Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekly GOP Address: Sen. Susan Collins on National Security Policy



Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee discusses the Obama administration's failures in dealing with the Christmas Day bomber.

Sen. Collins expresses her incredulity that the bomber was interrogated for only 50 minutes before getting his Miranda rights.

Sen. Collins says, "The Obama administration appears to have a blind spot when it comes to the War on Terrorism. ... Theres no other way to explain the irresponsible, indeed dangerous, decision on Abdulmutallab's interrogation. There's no other way to explain the inconceivable treatment of him as if he were a common criminal. This charade must stop. Foreign terrorists are enemy combatants and they must be treated as such. The safety of the American people depends on it."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas (No. 1)

Obama to GOP: It's All Your Fault

President Obama rumbles with House GOP - Patrick O'Connor and Tim Grieve - POLITICO.com

Ratings down for Obama speech

You get the feeling people have had enough of The Chosen One?

TV ratings for Barack Obama's first State of the Union address were down 7 percent compared to ratings for George W. Bush's first speech.

Doesn't make sense. The media keeps telling us Obama is the most popular person on the planet. There's more people in the U.S. than there were in 2002 and there's more TVs. You'd think Obama's ratings would go through the roof. Nope.

From The Associated Press:
About 48 million viewers watched President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address on 11 networks, with Fox TV drawing the biggest share.

The Nielsen Co. said viewership for Wednesday’s speech was 7 percent lower than for President George W. Bush’s first such address in 2002 but 5 percent higher than for President Bill Clinton’s inaugural State of the Union speech in 1994.

From 9-10 p.m. EST, more than 9.7 million people watched the hour-plus speech on Fox, with ABC drawing 7.6 million viewers, NBC 7.2 million and CBS 6.2 million, according to preliminary Nielsen figures Thursday.

Among the cable news networks, Fox News was the leader with 5.7 million, followed by CNN with 3.3 million and MSNBC with 2.4 million. The speech also was carried live on Telemundo, Univision, BET and CNBC.

Mega Millions comes to PA Sunday

Pennsylvania has found another way to relieve you of that spare dollar sitting in your pocket. Mega Millions tickets go on sale in Pennsylvania starting Jan. 31.

From the Pennsylvania Lottery:
Lottery players can purchase Mega Millions tickets in Pennsylvania starting on Sunday, Jan. 31. The first Mega Millions drawing for Pennsylvania players will be Tuesday, Feb. 2.

"Soon, Pennsylvanians will be able to buy Mega Millions tickets from their local PA Lottery retailers rather than traveling outside of the state," said Lottery Executive Director Ed Trees. "Players will be able to buy tickets for Mega Millions and Powerball, which will give them a chance to play for bigger jackpots four nights a week.

"With a greater number of people playing both games, we can expect to see jackpots roll higher and faster."

The Mega Millions jackpot rolled to an estimated annuity value of $144 million, or $89.5 million cash, for tonight's drawing, which will be the last drawing before Pennsylvania joins Mega Millions.

Mega Millions jackpots start at $12 million, tickets cost $1 per play and drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. EST in Atlanta. Every Tuesday and Friday, Pennsylvania players will be able to see televised Mega Millions drawings on these stations and at these times:
-- Philadelphia - WPVI - 11:25 p.m.
-- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - WNEP - 11 p.m.
-- Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon/York - WGAL - 11:20 p.m.
-- Johnstown/Altoona - WTAJ - 11:20 p.m.
-- Pittsburgh - WTAE - 11:22 p.m.
-- Erie - WJET - 11:20 p.m.
Mega Millions tickets will be available for purchase at more than 8,400 Pennsylvania Lottery retailers, where players already purchase tickets for Powerball and other games. Just as with Powerball, Mega Millions tickets will be available for purchase up to 13 weeks in advance and for the same night's drawing until 9:59 p.m.

The Multi-State Lottery Association, which manages the Powerball game, and the Mega Millions consortium reached an agreement in October 2009 on cross-selling Powerball and Mega Millions across U.S. lottery jurisdictions. Prior to the agreement, individual lotteries could only sell either Powerball or Mega Millions.

'Support Tebow's Super Bowl Ad' Group on Facebook Scoring Touchdown With Fans

'Support Tebow's Super Bowl Ad' Group on Facebook Scoring Touchdown With Fans

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Fact Check of the State of the Union

President's Focus on Putting Americans Back to Work Missing Key Element, Says FAIR

President's Focus on Putting Americans Back to Work Missing Key Element, Says FAIR

Study: Despite 'Spending Freeze,' State of Union Proposals Cost Taxpayers $70 Billion in Cold Cash

Study: Despite 'Spending Freeze,' State of Union Proposals Cost Taxpayers $70 Billion in Cold Cash

Pat Meehan Reaction to State of the Union Address

Pat Meehan, the former U.S. Attorney and candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District, today applauded President Obama's use of the state of the Union to focus on economic and job creation issues, as well as the need for deficit reduction and cutting federal government spending.

"The President continues to say all of the right things," said Meehan. "But the devil will be in the details, because as we have seen over the course of the past year, his words have not translated into meaningful and effective public policy."

"I was sad to see more finger pointing than I thought was appropriate," said Meehan. "Calls for bipartisanship should include real consideration of other opinions. On a range of issues, Republicans have put forward genuine solutions, but Democrats in Congress have used the advantages of their majority and procedural tools to completely shut Republicans outs of the legislative process. That is something that has to change."

"Jobs and the economy need to be our main focus," said Meehan. "We need to invest in programs and initiatives that will have a broad-based impact on the economy. Unfortunately, previous stimulus efforts focused on specific sectors of the economy, leaving many small businesses – which supplied two-thirds of newly created jobs over the past 35 years – to largely fend for themselves."

"Policy initiatives touched on in the address, such as enabling community banks to invest in small businesses and the elimination of the capital gains tax for small business investment hold great promise," said Meehan. "But the top concern of small business owners – particularly in terms of the ability to create new jobs – is lagging sales due to declines in consumer spending. If sales are down, the revenues are simply not there to hire new employees. That is why I believe we need to take a closer look at a temporary elimination of the payroll tax on American workers. This will put more money directly in the hands of consumers to help spur local economies in communities throughout the country – not just specific sectors favored by special interests in Washington. I urge Congress to consider this proposal to help provide small business owners with the jumpstart they need."

"I was also pleased to hear discussion of a small business tax credit for small businesses that hire new workers or raise wages," said Meehan. "But I disagree slightly on the nuance of how such a tax credit would be applied. Studies have shown that a broad job creation tax credit tends to disproportionately benefit larger companies that are already planning to hire new employees, regardless of the availability of the tax credit. As a result, this would tend to help businesses in economic sectors that have already weathered the financial storm. I would much prefer a more targeted tax credit for solo practitioners that would assist them in hiring their first or second employee. Such a focused effort would provide a greater incentive for small entrepreneurs to grow their business, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs."

"Other proposals, such as implementing financial reforms, investing more in basic research, doubling exports, and revitalizing our community colleges all hold great promise," said Meehan. "The challenge will be the ability of Congress to implement these initiatives in a responsible and effective manner. The devil, as they say, will be in the details."

"I was also pleased with the call for a freeze in federal discretionary spending," said Meehan. "It represents a step in the right direction, but the specifics of how this is implemented are extremely important. The American people need to know if this discretionary spending freeze will lock in huge increases in spending levels that occurred last year. For example, if "stimulus" spending is also frozen in place, we will be locking a 66 percent increase in non-defense discretionary spending. That would be unacceptable."

"I also fear that Congressional Democrats will use the rhetoric of a spending freeze to gloss over the need for a true debate over government spending and the need to eliminate non-productive federal spending programs and reign in pork projects," said Meehan. "This is an issue that we will need to watch very closely going forward. We need to hold Congressional Democrats' feet to the fire on the issue of deficit reduction and government spending."

For more information on Meehan, visit www.meehanforcongress.com

FRC Pledges to Oppose President's Proposals to Sexualize the Military, Socialize Child Care and Penalize Married Couples

FRC Pledges to Oppose President's Proposals to Sexualize the Military, Socialize Child Care and Penalize Married Couples

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Climategate: Step by step

A new 149-page report details all the phony data used to promote the global warming hoax.

Climategate: Step by step - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Legislative Per Diems Raise Questions, Criticism

Legislative Per Diems Raise Questions, Criticism|abc27 News

State of the Union: 'Blame Bush'

F&M Poll: Bad News for Obama, Democrats

What's on the minds of Pennsylvania voters?

The latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll has the answers ... and the news is bleak for Barack Obama and the Democrats.

Among the poll highlights:
1) Pennsylvanians continue to express pessimism about the economy. Four in ten (40% compared to 36% in October) say they are financially worse off this year than last, and only a quarter (27%) expects their personal finances to be better off a year from now.

2) Among registered Democrats, Senator Specter leads Joe Sestak (30% to 13%) in the primary race for U.S. Senate, although 50 percent remain undecided. In possible general election match-ups, Pat Toomey leads both Specter (45% to 31%) and Sestak (41% to 19%) among likely voters. Registered Pennsylvanians cite health care (29%) and the economy (24%) as the most important issues in their vote for U.S. Senate.

3) Nearly three in four (72%) Pennsylvania Democrats remain undecided about the primary race for governor. Tom Corbett leads Sam Rohrer (23% to 5%) among Republicans for the gubernatorial nomination, but seven in ten (69%) remain undecided about their preference. Registered Pennsylvanians cite the economy (26%) and taxes (13%) as the most important issues in their vote for governor.

4) Favorability ratings for President Obama have changed slightly since October. His unfavorable rating increased by 5 percentage points, and he is now viewed favorably and unfavorably by equal proportions (44%) of registered Pennsylvanians. Senator Specter's favorability rating has risen slightly to 35 percent (compared to 28% in October), and his unfavorable rating stands at 43 percent (compared to 46% in October).

5) President Obama's job approval in Pennsylvania is the lowest of his presidency, with only 38 percent (compared to 40% in October) saying he is doing an excellent or good job. Senator Specter's job approval has risen slightly to 34 percent (compared to 29% in October), and about three in ten (29%) respondents say he deserves re-election (up from 23% in October). Those who say Specter does not deserve re-election cite his length of service (25%) and party switch (21%) as the main reasons.

6) Pennsylvanians continue to express dissatisfaction with the direction of the state, albeit less so than in October. 53 percent now say the state is off on the wrong track (compared to 60% in October), while 39 percent say the state is headed in the right direction (compared to 32% in October). Nearly eight in ten (78%) registered Pennsylvanians feel state government needs reform, and a similar number (72%) would favor a constitutional convention to review the state's constitution.

7) The job approval rating of the state legislature remains very low with only 16 percent of registered Pennsylvanians indicating it’s doing an excellent or good job, while 74 percent indicate it's doing only a fair or poor job. These figures have changed little since October.
Complete results can be found at http://politics.fandm.edu

State and Local Governments Cut Personnel and Benefits

While federal spending has risen by 24% under Barack Obama, state and local governments are learning to do with less.

State and Local Governments Cut Personnel and Benefits

Republicans rip Eric Holder on Miranda rights for underwear bomber

Republicans rip Eric Holder on Miranda rights for underwear bomber - Kasie Hunt - POLITICO.com

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Poll: Fox is most trusted name in news

You want fair and balanced? Fox News is your only choice as the Mainstream Media has veered toward liberal propaganda.

Poll: Fox is most trusted name in news - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

Video Q&A with Tony Phyrillas

Do you have a question about regional, state or national politics? Tony Phyrillas has the answers and will respond to your question via video posted online at The Mercury’s Web site. If you would like The Mercury's award-winning political columnist and blogger to respond to your question about current topics, e-mail him at tphyrillas@gmail.com and look for Tony's video response on The Mercury's Web site, www.pottsmerc.com

Apocalypse Now

Teen Pregnancy Rate on the Rise

Teen Pregnancy Rate on the Rise

Richard Viguerie: President's Proposal to Freeze Spending is Obama Obfuscation

Richard Viguerie: President's Proposal to Freeze Spending is Obama Obfuscation

Pennsylvania State Police Begin Issuing Computer-Generated Traffic Citations

Pennsylvania State Police Begin Issuing Computer-Generated Traffic Citations

Props for the President at His State of the Union Address

Props for the President at His State of the Union Address

Monday, January 25, 2010

World's Freest Economy? It's Not the U.S.

"When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all." -- Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations"

The United States could do no better than 8th place on the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, jointly published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.

And if Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats have anything to say about it, the U.S. could tumble further down on the list.

For the 16th consecutive year, Hong Kong ranked No. 1 as the world's freest economy, according to the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom.

Hong Kong's "economic freedom score" is 89.7, making its economy the freest among the 179 countries ranked. Singapore retains the second place ranking, followed by Australia and New Zealand. The United States ranks 8th place - behind Canada!

Here's what the authors of the Index had to say about the U.S.:
Its score is 2.7 points lower than last year, reflecting notable decreases in financial freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights. The United States has fallen to 2nd place out of three countries in the North America region.

The U.S. government's interventionist responses to the financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 have significantly undermined economic freedom and long-term prospects for economic growth, according to the authors. "Economic freedom (in the United States) has declined in seven of the 10 categories measured in the Index."
The 2010 Index measures the degree of economic freedom of 179 economies worldwide by assessing 10 factors: Business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom.

Why is Hong Kong ranked No. 1?

The Index says Hong Kong's "competitive tax regime, respect for property rights, and flexible labor market, coupled with an educated and highly motivated workforce, have stimulated an innovative, prosperous economy." The Index also notes that Hong Kong's legal and regulatory framework for the financial sector is "transparent and efficient."

You can download the entire 2010 Index of Economic Freedom for free at http://www.heritage.org/index/

Democrats Turn Letters to Editor into Talking Points Repository

Democrats Turn Letters to Editor into Talking Points Repository, Media Mostly Silent | NewsBusters.org

What is Plan B for the Democrats?

What is Plan B for a political party with no new ideas? Now that Bush-bashing has backfired for the Dems in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, what will the party run on in November?

It's now the Obama recession. It's now Obama's wars. It's now Obama's deficits.

From POLITICO:

After three consecutive losses in statewide races, some top Democrats are questioning a tactic aimed at boosting the party's candidates in each of those contests: Bush-bashing.

"Voters are pretty tired of the blame game," said longtime Democratic strategist Steve Hildebrand, a top aide on Obama's presidential campaign. "What a stupid strategy that was."

Democrats' Bush-bashing strategy goes bust - Jonathan Martin - POLITICO.com

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Taxpayer Group Leads Call for Health Care Transparency Effort

Taxpayer Group Leads Call for Health Care Transparency Effort

Cutting A Deal With the Unions

State Polls Show Voters Opposed to Federal Cap-and-Trade System

State Polls Show Voters Opposed to Federal Cap-and-Trade System

Pennsylvania Unemployment rises to 8.9%

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: December 2009

Governors Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee Join Virtual March for Life

Governors Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee Join Virtual March for Life

Snow Job - Global Warming Lies

You're not going to believe this but a 2007 report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that claimed the Himalayan glaciers are likely to disappear within three decades -- the same report that was the the basis for much of the current hysteria about global warming -- has been found to contain numerous factual errors (aka lies).

The U.N. panel now says there is not enough scientific evidence to back up the report's claims that the Himalayan ice cap is melting because of man-made climate change.

From an editorial in Investor's Business Daily:
Global Warming: The scientists who said that Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035 have admitted the claim has as much credibility as sightings of the mythical Yeti. It's their fraudulent claims that are melting away.

We hesitate to call it Glacier-gate, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. body tasked with scaring us to death about global warming, has admitted that the claim in its 2007 report about the Himalayan glaciers disappearing was not based on any scientific study or research. It was instead based on one scientist's speculation in a telephone interview with a reporter.

The IPCC claimed: "Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of their disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the earth keeps warming at the current rate."

As it turns out, the earth hasn't been warming at all, at least not in the last decade, and reputable scientists have said it may continue to cool for decades to come. Even if it was warming, glaciologists insist, the sheer mass of Himalayan glaciers made such a prediction laughable.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brown: 'This Is the People's Seat'

Brown: 'This Is the People's Seat'

Voters to Obama: Can You Hear Us Now?

If tone-deaf Barack Obama didn't get the message from Virginia and New Jersey voters in November, he got it tonight in Massachusetts.

Who says there's no such thing as a recall election?

Voters in Massachusetts -- the most Democratic state in the country -- changed their mind about Barack Obama by electing a Republican to the U.S. Senate seat held by the Kennedys for a half-century.

Stick a fork in Obamacare. It's done. Say goodbye to Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have retreated to secret underground locations. Howard Dean could be heard screaming all the way from Vermont.

Voters took the Democrats to the woodshed Tuesday for a good old-fashioned whooping over uncontrolled spending and a health-care bill most Americans don't want or need.

Sign the petition to seat Sen. Brown

The people have spoken but Democratic Party bosses will now attempt to keep Scott Brown from taking his place in the U.S. Senate as the rightful elected representative of the people of Massachusetts.

(When Ted Kennedy won a special election in 1962 he was seated the next day.)

Sign the online petition demanding an end to the one-party rule of Democrats in Congress.

For more, visit SeatSenatorBrown.com

Scott Brown takes early lead in Mass. race

We may be witnessing the biggest political upset since Truman defeated Dewey.

With 60 percent of the vote in, Republican Scott Brown is ahead of his heavily-favored Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, in a special election to fill the remainder of Sen. Ted Kenney's unexpired term

The Massachusetts Senate seat has been held by the Kennedys since the early 1950s.

With 60 percent of precincts reporting, Brown has 53 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Coakley.

The Associated Press calls the race "a referendum on President Barack Obama's sweeping health care overhaul and his first year in office."

From the wire service:
A loss — or even a narrow victory — by the once-favored Coakley for the seat that the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy held for nearly half a century in this Democratic stronghold could signal big political problems for the president's party this November when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.

More immediately at stake was a critical 60th vote for the Democrats' supermajority, which is needed to save their health care legislation and the rest of Obama's agenda. The Democrats can't afford to lose a seat because a 41st Republican in the 100-member Senate could allow the Republicans to use procedural maneuvers to block votes on legislation.

The election transformed reliably Democratic Massachusetts into a battleground state. One day shy of the first anniversary of Obama's swearing-in, it played out amid a backdrop of animosity and resentment from voters over persistently high unemployment, industry bailouts, exploding federal budget deficits and partisan wrangling over health care.

The Stakes in Massachusetts



The Stakes in Massachusetts

By Bill Wilson
Americans for Limited Government


The stakes in today's senatorial election in Massachusetts could not be higher.

In the short term, the status of the Democrat's filibuster-proof majority in the Senate is directly dependent upon the outcome. In the immediate term, the government takeover of the health care industry will likely be determined. And, in the long term, the very existence of the free enterprise system hands in the balance.

If the Democrat candidate, Massachusetts' Attorney General Martha Coakley, wins "the Kennedy seat," as she likes to call it, the status quo will be preserved. And the Obama agenda will be pushed forward with all haste, regardless of its popularity, or lack of the same, as evidenced by the escalating health care push despite popular opposition now at nearly 60 percent.

If Republican candidate, State Senator Scott Brown, pulls the upset the latest polls suggest, not only would passage of "Obamacare" be severely jeopardized, the Obama agenda would suffer a critical, perhaps even fatal, blow. And Washington politicians who heretofore were inclined to ignore local opposition to Washington hegemony would be forced to reevaluate their votes – or their careers.

Up until now, the politicians have shown little short of open disdain for the crescendo of popular outrage over the Obama-orchestrated expansion of the federal government. When "Tea Partiers" and their millions of like-minded supporters nationwide, rallied against TARP, deficit spending, TALF, Obamacare, and the government's takeovers of the banking, housing, investment, and automotive industries, they were scorned as "un-American" (Pelosi), "evil-mongers" (Reid), and "game players" who "drive a truck" (Obama).

Important debates on health care, the increase in the national debt, and increased deficit spending were staged in highly unusual weekend sessions. Key votes were intentionally scheduled for the middle of the night. And negotiations were held behind closed doors in direct violation of Obama's pledge of C-SPAN broadcast "transparency."

With the shock of Brown's ascendancy, however, the politician's disdain began to subside. And a Brown victory today would force scores of Senate and House members to decide whether their own political futures were worth continuing to support Obama's heavy-handed attempt to radically expand the size and scope of government.

So, the stakes in Massachusetts today could not be higher. Truly responsive government, nationalized health care, and the future of the free enterprise system hang in the balance. While this paper does not endorse candidates, it does embrace the idea that the Massachusetts' senatorial election is not about "the Kennedy seat" – any more than installing lockstep government control is the politicians' prerogative.

And we hope the Democrats in Washington keep that in mind as the vote comes in.

Michael Reagan Named Honorary Chairman of FairTax National Victory Campaign

Michael Reagan Named Honorary Chairman of FairTax National Victory Campaign

Richard Viguerie: Voters in a Foul Mood; President Obama Taking Democrats Off a Cliff MANASSAS, Va., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Richard Viguerie: Voters in a Foul Mood; President Obama Taking Democrats Off a Cliff

Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Staff Sgt. Matthew N. Ingham

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Orders Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Staff Sgt. Matthew N. Ingham

Myths of Disaster Relief

Myths of Disaster Relief

Sign petition to repeal Obamacare

More than 5,000 people have signed the Club for Growth Repeal It! petition to stop Obamacare.

The campaign encourages citizens, candidates, and lawmakers to pledge to support the repeal and replacement of any health care takeover passed by Congress this year.

As of today, the Repeal It! pledge has been signed by:

20 sitting members of Congress;
69 House and Senate candidates; and,
More than 5,800 American citizens

Sign the petition at http://www.repealit.org/

Monday, January 18, 2010

'Why Martin Luther King Was Republican'

A timely and thought-provoking column posted at HumanEvents.com by Frances Rice, chairwoman of the National Black Republican Association, on how the Democratic Party has taken advantage of blacks for decades.

From Rice's op-ed:
Democrats have been running our inner-cities for the past 30 to 40 years, and blacks are still complaining about the same problems. More than $7 trillion dollars have been spent on poverty programs since Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty with little, if any, impact on poverty. Diabolically, every election cycle, Democrats blame Republicans for the deplorable conditions in the inner-cities, then incite blacks to cast a protest vote against Republicans.

In order to break the Democrats' stranglehold on the black vote and free black Americans from the Democrat Party's economic plantation, we must shed the light of truth on the Democrats. We must demonstrate that the Democrat Party policies of socialism and dependency on government handouts offer the pathway to poverty, while Republican Party principles of hard work, personal responsibility, getting a good education and ownership of homes and small businesses offer the pathway to prosperity.
Read the full column at the link below:

Why Martin Luther King Was Republican - HUMAN EVENTS

'Massachusetts Miracle' Video Goes Viral



'Massachusetts Miracle' Video Goes Viral

Friday, January 15, 2010

Union Tax Deal a Slap in the Face to Small Business

From the National Small Business Association:
The announcement late yesterday that the White House brokered a deal with unions to exempt them from the proposed excise tax on so-called "Cadillac" plans delivered a stinging punch to small business. A key concern of small businesses, NSBA has repeatedly called on Congress and the administration to seek alternative methods of paying for the bill as the excise tax will more than likely be passed on to small businesses.

"Contrary to all the pro small-business rhetoric we've heard from Congress and the White House, this back-room deal with unions sends a loud-and-clear message to America's small businesses: we have other priorities," stated Todd McCracken, president and CEO of NSBA.
Union Tax Deal a Slap in the Face to Small Business

Rendell Double Standard on Rep. Kessler

Gov. Ed Rendell has publicly stated that he wants state Rep. Mario Civera, a Republican from Delaware County, to resign his state House seat because he was elected to the the Delaware County Council last November.

Rendell doesn't think an elected official can serve two masters.

But Rendell has never said a word about state Rep. David Kessler, a Berks County Democrat who continues to serve on the Oley Board of Supervisors even after being elected to the House in 2006.

Is it fair for Kessler to hold a local office at the expense of the rest of the communities in the 130th House District?

Kessler brags on his Web site that he is currently serving his 15th year as a township supervisor in Oley, and is the board's chairman. How much power does one man need? There's nobody in Oley available to serve as a township supervisor if Kessler steps down?

There's no law that says a member of the state Legislature cannot hold two elected posts. But maybe there should be.

Why the double standard, Guv?

See earlier post, Rendell throws Civera under the bus

Harry Reid: I Have A Dream

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Club for Growth campaign to repeal Obamacare

Obamacare is still being negotiated behind closed doors by Congressional Democrats, but the conservative Club for Growth is already working on a campaign to repeal the so-called health-care reform bill.

The group has launched a Web site called "Repeal It!" that gives elected officials, candidates and voters an opportunity to sign a pledge to work toward repealing

From Chris Chocola President, Club for Growth:
"I believe it is no longer enough for economic conservatives to just oppose the Democrats' health care takeover - we must pledge to Repeal It! if it ever becomes law. Specifically, we want economic conservatives like you to sign this pledge before ObamaCare ever becomes law - to define the upcoming mid-term elections and to send a clear and important message that even if the Democrats pass their bill, this fight is not over. We fought ObamaCare in 2009, and we will fight it in 2010, and we will be ready to repeal it in 2011. The next phase in the fight to defeat ObamaCare begins today!"
Within hours of the site going live, 14 lawmakers, 25 candidates (including Steve Welch, who is seeking the GOP nod for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District) and nearly 1,400 voters have signed the pledge.

Check out www.repealit.org for more information.

Real Hope and Change Coming in 2010

By Tony Phyrillas

Pollster Scott Rasmussen asks Americans each month to give their opinion on whether the United States is headed in the right direction or the wrong track. His polls were widely reported by the mainstream news media during George W. Bush's last year in office, but the right direction/wrong track numbers get little coverage now that the media's hand-picked candidate occupies the White House.

Nearly 80 percent of Americans told Rasmussen just before the November 2008 election that the country was on the wrong track. That explains why Barack Obama was elected president and Democrats picked up seats in Congress.

Bush has been out of office for 11 months as promises of "hope" and "change" swept the land, but most Americans now believe Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are taking the country in the wrong direction.

A majority of voters — 62 percent — believe the nation is heading down the wrong track, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Just 32 percent of U.S. voters say the country is heading in the right direction. That's a small gain after two months of decline that culminated in a finding of 29 percent, the lowest number Rasmussen reported since February 2009.

The percentage of voters who feel the country is heading in the right direction remained in the range of 31 percent to 35 percent from July to early November. From late November until the end of 2009, confidence in the country's current course steadily declined, Rasmussen says.

It's no surprise that Democrats suffered embarassing defeats in the New Jersey and Virginia governor races last November. Obama campaigned heavily for the Democrats in both states, but Republicans won decisive victories in what many saw as an early referendum on Obama's agenda of record deficit spending, higher taxes and a government takeover of health care.

Only the most partisan of Democrats can feel good about the midterm Congressional elections. Most pollsters and pundits predict heavy losses for Democrats in both the House and Senate.

You not only have the normal disappointment with a presidential administration, but the Democrats' heavy-handed tactics in ramming through the unpopular health care reform bills will cost Democrats seats in Congress.

There have already been two attacks on U.S. soil by Islamic terrorists during Obama's first year in office — the shootings at Fort Hood in early November and the attempted downing of a Detroit-bound passenger airliner on Christmas Day.

Concerns that Obama is soft on terrorism are starting to resonate with many Americans, even ones who voted for Obama.

With Obama's job approval numbers below 50 percent and poll numbers for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid consistently below 30 percent, it's no longer a question of whether Democrats will lose seats, it's now a matter of whether Democrats will lose control of Congress.

Most political observers predict Republican gains of 20 to 30 seats in the House, where Democrats have a 262-178 majority and a handful of seats in the Senate, where Democrats have a 60-40 majority.

Some pundits are predicting a historic comeback for the Republican Party. The astute Dick Morris, who helped Bill Clinton win two terms as president, believes Republicans will take back the majority in both the House and Senate.

While publicly downplaying potential losses in Congress, the Obama administration has seen the writing on the wall. Pushing a far-left agenda and breaking numerous campaign promises has alienated independent voters and some Democrats. That's why Obama's job approval numbers have declined rapidly since he took office. Obama's personal popularity remains high, but most Americans do not support his radical policies.

The reason Obama is rushing legislation through Congress and making back-room deals that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars is because he knows his time is running out.

The health care reform bills, negotiated in secret without any Republican input, barely passed the House and only won Senate approval after key Senators were bribed by Majority Leader Reid at the prompting of the Obama White House.

And don't forget that the defection of Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party is the only reason health care passed in the Senate. Specter is probably in his last year in the Senate, facing a tough primary challenger (Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak) in May and an even tougher Republican opponent (former Congressman Pat Toomey) in November.

Without the 60-vote majority in the Senate, Democrats are done and Obama will end up a lame duck in his last two years in office.

Tony Phyrillas is an award-winning political columnist and blogger for The Mercury, a daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa.

Report: 1 in 7 Children Living With Unemployed Parent

Another consequence of the Obama recession that the state-run media is failing to report.

Report: 1 in 7 Children Living With Unemployed Parent

'State Pension Funds Fall Off a Cliff'

State employee pension systems are facing severe shortfalls, and these growing liabilities threaten to drive many states deeper into the red, according to "State Pension Funds Fall Off a Cliff," a new 50 state study co-authored by Dr. Barry Poulson of the University of Colorado and Dr. Arthur P. Hall of the University of Kansas.

The report, published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, the nation's largest individual membership association of state legislators, shows that as of 2006, states have accumulated nearly $360 billion in unfunded pension obligations.

The problem has gotten much over the past three years as politicians on both sides of the aisle have stuck their head in the sand instead of dealing with the ticking time bomb.

Pennsylvania is among the states that has swept the pension issue under the rug, especially over the past seven years under Gov. Ed Rendell. The ALEC report says Pennsylvania had $14.4 billion in unfunded pension liabilities on top of $8.8 billion in state debt. And keep in mind that these are 2006 figures.

Follow the link below for more information and a link to download the full report.

Pension Crisis Threatens Financial Health of States

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pick the 2009 'Porker of the Year'

Citizens Against Government Waste (the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government) has released its list of nominees for 2009 Porker of the Year.

The six finalists were chosen by CAGW staff from among 12 worthy Porkers of the Month for 2009, and voters are free to pick anyone else they believe deserves this dubious achievement award. Online voting is available at www.cagw.org/porkeroftheyear/

Porker of the Month and Porker of the Year are dubious honors given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers, according to CAGW.

The candidates are:
-- Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) - Named July's Porker, Rep. Carnahan was caught on videotape by a vigilant citizen blogger at a town hall meeting held in St. Louis where he grossly misrepresented the costs associated with the controversial healthcare reforms bills under consideration in Congress.

-- Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) - Named August's Porker, Rep. Abercrombie ranked first in earmarks in the House in fiscal year (FY) 2009 with 44 projects worth $256.8 million; he routinely abuses an already-stretched Pentagon budget to reward favored contractors and supports funding a wasteful and unnecessary alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter.

-- House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) - Named March's Porker, Chairman Frank had expressed outrage over reports that insurance giant and TARP recipient AIG had distributed millions in bonuses to its executives. The Chairman has made ample contributions to the nation's current economic meltdown, spending years defending the activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and once telling The New York Times that the companies were not facing "any kind of financial crisis."

-- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) - Named October's Porker, the four-term Texas senator claims to be a fiscal conservative, but requested 149 projects worth $1.6 billion for authorization and appropriations bills for fiscal year 2010, exemplifying the tiresome hypocrisy of some members of Congress who claim the badge of fiscal conservatism while continuing to abscond with billions of dollars in pork.

-- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood - Named January's Porker, the then newly-minted Transportation Secretary and long-time porker in the House was about to preside over the distribution of tens of billions of tax dollars for transportation projects in the stimulus package passed in February, 2009.

-- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) - Named June's Porker, Rep. Waters provoked a tussle with House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) over her intention to obtain an earmark for the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center, a facility within the Los Angeles school system, reminding taxpayers that members of Congress still have not banned the practice naming projects after themselves.

Sarah Palin and Fox News: a match made in heaven

Sarah Palin and Fox News: a match made in heaven

Posted using ShareThis

Chamber chief attacks Obama agenda

Chamber chief attacks Obama agenda - Lisa Lerer - POLITICO.com

AJC Condemns Turkish PM's Latest Outburst Against Israel

AJC Condemns Turkish PM's Latest Outburst Against Israel

Punxsutawney Phil to 'Text' His Groundhog Day Prediction

Punxsutawney Phil to 'Text' His Groundhog Day Prediction

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Where's the liberal media outrage?

Reid Once Called Obama Light-skinned With 'No Negro Dialect', Media Mostly Mum | NewsBusters.org

'We are a nation at war, and we should act like it'



Rep. Pete King (R-NY) delivers the Weekly Republican Address, focusing on the war on terrorism and the Obama Administration's anemic response to growing threats by Islamic fanatics. Rep. King:
"We are a nation at war, and we should act like it. We need to pull together, remain vigilant, and send a clear signal both to our friends and our enemies that this government will stop at nothing to protect our homeland. That's how America sets an example for the world."

Scott Brown has a big future ahead

Regardless of what happens in the special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy, remember the name Scott Brown. He's got a big future ahead in politics. Watch this interview and see if you agree.



Visit Brown's Web site at http://www.brownforussenate.com/

Harry Reid Is An Idiot

From POLITICO:

Harry Reid's comments about Barack Obama as a "light-skinned" African-American with "no Negro dialect" are hardly the first to land him in hot water.

The Senate majority leader has a habit of speaking his mind, which can be a dangerous thing for a politician — especially for one who tends to say what he means in the bluntest way possible.
Follow the link below to read the 10 dumbest things Harry Reid has said publicly:

Reid's greatest gaffes - Martin Kady II - POLITICO.com

Reid apologizes for 'Negro' remark

Is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a racist? He sure sounds like one. But he's a Democrat and a liberal. He gets a free pass.

Reid apologizes for 'Negro' remark - Manu Raju and David Rogers - POLITICO.com

Jack Cafferty: 'Just Another Lie Told for Political Expediency'

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Study: Airport Screening Deemed Insufficient by Large Segment of Travelers

New Study: Airport Screening Deemed Insufficient by Large Segment of Travelers

Al Gore in hibernation?

Ross Kaminsky is wondering where the global warming alarmists are hiding as most of the planet is gripped by a record cold winter.

From his latest column at HumanEvents.com:
After the climate hoaxers and extortionists quietly slunk home after their utter failure in Copenhagen, one might have expected a barrage of "the end is nigh" press releases by Al Gore and friends, explaining how the refusal of governments to kneecap their economies will lead to us all being slowly convection baked to death in a never-ending trend of man-made global warming.

But apparently the alarmists have gone into hibernation…perhaps because world-wide record breaking cold would expose errors so great that even the "mainstream" news would have to call them out as full of (much needed) hot air.

As often seems to happen around big "global warming events," Copenhagen was hit with extremely cold weather during the "climate conference," including a blizzard on December 17…in a country which hasn't had a white Christmas since 1995. In a bit of "God must have a sense of humor" irony, the cold weather followed President Obama home, dumping record snowfalls in and around Washington, D.C. two days later.
Read the full column at the link below:

Global Warmists' Mouths Frozen Shut - HUMAN EVENTS

Tune in to 'Lincoln Radio Journal'

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal: David Taylor of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association hosts a Capitol Watch look back at the worst economic decisions of the past decade with Kevin Shivers from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business and their guest Gene Barr from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry; And, Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on why it matters who is elected Lieutenant Governor.

You can listen to the program online at www.lincolnradiojournal.com

Isolated Extremist

Killion Withdraws from Lieutenant Governor Race

State Rep. Tom Killion, a Republican who represents parts of Delaware and Chester counties, announced Friday he is dropping out of the race for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor.

Killion said a statewide campaign would make it difficult to remain focused on the difficult budget challenges facing Pennsylvania.

From his withdrawal announcement: "Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to meet with residents from throughout the state," said Killion. "Voters are extremely concerned about the state's economy, job creation, and particularly the potential for another drawn out budget process in 2010. I feel that I can best serve the people of Pennsylvania from within the legislature, working to ensure state government remains fiscally responsible and fighting efforts to raise taxes on working families."

"In the coming months, I will work hard to help elect Attorney General Tom Corbett the next Governor of Pennsylvania," said Killion. "We need someone with Corbett’s integrity in the Governor’s office to help lead our state out of the recession, stand up to the corruption in Harrisburg, begin the process of creating new jobs, and address the concerns of working men and women."

"I look forward to the opportunity to work with Tom Corbett -- from within the legislature -- to address these and the many other issues facing Pennsylvania" said Killion, who also announced that he will seek re-election to his House seat representing the voters of the 168th Legislative District.

Killion has represented the residents of the 168th District since 2003, following a special election to fill the seat of former Speaker of the House Matt Ryan. He serves in the House as Deputy Republican Whip and is a member of the Appropriations Committee, Urban Affairs Committee and Insurance Committee.

Where are the jobs Obama promised?

In First Year, Obama Presides Over 4.1 Million Jobs Lost, Most Since 1940 | NewsBusters.org

Gerlach to seek re-election to Congress

A day after he announced he was dropping out of the race for Pennsylvania governor, Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach says he will seek re-election to Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District seat, which Gerlach has held since 2003.

From a press release issued Friday afternoon by the Jim Gerlach for Congress Committee:
"Less than 24 hours ago, I announced that I was ending my campaign to become Pennsylvania's next governor and would continue working hard each day serving the public. Almost immediately, hundreds of concerned constituents and long-time supporters made phone calls and sent e-mails urging me to consider running for Congress again and offering to help in any way they could to keep me in this seat. I am extremely humbled by the response and grateful for the outpouring of kindness and encouragement. The overwhelming response let me know that the best way to continue serving the public is by protecting taxpayers and fighting for our families. And it has reinforced the decision I have made - after exhaustive deliberation with my extremely supportive wife, Karen and our children -- to seek another term representing the great people of the 6th Congressional District.

"Seeking re-election to the 6th Congressional District rather than running for governor will change my position on the ballot. However, my principles remain the same. I am committed to helping families keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, giving small businesses the freedom they need to create jobs and remain competitive and making sure the government lives within its means and works for the people.

"These are the same principles that guided me as a state lawmaker working with Gov. Tom Ridge to trim waste from the Pennsylvania budget and to pass historic Welfare reform legislation, which empowered millions of Pennsylvanians to cash paychecks rather than collect welfare checks. These are the same principles that guided me as a member of Congress to support tax cuts that have saved the average Pennsylvania family more than $2,000 per year and helped make prescription drugs more affordable for our seniors. And these are the same principles that guided me in 2009 when I stood up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and voted against the largest spending increase in our history, a misguided cap-and-trade bill that jeopardizes thousands of Pennsylvania manufacturing jobs and a health care scheme that would give the federal government unprecedented control over the daily lives of consumers, doctors and employers. I am energized, and will continue to be the best public servant I can be.

"I truly believe that I represent the best chance for Republicans to not only hold this seat, but play a major role in regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives. I have held this seat in the face of fiercely competitive elections in which opponents and liberal interest groups have spent millions against me in the worst political environments for Republicans in a generation. This year, taxpayers certainly have a lot on the line if Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are allowed to pursue their agenda of higher taxes and infinitely expanding government and wasteful spending. I am determined to make sure that does not happen and look forward to the campaign ahead and continued support of the voters."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gerlach Drops Out

I was expecting Congressman Jim Gerlach to drop his bid for Pennsylvania governor before the May primary, I just wasn't sure when he would bail out.

Today's announcement that he's dropping out of the race doesn't surprise me at all. I've talked about his odd decision to give up Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional seat for an uphill shot at Pennsylvania governor on various radio shows and at this blog throughout 2009.

Gerlach, who has a long history of public service, including experience in the Pennsylvania Legislature, would have made a good governor.

The problem comes down to money.

The GOP establishment is lining up behind Attorney General Tom Corbett and most of their money is also going to Corbett.

Gerlach acknowledge the money issue in his statement today:
"While we have successfully raised over $1 million, traveled thousands of miles all across this Commonwealth and signed up more than 19,000 supporters eager to help us win, today's media-driven campaigns require four times that amount to wage a successful primary. That left me with two choices: either spend all of my time raising money with little time left for meeting with voters; or withdrawing my candidacy and working even harder to serve the public. I am choosing to serve the public -- many of whom have graciously rewarded me with their support for nearly two decades."
The big question now is whether Gerlach will change his mind about Congress. If he gets back into the race, he's a shoo-in for re-election.

Read Gerlach's full statement here.

2009 Costliest Year Ever for Bank Failures

Be sure to thank Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats for the great job they've done with the U.S. economy.

2009 Costliest Year Ever for Bank Failures

Free H1N1 Flu Vaccination Clinics to Open Statewide on Friday, Jan. 8

Free H1N1 Flu Vaccination Clinics to Open Statewide on Friday

Democ-Rats Abandon Sinking Ship



Time is running out for Barack Obama and his socialist agenda. The American people want their country back ... and they're not taking prisoners. That's why some big-name Democrats are running for cover instead of facing the voters.

From POLITICO:
The grim outlook for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections just got a little worse.

Four top Democrats — including veteran Sens. Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan — all prepared to pull the plug on their campaigns in a 24-hour period that began Tuesday, and in the process, offered an unnerving glimpse at the perilous election year ahead.

With Dorgan's stunning retirement announcement Tuesday evening, Democrats are now facing their bleakest election outlook in years — and the very real possibility the party will lose its 60-40 Senate supermajority after the November elections. On the House side, the prospect of a 20 to 30 seat loss is already looking increasingly likely.

"It's not good news for Democrats," said Roy Temple, a Democratic strategist. "The reality is this is going to be a challenging year, and this is an additional challenge you would prefer not to have. Because of the success of the last two cycles, there are a lot of seats to defend. This is just an additional complication."
Top Democrats head for the exits - Manu Raju and Josh Kraushaar - POLITICO.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pike Township man enters GOP race for state House seat

Eastern Berks County residents have an alternative to tax-and-spend liberal David Kessler, who promised to be a reformer in Harrisburg but turned into a doormat for Ed Rendell. If you live in the 130th state House District, find out more about David Maloney.

Pike Township man enters GOP race for state House seat

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rep. Quigley Votes Against 'Pet Projects' Included in Table Games Bill

State Rep. Tom Quigley (R-146th Dist.) released the following statement regarding his 'No' vote on Senate Bill 711, which would legalize table games in Pennsylvania:
"This legislation is bad public policy for Pennsylvania. Allowing table games will only compound the many problems we have already seen from the slots parlor law and does not include the necessary reforms to ensure that Pennsylvania residents are protected from corruption. The answers to our state’s financial woes do not lie in preying upon the most vulnerable citizens, who are the most likely to suffer from a gambling addiction and who often have lower incomes.

"One aspect I found particularly troublesome were the pet projects written into the language. There are very specific earmarks being funded, which are unfair to the other worthy causes that were left out. It is another example of "pet projects" that we have seen in bills like the federal health care reform legislation. This kind of pork is contrary to good government.

"Speaking of worthy causes, this bill does not include a dime for property tax relief. The majority of the revenue from this bill will go into the General Fund, leaving taxpayers out in the cold. Homeowners are still waiting for the meaningful property tax relief they were promised when slot machines were approved, and their concerns were still not addressed in this legislation. If it were up to me, every dollar of revenue collected would go to offset school property taxes.

"Finally, this is bad public policy because it expands gaming before much-needed reforms are considered. If you have a high rise that has a faulty structural system, you don’t add more floors until you address the safety issues. Without those necessary reforms, Pennsylvania is opening itself up to more cases of corruption involving gaming, when everything could have been avoided by taking up these issues in the proper order."
The controversial table games bill passed the House Wednesday by a vote of 103-89, with mostly Democrats supporting the measure.

A Bailout for Illegal Immigrants?

Lessons from the Last Amnesty

Joe Klein Admits Healthcare Reform Will Redistribute Wealth

Joe Klein Admits Healthcare Reform Will Redistribute Wealth | NewsBusters.org

The real reason behind Obamacare

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/candance-moore/2010/01/06/joe-klein-admits-healthcare-reform-will-redistribute-wealth

The lunatic left is heard from again

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2010/01/06/left-wing-talk-radio-host-says-obama-haters-hatched-detroit-terror-plot

Environment Writer: Ignore the Record Cold; Global Warming Is Happening

Environment Writer: Ignore the Record Cold; Global Warming Is Happening | NewsBusters.org

PA Farm Show Visitors Invited to Donate to Food Drive

PA Farm Show Visitors Invited to Donate to Food Drive

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snake Oil For Sale

U.S. Job Satisfaction At Lowest Level In Two Decades

U.S. Job Satisfaction At Lowest Level In Two Decades

Election year could motivate 'dysfunctional' General Assembly

Election year could motivate 'dysfunctional' General Assembly - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Reform activist Russ Diamond to seek GOP nod for PA Lt. Gov.

The man who led the fight to overturn the infamous Pay Raise in 2005 and helped launch a reform movement that shook up the Pennsylvania Legislature in 2006 has announced he is running for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor in 2010.

Russ Diamond is running on a platform of calling for a for a Constitutional convention, elimination of the property tax elimination, and state sovereignty.

Diamond, 46, of Annville, previously launched unsuccessful campaigns for Pennsylvania Governor and the state Legislature. A former Libertarian Party candidate for state and national office, Diamond, is seeking the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania.

From his campaign announcement:
"Pennsylvania needs a strong advocate for reform in the executive branch," Diamond said. "It's easy to talk about reform but there's really only one way to get it - a constitutional convention. But if we want to hold a convention, we need a specific plan to make it happen. I am the only statewide candidate with a legitimate, workable plan in hand."

In 2007, Diamond authored legislation calling for a citizens' constitutional convention and submitted it to the Senate State Government Committee. It was introduced as SB1290 and HB2723 in 2008. The bill was re-introduced with bipartisan support during the current legislative session as SB340 and HB1929.

In response to a recent study published by the Commonwealth Foundation, Common Cause/Pennsylvania, DemocracyRisingPA, and the League of Women Voters, Diamond has improved the plan and is asking the co-sponsors of SB340 and HB1929 to amend them accordingly or introduce it as a new bill.

"This is the only way to attack the roots of corruption, fraud, and budget debacles which have plagued Pennsylvania of late. We need to rebuild the Commonwealth's institutions of government and restore the faith of the people in them," he added.

On eliminating property taxes, Diamond favors a permanent constitutional prohibition that sets a future deadline and gives the legislature ample time to debate the revenue replacement mechanism.

"Some problems are too complex to tackle in one fell swoop," he said. "In order to be as effective as possible, we must separate the question of property tax elimination from the revenue replacement method. If we agreed today to prohibit property taxes as of June 30, 2015, there would be plenty of time for the legislature to weigh competing options for how to best replace this archaic system that drives citizens from their homes and imposes an intolerable burden on taxpayers and local government."

Diamond's focus on defending Pennsylvania from federal intrusion is centered on the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution.

"The 10th Amendment draws a distinct line between state and federal authority, but we also need to consider the practical ramifications of federal intrusion," Diamond said. "For instance, if we weighed the burden of federal regulations on Pennsylvania's public education system against the percentage of education funding Washington provides, would it really be worth it? Every state department and agency receiving federal funds should be tasked with publicizing the two sides of this equation."
Read the full announcement at Diamond's new campaign Web site, http://www.russdiamond.org

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Democrats' Dirty Dozen Debacles of 2009

The Democrats' Dirty Dozen Debacles of 2009
A Year-in-Review of Democrat-Controlled Government

The Republican Study Committee released the following list of disappointments from 2009, documenting the 12 most destructive actions, policies, and events of the past year:
1) January 22: Obama Announces Closure of Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility In one of the first actions of his presidency, President Obama declared that international appeasement trumps common sense security by signing executive orders to shutter Gitmo. The facility has been used since 2002 to detain enemy combatants who pose a national security threat. As we learned on Christmas Day, releasing those held at Gitmo, as the President seeks to do, is a significant threat to the safety of the American people.

2) January 23: President Repeals Mexico City Policy, Freeing Up Tax Dollars for Overseas Abortions In a blatant flip-flop from the campaign trail, the President continued his use of the executive order, this time to funnel U.S. tax dollars to abortion providers overseas. As a candidate the President said he sought to reduce the number of abortions; instead, he put taxpayers on the hook for abortions outside our borders.

3) February 17: President Obama Signs the So-called "Stimulus" With promises of millions of jobs "saved or created" and unemployment under 8%, the President shackled generations of Americans to reckless spending by signing a 1.1 trillion dollar package of political pet projects and misguided fiscal policy. As Republicans predicted, the so-called stimulus has done nothing but stimulate unemployment, debt, and bigger government.

4) April 2: House Passes Budget that Borrows, Taxes, and Spends Too Much Casting aside even the appearance of fiscal restraint, Democrats passed a budget resolution that proposed a record deficit in every year and would likely put a balanced budget out of touch for more than a generation. The smallest budget deficit over the next ten years is a stunning 28% higher than the previous record deficit.

5) April 17: Administration Releases Interrogation Memos Opening the U.S. counter-terrorism playbook to our enemies and the world, the Justice Department released documents detailing the methods our intelligence community uses to extract intelligence from terror suspects. This action set the stage for a year full of CIA politicization, most notably when the Speaker of the House called the CIA liars with no justification.

6) June 1: White House Buys Car Company In what represents the culmination of the new political economy, in which Washington, not markets, picks winners and losers, the administration upped its investment to $50 billion and took a 60 percent stake in auto giant GM. It's become clear that taxpayers will not be seeing their money back any time soon, if ever.

7) June 26: National Energy Tax Passes the House After twisting and perhaps breaking enough arms, Democrat leaders cobbled together the votes needed to pass a massive national energy tax that would cripple the American economy. The bill contains 397 regulations and 1,060 government mandates, is projected to cost American families more than $3,000 a year and would reduce employment by more than a million jobs.

8) October 28: Unconstitutional Thought Crimes Law Hitches Ride on Defense Bill With truly stunning cynicism for our military, the President enacted a law that puts justice for one classification of people before others by attaching it to a bill that is supposed to provide resources for our men and women in uniform. The bill was a grave abuse of both policy and procedure.

9) November 17: House Passes a Government Takeover of Health Care With more than three dozen brave Democrats joining Republicans in opposition, Democrat leaders in the House rammed through a massive government intervention into the health care system that has been completely rejected by the American people. The package is chock full of government decision-making, huge tax hikes, slashes to Medicare without real reform, limited access to care, and cost increases for American patients.

10) December 1: Obama Delays and Then Tips Our Hand on Afghanistan After his top commander said resources were needed and time is of the essence, the President "deliberated" for nearly three months on the way forward in Afghanistan. When he finally made his decision, he somehow managed to declare the beginning and the end of a new operation at the same time.

11) December 24: The Integrity of the Senate Put On the Auction Block In an historic disgrace to the great legislators who have graced the Senate before him, Majority Leader Reid engaged in a brazen operation of political bribery to pass a health care bill that is growing less popular by the day. The handouts that greased the skids to pass the government takeover of healthcare on Christmas Eve will surely haunt this Congress for decades to come.

12) All year long: Missed Opportunity to Work Together and Change the Tone Despite hollow speeches and faux sincerity, Democrats set forth one of the most partisan and opaque agendas in American history. Rejecting Republican input, and shutting the minority out of the legislative process in an unprecedented manner, Democrats jammed nearly all of their major proposals through the House on near party line votes, often only releasing legislation just hours before it came to the floor. The American people were looking for a new day, however what they saw was old Washington (and Chicago) on overdrive and a government that is not responsive to the American people.