Boundary disputes were quite common between the colonies, but few got as violent as the boundary line war between Pennsylvania and Maryland from 1730-1738. Pennsylvania’s charter (1681) provided for its southern boundary as follows: “on the South by a Circle drawne at twelve miles’ distance from New Castle Northward and Westward unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of Northern Latitude, and then by a streight Line Westward”. Subsequent surveys established that Dover was a full twenty-five miles south of the 40th Parallel. Maryland insisted on the 40th Parallel which would have made Philadelphia a Maryland town. Pennsylvania pushed for a boundary at 39 degrees, 36 minutes which would have taken a strip out of what is northern Maryland. The dispute simmered for decades breaking out into open conflict in the 1730s with the settlement of the Conejohela Valley west of the Susquehanna River. Maryland and Pennsylvania settlers in the disputed territory quickly came into conflict with raids and counter raids by the militias of the two colonies. The leader of the Maryland settlers was Thomas Cresap, a tough and fearless man as the French would later have reason to attest during the French and Indian War. Cresap was captured by the Pennsylvanians. Upon being paraded through the streets of Philadelphia prior to being imprisoned, Cresap remarked: “Damn it, this is one of the prettiest towns in Maryland!”. Continue reading
As is the case with FEHB plans currently, and with the Affordable Care Act and the President’s related Executive Order more generally, in Pennsylvania and in all other states abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered.
Our policy is the same for both state and federally-run PCIP programs. We will reiterate this policy in guidance to those running the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan at both the state and federal levels. The contracts to operate the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan include a requirement to follow all federal laws and guidance.
In a completely predictable move, ObamaCare will pay for abortions. Lifesite News is on the story:
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Obama administration has officially approved the first instance of taxpayer funded abortions under the new national government-run health care program. This is the kind of abortion funding the pro-life movement warned about when Congress considered the bill.
The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March.
Open Thread, anything and everything.
(Biretta tip: Lucianne)
A wrap-up of various items of political interest.
1. The video that heads this post is one of the reasons why my vote for McCain in 2008 was a two handed vote, with one hand holding my nose. McCain has long been an ardent supporter of amnesty and open borders. Now that he is in a tough primary race with J.D. Hayworth, he is a born again believer in locking down the border against illegal aliens. I certainly favor in making it tougher for illegals to get across the border, but I do not favor politicians who embrace positions simply to save their political skin. I hope that the voters in Arizona will finally bring McCain’s political career to a screeching halt by voting for his opponent in the primary.
2. It looks like Hawaii will soon have a new Republican Congressman. The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling out of Hawaii 1 and basically conceding that Republican Charles Djou will win the special election on May 22. The Democrats have two candidates running who are splitting the vote and thus allowing the Republicans to take a Congressional seat that has been in Democrat hands for two decades.
3. The tea party movement claimed another scalp by causing the defeat of Republican Senator Bob Bennett at the Utah Gop Convention in his attempt to get the Republican nomination for a fourth term in the Senate. This should be a warning for all politicians: this year is different, no re-nomination or re-election can be taken for granted.
4. Faithful readers of this blog will know that I have quite a bit of respect for blogger Mickey Kaus who is taking on Senator Barbara Boxer in the Democrat primary in California. Shockingly last week the LA Times refused to endorse Boxer:
On the Democratic side, we find that we’re no fans of incumbent Barbara Boxer. She displays less intellectual firepower or leadership than she could. We appreciate the challenge brought by Robert “Mickey” Kaus, even though he’s not a realistic contender, because he asks pertinent questions about Boxer’s “lockstep liberalism” on labor, immigration and other matters. But we can’t endorse him, because he gives no indication that he would step up to the job and away from his Democratic-gadfly persona.
To have the LA Times refuse to endorse Boxer is a strong indication of just how weak she is this election year. She is probably strong enough to defeat Kaus (sorry Mickey!) in the primary, but there is blood in the water for the general election. Continue reading
John Patrick “Jack” Murtha, Jr. died Wednesday morning at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA, after complications from gallbladder surgery. Murtha was 77.
Congressman Murtha was a Democrat with a relatively populist economic outlook, and is generally much more socially conservative than most other House Democrats. He is opposed to abortion, consistently receiving a 0% rating from NARAL and 70% rating from National Right to Life Committee; however, he supports embryonic stem cell research. He generally opposes gun control, earning an A from the National Rifle Association. Murtha was also one of the few Democrats in Congress to vote against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 and also one of the few Democrats to vote in favor of medical malpractice tort reform.
May he rest in peace.
 Fox News entry by Chad Pergram.
 Wikipedia entry for John Murtha, Political Views
Pro-abort Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Arlen Specter is now pro-abort Democrat Senator Arlen Specter. He does this of course because he realized that Pat Toomey would have creamed him in the Republican primary in 2010. Instead, assuming that the Democrats are deluded enough to nominate him, Toomey will cream him in the general election. This should be a prime race for all pro-lifers around the nation next year.
Update I: Hattip to Hot Air. Here is Specter last month on the prospect of his switching parties:
“I am staying a Republican because I think I have an important role, a more important role, to play there. The United States very desperately needs a two-party system. That’s the basis of politics in America. I’m afraid we are becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party with so little representation of the northeast or in the middle atlantic. I think as a governmental matter, it is very important to have a check and balance. That’s a very important principle in the operation of our government. In the constitution on Separation of powers.”
Normally, I’d berate someone like this as a self-serving turncoat. However my reaction is simple joy to have this political hack finally out of the GOP.
Update II: The ever perceptive reptilians at Big Lizards Blog have an intriguing look at the upcoming Toomey-Specter match up in their post A Specter Is Haunting the Democratic Party.
UpdateIII: The Cranky Conservative has some thoughts here on Specter, including the observation that after 30 years in Washington Specter is the poster child for term limits.