Adolph Replaces Civera As Appropriations Chairman

Adolph Replaces Civera — The members of the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus, yesterday, elected William Adolph  to replace  Mario Civera as Appropriations Chairman for the rest of the 2009-2010 legislative session.

Civera, who represents the 164th District, won a seat on Delaware County Council last November and will be resigning from the legislature, according to House GOP Leader Sam Smith of the 66th District.

Adolph represents the 165th District and lives in Springfield.

Adolph Replaces Civera As Appropriations Chairman

Ex-NFL Lineman Faces Prison Time For Taking Bribe In Luzerne County

Greg Skrepenak, the former NFL lineman who became a Luzerne County Commissioner, has pleaded guilty to accepting payoff from a developer who got a government-subsidized loan through the county.

Skrepenak, a Democrat, got $5,000 for his yes vote for the $1.1 million loan. Skrepenak faces
a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but will likely spend
33 to 41 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

Skrepenak played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and the Carolina Panthers.

In other Luzerne County news, former county Sheriff Michael Savokinas is being investigated for improperly selling firearms belonging to the county including an antique Thompson submachine gun for $20,000.

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab —  Jason Altmire had been a lobbyist for, and former acting vice president at, UPMC, an integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh that is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh.

In 2006, he was elected to Congress to represent Pennsylvania’s Fourth District as a Democrat.

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab
Gov. Rendell with Leslie Merrill McCombs at a 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates game.

Mary Beth Buchanan, a Republican former U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania  who had announced she was considering a run against Altmire this November, began organizing a mission two days after the Jan. 12 Haitian earthquake to render aid to Jamie and Ali McMutrie, Pittsburgh-area sisters who were running a orphanage in Port-au-Prince and rescue the orphans.

She enlisted Valerie May, a Pittsburgh immigration lawyer, to smooth the way for the children’s entrance and contacted Dr. Mary Carrasco, an old friend who was director of A Child’s Place, based at UPMC Mercy hospital who connected her with Kathy McCauley, a grants consultant, who began gathering supplies.

By the end of the day she had received permission from Joseph Klaus, U.S. Customs port director for Pittsburgh, for the children to enter the country  humanitarian parole.

It was then that Leslie Merrill McCombs appeared on scene.

Mrs. McCombs is the hot blonde senior consultant for government relations at UPMC who developed a close working relationship with Gov. X-Man Rendell while successfully lobbying on behalf of Lions Gate Entertainment for the $75 million 2007 Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit program.

Mrs McCombs never disclosed the relationship — with Lions Gate that is albeit she vociferously denied having one with X-Man– and wound up being fined $5,025 in July 2009 for failing to reveal being a lobbyist.

Anyway, Mrs. McCombs told Mrs. Buchanan that UPMC would be the sole handler of the rescue mission, a mission that would eventually include Gov. Rendell, Congressman Altmire, but not Mrs. Buchanan.

Wonder what Congressman Altmire and Gov. Rendell have in mind to pay her and UPMC back?

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab

Need For A Little Leadership

Need For A Little Leadership — An email is going around regarding how the First Lady’s failure to accompany President Obama on his trips to Islamic nations is an indication that our president is a secret Muslim.

It’s actually more than an email. Conservapedia, for instance, mentions the matter in a whole section in the President’s biography entitled “Obama is likely the first Muslim President”.

Michelle Obama visited eight countries in 2009.

  1. The United Kingdom
  2. Denmark
  3. France
  4. Germany
  5. The Czech Republic
  6. Italy
  7. Russia
  8. Ghana

It is true, none of these are Muslim lands. On the other hand, however, Michelle did not participate in the President’s trips to China, Japan or Mexico. Frankly, I think it’s more of an indication that Michelle is a diva, than Barack is a Muslim.

Still, Obama ought to recognize that millions of his constituents believe these stories and he ought show a little leadership and haul Michelle with him the next time he visits Arabia or Turkey.

Of course, he should have also waived any privacy rights to birth or college records when the Birther movement started, and he has yet to do so.

Need For A Little Leadership

Need For A Little Leadership

Brazilian Oil Loan, George Soros And The Chinese

Brazilian Oil Loan, George Soros And The Chinese — I recently received one of the emails circulating regarding the $2 billion U.S. loan made to the Brazilian state-controlled energy company Petrobras in August.

Sarah Palin harshly criticized the loan at the time which led to comments on Fox News and various blogs. Brazilian Oil Loan, George Soros And The Chinese

The email quoting Glen Beck said the

  • Chinese government is under contract to purchase all the oil that this  field will produce.
  • That we gain nothing from it
  • Obama contributor George Soros profited greatly from it.

The concerns and observations appear legitimate albeit defenders of the loan would take issue with the second point in that the money would be used to buy U.S. made equipment.

With regard to the first point, three months after the U.S. loan, Petrobas signed a $10 billion loan deal with the Chinese in which Petrobas “will increase its sale of crude to Unipec Asia,a unit of Chinese state oil company Sinopec, to 150,000 barrels per day(bpd) in the first year of the agreement and up to 200,000 bpd duringthe subsequent nine years.”

You know, you can use U.S.-made equipment to drill for oil in Alaska and off Florida and the Carolinas and California? Wonder if President Obama ever considered that?

Brazilian Oil Loan, George Soros And The Chinese

Who Says Economics Can’t Be Fun?

John Papola and Russ Roberts have created a fascinating rap video regarding the historic economics debate  between government-intervention proponent John Maynard Keynes and free-market supporter Friedrich August von Hayek

President Obama’s stimulus plan follows the policy advocated by Keynes.

John F. Kennedy’s and Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts followed the policies advocated by von Hayek.

The video can be found here.

Obama Brings Teleprompter To Elementary School Speech

Obama Brings Teleprompter To Elementary School Speech — President Obama spoke to sixth graders at Graham Road Elementary in Virginia on Jan. 19. He brought his teleprompter.

Really.

His speech starts: “Hello, everybody. You guys look really cute in those chairs.”

A transcript can be found here.

The White House spin is that the teleprompters were there for comments to  journalists. You know, that really doesn’t make it any better.

Here’s a video of part of the speech. You decide if he’s reading from a teleprompter or speaking from memory.

 

Obama Brings Teleprompter To Elementary School Speech

 

Was Rendell’s Haitian Rescue A Glory-Grab, After All?

PaWaterCooler.Com is reporting that Gov. Rendell flew to Haiti to deliver medical supplies and rescue 54 orphans after a woman who is a former U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania did  the work in organizing the effort.

Mary Beth Buchanan spent four days, according to PaWaterCooler, obtaining clearance for the children to enter the United States, medical supplies,  physicians to escort the children and  an airplane cleared to land in Haiti.

The only thing she failed to get was the airplane, in lieu of which came an interrogation from a senior consultant for UPMC — a major health facility headquartered in Pittsburgh — regarding the details  of her mission. The supplies Ms. Buchanan had gathered were the ones carried to Haiti by Rendell.

Ms. Buchanan is openly mulling a challenge to incumbent Congressman Jason Altmire (D-Pa4). Altmire is an ally of Rendell and has close connections with UPMC where he was a former acting vice president.

Luzerne County Commissioner Enters GOP Lt. Gov Race

One steps out, one steps in.

Nine days after former Erie County Executive Rick Schenker announced that the was quitting the crowded race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, Luzerne County Commissioner Stephen Anthony Urban took his seat at the table.

Urban, 57, made his announcement Saturday. He is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who served in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War.

Also in the race for the GOP nomination are:

Carol Aichele (Chester County Commissioner)
Bruce L. Castor Jr. (ex-Montco D.A.)
James F. Cawley (Bucks County Commissioner)
Russ Diamond (founder of  PACleanSweep)
Dominic D. “Nick” DiFrancesco II (Dauphin County Commissioner)
John H. Eichelberger, Jr. (state senator representing the 30th District)
James R. Matthews (Montco Commissioner, last GOP Lt. Gov candidate, Chris Matthews’ brother)
Frank L. Rizzo Jr. (Philly councilman, son of legendary mayor)
Mike Turzai (state representative for the 28th District)
Joseph P. Watkins (pastor of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, the oldest African American Lutheran Church in Philadelphia)

Seeking the Democratic nod are:

Michael F. “Mike” Gerber (state representative for the 148th District)
Valerie McDonald Roberts (Allegheny County recorder of deeds)
Jonathan A. Saidel (former Philadelphia city controller)
Josh Shapiro (state representative for the 153rd District)
Doris Smith-Ribner (former Commonwealth Court judge)

The primary election is May 18.