Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Lulac Edition #4,126, August 17th, 2019


Our "Interview" logo.

It is fifty years since the tragic accident last month at Martha's Vineyard that claimed the life of hometown resident Mary Jo Kopechne and forever changed the life of Senator Eduard Kennedy.  The dean of local broadcasting, David DeCosmo was front and center in the aftermath of the investigation so we thought we'd ask a few questions. But before we did, David gave us a background on the story.

Decosmo: Let me begin, however, by saying as a 26-year-old reporter at the time I had NO idea I was to become "part o the story" as it unfolded.
The impact of the Kennedy car crash was immediately "sensational news" in this area since a local native, Mary Jo Kopechne died as the result of the incident.
I believe Fred Ney of the Sunday Independent was one of the first to learn of the local connection.
The initial news reports out of Massachusetts indicated that Mary Jo had drown and that the Senator had waited 10 hours to report the accident. He entered a guilty plea to leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury. He received a two month jail sentence which was suspended.
That evening Senator Kennedy appeared on National television giving his explanation of what had happened the evening of the accident.
At that time local coverage focused on Mary Jo's funeral and, of course, Kennedy's attendance at the services. He came with his wife and wore a neck brace during the services.
The story returned to Luzerne County in October 1969 as Edmund Dinis, District Attorney for the Southern District of Massachusetts filed a petition in County Court seeking to have Mary Jo's body exhumed so that an autopsy could be preformed
so that additional evidence might be discovered regarding causes and circumstance surrounding her death.
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kopechne, Mary Jo's parents, objected to the petition. They were represented by Attorney Joseph Flanagan. President Judge Bernard Brominski presided.b I should like to note that, realizing the national and even international interest in the case Judge Brominski met with local news representatives to discuss their needs, his responsibilities, and how we would, to the best of his ability, try to accommodate both. If I recall correctly a Chicago newspaper praised him for those efforts.
A key ingredient in DA Dinis' case involved what he considered to be contradictions
between statements by witnesses on Chappaquiddick and the televised statement offered by Senator Kennedy.
Unexpectedly, network television reused to provide the DA with a copy of Senator Kennedy's televised address. I was leaving the courthouse for a lunch break
and happen to be next to Armand Fernandes, an assistant to District Attorney Dinis.
I teased him about depending on television and never thinking about radio to which he
replied "You mean that was on the radio too?" I said yes and he asked if I had a copy.
When I told him I did not he asked "Can you get one?" I replied "I think I can." So, during that lunch break I called WBZ in Boston, explained the situation, and officials got their audio copy of Senator Kennedy's speech and played it over the phone to me at the WILK studios (I was News Director there) where I taped a copy on our recorder.
Since this process took longer that the allotted lunch break time I asked a colleague to bring me the copy as soon as it was finished.
I returned to the courtroom where legal arguments were underway. Within about 25 minutes the judge's secretary entered the courtroom and whispered something to judge Brominski. He halted the proceedings and, looking at me, said "David, can I see you for a moment." I had to leave my seat and walk to the bench as though I was an attorney being summoned. Naturally everyone in the courtroom was staring at me wondering why I was being called.
Judge Bromiski said "What's this about a tape they brought to my chambers?" I
explained that the tape was suppose to have come to me, not him. The judge took a break at which point DA Dinis learned I had produced an audio copy of Senator Kennedy's speech.
Dinis said "You are my 9th inning home run." He didn't think he'd have to call me to the
stand but attorney Flanagan objected to the tape being presented as evidence so I had to take the witness stand!
Under cross examination I testified thatI had not edited the tape in any way but could
not attest for any editing by WBZ. At that point attorney Flanagan moved that the tape be inadmissible because of potential editing.
To my surprise Judge Brominski told attorney Flanagen "If you can prove it's been
edited I throw it out." Otherwise it goes. I was then asked to play the tape for
the courtroom with a reel to reel tape recorder. I just stood there playing the
recording and, afterwards, was excused.
From the moment I was called to the bench and then testified, I was pretty darned
scared. I was even being sketched by artists who were covering the hearing.
In the end, barring any direct evidence of criminal wrong doing, the judge honored
the objections of the parents and ruled against exhumation.

LuLac: As we reflect on the 50th anniversary of Chappaquiddick, did you ever in your wildest imagination think you’d be a part of history this way?

DeCosmo: No! I had no idea I'd actually become a small part of an historic news event like this!

LuLac: When the accident happened, when you heard where Mary Jo was from, did you think the local connection as they call it would affect interest here?

DeCosmo I believe everyone knew the story would draw intense local interest because of the prominent Kennedy name and the involvement of a local young lady.

LuLac: You covered the legal proceedings from step one. As a veteran reporter you had relationships with local attorneys and Judges. Looking at this in a 50 year old rear view mirror, did you get any indication as to what they felt?

DeCosmo: The attorneys involved, from both sides, were passionate in their presentations. DA Dinis felt it was critical to get more information about the incident where ever that information lead, Attorney Flannagan and his team held the position that Dinis should have acted while Mary Jo's body was still in his jurisdiction. They had a duty to represent the family's wishes. Judge Brominski did not give any indication of having any "feeling" about the case other than to conduct it according to the letter of the law.

LuLac: Why was a Coroner’s inquest conducted here, was it because the body was here? And how did that happen if the case seemed to be adjudicated in Massachusetts?

DeCosmo: It was not a Coroner’s Inquest but, rather, a hearing a petition to exhume Mary Jo's body so an autopsy could be conducted. Since her body was buried here the hearing had to take place in Luzerne County.
There was an inquest, conducted secretly, in Edgartown in January o 1970. The results were released 4 months later basically concluding that Senator Kennedy operated his vehicle negligently.)

LuLac: So recount for us the entire case as it happened in Luzerne County as you reported it?

DeCosmo: I believe I recounted the hearing in my narrative as much as possible.

LuLac: Indeed you did! What was your impression of the national media and how did they treat you?

DeCosmo: I really had little interaction with the national and international news media covering the hearing or even with other local media. I think everyone when their own way as quickly as possible as the case progressed. I still wonder who sketched me while I was on the witness stand and i those sketches still exist somewhere!

LuLac: If this had happened today, given the political climate as well as the 24 hour news cycle, social media, partisanship, what would it be like?

DeCosmo: If this had happened today there would be news chaos!! So much happened before anyone knew it. Quick actions in Massachusetts with no "big news outlets" following the story or attempting investigative reporting. Even with a Moon landing this would likely have been front page top. If you ever get a chance check out the Kennedy accident reference in the book "The Jaws Log" which documents the filming of the movie Jaws. The accident came up in conversation between movie producers and a local police official who reveled that the only paperwork relating top the accident in Edgartown is a radio log entry about "An accident near the bridge." All other paperwork and notes is missing!)

LuLac: Is there anything that you personally would want to change in the way you did things?

DeCosmo: I can't say I would have done anything differently. Things happened quickly and I didn't have time to seek advice. As News Director the buck stopped with me and I believed that a public statement, already aired nationally, was public domain and should be available to anyone.

Friday, August 16, 2019

The LuLac Edition #4,125, August 16th, 2019


Rick Morelli was named by the Luzerne County County Council as its newest, older member the other evening. Morelli was one of the original eleven elected when the Council became the official governing body of Luzerne County.


Two mass shootings last weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that left 31 people dead have revamped debate about gun control measures in Congress.
While Democrats widely agree on several reforms, including implementing universal background checks and capping the size of magazines, the party remains divided on the viability of banning assault rifles, the types of weapons that have been used in several high-profile mass shootings, including the two last week.
The opposition largely comes from moderate Democrats in swing district with constituents who may be uneasy banning specific weapons, but who may voice support for other measures to curtail gun violence.
Legislation that was introduced in the House in February to outlaw assault rifles currently has 196 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.
Here are the 11 Democrats representing districts President Trump won in 2016 who back the measure:
Rep. Matt Cartwright (Pa.)
Rep. Angie Craig (Minn.)
Rep. Antonio Delgado (N.Y.)
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.) **
Rep. Lucy McBath (Ga.)
Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.)
Rep. David Loebsack (Iowa) *
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.)
Rep. Chris Pappas (N.H.) **
Rep. Max Rose (N.Y.)
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (N.J.)
*Not seeking reelection in 2020




This week's guests will be Robin McArdle and Lance Miley, co-founders of Making Music Matter for Kids
Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400-The Game, NEPA's Fox .Sports Radio and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


One of Scranton's biggest public events is coming up in just a couple of weeks. It's "La Festa Italiana" and Festival Director Chris Dimattio has details on this year's event on ECTV Live during the week of August 19th. ECTV Live is seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some locations( and on the electric city television YouTube page.


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”



Our 1969 logo
The Woodstock Festival began as an estimated 200,000 people arrived at the dairy farm of Max Yasgur in Sullivan County, New York, near the town of Bethel in the Catskill Mountains. The six man rock music group Sweetwater had been scheduled as the opening act, but was stuck instead in a traffic jam on Route 17B and had to be airlifted by helicopter. A little-known guitarist, Richie Havens, then entertained the crowd for three hours as the opening act until Sweetwater could arrive. Complaints were made to local authorities by people living next to Yasgur's 600 acres (240 ha) farm, and heavy rainfall turned the fields into what a UPI reporter called "a sea of mud, sickness and drugs at the hippie-style Woodstock Music and Art Fair"…………

Captain D's, an American fast food seafood restaurant, opened its first eatery, with Raymond L. Danner starting the business as "Mr. D's Seafood and Hamburgers" in Donelson, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville near the Opryland USA theme park. Within its first fifty years, the chain had more than 500 franchises………..A week after the Tate-LaBianca murders, Charles Manson and 25 other people were arrested by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies at the Spahn Ranch, not on suspicion of the killings, but for auto theft. A report at the time noted that "The group— 11 men and 15 women including several members of a motorcycle gang called Satan's Slaves— was stealing Volkswagens, dismantling them and converting them into dune buggies, according to deputies." The "Manson Family" group was released ten days later because the arrest warrant had had the wrong date on it. When the members returned to the Spahn Ranch, they murdered Donald "Shorty" Shea, a former movie stuntman and the ranch hand whom they had blamed for calling the police. …….The Woodstock Festival moved into its second full day as Arlo Guthrie wrapped up his set of songs after midnight. Artists who performed and would later be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were Joan Baez (until 2:00 a.m.), Santana, John Sebastian and the Grateful Dead.....Hurricane Camille made landfall onto from the Gulf of Mexico onto the Mississippi coast as Biloxi and other coastal cities were evacuated. A large number of people, however, chose to "ride out the storm" and even held parties over the weekend to celebrate the excitement.[45] In all, 259 people would be killed as a direct result of the hurricane and the flooding produced by the storms in its wake…..Long John Silver's, an American fast-food restaurant chain specializing in seafood, opened its first store, making its debut in Lexington, Kentucky. The chain would have more than 1,000 franchises within its first fifty years......President Nixon nominated South Carolina federal judge Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr. to the United States Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the resignation in May of Abe Fortas…….Hurricane Camille caused its highest loss of life far inland from sea, killing 124 people in Nelson County, Virginia. During the night, more than 30 inches (760 mm) of rain fell in a few hours, causing flash floods and mudslides. The hurricane winds had slowed down, but the storm system slowed down over Nelson County and caused the James River and its tributaries to quickly overflow their banks in what remains "the worst natural disaster to ever strike Virginia”and fifty years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The LuLac Edition #4,124, August 14th, 2019


Our “Write On Wednesday” logo.
You hear complaints about nepotism all the time but no one seems to do anything about it. The Times Shamrock editorial board had this solution. Make it illegal. Here are their thoughts.


The state Supreme Court will decide whether a township supervisor in Pike County will have to pay a $30,000 fine for an epic case of nepotism.
Regardless of that decision, the case also illustrates why local government nepotism should be banished as a matter of state law rather than local discretion.
The state Ethics Commission levied the fine against John P. Sivick, a longtime supervisor and the roadmaster for Lehman Twp., Pike County.
Lehman Twp. adopted an anti-nepotism policy in 2009, precluding anyone from working in a township position under the supervision of an immediate family member.
Supervisors repealed the policy in 2012 after Sivick spoke to his colleagues about hiring his son, J. Justin Sivick, for the same nine-member road crew that the elder Sivick supervised. With Sivick abstaining from both votes, the board repealed the nepotism ordinance and hired Sivick’s son for the road crew.
The position in question was classified as temporary/full time and was not advertised.
Supervisors hired J. Justin Sivick, disregarding his two convictions of driving under the influence of alcohol in the previous three years, which resulted in his license being suspended for 18 months. The younger Sivick became a permanent/full time employee.
But that series of events wasn’t even what drew the Ethics Commission’s attention. It acted on a complaint in 2015 that the roadmaster signed 79 of his son’s 81 time sheets.
The commission ordered the fine, which was upheld by a three-judge panel of the Commonwealth Court.
“Sivick initiated the improper scheme to have the township’s nepotism policy repealed and his son hired, which directly resulted in the township employing his son and Sivick approving his son’s payroll records,” wrote Judge Anne Covey for the three-judge panel.
That is not a description of good governance. The state Legislature should resolve the nepotism problem uniformly by outlawing it

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The LuLac Edition #4,123, August 13th, 2019


Our “13 Questions” logo.

1. Our society has become so polarized, do you see that changing?

I’d like to say “yes” but in truth I can’t  see that happening. Generations are the product of their times and I fear that young people being raised today will see those divisions and pick a side, putting all nuances aside. Like their parents they will go to their respective camps and just spawn another future generation that will be divided. I hope not but that’s the road we seem to be going down.

2. Is Donald Trump a racist?

Yes. Notwithstanding all of his rhetoric, when someone says “I am not a racist”……and then kind of backs up the claim with nonsense, then they are.

3. What about those Mets?

I’m impressed. I have a friend who is a Met fan and when the streak began, I mentioned (quietly) that it can be 1969 all over again.

4. Will you be driving in the Pittston Tomato Festival parade this year?


5. What is your reaction to Mitch McConnell’s blocking of legislation?

Funny, he fought so hard to get and keep this leadership position but history will judge him harshly. The reason why we still have issues like Immigration Reform, Health Care and Guns is because the GOP is defying the will of the majority of what people believe.

6. Do you think the nickname “Moscow Mitch” is fair?

Totally. McConnell has been carrying the water for a Trump administration that is dangerous to our country. McConnell not speaking out on Russian hacking is outrageous.

7. I heard your podcast on Pa Homepage. You guys were very good. Your take on Obama was surprising though to me. Please elaborate.

I think in comparison to Trump, Obama belongs on Mount Rushmore! But truth be told, like I said in that podcast, Obama missed perfect opportunities to get things done in addition to Health Care when he had the power. This should not be a shock because I wrote it here many times. He never realized that his ideas were never going to be accepted by any member of the GOP. He kissed the asses of liars and frauds like Susan Collins ignoring Democrats who could help him. And don’t even get me started on Dems like Joe Mancian who pretty much betrayed Democratic principles. This stuff could have been solved if only Barack had more of a spine.

8. Best summer time pizza place?

I still go with my top 3, Victory Pig, Serpico and Alredo’s for fast summertime meals. But I have had one piece of pizza since May.

9. How about those Indians?

Yep, it’s looking good but I don’t want to jinx anything just yet.

10. So as I’m sitting here, NPR is reporting that Epstein guy hung himself in jail. What do you think the Republican right will say about that?

Oh wait, they’ll bring up how Hillary and Bill killed Vince Foster back in ’93 when in fact he committed suicide. But watch the deflection machine start.

11.Why does some elements of the right bring up Hillary?

Because they have nothing else. Hard on for Hillary, what can I say.

12. Have you ever spent the time talking to Trump supporters to find out their feelings?

Yes and they believe what they believe. You can’t change their minds, you have to listen to their opinions but if you can point out their misconceptions. The biggest one is still the excuse that, “He’s just a businessman”. I point out he was a failed businessman and then we’re off to the races.

13. Are you looking forward to fall?

No. Fall is the prelude to the death and despair of a Northeastern Pa. winter.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

The LuLac Edition #4,122, August 8th, 2019


The guys whose rhetoric and insults inspired many hate crimes in the United States, Donald Trump says we’ll have background checks like we never had before. What crap. Old Diaper Don really was slinging it today. Trump endorsed an expansion of background checks for U.S. gun buyers following the massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, but said there’s “no political appetite” to renew a ban on military-style rifles.
No political appetite???  It is ironic to me that this man and his impotent party say there is no appetite for it because they don’t want to take a stand against the problem. With all of them in the back pocket of the NRA, who could think they’d do otherwise.
While he said there’s not enough support in Congress to re-enact what was commonly known as the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, he indicated he would discuss the idea with lawmakers. “I will certainly bring that up,” he said.
He’ll discuss it, offer a proposal and then change his mind the very next day.
Moscow Mitch, Trump’s reliable butt kisser has refused so far to allow a vote on House-passed legislation that would expand background checks and hasn’t indicated whether he’s reconsidering after the shootings, which killed at least 31 people.
“I think we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before,” Trump said.
What horseshit!


So how about this. Big bully Trump meets with people in Dayton over the killings there but stays out of public view away from the news media and the public. This man is a first class loser coward.
Trump met with victims families and police but made no promises, and then got into a Twitter fight with the Mayor of Dayton and U/.S. Senator Sharrod Brown. Trump says they misrepresented his meeting.
Well I don’t think they did. Trump never told the truth to Brown, never giving him a straight answer about assault rifles and then like the little baby coward he is used his itty bitty fingers to tweet invective against the very people he lied to.No balls baby.


In deflecting what is really going on with his visit, old Diaper threw this at us blaming the shooter and saying he had nothing to do with Trump. He repeated his belief that the Dayton shooter was "a fan of Antifa, a fan of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Nothing to do with Trump, but nobody ever mentions that," he said.
His followers will lap it up and so the BIG LIE by the biggest liar of them all begins!


Congressman Matt Cartwright and your blog editor.  (Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright  announced up to $16 million in available federal funding for local organizations to help veterans and socially-disadvantaged Pennsylvanians who are looking to own and operate ranches and farms.
“Farming is an important part of our regional economy that poses unique challenges, especially for minorities and veterans who operate these businesses,” said Rep. Cartwright, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “This provision of the Farm Bill will encourage community-based organizations to work with historically-underserved farmers and ranchers, and to help them overcome barriers and find a pathway for success.”
The grant application period is now open and will close on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as the 2501 Program). The program is administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).




Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400-The Game, NEPA's Fox .Sports Radio and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


ECTV Live hosts Rusty Fender and David DeCosmo and program director Mark Migilore welcome Mark Riccetti from the Luzerne County Historical Society Society to the program during the week of August 12th.
He'll be outlining plans for several major events the society will be offering over the next few months. ECTV Live is seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and on the electric city television YouTube page.


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”



Our 1969 logo

President Richard Nixon, a Republican, proposed a law providing a basic guaranteed minimum income to poor families, regardless of whether any member of the family was able to obtain employment. Work incentives were part of the proposal, including free day-care centers for children, a 25% bonus for people in job-training programs, and allowing people to earn additional money at work without jeopardizing their guaranteed income.[22] Nixon said that his program, which would replace the existing welfare payment system, "aims at ending the unfairness in a system that has become unfair to the welfare recipient, unfair to the working poor, and unfair to the taxpayer." Analysts noted that Nixon's proposal would more than double the number of people receiving government assistance to 22.4 million and would almost double the amount of money budgeted for welfare programs. The amount of guaranteed income— $1,600 per year or $133.33 per month — would be the equivalent of about $900 per month in 2018……. On orders of Charles Manson, members of the Manson Family invaded the Los Angeles home of film director Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate before midnight. The group then brutally murdered Tate and her unborn child, three of her guests, and a person who was had stopped by at an adjacent dwelling. Polanski was in Europe, but Tate, celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring, heiress Abigail Folger and her boyfriend Wojciech "Voyteck" Frykowski were awake when the killers came in. The fifth victim, Steven Parent, had had the misfortune of driving away from 10050 Cielo Drive just as the group arrived with the mission of carrying out a random murder to shock the American public… The three Apollo 11 astronauts were allowed to leave the "mobile quarantine facility" where they and two scientists had lived for three weeks while being examined from possible contamination from the lunar soil that they had brought back from the Moon. In all, 23 people who had been the first to handle the "Moon rocks", had been isolated until NASA administrators verified that there was no biological threat from the material. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins then rejoined their families in Houston for the first time since June 25.

Los Angeles grocery store owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, were murdered in their home less than 24 hours after the killing of five people at the home of Sharon Tate, on orders of Charles Manson, who had picked the LaBianca home at random.....Israel conducted its first air attack, ever, on Lebanon, as Israeli Air Force jets flew across the Israeli-Lebanese border of the Golan Heights at 1:30 in the afternoon and began a 30-minute raid on suspected guerrilla positions in the Jabal al-Shaykh mountain cluster. The area is referred to as Mount Hermon in the 1st Book of Chronicles in the Bible......The United States Senate voted unanimously, 91 to 0, to restrict further production, development and testing by the United States military of chemical weapons and biological weapons. The rules, passed as part of nine amendments to a $20 billion defense appropriations bill, required that in the future, the U.S. Department of Defense would report twice a year to Congress about projects, prohibited spending future money on delivery systems for stockpiles of lethal chemicals or germs, required advance notice by the Department of any plans for weapons use outside the U.S. (to both Congress and to the governments of the nations affected), halted outdoor testing of weapons, and required detoxification of lethal agents before they were to be transported for disposal….. in Pennsylvania Senators Schweiker and Scott, Republicans say the Nixon plan to replace welfare has merit I in the Lu and the Lac, sidewalk sales pop up readying shoppers for the back to school season and fifty years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

The LuLac Edition #4,121, August 7th, 2019


Our “Write On Wednesday” logo

This week we’d like to present a very interesting and informative Editorial from Times Shamrock regarding the SNAP program. This entity has been helping people right above or near the poverty line for years and helping farmers too. As a matter of fact, it is an agricultural program designed to help the Family Farm. Here’s what the Editors wrote:


Nobody is getting fat on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, which many people still refer to as “food stamps.”
Yet the Trump administration wants to abandon its states’ rights philosophy to limit SNAP benefits. Under a proposed rule, it would stop the current practice by which states may expand eligibility, requiring them instead to adhere strictly to federal standards.
Nationwide, about 3.1 million of the 36 million people who receive SNAP benefits would lose them. In Pennsylvania, according to the Wolf administration, about 200,000 of the 1.86 million enrolled in SNAP would become ineligible.
This is not a case of the affluent free-riding on a program intended for the poor. People who would lose the benefits have incomes higher than the federal eligibility rule but only marginally so.
Eligibility under the federal rule is up to 130% of the official poverty level. For an individual, that 13% level equates to $16,000 a year and $32,000 for a family of four. Pennsylvania’s eligibility standard is 160% of the federal poverty level, about $18,000 for an individual or $38,000 for a family of four.
The rule change would have a significant impact in Northeast Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 16,426 of the 265,416 households in the 8th Congressional District receive SNAP benefits. Of those, 45.2% include at least one person older than 60; 36.5% include at least one child younger than 18, and 52% include at least one disabled person. The USDA reported that 42% of those households have incomes below the federal poverty level, with a median household income of $20,929.
About 40% of those households include two or more workers. Districtwide, 72.9% of beneficiaries are white, 11.3% are black, 9.4% are Asian and 8.4% are Latino (the figures total more than 100% because of overlap among categories).
State lawmakers could mitigate the impact by increasing the $7.25 hourly minimum wage to a near-living wage, which would create some upward pressure on wages and boost many SNAP recipients’ incomes beyond the state SNAP eligibility standards.
The majority is more likely, however, to maintain the poverty-level wage and celebrate diminished SNAP eligibility as a victory for government efficiency. Such governance illustrates that the Legislature itself needs a different sort of supplemental assistance.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

The LuLac Edition #4,120, August 4th, 2019


FACT: More Americans have been killed this year than those in Afghanistan for two years. 
FACT: The people doing the killing are White Nationalist terrorists who have been inspired by the Trump Presidency and his racist rhetoric. 
FACT: Republicans have used the "mental illness" defense of mass killings of Americans who were gunned down in less than 1 minute by sub human slugs with assault weapons. 
FACT: The Republicans that harp on human life before the birth obviously don't give a shit about the number of 250 shootings of fellow Americans. 
FACT: Diaper Don comes out today and says the shootings are all about mental illness. That is a subject he is acquainted with. 
Obla-di, obla goes on.  


Dr. David Sosar, Attorney Chris Cullen and yours truly joined Producer Ron Williams and Host Chris Langlois  sitting around a table the other day and analyzed the Democratic debates from last week. 
Take a listen and see how we did.