The Jimmy Carter Years
Labels: Mike Lester cartoon
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Labels: Mike Lester cartoon
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Labels: Global Warming
Labels: Barack Obama
Friday, February 26, 2010
Health Reform: The linchpin of ObamaCare 2.0 is that 31 million uninsured will be covered at little added cost. But in fact, White House estimates for low costs are based on little more than accounting tricks.Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.
The president's plan "puts our budget and economy on a more stable path by reducing the deficit by $100 billion over the next 10 years — and about $1 trillion over the second decade — by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse," the White House says on its Web site.
Sound too good to be true? It is.
None of the numbers can be believed. The plan is a result of blatantly dishonest accounting for the real costs of the program, while grossly overstating its benefits. Americans should know the actual 10-year cost is closer to $2 trillion over 10 years, not the $950 billion claimed, when all the actual costs are toted up.
How can there be such a wide gap? Mainly because the president's plan doesn't provide benefits until the second half of the first decade. So it pretends that it will "only" cost $950 billion. But once the program kicks in, the full 10-year cost of benefits will be included — at a real current cost of $2 trillion or more.
Or, as columnist Charles Krauthammer, himself a trained physician, told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly: "It's a trick. The way the Democrats got under (the spending limit imposed by Obama) was by making 98% of the expenditures, the benefits that you and I would get under the bill, occur in the second half of the decade."
Erin Curtis is determined to transform the experience of losing two of her three children into hope and healing.Read the full story below:
With the help of the Pepsi Refresh Project, which is awarding individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations with $1.3 million this month, Curtis would be able to create a place for families who have experienced grief like she has to find peace, comfort and resources.
Curtis, 29, explained the ordeal she and her partner, Jeff Megonigal went through when two of their children were diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL.
Their daughter, Avery, died from the disease when she was 17 months old in November 2007. In August 2008, the couple became pregnant with twin boys, Calvin and Nolan.
However, when the boys were just 4 months old, Nolan was diagnosed with ALL, and in March 2009, he, too, died of the disease.
Despite having lost so much, Curtis is full of hope for her future, and the future of her 18 month old son, Calvin, who is healthy.
She is also hopeful that she can fulfill her dream of creating a home to support other families who experience the loss of a child from terminal illness.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
1) Reducing the Size & Cost of GovernmentCorbett offers more details about the reform package at his Web site, www.tomcorbettforgovernor.com
2) Transparency in State Government
3) Elimination of WAMS & Discretionary Funds
4) Elimination of State Government Paid Per Diems
5) Reducing the State Automotive Fleet
6) Biennial Budgeting
7) Zero-Based/Performance-Based Budgeting
8) Cap the General Assembly "Leadership Funds"
9) Sunset & Audit of State Boards & Commissions
10) Consolidation of Services
11) Health care contributions for Legislators
12) Ban Political Contributions and Gifts During Procurement Process
Sen. Evan Bayh handed Republicans plenty of ammunition to use against Democrats when he announced his retirement last week — and some of his colleagues are none too happy about it.Read the full story at the link below:
In explaining his decision not to seek reelection, the Indiana Democrat has complained publicly about legislative gridlock, saying that Congress hasn't done enough to prop up the economy and hasn't created a single private-sector job in the past six months.
While many Senate Democrats share Bayh's frustration with Washington partisanship and stalling on major bills, some are angry that he's stepping all over their 2010 message: that the 111th Congress has been one of the most productive in a generation, that the stimulus stemmed the tide of job losses and that Republicans, not Democrats, deserve most of the blame for the paralysis afflicting Capitol Hill.
"I just have no idea what he's doing," said one Democratic senator, whose face turned red as he threw up his hands after being asked about Bayh.
"We get some of the blame; we moved a little too slowly on health care," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). "My only disappointment, and the only thing I'll say about Sen. Bayh, is that I think a more accurate portrayal by him was how Republicans have tried to block everything that we've done."
"It almost seems like he's siding with" Republicans, said one top Democratic aide.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is spending twice as much as his recent predecessors on private planes and paying more for limousines, catering and flowers – expenses that are infuriating the party's major donors who say Republicans need every penny they can get for the fight to win back Congress.Read the full story below:
Most recently, donors grumbled when Steele hired renowned chef Wolfgang Puck's local crew to cater the RNC's Christmas party inside the trendy Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, and then moved its annual winter meeting from Washington to Hawaii.
For some major GOP donors, both decisions were symbolic of the kind of wasteful spending habits they claim has become endemic to his tenure at the RNC. When Ken Mehlman served as the committee chairman during the critical 2006 midterm elections, the holiday party was held in a headquarters conference room and Chic-fil-A was the caterer.
A POLITICO analysis of expenses found that compared with 2005, the last comparable year preceding a midterm election, the committee’s payments for charter flights doubled; the number of sedan contractors tripled, and meal expenses jumped from $306,000 to $599,000.
Pennsylvania State Budget OverviewGet the Pennsylvania state budget overview here
* Think the state budget is only $29 billion? You might be surprised to learn that the total Pennsylvania operating budget is $66 billion, or $5,300 for every man, woman, and child.
* Think that the state government has a balanced budget, and therefore doesn't borrow like the federal government? Wrong! Pennsylvania state debt is $42 billion, an increase of 78% since Gov. Rendell took office. The state budget now includes over $1 billion on debt payments alone.
Pennsylvania Spending by DepartmentGet the facts on the state budget by department
* Have you heard that Gov. Rendell has slashed spending to the bone? In reality, he has increased the General Fund budget by 45%, or $9 billion, since taking office, more than double the rate of inflation.
* Think public schools and welfare are underfunded? Under Gov. Rendell, state spending on K-12 education increased 46%, and on Public Welfare by 68%
President Obama, who pledged to establish the most open and transparent administration in history, on Monday surpasses his predecessor's record for avoiding a full-fledged question-and-answer session with White House reporters in a formal press conference.Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.
President George W. Bush's longest stretch between prime-time, nationally televised press conferences was 214 days, from April 4 to Nov. 4, 2004. Mr. Obama tops that record on Monday, going 215 days - stretching back to July 22, according to records kept by CBS Radio's veteran reporter Mark Knoller.
The president has seemingly shunned formal, prime-time sessions since his last disastrous presser, when he said police in Cambridge, Mass., "acted stupidly" by arresting a Harvard professor who broke into a home that turned out to be his own. The off-the-cuff comment took over the news cycle for a week, overshadowing his push for health care reform, and culminated in a White House "Beer Summit," where the president hosted white police officer James Crowley and the black Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Monday, February 22, 2010
"After the House and Senate crafted legislation in secret last year, the American people demanded a second opinion on health care reform," Gerlach said. "But the White House proposal offers the same $1 trillion prescription that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have been trying unsuccessfully to get the American people to swallow.Gerlach is a co-sponsor of a bipartisan proposal – known as the Small Business Options Health (SHOP) Act – that would increase competition among insurers by allowing consumers to purchase policies across state lines and permitting small businesses to form statewide pools to buy coverage for their employees.
"While I am pleased the President has proposed removing the sweetheart deal known as the 'Cornhusker Kickback' for Nebraska, it is disappointing that higher taxes and more invasive government remain the backbone of this plan," Gerlach added. "Workers would pay a new tax on employer-provided health insurance and payroll taxes would climb under the White House plan. The constituents in my district – along with most Americans -- have made it clear that approach is unacceptable."
The New York Times reported that under the White House plan, a family earning about $88,000 a year would pay as much as 9.5 percent of their income toward annual health insurance premiums, or about $8,380 annually. That does not include out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments or deductibles, according to the paper. And The Morning Call of Allentown cited a statewide poll showing 60 percent of Pennsylvanians want to scrap the House and Senate proposals and consider alternatives. In addition, a majority do not support the government requiring every citizen to buy health insurance.
Just when you thought all politicians were the same; one difference between Pennsylvania State Representative candidates in the 130th and the 133rd Districts could be ... vowels.In the photo above, that's Dave Maloney on the left, Dave Molony on the right.
Dave Maloney of Pike Township and Dave Molony of Catasaqua, are running for State Representative in two different districts here in Eastern Pennsylvania.
"I met Dave at the House Republican Campaign Committee meeting last month. It will probably be some confusion when we both get to Harrisburg, but I've got a lot more hair than Dave," said Dave Maloney, Boyertown High School alum and former Oley Valley School Board member who is the 130th District candidate.
"We don't really think that the people in Berks and in Lehigh Valley will get confused. But I will say that we do expect to get right to work when we get elected in November and are sworn into the House of Representatives in Harrisburg in January of 2011," said Dave Molony, running for the 133rd.
Dave Maloney said he see the economy and jobs as the issues at the top of the list of concerns for people. "I have never seen business this slow, people hurting so badly. Harrisburg has to knock down all the barriers to letting companies do business and hire for new jobs." He added that he "supports all efforts to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania and bring real accountability to public schools."
"Governor Rendell's budget increase is over two billion dollars. At the same time more people are buying less and paying less income taxes because they are laid off or working part time. How does the governor expect to spend more money when the state has less to spend and a set of huge increases coming down the road from pensions and other promises Rendell made? We need the determination to make hard choices and say no to expanding government programs and spending. It is not possible to tax people into prosperity," Maloney said.
The secrecy was "exactly why we did it. You could get a bonus, and you didn't have to disclose it," said Brubaker. House Rule 14 didn't require that bonuses be publicly disclosed, he said.Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.
"We would not report something we didn't have to report," Brubaker testified.
Right. Of course, you never tell the taxpayers how their money actually is being spent.
That statement by Brubaker accurately summarizes why Pennsylvania state government is regressive, insular and, to a certain extent, corrupt.
We have a Right to Know Law that will enable people to get some records never available before -- if you ask the right questions. Outside of the basics, the Legislature isn't covered on certain documents (such as e-mails).
And here was this ex-House staffer, who might be going to prison, talking about how they conspired to keep taxpayers in the dark about spending $1.4 million.
Meanwhile, the three-year compensation total for the Brubaker household, salaries and bonuses, courtesy of taxpayers, was $692,243.
What's galling is the hubris of Scott Brubaker, Mike Manzo, the former Democratic Caucus chief of staff, and Veon's former chief of staff, Jeffrey Foreman, who told the jury about ways they tried to keep information away from the public.
When the bonuses were revealed in January 2007, the House Democrat PR machine, day after day, insisted there were no bonuses for campaign work. Yet seven former staffers, including the Brubakers, Manzo and Foreman, have now pleaded guilty to participating in that scheme.
The real crime, however, was deceiving the taxpayers.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Global warming alarmists, long cosseted by echoing media, manifest an interesting incongruity -- hysteria and name calling accompanying serene assertions about the "settled science" of climate change. Were it settled, we would be spared the hyperbole that amounts to Ring Lardner's "Shut up, he explained."Read the full column, "Blinded by science," here.
The global warming industry, like Alexander in the famous children's story, is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Actually, a bad three months, which began Nov. 19 with the publication of e-mails indicating attempts by scientists to massage data and suppress dissent in order to strengthen "evidence" of global warming.
But there already supposedly was a broad, deep and unassailable consensus. Strange.
Next came the failure of The World's Last -- We Really, Really Mean It -- Chance, aka the Copenhagen climate change summit. It was a nullity, and since then things have been getting worse for those trying to stampede the world into a spasm of prophylactic statism.
In 2007, before the economic downturn began enforcing seriousness and discouraging grandstanding, seven Western U.S. states (and four Canadian provinces) decided to fix the planet on their own. California's Arnold Schwarzenegger intoned, "We cannot wait for the United States government to get its act together on the environment." The 11 jurisdictions formed what is now called the Western Climate Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, starting in 2012.
Or not. Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer recently suspended her state's participation in what has not yet begun. Some Utah legislators are reportedly considering a similar action. She worries, sensibly, that it would impose costs on businesses and consumers. She also ordered reconsideration of Arizona's strict vehicle emission rules, modeled on incorrigible California's, lest they raise the cost of new cars.
Last week, BP America, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar, three early members of the 31-member U.S. Climate Action Partnership, said: Oh, never mind. They withdrew from USCAP. It is a coalition of corporations and global warming alarm groups that was formed in 2007 when carbon rationing legislation seemed inevitable and collaboration with the rationers seemed prudent.
Said a spokesman for Conoco: "We need to spend time addressing the issues that impact our shareholders and consumers." What a concept.
Labels: Global Warming
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
1. Hesitating To Take Definitive ActionFour of the five weaknesses apply to Barack Obama, don't you think?
2. Complaining About A Lack of Resources
3. Refusing To Take Responsibility
4. Abusing the Privileges of Leadership
5. Engaging in Acts of Insubordination
Labels: Barack Obama
After he signed a law last week authorizing the U.S. Treasury to borrow an additional $1.9 trillion, President Barack Obama delivered a characteristically sanctimonious speech. It was about his deep commitment to frugality.Read the full column at the link below:
"After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don't walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility," he said. "It's easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What's hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that's what we must do. Like families across the country, we have to take responsibility for every dollar we spend."
