Curt Weldon Resurfaces In Libya

Curt Weldon Resurfaces In Libya — Former Congressman Curt Weldon, the Republican who represented Pennsylvania’s 7th District from 1987 to 2007, is leading a small, private delegation to meet with the Libyan leader Co. Muammar el-Qaddafi and  attempt to get him to surrender power.

Weldon, in an op-ed article in today’s (April 6) New York Times, says the meeting is at the invitation of Qaddafi and is being done with the full-knowledge of the Obama administration.

Weldon was part of a Congressional delegation that meet with Qaddafi in 2004 to show support for Qaddafi’s abandonment of a nuclear weapons program.

Weldon says in the article headlined “Time’s Up Qaddafi” that the Bush and Obama administrations “squandered many opportunities” to build a new Libyan government without bloodshed.

Weldon notes that he visited Libya last summer and met with an engineer named Ahmed Gadi who told him that the money from recent $500 million contract awarded by the Libyan government to an American engineering company was kept between the government and the company. Weldon did not name the company.

Weldon recommended that the United States identify and engage with leaders of Libya “who if not perfect are pragmatic and reform-minded”. He cited Qaddafi’s son, Saif, as a possibility noting that Saif had pushed his government to accept responsibility for the bombings, which killed Americans, of a Pan Am flight over Scotland and a disco in Germany and to provide compensation of the families of victims. Weldon also said that Saif led the effort to free a group of Bulgarian nurses from Libya who had twice been sentenced to death by his father’s government.

Weldon also suggested that Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi and rebel leader Mustapha Abdul Jalil meet with United Nations envoy Abdel Ilah al-Khatib to work out a schedule for fair elections.

Weldon’s congressional career ended following his defeat to Joe Sestak in November 2006, a race which involved one of the dirtiest tricks every played in an election to national office by federal law enforcement agencies.

Curt Weldon Resurfaces In Libya

Looming Disaster Explained

Looming Disaster Explained — Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, an investment firm,  is getting some notice and causing some controversy on the World Wide Web with a video warning of an impending collapse of the dollar which it claims will usher in 1,000 percent inflation and months of domestic turmoil.

If you get to  the very end of it you’ll find it to be a sales pitch. Still, Porter Stansberry makes some points worth considering:

–If all Americans paid 100 percent of their income in taxes it would still not pay off the national debt.

–That our government owes more money to more people than anyone else in the world — and that was before the financial crisis.

–That we are repaying this debt by printing trillions of dollars and that our creditors will either stop accepting dollars in repayment or greatly discount their value.

–That Mexican banks are no longer accepting dollars for deposits and that there are 150 legal alternatives to U.S. currency being circulated in the United States, such as BerkShares.

One free bit of advice he gives that is probably worth taking as best as one can is that one should have at least a six-month supply of food, water and medicine on hand.

Here’s the latest link.

Here’s a more user friendly one on youtube.

 

Looming Disaster Explained

Springfield SB Seeks $3 M In New Spending

The Springfield School Board is considering a $3 million spending hike paid for in part by a $2 million real estate tax increase, according to taxpayer watchdog Regina Scheerer.

Ms. Scheerer is seeking $1 million in spending cuts and a $1 million reduction in the proposed tax hike. She notes that $1.7 million of that increase is contractual for salaries and benefits.

The school board has a budget meeting 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 7, at the McLaughlin Education Center on Leamy Avenue next to the high school.

This meeting and a meeting scheduled for May 5 will determine the budget.
 

 

AARP Sweet Scam On Seniors

AARP Sweet Scam On Seniors — Tea Party activist Bob Guzzardi pointed out the other day that the AARP  is a “very profitable insurance company pretending to be do-gooder.”

Bob notes that organization, which claims to be an advocate for seniors, has $2.2 billion in total assets and generated over $1.4 billion in revenue in 2009.

AARP, through its sale of “Medigap” insurance policies is going to benefit greatly from Obamacare which guts the Medicare Advantage program by $200 billion and which the AARP polices are being written to replace.

AARP Sweet Scam On Seniors

Sharon Savings Suspect ID’d

Ridley Police have identified the pair accused of robbing the Sovereign Bank at MacDade Boulevard and Kedron Avenue as Timothy Christopher Murray, 26, of Festerville and Nakia S. Stokes, 30 of Philadelphia.

Murray is the one who allegedly passed the teller the demand note while Ms. Stokes is the one said to have been driving the getaway Honda CR-V and who tried to run down Sgt. James Dougherty on Armstrong Avenue.

Both are charged with robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, possessing instruments of crime, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, fleeing and drug possession, while Ms. Stokes is additionally charged with driving with a suspended license.  Both are being held on $250,000 cash bail.

Police say Murray has been confessed to the March 29 robbery of the Sharon Savings Bank in Springfield, albeit he has yet to be charged for it.

Why Did Corbett Punt On Privatizing Booze In Pa.?

Why Did Corbett Punt On Privatizing Booze In Pa.? — This article by Chris Freind is being republished with his kind permission.

Last November, Pennsylvanians elected Tom Corbett to solve the state’s problems. But instead of leadership, they’ve received task forces and blue ribbon panels. In just three months, commissions have been formed to deal with Marcellus Shale natural gas (with a whopping 31 members), explore the core functions of government and figure out how to privatize liquor.

Sorry, but isn’t that why people elect politicians? Isn’t it their job to solve these problems?

Commissions and task forces are simply code for passing the buck and kicking the can down the road. We might as well just hang a sign that reads, “Welcome to Pennsylvania, Blue Ribbon State.” And if GOP leaders don’t start following through on campaign promises, the only “Red” they’ll see is voter anger when the state turns Democratic Blue.

*****

Since privatizing liquor is one of the only issues which enjoys a large consensus, and since it would provide billions to balance the ballooning budget deficit, it’s baffling why Corbett would punt away such political capital when he needs it most. Delaying the privatization initiative by instituting yet another study commission was a move that left many observers scratching their heads — and state store union employees punch-drunk with elation.

Even more perplexing is that Corbett has a solid ally in House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, who had been spearheading privatization legislation for years. Turzai had a right to expect that, with strong GOP majorities in both houses, the Governor would come charging out of the gate on an issue that was a cornerstone of his campaign. Instead, Corbett felt compelled to reach into the “Business As Usual” drawer and pull out another meaningless commission, which looks increasingly like a bad political calculation.

*****

Sometimes you have to walk out your door to realize that the grass really is greener somewhere else. For Pennsylvanians, that “green” is all the money saved by consumers in other states because they aren’t gouged when purchasing alcohol.

For the uninitiated, following is a primer for how the Pennsylvania alcohol monopoly works:

Pennsylvania is the largest purchaser of booze in the world. The state government, through the Liquor Control Board (LC, controls the purchase, distribution and sale of all wine and liquor. You might think that with such immense purchasing clout, its citizens would have outstanding selection and competitive pricing. But as any Pennsylvanian knows, that’s clearly not the case.

Interestingly, the LCB is charged with two distinct, and inherently contradictory, roles. While it’s responsible for raising revenue through the sale of wine and liquor, it’s also charged with controlling the sale of booze throughout the state. By definition, if the LCB is succeeding at one, it must be failing at the other.

Every bottle of liquor bought in the state comes with an added bonus: an 18 percent “temporary” tax, in addition to the 6 percent sales tax. So a $10 bottle jumps to $11.80 before the sales tax is calculated, totaling a whopping $12.50. In all fairness, the 18 percent tax was well intentioned—it was passed by the legislature to rebuild Johnstown after a devastating flood that destroyed the town.

In 1936. So much for “temporary” taxes.

Anyone who’s traveled outside Pennsylvania knows how refreshing it is to enter a grocery store and, remembering that you need a bottle of wine for dinner, walk two aisles over to the plethora of vino at your fingertips. Since others accomplish this with little difficulty, it’s incomprehensible that the nation’s sixth largest state can’t—or, more accurately, won’t—do the same.

It is infinitely more efficient when a private company, responsive to the needs of the free market (instead of bureaucrats), stocks its shelves with items that consumers want, at a fair market price. It is the core principle on which America was founded.

But Pennsylvania remains stuck in the Dark Ages, and what makes the sin mortal is that it chooses to remain there. It hasn’t dawned on the politicos in Harrisburg that they are losing untold revenue because of their Draconian system, with millions of residents crossing state lines to fill their liquor cabinets. (No offense to Governor Christie, but anytime New Jersey offers a better alternative, you know you have major problems).

And despite the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, if you’re caught bringing alcohol into Pennsylvania, it’s a criminal offense. In fact, such “criminals” used to have their cars confiscated for doing so.

To be fair, today’s LCB has made substantial progress in its operations and “customer service.” Not too long ago, all of its locations were “counter” stores, meaning that customers had to know exactly what they wanted before placing their order, since browsing was not permitted. The clerk would then disappear into the bowels of the store, only to return five or 10 minutes later, more often than not stating that they were “out of stock” and asking for a second choice. Now imagine this scene playing out at Christmas time, with 25 people in line.

But that’s not all.

Nothing in the store was chilled. No ancillary items, such as tonic water, were sold. No employees were permitted to offer advice. And no LCB stores accepted credit cards.

And all this because former Governor Gifford Pinchot, who as a young man became violently sick while imbibing in Germany, became bound and determined to make alcohol as difficult as possible to obtain.

But the LCB’s improvements amount to being valedictorian of summer school. The whole system has to be scrapped.

The ultimate irony is that the Keystone State, birthplace of American democracy and cradle of liberty, continues down the path of state control and government regulation, to the detriment of its twelve million citizens.

And what are liquor privatization’s chances? Dead for the spring session, possible in the fall and virtually nonexistent for 2012. With the makeup of the legislature sure to change next year, the time to take a “shot” is undoubtedly now.

The people have awakened from their stupor, demanding change. Instead, all they get is a (Pabst) “Blue Ribbon” commission.

Time for another drink.

SB1 Tea Party Support Claim Disputed

A claim of support for SB1, the  pending school choice bill in the Pennsylvania Senate, is causing consternation among some Tea Party activists.

The Facebook page of  Ana Luiza Lannes Puig, who is a prominent Bucks County Tea Partyist,  says that “18 local Tea Party groups came together in Pittsburgh  to support SB1” at Tuesday’s Freedom Works event.

A screenshot of the page is being circulated among other prominent Tea Partyists, with other emails saying that SB1 was not the focus of the event and that many of the groups have yet to decide where they stand on it.

The Tea Partyists who are objecting to SB1 generally want a much more comprehensive bill with the state aid following all students, not just those  below a certain level of income or in particularly bad school districts.

For those who want to bandy about the word “racism”, please note that those who fall below a certain level of income or are in particularly bad school districts would not be left out by the changes these Tea Partyists seek.

Sharon Savings Suspect Possibly Nabbed

A man arrested yesterday, March 31, after a hold-up in Ridley is being investigated in connection with March 29 robbery of the Sharon Savings Bank in Springfield.

The man, whose name is yet to be released, was given money by a teller at the Sovereign Bank, MacDade Boulevard and Kedron Avenue after presenting a threatening note at about 5:55 p.m. He dropped some of it while leaving and when a customer told him that the had, he brushed him off, which the customer found suspicious. The customer followed him while calling police on his cell phone.

The man entered a green SUV which was driven by a female which Officer James Dougherty tried to stop on Armstrong Avenue. The driver tried to run the policeman down which caused him to shoot out the front and rear driver-side tires of the vehicle.

The driver continued despite the flat tires with the vehicle finally coming to a stop at South and Franklin avenues. The suspect was injured when police slammed the car door on his leg as he was trying to flee, and was taken to Taylor Hospital.

Balanced Budget Amendment Handwaving

Balanced Budget Amendment Handwaving — Pat Toomey (R-Pa) is being joined by the other 46 Republican senators in sponsoring a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

Amending the Constitution  requires votes of approval from two-thirds of the House and Senate; or a convention called by two-thirds of the state legislatures followed by votes of approval by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

It’s not an easy process. For instance, it is far harder to amend the Constitution than it is to pass a budget which requires simple majorities in the House and Senate and the President’s signature.

So, Sen. Toomey why not  forget this Balanced Budget Amendment and just balance the budget?

Is it because the Democrats are standing in the way? Well, maybe it might be more productive to start pointing this out rather than partake of an exercise in Constitutional handwaving.

Balanced Budget Amendment Handwaving