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.