Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Group urges PA to raise tax on beer

A group that bills itself as the alcohol industry watchdog says many states, including Pennsylvania, should consider higher taxes on beer to make up for budget shortfalls.

Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wyoming have not passed a beer tax increase in 50 years or more, according to the Marin Institute.

From a press release the group issued today: "Astonishingly, in 47 states, the decrease in real value of the current beer tax (due to inflation) ranges from 25 percent to over 75 percent. Included with the maps is a handy table that chronicles all the data state-by-state including current beer tax rates."

This is graphic proof that Big Alcohol lobbying efforts are extremely effective at preventing sound public policy and balanced state budgets," said Michael Scippa, advocacy director at Marin Institute. "Their well-funded influence peddling is especially effective when coupled with generous campaign contributions."

"We hope state legislatures and governors looking for alternatives to draconian cuts to budgets and services will use this data," Simon added. "Then enact long-overdue increases to beer taxes and index them to inflation to prevent future losses."

Read the full release at the link below. You can also check out the group's Web site to see where your state stands on beer taxes.

State Governments Neglect Beer Taxes

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PA $750M in the red; Rendell in denial

Pennsylvania is expecting a year-to-date budget shortfall of $750 million for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. The state ran up a $3.25 billion deficit in the previous budget year.

Despite the ocean of red ink, Gov. Ed Rendell is in full-blown spin mode.

"With the significant revenue month of April just ahead, it is important to wait and see how the major tax category collections come in before we make assumptions about end-of-year revenues," Rendell said. "At this point it would be premature to deviate from the plan that I have already presented to balance the budget.

Republican lawmakers are more realistic about the state's fiscal woes.

From The Associated Press:
A top Republican state senator says Pennsylvania's budget situation is worsening and says it's reasonable to expect a $1 billion deficit by July 1.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman said Wednesday that disappointing March tax collections are likely to bring the state's fiscal year shortfall to at least $700 million.

With three months to go in the fiscal year, the Centre County Republican says a $1 billion deficit, or more than 3 percent, is possible.

Corman says Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell should consider additional cuts in this year's budget.

However, Rendell said in a statement responding to Corman that a balanced budget is still within reach since April is also a big month for revenue.
He says it is important to wait before making assumptions.
Denial is a river that runs through Harrisburg.

Read Rendell's full statement at the link below:

Balanced Budget Still Within Reach Despite Weak March Revenues

Labels: , , , Launches the Patriot Pledge

The Patriot Pledge ( is an oath demanded by the people of all candidates running for elected office within the Congressional branch of the federal government. It is an oath each candidate signs committing him or her to the following:
* I will not serve within the Congressional branch of the federal government for more than 12 years.

* I will have a complete understanding of every provision of a bill prior to casting a vote in favor of it.

* I will spend the government's money as prudently as I would spend my own money, recognizing that each dollar the government spends was taken from a working citizen or borrowed against our future.

* I will not accept any health or retirement benefits after departing Congress provided to me as a member and will work to pass legislation ensuring Congress is part of the same social security and health benefits system provided to common working class Americans.

* I will record and post transcripts or videos on the internet of all meetings I or my staff hold with any lobbyist (or former congressmen) while serving in the Congress and I vow not to become a lobbyist following my tenure in Congress.
Read more at the link below: Launches the Patriot Pledge

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4 Million Jobs Lost Under Obama

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Endorses Arlen Specter

Pennsylvania's largest labor union is backing Sen. Arlen Specter in the May Democratic primary against U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak.

I'm guessing Specter will be backing Card Check, Cap-and-Trade and any other job-killing legislation Congressional Democrats are pushing in return for labor's support.

The Pa. AFL-CIO also announced endorsements in five contested Democratic primaries for Pennsylvania Congressional seats. For the full list, click on the link below:

unionPennsylvania AFL-CIO Endorses Senator Arlen Specter in the May 18th Primary Election

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Tea Party in Russia

Columnist: Liberals wrong about Tea Party

Columnist Jay Ambrose does a nice job of dispelling many of the myths about the Tea Party movement spread by the far-left media.

From his latest column:
Discredit the message by discrediting the messenger. That's what a lot of this anti-Tea Party rhetoric is about, and the resort to it is understandable when the monstrosity being defended was brought to us through endless exaggerations and an ideology at war with America's having a decent future.

But I think there is something else at play besides defending a position, and it is a leftist conviction that those who do not see the world the way the left sees it are lacking in compassion or intelligence and are inferior for other reasons, to boot.

The name for this is bigotry.
Read the full column here.

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Working for the government until April 9

From the non-partisan Tax Foundation:
Tax Freedom Day will arrive on April 9 this year, the 99th day of 2010.

That means Ameri­cans will work well over three months of the year, from January 1 to April 9, before they have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obli­gations at the federal, state and local levels.

Tax Freedom Day arrives a day later in 2010 than it did in 2009, but more than two weeks earlier than in 2007.

This shift toward a lower tax burden since 2007 has been driven by three factors:

* The recession has reduced tax collections even faster than it has reduced income;
* President Obama and the Congress have enacted large but temporary income tax cuts for 2009 and 2010, just as President Bush did in 2008; and
* Two significant taxes were repealed for 2010 as part of previous legislation, the estate tax and the so-called PEP and Pease provisions of the income tax.

Despite all these tax reductions, Americans will pay more taxes in 2010 than they will spend on food, clothing and shelter combined.

• Each state has its own Tax Freedom Day. Alaska's is earliest on March 26, and Connecticut celebrates last on April 27. High-income states pay much more in federal taxes, and they often have higher state-local taxes as well. Joining Connecticut in the latest celebrations are New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Washington. Alaska is joined in early celebration by Louisiana, South Dakota, Mississippi and West Virginia.
Tax Freedom Day for Pennsylvania comes on April 13. Pennsylvania ranks 11th among the states on the list of worst tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation.

Read the full 8-page report at the Tax Foundation Web site.


Columnist: Freedom of speech costly but not a luxury

The recent controversy involving the cancellation of a speech by conservative columnist Ann Coulter shows once again that liberals support freedom of speech only when they agree with the person doing the speaking.a

From a column by Nathalie Des Rosiers:
We are left with a bad taste in our mouths when offensive speech is silenced, no matter how distasteful or ridiculous it may be. Universities, as institutions dedicated to the pursuit of truth, the creation of knowledge and the exchange of ideas, must confront this question head-on.

