From Bill O'Reilly's new column on the terrible lesson Wisconsin teachers are sending to students by walking off their jobs:
Here's a lesson that is both ironic and sad at the same time. According to the U.S. Department of Education, two-thirds of the eight graders in Wisconsin cannot read proficiently. But assuming the kids are skilled enough to watch TV, they can now see their teachers demonstrating to keep their generous union benefits. So, while things do not seem to be going well in the classroom, any thought of holding teachers somewhat responsible is cause for a protest march.
Who is looking out for taxpayers against greedy Big Labor?
From Investor's Business Daily:
If unions were formed to protect workers from employer abuse, right-to-work laws were created to protect taxpayers and workers from union abuse. States with such laws enjoy higher growth and purchasing power.
Michelle Malkin on the runaway Democrats in the Midwest:
Faced with stifling debt, bloated pensions and intractable government unions, liberal Midwestern legislators have fled those states -- paralyzing Republican fiscal reform efforts. Like Monty Python's Brave Sir Robin and his band of quivering knights, these elected officials have only one plan when confronted with political hardship or economic peril: Run away, run away, run away.
The Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry has endorsed Republican Larry Medaglia for the vacant 11th Senatorial District.
Medaglia is running in a special election March 15 to fill the remaining two years of the Senate term of the late Sen. Mike O'Pake, who died in December.
Chamber officials made the endorsement announcement at an afternoon press conference at the Chamber headquarters in the Gateway building in Reading.
"I'm honored the Chamber recognizes my commitment to business growth and a strong local economy," Medaglia said in a written statement. "As a State Senator, I will work tirelessly to champion business-friendly initiatives to keep our community vibrant and strong."
Today's announcement follows earlier endorsements received by Medgalia from Citizens Against Higher Taxes and Pennsylvanians for Effective Government. Berks County Commissioners Mark C. Scott and Christian Leinbach have also endorsed Medaglia.
Medaglia currently serves as the Berks County Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans' Court.
With the City of Reading, with its large Hispanic population in the heart of the 11th Senatorial District, Republican Larry Medaglia has made a smart move releasing a political ad targetting Latino voters.
I'm making another appearance on this edition of "Journalists Roundtable" on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.
The one-hour program, hosted by Kat Prickett, airs Sunday at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. and on Monday at 10 a.m. on PCN.
Topics discussed on this week's program are the way Gov. Tom Corbett handled the abortion clinic scandal in Philadelphia, the state's deteriorating infrastructure, education funding and school vouchers, perks for Pennsylvania lawmakers and the special election to replace the late Sen. Mike O'Pake in Berks County.
PCN is Comcast Channel 98 in Berks County, Service Electric Cable Channel 23 in Berks and Lehigh counties and Comcast Channel 186 in the Pottstown area.
Consult your cable guide for the Pennsylvania Cable Network channel in your area or check the PCN website.
Americans for Prosperity has launched www.StandwithWalker.com, a website where Americans across the country can show their support for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in his battle with Big Labor to prevent Wisconsin from going bankrupt.
The governor has proposed common-sense reforms to end union collective bargaining and tackle the state's nearly $4 billion deficit, but Democratic state lawmakers have fled the state capitol in an effort to prevent a vote from taking place.
The election is still two years away, but at this rate, will there be any incumbent Democrats left in the U.S. Senate by 2012? Another high-profile Democrat has announced he will not seek re-election.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) joins Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) in announcing they will not face voters in 2012, which will be a tougher year for Democrats than 2010 ... and we know how well that went for the Dems.
The Berks County Patriots, along with UNITED PA-912 and RePatriot Radio, is sponsoring a forum on immigration Saturday, Feb. 19, at noon at the Leesport Farmers Market.
Nationally known speakers and local elected officials will take part in the discussion of various immigration issues.
Among those scheduled to take part in the forum are U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta, PA State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, Berks County Commissioner Mark C. Scott, Berks County Sheriff Eric Weaknecht, Ted Hayes of American Black Shield, Anna Gaines of American Citizens United, and a representative of Numbers USA.
The moderator for the forum will be former PA State Rep. Sam Rohrer.
Nat Hentoff is as liberal as you get, but when it comes to abortion, he joins conservatives in denouncing the killing of unborn children.
The fact that Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history is the main reason Hentoff did not vote for Obama in 2008 and has already called for his defeat in 2012.
Hentoff sees hope for the unborn in a new tactic states are using to protect children.
It began in Nebraska, where Gov. Dave Heineman recently signed into law the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
From a recent column Hentoff:
For the first time in any state legislature, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: "Prohibits abortion after 20 weeks gestation except when the mother has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert death or to avert serious risk of substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function."
This year, as versions of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act are introduced in a number of state legislatures, there will obviously be fierce opposition from local, state and national pro-choice organizations and political figures, as well as President Obama. I expect, however, that this Nebraska breakthrough for pro-lifers may well become law in certain states.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) today expressed disappointment with President Obama's latest deficit budget proposal for fiscal year 2012.
From Toomey's office:
"As families across America are cutting back to live within their means, President Obama's budget falls well short in the area of belt tightening. The president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 puts taxpayers on the hook for an astonishing $3.73 trillion in spending, increasing the debt by $1.1 trillion on top of a record breaking $1.6 trillion deficit for fiscal year 2011.
"The federal government is suffering from a spending addiction, and if our leaders don’t deal with this problem soon, we all will pay the price. The president's five-year non-security, discretionary spending freeze is too little too late. After a 25% increase in spending since 2008, the president has to offer much more aggressive reductions if we are ever going to get our spending under control.
"To make matters worse, the president's budget increases taxes and completely ignores the drivers of the country's deficit problem — the entitlement programs. As we approach the statutory federal debt limit, it's unfortunate that the president wants Congress to increase it without any budget reforms. Instead, his proposed budget kicks the can down the road while piling higher deficits on our already exploding federal debt.
"We cannot borrow, spend and tax our way to prosperity. The best thing we can do for job creation is keep taxes low and return fiscal responsibility to our government. I had hoped that the president would have taken the steps necessary to put our government on a sustainable fiscal trajectory. Unfortunately, the president's budget represents a failure of leadership at a time when leadership is desperately needed."
Bad news for atheists. The majority of Americans want to see a return of prayer in public schools.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of American Adults favor prayer in public schools. Twenty-four percent (24%) are opposed, while 11% are not sure. These findings show little change from late April of last year.
A bid difference in the race for the 11th State Senate District: Republican Larry Medaglia will not vote for a tax increase; Democrat Judy Schwank voted for a 34% property tax increase while a Berks County commissioner.
Chester County Recorder of Deeds Ryan Costello got a promotion today.
Costello is the newest member of the Chester County Board of Commissioners, picked from 7 finalists who were interviewed for the post by the county's judges.
Costello, a Republican, will fill the unexpired term of Carol Aichele, who recently joined Gov. Tom Corbett's cabinet.
"I am honored to have earned the confidence and unanimous support of the board of judges to serve as interim Commissioner," Costello told The Mercury shortly after the announcement was made Thursday evening.
Aichele's term runs until the end of the year. Costello is a candidate for a full four-year term on the three-member commissioners' board.
The other two commissioners, Republican Terence Farrell and Democrat Kathi Cozzone, have also announced plans to seek re-election.
Each political party will nominate two candidates in the May primary and the top three vote-getters in the November general election will win seats on the Board of Commissioners.
Republicans have always held the majority on the commissioners' board and a Farrell-Costello team would have the advantage going into November.
Read more about Costello's appointment in a story by reporter Evan Brandt at the link below:
MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan does his best Keith Olbermann foaming-at-the-mouth imitation.
Isn't it amazing that liberals can't get worked up over the $3.5 trillion in new debt Barack Obama has added over the past three years, but they're running naked through the streets screaming when some Republicans want to cut $50 billion in spending instead of $100 billion.
Last time I checked, $3 trillion is bigger than $50 billion.
How's this for hope and change in Obama's America?
Nationwide, one in seven Americans currently receives help from the government to put food on the table. All but 14 states saw double-digit spikes in the number of people getting food stamps over the one-year period that ended in November 2010. But Idaho had the largest one-year increase in the country: 28 percent, according to the latest government figures.
Memo to the White House and Congress — a new IBD/TIPP Poll says the vast majority of Americans want you to be fiscally responsible. The depth of feeling is so great, in fact, that your jobs may depend on it.
As a debate heats up over whether to raise the federal debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion, Americans have already made up their minds: Don't even think about it.
In a survey of 915 adults taken from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, the IBD/TIPP Poll shows an overwhelming 70% agree that "Congress should not increase the debt limit." That's a stunning number, when you think about it.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed his first two execution warrants today but don't get too excited if you are an advocate for the death penalty.
Gov. Ed Rendell signed 119 execution warrants during his eight years as Pennsylvania governor and not a single inmate on the state's death row was executed. The problem is the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has rendered the state's death penalty meaningless.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivers the Weekly Republican Address, calling on President Obama to end the out-of-control government spending and massive debt that is hurting our economy. Rep. Hensarling also outlines actions taken by House Republicans to cut government spending.
Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, sees many similarities between Barack Obama's failure to grasp the urgency of the Egyptian turmoil and Jimmy Carter's dealings with Iran in 1979.
Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati has made the leap into social networking, announcing he has set up Twitter and Facebook accounts.
A top Republican leader in the state Senate, Scarnati said in a press release he will use the new mediums to "better inform not only the citizens of the 25th District, but the rest of the Commonwealth as well."
"Clearly it is important for voters to have information readily available to them and gain a better understanding of what is taking place in Harrisburg, as well as around the district," Scarnati said. "This is just another means to better notify the public of current actions."
Scarnati said his Twitter account will allow him to better communicate with voters in real time, while his Facebook page gives constituents the ability to view current photos, videos and audio files.
I don't think anyone has kept a tally, but I suspect there are still at least 100 current state lawmakers who are not using Facebook or Twitter. I'm not sure what they're waiting for.
Older Workers Most Likely to Experience Very Long-Term Unemployment
A new survey by the Congressional Research Service finds some disturbing news for older Americans:
Among unemployed adults over age 65, one out of eight (12.15%) had faced 99 weeks or more of unemployment, sometimes called very long-term unemployment. For unemployed adults ages 55 and over, 11.51% had spent almost the last two years looking for work, considerably higher than the figure of 6% among unemployed workers under age 35.
Republican Larry Medaglia Jr. has launched a website in support of his campaign for Pennsylvania's 11th state Senate District, which covers most of Berks County.
The special election to fill the unexpired term of the late Sen. Mike O'Pake is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15.
Medaglia's campaign theme is: "The People's Choice for State Senate."
The current Berks County Register of Wills and former Berks Republican Party chairman, Medaglia is pushing four major issues: 1) Property Tax Elimination 2) Economic Growth and Job Creation 3) Reforming State Government and 4) Improving Basic Education
"This campaign is about the future of our community - a future where government leaders must be willing to make difficult choices and truly serve the community by lowering the tax burden and focusing resources on creating economic opportunities for everyone," Medaglia states on the website.
Medaglia's opponent is former Berks County Commissioner Judy Schwank, who voted to raise property taxes by 34% before leaving office four years ago.
Although Democrats enjoy a voter-registration advantage because the City of Reading is part of the 11th Senatorial District, Medaglia has a good chance of winning the election because he has waged successful countywide campaigns and the Democratic Party is split in its support of Schwank.
Many party loyalists wanted state Rep. Dante Santoni Jr., an 18-year veteran of Harrisburg, to be the candidate. Santoni's 126th House District is part of the 11th Senate District and Santoni is used to running campaigns and winning.
Schwank hasn't run for political office in more than eight years.
A party insider tells me Santoni and his supporters are very bitter at the way the party leaders picked a candidate and support for Schwank among active party workers is weak.
Tony Phyrillas is the managing editor and political blogger at The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. Phyrillas has won several national and state awards for commentary, including first place for column writing in 2010 by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors. Phyrillas has been featured on National Public Radio and The New York Times and is a frequent commentator on radio and television programs. He co-hosted 'Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus' on WPAZ 1370 AM from 2008 to 2009.