Sunday, May 31, 2009

Schroder eyes Gerlach Congressional seat

A state lawmaker from Chester County is interested in running for Congressman Jim Gerlach's 6th Congressional District seat if Gerlach ends up running for Pennsylvania governor in 2010, according to CQ Politics.

State Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155, has been a member of the Pennsylvania House since 1995. A staunch conservative and thorn in the Harrisburg establishment, Schroder has organized a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission to allow him to raise money for a possible Congressional bid, says CQ Politics.

From the CQ Politics post:
Schroder, who couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, was first elected in 1994 from a legislative district in Chester County, which is one of four counties from which the 6th claims territory. The Democrats haven’t fielded a candidate against Schroder in any of his seven re-election campaigns.

But Schroder would be put to the test in the 6th District, where Barack Obama took 58 percent of the vote in the 2008 election. Pennsylvania's 6th is one of just six districts that voted for Obama and also for John Kerry in 2004 that is presently represented in the House by a Republican.

Gerlach bucked the Democratic trend in his district, but just barely: he took 51 percent of the vote in 2002, 2004 and 2006 and 52 percent of the vote in 2008.
Here's the scoop on Gerlach. Although he has set up an exploratory committee, he will not run for governor, but will seek reelection to his 6th District seat for three reasons: 1) Gerlach trails Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett in the polls and is unlikely to make up any ground; 2) Gerlach has never run a statewide race is a virtual unknown in most of Pennsylvania; 3) Gerlach is the only Republican who can hold the 6th District seat and will be under tremendous pressure from GOP leadership to seek another term.

As for Schroder, there's nothing wrong with being the first announced Republican to show interest in the seat on the very slim chance Gerlach decides not to seek reelection, but Schroder's future is in a House leadership position should Republicans regain control of the state House in 2010.

For more on Schroder, visit his web site,

For more on Gerlach, visit

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

What taxes would you like raised and by how much?

A guest column by state Sen. Rob Wonderling about Pennsylvania's budget crisis and the disingenuous way Democrats approach taxes and spending.

An honest conversation

By Sen. Rob Wonderling

"I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money." — Arthur Godfrey

When a conversation begins "Do you want the good news or the bad news first?" you have to brace yourself. So here goes, brace yourself.

The bad news is the White House has revised its budget for the year stating that the deficit will rise by $89 billion to above $1.8 trillion — about four times the record set just last year. The red ink comes from the recession, the economic stimulus bill, and the imbalance between what the government spends and what it takes in.

The bad news is that Pennsylvania has been hit hard too by this national economic crisis. Pennsylvanians have lost jobs, businesses have cut back, and our state revenues have fallen dramatically.

As of May 1st, the actual revenue shortfall for the current fiscal year is $2.6 billion. We expect that shortfall to grow to 2.9 billion by June 30th — a drop of more than 10 percent from the official revenue estimate.

Unlike the federal government, Pennsylvania cannot operate with a deficit. We cannot borrow without limit to balance the budget or to attempt to stimulate the economy. Pennsylvania's constitution requires a balanced budget.

So you are thinking, "Where's the good news Wonderling"?

Recently, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a budget, Senate Bill 850. It is a balanced budget that does not increase taxes.

This budget represents a responsible spending plan that preserves the core governmental functions of public health, public safety, and education.

More bad news.

Budget cuts always come with pain, and I recognize that. Hundreds of difficult choices were made in this budget. Many good and important programs had to be put on hold to bring the budget into balance. I believe this short-term sacrifice is the best long-term approach for the citizens of Pennsylvania.

I have supported these programs in the past and look forward to the day when funding for these programs can be restored, but families and businesses across Pennsylvania are making cuts in their own budgets, and state government needs to do the same. We must live within our means.

I believe taking these difficult steps now will allow our Commonwealth to restore many important programs as soon as possible without a tax increase in the future. Senate Bill 850 is built on a spending level that is in line with our revenues. This budget will position our state to rebound quickly when the national economy begins to improve.

The only honest alternative to cutting spending is increasing taxes, and history shows us that solving a budget crisis with tax increases kills future economic growth.

This budget maintains the $750 million Rainy Day Fund, which we will need for future year budgets when we no longer have an infusion of national stimulus funding.

Unlike many other line items, basic education spending is preserved by using federal stabilization funds. Combined with the additional federal stimulus funds which are being sent directly to school districts under Title 1, Title 2, and I.D.E.A., this budget represents a real net increase in funding for school districts.

For example, in my Senate district, every school district will received more than it did last year. For example, East Penn School District will receive a 10.7 percent increase, Palisades School District will receive an 11.9 percent increase, and North Penn School district will receive a 20.2 percent increase.

The Pennsylvania Senate has taken unprecedented steps to further reduce spending including implementing a hiring freeze, donating the cost of living increase to charity, instituting a co-pay for health care for all state employees, eliminating automobile leases for public officials, and applying any legislative surplus to reducing the deficit.

Since voting in support of Senate Bill 850, I have received numerous e-mails from constituents supporting efforts to control spending and live within our means and then urging me in the next sentence to restore funding for independent colleges and universities, public television and the arts, to name a few programs.

To those citizens, I would ask that you e-mail me to let me know exactly what taxes you would like raised and by how much to fund your program. You may reach me at

If we are going to have true transparency in government then we must have a frank discussion about how we intend to pay for programs we simply cannot afford.

State Sen. Rob Wonderling is a Republican who represents the 24th district in Pennsylvania which includes parts of Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties.

Skeletons in the Closet

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Obama pushes National Energy Tax

Obama runs GM into the ground

Despite more than $19 billion in taxpayer dollars that was suppose to keep GM from going under, the giant auto maker is expected to file for bankruptcy on June 1.

Barack Obama promised that the government bailout would allow GM to restructure without filing for bankruptcy. Guess what? He lied.

Robert Romano, writing at, says the Treasury will now finance GM with another roughly $30 billion while in bankruptcy, which would last 60 to 90 days, bringing taxpayers' burden to $50 billion to "save" the company.

And, of course, the Obama Administration will nationalize one-third of the "Big 3," Romano says.

More from Romano:
Simply put: The fact is, GM was failing just fine without government assistance. And left to tried and true free market devices, the problems between bondholders and GM brass could have been effectively resolved, without presenting taxpayers with the tab. But since bankruptcy was not averted—despite a $19.4 billion infusion of taxpayer capital—the only thing that has now been achieved is that GM is now a de facto agency of the federal government, just like Chrysler.

In short, both are now line items on the federal budget. All at taxpayer expense.

There really is no description for what is taking place other than redistributionism. A new favored political class is being built under the guise of law, and it is all happening under the auspices of his imperial, impervious majesty, Barack Obama. So corrupt is this new system that even the courts are going along with it. Lawmakers speak nary a word against it. And the American people are left only to watch in horror as their own government turns against them, leaving them to wonder if they are next in line for wholesale asset confiscation.
Read Romano's full post at

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

State Capitol Roundup

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

House Republicans Boycott Farce Budget Hearings

House Republicans boycotted a House Education Committee hearing this week, citing it as another example of Democrats' advocacy for increased spending. For the current fiscal year, tax revenues are expected to fall short by more than $3 billion. While House and Senate Republicans are committed to controlling spending, House Democrat leaders continue to say broad-based tax increases are needed to address the deficit. Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) is asking when hearings on the effects of the proposed tax increases will be held. Smith also noted misleading testimony offered during budget hearings suggesting a long-planned school closure in his district was the result of decreased funding in a Senate-passed budget proposal and questioned the validity of other testimony.

