The LuLac Edition #678, Dec. 26th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: APOLLO ASTRONAUTS FRANK BORMAN, WILLIAN ANDERS AND JAMES LOVELL, JUNIOR, OUR 1968 LOGO, STATE REPRESENTATIVE TODD EACHUS, THE BLOG EDITOR AND FELLOW DOOR BUSTER OF 1968 PAUL K. (PAUL AND I WENT FROM ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST GRADE SCHOOL TO ST. JOHN'S HIGH TO KING'S COLLEGE) THE ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CLASS OF 1968 AND THE WASKO BROTHERS, BOB, ME AND DREW TRYING TO RE-CREATE A BEATLES PHOTO IN APRIL OF 1968.
TODD SAYS NO
The House Democratic caucus denied a request by its former second-ranking member to pay the costs of defending him against criminal charges in "Bonusgate," an ongoing legislative corruption investigation. Majority Leader Todd Eachus, D-Luzerne, made the decision in response to a Dec. 11 letter sent to him and other House leaders by Mike Veon's lawyer, Bob Del Greco. Del Greco threatened to seek a federal injunction if the House of Representatives did not agree to pay Veon's already accrued legal expenses and "all future attorney fees and related expenses consistent with its custom and practice of paying legal fees for House members and staff over the last two decades." "It's a slam dunk," Eachus said of his decision. "I think people expect that me as a leader and the House Democratic caucus to be stewards of their tax dollars. Paying for liability exposure or legal exposure for former members of the House would be an unwise way to spend their tax dollars." Veon, a former state representative from Beaver County, is among 12 people associated with the House Democratic caucus who were charged in July with theft, conflict of interest and conspiracy in connection with the alleged illegal use of government employees and taxpayer money for electioneering. The upcoming trial is part of the Bonus gate indictments that happened this past summer.
PA. HEALTH CARE
Pennsylvania’s Insurance Department says the waiting list for a state-subsidized health insurance program for adults has reached an all-time high.Department spokeswoman Rosanne Placey said Tuesday that 145,800 adults are now on the waiting list for the adultBasic insurance program.Placey says that’s an increase of about 15,000 since November — also a record-high spike.More than 46,000 adults are currently enrolled in the program, which helps uninsured adults whose incomes are too high to qualify them for Medicaid.
This is our final segment for the year 1968. We hope you’ve enjoyed it and hopefully got a better glimpse into what it was like growing up in that turbulent year. Living through that year has shaped my political belief system as well as the way I approach news events entering my life in the current time. If you were at all awake during that time period, you can’t help but be affected by it. Hope you enjoyed it.
The year began with football. We watched this fast running back from USC, O.J. Simpson break away from tackles at a breakneck pace. The next day at school, a class mate of mine and I were involved in an “incident”. We busted the front door at the venerable but now defunct St. John the Baptist School in Pittston. Our parents told us the door would lead both families to financial ruin, bread lines danced like visions in our heads but the pastor said, “don’t worry about, we have insurance”. Then he bellowed, “but don’t do it again!”. Time passed as the cold winter turned to spring and events just converged on us with the same rapidity of a Simpson run. My Packers won Super Bowl II, then came Tet. Then Gene McCarthy’s candidacy, the Rockefeller entry and exit drama, the Romney brainwashing story, the New Hampshire primary upset of LBJ, LBJ’s withdrawal, Martin Luther King’s assassination, our spring school dance, Easter services, two more failed attempts by Sister Rosina to expel me from the Presidency of my class, a visit by the Wasko Brothers, (classmates for seven years until they wound up in Endwell, New York), a class play of which I was the lead, later finding out I was the second choice, an outing to Rocky Glen Park dubbed as our class trip (previous classes went further out of the environs of Greater Pittston with a few “incidents” which penalized us,) the 7th grade girlfriend encounters, the death of Bobby Kennedy, the emergence of George Wallace as a viable Third Party candidate (this was after all 1968 and anything could happen and did), the summer before high school doing an odd lot of things including working as a short order cook at a hot dog joint in the Junction section of Pittston, the fantasy convention cooked up by a few of my friends held at the Wyoming Monument, the boring GOP convention in Miami and the tumultuous one in Chicago, the start of the fall campaign, the decline of the Wallace booklet when Americans realized the guy was an anti labor fascist , working as a Humphrey-Muskie volunteer with the local UAW and Ladies Garment Union as well as carpet bagging into Kingston to help Richard Adams run against Frank O’Connell for State Representative, adjusting to high school and the classes (Latin? How the heck can I get out of this?) lying about my age I obtained a new job at the new Detato’s Supermarket, the election of Nixon over Humphrey, and finally a familiar contentment with the age old comfort quilt, Christmas with the family. My father had a workplace injury (broke his leg in three places on the railroad) and was confined to the downstairs living room. We had our tree, our relatives, our holiday customs that told us, despite the eventful year, we were safe in our family unit. Despairing a little bit, but safe. Then from the heavens came a confirmation that maybe all was not lost in spirit and faith. Three astronauts orbiting the moon sent a message that told us that 1968, though eventful was just a passing speck of time in a universe and world that had been and would remain bigger than all of us. The message from outer space, given by three of our own Americans gave us pause to reflect on our lives, our insignificant place in the universe but also the ultimate goodness of mankind. From You Tube: Apollo 8.
WHO WE WERE
We, as Americans in 1968 were quite different than we are today. On the top issues of the day, 44% of Americans thought Vietnam was the biggest concern with Civil Rights at 17%, Racial Strife at 12%, Juvenile Delinquency at 12% and the economy at 6%. In 2008 58% of us thought the Economy was the most important issue while the war in Iraq stood at just 13% with Health Care and Jobs coming in at 9%.........In 1968, a whopping 81% of Americans said that law and order had broken down in America, 72% said Richard Nixon was a man of high integrity, 60% opposed Pope Paul’s ban on birth control, 51% said there should be a law banning marriages between blacks and whites, 53% said the church should keep out of political matters, 31% felt that Dr. King brought his assassination on himself and 28% would refuse to be seen by a physician of color…..67% of whites believed blacks were asking for more than they deserved, 63% said they had less ambition than whites and 54% of whites said people of color laughed a lot……On teenagers, 32% would forbid their daughters to wear mini skirts, 50% would forbid boys with long hair, 57% would forbid drinking beer, 31% “petting” on a date, 63% would oppose dropping out of school, 66% would forbid taking a two week trip alone and 19% would forbid wearing sandals……in 1968 73% believed in life after death while in 2008 it was 68%, 60% believed in the Devil in ’68 while in ’08 59%, 66% believed in hell while in ’08 62% believed it and heaven came in at 85% in ’68 as opposed to 72% in ’08….on the new President 5% believed he’d be great in ’68, 48% good, and 36% fair and as far as 1969 being a better year, 29% said yes, 9% said worse and 59% said there’d be little difference…..the number one song of the year was “Hey Jude” and the number 1 song in the last week of 1968 in LuLac land and America was the Brooklyn Bridge’s “Worse That Can Happen”. From You Tube: