Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Israel VS Hamas: Facts Tell The Story!

Pope Embraces Pentecostal Church; Calls For Unity

Unity in diversity and the plea for forgiveness for the lack of understanding shown by some Catholics towards their Pentecostal brothers were the key themes of the Pope's address at the Pentecostal Church of the Reconciliation in Caserta yesterday, during his meeting with his friend, the pastor Giovanni Traettino, whom he known for many years, both in Buenos Aires and as bishop of Rome, engaged in ecumenism. 

The meeting took place in a cheerful and intimate atmosphere, and was attended by 200 people, mostly Pentecostals from Italy, the United States and Argentina, as well as other countries. “With men like you”, said Pastor Traettino to his friend, Pope Francis, “there is hope for us, as Christians”.

The Pope's address responded to the discourse pronounced by Pastor Traettino, who had remarked that the presence of Jesus and walking in the presence of Jesus should be at the centre of our life. Francis remarked that “walk” was God's first commandment to his people, represented by Abraham – “walk before me faithfully and be blameless” – and added, “I don't understand a Christian who stands still! I don't understand a Christian who doesn't walk. A Christian must walk … because that which is still, that does not move ahead, becomes corrupt. Like still water, which is the first to become stagnant. … There are Christians who confuse walking and moving ahead with moving around. These, instead, are errants who saunter here and there; these are people who lack parrhesia, the boldness to go ahead; they lack hope”.

He went on to cite the story of Jacob who, during a time of famine, sent his eleven sons – ten of whom were guilty of betrayal, having sold their brother Joseph – to Egypt to buy grain. There, they once again found Joseph, who in the meantime had become the vizier. 

“When we walk in God's presence, we find brotherhood”, asserted the Pope. “When instead we stop, we scrutinise each other too much, and we set out on another path, that of gossip. … And in this way it begins, from the first moment the division of the Church began. And it is not the Holy Spirit who causes division! … From the very beginning there has been this temptation in the Christian community. 'I am from this group, you are from that one', 'No! I am the Church, you are a sect', and so on. … The Holy Spirit creates diversity in the Church … diversity, rich and beautiful. But, at the same time, the Holy Spirit creates unity, and so the Church is one in her diversity. To borrow a phrase used by an evangelical, a phrase I love, it is the 'reconciled diversity' of the Holy Spirit, Who creates both of these things: diversity in charisms, and harmony in charisms”.

To offer an image of how unity in the Church could be, Pope Francis first described a sphere, all of whose points are equidistant from the centre. This, he said, was an example of uniformity, and “the Holy Spirit does not create uniformity”. “Let us imagine, instead, a polyhedron: it is an example of unity, but with many different parts, each with its own peculiarity and charism. This is unity in diversity. This is the path that we Christians take, giving it the theological name of ecumenism: we seek to ensure that this diversity is harmonised by the Holy Spirit and becomes a unity; we seek to walk in the presence of God to be blameless”.

Pastor Traettino had also referred to the incarnation of Jesus, and the Holy Father responded that “the incarnation of the Word is the foundation – it is Jesus Christ! God and man, Son of God and Son of man, true God and true man. This is how the first Christians understood Him to be and they fought hard to maintain this truth: the Lord is God and man. It is the mystery of Christ's flesh. … I love the poor, the widow, the slave, the imprisoned. … I love them all, as these people who suffer are Christ's flesh. … It is not possible to preach a purely intellectual Gospel: the Gospel is the truth but it is also love and beauty! And this is the joy of the Gospel!”.

“On this path, many times we have done the same thing as the brothers of Joseph, when jealous and envy have divided us”, he remarked. “That sad story in which the Gospel for some was lived as truth and they did not realise that behind this attitude there were bad things, things that were not the Lord's, an ugly attempt at division. That sad history, in which there are repeated the same things that Joseph's brother did: denouncements, the laws of these people who 'are against the purity of the race'. … And these laws were ratified by baptised persons! Some of those who enacted these laws, and some of those who persecuted, denounced their pentecostal brothers because they were 'enthusiastic', almost 'crazy', who spoiled the race. … I am a pastor of Catholics, and I beg forgiveness for this. I ask your forgiveness on behalf of those Catholic brothers and sisters who did not understand and who were tempted by the devil, and who did the same thing that Joseph's brothers did. I ask the Lord for the grace to recognise and to forgive”.

