Thursday, May 31, 2012

South Philly Beer Festival Debuts June 8

The first-ever South Philly Beer Festival will be held as part of Philly Beer Week at XFINITY Live!, the new entertainment and dining district built on the former site of the Spectrum, on Friday, June 8 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Tickets are available now for $30 via or

Ticketed guests will be able to sample brews from various local, regional and national breweries in the outdoor plaza of XFINITY Live! from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Food pairing for each of the brews will be provided by XFINITY Live! Executive Chef Chris Stevens. In addition, each ticketed guest will receive a limited edition mug, allowing patrons to select specially-priced beverages throughout XFINITY Live! all day. Free and convenient parking is available at the Wells Fargo Complex for the event.

Among the breweries to be featured at the South Philadelphia Beer Festival:

- Harpoon Brewery
- Twin Lakes Brewery
- Great Lakes Brewing Company
- Spaten-Franziskaner
- Sly Fox Brewing Company
- Flying Fish Brewing Company
- Woodchuck

XFINITY Live! will donate $5 of every ticket purchased to the Lemon Society of Philadelphia benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the battle against childhood cancer.

XFINITY Live! Philadelphia ( is a dining and entertainment district centered in the heart of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. XFINITY Live! is home to over a dozen restaurant and entertainment choices, including six main venues: Victory Beer Hall, Spectrum Grill, Broad Street Bullies Pub, PBR Bar & Grill (Professional Bull Riders), Philly Market Place, and the first-ever NBC Sports Arena. XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is joint partnership between Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor and Baltimore-based The Cordish Companies.

Obama's Legacy: Lost Jobs, Wasteful Schemes

“While President Obama has spent the last three years punishing job creators, he’s been busy showering taxpayer dollars on his political allies and donors, like those involved in the Solyndra fiasco. After job losses and billions of dollars wasted, the results are clear – President Obama’s allies won while job creators and millions of struggling Americans have lost.” –Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign Spokesperson

President Obama’s Poster Child Of Failed Energy Investments – Solyndra – Was Backed By Obama Donors And Advisors:

“One Of Solyndra’s Major Investors Was George Kaiser, An Oklahoma Billionaire Who Raised Between $50,000 And $100,000 For Obama During The 2008 Election.” (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, “Obama-Backed Solar Firm Collapses After Big Federal Loan Guarantee,” iWatch, 8/31/11)

“Through His Corporate Affiliates, Kaiser Has Long Stood As Solyndra’s Single Largest Investor.” (Ronnie Greene, “Recurring Red Flags Failed To Slow Obama Administration’s Race To Help Solyndra,” iWatch, 9/13/11)
“Kaiser Made 16 Visits To The President’s Aides Since 2009, According To White House Visitor Logs.” (Jim Snyder, “FBI Raids Bankrupt Solyndra As Lawmakers Question Panel Maker’s Finances,” Bloomberg, 9/9/11)

Steve Westly – Another Obama Bundler – Is Linked To The Solyndra Scandal. “The list also includes two bundlers linked to Solyndra, the controversial solar company that received a $528 million federal loan and later declared bankruptcy — Steven Spiner and Steve Westley. The White House decision to approve the loan triggered a congressional probe on whether the deal smacked of political favoritism.” (Carle Campanile, “Obama’s ‘Bundled’ Up With Corzine,” New York Post, 2/1/12)

Steve Spinner – “An Elite Obama Fundraiser” – Presided Over The Energy Investment Program And “Pushed And Prodded” For Solyndra Loan Approval While His Wife’s Law Firm Represented The Company. “An elite Obama fundraiser hired to help oversee the administration’s energy loan program pushed and prodded career Department of Energy officials to move faster in approving a loan guarantee for Solyndra, even as his wife’s law firm was representing the California solar company, according to internal emails made public late Friday.” (Matthew Mosk, “Obama Fundraiser Pushed Solyndra Deal From Inside,” ABC News, 10/7/11)

But President Obama’s Cronyism Didn’t Stop With Solyndra – The Obama Administration Showered Taxpayer Dollars On “Friends And Family”:

The Washington Post: “You Can Call It Crony Capitalism Or Venture Socialism — But By Whatever Name, The Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program Privatizes Profits And Socializes Losses.” (Editorial, “The Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program Is The Real Solyndra Scandal,” The Washington Post, 11/17/11)

“$16.4 Billion Of The $20.5 Billion In Loans Granted As Of Sept. 15 Went To Companies Either Run By Or Primarily Owned By Obama Financial Backers.” “In the 1705 government-backed-loan program, for example, $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted as of Sept. 15 went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers-individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.” (Peter Schweizer, “Obama Campaign Backers And Bundlers Rewarded With Green Grants And Loans,” Newsweek, 11/12/11)

The Energy Department’s Inspector General Found That Contracts Were Steered To “Friends And Family.” “The Department of Energy’s inspector general, Gregory Friedman, who was not a political appointee, chastised the alternative-energy loan and grant programs for their absence of ‘sufficient transparency and accountability.’ He has testified that contracts have been steered to ‘friends and family.’” (Peter Schweizer, “Obama Campaign Backers And Bundlers Rewarded With Green Grants And Loans,” Newsweek, 11/12/11)

Obama Bundlers Worked In His Department Of Energy “As It Showered Billions In Taxpayer-Backed Stimulus Money On Alternative Energy Firms.” “Several of Barack Obama’s top campaign supporters went from soliciting political contributions to working from within the Energy Department as it showered billions in taxpayer-backed stimulus money on alternative energy firms, iWatch News and ABC News have learned.” (Ronnie Green and Matthew Mosk, “Bundlers On The Inside,” iWatch, 9/29/11)

That Palin Russia Quote Is Bogus!

Even before we left for Alaska people started joking with us about Sarah Palin.
And now that we're here in Alaska people keep asking us if we've been to Wasilla (yes, we rode through it) or if we've seen Palin (no) or -- and this is the big one -- if we can see Russia from here.
So now, it's time to get this straightened out once and for all:
1) Bette Davis never said "What a dump!"
2) Greta Garbo never said "I vant to be alone."
3) Cary Grant never said "Judy, Judy, Judy!"
4) And finally, Sarah Palin never said "You can see Russia from . . .
These are all myths.
How did the Palin misquote get started?
Palin actually said that you could see Russia from parts of Alaska and that is indeed true as portions of Alaska are so close to Russia that Russia once owned Alaska and as late as the 1960s Russia still tried to lay claim to parts of the state.
But when Tina Fey played Palin on Saturday Night Live she said "You can see Alaska from my house" -- and that quote stuck.
Liberals jumped on this right away and linked the quote to Palin herself.
And to this day people believe that this is what Palin actually said.
But she didn't.
She never said it.
And she never would have said such a thing because it is preposterous.
That doesn't matter to liberals and the dominant liberal media. They never let the truth get on their way.

Alaska Whale Watching: What To Expect

The average age of a humpback whale is about 45 years.
In the winter these whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii to have their young.
But they always have to come back to the cooler northern waters because this is where their food is.
Some whales (who are no longer of breeding or child-bearing age) actually stay in Alaskan waters year round.
These whales are not necessarily lonely because whales do not
necessarily hang out in groups, though we did spot three of them together today.
Whale watching will teach you patience You have to wait -- and concentrate -- to see the whales. The first thing you look for is something that seems like a spout of steam coming off the surface of the ocean. That's the whale's "blow."
This is the way the whale breaths.
A whale's lungs are as big as a small automobile. Think Toyota.
Soon after the blow you will begin to see the whale. It's almost as of the whale is showing itself off. If you're lucky, after a few moments you will see the whale's magnificent tale as it dives back into the water.
That's the grand finale -- the big, dramatic moment.
Positively thrilling!

How Alaska Epitomizes American Spirit

A trip through Alaska's vast frontier reminds us that our nation was founded and settled by rugged individuals.
The bedrock of America is a frontier spirit -- a spirit of big dreams, fearless adventure and relentless determination. This spirit stems not from a collectivist mentality but from the boundless aspirations and hard work of individuals -- individuals free to pursue their dreams.
And often these dreams were tied to commerce and the pursuit of a better life. That is especially true in Alaska, America's 49th state.
Gold helped to fuel the dreams of those who came to Alaska and it was also important in the settling and development of this land and much of the west.
In fact, one of the gold seekers in Alaska was Frederick Drump. We're told that Drump established a hotel here in Alaska not far fom the Skagway River and did quite well providing accommodations for those who made their way here. The name Drump eventually became Trump. Sound familiar? Frederick Drump was Donald Trump's grandfather,
This may explain why not just Trump but so many others remain avowed champions of America's rugged, individualistic, can-do spirit.
God bless America!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Obama Insults Poles, Poland: Shame On Him!

President Obama's description of a Nazi German Holocaust site as a "Polish death camp" has rightly shocked Poland, whose leaders insist the record be set straight 67 years after World War II.
Yesterday, Obama labeled the Nazi facility used to process Jews for extermination as a "Polish death camp." The White House later said the president "misspoke" and simply expressed "regret".
What's needed here is an outright and complete apology to Poland and the Polish people.
There were no "Polish death camps." These were German camps -- Nazi camps.
Obama's inexcusable faux pas was all the worse because it overshadowed a posthumous award of the highest US civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Jan Karski, a former Polish underground officer who provided early eyewitness accounts of Nazi Germany's genocide of European Jews.
So now Obama has messed up once again and this latest incident is already having international repercussions.
Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday Obama's words had hurt all Poles and he expected more from Washington than just "regret".how true!
"I am convinced that our American friends can today allow themselves a stronger reaction than a simple expression of regret from the White House spokesman -- a reaction more inclined to eliminate once and for all these kinds of errors," Tusk told reporters in Warsaw.
"Today, this is a problem for the reputation of the United States," the prime minister said.
These are serious words and they demand a response -- an apology -- from the president himself.
Here are the facts:Between 1939 and 1945, nearly six million Polish citizens perished under Nazi Germany's brutal World War II occupation of their country.
More than half of Poland's victims were of Jewish origin and they, in turn, accounted for half of the six million European Jews who perished during the Holocaust.
Many were killed in death camps set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland -- including the most notorious, Auschwitz-Birkenau.
It's about time President Obama and the people on his staff learned a bit of history.
Shame on them!

Cruise, Travel Tips: What You Need To Know

Are you thinking of going on a cruise?
Please know that if you decide to cruise the glacial waters of Alaska (and cruising is the only way you will gain access to some of the best sights and most remote areas) you need to be prepared to dress warmly -- even in the summer months.
To begin with travel in Alaska runs from mid-May to mid-September. That's it.
For must of the rest of the year travel is climate prohibitive.
And if you plan to visit Alaska you will have to plan far in advance as the trains and ships that will take you where you need to go book up and sell out early.
So we recommend you visit a cruise expert who will plan your trip for and with you. This will not cost you any more and it will save you lots of time and trouble. Your cruise expert can take care of all of the details and give you the invaluable tips and pointers that you need; even answering your questions before you ask them.
Here are some things you need to know:
--Weather is unpredictable in Alaska and conditions change frequently. The area is subject to a lot of moisture -- not actual downpours but frequent showers and spritzes. If you're the type of person who wants to see sun every day of your vacation (or even every other day) Alaska is not necessarily the place for you.
--Alaska is rustic. Yes, you will have the opportunity to stay in "first class" hotels but don't expect five-star accommodations wherever you go. For example, Westmark is a major hotel chain in Alaska. It handles plenty of tourists and lots of group travel. And the accommodations are fine. But this is an independent chain that is not affiliated with the major operations such as Marriott, Hilton or Hyatt. Your accommodations will be fine, but this is not the Ritz.
--You will not find a lot of color. In the summer things will be green; and brown and gray and white and blue. But you're not gonna find big splashes of vivid color. Even the wildlife that you see will blend in with the browns, tans, blacks and whites. And that will make it that much harder to spot. Spring, summer and fall are compressed into one quick season. If you blink, you'll miss it.
--Natural wonders abound. Vast mountain ranges, towering snowy peaks, breathtaking valleys, winding rivers, patches of inspiring blue skies, lean, huge glaciers, hearty pines and fluffy clouds that link the sky and the mountains -- these are everywhere. If you like natural wonders, this is the place for you. If you're looking for man-made wonders, forget about it unless you're into wonders of engineering.
--Since Alaska is paradise for the rugged outdoorsy set expect to see lots of sports, boating, hiking, hunting, camping and fishing enthusiasts. And these people are are thrown together Alaska-style where they are expected to co-exist harmoniously and indeed they do. Of course, that's not so difficult here as there is more than enough room for everyone.
--If you're not prepared to deal with the National Park Service and its vast bureaucracy, don't visit Alaska. Huge portions of the state are either owned by or under the control of the federal government. Denali National Park itself comprises more than six million acres and access is strictly limited and controlled. The park rangers are for the most part pleasant and helpful but there are rules that must be followed and you can and may be removed even for the slightest infractions. Be forewarned.
--If you're looking for fine shopping, you might be surprised to discover that there is a Nordstrom store in Anchorage. But this is not Chicago or Denver or Minneapolis or Kansas City or even Park City or Vail. Cities and more populated areas (such as they are in Alaska) are hardly cosmopolitan or even bustling. Also, beyond the halibut and the king crab and the salmon, do not come to Alaska for fine dining. No celebrity chefs. No tres chic restaurants. And be prepared to try some of the gamier dishes such as reindeer sausage.
--If you like trains and training, you'll be in heaven. The Alaska Railroad runs a magnificent glass-domed train up and down the state throughout the tourist season. From the upper passenger level the views are magnificent. And on the lower level the white tablecloth dining fulfills a fantasy nurtured by so many old movies. You can enjoy a full breakfast, lunch or dinner as the world passes by through big, panoramic windows. Your cruise line (Holland America and Princess are the largest and best known in Alaska) will have its own railroad cars that will take you to port. Just for the record, Holland America claims it has the largest and tallest cars.
--Don't visit Alaska (or expect to see it the way you should see it) unless you are prepared to traverse vast expanses. Denali National Park itself is bigger than Massachusetts and Alaska is more than twice as big as Texas. So if you want to see much of what there is to see you'll have to be on the move via train, plane, bus or ship much of the time. For example, some areas are only accessible via train. Some are only accessible via watercraft. And some are only accessible by air. Be adaptable, be ready to live out of a suitcase and plan on a two-week visit (or more) to cover much of it.
--One final note: Internet access is often limited or totally unavailable in many parts of Alaska. Ditto cell phone service. Check with your provider and expect to have to pay more for satellite access (when and where available) and for roaming.Limited cable TV service is available in hotels and on board ship.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas luxury c...
Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas luxury cruise ship. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: The Flowrider aboard the Royal Caribb...
English: The Flowrider aboard the Royal Caribbean cruiseliner Freedom of the Seas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A few weeks ago we boarded Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas for a very special vacation. Having not cruised in many, many years I was not sure what to expect, for that reason we turned to the very knowledgeable crew (forgive the pun) at Completely Cruises in Haddonfield, NJ to help us plan this special trip and we were not disappointed!

The Freedom is an enormous ship which is part of the reason we chose it - the sheer number of activities and entertainment options appealed to us, in fact during our 7 day cruise we didn't have enough time to try everything that interested us. Options include a rock climbing wall (didn't try), Flowrider (did try), ice skating ring (didn't try) and more classes than a community college (well not really, but sometimes it felt that way)!

At 160,000 tons and 1,112 feet long the Freedom is a floating village with 4 pools, a full sized basketball court, Johnny Rockets, Ben and Jerry's, and a 10,000 foot + Vegas-style casino! It promises something to suit every taste from a martini bar to a parade of DreamWorks movie characters and most of it is included in the price of the cruise.

But the fun we had on the ship was just the beginning as we realized when we visited Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Mexico and enjoyed shore-side excursions. More on that to come!
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More Images from Alaska!

Alaska continues to amaze and inspire! Here are just a few recently captured images!

The Alaska oil pipeline.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer and Ice Cream

18.BrustersIceCream.Hollywood.MD.15jun07 (Photo credit: Elvert Barnes)
As we have reminded you in year's past Memorial Day is only the unofficial start to summer. Despite what most people think summer actually begins on June 20, 2012. However it's starting to feel an awful lot like summer where I am so it's  time to indulge in some summer delicacies, namely, that old warm weather favorite: ice cream!

I prefer the old fashioned hard stuff to frozen yogurt or swirly soft serve so I hit Bruster's Real Ice Cream this weekend. The name says it all, it is real ice cream! Started in PA but now stretching across the Mid-Atlantic Bruster's prices itself on authentic ice cream in amazing flavors, including my favorite: chocolate raspberry truffle! I enjoyed a cup -- and even the smallest cups at Bruster's include two hearty scoops! More than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth!

It may not be summer yet... but no one will stop you from enjoying the treats of the season just a few weeks early!
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

First Lady As Equestrian? Well, Yes!

Remember Jacqueline Kennedy?
Even if you did not live through the Kennedy years (as many of us did) you know that Jackie was the penultimate definition of chic.
She was heralded by the media and (in part because of that) she came to be admired the world over.
And you may recall that she was also an accomplished equestrian. She loved horses and was often pictured in her patrician riding gear. As First Lady she kept horses at a farm in nearby Virginia and even had a pony (named "Macaroni") for First Daughter Caroline.
Later, after she moved to Manhattan she had a farm and house in northwestern New Jersey where she kept horses and also went to ride. She lived among the upper crust of the New York social set.
Nobody begrudged her this. Nobody.
People thought it was glamorous and healthy and just plain wonderful.
And so it went.
But what was grand and marvelous for Jackie, well -- that's not OK for Ann Romney; not at all.
So now the New York Times is out with a big story about Mrs. Romney's passion for riding and the money she and Mitt spend so she can be an equestrian. No matter what Jackie and the Kennedys may or may not have spent on the same pursuit; now it's suddenly open season on the idea as an equestrian as First Lady.
Mind you, this is happening even though Ann Romney has MS and her riding is arguably a legitimate part of her therapy.
This is the vicious and disgraceful double standard of the elitist liberal media. Indeed, the Times itself is owned by a very wealthy family known to hobnob with the rich and famous -- the very same kind of people who often make up the top layer of the world of equestrians.
That's fine.
But Mrs. Romney.
Ohhhh no, my dear.
That just won't do.
Anyone who falls for this line from the New York Times and other liberal pontificators is a fool!

The Boomers Are Seeing The World

We're traveling with a buncha baby boomers. Well, it's mostly baby boomers, anyway.
And here's my prediction: baby boomers are gonna make (indeed, are making for) very demanding travelers. This should surprise no one.
From the start, baby boomers have been high maintenance.
Because many of them were indulged as children. And they learned to want what they want when they wanted it and to get what they want. They're accustomed to getting what they want. And they can be very impatient -- and now, at their age -- cranky about it.
They're not a horrid generation or anything like that.
They're just not a very accomplished generation.
Most or them have faced no great hardships or huge national crises during their lifetimes. It's not like they lived through the Great Depression or fought World War II or anything like that. There not after all the greatest generation. Hardly.
And now they're headed into the final phase of their lives.
So, those baby boomers who've planned well are now at the age where they can spend a good part of the remainder of their lives pursuing leisure and travel.
I presume that the travel industry is ready for this and has planned accordingly.
These boomers are hitting the road and they expect to be treated with attentiveness and due deference.
Not because they've done anything great for society or the nation or the world or anything like that.
No -- not for any of those reasons.
But just because they're special.*
Very, very special.
And they know it.
*Let's put it this way: It's not like they've DONE anything special; it's simply that they ARE special.

The Secrets To Successful Travel?

What are some of the secrets to successful travel?
Above all, we think one has to have a sense of adventure. You need to be curious about many things and open to new places, new people and new experiences -- unless of course you simply want to travel to the same places over and over again. That's not very adventurous.
Still, we all have our favorite places that we love to return to. These are the places that renew you, restore you, awaken your faith in life and perhaps leave you feeling invigorated.
You may also find places that always seem new to you no matter how many times you've visited -- places that always leave you wanting to explore more. No matter how many times you've been there, you feel there's just one more thing that you want to see or maybe one more thing that you've missed and want to go back for.
But travel should also be about discovering new places -- maybe even going to a place you never considered at first blush and discovering something wonderful about it.
Above all, we advise that you do not over schedule or over program yourself. Take the time to discover things on your own. Leave time for serendipitous experiences. And pack lightly. Stay nimble.
And we've already learned on this trip that it pays to keep your eyes and ears open, always. Had we not done that, we would never have experienced the wonders of nature and spotted all the wildlife along the way.
And we're hardly finished.
Today we'll be boarding a luxury liner to see and do more.
Because we will be at sea our blogging may be spotty at best during the next week but we ask you to bear with us. We'll try our best to keep you up to date on our travels, our adventures and the rest of the world every step of the way.
It's gonna be an adventure.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Denali Village: It Comes And Goes

Dinali Village near Mt. McKinley in Alaska is situated between Fairbanks and Anchorage.
But if you want to visit here -- or stay here -- you can only come between May and mid September.
The rest of the year the whole place is locked up tight as a drum and closed down. The buildings are shuttered and the electricity is shut off.
This is basically a five-month town. It either thrives or it's desolate.
And when it's open it really, really thrives. For example, I'm just five months the Subway sandwich place here does more business than any other Sunway in the country.

Biden And Obama: They're Quite A Pair!

Neither Obama nor Biden has ever held a job in the free economy.
Neither has ever worked in a business setting. Ever.
So what the hell gives them the right to assault the free market, the free economy, free enterprise and the business sector?
And yet they have the audacity to continue their open unadulterated war on business -- even while numerous Democrats bemoan their tactics and put distance between themselves and the President and his gaffe-prone running mate.
Plus, these two are bent on fomenting class warfare. They thrive on fanning the flames of class envy and resentment.
And another thing: About all those people who refused to vote for McCain because he was running with Palin. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones who dismissed Palin as a jerk, an idiot, a total incompetent.
I wonder how they feel now -- now that we're stuck with a vice-president who comes off as a total buffoon. To call Biden an embarrassment would be kind. The situation with Biden gets worse by the day, if not the hour. You get the sense that he's just an old loudmouth who's winging it -- a guy who's stuck in his own looney echo chamber; a beat up old pol who actually thinks he's clever or maybe even saying something meaningful while others look on in near-horror.
And yes, I think Obama's gonna hang onto this clumsy 'ole warhorse because he really has no choice at this point. To dump Biden now would be to acknowledge failure; to admit desperation. And you know Obama's not one to acknowledge failure of any sort. No way.
The only way Biden will go is if they can make it appear as if he's leaving voluntarily. That will be tricky at this point. If he goes, people will figure out that he's actually being dumped. Not gonna happen.
Besides, I'm convinced Biden doesn't wanna go. This is heaven for him. Not for us -- but for him.
If he had to leave, where would he go? What would he do? This is it for him. This is the culmination; the pinnacle.It won't get any better than this.
So, I say Biden stays.
The only solution for us is to vote them both out of office.
Let them both be rejected.
Away! Away!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mitt: Obama Ditches Kids For Union Bosses

“You know, [President Obama] talks like he's for the underprivileged, but when it comes to the money that comes from the teachers union, he's putting the campaign cash ahead of the needs of our kids. We have to recognize it's time to put our kids first, to get education on track by giving people greater choice in schools, by making sure we reward the very best teachers with great careers and rising incomes. We know what to do to make our schools better.” – Mitt Romney

Fox and Friends
FOX News
May 24, 2012

STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS: “Also yesterday, you had a speech down in, I believe, Washington, DC where you took a shot at unions, teachers’ unions, holding back America's students. And, in fact, you came out and you really were pushing more vouchers and things like that. What's the number one problem with the education system in the country right now?”

MITT ROMNEY: “Well, we know what the solutions are to get education to work because we're -- we have 50% of the kids in our 50 largest cities won't even graduate from high school. And we have terrific teachers, we have wonderful parents that are invested and concerned about their kids. But we have a teachers’ union that too often stands in the way of the kind of reforms that would make education work. We know, for instance, in Washington, DC that school choice there helped immeasurably with young people improve their quality of learning and their skills, and yet the President shut down the program. You know, [President Obama] talks like he's for the underprivileged, but when it comes to the money that comes from the teachers’ union, he's putting the campaign cash ahead of the needs of our kids. We have to recognize it's time to put our kids first, to get education on track by giving people greater choice in schools, by making sure we reward the very best teachers with great careers and rising incomes. We know what to do to make our schools better. One more, by the way, is digital learning. It's making an impact. The teachers’ unions fight it tooth and nail. We got to put the unions behind, put the kids first.”

Alaska: More Photos From Beautiful Denali!

As we travel through our glorious 49th state we are please to bring you more photos from beautiful Denali National Park.
These photos were taken at Denali Village and in the National Park near Mt. McKinley.
Look very closely at the photo above. Look into the center of the photo where you will see the opening of a cave (den) and a grizzly bear.
We'll have more for you soon.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Beautiful Denali: More Photos from Alaska

More Democrats Parting Ways With Obama

“There is no question but that [President Obama] is attacking capitalism. In part, I think, because he doesn't understand how the free economy works. He's never had a job in the free economy. Neither has Vice President Biden. They spent their lives as either community organizers or as members of the political class.” –Mitt Romney, “Fox & Friends,” 5/24/12

In Des Moines, Iowa Barack Obama continued his assaults on free enterprise despite the fact that 14 Democrats have repudiated his campaign strategy.

Check out the rundown below:

Yes, Fourteen Democrats Have Broken With President Obama’s Attacks On Free Enterprise And Job Creators:

New York’s Democratic Senators, Chuck Schumer And Kirsten Gillibrand, Both “Declined To Comment” On President Obama’s Attacks On Free Enterprise.
“A few hours earlier, Mr. Obama’s campaign had begun a blistering attack on Mitt Romney’s career in private equity, the same business in which Mr. James has earned his many millions. .. It is one of the most delicate topics within the party these days. Two Democrats with close ties to Wall Street, Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York, declined to comment on Wednesday.” (Nicholas Confessore, “Bain Strategy Holds Pitfalls For President,” The New York Times, 5/23/12)

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), When Asked Whether He Agreed With President Obama’s Attacks:
“I Believe In The Free Enterprise System.” “Senator Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, spoke with the Washington Times affiliated radio program America's Morning News on Wednesday. He believes that the private sector was better at picking winners and loser in the free market than government. ‘I believe in the free enterprise system. I believe business and labor have to work together. I think if you have a good business, you'll have good workers and if you have good workers then that's a good place to work,’ he said. ‘I think with the balance that we have, the markets have always done a much better job (in picking winners and losers in the free market) than what we've done in government.’” (Kerry Picket, “Manchin - Private Sector Better At Picking Winners And Losers Than Gov't,” The Washington Times, 5/24/12)

Former Clinton Advisor Lanny Davis Decried The Obama Campaign’s Attacks On Free Enterprise.
“Private equity firms often invest in distressed companies by putting in cash and cutting expenses in order to save a company that is already close to bankruptcy. Sometimes the investment works and the company and jobs are saved. And sometimes, to save the company, jobs need to be cut or wages and benefits reduced.” (Lanny Davis, Op-Ed, “Cory Booker Got It Right,” The Hill, 5/23/12)

Davis: “It’s Difficult To Argue, Even If You Are A Partisan Obama Supporter, As I Am, That This Ad Is Not At Least Somewhat Misleading.” (Lanny Davis, Op-Ed, “Cory Booker Got It Right,” The Hill, 5/23/12)

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), On President Obama’s Attacks:
“It’s Done. … Go On To Other Things Now.” “Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a widely respected member of Congress, stopped short of criticizing the president, but made it clear that the campaign should pivot. ‘It’s done,’ she said. ‘Go on to other things now.’” (Cameron Joseph, “Democrats Balk At Obama Campaign’s Sustained Attack On Bain Capital,” The Hill, 5/22/12)

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), While “Shaking His Head Vigorously”:
“I’m Not Going To Comment On President Obama’s Ad.” “Pressed on whether he thought Obama’s campaign had operated within those guidelines, Coons paused. ‘I’m not going to comment on President Obama’s ad,’ he said, shaking his head vigorously.” (Cameron Joseph, “Democrats Balk At Obama Campaign’s Sustained Attack On Bain Capital,” The Hill, 5/22/12)

Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA):
“No, [Bain Is] Not A Bad Company And Nobody Is Saying They Are, Including The President.” KING: “You're in a very interesting position this year. I want to start with… You're the governor of a state that Bain Capital calls its global home.” … PATRICK: “Indeed.” KING: “Are they a bad company?” PATRICK: “No, they're not a bad company and nobody is saying they are, including the president. It's a remarkable thing.” (CNN’s “John King USA,” 5/22/12)

Former Governor And Former DNC Chair Ed Rendell:
“Very Disappointing.”
“And Rendell joined the chorus of criticism of Obama’s attacks on finance, whose leaders have written checks to many members of both parties. ‘I think they’re very disappointing,’ Rendell said of the ads attacking Bain.” (Zeke Miller, “Is This Obama's Party?,” BuzzFeed, 5/22/12)

Governor Rendell, On If He Supports How The Obama Campaign Is “Being Run Right Now”: “Well … Either/Or.” MATTHEWS: “Governor Rendell, big question. Are you with the Obama campaign as it’s being run right now, or are you against it?” :
“Well … either/or.” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 5/22/12)

Former Representative Artur Davis (D-AL): The Obama Campaign’s Attacks Follow “The European Leftist Notion That Business Is Fair Only When It Operates In A Sanitized, Risk Free Manner.”
DAVIS: “It's hard to imagine a more instructive couple of days for those who want to know where the Democratic Party's head is at: its only high-profile African American moderate just got a brushback pitch for leaning in too close to the Independent thought zone; the Obama camp looks ominously like a cult of personality that tolerates no dissent; and the reelection campaign just doubled down on the European leftist notion that business is fair only when it operates in a sanitized, risk free manner.” (Artur Davis, “Should Democrats Stop Bain Capital Attacks?” Politico, 5/22/12)

Former Representative Harold Ford (D-TN):
“Private Equity’s Not A Bad Thing. … Private Equity Is A Good Thing In Many, Many Instances.”
“Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford said Monday that he would not have walked back New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker’s surprising comments criticizing the Obama campaign for attacking private equity. ‘I would not have backed off the comments if I were Mayor Booker,’ Ford, a Democrat, said on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’ ‘The substance of his comments on ‘Meet the Press,’ I agree with the core of it. I would not have backed them out… private equity’s not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances.’” (Tim Mak, “Ex-Rep. Ford: Booker Was Right,” Politico, 5/21/12)

Mayor Cory Booker (D-Newark, NJ):
“If You Look At The Totality Of Bain Capital’s Record, They've Done A Lot To Support Businesses, To Grow Businesses, And This To Me, I’m Very Uncomfortable With.”
BOOKER: “I have to say from a very personal level I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity. To me, it’s just, we're getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially, I know, I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses, and this to me, I’m very uncomfortable with.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 5/20/12)

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA):
“I Think Bain Capital Was A Very Successful Business.” (MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown,” 5/22/12)

Former Obama Economic Adviser Steven Rattner:
“I Think The [Obama] Ad Is Unfair… I Don’t Think There’s Anything Bain Capital Did That They Need To Be Embarrassed About.”
“Former Obama administration auto czar Steven Rattner said Monday that the Obama campaign's renewed attack on Mitt Romney's time in private equity was ‘unfair.’ ‘I think the ad is unfair.’ Rattner said. … ‘[Bain Capital] did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly,' Rattner said. ‘This is part of capitalism, this is part of life. I don't think there's anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about.’” (Byron Tau, “Ex-Obama Adviser: Latest Anti-Romney Ad Is 'Unfair',” Politico, 5/14/12)

Obama Supporter And Bundler Don Peebles:
“Any Type Of Attack And Vilification Of A Particular Industry Is Not Okay To Begin With.”
“Peebles, who is sometimes described as the largest-scale African-American real estate developer in the country, told BuzzFeed that he was wary of the ads by the Obama campaign and the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA which have attacked Bain Capital. ‘Any type of attack and vilification of a particular industry is not okay to begin with,’ he said.” (Zeke Miller, “Obama Bundler Decries ‘Villification’ Of Private Equity,” BuzzFeed, 5/15/12)

First Photos: Beautiful Denali National Park, Alaska

Here are some of our most recent photos from beautiful Denali National Park in Alaska.
Today we journeyed as far into the park as anyone could go and experiences the thrill of seeing a mama grizzly bear and her two cubs in their natural habitat.
We also saw moose, caribou, lynx, sheep, a golden eagle and elk.
Can you spot some of the animals in one or more of these photos?
It was a truly extraordinary day and we will be posting more pictures shortly -- just as soon as we can.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Kean: Stop Political Games On Qualified Nominees

New Jersey State Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) issued the following statement regarding news reports that the New Jersey Bar Association has deemed Bruce Harris and Phil Kwon to be qualified to serve on the state’s Supreme Court:

"It is astounding that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are willing to deny a fair hearing to a Supreme Court nominee who has been deemed qualified to serve by the distinguished attorneys of the New Jersey Bar Association."

"That the Democrats on the committee would prejudge a nominee who is deemed to be perfectly qualified by the institution that has reviewed the qualifications of every Supreme Court nominee in recent memory reveals their motivations to be entirely political.  The irony is that the same Democrats that bemoan politicization of the Judiciary are, in their treatment of Mr. Harris and Mr. Kwon, doing just that."

"Mr. Harris brings a diversity of life and legal experience to a Court that serves ALL the people of New Jersey, not just the people who agree with or vote for Democrats.  I implore the Majority to stop the petty games and give Mr. Harris fair and objective consideration."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Here's Something I Love About Romney

I have a rule about politicians who seek office. It's a rule I've adopted after a lifetime of observation and experience in the trenches of political warfare.
Here it is: If they want it too much, they don't deserve to have it. If they lust for the office, it should not be theirs.
If they need it so that it's everything to them -- that having it can and will come to define them -- then watch out; they're not deserving of election or re-election.
Reagan was a success before he even entered politics. He was a certifiable star. He had nothing to prove. He didn't need to be Governor. He didn't need to be president.
And that helped to make him a spectacular success.
By contrast, LBJ needed it; Nixon needed it; Carter needed it. And, in one way or another, they all failed.
Clinton openly lusted after the presidency (and much else) and proved to be near-fatally flawed.
Ike didn't need it. And so the presidency suited him and he was uniformly successful (even without his uniform). Why? Because neither the uniform nor the office defined Ike.
It's clear to me that Mitt Romney is quite competitive and he really intends to be President of the United States; no question about it. He's definitely in it to win it.
But Romney doesn't salivate for it. This is not what defines him nor will it define him.
Listen to what he tells Peggy Noonan in Peggy's current column in the Wall
Street Journal:
"This for me is not my life, meaning I don't have to win an election to feel good about myself." Romney says he's achieved success in business "beyond my wildest dreams." He's "hoping to make a contribution and go to Washington and go home when it's over. . . . Who I am has long ago been determined by my relationship with the people I love, and with my success in my professional career."
Good God, that's refreshing.
And I love this about Mitt Romney. LOVE it.
To me this makes him so much more honorable; so much more credible and so much more right for the job.
This is a man who has his priorities in order, a man who has lived life, a man with a balanced sense of himself,a man who can honestly look himself in the mirror every morning, a man of character.
That's precisely what you want in a president.
That's Mitt Romney.

DC Dems Don't Practice What They Preach

Congressional Democrats have been squawking for decades about a gender pay gap.
They bellyache that men are paid far more than women in comparable jobs.
And that definitely seems to be the case -- especially within the staffs of those very same inside-the-Beltway Democrats.
For example, the Washington Free Beacon reports that of five senators who participated in a recent press conference on this matter —Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three actually pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers. Did it never occur to these Senators that someone would look under the rug in their very own offices? How clueless can they be?
There's more:
"Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a 'war a women,' is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent."
Shame on Patty Murray and shame on the people of Washington state who continue to elect her.
The pay gap in Murray's office is "well above the 23 percent gap that Democrats claim exists between male and female workers nationwide. The figure is based on a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, and is technically accurate. However, as CNN’s Lisa Sylvester has reported, when factors such as area of employment, hours of work, and time in the workplace are taken into account, the gap shrinks to about 5 percent."
The Free Beacon also reports that a
big “gender gap” exists in Feinstein’s office, where women also made about $21,000 less than men in 2011 And here the percentage difference—41 percent—was even higher than Murray’s.
And Boxer's on the wrong side of the ledger as well.
Boxer’s female staffers made about $5,000 less, a difference of 7.3 percent. And how about big shot Democrat Sen. Chuck ?!? He paid men $19,454 more on average, a 36 percent difference.
Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) paid men $13,063 more, a difference of 23 percent.
And look at this list of discriminatory Democrats provided by the Free Beacon. These are the male to female pay disparities:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)—47.6 percent
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.)—40 percent
Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.)—34.2 percent
Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.)—31.5 percent
Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.)—30.4 percent
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.)–29.7 percent
Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.)–29.2 percent
Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.)—26.5 percent
Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore)—26.4 percent
Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa)—23.2 percent.
Bravo, bravo to the Free Beacon!
Go to for more.

Ohhhh, That Train Ride To Denali!

Okay, so we took the train ride in the bubble top train to Denali -- Alaska Railway's McKinley Line sponsored by Holland America.
It was w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l
As soon as l'm able to upload some pictures I will post them here. The ride was delightful and the scenery was spectacular.
Alaska is truly incomparable. But let me see if I can compare it to the place (or places) that are most like it.
It's like Wyoming for its vast emptiness and open, rugged terrain.
And it's like Colorado for it's majestic mountain ranges and grandeur.
But even those comparisons are not fair.
Because Alaska is wilder, more untamed, freer and in many ways more awe-inspiring. Alaska encompasses so much that it simply cannot be put alongside any other state.
And the people are friendly, distinctive and fascinating.
Alaskans say that they are welcoming of everyone -- of every race, religion, age, gender, etc. but (and this is major) you must be able and ready to pull your own weight. You must be able and willing to pitch in and help out. In this land of rugged individualism people say they don't usually have to ask for help (and they're not inclined to) but others just naturally roll up their sleeves and apply assistance when they see (or hear of) neighbors in need.
That's the Alaskan way.
And one other thing: This is a very patriotic state. Alaska prides itself on its statehood and the people are not shy about showing their love for America.

Live Blogging -- Training From Alaska

We are live blogging from a bubble top train in Alaska and we are on our way to Denali.
We will have breakfast on the train as we sweep through vistas of dramatic scenery here in one of the northernmost points in America.
We expect it to be an absolutely breathtaking trip and we will try to update it as we move along with some photos and interesting stories.
Follow along with us!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Justin Bieber Philly Tickets On Sale Sat. 6/2

Bieber Fever will take Philadelphia by storm when platinum-selling pop singing sensation Justin Bieber performs live at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, November 4, as part of his 2012 “Believe” Tour. The “Believe” Tour, featuring Carly Rae Jepsen as a special guest, is in support of Bieber’s fourth studio album, Beileve.
Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, June 2 at 12 p.m. exclusively through ComcastTIX online at, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Wells Fargo Center box office. As part of the “Believe” Tour, customers ordering tickets online will have the opportunity to pre-order a digital copy of Bieber’s Believe album with every ticket purchased.

Bieber’s Fan Club Presale will begin at noon on Wednesday, May 23. Through joining, fans will receive a pre-sale access code which allows the purchase of up to 4 tickets for up to 4 shows on the tour plus some exclusive Bieber merchandise. For more information, go to

A number of VIP packages will also be offered on the upcoming tour. In addition to great seats, VIP packages can include Meet & Greets and photo opportunities with Bieber, autographed memorabilia, exclusive VIP merchandise and much more! For more information on VIP packages, please visit

Additionally, $1.00 from each ticket will be donated to Pencils of Promise, a charity which works to build schools and increase educational opportunities in the developing world. The goal is to build 15 schools around the world for needy children.

Believe takes flight on the wings of worldwide smash single, which hit #1 at iTunes the second it was released, and set a world-record for debuting #1 on iTunes in 32 countries. The “Boyfriend” video has shattered all YouTube records since its MTV premiere (on May 3rd). The clip generated 8 million views in its first 24 hours, and has garnered over 44 million views to date. BELIEVE is Executive Produced by Scott "Scooter" Braun and Usher Raymond IV, and track producers include Max Martin, Mike Posner, MdL, Diplo, Hit-Boy, The Messengers, Zedd, Rodney Jerkins and Bieber’s vocal producer, Kuk Harrell. The album features guest appearances by Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Drake and Big Sean.

Comcast-Spectacor ( is the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), the home arena for both the Flyers and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the Wells Fargo Center, and four Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and hockey rinks. In addition, Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly management field with more than 100 facilities throughout the United States and Canada; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage service provider; New Era Tickets, a ticketing and marketing company for public assembly facilities; Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company; FanOne, a digital fan marketing company; and Paciolan, the leading provider of venue enablement, ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions.

Will Joe Go? Biden A Drag In Swing States

We've been saying it all along: Joe Biden is a buffoon. And he's coming off as an embarrassment to our nation.
People are catching on.

A new USA Today/Gallup Poll says Americans are "divided" on whether they like or dislike the vice president – 42% said they had a favorable opinion, 45% said unfavorable – not exactly a ringing endorsement.

But it gets worse. Much worse. In the 12 swing states that many believe will determine the outcome of the November election, only 40% of registered voters view Biden favorably, while 54% view him unfavorably.

You got that right: That's a 14 negative percent gap.

These numbers are worse than President Obama's who is seen favorably by 50% of registered voters in those same states and unfavorably by 49%. And even Obama's numbers aren't exactly encouraging as they may simply reflect a one-point "likeness" for the man himself while not reflecting voters' willingness to chuck him anyway because of his policies and the failed economy.

But Biden's doing nothing to help the embattled Obama. Nothing.

Will Joe go?
Will he leave quietly?
Will he simply be dumped?
Or is Obama stuck with him?
Stay tuned.

McDonnell: Romney's Plan Will Expand School Choice

Today, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell made the following statement on Mitt Romney’s proposals for reforming education:

“While President Obama has expressed some positive ideas on how to reform our schools, he refuses to challenge the unions that will do anything to protect the status quo. We need a president who is more concerned with creating opportunities for students than saving his own job. Governor Romney understands the importance of charter schools in expanding school choice and giving low income and special needs students a fighting chance to succeed. Instead of being beholden to special interests, as president he would fight tirelessly for higher standards of transparency, offering families the information they need to hold schools accountable. Governor Romney’s policies would also facilitate the recruitment of the best teachers by rewarding merit and abolishing certification requirements which discourage potential new teachers. At a moment when we face a crisis that reaches beyond the classroom, Governor Romney offers common sense, practical solutions designed to ensure that we continue to be a nation of innovators.”

Romney Proposes Sweeping Education Reforms

Today in Washington, D.C., Mitt Romney delivered a speech on education and presented his plan for reform that will provide a chance for every child. Romney criticized President Obama’s preference for increased spending over genuine reform, and emphasized the unproductive role that teachers’ unions have played for decades.

“I believe the President must be troubled by the lack of progress since he took office. Most likely, he would have liked to do more,” said Romney. “But President Obama has been unable to stand up to union bosses, and unwilling to stand up for kids.”

Romney outlined a vision for restoring the promise of America’s education system and guaranteeing every student the opportunity to succeed. For the nation’s K-12 schools, his policies will provide more choices for parents, further emphasize responsibility for results, and place a quality teacher in every classroom. For higher education, Romney will ensure that all Americans have affordable options to prepare them for successful careers.

“As president, I will pursue bold policy changes that will restore the promise of our nation’s education system,” said Romney. “Dramatically expanding parental choice, making schools responsible for results by giving parents access to clear and instructive information, and attracting and rewarding our best teachers — these changes can help ensure that every parent has a choice and every child has a chance.”

Romney presented the details of his plan:

Education Reform That Will Provide A Chance For Every Child

As president, Mitt Romney will pursue genuine education reform that puts the interests of parents and students ahead of special interests and provides a chance for every child.

He will take the unprecedented step of tying federal funds directly to dramatic reforms that expand parental choice, invest in innovation, and reward teachers for their results instead of their tenure. These policies will equip state leaders to achieve the change that can only come from commitment and action at the local level.

He will also ensure that students have diverse and affordable options for higher education to give them the skills they need to succeed after graduation and that, when they graduate, they can find jobs that provide a rewarding return on their educational investment.

K-12: Promoting Choice And Innovation

Giving students trapped in bad schools a genuine alternative requires four things: (1) such alternatives must exist, (2) parents must receive clear information about the performance of their current school and of the alternatives, (3) students must be allowed to move to a new school, and (4) students must bring funding with them so that new schools can afford to serve them.

Romney’s reforms achieve each of these objectives:

Allow Low Income And Special Needs Students To Choose Which School To Attend. Make Title I and IDEA funds portable so that eligible students can choose which school to attend and bring funding with them. This plan will allow the student to choose from any district or public charter school, or a private school where permitted by state law, or to use funds toward a tutoring provider or digital course.

Provide Incentives For States To Increase Choices For Parents And Develop Quality Alternatives.

Require states to adopt open-enrollment policies for students receiving Title I and IDEA funds, and to eliminate caps on charter and digital schools.

Build On The Success Of Effective Charter And Digital Schools.

Amend the federal Charter School Program so that successful school management organizations can receive funding to replicate their efforts, serve more students, and take their programs to scale.

Expand The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program To Serve As A Model For The Nation.

Reverse President Obama’s efforts to eliminate this popular and effective program. Increase funding and raise caps on participation to allow more families to benefit.

K-12: Ensuring High Standards And Responsibility For Results

Currently, there is little easily-available data for parents about their children’s schools. Providing better information for parents will empower them to hold districts and states responsible for results and, when combined with increased parental choice, give them more control over their children’s education. Romney’s reforms will improve transparency and give parents the information they need:

Reform No Child Left Behind By Emphasizing Transparency And Responsibility For Results.

Replace federally-mandated school interventions with a requirement that states create straightforward public report cards that evaluate each school on its contribution to student learning.

K-12: Recruiting And Rewarding Great Teachers

A school is only as strong as its teachers, but the most promising teachers often find it difficult to reach the classroom door or receive recognition for their efforts once inside. Romney’s reforms smooth the path for talented individuals to join the profession and shape the next generation.

Attract And Reward Great Teachers Through Increased Flexibility And Block Grants.

Consolidate the numerous and overlapping federal teacher quality programs.

Offer states flexible block grants if they adopt policies to advance and reward teacher quality, such as eliminating or reforming teacher tenure and establishing evaluation systems that focus on effectiveness in advancing student achievement.

Eliminate Unnecessary Certification Requirements That Discourage New Teachers. For instance, the federal “highly qualified teacher” requirement, while well-intentioned, only serves to reinforce hurdles that prevent talented individuals from entering the teaching profession in the first place.

Higher Ed: A New Vision Of Affordable And Applicable Learning

America’s traditional community and four-year colleges are the heart of our nation’s higher education system. However, a flood of federal dollars is driving up tuition and burdening too many young Americans with substantial debt and too few opportunities.

Meanwhile, other models of advanced skills training are becoming ever more important to success in the American economy, and new educational institutions will be required to fill those roles.

Romney’s reforms spur the access, affordability, innovation, and transparency needed to address all of these challenges:

Strengthen And Simplify The Financial Aid System.

Consolidate duplicative and overly complex programs within the Department of Education.

Focus the Department on giving students and families with financial need the appropriate information about completion and persistence, loan repayment rates, future earnings, and other indicators to intelligently weigh the risks and benefits of the many options available to them, rather than limiting choices through punitive regulations.

Welcome Private Sector Participation Instead Of Pushing It Away.

Reverse President Obama’s nationalization of the student loan market and welcome private sector participation in providing information, financing, and the education itself.

Replace Burdensome Regulation With Innovation And Competition.

Encourage market entry by innovative new education models, emphasize skill attainment instead of time spent in the classroom, and support research and development.

Repeal confusing and unnecessary regulations that primarily serve to drive costs higher, and replace them with common-sense reforms that ensure appropriate student outcomes.

Obama's Week Of Bad Headlines Rolls On

This Morning, President Obama Woke Up To More Headlines On His Own Party’s Continued Reluctance To Attack Free Enterprise:

The Washington Post: “President Obama Wants It Both Ways On Private Equity” (The Washington Post, 5/22/12)
The Washington Examiner: “Bain Bungles Prove Obama Doesn't Get Capitalism” (The Washington Examiner, 5/22/12)
Politico: “More Dems Struggle On Bain” (Politico, 5/23/12)
The Hill: “Democrats Balk At Obama Campaign’s Sustained Attack On Bain Capital” (The Hill, 5/22/12)
Fox News: “Obama's Anti-Romney Bain Ads Dividing Dems” (Fox News, 5/22/12)
Boston Herald: “Deval Patrick Says Bain ‘Not A Bad Company’” (Boston Herald, 5/23/12)
Mediaite: “MA Gov. Deval Patrick Is Latest Democrat Refusing To Attack Bain Capital” (Mediaite, 5/22/12)
The New York Times: “Biden Presses Bain Attack As Prominent Democrat Urges Caution” (The New York Times, 5/22/12)

And President Obama Received Even More Embarrassing Headlines After Struggling In The Kentucky And Arkansas Primaries:

Politico: “Obama Struggles In Kentucky, Arkansas” (Politico, 5/22/12)
Louisville Courier-Journal: “42 Percent Of Kentucky Democrats Reject Obama” (Louisville Courier-Journal, 5/22/12)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “Challenger Gives Obama A Run” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/23/12)
Yahoo! News: “‘Uncommitted' And Unknown Score Points Against Obama” (Yahoo! News, 5/23/12)
The Associated Press: “Primary Protest Votes Show Displeasure With Obama” (The Associated Press, 5/23/12)
NBC News: “Obama Suffers Defections In Ark. And Ky. Primaries” (NBC News, 5/22/12)
The Hill: “4 In 10 Democrats Desert Obama In Arkansas, Kentucky Primaries” (The Hill, 5/22/12)
The Associated Press: “Arkansans Pledge Lukewarm Support For Obama In Primary; Many Back Democratic Challenger” (The Associated Press, 5/22/12)
The Washington Post: “Obama Challenged In Arkansas Primary” (The Washington Post, 5/22/12)
ABC News: “Romney Wins Arkansas, Kentucky Primaries, Outperforming Obama In Both States” (ABC News, 5/22/12)
The Washington Times: “Romney Outpaces Obama In Kentucky, Arkansas Primaries” (The Washington Times, 5/22/12)

Meet Valerie Jarrett, The De-Facto POTUS

Edward Klein the author of the new book The Amateur has a wonderful column in the Daily Caller about the alarming power of Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's ever-present muse -- and that's putting it kindly. Here's an excerpt: "Jarrett is the president’s trusted watchdog. She protects the vainglorious and thin-skinned Obama from critics and complainers who might deflate his ego. No one gets past Jarrett and sees the president if they have a grievance, or a chip on their shoulder, or even an incompatible point of view. That goes for such high-profile supporters as Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy, who have been largely frozen out of the White House because Jarrett believes they would use the opportunity of a meeting with Obama to push their own competing agenda." Click here to read the entire column.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rendell Joins Others In Rebuking Obama

“Two days after Mayor Booker first called President Obama’s attacks on free enterprise ‘nauseating,’ another leading Democrat – former DNC Chair and former Governor Ed Rendell – is rebuking the president. Governor Rendell and Mayor Booker are among those who recognize this election is about the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work, not desperate political attacks from a president who doesn’t have what it takes to get our economy moving again.” – Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign Spokesperson

This Morning, Former Pennsylvania Governor And Former DNC Chairman Ed Rendell “Joined The Chorus Of Criticism Of Obama’s Attacks” On Free Enterprise:

Former Governor And Former DNC Chair Ed Rendell, On President Obama’s Attacks On Free Enterprise: “Very Disappointing.” “And Rendell joined the chorus of criticism of Obama’s attacks on finance, whose leaders have written checks to many members of both parties. ‘I think they’re very disappointing,’ Rendell said of the ads attacking Bain.” (Zeke Miller, “Is This Obama's Party?,” BuzzFeed, 5/22/12)

Governor Rendell Is Not The Only Democrat Criticizing President Obama’s Assault On Free Enterprise:

Former Representative Harold Ford (D-TN), On President Obama’s Attacks On Free Enterprise: “Private Equity’s Not A Bad Thing. … Private Equity Is A Good Thing In Many, Many Instances.” “Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford said Monday that he would not have walked back New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker’s surprising comments criticizing the Obama campaign for attacking private equity. ‘I would not have backed off the comments if I were Mayor Booker,’ Ford, a Democrat, said on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’ ‘The substance of his comments on ‘Meet the Press,’ I agree with the core of it. I would not have backed them out… private equity’s not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances.’” (Tim Mak, “Ex-Rep. Ford: Booker Was Right,” Politico, 5/21/12)

Mayor Cory Booker (D-Newark, NJ): “If You Look At The Totality Of Bain Capital’s Record, They've Done A Lot To Support Businesses, To Grow Businesses, And This To Me, I’m Very Uncomfortable With.” BOOKER: “I have to say from a very personal level I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity. To me, it’s just, we're getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially, I know, I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses, and this to me, I’m very uncomfortable with.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 5/20/12)

Former Obama Economic Adviser Stephen Rattner: “I Think The [Obama] Ad Is Unfair… I Don’t Think There’s Anything Bain Capital Did That They Need To Be Embarrassed About.” “Former Obama administration auto czar Steven Rattner said Monday that the Obama campaign's renewed attack on Mitt Romney's time in private equity was ‘unfair.’ ‘I think the ad is unfair.’ Rattner said. … ‘[Bain Capital] did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly,' Rattner said. ‘This is part of capitalism, this is part of life. I don't think there's anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about.’” (Byron Tau, “Ex-Obama Adviser: Latest Anti-Romney Ad Is 'Unfair',” Politico, 5/14/12)

Obama Supporter And Bundler Don Peebles: “Any Type Of Attack And Vilification Of A Particular Industry Is Not Okay To Begin With.” “Peebles, who is sometimes described as the largest-scale African-American real estate developer in the country, told BuzzFeed that he was wary of the ads by the Obama campaign and the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA which have attacked Bain Capital. ‘Any type of attack and vilification of a particular industry is not okay to begin with,’ he said.” (Zeke Miller, “Obama Bundler Decries ‘Villification’ Of Private Equity,” BuzzFeed, 5/15/12)

Why Are Democrats Rebuking President Obama’s Attacks? Because There Are More Important Issues Facing The Country – Like The Nearly 23 Million Americans Struggling For Work:

During President Obama’s Time In Office, The Nation Has Lost 572,000 Jobs And The Unemployment Rate Has Increased To 8.1%. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics,, Accessed 5/21/12)

Nearly Twenty-Three Million Americans Are Unemployed, Underemployed, Or Have Stopped Looking For Work. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics,, Accessed 5/21/12)

In April, “More Than 340,000 Workers Dropped Out Of The Labor Force.” “April's jobs report was, in a word, disappointing. The economy added only 115,000 jobs. Hiring slowed. More than 340,000 workers dropped out of the labor force.” (Charles Riley, “Why Obama Can't Match The Reagan Recovery,” CNN Money, 5/4/12)

“More Than 5 Million Americans Have Been Unemployed For Six Months Or Longer…” “More than 5 million Americans have been unemployed for six months or longer, an astonishingly high number almost three years into a recovery.” (Christopher S. Rugaber, “US Hiring Slows Sharply With Just 115K Jobs Added,” The Associated Press, 5/4/12)

Romney: NO Welcome To Castro's Daughter

Mitt Romney today made the following statement on the Obama Administration’s decision to allow Raul Castro’s daughter to travel to the United States:

“I am greatly disturbed by the Obama Administration’s decision to allow Mariel Castro, daughter of Raul Castro, to travel to the United States. We shouldn’t be extending an open hand to a regime engaged in the systematic and flagrant denial of basic human rights. While the Cuban regime engages in a fierce crackdown on dissent and continues to unjustly imprison one of our own citizens, Alan Gross, the Obama Administration should not be welcoming the daughter of a dictator. The United States should be standing up for those on the island who are risking their very lives fighting for freedom.”

Mitt Romney hoy hizo la siguiente declaración sobre la decisión de la Administración de Obama de permitir que la hija de Raúl Castro viaje a Estados Unidos:

“Estoy sumamente alarmado por la decisión de la Administración de Obama de permitir que Mariel Castro, hija de Raúl Castro, viaje a Estados Unidos. No debemos de estar extendiéndole una mano a un régimen dedicado a la sistemática y flagrante privación de los derechos humanos básicos. Mientras que el régimen cubano esta llevando acabo una represión feroz contra los disidentes y continua encarcelando de forma injusta a uno de nuestros ciudadanos, Alan Gross, la Administración de Obama no debe de estar dándole la bienvenida a la hija de un dictador. Los Estados Unidos debe de estar del lado de los que en la isla están arriesgando hasta sus propias vidas luchando por la libertad”.

Alaska: Vast Would Be A Gross Understatement

Vast. Huge. Mammouth. All of these words have been used to describe Alaska and yet they do not do justice to the incredible size and scope of the state, its landscape and its natural wonders. We've only been here a day and yet we can already tell you that Alaska is positively breathtaking in its sheer, untamed grandeur. This is a land of extremes and a place of varied cultures, customs, peoples and history. It is unique in so many ways one almost doesn't know where or how to begin to catalogue its "specialness." Alaska defies any simple explanation or quick conclusion. There can be no thumbnail sketch of such an epic natural wonder of such a rich, lush palette. Yes, we will post pictures here as we move along but even our very best pictures will be mere feeble attempts to convey the majesty of Alaska. The great naturalist John Muir said this a long time ago: "To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world." It's still true. In his book detailing the exploration of Alaska, Corey Ford describes how the state got its name. Here's what he says: “The name Alaska is probably an abbreviation of Unalaska, derived from the original Aleut word agunalaksh, which means 'the shores where the sea breaks its back.' The war between water and land is never-ending. Waves shatter themselves in spent fury against the rocky bulwarks of the coast; giant tides eat away the sand beaches and alter the entire contour of an island overnight; williwaw winds pour down the side of a volcano like snow sliding off a roof, building to a hundred-mile velocity in a matter of minutes and churning the ocean into a maelstrom where the stoutest vessels founder.” No matter what, the force and power of nature -- in all ways, in all its manifestations -- reign supreme in Alaska. For this alone, Alaska is worth the experience. Stay tuned as we take you along on our Alaska journey!

Our Arrival In Fairbanks - Open Skies

So now we've arrived in Fairbanks with a view of mountains and big skies. If there's an actual city here, we haven't seen it yet.
Our bags have been placed in a truck and we've been placed on a bus and we're all headed for The Westmark Hotel.
We've been in transit for about 12 or 13 hours so it's actually 1 AM our time but it's only 9 PM here in Alaska. And of course the sun is still shining here and it will be bright most of the night. In fact, on June 21 there will be only two hours of darkness here.
We've already been told: Don't wait for darkness. Go to bed and get a good night's sleep.
We will have a bit of a break tomorrow before we begin serious touring on Wednesday. We've allowed ourselves this break to recuperate from the journey and acclimate ourselves to this new environment.
Fairbanks is called the "golden heart city" because of the gold rush that took place here and there is still gold here.
BTW: Gas is $4.35 a gallon here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guest Bloggin' and Hot Dogs

While this blog's regular writer tackles the wonders and wilds of Alaska you can expect some guest blogging from yours truly, aka DOB (daughter of blogger). Just back from a Caribbean cruise and currently in the process of moving a couple states away we'll chat restaurants, news, travel, and all sorts of other good stuff!

Starting with... hot dogs! After seven days of non-stop eating, the kind you can only really do on a cruise, we decided to ease our bodies back into the non-buffet lifestyle with some hot dogs. Gourmet dogs seem to be gaining in popularity here in Philadelphia so we checked out the newly opened Underdogs on 17th Street.

The place is rather small and cash only which typically annoys me but since it's hot dogs and not a high budget item and the dogs were delicious I am willing to get over it (just this once...)! We sampled The Michigan (beef chili, cheddar, onions), The Smoker (hot sausage with pepper hash), and The Texas Tommy (wrapped in bacon, fried and smothered in cheese) and found all to live up to their juicy descriptions. Best of all the hot dogs were substantial and meaty, able to hold the hearty toppings and the fries, which are much like those at Five Guys, were fresh, greasy, hot and delicious... just like we like them! As an added bonus, the fries include a choice of one of 12 zingy dipping sauces. We ordered Georgia Mustard BBQ and were not disappointed!

The atmosphere is a bit more hipster than our tastes but the dogs were so good that we'll overlook that too! What can we say, we've always had a thing for the underdog!

132 South 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Blogging At 10,000+ Feet En Route

So now I'm blogging at above 10,000 feet.
And we're on our way to Fairbanks.
Yes, Fairbanks as in Fairbanks, Alaska.
That's quite far north (even for Alaska) but we're told that the weather there today is 70 degrees.
Let's hope it stays that way; at least for awhile.
As you can imagine this is a l-o-n-g trip but we're told we have to do it because Alaska is so beautiful that it's just a must, must, MUST see. Everybody has told us that Alaska must be experienced. And so, we're going to experience it -- pretty much all of it.
It really is (for many people, anyway) one of those once-in-a-lifetime sort of trips.
For the next two weeks -- whenever we can -- we'll be blogging from Alaska and filling you in on all the details.
Meanwhile, we're still in transit and the more I travel the more I think of a song that Noel Coward wrote many years ago: Why Oh Why Do The Wrong People Travel When The Right People Stay At Home?
But more on that (maybe) later.
In the meantime, North To Alaska!

Religious Freedom Rally June 8 In Philly

Here's an important message from the folks organizing the next Rally for Religious Freedom in Philadelphia:
On June 8, 2012 at 12 noon we will have our second "Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally" on Independence Mall. The date is particularly significant since it celebrates the anniversary of the day that James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights. Several outstanding speakers will address the current threat to Our Religious Freedom, including Bishop Senior from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We ask that you personally invite friends, family, fellow worshipers, co-workers, neighbors, and leaders from your community to attend!
We desire to send a message, loud and clear, that we will do whatever it takes to defend our religious liberty, not only for ourselves,but for future generations!
We have inherited a great freedom! Many heroes selflessly lost their lives defending this freedom!
Let us "stand up" on their heroic shoulders and thank them by appearing in front of the very place where our Nation was born! Let us carry forward their great legacy for our children, grand children and future generations!
Let us remain a beacon of religious freedom for the whole world!
For further information on the Philadelphia Rally you may check these web addresses:
National website:
For unanswered questions contact:
We are looking for volunteers for:
set up
take down
collecting contact information
If interested please contact:
We are looking for the donation of a large tent for the day in case of rain:
Hope to see you at the Rally!

Christie Slams Obama: 'NOT Prepared!'

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has issued his sharpest attack yet on President Obama telling Kentucky Republicans on Saturday that Obama was “posing and preening” instead of working to resolve pressing issues facing the country.
And then Christie added this bombshell: “He is the most ill-prepared person to assume the presidency in my lifetime.” Christie spoke to some 600 Kentucky Republicans.
“This is a guy who literally is walking around in a dark room trying to find the light switch of leadership.” Christie added.

Catholic Groups Sue Obama Administration

In an unprecedented move, the Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., headed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country joined together today to announced that they are suing the Obama administration for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The dioceses and organizations, in different combinations, are filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.

This is a huge and direct challenge to the health care mandate contained in Obamacare.

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has established a special explain its lawsuit and present news and developments concerning it.

"This lawsuit is about an unprecedented attack by the federal government on one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference," the archdiocese says on the website. "It is not about whether people have access to certain services; it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs."

This is one of the largest and most direct efforts against controversial provisions of Obamacare ever undertaken and it marks a definite chasm between the Obama Administration and American Catholicism.

Stay tuned for more as this story develops.

Is Obama About To Dump Biden For Hillary?

At the Washington Times, Joseph Curl says the move to dump Biden as veep and replace him with Hillary is quite the done deal. Well, we've said as much on more than one occasion right here on this blog. And Curl says the move is for purely practical political reasons as Obama's facing an increasingly difficult race.
Here's an excerpt:
Show of hands: Who here still thinks Vice President Joseph R. Biden will be on the 2012 ticket?
Really? All of you? So wrong. The Great One, Sir Barack Hussein Obama will replace the bumbling, buffoonish Mr. Biden with Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton maybe at the Democratic convention, maybe just before, in a last-ditch effort to win re-election.
The wild and crazy move is all the talk outside the Beltway. One state Democratic leader even tells me the bumper stickers are already printed, sitting in a warehouse in (where else?) Little Rock, Ark.
Click here to read the entire column.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Video: Booker Refuses To Attack Bain Capital


Newark Mayor Cory Booker said it on NBC's Meet The Press: He doesn't think it's fair to attack Mitt Romney over Bain Capital and he credited Bain Capital with growing businesses. He said attacks on private equity must stop.
As far as that stuff, I have to say from a very personal level, I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity. It’s—to me, we’re just getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially, I know, I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses; this to me, I’m very uncomfortable.

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NYT Guru Tom Friedman Bombs On Jeopardy!

He may have won three Pulitzer Prizes,  but New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman bombed on Jeopardy! Friday. Friedman just doesn't appear to be very sharp.
In fact, by the end of the show, Friedman had amassed a paltry $1,000 placing him third behind CNN’s Anderson Cooper and NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell.
Of course, the wine 'n cheese set (and the Birkenstock Brigade) adore Friedman who routinely prognosticates on the demise of America and the ascent of China. But somehow all that doesn't translate  into savvy (or it seems, smarts) on a popular, mainstream US game show.

Click here to link to NewsBusters and watch the video.

Campbell Brown To Obama: Women Are Not Fooled

Former NBC and CNN news anchor Campbell Brown is blowing the whistle on President Obama for his condescending campaign aimed at women. Here's part of a column she's written in the New York Times:
"According to The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, about 53.6 percent of men and women under the age of 25 who hold bachelor’s degrees were jobless or underemployed last year, the most in at least 11 years. According to the Pew Research Center, if we broaden the age group to 18- to 29-year-olds, an estimated 37 percent are unemployed or out of the work force, the highest share in more than three decades.
"The human faces shouldn’t get lost amid the statistics. I spent last weekend with a friend who attended excellent private schools and graduated from Tufts University two years ago. "She’s intelligent, impressive and still looking for a full-time job.
"The women I know who are struggling in this economy couldn’t be further from the fictional character of Julia, presented in Mr. Obama’s Web ad, “The Life of Julia,” a silly and embarrassing caricature based on the assumption that women look to government at every meaningful phase of their lives for help."
Click here to read the full column.

Clark DeLeon Returns, Extolling All Things Philly

"I am a child of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and I want the city of my birth to sparkle in a world of great cities. I want us to be magnificent. I want our generation to ennoble a sacred name in American history, to reenergize and reconsecrate the revolutionary promise that brave men in Philadelphia long ago declared with an honorable pride that they spit into the doubting face of a hostile universe."

This is just one paragraph from a brand new column that will appear every other Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. It's written by our old friend Clark DeLeon and we're so happy to have him back in print (and at where he belongs. 
Avanti, Clark!

Click here to read the entire column.