Parking Fines Can Become A ‘Poor Persons Tax’

In some pockets of the State of Pennsylvania, many municipalities are seeking to plug gaping budget deficits with the re-collection of expired parking fines. The rational for this policy is that some municipalities have a large amount of uncollected parking fines. When those fines have an uncommunicated late fee applied to them, then they become millions in outstanding revenue for that municipality.

Do you think this is fair?

By jacking up parking fees and fines, many municipalities are enacting a hidden ‘poor person’s tax.’ Let us explain. A parking ticket that is twenty, thirty, or fifty dollars, when added to it with a $200 late fee penalty, can become a significant percentage of what that individual would pay in local taxes. This could be 50% more each year in paid taxes that a well-intended citizen may receive unknowingly.

By stiffing citizens with this added tax, municipalities are creating a hidden tax bracket where poorer residents receive a SIGNIFICANTLY higher portion of their annual income applied to municipal tax than wealthier individuals. To a person who makes $25,000 per annum, a $250 parking fine and associated late penalty adds a 1% tax rate to their annual income.

Adding this ‘poor person’s tax’ to the already overburdensome tax regime of local towns and cities across our great State is adding a significant new tax burden to residents who are already ‘tapped out.’ But doing so to justify gaping budget deficits is a whole other problem.

We must begin asking the hard questions at the municipal level. Why are PA municipalities so indebted? What has happened over the decades to drive such fiscal crisis? Why would politicians’ resort to ‘nickel-and-diming’ their constituents, especially their poorest residents? Should PA begin to re-evaluate the schemes that are being used at the municipal level to cover-up gaping budget deficits?

We think so.

Lt. Governor John Fetterman Declares His Run For Senate, Numerous Republican Hopefuls

In more of the same from the Harrisburg political machine, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has declared his candidacy for the United States Senate, having enacted little legislation or influence after winning the Lt. Gov. election in 2018. He announced on independent media outlet Brian Tyler Cohen’s YouTube channel.

Those rumored to be on the Republican ticket include Congressman Mike Kelly, who has maintained sturdy opposition to the Biden Administration and successfully defended his lengthy service in the US Congress outperforming other Republican candidates in 2020.

Kenneth Braithwaite, a retired one-star Navy Admiral, who most recently served as the US Secretary of the Navy under President Donald J. Trump.

And Paul Mango, who ran unsuccessfully in the GOP Gubernatorial primary, losing to Scott Wagner.

Other rumored candidate include State Senator Doug Mastriano and D-170 PA State Representative Martina White.

Senator Arnold Leaves Legacy Through Prosecution Of Pedophiles

In one of Senator Dave Arnold’s last pieces of sponsored legislation, before tragically succumbing to brain cancer, he developed measures to raise the penalties associated with child pornography and conduct a comprehensive view of child pornography law to look for weaknesses and opportunities to improve in the great State of PA.

Senator Dave Arnold left an extraordinary legacy in during his time as a prosecutor and in the PA Senate, his colleagues will miss him dearly.

The End Of Trump Or Only The Beginning?

The Wall Street Journal recently took a reversal to their long-standing position on Trump. Long-time Trump supporting Editorialist Strassel writes that Trump’s legacy is finished.

We are seeing a dangerous fracture between the American electorate and the corporate media and other corporate entities regarding Trump post-riots. Writing shortly before Trump maintains control of the RNC, Strassel notes that Trump’s legacy is over. Is it? Not only did he earn 75 million votes during the election, but he retains control of the RNC apparatus for the next four years. However, the WSJ now denounces him and many corporate entities such as The PGA and Stripe are now rejecting doing business with Trump associated businesses or even the RNC with Stripe rejecting payments on Trump affiliated websites.

We could be witnessing the rebirth of the same political movement that gave rise to Trump. When corporate media and establishment players take unfair shots, such as Twitter’s ban and censorship of Trump, they ignore the popular will and only fuel sentiment against liberal and centrist bias. In today’s America that translates to 75 million votes and control of the Republican National Committee.

Civility Is A Bad Argument For Conservatives

In the 2020 Presidential Election, some Moderate Republicans chose to not only support Joe Biden, but support him on the grounds of “civility.” The “civility” argument holds that Trump’s Twitter account is too ‘nuts and wild’ for a normal human being to witness without exploding, shattering into a thousand pieces and being ‘scattered into the wind,’ or that it can cause a person to become so offended that a fatal error within that individual’s conscious mind occurs leaving them in a ‘vegetable-like’ state.

That’s all a bit of a fun exaggeration, but you get my point. The moderate Republicans hold that Republicans cannot win elections if they cross a line into being “uncivil.”

These Republicans, such as Ridge, McCain, and Romney, arguably tipped the Presidential election to a Democrat, infuriating the Millions of donors and volunteers of Trump, without putting an alternative Conservative policy platform in place. Their argument simply boiled down to a very arrogant one, arrogant in the face of Trump’s millions of donors and supporters, that Trump was too ‘uncouth’ and ‘uncivil’ to be President of the United States, largely because of his social media accounts.

An ivy-league educated President, a wildly successful businessman, and a family-man, with an excellent family, supported by the American Worker like no President ever before, was too “uncivil” to be President.

Again, these Moderate Republicans did not argue against Trump by putting forth an alternative policy platform because Trump was right on so many issues. He was right on China, he was right on trade and re-shoring American manufacturing, he was right on ending the foreign wars in the Middle East. These Republicans had no significant policy agenda to put forth, but a low-blow, that Trump was too “uncivil” to be President.

Civility is a bad argument for Conservatives.

These moderate Republicans now, for many Conservative-Republicans in the United States, have ‘poisoned-the-well,’ so to speak, desiccated the political, and more importantly, policy interests of those who fought so hard for Trump, who felt that Trump represented a genuine change to the Washington establishment. All in the name of “civility.”

What Trump understands, and what the older generation of moderate Republicans do not understand, is the nature of digital media in the 21st Century. In fact, many people do not understand the nature of digital communication, not even some of the platform providers, that on the digital ‘terrain’ everybody is in open information warfare with everybody else. In other words, POTUS must compete with every other Tweet for attention and engagement, even against “Quackity.” Don’t know who “Quackity” is, then you don’t know digital media. Every day, POTUS is ‘running’ against “Quackity.” (Check the engagement).

With one absurdity, “Quackity” can command thousands of hearts and shares from a vigorous and engaged fan-base. In the Middle 21st Century, if politicians are not commanding attention with their real, raw, and authentic opinion, then “Quackity” wins the day. Of all people, the reality TV star Donald J. Trump understands this better than most. He understands what will likely go down in history as the exemplary moment of how the political elites lost the era to the populists: “Please Clap.”

Jeb Bush famously demanded that his audience “please clap” for him when he said nothing of particular note or inspiration.

Established politicians have been demanding applause for many, many decades in the United States because of their command over local and national media outlets. Locally, when an established politician, business interest, or wealthy elite wants publicity, they simply email their local newspaper, now hemorrhaging revenue for this very same reason, with the words “please clap.” The newspaper sends a reporter to cover whatever the elite wants, almost at the full command of established business and political interests.

The same thing happens nationally and if there is ever one to know the power behind these two words, “please clap,” it is Jeb Bush.

Now, as a writer, I align more with the established political and business interests. I have two Ivy-League equivalent postgraduate degrees and successful businesses. But like Donald J. Trump, I respect earning my meal ticket. The words “please clap” sound foreign to me, because if somebody every asked that of me, I’d say loudly and clearly, “fuck off.”

The antithesis to “please clap” is “fuck off.” Now here, I’ve broken a cardinal sin of newspaper publishing in the pre-digital era, and like our President, I used the “f-word” in official communication. Of course many will sit back in their chairs gasping for air as I’ve demonstrated just how truly “uncivil” I am. But you know what didn’t happen? The world didn’t collapse, it kept on moving, no children were permanently scarred by me writing those words, if anything, one local newspaper lost a subscriber. Every time somebody swears on social media, a local newspaper loses a subscriber.

The numbers don’t lie. As “Quackity” commands attention for his keen insight on ‘honey-bees,’ as I take a subscriber away from the local newspaper with my swears, as Donald J. Trump battles on the ‘terrain’ of information warfare against Tweets without substance, the “civility” police are sent out in full force attempting to arrest us all! But just take a look at Jeb Bush’s Twitter account. He doesn’t say “please clap” anymore, he Tweets real, raw, and authentic Tweets, and while he’s still not the most charismatic person the world, I respect him for that.

As digital media becomes more pervasive, and it is becoming vastly more pervasive with the younger generation than non-digital-natives can fully appreciate, we must acknowledge that our public persona is more akin to a reality TV show, with all of its baggage and mud, its ‘beautiful-disaster,’ than it is to the print in our local newspapers. When a new issue is contested ideologically, readers don’t go anymore to the newspaper’s “OpEd” section, they tune into a user’s social media feed. We know this. But what many politicians must begin to accept is that if we are to use social media to manage our public persona, we can no longer use these platforms as sterile mediums for boring press releases. We must tweet from the heart, and if we don’t, our political careers will go the way of the business models of local newspapers or the political fortunes of Jeb Bush.

The “civility” argument is the worst possible argument that moderate Republicans could make in our current media landscape. It fails to consider the reality of digital communications in the 21st Century, and it fails to acknowledge the success that Trump had on this terrain. But even more importantly, it fails to consider just how much of a losing argument “civility” is in comparison to the populism on the left, Democratic-Socialism.

These moderate Republicans who decry Conservative populism without putting forth an alternative platform, must also consider that they cannot take on leftist populism with their “civility.” Can they? Will establishment Democratic PA candidates such as PA-177 Joseph C. Hohenstein beat John Fetterman or PA’s “Squad?” How about Summer Lee? Check out her engagement of 53,000 likes.  

Hosenstein hasn’t had anybody like his Tweets in an entire year! I know what the ‘political consulting class’ is thinking right now. Who cares about Twitter? I’ll just donate to Joe’s campaign and give him a few email introductions. Wrong! Users measure a politician’s authenticity, ability, and stature with their social media impressions. Joe cannot even run against Summer for that Gubernatorial nomination, because if he did, social media users would do a quick scan to see that he is not even in the same ball-park!

In the 2020 general election, moderate Republicans like Ridge, the McCain family, and Romney felt that they could ‘tip-the-scales’ into Biden’s favor on the grounds of “civility.” But they cannot ‘tip-the-scales’ as leftists populists ride social media granted populist rhetoric into power. They cannot ‘tip-the-scales’ against today’s Conservative Movement that has won the ideological platform on China, trade, and war.

Finally, there is one last reason why “civility” is such a bad argument. It is a direct contradiction of our God-given, First Amendment rights. We have these wonderful social media platforms, and we must ensure that we do not erect a society that either directly abolishes free speech through social media censoring, or where citizens feel like they cannot post openly and freely on social media because they are worried about informal retribution or retaliation on their careers, their businesses, or in other areas of their life.

The move by the moderate-Republicans to do just this, “retaliate” against Trump for his populist rhetoric delivered on these platforms, sets the worst possible example of a social media culture that indirectly “cancels” free speech and 1A.

I’ll say it again. Civility is a bad argument for Conservatives.

I am genuinely asking that the moderate Republicans in Pennsylvania ‘get-with-the-program’ and begin to look closely at the values that they supposedly advocate for, but they can start with just one simply step: open a damn Twitter account, so I can give you free impressions with my fuckin’ news publication! I’m sick and tired of giving them to “Quackity!” Sheesh!

William E Scholz is the founder of The Review Network of political publications and prefers to eat what he kills, not have it served to him.

The PA GOP Must Come Together!

The combined marketing, outreach, and policy acumen from PA Republicans is ‘spotty’ at best. The PA GOP General Assembly efforts largely fly under the radar unless picked up by local newspapers. The PA GOP does not coordinate messaging in advance of promising policy initiatives or ideas, nor does the organization mobilize support for legislatory priorities unless it is in support of special interest groups who are driving the bus.

The PA Democrats are far more organized, especially digitally. Why is this the case? PA Democrats actually make statements about things on their Twitter accounts.

While the above argument by the PA House Democrats is faulty and flawed, for many reasons, it is not being answered at all by the PA House GOP. What is going on here?

Are the PA House Republicans bankrupt? Do they prefer not to succeed? Hard to tell.

After a defeat in the 2020 Presidential race and a defeat in 2018 when the PA GOP failed to adequately support Gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner, it is time for change in how the PA GOP’s infrastructure is organized throughout the State of PA. These changes include:

  1. Transition all communications onto Twitter so that information can be shared via independent media.
  2. Pay sophisticated digital media experts to manage associated media accounts.
  3. Drill down locally to provide critical information about specific districts to important constituent groups, and map these groups and districts in a ‘war room’ scenario.

The PA GOP will continue to lose election after election if they do not take control over their digital media!

America’s Destiny Is Revolutionary!

The next political generation, ruled by ideological populism, either Democratic-Republican populism or Socialist Populism, views America’s destiny as a revolutionary power, not a declining, obsolete country, another break from the Moderate Centrism of the Bush and Clinton-Obama-Biden ‘turning.’

Where do you stand?

In the Bush-Clinton-Obama era, the American Political ideology was defined by a very mediocre, flat, and uninspiring view of America’s role in the world. The only role for America, from a foreign policy perspective, was to penetrate other Countries with American corporate influence and simultaneously negotiate favorable, regional trade deals on behalf of those same corporate interests.

Domestically, Washington became a corrupt cesspool, masked by pseudo-intellectualism. This pseudo-intellectualism, likely worse than the actual policies that emanated from the dirty cesspool, caused decades of American domestic decline. Rates of entrepreneurship plummeted, America became mired in pompous and arrogant idea-making that never contributed to bottom-line GDP, well-being, or Middle America.

Then in ’08-09, corporate bail-outs roiled the Country and the next generation, those most intimately impacted by Washington’s ‘do-nothingism,’ decided to launch competing revolutionary movements to restore the moral compass and mission of the United States.

One side, likely misguided by foreign interests, launched movements toward Socialism, admittedly in the form of Democratic-Socialism, a Marxian outcome most similar to Trotsky’s two-party Socialism.

The other side, rooted in American tradition and history, launched movements toward Democratic-Republicanism, a form that could restore America from global interests and global debt-based finance.

Who will win?

Now, more than ever, Democratic-Republicanism must not retreat from claiming the moral authority, it must not retreat from social media censorship, and it CANNOT retreat from its rightful role in the world as a revolutionary force that can bring, not corporate influence peddling, and not Democracy, but National Sovereignty to the world economic and financial order.

We can no longer tolerate a weak and ineffective foreign policy strategy and moral compass that would sell-out the American people, ship their courageous sons and daughters off to endless foreign wars, and decimate the American Dollar with ‘Modern Monetary Policy’s’ stated position that the endless printing of money has no repercussions.

“Endless Stimulus Is Itself A Lawless Act.”

Also, just remember that the United Nations gave the world’s biggest platform to Muammar Gaddafi.

RINOs Lose Attempt To Regain Control Of GOP

As standard election due diligence initiated by Team Trump winds down and provides more transparency, accountability, and electoral confidence, RINO detractors are left to face up to their failed attempt to regain control of the GOP. If there is one momentous shift in the ideological center of the GOP, it is the famous Bannon-Frum ‘Monk’ debate.

During the debate, Bannon argues for what GOP voters still clearly held onto in the 2020 Presidential race, and as demonstrated by Trump’s 95% approval rating within the Republican Party, that Middle America wants an end to unfair corporate dominance, an end to a form of globalism that erodes American National Interests and aids and abets the rise of Chinese Communism, and an end to Clinton-Bush-Obama era political correctedness.

Like Frum’s performance in this debate, and while the RINOs did in fact tip the election to Biden, they failed miserably in gaining any adherence to an ideological or philosophical platform, which Trump still firmly controls.

Many Liberals, and many centrists who buy into Liberal talking points, ‘clutch-their-pearls’ at the Bannon-Trump ideology. Why? Has Trump proved to be an anti-Semite? No, most favorable and concessionary trade deals completed on behalf of the Nation of Israel in US history. Did Trump prove to be a racist? No, criminal justice reform complete. And don’t forget that the stock market rises higher due to one of the most favorable business climates in the history of the Country.

What did RINOs provide as their ideological platform? Who knows! They kept warning us that Trump would go off-the-rails, he was a tyrant and dictator, he wasn’t smart and sophisticated enough to be a President, and worse, his voter base was not smart enough to elect a President.

There are many delusional RINOs who still exist. But did Bush’s kin win his Congressional election? Will the Bush Family be reborn? Not likely any time soon as Pierce Bush lost his recent Congressional bid.

It is now the RINOs who are not facing up to reality. They refuse to give credence to electoral results which saw Trump still land more votes than any incumbent in history, they fail to accept that the Bush-era ideological platform has been failed for many years, and they are unwilling to accept that in an era of social media prominence, political leaders must be ‘loud and proud,’ not timid, meek, mild, and politically correct.

Moreover, Trump’s down-ballot victories further secures the Bannon-Trump ideological movement, at least for the next four to eight years. I would hate to be a RINO over the upcoming few years as they must be feeling like their days are numbered.

“Be it resolved, the future of Western politics is populist, not liberal.”

What Foreign Interests Are ‘Underneath The PA Hood?’

With an incoming Biden Administration, many are wondering how he will address the Sun Tzu Flu aftermath that will hammer State and Municipal budgets, already near insolvency in many parts of the Country, including Pennsylvania. A report in The Wall Street Journal outlines how many liberal politicians on both sides of the aisle are expectantly awaiting ‘The Biden Billion,’ cash infusions to ‘buy-out’ the debt of State and Municipal Governments.

While Ms. Boebert is right to call for a repudiation of State bail-outs, if State bail-out legislation does get pushed through by big spending Federal Senators, we must ensure that bail-out funds do not go toward foreign-owned interests, assets, or other entities and groups. How could foreign-owned assets get bailed-out? Simple, if the State of PA decides to forgive business loans of foreign-owned businesses or individuals or the State has any public-private partnerships with foreign-owned entities, then these groups should NOT, under any circumstances, receive a bail-out.

Bail-outs of any kind create disincentives and structural unfairness. We cannot jeopardize the moral integrity of lawful businesses by bailing out foreign-owned entities.

We agree, Lauren!

No Twitter Pat Harkins

I’d link to a tweet from PA Assemblyman, from our Great State’s First District, Patrick Harkins, but he doesn’t have a Twitter profile (or Parler).

When I think about the rot and decay of Pennsylvanian politics, I think about the quintessential “party boss,” the ‘do-nothing’ politician who takes a fat salary, that they couldn’t earn for themselves otherwise in the private sector, runs unopposed term after term, and votes along Party lines never championing new initiatives to repair their economically blighted and depressed communities.

Pat Harkins (D-PA-1) is a great example of this!

What has Pat Harkins done for his district lately? His district is one of the most economically depressed throughout the State of Pennsylvania. He is certainly not making himself available to constituents via social media.

Does he have a Facebook Account?

Does he have a Twitter Account?

He won’t see this post anyway, because he may not even own a computer!

Pat Harkins should be leading the agenda in the PA General Assembly to strengthen our inner city communities through a few policy initiatives at very least:

  • Pro-investment and anti-“red-zoning.” Pat Harkins is a Democrat, but fails to talk at all about the legacy of red-lining that has occurred primarily in his district preventing tens of thousands of hard-working Black and Hispanic Americans from obtaining the same favorable low-interest rate mortgage loans because of the color of their skin. Harkins has broken from local Democratic leaders in his party who champion these initiatives failing to attend key events led by Lisa Austin, a noted Democratic-Independent in the area.
  • Support local small businesses. What are the success rates of small businesses in his district? Does anybody know? Why isn’t he promoting small businesses via a robust Twitter account?

In NWPA, consider change in PA-1. At least elect somebody with a Twitter Handle. Sheesh!