To put Obama's Olympian hypocrisy in perspective, one need only examine the federal budget tables posted on the White House website by Obama's own Office of Management and Budget.
They reveal these startling facts: When calculated by the average annual percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that he will spend during his presidency, Obama is on track to become the biggest-spending president since 1930, the earliest year reported on the OMB's historical chart of spending as a percentage of GDP. When calculated by the average annual percentage of GDP he will borrow during his presidency, Obama is on track to become the greatest debter president since Franklin Roosevelt.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Is the president right when he says the stimulus kept the U.S. from falling into a depression? No. In fact, too much government tinkering and spending, not too little, has given us the jobless recovery we have now.Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.
Democrats in charge of both the White House and Congress are firing all their guns at once to tout the benefits of the $862 billion stimulus package passed a year ago this week. They've even planned a 35-city tour to support it. Their message?
"One year later, it is largely thanks to the recovery act that a second depression is no longer a possibility," President Obama said Wednesday. The stimulus act has created 2 million jobs, he claimed, predicting 1.5 million more this year from the program.
Is it just a coincidence that the 3.5 million jobs he is claiming is exactly what the White House predicted early last year? We doubt it. But whatever the case, Obama's claims are false.
Start with this: Stimulus didn't save us from an economic cataclysm. Obama himself said so back in March, noting that the economy was "not as bad as we think," and that he was "highly optimistic." It's clear he didn't think we were on the brink of a Depression.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Just 28% of U.S. voters say the country is heading in the right direction, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. This marks the lowest level of voter confidence in the nation’s current course since one year ago and appears to signal the end of a slight burst of confidence at the first of this year.Read more poll results at Rasmussen Reports.
The majority of voters (65%) believe the nation is heading down the wrong track, a figure that's held roughly steady since mid-November.
At the start of 2010, voters were slightly more optimistic, with 32% saying the country was heading in the right direction. Past polling shows that voters are typically more optimistic at the start of a new year.
Leading up to Barack Obama's inauguration a year ago, the number of voters who felt the country was heading in the right direction remained below 20%. The week of his inauguration, voter confidence rose to 27% and then steadily increased, peaking at 40% in early May 2009. Since then, confidence in the direction of the country has steadily declined.
Today marks the one year anniversary of enactment of the federal stimulus bill, which Democrats promised would help reverse rising unemployment rates. Are you and your family better off today than you were a year ago?
According to the latest information from the Department of Labor, unemployment has only increased locally. As of December 2009, in Delaware County, unemployment has risen to 7.9 percent – a 39 percent increase in 12 months. Chester County has seen unemployment rise 32 percent over levels from a year ago while Montgomery County has seen unemployment rolls grow by 31 percent.
Where are the jobs we were promised as a result of the $1 trillion stimulus bill? With 30 to 40 percent more people unemployed this year compared to last, it is clear that the stimulus bill is not having the desired impact.
Instead we have witnessed what I call crony capitalism. Favored pet industries of legislators, questionable government programs, and numerous wasteful projects have been the beneficiary of the stimulus funding.
In December CBS News reported on various examples of some $7 billion in wasteful stimulus projects. Included in the report was stimulus money to fund a new martini bar, stimulus dollars to study rat sex on hard drugs, and taxpayer dollars funding a $9 million footbridge in Massachusetts that benefits a private developer, among many other projects. Is this realty the best use of taxpayer dollars? And how is this helping local small businesses that are struggling to make payroll or workers locally looking for jobs?
This type of waste and abuse is clearly not the best use of taxpayer dollars. We need to do more to stimulate consumer spending and encourage new business creation.
You can read more about my specific job creation ideas here.
The political retirement of Evan Bayh, at age 54, is being portrayed by various sages as a result of too much partisanship, or the Senate's dysfunction, or even the systemic breakdown of American governance. Most of this is rationalization. The real story, of which Mr. Bayh's frustration is merely the latest sign, is the failure once again of liberal governance.Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.
For the fourth time since the 1960s, American voters in 2008 gave Democrats overwhelming control of both Congress and the White House. Republicans haven't had such large majorities since the 1920s. Yet once again, Democratic leaders have tried to govern the country from the left, only to find that their policies have hit a wall of practical and popular resistance.
Democrats failed in the latter half of the 1960s, as the twin burdens of the Great Society and Vietnam ended the Kennedy boom and split their party. They failed again after Watergate, as Congress dragged Jimmy Carter to the left and liberals had no answer for stagflation. They failed a third time in the first two Bill Clinton years, as tax increases and HillaryCare led to the Gingrich Congress before Mr. Clinton salvaged his Presidency by tacking to the center.
A fourth crackup is already well underway and is even more remarkable considering how Democrats were set up for success. Inheriting a recession amid GOP failures, Democrats had the chance to restore economic confidence and fix the financial system with modest reforms that would let them take credit for the inevitable recovery. Yet only 13 months later, Democrats are down in the polls, their agenda is stymied by Democratic opposition, and their House and Senate majorities are in peril as moderates like Mr. Bayh flee the scene of this political accident.
Labels: Ed Stein Cartoon
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
"It's time for Pennsylvania to move from an antiquated and unsafe system to one that is modern, safer and customer-friendly," Rafferty said. "Consumers should not be forced to purchases cases or kegs of beer if they desire a lesser amount. This proposal has overwhelming public support, and it will also help to crack down on underage beer sales through tougher enforcement."
Rafferty's bill would allow consumers to purchases six-packs in grocery and conveniences stores as well as at distributors. It would also require 100 percent "carding" for all beer sales with electronic age verification machines to ensure that minors are not purchasing alcohol illegally.
Rafferty's legislation would also provide for strengthened enforcement efforts and age compliance checks – to be funded through a $25,000 license conversion fee and annual fees of $2,500 which will generate millions of dollars annually.
More than four years ago, as chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, Rafferty conducted statewide hearings on underage drinking which focused on how minors obtained alcohol.
Rafferty said that 100 percent carding for all beer sales works. Since Market Café Restaurants at Wegmans began selling beer in May 2008, there have been more than 760,000 transactions with no violations. All sales are subject to the company's 100 percent carding policy.
"Selling beer, including Pennsylvania-produced microbrews, in stores gives consumers greater choices, and the protections in this bill will actually help to stop sales to minors," Rafferty said. "This is a slow transition from an unsafe antiquated system to a new modern system used in 46 other states – and one that Pennsylvania consumers are demanding."
"Republican voters in southeast Pennsylvania know Jim very well and they have already reached the conclusion that he is doing a good job in Congress and should be returned to Washington for another term," said Chris Wilson, the campaign's pollster. "With solid numbers like these, Jim is a virtual lock to win the Republican primary. Any primary challenge to Jim Gerlach at this point would only serve Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in Washington."For more on the poll, click here.
Among the data, Wilson Research Strategies found that Gerlach's Republican support is strongest among the most conservative voters, making it nearly impossible to challenge him "from the right." Additionally, Republican primary voters who disapprove of Congress (87%) do not blame Jim Gerlach for the problems in Washington, since 86% of those voters approve of Gerlach's job performance in Congress. Therefore, this is not an anti-incumbent electorate.
"Even among those voters who have heard of Steve Welch, Gerlach is leading 67-15%," added Wilson.
Since Jim Gerlach's decision to seek re-election January 8th, a number of national publications have written that Pennsylvania's 6th District seat is now more likely to stay in Republican hands, with one commentator stating that Gerlach "saved that seat for Republicans ... I think they would have lost it otherwise." Still, Democrats are ecstatic after learning of Welch's decision to challenge Gerlach in the primary. The National Journal said it forces Republicans into a "potentially costly, and damaging, primary" that could be "damaging to the GOP hopes of holding the seat." Pa2010.com wrote the news of his primary challenge was "a lift for Democrats."
Despite having to start virtually from scratch after winding down his federal campaign account last year in anticipation of a campaign for Governor, Gerlach announced at the end of January that he had secured more than half a million dollars in financial commitments in just three weeks for his primary election campaign, a number that has grown each day.
Monday, February 15, 2010
"At such a critical juncture in the history of our Commonwealth and our country, it's important that our Party puts forth highly qualified candidates who will promote and implement the Republican principles of limited government and personal responsibility within our government," Gleason said. "We are excited to have found these highly qualified candidates in United States Senate candidate Pat Toomey, gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett and lieutenant governor candidate Jim Cawley."
"As a former small business owner, Pat Toomey has an innate understanding of the problems facing our nation's financial system. During his time in Congress and later in the private sector, Pat Toomey became a champion of the type of common-sense, free-market solutions that will create jobs, grow our economy and protect our freedoms. Pat Toomey is exactly the type of strong independent voice that we need in Washington today.
"Attorney General Tom Corbett's name has become synonymous with government reform in Pennsylvania. Tom has spent a lifetime fighting to protect the citizens of this Commonwealth from public corruption and criminal predators, and I am excited to support his bid to take that watchdog mentality to the Governor's mansion.
"Jim Cawley, Bucks County Commissioner, has established a solid record as an innovator who has worked to save taxpayers millions of dollars. Jim's experience will add a great deal to our Party's ticket this year."
"With a strong and energized grassroots network, we are excited to get to work electing Tom Corbett for Governor, Jim Cawley for Lieutenant Governor, and Pat Toomey for the United States Senate."
While the PICPA recognizes the state's need for revenue to support critical state operations and programs, expanding the sales tax to include services - such as those provided by CPAs, attorneys, advertisers, and public relations - will be a quick fix that ultimately hurts Pennsylvania's long-term growth prospects.Pennsylvania CPAs established the "Guiding Principles of Good Tax Policy" pamphlet, which can be viewed on PICPA's Web site at www.picpa.org/taxpolicy
PICPA, in several testimonies to the Pennsylvania House and Senate, has strongly encouraged a simplification of the current state tax code to attract more business and thus more revenue. Removing the sales tax exemption on services will create more confusion in the marketplace and could also be a strong deterrent for business expansion and sustainability. The negative effects of this tax expansion include the following:
-- Compliance difficulties and increased administrative burden to the
thousands of small businesses in Pennsylvania.
-- Pennsylvania would be at a competitive disadvantage, as only three
other states tax professional services, and none surround the
-- Further expansion of the sales tax will not make the state any more
business-friendly as Pennsylvania already has one of the highest
business tax rates.
Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.Read more at the newspaper's Web site
And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no 'statistically significant' warming.
The admissions will be seized on by sceptics as fresh evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change and the orthodoxy that recent rises in temperature are largely man-made.
Labels: Global Warming
Friday, February 12, 2010
Forty-nine states have snow now, from the Gulf Coast’s Redneck Riviera to the skyscrapers of Dallas. The lone holdout? Hawaii.
Although snow falls every winter on Hawaii's two tallest volcanoes, the National Weather Service in Honolulu said there was no snow in the state Friday.
Snow had even fallen in the Florida Panhandle and along the South Carolina coast.
However, snow has been lighter than usual in New England. Forecasters say El Nino has driven many of this year's storms southward.
Weather service meteorologist Brian Korty says it’s extremely rare to have so many states with snow.
* Only one in three (35%) citizens believes the United States is currently headed in the right direction. Most cite the economy and personal finances (64%) as the most important problems their families currently face, with healthcare-related issues a distant second (11%).Click on the link below for more poll results:
* More than one in three (37%) Americans say the current healthcare system meets their needs very well, and another two in five (41%) say it meets their needs pretty well, leaving about one in five (21%) who feel the system is not serving their personal needs. These figures remain largely unchanged since September 2009.
* The cost of healthcare and availability of health insurance coverage were significant problems for many adults during the past year. Nearly one in four (23%) adults report skipping a recommended test or medical treatment because of the cost, and one in five (21%) did not fill a medical prescription because of the cost. About one in five (19%) respondents say they were without health insurance coverage at some point during the previous 12 months.
Labels: Jeff Stahler Cartoon
How many jobs will the recovery bring? Not enough, if the latest forecast from the president's top economists is to be believed. So it doesn't go without notice, this is an admission that the stimulus has failed.Read the full editorial at the link below:
Labels: Montgomery County
Thursday, February 11, 2010
"John was a person dedicated to public service, his family, friends and Montgomery County," said MCRC Chairman Bob Kerns. "He will be deeply missed as a friend and member of our Montgomery County GOP family. Our sympathy goes to his loved ones during this time of grief."Check out the Facebook memorial page here
John was Montgomery County Sheriff for the past 10 years after serving as a Montgomery County detective for 28 years.
"John helped put away many of the county's worst criminals and did so without fanfare or desire for recognition. It was an honor to run for office with John in 1999 along side our other DA's Office colleague Mike Marino, and to have served in elective office with him for 10 years," Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor said. "He brought stature to the Sheriff's Department and had the respect of his peers and many friends. Above all, John had a heart of gold. We will miss him."
