Saturday, October 31, 2015

First Philly Veterans Parade 11/8 Will Dazzle!

The Philadelphia Veterans Parade on Nov. 8 promises to be a spectacular event with a jump by a parachute team, cadets from the Naval and Military academies, the Philadelphia City Troop Calvary, Buffalo Soldiers, a 30-by-60-foot flag, military vehicles and at several junior ROTC groups.

A total of 175 organizations and individuals have registered for the parade. The actual number of participants could range as high as 2,400, depending on how many show up with various groups on parade day. Registration has closed.

"We're focused right now on bringing all the elements of the parade together and communicating with the participants," noted Scott Brown, executive director of the Philadelphia Advisory Commission, which is overseeing the parade and the veterans committee organizing it. "We knew it would be a big deal when we first suggested it, but overall response has been tremendous and the first-ever city-wide veterans parade will be a spectacular event."

The parade, which starts at noon at S. Broad and Walnut streets, will focus on veterans of all eras from the tri-state region (PA/NJ/DE). It will also commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II, the 50th Anniversary of Vietnam and the 25th Anniversary of Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Special recognition will be accorded for individual representatives of all Armed Services from all wars, including Tuskegee airmen, Montford Point Marines and Pearl Harbor survivors.

Philly High School Places Third In World Competition!

Philadelphia's Roman Catholic High School mock trial team finished third in the Empire Mock Trial World Championship Tournament held in New York City. Forty of the best mock trial teams from across seven countries competed in this invitation-only tournament, which was held at the United States Courthouse for the Eastern District of New York. 

The eight varsity members of Roman's forty-plus member team who competed in this tournament prepared their cases for the past four months, putting in countless hours at weekly team practices since the beginning of July.

The students took on the roles of attorneys and witnesses in this timely mock civil trial. Each trial was judged by a panel of practicing attorneys, who scored the students based on their witness portrayals, skill in direct and cross examining witnesses and advocacy in presenting opening statements, closing arguments and objections to the court.

Roman's team won all four of their trials against their four opponents: West Linn High School from Oregon, American Heritage High School from Florida, Coláiste na Toirbhirte High School from Ireland and Spain Park High School from Alabama.

Senior Vincent Capitolo captained the team, which included fellow senior Phil Tedros, juniors Christian Dellavella, Joe Pizzo and Joe Doherty, as well as sophomores James Conway, Paul Keene and Josh Picciotti. Doherty and Keene won individual awards for their outstanding witness portrayals throughout the tournament. Coaches Steven Patton, John Pensabene, Pat Prendergast and George Zindel worked with the team throughout the summer and traveled with the team to New York.

With more than forty members spread across four trial teams, Roman Catholic High School's mock trial team is one of the largest teams in the country. The team placed 12th at this Empire World Championship Tournament last year and has won the Philadelphia City Championship for the past two years before finishing second in a field of more than 300 teams in Pennsylvania in both 2014 and 2015.

Video Sneak Peek: New Lloyd Webber Musical

With music by Andrew Lyoyd Webber the new musical School of Rock begins previews on Broadway on November 9 with special discount tickets on sale now.
This musical is based on the famous Paramount film written by Mike White that starred Jack Black. School of Rock features a book by Julian Fellowes (sole writer and executive producer of "Downton Abbey"), lyrics by Glenn Slater (disney's "Tangled" and the Broadway hits Sister Act and The Little Mermaid) and direction by Laurence Connor (Broadway's current Les Miserables, the upcoming Miss Saigon and the rock arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar).
The story follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. Completely disinterested in academic work, Dewey decides to create his own curriculum, turning his class into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.
For School of Rock, Andrew Lloyd Webber returns to his rock roots. Recalling the sound that defined his early hits like Jesus Christ superstar, the show's score features 14 new songs and all the original songs from the movie.

A Great Artist Regains His Rightful Prominence

We recently viewed a spectacular exhibition of paintings by the great American portrait artist John Singer Sargent who has always been one of our favorites.
This exhibition was beautifully mounted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in cooperation with the National Portrait Gallery in London. Though the exhibition has since closed, you can still view the paintings online by clicking here.

