Reading: America’s Poorest City


the wealthiest city in the US according to Portfolio, Newport Beach, has more than a quarter of its residentshouseholds making over $200,000. On the other end of the spectrum is Reading, PA, whose 80,000 households have an average per capita income of $14,120 (of half the national average), and none makes over $200,000.

February 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm Comments (0)

Bitter Clinging Misogynist Racist Xenophobic AmTaliban Donate $1 Million to Haiti

From this week’s Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper:

Catholics in the diocese contributed more than $1 million for Haiti earthquake victims in a special collection called for by Bishop David Zubik soon after the Jan. 12 disaster. With 45 parishes yet to report, the collection totaled $1,048,000, according to Fred O’Brien, director of the diocesan Department for Business Services and chief financial officer.

“The response has been very generous,” he said, “and it’s typical of the response we’ve had from parishes to aid past disasters, such as the tsunami and Katrina.”

Oddly enough, we were able to reach into our wallets while he had our hands full with our Bibles and our guns. I guess we didn’t know that the people we were helping were black, either, since we’re all racists here in Pittsburgh.

February 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm Comments (0)

Team Canada Beats Team USA in OT for Gold

What a game… and what a tough ending for the USA. Beaten by Sidney Crosby, ugh, it’s painful for me but it must be ten times worse for those of you who don’t live in Pittsburgh.

The silver lining for me as a Pittsburgher is that Sidney Crosby has proven that he is clutch with a capital C. As far as I’m concerned, the debate about Sid vs. Ovi is over. Sidney Crosby just scored the Gold Medal winning goal in Overtime at the Olympics. He is now going to be the hero of Canada. Unbelievable.

Team USA has nothing to be ashamed of, though. They went into this tournament as an underdog and won every game, including a preliminary game against Canada, except for the Gold Medal match, which ended in OT. Very good job, guys. I can’t wait for 2014 in Russia! USA! USA! USA!

February 28, 2010 at 6:34 pm Comments (0)

Jack Murtha Naval Shipyard?

From Kevin Kelly’s facebook page:

Local Democrat politicians this week will propose naming the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard after deceased politician John Murtha. This is the same man who called our Marines in Iraq “murderers” in 2006. I am calling on every military member I know to vocally and directly oppose the renaming of the PNS after a man who publicly tried and convicted our brave Marines prior to any official investigation. Jack Murtha was wrong about our Marines as it turns out, and was also named as a non-indicted co-conspirator in the ABSCAM investigations into public official corruption. These are not the actions and track record of man who should be honored in this way.

I’m really getting aggravated at this political fetish to name things after fellow politicians. At least this time, the proposal has the good sense to wait until Mr Murtha has died.

That being said, why isn’t “Philadelphia Naval Shipyard” good enough?

Politicians aren’t secular saints.

February 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm Comment (1)

Tim Burns in #PA12

RedState has endorsed Tim Burns in PA-12.  I had been staying officially neutral in that race, wanting to let the voters hash it out, but that scenario isn’t in the cards any more.  For my money, I think Tim Burns is the way to go here.

The idea that Burns’ selection for the special election would turn the district into NY-23 is pretty soundly refuted by RedState and by the ever-sage Bill Pascoe. (Always think twice before disagreeing with Pascoe — the guy knows his stuff.)  Burns is, after all, not a “Dede”, but an actual conservative. From what I can tell, no less so than Russell.

Anybody who was paying attention last cycle should have found Russell’s campaign wanting.  Pascoe sniped at Russell in his blog post (-“But, like much of what passes for the Russell ‘campaign,’ this is poppycock.”), as did several commenters on GrassrootsPA threads (-1-, -2-).

First, he didn’t even make the primary ballot in 2008 due to lack of signatures, and had to launch a write-in effort to make the November ballot. This early stumble probably had something to do with Russell’s contentious break from his first campaign manager just before the petition period.  Russell then brought on Peg Luksik to run the campaign.  Peg’s a great lady, particularly if you need somebody to die in a ditch for the cause, but some of us would rather not die in the ditch.

Yeah, he raised a ton of cash — most of it through the inefficient direct mail process, and much of it from outside the district. Outside money is fine, but inside money is an important psychological commitment mechanism, and pays dividends in votes later on. (This is also a danger for self-funders… pay attention, Mr. Burns.)  The guy who donates $25 to a campaign is going to tell his friends and family to vote for that candidate too — he’s invested in the success of the candidate.  Dollars don’t vote, people do.

As far as I can tell from his FEC reports, there was no polling done by the Russell campaign in the last cycle. (Maybe it’s implied in the consulting fees he reports, but polling is usually its own line item.) If I’m correct, that’s just political malpractice, particularly for a candidate raking in that sort of money and trying to pull off an upset.  And while Russell did manage the closest margin against Murtha any challenger has gotten since Hector was a pup, it was still a 15+ point defeat in a district that McCain won narrowly.

Can Tim Burns do better?  I think there’s a good chance of that.  Russell’s fundraising appeal was that he was a military guy running against John Murtha.  That’s gone now, laid to rest with Murtha, notwithstanding Russell’s continued direct mail campaign against the late Congressman, with mail arriving as late as today (2/27/2010).  Burns has a more well-rounded biography, one that speaks to the need for jobs in the district, and a connection to the district that precedes 2008 (when Russell moved to Johnstown).

Is this to say that Tim Burns is the greatest thing since sliced bread?  No, that has yet to be seen.  But what we have seen is the sort of campaign Russell runs, and I’m not impressed.  To use a Rumsfeldian construction, I’ll go with the “known unknown” of Burns.


February 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm Comments (0)

The abortion ghoul speaks

The Daily News article is worth quoting in full:

Kermit Gosnell, the doctor whose West Philadelphia abortion clinic was shut down this week as a “clear danger to the public,” made his first public comment on the matter Thursday night, telling Fox 29 News that he had provided good care to his patients.
“It’s been a very difficult time,” Gosnell said. “But I know I have done my best to provide the very best care to my patients.

“I provide the same care I would want my daughter to receive,” he said.

The state Board of Medicine suspended Gosnell’s license on Monday, saying his clinic had “deplorable and unsanitary conditions” such as blood on the floor and fetuses in jars. The order also said an unlicensed employee gave prescription painkillers to patients, including one who developed a fatal arrhythmia in November after being given multiple doses.

Gosnell, 69, is being investigated by federal drug agents on suspicion of illegal distribution of prescription painkillers. He has not been charged.

In the interview, Gosnell – who has been sued 46 times since 1981, including 10 malpractice complaints – said he had not “seen any comment that a patient has been dissatisfied with the services I provide.”

He said he could not control “how people perceive” his “accomplishments.”

In 1972, Gosnell made headlines after he used an experimental abortion-inducing device similar to an IUD on 15 women, nine of whom developed serious complications.

In the TV interview, he acknowledged he had “lived through negative publicity before” and had to defend his skills and choices.

“If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not really attempting to do something,” he said.

If you are reading this with your mouth agape, you are not alone. The outrageousness of this man’s statements stand on their own, as he removes all doubt of his wanton disregard for all human life. That he has been allowed to continue pursuing these “accomplishments” for this many decades unabated only speaks volumes to society’s growing disregard for human life thanks to abortion on demand. As commenter “DiscoDave” points out here:

It’s a federal crime to tamper with the egg of an endangered bird. Why not afford this protection to humans in their early stages of development?

It’s because the birds are endangered, Dave. Intelligent and enlightened humans know that humans are a scourge: they are damaging the environment, enemy to Gaia and there are far too many of them. Those of them that do exist, however, are so very special that should have unlimited freedom not to be slaves to their own biology with the right to terminate their offspring at any time before birth. Do you see the consistency in this thinking?.

It’s also worth reiterating that the abhorrent conditions in this man’s office, coupled with the horrifying stories from his patients are only coming to light because of claims of phony prescription writing:

But it was not allegations of malpractice that led the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration to raid the clinic on Feb. 18. At the time, a law-enforcement source said, the agents were there to investigate claims that Gosnell was writing phony prescriptions for painkillers.

This Daily News article also reveals that two of the “externs” listed at the practice were not even doctors. A comment on this article from the lone abortion supporter “phillygwm:”

Once Roe v Wade is overturned, this will be state of the art care.

I think what “phillygwm” and other abortion rights proponents must ask themselves is why, since Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, clinics like this one exist. Using the horror of Kermit Gosnell’s practice to reaffirm the viability of Roe v. Wade is decidedly not a good strategy.

February 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm Comments (0)

Unions Save The Day


Big Ass Beer Fest was an opportunity for beer connoisseurs to get together and sample the local microbrew fare.

Until, of course, a union stepped in and saved jobs.

We regret to inform you that this event has been canceled.

The hotel’s bartender’s union WILL NOT allow brewery reps to pour their products and they want way too much money to work the event without us raising the ticket prices past what we feel is fair for a selection of beers that we could fit into the space available.

We take pride in our festivals and we do want people pouring your samples that have no knowledge of craft brewing.

We will be back next year at a different venue.

Outside the city, in a non-union hotel, for sure.

Tip to the Clog, who calls it pretty ridiculous.

Yeah it is. Ever try to hold an event at the Philadelphia convention center?

It’s pretty absurd when the electricians union has to plug things in for you, and the carpenters get to turn your screws.

February 26, 2010 at 11:18 pm Comments (0)

GuestPost: Change We Can Believe In?

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

So far, that theme has failed miserably on both the national and the state scene, but that is not surprising.

The policies and programs being promulgated are nothing more than the same old anti-jobs, anti-freedom plans of Great Society days. They all begin and end with government expansion or interference at the expense of private sector growth and expansion. They’ve never worked and they won’t now for several reasons.

The first and most important is that people just don’t believe in them or have lived long enough to recognize them as failures from the past being trotted out in new trappings.

Yet, we’ve been treated to budget messages and commentary suggesting that it’s the sales pitches and not the content that haven’t resonated with citizens – that if we just understood it better, we’d all embrace it.

The first wrong assumption is that people are not intelligent and that we have no idea what is good for us.

The truth is, people have seen programs after programs that have been promulgated to deal with societal ills which haven’t fixed anything. Instead, debt has accumulated far exceeding the tax creator’s ability or desire to pay.

What citizens do want is a return to individual liberty coupled with individual responsibility. It’s not that the vast majority isn’t willing to accept mistakes that some individuals make, it’s just that they are tired of paying for them in a system which doesn’t discourage the irresponsible behavior.

The kind of change we can believe in is getting government off our backs and out of our lives, removing onerous regulatory and tax burdens and bringing in public policies which actually work.

Any form of business and entrepreneurial growth requires that all the laws giving special privileges to certain groups be eliminated.

Coercive unionism falls squarely in that category. Requiring individuals to support these private organizations which they don’t want and didn’t vote for is ludicrous public policy. It has crippled the growth of jobs and produced the exodus of more and more citizens every year the laws have been in place.

It’s time to export coercion and import liberty. It’s time for the repeal of forced dues laws and the passage of Right to Work. The twenty-two Right to Work law states have significant growth. It is not coincidental that Pennsylvania’s jobs have gone to those states by the thousands.

If we want to keep our young people, then we need the jobs back. They’ll return if we pass the Metcalfe/White legislation sponsored by legislators across Pennsylvania and across party lines.

That’s change we can believe in!

February 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm Comments (0)

Racism in Shenandoah

From the Republican Herald:

A preliminary hearing has been set for a Shenandoah woman facing multiple charges in connection with a bar fight in the borough last week.

Miriam Leticia Malave, 36, of 114 W. Laurel St., will go before Magisterial District Judge Anthony J. Kilker, Shenandoah, at 9 a.m. April 14. She faces two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, two counts of recklessly endangering another person, one count of making terroristic threats and one count of harassment.

Malave and three Hispanic men allegedly beat several white patrons inside M&T Bar, 200 S. Main St., on Feb. 17.

Malave also allegedly yelled, “All the whites will die tonight,” during the assault, and hit bartender Melissa Elrod with a baseball bat.

Elrod eventually escaped and called police.

No charges have been filed against the three men involved in the fight, and they are not named in court documents.

Read the whole thing here.

This is not the first time this has happened.

Malave and three Hispanic men tried to assault three people with baseball bats on Aug. 7, 2006, according to court records. Malave and the men instead began smashing the victims’ cars with the bats before police arrived, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Authorities initially charged Malave with ethnic intimidation in that case, but those charges were later dropped….

If whites had done the same thing in a Hispanic establishment…. Well, you know….

February 26, 2010 at 4:32 pm Comments (0)

Roundup: “Watching the MSNBC Watchers” edition

(1) Norah O’Donnell’s smug “truth squad-ing” of the Health Care Kabuki needs a little fact-checking of its own. She claims the CBO anticipates lower premiums under Obamacare, when in fact the opposite is true. The CBO anticipates an increase of 10-13% in premiums under O-care.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Increase… decrease… only two letters apart. So close, Norah.

(2) Despite rumors, Charlie Crist claims he’s not bolting from the Republican party. Where have we heard this before…?

(3) Oh look, the PATRIOT Act renewal passed the House, and nobody cared. I guess now that Bush isn’t President, it’s OK. Funny, that.

(4) Andy Stern of the SEIU was appointed to the deficit commission!?! Suddenly the possibility of the Cloward-Piven strategy implementation is looking less crazy. Glenn Beck, call your office.

(5) Melissa Hart, move your car.

February 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm Comments (0)

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