In earlier days, less security-sensitive universities would likely have just held the event and dealt with the consequences. They would have been willing to gamble that neither the speaker nor students would be harmed in the process. They would have assumed that, although at times unpleasant, public events rarely turned into blood baths.

Nowadays, however, experts in risk-management would quiver at the suggestion that heading off trouble before it happens may not be the only option.

It is important to remember that not everything can be managed by security experts, who are trained to fear the worst and inevitably suggest cancellation or additional resources to deal with potential trouble. They alone should not make decisions that relate to speech because they may not be sufficiently sensitive to the loss to our democracy and to the university's mission when speech is silenced.

Indeed, it could be that universities must accept that part of their educational function is to create the space for controversial speech to occur and that unpleasantness is part of that process. A measure of discomfort and risk is inevitable in living with free speech.
Read the full column at the link below:

Freedom of speech costly but not a luxury -

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Monday, March 29, 2010

What Dems Should Fear The Most

Doctors Sue to Overturn the Health Care Bill

Rendell Announces 2-Week Extension of Home Heating Assistance for Low-Income Families

American Red Cross Raises $400M for Haiti

Americans for Responsible Health Care to Launch Nationwide Petition Drive to Repeal Obamacare

GOP Leader: Repeal and Replace Obamacare

In the Weekly Republican Address, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discusses the flawed health care bill passed by Democrats and why it should be repealed and replaced.

McConnell says, "In one of the most divisive legislative debates in modern history, Democrats decided to go the partisan route and blatantly ignore the will of the people. Americans opposed this legislation, and, now theyre clamoring to see it repealed and replaced. Democratic Leaders and White House officials may be celebrating their victory this week, but most of the rest of the country is not. Most people arent interested in celebrating a bill that makes their lives more complicated, takes more out of their paychecks and puts decisions theyre used to making themselves into the hands of federal bureaucrats."

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baby's First Words

Friday, March 26, 2010

40 States Challenge Legality of Obamacare

Webinar: Can Small Business Survive Healthcare Reform?

2,000 House staffers make six figures

File this under "your tax dollars at work."

Nearly 2,000 House of Representative staffers pulled down six-figure salaries in 2009, including 43 staffers who earned the maximum $172,500 — or more than three times the median U.S. household income.

Starting salaries on Capitol Hill are still low — many entry-level congressional jobs pay less than $30,000 a year. And many of the most highly paid staffers could make several times the maximum by jumping to lobbying and consulting jobs in the private sector.

But the salary data, compiled for POLITICO by, show that it’s possible to make an enviable living in Congress, even without winning an election.

The 43 staffers who maxed out at $172,500 — the salary cap for leadership and committee staffers — include John Lawrence, chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Paula Nowakowski, the late chief of staff to House Minority Leader John Boehner; and House Parliamentarian John Sullivan. They earned only slightly less than rank-and-file members of Congress, who make $174,000.

All the salary data are part of the public record and are culled from congressional office disbursement reports.
So much for the myth of "public servants" forgoing big money in the private sector to devote themselves to toil for the government.

Read the full story at the link below:

2,000 House staffers make six figures - Erika Lovley -

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Lame Duck

U.S. Health Care Bill Praised by Fidel Castro

49 of 50 States Have Lost Jobs Since Democrats' Stimulus

Every time Barack Obama, Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi say that the "stimulus" is working, they insult your intelligence.

From a post by Rep. Dave Camp, ranking Republican on the House Ways & Means Committee:
While the President recently claimed his February 2009 stimulus bill will "save or create 1.5 million jobs in 2010 after saving or creating as many as 2 million jobs thus far,” the table below compares the White House's original projections of state-by-state job creation with the actual change in state payroll employment through February 2010, using the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor. The data show that only Alaska and the District of Columbia have seen net job creation since the enactment of stimulus, and even those levels fall far short of what the White House originally forecast.
To see a state-by-state breakdown of job loses, click here.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Worst unemployment in 25 years

Thirteen months later, the Obama/Pelosi "stimulus" package isn't doing much stimulating.

From the Philadelphia Business Journal:
Unemployment climbed to 11.4 percent in Philadelphia in January and to 8.9 percent across the state in February, levels not seen in more than 25 years, City Controller Alan Butkovitz said Thursday in his monthly economic snapshot.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was last at 8.9 percent in September 1984 and Philadelphia's unemployment rate was last at 11.4 percent in May 1983. The city's January unemployment rate, which is the most recent data available, increased nearly a full percentage point from December.
Can't wait to see the job loses once Obamacare gets roling.

City controller says Phila. unemployment jumped to 11.4% in Jan. - Philadelphia Business Journal:

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Rep. Joe Pitts Condemns Threats to Members of Congress

From Republican Congressman Joe Pitts:
"When the government ignores the will of the people, a high level of frustration is to be expected. But that frustration needs to be channeled into political activity, not threats and violence. I urge those who opposed this bill to remember that history and fiscal reality will prove them right. And I urge the citizens of this country who are angry to remember that they are on the right side of this debate and they should act accordingly. In America, that is what elections are for.

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This Day In History

On March 25, 1894, Jacob S. Coxey began leading an "army" of unemployed from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington D.C., to demand help from the federal government.

It's time for another march on Washington.

The Obama Recession is in its 13th month and Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have given nothing but lip service to the 17 million Americans out of work.

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FRC targets Congressman Stupak for defeat

From the Family Research Council:

"FRC Action PAC will target for defeat 20 members of Congress including Congressman Bart Stupak. Over the next seven months and on Election Day, our PAC members and the thousands of families we represent will send a powerful message that can't be ignored -- 'it's time to replace this Congress, repeal this law and restore our constitutional freedoms'."

White House Is Right to Be Embarrassed by Executive Order

How's that Obamacare working out for you?

How's that Obamacare working out for you? As well as the Obama "stimulus" package?

Employers are already warning workers about higher health-care costs and reduced benefits, according to The Wall Street Journal.

From a new WSJ editorial:
Even before President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, Caterpillar said it would cost the company at least $100 million more in the first year alone. Medical device maker Medtronic warned that new taxes on its products could force it to lay off a thousand workers. Now Verizon joins the roll of businesses staring at adverse consequences.

In an email titled "President Obama Signs Health Care Legislation" sent to all employees Tuesday night, the telecom giant warned that "we expect that Verizon's costs will increase in the short term." While executive vice president for human resources Marc Reed wrote that "it is difficult at this point to gauge the precise impact of this legislation," and that ObamaCare does reflect some of the company's policy priorities, the message to workers was clear: Expect changes for the worse to your health benefits as the direct result of this bill, and maybe as soon as this year.
And this is just the beginning of the havoc Obamacare will create.

Read the full editorial here.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Something for everyone

Realtors Oppose Rendell's Proposed Tax on Professional Services in Real Estate Transactions

Only 16% Return Census Forms So Far

Despite the media blitz, the letter telling you the form is coming, the form itself and the post card reminding you to send back the form, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 16 percent of American households have participated so far in the 2010 Census.

What could be the problem? Could it be mistrust of the federal government? Just a guess.

From a story by Hope Yen of The Associated Press:
Roughly 100 million households to go.

One week after U.S. census forms were mailed to 120 million households, about 16 percent of the nation has completed those forms and sent them back. That number puts the government on its way to matching or surpassing mail participation rates in 2000 of 72 percent, the Census Bureau said Wednesday.

The bureau will continue to accept mailed-in forms through most of April.

From May until July, it will send census-takers to each home that doesn't reply by mail, which is more costly and sometimes leads to more inaccurate responses. The Census Bureau has estimated it would save $1.5 billion in follow-up visits if everyone who receives a census form mails it back.
Census Bureau Rolls Out New Interactive Maps Showing 2010 Census Mail Participation Rates

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Rep. Reichley: Rendell budget passed by House Dems is a 'sham'

Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh), vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after Tuesday's passage of House Bill 2279, Gov. Rendell's latest $29 billion red-ink budget proposal:
"It is no coincidence that the budget bill that passed today was voted on exactly 100 days before the June 30 deadline. Unfortunately, the governor and his allies would prefer to pass a bill that does not bear any reality to the financial difficulties faced by many families, businesses and organizations rather than to pass a fiscally responsible spending plan for Pennsylvania. The governor's proposal, passed with unanimous support from House Democrats, spends far more than the state is taking in, exceeding tax revenue by billions of dollars, and relying on deferred payments into state employee and teacher pension funds. Such reckless spending only compounds the problem we are currently facing.

"The governor's budget also unwisely uses a whistling through the graveyard approach by basing his spending plan on receiving $850 million in federal aid for Medical Assistance, the state-administered health care plan for the poor, elderly, and disabled in Pennsylvania. The problem is there is no telling if and when the state will receive those federal funds. The governor and his supporters in the House Democratic Caucus should have learned after seven years of missing budget deadlines that you do not achieve a balanced budget by crossing your collective fingers and wishing for federal aid.

"We need to act now to protect against tax increases in the future. We need to act now with further decreases in state spending. We need to fix foreseeable problems with the state employees and public school employees retirement systems before we reach the tipping point.

"Clearly, the bill that passed today is not the bill that will become law. It's a sham, designed to provide taxpayers with the illusion that the budget process has started in earnest. This is not a real, negotiated, fiscally sustainable budget. We will all end up paying for it, well beyond when the governor leaves office."

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I'm With Stupak

A modern-day Benedict Arnold

Few people have gone from hero to heavy so quickly in American politics as Rep. Bart Stupak, who billed himself as the champion of the unborn ... until he sold his vote to the abortion industry to support Obamacare.

Columnist Kathleen Parker offers a look at Stupak's pathetic betrayal of the pro-life movement.

From her column:
Ultimately, he was weak and overwhelmed by raw political power. History is no stranger to such moments, but this one needs to be understood for what it was. A deception.

The executive order promising that no federal funds will be used for abortion is utterly useless, and everybody knows it. First, the president can revoke it as quickly as he signs it.

Second, an order cannot confer jurisdiction in the courts or establish any grounds for suing anybody in court, according to a former White House counsel. The order is therefore judicially unenforceable.

Finally, an executive order cannot trump or change a federal statute.

One can reasonably surmise that Obama, a former constitutional law professor, is well aware of the uselessness of his promise. Perhaps this is why he didn't mention it during the bill-signing ceremony Tuesday.

Stupak, too, knew that the executive order was merely political cover for him and his pro-life colleagues. He knew it because several members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops explained it to him, according to sources. The only way to prevent public funding for abortion was for his amendment to be added to the Senate bill.

Clearly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the president didn't want that. What they did want was the abortion funding that the Senate bill allowed.
Read the full column, "Stupak's fall from pro-life grace", here.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rep. Quigley: Democrats' Budget Built on a House of Cards

State Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery) issued the following statement on the passage of House Bill 2279, which is Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed budget, minus the taxes Rendell wants to pay for the $29 billion spending plan:
"By relying on yet-to-be-approved federal funds, this legislation builds our budget on a house of cards. We should not allocate $850 million in federal money we only hope to get, but we should focus on the resources we know we have. This budget is the epitome of writing a check the taxpayers might not be able to cash, and it is irresponsible.

"For the past two budget cycles, Pennsylvania outspent its means. We are expected to end the year with a more than half-billion dollar deficit, which is a clear sign that this is not the time to increase spending. This budget calls for a $1.2 billion, or 4 percent, spending increase. Pennsylvania’s families continue to scale back their personal budgets, and this proposed state spending growth is not reflective of our current economy.

"I will continue putting my efforts into examining ways to make state government more efficient, and I am hopeful the Senate will amend this bill with a more realistic spending goal that will shield Pennsylvania families from future tax increases. We need to adopt a budget that is practical and sustainable."
The budget bill passed the House by a vote of 107-89, mostly along party lines, and now goes to the Senate for consideration. Since Republicans hold a 30-20 majority in the Senate, they will likely discard the Rendell/Democratic budget and craft their own spending plan.

Tuesday's House vote was essentially a publicity stunt by House Democrats. March 23 marks 100 days before the constitutional deadline to approve the budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year. You'll recall that the Legislature was 100 days late with in approving the 2009-10 budget.

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If Patrick Henry were alive today ...

On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"

If Patrick Henry were alive today, he probably would have said "Give me liberty, or give me debt!" in response to the trillions of dollars of debt that Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats have piled on the American taxpayer.

For the latest numbers on the National Debt Clock, click here.

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Rohrer blasts House Dems for 'fiscally irresponsible' budget

Pennsylvania has spent $4 billion more than it has taken in over the past two years. Unemployment is at the highest level in two decades. The state's business climate continues to sink. Former and current state legislators are being hauled into court on corruption charges.

