Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Golden Years Of AARP

The Golden Years Of AARP - Investors.com

47 GOP Senators Co-Sponsor New Balanced Budget Amendment

McConnell: All 47 GOP Senators Co-Sponsor New Balanced Budget Amendment - HUMAN EVENTS

NYT Food Writer Mark Bittman: People Will 'Starve to Death' Under House Budget

Modest efforts by Republicans to curb runaway federal spending will lead to mass starvation, according to a New York Times writer, who appears to have overdosed on Kool-Aid.

MRC.org - Media Research Center: NYT Food Writer Mark Bittman: People Will 'Starve to Death' Under House Budget

NewsBusted 3/29/11

Democrats elevate voter fraud to an art form

GOP says 5,000 non-citizens voting in Colorado a 'wake-up call' for states - TheHill.com

Columnist: Do school districts have to raise property taxes?

What is getting lost in the uproar about cutting back state subsidies for public education in Pennsylvania is the fact that nearly every school district in the state was planning to raise property taxes before Gov. Corbett announced his 2011-12 budget.

The beef taxpayers have is with their local school districts, which raise taxes every year. School boards have done a terrible job of balancing their budgets over the years.

Do school districts have to raise property taxes? - pottsmerc.com

Pennsylvania Department of State: Disciplinary Actions Taken Against 116 Licensed, Commissioned Professionals, Organizations

Pennsylvania Department of State: Disciplinary Actions Taken Against 116 Licensed, Commissioned Professionals, Organizations

Julia Hearthway to Lead PA Department of Labor and Industry

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Completes Cabinet by Naming Julia Hearthway to Lead Department of Labor and Industry

PA Office of Inspector General Announces February Welfare Fraud Adjudications

Office of Inspector General Announces February Welfare Fraud Adjudications

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Tours Berks County Tubing Manufacturing Plant

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Tours Berks County Tubing Manufacturing Plant

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rep. Joe Pitts to Obama: 'We shouldn't be half-way at war'

Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16) released the following statement after a Congressional briefing on the Obama Administration's military mission in Libya:
"Today, my colleagues and I were briefed on the Libyan engagement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen. Unfortunately, many of our questions remain unanswered.

"My first concern is that we are refusing to admit that this is a war. If anybody fired 160 missiles at us, flew bombing missions and sent in attack gunships, we would call that an act of war. This engagement and our involvement in it are both ill defined.

"Even after today's briefing, it is obvious that we do not have a clear picture of the Libyan rebels. In fact, there are reports that Al Qaeda militants are involved in the fight against Qaddafi. When we engage American forces, we must have clear goals and a strategy to accomplish these goals.

"As a young man, I fought in the Vietnam War, another engagement with unclear objectives and uncertainties about our allies. I know that the men and women of our armed forces are conducting this engagement with dedication and professionalism. The President should first seek direction from Congress, which has the constitutional power to declare war. Then he has a responsibility to give our troops the tools and direction to achieve the mission he has laid out for them.

"We shouldn't be half-way at war."

Why AARP sold out its members

If you wondering why the AARP Board of Directors sold out its membership and endorsed ObamaCare, check out the article below:

AARP's Billion Dollar ObamaCare Windfall

Chinese Professor

Republicans Shut Down Another Failed TARP Program

Republicans Shut Down Another Failed TARP Program - HUMAN EVENTS

Columnist: Planned Parenthood is guilty of mass murder

Planned Parenthood is guilty of mass murder - pottsmerc.com

Group: Pennsylvanians Obligated to Report Suspected Child Abuse Lack Training, Clarity About Their Role

Pennsylvanians Obligated to Report Suspected Child Abuse Lack Training, Clarity About Their Role

Gerlach: Cut The Beer Tax

Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) has introduced bipartisan legislation to cut in half the federal excise tax on a barrel of beer produced by 102 of Pennsylvania's craft and small breweries.

The proposed Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce (BREW) Act would reduce the tax on the first 60,000 barrels small breweries produce each year to $3.50 per barrel from the current $7 per barrel rate, according to Gerlach.

From a Gerlach press release:
"With the economy sputtering, Congress must create conditions that allow small businesses to become more competitive, protect existing jobs and create new employment opportunities," Gerlach said. "This legislation would be a major boost to some of Pennsylvania’s most innovative small businesses. In addition to producing world-class products, small brewery owners provide paychecks to thousands of Pennsylvanians. And many of these companies are engaged in community revitalization and other civic activities that enhance the quality of life in the neighborhoods where they are based."

The legislation introduced along with Congressman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, would define small breweries as those producing less than six million barrels per year. In addition to a 50 percent reduction in the rate on the first 60,000 barrels, small breweries would get a $2-per barrel tax cut for beer production between 60,000 and 2 million barrels per year. That rate would fall to $16 from $18.

Iron Hill Brewery, McKenzie Brew House No. 2, Prism Beer, Sly Fox and Victory Brewing Company are a few of the small brewers in the 6th District that would receive tax relief, under the legislation.

Bill Covaleski, Brewmaster and President of Victory Brewing Company based in Downingtown, said the legislation would be a big help to small American manufacturers that often struggle to succeed in a daunting economic climate.

"Lowering the federal excise tax would allow Victory to add to its current team of 185 talented and dedicated employees and continue making vital reinvestments in the great community we call home," Covaleski said. "This legislation represents an investment in American job growth with a delicious upside for all."

Brian O'Reilly, Brewmaster of Sly Fox Brewing Company in Royersford, said the legislation would help the business continue to grow and add to its payroll.

"Sly Fox Brewing Company has grown 781% in the last 6 years and added more than 40 jobs," O'Reilly said. "The Federal Excise tax credit would help Sly Fox to continue to reinvest in its growing business. If this tax relief had been in place last year, Sly Fox could have used the money it saved on taxes to buy 508 stainless kegs. These kegs would have helped Sly Fox package more beer, expand their market and add jobs."

