The LuLac Edition #1244, July 23rd, 2010
Following in the footsteps of Congressman Dan Flood, Paul Kanjorski was at the center of the action when it came to the financial reform bill regarding Wall Street. Kanjorski helped write and champion this historic legislation. As a reminder, the Wall Street Reform bill is very much like its name. It reforms the abuses of Wall Street that brought this economy teetering on the brink. Small investors that played the market no longer trust the financial wizards. After losing pensions and savings, would you go back to a broker? This bill is going to make certain that tax payers who invest in the American dream won’t get raped.
Seems like Attorney General Tom Corbett is fast becoming the darling of the drilling industry in the Commonwealth. Corbett’s campaign has realized over $350,000 bucks from those oil and gas interests. Corbett is of course still trying to dig out of the hole he put himself in when he said Pennsylvania’s jobless didn’t want to work because the jobs were there. Many still feel Corbett never said this, that no politician in these tough economic times would even utter that thought. Oh but he did.
Courtesy John Micek's blog. http://blogs.mcall.com/capitol_ideas/
ON A SMARTER NOTE
Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) voted for H.R. 4213, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, which passed in the House by a vote of 272-152. The bill will extend the availability of emergency unemployment benefits through November 30, 2010 to help the many individuals and families that have been forced out of their jobs as a result of the difficult economic situation. The bill also retroactively restores benefits to the about 173,900 Pennsylvanians and over 2.5 million Americans who started losing their benefits as early as the beginning of June. Congressman Kanjorski has voted multiple times in the House to extend unemployment insurance, but because of Republican opposition in the Senate, many Americans had lost their benefits.
“Too many people throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania and the country have lost their jobs, and we must continue to help these jobless workers survive during this extended recession so that they can find jobs and get back on their feet. Now is not the time to turn our backs on the American people,” said Congressman Kanjorski. “Unfortunately, millions of people throughout the country have not been receiving need unemployment assistance for weeks because many Republicans made politics their priority, rather than the people they represent. By providing this assistance to families which have temporarily lost their incomes, the entire American economy can benefit because those dollars will be immediately spent on needed goods and services. Today, many Americans who were laid off will regain this vital assistance.”
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has cited unemployment benefits as one of the most cost-effective and quickest ways to stimulate the economy, and every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.61 in new demand, according to Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi. Additionally, according a study by the Economic Policy Institute, unemployment benefits were responsible for creating more than 1 million jobs since the recession started, and adding almost 2 percent to the gross domestic product.
Unemployment insurance is temporary income for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Many Pennsylvanians who have been unable to find jobs can now receive up to 99 weeks of unemployment insurance. Regular unemployment insurance provides up to 26 weeks of benefits. Emergency unemployment insurance is a federally funded program created by Congress to provide additional insurance of up to 53 weeks. This legislation also helps states provide State Extended Benefits, which in Pennsylvania provides for an additional 20 weeks of unemployment insurance.
State unemployment offices should notify individuals who have almost exhausted their regular benefits to make them aware of their potential eligibility for emergency unemployment benefits. Once eligible individuals apply, they should receive extended benefits with very little or no gap in coverage. If you have questions, contact the Scranton Unemployment Compensation Service Center, which covers all of Northeastern Pennsylvania, at (570) 496-2332.
Representative Ken Smith is reported to be placing his family business on the sheriff’s tax sale. This is unfortunate. The restaurant was a landmark eatery in Scranton and we certainly don’t want to see anyone have economic misfortune. Smith has had back tax issues which were publicly reported already. He has our sympathy and all that said, one must wonder if these business issues are a distraction from Smith doing his job as a State Representative. He won the primary in a three man field so I guess the voters of his district know what they’re getting.
YUDICHAK ON TARONE
State Representative and Senatorial candidate John Yudichak will be L.A. Tarone’s guest this week on “The L.A. Tarone Show” on WYLN TV 35. Yudichak will talk about the State budget, the gas drilling and his upcoming general election campaign.
WILKES BARRE COUNCIL
So now the City of Wilkes Barre wants to pass an ordinance to have voters decide on a ballot whether the Council should go back to “at large” voting city wide instead of by district. Apparently the current council wants to revert things back to the way they were and truth be told it worked pretty well. The top 7 were the top 7, even though guys like Guy Izzo and Walter Griffith made inroads into the top ten. Right now neighborhood districts are represented by a council member. And that’s okay too. Many are wondering why the sudden change of heart? Well look at the history, the person who spearheaded this reform was Sue Henry’s former BFF, Christine Katsock. With the Reformation leader now firmly ensconced on the Wilkes Barre Area School Board it is doubtful that there will be any hue and cry or opposition to this plan. No matter what the Council decides, the “cool kids” are going to win the election, any election, at large, by district, whatever anyway. Save of course for the tenacity of the Luzerne County GOP which should try to field another slate again. No matter what form of council they choose, for the brain dead voters of Wilkes Barre, life will go on.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
THE BLAME GAME
So this week we were told that not only are we dumb son of bitches in LuLac land, but that we are uneducated. That we don’t educate ourselves. Really? Who are all these people going to the 9 colleges in and around Wilkes Barre, Scranton and Hazleton? Who are all the adults I saw when I went back to school last year because of a layoff on campus? This so called study is an insult to every single person in this area of the World War II generation and beyond. They valued education, so much so that they sacrificed so that their kids could go to college….and be educated. It is an insult to every hard working adult now who has sleepless nights wondering how they are going o get their kids an education. If all that wasn’t bad enough, a caller to the Sue Henry Show blamed the area colleges and their instructors for not having the tools to educate students for “industry” jobs. This person, who served as a staffer (?) with the Committee for Economic Growth in the 80s did the typical Chamber of Commerce tap dance. Blame someone else or some other entity for your failure to bring in industry. He spoke of his Association with CEG and alluded to the Scranton Chamber bringing in RCA to Dunmore. No mention of course of any new industry that had high paying jobs in the 80s to Luzerne County. CEG was created because the Wilkes Barre Chamber at the time was impotent, as it still is today in bringing in decent paying jobs for the people here. The only high paying jobs are those in these growth organizations that are self perpetuating. Here’s the point, for Barry (?) from Scranton to blame the educators for not preparing the students is the same sorry excuses chamber types have been using for decades. The fault does not lie with the education system in the colleges, the fact is we here in NEPA say we value education but we really don’t. If we did, there would be growth industries here to employ those recently educated instead of having them move out to other areas of the country. As long as we have people associated with the Chamber past or present making excuses for their failures and saying “workers don’t have soft skills” or "the colleges never adequately prepared the students” we might as well issue one way air fare to each college graduate at the May commencements, give them a boxed lunch and send them on their merry way to a brighter future in an area where there are real jobs with real money instead of mouthing off excuses on a talk show.
Bob Dylan is injured in a motorcycle accident near his home in Woodstock, New York. He is not seen in public for over a year…..in the 1966 campaign for Governor of Pennsylvania Democratic challenger Milton Shapp proposes that the driver’s license age be raised to 18…….in Scranton Mayor James Walsh tries to form a smoother working relationship with the Scranton Redevelopment Authority as he begins to analyze how to best spend federal dollars from President Johnson “Urban Renewal” programs........and 44 years ago this week, the quintessential summer time song “Summer In the City” held the top spot. It was the Lovin’ Spoonful's biggest hit.