-stakes, casino table games.
This bill is truly insidious.
In addition to giving casino operators a discounted 14% tax rate (as opposed to a 55% rate for slots), they will now be able to issue lines of credit to prospective gamblers. That’s right, predatory, credit card gambling.
Friends, you know the truth about this destructive lie. When Pennsylvania approved a state lottery, it was billed as the savior for senior programs. When they approved off-track betting, small games of chance and later 67,000 slot machines were proposed and approved, they came with a promise - easy cash to fund worthy programs.
To date friends, Pennsylvania's political leaders have embraced gambling, but failed to deliver the promised windfall profit. Sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me doesn't it?
This afternoon, we're headed back to the House floor to debate this bad bill. The deck is stacked, the special interests are getting ready to celebrate, but there is still hope!
Will you please contact your state representative this afternoon? Visit the Pennsylvania Family Institute to see who needs to hear from you, and the best way to get connected.
This battle is worth the 5-minute investment of your time and energy. Will you help take on Organized Gambling?
This might explain why Pennsylvania lawmakers usually eat out or have catered meals brought in.
From The Associated Press:
Mice infestation shuts down Pa. Capitol cafeteria
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The cafeteria in Pennsylvania's Capitol was shut down and workers scoured the facility Friday after health inspectors found evidence of a rodent infestation and dishwashing water that wasn't hot enough.
The ground-floor cafeteria, a popular coffee and lunch spot for visitors to the statehouse and people who work there, was closed Thursday after state Department of Agriculture officials made an unannounced inspection.
"There were mouse droppings around the facility too numerous to mention," said Justin Fleming, a spokesman for the state Agriculture Department.
The droppings, which indicate the presence of live mice, are considered an imminent health risk, Fleming said. A leak that prevented the water in dishwashers from becoming hot enough to sterilize plates and utensils also was considered an imminent threat, he said.
Schroder blasts 'disgraceful' tactics by Rendell, Eachus
Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155th Dist., the Republican chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, said in a prepared statement Thursday that Gov. Ed Rendell and House Majority Leader Todd Eachus (D-Luzerne) have destroyed any credibility they may have had with state universities and the public after insisting that legislation authorizing table games in the Commonwealth had to pass before state universities could be funded.
"House Republicans had insisted that the money needed to fund the universities of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln was there all along and that the universities were being used as pawns in Rendell's and Eachus's determination to expand gambling in Pennsylvania," said Schroder. "Now the majority leader, who for weeks had been towing the governor's line, admits that the money is indeed there and that the governor should sign the legislation on his desk to release the funding.
"For weeks, the universities, students and their families have had to endure the possibility that substantial tuition increases would be necessary if the state's appropriation did not come through. Students have had to entertain the possibility that they might not be able to afford to return to college for the spring semester. It was a cruel and unnecessary exercise - all to satisfy the gambling ambitions of Rendell and Eachus," Schroder said.
At a Harrisburg press conference earlier in the day, Rendell said he will sign legislation that the House passed earlier this week, releasing $700 million for the universities. The House did not take up table games legislation, pushing a possible vote on the issue until early 2010.
This is a battle fought every year between the secular left and the majority of Americans, but the sad part here is that Luzerne County officials chose to surrender to the anti-Christian hate groups, including the ACLU, instead of standing up for the majority of county residents.
From The Associated Press:
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Officials in northeastern Pennsylvania have removed a pair of religious holiday symbols from a public space after being threatened with legal action.
Luzerne County commissioners took down the creche and menorah from the courthouse lawn on Wednesday after receiving an objection from two civil liberties groups.
The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State told the county in a Dec. 11 letter that the displays are an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.
County Solicitor Vito DeLuca says officials chose to forgo a legal fight because of a local budget crisis and other pressing matters.
The nativity scene is county-owned and has been placed on the lawn in Wilkes-Barre for decades. The county added a menorah about 20 years ago.
For more on how to fight the liberal fascists, check out the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) Web site.
Americans for Tax Reform has released its 2009 Naughty and Nice List featuring a lot of well-known Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
In case you haven't figured it out, Biden and Pelosi are on the "Naughty" list, which also includes former Gov. Jon Corzine, Rep. Charlie Rangel, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Chris Dodd, Rep. Barney Frank and Rahm Emanuel.
Why it's a virtual who's who of everybody running Washington ... and running this country into the ground.
The "Nice" list is overwhelmingly Republican: House Republican Leader John Boehner, Sen. Mike Johanns, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Rep. Darrell Issa, Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Tom Price.
Anyone who has ever driven in Pennsylvania or anyone who has examined how much money PennDOT spends each year will not be surprised at the results of a new study.
Reason Foundation's 18th Annual Highway Report ranks Pennsylvania 38 in a listing of the nation's most cost-effective state-owned highway system.
The state's roads and bridges have been neglected by the Rendell Administration for the past seven years, while the Governor of Philadelphia has siphoned off money to pay union fat cats and prop up failing mass transit systems.
The honor just keep pouring in for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. On the same day he was named Time magazine's 2009 Person of the Year, Bernake was also selected 2009 Villain of the Year by the National Inflation Association.
The Association is a citizen watchdog group that is concerned about the growing threat of hyper-inflation due to unchecked spending by the federal government and the uncontrolled printing of money by the Fed.
While the far-left staff at Time magazine thinks Bernanke helped prevent a second Great Depression, the folks at the National Inflation Association believe Bernanke has sown the seeds of a massive collapse of the U.S. dollar and the world economy.
When it costs $20 for a gallon of milk in a few years, Americans will have nobody to thank more than Bernanke, the Association says.
Who's right? My money (for what it's worth) is on the National Inflaton Association.
The U.S. government's unprecedented spending splurge, with no end in sight, is creating a mountain of debt that endangers both our economy and way of life. Can something be done about it?
Anyone who reads IBD knows we're not doomsayers. Sometimes, in fact, we've been chided for cockeyed optimism in the face of even the gloomiest prognostications. Our faith in America's resilient economy, the world's largest and most creative, and in the productive people who make it go, was reason enough.
That said, we face a rather stark fact today: The current path for U.S. debt is unsustainable.
Our $14 trillion economy is more than three times bigger than the next largest in the world. But our debt will soon surpass even the bloated level of WWII, when we were literally fighting for our lives and freedoms with a weak economy struggling to emerge from the Great Depression.
In just the last year alone, according to a report this week from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), total U.S. public debt has jumped to $7.6 trillion, or 53% of GDP, from $5.7 trillion, or 41% of GDP.
Barbara Oakley, a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers and an engineering professor at Oakland University, offers an interesting perspective on the recent revelation that much of the science used to prop up the global warming theory has been manufactured by so-called scientists.
From a recent Oakley column:
The breathtaking dishonesty and incompetence of climatology's intellectual leadership clearly reveals that a discipline can become dominated by a small group of ideologically-motivated intellectual gatekeepers. So much so that these gatekeepers can cut off the ability of dissenters to publish in a peer-reviewed journal. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal, of course, is the sine qua non of grants, which in turn leads to careers in academia. No publications — no career.
Narrow intellectual gatekeeping is omnipresent in academia. Want to know why the government wastes hundreds of millions of dollars on math and science programs that never seem to improve the test scores of American students? Part of the reason for this is that today's K-12 educators—unlike educators in other high-scoring countries of the world — refuse to acknowledge evidence that memorization plays an important role in mastering mathematics. Any proposed program that supports memorization is deemed to be against "creativity" by today's intellectual gatekeepers in K-12 education, including those behind the Math and Science Partnerships. As one NSF program director told me: “We hear about success stories with practice and repetition-based programs like Kumon Mathematics. But I'll be frank with you—you’ll never get anything like that funded. We don't believe in it." Instead the intellectual leadership in education encourages enormously expensive pimping programs that put America even further behind the international learning curve.
The latest edition of The George Washington University Battleground Poll offers some sobering news for Democrats, who are headed for major loses in Congress in 2010 if they continue to push a big government, higher taxes, massive deficit agenda.
The GW Poll finds a majority of voters (56%) believing that the country is on the wrong track.
Top areas of concern are the economy and jobs, health care costs, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the federal budget deficit.
More from the poll:
Looking ahead to the 2010 Congressional Elections, the Republican Party now enjoys a two point advantage (42%-40%) on the Congressional generic ballot.
However, voters are closely divided on their preference for a divided government (41%) or for a unified government (38%). In addition, a majority (68%) of voters disapprove of the job performance of Congress. This is an eleven point increase in Congressional job disapproval since the last Battleground survey was conducted in July.
President Obama has a job approval rating at 50%, while his personal approval rating is 67%, and he has a 56% favorable rating on name identification.
On other name identification scores, Republicans in Congress (41% favorable/46% unfavorable) trail the Democrats in Congress (43% favorable/49% unfavorable). Among other figures tested, Joe Biden is nine points net positive (49% favorable/40% unfavorable) while Sarah Palin is one point net negative (45% favorable/46% unfavorable).
A split sample series of questions asked the public to rate how well the Republicans in Congress and President Obama were handling a variety of policy issues. President Obama has an advantage on being honest and trustworthy (+15), promoting energy independence (+9), reforming health care (+8), turning the economy around (+6) and sharing your values (+1). Republicans in Congress enjoy an advantage over President Obama on controlling wasteful spending (+7), promoting a strong national defense (+15) and holding down taxes (+18).
On a series of health care questions, sixty percent (60%) indicate that they currently have private health care insurance, while thirty-one percent (31%) have government health insurance and seven percent (7%) do not have health insurance. Among those who have private insurance, ninety-one percent (91%) indicate that they are "satisfied" with the quality of health care they and their family receive.
For more poll results and analysis, follow the link below:
Top Democrat Bill DeWeese, Rendell official charged in corruption probe
The Associated Press is reporting that Attorney General Tom Corbett has charged state Rep. Bill DeWeese, a top-ranking Democratic leader for decades, and Gov. Ed Rendell's former Revenue Secretary, Stephen Stetler, with theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest charges.
This is the third round of charges in what has been known as "Bonusgate," a wide-ranging investigation of corruption centered in the Pennsylvania Legislature.
DeWeese, who has served in the House since 1976, including a lengthy term as Democratic floor leader and a term as Speaker of the House, has repeatedly denied any knowledge or involvement in "Bonusgate," which involved paying millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bonus money to Democrats for political work on state time.
The charges against Stetler are related to his previous service in the state House, according to the AP. He resigned as Rendell's Revenue Secretary Tuesday morning in anticipation of the criminal charges.
Sen. Bayh: Democrats 'totally out of touch with the sacrifices middle-class Americans are making'
Sen. Evan Bayh – who joined Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) in breaking from their party to oppose the bill – said in a statement Monday that Washington politicians "are totally out of touch with the sacrifices middle-class Americans are making."
Last time I checked, Sen. Bayh, Democrats were in control of both Houses of Congress and the White House. So I'm guessing your reference to "Washington politicians" is a shot at your fellow Democrats.
Some 244 businesses on the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue's tax delinquent list owe the state more than $8 million, according to Revenue Secretary Stephen H. Stetler.
"These businesses collected taxes from their customers and employees but failed to send the money to the commonwealth," Stetler said in a prepared statement. "I encourage taxpayers to visit the department's Web site -- www.revenue.state.pa.us -- to see the list of delinquent businesses."
From the Department of Revenue:
Thirty-two new delinquent taxpayers were added to the list this month, including: Allegheny Answering Services, Pittsburgh ($117,120.38); Petz Unlimited Inc., Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County ($17,381.60); Urology Group Inc., Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County ($33,980.60); Edwin C. Hill dba Hills Auto Repair, Altoona, Blair County ($7,832.51); Energetics Mechanical Inc., Easton, Northampton County ($8,977.58); and EMS Management Systems Inc., Kingston, Luzerne County ($38,009.86).
The list includes businesses that owe sales and/or employer withholding taxes. Since the list debuted in April 2006, 509 of the 753 businesses, or 67.6 percent, that appeared on the list have been removed because they paid taxes in full, committed to deferred payment plans or went out of business.
A reminder from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture:
Dog owners across Pennsylvania are reminded to apply for mandatory 2010 dog licenses before the Jan. 1 deadline, Deputy Secretary for Dog Law Enforcement Jessie Smith said.
"Obtaining a license is a quick, easy way to help ensure the safety of man's best friend," said Smith. "Not only can a license be a passport home for lost dogs, license fees collected help us to ensure humane conditions are provided for dogs in kennels."
State law requires that all dogs three months or older be licensed by Jan. 1 each year. An annual license is $8 and a lifetime license is $51. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6 while a lifetime license is $31. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities.
All dogs must be licensed. Failure to license a dog is a summary offense and could result in a maximum fine of $300 for each unlicensed dog.
Fees collected through dog licensing are used by the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement to protect the health, safety and welfare of dogs. More than 930,000 licenses were obtained in 2009.
License applications are available at county treasurer's offices. A list of county treasurers and a downloadable license application is available online at www.agriculture.state.pa.us under "Forms."
Pennsylvania State Rep. Sam Rohrer, who is also a candidate for governor, will the guest speaker at the Winter Commencement at Albright College in Reading.
The school announced that 124 students from both Albright's traditional undergraduate program and Accelerated Degree Completion Program will receive diplomas at Albright College's Winter Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 19. Diplomas will be presented by President Lex O. McMillan III. The ceremony will be held in Memorial Chapel at 2 p.m.
Rohrer, who represents Berks County's 128th House District, will be the main commencement speaker, the school announced this week.
First elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1992, Rohrer is the ranking chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. He also serves on the House Finance Committee and previously served as the ranking chairman of the Game and Fisheries Committee and has spent 12 years on the House Appropriations Committee.
Best known as the architect and prime sponsor of the School Property Tax Elimination Act, Rohrer has earned statewide recognition as the champion for property tax reform.
He hopes to parlay that work in his bid for Pennsylvania governor in 2010.
Obamacare Will Shut Down Physician-Owned Hospitals
What the Democrats aren't telling you about the consequences of Obamacare: Projected loss of more than 70,000 jobs, more than $5 billion lost in state and local economic activity, according to a new report released by Physician Hospitals of America.
If you suffer from Palin Derangement Syndrome, stop reading now.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a longtime skeptic of the global warming hoax, weighs in on the growing Climategate scandal in an op-ed published by The Washington Post.
From Palin's column:
With the publication of damaging e-mails from a climate research center in Britain, the radical environmental movement appears to face a tipping point. The revelation of appalling actions by so-called climate change experts allows the American public to finally understand the concerns so many of us have articulated on this issue.
"Climate-gate," as the e-mails and other documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia have become known, exposes a highly politicized scientific circle -- the same circle whose work underlies efforts at the Copenhagen climate change conference. The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won't change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse.
Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference. The president should boycott Copenhagen.
State Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh) issued the following statement after the Pennsylvania House of Representatives recessed again this week without taking up funding bills for the state's four state-related universities or a table gaming measure that Democratic leaders claim need to be passed to fund these appropriations:
"Just as tuition bills for the next semester are being mailed to students and parents, House Democratic leaders this week rebuffed a bipartisan attempt to pass state funding bills for Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple and Lincoln universities.
"Republicans asked that these funding bills be voted on, but it became apparent that the bills are being held hostage until Democratic leaders can twist enough arms to pass a table gaming bill that they claim is needed to fund universities.
"Families are already struggling to find money to pay for ever-increasing tuition bills. This week they found themselves involved in yet another hostage situation orchestrated by Governor Ed Rendell and House Democrat leaders. Instead of passing the bills and releasing state funding that is currently available, the bills are being held until a vote for an expanded gambling bill takes place.
"This is the third set of budget hostages this year. First it was state employees, then it was nonprofits and community service organizations, now its college students, parents, and universities that desperately need state funding so tuition rates don't skyrocket.
"I had prepared an amendment to the table gaming bill to direct the funds toward the Public School Employees Retirement System and the impending pension spike, rather than allowing the governor to access the revenue in the General Fund. Since Democrat leadership abruptly adjourned session, this issue will be addressed again next week."
The United States is running out of money to pay its bills. So what do the Democrats have in mind? Print more money, of course.
In a bold but risky year-end strategy, Democrats are preparing to raise the federal debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion before New Year's rather than have to face the issue again prior to the 2010 elections.
"We've incurred this debt. We have to pay our bills," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told POLITICO Wednesday. And the Maryland Democrat confirmed that the anticipated increase could be as high as $1.8 trillion — nearly twice what had been assumed in last spring's budget resolution for the 2010 fiscal year.
The leadership is betting that it's better for the party to take its lumps now rather than risk further votes over the coming year. But the enormity of the number could create its own dynamic, much as another debt ceiling fight in 1985 gave rise to the Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction act mandating across-the-board spending cuts nearly 25 years ago.
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.