Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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Originally posted at
TONY PHYRILLAS

Governor Rendell Signs Extension of Pennsylvania Conservation Corps

Governor Rendell Signs Extension of Pennsylvania Conservation Corps

Whitewashing Sen. Robert Byrd's KKK Past

As Much on Byrd's Fiddle Playing as Klan Days; 'Like Constitution and Bible, Permanent Fixture of the Senate' | NewsBusters.org

Video: The Job-Killing Impact of Minimum Wage Laws



Originally posted at
TONY PHYRILLAS

Larry King Wasn't Opinionated on CNN? Remembering His Shots at the 'Far-Right Wacko Element'

Larry King Wasn't Opinionated on CNN? Remembering His Shots at the 'Far-Right Wacko Element' | NewsBusters.org

Al Gore's 'Green' Movement



Originally posted at
TONY PHYRILLAS

President cons us into accepting Obamacare

Another excellent column by Nat Hentoff exposing the evils of Obamacare.

President cons us into accepting Obamacare - The Mercury Opinion

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why Aren't More Military Veterans Getting Hired?

Why Aren't More Military Veterans Getting Hired?

Democrats begin to abandon Obama


Just 25% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president, according to the latest Rasmussen poll.

But the real eye-opener is the fact that just 50% of Democrats Strongly Approve of Obama's job performance.

Having already lost Republicans and independents, Obama's Democratic base is now eroding. Can you say "one-term president"?

Read more Rasmussen Reports by clicking here

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Obama's Former Rev. Wright Gives Seminar Bashing Whites and Jews

Obama's Former Rev. Wright Gives Seminar Bashing Whites and Jews, Media Mum | NewsBusters.org

GOP: Democrats Fail To Pass Budget



Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) says Washington Democrats' unprecedented decision to cancel this year's budget will wreak havoc on our economy and make it even harder to put people back to work.

The House Budget Committee's top Republican, Ryan says Democrats' plan to continue their out-of-control 'stimulus' spending spree and raise taxes on middle-class families is a "recipe for disaster."

He also challenges President Obama and Washington Democrats to stop running out the clock and "make the tough choices they promised they would, put moral obligation before political expedience, and focus on what's in the best interests of the next generation, not the next election."

With economists saying immediate fiscal discipline is needed to create jobs, Ryan notes that Republicans have already identified $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts that could be implemented right now.

Rep. Ryan is in his sixth term representing the people of Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kanjorski steps in it again

Don't let Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski near a microphone.

Kanjorski who has represented Pennsylvania's 11th Congressional Cistrict since 1985, may have run one too many times for re-election.

Kanjorski, who is bordering on senility, has done it again, making disparaging remarks about minorities.

From POLITICO:
Republicans are seizing onto racially freighted remarks Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) made Wednesday evening at the financial reform conference committee.

Speaking before the committee, which is trying to reconcile the House and Senate reform bills, Kanjorski appeared to imply that "minorities" are not "average, good American people."

Kanjorski, who chairs the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, said, "We're giving relief to people that I deal with in my office every day now unfortunately. But because of the longevity of this recession, these are people — and they're not minorities and they're not defective and they're not all the things you'd like to insinuate that these programs are about — these are average, good American people."

Kanjorski went on to add that, "Most of them have been veterans, have served, have worked all their lives. But they are not full of money. They live paycheck to paycheck, and they always will because they are in the lower margin of our society."
Read the full story at the link below:

Kanjorski race remark sparks flap - Alex Isenstadt - POLITICO.com

Kanjorki's Republican opponent in November is Lou Barletta.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Governor Rendell Announces Nominations, Appointments

Governor Rendell Announces Nominations, Appointments

Auto Dealers Excluded from Wall Street Bill

Auto Dealers Excluded from Wall Street Bill

Number of State Prisoners Declined By Almost 3,000 During 2009; Federal Prison Population Increased By 6,800

Number of State Prisoners Declined By Almost 3,000 During 2009; Federal Prison Population Increased By 6,800

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Adoptions in Pennsylvania Reach Record High

Adoptions in Pennsylvania Reach Record High While Thousands of Children Still Await Permanent Homes

Unattended Kids in Hot Cars a Lethal Combination

Unattended Kids in Hot Cars a Lethal Combination

U.S. in the World Cup



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

White House misses early deadlines in ObamaCare implementation

White House misses early deadlines in ObamaCare implementation | The Daily Caller

Richard Viguerie: South Carolina Tea Party Steamroller Sweeps Establishment Republicans Out of Office

Richard Viguerie: South Carolina Tea Party Steamroller Sweeps Establishment Republicans Out of Office

Soldiers' Angels Unveils New Text-to-Donate for Military Support

Soldiers' Angels Unveils New Text-to-Donate for Military Support

PA Insurance Commissioner Offers Tips to Victims of Severe Storms

PA Insurance Commissioner Offers Tips to Victims of Severe Storms

Celebrate Independence Day with U.S.-Made Products

Celebrate Independence Day with U.S.-Made Products

Bipartisan Policy Center Report Outlines Dangers of Failing to Prevent Iranian Nuclear Threat

Bipartisan Policy Center Report Outlines Dangers of Failing to Prevent Iranian Nuclear Threat

Safety Council Supports Introduction of Erica's Law

NSC Supports Introduction of Erica's Law

Awkward: ABC Skips Report That Bianna Golodryga's Fiance Is Leaving the White House

Awkward: ABC Skips Report That Bianna Golodryga's Fiance Is Leaving the White House | NewsBusters.org

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

PA Secretary of Aging Urges Older Residents to Take Precautions in Extremely Hot Weather

PA Secretary of Aging Urges Older Residents to Take Precautions in Extremely Hot Weather

Columnist: Health care rationing begins under Obama

From a new column by Nat Hentoff on Obama's plan to nationalize health care:
As a reporter, I do not use euphemisms —such as calling murderous terrorists "militants" or "activists." And as an American, I can exercise my First Amendment right to say plainly that President Obama is a liar with regard to our new health care law, often referred to as ObamaCare.

When a number of critics of ObamaCare, including myself, warned that it would bring the rationing of treatments, medications and research into new procedures, the president said to the American Medical Association (June 15, 2009) that this rationing charge was a "fear tactic."

The next month, he said flat out: "I don't believe that government can or should run health care." (firstthings.com, May 31, 2010)

But in May of this year, the president nominated Dr. Donald Berwick, a professor at Harvard Medical School, to head Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) -- the most powerful health care position. As Hal Scherz underlines (RealClearPolitics.com, May 26): "CMS covers over 100 million Americans, has an annual $800 billion budget that is larger than the defense department's and is the second largest insurance company in the world."

Unlike Obama, Berwick is enthusiastically, openly candid in his support of Britain's socialistic National Health Service. In a 2008 speech to British physicians, our new health czar said: "I am romantic about National Health Service. I love it (because it is) 'generous, hopeful, confident, joyous and just.'"

There are many reasons why it is vital for Americans to vote in the midterm elections —and, of course, in 2012, to prevent a second term for the most dangerous and incompetent president we have ever had — but for many Americans, it is particularly important this year to vote against supporters of ObamaCare. The question for many voters should be whether, in the years ahead, they will be in condition to vote if they are on waiting lists for government-controlled health care.

More of us are learning that during the Obama administration, it is essential to continually keep our eyes open on all it does.
Read the full column here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Sestak campaigns among the S.F. liberal crowd

Joe Sestak . . . Just Another Nancy Pelosi Liberal from Pat Toomey on Vimeo.



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

52 Shot, 8 Dead and Mayor Daley Still Resists Self-Defense

52 Shot, 8 Dead and Mayor Daley Still Resists Self-Defense

'Fair' wages for illegals?



If they could only put this much effort into finding jobs for the 17 million Americans who are out of work right now.

Check out EyeBlast.TV for more.

Originally posged at TONY PHYRILLAS

Monday, June 21, 2010

Network Morning Shows Rage Against BP CEO's Yachting Trip, Ignore Obama's Golf Outing

Network Morning Shows Rage Against BP CEO's Yachting Trip, Ignore Obama's Golf Outing | NewsBusters.org

Take the Quiz!

Two more questions have been posted to Team Toomey's "How Well Do You Know Joe?" quiz to test your knowledge of ultra-liberal U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak.

Click here to take the quiz.

Governor Rendell Calls $261 Million Collected During Tax Amnesty Program an 'Overwhelming Success'

Governor Rendell Calls $261 Million Collected During Tax Amnesty Program an 'Overwhelming Success'

FedUp PAC Endorses Nikki Haley for Governor of South Carolina and Mike Lee for U.S. Senator in Utah in Tuesday's Run-off Republican Primaries

FedUp PAC Endorses Nikki Haley for Governor of South Carolina and Mike Lee for U.S. Senator in Utah in Tuesday's Run-off Republican Primaries

Clueless Democrat: Rep. Paul Kanjorski



Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski proving why voters should retire him this November: "We are helluva a lot better off as a country and as an economy than we have ever been in the history of mankind."

H/T Sights in Pennsylvania

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Video: The Most Hypocritical Man in the World



If you've seen the Dos Equis ad on television featuring the “Most Interesting Man,” you'll enjoy this parody by the Nanny State Liberation Front starring Barack Obama as "The Most Hypocritical Man in the World."

For more about NSLF, check out the group's Web site or its Facebook page or on Twitter.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pelosi and Van Hollen Harm America, Says Senior Rights Activist

Pelosi and Van Hollen Harm America, Says Senior Rights Activist

Foreign Tort Cases Increasingly Borrowing Pages from a Common Trial Lawyer 'Playbook'

Foreign Tort Cases Increasingly Borrowing Pages from a Common Trial Lawyer 'Playbook'

Sunday, June 20, 2010

'The most dangerous and incompetent president we have ever had'

Barack Obama is "the most dangerous and incompetent president we have ever had."

Can you guess who said it? Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity? Ann Coulter? Nope.

Those are the words of Nat Hentoff, a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and a longtime liberal activist.

Hentoff, a Democrat who is still writing a syndicated column into his 80s, fears for the future of this country if Obama's agenda is not stopped this November.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Bill O'Reilly: The Left Turns on Obama

Sit back and enjoy the show. Obama is under attack by the very same liberal elites who helped get him elected in 2008

From a new Bill O'Reilly column:
Hell has frozen over! The far left in America is turning on their guy Barack Obama. After his speech on the oil disaster a few days ago, the crazy left Greek chorus on MSNBC hammered the president. He wasn't specific enough; he was too weak; I don't sense "executive command," they wailed. You would have thought they were talking about President Bush. In fact, many of the anti-Obama criticisms echoed the Hurricane Katrina invective directed towards Mr. Bush in 2005.

Usually the far left covers for its folks and provides them excuse after excuse for their failures. But this time, generally speaking, conservatives have been more generous toward President Obama's oil spill predicament than liberals. Fair-minded people understand that nobody on the planet knows how to plug that gushing broken pipe. As far as reacting slowly, Mr. Obama is guilty, but how many times do you slam the man for allowing BP to dictate the initial play when the oil rig collapsed? Yes, it was foolish. But Monday morning quarterbacking doesn't really get us anywhere once that has been established.

So there has to be something more in play, and there is. Far-left policy in America is largely a coordinated effort. The point place is the Huffington Post, which has replaced MoveOn.org as the driving force for radical left propaganda. People like John Podesta, George Soros, Arianna Huffington and lesser known leftists discuss policy agenda among themselves and then send it out to their willing accomplices in the mainstream media.
Read the full column at the link below:

Bill O'Reilly: Bill's Column - The Left Turns on Obama

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Weekly GOP Address: Obama exploits oil spill crisis



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Obama can't play golf every day



Fresh from resolving that Gulf oil spill business by giving another speech, President Barack Obama goes back to leisurely pace of his presidency. Obama took in a baseball game Friday between the Chicago White Sox and the Washington Nationals. See related story, "Barack Obama plays golf eight more times than George W. Bush," by clicking here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, June 18, 2010

State Legislators Concerned by FCC's New Internet Regulation Strategy

State Legislators Concerned by FCC's New Internet Regulation Strategy

Pro-Life Chair Voices 'Grave Concern' over FDA Plan to Approve Abortion Drug for 'Emergency Contraception'

Pro-Life Chair Voices 'Grave Concern' over FDA Plan to Approve Abortion Drug for 'Emergency Contraception'

President Obama's BP Speech Hits the Low-Water Mark Among Americans

President Obama's BP Speech Hits the Low-Water Mark Among Americans

U.S. Chamber Continues to Express Serious Concerns About McConnell Nomination

U.S. Chamber Continues to Express Serious Concerns About McConnell Nomination

Governor Rendell Praises Regulatory Panel Vote Protecting PA's Stream, Rivers from Drilling Wastewater

Governor Rendell Praises Regulatory Panel Vote Protecting PA's Stream, Rivers from Drilling Wastewater

FDA Places Politics Above Science, Women's Health, and Informed Consent

FDA Places Politics Above Science, Women's Health, and Informed Consent

Powerful New Site Location Website Will Help Attract Companies to Pennsylvania

Powerful New Site Location Website Will Help Attract Companies to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Senate: Toomey 45%, Sestak 38%

Republican Pat Toomey is pulling away in the race for Arlen Specter U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania.

From Rasmussen Reports:
Congressman Joe Sestak's post-primary bounce appears to be over, and he now trails Republican rival Pat Toomey by seven points in the U.S. Senate contest in Pennsylvania.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Pennsylvania shows Toomey with 45% support, while Sestak earns 38%. Five percent (5%) prefer another candidate in the race, and 12% are undecided.

Two weeks ago, just after his widely covered primary victory over longtime Senator Arlen Specter, Sestak posted a modest four-point lead lead over Toomey.

Prior to the primary, however, Toomey tended to enjoy modest leads over Sestak.
For more poll results, click here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pennsylvania Governor: Corbett 49%, Onorato 33%

It's Tom Corbett's race to lose for Pennsylvania governor.

From Rasmussen Reports:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Pennsylvania shows that Republican State Attorney General Tom Corbett attracts support from 49% of Keystone State voters in his bid to become governor. His Democratic challenger, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, earns 33% of the vote.

Five percent (5%) say they'd prefer some other candidate, and 13% are undecided.

These results are little changed since mid-May when both candidates won their party nomination. In fact, every poll of the race has shown Corbett ahead with support from somewhere around half the state's voters.
For more poll results, click here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rafferty bill would require school board 'super majority' to raise taxes

The Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr., R-44th Dist., that would require a "super majority" vote for school boards to raise property taxes.

From a press release issued by Rafferty's office:
Senate Bill 553 would amend the Public School Code to require all millage property tax increases to be approved by a two-thirds majority vote by the members elected to the board of school directors.

"Taxpayers are rightfully concerned that property taxes continue to increase, as does school spending," Rafferty said. "Many tax increases are being passed by a single vote. I believe there should be a compelling need and strong support by the board before property taxes go up."

Rafferty said his legislation would provide greater taxpayer protections and ensure that school boards of directors first seek to control spending before raising taxes.

"Taxpayers have repeatedly told us that they want a stronger say in taxing decisions," Rafferty said. "My bill will provide an added protection against tax increases because it will raise the bar when it comes to voting for an increase."

"This is an important move to rein in property tax increase and control spending," Rafferty added.
School boards in Pennsylvania have nine voting members, so at least six would have to support a property tax hike under Rafferty's bill.

Anything that makes it harder for school boards to raise taxes is a step in the right direction, but nothing short of the total elimination of school property taxes will solve Pennsylvania's school funding problems.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Keith Olbermann leaves Daily Kos

The circle of liberal loons is getting smaller. Keith 'Thin Skin' Olbermann won't blog for a liberal Web site because someone questioned his staged indignation at Obama. This is a big deal for the 10 people who watch MSNBC.

Keith Olbermann leaves Daily Kos - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

FCC moves toward Internet regulation

Liberal fascism continues on the rise as Obama moves to gain control of the World Wide Web.

FCC moves toward Internet regulation - Kim Hart and Tony Romm - POLITICO.com

Video: 3 Reasons Obama Should Kick His Own Ass



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Lentz denies corruption charges leveled by Meehan

From the Delaware County Daily Times:
Republican Congressional candidate Pat Meehan tried Wednesday to tie his Democratic opponent, state Rep. Bryan Lentz, D-161, of Swarthmore, to the "Bonusgate" scandal that has rocked the state Legislature.

But Lentz, who called the attempt "sickening" and "absurd," was also at the press conference Meehan called in the state Capitol Rotunda to swat back any accusations of wrongdoing.

Meehan and Lentz are seeking the 7th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak, the Edgmont Democrat. Sestak faces former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate race.

Meehan, a former Delaware County district attorney and U.S. Attorney, issued a release Tuesday promising "newly uncovered information that calls into question the fitness of state Rep. Bryan Lentz to run for higher office."

"The evidence and grand jury testimony made public in connection with the Bonusgate trial lead directly to the front door of the Lentz campaign offices," Meehan said Wednesday.

Meehan, of Upper Darby, said Lentz, also a former prosecutor, was a "primary beneficiary" of the scandal in which legislative staff were paid bonuses for political work with taxpayer money because a woman who worked on his 2006 campaign had received a $9,565 bonus.
Meehan, Lentz war of words escalating - The Delaware County Daily Times

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Judicial Watch Files Complaint With Office of Special Counsel Requesting Investigation of Obama White House 'Bribery Scandals'

Judicial Watch Files Complaint With Office of Special Counsel Requesting Investigation of Obama White House 'Bribery Scandals'

Americans for Prosperity Slams FCC's Internet Takeover Attempt

Americans for Prosperity Slams FCC's Internet Takeover Attempt

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Took Obama So Long?



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rep. Toepel receives committee assignments

The newest member of the Pennsylvania Legislature, Rep. Marcy Toepel, R-14th Dist., has been appointed to serve on the House Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Urban Affairs committees during her first term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Toepel won a special election on May 18 to fill the remaining term of former state Rep. Bob Mensch, who was elected to the state Senate last year.

From a PA House GOP news release:
The Urban Affairs Committee is involved in issues dealing with housing, urban redevelopment, land use planning and zoning, growth management, infrastructure financing and city services such as police, fire, sewage and water, among others. The Commerce Committee's focus is on business and economic development in Pennsylvania.

"Eliminating unreasonable regulations for job creators is one of my top legislative priorities," said Toepel. "I am hopeful that serving on the Commerce Committee will enable me to work toward this goal."

Toepel is particularly satisfied with her appointment to the Health and Human Services Committee. This committee handles legislation on disease control and prevention, welfare reform, mental health and mental retardation issues, health care for the uninsured, pharmaceuticals, treatment for substance abuse, and autism.

"Health care is such a crucial issue at a time when costs are skyrocketing," said Toepel. "The work of this committee affects so many of our families and seniors; it's not an assignment I take lightly.

"Overall, I am very pleased with these committee assignments, and I look forward to using them to further serve the needs of the 147th Legislative District," said Toepel.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

President Obama's Address on BP Oil Spill Fails to Move Voters

President Obama's Address on BP Oil Spill Fails to Move Voters

National spotlight on PA 7th Congressional District race

Brian Walsh : 2010 Race of the Day: Fighting Corruption in Pennsylvania (PA-07) - Townhall.com

Newspaper: Merit(less) selection



See related editorial at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Poll: Majority unhappy with Obama oil spill response



While Barack Obama takes to the airwaves to salvage his presidency, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds widespread dissatisfaction with the president's handling of the BP oil spill disaster.

From The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON — Americans have become just as dissatisfied with President Barack Obama's work on the Gulf oil spill as they were with his predecessor's handling of Hurricane Katrina, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Tuesday.

Most Americans are angry about the government's slow response, the poll finds, with 54 percent saying they had strong feelings about the bureaucracy's reaction. Many doubt that Washington could really help them if they were a disaster victim.

The survey found that 52 percent don't approve of Obama's handling of the spill, a significant increase from last month when a big chunk of Americans withheld judgment. A stunning 83 percent disapprove of BP's performance in the aftermath of the explosion that set off the spill. That percentage of Americans disapproving also was a big jump from May.
To view the full poll results, click here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Gulf Oil Spill: Why Another American Disaster?

Gulf Oil Spill: Why Another American Disaster?

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Orders Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Sgt. Derek L. Shanfield

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Orders Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Sgt. Derek L. Shanfield

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Senate Transportation panel to hold hearings on funding issues

From the office of State Sen. John Rafferty Jr.:
Senate Transportation panel to hold hearings on funding issues

HARRISBURG - The Senate Transportation Committee kicked off a series of public hearings today on the transportation funding issues, according to Committee Chairman Senator John Rafferty, R-44th.

Rafferty said Pennsylvania faces crucial challenges in maintaining and enhancing its transportation network, and he wants input from those in the public and private sector on how to best allocate resources and generate needed revenue.

"Today we heard from PennDOT Secretary Alan Biehler who talked about projects that are planned and others that are on hold because of funding issues," Rafferty said.

"In upcoming hearings we hope to hear suggestions from those in the private sector on how we can make the best use of tax dollars and find innovative new ways to meet our growing needs."

Rafferty acknowledged that funding transportation needs is a major challenge, especially during an economic downturn, and said it is important to hear from those with expertise in the field to develop good policies and initiatives.

"Money is tight, and we are facing a huge revenue shortfall again this year," Rafferty said. "But highways, roads and bridges still need to be maintained and new networks built to accommodate growth and ensure that our economy remains strong. So we have to find ways to do more with less and take advantage of innovation."

The committee will hold a second hearing next week and additional hearings in the following weeks.

ADL Calls Use of Nazi Reference by Jerry Brown 'Offensive and Inappropriate'

ADL Calls Use of Nazi Reference by Jerry Brown 'Offensive and Inappropriate'

Hypocritical Democrats filtering corporate money for elections

Hypocritical Democrats filtering corporate money for elections

New Report Shows States Increasing Efforts on Distracted Driving

New Report Shows States Increasing Efforts on Distracted Driving

PA Appoints Health Care Reform Implementation Advisory Committee

PA Appoints Health Care Reform Implementation Advisory Committee

Governor George Pataki Challenges Senator Tom Daschle to Debate ObamaCare

Governor George Pataki Challenges Senator Tom Daschle to Debate ObamaCare

FRC Action PAC Launches Statewide Radio Ad Campaign Urging Floridians to Stop Governor Charlie Crist

FRC Action PAC Launches Statewide Radio Ad Campaign Urging Floridians to Stop Governor Charlie Crist

BP faces a crude awakening

BP faces a crude awakening - Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman and Mike Allen - POLITICO.com

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Energy Drink for GOP



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Adjutant General Invites Public to Ask Questions during Virtual Town Hall Meeting on June 22

Adjutant General Invites Public to Ask Questions during Virtual Town Hall Meeting on June 22

PA Ag Secretary Reminds Eligible Older Adults of June 30 Deadline to Sign up for Expanded Food Program

PA Ag Secretary Reminds Eligible Older Adults of June 30 Deadline to Sign up for Expanded Food Program

ADL Calls Use of Nazi Reference by Jerry Brown 'Offensive and Inappropriate'

ADL Calls Use of Nazi Reference by Jerry Brown 'Offensive and Inappropriate'

Flag Day 2010



See related editorial at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

On Flag Day, Veterans Ask, 'President Obama, Put the Cross Back!'

On Flag Day, Veterans Ask, 'President Obama, Put the Cross Back!'

Obama Becomes Jimmy Carter If He Doesn't Get Control Of Oil Spill

NYT's Cooper: Obama Becomes Jimmy Carter If He Doesn't Get Control Of Oil Spill | NewsBusters.org

State Museum of Pennsylvania Announces Finalists for Annual 'Art of the State' Exhibit

State Museum of Pennsylvania Announces Finalists for Annual 'Art of the State' Exhibit

Obama gets it in the back from left-wing columnist

The slobbering love-affair between Barack Obama and the far left is definitely over.

One of the most widely-read liberal columnists in the United States, The New York Times' Maureen Dowd, has turned on Obama.

In a vicious column published Sunday, Dowd calls Obama an "elitist," "thin-skinned" and "controlling," a "crybaby" and "contemptuous" of his critics.

Dowd is especially upset with Obama's treatment of the mainstream media, which worked so hard and so openly to get Obama elected in 2008.

From Dowd's column:
Like many Democrats, he thinks the press is supposed to be on his side.

The former constitutional lawyer now in the White House understands that the press has a role in the democracy. But he is an elitist, too, as well as thin-skinned and controlling. So he ends up regarding scribes as intrusive, conveying a distaste for what he sees as the fundamental unseriousness of a press driven by blog-around-the-clock deadlines.

It hurts Obama to be a crybaby about it, and to blame the press and the "old Washington game" for his own communication failures.
Read the full column, "Isn't It Ironic?," at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Women scarce on Sunday shows

Women scarce on Sunday shows - Erika Lovley - POLITICO.com

Catch Tony Phyrillas on 'Journalists Roundtable'

This week's show comes to you from the offices of The Mercury in Pottstown, featuring Tony Phyrillas, Stan Huskey and Phil Heron.

3 more chances to watch 'Journalists Roundtable' - The Mercury

Dems eye stimulus to pay teachers

Dems eye stimulus to pay teachers - David Rogers - POLITICO.com

Leaked ObamaCare Docs Ignore Costs of the Law's Mandates in 'De-Grandfathering' Estimates

Leaked ObamaCare Docs Ignore Costs of the Law's Mandates in 'De-Grandfathering' Estimates | NewsBusters.org

Weekly GOP Address: Stunning Failure of Leadership by Obama



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

York County's 12th Annual Made in America Tours Event

York County's 12th Annual Made in America Tours Event

Saturday, June 12, 2010

3 more chances to watch 'Journalists Roundtable'

If you missed Thursday's edition of "Journalists Roundtable" on the Pennsylvania Cable Network, you still have three more opportunities to watch the show.

The one-hour program re-airs Sunday at 5 PM and 11 PM as well as Monday at 10 AM on PCN.

This week's edition of "Journalists Roundtable" comes to you from the offices of The Mercury in Pottstown. The panelists include Tony Phyrillas, city editor/political columnist for The Mercury; Phil Heron, editor of The Delaware County Daily Times; and Stan Huskey, editor of The Times-Herald in Norristown.

Topics of discussion include the Joe Sestak/White House Job Offer Scandal, who is to blame for the Gulf Oil Spill, School Taxes/Pension Reform, voter apathy in the May 18 Primary Election and a preview of the Toomey/Sestak race for PA Senator and the Corbett/Onorato race for PA governor.

PCN is shown on Comcast Channel 98 in Berks County, Service Electric Cable Channel 23 in Berks/Lehigh counties and Comcast Channel 186 in the Pottstown area. Consult your cable guide for the Pennsylvania Cable Network channel in your area.

Obama Lied: Many Will Lose Health Coverage

Remember how Barack Obama kept saying that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it under the health care reform plan he was pushing for more than a year? He lied. That's right. He lied.

He lied so he could get enough doormat Democrats to vote for the government takeover of health care. And many of you gullible Democrats who went along with the scam will now lose your health care coverage. How's that hope and change working out for you?

From The Associated Press:
Health overhaul to force changes in employer plans

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON — Over and over in the health care debate, President Barack Obama said people who like their current coverage would be able to keep it.

But an early draft of an administration regulation estimates that many employers will be forced to make changes to their health plans under the new law. In just three years, a majority of workers — 51 percent — will be in plans subject to new federal requirements, according to midrange projections in the draft.

Republicans said Obama broke his promise. Employer groups were divided.

It's more evidence that the law will raise costs, said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But the Business Roundtable — representing CEOs of major firms — saw encouraging signs of flexibility, though it's withholding final judgment. Some experts believe increased regulation will lead to improved benefits for consumers.

"On the face of it, having consumer protections apply to all insurance plans could be a good thing for employees," said Alex Vachon, an independent health policy consultant. "Technically, it's actually improved coverage."

The types of changes that employers could have to make include offering preventive care without copayments and instituting an appeals process for disputed claims that follows new federal guidelines. The law already requires all health plans to extend coverage to young adult children until they turn 26. Such incremental changes can nudge costs up.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sens. Rafferty, Logan honored by state troopers



Pictured above: Sen. Paul Logan, left, Sen. John Rafferty, second from right, and Bruce Edwards, president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, right, with the widow and children of Trooper Paul Richey. Trooper Richey's family was the first to benefit from Senate Bill 369.

More from Sen. Rafferty's office:
Senators honored by State Troopers Association

Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr., R-44th, and Sen. Sean Logan, D-45th, were recently honored by the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association for their work in passing Senate Bill 369, which ensures that the families of public safety employees killed in the line of duty receive death benefits.

"This measure provides peace of mind and solid assurance to our officers that their loved one will receive adequate and full survivor benefits," Sen. Rafferty said. "I am proud to have co-sponsored this legislation."

The bill guarantees killed-in-service-death benefits to all spouses or minor children of a paid firefighter, law enforcement officer and ambulance service or rescue squad member equal to the amount of the decedent’s monthly salary.

"Without the drive and commitment from Sen. Rafferty this bill would not have happened. It was his tireless efforts to push this measure through during a very difficult budget time," said Bruce Edwards, president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association.

"This bill has a cost to it, an unknown cost, because you never know how often it will be needed. But this did not deter Senators Rafferty and Logan and they were able to get it through.

"Unfortunately the state police were the first to use it, but thankfully it was there for Trooper Paul Richey's widow and two children," Edwards said.

Prior to passage of SB369, pension and workers' compensation payments provided death benefits that covered a portion of the salaries of troopers, officers, firefighters and emergency personnel in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and third-class cities that were killed in the line of duty. With the new measure, the state would pick up the remaining share.

Boroughs and townships used to pay the entire cost of benefits for their police. Senate Bill 369 shifted these costs to the state. A Senate actuarial study estimates the annual cost to the state to be $9,000 for each officer killed in the line of duty.

Since 2002, 32 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty. Of these officers, nine were members of the pension plans providing the killed-in-service benefit. The surviving beneficiaries of the remaining 23 law enforcement officers and an additional 15 firefighters were not eligible for the benefit because these public safety employees were not members of the Act 600 pension plan.
SB369 now assures adequate financial protection for families of fallen police officer and other emergency responders.


Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Obama tanning tax kicks in July 1

GOP: No notice on tanning tax? - Jennifer Haberkorn - POLITICO.com

Time Says Oil Spill is Everyone's Fault But Big Government

Time Says Oil Spill is Everyone's Fault But Big Government | NewsBusters.org

Over on the U.N. channel

Governor, First Lady Rendell Invite Public to Visit Residence Gardens

Governor, First Lady Rendell Invite Public to Visit Residence Gardens

Governor Rendell Names Joe Torsella to Lead Commonwealth's Efforts to Increase College Graduation Rates, Access

Governor Rendell Names Joe Torsella to Lead Commonwealth's Efforts to Increase College Graduation Rates, Access

FRC to Testify in Support of Current Blood Donation Policy

FRC to Testify in Support of Current Blood Donation Policy

New Exhibit Debuts in Gettysburg

New Exhibit Debuts in Gettysburg

NTU: An Open Letter to the Pennsylvania Legislature

The National Taxpayers Union, an independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers, has sent the following letter to members of the Pennsylvania Legislature, who are under pressure from Gov. Ed Rendell to raise taxes on Pennsylvania residents and business.

Prevent Tax Hikes in Budget!
An Open Letter to the Pennsylvania Legislature

June 9, 2010
By John Stephenson

Dear Legislator:

As you and Governor Rendell work toward crafting a new state budget, I write on behalf of the National Taxpayers Union's 17,200 Pennsylvania members and urge you to reject any proposal to increase taxes as part of the package.

For example, a tax increase on tobacco products is the last thing that Pennsylvanians need in the midst of a recession. History shows that tobacco taxes consistently fail to produce promise revenues. A proposed 30% tax increase on the retail price of cigars and smokeless tobacco products would harm small retailers, such as convenience stores along Interstate 81 and cigar shops in Bucks County, who will see sales diminish as consumers seek out less costly products in neighboring jurisdictions. Further, a tobacco tax would also impact small farmers in the Commonwealth, many of whom grow tobacco to supplement their income.

Additionally, a severance tax on natural gas production would only increase energy costs for consumers and stifle gas production in the Commonwealth. Energy companies will pass the cost of the tax onto consumers in the form of higher utility bills. According to the Commonwealth Foundation, states with severance taxes, such as West Virginia, have not experienced as much growth in the energy sector, including job creation, as states without a severance tax. Many other states, such as Texas and Arkansas, have delayed or reduced their severance taxes to encourage more natural gas production. Given the recent opening of the Marcellus Shale area, Pennsylvania should use this opportunity to expand and invest in the state's energy sector, which would offer benefits to all Pennsylvanians through cheaper energy and more jobs, not higher taxation.

Rather than raising taxes, the best way to solve Pennsylvania's budget problems and clear the path to prosperity is to trim government spending and reform taxes. Governor Rendell's proposed $29.3 billion budget is four percent higher than last year. This recession has forced Pennsylvanians to prioritize their expenses and then cut what they cannot afford. It is only reasonable for their government to do the same in crafting the next budget. Moreover, Pennsylvania has the eleventh-highest tax burden in the nation, which includes some of the worst corporate tax rates in the country. By reducing government spending and reforming taxes, Pennsylvania can address its budget deficit while also laying the groundwork for economic growth. Our members are counting on you to do so, and avoid raising taxes.

Sincerely,

John Stephenson
State Government Affairs Manager

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Video: The Finger Pointing President



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Permanent High Unemployment Under Obama

From a new column by George F. Will on Obama's jobless economic recovery:
Concerning the job numbers from May, one can almost echo Henry James' exclamation after examining letters pertaining to Lord Byron's incest: "Nauseating, perhaps, but how quite inexpressibly significant."

Except that the May numbers' significance can be expressed: A theory is being nibbled to death by facts.

Private-sector job creation almost stopped in May. The 41,000 jobs created were dwarfed by the 411,000 temporary and low-wage government jobs needed to administer the census.

Last year's stimulus having failed to hold unemployment below 8% as predicted, Barack Obama might advocate another stimulus — amending Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, which mandates a census every 10 years. If it were every year, he could take credit for creating 564,000 — the current number of census takers — permanent jobs.

May's 41,000 jobs were one-fifth of the April number and substantially fewer than half the number needed to keep pace with the normal growth of the labor force. This is evidence against the theory that a growing government can be counted on to produce prosperity because a government dollar spent has a reliable multiplier effect as it ripples through the economy from which the government took the dollar.

Today's evidence suggesting sluggish job creation might give pause to a less confident person than Obama. But pauses are not in his repertoire of governance. Instead, yielding to what must be a metabolic urge toward statism, he says the Gulf oil spill is yet another reason for yet another explosion of government's control of economic life.
Read the full column at the link below:

Job Data Show Economy Beset By Uncertainty - Investors.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Thursday, June 10, 2010

America's CEO



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Dick Morris: Obama doesn't have a clue

From a new Dick Morris column, pointing out that the The Emperor Has No Clothes:
The sight of his blithering and blustering while the most massive oil spill in history moves closer to America's beaches not only reminds one of Bush's terrible performance during Katrina, but calls to mind Jimmy Carter's incompetence in the face of the hostage crisis.

America is watching the president alternate between wringing his hands in helplessness and pointing his finger in blame when he should be solving the most pressing environmental problem America has faced in the past 50 years. We are watching generations of environmental protection swept away as marshes, fisheries, vacation spots, recreational beaches, wetlands, hatcheries and sanctuaries fall prey to the oil spill invasion. And, all the while, the president acts like a spectator, interrupting his basketball games only to excoriate BP for its failure to contain the spill.

The political fallout from the oil spill will, indeed, spill across party and ideological lines. The environmentalists of America cannot take heart from a president so obviously ignorant about how to protect our shores and so obstinately arrogant that he refuses to inform himself and take any responsibility.
Read the full column at the link below:

Morris: Obama doesn’t have a clue - TheHill.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Dems eye stimulus to pay teachers

Dems eye stimulus to pay teachers - David Rogers - POLITICO.com

Tony Phyrillas on 'Journalists Roundtable' tonight

This week's edition of "Journalists Roundtable" is coming to you from the offices of The Mercury in Pottstown.

The one-hour program hosted by Bill Bova airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). The show will repeat Sunday at 5 p.m. and again at 11 p.m and Monday at 10 a.m..

The panel includes Tony Phyrillas, city editor/political columnist for The Mercury; Phil Heron, editor of The Delaware County Daily Times; and Stan Huskey, editor of The Times-Herald in Norristown.

PCN is shown on Comcast Channel 98 in Berks County, Service Electric Cable Channel 23 in Berks/Lehigh counties and Comcast Channel 186 in the Pottstown area.

Consult your cable guide for the Pennsylvania Cable Network channel in your area.

Kick Me

Governor Rendell Announces New Investigation of Health Insurance Companies

Governor Rendell Announces New Investigation of Health Insurance Companies

Governor Rendell Welcomes New Poll Showing Strong Public Support for Merit Selection of Appellate Court Judges

Governor Rendell Welcomes New Poll Showing Strong Public Support for Merit Selection of Appellate Court Judges

Department of State: Disciplinary Actions Taken Against 96 Licensed, Commissioned Professionals, Organizations

Department of State: Disciplinary Actions Taken Against 96 Licensed, Commissioned Professionals, Organizations

Judicial Watch Obtains New FBI Documents Regarding ACORN Voter Fraud Investigation

Judicial Watch Obtains New FBI Documents Regarding ACORN Voter Fraud Investigation

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Toepel sworn in to state Legislature

Republican Marcy Toepel was sworn in Wednesday as state representative for the 147th state House District.

Magisterial District Judge Maurice Saylor administered the oath to Toepel while Speaker of the House Keith McCall and House Republican Leader Sam Smith looked on.

"Taking the oath of office today, I was humbled and grateful, it's truly a special privilege becoming a member of this body," Toepel said in a statement released after the ceremony.

Toepel said she is ready to dive into the Legislature's negotiations over the state budget, which is supposed to be passed by June 30.

"The state budget is going to be my first major vote in a tough budget year," Toepel said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to give the people of Pennsylvania a responsible budget."

Toepel was elected to the House in a special election on May 18 to complete an unexpired term of former state Rep. Bob Mensch, now a state senator. Toepel has been active in the Montgomery County Republican Party and previously served as first deputy to the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds.

Toepel also won the Republican nomination in the May 18 primary to run for a full two-year term in the House this November.

In addition to friends and family, including husband Mark, invited guests attending the House ceremony included Ethel Ritchey, mayor of Pennsburg; Robert Young, chairman of Upper Frederick Township Supervisors; Bob Kerns, chairman of Montgomery County Republican Committee; Brittany Tressler, executive director of Montgomery County Republican Committee; and Nancy Becker, recorder of deeds for Montgomery County.

The 147th Legislative District includes the townships of Douglass, Lower Frederick, Marlborough, part of New Hanover, Perkiomen, Salford, Skippack (portion), Upper Frederick, Upper Hanover, and Upper Salford. The district also includes the boroughs of East Greenville, Green Lane, Pennsburg, Red Hill and Schwenksville.

It's one of the safest Republican districts in the state so expect Toepel to hold the seat in the Nov. 2 election.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Drinking the Kool Aid

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Continues Defense of Obama; Comparisons to Katrina 'Obscene' | NewsBusters.org

CNN's Sanchez Highlights 'Big Oil' Cash to Republicans, Omits Obama

CNN's Sanchez Highlights 'Big Oil' Cash to Republicans, Omits Obama | NewsBusters.org

'Journalists Roundtable' returns to Pottstown

This week's edition of "Journalists Roundtable" on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) is coming to you from the offices of The Mercury in Pottstown.

The one-hour program hosted by Bill Bova airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on cable systems throughout Pennsylvania.

The show will repeat Sunday at 5 p.m. and again at 11 p.m

The panel for June 10 edition will be Tony Phyrillas, city editor/political columnist for The Mercury; Phil Heron, editor of The Delaware County Daily Times; and Stan Huskey, editor of The Times-Herald in Norristown.

PCN is shown on Comcast Channel 98 in Berks County, Service Electric Cable Channel 23 in Berks/Lehigh counties and Comcast Channel 186 in the Pottstown area.

Consult your cable guide for the Pennsylvania Cable Network channel in your area.

Revere America Collects 125,000 Signatures to Repeal ObamaCare

Revere America Collects 125,000 Signatures on Petition to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare in Just 6 Weeks

State Police: 193 Commercial Trash Trucks Placed Out of Service

State Police: 193 Commercial Trash Trucks Placed Out of Service

PA Tax Amnesty Ends June 18; Only 9 Days Left for Tax Delinquents to Save on Penalties, Interest on Back Taxes

PA Tax Amnesty Ends June 18; Only 9 Days Left for Tax Delinquents to Save on Penalties, Interest on Back Taxes

Obama becomes the first U.S. President to hold press conference without any American Flags present

Obama becomes the first U.S. President to hold press conference without any American Flags present

Monday, June 07, 2010

Guest Column: VAT is no solution to budget woes

Why a VAT is no solution to our budget woes

Rep. Joe Pitts and Rep. Jim Gerlach

If you walk into an Apple store in the United States you can walk out with a brand new iPod for around $212. If you purchase from the same retailer in England, you can expect to pay the equivalent of $230. Why the difference? Much of this disparity is because of a value-added tax paid on manufactured products in Britain.

A value-added tax, or VAT, is a type of sales tax paid by raw materials producers, manufacturers, and retailers at each stage of production. This type of tax is common in most European nations, but does not exist in the U.S.

However, this situation may not last much longer. Paul Volcker, one of the President's top economic advisors, has publicly called for a new VAT. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that Congress should look into creating the new tax.

It is certainly true that our federal government is facing a budget crisis; we just don't believe that a new VAT would balance our budget or allow our economy to create the millions of new jobs necessary to recover from the current recession.

Greece, Spain and Portugal have all assessed a VAT for decades. None of these nations has used the added VAT revenue to balance their budget. During the economic bubble, tax revenue from the VAT and other sources encouraged these governments to set up lavish public sector benefits and expand government programs.

Now with the economic downturn, many of these nations are facing catastrophic deficits. The VAT didn't make European governments responsible, why would we think things would be different in the U.S.?

Instead, the VAT is a drag on job growth. The last thing we want to do right now is reduce the buying power of a dollar through new taxes. But with a VAT, consumers would pay more at the cash register, businesses would pay more for accounting and the government would pay more to police tax payments.

Obviously, if you pay more for an iPod or other consumer goods, you will have less money to spend on something else. The VAT has a direct effect on consumer purchasing power.

Right now, sales taxes are only assessed when someone buys a consumer good. When a manufacturer sells a product to a retailer, no tax is assessed. But under a VAT, each business in the supply chain collects taxes. That means additional paperwork and accounting costs. Accounting is a worthy profession, but hiring another accountant to comply with the VAT isn't going to make a small business more profitable.

The complexity of the VAT system means that the government needs to hire additional IRS agents and auditors to enforce the tax. A 1984 estimate by the Congressional Budget Office showed that a VAT would lead the IRS to expand its workforce by more than 20,000. A new estimate would probably show a significant increase in the number of workers needed to enforce the VAT.

By the end of the year we could see a very serious debate about whether Congress should look to the VAT to balance the budget. The President's debt commission is searching for ways to balance the federal budget. In Washington one of the most talked about recommendations is the VAT.

Even the President himself has indicated that a VAT should be considered as a way to increase government revenue. We don't believe that the primary problem is a lack of revenue. Instead, we have a government that has grown beyond its rightful bounds.

From 1982 to 2007, the U.S. created 45 million new jobs compared to only 10 million in Europe. There are many causes for this disparity, but among the chief reasons is a much higher tax burden on Europeans.

We've joined together with 155 Members of Congress in a letter calling on the debt commission to reject the temptation to recommend a VAT and instead look for ways restrain government spending. A balanced budget doesn't have to come at the expense of American jobs.

The U.S. is one of the few industrialized nations that doesn't impose a VAT. We believe that what makes us different from other nations is what makes our economy the strongest in the world.

Rep. Joe Pitts is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District. Rep. Jim Gerlach is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 6th Congressonal District.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The Greeks of Philadelphia



The Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia has launched a capital campaign to raise funds to build a museum honoring Greek-Americans in the Delaware Valley.

The group has set up a charitable foundation to accept tax-deductible donations in any amount toward the project.

It has also launched a Web site, www.GreekAmericanHeritage.org, to promote the effort.

Its short-term goal is to locate traveling classrooms "where young people will observe displays of objects, videos and other means to inspire an interest in the Greek culture," according to the Web site.

The long term goal is to locate a permanent site for a museum, library and study area.

"After many years of planning, the founders of The Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia were able to obtain sufficient funds in order to create a venue to perpetuate the Wonders, the Glory, and the founding of our own American Democracy and our own American Freedom of which we are so proud," according to the Web site.

If you'd like to make a donation, make checks payable to "The Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia" and send them to P.O. Box 103, Broomall, PA 19008

The group is also looking for volunteers to help spread the message about its cause. You can contact the Society at 610-356-5329 or e-mail: greekheritagesociety@msn.com

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Dumping on Rand Paul



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Weekend Box Office Results for June 4-6

From Brandon Gray's weekly analysis at BoxOfficeMojo.com:
With four new nationwide releases that lacked broad appeal, the weak box office continued, allowing "Shrek Forever After" to spend a third weekend in the lead. Overall business hit a 13-year low for the first weekend of June, and it was down 22 percent from the same timeframe last year when "The Hangover" debuted.

Though "Shrek Forever After" has held court atop the weekend box office longer than any previous "Shrek," its business still trailed its predecessors by a wide margin, which is what counts because ranking first is more dependent on what else is playing at the moment than a movie's staying power. The presumably final ogre sequel nabbed $25.5 million, increasing its sum to $183.2 million in 17 days.

"Shrek Forever After" was down 41 percent, which was a better hold than the 47 percent drops of "Shrek 2" and "Shrek the Third," but it had a lower-grossing third weekend than any previous "Shrek."

"Shrek the Third" had made $255.9 million through its third weekend, and, even though "Shrek 4's" comparable gross-to-date is higher than the first "Shrek," "Shrek 4's" estimated attendance lags nearly 30 percent behind "Shrek 1."

"Shrek 4's" 3D share rose to 67 percent this weekend, and 3D now represents 62 percent of the total.
Here's this week's Top 5 at the Box Office:

1. "Shrek Forever After," Paramount, $25,486,465, 4,386 locations, $5,811 average, $183,229,453, three weeks.
2. "Get Him to the Greek," Universal, $17,570,955, 2,697 locations, $6,515 average, $17,570,955, one week.
3. "Killers," Lionsgate, $15,837,266, 2,859 locations, $5,539 average, $15,837,266, one week.
4. "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," Disney, $14,019,131, 3,646 locations, $3,845 average, $59,621,721, two weeks.
5. "Sex and the City 2," Warner Bros., $12,344,303, 3,445 locations, $3,583 average, $73,128,387, two weeks.

For more on the weekend totals, follow the link below:

Weekend Box Office Results for June 4-6, 2010 - Box Office Mojo

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pope leaves Cyprus after historic three-day visit

Helen Thomas retires after fallout from controversial Israel remarks

Helen Thomas retires after fallout from controversial Israel remarks - TheHill.com

Allen: Oil 'siege' may last into fall

Allen: Oil 'siege' may last into fall - Carrie Budoff Brown - POLITICO.com

AARP Overhauls Web site

AARP Overhauls Website as New Research Finds Social Networking Continues to Rise Among Boomers and 50 Americans

Ten Privacy and Consumer Groups Ask Congressional Leaders to Strengthen Privacy Bill

Ten Privacy and Consumer Groups Ask Congressional Leaders to Strengthen Privacy Bill

Long List of Liberal Eruptions from Media's Mount St. Helen

Long List of Liberal Eruptions from Media's Mount St. Helen | NewsBusters.org

Rep. Schroder welcomes reform efforts

Unlike many of his colleagues who have decided to stick their head in the sand, Rep. Curt Schroder, a longtime proponent of reforming state government, issued this statement in support of the Bonusgate Grand Jury recommendations.
Grand Jury Speaks for Pennsylvania Citizens in its Recommendations to Clean Up Corruption

By Rep. Curt Schroder


It was satisfying to learn that the statewide grand jury assembled two years ago to investigate the Capitol corruption scandal known as Bonusgate had decided to issue a report on its findings. Contrary to reports, not everyone in the General Assembly has scoffed at or derided the recommendations. It was even more satisfying to learn that many of the grand jury's recommendations for reforming the Legislature and curbing public corruption are already contained in bills I have introduced.

It is rare that a grand jury opts to issue a report, and even rarer that it would delve so deeply into the muck as to make sweeping recommendations for change. I can only surmise that the average tax-paying citizens who comprise that body were so appalled at what they learned about their state Legislature and pervasive corruption, that they were moved to initiate a desperate cry for change.

It is apparent, in the words of the grand jury, that the state Legislature is "irretrievably broken" and in desperate need of systemic change. Its recommendations included reducing legislative salaries to force Pennsylvania into becoming a part-time Legislature; cutting legislative staff; streamlining services; and limiting special accounts controlled by House and Senate leaders.

My legislation includes those points and goes even further to eliminate discretionary grants known as WAMS, and move members of the Legislature to a defined contribution system to replace their defined benefit pension plan. In fact, last summer, during the protracted state budget stalemate, I proposed forming a true citizens' constitutional convention, which captured widespread support among major reform organizations throughout the Commonwealth.

A constitutional convention would allow all of the issues raised by the grand jury to be addressed. The grand jury asserted that a constitutional convention would likely be necessary to achieve some of the reforms it was recommending as jurors expressed doubt the Legislature was capable of reforming itself.

I am encouraged by the findings of the grand jury. While some recommendations are open to debate and discussion, I believe the grand jury has done a great service on behalf of Pennsylvanians. It is an independent body that has carefully studied the practices and procedures that enabled corruption to occur and take hold at the highest levels of previous House leadership. While many changes have been made by current House leaders, this report still serves as a major wake-up call. I am calling on the leadership of the House and Senate to take these recommendations seriously and to act immediately to fix our broken system.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Sunday, June 06, 2010

'If Pennsylvania was a private company, it would be staring bankruptcy in the face'

He may have only six months left in his legislative career, but state Rep. Sam Rohrer is not going away quietly.

After May tax collection estimates confirmed Pennsylvania is facing a $1.2 billion budget deficit, Rohrer reiterated his contention that Gov. Ed Rendell has recklessly placed the Commonwealth in fiscal insolvency.

From a Rohrer press release:
"If Pennsylvania was a private company, it would be staring bankruptcy in the face," Rohrer said.

Rohrer, who serves as the Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee, noted that revenue collections through May were down by more than $685 million compared to the same point last year.

The Rendell administration initially projected a $3.3 billion annual increase in revenues, from $25.5 billion last year to $28.8 billion this year.

"Even utilizing the most elementary method of revenue projection, there was no defensible basis to predict anything other than a decrease in revenue projections," Rohrer said. "Coupled with the fact that Pennsylvania lags any national economic recovery - which still has not occurred - a revenue increase projection was without any legitimate justification. The governor has the unique duty to ensure that spending is connected to revenue collections, and revenue projections should always err on the side of understating projections. Now we are predictably faced with people still losing jobs, corporate tax revenues still declining, personal consumption decreasing and a governor who still insists that we spend yet more. The truth is that we now have debts that exceed our ability to pay - the definition of insolvency."

In addition to this unjustified approach to budgeting, Rohrer said, despite completely raiding the state's Rainy Day Fund to the tune of $750 million, raiding $800 million from the MCare fund and using other similar one-time funding sources, revenues have still failed to reach administration estimates.

"The administration raided these funds and it still isn't able to get the state in the black," Rohrer said. "The Rendell administration has used failed financing techniques and accounting gimmicks of overstating revenues and underestimating expenses and it is now undeniable. And yet, at the end of the day, they still haven't been able to make a $1.23 billion deficit disappear.

"On top of all of this, the governor claims that the state cannot reduce spending because everything is mandated. This, however, is simply not true. Continuing to spend recklessly despite lower revenues will either destroy any hope of economic recovery by raising taxes in the worst possible time, or will bring Pennsylvania face-to-face with bankruptcy."

Rohrer went on to cite state revenue statistics that May marks the 25th month in a row that the state collections have failed to meet the Rendell administration's projections, along with declining personal and corporate income tax revenues.

"The solution is to begin telling the truth to Pennsylvania citizens. Borrowing is out of the question. The governor cannot continue running to Washington to beg for more federal funds. Instead, he must take the lead to clean up waste, fraud and abuse. Instead of using state workers as bargaining chips, he must instead incentivize state workers to recommend ways to spend better and spend less.

"Our financial circumstances are dire and getting worse by the day. Stop the current nonsense and begin making decisions based on duty, financial reality and truth. We're running out of time!"
It should be noted that Rohrer was one of the few candidates for governor who talked seriously about the state's fiscal woes during the months leading up to the May 18 primary and what can be done to reverse the eight disastrous years under Rendell.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS