Thursday, April 30, 2009

Arlen Specter on why Senators should not switch parties

Pajamas TV Final Estimate: April 15 Tea Party Attendance Exceeded One Million

Pajamas TV Final Estimate: April 15 Tea Party Attendance Exceeded One Million

100 Days of Change for the Family

Attorney General Corbett Announces Arrest of 'Traveling' Internet Predator Who Flew From Texas to Pittsburgh; 206th Arrest By Child Predator Unit

Attorney General Corbett Announces Arrest of 'Traveling' Internet Predator Who Flew From Texas to Pittsburgh; 206th Arrest By Child Predator Unit

Rep. Steve King Hits Lack of English Proficiency

The U.S. loses $65 billion annually in wages and income due to the lack of English skills among immigrant workers in our nation's workforce, according to a group called ProEnglish.

Rep. Steve King Hits Lack of English Proficiency

May is 'Older Pennsylvanians Month'

Governor Rendell Proclaims May as 'Older Pennsylvanians Month'

Senate Immigration Subcommittee Hearing Unfairly Stacked With Witnesses Favoring Amnesty, Says FAIR

Senate Immigration Subcommittee Hearing Unfairly Stacked With Witnesses Favoring Amnesty, Says FAIR

Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Issues Annual Report for 2008

Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Issues Annual Report for 2008

Obama piles on public debt

'Talking Politics' Benedict Arlen Edition

Tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM for a lively discussion on the defection of Arlen Specter from the Republican Party and the ramifications for both Republicans and Democrats.

"Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM.

You can call the station at 610-326-4000 with questions or comments.

If you can't pick up the station's signal, you can listen to the program anywhere in the world on your computer. The show is simulcast at www.pottsmerc.com and www.1370wpaz.com

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama runs out of money



Obama Doesn't Make It Through 100 Days Before Running Out Of Money

Debt Day falls three days before 100-day mark

Republican Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) took to the House floor today to explain how much spending and borrowing President Obama and Democrats in Congress have undertaken this year.

For 2009, Debt Day (the day on which the government runs out of revenue and starts borrowing to pay for spending) fell on April 26 -- three days before President Obama's 100th day in office.

Poll: 53% Say Next President Likely to Be a Republican

Some not-so-good news for Barack Obama and his media supporters, who are busy celebrating The Chosen One's 100 days in office.

From Rasmussen Reports:
For the first time since Barack Obama was elected president last November, more than half of US voters (53%) say it is at least somewhat likely that the next occupant of the White House will be a Republican.

Thirty-one percent (31%) say it is Very Likely. Thirty-five percent (35%) say it is not very or not at all likely, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twelve percent (12%) arent sure.

This is not an expectation related to the 2012 election. It is a question about the President following Obama which could happen in either 2012 or 2016.

Naturally, there is a partisan divide -- 77% of Republican voters say it's likely the next president will be from their party. Just 39% of Democrats agree. Still, that's an increase among both parties from previous surveys. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 47% now say a GOP president is likely, while 33% think not.

Just after Obama's election, 50% of voters said the next president is likely to be a Republican ... Forty-six percent (46%) of voters now say President Obama is governing like a partisan Democrat, down four points from last month.

But the new finding is still higher than those in surveys during Obama's first few weeks as president. Thirty-five percent (35%) believe the president is governing on a bipartisan basis, and 18% are undecided.
Read more poll results at the Rasmussen Reports Web site.

And more good news for the GOP. Rasmussen Reports says that "for just the second time in more than five years of daily or weekly tracking, Republicans now lead Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot for the 2010 elections."

Read those poll results here.

Obama's Broken Promise: No Tax Hikes on Those Making Less Than $250,000

During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama promised repeatedly that he would never raise taxes on Americans making less than $250,000 per year.

A review by Americans for Tax Reform of Obama's first 100 days in office shows he has broken this promise on at least two occasions.

And the pledge will be broken many more times over the next four years.

Obama's Broken Promise: No Tax Hikes on Those Making Less Than $250,000

4 Republicans Ed Rendell likes

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell issued the following statement in response to U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter's announcement that he has joined the Democratic Party:
"I welcome Senator Specter to the Democratic Party. He is a strong leader who has done great work on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania regardless of their political affiliation.

"Arlen Specter did not leave the Republican Party -- the Republican Party left him. Today's Pennsylvania Republican party is a far cry from the party of (former U.S. Senators) John Heinz, Hugh Scott and Govs. Bill Scranton and Tom Ridge."

Free Father Mattaos!

Free Father Mattaos!

Pew Safe Credit Cards Project Statement Urging House to Pass the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights

Pew Safe Credit Cards Project Statement Urging House to Pass the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights

The Emperor Has No Clothes

7,000 Visitors

My site counter has recorded 7,000 visitors since this blog was launched in 2007. Thanks for visiting and come back again.

Bauer Notes Obama's 100 Mistakes, Misstatements and Missteps in His First 100 Days

Bauer Notes Obama's 100 Mistakes, Misstatements and Missteps in His First 100 Days

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Senator Specter: Switching Parties or Coming Home?

Senator Specter: Switching Parties or Coming Home?

Deployed Military Personnel Encouraged to Vote by Absentee Ballot in May 19 Primary

Deployed Military Personnel Encouraged to Vote by Absentee Ballot in May 19 Primary

Pat Meehan on Specter defection

Former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan, a Republican who is exploring a run for Pennsylvania governor, issued the following statement today upon learning of Senator Arlen Specter's decision to switch parties and become a Democrat:
"I am as disappointed with Senator Specter's decision to join Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as I was with his stimulus vote. I see opportunity and hope in Pennsylvania's future and want to fight within the party to bring discipline to government spending and restraint to taxation."

Rep. Gerlach on Specter's party switch

Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) released the following statement after U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter announced he would seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010:
"Senator Specter's stunning decision removes the checks and balances in the legislative process at a critical time for our great nation. The senator's decision practically guarantees that the majority will use their legislative might to ram through initiatives without taking any time to consider reasonable alternatives that produce better legislation for the American people.

Just a few weeks ago, Senator Specter said he decided to remain in the GOP because 'as a governmental matter, it is very important to have a check and balance. That's a very important principle in the operation of our government.'

Today's announcement is a clear breach of that principle and most disappointing."

Rep. Pitts on Specter's defection

Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16th) released the following statement today after Senator Arlen Specter announced he would switch to the Democratic Party.
"I am deeply disappointed that Senator Specter would choose to align himself with so many of the irresponsible policies we are seeing the Democrats attempting to implement in Washington," Pitts said. "From a trillion dollar energy tax, to government-run healthcare, to a $3.6 trillion budget and deficit spending as far as the eye can see, I am saddened that Senator Specter has chosen to align himself with the party that has brought us these kinds of irresponsible policies."

Men Outearn Women in Almost All Occupations

Men Outearn Women in Almost All Occupations

Fast-Track of Socialized Healthcare Imminent

Fast-Track of Socialized Healthcare Imminent

Swine Flu Outbreaks Cause Concern among U.S. Physicians

Swine Flu Outbreaks Cause Concern among U.S. Physicians

REP SCHRODER ON 'CARD CHECK'

The Biggest Spending Spree in American History



As Barack Obama approaches his 100th day as president, the United States has witnessed the most debt-riddled first 100 days of any administration in American history, according to the Republican Study Committee.