Throughout his career John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) created exceptional portraits of artists, writers, actors, dancers, and musicians, many of whom were his close friends. As a group, these portraits—many of which were not commissioned—are often highly charged, intimate, witty, idiosyncratic, and more experimental than his formal portraiture. Brilliant works of art and penetrating character studies, they are also records of relationships, influences, aspirations, and allegiances.

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends brings together ninety-two of the artist's paintings and drawings of members of his impressive artistic circle. The individuals seen through Sargent's eyes represent a range of leading figures in the creative arts of the time such as artists Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin, writers Robert Louis Stevenson and Henry James, and the actor Ellen Terry, among others. The exhibition features some of Sargent's most celebrated full-length portraits (Dr. Pozzi at Home, Hammer Museum), his dazzling subject paintings created in the Italian countryside (Group with Parasols [Siesta], private collection), and brilliant watercolors (In the Generalife, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) alongside lesser-known portrait sketches of his intimate friends (Vernon Lee, 1881, Tate). The exhibition explores the friendships between Sargent and his artistic sitters, as well as the significance of these relationships to his life and art.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Keep Us Safe, Secure With Fair, Tough Jurists!

Pope To Visit Prato And Florence, Italy

The Holy See Press Office today made public the programme of the Holy Father's visit to Prato and Florence, Italy on 10 November for the Fifth National Congress of the Italian Church.

The Pope will depart at 7 a.m. from the Vatican heliport and will arrive an hour later at the municipal sports camp in Prato.

From there he will transfer to the cathedral and will address workers from the square. At 9 a.m. he will travel by helicopter from Prato to Florence where, after arrival at the Luigi Ridolfi stadium, he will visit the baptistery and will meet with the representatives of the National Congress of the Italian Church in Piazza Santa Maria del Fiore.

At midday he will pray the Angelus and greet the sick in the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, after which he will lunch with the poor who attend the San Francesco Poverino refectory. After celebrating Holy Mass in the Artemio Franchi municipal stadium, the Holy Father will greet the authorities and depart for Rome at 5 p.m., where he is due to arrive around 6 p.m.

Haunted Playhouse - All The Grizzly Details!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Blood, Bias, Bucks Bind Liberals And Big Media

There's been a lot of uproar today over charges of liberal bias in the mainstream news media stemming from last night's debate and Ted Cruz's broadside at the left-leaning panel the debaters faced.

But when they hear these charges of liberal media bias, many people still remain unconvinced. They say the Republicans candidates and conservatives in general are just cry babies and that the charges simply cannot be true.

These people are simply ignoring the overwhelming evidence of long-standing ties (family and otherwise) between the dominant media and Democrats. We're talking blood, bucks and bias.

And the evidence is nothing less than staggering. Consider the facts:

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News' Good Morning America and This Week is President Bill Clinton's former press secretary and contributor to the Clinton Global Initiative. Prior to that he worked for liberal presidential candidates Michael Dukakis and Dick Gephardt. He also worked for liberal campaign consultant James Carville.

CNN's Anderson Cooper has served on an advisory board of the Clinton Global Initiative.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews served on the staffs of four Democratic members of Congress, including Senators Frank Moss and Edmund Muskie. In 1974, he mounted an unsuccessful campaign for Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Matthews was a presidential speechwriter during the Carter administration and later worked for six years as chief of staff to longtime Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts is a big-time contributor to President Barack Obama and other Democrats. Roberts has entertained the president at Martha's Vineyard and he and other Comcast execs have bundled money for Obama and other liberals. Comcast holdings include NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, AT&T Broadband, Telemundo, and Universal Studios. Since 2006 Roberts himself has donated $76,000 to Democrats.

PBS's Bill Moyers was Democrat President Lyndon Johnson's press secretary. A well-known liberal, Moyers mentored a young Charlie Rose at PBS. Rose is now the anchor for CBS This Morning. prog Rose has also been a correspondent for 60 Minutes and a member of the board of directors of Citadel Broadcasting.

NBC's Luke Russert is the son of Tim Russert who worked as a special counsel, and later as chief of staff, to U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan, a Democrat from New York. In 1983, he became the counsel to New York Governor Mario Cuomo, also a Democrat.

CBS News President David Rhoades is the brother of President Obama’s national security advisor, Ben Rhoades.

