Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Group urges PA to raise tax on beer

A group that bills itself as the alcohol industry watchdog says many states, including Pennsylvania, should consider higher taxes on beer to make up for budget shortfalls.

Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wyoming have not passed a beer tax increase in 50 years or more, according to the Marin Institute.

From a press release the group issued today: "Astonishingly, in 47 states, the decrease in real value of the current beer tax (due to inflation) ranges from 25 percent to over 75 percent. Included with the maps is a handy table that chronicles all the data state-by-state including current beer tax rates."

This is graphic proof that Big Alcohol lobbying efforts are extremely effective at preventing sound public policy and balanced state budgets," said Michael Scippa, advocacy director at Marin Institute. "Their well-funded influence peddling is especially effective when coupled with generous campaign contributions."

"We hope state legislatures and governors looking for alternatives to draconian cuts to budgets and services will use this data," Simon added. "Then enact long-overdue increases to beer taxes and index them to inflation to prevent future losses."

Read the full release at the link below. You can also check out the group's Web site to see where your state stands on beer taxes.

State Governments Neglect Beer Taxes

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Working for the government ... until April 9

From the non-partisan Tax Foundation:
Tax Freedom Day will arrive on April 9 this year, the 99th day of 2010.

That means Ameri­cans will work well over three months of the year, from January 1 to April 9, before they have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obli­gations at the federal, state and local levels.

Tax Freedom Day arrives a day later in 2010 than it did in 2009, but more than two weeks earlier than in 2007.

This shift toward a lower tax burden since 2007 has been driven by three factors:

* The recession has reduced tax collections even faster than it has reduced income;
* President Obama and the Congress have enacted large but temporary income tax cuts for 2009 and 2010, just as President Bush did in 2008; and
* Two significant taxes were repealed for 2010 as part of previous legislation, the estate tax and the so-called PEP and Pease provisions of the income tax.

Despite all these tax reductions, Americans will pay more taxes in 2010 than they will spend on food, clothing and shelter combined.

• Each state has its own Tax Freedom Day. Alaska's is earliest on March 26, and Connecticut celebrates last on April 27. High-income states pay much more in federal taxes, and they often have higher state-local taxes as well. Joining Connecticut in the latest celebrations are New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Washington. Alaska is joined in early celebration by Louisiana, South Dakota, Mississippi and West Virginia.
Tax Freedom Day for Pennsylvania comes on April 13. Pennsylvania ranks 11th among the states on the list of worst tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation.

Read the full 8-page report at the Tax Foundation Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Dems to target Tea Party candidates



The Democratic Party is scared to death of the Tea Party movement - and it should be.

From The Washington Post's insightful political blog The Fix by About Chris Cillizza:
Democratic group targets tea party candidates

1. Craig Varoga, a longtime Democratic political operative, has formed a group -- known as Patriot Majority PAC -- with the specific goal of keeping tea party candidates out of office.

"Americans need to confront the dangerous ideas of the tea party movement head on, without any fear, before they gain any additional traction in the legislative process or the 2010 elections," said Varoga, who managed former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack's 2008 presidential run.

The idea behind Patriot Majority PAC is to pick 12 to 15 races where tea party-affiliated candidates are running then launch a barrage of television and radio ads (as well as online targeting) to keep them from winning. The funding, according to Varoga, will come entirely from individuals and thanks to a ruling in U.S. District Court last week the group will be able to expressly advocate for the defeat of candidates.

(Varoga also hopes to establish Patriot Majority as a clearinghouse for information -- on the negative side of the ledger -- about the tea party movement. "We are asking all Americans to join us and oppose the extreme tactics of the tea party and the dangerous ideas behind them," he said.)

While Varoga has yet to identify his targeted races, the first real test of the power of the tea party movement will come May 18 in Kentucky where ophthalmologist Rand Paul, a favorite of the tea party crowd, will face off against Secretary of State Trey Grayson who has the support -- whether public or implicit -- of the vast majority of establishment Republicans in Kentucky and nationally.

A victory by Paul would give further legitimacy to the power of the Tea Party movement -- and could potentially endanger other Republican incumbents or quasi incumbents like Grayson. It could also jeopardize Republicans' chances of picking up a bundle of seats in the House and Senate this fall.


Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

FocusDriven Applauds U.S. House Passage of Resolution to Designate April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Video: 4 Million Jobs Lost Under Obama



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Tea Party in Russia



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Not Interested: NBC, CBS Skip Arrest of Man Plotting to Kill Eric Cantor

Not Interested: NBC, CBS Skip Arrest of Man Plotting to Kill Eric Cantor | NewsBusters.org

Prescription Drug Abuse is a Growing Concern

Prescription Drug Abuse is a Growing Concern

PA Board of Game Commissioners to Meet on April 19-20

PA Board of Game Commissioners to Meet on April 19-20

Illinois Is 40th State to Defend Health Care Choice; Oklahoma Health Freedom Bill Poised for Ballot

Illinois Is 40th State to Defend Health Care Choice; Oklahoma Health Freedom Bill Poised for Ballot

'The sad truth — Obamacare is built on lies'

An excellent letter to the editor published in The Mercury from a Berks County resident who sees through the Obama smokescreen on the so-called health care reform bill:
The sad truth — Obamacare is built on lies

President Obama promised not to sign into law any bill that adds a dime to the deficit. It's only through some creative gimmicks employed by the Congressional Democratic leadership that his promise is kept. The Democrats plan to fund this massive bill by funneling money away from already established entitlement programs (like Medicare and Medicaid) and spending it on health care. The money siphoned from the other programs will then be replenished, and the Democrats get to claim that health care reform is deficit neutral, even though it's really indirectly adding trillions to the deficit.

Democrats also insist that you'll be able to keep your current insurance. This isn't true; employers will drop private insurance and force their employees into the government plan all in the name of cutting costs. If corporations are given the option of paying for their employees' private insurance versus paying a 10 percent fine for not providing their employees with insurance, they'll choose whichever option is cheaper, and that option is the fine. This means that millions of Americans will lose their current insurance.

Liberals seriously believe that the government can provide better coverage than the private sector. Do these liberals feel comfortable having their insurance administered by the same people who run the DMV or the postal service? I doubt it.

The Democrats argue that this multi-trillion bill will actually reduce the deficit. How can spending trillions of dollars reduce the deficit? Like the axiom goes: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

CONNOR KURTZ
Douglassville


Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Capitol South - The End



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

No free speech for conservatives

The recent controversy involving the cancellation of a speech by conservative columnist Ann Coulter shows once again that liberals support freedom of speech only when they agree with the person doing the speaking.a

From a column by Nathalie Des Rosiers:
We are left with a bad taste in our mouths when offensive speech is silenced, no matter how distasteful or ridiculous it may be. Universities, as institutions dedicated to the pursuit of truth, the creation of knowledge and the exchange of ideas, must confront this question head-on.

In earlier days, less security-sensitive universities would likely have just held the event and dealt with the consequences. They would have been willing to gamble that neither the speaker nor students would be harmed in the process. They would have assumed that, although at times unpleasant, public events rarely turned into blood baths.

Nowadays, however, experts in risk-management would quiver at the suggestion that heading off trouble before it happens may not be the only option.

It is important to remember that not everything can be managed by security experts, who are trained to fear the worst and inevitably suggest cancellation or additional resources to deal with potential trouble. They alone should not make decisions that relate to speech because they may not be sufficiently sensitive to the loss to our democracy and to the university's mission when speech is silenced.

Indeed, it could be that universities must accept that part of their educational function is to create the space for controversial speech to occur and that unpleasantness is part of that process. A measure of discomfort and risk is inevitable in living with free speech.
Read the full column at the link below:

Freedom of speech costly but not a luxury - thestar.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Harry Reid shrugs off tea party protests

Clueless in Nevada. Only eight more months until voters can retire Mr. Reid.

Harry Reid shrugs off tea party protests - Manu Raju - POLITICO.com

American Red Cross Collects $400M for Haiti

American Red Cross Announces Spending Plan for Relief and Recovery in Haiti

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rep. Joe Pitts on 'What's Wrong With Obamacare'

What's Wrong With Obamacare

By Congressman Joe Pitts

The Democrats' health legislation has now been forced through Congress and into law despite bipartisan opposition in Congress and widespread public opposition. Three dozen House Democrats opposed it. Every Republican opposed it. Only slightly more than a third of the public supports it.

Democrats were barely able to pass the bill, even though there are 75 more Democrats in the House than Republicans, and an unusually lopsided majority in the Senate as well. Only a year's worth of cajoling, back-room deals, demonizing of industry, and cooking of the numbers made it possible.

What will the consequences be? It won’t be pretty.

Not counting the new law, the nation's unfunded liability for entitlements is already $104 trillion dollars. That is seven times the size of the U.S. economy. That's according to Richard Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The unfunded liability is the difference between promised benefits and the money that will be collected in taxes to pay for them.

The entitlement crisis has arrived. This year, many years before it was projected to, Social Security will pay out more in benefits than it will collect in payroll taxes. Former President Bush, with my support, proposed a plan to change the way Social Security is paid for to put it on a sound footing. After a shameful campaign of scaring seniors, Democrats defeated this plan without ever offering their own. Now, Social Security is well on its way to insolvency.

Medicare's problems are far worse. Medicare's unfunded liability is five times that of Social Security. Obamacare doesn’t solve this crisis. It adds to it.

Instead of finding ways to make these programs solvent, Congress and President Obama have hastened their collapse. By adding an entire new entitlement program we cannot afford, the solvency of the government itself is now severely threatened. The math just doesn’t add up. It is no wonder, then, that Moody's has announced it is likely to downgrade the government’s bond rating soon. The cost of that alone will be dramatic.

What, then should we have done instead?

On my Web site, I have a detailed memorandum outlining affordable ways to help the uninsured, to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and to achieve the other worthy goals of Obamacare.

The fundamental problem behind our entitlement crisis is the lack of free market forces involved. Already, nearly half of all Americans are on government healthcare programs that compete with no one. Even private insurance sees only limited competition, since the government will not allow insurance companies to compete across state lines.

Beyond economics and business models, however, we need an entirely new way of looking at healthcare. Early in this debate a Republican said, "We don't have healthcare in this country — we just have sick care." Americans wait until they are sick to pay attention to their health. The point is, as Ben Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Chester County's John Emmons works for a company called Mannington Mills. The company is self-insured, so every dollar spent on employee health comes out of the company’s bank account. John is the leader of the company’s wellness initiative.

The program offers free health screenings for early detection, a fitness center, offers health classes, a Weight Watchers program, a smoking cessation program, sports leagues, and wellness coaches.

John reports that "Mannington's health care costs have fallen both in 2008 and 2009. We're going for three in a row in 2010." Clearly, Mannington Mills is doing it right.

John says, "Unfortunately, our president and the Democratic-led Congress just wasted a year, further dividing the country and burdening taxpayers with a new source of debt. … If they are serious about solutions, perhaps they should come and talk with some of us who have done it, rather than twist arms, make deals and mislead the American people."

Health reform is possible. John Emmons' company has done it. If Washington had listened to John and the millions of Americans who think like he does, real reform might have happened this year. Real reforms would protect patients while lowering costs. Instead, our problems are now worse.

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

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Doctors Sue to Overturn Obamacare

Doctors Sue to Overturn the Health Care Bill

Video: Courts must step in to stop Obamacare



To view other installment of Video Q&A, click here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rendell Announces 2-Week Extension of Home Heating Assistance for Low-Income Families

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces 2-Week Extension of Home Heating Assistance for Low-Income Families

Gerlach: Health bill slashes Medicare, raises taxes

'Pelosi Prescription' slashes Medicare, raises taxes

By Congressman Jim Gerlach

Supporters of the health care overhaul that Speaker Nancy Pelosi muscled through the U.S. House of Representatives argue this will be the greatest accomplishment since Social Security and Medicare.

What supporters of the $2.4 trillion scheme brush under the rug is that the health care overhaul will siphon resources from Social Security and Medicare at a time when the federal government is struggling to meet its existing entitlement program obligations.

Recent estimates show that Medicare could go bankrupt as early as 2017. Social Security benefits will exceed revenues by $29 billion this year alone, and the money could run out completely by 2037.

Those dire projections come just as approximately 78 million Baby Boomers are about to flood the Social Security and Medicare systems.

The Pelosi Prescription will only make matters worse by raiding Social Security and Medicare.

Specifically, the federal government is going to have to intercept $398 billion from Medicare Part A and $53 billion from new Social Security taxes in the coming years to pay for the new health care entitlement program.

What this Pelosi Prescription amounts to is buying a vacation home when you are already behind on your mortgage and car payments.

In addition, the Pelosi Prescription takes a hatchet to the popular Medicare Advantage program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site says Medicare Advantage clients enjoy "extra benefits and lower copayments than in the original Medicare."

Some of those extra benefits include dental and vision coverage not included in traditional Medicare programs.

In the 6th Congressional District, more than 27,000 seniors use Medicare Advantage to pay for doctor visits and other services.

There are 687,469 Pennsylvania seniors enrolled. Under the Pelosi Prescription, funding for Medicare Advantage will be slashed by $132 billion.

The independent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission estimates that 1 in 5 seniors would no longer be able to enroll in Medicare Advantage.

Meanwhile, the Pelosi Prescription calls for higher Medicare payroll taxes and a new tax on medical products that will hit Pennsylvania's thriving biotechnology and life sciences sector particularly hard.

There are about 600 biotechnology and life sciences companies that employ approximately 20,000 workers here in Pennsylvania. In the 6th District, companies such as Fujirebio, Orthovita and Nueronetics have predicted that the new tax on medical products would force them to rethink hiring new workers and jeopardize the investment that fuels life-saving research and development.

The new law also fines individuals who do not buy or obtain government-approved insurance. To make sure that mandate is enforced, the law calls for hiring approximately 16,000 new IRS agents and employees to monitor citizens.

Can you believe it has come to that in a nation where the Founding Fathers insisted on a Bill of Rights to protect citizens from unreasonable government intrusion into their lives?

No wonder the majority of my constituents and our nation oppose the Pelosi Prescription.

It is difficult to imagine an instance when Congress' decision to slash $523.5 billion from Medicare, raise taxes by more than $400 billion in the midst of recession and hire 12,000 new IRS agents to monitor citizens would not be met with anything other than intense public outrage.

Congressman Jim Gerlach is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District in parts of Berks, Chester, Lehigh and Montgomery counties. He lives in Chester Springs, Chester County.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Governor: Media Giving Obama 'Longest Wet Kiss In Political History'

Governor: Media Giving Obama 'Longest Wet Kiss In Political History' | NewsBusters.org

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Guest column: I trust Sam Rohrer with my future

GO SAM GO! GO SAM GO! This chant sends an aspirant chill right down my spine. Maybe, it is the passion of the people. Maybe, it is the voices in unity that rattle and shake the walls as they chant. Maybe, it is the force of our knowing the issues that Pennsylvanians face, and the knowledge that we support a man of integrity and honor to ameliorate those issues.

I suppose it is time I explain the reasons that I support Sam Rohrer to be our next Governor. The journey over the last few months has inspired me, and has shown me that there are those in the political realm who are still fighting to protect my future, as well as the futures of my family, friends, and neighbors. The latest poll showed that 66% of Republicans do not know who they are voting for on May 18th. Therefore, please allow me to help you make an informed decision.

The first time I talked with Sam was through e-mail. I was looking for information and questioning the possibility of internships. For those reasons, I emailed him asking to arrange a meeting. He welcomed me, and I met him a few weeks later in his office. At our meeting, we discussed the current issues challenging Pennsylvania. He held principle above party and that was quite obvious, despite my being so young at the time. I visited him again and he continued to inspire in me the need to serve.

In his current undertaking of running for the highest office in our Commonwealth, that of Governor, I have been working diligently in explaining Sam’s vision for a brighter and greater Pennsylvania to the students within the state. This has been a challenge; but I feel it is a worthy cause. I believe Sam will protect and defend my rights as a free citizen of this country. Every night, I can sleep with the fact that I know he is there working for me. Once the students of this state hear his message, they too will know that they need to vote for Sam.

What specifically makes Sam stand out as the best candidate for Governor?

Check out Sam's five goals and responsibilities:
Remove Roadblocks to Job Creation & Economic Recovery.
Reduce Government Cost Through Disciplined Taxes & Lower Spending.
Stabilize School Funding & Eliminate School Property Taxes.
Improve Student Performance by Expanding Choice and Empowering Parents.
Restore the Culture of Ethics and Integrity in Government.
For more information about Sam's goals, please visit www.samrohrer.org As you can see, Sam knows the issues that affect Pennsylvanians. He stood up because he was called on to do that which is necessary to ensure the government of Pennsylvania is renewed and reformed so that it will serve we, the people, once more.

"This campaign is more than a challenge to old politics - it's a fight for the survival of constitutional principles. This has been the cause of my life, and it will be the focus of my administration." - Representative Sam Rohrer

Sam is also helped by so many who believe in him greatly. Take a look at the statement on his Web site:
"SamRohrer.org is a movement of citizens. More than organizing for a single candidate or political party, the aim of this campaign is to lay the foundation for a stronger, freer Pennsylvania.

We believe that it is the duty and charge of every elected official to diligently pursue restrained, responsible, and ethical government.

We believe that lowering taxes, restraining spending and removing old regulatory barriers is the proven formula for economic growth.

We believe that academic excellence thrives when parents have greater choice and control over the educational decisions of their children.

We believe that it is the responsibility of government to defend freedom for homeowners, working families and risk-taking entrepreneurs.

We believe that defending vulnerable life and safeguarding the institution of family is a charge and responsibility for our generation."
I know the people working for Sam are not in this to take over the Governor's Mansion, but to bring an administration of principle back to Harrisburg -- back into the executive branch of Pennsylvania, as principle has been absent for almost a full eight years under the current administration.

I believe in Sam. I believe his vision is that which is needed for our Commonwealth. We need to once again hold the title of "Keystone State" proudly. We, as a state, held the other states together at one time. Over time, that strength has tarnished and diminished greatly. With Sam's becoming our next Governor, he will ensure that we are the greatest and strongest state again!

We live in a volatile political climate; but, with Sam's experience, his dignity, his passion, his conservative principles, he will be the greatest Governor for whom we can ever hope.

I am ready to trust him with my future and my life … are you?

For liberty, freedom, and independence,

Wesley T. Stefanick

Wesley Stefanick is the statewide director of SAMForce, the Student Action Movement to elect Sam Rohrer governor of Pennsylvania. For more information log on to www.samforce.us

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Weekly GOP Address: Repeal and Replace Obamacare



In the Weekly Republican Address, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discusses the flawed health care bill passed by Democrats and why it should be repealed and replaced.

McConnell says, "In one of the most divisive legislative debates in modern history, Democrats decided to go the partisan route and blatantly ignore the will of the people. Americans opposed this legislation, and, now theyre clamoring to see it repealed and replaced. Democratic Leaders and White House officials may be celebrating their victory this week, but most of the rest of the country is not. Most people arent interested in celebrating a bill that makes their lives more complicated, takes more out of their paychecks and puts decisions theyre used to making themselves into the hands of federal bureaucrats."

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, March 26, 2010

Obamacare threatens more U.S. jobs

That didn't take long. Within days of passage of Obamacare, U.S. firms have started warning about eliminating benefits for workers or cutting jobs entirely under the costly government takeover of health care. Just what this country needs after 13 consecutive months of job losses under Barack Obama.

From a story by Josh Funk of The Associated Press:
OMAHA, Neb. — Deere & Co. said Thursday that changes to the health care law signed into law this week will raise related costs this year by $150 million.

The biggest U.S. maker of farm equipment became the second major company in as many days to say it would take a charge for fiscal 2010.

Deere and Caterpillar Inc., which reported that it would record a $100 million charge Wednesday, say the health care overhaul President Barack Obama signed Wednesday will make a subsidy the companies receive for retiree drug coverage taxable in 2011.

Both companies said it was a one-time charge as they adjust to the new level of expected taxes.

Deere and Caterpillar were among the 10 companies that sent a letter to Congressional leaders in December warning of cost increases. Others were: Boeing Co., Con-Way Inc., Exelon Corp., Navistar Inc., Verizon, Xerox Corp., Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., and Met Life Inc.
Read the full story here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Lame Duck



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

PA ranks in bottom half of states for lawsuit climate

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) released its annual survey ranking the states with the best and worst legal climates.

Pennsylvania ranks 34th in the nation. That's the bottom half. That shouldn't come as a surprise in a state where the governor and most of the members of the state Legislature are lawyers. While the litigation climate may drive businesses and jobs out of Pennsylvania, the lawyers in Harrisburg do well.

The states with the worst legal climates are California (46th), Alabama (47th), Mississippi (48th), Louisiana (49th), and West Virginia (50th).

The states with the best legal climates are Delaware (1st), North Dakota (2nd), Nebraska (3rd), Indiana (4th), and Iowa (5th).

From an ILR press release:
The survey also shows that a state's legal climate affects how and where a company does business and creates jobs. Two-thirds, or 67%, of the 1,482 corporate lawyers and executives contacted say a state's lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand their businesses. That is up 10% from just three years ago.
Read more about the report and download you own free copy at the link below:

Institute for Legal Reform: Media Room: West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, & California Ranked Worst Lawsuit Climates in the Nation

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Illinois Is 40th State to Defend Health Care Choice; Oklahoma Health Freedom Bill Poised for Ballot

Illinois Is 40th State to Defend Health Care Choice; Oklahoma Health Freedom Bill Poised for Ballot

Forbes: Is a Chavez-Style Media Crackdown Coming to America?

Forbes: Is a Chavez-Style Media Crackdown Coming to America? | NewsBusters.org

Guest Column: ObamaCare - 'The Bigger the Lie'

ObamaCare: 'The Bigger the Lie'

By Howard Rich

Lost amid the partisan sniping and procedural jousting over the passage of "Obamacare" is a fundamental, unavoidable hypocrisy – one that's worth unmasking as Washington politicians continue to ignore the will of the American people and plunge our nation deeper into full-blown socialism.

President Barack Obama and his Congressional allies are spending money that they know we don't have on a program that they know isn't going to work – all in an effort to expand government's control over the private sector and its reach into the private lives of American citizens.

Sound a bit conspiratorial?

It's not – at least not when you turn down the partisan rhetoric (on both sides of the debate) and start examining what this monstrosity actually does.

"ObamaCare is really about who commands the country's medical resources," an editorial in The Wall Street Journal noted the day before the legislation was passed. "It vastly accelerates the march toward a totally state-driven system, in contrast to reforms that would fix today's distorted status quo by putting consumers in control."

With government already purchasing nearly half of all health care services in America (a system that's rampant with fraud and anti-competitive price-fixing), just who did you think was responsible for the "distorted status quo" that Obamacare ostensibly seeks to correct?

Here's a hint – it's not those "evil" insurance companies, which will be receiving nearly a half-trillion dollars in "Obamacare" subsidies.

Consistent with the core fallacy of other recent socialist misadventures (like former President George Bush's TARP bailout or Obama's so-called "stimulus"), Washington politicians are once again attempting to solve problems that have been exacerbated by excessive government interventionism with additional government interventionism. "Dumping buckets of water on the head of a drowning victim," if you will.

Even though America can't even begin to afford its current entitlement obligations, Washington's answer is to create yet another new entitlement program – something that Republicans who voted in favor of Bush's prescription drug benefit know all about. And even as Medicare and Medicaid have failed spectacularly (and expensively) to provide cost-effective health care, Obama and his allies are using this failure as an excuse to dramatically escalate their "government knows best" approach to include individual mandates and huge fines for families and small businesses who fail to comply.

It's a power grab, pure and simple. And a money grab, which is why "Obamacare" spends $10 billion to hire 17,000 new tax collectors at the IRS to rake in billions of dollars from America's newly-created class of "illegally uninsured" citizens.

That hardly sounds like a plan built around "expanding coverage," does it?

Obviously "Obamacare" isn't going to reduce the deficit either. In fact when the actual cost of just one of the variables ignored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is calculated into the legislation, its price tag soars by nearly $208 billion (putting it $59 billion in the red).

Even "Obamacare's" worst-case deficit projections are likely to prove overly-optimistic. In 1965, for example, government accountants predicted that the hospital insurance portion of Medicaid would cost $9 billion by 1990. It wound up costing $63 billion. Even after adjusting for inflation, that's still twice as expensive as the government originally estimated.

Earlier this month The New York Times – ostensibly seeking to build momentum for universal coverage – published a story highlighting the un-sustainability of Medicaid. The story revealed that last year, while state governments were relying on bailout money to fund skyrocketing growth rates, the program added 3.3 million new members – raising its total enrollment to 47 million. It is going broke, clearly, although that didn't stop Obama and his Congressional allies from raiding $202 billion from its coffers (as well as $53 billion from Social Security) to make their plan appear deficit neutral.

And that may be the ultimate irony of "Obamacare" – that it is funding tomorrow's big government obligations with the failed promises of yesterday.

Howard Rich is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Chicago Tribune Underplays Incidents Targeting Republican Officials

Chicago Tribune Underplays Incidents Targeting Republican Officials | NewsBusters.org

Tea partiers condemn harassment

Tea partiers condemn harassment - Kenneth P. Vogel and Jake Sherman - POLITICO.com

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who stabbed Pia Varma in the back?

Pia Varma, a Republican challenger to Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, a career politician who has held Pennsylvania's First Congressional District seat since 1998, has been knocked off the ballot.

The candidate blames fellow Republicans for challenging the signatures on her nominating petition but GOP officials blame Brady.

Either way, it shows you that politics is a contact sport. If you're going to take on a political giant like Brady in a one-party town like Philadelphia, be prepared for anything.

From a story by reporter Miriam Hill in The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Pia Varma, the Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady who dubbed herself the "Liberty Belle," has been temporarily silenced, and she's blaming her fellow party members.

Yesterday, Commonwealth Court Judge Johnny J. Butler ordered Varma removed as a candidate from the May primary ballot in the First Congressional District because she failed to submit at least 1,000 valid signatures of registered voters on nominating petitions for her campaign.

Varma, 27, pointed the finger at Republican City Committee Chairman Vito Canuso and General Counsel Michael Meehan for the problem. She said she relied on them to gather legitimate signatures.

"The Republican Party in the city of Philadelphia is either incompetent, or they're corrupt," she said.

She said she believed city Republicans had a deal with Brady to keep her off the ballot.

Canuso denied that.

"It's a shame what happened, but I think she is misinformed," Canuso said. "She should call me and talk to me about rather than make comments, but she's allowed."

Meehan could not be reached for comment.

Brady said Varma and the party "should do their job like we have to do our job in the Democratic Party." He said he played no role in the effort to remove Varma from the ballot.

"It's a shame for this lady. She put her trust in someone. They didn't do the job," Brady said.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Video: Rep. Reichley Concerned About Obamacare Impact on Pennsylvania

Only 16% Return Census Forms So Far

Despite the media blitz, the letter telling you the form is coming, the form itself and the post card reminding you to send back the form, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 16 percent of American households have participated so far in the 2010 Census.

What could be the problem? Could it be mistrust of the federal government? Just a guess.

From a story by Hope Yen of The Associated Press:
Roughly 100 million households to go.

One week after U.S. census forms were mailed to 120 million households, about 16 percent of the nation has completed those forms and sent them back. That number puts the government on its way to matching or surpassing mail participation rates in 2000 of 72 percent, the Census Bureau said Wednesday.

The bureau will continue to accept mailed-in forms through most of April.

From May until July, it will send census-takers to each home that doesn't reply by mail, which is more costly and sometimes leads to more inaccurate responses. The Census Bureau has estimated it would save $1.5 billion in follow-up visits if everyone who receives a census form mails it back.
Census Bureau Rolls Out New Interactive Maps Showing 2010 Census Mail Participation Rates

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

PA Adjutant General Invites Public to Ask Questions During Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Adjutant General Invites Public to Ask Questions During Virtual Town Hall Meeting

White House Is Right to Be Embarrassed by Executive Order

White House Is Right to Be Embarrassed by Executive Order

Rep. Mike Pence: 'This Fight is Not Over'

Gasoline pump prices highest since October 2008

Be sure to thank Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi for rising gas prices. The Democrats have broken their promises (surprise, surprise) to allow more drilling for oil off American shores. So consumers will pay $3 for gas all summer. Another reason to vote out Democrats in November.

Gasoline pump prices highest since October 2008 - The Mercury (pottsmerc.com)

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Rep. Reichley: Rendell Budget a 'Sham'

Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh), vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after Tuesday's passage of House Bill 2279, Gov. Rendell's latest $29 billion red-ink budget proposal:
"It is no coincidence that the budget bill that passed today was voted on exactly 100 days before the June 30 deadline. Unfortunately, the governor and his allies would prefer to pass a bill that does not bear any reality to the financial difficulties faced by many families, businesses and organizations rather than to pass a fiscally responsible spending plan for Pennsylvania. The governor's proposal, passed with unanimous support from House Democrats, spends far more than the state is taking in, exceeding tax revenue by billions of dollars, and relying on deferred payments into state employee and teacher pension funds. Such reckless spending only compounds the problem we are currently facing.

"The governor's budget also unwisely uses a whistling through the graveyard approach by basing his spending plan on receiving $850 million in federal aid for Medical Assistance, the state-administered health care plan for the poor, elderly, and disabled in Pennsylvania. The problem is there is no telling if and when the state will receive those federal funds. The governor and his supporters in the House Democratic Caucus should have learned after seven years of missing budget deadlines that you do not achieve a balanced budget by crossing your collective fingers and wishing for federal aid.

"We need to act now to protect against tax increases in the future. We need to act now with further decreases in state spending. We need to fix foreseeable problems with the state employees and public school employees retirement systems before we reach the tipping point.

"Clearly, the bill that passed today is not the bill that will become law. It's a sham, designed to provide taxpayers with the illusion that the budget process has started in earnest. This is not a real, negotiated, fiscally sustainable budget. We will all end up paying for it, well beyond when the governor leaves office."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chris Matthews Goes Off the Deep End

MSNBC should be renamed "Shutter Island" with all the nutjobs who work there.

Olbermann, Maddow, Matthews, etc., should be broadcasting from a padded room.

Check out "Chris Matthews Accuses Republicans of 'Criminal' Incitement" at the link below:

MRC.org - Media Research Center

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Maloney supports Corbett plan to file lawsuit against Obamacare

David Maloney, Republican candidate for the 130th state House seat, said he agrees with Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's plan to file a lawsuit to protect the citizens of Pennsylvania whose rights will be violated by the health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday

From a press release Maloney issued:
"I saw nothing in the health care bill that addresses access to insurance purchasing across state lines or tort reform. States will be forced to spend millions of dollars to defend their own state constitutional rights." Corbett is discussing legal strategy with attorneys general from ten other states (Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Utah, Washington, North Dakota and South Dakota and Virginia).

Maloney said "I believe and I hope the courts will find the health care reform legislation unconstitutional. I also support PA House Bill 2179, sponsored by Rep. Curt Schroder (R-Chester/Delaware), which would enable Pennsylvania citizens to reject federally mandated health care and maintain control of their health care choices."

Schroder's bill proposes to amend Pennsylvania's constitution, enabling citizens to reaffirm their right to make their own health care decisions by putting the question to the voters at the polls. HB 2179 would stop the federal government’s proposed takeover of health care at Pennsylvania's borders and it would prevent a similar government takeover of health care at the state level, such as the single-payer system that has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House.

Maloney said "House Bill 2179 would protect the freedoms and liberties of Pennsylvania residents from massive federal government intrusion by putting health care decisions back in the hands of the citizens. HB2179 would do this by amending our state constitution, effectively removing the hand of the federal government from our pockets and ensuring the rights of Pennsylvanians to choose their health care plans and providers. We the people are the last line of defense against massive government intrusions to take over health care."

HB 2179 is pending in the House Insurance Committee.
For more on Mononey's campaign, visit his Web site.

Rep. Quigley: Dems Pass 'House of Crads' Budget

State Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery) issued the following statement on the passage of House Bill 2279, which is Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed budget, minus the taxes Rendell wants to pay for the $29 billion spending plan:
"By relying on yet-to-be-approved federal funds, this legislation builds our budget on a house of cards. We should not allocate $850 million in federal money we only hope to get, but we should focus on the resources we know we have. This budget is the epitome of writing a check the taxpayers might not be able to cash, and it is irresponsible.

"For the past two budget cycles, Pennsylvania outspent its means. We are expected to end the year with a more than half-billion dollar deficit, which is a clear sign that this is not the time to increase spending. This budget calls for a $1.2 billion, or 4 percent, spending increase. Pennsylvania’s families continue to scale back their personal budgets, and this proposed state spending growth is not reflective of our current economy.

"I will continue putting my efforts into examining ways to make state government more efficient, and I am hopeful the Senate will amend this bill with a more realistic spending goal that will shield Pennsylvania families from future tax increases. We need to adopt a budget that is practical and sustainable."
The budget bill passed the House by a vote of 107-89, mostly along party lines, and now goes to the Senate for consideration. Since Republicans hold a 30-20 majority in the Senate, they will likely discard the Rendell/Democratic budget and craft their own spending plan.

Tuesday's House vote was essentially a publicity stunt by House Democrats. March 23 marks 100 days before the constitutional deadline to approve the budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year. You'll recall that the Legislature was 100 days late with in approving the 2009-10 budget.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Newspaper: 'Enacting A Lie' called Obamacare

From a new editorial in Investor's Business Daily:
Sunday's vote exposed the ugly truth that ObamaCare is not really about health care at all. It's all about who pays for it and who controls it — in effect a massive wealth-redistribution scheme.

Those who believe this will lead to some medical nirvana will likely be disappointed. Fact is, this poorly designed monstrosity will lead to lower-quality care, higher costs, fewer practicing physicians, higher taxes and fewer jobs.

We've done more than 150 editorials in the past year or so documenting these problems. Democrats surely understand them. Yet, despite a recent CNN poll showing that 59% of Americans oppose ObamaCare, Congress approved it anyway.

Why? Because it's not really about health care. It's the largest wealth grab in American history, masquerading as health care "reform," another step in the socialization of Americans' income in the name of "fairness" and "spread(ing) the wealth around," as Obama himself has put it.

That's why we call the program a lie.
Read the full editorial, "Enacting A Lie," at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Patrick Henry rolling in his grave



On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"

If Patrick Henry were alive today, he probably would have said "Give me liberty, or give me debt!" in response to the trillions of dollars of debt that Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats have piled on the American taxpayer.

For the latest numbers on the National Debt Clock, click here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'Stop using the people's money for personal benefit'

Great quote from Pennsylvania Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina on the Bonusgate verdicts: "Stop using the people's money for personal benefit."

With Mike Veon convicted, bring on Bill DeWeese and John Perzel.

Former state Rep. Veon, two of three former aides convicted - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Fundraiser for children battling hair loss

There's a big fundraiser coming up in the Reading area for Children's Alopecia Project.

From a story in today's edition of The Mercury:
SPRING CITY — Alex Poloway's hazel eyes sparkle when she talks. Her smile lights up a room. She has an upbeat personality and contagious laugh.

"I've had people like Alex's teacher come up and say, 'She's a role model for me,'" her mother, Flora Poloway, recalled.

The 9-year-old Spring City girl inspires teachers, parents and classmates because of how she handles losing her hair.

"Being in a group makes you feel better because then you know not only you have it," Alex said.

That group is the Children's Alopecia Project, known as CAP, which holds its annual Spring Spectacular fundraiser on Saturday in Reading. The Berks County-based nonprofit helps families around the world understand and cope with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that triggers hair loss in children and adults.
Read more at the link below:

Children battling hair loss find support in each other - The Mercury

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Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'Fire Pelosi' Campaign Tops $1M

The Republican National Committee raised more than $1 million in new pledges since Sunday's House vote to enact Obamacare. The campaign, which uses the clever tag line of "Fire Pelosi," is designed to raise money to help Republicans capture majority control of the House.

For more information, click here.

Milestone or Millstone?



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Sam Rohrer on Obamacare

State Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks), who is also seeking the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor, issued the following statement Monday in response to the approval in the House of Representatives of the health care overhaul bill:
"Last night the world watched the U.S. House of Representatives act with stunning disregard for the constitutional rights of every American, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. What passed under the rally call of civil rights and human dignity was in fact one of the strongest challenges to individual freedom in a generation.

In winning passage for the healthcare overhaul using every unsavory procedural tool, threat and backroom promise, they broke faith with their own pledge of openness and transparency. But far worse than hollow campaign promises is the shame in knowing that public officials who knowingly violate their oath to defend the Constitution, commit an act far more injurious to the public trust than bowing to raw politics.

If and when President Obama signs this unconstitutional healthcare bill into law, the roadmap for Pennsylvania’s legal challenge is clear. From the disintegration of the separation of powers between the state and federal government to the misapplication of the Commerce Clause to the lack of congressional authority to apply a direct tax on citizens, the Congress has given us an obvious framework to oppose this bad law.

As Pennsylvania's governor, I will use the powers of the office to defend the rights of every citizen to make private decisions, like the purchase of health insurance, for themselves. I will vigorously defend the responsibilities of our elected state legislative bodies, under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, to make decisions about any restructuring of laws that regulate the conduct of health insurance companies and providers. This is simply not the role or right of the federal government.

In my administration, I will never hesitate to defend the constitutional rights of every citizen. This will be my first and highest priority."
For more about Rohrer's campaign for governor, visit http://www.samrohrer.org/

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Veon Guilty of 14 Corruption Charges

The former No. 2 Democrat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was found guilty Monday night of 14 corruption-related charges following a six-week trial.

Former state Rep. Mike Veon had been facing 59 counts related to public corruption while he held the post of Democratic Whip in the state House.

Prosecutors alleged that Veon orchestrated a scheme to pay state workers for doing campaign work on taxpayer time. Democrats took back control of the state House in 2006 thanks to Veon's efforts.

Two of Veon's former aides were also found guilty. A fourth defendant was acquitted of all charges.

Mark Scolforo, who has been covering the trial for The Associated Press, has been keeping score of the Bonusgate players:
The four defendants are among 25 people arrested since the attorney general's office began investigating three years ago with the news that millions of dollars in bonuses had been quietly handed out to legislative employees. Seven people previously pleaded guilty in the case, one was acquitted and 13 are awaiting trial.
While not the slam dunk case Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, who brought the charges, had hoped for, convictions of three of the four defendants will cement Corbett's reputation as a corruption-busing crusader.

Republican Corbett is running for Pennsylvania governor.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

National Poll Finds Americans Oppose Tax on Soft Drinks

National Poll Finds Americans Oppose Tax on Soft Drinks; Don't Believe it Will Go to Improve Public Health

'We The People Losing Control Of Government'

We The People Losing Control Of Government - Investors.com

Monday, March 22, 2010

The 34 Democrats who opposed Obamacare



It's a shame that the liberal media doesn't give any coverage to the Democrats who dared to side with their constituents and vote against Obamacare.

Open Congress Blog has the full list of the 34 Democratic members of the House who voted against Obamacare. The list includes Rep. Jason Altmire and Rep. Tim Holden from Pennsylvania.

From Open Congress:
The final vote was 219-212.

Every single Republican in the House voted "no."

87% of the Democrats (219) voted "yes."

34 Democrats voted "no," 67% of which are members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition.
Click here to view the full list.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The Pennsylvania 9 Who Voted for Obamacare

For the record, the following members of Congress from Pennsylvania voted on Sunday to raise your taxes, plunge the nation deeper into debt and impose a government-run health care system on Americans.

They voted "yes" to Obamacare. You should vote "no" when you see their names on the ballot in May and November:

Robert Brady (D-PA-1)

Christopher Carney (D-PA-10)

Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA-3)

Mike Doyle (D-PA-14)

Chaka Fattah (D-PA-2)

Paul Kanjorski (D-PA-11)

Patrick Murphy (D-PA-8)

Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13)

Joe Sestak (D-PA-7)

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The Real Cost of Obamacare

From a post by Michael F. Cannon at The Cato Institute Web site about the real cost of Obamacare:
The CBO's scoring rules don't paint the full picture of what the health care plan before Congress would really wind up costing Americans. The truth is, Obama plan would vastly increase the size and scope of the federal government, and increase our already record federal deficit.

Democrats have so thoroughly gamed the budget process and the Congressional Budget Office's scoring rules that the official cost estimates of the Obama health plan reveal but a sliver of the legislation's full cost. The Obama plan would vastly increase the size and scope of the federal government, and increase our already record federal deficit.

To hear Democrats tell it, the CBO projects the legislation would cost a mere $940 billion over the next 10 years. The CBO said no such thing: that figure pertains only to provisions aimed at expanding health insurance. Other spending provisions bring the cost to $1.2 trillion.

Then there's the additional $208 billion that Democrats plan to spend on physicians who participate in Medicare. Democrats moved that into a separate bill to reduce the apparent cost of the main health care bill. Including that spending in the estimate completely wipes out the Obama plan's professed $138 billion of deficit reduction. After correcting for that gimmick (and accounting for how the two measures would interact), the CBO estimates really indicate that the Obama plan would increase federal deficits by $59 billion over the next 10 years.

Even worse, Democrats hid another $1.5 trillion by preventing the CBO from scoring the legislation's hidden taxes. At present, when Congress takes money from workers and gives it to private insurers, the CBO counts that as a tax. The Obama plan's "individual mandate" would force workers to give money directly to private insurers, which the president's economic advisers admit is also a tax. If history is any guide, those hidden taxes would cost roughly $1.5 trillion – but you won't find any such estimate in the CBO's score.

If you've been keeping count, we've revealed the actual cost of the bill is nearly $3 trillion. But to believe this legislation would cost "only" $3 trillion, we would have to assume that after President Obama signs it into law, it would be rushed to the National Archives and entombed within an impenetrable vault where it would never again be touched by God or man.
Read the full post at the link below:

Do the Math — Obamacare Would Increase Deficits by $59 Billion | Michael F. Cannon | Cato Institute: Commentary

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Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Department of State: Disciplinary Actions Taken Against 160 Licensed, Commissioned Professionals, Organizations

Department of State: Disciplinary Actions Taken Against 160 Licensed, Commissioned Professionals, Organizations

State Legislators Last Line of Defense Against ObamaCare

State Legislators Last Line of Defense Against ObamaCare

Pennsylvania Attorney General Corbett Will File Lawsuit to Block Health Care Reform Legislation

Pennsylvania Attorney General Corbett Will File Lawsuit to Block Health Care Reform Legislation

Peg Luksik: Social Values Took a Backseat … Again

Peg Luksik, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, issued the following reaction today to the House's passage of President Obama's health care reform package:
"This is what happens when our social values take a back seat to fiscal issues. This is about the responsibility of individuals and the family to take care of one another, not rely on the government," Luksik said. "The federal government has descended even farther into fantasy land, deciding that you now have a right to have someone else pay for your health insurance. The problem is, 'someone else' just doesn't exist...it's you. Where is the story of the 75 year old widow who worked her whole life, raised a family, and just got a letter from her doctor that he can no long accept Medicare because of its low reimbursement rate? Where were the stories of uninsured individuals who qualify for Medicaid but have been on the waiting list for a year or more because the states can't afford the coverage?"

Luksik explained that the government takeover of health care is at it's core a social issue rather than a fiscal one. While applauding House Republican efforts to kill the bill, Luksik pointed to last night's debate as a prime example of the necessity for her candidacy.

"Nights like last night are precisely why I'm running for US Senate," Peg explained. "We need individuals with strong social values in Congress. We need people in Washington that understand what is at stake for American families, not just in terms of how much they pay in taxes, but what they pay in dignity and liberty. We can't even begin to fix the taxing and spending problems in Washington until we understand that it is a culture of dependence that drives those issues. It is our social problems that are driving the fiscal problems. I want to go to Washington and be a voice that understands that the change starts at home. Freedom begins at home."
For more information, go to http://www.pegluksik.com

Game Commission Releases 2009-10 Deer Harvest Estimates

Game Commission Releases 2009-10 Deer Harvest Estimates

Do the Math

Do the Math — Obamacare Would Increase Deficits by $59 Billion | Michael F. Cannon | Cato Institute: Commentary

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Citizen Group Says Despite House Vote, Government-Run Health Care Can Still Be Stopped

Citizen Group Says Despite House Vote, Government-Run Health Care Can Still Be Stopped

House GOP Leader: We will repeal Obamacare



John Boehner, the next Speaker of the House after Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are bounced out in November, promises to repeal Obamacare when Republicans take back control of the House.

From POLITICO Live:
If Republicans take control of the House this fall, Minority Leader John Boehner said Sunday he'd work to repeal the health care bill that's heading to final congressional votes.

"If this bill passes, we will have an effort to repeal the bill, and we'll do it the same way that we approached health care on a step by step basis," the Ohio congressman said in an advanced transcript of NBC's "Meet the Press." I'd have a bill on the floor the first thing out, to eliminate the Medicare cuts, eliminate the tax increases, eliminate the mandate that every American has to buy health insurance and the employer mandate that's going to cover jobs."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rep. Joe Pitts: 'This is a career-defining vote on the life issue'

Rep. Bart Stupak accepted his 30 pieces of silver from Barack Obama on Sunday to give the Democrats enough votes to pass a government takeover of health care.

Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16) issued the following statement following the announcement that President Barack Obama will issue an executive order addressing the concerns pro-life Democrats have with the Senate health bill:
"From a pro-life perspective, I find absolutely no comfort in this executive order. This puts the fate of the unborn in the hands of the most pro-abortion president in history.

"This is a career-defining vote on the life issue. Any member of either party who votes for this bill will never again be able to claim they have always stood for the most important and fundamental of all human rights.

"I congratulate the many pro-life Democrats who continue to hold firm on principle and who will join me in voting against this terrible bill later today."
Barack Obama had a lifetime pro-life rating of 0 (zero) percent during his Senate career from the National Right to Life Committee, according to Pitts, and a 100 percent pro-choice rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Key House Democrat: 'There Are No Rules Here ... We Make Them Up As We Go Along'

Health Care Roulette



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Bill O'Reilly: Paging Doctor Kildare

Bill O'Reilly has some thoughts on Obamacare and why most Americans continue to oppose the government takeover of the health-care system.

A key question the mainstream media has ignored is why so many doctors oppose the plan.

From his latest column:
There are essentially two reasons that some doctors are nauseous over Obama-care. First, control. Medical people simply do not want federal pinheads telling them how to treat their patients. The medical profession attracts intelligent, assertive people who are motivated to help others. This is not a docile crowd.

Second, money. Right now, many doctors are already seeing too many patients in order to pay the bills and to provide a decent living for their families. Obamacare does nothing to bring down the outrageous expense of medical malpractice insurance, and it is likely to cut Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements. Doctors can do the math. Their expenses remain high, their incomes decline. Again, these are smart people who could make good money doing something else.

In Canada and Great Britain, where socialized medicine is practiced, it is difficult to actually see a doctor in some places. Instead, nurses, physician assistants, and other medical personnel fill the need. That is what could happen in the United States once the feds begin calling the health care shots.

Not since the Iraq war has America been so divided on an issue. Yes, ideology is playing a part. Conservatives despise government intrusion in the marketplace, but liberals love it. Right now, however, most polls show the majority have turned on Obamacare. The latest Wall Street Journal poll, for example, shows 48% opposing and just 36% supporting.

So here's my question: What would Marcus Welby and Dr. Kildare say? These guys usually had the answers back when wise doctors were the subjects of TV programs and health care seemed to be a glamorous profession.

Would Ben Casey support Obamacare? We know the M*A*S*H guys would. Dr. Jekyll might like it, but Mr. Hyde? I don't know.

What I do know is that many Americans are sick of the whole health care thing. And no prescription on earth will change that.
Read the full column, "Paging Doctor Kildare," at BillOReilly.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rep. Joe Pitts: Health care reform shouldn't need special deals

Health care reform shouldn't need special deals

By U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts

As I'm writing this, House Democratic leadership is feverishly trying to scrape together the last few votes to pass a massive government takeover of healthcare. It seems that every hour there is a new report about who is changing their vote from "yes" to "no" or "no" to "yes."

Despite the introduction of a new package of "fixes," the House must first pass the Senate healthcare reform bill. You may remember that this bill was passed on Christmas Eve only after dozens of Senators cut special deals to win their support. The deal-making hasn't stopped, however, and this week we were introduced to a few new items.

Since one government takeover wasn't enough, Democratic leadership has inserted an entirely different bill into the package of "fixes" to the Senate legislation. This legislation would eliminate private lenders from the student loan industry — every lender except one that is.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) successfully added a provision that would allow the Bank of North Dakota to continue servicing student loans under the new bill. Every college student in America would either get their student loan through the federal government or the Bank of North Dakota. Conrad's deal is now known in Washington as the Bismarck Bank Job.

In the same package, Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) secured an additional $100 million for hospitals in Tennessee. Gordon, the retiring Chairman of the House Science Committee, publicly switched his vote to yes and now there are rumors that he could be appointed to a position at NASA.

In reaction to this and other discussion that bill supporters could get new jobs in the executive branch, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has promised to put a hold on the nomination of any vote switcher placed before the Senate. Members shouldn't be able to count on a cushy job in the administration if the voters throw them out of office in November.

This reconciliation package to fix the Senate bill is not guaranteed to pass into law. There is a good likelihood that President Obama will sign the Senate healthcare reform bill into law and that the fixes insisted by the House would either never pass the Senate or be significantly modified in that chamber.

Additionally, the separate package doesn't remove a number of the special deals cut in December:

• There is still $100 million for a single university hospital in Connecticut placed into the bill by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT).

• Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) still gets $1 billion for New Jersey drug companies.

• Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) ensured that Vermont will get $600 million in additional Medicaid funding. Since Vermont is a small state, that averages out to nearly $1,000 for every man, woman, and child in the state.

• Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will still get $5 billion to cover medical costs of union members. Additionally, the unions negotiated with the President to reduce the "Cadillac" tax on health plans by $117 billion. Many of the plans affected by this tax are union negotiated.

• While the Cornhusker Kickback gets expanded from just Nebraska to all states, Sen. Ben Nelson still gets an exemption from new fees for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska.

• Hawaii's two Democratic Senators successfully exempt hospitals in Hawaii from planned reductions in federal payments.

Should the House act this weekend, the President will sign all of these special deals into law.

This healthcare reform act represents a government takeover of 17 percent of the American economy. Taken at face value, its cost is nearly $1 trillion in the first 10 years. Since Congress is unlikely follow through on all the Medicare cuts and the anticipated tax revenue could fall far short, the true cost could be twice that.

Whether you agree or disagree with the bill, it is clearly the most far-reaching piece of legislation that Congress has dealt with in decades. We are set to remake healthcare for every American by the slimmest of margins. By contrast, Social Security and Medicare were passed with bipartisan majorities in both Houses. Legislation with such an astounding impact should stand on its own merits, not on a foundation of backroom deals and arm-twisting.

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

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, March 19, 2010

A 'Yes' Vote Is a Vote for Taxpayer-Funded Abortion

Life Counts Campaign Mobilizing Thousands in Key Districts Today

Cheerleaders for ObamaCare: A Year of Slanted Media Coverage



Cheerleaders for ObamaCare: A Year of Slanted Media Coverage | NewsBusters.org

Citing a BAD Bill and a BAD Process, RetireSafe Urges Congress to Stop Obamacare

Citing a BAD Bill and a BAD Process, RetireSafe Urges Calls to Congress to Stop the Health Care Reform Bill

Tea Party Patriots Gather in Opposition to Government Takeover of Health Care

Tea Party Patriots Gather in Opposition to Government Takeover of Health Care

Who is Pia Varma?



Pia Varma is running for Congress. She has no political experience and she's fine with that.

In fact, that's the appeal of her campaign. We've seen what the "professional politicians" have done with this country. Why not give regular person a chance?

Pia Varma is a Republican running in Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District. The seat has been held by Democrat Bob Brady since 1998.

Varma ran a full page ad in The Philadelphia Inquirer this week with a simple message: Hate Philly Politics?

If the answer is yes, you should vote for Varma. If you like the job Congress is doing, keep political insiders like Brady in office.

Find out more at www.votepia.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Would Obama lie?

Medicare is broke. Social Security is broke. The postal service is broke. The entire federal government is broke. Why am I having such a difficult time believing that Obamacare will end up reducing the federal deficit, just like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi say?

From POLITICO:
The Democratic health care bill would cost $940 billion over 10 years and cut the federal deficit over the next two decades — figures that should help ease the worries of fiscal hawks who have been reluctant about supporting the sweeping measure.

The bill would reduce the deficit by about $130 billion in the first 10 years and by $1.2 trillion over the second 10 years. It will expand coverage to 95 percent of Americans, according to Congressional Budget Office figures released Thursday by House Democrats.
Why do I have such a hard time believing the government? Would Obama lie?

Congressional Budget Office releases health bill estimates - Patrick O'Connor and Carrie Budoff Brown - POLITICO.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rep. Kate Harper faces challenger in 61st District

Six-term incumbent Republican state Rep. Kate Harper will face a challenger in little-known Democrat Mary Lou Readinger for Montgomery County's 61st House District.

From a story in the Lansdale Reporter:
State Rep. Kate Harper, R-61st District, is eager to publicly debate Mary Lou Readinger, her Democratic opponent in November.

"Unlike most incumbents with good name recognition, I am more than willing to appear with her in front of large crowds," Harper said. "I'm happy to meet with the people and allow them to ask questions. Let the voters decide who has better qualifications."

Harper said she views any election year appearance as an opportunity to update her constituents on state government.

"What we do affects their lives," she said. "Most people have no idea what is going on."

Readinger, a member of the Plymouth Township Council, would not commit to any joint appearances.

"I'm not going to decide on that right now," she said.
Read the full story at the link below:

Harper faces challenge in 61st District - The ReporterNews: Serving North Penn, Indian Valley and neighboring communities

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Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Deadline to Register to Vote in Pennsylvania's May Primary is April 19

Deadline to Register to Vote in Pennsylvania's May Primary is April 19