Obama has vaulted far past the debt numbers accumulated by his two predecessors in their first 100 days (in fact past their entire first years), the RSC says. In just 100 days, Obama has left future generations $564 billion in new debt. Unfortunately for taxpayers, this is only a preview of what is to come, the RSC says.

More from the RSC release:
As American taxpayers continue to hand over their money to pay for President Obama's reckless spending agenda, it is appropriate to compare his first 100 days to those of previous administrations. The chart above shows the debt accumulated in President Obama's first 100 days compared to those of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Even given the size and scope of President Obama's reckless spending agenda, the figures are sure to surprise. (Source: Bureau of Public Debt)

Obama even blows away the competition when comparing his first 100 days to his predecessors' first full year.

Clinton's 1st YEAR: $312 Billion

Bush's 1st YEAR: $194 Billion

Obama's 1st 100 DAYS: $564 Billion

Obama at 100 Days: Small Business Still Looking for Commitment and Help

Obama at 100 Days: Small Business Still Looking for Commitment and Help

Monday, April 27, 2009

Argall backs referendum on property taxes

The newest member of the Pennsylvania Senate wants to give Pennsylvania voters an opportunity to have a say on property taxes.

Property tax reform has been debated the Legislature for more than 30 years without any results. Efforts to eliminate property taxes have stalled in both the House and Senate, with legislative leaders reluctant to change the current system of funding public education.

Sen. David Argall, R-29th Dist., wants to give taxpayers a chance to tell lawmakers exactly what they want done with property taxes.

Senate Bill 818 and House Bill 637 would allow voters to decide between the current property tax system and the three most popular property tax replacement proposals in the General Assembly, based on the number of co-sponsors for legislation in the House and Senate, Argall said at a press conference Monday.

The property tax proposals would be placed on the November ballot. Voters would then be given the opportunity to choose between the three proposals or leave the current property tax structure intact, Argall said.

"I have introduced legislation that would allow voters to bring real property tax reform, through the touch of a button in the voting booth in November," Argall said.

While the referendum is non-binding, it should show legislators who have consistently opposed property tax reform that most Pennsylvanians support some form of property tax relief, said Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist., who is a co-sponsor of Argall’s bill in the state House.

Co-sponsors of Argall's legislation in the Senate include: Sens. John Rafferty, Michael Waugh, Michael Brubaker, Kim Ward, Richard Alloway and Rob Wonderling.

Co-sponsors in the House include: Reps. Matthew Baker, Robert Belfanti, Kerry Benninghoff, Karen Beyer, Paul Clymer, Thomas Creighton, Garth Everett, Richard Geist, Jaret Gibbons, Keith Gillespie, Mauree Gingrich, Robert Godshall, Neal Goodman, Seth Grove, Sue Helm, Tim Hennessey, David Hickernell, Scott Hutchinson, Rob Kauffman, Mark Keller, Sandra Major, Bob Mensch, David Millard, Thomas Murt, Donna Oberlander, Scott Perry, Jeffrey Pyle, Tom Quigley, Mario Scavello, John Siptroth, Timothy Solobay, Curt Sonney, Rosemarie Swanger, W. Curtis Thomas and Randy Vulakovich.

Argall is the newest member of the state Senate, which has a 30-20 Republican majority. Argall, who spent 24 years in the House, was elected in March to fill the Senate seat formerly held by the late James J. Rhoades.

Obama Gets Ahead of Teleprompter

The dangers of deficit spending

Veronique de Rugy, writing in the May issue of Reason magazine, notes that the federal deficit is three times higher than it was under Ronald Reagan, who is still blamed by Democrats for raising the national debt to historic levels.

From de Rugy's column:
Now, three decades later, Democrats have changed their minds about the dangers of deficit spending. In February 2009, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the deficit will reach $1.2 trillion this year — roughly 8.3 percent of GDP. That giant increase is attributable mainly to Washington's September 2008 bank bailout and the federal takeover of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

And that figure assumes that the 2009 budget issued last year by the Bush administration will stay at its proposed level, which it surely won't. The calculation does not include the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and it doesn't include the chunk of the new $787 billion stimulus bill that will be spent in 2009. Add all these numbers together, and the deficit swells to $2 trillion, or roughly 13.5 percent of GDP (see Figure 1).

This is by far the highest share of the economy that deficits have taken up since World War II. It is well over twice the record set by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Yet we don't see Democrats denouncing the deficit explosion on the network news, like they did two decades ago.
A senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, de Rugy believes there will be severe consequences to the Democrats' unchecked spending:

From her column:
Deficits certainly do matter if you care about shrinking the size of the state. Budget gaps are a kind of Ponzi scheme. Any year the federal government spends more money than it collects in tax revenue, we have a budget deficit. That means the citizens through their taxes authorize politicians to spend a certain amount yet the government spends more.

The plan is to pay this additional spending back with future taxes, just as Bernard Madoff figured he'd pay off early investors with dollars from pigeons he conned down the road. As with any Ponzi scheme, there will inevitably come a time when the con is exposed, along with all the participants' losses.

John Maynard Keynes, the 20th century's preeminent defender of deficit spending, famously quipped, "In the long run, we are all dead." Keynes did not give much guidance, though, on how we would pay for the funeral.
Read the full column at Reasononline

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pennsylvania Working Closely With Federal Partners to Contain Impact of Swine Flu

Pennsylvania Working Closely With Federal Partners to Contain Impact of Swine Flu

Swine Flu Reinforces the Importance of Preparing for Emergencies, Says APHA

Swine Flu Reinforces the Importance of Preparing for Emergencies, Says APHA

Swine Flu: Infection Control in Hospitals Will Be Critical

Swine Flu: Infection Control in Hospitals Will Be Critical

50,000 Letters Sent to Notre Dame Alumni Re: Obama; In Letter, Bishop Gracida Urged Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon to Refuse Award

50,000 Letters Sent to Notre Dame Alumni Re: Obama; In Letter, Bishop Gracida Urged Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon to Refuse Award

O'Pake, Folmer want to keep you in the dark

State Sen. Mike O'Pake's hometown newspaper takes the veteran Democratic lawmaker to task for supporting a bill that would lift the requirement that public agencies advertise their legal notices in newspapers.

Senate Bill 419 "would open the door for abuses that could cost taxpayers much more than the cost of those ads," argues the Reading Eagle.

From a recent editorial:
Less than a year after Pennsylvania finally passed an Open-Records Act that was worthy of the name, some in the state Senate - including State Sen. Michael A. O'Pake - have taken a step that would undermine the transparency of government at every level in the commonwealth.

O'Pake, a Reading Democrat, is a co-sponsor of legislation that would end the requirement for the state, counties, municipalities and school districts to advertise their public notices in newspapers of general circulation. Instead, they would be allowed to post such legal notices on government Web sites.
O'Pake isn't the only area state Senator who supports the misguided bill.