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Labels: Montgomery County
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Labels: Berks County
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Senator Robert J. Mellow, the Pennsylvania State Senate's longest-serving member and its highest-ranking Democrat, announced today that he will not seek re-election. With a lengthy record of public service, Senator Mellow's distinguished career includes two terms as Senate President Pro Tempore, the third-highest constitutional office in the Commonwealth.Read the full announcement at Mellow's Web site.
"It has been my profound personal honor to serve the citizens of Pennsylvania. It has literally been my life's work. I am deeply grateful for the trust that my friends and neighbors from northeastern Pennsylvania have shown me by electing and re-electing me to work for them. We have accomplished many great things together,” Mellow said.
"I have fought hard for the good people of Pennsylvania, and I have loved every minute of being in the arena. My constituents have shown me that if we stand together with honor and integrity, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish as citizens of this great state. I always knew there would come a time to make this difficult decision. I am confident I have accomplished all I set out to do for the people of Pennsylvania. I leave public life knowing that I have always strived to meet a high standard of excellence. I know in my heart that we have climbed that mountain. Now while at the top, it is time to move on to different priorities."
"The long hours in Harrisburg over the years have cost me precious time with my daughters and now my grandchildren. My choice to put them first is the right thing to do and, as jarring as this decision has been to make, I am confident that now is the right time to do it. All of those days devoted to my constituents have resulted in many good things for the 22nd District – some I never imagined possible. With those successes in mind, I am shifting my focus. My daughters and grandchildren mean the world to me, and in this next chapter of my life, I need to devote more of my time and energy to them."
Monday, February 8, 2010
"Jack was a devoted husband, a loving father and a steadfast advocate for the people of Pennsylvania for nearly 40 years. His passion for service was born during his decorated career in the United States Marine Corps, and he went on to earn the distinction of being the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress. Jack's tough-as-nails reputation carried over to Congress, where he became a respected voice on issues of national security. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife of nearly 55 years, Joyce, their three children, and the entire Murtha family." — President Barack Obama.
"He was a public servant in every sense of the word and his passing is a great loss to all of Pennsylvania," said Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa.
"He was a good friend to me and my family for years. He was one of the first people to say to my father (the late Gov. Robert P. Casey) after he'd lost three times that he'd support him the fourth time for governor, and believed in him when a lot of folks didn't." — Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.
"Jack Murtha didn't just worry about his district. He worried about all of Pennsylvania and in some ways he worried about the entire country. He was really the congressman for the entire state of Pennsylvania. Sort of a super, uber-congressman," said Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa.
"(Murtha) served his country as a Marine in Vietnam and in Congress for more than three decades. He worked hard for western Pennsylvania and he consistently guarded the interests of our men and women in uniform," — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
"Today, our nation has lost a decorated veteran and the House of Representatives has lost one of its own. I was saddened to hear of John Murtha's passing, and my thoughts and prayers are with his friends and loved ones," — Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio.
"He's bigger than life in so many ways. ... He's a strong and powerful political titan, yet he's very human and very soft-spoken. He wasn't a table-banger in any sense of the word," — Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman T.J. Rooney.
"While the congressman and I often differed when it came to politics, he always had my deepest respect. The thoughts and prayers of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania go out to Jack’s family," — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason.
"Jack served his country in uniform and in Congress for many years, and his service will long be remembered and appreciated by the people of Pennsylvania." — U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey
"John Murtha may have represented Western Pennsylvania, but he was the voice of hard-working Democrats across the Commonwealth. Representative Murtha's service to his country and the strength of his convictions made him a powerful force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill. His career took him from Parris Island to Vietnam, from Harrisburg to Washington, D.C. He was a leader until the end, fighting for American values and middle class ideals. He stood up for veterans and stood firm in his beliefs, not caring as much about political expediency as what he thought to be in the best interest of his constituents and his country. I am deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Murtha and extend my deepest condolences to his family." — Pa. Sen. Democratic Leader Robert Mellow.
U.S. Rep. John Murtha, the longest-serving congressman in Pennsylvania history, died today at 1:18 p.m. at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., his office announced today.The Associated Press released a quick video about his death.
He was 77.
Murtha had been hospitalized since Tuesday with an infection that arose from gallbladder surgery in late January.
Murtha was first elected to the U.S. House in February, 1974, and became the longest-serving congressman on Saturday. He served since 1989 as chairman or ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
His family was at his bedside when he died, said spokesman Matthew Mazonkey.