Monday, November 30, 2009

Let's see Julia Baird in shorts



Feminist Newsweek Editor Bashes Palin, Makes Excuses for Running-Shorts Cover | NewsBusters.org

P.S. - That's Julia Baird's official photo from Newsweek, so we can't tell if she has nice legs or not.

Newspaper: Rock the (Legislative) boat

A Berks County newspapers is calling for major change in the Pennsylvania Legislature by encouraging reform candidates to take on the professional political class in Harrisburg.

From the editorial in the Reading Eagle:
The Issue: Our entrenched state lawmakers have not budged on shrinking the size of the Legislature.

Our Opinion: We need candidates willing to rock the boat and knock problematic legislators overboard.

Dear Santa: We don't want to complicate your life, but we're asking for something a little different this year. We want candidates for the state Legislature who rock. By that we mean rock the boat.

We need them because things haven't gone swimmingly for Pennsylvania voters. We struggle to pay our bills with people out of work or living on reduced incomes and having trouble staying afloat, and our lawmakers paddle around in a cushy, oversized boat purchased at our expense.

This, after people have been asking for years that they do something about their bloated rolls: We have 50 senators and 203 representatives to serve 12.5 million Pennsylvanians, making it the largest full-time legislature in the country.

California has almost three times as many people, 36.7 million, yet it makes do with 40 senators and 180 representatives - and Californians deal with earthquakes, mudslides and forest fires.
Read the full editorial at the link below:

Commonwealth needs candidates who rock — the boat (11/27/09)

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'New Moon' tops weekend box-office again

We have a monster hit on our hands, folks. Nothing this side of the much-anticipated "Avatar" can knock those teenage vampires and werewolves from their top perch at the box office.

"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" topped the box office this weekend with an estimated $42.5 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com

Throw in the Thanksgiving holiday haul, "New Moon" has earned $230.6 million domestically and $243 million overseas for a total of $473.6 in just nine days since its release.

WEEKEND TOP 5 STUDIO ESTIMATES, NOVEMBER 27-29, 2009

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

1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Summit Entertainment)
$42.5 million | 4,042 | $230.7 million | 2

2. The Blind Side (Warner Bros.)
$40.1 million | 3,140 | $100.3 million | 2

3. 2012 (Sony / Columbia)
$18.0 million | 3,444 | $138.8 million | 3

4. Old Dogs (Buena Vista)
$16.8 million | 3,425 | $24.1 million | 1

5. A Christmas Carol (2009) (Buena Vista)
$16.0 million | 3,013 | $105.4 million | 4

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Global Warming Consensus: Garbage in, Garbage out

Global Warming Consensus: Garbage in, Garbage out

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, November 27, 2009

Republicans post 7-point lead in Generic Ballot

The new blockbuster film "2012" depicts the end of the world in three years, but that scenario could come about in 2010 for the Democratic Party, which is poised to lose big in the midterm Congressional elections, crippling its far-left agenda and making Barack Obama a lame duck with two more years left in his term.

From Rasmussen Reports:
Republican candidates have extended their lead over Democrats to seven points, their biggest lead since early September, in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% would vote for their district's Republican congressional candidate while 37% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

Support for the Republican party held steady from last week, while support for Democrats dropped slightly. Republicans have held the lead for over four months now. Democrats currently have majority control of both the House and Senate.

Voters not affiliated with either party continue to heavily favor Republicans, 44% to 20%.
Read more at Rasmussen Reports.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Will Climate Scandal Be a Tipping Point?

Will Climate Scandal Be a Tipping Point?

Poll: Just 31% Say U.S. Headed in the Right Direction

How's this for a vote of no confidence on Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats?

Only 31% of American voters say the country is heading in the right direction, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national survey.

From Rasmussen Reports:
The percentage of voters who feel this way has remained in the narrow range of 31% to 35% since late June, but voter perceptions of the nation’s current course have only been this low two other times this year, the last time in early October.

Following President Obama's inauguration in January, voter confidence in the direction of the country began steadily increasing, peaking at 40% in early May. While down since then, the latest finding is still four points higher than the week Obama took office and up 10 points from the week he was elected president in early November.

The majority of voters (64%) continue to believe the nation is heading down the wrong track, up slightly from last week. This finding has remained fairly consistent for months.
Read more at Rasmussen Reports

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for Consumer Protection in the U.S. Senate Health Care Reform

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for Consumer Protection in the U.S. Senate Health Care Reform

More endorsements for Schroder

State Rep. Curt Schroder has announced the endorsement of seven fellow state lawmakers representing portions of the 6th Congressional District.

"I am pleased and honored to have the support of colleagues who know me well and have worked with me on many efforts to improve our region" Schroder said in a release.

State elected officials supporting Schroder include:
State Rep. Tim Hennessey (PA-26) Chester County

State Rep. Chris Ross (PA-158) Chester County

State Rep. Sam Rohrer (PA-128) Berks County

State Rep. Jim Cox (PA-129) Berks County

State Rep. Doug Reichley (PA-134) Portions of Berks and Lehigh Counties

State Rep. Kate Harper (PA-61) Montgomery County

State Rep. Michael Vereb (PA-150) Montgomery County
Schroder said the endorsements are an indication that he is the only candidate with the right experience to step into the 6th District Congressional seat.

"The problems we face mean the next Congressman from the 6th District will need to be prepared to get to work from day one," Schroder said. "I look forward to working with these elected officials as well as leaders from across the district to restore economic prosperity in our communities and create jobs in Pennsylvania."

Curt Schroder was first elected to represent the 155th District of Pennsylvania in the State Assembly in 1994. He and his wife reside in East Brandywine Township with their two children.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'Welcome to the 2009 Unnamed Holiday Season'

Welcome to the 2009 Unnamed Holiday Season

We will shop for Unnamed Holiday gifts. Our children will participate in public school Unnamed Holiday concerts celebrating snow, sleigh bells, and red-nosed reindeer, and then enjoy an Unnamed Holiday break. Municipalities will decorate with Unnamed Holiday trees, wreaths, bells, and maybe a life-sized Santa Claus complete with elves. Some retailers will again order their employees to offer only Unnamed Holiday greetings to customers. And of course there will be an undetermined number of court battles to force more Americans to Unname the holiday before us.

The situation would be amusing if the stakes were not so high. Unfortunately, the stakes could not be higher.

The argument given by the "Unnamers" is always framed as a Separation of Church and State civil rights issue. In reality, it has nothing to do with any particular Church. The goal is not keeping the State separate from a particular denomination. The goal is Separation of God and State. Americans as individuals may believe in a Deity, but that belief should have no place in the public arena. In the public arena, the secular State should be the final authority.

This has nothing to do with protecting individual civil rights and everything to do with expanding the power of the State. It is a fundamental shift in the fabric of our culture.