Sen. Mike Folmer, a Republican who up to now been a strong supporter of reform and open government, also backs the Senate move to keep taxpayers in the dark.

From the editorial:
Folmer, a Lebanon Republican, said he also supports the bill because government agencies across the commonwealth could save as much as $23 million annually in advertising, according to a study from the Harrisburg campus of Penn State University.
But the amount saved is insignificant compared to the billions government spends (and wastes) every year. One of the few ways taxpayer know how their money is spent is through legal notices.

"We understand and applaud almost any effort to save public dollars, especially now when so many people are out of work. But this effort would save money at the expense of openness, which could cost the taxpayers much more in the long run," the editorial concludes.

Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site and write to O'Pake and Folmer and urge them to reconsider their support of SB 419.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rally against Card Check set for Harrisburg

State Rep. Curt Schroder (R-Chester) and state Sen. Mike Folmer (R-48) will hold a rally Monday morning in Harrisburg to expose the "detrimental impact the proposed federal Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) will have on employee rights and businesses."

The bill would take away a worker's right to a secret ballot when unionizing and subject employers to binding contract arbitration, according to Schroder.

The bill, also known as Card Check, is backed by Big Labor and Congressional Democrats. Business groups across the country have said the bill would cost tens of thousands of American jobs because companies forced to unionize will probably take their businesses oversees.

A special guest at the 10:15 a.m. rally at the Capitol Rotunda will be U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District.

Representatives from about 40 employers, organizations and Pennsylvania workers are expected to attend the rally.

Before the rally, Schroder and Folmer will participate in a statewide media conference call with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 9:30 a.m. in the Capitol Media Center.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Berks students win Pennsylvania Academic Competition



Rep. Sam Rohrer (left), Coach John Magala (right) and the students from Wilson High School had their picture taken on the House floor following the team's victory in the statewide Pennsylvania Academic Competition on Friday. After winning the event, which Rohrer hosted on behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the Wilson High School team will represent Pennsylvania at the National Tournament of Academic Excellence (NTAE) to be held at Disney World in Florida in June.

From state Rep. Sam Rohrer's office:
A team of students from Wilson High School in Berks County today won the statewide Pennsylvania Academic Competition hosted by Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks) on behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, earning the team an opportunity to compete at this year's National Tournament of Academic Excellence (NTAE) to be held at Disney World in Florida in June.

"I am extremely proud of the Wilson High School students and praise them for earning the state championship," Rohrer said. "At the same time, I congratulate all of today's competitors for a tremendous job well done."

The Wilson High School team is coached by John Magala and is comprised of students Vinoth Barabaharan, Dustin Hill, Collin Hull, Mike Mahon, Purau Patel and Jen Uspal. As the statewide champions, the students earned a $2,000 scholarship for their high school. Two teams representing Upper Dublin High School and Abington Heights High School tied for second place in the competition.

Students from across Pennsylvania traveled to the state Capitol today to participate in the 18th annual Pennsylvania Academic Competition. Earlier this week, the House unanimously approved a resolution introduce by Rohrer marking the week of April 20 through April 24 as "Pennsylvania Academic Competition Week." The week concludes with the statewide academic competition, which took place today. Chester County Intermediate Unit organizes the event, which Rohrer has hosted for the last 11 years.

"Today's competition showcased the skills and knowledge or the students who participated," Rohrer said. "This event is unique in the fact that it combines academic competition and sportsmanship. The students who participate learn about literature, history and science. But, perhaps more importantly, it is also an opportunity for personal growth, where students can learn the value of fair play and honest competition."

The students competed based on their knowledge in the following areas:
· Literature, fine arts and grammar.
· World history and geography.
· American history, geography and economics.
· Science.
· Contemporary events.
· Potpourri (any subject).

For more information about the Pennsylvania Academic Competition, visit the Chester County Intermediate Unit online at www.cciu.org/Departments/LER/SpecialEvents/paacadcomp.html

"I was pleased to play a part in this competition again this year, wish our students from Wilson High School good luck in the national competition and look forward to doing it all over again next year," Rohrer said.

Cap and Trade is a Wealth Transfer Program

By Congressman Joe Pitts

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has begun consideration of a cap and trade plan that would regulate greenhouse gas emissions. It would be more accurate to call it a cap and tax plan because it is nothing more than a tax on the energy that every American uses to go about their daily lives.

As a member of the Committee, I have serious concerns about the plan for several reasons, including the fact that we still don’t have actual bill text that we can use to analyze the true cost of the bill. But most importantly, I believe this plan is a job killer and nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth from consumers to government bureaucrats.

I believe we should be good stewards of this earth and its resources, but especially in the midst of a recession, this plan will amount to a massive new energy tax on American families that we cannot afford. Everything from making dinner in your oven, to heating the water for your morning shower, to commuting to your job each day, will all become more expensive overnight with this cap and tax plan.

And President Obama intends to use the money from the tax to spend not on advancing a clean energy economy, but on instituting universal healthcare.

Instead of creating the biggest of big government programs to transfer trillions of dollars of money from energy consumers to the federal government, we ought to be allowing the market to bring forward successful, clean, alternative energy technologies.

My Democratic colleagues aren’t even serious enough about reducing greenhouse gases to consider nuclear power—a reliable, clean option for energy generation. We should be moving forward with all of the practical solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions, including nuclear energy and waste-to-energy, a proven clean technology that has been successful in Lancaster for decades. We can reduce greenhouse gases and increase this nation’s energy security, but we can’t get there by relying solely on wind and solar power. We need to use wind and solar in conjunction with nuclear, hydro, biomass, waste-to-energy and others.

Though we obviously don’t have a complete bill to analyze, we can make at least an educated guess about how devastating this plan would be for our economy. Cap and trade legislation from the last Congress that attempted to regulate greenhouse gases (called the Warner-Lieberman plan) would have resulted in aggregate real GDP losses of nearly $5 trillion and 900,000 jobs lost in the first 20 years after enactment. And the Waxman-Markey draft we are currently considering in committee is even more sweeping than the Warner-Lieberman plan. Plainly, the economic consequences will be worse.

We can’t tax our way to a successful new energy economy. We need to move forward with a clean energy plan that helps, not hurts our economy.

As former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich pointed out during his testimony before the committee this week, we should be paving a way forward with incentives, not punishment. This cap and tax plan is a massive punishment for everyone in America that uses energy—that is, everyone in America. Instead, we should be crafting policies that create incentives to bring on-line new nuclear plants, hydrogen storage technology, more cost-effective wind and solar technology, smart-grid technology, and more efficient electricity transmission.

We don’t need to wash trillions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money through the federal bureaucracy in order to get to a clean energy economy. The alternative to a job-killing, big government cap and tax plan is to create incentives and let the market pick the winners.

Rep. Joe Pitts represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District.

Cardinal Rigali Praises House Re-Introduction of 'Pregnant Women Support Act,' Urges Co-Sponsorship

Cardinal Rigali Praises House Re-Introduction of 'Pregnant Women Support Act,' Urges Co-Sponsorship

Rep. Schroder blasts video poker plan

Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Defends Rendell Administration's Stimulus Accountability

Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Defends Rendell Administration's Stimulus Accountability

TheCarConnection.com Names 'Six Cars That Can Save Detroit'

TheCarConnection.com Names 'Six Cars That Can Save Detroit'

Small Firms Create All Net New Jobs in Pennsylvania, Study Shows

Small Firms Create All Net New Jobs in Pennsylvania, Study Shows

Sebelius Places Interests of Late-Term Abortionists Ahead of Unborn Children

Sebelius Places Interests of Late-Term Abortionists Ahead of Unborn Children

800 attend Expo in Pottstown

No one is sure if it was an appearance by Tony Phyrillas or the offer of free lunch, but the Fourth Annual Healthy Lifestyles Expo sponsored by state Rep. Tom Quigley attracted about 800 people.

Quigley said the 2009 event easily topped last year's attendance of 600.

On second thought, it must have been me because there was free lunch offered last year, too.

I had the privilege of addressing a standing-room only crowd at Montgomery County Community College West Campus in Pottstown on April 17 as part of the Expo events.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

PennDOT Offers Sobering Reminder to Students, Parents as End of School Year Approaches

PennDOT Offers Sobering Reminder to Students, Parents as End of School Year Approaches

'Talking Politics' on the radio today

Tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

"Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM.

You can call the station at 610-326-4000 with questions or comments.

If you can't pick up the station's signal, you can listen to the program anywhere in the world on your computer. The show is simulcast at www.pottsmerc.com and www.1370wpaz.com

Rohrer named GOP chairman of House Finance Committee

The odds are good that property taxes will again be a priority in the state House of Representatives.

Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks), who has led the fight to eliminate the state's onerous property tax, has been named the new Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee.

Rohrer takes over the chairmanship from former Rep. Dave Argall, who recently vacated his House seat after he won a special election to fill a vacant seat in the Pennsylvania Senate.

"I am honored to become the new Republican House Finance Committee chairman," Rohrer said in a statement. "In our current economic situation, I am fully aware of the heavy responsibility that this position entails. I pledge to work tirelessly in order to get Pennsylvania's financial house in shape, and ensure that the interests of the taxpayers of this Commonwealth are fully represented in all fiscal and tax policy bills that come to my committee."

The Finance Committee deals with revenue issues and determines where money is available for use for state appropriations, Rohrer said.

"Before we decide how to spend taxpayer dollars, we need to know where those dollars are coming from and the impact on the taxpayer and economy those taxes will create," Rohrer said. "We can only spend what we have, and I will take my role very seriously in making sure that our spending does not outstrip the tax revenue that the Commonwealth will raise. I feel privileged to work on such an important component of our government and I will fight for the rights of our taxpayers across the Commonwealth. As we deal with tax codes changes, serious pension shortages and declining revenue for the state, we must understand that our fiscal decisions are going to impact not just this generation, but generations to come."

Rohrer has served in the state House for the past 12 years and has a statewide reputation as a champion for eliminating property taxes. More recently, he has also taken up the cause of supporting the 10th Amendment, which limits the federal government's authority over states.

Rohrer has served as the Republican chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee since November. He previously served as the chairman for the House Game and Fisheries Committee, and as a member of the Education Committee, as well as a 12-year member of the House Appropriations Committee.

For more about Rohrer, visit his legislative Web site, www.samrohrer.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Milwaukee Police Chief Plans to Disarm Citizens

CCRKBA Calls Milwaukee, WI Police Chief's Remarks 'Outrageous'

FRC Action: Obama Administration Working to Overturn Pro-Life Laws in Other Countries

FRC Action: Obama Administration Working to Overturn Pro-Life Laws in Other Countries


Stop Wasteful Spending

Pennsylvania Coalition for Responsible Government

You're invited to attend the inaugural meeting of the

Pennsylvania Coalition for Responsible Government

featuring

Keynote Speaker Matthew J. Brouillette

DATE: Thursday, April 23rd

TIME: 6 p.m.

PLACE: The Radisson Hotel in Greentree

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Responsible Government (www.parespgov.org) seeks to unite people who believe American exceptionalism, America's founding documents, and individual liberty are under assault and need to be defended.

Featured speaker Matthew Brouillette, president & CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation, will deliver an address entitled, “Capitalism Still Works.” Those wishing to attend can register for the event at www.parespgov.org.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'Tax relief from slots is like giving a Band-Aid to a dying homeowner'

Like offering a Band-Aid to a dying man, Gov. Ed Rendell's boast of property tax relief from slot-machine gambling is a gesture of relief when what is needed is massive reform, writes The Pottstown Mercury in a recent editorial exposing Rendell's sham property-tax boasts.

From the editorial:
Rendell said the expected distribution of $770 million will produce average school property-tax cuts of nearly $200 per property owner outside Philadelphia.

And 580,000 low-income seniors are expected to benefit from rent and property tax rebates that are partially funded by the slots money. The rebates of up to $975 are available to seniors whose income is $35,000 or less.

At first blush, the numbers may seem impressive, but the average suburban homeowner in this region has an annual property tax bill in the thousands -- closer to $3,000 as an average and some as high as $7,000 to $12,000, depending on the school district.

In places like Pottstown and Daniel Boone school districts, the property tax rates are higher because the property assessments in the region can not bear the educational costs. Pottstown struggles with diminishing property values, and Daniel Boone faces a growing student population with little commercial base and a large chunk of state-owned parkland, making homeowners the only source of tax revenue.

A tax rebate of $200 does little for the property owner struggling to pay a tax bill of $3,000 and does nothing to ensure equal education for Pennsylvania students regardless of ZIP code.

Proceeds from gambling to lessen the pain is not an answer. Rendell's Band-Aid is not going to stop the bleeding for Pennsylvania taxpayers.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Want less corruption? Shrink government!

Pennsylvania Academic Competition Week

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously approved a resolution introduced by Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks) marking the week of April 20 through April 24 as "Pennsylvania Academic Competition Week."

From Rohrer's office:

The House's adoption of the resolution coincides with the beginning of the 18th annual Pennsylvania Academic Competition Week, which will conclude on Friday when students from across Pennsylvania will travel to Harrisburg to compete against each other in an academic contest.

"It is an honor to support this worthy initiative," Rohrer said. "The future of every free society rests in the minds and hearts of its young people. Liberty is at all times only one generation away from extinction. This event showcases the intellectual talents of tomorrow's leaders, who will one day carry forward the torch of American progress."

Each year, Rohrer authors and introduces a resolution officially establishing the last full week in April as Pennsylvania Academic Competition Week. Chester County Intermediate Unit organizes the event, which Rohrer has hosted for the last 11 years.

This year's Capitol competition will take place on Friday, April 24. Previous competitions have drawn more than 100 students. The championship team will receive a $2,000 scholarship for its high school and will have the opportunity to participate in the Panasonic Academic Challenge at Disney World in Florida in June.

Students will compete based on their knowledge in the following areas:

· Literature, fine arts and grammar.

· World history and geography.

· American history, geography and economics.

· Science.

· Contemporary events.

· Potpourri (any subject).

For more information about the Pennsylvania Academic Competition, visit the Chester County Intermediate Unit online at www.cciu.org/Departments/LER/SpecialEvents/paacadcomp.html

Groups: Sebelius Unfit For Office in Wake of New Revelations

Groups: Sebelius Unfit For Office in Wake of New Revelations

'Another Tax Day, Another $265 billion'

By Congressman Joe Pitts

Another tax day is behind us, and most Americans are probably happy to see it gone. This gives us a good opportunity to reflect on our nation’s tax policy and evaluate where we are and where we are heading. Unfortunately, this year’s assessment carries little in the way of good news.

For starters, just going through the process of preparing and filing taxes in this country requires a tremendous amount of resources. In a comprehensive study conducted in 2005, the Tax Foundation found the estimated time and money cost of complying with the federal Internal Revenue Code was 6 billion hours, which they estimate to be worth $265 billion.

That’s an incredible amount of resources that are more or less wasted on complying with a vastly overcomplicated tax structure. But that is not the worst of it. The amount we have to hand over in taxes for each year is the real crime.

For perspective on how much we actually pay in taxes, I will turn again to the Tax Foundation, which notes that “In 2009, Americans worked 103 days of the year to pay for federal, state, and local taxes. This is more than the days worked to pay for housing, food, and clothing combined. Americans worked 38 days to pay income taxes, 27 days to pay Social Insurance taxes, 15 days to pay sales and excise taxes, 12 days to pay property taxes, 6 days to pay corporate income taxes, and 4 days to pay other taxes.” This means the average American was not earning money they could keep until well into April.

Yet, as if taxes aren’t already burdensome enough, Democrats in Congress and the White House are looking at all kinds of ways to increase taxes in order to pay for their ever-expanding government programs.

On April 1, the first tax increase of the Obama Administration took effect. It was appropriate that it took effect on April Fools Day because this tax seems more like a joke than good policy. The tax on cigarettes went up by 60 cents per pack in order to pay for a huge expansion in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). SCHIP was first intended to provide health coverage for poor uninsured children, but the program has expanded to serve middle-income children and young adults.

This means we will use a decreasing revenue stream (people smoke less or quit when it costs more) to fund an expanding program. Ironically, we will need 22 million people to take up smoking if we hope to actually pay for the new spending that has resulted in an expansion of the SCHIP program.

This is also a regressive tax, hitting low-income individuals harder than the wealthy. During the campaign, candidate Obama promised that he would not raise taxes on Americans who make less than $250,000 per year. Yet, according to Gallup, 75 percent of American smokers make less than $60,000 a year and over 50 percent make less than $36,000 a year.

I am for healthcare for kids, and I am for getting people to quit smoking. But I am against healthcare run by bureaucrats and healthcare programs funded by cigarette taxes.

Unfortunately, it looks as though this will be just the first of many tax increases under the current Administration. The President’s budget, which has passed the House, calls for a number of tax increases in the midst of one of the worst economic recessions in decades.

The budget calls for an increase on all taxpayers making more than $200,000 a year. The President may think he is just increasing taxes on “rich” people, but the majority of the burden for this $637 billion tax increase will fall on small business owners (who pay taxes on this income as part of their individual returns). Small businesses create 60 to 80 percent of all new jobs in America.

The budget also calls for increased taxes on energy consumption through a complicated cap and trade program that could just as easily be called a cap and tax program. This will increase the cost of energy for every American.

The budget also caps the amount higher income earners can deduct from their taxes for charitable donations. It has been estimated this will reduce charitable giving by $9 billion a year at a time when we need charities the most.

The President’s budget reinstates the death tax, with a top margin of 55 percent. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the death tax has “broad economic effects,” and one study has found that the death tax is responsible for lowering overall employment by 1.5 million jobs over the previous ten years.

This isn’t responsible government and it isn’t good public policy.

Rep. Joe Pitts represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District in Berks, Chester and Lancaster counties.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Keeping you in the dark

"It should come as no surprise in a state where lawmakers like to operate in the dark - especially late at night, when they can award themselves pay hikes - that a bill in Harrisburg aims to make it harder for Pennsylvanians to follow what their elected officials are up to," writes The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Read the full editorial, "The fine print," about an effort by Pennsylvania legislators to make it more difficult for residents to follow government action, at the newspaper's Web site.

And let your legislator know that you won't stand for any more of their efforts to keep you in the dark about how your money is spent.

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 20 Is Voter Registration Deadline for May Primary Election

April 20 Is Voter Registration Deadline for May Primary Election

PJTV Attendance Count for Tea Parties Passes 540,000

PJTV Attendance Count for Tea Parties Passes 540,000

The List

'Americans Are Not The Enemy'

From a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano from David K. Rehbein, National Commander, The American Legion:
Your report states that "Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages." Secretary Napolitano, this is more than a perception to those who have lost their job. Would you categorize union members as "Right Wing extremists"?

In spite of this incomplete, and, I fear, politically-biased report, The American Legion and the Department of Homeland Security share many common and crucial interests, such as the Citizen Corps and disaster preparedness. Since you are a graduate of New Mexico Girls State, I trust that you are very familiar with The American Legion. I would be happy to meet with you at a time of mutual convenience to discuss issues such as border security and the war on terrorism. I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are.
You can read the full letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano from David K. Rehbein, National Commander, The American Legion, at this link.

Tony Phyrillas to speak at MCCC in Pottstown

Tony Phyrillas AND free lunch. It doesn't get much better than this.

You have an opportunity to meet me in person at 11 a.m. Friday, April 17, at the Montgomery County Community College West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

The occasion is the Fourth Annual Healthy Lifestyles Expo, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

I will be the featured speaker from 11 to 11:45 p.m., followed by free lunch for everyone in attendance.

The Expo features free admission, free parking and -- did I mention -- FREE LUNCH!!

The event is sponsored by state Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist., The Mercury, Montgomery County Community College and the TriCounty Community Network.

In addition to more than 70 vendors who will set up displays, the Expo features free health screenings, music and door prizes. Cartoonist Alan MacBain, who is featured in The Mercury's editorial pages, will also be on hand to provide free caricatures for visitors.

Parking is available at the college and across the street at Riverfront Park, with shuttle service running visitors to the college throughout the event.

Conservatives seen as a threat in the Obamanation

If you are a military veteran ...

If you believe the U.S. must do more to stem the flow of illegal aliens ...

If you oppose abortion-on-demand ...

If you protest high taxation and out-of-control government spending ...

You are a potential domestic terrorist, according to a new assessment released by the Obama Department of Homeland Security.

This would be the same Homeland Security Department that has banned the use of the word "terrorist" to describe Islamic extremists who want to kill Americans.

Now that we are living in the Obama-nation, the word "terrorist" is reserved for Americans with conservative beliefs.

And you wonder why gun sales are at an all-time high in the United States? It's only a matter of time before the liberal fascists move against Americans who believe in the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spent Thursday morning making the rounds on the morning news shows to defend the Obama Administration's latest assault on conservative Americans.

From The Associated Press:
Napolitano described the report, issued last week, as part of the department's routine of analyzing intelligence information to give law enforcement agencies guidance on possible security threats.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, assailed Napolitano's department for the report and pressed the agency to apologize to veterans.

"To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable," Boehner said.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Toomey vs. Specter

A couple days after stepping down as president of the Club for Growth, former U.S. Congressman Pat Toomey made it official: He will challenge U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 Republican Primary.

"Pennsylvanians deserve a voice in the U.S. Senate that will honor our values and fight for limited government, individual freedom and fiscal responsibility," Toomey said. "I will be that voice."

It's no coincidence Toomey chose April 15 to make his announcement.

From The Associated Press:
Toomey headed the Club for Growth, a national conservative group that advocates smaller government and lower taxes, from the time he left Congress in 2005 until he stepped down Monday. The group was a major supporter of his 2004 campaign.

Prior to his election to the first of three terms in Congress in 1998, the Harvard-educated Toomey worked as an investment banker and operated several restaurants and bars in Pennsylvania with his brothers.
How worried is 79-year-old Arlen Specter about Toomey?

From the AP:
More than a year before the May 2010 primary, the campaign was already under way as Toomey publicly confirmed his candidacy.

Specter this month put up a cable TV ad that sought to link Toomey's career as an investment banker more than a decade ago to the current chaos in the nation's financial markets.
Imagine that. A guy who has served in the Senate since 1990 and been asleep at the wheel while the economy collapsed is trying to blame Toomey for the meltdown.

As I predicted in an earlier post, Specter will drop out of the race before 2010 because of unspecified health reasons. Specter knows he can't win the Republican primary, so he will bow out before he is handed a humiliating loss at the hands of GOP voters.

Read more about Toomey's challenge in today's edition of The Pottstown Mercury.

Governor Rendell Announces Environmental Excellence Award Winners

A Berks County agency is among the 15 recognized by the state.

Governor Rendell Announces Environmental Excellence Award Winners

Obama's Latest Speech Dodges Campaign Promise to Small Businesses

From the American Small Business League: Yesterday, President Barack Obama gave a 60-minute speech to the nation regarding the state of the economy. His speech discussed the Obama Administration's five pillars for addressing the economy, however President Obama's plans for helping America's biggest job creators, its small businesses, were conspicuously absent.

Read more about Obama's broken promises at the link below:

Obama's Latest Speech Dodges Campaign Promise to Small Businesses

AmericanFlags.com Supplies Thousands of Gadsden Flags for Tax Day Tea Party

AmericanFlags.com Supplies Thousands of Gadsden Flags for Tax Day Tea Party

Politicians target newspapers

Some members of the Pennsylvania Senate are working on a plan to put a final nail in the coffin of many newspapers across the state.

A bill in the Pennsylvania Legislature proposes removing public notices from newspapers and allowing government agencies to post information online on various Web sites.

That would not only drive away much-needed revenue for struggling newspapers, but would leave taxpayers in the dark about how government spends their money, argues the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.

From an editorial in The Pottstown Mercury:
Nearly a century ago, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a law requiring local townships, boroughs, school districts and other government entities to place notices in the local newspaper advising citizens of pending ordinances, budget spending proposals, property sales, election information, zoning changes, among other important issues.

The idea behind that early law was to inform residents affected by government plans. For years, that legislation provided a safeguard of open government — making it more difficult for elected officials to enact laws and spend money without notifying taxpayers.

Now, Senate Bill 419 would allow the government to control its own public notices and eliminate the independent, third-party verification that newspaper publication provides. It would be all too easy to manipulate the bidding process, favor certain contractors, and shield critical information.
Have you ever tried to navigate through a state Web site? It's nearly impossible to find information. And believe me, government bureaucrats will make it as difficult as they can to find legal notices online.

And what about the people who don't have access to the Internet? SB 419 clearly falls under the category of "If it's not broke, why fix it?"

It also makes you wonder what the real motive of lawmakers is. Could the bill be payback for newspapers exposing all the corruption in Harrisburg?

It's time to contact your local state senator and tell them that SB 419 should never see the light of day.

Read more in this editorial published in The Pottstown Mercury.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Berks County to host Tea Party protest

From a press release issued by John Stahl on a Berks County Tea Party set for Wednesday:
Reading, PA - FreedomWorks members and area taxpayers will gather Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM, at the Gus Yatron Post Office, 1300 North 13th Street, to send a message to leaders of both parties that taxpayers are angry with the bailouts, debt, pork projects, and wasteful spending rampant in Washington.

Part of the national movement of "tea parties," protesters are gathering in the spirit of the Sons of Liberty in Boston, who in 1773 protested the British government by dumping tons of tea into the harbor.

Details of the event:

WHAT: Gus Yatron Post Office Tea Party Protest
WHO: FreedomWorks members and taxpayers
WHERE: 1300 North 13th Street
WHEN: 4-15-09 - 5:00PM

H. John Stahl commented: "The behavior of the politicians in Washington has spurred taxpayers around the nation to action. Americans are rightfully angry with the current activity and will not sit silently while being robbed. Local residents are joining their voices with thousands of others across the nation and our voice will be heard. The movement is just beginning."

"It is not just taxes and spending: it's the whole attitude. We doubt that those who elected the current Congress want the assault on liberty and America that we believe is taking place. Many of our supporters are angry about the census in the White House, the takeover of private business, the attitude of leftists in Washington in general and illegal immigration."

FreedomWorks.org is a grassroots organization with over 500,000 members nationwide dedicated to lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.

Americans for Tax Reform sets record straight on Obama tax hikes

Americans for Tax Reform, a non-partisan watchdog group, detailed the impact of the Obama tax hikes on the average American at a press conference:
* Obama's budget claims that it cuts taxes for families by $770 billion. Yet, the same document admits that fully $326 billion -- nearly half -- is in fact new spending, not tax cuts

* The budget raises the top two income tax brackets from 33 percent and 35 percent to 36 percent and 39.6 percent, respectively. These are the tax rates in which $2 out of every $3 in small business profit is taxed. That includes 90 percent of the profits from partnerships and Subchapter S corporations, and 40 percent of the profits from sole proprietorships. This small business tax hike alone is $339 billion

* The Obama budget imposes a "cap and trade" tax of $646 billion. Every American family will pay this tax in the form of higher gasoline, heating, and electric bills -- an average of $3100 per family per year.

* The Obama budget raises taxes on investors in several ways. The capital gains tax is hiked from 15 percent to 20 percent. The dividends tax is raised from 15 percent to 20 percent. Capital gains earned by investment partnership managers are taxed as high as 39.6 percent. At a time when the stock market wealth has nearly been cut in half, why is Obama proposing a $142 billion tax hike on the stock market?
Read more at the link below:

ATR Hosts 'Tax Day Eve' Press Conference

Sam Rohrer: Tea Anyone?

From state Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-128th District:
Tea Anyone?

In just another day, April 15th will be here. This is the day we are all reminded of how much of our hard-earned wages are lifted by government – at all levels. From the property tax to the sales tax, to the State and federal income tax, to the myriad of fees on literally everything, to the excise taxes, to taxes when you are born to taxes when you die, we are taxed on almost everything.

It's not that every tax is onerous or evil. Some may not like any tax. But, taxes are a legitimate way to fund legitimate government. It's just that when government begins to spend our tax dollars on unconstitutional programs or bailouts and then expects us to continue to dig ever deeper to fund those illegitimate programs that folks develop a very bad taste in their mouths. And like bad tastes in our mouths, normal folks try to get rid of that bad taste. It's only normal.

So, the focus of the April 15th Tea Parties provides the opportunity to people across this Commonwealth and nation to gather peaceably together to say that we're tired of that very bad taste. But is it the taxes that are the cause of this very bad taste or is it something else? The truth be told, taxes aren't the cause, they are the symptom. Out-of-control, unconstitutional and illegitimate spending is the cause. Illegitimate spending is why a crumbling economic system confronts us today. Illegitimate spending including unconstitutional programs, bailouts, subsidizing of those who don't or won't work and earmarks of all types to the favored few identify both the cause and the solution.

The solution: quit spending on unconstitutional programs, quit spending on government programs that compete with private non-profits and churches that exist to meet the needs of the needy, and quit spending on things that grow the size of government beyond the restraints of constitutional boundaries! Just let the people keep their own money! The solution is very simple – if you support the concept of independence and personal freedom. I think the solution is easy to see, a little harder to accomplish, but impossible to oppose – if you support the concept of independence and personal freedom.

So, if you have not yet decided to attend a "Tea Party" on Wednesday, please plan on doing so. It will be good for you, your children, and the cause. I will be one of the speakers at the "Tea Party" in the front steps of the Capitol in Harrisburg beginning at noon and at Lancaster Tax Day Tea Party at 4 p.m. in Musser Park. Hope to see some of you at one of these events.

For the Cause of Independence and Personal Freedom,
Sam Rohrer

PJTV Launches New Era of Citizen Reporting with Coverage of Tea Parties

PJTV Launches New Era of Citizen Reporting with Coverage of Tea Parties

Monday, April 13, 2009

You call this property tax relief?

What Gov. Ed Rendell considers "property tax relief" is probably dinner for the family at a local restaurant.

So much for that "substantial" property tax relief Rendell promised when he signed slot gaming into law in Pennsylvania in 2004.

Most residents will see a reduction of between $50 and $200 on their school property tax bills this summer.

With most school districts in Pennsylvania proposing property tax hikes of at least 5 percent, the "relief" Rendell is touting is a wash at best.

"Property tax relief is real and it is making a difference in the lives of older adults and hard-working families across Pennsylvania," Rendell said today.

What's real is that $50-$100 savings on a $3,000 tax bill is a joke, governor.

You can read Rendell's propaganda at the link below:

Governor Rendell Announces Another Year of Property Tax Relief for Homeowners

For a dose of reality, see what POLICY BLOG has to say about Rendell's "relief"

National Library Week, April 12-18

New Report Shows Libraries Critical in Times of Crisis, But Funding Lags and Services Reduced

Pennsylvania Helping Producers Transition to Organic Farming

Pennsylvania Helping Producers Transition to Organic Farming

Millions of Tax Returns Will be Filed Fraudulently: Earned Income Tax Credit is Used by Illegals and Scam Artists to Get Undeserved Monies

Millions of Tax Returns Will be Filed Fraudulently: Earned Income Tax Credit is Used by Illegals and Scam Artists to Get Undeserved Monies

New Report Shows Libraries Critical in Times of Crisis, But Funding Lags and Services Reduced

New Report Shows Libraries Critical in Times of Crisis, But Funding Lags and Services Reduced

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Obama dropped something

Santorum: Obama does not share our values

Interesting op-ed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum on how Barack Obama and members of his administration continue to denigrate the United States every chance they get.

"Watching President Obama apologize last week for America's arrogance - before a French audience that owes its freedom to the sacrifices of Americans - helped convince me that he has a deep-seated antipathy toward American values and traditions," Santorum writes in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Santorum decries the fact that Obama is filling his administration with people whose beliefs are out of the mainstream of ordinary Americans.

A perfect example is Dean Harold Koh.

From Santorum's column:
His nomination of former Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh to be the State Department's top lawyer constitutes further evidence of his disdain for American values.

This seemingly obscure position in Foggy Bottom's bureaucratic maze is one of the most important in any administration, shaping foreign policy in the courts and playing a critical role in international negotiations and treaties.

Let's set aside Koh's disputed comments about the possible application of Sharia law in American jurisprudence. The pick is alarming for more fundamental reasons having to do with national sovereignty and constitutional self-governance.

What is indisputable is that Koh calls himself a "transnationalist." He believes U.S. courts "must look beyond national interest to the mutual interests of all nations in a smoothly functioning international legal regime. ..." He thinks the courts have "a central role to play in domesticating international law into U.S. law" and should "use their interpretive powers to promote the development of a global legal system."
Read the full column, "Obama vs. United States," at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Alternative Energy Expo Planned for April 25

Three SE Pennsylvania lawmakers are hosting an inaugural Alternative Energy and Environment Resource Expo in Montgomery County later this month.

The event will bring a wide range of companies and organizations from across the environmental landscape to Spring-Ford School District's 9th Grade Center on April 25

Sponsored by Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr., R-44th, Rep. Mike Vereb, R-150th, and Rep. Tom Quigley, R- 146th, the expo will give a diverse group of organizations, ranging from the Philadelphia Phillies to national, state and local environmental groups, state agencies and energy producers to auto manufacturers, organic farmers and others, the opportunity to get their message and product to residents.

"We have a diverse group of vendors, service providers, community organizations and entertainers who have expressed a willingness to participate either as an exhibitor or a sponsor of the event," Sen. Rafferty said in a release. "Each has made a commitment to encourage a positive environmental stewardship through action and community interaction."

Any organizations or businesses interested in participating in the Alternative Energy and Environmental Resource Expo, can contact Rafferty's office at 610-831-8830.

The event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free to the public.

Friday, April 10, 2009

State Capitol Roundup

Here's this week's State Capitol Roundup courtesy of state Rep. Bob Mensch (R-147):

House Republicans Unveil PA Agenda for Trust in Harrisburg

Acknowledging that government must change how it operates to restore the public's trust, House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) has unveiled a comprehensive proposal to tackle state government's most pressing ethical questions. The Pennsylvania Agenda for Trust in Harrisburg includes specific proposals to: better document campaign donations, enforce tougher standards for auditing state grant awards, conduct independent audits of the General Assembly that would be available for public review, and end the pay-to-play culture in Pennsylvania by enacting state contracting reform measures. House Republicans are hopeful that the sweeping proposal to clean up all levels of government in the Commonwealth can be a starting point for a larger discussion leading to genuine reform. For additional information, visit PAHouseGOP.com

Congressmen's Testimony Highlights Need for Strong Stimulus Oversight

House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York) conducted a public hearing this week on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the management of stimulus funds planned for use in the state. Congressmen Jim Gerlach and Joe Pitts testified about their concerns that too much of the stimulus funds are destined for projects that will have little long-term economic impact. To guarantee that taxpayers' money is used wisely and in ways that will be most beneficial for the economy, House Republicans have urged state and federal officials to ensure transparency and accountability during the process. The one-time federal funds, if spent improperly, could also make the state's budget woes much worse when they run out in the future.

State Assistance to Improve Home Energy Efficiency Available

Help is now available for Pennsylvanians concerned with the rising cost of energy and considering making energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. The Keystone HELP Energy Efficiency Loan and Rebate Program provides homeowners with unsecured and secured loans ranging from $1,000 to as much as $35,000. Certain qualifying upgrades are also eligible for rebates of up to $250 or $500. While several different loan programs exist, there are no fees to apply or penalties for early payment, and closing costs are minimal. For more information, to apply for a Keystone HELP loan or for a complete list of eligible improvements, individuals may visit Mensch's Web site at RepMensch.com or call toll-free at 1-888-232-3477.

Liberal media ignores Tea Party protests

Good Friday message

Spotted on a church sign on this Good Friday:

THE CROSS IS THE DOOR INTO HEAVEN

Video: Stop Spending Our Future

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Most PA members of Congress flunk taxpayer scorecard

If you don't want to take the time to look up how Pennsylvania members of Congress did on the National Taxpayers Union scorecard (every vote that significantly affects taxes, spending, debt, and regulatory burdens on consumers and taxpayers), here are the grades:

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Altmire, J. ....................F......21%
Brady, R. ......................F........5%
Carney, C. ....................F......18%
Dent, C. ........................C-....48%
Doyle, M. .....................F........5%
English, P. ....................C-....42%
Fattah, C. ......................F........6%
Gerlach, J. ....................C-....41%
Holden, T. .....................F......18%
Kanjorski, P. .................F........7%
Murphy, P. ....................F......12%
Murphy, T. ....................C-....39%
Murtha, J. .....................F........7%
Peterson, J. ...................C+...56%
Pitts, J. ..........................A.....84%
Platts, T. .......................C.....51%
Schwartz, A. .................F........7%
Sestak, J. ......................F........7%
Shuster, B. ....................B- ....62%

SENATE

Casey, B. ................F..............3%
Specter, A. .............D............34%

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Economics 101

Taxpayer Group's Nonpartisan Scorecard Shows Highest-Ever Number of 'Big Spenders' in Congress

Taxpayer Group's Nonpartisan Scorecard Shows Highest-Ever Number of 'Big Spenders' in Congress

PA Preservation Board Protects Additional 2,928 Acres of Prime Farmland

PA Preservation Board Protects Additional 2,928 Acres of Prime Farmland

PA Agriculture Secretary Reminds Nursery Growers to Sign Up for Crop Insurance

PA Agriculture Secretary Reminds Nursery Growers to Sign Up for Crop Insurance

Catch Tony Phyrillas on radio

Tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

"Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM.

You can call the station at 610-326-4000 with questions or comments.

If you can't pick up the station's signal, you can listen to the program on your computer. The show is simulcast at www.pottsmerc.com and www.1370wpaz.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Notre Dame Obama Scandal: Remove School From Catholic Directory

Notre Dame Obama Scandal: Remove School From Catholic Directory

Senator Mark Warner Attacks Worker Privacy by Supporting Anti-Worker Card Check Bill

Senator Mark Warner Attacks Worker Privacy by Supporting Anti-Worker Card Check Bill

American College of Pediatricians: Another Blow to Children's Rights

American College of Pediatricians: Another Blow to Children's Rights

Tony Phyrillas to speak at Montgomery County Community College

You've read his columns in The Mercury. You've visited his blog. You've heard him on the radio. You've seen him on television. Now you can meet Tony Phyrillas in person.

The Mercury's award-winning political columnist and top-ranked blogger will be the featured speaker at the Fourth Annual Healthy Lifestyles Expo on Friday, April 17, at Montgomery County Community College.

The Expo runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the college's West campus, 101 College Ave., Pottstown.

Phyrillas will speak from 11 to 11:45 p.m. in the cafeteria.

The Expo features free admission, free parking and free lunch for everyone who attends.

The event is sponsored by state Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist., The Mercury, Montgomery County Community College and the TriCounty Community Network.

In addition to more than 70 vendors who will set up displays, the Expo features free health screenings, music and door prizes. Cartoonist Alan MacBain, who is featured in The Mercury's editorial pages, will also be on hand to provide free caricatures for visitors.

Parking is available at the college and across the street at Riverfront Park, with shuttle service running visitors to the college.

For more information, call 610-326-9563.

Income Tax System Confounds Taxpayers and Hurts the Economy

Income Tax System Confounds Taxpayers and Hurts the Economy

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When Big Labor attacks ...

Workers and Retirees Stand Up to Hostile Takeover of Their Union's Buildings; Members of Workers United Rally to Defend Their Property

Expect the Obama recession to continue

SHRM Survey: HR Professionals Say Expect More Cuts in Next Six Months

PA Revenue Customer Service Center Extends Hours to Help Late-Season Tax Filers

PA Revenue Customer Service Center Extends Hours to Help Late-Season Tax Filers

PA Troopers Make Record Number of DUI Arrests

PA Troopers Make Record Number of DUI Arrests

PA GOP House Leader: 'This garbage must end now'

With two of the state's biggest Democratic political figures under indictment or already convicted for public corruption, you'd think the Democratic Party would take the lead in pushing ethics reform.

No so in Pennsylvania, where Democrats tend to look the other way when one of their own is caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

So it's up to the Republican Party to take up the cause of reforming what some consider to be the most corrupt state government in the country.

House GOP Leader Sam Smith unveiled the House Republican plan to help put state government on the right path: Pennsylvania's Agenda for Trust in Harrisburg, or PATH.

"We stand at a crossroads to either keep going in the direction of the status quo or change paths and make substantive changes in the way our government operates," Smith said at a Capitol new conference. "For the sake of our Commonwealth's future, I believe we have to change our ways."

Since the pay raise fiasco of July 2005, Pennsylvanians have lost trust in much of government, Smith said. The conviction of state Sen. Vince Fumo on 137 corruption charges and the Bonusgate charges against a dozen Democratic House staffers and elected officials have kept corruption in the headlines over the past few years.

Smith offered a 12-point agenda for dealing with the culture of corruption in Harrisburg.

Among the highlights: End the 'pay-to-play' system where campaign contributors receive lucrative state contracts; a ban on public officials starting nonprofit organizations while in office; strengthening the state Sunshine Law; creation of an Ethical Code of Conduct for executive branch; and independent audits of General Assembly spending.

"Pennsylvanians must believe their government is as effective, efficient, and accountable as it should be," Smith said. "I think it is the right thing to do. We have to stand up and say 'Enough, all this garbage must end now.'"

Read more of Smith's proposals in this press release posted at his Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

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