Economic Realities Demand Pragmatic Spending Solutions

Earlier this month, the state Senate passed a $27.3 billion budget spending approximately $1.7 billion less than Gov. Ed Rendell's proposal to increase state spending. Since then, at least 15 media releases from Rendell's agency heads have predicted dire consequences for Pennsylvanians. House Republicans say these efforts are little more than scare tactics in the face of good-faith attempts to negotiate a responsible budget. Ultimately, spending will need to be curtailed to close a looming $3 billion deficit for the current fiscal year. With a month left to pass a balanced budget before the June 30 deadline, it's time to engage in genuine negotiations that acknowledge the state's challenging financial situation. For more legislative news, visit

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Draws Closer

The June 30 deadline to file applications for the Department of Revenue's Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program is quickly approaching. PTRR participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2008. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. As many as 110,000 Pennsylvania seniors will pay no school property taxes again this year as a result of the program. Individuals are reminded to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. For additional information, visit Rep. Bob Mensch's Web site at

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Join Taxpayer Protest on June 9

POLICY BLOG has information on a taxpayer protest scheduled for June 9 in Harrisburg.

If you're tired of the Rendell/Obama tax-and-spend agenda, it's time to be heard.

From POLICY BLOG on the current fiscal state of Pennsylvania: "This is your chance to keep the pressure on your elected officials to end years of out-of-control spending, borrowing, and unprecedented fiscal irresponsibility. Policies that have resulted in an estimated $3 billion budget deficit."

For more details visit

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pennsylvania Farm Market Guide Now Available

Pennsylvania Farm Market Guide Now Available

Rendell Asks U.S. Attorney General to File Civil Rights Charges in Shenandoah Beating Death

Gov. Rendell Asks U.S. Attorney General to File Civil Rights Charges in Shenandoah Beating Death

When judges don't know the law

Glad to see The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out the idiotic ruling by a district justice who threw out the original corruption charges against former state Rep. Mike Veon and an aide.

As I said in an earlier post, this is what you get when you elect anybody off the street to be a district judge in Pennsylvania.

From the Tribune-Review:
A grossly misguided ruling by Dauphin County District Judge Joseph Solomon denied the public its right to judge if anyone in the BIG mess should be held accountable.

Judge Solomon's dismissal on May 21 of charges of theft, conflict of interest and conspiracy against Veon and Ms. Peretta-Rosepink was effectively grand jury nullification.
Attorney General Tom Corbett refiled the charges this week (and asked a real judge to handle the case.

Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Save the planet or line their pockets?

What's behind the move in Congress to enact a global warming tax on the beleaguered American taxpayer?

"The public is told that climate change legislation is urgently needed to save the planet. But the evidence that the global warming scare is all about power and politics, not the environment, keeps piling up," notes Investor's Business Daily.

From an IBD editorial:
The legislation might not get such a cushy ride on the House floor. Rep. Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, is threatening to derail it and says he has the support of 40 to 50 other Democrats.

Peterson is not opposing Waxman-Markey because he's a skeptic of global warming. Nothing so noble as that. His opposition is purely political. He wants parliamentary power over the bill. Should he fail to get it, he's willing to sink the legislation.

Which brings up the question: If global warming were a grave threat, wouldn't getting a CO2 emissions restriction law passed and signed take precedence over lawmakers' objections on behalf of their constituents?

The fact that Peterson and so many Democrats would rather have no bill than to let it become law without input from the Agriculture Committee exposes the global warming scare: It's not about the environment — it's about power and politics.
Read the full editorial, "Where's The Crisis?" at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

A bad way to spend $76 Million

People are standing in soup lines and Rendell is planning to spend $76 million in federal stimulus money to install bike lanes and sidewalks.

Governor Rendell Announces $76 Million to Create Green Jobs, Sustainable Communities

Federal Justice Statistics, 2006 - Statistical Tables Released

Federal Justice Statistics, 2006 - Statistical Tables Released

Thursday, May 28, 2009

DEP Offers Energy Management Workshop in Bucks County

DEP Offers Energy Management Workshop in Bucks County and Honored With Webbys and Honored With Webbys

Libertarian Party critical of court nominee

America's third largest political party is critical of Barack Obama's nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

The Libertarian Party says past rulings that public employers should discriminate in hiring based on race is enough to disqualify Sotomayor from the high court.

"While Judge Sotomayor deserves a fair and impartial hearing, Supreme Court justices should be nominated for their thorough knowledge of and adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law," William Redpath, Libertarian National Committee chairman, said in a release.

"By nominating Sonia Sotomayor, Barack Obama has made it clear he prefers an activist for his personal causes over a rational interpreter of law," said Redpath.

More from the Libertarian Party:
Sotomayor is best known for the Ricci v. DeStafano case, in which the New Haven, Conn. fire department decided it didn’t like the results of an officers promotion exam in which whites and Hispanic firefighters outperformed black firefighters. The city threw out the results of the exam, denying several firefighters promotions solely because of their race. The firefighters sued the city, claiming racial discrimination under Title VVI of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Cato Institute, Reason Foundation and the Individual Rights Foundations filed briefs on behalf of the firefighters, citing the absurdity of allowing public employers to throw out the results of valid, race-neutral exams that produce racial disparity because the racial disparity produced wasn't politically correct. The firefighters and the libertarian foundations filing briefs argued that public employment practices should be color-blind.

Sotomayor disagreed, ruling the city has a right to discriminate against white and Hispanic public employees to construct a politically correct racial mix in hiring, even if it goes against the results of a racially-neutral competency exam.

The case is now before the Supreme Court. Sotomayor has had her rulings thrown out by the court a troubling four times. In three of those cases, the Court ruled Sotomayor had incorrectly interpreted the law.

"It is troubling that Obama, who won the highest elected office in the world without racial preferences, would nominate someone who openly admits the government should racially discriminate against its own citizens to serve the needs of political correctness," said Redpath.

"Libertarians believe that, while the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of association allows private parties to hire whomever they please, government has no right to discriminate. Public employers should treat all citizens of all colors, races and ethnicities with equal respect and value and Sotomayor’s radical rulings are a jarring departure from that principle"

For more about the Libertarian Party, visit
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'Talking Politics' on the radio

Tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

"Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. You can call the station at 610-326-4000 with questions or comments.

If you can't pick up the station's signal, you can listen to the program on your computer. The show is simulcast at and

Rendell, Dems want to raise your taxes

Ed Rendell began his tenure as governor in 2003 by signing the second largest income tax hike in Pennsylvania history. Rendell then proceeded to spend $8 billion over the next six years, increasing state spending at twice the rate of inflation.

The results of Rendell's failed fiscal policies is a $3.2 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year. With less than two years before he leaves office, Rendell is pushing for another massive income tax hike to make up the huge deficit he created.

The Democratic doormats in the House of Representatives will do whatever Rendell wants. Raising taxes during a recession is a bad idea, but that hasn't stopped Democrats in the past.

Lowman S. Henry, writing at Lincoln Blog:
"That would be the quick, easy, and most destructive resolution possible to the budget crisis currently gripping the state. The real issue here is not financial; rather it is the unwillingness of state Democrats to make the hard decisions demanded of those governing in tough times. The real issue here is the unwillingness of state Democrats to begin living within our means."
It's time to let your Democratic state House member know that he or she will be out of a job in 2010 if they support a tax hike to bail out Rendell.

Read more about the state's sad state of financial affairs and how Rendell and House Democrats are working on a tax hike in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

State Police reopen Skippack barracks

The photo above was taken in front of the State Police Barracks in Skippack after the barracks re-opened on a full-time basis, staffing around the clock for the first time in years. The new 24/7 operation is due in part to state Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr. (R-44), state Rep. Bob Mensch (R-147) and state Rep. Matthew Bradford (D-70) who pushed to reverse a cost-cutting move to institute a pilot program in which the State Police began closing the Skippack barracks for 16 hours every weekday and all weekend. Pictured left to right are Rep. Matthew Bradford, State Police Lt. David Buckley, Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr. and Rep. Bob Mensch.

On '529 Day' Treasurer McCord Encourages Parents to Save for College, Despite Tough Economy

On '529 Day' Treasurer McCord Encourages Parents to Save for College, Despite Tough Economy

Yes on Proposition 8: Elementary School Children to Be Indoctrinated With New Gay Curriculum

The group Yes on Proposition 8 has a new cause: Fighting school districts in California that promote a gay/lesbian agenda. The group says the Alameda Unified School District is planning to include a Lesbian, Gay, Transgender Education curriculum for students as young as 5.

Read the full release at the link below:

Yes on Proposition 8: Elementary School Children to Be Indoctrinated With New Gay Curriculum

What Constitution?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Legal scholar: Sotomayor a lightweight

Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley has read 30 written opinions by Judge Sonia Sotomayor and says she is an intellectual lightweight. Kinda like the president who appointed her?

FRC: No Federal Constitutional 'Right' to Same-sex 'Marriage'

FRC: No Federal Constitutional 'Right' to Same-sex 'Marriage'

Rush on Obama's 'racist' pick for Supreme Court

Rush Limbaugh took aim at Sonia Sotomayor on his radio show today, pointing out that the Obama Supreme Court nominee is a longtime proponent of racial quotas.

From a story by Andy Barr in Politico:
"Here you have a racist — you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist," Limbaugh said of Sotomayor on his show, alluding to the New York federal appeals court judge's past statement that a "wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Liberals, "of course, say that minorities cannot be racists because they don't have the power to implement their racism," Limbaugh said according to a transcript on his website. "Well, those days are gone, because reverse racists certainly do have the power. ... Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he's appointed one."
Read the full story -- Rush Limbaugh: Sonia Sotomayor a 'reverse racist,' 'hack' -- at POLITICO

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The role of judges

New Gaming Control Board Chairman to Take Oath at June 3rd Public Meeting

New Gaming Control Board Chairman to Take Oath at June 3rd Public Meeting

Sotomayor competence questioned

Wendy E. Long, counsel to The Judicial Confirmation Network, on Barack Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court:
"Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench.

"She reads racial preferences and quotas into the Constitution, even to the point of dishonoring those who preserve our public safety. On September 11, America saw firsthand the vital role of America's firefighters in protecting our citizens. They put their lives on the line for her and the other citizens of New York and the nation. But Judge Sotomayor would sacrifice their claims to fair treatment in employment promotions to racial preferences and quotas. The Supreme Court is now reviewing that decision.

"She has an extremely high rate of her decisions being reversed, indicating that she is far more of a liberal activist than even the current liberal activist Supreme Court."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

PA needs Right to Work Law to save jobs

A guest column by Susan Staub, president of PA Right to Work on important legislation needed to save Pennsylvania jobs:
Pa. needs a Right to Work Law to keep jobs from leaving state

In this sluggish, lackluster economy, the time could not be more right for a Right to Work law for Pennsylvania.

Consider these statistics from the National Institute for Labor Relations Research:

Private sector jobs in the 22 Right to Work states increased by an aggregate 9.1 percent between 2003 and 2008.

Among the eight states with the biggest gain in private-sector employment over the past five years, seven — Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and North Dakota — have Right to Work laws.

Seven states had private-sector job growth of less than 2 percent. All seven — Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont — are forced-dues states like Pennsylvania, which had 3.82 percent job growth.

If private-sector employment in forced-unionism states had grown from 2003-2008 as much as it did in Right to Work states (9.1 percent), there would be an additional 3.7 million Americans employed in the private sector today.

Right to Work law protect the freedom of both private and public sector employees to keep and hold a job without handing over dues or fees to a union recognized as their exclusive bargaining agent.

Almost every economic indicator shows that forced union dues inhibit job growth.

Please join with Pennsylvanians for Right to Work now as we work to advance Right to Work law legislation in both the Pennsylvania Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

State Sen. Mary Jo White (R-21st Dist.) and state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12th Dist.) are both circulating for co-sponsors for their respective Right to Work Law legislation.

If your state senator and/or representative is not a co-sponsor, please contact them and urge them to be a co-sponsor. If they are a co-sponsor, please thank them for being a true statesman — for standing up for the liberty and individual rights of Pennsylvania's citizens.

President, PA Right to Work
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

What did you expect from Obama?

Barack Obama has found the perfect Supreme Court nominee in Sonia Sotomayor.

Far-left radical. Check.

Judicial Activist. Check.

Female. Check.

Minority. Check.

Those appear to be Sotomayor's chief qualifications for serving on the Supreme Court.

This is a woman who has said publicly that "empathy" is as important as the law when considering cases. From The Washington Post: Sotomayor "has stirred controversy by saying that judges' legal findings are informed by their own life experiences as well as their legal research."

This is a woman has has stated publicly (it's on tape) that judges have a policy-making role. And I thought the Constitution reserved that right for the Legislative branch. Has Sotomayor ever read the Constitution?

This is a woman who believes in racial quotas and supports partial-birth abortion.

This is the country's worst nightmare in electing Barack Obama last November. The radicals will take over the Supreme Court and will change this country by decree.

It's clear that the Sotomayor nomination is payback to the far-left loons who helped Obama get elected. Obama did not pick the most qualified person for the job, just someone who fit the liberal stereotype of a judge.

From The New Republic:
The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Richard Viguerie: Sotomayor Nomination is a Major Opportunity for Conservatives to Define President Obama as a Radical Liberal

Richard Viguerie: Sotomayor Nomination is a Major Opportunity for Conservatives to Define President Obama as a Radical Liberal

Sotomayor: A Policy Maker or a Jurist?

Sotomayor: A Policy Maker or a Jurist? Yes on 8 Campaign Applauds California Supreme Court Yes on 8 Campaign Applauds California Supreme Court for Upholding Proposition 8 and Respecting the Will of the Voters

Americans United for Life on Sotomayor Nomination

Americans United for Life on Sotomayor Nomination

Sotomayor and Abortion: Norma McCorvey (formally Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade) Asks Democrat Senators Nelson and Casey to Join GOP Filibuster Against Sotomayor, and Work to Overturn Roe

Sotomayor and Abortion: Norma McCorvey (formally Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade) Asks Democrat Senators Nelson and Casey to Join GOP Filibuster Against Sotomayor, and Work to Overturn Roe

Sotomayor: 'A radical pick that divides America.'

Americans United for Life on Sotomayor Nomination

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank You

'Where Poppies Blow'

On this Memorial Day Weekend, a guest column by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council about the significance of the holiday:
Where Poppies Blow

Until about 40 years ago, Memorial Day was observed -- not celebrated -- on May 30 every year. Eager Cub Scouts would work their way through the crowds at small town parades selling bright red artificial poppies. In reviewing stands, graying veterans would salute or place their hands over their hearts as high school bands marched by. Often a young girl would be called upon to read the World War I era poem "In Flanders Fields" that describes the poppies blowing row upon row among the graves of fallen warriors of the Great War.

You can gain a real appreciation of Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery. There, soldiers of the Third Army, the ceremonial "Old Guard" will place little American flags on thousands of well-tended graves. Visitors will be told the story of Arlington, how Col. Robert E. Lee paced the floors of the Custis-Lee mansion back in 1861, praying and pondering. He had to decide whether to serve in the U.S. Army to which he had dedicated his life or to leave the Union with his beloved Virginia. The terrible Civil War that followed for four long and bitter years helped to fill thousands of graves at Arlington, once Lee's beautiful hilltop home.

When the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated in 1921 at Arlington, President Wilson spoke as a Bible was included among the objects placed in the cornerstone of this sacred space. Today, 24 hours a day, Tomb guards march their appointed rounds, honoring those who have fallen to defend our freedoms. The bumper sticker dates from our own time, but the sentiment it expresses goes all the way back: "America -- land of the free because of the brave."

Americans have always loved their country. We love our country still. And we have a special reverence for those who gave what Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion."

Even today, with casualties in the War on Terror mercifully coming down, there are still flag-draped caskets returning regularly to Dover Air Force Base. There are fresh graves being filled daily at Arlington -- and across America. So great is the call of America that even foreigners feel its pull. The Marquis de Lafayette -- a brave hero of our Revolution -- took home to France enough American soil to bury his earthly remains.

In recent years, Memorial Day has become the occasion for sales at the mall, cookouts, rock concerts, and days at the beach. Our fallen heroes died for this America too. They knew that a certain lightheartedness, of ever-youthful exuberance, is a part of what it means to pursue happiness. It is for all of this, the paths of laudable pursuit, the fruits of honest toil, that America stands. May we always be worthy of those who died to give this America to us.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pelosi Galore

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Peggy Noonan salutes the military hero

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan offers a tribute to America's war heroes, past and present on this Memorial Day Weekend.

From her column:
The category of military hero — warrior — fell off a bit, in part because of the bad reputation of war. Some emerged of heroic size — Gens. Pershing and Patton, Eisenhower and Marshall. But somewhere in the 1960s I think we decided, or the makers of our culture decided, that to celebrate great warriors was to encourage war. And we always have too much of that. So they made a lot of movies depicting soldiers as victims and officers as brutish. This was especially true in the Vietnam era and the years that followed. Maybe a correction was in order: It's good to remember war is hell. But when we removed the warrior, we removed something intensely human, something ancestral and stirring, something celebrated naturally throughout the long history of man. Also it was ungrateful: They put themselves in harm's way for us.
She devotes the column to Alvin York, Audie Murphy and Chuck Boyd, but this is a time to honor everyone who has served their country.

Take a few minutes to read it.

Check out Those Who Make Us Say 'Oh!' at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Cronyism thrives under Hoeffel regime

The patronage system is a alive and well in Montgomery County under the direction of Democratic Commissioner Joe Hoeffel and his doormat accomplice, one-time Republican Jim Matthews.

The lone Republican commissioner, Bruce L. Castor Jr., objected to another example of cronyism by Hoeffel/Matthews when Matthews' long-time secretary was appointed to head the county's Human Resources department, bypassing a more qualified applicant.

The hiring of Eleanor Schneider comes several months after her husband, Thomas, was hired as the county's fleet manager even though he lacked qualifications for that job.

Matthews is headed in the same direction as Arlen Specter. He will never get the Republican nomination to run for re-election. He might as well join the Democratic Party, especially if he continues serving as Hoeffel's lapdog.

Read the full story at the Norristown Times-Herald Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

'Cheney You Can Believe In'

Columnist: Throw Pelosi Under The Bus

Political analyst Dick Morris, who spent years trying to clean up political scandals in the Bill Clinton administration, believes the current Nancy Pelosi/CIA dispute over who is telling the truth can end one way: Pelosi will be forced out as Speaker of the House.

From Morris' most recent column with wife/co-writer Eileen McGann:
It's obvious that either Leon Panetta, Obama's head of the CIA, or Nancy Pelosi, his party's speaker of the House, has to go.

No administration can tolerate a permanent, public civil war between two such high-ranking officials. Especially when their disagreement stems not from issues of policy, but from matters of veracity and credibility.

Their battle must end in one of their resignations.

But Pelosi is expendable. The job of a Democratic speaker is to pass the program of the Democratic president. Her ability and track record is measured on a scale of effectiveness. If she is ineffective, she's not up to the job.

The speaker is the hired help. Her role is serve her president — not to feud with the man the president put in charge of the CIA.
Morris & McGann also point out that the flaky Californian barely won the Speaker race after the Democrats took control of the House after the 2006 elections and she hasn't exactly endeared herself to moderate Democrats by pushing a far-left agenda in the past two years.

"Remember that Pelosi won by only 118 to 95 in her election as speaker. Her support was not overwhelming to begin with" Morris & McGann write.

Read the full column, "Speaker skating on thin ice," here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Newspaper: The far left and Obama

The honeymoon is definitely over between Barack Obama and the far left ideologues who worked so hard to get him elected.

From an editorial in The Trentonian:
There hasn't yet been a mass rally to turn in those "Hope" and "Change" campaign buttons. But there's definitely some seismic rumblings of discontent among the peace-at-any-price community of the left.

And remember, these were the anti-war folks who played a key role in turning Obama's improbable presidential primary campaign into a bandwagon, enabling it to speed past Hillary Clinton like an Indy 500 driver taking the inside, left lane going into the straightaway.

Now look what's happening on the "peace" front: not much.

The president is vacillating on Iraq instead of getting the heck out of it, indicating that a residual force of, oh, maybe 50,000 will stay there indefinitely. Meanwhile, he's temporizing on his promise to shut down Guantanamo pronto, while Democrats in Congress are running for cover on the issue.

Plus, now the "peace candidate" is dispatching an additional 20,000 U.S. troops to the hellhole quagmire of Afghanistan, where Bush's Gen. David Petraeus — still the top dog in charge at U.S. Central Command — is calling for more attack and lift choppers, unmanned aerial vehicles, route-clearance units, mine-resistant-ambush-protected vehicles and other materiel in anticipation of a long, hard, nasty slog.
Read the full editorial, "Obama disillusions fans on the left," at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pelosi: Everyone's Lying Except Me

'May We Never Forget ...'

Matt Bruce, writing at The New Media, reminds us why we celebrate Memorial Day.

From his poignant column:
From the current War on Terror, to World War's I & II, along with Vietnam, Korea, Grenada and even the Spanish American and Civil War's we honor the memory of all of those who have died serving America in our Armed Forces so that we might now all be free and safe ...

To those of us who have survived serving in the Military during combat or peace, we take the time to stop and remember those brave young men and women who served right along beside us who are no longer with us ...

We also all look forward to what their sacrifices have done in helping keep America the greatest Country on the face of the Earth ...

A Country that people are willing to risk their lives crossing hundreds of miles of desert just to get in to ...

Let's remember why we celebrate Memorial Day because so many have forgotten the real reason ...

We are not Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives or Liberals on Memorial Day. We are all Americans honoring those who did not return home to be able to celebrate with us ...

So we celebrate and honor those who died protecting our great Country, the United States of America...
Read the full column, 'May We Never Forget The Reason ...' at The New Media Journal

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Saturday, May 23, 2009

How far are Dems willing to go on sin taxes?

Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of and, has the solution to the federal government's money troubles.

Writing in The New York Times, Gillespie says the government is missing out on billions in tax revenues by ignoring popular activities such as smoking marijuana, gambling and patronizing prostitutes.

From his column:
Here's a better idea — and one that will help the federal and state governments fill their coffers: Legalize drugs and then tax sales of them. And while we're at it, welcome all forms of gambling (rather than just the few currently and arbitrarily allowed) and let prostitution go legit too. All of these vices, involving billions of dollars and consenting adults, already take place. They just take place beyond the taxman's reach.

Legalizing the world's oldest profession probably wasn't what Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, meant when he said that we should never allow a crisis to go to waste. But turning America into a Sin City on a Hill could help President Obama pay for his ambitious plans to overhaul health care, invest in green energy, and create gee-whiz trains that whisk "through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour." More taxed vices would certainly lead to significant new revenue streams at every level. That's one of the reasons 52 percent of voters in a recent Zogby poll said they support legalizing, taxing and regulating the growth and sale of marijuana. Similar cases could be made for prostitution and all forms of gambling.

In terms of economic stimulation and growth, legalization would end black markets that generate huge amounts of what economists call "deadweight losses," or activity that doesn't contribute to increased productivity. Rather than spending precious time and resources avoiding the law (or, same thing, paying the law off), producers and consumers could more easily get on with business and the huge benefits of working and playing in plain sight.
Read the full column at reasononline

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

GOP backs sensible energy plan

How does Ed Rendell's garden grow?

Things must be bad in Pennsylvania if Gov. Ed Rendell is planting vegetables in the back of the Governor's Mansion.

I know the state is $3.2 billion in the hole, but has it come to this, Ed?

The governor who somehow made $8 billion in new spending disappear over the past six years is urging Pennsylvania residents to plant a home garden so they can feed themselves ... especially if Rendell and House Democrats get their way and raise taxes to get out of the current fiscal mess they created.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced today that 11 state FFA students planted the garden on the south side of the Governor's Mansion grounds in Harrisburg. The garden includes tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash, cabbage, carrots, broccoli and other vegetables along with a variety of herbs and flowers.

Mmmm ... that's mighty good eating.

I still think it's a prelude of tougher times to come. Nobody will be able to afford to eat in Pennsylvania if Rendell raises taxes, so a home garden makes sense.

Read the press release at the link below and see if you're not thinking the same thing.

Pennsylvania Governor's Residence Garden Highlights Urban Gardening Options, Low-Cost Food Sources

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Who's watching TV news?

We've heard and read so much about the troubles in the newspaper industry, but there's hardly been any coverage of the struggles facing television newscasts. Until now. Call it payback, but The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a lengthy article this week about the declining fortunes of local TV news focusing on the Philadelphia market.

Things are so bad that stations are getting rid of their news choppers and in one case, two stations are sharing the same chopper, the newspaper reports. What's next? Cutting the makeup and hair product budget for the anchors?

From the article by the Inky's television critic Jonathan Storm:
More than 440,000 viewers, on average, are missing in prime time, a drop of 25 percent. Despite the excitement of the presidential election - or maybe because it moved viewers to cable news - ratings for local evening news shows nationwide dropped 11.4 percent from November 2007 to November 2008. (Late news shows dropped 3.7 percent, according to Nielsen.)

Advertisers, particularly in the auto industry, have headed for the exits. Nearly $200 million in revenue, 25 percent, vanished from the Philadelphia TV market between 2004, the previous Olympic and presidential election year, and 2008, according to BIA Advisory Services, the leading industry financial analysts.

Not only is that revenue not coming back, the forecasters say, an additional $50 million will be missing by 2012.
Storm also points out how there's been a total blackout of coverage within the TV industry of its struggles (unlike newspapers, which often report bad news about their own.)

From his story:
Unlike their peers in the newspaper business, where reports of trouble have turned into an almost daily dirge, TV people generally try to keep a tight lid on bad news at the office. Preliminary results of a new Annenberg School for Communication study of major newspapers and TV news outlets in the last nine years show that newspaper stories about declining readership outnumbered TV reports about declining viewership by a 41-to-1 ratio.
Read the full story at the Inquirer's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, May 22, 2009

Harrisburg's Peregrine Falcons to Be Banded During Live Internet Webcast

Viewers are invited to watch on Wednesday, May 27.

Harrisburg's Peregrine Falcons to Be Banded During Live Internet Webcast

Cardinal George Praises President Obama's Promise to Support Conscience Clauses, Seeks to Work with Administration on Goal

Cardinal George Praises President Obama's Promise to Support Conscience Clauses, Seeks to Work with Administration on Goal

State Capitol Roundup for May 22

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

House Republicans Urge Introduction of Funding Bill

As the state faces a $3 billion deficit, House Democrats and Gov. Ed Rendell appear to be setting the stage for massive tax increases to pay for their $29 billion budget proposal. In discussing the state budget at an event in Pittsburgh earlier this week, House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) said "Rendell is going to have to raise taxes." Despite these comments, neither the House Democrats nor the governor has introduced a funding bill for their budget proposal. The Democrat-led House Appropriations Committee held two days of public hearings this week on the Senate-passed budget, which funds essential state services and spends only money we have. Both Democrats and the Rendell Administration have expressed great opposition to the Senate-passed budget. For more budget news, visit

Solar Panel Grants Now Available

The PA Sunshine Solar Program opened this week, providing homeowners and small businesses in Pennsylvania with grants for up to 35 percent of the cost of solar electric and hot water improvements. In combination with federal tax credits for the use of solar energy products, consumers have the opportunity to reduce system costs by 45 percent. The PA Sunshine Solar Program was enacted last year as part of the $650 million Alternative Energy Funding Act. Funding will be dispersed in the form of reimbursement grants for residential and small business projects. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to approved applicants. For more information, visit and click on "Solar Rebates."