How can we be "endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights," if we cannot publicly acknowledge a Creator, whose authority is higher than the State's?
If there can be no acknowledgement of a power higher than the state, how can we as citizens have been endowed with unalienable rights at all?

If there are no unalienable rights, then the purpose of Government changes from "securing these rights" with the "consent of the governed" to something else. Something defined and controlled by the very Government that was instituted to protect us.

Something that inevitably becomes tyranny.

When Government seeks to grow, it must redefine itself from Servant of the governed to Master. Step One in that redefinition is removal of competitors. Hence, the Unnamed Holiday.

Everyone knows that one does not have to be Christian to celebrate the birth of Christ. He is the most pivotal figure in human history. Even our calendar is based on him. The celebration is a birthday party with a universal invitation to participate at whatever level an individual desires. And for two centuries Americans of all religious beliefs celebrated in joy and fellowship.

It's not the birth of Christ that is the problem. It is the Person. He taught us the truths that this country is founded upon – that there is a divine and almighty Creator, that our rights are unalienable because they come from Him, that Government was instituted to protect those rights, and that Government is answerable to both that Creator and the governed for its performance in that protection.

Two centuries ago, a group of gifted and courageous men, with "a firm reliance on Divine Providence," sacrificed all they had to give us a society based on those truths. Without the recognition of His existence and His authority, we will not preserve that society.

In that spirit, let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Peg Luksik is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania in 2010. For more information about her campaign, visit www.pegluksik.com

Cap-and-Trade Bill Targets Coal Industry, Exports Jobs

Cap-and-Trade Bill Targets Coal Industry, Exports Jobs

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Obama's Horn of Plenty



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Joe Pitts: Many reasons to give thanks

This has been a momentous year with bitter political battles and real concern over the direction of the country. And while we continue to struggle through the worst recession in a decade, I believe that even at this time we have many reasons to give thanks.

The push for healthcare reform has sparked vigorous public debate. While there can be concerns over the tenor of the debate, I believe that it has sparked a renewed civic interest. At no other time in my public service have so many people come to me and discussed legislation in such great detail.

I frequently talk to constituents who point to a specific page and paragraph and ask what affect it will have on their healthcare. The public availability of legislation and the ease of access through the Internet have allowed more citizens than ever to engage in the debate at a high level of discourse. I believe that we should be profoundly thankful for our democratic system of government and a constitution that protects our right to freely express opinions.

Personally, I am thankful that residents of the 16th District are reaching out to let me know their thoughts about legislation. Just this year, I've received more than 57,000 letters, e-mails and phone calls. That's 20,000 more communications than in 2008. There has also been great turnout at townhalls and meetings held in the district. Such strong civic engagement helps me to better represent you in Congress.
In reference to healthcare, while I believe we need reform, I also believe that we should be profoundly thankful for medical professionals who are working hard to keep our nation healthy. In this past year, I've had the opportunity to personally meet with many doctors, nurses and administrators across the 16th District. They truly care for their patients and they want to be able to have the freedom to provide the medical services their patients need.

Doctors and nurses work long, stressful hours at medical practices, hospitals and nursing homes. We don’t always take the time to thank them for their hard work and for entering a profession that has so much responsibility.

But we have much more to be thankful for, just last week we observed Veterans Day and we honored those who have served in our armed forces. We should certainly be grateful for those who wore the uniform and fought to protect our nation.

At this moment we have soldiers engaged in battles to protect us from the threat of terrorism. Our armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq are undertaking the difficult task of stabilizing those nations and engaging terrorists who are looking for opportunities to attack the United States. They are far from their families and they are risking their lives on a daily basis. If you have the opportunity, please take the time to personally thank someone who is serving in the armed forces.

Additionally, we should be thankful for a new generation of young people who want to serve our nation. The 16th District deadline for service academy nominations recently passed and this year my office saw a 30 percent increase in the number of applications. Though we are at war, more young men and women than ever are interested in leading our armed forces.

There are many more gifts from God for which we can be thankful. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the citizens of the 16th Congressional District. I hope that everyone has blessed Thanksgiving and that it is time of both reflection and joy.

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

Sam Rohrer: Be Thankful!



Be Thankful

The first Thanksgiving occurred in October of 1621 when Governor Bradford declared a day of public thanksgiving. Following President Washington's example, many presidents also issued some formal proclamation (Click here to read them). In 1863, President Lincoln took the tradition of a proclamation one step further and declared Thanksgiving Day a nationwide official day of recognition. As Americans, we’ve celebrated the day ever since.

For many, this may be just another vacation day for food, family, friends, and football. Certainly these things are fine. However, this year, it would be wonderful if we would re-focus our attention on actually "giving thanks" and ponder the purpose for the day. There are great lessons to be learned by looking back into history and considering why our ancestors were thankful.

For the Pilgrims, the focus of their thanks was on survival. They were thankful because they had harvested sufficient food to supply them through the coming winter (because the year before many died from lack of food). But they also expressed their gratitude to their friends Squanto and the Wampanoag Indians who because of their care and helpfulness taught the Pilgrims how to live in this New World. But most importantly, the object of their thanks was God who had "honored their obedience beyond their dreams." We should be thankful for all the material blessings we have. But, we should also look about and be grateful for all the people around us that in this last year helped us, encouraged us, and shared with us. But, the ultimate thanks should go to God who provides the ability to gain material things and provides the friends who make life rich and full.

So, in November of 2009 when so many things are of such concern, let's follow the example of the first Thanksgiving celebration and participate in the spirit of the first official day of Thanksgiving and Praise. Gratitude is such an important quality for any person to possess. When you gather around your table for Thanksgiving in just another day, go around the table and ask each person to share something for which they are thankful. Look around and then look up. If you have time, read through some of the early Proclamations. It will really make you thankful. That's what I intend to do with my entire family as we meet.

Be Thankful!

Sam Rohrer
Republican Candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania
www.samrohrer.org

Without Their Support



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Essay: The Media Aren't Talking About Health Care's Lost Jobs and Crushing Taxes

Essay: The Media Aren't Talking About Health Care's Lost Jobs and Crushing Taxes | NewsBusters.org

Inpeach Obama



If you can't wait until the midterm elections to put a stop to the radical Obama agenda, you can add your name to the growing campaign to impeach Barack Obama.

From ImpeachObamaCampaign.com:
"How long must we wait ... how long should we sit back and permit Barack Hussein Obama to rip apart the fabric of this country before we take action? Why are we calling for the Impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama? Radio-personality Tammy Bruce may have said it best: '... ultimately, it comes down to... the fact that he seems to have, it seems to me, some malevolence toward this country, which is unabated.'"
To learn more about the campaign or sign the online petition, visit ImpeachObamaCampaign.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'New Moon' Rising

While not my cup of tea (I prefer the classics such as "I Was A Teenage Werewolf"), a teen vampire/werewolf flick set all kinds of new box-office records over the weekend.

"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" made $142.8 million over the weekend and set the record for best opening day ever, beating "The Dark Night," which went on to make more than $533 million at the U.S. box-office.

Don't expect "New Moon" to top the caped crusader when the final box-office receipts are counted (there aren't that many teenage girls in the world), but there's no questioning the box-office appeal of horny teenage vampires and werewolves. "New Moon" cost just $50 million to produce, so it's already made its money back and then some.

And when you add to $132.1 million it made overseas, its total box-office take so far is nearly $275 million.

Here's this weekend's Top 5 domestic films, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com:
1 The Twilight Saga: New Moon $142,839,137
2 The Blind Side $34,119,372
3 2012 $26,410,206
4 Planet 51 $12,286,129
5 A Christmas Carol (2009) $12,275,024
The real loser this weekend was "2012" which saw its receipts drop nearly 60% from its opening weekend. It's doubtful the end-of-the-world saga will earn back its $200 million production costs.

Disney's computer-animated version of "A Christmas Carol" is also dropping fast, but it might be able to make back its $200 million production costs if it can attract enough audiences between now and Christmas Day.

Here's what Brandon Gray of BoxOfficeMojo had to say about "New Moon" and a record-breaking weekend:
"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" dawned with a hot-blooded $142.8 million on approximately 8,500 screens at 4,024 sites over the weekend, charting as the third highest-grossing opening behind only "The Dark Knight" and "Spider-Man 3" and the biggest of 2009. With the advent of New Moon, not to mention an excellent showing by "The Blind Side," overall business surged 57 percent over the same weekend last year when "Twilight" and "Bolt" debuted and was the second-highest seen in history, behind the weekend that "The Dark Knight" opened.

On its opening day, New Moon shattered the records for opening day ($72.7 million) and midnight showings ($26.3 million), thanks to the rush of its fervent fan base. Just like its predecessor, Twilight, the supernatural romance fell over 40 percent Friday-to-Saturday and the Friday accounted for more than half of the weekend business. On each day, New Moon essentially doubled the grosses of Twilight, which is an incredible feat for a sequel, especially when the first movie was already extremely popular. Twilight's first weekend came to $69.6 million, and, while it fell precipitously the following weekend, it held up well in its later weeks, ultimately grossing $192.8 million to become the biggest vampire movie on record (eclipsing "Interview with the Vampire" in attendance) as well as the top teen romance.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Poll: Support for Obamacare falls to new low

As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leads the Democratic Party to its Waterloo, a new Rasmussen poll shows just 38% of voters favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

That's the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June by Rasmussen Reports.

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 56% oppose the plan a clear majority and a warning to Democrats that their control of Congress will likely slip away in 2010 as they continue to push their big government higher taxes agenda.

From Rasmussen Reports:
Half the survey was conducted before the Senate voted late Saturday to begin debate on its version of the legislation. Support for the plan was slightly lower in the half of the survey conducted after the Senate vote.

Prior to this, support for the plan had never fallen below 41%. Last week, support for the plan was at 47%. Two weeks ago, the effort was supported by 45% of voters.

Intensity remains stronger among those who oppose the push to change the nation's health care system: 21% Strongly Favor the plan while 43% are Strongly Opposed.

Rasmussen Reports is continuing to track public opinion on the health care plan on a weekly basis. Next week's Monday morning update will give an indication of whether these numbers reflect a trend of growing opposition or are merely statistical noise.

Only 16% now believe passage of the plan will lead to lower health care costs. Nearly four times as many (60%) believe the plan will increase health care costs. Most (54%) also believe passage of the plan will hurt the quality of care.

As has been the case for months, Democrats favor the plan while Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party are opposed. The latest numbers show support from 73% of those in the president's party. The plan is opposed by 83% of Republicans and 70% of unaffiliated voters.
For more poll results and analysis, check out Rasmussen Reports

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Nobody's Drinking the Kool Aid



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NIA Announces Release of 'The Dollar Bubble'

NIA Announces Release of 'The Dollar Bubble'

PA DCNR Opening Additional State Forest Roads for Start of Deer Hunting Season

PA DCNR Opening Additional State Forest Roads for Start of Deer Hunting Season

Watchdog Group: Chrysler's Fire Sale Funded On the Backs of Cash-Strapped Taxpayers

Watchdog Group: Chrysler's Fire Sale Funded On the Backs of Cash-Strapped Taxpayers

Pennsylvania Receives Nearly $19 million Recovery Act Funds to Expand Early Head Start Programs

Pennsylvania Receives Nearly $19 million Recovery Act Funds to Expand Early Head Start Programs

PA Agriculture Department Urges Hunters to Share Their Harvest

PA Agriculture Department Urges Hunters to Share Their Harvest to Help Feed the Hungry

'Ugly' contest predicted between Specter, Sestak

POLITICO uses the Arlen Specter-Joe Sestak primary fight as an example of how ugly it's going to get for Congressional Democrats in 2010.

From an article by Alex Isenstadt:
The most closely watched Senate primary is in Pennsylvania, where Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak are slugging it out in unusually personal terms.

Specter has cast Sestak as ineffective and opportunistic, attacking him for his failure to register to vote in Pennsylvania until shortly before launching his 2006 congressional campaign and labeling the two-term congressman as "No Show Joe" — a reference to the House votes Sestak has missed while pursuing the Senate nomination.

Not to be outdone, Sestak has assailed the party-switching incumbent's character, referring to Specter as a "flight risk" for Democrats and reminding the party rank and file of Specter's decades-long career as a Republican. Last month, Sestak launched a website dedicated to "The Real Arlen Specter," featuring quotes Specter would rather forget and past tributes to the five-term incumbent from a cast of GOP heavies including President George W. Bush, Sen. Rick Santorum, Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush adviser Karl Rove.

While Democrats are buoyed by polling that suggests either candidate would run competitively against presumptive Republican nominee Pat Toomey, Republicans are nevertheless enjoying the show, applauding Sestak's attacks on Specter's left flank in the hopes that both will be drawn further leftward in the battle to win over the Democratic base of activists.

"It's going to be beyond ugly," said Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin and Marshall College poll, speaking to the tone of the May primary. "I think it's going to be at a level that's virtually unprecedented."
Read the full story at POLITICO.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

60 Plus Announces New 9 State TV Campaign to Protect Medicare

Senate Votes to Proceed - 60 Plus Announces New 9 State TV Campaign Targeted at Senators to Protect Medicare

FlyersRights.org on 'Stuck on Tarmac' Fines

FlyersRights.org Applauds Secretary Ray LaHood for Imposing Precedent Setting 'Stuck on Tarmac' Fines

First-Day Bear Harvest Ranks Second

First-Day Bear Harvest Ranks Second

E-Mails Of Climate Researchers Buttress Case Of Warming Fraud

One of the biggest government scandals of all time is largely ignored by the liberal media. I wonder why.

Read the editorial from Investor's Business Daily about the unraveling global warming hoax at the link below:

Investors.com - E-Mails Of Climate Researchers Buttress Case Of Warming Fraud

Holiday Mail For Heroes

Poll: Support for Obamacare Hits New Low

As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leads the Democratic Party to its Waterloo, a new Rasmussen poll shows just 38% of voters favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

That's the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June by Rasmussen Reports.

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 56% oppose the plan a clear majority and a warning to Democrats that their control of Congress will likely slip away in 2010 as they continue to push their big government higher taxes agenda.

From Rasmussen Reports:
Half the survey was conducted before the Senate voted late Saturday to begin debate on its version of the legislation. Support for the plan was slightly lower in the half of the survey conducted after the Senate vote.

Prior to this, support for the plan had never fallen below 41%. Last week, support for the plan was at 47%. Two weeks ago, the effort was supported by 45% of voters.

Intensity remains stronger among those who oppose the push to change the nation's health care system: 21% Strongly Favor the plan while 43% are Strongly Opposed.

Rasmussen Reports is continuing to track public opinion on the health care plan on a weekly basis. Next week's Monday morning update will give an indication of whether these numbers reflect a trend of growing opposition or are merely statistical noise.

Only 16% now believe passage of the plan will lead to lower health care costs. Nearly four times as many (60%) believe the plan will increase health care costs. Most (54%) also believe passage of the plan will hurt the quality of care.

As has been the case for months, Democrats favor the plan while Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party are opposed. The latest numbers show support from 73% of those in the president's party. The plan is opposed by 83% of Republicans and 70% of unaffiliated voters.
For more poll results and analysis, check out Rasmussen Reports

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Global WarmingGate: What Does It Mean?

Global WarmingGate: What Does It Mean?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Devil's Advocate

Hold on to your wallets PSU fans

I haven't been to a Penn State football game since I graduated from PSU ... and based on what columnist Rich Scarcella has to say about the school's plans to jack up ticket prices, I won't be attending a game anytime soon.

If you're a Penn State football fan, be prepared to shell out bigger bucks to watch the Nittany Lions play home games starting next season.

As long as Beaver Stadium continues to sell out for home games, PSU officials will continue to gouge fans.

"Either football season-ticket holders don't fully grasp what's going to happen or they don't know where to vent their anger," Scarcella writes. "The cost to attend a football game at Beaver Stadium will go up dramatically in 2011 for those who have season tickets between the goal lines."

Read Scarcella's full column at the link below:

Rich Scarcella: Want a good seat at Beaver Stadium? Prepare to pay

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Generic Ballot Favors GOP

If the midterm Congressional elections were held today, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would be out of a job, with significant loses predicted for the Democratic Party.

Republican candidates maintain a six-point advantage over Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot published at Rasmussen Reports, which shows that 44% would vote for their district's Republican congressional candidate while 38% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

What could cost Democrats control of Congress is independent voters, who are expressing widespread disapproval of the way Democrats are running Congress.

Voters not affiliated with either party continue to heavily favor Republicans, 41% to 24%, the Rasmussen survey found.

Read more at Rasmussen Reports.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Video: Insurance Costs Will Skyrocket



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Sunday, November 22, 2009

'A spineless and brainless nation'

A guest column I wholeheartedly agree with from Yeh Ling-Ling executive director of the Alliance for a Sustainable USA, a national nonprofit organization based in California, about the rapid decline of the United States.

U.S. becoming 'spineless and brainless nation'

By Yeh Ling-Ling

The United States went from being the world's greatest creditor nation to being the world's greatest debtor nation in less than three decades. What happened?

While serving as comptroller general of the United States, David Walker urged our national leaders to learn from the fall of Rome. He warned that the U.S. budget deficits, extended wars abroad, health care and immigration are critical issues that require immediate actions.

Indeed, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone have cost American taxpayers more than $1 trillion, according to some estimates.

Our national debt has already exceeded $12 trillion, with no end in sight. American leaders should be told that most empires eventually fell due to the extended wars that bankrupted their treasuries.

If the above wars were to ensure our homeland security, why have our own borders remained so porous? Are most elected officials in Washington, D.C., not aware that many terrorists and criminal aliens live on U.S. soil?

Incredibly, most American leaders also lack courage and common sense in addressing other issues.

According to a Thomson Reuters report released Oct. 26, waste in the U.S. health-care system could total up to $850 billion a year.

Census data also show that recent immigrants and their U.S.-born children under 18 account for more than 70 percent of the growth of the uninsured population in the U.S.

Instead of working on trimming waste and reducing immigration as first steps to achieve sensible health-care reform, President Obama and Congress count on borrowing more from other countries to finance our needs.

The high costs of teen pregnancies, totaling 750,000 a year nationwide, have also been ignored.

Instead of enacting some sort of immigration moratorium so that we can put unemployed Americans, welfare recipients and nonviolent prisoners to work, Washington, D.C., has chosen to extend unemployment benefits and give out welfare costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars yearly.

President Obama has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to create jobs for Americans. Yet he is promoting amnesty for possibly 20 million illegal aliens and massive numbers of "guest worker" visas. If his misleading "comprehensive immigration reform" is enacted, it will result in millions of new voters and an explosion of legal and illegal immigration!

Although some immigrants are assets to the U.S., most do not pay enough in taxes to cover the costs of social services rendered to their families due to their mostly low incomes.

Will our leaders ever realize that adding millions of people to the U.S. population every year essentially means more job seekers and patients as well as higher expenses for infrastructure?

Sadly, the United States, once the land of the free and the brave, is fast becoming a spineless and brainless nation.

Yeh Ling-Ling, a naturalized American citizen born in Vietnam of Chinese parents, is executive director of the Alliance for a Sustainable USA (www.asustainableusa.org), a national nonprofit organization based in Oakland, Calif.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Obama job approval slips to 49%

Barack Obama's job approval numbers have been hovering around the 50% mark for months, but one major poll now has the president's approval ranking dropping to 49% with nowhere to go but down as Obama and his tone-deaf White House continue to defy the wishes of the American people.

From POLITICO:
President Barack Obama's approval ratings have dipped below 50 percent for the first time in one prominent poll amid a raft of bad news about the economy and continuing job losses.

The nation's economic woes pushed Obama down to a 49 percent approval rating in the respected Gallup daily tracking poll out Friday. Gallup said Obama's approval rating had been holding in the low 50s since September but hasn't dropped below 50 percent until now.

Obama started out his presidency with 68 percent approval rating in Gallup and saw most of the decline in July and August. One veteran pollster, Syracuse University's Jeffrey Stonecash, said the steep decline is the result of unreasonably inflated expectations about what Obama could accomplish in Washington.

"I'm not surprised by the demise here because the expectations I think were really unrealistic," Stonecash said. "He has huge problems trying to get this morass of the Democratic Party to move and to work to accomplish what he wants. The longer [health care] drags out the more his ratings are going to go down."
Read the full story by Josh Gerstein at POLITICO.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

CNSNews.com - CBO: By 2019, Taxpayers Will Pay $196 Billion A Year for Obamacare, But 24 Million People Will Remain Uninsured

CNSNews.com - CBO: By 2019, Taxpayers Will Pay $196 Billion A Year for Obamacare, But 24 Million People Will Remain Uninsured

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, November 20, 2009

PA Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States

Working families in Pennsylvania pay a far higher share of their income in state and local taxes than their wealthiest counterparts, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy.

Other highlights (or low lights) from the study:
* Pennsylvania families earning less than $19,000 - the poorest fifth of Pennsylvania taxpayers - pay 11.3% of their income in Pennsylvania state and local taxes.

* Middle-income Pennsylvania taxpayers - those earning between $35,000 and $56,000 - pay 9.6% of their income in Pennsylvania state and local taxes.

* The richest Pennsylvania taxpayers - with average incomes of $1,369,600 - pay only 5% of their income in Pennsylvania state and local taxes.

* After accounting for federal deduction offsets, the discrepancy is even starker: the poorest fifth pay 11.2% of their income in state and local taxes, middle-income families pay 9.1%, and the richest Pennsylvanians pay 3.9%.

* Washington, Florida, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Alabama were named as the 10 Most Regressive Tax States. Pennsylvania ranked ninth.
The review the entire report, "Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States," follow the link below:

New Report Ranks Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Governor Rendell Announces 33 Additional Projects to be Funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Governor Rendell Announces 33 Additional Projects to be Funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

'Farm-City Week' Kick-off Brings Agriculture to Center City Philadelphia

'Farm-City Week' Kick-off Brings Agriculture to Center City Philadelphia

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Video: 'Government should never come between your family and your doctor'

American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Opposes Cosmetic Surgery Tax

American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Opposes Cosmetic Surgery Tax

Teamsters Oppose Senate Plan to Tax Health Insurance Companies

Teamsters Oppose Senate Plan to Tax Health Insurance Companies

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: October

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: October

Everybody bow ... or not



A great video posted at YouTube by the College Republicans at the University of Connecticut showing that world leaders routinely greet the Japanese emperor without bowing before him, something Barack Obama indistinctly does to show U.S. weakness.

(H/T Andrew Malcolm/The Los Angeles Times)

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Independents bolt Democrats

Remember all the gloating by Democrats and their media allies after the Obama victory last November? Remember the talk of how the Republican Party was finished? How the GOP will become the minority party for decades? Who's laughing now?

It appears that the Democratic Party under the leadership of far-left radicals like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi is on the road to political oblivion.

From an article by Alex Isenstadt at POLITICO:
Mounting evidence that independent voters have soured on the Democrats is prompting a debate among party officials about what rhetorical and substantive changes are needed to halt the damage.

Following serious setbacks with independents in off-year elections earlier this month, White House officials attributed the defeats to local factors and said President Barack Obama sees no need to reposition his own image or the Democratic message.

Since then, however, a flurry of new polls makes clear that Democrats are facing deeper problems with independents—the swing voters who swung dramatically toward the party in 2006 and 2008 but who now are registering deep unease with the amount of spending and debt called for under Obama's agenda in an era of one-party rule in Washington.

A Gallup Poll released last week offered a disturbing glimpse about the state of play: just 14 percent of independents approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest figure all year. In just the past few days alone, surveys have shown Democratic incumbents trailing Republicans among independent voters by double-digit margins in competitive statewide contests in places as varied as Connecticut, Ohio and Iowa.

Obama’s own popularity among independents has fallen significantly, too. A CBS News poll Tuesday showed the president’s approval rating among unaligned voters falling to 45 percent — down from 63 percent in April.
Read the full article at the link below:

Dems alarmed as independents bolt - Alex Isenstadt - POLITICO.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

FDA Issues 22 Warning Letters to Web site Operators

UPDATE: FDA Issues 22 Warning Letters to Web site Operators

PA Banking Department Warns Consumers About Apparent Internet Loan Scam

PA Banking Department Warns Consumers About Apparent Internet Loan Scam

Reid Releases Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

Reid Releases Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill - AULAction Campaign: Vote NO on Cloture

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rohrer makes run for governor official

The state lawmaker who has been leading the fight to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania has entered the race for governor.

Berks County state Rep. Sam Rohrer will seek the Republican nomination in May 2010. A true conservative has entered the race.

Rohrer to seek GOP nomination for governor

Government Watchdogs call for Constitutional Convention in PA



The latest corruption scandal to hit Harrisburg has prompted calls for a Constitutional Convention to reform state government. The problem is that a convention needs approval by the Legislature. The people of Pennsylvania can clean up the mess in 2010 when all 203 members of the state House and 25 members of the state Senate are up for reelection.

Government Watchdogs Call for Constitutional Convention in Pa.|abc27 News

The Fringe Media vs. Sarah Palin

The Fringe Media (formerly known as the Mainstream Media) has launched an all-out assault on Sarah Palin as she begins her book tour to promote "Going Rogue."

The book went on sale Tuesday, but liberal book critics and left-wing pundits have already savaged the book, which is destined to become one of the biggest sellers of the year.

Despite the constant negative commentary about Palin in the Fringe Media, a new poll says most Americans share Palin's values.

From Rasmussen Reports:
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Republican voters say former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shares the values of most GOP voters throughout the nation.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 21% of Republican voters disagree and think the 2008 vice presidential candidate does not share their values. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

By contrast, 74% of Republicans say their party’s representatives in Congress have lost touch with GOP voters nationwide over the past several years. Only 18% of Republican voters believe their elected officials have done a good job representing the base.

The findings in these two surveys highlight the political debate within the Republican Party. Party leaders worry that Palin is pushing the GOP too far to the right to win general elections by aligning herself with Tea Party voters frustrated with both parties in Washington and the big government policies they have produced.

Still, just 18% of Republicans - and 26% of voters nationwide - see Palin as a divisive force within the GOP. A plurality believes Palin is representative of a new direction for the Republican Party. That view is held by 57% of Republicans and 41% of all voters. A plurality of Democrats aren't sure what to think of Palin's role within the opposing party.
Read more analysis at Rasmussen Reports

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Cooler heads prevail on global warming?

An excellent editorial in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review debunking the global warming hoax.

From the editorial:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center has released its "State of the Climate National Overview October 2009." The report finds that the month just past was America's third-coolest October on record. All but six states and all but one of nine "climate regions" had below-normal temperatures.
Read the full editorial at the link below:

Cooler heads - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Jobs Saved or Created in Congressional Districts That Don't Exist

Even the liberal media is catching on to Obama's lies.

From an ABC News investigation on bogus claims of jobs released by the Obama Administration:
ABC News was able to locate several examples on the government's Web site outlining hundreds of millions of dollars spent and jobs created in Congressional districts that have been misidentified.

For example, recovery.gov says $34 million in stimulus money has been spent in Arizona's 86th congressional district in a project for the Navajo Housing authority, which is actually located in the 1st congressional district.

The reporting problems are not limited to Arizona, ABC News found.
In Oklahoma, recovery.gov lists more than $19 million in spending -- and 15 jobs created -- in yet more congressional districts that don't exist.

In Iowa, it shows $10.6 million spent – and 39 jobs created -- in nonexistent districts.

In Connecticut's 42nd district (which also does not exist), the Web site claims 25 jobs created with zero stimulus dollars.
The list of spending and job creation in fictional congressional districts extends to U.S. territories as well.
$68.3 million spent and 72.2 million spent in the 1st congressional district of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

$8.4 million spent and 40.3 jobs created in the 99th congressional district of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

$1.5 million spent and .3 jobs created in the 69th district and $35 million for 142 jobs in the 99th district of the Northern Mariana Islands.

$47.7 million spent and 291 jobs created in Puerto Rico's 99th congressional district.
Jobs Saved or Created in Congressional Districts That Don't Exist - ABC News

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

ATA Supports Road Safe America's 'Drive Safer Sunday'

ATA Supports Road Safe America's 'Drive Safer Sunday'

Countdown to PA Deer Season

Countdown to Deer Season Has Begun; Local White-Tailed Deer Information Available On-Line; Don't Forget to Report Deer Harvest; Hunters Reminded That Licenses Still Must Be Displayed

Video: Where's the transparency?

Where did the stimulus money go?

Independent reviews of Obama's claims of job created by the stimulus bill show that the government is making up numbers. As Rep. Joe Wilson so aptly said it, "You lie!"

From Watchdog.org:
Just how big is the stimulus package? Well for one, it has doubled the size of the House of Representatives, according to recovery.gov, which says that funds were distributed to 440 congressional districts that do not exist.

According to data retrieved from recovery.gov, nearly $6.4 billion was used to “create or save” just under 30,000 jobs in these phantom congressional districts–almost $225,000 per job. The Web site operates on an $84 million budget and is tasked with monitoring the distribution of the $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress–which, for the record, counts 435 members–in early 2009.
It's clear you can't trust anything coming from the Obama Ministry of Propaganda or the state-run media that should be reporting on the most corrupt and deceptive administration ever.

$6.4 Billion Stimulus Goes to Phantom Districts

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Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who has less experience? Obama or Palin?

Interesting post at Times Watch, a Web site that exposes the liberal political agenda at The New York Times. In trying to beat up on Sarah Palin, the NYT book reviewer inadvertently exposes Barack Obama's lack of experience, which might explain his failed presidency.

MRC.org - Media Research Center

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She's got legs ...

Nice legs. Oh wait, that's Sarah Palin. I thought it was Sports Illustrated, but turns out it's the new issue of Newsweek. When was the last time a "news" magazine put Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi in shorts on the cover?

David Brody, CBN News White House correspondent, says on his blog that this an another example of liberal media bias, not to mention sexist coverage of the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee.

Brody writes:
This cover has got to be a new low right? They don't use a photo of Palin on the campaign trail. No instead they take the sexy Runners World photo. Yes she posed for it but don't tell me they didn't purposely use that photo to make a point? I predict this cover will become a bigger story over the next 24-48 hours and let's face it. This isn't JUST about media bias. This cover should be insulting to women politicians. Where's the sexy photo of Mitt Romney? Why not a picture of Tim Pawlenty with an unbuttoned shirt relaxing on a couch in the Twin Cities?
Read his full post at the link below:

Newsweek Photo of Palin Shows Media Bias and Sexism

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Independents abandon Obama


Barack Obama recently left the country for an Asian trip, but the country left Obama months ago as he continues to push a left-wing agenda the majority of Americans don't want.

Most Republicans saw through Obama, but now independents have opened their eyes, with 47% of independent voters telling Rasmussen Reports they strongly disapprove of Obama's job performance.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen warn that Obama must drastically change course or his presidency is doomed.

From their column:
The off-year elections in New Jersey and Virginia were indeed a warning sign to Mr. Obama. While the presidents ratings aren't likely to dip much further by year's end — given the size and support of his base — by focusing exclusively on his base he could create lasting political problems that plague the remainder of his term.

Unless Mr. Obama changes his approach and starts governing in a more fiscally conservative, bipartisan manner, the independents that provided his margin of victory in 2008 and gave the Democrats control of Congress will likely swing back to the Republicans, putting Democratic control of Congress in real jeopardy.
The latest Rasmussen Reports give Obama little hope unless he starts listening to the people:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday 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.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats Strongly Approve while 66% of Republicans Strongly Disapprove. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 20% Strongly Approve and 47% Strongly Disapprove.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve.

Overall, 50% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Forty-nine percent (49%) now disapprove.
Read more analysis at Rasmussen Reports

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Monday, November 16, 2009

Postal Service Ends 2009 With $3.8 Billion Loss

The federal government has done so well delivering the mail, why don't we turn over the nation's health system over to it?

Postal Service Ends 2009 With $3.8 Billion Loss

The Case for Term Limits



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Report: 87 Million Americans At Risk of Losing Health Protections

At Least 87 Million Americans At Risk of Losing Health Protections Under U.S. Senate Finance Health Reform Bill

State Police Offer Child Safety Seat Inspections Across Pennsylvania

State Police Offer Child Safety Seat Inspections Across Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Department of Health to Offer H1N1 Vaccine to Priority Populations

Pennsylvania Department of Health to Offer H1N1 Vaccine to Priority Populations on Nov. 20, 21 and 22

Pelosi Bill Eliminates CHIP Program

Funny how nobody mentioned this before Democrats passed the Pelosi Health Care Bill, which eliminates the Children's Health Insurance Program, better known as CHIP.

Did anybody read the 2,000-page bill? Oh, wait. This is Congress we're talking about. They never read a bill before voting for it.

Children's Health Fund faults Congressional Democrats for eliminating one of the few government health programs that works.

Congressional Health Reform Bill Falls Short on Comprehensive and Affordable Coverage for Low-Income Children

Rep. Sam Rohrer: Public Option? More Like Trojan Horse

Public Option? More Like Trojan Horse

By State Rep. Sam Rohrer

As the federal government in Washington, D.C., plots to take over America's personal health care market, those of us who value liberty would be well served to remember the story of the Trojan horse.

According to legend, the Greeks attacked the city of Troy for more than a decade, but were unable to overtake it. Finally, the Greeks built a large hollow horse, inside of which a select force of soldiers was hidden. The Trojans pulled the horse inside the gate and, once night had fallen, the Greek soldiers leaped out and opened the gates to the city so their brethren could enter. This was how the Greek army successfully destroyed the city of Troy.

Today, the federal government is attempting to infiltrate America’s personal health care system using its own version of a Trojan horse: the so-called "public option."
Proponents of the public option continually attempt to reassure Americans that it does not mark the beginning of the journey down the road to socialized medicine. However, even if this were the case, it still does not justify the intrusion.

First of all, the federal government has no authority to get involved in our country’s private health care system. Anyone who took the time to read our nation's constitution would know this. That historic document includes many enumerated powers for Congress and the president. I assure you, none of the powers granted in our Constitution allow for a federal takeover of America's personal health insurance market.

Second, and on a more practical level, previous public options in other sectors have not fared so well. For example, the two public options in the mortgage industry – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – helped to create the housing bubble that resulted in the current international economic recession. By lowering lending requirements and handing out loans to severely under-qualified borrowers, these organizations bent to political pressures. That, in turn, helped bring about the "Great Recession" we are now suffering through. Will the health care public option likewise succumb to political pressures?

The vast welfare system is the nameless, faceless "public option" of charity. Decades after it was introduced and billions of dollars later, many Americans still live in poverty. Will the health care "public option" fail just as miserably in its goal, wasting vast amounts of taxpayer resources in the process?

Furthermore, think about how well (or unwell) the federal government takes care of the responsibilities it already has. Just look at our crumbling interstate highway system and our nation’s deteriorating bridges. Consider how long it takes to get a pot hole fixed on your local highway. Now, what if it took that long for you to get the medical care you need? Do you think for some reason that a large federal health care bureaucracy will be more responsive than the large transportation bureaucracy?

Finally, despite the ongoing rhetorical battle between the right and left over this issue, it is not one that should be viewed solely through the lens of Democrats versus Republicans. In fact, the liberals who believe in government right now – because the people they voted for are in power – should be cautious. They may be anxious to hand over their health care to the federal politicians now that Democrats like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama are in charge. But, if there's one thing for certain about the political pendulum, it is that it always manages to swing back the other way.

Would the same liberals have been willing to turn over their health care to George W. Bush, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert or former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist? Having turned over control of your personal health care to the government, there is nothing to prevent a conservative from one day taking office and changing things to meet his or her ideology. Are you prepared to reap what you have sown?

Long ago, the Trojans were deceived into believing they could have something (a large wooden horse) for nothing. Their blunder lives on in infamy. Will America succumb to the same fate, voluntarily surrendering our personal health care system for the Trojan horse known as the public option?

State Rep. Sam Rohrer is a Republican who represents Berks County's 128th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Destroying the world is good for business

Destroying the world has proven very profitable for director Roland Emmerich, whose previous films include "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow."

His latest, "2012," topped the box office this weekend with an estimated $65.0 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com

That's a good opening, but not spectacular. The film itself cost $200 million to make and while it should make back its production costs, it does not appear to be a runaway blockbuster like "Transformers 2," which has made $400 million.

Here's this weekend's Top 5 films for Nov. 13-15 based on studio estimates:

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

1. 2012 (Sony / Columbia)
$65.0 million | 3,404 | $65.0 million | 1

2. A Christmas Carol (2009) (Buena Vista)
$22.3 million | 3,683 | $63.3 million | 2

3. The Men Who Stare at Goats (Overture Films)
$6.2 million | 2,453 | $23.4 million | 2

4. Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire (Lionsgate)
$6.1 million | 174 | $8.9 million | 2

5. Michael Jackson's This Is It (Sony / Columbia)
$5.1 million | 3,037 | $68.2 million | 3
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Arlen Specter in Pottstown

Where does Arlen Specter stand on the issues? It depends on which day of the week it is. Specter is pushing John Kerry aside as king of the flip-flop.

Specter sat down a few days ago for and extensive interview with The Pottstown Mercury.

On health care, Specter said "I will only vote on a health care bill that does not add to the deficit."

Does that mean he will defy Barack Obama and Harry Reid?

I also enjoyed this quote from Specter about the fact that it took him a couple of decades to figure out he wans't a true Republican: "I found I was voting more often with the Democrats than the Republicans during my tenure."

Check out what he has to say on a variety of issues ... before he changes his mind again.

Read the story at the newspaper's Web site, where you can also view videos of Specter at the offices of The Mercury.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pew Survey: Incumbents Beware, especially Democrats



A new survey by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds widespread anti-incumbent sentiment among the American electorate.

From the survey:
The mood of America is glum. Two-thirds of the public is dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Fully nine-in-ten say that national economic conditions are only fair or poor, and nearly two-thirds describe their own finances that way -- the most since the summer of 1992.

An increasing proportion of Americans say that the war in Afghanistan is not going well, and a plurality continues to oppose the health care reform proposals in Congress.
What does this mean for the party in power, aka Democrats? Unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the economy and Afghanistan in the coming year, Democrats will face a political massacre in the 2010 midterm elections.

While President Obama's approval rating hovers around 51%, Congressional incumbents are in serious trouble, according to the Pew Research Survey.

From the survey:
About half (52%) of registered voters would like to see their own representative re-elected next year, while 34% say that most members of Congress should be re-elected.

Both measures are among the most negative in two decades of Pew Research surveys. Other low points were during the 1994 and 2006 election cycles, when the party in power suffered large losses in midterm elections.

Support for congressional incumbents is particularly low among political independents. Only 42% of independent voters want to see their own representative re-elected and just 25% would like to see most members of Congress re-elected. Both measures are near all-time lows in Pew Research surveys.

Currently, 47% of registered voters say they would vote for the Democratic candidate in their district or lean Democratic, while 42% would vote for the Republican or lean to the GOP candidate. In August, 45% favored the Democrat in their district and 44% favored the Republican.
And then there's the "enthusiasm" factor. While the Democratic Party base is losing patience with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid & Co., Republicans are feeling much better about their party's chances next year.

From the survey:
Fully 58% of those who plan to vote for a Republican next year say they are very enthusiastic about voting, compared with 42% of those who plan to vote for a Democrat. More than half (56%) of independent voters who support a Republican in their district are very enthusiastic about voting; by contrast, just 32% of independents who plan to vote for a Democrat express high levels of enthusiasm.
In other words, the Republican base that stayed home in 2008 because it could not bring itself to support John McCain has realized what a mistake it was to turn the country over to Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats. Republicans (and independents) are poised to take corrective action in 2010.

Read the full survey by clicking here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Costly recount

Republican Temp Smith finished 3,534 off the pace for four open seats on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, but he wants a recount. That will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $1.3 million.

Let me go out on a limb and predict that Smith will still finish sixth in the race where the top four candidates get seats on the court.

Two other candidates, including one who finished higher than Smith, waived their right to a recount but state law says all candidates must agree to opt out ... or an automatic recount kicks in.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortes Orders Recount in Close Superior Court Election

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Media Blinders



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Corbett charges 10 Republicans in corruption probe



Just posted on the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Web site:
HARRISBURG - As part of an ongoing public corruption investigation into the Pennsylvania Legislature, agents from the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit today filed criminal charges against Representative John Perzel and former Republican Representative Brett Feese. Also charged are eight current or former aides to Perzel and Feese.

Attorney General Tom Corbett said the charges are part of an ongoing grand jury investigation into the misuse of public resources and employees for campaign purposes in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

Corbett said the grand jury issued a 188 page presentment recommending that he file criminal charges against the defendants.

Among those charged, in addition to Perzel and Feese, are Perzel's former Chief of Staff, Brian Preski; his current Chief of Staff, Paul Towhey; Perzel's brother-in-law and former House employee, Samual "Buzz" Stokes; Perzel legislative aide John Zimmerman; Perzel campaign aide Don McClintock; Feese aides Jill Seaman and Elmer Bowman; and former House Republican Information Technology Deputy Director Eric Ruth.

The defendants are each charged with numerous theft, criminal conspiracy and conflict of interest charges. Additionally, Perzel, Preski, Feese, Seaman, Towhey and Zimmerman are each charged with obstruction of justice.

Corbett said that in the first phase of the investigation his agents charged 12 defendants in July of 2008. Trials are scheduled for December and January 2010.
Read the full release at the link below:

Press: The Attorney General's Press Office - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General

Posted using ShareThis

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Seniors taget Pelosi bill supporters



Attention Democrats who supported the Pelosi Health Care Bill that guts Medicare to pay for expanded coverage to younger people: Seniors have long memories and they tend to vote in every election.

The 60 Plus Association is targeting 15 Democrats, including two from Pennsylvania.

New $1.5 Million Campaign Targeting 15 'YES' Votes on House Health Care Reform

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Son of Bonusgate

The other shoe has dropped.

Ten Republicans connected to the Pennsylvania Legislature, including former Speaker of the House John Perzel, have been charged in a wide-ranging corruption case, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett announced today.

A grand jury found that Perzel was the architect of an illegal scheme in which more than $10 million in taxpayer money was spent to help win political campaigns, according to The Associated Press.

Also charged in the ongoing grand jury probe were Perzel's former chief of staff, Brian Preski, and former House GOP counsel Brett Feese, the news service reports.

The charges come 16 months after 12 Democrats were charged in what became known as the Bonusgate case.

Just four years ago, Perzel was arguably the most powerful politician in Pennsylvania, with more influence than Gov. Ed Rendell. But the pay raise fiasco of 2005 and Republican loses in the House (which Perzel had a hand in) cost Perzel his post as Speaker. Now he is facing criminal charges and a lengthy jail sentence if found guilty.

Perzel, who has represented parts of Philadelphia in Legislature since 1979, was Republican Whip in 1993-94; Majority Leader from 1995 to 2003; and Speaker from April 15, 2003, to the end of 2006, when a half-dozen Republicans joined with Democrats to deny him another term as Speaker.

Read more details at the link below:

Perzel charged with theft, conspiracy in $10 million scheme - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

DCNR to Release Five-Year Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan

DCNR to Release Five-Year Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan

Wrong Direction



A new AP-GfK Poll released today shows Obama's job approval number at 54% — down 20 points since January.

The same poll finds 56 percent of people say the country is heading in the wrong direction.

Only 46 percent approve of Obama's handling of the economy. And only 33 percent approve of how Congress is doing under Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

For complete poll results, click here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rep. Joe Pitts: Why I Voted Against Pelosi Bill

Why I Voted Against Speaker Pelosi's Health Care Bill

By Congressman Joe Pitts

On November 7, the House of Representatives considered Speaker Nancy Pelosi's health care reform bill, and I chose to stand against it and vote no. It was not a decision that I made lightly, and it came after months of debate, study and personal meetings with constituents.

Over the summer and into the fall, I held dozens of meetings and townhalls and heard from constituents both for and against the Democrats' health care reform. I heard great concern that government health care would lead to rationing and mountains of debt. I heard concerns that we need to broaden coverage and reduce rising costs. Mostly, I heard that residents of the 16th District do not approve of a government takeover of 17 percent of the economy.

I have many reasons for voting against Speaker Pelosi's bill.

First, this plan does nothing to address the most pressing problem facing American health care: the looming insolvency of Medicare. I actually believe that it will make the problem worse.

The Medicare trustees report that "fund assets are projected to be exhausted in 2017." Medicare has tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, and yet the bill does nothing to place this important program on a solid footing. Instead, hundreds of billions of dollars of cuts in Medicare will be used to provide for a new government health program, the so-called "public option."

I believe this public option will quickly become the only health care option for millions of Americans. While Speaker Pelosi says that this plan will merely "compete" with private insurance plans, they will not compete on a level playing field. The public option will not have to pay taxes, will not be subject to endless lawsuits, and will not have to abide by expensive state regulations and mandates. In other words, the public option will have a significant competitive advantage over private insurance. Given the stated preference of leading Democrats for a "single payer" government health care monopoly, I believe the public option is intended to ultimately become that government monopoly.

Second, President Obama has insisted that this plan will not raise taxes on Americans making less than $250,000. This plan will subject middle-class Americans a 2.5 percent penalty for not carrying government approved insurance. This is a tax and failure to pay it could lead to fines and even five years of jail time. It will not just be millionaires who have to pay up.

Third, Speaker Pelosi's plan calls for Medicaid to cover millions more Americans. The federal government, however, is not solely responsible for funding Medicaid and will only cover the state's costs part of the way. States will be forced to find ways to cover these new individuals. When federal subsidies for Medicaid end in 2019, Pennsylvania would be forced to find an additional $930 million per year. The state will either have to raise taxes or cut critical programs like education and transportation.

Finally, this bill will raise costs for small businesses currently struggling to provide insurance for their employees. New taxes and new regulations will drive up premiums, forcing businesses to choose to either maintain payroll or maintain health insurance. The House Ways and Means Committee, using data from the Congressional Budget Office, estimates that 5.5. million jobs could be lost in the first 10 years after passage of this bill.

There are more reasons for my concern, and I have issued a detailed memo explaining both my objections to Speaker Pelosi's bill and what I think should be done to reform health care. I have posted this memo on my Web site and will send it to any constituent who contacts my office. I agree that our health care system needs to be fixed. Costs are rising too fast and too many Americans go without insurance coverage. I voted no, but I will not stand in the way of sensible reform that protects our freedom.

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

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS