Friday, August 07, 2009

The LuLac Edition #900, Aug. 7th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #828, every hour more than one billion cells in the body must be replaced.



We are now onto our 900th Edition of the LuLac Political Letter. Thanks to all for reading and commenting. Your readership is appreciated. Please take time to look at our "sister blogs" on our profile page. They are not updated as frequently but perhaps can be of some use to you. On to 1,000!


Remember those verdicts for the Wyoming Area three reported earlier this week? The school board members were liable for some of the judgement. But it looks like the verdict against the Wyoming Area Superintendent won’t cost him a cent. The taxpayers of the Warrior district will be footing the $50,000 in punitive damages that was assessed on Ray Bernardi by a federal jury. According to his contract, legal fees and awards brought against him will be paid by the district. Board members really have to start reading the fine print in these contracts. You wonder where the personnel committees are when issues like this come up. And it's not just Wyoming Area, sometimes huge pensions are written in (look at Pittston Area) that are out of line economically with what the taxpayers are making. School board members should know that
1. They as board members are not judgement proof.
2. They should really look at every eventuality, far fetched or not, when negotiating contracts for administrators.


We rarely give you the full editorial of any paper but the recent one from The Philadelphia Daily News caught my eye. It was of course on the local Judges, Ciavarella and Conahan and the ruling from another Judge, Edwin Kosik.
Editorial: Bad judges: No deal
It's good to see a federal judge step up to restore the sense of outrage over two corrupt former Luzerne County judges who schemed and profited by railroading hundreds of juveniles.
Even better, the ruling Friday may have proved contagious: The same day, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided to take a more appropriate stance in defending the constitutional rights of teens and younger children caught up in the scandal.
By agreeing to seal rather than destroy the tainted court records of as many as 6,500 juveniles, the state's highest court reversed its earlier troubling stance in favor of wiping the legal slate clean.
As for the former judges, the ruling by U.S. District Judge Edwin M. Kosik to invalidate their guilty pleas could mean they've talked themselves into more jail time. The pair had negotiated plea deals that called for seven-plus years in prison - well below the maximum. But that deal was rejected Friday by Kosik.
In his ruling, Kosik rightly faulted Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan for having tried to downplay their crimes even after pleading guilty on federal fraud charges.
The two had pocketed $2.6 million to land a county contract for two detention facilities where Ciavarella, sitting in juvenile court, dispatched hundreds of teens. But according to Kosik's ruling, Conahan hasn't owned up to his crimes, and Ciavarella brazenly denies "evidence of his routine deprivation of children's constitutional rights."
Since the former judges refused to accept full responsibility for the kids-for-cash scandal, the presiding judge scuttled their plea deals.
Now the disgraced judges can either stick with their guilty pleas and face whatever sentence Kosik issues, seek a new plea deal with likely more jail time, or fight the charges in court.
The public was rightly outraged when details of the scheme first emerged. Many thought the plea deals were too light. Ironically, the dirty judges have reopened the door for a harsher sentence.
As Kosik notes, the judicial system is "a fountain which may be corrupted for a time well after this case." Indeed, the public confidence in the state's judicial system will be affected by how these rogue judges are punished.
Beyond that, the courts need to redress the rights violations committed against hundreds of juveniles who came before Ciavarella - as a matter of right as well as a way to prevent a repeat of anything like this scandal.
The state's high court was too slow to act on behalf of the kids, who were packed off to jail for minor offenses after being told by Ciavarella they didn't need an attorney. Then the court erred by pushing to expunge the juveniles' records out of a stated concern that the wrongly jailed teens be able to get on with their lives.
The right course is the one urged by the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, which brought the case to light and represents many of the juveniles in a class-action lawsuit. Only by preserving the case records can the full story of what happened in Ciavarella's courtroom be explored.
The more that story is told, the greater the chance that reforms can be implemented by court officials and state policy makers who are reviewing the scandal.
To do otherwise would compound the judges' crimes.


There's been a video on YOU TUBE making the rounds regarding a staffer from Chris Carney's office and residents of Pike County. It has been on the net, on WBRE TV News three times and posted on my friend Gort42's blog.
Here's his link to view it: I'm not going to run it here (but I do thank Mike Taluto for sending it my way.) It's been overexposed. But let me comment on the staffer for Carney's office. The best way to describe him was "inert". On my worst day a few years ago with my back and last year with my chemo, I would've been hundred times more energetic, animated and responsive than he was. I'm not saying you tell people what they want to hear only, I'm saying don't use red flag words like "meeting in private" and "this is not a town hall". If the folks want to talk about an issue, take their concerns down and make a meeting out of it. Don't argue with them about what you think the guidelines are. I can't imagine Dan Flood's, Joe McDade's or Paul Kanjorski's people being so politically tone deaf. Jeez!!!!


Our fellow blogger Mark Cour will not be having his Thompson Street Block Party this year. What a wonderful neighborhood gathering. Plus it was fast becoming a political gathering place for poliicos of all stripes as well as internet writers. Last year I attended and even though my food intake was minimal (yes that was a first) I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Also, Happy Anniversary to the Cour's, they are married 30 years. All in a row too!


On the "Cash for Clunkers" deal, someone else feels the same way I do regarding fuel efficient used cars. Check out this letter from the Voice Thursday:
The following is a copy of a letter I recently sent to Congressman Paul Kanjorski:
When I purchased my home approximately five years ago, I was encouraged to take out a much larger loan and purchase something much more expensive than I felt I could realistically afford. I did a lot of "what if" scenarios before I finally made my decision. As a result, I do not need a mortgage restructuring or other fancy bailout measure to keep me in a home that I had no business purchasing in the first place. Now, there is a "Cash for Clunkers" program. I have always purchased the most fuel efficient car I could afford. I have a 1993 Ford Focus with high miles that I would like to trade for a new vehicle. Well, my car does not qualify for the program.
So once again, I am being penalized for doing the right thing.
What I would like you to do for me is to waive some of the provisions in the "Cash for Clunkers" program so that I may be a participant in this economic stimulus program. Let me have the rebate less the revenue derived from scrapping my car. Another new fuel efficient car will at least be sold. Sound fair to you?
It seems those that consistently and consciously make good and sound economic decisions are being punished ad infinitum. This time, how about rewarding good instead of bad behavior. It is called positive reinforcement.
Respectfully yours.
Alison Stack Skaluba
Old Forge


Through the years and editions, (did I mention this is #900) LuLac has grown with many semi acclaimed features. Our 13 Questions is very popular as well as our year in history updates week by week. A most requested segment is our "2 Hot Firls In the Shower"series. Ever wonder how they make them? As a 900th edition anniversary present, here's how:


On August 7th, The United States Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces........ A Rolling Stones concert in Scheveningen gets out of control. Riot police end the gig after about 15 minutes, upon which spectators start to fight the riot police............The Treasury Department issued a statement saying that even though 67 million JFK commemorative half dollars were released for circulation, less than 10% were at the disposal of the general public due to private profiteering and hoarding of the pieces……Statewide, a report from the Department of Revenue released said hospital care cost for the elderly in Luzerne County went up by $73, 688.00…….The ’64 Phillies sweep the New York Mets in a three game series. Jim Bunning wins his 12th of the season……Wilkes Barre Mayor Frank Slattery said that he has the votes to beat Dr. John Dorris for the Chairmanship of the Luzerne County Democratic party. Slattery has urged local Democrats to call a county wide convention in one of many of his unsuccessful attempts to unseat Dorris……and 45 years ago this week, the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was Dean Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody”. Martin was proud of the fact that this song knocked off the Beatles and other English acts from the top position in pop music. The song, written by Kenny Lane (Martin's piano player on his TV show) sat in a drawer for 15 years. It was originally released by Frank Sinatra in the late 40s as a ballad. Lane and the arrangers got a hold of it, suggested Martin add it to his album he was cutting and turned it into the up tempo song that skyrocketed to the top.


At 5:54 AM, Blogger Gort said...

I agree that Ed didn't handle the mob very well. He is not a political operative but a staffer who deals with constituent service and handling the press is not something he is expected to do.

I can just imagine Ed Mitchell dealing with those clowns. That would be fun.

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you saw the video, the guy did nothing to facilitate the media. Are you telling me that a Congressional staffer can't multi task and did not have enough common sense to meet the request and have a meeting of 20 rater than three at a time? C'mon Gort, this guy did nothing to help his boss or the party or health care because he let the group control him instead of him trying to control the situation. Common sense man. I'm with Yonk on this one.

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy 900th. You are a must read everyday.

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are 1000% right. School boardsshould look into every aspect of their contracts with administrators. Line by line.

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard someone, a lady, on Sue Henry today who was traveling and saying that everything the government touches gets screwed up. Does she have a safe highway to travel? Government. Did she have to worry about whether her drinking water was safe? Government. Did she have to worry about bacteria in her kid's happy meal as she stopped for a rest break? Government. Did she have to fret about mail service and packages being delivered to her home? Government. Ignorant people who spout off that government in this country stinks should move the hell out and go to another country. These loudmouths would last half a minute anywhere else.
I understand that this was a cousin of Sue's which proves the old adage that you can pick your friends but not your family.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love those 2 girls. good feature. any chance it can be weekly?

At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gulf of Tonkin was the 1964 equal to weapons of mass destruction. It only proves stupidity in foreign policy knows no political party boundaries.

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, Congrats on #900...... what a job! Your efforts are enjoyed by many.
Thanks for a job well done. Wil Toole.

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Safe highway? potholes, run down, divits, bridges falling apart and can we say valentine's day snow storm?

Drinking water? Giradidis, lead, why do we have such a huge bottled water and water filter market?

Contaminated food? Read the fucking newspaper. Salmnella, e-coli...

Post office does not recv. govt money. They are self sufficient. Besides give me UPS or FEDEX any day for packages. I wish they could do letters.

At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

900 editions and still going strong. nice job there yonk. i remember when you started there were many, many blog sites up, now just a few. luck and success in the future.

At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good history on Dean Martin's song. I remember when he topped the Beatles. Also good letter about the clunkers.


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