Sunday, November 30, 2008

Caution: Democratic Party not what it appears to be

For The Times Herald

Remember the famous McDonald’s coffee lawsuit? An elderly woman was initially awarded a huge sum of money because she was burned by a cup of McDonald’s coffee. Whatever the merits of the original case may or may not be, one upshot of the lawsuit was the printed warning on all McDonald’s coffee cups forever after: “CAUTION: Contents are hot.”

So now even if you spill the contents of a McDonald’s coffee, you may get burned, but you can’t say you weren’t warned. I guess that’s truth in advertising.

In politics, truth in advertising is taken far less literally. The two-party system, whatever its merits or detractions, serves as a kind of shorthand for voters in determining which kind of government they want, generally speaking, a liberal Democratic one or a conservative Republican one.

As the post-election soul-searching of the Republican Party continues, one of the main conclusions that’s been drawn by party loyalists is that the party’s candidates and representatives have strayed from conservative principles and thus have muddied what it means to be a Republican. This is evidenced at every level of government, from the Republican Party’s nomination of “The Maverick” candidate, who made a name for himself bucking the Republicans, to the abject failures of our representatives in the House and Senate to do what they were elected to do: curb spending and shrink government.

But for Montgomery County residents, nowhere has this betrayal been so vividly illustrated as it has at the Montgomery County Commissioners level.

Jim Matthews was elected on a Republican platform and backed by the Republican Party. He received far less votes than his running mate, Bruce Castor, but more than either of his opponents on the Democrat ticket, Joe Hoeffel and Ruth Damsker. In fact, voters were so disillusioned with Democratic leadership at the county commissioners level that they ousted Damsker and voted in perennial-candidate-for-any-available-office, Joe Hoeffel, in her place.

Shortly after the election, Matthews struck a backroom power deal with Hoeffel, wherein Hoeffel agreed to back Matthews for chairman over Castor.

Matthews claimed the “voters had spoken” and asked for bipartisanship. I’m not sure what tea leaves and chicken entrails Mr. Matthews was reading when he came to that conclusion, but by my reckoning, there were a whole lot of people in Montgomery County that would have preferred to get a government for which they actually voted rather than usher in a new era of so-called bipartisanship by royal proclamation.

Now this is nothing new: Politicians, stabbing each other in the back, breaking promises to their constituencies, betraying their principles for personal power grabs. This is almost business-as-usual in politics, and not coincidentally, what disgusts people about the whole process.

What is new —refreshingly new— is that the Montgomery County Republican Party leadership under Bob Kerns spoke up and officially denounced Matthews’s behavior. The resolution to censure Jim Matthews was unanimously approved by 56 Republican county officials.

Marcel Groen, the chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic committee, weighed in on the MCRC’s resolution in a letter published this past Sunday in several publications, including this one. After stating that his policy was not to interfere with the inner workings of the opposition party, Groen did just that by stating the MCRC’s censure sets a bad precedent. Groen continued, “If either party starts to punish elected officials because they try to govern in a bipartisan manner, I think they risk losing the support of the public. If this year’s election proved nothing else, it demonstrated that the American people want their elected officials at every level of government to drop petty bickering and partisan sniping and just do the job of governing.”

Mr. Groen’s letter, of course, assumes that the voters think that there is no right or wrong way to govern, no liberal or conservative values to uphold. According to Mr. Groen’s letter, when the public actually votes for someone who claims to represent their values, they shouldn’t be upset when their trust has been betrayed and the platform they voted for is not being implemented; they should instead be thankful that their leaders are engaged in the very important work of “governing” in the best of all possible manners: bipartisan.

I don’t have much time for bipartisanship. I think ideals like bipartisanship have gained traction in a morally weak America that values things like diversity over achievement and raising awareness over actual service. Bipartisanship is promoted as a faux virtue over real virtues such as integrity, honesty, loyalty and honor.

According to the censure resolution, Matthews “has promoted the cause of Democrat elected officials and implemented the Democrat platform; and he has systematically engaged in the hiring of Democrat Party operatives and Democrat failed candidates; and he has taken retribution on certain persons, because he perceived they did not support him in the Republican Party endorsement process.” Since taking office, Matthews has voted with Hoeffel 100 percent of the time.

No wonder Marcel Groen is denouncing the resolution. Jim Matthews is delivering the Democratic platform that lost the election last year. Hmmmm ... maybe bipartisanship is only a great virtue when you’re a member of the party that’s out of power.

The decision to censure Matthews was not arrived at lightly by Kerns or the MCRC; however, it was the right decision. In putting their ideals in writing, they are proclaiming that they are ready to get the Republican House in order and that the candidates will be held accountable for their actions. It is the first step in rebuilding the grassroots at the local level.

As for Matthews, well, if he wants to continue to stay in the political arena, the MCRC has just done the public the very great favor of labeling him with a warning:

CAUTION: Contents are not what they appear to be. You could get burned. And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

Friday, November 28, 2008

Obama Names Bill Clinton to Presidential Post

WASHINGTON DC - Ending weeks of speculation and rumors, President-Elect Barack Obama today named Bill Clinton to join his incoming administration as President of the United States, where he will head the federal government's executive branch.

"I am pleased that Bill Clinton has agreed to come out of retirement to head up this crucial post in my administration," said Obama. "He brings a lifetime of previous executive experience as Governor of Arkansas and President of the United States, and has worked closely with most of the members of my Cabinet."

Clinton said he was "excited and honored" by the appointment, and would work "day and night" to defeat all the key policy objectives proposed by Mr. Obama during the campaign.
Read the rest here.

H/T to D.B. Light (Light seeking Light) for this bit of post-Thanksgiving levity.


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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Today is Thanksgiving, a day we are supposed to stop and give thanks for all of the good things in our lives. Over the years, I've grown more and more cynical...not because of the giving thanks part, but why wait for one day a year to be thankful?

A month ago, I was in the hospital, with what I thought was a heart attack. My two closest friends stayed with me until I was stable and put into a room overnight for observation. The next day, they took my son to a brunch and introduced him to the Ambassador from France. They did this to make m
y son forget that his dad was in the hospital.

I thank G-d everyday that I have friends as good as I do.

My children get good grades in school. My bills get paid on time. I have a great wife. She has a husband that isn't too much of a schlub. I give thanks everyday for these things.

What I'm getting at is this...with my "scare" last month, I've come to realize that you may not have next Thanksgiving to look forward to if you want to give thanks for what is good in your life. The time to give thanks is every day that you wake up and don't see your name in the obituaries. The time to give thanks is when you stop and reflect and say to yourself, "gee, life is pretty sw

The time to give thanks is today. It's tomorrow. It's everyday. Thank G-d everyday for the good things in your life, and thank Him that the bad things that happen haven't been as bad as they seemed when they happened.
Thank Him that your family is happy, healthy and full of love and joy.

Also, I would like you to remember to give thanks that you live in the greatest country in the world, one that allows blogs like this to offer opinion and news, a country that protects and defends your right to free speech.

Lastly, I give thanks that I have readers who care to see what I h
ave to say, and who aren't afraid to make their opinion known when the don't agree with me. Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you.


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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mea Culpa (or, Oops!)

I have a fairly good accuracy rate. Before today, I was 99.86% accurate in my posting. That has now gone down to 99.49%, as some new information pertaining to my "Sighting: XVII" post has been brought to my attention.

A man of my word, when I am wrong about something, I admit it and put it right. Such is the case with Gil Cox being the man behind inviting King James to the Cheltenham meeting last week.

I had been told by someone at the meeting that Cox was to blame. This morning credible information was given that that was not the case. So, Gil is off the hook on this one, and I apologize for putting what I though to be credible information out there for public consumption.

(I still love this milk carton)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

To wit, I submit for your viewing pleasure:

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Americans Fail Civics Test

By Michael P. Tremoglie, The Bulletin

A new study reveals that most Americans, including some politicians, cannot pass a basic test on American history and economics. The third annual survey by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), Wilmington Del., indicates that there is "an epidemic of historical, political, and economic ignorance in America."

More than 2,500 randomly selected Americans took ISI's basic 33-question test on civic literacy and more than 1,700 people failed, with the average score 49 percent, or an "F." Elected officials scored even lower than the general public with an average score of 44 percent.

Only 0.8 percent (or 21) of all surveyed earned an "A."

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Click here to take the civics test and see how you ranked (I scored 81.8%, getting 6 questions incorrect)

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I Saved This For Last...

...but forgot to post it.

The final segment of "The Lamplighter, from the 11/21/08 Evening Bulletin:

Montco GOP: Hardball With Jim Matthews
A byproduct of Jim Matthews' betrayal of the GOP has been the coalescing of the Montgomery County Republican Party around Bruce Castor, who predicted before the last year's primary that Matthews would immediately make a deal with Democratic Commissioner Joe Hoeffel.

The two Republicans were paired together anyway, with many observers crediting Mr. Castor with dragging Matthews - the incumbent commissioner - across the finish line to a small margin victory.

In a stunning move this week, the county's Republican leadership voted unanimously to censure Mr. Matthews. This validation of Mr. Castor has allowed his political stock to continue rising statewide.
Heh...Matthews must cringe every time Bruce gets good press due to his traitorous alliance with the democrats.

Hey, Jimbo-read this and see if it applies to you:
Galatians 6: 7-9
7: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8: For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
And, James Rex III, in case you're too muddle-headed to comprehend, this is what it means:
1. Everything that you do has repercussions. It comes back to you one way or another. You cannot escape the consequences of your actions. What you do comes back to you and you will see the long-term effects of your actions.
'nuff said.


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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Update On Obama Birth Certificate Case

From Reverse_Vampyr:

One step closer to SCOTUS review of Barack Obama's...

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From The Evening Bulletin

(The Lamplighter, 11/21/08)
It was bound to come up, sooner or later:

Corbett-Castor For Governor: An Unbeatable Combination?

Despite the GOP's hammering on Election Day, there were a few bright spots, none more stellar than the performance of state Attorney General Tom Corbett. Barack Obama won the Keystone State by 600,000 votes, yet Mr. Corbett pulled off a stunning re-election victory, winning by a margin of 400,000.

That net swing of one million instantly catapulted the AG to frontrunner for the Republican nomination for governor in 2010, leaving the other hopefuls gasping for air and, possibly, looking for a graceful exit. One of the more credible rumors making the rounds is that Montgomery County Commissioner, and former District Attorney, Bruce Castor would be the ideal lieutenant governor running mate to Mr. Corbett.

They are from the most populous regions on opposite ends of the state, are viewed as reformers, and have impeccable law enforcement credentials, specifically in rooting out political corruption. While there is a lot of ground to cover between now and 2010, a Corbett-Castor tandem would be an extremely formidable ticket which could signal the re-emergence of the Pennsylvania Republican Party.
As For Patrick Meehan (Self-Proclaimed, Supposed Front-runner for the Republican Gubernatorial Position):
Former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan has formed an official political committee for a gubernatorial run in 2010. While Mr. Meehan's plans are no secret, he has yet to make a public announcement kicking off his campaign.

That may change on Dec. 13 at the Pennsylvania Society Weekend in New York City. A who's who of GOP activists is sponsoring a cocktail party to honor Mr. Meehan for his years as U.S. Attorney, which would be a logical time for such a pronouncement.

However, given the impressive victory his chief opponent, Attorney General Tom Corbett, racked up on Election Day, and the AG's subsequent label as "frontrunner," don't be surprised if the official announcement is delayed -perhaps permanently.
Corbett and Castor teaming up? Don't dismiss the possibility, as Corbett didn't get to where he is on the proverbial food-chain by making unintelligent choices. This would be the consummate ticket for 2010 and I, Bill Shaw, would like to be the first to jump a matter of fact, I'll drive the damn bandwagon and endorse Corbett/Castor for the Republican gubernatorial ticket!


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Friday, November 21, 2008

District Orchestra III

Three years ago, my son Jesse (Scraps) asked if he could play in the school orchestra. I queried as to what instrument he would like to play, and he answered (without pause) Drums!

Heh...everyone wants to play the drums. The reality is, and I explained this to him, only the children who have a real spark...that something special, really get to play the drums. The rest get to play the bells, the triangle, the wood block, cymbals, etc. Only a true "drummer" gets to play the drums.

The next thing I told him was, if he wanted to really get to play, try the bass. He was dubious and I told him that most orchestras do not have a large bass section-everyone wanted to play violin or cello.

So, he tried the bass and liked it.

Fast forward three years. On Saturday afternoon (Nov. 22) Scraps will play in his third District 11 Orchestra. He has earned the right because of his natural affinity for his instrument, coupled with the fact that he is, if I must brag, quite good. Karen and I are very proud of him.

The concert is being held at Arcola Intermediate School, 4000 Eagleville Road, Eagleville, PA. If you're inclined to stop in and check him out, the concert starts at 4 pm and there is a nominal fee to get in.

If you do come, look for me. I'll be the guy smiling, with tears of joy rolling down my cheeks...for the third year in a row.

I'll post video as soon as I can get it processed and uploaded.


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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sightings: XVIII

Finally, after a short hiatus...A Sighting!

King James the Turd was sighted at the Cheltenham Republican(?) Committee meeting this evening.

Apparently, after his failure Monday night to actually state that Jim was right and we were wrong, Gil Cox extended an invitation to Jimbo to attend his committee meeting tonight. This after he didn't have the guts to vote no on James Rex's censure.

Heh...Cheltenham. El Rey Diego Trejo continues to surround himself with losers, aligning himself with the most ineffective municipal leader in Montgomery County (The aforementioned Mr. Cox, whose speech on Monday night in defense of "doing nothing" for fear of losing Matthews' alleged support base in Cheltenham, was ridiculed when it was noted Matthews came in dead last in Cheltenham in every election he has appeared on the ballot).

Dead last...dare I dub this the "Cheltenham effect"?

Jim Matthews: Soon scratching the bottom of the barrel in a township near you.

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Support Rolling in For Matthews Censure

After posting my opinion yesterday, I went about the business of the day, paying little attention to what was going on.

Late in the afternoon, however, I got a comment form one of the contributors to the Lehigh Valley Poliblog, a conservative blog out of the Allentown area.

They reported on what happened Monday evening in Montco, citing my 'cooler post as well as my follow up opinion. They reported the following:

"Over the last couple of years I have become confused and dispirited and wonder why I have been working for candidates and elected officials who not only work AGAINST my beliefs and principles but almost seem to mock them.

This is an encouraging sign from Montgomery County."
This, coupled with some of the reader comments I have been seeing on the newspaper sites as well as on several other political blogs gives me really shows me and the people of Montgomery County that they are not alone in wanting to purge the party of RINO's who would rather make a deal than take a stand for good government.

Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu stated: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." The first step is often the hardest, and usually takes a brave man (or woman) to begin that journey. I admire Bob Kerns' leadership and will gladly walk alongside him in his journey to make our party the Grand Old Party it once was, and, with this brave, new leadership, the great party it is destined to be.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Thoughts on the Matthews Censure

I posted the news of Jim Matthews' censure on Monday without any commentary. I let the words of Bob Kerns speak for themselve. Today, I'd like to give my opinion of the resolution (and as I have observed the happenings of the past year).

The 2008 election was not a good one for Republicans. Neither was the election of 2004, 2006, and 2007, as we lost both the house and the senate, and the PA house of representatives. Why? We all know the answer.

We have moved, as a party, too far to the left. the general consensus has been "if we act more like them (democrats) we will get elected. This "experiment" hasn't worked.

The problem is, when we do that, we lose our base. Just look at the results of the last election as proof. In Montgomery County, only 31% of all registered Republicans bothered to vote in what was probably the most important election of their lifetime. Not that the democratic base did much better, but their 40% turnout won the election here for Obama and anybody else who rode in on his historic coattails.

In last years election, Republicans won the County Commissioner positions. Jim Matthews then went to say that we needed to form a "more bi-partisan" government" that governs more to the center than to the right or left. Unfortunately, the current governing body does, indeed, govern more to the left, as we have passed most of the liberal Hoeffel/Damsker platform since January 8th than we have passed any conservative platform. Jim has essentially turned his back on the Republican party. As a result, we are probably going to have a budget deficit, taxes will probably have to go up and we will probably lose our AAA bond rating that Former Commissioner Tom Ellis worked so hard to obtain and preserve.

Our new county Republican Chairman, Bob Kerns, has worked, since taking office, to try to convince Matthews that he needs to start working with Republicans for good, sound fiscally responsible Republican style governance, as he was elected to do. Jim argues that the people spoke when they elected him and that they asked for a more bi-partisan (liberal) governance. Jim is wrong. The numbers don't lie. Besides, if the people had wanted a more leftist style of government, they would have elected Ruth Damsker and Jim would now be a private citizen of Montgomery County.

Also, most of the rank and file, as I have witnessed, disagrees with Matthews.

I have attended enough fundraisers and events over the past eleven months to have heard, ad nauseum, "what are we going to do about Jim" and "why isn't Bob (Kerns) doing anything about Jim"?

On Monday night, after months of getting nowhere with Jim Matthews, Bob Kerns did something.

Bob drafted a resolution censuring Jim Matthews for basically betraying the will of the voters of Montgomery County. Jim's move to the left has not only hurt the taxpayers of Montgomery County, it has hurt the Republican party as a whole. It has hurt our credibility. It has hurt our "branding" if you will.

It has forced our top Republicans to take a stand that they would have rather not taken (remember, it took months to make this decision).

Bob Kerns did something courageous on Monday night. He started pulling our party back to the right, where it belongs. Bob took a stand against the very thing that has destroyed our party nationwide and caused us to lose elections.

Bob chose to be a real Republican. So did the leadership that unanimously voted to censure Jim Matthews for his transgressions against the party.

I will be eternally grateful to Bob for recognizing that we needed to go back to what made our party what it was, and for taking the proper steps to start returning our party to it's conservative roots.

Today, as I sit here writing this post, I can say, without equivocation, that I am the most proud I have ever been to be a Republican in Montgomery County.

Thanks, Bob, for restoring my faith in the party that I chose to be part of back in 1996.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just for Fun

ALa at Blonde Sagacity has a neat little meme on her sidebar called "100 things". I thought it would be a good thing to beat the doldrums with if myself and my fellow bloggers challenged each other to do our own "100 things" list.

Are you up for the challenge? I'm half done.

Trek? Lisa? Alex? DB? Charlie? Any takers?

I'll post my list on Friday.


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MCRC Press Release: MCRC Censures Matthews

The Montgomery County Republican Committee adopted a unanimous resolution censuring County Commissioner Jim Matthews on Monday.

(Click on image to enlarge)

“Since I was elected chairman and even while I was campaigning, everywhere I went, I was asked ‘What are we going to do about Jim Matthews’?,” Chairman Bob Kerns said.

“The voters I talk to feel betrayed and the Republican committee members are just devastated by Jim’s actions. The voters placed their trust in Jim Matthews and Bruce Castor and the committee members put their hearts into the campaign to elect the Matthews-Castor team last year. This has been a difficult year for everyone,” Kerns said.

Kerns was referring to Matthews’ announcement on December 18, 2007 that he would form a government with Democrat Joseph Hoeffel as Vice Chairman of the County Commissioners in exchange for Hoeffel supporting Matthews for Chairman and appointing Matthews’ political allies as County Solicitor and Human Resources Director.

“Republicans have done a great job running Montgomery County and that is why the voters have consistently elected Republican majorities to the County Commission. It’s been based on our record and the things we stand for, not our political affiliation. Our committee members delivered that good government message to the voters last year and the voters responded by electing our team. But the Matthews-Castor team is not what they got,” Kerns said.

“Montgomery County’s voters pick the person, not the party. It’s been that way for two decades and Jim Matthews and Bruce Castor campaigned on a set of priorities that are not being implemented. Instead, we’re implementing the major priorities outlined by Joe Hoeffel and Ruth Damsker, but that agenda was rejected by voters in favor of a Matthews-Castor agenda. The voters have to know we don’t condone what’s happening in Norristown,” Kerns said.

As an example Kerns cited the Hoeffel promises of hiring a Chief Financial Officer, enacting a $50 million econom ic development plan, and Hoeffel’s record in the 1990’s of running up debt and paying for budget items with bond issues.

“When Hoeffel left the Board of Commissioners in 1998 he left us with hundreds of millions in debt and just $12 million in the bank. Our AAA bond rating was threatened. It was a disaster. Hoeffel and Matthews are pursuing policies that will put us right back in the same hole. This year alone they are looking to raid the county’s dwindling savings to pay for their programs. It’s not the way Republicans would run this government. Jim Matthews got elected in 1999 and again in 2007 by pointing out what a disaster Hoeffel was as a commissioner in the 1990’s. Now he’s forming a government with him and implementing Hoeffel’s agenda? It makes no sense and our committee and the voters are confused and hurt,” Kerns said.

Kerns hoped that his unanimous election as Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Committee in May would bring Matthews back to the table.

“I did meet with him in early summer in the hope s of bridging the divide between he and his Republican colleagues in county government. He made it clear that he was not interested in any kind of reconciliation. I continued to pursue the matter through intermediaries throughout the fall,” Kerns said.

“At some point, we have to decide to move on and accept that, based on his actions, he is not a Republican anymore. No matter how often Jim insists he is a Republican, you are ultimately judged by how you govern and your record, not your words,” Kerns said.

Kerns said on Election Day many committee members reported incidents where voters stopped to express their disgust with Matthews on their way into the polls.

“It is becoming a distraction and our voters are confused. It is time to take action and then put this matter behind us and move on without Jim Matthews. We’ve got important elections to win in 2009. We cannot have this kind of sideshow playing out where the same party that is advocating for School Board, Township and Borough offices and Judicial positions is the one that can’t seem to get on the same page at the county. It weakens our message,” Kerns said.

“In the end, Jim’s actions are the actions of an individual, not the Party. That is the message I hope people take away from this resolution. The party is standing up and making its position clear. We don’t agree with Jim, we don’t condone what he’s doing as a Commissioner and he’s not representative of our Party as long as he’s engaging in this behavior. Don’t blame the Party for the actions of one man,” Kerns concluded.

56 Municipal Leaders, Area Leaders and Executive Committee members attended the Leadership Conference called by Chairman Kerns on Monday evening.

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Republicans Need Much Better Leadership

Opinion: Lawrence Frangiosa
The Reporter Online, Tuesday, November 18, 2008:

One of the most memorable exchanges from the 2000 movie "Remember the Titans" was between Gerry Bertier, the white Captain of the T.C. Williams High School, and Julius Campbell, a black player in the first year of racial integration in Roanoke Virginia.

Campbell confronts Bertier: "I'm supposed to wear myself out for the team? What team? No, what I'm going to do is look out for myself and get mine."

Bertier retorts, "See man, that's the worst attitude I ever heard."

"Attitude reflects leadership, Captain."

And so here we are two weeks after the election, and everywhere I hear similar complaints. John McCain got off message, Sarah Palin was a bad choice, George Bush is responsible.

I have even heard blame placed on local committee people who were labeled by their county leadership as unenthusiastic and apathetic.

So if blaming the top of the ticket is not your cup of tea, just place blame on your loyal, dedicated committee folks. That should energize the citizens to support the local Republican Party.

If there is any blame to throw around for Republican woes, it rests squarely with local county leadership.

Let's first take a look at Chester County. Joseph "Skip" Brion, the Chester County Republican chairman, who under his watch has seen huge losses in party registration, went so far to say that the Democrats "deserved to win."

No " Skip, the Republicans deserved to lose. Maybe if you would have supported the decent local candidates who ran for office because they believe in responsible and honest government, instead of constantly dropping names and worrying about your next photo-op, you would not have lost three state House seats, and a Senate seat.

Under your watch as Chester County Republican chairman, republican registrations dropped by 15 percent, and although you boasted that you would bring a county victory for John McCain, Chester County gave Barack Obama more than 20,000 more votes.

Time to step down Brion, and if not willing to go quietly, I urge the Chester County Republican committee people to show the leadership that you lacked and force the issue.

Lets now travel across the Schuylkill River to Montgomery County where I grew up, and see what rears its ugly head.

Bob Kerns was elected Montgomery County Republican chair in May of this year, and he cannot be held responsible for what has occurred, or is occurring, in Montgomery County, unlike his counterpart in Chester County.

Montgomery County's problem is not really due to a lack of leadership, or unenthusiastic and apathetic committee people, as intimated in an e-mail to those very folks, but rather due to a huge clash of egos vying for power instead of representing constituents in an honest and transparent way.

Anyone who lives in Montgomery County knows the saga, and I don't need to mention names, but until this fissure between top county Republican leadership can be healed, Montgomery County will remain a blue county.

Good luck Bob Kerns, you will need it.

I am a resident of Montgomery County and the owner of a small business in Chester County, but more importantly a citizen of this commonwealth, and I believe in honest, transparent government that works for the people.

That being said, if the Republican Party does not want to remain irrelevant for the next 20 years, it needs more responsible candidates like Steve Kantrowitz, more state representatives like Mike Vereb, more state senators like Rob Wonderling, and more county commissioners like Bruce Castor.

It also needs local leadership that will work with these leaders, not against them.

Attitude reflects leadership.

Lawrence Frangiosa is a resident of Montgomery County and a business owner in Chester County.

H/T to my "brother" for this article.

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The Audacity of One-Sided, Biased Reporting

I was perusing the Times Herald web site this morning and caught an article I had missed on Sunday (please, read it):

Election spurs 'hundreds' of race threats, crimes

The article begins with the following:
Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting "Assassinate Obama." Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are dampening the postelection glow of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America.
It goes on to list several incidents of white on black bigotry in the wake of Obama's election as president of the United States. Not once does it mention the opposite effect and the McCain/Palin hatred that was spewed by both the public and the press during the pre-election campaign and post election, after Obama won.

To me, it seems that the article is not so much a "reporting" of the incidents, but a one-sided attack on those who would not support "the One". What the author fails to report is that the racial attacks (and they are, indeed, egregious) are not one-sided.

I have witnessed first hand the hatred and abuse heaped on my own son because of my political philosophy.

Back to the article...I read the article and was stunned that there was no mention of the above "reverse-bigotry" towards whites in the aftermath of this campaign. It's sad, because it's the constant "victim mentality" that keeps society where it is and creates contempt for the persons who perpetuate such senseless drivel.

I decided to comment publicly on the Times Herald web page...below is what I posted, in it's entirety:
What the article fails to point out, is that the racial discrimination goes both ways.

I supported the McCain/Palin ticket. I had a large McCain/Palin sign on my front lawn. My son, who is just 12 years old, was called a bigot and an (effing) racist because he supported the "white" candidates.

The abuse was thrown at him by Black and Puerto Rican students on his school bus. None of the white kids (whose families supported Obama) said anything stronger that "McCain sucks".

The fact that all of this poor behavior is wrong notwithstanding, the bottom line here is that race will always be a factor in society, even if the next ten presidents are black. The only way for a society to properly meld (if it is at all possible) is to find some common social middle ground and all would have to adapt to that middle ground.

It's nice in theory, but it's never going to happen. We must, instead, strive to make our children understand that black, white brown and yellow are just's the person on the inside that matters. Just as all white folks aren't model citizens, so is the same for every culture, race and ethnicity. To prejudge strictly by skin color or religious belief is wrong and we should define people strictly by their character.

I'm proud to be an American. The color of my skin has no bearing on that. I've made it a point to raise my children color-blind. Unfortunately, it will be a very long time before we see this to be the rule, instead of the exception.
Have a great day.


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Update On "A Social Experiment"

Last week, I asked my son, Jesse, to conduct a social experiment by wearing several different hats to school. I wanted to prove that his McCain/Palin hat would invoke more harassment from his schoolmates (obama rally arrest).

If you recall, I asked him to do the following:

I’ve urged him to continue this “social experiment” by wearing my “rebel” hat with the stars and bars on it…I’ll bet it doesn’t get a second glance, and that the McCain/Palin hat will cause more divisiveness in his middle school than if he wore a hat that said the “N” word on it
Well, I'm chagrined to report that Jesse got tired of the harassment and declined to wear the hats to school.

I can't say that I blame him. The era of Obama seems to have created even more division, rather than bridge the divide. It's not enough that Obama won, now if you supported McCain, you're a racist.

Kids can be cruel, and Jesse learned a valuable lesson last week. He learned that the same people who complain when they are discriminated against are just as guilty of discrimination when they have views that differ from yours. Pity. It looks like an Obama Nation will go down in history as an abomination.

And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

A Huge Surprise From Philly Proper

From the Philadelphia Daily News:

A lonely GOP stronghold

Philadelphia Republicans can take one slim measure of solace in the election results that carried Obama to a 460,000-vote city margin over John McCain: For the first time since 1988 a Republican presidential candidate carried a Philadelphia ward.

It's the 26th ward, a big chunk of South Philadelphia sitting west of Broad Street and south of Passyunk, to the Schuylkill.

McCain carried the 26th with 52.7 percent of the vote, a 556-vote lead over Obama with provisional and absentee ballots still to be counted.

"If you look at voting patterns in all the national elections, it's probably the most conservative ward in the city," says Democratic ward leader Ron Donatucci, the city's register of wills. "We've got a high concentration of senior citizens and three Catholic churches, a lot of pro-life voters . . . I was a little surprised. I thought it [the margin for McCain] would be even bigger."

George H. W. Bush, the father of the current President, carried the 26th and 17 other Philadelphia wards when he beat Michael Dukakis in 1988. Bush 41 lost the city by 230,000 votes but won Pennsylvania by 105,000.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For Our Veterans...

...glommed from Tony Phyrillas (he always has good stuff)

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Scotch and Peanuts

...Stay Classy, Jimbo!
Hire a bagpiper

See the video at PAWaterCooler!

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Veteran's Day

It's 12:52 and has been Veteran's Day for just under an hour.

I'd like to take the time to honor those who've served, both living and dead, to preserve freedom and the American dream we now enjoy.

I'd like to especially honor several family members (those that I know of) who have served in various branches of the armed services:

James Robert Johnson, My great grandfather-Spanish American War Veteran.
William Jesse Shaw, Sr., My "Pop-Pop" served in the peacetime Navy in the 1930's
Edward J. "Uncle Eddie" Schwartz, WWII Navy (he told me he was a cook)
John Edward Lawlor, my grandfather, a sergeant in the U.S. Army who volunteered to fight in WWII
William James Kovatch, my uncle, served in the peacetime Marine Corps
William Robert Taintor, Jr., my uncle, served a tour in Viet Nam in the U. S. Army

I love you all and thank you and every man and woman who ever wore the uniform of the armed services for your sacrifice to keep our country free from tyranny.

Happy Veteran's Day!


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My First Meme

5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago

* Working second shift
* Redefining myself into what my career choice has now become
* Recovering from surgery to save my life (my bowel ruptured on October 18, 1998 and I almost died)
* fighting for custody of my then 11 year old son
* Starting a streak of luck in hunting deer that would last for 8 years (8 deer in 10 years)

5 Things on My To-Do List Today

* Finish the bathroom remodel
* Hug and kiss my wife and kids (but then, that's every day)
* Lose weight
* Caulk the windows
* Really finish the bathroom remodel

5 Snacks I Like

* Anything salty/crunchy and potato-based
* Slim Jims
* Cold roast (insert favorite bovine, porcine, turkine, chickine flesh here)
* Wendy's chicken nuggets...usually 3-5 pieces from the $.99 cent menu
* Hard pretzels and milk (it's been with me since first grade)

5 Things I Would Do If I Was A Millionaire

* Hunt the world
* Buy my dad a Harley...he bought me my first mini-bike at age 7 and fueled my love for two-wheelers
* Buy a week hunting with Ted Nugent for my dad, kid and me
* Take care of my family
* Record an album to satisfy the narcissist in me (I'd play all of the instruments)

5 Places I Have Lived (for various lengths of time)

* Kensington section of Philadelphia-22 years
* Harrogate section of Philadelphia-1 year
* Frankford section of Philadelphia-2 Years
* Kensington again-2 years
* Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, PA-17 years

5 1/2 Jobs I Have Had

* Pretzel boy (the "1/2 job"'s a "Kenzo" thing)
* Busboy, Fran Lee Caterers
* Camera man and contact frame operator
* Platemaker/Proofer/Stripper
* Digital Pre-Press Specialist
* Freelance Graphic Designer/Artist

5 People I Tag

*Lisa Mossie
*DB Light
*John Lewandowski (just to give the other side of the state a chance to chime in)

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Re: Obama Rally Arrest

(cross posted from the 'cooler)

In response to "Obama Rally Arrest". Click on the link, then come back to read this post...the link is the "prequel" to this post.

The treatment of this kid by the police is the kind of thing we’re all going to have to get used to. Case in point:

My son, “Scraps”, is a 7th grader at Colonial Middle School here in Montgomery County, PA. He was harassed constantly because of my McCain signs on the lawn (see “Democrat Sign Games“, posted last month). You can guess who is doing the harassing.

Anyway, on election night, I stopped at the house before I took my results back to the county “after-party” and while I was there, I swapped hats…I gave Scraps my McCain/Palin (for his collection) and put on my old, worn, “Proud to be Republican” hat.

He wore it to school on Wednesday, was harassed on the bus (with expletives thrown at him) and Thursday, at a “Challenge Day” (click on the link, it’s important to see what this day was supposed to represent), he was derided by a staff member to take his hat off, because it was becoming apparent that his “peers” were becoming agitated by it.

McCain Derangement Syndrome, pure and simple, and McCain lost.

My son has been called a racist, bigot, etc., just because he dared “support” the white candidate in the race. When pressed, he told them that he wasn’t against Obama because of his skin color, but because of his policy on “redistribution of wealth”. Then he asked them if they were racist for supporting the black candidate and not the white one…they improved his status to “f@*kin’ racist”.

7th graders…and the Obamamaniacs in his school (teachers, staff) do nothing about it…nothing, that is, except single him out for wearing a souvenir hat that supports “the other candidate” and not the √úbermessiah.

If taking a stand on his future makes Scraps a racist, (their label, not mine) then I’m proud that he’s smart enough and ambitious enough to be against wealth redistribution…and, it means that I’m raising him “right”.

I’ve urged him to continue this “social experiment” by wearing my “rebel” hat with the stars and bars on it…I’ll bet it doesn’t get a second glance, and that the McCain/Palin hat will cause more divisiveness in his middle school than if he wore a hat that said the “N” word on it.

I’m monitoring the situation closely, and will update if anything about the situation changes.

This situation and the one in the video notwithstanding, I’ll be this is only the tip of the iceberg and the MSM will quietly sweep these incidents of “reverse discrimination” under the proverbial carpet, one by one. It looks like it’s up to us to make hay of this and report it when it happens.


And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dreams of My Father

My dad recently retired from his career as a pressman. I worked with dad at the same company from 2000 until 2003, when economics caused me to have to seek employment elsewhere.

In the three years that I worked with dad, I saw him put a lot of ink to paper, leaving words for the world to read for posterity.

Unfortunately, none of those words were his own.

Since his retirement, Dad has been spending more time on the computer. He writes emails (now) that are more than just a line item reminder to meet him somewhere or send a check, etc. Dad's emails are becoming letters, and I'm glad.

When I got the writing bug, I often wondered who I took after, as I didn't ever remember my mother or father ever sitting down and writing simply for the pleasure of it. In my dad's letters, I now see that Dad, (the reserved, laid back guy I love and respect like no other) gave me a lot more than just his name, and I am profoundly grateful for that (among other things).

Dad sent this to me's worth the read:

Since before the election, gun sales across the nation have gone up. People are afraid of Obama's gun control measures, I guess its "buy them and hide them". The November issue of American Rifleman [NRA] outlines Obamas views on gun control and ownership. If you are a hunter, sportsman, target shooter, etc., you better keep a close eye on new gun control laws that will probably emerge shortly.

Automatic and semi-auto weapons will probably be outlawed. Ammunition could be taxed out of reach [up to 500%]. If you enjoy this sport, you had better do t soon, for in the future you may be banned from doing so.

The old adage ["guns don't kill people, people kill people"] does not seem to apply any more. I live in Philadelphia, where two police officers were shot and killed this year, but not by law abiding citizens who obey the law, register their guns, get legal permits, have a high standard of ethics, and otherwise conform to what is expected of them. They were shot by ex-convicts who were released early by our "parole board". What are they looking at?

So the bottom line, the government will make us criminals, hiding or not registering guns and weapons. I recently read an article about England, most guns are banned, so now the police are stopping and searching young people for knives, [even though there has been no increase in crimes committed with knives]. What is next? baseball bats and hockey sticks?.....Think about this carefully, what do you want to allow to happen? I want to be able [allowed?] to hunt for a few more years, until I can't walk the fields and woods anymore, to maybe hunt with my grandsons and/or granddaughters, to do what I didn't have too much of a chance to do with my own father.

My final and sincere advice, JOIN THE NRA.

Thanks, Dad...well said!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Predictions

As my predictions went, so did the country...

McCain/Palin lost, so did the country.

Gerlach won what was supposed to be his easiest race, and it was by a slim margin

Perry and Maguire lost, their campaigns echoed the national numbers (although both did better than their counterparts in their previous election cycle(s)

Ellis and Beiler went the same way the presidential went, as I predicted...I just predicted the wrong presidential candidate would win...sorry, guys.

Finally, Dr. Richard Cutler. This one surprised me, as I thought that people would care a little more about their local races, especially a special election. I'm chagrined that people voted straight ticket and didn't care to get to know Dr. Cutler and what he stood for. Pity, Richard would have made us proud.

That's it...My predictions were way off base. Maybe it was a pollyanna attitude toward the national race, maybe it was just that I had blinders on, maybe a little of both.

It's time to get back to basics and start supporting hard nosed, hard line right of center Republicans and stop trying to appease everybody by pushing moderates, especially at the local level. I'd sleep better knowing that the conservative agenda isn't going the way of the dinosaur, that fiscal and social conservatism isn't dead and that there's still a place at the table for our way of thinking.

The democrats never compromise on their candidates, neither should we. If we give conservatives good candidates to vote for, they'll vote for them. Pure and simple.

It's time to return to the Reagan Republican.

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The Audacity of Hope and Packaging

I wasn't going to post today...I'm sitting here in my living room watching cartoons (I'm loathe to turn anything else, lest I be reminded of last night).

I'm bitter, but I've earned the right to be. I'm angry, but I'll get over it. I'm frustrated, but frustration will soon become fuel for thought. I'm disappointed, but not so much in myself as in the (national) Party, as a whole for it's inability to convince the public that this election had nothing to do with Bush.

But, as George Harrison eloquently put it back in 1970, "All things must pass, All things must pass away", and my bitterness, anger, frustration and disappointment will, too, pass.

So, my audacity of hope? Here goes nothing:


Up until today, I believed, as most conservatives did, that this buzz word, adopted by the Obama campaign, was just that..."buzz". Little did I know then, this may just become the conservative rally cry for the next four years.


Bitterly clinging to hope yesterday, I went to bed bitterly disappointed.

Not in the outcome of the election so much as in the collective...may I say "ineptitude" of the American people to have real vision. They cling to hype and hyperbole and elect the first president (in my lifetime) who has absolutely no practical experience to do the job expected of him.


Hope that Obama's policies do not bankrupt our great nation, both financially and morally.


Hope that Obama realizes that his "softball" approach to foreign policy doesn't get Israel blown off the map. Hope that he doesn't spend the next 4 years undoing the great work of our military in the middle east, essentially making the sacrifice of our military heroes (who didn't return) meaningless.


Hope that over the next 4 years, the false hopes of the multitudes will be dashed by Obama's inability to deliver on the many promises he has made during his campaign.


Hope that in the next 4 years, the very young, idealistic voters who voted Obama into the White House, will look at their paychecks (that is, if they are lucky enough to find a job that pays a living wage) and see that they are, indeed, paying more taxes than they should be, just to support the social programs of their president. Yes, "their president"...the one whose policy on wealth redistribution will eventually create the biggest welfare state this country has ever seen.


Hope that in 3 years, this country will be fed up with a president whose inexperience will likely make the United States the laughing stock of the world...whose failed foreign policy will cause turmoil and strife worldwide, whose inexperience and "pollyanna" attitude will may be responsible for our country experiencing another terrorist attack...this time, with more devastating results than the attack on 9/11/01.


Hope that this election was not just about putting a black man into the white house.


Hope that our party can take this as a lesson. A lesson that we need to rebuild, and rebuild into a newer, stronger, brighter that doesn't cling to it's losses and whine, but who says "what did I do this time that I can't do next time?". One that accepts the fact that we, as a whole, are lacking something, somewhere, and need to quickly come up with a solution that makes our Republican party great again.

We need to engage younger Americans with a real message that will make them listen, not the same old rhetoric that we've been hearing for years, the rhetoric that sends young voters toward the other side.

The Republican Party has to evolve...not so radically that it becomes something completely different than it was meant to be back in 1854 when it was founded, but, one that adapts to the times without losing the ideological foundations that makes our party great.

We need a facelift, pure and simple. But, we need to only change the package, not the product. We're "selling" a great's just that our packaging sucks and people aren't buying.


Hope that this rings true with an Obama presidency. Statistically, only one in three new products introduced to the public succeeds, despite pretty packaging and advertising hype.

Last night's election results are proof positive that if you wrap a lousy product in a pretty package, you're bound to get some people to buy it. And last night, the price was right (little do they realize that the payment plan is at least 4 years long and not so easy). Unfortunatly, the return policy usually takes 4 years.


Hope that, in 4 years, the American people exchange the "pretty package" for a new and improved Republican that works, is reasonably priced and is more reliable than the one they have been using.

Until this happens, I can only hope.


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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This Would Be Funnier...

...If it weren't so true!

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My Election Predictions

I’ll only predict the races that will effect the voting district I live in…Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, West-1 district.

President/VeeP-John McCain/Sarah Palin (but it’s a squeaker and the MSM will not declare him on election night)

Congress (PA-6) Jim Gerlach, but we have really no competition there…Roggio is a seriously weak effort by the PA dems, which surprises me considering how strong a candidate Lois Murphy was the past 2 election cycles.

PA Senate (7th Senatorial District) I really am loathe to predict this one, as I consider Marc Perry a personal friend and do not want to jinx any chance he may have, so I will not make a prediction. I do know that Vincent Hughes is banking on the Obama name (as his signs sport both his and the √úbermessiah’s name}, which suggests tht he may think he needs an Obama win to succeed.

PA House (148th) I’m working on this campaign personally. Reality Check time? Maybe, but I won’t say it, ala Perry above. It’s going to be hard, nay, nearly impossible to beat an incumbent who gives earmarks to all of the right groups, in all of the right amounts, at the most opportune times. But, there’s much to be said for prayer. I’m praying the rosary…twice.

Attorney General-Corbett wins

Treasurer and Auditor General-Whichever way the presidential goes, so goes these two…it’s sad, but the state row under-ticket is less important to the rank and file voter than it is to us political junkies. Most people do not know who is actually running for these seats, the catchy “Check Chet” may help him at the polls, but most will vote party line on these offices. It’s a toss-up.

Finally, there’s a special election in Whitemarsh Township this year. We had a Republican supervisor resign (family matters) and the seat was filled by a democrat nobody who has only lived in the township for a few years.

Last year, Dr. Richard Cutler, a local periodontist who has been very active participant in Whitemarsh Township governance for quite a few years, gave the d’s a real run for their money.

I predict that Dr. Cutler wins…his name recognition gives him a serious edge on his competitor and, he has more to offer the township than his opponent, who’s only real contribution to Whitemarsh Township for the last 5 years is that he decided to say yes when asked to fill the vacancy.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This Sheds an Awful Lot Of Light On The Ballot Question

H/T to JCS for sending this to me…it’s an eye opener on the ballot question, which reads:

Water and Sewer Improvements Bond Referendum: Do you favor the incurring of indebtedness by the Commonwealth of $400,000,000 for grants and loans to municipalities and public utilities for the cost of all labor, materials, necessary operational machinery and equipment, lands, property, rights and easements, plans and specifications, surveys, estimates of costs and revenues, prefeasibility studies, engineering and legal services and all other expenses necessary or incident to the acquisition, construction, improvement, expansion, extension, repair or rehabilitation of all or part of drinking water system, storm water, nonpoint source projects, nutrient credits and wastewater treatment system projects?
Well, the following was sent out by the PA dems, which sheds an awful lot of light on the referendum:
Dear Fellow Democrat,

Vote YES!

Every day more than 10 million Pennsylvanians depend upon a supply of clean and safe drinking water from public systems. But much of our drinking water and wastewater plants as well as miles of water and sewer pipes are nearing the end of their life-span.

On November 4th when you vote for President, you will also be asked if you will you support a Clean Water Referendum that invests $400 million in Pennsylvania’s waterways and provide safer, more dependable drinking water and sewer services. I am writing to you today to strongly urge you to vote YES on Act 64.

If approved, the Clean Water Referendum will provide new resources for repairs and upgrades to Pennsylvania’s water infrastructure. The money will be used to provide more dependable drinking water and sewer services. This money will be available to your community and many others all across the Commonwealth.

This is a huge investment in the Pennsylvania economy. With the Clean Water Referendum, we will create nearly 12,000 jobs in Pennsylvania and provide for millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades. So, vote YES on November 4th!

You can click here to learn more about the Clean Water Referendum.

Vote YES for cleaner and safer water!! Vote YES for more jobs!! Vote YES to invest in Pennsylvania. Vote YES on November 4th!!


Edward G. Rendell

P.S. Once you vote for Obama/Biden, don’t forget to vote for the rest of the Democratic ticket and to vote YES on Act 64! Don’t stop at the top!
If Rendell is behind this, I'm leery of it. Besides, my local governing body already taxes me for sewer and stormwater improvements/maintenance and Aqua PA adds hidden costs into the price of wter delivery to provide for upkeep on the potable drinking water infrastructure...this is nothing more than another hidden tax to fund Fast Eddies pet socialist projects.


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Obama Countdown