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Corbett Challenges EPA

King Coal is in the crosshairs, and Nine GOP governors and our Governor Corbett are fighting back.

Corbett and nine other Republican governors on Oct. 7 wrote to President Obama supporting industry concerns about the air quality proposals, among several such letters this year. The governors asked the EPA to withdraw and resubmit proposed regulations for mercury and heavy metals, known as the “air toxics standards.” Meeting the deadline would cause job losses, they wrote.

“We are concerned with the fast pace of regulatory change in the air programs and increasingly stringent air quality rules,” reads the most recent letter dated Oct. 19 from the office of Wyoming Gov. Matthew H. Mead that Corbett and 16 other governors signed. “The added cost of administering these many programs and rules is a financial strain on our states and creates uncertainty for utilities and industry.”

Regulation is never without cost, and here are a few estimates:

That would accelerate closings at coal-fired power plants, costing 183,000 jobs per year from 2013 to 2020, according to the [National Economic Research Associates Inc. report]. It predicted electricity prices would rise by a national average of 12 percent, and double that in some regions.

The EPA and its supporters tout studies claiming that the price would be lower and would be offset by benefits in other sectors. The agency estimates that adhering to the standards will save Americans $59 billion to $140 billion annually in health care costs. In Pennsylvania, the cross-state pollution rule will lower premature deaths by as many as 2,900 annually, the studies estimate. The EPA says its proposals would save Pennsylvania $13 billion to $32 billion in annual health costs by 2016.

Of course the work to compute the “savings” is never show, but it’s hard to believe that Pennsylvania stands to get 20% of the nationwide “savings” benefit.

Environmental leftists might be able to argue for increased regulations during flush economic times, but it’s suicidal to propose killing jobs (including the supporting industries) and hiking the price of energy in this economy.

Governor Corbett is right to push back.

October 31, 2011 at 10:59 pm Comment (1)

New State House and Senate Maps

They’re out in all their glory.

Short analysis–this is the GOP-drawn map which no one should be surprised about. Elections have consequences. Anyhow, Jim Brewster’s Senate seat in Allegheny County becomes a brand new seat in Monroe County and should be a prime pick-up opportunity for Senate Republicans. Bud George gets his wish in Clearfield County and keeps his district after he publicly slammed the GOP for getting rid of it; in return the GOP makes Democrats Jesse White and Nick Kotik duke it out in the southwest. By the way, the elimination of George’s seat was the Democrats’ idea. Nice work, Bud. You got exactly what you deserve.

And hey, look! The Democrats are bitching! We must have done something right.

October 31, 2011 at 7:24 pm Comments (0)

Only in Pennsylvania…

Once again, Pittsburgh makes the Drudge Report’s news of the weird.

Man Steals Sandwich, Uses Stolen Forklift As Getaway.

October 29, 2011 at 10:06 am Comments (0)

Shapiro Met With Tea Party Too!

Boy, this video is going to be killer.

Though Democratic Montgomery County commissioner candidate Josh Shapiro has accused Republican opponent Jenny Brown of being “the only candidate to meet with the Tea Party,” it has come to the light Shapiro himself met with a local Tea Party group last year.

A current state House member, Shaprio — and running mate Leslie Richards — are competing against Brown and Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. for three board seats. When pressed by Castor during the taping of Larry Kane’s “Voice of Reason” show Thursday, Shapiro finally admitted he had met with the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots — Eastern Montco. “(Shapiro) even lied directly to the voters on the show,” Castor said. “I didn’t have any objection that he had met with the Tea Party, but that he said Jenny Brown is bad because she did.”

October 28, 2011 at 10:59 pm Comment (1)

Harrisburg: Museum of Democrat Incompetence

How did Harrisburg get so screwed up the state had to take over?

Pretty much one man.

Under seven-term Mayor Stephen Reed, who governed from 1982 to 2010, Harrisburg had a long love affair with borrowed money, using it to spur projects of dubious value. The city invested millions of dollars in a stadium in the late 1980s to attract a minor league baseball team. When the Harrisburg Senators threatened to leave in 1995, the city bought the team with borrowed money. In 2009, even as the fiscal clouds darkened, it sank another $45 million, including $18 million in new debt, into upgrading the stadium. The team was attracting 2,488 fans per game.

Then there are those historical artifacts. Mr. Reed, once described by a local newspaper as a man who “never met a municipal bond he didn’t like,” wanted to borrow to open a network of museums. He spent some $39 million on a National Civil War Museum that opened in 2001. It has struggled for years to attract crowds. Undeterred, the mayor borrowed some $8 million to buy artifacts—including a Gatling gun, a Wells Fargo coach and a document signed by Wyatt Earp—for a proposed Wild West museum, though most of the purchases were made without the knowledge and consent of the city council. Plans for a Wild West museum and a National Sports Hall of Fame, financed by a $30 million bond offering, mercifully fell through.

