Monday, August 31, 2009

March on Washington set for Sept. 12

The Mother of All Tea Parties is about to hit Washington, D.C.

Americans who believes in limited government, want to see lower taxes, less government and more freedom are invited to join the March on Washington scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009.

The 9-12 March on Washington national coordinators are FreedomWorks.org; TeaPartyPatriots.org; and Grassfire.org/Resistnet.com

They are being supported by a who's who of conservative, anti-tax, libertarian, free-market and patriotic organizations.

POLICY BLOG has a information on buses scheduled to take Pennsylvania protesters to the event.

From the official protest Web site:
"It's time to take the tea party movement directly to Washington, D.C. Please join thousands of local organizers and grassroots Americans from across the country as we gather in our nation’s capital to deliver a message to the politicians: Enough!

We've had enough of the out of control spending, the bailouts, the growth of big government and the soaring deficits. And we reject the future tax increases to pay for all of this spending and debt down the road. We are gathering on 9-12-2009 to deliver our message in person that we’ve had enough!"
For more information, visit http://912dc.org/

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

White House Report: Federal Govt. to Borrow 40 Percent of the Money it Spends

CNSNews.com - Federal Government Will Borrow 40 Percent of the Money It Spends Next Year, Says White House Report

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GOP on rush to pass Obamacare: 'We need to get it right'

FlyersRights.org Urges FAA Not to Relax Safety Rules

FlyersRights.org Urges FAA Not to Relax Safety Rules

Ann Coulter: Liberal Lies About National Health Care, Part 2

Best-selling author and columnist Ann Coulter has launched a series of columns exposing "Liberal Lies About National Health Care."

The first part covered five major lies:
(1) National health care will punish the insurance companies.
2) National health care will "increase competition and keep insurance companies honest" -- as President Barack Obama has said.
(3) Insurance companies are denying legitimate claims because they are "villains."
(4) National health care will give Americans "basic consumer protections that will finally hold insurance companies accountable" -- as Barack Obama claimed in his op/ed in the Times.
(5) Government intervention is the only way to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Read the full column at Townhall.com

The second column covers three more lies:
(6) There will be no rationing under national health care.
(7) National health care will reduce costs.
(8) National health care won't cover abortions.
Read the full column at Townhall.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

How to order pizza after Obamacare

Obama Adviser on 9/11: Blame 'U.S. Imperialism,' Reports Aaron Klein

Obama Adviser on 9/11: Blame 'U.S. Imperialism,' Reports Aaron Klein

PA Gaming Control Board Fines Casino for Underage Gambling Violations

PA Gaming Control Board Fines Casino for Underage Gambling Violations

Public Comment Period Opens for New Pennsylvania Erosion and Sediment and Stormwater Regulations

Public Comment Period Opens for New Pennsylvania Erosion and Sediment and Stormwater Regulations

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The ad ABC, NBC refuse to air



Hmmm ... Two struggling television networks won't accept money to air an advertisement critical of Obamacare. And I thought they were in business to make money. Didn't ABC give Obama free air time to promote his government-run plan? Just keep telling yourself there's no liberal bias in the media.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Obamanomics: From Bad to Worse



From Investor's Business Daily:
When it comes to the budget deficit, things just keep getting worse. As recently as May, the White House predicted $8.95 trillion in deficits over the next decade. Today, just four months later, thanks to slower economic growth and higher spending, the 2009-19 deficit is expected to hit $10.63 trillion — more than $1.68 trillion higher. This means more debt. Since its founding in 1776 all the way to last year, the U.S. had accumulated a total net debt of about $5.3 trillion. According to new estimates, that will nearly triple to $14.1 trillion by 2019.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The Lion of the Senate



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Taxpayers must fight Rendell and the 'spending interests'

Lowman S. Henry has some sound advice for Pennsylvania taxpayers: "If YOU don't speak up now, then the outcome of the budget crisis will be determined by those who do."

While it appears nothing much is happening while the state budget impasse marks its ninth week, Gov. Ed Rendell and the "spending interests" are working feverishly to weaken the resolve of Republican lawmakers, who have taken a "No New Taxes" stance.

From Henry's most recent post at his Lincoln Blog:
The spending interests are deploying a new tactic in their effort to inflict higher taxes on the working families of Pennsylvania: they are picketing the offices of their local state senators and state representatives and calling a compliant news media in for coverage.

In an effort to put pressure on fiscally responsible legislators, the spending interests are now resorting to pickets and demonstrations all the while chanting the mantra that it is time to end the stand-off.

I agree the budget stalemate should come to an end - but it should do so with state government living within OUR means and not raising any taxes. Otherwise, the budget crisis can go on until Easter if necessary.

Rendell has been manufacturing all sorts of doomsday scenarios for weeks now. In recent days school district officials - whose coffers are currently flush with local tax revenue - have be whining like spoiled children over the delay in state money, and over the fact Republicans want to give them less of an increase in their allowance, er, subsidies than they want.

Henry suggests Pennsylvania taxpayers give Rendell and the "spending interests" a taste of their own medicine.

"The tactic of demonstrating in front of legislative district offices is one taxpayers and taxpayer groups should emulate. Why should the spending interests be the only ones who make their voices heard?"

It would benefit every taxpayer to take time to call, write, visit - or take to the streets - in front of his/her legislator and senator's offices to either thank them for standing firm against tax hikes, or call upon them to put taxpayers first.
Read the full post at LINCOLN BLOG

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Saturday, August 29, 2009

State Capitol Roundup

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

GOP Leader Smith Challenges Democrats to Bring House Back Into Session to Deal With Budget

House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) this week called on House Democrat leaders to bring state lawmakers back to Harrisburg and get to work on the state budget, which is now 58 days late. Smith said the only way to resolve the disagreement among lawmakers and the governor about how much the state can afford to spend this year is to vote on it. He challenged Democrat leaders to run their proposals to increase taxes on Pennsylvanians. If there are not enough votes to support the tax hikes, then it's time to debate a fiscally responsible alternative, such as House Bill 1943, offered by Republican Appropriations Chairman Mario Civera. The plan increases the state's investment in public education and funds all vital state programs without increasing taxes. For more information on the Republican budget proposal, visit www.PAHouseGOP.com

Reining in Welfare Fraud Will Help Balance State Budget

In the wake of Democrat Auditor General Jack Wagner's recent report of mismanagement in the state's welfare system, House Republicans are renewing their call for reform to help save taxpayer money and balance the state's budget. An audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's (DPW) special allowance program, which assists welfare recipients in work training, turned up insufficient documentation for 45 percent of the payments reviewed. In one case, a Philadelphia man was paid thousands of dollars to watch his own children. In another, two beauty school students were reimbursed by the state for supplies they never purchased. Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) said this week that evidence of fraud has been building for the last three years, but he has little faith that DPW Secretary Estelle Richman will do anything to address the problem. House Republican Whip Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) is proposing legislation to tighten up the special allowance program, by limiting payments for child care, transportation, union fees, testing fees and professional fees, to reduce incidents of fraud and to ensure that state funds are reaching those truly in need of assistance. For the latest legislative news, visit PAHouseGOP.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Ryan Costello: U.S. Headed in Wrong Direction

Voters can change direction of country in 2010

By Ryan Costello

Has the historic spending and expansion of government by the Democrats gone too far? The combined costs of the various "stimulus" and bailout programs rammed through Congress are projected to reach $9.7 trillion, according to Bloomberg News.

That amounts to almost two-thirds of the value of everything produced in the U.S. during 2008. It would be enough to pay off 90 percent of the mortgages in the United States. It equals $30,000 for every man, woman and child in America. With $9.7 trillion, you could send a $1,430 check to every man, woman and child in the world.

It gets worse. It is certainly appropriate to evaluate legislation to address climate changes concerns. However, according to the Heritage Foundation, the recent cap-and-tax proposal approved by the House of Representatives would result in the loss of 3,117 jobs in the 6th Congressional District in the year 2012. The same study found that the act would result in a personal income loss of $415 million for Pennsylvanians in the 6th District alone.

Democrat proposals regarding healthcare reform for a government run healthcare system will prove even more costly to taxpayers and fail to address the problem of ensuring quality care to all Americans. Starting, owning or operating a small business will become even more burdensome —discouraging economic growth at the very time we need it most

For fiscal years 2009 and 2010, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the federal government will record its largest budget deficits as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since shortly after World War II.

In fact, the CBO estimates that the federal debt held by the public will soar from 41 percent of GDP at the end of fiscal year 2008 to 60 percent at the end of fiscal year 2010.

The "stimulus bill" has proven a failure at stimulating the economy. Less than 10 percent of stimulus money has been spent in the six months since enactment. Unemployment is now at a 26-year high of 9.5 percent, up from 7.6 percent when President Obama took office. The economic indicators are so bad that the Obama Administration postponed its mid-year economic report from mid-July to mid-August to avoid releasing a host of bad economic news as it seeks to push health care reforms through Congress. It is obviously not having the immediate economic impact promised by Congress.

What we really need are policies directed at job creation and lowering small business taxes to kick-start investment and innovation in the economy. The Democrats in Congress are failing to recognize that growing small businesses is the only way to truly create short term and sustainable job growth. The Democrats' plan — increasing government spending — only means more money out of the pockets of working families, seniors and future generations. Will federal leadership rely on the ingenuity and entrepreneurial characteristics that America was built upon? Or will federal leadership further expand government in an attempt to solve problems, regardless of the damaging effects on the future of our country? Attempting to solve our current financial crisis by burdening future generations with even more debt is not the solution.

To date, the majority party in Washington, D.C., has not been providing the true leadership our country, our economy, and the American people need. We are headed in the wrong direction. Ultimately, it may be up to the voters in 2010 to change the course through electing new leadership in Congress.

Ryan Costello is an attorney and the Chester County Recorder of Deeds. He is seeking the Republican nomination to run for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District in 2010.

For more information, visit his campaign Web site, http://ryancostelloforcongress.com

Framing the Debate

By The Numbers: 81

Today's number is 81.

That's the number of U.S. banks that have failed since Barack Obama became president, according to the Federal Insurance Deposit Corp.

By comparison, just 26 banks failed in all of 2008 when Republican George W. Bush was president. In 2007, just 3 U.S. banks failed.

Industry analysts predict that another 150 to 200 banks will fail. Keep that in mind next time the Obama media tells you the recession is over.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Newspaper: Obama budget projections 'laughably implausible'

White House estimates of a $9 trillion budget deficit over the next 10 years ($2 trillion more than the White House predicted just a few months ago) are still way off the real deficit projections, according to an editorial in The Wall Street Journal.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts that debt held by the public as a share of GDP, which was 40.8% in 2008, will rise to 67.8% in 2019 — and then keep climbing after that, says the newspaper.

The CBO says this is "unsustainable," but even this forecast may be optimistic, the newspaper says.

From the editorial:
The real fiscal crisis in Washington is that neither Congress nor the White House are offering any escape from these trillion-dollar deficits. Mr. Obama has not called for automatic and immediate spending cuts. He has not proposed eliminating hundreds of wasteful programs. To the contrary, the White House still hasn't ruled out another fiscal stimulus, as if a $1.6 trillion deficit isn't Keynesian stimulus enough. The Administration's celebrated scrub through the budget this summer identified $17 billion in agency savings. That's what Uncle Sam is borrowing every three days.

Obamanomics has turned into an unprecedented experiment in runaway government with no plan to pay for it, save, perhaps, for a big future toll on the middle class such as a value-added tax. White House budget director Peter Orszag promises that next year's budget will have a "plan to put the nation on a fiscally sustainable path." Hide the children.
Read the full editorial, "The Pelosi-Obama Deficits," at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, August 28, 2009

In Case of Nuclear Emergency ...

Pennsylvania Health Department Distributing Potassium Iodide to People Living, Working Near Nuclear Power Plants

The revolution is on!

The American Revolution of 2010 has launched a new Web site to help Americans oust the career politicians in Congress who have helped bankrupt this nation.

Revolt Against Career Politicians in the US Congress Begins Today

Newspaper: Rendell must read writing on the wall

One of the state's most liberal newspapers wants Gov. Ed Rendell to stop playing political games with the nine-week-old state budget stalemate and urges the governor to compromise with Republicans who are trying to hold the line on spending and taxes.

The Wilkes Barre Times Leader is telling Gov. Rendell that it's time the state started living within its means.

From the editorial:
It's time for our governor to face the realities of education funding and close this sad chapter of partisan politics so the state can resume helping all of the people with the resources it has.
Rendell must read writing on the wall | Opinion | timesleader.com - The Times Leader

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Drop It

Poll: 70% want smaller government

Six months of failure under the Democratic leadership of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid has convinced 7 in 10 Americans that big government liberalism is not the way to go, according to a new poll.

From the latest Rasmussen Reports:
Seventy percent (70%) of likely voters now favor a government that offers fewer services and imposes lower taxes over one that provides more services with higher taxes, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

That’s up five points over the past month and is the highest level measured in nearly three years.

Just 19% would prefer a government that provides more services in exchange for higher taxes, down five points from July and the lowest level in over two years. This marks the first time the percentage of voters who prefer this type of government has fallen below 20%.

Most Republicans (88%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (78%) like a government with lower taxes and fewer services, and 48% of Democrats agree. However, one-in-three Democrats (34%) prefer more government services and higher taxes.
Read more at Rasmussen Reports

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Everything Teachers and Parents Need to Know About Swine Flu

Everything Teachers and Parents Need to Know About Swine Flu

Auditor General Jack Wagner's Investigation Shows Sale of State Office Building Will Cost Taxpayers $55 Million, and Decentralize State Government Services

Auditor General Jack Wagner's Investigation Shows Sale of State Office Building Will Cost Taxpayers $55 Million, and Decentralize State Government Services

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Business group backs Mensch for PA Senate

ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, announced today it has endorsed Republican state Rep. Bob Mensch for the 24th Senatorial District.

Mensch, who has represented the 147th House District in Montgomery County since 2007, will face Democrat Anne Scheuring in a Sept. 29 special election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Robert Wonderling, who resigned to head the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Scheuring is a newcomer to politics, serving on the Lansdale Borough Council since January.

The winner of the special election will complete the remainder of Wonderling's term, which runs through the end of 2010. Candidates will have to compete again in November 2010 for a full four-year term in the state Senate.

The 24th Senate District includes parts of Montgomery, Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks counties.

From ChamberPAC:
"Rep. Mensch's election to the state Senate would be a natural extension of his dedicated public service in the state House," said Gene Barr, PA Chamber vice president of government and public affairs.

Barr said Mensch understands the concerns of job creators and has voted consistently for policies that promote economic and job growth to the benefit of his constituents and all Pennsylvanians.

"With an economy in crisis, it is essential to have someone in office who understands what it will take to move Pennsylvania forward," said Barr, noting as well Mensch's past 28 years of experience with AT&T.

"For these reasons, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry wholeheartedly supports his state Senate candidacy. Constituents in Montgomery County will be well served by Mensch as their senator."
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, serving more than 24,000 members and customers statewide. For more information, visit the group's Web site at www.pachamber.org

For more on Mensch, visit his campaign Web site, http://electmensch.com

Governor Rendell Says U.S., PA Flags to be Flown at Half-Staff in Honor of Sen. Kennedy

Governor Rendell Says U.S., PA Flags to be Flown at Half-Staff in Honor of Sen. Kennedy

White House Sued Over Free Speech Violations In Healthcare Battle: Doctor & Patient Groups Say White House Intended to Shut Up Opponents

White House Sued Over Free Speech Violations In Healthcare Battle: Doctor & Patient Groups Say White House Intended to Shut Up Opponents

Governor Rendell Signs Two Bills

Governor Rendell Signs Two Bills

Surf's Up

Harris Poll: Americans Give Obama Negative Ratings on 12 Issues

Bad news across the board for Barack Obama and his failed presidency from the latest Harris Poll:
As President Obama's overall job approval remains just barely positive, when presented with a list of 12 issues he is currently facing, the American public believes that the job he is doing on all 12 of them is negative. The one that is closest to an even split among adults is reducing the threat of terrorist attacks against the United States where just over half of Americans (51%) give the president negative ratings and 49% give him positive ratings.

These are some of the findings of The Harris Poll, a new nationwide survey of 2,498 U.S. adults surveyed online between August 10 and 18, 2009 by Harris Interactive.

Looking at the economic issue overall, three in five Americans (61%) give President Obama negative ratings on the economy, while 39% give him positive ones. In June, 43% of Americans gave President Obama positive ratings on the economy. When it comes to specific economic issues, the news is worse for the president. On regulating the financial system, 63% give President Obama negative marks and on taxes two-thirds of Americans (67%) give him negative marks. Seven in ten Americans give the president negative ratings on employment/ unemployment (69%) and social security (70%) while over three-quarters (77%) give him negative marks on the job he is doing on the federal budget.

Looking at the environment, 57% of Americans give President Obama negative marks for his handling of that issue. When it comes to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public is of a similar mind. Almost three in five U.S. adults (58%) give President Obama negative marks on his handling of the war in Iraq and 59% give him negative ratings on his handling of the war in Afghanistan. More than three in five Americans give President Obama negative ratings on the overall job he is doing on education (63%) and health care (65%).

There is also a generation divide on these issues. The youngest generation, Echo Boomers (those aged 18-32) are less likely to give President Obama negative ratings on 11 of the 12 issues. On one, the environment, Baby Boomers are the most "positive" on the job the president has done. In comparison, Matures (those aged 64 and older) and more likely to give President Obama negative ratings on 11 of the 12 issues. On social security, Gen Xers (those aged 33-44) are the most negative.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Secretary Napolitano Tells The American Legion 'Preparedness, Not Fear' is DHS Guiding Principle

Secretary Napolitano Tells The American Legion 'Preparedness, Not Fear' is DHS Guiding Principle

VA Pledge to Women Veterans on Women's Equality Day

VA Pledge to Women Veterans on Women's Equality Day

Judicial candidate on "Talking Politics"

Attorney Gary Silow, a candidate for Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge, will be the studio guest on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

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

If you can't receive the radio signal, you can listen to the broadcast online at www.pottsmerc.com or www.1370wpaz.com

Silow has been practicing law in Montgomery County for the past 29 years.

The non-partisan Judiciary Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association has rated Silow "HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" after an exhaustive review of his career.

Silow graduated from Abington High School, with honors from the Pennsylvania State University, and from Temple Law School. He has been a member of the Montgomery Bar Association for more than 28 years, and has been a practicing Montgomery County attorney since graduating from law school.

Following his tenure as an Assistant District Attorney in Montgomery County, Silow began a private practice in the Jenkintown area. Silow has lived in Montgomery County for 48 years.

For more on Silow, visit his campaign Web site, www.garysilowforjudge.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The American Legion Calls VA's so-Called Death Book an 'Awkward Attempt to Help'

The American Legion Calls VA's so-Called Death Book an 'Awkward Attempt to Help'

Enter 'There Ought To Be A law' video contest



The Montgomery County Bar Association and Montgomery County Bar Foundation are holding a second annual video contest. This year's theme is "There Ought To Be A Law," promoting awareness and respect for law.

Contest participants can enter under two categories: under 18 and over 18. Participants are expected to create a video entry describing a new law they feel should exist or a law that should be changed.

The deadline is Oct. 18. And there will be People's Choice Awards given out.

The winner could walk away $1,000 richer.

The contest is open to everyone who is a resident of Pennsylvania, including licensed lawyers. Those under 18 must have their parents' permission to enter.

Go the the Montgomery County Bar Association Web site for full contest rules.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rep. Pitts adds third town hall meeting

I guess Rep. Joe Pitts is making up for his Democratic colleagues who are afraid to face their constituents on the hot-button issue of Obamacare.

Just hours after announcing a second town hall on health care, Pitts released the following statement, adding a third meeting:
Rep. Joe Pitts will hold a town hall meeting to discuss health care reform legislation Friday, August 28 at Unionville Elementary School, 1775 West Doe Run Road, Kennett Square, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Residents of the 16th District are encouraged to come and ask questions about the legislation currently working its way through Congress and Rep. Pitts own views about the best way to improve health care for all Americans.

This town hall is in addition to a meeting in Lancaster County on Thursday night and another meeting in September that will be scheduled after House Democratic Leadership releases the version of H.R. 3200, the health care reform bill, which will be considered on the House floor. The bill was considered by three separate committees, including the Energy and Commerce Committee on which Rep. Pitts serves. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the three chairmen of these committees are currently working on a bill that could be significantly different from the original legislation.

Throughout the month of August, Rep. Pitts has met with concerned citizens to discuss health care including Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, hospital administrators and doctors and senior citizens communities. Additionally, Rep. Pitts held a telephonic town hall that reached out to 89,000 residents and answered live questions about health care reform and other subjects.

"I'm glad to have the opportunity to hold yet another meeting with residents of the 16th District," Pitts said. "Nothing is more important to me than hearing from my constituents and I welcome the opportunity to listen to their concerns about health care reform in an open forum.

"We need health care reform but the right kind of reform. We need to make sure every American can get health insurance, even if they have a pre-existing condition. We need to bring down the cost of insurance by creating real competition and consumer choice. We need a compassionate, effective system that controls costs and takes care of every American. But also we need responsible reform that will not be a costly burden to our children and grandchildren."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Gaining The High Ground

Pennsylvania DCNR Forestry Bureau Announces Funding For Rural Firefighters

Pennsylvania DCNR Forestry Bureau Announces Funding For Rural Firefighters

Does The Koran Belong In School?

Excellent Letter to the Editor originally published in The Pottstown Mercury about how the liberal education establishment is bending over backwards to accommodate the tiny Muslim minority in schools while continuing to battle the 85 percent Christian majority. Where is the separation of church-and-state when it comes to religions other than Christianity?
Does The Koran belong in school?

It won't be long until school starts.

Now that public school textbooks (see 6th grade Social Studies book, The World, and more) are being printed with pro-Islamic religious content and pro-Islamic political views, and because Islam is a religion, I am wondering about the response to this material from people who have been known to raise one unholy howl whenever there has been a hint that their children have been or might be exposed to any mention of Jesus or the God of the Bible or oh, may God forbid (God?), the terror of prayer in the name of the Savior. (Oddly, people do not mind dishonorably using His name in general conversation do they?) Granted, Jesus is mentioned in the Islamic teaching in the textbook, but what is written abut Him is very seriously not true.

Any person agreeing to accept the Koran for facts about Mohammad should logically regard the authority about Jesus to be the Bible, certainly not the Koran or any other extra biblical religious books that contain distorted passages from the Bible.

Some schools are even allotting times for Muslim students to spread their little prayer rugs and recite Islamic prayers. What? No separation of mosque and state? Maybe people who are not too acquainted with Islam just don't take this religious bias seriously enough to fret over it, but we certainly should regard the consequences of some of its teachings seriously. They are of a lot more concern than bowing heads for prayer at lunch times or, scarier yet,....at flagpoles. If there is no separation of mosque and state, there should be no separation of church and state (by secular definition).

It is a religious controversy, so ask yourselves: Why do we tolerate those in our society who would have us legally reject the religion that formed the character of the men who originally built our national foundation and culture into the once strongest, most influential in the world, while we educationally promote the religion of our country's greatest enemies that had nothing, nothing, nothing to do with our development or founding ideologies?

The Bible, the first holy book to exist, with its teachings that have been twisted by false religions, and misquoted by any number of people who critically critique it or misuse it as an excuse to do wrong, has remained remarkably well preserved and offers a thorough understanding of right and wrong, and it tells of the real God who died for our sins, rather than one who requires his followers to die for him. Also, the Bible never tells us to inflict cruelty upon those who reject it like the religion being taught in those textbooks.

Yet the Bible seems to be the book that an awful lot of people fear. Could it be the truth spoken from the Bible somehow feels more unnerving than the lies we hear and the lies we tell to ourselves? Does anyone care about school children being taught to accept error as truth? It's been happening with more than religious and political thought.

If you care, please, plan an alternative to public education for your children.

SANDRA BUTTS
Pottstown
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Explaining the anger

John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, offers an excellent analysis of the growing anger exhibited by Americans toward the political class in Washington.

From his recent column in The Wall Street Journal:
Why are they so angry? The reasons are manifold, but the single biggest reason is the arrogance of our elected officials in Washington. Think about it. For the past seven months a small group of politicians has been meeting behind-closed-doors with powerful special interests to decide whether you will be able to keep your current insurance, where you will be directed to get new insurance and at what price, what fines you and your employer will have to pay if you don't conform, and how they're going to get your doctor to change the way he or she practices medicine. In the process, they never asked you what you thought about anything. If you are not mad about this, odds are you don't understand the situation.
Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.

Rep. Rohrer Opposes Rendell Sales Tax Expansion

For the past six years, Gov. Ed Rendell has opposed efforts by state Rep. Sam Rohrer's efforts to expand the state sales tax in order to eliminate school property taxes.

Now that Gov. Rendell is floating the idea of expanding the state sales tax to help cover his $3.2 billion budget deficit, Rohrer is among the first state lawmakers to publicly condemn the idea.

From a press released issued today by Rohrer, a Republican who represents the 128th District in Berks County:
"The governor seems unable to understand that, on taxes, no means no," Rohrer said. "There is only one acceptable solution to the ongoing budget stalemate. The state must reduce spending to match its income. State government should not be adding to the burden of working families by raising taxes during this economic recession. That would be cold-hearted and wrong. Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve a compassionate government that does not kick them while they're down."

Rohrer is the Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee and the sponsor of the School Property Tax Elimination Act (SPTEA), a plan to free Pennsylvania homeowners from the burdensome property tax. Rohrer's plan would use an expanded sales tax, among other revenue sources, to fund education in the Commonwealth.

Rohrer warned residents not to be confused by the governor's proposal. While Rohrer's is about eliminating property taxes, the governor's is about expanding the state budget.

"My plan offers the hope of a property tax-free Pennsylvania," Rohrer said. "The governor's proposal is just another attempt to dig deeper into the pockets of taxpayers. He just wants more money to spend on more government."

Rendell is proposing the sales tax expansion after his earlier proposal to increase the state income tax was shot down by the General Assembly.

"The governor just doesn't get it," Rohrer said. "Whether it's an income tax, a sales tax or any other tax hike proposal he cares to offer, people just can't afford it right now. Instead of always expecting taxpayers to sacrifice and do more with less, the governor might actually have to sacrifice for a change."

Rohrer also noted it would be interesting to see which House Democrats would rise to support the governor's call for an expansion in the state sales tax to pay for additional state government spending.

"In the past, some House Democrats have adamantly opposed my plan to use a sales tax expansion to eliminate school property taxes," Rohrer said. "Will those same lawmakers now rise to support the governor's proposal to expand the tax to pay for more government? If that's the case, they would essentially be saying that they'd support a sales tax expansion to help the governor, but not to help homeowners. That's one heck of a message to send to property taxpayers in your district."

Rohrer said he will encourage his colleagues in the General Assembly who have supported the SPTEA to oppose the governor's sales tax expansion.

"The sales tax was instituted in 1953 for education only. It should remain for education only," Rohrer said. "It should not be used as a back door into the pockets of taxpayers to pay for more government spending."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

'Gov. Rendell has Cadillac tastes with a Chevy pocketbook'

Another great letter from Camp Hill resident Bill McIntyre to Gov. Ed Rendell and every other elected official in Pennsylvania:

August 24, 2009

To: Friends of Responsible Government
Subject: Budget; what else?

Dear Friends,

What else? Plenty! The U.S. Postal Service is poorly managed and billions of dollars in debt. Amtrak is a similar story. Auto dealers not being timely reimbursed under the "cash for clunkers" program; Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare in financial trouble; and now President Obama wants government to run our health care. Government has proven it can't run itself, let alone everything else.

Here in Pennsylvania we have similar problems with our leadership (what leadership?). Gov. Rendell has Cadillac tastes with a Chevy pocketbook (I can say that as I own a Chevy). His actions remind me of a story that has a moral:
Looking for an inexpensive gift for a friend, a tightwad entered a gift shop, but found everything too expensive.

Pricing a glass vase that had been broken, he found that he could buy it for practically nothing. He requested the store to send it; hoping his friend would think it had been broken in transit.

In due time, he received an acknowledgement that read – "Thanks for the vase. It was so thoughtful of you to wrap each individual piece separately."
This is the approach being used by our governor; but he is mailing each piece separately and at different time intervals using the U.S. Post Office. First, he sent the delayed salaries to most state workers. Second, we're still waiting! He missed the opportunity to mail half of the broken vase that contained some help for our schools of which he champions; along with help for the homeless, day care centers, drug and alcohol services and food pantries to name a few.

Gov. Ed Rendell reasoned it would put the pressure on the legislature to pass his budget; but it has backfired. He is the roadblock in this budget mess. His attitude is all; or nothing at all. So, when the money runs out and services end, look towards the person who occupies the governor’s office until the 3rd Tuesday of January 2011. Much harm can and will happen before then, unfortunately!

Sick of politics as usual,
Bill McIntyre
Change! You can keep it!


CC: Gov. Ed Rendell
Executive, Legislative & Judicial Branches of PA Government

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rep. Pitts schedules town hall for Thursday

While most Democratic members of Congress are hiding under the beds instead of giving their constituents an opportunity to be heard on Obamacare, one area Republican Congressman is holding two town hall meetings.

Rep. Joe Pitts, R-16th, has added a second town hall meeting for Thursday night.

From a press released issued today by Pitts' office:
Rep. Joe Pitts will hold a town hall meeting to discuss health care reform legislation Thursday, August 27, at Conestoga Valley High School, 2110 Horseshoe Road, Lancaster, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Residents of the 16th District are encouraged to come and ask questions about the legislation currently working its way through Congress and Rep. Pitts' own views about the best way to improve health care for all Americans.

This town hall is in addition to a meeting in September that will be scheduled after House Democratic Leadership releases the version of H.R. 3200, the health care reform bill, which will be considered on the House floor. The bill was considered by three separate committees, including the Energy and Commerce Committee on which Rep. Pitts serves. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the three chairmen of these committees are currently working on a bill that could be significantly different from the original legislation.

Throughout the month of August, Rep. Pitts has met with concerned citizens to discuss health care including Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, hospital administrators and doctors and senior citizens communities. Additionally, Rep. Pitts held a telephonic town hall that reached out to 89,000 residents and answered live questions about health care reform and other subjects.

