Saturday, October 31, 2009

Doug Hoffman for Congress



Visit Hoffman's campaign Web site at www.doughoffmanforcongress.com

Sarah Palin was right on 'death panels'

Remember all the grief former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin received from the liberal media when she pointed out that the health care reform bills pushed by Democrats included provisions for the so-called "death panels" to advise elderly Americans on alternatives to medical treatment after they reach a certain age?

Guess what? Sarah Palin was right. The House bill touted by Nancy Pelosi includes end-of-life counseling by government-sponsored "death panels."

From The Associated Press:
It's alive! End-of-life counseling in health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's alive.

The Medicare end-of-life planning provision that 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said was tantamount to "death panels" for seniors is staying in the latest Democratic health care bill unveiled Thursday.

The provision allows Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling to help beneficiaries deal with the complex and painful decisions families face when a loved one is approaching death.

For years, federal laws and policies have encouraged Americans to think ahead about end-of-life decisions, and make their wishes known in advance through living wills and similar legal documents. But when House Democrats proposed this summer to pay doctors for end-of-life counseling, it touched off a wave of suspicion and anger.

Prominent Republicans singled it out as a glaring example of government overreach.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, at the time a lead negotiator on health care legislation, told constituents at a town hall meeting they had good reason to question the proposal.

"I don't have any problem with things like living wills, but they ought to be done within the family," he said. "We should not have a government program that determines you're going to pull the plug on grandma."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pelosi Halloween Health Announcement Hides a Trick on American Gun Owners

Pelosi Halloween Health Announcement Hides a Trick on American Gun Owners, says Washington Senior Rights Activist

Friday, October 30, 2009

On the backs of senior citizens



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Group: Obama Abandons Small Businesses

The American Small Business League has issued the statement on the Obama Administration's broken promises:
Last week, President Obama announced his administration's plan for a, "New Small Business Lending Initiative." The new initiative is the next installment in a series of speeches by President Obama, which have yet to yield any results for the small business community.

In his speech President Obama stated, "This administration is going to stand behind small businesses. You are our highest priority because we are confident that when you are succeeding, America succeeds." (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-small-business-initiatives-landover-md) Over the past year, President Obama promised to restore the Small Business Administration's (SBA) budget, restore the SBA Administrator to a cabinet level position, implement the 5 percent set-aside goal for women owned firms, and stop the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants. To date, none of these promises have been honored. (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the—american—small—business—le.php)

Since the recession began, the government has spent roughly $2.8 trillion to stimulate our nation's economy. (http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/bailouttracker/) President Obama stated that stimulus spending has led to small businesses receiving $13 billion in new loans and $4.3 billion in federal contracts, for a total of $17.3 billion. That means small businesses have received only 0.6 percent out of the $2.8 trillion in stimulus funds invested by the government. In comparison, AIG received $180 billion in taxpayer money, while America's 27 million small businesses have received $17.3 billion.

Regarding the new initiative, Keith Girard in Allbusiness.com stated, "Whether they 1/8Obama Administration3/8 will get desperately needed capital to small businesses in a meaningful way is problematic at best." (http://www.allbusiness.com/economy-economic-indicators/economic-conditions-depression/13271042-1.html) On the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington stated, "If this were really a high-priority for the administration, it could, you know, actually do something about it. Right now. The executive branch has plenty of weapons at its disposal to force banks still dependent on billions of dollars in taxpayer funds and guarantees to change behavior." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/barack-obama-is-doing-my—b—334631.html)

Last year President Obama stated that for every billion dollars spent, 40,000 new jobs would be created. (http://bit.ly/2eiyas) Based on the Obama Administration's estimates regarding job creation, stimulus spending to date should have created 640,000 jobs, however, a recent report has revealed that only 30,383 jobs have been created. (http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/home.aspx)

On August 18, President Obama announced a government-wide plan led by SBA Administrator Karen Mills and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to increase contracting opportunities for small businesses. The plan included over 200 events nationwide within 90 days; over 70 days after the announcement no schedule of these events has been released. (http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba—homepage/news—release—09-58.pdf)
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Newspaper backs Colville, McCarthy, Smith & Olson for PA Superior Court

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is recommending four candidates for Pennsylvania Superior Court in Tuesday's election.

For Superior Court: Elect Colville, McCarthy, Smith & Olson - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Newspaper endorses Brobson & Judson for PA Commonwealth Court

If you're looking for some guidance on Tuesday's election for Commonwealth Court judges, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has some recommendations.

For Commonwealth Court: Brobson & Judson - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Dithering Heights



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rohrer Targets Unfunded State Mandates

Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks) has unveiled the Emergency Mandate Suspension Act (EMSA) to provide financial relief to school districts, counties and municipal governments struggling to pay for unfunded state mandates.

"Essentially, if there is no money, there will be no mandate," Rohrer said at a Harrisburg news conference, flanked by members of groups representing local governments and school boards. "Local authorities would be given the option to opt out of expensive unfunded mandates. This is the fastest and most direct way that we can help school districts, local governments and the taxpayers who must fund them."

Under Rohrer's measure, if the state mandates a program but then fails to provide adequate funding to implement it, counties, municipalities and school boards would be able to temporarily opt out of the spending initiative.

Rohrer was joined Wednesday by representatives from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, who all lent their support to Rohrer's legislation.

From a press release issued by Rohrer after the news conference:
According to the Pennsylvania Economy League, 45 of the 53 "third-class cities" in Pennsylvania can be categorized as "financially distressed." CCAP reports that an average of 60 percent of a county's budget is made up of directives from outside entities.

"The burden of unfunded mandates is real and it is something that must be addressed," Rohrer said. "The old ostrich-head-in-the-sand approach is no longer an option. The governor and state Legislature cannot sit by and watch as more and more local governments and school boards are pushed over the cliff of financial distress. The problem is unfunded mandates and the solution is the Emergency Mandate Suspension Act."

Rohrer's legislation would empower local authorities to temporarily - for a period of up to five years - opt out of unfunded state mandates. The local authority would be permitted to suspend local payments for the qualifying programs.

In addition, the bill provides for a similar temporary suspension of reimbursable mandates. If the state fails to reimburse local authorities for a mandated program, the local authority could suspend local payments for it. This would apply to programs for which the state ordinarily provides adequate funding to cover costs but, for whatever reason, has failed to provide that funding. This provision would apply if the Commonwealth missed two consecutive payments - as happened recently in many instances due to the state budget stalemate.

