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 The court order was rescinded and the medical team continued to care for Haleigh.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."

Gay marriage critics sweep three states

Opponents of same-sex marriage scored resounding victories in Arizona and Florida on Election Day, and neared a win in California early Wednesday (Nov. 5) on a measure to ban gay marriages in the nation's most populous state.(Updated 9:32 a.m. EST, Nov. 5, 2008) Read More

Pa. voters approve water bond

Pennsylvanians yesterday voted to allow the state to borrow $400 million to repair and upgrade water and sewer systems. With 84 percent of precincts reporting, the yes votes were leading by a ratio of nearly 2-1. Read More

DeWeese survives Bonusgate scare

Though many had written his political obituary, House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese captured a narrow victory yesterday, promising to return to Harrisburg and represent his constituents "with integrity." Read More

Democrats gain one seat in Pennsylvania House

Although several races for the state House remained very close early this morning, Democrats appeared to have increased their control of the House by one vote. If the results hold up -- and there could be challenges to close outcomes in a couple districts -- Democrats would extend their control of the House to 103-100. Read More

It's Over. Congratulations President Obama

I wish I could say I surprised by the victory of President elect Obama, but I'm not.
People tend to react more then think and I think that's what happened.

I remember seeing Obama speak at the Democratic National Convention 4 years ago and commenting "that guy is slick".

I've said for about a year now I thought Obama would win. I was really hoping to be wrong. Yet the folks walking around with doom & gloom need to ask where their hope really lies?

I congratulate both McCain and Obama for their willingness to out themselves out on a limb and run for office.

I was never a huge fan of either candidates yet we the president we get, not the one we want. Let's just hope our leaders are guided by something more then power or greed.

Congratulations President Obama.