Re: Murtha’s Rainmaking

Alex, I assume you’re getting at the ethical issues. That’s all fine and dandy, and I’d love to see Mr. Murtha retire to a nice gated federal facility. However, as a voting issue, ethics has historically been a non-starter because the voters saw the giant cardboard checks coming in. Murtha has been dodging ethics problems successfully since Hector was a pup.

Now that people are starting to notice that giant cardboard checks, press releases, and federal largess do not translate into jobs (ANY jobs, sustainable or otherwise), the entire premise for voting for Murtha is destroyed.

Without job creation, there is literally no reason for people to vote for him.

Burns and Russell need to pound this home relentlessly.

December 31, 2009 at 3:58 pm Comment (1)

Re: Murtha’s Rainmaking

Moe Lane calls Jack Murtha “an incompetent earmarker.

I want to know the why / how. Clearly he knew to ask for it. But who asked him and why?

December 31, 2009 at 2:12 pm Comments (0)

Small Constitutional Victory for Buckwalter, Phoenixville & PA

The PA Supreme Court made a decision today defending the Commonwealth Constitution. While it is not earthshattering, it is a nice, modest case study of a public servant doing the right thing even when it did not serve his short-term political interests.

Back in 2006, Phoenixville’s Borough Council tried to eliminate the compensation of its members. It was political grandstanding, as the Borough faced a multi-million dollar budgetary shortfall, and the total annual compensation of all of them was less than twenty grand. Kendrick Buckwalter, a councilman, realized 1) That this was unconstitutional, and 2) Would establish a precedent for Council to change compensation levels in the middle of their terms, theoretically permitting them to RAISE their pay as well.

Buckwalter sued, with the help of local attorney Richard Breuer. This is despite the fact that it would make it look like Ken was suing to keep his $200/month before facing reelection during the year of the Harrisburg pay raise debacle. Thankfully, he did end up winning reelection.

But pursuing the case made his reelection more difficult. Ken did it because it was the right thing to do, not because it made his life any easier. The Supreme Court in Kendrick Buckwalter v. Borough of Phoenixville has concurred that he was right all along.

A small victory, sure. But any victory defending the Constitution is one to be applauded, especially when someone puts their political position on the line to do it.

Coverage in the local paper here.

Congratulate Ken at his blog here.

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December 31, 2009 at 1:55 pm Comments (0)

Murtha’s Rainmaking Skills Found Lacking

Looks like Congressman Murtha’s earmarks don’t live up to their promised job-producing ability.

Washington Post:

In 2005, Rep. John P. Murtha announced here that a technology firm was moving into an abandoned plate glass factory. Best of all, he promised, the new firm would generate 140 jobs.

The Pennsylvania Democrat steered $150 million in defense money to Caracal Inc., along with a $3 million grant for factory renovations. “Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony is yet another indication that our investment in this region’s economic revitalization is paying off,” he said that day. But Caracal never created the jobs the congressman touted. The firm peaked at 10 employees and then folded in early 2008. Once its Murtha-engineered Navy contracts ended, the company could not survive.

The Post analysis illustrates the fleeting success of some of the companies backed by earmarks. Some of the jobs generated by Murtha’s earmarks cost about $2 million each, and scores disappeared as soon as projects were completed.

WaPo gives several similar examples. It’s really an eye-opening piece, and everybody should read the whole thing.

Who’da thunk it? Oh wait, I did. And I said how it should be used politically.

I quote myself from November, bold added:

Murtha’s number may finally be up, provided that our candidate (whether Burns or Russell) goes beyond the ethical stuff that’s been dogging Murtha for over two decades with no ill effects.

Murtha’s supposed to be the rainmaker, but it’s awfully dry in much of the district. Hit him with the jobs thing. Make his strength into his weakness. Eliminate his raison d’être.

Yeah, it’s an uphill climb. Here’s a breakdown of Russell’s performance in 2008. (2006 refers to Irey. %Effort refers to a county’s contribution to the vote total.) Keep in mind that the district narrowly voted for McCain in 2008.


Murtha owns Cambria county. Others, less so.

$2 Million a job sounds a little steep to me. I’m guessing 12th district residents outside of Cambria county might feel the same way, particularly if they themselves are looking for jobs.

(See also RedState, GrassrootsPA)

December 31, 2009 at 11:55 am Comments (0)



 It’s been a few days since the Christmas bombing and quite frankly the story is still developing: 

 Wednesday, December 30, 2009

 MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — U.S. officials are investigating a Somali man’s alleged attempt to board a flight last month carrying chemicals, liquid and a syringe in a case bearing chilling echoes of the plot to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

Terrorism analysts said the arrest in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, could prove highly valuable for the Detroit investigation if the incidents turn out to be linked.

The Somali was arrested by African Union peacekeeping troops Nov. 13 before boarding the Daallo Airlines plane bound for the northern Somali city of Hargeisa, then Djibouti and Dubai.

“We don’t know whether he’s linked with al-Qaida or other foreign organizations, but his actions were the acts of a terrorist. We caught him red-handed,” said a Somali police spokesman, Abdulahi Hassan Barise. LINK

Ok it’s late and I can’t sleep so here we go. The Obama administration’s latest homeland security failure has many of us itching to say “I told you so”. Early on in this administration as President Obama was putting together his national security team we could only shake our heads in disbelief as one position after another was filled with political hacks with dubious qualifications.

While it’s one thing to appoint tax cheats to the Treasury or IRS, at least their screw ups will only wreck the economy not get innocent travelers blown to bits or defenseless soldiers gunned down while they wait in line. This administration is so weak on national security it is frightening. They have apparently not only failed to heed the lessons of 911, they seem determined to see they are repeated. It is downright scary how incompetent they are.



Secretary Napolitano is clearly unfit for the position she currently holds. As the former Governor of Arizona she proved incapable of securing her state from its biggest threat-illegal immigration. There are many things she could have done as the Governor but she chose to play politics with the issue.

Her lack of action on that issue of national importance should have set off warning bells. It didn’t. She fit Obama’s kinder, gentler approach to the war on terrorism just fine.

Secretary Napolitano has also bungled every crisis that’s come her way thus far and is now an embarrassment to the President. For that reason alone she should resign. She is incapable of keeping our country secure and incompetent. Her latest comments about the “System working” after a Nigerian with no passport almost blew up an airliner over Michigan is all the proof we need. The guy penetrated security on two continents and only failed because of his own stupidity. She clearly doesn’t understand the nature of the threat we face and no one takes her seriously any longer (If they ever did in the first place). Epic Failure.


When Barack Obama appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, everyone commented on how shrewd of a politician he was. By giving her a top cabinet position he appeared to be magnanimous to his chief political rival while neutralizing her at the same time. Very Sun Tzu of him.

What virtually no one spent time pointing out is how utterly disastrous this pick would prove to be. Hillary is about as diplomatic as a lead pipe to the head. As our top diplomat she is now the head of a massive government bureau that is deeply involved with prosecuting the war on terror. Clandestine operations are part and parcel of the mission of the State Department. Her qualifications for such a massively important and complex job? She was a small time lawyer from Arkansas and Oh yes- a US. SENATOR. Sound familiar? You Betcha! Not a life long diplomat or a Russian specialist like Condoleeza Rice, nothing in her background signifies her as anything other than a political opportunist of the highest order.

As Secretary of State she has seen her areas of responsibility carved up and parceled out to special envoys leaving her a virtual back bencher in a failing administration. Clearly she doesn’t enjoy the President’s confidence on a host of issues and as someone who was never showed an ounce of respect toward the members of our Armed Forces or law enforcement, one has to wonder what kind of cooperation her agency is able to get from the military. From the article:

“At the time, we provided the explosive material itself for analysis and a description of the incident to Western embassy officials involved in supporting AMISOM, for them to pass to law enforcement,” Stock said. He said he heard nothing further.

Her departments latest failure in passing on  information that would have been able to prevent this bombing clearly points out that the Obama administration is operating under a pre 911 mentality. Once again they have failed to CONNECT THE DOTS! As a firefighter am I insane for thinking that these people aren’t even cognizant of what these terrorists intend to do to us given the chance? She should resign outright. 


Leon Panetta replaced Air Force General Mike Hayden as the head of the CIA. Why? Because Hayden was a Bush appointee and Obama had the power to do it. It isn’t that Hayden was doing a bad job, he hadn’t been there all that long. It’s just that President Obama wanted to rid the security apparatus of this country of any MEANIES. Since Hayden was a Bush guy that automatically made him one of those MEANIE- MEANIES who like to torture innocent- until- proven- guilty terrorists.

It’s a move like that, that points out the arrogance, vanity and inexperience of the President. There is probably no more qualified person in the country to run the CIA than Mike Hayden. A career Air Force intelligence officer he was the perfect and most qualified person for the job. Years of contacts built up within the intelligence community and the military gave him the credentials he needed to turn around a demoralized agency. Instead Leon Panetta, another career politician and political hack with no intelligence expertise now serves as a figurehead at one of the most critical agencies in the Federal Government. No shit.


Wow where do you start with this guy? Eric Holder has no business being Attorney General of the United States not because he is unqualified but because of his political beliefs. First of all he isn’t all that great of a lawyer or Constitutional Scholar like Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. His belief that acts of war committed on a foreign battlefield are somehow crimes in the traditional legal sense, to be tried in civilian courts is asinine. Unfortunately that is the prevailing doctrine of the Obama administration and it’s a disaster.

What’s more, the latest terrorist Abdulmutallab, much like his hero Osama Bin Laden comes from a background of privledge. There is no reason other than radical Islam for him to engage in terrorism. Much like the Ft. Hood shooter Major Hassan, these terrorists aren’t trying to claw their way out some third world hell hole to fight for a better life for themselves and their countrymen. They are taking up the cause of JIHAD- HOLY WAR on behalf of a world wide terrorist army.

The military tribunal system that served us so well after the end of World War II is now somehow inadequate for recent terrorists. We can see the effects of Holders mismanagement already. The suspect in the Detroit airline bombing, Umar Farouk- Abdulmutallab is now in federal custody like any other common criminal where he promptly lawyered-up. He will be virtually no use to our intelligence agencies in finding and neutralizing the dozens of other terrorists who have reportedly received the same training and mission he has. If fact so poor is our intelligence that no one connected the dots when a similar incident played out last month in Somalia. Yes the calendars read September 10th everyday in this White House.

From closing Guantanamo Bay prison now that the kinks have been worked out and it has become a vital resource in the Global War on Terrorism, to bringing terrorists to NEW YORK CITY for trial in civilian court this guy is bad news. Why subject the people of New York to more grief, hardship and aggravation? You already scared the crap out of them once with that insane Air Force One flyby. Furthermore he plans to transfer the terrorists he can’t dump on other countries to a prison in Illinois. How many more millions of tax payer dollars will be wasted on this project? Too many. Eric -Fail. Take a good look at these people everyone. They are the people our President has decided are the most qualified people in the country to keep our homeland secure from foreign terrorists. It says a lot.

Sorry to say it, but I told you so.


December 31, 2009 at 11:18 am Comments (0)

Corbett Joins Lawsuit Threat over Health Care Bribe


Republican attorneys general in 13 states say congressional leaders must remove Nebraska’s political deal from the federal health care reform bill or face legal action, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press Wednesday.

“We believe this provision is constitutionally flawed,” South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and the 12 other attorneys general wrote in the letter to be sent Wednesday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“As chief legal officers of our states we are contemplating a legal challenge to this provision and we ask you to take action to render this challenge unnecessary by striking that provision,” they wrote.

In a rare Christmas Eve vote, Senate Democrats pushed sweeping health care legislation to the brink of Senate passage, crushing a year-end Republican filibuster against President Barack Obama’s call to remake the nation’s health care system. The 60-39 vote marked the third time in as many days Democrats posted a supermajority needed to advance the legislation.

The letter was signed by top prosecutors in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington state. All are Republicans, and McMaster and the attorneys general of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania are running for governor in their respective states.

December 31, 2009 at 10:39 am Comments (0)

Riding the wave of change

It wasn’t quite what our politicians expected in 2009.  From my column in today’s Pottstown Mercury:

What’s wrong with our government is truly a bi-partisan issue, and indeed, may be the only bi-partisan issue left in our deeply divided nation.

Obama rose to power on a promise of change, on transparency and an end to business as usual in Washington.

What we have seen out of Washington is certainly change, but only in that this “change” is an exponential increase in the unseemly way politics has always been done in the hallowed halls of power.

Watching Harry Reid last week bribe senators from his own party to sign their own bill with our money, then listening to him praise this process and scold those senators who weren’t savvy enough to belly up to the trough had to be a little sickening even for the most die-hard Democrat partisan.

After all, this isn’t what you voted for either: this obscene spending, this bitter divisiveness, this lack of accountability at every level of government. It’s been going on for years on both sides of the aisle.

Read it all here.

December 31, 2009 at 7:33 am Comments (0)

This Day In History

This is New Year’s Eve and I hope everyone has a safe and happy time celebrating tonight, but before you start your revelries you should also observe “Make Up Your Mind Day”. Let’s face it. All year long we have all been putting off decisions — most of them minor, but some important. Today is a good day to finally decide, clear away those doubts, stop procrastinating and get on with your life. Clear the way for the bright New Year.

Apropo of the season, on this day in 1759 Arthur Guiness opened his famous brewery in Dublin, so tonight you can hoist a few brewskis in his honor.

And on this day in 1879 Thomas Edison gave the first public demonstration of his Electric Light in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

Here’s what it looked like. No person in our nation’s history did more to create the modern world than did Edison. His great genius was to see commercial applications in science rather than to try to understand fundamental principles. Others had produced electric light in laboratories; it was Edison who sought to produce a practical item that could be used by ordinary people. Ultimately he held more than a thousand patents on such things as a carbon vibrating mechanism that was used in telephones for nearly a century; the stock ticker; a practical system for electricity distribution; an x-ray machine; a phonograph; a motion picture camera; and numerous other devices that transformed the experience of life for millions of people. It was not just that Edison invented things — he also founded companies to mass produce, market, and distribute them. And, perhaps most important, Edison founded the first major research laboratory. At Menlo Park he brought together dozens of bright young technicians and scientists and set them to work developing practical ways to realize his numerous ideas and enthusiasms. Edison has been much criticized for underpaying his employees, for patenting the ideas of others, and for using litigation to suppress competition. It’s true — he was a pretty sleazy guy in many ways, but each and every one of us owes him a great debt for his contributions to making our lives richer and more enjoyable.

December 31, 2009 at 3:17 am Comments (0)

Re: Philly Bomb Scare

Philadelphia Police are investigating the discovery of a Molotov cocktail along with anti-Israeli books inside a Center City parking garage.

The discovery was made at about 2:00 p.m. Wednesday inside a garage located at Callowhill and N. 16th Streets. The garage is in close proximity to the office of the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices.

Those two things are often found together.

We can only blame radical Episcopalians.

December 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm Comments (0)

Philly Bomb Scare

Bomb scare at the Philadelphia ICE headquarters here.

A molotov cocktail was discovered this afternoon in a garage near a Center City office of the Department of Homeland Security and triggered an investigation by city police and federal authorities.

A bottle filled with diesel fuel was found just before 2 p.m. in the garage on the corner of Callowhill and North 16th Street. The garage is across the street from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices.

December 30, 2009 at 9:56 pm Comments (0)

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