Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The LuLac Edition #78, Nov 1, 2006






There has been much discussion about expanding the voting franchise so that all Americans can have an opportunity to vote. On WILK’ s Morning News with Nancy and Kevin, many options were discussed. Nancy Kman said there should be a National Voting Holiday where voters could have the entire day to cast their ballots. I believe she suggested “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving to have elections. Nice idea, set up voting terminals in stores across America, even couple it with a discount if you proved you voted. Nothing elaborate, just maybe a 10% off reduction or $1.00 off a large Orange Julius. It would be quite fitting for Americans to cast their ballot in an election the day after that uniquely U.S. holiday, Thanksgiving. And since the War On Terror is a big issue, wouldn’t it drive Osama crazy somewhere hiding in his hole, dialysis machine churning his fluids realizing that those awful Americans are now getting cash back on clothes, booze, porn and cashmere just to vote for or against that infidel Bush????????? Sweet!!!!!!!!!!
Now I believe that not everyone should vote. I think they should have the chance but there are some people that I’m glad stay home. There are people who are sometimes just too plain stupid to let in that voting booth. Prime examples: George Wallace carrying 6 states in 1968, Strom Thurmond carrying a few in 1948 and of course those people who pulled the lever with no clue about the issues. “His wife’s hot”, “He seems like a nice man,” or “He used to be famous” are the positive ones. On the other side of the coin, “Kerry’s wife looks like a drug addict”, “He has AIDS, I know he does” or “He just doesn’t excite me” are some of the negatives. In the 2004 race, all of those statements came from people I had conversations with. They were so adamant about what they believed that since there was nothing I could do to change their minds, I just gave them the wrong registration date. Did I disenfranchise them? You bet. I didn’t and still don’t want my future being decided by these shrill idiots.
Kevin Lynn weighed in with a suggestion saying that the franchise should be expanded to prisons. That I agree with. Here’s why:
1. Prisoners have a lot of time to read, contemplate and think. Unlike the examples I cited above.
2. I’d rather have them vote than ever carry a gun again.
3. It engenders and encourages them that even though incarcerated, they can still be part of the process. What better way to rehab someone who may someday return to society.
Plus, the Political Action Committee people could organize the prisoners and have them endorse candidates. Just think if there was a Prisoner Political Action Committee this year. PPAC! The possibilities are just delicious:
As I said, the possibilities for this are endless and should be explored. If inmates get the right to vote, their PAC money is just as good as others, right?


Sue Henry brought up the 10th Congressional race on her show the other day. It was heard on her program that if Sherwood won, he might be asked to step aside by the party powers that be. Or if Carney won, who would oppose the first time Congressman in that race? It was commented that there might be a dearth of candidates to run in ’08 for that seat, and that no one seems to be waiting in the wings. Wanna bet?
How about a Democrat turned Republican who in 1988 ran for the seat against Joe McDade? He lost that race, but has served two terms as Lackawanna County Commissioner, one as a Minority member and one now in the Majority. He had some problems by raising property taxes by over 40 some percent but has seemingly redeemed himself by bringing in the Yankee farm team to the Stadium in Moosic. He is media savvy, having owned and operated a few radio stations, has a great family portrait (for the family man angle) and looks good in pinstripe double breasted suits. You know him, you’ll learn to love him as your next Congressman, Robert Cordaro. That’s someone of stature waiting in the wings to succeed either Sherwood or Carney.


If Robert P. Casey, Junior is successful in becoming the new U.S. Senator and Ed Rendell is re-elected Governor, that sets the stage for an appointment of a new State Treasurer to fill out the Casey term. I know, I know, this election isn’t over yet but hey, we can talk about it, can’t we?) Here are a few names:
State Senator Michael O’Pake: from Reading, a long time Democrat who ran for state office in the lean Democratic years.
Former Ltn. Governor Mark Singel: now a lobbyist, Singel has stated publicly that he’d like to get back in the game. Elected in his 30s to the number 2 slot in Pennsylvania, he is still a young man and the Treasuer’s office will give him a profile for the 2010 Governor’s race.
Former State Treasurer Barbara Hafer: There might be a Constitutional problem because Hafer served two terms but that was as a Republican. The Democratic party has to pay Hafer back for stepping aside and not giving Casey a challenge in the primary.
Todd Vonderheid: The guy has a head for Economic Development, can keep his hand in elective politics while getting a salary bump, build a name for himself statewide and continue on with a very promising career in public service.
Tom Foley: Former member of the Casey, Senior administration, he too has tried for statewide office. In 1996 Foley garnered the Democratic endorsement for Auditor General but was blown away in the ’96 primary by his old bosses son, Robert P. Casey, Junior.
A few names to ponder if events take their predicted course.


I found it amusing that local resident William D’Elia put in the paperwork to get free legal representation with the charges recently filed against him. Remember cold blooded killer Henry Stubbs who killed a young mother and wife and then killed her little girl (actually gutting the little girl’s body like a hunter would a deer!) a few years back? I know that accused criminals have the right to legal representation but please. When the tax crazies rail about where the money goes, look at this so called entitlement.
A few years ago when I worked closely with the County, there was a program that was funded for over $50,000 for an inmate suicide prevention program. When I asked the County Budget Director at the time about it, he, a staunch Republican conservative said, “A life is a life”. Yeah, well maybe those criminals might not be so depressed if they remembered that when they were on the outside.
Rest assured, if you or I were caught lifting a loaf of bread somewhere, we’d have to get and pay for our own lawyer (local lawyers and their lack of guts is a whole separate blog) and if convicted would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


Rick Santorum has been beating the bushes on the Cable News networks and he is quite impressive. (FULL DISCLOSE: I contributed to Casey, have a yard sign out and am even wearing a Casey tee shirt as I write this!) But I have to tell you what’s bothering me, at every interview, the moderator says to Santorum, “Mr. Casey was contacted by our studios but had a scheduling conflict and couldn’t be here tonight”. This has happened at least five times this week. At one point, Santorum said, “Yeah, he has a lot of scheduling conflicts this week!” I can’t help but think that under the radar, Santorum is gaining points on this non participation by Mr. Casey. Plus SAntorum is getting free face time he doesn't have to pay for.


A few people via e mail have asked me about Rush Limbaugh’s remarks on Michael J. Fox. Rush Limbaugh has been an on the air as a lucrative force in broadcasting for 18 years now. I’ll give him that but my only comment on him is from Al Frankin’s book title, “Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot”. Nothing further.


John Kerry’s outrage at the pouncing of the Bush administration over his remarks at a college campus are right on target. Kerry warned students to do well or they’d end up in Iraq. He was attacked for disrespecting the troops. Here are the facts, when Kerry served in Vietnam, he was a true minority economically because everyone serving there was black, poor or not terribly bright enough to get in a Junior College. (Two cousins of mine, fine men who I respect and love served there because after high school, for them, given their intelligence there was no other choice). So he was speaking from a reference point.
Secondly, a majority of the troops serving in Iraq are National Guard people who when they signed up, had no clue they’d be sent on numerous tours of duty with little or no body armor and if given the chance, might now say the honor and the economics of it all just didn't even out.
The Republicans are now latching on to this comment because that’s all they have. And Kerry is reluctant to apologize because of the Swift Boat experience. My only qualm with Kerry is inferring that the President was “Stupid”, “Intellectually Disinterested” might have been a better term.


In 1968 Mad Magazine ran a fake campaign for Alfred E. Neuman as a Presidential contender. His slogan or motto, “What……Me Worry?” is rumored to replace "Just Say No to the Democrats" which late last week replaced "Stay the Course".