Pope Francis went on to comment on Pastor Traettino's words, “The truth is an encounter”. “An encounter between people”, he emphasised. “The truth is not made in a laboratory, it is made in life, seeking Jesus in order to find Him. But the greatest and most beautiful mystery is that when we find Jesus, we realise that He sought us first, that He had found us first, because He arrives before us. I like to use the Spanish verb 'primerea' to describe this, meaning that He precedes us, and always awaits us. … That encounter that transforms us: everything comes from that encounter. This is the path of Christian sanctity: seeking Jesus every day in order to meet him, and letting oneself be sought and found by Jesus every day”.

“We are on that path of unity, among brothers”, he concluded. “Some people will be surprised: they will say, the Pope has gone to the evangelicals! He has gone to meet his brothers! Yes! Because – and this is the truth – they came to me first, in Buenos Aires. … And so this friendship began, this closeness between the pastors in Buenos Aires, and here today. I thank you, and I ask you to pray for me, as I need your prayers”.

Following the meeting, in the mid afternoon, the Pope returned to the Vatican by helicopter.

Governor Christie Calls Special Legislative Session

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is calling a Special Session of the State Legislature for this Thursday, calling on the Legislature to seize the moment and pass bipartisan legislation that will keep dangerous individuals off the streets and bring greater fairness to the system. For two and half years, the Governor has engaged the legislature and continually called for this type of reform, beginning with his State of the State Address in 2012.

Now, we are finally on the cusp of seeing action, with broad-based reform supported by the Governor, bipartisan members of the legislature, the judiciary, interest groups such as the NAACP, ACLU, and Drug Policy Alliance, and opinion leaders from across the state.

As the Star Ledger Editorial Board pointed out in an editorial on this very topic this morning, reform is “desperately needed” and at risk of falling victim to legislative dysfunction. From the piece on the reform package and the need to act now:

The only people who win if this reform doesn’t pass are bail bondsmen. And the victims will be the poor, who continue to sit in jail for an average of 10 months for minor offenses, even though they pose no risk to the community.

Rich people who can afford a bail bond simply walk free, no matter how dangerous they may be. This broken system is an economic injustice, a threat to public safety and a drain on state taxpayers. We are warehousing people who don’t pose any danger.

Under the proposed reform, most people arrested for minor crimes would simply be released without bail. Those accused of more serious crimes or thought to be a flight danger would get a risk assessment, and only the biggest threats would be detained.

It’s a sorely needed overhaul, but comes with a short window. If Monday’s vote is delayed, the legislation would likely be passed next year at the earliest, and might not take effect until 2018. And it may never be passed at all: Who knows if legislators would have the appetite to take this on again?

Instead of a system that allows people charged with the most serious violent crimes out on the street, and keeps those who commit minor offenses and just can't afford bail behind bars, this legislation will finally bring common sense and fairness to the system. The legislation being debated includes the following:

·        SCR128: A Constitutional Amendment that would provide necessary flexibility in the justice system to allow for individuals proven to be dangerous or a threat to public safety to be held without bail ahead of trial through a pre-trial assessment.  If approved, this would appear for voter approval on the November 2014 General Election ballot.
·        S946: Legislation that would set the parameters for dangerousness when determining bail eligibility and create bail alternatives for individuals charged with nonviolent offenses.  This would bring fairness to low-income individuals who have not been charged with violent crimes and do not belong warehoused in jails awaiting trail, but cannot afford bail.

BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS ON THIS ISSUE – The moment for action is now, with bipartisan consensus on sweeping reform being reached by the Governor, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Stuart Rabner and his special commission formed to look specifically at bail reform, members of both parties of the legislature, interest groups as diverse as the NAACP, ACLU, and Drug Policy Alliance, and opinion leaders from around the state.

On B'way, For 'Lady Day,' It's Now All Gravy!

The producers of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the musical play starring record breaking six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, are thrilled to announce that the production in now in profits, after recouping its initial investment of $2.6 million.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill previously announced that the production has now extended its limited engagement through September 21st, 2014.

The original cast recording of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, which topped four of the Billboard Charts in its first week of release (#1 in Cast Albums, #1 in Jazz, #1 in Traditional Jazz and #1 in Heatseekers), is now available for purchase from PS Classics. For more information visit www.psclassics.com.

Tickets are available via Telecharge.com, by calling (212) 239-6200, or at the box office of Circle in the Square (West 50th Street, btwn. Broadway and 8th Avenue).

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill began performances on March 25th, 2014, and opened on April 13th, 2014. In addition to Audra McDonald’s Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play, the productions sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Sound Design of a Play.

“Audra McDonald is a vocal genius!
One of the greatest performances I ever hope to see.”
New York Magazine

MESMERIZING! Pouring her heart into her voice, Audra McDonald breathes life into Billie Holiday’s greatest songs.”
The New York Times

Daily News

“The best 90 minutes you’ll ever witness!
Audra McDonald is again AUDACIOUSLY AWESOME.”

“STUNNING & HEARTBREAKING. The performance of her career!
Get to the Circle in the Square theatre – pronto!”
Huffington Post

“One of the most exquisite & haunting performances of the year!”
Entertainment Weekly

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill recounts Holiday's life story through the songs that made her famous. 1959, in a small, intimate bar in Philadelphia, Holiday puts on a show that unbeknownst to the audience, will leave them witnesses to one of the last performances of her lifetime.  Through her poignant voice and moving songs, one of the greatest jazz singers of all-time shares her loves and her losses.   

Among the songs that are performed: “God Bless the Child,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness.”

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill is directed by Ms. McDonald’s frequent collaborator, Lonny Price.

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jessica Genick, and Will Trice, who are joined by Ronald Frankel, Rebecca Gold, Roger Berlind, Ken Greiner, Gabrielle Palitz, Irene Gandy and GFour Productions.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill made its award-winning premiere with off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre in 1986.

Great Summer Nights At Jewish History Museum!

Summer Nights at the Museum
As July winds to a close, August heats up at the National Museum of American jewish History in Philadelphia.
Don't miss extended hours, special tours, film, and more, exclusively on Wednesday nights. Keep reading for details about Pay What You Wish Wednesdays, tomorrow night's Field of Dreams screeningpoetry, and Café Conversations. See you tomorrow night!
Every Wednesday through October from 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Pay-what-you-wish Museum Admission includes:
  • Access to the permanent exhibition and the special exhibition Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American 
  • Hour-long Chasing Dreams-themed tour at 5:30 pm
  • Complimentary baseball-themed snacks and beer served by the Museum's Pomegranates Café
  • FREE access to special programs such as Café Conversations (more below) 
Summer Cinema: Field of Dreams -- tomorrow night!    
Wednesday, July 30 at 7:00 pm

Join us for our final screening in our Classics & Crackerjacks: Summer Cinemaseries, Field of Dreams, with remarks from longtime film critic for The Philadelphia InquirerCarrie Rickey, and fun, baseball-themed giveaways.Read more...  
Members: click here to purchase tickets and to access special pricing forother upcoming programs. 
Special pre-film poetry reading in the Café at 6:15 pm: swing by
the Café before the screening for Growing Up Baseball, a poetry
reading with Jacob Winterstein.
Café Conversation: Laura SilverWednesday, August 6 at 7:00 pm

In the Museum Café - included with PWYW Museum Admission
Meet award-winning journalist, Laura Silver, author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, which Joan Nathan has called "truly riveting."
Co-sponsored by Temple University's Feinstein Center for American Jewish History
Café Conversation: Neil Lanctot
Wednesday, August 13 at 7:00 pm 

In the Museum Ca
fé - included with PWYW Museum Admission

Sit down for a chat with Neil Lanctot, Ph.D., baseball historian and author of Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella, hailed "a rich and thoroughly enjoyable book" by the Los Angeles Times.
Click here for a full calendar of Chasing Dreams programs.

The Real Corbett Education Funding Record!

In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley campaign today formally launched a new website highlighting the record funding for state education under the Corbett-Cawley Administration. The formal launch follows yesterday's press conference at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association headquarters where Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley, State Senator Scott Wagner and various education stakeholders set the record straight on the Corbett-Cawley Administration's commitment to education. Since taking office, Corbett has increased state funding by $1.46 billion. The campaign also exposed a Democratic political operative who Secretary Tom Wolf’s supporters are using to portray a mother claiming to be “living paycheck to paycheck.”

The campaign’s “Get the Facts about Tom Corbett and Public Education” website includes video testimonial from Pennsylvania public school teachers on Governor Corbett’s commitment to education. The site also features a year-by-year breakdown of state education funding. You can view the website by clicking HERE.

Below are quotes from Monday's press conference.

Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley
“Over the last four years, our administration has increased the state’s investment in our public schools by $1.46 billion to now historic levels. It’s shameful that the teachers’ union bosses continually perpetuate a lie to put their own interests over those of the students and teachers they serve. I am calling on Secretary Wolf to denounce the lies of his supporters and allies who have financed this ad and his campaign for more than $1.13 million. As Governor Corbett and I travel the Commonwealth to stress the need for pension reform and through it, relief for property taxpayers, school districts and communities, these unions and Secretary Wolf stand in the way and ignore our crisis to serve their own interests first. We will continue to stand up to the special interests and deliver real reform and results for the people of Pennsylvania.”

State Senator Scott Wagner (PA-28)

“The public sector unions have for years stood in the way of meaningful reforms for Pennsylvania taxpayers. What’s more troubling is that they have used taxpayer resources to collect their member dues to finance attacks like these, regardless of their member’s individual political leanings. Republican, Democrat or independent, it should be up to the unions themselves, not the taxpayers, to collect their dues if they are going to choose to spend them on such disgusting partisan attacks and lies as those made in this ad and over the last four years. I will continue to work with Governor Corbett, Lt. Governor Cawley and this administration to achieve what’s best for all Pennsylvanians, not the Harrisburg special interests.”

Background on PA Families First Ad

PA Families First, a special interests PAC funded by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and national public sector unions, recently began airing an attack on behalf of Secretary Tom Wolf. The ad features a Chris, that the on-screen texts labels as a parent. Chris says she is living “paycheck to paycheck.”

“It’s only fitting that Secretary Tom Wolf’s special interest allies would enlist the help of a professional political operative who donates thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and whose lifestyle as demonstrated on her Facebook page doesn't jive with the living ‘paycheck to paycheck’ claim,” stated Corbett-Cawley Communications Director Chris Pack. “Apparently PA Families First is doing their best Tom Wolf impression by pretending to be someone they are not.”

Below is information on Chris Visco.

-Chris Visco is the owner of PJ’s & Coffee Social Media Marketing

-Among her specialties, she lists “political campaign management” and “political strategist utilizing online marketing strategies”

-Visco is a Democratic political operative who has received thousands of dollars from Democratic candidates for elected office.

Payments to PJ’s & Coffee Marketing:

State Senator Art Haywood (PA-04) for Senate’s Committee (Campaign for Compassion):

$3,150 - 3/5/14

$1,535 - 3/24/14

$700 - 4/1/14

$3,000 - 4/1/14

$524.61 - 4/25/14

$10 - 4/25/14

Friends of Steve Tolliver - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas:
$2,000 - 4/30/13

$2,000 - 5/20/13

$3,000 - 6/5/13

$3,000 - 7/2/13

$3,000 - 8/27/13

$26.24 - 8/27/13

$3,000 - 10/1/13

$1,000 - 10/10/13

$415.62 - 10/25/13

$3,000 - 10/26/13

$1,000 - 10/29/13

$223.03 - 11/18/13

Individual payments to Chris Visco

State Senator Art Haywood (PA-04) for Senate’s Committee (Campaign for Compassion):

$5,600 - 5/5/14

$500 - 5/19/14

State Senator Arthur Haywood (PA-04):

$2,000 - 1/24/14

$3,263.18 - 2/11/14

Friends of Steve Tolliver - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas:

$230 - 6/27/13

$146.56 - 7/2/13

$78.92 - 7/15/13

$252.48 - 7/17/13

$184 - 9/9/13

$26.61 - 9/16/13

$101.54 - 9/16/13

$300 - 10/3/13

$46 - 10/17/13

$193.22 - 10/17/13

$215.87 - 10/29/13

$1,000 - 11/2/13

$44.42 - 11/18/13

$609.43 - 11/18/13

For more information on the Corbett-Cawley campaign for a stronger Pennsylvania, please visit www.tomcorbettforgovernor.com.

Restaurant Features Cuban Special T'rrow Only

Christie: Time To Reform NJ Bail System

Reform New Jersey’s Bail System Now
Two And A Half Years After Calling For Common-Sense Changes To New Jersey’s Bail System, Governor Christie Is Calling The Legislature Back For A Special Session To Finally Finish The Job

“We can only improve our quality of life by keeping the most violent criminals off the streets. So, I ask you to approve my bail reform package, which would mirror the federal system. It would keep offenders with a history of violence who are a danger to our communities in jail until the time of their trial, instead of releasing them into society to prey on the public. … This, too, is just simple common sense.”
– Governor Chris Christie, State Of The State Address, January 17, 2012

New Jersey’s current rules for bail determinations for defendants awaiting trial are illogical, dangerous, and fiscally irresponsible. They allow violent criminals back on the streets while defendants who pose no risk to their communities are stuck in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. Governor Christie has proposed commonsense reform to refocus New Jersey’s bail system on assessments of risk and would allow New Jersey courts to keep dangerous criminals off the streets and in jail until trial.

·         The federal government allows for violent criminals, who pose a danger to their communities, to be held without bail, while New Jersey law does not.

·         A study by the United States Department of Justice found that one-third of defendants released before trial ended up being charged with some type of pre-trial misconduct. One-sixth were arrested for a new offense – and one-half of those were felonies.

·         According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 28 states enacted new legislation addressing bail policy in 2011 alone.

This commonsense proposal represents the next step in the Governor’s call to reform the State’s judicial system to better protect New Jersey’s communities from violent offenders, particularly those with a demonstrated record of violence.


“NJ Supreme Court Committee Urges Historic Changes To State's Bail System” (Thomas Zambito, “NJ Supreme Court committee urges historic changes to state's bail system,” The Star-Ledger, 3/20/14)

·         New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner: On Supreme Court committee on the need for bail reform: “If the proposals that have been presented are enacted, we believe that they will make New Jersey’s system of criminal justice better, fairer and safer …” (Thomas Zambito, “NJ Supreme Court committee urges historic changes to state's bail system,” The Star-Ledger, 3/20/14)

American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey Public Policy Director Ari Rosmarin: “The overuse of pretrial detention is the single largest obstacle to achieving our shared goal of ensuring equal justice…bail reform that establishes pretrial alternatives for non-violent low-risk offenders is not only laudable, it is critical and the ACLU wholeheartedly supports such efforts.” (Ari Rosmarin, “Testimony on Bail System Reform – Assembly Judicial Committee,” 12/16/13)

·         Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU of New Jersey Alexander Shalom: "Prosecutors, defense attorneys, civil libertarians, judges and court administrators have joined voices with representatives of the legislative and executive branches to say that the current system of bail and detention promotes neither justice nor public safety. These seemingly strange bedfellows all recognize that a system where hundreds of people are jailed because they don't have a few hundred dollars to post bail unfairly jails the poorest among us not the most dangerous among us.” (Thomas Zambito, “NJ Supreme Court committee urges historic changes to state's bail system,” Star-Ledger, 3/21/14)

Political Action Chairman Of The NAACP's New Jersey Conference Richard Todd Edwards: "New Jersey's bail system is broken. Three-quarters of the people being warehoused in our jails are there awaiting trial, not being punished.” (“Groups tell New Jersey lawmakers to overhaul bail system,” Associated Press, 7/24/14)

Drug Policy Alliance: [B]ail reform is sorely needed in New Jersey.” (“The New Solutions Campaign: Bail Reform,” Drug Policy Alliance)

Cumberland County Jail Warden Bob Balicki: "The way the system is currently set up discriminates against the poor. About 40 percent of our inmates are here solely because they can't pay bail — often just $100 or $200.” (Spencer Kent, “Bail reform legislation in N.J. would slash Cumberland, Salem jail populations,” South Jersey Times, 7/14/14)

·         "We shouldn't just lock people up because we are mad at them," he added. "We should lock people up who pose a danger to society and who are a flight risk."

·         "To house and feed somebody and take care of their medical and dental problems — when, if they had just $100, they could be out on bail and await their next appearance," Balicki said. "We are spending all this money, when these type of inmates do not pose a risk to society or a flight risk."

Salem County Correctional Facility Warden Raymond C. Skradzinski: “…said he is also in favor of the state's proposed measure, saying that it would be more cost efficient and fairer to inmates of lesser financial means…said roughly 20 percent of his 412 inmates could be eligible for parole is the bill is passed.” (Spencer Kent, “Bail reform legislation in N.J. would slash Cumberland, Salem jail populations,” South Jersey Times, 7/14/14)

Gloucester County Freeholder Director Bob Damminger: "I think it's a good idea for nonviolent offenders. When we were running the Gloucester County Jail, it would cost us around $300 to house inmates who were there (for low-level crimes). I think it will greatly reduce costs." (Spencer Kent, “Bail reform legislation in N.J. would slash Cumberland, Salem jail populations,” South Jersey Times, 7/14/14)

·         “He also agrees that the way the bail system is currently set up discriminates against the poor.”

The Star-Ledger: “Bail reform is desperately needed in New Jersey.” (Editorial, “N.J. Assembly Speaker Prieto must do whatever it takes to push bail reform,” Star-Ledger Editorial Board, 7/29/14)

·         “This is legislative dysfunction at its worst.”

·         “This broken system is an economic injustice, a threat to public safety and a drain on state taxpayers.”

The Record: “It's time to reform the process.” (Editorial, “Making bail,” The Record Editorial Board, 3/23/14)

·         “Changing the rules on bail requires a constitutional amendment. This is an important issue to bring to voters, if possible this year.”

·         “These are sensible reforms put together by a diverse group of participants in the criminal justice system who saw the need for changes. We urge legislators to make this a priority.”

Press of Atlantic City: “New Jersey's system of setting bail is one of the most unjust parts of our justice system.” (Editorial, “New Jersey's bail system / Reforms on target,” Press of Atlantic City, 3/28/14)

·         “Giving judges more discretion to hold violent offenders - who might go after victims or witnesses - is a reform Gov. Chris Christie has been seeking for several years. It deserves support, as do the other recommendations in the panel's report.”

·         “We urge lawmakers to get busy and turn these reforms into law.”

Times of Trenton: “[T]he system favors those of means and discriminates against those of color.” (Editorial, “'Freer, fairer and safer' - N.J. bail reform report delivers needed overhaul,” Times of Trenton Editorial Board, 3/26/14)

·         “[T]he panel has provided New Jersey with an opening to fundamentally change a system that’s inefficient, expensive and unfair.”

·         “The overhaul it suggests would also bring about a criminal justice system that is ‘freer, fairer and safer,’ the report says. That’s what New Jersey should strive for.”

South Jersey Times: “What hits home…are jaw-dropping estimates from two county jailers that their daily populations could drop by 20 to 40 percent if the new provisions are enacted.” (Editorial, “Enact sensible N.J. bail reform,”South Jersey Times, 7/15/14)

·         “let's be clear: It's stupid to hold a shoplifting suspect in a $200-a-day cell on the fear that he might shoplift again before his court date.”

Asbury Park Press: “Many of the 27 recommendations in the report require the Legislature to act. It should do so immediately. There are bedrock Constitutional principles at stake. The Sixth Amendment states that, ‘In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.’ The Eighth Amendment declares that ‘Excessive bail shall not be required.’ New Jersey fails to meet both those standards.” (Editorial, “Move forward on bail reforms,” Asbury Park Press, 3/31/14)

·         “If the Bill of Rights means anything, these reforms can’t be dismissed as merely ‘pie in the sky’ aspirations. They are utter necessities. Lawmakers in Trenton must craft the constitutional amendment and find ways to make sure the state can pay for the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights.”

Monday, July 28, 2014

Video: Son Of Hamas Founder Speaks Up

On Tax Returns, For Tom Wolf 'Yes' Means NO!'

In Pennsylvania, millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf today once again broke his promise to the media to release his corporate tax returns as he stated he would in February. The Corbett-Cawley campaign has been pressuring Wolf to release his corporate taxes to prove that he is paying his fair share of Pennsylvania taxes and not taking advantage of the Delaware loophole that he is campaigning against.

“Secretary Tom Wolf wants us to take him at his word that he’s not taking advantage of the Delaware loophole to avoid paying his fair share of Pennsylvania taxes, but if he is willing to lie to the media about something as trivial as releasing his corporate taxes, then what else is he lying about,” stated Communications Director Chris Pack. “Secretary Tom Wolf needs to just go ahead and release his corporate tax returns because each and every hour he continues lying and hiding from the media, he loses more and more credibility as someone who can be trusted to run a state with 12.7 million people.”

The Corbett-Cawley campaign has been pressuring Wolf to release his corporate taxes to prove that he is paying his fair share of Pennsylvania taxes and not taking advantage of the Delaware loophole. As reported today by Marc Levy of the Associated Press, “The Wolf campaign says it won't provide proof of the company's tax payments.”

Wolf has tried pushing back against the Corbett-Cawley campaign’s claims that Wolf is dodging paying his fair share of Pennsylvania by stating that he’s registered to pay taxes in 28 different states – which is not something the Corbett-Cawley campaign ever disputed. What the Corbett-Cawley campaign has asserted is that Wolf is not paying his fair share of Pennsylvania taxes because he incorporated his company in Delaware to get a lower Pennsylvania tax rate.

In addition to telling the AP’s Marc Levy today that he would not release his corporate taxes, he said the same to WHYY’s Dave Davies. On Friday, when asked by WHYY NewsWorks’ Dave Davies to release his corporate tax returns to prove that he is not taking advantage of the Delaware Loophole, the Wolf campaign stated that “they are a private company and will not be making any further information available.” However, in February, when Davies asked Wolf if he would release his corporate tax returns, Wolf responded with, “yes, absolutely.”

Wolf further elaborated, directly contradicting his argument on Friday regarding their privately held status by stating, “We’re a private company but I’ll share whatever people like you want me to share – my personal tax returns, the company information, I’ll be happy to share whatever anybody wants to see, that’s been my practice throughout my business career.”

Background Information

In his campaign platform, “A Fresh Start,” Wolf pledges to close the Delaware loophole.

For a link to the State of Delaware’s Certificate of Incorporation for The Wolf Holdings Organization, Inc., please click HERE.

For a link showing The Wolf Holdings Organization, Inc. being incorporated in Delaware on April 21, 2006, prior to Wolf’s partial sale of the company on May 5, 2006 to the SERS-backed Weston Presidio investment firm, please click HERE.

Below is a verbatim transcript between Dave Davies and Secretary Tom Wolf from WHYY Newsworks and the Philadelphia Business Journal 2014 Gubernatorial Forum on February 5, 2014. During this forum Wolf gives Davies his word that he will release his corporate taxes. Click HERE to view the video.

Dave Davies: “It’s a convention of modern campaigns that candidates release their tax returns so that people can understand something about their personal finances. I want to ask you specifically about your family business which is an important part of your personal narrative and an important qualification in your campaign materials – the fact that you retooled and kept the jobs in Pennsylvania, that you provide health care for your employees and share 20 to 30 percent of the profits with the employees. So, my question is, are you prepared to share with the media tax returns or other documentation that will independently confirm these important details about the business?"

Secretary Wolf: "Yes, and thank you so much for giving my campaign pitch on the 20 to 30 percent, I appreciate that. Yes absolutely."

Davies: "That’s it, okay. Swell! We’ll move right along, but just to follow-up, what are you going to show us? What will tell the story? I checked the SEC, I don’t know if you filed…"

Secretary Wolf: "We’re a private…we’re a private company but I’ll share whatever people like you want me to share – my personal tax returns, the company information…I’ll be happy to share whatever anybody wants to see, that’s been my practice throughout my business career."

For more information on the Corbett-Cawley campaign for a stronger Pennsylvania, visitwww.tomcorbettforgovernor.com.

Buyers' Remorse: Now Americans Say They Want Romney

Get this: Mitt Romney would win the popular vote if a rematch of the 2012 election against President Obama were held today, a new CNN/ORC poll shows.

According to the poll, if the 2012 election were held again today, Romney would receive 53% of the popular vote while Obama would receive only 44%, CNN reported. That's quite a turnaround, especially when you consider that Obama beat Romney 51%-47% in the actual election.

And there's more interesting news in the poll:
  • Less than half of those polled (48%) think President Obama is a "strong and decisive leader." That's a new low for Obama. A majority (52%) do not see the president as a strong and decisive leader.
  • A majority of the respondents (56%) say that President Obama does not agree with them on issues they care about. Only 42% believe he does agree with them.
  • Only 42% think Obama can "manage the government effectively." Another new low. A whopping 57% saw the president cannot manage the government effectively.
  • Barely half of the people (51%) say they feel Obama "cares about people like me." This again is a new low, and this in an area where Obama has always been strong and has scored as high as 73%.
  • Only 46% say Obama "shares my values." Again, this is a new low in a criteria where Obama has scored as high as 72%. A majority (53%) say Obama does NOT share their values.
  • Only 49% even believe that President Obama is "sincere in what he says." 
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has jumped back on top and is now once again the choice of republicans polled to gain his party's nomination. Christie garners 13% of Republican support followed closely by Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee with 12% each. Christie had slipped to as low as 8% at one point.
These figures spell bad news not just for Obama but for the Democrat Party since a president going into a midyear election with these numbers usually finds his party on the losing side come November.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Video: 'Iron Dome' Interception Over Israel!

Obama's Biggest Faults Now On Display

No person comes to the Oval Office without faults.
And, doubtless, the everyday stress of the presidency and the relentless glare of the spotlight would seem to intensify and enhance those faults.
Indeed, finding fault with the one public official elected by all the people of the country would appear to be be our national duty, if not our honor. Was Richard Nixon’s paranoia his downfall? Were Jimmy Carter and his cohorts really that incompetent, that clueless? Could Franklin Delano Roosevelt have been any more . . . . 
Click here to read the rest of my column from today's Courier-Post.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

US, France, Germany, Turkey, Ukraine Top Blog Visits

For the week just ending, Dan Cirucci Blog

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States