ABC's Claire Shipman is married to Jay Carney, the former White House Press Secretary under Obama. Carney himself was a Time magazine's Washington bureau chief and after leaving the White House he went to work for CNN. Carney now works for Amazon chief Jeff Bezos who now owns the Washington Post.

CNN's Jake Tapper worked for Democrat Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky. Mezvinsky is now Chelsea Clinton's mother-in-law.

ABC News president Ben Sherwood is the brother of Obama's special advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.

CNN Vice President Virginia Moseley is married to Tom Nides, Obama's former deputy secretary of state.

NPR contributing analyst and syndicated columnist Cokie Roberts is the daughter of former ambassador and long time Democrat Congresswoman Lindy Boggs and Democrat Congressman Hale Boggs who was also House majority leader.

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski is the daughter of  President Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.

NPR’s White House correspondent Ari Shapiro is married to lawyer Michael Gottlieb, a member of the White House counsel’s office under President Obama.

Former Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray was Joe Biden's communications director, then deputy chief of staff; Murray's husband is a Wall Street Journal political reporter

NPR's Michelle Norris, co-host of "All Things Considered," is married to Broderick Johnson, who worked on John Kerry and Barack Obama's presidential campaigns and was a member of the legislative affairs team in the Clinton White House. 

ABC News reporter Matt Jaffe, who covered the GOP primaries is married to Katie Hogan who served as deputy press secretary for Barack Obama's campaign

ABC News producer Ian Cameron is married to Susan Rice, former U.S. ambassador and national security advisor under President Obama.

CNN senior political analyst David Axelrod was the mastermind behind the Barack Obama campaigns and worked in the White House for Obama.

Fox News analyst Joe Trippe has worked on the Democrat presidential campaigns of Ted Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Dick Gephardt, Jerry Brown and John Edwards.He was the guru behind the Howard Dean presidential campaign.

Former ABC News correspondent and now CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is the son of former New York Democrat Governor Mario Cuomo and the brother of present New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who also served in the Clinton cabinet.

CNN's Donna Brazile has worked on many presidential campaigns for Democrat candidates, including Jesse Jackson , Walter Mondale, Richard Gephardt, Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton.
ABC’s Biranna Golodryga, was co-anchor of “Good Morning America" and married Peter Orzag, former director of the Office of Management & Budget under President Obama.

Those are just some of the many ties between liberal Washington and the dominant media -- the people who control if you know, what you know and when you know it.

The situation is nothing less than incestuous. It sort of reminds you of all the inter-marriages and relatives in Hollywood -- another bastion of far left kookiness. And the revolving door between Democrat appointees and office-holders and the media is a whirlwind.

But there's more -- lots more. So now, consider the following:

A 2014 Indiana University study found that just seven percent of journalists identify themselves as Republicans.

A study of contributions to the 2008 presidential campaign found that Obama and the Democrats received a whopping 88% of contributions from Senior executives, on-air personalities, producers, reporters, editors, writers and other self-identifying employees of ABC, CBS and NBC. A separate Investor's Business Daily study put the campaign donation ratio at 11.5-to-1, in favor of Democrats. In terms of total dollars given, the ratio was 15-to-1.

In a 2007 Pew Research Center study of journalists and news executives, the ratio was four liberals for each conservative.

In a 2001 Kaiser Family Foundation poll, media professionals were nearly seven times likelier to call themselves Democrats rather than Republicans.

A 2014 Media Research Center study sought to find out "what journalists really think" about topical issues. Here's what it discovered:
  • Fully 81% of news media professionals favor affirmative action in employment and academia.
  • Some 71% agree that the “government should work to ensure that everyone has a job.”
  • 75% agree that the “government should work to reduce the income gap between rich and poor.”
  • 56% say that the United States has exploited the nations of the Third World.
  • 57% say that America’s disproportionate consumption of the world’s natural resources is “immoral.”
  • Nearly half agree that “the very structure of our society causes people to feel alienated.”
  • Only 30% agree that “private enterprise is fair to workers.”
After all this, do you still think the dominant media are objective? Really?

If that's so, then maybe you ought to get a subscription to Pravda.

Cruz Takes On Biased Media In Big Moment

Cruz saying what everybody knows (but few are willing to broach) during last night's debate.

Christie: "Even In New Jersey It's Called 'Rude'"

One of Governor Chris Christie's Big Moments during last night's debate.

Rubio's Big Debate Moment As Bush Melts . . .

From Matt Rooney at Save Jersey:

It’s the date when, after a poor performance in Iowa, Ronald Reagan paid for a Nashua Telegraph debate that didn’t happen but nevertheless catapulted him to the presidency, Save Jerseyans.

The original plan was for a one-on-one debate between himself and Jeb Bush’s father just three days before the primary. The Federal Election Commission had ruled that the newspaper could not sponsor a debate without all of the GOP candidates; Reagan needed the boost, and George H. W. Bush wanted to take on Reagan by himself so the then-front runner refused to contribute to the cost.

Everyone showed up at the Nashua High School gymnasium including second-tier candidates Senators Bob Dole and Howard Baker, and Congressmen Phil Crane and John Anderson (former Texas governor John Connally couldn’t get there in time). Backstage wrangling ensued. When the two leading candidates finally took to the stage, and Reagan forcefully argued for the inclusion of the other candidates on-stage, the perturbed moderator tried to cut off Reagan’s mic.

Big mistake. The Gipper famously responded, “I’m paying for this microphone, Mr. Green.” The other candidates walked off and the crowd went crazy:

The end result? History: Reagan carried New Hampshire with 50% of the vote to George H. W. Bush’s 23%.

I can’t help but wonder if Marco Rubio had a similar moment last night when the media (and then Jeb Bush) tried to take him down in this extended exchange:

The media retort was good but his response to Bush was better.

“When you signed up for this, this is a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work,” the polling-challenged former Governor said, attempting to shame his former Florida legislative mentee. “You can campaign or just resign and let someone else take the job.”

“I don’t remember you ever complaining about John McCain’s vote record,” Rubio replied without missing a beat. “The only reason why you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position, and someone convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.”

And the crowd was in the palm of his hand.

Masterful. Dominate. Reagan-esque. The student has more than become the master.

Will October 28, 2015 prove as decisive for Marco as it was for Jeb’s dad’s 1980 opponent? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

They Can't Name A Thing She Accomplished!

Tonight's GOP Debate: What To Look For

Here we go again.
Tonight, 10 Republicans debate in the main card of the GOP talkfest.
Who has to do what, how, and when? Who can, should or may break away? Who will emerge and who will be cast aside after the evening is over?
Here's what to look for from each of the candidates:

Trump: Donald Trump is in a tough spot tonight. His numbers are slipping and his main opponent is the polar opposite of him: soft-spoken, decent, seemingly rational Dr. Ben Carson. Trump has to take on Carson but he's got to do it without his usual belligerence. Is that even possible for Trump? Is it even thinkable? Stay tuned . . .

Carson: Ben Carson says some truly radical things but he does it in a mild-mannered, non-threatening way. Still, when you go back and read what he says (or said) you sometimes scratch you head in sheer wonderment. Yes, Carson is appealing to social conservatives and evangelicals who seem to always tip the scales in the Iowa caucuses but tonight his must both broaden his appeal and begin to assert himself in a mainstream manner. Question: Does this guy have a pulse?

Rubio: Marco Rubio is exceptionally well-positioned. Right now, he's everybody's second choice, he has the money to hang on and he's poised to pick up even greater support. He's arguably the most appealing of the candidates and may be the most electable as well. Tonight, he needs to avoid any major mistakes, continue to be quick, meaningful and articulate and begin to position himself for the breakaway. One good line from Rubio could make the night.

Cruz: Ted Cruz has deep, solid support. And, he's a super debater. But he often comes off as overly argumentative and hard-edged. If he can just be more open, human, maybe even warmer . . .  In any event, expect him to hold on.

Fiorina: Carly Fiorina has shined in these debates but that's happened mostly through her ability to deftly parrot talking points and make them meaningful to the viewing audience. She needs a bit more spontaneity and, this too: It would help if she smiled now and then.

Kasich: John Kasich has largely supplanted Jeb Bush as the one middle-of-the-road candidate to watch. He's got an honest, straightforward "aw, shucks" appeal. But does he have to always be a nice guy? We'd like to see some real brio from him tonight. And, think of this: Any combination of Kasich and Rubio. Translation: Ohio and Florida!

Paul: Rand Paul is simply running out of time. He has done nothing to break through in any of the debates. He comes through as sour, somewhat stubborn and doctrinaire. We did say "stubborn," didn't we? That's why we're so hesitant to advise him and feel it will be so hard for him to turnaround.

Huckabee: Mike Huckabee, a very likable guy with an earnest debate style and an appealing authenticity is basically a leftover from the 2012 campaign. Dr. Ben Carson has stolen Huckabee's constituency and the future does not look bright for the Arkansan.

Christie: Sadly, Chris Christie's whole schtick was stolen by Donald Trump and Trump remains the behemoth in this battle. But even considering that, Christie has fared remarkably well in these debates. He's sharp, incisive, indefatigable.  He'll be all the way on the far end of the stage tonight (not a position Christie enjoys) but Christie is a grappler and if he can hang on then he can hope and pray that lightening strikes.

Bush: You remember him, don't you? Jeb Bush? What a sad story this has become. Bush has turned surly and whiney and just plain goofy. He's playing to all the worst stereotypes and he's managed to give people Bush fatigue even before the race really began. And it's been all downhill from there. Is it too late? Does it matter? Zzzzzz . . . .

There's Nothing 'Still' About These Masterpieces!

Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life
October 27, 2015 - January 10, 2016
 Paid Tickets Required >>
 Member Tickets >>

We've seen this remarkable exhibition now on view at the world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art and we can assure you -- you will experience the simple beauty of everyday things in a new light.

The first survey of American still life in three decades, this exhibition offers 130 oil paintings, watercolors, and works in other media representing the finest accomplishments in the genre. Featuring masterpieces by John James Audubon, the Peale family, William Michael Harnett, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and others, this exhibition explores American still life from its beginnings in the late 1700s to the Pop Art era of the 1960s.

The show invites you to enter into the paintings -- to bring your own human presence into the scene; to discover every aspect of each rendering; to delight in the details and the lush indulgences of these vivid works which have helped to define American art.

Taking a fresh approach to the subject to reveal the genre’s astonishing variety, the exhibition presents four distinct eras of American still life, each defined by a unique culture of seeing objects: describing, indulging, discerning, and animating. Within these sections, visitors are encouraged to explore still life as a reflection of American identity and culture through time.

Still life is generally an art of intimacy, intended for display in homes and other private settings. From the perfect serenity of tabletop compositions created by Raphaelle Peale (1774–1825), to the trompe l’oeil illusions of William Michael Harnett (1848–1892), to the explosive floral abstractions of Arthur B. Carles (1882–1952), still lifes provoke the senses and reward close looking. The exhibition employs theatrical displays and interactive technologies to encourage substantive, personal encounters with the works.

The genre has a special connection to our region: Philadelphia artists first defined American still-life practice and remained at its forefront well into the twentieth century. This exhibition is the first to explore this distinctive aspect of American still-life painting.

Enjoy these samples from the exhibition and get your tickets now!

Dan Cirucci Blog Milestone - 1.25 Million Pageviews!

Fall Colors Now Reaching Crescendo!

In South Jersey, fall has reached a spectacular crescendo of seasonal colors -- a true visual feast that we felt we must share with you.
All photos copyright 2015 by Dan Cirucci.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sometimes, A Person Just Doesn't Care . . .

Where Does McGinty Stand On Vets' Issues?

Following Hillary Clinton’s recent claim that the VA hospital crisis has “not been as widespread as it has been made out to be," the Republican Party of Pennsylvania is asking Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty for her position.
“Does Katie McGinty believe that the VA hospital crisis was not as ‘widespread as it has been made out to be?’” Sweeney asked. “As Pennsylvania’s veterans look for answers regarding the VA hospital crisis, Katie McGinty has chosen to remain silent. If she believed these scandals at VA hospitals around the country were important, wouldn’t she have spoken up by now?
“Katie McGinty may embrace a strategy of silence as a candidate, but that won’t work in the United States Senate. Perhaps Katie McGinty realizes that sharing Hillary Clinton’s dismissive views about our veterans’ health care concerns does not match up with Pennsylvania’s values.

“It’s time for Katie McGinty to stop hiding behind the D.C. Democratic establishment and start sharing her views with Pennsylvanians.”

Video: PP Doctor Seeks Baby Brain Harvesting

Did Kenney Use 'W' Word At Italian-American Event?

Philadelphia is such a closed-minded, one-party town that Democrat mayoral nominee Jim Kenney is already being called the "mayor-elect."
Kenney has only nominal opposition in the next Tuesday's election to succeed popular Mayor Michael Nutter and he's been going around town making appearances before various groups in a sort of pre-victory lap.
Last week Kenney spoke to a luncheon of the city's Justinian Society of Italian-American lawyers and, though we weren't present at the event, we're told that in a manner of speaking Kenney used the 'W' word, and we don't mean "whatever . . . "
No, we mean W as in w-o-p!
In fact, we hear that Kenney specifically spelled out the word (letter by letter) explaining to his audience that it was used in a derogatory sense against Italian-Americans but actually meant "without papers." Well, Kenney doesn't know what he's talking about. According to Merriam-Webster, wop's first known use was in the United States in 1908. The dictionary is unambiguous that it originates from a southern Italian dialect term guappo, meaning thug, derived from the Spanish term guapo, meaning handsome, via dialectical French, meaning ruffian or pimp. It also has roots in the Latin vappa, meaning wine gone flat. It has nothing to do with immigration papers or documentation of any sort. It's an ethnic slur, pure and simple -- a slur just as vile as the "n" word.
Mind you, this history would hardly be news to learned Italian-American lawyers in the city and their friends and families. They certainly need no lecture on the journey that they and their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have traveled. They know full well how hard it was for Italians of certain generations to get into college and law school and then find jobs as lawyers and/or start their own law firms.
The discrimination and the struggle have been well-documented.
Anyway, we're told that, mixing anecdotes and off-the-cuff bromides, Kenney then attempted to link his own story as an Irish-American to the Italian-American experience, partially using that as an argument for immigration reform today and a more welcoming approach toward undocumented immigrants (aka illegal aliens).
Memo to Kenney: You don't have to resurrect vicious ethnic slurs (whose meaning you do not understand and which should have been shelved years ago) to make your point.
Remember: In instances in which they came from elsewhere, our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents came to this nation legally. They assimilated; they sought no handouts or special consideration; they disdained victimhood, then and now; they learned English; they embraced the culture and the American Dream and they succeeded against all odds without bitterness or ill-will toward those who would have held them back. Strengthened by faith and family, theirs is a story of remarkable triumph. In many cases, they are that much more keenly aware of their history precisely because they have surmounted it.
In a million different ways they've earned the right to call themselves Americans -- and that's the one label they're still proudest of as well as the one you're well-advised to stick to going forward.

Christie Signs Bucco Bill For Disabled Vets

Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to create a state contract set-aside program for disabled veterans to help them grow their businesses.

The Senator’s law, formerly S-1353, requires contracting agencies to establish a goal of setting aside at least 3 percent of their contracts for disabled veterans who independently own at least 51 percent of a business operating in New Jersey. This includes bidding for contracts to complete construction projects, provide goods, equipment or various services.

“Recent reports reveal more than 6 percent of New Jersey veterans are unemployed – that’s higher than the national average,” said Senator Bucco. “This law creates economic opportunities for disabled veterans, we are recognizing their service and sacrifice while helping them contribute to our state’s growing economy and enhancing innovation in New Jersey.”

Contracting agencies will be required to meet with the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission on an annual basis to develop a plan and ensure that the agencies are working to meet established goals to help disabled veterans find economic success.

The program will be administered by the Office of Small business Assistance in the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission. This law takes effect immediately.

Pope Reiterates Determination To Rein In Curia

The Holy Father has written a letter to Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin regarding various issues that have arisen during the process of reforming the structures of the Roman Curia. The following is the full text of the letter:

“While the process of reform of various structures of the Roman Curia, to which the Council of Cardinals I instituted on 28 September 2013 is dedicating its attention, is continuing in accordance with the established programme, it is necessary to note that certain problems have emerged in the meantime, in relation to which I intend to take prompt action.

I wish first to state that the current period of transition is not a time of vacatio legis. Therefore, I confirm that the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor bonus” and subsequent amendments thereto remain in full force, along with the General Regulations of the Roman Curia.

Since compliance with the common rules is necessary both to guarantee the orderly conduct of work in the Roman Curia and in the institutions connected to the Holy See, and to ensure equitable treatment of employees and collaborators, also in economic terms, I order that the provisions in the aforementioned documents, as well as in the Regulations for lay staff of the Holy See and Vatican City State and the Regulations of the independent Commission for the evaluation of the recruitment of lay staff in the Apostolic See, be scrupulously observed.

Accordingly, all staff hiring and transfers must be carried out within the limits established by staffing plans, excluding any other criterion, with the nulla osta of the Secretariat of State and in compliance with the prescribed procedures, including reference to the established parameters for remuneration.

The above, to the extent compatible with their Regulations, is valid also for the Governorate of Vatican City State and the dependent Institutions of the Apostolic See, although not expressly indicated in the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus, with the exception of the Institute for the Works of Religion.

I therefore request, Your Eminence, that the provisions I have mentioned be brought to the attention of all the Superiors of the Dicasteries, the Offices and Bodies of the Roman Curia, as well as the Commissions, Committees and connected Institutions, as well as the Governorate, highlighting in particular the aspects requiring special attention, and that supervision of compliance be exercised.

I thank you for your collaboration and, in communion of intentions and prayer, I cordially greet you in the Lord”.

The ONLY Candidate With A Plan . . . .

Parish To Dedicate New Community Center, Gym

Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, who oversees Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will preside over a blessing and dedication of a new Parish Community Center and Gymnasium at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Warminster (Bucks County). Over 900 guests are expected to attend the blessing and dedication.

Sunday, November 1, 2015
Nativity of Our Lord Parish
1:00 p.m. (Blessing and Dedication)
605 West Street Road
Warminster, PA 18974 (Bucks County)

The Community Center and Gymnasium will host a variety of parish and school events and activities including a growing parish Senior Citizens Group, a student Performing Arts Club and various CYO sports activities, as well as, provide a gathering space for large events and fundraisers held by the Parish Religious Education Program (PREP), the Home and School Association and other parish affiliated groups.

The construction of the new facility was made possible through a capital campaign the parish began in March 2014. This is the 4th major construction project that has been undertaken by the parish, since its founding in 1956.

About Those Upcoming Pennsylvania Elections . . . .

Here's a special message from Philadelphia's election watchdog group. The Committee of Seventy:

We're a week away from the November 3 election, and although our elections are not as competitive as we'd like, there's plenty you can do to positively impact Philadelphia in the week leading up to the vote, including:

1.) Help us better understand your voting experience: When Seventy was organized in 1904, our primary goal was to protect and improve the voting process. We've come a long way since, then but we still need to look for irregularities and ways to improve the experience of voting. When we field calls on our 877-SEVENTY voter assistance hotline, it's often difficult to separate fact from fiction. For that reason, for the first time we're asking for your help in filling out a short survey to give us a sense of your own voting experience, good, bad, or ugly. We'll update you closer to election-day, but for now, here's the link we hope you'll use AFTER you vote. The survey will take no more than 2 minutes, and it will help Seventy shape its election education programs for 2016. 

2.) Spread the word: We're going to share information with you over the coming days on the upcoming elections, including background on all the candidates and ballot questions and what you need to know when you go to your polling place. Help us spread the word by sharing this info with your friends and family. One easy way to do that is by using the tool created by our partner, Crowdpac, which makes all of Seventy's research on candidates, their positions, endorsements, and where their support comes from accessible in a simple format. We're also excited that you can create your own ballot which you can use to guide your voting or share with your friends and family, which beats guessing or depending on a party ballot. We hope you'll try it.

3.) Support Seventy: Seventy is entirely funded by charitable contributions, which helps us stay independent as an advocate for better politics and better government. Please consider supporting our work with a donation during this election season so we can keep working to improve Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

We're looking forward to keeping you updated through this election season, and thanks again for your interest and support of Seventy,

David Thornburgh
The Committee of Seventy

Christie, Mary Pat Talk Trump, Polls, Etc. - Video

Monday, October 26, 2015

Lib Special Interests Target PA Supreme Court!

Extreme liberal special interest groups are rushing to the aid of Democrat Supreme Court candidates Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty, and David Wecht, campaign finance reports filed Friday show.

Union bosses have spent $2.9 million and trial lawyers have poured in $1.9 million on the campaigns of the three Democrats running for the Supreme Court this year. Just since September 15th, trial lawyers and unions gave $2.3 million to the Democrat candidates.

“Liberal special interests groups are desperately trying to buy this Supreme Court election,” Republican Party of Pennsylvania Communications Director Megan Sweeney said. “By pouring millions of dollars into this Supreme Court race, these extreme liberal special interest groups are trying to ensure that our highest court is filled with activists judges who will legislate from the bench.

“After years of scandals have broken the public’s trust, our Commonwealth has a real opportunity to start a new chapter in our statewide courts. We can’t afford jurists whose campaigns are stacked with the funds of extreme liberal special interest groups because it casts a dark shadow on their judgment.”

Ooohhh, Those Amazing Mets . . . 1969 Edition!

So, the Mets are in the World Series.
And, let's face it -- the Mets are almost always sentimental favorites.
Do you remember when they won it all in 1969? Well, maybe not. Sports were simpler, more innocent, more natural then. And ball players were generally well-behaved and clean-cut.
But, anyway the Mets were the singing Mets that year.
And they actually recorded an album and went on the Ed Sullivan Show, which was about as famous as you could get in those pre-social media days.
Enjoy the video!

Latina Woman Goes Wild Over Trump - Video

NJ Gas Tax Hike Is Back - You Can Stop It!

In New Jersey, one of the most heavily-taxed states in the nation, the hue and cry is on again for a gas tax hike.

You didn't really expect this to go away, did you?

Democrats in the state need to deflect attention away from a new campaign (launched by the gannett newspapers in the state) to force action on the state's high property taxes. 
So now, the Dem majority in the state's senate and Assembly have hatched a new shell game: Give us the extra money we needed for New Jersey's Transportation Fund (in fact give us more than that through a gas-tax hike) so that we can maintain roads and bridges and then we'll tackle property taxes. 
believe it: Behind close doors, legislative maneuvers are underway to hike New Jersey's tax on gas at the pump by as much as 15 or even 20 cents per gallon -- maybe even more!
And it's even been reported that some GOP legislators may even go along with a gas tax hike. 

But, wait a minute.
This is our money that these supposed leaders are talking about behind closed doors.

Still, they figure if they raise the gas tax now (when gas prices are relatively low) we either won't notice or won't care.
Get this: The people who run our state seem to think we're fools.

Well, we're not. And here are Five Big Reasons NOT to raise the gas tax:

1) New Jersey already spends a whopping 8.4 times the national average for every mile of road it maintains or builds. North Dakota (which gets tons of snow) spends a fraction of what we spend per mile.
2) Our highway funding system is inefficient. Our state spent nearly $45,000 per every mile of roads on highway administration. The national average is just $10,500.
3) Other states with similarly dense metro areas and high costs of living spend far less per-mile than Jersey. Even New York and California spend less.
4) New Jersey has also made little use of public-private partnerships to finance and execute transportation projects. It's been reported that such projects are already lowering costs in 30 other states.
5) New Jersey’s has mishandled its transportation funding. The state should have spent annual budgeted money on a pay-as-you-go basis. But New Jersey inefficiently relied on debt to finance its roads and bridges.

On top of all this, New Jersey toll collections are through-the-roof. Our state is taking in more money from tolls than any other state except New York. What's happening to all this money?

Until New Jersey cleans up its transportation revenue and funding act, it will have to make do with the money it has.
Tell your state legislators: NO NJ GAS TAX HIKE!

Here's what you can do to stop the gas tax hike. But you must act NOW!

Click here to find a page that contains a list of New Jersey towns. Find your town and note the number of your legislative district. Click on the town name and a new page will come up with the districts by number. Click on the number of your district and you will then find the names of your state legislators. You can then click on the names to send them an e-mail or call the phone numbers. We advise that you call all three legislators in your district. Tell them you are AGAINST a hike in the gas tax. Make it very clear and don't accept any cockamamie explanations.  

Calling is a quick and easy way to get the job done. And if we all do it, it will scare the gas outta those windbags in Trenton. 

Do it NOW!