The "funny money" Barack Obama has sent to states as part of his "stimulus" package will dry up in two years. So what do the Democrats who control the Pennsylvania House do to show they're serious about the state's fiscal mess? They approved a $29 billion budget that is $1.2 billion higher than the current red-ink spending plan. And they have no way of paying for it. The budget the House passed along party-line votes Tuesday does not include any of the tax increases Gov. Ed Rendell proposed as part of the $29 billion budget.

So what is the most expensive state legislature in the country up to? State Rep. Sam Rohrer, an 18-year veteran of the House who is leaving to run for governor, has some thoughts about the state's fiscal woes:
"The current administration has led Pennsylvania down the path to fiscal insolvency," Rohrer said. "The budget approved today by the House is simply a continuation of the fiscally irresponsible practices of the last eight years. It spends too much, disregards financial reality and ignores the wishes of Pennsylvanians."

The budget bill approved today by the House was based on Gov. Ed Rendell's proposal outlined in his February budget address before the General Assembly. The bill calls for a $1.2 billion increase in state spending, which would drive up total state expenditures to in excess of $29 billion.

While the proposal calls for more than $29 billion in state spending, it anticipates only $26.2 billion in state revenues. Rohrer, who serves as the Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee, says the administration's revenue projections are far too optimistic.

"The budget approved today by the House is based on overstated revenues and underestimated costs," Rohrer said. "The state is already facing a half-billion dollar budget deficit for the current year. The administration and House Democrat leaders want to toss another $1.2 billion in spending on top of that through this budget proposal. Realistically, we are facing a $4 billion to $5 billion structural deficit, because that's how much state spending is outpacing our revenues."

Rohrer says revenues are likely to come in close to where they were in 2004 and state spending should be brought in line with where it was back then.

"The current administration cuts a dollar of spending with its left hand and then spends it somewhere else with its right hand," Rohrer said. "That is why state spending has increased by more than $8.6 billion since the administration took office. We need to make real cuts that root out waste, fraud and abuse from state spending initiatives."

Rohrer also argued that by passing the governor's budget proposal, House Democrats were ignoring the will of Pennsylvanians. In a recent Quinnipiac University poll, nearly half (49 percent) of respondents said the governor's budget proposal increases spending "too much." By comparison, only 6 percent of respondents said the governor's spending increase proposal was "not enough."

"Pennsylvanians are tired of lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg who refuse to listen to the people," Rohrer said. "This budget is a slap in the face to the taxpayers who foot the bills around here. They continue to speak out, but their voice was disregarded by the majority in the House of Representatives today."
The budget bill now heads to the Senate, where Republicans hold a 30-20 majority, for consideration.

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Obama's Milestone

Illegal Amnesty Would Further Undermine American Workers

With the government takeover of health care checked off their list, Democrats will now push amnesty for illegal aliens, according to FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform).

Illegal Amnesty Would Further Undermine American Workers

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Newspaper: 'Enacting A Lie' called Obamacare

From a new editorial in Investor's Business Daily:
Sunday's vote exposed the ugly truth that ObamaCare is not really about health care at all. It's all about who pays for it and who controls it — in effect a massive wealth-redistribution scheme.

Those who believe this will lead to some medical nirvana will likely be disappointed. Fact is, this poorly designed monstrosity will lead to lower-quality care, higher costs, fewer practicing physicians, higher taxes and fewer jobs.

We've done more than 150 editorials in the past year or so documenting these problems. Democrats surely understand them. Yet, despite a recent CNN poll showing that 59% of Americans oppose ObamaCare, Congress approved it anyway.

Why? Because it's not really about health care. It's the largest wealth grab in American history, masquerading as health care "reform," another step in the socialization of Americans' income in the name of "fairness" and "spread(ing) the wealth around," as Obama himself has put it.

That's why we call the program a lie.
Read the full editorial, "Enacting A Lie," at the newspaper's Web site.

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'Fire Pelosi' Campaign Tops $1M

The Republican National Committee raised more than $1 million in new pledges since Sunday's House vote to enact Obamacare. The campaign, which uses the clever tag line of "Fire Pelosi," is designed to raise money to help Republicans capture majority control of the House.

For more information, click here.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Veon Guilty in Bonusgate Corruption Trial

The former No. 2 Democrat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was found guilty Monday night of 14 corruption-related charges following a six-week trial.

Former state Rep. Mike Veon had been facing 59 counts related to public corruption while he held the post of Democratic Whip in the state House.

Prosecutors alleged that Veon orchestrated a scheme to pay state workers for doing campaign work on taxpayer time. Democrats took back control of the state House in 2006 thanks to Veon's efforts.

Two of Veon's former aides were also found guilty. A fourth defendant was acquitted of all charges.

While not the slam dunk case Attorney General Tom Corbett, who brought the charges, had hoped for, convictions of three of the four defendants will cement Corbett's reputation as a corruption-busing crusader.

Corbett is running for Pennsylvania governor.

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House Dems push PA deeper in debt

While everyone's attention is focused on Obamacare, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Monday voted 104-85, mostly along party lines, to increase Pennsylvania's debt ceiling by another $800 million.

The vote puts the debt potential for Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Projects (RCAP) at a record $4.25 billion.

Rep. Curt Schroder (R-Chester County) voted against raising the debt and issued the following statement:
"It is the fourth time since Governor Ed Rendell took office that the debt ceiling has been raised," said Schroder. "The amount that Pennsylvania can borrow has shot up by 180 percent. The Commonwealth simply cannot continue to thrust mountains of debt on future generations of Pennsylvanians, particularly when they will also be saddled with massive debt created at the federal level."

As with any loan, the amount needed to pay off the debt is far higher than the amount borrowed. The debt service on RCAP projects in 2002-03 was $65.5 million. With the new debt ceiling now at $4.25 billion, the amount needed annually to cover the new level of borrowing will be $326.7 million - a 400 percent increase.

"In these economic times, we should be looking for ways to cut spending and to do more with less, just as the citizens of this Commonwealth are doing every day," said Schroder. "It is grossly unfair for future generations of taxpayers to be forced to pay for today's wasteful projects favoring the politically well-connected."
The House measure goes to the Republican-controlled Senate.

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Sam Rohrer on Obamacare: 'Stunning disregard for the constitutional rights of every American'

State Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks), who is also seeking the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor, issued the following statement Monday in response to the approval in the House of Representatives of the health care overhaul bill:
"Last night the world watched the U.S. House of Representatives act with stunning disregard for the constitutional rights of every American, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. What passed under the rally call of civil rights and human dignity was in fact one of the strongest challenges to individual freedom in a generation.

In winning passage for the healthcare overhaul using every unsavory procedural tool, threat and backroom promise, they broke faith with their own pledge of openness and transparency. But far worse than hollow campaign promises is the shame in knowing that public officials who knowingly violate their oath to defend the Constitution, commit an act far more injurious to the public trust than bowing to raw politics.

If and when President Obama signs this unconstitutional healthcare bill into law, the roadmap for Pennsylvania’s legal challenge is clear. From the disintegration of the separation of powers between the state and federal government to the misapplication of the Commerce Clause to the lack of congressional authority to apply a direct tax on citizens, the Congress has given us an obvious framework to oppose this bad law.

As Pennsylvania's governor, I will use the powers of the office to defend the rights of every citizen to make private decisions, like the purchase of health insurance, for themselves. I will vigorously defend the responsibilities of our elected state legislative bodies, under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, to make decisions about any restructuring of laws that regulate the conduct of health insurance companies and providers. This is simply not the role or right of the federal government.

In my administration, I will never hesitate to defend the constitutional rights of every citizen. This will be my first and highest priority."
For more about Rohrer's campaign for governor, visit

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PA Ranked Among Worst Lawsuit Climates

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform released its annual survey ranking the states with the best and worst legal climates.

Pennsylvania ranks 34th in the nation. That's the bottom half.

The states with the worst legal climates are California (46th), Alabama (47th), Mississippi (48th), Louisiana (49th), and West Virginia (50th).

The states with the best legal climates are Delaware (1st), North Dakota (2nd), Nebraska (3rd), Indiana (4th), and Iowa (5th).

From an ILR press release:
The survey also shows that a state's legal climate affects how and where a company does business and creates jobs. Two-thirds, or 67%, of the 1,482 corporate lawyers and executives contacted say a state's lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand their businesses. That is up 10% from just three years ago.
Read more about the report and download you own free copy at the link below:

Institute for Legal Reform: Media Room: West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, & California Ranked Worst Lawsuit Climates in the Nation

Video: Stupak never intended to vote against Obamacare

Gary Bauer: Only Remedy for 'Tragic Mistake' of Obamacare Is at the Ballot Box

The Pennsylvania 9 Who Voted for Obamacare

For the record, the following members of Congress from Pennsylvania voted on Sunday to raise your taxes, plunge the nation deeper into debt and impose a government-run health care system on Americans.

They voted "yes" to Obamacare. You should vote "no" when you see their names on the ballot in May and November:

Robert Brady (D-PA-1)

Christopher Carney (D-PA-10)

Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA-3)

Mike Doyle (D-PA-14)

Chaka Fattah (D-PA-2)

Paul Kanjorski (D-PA-11)

Patrick Murphy (D-PA-8)

Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13)

Joe Sestak (D-PA-7)

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Last Line of Defense Against Obamacare

Sunday, March 21, 2010

House GOP Leader: We will repeal Obamacare

John Boehner, the next Speaker of the House after Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are bounced out in November, promises to repeal Obamacare when Republicans take back control of the House.

If Republicans take control of the House this fall, Minority Leader John Boehner said Sunday he'd work to repeal the health care bill that's heading to final congressional votes.

"If this bill passes, we will have an effort to repeal the bill, and we'll do it the same way that we approached health care on a step by step basis," the Ohio congressman said in an advanced transcript of NBC's "Meet the Press." I'd have a bill on the floor the first thing out, to eliminate the Medicare cuts, eliminate the tax increases, eliminate the mandate that every American has to buy health insurance and the employer mandate that's going to cover jobs."

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Rep. Joe Pitts: 'This is a career-defining vote on the life issue'

Rep. Bart Stupak accepted his 30 pieces of silver from Barack Obama on Sunday to give the Democrats enough votes to pass a government takeover of health care.

Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16) issued the following statement following the announcement that President Barack Obama will issue an executive order addressing the concerns pro-life Democrats have with the Senate health bill:
"From a pro-life perspective, I find absolutely no comfort in this executive order. This puts the fate of the unborn in the hands of the most pro-abortion president in history.

"This is a career-defining vote on the life issue. Any member of either party who votes for this bill will never again be able to claim they have always stood for the most important and fundamental of all human rights.

"I congratulate the many pro-life Democrats who continue to hold firm on principle and who will join me in voting against this terrible bill later today."
Barack Obama had a lifetime pro-life rating of 0 (zero) percent during his Senate career from the National Right to Life Committee, according to Pitts, and a 100 percent pro-choice rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League.

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Key House Democrat: 'There Are No Rules Here ... We Make Them Up As We Go Along'

Friday, March 19, 2010

Judicial Watch: Slaughter Rule Unconstitutional

RetireSafe Urges Congress to Stop Obamacare

Tea Party Patriots Gather in Opposition to Government Takeover of Health Care

A 'Yes' Vote Is a Vote for Taxpayer-Funded Abortion

Buying Votes for Health Care Bill With Amnesty for Illegal Aliens

Constitution Death Panel

Rep. Kate Harper faces challenger in 61st District

Six-term incumbent Republican state Rep. Kate Harper will face a challenger in little-known Democrat Mary Lou Readinger for Montgomery County's 61st House District.

From a story in the Lansdale Reporter:
State Rep. Kate Harper, R-61st District, is eager to publicly debate Mary Lou Readinger, her Democratic opponent in November.

"Unlike most incumbents with good name recognition, I am more than willing to appear with her in front of large crowds," Harper said. "I'm happy to meet with the people and allow them to ask questions. Let the voters decide who has better qualifications."

Harper said she views any election year appearance as an opportunity to update her constituents on state government.

"What we do affects their lives," she said. "Most people have no idea what is going on."

Readinger, a member of the Plymouth Township Council, would not commit to any joint appearances.

"I'm not going to decide on that right now," she said.
Read the full story at the link below:

Harper faces challenge in 61st District - The ReporterNews: Serving North Penn, Indian Valley and neighboring communities

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Would Obama Lie?

Medicare is broke. Social Security is broke. The postal service is broke. The entire federal government is broke. Why am I having such a difficult time believing that Obamacare will end up reducing the federal deficit, just like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi say?

The Democratic health care bill would cost $940 billion over 10 years and cut the federal deficit over the next two decades — figures that should help ease the worries of fiscal hawks who have been reluctant about supporting the sweeping measure.

The bill would reduce the deficit by about $130 billion in the first 10 years and by $1.2 trillion over the second 10 years. It will expand coverage to 95 percent of Americans, according to Congressional Budget Office figures released Thursday by House Democrats.
Why do I have such a hard time believing the government? Would Obama lie?

Congressional Budget Office releases health bill estimates - Patrick O'Connor and Carrie Budoff Brown -

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The Drama Queen Caucus

The end is near ... for the Democratic Party. Like a bad TV reality show, the Obamacare debate will soon end. Democrats will march off a cliff in unison, Republicans will take back control of both chambers of Congress in November and Democrats will be relegated to permanent minority status. You can screw with the American people only so long before you feel the wrath of voters.

The Drama Queen Caucus - Jonathan Martin -

'Kill The Bill' Events Planned For Weekend

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Who is Pia Varma?

Pia Varma is running for Congress. She has no political experience and she's fine with that.

In fact, that's the appeal of her campaign. We've seen what the "professional politicians" have done with this country. Why not give regular person a chance?

Pia Varma is a Republican running in Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District. The seat has been held by Democrat Bob Brady since 1998.

Varma ran a full page ad in The Philadelphia Inquirer this week with a simple message: Hate Philly Politics?

If the answer is yes, you should vote for Varma. If you like the job Congress is doing, keep political insiders like Brady in office.

Find out more at

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Deadline to Register to Vote in Pennsylvania's May Primary is April 19

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

States prepare to sue over Obamacare

Even if Nancy Pelosi conjures up parliamentary tricks to pass Obamacare, expect a long legal battle as states line up to sue the federal government over the unconstitutional federal takeover of the health-care system. Pennsylvania is one of 37 states that have threatened to sue over Obamacare.

From The Associated Press:
Idaho's governor on Wednesday became the first state chief executive to sign a measure requiring his attorney general to sue the federal government if the U.S. Congress passes health care reform that forces Americans to buy insurance.

"What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won't be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control," Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said.

Constitutional law experts say Otter's action is mostly symbolic because federal laws supersede those of the states. But the movement reflects a growing national frustration with President President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Similar legislation is pending in 37 other states nationwide.

Democratic leaders in Washington D.C. are hoping to vote on the U.S. health care bill this weekend, but it is not clear if they have enough votes to pass it. The bill is Obama's top domestic priority and the health care issue could help determine whether Democrats retain control of Congress in the November election.

Last week, Virginia legislators passed a measure similar to Idaho's new law, but Otter was the first state chief executive to sign such a bill, according the American Legislative Exchange Council, which created model legislation for Idaho and other states. The Washington, D.C.,-based nonprofit group promotes limited government.

Otter, a Republican, already warned U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in December that Idaho was considering litigation if health reform went through.

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Shocking AP Fact Check: Premiums Will Rise Under Obamacare

From a new "Fact Check" by The Associated Press on Obamacare:
Buyers, beware: President Barack Obama says his health care overhaul will lower premiums by double digits, but check the fine print.

Premiums are likely to keep going up even if the health care bill passes, experts say. If cost controls work as advertised, annual increases would level off with time. But don't look for a rollback. Instead, the main reason premiums would be more affordable is that new government tax credits would help cover the cost for millions of people.
I cannot believe Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have been lying to us all this time!

Shocking AP Fact Check: Premiums Will Rise Under ObamaCare |

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The Slaughter Solution

Britain Bans Bogus Global Warming Ads

Cleaning up another Rendell mess

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes that Pennsylvannia lawmakers need to revisit Act 1 of 2006, Ed Rendell's bogus scheme to stem rising property taxes. The legislation has failed miserably, much like most of Rendell's schemes.

From the editorial:
The 2006 state law that was supposed to give taxpayers at least some say in school budget increases has instead led to continuing property tax hikes -- with marginal public recourse.

Unlike in most states, Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have carte blanche to nose-thumb taxpayers -- most notoriously in union contracts, which become public after the dealing is done.

Pennsylvanians deserve a meaningful say in what their school boards spend. And voter referendums shouldn't be the exception to the rule. That change begins by reforming Act 1.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jackpot! Table Games Coming to 2 PA Casinos

Two Pennsylvania casinos won approval Tuesday to begin offering poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and other table games by mid-year, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Downs Racing, LP, operators of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Luzerne County, and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., operators of parx casino/Philadelphia Park Racetrack in Bucks County, were the first two licensed slots facilities in the Pennsylvania to receive approval for table games, according to a Gaming Commission press release.

Read the full release at the link below:

Gaming Control Board Grants First Authorizations to Conduct Table Games at Pennsylvania Casinos

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Sen. Inhofe Blasts Gore On Senate Floor: He's 'Running For Cover'

Sen. Scott Brown calls Obamacare a 'disastrous detour'

Simon Wiesenthal Center: Obama Has Contributed to Worst Crisis in Arab/Israeli Relations in 20 years

Auditor General Jack Wagner Joins Sens. Boscola and Browne to Promote Legislation Prohibiting Interest-Rate Swaps

Rep. Schroder Receives Chamber's Legislator of the Year Award

Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155th Dist., was recently honored as Republican Legislator of the Year by the Greater Exton Chamber of Commerce.

Robert Hall, chairman of the Chamber's Government Affairs Council, said Schroder was honored for "his attention to the needs and concerns of small businesses in the community."

More from a Chamber press release:
"Small businesses are the heart of this community and communities all across our nation," said Schroder. "Small businesses employ more than half of the private sector workers and account for 44 percent of the total U.S. private payroll. They generated 64 percent - or about 14.5 million - of the net new jobs in this country over the past 15 years. As an elected official, I am mindful of the critical role small businesses play in creating and maintaining good, family sustaining jobs. It is incumbent on me and other elected leaders to support small businesses in any way we can.

"I am honored and humbled by my selection as the Republican Legislator of the Year by the Greater Exton Chamber of Commerce. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the chamber for its recognition of my efforts on your behalf and for the great work all of your members do to promote small businesses in the greater Exton area," he said.

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Full Speed Ahead

Al Gore - Doctor Of Lies

Investor's Business Daily can't figure out why the far left keeps honoring Al Gore for selling his Global Warming Snake Oil.

From a new editorial:
Instead of having his Nobel Prize rescinded for espousing climate fraud, the prophet of doom is set to receive an honorary doctorate of laws and humane letters from the University of Tennessee for his work.

'Vice President Gore's career has been marked by visionary leadership, and his work has quite literally changed our planet for the better," UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said in a prepared statement.

We are not making this up, though we will not dispute Gore's having had visions.

He has warned us of sea levels rising so high and so fast that we should see boats moored on the top of the Washington Monument. Polar bears would drown en masse for lack of ice at the same time snow measured in feet blanketed large parts of the country.

We used to call it weather. He called it climate change and made a fortune doing so.
Read the full editorial at the link below:

Doctor Of Lies -

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IOUs come due for Social Security

You knew the day was coming. Everybody knew the day was coming. But nobody has done anything about it. Social Security is taking in less money that it pays out. In some circles, that's called bankruptcy. (And since the government has done such a great job with Social Security, why don't we let the feds run health care, too?)

From The Associated Press:
This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29 billion more.

Sounds like a good time to start tapping the nest egg. Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg's municipal offices.

Now the government will have to borrow even more money, much of it abroad, to start paying back the IOUs, and the timing couldn't be worse. The government is projected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, followed by trillion dollar deficits for years to come.
Read the full story at the link below

IOUs come due for Social Security (

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Monday, March 15, 2010

'Breathtaking' Ad Targets Arlen Specter

The Jihadists Next Door

What is the Obama Administration doing to uncover home-grown terrorists?

From an editorial in Investor's Business Daily:
While the essential ingredient in these cases is militant Islam, we have to wonder if the left isn't making otherwise normal Americans vulnerable to such treasonous seductions. After all, the hate-America lobby — led by the American Civil Liberties Union and often cheered by the media — has comforted even the most guilty in the war on terror, including the 9/11 mastermind and other Gitmo detainees.
Read the full editorial at the link below:

The Jihadists Next Door -

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Lawmakers spend $1,000/month on taxpayer-funded cars

Pelosi: 'We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it'

15 Reasons Why Health Bill Makes No Sense

From Investor's Business Daily:
So it's come down to this — desperate Democratic leaders strong-arming members on the worst bill ever before they go home to explain to constituents why they decided to commit political suicide.

We've said just about all we've had to say on this issue — actually dating back to 1993-94, when we wrote nearly 100 editorials in opposition to HillaryCare. Since January of last year, we've weighed in 150 more times against the latest version of socialized medicine.
The newspaper offers 15 reasons why a government takeover of the finest medical system in the world makes no sense. Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

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The Budget That Devoured America?

From Investor's Business Daily:
It's a good thing President Obama isn't in the private sector. If he was, the budget he just put forward for the next 10 years just might get him indicted for fraud.

Of all the promises the president made during the 2008 presidential campaign and last year's budget debates, none rings so hollow now as the pledge of "fiscal responsibility."

As a recent nonpartisan analysis by the Congressional Budget Office shows, our current budget path is, to use the euphemism du jour, unsustainable. It will leave a nearly insurmountable mountain of debt and spending to future generations.

Just last year, U.S. public debt totaled $7.5 trillion — a sum equal to all the indebtedness accumulated from our 225 years in existence as a nation. But by 2020, total U.S. public debt will be $20.3 trillion — an increase of 171% in just 10 years.
Read the full story at the Investor's Business Daily Web site.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Video: Democrats Reveal Facts About Obamacare

'One Nation Under God'

American Legion Offers Help for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans in Employment Crisis

Pennsylvania's Tax Delinquent List Grows: $9.4M Owed By Businesses

With the addition of 41 new delinquent taxpayers to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue's tax delinquent list, a total of 275 businesses now owe the state more than $9.4 million, acting Revenue Secretary C. Daniel Hassell said today.

Businesses on Pennsylvania's Tax Delinquent List Now Owe More Than $9.4 Million; 41 Firms Added to List

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

The people have spoken!

Obama loves to hear the people speak — some of the time.

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Columnist: 'A gangster regime' in the White House

How can you not read a column that begins with this premise: "President Obama is presiding over one of the most corrupt administrations in American history."

Read Jeffrey T. Kuhner's latest at the link below:

A gangster regime - Washington Times

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Bush's union transparency rules retracted under Obama

Workers need secret ballot protection

Here's a perfect example of why secret ballots are essential when workers are asked to join a union.

Chester County prison guards overwhelmingly (155-35) rejected a move to join the Teamsters.

Imagine the pressure to join unions if the workers could not vote by secret ballot.

That's what the Card Check scheme pushed by Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats is all about - forced unionization.

Prison guards vote against unionization - The Daily Local News

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Beware of Rahm in the Shower

Judicial Watch: Obama Justice Department Shut Down Federal ACORN Investigation

Where do you turn to when the Justice Department is helping to cover up criminal activity?

Obama Justice Department Shut Down Federal ACORN Investigation According to Documents Obtained by Judicial Watch

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Columnist: 5 Ways Liberals Misjudge the American People

One of my favorite columnists, John Hawkins, is making a list again.

From his latest column:
One of the reasons liberals tend to do such an incredibly poor job of governing is that they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the American people. Given that liberals also fundamentally misunderstand Christianity, the Constitution, economics, and human nature, I guess it's no big surprise that they don't get the American people either. Come to think of it, I guess it's pretty much par for the course. I mean, let's face it, without conservatives around to help keep them in check, liberals would utterly destroy everything that is good about America and most of them would be baffled about what they were doing wrong right up until the end. But enough about the Left's general lack of common sense -- let's talk about how they misjudge the American people.

1) They believe the American people want liberal policies.
2) Liberals believe that many Americans don't know what's in their own best interests.
3) Liberals believe that the American people want to be treated like children.
4) Liberals believe that most conservatives are evil.
5) Liberals believe they can lie to the American people without consequence.
Read the full column at

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Unemployment rises in 30 states

Where are the jobs Obama promised?

The unemployment rates rose in 30 states in January, according to the U.S. Labor Department, as the Obama Recession enters its second full year.

Five states reported record-high joblessness in January: California, at 12.5 percent; South Carolina, 12.6 percent; Florida, 11.9 percent; North Carolina, 11.1 percent; and Georgia, 10.4 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Michigan's unemployment rate is still the nation's highest, at 14.3 percent, followed by Nevada, with 13 percent and Rhode Island at 12.7 percent. South Carolina and California round out the top five, according to AP.

For a state-by-state look at unemployment rates, click here.

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Rep. Pitts Calls for GOP moratorium on earmarks

Rep. Joe Pitts, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District, joined 18 fellow Republicans on a letter calling for a one-year moratorium on earmark requests for Republican members.

The letter calls for an immediate Republican Conference meeting to discuss the moratorium.

"Out of control earmarks are a symptom of our larger inability to balance the federal budget and we cannot wait any longer to control spending," Pitts said in a written statement. "We need to come together as a conference and take a stand for fiscal responsibility."

Pitts has a history of standing against out-of-control spending, voting against one-third of appropriations bills when Republicans controlled Congress because they spent too much.

Rep. Pitts has not requested earmarks since 2007.

Read more about the moratorium effort in Roll Call.

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The Driver Veered Off to the Left

'Sunny Award' winners announced

Four Pennsylvania government Web sites were named winners of the "Sunny Award" today, marking them as some of the best state and local government Websites for transparency by Sunshine Review, a pro transparency organization.

The Pennsylvania winners are Avon Grove School District, Brandywine Heights Area School District, Philadelphia County and the state Web site.

From a Sunshine Review press release:
Award winners are among only 39 Web sites in America earning an "A" transparency grade from more than 5,000 analyzed. Sunshine Review's "Transparency Checklist" analyzes Web sites for information about budgets, meetings, elected and administrative officials, permits and zoning, audits, contracts, lobbying, public records, and taxes. The "Checklist" measures what content is available on government websites against what should be provided.

"Sunny Award winners deserve recognition for making information available to citizens and for setting a transparency standard that all governments can, and should, meet," said Mike Barnhart, president of Sunshine Review. "Access to information empowers every citizen to hold government officials accountable for the conduct of the public's business and the spending of taxpayers' money. Official accountability is the corner stone of self government and liberty."

Sunshine Review is a non-profit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. The Sunshine Review wiki collects and shares transparency information and uses a 10-point "Transparency Checklist" to evaluate the content of every state and more than 5,000 local government websites. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and an accountable government.

Since its inception in 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the Web sites of all 50 states, more than 3,140 counties, 805 cities, and 1,560 school districts.
For more information, visit

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Radio Ads Warn Congressional Democrats 'People Are Watching'

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On the trail of 'Jihad Jane'

Don't look know but terrorists may be operating right next door.

The Associated Press is reporting that a Montgomery County woman has been indicted for recruiting jihadists online.

The woman, identified in court documents at Colleen R. LaRose, aka "Fatima LaRose," aka "JihadJane," is believed to be from the Pennsburg area in rural northwestern Montgomery County.

LaRose has been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements to a government official, and attempted identity theft. In addition to LaRose, who is an American citizen, the court papers refer to five unindicted co-conspirators.

From The Associated Press:
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with using the Internet to recruit jihadist fighters and help terrorists overseas.
Authorities say the case shows how terror groups are looking to recruit Americans to help carry out their goals.

A federal indictment charges Colleen R. LaRose with agreeing to kill a Swedish citizen on orders from the terrorists and traveling to Europe to carry out the killing. It doesn't say whether the Swede was killed.

U.S. Attorney Michael Levy tells The Associated Press the indictment doesn't link LaRose to any organized terror groups.

The indictment describes LaRose as in her 40s and from Montgomery County, in suburban Philadelphia. LaRose has been in custody since Oct. 15.
The U.S. Attorney's Office has also posted a press release online and the full 11-page indictment.

Look for a full story in Wednesday's edition of The Mercury.

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An Oscar Win for Obama

Governor Rendell Announces Confirmations

The list includes Thomas Jay Ellis as the new Montgomery County Treasurer.

Ellis served four years as a Montgomery County Commissioner.

Governor Rendell Announces Confirmations

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Pennsylvania needs a constitutional convention

From DemocracyRisingPA:
It's Our Turn!

For too long, Pennsylvania's citizens have suffered some of the lowest standards of public integrity in America in a state government that has failed to meet basic requirements such as on-time passage of a state budget.

Despite the clear will of the people, our government has failed to improve itself. As a result, most people -- including reform advocates in the legislature itself -- now believe that only a Constitution convention can fix all the problems with our state government. They want a convention where ordinary citizens can propose and debate changes with due deliberation and without undue delay.

Polling in January 2010 showed that 72% of PA voters believe we need a Constitution convention, up from just 24% in 2005. After witnessing scandal after scandal and missed budget deadlines year after year, citizens are eager to accept responsibility for creating a government they can believe in.

The first step on the road to a Constitution convention is a referendum. The petition below asks lawmakers to put the referendum on the ballot in November of 2010. In short, it says, "Let the people decide whether we need a Constitution convention and what aspects of government we want the convention to address."

If you agree, please sign the petition. It will take only a few minutes, but it will send a loud and unmistakable message to lawmakers: The citizens of PA deserve a chance to vote on whether to have a Constitution convention.

Remember: A Constitution convention cannot change the Constitution. It can only recommend changes. Changes can take effect only if voters approve the convention's recommendations at another referendum.
To sign the petition, click here.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

The liberal answer to all problems

See related editorial, "Pennsylvania in crisis: Take the right road," at The Pittsburgh Tribune Review Web site.

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March is Women's History Month in PA

Columnist: The Governing Elite vs. the Rest of Us

There really are two Americas, but the divide is not between rich and poor, black and white, Democrat and Republican.

The gap is between the growing governing elite and the working class paying taxes to support the permanent political class.

From a thought-provoking column by Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson, adjunct faculty member, economist, and contributing scholar with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College:
The truly revolutionary American idea of government as the servant of the people may be fading away. Many of today’s so-called “civil servants” are a protected, privileged class. While Middle America struggles through a difficult recession, a lot of government employees have lived on the gravy train.

Here are some facts to buttress that assertion:

Since the recession began in 2008, a period during which approximately eight million private-sector workers lost their jobs and millions more saw their income decline, the number of federal employees is increasing at a 7 percent per-year rate and their income is holding up quite nicely. According to the Cato Institute, the average federal worker’s pay and benefits now approximates $120,000 per year, or roughly double the compensation of the average private-sector employee. Factor out the lavish government fringe benefits and look at salary only, and the civil servant is still far ahead: $71,197 vs. $49,935.

During this recession, the percentage of federal employees earning annual base salaries above $100,000 increased from 14 to 19 percent. The number of Defense Department employees being paid more than $150,000 per year increased from 1,868 to 10,100. Before, the Department of Transportation had one employee with a salary above $170,000, but now has 1,690.
Read the full column by The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College Web site.

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