This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: PA Budget Impasse Update


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 29, 2015 – September 4, 2015

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from PAIndependent.com
  • David Taylor of the PA Manufacturers Association is joined for a Capitol Watch discussion on the latest developments in the state budget crisis by Neal Lesher from the National Federation of Independent Business-PA and by Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on the rise of Donald Trump

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Jim Phillips of the Heritage Foundation about the proposed nuclear deal with Iran
  • Doug Sachtleben of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on style over substance in the presidential campaign
  • Eric Boehm gets details from Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Center on the EPA gone rogue on this week’s Watchdog Radio Report
  • Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, USA has an American Radio Journal commentary on the suddenly competitive race for the Democratic Presidential nomination

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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Trump Card


It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes a summer romance turns into a permanent relationship.  That may be the case with Donald Trump whose summer surge has propelled him to the front of the herd seeking the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

Conventional wisdom (which is often wrong) for weeks has put Trump in the same category as Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich and others who four years ago took turns rocketing to the top of the polls only to fall and be replaced by the next candidate who caught the voters’ fancy.  But that race also featured the formidable campaign operation of Mitt Romney who played an electoral version of wack-a-mole to pick off anyone who gained traction against him.  This year no one – yet – appears capable of taking down Trump.

At first Donald Trump appeared to be just another passing fad.  He is a commanding presence and used his celebrity to launch his campaign feeding the narrative that this was just another PR ploy.  But there is an old adage among public speakers that to get people to hear your message you must first get their attention.  Nobody is better than Trump at getting attention, and now he is delivering his message.

The Republican Party establishment, mainstream news media and even the conservative punditry all initially wrote Trump off as a side show.  As Trump whipped off a series of decidedly not politically correct broadsides against illegal aliens, John McCain, and Meghan Kelly, the tongues wagged that he had gone too far and was set to implode.

The implosion never happened.  Instead, Trump has risen in the polls the most recent of which show him suddenly competitive in the General Election against the once-invincible candidate who is imploding, Hillary Clinton.  Trump, it seems, can – and does – say whatever he wants and voters flock to him.  He has almost literally pushed the other 16 candidates off the stage.  On a recent night both Trump and Jeb Bush hosted town hall meetings in New Hampshire.  Trump spoke before a raucous crowd of over 2,000; Bush talked with a couple hundred people many of whom appeared to be borderline comatose.

Trump has succeeded in becoming the dominant figure in the 2016 Presidential race because he has refused to play by the rules.  And that is a good thing because the rulebook has been written by the Left and by design puts Republicans in general and conservatives in particular on the defensive.  Trump refuses to be defensive – he is always on the attack.

Accuse Trump of flip-flopping on issues?  No problem, the rules don’t apply.  Accuse Trump of insulting women?  No problem, the rules don’t apply.  Accuse Trump of insulting illegal aliens?  No problem, the rules don’t apply.  The political class says he is a passing fad? No problem, the rules don’t apply.

It has become crystal clear Americans of all political stripes feel the nation is off track and someone has to, as Trump would put it “make America great again.”  That is the nature of Bernie Sanders’ appeal to the Left, and Trump’s appeal to GOP voters. The difference is Sanders’ policy solutions won’t play with a broader swath of the electorate.  But with Trump voters see an ultra-successful businessman who has gotten things done and they believe he can make good on his promise to lead the nation back to greatness.

So Trump has again succeeded where all others have failed.  He has the attention of the voters, and is putting forth solid – if controversial – policy solutions.  But winning a presidential nomination requires an extensive organization that collects a majority of the delegates who will assemble in Cleveland the summer next.  That is Trump’s challenge: converting popularity into delegates.  He also must overcome the fact that while he leads the race, more voters have a negative opinion of him than those who have a positive one, making it difficult to build upon his base of support.

Trump, of course, is accustomed to building things.  His current project is a mammoth hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. midway between the Capitol and the White House.  If he can capitalize on his current front-runner status, Donald Trump may acquire some additional real estate a few blocks down the street.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.   His e-mail address islhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Ghost Teachers


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 22, 2015 – August 28, 2015

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from PAIndependent.com
  • Lowman Henry talks with David Osborne of The Fairness Center about “ghost teachers” who work for unions rather than teach
  • Frank Gamrat and Eric Montarti have an Allegheny Institute Report on Pittsburgh’s new sick leave mandate on employers
  • Beth Anne Mumford from Americans for Prosperity-PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on an assault on free speech rights

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Mark Bauerlein editor of The State of the American Mind about our nation’s loss of shared culture
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on what congress is doing during its summer recess
  • Eric Boehm and Jason Hart have a Watchdog Radio Report on the financial health of the U.S. Postal Service
  • Col. Frank Ryan, USMC (Ret.) has an American Radio Journal commentary on warning signs of an upcoming slowdown of the economy

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: State of the Petroleum Industry


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 15, 2015 – August 21, 2015

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from PAIndependent.com
  • David Taylor from the PA Manufacturers Association has a Capitol Watch conversation with Stephanie Catarino Wissman from the Associated Petroleum Industry of Pennsylvania on challenges facing the sector
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on Pennsylvania’s “Cauldron of Corruption”

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Phil Kerpen of American Commitment about the Environmental Protection Agency and the Animas River disaster
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on the devaluation of China’s currency
  • Eric Boehm has a Watchdog Radio Report with Andrew Staub of Watchdog.org about what happens when police make mistakes
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on an unwelcome endorsement for Hillary Clinton

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Special Election Results


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 8, 2015 – August 14, 2015

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from PAIndependent.com
  • Lowman Henry has a Newsmaker interview with Leo Knepper from the Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania on results of August special elections for state House seats
  • Joe Geiger from the First Nonprofit Foundation has Susan Speese of the Healthy Steps Diaper Bank in the Community Benefit Spotlight
  • Anna McCauslin from Americans for Prosperity-PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on the convenience of privatized liquor stores

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with attorney Norman Shabel about sanctuary cities
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on the unfinished business that awaits the return of congress
  • Eric Boehm has a Watchdog Radio Report on Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis with Maurice McTigue of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, USA has an American Radio Journal commentary on the first Republican Presidential debate

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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Cauldron of Corruption


Bribery, mail fraud, racketeering, criminal conspiracy, official repression, conspiracy to commit bribery, money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, obstructing the administration of law – these are just some of the charges filed against Pennsylvania Democratic elected officials in recent days.  It is clear the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania has a corruption problem.  It is big.  It is deep. And it is going to get worse before it gets better.

Allegations of corruption extend from the national level, with the New York Post reporting presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is the target of a federal criminal investigation; to the state level where Attorney General Kathleen Kane has now been indicted on criminal charges; to the local level where officials in Reading and Allentown are ensnared in an investigation which has already resulted in one guilty plea.

The Democrats’ cauldron of corruption boiled over in recent days with the indictment of Philadelphia congressman Chaka Fattah on a variety of federal charges, the long expected Kane indictment, a guilty plea entered by the President of the Reading City Council, all of this amid reports the Democratic State Committee belatedly cut ties with a political consultant who is a central figure in the Allentown/Reading investigation.

Although details remain sketchy, it would appear the federal investigation into corruption in Allentown and Reading are tied to the case against former state treasurer Rob McCord who stepped down earlier this year and plead guilty to shaking down treasury vendors for campaign contributions.  Rumors continue to circulate in Harrisburg others may become snared in that trap as well.

Unlike past incidents of corruption, like Bonusgate and Computergate which resulted in the convictions of both Republicans and Democrats, the current tidal wave of wrong-doing is exclusively a Democratic affair.  With Governor Tom Wolf engaged in a budget stand-off, and statewide elections for a seat in the U.S. Senate and three constitutional offices on the ballot next year, Democrats face electoral Armageddon.

The immediate policy impact is on the state budget process where Wolf and legislative Republicans are at loggerheads weeks after the constitutional deadline for having a new spending plan in place.  The governor is fighting for a historic increase in both taxes and spending; the GOP refuses to comply.  Unlike past budget battles, the current stalemate has attracted little public attention and thus no pressure on either side to cave.

Governor Wolf already has the tough sale of building support to raise taxes on virtually every Pennsylvanian.  But, with his party mired in wave after wave of corruption, voters will be even less willing to entrust him with more of their tax dollars.  Although the indictments do not involve either Wolf or his administration, they cast all Democrats in a negative light giving Republicans another advantage in the budget stand-off.

As 2016 approaches the pervasive corruption in the Democratic Party will give Republicans a ready-made issue.  The position of Attorney General is on the ballot next year and the longer Kathleen Kane clings to power the greater becomes the GOP’s chances of reclaiming an office it has traditionally held.  Even though the Democratic nominee is likely going to be someone other than Kane, he or she will be handicapped by Kane’s corruption.  State Treasurer is also on the ballot in 2016, with Rob McCord having left office in disgrace the advantage again will tilt to the eventual Republican nominee.

All of this, of course, will be affected by the national political climate.  Republicans will have to be competitive in Pennsylvania at the Presidential level for “row office” candidates to have a chance.  At this early stage, with all the controversy swirling around Hillary Clinton and a 17-person Republican primary, it is difficult to forecast what that dynamic might be next Fall.

This much is certain: Pennsylvania Democrats have the most serious and wide-ranging corruption problem since the days of the Milton Shapp Administration back in the 1970’s.  And that gave rise to the governorship of Dick Thornburgh and Republican governance in Harrisburg.  If the current drumbeat of corruption continues history may be about to repeat itself.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org)

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on American Radio Journal: Dr. Arthur Brooks Talks The Conservative Heart


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 1, 2015 – August 7, 2015

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Kevin Shivers from the National Federation of Independent Business-PA hosts a Capitol Watch look at labor union bullying tactics with Matthew Brouillette of the Commonwealth Foundation and State Senator John Eichelberger (R-Blair)
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on why illegal immigration is but a symptom of a larger problem

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Dr. Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute about his new book The Conservative Heart
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on how key 2016 U. S. Senate races are taking shape
  • Eric Boehm and Moriah Costa have a Watchdog Radio Report on why parents are risking jail to send their children to Washington, D.C. schools
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on Justice Anthony Kennedy and the same sex marriage decision

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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