Harrisburg To Spend Twice-Plus What You Might Think

The dying dinosaur media chronicles yet another  Pennsylvania budget crisis in dry wire service reports on inside pages focusing like a laser beam on the $29.03 billion in general fund spending sought by Gov. Rendell — which, btw, would still be $1.04 billion higher than last year — with nary a mention that Harrisburg expects to spend more than twice that — $37 billion to be specific — regardless of what is passed.

This usually unremarked-upon spending is via special funds estimated for next year at $14.4 billion and federal money estimated for next year at $23 billion and which does not include stimulus money which was folded right into the general fund.

The state has 139 special funds to which money is directed from sources specified by law and their disbursements this year range from  zero  for the Energy Conservation and Assistance Fund to $2.58 billion for the State Employees Retirement Fund and $5.36 billion for the School Employees Retirement Fund.

Now, one would think that expenditures for things like pensions are set in stone and must not be considered in resolving the looming shortfalls, but then you would have to say that it is moral and just take from newlyweds, widows and struggling businesses to pay  legislators like state Sen. Robert Mellow (D-22) pensions of $313,000, and bureaucrats like John Winchester salaries of $236,265 to administer the money,

And, of course, it is not.

And I would hope that all would understand it not just kinder but wiser to see government workers take a hit in the pensions bringing them down to $50,000 for the year, than see someone forced from their home or to shut their business, the latter of which would obviously cut the tax base even further  would lead one to wonder how the state would end up funding these Cadillac pensions anyway.

Local government, btw, is expected to spend $67.8 billion on top of that next year in Pennsylvania.

A big hat tip to Nate Benefield and the always excellent Commonwealth Foundation along with PaIndependent.Com

Star-Spangled Banner’s Final Verse

Star-Spangled Banner’s Final Verse — The complete lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner. The last verse can be heard movingly sung by a former Marine at a Tea Party rally by clicking here .

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,

Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave![12]


Star-Spangled Banner’s Final Verse


Star-Spangled Banner's Final Verse

Toomey Leads Sestak In Latest Ras

Former congressman Pat Toomey, the Republican, leads  liberal darling Democrat Congressman Joe Sestak by seven points in the race to represent Pennsylvania in the Senate according to the Rasmussen poll released June 4. Two weeks ago, Rasmussen had Sestak up by four following his widely publicized primary win over party-endorsed incumbent Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary race, making it the first time Sestak led at the start of a race in which he was not running as the incumbent.

Sestak represents the 7th District of Pennsylvania.

Toomey represented the 15th District from 1999 to 2005.

Cascade Road Swatting Was 911 Hack

Cascade Road Swatting Was 911 Hack
Cascade Road in Springfield

Cascade Road Swatting Was 911 Hack — The owner of a home in Springfield, Pa. was tackled and handcuffed when he approached the police swarming his backyard last night, June 2. The 60 police officers including a hostage negotiator and members of a SWAT unit had been dispatched to the address in the 100 block of Cascade Road when the dispatchers at the Delaware County  911 center in Middletown reported that three people had been killed in the house and others taken hostage.

The system indicated the call was coming from inside the house. After the owner was tackled, a woman emerged holding a child. Police entered the home and found nothing amiss. The 911 system, however, continued receiving descriptions of violence inside the home.

Police say the residents, a family with three children, appear to be nothing but victims.

The incident cause the evacuation of  the neighboring homes along with two homes across the street.

Police Chief Joseph Daly expects to find the culprit within “a day or two.”

Hat tip to Mari A. Schaefer at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Cascade Road Swatting Was 911 Hack

Philadelphia Press Association Awards 2010

Philadelphia Press Association Awards 2010 — BillLawrenceOnline.Com was one of four news websites to receive a special achievement award this year from the Philadelphia Press Association. The others were kyw1060.com , Laura Nachman’s Philly TV and Radio and  philadelphia.bizjournals.com, which is the website for Philadelphia Business Journal.

The Grand Award For Public Service went to NJN News for Lethal Mix .

For a complete list of winners visit here .

Philadelphia Press Association Awards 2010

Philly Lax All Stars To Take On Team USA

Team USA men’s lacrosse team is playing one of its three exhibition games this summer 8 p.m., Friday, June 18 at Banko Field at Lehigh University against Philadelphia Lacrosse Association All Stars and tickets — $10 in advance — can be gotten at www.palacrosse.com/teamusa2010.php .

Proceeds with be used for Team USA’s expenses for the Federation of International Lacrosse World Lacrosse Championships, July 10-24 in Manchester, England. 

Rendell I-80 Toll Plan Wasted $24 Million

Ed Rendell’s failed plan to increase traffic snarls cost Pennsylvania taxpayers more than $24 million, according to Pennsylvania Independent.

The spending was done by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission between the passage of Act 44 in 2007 and April 6, 2010 when the plan to toll
Interstate 80 finally killed by the federal Department of Transportation.

Most of the money went to McCormick
Taylor, an engineering  firm based in Harrisburg, which billed $22 million for engineering work, traffic studies, and environmental impact assessments.

Swarthmore Celeb Author Likes His Quiet In Wasilla

Swarthmore Celeb Author Likes His Quiet In Wasilla — Expose author Joe McGinniss, whose HQ was once for many years Swarthmore, Pa. has moved his base to Wasilla, Alaska right next door to Sarah Palin.

McGinniss was a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin (the original one), then a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer before hitting the big time in 1969 with the Selling Of The President, which described the marketing techniques used in the successful Nixon campaign the year before. He is best known for his true crime books Fatal Vision, Blind Faith and Cruel Doubt, all of which became TV miniseries.

McGinniss generally portrays his subjects rather unflatteringly.

McGinniss, who has written a critical magazine piece on Mrs. Palin, is allegedly writing a book about the former Alaska governor, but perhaps his move to Alaska is really motivated by a desire for peace and privacy. McGinniss has placed “no trespassing” signs all over the rented property and has threatened at least one news crew with arrest after they showed up at his door. The Palins have compassionately erected a 14-foot-high fence between the homes on his behalf.

McGinniss does appear to have a fixation on Mrs. Palin, almost  like something of out a Robert Mitchum movie — think Cape Fear or Night of the Hunter. He bid $60,100 at a Ride 2 Recovery eBay charity auction in order to win a dinner with Mrs. Palin. His bid came in second.

Still, maybe the best way for the Palins to handle this tense situation would be to invite this strange person over for coffee and cookies. The kids don’t have to be there, just Todd, Sarah and the firearms. They could set up videocameras to record the conversation, ask McGinniss a lot of personal questions and make sure he doesn’t get a copy of the tape.

OTOH, the fence works pretty well too.

Here is what Mrs. Palin has to say about it.

Swarthmore Celeb Author Likes His Quiet In Wasilla

DNA Tests For Obama, Sestak Neckties?


When Congressman and Springfield, Pa. native Joe Sestak told newsman Larry Kane last February that the Obama administration offered him a high ranking job if he would drop out of the Democrat senate primary here’s what really happened.

See, it was former President Bill Clinton who made the offer. Yeah, President Clinton, that’s the ticket.

And it was for a unpaid advisory job on an intelligence board, see. Nothing impeachable, get it? And an unpaid advisory job would tempt anyone to drop out of the race, right?

A tip to President Obama and Congressman Sestak, wash your neckties. You know President Clinton didn’t take the stage in this farce for nothing.

See Thank You, Joe Sestak.

Thank You, Joe Sestak

President Obama, at a rare press conference yesterday, took full credit for stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

“The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort,” Obama said.

So now we know why the spill lasted over a month.

Obama then slammed shut new off-shore drilling in U.S. waters saying:

First, we will suspend the planned exploration of two locations off the coast of Alaska
Second,we will cancel the pending lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico and the proposed lease sale off the coast of Virginia.
Third, we will continue the existing moratorium and suspend the issuance of new permits to drill new deep water wells for six months.
And four, we will suspend action on 33 deep water exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.

In other words, he will continue to do what it takes to send our money to our oil-rich adversaries so they can pay to build mosques on the hollowed grounds of the 9/11 attacks.

He also said “what’s also been made clear from this disaster is that for years, the oil and gas industry has leveraged such power that they have effectively been allowed to regulate themselves” which is something that should make you go hmmmm.

With regard to Springfield Pa.’s own contribution to the failure of this incredibly incompetent administration, Obama said:


The — there will be an official response shortly on the Sestak issue which I hope will answer your questions. You will get it from my administration, so — and it will — it will be coming out — when I say shortly, I mean shortly. I don’t mean weeks or months. With respect to the first –I can assure the public that nothing improper took place. But as I said, there will be a response shortly on that issue.


(For President Obama’s explanation see DNA Tests For Obama, Sestak Neckties? )

Dick Morris, who was President Clinton’s go-toe guy during the most successful parts of that administration, said  Congressman Sestak’s allegation of a job offer from Obama, if true, would be  an impeachable offense, and if Washington is unwilling to investigate the matter Pennsylvan Attorney General Tom Corbett, from whence Sestak is from, should empanel a grand jury to do so.

The sooner Obama is impeached and removed from office, the better for America and the world.

Thank you, Joe Sestak.