Hoeffel: Kind of Screwed for Gov

Finger in the wind, Montgomery County’s Joe Hoeffel decided this was the year he could run for Governor as an unrepentant liberal progressive. See here & here.


Fair or not, voters have distaste and distrust this year for any candidate running under the “progressive” banner that was so wildly popular just last year.

“I essentially believe that ‘progressive’ is the wrong “P” to be describing yourself as this cycle,” said a Democratic strategist working on congressional campaigns across the country. “ ‘Populist’ is the way to go.”

Candidates, he said, should appear as an outsider who will fight for Main Street, not Wall Street.

Because the concerns of independents will continue to dominate the electoral landscape, the best that progressive candidates can do is to emphasize the overlap between progressive thought and populist ideals, such as reining-in corporate greed and influence.

In 2008 Barack Obama and Democrats won a sweeping victory through a somewhat uneasy coalition of progressive Democrats and a large wave of independent voters seeking populist change.

But President Obama and Democrats in Congress have not delivered to either group, which has tarnished their brand, especially the progressive label.

January 31, 2010 at 11:37 am Comments (0)

Global Warming: The Hits Keep Coming

First we find out that the story about disappearing Himalayan glaciers is fabricated, then we find out that the head of the IPCC knew that, now we find out that the IPCC thinks that magazine articles and grad student theses are authoritative enough to include in their report.

In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.

However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.

The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.

Climbing magazines? Really? I wonder if they quoted the National Enquirer, too.

January 31, 2010 at 10:28 am Comments (0)

National Education Association: Hoisted on Its Own Petard?

Editor’s Note: Susan Staub is President of Pennsylvanians for Right to Work, Inc.
You can email her at, or visit, or link up on Facebook.

Guest Post is a occasional feature at the watercooler… if you’d like to post a piece please email it to me, and I will put post it. Same rules apply as to the cooler contributors. You have to be a real person, no screen names… and it’s got to be watercooler topical. – Ed

Special thanks to Mike Antonucci for his watchdog work on the machinations of the country’s biggest teacher’s union. The National Education Association (NEA Union), in all of its DC grandness, has created a fund to “educate” new members of Congress. The latest New Deal from this Old Guard spent $1 million for their most recent creation from its members’ dues and the forced fees extracted for educators who neither voted for nor want the ‘representation’ from this monopolist.

The irony here – hence, the petard hoisting – is that the first recipient of this largess could be none other than Senator-elect Scott Brown. This could cause some inner crisis for the all-powerful, since 100% of the union’s support went to Brown’s opponent.

The other news, which the union’s officials are not so anxious to spread around, is that for the first time in many years, they’ve lost members. They explain this as student members don’t have jobs; therefore, they didn’t convert into regular members.

Since many growth states are adding new classroom teachers, this is subject to question. The states which are growing are states with Right to Work laws – twenty-two of them – and educators in those states cannot be required to join or be forced to support the union if they choose not to be associated.

It’s important to remember that teachers and teacher union officials are NOT one in the same.

In Pennsylvania, there are thousands of teachers who are firmly opposed to the union’s policies and politics and would like the very basic right restored to them to make their own choices as to which private organizations they will or will not support.

Fortunately, Pennsylvania State House member Kathy Rapp (R-65), joined by a record number of her colleagues, and Senator Mary Jo White (R-21) have stepped up to lead the battle to repeal forced dues and return individual choice where it belongs – to the individuals educators.

If the union’s officials are so convinced that educators do want what they’re selling, they should have no problem with giving that right to choose back to the teachers where it belongs, since no aspect of collective bargaining, contract negotiation or contract adjudication would be impacted in any way.

We repeat our offer to the union officials: If, as you claim, it is a burden to represent educators who are non-members, the simple and fair solution is to support the Rapp and White bills so that you only have to represent those educators who freely choose you to represent them.

I’m waiting to hear from you.

January 30, 2010 at 10:15 pm Comments (0)

The Tebow Super Bowl Ad

You have probably heard of the controversy over Tim Tebow making a pro-life ad which Focus on the Family intends to run on CBS during the Super Bowl. The ad tells the story of the star college football quarterback and how his mother’s doctor recommended that she abort him. Naturally, all of the pro-abortion organizations are throwing a fit over this ad, once again proving that they are indeed pro-abortion, not pro-choice.

The latest attempt to derail the ad comes from a homosexual dating company, which comes as no surprise since the fascist gays have allied themselves with the radical feminists against decency and civilization (the enemy of my enemy is my friend). The company asked CBS to run an ad which shows two men making out, which CBS rejected. I have no doubt that they knew the ad would be rejected, so that they could then claim a double standard. That is, how can CBS accept one advocacy ad while rejecting another?

Well, first of all, neither is really an advocacy ad. One tells the story of a star quarterback. The other is an ad for a dating service. Advocacy might be implied, but it is not explicit.

Second, CBS, like most broadcasters, puts dollar signs before everything else. The Tim Tebow ad will undoubtedly be well received by the vast majority of people watching the Super Bowl. The ad for gay dating will not. Whether or not they approve of gay marriage, the natural reaction of most men to seeing two guys making out is disgust. It’s just not something that we want to see. Does CBS really want to run an ad which is going to gross out the vast majority of Super Bowl viewers?

Ultimately, this is all so much dishonesty. The radical feminists only really oppose this ad because it shows a high profile pro-lifer and tells his pro-life story. If they really cared about supposedly anti-woman ads, where were they when other Super Bowl ads portrayed women as sex objects? And the fascist gays only care because they’re sticking up for their radical feminist allies against the “Christianist” “theocracy”.

January 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm Comments (0)

More Pennsylvania Pictures

From time to time we have driven past this barn at the intersection of Rtes 61 and 895. Occasionally I have stopped and taken pictures of it and some of its outbuildings. I’m not the only one. I know of at least a couple of professional photographers who have shot it too.

Here’s what it looked like back in December when we passed it on our way down to Maryland for Christmas.

Here’s what it looks like today.

And, digging back into the files, here are some pictures I took walking along Maiden Creek just north of Reading a couple of months ago.

Here be fish, or so I’ve been told.

January 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm Comments (0)

Medved v Beck

Michael Medved explains a few political facts of life to one of Glenn Beck’s devotees.

Medved is absolutely right. Mouthing Beck’s slogans is no substitute for argument and there really are important substantive differences between the Republicans and the Democrats. But, for all his inarticulateness, the caller has a point. Ronald Reagan raised the tantalizing possibility of making the federal government smaller, less expensive, and less intrusive into our lives, but neither he nor any of his successors has done anything substantive to reverse the trend toward ever bigger government and in some cases (the Bushes come immediately to mind) have actually hastened it. There is no reason to believe that McCain would have been any better, especially given his embrace of the environmentalist agenda. Medved is right to say that elections matter and that we should choose the least damaging alternative; but the caller is also right when he asserts that a choice between greater and lesser evils is unacceptable. That’s what the tea parties are all about and Glenn Beck has been providing listeners with a plausible [and largely correct] historical narrative that can help conservatives to contextualized their grievances and understand how we got into such a predicament.

January 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm Comments (0)

Worse Than Ignoring the March for Life: 20 = 300,000

The MSM seems to have decided to stop ignoring the annual March for Life and instead make up stuff about it. Via Newsbusters, we learn that Newsweek’s Krista Gesaman stated that there were no young women at the March for Life. Only someone who didn’t go to the March, didn’t look at any pictures of the March, and doesn’t care what actually happened at the March could possibly say that. Here is one of the photos I took:

CNN’s Rick Sanchez said on the air that he wasn’t sure if there were more pro-lifers or more pro-aborts at the March for Life. Really? Click on this photo for the original high resolution version and take a look at the marchers in the distance:

All of them are pro-lifers. How many pro-aborts did I see? How many pro-aborts have I seen in four years of going to the March for Life? Exactly ZERO. I have not seen a single one. The media goes out of their way to find the ten or twenty of them who show up every year and then acts as if they are somehow a rival for the 300,000 pro-lifers at the March.

