Weekly GOP Address: Sen. Susan Collins on National Security Policy
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee discusses the Obama administration's failures in dealing with the Christmas Day bomber.
Sen. Collins expresses her incredulity that the bomber was interrogated for only 50 minutes before getting his Miranda rights.
Sen. Collins says, "The Obama administration appears to have a blind spot when it comes to the War on Terrorism. ... Theres no other way to explain the irresponsible, indeed dangerous, decision on Abdulmutallab's interrogation. There's no other way to explain the inconceivable treatment of him as if he were a common criminal. This charade must stop. Foreign terrorists are enemy combatants and they must be treated as such. The safety of the American people depends on it."
Liberals (and their media allies) underestimate Sarah Palin at their own risk.
She wasn't running for anything in 2009 but still managed to raise more than $2 million for her Political Action Committee.
Palin will be a major player in upcoming elections ... right up to the 2012 presidential race.
Sarah Palin raised $2.1 million through her political action committee in 2009, POLITICO has learned, putting the former Alaska governor's take on par with those of her potential 2012 Republican presidential primary contenders.
Palin took in $1.4 million of her total in the last 6 months of the year, after she resigned as governor on July 3. Heading into 2010, SarahPAC, had $900,000 in the bank after contributing $64,600 to dozens of candidates and beefing up its staff from just a handful of operatives.
"We are thrilled," said Meg Stapleton, a senior advisor and spokeswoman for Palin. "Common sense Americans know the direction we need to take this country and that Sarah Palin will be instrumental in taking us there this year. We look forward to the journey ahead!"
Palin's money came predominantly in small donations through the PAC's Web site and a handful of fundraisers. No direct mail solicitations were made.
More than 14,000 people have contributed to the PAC, making 22,000 total donations.
You get the feeling people have had enough of The Chosen One?
TV ratings for Barack Obama's first State of the Union address were down 7 percent compared to ratings for George W. Bush's first speech.
Doesn't make sense. The media keeps telling us Obama is the most popular person on the planet. There's more people in the U.S. than there were in 2002 and there's more TVs. You'd think Obama's ratings would go through the roof. Nope.
From The Associated Press:
About 48 million viewers watched President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address on 11 networks, with Fox TV drawing the biggest share.
The Nielsen Co. said viewership for Wednesday’s speech was 7 percent lower than for President George W. Bush’s first such address in 2002 but 5 percent higher than for President Bill Clinton’s inaugural State of the Union speech in 1994.
From 9-10 p.m. EST, more than 9.7 million people watched the hour-plus speech on Fox, with ABC drawing 7.6 million viewers, NBC 7.2 million and CBS 6.2 million, according to preliminary Nielsen figures Thursday.
Among the cable news networks, Fox News was the leader with 5.7 million, followed by CNN with 3.3 million and MSNBC with 2.4 million. The speech also was carried live on Telemundo, Univision, BET and CNBC.
A new Rasmussen Reports survey of Americans voters finds that 61% believe Congress is doing a poor job.
In case you get all your information from the Mainstream Media, Congress has been controlled by the Democrats since the 2006 elections.
There is a bright side to the dismal poll numbers. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will be out as leaders of their respective chambers after the November election when Republicans will win majorities in the House and Senate.
From Rasmussen Reports:
The number of voters who give Congress a poor job performance rating is now at its highest level in more than three years. More voters also think most members of Congress are corrupt.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 61% of likely voters say Congress is doing a poor job. Just 12% give Congress good or excellent ratings, marking no change from last month. Positive ratings for Congress have changed little from a year ago, when 14% gave the legislature good or excellent marks.
Since then, of course, Congress has passed a controversial economic stimulus plan and unpopular bailout plans for the financial industry, General Motors and Chrysler. The health care plan now stalled in Congress has long been opposed by most voters. In fact, 61% now want Congress to drop health care and focus on jobs.
Forty-five percent (45%) of voters now view most members of Congress as being corrupt, the highest level found since June 2008. Just 28% disagree and say most members are not corrupt. Another 26% are undecided.
Good thing Ben Bernanke's confirmation vote is taking place now and not after November.
If he were in the U.S. Senate today, Pat Toomey says he would vote against confirming Ben Bernanke for chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Toomey, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, gave several reasons for his opposition to Bernanke, chief among them was the Fed's central role in precipitating the current economic recession.
From a statement issued by Toomey:
For three years, from 2002 through 2005, the Fed maintained negative real interest rates, taking the nominal Fed Funds rate to a low of 1% in June 2003. These unnaturally low interest rates created a powerful incentive for individuals and institutions to leverage excessively, which created a credit bubble. This, in turn, created the residential real estate bubble, the collapse of which precipitated the crisis.
Mr. Bernanke was a member of the Fed Board from 2002 until he was sworn in as Chairman in 2006, and was a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the committee directly responsible for setting short-term interest rates.
"This was a difficult decision," Toomey said. "I have great respect for Chairman Bernanke's intellect and expertise, and I believe he has tried to do what he believes is best for the country and its economy. However, Chairman Bernanke's refusal to acknowledge the role the Fed played in creating the current financial and economic crisis leaves little assurance that the Fed will not repeat those errors under his continued leadership."
"In addition, I have concerns about Chairman Bernanke's participation in the extralegal activities in the fall of 2008 and the recent politicization of his confirmation, which raises question about his potential susceptibility to political pressure. I have a lot of respect for Chairman Bernanke, but it is crucial that we learn from the mistakes that led to this economic crisis. Without that acknowledgement, I cannot give him my support."
If we're serious about restoring science to its rightful place, the head of the U.N.'s panel on climate change should step down, says Investor's Business Daily. Evidence shows he quarterbacked a deliberate and premeditated fraud, according to the newspaper.
The latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll has the answers ... and the news is bleak for Barack Obama and the Democrats.
Among the poll highlights:
1) Pennsylvanians continue to express pessimism about the economy. Four in ten (40% compared to 36% in October) say they are financially worse off this year than last, and only a quarter (27%) expects their personal finances to be better off a year from now.
2) Among registered Democrats, Senator Specter leads Joe Sestak (30% to 13%) in the primary race for U.S. Senate, although 50 percent remain undecided. In possible general election match-ups, Pat Toomey leads both Specter (45% to 31%) and Sestak (41% to 19%) among likely voters. Registered Pennsylvanians cite health care (29%) and the economy (24%) as the most important issues in their vote for U.S. Senate.
3) Nearly three in four (72%) Pennsylvania Democrats remain undecided about the primary race for governor. Tom Corbett leads Sam Rohrer (23% to 5%) among Republicans for the gubernatorial nomination, but seven in ten (69%) remain undecided about their preference. Registered Pennsylvanians cite the economy (26%) and taxes (13%) as the most important issues in their vote for governor.
4) Favorability ratings for President Obama have changed slightly since October. His unfavorable rating increased by 5 percentage points, and he is now viewed favorably and unfavorably by equal proportions (44%) of registered Pennsylvanians. Senator Specter's favorability rating has risen slightly to 35 percent (compared to 28% in October), and his unfavorable rating stands at 43 percent (compared to 46% in October).
5) President Obama's job approval in Pennsylvania is the lowest of his presidency, with only 38 percent (compared to 40% in October) saying he is doing an excellent or good job. Senator Specter's job approval has risen slightly to 34 percent (compared to 29% in October), and about three in ten (29%) respondents say he deserves re-election (up from 23% in October). Those who say Specter does not deserve re-election cite his length of service (25%) and party switch (21%) as the main reasons.
6) Pennsylvanians continue to express dissatisfaction with the direction of the state, albeit less so than in October. 53 percent now say the state is off on the wrong track (compared to 60% in October), while 39 percent say the state is headed in the right direction (compared to 32% in October). Nearly eight in ten (78%) registered Pennsylvanians feel state government needs reform, and a similar number (72%) would favor a constitutional convention to review the state's constitution.
7) The job approval rating of the state legislature remains very low with only 16 percent of registered Pennsylvanians indicating it’s doing an excellent or good job, while 74 percent indicate it's doing only a fair or poor job. These figures have changed little since October.
Franco Harris, Ana Ortiz help publicize 2010 Census
Gov. Ed Rendell has named Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris and actress Ana Ortiz of television's "Ugly Betty" to co-chair an advisory panel to ensure compliance with the 2010 Census.
"Each year, more than $400 billion in federal funds are allocated based in all or in part on the results of the Census," Rendell said. "That's more than $4 trillion over a 10-year period for critical things like schools, senior centers, job training centers, bridges, highways, public transit, and local emergency response services and training – a larger amount than many people realize."
Rendell said Pennsylvania cannot afford for any resident to skip participating in the Census, which involves answering only 10 questions and takes just 10 minutes to complete.
"According to the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pennsylvania's population in the 2000 Census was undercounted by 102,000 peoplem," Rendell said. "That's the equivalent of missing the cities of Altoona and Lancaster combined, or failing to count the entire city of Erie. We cannot let that happen again; there is too much at stake."
Buckwalter launches bid for 157th state House seat
Freshman Democrat state Rep. Paul Drucker will have a challenger for the 157th House District.
Phoenixville Borough Councilman Kendrick Buckwalter told The Mercury he is seeking the Republican nomination to run for the 157th state House District.
Buckwalter told reporter Dennis Wright he is a mainstream conservative who takes constitutional government seriously.
A Phoenixville resident, Buckwalter is a small businessman and 15-year veteran of municipal government in the borough. He has served as chairman of Phoenixville's zoning hearing board, and has been elected to two terms on Borough Council, where he currently serves. He has also volunteered as a firefighter.
The district includes Phoenixville, Schuylkill and Tredyffrin townships in Chester County, and portions of Lower Providence and West Norriton in Montgomery County.
The seat was held by Rep. Carole Rubley from 1993 until her retirement in 2008. Political insiders blame Rubley's failure to endorse the Republican candidate as her successor for handing the seat to the Democrats in 2008. Drucker beat GOP challenger Guy Ciarrocchi by a margin of 50.9% to 49.1%.
This story gets worse by the day. Obama's Ministry of Propaganda is not satisfied with controlling the Mainstream Media. It also has to manufacture "letters to the editor" to make it sound like real people support Obama's failing presidency.
It seems like just yesterday we were debating the 2009-10 General Fund budget, but it's almost time to begin work on the 2010-11 state budget.
Gov. Ed Rendell will deliver his annual budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, in the chamber of the House of Representatives, the governor's office announced.
The last budget was adopted 101 days after the new fiscal year began because 1) the previous budget finished $3.25 billion in the red and 2) Rendell is a lame duck and 3) the current Legislative leadership is inept.
Has anything changed since last year? The current budget deficit is projected at a measly $500 million. Rendell is still a lame duck. The same Legislative leadership is in place.
We also have the added fun of 2010 being an election year when all 203 members of the House and 25 members of the Senate face the voters. And we've seen what kind of mood voters are in with recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
So grab some popcorn, tune in to the Pennsylvania Cable Network on Feb. 9 and enjoy the show.
Do you have a question about regional, state or national politics? Tony Phyrillas has the answers and will respond to your question via video posted online at The Mercury’s Web site. If you would like The Mercury's award-winning political columnist and blogger to respond to your question about current topics, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and look for Tony's video response on The Mercury's Web site, www.pottsmerc.com
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)— the nation's largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators — congratulates Pennsylvania State Reps. Matthew Baker and Curt Schroder for filing House Bills 2053 and 2179, which protect the right of individuals to make their own health care choices.
Pennsylvania joins 31 other states where legislators have introduced, or will introduce, legislation modeled after ALEC's Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, according to a press release issued today by ALEC.
Under the legislation, any state attempt to require an individual to purchase health insurance — or forbid an individual from purchasing services outside of the required health care system — would be rendered unconstitutional. The measure may also cause a federalism clash if Congress passes a law with either of these provisions.
Baker and Schroder will hold a joint press conference Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg to discuss their efforts.
Read the rest of the ALEC press release at the link below:
Props for the President at His State of the Union Address
President Obama will need several props to get him through his first State of the Union address, including lifejackets, a box of teabags, a paper shredder, and a new "No Fly" list, says conservative activist Betsy McCaughey.
"When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all."
-- Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations"
The United States could do no better than 8th place on the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, jointly published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.
And if Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats have anything to say about it, the U.S. could tumble further down on the list.
For the 16th consecutive year, Hong Kong ranked No. 1 as the world's freest economy, according to the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom.
Hong Kong's "economic freedom score" is 89.7, making its economy the freest among the 179 countries ranked. Singapore retains the second place ranking, followed by Australia and New Zealand. The United States ranks 8th place - behind Canada!
Here's what the authors of the Index had to say about the U.S.:
Its score is 2.7 points lower than last year, reflecting notable decreases in financial freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights. The United States has fallen to 2nd place out of three countries in the North America region.
The U.S. government's interventionist responses to the financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 have significantly undermined economic freedom and long-term prospects for economic growth, according to the authors. "Economic freedom (in the United States) has declined in seven of the 10 categories measured in the Index."
The 2010 Index measures the degree of economic freedom of 179 economies worldwide by assessing 10 factors: Business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom.
Why is Hong Kong ranked No. 1?
The Index says Hong Kong's "competitive tax regime, respect for property rights, and flexible labor market, coupled with an educated and highly motivated workforce, have stimulated an innovative, prosperous economy." The Index also notes that Hong Kong's legal and regulatory framework for the financial sector is "transparent and efficient."
Charles Krauthammer is amused by the reaction of top Democratic Party officials and their media allies to the crushing defeat (and repudiation of Barack Obama) in Massachusetts.
From Krauthammer's latest column:
After Coakley's defeat, Obama pretended that the real cause was a generalized anger and frustration "not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years."
Let's get this straight: The antipathy to George W. Bush is so enduring and powerful that ... it just elected a Republican senator in Massachusetts? Why, the man is omnipotent.
And the Democrats are delusional: Scott Brown won by running against Obama, not Bush. He won by brilliantly nationalizing the race, running hard against the Obama agenda, most notably Obamacare. Killing it was his No. 1 campaign promise.
Bull's eye. An astonishing 56 percent of Massachusetts voters, according to Rasmussen Reports, called health care their top issue. In a Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates poll, 78 percent of Brown voters said their vote was intended to stop Obamacare. Only a quarter of all voters in the Rasmussen poll cited the economy as their top issue, nicely refuting the Democratic view that Massachusetts was just the usual anti-incumbent resentment you expect in bad economic times.
Brown ran on a very specific, very clear agenda: Stop health care. Don't Mirandize terrorists. Don't raise taxes; cut them. And no more secret backroom deals with special interests.
Three candidates are seeking the Republican Party nomination for the 147th state House seat vacated by former state Rep. Bob Mensch after he was elected to the state Senate last September.
The 147th District is arguably the safest Republican House district in Pennsylvania, so whoever emerges with the party backing will probably be heading to Harrisburg.
A special election will be held on the same day as the Primary Election.
Marcy Toepel, first deputy to the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds, is the highest profile candidate so far. The other candidates are Ken Fody, a former legislative aide to the late state Sen. Ed Holl, and Nicholas Fountain, a political newcomer.
The 147th District includes Lower Frederick, Marlborough, Perkiomen, Salford, Schwenksville, Skippack, Upper Hanover and Upper Salford townships as well as East Greenville, Red Hill and Green Lane boroughs.
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll: 54% Disapprove of Obama Job Performance
What a difference a year makes.
Even before the humiliating loss in Massachusetts, where the Senate race was clearly a referendum on Obama's policies, the president's job approval numbers have declined steadily throughout his first year in office.
While 24% of Americans "strongly approve" of Obama, 41% "strongly disapprove" -- a negative swing of 17 points.
A year ago this week, 44% were in the "strongly approve" column while just 18% said they "strongly disapprove" of Obama. That was a positive swing of 26 points.
From Rasmussen Reports:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 24% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17.
Overall, 46% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove.
The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve.
Steve Welch, who doesn't even live in PA's 6th Congressional District, is not going to make many friends in the Republican Party by challenging a popular incumbent Republican in U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach. Welch doesn't have a chance of defeating Gerlach but could do serious damage to his own political future.
It didn't take long for the American public to remember why they don't trust liberals in positions of authority, argues columnist Jay Ambrose.
From his latest:
The arrogance was suffocating. Resurrected liberals were practically smirking as they instructed us to sweet-talk our way out of terrorist threats, advised we should quickly duplicate Europe's semi-socialist mistakes and condescendingly dished up all manner of other liberty-smothering ideological inanities that would transform America into a poor imitation of what it once was if anyone actually acted on them.
Ordinary Americans have caught onto all of this, and so, I am sorry, liberals, but the word of the day for you is "lose." Your side has lost elections in New Jersey and Virginia, and now your side has lost the Senate seat previously held by the very liberal Ted Kennedy in very liberal Massachusetts to Scott Brown, a Republican.
The message to the Democrats is simple. Either give up your liberal ways and veer toward the center or face political catastrophe in November's general election. The message to liberals generally is also simple: Get back into your witness protection program.
Read the full column, "Time to hide, liberals," here
The signs of the Apocalypse are everywhere for the far left. A Republican wins Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. Air America goes off the air. Gitmo is still open. Obamacare is on life-support. Democrats are about lose control of both houses of Congress. Mainstream media ratings are in the tank.
From Bill O'Reilly's latest column on the demise of the far left:
Just look at the polls, where 20% of Americans describe themselves as liberal. So you figure the far left is less than half of that. In addition, radical left-wing media outlets life MSNBC and Air America are failing. Yeah, Al Franken won in Minnesota, but that's was an anomaly. Today, he'd lose big.
If President Obama wants to avoid the fate of Jimmy Carter, he must move quickly to the center. He must be a tougher guy on terrorism, rethink the health care deal so Americans can understand it, and stimulate the economy by targeted tax cuts, not massive government spending.
With his power waning quickly, Mr. Obama has no time to lose.
The Obama Recession continues -- 12 consecutive months of futility by the best and brightest the Democratic Party has to offer.
From The Associated Press:
Unemployment rates rose in 43 states last month, the government said Friday, painting a bleak picture of the job market that illustrated nationwide data released two weeks ago. The rise in joblessness was a sharp change from November, when 36 states said their unemployment rates fell. Four states — South Carolina, Delaware, Florida and North Carolina — reported record-high jobless rates in December. New Jersey's rate, meanwhile, rose to a 33-year high of 10.1 percent while New York's reached a 26-year high of 9 percent. Analysts said the report showed the economy is recovering at too weak a pace to generate consistent job creation.
You knew the attacks were coming, but is this the best the far left can do? A photo of Scott Brown with his daughters wearing bikinis has offended some liberals who are trying to stir up a controversy.
What exactly is wrong with a dad posing with his daughters (Ayla on the left and Arianna on the right) before they hit the pool or the beach?
After announcing that his daughters were "available" during Tuesday night's victory speech, an Animal New York tipster unearthed this Massachusetts' newest senator posing with his shell bikini-clad girls.
Also, check out Ayla's MySpace and Facebook pages. The Boston College senior was a semi-finalist on American Idol. Arianna, according to her Facebook page, is a freshman at Syracuse University.
Huffington Post then links to something or someone called Animal, who finds the photo "creepy" and claims Sen.-elect Brown is "pimping out his 'available' daughters."
U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, R-PA 16, released the following statement on the election of Republican Scott Brown to fill the remaining three years left in the term of Sen. Ted Kennedy:
"This is a strong signal that Congress has its priorities wrong. The American people want us to focus on job creation but instead the Administration and Congress has been spending all its energy trying to push through an expensive and extremely unpopular healthcare bill and massive spending bills that are bankrupting our country. The only new jobs created by the health care bill would be for government bureaucrats. I think Scott Brown will be a great Senator and I know his first priority will be getting the people of our nation and his state working again."
Now that Obamacare is on life support, it's time for voters to demand Congress pull the plug on the cap-and-trade energy tax.
The National Federation of Independent Business today released 16 state-based surveys that show opposition to the Democrats' proposed energy tax. The majority of voters polled say tax-and-trade will cost more U.S. jobs.
Remember all the hoopla by Gov. Ed Rendell when the Pennsylvania unemployment rate dropped a little last month?
Don't expect Rendell to be found today as the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry announces that unemployment in Pennsylvania has risen to 8.9 percent in December. That's the state's highest unemployment level in 25 years.
Pennsylvania employers shed more than 8,100 jobs in December. Pennsylvania has lost 150,300 jobs since December 2008.
From a Department of Labor press release:
Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted civilian labor force -- the number of people working or looking for work -- decreased by 19,000 in December to 6,310,000. Resident employment dropped 37,000 in December, while unemployment was up 19,000. The Pennsylvania labor force was down 131,000 from December 2008.
Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent in December, up four-tenths of a percentage point from November. The state rate remained below the national unemployment rate, which remained at 10 percent in December.
You're not going to believe this but a 2007 report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that claimed the Himalayan glaciers are likely to disappear within three decades -- the same report that was the the basis for much of the current hysteria about global warming -- has been found to contain numerous factual errors (aka lies).
The U.N. panel now says there is not enough scientific evidence to back up the report's claims that the Himalayan ice cap is melting because of man-made climate change.
From an editorial in Investor's Business Daily:
Global Warming: The scientists who said that Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035 have admitted the claim has as much credibility as sightings of the mythical Yeti. It's their fraudulent claims that are melting away.
We hesitate to call it Glacier-gate, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. body tasked with scaring us to death about global warming, has admitted that the claim in its 2007 report about the Himalayan glaciers disappearing was not based on any scientific study or research. It was instead based on one scientist's speculation in a telephone interview with a reporter.
The IPCC claimed: "Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of their disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the earth keeps warming at the current rate."
As it turns out, the earth hasn't been warming at all, at least not in the last decade, and reputable scientists have said it may continue to cool for decades to come. Even if it was warming, glaciologists insist, the sheer mass of Himalayan glaciers made such a prediction laughable.
Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, believes the results of the special election in Massachusetts will signal "early retirement" and widespread defeat of incumbents in the 2010 Congressional elections.
"Americans are furious, angry, and frightened at the political establishment's massive expansion of government in the last 10 years. No big-government incumbent should feel safe in the 2010 primaries. And as Massachusetts voters showed, that applies in the bluest of blue states.
"There is more concern, even anger, at the grassroots level than I have seen in my almost 50 years of marketing to Americans, and Americans are not a naturally angry people.
"Principled conservative political candidates and organizations are receiving stronger financial support than at any time in the last 50 years.
"Effective and principled conservative candidates and organizations are being well-funded this year.
"The Massachusetts Senate vote will also encourage many more principled conservatives to become candidates and challenge incumbents. Massachusetts voters sent a message that will encourage conservatives to challenge Republicans in Name Only (RINO).
"The upcoming primaries will see more big-government incumbents, Republican and Democratic, defeated than at any time in American history.
"Because incumbents can see this coming Armageddon, there will be an historic number of office holders, especially Democrats, in the next months announcing that they are not running for reelection -- in order "to spend more time with their family."
"Americans will gladly be saying to them, "Have fun with the kids."
From an excellent op-ed posted at POLITICO by William Schneider on the message voters delivered to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid:
The Massachusetts message to Democrats is, "Be afraid. Be very afraid." Because a full-scale populist revolt is breaking out in the country. Again.
Sen.-elect Scott Brown said on Tuesday night, "[Democrats] will be challenged again and again across this country. When there's trouble in Massachusetts, there's trouble everywhere. And now they know it."
A populist revolt is "us" versus "them." "Us" is "we the people." "Them" is the governing class. Right now, the governing class is mostly Democratic. It certainly is in Massachusetts, where every member of Congress, every statewide elected official and nearly 90 percent of state legislators are Democrats.
Why is this happening? For two reasons. One is the same reason it happened in the late 1970s and again in the early 1990s: the economy, stupid.
When joblessness goes up and the government doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it — or worse, when the government spends a lot of money and it doesn't seem to be doing much good — voters get mad. They take out their rage on political insiders. Throw the bums out! Cut their allowance! Limit their terms!
Arlen "Formerly the 60th Vote for Senate Democrats" Specter released the following statement in regard to the Massachusetts special election results:
"The Massachusetts election shows Washington must change its ways. Now that there 59 Democrats in the Senate, it will be indispensable for at least some bipartisanship to deal with the serious problems confronting America: creating jobs; reducing the deficit; reining in Wall Street; and stopping abusive insurance company practices like denying coverage on technicalities."
Arlen Specter the reformer?
This guy is schizophrenic.
What does Arlen Specter have going for him? He's abandoned the Republican Party and has not convinced a single Democrat that he's really one of them. What's he going to do to win the Democratic primary in May? Have Barack Obama campaign for him? We all know how well that went for the Democratic candidates in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Don't be surprised if Specter decides to retire in the coming months rather than face a humiliating defeat at the hands of Pennsylvania voters.
The tone-deaf and delusional men and women who are advising Barack Obama (David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett) should read the quote below by Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a Democratic Congressman from Rhode Island (and Ted Kennedy's son).
Moderate Democrats have grown increasingly anxious over the past few months, watching nervously as Democratic incumbents in swing districts announced retirements, as one of their own switched parties, as Republicans scored some recruiting coups and as Democrats lost key gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey.
But nothing set the alarms bells ringing quite like Scott Brown's come-from-behind victory over Martha Coakley in Massachusetts — and with it the loss of not just Ted Kennedy's Senate seat but also their party's 60-vote supermajority in the upper chamber.
Kennedy's son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) said Democrats have to understand that they've entered a different era — and that they can't just assume that voters will be with them.
"It's like in Roman times, they'd be trotted out to the coliseum and the lions would be brought out," Kennedy said Tuesday night. "I mean, they're wanting blood and they're not getting it so they want to protest. And, you know, you can’t blame them. But frankly, the fact is we inherited this mess, and it’s becoming ours."
The Wall Street Journal believes Barack Obama can salvage what's left of his failed presidency by listening to the American people instead of the "Democratic delusionists" who have been advising him over the past year.
Tuesday's stunning victory by Republican Scott Brown, which the newspaper calls a "historic election rebuke," was a clear signal that the majority of Americans want Obama to rethink most of his policies, especially government-run health care.
From the editorial:
Yesterday's vote wasn't a repudiation of Mr. Obama's Presidency, or at least it needn't be. The President remains more popular than his policies, and voters want him to succeed. But they are also telling him he needs to steer a more moderate, less partisan course, returning to the pragmatism and comity that shaped his political rise but have vanished in his first, squandered year.
Pat Toomey, who is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, issued a statement Tuesday night saying the victory by the GOP's Scott Brown in Massachusetts is a repudiation of the Obamacare bill being negotiated in secret by Congressional Democrats.
From Toomey's statement:
Tonight, voters in Massachusetts made their voices heard. In one of the most Democratic states in the country, voters elected Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate in a demonstration of their opposition to one-Party Democratic rule in Washington and the nearly $1 trillion health care monstrosity the Democrats are trying to ram through Congress.
Voters want health care reform but they are fed up with the bill being pushed by President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Leader Harry Reid. That 2,000-page bill includes $500 billion in new taxes, a catalogue of Washington mandates and takeovers, a parade of sweetheart deals for individual politicians and special interests, and nothing to bring down premiums for average American families.
Now the one-Party-rule Democrats are talking about circumventing the normal congressional process, either by having the House accept the Senate version of the bill, or stalling Scott Brown’s swearing in. Yet even Democratic leaders like former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean admit that Harry Reid's Senate bill does not move the country forward. Dean recently called the Senate bill, "a bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG." (ABC News, 12/16/09)
"Everyone can agree that we need real health care reform in this country," U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey said, "but it is clear that Americans all across the country are rejecting the Democrats' sweetheart deals, tax hikes, and massive spending. It is time to start over and begin the process of working on bipartisan, commonsense health care reform that brings real competition to the health insurance market and lowers the cost of care."
Toomey says it's time to start over and enact health care reforms that bring down medical costs without growing government.
Last November, Toomey wrote an op-ed urging bipartisan health care reform. He proposed commonsense solutions like eliminating the unfair discrimination against individually purchased health insurance in our tax code, allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, implementing reasonable tort reform, and allowing small businesses and organizations to band together and form health associations.
"I urge the Democrats to put aside their partisan determination to ram a $1 trillion bill through Congress that a majority of Americans oppose," Toomey added. "Now, is the time to implement reforms that will truly help people afford health care, without breaking the bank in Washington."
We may be witnessing the biggest political upset since Truman defeated Dewey.
With 60 percent of the vote in, Republican Scott Brown is ahead of his heavily-favored Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, in a special election to fill the remainder of Sen. Ted Kenney's unexpired term
The Massachusetts Senate seat has been held by the Kennedys since the early 1950s.
With 60 percent of precincts reporting, Brown has 53 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Coakley.
The Associated Press calls the race "a referendum on President Barack Obama's sweeping health care overhaul and his first year in office."
From the wire service:
A loss — or even a narrow victory — by the once-favored Coakley for the seat that the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy held for nearly half a century in this Democratic stronghold could signal big political problems for the president's party this November when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.
More immediately at stake was a critical 60th vote for the Democrats' supermajority, which is needed to save their health care legislation and the rest of Obama's agenda. The Democrats can't afford to lose a seat because a 41st Republican in the 100-member Senate could allow the Republicans to use procedural maneuvers to block votes on legislation.
The election transformed reliably Democratic Massachusetts into a battleground state. One day shy of the first anniversary of Obama's swearing-in, it played out amid a backdrop of animosity and resentment from voters over persistently high unemployment, industry bailouts, exploding federal budget deficits and partisan wrangling over health care.
Victor Davis Hanson, a historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, examines the double standard involving Democratic politicians who say or do stupid things but are quickly forgiven by the sympathetic liberal media.
From his recent op-ed column:
The answer is not just the usual explanation that most in the media are sympathetic Democrats.
Instead, the public is conditioned by the media and an elite establishment to assume that Obama, Reid and Biden are superior moralists -- more interested in "issues of social justice."
So when such supposedly more intelligent humanitarians lapse, their offensive or dumb remarks are written off as atypical. Or maybe they are due to extenuating circumstances or honest mistakes.
In contrast, any inanity of a Bush, Lott or Palin is seen as yet more logical proof of their shallow, unsophisticated emphasis on self rather than society.
So, why damage the career of a smart, well-meaning progressive for a moment's gaffe when his aims are so much more exalted, so much more moral than his conservative counterparts?
Yet if all that were true, why, then, as we have seen, do liberals prove as insensitive or unaware as their conservative counterparts?
A timely and thought-provoking column posted at HumanEvents.com by Frances Rice, chairwoman of the National Black Republican Association, on how the Democratic Party has taken advantage of blacks for decades.
From Rice's op-ed:
Democrats have been running our inner-cities for the past 30 to 40 years, and blacks are still complaining about the same problems. More than $7 trillion dollars have been spent on poverty programs since Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty with little, if any, impact on poverty. Diabolically, every election cycle, Democrats blame Republicans for the deplorable conditions in the inner-cities, then incite blacks to cast a protest vote against Republicans.
In order to break the Democrats' stranglehold on the black vote and free black Americans from the Democrat Party's economic plantation, we must shed the light of truth on the Democrats. We must demonstrate that the Democrat Party policies of socialism and dependency on government handouts offer the pathway to poverty, while Republican Party principles of hard work, personal responsibility, getting a good education and ownership of homes and small businesses offer the pathway to prosperity.
Time magazine is focusing national attention on the ongoing political corruption scandals in Harrisburg.
From an article by Sean Scully posted at Time.com:
Pennsylvania has long been known for shady politics, but this year promises to be particularly ugly as series of corruption trials unfold, all stemming from a sweeping probe known as "Bonusgate." Prosecutors charge that leaders of both parties in the state House of Representatives flagrantly ignored the law, using taxpayer money to wage political warfare and to lavish perks on aides and party loyalists. The price tag is likely in the tens of millions, and prosecutors warn there could be more indictments, possibly targeting leaders of the State Senate. "There was an unbelievable sense of entitlement in Harrisburg that they could do this with a high degree of immunity," said Chris Borick, political science professor at Muhlenberg College.
The future of Obamacare and the entire Obama Administration could hinge on the results of Tuesday's special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts, says House GOP Leader John Boehner.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) predicted “the end of the Obama agenda” if health care reform does not pass — and he says Massachusetts can help usher in this demise by supporting Republican Scott Brown.
"If this health care reform bill doesn't pass, it is the end of the Obama agenda," Boehner told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Monday morning. "It's pretty clear that they're going to use every trick imaginable ... to shove this down the throats of the American people."
Boehner, who has contributed to Brown’s campaign, said he is hopeful for a victory Tuesday in the traditional Democratic stronghold but wary that congressional leadership will push the health care bill regardless of the electoral results.
On the eve of the special election, Boehner called Brown a "great candidate with a real chance to win," yet the minority leader was in lockstep with his party's message when he framed the election as more of a repudiation of the Democrats than a statement on the candidate himself.
"I have no doubt that the people of Massachusetts are looking at this race as a way to send Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama a message to stop this spending," Boehner said. "We can continue to put pressure on them, exploit those differences and bring this bill down.
"This is not about political points," Boehner continued. "Our members are adamantly opposed to the government taking over control of our health system."
No wonder the Islamic terrorist keep slipping through
It's starting to make sense. The reason Islamic terrorists keep getting through U.S. security is because the Obama Administration is looking out for devout Christians and abortion foes instead of Islamic fanatics.
The U.S. government has released new photos of Osama Bin Laden ... or at least what Bin Laden would look like in the 10 years since the last photo of him was made public. (That's the photo at the bottom.)
The new photos have been digitally updated to reflect Bin Laden's age and whether he may have trimmed his facial hair.
And don't forget there is a $25 million reward for information leading to the capture of Bin Laden.
From The Associated Press:
The U.S. State Department has updated its 1998 file photo of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, digitally altering it to account for a decade of age and possible changes in his facial hair.
There is a $25 million bounty on bin Laden's head for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. Bin Laden is now 52. And he is believed to be hiding in the lawless Pakistan frontier bordering Afghanistan, though his exact whereabouts have been unknown since late 2001, when he and a small contingent of body guards walked out of the Tora Bora mountains, evading air strikes and U.S. special forces and Afghan militias,
The photos and bounty on bin Laden and 41 others wanted for terrorism are on the State Department's Web site, www.rewardsforjustice.net
Gov. Ed Rendell has publicly stated that he wants state Rep. Mario Civera, a Republican from Delaware County, to resign his state House seat because he was elected to the the Delaware County Council last November.
Rendell doesn't think an elected official can serve two masters.
But Rendell has never said a word about state Rep. David Kessler, a Berks County Democrat who continues to serve on the Oley Board of Supervisors even after being elected to the House in 2006.
Is it fair for Kessler to hold a local office at the expense of the rest of the communities in the 130th House District?
Kessler brags on his Web site that he is currently serving his 15th year as a township supervisor in Oley, and is the board's chairman. How much power does one man need? There's nobody in Oley available to serve as a township supervisor if Kessler steps down?
There's no law that says a member of the state Legislature cannot hold two elected posts. But maybe there should be.
Union Tax Deal a Slap in the Face to Small Business
From the National Small Business Association:
The announcement late yesterday that the White House brokered a deal with unions to exempt them from the proposed excise tax on so-called "Cadillac" plans delivered a stinging punch to small business. A key concern of small businesses, NSBA has repeatedly called on Congress and the administration to seek alternative methods of paying for the bill as the excise tax will more than likely be passed on to small businesses.
"Contrary to all the pro small-business rhetoric we've heard from Congress and the White House, this back-room deal with unions sends a loud-and-clear message to America's small businesses: we have other priorities," stated Todd McCracken, president and CEO of NSBA.
Republican state Rep. Mario Civera has learned not to turn his back when Ed Rendell is in the room. He just might find a dagger stuck in it.
Civera won a seat on the Delaware County Council last November and was planning to resign his House seat. Although a Republican, Civera was asked by Rendell to stay in the Legislature to help Rendell get his budget passed in the House after it became clear to the governor that the House Democratic leadership was inept. Now that the budget is done, Rendell wants Civera out.
From a story by Alex Rose in the Delaware County Daily Times:
Embattled state Rep. Mario Civera, R-164, of Upper Darby, should “flat-out resign” from his House seat based on his vote against bringing table games to Pennsylvania casinos, said Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell Wednesday.
“I thought that Mario Civera might be helpful in this year’s budget process, but given his votes on table games where he voted against filling a $250 million hole in the budget, it’s pretty apparent that there are other things at play rather than his desire to help the budget,” said Rendell. “So I think he should just resign, go do the job he was elected to do here locally and then let the speaker of the House, as is his legal power, set the special election.”
Civera has yet to return calls for comment on either his table games vote or in answer to rumors he plans to leave his powerful seat as minority chairman of the House Appropriations Committee within the next week or two.
That news refueled calls from local Democrats for his resignation, which have been increasing in pitch following Civera’s election victory for a four-year term on Delaware County Council.
'Bubbles' Brzezinski Picks a Favorite Founding Father
Some of these anchor-blondes on television have no right questioning Sarah Palin's intellectual ability. A perfect example is Mika "Bubbles" Brzezinski, who said on the air on MSNBC that her favorite Founding Father was ... Abraham Lincoln.
This is the same Abraham Lincoln who was born on February 12, 1809. The Founding Fathers drafted the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia, on September 17, 1787. Nice try, Mika. Don't talk. Just smile and look pretty.
Charlie Cook, a highly respected and non-partisan political analyst, has moved two more Pennsylvania Congressional seats from the Democrats' "Safe Column" to "Likely D" -- an indication of how difficult 2010 will be for incumbent Democrats thanks to the missteps of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
The latest incumbent Democrats on shaky ground are Patrick Murphy and Tim Holden. That brings the total number of Pennsylvania Congressional Democrats who are vulnerable in 2010 to 7, according to The Cook Political Report:
PA-3 Kathy Dahlkemper PA-4 Jason Altmire PA-8 Patrick Murphy PA-10 Chris Carney PA-11 Paul Kanjorski PA-12 John Murtha PA-17 Tim Holden
Republicans could retake a half-dozen Pennsylvania seats after poor showings in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.
Key excerpts from The Cook Political Report:
PA-08 Patrick Murphy Solid D to Likely D
In bad years, parties find that tamping down problem districts is a lot like playing whack-a-mole. Democrats weren't counting on having to spend much time thinking about this seat in 2010, but former one-term GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick's bid makes this district a new concern for Democrats. The 2006 race between Murphy and Fitzpatrick was one of the closest in the country: Iraq War veteran Murphy unseated Fitzpatrick by less than a percentage point in this suburban Bucks County district. Now, Republican leaders have succeeded in convincing Fitzpatrick, who is apparently healthy after a bout with cancer, to make a comeback…Murphy is a solid fundraiser with $624,000 in the bank, while Fitzpatrick must start from scratch. But the current state of affairs for Democrats in Pennsylvania means this rematch should only become more competitive.
PA-17 Tim Holden Solid D to Likely D
At the outset of the decade, Republican redistricting had caused some to leave Holden for dead. Instead, Holden has rather impressively made a happy home out of this GOP-leaning district…But now, GOP state Sen. Dave Argall, who shares Holden's Schuykill County base, is entering the race. Holden begins the race with a large reservoir of goodwill. In 2008, he took 64 percent of the vote while President Obama took just 48 percent here…But Holden has never had to run for reelection in this district in such a challenging environment.
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.