Friday, July 31, 2009

Once Again, House Rejects Amendment Preventing Taxpayer Funding for Abortion

Once Again, House Rejects Amendment Preventing Taxpayer Funding for Abortion

News Flash: Obama is a liberal

The latest Rasmussen poll tells us something we already knew: Obama is a flaming liberal.

From Rasmussen Reports:
Seventy-six percent (76%) of U.S. voters now think President Obama is at least somewhat liberal. Forty-eight percent (48%) say he is very liberal, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

This marks the highest finding to date on the question and is a five-point increase in the number who say the president is very liberal from a month ago. Just before Obama took office in January, 65% said he was at least somewhat liberal, with 35% who described him as very liberal.

Seventeen percent (17%) of voters say the president is moderate, while only six percent (6%) believe he is conservative.
Read more at Rasmussen Reports

Rendell's credibility problem

House Measure Proves Healthcare Legislation Will Fund Abortion, Says Family Research Council Action

House Measure Proves Healthcare Legislation Will Fund Abortion, Says Family Research Council Action

Study: 4.1M Pennsylvanians Could Lose Private Insurance Under Obamacare

From a new analysis by The Heritage Foundation of the Obamacare bill making its way through Congress:
An estimated 4.1 million residents in Pennsylvania could lose their private, employer-based coverage if Congress passes a House health reform bill.

Of the estimated 7.6 million Pennsylvanians with private health insurance, 51 percent would transition out of private coverage. Plus, 59 percent of the state's population who get their private insurance from the workplace could have their existing coverage change or disappear under the House health bill.

Also, 32 percent of Pennsylvania's uninsured population would still lack coverage. Of the estimated 1.4 million people without health coverage, the legislation would only reduce the uninsured by 952,600, leaving 447,400 Pennsylvania residents without coverage.
Read more about the study at the link below:

Millions of Pennsylvanians Could Lose Private Insurance, Study Shows


From the Republican Party of Pennsylvania:


President Obama needs to explain why this case was dropped

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason questioned why the Obama administration chose to dismiss a civil complaint against three members of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation at a polling place in Philadelphia during November’s election. The Republican Party of Pennsylvania was responsible for capturing the video showing these three men issuing threats and insults and brandishing a nightstick.

"The Obama administration’s unilateral dismissal of a case that involved blatant voter intimidation is troubling and the American people deserve to know what led them to make this decision," Gleason said. "President Obama promised openness and transparency, but according to reports, his administration has shielded the American public from asking Justice Department officials why they ultimately decided against bringing these charges. Were these men let go simply because they were working to help elect President Barack Obama? I don't know, but it appears to be a valid question when you consider how tight-lipped the administration has been about this case.

"The Obama administration's decision to dismiss this case proves that there is no recourse for voter intimidation and that is a terrible message to send to the American public. I am concerned that administration's actions may lead to increased violence and intimidation at polling places all across the country.

"I would urge the Obama administration to lift the veil that has shrouded this case and release a legitimate reason why this case was dismissed."

The Washington Times released a story today revealing that Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the No. 3 official in the Obama Justice Department, was consulted and decided to drop a case against three members of the New Black Panther Party who were accused of voter intimidation in Philadelphia.

In the article, Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-VA) said that he was prevented from interviewing the lawyers who brought the charges.

Wolf said: "Why I am being prevented from meeting with the trial team on this case? There are many questions that need to be answered. This whole thing just stinks to high heavens." (Seper, Jerry, “Exclusive: No. 3 at justice OK'd Panther reversal," The Washington Post, 6/30/09)

Obamacare: Cure Or Curse?

Obamacare: Cure Or Curse?

By Louis R. Petolicchio

With recent news that the "Blue Dog Democrats" – Congressional Democrats reputed to be fiscally conservative or 'moderate' – have reached an agreement with liberal Democrat leader Henry Waxman (D-CA) on a 'compromise' version of national health care reform (referred to here as "Obamacare"), it would appear that the federal government is on target to take over America’s vast and advanced medical industry.

Advocates have praised the movement toward nationalizing how medicine and medical services are delivered to the American people, particularly the 50 million plus-or-minus uninsured who have been the focus of Obama's great angst. Critics have been raising a host of concerns that Obamacare is the first step towards a federally funded, single payer program that would eliminate individual choice of doctors and treatment.

While some may say that both sides on the issue may have valid arguments and are using hyperbole to discredit each other, if one begins to review the House that is under consideration (HB 3200), the case against Obamacare grows stronger and stronger.

In the past week a document by Peter Fleckstein has been circulating through the Internet that essentially outlines some of the most outrageous and disturbing elements of Obamacare, many of which directly contradict the claims Obama has been making in his efforts to promote this overhaul.

All of which raises some serious questions that Pennsylvania's confirmed liberal Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter, as well as Congressmen like Tim Holden who claim to be Blue Dogs, should be forced to account for:
Should the federal government decide for every individual what medical treatments we should receive? (Section 123 establishes a Health Benefits Advisory Committee to determine who gets what treatment)

Should the federal government have the access to every individual's private medical history? (Section 142 outlines the ‘collection of data’ as one of the duties of the 'Health Commissioner')

Should illegal immigrants and non-citizens be provided health care coverage? (Section 152 provides blanket coverage to everyone without regard to US citizenship)
Should the federal government have real-time access to every individual’s private financial records? (Section 1173A outlines the use of real-time access information to determine medical coverage concurrent with implementation of a national health ID card)

Should the private health insurance plans be forced into the national program regardless of the desires of the individual participants? (Section 202 outlines the creation of a 'Health Insurance Exchange')

Should the federal government have the authority to ration healthcare for the American people? (Section 203 outlines the authority granted to the Commissioner to establish a 'permissible range of cost-sharing')

Should the states be forced to restrict the coverage mandates approved by their own representative bodies? (Section 203 requires states to reimburse the federal government for any state requirements that exceed federal minimums)

Should the federal government have the authority to mandate cultural and linguistic services (Section 204.b.7 states: "The entity shall provide for culturally and linguistically appropriate communication and health services" Section 1122 reinforces these type of services)

Should the federal government have the power to tax private individuals who choose not to participate in a health plan not approved by the federal government? (Section 207 outlines how individuals and employers will be taxed for not providing "acceptable coverage"; reiterated in Section 322 and Section 401)

Should the federal government have the authority to interfere with the compensation relationship between the private individual and their respective physician? (Section 224 notes that "payment mechanisms and policies under this section may include patient-centered medical home and other care management payments, accountable care organizations, value-based purchasing, bundling of services, differential payment rates, performance or utilization based payments, partial capitation, and direct contracting with providers")

Who will pay for the treatment of illegal aliens? (Section 152 provides blanket coverage to everyone without regard to US citizenship while Section 246 prohibits payments for those not legally present in the US)

When is a tax not a tax? (Section 59B.e.6 states: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax…")

Should the federal government have the authority to control the productivity of medical service providers? (Section 1131 outlines those providers subject to federal quality oversight, including ambulatory and laboratory services)

Should the federal government interfere with the physician/patient relationship with regards to hospital readmissions? (Section 1151 outlines how the national program will be applied to limit readmissions)

Should the federal government interfere with the physician/patient relationship with regards to post acute care services? (Section 1152 outlines how the national program will be applied to control post acute care services)

Should the federal government control the expansion of hospital facilities? (Section 1156 outlines how the national program will impact the expansion of medical facilities)

Should the federal government determine whether special needs individuals should be eligible for health care services? (Section 1177 indicates that a cost analysis will be completed to determine the impact of costs as related to special needs individuals)

Should the federal government manage individual healthcare without involvement of a local physician? (Section 1191 outlines implementation of a 'telehealth' [health care by phone?] system)

Why should the federal government provide end-of-life counseling to participants in the national health plan? (Section 1233 outlines the use of 'Advanced Care Planning Consultation' including counseling for end-of-life services and supports)
Where do Pennsylvania's federal legislators stand on these questions? Do they really think that the same government that spends $600 for a toilet seat and spends hundreds of thousands of dollars for Social Security bureaucrats to dance in Arizona can efficiently manage the American medical system?

