From the story: Environmental experts tout real trees, noting that it takes four to nine years to grow a real, six-foot tree. By choosing one, people are supporting tree farmers and the industry, they add. "One of the biggest misconceptions of the general public still today is that harvesting of Christmas trees is cutting down forests," says Peter Danley, a landscaping expert. "This is not the case." In its afterlife, a natural tree can be reused as mulch. The huge Rockefeller Center Christmas tree put up in New York City produces three tons of mulch annually, according to Rick Dungey, spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association.
Well I'm glad I unknownly did my part to save the earth....

Note: The "tree" in the photo is made out of empty Mt. Dew cans(they are green) complete with a 2 liter topper. That's extreme recycling!
See for yourself!

Pittsburgh’s Worsening Policy Spiral

Pittsburgh's City Council is holding debates over proposed prevailing wage legislation. The legislation requires that any tenant of a subsidized development "would have to pay hotel, cafeteria, grocery, and building service workers prevailing wages, based on the averages paid to their peers in the city". This language is accompanied by feel good rhetoric and, not surprisingly, is heavily supported by the local labor unions. The proposed ordinance is sponsored by seven of the nine council members. This latest market interfering bill is opposed by the mayor and developers who argue strenuously that development in the City will come to a virtual standstill if the mandate is enacted.

No Health Plan Under the Tree

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But he's old and the government doesn't think it's wise use of funds to keep him alive....

This year it's more about what we don't want. And be it Christmas or Hanukkah, nobody in theor right mind want governemt health care. You can add Sen. Joe Lieberman to that list. He threatened Sunday to join Republicans in opposing health care legislation if it permits uninsured individuals as young to 55 to purchase Medicare coverage.

To some this sounds like a good idea, except for the fact that it would swamp the system. You can't fit a thousand people in a row boat. It's not what Medicare was designed to do.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was hoping to pass the legislation by Christmas, but needs 60 votes to overcome Republican objections and has been counting on Lieberman to provide one.

If Lieberman follows through on his plans, he leaves Democrats with few options. It could be payback though as Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination for re-election the last time he ran, in 2006, then won a new term as an independent. Even so, he retains his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, a post he holds at the pleasure of the Democratic-controlled Senate.

You're Invited

Join Pierce Events along with the National Association of Post Graduates for a holiday get together.

Join us @ The Grey Box Theatre in Lawrenceville

Wed. Dec 9th

3595 Butler St. Pgh, PA 15201


$20.00 includes food, drinks, live Jazz, auction, valet parking

Tickets are available at the door

Proceeds benefit NAPG
Come on out, have a great time and learn more about this organization.

Radio Waves

Sad passings:
Joe DeNardo's wife, Dolores passed away at the age of 78.

Paul Chedwick son of Porky Chedwick passed away.
Former WAMO personality Sir Walter Raleigh, whose real name was John Christian, passed away late at the age of 92
Laurence Gaines who spent many years at WTAE Radio (1250) most notably producing Doug Hoerth's program also passed following a stroke.

WLTJ has pushed its format ahead from AC to Hot AC. I'm sure you noticed.....

Former WTAE-TV and KDKA-TV anchor man Don Cannon was arrested in California Tuesday night for failure to report for his sentence of house arrest in two separate DUI cases.

Wal Mart becomes Brawl mart

A 72-year-old Wal-Mart greeter near Pittsburgh was punched in the face outside his store and now is in the hospital.
Surveillance video shows the employee, Thomas Jenkins, walking near the entrance to the Wal-Mart in North Versailles on Tuesday night. A man comes around the corner, punches Jenkins in the face and Jenkins falls to the ground.

Fifty-five-year-old Paul Washington, of North Versailles, was arrested and charged with assault, public drunkenness and other counts. It is not clear if he has an attorney or a sense of decency.

LA Episcopal bishop vote includes gay candidates

Clergy and laypeople voting to replace two retiring assistant bishops in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles will choose Friday from a pool that includes two openly gay candidates.
The selection of one or both of the gay candidates at the diocese's annual convention would mark the first election of a bishop in a same-sex relationship since Bishop V. Gene Robinson was chosen in New Hampshire in 2003. Robinson lives with his longtime male partner.

Robinson's win six years ago led dozens of conservative parishes and four dioceses to vote to leave the 2.1-million member U.S. denomination and pushed the 77 million-member Anglican fellowship to the brink of schism.

There are six candidates in this week's election, including the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco and the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool of Baltimore, who are openly gay.

My Hero

As our goverment develops deeper into a communist regiem everyday, it's nice to know some are fighting back in ways large and small.

A U.S. Army cadet reads a book entitled "Kill Bin Laden" as he waits with other cadets for U.S. President Barack Obama to deliver an address on U.S. policy and the war in Afghanistan at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York

Dismantling America

As a country we have faced many threats in our history. First from British rule, then our own civil war, World War I & II, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, The Soviet Empire, Iraq, Iran. Afgahistan and countless others. At each conflict we have risen to defend the vision and gift our founding fathers bestowed upon us. Anything worth having must always be defended for it will always be under attack.

I have always thought if you want to destroy something, it is best done from the inside out. I have seen this happen in the Church, corporate America and I see it happening in our own government right now. When we were attacked on September 11th it was done from the inside. By people who lived here, blended in, were accepted into our country and allowed to use freedom against us.
Today I see people in position of great power with goals and ideas that will do nothing less than destroy what we as American should be willing to die for. They gloss over dangerous ideology with catchy words that under the surface have little or no meaning. "Public Option" "Consumer Option" "Hope" :Change" it's sounds good, but what the hell does it mean?

Don't write this off thinking it's above your head and it doesn't matter to you. Yes YOU. If you are reading this it WILL AFFECT YOUR LIFE. Someday you will need a doctor or medicine or your loved one will and at that point you might start to care. At that point it might be too late!
If you have never cared much about government or what they do, now would be a great time to take up this one issue. We DO NOT have a health care problem in this country. We have some of the finest health care in the world. Doctors come here from all over to learn. Why? Because we are innovative, we never stop with research and developing new ways to treat and heal patients. All that could come to a screeching halt.
The problem we do have is AN INSURANCE PROBLEM. That's what needs to be fixed. You pay too much for your health care insurance or you don't have any because it's too expensive. They doctor pays too much for his practice insurance because he is afraid you might sue him if you're not happy at the end of the day. Billions of dollars are being passed around and things are getting worse.
We need our leaders to fix the insurance system, not the healthcare system. It's because of their actions (or lack of it) the problem even exsists. Tort reform is overdue. Allow insurance companies to compete in any state. Let the American people deduct the cost of insurance and treatment through taxes.

We can fix this if the government is willing to get out of the way, but they are not. This is exactly what they wanted. They created the crisis. The real problem is this is a grab for power. Uncle Sam is about to own you. They will control your bank, your health, what kind of car you drive, how much you are paid for a job if you have one and this is just the beginning.
If you sleep through this you will not like what's left of America when you awake. Please pay attention, call your representatives, email. write a letter, do something to stop the dismantling of America.

State senator pushes plan to shrink Legislature

A Schuylkill County senator is pushing a new plan to reduce the size of the Legislature -- eventually.
Read More

Clarifying Pittsburgh’s Employment Picture

Pittsburgh's mayoral race has produced some heated rhetoric about the jobs situation in the City. One candidate has criticized the Mayor's characterization of the unemployment situation as being better than the state and nation, saying that it's offensive to those out of work and that the region's September unemployment rate stood at a 23-year high. The Mayor's spokesman replied that the candidate doesn't understand statistics and repeated the claim that the City unemployment rate is lower than the rate for the country, state and region. A third candidate argues there are pockets of economic hardships throughout the City's neighborhoods where people cannot find jobs.


The Kennedy Legacy

Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence has asked Senator Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) to discuss health care legislation and life issues with him. The invitation follows a heated exchange in which Kennedy said the Catholic bishops were acting "against the biggest social justice issue of our time" by opposing abortion-funding health care legislation. Kennedy accuses the Church of fanning "the flames of dissent and discord" by resisting the abortion-funding legislation, and called their position an "absolute red herring."

What Mr. Kennedy fails to realize is that the Catholic Church in the United States has been at the forefront of healthcare for centuries. Many of the hospitals and nursing programs today were started through the efforts of the Catholic Church and the desire to assist the ill and suffering. 

Many bishops have been advocating for universal healthcare. However, common sense would dictate that healthcare should aim to keep people alive and healthy. The murder of a healthy child under the label of "medical procedure" does not change the fundamental immoralality of the act and should not be supported financialy or otherwise by the American taxpayers.

Bishop Tobin in turn responded by calling Kennedy "a disappointment to the Church and to the citizens of Rhode Island."

Tobins' letter to Kennedy argues that "the Catholic Church has been clear and consistent in its support of comprehensive health care reform; support that continues to this day." He said Kennedy is "a disappointment to the Church and to the citizens of Rhode Island" and invited Kennedy to meet with him to discuss the Church's support of both "comprehensive health care legislation and measures that protect and defend life."

It's a shame this even needs to be explained to anyone who claims to be Catholic.


It is no secret to those who know me that I am a conservative and so it is no surprise that I am opposed to most, if not everything, the Obama Administration is doing. When fighting against someone like Obama and his minions it is important to have a strategy. It is also more important to know their strategy.

What is the Obama strategy? I have just figured it out that the strategy is overwhelm the opposition. Obama has done so many outrageous things, appointed so many unqualified, left wing loons and is trying to do so much more that it is hard to focus on one problem. There is a laundry list of programs, bills, and government appointees which make any American stand up and say “Wait a Minute”!

Some of the problems which need to be addressed are

Anita Dunn and she idolizing Mao.
Health Care – pick you problem; abortion, illegal aliens, taxes, etc.
Cass Sunstein – Free speech critic and regulatory czar.
GM Chrysler bail out.
AIG bail out.
Control of pay from the executive to the janitor.
Van Jones – gone but not forgotten.
Cap and trade.
Mark Lloyd – FCC Czar for diversity.
Carole Browner – Climate Czar

There is more but I am now overwhelmed. This is an outright frontal assault on the American way of life and it threatens our own existence.

Now what about our strategy; what to do; so many things, so many problems. If every concerned American would pick a problem and resolve to do one thing a week toward solving it we might get somewhere. The secret is not to let them overwhelm you. Take on one problem and go after solving it. It will empower you and more importantly it will overwhelm the opposition and distract them from their ultimate goal.

Go ahead America; pick a problem and go after them. Together we can save our country.


I know we are all busy trying to keep our heads above water in today’s economy. As I look around I have never seen a threat to our country as I do today – not even 9-11. The threat is not from some crazy religious zealots but from within. I know some of you are saying right wing nut job! But hear me out.

Health care is a big issue today. Ask yourself, if most people like their health care (85%) and most people don’t want it changed (55-59%) why are our politicians insisting on changing the whole system. It is a power grab of 20% of the economy.

The government already took over the banks and the auto companies.

The National Endowment for the Arts was commissioned to produce propaganda.

Cass Sunstein has been confirmed as Regulatory Czar and is ready to disassemble the constitution and bill of rights from the White House.

Van Jones is an avowed communist and was in the White House.

Kevin Jennings is put in charge as Safe School Czar and is a person who has advocated promoting homosexuality in schools, written about his past drug abuse, expressed his contempt for religion and detailed an incident in which he did not report an underage student who told him he was having sex with older men.

The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) is about to launch a campaign to encourage volunteerism. Sounds like a nice idea but when you go to the suggested web sites you are directed to Plan Parenthood and other far left organization.

The list goes on and on. You could write a book; and some people have. Everyone needs to do something. Think of this as a call to arms. Find something to do to reclaim our government. Form a group, join a group, send a donation to a politician you can believe in (there are a couple out there), talk to your family and friends, be proactive, vote, write letters to your government officials, forward relevant information to your friends and family, go to a tea party; the list goes on and on. Make a promise to yourself and commit to doing one thing a day or a week what ever you can manage. Let’s save this great country together.

Glenn Beck and Anita Dunn

If any of you watched Glenn Beck on Thursday you saw Anita Dunn extoll the virtues of Chairman Mao at a commencement speech she gave at St Andrews Episcopal School.
I sent the following letter to Ms. Beach, Academic Dean, for the class of 2008.

Ms. Beach,

I am not a parent of one of your student nor do I give money to your school, I am just an American. I watched with horror as Glen Beck played the Video of the commencement speech given by Anita Dunn where she extols the virtues of Chairman Mao to your High School students.

Our children are our most precious gift and they should be protected and nurtured. Having an adult, endorsed by the school and our government, tout the philosophy of someone who murdered 70,000,000 people at their commencement ceremony is inexcusable unless you support and agree with Ms. Dunn position. I realize there is a “freedom of speech” argument but would you let David Duke address you student body?

This incident begs the following questions:

If you didn’t know what she was going to say did you do anything to offset her comments?
Was there anyone in authority at the ceremony who should have “pulled the plug” when she rambled on about “the great philosopher Mao”?
Did your students even know who Mao was and what he did?
Did you students know he killed more people that Hitler?

It would be nice to receive an answer but I don’t expect one unless you were as appalled by her comments as I was. God bless you and the children in your care. Please be careful with your charges.

James G. Pierce
Pittsburgh PA

Radio Waves

WAOB calls now grace 860

The ledgendary call letters WAMO are now up for grabs as WAOB now graces AM 860 as well as FM 106.7. The FM callsign was changed a few weeks ago. Will Eddie Edwards grab WAMO for 660?  Edwards is purchasing Alex Langer's WPYT (660), a 1,400-watt daytime-only station licensed to Wilkinsburg.

Bye George

George L. Miles, Jr., the longest-serving chief executive of WQED, will retire as President and CEO. George Miles has been WQED's President and CEO since September 1994.

Pitt, Penn State tuition fates ride on table games decision

Whether students at the University of Pittsburgh will bear another tuition increase could depend on whether the Legislature approves table games.

Read More

NFL - No Foreign Language

If you saw Monday night football you might have noticed something a bit strange. No not the awful uniforms, but a referee making a call in Spanish.
Latinos are celebrating their heritage this month and while I have no reason to object, changing and American icon such as Monday Night Football is a bit much. I mean why not broadcast in Italian for Columbus Day?
Before you call me some sort of bigoted racist, review the tape. The audience in Miami booed. If you can’t sell Spanish in Miami then just give up.
The Latino celebration began with Marc Anthony singing the National Anthem. Fine. From there the NFL goes completely LOCO! They released a series of 30-second Spanish-language spots pitching a Hispanic Dolphins fan against a Jets fan in several win-lose situations. In the first video, a child wearing a Mark Sanchez Jets jersey beats up on a dolphin-shaped pinata.
The call in Spanish was for a false start. Ironic, isn’t it.

More Tax = Less Freedom

Around the Nation: Tax Foundation Report on the States
A report just released by the Tax Foundation has given the unwelcome title of least "business-friendly" states to -- no surprises here -- New Jersey, New York and California. On the other end of the spectrum is South Dakota, which has the most business-friendly tax system, followed by Wyoming and Alaska. Evaluating states based on taxes that matter most to businesses -- corporate income, individual income, sales, unemployment insurance and property taxes -- the foundation found that the blue state trio boasts "the most inhospitable [tax structures] to economic growth." The foundation noted, "The ideal tax system ... is simple, transparent, stable, neutral to business activity, and pro-growth."
Interestingly, a study released earlier this year by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked the same bottom three states among the five least free states in the country in terms of economic and personal freedom as measured by "state and local government intervention across a wide range of public policies." New Hampshire, which tied for first in freedom, also came in as one of the Tax Foundation's most business-friendly states.
Unfortunately, the most anti-business states have yet to fully grasp the connection. For example, it appeared to be news to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office when it announced this week that small business regulations have cost the state $492 billion and a whopping 3.8 million jobs, amounting to $134,122 and one job loss per small business in 2007.
So, freedom = economic growth, while burdensome government regulations = economic contraction. Coincidence? We think not.

Excellent analysis and reporting by the Patriot Post

Rants and Raves

I've missed so much being too busy to post. The Death of Uncle Teddy created an uproar among Catholics who saw his funeral mass as a slap in the face. Kennedy was about as faithful a Catholic as Marilynn Manson. Still, I see a funeral as being more for the living and not the dead. If you are sizzling like bacon then pomp and circumsatnce doesn't really matter much.

Iran is now working on nuke factory number 2 and they announced it like it's a new Macy's opening at the mall. I seem to recall suggesting we hasten the meeting between President Ahmanidoit and Allah. Even his own people know this guy is nuts. I guess it's going to take a pair of Isreali gonads to get anything done.

Speaking of that .... Has anyone notice how our president has just nutured us on the world stage? Hope and change folks. I'm hoping we don't changing into a 3 world country. Nowadays if you turn America over, there is a sticker that says "Made in China".

As the G 20 comes to a close here in Pittsburgh, I applaud the police who protect our city. With the excepeion of a few broken windows order has reined. I'm all in favor of free speech, just don't act like an ass in the process. People stop listening to you if you are dressed like a ninga or sparying urine in their face. It's not a good conversation starter. Half of the fools I can't even tell you what they really want.

My encounter with the Greenpeace bridge idiots earlier this week is a good example. They are worried about emmissions in the air. Yet their act of stupidity caused 40 fossil fuel burning police vehicles to respond and no less than 3 helicopters to hover for 2 hours. I would have cut the rope they were holding onto just to save the earth. (and for a chuckle).

NEW VIDEO: When it Matters Most, Arlen Specter is for Arlen Specter

Team Toomey released a new web video and we want our readers to be the first to see it.

The video speaks for itself, but we need your help to spread the word.

Children Chant for Obama

This was filmed around June 19, 2009 at the B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, NJ. Check out the indoctrination of our school children. Where are the parents of these children? Your first job as a parent is to protect them and keep them safe.

Click Here to View


President Obama’s speech at the UN yesterday shows that the president is not above throwing anyone under the bus. Recently we have seen Van Jones, ACORN, and now the Jewish State of Israel. His speech yesterday clearly demonstrated that he has thrown one of our strongest allies under the bus. John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN said that in his address Obama "put Israel on the chopping block. I don’t think there’s ever been a speech by an American president, let alone one at the United Nations, that was so critical of Israel."

It is interesting to note that according to the National Jewish Democratic Conference 78% of the Jewish vote went to Obama in the 2008 election. So I ask our Jewish friends who voted for Obama, How’s that Obama thing working out for you.



From the :
Obama open to newspaper bailout bill
By Michael O'Brien - 09/20/09 04:24 PM ET

The president said he is "happy to look at" bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.

"I haven't seen detailed proposals yet, but I'll be happy to look at them," Obama told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade in an interview.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced S. 673, the so-called "Newspaper Revitalization Act," that would give outlets tax deals if they were to restructure as 501(c)(3) corporations. That bill has so far attracted one cosponsor, Cardin's Maryland colleague Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).

Comment added: Newspapers are suppose to be the “watchdogs” of the government. Can they bite the hand that feeds them?

Pennsylvania Criminal Representatives

On Sept 17, 2009 the US House of Representatives voted on a bill to defund ACORN, the criminal enterprising community action group. This is the group has been recently exposed by Fox News and a few other responsible news outlets for there laundry list of crimes which included using tax payer dollars to commit crimes involving prostitution, tax fraud, bank fraud, and using illegal 13 year old immigrants as prostitutes.

As previously report, Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey voted against a similar bill in the Senate. Now Pennsylvania can add three Congressmen to the list of public servants who are apparently in favor of funding prostitution, tax fraud, bank fraud, and using 13 year old illegal immigrants as prostitutes. Congressman Mike Doyle D-PA from the 14th District consisting of the Pittsburgh Area, Congressman Robert Brady D- PA from the 1st District consisting of parts of the Philadelphia area and Congressman Chaka Fattah D-PA of the 111th District consisting of parts of Philadelphia all voted against defunding ACORN. In other words they want OUR tax dollars to go to ACORN to help continue funding this criminal organization. ACORN is now under investigation in 20 states including Pennsylvania.

What are our elected leaders thinking? They took an oath to Support and Defend the Constitution. This is not supporting or defending; this is tearing it down and destroying the Constitution. Shame on the 4 of you. You let this conduct continue and, by your very actions, you fund and condone it. You are the real criminals; not some ACORN clerk or housing officer.


I sent this article to Senator Casey before it was published and I asked for a response. As one might guess I have not heard from him.

Senator Casey Votes to Support Brothel’s Prostitution, Child Sex Slave Business and Voter Fraud.

On Sept 14, 2009 US Senator Robert Casey D-PA voted against Amendment 2355 to HR 3288 which “would prohibit the use of funds to fund ACORN”. Can we then conclude that Senator Casey is in favor of supporting brothel’s, prostitution, child sex slave business and voter fraud. The reader may recall that recently ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has been recently exposed by Fox News and a few other responsible news outlets for there laundry list of crimes which included using tax payer dollars to commit crimes involving prostitution, tax fraud, bank fraud, and using illegal 13 year old immigrants as prostitutes.

A Letter To Spector


On March 24 2009 you stated your intention to vote no to the card check bill. In fact you stated:

"This announcement should end the rumor mill that I have made some deal for my political advantage. I have not traded my vote in the past and I would not do so now".

Again on 4-28-2009 you again stated your intentions to vote no to the card check bill.

Now you say you will vote for it. I would like the answer to the following questions:

1. Are you lying now or were you lying then?

2. If you are not lying then or now then, can I assume you have traded your vote for your political advantage? Which makes your statement on March 24 a lie.

3. If you are not lying in any of these instances, what medical condition do you have which causes this change of position?

Former Pa. judges indicted in kids-for-cash scheme

Two former Pennsylvania judges were indicted Wednesday on federal racketeering charges in connection with a scheme to place juvenile offenders in privately owned detention centers.
A federal grand jury in Harrisburg returned a 48-count indictment against former Luzerne County Judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella Jr., who are accused of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks related to the construction of two youth detention facilities.

Conahan and Ciavarella had pleaded guilty in February to honest services frad and tax evasion in a deal with prosecutors that called for a sentence of 87 months in prison, far below federal guidelines. But the deal was rejected last month by Senior U.S. District Judge Edward M. Kosik, who said the two hadn't fully accepted responsibility for the crimes, and the ex-judges switched their pleas to not guilty.
Wednesday's indictment marked a dramatic escalation in the government's pursuit of the disgraced judges. The charges include racketeering, fraud, money laundering, extortion, bribery and federal tax violations and could bring decades in prison. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of at least $2.8 million, "which is alleged to be the proceeds of the charged criminal activity," according to a news release issued by the U.S. attorney's office in Harrisburg.
Former PA Child Care owner Robert Powell, a lawyer, pleaded guilty July 1 to paying kickbacks to the judges. Prominent construction company owner Robert K. Mericle, who built the detention centers, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of withholding information on a crime.

Go Green, don't have children

'Contraception cheapest way to combat climate change'...  says the London School of Economics.

Contraception is almost five times cheaper as a means of preventing climate change than conventional green technologies.

Then who are we saving the earth for???


The Terminal Helath Care Plan

The speech last night in my opinion did more harm than good. The president attempted to make his points by slamming the Bush administration. That will play well with Bush haters, but not those whom Mr. Obama is attempting to woo.

Obama said the changes he wants would cost about $900 billion over decade, "less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans" passed during the Bush administration. That's code for "taxes are going up if we can pull this off."

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouted out "You lie" when the president said illegal immigrants would not benefit from his proposals. While the outburst might not have been respectful, it does show the deep divide that exsists in the two camps.

Obama said there is widespread agreement on about 80 percent of what must be included in legislation. Any yet, criticizing Republicans without saying so, he added: "Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics" and ideological warfare that offers no hope for compromise.

The so-called government option that Obama mentioned has emerged as one of the most contentious issues in the debate, with liberal Democrats supporting it and many moderates inside the party opposed. If the president is right in saying there is 80% agreement, it seems like the destination may be in sight. The question is can we get there from here? This whole plan might need some end of life counseling 


G-20 security closings

A secure restricted zone will be set up in an area near the convention center between 8 p.m. on Sept. 23 and 8 p.m. on Sept. 25. Roads that will be affected include major thoroughfares Penn Avenue and 10th Street.

Click here for a .pdf map of the security perimeter. Scroll down to the bottom of the release to see the map.

House Orders Up Three Elite Jets

Proving they have no grasp of reality, the House approved nearly $200 million for the Air Force to buy three elite Gulfstream jets for ferrying top government officials and Members of Congress.

The Air Force had asked for one Gulfstream 550 jet (price tag: about $65 million) as part of an ongoing upgrade of its passenger air service.

But the House Appropriations Committee, at its own initiative, added to the 2010 Defense appropriations bill another $132 million for two more airplanes and specified that they be assigned to the D.C.-area units that carry Members of Congress, military brass and top government officials.

Here's a bus pass you nitwit!


Obama’s Approval Rating Dropping Like A Rock

Exactly half of the registered voters surveyed from July 27 to Aug. 3 said they approve of the job Obama is doing, compared with 42 percent who disapprove. That’s down from 57 percent approval and 33 percent disapproval in a poll taken in late June.

The poll found that voters disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy by 49 percent to 45 percent. On his effort to overhaul of the health-care system, 52 percent disapprove of his handling of the issue while 39 percent approve.


Catholic Radio Update

The FCC has approved the sale of WAMO-AM/FM (860/106.7) and WPGR-AM (1510).

Some of the minor obstacles have been dealt with while some are still in the process of being worked out.

An objection to the sale, filed by a WAMO listener, was downplayed by the FCC. Originally called a "petition to deny" approval of the sale, it was reclassified as an "informal objection." The listener, from the East Hills, sent a one-page letter objecting to the sale which would eliminate the black-oriented formats on the stations. An FCC staffer said that the commission does not regulate formats. Additionally neither the buyer (St. Joseph's Missions) nor the seller (Sheridan Broadcasting) had received a copy of the objection which is a required action.

Meanwhile, St. Joseph's Missions has filed an application to modify the WAMO-FM license, most specifically waiving the main studio requirement. The FCC regulates that a station's studio can be located up to 25 miles from its city of license, but SJM wants to located its studio near its home base of Latrobe.

WAMO-FM is licensed to Beaver Falls more than twice the regulated distance from the proposed new studio location. WAMO-AM was originally licensed as WHOD in Homestead but is now licenced to Millvale and WPGR is licensed to Monroeville. The new owners are hoping the FCC will approve the modification based on the fact that WPGR would still remain within that 25 mile limit.

Obama's Broken Promises

Well that's didn't take long. 2 Obama administration officials can't guarantee middle-class Americans won't see tax hike. That's means get ready, here they come!

President Barack Obama's treasury secretary said Sunday he cannot rule out higher taxes to help tame an exploding budget deficit, and his chief economic adviser would not dismiss raising them on middle-class Americans as part of a health care overhaul.

Full Story

Police say church fest was a drug fest

It was not your typical worship service.

People working like cocktail waitresses walked the crowd, selling "Ganja" treats -- including Rice Krispies snacks believed to be laced with marijuana, according to authorities.

A total of 22 people were arrested Saturday evening as the Fayette County Drug Task Force raided the 47-acre Bullskin site of the Church of Universal Love and Music.

While police recovered a large amount of drugs on the grounds, they found even more on the concert-goers.

Illegal substances seized included several pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms, several pounds of marijuana, hash and LSD.

The operator of the church, Willie Pritts, was not charged.

Last night, Mr. Pritts' attorney, Gregory Koerner, was outraged by the raid and arrests and said he felt the church was purposely targeted.

Ahh yeah it was purposely targeted.... because the congreation was high.

In February, Mr. Pritts and Fayette County reached a settlement on the eve of trial in a 2006 federal civil rights lawsuit, claiming that the county's failure to issue him a special exception permit violated his First Amendment right to freedom of religion.Read more:

Stimulus Bill Gives Boost to San Francisco Offensive Art Venues

When Congress approved the $787 billion dollar stimulus package, lawmakers hailed the move as necessary to jumpstart the economy and rescue the American people from a deep recession. However, according to, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has spent a small slice of its $80 million stimulus dollars to subsidize San Francisco pornographers providing erotic, homoerotic, or pansexual entertainment.

Although the ARRA money allocated to the NEA was ostensibly for the support of museums, orchestras, theaters, and other needy artists and art venues, art houses with a penchant for perversity also benefited. reports that the Frameline film house, which screened "Thundercrack!" for the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival last week, received $50,000 in stimulus cash. The film is billed as "the world's only underground kinky art porno horror film, complete with four men, three women and a gorilla."

Full Story

The City’s New Architects

A coalition of community activists, environmental groups, and labor unions are becoming increasingly vocal on how development is supposed to look in Pittsburgh-one City Council member called them "a politically powerful force to reckon with" and we can see firsthand the result of their efforts. The URA tells a hotel developer to seek a higher classification of a "green" certification; demonstrations on the North Shore and at the Mayor's office over community benefits; and now calls to mandate a living wage for projects taking public money are just the latest instances of action by this coalition.

Let's take the living wage: it is back again after the City and County both resisted enacting it in the early part of the decade. With no discussion of a Countywide provision the City would make itself an island, a point noted by developers. And of course developers who don't come begging for assistance (not many of those nowadays) would not have to comply with the regulations should they become law, a point noted by union activists. But it is a sure bet that this coalition would stage protests and file complaints if a large-scale development (built without public money) did not pay a living wage or was not environmentally friendly-they would be accused of "skirting the law".

But here is the bigger point that merits debate: after numerous public-private partnerships, state financed developments, tax increment finance projects, stadiums, a convention center, a new casino, etc. when do the private developments that were supposed to create family sustaining wages-without more government intervention-start popping up? We were told that doing the big subsidized developments would create a critical mass that would attract private spin-offs-now nearly a decade after the late 1990s rush of activity we still see elected officials and interest groups jockeying for ever more special provisions. And they will be anything but a "silent partner".

Rendell idea -- Pass budget, then he'll veto most of it

If House and Senate conferees aren't close to a new state budget by Monday, Gov. Ed Rendell will ask the House to enact a $27.1 billion proposal the Senate has already approved, and then he will use a line-item veto to eliminate three-fourths of its expenditures. Read More

Health Scare

Careful what you wish for... you just might get it.

We wish for change and we got it.

We wished for hope and we got it.

Now I hope for stop to all the change. Especially when it comes to healthcare.

Read just A few highlights from the first 500 pages of the Healthcare bill in congress. Don choke, your doctor may not help you.

Please read and pass this on to every American Tax Payer. Contact your Representatives and let them know how you feel about this. We, as a country, cannot afford another 1000 page bill to go through congress without being read.

Keep in mind this is just the first half.
• Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!
• Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!
• Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)
• Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.
• Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.
• Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.
• Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
• Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN)
• Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange.
• Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)
• Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens
• Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
• Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
• Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.
• Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.
• Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.
• Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.
• Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll
• Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll
• Page 167: Any individual who doesn’t' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
• Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).
• Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.
• Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that.
• Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."
• Page 241: Doctors: no matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)
• Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc.
• Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.
• Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.
• Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!
• Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.
• Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government.
• Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies!
• Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.
• Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN.
• Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing.
• Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.
• Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.
• Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).
• Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?
• Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.
• Page 425: Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
• Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
• Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
• Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.
• Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN.
• Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN.
• Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.
• Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.

Oscar Mayer Dies

Oscar G. Mayer, retired chairman of the Wisconsin-based meat processing company that bears his name, has died at the age of 95.

Who wrote this script?

It's like a bad B movie. Al Franken gets elected Senator by court order and Alec Baldwin wants to be cast in the role of congressman.

Is this some twisted game where if you are some whacked out liberal who's name starts with the letters A & L you get a political post?

Al Franken in his very first vote rejected the White House plan to scrap $6 million funding to protect buses from terrorists. Back on April 29, Arlen Specter's very first vote was "no" on President Obama's budget -- a day after declaring himself a "loyal Democrat."

He the Dems lose by winning. Go figure?

We are no longer electing real people, we are electing characters. We have crossed the line and reality shows are now more real then real life.

I'm not ready to throw in the towel on this country but we have some series challenges that lie ahead. I only hope there is something left to be salvaged when these kooks are done having fun.

Madonna Not Welcome on Holy Day

A Polish Catholic group said it planned prayer sessions to protest a concert by US superstar Madonna in Warsaw on August 15, which is when Catholics honor the Virgin Mary.

Madonna has often angered faithful Christians in the past not only with her racy shows but also with on-stage antics such as a mock crucifixion scene.

The Virgin Mary holds a special place for Roman Catholics, who every August 15 mark the Assumption, celebrating her being taken bodily to heaven after her death.

The Virgin Mary is particularly important in Poland, where more than 90 percent of the population of 38 million people are professed Roman Catholics.

Busy These Days

I have not been able to post here much. Running Pierce Events has taken up much of my time. I am seeking those who wish to contribute their thoughts and opinions to PowerBlog!. Post as much or as little as you like. I only ask that you keep it respectful. Email me if you are interested.

My latest project Pierce Events is an event planning and production company that we launched at the first of the year. Things are going well, but I do ask that you help spread the word and contact me if you planning a wedding, class reunion, corporate event, fundraiser or any public or private event.

We provide a great DJ service for events as well. Schools, churches, community events and company parties we do it all. With professional sound and lights and Powerball as your MC, we bring the soundtrack to the party. Check out our website for more info.

Rendell calls for increase in Pa. income tax

Gov. Rendell's proposal to increase the state income tax to cover a gaping deficit ran headlong into a Republican wall of opposition, proving quickly to be a new flash point in an already contentious budget process.
Read More

Pennsylvania’s Parlous Predicament

The normal rite of spring known as the budget battle in Harrisburg is fast becoming a struggle for the future of Pennsylvania. As a result of the serious recession and declining revenue the state must deal with a large deficit in the current fiscal year and figure out what to do about the upcoming fiscal year slated to start July 1. The Republican controlled Senate has passed a plan that holds total expenditures at the current fiscal year level by using Federal stimulus money and outlay reductions to fill the hole created by next year’s projected revenue decline. Continue

Businesses Balk at Pittsburgh Promise Program

According to a Tribune Review report, the Pittsburgh business community has not warmed to the Pittsburgh Promise program. This is the program that plans to offer college scholarships to virtually all graduates of Pittsburgh’s high schools. So far the Promise fund has garnered only $51,000 from businesses while most of the contributions have come from the usual liberal foundations in the City. Foundations that never miss an opportunity to waste money on will of the wisp, do good efforts, especially if they involve public education. Continue

WAMO sales becomes "relevant"

Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation has decided to sell WAMO-FM 106.7 and WAMO-AM 860 to St. Joseph Missions. Also included in the package is WPGR-AM 1510, which was acquired by Sheridan in 2001.

St Joseph Missions purchased the station for a reported 8.9 million and will broadcast Catholic Christian programming to listeners throughout the region. With the use of the newly acquired signals, Catholic programming with have a much broader reach the the former 1590 AM that recently switched it's programming and was up for sale.

It is expected the programming will consist of a mix of content from Relevant Radio and EWTN with possible locally produced shows developed in time.

The deal is expected to go through later in the summer and the formats should remain in place until that time. Out of the 35 full and part-time station employees, some workers will be let go, but those working for the larger Sheridan Broadcasting may keep their jobs.

Welcome to our tent

Check out the op-ed piece by Pat Toomey on our sister site that we developed for Pat Toomey.

You'll find it here

Pope in Israel calls for Palestinian homeland

Pope Benedict XVI called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian homeland immediately after he arrived in Israel Monday, a stance that could put him at odds with his hosts on a trip aimed at easing strains between the Vatican and Jews.

The pope also took on the delicate issue of the Holocaust, pledging to "honor the memory" of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide at the start of his five-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Benedict urged Israelis and Palestinians to "explore every possible avenue" to resolve their differences in remarks at the airport after he landed.

Full Story

Where Will the Chief Executive Take Assessments Next?

Having recently lost a Pennsylvania Supreme Court case regarding his base-year assessment scheme, the County Executive is now threatening to take the case to Federal court. Considering the lawsuit losing streak the Executive and County Council are on, it might be wise to take a deep breath and consider the advisability of such a step. Continue

Supreme Court Tosses Out Allegheny County’s Base Year Assessments

‘…We hold that the base year method property valuation, as applied in Allegheny County, violates the Uniformity Clause. We therefore agree that a countywide reassessment is required and remand this matter to the trial court for implementation of that mandate consistent with this Opinion.’ So said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a unanimous decision on April 29, 2009. Continue

Specter goes to the back of the Senate seniority line

Democrats have stripped new convert Arlen Specter of his seniority on Senate committees, raising questions about his ability to look out for Pennsylvania's interests in Washington. Read More

Senate draws line in sand, OKs no-tax increase budget

The Pennsylvania Senate threw down its marker Wednesday, approving a $27.3 billion, no-tax-increase budget that Gov. Ed Rendell has said he has no interest in signing. Read More

Ridge could decide soon on run for state Senate seat

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is edging closer to a run for U.S. Senate and could decide as soon as next week, people familiar with his thinking say. Read More

The Spector Fallout

A series of odd incidents that have proceeded from Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's party switch last week have raised questions about whether the newest Democrat has permanently damaged himself in the eyes of the state's voters.

The White House is concerned enough about the developments that deputy chief of staff Jim Messina and Ron Klain, a senior adviser to Vice President Biden, traveled to Capitol Hill on Wednesday and huddled with Specter to try to iron out the problems, according to informed Democratic officials.

Full Story

Radio Waves

Clear Channel lays off another 590

Most of the pink slips landed in programming (on and off-air), engineering, I.T., and “business office” jobs such as traffic and continuity. Some familiar on-air names are missing. The 590 cuts today are on top of the 1,850 positions eliminated on January 20.

Many of the past cuts were in sales, while that department was spared this time. Clear Channel says it’s trying to be generous with severance. CC has trimmed 2,440 jobs so far this year out of a total of about 900 radio stations. It’s also cutting some corporate-level functions such as marketing. The total percentage of people cut in 2009 is about 11.7% – and John Hogan says he believes these are all the cuts that will be necessary.

Push for City-County Merger Continues Despite Flaws and Unpopularity

Not since the Regional Renaissance Initiative debacle has so much study group brainpower, City and County elected official political muscle, and high powered civic leadership influence been employed to promote a governmental change. For some reason these folks have become besotted with the hopelessly ill-conceived non-solution of merging the City and County governments. Apparently, of paramount concern is the likelihood the City of Pittsburgh will not be able to avoid bankruptcy if it does not merge with the County. Then there is the list of arguments such as the merger will save money, improve economic development, and create a top ten city in terms of population. All of these claims are easily shown to be fatuous. Continue

What Big Eyes You Have Senator

Hang the "I Told You So" banner and let's have a party. Sen. Spector has left the building.

The guest list should include Rudy Giuliani, President Bush, Rick Santorum, John Cornyn and most of the GOP who went to bat multiple times for Spector. "He a good guy, we need him on our side" they said. It was just enough to keep him in office.

I'm not sad to see the switch Spector has made. In fact, I'm glad the sheepskin suit has finally fallen off the wolf after all these years. It was tattered and torn the last time Spector faced Pat Toomey in an election. Mr. Toomey lost to Mr. Specter in 2004 by less than 2 percent of the vote.

Desperate men do desperate things. Alren Spector is such a man. A look at his record shows consistent support for abortion rights, his blocking of Judge Robert Bork from a seat on the Supreme Court, as well as his stimulus vote. He has broken with the GOP about 43 percent of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly. All this has not played well with republican voters.

Full Story

The race is on!

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll shows Pat Toomey with a dominating 51%-30% lead over RINO Senator Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary.

It's clear that Keystone State Republicans are upset with Specter over his multiple defections to the left, and it's great to see Toomey with the lead, but don't take this poll for granted. The primary is still over a year away and plenty can happen.

In other news, the Club of Growth released its 2008 Congressional Scorecard. There were 13 House members (see below) who scored a perfect 100% (the most ever) along with Jim DeMint securing the lone 100% score in the Senate. Click here to see the full rankings.
Blackburn (TN-07)
Lamborn (CO-05)
Broun (GA-10)
Linder (GA-07)
Flake (AZ-06)
Pence (IN-06)
Foxx (NC-05)
Pitts (PA-16)
Franks (AZ-02)
Price (GA-06)
Hensarling (TX-05)
Westmoreland (GA-03)
Jordan (OH-04)

Finally, you'll like this story: The liberal group,, recently sent an email to its supporters stating, "If Republicans convince voters that clean energy legislation amounts to a new tax, Obama's plan is toast."

Who wants butter on theor toast? Republicans are calling it a "tax"...they are and they're doing a great job. But they're getting help from a top Democrat as well! During a House hearing on cap and trade legislation, liberal Rep. John Dingell said, "Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax, and it's a great big one."

He's got that right. So even the most liberal of liberal congressmen knows what cap and trade really is -- a HUGE TAX HIKE.

The border for dummies

The National Post offers this:

Can someone please tell us how U. S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano got her job? She appears to be about as knowledgeable about border issues as a late-night radio call-in yahoo.

In an interview broadcast Monday on the CBC, Ms. Napolitano attempted to justify her call for stricter border security on the premise that "suspected or known terrorists" have entered the U. S. across the Canadian border, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack.

Informed of her error, Ms. Napolitano blustered: "I can't talk to that. I can talk about the future. And here's the future. The future is we have borders."

Just what does that mean, exactly?

Just a few weeks ago, Ms. Napolitano equated Canada's border to Mexico's, suggesting they deserved the same treatment. Mexico is engulfed in a drug war that left more than 5,000 dead last year, and which is spawning a spillover kidnapping epidemic in Arizona. So many Mexicans enter the United States illegally that a multi-billion-dollar barrier has been built from Texas to California to keep them out.

In Canada, on the other hand, the main problem is congestion resulting from cross-border trade. Not quite the same thing, is it?

Well, I can't talk to that. I can talk about the future.

Latino pastor group urges census boycott

NEWARK, N.J. — A nationwide group of Latino ministers has a message for illegal immigrants: Stand up, but refuse to be counted in the 2010 U.S. census. Read More

Museums lobby for continuing state funding

Soldiers & Sailors Hall President Ron Gancas and Pittsburgh Children's Museum Director Jane Werner went to Harrisburg yesterday in effort to save a $3.5 million state appropriation for Pennsylvania museums and historical associations. Read More

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board chair Colins to resign, says

Two Republican lawmakers who clashed with her say Mary DiGiacomo Colins soon will leave her post as chair of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The governor's office would not confirm it Tuesday. Read More

Threat to 'God-given' right spurs gun owners' rally in Harrisburg

About 1,000 gun owners rallied Tuesday to protect what some called a "God-given" right to bear arms as elected leaders reacted to the slayings of three Pittsburgh police officers with calls for gun control. Read More

Bank of Obama

I must be naive. I really thought the administration would welcome the return of bank bailout money. Some $340 million in TARP cash flowed back this week from four small banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California. This isn't much when we routinely talk in trillions, but clearly that money has not been wasted or otherwise sunk down Wall Street's black hole. So why no cheering as the cash comes back?

My answer: The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough. The White House wants to tell 'em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.

It is not for nothing that rage has been turned on those wicked financiers. The banks are at the core of the administration's thrust: By managing the money, government can steer the whole economy even more firmly down the left fork in the road.

If the banks are forced to keep TARP cash -- which was often forced on them in the first place -- the Obama team can work its will on the financial system to unprecedented degree. That's what's happening right now.

Here's a true story first reported by my Fox News colleague Andrew Napolitano (with the names and some details obscured to prevent retaliation). Under the Bush team a prominent and profitable bank, under threat of a damaging public audit, was forced to accept less than $1 billion of TARP money. The government insisted on buying a new class of preferred stock which gave it a tiny, minority position. The money flowed to the bank. Arguably, back then, the Bush administration was acting for purely economic reasons. It wanted to recapitalize the banks to halt a financial panic.

Fast forward to today, and that same bank is begging to give the money back. The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest. He's been sitting on the cash for months and has felt the dead hand of government threatening to run his business and dictate pay scales. He sees the writing on the wall and he wants out. But the Obama team says no, since unlike the smaller banks that gave their TARP money back, this bank is far more prominent. The bank has also been threatened with "adverse" consequences if its chairman persists. That's politics talking, not economics.

Think about it: If Rick Wagoner can be fired and compact cars can be mandated, why can't a bank with a vault full of TARP money be told where to lend? And since politics drives this administration, why can't special loans and terms be offered to favored constituents, favored industries, or even favored regions? Our prosperity has never been based on the political allocation of credit -- until now.

Which brings me to the Pay for Performance Act, just passed by the House. This is an outstanding example of class warfare. I'm an Englishman. We invented class warfare, and I know it when I see it. This legislation allows the administration to dictate pay for anyone working in any company that takes a dime of TARP money. This is a whip with which to thrash the unpopular bankers, a tool to advance the Obama administration's goal of controlling the financial system.

After 35 years in America, I never thought I would see this. I still can't quite believe we will sit by as this crisis is used to hand control of our economy over to government. But here we are, on the brink. Clearly, I have been naive.

Mr. Varney is a host on the Fox Business Network.

Government Wage Mandate Squeezes Low-Income Homebuyers

In an attempt to revitalize some of Pittsburgh’s declining neighborhoods, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), in conjunction with neighborhood community organizations are embarking on a project to put homes for low-income buyers on the City’s vacant lots. The problem is that the prices for these new subsidized houses are much higher than prices of existing neighborhood houses and as a result, many of these new homes are unsellable and sit vacant. A major culprit for the higher prices is the government mandate known as ‘prevailing wage’. Continue

Notre Dame Student Coalition Announces Demonstration Palm Sunday Against Obama Honor

The University of Notre Dame student coalition, ND Response, consisting of 12 different on-campus student groups are demanding that the University not bestow an Honorary Law Degree to President Obama during the May 17th commencement ceremonies. Full Story

Government Invades Detroit

President Obama and his team have ousted GM CEO Rick Wagoner. While Wagoner may be to blame for the faltering auto makers current condition, a President to demand a management change and a private company is unheard of until now.

The Obama administration auto task force rejected the turnaround plans of both General Motors and Chrysler and warned both could be put through bankruptcy to slash debts.

Instead of writing another fat check, the administration will provide only enough money to keep it going for the next 60 days while it develops an even more sweeping restructuring plan under new leadership.

Union workers and bond holders should be listening for a government knock at the door asking (or pretty much telling) them to give in to tough concessions.

While GM (Now Government Motors) seems likely to survive with the administration now at the wheel, Chrysler may not be so lucky. Chrysler, which is controlled by Cerberus Capital Management, was given 30 days to complete an alliance with Italy's Fiat or lose its government funding -- which could force it into bankruptcy.

My twisted theory here is since GM makes Cadillac (Look at the president's limo)they get to live. POTUS has to roll in style. But Chrysler, well the PT Cruiser just doesn't cut it. Maybe they should bring back the DeSoto.

96 state workers paid more than Gov. Rendell

If you want power and fame, run for governor. But if you want wealth, be a professor, a bean counter or a turnpike czar. At least 96 state employees are paid more than Gov. Ed Rendell, whose salary is $174,435. All together, at least 656 have salaries in excess of $150,000. At least 3,836 are paid more than $100,000 a year. Read More

Rendell's latest hire worked for Veon

Gov. Ed Rendell lifted his state hiring freeze to place on his payroll ex-state Rep. Mike Veon's lobbying partner for $102,500 a year. Read More

Common Sense for Mayoral Candidates

This year, Pittsburgh voters will cast ballots for the office of Mayor. The four year term will last until the beginning of 2014. What will the City look like then? It is very difficult to imagine in light of all the major issues the City faces and all the changes Pittsburgh has undergone in recent years. Declining population and school enrollment, staggering debt and pension liabilities, neighborhoods with high crime, excessive spending, crushing taxes and little net job growth appear to have become intractable and a permanent part of the political and economic landscape. Obviously, how the City deals with these issues will play a huge role in what the City will become by 2014. Continue

95% of US Should be Mad

How many times did we hear it in the campaign? "95% of Americans will receive a tax cut under the Obama plan".

As they say down south.... "Horsepucky!"

All that talk about Fiscal Restraint has turned into $8.8 Trillion In Debt. They said they would go "line by line" to enforce fiscal discipline. The budget has more lines then the telephone company, and no one is taking anything out.

Not that any of this is a surprise, but we should be keeping score. Let's add these facts to the score card. During the stimulus debate, Democrats promised a tax cut for 95% of Americans. That tax cut amounts to nearly $13 a week for an average family. 13 bucks is better then nothing, but I doubt it's going to stimulate much. Maybe you can get cheese on your burger now.

This whopping tax credit ends in two years. The Bush tax cuts will expire. At the same time that they are ending their tax credit, the Democrats' budget institutes tax hikes on energy, small businesses, housing and charitable giving. So you get to keep $13 of your money and use it (and then some) to pay for the multiple other tax hikes. Congratulations to those of you who bought hope and change for 13 bucks.

On The Radar

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis (and strong supporter of the Employee Free Choice Act) has so many ties to dirty money, it’s unbelievable. Read Here

Rep. Jeff Flake doesn’t give up. Check out how Rep. John Murtha could finally get the investigation he deserves. Here

PENCE SAYS GOP BUDGET COMING THIS WEEK: U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, talking on Sean Hannity’s radio show, said the GOP budget alternative will be ready this week. “The Republican proposal is going to be built on fiscal restraint,” Pence said. “When our own Paul Ryan, our lead Republican on the Budget Committee, introduces the Republican budget next week you’re going to see a Party that is willing to make the kind of tough choices to put our fiscal house in order. We are going to make the commitment which the Democrats and this Administration are not doing to real entitlement reform…”

Bishop Takes on Obama, Notre Dame

The Irish are fighting in Notre Dame! Bishop John D'Arcy, the Catholic bishop of South Bend, Indiana, will not attend graduation ceremonies at the University of Notre Dame because he uphold the teaching of the church and disagrees with the stem-cell research and abortion views of the commencement speaker President Obama.

He writes: "President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred," D'Arcy said. "While claiming to separate politics from science, he has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life."

Last week I posted a story about a bunch of wishy washy pastors who had teamed up with Obama and we holding out hope that more "Christianesque" policy would somehow float out of the oval office. They are turning a nice shade of blue from holding their breath.

The school is facing a growing amount of pressure to rescind the Obama invite as anti-abortion groups have launched campaigns attempting to persuade the Catholic university.

This is supposed to be an institution of higher learning. One that attracts the brightest mind to teach the next generation. Did no one raise a red flag on this idea?

In a written statement Notre Dame President John I. Jenkins noted that the university has been host to Democratic and Republican presidents and said the invitation does not mean the university agrees with all of Obama's positions. But Johnny, Obama is there for one day. Your Bishop who seems to have an issue with all this will be around for awhile.

You might want to rethink the guest list. Maybe Kim Jong Il s available?

Piatt company to buy State Office Building; State offices on move

The same company redeveloping a former department store and an old five-and-dime shop on Fifth Avenue is adding to its real estate holdings Downtown with a $4.6 million deal to buy the State Office Building. Read More

Beer distributors fight sales by supermarkets

The Pennsylvania Malt Beverage Distributors want the state Supreme Court to review a recent lower-court ruling that allows beer to be sold in supermarkets, claiming that if the ruling stands it could lead to "beer sales almost anywhere." Read More

Specter to deliver key vote against unions

In a blow to the labor movement's chief congressional priority, Sen. Arlen Specter said he will vote to block a measure designed to make it easier for unions to organize workplaces.

His decision, announced in a speech on the Senate floor, appears likely to leave its Democratic sponsors one vote short of the margin needed to cut off debate on a bill that has prompted a fierce lobbying tug-of-war.

Mr. Specter closed his statement offering the hope that his decision "should end the rumor mill that I have made some deal for my political advantage."


Specter trails in Senate race, poll says

Longtime Sen. Arlen Specter is trailing a Republican rival in the race for the 2010 Senate seat, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.

Mr. Specter trails former Congressman Pat Toomey, 41 to 27 percent, the poll said. Twenty-eight percent are undecided, however.

"Pennsylvania Republicans are so unhappy with Sen. Specter's vote for President Barack Obama's stimulus package and so-called pork barrel spending that they are voting for a former Congressman they hardly know," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Richards said Mr. Toomey "has strong conservative backing, but his challenge could be fractured if more Republicans crowd into the primary and split the anti-Specter vote,"

Even though Mr. Toomey lost the 2004 Republican primary to Mr. Specter by less than two points, 78 percent of all voters, including 73 percent of Republicans, said they don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Overall, voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Mr. Specter by 45 to 31 percent, but he gets a 47 to 29 percent unfavorable score from Republicans. He gets a 60 to 16 percent approval from Democrats and a 41 to 35 percent positive from independent voters, the poll said.

Tax Attack

Does anyone understand we are being held hostage by our government? When tax code is written to punish a small and specific group of individuals, things are out of hand.

Lawmakers voted decisively Thursday to impose a 90 percent tax on millions of dollars in employee bonuses paid by troubled insurance giant AIG and other bailed-out companies. They have effectively said we are seizing your personal property. This folks didn't steal thing money, it was promised (and some would argue earned).

I get why people are pissed off but let's not start a witch hunt here. Football player make a bunch of money. We should use that cash to pay for some things. Why not tax them at 90% for signing bonuses? Or lottery winners, and people who inherit money, or anyone making over $250,000 a year.

The window of the Bush blame game has closed. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he takes responsibility for knowing the stimulus legislation had a loophole that would allow bailed-out insurance giant American International Group to keep its bonuses. Obama's boy, who could not even pay his own taxes, admitted he KNEW about this. I posted this week that the shock and outrage for elected officials is FAKE! They knew and they voted for it. Time after time, the Bush administration, the Obama administration and Congress had an opportunity to attach limits on executive pay to legislation authorizing bailout money. And time after time, they refused.

Inventing new tax code is a horrifying prospect that shreds the constitution and every American who give a rip about liberty should call it what it is. UNACCEPTABLE. Maybe the pitchfork crowd should head to Washington instead of AIG.

Differences in Municipal Taxes and Spending

As discussions of a City-County merger continue and issues surrounding local economic competitiveness are always a concern, it is worthwhile to examine the taxing and spending levels of the region’s municipalities to gain some insight into the differences that could play a role in any potential referendum on a merger and to see if municipal differences might help explain some of the variation in economic growth. Continue

Spector - Toomey "The Sequal"

If you read this blog back in 2004, it's no secret that I backed Congressman Pat Toomey in his effort to defeat Sen. Arlan Spector. I even helped out on the Toomey campaign.

The decision of Sen. Rick Santorum at the time to back Spector over Toomey left a bad taste in my mouth, as it did many others. I still believe that decision played a key role in the Santorum defeat. As fate would have it, Santorum (the conservative) is out while Spector (the RINO) is still in. That must change. Toomey agrees and is out to make it happen.

This rematch would pit Toomey, 47, against Specter, 79, seeking his sixth-consecutive Senate term. Buoyed by conservative irritation with Specter’s barely Republican, big-government record, Toomey came within two percentage points of retiring Specter in 2004.

Welcome to 2004 all over again, yet this time I asking all of my readers to start now and make sure the nameplate on the Spector office door gets changed to "Toomey".

Why? Specter, of course, was one of three GOP senators who voted for Obama's stimulus sham, he has constantly supported abortion and often goes against conservative values. You can bet the recent stimulus vote will be a big issue in a Specter-Toomey primary.

I'm very cautious endorsing candidates. Not that I'm anyone special, but integrity is important to me. I've met and spoken with Pat Toomey. I've followed his work with the Club for Growth and I can say I trust him. Trust a politician??? It's rare but I do. That last sentence could certainly come back to haunt me but I believe in this man enough to take that risk.

While it not "offical", I'm announcing the Pat Toomey is running for Senator. I've already contacted the Club for Growth and I want to work on the campaign. (Anyone associated with the campaign contact me!)

Like in 2004, the political machine will come to life when Arlen Specter pursues re-election in 2010. That's why we must start NOW. While top Republicans back him in tight races, he typically joins Democrats when the GOP desperately needs him. Exhibit A: Specter’s February 13 “stimulus” vote, which will cost more than $1 trillion after interest payments are slathered atop its $787 billion budget

Peg Luksik has already officially announced her candidacy against Specter in next year’s GOP primary. Luksik ran for governor three times in the 1990s – once as a Republican and twice as a third-party candidate. While I admire her efforts and join her desire the defeat Spector, I feel Mr. Toomey is the stronger candidate.

Since 2005, Toomey has led the Club for Growth, a Washington-based pro-market advocacy group and PAC that is one of America’s most influential voices for fiscal discipline and economic progress.

Toomey believes he can bring the Spector era to a close. He won a congressional seat in a Democrat-leaning district that has voted for the Democrat in the last five presidential elections. He was reelected twice, and has never lost a general election. Not to mention he will promote and fight for the free-market at a time when it’s sorely needed.

We will continue to follow Mr. Toomey as things develop.

ACORN to Play Role in 2010 Census

The U.S. Census Bureau is working with several national organizations to help recruit 1.4 million workers to produce the country's 2010 census, including one with a history of voter fraud charges: ACORN.

Full Story

Obama on Auto: Thank Me, Thank Me Very Much

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was just a few paragraphs into an address in Washington when he realised it all sounded a bit too familiar. He was repeating the speech President Barack Obama had just read from the same teleprompter.

Mr Cowen stopped, turned to the president and said: "That's your speech." A laughing Mr Obama returned to the podium to take over but it seems the script had finally been switched and the US president ended up thanking himself for inviting everyone to the party.

Is Obama some sort of programmed cyborg or what? During the campaign everyone ooohed and ahhhed over what a great speaker he is, and he becoming known as the "teleprompt president" over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech.

Add one to the unemployment numbers. I'm such the teleprompter guy is looking for a new job

Chaplain Resigns Over "God" Ban

Chaplains still speak freely of the Almighty in private sessions with patients or families but, the Rev. Mirta Signorelli said: "I can't do chaplain's work if I can't say 'God' — if I'm scripted.

"Hospice CEO Paula Alderson said the ban on religious references applies only to the inspirational messages that chaplains deliver in staff meetings. The hospice remains fully comfortable with ministers, priests and rabbis offering religious counsel to the dying and grieving.

Signorelli said the hospice policy has a chilling effect that goes beyond the monthly staff meetings. She would have to watch her language, she said, when leading a prayer in the hospice chapel, when meeting patients in the public setting of a nursing home and in weekly patient conferences with doctors, nurses and social workers."If you take God away from me," she said, "it's like taking a medical tool away from a nurse."

Full Story

AIG Bonuses - Pay The Stupidity Fine

By Shaun Pierce

Hey you with the pitchfork marching off to AIG ... can I talk to you for a moment?

Everyone is outraged at the bonus money being paid to some suits at AIG. I understand the reaction. I never was handed a bonus for doing a bad job. That means I never ran for public office. It's a joke my elected (and now offended) readers.

As the bank of Obama tosses billions of your bucks out the window, it only natural to get a bit pissed off, yet we must take a sober moment to direct our anger.

Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley went duck hunting with a cannon when he suggested that executives of the embattled financial institution AIG apologize, be fired and/or kill themselves for financial malfeasance. Wow. Maybe the death penalty for failure is what we need to the economy around?

Most of this shock and outrage on the part of our elected officials is about as real as a Rolex from a flea market. Do you remember the outrage over the Lehman Brothers bonuses? No, that's because they did not get a bailout when the well ran dry. They did what any respectable American business would do ... they went out of business.

Make no mistake Obama and his gang of politicians knew all about it this. There is no surprise here and there is no true shock or outrage. The problem is that does not play well with Americans who did not know about all this and the president needs to save his political capital that is beginning to fade. So the outrage tug-o-war begins. Which side is more angry?

President Obama has promised to do what he can to stop AIG from spending taxpayer funds on bonuses. While that sounds great, there is a huge danger lurking here. If the government cancels compensation contracts, it could start a dangerous precedent and result in more economic instability. Basically any contract could be worthless if the government knocks on the door. All these really smart bailout folks should have covered this long before the first dime was handed out to anyone. Fact is it too damn late now. Just pay the stupidity fine and shift the focus toward creating future contracts that don't require bonus payments in the case of financial ruin.

Liddy testifies in front of the House Financial Services Committee today. There are few sights as entertaining as watching members of Congress trying to outdo each other in moral outrage.

Pennsylvania lawmakers have history of criminal prosecution

During the past decade, Pennsylvania lawmakers have faced criminal prosecution on charges ranging from entertaining underage prostitutes and charging it to the state, to extorting trips to Disney World. Lawmakers and former lawmakers who have faced legal problems: Read More

Corbett explores run for Pa. governor

Two-term state Attorney General Tom Corbett has taken his first official step toward a run for governor. Read More

Turzai calls for state income tax cut

House Republicans, led by Rep. Mike Turzai want to reduce state revenue by cutting the personal income tax rate to 2.99 percent -- down from the current 3.07 percent, where it's been since Gov. Ed Rendell pushed through an increase that took effect in January 2004.

The income tax is paid by individuals and many small businesses, instead of the state's corporate tax. Mr. Turzai said a better way to stimulate the economy is "to put more money back into the pockets of taxpayers and companies" permanently rather than relying on federal stimulus money, which is only good for this year and next.

Mr. Turzai criticized Gov. Rendell for raising state spending overall by about $8 billion since taking over in 2003, from $21 billion a year to a proposed $29 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Mr. Turzai said spending must be brought under control.

Rendell may remove Turnpike commissioner tied to Fumo

Gov. Ed Rendell said today he isn't sure if he'll try to remove Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chairman Mitchell Rubin, whose name came up during the just-ended public corruption trial of ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo.

Mr. Rubin is married to former Fumo aide Ruth Arnao, who also was convicted yesterday on corruption charges, along with Mr. Fumo. Mr. Rubin was mentioned in the federal indictment of Mr. Fumo, with allegations that Mr. Fumo gave him a high-paying "ghost job" where he did little. The indictment alleged Mr. Rubin had a job paying $30,000 a year for five years but requiring little work.

Mr. Rendell, who is from Philadelphia, as are Mr. Fumo and Mr. Rubin, said that although he named Mr. Rubin to the turnpike commission, he isn't sure he has the power to remove him or ask him to resign.

Hello, you are the Gov! You can ask him. Heck I can ask him! Come on Eddie....

Judge scolds feuding House Democrats

A Common Pleas judge has told two groups of feuding House Democrats to try to resolve, by Wednesday, a dispute that has led one side to file a lawsuit against the other. Read More

E-mail may tie DeWeese to scandal

An e-mail provided to defense attorneys in the so-called Bonusgate case might contradict former House Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese's longstanding claim that he knew nothing about state-paid bonuses for campaign work. Read More

Senator presses again for beer keg registration

Could the 17th time be the charm? Every year since 1992, state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf has introduced a keg-registration bill. This year, the proposal has gotten farther than it ever has, said Greenleaf, a Republican who represents Montgomery and Bucks counties. Read More

House Republicans Hopeful Stimulus Oversight Committee Will Protect Taxpayers, Stop Waste

Former Erie congressman will serve on panel created to track how Pennsylvania uses roughly $18 billion from the massive spending plan signed into law in February.

Members of Pennsylvania’s Republican Congressional Delegation are encouraged that the Keystone State will be among the first in the nation to create an oversight committee to monitor economic stimulus spending.

Gov. Ed Rendell met with members of the delegation last week and agreed with GOP members’ recommendations that an oversight committee was needed. The governor also confirmed that he was creating an eight-member panel to monitor the $18 billion in economic stimulus funding.

The House GOP members selected former Congressman Phil English of Erie to serve as the delegations’ appointee on the panel. In addition to serving seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, English has experience dealing with federal and state programs in the Pennsylvania Senate and as Erie County Controller.

"The taxpayers of Pennsylvania deserve a guarantee from their elected representatives that their money will be spent wisely as it is invested to boost the state’s economy,” English said. “I look forward to working with the committee across party lines to protect the interest of taxpayers and make the stimulus transparent.”

Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) said with billions of dollars at stake, oversight will be vital.

“Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is spent, so I’m glad the governor is taking some strides toward transparency and accountability,” said Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District). “Pennsylvania needs to be efficient and effective in managing these funds, and I’m hoping this committee will help achieve that goal.”

“With such a massive amount of money being spent by the government in a short timeframe, it’s essential that we exercise effective oversight to make sure this money is being spent properly,” said Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16th District). “I am pleased Phil English will be a part of the effort. The committee will benefit greatly from the knowledge and expertise gained during his distinguished career as a public official.”

“The people of Pennsylvania expect their elected representatives to be good stewards of the public trust. Where the stimulus is concerned, it is essential that there be accountability and transparency in how Pennsylvania’s portion is spent,” said Congressman Bill Shuster (PA-9th District). “I am pleased to see Governor Rendell taking an active role in this effort.

“I am also pleased that Phil English will serve as the Republican appointee to the committee,” Shuster added. “There is no question that Phil has the depth of knowledge and experience necessary to oversee the proper distribution of the stimulus funds.”

“More so than ever before, responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars is paramount to the revitalization of our economy. And while I did not support this stimulus package and have serious doubts about its effectiveness, one thing is certain -- there needs to be oversight and transparency in the distribution of these federal dollars,” said Congressman GT Thompson (PA-5th District). “I applaud the Governor for taking this critical step and look forward to closely monitoring the committee’s work to ensure that taxpayer funds are not misused or abused.”