Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Jimmy Carter Years

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Global Warming Meltdown

Global Warming fanatics continue to melt in the face of public scrutiny. "Sure, we'll open up our books now that we've been exposed as frauds."

Climate change data to face independent scrutiny - Washington Times




Rendell Signs 2 More Execution Warrants

Number of execution warrants signed by Gov. Ed Rendell since January 2003 -- 103.

Number of prisoners on Pennsylvania's Death Row executed since January 2003 -- 0.

Governor Rendell Signs Execution Warrants for Cam Ly, Shonda Walter

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Newspaper: The Real Cost of Obamacare

If the Obama Administration is starting to feel like the movie, "Groundhog Day," you're not far off. After wasting an entire year pushing a government takeover of health care that the majority of Americans oppose, Barack Obama is still peddling the same snake oil.

From Investor's Business Daily:
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.

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."
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

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Help a young mom who lost 2 kids to cancer

A young Montgomery County mom who has lost two of her children to cancer needs your help to create a place for families who have experienced grief like she has to find peace, comfort and resources. All you have to do is visit a Web site and vote for her project. This is legit. The full story is in The Mercury.

From reporter Brandie Kessler:
Erin Curtis is determined to transform the experience of losing two of her three children into hope and healing.

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.
Read the full story below:

From mother's loss comes a dream of hope

Posted using ShareThis

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Abusive Harry Reid

Governor Rendell, First Lady Honor Distinguished African-Americans

Helpful Resources Available for Pennsylvania Crime Victims

Tom Corbett unveils 12-point reform package

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett has released a 12-point plan to reform state government.

"To create real economic growth in Pennsylvania and put hard-working Pennsylvanians back to work ... we must start from the foundation up and reform the government that guides our economy," Corbett writes at his Web site. "Our government needs to be held to a higher standard to restore taxpayers' trust and confidence and to bring about good government at all levels and in every branch."

Corbett said his campaign will emphasize the need for "an open, transparent, accountable and trustworthy government that finally puts Pennsylvania taxpayers first and gets the state back on track and moving in the right direction."

If elected, Corbett says he will introduce a comprehensive plan and begin the process of reforming Harrisburg and putting the "people" back in the "people's government."

During his first week in office, Corbett will issue executive orders to immediately implement far-reaching reforms that do not require legislative action and will work swiftly with the General Assembly on any reforms needing legislative approval, according to his Web site.

Here are the reforms Corbett is pushing:
1) Reducing the Size & Cost of Government
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
Corbett offers more details about the reform package at his Web site,

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Obamacare II

Taxpayer group issues report card on Congressional spending

Although more lawmakers joined the ranks of "Taxpayers' Friends" for their voting records in 2009, the vast legion of "Big Spenders" who opted to grow government remained overwhelmingly large, according to the National Taxpayers Union's 31st annual Rating of Congress.

The unique scorecard utilizes every roll call vote affecting fiscal policy – 333 House and 227 Senate votes taken last year.

Here's how Pennsylvania members of Congress did on the newest ranking issued by the National Taxpayers Union. (Can't help noticing all the "F" grades next to Democrats.)

U.S. Senate
Bob Casey Jr. - F
Arlen Specter - D

U.S. House
Jason Altmire - D
Bob Brady - F
Chris Carney - D
Kathy Dahlkemper - F
Charlie Dent - C+
Mike Doyle - F
Chakah Fattah - F
Jim Gerlach - C+
Tim Holden - F
Paul Kanjorski - F
Pat Murphy - F
Tim Murphy - C
John Murtha - DECEASED
Joe Pitts - B+
Todd Platts - C+
Alyson Schwartz - F
Joe Sestak - F
Bud Shuster - B
Glenn Thompson - B

Read more about the ratings at the link below:

Taxpayer Group's Nonpartisan Scorecard Finds More 'Taxpayers' Friends' but Many 'Big Spenders' in Congress

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Democrats shun Sen. Evan Bayh for speaking the truth

Have you noticed how there's no room for dissension within the Democratic Party?

Look how quickly the Dems have turned on their once golden boy, Sen. Evan Bayh, because he has pointed a finger at his fellow Democrats for the gridlock in Washington, D.C.

The party has been hijacked by far-left extremists -- Obama, Pelosi, Reid, who are bent on destroying the party if they don't get their way. Moderates like Bayh have no place in today's Democratic Party.

And isn't it interesting that the liberal media is still trying to portray the Republican Party as divided when it's the Democrats who are dysfunctional?

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.

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.
Read the full story at the link below:

Evan Bayh's exit comments irk Democrats - Manu Raju -


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This explains a lot

ATR: The Individual Mandate Excise Tax is a Tax

PA Gaming Control Board Cancels Hearing Due to Impending Inclement Weather

An alternative to Obamacare

Is Joe Hoeffel trying to lose the election?

A hilarious new political ad released by the Joe Hoeffel for Governor campaign proclaims Joe stands for "old-fashioned values" such as abortion-on-demand, gun control, same-sex marriage, protectionism and special breaks for unions.

This guy couldn't get elected in Massachusetts let alone Pennsylvania.

The final howler is when Hoeffel describes himself as "fiscally responsible."

Before Hoeffel took control of Montgomery County government in 2008, the county was a model of efficiency that other Pennsylvania counties could emulate. Montco government was so well run that the commissioners were able to cut property taxes while increasing services.

Under Hoeffel, Montgomery County has turned into an economic basket-case, facing deficits, layoffs and cuts in services. Cronyism is rampant as Hoeffel has hired all sorts of political allies to well-paying county jobs that didn't exist before Hoeffel came into the picture.

Now Hoeffel wants to do the same for Pennsylvania? Good luck with that.

Actually Hoeffel may be too late. His pal, Ed Rendell, has already bankrupted the state.

Prediction: Hoeffel will finish a distant third or maybe even fourth in the four-man race for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania governor.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Michael Steele is spending like a Democrat

Is Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele a closet Democrat? He sure is spending a lot of money.

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.

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.
Read the full story below:

Michael Steele's spending spree angers donors - Jeanne Cummings -

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Pennsylvania State Budget Facts 2010

If you're looking for an objective look at spending in Pennsylvania, The Commonwealth Foundation is your best source of information.

The Commonwealth Foundation has released two new analyses of the Pennsylvania State Budget.
Pennsylvania State Budget Overview

* 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.
Get the Pennsylvania state budget overview here
Pennsylvania Spending 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%
Get the facts on the state budget by department

For more on the Pennsylvania State Budget, visit

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Rep. Fattah Proposes New Tax To Pay Down National Debt

What's the Democrats solution to paying down the national debt that they've helped create by spending more money than the government takes in? Raise taxes, of course.

Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) today introduced legislation that calls for a penny on every dollar on transactions in the United States economy to be directed to eliminating America's national debt.

I guess it never occurred to Fattah or any other Democrat to just stop spending or cut taxes to jump-start the economy.

Read more about Fattah's tax hike plan below:

America: A Debt Free Future

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Newspaper: Obama tops Bush at ducking reporters

So much for change. The most secretive and least accountable administration ever continues to break campaign promises ... and the lap dog liberal media just rolls over.

The Washington Times notes that Barack Obama has gone 215 consecutive days without a formal press conference.

From a Times' article by Joseph Curl:
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.

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.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Gerlach criticizes return of Obamacare

U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) issued the following statement Monday after the White House outlined its health care reform proposal that the American people have already rejected:
"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.

"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.
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.

Gerlach also supports the House Republican Medical Rights and Reform Act, which includes provisions to end costly lawsuit abuse and allows doctors and patients to continuing making decisions about the best treatments.

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Dave Maloney and Dave Molony running for PA House seats

I received this amusing press release from the David M. Maloney for Berks 130th Campaign attempting to clear up some potential confusion about a candidate with a similar name running in a separate Legislative district.

Both are Republicans but Dave Maloney is seeking the nomination for the 130th District in eastern Berks County while Dave Molony is seeking the 133rd State House seat in Lehigh County and Northampton counties.

Here's the release:
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.

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.
In the photo above, that's Dave Maloney on the left, Dave Molony on the right.

For more on Maloney's bid to replace incumbent state Rep. David Kessler, check out this article or visit Maloney's campaign Web site.

Molony is seeking to replace incumbent Democratic state Rep. Joseph F. Brennan. For more information on Molony, check out this article or visit his campaign Web site.