"Too often, leaders in Harrisburg have adopted a law and passed the costs on to local leaders," Rohrer said. "They take credit for the idea but pass responsibility for funding it on to our local governments and school boards. It is time for elected leaders at all levels of government to acknowledge the economic consequences facing taxpayers. This bill does more than talk about the problem. It identifies and proposes a solution. Now, it's time for lawmakers in Harrisburg to roll up our sleeves to make this policy a reality."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

PennDOT Offers Safety Tips for Halloween

PennDOT Offers Safety Tips for Halloween

Just in Time for Halloween: 'Deadwood' on Registered Voter Rolls

Aristotle International, a leading non-partisan provider of political technology and data, has released its annual "Deadwood" voter registration compilation, showing 16,331,707, or 8.9%, of all registered voters are no longer among the living but still eligible to vote.

This would help explain some of the current elected officials we have.

Aristotle International says the number of voters on its "Deadwood" rolls is up 3 percent over the estimate released in October 2008.

Way to go ACORN!

"Deadwood on voter rolls complicates the electoral process and can cause problems like fraud and vote miscounts. It always creates a perception of low voter turnout," said John Aristotle Phillips, CEO of Aristotle. "It gets down to this: by depressing turnout, dead voters make the rest of us look bad."

Read more at the link below:

Just in Time for Halloween: 'Deadwood' on Registered Voter Rolls


Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Obama's Swine Emergency



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

AUL's Statement on New House Health Care Bill

AUL's Statement on New House Health Care Bill

Bald NJ governor: Don't vote for my fat opponent

Bald NJ governor Jon Corzine says don't vote for Republican opponent Chris Christie because he's fat. That's pretty much the entire Jon Corzine campaign ... plus the fact that Corzine is Obama's lap dog.

NJ needs to make a change. Christie is the man ... all 300 pounds of him.

Chris Christie: 'Man up and say I'm fat' - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The Bigger Hoax: Green Jobs or Balloon Boy?



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Where does Panella stand on abortion?

Check out GrassrootsPA for an interesting revelation that Jack Panella, the Democratic Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidate, has changed his position on abortion.

This would be the same Panella attacking Republican candidate Joan Orie Melvin for being pro-life.

Is Panella pro-abortion or pro-life? Or will he change his position to appease voters?

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Thursday, October 29, 2009

FRC Responds to Dept. of Education Request, Urges Kevin Jennings Removal

FRC Responds to Dept. of Education Request, Urges Kevin Jennings Removal

'Talking Politics' on the radio today

Tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM for a preview of the key races in the Nov. 3 General Election.

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'

All Tricks and No Treats in NY



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

TreeVitalize Coupons Available to Homeowners in South-Central PA

TreeVitalize Coupons Available to Homeowners in South-Central PA

ATA to Congress: Behavioral Changes Necessary to Combat Distracted Driving

ATA to Congress: Behavioral Changes Necessary to Combat Distracted Driving

Happy Anniversary, Arlen Specter!



Six months ago today, Arlen Specter left the Republican Party because polling data showed that he could not win against Pat Toomey. Today, the polls show Pennsylvanians of all political stripes are rejecting his rampant political opportunism and complete lack of principle.

This morning Team Toomey released the video above to commemorate Sen. Specter's six month anniversary as a Democrat.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Newspaper: PA needs constitutional convention

"A constitutional convention might be the only way to achieve real reform in Harrisburg," argues The Philadelphia Inquirer in an editorial calling for a constitutional convention to reform one of the most dysfunctional and corrupt state governments in the country.

From the editorial:
Harrisburg's 101-day budget delay was further proof that the legislature is incapable of reforming its unproductive ways.

And it's all the more reason why the state needs to consider a constitutional convention.

After the pay-raise scandal in 2005, legislators promised to change their broken system of governing. Then-Speaker Dennis O'Brien (R., Phila.) even appointed a commission to recommend reforms in state government.

But the resulting changes were largely window-dressing to temporarily appease the public. The legislature agreed not to vote after 11 p.m., for example, but it dodged more meaningful reforms such as campaign-donor limits.

Even an influx of new representatives in 2006 couldn't change what came next: indictments against a dozen House Democratic officials for allegedly using public money for campaign purposes, followed by the nation's longest budget fight. Similar indictments for the GOP are expected soon.

The legislature costs taxpayers about $300 million per year, and Pennsylvanians know they're not getting their money's worth.

It's clear that the time for the legislature to reform its broken ways has all but expired.
Read the full editorial, "Conventional wisdom," at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Tell Congress: No New Energy Taxes

National Republican Trust PAC Launched TV Ad to Take America Back

National Republican Trust PAC Launched TV Ad to Take America Back

Taxpayer Group Launches Petition to Ask Sen. Ben Nelson to Keep His Pledge

Taxpayer Group Launches Petition to Ask Sen. Ben Nelson to Keep His Pledge

Congress Encouraged to Protect Working Families and Flexible Spending Accounts

Congress Encouraged to Protect Working Families and Flexible Spending Accounts in New Advertising Campaign

Auditor General Jack Wagner Faults Rendell Administration

Auditor General Jack Wagner Faults Administration for Rejecting Recommendations on Procurement Reform

Dozers Descend On Capitol Hill

Dozers Descend On Capitol Hill

Phillies vs Yankees Means It's an Amtrak Series

Phillies vs Yankees Means It's an Amtrak Series

Legal Reform Summit Calls for Jobs, Not Lawsuits

Legal Reform Summit Calls for Jobs, Not Lawsuits

Obama, Pelosi Can't Stop Spending!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Phillies vs Yankees Means It's an Amtrak Series

Phillies vs Yankees Means It's an Amtrak Series

Education Secretary Zahorchak Announces Pennsylvania's '2010 Teacher of the Year

Education Secretary Zahorchak Announces Pennsylvania's '2010 Teacher of the Year

Miss Me Yet?



Josh Gerstein of POLITICO recaps some of the outrageous behavior of Barack Obama that has gone "unnoticed" by the state-run liberal media.

From POLITICO:
A four-hour stop in New Orleans, on his way to a $3 million fundraiser.

Snubbing the Dalai Lama.

Signing off on a secret deal with drug makers.

Freezing out a TV network.

Doing more fundraisers than the last president. More golf, too.

President Barack Obama has done all of those things — and more.

What's remarkable is what hasn't happened. These episodes haven't become metaphors for Obama's personal and political character — or consuming controversies that sidetracked the rest of his agenda.

It's a sign that the media's echo chamber can be a funny thing, prone to the vagaries of news judgment, and an illustration that, in politics, context is everything.

Conservatives look on with a mix of indignation and amazement and ask: Imagine the fuss if George W. Bush had done these things?
Read the full story at the link below:

What if George W. Bush had done that? - Josh Gerstein - POLITICO.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Another Obama Broken Promise

AHIP Statement on Government-Run Plan

AHIP Statement on Government-Run Plan

Congress Encouraged to Protect Working Families and Flexible Spending Accounts

Congress Encouraged to Protect Working Families and Flexible Spending Accounts

Rep. Schroder: Without Reform, New Budget Ensures Problems Next Year

Veteran Chester County state lawmaker Curt Schroder would like to be a Congressman next year, but he's still working toward reforming the Pennsylvania Legislature. His latest op-ed on changes that need to be made in Harrisburg:

Without Reform, New Budget Ensures Problems Next Year

By State Rep. Curt Schroder

Why did it take so long to pass the budget? What was the fundamental area of disagreement? Quite simply, were we going to increase taxes and add more spending in a bad economy or require state government to live within its means, just like Pennsylvania's families must do? I and several colleagues argued for the latter. Unfortunately, the end result looks more like the former.

It is important to understand that the budget could have been passed on time if the General Assembly would have caved to the governor's demand for higher income and sales taxes. This was not acceptable, particularly in a bad economy. The budget that eventually passed, however, is sure to preserve the same structural imbalances that created the crisis in the first place.

The budget relies on new taxes, stimulus funding and other one-time revenues such as the Rainy Day Fund and the Health Care Provider Retention Account. For the first time, we even dipped into the principal reserves of the tobacco settlement fund. Still, in order for the ledgers to balance, we must depend on inflated revenue projections.

Last year a similar approach was used to pass the budget. Yet, billion dollar deficits were predicted, and I joined 31 of my House colleagues in voting against that budget. By year's end, we were facing a $3.2 billion deficit.

House Republicans proposed a budget with modest reductions that funded essential state services and did not raise taxes. House leadership refused to consider the plan. Instead, the budget that was eventually cobbled together in the backrooms of Harrisburg raised taxes by more than a billion dollars in the midst of a terrible recession. The details of the budget "deal" were kept from rank-and-file members for weeks. Once a bill finally came to the House, rules requiring 24 hours to review the bill were ignored and broken.

I opposed the budget and the methods used to pass it without adequate time for review. I am glad we were able to defeat proposals to raise the personal income tax, sales tax, an arts tax and a tax on small games of chance. However, taxes on business were raised, as were taxes on consumer spending.

The public is understandably frustrated with the time it took to pass this budget. Only one other budget in recent history went as late as August. Prior to Gov. Ed Rendell, neither the party of the governor nor the General Assembly has ever been a barrier to passing budgets. We can expect more of the same next year. Revenues are already $140 million below projections and the Rainy Day Fund is dry so no cushion exists to help us through.

I will be proposing legislation to ensure that a budgetary shut down does not occur again. If a budget is not signed into law by June 30, the budget in effect should roll over into the next fiscal year minus a percentage to reflect any deficit that might have occurred. This approach will ensure needed services are provided, state employees are paid and the public is not held hostage to unreasonable budget demands.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Congressman Pence Defends Conservative Media

The case for Chris Christie

Columnist Kevin Ferris makes a strong case for why New Jersey needs to elect Chris Christie as governor over Obama puppet Jon Corzine.

From Ferris' column:
Christie had a sterling reputation as a corruption-fighting U.S. attorney, having put away 130 politicians, Republicans and Democrats, during his seven-year term. He certainly had positions on issues - lower taxes, leaner government, less spending - but mostly he just had to not be the increasingly unpopular Corzine.
Ferris also chastises limousine liberal Jon Corzine for waging a negative campaign, including TV ads essentially calling Christie "fat." That's real professional for a governor who can't even spell his own first name.

Read Ferris' full column at The Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jane Orie Melvin endorsed for PA Supreme Court

The biggest race on the Nov. 3 ballot is to fill a vacancy on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which is now split 3-3 among Democrats and Republicans.

The candidates are reform candidate Jane Orie Melvin, a Republican, and Jack Panella, the Democratic Party machine candidate, who is running attack ads against Orie Melvin instead of giving voters a reason to support him.

Three of the state's leading newspapers (and among the most liberal newspapers at that) are urging voters to support Orie Melvin.

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason congratulated Supreme Court candidate Judge Joan Orie Melvin on receiving the endorsement of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Patriot News on Sunday.

From a Republican Party of Pennsylvania press release:
"Judge Joan Orie Melvin is an incredibly impressive candidate and I am pleased to read that The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Patriot News all agreed," Gleason said. "In their endorsement, The Philadelphia Inquirer noted Judge Joan Orie Melvin's 'outsider's viewpoint' and credited her call to create an independently appointed agency to monitor corrupt judges. Clearly, with the story of the Luzerne County judicial scandal still dominating headlines, Pennsylvania voters are looking to elect a Supreme Court justice that will seek to root out corruption, not stand idly by while it takes place."

"The Philadelphia Inquirer's endorsement also criticizes Democrat candidate Jack Panella for his 'special interest campaign war chest' which has come through sizable donations from trial lawyers and big labor groups. We agree that the donations he has received raise serious questions about whether or not Jack Panella, if elected, will be beholden to these special interest groups who have donated so generously to his campaign."

"Judge Joan Orie Melvin's strong work ethic, distinguished record and judicial temperament make her the only choice for Supreme Court on November 3rd, and I am overjoyed that so many Pennsylvanians, including three of our state’s largest newspapers from the western, eastern and central Pennsylvania, are voicing their support for her campaign."

The Philadelphia Inquirer endorsement of Judge Joan Orie Melvin for Supreme Court reads:

Of the two appellate judges vying for Supreme Court, Joan Orie Melvin of Pittsburgh edges out Jack A. Panella, her Easton colleague on the state Superior Court. Melvin, 53, earned the state bar's highest rating and was cited for being "genial and fair- minded" with a "solid record of performance" on the bench over a 24-year period. ("Editorial: Best judicial choices," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/25/09)

Click here to read the text of The Philadelphia Inquirer’s full endorsement.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsement of Judge Joan Orie Melvin for Supreme Court reads:

The other consideration is one dear to our core principles. If Judge Panella wins this race, the court will be down to six men and one woman (Justice Debra McCloskey Todd). The other female justice, Jane Cutler Greenspan, agreed not to seek a full 10-year term after Chief Justice Ralph Cappy retired last year.

Advantage, Judge Melvin, who would strike a small but important blow for gender balance by keeping the number of female justices at two.

The Post-Gazette endorses Judge Joan Orie Melvin for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. ("Supreme Court: In a duel of two top jurists, it's Judge Melvin," The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Click here to read the text of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s full endorsement.

The Patriot News endorsement of Judge Joan Orie Melvin for Supreme Court reads:

But on Nov. 3, voters can choose only one, and after meeting with the candidates and reviewing their records, our choice is Judge Joan Orie Melvin.

She has experience at all levels of the judiciary, having served as a judge in the municipal courts in Pittsburgh, Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County and has been on the Superior Court since 1997. ("Pennsylvania Supreme Court judge: Our choice is Orie Melvin," The Patriot News, 10/25/09)

Click here to read the text of The Patriot News' full endorsement.
For more information about Orie Melvin, visit her campaign Web site, www.judgeoriemelvin.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Disciplinary Actions Against 118 Licensed and Commissioned Professionals

Disciplinary Actions Against 118 Licensed and Commissioned Professionals and Organizations in Pennsylvania

Census Bureau Launches 2010 Census Campaign With New Web Site

Census Bureau Launches 2010 Census Campaign With New Web Site

AHIP Statement on Government-Run Plan

AHIP Statement on Government-Run Plan

Obama Emulates Hugo Chavez



Read more at NewsBusters.com

Joe Sestak is not Miss Congeniality

A not-so flattering profile of U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak by The Morning Call, which points out that most of Sestak's staff has quit on him over the past two years.

From the story:
Not everyone he hires can stand it. Sestak lost staff at a staggering rate during his first two years in office. He went through nearly a half-dozen press secretaries alone in the first year. Chiefs of staff came and went almost as fast.

Only two members of the team that joined him when he arrived in Congress in January 2007 have remained.

He asks aides to work six days a week, 12 hours-plus a day. Staff salaries are among the lowest on Capitol Hill, according to congressional records. No one in Pennsylvania's 19-member congressional delegation had a smaller payroll than Sestak in the 18-month period that ended June 30, records show, while only two members had larger staffs.
Read the full story at the link below:

Sestak working to get the word out -- themorningcall.com

Posted using ShareThis

Paying for Obamacare: 'Get To work'

'Paranormal Activity' setting box-office records

This is not normal.

Five weeks after its release, the low-budget thriller "Paranormal Activity" topped the box office this weekend with an estimated $22.0 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com

Movies typically open to huge audiences and then tail off week by week (unless you're dealing with a phenomenon like "Titanic") but "Paranormal Activity" is re-writing the record books.

Despite a no-name cast and one of the lowest production budgets in history, "Paranormal" may end up being the most profitable film of all time.

Made for just $15,000, it has already grossed $62 million in the U.S. alone.

Here's this week's box-office estimates:
WEEKEND TOP 5 STUDIO ESTIMATES, OCTOBER 23-25, 2009

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

1. Paranormal Activity (Paramount)
$22.0 million | 1,945 | $62.5 million | 5

2. Saw VI (Lionsgate)
$14.8 million | 3,036 | $14.8 million | 1

3. Where the Wild Things Are (Warner Bros.)
$14.4 million | 3,735 | $54.0 million | 2

4. Law Abiding Citizen (Overture Films)
$12.7 million | 2,890 | $40.3 million | 2

5. Couples Retreat (Universal)
$11.1 million | 3,074 | $78.2 million | 3


Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The only Democrat who stands with taxpayers?



ATR Launches Massive TV Ad Campaign Urging Sen. Nelson to Keep Tax Pledge

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rep. Pitts: Obamacare vs. Small Business

Health care Reform and Small Businesses

By Congressman Joe Pitts

Among the most important reasons we need to reform health care is to take pressure off of our nation's small businesses so that they can reinvigorate job growth. With unemployment at its highest in decades, we need to find ways to free small employers to invest in their business and grow our economy. Unfortunately, sharply rising health care premiums hold back both growth in wages and employment.

With premiums rising faster than inflation, employers are faced with difficult choices about where to get the money to pay for health insurance. Some must reduce benefits or hold off on raises while others have no other choice but to drop benefits all together.

Small businesses have created more than 72 percent of all jobs in the country in recent years. If we want to get these businesses growing again, we have to find ways to free them from spiraling costs.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that current health care reform bills in Congress will hold back costs. In fact, businesses will see more taxes and regulations under the new legislation with little hope that health care costs will level off.

The legislation in the House of Representatives, H.R. 3200, contains a new 5.4 percent surtax on individuals with more than $350,000 of income. Since many small business owners pay at the individual rate, they would have to take money out of their business to meet their tax bill. Since President Obama also supports a rollback of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts after next, some small business owners would see a net tax increase of 10 percent in the next two years.

The House bill also contains an employer mandate to provide health insurance for employees. If an employer is unable to purchase affordable insurance, they would face a government fine. Estimates indicate that businesses will pay some $208 billion in fines in just the first 10 years of the bill.

Government fines and taxes will do little to restrain costs or help businesses provide insurance. There are, however, actions that we can take in Washington to help small businesses and their employees.

I have worked with Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) to introduce the Small Business CHOICE Act. This bipartisan legislation allows small businesses to obtain coverage at bulk rates through purchasing pools. The bill would help small businesses offer health insurance through a refundable tax credit that minimizes risks for insurance companies by letting small firms pool their employees with those of other businesses in voluntary health cooperatives.

This would allow entrepreneurs to negotiate better rates for coverage for their employees and themselves. Additionally, self-employed individuals would save $5,000 per year on health coverage costs under this legislation.

There are other solutions that wouldn’t punish job creators with higher taxes or more regulation. We can work to enact genuine legal reform and institute policies that incentivize wellness programs. Expanded health savings accounts could provide additional flexibility to small businesses in how they contribute to employees' health.

Also, we can allow small businesses to shop across state lines for health insurance. State mandates raise costs and businesses located in a single state have no choice but to pay for the expensive plans forced on them by state government. Meanwhile, national competitors are able to purchase one plan to cover employees across the country without regard to state regulations.

Small business owners are justifiably skeptical of a comprehensive government plan and a survey by the City Business Journals Network indicates that more than half of them are concerned that changes to the system will increase their operating costs. Increased costs will hurt job growth when we need it most.

As we've already seen, there is some bipartisan agreement on how to help small businesses purchase health insurance. Unfortunately, these solutions are being ignored in favor of a plan that would give the government more authority over healthcare. Small employers are working hard to grow their business; government can’t help them do this by increasing their regulatory and tax burden.

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

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

PA Fish and Boat Commission Launches Search for Executive Director

PA Fish and Boat Commission Launches Search for Executive Director

No Free Lunch: The True Cost of ObamaCare

No Free Lunch: The True Cost of ObamaCare Report Released

Meet Rep. Alan Grayson, Democratic Crackpot

Sunday, October 25, 2009

'Political Power Grows Out Of The Barrel Of A Gun'



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Democrats Have Something To Hide

Live television is always risky



Pay no attention to the attractive television reporter doing a live broadcast after the Phillies won the National League Pennant. All eyes are on the fan behind her simulating sex acts with the unsuspecting Cladia Rivero.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Poll: Support for Obamacare Drops

The latest Harris Poll offers more bad news for the White House as it makes a final push for government-run health care.

Support and opposition for the president's "proposals for health care reform" are now tied 45% to 45%, according to the poll. A month ago, a modest 49% to 41% plurality supported them.

More from results of The Harris Poll of 2,293 adults surveyed online between October 5 and 12, 2009:
When President Obama was inaugurated, those who supported his "proposals for health care reform" outnumbered those who were opposed by more than two-to-one (50% to 20%). In Harris Polls in July and August, modest pluralities (of 42 and 49 percentage points respectively) supported his plans. Now for the first time as many people oppose as support them.

Health reform continues to be a deeply polarizing issue. Republicans oppose President Obama's "proposals" by 79% to 14% (quotation marks are used because he is not committed to any one of the bills working their way through the Congress). Democrats support them by 75% to 16%, and Independents are split with 48% opposed, 44% in favor.

Agreement with criticisms of President Obama's proposals

This Harris Poll asked people how strongly they agreed or disagreed with "eleven criticisms that have been made of the president's health care proposals." Majorities, from 51% to 68% agree with seven of them, and pluralities with another three. The results are striking, to say the least.

Approximately two-thirds of all adults agree that:

-- "We should reduce the cost of health care before trying to provide insurance to more people," by 68% to 23%.

-- "The proposed reforms would result in higher taxes," by 67% to 18%.

-- "The proposed reform would result in a government-run health care system" by 65% to 22%.

Smaller majorities agree that:

-- "The proposed reforms would reduce the choices many people now have," by 55% to 32%;

-- "Health insurance would be too expensive for many people to buy," by 52% to 31%;

-- "The proposed reforms would not be good for people like me," by 51% to 31%;

-- "The proposed reforms would make it harder for many people to get the care they need," by 51% to 35%.
Pluralities also agree with two criticisms, that:

-- "The proposed reforms would change the system too much when only minor changes are needed," by 48% to 37%.

-- "The proposed reforms would hurt Medicare," by 45% to 30%.
On one criticism the public is divided with 43% agreement and 42% disagreeing is that "the system we have now is better than what the president is proposing." A plurality disagreed with only one of the eleven criticisms, by 46% to 37%, that "the proposed reforms would create panels that would decide who should live and who should die." But the remarkable finding here is that fully 37% believe this to be true.
Read more poll results at www.harrisinteractive.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, October 23, 2009

Monco GOP: Dem Judicial Candidates Can't Follow Campaign Laws

Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert Kerns issued the following press release regarding questionable campaign tactics being used by Democratic candidates for Montco judicial seats:
If Judicial Candidates Can't Follow Campaign Laws, How Can They Be a Judge?

Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert J. Kerns called on the seven Democratic candidates for the Court of Common Pleas to stop violating the laws governing judicial elections.

The Montgomery County Democratic Committee's candidates are running on a slogan "Judges We Can Believe In."

"The seven of them are attempting to convince voters that they are the best candidates to replace one-third of the entire trial bench in Montgomery County," Kerns said. "Before voters go to the polls on November 3, each of the candidates needs to answer this question: If they can't follow the rules that govern the conduct of judges and candidates for judge, how can voters ever trust them to uphold the laws and protect our citizens?"

The Pennsylvania Judicial Code of Conduct outlines acceptable conduct for candidates running for a judicial office.

"During the course of the campaign, the Democrats have collectively and as individuals engaged in activity that raises serious questions about their ability to follow the rules governing their very candidacies," Kerns said. "In fact, they may be in violation of Canon 7, which would preclude them from serving as judges."

Action #1: Between February 2, 2009 and May 4, 2009, the seven endorsed candidates (Lois Murphy, Michael Shields, Richard Hazz, Cheryl Austin, Ann Thornburg Weiss, Joel Bernbaum and Jeff Lindy) contributed thousands of dollars either personally or through their campaign committee to a newly established Political Action Committee called Montgomery County Democratic Judicial Slate Committee. They then had the money refunded to them or their campaign committee, and the PAC was closed based on the termination report they filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State. While candidates are permitted to contribute to party organizations like the Montgomery County Democratic Committee, they are not permitted to contribute to candidates or other PACs according to Canon 7, Section A (2).

Action #2: As cited in Action #1 above, candidates are prohibited from contributing to other candidates. According to Jeff Lindy's 30-Day Post Primary Report filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State, he contributed a total of $350 to two candidate committees on June 8, 2009.

Action #3: Joel Bernbaum's campaign sent around an email invitation inviting people to a fundraiser for him. Part of the email explicitly asks for support of the other six Democratic candidates. Again, Canon 7, Section A (2) allows candidates to speak on behalf of their running mates but not campaign for them and identify information about them such as party affiliation, including in mass distributions like emails.

Action #4: Cheryl Austin, through her campaign committee, Cheryl Lynne Austin for Judge, distributed a flyer to voters' homes in the primary election that went beyond providing information beyond what appeared on the ballot about the candidates. The flyer listed all of the candidates in ballot order and then provided additional information about each candidate, including party affiliation, their bar association rating, political endorsements, and potentially negative information about one fellow Democrat. This flyer violates Canon 7, Section A (2) because she took the extra step to paint in a negative light to voters other candidates for the same office.

"The actions by all seven of the Democratic candidates call into question their personal judgment and integrity as candidates, and they leave voters wondering how they can be trusted to decide cases based on the law when the vagrantly violate the laws governing how they should conduct their campaigns," said Kerns. "The Democratic ticket has a lot of experience trying cases in Philadelphia yet they want to be judges in Montgomery County. Residents of the county deserve better than Philadelphia style politics and meaningless slogans in this election."

Video: Canadian Medical Tourism

Obama's Broken Promises on Jobs

News Item: 23 states report higher unemployment in September.

The Obama Recession continues ... and the state-run media is working overtime attempting to cover up the failing presidency of Barack Obama.

While the president and his loyal minions are wasting their time attacking FOX News for daring to criticize Obama's mounting failures, millions of Americans are losing their jobs while millions more have given up looking for work.

From The Associated Press:
Forty-three states reported job losses in September, while only seven gained jobs, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

Wednesday's report underscores the uneven nature of the recovery. The unemployment rate dropped in some Midwestern states as the manufacturing sector improved. But Florida and Nevada, two of the states hit hardest by the housing slump, reported record-high jobless rates.

Some of the states that lost jobs still saw their unemployment rates improve, as discouraged workers gave up looking for work. People who are out of work but no longer looking for jobs aren't counted as officially unemployed.

That trend was evident nationwide in September, as nearly 600,000 people dropped out of the work force, the department reported earlier this month.

The U.S. jobless rate rose to 9.8 percent in September, a 26-year high, from 9.7 percent. Some economists estimate it would have topped 10 percent if there had been no change in the labor force.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Palin backs Hoffman in NY-23

Sarah Palin has made an endorsement in a New York Congressional race.

Palin backs Hoffman in NY-23 - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

Voices of Republican Doctors

Rafferty to head Senate Transportation Committee

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati has appointed Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr. (R-44) to chair the powerful Senate Transportation Committee.

Rafferty, who has served in the Senate since 2003, replaces former Sen. Rob Wonderling, who resigned earlier this year.

"I look forward to using this new position to help improve our transportation system, which is crucial to protecting public safety and also expanding our economy," Rafferty said in a written statement. "Transportation issues affect every resident in Pennsylvania, whether it involves a daily commute to work or a bus ride on the public transit system or the movement of goods. Our goal is to have a modern, efficient system that meets the needs of its users."

Scarnati said Rafferty was chosen because of his knowledge of the issue and his interest in taking on new transportation challenges.

"As a member of the committee, John demonstrated a broad understanding of the major issues we are facing regarding transportation, and as chairman I know he will work well with the members, the House and the Administration to improve our vast transportation network," Scarnati said in a written statement.

Rafferty's Senate district stretches across Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties. His elevation to the chairman's seat should help move Southeastern Pennsylvania transportation projects to the front-burner.

For more about Rafferty, visit his Web site, www.senatorrafferty.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Consumer Watchdog Names 'Top 5 Time Bombs' in Senate Health Plan

Consumer Watchdog Names 'Top 5 Time Bombs' in Senate Health Plan

Philly ACORN video released



For more on the ACORN scandal, visit http://biggovernment.com/

FRC: Where Is the Protection and Tolerance for Marriage Defenders?

FRC: Where Is the Protection and Tolerance for Marriage Defenders?

Dinniman: End unvouchered expenses for legislators

It's not often I agree with a Democrat, but state Sen. Andy Dinniman of Chester County makes a good case for eliminating unvouchered expenses for Pennsylvania lawmakers in this Letter to the Editor originally published in The Pottstown Mercury. The letter was a response to an editorial criticizing lawmakers for collecting per diems during the state's 101-day budget impasse.
Per diem system in Harrisburg needs reforming

In response to Friday's editorial that took aim at the $532,000 in taxpayer-funded per diems paid to state legislators during just the first two months of the recent budget impasse, I agree with your criticism of this system for allowing the per diems after the July 1 budget deadline, and I join you in seeking to reform a system that I don't believe should allow "unvouchered" per diems in the first place.

As your editorial pointed out, per diems are the $163 per day that state representatives and state senators can get paid for food and lodging every day their respective chambers are in session or when they are on other legislative business in Harrisburg or anywhere else in the Commonwealth.

The fact that they are unvouchered means that elected officials can take them even if they do not actually spend the night in Harrisburg or eat out at restaurants. Or, if they do incur living and meal expenses that only cost them $90, for example, they automatically get the $163 per diem anyway.

Because I disagree with unvouchered per diems, I have not taken a per diem in the three-plus years I have served as a state senator, and I certainly would not and did not take one during the recent budget impasse.

If legislators have justifiable expenses, they should submit the proper proof of expenditure like other state employees are required to do.

In short, by not taking a per diem since taking office on June 19, 2006, I have saved my fellow taxpayers $44,082. That's not a huge savings in view of a state budget totaling $27.8 billion, but it remains money saved.

It's time to stop wasting taxpayers' dollars. It's time to end unvouchered per diems for state legislators.

Andy Dinniman, of West Whiteland, is state Senator for Pennsylvania's 19th Senatorial District.


Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Strong GOP field for Montco judge races



The Montgomery County Republican Party is fielding seven excellent candidates for seven open seats on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

The video above introduces the candidates to voters. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

It's still the other guy's fault

Rich Lowry offers a sneak peek at Barack Obama's memoirs in his latest column detailing how Obama continues to blame George W. Bush for everything that's gone wrong during the 10 months of Obama's failed presidency.

From Lowry's column:
Republicans needn't trouble themselves to nominate a presidential candidate in 2012. No matter what, Pres. Barack Obama will be running against George W. Bush.

Bush will be Obama's eternal foil. At this rate, when Obama writes his post-presidential memoir, it will be titled: An Audacious Presidency, or How I Saved America from That Bastard Bush. His presidential library will have a special fright-house wing devoted to Bush’s misrule. He will mutter in his senescence about 43, like the Ancient Mariner about his albatross.

Obama clearly wants Bush to be the Hoover to his FDR. Since his predecessor left office with 34 percent job approval, Obama understandably feels moved to scorn and berate him. But Obama's perpetual campaign against Bush is graceless, whiny, and tin-eared. Must the leader of the free world — if Obama still accepts that quaint formulation — always reach for the convenient excuse?
Read more at the link below:

Obama the Graceless by Rich Lowry on National Review Online

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Auditor General Jack Wagner Calls for Reform of State's Methods for Awarding Vendor Contracts

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner Calls for Reform of State's Methods for Awarding Vendor Contracts

Obama Has Landed



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Young Professional Leaders To Discuss America's Unsustainable Fiscal Path

Young Professional Leaders To Discuss America's Unsustainable Fiscal Path

Online State Watchdog Directory

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has launched a new directory of state-based good government groups to assist activists and journalists in holding public officials accountable for abusing the public trust.

The guide, Directory of State-based Government Watchdogs, lists organizations focusing on state and local government in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to CREW.

The directory can be found online at statewatchdoggroups.org

More from a CREW press release:
State-based organizations are fighting corruption by exposing the unethical and illegal activities of state and local officials, by educating the public and by working for government reform. The 213 groups listed in the directory have different missions, but share common goals including: civic education, campaign finance reform, election reform, and transparency.

The directory is made up of profiles of watchdog efforts in each state that include: examples of corruption in the state, a list of watchdog organizations that recites each group's mission and contact information, and links to news sources and blogs tracking state and local government.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, said today, "Americans lose faith in government when officials are not held accountable for their misconduct. For the first time, citizens will have access to a comprehensive directory of organizations across the country working to keep public officials honest."
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.

For more information, visit www.citizensforethics.org

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Obama Targets Fox News

Newspaper: Media ignores Obama aide's hero worship of Mao Tse Tung

TRENTONIAN EDITORIAL: Media ignores Obama aide's hero worship of Mao Tse Tung - The Trentonian Opinion: Serving Trenton and surrounding communities. (trentonian.com)

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Toomey headlines Montco GOP dinner

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey will be the feature speaker at the annual Fall Reception and Dinner sponsored by the Montgomery County Republican Committee.

The event is Thursday, Oct. 22.

The festivities begin with a reception at 5 p.m. at O'Neill Properties at 211 S. Gulph Road in King of Prussia. Tickets are $300.

The dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. at Westover Country Club in Jeffersonville. Tickets are $40. A ticket to the dinner is included with a reception ticket.

Call MCRC at 610-279-9300 to reserve a ticket. Or email Brittany at btressler@montcogop.com

In addition to Toomey, the seven candidates for Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas as well as other federal, state and local elected officials and candidates will be attending.

PA Gaming Control Board Renews Harrah's Chester Slots Casino License

PA Gaming Control Board Renews Harrah's Chester Slots Casino License

ATA Warns Cap-and-Trade Will Increase Costs But Won't Reduce Truck Emissions

ATA Warns Cap-and-Trade Will Increase Costs But Won't Reduce Truck Emissions

Where's Our Money? WheresOurMoney.org Promises to Find Out

A Veteran Journalist & A Consumer Advocate Ask: Where's Our Money? WheresOurMoney.org Promises to Find Out

The film Al Gore doesn't want you to see



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pitts: Congress paves way for future budget stalemates

Congress paves the way for future budget stalemates

By Congressman Joe Pitts


This year's budget fight in Harrisburg dragged on for months with stops and starts, deals made and broken almost as quickly as they were announced. Even with billions in assistance from the federal government, agreeing to the budget was a tortuous process that frustrated Pennsylvanians across the state.

As a former chairman of the State House Appropriations Committee, I know what it is like to negotiate our state budget. Unfortunately, fights like these may become a permanent fixture in our state capitol. Health care reform plans in Washington call for a substantial boost in Medicaid spending that will be shouldered by the states, whether or not the state government in Harrisburg agrees.

Both the House and Senate health care bills both propose expanding Medicaid programs to cover individuals up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Since Medicaid is funded by both federal and state dollars, Pennsylvania’s share would increase by $2.2 billion over 10 years.

While this seems like a lot of money to have the federal government ordering the state to find, that's only the beginning. Through 2019 federal subsidies to the states will assist in covering new enrollees. Starting in 2020, however, the states will have to shoulder the full burden of the expansion. In Pennsylvania, this could cost an estimated $930 million per year.

Pennsylvania would be forced to make up this difference or risk losing all federal Medicaid matching funds. Deep cuts to critical services or huge tax increases would be the only possible solutions.

President Obama called on Congress to pass a bill that doesn't increase the federal deficit. With the projected costs of the House and Senate bills hovering around one trillion dollars, Democratic leadership is looking to states to help cover the costs.

While the President and Democratic leadership promised these bills wouldn't increase taxes on the middle class, states across the country could institute all manner of new taxes to cover the cost of this new federal mandate. The legislation could balance on paper, but at the end of the day the taxpayer would still be footing the bill.

Gov. Ed Rendell knows how hard it was to negotiate this year's budget. Unfortunately, his support for health care reform could make things harder on his successor. Gov. Rendell recently joined other Democratic governors in a letter supporting the House and the Senate legislation without any objection to burdensome new federal mandates.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid knows that increased Medicaid costs will be a burden on the states. He used his position of power to negotiate a deal to exempt his home state of Nevada from the increased Medicaid burden. Reid is running for reelection next year and knows better than to raise taxes on his constituents.

This week, I joined with my Republican colleagues in the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation on a letter to the Gov. Rendell asking him to reconsider his position in light of the costs to the people of Pennsylvania. Our state is already struggling through a recession and high unemployment. Adding new mandates can only make the budget process more difficult.

Gov. Rendell still has time to call on his colleagues in Washington to make the right decision. We need health care reform that reduces costs and expands the availability of coverage, not more taxes that drag down our economy.

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

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits U.S.

You won't see much coverage in the mainstream media, but His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of 275 million Orthodox Christians around the world, has arrived in the United States for a rare visit.

The visit, which runs through Nov. 6, will include events in New Orleans, New York, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate is based in Constantinople, where the Patriarch's movements are restricted by the Turkish government.

His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, is the 270th successor of the 2,000-year-old local Christian Church founded by St. Andrew.

Read more at Beliefnet.com

Read more about the Patriarch at http://www.patriarchate.org/

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Governor Rendell Announces Confirmations, Nominations & Appointments

Governor Rendell Announces Confirmations, Nominations & Appointments

Cap & Trade or Bait & Switch? Pols and Groups Played for Dupes, Says ACARE

Cap & Trade or Bait & Switch? Pols and Groups Played for Dupes, Says ACARE

A referendum on Obama?

Two governor races are seen as early referendums on the Obama Administration.

The race in N.J. is tied even though Corzine is outspending Christie, but the race in Va., has the GOP candidate up by 8 points with two weeks to go.

N.J. gov. race tied, GOP up 8 in Va. - Michael Falcone - POLITICO.com

CNSNews.com - Despite Surge in Unemployment, White House Says Economic Stimulus ‘Saved or Created’ 250,000 Jobs

CNSNews.com - Despite Surge in Unemployment, White House Says Economic Stimulus ‘Saved or Created’ 250,000 Jobs

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Video: Get Ready To Pay

McDonnell Expands Lead in Virginia Governor's Race

McDonnell Expands Lead in Virginia Governor's Race

More negative marks for Obama in latest Harris Poll

If this was a report card, Barack Obama would be flunking out of school.

The latest Harris Poll shows a majority of Americans give President Obama negative ratings on his handling of a dozen major issues.

Among the lowest numbers are for Obama's handling of unemployment, the federal deficit and the war in Afghanistan.

From the Harris Poll:
As President Obama's overall approval rating continues to slide, he cannot find much solace in Americans' opinions on his handling of 12 different issues as he does not have a positive rating on any of these.

The top one for President Obama is reducing the threat of terrorist attack with 41% giving his job on this a positive rating, down from 49% who said so in August. Two in five Americans also give the President positive marks on the environment (40%, down from 43% in August) and education (40% up from 37% in August).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,293 adults surveyed online between October 5 and 12, 2009 by Harris Interactive.

President Obama is dealing with two different wars - one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan - and the American public is not pleased with his handling of either of them. In August two in five U.S. adults (42%) gave the president positive marks on his handling of the war in Iraq. Currently, that number has dropped to 34% while 66% give President Obama negative ratings on this war. The numbers for Afghanistan have gone down even more. In August, two in five (41%) gave the president positive ratings on the war in Afghanistan but now just one-quarter of Americans (27%) give him positive marks while 73% give him negative ratings.

The president has also spent a great deal of time trying to win the American public's support for his health reform plan but does not seem to be making much headway on this issue. Just three in ten Americans (31%) give President Obama positive ratings on his handling of health care while 69% give him negative ratings. In August, over one-third (35%) of U.S. adults gave the president positive ratings on this issue.

Looking at economic issues at least two-thirds of Americans give him negative ratings on all of these issues. On the economy overall, 67% give the president negative marks while one-third (33%) give him positive ones. In September, 40% gave President Obama positive marks on his handling of the economy. More specifically on his handling of regulating the financial system three in ten Americans (31%) give the president positive ratings while 69% give him negative marks. In August, 37% of Americans gave the president's job on this positive marks.

When it comes to the issue of taxes, three in ten Americans (29%) give the president positive marks on his handling of this issue while 71% give him negative ratings. Just one-quarter of Americans (26%) gives the president's handling of employment/unemployment a positive rating, down from 31% who felt this way in August. And, his lowest number is on the federal budget deficit where almost four in five Americans (78%) give President Obama negative marks and only 22% give him positive ratings.

So what?

The President needs a win, whether it is health care reform, some good economic numbers that matter to the American people or a change in Afghanistan. But, until he has something that resonates with the American public in a positive light, there is a sense that a negative attitude will permeate over all issues. One thing to note, education has actually ticked up a little and the White House had put forth their new education initiatives recently. Maybe this is the one issue that they should focus on for the near term, as long as they don't take their eye off of the economy.
For more numbers from the Harris Poll, visit www.harrisinteractive.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rep. Quigley hosts town hall meeting via telephone

Rep. Tom Quigley, R-146th Dist., will host a town hall meeting via telephone for residents of the 146th District at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

"I am hosting this town hall meeting via the telephone to give everyone I represent a chance to ask questions about what is happening in Harrisburg with the recent passage of the state budget and how state laws are impacting our community without having to leave their home," Quigley said in a press release.

At approximately 7 p.m. on Oct. 20, 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 inquiries during the allotted hour.

Individuals unable to participate in the call who have questions regarding state matters can contact Quigley's district office at 610-326-9563.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mensch joins PA Senate



Bob Mensch was sworn in today as Pennsylvania's newest state Senator, giving the Republican Party a 30-20 majority in the chamber.

Mensch, who represented the 147th House District over the past three years, is now the state Senator representing the 24th Senate District.

Mensch won a special election on Sept. 29 to complete the term of former state Sen. Rob Wonderling, who resigned to become president/CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

The 24th Senate District covers about 240,000 residents in Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties.

Mensch was sworn into office during a 3 p.m. ceremony in the Senate Chamber.

"I look forward to continuing the work I started as a state Representative to develop legislation and policies that improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians and promote economic development and create new jobs," Sen. Mensch said in a written statement. "We are in a crucial time in the Commonwealth as we work to restore our economy. We must work to keep young people here. It is essential that we take whatever steps necessary to make Pennsylvania a good place to live, work and raise a family."

As a member of the House of Representatives, Mensch authored legislation amending the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law, along with bills focused on health care quality improvement.

A native of Pennsburg and resident of Marlborough Township since 1975, Mensch is married to his wife of 38 years, JoAnn, who together have raised two children, and now enjoy being grandparents to 14-year-old Zackary. He holds a business degree from Valley Forge Military College.

No decision has been made on a date for a special election to fill the remainder of Mensch's House term.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

White House Official Praises Mao - Whose Policies Led to Death of 65 Million



Watch the video above of a top Obama official praising Chairman Mao.

And read related story from CNSNews.com:

CNSNews.com - White House Official’s Praise for Mao--Whose Policies Led to Death of 65 Million--Was ‘Pathetic,’ Says China Expert

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Video: No Jobs, No Recovery

$5 Million Federal Recovery Act Grant to Train, Place Health Care Workers

Governor Rendell Announces Application for $5 Million Federal Recovery Act Grant to Train, Place Health Care Workers

Attorney General Announces Formal Medical Marijuana Guidelines

Attorney General Announces Formal Medical Marijuana Guidelines

Former CBO Chief Calls Obama Fiscal Policies 'Laughable'

Are you better off today than you were 10 months ago? How's that hope and change working for you?

From CNSNews.com:
A former Republican congressional budget chief called the Obama administration’s claims to fiscal responsibility "hypocritical" and "laughable," noting in particular the mounting unemployment numbers (9.8 percent nationwide) despite the $787-billion stimulus plan enacted in February that he said was poorly designed.

"The Obama Administration's claims of fiscal responsibility are both hypocritical .... [a]nd laughable," Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who served as director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) from 2003 through 2005, wrote in an Oct. 14 memo to Republican members of the House of Representatives.

Holtz-Eakin said in the memo that the hastily written stimulus bill enacted in February -- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- was "poorly designed" and that was "probably one of the reasons why we’ve lost 3 million private-sector jobs since it became law."
CNSNews.com - Former CBO Chief Calls Obama Administration Fiscal Policies 'Laughable'

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Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Family Research Council Action PAC's Tony Perkins Endorses Gov. Rick Perry

Family Research Council Action PAC's Tony Perkins Endorses Gov. Rick Perry

Legislative 'scoundrels'

Terrific Letter to the Editor originally published in The Pottstown Mercury about the deficit budget passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ed Rendell:
Legislative 'scoundrels' approve budget of convenience

Kudos to state Rep. Tom Quigley and the other lawmakers who voted against the proposed budget that was just signed by Gov. Ed Rendell.

It seems that most politicians seem to treat such matters as a joke and this one is a real biggie. Instead of enacting real cuts, we have had the reserves raided to the tune of $1.5 billion.

I'd like to see how these scoundrels run their personal budgets. I can just picture where my family would be if we were to do this: "Honey, I sure would like to go to Hawaii for a few weeks or so but we really can't afford it. Look, don't worry we can make it work, we'll just take the monies that we put aside for heating oil, car insurance, home owners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, property taxes, school taxes, and other unknown emergencies that may come up in the future to pay for it. We'll just go and have a great time and let the future take care of itself!"

This is exactly what this new budget that was signed by Gov. Rendell did for our future. Evidently it was a lot more convenient to use the surplus instead of some real belt tightening. I hope that my fellow citizens are as overjoyed about this as I.

HARRY J. VOGELEI
Pottstown


Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'South Park' spoofs ACORN



You can watch the full episode here

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Job losses climb under Rendell

Pennsylvania employers shed another 10,300 jobs in September, according to new employment figures released today by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

Under Gov. Ed Rendell's leadership, Pennsylvania has lost nearly 200,000 jobs since September 2008.

The Rendell Administration is attempting to put the best possible spin on the continuing bad news by pointing out that Pennsylvania's 8.8% unemployment rate "remained below the United States' unemployment rate, which rose one-tenth of a point to 9.8 percent."

Doesn't that make you feel better, especially if your unemployment benefits are about to run out?

The bottom line is that Ed Rendell, Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats have done a terrible job dealing with economic issues, resulting in record unemployment.

From the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry:
Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted civilian labor force -- the number of people working or looking for work -- rose by 9,000 in September to 6,368,000.

Employment was unchanged in September, while resident unemployment rose by 9,000. The Pennsylvania labor force was down 55,000 from September 2008.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.8 percent in September. The state rate remained below the United States' unemployment rate, which rose one-tenth of a point to 9.8 percent.

Pennsylvania's rate was up 3.2 percentage points from September 2008, while the U.S. rate was up 3.6 percentage points in the 12-month period.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count dropped by 10,300 jobs in September. The majority of the job losses were among service providing industries, however, the Professional and Business Services sector added 2,700 jobs.

Pennsylvania job count was down 198,100, or 3.4 percent, since September 2008. Nationally, jobs were down 4.2 percent over the same time period.
For a breakdown by employment categories, click on the link below:

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: September 2009

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS