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