Rep. Doug Reichley to Hold 3 Town Meetings

Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh) will hold three town meetings for residents of Pennsylvania's 134th Legislative District on April 6, 9 and 16.

From a Reichley press release:
"I know many of you have questions about some of the proposals in Governor Tom Corbett's state budget recommendations," said Reichley. "Check for a town meeting time and location that suits your schedule. I hope to see you there and await your questions."

Three town meetings are scheduled on the following dates at three locations:

Wednesday, April 6
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Cetronia Fire Company
18 South Scenic St., Allentown

Saturday, April 9
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Lehigh Lodge
2120 Route 100 South, Macungie
Route 100 Macungie

Saturday, April 16
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Bally Senior Center
425 Chestnut St., Bally
For more information, or to RSVP, contact Reichley's district office at 1245 Chestnut St., Unit No. 5, Emmaus. The phone number is (610) 965-9933. Reservations are suggested, but not required. Walk-ins are always welcome.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Judicial Watch Files Two Lawsuits Against Obama Department of Homeland Security for Records Detailing Alleged "Stealth Amnesty" Plan

Judicial Watch Files Two Lawsuits Against Obama Department of Homeland Security for Records Detailing Alleged "Stealth Amnesty" Plan

D.C. Parents for School Choice: Obama Betrays Low-Income Families on Education

D.C. Parents for School Choice: Obama Betrays Low-Income Families on Education

Members of Congress Collect Unpaid Tickets

Another example of lawmakers who consider themselves above the law.

From Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Congress:
According to a Roll Call survey of vehicles parked on Capitol Hill and at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, as of mid-March, lawmakers were carrying at least $15,000 in outstanding tickets — ranging from expired meters to speeding camera violations — and potentially thousands of dollars more.
Members Collect Many Unpaid Tickets : Roll Call News

Obama Rehearses His Libya Speech Sans Teleprompter

State Police: 162 Trucks Placed Out of Service During Operation SAFE

State Police: 162 Trucks Placed Out of Service During Operation SAFE

Obama Administration Should Halt Health Reform Waivers, Says Consumer Watchdog

Obama Administration Should Halt Health Reform Waivers, Says Consumer Watchdog

Henry Hyde: The Innocence of A Child

FRC Action's New Super PAC Launches Radio Ad Campaign In Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

FRC Action's New Super PAC Launches Radio Ad Campaign In Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

Getting Hosed At The Pump Courtesy of Obama

The price of regular unleaded when Obama took office: $1.83 per gallon. The price of unleaded regular today: $3.59 per gallon. Heckavu job, Barack.

Few government employees denied pay increases for poor performance

Few employees denied step increases for poor performance - FederalTimes.com

Sen. Rand Paul Responds to President Obama's Address

'Teachers must fix their own house'

Terrific letter to the editor from a Berks County resident that sums up the current state of our public education system:
"The educational community and its unions have grown fat, dumb and happy with an unlimited source of revenue, political clout, threats of strikes and passive, compliant school boards."
Teachers must fix their own house (3/29/11)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Team Obama Spotlight: Joe Biden

Powerful message from former (C.I.A. Agent) to all Americans!

CCRKBA 'Guns Save Lives' Event Scheduled Wednesday in DC

CCRKBA 'Guns Save Lives' Event Scheduled Wednesday in DC

ACLJ & Nearly 50 Members of Congress Back Virginia's ObamaCare Challenge Urging Appeals Court to Declare Entire Health Care Law Unconstitutional

ACLJ & Nearly 50 Members of Congress Back Virginia's ObamaCare Challenge Urging Appeals Court to Declare Entire Health Care Law Unconstitutional

Former FRC Adjunct Fellow Publishes Major Study on Abortion in Top State Politics Journal

Former FRC Adjunct Fellow Publishes Major Study on Abortion in Top State Politics Journal

Newspaper: CBO's toll-road fib

Obama and Congressional Democrats keep trying to find new ways to take more of your money. The latest scheme is a vehicle-mile tax.

EDITORIAL: CBO's toll-road fib - Washington Times

No Traces of Radioactivity Found in PA Rainwater

Governor Corbett Says Public Water Supply Testing Finds No Risk to Public From Radioactivity Found in Rainwater

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Saturday, March 26, 2011

This is the dumbest person ever

No Lock-Out Coverage for Obama in NY Times, But Bush's Door Flub Was Front Page News

No Lock-Out Coverage for Obama in NY Times, But Bush's Door Flub Was Front Page News

On the heels of 'ObamaCare' conservatives target 'ObamaRail'

On the heels of 'ObamaCare' conservatives target 'ObamaRail' - The Hill's Transportation Report

Judicial Watch: 'Who is running the Justice Department?'

Judicial Watch Sues Justice Department for Records Detailing Contacts with NAACP over Decision to Dismiss New Black Panther Party Voter Intimidation Lawsuit

Provocative Web Video Series Debuts Contrasting Presidents Obama and Reagan

Provocative Web Video Series Debuts Contrasting Presidents Obama and Reagan

Group: Lawmakers Not Asked To Sacrifice In Corbett’s Budget

Tom Corbett would have much better success in bringing fiscal sanity back to Pennsylvania after eight years of insanity under Ed Rendell had he recommended that all elected and appointed state officials would take pay cuts along with his proposal to slash state spending. Shared sacrifice means everyone, not just unionized state workers and teachers.

Group: Lawmakers Not Asked To Sacrifice In Corbett’s Budget « CBS Pittsburgh

Top 10 Spending Cuts Thwarted by Democrats

Top 10 Spending Cuts Thwarted by Democrats - HUMAN EVENTS

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Delivers Weekly GOP Address

Friday, March 25, 2011

PennDOT Driver License Centers to Offer Limited Services on Saturday

PennDOT Driver License Centers to Offer Limited Services on March 26

Columnist: Big labor its own worst enemy

Columnist Lowman Henry examines the out-of-control behavior or labor unions:
Wisconsin is not the only state where leftist thugs have behaved inappropriately. In Idaho an education reform bill that would have eliminated tenure and seniority and allowed more charter schools to be established drew the ire of unions. The superintendent of Idaho's public schools, Tom Luna, who championed the reform plan, had his car vandalized. One protestor even showed up at the home of Luna's mother.Read the full column at the link below:
Uncivil unions: Big labor its own worst enemy - pottsmerc.com

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

'Why do Muslim Women Cover' - A Film and Discussion Coming to Albright College

Albright College in Reading, Pa., will present "Why do Muslim Women Cover" on Monday, March 28, 2011, at 4 p.m. The event will feature two short films followed by a discussion, and will be held in the Campus Center Main Lounge. It is free and open to the public.

Albright College - 'Why do Muslim Women Cover': A Film and Discussion

Top 10 Failures of ObamaCare After One Year

Top 10 Failures of ObamaCare After One Year - HUMAN EVENTS

Final Weeks to Apply for LIHEAP Grants; Gov. Corbett Extends Application Deadline Until April 15

Final Weeks to Apply for LIHEAP Grants; Gov. Corbett Extends Application Deadline Until April 15

Governor Corbett Testifies on Federal Health Care Law

Governor Corbett Testifies on Federal Health Care Law

Gaming Control Board Fines Casinos $72,000 For Violations

Gaming Control Board Fines Casinos $72,000 For Violations

Corbett Administration Redefines Focus of SCI-Graterford Construction Project

Corbett Administration Redefines Focus of SCI-Graterford Construction Project

Americans Fear Loss of Freedom on Anniversary of Health Care Reform Law

Americans Fear Loss of Freedom on Anniversary of Health Care Reform Law

Governor Corbett to Nominate Richard J. Allan to Lead Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Governor Corbett to Nominate Richard J. Allan to Lead Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Columnist: Rendell leaves behind mountain of debt

Mark W. Hendrickson, a fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College, offers a look at the huge debt former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell left behind for future generations:
That indebtedness soared 93 percent under Rendell. In total, Pennsylvania's state debt swelled 82 percent in eight years to $43 billion.
Budget tightening in Pennsylvania

ClaireAir - Now Serving Senator Claire McCaskill

All Talk, No Action.

Obamacare: One year of broken promises

By Rep. Joe Pitts
Guest columnist

March 23 marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama's signing of the health care reform bill. On the day of the signing, the President singled out a business owner for praise saying, "I'm signing it for Ryan Smith, who's here today. He runs a small business with five employees. He's trying to do the right thing, paying half the cost of coverage for his workers. This bill will help him afford that coverage."

The President said that Ryan was trying to do the right thing, but Obamacare might still penalize his business. In fact, the law requires employers to pay more than 50 percent of employees' health coverage. If they fail to do so, they pay a hefty fine.

It seems like almost everyday we see new facts about Obamacare that don't square with the talking point promises that were made in the run up to passage. One of those talking points was that 4 million small businesses, like Ryan Smith's, would receive tax credits to help pay for covering employees.

Unfortunately, Obamacare's definition of small business is much more restrictive than typical. Only businesses with 25 or fewer employees qualify for credits. The Small Business Administration has a variety of definitions for the size of a "small" business. The definition ranges from 50 to 1,000 employees, depending on the industry. This means tens of millions of workers are employed at business too big to qualify for this help.

Every American was promised that if they like their plan, they could keep it. According to a survey by the National Business Group on Health, 26 percent of companies plan to discontinue insurance for current and future retirees. According to this same survey, over one-third of businesses are revisiting their health care strategy for workers and may exit the market.

To prevent millions of workers from losing their health care coverage right now, the Department of Health and Human Services has handed out more than 1,000 waivers to the law. While HHS is wise to grant flexibility for employers, the huge number of waivers demonstrates that the law is poorly written.

Despite all of the claims that Obamacare would reduce the cost of insurance, the Medicare actuary and the Congressional Budget Office have both crunched the numbers and found that spending increases because of the law. Overall spending on health care increases by $311 billion in the coming years.

Without the various budget gimmicks included in Obamacare, the law actually increases the budget deficit. In recent weeks, we've also looked close at some of the various spending programs contained in the bill. The program to set up health insurance exchanges in all 50 states actually has no cap on spending. The HHS Secretary can spend as much as she feels is needed.

While we estimate that Obamacare could increase the national debt by $701 billion over ten years, there are potential cost overruns everywhere. The bill could end up being much higher.

What do we get with Obamacare? Even after full implementation, millions of Americans will still go without insurance. This week, the Health Subcommittee took a look at the CLASS program contained in the law. In two decades, this program will go bankrupt, prompting another taxpayer bailout. Over 80 percent of businesses say the law has increased their administrative burdens.

I know that we can do better, but government mandates and bureaucracy won't expand care and increase the quality of health care. The United States came to its position as the world leader in health care innovation because we have a dynamic system grounded in free market principles.

The market works when prices are transparent and consumers have the freedom to make choices. As I lead the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, I'll be putting forward solutions that empower individuals to make their own choices. This means market-based alternatives like allowing for interstate competition, pooling across state lines, medical malpractice reform, giving individuals the same tax treatment as businesses, and reforming Medicare so that it works better for doctors and patients.

We have to repeal Obamacare, but we must still reform a health care system that excludes far too many Americans. The best way to provide is not by government mandate, but by empowering individuals.

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

Country stuck in a quagmire under Obama

A Berks County resident sums up Obama's presidency nicely:
"After two years of Obama-rule, the country is stuck in a quagmire of political and economic stagnation. He has proved to be a president who cannot make decisions, particularly at a time of national peril."
Country stuck in a quagmire (3/22/11)

Elementary school seeks instrument donations

Elementary school seeks instrument donations

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Obamacare Disaster

As we approach the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Peter Ferrara, senior fellow for health care policy at The Heartland Institute and author of "The Obamacare Disaster," has this to say about the ill-conceived government takeover of the nation's health care system:
"Obamacare is a disaster. Rather than liberate the American health care system from bureaucracy and waste, it blankets it with more of both, suffocating innovation and destroying freedom. The result is a system that is inconsistent with the freedom, prosperity, high living standards, and traditions of the American people."
Read more of what Ferrara has to say about the centerpiece of the failed Obama presidency at the link below:

The Obamacare Disaster - by Peter Ferrara - Policy Studies

Columnist: Drilling ban fueling Obama's hidden agenda

Diana West on President Obama's failed energy policies:
To this president's way of thinking, high gas prices are a solution, not a problem. Cheap energy is the launch pad of a soaring economy, one beyond government (his) control. And this president wants control: over what we eat (less), drive (smaller) and live (lower thermostats).
Drilling ban fueling Obama's hidden agenda - pottsmerc.com

Obamacare: One year of broken promises

Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Pitts marks the one-year anniversary of the disaster known as Obamacare.

Obamacare: One year of broken promises - pottsmerc.com

Baltimore Sun Double Standard

Baltimore Sun Double Standard on Noting Party Affiliation of Maryland Politicians

Video: NewsBusted

School Choice Rally for Senate Bill 1 in Pennsylvania



Learn more about the effort to pass a School Choice law in Pennsylvania here.

PA State Rep. Scott Petri Calls for Investigation into Philadelphia School Funding

A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to know why Philadelphia will not be sharing the burden of Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed cuts in education funding?

PA State Rep. Scott Petri - Petri Calls for Investigation into School Funding Irregularities

Why a Federal Judge Ruled Obamacare Unconstitutional

Groups Join Together in Backing PA Education Legislation

Groups Join Together in Backing PA Education Legislation

Obamacare One Year Later

Eric O'Keefe, chairman of the Health Care Compact Alliance, released the following statement to mark the anniversary of the President Obama's signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
"It is clear that the President was right about one thing: The American health care system was financially unsustainable.

Proponents claimed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would address the symptoms. But the early evidence is that it limits freedom and increases costs. This is evidenced by the 1,040 waivers granted to states and organizations that sought exemptions from new regulations.

Our healthcare system is too large and too complex to manage at the federal level -- and too important to be debated outside the earshot of citizens. The Health Care Compact enables citizens to engage in the policy process at the state level, and to prescribe laws that match the needs of their communities.

School property tax reform works - in Maryland

No school tax in Maryland (3/22/11)

Ross Bennett explains why comics can't do OBAMA Jokes

Concord Coalition Supports Senators' Call for Comprehensive Deficit Reduction

Concord Coalition Supports Senators' Call for Comprehensive Deficit Reduction and Asks House To Make A Similar Commitment

Coalition of Economic Groups Demand Spending Cuts

Coalition of Economic Groups Demand Spending Cuts

Monday, March 21, 2011

PA GOP On the Ground: Gov. Corbett's Budget

Pennsylvania lawmakers must sacrifice

A Berks County resident wonders why Pennsylvania legislators are not being asked to sacrifice while the state is facing fiscal woes.

Lawmakers must sacrifice (3/21/11)

Pennsylvania legislators should get minimum wage

A Berks County resident suggests Pennsylvania legislators, among the highest paid in the nation, should take a drastic pay cut - down from $79,000 to minimum wage.

Legislators should get minimum wage (3/21/11)

Obama Policies Driving Up Gas Prices

Video: Tim Pawlenty 2012

Tim Pawlenty Exploratory Committee for President of the United States Visual Announcement from Tim Pawlenty on Vimeo.

Obamacare: One Year Later, Even Less Popular

Obamacare: One Year Later, Even Less Popular | The Weekly Standard

Only One-Third of Americans Give President Obama Positive Marks on Economy

Only One-Third of Americans Give President Obama Positive Marks on Economy

Congress Should Support the Fiscal Accountability and Transparency in Infrastructure Spending Act

Congress Should Support the Fiscal Accountability and Transparency in Infrastructure Spending Act

Obama's March Madness

Michael Moore rips Obama over Libya

Michael Moore rips Obama over Libya - The Hill's Twitter Room

Ralph Nader: Impeach Obama for 'war crimes'

Obama is losing his far left base.

Nader: Impeach Obama for 'war crimes' - The Hill's Blog Briefing Roomjavascript:void(0)

CBO: Obama budget worse than projected on 10-year deficit

CBO: Obama budget worse than projected on 10-year deficit - The Hill's On The Money

Just 31% Now Give Obama Positive Marks for the Economy

Just 31% Now Give Obama Positive Marks for the Economy

Belief That America's Best Days Lie Ahead Falls to 17-Month Low

America's Best Days

Lefty Blogger Exposes How Political Lies Are Spread Over Liberal Blogosphere

Lefty Blogger Exposes How Political Lies Are Spread Over Liberal Blogosphere

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Don't read too much into special election

Pennsylvania Democrats and their liberal media allies are making way too much out of a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in which 8 out of 10 registered voters didn't even bother to show up at the polls.

Don't read too much into special election - pottsmerc.com

Weekly Republican Address: Job Creation

Weekly GOP Address: Energy Solutions

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: February 2011

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: February 2011

PennDOT Driver License Centers to Offer Limited Services on March 26

PennDOT Driver License Centers to Offer Limited Services on March 26

Poll: American Voters Back Governors Against Public Employee Unions

The Dick Morris Poll: American Voters Back Governors Against Public Employee Unions

Video: Young voters break up with Obama

Gov. Corbett breaks major campaign promise

You have to wonder about the people Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has surrounded himself with in his fledgling administration. He's stepped on one land mine after another over the past two months.

From the editorial page of The Pottstown Mercury:
THORNS to Gov. Tom Corbett for reneging on his campaign pledge to end legislative grants known as WAMs and approving more than $48 million in pet-project grants. The requests had been submitted during the administration of former Gov. Ed Rendell, and a Corbett spokesman said the new administration felt an obligation to honor them. Tell that to local school districts, who feel there should be an obligation to support public education. Or, to taxpayers who believe Corbett has an obligation to clean up Pennsylvania's legislative spending practices. All told, the Corbett administration provided a list of more than 1,200 grant applications it was approving from programs previously submitted. The biggest grant was for $5 million for a nonprofit-run statewide program called the Fresh Food Financing Initiative. WAMs, state grants known as "walking around money," are requested by legislators to court favor in their home districts. In his successful campaign for governor, Corbett aired a TV ad attacking WAMs, in which he said, "The first thing we're going to do is put a stake in the heart of the WAMs program. Millions of dollars spent on legislative pet projects with little oversight." Maybe it could be the second or third thing he does.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Columnist: Why government's doors must be open

Why government's doors must be open - USATODAY.com

Newspaper: Uniformed workers' pensions strain governments

Our view: Uniformed workers' pensions strain governments - USATODAY.com

Whose side is Obama on?

How Obama has given terrorists an edge - USATODAY.com

Obama reassures nation

President Obama reassured the nation Thursday that radiation from the crippled Japanese nuclear reactors will not reach the U.S.

Isn't this the same guy who reassured us that unemployment would not rise above 8% if Congress passed his $787 billion stimulus package in 2009?

Isn't this the same guy who assured us he would end the war in Afghanistan?

Isn't this the same guy who promised transparency and accountability in government?

Drunk with Debt (a St. Patrick's Day special)

Obama's Priorities

Nuclear crisis in Japan. Battles erupt throughout the Middle East. 15 million Americans out of work. Food prices on the rise. Gas nears $4 per gallon.

So what does Barack Obama do? He's off to Chicago to raise money for his 2012 re-election. The man knows his priorities.

Obama to headline Chicago reelection fundraiser - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

House votes to defund NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today by a 228-192 margin to defund taxpayer subsidies to National Public Radio, a far-left propaganda operation.

If liberal elites want their own radio network, let them pay for it.

NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell released moments ago:
Republicans said today that the arrogant liberal sneers at taxpayers in Flyover Country deserve to be met by NPR raising its own money in its own fancy cafes. And an organization that admits catering to a "core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite" is among the last that should survive budget cuts if legislators are serious about cutting unnecessary spending.

We applaud the 228 Representatives who stepped up to say so with their votes in the House today. If the Senate and President Obama really care about reckless spending, they'll pony up and do the same. The time is now to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on funding NPR.
House approves GOP bill to defund NPR - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Columnist: Obama Can Be Beaten in 2012

GOP should heed lesson of 1991: No guts, no glory - pottsmerc.com

Video: Public Sector Unions at Work

PA Gaming Control Board Releases Table Game Revenue Figures for February

PA Gaming Control Board Releases Table Game Revenue Figures for February

Governor Orders State Flags to Fly at Half-Staff March 19 in Honor of Former Pennsylvania First Lady Mary Jane Leader

Governor Corbett Orders State Flags to Fly at Half-Staff March 19 in Honor of Former Pennsylvania First Lady Mary Jane Leader

PEMA: Japan's Nuke Plant Crisis Poses No Present Risk to Pennsylvania Residents

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency: Japan's Nuke Plant Crisis Poses No Present Risk to Pennsylvania Residents

PA Approves 13 New Historical Markers

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Approves 13 New Historical Markers

Local school boards give away the store

While Pennsylvania residents keep looking to the state for property tax relief, local school boards continue to give away the store.

This Berks County school board voted 7-2 to give administrators a 4% pay hike. Why? Where are these administrators going to go in today's economy? Why give anyone a raise when so many people are out of work?

You can't go wrong voting out every incumbent school board member on the ballot in the May 17 primary.

Administrators get retroactive raises

Poll: Most PA residents oppose Corbett education cuts

Ed Rendell may be gone but the aftermath of his disastrous tenure as governor of Pennsylvania are still being felt today.

A new Franklin & Marshall College Poll of Pennsylvania voters released today shows that most Pennsylvania residents don't believe the state has recovered from Rendell's fiscal mismanagement.

Here are the poll highlights from Terry Madonna, director of the F&M Center for Politics and Public Affairs::
1) Most (53%) Pennsylvania adults believe the state is headed in the wrong direction, and most say they are worse off (31%) or the same (57%) financially as they were last year. Equal proportions of adults believe they will be better off financially (27%) as believe they will be worse off financially (26%) in the coming year. Pennsylvanians feel no better about their financial conditions than they did last fall.

2) Most state residents believe the state's financial condition is bad (47%) or very bad (31%), although only one in five (20%) believes Pennsylvania is in worse fiscal condition than most other states. Residents generally have confidence in Governor Corbett's ability to handle the state’s budget problems, as 53 percent express confidence (8% very, 45% somewhat) while 39 percent lack confidence in the governor, (23% not very, 16% not at all)

3) There remains strong opposition to increasing the state income and sales tax—only one in four (27%) residents supports increasing the income tax and only one in three (36%) favors increasing the sales tax. There is strong support for taxing the companies that extract and sell natural gas (62 percent favor while 30 percent oppose) and an even larger percentage of residents favor taxing smokeless tobacco and cigars (72 percent favor while 26 percent oppose).

4) Pennsylvanians are not in favor of the education cuts proposed by the Corbett Administration. Funding cuts to school districts are opposed by 78 percent of respondents while cutting funding to public universities in the state is opposed by 67 percent of respondents. Cuts to Medicaid do not draw much support either (70 percent of Pennsylvanians oppose these cuts).

5) Two in three (64%) Pennsylvanians favor selling the state liquor stores.

6) Respondents were divided about reducing the pay and benefits of state employees (47 percent opposed while 45 percent favored the reductions) although three in five (60%) support reducing the number of state employees.

7) Pennsylvanians are divided in their opinion about how to handle the state's fiscal situation. Two in five (39%) state residents believe the state should balance its budget through program and service cuts while a similar proportion (38%) believes the state should both cut spending and increase taxes to balance the budget. Few (6%) believe that tax increases alone are the way to solve the state's budget problems.
Complete results can be found in the attachment or at http://politics.fandm.edu

'Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less' campaign

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Schwank wins special election for 11th Senate seat

There's a reason Pennsylvania's 11th State Senate District has been represented by a Democrat since it was created in 1961.

It's one of the most heavily Democratic legislative districts in Pennsylvania.

The 11th District includes the City of Reading, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 5-1 margin. The most recent voter registration numbers show 82,727 registered Democrats to 48,674 Republicans in the 11th District.

Democratic Sen. Mike O'Pake first won the Senate seat in 1972 and had two more years left in his current term when he died Dec. 27 at age 70 from complications following heart surgery.

Democrat Judy Schwank, a former two-term Berks County commissioner, won the special election Tuesday to finish O'Pake's term, with 20,124 votes to Republican challenger Larry Medaglia's 14,794.

Even with Schwank's victory, Republicans hold a 30-20 majority in the state Senate. Republicans also control the state House and the governor's mansion.

Schwank continues to lead

With 95 of 128 precincts reporting, Democrat Judy Schwank continues to hold a 4,000+ vote lead over Republican Larry Medaglia in the race for the vacant 11th Senate District seat.

Schwank leads Medaglia in 11th Senate District race

With 59 of 128 precincts reporting, Democrat Judy Schwank leads Republican Larry Medaglia in the special election for Pennsylvania's 11th State Senate District.

Schwank has 9,026 votes to Medaglia's 5,641 ... but of the votes counted so far, 32 of the 59 districts are in the City of Reading, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 5-1 margin.

The eastern Berks County precincts, where Republicans hold the majority, still have not reported.

Schwank should have built up a much bigger lead over Medaglia in the Democratic-rich precincts in Reading and its immediate suburbs.

Immigration-Driven Population Growth is a Major Problem

Summer jobs with Pennsylvania Turnpike

State Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester/Montgomery) has announced that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has authorized a Summer Turnpike Program for college students.

From a press release issued by Kampf's office:
Several positions are available, including toll, maintenance and clerical. Candidates applying for toll collector positions must be available to work any of the three shifts over a 24-hour period, including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. All positions reflect a 40-hour work week and run from May 1 to Sept. 30, is limited to 16 weeks per employee.

The application is available online at http://www.paturnpike.com/pdf/SummerApp.pdf. All applications must be submitted to Representative Kampf's Harrisburg office at 429 Irvis Building, PO Box 202157, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2157.

14,000 Visitors

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Governor Corbett Signs Two Execution Warrants

Governor Corbett Signs Two Execution Warrants

Special election today will fill O'Pake seat

Election Day is here for residents in the 40 Berks County municipalities that make up the 11th State Senat District.

Special election today will fill O'Pake seat

Monday, March 14, 2011

Video: Larry Medaglia on the issues

Consumers cautioned about possible scams linked to earthquake & tsunami relief in Japan

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General: Consumers cautioned about possible scams linked to earthquake & tsunami relief in Japan

Obama OK with $4 or $5 per gallon gasoline

Obama leery of tapping oil reserve - Washington Times

Corbett Administration Extends Home Heating Help for Low-Income Families

Corbett Administration Extends Home Heating Help for Low-Income Families

Improved PA Unemployment Rate Brings Six-Week Reduction in Benefits

Improved Unemployment Rate Brings Six-Week Reduction in Benefits

More dirty tricks in PA 11th Senate District race?

Schwank, Democratic Party Exploit Opponent's Identity to Mislead Voters

Crushing The Children

Dirty tricks in PA 11th Senate District race?

52% Judy Schwank Spreads Lies to the Voters of Berks County on the Eve of Special Election

Judy Schwank campaign funded by unions

In addition to a $75,000 contribution from the campaign war chest of the late Sen. Mike O'Pake, it appears Democrat Judy Schwank's bid for the Pennsylvania Senated is being bankrolled by unions.

Senate race donations reveal bases of support

Click here for a list of campaign contributors.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Larry Medaglia makes his case for PA's 11th District Senate seat

Larry Medaglia makes a pretty strong argument about why Berks County voters should elect him Tuesday. He would be part of a GOP majority for the next two years. 11th District residents would have a seat at the table. His opponent would have the least seniority in the minority party.

Berks special election: Medaglia believes his GOP affiliation will help constituents - pottsmerc.com

Friday, March 11, 2011

'A Very Modest Victory in Madison'

A Very Modest Victory in Madison - The Editors - National Review Online

Rep. Quigley to Host Town Hall-Style Conference Call

Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery) will host a town hall meeting via telephone for residents of the 146th District at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 14.

From a press release issued by Rep. Quigley:
"In light of the recent budget proposal from Gov. Tom Corbett, I am interested to hear what people have to say," Quigley said. "I am hosting this town hall-style conference call to give everyone I represent the opportunity to find out what is going on in Harrisburg and our community and also ask questions without having to leave their home."

At approximately 7 p.m. on March 14, automated calls will be placed to residents of the 146th District inviting them to participate in the hour-long call. Quigley stressed that at any point during the phone call, people will be given the chance to ask questions by pressing *3, and he will try to get to everyone's inquires during the allotted hour.

National Poll Shows Support for Wisconsin Governor

National Poll Shows Support for Wisconsin Governor

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Orders Flags Statewide to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of WWI Veteran Frank Buckles

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Orders Flags Statewide to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of WWI Veteran Frank Buckles

PA Insurance Commissioner: Winter-Related Damage to Vehicles Can Lead to Auto Insurance Questions

PA Insurance Commissioner: Winter-Related Damage to Vehicles Can Lead to Auto Insurance Questions

Governor Corbett Names Linda Rosenberg as PCCD's Executive Director

Governor Corbett Names Linda Rosenberg as PCCD's Executive Director

Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner: Remember to Change Batteries in Smoke, Carbon Monoxide Alarms When Changing Clocks this Weekend

Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner: Remember to Change Batteries in Smoke, Carbon Monoxide Alarms When Changing Clocks this Weekend

Website attacks Schwank for raising taxes

A new website reminding Berks County voters of Democrat Judy Schwank's record of raising taxes has been launched.

The site - 52% Judy Schwank - takes its name from the fact that Schwank voted to raise property taxes by a total of 52% when she was a Berks County Commissioner.

"Judy Schwank Has Experience: She Knows How to Raise Our Taxes" states the website.

In addition to her record of raising taxes, the site also has information about a campaign contribution Schwank took in 2003 from former state Sen. Vince Fumo, who is now serving a federal prison sentence after he was convicted of corruption charges last year.

The site also disputes Schwank's claims of creating jobs while she was a county official.

The Republican candidate for the special election in the 11th Senatorial District (which was held by the late Sen. Mike O'Pake and covers most of Berks County) is Larry Medaglia, the current Register of Wills in Berks County.

The special election will be held Tuesday, March 15.

Check out 52% Judy Schwank here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sam Rohrer for US Senate?

Questionable Spending by PA Lawmakers

Team 4: Thousands Spent On Bibles, Flags Unnecessary For State Lawmakers? - Video - WTAE Pittsburgh

Cleaning up Obama's mess

House GOP Shuts Down Failed TARP Mortgage Programs - HUMAN EVENTS

Judy Schwank: A History of Raising Taxes

Judy Schwank: A History of Raising Taxes

Democracy for Demmies

NYT: U.S. 'Prepared' for $3.57 Gas, But Under Bush $2.55 Was 'Recession Predictor?'

NYT: U.S. 'Prepared' for $3.57 Gas, But Under Bush $2.55 Was 'Recession Predictor?'

Newspaper: Is America Becoming A Welfare Nation?

From Investor's Business Daily:
More than one-third of all wages and salaries in this country are actually government handouts. We should be alarmed that we've become a nation of dependents.
Editorial: Is America Becoming A Welfare Nation? - Investors.com

Governor Corbett Proclaims March 13-19 Wildfire Prevention Week

Governor Corbett Proclaims March 13-19 Wildfire Prevention Week

The Do-Nothing President

The Do-Nothing President | The Weekly Standard

Larry Medaglia for PA Senate TV Ad

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

FRC Action Condemns U.S. Senate for Opposing House-Approved Continuing Resolution

FRC Action Condemns U.S. Senate for Opposing House-Approved Continuing Resolution

Republicans yet to step up to the plate against Bob Casey Jr.

Republicans yet to step up to the plate against Casey

Ray Stevens - The Skies Just Ain't Friendly Anymore

PA State Bookstore to Close, Online-Only Sales Planned

PA State Bookstore to Close, Online-Only Sales Planned

Prosperity Project Intro Video

Governor Tom Corbett 2011-12 Budget Address

Governor Tom Corbett 2011-12 Budget Address

Governor Corbett Announces Formation of Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission

Governor Corbett Announces Formation of Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission

New Study Shows Beer Industry Contributes $6.9 Billion Annually to Pennsylvania Economy

New Study Shows Beer Industry Contributes $6.9 Billion Annually to Pennsylvania Economy

Pennsylvania Game Commission Releases 2010-11 Deer Harvest Estimates

Pennsylvania Game Commission Releases 2010-11 Deer Harvest Estimates

PA Supreme Court Upholds PGCB Casino Licensing Decision for Valley Forge Convention Center

PA Supreme Court Upholds PGCB Casino Licensing Decision for Valley Forge Convention Center

FTC Releases List of Top Consumer Complaints in 2010

FTC Releases List of Top Consumer Complaints in 2010

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grading Tom Corbett's First Budget Speech

Tom Corbett will never be mistaken for Ed Rendell.

His first budget address, delivered Tuesday, was as sharp a contrast as you will get between the slick, polished, media-savvy Ed Rendell and Tom Corbett, a prosecutor who still doesn't feel comfortable in front of large crowds, even after being elected governor of one of the nation's largest states.

Corbett was all business Tuesday as he addressed a joint session of the Pennsylvania Legislature. The subject, digging out of the fiscal mess left behind by Ed Rendell, was a sobering topic.

Corbett tried a couple of funny lines, but his delivery was off. If you're looking for charisma, start changing the channel until you find Charlie Sheen.

Corbett is at his best when he talks straight to fellow Pennsylvanias. It's a refreshing change from "Fast Eddie" Rendell, who had trouble telling the truth.

The Commonwealth Foundation gave Corbett a solid "B" for his message. That's a big improvement considering the same group gave Ed Rendell eight straight "F" grades on his budget addresses.

Here's the CF press release analyzing Corbett's speech:
The Commonwealth Foundation graded Gov. Tom Corbett's budget address a solid B today in its call to end the tax-borrow-and-spend approach to budgeting that placed Pennsylvanian in the present fiscal crisis.

"Unlike the past eight years that earned a fiscal grade of F, this budget puts the taxpayers first and deserves a solid B for not increasing taxes, reducing expenditures, and putting the taxpayers' interests first," said Commonwealth Foundation President and CEO Matthew J. Brouillette. "But much more can be done to limit state government to its core functions and begin reducing Pennsylvania's ranking as the 10th highest tax burden in the nation."

Brouillette praised the governor's call to give taxpayers greater control over school property tax increases above the rate of inflation, but encouraged him to go further. "Act 1 of 2006 failed to control property tax increases, and homeowners are paying for that legislative failure today," said Brouillette. "But we should give taxpayers a say over any and all tax increases. These are the taxpayers' schools and they should decide if they want to pay a penny more for them."

The governor also called for wage rollbacks and salary freezes for state workers who received pay increases while the private sector lost jobs. "Gov. Corbett gave great hope that Pennsylvania can end the inequity between private-sector taxpayers and government employees who enjoys better health care benefits, better pensions, better job security, and an earlier retirement," said Brouillette.

