The LuLac Edition #461, April 15th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: POPE BENEDICT THE XVITH, AND A PHOTO PROVING THAT "WHERE THERE'S SMOKE, THERE'S............................"
Much has been made of the comments made by Senator Obama regarding how people in small towns across Pennsylvania are bitter. His comments have started a firestorm, provided an opening for Senator Clinton and has put the insurgent campaign on the defensive. The thing people are upset about is that he brought in two third rails of politics, guns and religion. If he had referred to anything else, maybe there would not be such a big deal made about all of this. But Campaign 2008, the year of change has also been for the Democrats a year of diversion.
On being bitter, here’s where I stand. I have a hard time being bitter about life. I enjoy every day to the fullest and Thank God for each breath I take, the people in my life and for what I have. Like everyone, I’d want more but fight that instinct when I see people worse off than me.
But here’s what I know, the U.S. Congress has been deadlocked since the Gingrich Revolution. There is little consensus and true understanding of what real people need. Politicians have been overpaid for under producing. Look at the State Legislature in Harrisburg. Locally, we are told that when a new company comes in they are bringing high paying jobs, for two guys and then the rest of us get $7.00 bucks an hour. Multi national corporation CEOs make millions of dollars in bonuses while they rob their workers of decent pensions. We are in a war that has cost us 4,000 lives. We were lied to about that war, more lies were told about this war than any in history. The Iraq War has lasted longer than the Civil War, and World Wars I and II. I am perplexed why Americans cannot see the true cost of this war. Are we so blind that when we hear or see the body count on “This Week” we don’t realize that those names flashing on our plasma TVs were the lives of real people? And speaking of Iraq, we are spending 30 billion dollars a month! Our roads and water pipes are falling apart and our kids are scoring well on “the test” but have no clue about the humanities. Our environment has been ravaged by the Bush/Cheney administration. Social Security is bursting at the seams and there is a crisis in health care. Gas prices are going for $3.50 a gallon and the oil companies wonder why people disdain them. When I went to King’s College, my tuition was $1500.00 a semester. Today, it’s $24,000. No wonder the kids drink on the weekend! As Obama says, some might cling to religion or guns. Maybe. But most people I know have retreated into their own homes, not coming out after work to socialize with friends are neighbors. We’ve become an insular society entertained by our toys and protected by our busy day planners. And no wonder, as things get worse, people move closer to home, to nest and protect. Obama’s comments speak to what is wrong with this country, we feel powerless to do anything. Guns and God, well there’s power there. True leadership means saying tough things, true citizenship means hearing and accepting the tough things you hear from a leader. I don’t know what the outcome of the Clinton-Obama race is going to be, I don’t know if his comments will sink his candidacy, but what I do know is that if this is the central issue in a campaign where so many things in this nation need fixing, then I don’t think we as a nation are bitter. I think we’re doomed!
THE SMOKING GUN
In any scandal, there is a ramp up. Watergate started in early 1972 when two reporters for the Washington Post started to put two and two together. The Clinton-Lewinsky saga began when one girl friend confided in another one about her dangerous liaison. The current county scandal started when the debit card issue came to the front, these were mere mistakes. Justifications were made about identical looking credit cards. The people involved paid the money back. Like all scandals, at first this one look contained. But like Watergate, a lawyer got involved and thought, “I’m not covering up for these guys”. Attorney Jim Blaum’s report on the bidding practices and Sam Guesto’s role in it now has produced concrete proof that bids were maneuvered to friends of the County Clerk and County leaders. This black and white paper lays it all out in black and white. There’s trouble under the dome. For everyone. Greg Skrepenak appointed these people, Steve Urban didn’t make enough noise about these obvious infractions and MaryAnne Petrilla bought Judge Mark Ciavarella's bill of goods about what a great asset Sam Guesto would be to the Court system. Now to her credit, Petrilla has changed her stance. But given Luzerne County politics, it will take nothing short of dynamite to get rid of Guesto. They say “where there’s smoke there’s fire”. The next bid the County Commissioners advertise should be for industrial strength fire extinguishers. The heat under the dome has officially arrived.
10th Congressional District candidate Chris Carney is running a radio ad urging people to vote. Without a Democratic foe, the ad is a luxury. “Whatever decision you make, the right one is to vote” says Carney as only an incumbent Congressman can.
PB 16 LANDS
My man, Pope Benedict XVIth has touched down in America. The Pope is going to be in the U.S. for six days celebrating the third anniversary of his Papacy and his birthday. We have our tickets for Yankee Stadium on Sunday. How excited is Mrs. LuLac about all of this? “You know I never saw Monument Park at the Stadium”. Reports will follow.
With permission, I have some early election returns for Luzerne County for the Democratic primary. My mom (87) and my mother in law (91) cast their ballots already by mail. Clinton 1-Obama 1. They could never agree on anything!