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Caused by Global Warming

ATR: Obama Health Plan Is a Net Tax Hike of $629 Billion

Obamacare is back ... and so is the plan for massive tax hikes to pay for the government-run health care system, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

ATR: Obama Health Plan Is a Net Tax Hike of $629 Billion

How corrupt is Pennsylvania government?

If you haven't been paying attention to the Bonusgate trial of former House Democratic leader Mike Veon, you should.

Columnist Brad Bumsted says the testimony about the elaborate criminal enterprise allegedly set up by Veon and others inside the Capitol is appalling.

"Every Pennsylvania taxpayer should be furious," Bumsted writes.

Bumsted has written extensively on Bonusgate and this week's column focuses on testimony by Scott Brubaker, a former state House aide.

From Bumsted's column:
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.

"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.
Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

More lipstick, same pig

George Will sheds light on the 'global warming industry'

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George F. Will examines the growing evidence that most of the "science" behind the theory of global warming is more fiction than science in his latest column.

Here's part of what Will writes:
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."

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.
Read the full column, "Blinded by science," here.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ron Paul: 'The revolution is alive and well'

Congressional Dump

Sheetz CEO 'Appalled at ridiculous laws' in PA

Al Haig passes away at 85

Gen. Alexander Haig, a one-time Republican presidential candidate who also served three GOP administrations and was a witness to some of the most dramatic moments in U.S. history, has died.

Al Haig passes away at 85 - Harry Siegel and Nia-Malika Henderson -

Friday, February 19, 2010

Obama Kiss of Death

Barack Obama campaigned for Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia governor's race ... and Deeds lost.

Barack Obama campaigned for Democrat Jon Corzine in the New Jersey governor's race ... and Corzine lost his bid for re-election.

Barack Obama campaigned for Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race ... and Coakley lost to underdog Scott Brown.

Today, Barack Obama campaigned for embattled Senate Leader Harry Reid, who is trying to win re-election in his native Nevada. Good luck with that.

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Five Flaws of Weak Leaders

The list below is from an article posted at church-related Web site, but the same principles could apply to elected leaders.
1. Hesitating To Take Definitive Action
2. Complaining About A Lack of Resources
3. Refusing To Take Responsibility
4. Abusing the Privileges of Leadership
5. Engaging in Acts of Insubordination
Four of the five weaknesses apply to Barack Obama, don't you think?

Read the full article at the link below:

Five Flaws of Weak Leaders |


Video: Who is Sam Rohrer?

Obama Tops FDR (in Spending Other People's Money)

From a column by Terence P. Jeffrey posted at on Obama's reckless spending:
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.

"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.
Read the full column at the link below: - Obama Defeats FDR (in Spending Other People's Money)

Posted using ShareThis

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dick Cheney: 2010 will be a phenomenal year for GOP

Newspaper: Why Defend The Failed Stimulus?

From a new editorial at Investor's Business Daily:
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.

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.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

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Mountain of Debt

PA preserves another 3,346 acres of farmland

The latest farms to be preserved are located in Berks, Blair, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Cumberland, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Union, Westmoreland and York counties.

State Preservation Board Protects Additional 3,346 Acres of Prime Pennsylvania Farmland from Development

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Poll: Only 28% Say U.S. Headed In Right Direction

If Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats don't make a mid-term course correction soon, they'll end up at the bottom of a steep canyon.

The latest "Right Direction or Wrong Track" survey by Rasmussen Reports finds just 28% of Americans say the U.S. is heading in the right direction.

From Rasmussen Reports:
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.

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.
Read more poll results at Rasmussen Reports.

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Hope & Chain - Reaction

PA Casino Fined $48,900

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Approves New Regulations for the Training and Play of Table Games

Obama vs. Obama on the Stimulus

New Ads Targeting 18 Reps - Urge Them to 'Start Over' on Health Care

Rendell Sets Special Election to Fill Late U.S. Rep. Murtha's Seat

Pat Meehan: Are You Better Off Today?

Pat Meehan, a Republican seeking Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District seat, posted this commentary at his blog on the one-year anniversary of Barack Obama signing the so-called "stimulus" bill into law:
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.

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The real reason Evan Bayh quit

The Wall Street Journal offers some insight into the real reason Sen. Evan Bayh has turned his back on Barack Obama and the far-left Congressional leadership that hijacked the Democratic Party.

From the WSJ:
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.

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.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

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Rendell Signs Bill Strengthening Meth Law; Other Legislation

The real enemy

FRC's Tony Perkins to Sign the Mount Vernon Statement

Did Obama 'save' your job?

The Obama Ministry of Propaganda is working overtime today, the one-year anniversary of failed "stimulus" bill, to convince Americans that their jobs were "saved" by massive government spending.

Ed Rendell, loyal Obama minion that he is, claims that 84,000 jobs in Pennsylvania were "saved" by the Obama debt package. Why stop at 84,000? Why not 840,000? It's just a number Democrats pluck from thin air.

Unemployment remains at a 30-year high in the United States with more than 17 million Americans looking for work. That's the Obama legacy.

For more propaganda, follow the link below:

Recovery Act Has Saved Jobs in Pennsylvania

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Obama at the Winter Olympics

Sen. Rafferty calls for reform of PA beer sales laws

At a rally Tuesday at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, state Sen. John Rafferty (R-44) joined consumers, grocery and convenience store owners and others who say it is time for Pennsylvania to join 46 other states in reforming its beer sales laws.

Rafferty has introduced legislation that would provide consumers with greater convenience in purchasing beer and at the same time strengthen enforcement of beer sales laws.

From a release issued by Rafferty's office:
"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."

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President Betty White

Gerlach: Time for Welch to bow out

With a new poll in hand showing incumbent Congressman Jim Gerlach holding a commanding lead over GOP primary challenger Steve Welch, the Gerlach campaign is urging Welch to drop out of the race.

A poll released by the Gerlach for Congress campaign shows a 61-point lead over Welch, with the four-term Republican Congressman leading in a head-to-head match up by a 71% to 6% margin.

With Gerlach securing party support and holding a monetary advantage, the only purpose Welch can serve by staying in the race is to help a potential Democratic opponent in the fall, the Gerlach camp argues.

From the Gerlach for Congress campaign:
"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."

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." 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.
For more on the poll, click here.

For more on Gerlach, visit his campaign Web site.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Washington Post examines global warming hoax

The Washington Post - yes, the ultra-liberal Washington Post - offers a comprehensive look at global warming, including growing evidence that scientists used phony research to perpetuate the global warming myth. Al Gore just might be the last person on earth clinging to the climate change hoax.

Imploding UN Global Warming Forecasts on Front Page of Washington Post |

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

PA GOP Endorsements for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, U.S. Senate

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania has voted to endorse Pat Toomey for United States Senate, Tom Corbett for Pennsylvania Governor and Jim Cawley for Lieutenant Governor.

From a PA GOP release:
"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."

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New Study Reveals Economic Consequences of Continuing Restrictions on Domestic Energy Exploration

Global warming freezes over

Accountants: Rendell Sales Tax Expansion Would Hurt Many Businesses

Gov. Ed Rendell's recent budget proposal to remove the exemption of the state sales tax for professional services would have damaging long-term effects on Pennsylvania business growth, says the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants

From a press release issued today by the PICPA:
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.

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.
Pennsylvania CPAs established the "Guiding Principles of Good Tax Policy" pamphlet, which can be viewed on PICPA's Web site at

The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants is a professional association of more than 19,000 CPAs who work in public accounting, industry, government and education.

For more information, visit the group's Web site at

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The Smoking Gun on Global Warming Hoax

A must-read article in Daily Mail that blows the lid off the myth of global warming.

The headline is "Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995"

The article focuses on Professor Phil Jones, the "scientist" at the center of the Climategate scandal that is being ignored by the liberal media.

From the Daily Mail:

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.

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.
Read more at the newspaper's Web site


GOP Calls Out Obama on Trials for Terrorists

Friday, February 12, 2010

From our Global Warming Desk: Snow in 49 States

From The Associated Press:
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.

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Mixed results for Obama in latest F&M College Poll

Only 45% of registered voters approve of the way President Obama is dealing with the country's economic problems, according to February 2010 Franklin & Marshall College National Poll.

The poll also found that more Americans now say they would vote for the Republican candidate (39%) than the Democratic candidate (35%) if the midterm House elections were held today.

In September 2009, the Democrats led the Republicans, 43 percent to 30 percent, on this question, according to the poll.

Other poll findings:
* 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%).

* 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.
Click on the link below for more poll results:

Majority of Americans Approve of President Obama's Handling of Afghanistan and National Security But Disapprove of Handling of Economic Issues, Per Franklin & Marshall College Poll With Hearst Television

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Obama Sends Valentines to GOP

'Stimulus Jobbed'

Investor's Business Daily is still waiting for those "stimulus" jobs Obama promised to materialize.

From a new editorial:
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: - Stimulus Jobbed

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Funeral Services for Sheriff John Durante

Funeral arrangements have been set for Montgomery County Sheriff John Durante, who passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 60.

A viewing will be held Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m. at Emil J. Ciavarelli Family Funeral Homes Inc., 516 Fayette St., Conshohocken.

A viewing also will be held at the funeral home on Thursday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at Sts. Cosmas and Damian Church, 209 W. Fifth Ave., Conshohocken. Interment will be at St. Matthew's Cemetery in Conshohocken.

Flags at all Montgomery County buildings will fly at half-staff through Thursday in remembrance of Sheriff Durante.

"John was a person dedicated to public service, his family, friends and Montgomery County," said Montgomery County Republican Committee 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."

For more on Durante's 10-year tenure as Montgomery County Sheriff, check out this article by reporter Carl Hessler Jr. in The Pottstown Mercury.

For more on Durante, visit his Facebook memorial page.


Thursday, February 11, 2010


Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Would Raise $293M for PA

Pity the poor smoker. Banished from public buildings and most workplace, a new national polls finds 67 percent of voters support additional taxes on tobacco to pay for health programs.

But what happens when the price of cigarettes becomes so prohibitive that people stop smoking ... and paying taxes on tobacco?

New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $292.9 Million for Pennsylvania and Cut Youth Smoking

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Sam Rohrer Response to Rendell Budget

Obama tied in generic 2012 matchup

The mere mention of Barack Obama helps Republicans get elected these days. Will the Dems hide Obama in a secret underground location until after the November 2010 election?

President Obama tied in generic 2012 matchup - Andy Barr -

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Checking under the hood

Montco GOP mourns death of Sheriff John Durante

The Montgomery County Republican Committee issued the following statement on the passing of Montgomery County Sheriff John Durante on Feb. 10, 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."

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.
Check out the Facebook memorial page here


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spotted on a lawn in Berks County

Punxsutawney Phil must have paid a visit to Berks County. At the rate the snow is falling, he'll be completely covered ... until spring.


Rep. Quigley questions Rendell call to increase spending

Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery) released the following statement in response to Gov. Ed Rendell's annual budget address to the Pennsylvania Legislature:

"There were two aspects of the governor's speech that I was in agreement with, including the call to get this budget passed on time and the need to plan for the financial difficulties Pennsylvania will face in years to come. We cannot view our state budgets as documents that address only a single fiscal year, but must craft them with an eye on the future economic health of Pennsylvania.

"I differ with the governor on how best to address the pending funding cliff we face when the federal stimulus money ceases. Pennsylvania can do a better job of controlling spending. The governor is calling for a spending increase of $1.2 billion, while the state is up against a projected $525 million shortfall for the fiscal year. I do not believe such a spending increase is sensible at this time. We have to budget based on the conditions at hand, which means facing the fact that our citizens cannot afford a tax increase and our state cannot afford to raise spending."

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another Round of Global Warming

Following a weekend blizzard that dumped 30 inches of snow on Washington, D.C., forcing the federal government to shut down, the Obama Administration announced the formation of a new federal climate change agency.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, announced Monday that NOAA will set up the new Climate Service to operate in tandem with NOAA's National Weather Service and National Ocean Service, according to The Associated Press.

It's a good thing Obama moved quickly on the climate change threat. Another massive snowstorm with blizzard conditions is headed for the East Coast Wednesday.

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PA Senate's top Democrat retiring

And the hits just keep coming for Pennsylvania Democrats.

Following in the footsteps of the recent announcement by Speaker of the House Keith McCall that he is retiring, the Senate's top Democrat, Sen. Bob Mellow, is also calling it quits.

Sen. Robert Mellow has represented the 22nd Senate District for the past 40 years. The dual retirement of McCall and Mellow is a severe blow to the influence Northeastern Pennsylvania residents have enjoyed in the Legislature.

From Mellow's office:
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.

"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."
Read the full announcement at Mellow's Web site.

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Rendell proposes expansion of state sales tax to cover years of deficit spending

It was classic Ed Rendell today as the governor delivered his eighth -- and final -- budget to the Pennsylvania Legislature. Having run out of things to tax, Rendell proposed expanding the state sales tax to cover more items.

Rendell and his lockstep Democrats in the Legislature have repeatedly opposed expansion of the sales tax to cover services when it was attached to a plan to eliminate property taxes. That's what Republican state Rep. Sam Rohrer has been pushing for years.

But now that Rendell has run out of opportunities to raise other taxes, he needs the expanded sales tax to fund his $29 billion spending plan and pay for years of deficit spending.

Despite running up huge deficits in the past two budgets, Rendell wants to increase state spending by $1.1 billion for the 2010-11 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Rendell wants to pay for the spending by using $1.1 billion in federal stimulus funds, which may or may not be approved by Congress. (Imagine what will happen to "stimulus" handouts when Republicans take back control of Congress in November.)

And Rendell is leaving with a final "up yours" to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.

Having presided over a massive expansion of state spending over the past eight years -- $9 billion and counting -- Rendell warned lawmakers that Pennsylvania is facing a "fiscal tsunami" -- a potential $5.6 billion deficit from the 2011 expiration of federal stimulus money and the ticking time bomb of public pension obligations.

It's basic economics. You can't spend what you don't have and Rendell (with the Legislature as his accomplice) has been spending money the state doesn't have. The chickens will come home to roost. Unfortunately for Pennsylvania taxpayers, Rendell will have flown the coop.

Rendell wants to reduce the state sales tax rate from 6 percent to 4 percent, but expand it to more than 70 services currently exempt (lawyer and accountant fees, dry cleaning, for example) and items such as firewood, candy, gum, bottled water, magazinies and "personal hygiene" products. (Groceries, clothing and prescription drugs would remain exempt from the sales tax under Rendell's plan).

Rep. Rohrer has proposed a similar plan, but it would lead to the elimination of the state's onerous property tax. Taxpayers would come out ahead under Rohrer's plan. Rendell simply wants more money from taxpayers to cover up his deficit spending.

The state finished with a $3.25 billion deficit for the 2008-09 fiscal year and is looking at a minimum $500 million deficit for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

In addition to expanding the sales tax, Rendell wants to extend the tobacco tax to include cigars and smokeless tobacco products and enact a new severance tax on natural gas extraction.

Will any of these taxes pass? Rendell is not running for re-election. He doesn't care. But all 203 members of the state House and 25 of the 50 members of the state Senate face the voters in 2010. How many of them are going to vote for one of the largest tax increases in Pennsylvania history?

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Everyone says nice things after a person dies

The death of powerful Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha brought all sorts of reaction from political figures in Pennsylvania and across the nation. Here's a sampling:
"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.

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Elevating the level of political discourse

Shocker: Rep. John Murtha dies at 77

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting that Pennsylvania's longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the controversial John Murtha, died Monday of complications from recent gall bladder surgery.

From the Tribune-Review:
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.

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.
The Associated Press released a quick video about his death.

Murtha is frequently cited by watchdog groups as the worst offender in Congress of pork barrel spending. He was recently named one of the most corrupt members of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

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Who has less experience? Obama or Brown?

PCN coverage of Rendell Budget Address

A week after Punxsutawney Phil made his annual appearance, another Pennsylvania icon, Gov. Ed Renell, will pop up on Tuesday to deliver his annual Budget Address to a joint session of the Pennsylvania Legislature.

Will we have another six months of deficit spending?

The Pennsylvania Cable Network will have comprehensive coverage of the event.

Live coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. at the PCN studios with former PA Lt. Gov. Mark Singel of The Winter Group.

Live coverage of the Governor's Budget Address before a joint session of the House and Senate starts at 10:30 a.m.

An encore presentation of Rendell's speech has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday for those of us who still have jobs and need to work during the day to support Rendell's massive spending plan.

PCN will hold an open phone session following the live budget address. Viewers can dial toll-free at 1-877-PA6-5001 to share their thoughts.

PCN will provide budget reaction from lawmakers following the address.

Rendell will be the guest on the LIVE PCN Call-In program beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Viewers can dial toll-free at 1-877-PA6-5001 to speak directly with the governor.

Through the coming weeks, PCN will provide extensive coverage of the 2010-11 fiscal year state budget proceedings. Check for programming details.

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