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Tag Archive for ‘Sunday With Ferris’

Sunday With Ferris

Okay..technically it is Monday.

Back Channels – Panther case dismissal needs explanation

For those new to the story – a brief recap:  J. Christian Adams recently resigned from the Department of Justice due to widespread hostility to the equal enforcement of the law.  Kevin points out the real issue in this scandal and it is something for every American to have concerns about:

In a follow-up article for the website Pajamas Media on Monday, Adams cited other cases, in Texas and Connecticut, showing the department’s “hostility toward race-neutral enforcement of the civil rights laws.”

The Justice Department fired back last week, saying in a statement that ” … it is regrettable when a former department attorney distorts the facts and makes baseless allegations to promote his or her agenda.”

I understand that some view the Panther incident as an unimportant blip on a historic election day. I get not wanting to make too much of an insignificant gang of thugs. But the message the Justice Department sends about hate groups and equal enforcement is important.

It is travesty of racial equality if this proves to be true, this administration would be guilty of knocking race relations back to the age of segregation. Sadly, the same party that controls the White House, Congress, and the Senate has found a place in the party structure for Jerry Jackson. He is the tall black panther brandishing a billy club and threatening the videographer.  During primary races in February,  Jerry Jackson won a committee seat within the Philly democrat party. One has to ask – is this the type of individual that is welcome in the ‘big tent’ of the Democrat party? Apparently so.

BlackPanther Democrat Committeeperson

Megan Kelly at Fox News interviewed J. Christian Adams. The Department of Justice is refusing to prosecute cases of voter intimidation if the defendant is black and the victim is white:


Sunday with Ferris

Back Channels serves up a healthy dose of manners this week:

If one cannot be civil about health care, imagine what will happen when the debate shifts to immigration!

However, if Miss Manners’ word doesn’t suffice, consider another authority. The etiquette model followed by George Washington should be appreciated both by protesters who are inspired by the founders and first principles, and by those who, regardless of faction, work in the city that bears the great man’s name.

As a youth, our first president copied the “Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.” As a man, he lived them.

My philosophy is more streamlined -  skewer them with a smile :)


Sundays With Ferris

Back Channels: A Summit For The Rest Of Us

This week, Back Channels describes an ideal health care summit for the rest of us:

Forget the one-day health-care summit on Feb. 25, where the two sides will pretend they can compromise enough to pass the Senate’s health-care monstrosity. Instead, let’s hold a two-day event, one that caters to the inside-the-Beltway crowd’s need for style, and the other providing the substance that citizens want.

It is the substance of the proposed health care bill that is problematic for democrats. Having Harry Reid describe the details of the bill to the American public on CSPAN would be the nail in the coffin for the dems health care reform. On February 25th expect massive quantities of fluff emanating from this summit and zero substance.

U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan has proposed a Roadmap Plan 2.0 which details a practical solutions to our debt burden and health care needs. American’s know there is a smarter, more practical way to fix this nation’s ills and Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal reflects the sensibility of responsible, hard working Americans. Take a few minutes to read over his proposal and let share it with your Congressman and Senator, letting them know about this practical plan.


Sunday With Ferris

Underdog candidate for Pa Governor, Sam Rohrer, had some straight talk about the looming ‘Pension Bomb’ at recent debate in Yardley, Pa. Ignoring potential Federal tax shenanigans for a moment, Pennsylvanians are facing a dramatic uptick in taxation at the state level due to breathtakingly unsound fiscal policies put in place in 2001.

The current edition of Back Channels clearly explains how we arrived at this ticking time bomb:

Here’s how the mess began: Starting in 2001, with a surplus in state pension funds – for teachers and for state employees – Harrisburg embarked on a series of fiscally irresponsible moves that essentially increased benefits but lowered contributions. Worse, contributions went on a payment plan equivalent to an adjustable-rate mortgage that starts with a low interest rate but mushrooms for most of the life of the loan.

Early on in Harrisburg’s pension-fund restructuring, employer contribution rates were at 5 to 7 percent of payroll for about 10 years. But starting in 2014, according to the Commonwealth Foundation, the contribution rates for school districts will climb to 33 percent, and stay above 30 percent for almost 10 years. They’ll drop after that, but not below 24 percent.

What does this mean to Joe and Jane taxpayer in Pennsylvania?

The cost to households goes from $212 this year to more than $2,000 by 2019, the Commonwealth Foundation estimates.

Understand the above amount is based upon the taxpayers shouldering the entire burden without the state taking any steps to correct this situation. So far, nothing has been proposed by Harrisburg and the clock is running.

Sam Rohrer has promising ideas:

One, put all new state hires on defined-contribution pension plans, such as a 401(k), instead of defined-benefit plans – the current system.

Two, reduce all pension enhancements – from vesting periods to multipliers to raises – to pre-2001 levels. While some argue that salary and compensation packages for state workers can’t be cut – as decreed by state judges who benefit from any increases – Rohrer says the state must reduce future obligations, while meeting any accrued since ’01.

“There’s no way to deal with this issue significantly without rolling back benefits on the front end, at least for those not yet retired,” he says.

State GOP straw poll results were released recently and unfortunately Rohrer’s ideas may only be his own:

PA GOP Caucus Straw Poll


Sunday With Ferris

This would be a first for Obama and Democrats.

Back Channels: Obama should heed his own lofty words

“What is called for is … that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. … Let our politics reflect that spirit as well.”

- Candidate Obama,

March 18, 2008

Donohue thinks Americans are ready for positive messages about improving the economy, such as his Campaign for Free Enterprise.

“We have to remind people what worked and think about it as we look to new approaches coming out of the recession,” he says. “And we want to put pressure on the business community to do what we desperately need to do: create 20 million new jobs in the next 10 years.”

What worked includes open capital markets, free trade, reasonable taxation and regulation, and “the right to fail,” Donohue says. “Many business people failed the first time and then came back and succeeded.”

Donohue may get his chance to accentuate the positive, since the administration may be ready for a cease-fire. On Wednesday, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel spoke to the chamber’s board of directors. The off-the-record session was later described by a chamber official in terms normally used for diplomatic summits between wary adversaries: “We had a productive and robust exchange on a wide range of issues.”

Chances are, after Tuesday’s election results, there are some robust exchanges within the White House itself. Perhaps that will lead to a politics of listening, reaching out, and solving problems together.

Or maybe not.

“I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to just get out of the way. …”

- President Obama,

Aug. 6, 2009


Sunday With Ferris

Back Channels: The Case for Christie

One sentence from this column sums up all you need to know about Christie.

And Christie is not part of the corrupt Democratic Party machine.

Any questions?


Sunday With Ferris

Since Mr. Ferris has taken this weekend to enjoy the fall weather instead of filing a brilliant column I’ve decided to use this space to highlight another talented writer, Jane Gilvary, who writes on the current Diana, a Celebration exhibit at the National Constitution Center. It is a great article that explores the question why do Americans need to pander to greatness from outside our borders?  Is there no American woman, past or present, that  the Constitution Center could have selected to honor in an exhibit?

Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales

The Constitution Center Is No Place For Princess Exhibit.

A friend from Northeast Philadelphia who recently attended the exhibit explained in conversation that, “It was a good display for any other museum in Philly, but The Constitution Center celebrates American uniqueness and success based on the freedoms given to us in the Constitution.” She also stated that there was nothing in the exhibit that tied it to the U.S. Constitution.

The Diana exhibit sets a troubling precedent for a strictly American-themed museum, opening the door for other foreigners without connections to the Constitution to be honored in the future. By preserving the uniqueness of The Constitution Center now, we might envision future exhibits that showcase the life and legacy of other great American women.

Maybe one day I’ll attend the exhibit President Palin: A Celebration.


Sunday With Ferris

Back Channels: The case for a minority watchdog

Philadelphia is Dem country, Dems enjoy a 7-1 voter registration lead. Will they take the responsibility for the shambles of this city? Philly boasts a double digit unemployed rate of 10.4%, a sales tax of 8% and a broken educational system. The Republican party in Philly has not had an original idea in 20 years and their organization is crippled.

What Philly needs is an outsider to fix our problems.  Al Schmidt is that man.

So what did Schmidt do last week? He put that 13 percent, that one-in-seven, that sliver of the electorate, on notice. If he is elected city controller – a big if – he intends to eliminate waste, target mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, and expose corruption. Even at GOP patronage havens such as the parking authority.

“I’m not running to be chairman of the Republican city committee. I’m running for city controller of Philadelphia,” he says. “If people in our party confuse the parking authority with the Republican Party, then that’s a mistake.”

Come November, Philly voters have a choice this time:

Can smart, competent, and reform-minded beat the status quo? Unfortunately, it’s a long shot. But this year, city voters can’t complain that they don’t have a choice.



Sunday With Ferris

Back Channels: Helping Fighters Thrive

Working with Wall Street WarFighters, Philadelphia brokerage firm Drexel Hamilton is helping disabled veterans begin new careers in the financial sector by providing training with financial professionals. The goal is to have veterans successfully complete the securities certification exam and find placement in the financial service industry.

Retired General, U.S. Marine Corps, Peter Pace thinks it is a great way for “industry leaders to contribute to the life of a wounded warrior in a very meaningful way.” I quite agree, lets build a bionic wall street – better than it was before – one wounded warrior at a time.


Sunday with Ferris

In March, it seemed the pro-union legislation known as “card check” was dead – thanks in part to Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.).

Before that, Specter had been coy about the Employee Free Choice Act. He’d voted to allow a debate on the measure in 2007, without commenting on the substance. In March, he had two main concerns: (1) card check, where workers sign cards to indicate support for a union instead of holding a secret-ballot election, and (2) the potential harm of increasing costs to businesses in a recession.

Well, the recession continues, but card check lives – thanks in part to Sen. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.).

Specter and five other colleagues are trying to craft a compromise that would appeal to moderate senators. The New York Times says they are even considering dropping the card-check provision.

Majority Leader Harry Reid had predicted the bill would be back. He said in March, “Anyone who thinks they’re burying card check because of Specter’s statement in an effort to avoid a primary in Pennsylvania should not think this legislation is going to go away.”

Then, the issue was the GOP primary and a rematch against Pat Toomey, who almost beat Specter in 2004. At that point, Specter was trying to appeal to conservatives.

But a month later he switched parties, and now needs labor support because of the expected primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak of Delaware County.

The Dems are looking at a choice between a politician that switches party to suit his own career or a politician that has not lived up to Dems low expectations. In January 2008, local Dem organizations picketed outside Sestak’s Office – and the Sheepdogs were there to counter their displeasure.

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