Bill to Allow Direct Reimbursement for Ambulance Services Advances

Republican-sponsored legislation to help volunteer ambulance companies better recover fees for their services recently won the support of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. House Bill 867, sponsored by Rep. Bernie O'Neill (R-Bucks), changes the reimbursement structure between ambulance corps and insurance companies so that the insurance company can pay the ambulance service directly instead of going through patients. If enacted, volunteer ambulance units that benefit from the direct payment could not be denied from joining a health care network. In addition, the bill allows payments to be made directly to the ambulance company via a release signature from the patient in situations where ambulance companies are not part of a health care network. House Bill 867 now goes to the full House for consideration.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Newspaper: Cheney makes a compelling witness

The Washington Times applauds Vice President Dick Cheney for setting the record straight on the Bush Administration's successful efforts to prevent another 9/11 despite relentless attacks from far left politicians and their liberal media allies.

The newspaper had this to say about Cheney's brilliant speech at the American Enterprise Institute:
Against Mr. Obama's insults, rhetoric and studied poses at his teleprompter, the former vice president answered with forceful words married to an understated tone of utter seriousness, with no electronic aids.

Mr. Obama accused the Bush administration of jettisoning the principles of the Constitution "for expedience sake." He accused his critics of "political posturing." And he said that "our government made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight, and all too often trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, we too often set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford."

Mr. Cheney responded that neither values nor the law had been set aside. He said that carefully selected CIA agents had been "especially prepared to apply techniques within the boundaries of their training and the limits of the law. Torture was never permitted, and the methods were given careful, legal review before they were approved. Interrogators had authoritative guidance on the line between toughness and torture, and they knew to stay on the right side of it."
The former veep is a patriot in full, the newspaper concludes.

Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

ABC News exposes 'Airport to Nowhere'

Veterans Recognize Hero in our Midst

Veterans Recognize Hero in our Midst

Pennsylvania Banking Department Suspends License of Philadelphia Mortgage Broker

Pennsylvania Banking Department Suspends License of Philadelphia Mortgage Broker

California joins tax revolt

It's still not sinking in to the far-left spendaholics in Washington, D.C., but the tax revolt begun with the April 15 Tea Parties is growing.

"Californians' rejection of five tax-and-spend ballot measures on Tuesday's ballot was the first outcome of a national tea party movement that elitists can no longer dismiss," says Investor's Business Daily in a new editorial.

From the editorial:
Long considered a deep-blue state grown tolerant of high taxes, California surprised the political class and media by easily defeating all but one of the six propositions intended to close a $21 billion deficit.

Voters saw right through the weasel words of Proposition 1A, which described a set-aside for a "rainy day fund" to balance the budget. They also brushed aside politicians' threats to lay off police officers, teachers and firefighters (but not abundant bureaucrats), in effect making them human shields in an attempt to scare voters into going along.

It was nothing but a slyly disguised mandate for slush funds to finance new pork-barrel projects such as those that have made a mess of the state's finances. Four other initiatives failed for the same reason.

All this shows why the tea party movement has more muscle than the pundits thought. Tea-party protestors became voters on Tuesday, sending a message that amounts to quite a bit more than a "radio stunt."
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

For more on the Tea Party movement, check out

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Doormat Democrats cover Pelosi lies

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 252-172 Thursday to reject a measure pushed by Republicans to investigate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's assertion that the CIA misled her on the use of torture.

Odd that Democrats don't want to know the truth, isn't it?

The evidence is overwhelming that Pelosi knew about the "enhanced interrogation" techniques and signed off on them, but Democrats don't want to dig too deep for fear of exposing their leader as a habitual liar.

Here's a roll call of Pennsylvania House members, with a "yes" vote signifying they don't want to investigate Pelosi. Hint: Every Democrat voted to cover up Pelosi's lying.
Democrats — Altmire, Y; Brady, Y; Carney, Y; Dahlkemper, Y; Doyle, Y; Fattah, Y; Holden, Y; Kanjorski, Y; Murphy, Patrick, Y; Murtha, Y; Schwartz, Y; Sestak, Y.

Republicans — Dent, N; Gerlach, N; Pitts, N; Platts, N; Shuster, N; Thompson, N.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Cheney dresses down Obama on terrorism

It wasn't much of a fight. The flashy newcomer against the grizzled veteran. Platitudes versus facts.

After a muddled and unconvincing teleprompter reading about terrorism by Barack Obama at the National Archives, former Vice President Dick Cheney gave on the most cogent analysis of the war on terror during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.

If this had been a boxing match, "it would have been stopped in the first round," says Investor's Business Daily.

In other words, Cheney took inexperienced and naive Obama to school.

From the IBD editorial:
For those with short memories, Cheney talks of being hustled into a bunker on 9/11, where he got "word of the crash in Pennsylvania, the final phone calls from hijacked planes, the final horror for those who jumped to their death to escape burning alive."

"I'll freely admit," he says, "that watching a coordinated, devastating attack on your country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities."

That is a sane, grown-up response — not a lawyerly response premised on the trendy idea that, somehow, we are to blame for the attacks, that America, as some on the left have said, "had it coming."

When called upon, President Bush and Vice President Cheney took their responsibilities seriously. They made tough decisions to keep us safe from the predations of terrorists whose ultimate goal is to murder our people and destroy our civilization.
Read the full editorial, "A War Defended," at the newspaper's Web site.

Read the full text of Cheney's speech, in which he also exposes Nancy Pelosi as a liar, at The Weekly Standard Blog.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rendell Says PA is Committed to Keeping Harley-Davidson in York

Governor Rendell Says Pennsylvania is Committed to Keeping Harley-Davidson in York

New Credit Card Rules Alone Won't Keep You From Swimming in Debt

New Credit Card Rules Alone Won't Keep You From Swimming in Debt

The Democrats criminalize thought

Read Hentoff's related column here.

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: April 2009

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: April 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cheney confirms Pelosi lied

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking today at the American Enterprise Institute, confirmed that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lied when she claimed the CIA misled her about the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques against terrorist leaders.

From The Associated Press:
The former vice president bristled over the complaints about interrogation from lawmakers, pointing out that leading members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., were briefed on the programs and methods.

"Yet for all these exacting efforts to do a hard and necessary job and to do it right, we hear from some quarters nothing but feigned outrage based on a false narrative," Cheney said. "In my long experience in Washington, few matters have inspired so much contrived indignation and phony moralizing as the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists."

Pelosi has said the CIA misled her in 2002 about whether waterboarding, which simulates drowning, had been used.
Read the full text of Cheney's speech at The Weekly Standard Blog.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

How a Nation Honors Its Vets Impacts National Security Says Legal Group Representing Veterans in Memorial Case

How a Nation Honors Its Vets Impacts National Security Says Legal Group Representing Veterans in Memorial Case

Pennsylvanians Asked to Share Ideas On Outdoor Recreation at Public Meetings in June

Pennsylvanians Asked to Share Ideas On Outdoor Recreation at Public Meetings in June

The trouble with 'sin' taxes

The Christian Science Monitor warns that the rapid spread of "sin" taxes is an incremental assault on individual right by government.

"Scrambling for revenue, politicians are pursuing higher taxes on junk food, alcohol, and tobacco – a clear threat to individual liberty," the newspaper argues.

From its editorial:
Sin taxes are easy to get enacted for several reasons, but the biggest is that each allegedly sinful product is consumed by a minority of the public. So it's the classic danger of democracy that Alexis de Tocqueville warned about two centuries ago: the tyranny of the majority.

Fleecing the minority is made much easier by an army of busybodies who make a comfortable living feeding "studies" to the media, proclaiming that Americans eat the wrong foods, drink the wrong beverages, don't exercise enough, and are generally sinful. These modern-day Carrie Nations' denunciations of nearly every commonplace pleasure – from Girl Scout Cookies to movie theater popcorn – are fodder for the nightly news.

To dispel the notion that their sin taxes go too far, the nanny-staters rely on a clever sleight-of-hand: Instead of pitching the tax as a punishment for sin, they claim they're merely compensating society for costs imposed by bad habits. These claims are often unsupported by science, but many media repeat them without question.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Washington clowns

'Talking Politics' on the radio today

Tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

The topics today will include a recap of primary races in SE Pennsylvania.

"Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. You can call the station at 610-326-4000 with questions or comments.

If you can't pick up the station's signal, you can listen to the program on your computer. The show is simulcast at and

PennDOT, State Police Urge Caution, Patience Over Memorial Day Weekend

PennDOT, State Police Urge Caution, Patience Over Memorial Day Weekend

Bonuses Still Available for Pennsylvania Veterans of First Persian Gulf War

Bonuses Still Available for Pennsylvania Veterans of First Persian Gulf War

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Senate blocks Obama on Gitmo closure

On his second day in office, Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo terrorist prison camp in Cuba and bring some of the most dangerous men in the world to the continental United States.

It was an ill-advised move to pander to the far-left, card-carrying ACLU crowd that could care less if American lives are placed in danger.

No so fast, says the U.S. Senate, including most of its Democratic members.

From The Washington Post:
The Senate voted overwhelmingly today to deny funding for President Obama's plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, and lawmakers in both parties vowed to withhold federal dollars until Obama decides the fate of the facility's 240 detainees.

The 90-6 vote represented a potentially serious setback for Obama, who as a presidential candidate vowed to close Guantanamo and who signed an executive order beginning the process soon after he took office. But although most Democrats agree that the facility should be closed, they have grown increasingly wary of the consequences if terrorist suspects are moved to the United States.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller warned Congress today that if Guantanamo detainees are released in the United States, they could pose a domestic threat. Mueller raised the concerns in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee a day after Senate Democrats, under pressure from Republicans, announced they would not release federal funds until Obama produced an acceptable plan.
South Dakota Sen. John Thune expressed the feeling of many of his Senate colleagues: "The American people don't want these men walking the streets of America's neighborhoods. The American people don't want these detainees held at a military base or federal prison in their backyard, either."

And this from U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas: "No good purpose is served by allowing known terrorists, who trained at terrorist training camps, to come to the U.S. and live among us. Guantanamo Bay was never meant to be an Ellis Island."

Mueller echoed concerns during his testimony: "The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing, radicalizing others," Mueller said, as well as "the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States."

Read the full story at

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Poor voter turnout in Montco

Suppose you held an election and nobody shows up.

As I predicted a couple of days ago, voter turnout for the May 19 Pennsylvania primary was going to be historically low.

Reporter Carl Hessler Jr. of The Mercury filed this report about Montgomery County turnout:
Only 13.02 percent of Montgomery County's 586,630 registered voters, or 76,394 people, showed up at the polls or cast absentee ballots on Tuesday to nominate their party's candidates during the municipal primary election.

According to unofficial results, 40,515 Republicans and 35,879 Democrats cast ballots.

The turnout was even less than the turnout recorded during a similar election in May 2005, when 15.2 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls.
It's the Obama factor. So many people are disillusioned by the scam Obama pulled last November that they've sworn off voting.

Salford Township recorded the largest voter turnout at 36.1 percent, according to unofficial results. Pennsburg, with 6.4 percent, recorded the lowest voter turnout, according to Hessler.

The following Montgomery County communities reported turnout under 10 percent, which means 9 out of 10 voters didn't bother to vote on Tuesday:
EAST GREENVILLE – 7.5 percent
HATFIELD BOROUGH – 8.4 percent
MONTGOMERY – 7 percent
NORRISTOWN – 8.6 percent
PENNSBURG – 6.4 percent
PERKIOMEN – 6.7 percent
SKIPPACK – 8.3 percent
UPPER FREDERICK – 8.5 percent
UPPER PROVIDENCE – 8.5 percent
The following Montgomery County communities had the highest voter turnout:
BRIDGEPORT – 21.4 percent
LOWER PROVIDENCE – 21.3 percent
NARBERTH – 26 percent
SALFORD – 36.1 percent
WORCESTER – 19.2 percent
Voter turnout in neighboring Berks County was even worse at 11.9 percent. Chester County reported a turnout of 15 percent.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Gingrich: Pelosi should resign

From Newt Gingrich's latest column, "Why Pelosi Should Step Down" posted at
The case against Nancy Pelosi remaining Speaker of the House is as simple as it is devastating:

The person who is No. 2 in line to be commander in chief can’t have contempt for the men and women who protect our nation. America can’t afford it.

To test how much damage Speaker Pelosi has done to the defense of our nation, ask yourself this: If you were a young man or woman just starting out today, would you put on a uniform or become an intelligence officer to defend America, knowing that tomorrow a politician like Nancy Pelosi could decide you were a criminal?

Would you?
Read the full column at

Rep. Joe Pitts Launches Facebook Page

First it was YouTube, then Twitter and now Facebook.

Politicians continue to take advantage of the latest social networking platforms to spread their message.

U.S. Congressman Joe Pitts, who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District in parts of Berks, Chester and Lancaster counties, is never shy about the latest technology.

From Pitts' office:
Washington – Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) announced today the launch of a page on the popular social networking site Facebook. The page, which can be found here, will provide Rep. Pitts an opportunity to better communicate with his constituents.

Congressman Pitts' statement follows:

"Facebook has become an increasingly popular way for people to keep in touch with one another. With this new page, I am pleased to have yet one more way to communicate with the people I represent about my work on their behalf. I encourage constituents to stop by and find information about bills I have introduced, video of speeches I have delivered on the House floor, pictures from events I have attended in Pennsylvania and more."
Check out Pitts' Facebook page here.

New Red Cross Survey Shows Nearly 50 Percent of People Have Had a Drowning Scare in Their Lifetime

New Red Cross Survey Shows Nearly 50 Percent of People Have Had a Drowning Scare in Their Lifetime

California voters reject $16 billion tax hike

Imagine if Pennsylvania voters had the power of initiative and referendum, like their counterparts in California do. Gov. Ed Rendell's disastrous fiscal policies could have been stopped six years ago before Rendell ruined the state's economy with tax increases and record deficit spending.

Michael Reagan Says CA Voters Sent Message to Sacramento and Washington, D.C.: 'No Way to 1A and No New Taxes'

Pennsylvania to Receive $45 Million in Recovery Act Grants to Benefit Public Safety and Justice-Related Efforts

Pennsylvania to Receive $45 Million in Recovery Act Grants to Benefit Public Safety and Justice-Related Efforts

Voters toss incumbents

Incumbents typically have the advantage in any election, but not when voters are angry and want change.

Here's a sampling of some of the incumbents in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties who were kicked out by voters in Tuesday's primary election:
Reading School Board President Pierre Cooper

5 current members of the Owen J. Roberts School Board

Limerick Township Supervisor Renee K. Chesler

2 current members of the Pottstown School Board

2 current Exeter Township Supervisors

Lower Providence Township Supervisor Craig Dininny

Chester County Treasurer Alan Randzin

Chester County Clerk of Courts Teena Peters

Norristown Borough Councilman David Hodo

East Norriton Township Supervisor Lewis McQuirns

1 current member of the Boyertown School Board

1 current member of the Wyomissing School Board

Coatesville City Council members Patsy Ray and Kurt Schenk
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

What did Nancy Pelosi know?

Follow Jim Gerlach on Twitter

From Congressman Jim Gerlach's office:
Gerlach Invites Constituents to Follow Him on Twitter

Washington – Congressman Gerlach has a new way to communicate what's going on in the 6th District and in Washington thanks to the social-networking site Twitter.

The congressman will begin posting messages -- or tweets – starting today. Visit the congressman's Web site at for a link to Twitter to follow the congressman and receive updates on legislation, key votes, events and other items.

"I am excited about the chance to share information about the work we do each day with the people of the 6th District," Gerlach said. "Twitter offers a great opportunity to speak directly to constituents and hopefully enhances the service we provide to the district."

Twitter users can also find Congressman Gerlach's page at

Philadelphia Prison System Found Guilty of Illegal Retaliation, Ordered to Pay Former Employee More Than $81,000

Philadelphia Prison System Found Guilty of Illegal Retaliation, Ordered to Pay Former Employee More Than $81,000

SCORE Launches Online Advice and Networking Community for Small Business

SCORE Launches Online Advice and Networking Community for Small Business

Record Number of Pennsylvanians File State Income Taxes Electronically

Record Number of Pennsylvanians File State Income Taxes Electronically

Who stands to lose under school district consolidation?

State Rep. Tom Quigley, R- 146th Dist., brought the House Republican Policy Committee to Pottstown Monday for a hearing on Gov. Ed Rendell's proposal to consolidate most of Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.

Three area school district administrators, the head of the commonwealth's largest teachers' union and a consultant who has worked throughout state government and now advocates for cyber charter schools testified before the committee during the hearing at Montgomery County Community College.

Consultant Greg White told the committee that between 1984 and 2006, the consumer price index increased 106 percent; median family income by 147 percent but total expenditures for school districts by 357 percent.

White said the current model for public education is trying to use 19th and 20th century methods to prepare students for the 21st century and that the existing system will resist change and adaptation because "it makes life more difficult for the incumbent leaders."

Despite runaway spending on public education, the education establishment is opposed to consolidation. No surprise there. The more school districts you have, the more high-paying jobs for school administrators.

Read the full story in today's edition of The Pottstown Mercury.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Special interests vs. PA taxpayers

An ACTION ALERT for all Pennsylvania Taxpayers from Lowman S. Henry of The Lincoln Institute for Public Opinion Research:
THIS FRIDAY, the state House Appropriations Committee will be holding a public hearing on the state budget (specifically, the recently passed Senate Bill 850) in the Majority Caucus Room, Room 140 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg.

House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) wrote in an e-mail last week:

I want to make certain there is some public review. We will talk to experts on the various programs and general spending direction; however, I want to make certain we do hear from the taxpayers. As such, the hearing will be open for public comment on Senate Bill 850 beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, May 22 and continue through the afternoon.

You can guarantee that those who want HIGHER SPENDING and HIGHER TAXES will be given time to speak. But we want to make sure that the REAL TAXPAYERS are truly represented at this hearing.

However, if you want to speak, you must be invited by calling Rep. Evans' office at 717.783.8024. Of course, you can also show up to make sure that real taxpayers are seen if they are not allowed to speak.

Tribute to Jack Kemp

An excellent first-person remembrance of the late Jack Kemp by Shaun D. Small of Phoenixville, published in The Pottstown Mercury. Small worked for Jack Kemp from 2001-2005 and served as an economic adviser and director of policy while Mr. Kemp was co-director at Empower America.

Here's a sampling of the op-ed column:
Not all good ideas become law, some need time a marinate until their time comes due, and others do not survive the scrutiny of further examination. But it's the desire and willingness to engage in the battle of ideas that separates our republic from the empires of old and autocrats of our age. No one in my lifetime engaged in that battle as enthusiastically and effectively as Jack Kemp.

I don't know if Jack realized how many lives he has touched or the number of people he has inspired, but every time I look at the football Jack signed for my 2-year-old son I am reminded that the torch of freedom will soon pass to yet another generation of "Team Kemp."
Read the full column, "Jack Kemp touched many lives," at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Free speech for liberals only

Nat Hentoff is a leading authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He also happens to be one of the most liberal syndicated columnist in the country. So when Hentoff wants to discuss how the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has clearly violated the Constitution by passing a law to target "thought crime," everyone needs to pay attention.

From a recent Hentoff column:
Why is the press remaining mostly silent about the so-called "hate crimes law" that passed in the House on April 29? The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in a 249-175 vote (17 Republicans joined with 231 Democrats).

These Democrats should have been tested on their knowledge of the First Amendment, equal protection of the laws (14th Amendment), and the prohibition of double jeopardy (no American can be prosecuted twice for the same crime or offense). If they had been, they would have known that this proposal, now headed for a Senate vote, violates all these constitutional provisions.

This bill would make it a federal crime to willfully cause bodily injury (or try to) because of the victim's actual or PERCEIVED "race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability" — as explained on the White House Web site, signaling the president's approval. A defendant convicted on these grounds would be charged with a "hate crime" in addition to the original crime, and would get EXTRA prison time.
Liberal fascism is upon us. And if Obama stacks the Supreme Court with far-left idealogues, who will be left to protect our Constitutional rights? This could help explain the rise in gun ownership in this country.

Read Hentoff's full column here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pennsylvania Game Commission Advises Motorists to Watch For Deer

Pennsylvania Game Commission Advises Motorists to Watch For Deer

Roundtable Calls on President Obama to Save Chrysler Jobs

Roundtable Calls on President Obama to Save Chrysler Jobs

Global warming taxes on the horizon

Two good editorial published recently by The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on the global warming hoax and how the far-left is using the climate change hysteria to raise your taxes.

In "Bogus climate bill," the newspaper argues:
If the Waxman-Markey global warming bill becomes law, it will have a devastating impact on people but virtually no impact on the planet.

It's a massive energy tax in disguise that promises job losses, income cuts and a sharp left turn toward bigger government...
In "The Coming Frost," the newspaper says:
Carbon dioxide is odorless. But the Obama administration's prioritization of politics and eco-wacko dogma above all else regarding this so-called "greenhouse gas" stinks.

The administration is on a chilling path -- as in a chilling effect on dissent now and chilly winters to come when Americans will see their own carbon dioxide emissions as every breath they exhale frosts the air in homes they can't afford to heat.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

At least one newspaper is doing well

USA TODAY Remains Most Widely Read Print Newspaper in the United States

Church Leaders Urge U.S. Congress to Support U.S. Foreign Aid Reform Bill

Church Leaders Urge U.S. Congress to Support U.S. Foreign Aid Reform Bill

Auditor General Jack Wagner's Audit Finds Pennsylvania Owes $425,000 to Bethlehem Area School District

Auditor General Jack Wagner's Audit Finds Pennsylvania Owes $425,000 to Bethlehem Area School District