Do Casey, Specter, Holden, Murphy and the other liberals who make up this commonwealth's Democrat delegation, actually embrace such meddling in our individual health plans and our individual physicians? Do they really think the federal government has been granted the authority by the Constitution to tell doctors what to do and what medical treatments a sick individual should receive? Are they such tyrants that they want to steal away so much of our God-given liberties?

Ironically, the Obamacare bill does not simply relate to the creation of a national health care program. Multiple references are made throughout that amended the Social Security Act, Medicare, the federal tax code, and many other areas. To say that the Obamacare bill is sweeping in its nature is an understatement.

And need mention be made of the fact that there is no way to tell how this program will be fully funded?

Presuming neither the House nor the Senate actually try to sneak a vote in before their August recess, it is imperative for the people of Pennsylvania to challenge their legislators and demand both an accounting for their support of Obamacare.

Opponents of Obamacare must make it clear in no uncertain terms that political careers are on the line, and must remain vigilante and vocal in publicly fighting this assault on American liberty.

Louis R. Petolicchio is a resident of Lebanon County and Immediate Past Chariman of the Constitutional Organization Of Lebanon (

Obamacare eliminates competition

Thursday, July 30, 2009

FRC: The Truth Hurts Planned Parenthood and NARAL

FRC: The Truth Hurts Planned Parenthood and NARAL

Bill O'Reilly to Be Honored at Values Voter Summit

Bill O'Reilly to Be Honored at Values Voter Summit

Millions of Pennsylvanians Could Lose Private Insurance, Study Shows

Millions of Pennsylvanians Could Lose Private Insurance, Study Shows

The American Legion Celebrates the Inauguration of New Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

The American Legion Celebrates the Inauguration of New Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Census Bureau News -- County Business Patterns: 2007

Census Bureau News -- County Business Patterns: 2007


From the Republican Party of Pennsylvania:
Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason was disappointed but not surprised to learn that several Blue Dog Democrats have once again caved in to the demands of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and expressed their support for government-run, socialized health care in America.

"President Barack Obama's government-run health care plan is one of the most economically and socially irresponsible pieces of legislation in this country’s history," Gleason said. "In the midst of one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression, President Obama and his Democrat cronies are attempting to push through legislation that will raise taxes on hardworking families and small business and add $1 trillion to the national debt. In short, no one who supports President Obama's socialized health care plan can honestly call themselves a fiscal conservative.

"President Obama's socialized health care plan would have a disastrous effect on seniors and middle-income Americans. President Obama has stated his support for cutting spending from Medicare Advantage, a program that ensures medical care for millions of our country’s seniors.

"A recent study by The Lewin Group found that President Obama's government-run health care plan would cause nearly 120 million Americans to lose their private medical coverage and force them to join this flawed, wasteful plan. In addition, more than 36 million Americans would remain uninsured in the next two years."

Yesterday, members of the Congressional Blue Dog Democrat Coalition abandoned their principles and agreed to support President Obama's socialized health care plan.

"Americans deserve health care reform that increases access to medical coverage while respecting the rights of patients including the ability to get quality care and chose their own doctor. I urge all members of Congress, including Representatives Jason Altmire, Chris Carney, Kathy Dahlkemper, and Patrick Murphy, to stand up for common sense and oppose President Obama's government-run health care plan."

Malkin vs. Lauer

Conservative columnist/author Michelle Malkin challenges liberal talking head Matt Lauer to a battle of wits ... but one of them came unarmed.

Special Election for Wonderling seat set for Sept. 29

Voters in the 24th state Senate District will go to the polls on Tuesday, Sept. 29, to pick a successor to state Sen. Rob Wonderling, who is leaving the Senate for a job in the private sector.

Lt. Gov. Joe Scarnati, who is also Senate Pro Tempore, made the decision to hold a special election instead of waiting until the Nov. 3 General Election.

That means county officials in Montgomery, Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties will have to gear up for two elections within five weeks.

Scarnati's decision was criticized by Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortes, a Gov. Ed Rendell appointee.

"At a time when the state is facing a $3.2 billion budget deficit and the legislature is considering dramatic budget cuts, I am greatly concerned that a costly special election was scheduled just five weeks prior to the Nov. 3 general election," Cortes said.

The Department of State estimates the cost of the special election to range from $250,000 to $375,000, all of which will be underwritten by Pennsylvania taxpayers, Cortes said.

If Mensch wins the Senate seat, then another special election will be called to fill Mensch's House seat, Cortes points out.

Wonderling resigned his Senate seat on July 28 to take the job as president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

The Republican candidate to succeed Wonderling state Rep. Bob Mensch, who currently represents the 147th District.

There are no announced Democratic candidates.

Rep. Sam Smith: No reason to raise taxes

From an op-ed column by House Republican Leader Sam Smith published in The Pottstown Mercury:
A large majority of Pennsylvanians agree increasing taxes is the wrong thing to do. We also can't spend what we don't have. That means the state can spend somewhere around $27.3 billion.

We think $27.3 billion is a lot of money and can ensure government operations continue. It's enough to keep state parks open and hospitals operating. It's enough to deal with hazardous waste, and it's enough to keep law enforcement on the streets. If it isn't, we should be looking at why, not throwing more money at it.

Government spending is out of control, and the governor and most House Democrats want to continue their recklessness. Republicans recognize the money that is funding the state and schools comes from your pocket. We believe in budgetary constraint by having government live within its means, just like you have to do.

Republicans will fight against Gov. Rendell's proposed tax increase — $27.3 billion is MORE than enough.
Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rep. Reichley: House GOP Opposes Tax-Laden Budget

Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh), Republican vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement in response to recent comments by Gov. Ed Rendell claiming that three of the four caucuses in the General Assembly support tax increases:
"Since the House non-concurrence vote on July 21, the governor has been saying that Senate Republicans are the only caucus opposed to a 16 percent hike in the Personal Income Tax. That is flat-out wrong and a distortion of the position of House Republicans.

"Don't believe the governor's spin: his stubborn insistence on a tax increase has caused Pennsylvania to miss its constitutional deadline for a balanced budget for seven years in a row. The fact that 48 House Republicans voted to non-concur on a Senate-passed budget plan does not equate to their support for new taxes. It means that some Republican members want to see a budget bill that is different than what was inserted into House Bill 1416 by the Senate. It does not mean they support increased spending or new revenue to pay for it.

"The governor and House Democratic leadership are trying to force rank-and-file members to vote for a tax increase they don't support. Let's consider who's to blame for not bringing a balanced budget bill to the House floor until July 17. The governor and Democratic leaders have shown their willingness to hold college tuition funding hostage if they do not vote for a tax increase. Their demand for a tax increase is the reason we do not have a budget and the reason state employees risk not being paid Friday.

"House and Senate Republicans have stood firm in opposition to a budget that spends more than last year. The conferees are now appointed. It is time for the governor to give up his reckless pursuit of a tax increase and to work with the Legislature to resolve the budget impasse."