"In calling for ‘collective sacrifices' in the union bargaining process, Gov. Corbett asked state government workers to share in the same economic reality and burdens the taxpayers have every day," said Brouillette. "With 17 of 19 state union contracts set to expire in June, this is a reasonable approach to restoring the balance of power back to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania."

Setting the agenda for greater school choice and expanded privatization to include ending the state monopoly over liquor, Gov. Corbett called for "reality-based budgeting" by changing the budget focus from inputs to outcomes and having government prioritize spending based on well-defined core functions.

"This is a big step in the right direction, but it only slows the runaway tax-borrow-and-spend train that is state government," said Brouillette. "Pennsylvania still has a lot of work to be done, but we are hopeful this governor and this General Assembly will keep the promises they have made to the taxpayers."

To earn an A+, the Commonwealth Foundation recommends the complete elimination of "corporate welfare" programs; a more fiscally conservative revenue projection; reducing welfare fraud and abuse; and better financial planning for the coming pension, retiree health care, and Medicaid funding crises.

NPR Executives Caught On Video Bashing Conservatives

NPR Executives Caught On Video | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

Friday, March 4, 2011

DeMint, Coburn Introduce Bill to Defund PBS and NPR

DeMint, Coburn Introduce Bill to Defund PBS and NPR

Tony Phyrillas interview with Larry Medaglia, PA State Senate candidate

Between Barack and a Hard Place

Taxpayer coalition backs Medaglia in PA 11th Senate Dist. race

The Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition, a statewide education finance reform alliance, has endorsed Republican Larry Medaglia in the March 15 special election for the 11th Senatorial District.

In making its endorsement, the PTCC pointed to Medaglia's "unequivocal support for the principles embodied in the previously introduced School Property Tax Elimination Act legislation that will abolish school property taxes for all Pennsylvania homeowners and restructure a crumbling, antiquated education finance system."

Medaglia has pledged to support renewed efforts to eliminate school property taxes if he is elected to the Legislature, the PTCC noted.

"For 30 years, the homeowners of Pennsylvania have been deceived time and time again by phony, unsound property tax relief schemes and false promises of property tax reform," said David Baldinger, spokesman for the PTCC. "Larry Medaglia has taken a definite stance on this vital issue with his pledge to work for the passage of legislation supported by the PTCC that will at last give legitimate, sustainable relief to the homeowners of Pennsylvania through total school property tax elimination."

The PTCC is a member of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, an alliance of 50 grassroots taxpayer advocacy groups across Pennsylvania dedicated to the equitable education funding reform through the principles and mechanism of the School Property Tax Elimination Act.

For more about the PTCC, visit the group's website.

Corbett shuts out media at Medaglia event

A really dumb move by Corbett's staff. This was a campaign rally to help a Republican win office. Instead the focus is on Corbett's secrecy and downright rudeness. Sneaking out a backdoor? The local TV station gave the event 15 seconds on the air since Corbett pulled the plug on coverage. The KGB-style actions of Corbett's staff ruined it for all.

Corbett shuts out media; Candidate embarrassed by governor’s staff's actions (video) - pottsmerc.com

Thursday, March 3, 2011

FRC Praises House Judiciary Committee for Passing the 'No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act'

FRC Praises House Judiciary Committee for Passing the 'No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act'

Medaglia pick up endorsement of business group

Another major endorsement for Republican Larry Medaglia in his bid to win a special election to the Pennsylvania Senate. This time, it's he Pennsylvania office of the National Federation of Independent Business.

His opponent was endorsed by a union. What does that say?

Schwank, Medaglia pick up endorsements

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Online interview with Larry Medaglia

Larry Medaglia, the Republican candidate for the vacant 11th State Senate District seat, will be interviewed live online by me at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Go to The Mercury's website and watch the interview to learn more about Medaglia and the issues facing Berks County voters in the March 15 special election.

If you can't watch the interview live, it will be posted on The Mercury's website through March 15 so you can watch it any time.

The Democratic candidate, Judy Schwank, will be interviewed Thursday at 3 p.m.

Newspaper: Minority in Wisconsin cannot win by running, hiding

When a liberal newspaper publishes an editorial criticizing the Democrats and their union allies holding Wisconsin taxpayers hostage, the far left has lost the battle for public opinion.

Sen. Toomey's Maiden Speech

Columnist: What Would America's Founders Think About Fleeing Legislators?

William C. Marra: What Would America's Founders Think About Fleeing Legislators? | The Weekly Standard

Sen. Toomey: Congress cannot ignore debt crisis

From a recent op-ed by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey:
In only the last decade — since 2000 — total federal spending has doubled. Last year's level reached 25 percent of our nation's economy — a post-World War II record and far higher than recent years have averaged. This spending surge has resulted in massive, record-breaking deficits. As recently as 2007, our deficit was only 1.2 percent of our gross domestic product. This year it is more than 10 percent, or $1.6 trillion. Our government is borrowing about 40 cents of every dollar it spends.
Read the full column at the link below:

Congress cannot ignore debt crisis - pottsmerc.com

'Individual Mandate' in Health Care Reform Law Still Widely Unpopular: Poll

'Individual Mandate' in Health Care Reform Law Still Widely Unpopular: Poll

Pennsylvania Revenue Department Releases February Collections

Pennsylvania Revenue Department Releases February Collections

One-third of Americans Expect Economy to Improve in Coming Year

One-third of Americans Expect Economy to Improve in Coming Year

Columnist: Schwank no shoo-in for O'Pake seat

Mary Young: Schwank no shoo-in for O'Pake seat

Newspaper: Exceptions to school tax cap undermine law's intent

Exceptions to school tax cap undermine law's intent (2/24/11)

Wisconsin Dem Assemblyman Tells GOP Assemblywoman 'You Are F--king Dead,' Media Mum

Wisconsin Dem Assemblyman Tells GOP Assemblywoman 'You Are F--king Dead,' Media Mum

For 50 Straight Weeks, the Majority Has Supported Repeal

For 50 Straight Weeks, the Majority Has Supported Repeal | The Weekly Standard