Rep. Pitts Statement Follows:
"Nothing is more important to me than hearing from my constituents. In the many meetings I have had with them this month they have expressed to me a multitude of concerns with the current system but also with the proposed legislation. I look forward to meeting many more 16th District residents on Thursday night in an open forum where I can share my views, listen to concerns and opinions and answer questions.

"We need healt hcare reform but the right kind of reform. We need to make sure every American can get health insurance, even if they have a pre-existing condition. We need to bring down the cost of insurance by creating real competition and consumer choice. We need a compassionate, effective system that controls costs and takes care of every American. But also we need responsible reform that will not be a costly burden to our children and grandchildren."

Veterans Administration Must Suspend Use of So-Called 'Death Book' on Veterans, Malley Says

Veterans Administration Must Suspend Use of So-Called 'Death Book' on Veterans, Malley Says

Rep. Sam Smith: Dems still want to raise taxes

House Republican Leader Sam Smith is warning that Gov. Ed Rendell is working on another sneaky tax increase as the state's budget crisis enters its ninth week.

Smith issued the following statement regarding the Sales and Use Tax expansion proposal being offered by the governor as a means to fund his bloated state spending proposal.
For 55 days, Pennsylvania has not had a full operating budget in place, and the latest official budget proposal put forth by the Democrats increases state spending to $29.1 billion, far more than is supported by anticipated state revenues and federal stimulus dollars.

"One way or another, the governor wants your money. In this climate, more taxes can be devastating for Pennsylvania families and employers.

"Last week, Democrats were looking to tax legal services and limit access to the courts.

"Now, we learn 'everything is on the table,' and they have a list of items, including many other 'services' they are looking to tax for more revenues – including each and every ATM transaction.

"Newspapers and magazines; movie, sports and theater tickets; museums, historic sites and the zoo will all have the state Sales and Use Tax added to their costs just to increase state spending. Research and development, advertising, and administrative services will be taxed under the governor’s plan. In order to pay for big government services, Democrats are even looking to tax Unemployment Compensation Claims, mass transit, textbooks, flags and dry cleaning.

"In order to spend, they are looking to tax. More taxes on Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvania employers are wrong and cause harm. Republicans have a better idea.

"House Republicans have introduced the $27.5 billion, no-tax-increase 2009-10 Republican Compromise Budget, House Bill 1943, which includes a $150 million increase for basic education as well as an increase for services to non-public schools; money for hospitals and health care programs that were eliminated from the governor’s proposal; and necessary dollars for human service programs.

"The House Republican proposal is a complete budget that funds the needs and priorities of Pennsylvania. Reflecting the state of the global economy, some may have to do with less, but none will have to do without.

"By using reason and setting realistic priorities, a no-tax-increase budget is indeed possible."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Monday, August 24, 2009

'Americans need patient-centered reform'

PennDOT Reminds Drivers, Students to Be Alert, Be Safe As School Begins

PennDOT Reminds Drivers, Students to Be Alert, Be Safe As School Begins

RetireSafe calls the Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights the Real Cure for Older Americans

RetireSafe calls the Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights the Real Cure for Older Americans

'Good Guy' Sen. Bunning Recognized By Legion Leaders

'Good Guy' Sen. Bunning Recognized By Legion Leaders

Rep. Schroder: Blame suffering on Rendell

For some perspective on the "suffering" of social service agencies and the education community because of the state budget impasse, we turn to state Rep. Curt Schroder (R-155):
Governor's Vetoes Unnecessarily Harm Vulnerable Pennsylvanians

Human services providers and the people they serve have been put in a very precarious situation as a result of the state budget impasse. Unfortunately, they have become the new prisoners in the budget battle. When Gov. Ed Rendell signed the so-called interim budget and vetoed funding for vital government services, he released one set of hostages, the state employees, and claimed another. Now human services groups, social services programs, libraries, school districts and students heading off to college this fall, are suffering.

They are suffering, not because lawmakers don't want to fund them but because the governor would rather use them as leverage to get his higher spending and higher taxes. His actions are cruel and lack compassion. With many human service programs and child care centers now on the brink of closure as a result of the governor's actions, Senate Republicans tried to override more than $2 billion of his vetoes. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats voted against the effort, forcing human service providers, their consumers and others to continue going without the funding they need indefinitely.

The budget impasse could end tomorrow and could have ended months ago if the governor would take the approach that millions of Pennsylvanians have already taken during this recession. People have adjusted their lifestyles to live within their means, and the taxpayers of this state have every right to expect state government to do the same! We must encourage economic growth by keeping taxes low in order to see state revenue rebound. Only then will our schools, libraries, human services and other programs have the funding necessary to sustain them.

Unlike the governor, most Pennsylvanians know that a tax increase is not the answer. I will not yield that ground and, in fact, both Republicans and many Democrats in the House and Senate have stood up to the governor on this issue. Pennsylvanians deserve an end to the games and brass knuckle tactics of the Rendell Administration that have prevented a reasonable resolution to this budget.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'Inglorious Basterds' tops weekend box office

"Inglourious Basterds" topped the box office this weekend with an estimated $37.6 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com

No other new release cracked the Top 5 as the summer movie season winds down.

Last week's No. 1, "District 9," took in an estimated $18.9 million as it dropped to No. 2, bringing its total haul to a respectable 73.6 million.

"Inglourious Basterds" had the second best opening weekend of any World War II movie, falling short only to "Pearl Harbor," which opened with $59 million in 2001. "Saving Private Ryan" is No. 3 on the all-time list, with a $30.5 opening in 1998.

WEEKEND TOP 5 STUDIO ESTIMATES, AUGUST 21-23, 2009

Rank. Movie Title (Distributor)
Weekend Gross | Theaters | Total Gross | Week #

1. Inglourious Basterds (Weinstein Company)
$37.6 million | 3,165 | $37.6 million | 1

2. District 9 (TriStar)
$18.9 million | 3,050 | $73.5 million | 2

3. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Paramount)
$12.5 million | 3,953 | $120.5 million | 3

4. The Time Traveler's Wife (Warner Bros. (New Line))
$10.0 million | 2,988 | $37.4 million | 2

5. Julie & Julia (Sony / Columbia)
$9.0 million | 2,463 | $59.3 million | 3
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Obamacare scares this columnist to death

Nat Hentoff is the kind of hard-core liberal who should have no problem embracing Obamcare. But unlike most members of Congress, Hentoff has read the various provisions in Obamacare ... and he's scared to death about a government takeover of our health care system.

Keep in mind that we're not talking about Glenn Beck here. This is Nat Hentoff, liberal icon, champion of left-wing causes for decades.

Excerpts from a recent Hentoff's column on Obamacare:
I was not intimidated during J. Edgar Hoover's FBI hunt for reporters like me who criticized him. I railed against the Bush-Cheney war on the Bill of Rights without blinking. But now I am finally scared of a White House administration. President Obama's desired health care reform intends that a federal board (similar to the British model) — as in the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation in a current Democratic bill — decides whether your quality of life, regardless of your political party, merits government-controlled funds to keep you alive. Watch for that life-decider in the final bill. It's already in the stimulus bill signed into law.

No matter what Congress does when it returns from its recess, rationing is a basic part of Obama's eventual master health care plan. Here is what Obama said in an April 28 New York Times interview (quoted in Washington Times July 9 editorial) in which he describes a government end-of-life services guide for the citizenry as we get to a certain age, or are in a certain grave condition. Our government will undertake, he says, a "very difficult democratic conversation" about how "the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care" costs.

This end-of-life consultation has been stripped from the Senate Finance Committee bill because of democracy-in-action town-hall outcries but remains in three House bills.

A specific end-of-life proposal is in draft Section 1233 of H.R. 3200, a House Democratic health care bill that is echoed in two others that also call for versions of "advance care planning consultation" every five years — or sooner if the patient is diagnosed with a progressive or terminal illness.

As the Washington Post's Charles Lane penetratingly explains ("Undue influence," Aug. 8): the government would pay doctors to discuss with Medicare patients explanations of "living wills and durable powers of attorney ... and (provide) a list of national and state-specific resources to assist consumers and their families" on making advance-care planning (read end-of-life) decisions.

Significantly, Lane adds that, "The doctor 'shall' (that's an order) explain that Medicare pays for hospice care (hint, hint)."

But the Obama administration claims these fateful consultations are "purely voluntary." In response, Lane -- who learned a lot about reading between the lines while the Washington Post's Supreme Court reporter -- advises us: "To me, 'purely voluntary' means 'not unless the patient requests one.'" But Obamas’ doctors will initiate these chats. "Patients," notes Lane, "may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority"

And who will these doctors be? What criteria will such Obama advisers as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel set for conductors of end-of-life services?

I was alerted to Lanes’ crucial cautionary advice — for those of use who may be influenced to attend the Obamacare twilight consultations — by Wesley J. Smith, a continually invaluable reporter and analyst of, as he calls his most recent book, the "Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America" (Encounter Books).

As more Americans became increasingly troubled by this and other fearful elements of Dr. Obama's cost-efficient health care regimen, Smith adds this vital advice, no matter what legislation Obama finally signs into law:

"Remember that legislation itself is only half the problem with Obamacare. Whatever bill passes, hundreds of bureaucrats in the federal agencies will have years to promulgate scores of regulations to govern the details of the law. This is where the real mischief could be done because most regulatory actions are effectuated beneath the public radar. It is thus essential, as just one example, that any end-of-life counseling provision in the final bill be specified to be purely voluntary ... and that the counseling be required by law to be neutral as to outcome. Otherwise, even if the legislation doesn't push in a specific direction -- for instance, THE GOVERNMENT REFUSING TREATMENT -- the regulations could.” (Emphasis added.)

Who'll let us know what's really being decided about our lives — and what is set into law? To begin with, Charles Lane, Wesley Smith and others whom I'll cite and add to as this chilling climax of the Obama presidency comes closer.

Condemning the furor at town-hall meetings around the country as "un-American," Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are blind to truly participatory democracy — as many individual Americans believe they are fighting, quite literally, for their lives.

I wonder whether Obama would be so willing to promote such health care initiatives if, say, it were 60 years from now, when his children will — as some of the current bills seem to imply — have lived their fill of life years, and the health care resources will then be going to the younger Americans?
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Newspaper: School districts, taxpayers squeezed by economy, tax hikes

Excellent story in the York Daily Record about the continuing problem of school property taxes in Pennsylvania now exacerbated by the recession.

From an article by reporter Nichole Dobo:
Each school district has its own reasons for rising expenses -- building projects, increasing enrollment or salary increases, for example. But all districts in the county have been impacted in some way by the same economic issues facing residents: lower wages, declining interest rates and decreased home sales and values.

Some taxpayers, who are also shouldering a tough economy, say the tax hikes are hard to take during a time when salaries and home values have flat-lined or declined while prices for necessities -- such as gas and food -- have increased rapidly.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

State Capitol Roundup

Here's the latest State Capitol Roundup courtesy of state Rep. Bob Mensch, R-147th:

House Republicans Offer $27.5 Billion Budget Compromise

In an attempt to quickly resolve the budget stalemate and release funds for those depending on them, House Republicans have offered yet another responsible, balanced budget compromise. Developed in conjunction with several House Democrats, the $27.5 billion plan funds vital services, increases funding for education and does not raise taxes. House Republicans are eager to adopt this compromise now as Pennsylvania has entered its eighth week without a final budget. Since Gov. Ed Rendell decided at the beginning of the month to veto billions of dollars in funding from the interim state budget, human service providers and the people they serve have become leverage in the continuing budget crisis he created. College students are also still waiting to see if or when they will get the state grants they were guaranteed. Senate Democrats this week voted against immediately releasing funding for state grants for college students, mental retardation services, rape crisis and domestic violence services, veterans' assistance programs, and mortgage assistance programs as Senate Republicans attempted an override of the governor's veto. For the latest budget news, visit PAHouseGOP.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Obamacare back to square one?

Good story in POLITICO by former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Carrie Budoff Brown about the unraveling of Obamacare.

From Budoff Brown's story:
At the start of the year, Democrats were convinced they’d finally cracked the code.

They’d spent years testing and refining their message on health care reform. They had a popular president to push the effort, and Democratic majorities in Congress to support it. The public seemed receptive to big changes.

Eight months later, the effort is in serious trouble. The White House is almost back to Square One, struggling to break through with a message that has undergone several major course-corrections and on the defensive against wild charges that caught Democrats off-guard.

What went wrong? Bearing the brunt of some of the criticism is Obama himself — once viewed as a sure-fire closer, now facing grumbling on the left for letting critical months slip by without a constant, coherent and consistent argument. Think “change” and “hope” from the campaign, catchwords that Obama practically trademarked. In this fight, his key messages have shifted, from fixing health care to fix the economy, to “stability and security” for people who already have insurance.

And this week, he returned to an argument Democratic strategists said shouldn't be part of the pitch this year — trying to convince Americans they have a “moral obligation” to help people without insurance, a discredited argument from the reform effort under President Bill Clinton.
Read the full story, "White House health plan back to Square One," at POLITICO

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Health Rations And You

Obama could use a vacation

Barack Obama begins a 10-day vacation with his job approval numbers continuing to sink.

From Rasmussen Reports:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 29% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-nine percent (39%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -10 This is the first time since July 31 that the President's Approval Index has fallen to negative double digits.
Read more poll results here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, August 21, 2009

PA sheds another 4,800 jobs

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has released the July employment numbers and the news is not good. The state lost another 4,800 jobs in July. Pennsylvania has shed 183,300 jobs since July 2008.

From the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry:
Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted civilian labor force -- the number of people working or looking for work -- fell by 52,000 in July to 6,388,000.

Resident employment was down 50,000 for the month, while unemployment fell by 2,000. The labor force was down 8,000 from a year ago.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.5 percent in July.

The state rate remained below the United States' unemployment rate, which decreased by one-tenth of a point to 9.4 percent in July. Pennsylvania's rate was up 3.1 percentage points from July 2008, while the U.S. rate was up 3.6 percentage points over the year.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count decreased by 4,800 jobs in July; marking the smallest decline since October 2008.

At 5,620,700 jobs, the Pennsylvania total fell to its lowest level since February 2004. Goods-producing industries accounted for roughly four out of every five lost jobs in July.

Since July 2008, Pennsylvania jobs were down 183,300, or 3.2 percent. Nationally, jobs were down 4.2 percent over the same period.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'Go-Topless Day' set for Aug. 23

Attention ladies! GoTopless.org plans to stage a national "Go-Topless Day" protest on Aug. 23 to proclaim "women's constitutional right to go bare-chested in public."

"As long as men can go topless, women should have the same constitutional right or men should also be forced to wear something that hides their chests," said Rael, founder of both the Raelian Movement and GoTopless.org

Aug. 23 events are planned in cities nationwide where it's already legal for women to show breasts in public. Sorry, there are no events planned in Pennsylvania, but it's not too late to organize one.

The New York City protest will take place in Central Park, next to the Columbus Circle entrance (59th street / 8th Ave) at 12pm (noon).

Raelians' to Stage Second Annual 'Go-Topless Day' Protest

Ann Coulter: Liberal Lies About National Health Care

Best-selling author and columnist Ann Coulter is launching a series of columns exposing "Liberal Lies About National Health Care."

The first one is how Obama and the Democrats are trying to punish insurance companies by pushing health care reform. (Forget the fact that many prominent Democrats are on the payroll of insurance companies and their lobbying groups.)

Coulter says the best way to punish insurance companies is force them compete for customers across the U.S. instead of the current system of state-by-state monopolies.

From her column:
U.S. health insurance companies are often imperious, unresponsive consumer hellholes because they're a partial monopoly, protected from competition by government regulation. In some states, one big insurer will control 80 percent of the market. (Guess which party these big insurance companies favor? Big companies love big government.)

Liberals think they can improve the problem of a partial monopoly by turning it into a total monopoly. That's what single-payer health care is: "Single payer" means "single provider."

It's the famous liberal two-step: First screw something up, then claim that it's screwed up because there's not enough government oversight (it's the free market run wild!), and then step in and really screw it up in the name of "reform."

You could fix 90 percent of the problems with health insurance by ending the federal law allowing states to ban health insurance sales across state lines. But when John McCain called for ending the ban during the 2008 presidential campaign, he was attacked by Joe Biden -- another illustration of the ironclad Ann Coulter rule that the worst Republicans are still better than allegedly "conservative" Democrats.
Read the full column at Townhall.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Auditor General: Welfare Program Rife With Mismanagement, Potential for Fraud

Auditor General Jack Wagner: DPW's Special Allowance Program Rife With Mismanagement, Potential for Fraud

The Perfect Storm

Keeping Busy in Harrisburg

We know what the Pennsylvania Senate has been up to this week. Senate Republicans attempted Wednesday to override Gov. Ed Rendell's veto of education and social services funding.

But what was the House of Representatives up to as the state's budget impasse began its eighth week?

Here are some of the Resolutions that passed the House on Wednesday:
House Resolution 415 - Commending the Chiropractic Fellowship of PA for its educational efforts, and recognizing the month of September 2009 as "Vertebral Subluxation Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania.

House Resolution 417 - Recognizing September 13, 2009 as Commodore John Barry Day in Pennsylvania.

House Resolution 443 - Recognizing September 13, 2009 as Grandparents Day in Pennsylvania.
P.S. - Senate Democrats blocked the GOP attempt to free up money for college tuition grants and homeless shelters, as well as services for veterans, mentally retarded and victims of rape and domestic violence, according to The Associated Press.

The votes on each were 30-19, three votes short of the two-thirds count necessary to override a gubernatorial veto. The votes were nearly along partisan lines, as just one Democrat — Sen. Lisa Boscola of Northampton County — crossed party lines to defy Rendell, the AP reported.

P.P.S - It costs taxpayers between $30,000 and $50,000 a day for every day the Legislature is in session past the end of the last fiscal year (June 30). Is it worth $30,000-$50,000 to have the Legislature proclaim Commodore John Barry Day in PA?

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Healthcare and Abortion: Randall Terry Leads Protests and Press Conferences in 10 Cities in Five States

Healthcare and Abortion: Randall Terry Leads Protests and Press Conferences in 10 Cities in Five States

Parent Driven Schools Releases New Documentary on How Parents Can Improve Their Children's Learning Experiences and Advocate for Education Reform

Parent Driven Schools Releases New Documentary on How Parents Can Improve Their Children's Learning Experiences and Advocate for Education Reform

President Obama Misleads on Abortion Funding in Health Care Reform

President Obama Misleads on Abortion Funding in Health Care Reform

Toomey: Sestak Takes The Most Extreme Position on Health Care


From the Toomey for Senate camp:
How extreme is Congressman Joe Sestak?

There is broad consensus that health care in America needs reform. But Joe Sestak's position is so extreme, he would sooner reject any health care reform than drop his insistence on a government-run health care program. This willingness to accept the status quo if his radical proposal is not accepted puts Sestak far to the left of the Obama administration which recently suggested it would be open to dropping government dominated insurance.

Appearing on MSNBC yesterday, Rep. Sestak said, "It's going to be hard for me to vote for a bill that doesn't have the public health option in it."

"Joe Sestak is consistent in his views, and he should be commended for that. The problem is that his views are far outside the mainstream," said Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik. "Congressman Sestak is so beholden to the netroots radical left that he would rob Americans of any health reforms if he can’t have a massive government takeover of all health care decisions. That’s the kind of extremism one-party rule in Washington has given us."

"Pat Toomey supports commonsense health care reforms like giving people the ability to buy health insurance from other states, tort reform, and eliminating discrimination in the tax code. Such sensible reforms will go a long way to lower health care costs, but won't bankrupt our country or destroy existing health coverage with a Washington takeover."

'Talking Politics' on the radio today

Pennsylvania's ongoing budget stalemate and the growing anger of Americans over Obamacare will be among the topics of discussion on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

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

If you can't receive the radio signal, you can listen to the broadcast online at www.pottsmerc.com or www.1370wpaz.com

Welcome to 'Debtsylvania'

We all know about the $3.25 billion deficit Gov. Ed Rendell ran up in the General Fund budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year, but Pennsylvania is drowning in red ink when you take into account all other state and local debt.

The Commonwealth Foundation has a terrific post at its Web site about the state of "Debtsylvania."

Pennsylvanians owe $115 billion in state and local government debt, according to the Foundation, which reviewed spending from 2002 to 2008.

No surprise here, but the debt has skyrocketed during the tenure of Gov. Rendell.

"Under Governor Rendell, total state general obligation debt outstanding has increased from $6.8 billion to a projected $9.5 billion with his 2009-10 budget proposal, a 40% increase in seven years," The Foundation says.

To read the full report visit The Commonwealth Foundation Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Faith-Based 40-Day Grassroots Pro-Life Outreach Gears Up for September 23 Launch in 209 Cities; Knockoff Plan is Pushing Abortion as Healthcare

Faith-Based 40-Day Grassroots Pro-Life Outreach Gears Up for September 23 Launch in 209 Cities; Knockoff Plan is Pushing Abortion as Healthcare

PA braces for beetle invasion



Pennsylvania is preparing for an invasion.

From a state press release:
Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff today asked the public to help keep the Asian Longhorned Beetle from entering the state, saying the non-native, invasive wood-boring pest could severely harm Pennsylvania's hardwoods industry.

"The Asian Longhorned Beetle has not yet been found in Pennsylvania, but if allowed to enter it could pose a major threat to Pennsylvania's timber, maple syrup and tourism industries," said Wolff during an event at Ag Progress Days as part of August's Asian Longhorned Beetle Awareness Month.
Read more at the link below:

Agriculture Secretary Asks Public to Help Keep Foreign Beetle From Entering PA

Specter flip-flop on Card Check



The Workforce Fairness Institute has launched an online petition demanding Sen. Arlen Specter explain his position on the Employee Free Choice Act, aka Card Check.

The group refers to EFCA as Employee FORCED Choice Act.

Pennsylvanians deserve an honest and clear answer on where Senator Specter stands on the elimination of the secret ballot and mandatory, binding arbitration! Sign the online petition at the group's Web site, http://www.workforcefairness.com/SpecterExplain

Also check out this editorial in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review nothing that Specter changes his position on Card Check every other day.

Doctors Oppose Government-Run Health Coverage

Doctors Oppose Government-Run Health Coverage

Arlen Specter Was Against the Public Option Before He Was For It

The story of a Pennsylvania Ass

Camp Hill letter-writer extraordinaire Bill McIntyre has penned a gem to Gov. Ed Rendell. Read it below and be prepared to laugh your ass off.

August 18, 2009
To: Gov. Edward Rendell
governor@state.pa.us
Subject: An Ass

Dear Gov. Rendell,

First, congratulations on your diet and the loss of 40 pounds! That's quite an accomplishment! It's remarkable what will power can do. Now if only we could get your budget proposal on the same diet.

The following story has a moral: A man and his son were leading an ass to town to sell him. Soon they passed a group of girls who cried out – "Look! Did you ever see such fools; they have a donkey to ride and they're leading him." So the father put his son on the ass and proceeded on their way.

Soon they passed a group on men talking. "There," said one, "“that proves exactly what I was saying. No one pays attention to old age these days. Look at that young man riding while his poor old father walks." The father stopped the ass and told his son to dismount so he could take his place on the ass.

A little further down the road they passed a group of women and children. "Shame on you," they cried out. "How can you ride when your son can hardly keep pace with you?" The good father wanting to please, told his son to get up behind him.

Just as they were entering the town, a citizen cried out; "I have a good mind to report you to the animal society for overloading that poor beast!" "You should be carrying that ass instead of him carrying the two of you!"

The father and son dismounted and tied the donkey's legs together, and with a pole across their shoulders, carried the ass into town.

Just as they were crossing a bridge over the river, a group of townsfolk started laughing at them. This frightened the ass who struggled to free himself. In doing so, the ass slipped off the pole, falling into the river below and drowned.

The moral of this story is: If you try to please everyone; you'll wind up losing your ass!

Your budget attempts to please everyone; except the citizens who must pay for it. There isn't an agency in this state that cannot exist on last year's allocations or up to a 5% reduction. That includes education. Day 49 without a budget!

Pennsylvania's citizens have learned to do with less in these troubling times; state agencies must do the same, education included. We're simply maxed out and taxed out! Our wallets are 40 pounds thinner!

A poor old,
Bill McIntyre
Who lost his ass in the marketplace!

CC: Executive, Legislative & Judicial Branches of PA Government
Friends of Responsible Government

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

50,000 visitors

My site counter has recorded 50,000 unique visitors to THE CENTRIST. Thanks for checking the site out and come back again.

No Treats From Obama

'Political Talk' debuts on WCHE 1520 AM

"Political Talk," a new weekly program offering an inside view of politics and the political process, with an emphasis on and how politics impacts your daily life, will air every Wednesday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM on WCHE 1520 AM and www.wche1520.com

"Political Talk" will be hosted by Mike Pincus, a political consultant and strategist who has advised candidates and managed campaigns on all levels of government in Southeastern Pennsylvania for the past 30+plus years. In addition to his campaign work, Mike co-hosts "Talking Politics" with Tony Phyrillas, an award-winning political columnist for The Pottstown Mercury. "Talking Politics" airs every Thursday, from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, on WPAZ 1370 AM, and www.1370wpaz.com. It can also be heard at www.pottsmerc.com

Mike's guest on the debut of “Political Talk” will be investigative reporter/columnist Christopher Freind, who authors hard-hitting investigative reports and writes a commentary column for The Philadelphia Bulletin. Branded "Freindly Fire,” he tackles issues with fire and passion not often found anywhere else.

Listeners are encouraged to call 610-701-WCHE (9243) with comments or questions during the live show.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Match.com Reveals Top 10 Most Affordable Cities for Dating; Pittsburgh Tops the List

Match.com Reveals Top 10 Most Affordable Cities for Dating; Pittsburgh Tops the List

FRC Statement on the Passing of Robert Novak

FRC Statement on the Passing of Robert Novak

Immigration and the U.S. Labor Force

Immigration and the U.S. Labor Force

School Property Tax Elimination Update

With the state budget stalemate dominating the news, hardly anyone is talking about property tax relief. David Baldinger, administrator, of the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition, checks in with this update on the elimination of property taxes front:
It's been quite a while since the last PTCC Update and many of you have written to ask what's happening with HB 1275, the School Property Tax Elimination Act (SPTEA). In a word, nothing. The General Assembly and the House and Senate leadership are far too occupied with budget concerns right now to consider any far-reaching legislation.

The SPTEA has been fully drafted and is still available for co-sponsorship. It is Representative Sam Rohrer's intention to issue a second co-sponsorship memorandum shortly and then formally introduce the bill this autumn.

In the meantime, if you want to help you can contact your Representative to request his or her co-sponsorship of the School Property Tax Elimination Act. The bill currently has 26 sponsors but more is always better. The current sponsors are listed below; please contact your Representative if he or she is not on this list. In many cases you will be offered phony excuses why they won't co-sponsor or why the plan won’t work, but this is almost always because of petty political maneuvering that has nothing to do with the worthiness of the bill. Accept no excuses!

The current School Property Tax Elimination Act co-sponsors:
Rep. Sam Rohrer R-128 (Berks)
Rep. Kerry Benninghoff R-171 (Centre, Mifflin)
Rep. Karen Boback R-117 (Columbia, Luzerne, Wyoming)
Rep. Thomas Caltagirone D-127 (Berks)
Rep. Jim Cox R-129 (Berks)
Rep. Tom Creighton R-37 (Lancaster)
Rep. Gary Day R-187 (Berks, Lehigh)
Rep. Gordon Denlinger R-99 (Lancaster)
Rep. Russell Fairchild R-85 (Snyder, Union)
Rep. Jaret Gibbons D-10 (Beaver, Butler, Lawrence)
Rep. Keith Gillespie R-47 (York)
Rep. Neal Goodman D-123 (Schuylkill)
Rep. Seth Grove R-196 (York)
Rep. C. Adam Harris R-82 (Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder)
Rep. Rob Kauffman R-89 (Cumberland, Franklin)
Rep. Mark Keller R-86 (Franklin, Perry)
Rep. Jerry Knowles R-124 (Berks, Schuylkill)
Rep. Tim Mahoney D-51 (Fayette)
Rep. Bob Mensch R-147 (Montgomery)
Rep. Merle Phillips R-108 (Northumberland, Snyder)
Rep. Thomas Quigley R-146 (Montgomery)
Rep. Dante Santoni D-126 (Berks)
Rep. Stan Saylor R-94 (York)
Rep. Curt Schroder R-155 (Chester)
Rep. Tim Seip D-125 (Berks, Schuylkill)
Rep. RoseMarie Swanger R-102 (Lebanon)
The PTCC and the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations send our heartfelt gratitude to those Representatives who have agreed to co-sponsor the SPTEA. If your Representative is on this list, we STRONGLY request that you contact him or her to thank them for their co-sponsorship. These legislators are always very encouraged to know that their help is appreciated.

Whether you are contacting your Representative to thank them or to request their co-sponsorship, you can find their contact information by Zip+4 here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm

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Northeast Pennsylvania Information Session

Northeast Pennsylvania is by far the worst region of the state for legislative support for the School Property Tax Elimination Act. To help overcome this problem, the five Northeast region member groups of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations will be holding a public information session about the SPTEA in late September. These five grassroots groups will introduce their organizations, the details of the SPTEA will be presented, and the politics of the SPTEA enactment will be discussed; there will also be an audience participation question and answer session following the presentation. The event will be emceed by Sue Henry of WILK radio. This promises to be an exciting evening, so please watch for a future PTCC Update for further details and plan to attend.

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Welcome CEPT!

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations (PCTA) recently gained its 32nd member group! Citizens for the Elimination of Property Taxes from Perry County has already proven to be a hard-working, dedicated organization that will be a big help in supporting the SPTEA in South-central Pennsylvania. If you live in the Perry County area and want to help you can contact them at nopropertytax@gmail.com. Welcome to the PCTA, CEPT! We're pleased to have you aboard to keep the momentum building.

If you're fed up with unfair taxation and unresponsive politicians and would like to form your own taxpayer advocacy group, contact any PCTA member group for advice and assistance. The PCTA members are listed on the PTCC Web site under the "About the PCTA" tab.

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Just one more note: If you change your e-mail address, please send a note to me about the switch so you'll continue to receive the PTCC Updates. It will be appreciated.

That's all for now. There'll be another update when more information is available and please watch for details about the Northeast Pennsylvania event.

As usual, I want to thank all of you for your continuing support of the PTCC and PCTA efforts to bring about true education finance reform and school property tax elimination. You are truly appreciated.