Thursday, December 27, 2012

The bad apples are spoiling the whole bunch

I was talking with one of our reporters, Tony Fioriglio, this morning about the Christmas day murder in Norristown when he said if they would arrest about 40 people all of the recent violence would probably just go away. He's written about several of the recent shootings and it is becoming clear that they're connected. Revenge is a dirty business. I agreed with him and went on to say if they would round up about 80 or so bad apples they could probably clean the whole town up. What would it take to actually get this done? I'm thinking a little targeted enforcement along Green Street would be a great place to start. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Newtown massacre

I haven't been on for a while, but the events in Newtown prompted me to invite a couple of local legislators in to talk about what can be done, if anything, to possibly prevent suce a tragedy from ever occuring again. Here is a link to my interview with state Sen. Daylin Leach, who would like to see our gun laws tightened.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are interviewing for the same job; who do you hire?

Have you ever been in a position to hire someone?

Over the years I’ve hired a lot of people, some I look back on with a smile, and some I look back on with a cringe, and a what the heck was I thinking.

We’ve recently had a few positions to fill, mostly due to promotions, so it’s a good thing.

A lot of you know John Berry, he was my online editor with the massive beard that seemed to be taking over his entire upper body. He was promoted to editor of a couple of papers in Connecticut. Ashley Campbell, recently named community engagement editor, was promoted to take John’s place.

So the newsroom shuffle resulted in an open entry level position.

Always a great opportunity. Every chance to hire someone should be taken seriously and entered into with eyes wide open.

There’s always that hire that turns out to be nothing like the person you interviewed.

Think about it. Someone trying to get their foot in the door of a company is going to put on their Sunday best and come prepared to dazzle.

When you’re the one doing the hiring, though, it’s your job to make sure you see through the spit and polish.

I’ve told people for years, if I have two candidates for the same position and one went to Harvard and the other went to Kutztown and the one from Harvard was completely arrogant and the one from Kutztown was down to earth and seemed like someone everyone in the newsroom would get along with, everything else being equal, I’d hire the kid from Kutztown.

Well, what would you do if one of the candidates already worked for you and was going up against someone from the outside?

Seems to me that kind of puts the person doing the hiring in the catbird seat now doesn’t it?

And that’s where we are today as we head into the final weeks before the presidential election.

One candidate has the job and wants to be rehired, and the other is coming in fresh, trying his best to make a good first impression.

While both candidates did indeed go to Harvard, I still have to hold true to my thought process on determining who would be the best candidate for the job.

We’ve had more than four years, counting the campaign leading to the last election, of President Obama telling us what we need, and the best way for us to get what we need.

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t think we’ve gotten anywhere near where he said he was going to get us, and I don’t think giving him four more years will get us any closer. I know he has that one month of unemployment dipping below eight percent to hang his hat on, but I don’t think anyone believes for a minute that the dip was a bellwether of great things to come.

And on top of it all, Obama seems to carry a little bit of arrogance with him as he tells us how and why and when we should be doing things to get ourselves back on the road to prosperity.

But at this point, I’m not even sure his own party is buying it.

While he does seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time hobnobbing with celebrities, he has at least attempted to accomplish some of his assigned duties, one of which is putting a budget up before Congress.

The problem is ... he couldn’t get anyone to vote for it. And I mean anyone. Not a single member of his own party would even give his proposal a vote of confidence, much less a vote on the floor, of either arm of our legislative body.

How is it possible that not one member of Congress saw fit to vote for his spending plan?

Perhaps it’s because he spends like a drunken sailor on leave? No offense to any drunken sailor anywhere by the way, because even drunken sailors only spend the money they have on them at the time. Obama is spending all the money he has on him, and all the money we have on us, too, and not just now, but all the money we might have on us in the future.

And I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard much remorse in his voice during the past couple of debates about the fix he’s gotten us into. All I hear is about how much more we need to keep spending, and all of this coming on the heels of yet another company Obama gave millions to only to have them file for bankruptcy a short time after. First there was Solyndra, the solar panel company that received $535 million in loan guarantees, and then A123, a battery manufacturer that received $249.1 million. Since when did we authorize the federal government to go into the venture capital business?

So, we’re bringing the two candidates back in for their final interviews. Pay close attention. Both went to Harvard, but everything else here just doesn’t seem equal.

Which one do you hire?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Channeling David Byrne to explain Obama's poor performance in first debate

Have you ever had a moment when things just seem to come together? That moment when everything just crystallizes into one clear moment of realization?

I’m thinking that moment happened for about 61 million people on Oct. 3 after listening to our president ramble on about his health care plan, clearly trying with all his might not to use the term ‘death squad’.

At some point in the waning moments of the first presidential debate tens of millions of people had to have sat up razor straight and thought, “My God, what have we done?” And just to continue channeling David Byrne, the crystallizing moment most likely continued with, “How did we get here? This is not my country. This is not my Constitution.”

Mitt Romney stood tall at the debate. He was ready for his opponent, and clearly, without a Teleprompter close at hand, Obama wasn’t ready for Romney.

Certainly we can all understand how this country was swayed by Obama four years ago. He is a tall, good looking man with a gift for gathering an audience up in his hands.

But that was four years ago. All he had to do then was convince us that he was the better choice over George W. Bush.

Even the most polished pol among us would have to admit that really wasn’t a tall task.

Now, Obama is in the position of having to defend his record of the past four years, and without someone feeding him his lines, it is now crystal clear, he just doesn’t have the answers.

Four years ago we, and I mean we in the collective sense because I did not cast my lot with him, elected a man to the White House on a campaign of Hope and Change.

Since when did Hope become a campaign platform?

And where’s the change? Our economy is stuck in a rut, and four years later it really doesn’t matter how we got here. The fact is Obama launched a stimulus effort that did not work, and we’re billions of dollars in debt for the effort.

You know the left is desperate. They’re crowing about unemployment dipping below 8 percent. They don’t mention it’s for the first time since Obama took office. They also don’t mention that the number most likely dipped because people simply stopped looking for work and were dropped off the unemployment rolls.

It should now be abundantly clear to everyone that we need a president who knows how to steer clear of red ink. We need a business man at the helm, not a community organizer who convinced the majority of voters into casting a ballot for him on a promise of Hope and Change.

Obama didn’t deliver, it’s that simple, and yes, the blame lies solely on him. He surrounded himself with some of the dullest crystal he possibly could have; a treasury secretary who didn’t even bother to pay his own taxes? Timothy Geithner failed to pay some $35,000 in taxes, and while I admit that I wouldn’t have known I was responsible for paying them, I also was not the head of the New York Federal Reserve. Geithner blew off the whole issue as an oversight. Wow. Could you even imagine having a $35,000 oversight? We should also note here that Geithner was instrumental in the rescue of Bear Sterns, working alongside Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Some experts also considered Geithner’s decision to not bail out Lehman a direct contributor to the worsening of the global economic crisis. And this just months before Obama decided he was the right many for the treasure secretary cabinet post.


Rahm Emanuel. Now here’s a guy that knows how to be a public servant. In fact, he’s made a career out of it. To take it a step further, he made a killing during his short term at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Yes, that would be Freddie Mac. The very same Freddie Mac that was half the housing crisis. Emanuel, who earned more than $300,000 while doing what some describe as ‘nothing,’ was named to the board of in 2000 by then President Bill Clinton. This was after he left the Clinton administration as an adviser and took a position with an investment banking firm, where, despite any prior banking experience, made more than $16 million with the firm in his less than three-year stint there. Emanuel, apparently not one to stick with much of anything for long, left Obama’s cabinet after just two years and ran for mayor of Chicago, where he is firmly entrenched today.

Eric Holder, well, at least he was an attorney, and even an attorney general, before being appointed Attorney General.

I could spend an entire column, in fact I have, addressing the botched Fast and Furious ‘anti-gun smuggling operation that resulted in the death of a border patrol agent. Holder still needs to be held accountable to the American public for his actions during the operation and subsequent investigation. Unfortunately, Obama stepped in and declared executive privilege to protect him.

This is just a small handful of the people Obama appointed to be his trusted advisors when he took office.

Isn’t there a saying about surrounding yourself with the right people?

How could he have come to the conclusions necessary to choose these folks?

Of course, this is also the same president that pushed through a health care bill that forces Americans for the first time in the history of our great nation, to purchase a product.

“This is not my Constitution. My God, how did we get here?"

It’s all becoming very clear to me now.

Stan Huskey is the editor of The Times Herald. He can be reached at 610-272-2500 ext. 215 or at Follow @StanHuskey on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We'll have a live feed of slain Plymouth police Officer Brad Fox's funeral beginning at 11 a.m. Wed.

Check back here at 11 a.m. Wednesday for a live feed of the funeral proceedings.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

It’s been nearly four years and this country is in the same shape it was when Obama took office, if not worse. And please remember, before Obama and Biden took office, the Democratic Party already had control over the House and Senate. Which evokes another duo, Pelosi and Reid. Then House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi took the gavel as Speaker of the House and said, “After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: pay as you go,no new deficit spending. Our new America will provide unlimited opportunities for new generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.” That was in 2007 when the national debt was a little over $8 trillion. Absolutely much higher than it should have been, but please remember, since the mantra has always been to blame Bush for everything, that in 2001 when George Bush took office, the deficit was at $6 trillion. When Republicans finally were able to get the spend-crazy Democrats out of office and regained control of the House and Senate in 2011, the federal deficit had soared to nearly $14 trillion. You can attempt to blame it on anyone you want, but the numbers just don’t add up. I hope you’re starting to notice a trend here, folks. Unfortunately, President Obama has been saddled with Joe Biden. Fortunately, though, President Romney will have Paul Ryan at his side. And I’m betting you won’t hear a single ‘fbomb’ the whole time. Stan Huskey is the editor of The Times Herald. He can be reached at 610-272-2500 ext. 215 or at Follow @StanHuskey on Twitter.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fireworks fireworks fireworks!

Check out the local fireworks displays in and around Montgomery County. Where will you be watching the shows from? Are you going to try to catch more than one?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daylin Leach live from The Times Herald

At 2 PM we'll be talking to PA State Senator Daylin Leach live from the Times Herald newsroom. Check back here to watch the interview.
Live Video streaming by Ustream

Monday, May 21, 2012

Property tax hot potato

Here's a sample from this week's rant on property taxes. State Sen. Daylin Leach will be in next week to give his thoughts on how we should reform the current funding mechanism for public education. Where do you stand? I’ve been writing about House Bill 1776 for some time now, and for the most part, the majority of readers have been all in favor. One reader, though, made it perfectly clear that she was not in favor of the bill, which, for you newcomers, redistributes the tax burden for funding public education from the property tax to the earned income tax and the sales tax. “This bill would give all the money for education to Harrisburg to distribute and I don’t want that to happen. I don’t trust Harrisburg to distribute the money,” Sharon wrote last week. “Property tax has been in effect as a means to pay for education since shortly after the civil war. I don’t state this as a reason for not making a change, just as a reminder of howlong previous generations have been paying for future generations. When I do hear people in this area who are opposed to property tax, it usually seems that they are mad because they feel like renters are getting a free ride. I would love it if your paper took the time to explain that all properties are assessed and that taxes are paid on ALL properties, even rentals.” I think you explained it for them just fine. Thank you very much for the email, and mostly for a different perspective. To prove how much of a hot potato this issue is, I hadn’t so much as finished my interview with the sponsor of HB 1776, Rep. Jim Cox, R-129th Dist., when I received a note from state Sen. Daylin Leach, who is in favor of eliminating the school property tax “if we could replace it with an increase in the income tax.” Leach believes it is a bad idea to replace it with an expanded sales tax. Not being afraid of the heat, Leach also stepped forward with an example to clarify his stance. I pointed out in my last column that I didn’t think the expanded sales tax was regressive because it will not apply to government subsidized food programs and to a list of foods approved as healthy choices. I’m not sure if jalapenos were on that list, but it was apparently spicy enough for Leach to take offense. “Second (the ‘first’ in the email was an explanation of what a regressive tax is), as a general proposition, any sales tax is regressive. This is because as you make more money, the necessity and your ability to spend what you make goes down. To give you an example, a person who makes $15,000 per year must spend every cent they earn to survive. Marc Zuckerberg can’t possibly spend the $100 million plus he will earn this year. So if the sales tax rate is 7%, the person making $15,000 is paying 7% of his entire income, whereas Zuckerberg is spending 7% of a tiny fraction of his income. So the poor guy has an effective rate of 7%, Zuckerberg has an effective rate of something like .000002%.” Reasoned argument, Daylin. And that’s why I’m on board with this bill. That 7% sales tax will not apply to that guy's food bill.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Replay of Jim Cox interview

Here is out video with Representative Jim Cox talking about his property tax reform bill.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Join us for a live interview with PA State Rep. Jim Cox at 12:30 today.
Streaming Live by Ustream

Monday, April 9, 2012

Take the Property Tax Challenge

OK, folks, step right up. It's time to take the Property Tax Challenge. Please answer the following questions. Do you think your property taxes are too high? Do you think students across the state are getting equal access to education? Do you think there is a better way to fund public education? Congratulations, you've taken the Property Tax Challenge. Now there is only one more step. Send an email to (That's me) and join the Property Tax Challenge. I'll make sure your state legislator hears from you. Remember, there's power in numbers, so let's tell our elected officials exactly where we stand.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Finally, a bill I can get behind

Wozniak Bill Waives Inspections for Newer Cars HARRISBURG, March 15, 2012 -- State Sen. John N. Wozniak announced today new legislation that would lift the requirement of annual inspections for cars less than two years old. (It should be less than 5 years old) “For purchasers of today’s new cars, the annual inspection is a pointless ritual that serves no purpose,” he said. “Owners of new cars have already paid dearly for a vehicle equipped with the latest safety technology. Requiring a state inspection is overkill.” Senate Bill 1451 would lift the annual inspection requirement for two years from the date of manufacture. Wozniak noted that most states have eliminated automobile inspections entirely as research has been inconclusive about their effect on overall safety. The federal government lifted the requirement for states to mandate vehicle inspection more than 25 years ago, and only 12 states still require annual inspections for all vehicles. Neighboring New Jersey, Maryland, and Ohio have ended automobile inspections, while Delaware does not require inspections for vehicles less than five years old. “The cost of driving continues to rise dramatically and federal safety guidelines for new cars are a contributor,” Wozniak said. “There is no reason that a person who has made that investment in a new car should have to pay again.” The bill is part of an effort by Wozniak to lift outdated mandates on drivers that have outlived their useful purchase. In January, noting a less than four percent failure rate, he sponsored a resolution seeking permission from the federal government to waive emissions tests required in 25 counties since 1990. “While it is the legislature’s duty to pass laws that keep up with changing times,” he said. “It is also our duty to repeal laws for the same reason.”

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Times Herald's 64th annual Spelling Bee

Welcome to a tradition. The Times Herald has been holding spelling bees for more than a half century, and I've personally hosted them for the past decade. The winner of tonight's bee goes on to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. Good luck to all our champion spellers!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The "unplugged" tour

Whether I like it or not, I'm going to be unplugged,, for more than a week. I think I'm going to like it, even though I know I'm not going to like what I'll be coming home to. It's been more than a decade, at least, since I last completely disconnected. I think it can be done. What about you? Could you go for a week without the Internet?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Playing catch up with President Obama's SOTU speech

Below is the beginning of today's column in The Times Herald. I want to use it as a jumping off point for a discussion here. Did we get a State Of The Union address from the president, or did he use up free network air time to campaign for re-election?
  • State of the Union address, or campaign speech.

  • You make the call.
    I know I already did.
  • President Obama spent a lot of time telling us everything he would like to do, without actually uttering the words, if I’m re-elected.
  • Some of the things he said he was going to do kind of puzzled me, though.
  • So let’s take a look back at the speech and try to determine the stump talk from the state talk.
  • He said he was going to have Attorney General Eric Holder look into what happened with the lending crisis. The Fannie Mae hit the fan back in 2008. Why didn’t he have the attorney general looking into what happened when it happened?
  • Could it be because Democrat Barney Frank, head of the House Banking Committee, chose to ignore the Government Accountability Office’s call for more oversight?
  • “Send me a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress and I’ll sign it,” Obama declared.
  • Isn’t insider trading illegal?
    I know members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, are able to skirt a lot of the rules that apply to most of us mortals, but I’m pretty sure insider trading is one of those pesky little crimes that even the likes of Martha Stewart isn’t above.
  • Sunday, January 22, 2012

    My Storify on Joe Paterno

    Incorrect reports of Joe Paterno's death Saturday night were followed up Sunday morning when the Paterno family announced that he had passed away.

    Joe Paterno will be remembered as one of greatest coaches of all time...with as asterisk.
      Watching espn sports center, everyone is saying JoePa died of a broken heart, for what happened at Penn State, he just gave up the will to live !!, so sad, not only one of the greatest coaches ever, but also a great man for what he did for penn state U, and for all the kids who go there, not to mention all the money he gave to the school. He will be missed !!!
    1. RIP JoePa. Greatest football coach ever.
    2. #joepa what a legacy you leave behind. As an alum, I am grateful for the influence u had on #pennstate and in return my life! #RIP
    3. RIP JoePa. You will be missed.
    4. While the overwhelming majority of comments are respectful of the man, there are those who seem to not be able to forgive him for not doing more when it was reported that one of his former coaches, Jerry Sandusky, had molested young boys.
    5. People are saying its too soon for JoePa jokes. I guess I should wait a decade to say anything, just like JoePa did
    6. I hope when JoePa is standing at the pearly gates, God tells him he did just the bare minimum required to save him, and it turned out to not be enough, sorry.
    7. And still others are coming to the former coach's defense.
    8. @SternNationChic That's not nice. He may have made a bad choice, but he made millions of excellent ones! #JoePa #madeadifference
      Decide how you want to remember JoePa, but 1 thing he does not deserve is a Twitter play by play of his death.