Monday, October 30, 2006

The LuLac Edition #77, Oct. 31, 2006





Big news from the Rick Santorum camp, this Friday the Senator will be bringing a guest to Wilkes Barre Twp. Here are the details:
Join U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for a rally Friday evening.
Friday, November 3, 20067:00 pmDoors open at 6:15 pm
Wilkes-Barre Township Volunteer Fire Company152 Watson StreetWilkes-Barre, PA 18702

Space is limited and is on a first-come, first serve basis. To ensure your spot, please RSVP (with name, address, telephone number and e-mail address) to Jeff Becker at
jeff@ricksantorum.com or 717-635-7185.
There is no charge for this event.
The former ex Mayor of New York city has been in overdrive supporting Senator Santorum. Giuliani is scheduled to appear at Wilkes College on Sunday Nov. 14th at Wilkes College for $35.00 a pop. This would be a perfect opportunity to meet and greet the Mayor and of course our junior Senator.


Former House Speaker and the architect of the 1994 Contract with America is also dusting off the boxing gloves. Take a look at this letter that I got on line this weekend from the Newster, addressed to the Yonkstur!
Dear David,
Real reform in America doesn't come from the top. It comes from the people. The common-sense values of the American people are what twice elected Ronald Reagan and in 1994 elected the first Republican Congress in forty years. Your commitment to these American values has given us a continued Republican majority under the leadership of President Bush, who has led with unwavering determination in the global war for the survival of freedom.
In 9 days, these values will be put to the test like never before. The choice we make on November 7th will write the history books for generations to come. Will everything you've worked so hard to accomplish be lost to the San Francisco values of would-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi?
If you agree with me that the future of our country is too important to be left to Democrats who represent an attitude of appeasement, surrender, and weakness, I hope you'll join me in supporting the Republican National Committee in retaining our hard-won majorities with
your contribution of $250, $100, $50, or even $25.
A House under Speaker Pelosi and a Senate under Majority Leader Harry Reid would be a disaster for America. The key Democrat leaders who would be in control of how much you pay in taxes, defense funding, and investigations against the President and the War on Terror are some of the most liberal, out-of-the-mainstream members of their party. They haven't changed. In fact, they've become even more liberal and beholden to the special interests who bankroll them.
The question facing Americans in this election is this: will America go forward or back - back to a Democrat majority determined to raise taxes, cut defense spending and fight with President Bush over the next two years rather than fighting the War on Terror.
Or will we win in 2006... rededicating our majorities and our commitment to the American values that have secured our liberty and freedom for over 230 years?
David, as a steadfast supporter of the Republican Party, I know how committed you are to conservative principles... from winning the War on Terror, to keeping taxes and spending under control, to securing our borders. Nothing would be more disastrous for these principles than allowing Democrats to take control of the U.S. House and Senate.
We would not have won the majority in Congress in 1994 without the support of the Republican National Committee, which provided the resources and know-how that enabled our candidates to unseat vulnerable Democrat incumbents.
Once again, our candidates are depending on the RNC to provide the field staff, absentee ballot mailings and get-out-the-vote phone calls they need to win. Republican candidates from every region of our country need this support to continue fighting for the values we share -- we can't fail them now. Show your support for these vital efforts today by making a special Campaign 2006 contribution at
Thank you for your continued commitment to our movement. With your support we will stun the political pundits and show once again that the real power in America comes from the people, not from Washington.
Newt Gingrich
P.S. There is a very real chance that San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi could pound the Speaker's gavel next January -- the same Nancy Pelosi who said "I don't really consider ourselves to be at war." Take a stand for the principles we hold dear by supporting the Republican Party in this fight with
your contribution of $250, $100, $50, or even $25. Thank you.
The GOP is pulling out all the star power to raise money and advance the cause. It's crossing ideological party lines too, from the moderate Giuliani to the conservative Gingrich. Both by the way are prospective candidates for the Presidential race in 2008.


The very first candidate to announce an exploratory committee for the 2008 race is Congressman Duncan Hunter, Republican from the 52nd District in California. Who is Duncan Hunter? Well, in 1973 we all were asking Who is Jimmy Carter? He was the peanut farmer who quietly went to Iowa and New Hampshire and for three solid years did retail campaigning. The little known Georgia Democrat went on to win the Democratic nomination in 1976 steamrolling political heavyweights like Hubert Humphrey, Henry Jackson, Jerry Brown and Frank Church. (Humphrey, Jackson and Church were powerful, long standing Senators and Jerry Brown was Governor of California). Carter went on to defeat sitting President Gerald Ford in the 1976 election by a close margin in the Electoral College.
So who is Duncan Hunter? Here's a brief bio:
Congressman Duncan Hunter represents California's 52nd Congressional District consisting of eastern and northern San Diego County. He is a Vietnam veteran, who served in the 173rd Airborne and 75th Army Rangers">75th Army Rangers. In 1973, Hunter attended Western State University Law School in San Diego on the G.I. Bill, while also working at farming and construction. Opening a law office in Barrio Logan San Diego, Hunter assisted many in the Hispanic community free of charge and without government compensation. In 1980, he was asked to run against Congressman Lionel Van Deerlin, an 18-year incumbent, where, in a 2-to-1 Democrat district, Hunter won the Congressional seat.
Hunter's first assignment in Congress was to the
House Armed Services Committee, where he continues to serve today as its Chairman. Responsible for a defense budget totaling more than $445 billion, Hunter focuses his national security efforts on providing the President the resources he needs to win the nation's military conflicts, modernization initiatives that quickly move new and effective technologies into the field, making the Department of Defense more efficient by moving resources from redundant and unnecessary bureaucracy to warfighting capabilities, and strongly supporting our nation's military personnel and their families by ensuring that they are well-compensated and well-equipped with safe and effective weapons and equipment. Prior to his current position as Chairman of the full committee, Hunter served as Chairman of the House Military Research & Development Subcommittee from 2001-2002, where he was responsible for overseeing the development and testing of key military systems, weapons programs, and technologies that fulfill military needs. Hunter also served as Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Procurement from 1995-2000 where he presided over $60 billion for the acquisition of military weapon systems and components.
Having a district located in the California-Mexico border region, Hunter has made border enforcement a major priority. In 1988, Hunter authored legislation making the military the lead agency in illegal drug interdiction and was successful in obtaining military units for building roads and fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico. Over 40 miles of fencing and border infrastructure have been constructed to date. Additionally, Hunter passed legislation in 1995 to authorize an additional 5,000 Border Patrol agents in response to the Clinton Administration's budget which attempted to cut agency resources. Hunter remains committed to sealing the U.S. border to illegal alien and drug trafficking, ensuring that the region remains safe for communities on both sides of the international boundary.
Hunter's other legislative priorities include fulfilling promises to our nation's veterans, providing tax relief to America's working families, and continuing cleanup efforts at the New River and Salton Sea in Imperial County, which he previously represented for 20 years.
Congressman Hunter and his wife, Lynne, live in Alpine, California. They have two sons, Duncan Duane and Sam, and two grandchildren.

Duncan's son Duane was deployed to Iraq in 2003. The GOP congressman has decided to stake out his territory for the Presidential race. The last California Congressman to run for President was Pete McCloskey against Richard Nixon in 1972. The last Congressman elected in real life to the Presidency was James Garfield of Ohio, our 20th President in 1880. In TV land, Texas Congressman Matthew Santos was elected President on the West Wing series.


Hardly noticed is the fact that Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia is up for reelection again. Leaning on two canes, Sen. Robert C. Byrd hardly looks like a billion-dollar industry - or "Big Daddy," as the 88-year-old Democrat calls himself. No matter: Voters once again are looking beyond Byrd's age to his political guile - and the truckloads of federal dollars he's steered to West Virginia - as they consider whether to give him a record ninth term in the Senate.
"It's not that we deserve more money than other states, but if he wasn't there, we probably wouldn't get as much as we should," said Ally Hagsett, a Marshall University sophomore and Republican. "While he's alive, we'd better get as much as we can."This summer, the longest-serving senator in U.S. history played up that role when he dedicated the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center at Marshall.
"I rolled up my sleeves to do the work in Congress, to secure the federal funding," Byrd told the crowd. "Yeah, man, you're looking at Big Daddy!"
Democrats and Republicans alike see the powerful member of the Senate Appropriations Committee as the state's Santa Claus. And they shrug off any suggestion that Byrd's age is a handicap: Byrd's longevity puts him in line to become committee chairman, if Democrats win control of the Senate.
The age issue"It's like he's been in there 100 years, but that's all right by me. He does his job. He's done a lot for the state," said Lou Feazell, a Fayetteville grandmother.
John Raese, the Republican challenging Byrd, recently made an issue of the senator's age. Raese, a 56-year-old Morgantown media owner and heir to an industrial fortune, said he wouldn't hire the senator because of his physical appearance.
In addition to using canes, Byrd's hands tremble - a condition he dismisses as a "cosmetic malady."
"I was alarmed at his physical and mental appearance when I talked to him," Raese told the Charleston Daily Mail. "The business I'm in, I can't have that. Nobody can have that."
In West Virginia, however, Byrd's age puts him in good stead. The state ranks behind only Florida and Pennsylvania with the highest percentage of residents 65 and older.
"He's getting a little old, and I do start to worry about his decision-making," said Susan Michener, 43, of Shepherdstown, who supports Byrd but otherwise votes Republican. "But my dad's in his 80s and he's sharper than I am."
Opposition effortsThe National Republican Senatorial Committee tapped Raese to run after other top state Republicans, including Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, declined to do so. Raese has spent more than $2.2 million on the race.
The Republican, who in the 1980s made failed bids for Senate and governor, has tried several tacks against Byrd, including making an issue of his age. Raese also has criticized Byrd's opposition to the war in Iraq, his votes on taxes and his pork-barrel politicking. His campaign maintains Byrd is vulnerable.
"Senator Byrd understands that he's facing a formidable opponent, and we see that by how actively he has been campaigning," said Gary Abernathy, a Raese campaign consultant.
But Robert Rupp, a political science professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College, said Raese largely has served to solidify Byrd's base.
"Byrd's proved that he can be a campaigner," Rupp said. "He made himself visible when his opponents probably hoped he could not run an effective race."
Campaign tacticsThe race took a nasty turn in September, when Byrd suggested in an interview that Raese's late father would have supported him over his son. Raese replied with an ad that featured Byrd's use of a racial epithet on a 2001 television news show.
The ad helped revive memories of Byrd's 1940s membership in the Ku Klux Klan, and similar episodes that have marred Byrd's political career. Byrd opposed integrating the military, and filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Byrd has repeatedly apologized for his prior acts of racial intolerance. In memoirs published last year, he called his time in the Klan "an extraordinarily foolish mistake." Supporters say they believe him.
"I think his views on race have changed over time," said James Butcher, a Fairmont State University staffer.

Byrd has served for 48 years, first being elected in 1958. He is going for his 9th term in the U.S. Senate. Byrd is a youngster in comparison to the late Strom Thurmond who served until his death at the age of 100. If Byrd is elected and finishes his 9th term, he will be 94 years of age when the seat is up again in 2012.


Sue Henry hosted Christine Katsock, candidate for State Representative in the 121rst District on the Republican ticket and Robert MacNamera, Democratic candidate for State Senator in the 20th District. Henry hosted them on WILK Radio. Meantime, a fired up Robert Casey, Junior appeared on the WILK Morning News program with Nancy Kman and Kevin Lynn. A busy day at the WILK Talk Studios Monday.
Congressman Kanjorski's TV ads started this week. In the meantime, many local candidates are utilizing the popularity of cable TV to get their message out.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The LuLac Edition #76, Oct. 30, 2006

PICTURE INDEX: JIm Gibson of the Colorado Democratic Leadership Council and U.S. Senate candidate Robert Casey and family.




U.S. Senate candidate Robert Casey's campaign was given great news by garnering endorsements from a few Pennsylvania newspapers. While many say a newspaper endorsement does not carry the clout that it used to, the fact that Casey got them has to be good news for his camp. Governor Rendell also had a good day in the newspapers too despite the flap this week over the remarks he made about Pennsylvania senior citizens leading a gray existance with no joy in their lives. Here is how the endorsement wars stack up so far:
The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, The Morning Call of Allentown and the York Daily Record/Sunday News all endorsed Casey in the Senate race. The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette backed Rendell for governor; the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review chose not to endorse Rendell or Swann.
The Patriot-News said Casey would "listen, learn and contribute in bipartisan fashion to the mounting challenges confronting the nation." While it credited Santorum with bringing important federal dollars to the state, it said he has become "a divisive figure" seen by some as a "poster boy for America's right-wing fringe elements."
The Morning Call lauded Casey's work seeking out waste and fraud as the state's auditor general and treasurer. It acknowledged Santorum has more national policy experience, but determined Casey would better represent the values of Pennsylvanians.
"Based on his demonstrated honesty of character and a shirt-sleeves work ethic, we believe he would bring the same initiative and compassion to the U.S. Senate," the newspaper wrote.
The York Daily Record/Sunday News called Casey a moderate who would appeal to Pennsylvanians and help restore balance in Washington, D.C.
"One-party rule there has given us a botched war effort, a failing energy policy, and a brown environmental record," the newspaper wrote. "On issue after issue, Mr. Casey better reflects mainstream Pennsylvanians."
In the governor's race, The Inquirer called Rendell "clearly superior" to Swann, the Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer making his first foray into politics.
The newspaper called Rendell a pragmatist who gets results, even if his methods are "often noisy and messy" and commended his efforts on tax-reform, energy policy and health care. The newspaper said Swann is "sincere and has leadership qualities," but added that his inexperience hurt him.
"Swann's lack of command of the basics of state issues at the outset of his campaign was embarrassing," The Inquirer wrote. "He's gotten marginally better since."
In endorsing Rendell, the Post-Gazette said his property tax reform won't go far enough, but that it would help some seniors. It called his support of the legislative pay raise a mistake and noted he was slow to call for some reforms. But it gave Rendell high marks for reducing unemployment and saving money.
Swann, the paper said, would be hurt by his inexperience.
"We fail to see how someone with a lack of political or managerial experience can get his way with a Legislature that could be divided next session," the editorial said.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review did not endorse either candidate for governor.
It said Rendell "came to power four years ago promising much but delivering little more than typical liberal propaganda, serial wealth redistributionism and union-coddling."
Swann entered the race as the "reform candidate," but has failed to live up to that billing, according to the editorial.


One of the big criticisms you hear about this election is that the Democratic Party has no plan for the future and cannot articulate any ideas as far as leading this country. That is just not true. However, given Robert P. Casey's low key campaign and general adherence to his talking points, one might get that impression. But here from the pens of the Democratic Leadership Council is a sensible plan for America if the Democrats do get the opportunity to lead. Here are 5 points from a document called Blueprint for America:

1. A New Social Contract: What You Can Do for Your Country, and What Your Country Can Do for You.
Universal Citizen Service. We need a new patriotism that brings out the patriot in all of us by establishing, for the first time, an ethic of universal citizen service. All Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 should be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic civil defense training and community service. This is not a draft -- nor is it military. Young people will be trained not as soldiers, but simply as citizens who understand their responsibilities in the event of natural disaster, epidemic, or terrorist attack. Universal citizen service will bring Americans of every background together to make America safer and more united in common national purpose.
Universal College Access. We must make a college degree as universal as a high school diploma. Just as Abraham Lincoln gave land grants to endow our great public universities, we should give the states tuition grants to make college free for those willing to work, serve, and excel. A College Tax Credit should replace the five major existing education tax incentives with a simple $3,000-a-year credit -- fully refundable and available for four years of college and two years of graduate school. It would help 6 million full-time students cover more than half the average cost of tuition at a public university.
Universal Retirement Savings. An aging society cannot afford to keep saving less and risking more. We need new means to create wealth. Employers should be required to offer 401(k)'s, and workers will be enrolled unless they choose otherwise. If they switch jobs, they should be able to take their account with them. When their paycheck goes up, so should their savings. Instead of a workforce in which only half the workers have retirement savings plans, every American will have one.
Universal Children's Health Care. We need to cut the cost of health care so that every business can afford it, and every child in America at last can get it. We can save hundreds of billions by adopting electronic medical records, rewarding outcomes instead of procedures, providing incentives for personal responsibility, and starting a National Cure Center to cure chronic diseases. As we achieve those savings, we should use them to give small businesses access to the same health plans as members of Congress -- and to make sure all parents in America have the responsibility and the means to afford health insurance for their children.
2. Fiscal Responsibility and Ending Corporate Welfare. We can only achieve universal service, college, pensions, and children's health care if we're willing to cut and invest to pay for them. The place to start is by ending corporate welfare and the hack-ridden government that fuels it.
3. Tax Reform to Help Those Who Aren't Wealthy Build Wealth. We propose a tax reform plan that makes sure no middle-class family with an income of under $100,000 will ever have to pay an effective income tax rate of more than 10 percent. Our plan cuts the number of tax brackets in half, closes dozens of loopholes by setting a corporate flat tax, and simplifies the tax code by offering four superincentives: a $3,000 refundable college tax credit, a universal mortgage deduction, a simplified family credit for families with children, and a universal pension that replaces the current hodgepodge of 16 existing IRA-type accounts.
4. A New Strategy to Win the War on Terror. We need a new strategy that uses all the tools of American power to make our country safe. America must lead the world's fight against the spread of evil and totalitarianism, but we must stop trying to win that battle on our own. We should reform and strengthen multilateral institutions for the 21st century, not walk away from them. We need to fortify the military's "thin green line" around the world by adding to the Special Forces and the Marines, and expanding the Army by 100,000 more troops. We should give all our troops a new G.I. Bill to come home to. Finally, we must protect the homeland and our civil liberties by creating a new domestic counterterrorism force like Britain's MI5.
5. A Hybrid Economy that Cuts America's Gasoline Use in Half. We can cut our use of gasoline in half over the next decade by accelerating energy research and by embracing a technology that already exists -- the plug-in hybrid, which in combination with alternative fuels has the potential to deliver 100 miles per gallon.
The bottom line is that Democrats need A Plan going into this crucial midterm election. Others may have competing progressive ideas. It's time to get them all on the table.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The LuLac Edition #75, Oct. 29, 2006

PICTURE INDEX: 121rst District Republican candidate Christine Katsock, GOP candidate for Governor Lynn Swann pictured with Mrs. Doubtfire and current Governor Ed Rendell.





John C. Cordara, candidate for State Representative in the 120th District now has a campaign website. With days left in the campaign, this is a significant development in the Cordara campaign. Here is the link to his website http://johncordora.com/index.html.
We tried to transfer a picture of Mr. Cordara from his website and a few blogs but were unsuccessful. He does exist, he's had a fundraiser and he will be advertising on the radio.
Cordara opposes State Representative Phyllis Mundy, a 16 year veteran who was endorsed by the Times Leader this week.


Christine Katsock, candidate in the 121rst district to succeed Kevin Blaum garnered an impressive endorsement Saturday from the Times Leader. Here's what the paper had to say about Christine Katsock's style, her take on the issues and her campaign.

Our endorsement for 121st District State Representative
Christine Katsock
Detailed approach, tenacity win out

CHRISTINE KATSOCK HAS campaigned to serve on the school board, the city council and as mayor of Wilkes-Barre. Two years ago she ran for the office held by state Rep. Kevin Blaum. She lost but she didn’t give up. Now she is a candidate for the seat vacated by the retiring Blaum in the 121st House District. The people of the district could benefit from her tenacity.
Katsock is an advocate for the taxpayer. She strongly supports reducing state government, even if it results in losing the seat she’s been trying to fill. She is in favor of reducing “perks” for state legislators, and the staff for each legislative office.
Katsock also wants to eliminate property taxes by shifting to a sales tax. She supports a cap on medical malpractice awards such as pain-and-suffering claims.
A Republican, Katsock owns an online jewelry business and has worked as a music teacher and a church musician. We believe she has an appreciation for the concerns of hard-working taxpayers. She will have to work to get her ideas turned into reality in Harrisburg, but at least she is campaigning with some specifics of what she would do if elected.
Katsock’s opponent: Eddie Day Pashinski
A DEMOCRAT AND former Greater Nanticoke Area School District music teacher, Pashinksi speaks with emotion but very few specifics. Voters deserve some ideas before he gets their votes. Even Pashinski’s suggestions can be hazy. He wants an independent commission to study the health care systems for one year and then make suggestions. He’s concerned about absentee landlords who don’t care for their property, even though we already have laws and codes concerning the condition of property. He also wants to form a drug task force. Don’t we already have those?
Katsock has never held political office but she has campaigned to be on the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board, as well as Wilkes-Barre City Council and Mayor. Pashinski has been active with the Democratic Party.
Toss up
Pashinski is vague; Katsock is much more detailed and creative.
Pashinski is an orator, demonstrative and ardent. Katsock is more moderate.
PashinskiThe Edge: Katsock
No Contest: An excellent choice
Strong: A good choice
Close Call: Two good choices
Weak: Two disappointing choices.


In the race for Governor, here are the spending reports thus far for the candidates.
First, here's Governor Ed Rendell's report:

Election Cycle: 2006
Lawyers & Lobbyists
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
Communications & Electronics
General Business
Other/Retiree/Civil Servants
Energy & Natural Resources
Ideology/Single Issue
Small Contributions
Total for 2006: $14,221,890

Here are totals for Lynn Swann:

Top Contributors

Top Industries
Total $
Candidate Self-finance
Party Committees
General Contractors
Candidate Committees
Lawyers & Lobbyists
Securities & Investment
Oil & Gas
Health Professionals
Lodging & Tourism
Conservative Policy Organization
Real Estate
Miscellaneous Finance

Total for 2006: $6,039, 938.


Been listening to a lot of talk radio in the final days of this campaign and I am struck by a few things.
1. The commentators are running against people who are not yet promoted. I hear that Dennis Kucinich is going to be head of this committee, Nancy Pelosi is going to be speaker, John Dingell is going to be chair of this committee and on and on. Your average voter does not know or care who these people are, now political junkies like me and my buddy Gort 42 know but not your average voter. I doubt someone is going to vote for or against any of their local candidates because someone they don't know or care about will be in the majority. But the desperation in the voices are the things that entertain me.
2. The GOP takeover in 1994 came after 40 years of power by the Democratic Party. If the Democrats prevail, they will win back the Congress after only 12 years. Do you think that perhaps the Dems held on the first time for that long because they were less controversial and more bi-partisan in their thinking? Just wondering.


Love the latest Santorum TV ad which interestingly enough tells you how affable the Senator is with hiscollegues in Washington. No matter the outcome of this race, Santorum's ads were the very best of all of the candidates statewide.


Walter Griffith, a Wilkes Barre resident and advocate of good government has started a blog. Mr. Griffith has taken sensible, courageous and intelligent stands before Wilkes Barre City Council. It's a shame they can't understand what he is trying to convey but then if they did, we'd suspect that aliens took over their bodies as nesting places until the next spaceship leaves. Anyway, check out his blog, comment on it if you wish. Here's the link: http://taxpayersforwilkesbarre.blogspot.com/.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The LuLac Edition #74, Oct. 28, 2006

PICTURE INDEX: Senator Rick Santorum, Ed Sieminski (Republican) and Representative John Yudichak (Democrat, photo courtesy of Citizen's Voice) and the late Senator Joseph Clark.



Take a controversial Senator who has been in office for 12 years and is running for a third term against a somewhat bland but intelligent candidate. The state of Pennsylvania is the battleground. Add to that the Senator is in the Majority Party that controls the Senate, the House and the White House. Oh yes, his President, an incumbent from Texas who after promising to unite the country after a catastrophic event that changed the course of history and politics in the United States is causing him a major political problem. The reason? The President is embroiled in a war in a foreign country that many Americans want to get out of. The incumbent Senator crisscrosses the state bringing in celebrities to bolster his campaign. He comes up with clever poster and bumper sticker ads that proclaim, “Pennsylvanians are bumper to bumper for Senator…………….” In the meantime, his opponent raises hot button issues like gun control, family planning, foreign aide and the support of the war being waged as issues in the campaign. The incumbent Senator has a problem because he has a paper trail of statements on these issues. He has been unapologetic for his often extreme stances and constantly asks his challenger to debate. They do so only a few times with the incumbent being frustrated by his challenger’s nonchalant demeanor. The sitting Senator literally runs away from any support offered by his President or party leaders.
Are we talking about Santorum and Casey here? Nope, it’s 1968 and the incumbent Senator is former Philadelphia Mayor Joseph Clark who is going for term number three. In his 12 years in the Senate, he has advocated family planning, gun control, increasing foreign aide to developing African countries contingent on the aforementioned family issue, and is a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War. He has broken with his President, Lyndon B. Johnson who was elevated to the office after the assassination of President Kennedy and is fighting a trend in his state and country that is indicating there is going to be a different party leading after election day.
On Tuesday, November 5th, Senator Clark lost his seat to Republican Congressman Richard Schweiker who later served 2 terms himself before deciding not to run in 1980. (Senator Specter holds that seat now.) The Democratic Presidential contender Hubert Humphrey carried the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but lost the election to Richard M. Nixon. Schweiker went on to become Ronald Reagan’s proposed running mate for Vice President at the 1976 GOP convention and later Reagan’s Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Clark taught government and politics at Philadelphia area colleges until his death in 1990.
The comparisons to the Casey-Santorum race and the Joseph Clark-Richard Schweiker contest are uncanny. On election night, we shall see if the incumbent, Santorum, much like Clark was done in by controversial statements and an unpopular war started by a President from Texas.

Going to the candidate's debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose.


With Election Day less than 10 days away, Republican candidate Ed Sieminski and Democratic incumbent John Yudichak utilized the League of Women Voters forum to distance each other, often responding questions with personal jabs at each other. Less than 30 people showed up at LCCC’s Conference Auditorium for the debate. The league’s moderator questioned the candidates stances on various issues, tax reform, economic revitalization and reforming legislative policies were the focus of both men. Mr. Sieminski, the GOP candidate has called for debates throughout the campaign. He has constantly called radio talk shows taking Mr. Yudiciak on various issues but could not hit him on the big one, the payraise issue. The incumbent seemed to inoculate himself on that issue.
On other aspects of the debate, here is how the Wilkes Barre Citizen’s Voice chose to report it.
Sieminski said tax reform would be his top priority if he’s elected. He criticized Yudichak’s claims of providing “tax relief” to a majority of the seniors in the 119th voting district. Property taxes increase because the state does not fund 50 percent of school districts, he said.“Mr. Yudichak is right, (the legislature) has put some dollars in and raised funding a bit,” Sieminski said. “But property taxes have got to be reformed.”Yudichak stood next to Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell when he signed the property tax relief bill into law earlier this year. To qualify under the bill, a homeowner or renter must be at least 65 or disabled.Sieminski said the state needs to make wise choices in funding and should use the sales tax as the fairest way to tax people.“Those who spend the most should bear the burden,” Sieminski said.Yudichak characterized the plan as hurting seniors and poor people.“There are ways that we can go after property tax reform, without taxing the most vulnerable citizens in our society,” he said.The candidates agreed that Harrisburg politics should be more open and that lobbyist reform is needed. Sieminski then called for Yudichak to release all his tax forms and other records to the public, to which Yudichak interrupted Sieminksi’s response by saying every political claim he has made can be backed by newspaper records.“It’s public fact,” Yudichak said. “It may not fit with your distortions or your personal attacks, but it is public fact.”Yudichak tried to characterize Sieminski as overly negative during the forum, saying the republican did not acknowledge the economic renewal in the area as shown by the new jobs from Mohegan Sun’s casino. Sieminski said gambling would not revitalize the area, economically, but would hurt the people who already need economic help.

The LuLac Edition #73, Oct. 27, 2006


BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's prime minister said on Thursday he could get violence under control in six months, half the time U.S. generals say they need, provided Washington gave him more weaponry and more say over his own forces.
In sharp criticism of the handling of Iraq's security by the United States, Nuri al-Maliki denied U.S. assertions he was working to a timetable of steps agreed with Washington.
He also told Reuters in an interview he had no fear the Americans might oust him, after President George W. Bush said on Wednesday his patience was "not unlimited" and that he would back Maliki "as long as he continues to make tough decisions".
"They think building Iraqi forces will need 12 to 18 months, for us to be in control of security," Maliki said, referring to remarks two days ago by U.S. commander General George Casey.
"We agree our forces need work but think that if, as we are asking, the rebuilding of our forces was in our own hands, then it would take not 12-18 months but six might be enough."
He called for more say on security policy once the U.S.-led Coalition's U.N. mandate runs out in December.
"If anyone is responsible for the poor security situation in Iraq it is the Coalition," Maliki said.
"I am now prime minister and overall commander of the armed forces yet I cannot move a single company without Coalition approval because of the U.N. mandate," Maliki said.

If I were President, this would be the out I was looking for. The Iraq PM is not real happy with "The Coalition's" timetable, well then pal, here's what we'll do.

1. Ask you if you misquoted.

2. If you weren't, start withdrawing troops from Iraq immediately.

3. Continue aid so that the PM could adequately train his troops without Coalition or UN interference.

4. Plan a huge welcome home party for all the troops safely exacuated out of Iraq in April 2007.


11th Republican Congressional candidate Joe Leonardi recently penned a letter to editors regarding his campaign. Some great points. Take a look.

Dear Editor,
I have often been asked; what is the one major difference between Congressman Kanjorski and myself? I have always had several, but on Sunday, October 22, I heard the congressman speak on "The Pulse with Corey O’Brien." A side note, Corey O’Brien told me on two occasions; once on the phone and once right to my face, at the Latin Festival in Scranton, that he would have me on his show. He had also told the same to one of my campaign staffers at a debate he moderated at Lackawanna College. To date I have not been invited to appear on his televison or radio show. However, Corey did have the Congressman on for the entire half hour Sunday. After the Congressman completed the interview, it hit me; the one major difference between us is this: From "Wall Street West" to the "Mag-Lev Train" he gives the impression it is his goal to make Northeast PA a subsidiary of New York City. I want to make Northeast PA a viable, independent, economic powerhouse. I want to use the resources we have in here in Northeast PA to create jobs, provide opportunity and give our children a place to stay after college.
Unfortunately, because the Congressman does not believe the voters have the right to hear us debate, he and I will never get to discuss this in front of the voters. As I have stated, his refusal to debate is acceptable to me, but it should not be acceptable to you, the voters. The Congressman does not believe he should come off his mountain and debate with me; a mere middle class citizen. He has taken the elitist position that he knows what is best for us all and doesn’t believe voters have the right to make an informed decision.
Congressman Kanjorski can continue to communicate through select members of the media that gleefully cheer him on. I will continue to make myself available to anyone who wants to interview me, whether it is bloggers, talk show hosts, newspaper or television reporters. Most importantly, I welcome you, the voter, to contact me and ask any questions you would like. If after hearing my answers you still do not want to vote for me, I respect that.
If you want change, if you want someone who will demonstrate accountability, responsibility and courage to our constituents, then please vote for me.
Thank you,
Joe Leonardi


GOP candidate for State Representative in the 121rst District, Christine Katsock seems to be making a race of it against Eddie Day Pashinski. Katsock's media is very good, her advertising is on point and you can't help but wonder if Pashinski is going to face some resistance from his two Democratic primary foes, Bob Reilly and Dr. Brian O'Donnell. Those two guys haven't been exactly front and center with Mr. Pashinski. In the meantime, Katsock is covering the district with her message and getting good responses.


John Cordaro, GOP candidate in the 120th District is nowheres to be seen but we encountered one of his signs in the front window of Tony's Restaraunt on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston next to Bonner Chevrolet.



Monday, October 23, 2006

The LuLac Edition #72, Oct. 23, 2006

PICTURE INDEX: President Richard M. (My God look at what this guy is doing to undermine the Constitution, how come they're not running him out of town like they did to me!) Nixon, Senator and 2004 Presidential Democratic nominee John Kerry, and MSNBC commentator Keith Oberman.


Joe Leonardi, candidate for 11th district Congressman had a great interview in the Pittston Sunday Dispatch. The interview shows just how good a candidate Leonardi is. Too bad he is getting no help from any GOP organization. How difficult would it have been for someone to give President Bush a quick line to tell people to support Leonardi in a neighboring district! I find it ironic that the GOP, having a squeaky clean candidate in Leonardi are not giving him a dime while they are pouring millions into Don Sherwood's effort. Leonardi is articulate, on point with his themes, energetic and battling while Sherwood is tattered, battered and scattered in his message. If Leonardi gets elected, and it’s a longshot, but if he does, he will truly be independent. That would be a wonderful thing to see.


Keith Oberman, host of MSNBC’s Countdown gave a moving, gifted commentary last week on his show regarding the loss of Habeus Corpus and the ramifications it has on our freedom. Up until this point in our history, the most reviled President was Richard Nixon for attempting to stifle personal liberty in this country with the Watergate affair. This President and his actions are making Nixon look like a Constitutional freedom fighter and scholar!

And lastly as promised, a special comment tonight on the signing of the Military Commissions Act and the loss of habeas corpus.
We have lived as if in a trance.
We have lived as people in fear.
And now, our rights and our freedoms in peril, we slowly awake to learn that we have been afraid of the wrong thing.
Therefore, tonight have we truly become the inheritors of our American legacy.
For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering: A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from.
We have been here before and we have been here before led here by men better and wiser and nobler than George W. Bush.
We have been here when President John Adams insisted that the Alien and Sedition Acts were necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use those acts to jail newspaper editors.
American newspaper editors, in American jails, for things they wrote about America.
We have been here when President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the Espionage Act was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that Act to prosecute 2,000 Americans, especially those he disparaged as “Hyphenated Americans,” most of whom were guilty only of advocating peace in a time of war.
American public speakers, in American jails, for things they said about America.
And we have been here when President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted that Executive Order 9066 was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that order to imprison and pauperize 110,000 Americans while his man in charge, General DeWitt, told Congress: “It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese.”
American citizens, in American camps, for something they neither wrote nor said nor did, but for the choices they or their ancestors had made about coming to America.
Each of these actions was undertaken for the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons. And each was a betrayal of that for which the president who advocated them claimed to be fighting.
Adams and his party were swept from office, and the Alien and Sedition Acts erased.
Many of the very people Wilson silenced survived him, and one of them even ran to succeed him, and got 900,000 votes, though his presidential campaign was conducted entirely from his jail cell.
And Roosevelt‘s internment of the Japanese was not merely the worst blight on his record, but it would necessitate a formal apology from the government of the United States to the citizens of the United States whose lives it ruined.
The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons. In times of fright, we have been only human. We have let Roosevelt‘s “fear of fear itself” overtake us.
We have listened to the little voice inside that has said, “the wolf is at the door; this will be temporary; this will be precise; this too shall pass.”
We have accepted that the only way to stop the terrorists is to let the government become just a little bit like the terrorists. Just the way we once accepted that the only way to stop the Soviets was to let the government become just a little bit like the Soviets.
Or substitute the Japanese.
Or the Germans.
Or the Socialists.
Or the Anarchists.
Or the Immigrants.
Or the British.
Or the Aliens.
The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.
And, always, always wrong.
“With the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few: Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously, and did we do what it takes to defeat that threat?”
Wise words.
And ironic ones, Mr. Bush, your own, of course, yesterday, in signing the Military Commissions Act. You spoke so much more than you know, Sir.
Sadly, of course, the distance of history will recognize that the threat this generation of Americans needed to take seriously was you.
We have a long and painful history of ignoring the prophecy attributed to Benjamin Franklin that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
But even within this history we have not before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow.
You, sir, have now befouled that spring.
You, sir, have now given us chaos and called it order.
You, sir, have now imposed subjugation and called it freedom.
For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.
And again, Mr. Bush, all of them, wrong.
We have handed a blank check, drawn against our freedom, to a man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done to anything the terrorists have ever done.
We have handed a blank check, drawn against our freedom, to a man who has insisted again that “the United States does not torture. It‘s against our laws and it‘s against our values” and who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him.
We have handed a blank, check drawn against our freedom, to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-American citizens “unlawful enemy combatants” and ship them somewhere, anywhere, but may now, if he so decides, declare you an “unlawful enemy combatant” and ship you somewhere, anywhere.
And if you think this hyperbole or hysteria, ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was president or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was president or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was president.
And if you somehow think habeas corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an “unlawful enemy combatant,” exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this attorney general is going to help you?
This President now has his blank check.
He lied to get it.
He lied as he received it.
Is there any reason to even hope he has not lied about how he intends to use it nor who he intends to use it against?
“These military commissions will provide a fair trial,” you told us yesterday, Mr. Bush, “in which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney and can hear all the evidence against them.”
“Presumed innocent,” Mr. Bush?
The very piece of paper you signed as you said that, allows for the detainees to be abused up to the point just before they sustain “serious mental and physical trauma” in the hope of getting them to incriminate themselves, and may no longer even invoke the Geneva Conventions in their own defense.
“Access to an attorney,” Mr. Bush?
Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift said on this program, Sir, and to the Supreme Court, that he was only granted access to his detainee defendant on the promise that the detainee would plead guilty.
“Hearing all the evidence,” Mr. Bush?
The Military Commissions Act specifically permits the introduction of classified evidence not made available to the defense.
Your words are lies, Sir.
They are lies that imperil us all.
“One of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks,” you told us yesterday, “said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of the end of America.”
That terrorist, sir, could only hope.
Not his actions, nor the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists, real or imagined, could measure up to what you have wrought.
Habeas corpus? Gone.
The Geneva Conventions? Optional.
The moral force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out.
These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would be “the beginning of the end of America.”
And did it even occur to you once, sir, somewhere in amidst those eight separate, gruesome, intentional, terroristic invocations yesterday of the horrors of 9/11 -- that with only a little further shift in this world we now know, just a touch more repudiation of all of that for which our patriots died—did it ever occur to you once that in just 27 months and two days from now when you leave office, some irresponsible future president and a “competent tribunal” of lackeys would be entitled, by the actions of your own hand, to declare the status of “unlawful enemy combatant” for—and convene a Military Commission to try—not John Walker Lindh, but George Walker Bush?
For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.
And doubtless, Sir, all of them, as always, wrong.
Joe Scarborough is next. Goodnight and good luck.


Senator John Kerry is articulating his own policy about the war in Iraq and this time around, he is not pulling any punches. Evidence his interview this Sunday on ABC’s This Week. There is no doubt that Kerry is running in 2008 and will be doing it with a vengeance.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You heard the president. He said the Democrats like you who want a fixed timetable for withdrawal from Iraq are waving the white flag of surrender on the war on terror.
KERRY: That's reprehensible. It's a lie. The administration has lied in the walkup to the war. They've lied in the conduct of the war. And they have made America less safe. And the president just misled America again in that interview. I heard him talk about Al Qaida disrupting Iraq. Al Qaida is not the problem in Iraq, Mr. President.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They are there. There are Al Qaida elements in Iraq.
KERRY: There are a few Al Qaida element there. But the CIA will tell you they're somewhere in the very little numbers. Not a consequence of what's happening. The violence in Iraq today, George, which the president ought to understand and talk to America about, not mislead them, is between Shia and Sunni. This is a civil war.
Donald Rumsfeld said our soldiers will not be caught in civil war. George Bush said we will not tolerate North Korea have a nuclear weapon. Both are happening. And they're just sitting there with the same old, same old.
This administration doesn't have a policy. Their policy is stay to course. The president said again, he misled America there.
KERRY: He said we won't stay the course. He's said we'll stay the course again and again and again.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You do have...
KERRY: You have to set a date because it's the only way to get Iraqis to respond. And a year from now...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But that's what I want to ask you about. That's what I want to ask you.
KERRY: Sure. Definitely.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What if they don't respond?
KERRY: Well, you get there, George. But the date is not a date in a vacuum. I mean, I'm not stupid. I don't think that people are sitting here saying how do we find a greater disaster out of an already existing disaster. We need to find a way to be successful. And what the president's doing is not successful. And the president keeps misleading America and the world about it. And therefore, he loses the credibility to be able to go in and do the diplomacy necessary.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But what's your plan B? Let's say you start to pull out...
KERRY: Let me tell you what plan A, because plan A can work. It's the only way to do this. I mean, just the other day, the president committed an enormous blunder. He has a conversation with Mr. Maliki, prime minister. And he comes out and he brags to everybody publicly, what I told him was, he doesn't have to worry, Americans are going to stay there. Well, every time you say to them Americans are going to stay there, you don't have to worry, and you know, we'll stay as long as it takes...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, he did say in this interview that his patience won't last forever.
KERRY: Well, I think you have to be more blunt. I think you have to say, no young American is going to die and give their life or limb for Iraqi politicians who refuse to compromise. They have to want democracy for themselves as much as we want it for them.
And if you read "State of Denial," which the president ought to read, because it would tell him something about his own administration and what's happening that he obviously doesn't know, if you read "State of Denial," Newt Gingrich sat down with Paul Wolfowitz and they discussed how dates were essential to making something happen.
KERRY: If it was essential for an election, it's essential for the transfer of power.
Also, the date is not in a vacuum. The date is linked to a major summit, where you bring the parties together, particularly the neighbors who are Sunni, who have an interest in the 20 percent Sunni population of Iraq not being oppressed by the Shia. And you involve everybody, as General Anthony Zinni suggests in a new security...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're talking about Saudi Arabia. You're talking about Egypt, I presume.
KERRY: I'm talking about Jordan.
KERRY: I'm talking about the Gulf states.
KERRY: I'm talking about Syria and...
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's what I want to ask. What interest do they have in a stable, pro-U.S. Iraq?
KERRY: It's not a question of pro-U.S. I think, after what's happened there, this is not going to be a question of pro-U.S. It's going to be pro-Iraq. It's going to be pro-Middle East.
And what we need to recognize is that the president's policies have really disrupted America's ability to have the kind of impact -- we've been set back years in the Middle East because of the president's policy.
And you don't have a real policy. I mean, you have Jim Baker saying, maybe we're going to change. Then you have the vice president coming out and saying things are going remarkably well in Iraq.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He actually said, in Time magazine today, "We're looking for victory."
Do you think victory is possible?
KERRY: It has to be completely redefined, what it's going to be. And then you have John McCain, of all people, saying what you got to do is put 100,000 more troops in, which is a fantasy, when you look at the fact that, in the last few days, they put more troops in, 15,000. They brought more troops from Kuwait. They concentrated the troops in Baghdad, and they have failed miserably.
Our own generals tell us the solution in Iraq is not military. If it's not military, don't talk, as John McCain does, about putting more troops in. Talk about how you resolve the political and diplomatic dilemma and sectarian dilemma between Shia and Sunni and the region.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They also say that pulling out those troops, the threat of pulling out those troops, right now, is going to create chaos.
KERRY: A year from now? That's not an abandonment. Are you telling me that, a year from now, after all this administration has said about standing up and, while they stand up, we'll stand down -- that was a lie.
They said, as they stand up, we'll stand down. Well, we're now at about 320,000 troops trained. That's not going to make the difference. Either they resolve the political differences within this year because they want to, or they don't want to.
If they don't want to, there's nothing American troops can do. If they do resolve it, so much the better, and our troops can withdraw.
Setting a date for a year from now is not waving a flag of surrender. And I resent the president of the United States suggesting that. It is, in fact, the best way to protect our troops.
It's the best way to solve the problem. It's the best way to regain our moral authority in the region. It's the best way to be successful. It's the best way to protect America's security.
And this administration has set America's security back in North Korea; set it back in Iran. Iran is delighted with what's happening in Iraq.
They've set us back in Iraq itself. They've set back the Middle East peace process. We can't do anything in Darfur. And they're the only nation in the world that denies global climate change. Let's debate security, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Some are suggesting that the White House actually is thinking about a radical change in strategy, but they're going to wait until after the elections.
KERRY: Well, there you go. That's a really beautiful thing. While young Americans are on the line and their lives...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think that's happening?
KERRY: I think it's immoral to have the lives of young Americans being put on the line, waiting for an election day event or strategy. If you've got a better strategy, Mr. President, we deserve to have it now.
And the fact is that, for 3 1/2 years, we've been sitting here with a strategy that many of us have said, again and again and again, will not work. It will not work. Our own generals have said there's no military solution. What are we doing?
We're pursuing the same old, same old. And the president, contrary to what he said in the interview, has said again and again, we're going to stay the course. And he keeps playing this demagogue card that somehow it's a white flag of surrender, in the United States of America, to suggest the way to actually get the job done.
We don't have to sit around and be bullied by a bunch of people who have misled America, lied to America and, in fact, have made America less safe. And I'm not going to stand for it.

Many people have said that if Kerry showed this much passion in the 2004 race, there might have been a different outcome in the state of Ohio which would have changed the course of the history and the Presidency.


Campaign signs are dotting the highways and byways of Northeastern Pa. If you travel through Harvey’s Lake, you’ll see the lakeside virtually wallpapered by Karen Bobeck signs. In Kingston and Pittston, there are a plethora of Phyllis Mundy and Mike Carroll signs. No signs whatsoever for Mundy’s foe, John “MIA”Cordaro. We’re putting out a search party for him next week. Saw a sign "Republicans for Rendell" as well as a "FIRE Lynn Swann" sign which I don't understand. THe guy is holding no elective office so how can he be fired. Has to be a story behind that one!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The LuLac Edition #71, Oct. 20th, 2006


Going to the candidates debate,
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Ev'ry way you look at it, you lose.


When they last met for a televised debate, Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and Democrat Bob Casey Jr. looked as if they were ready to jump from behind their respective podiums and scuffle.
Monday night’s meeting at the National Constitution Center -- the final in a series of three Pennsylvania debates -- was tempered and substantive by comparison, but the candidates still spent an hour trying to weaken and attack each other’s credibility on issues and character. A debate Monday morning at KYW Newsradio took a similar tone, as plenty of hostility crackled just below the surface.
Santorum went on the offensive against Casey, painting him as a lightweight who was coasting on his family name. Santorum positioned himself as being more independent of President Bush than Casey has portrayed him over the last 18 months, and as a senator who delivers for the state.
“The bottom line is I have worked hard for the people of Pennsylvania,” Santorum said. “Why? Because I had to work for this job. It is not a job I inherited because of my last name.”
Casey, the son of a two-term governor, belittled Santorum as a desperate campaigner and a divisive ideologue who, as a leader of the GOP Senate majority, was partly responsible for the “toxic” environment in Washington.
“On one side, you have a candidate of status quo, stay the course, more the same,” Casey said.
The three-debate series served more as a soapbox for the candidates to hash out the differences their staffs have been debating with the media for more than a year.
Santorum came into the debates with the heavier burden. Trailing in the polls, and now even with Casey on the amount of money on hand to spend through Election Day on Nov. 7, Santorum needed to chink Casey’s armor. Santorum managed to portray the Democrat as being unprepared in some areas by asking questions he couldn’t answer, such as identifying the former Iranian president who made a controversial trip to the United States last month.
Casey needed to hold his own against Santorum, who was viewed as the more adept debater, and avoid any serious gaffes. He succeeded.
There has been much talk that Santorum needed to have a strategy that portrayed him as a fighter in the Western part of the state and more moderate in the eastern part. This could be the reason why the debate in Philadelphia was a little bit more subdued.


Dr. Joseph Leonardi, Republican Nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives PA-11, has been endorsed by Esquire Magazine.
Per the November edition of Esquire Magazine, page 206:
District 11
Joseph Leonardi ( R )
Paul Kanjorski ( D )
"Incumbent Kanjorski has been described by The New York Times as a "master of earmarking," better known as a pork farmer. This got him into trouble a few years ago when he got 7.5 million taxpayer dollars for a company partly owned by members of his family. Esquire endorses: Leonardi"


Sue Henry’s Radio program on WILK will originate from the White House next Tuesday. Only one of about 30 broadcast outlets allowed on the premises, Henry will be interviewing Cabinet officials and Lord knows who else might be strolling around. The Bush White House has long been an advocate of inviting talk radio hosts to the residence but this is unique in the sense that live broadcasts will be going on from there. Henry has no idea why her show was picked but she joins pretty famous company. In the past the President has invited Sean Hannity, Michael Reagan, and the very scary Laura Ingram. Warning to Nancy Kman, programming boss at WILK, Tony Snow seems to need all the help he could get. He just may tap Ms. Henry as a top aide in the press office.


President Bush stopped off at Manning’s Ice Cream in Clarks Summit for a bit of ice cream. The President favored Pralines and Cream and waved to excited residents. A cousin of mine and her husband I believe are the only two Democrats in the Summit but did not venture out for a cone or a glimpse at the Chief Executive. At least I'll give the President this, he didn't order vanilla ice cream. If I had a chance to show him the sights in Lackawanna Coiunty, we'd do wings at the Windsor, stop by my friend John Webster's house so he could see John's collection of Beers of the World, a visit to the Archbald pothole and a set at Superdads, then end it all with a few dogs at Abe's on South Main in Wilkes Barre. See, Democrats do have more fun!!!!!!!!!


All TV stations did a very good job covering the President’s visit. David DeCosmo from WYOU TV was his usual best while Amy Bradley and Jill Kanopka did great team coverage on WBRE TV. And of course Newswatch 16 did their usual good job. This is President Bush’s 7th visit to the region since he came to office. He has been here more than any President.

OH CAROL!!!!!!

Not lost on the crowd or even the President at Sherwood’s rally was the presence of the Congressman’s wife and daughter. Mrs. Sherwood wrote a letter to supporters over the weekend and essentially forgave her husband and questioned why voters in the 10th district could not do the same. Here’s a copy of her letter:

Dear Friends,
After watching the debate last Wednesday night between my husband and
Chris Carney, I decided to write this letter. . This is not an easy thing for me to do
because I am basically a private person. But as I sat in the auditorium listening
to the debate, I realized that I would never want a person like Chris Carney to
represent me anywhere, especially in Congress.
Chris Carney talks a lot about family values - but the /lsubstance" of his
campaign is to attack my family. He says his campaign isjustified in publicizing
over and over my husband's infidelity under the guise of /Ifactual information."
He won't admit that it is negative campaigning or a personal attack. I think
we all know the facts by now, as the media has not let us forget. Chris Carney
might be trying to make himself look squeaky clean, but we have all made
mistakes we regret over the years... nobody is perfect. I am certainly not
condoning the mistake Don made, but I am not going to dwell on it either.
Weare a strong and loving family and have been put to the test... WEARE
NOT RUNNING AWAY FROM OUR PROBLEMS! On the contrary, we have
gained strength from each other and, as a family, continue to pull together. It
seems like a long process, but we are slowly and surely rebuilding our family.
As with most couples, Don and I have worked through our differences during
our 34 year marriage and, although this is hard, we're not about to give up.
Don is a good person and has always been a hero to our daughters and,
without a doubt, will be again. We do not believe in flogging dead horses or
living in the past. It is time to move on and that is exact/yowhat we are trying
to do.
The negative ads approved by Chris Carney seem to be needlessly cruel.
Private humiliation is one thing to endure, but to be repeatedly, publicly
humiliated is quite another. When somebody hurts one of us, he hurts
everyone in the family. Perhaps Carney gets some pleasure out of hurting our
family, or maybe that's what he thinks will make him a winner. He seems to
be self-appointed judge and jury. "I will make you proud" he so frequently
likes to say... but I find nothing in his actions during this campaign that
would make anybody proud.
We have all done a lot of soul searching and put many hours into restoring
our family unity. Without Don, we are not a whole family. It is a fact that good
people can and do make mistakes. Don is a good person.
I took a break from politics and campaigning for a while, now I am back and
willing to work as hard as you to keep a good man doing a good job for all of us.


From ROME WASN’T BURNT in a DAY, by Joe Scarborough, page 181: "This year on Scarborough Country I will invite incumbents and challengers of both parties to sign my 10-Point Pledge to clean up Congress. I’ll be highlighting candidates who agree to support all provisions of the reform package and demanding answers from those who don’t." Since I announced my run for U.S. House of Representatives in August of 2005, I have been trying to contact Mr. Scarborough to appear on his show to sign his pledge. I believe strongly in this pledge and I am signing it without appearing on the show. My campaign was advised by producer Tara Meltzer that "we don’t do that on Scarborough Country anymore." We attempted to explain that we were only responding to Mr. Scarborough’s challenge, but she curtly stated that "we don’t do those kind of segments anymore." I am extremely disappointed that Mr. Scarborough would issue a challenge and then avoid someone who is willing to take up his challenge. I have been quoted as saying I am glad I’m not going to Washington, D.C. to be a Chiropractor, because there are so few spines; it seems it may be a trait that some political analysts share.
Here is the pledge:
From page 180-181 Joe Scarborough, "Rome Wasn’t Burnt in a Day"
Joe Scarborough’s 10-Point Pledge to clean up Congress:
1. Ban congressmen, senators and White House officials from lobbying for five years.
2. Freeze the pay of congressmen, senators and White House officials until the federal budget is balanced. This includes cost-of-living adjustments!
3. Force political candidates to immediately scan and post all campaign contributions on their campaign website. Failure to do so results in criminal penalties.
4. Pass term limits now! Since the House of Representatives authorizes the federal spending, limit House members to three terms (six years).
5. Make Congress and every Washington bureaucracy undergo an independent, professional audit, line by line, program by program, every four years.
6. Pass a constitutional amendment requiring Washington to balance the budget every year except when Congress passes a resolution declaring a national emergency.
7. Create a federal rainy-day fund that would set aside one-half of one percent of all tax receipts each year for national, state and local emergencies.
8. Reenact pay-as-you-go rules that would require Congress to offset new spending programs and tax cuts with spending cuts from other programs.
9. Reinstitute congressional spending caps that would force congressmen or senators to live within their previous spending projections. These caps will not be broken unless Congress passes a separate resolution declaring a national emergency as described in number 6.
10. Pass a new American tax code written by a bipartisan panel of budget experts instead of the lobbyist groups who regularly carve out special-interest deductions and greatly simplify the tax system.

Signed: Dr. Joseph Leonardi
Candidate U.S. House
PA - 11