Rep. Pitts: Obama insults doctors

'Talking Politics' with Christopher Freind

Investigative reporter/columnist Christopher Freind will be the guest this week on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" Thursday at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

Freind authors hard-hitting investigative reports and writes a commentary column for The Philadelphia Bulletin branded "Freindly Fire". He tackles issues with a fire and passion not often found, and exposes cowards, frauds and hypocrites in politics, business, sports, entertainment and yes - the media.

Listeners can call in with questions or comments during the live broadcast at 610-326-4000.

You can also listen to the program online by going to and clicking on the "live audio" button at the top of the page or you can listen to it at The Mercury Web site at

How's that hope and change working out for you?

In November 2008, Democrat Barack Obama won Berks County by a 54%-45% margin over Republican John McCain. Obama overwhelming won the City of Reading, where Democrats hold a huge voter registration advantage.

Fast-forward six months later.

From a story by Tony Lucia in the Reading Eagle:
Unemployment continued to climb in Reading and in Berks County during June, according to data supplied by the state Department of Labor and Industry Monday.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in the county rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 9.2 percent. May's rate, originally reported as 9.1 percent, was revised to 9.0 percent. In June 2008, Berks' unemployment rate was 5.1 percent.

Reading's rate was again the third-highest of the state's 80 largest municipalities, at 13.7 percent, up from 13.4 percent a month earlier. The highest rates remained Hazleton's (14.4 percent) and York's (14 percent). Pennsylvania reported an 8.3 percent rate for June, and the U.S. rate was 9.5 percent.

Berks County's rate was nearly the worst of the state's 14 major labor market areas, topped only by Erie at 9.6 percent.

After A Government Health Care Takeover

The Investigative Project on Terrorism: Radical Islamic Groups Backed by Members of Congress

The Investigative Project on Terrorism: Radical Islamic Groups Backed by Members of Congress

New Americans in the Keystone State: Pennsylvania's Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians Are a Political and Economic Powerhouse

New Americans in the Keystone State: Pennsylvania's Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians Are a Political and Economic Powerhouse

Socialized Medicine Is Coming

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Pushes for Senate Bill to Assist Family Caregivers of the Most Severely Injured Veterans

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Pushes for Senate Bill to Assist Family Caregivers of the Most Severely Injured Veterans

'This will be one of the biggest boondoggles in the history of man'

RetireSafe Blasts AARP for Supporting Plan to Pay for Health Care on the Backs of Seniors

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 Maps 7,000 Congressional Earmarks So Far Maps 7,000 Congressional Earmarks So Far

CQ Releases Race Ratings Report for 2010 House Elections

CQ Releases Race Ratings Report for 2010 House Elections

RetireSafe Blasts AARP for Supporting Plan to Pay for Health Care on the Backs of Seniors

RetireSafe Blasts AARP for Supporting Plan to Pay for Health Care on the Backs of Seniors

Senate Committee Vote to Confirm Sotomayor Supreme Court Appointment an Outrage and the full Senate Should Reject the Nomination, says Right to Self-Defense Advocate

Senate Committee Vote to Confirm Sotomayor Supreme Court Appointment an Outrage and the full Senate Should Reject the Nomination, says Right to Self-Defense Advocate

Rep. Sam Smith: PA residents pay enough taxes

Rep. Sam Rohrer: Local taxpayers lose under Rendell education funding plan

Nobody knows more about the tax burden facing Pennsylvania residents than state Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks, who has led the fight to eliminate school property taxes.

To counter the propaganda the Rendell Administration has been putting out concerning school funding under a no-tax budget supported by Republican lawmakers, Rohrer has released information showing that local taxpayers would pay more than $6 in increased taxes to the state for every $1 in increased education funding under a state budget proposal being championed by Gov. Ed Rendell.

From a press release issued by Rohrer:
"The governor's proposal amounts to a fleecing of local taxpayers," Rohrer said. "He talks about how much extra money he wants to spend on schools. What he forgets to tell everyone is how much it will cost them. Paying $6 to get $1 back is a raw deal, no matter how the governor tries to sell it."

House and Senate Republicans have offered budget proposals that would increase funding for education without raising any state taxes or forcing school districts to raise taxes. Rendell has advanced a proposal that would provide more excessive increases in state funding for education, but his plan would require a 16 percent increase in the state Personal Income Tax (PIT). Rendell's proposal would raise the PIT rate from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent.

While local schools would receive an additional $3 million in state funding under Rendell's proposal, local taxpayers would pay an additional $20 million through the state PIT.

"Families in the Wilson School District would have to pay more than $5 million in increased taxes to get a little more than $600,000 in increased funding for their local schools," Rohrer said. "That means they'd pay more than $4.4 million in excess taxes that would not go to their local schools. In every local school district, the governor would collect excess taxes, sending less back for local schools than he took through the increased income tax. Under the governor's proposal, local residents would pay more than $16.5 million in increased income taxes that would not benefit one local school, teacher or student."

Rohrer noted that, unlike taxpayers in Berks County school districts, those in the governor's hometown school district in Philadelphia would actually benefit from Rendell's proposal. Under the governor's scheme:

· Philadelphia residents would pay approximately $89 million in increased state income taxes.

· Philadelphia schools would receive a more than $193 million increase in state education funding.

That means Philadelphia schools would receive more than $100 million more in funding than Philadelphia taxpayers would have to pay through the increased income tax.

"The governor's education funding proposal seems to be another attempt to take money from local taxpayers and funnel it to Philadelphia schools," Rohrer said. "For every dollar the governor takes from local taxpayers, he would return approximately 15 cents to local schools. I guess now at least we know where the other 85 cents would go."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Truth About Obamacare

What the Liberal Media Aren't Telling You About Obama's Healthcare Plans: Visit

Senior House Democrat: 'What good is reading the bill…?'

Things have deteriorated so much in Washington since Democrats took control of Congress that the Democratic doormats who populate the halls of Congress don't even have to pretend anymore that they know what they're doing.

Via CNS News, check out the video above of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) in his own words:

"I love these members, they get up and say, 'Read the bill,'" said Conyers. "What good is reading the bill if it's a thousand pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?" (CNS News, 7/27/09)

From the Republican Study Committee:
A better question might be, why not take the time to read and understand the bill so the American people can know what's in it before their health care gets taken over by the government? If it takes a senior member of Congress two lawyers to figure out the Democrat health care bill, how are middle class families expected to fare in their search for quality care?

Americans have a lot of questions about the Democrats' plans for health care, but it doesn't sound like they'll be getting any answers from Chairman Conyers.

Illegal-Immigrant Population Declines

Illegal-Immigrant Population Declines

FRC Action to Host Webcast on the Government Takeover of Health Care

FRC Action to Host Webcast on the Government Takeover of Health Care

Distracted Driving the Top Reason that 35 Percent of Drivers Feel Less Safe than Five Years Ago, According to the AAA Foundation

Distracted Driving the Top Reason that 35 Percent of Drivers Feel Less Safe than Five Years Ago, According to the AAA Foundation

A peek inside Obamcare

The detailed flow chart above shows the complex health care reform proposal by Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats.

The chart identifies at least 31 new federal programs, agencies, commissions and mandates that accompany the unprecedented government takeover of health care in America.

"Why should any patient be forced to give control of their health care over to this Faustian pit of Washington bureaucracy?" asked Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), the lead House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee.

"This government takeover has only one guaranteed result: to tell Americans what doctors you can see, what treatments you deserve and what medicines you can have."

These new levels of government bureaucracy, agencies, organization and programs will all be put directly between the patient and their health care.

This is why Obama and Nancy Pelosi are trying to rush the 1,018-page bill through Congress before anyone has a chance to read it or property debate it. Don't let them railroad your family's health care. Stop Obamcare now.

Why would you trust Obama?

Rep. Joe Pitts: Another Government Takeover

Another Government Takeover

By Congressman Joe Pitts

Everywhere I go, people tell me they’re worried about the direction our country is headed. So far in this Congress, all we’ve seen are bailouts and government takeovers.

We are taking over or nationalizing huge sections of our economy. We have nationalized the banking industry and the financial sector. We have nationalized the home mortgage industry. We have taken over the auto companies. We are well on our way to nationalizing the energy sector with a deeply flawed cap and trade plan.

Now President Obama and Democrat leaders in Congress want to nationalize the health care sector by putting government bureaucrats and politicians in charge of health decisions best left up to you and your doctor.

These bailouts and government takeovers will not lead our nation back to prosperity. Indeed, they will mean just the opposite—fewer jobs, massive government spending, and debt piled on our kids and grandkids.

We need healthcare reform in the United States, but we need the right kind of reform. We do not need the government to take over yet one more industry, especially one as fundamental to your quality of life as healthcare.

During the worst recession in a generation my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are proposing a government takeover of health care that will lead to fewer jobs, higher taxes, and less health coverage.

Since the recession began, six million jobs have been lost. Yet the plan being put forward by Democrats in the House includes hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax hikes on small businesses. Historically, small businesses are the engine of job creation. Killing them with a massive new tax will hurt all of us. The plan in the House calls for up to $800 billion in new tax hikes.

According to economic modeling by the president's own chief economic advisor, the business tax hikes alone would destroy up to 4.7 million jobs.

The President has claimed the Democrats’ healthcare reform proposals will reduce costs—in fact, it is a key centerpiece of his rhetoric on the issue. Despite these claims the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has directly refuted this notion. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told Congress that the Democrats' proposed reform will not reduce costs and will instead increase future federal spending on health care.

Congress isn’t even attempting to fix the already unsustainable government spending on healthcare before creating a massive new entitlement. The Medicare Trustees have told Congress the government-run health plan for seniors will go insolvent by 2017 without changes.

Yet, even with the massive increases in borrowing and spending, the plan will not cover everyone and will force some people off their current plans, even if they like their current coverage.

An independent analysis by the non-partisan Lewin Group found that 114 million Americans would lose their current health insurance. This is because businesses will pull their employee health benefits once a public option becomes available. Again, in spite of President Obama’s promise to the American people that if you like your current coverage, you can keep it.

The American people want real solutions to get our economy back on track, not another excuse to raise taxes on small businesses and working families. Too often today, insurance companies make healthcare decisions best left to doctors and patients. This is wrong, and the only thing worse would be putting Washington bureaucrats between patients and the care they need, which is what this plan would do.

I want to make healthcare coverage portable, so that you can take it from one job to another. Better yet, we should end the discriminatory tax treatment that provides a tax benefit to companies for providing healthcare, but not individuals for buying their own. I think we ought to allow individuals to band together to pool risk, which will reduce costs. Individuals ought to be able to buy insurance across state lines if they find a plan that works for them. We should be promoting healthcare IT, which has the potential to cut down on errors and increase the potential of preventative care. We should pass medical malpractice reform to reduce costs from lawsuits and reduce the spending from doctors having to practice defensive medicine.

I believe we can reform healthcare in a way that expands access to affordable care and gives families the freedom to choose the health care that fits their needs - without imposing a job-killing tax hike on small businesses and working families.

Rep. Joe Pitts is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District in parts of Chester, Berks and Lancaster counties.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'Night Out Against Crime' on Aug. 4

Central Berks Regional Police will host "Night Out Against Crime 2009" on Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the A Field at Filbert and High streets in Pennside.

All residents of Mount Penn and Lower Alsace are invited to attend this free event, featuring displays by Central Berks Police, local fire companies and ambulance service and a variety of fun and informative presentations, including a medical helicopter, K9 demo, Berks D.A., Forensic Unit and more.

Refreshments will also be served and there will be activities for children.

If you can't attend the event, police remind you to turn on porch lights on the evening of Aug. 4 to help prevent crime.

Department of Aging Urges Citizens to Report Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults

Calls to the Elder Abuse Hotline, 1-800-490-8505, can be made anonymously.

Department of Aging Urges Citizens to Report Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Poll: Obama job approval dips below 50%

What goes up must come down, but how quickly the might Obama has fallen.

From Rasmussen Reports:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 30% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -8.

Just 25% believe that the economic stimulus package has helped the economy.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve.

Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Today marks the first time his overall approval rating has ever fallen below 50% among Likely Voters nationwide. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of Democrats continue to approve of the President’s performance while 80% of Republicans disapprove. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 37% offer a positive assessment. The President earns approval from 51% of women and 47% of men.
Read more about Obama's job approval at Rasmussen Reports.

Weekly Republican Address: An alternative to Obamacare

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivers the weekly Republican address on the need to make health care more affordable and accessible in America and the GOP's plan to reduce costs, increase access, improve the quality of patient care, and preserve the doctor-patient relationship.

Friday, July 24, 2009

FRC Deplores House Vote to Fund Planned Parenthood

There's money to be made in performing abortions and Planned Parenthood is raking in your tax dollars.

FRC Deplores House Vote to Fund Planned Parenthood

Leading Democrat: Obama is scamming the American people on health care

American Legion wants no part of Obamacare

The national commander of the nation's largest veterans service organization says military and veterans health care should not be part of any national health care bill.

Reacting Barack Obama's urgent call for immediate Congressional approval of a government-run health care system, American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein issued the following statement:
"While The American Legion appreciates the complexity of the health care reform challenge facing the President and Congress, on behalf of our nation's 26 million veterans and the nearly 2 million personnel now on active duty in more than 130 countries, we urge Congress to ensure that veterans' and military health care not be part of any national health care bill. They should be exempt in the legislation."

Rehbein added, "Our nation must maintain its long standing tradition that veterans' and military health care systems will remain independent and focused on our most deserving citizens.

"The American Legion has a proud tradition of securing and preserving the earned benefits of America's veterans," continued Rehbein. "Ensuring timely access to quality health care for today's military and veterans is of paramount concern. These are the citizens who have borne our battles in previous wars as they still are in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have earned our care the hard way. We, as a nation, have an obligation to ensure that their health care is not compromised," he concluded.
With a current membership of 2.6 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and the mentoring of youth. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
For more information about the American Legion visit its Web site,

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Law Enforcement Alliance Takes on President Obama for Unseemly Assault on Police

Law Enforcement Alliance Takes on President Obama for Unseemly Assault on Police

Rev. Peterson to Obama: 'Apologize to Cambridge Police!'

Rev. Peterson to Obama: 'Apologize to Cambridge Police!'

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obama: 'Nothing we would have done differently'

'Talking Politics' marks 1-year anniversary

And they said it wouldn't last. SE Pennsylvania's No. 1 political radio talk show celebrates its one-year anniversary today.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. will be the guest on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas and Mike Pincus" at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

Castor will discuss the county's fiscal problems under the leadership of Jim Matthews/Joe Hoeffel and his interest in running for the state Senate.

Listeners can call in with questions or comments during the live broadcast at 610-326-4000.

You can also listen to the program online by going to and clicking on the "live audio" button at the top of the page or you can listen to it at The Mercury Web site at

The Truth About Obamacare

The Institute for Health Freedom wants Americans to know what's included in the Obamacare bill making its way through Congress:
* Eliminates Existing Private Insurance Coverage (i.e., Eliminates Your Choice of Insurance that Is Not "Acceptable" to the Federal Government, But Is Just Fine With You and Your Family)

* Includes the AMA-Backed/Insurance Industry-Backed Mandate for Individuals to Purchase Health Insurance

* Denies Coverage for Unlicensed Alternative Providers

* Paves the Way for Use of Machine-Readable Health-Plan ID Cards for Everyone

* Establishes a "Real Time" Data System (to Determine Financial Responsibility and Eligibility for Health Care)

* Promotes Child Home Visits

* Moves 83.4 million people from private to public insurance

* Includes a Single-Payer Health-Care Amendment

* Requires Everyone to Buy a Health Plan Essentially Written by the Federal HHS Secretary
Read more at the link below:

Mandate for Health Insurance: Inconvenient Truths About How It Will Affect You and Your Family

Sign 'Free Our Health Care Now' petition

Stop the government takeover of health care before it's too late.

As a part of a better solution to health reform, the National Center for Policy Analysis is taking an active role in "promoting consumer-driven health care options by supporting a national petition drive to educate citizens."

The "Free Our Health Care Now" petition has already been signed by more than 620,000 people opposed to a government nationalization of our health care system:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Toomey Campaign Launches Hypocrisy Alert

From the Toomey For Senate campaign:
U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey launched the first video in an ongoing series called "Hypocrisy Alert," highlighting Arlen Specter's political opportunism on some of the most important issues facing the country today.

In the two-and-a-half months since Senator Specter became a Democrat, he has quickly demonstrated that he will assume any position, support any party, violate any principle so long as it furthers his own political career. As a nascent Democrat, facing the prospect of a primary, Senator Specter is now kowtowing to the far left element of his new party. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better than Senator Specter's opportunism.

States Seek to Connect Owners to Unredeemed Savings Bonds

States Seek to Connect Owners to Unredeemed Savings Bonds

Overall Crime Up Slightly in 2008, PSP Reports

Overall Crime Up Slightly in 2008, PSP Reports

'Talking Politics' with Bruce L. Castor Jr.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. will be the guest on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas and Mike Pincus" at 5 p.m. Thursday on WPAZ 1370 AM

Castor will discuss the county's fiscal problems under the leadership of Jim Matthews/Joe Hoeffel and his interest in running for the state Senate.

Listeners can call in with questions or comments during the live broadcast at 610-326-4000.

You can also listen to the program online by going to and clicking on the "live audio" button at the top of the page or you can listen to it at The Mercury Web site at

Poll: U.S. headed in 'wrong direction' under Obama

The honeymoon is officially over. On the six-month anniversary of start of Barack Obama presidency, a new Associated Press-GfK Poll finds a majority of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Asked if they would say the country is heading in the "right direction" or in the "wrong direction," 54% of Americans say the nation is headed in the "wrong direction." That's up from 46% in June.

I love the headline on AP's story on their own poll: "Great hopes for Obama fade to reality"

The reality is that Obama has made more mistakes in six months than presidents make over eight years. On the economy, social issues and foreign policy, Obama has made one disastrous decision after another.

And despite having the mainstream media run interference for him, the American people have finally figured out that Obama is all style and no substance.

From the Associated Press story by Nancy Benac and Trevor Tompson:
In Obama's case, the problems he's confronting domestically and internationally are legion, and his ability to blame them on his predecessor is fading. Challenges still abound in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unemployment, at 7.6 percent in January, hit 9.5 percent in June and is expected to keep rising well into next year. Almost 4 percent of homeowners with mortgages are in foreclosure, and an additional 8 percent are at least a month behind on payments — the highest levels since the Great Depression.
The president is deep into the debate over how to overhaul the nation's health care system, and people are nervous about how their own insurance could be affected. Obama's critics are accusing him of conducting a risky "rand experiment" that will hurt the economy and could force millions to drop their current coverage.
And it's not just Obama who is slipping in the polls.

The job approval of the Democratically-controlled Congress — already historic low levels — continues to slide, dropping 6 percentage points to 32 percent, according to the poll.

Read the full poll results at the AP-GfK Poll Web site

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rendell job approval drops

Highlights from the latest Quinnipiac University poll:
* Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's job approval rating has shrunk to its lowest level ever, 39 - 53 percent negative, and voters see him as most responsible for the state's budget mess.

* Voters also reject 63 - 33 percent the governor's call to raise the state income tax temporarily to balance the budget.

* State Attorney General Tom Corbett has the best name recognition among Republican contenders in the 2010 Governor's race, while there is no clear leader in the Democratic field.

* Rendell is most to blame for the budget stalemate, 30 percent of voters say, while 17 percent blame the Republicans in the Legislature; 11 percent blame the Democrats and 28 percent blame everyone equally.

* Pennsylvania voters disapprove 57 - 27 percent of the job the State Legislature is doing, close to the all time worst score of 60 - 26 percent October 5, 2005.
Read the full survey results at the Quinnipiac University Web site.

Where are the jobs Obama promised?

Please Hold

Members of Congress who pledge to read health care reform before voting on it

Let Freedom Ring, a free-market advocacy group headed by former Chester County Commissioner Colin Hanna, has set up a Web site where members of Congress can sign a pledge to read health care reform legislation before voting on it.

This is a big deal considering nobody in Congress who voted for the failed "stimulus" bill bothered to read it before voting to support it.

So far, just 72 members of Congress have signed the Responsible Healthcare Reform Pledge, but more are being added daily.

From Pennsylvania, four Republicans -- Reps. Charlie Dent, Jim Gerlach, Joe Pitts and Todd Platts -- have signed.

Are you surprised that not a single Democrat from Pennsylvania has signed the pledge? Why should they? They rubber-stamped everything Barack Obama sends down the pike. Talk about the blind leading the blind.

For more information, check out

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Monday, July 20, 2009

Surprising voter turnout totals from 2008

Remember all the media hype about Obama bringing out tons of new voters? It didn't happen.

The share of eligible voters who actually went to the polls in November 2008 declined from November 2004, according to new U.S. Census figures.

A total of 63.6 percent of eligible voters, or 131.1 million people, cast ballots in the contest between Barack Obama and John McCain last November. The voter turnout in 2004 for the George W. Bush-John F. Kerry showdown was 63.8 percent.

While the total number of votes cast was higher by 5 million, the turnout was down, especially among older white Americans, according to the Census Bureau.

This is a case where people voted with their feet and none of the above resulted in Barack Obama as president. How's that "hope and change" working out for you now?

"The 2008 presidential election saw a significant increase in voter turnout among young people, blacks and Hispanics," said Thom File, a voting analyst with the Census Bureau's Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division. "But as turnout among some other demographic groups either decreased or remained unchanged, the overall 2008 voter turnout rate was not statistically different from 2004."

Read more from the new report, Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008, at the link below:

Voter Turnout Increases by 5 Million in 2008 Presidential Election, U.S. Census Bureau Reports

Poll: Cost, not universal coverage, tops health care concerns

This is directed at Barack Obama and his merry band of socialists in Congress.

A new Rasmussen poll finds that 61% of voters nationwide say that cost -- not universal coverage -- is the biggest health care problem facing the nation today.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 21% believe the lack of universal health insurance coverage is a bigger problem.

More from Rasmussen Reports:
Only 10% believe the quality of care is the top concern, and two percent (2%) point to the inconvenience factor of dealing with the current medical system.

Given a choice between health care reform and a tax hike or no health care reform and no tax hike, 47% would prefer to avoid the tax hike and do without reform. Forty-one percent (41%) take the opposite view.

The opposition is stronger when asked about a choice between health care reform that would require changing existing health insurance coverage or no health care reform and no change from current coverage. In that case, voters oppose reform by a 54% to 32% margin.
It's time for every American to contact their members of Congress and tell them to put a stop to Obamacare. This is a case where the "cure" is far worse than the disease.

For more poll results, visit Rasmussen Reports.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rep. Milne: Democats jeopardize higher ed funding

Higher Education Funding in Jeopardy

By Rep. Duane D. Milne

Both as a state representative and an educator, I am outraged by the political stunt being pulled with the state budget by the leaders of the Democrat Party in the state House of Representatives, who currently control the agenda in the House. Recently approved House Bill 1416 is a short-term stunt that, if left unchallenged, will wreak devastating long-term effects on Pennsylvania's higher education system, our critical workforce development needs, and even our very economic competitiveness as a state. Simply put, House Bill 1416 is an irresponsible political ploy.

What's happening is that the House Democratic leadership is forcing through a state budget bill (House Bill 1416) that allegedly balances the state's budget and miraculously "solves" the state's $3 billion dollar budget deficit. Problem is, this bill "solves" the problem by eliminating state funding for all state universities and community colleges as well as the state share of funding for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), which is an irreplaceable source of low-interest loans for students and their families.

That's right: completely stripping these entities of their state funding. Absent any state funding, students' tuition would have to triple to make up for this uncalled for revocation of revenue. When pressed for answers as to if and how higher education will be funded, the only response from these Democrat leaders is essentially: don't worry about it, we'll deal with it another day (i.e., there is no plan). That's not leadership, and that's not responsible policymaking.

What's particularly disturbing about this development is its timing. From the very beginning of this budget process, the budget plan for higher education was one area, in the midst of otherwise contentious debates, in which clear and strong consensus had been arrived at as to what level of funding is reasonable and appropriate in this fiscal year. The two separate chambers, the House and the Senate generally were in agreement, and so were Republicans and rank-and-file Democrats. And the higher education community uttered nary a complaint; these stakeholders considered their intended allocation quite fair given the extraordinarily difficult budget year. So, in other words, this part of the budget was basically resolved and it was just a matter of moving on and working toward compromise for the other parts of the budget.

However, this bill suddenly and inexplicably rammed through the House Appropriations Committee at the eleventh hour by these Democrat leaders has shattered this reasonable consensus and does nothing to resolve the budget dilemma our state does face. With the start of the next semester just weeks away, students and their families are now unwitting pawns in the brinksmanship unfolding here in Harrisburg over how to close the deficit and enable the Legislature to meet its constitutional obligation to balance the state budget.

Many believe this plan is also connected with ongoing efforts to force expanded gambling in the state, a scheme which I oppose. In earlier education funding plans, legalization of so-called video poker gambling, and now also proposals to approve table gaming in the state, has been put forth as an alleged "solution" to funding higher education. I have been, and continue to be, opposed to expanding gambling in our state, especially given the machinations to make education funding dependent upon it. This would be a misguided approach to education policy, a quick fix with too many long-term negative consequences, and a bad example for our kids.

I am calling on the Democrat leaders in the House, who currently control the agenda, to end the political charade and to restore the higher education funding in the state budget. The debate over expanded gambling is a separate matter altogether. This is an issue of fairness to Pennsylvania students and their families, and to the institutions of higher education in the state.

Rep. Duane D. Milne is a Republican who represents the 167th House Dist. and is also a political science professor at West Chester University.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Bad Medicine

Why the NRA opposes Sotomayor

From the Web site of the National Rifle Association:

Joint Statement of Wayne Lapierre, Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association; and Chris W. Cox, Executive Director, National Rifle Association – Institute For Legislative Action on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Nomination To The United States Supreme Court
Other than declaring war, neither house of Congress has a more solemn responsibility than the Senate’s role in confirming justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the Senate considers the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Americans have been watching to see whether this nominee – if confirmed – would respect the Second Amendment or side with those who have declared war on the rights of America’s 80 million gun owners.

From the outset, the National Rifle Association has respected the confirmation process and hoped for mainstream answers to bedrock questions. Unfortunately, Judge Sotomayor's judicial record and testimony clearly demonstrate a hostile view of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self-defense guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

It is only by ignoring history that any judge can say that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right and does not apply to the states. The one part of the Bill of Rights that Congress clearly intended to apply to all Americans in passing the Fourteenth Amendment was the Second Amendment. History and congressional debate are clear on this point.

Yet Judge Sotomayor seems to believe that the Second Amendment is limited only to the residents of federal enclaves such as Washington, D.C. and does not protect all Americans living in every corner of this nation. In her Maloney opinion and during the confirmation hearings, she deliberately misread Supreme Court precedent to support her incorrect view.

In last year's historic Heller decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual's right to own firearms and recognizes the inherent right of self-defense. In addition, the Court required lower courts to apply the Twentieth Century cases it has used to incorporate a majority of the Bill of Rights to the States. Yet in her Maloney opinion, Judge Sotomayor dismissed that requirement, mistakenly relying instead on Nineteenth Century jurisprudence to hold that the Second Amendment does not apply to the States.

This nation was founded on a set of fundamental freedoms. Our Constitution does not give us those freedoms – it guarantees and protects them. The right to defend ourselves and our loved ones is one of those. The individual right to keep and bear arms is another. These truths are what define us as Americans. Yet, Judge Sotomayor takes an opposite view, contrary to the views of our Founding Fathers, the Supreme Court, and the vast majority of the American people.

We believe any individual who does not agree that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and who does not respect our God-given right of self-defense should not serve on any court, much less the highest court in the land. Therefore, the National Rifle Association of America opposes the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the position of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Catch Tony Phyrillas on TV Sunday

Two more chances to catch "Journalists Roundtable" on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

The one-hour program, hosted by Bill Bova, can be seen Sunday at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The panel for this week's edition: Tony Phyrillas, city editor of The Pottstown Mercury; Dennis Owens of ABC27 News in Harrisburg; and Erin Halasz of

Consult your local cable guide for the PCN channel in your area.

(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.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Libertarian Party: Sotomayor wrong on gun control

As many suspected, liberal Judge Sonia Sotomayor does not believe the Second Amendment protects a citizen's right to own firearms.

From a press release issued by the Libertarian Party:
America's third largest party reiterated its opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of federal judge Sonia Sotomayor after the nominee refused to give a firm answer on whether individuals have the right of self-defense.

"Is there a constitutional right to self-defense?" Sotomayor asked when questioned by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) whether or not the Constitution guaranteed him the right of self-defense. "I can't think of one. I could be wrong."

"Whether you agree with her position or not, Judge Sotomayor has had no problem stating that things not directly found in the Constitution are 'settled law.' That's why it's troubling that when confronted with a constitutionally-enshrined principle she disagrees with, the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of one’s rights, things are suddenly muddled and up for debate," said Donny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director.

"The Libertarian Party is the only party that never compromises in its defense of our Second Amendment-guaranteed rights. That's why we have opposed Judge Sotomayor's nomination from the moment we reviewed her troubling anti-gun record. Judge Sotomayor's answers Wednesday further show she believes the law should flow from her own personal biases and not the literal wording of the Constitution," said Ferguson.

Judge Sotomayor is the latest in a long line of hardline anti-gun activists nominated by President Obama to government positions where they would have the power to infringe on gun rights. Libertarians also opposed the nominations of anti-gun Attorney General Eric Holder and anti-gun State Department legal adviser Harold Koh.

"The Libertarian Party will hold accountable at the ballot box any senator who votes to confirm Judge Sotomayor. America's nearly 90 million gun owners come from all walks of life and political beliefs – and they decide their vote on this issue. Libertarians look forward to speaking with them about the LP's fundamental belief in gun rights, and their senator's voting record on it," said Ferguson.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, July 17, 2009

PA GOP blasts House Dems, Rendell on budget, taxes

From the Republican Party of Pennsylvania:

Gov. Rendell calls increasing the taxes of hardworking Pennsylvanians 'EASIEST' way to resolve budget crisis

HARRISBURG – Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason was outraged that Democrats in the state House of Representatives advanced an extremely irresponsible budget plan that will result in a drastic increase in government spending and eliminates higher education funding in a cheap political ploy to push for increased taxes.

"Pennsylvanians deserve much better than the bill the House Democrats passed today," Gleason said. "As many Pennsylvanians are struggling to make ends meet, House Democrats made it clear that they want to take more money from Pennsylvania taxpayers at a time when many are making less.

"Governor Ed Rendell and his Democrat colleagues are committed to passing a budget that includes higher taxes and spends more money than any previous budget in the history of our Commonwealth. The Democrats are holding higher education funding and our state employees' hostage in order to get their way!

"According to the Governor today, he sees his plan for a dramatic 16% increase in the personal income tax as the 'easiest' way to resolve the budget crisis. Easy for who? Sorry Governor, but I don't think Pennsylvanians really think that raising their taxes is the 'easiest' solution to the budget crisis. Pennsylvania taxpayers need leaders in Harrisburg who are willing to make the difficult decisions that will not shift the burden of higher spending to our already overtaxed backs!

"Thankfully for hardworking families all across our Commonwealth, Republicans are willing to make the tough decisions and fight for a fiscally responsible state budget that does not raise taxes during these troubled economic times."

Rep. Joe Pitts talks to Fox News about Democrats' hidden abortion mandate

New Ad Campaign: 'Countdown to Job Loss' Highlights Effects of July 24 Minimum Wage Hike

New Ad Campaign: 'Countdown to Job Loss' Highlights Effects of July 24 Minimum Wage Hike

Congress Moves Forward With Tax-Funded Abortion Plans

Congress Moves Forward With Tax-Funded Abortion Plans

PA sheds more jobs in June

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted civilian labor force -- the number of people working or looking for work -- fell by 36,000 in June, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

Resident employment was down 38,000 in June, while unemployment was up 2,000 for the month. Since June 2008, the labor force was up 45,000, the Labor Department reported.

Despite losing another 3,400 jobs last month, Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in June at 8.3 percent, according to the Labor Department.

More from the Labor Dept.'s monthly report:
The state rate remained below the United States' unemployment rate, which increased by one-tenth of a point to 9.5 percent in June. Pennsylvania's rate was up 3.0 percentage points over the year, while the U.S. rate was up 3.9 percentage points.

Since June 2008, Pennsylvania jobs were down 3 percent. Nationally, jobs were down 4.1 percent over the same period.
Follow the link below for more employment numbers:

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: June 2009

Columnist: Obama the moron

Alan Caruba makes a convincing case the U.S. elected a moron for president last November.

I know this will confuse some of you out there because you've been indoctrinated to believe that Barack Obama is the second coming, but the evidence is pretty convincing so far that he just may be the dumbest man to occupy the White House.

From Caruba's column:
So far on Obama's watch:

He has doubled the national debt.

Announced the termination of the space defense system the day after the North Koreans launched an ICBM.

Against the advice and urgings for his own CIA director and the prior four directors, he released information on intelligence gathering.

Announced that he would close Guantanamo without having any idea what to do with its detainees, all of whom are hard-core jihadists. Several of those released have since returned to the terrorist trade.

Spent a lot of time in foreign nations apologizing for things about which most Americans take pride.

Told Mexicans that the violence in their country was our fault because some of the guns they use to kill each other had been purchased in the U.S.

Appointed an Attorney General who orchestrated the forced removal and return to Cuba of a nine-year-old whose mother died to give him a life of freedom in America.

Caused panic in New York by authorizing the flight of Air Force One over New York for a photo you can purchase with Photo Shop for less than a dollar. The flight cost $400.000.
And there's much more. Read the full column at Caruba's Warning Signs blog.

Minimum wage rises to $7.25 this month

Millions of workers in 30 states, including Pennsylvania, will see more in their paychecks soon ... if they still have jobs. U.S. companies have slashed at least 500,000 jobs a week since Obama became president.

Federal minimum wage will increase to $7.25 on July 24

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Doctors Join Patients to Protest at Health Care Freedom Tea Parties July 17; Thousands Join in Nationwide Event

Doctors Join Patients to Protest at Health Care Freedom Tea Parties July 17; Thousands Join in Nationwide Event

The Environmental Impact of Illegal Entry

The Environmental Impact of Illegal Entry

8,000 visitors

My site counter has recorded 8,000 unique visitors since this blog was launched in 2007. Thanks for checking out MOUNT PENN GOP and come back again.

Costello interested in Gerlach seat

Another Chester County Republican officeholder is interested in running for Jim Gerlach's Congressional seat.

A day after state Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155, announced he is a candidate for the seat now held by Gerlach, Chester County Recorder of Deeds Ryan Costello said Wednesday he is exploring a run for Congress.

Gerlach announced Tuesday he will no seek a fifth term so he can pursue the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania governor in 2010.

Costello, an attorney in Phoenixville, was elected Chester County Recorder of Deeds in 2007. He is also the former chairman of the East Vincent Township Board of Supervisors.

"I have a serious interest in the 6th District Congressional seat, and in the coming weeks I'm going to continue to talk to the taxpayers and community and party leaders who I know are equally concerned about the excessive spending in Washington and the ramifications for future generations," Costello said in a prepared statement. "We need to create jobs and promote economic development in the Tri-County region by eliminating regressive business taxes and reducing health care costs for employers so they can begin to grow and prosper again. As Recorder I see first-hand the impact of regional real estate trends on families and seniors and the only way to stimulate the housing market is to stimulate the job market."

Costello used the announcement that he is thinking about running for Gerlach's U.S. House seat, to take a few shots at the big-government atmosphere in Washington, D.C.

"I think the stimulus bill was too much money, spread over too long a period of time, and has been ineffective in lowering unemployment and getting the economy moving again because a majority of the dollars didn't go to a failing transportation and infrastructure system and small businesses who are struggling to keep the lights on," Costello said. "I don't think expansion of government welfare programs is the correct response to our current problems."

More from a press release issued by Costello:
An attorney with the O'Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, P.C., law firm, practicing in their real estate and business departments, Costello also emphasized he has familiarity with the 6th Congressional District.

Born in Phoenixville, and a graduate of Owen J. Roberts high school, Ursinus College, and Villanova law school, Costello remarked, "I am familiar and know the Chester, Montgomery and Berks county region well. My experience as an attorney advocating for economic development projects, and understanding how to get projects done, is a positive attribute to a congressional candidacy in these times. And my elective office experience as a countywide Republican elected official is one I am proud of."

"I know this district well, and having volunteered on each of Congressman Gerlach's campaigns, I know what it will take to keep this a Republican district. I have the energy to run an aggressive campaign, and the experience and intelligence to be a strong, thoughtful candidate with common sense ideas that reflect this diverse district."

A return to fiscal sanity

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Catch Tony Phyrillas on radio & TV Thursday

You can listen to me on the radio and watch me on TV on Thursday.

I'll be returning to "Journalists Roundtable" on the Pennsylvania Cable Network Thursday at 8 p.m. (The program repeats Sunday at 5 and 11 p.m.)

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 local cable guide for the PCN channel in your area.

You can also hear me on the radio on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas and Mike Pincus" Thursday at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

The one-hour broadcast is simulcast online at and

House Democrat's Health Care Reform Bill Is a 1,018-Page Nightmare

House Democrat's Health Care Reform Bill Is a 1,018-Page Nightmare

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

FRC's Tony Perkins Commends Pro-life Lawmakers Who Oppose Federal Funding of Abortion

FRC's Tony Perkins Commends Pro-life Lawmakers Who Oppose Federal Funding of Abortion

Raft of New Tax Increases in House Democrat Health Care Bill Spells Trouble for Taxpayers

ATR Releases List of Tax Hikes in Draft of House Democrat Health Bill

Save the date

Central Berks Regional Police will host "Night Out Against Crime 2009" on Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the A Field at Filbert and High streets in Pennside.

All residents of Mount Penn and Lower Alsace are invited to attend this free event, featuring displays by Central Berks Police, local fire companies and ambulance service and a variety of fun and informative presentations, including a medical helicopter, K9 demo, Berks D.A., Forensic Unit and more.

Refreshments will also be served and there will be activities for children.

If you can't attend the event, police remind you to turn on porch lights on the evening of Aug. 4 to help prevent crime.

Curt Schroder to seek Gerlach seat in Congress

Just hours after U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach announced he will not seek re-election to Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional seat, a fellow Chester County politician announced plans to run for Gerlach's seat.

State Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155th Dist., is seeking the Republican nomination for the 6th Congressional District, which includes portions of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties and a sliver of Lehigh County.

"I have decided to enter this race to ensure that the values that built our country remain for our children, that we encourage the policies of entrepreneurism, limited government and to preserve the economic future of our nation," Schroder said in a written statement.

Schroder added, "America's greatness comes from free enterprise and hard working families, not government bailouts and bureaucracy. I will bring my passion for public service and Pennsylvania values to Washington to better our community and nation."

Gerlach, who is giving up a shot for a fifth term in Congress to run for Pennsylvania governor in 2010, first won the 6th District seat in 2002 but has had a difficult time holding the seat against well-financed Democratic opposition.

Gerlach typically loses the Montgomery County portion of the district, but does well in the more conservative areas of Chester and Berks counties.

Schroder, a fiscal and social conservative, will probably employ the same strategy if he wins the GOP nomination. He's already taken shots of the growing deficits of the Obama administration.

"This binge of bailouts and borrowing will come to an end if I have anything to say about it!" Schroder said.

Here's some background information about Schroder released by his campaign:
A lifelong resident of Chester County, Schroder grew up in the Downingtown area and now lives in East Brandywine with his wife, Deanna, and two children, Mark and Kristen.

After graduating from Downingtown High School in 1979, Curt attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Summers were spent working in the steamy environs of the Davey Paper Company where he earned money for the next year of college. After graduating from IUP in 1983, Curt went to Widener School of Law’s evening division in Wilmington Delaware at night while working for the Philadelphia law firm German, Gallagher and Murtagh during the day. Schroder practiced law with German, Gallagher after graduating law school and passing the bar exam.

First elected to the state House in 1994, Schroder has been an effective advocate for legislative issues and a champion for our communities in Harrisburg. During his time in the legislature, Curt has been a leader in many issues including health care and government reform. Schroder lead efforts to reform medical malpractice and preserve our health care system. Schroder also spearheaded efforts to reform the PA General Assembly and preserve the secret ballot rights of workers.

Schroder believes strongly in community service and serves in a number of community organizations. He serves on the Boards of Brandywine Hospital and Brandywine YMCA. He previously served on the Chester County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board and as a member of the East Brandywine Township Planning Commission.

Schroder has received numerous honors for his work in the House and here at home. He was presented with Leadership Awards from both the Hospital and Healthcare Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and the Delaware Valley Health Care Council, the 2004 Friend of Family Medicine Award from the Academy of Family Physicians, and Legislator of the Year from the Pennsylvania Orthopedic Society.

Schroder received the first Matthew J. Ryan Legislator of the Year Award in 2004 from the Chester County Chamber Foundation. He was named Legislator of the Year by the TriCounty Chamber of Commerce in 2002 and again in 2006. Schroder was honored as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1998 by the Downingtown Chamber of Commerce for his work in revitalizing the Borough. In 2007, Curt was named the first recipient of the Sen. Robert. J. Thompson Public Service Award by the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce and was also presented with the Citizenship Award from the Pennsylvania VFW for his commitment to fostering patriotism. More recently Curt Schroder received recognition from the Upper Uwchlan and West Vincent Township Police Departments for his work on the Route 100 Safety Corridor Project.
No word yet on a "Schroder for Congress" Web site, but you can learn more about his tenure in the state House of Representatives at You can also follow Schroder on Facebook.

Gerlach makes it official: He's running for PA governor

Here is the press release issued today announcing Congressman Jim Gerlach's decicion to run for Pennsylvania governor:
Gerlach Pledges to Create Jobs, Cut Government Spending & Waste and Make Pennsylvania the Leader in America's Energy Independent Future

Exton, PA - Jim Gerlach, a western Pennsylvania native and four-term United States Congressman from Chester County, will run for the Republican nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania next spring. Gerlach is the only Republican to formally declare his candidacy for Governor.

"The economic challenges Pennsylvania faces over the coming years demand proven, fiscally conservative leadership, and a successful record of dealing with a wide-range of tough issues. From cutting state spending, income taxes and welfare rolls, I have been on the front lines for years fighting for smaller government and greater efficiency in Harrisburg and Washington. Our next Governor must employ those values and put them to work in Harrisburg, and make Pennsylvania a competitive place to do business so we can create jobs and put families back to work. It's that simple," said Gerlach.

"The debate in Harrisburg of raising state income taxes by 16 percent, creating a new tax on one of the most promising energy industries in Pennsylvania, and increasing spending in one of the worst budgets in a generation show the need for new leadership. I cannot sit back and Pennsylvania taxpayers cannot afford to allow the proponents of larger, unsustainable government to prevail. One of my top priorities will be to enact results-based budgeting with performance benchmarks on state spending. This will insure that taxpayers aren't funding failing government programs year after year without seeing any return on the investment of their hard-earned dollars. My campaign will focus on restoring fiscal sanity to Harrisburg, increasing accountability and cutting waste, creating jobs and making Pennsylvania the leader in America's energy independent future," Gerlach continued.

"It has been a privilege and an honor to serve the residents of the 6th Congressional District for more than six years. But I believe the best place for me to improve the lives of Pennsylvania's taxpayers, families and seniors is as Governor. It is not a decision I made lightly. However, it became clear after careful deliberation with my wife Karen, our six kids, friends, constituents, party leaders and grassroots folks across the state who want to re-energize our state Republican Party, give voters a choice next spring and create a bright economic future for the next generation of Pennsylvanians."

To date, Congressman Gerlach has secured over $1 million in financial commitments for his gubernatorial run on top of the $200,000 in exploratory funding raised since February. In addition, 100% of his federal campaign funds are transferable to his statewide gubernatorial campaign committee. A formal statewide announcement tour and kick-off fundraising events are being planned for the near future.

"I did not want to wait any longer to make this announcement. I know our team will need plenty of time to formalize our support and organize the campaign's infrastructure. In addition, I know full well how competitive a 2010 open seat congressional race will become, and I owe it to our Party's candidates to ensure they have enough time to raise the money and support to be successful," added Gerlach.

Gerlach is in Washington, D.C. as debate begins on Democrat plans to put government bureaucrats in charge of the nation's healthcare system. Back in February, Gerlach voted against the bloated federal stimulus package and was the first in Pennsylvania to call on Governor Ed Rendell to establish a stimulus oversight commission to protect and monitor billions of dollars in federal aid from waste, abuse and mismanagement.

For more on Gerlach, visit his campaign Web site,