I did manage to get my letter about the March for Life printed in the Post-Gazette, but not after much worrying from the letters department about my number of 250,000 pro-lifers at the 2010 March for Life. When asked for an explanation of the number since every media report they read said that “tens of thousands” of pro-lifers were at the March, I replied that 250,000 was the lowest actual number I had seen, with true estimates ranging all the way up to 400,000. Still, the PG promised to print my letter after coming up with the lowest estimate they could find. So, that resulted in my letter in this form as it appeared in today’s PG:

On Jan. 22, thousands of Americans traveled to Washington, D.C., for the 37th annual March for Life to protest against the U.S. Supreme Court’s decriminalization of abortion. President Barack Obama, who campaigned on reaching out to his opponents, left the city rather than engage us in discussion. Apparently our president is willing to sit down with America’s enemies but not those people in his own country with whom he disagrees.

President Obama did issue a statement after the March for Life had concluded in which he praised the Roe v. Wade decision, but did not acknowledge the well over 100,000 Americans who peacefully marched against abortion earlier on that very same day.

President Obama, when will you stop turning a blind eye to the weakest and most defenseless among us? In your campaign you told us that you would help “the least of these.” President Obama, when will you acknowledge modern science, which has proved that a new human life exists at the moment of fertilization? While it is my Bible that encourages me to defend innocent life, it is my biology textbook that informs me of when life begins. A new video from the Endowment for Human Development ( shows actual footage, taken inside the womb, of human embryos as young as six weeks’ gestation. There can be no doubt that these are living human beings. President Obama, please defend these innocent lives!

I am satisfied with the number of “over 100,000”, but it wouldn’t have been necessary to change if it is wasn’t for MSM dishonesty. Here is the original form of my letter for comparison:

On Friday, January 22, hundreds of thousands of Americans travelled to Washington, DC for the 37th annual March for Life in order to protest against the United States Supreme Court’s decriminalization of abortion. President Barack Obama, who compaigned on reaching out to his opponents, left the city rather than engage us in discussion. Apparently our president is willing to sit down with America’s enemies but not those people in his own country with whom he disagrees.

President Obama did issue a statement after the March for Life had concluded in which he praised the Roe v. Wade decision, but did not acknowledge the over a quarter of a million Americans who peacefully marched against abortion earlier on that very same day.

President Obama, when will you stop turning a blind eye to the weakest and most defenseless among us? In your campaign you told us that you would help “the least of these”. President Obama, when will you acknowledge modern science which has proven that a new human life exists at the moment of fertilization? While it is my Bible which encourages me to defend innocent life, it is my Biology textbook which informs me of when life begins. A new video from the Endowment for Human Development ( shows actual footage taken inside the womb of human embryos as young as six weeks gestation. There can be no doubt that these are living human beings. President Obama, please defend these innocent lives!

January 30, 2010 at 7:06 am Comments (0)

Global Warming: IPCC Head Caught Lying

The unraveling continues with the latest admission from the Chariman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that he knew the data on the disappearing Himalayan glaciers was bogus well before the Copenhagen summit where he repeated the claim.

The chairman of the leading climate change watchdog was informed that claims about melting Himalayan glaciers were false before the Copenhagen summit, The Times has learnt.

Rajendra Pachauri was told that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment that the glaciers would disappear by 2035 was wrong, but he waited two months to correct it. He failed to act despite learning that the claim had been refuted by several leading glaciologists.

The IPCC’s report underpinned the proposals at Copenhagen for drastic cuts in global emissions.

So what did he know and when did he know it? And when are we going to stop taking these people seriously?

January 29, 2010 at 11:13 pm Comments (0)

Jury Delivers Justice to David Nam

January 29, 2010 – a Philadelphia jury found David Nam guilty of 2nd degree murder regarding the death of a world war two veteran, Anthony Schroeder, in August 1996.

It may have been delayed, but justice was served today.

The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury deliberated about three hours after hearing closing arguments this morning from the prosecution and defense attorneys.

A conviction of second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without chance of parole.

Nam, 32, was extradited in 2008 from South Korea – where he fled in March 1998 after being released on $1 million bail – to face trial in the Aug. 16, 1996 shooting of Anthony Schroeder, 77, during a botched home invasion at Schroeder’s house at Fourth Street and Olney Avenue

Rest in Peace, Anthony, justice has been served.

January 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm Comments (0)

Sen. Anthony Williams’ Racist Remarks Are Disgraceful

Sen. Anthony Williams’ Racist Remarks Are Disgraceful


If you’re wondering why race relations in America haven’t improved at all, look no farther than the recent comments of state Senator Anthony Williams’ concerning the current field of Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

Fueling speculation that Williams, who is black, might throw his hat into the race, the senator ranted that none of the four Democrats was giving any attention to the black community and the issues faced by that constituency.

In other words, since they are all white, they were just catering to Whitey and ignoring everyone else.

Gee, and I thought campaigns were supposed to be color-blind.
Williams is correct that none of the Democrats has workable solutions to the monumental problems we face —black or otherwise. Ironically, it is the Republican platform that holds the key to success for Williams’ people.

But here’s the bigger irony: so-called black leaders like Sen. Williams’ do more to harm their “own people” than any white politician ever could. Despite the majority of black Americans holding Republican, and in many cases conservative, values, their black “leadership” sells them out time and time again by perpetuating policies destined to fail.

A look at Williams’ hometown of Philadelphia gives a startling example.

The city has been under Democratic leadership for sixty years — one-Party rule with no competition. And how has that bastion of leadership fared?

Philadelphia has the nation’s highest rates of murder, violence and poverty. Its educational system is abysmal, with many of the public schools being deathtraps, totally devoid of all learning and where survival is the first—and only— order of the day.

But that’s just the beginning.

The city’s pensions are insolvent. The business climate continues to decline due to the brain drain of our best and brightest. The tax system is so onerous that it ranks as worst in the nation. Its court system has completely imploded. People and businesses continue to flee to more fertile areas.

And the city’s reputation for corruption and pay-to-play is legendary.
So what do people like Sen. Williams do to address these problems? And, by the way, since the city’s population is majority black, these would be the problems facing “his” people.

Here’s the cruel joke. Williams’ actions, not those of The White Man, keep his constituents down and out, ripping hope away from the very people who most need help.

Williams’ solution to the terrible business climate? Raise the city portion of the sales tax by 100 percent and make no payments to the pension plan for two years. Brilliant Anthony! Penalize those who can least afford it (it is undisputed that a sales tax is the most regressive tax) and renege on the promises made to retired workers.

And what about education? Throw huge money at the schools, appease the powerful teachers’ unions, look the other way, and pretend that the results will somehow change. It hasn’t worked in decades, and it never will.

Until we get serious about providing a quality education in a safe learning environment, our students —our future— will continue to be thrown into the world as functional illiterates. And after the last flame of hope is extinguished for these children, they resort to violent crime because they have nothing left to lose.

The cycle simply perpetuates itself. Over and over again.

It is clear that the Democratic Party doesn’t have the answers, because nothing it has tried has worked. The GOP, on the other hand, has the solutions. It just needs a powerful and courageous leader to articulate the message. But leaders in the Republican Party are in short supply.

Up until the 1930’s, the vast majority of blacks were Republican, members of the Party of Lincoln. Why the Party and one of its natural constituencies parted ways is for another column, but there’s no reason that separation has to continue.


Who wants and needs school choice more than the black community — people who, more than anyone else, have no choice in their children’s education?

Who advocates tough-on-crime legislation and gun ownership so that neighborhoods can start to thrive again, where children don’t have to sleep on the floor to avoid bullets?

Who is hurt the most by ever-increasing taxes, fees and regulations, and who needs a healthy business climate to attract and keep the good jobs necessary to provide opportunities and sustain families?

What ethnic group more than any other opposes gay marriage?

The answer to these questions is that all Pennsylvanians benefit from these common-sense, free-market answers to our toughest problems. But for those among us who are suffering the most, these Republican-oriented ideas are more than just workable and proven solutions. They are the difference between hope and despair— life and death.

So let me shout it to those in the cheap seats one more time (that’s you, Sen. Williams): quit the race-baiting game and stop being part of the problem. If you truly want to do something for your “people,” then embrace the solutions that will get the job done.

Anything less is just….racism.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter whose news site, The Artorius News Bureau, is slated to launch in mid-February. Readers of “Freindly Fire” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on a Philadelphia-area talk radio show, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances. He can be reached at

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January 29, 2010 at 10:04 am Comments (2)

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