Israel Fights Back

From Gary Bauer: For months, Hamas thugs in Gaza have fired missiles and mortars into southern Israel, subjecting hundreds of thousands of Israelis to a campaign of 24-hour terror. This was done in clear violation of an Egyptian-negotiated cease-fire to which Hamas had agreed. As usual, the world’s reaction to this outrage was a collective “yawn.” The United Nations was silent. Major newspapers seldom reported the daily attacks. But this weekend, Israel did what any sovereign nation would do under the same circumstances: It struck back at those responsible for the aggression – Hamas, the Iranian-backed terrorist group. As I write this, the Israeli counterattack is continuing. Israeli government officials are suggesting that their goal is to cripple Hamas. We should all hope they are successful.

Predictably press reports have been distorted to make Israel look like the aggressor who doesn’t care about civilian casualties. Don’t be taken in by the propaganda. The war criminals in this conflict are the Islamic extremists who comprise Hamas and their allies throughout the Middle East, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and his government of thugs.....

A Christmas Prayer

My sincere wishes to all of you for a wonderful Christmas and many blessings in 2009.

Shaun Pierce

A Christmas Prayer

Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,that we may share
in the song of the angels,the gladness of the shepherds,and worship of the wise

Close the door of hateand open the door of love all over the
world. Let kindness come with every giftand good desires with every
greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,and
teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,and
Christmas evening bring us to our bedswith grateful thoughts,forgiving and
forgiven, for Jesus' sake.


Burger King launches beef-scented body spray

I was looking for that perfect gift for my vegetarian friend!

The home of the Whopper has launched a new men's body spray called "Flame." The company describes the spray as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat."

The fragrance is on sale at New York City retailer Ricky's NYC in stores and online for a limited time for $3.99.

Burger King is marketing the product through a Web site featuring a photo of its King character reclining fireside and naked but for an animal fur strategically placed to not offend.

Ahh, no thanks.

Audit panel finds $200M surplus in Assembly

Mable Mazza was furious when she heard the General Assembly is sitting on a $200 million surplus in the midst of a recession that's putting people out of work. Read More

6 held in Pittsburgh tow pound auto scam

An elaborate money-making scheme at city tow pound auctions started as "an honest mistake," police said, and ended in the arrests of six people yesterday -- including an employee of the city controller's office.

Police said Michael Livingstone, 35, a performance auditor for the city, was at the helm of the scam, helping to rig vehicle auctions at the city supply warehouse for several accomplices, who would bid high amounts of money but would pay much lower amounts for the vehicles.

The deals, police said, cost the city more than $17,500.

Full Story

House Republicans Tell Bush: No Bailout for Detroit

From the story: In letters sent from both House and Senate Republicans, President Bush has been warned not to give funds that Congress expressly appropriated for "financial institutions" to Detroit automakers.

The House letter also suggested such a move by Bush may be illegal and unconstitutional, noting that only Congress has the right to appropriate taxpayer funds.

Bush faces a growing phalanx of conservative foes who staunchly oppose any use of federal bailout funds to help car manufacturers unless the United Auto Workers (UAW) union offers more concessions. Read more....

The fact that these few House Republicans have to remind the president, and by extension, the news media and public, that it is not the job of government to ensure the success of every business in the U.S., speaks volumes for the need of a remedial class in Constitutional Government.

Try justifying a taxpayer-paid bailout for a worker averaging $40 per hour plus benefits to a waitress in Kansas City.

Rick Warren to Give Invocation at Obama Inauguration

Is that a pastor or a media pig I see heading to Washington?

Rick Warren will give the invocation at President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. Despite the fact that Obama is very much in favor of abortion on demand. Still,l the bigger issue is Mr. Warren is about to be used as Obama attempts to signal to religious conservatives that he’s willing to bring in both sides to the faith discussion in this country.

While I get the political strategy here, it all may backfire. The news of the invited guest is ticking off both sides of the isle. Those on the right are not happy that Warren is so cozy Obama. Obama praised the Megachurch leader in his second book "The Audacity of Hope." Warren, meanwhile, hosted a values forum between Obama and McCain during the general election. But on social issues like gay rights, stem cell research and women's rights, Warren and any true Christian would be very much opposed to the progressive agenda that Obama ran on.

On the other side if the fence, Joe Solomnese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a harsh letter to the president-elect, "Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans."

Well it looks like Obama is off to a great start!

Legislature has $200 million surplus

The Pennsylvania Legislature's cash surplus fell slightly last year to just over $200 million, a sum that has attracted the attention of state officials struggling with a massive overall budget shortfall. Read More

Large bonuses to end at state employee retirement system

Investment executives at the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System ought to enjoy the five- and six-figure bonuses they got this year. The payments are soon to end. Read More

PAT Bus Service Still Has the Highest Employee Costs in the Nation

As a backdrop to Port Authority (PAT) labor negotiations it is useful to remember how costly bus service is in Allegheny County. In 2007, the latest year of available Federal Transit Administration data, PAT’s employee cost per passenger bus trip was the highest in the country. A comparison with 18 major systems shows PAT’s total employee cost per trip of $3.45 topping the list. Moreover, adjusted for cost-of-living differences—using Pittsburgh as the base metro area for comparison—PAT employee costs at $3.45 per trip are much higher (64 percent) than the average cost in the 18 systems. Continue

Pastor jailed for invoking God's wrath to get bail

When the ACLU teams up with a pastor you know something is strange...

A community activist who ran for Congress from prison, where he had been sent for warning that a judge could be tortured by God, can post bond while he appeals his conviction, an appeals court has ruled.

After being convicted and sentenced to probation in 2007 for paying people to vote in a Benton Harbor recall election, Edward Pinkney wrote an article in a small Chicago newspaper saying the judge who handled the case could be punished by God with curses, fever and "extreme burning" unless he changed his ways.

Another judge considered the article a threat and sentenced Pinkney to three to 10 years in prison for violating his probation. Pinkney, who says he's a Baptist minister, and his attorneys say he was only paraphrasing some Bible verses from the book of Deuteronomy.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed an appeal, saying his comments were protected under the First Amendment and that he was wrongly imprisoned. It also urged the Michigan Court of Appeals to release Pinkney on bond while the court considers the appeal of his sentence.

On Wednesday, the court granted the group's request that Pinkney be freed on bond during his appeal and directed the Berrien County Circuit Court to set the bond amount. A spokeswoman for the lower court said Thursday it had not yet received a copy of the decision, so no bond amount had been set.

The appeals court is expected to decide the merits of the appeal in 2009.

"We are thrilled that Rev. Edward Pinkney will be home with his family celebrating Christmas instead of sitting in prison for criticizing a judge," Michigan ACLU legal director Michael J. Steinberg said in a written statement. "The court properly recognized that serious constitutional questions are raised when a minister is thrown in prison for predicting what God might do."

Pinkney, 60, of Benton Harbor, was in prison when he unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., as a Green Party candidate last month. Pinkney received about 1 percent of the vote.

Blagojevich Association is Politcal Cancer

It amazes me how some people can be blatantly corrupt and think they will never get caught. I guess being dishonest gets easier with practice. If the had some sort of competition in corruption Il. Gov. Rod Blagojevich would win the trophy.

As details (and fallout) of all this continue, it will be interesting to see who get trapped in the undertow. My eyes are on the son of so called Reverend who knows corruption all too well,U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jackson has denied any wrong doing,but the Chicago Tribune has learned that Jackson discussed raising at least $1 million for Blagojevich's campaign as a way to encourage him to pick Jackson for the job. The question is was the intent to encourage or purchase the seat? Blagoevich has a for sale sign hanging off the arm. I'm sure he would have put it on ebay if they gave him enough time.

Blagojevich attended a luncheon back in October took at a restaurant in Schaumburg. The lunch meeting was sponsored by businessman Raghuveer Nayak, a major Blagojevich supporter. According to public records, Nayak also has fundraising and business ties to the Jackson family. Nayak and Blagojevich aide Rajinder Bedi privately told many of the more than two dozen attendees the fundraising effort was aimed at supporting Jackson's bid for the Senate.

That meeting led to another Blagojevich fundraiser, co-sponsored by Nayak and attended by Jesse Jackson Jr.'s brother, Jonathan, as well as Blagojevich.

Blagojevich and the congressman met to discuss the Senate seat on Monday, one day before federal prosecutors arrested Blagojevich and charged him with trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat. As part of the charges, prosecutors alleged that Blagojevich was considering awarding the seat to a politician identified as "Senate Candidate 5" because emissaries for that candidate were promising to raise as much as $1.5 million for Blagojevich's campaign fund. And who is behind the Senate Candidate Number 5 curtain? Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Jackson's newly retained attorney, James Montgomery, said Wednesday he could not rule out that such a deal to pay for the seat were discussed with Blagojevich by people who did not have his client's blessing. Who the heck promises 1.5 million without the boss knowing?

This is going to get interesting.

PAT Bus Service Still Has the Highest Employee Costs in the Nation

As a backdrop to Port Authority (PAT) labor negotiations it is useful to remember how costly bus service is in Allegheny County. In 2007, the latest year of available Federal Transit Administration data, PAT’s employee cost per passenger bus trip was the highest in the country. A comparison with 18 major systems shows PAT’s total employee cost per trip of $3.45 topping the list. Moreover, adjusted for cost-of-living differences—using Pittsburgh as the base metro area for comparison—PAT employee costs at $3.45 per trip are much higher (64 percent) than the average cost in the 18 systems. Continue

Radio Waves: A Broadcast Bailout?

Where is the bailout money for radio stations? It seems to be in the form of unemployment checks for those that attempt to make a living in the industry.

Sadly, I seem to have started a trend when got the boot from WORD FM. Everyday I hear of more painful changes.

Five employees at CBS Radio Pittsburgh lost their jobs, including longtime B94 program director Ryan Mill. Mill served 15 years at CBS. B94’s general sales manager Mike Vennare, Star 100.7’s general sales manager Mike Sherry, Star 100.7’s promotions director Brandon Davis and administrative assistant Lisa Sawich also are out of jobs. They have one person overseeing sales at Y-108, B94 and Star. Will the last person in radio turn out the lights?

In other radio news, look for some on air changes coming soon to WORD FM. That's all I can say for now (No, It does not include me)

Paranoia Runs Deep, Into Your Life It Will Creep….

My apologies to fans of the old Buffalo Springfield song, but how is it that the controversy over a supposed Obama / Blagojevich meeting about filling his vacated Senate seat has suddenly caused month-old news reports to “disappear”?

Example 1: (WND) The report [detailing the meeting] by KHQA-TV's Carol Sowers was posted on the website of the Quincy, Ill., station. The article said "one of Obama's first priorities" on the day after his election was a meeting with Blagojevich planned that afternoon to discuss the Senate seat.

A story by the Quincy station later that week indicated the meeting took place. The station removed the links to the archived stories today, however, and posted an explanation after they were circulated on Internet blogs…

So let’s see, a news source now claims that they miss-reported a supposed meeting between Obama and Blagojevich in two separate reports???

Example 2: The archived Google cache of the above stories were suddenly removed yesterday by Google. Google cache usually lasts for months!

Example 3: Below is a video of Obama senior adviser David Axelrod on Fox News claiming that Obama and Blagojevich did meet to discuss Obama’s Senate replacement. Click on the video and see what happens.

The Main Stream Media is falling over itself claiming that Obama is not involved in this scandal. Howard Fineman of Newsweek took this claim to incredulous heights. Fineman claims that “Obama is hermetically sealed off from Chicago corruption”. Howard, who told you this, how would you know?

Auto Rescue Bill In Peril, Opposed By GOP Senators

From the story: Emergency aid for the nation's imperiled auto industry was thrown into jeopardy Wednesday, opposed by Republicans who were revolting against a hard-fought deal between Democrats and the Bush White House to speed $14 billion to ailing carmakers.

Democrats detailed the compromise measure and laid the groundwork for quick votes on it, holding out hope the bailout could be enacted by week's end. But a growing number of GOP senators declared they would not go along.

The White House, though not formally endorsing an agreement with congressional Democrats, dispatched administration officials to Capitol Hill to make a case for the rescue package. During a contentious, closed-door luncheon with Senate Republicans, they got an earful of criticism from the rank-and-file, some of whom have already announced plans to block the measure. Read more….

Let’s hope these Republicans don’t cave…

Statement on Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich Arrest


Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.

Blagojevich, 51, and Harris, 46, both of Chicago, were each charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. They were charged in a two-count criminal complaint that was sworn out on Sunday and unsealed today following their arrests, which occurred without incident, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Both men were expected to appear later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

A 76-page FBI affidavit alleges that Blagojevich was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps during the last month conspiring to sell or trade Illinois' U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for financial and other personal benefits for himself and his wife. At various times, in exchange for the Senate appointment, Blagojevich discussed obtaining:

A substantial salary for himself at a either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions;

Placing his wife on paid corporate boards where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year;

Promises of campaign funds – including cash up front; and

A cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.

Full release from U.S. Attorney's Office

Card Check Will Worsen Pittsburgh’s Competitive Disadvantage

Two of the most important economic and demographic developments over the past twenty years or so have been the movement of people away from the Northern and North central states to Right to Work (RTW) states and the much faster job growth experienced in the Right to Work states as compared to the states suffering out-migration. For example, between 2000 and 2007, there was a net outflow of 3.4 million people from large states in the Northern and North Central regions while the five Atlantic seaboard Right to Work states experienced a net inflow of 2.6 million people. During the same period, the seaboard RTW states enjoyed an 8 percent gain in the number of private sector jobs while private sector jobs in the large Northern states actually fell by 2 percent. This overall decline was led by a large drop in Michigan jobs but none of the other states posted a gain of more than two percent. Continue

Little Cheer for Taxpayers in Transit Contract

If the Port Authority (PAT) and Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) agree to sign off on a tentative agreement that will set contract terms through 2012, the two parties will be walking arm-in-arm in a march to create a national health care system. Continue

Getting a Handle on the OBAMA Birth Certificate “Conspiracy”

From Douglas J. Hagmann, Director Northest Intelligence Network

Based on extensive research and review of nearly 1,100 pages of court documents filed within the last 60 days, the Northeast Intelligence Network has identified 19 lawsuits filed in various venues across the U.S. by a variety of Americans against Barack Hussein OBAMA, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Secretaries of State of several states, and other related parties.

The common issue of each lawsuit confronts the eligibility of Barack Hussein OBAMA to become America’s 44th President on January 20, 2009. Of the 19 lawsuits researched, thirteen-(13) remain active or somewhat active, meaning that the courts in the various venues in which they have been filed are considering the merits of the individual cases. At least six others have been dismissed or can otherwise be described as “dead-on-arrival” due to a number of different and wide ranging issues. Of the 13 remaining cases, however, three-(3) stand out from the rest based on the nature of their claims, each providing somewhat different perspectives relating to one core issue:
the constitutional eligibility of Barack Hussein OBAMA to take office as President of the United States based on his citizenship status.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that this article is being published on December 7th, 2008, the 67th anniversary of the attack on America by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on this day in 1941. Barack Hussein OBAMA contends that he was born in Hawaii, a claim that despite countless erroneous media reports and reckless, poorly researched postings on numerous Internet Blogs to the contrary, has yet to be proven by Barack Hussein OBAMA or anyone else named as co-defendants.

Of the three aforementioned lawsuits, two raise questions about his actual location of birth (Berg, Keyes), while the third (Donofrio) focuses on his citizenship status. (While this might admittedly be an oversimplification, I believe it is a sufficient characterization for the purpose of this article).
Instead, Barack Hussein OBAMA, in conjunction with the co-defendants, has reportedly spent between $800,000 to close to $1,000,000 (one million dollars), using at least three different law firms to fight these civil actions. Now, consider that each and every one of the lawsuits filed against him could be immediately dismissed by the mere production of a single piece of paper that is available to him for the paltry sum of $12.50 at a recorder’s office in Hawaii. Keep in mind that at this point, OBAMA would likely not even have to make the document public, but provide it to the applicable judge or official for verification purposes to make this controversial maelstrom disappear.

As an investigator and a rational American citizen, I have to ask myself why Barack Hussein OBAMA has chosen not to dispose of this very simple matter in the most logical and expeditious manner possible. Not only would that satisfy these pesky plaintiffs who happen to respect the rule of law as laid out in the Constitution of the United States, but it would also go a long way to brand them and their supporters as deluded conspiracy theorists who have way too much time on their hands.
Following that same line of logic, I then have to ask myself why this matter of such constitutional importance has not received the coverage by the corporate media that it deserves. More ink has been used, and more airtime has been provided to the civil and criminal legal issues of the likes of O.J. Simpson than the possible constitutional ramifications of the eligibility questions of the new leader of the free world. I would argue that questions surrounding the eligibility of a professional football, basketball or baseball player, NASCAR race driver, or Olympic athlete would garner more media attention and outrage of otherwise rational Americans than this matter, which has far more important ramifications for this country as well as the entire planet.
Equally troubling is the failure of those who have been labeled or otherwise accepted as the public ambassadors of American conservatives holding much coveted and very valuable platforms, opportunities and audiences to address this issue with the intellectual honesty it deserves. In this instance, I am specifically referring to the vocal gatekeepers of American conservatism such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly whose combined audience and consequential influence is staggering to the imagination.

The same applies to conservative political pundits such as Michelle Malkin, Michael Medved and David Horowitz, the latter who, in an article published today, described Alan Keyes, one of the plaintiffs of the lawsuits, “an unhinged demagogue on the political fringe” for his role in wanting to insure that we are adhering to the rule of law outlined in the U.S. Constitution. This, by the way, is a key tactic employed by those who cannot fight the argument with facts; they attack the messenger.

By simply ignoring the legitimate questions raised by these lawsuits, however, it efficiently and effectively serves to brand anyone wanting answers as a card-carrying member of the lunatic, malcontented fringe of society.

Perhaps most disturbing of all is what I have found while researching this issue, something that requires much more time and space than can be allotted here. There appears to be an unprecedented level of collusion between numerous political power brokers on both sides of the political divide, elected and appointed officials on both the federal and state levels, as well as members of the corporate media. It is interesting if not alarming to take a few steps back in an effort to gain a wider perspective, and finding unusual alliances and political “bed partners” among various members this group.

To provide a bit of insight into what I am referencing, consider and conduct research yourself into some events that have taken place within the past several years – events that have effectively changed or otherwise had a direct impact on the social and geopolitical landscape of America and its power structure. A few examples include such things as NAFTA, the SPP treaty, border and immigration issues, the Patriot Act, the Global Poverty Act of 2007, the management of the oil “crisis,” the most recent economic crisis and the remedies enacted, and the recent G-20 economic summit, where President Bush essentially provided economic oversight of U.S. economic institutions to the European Union.

There is indeed something very wrong taking place, having sinister implications and global overtones. Sound too conspiratorial? Well, as long I will undoubtedly be branded a “conspiracy loon” for raising the issue of constitutional eligibility of the messianic Barack Hussein Obama, I might as well go all of the way.
Meanwhile, the constitutional “elephant in the room” is still there. And if I had to make a guess on how long the elephant would be staying, well, let’s just say this: I’d be planning on moving the furniture out and the food, water and the tons of newspapers that will be needed more »

Define "Christian"

Sometime words get hijacked. "Gay" used to mean happy. Not anymore. "Bad" could mean good or bad depending on how it's used.

The term "Christian" has fallen victim to this hijacking as in the case of The Young Women’s Christian Association or (YWCA). Oh how I wish I had a radio show for this one!

Here is their statement: "The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) has “always been pro-choice” and would support President-elect Barack Obama signing the Freedom of Choice Act into law, Dr. Lorraine Cole, chief executive officer of the YWCA, told

The YWCA launched its “Own It! Campaign” on Nov. 24 at the National Press Club, an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the YWCA and to “engage younger women on the important issues they face today.”

At the event, the group distributed the results of a national survey, “What Women Want: A National Survey of Priorities and Concerns.” In the report, 31 percent of the women interviewed said abortion should be legal in most cases, and 23 percent said it should be legal in all cases; 24 percent said it should be illegal in most cases, and 16 percent said it should be illegal in all cases. The other respondents were not sure or declined to answer.

“Well, the YWCA has always been pro-choice, so this is a topic that we would be very supportive of, and again, in a survey that we just completed of women, the majority of women across age groups support a woman’s right to choose,” Cole told

According to their official web site, the YWCA of the USA adopted a “freedom of choice” position in 1967 at the YWCA National Convention “following an extensive debate by the nearly 1,000 delegates from local associations all over the country.”

Maybe they should take a survey on changing their name....

Bush Back In Office?

Not, George.....

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a Republican figure equally well-respected for his administrative skills as for his ardent pro-life reputation, has told Politico that he is considering running for a Senate seat.

Murmurs as to the former governor's plans arose after Republican Mel Martinez, who currently holds the Florida Senate position, announced Tuesday that he would not seek reelection in 2010. Bush had returned to the private sector in 2007 after two successful terms at the state’s helm. He left the office of governor with a startling 63% approval rate in a state largely populated by Democrats.

While his Presidentail brother is a Methodist, Gov. Bush is a devout Catholic. As such he is also very much pro-life. He has earned the loyalty of pro-life advocates in his state and across the nation by mounting fights for the sanctity of all life in both the courtroom and the legislature.

Perhaps the most famous pro-life rallying point in Bush's career was his leadership in the fight to save the life of Terri Schiavo. The governor spearheaded the "Terri's Law" legislation that would have saved Schiavo from starvation by removal of her feeding tube. He continued to fight for her life after Florida courts deemed the law unconstitutional.

He would make a great Senator and (who knows?) we may just see Bush #3 in the White House.....

Republican Governors Refuse to Rule Out Seeking Federal Bailouts for States

More proof of a leadership vacuum in the Republican Party….

From the story: Republican Govs. Rick Perry of Texas and Mark Sanford of South Carolina will not pledge to refuse federal bailout money, their spokesmen told Friday – just three days after the two governors denounced federal bailouts in The Wall Street Journal.

“We’re crossing the Rubicon with regard to debt,” Sanford and Perry wrote in Tuesday’s Journal, a reference to Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon river in 49 B.C. – meaning that a point of no return has been reached.

By Friday, however, the governors had crossed back again. When asked their offices – “Will you pledge not to take a federal bailout (for your state)?”—the responses were surprising. Read more….

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Second Video Shows Planned Parenthood Not Reporting Girl's Statutory Rape

From the story -- A second video this week features a college student going to Planned Parenthood undercover posing as a young girl who is obviously a victim of statutory rape. This new video, of a Planned Parenthood in Indiana, shows that it also failed to report the sexual abuse to authorities.

In the first video, of a Planned Parenthood in Charlotte, North Carolina, a college student tells officials she is 15 and had unprotected sex with her 30-year-old mother's live-in boyfriend. The student tells Planned Parenthood officials the boyfriend suggested she go there to obtain the morning after pill.

The pro-life group Students for Life of America filed a North Carolina Public Records Request to find out if the Planned Parenthood location had reported the crime and learned it did not.

In the second video, UCLA student journalist Lila Rose posed as a 13-year-old girl. In an appointment with a Planned Parenthood nurse at its center in Bloomington, Rose says she has been impregnated by a 31-year-old man, a clear case of child molestation under Indiana state law.

On tape, the nurse acknowledges her responsibility to report the abuse, but assures Rose she will not.

"Okay, I didn't hear the age [of the 31-year-old]. I don't want to know the age," she tells Rose.

The nurse then instructs Rose how to obtain a secret abortion by crossing state lines in order to avoid Indiana's parental consent law and she coaches Rose on how to cover for the 31-year-old man by saying he is only 14. Read more…

This is why I ask all candidates for any office, even those running for Township Supervisor or School Board, if they are pro-life. And while there are exceptions, if candidates do not respect the right to life, they most likely will not respect private property rights, parental rights, taxpayer rights, or honor the concept of absolute truth.

Governors Endorse Infrastructure Jobs

It appears that the governors have learned a thing or two from troubled financial institutions and automakers – approach the fed with a cup in hand.

The nation’s governors are asking President-Elect Obama for a $136 billion infrastructure program. This gem of a quote is from our Governor Ed Rendell: “It is not a handout or bailout, it’s the best remedy for getting America back to work”.


Is this not the same governor who flexed $400 million in federal highway funds from highway and infrastructure projects and routed these funds to prop up failing mass transit systems in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh?????

Roughing the taxpayer! Governor, it’s time to punt...

Plaxico Burress Faces 2 Felony Weapon Counts

Former Steeler and current New York Giants star receiver Plaxico Burress was charged with two felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree Monday and released on a $100,000 bond.

Burress, who accidentally shot himself Friday night in the right thigh at a Manhattan nightclub, did not enter a plea on the class C felony charges, though his attorney said Burress planned to plead not guilty.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Felicia Mennin ordered Burress to return March 31.

Defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman argued for no bail, saying: "He has 35 million reasons to come back to court" -- referring to Burress' $35 million contract with the Giants.

Prosecutors also released a criminal complaint that provides a witness account from the club where Burress shot himself.

A grand jury will hear evidence and make a decision on whether Burress will be indicted. Illegal possession of a firearm carries a sentence of 3½ to 15 years in jail.

Police escorted Burress out of a midtown Manhattan police station in handcuffs earlier Monday, placing him in a car in which he was taken downtown for booking and his court appearance.

Burress has had a some tough times of late:

• Oct. 5: Suspended for game against the Seahawks and fined $117.5K after missing a team meeting for "family issues," which he said included having to pick his son up from school.

• Oct. 24: Fined total of $45K for three violations and penalties in a game vs. the 49ers, including verbally abusing an official during the game, "inappropriate" comments about officiating after the game and $5K for throwing a football into the stands.

• Oct. 26: Held out of the first quarter of a 21-14 victory in Pittsburgh after missing treatments for a neck injury.

• Friday: Suffered accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound at a Manhattan nightclub.

• Monday: Charged in Manhattan court on two counts of felony possession of a weapon in the second degree.

The bad luck streak might be catching! Police said the case could expand beyond Burress, with authorities investigating Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce and whether the hospital Burress checked into failed to report the shooting. The NFL is closely monitoring the developments as well.

Originally, police had said Giants running back Derrick Ward was with Burress, Pierce and two other people at the club, relying on information given to them from security guards at the bar.

But Ward's agent, Peter Schaffer, said Ward is no longer a person of interest to the NYPD, the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. reported.

Refugees from Bhutan settle in Pittsburgh

Chitra Prassad Gautam and his family watch in awe as water comes out of the shower head in the bathroom of their new apartment.

"I have a question," Gautam says, holding up a bottle of shampoo. "Do I put this in my hair before going in the shower or after?"

Gautam, 19, his parents and his two siblings are among the first of about 5,300 ethnic Nepalese refugees from the tiny south Asian country of Bhutan who this year started leaving refugee camps to resettle in the United States. The U.S. has agreed to take in 60,000 of them.

Unlike other, high-profile refugee groups such as Iraqis and Burmese, the ethnic Nepalese have gone largely unnoticed. Since there are no Bhutanese communities in the United States, most are being resettled near cities like Pittsburgh, where housing is affordable and officials hope diverse populations will reinvigorate urban areas hurt by deindustrialization.

Charitable organizations responsible for resettlement get the families apartments, food, Social Security cards and English classes, and help them find jobs. After three months, the families will have to provide for themselves, usually working minimum wage jobs.

Bhutan is a predominantly Buddhist constitutional monarchy bordered by China and India. In the early 1990s, the monarchy instituted sweeping legislation that effectively stripped the ethnic Nepalese, a Hindu minority also known as the Lhotsampas, of their citizenship, their right to own property and their ability to get government jobs.

Since then, an estimated 100,000 ethnic Nepalis have fled to refugee camps.

Bhutan has significantly opened up in recent years, embracing democratic freedoms and coronating a young king on Nov. 1. Nevertheless, the tiny Himalayan kingdom remains tightly controlled. Traditional robes and colored sashes indicating class rank are mandatory and only 20,000 foreigners are permitted to enter the country annually on supervised trips.

Like most others in Bhutan, the Gautams were farmers. Chitra Prassad Gautam and his sister, Uma, 17, were born in Bhutan. Their younger brother, Raju, 15, is part of the generation born in refugee camps in Nepal. They were educated in schools run by the United Nations, an education that gives these children an advantage over their parents, many of whom are not even literate in their native Nepalese.

In 1992, the Gautams moved into a one-room, dirt-floored hut in a camp about 25 miles from the Nepalese city of Damak. They often had to wait in line for hours to fill two cans with water. They shared a latrine with another family and bathed in a river.

But now they are in their new apartment in the Pittsburgh suburb of Castle Shannon. They have suddenly had to adapt to running water, indoor toilets, carpeting, closets, a refrigerator, electric sweepers and clock radios - because, as their caseworker explains, promptness is important in America.

"I've never seen a house like this," Gautam said when caseworker Molly Ferra took them through the three-bedroom unit, showing them the small kitchen already furnished with bags of rice, tea, hot pepper sauce and a box of pots and pans.

She explained the use of the refrigerator and freezer to Gautam, the only member of the family who speaks English. "Very cold," Gautam noted of the freezer.

Although life in the United States is far easier, some of the refugees do not want to leave the camps.

"Most of us want to return to Bhutan because we love our country and our roots," D.P. Kafle, a resident of one of the camps, said in an interview in Nepal. "We are patriotic Bhutanese and there is no way we will go anywhere else."

However, Larry Yungk, a senior resettlement officer with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said 55,000 refugees from Bhutan have already signed up for relocation.

Norm-Anne Rothermel, Pennsylvania's refugee coordinator in the Department of Public Welfare, said most cities are eager to take in the ethnic Nepalese.

"Refugees are excellent workers," she said. "They do not want government assistance ... all they want is a fresh start, so it's a win-win situation when it comes to refugees."

Mark Hetfield, senior vice president for programs and policy at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, said his group has settled 117 refugees from Bhutan this year and expects to double the number in 2009. HIAS is focusing its Bhutanese program on Charlotte, N.C.; Springfield, Mass.; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio. Some will likely be resettled in Pittsburgh as well.

"There is no well-established Bhutanese populations in the U.S., so it is better to put them in places where housing is affordable and they could have the opportunity to buy a house in a few years," he said.

Despite the refugees' struggles with the language barrier, bureaucracy, job hunting and learning to live with modern amenities, Gautam had a question about something that to him seemed equally basic.

"A computer, will we get a computer?" he asked the caseworker. "I need the Internet to send e-mail to my teacher." - his U.N.-run school had Internet access.

Ferra told him the family will receive a TV but they will have to purchase their own computer. At the library, she explained, they can access the Internet.

"Yes, the library," Gautam says grinning. "My teacher told me I can get a card and use for free."

Rendell lifts parole ban for violent inmates

Gov. Rendell lifted a two-month moratorium on paroling violent offenders yesterday after a consultant's report indicated that the state's procedures for releasing inmates were largely sound and safe. Read More

Bill would end COLA raises in capital

Three years ago, Bill McIntyre, a 70-ish retiree from nearby Camp Hill, became a local celebrity overnight because of just three words -- "Get a life." The sarcastic comment came in an e-mail from state Sen. Bob Mellow, D-Lackawanna, in response to Mr. McIntyre's persistent criticism of the 16 to 34 percent pay raises that legislators voted themselves in July 2005. Read More

Witnesses -- Fumo funded ads opposing Rendell

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo secretly funded attacks against fellow Democrat Ed Rendell during his successful 2002 gubernatorial primary bid, according to testimony in Mr. Fumo's ongoing corruption trial. Read More

Well, that's the first redeeming quality I've heard about Fumo in a long time.

From Mumbai to Minneapolis

By Douglas J. Hagmann

I hope everyone takes a really deep, hard look at what happened last week in Mumbai, India, and at the terrorists who perpetrated the attack. And I hope this is done quickly, with a high degree of intellectual honesty and without the encumbrance of political correctness. The safety of every American, Canadian, Australian, and all Westerners, in fact depends on it, as does the security of our respective nations.

If recent history provides us any insight, however, we will fall woefully short in our official analysis of this event, and fail to learn the lessons of Mumbai. We’ve already demonstrated this pattern of failure in the many instances since 2001. Although there is enough blame to go around, I will place special blame squarely at the feet of a select few: members within our current administration, who have succumbed to the pressures and influences of such special interest groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations to needlessly convolute the facts about Islamic terrorism; the corporate media, for their failure to call an Islamic terrorist an Islamic terrorist; some nationally syndicated political right-wing talk radio show hosts who have a platform and vast audience, but fail to use their programs to provide you with the whole truth, and many of you, who strive to be so liberal and open minded that quite simply, your brains spill to the floor.

Syndicated columnist Mark Steyn wrote last Friday that Mumbai could happen just about anywhere. He’s correct, and be forewarned, it will happen in America. It will happen in Canada. It will happen in Australia and just about any Western country you can name.

I have the ability, authority and have earned the right to make such a statement because I’ve personally investigated potential terrorists who are in this country that appear to be training for just such scenarios. I’ve published my investigative findings, complete with photographs, only to be called an alarmist, racist, bigoted, and religiously intolerant. I’ve seen my findings skewed by the media, who complain that they cannot find corroborating witnesses as they point cameras and shine lights on sources that fear for their safety. And I've garnered the wrath of a top Pakistani terror kingpin for exposing the activities of his followers here in the U.S. and Canada.

My investigative findings into one such Pakistani terrorist group, (Pakistan now suddenly being important, considering all of the dead bodies in Mumbai) Jamaat ul Fuqra, have been cited by the Regional Organized Crime Information Center in their 2006 special research report. Prolific author and researcher of Islamic terrorism, Dr. Paul Williams, devoted nearly an entire chapter to my findings in his recent book The Day of Islam.

Read More

Voted for Obama? Get to Confession!

Leaving church on Sunday, I noticed a car parked in the church lot with an "Obama - Biden" sticker on the back. I hope they were attending to repent....

"If you are one of the 54 percent of Catholics who voted for a pro-abortion candidate, you were clear on his position, and you knew the gravity of the question, I urge you to go to confession before receiving communion," wrote Fr. Joseph Illo.

Fr. Illo's kind but firm letter, dated November 21, mapped out at length the complex but grave moral situation, and took pains to outline the extent to which his admonition pertains to any particular Catholic voter.

"I am writing to you because I love you and I care about your relationship with God," said the letter. "I am also writing because God requires this of me as a Catholic priest."

Fr. Illo also addressed the common objection that in demanding that Catholics vote pro-life the Church is promoting “one-issue” voting that oversimplifies a complex choice. He said that "if the issue is grave enough, no one would object to ‘one-issue voting.’" He pointed to support for slavery as another example of a clear "deal-breaker."

Illo affirmed that abortion was an even graver injustice than slavery, as unborn children have become "an entire class of Americans who are targeted for focused attack, a people with no rights, whose very lives are at the whim of judges and politicians."

“We Catholics, and all people of good will and sound reason, must defend the lives of these poorest of the poor," he said.

(To read Fr. Illo's letter in full, click here.

Bailout Debt

(Townhall) Bianco Research crunched the adjusted for inflation numbers for previous conflicts and federal programs to compare it to the cost of the financial bailout. If you count the Citi bailout, our total Wall Street welfare costs are more than $4.6 trillion. This is more than all the programs below combined. It will also cost more than the entire cost of World War II which, adjusted for inflation, cost Americans $3.6 trillion in today's dollars.

• Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
• S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
• Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
• The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
• NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion
TOTAL: $3.92 trillion

I truly miss the economic insight of the late Larry Burkett. If he was still with us, his comments regarding this latest effort to deluge ourselves in debt would be most revealing.

Mumbai Horror

From Gary Bauer: Once again, democratic nations are in shock and mourning as Islamofascists launched a deadly Thanksgiving attack deliberately targeting civilians. The three-day battle in India’s financial center, Mumbai, showed how unprepared major nations still are to confront the Islamic “death worshippers,” who have declared war on civilization. The horrendous event was yet another reminder of an evil ideology whose adherents are willing to violate every rule of war and all societal norms in their quest for power. We have seen their work time and time again – here on 9/11; in the London subway attacks; in Spain, in Indonesia; in Beslan, Russia, where helpless school children were shot in the back; and in scores of other attacks too numerous to list. And always the perpetrators fit the same profile – young Muslim extremists raised on a steady diet of hatred and death lust.

One Indian newspaper quoted doctors who saw the bodies brought to the hospital. One said, “It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood.” Another doctor said that Jews were treated the worst. He observed that, “Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks … it was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed.”

As the terrible events unfolded in Mumbai, CNN media coverage demonstrated over and over why Judeo-Christian civilization and our allies may very well lose this war. CNN commentators repeatedly referred to the attackers simply as “terrorists” or “extremists.” In one three-hour period, the word “Islamic” was used only once. Statements by many world “leaders” were no better. The typical statement merely pledged to defeat terrorism without ever specifying who the terrorists were! Even the Bush Administration has cooperated in this suffocating political correctness, which prevents us from even naming the enemy that wants us all dead. At the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, decisions were made last year to ban the phrase “Islamic terrorists” and to replace it with terms such as “militant.”

MSNBC Anchor Frets: Why Hasn’t Obama’s Election Ended Terrorism?

(NewsBusters) During MSNBC’s coverage of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, daytime anchor Alex Witt seemed frustrated that the election of Barack Obama 23 days earlier — and the accompanying “global outpouring of affection, respect, hope” — had not caused an end to terrorist violence. Witt stated, "There had been such a global outpouring of affection, respect, hope, with the new administration coming in, that precisely these kinds of attacks, it was thought — at least hoped — would be dampened down."

Earth to MSNBC – I know that this comes as a shock to the Kum By Ya crowd, but the Muslims extremists hate us because we exist, regardless of the president-elect.

Sarah Palin to stump with Sen. Saxby Chambliss

( Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss is calling in a closer: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will join him for four rallies across the state on the eve of his hotly contested Dec. 2 runoff.

It will mark her return to the campaign trail after her bid as John McCain's vice presidential candidate and a chance to show off some political muscle in a state that backed her GOP ticket with 52 percent of the vote.

Chambliss is running off against Democrat Jim Martin in a race that could help determine whether Democrats have enough votes to block Republican filibusters in the U.S. Senate. The Palin announcement electrified state Republicans in the closing days of the race. Read more…

How can this be? All of the expert pundits claim that Governor Palin was a drag on the ticket, that her unabashed conservative values hurt John McCain’s chances for the presidency. With the veto-proof 60 seat Senate hanging in the balance, why not send in a moderate to electrify the electorate? Where is Arlen??? (sarcasm off)

Terri's Watch: Haleigh Poutre

The little girl you see pictured is Haleigh Poutre. She was born on February 24, 1994. He life has been a living hell ever since.

In September 2005, she was admitted to the hospital with life threatening brain injuries. Her brain was bleeding. Violent trauma to her head had caused a sheared brain stem. The treating physicians said the results of the beating she had endured constituted "irreparable damage". Haleigh was diagnosed in what is now routinely called “PVS”, an acronym for a “Persistent Vegetative State”. Many of us heard this term used in the case of Terri Schiavo.

The injuries were allegedly inflicted upon Haleigh by a baseball bat wielded by her own stepfather.

Much like Terri, Haleigh was being given food and water through a feeding and hydration tube. A year later, the Massachusetts Department of Social Services filed a legal motion to remove it. They cited the medical finding of “PVS”. Her stepfather then sued to prevent the removal of the assistance. There was speculation in some sources that he did this to avoid criminal charges for murder. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the assistance could be removed in a controversial ruling.

So the death warrant was signed for this little girl. However, Haleigh surprised all of her caregivers by breathing without the need for assistance and showing signs of communication. The court order was rescinded and the medical team continued to care for Haleigh. That was in 2006. Now, two years later, Haleigh may be called as a witness in the retrial of her stepfather’s case. He is on trial for assault and battery on a child with a dangerous weapon. Haleigh continues to recover. She now communicates through hand signals and a computer keyboard. So much for PVS!

One study from the British Medical Journal found that 43% of those diagnosed with PVS were actually misdiagnosed. Among that number some had been in this “PVS state” for over a year. The context within which such end of life decisions are being made should cause all Pro-Life persons deep concern. This is not a mere flawed medical issue. It goes much deeper. It's a reflection of our culture that fails to respect and value human life. It's the same reason why a man who was to love and care for this little girl, took a baseball bat to her head. He valued her life about as much as the courts did.

What have we become? The so called "experts" are no longer are sure when life begins or when it ends. The time in between, we place little value on life.

These are not just tragic stories. I believe they are a wake up call for all of us. If a women murdered in her hospital bed and a little girl who proved the world wrong don't cause you to pause a moment and ask some tough questions about life ..... well then guess who is the one in a persistent vegetative state?

UN anti-blasphemy measure: an omen of things to come

My thanks to the Northeast Intelligence Network for this:

The ultimate example of "the pot calling the kettle black" has occurred at the United Nations. Muslim countries won backing for a UN anti-blasphemy measure termed "Combating Defamation of Religions" where it will be unlawful to say anything derogatory about Islam. It passed with a vote of 85-50 with 42 abstentions in a key UN General Assembly committee, and will enter into the international record after an endorsement by the plenary later in the year.

This resolution is part of a ten year plan launched in 2005 by the 57 Islamic states (you know, the states Obama said he wanted to visit...oops, he meant the 50 United States). The aforementioned 57 states comprise the "Organization of Islamic Conference." Since this is a closed membership organization limited to Islamic countries, it has no place in the UN, since religion is the sole determining factor for more »

Censorship of Pro-Life Ad At Allegheny College

From Earned Media: Officials at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania refuse to run an advertising supplement on abortion in the student newspaper, "The Campus.

"The 12-page advertising supplement "We Know Better Now," sponsored by Human Life Alliance, provides detailed information on pregnancy and the impact of abortions on student's lives."

Our goal is to provide information on the humanity of the pre-born child and gruesome realities of abortion," stated Jo Tolck, executive director for Human Life Alliance. At Allegheny College, officials for "The Campus" had already accepted payment for the November 13 edition when a local supporter noticed it did not appear in the paper.

"We were shocked the paper would take the money, have us ship 1500 copies of 'We Know Better Now' and then refuse to run the advertisement," said Tolck. "Newspapers have a right to reject advertisements, but Allegheny College student newspaper officials had ready accepted the ad., scheduled a run date and received both the supplements and payment."

Human Life Alliance has not received any communication from Allegheny College newspaper staff since they were notified of the rejection. "We contacted the newspaper upon learning that our insert didn't make it into 'The Campus' and were told our advertisement was too controversial--even after they had accepted the advertising fee," Tolck said. "The Campus" staff have been unresponsive to Human Life Alliance's request to clarify the situation.

"At this point, they can't even find the advertising supplements and we have the tracking information confirming delivery," said Tolck. "We see this type of censorship all the time. It's a shame that on a college campus some individuals still oppose free and open discussion of issues relevant to students."

Pennsylvania's jobless rate rises

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania continued to creep up in October, gaining one-tenth of 1 percentage point compared with September, to reach 5.8 percent. The state's unemployment rate is still below the national average of 6.5 percent. Read More

Retirees shielded from state pension losses

Pennsylvania's multibillion-dollar state and school employee pension funds could report losses of 30 percent to 40 percent for the calendar year, outgoing Pennsylvania Treasurer Robin Weissman estimates. But unlike private-sector workers faced with plummeting 401(k) values, members of the public pension plans have few worries. State law prohibits any reduction in benefit rates either to retirees or for workers enrolled in the plan. Read More

Transit, union leaders called to D.C.

Port Authority and union officials are in Washington, D.C., for a third straight day of highly unusual meetings called by the International AFL-CIO and International Amalgamated Transit Union.

Both sides in the labor dispute involving the transit union's 2,300-member Local 85 had yet to sit face to face despite numerous sessions that consumed much of the weekend.

Yesterday's separate meetings started around 10 a.m. and didn't conclude until early evening, authority Chief Executive Officer Steve Bland said.

He said none of the discussions with AFL-CIO officials and top staffers involved a contract that the authority board has voted to impose Dec. 1, a fact-finder's recommendations aimed at achieving a new agreement, or negotiations that have been held sporadically. Rather, he said his meetings thus far have all dealt with past, present and future financial information.

"We've been going through three binders of reports, budget projections, Act 44 [state funding], actuarial assumptions about pension plans, the county's drink tax ... things like that," Mr. Bland said in a brief phone interview. "[The AFL-CIO] had a lot of questions."

All of his meetings have been with the AFL-CIO. He said he had not yet been asked to meet with the International ATU or Local 85.

Whether contract talks or a proposal may be forthcoming remained unclear, but being asked to go to the nation's capital and meet with union hierarchy about a contract dispute is unprecedented in the Port Authority's 44-year history.

Mr. Bland was accompanied to the hastily called meetings by attorney Michael Palombo, of Campbell, Beatty & Durant, the authority's representative in contract talks that began with preliminaries more than a year ago.

President-Business Agent Patrick McMahon and the union's longtime labor counsel, Joseph J. Pass, are representing the local union in Washington.

While Mr. Bland said he had not met with officials of the International ATU, it was believed that Mr. McMahon and Mr. Pass had done so. In a news release before they left for Washington, the union said its parent organization and the AFL-CIO "have stepped in to try to assist in getting the parties back to the table to reach a settlement."

Mr. McMahon and Mr. Pass could not be reached for comment last night, but a Local 85 media representative, Jennifer England, said Mr. McMahon would either have a statement or take news media calls sometime today.

Because of the Washington, D.C., meeting, Mr. McMahon canceled two membership "informational meetings" that had been scheduled for yesterday on the South Side. The notice said the purpose was "to educate members about the status of negotiations and to share legal options available to the union."

The union has maintained that a bus-trolley work stoppage is possible if the authority proceeds with imposing the new contract on its members at 12:01 a.m. next Monday.

Mr. McMahon has indicated workers will be asked to stay on the job while the union goes into court seeking an injunction and possibly other legal recourse. But if court intervention fails, he said the union will consider the authority's action a lockout and will not report for work.

Authority officials have maintained any such job action would constitute a strike.

Tallying Recent Teacher Strikes Across the Nation

Newsflash: Pennsylvania maintains its long held number one ranking as the state with the most teacher strikes. During the period beginning with school year 2000-2001 and running through school year 2006-2007, Pennsylvania accounted for well over half of all teacher strikes in the country, establishing its reputation as the nation’s teacher strike leader. More recently, over the past couple of school years only three states of the thirteen that allow teacher strikes have seen walkouts; Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Michigan, which does not permit strikes, suffered an illegal work stoppage in the 2008-2009 school year. Continue

Pray for Change

This came from Powerblog reader Karen. I'm posting to at her request to share it all with you:

Dear Fellow Pray-er;

I have some hope for people that are in despair about the recent elections. My story is about how praying about the elections forced me to LISTEN to God AND why I am sending you this letter.

I had been praying so hard the weeks before the election (as most Christians were). I, however, am not a very good listener when it comes to sitting down and listening to God.... instead I usually just pray and ask for things. I was praying the r osary, doing novena’s, fasting and other intercessions along with the 'Pray the Vote' (if you are not familiar, it was part of the Presidential Prayer Team:

Below is what I wrote to the 'Pray the Vote' people on November 4th, the morning of the elections, (they had asked everyone that participated to share our experience).

My time in prayer has brought an amazing revelation to me! This is what I believe God said to me: "Don't Worry, (about the elections), it is in MY hands. I know the big picture; you can only see what is in front of you. Just keep praying for the President, no matter who it is, THAT will be the CHANGE. Just listen to ME and make sure you do what I tell you to do."

Those words were given to me last Tuesday (Oct 28th). So I contemplated and prayed over those words during my prayers over the past week. To me it meant that if Obama becomes president, we have to PRAY HARDER THAN EVER for his heart to soften and change so that he does not overturn any progress that has been made with the Pro-Life decisions over the past years. I was SO passionate about that. I thought of so many ways to get the word out for daily prayer for his change of heart.

Then, while in prayer the morning of November 4th, (before I went to vote), I came to the revelation that ‘This is my passion, this is my purpose’! No matter who wins this election, (at any level of government), I need to start some sort of prayers for all of our leaders to have a CHANGE OF HEART. For us to focus on really getting the word out and EDUCATE everyone with what abortion really means! There are so many people that still do not know that abortion can take place at 9 months! We need a grassroots effort of PRAYER for specific leaders so that their hearts are changed!

I have been praying so long over the years as to what my purpose in life is and I believe my prayers were answered today! I do not think I would have sat and listened to God long enough to hear Him, but because of me signing up for the “Pray the Vote” and making it a priority, I MADE the time

So with the above in mind, I am asking that you SPREAD THE WORD to all your friends, family, congregations, various groups, EVERYONE about praying for all of our leaders, especially Barack Obama and Joseph Biden. There is currently a new "77 Days of Prayer for our New President" which might help people with prayers:

Some suggestions to consider for prayers are:- To ask God to surround Obama and Biden with spiritual people that can influence them as to why they should not overturn what has been done so far with the abortion issue and for the Holy Spirit to guide them in making the right decisions. - For all leaders that are pro-choice to have a 'Change of Heart' and for God to soften them and to help them see abortion for what it truly is.- For all of our media, but especially those in charge of what is reported, for God to take the blinders from their eyes and for the media to start reporting the truth about abortion.- For all pro-choice people everywhere to have more of an open mind and 'change of heart'. For Satan to not have control of their thoughts so they can actually see and hear the truth about what abortion really is.

Other suggestions would be to have weekly prayer services for the ‘Change of Heart’ of ALL Americans who are pro-choice.

I thank you for your time and hope you will join me in this effort to Change Hearts so unborn Babies, in danger of being aborted, can be saved!

In Christ’s Love,
Karen A. Ford

Beaver-Butler Presbytery Dismisses Second Church

From the story: Beaver-Butler Presbytery has dismissed Portersville Presbyterian Church from the Presbyterian Church (USA) into the more theologically conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

This is the second church that Beaver-Butler has so dismissed. However, the financial terms of the earlier dismissal of Chippewa United Presbyterian Church in Beaver Falls were appealed to a church court, so Chippewa remains in the presbytery pending a decision. There were 87 churches in the presbytery prior to Tuesday night's presbytery meeting.

The 176-member Portersville congregation had voted 115-3 to leave. This is part of a movement by some conservative Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations to avoid property litigation by seeking dismissal into a sister Presbyterian denomination. Read more....

This summer, the 208th General Assembly of the PC (USA) voted to “suspend” the authoritative interpretation of the ”fidelity and chastity” clause of the church’s Constitution while the 173 Presbyteries vote to either keep the ”fidelity and chastity” clause, or replace it with less restrictive language that would permit gay and lesbian ordination. This has caused great angst within the denomination, as the rules for ordination have been “waived” while the vote is in progress.

eHarmony Forced To Offer Same-Sex Dating Services

From Michelle Malkin: So, this is “progress?” eHarmony, a Christian-targeted dating website, gets sued by a gay man demanding that the business match him up with a same-sex partner. The New Jersey Attorney General intervenes on behalf of the gay plaintiff and forces eHarmony to change its entire business model. To be clear: The company never refused to do business with anyone. Their great “sin” was not providing a specialized service that litigious gay people demanded they provide.

The company agreed not only to offer same-sex dating services on a new site, but also to offer six-month subscriptions for free to 10,000 gay users.

eHarmony had been previously sued by a lesbian looking to force the company to match her up with another woman and by a married man who sought to force the company to hook him up in an adulterous relationship.

Perhaps heterosexual men and women should start filing lawsuits against gay dating websites and undermine their business. Coerced tolerance and diversity-by-fiat cut both ways.

How Obama Got Elected

This is almost 10 minutes long, but I guarantee that you will not be able to stop watching. Listen to the news sources quoted at the end. NPR, CNN and the New York Times should be proud.

Obama: Hope & Change

You better HOPE this CHANGE doesn't happen to you.


Fellow Business Executives:

As the CFO of this business that employs 140 people, I have resigned
myself to the fact that Barack Obama is our next President, and that our taxes
and government fees will increase in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Clients will have to see an increase in our fees to them of about 8%, but since we cannot increase our fees right now due to the
dismal state of our economy, we will have to lay off employees instead.

This has really been eating at me for a while, as we believe we are family here
and I didn't know how to choose who will have to go. So this is what I did. I
strolled thru our parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on our
employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off.

I can't think of a fairer way to approach this problem. These folks wanted change;
I gave it to them. If you have a better idea, let me know.

"Jihad With Money"

From Gary Bauer: With much of the country focused on the economic crisis, the mortgage meltdown and billion dollar bailouts, this is a good time to draw your attention to another looming financial crisis – the growing acceptance of Sharia finance in America. I suspect this is a new topic for many of you, but it is one you need to know about as it threatens our values and our national security. Our friends at the American Congress for Truth have produced a short video that explains Sharia finance and why it is so urgent that more Americans learn about this looming threat. Go to to watch this video.

AP Story Mislabels Specter as a Democrat

From the AP: “Another potential Republican candidate is Pat Toomey, the former congressman who nearly unseated Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2004 primary….”

This is rich in irony. Despite being in the U.S. Senate as a Republican for 28 years and his frequent opposition with conservatives within the party, the AP almost gets it right, at least philosophically.

The Death of the Pork Authority PAT in death throws

I know many of my readers are interested in my take on the PAt contract talks. (or lack of them) Dec.1 st could bring a strike that will end the PAT union as we know it and I say strike and good riddance. I know that leaves some folks in a pinch but so many have been holding those folks hostage for so long it has to end.

I hold no sympathy for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85. With gas prices lowering, lay-offs coming left and right, and an economy that is sliding, I find the disgusting display of absolute greed from this Union appalling. Unions served a purpose, in the early decades of the 20th century, when corporations would exploit their workforce in the name of profit. Today, the reverse has proven true, where unions exploit their employers in the name of lining union officials pockets. That is why only 7% of the current US workforce is unionized.

People can serve themselves better by staying away from the Socialist propaganda of unions and just saying no. However, that will be hard with a new President who plans on doing away with the secret ballot in unionization. Employees will feel the pressures of union bosses, whom upon finding their pocketbooks threatened, will have the ability to intimidate and coerce memberships. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 has the ability to hold itself up for the betterment of this city, but as this showdown approaches, I hold no hope for this Union.

Pittsburgh’s Budget: Legacy Costs Have Large and Lasting Impact

For the 2009 budget and the years beyond, legacy costs—pensions, retiree health care, workers’ compensation, and debt—will dominate the discussion about taxes, spending, the level of municipal services and who provides them in the City of Pittsburgh. Legacy cost problems have been building for some time and must be dealt with. Continue

Gas Pains In PA

Some companies spending millions of dollars to tap a natural gas boom in Western Pennsylvania are moving their rigs to other states, saying the state's drilling requirements are confusing and inconsistent, and permits are slow in coming. Read More

Pennsylvania is high roller in gaming profits

Las Vegas slot machine revenues are down 12 percent, Atlantic City's have taken a 19-percent nose-dive since last year, and even the shore town's glitziest casino, the Borgata, laid off 400 workers last week. Any notion that the gambling industry was recession-proof is shattered, yet in the middle of that desert of falling revenues is an oasis defying the national trend: Pennsylvania. Read More

New lieutenant governor's offer of bipartisanship not likely to fly

As he prepares to serve out the final two years of the late Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll's term, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, shouldn't expect to do much more than the state constitution requires of him, political observers say. Read More

DeWeese won't seek new term as Dem leader

Rep. Bill DeWeese said Friday he has decided not to seek another term as Democratic leader in the Pennsylvania House in an effort to avoid a potentially bruising leadership battle. Read More

King family seeks to cash in on MLK-Obama items

Zealous guardians of his words and his likeness, the family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is demanding a share of the proceeds from the sudden wave of T-shirts, posters and other merchandise depicting the civil rights leader alongside Barack Obama.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr., King's nephew and head of the nonprofit King Center in Atlanta, said the estate is entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees - maybe even millions.

"Some of this is probably putting food on people's plates. We're not trying to stop anybody from legitimately supporting themselves," he said, "but we cannot allow our brand to be abused."

But while Obama's election as the first black president may be the fulfillment of King's dream and could yield a big windfall for his estate, policing his image and actually collecting any fees could prove to be a legal nightmare because of the great proliferation of unauthorized King-Obama paraphernalia, much of it sold by street vendors.

King's writings, likeness and voice are considered intellectual property, and almost any use - from graduate thesis papers to TV documentaries - are subject to approval by his estate, now administered by his surviving children, Martin Luther King III, Dexter King and the Rev. Bernice King. (Because Obama is an elected official, his words and image are in the public domain and can be used without permission.)

Farris said he expects to announce deals in the coming weeks to license some items featuring images of King and Obama, and may sell some in the King Center bookstore alongside recordings of his speeches, postcards, calendars, mugs bearing images of King, and other licensed merchandise, which nets the center about $800,000 annually.

The family is protective of how King is depicted, and Farris said any items that are inconsistent with his uncle's message and image would not be approved.

Any proceeds from King-Obama merchandise would also go to the King Center, said Farris, a member of the estate management team that reviews intellectual property issues.

The family, which refuses to divulge details of its licensing deals, is also discussing how to go after violators.

King's estate sued CBS over its sale of a video documentary that used excerpts of his 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech. An appeals court ruled in 1999 that the speech was covered by copyright and was not public domain, but the estate ultimately settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

"They are probably one of the most careful, concerned and on-top-of-it groups of image protectors I've ever met," said Philippa Loengard, assistant director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia University.

Realizing the value of his ideas, King himself copyrighted several of his speeches during his lifetime. After he died, that duty fell to his widow, Coretta, and, since her death in 2006, to their children. Some scholars have complained about the family's aggressive pursuit of moneymaking opportunities.

But the Kings have never faced a challenge quite as big as this. Vendors across the country have capitalized on connecting Obama to King, mostly without permission and without a penny of the proceeds going to his estate.

"We realize the historic nature of events surrounding President-elect Obama and we are seeking an elegant solution to address the commercial use of Dr. King's image in connection with our newly elected president," Dexter King said in a statement.

With the siblings already battling in court over whether to publish their mother's diaries, it could be difficult for them to reach a consensus.

Jock Smith, an attorney for Bernice King and Martin Luther King III, warned that any action Dexter King takes without their approval would be "an illegal action not sanctioned by the corporation."

Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president on the 45th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and the nation's first black president will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, the day after the federal holiday created to honor King.

In the past, the King estate has relied on concerned citizens to blow the whistle on vendors and manufacturers, who then get a cease-and-desist letter. If that fails, the estate sues.

"If you make a dollar, we should make a dime," Farris said. "That's not happening now."

Street vendors and cousins Francis Sarr and Michael Silva said they are not sure whether anyone licensed the T-shirts for sale at their downtown Atlanta souvenir stand, including one featuring images of King and Obama and the words, "I HAVE A DREAM ... THAT CHANGE IS GONNA COME."

But they said they would be happy to contribute a portion of the proceeds to the King estate.

"By right, they definitely deserve something from it and should give their consent to sell it," Silva said. "I guess everyone is trying to cash in."

Pa. grand jury investigating GOP use of database

A grand jury is investigating whether Pennsylvania House Republican leaders illegally used a taxpayer-funded database as a campaign tool to better focus their messages to voters.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday that the state attorney general's office is investigating the use of the database. It's part of the office's probe into whether legislative employees were improperly paid from state coffers for campaign work.

Former Republican leader John Perzel says no one in his office used the database.

Twelve House Democratic legislators and staffers were charged in July with conspiring to award taxpayer-funded bonuses to legislative staffers who did campaign work.

The grand jury probe has since widened to include the House Republican caucus. No Republican has been charged.

How Pa. let incompetent doctor continue to practice

In 1979, surgeons at Lankenau Hospital used a string of pejoratives to describe an aspiring doctor from Phoenixville: Parasitic. Alienating. Clumsy. Unkempt. They might have added undaunted, because Richard A. Brown survived the scathing evaluations and poor grades to become a doctor. Read More

Strategist worked to defeat Fumo daughter

A former political strategist for Sen. Vincent J. Fumo testified yesterday that he worked on behalf of Democratic candidates running against Fumo's estranged daughter in a 2003 township supervisor race in Montgomery County. Read More

Pa. Dems shuffling in House

House Majority Whip Keith McCall is hoping his colleagues will propel him into leadership as House speaker, the highest-ranking Democrat in the Legislature. Read More

Rendell urges Senate to take up health-insurance expansion

In June, Gov. Rendell called on Senate Republican leaders to strike a deal on expanding health insurance for the uninsured before the end of the budget season. No dice. He repeated his plea in the waning days of the legislative session last month. No way. Read More

Billy Graham would like to meet, pray with Obama

Billy Graham has counseled every American president since Dwight Eisenhower. But the evangelist known for his globe-trotting crusades has no plans to mentor Barack Obama, though his son did say his father would like to meet the president-elect and pray with him.

His son expressed concern about Obama's views on abortion and gay marriage - an issue Franklin Graham raised in a meeting with the Illinois senator - saying that he and is father are conservatives who believe the Bible speaks clearly on those issues.

"President-elect Obama heard our position," said Franklin Graham, who now heads the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. "And I told him that this was very difficult for us and hard for us. It's a moral issue that we just can't back down on."

Obama favors abortion rights, and does not support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He supports civil unions and believes states should decide their own laws about marriage.

Nurse in Times Square war photo reunites with Navy

A 90-year-old who says she's the woman being kissed by a sailor in Times Square in one of World War II's most famous photographs reunited in town with the Navy on Sunday - days before she is to serve as grand marshal of the city's Veterans Day parade.

Edith Shain of Los Angeles, donning a white nurse's uniform like the one she wore back in 1945, went to see the musical revival of "South Pacific" and posed for pictures, being hoisted off her feet on stage by five of the actors in their Navy whites.

On Tuesday, she'll ride in the parade at the head of a contingent of World War II veterans.

Farrakhan Says Obama 'New Beginning'

Just the headline scares the s@#! out of me. When you have nutcases like Farrakhan and Iranian president Yaba Daba Doo cheering an Obama victory, you have to wonder why.

Here is Farrakhan's source of plaeasure:
"President-elect Obama has energized all segments of the depressed, downtrodden, rejected and despised," he said in a 90-minute speech at Mosque Maryam in Chicago. "Now it is up to us to take the new energy that he has given us ... and channel that energy into making ourselves better."

"For nine months, I kept quiet because I saw that the good words that I spoke about this beautiful young man at our Saviours' Day convention and the way they were misused," Farrakhan said of Obama. "I decided it would be better for me to just be quiet rather than be drawn into the controversy that was swirling around his pastor, Father Pfleger, and others." Farrakhan then added with a smile, "I feel freer today to say the things that are in my heart."

"All of us have been risen by his rise," Farrakhan said. "It is not for Mr. Obama to do the job for us. Now we must shoulder the responsibility to raise our people up. We have to double our effort to get our people ready for whatever opportunity can be provided for all Americans to benefit from and not look for special favors."
He thanked black leaders including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, for laying the foundation for Obama's victory, which he called Divine.

"Because if God is involved, and He is, then it is God who has laid on this young man this horrible burden at the worst time in the history of America and the world," he said. "But it was also God that has given this young man, this tremendous capacity to handle what God has put on his shoulders."

He said Nation of Islam mosques "are committed first and foremost to the resurrection and transformation of the Black people in America and throughout the world" .

All of you who voted for "change" get ready, it's coming. I'm just not sure you are going to like it when it does....

Promises, Promises

Here’s a stunner. Based on the 2008 general fund budget of $526.6 million and a September enrollment of 26,649, the Pittsburgh Public Schools are spending at a rate of $19,796 per student. This in a City where the Schools and the City government created the Pittsburgh Promise, a scholarship program that will guarantee college aid to public school students who graduate with a minimum (2.25 in 2009) grade point average. The corporate and foundation community are being tapped to fund the Promise and have thus far pledged nearly $125 million to the program—a program that is in effect still more, heavy spending on public education in that it represents a bribe to get people to keep their kids in Pittsburgh schools. That is a poor substitute for offering a quality education. Continue

Biden's Bishop Calls Him to Account over Abortion

In a rare show of episcopal mettle, the bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee swiftly sent VP-elect Joseph Biden a letter after he received communion on Sunday in the diocese, chastising him with "urgency" to examine his conscience carefully before receiving communion again.

Biden, who calls himself a devout Catholic, is an outspoken abortion proponent and as such has incurred automatic excommunication from the Church according to Canon Law.

The bishop witnessed to the Church's teaching that "human life is to be respected from the moment of conception until natural death," a principle of reason and of the common good that he called "knowable to all even beyond the categories of faith."

While not explicitly condemning the VP-Elect's reception of Holy Communion, Bishop John Richard of the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese reminded Biden that his policies reflect "a profound disconnection" from his obligation as a Catholic "to protect the weakest and most innocent among us: the child in the womb."

Thank you bishop!

N.D. Union Bans Teacher of the Year from Reception

From Jennifer Mesko : North Dakota’s new Teacher of the Year was barred from a reception held to honor top teachers because she declined to join the North Dakota Education Association (NDEA), The Associated Press reported.

Beth Ekre, a sixth-grade teacher at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School in Fargo, showed up for the Oct. 23 “Celebration of Excellence” social at a Fargo hotel, hours after her selection as North Dakota’s Teacher of the Year was announced at an NDEA instructional conference.
The event was intended to honor award-winning teachers, officials said.

Ekre said Dakota Draper, the NDEA’s president, and Linda Harsche, a public relations staffer, met her at the door and told her she could not attend because it was limited to association members.

“It was a humiliating experience,” Ekre told the AP. “It’s one of the most uncomfortable situations I’ve ever been in.”

Ekre, who has been a teacher for 16 years, said she joined the association when she began teaching but dropped out because she regards the NDEA’s parent organization, the National Education Association, as too politically liberal.
NDEA members automatically are members of the NEA and provide support to the national organization.

“This is one of many actions the NEA and its affiliates have taken that clearly demonstrate the well-being of teachers and students is not its first priority,” said Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family Action. “The NEA affiliate in California recently donated more than $1 million in an unsuccessful effort to defeat a measure protecting traditional marriage.

“But the good news is there are more and more high-quality, courageous teachers like Ms. Ekre who are rising up and refusing to let their dollars support agendas they don’t support.”

Rendell, Specter Say Palin Hurt McCain's Chances

From the story: Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell told business leaders at a postelection breakfast that John McCain would have had a better chance of winning Pennsylvania with a different running mate, and U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, a GOP moderate, rejected the idea that the Republican party might belong to Palin. Read more....

Note to self: Never take advice on Republican candidates from a Democrat governor or a self-proclaimed moderate. Can either man name a position where Governor Palin and Ronald Reagan disagreed?

Republicans Ponder Future of Party

The Republican Party defeat is now forced to debate the future. A group of leading conservatives will meet this week to discuss how to rebuild their movement.

Under the weight of war and economic turmoil the tide has turned after nearly three decades of electoral success.

Key pieces of the longstanding Republican coalition of economic and social conservatives, culture-war soldiers and national-security hawks showed severe stress fractures during the long election, and leaders from different wings are now vying for party leadership.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin carries the mantle of economic populism and blue-collar voters, many of whom are committed social conservatives. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has emerged as a spokesman for economic conservatives focused on small government and low taxes. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal remain popular as rising stars.

Complicating the coming fight is a widening gap between the party's grass-roots activists and its intellectual elite. Gov. Palin sits squarely in the center of the debate. Embraced by many social conservatives in the party's base, she was dismissed by some party leaders, including some former government officials who endorsed Democrat Barack Obama. Activists see her as the party's future, others as a novice whose at-times shaky performance has doomed her prospects -- a split reflected in polls that showed her popularity dropping during the general election, but her supporters' enthusiasm high.

Who the next Republican president will be is anyone's guess. The winning message is also unclear. "We didn't have anything to say to the American people other than, 'We're not Democrats. We're not Obama. We're not Hillary,' " said Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, who is now chairman of GOPAC, a conservative political group. "Well, we know that. So what else is new?"

Republican activist Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative advocacy group, points to a record budget deficit, the weakening economy and two unfinished wars and says Republicans must "politely step away from the Bush presidency and say we're going back to basics." For Mr. Norquist, that would mean a return to Ronald Reagan's emphasis on spending restraint, tax cuts, and a robust -- but little-used -- military.

An open question for the party is the support of religious conservatives. They were largely unenthusiastic about Sen. John McCain, but many supported Gov. Palin and, during the primaries, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Both combine an edgy economic populism with cultural conservatism, which could be a potent political counterweight to Democrats. And despite the prevalence of the economy as an issue this year, social issues remain important to the base.

Some urge the party to embrace a more activist approach that may appeal to younger evangelists who place less emphasis on issues such as abortion but preach about the moral imperative to curb the spread of AIDS in Africa and to fight poverty in urban America. Other conservatives say a broader, big-tent approach could help restore the optimism Mr. Reagan brought to the party.

In the party's immediate future is a battle for leadership in a shrunken Capitol Hill caucus, which has grown more conservative as it has grown smaller. The re-election of Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) to his leadership post isn't a certainty.

Also likely to face challenges are Minority Whip Roy Blunt, the Missouri Republican, and Florida Rep. Adam Putnam, chairman of the Republican Conference, the third-ranking House Republican. Mr. Putnam, whose responsibilities include developing a message for the party, is facing particular criticism among conservatives restive for a new direction, several House aides said.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Republicans need to worry less about what's good for the party and more about what's good for the country. "That requires thinking in fundamentally different ways than the last generation of Republican consultants," said Mr. Gingrich, suggesting a "big fight" is brewing among Republicans over the direction of the party.

That fight is likely to be nationwide, with the Republican Governors Association laying plans to elect more Republican governors at its Miami meeting next week. "We cannot win back the hearts of the people from rhetoric out of Washington," said Nick Ayers, the RGA's executive director.

Jockeying also already is under way for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, who will become the party's de facto national spokesman. Some state party chairmen, such as those from South Carolina and Florida, are exploring potential runs for RNC chief, Republican officials said.

"We've lost our credibility," said Scott Klug, a former Republican congressman from Wisconsin who said he fears the party is entering a long period of retrenchment. "We're just going to be in the wilderness for a while."