Saturday, January 31, 2009

The LuLac Edition #710, Jan. 31st, 2009









PHOTO INDEX: POPE BENEDICT XVITH, ATTORNEY THOMAS O'CONNOR, WILK TALK SHOW HOST STEVE CORBETT AND NEWLY MINTED LUZERNE COUNTY PRESIDENT JUDGE CHESTER MUROSKI.

CHET THE VET

When a team is floundering, the sensible thing is to bring in a veteran manager to handle things. Preferably one who is honest and has the best interests of said entity in mind. The Luzerne County Judges did this Friday afternoon when they named Chester Muroski as President Judge. As I said on WYOU TV the other night, it was time for the grownups to be in charge again. Muroski brings three things to this Presidency:
1. He brings years of experience to the position. He has seen it all. He has been a workhorse Judge, not a show horse. When Muroski was the DA in the early 80s, the janitorial staff at the Courthouse used to leave a single light on near the east side of the building. People traveling over the Pierce Street Bridge after midnight would ask, “what’s that one light doing on in the Courthouse?” And a local in the know would say, “That’s Chet Muroski the DA catching up on a little paperwork. As he approaches the mandatory retirement age, he has nothing to prove to anyone or anybody.
2. Muroski comes from humble beginnings. He did not practice corporate law for a big pay day, he has always been involved in public service. I knew and grew up on the same street with a few of his relatives and they knew, as well as he what it was like to struggle for a buck as a youngster. That doesn’t seem important, but to me the people in this county have to know they have a Judge who remembers where he came from.
3. Muroski has handled many cases in all aspects of the law. He has been the County DA. His interest is in the law, not sailing yachts and lounging at condos in Florida.
We wish him well in this endeavor.

O'CONNOR IN

Attorney Tom O’Connor is in for another try at the County bench. O’Connor is the son of the late fabled Recorder of Deeds Helen O’Connor. He has been an active volunteer for the United Way (where he met his lovely wife Roseanne, I was there then and I saw the sparks flying right off the bat) and an advocate and volunteer for causes of veterans. His popular political name may be a two sided coin. Many revere the O’Connor name while others feel this is not the right time to have a Judge from a politically (albeit decades ago) connected family. Judge Patrick Toole’s son is on the bench, same with Peter Paul Olsweski. My belief is in a case like this you don’t look at the name, you look at the guy and his record of public service to the area. O’Connor was active in the community when his hair was jet black. And when I had hair! That’s a long time. Plus, he picks up his own dry cleaning every Saturday not sending the wife or kids. Or a maid! That’s a regular guy who deserves a shot at the bench.

BONUSES

In my entire working career, I never, ever got a bonus. For Christmas, for good performance. Nothing. Now I'm not complaining, failing radio stations and social services agencies don't pay a bonus. I understood that going in. I won a few trips to the Caribbean working for a pagan on line travel company but that was about it. The Wall Street Executives from the investment companies got their bonuses after the bailout. President Obama called it shameful. He needs to do more than say that. He needs to freeze the asset amounts of the billions of dollars they got from the government, seize it and get it back. Any company can put a stop payment on a check or seize accounts wrongfully used. These high priced do nothing blood suckers need to be taught a lesson. They need to be policed much like a mob boss watches over his bookies who in turn watch over their bettors. A lesson needs to be sent besides saying it was “shameful”. These bloodsuckers have no shame. And they should be punished.

FREEDOM

A lot has been made of the fact that Americans love their freedom. But what if the freedom of the few impinge on the survival of the many? President Obama needs to increase the freedom of the general working class and decrease the freedom of big business in America. He needs to set up a Czar Business Controller, a dictator if you will, a Howard Denenberg/Steve Flood type that will ensure American big business with their freedom to make excessive profits will not do so at the economic expense of the general public. The banks got a bailout to lend money to the financially distressed population. They lent nothing. They sat on their fat asses. Dictator time folks. Their fundamental financial freedoms to run their business should be reviewed. As individuals, I’ll defend their right to express themselves freely and openly in our society, let them run naked through Central Park and do what any person in this country has the freedom and rights to do. But once inside those corporate walls, given their past and present behavior, they have forfeited the right to act freely in the marketplace. These are desperate times calling for desperate measures. If need be, their companies need to be restructured to comply with the government funds given to them. Big business has proven they cannot be trusted to do the right thing or serve the American people. Lincoln imposed constrictions on freedoms for the South, our enemy at the time. FDR wrongly or rightly did the same with immigrant groups during WWII who he had perceived as enemies. We need to do the same thing with the investment bankers. They have proven they have no regard for their government, its generosity from the bailout or the American people. Put them in such a box where they must comply. And if they don’t, give it to local banks. Their freedom to conduct business as it was and is, should be rescinded. If it isn’t, the majority of the American population will be in dire peril.

BEN!!! BEN!!!!

My man Pope Benedict has seemed to have a had a regression by rehabilitating a few Bishops who were Nazi sympathizers and one who denied the Holocaust ever existed. C’mon your Holiness. Are you trying to undo the good work you did on your visits to America and Australia? This was a bad move that reinforces the stereotype that you want to take the church backward. I have no problem with his defense of Pope Pius XIIth during WWII. The man was boxed in and needed to survive the takeover in Europe for the sake of the church. And it is documented that he did save some Jews, but not nearly enough. The addition of the YOU TUBE channel is a good way to reach young people and the internet savvy. He’s done good things BUT this rehabilitation of the Bishops is a mistake and a slap in the face to all Jews and thinking Catholics.

344-2404

Steve Corbett was shouting out that number on his WILK Radio program yesterday. That number is the FBI field office in Scranton. Corbett is urging anyone with information on corruption in Luzerne County Courts or elsewhere in the system to call and chat with the FBI staff. It might make cleaning up corruption in NEPA a bigger priority than it is now. Although I don’t know how much bigger or worse it can get than this week. I’ve always wondered about those civil bench trials where the connected get $850,000 for falling off a bike or $600,000 for a land dispute. Maybe something other than the Juvenile system cases should be looked at too. That number is 344-2404. Be polite, state your facts clearly, be precise but most importantly, don’t be shy.

RUDY AND JUDY

Rudy Giuliani and his wife Judy sold the family homestead in Hazleton dashing any hopes that the New York Mayor might take a run for the Mayor’s job in Hazleton. Judy’s maiden name was Stish and she graduated from high school in the city in 1972. Jeez, Cindy McCain was a ’72 grad, the current Mrs. G was a ’72 grad. I graduated in 1972, how come I never ran into women like these back then!

THE OPEN

The Australian Open was on TV this week and you all know how much I love women’s tennis. The long legs, the grunts, the heat and sweat while we freeze out butts off and nearly kill ourselves on ice three inches deep here. My girl Sharipova was not in the tourney this year but there was an abundance of substitutes to make me warm all over.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The LuLac Edition #709, Jan. 30th, 2009











PHOTO INDEX: GOVERNOR ED RENDELL, THE LATE SENATOR FROM MAINE MARGARET CHASE SMITH, THE BEATLES, AUDITOR GENERAL JACK WAGNER, WILK'S RUSTY FENDER AND OUR 1964 LOGO.

SUNSHINE!!!

January 30th a new President Judge of Luzerne County will be selected by secret ballot. But unlike the past selections, this meeting will be open to the public. The Judges will meet in a third floor courtroom and bring some openness to the Judicial system in the county. This will signal to the public two things, that 1. Not all elected Judges now on the bench are corrupt and 2. The Court En Banc will now give voters and residents hope that maybe these antics are behind us. Judge Muroski, a former DA and fine Judge for over thirty years has spearheaded the effort to clean things up and make people aware that corruption will no longer stand in the County.

THE WEEK THAT WAS


2 Judges are charged with corruption, the Acting County Controller gets charged with drunk driving and pleads his case with his trousers around his ankles to local police, in Scranton the head of the COLTS transit system is exposed as trying to extort painkillers from his staff and a former Court employee and Wilkes Barere Area School Director Delores Seacrest wants her $1100 a month pension back after it was rescinded. Seacrest plead guilty to forging a Court document to expunge the record of a girl friend’s husband so he could get a teaching job. And folks, this was all in one week. As my buddy Rusty Fender is fond of saying, “YOU COULDN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP”.

THE MILLION MARK


A new survey finds that the number of Pennsylvania residents without health insurance has increased to more than 1 million. That’s a rather dubious distinction. The survey says the uninsured now account for more than 8 percent of all state residents. That's up from 7.5 percent in the department's last survey in 2004. Gov. Ed Rendell is pushing for an expansion of government-subsidized health insurance. But Republicans in the state Senate say his plan is too expensive.

BUH BYE BUCKS!!!


The Rendell administration has told state workers' unions it wants them to agree to cancel a 2.25 percent raise that went into their paychecks earlier this month and to forgo a 3 percent pay increase scheduled for July 1. It also wants to reduce the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund's reserve from $244 million to $50 million. Rendell said earlier in the week that he expects his new budget could cut as many as 2,000 jobs. Pennsylvania has 78,000 full-time, salaried workers. A union leader for state workers told us that administration officials had mentioned a 30-day "notice of intent to furlough," raising the certainty that some cuts could come well before the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

WAGNER ON THE MOVE


2010 Potential Candidate for Governor in 2010 Auditor General Jack Wagner said that the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, through its county assistance offices, failed to make proper Medicaid eligibility determinations on more than 1,600 Medicaid applicants between January 2005 and March 2008, resulting in $3.3 million in improper payments made on behalf of ineligible recipients. In a press release, Wagner, sounding like a candidate said, "A dollar wasted is a dollar that could have gone to help a truly needy person receive the medical assistance he or she deserves," Wagner said. "With the commonwealth facing widening budget deficits, the Department of Public Welfare must do all that it can to monitor the state's Medicaid program, to make sure all funds are being spent efficiently, effectively, and for their intended purpose. I strongly urge DPW to take immediate steps to tighten its administration and oversight of this vitally important program to ensure that people who are eligible for Medicaid benefits will be able to receive every dollar they're entitled to for their care." The audits are the first Medicaid eligibility audits completed by Wagner's department. Many of the improper eligibility determinations were due to DPW's failure to verify recipients' age, disability and family relationship requirements, and to promptly review recipients' financial and other eligibility information. Wagner's auditors found errors in 1,648, or 14.1 percent, of 11,698 Medicaid cases selected randomly from 513,128 Medicaid cases from 79 county assistance offices in 53 counties. Medicaid, which is known in Pennsylvania as the Medical Assistance program, is a federal health care program for low income children and families, disabled individuals, elderly and chronically ill adults. It is funded jointly by the state and the federal government, and is administered by DPW. None of the errors mentioned in Wagner’s report came from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties.

1964


France
and the People's Republic of China announce their decision to establish diplomatic relations. U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith, 66, announces her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. was a Republican Senator from Maine, and one of the most successful politicians in Maine history. She was the first woman to be elected to both the U.S. House and the Senate, and the first woman from Maine to serve in either. She was also the first woman to run for President of the United States on a major party ticket and to have her name placed in nomination for the U.S. Presidency at a major party's convention (1964 Republican Convention won by Barry Goldwater). She was a moderate Republican, included with those known as Rockefeller Republicans. When she left office, Smith had the record as the longest-serving female senator in United States history, ranking 11th in seniority among the members of the Senate, a distinction that has not been surpassed. One of her quotes is "When people tell you that you can't do a thing you kind of like to keep trying". At the GOP convention in San Francisco Smith received one vote for the nomination. That prompted squeals from the women in the crowd………in Pennsylvania, a Democratic battle for the U.S. Senate nomination ensues when State Auditor Genevieve Blatt signals her intentions to run in the Democratic primary against Supreme Court Judge Michael Musmanno………in Scranton Mayor William Schmidt proposes a redevelopment of the Lackawanna Avenue section of the downtown. Seems like that Avenue has been under construction and renovation forever, doesn’t it? And this week, the number one song in LuLac land and America was a two sided hit by the Beatles. From Swan Records, “She Loves You” and “I’ll Get You”. This was one of three labels the Beatles were signed with, VeeJay, Capitol and Swan. Coming up on the anniversary of the Ed Sullivan show, Feb 4th, a special LuLac remembrance of what the Beatles meant to Americans, pop culture and politics.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The LuLac Edtion #708, Jan. 28th, 2009









PHOTO INDEX: YOUR BLOG EDITOR BY THE SEA, JUDGE PETER PAUL OLSZEWSKI, CONSIDERED A FRONT RUNNER FOR THE POST OF PRESIDENT JUDGE, AND PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA.

THERE GO THE JUDGES!

Pointing to the pending criminal charges against two county judges, the state Supreme Court relieved Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of all the state Supreme Court relieved Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of all judicial duties. The order forbids Ciavarella from taking any action in any case or proceeding and relieves him of judicial and administrative responsibilities. It also revokes Conahan's status as a senior judge and rescinds all assignments currently before him. The action comes three days after federal authorities charged the jurists with accepting more than $2.6 million in kickbacks in exchange for favorable judicial rulings. It seems to me that the higher Court wanted to prevent Ciaverella from voting for his replacement. Conahan is the odd man out financially because as a Senior Judge, he only got a per diem payment.

SAILING, SAILING

If you love boating and the sea like I do, a big part of life is sailing the open seas. It is exhilerating to say the least but when someone else pays for it, well then that's even better. I'm telling you this because at least $370,000 of the $2.6 million in kickback money that allegedly went to Luzerne County judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella was concealed by labeling it as dock expenses, marine rent, slip rental fees and other nautical-related transactions, according to the federal complaint filed against them. This condominium in a Jupiter, Fla., (Perry Como's hometown,) complex figured into the elaborate scheme uncovered by federal prosecutors into the investigation of the two judges. These particular transactions in the first five months of 2004 were made to Pinnacle Group of Jupiter LLC, a Florida business entity controlled by Conahan and Ciavarella, investigators say. Conahan’s wife, Barbara, is listed as “managing member” of Pinnacle Group. The checks were written by a Luzerne County lawyer identified in the complaint as “participant 1.” Investigators wouldn’t name him, but details in the complaint indirectly identify him as Robert Powell according to a story in the Times Leader.


HOME RULE KICKOFF

A Home Rule Campaign Kick Off Event will be held on Thurs., January 29th at 7:00 p.m. The event will be open to the public, and anyone interested in joining the movement is urged to attend. The meeting will be at 198 S Main St. Wilkes-Barre. Home Rule made it onto the May 19 primary election ballot. Also on the ballot will be the candidates for the 11 spots on the study commission. Watch who the candidates will be, reformers or political hacks trying to jump on the new train leaving the station.

OBAMA GETS A MESSAGE

The Democratic Stimlus package was passed today with a straight party line vote. The GOP, the party that got us into this mess voted against it. The Republicans claimed that they were oh so worried about government spending under this plan. That to me is hysterical. This was the party that ran up deficits fighting a war in Iraq where our troops were assassinated. This was the same crowd that funded Haliburton. This was the same group that let big business run amok that started this economic decline.
This was the same party that released billions to banks saying they’d stimulate the economy when the banking bastards kept it all. Bipartisanship? The GOP has proven they aren’t worthy of that consideration and President Obama should act accordingly.

BONUS BABIES?

How about this. The financial institutions that paid out bonuses to the bank execs say they had to do it in order to keep and recruit new talent. Are you kidding me? We reward these wiz kids who nearly wiped us out? Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll gather a bunch of Business Analysts from this area and you can pay them $200,000 grand a piece with no bonuses and you’ll see how effective your sorry ass business will be. Where’s Kanjorski’s Northeast corrider when we need it?




Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The LuLac Edition #707, Jan. 27th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: THE LUZERNE COUNTY COURTHOUSE.


JUDGE FALLOUT


REVIEW BOARD SPEAKS


An official with the state Judicial Conduct board announced today he is prepared to file a petition seeking the immediate suspension of Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan. Joseph Massa Jr., chief counsel for the JCB, said the Supreme Court has the authority to suspend any judge who has been charged with a felony. He said he suspects the court will soon issue an order suspending Conahan and Ciavarella. If the court does not take that action Massa said he will file a petition with the state's Court of Judicial Discipline, asking the court to issue a suspension pending the outcome of the criminal case against the jurists.
This is the same Judicial Review board that brought action against former Judge Ann Lokuta.


THE VOTE


Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas judges will vote for a new president judge on Friday, according to a news release from President Judge Chester B. Muroski. The long time jurist became the acting president judge on Monday when he announced Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. resigned from the position. Ciavarella, 58, and former president judge Michael T. Conahan, 56, were charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania with an alleged scheme to defraud the federal government by concealing $2.6 million earned illegally through placement of juveniles in juvenile detention facilities. Muroski said that Ciavarella, who remains a Luzerne County judge, will have a vote for his successor.


THE MAN


When this story broke, many wondered who the Judge would be in this blockbuster case. Senior U.S. District Judge Edwin M. Kosik has been assigned to preside over the criminal case of Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan. The assignment of Kosik clears the way for the scheduling of a hearing at which Ciavarella and Conahan are expected to enter guilty pleas to charges that were filed yesterday by U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson. Sources say a hearing is set for Feb. 12th.

CLASS ACTION SUIT


Attorney Barry Dyler has signaled an intention that he will file a class action suit against the Judges and the County. With the cash strapped county on the brink, this is a good news, bad news story. The good news is justice will finally come for the youth railroaded to the Juvie center, the bad news is it will cost the county....again.


CONEY ISLAND RETURNS

The original Coney Island hot dog eatery in Scranton is set to return in about 6 weeks. The landmark restaurant was torched by arson but is on the way back. Coney Island has long been a haven for dog lovers and political rumors, two mainstays on their menu.


HOTEL LUZERNE?

A story like this opens up the media to all types of opinions. A woman from Scranton called Corbett up on WILK today and said the Courthouse should be turned into a hotel. Her point was that everyone who enters there leaves corrupt at some level. There are many nhonorable, hard working people at the Courthouse so her comments were a little off base. But if there are more lawsuits, the County might have to open a Bed and Breakfast to pay off the legal fees.


Monday, January 26, 2009

The LuLac Edition #706, Jan. 26th, 2009



PHOTO INDEX: THE LAST LUZERNE COUNTY JUDGE CHARGED, INDICTED AND SENT TO
JAIL, ARTHUR DALESSANDRO.


AFTERSHOCKS

There are more questions than answers now with the recent news about the two Luzerne County Judges, Conahan and Ciaverella. Here they are:
1. What of the two people in the indictment that appear to be the ones that funneled money to the Judges?
2. Will this story be a springboard to a political comeback by Judge Lokuta? She pulled no punches in her interview with the media today.
3. Will the resignations mean that there will be 5 Judgeships up for re-election in Luzerne County?
4. Will Lokuta’s open seat be held up by her appeal?
5. The two Judges, will they be able to keep their pensions?
6. And if they do, will Lokuta be able to get hers back? After all she was allegedly mean but not indicted for taking money?
7. Will the Judicial candidate record of the early 90s (17 candidates) be broken?
8. Will there be a case by case review of the Juvenile cases brought before the two Judges?
9. How about civil bench trials where hundreds of thousands of dollars were rewarded by Judicial fiat?
10. Will Chester Muroski be prevailed upon to stay on for a few more years?
11. Will this case have a ripple effect on other county government institutions?
12. How many people will be charged?
13. Will order and confidence in government be restored?
14. Will Luzerne County be on the financial hook for settlement of civil lawsuits?
All of these questions are going to be ongoing and will have ramifications on County government and politics for years to come. One of our media friends requested a video to highlight this day in Luzerne County history, from of all bands, the Sex Pistols.

The LuLac Edition #705, Jan. 26th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: JUDGES CONAHAN AND CIAVERELLA. (PHOTO FROM TIMES LEADER).


COPPING A PLEA

The long saga of impending charges against two Luzerne County Judges appears to be at a dramatic crossroads. Federal officials today announced they charged Luzerne County judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan with concealing more than $2.6 million. The dates ranged from January 2003 to January 2007. The charges were filed today in federal court. The charges alleged Ciavarella and Conahan engaged in fraud by taking millions of dollars from two unnamed individuals connected to the construction and expansion of the juvenile detention center. Payments were made to the judges in return for discretionary acts that the judges took relatied to the juvenile centers. The Judges have already made a plea agreement and will resign the county bench and serve terms of 87 months. Breaking that down, we're talking roughly 7 years. The indictment charges both judges with engaging in a scheme to defraud the public of their honest services and with conspiring to defraud the IRS. The resignations will put the Luzerne County Judiciary in an uproar with 5 Judge vacancies in this election year. Earlier in the day, Ciaverella resigned as President Judge in reaction to his fight with the County Commissioners over budget and hiring matters.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The LuLac Edition #704, Jan. 25th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: WALTER GRIFFITH AND JOHN C. CORDORA, WOULD BE GOP CANDIDATES.











GOP ON MOVE

It's early but already two members of the GOP are making their moves in planning stages for a campaign. In Kingston, John C. Cordora has expressed interest in running for Mayor of Kingston in the primary. Current Mayor Jim Haggerty will be completing a third term. On the County level, Walter Griffith, Wilkes Barre Taxpayer Advocate has expressed a strong interest in running for County Controller. Folks say that in a Democratic diominated county, a GOP fiscal officer might not be a bad idea. Recently, Griffith posted a letter on some of the local blogs which we will repeat here:

I appreciate your Blog today regarding the Luzerne County Blog Page and the comments that were made concerning the candidates that expressed their interest to run for this office in the County. I do however must clarify the comment about me being a " Pain in the Ass" which is referenced to Wilkes Barre Online Web Page.The Wilkes Barre Online Blogger Mark Cour is a very knowledgeable and interesting writer and blogger whom of which I have the utmost respect and appreciation for, in regard to, his ability to express his opinion.I consider myself a very knowledgeable and formidable person regarding the County and City Political scene in this County and I attend as many meeting as possible with knowledge and information that would make our elected officials at least think about the way they are treating us as taxpayers that are their employers not the other way around as they would like everyone in the County to believe. I have been very instrumental in making the City get all the information about the City Council meetings posted online in advance of all the meetings, because of my constant and relentless attending the meetings and asking them to do it with the proper information and concerns for the taxpayers...If that is being a "Pain in the Ass" then I am guilty as charged but the taxpayers deserve this information so they can be informed about what OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS are doing in government.I was the person that represented the entire Luzerne County Taxpayers in a lawsuit to stop the County from borrowing 16 million dollars because they mismanaged our money and therefore were not being responsible to US THE TAXPAYERS. There are many things that I have been able to accomplish by just being at the meetings with the proper information and I am very proud of my accomplishments as a taxpayer advocate, however there are some in the County that feel that this is being a "Pain in the Ass" and that is fine and they are entitled to that opinion, however I feel this is the reason why the County and City Governments are in the state and condition that they are in at the present time because of the people not being there to keep them accountable but they rely on the press and the blogger to do the work for them.I appreciate your Blog, as well as the blogs of so many others like Dave Yonki and Mark Cour, and would also appreciate the recognition of all the things that I do to make the government accountable to US the Taxpayers as well.
Walter L Griffith JR
Luzerne County Taxpayer and Activist

Friday, January 23, 2009

The LuLac Edition #703, Jan. 23rd, 2009





PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1964 LOGO, A 1980 TONY ATTARDO BUTTON, THE WILK TALKERS AT WVIA TV, SUE HENRY, STEVE CORBETT, THIS BLOG EDITOR, NANCY KMAN AND KEVIN LYNN. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

THE “JUDGE” WATCH

It has been months now since word has circulated that not one, but two county judges will be charged with crimes. My sources have told me in no uncertain terms that there will be arrests forthcoming. But they have been saying that since October. The word is that the Judges will go down because of an FBI investigation into not only ethics but financial dealings that are deemed inappropriate. No word on whether the Judicial Review Board which screwed Ann Lokuta out of her job and pension has had a look see at the charges against these Judges. In the meantime, we watch and wait. When and if these charges come down, it will be interesting to see how voters will react to the two incumbent Judges up for retention, Thomas Burke and Peter Paul Olshefski. The two won on both nominations the first time they ran. But one has to wonder if Luzerne County voters will vote “No” just to send a message. It happened on the state wide level in reaction to the 2005 pay raise. In the meantime, there is no lack of candidates standing in line to run for Judge in 2009. They are; Richard Hughes, 47, of Mountain Top; Thomas O’Connor, 57, of Kingston; Joseph Sklarosky Jr., 39, of Mountain Top and Eugene Sperazza, 54, of Mountain Top. Attorneys who said they are considering running are: William Amesbury, 61, of Wilkes-Barre; C.J. Bufalino III, 48, of Dallas; Mark Bufalino, 38, of Trucksville; Conrad Falvello, 59, of Sugarloaf Township; Lesa Gelb, of Laflin; Tom Marsilio, 60, of Mountain Top; Molly Hanlon-Mirabito, 46, of Forty Fort; Luzerne County Judge Joseph Musto, 64, of Duryea; Joseph J. Terrana, 46, of Yatesville; Joseph Saporito, 48, of Jenkins Township, and Ferris Webby, 54 of Slocum Township. Interesting sidelights of these names are the Bufalino brothers running against each other, Judge Musto who was bested by Michael Conahan in a very dirty campaign in the 90s, Tom O’Connor trying to continue the family political dynasty, William Amesbury trying to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor the late Mike Collins who won the Democratic nod but lost in the general, and Tom Marsillio taking another crack at the job. The three seats up are Conahan’s, Chester Muroski’s and Lokuta’s. Now a period piece from 1968:




NOW ANGRY

Barack Obama has been President for barely a week but the National Organization of Women are a little perturbed because they feel Obama is not giving them enough respect. A NOW member said today on CNN that they were dissatisfied with the 6 Cabinet appointments the new President made saying that since women represent 52% of the population, the appointment ratio of the new President should be that. You know, where was NOW when Hillary Clinton was getting “dissed?” Where is NOW in the fight against pornography? How about the demeaning of women in TV commercials? (Saw one on TV tonight where a bunch of well dressed, young, sexy supple women were chasing down something in the street and squealing like idiots. It was a commercial for Oreo cookies! ) Yeah NOW, complain about this President surrounded by strong women, raised by a single mother and mentored by a WWII era grandmother. Or would you rather go back to a President who had a choice to appoint another woman to the Supreme Court and did not. NOW………………shut up.

TONY ATTARDO

Pittston Twp. Supervisor Tony Attardo died this week. Attardo was a fixture in local politics. He was chairman of the board of supervisors for Pittston Township, treasurer of Pittston Township, Democratic chairman of the 114th District, chairman of the Pittston Township Sewer Authority and a former township auditor. Tony ran a great race for State Representative in 1980 to succeed Ray Musto who went to Congress replacing Dan Flood. He ran a spirited race and fought hard but lost to Tom Tigue who went on to serve many years in the State House. Many township and Luzerne County residents remember Attardo for his principled stances, friendly manner and dedication to public service.

TALKERS ON TV

WVIA TV’s State of Pennsylvania hosted the WILK lineup Thursday night. Sue Henry, Nancy Kman, Kevin Lynn and Steve Corbett graced the WVIA TV theatre with their wit and presence in a show that could’ve gone on for hours. Bill Kelly recruited me to ask a question and that was fun. The highlight of the evening though was when the TV audience met “Bosco”, the infamous call screener, now made famous. One point not made that evening was the growth of talk radio in the area. All on the panel attributed that to the hot issues of the day. And to a point that is true. But from a radio standpoint, WILK has grown because through the years, it grew incrementally. Since 1989, you knew WILK was all about talk. And during that time, there were ratings dips, lawsuits, controversies and most likely pressure from management to do something else. Both Kevin Lynn and I worked for WARM Radio. And WARM for all its good intentions, never made an inroad into Talk Radio because they never stuck with set programming. Kevin would be on in the morning, afternoon, Rob Nyehard would be on and off the air at various times. The sales people couldn’t sell a consistent product and the listeners could never find their favorite show because it moved around. WILK on the other hand stuck with a consistent format that was a mainstay year in and year out. Adding FM to its arsenal didn’t hurt and having local talent familiar with the area also grew the product. WILK is the dominant talk station in the market and that folks did not happen by accident. Remember the old saying, “build it and they will come”? In WILK’s case, “Stay the course and your listeners will remain with you”. Not to mention bringing their friends with them.

1964

Plans to build the New York World Trade Center are announced......on January 20th, Meet the Beatles! the first Beatles album in the United States, is released.....Kenneth Kaunda is inaugurated as the first President of Northern Rhodesia.....Thirteen years after its proposal and nearly 2 years after its passage by the United States Senate, the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, is ratified……………..Statewide, Senator Hugh Scott indicates he will seek a new term in the U.S. Senate, Scott was elected in 1958 defeating sitting Governor George Leader……in Hazleton and Nanticoke, the big buzz is about the TV and movie careers of Jack Palance and Nick Adams…..and the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was Lesley Gore’s pre feminist anthem, “You Don’t Own Me”.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The LuLac Edition #702, Jan. 22nd, 2009




PHOTO INDEX: FROM THE TIMES LEADER, A VISUAL OF THE KNOX MINE DISASTER AND GOVERNOR DAVID LAWRENCE WHO JUST TOOK OFFICE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.


50 YEARS AGO

It was a half century ago that the Knox Mine Disaster took place, essentially closing down that industry forever in Northeastern Pa. Mrs. Lulac's father was schedule to work that day at the site that now occupies Danko's gym and CVS. He was idle that day but for years, like many miners, warned of the impending danger. The River Slope Mine, an anthracite coal mine owned by the Knox Coal Company, flooded when coal company management had the miners dig too close to the riverbed. Tunneling sharply upwards toward the Susquehanna River, the miners reduced the thickness of rock between the mineshafts and the river bed to about 6 feet (1.8 m) -- 35 feet (10.6 m) was considered the minimum for safety. This caused the waters of the river to break through into the mine. It took 3 days to partially plug the hole in the riverbed, which was done by dumping railcars into the whirlpool formed by the water draining into the mine.
12 people died; 69 others escaped. One miner, Amadeo Pancetti, was awarded the Carnegie Medal for leading 32 miners to safety. The bodies of the 12 who died were never recovered, despite efforts of divers and an attempt to pump the water out of the shafts. Their names were: Samuel Altieri, John Baloga, Benjamin Boyer, Francis Burns, Charles Featherman, Joseph Gizenski, Dominick Kaveliskie, Eugene Ostroski, Frank Orlowski, William Sinclair, Daniel Stefanides and Herman Zelonis. Eventually an estimated 10 billion US gallons (38,000,000 m³) of water filled the mines. Ten people, including the mine superintendent and August J. Lippi, the president of District 1 of the United Mine Workers, were indicted on a variety of charges, but only 3 (including Lippi) served jail time. As a five year old, I remember my father working overtime as a railroader helping with the movement of those train cars, my grandmother on my mother's side weeping for the dead and as years went by, the trial of Mr. Lippi. It was a day that changed the lives of everybody in NEPA.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The LuLac Edition #701, Jan. 21st, 2009



PHOTO INDEX: CAROLINE KENNEDY AND OUR HEALTH CARE LOGO.


CAROLINE NO

Caroline Kennedy dropped out of consideration for the New York Senate seat held by Hillary Clinton the last 8 years. That paves the way for Governor David Patterson to pick Attorney General Andrwew Cuomo, the son of Governor Mario Cuomo. Here's my humble advice to Caroline. If you really want this seat, school yourself in the details of New York state politics. Take speech lessons if you need to. Go to a cliche school. Then if you really want this, get a boatload of money in 2010 and go after the seat painting Cuomo as an appontee. She'll win in a walk!

HEALTH CARE CHANGES

Look for some changes in the health care system in a few years. Here's something Congress is already toying with. The federal government would subsidize up to 65% of COBRA health insurance payments for many individuals who have lost their jobs since Sept. 1, 2008, under an $825 billion stimulus package unveiled by House Democrats. COBRA provisions are supported by health insurance groups, including America's Health Insurance Plans and the National Business Group on Health. However, AHIP said other parts of the plan tying increased investment in health information technology to stricter scrutiny of how health IT records are handled would make it more difficult for plans to coordinate care and streamline administrative costs. Dubbed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the House bill allocates $39 billion to aid individuals attempting to continue paying health insurance premiums through the 23-year-old Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act program. COBRA allows employees who are terminated or leave their jobs voluntarily to remain in their former employer's group health plan for up to 18 months, which can be extended to 36 months for those with extenuating life circumstances. However, because COBRA enrollees can be charged up to 102% of the full cost of coverage, many find the plans prohibitively expensive and, according to Hewitt Associates Inc., only about 20% enroll. A recent report by the consumer group Families USA found monthly COBRA premiums for family coverage were $1,069, or 83.6% of the average monthly unemployment insurance benefit of $1,278. In nine states, average COBRA payments exceeded unemployment benefits, the group found. Health groups have been largely supportive of the proposal, with AHIP President Karen Ignagni writing in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the group believes the move would "help ensure continuity ofcoverage and serve as an important lifeline for many workers who do not qualify for Medicaid, but still need help paying their health insurance premiums." There has been no comment from Pelosi's office and it appears this might be either near the bottom or the middle of the Obama stimulus plan. However if resistance to bank funding continues, it may move up a notch.

MEDICAL RECORDS NEWS

Five years after President Bush announced plans for Americans' health records to go digital and didn't provide enough money to make it happen, (which was a typical Bush move) only one in five doctors has converted from paper to electronic record keeping. When Barack Obama takes over this could change. During his campaign for president, Obama promised a $50 billion investment to store patient records electronically. His economic stimulus package is expected to contain two year's worth of funding, or about $20 billion.The money would be distributed to hospitals and doctors through grants and through higher reimbursement rates when serving Medicare patients. And for doctors who do not make the switch, Obama will propose lowering reimbursements from government-subsidized health care programs.

HOME RULE STARTS

The NEPA Organizing Center will be working in collaboration with Luzerne Home Rule in order to develop the movement toward Home Rule in Luzerne County. Together, we are sponsoring a Home Rule Campaign Kick Off Event at the Center on Thurs., January 29th at 7:00 p.m. The event will be open to the public, and we encourage anyone interested in joining the movement to attend. Light refreshments will be served, and a social hour will follow the event.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The LuLac Edition #700, Jan. 20th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: THE FLAG.


SWEARING IN THOUGHTS


So many people have uttered so many words on this great day that I even hesitated to post. But here goes.
1. Today was a great day for America. As a kid growing up, I could never understand the reaction to the Civil Rights movement by my well meaning WWII era relatives who said “what more can they want?” (Referring to the black struggle.) I thought, they’d like to drink water from the same fountain, sit at the same lunch counter and live down the street from you. Now more 45 years later, one of those who wanted more resides in the White House. Leading us. An incredible day for the country. A proud day. A day long in coming.
2. There were a few pundits who were disappointed in the speech. I think they were looking for the great quote. That wasn’t going to happen. In the last episode of The West Wing, as fictional U.S. President Jeb Bartlett escorted Matt Santos to Capitol Hill, he asked the new President how his address was going to sound. Santos responded, “I won’t have something memorable like JFK’s “Ask Not…..” And Bartlett said to him, “JFK pretty much screwed us all with that line”. Obama did something quite mature. As in the campaign, he recognized the moment. And the moment was not the time for a “catch phrase” but for a sober reminder that there is much work to do. It sounded more to me like a CEO trying to rescue a company on the brink of disaster but recognizing how that fate could be avoided.
3. The crowds were incredible. Huge. Packed with everyday Americans traveling to just wish him well. No expectations of special consideration, just a long journey to see history in the making. Now if only that collective energy and passion can be put into practice. Seems to me the general public wants to be heard and seen and respond to a call to action. If only the fat cats who got us into this financial mess could respond that way, we’d be in good shape.
4. President Bush went home to Midland, Texas and was greeted by 30,000 people. That had to be a boost for him. It is said Herbert Hoover, leaving Washington in solitary disgrace in 1933 was buoyed by a reception for him as he came back home to New York at the Waldorf Astoria. Americans are a generous people, even to the vanquished.
5. Many speak of Obama’s Presidential role models as JFK, FDR and Lincoln. The comparisons are endless with the young children, the economic collapse and the political roots in Illinois. But if you are going to follow a model, watch for Obama to emulate the LBJ legislative agenda when the Texas won his landslide. Before Vietnam, Johnson got what he wanted from a bi partisan Congress responding to the passing of JFK and the obvious strength of LBJ’s election. I believe you will see Obama use his victory, his throngs of supporters as well as his political acumen to model his domestic agenda after Johnson’s.
6. I’ve walked with a cane since 2001, two years after my accident. I live with back pain every day. But I carry stuff up the steps, (that once monthly 36 pack of Aquafina is a bitch but I do it) and help Mrs. LuLac with packages, snow removal and other stuff. I do it slow and easy and get it done. Eventually. That all said, you can bet if I had made 30 million a year in bonuses at Halliburton, had 4 heart attacks, two pacemakers installed and an array of other medical problems, I’d hire a guy to carry my boxes. Still it was refreshing to see Dick Cheney do some real heavy lifting. We hope someone gives him truth serum and he writes a heck of a memoir.
7. Our inauguration ceremonies prove a few things, our democracy works and the American Dream is alive and well. Obama proved that with the help of the American people.
NOW, LET’S GET TO WORK. LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY. THE TRAIN HAS ARRIVED.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The LuLac Edition #699, Jan. 19th, 2009













PHOTO INDEX: PRESIDENTS JAMES K. POLK, GEORGE WASHINGTON, CALVIN COOLIDGE AND FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.

THEY SWORE........

Some little known facts on Inauguration Day. The inauguration ceremony during which Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States will be the 55th inauguration ceremony in this country's history, and the 19th held since inauguration day was switched from March 4th to January 20th.
Inauguration Day was originally set for March 4th in order to give members of the Electoral College from each State four months from election day to cast their ballots for president. Weather's greatest impact on inauguration day came in 1841 when William Henry Harrison decided to brave the elements and deliver the longest inauguration speech ever, an oration lasting an hour,40 minutes. It was a cloudy, cold and blustery day, and Harrison, who wore neither hat nor overcoat, rode a horse to and from the Capitol ceremony. He subsequently caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. A month later, Harrison died. The warmest January 20th inauguration day came in 1981 when Ronald Reagan was sworn into office under mostly cloudy skies. The temperature at noon on this inauguration day was 55 degrees. The shortest inauguration speech was delivered by George Washington at his second inauguration on March 4, 1793. The speech totaled 135 words. In 1909, William H. Taft was sworn into office on a day nearly 10 inches of snow fell, a record for an inauguration day. The snow and wind actually began the day before, with strong winds toppling trees and telephone poles. Trains were stalled and city streets clogged. All activity was brought to a standstill. Sanitation workers shoveled sand and snow through half the night. It took 6,000 men and 500 wagons to clear 58,000 tons of snow and slush from the parade route. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to complete his inauguration with a parade. Since Jefferson's second inauguration on March 4, 1805, it has become tradition for the president to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.
In 1853, President Franklin Pierce was sworn into office on a cold and snowy day. Pierce awoke to heavy snow in the morning which continued until about a half an hour prior to the ceremony. Skies looked to be brightening by noon. However, shortly after Pierce took his oath of office snow began again. The heavy snow dispersed much of the crowd and ruined plans for the parade. Abigail Fillmore, First Lady to the outgoing President Millard Fillmore, caught a cold as she sat on the cold, wet, exposed platform during Franklin's swearing-in ceremony. The cold developed into pneumonia and she died at the end of the month. The first inauguration to be held on January 20th - Franklin D. Roosevelt's second in 1937 - was also a record-setting day. Some 200,000 visitors came to Washington for the event, though several thousand never got farther than Union Station. It was a cold and rainy day. Some sleet and freezing rain was reported in the morning. Between 11 am and 1 pm, nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain fell. The ceremony began at 12:23 pm with a temperature just over the freezing mark. At the president's insistence, Roosevelt rode back to the White House in an open car with a half an inch of water on the floor. Later, he stood for an hour and a half in an exposed viewing stand watching the inaugural parade splash by in the deluge. Total rainfall for the day was 1.77 inches and this amount remains as the record rainfall for January 20th. There have been nine presidents sworn in on days other than inauguration day - eight following eight presidential deaths and one after Richard Nixon's resignation. On the eve of John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961, 8 inches of snow fell causing the most crippling traffic jam of its time. Hundreds of cars were marooned, thousands others abandoned. The president-elect had to cancel dinner plans and, in a struggle to keep other commitments, is reported to have had only 4 hours of sleep. Former President Herbert Hoover was unable to fly into Washington National Airport due to the weather and missed the swearing-in ceremony. By sunrise, the snowfall had ended and the skies cleared but the day remained bitterly cold. An army of men worked all night to clear Pennsylvania Avenue and despite the cold, a large crowd turned out for the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural parade. At noon, the temperature was only 22 degrees with the wind blowing from the northwest at 19 mph making it feel like the temperature was just 7 degrees. Though anyone legally authorized to administer an oath could swear in the President of the United States, to date there has been one person to do so who was not a judge. In 1923, John C. Coolidge, Calvin Coolidge's father (a notary public), swore in his son after the death of President Warren G. Harding. Fourteen of the 20 judges to have administered the oath were Chief Justices, dating back to when Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth swore in John Adams in 1797. James Madison was the first President to take the oath of office outdoors on March 4, 1817, a day described as warm and sunny with a temperature at noon estimated to be 50 degrees. Grover Cleveland is the only American president to attend two inaugurations as the outgoing president, enjoying the claim of being the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.
After four years as the nation's 22nd president, Cleveland was beaten in the election of 1888 by Benjamin Harrison, and attended Harrison's inauguration in March of 1889. Upon leaving the White House, Frances Cleveland told a staff member to "take good care of all the furniture and ornaments in the house, for I want to find everything just as it is now, when we come back again." When asked when she planned to return, she said, "We are coming back four years from today." And she was right. In the election of 1892, Cleveland was re-elected in a rematch against Harrison, and after four more years in office he attended the 1897 inauguration of William McKinley, who had defeated Williams Jennings Bryan. On Inauguration Day in 1845, a thunderstorm struck Washington, D.C., during the early morning hours. Rain continued throughout the day. Total rainfall was 0.40 inches. President James K. Polk took his oath of office under an umbrella in heavy rain. The crowd witnessing the ceremony was a sea of umbrellas with people standing ankle deep in mud.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The LuLac Edition #698, Jan. 18th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JUNIOR.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Martin Luther King, Junior would have been 80 this month. Kind of hard to believe. Like the politico heroes of the 60s, he is frozen in time. Killed at the age of 39, his memory, his movement is celebrated as a national holiday. This year, with the placement in the Presidency of an African American, one wonders what Dr. King might have thought about that. For some, King day is one of reflection. For others, just a ski holiday. For still others, the day celebrates not only Dr. King's committment to racial equality but all those Americans of all races who died for the cause. Today we celebrate the man and the movement, on Tuesday we commemorate the logical conclusion of all that is good that came from that crusade. 46 years after the march on Washington, the time has come. And it is good.

The LuLac Edition #697, Jan. 18th, 2009






PHOTO INDEX: BARACK OBAMA AND ABE LINCOLN.

THE ROAD AHEAD

Barack Obama arrived in D.C. today by train with his Vice President Joe Biden. Hannibal Hamlin or Andrew Johnson were never mentioned. There was much comparison to the Obama-Lincoln connection. Lincoln took over a nation coming apart at the seams. Obama takes over a country that has taken a few lumps. For the first time in over twenty five years, we as Americans are doubting not only ourselves but various"givens" that were our rights as Americans. Obama has been told by historians that he must be a healer and produce vision. To an extent, I'd say yes. But he has to be more than the legend of the "sainted" Honest Abe in the history books. He has to be the wheeler and dealer model of Lincoln. Obama has to be the cagey politico that inviited conflict among aides and fired his generals when they weren't winning. He has to have Lincoln's sense of political preservation. The man can quote all he wants about the "better angels of our nature" but he had better have the strength to confront the devils that have been dragging this country down in the last 8 years. Obama must use his bully pulpit to get what he wants and what the nation needs: stability and a way out of the problems facing us. A closer look at Lincoln suggests he could be ruthless in his pursuit of good. Obama must do the same. Or else the next Presidential comparison will be not with Lincoln or FDR, but with a peanut farmer from Georgia.

WHAT I READ

Here's a listing of the blogs I consult on a daily basis:
Father Tom Carten's site:
http://northfranklin.blogspot.com.
and of course these two:
http://gort42.blogspot.com/
http://wilkes-barre.tripod.com/. Media sites, NEPA Homepage and WILK's website.

ONE MORE TIME

Last week I rooted for the Eagles. Going to do it again this Sunday even though my dad was a lifelong Cards fan who never got a whiff of a modern day playoff game, those gawdy uniforms the Cards wear, and the guts and gumption of Kurt Warner. One more time with feeling, from YOU TUBE:


Friday, January 16, 2009

The LuLac Edition #696, Jan. 16th, 2009








PHOTO INDEX: 1964 LOGO, WILK TALKER STEVE CORBETT, CONGRESSMAN PAUL KANJORSKI, BLOG EDITOR, DR. JOE LEONARDI AND WYOU TV INTERACTIVE HOST ERIC SHEINER. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS)

THE BUSH YEARS

I had the opportunity to be on WYOU TV Thursday night with Dr. Joseph Leonardi, former Congressional candidate in the 11th District. We both reviewed the President’s speech and frankly when I got the invite I was loaded for bear. I was going to talk about how Bush didn’t have a mandate in 2000, how he surrounded himself with lackeys who prized loyalty over competence and how he wrecked the nation beyond repair. I was prepared to say that the unborn children’s children would be paying for the sins of this administration for generations. I was going to use my line that the only good thing Bush did was to take a Christmas holiday at Camp David and let the secret service people spend time with their families. Then I saw the speech. Bush hung on to 911 with a death grip as far as highlighting his accomplishments. Leonardi and Mrs. LuLac even pointed out that he looked tired and beaten. Callers tried to defend him but it was his place to do so and in the final analysis, all he could come up with was 911. It is true we haven’t had a terrorist attack on American soil and that’s a good thing. But Bush and his campaign minions used 911 not as a tribute to the fallen American victims in the wrong place at the wrong time but as a tool of fear. In the elections of 2002, 2004 and 2006 the GOP beat us over the head with fear. Bush had a perfect opportunity to rally a world after 911 but instead squandered that chance. It is ironic that the real thing that did his Presidency in was Katrina. Bush could not control the terrorist attack but he could control how his government handled a hurricane. When the administration failed in that effort, the emperor had no clothes. People began to question the campaign tactics of 911 and rejected them partially in 2006 and roundly repudiated them in 2008. Bush summed up 8 years in 15 minutes. He had not much of anything in terms of accomplishment, except to say he kept us safe from terrorism. But while he did that, the rights of citizens were subtracted, the cronies of big business went wild with greed and avarice threatening the basic tenant of hearth and home to average citizens and a fast decline in what the middle class was, turning them into people on the brink of disaster. I think in his heart, the hard decisions he made, I think he now realizes many were wrong. Decided by the wrong man at the wrong time. And even with the ending of this dreadful Presidency near, the most partisan of all of us take no joy in the failure of the administration and its leader.

CORBETT’S COURAGE

Steve Corbett went where no talk show host ventured this week having a full blown discussion about the Israel-Palestine conflict. He got opinions from both sides, made statements that were even handed and did not try to add fuel to the fire. Corbett once again proved that talk show hosts can show courage and balance and get both sides of an argument that has been going on for generations and centuries.

KANJO ON TV

On Monday, January 19, Congressman Kanjorski (PA-11), the Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, will appear on CNBC’s Squawk Box for three hours as a co-host of the program.
Congressman Kanjorski will discuss fixing the economy and the role of financial services in the new Congress, as well as inauguration.
WHEN: Monday, January 19 from 7:00 – 10:00 a.m.

C’MON GUYS!!!

Yesterday on AOL the banner headline read: OBAMA: Third term? Jeez the guy hasn’t even taken office and right now pundits are grooming him for a third term? Crazy!

1964

United States Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry reports that smoking may be hazardous to one's health (the first such statement from the U.S. government). In time to come, there will be no more advertising like this on TV.

The predominantly Arab government of Zanzibar is overthrown by African nationalist rebels; a U.S. destroyer evacuates 61 U.S. citizens......Routine U.S. naval patrols of the South China Sea begin......Hello, Dolly! opens in New York City's St. James Theatre...John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, resigns from the space program....A day later Glenn announces that he will seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator from Ohio.....In the Commonwealth, Governor William Scranton discounts any interest in the 1964 Presidential nomination……in Wilkes Barre Mayor Frank Slattery makes noises about an earned income tax for the city of Wilkes Barre but states nothing is firm……and forty five years ago, the number one song in Lulac land was “Please Mr. Postman” charting to the top as the Beatles phenomenon gets closer to the shores of the Atlantic.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The LuLac Edition #695, Jan. 14th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: CONGRESSMAN
KANJORSKI AND P.J. BEST.


SCHIP PASSES

Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) provided the below statement on the House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 2., the State Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization, also known as SCHIP. The bill passed by a vote of 289-139. “This is a very promising day for American children,” said Congressman Kanjorski. “We are in tough times as people throughout the country are struggling from financial hardships. But, during such times it is especially important to ensure the safety and well being of our children, including guaranteeing that they have health insurance. This bill will improve health care for 11 million American children, enabling the future of our country to receive needed care at lower costs. “While President Bush refused to extend the children’s health insurance program twice in the last Congress, I have great faith that after the Senate hopefully passes the bill, that President-elect Obama will do the right thing and sign it into law.”

CHARTER A YES!


Luzerne County Commissioners unanimously voted today to put the home-rule study question on the May primary-election ballot. The move must be done by ordinance, so an ordinance will be publicly displayed at the county courthouse for an undetermined number of days before the move takes affect.

TESTING! TESTING!


Like a lot of people in this nation, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their rear ends , doing drugs, while I work. . . . Can you imagine how much money the nation would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The LuLac Edition #694, Jan. 13th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: 13 QUESTIONS LOGO

13 QUESTIONS

1. 2009 RACES, WHAT SHALL WE WATCH OUT FOR?

UP UNTIL THE OTHER DAY, I WAS GOING TO SAY JUST WATCH OUT FOR THE JUDGESHIPS IN BOTH COUNTIES AND THE RACE BETWEEN JILL MORAN AND ANN LOKUTA FOR LUZERNE COUNTY PROTHONOTARY. NOW WITH SKREP AND STEVE URBAN WEIGHING IN ON HOME RULE, P.J. BEST HAS A TIGER BY THE TAIL. THIS WILL BE FUN TO WATCH AND SPECULATE ON. IT WILL BE INTERTESTING TO SEE HOW MUCH MONEY IS RAISED FOR AND AGAINST THE CHARTER IN LUZERNE COUNTY.


2. ON LULAC, HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON TRUMPETING THE YEAR 1964?

45 YEARS AGO FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE BEATLES, THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT WAS TAKING HOLD, THE BIRTH OF CONSERVATISM WITH BARRY GOLDWATER AND OF COURSE THE 64 PHILLIES.

3. FAVORITE PERSON IN OBAMA CABINET?

TWO. HILLARY CLINTON AND KEN SALAZAR. CLINTON WILL BE AN ASSET TO THE PRESIDENT WITH HER DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND UTILIZATION OF “BILL” AT STATE AND SALAZAR AT INTERIOR WILL BE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IN TRYING TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT FROM THIS PRESIDENT.

4. THAT CHRIS MATTHEWS BOOMLET WENT SOUTH, DIDN’T IT?

TRUE. I THINK MATTHEWS WAS IN LOVE WITH THE IDEA OF BEING A U.S. SENATOR BUT WHEN HE SAW THE LIMITS TO HIS INCOME, CHANGED HIS MIND. ARLEN SPECTER IS THE BEST U.S. SENATOR PENNSYLVANIA EVER HAD. HE'D BE TOUGH IN A RACE AND I THINK MATTHEWS KNEW THAT.

5. ON THE SAME FRONT, HOW ABOUT CAROLINE KENNEDY FOR THE SENATE?

AS I STATED IN A PREVIOUS LULAC EDITION, I THOUGHT BOBBY KENNEDY JUNIOR WOULD HAVE MADE A BETTER CHOICE. CAROLINE KENNEDY IS INTELLIGENT, A VITAL HUMANITARIAN AND DEFINITELY SENATORIAL MATERIAL. BUT SHE STRUGGLES WITH THE CHARISMA THAT WAS GIVEN IN SURPLUS TO HER LATE FATHER AND BROTHER. SHE CAN’T SEEM TO CONNECT AT A “REGULAR GUY AND GAL” LEVEL AND TRUTH BE TOLD THAT HURTS. SHE MAY GET THE NOD BUT PUT HER UP AGAINST A “HAIL FELLOW WELL MET” LIKE ED RENDELL AND AS A CANDIDATE, SHE’D BE TOAST.

6. FAVORITE POLICE DRAMA?

LAW AND ORDER, ALL GENRES, HILL STREET BLUES, THE SHORT LIVED BOOMTOWN AND THE OLD UNTOUCHABLES.

7. HOTTEST ITEM AT THE OBAMA SWEARING IN?

HATS.

8. READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

MRS. LULAC GOT ME THREE POLITICAL BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS. SHE FEELS I SHOULD START READING MORE AND WRITING LESS. WHAT A COMMENTARY ON THE BOOKS AND THE BLOG. SHE GOT ME TWO BOOKS BY DAVID PIETRUSZA, “1960” WHICH FOLLOWS JFK, LBJ AND RICHARD NIXON. THE OTHER ONE WAS “1920 THE YEAR OF SIX PRESIDENTS”. THE LATTER CHRONICLES TEDDY ROOSEVELT, WOODROW WILSON, WARREN HARDING, CALVIN COOLIDGE, HERBERT HOOVER AND FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT. FASCINATING READING. I CAME AWAY WITH MORE SYMPATHY FOR WARREN HARDING, MORE RESPECT FOR HERBERT HOOVER AND GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT FOR WOODROW WILSON WHO WAS A VERY PETTY AND DISAGREEABLE LITTLE MAN.

9. FAVORITE SUPERMODEL OF ALL TIME?

ELLE MacPHEARSON AND KATHY IRELAND.

10. FULL OR HALF MOON?


FULL.

11. WINE OR BEER?

CAN’T HAVE EITHER DUE TO THE CHEMO BUT WHEN I’M THROUGH, I’LL GRAB MYSELF A COLD COORS LIGHT. WINE: GERMAN REISLING. CHILLED.

12. ANY GOOD THING TO SAY ABOUT PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH?


WRONG MAN AT THE WRONG TIME. A DISASTER. BUT I CAN SAY, AS I HAVE IN PREVIOUS EDITIONS THAT EVERY CHRISTMAS HE STAYED AT CAMP DAVID OR THE WHITE HOUSE SO HIS SECRET SERVICE DETAIL COULD SPEND TIME WITH THEIR LOVED ONES.

13. WITH A NEW ADMINISTRATION AND BIN LADEN STILL NOT CAUGHT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO SMOKE HIM OUT?

I WOULD GET MY GOOD FRIEND CARL BRIGIDO FROM WILKES UNIVERSITY’S SHELBOURNE TV CENTER TO RIG A GIGANTIC SOUND SYSTEM THROUGHOUT THE SUSPECTED BIN LADEN HIDING PLACES AND CRANK UP TO THE HIGHEST VOLUME THIS OLD TV THEME.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The LuLac Edition #693, Jan. 12th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: EVIE REFALKO McNULTY, BLOG EDITOR AND FORMER MAYOR JAMES B. McNULTY, AND SENATOR DESIGNATE ROLAND BURRIS.

BURRIS PREVAILS

Eager to put the scandal-tainted standoff behind them, Senate Democrats accepted Roland Burris as President-elect Barack Obama's Senate successor on Monday and said they expect to swear in the new Illinois senator soon. "He is now the senator-designate from Illinois and, as such, will be accorded all the rights and privileges of a senator-elect," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said in a joint statement. Burris said he's "humbled and honored" to be Illinois' next junior senator, and is thankful for the opportunity to serve. Some of the credit has to go to the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for his political turnaround in naming the politico to the seat and of course to Burris himself for touting his credentials and not backing down once he arrived in D.C.

A SCRANTON SITE

When James B. McNulty was Mayor of Scranton in the early 80s, he promoted the city like no other. He brought in Larry Holmes for a nationally televised prize fight and helped in the renovation of the Radison Hotel in the downtown. McNulty has taken on a new mission, promoting Scranton as the city politicians think of first in any campaign. McNulty is celebrating Scranton’s political prowess with a Web site,
www.scrantonelectioncity.com. The former Mayor envisions the site as an aid local people to fully understand the impact a national campaigns made on the city.

MOTOWN AT 50

A half century ago Motown arrived on the scene. President Berry Gordy founded the music company in a small house in Detroit. The address: West Grand Blvd, Detroit, Michigan. The mission: to make the best music for all of young America, black and white. A few gems from Hitsville, USA: