Thursday, September 08, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1745, September 8th, 2011



The President goes on the air tonight to talk about Jobs. The GOP will not rebut him because they figure they cannot compete with the Green Bay Packers. This is make or break for Obama. He either becomes Harry Truman or Jimmy Carter. Carter if he vacillates and blames the Congress and everyone else. He becomes Truman if he accepts responsibility for not doing enough. He then has to go big with his plan and recognize that the Republican House and the Tea Party will oppose him at every turn. Like Reagan he should crystallize his plan on three index cards and repeat them over and over again. When he gets opposition, he should not go into a college level seminar, he should go over those three index cards. The more simple the message, the better. If he is opposed, he should go on the offensive and have Congress work through the New Hampsire Primary season if he has to. Much has been made about the President’s upbringing with his father bailing and his grandfather helping to raise him. Grandpas don’t teach sons how to fight, they feel it’s not their place. Fathers teach sons how to fight. I never saw a record anywhere in his biography that Barack Obama ever got into a fist fight or a shoving match. (I was in two, one won, lost one). My point here is the President, in order to save his job has to advance his ideas and seal them in concrete. Then he has to repeat them over and over to the American people until they can memorize them. Then he needs to get into an old fashioned street brawl with the Speaker of the House John Boehner and the Tea Party people who are whispering in his ear. The future is here Mr. President and it is tonight. Don’t waver, don’t duck and for Christ sake put up your dukes.


You better be careful when you take on the right especially the Tea Party. Jimmy Hoffa found that out this week when he used the term “taking them out” in reference to the Tea Party. He prefaced it with the word “vote”. I was wildly amused by Rush Limbaigh going nuts over the remark. My friend Sue Henry too (by the way Happy Anniversary on entering your 10th year) was very irate about the choice of words. And Sue is right to an extent that words matter. But Hoffa, whose father most likely was “taken out” for real used the word vote before his instructions. For as long as I can remember, the Union have been involved in politics. My first brush with union activities came when I was 6 during the Kennedy campaign in 1960 and we got these newspapers at the house touting JFK. In 1967 a union shop in Pittston was giving out huge Blythe Evans for District Attorney signs that I lugged home. And Evans was a Republican! (Evans’ son is currently running for Luzerne County Counmcil). The Humphrey campaign literally was carried by the unions until his September 30th speech in Utah where he broke with LBJ on the war. Before that he was broke. I could go on and on. Hoffa was wrong on terminology in the sense that the Tea Party was offended thinking they were going to be taken out. But the fact of the matter is they are going to be taken out or at least there will be an attempt to do so by the unions and by extension the Democratic party. Whether they join the ranks of Nixon and get taken out electorally or escape that fate like Ronald Reagan is going to be part of the ongoing drama of this campaign. But to go crazy about a throw away phrase is just ginning the debate up to unreasonable levels.


Allan Lichtman, the American University professor whose election formula has correctly called every president since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election. He said the other day on MSNBC that currently the President has a 9 out 13 advantage in the “keys” race.
Lichtman developed his 13 Keys in 1981. They test the performance of the party that holds the presidency. If six or more of the 13 keys go against the party in power, then the opposing party wins.”The keys have figured into popular politics a bit,” Lichtman says. “They’ve never missed. They’ve been right seven elections in a row. A number that goes way beyond statistical significance in a record no other system even comes close to.”
Lichtman’s point is that even with a high unemployment rate and a recalcitrant House of Representatives, this President just might get reelected. Here are the keys:
1. Party mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than it did after the previous midterm elections. Says Lichtman, “Even back in January 2010 when I first released my predictions, I was already counting on a significant loss.” Obama loses this key.
2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination. Says Lichtman on Obama’s unchallenged status, “I never thought there would be any serious contest against Barack Obama in the Democratic primary.” Obama wins this key.
3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president. Easy win here for Obama.
4. Third Party: There is no significant third party challenge. Obama wins this point.
5. Short term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. Here Lichtman declares an “undecided.”
6. Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. Says Lichtman, “I discounted long term economy against Obama. Clearly we are in a recession.” Obama loses this key.
7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. “There have been major policy changes in this administration. We’ve seen the biggest stimulus in history and an complete overhaul of the healthcare system so I gave him policy change,” says the scholar. Another win for Obama.
8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term. Says Lichtman, “There wasn’t any social unrest when I made my predictions for 2012 and there still isn’t.” Obama wins a fifth key here.
9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. “This administration has been squeaky clean. There’s nothing on scandal,” says Lichtman. Another Obama win.
10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. Says Lichtman, “We haven’t seen any major failure that resembles something like the Bay of Pigs and don’t foresee anything.” Obama wins again.
11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. “Since Osama bin Laden was found and killed, I think Obama has achieved military success.” Obama wins his eighth key.
12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. Explains Lichtman, “I did not give President Obama the incumbent charisma key. I counted it against him. He’s really led from behind. He didn’t really take the lead in the healthcare debate, he didn’t use his speaking ability to move the American people during the recession. He’s lost his ability to connect since the 2008 election.” Obama loses this key.
13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. Says Lichtman, “We haven’t seen any candidate in the GOP who meets this criteria and probably won’t.” Obama wins, bringing his total to nine keys, three more than needed to win reelection.


Last night’s Republican Presidential Debate on MSNBC was pretty interesting. The candidates all lined up at the shrine that is the Ronald Reagan Library and denounced Barack Obama saying his Presidency was bad for America and that only one of them could save America.
Texas Governor Rick Perry demonstrated two things. The first was that he could stand on the same stage as these candidates and hold his own. The second was that by doing so, he came across as an acceptable Conservative candidate of Christian values that the Tea Party could sell to its members and by extension America. This is bad news for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Senator Rick Santorum of our state. Both were trying to stake out ground on that right territory but in my opinion Perry seemed to suck the air out of their efforts. Newt Gingrich got some huge applause lines again blaming the media for giving the perception that the GOP was too divided to defeat President Obama. Gingrich is a fascinating orator and makes sense even when he is arguing a position that doesn’t. Could Gingrich be the Joe Biden of 2011 and garner a Veep nomination? Herman Cain was straightforward and has a constituency. John Huntsman tried to portray himself as a person that could be the moderate more interesting candidate if the party all of a sudden reverted back to the mid 60s. Huntsman called for the troops to come home. Mitt Romney seems to be a better candidate this time around and sparred with Perry on job creation. Romney was animated, took middle to conservative right positions and was a clear contrast between his views and Perry’s. Ron Paul sparred with Perry over the legacy of Ronald Reagan. But the big news in this debate was Perry saying Social Security should be given to the states to control. Even though he said people his age would not be impacted, you had to know the Romney people were doing high fives as he said those words. The debate was fast paced and featured a very nice tribute to Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy. Nancy Reagan was in attendance looking frail but happy as the film gave tribute to her “Ronnie”. For the average voter, this was a good way to get introduced to the field. To junkies like all of us, this was just one f many debates on the long road to the GOP nomination.


Six months have passed since the state ended its adultBasic health insurance program for low-income Pennsylvanians. Fewer than half of the enrollees have signed up for alternative insurance options. In the final hours of adultBasic’s funding, enrollees were encouraged to apply for Medicaid, or change their coverage to a product subsidized by Pennsylvania’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. So far, just 38 percent of the enrollees who were with adultBasic to the end landed with either of those products. And one of them, Jerry Kaufman, a self-employed trash collector, says he hasn’t been happy with his Special Care insurance, which limits him to four doctors’ visits a year. "So, I’m limited to, even if I’m not feeling good, to try and not to go to the doctor, because I have prostate cancer, and I’m trying to use just those four office visits a year to my urologist, which I have to go every three months to be monitored," he says. Kaufman says he’s also upset about the higher premium under adultBasic, he paid $36 a month. He now pays $162 a month for his Special Care coverage. The Blues are involved in negotiations with the state Insurance Department to raise that rate by about five percent. A Highmark/Blue Shield spokesman says the real driver of rate increases is rising health care costs across the board.




This week on Storm Politics on WYLN TV 35 Tiffany Cloud welcomes Casey Evans, a former staffer for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign and candidate for Luzerne County Council. Storm politics can be seen on on WYLN TV 35 THURS @ 9:30 PM • SAT @ 5 PM SUN @ 11 AM, MON @ 9:00 PM • TUES @ 4:30 PM.


This week tune in to Shadoe Steele’s “Saturday Night Live At the Oldies” when he interviews Brian Hyland. Hyland was unavailable last week so Steele interviewed Gary Lewis. But this week you can hear a great interview with Hyland. Saturday Night Live at the Oldies can be heard every Saturday from 7pm to midnight with ABC News on the top of the hour.


PCN will be airing special programming on Monday, September 12 leading up to the historic coverage on Tuesday, September 13. This includes the special one-on-one interview with PA Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, September 12 followed by the 7:00 p.m. airing of the PA Supreme Court preview program with John Gedid, Director of the Law and Government Institute of Widener University School of Law and Ken Gormley, Dean of Duquesne University School of Law.
On Friday, September 16, PCN will air a special program about the U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Confirmation Process. The program will feature former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter with the University of Pennsylvania Law School. This special program will air on Friday, September 16 at 9:00 a.m. with an encore tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 17 at 4:00 p.m.
The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will provide a first with gavel-to-gavel coverage of the state’s Supreme Court oral arguments. The state’s highest court will, for the first time, allow cameras in the courtroom with historic coverage by PCN on Tuesday, September 13 in Philadelphia.
The network will tape the entire three-day session. Each day’s individual session will be given its own airdate; with the first scheduled to air on September 13 following a special one-on-one interview with PA Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille beginning at 6:00 p.m. Day two and three of the proceedings will then air at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 15 and Friday, September 16.
In anticipation of Constitution Day which is slated to be celebrated on September 16, the Tuesday session at Independence Hall will offer an introduction that will give viewers the chance to learn about the historic constitutional importance of the high court.
"Chief Justice Castille and all the justices are to be commended for their leadership in taking this historic step,” said PCN President Brian Lockman. “They are giving Pennsylvanians the opportunity to see the Supreme Court performing its duties as it has since 1684.”
Aside from its historic significance, the tapings by PCN offer much more.
“My colleagues and I are pleased to open our courtroom to PCN’s statewide audience so they can see how our court operates and follow arguments in cases affecting every citizen of Pennsylvania,” Chief Justice Castille said.
New procedures regarding the broadcast of court proceedings allows PCN to choose which session days to record, but all proceedings must be aired in its entirety.
Though it is a first for the state’s highest court, PCN has been providing En Banc coverage of the state’s Superior Court since 1999. PCN began airing coverage of the state’s Commonwealth Court in 2006


Our thanks to Paula Deignan who's been filling in as co-host of ECTV Live this week with David DeCosmo while Judge Tom Munley enjoyed some much deserved time off.
Our guest for the program during the week of September 12th will be Karen Thoma from the Penn State Extension Office in Lackawanna County. She'll be discussing a program called "Strengthening Families." It's designed for parents and youth age 10 to 14 and deals with such topics as improving parenting skills, building life skills for youth, and improving family bonds. ECTV Live is seen on Comcast CH19 each day at Noon and Midnight.


This Weekend on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Elizabeth Randol, a candidate for Lackawanna County Commissioner during the May primary, who discusses the future of women in politics in Northeast Pa, her activism in women's issues, and a new campaign she is working on.
An encore of Brian's interview with chiropractor Joe Leonardi, author of the book, Fat Then, Fit Now on how he lost more than one hundred pounds, and how you can too. And on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, a call to give pause and remember the
events of that fateful day, with remembrances featuring Senators Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey & Charles Schumer of New York.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7 & 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM..


The Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi wins the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and becomes the youngest Formula One World Champion.........West Germany and Poland renew diplomatic relations.......The Presidential campaign resumes after a break taken because of the Munich Massacre. President Nixon reiterates his stand against busing and tells America that his policy in Vietnam is correct. George McGovern meanwhile says that the Nixon campaign is lying to the American people about Vietnam. In the meantime, two reporters for the Washington Post are investigating a burglary at the Watergate headquarters back in June to see if there is a connection to the Nixon Re Election campaign committee, CREEP, the Committee to Re-Elect the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo enrages Democrats statewide and in his city by openly endorsing President Nixon. : Rizzo made an unnanounced visit to the White House in early 1972 (Nixon was big on unannounced visirs, remember Elvis Presley’s?) So a few months later according to Sal Palantonio’s bpook on Rizzo, “[Nixon] made a “non-political” visit to Philadelphia as a guest of Mayor Rizzo–who told his political machine…”either the President wins in their areas or they look for another job.”.............................and in Luzerne County relations between Majority Commissioners Ed Wideman and Frank Crossin broke down when Wideman renewed his alliance with Minority Commissioner Ethel Price earlier in the year. But when state and federal money started to pour into the County because of the agnes Floods, the warring Commissioners along with Price found thwemselves in full agreement on those issues. 3-0 votes started to come out of the Commissioner’s meetings Treasurer William Curwood to say, “It took an act of God, the flood for that to happen”................and in 1972 this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” by Mac Davis who scored with a cross over hit.


At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

In agreement with much of your advice to the President. As far as I know, Truman never had a fist fight in his life and was a laid back dude. His true fighting character was formed during his service in WWI.
The simpler the better is directly out of Reagan's playbook and the only way to go.
Obama needs to change now and fight dirty if he has to. I may have said this before, but if he does he can walk to the helicopter on Inauguration day as an outgoing President with his head held high.
That new President will NOT be Rick Perry, as he hung himself last night with his Social Security commentary; Romney was masterful with his retort.
Tea Party or No, I still believe Romney will be the nominee.
Also, I find it interesting that Cheney recently is having a one sided lovefest with Hillary Clinton.
History has proven that for the past generation every incumbent Prez who has lost the general election had a primary challenger. I think ol' shoot em up Dick is trying to put a bug up Hillary's butt to distract Obama in a Primary.
I can clearly state Obama will not have a primary challenger.

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad as Obama has in many ways been, this line up of GOP wannabes
is flat out scary!
JFK was our first Catholic president and to date (50 years) our last. How long before we elect another black man or woman?
I wonder if the office of President is necessary anymore.
We have completely abandoned the art of compromise in this country and prefer total stalemate.
President isnt the only office I would consider eliminating.
In PA we could get along fine with half the state office holders.
Meanwhile the rain keeps coming down...

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While listening to your report it occurred to me that the reason Geisinger is buying every hard asset in sight is that they don't want to be told (forced) what to do with their "surplus". So "for profits" or "non-profits" are targets. Ever think if we left them alone for a while they would come around?


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