Thursday, August 25, 2016

What does a 14-foot likeness of Trump looks like?

Patriotic paint job rallies Trump supporters in Youngstown, Pa.

Nonbelievers sue over Pennsylvania House's opening prayers

Nonbelievers sue over Pennsylvania House's opening prayers

Kathleen Kane's reign of terror ends

Pennsylvania voters elected the first female and first Democrat to the office of Pennsylvania attorney general in 2012. A protege of the Clintons, Kathleen Kane was touted as a future governor of U.S. Senator. Instead, her political career quickly went down in flames. Stripped of her law license and convicted of perjury and obstruction, Kane resigned from office and awaits sentencing.

Veteran political reporter Brad Bumsted:
The sad saga of Kane's chaotic and often illegal tenure as Pennsylvania's attorney general could have been avoided by a “no comment” on March 17, 2014, when she began to build a web of lies about a legislative bribery case she declined to prosecute. Kane now will be fortunate if she can stay out of prison. 

Brad Bumsted: Kathleen Kane's reign of terror ends

GUEST COLUMN: Eye of the Storm

By Lowman S. Henry

As August melts into September the halls of the state capitol building are relatively quiet. This is a marked contrast to a year ago when state government was in what turned out to be the early phases of the longest budget stalemate in state history. This year the budget, or at least the spending part of it, was done reasonably close to the constitutionally-mandated June 30th deadline, the revenue component followed several weeks later. 

But is this just the eye of the storm?

In capitulating to too many of Gov. Tom Wolf's spending demands the state legislature larded up the budget with nearly $1.4 billion in new expenditures. This despite claims of a $1.5 billion dollar "structural deficit" the governor claimed needed to be addressed. Even those using Common Core math can calculate that left the state nearly $3 billion in the hole.

To pay for this spending orgy some $650 million in new taxes were cobbled together, and accounting gimmicks employed, to produce a "balanced" budget. But the budget isn't really balanced and even that $650 million contains projected revenue that will never actually materialize. For example, lawmakers planned to charge the state's casinos $1 million each to purchase 24-hour liquor licenses. Apparently nobody thought to ask if the casinos wanted such licenses, as there now appears to be no takers. 

The budget also includes revenue from on-line gambling.  The problem is legislation has yet to be passed authorizing on-line gambling. After adopting the budget, the General Assembly adjourned for a two month recess delaying any possible revenue from that source deep into the fiscal year. 

And, predictably, the taxes that were hiked on existing businesses are having a dramatic negative impact. A 40% tax imposed on vaping supplies is driving many vaping stores - almost all of which are small businesses - out of business. That means not only will projected revenue from the tax fall short, but the state will also lose out on sales tax revenue as the stores shutter their doors. 

That Republicans in the legislature caved into $1.4 billion in new spending defied logic.  The GOP had fought an epic budget battle with the governor the previous fiscal year and won. Not only did they win, but not a single lawmaker seeking re-election was denied by voters due to the budget fight. After posting a historic win, Republicans essentially forfeited the next game.

All of these elements are coming together to produce the perfect fiscal storm as budget talks begin for next year. Don't forget that "structural deficit" of $1.4 billion hasn't been addressed. A significant portion of the new taxes enacted this year will fail to materialize. And, Gov. Wolf continues to demand a lengthy menu of spending hikes - and the taxes to pay for them.

Making matters worse the governor and the legislature have not been able to agree on how to deal with cost drivers, particularly the skyrocketing cost of public employee pensions. Pension costs are gobbling up the lion's share of any new revenue produced by a still slow-growing state economy. Republicans have passed pension reform only to see it vetoed by Gov. Wolf. There are new legislative proposals on the drawing board, but they fall woefully short of resolving the problem. Even if some reform is enacted it will likely have minimal impact on the upcoming 2017-18 state budget.

Given all of this, will Republicans stick to their pledge that without addressing cost drivers they will not enact broad-based tax hikes - such as raising the personal income tax, expanding and/or raising sales taxes - or  will they again cave into the governor's tax and spending demands? Much rides on the outcome of this looming budget fight, primarily the fiscal health of the commonwealth.

But, 2018 is a gubernatorial election year and this budget will be enacted as the campaign heats up. Gov. Wolf, if he seeks re-election, will want to show his base voters that he delivered the gods of higher spending. Republican voters will judge the GOP-controlled legislature by their ability to resist higher spending and more taxes. Add these competing political imperatives to the state's perilous fiscal circumstances and we should brace ourselves for the second wave of the hurricane.
(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitue.org.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hillary Clinton Role Models Ad - So Many Lies in 90 Seconds

Hillary Clinton counting on illegals to put her in White House

Hillary drafts illegal 'Dreamers' to get immigrants to vote: Hillary Clinton's campaign on Sunday announced a program to recruit undocumented Dreamers into a voter registration army even though they are not allowed to vote. Celebrating the four-year anniversary of President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Clinton launched Mi Sueno, Tu Voto (My Dream, Your Vote), to rally and secure commitments from immigrants who can vote. The DACA program created so-called Dreamers, the children of illegal immigrants who the president has offered renewable two-year work visas and deportation deferral. The goal for many in the program is amnesty. On Monday, the Democratic National Committee also heralded the DACA anniversary and said that Clinton will go further than Obama as president. Hillary Clinton is committed to introducing immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship within her first 100 days in office and she will continue defending DACA and DAPA from partisan attacks, said the DNC.

Media's misfires on Trump's Second Amendment remark

John Lott: Media's misfires on Trump's Second Amendment remark

ObamaCare's future: Condition critical

ObamaCare's future: Condition critical

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Study: Networks Squash Hillary’s Terror Woes to Scold Trump’s Gun Remark

Study: Nets Squash Hillary’s Terror Woes to Scold Trump’s Gun Remark: Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should have been forced to deal with campaign messes on Tuesday, but the three networks only treated the Republican’s problem as a huge gaffe worthy of extensive coverage. ABC, CBS and NBC deluged viewers with five times more coverage — 25 minutes and 35 seconds versus 4 minutes and 41 seconds — to Trump’s “Second Amendment people” remark than they did to the father of an ISIS-inspired terrorist sitting right behind Clinton at a rally in Orlando, Florida.

Conservative Leaders: Media Must Report on the Christian Genocide

More Than 30 Conservative Leaders: Media Must Report on the Christian Genocide: Christianity is on the verge of being wiped out in the Middle East. Ancient communities that have existed since the time of the apostles are being systematically eliminated. In Iraq alone, the number of Christians has plunged from one million to under 275,000 in the last 12 years alone.

Suffolk University Iowa Poll Shows Trump Leading Clinton

Suffolk University Iowa Poll Shows Trump Leading Clinton by 1 Point, 41-40 Percent - Suffolk University

Katie McGinty Backs Obama's Awful Iran Deal

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Friday, August 05, 2016

Fake Republicans for Hillary

Fake Republicans for Hillary: The defection of fake Republicans will make the party more conservative.

Feds Say Displaying Gadsden Flag Probably Racist


Feds Say Displaying Gadsden Flag Probably Racist: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has decided that displaying the “Don’t Tread On Me” Revolutionary War banner (the Gadsden Flag) is to be considered racial harassment.

'13 Hours' Home Video Sales Surge

'13 Hours' Home Video Sales Surge:
Michael Bay’s movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi has been enjoying a surge in home video sales following the RNC.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Pew: Voters see better future under Trump than Clinton

Pew: Voters see better future under Trump than Clinton: American voters believe that Republican Donald Trump will do a better job turning the country around that Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, especially in the areas of immigration, national security and the economy.
According to data tweeted out Tuesday by Pew Research Service, voters considering six major issues believe Trump would be a lot better in handling them than a Clinton administration

Pa. school districts holding on to $4B in "surplus" tax dollars

Saving for a Rainy Day – But Whose Money?

Taxpayers to pay $150,000 to resolve Kane 'wrongful termination' lawsuit

This is what you get when you elect an inexperienced Democrat into office (and I'm not talking about Obama.)

Taxpayers to pay $150,000 to resolve Kane 'wrongful termination' lawsuit

Student loan lunacy in the age of Obama

Student loan lunacy

IRS targeting: The stench grows

EDITORIAL: IRS targeting: The stench grows