The Harrisburg Authority, a city agency controlled by the mayor, floated much of the city’s debt, including millions on an ill-fated incinerator. Built in the 1970s, it has been plagued by breakdowns and operating losses. Many other municipal governments, including nearby Lancaster County’s, have turned their incinerators over to private-sector operators. The Harrisburg Authority spent the 1990s investing millions in a fruitless effort to make the plant efficient and profitable. But default loomed by 2003—when the city was forced to close the incinerator, now saddled with $100 million in debt, because it did not comply with federal clean-air standards.

Read the whole thing and marvel at the insanity.

Clearly another example of why anything the government feels it needs to “invest” in is doomed to fail. The private sector didn’t want any part of it because it was too bad an investment!!!

October 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm Comments (0)

Philly Abortuary: Two Plead Guilty

Philly.com

Adrienne Moton, 34, and Sherry West, 52, are scheduled to plead guilty for contributing to deaths that occurred in the filthy, unlicensed West Philadelphia abortion clinic run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 70.

Gosnell could face the death penalty for what prosecutors contend are the murders of seven babies born alive and viable at the clinic only to have their spinal cords cut.

He is also charged with the third-degree murder of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who died in 2009 after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by Gosnell, a family practitioner who lacked certification as an OB/GYN.

In January, prosecutors charged 10 defendants in the case following the release of a 281-page grand jury report that depicted Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society clinic on Lancaster Avenue as a macabre tomb littered with aborted fetuses in bags and bottles.

The death penalty would be too kind.

October 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm Comments (0)

The Boss Coming to the Constitution Center

Huh?

One nation under . . . Bruce?

The National Constitution Center would like to think so. The museum on Independence Mall, more used to Founding Fathers and government branches than rockers, announced Thursday it would be the only venue outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland to host a hugely popular Bruce Springsteen exhibition.

“From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen” will run at the center from Feb. 17 to Sept. 3, 2012.

It explores one of our most treasured rights, freedom of expression,” Constitution Center president and chief executive David Eisner said at a news conference Thursday morning, surrounded by guitars that belonged to, no, not Bruce, but to museum staff members.

(Actual Springsteen guitars, including the Fender Esquire featured on the cover of Born to Run, will be part of the exhibition, along with handwritten drafts of lyrics, tapes of his audition with Columbia Records, the iconic outfit he wore on the Born in the USA album cover, and Springsteen’s 1960 Corvette.)

Doesn’t make any sense to me. Just an excuse to show a Springsteen exhibit, I guess.

October 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm Comments (0)

With Gaddafi’s Death, Is Libya The Next Iraq?

Long oppressed by their strongman leader, the rebels finally had their day. With immense military and political help from the West, they first toppled the regime, and later, the dictator himself.  At long last, “freedom” was theirs, although as we have come to know, one person’s freedom is another’s hell.

And how did the rebels show their appreciation to their liberators? By showering them not with roses, but roadside bombs, bullets and vitriol. Their message? “Thanks — now get out.”

So it was in Iraq, and so it will be in Libya.

Amazingly, Western leaders either don’t read history, or, more likely, do so and arrogantly think they can avoid the same mistakes.

They can’t.

The objective of the US and NATO was to remove Gaddafi. Well, mission accomplished. But once again, the age-old adage applies: Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it. And get it they did, but now what? How much more blood and treasure will be expended to maintain a presence in a country that was a) stable, b) a Muslim “ally” of the West, and therefore c) didn’t need an occupying Western presence?

Sadly, too much.

*****

There was no question why the U.S. became involved in Libya.  It wasn’t about stopping a dictator or civilian deaths.  And it’s wasn’t about democracy and freedom.  It was because Libya produces a lot of oil. Period.

Need proof?  Among numerous examples, just look at Syria.  They continue to massacre their citizens and foment terrorism, but their petroleum production is but a fraction of what Libya pumps out annually. Case closed.

So America once again did much of the heavy lifting, giving its imprimatur for the airstrikes which led to the rebels taking down Gaddafi.   

But it seems that we have forgotten one small thing.  Those rebels — who brutally and gleefully executed Gaddafi in full view of cameras, and are now “running” the country — are the same folks who comprised the largest fighting force outside of Iraq to engage the United States military in that country.

That bears repeating.

We just backed the very same people who have been shooting at us for the past eight years.  A naïve question, to be sure, but did anyone in charge actually bother to think about this before participating in the regime change of a sovereign nation?

The rebels, who are no longer rebels but now governmental “leaders,” have tasted power. They are getting used to carrying out the law —their law — on the spot, administering justice as they see fit. To think that they are just going to lay down their weapons (which we provided) and obey orders from a civilian politician is a fairy tale. Just look at the recent revelation that upwards of 20,000 portable surface-to-air missiles, each capable of downing a jetliner, are missing and feared to be in unfriendly hands. What a shock.

The result will be chaos and armed factions roaming the country.  And when they are pressed further, look for car bombs and oil pipelines to start exploding.

Kind of like…Iraq. 

But the West can’t have that, so by its own admission, it will be sending in ground troops.  And as history shows, that is never a short-term proposition. 

Of course, since European countries are broke and wholly incapable of sustaining any military operation, the United States will inevitably be drawn further into the Libyan quagmire.

In the hope of not repeating past mistakes, there are two lessons that should be heeded by what will hopefully be a new Administration next year:

1) Credibility is everything.  Nowhere is a nation’s word more important than on the world stage. If a country that prides itself on being of high moral character lies and betrays, it’s credibility is shot.  Period. It’s a lesson the United States still hasn’t learned.

For example, America urged the Kurds to rise up against Saddam Hussein at the conclusion of Gulf War I, pledging support to help them overthrow the dictator. But the U.S. reneged on that promise, leading to the needless slaughter of many. Because of our credibility gap, we were forced to expend enormous effort to convince the Kurds to join the coalition in the Gulf War II. 

Fast forward to the present, and it is apparent that lesson has gone unheeded, as the Libyan debacle clearly illustrates.

Moammar Gaddafi was never an angel, not in the beginning of his forty-year reign, nor at the end.  But he showed himself to be a leader with whom the West could effectively work, even if his transformation was rooted in self-preservation.

In no uncertain terms, Gaddafi was told to shape up or face the consequences.  To his credit, he did, and then some.  He admitted complicity in the Pan Am 103 bombing and paid reparations, dismantled his WMD/nuclear program, and stopped harboring terrorists.  As a result of his positive actions, Gaddafi’s nation was removed the Terrorism List by the George W. Bush Administration, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stating Libya was rewarded for its “renunciation of terrorism and the excellent cooperation Libya has provided to the U.S.” in the war on terror.

And yet, despite U.S. assurances to Libya that the two nations would be conditional allies, that “excellent cooperation” wasn’t good enough.  America broke its word by helping to eliminate a leader who had done everything the United States had asked of him.  With that kind of “credibility,” is it any wonder why many leaders have chosen a path at odds with America? Venezuelan General Hugo Chavez comes to mind.

This results in needless roadblocks in diplomatic, political and economic negotiations around the world. The damage from one thoughtless decision can take years to repair, with Libya the latest example.

2) It is time for energy independence.  Despite the inherent common sense of energy independence, both from economic and security perspectives, it remains a policy neither Party chooses to advance.  Sure, the rhetoric is there, but that is where it ends.

Rather than tap into the largest natural gas deposits in the world (the Marcellus and Utica Shales), the vast oil reserves in Alaska, the Bakken Formation in North Dakota, the reserves under the Rockies that may be the largest on the planet, and drill offshore, the politicians continue the disastrous policy of relying on petroleum from hostile nations.

Put another way, if Libya, and the entire Middle East for that matter, wasn’t sitting on huge reserves, America wouldn’t give it a second thought, with the exception of its security guarantee to Israel.

But because neither Party will pursue energy independence in a meaningful manner, job creation suffers, inflation rises, and America’s fighting forces remain in the crosshairs.

So once again, America is involved in yet another conflict with no clear objectives, which will only create more uncertainty in world markets that are already on the verge of collapse.

Common sense is such that America should stop playing policeman to the world, become energy independent, put the interests of its citizens before the people of other nations, and, above all, keep its word.

Don’t hold your breath. As Voltaire said, “Common sense is not so common.”

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com  His self-syndicated model has earned him the largest cumulative media voice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

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October 28, 2011 at 11:43 am Comments (0)

School Choice–Halfway There

The full Pennsylvania Senate just passed SB1, the school choice measure, 27-22.

October 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm Comments (0)

#OccupyPhilly: Still Smelly

Inquirer

In Philadelphia, city officials have been waiting almost two weeks for Occupy Philly to respond to a letter containing a list of health and safety concerns. City Managing Director Richard Negrin said officials could not wait much longer to address hazards such as smoking in tightly packed tents, camp layouts that hinder emergency access, and exposure to human waste.

Negrin told The Inquirer on Tuesday night that Occupy organizers were meeting on the city’s concerns, and said the situation was “evolving.”

Frank Rizzo wouldn’t have stood for this. He was a 1%er.

October 26, 2011 at 11:37 am Comments (0)

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