Monday, January 31, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1456, Jan. 31st, 2011



Former state Representative Bernard O’Brien died Sunday morning in Wilkes Barre. O’Brien was the second retired State Representative to pass away this weekend. O’Brien was first elected State Rep in 1962. His only real challenge in the 60s came in the 1966 election. Both O’Brien and Martin L. Murray opposed then Wilkes Barre Mayor’s wage tax. The Mayor with the help of a few Democratic party insurgents challenged O’Brien in the ’66 primary with William McAneny. O’Brien, according to the old Wilkes Barre Record scored “a smashing victory over his opponent.” O’Brien would be instrumental in the rebuilding of downtown Wilkes Barre in the aftermath of the Agnes Flood. His seniority as well as his ties to then Governor Shapp gave the city an opportunity to coordinate statewide efforts with those of the Federal Government. Throughout his legislative career, O’Brien enjoyed good relationships with the press. Some of it was almost fawning. In an editorial from the Times Leader Evening News O’Brien was compared to then popular Congressman Dan Flood. The paper editorialized, “Representative O’Brien has all the makings of another Dan Flood”. O’Brien pretty much steam rolled over all of his opponents on the Democratic and Republican side. It wasn’t until 1980 that his electoral luck ran out. O’Brien was opposed by a young Bishop Hoban school teacher who had won election to Wilkes Barre City Council in the 70s. That was Kevin Blaum. During the pivotal election year of 1980, it was the classic young Turk vs establishment candidate. Blaum did an extensive door to door effort while O’Brien saturated the neighborhoods with union personnel and reminders of his 18 years of constituent service. Despite a determined effort, O’Brien lost to Blaum. O’Brien retired from the State House and quietly offered political advice when asked. But he never really was active again in the forefront and preferred that people judged him by his contributions to the city and his district. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this hour. Bernie O’Brien was 96. Voters of a certain age will remember and never forget the contributions of Bernie O’Brien.

The LuLac Edition #1455, Jan. 31st, 2011



Former State Representative Frank Coslett died this past weekend. Coslett served as a State Representative from 1979 to 1987. He served as President of Kingston Council when T. Newell Wood retired in 1978 leaving a vacancy for the 20th District Senate seat. Frank O’Connell jumped into that race. Coslett ran for State Representative in the 1978 GOP landslide that was pretty similar to the 2010 race. Coslett won elections in ’78, 80, ’82 and ’84 before retiring after his fourth term. He faced down Democrats like Attorney Joe Carmody and John Pitcavage. Coslett was heavy into constituent service and was very approachable. Throughout his political career, Coslett got the support of Democrats as well as Republicans. (See photo index, second picture). A few people were surprised when he retired after a few years but Coslett had the term limit thing down pat before his national counterparts. Coslett had the same name as a popular local TV anchor except that the WBRE mainstay used the middle initial "D" to distinguish himself long before Coslett's career began. Coslett never lost an election, he was quite proud of that fact. To call Frank Coslett “old school” would be an understatement. Here is his obit from the Times Leader:
Franklin Coslett, 89, of Kingston, died Friday, January 28, 2011, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Edwardsville, Frank was a son of the late Job and Margaret Cox Coslett. He was a graduate of Edwardsville High School and attended Wilkes University. Frank was a World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. His sense of civic duty was not limited to his military service. Frank was a member and past president of Kingston Borough Council and a former Pennsylvania State Representative serving the 120th District for a number of terms. He retired with an undefeated electoral record. A successful businessman, Frank, along with his sons, owned and operated Coslett Plastering Contractor. He was a member of VFW Post 283, Kingston; the American Legion Black Diamond Post, Kingston; King David Masonic Lodge, Kingston; Irem Temple and the Caldwell Consistory. Frank was a lifelong member of Bethesda Congregational Church, Edwardsville. Preceding Frank in death, in addition to his parents, were his wife, the former Margaret Price; infant granddaughters, Beverly and Linda Wagner; brothers, Richard, John, Harold, and Harry; and sisters, Mary, Blodwyn, and Blanche. Frank is survived by sons, Frank and wife, Susan, Shavertown; Robert and wife, Donna, Forty Fort; daughter Cheryl Wagner and husband, Lee, Dallas; 10 grandchildren, Frank Jr., and Mark Coslett, Debbie Karp, Lee Jr., and Michael Wagner, Beth Ann Viglone, Robert Jr., Chad, Eric and Shane Coslett; eight great-grandchildren; brothers, Job, George, and Delbert, all of Kingston, and Robert, Shavertown; sisters, Ruth, Margaret, Rachel, Evelyn and Ethel, all of Kingston; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. A loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, Frank will be sadly missed by all. He defined dignity, pride and respect and was the embodiment of all three. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday from the Harold C. Snowdon Home for Funerals Inc., 420 Wyoming Ave., Kingston. The Rev. M. Lynn Snyder will officiate. Interment will be made in Memorial Shrine Park, Carverton. Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. The Coslett family would like to thank the staff of Timber Ridge Health Care Center for the compassionate care Frank received. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations, if desired may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1454, Jan. 30th, 2011



Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith met with a 50 of the county’s 69 elected tax collectors last week and politely asked them to start using the county’s online computer program to track their tax bills.
What???? They’re not doing it now? Most everybody has a freakin’ computer these days. I overheard two people over 80 in Dunkin’ Donuts the other day talking about chat rooms and poker sites. I’d be anything but polite. Griffith told the Times Leader that he has reviewed the law and does not believe he could force them to use the system. The Controller indicated he could seek a court order but doesn’t want to resort to that. Usage of the system will speed up processing, audits and the transmission of delinquent tax bills to the county’s tax claim office. This county needs the money and the faster it gets it, the better.


Luzerne Coiunty had a leak last week but it wasn’t to a confidential source to the media or anything like that. It was a hole in the roof. The Times Leader reported that water leaks at Luzerne County’s leased record storage building have angered county Prothonotary Carolee Medico Olenginski. (Past history indicates it don’t take much to set her off!)
The lady does have a point telling the local press, “If the commissioners had apples and oranges to store, then it might have been a suitable site, but not for records that are the history of our county,” said Medico Olenginski.
An employee discovered the leaks on the fourth floor of the Thomas C. Thomas Building in downtown Wilkes-Barre last week. He alerted the impacted departments, and records were moved in the area of the leaks. Buckets and tarp were set up to prevent the water from seeping to the floor below.
But later on in the week, the full time employee discovered puddles and water on top of some file cabinets in several spots on the third-floor, where Prothonotary records are kept. Some papers were warped from the water, but were moved before they were destroyed. County Commissioner Stephen A. Urban said he asked county Engineer Joe Gibbons to check it out, and Gibbons told him that building owner Tom Thomas said permanent roof repairs cannot be completed until the weather breaks. In the meantime..............................................


The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed a modification to the plea agreement with Robert Mericle that will likely increase the sentence he faces for his guilty plea related to the Luzerne County corruption probe.
The amendment, changes part of the plea agreement that stated the U.S. Attorney’s office would recommend Mericle be sentenced to the minimum under federal sentencing guidelines. The government has now inserted language that says it is free to recommend a higher sentence, up to the maximum.
The government said language that would allow it to seek a higher sentence based on Mericle’s “obstructing or impeding the administration of justice.” The document does not state what action Mericle has allegedly taken to obstruct justice. What is also interesting is that the agreement also removes language that gave Mericle a reduction under sentencing guidelines for acceptance of responsibility. This is a standard fare given to defendants who agree to plead guilty and spare the prosecution the expense of a trial.
One has to wonder where this came from and why at this time. Does the recent indictment of Senator Musto have anything to do with this? If I were on the Mericle defense team, I’d want some answers.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1453, Jan. 29th, 2011



This week’s events in Egypt were a topic of discussion with a few friends of mine. Here are parts of that conversation.
Q: Were you surprised at the events?
A: I was more surprised at the speed in which it ramped up. I didn’t think there were issues.
Q: You were in Egypt a few years ago, what was that like?
A: I don’t know if it was American policy or Egyptian but we had an escort everywhere we went.
Q: Was it the police or the Army?
A: I think it was the police, private police, guys in suits, why do you ask?
Q: Because on the news it was said that the people are down on the police but respect the Army. So much so that they allowed the Army to form a barricade around the museums with the precious artifacts.
A: We had a guy who was a policeman. He dressed in a suit, was armed, took us everywhere and then waited until we got back.
Q: Did you ever venture out on your own?
A: Oh yeah, we wanted to see the subway system and check things out ourselves. There were people who had white transport vans. I literally saw people jumping on them into the side door as they were moving.
Q: How were you treated by the natives?
A: Okay, we were never scared but when we were on the van, the driver was talking to his buddies and people were pointing at us. He most likely charged us more but I never felt unsafe. Once this woman was passing out literature of some kind and when she got to us, she didn’t give us what she was passing out. I don’t know the reason for that, maybe it was the language thing.
Q: What reactions do you have about the rioting?
A: It is pretty intense, I’m sure it is going to affect oil prices. The President is going to be between a rock and a hard place because Egypt is our great ally in the middle east.
Q: Right, they are number 3 or 4 in terms of the amount of foreign aid we give as a government.
A: Right and Mubarak is now 83.
Q: Mubarak is the successor to the late Anwar Sadat and has been in office since Sadat’s Assassination in 1981.
A: Right. And the gist of this unrest is that Mubarak has hinted that he wants his son to succeed him, kind of turn it into a dynasty.
Q: Where the heck does Mubarak think he is, Luzerne County?
A: Good one Yonk.
Q: Thank you.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1452, Jan. 28th, 2011



Maybe I’m Amazed…….that somehow the Kardashians have a career. Their claim to fame was that their father was on O.J.’s defense team. The other day I heard they had an episode about one of them having a rash from shaving. Maybe I’m Amazed I know this and that people even care.
Maybe I’m Amazed ………that there are at least 5 TV Judges on TV in addition to Judge Judy. Maybe the people thinking about running for Judge in Luzerne County should get an agent or go that route. It would sure beat competing in a crowded primary.
Maybe I’m Amazed……..that after my Packers won the NFC Championship Game, all people wanted to talk about on Sports Radio Sunday night was Jay Cutler’s knee.
Maybe I’m Amazed……..that we seem to be missing huge snow storms. Please let that continue.
Maybe I’m Amazed…….that the more I see of those Soprano reruns, the less charming I find Tony Soprano and his insufferable family.
Maybe I’m Amazed…….that the 2012 Republican nomination seems wide open next year. You might see someone, ala Obama we are not even thinking about. Although right around this time last year, the Professor In Chief and Senator Hillary Clinton were hot on the campaign trail.
Maybe I’m Amazed……..that there is so much rancor in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Leave it to the Commonwealth to get things ass backwards. While the rest of the country is talking about holding hands during the State of the Union and parlaying bi partisanship into a reality, our guys are going at it tooth and nail screaming and cursing and ready to deck each other. I for one find it overdue. Let the Democrats go after the Republicans. The reason our state is in such bad shape is because we’ve had years of deal making with one party or the other having its hand out while the other one gets its legislation through. Duke it out boys. It’s about time you started fighting for uh the people you represent.
Maybe I’m Amazed……that after 17 seasons the Tennessee Titans got rid of the only coach they’ve ever had, Jeff Fisher. Andy Reid is now tops in seniority in the NFL.
Maybe I’m Amazed…..that it is 44 years since the deaths of Apollo Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee and 25 years since that terrible Challenger accident. In both instances we became so good at space exploration that when an accident happened, it was a shock.
Maybe I’m Amazed…..that in the trial of the three Shenandoah Police officers, Patrolman Jason Hayes was acquitted on all charges. Hayes’ relationship with the mother of one of those charged with the beating was a big bone of contention. The Police Chief’s actions to me at least seemed to be innocuous at best and Lt. Bill Moyer’s acquittal on four charges but on the one where he was lying to the FBI was a surprise since, again to me, his statements to the FBI seemed to have nothing to do with the Ramirez beating death.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1451, Jan. 27th, 2011



I was working At Blue Cross the day the indictments came down for Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan two years ago yesterday. The call came at 1PM from WYOU TV’s Dawn Miller who at the time produced the WYOU TV News. It turned out that I was a guest non all of their newscasts that night. The talk was that the Judges were going to plea to a deal and get about 7 years each. Word on the street was that this matter would be disposed of quickly. As you can see, apparently that was wishful thinking. More than two years later, the major principles in this case are still roaming the streets. Attorney Bob Powell was seen in a Mountan Top Market in shorts one Sunday looking tanned, rested and ready for who knows what. Judge Conahan who has agreed to testify against his former collegue Mark Ciavarella is awaiting his fate. And Ciavarella is still trying to finesse questions to prospective jurors. When and if this trial takes place, it will be one of the major events of the year.


Newly minted State Representative Tarah Toohill is having some difficulty as she assumes her duties in the Hazleton Area. Toohill has had no trouble in Harrisburg being named to Leadership positions of trust by the new House Majority. But back home in the district office the files have virtually been eliminated. Toohill says there was no transition between her and her vanquished rival Todd Eachus. Plus there are no constituent files from the previous year. Toohill says she is working from scratch and asks anyone who has had a standing request with the district office to please give her an update on what the matter was about. Eachus’ behavior is puzzling. Apparently he has given up all hope of another run, at least in that district.


Wilkes Barre Councilman Bill Barrett is going for another term on City Council. Barrett has been on Council since 2004 and will be running in District D. Barrett is a former Police Chief and has served as Chairman of Wilkes Barre Council.


The League of Women Voters Wilkes Barre Area will hold its annual legislative breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center of King’s College, 133 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre.
Reservations are required and may be made by calling 639-0961. The cost is $15 per person. Local state senators and representatives will be available and guests will have the opportunity to discuss points of interest and concern over breakfast with the legislator of choice. After breakfast the legislators will form a panel to further discuss issues that are important to the general public. A question-and-answer format is followed for the panel with written questions coming from the audience and asked through a moderator.


The Democrats in the State Legislature got slapped around big time by the Republicans who were pretty hungry after being in the minority the last 4 years. Republicans in the state House moved to expand their power over how legislation is considered. They did this by cutting the number of Democrats on committees and overturning amendment procedures passed as a reform change in the wake of the 2005 pay-raise law. The GOP pushed the changes through a raucous Rules Committee meeting over shouting, catcalls and bitter objections from Democrats, who said the changes would disenfranchise their constituents.
Republican leaders said the proposal to permit the tabling of amendments on the floor, and to reduce the number of Democrats on standing committees from 10 to nine, would probably be voted on by the full House on Monday. Republican committee membership would remain at 15.
See, this is something the Democrats really don’t know how to do when they are governing: be ruthless. All the Dems on the national and statewide level want to compromise and they think that in return they’ll get the same consideration from the GOP. They won’t! If the scene in the Rules Committee is any indication, it is likely to be an emotional and highly contentious debate.
Two local legislators, rookies if you will did not go gently into that good night. Sid Michaels Kavulich from the 112th told the Times Leader, ““We represent all parties – Democrats, Republicans, Independents and other third-party citizens – who deserve fair and equitable representation. Closing the door on open, cooperative government, as the Republican leaders seem to be doing, will leave thousands of Pennsylvania citizens without a voice in Harrisburg".
Even more vocal was newly elected Representative Gerald Mullery from Nanticoke representing the 119th. Mullery said it was a matter of disenfranchisement. He said, Democrats represent 45 percent of Pennsylvania residents, and they have a right to be heard,” Mullery said. “What happened today was the opposite of good government and reform because the amendment process is an important part of making everyone’s voice heard. This is Harrisburg at its worst.” When the House reconvenes on Monday, there will be more action and presumably shouting on this set of, ahem, reforms set forth by the GOP.


As fundraiser for the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, the popular local modern country band XCountry (pronounced Ex Country) will reunite for one show this Sunday, January 30, at Brew Bros. West on 75 Main Street, Luzerne. XCountry exploded on the local music scene in the winter of 2004 and became Froggy 101’s house band. That led to opening slots for Gretchen Wilson, Kenny Chesney, Sawyer Brown and many others.
The show will be from 5pm to 10pm and will feature 2 other bands. There will also be a basket raffle with great prizes including a flat screen television.
5pm to 6pm – “Southern Sky” members of Abilene and the New York Times Band
6: 30pm to 7:30pm – “ASIZ” classic/modern rock
8:30pm – “XCountry” NEPA’s infamous Modern Country Party Band!
This event is sponsored by the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition which
includes Luzerne County citizens concerned about the potential
problems gas drilling by horizontal fracturing (“fracking”) will bring
to this populated and developed area.
Two immidiate issues of concern for Luzerne County are
1. The building of a potentially dangerous gas compressor station and pipeline directly across the street from the Dallas, PA schools.
2. The building of a hydraulic fracking water treatment facility at the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority that will bring lots heavy tanker trucks through the narrow residential streets. Other concerns include polluted water supplies, toxic waste, radioactive mud, dirty air, depleted water habitat, noise, eminent domain, loss of farmland, loss of tourism, higher crime rates, increased traffic and collisions, lowered property values, and increased taxes. The goal is to protect our communities and environment from exploitative gas drilling.



State Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Kingston, reintroduced legislation (H.B. 224) that would allow local area agencies on aging to take full advantage of state funding for a program that helps residents caring for an older person at home.
Pennsylvania’s Family Caregiver Support Program reimburses eligible family members for the costs associated with caring for an older person provided they live in the same household. However, its rules bar non-relatives or relatives living outside the senior’s home from accessing the program. That has resulted in many local area agencies on aging being forced to turn back state funding despite having a waiting list for the program. Caring for an elderly parent is no easy task. Hopefully this bill will give caregivers a bit of a leg up.



Shadoe Steele’s guest this week on Saturday Night Live at the Oldies is Special guest Jack Blades, founding member and lead singer of "Night Ranger", "Damn Yankees" and Shaw-Blades (Tommy Shaw of Styx) 8 - 9 PM ET this Saturday. Saturday Night Live at the Oldies is heard every Saturday Night on WILK AM and FM Radio with ABC News at the top of the hour.


L.A. Tarone’s guest this week on the Tarone program on WYLN TV 35 will be the principles involved in the documentary on the Agnes Flood. The Tarone show airs: 6:00PM on Thursdays, 12:30PM Saturdays, 8:30AM Sundays, 4:00PM Mondays and 7:30PM Tuesday.


Tune in Sunday Mornings for Brian Hughes Sunday Magazine. Sunday Magazine airs on WARM 590 AM at 9;30AM. This Weekend on Sunday Magazine: Jan 30th Brian Hughes interviews Helen Lavelle and Randy Williams about, a new non for profit website that’s helping local businesses compete on the internet. This Week In Harrisburg examines battles between House Democrats and Republicans over the passage of government reform bills and a lack of debate, State Representatives Sid Michael Kavulitch of Lackawanna County & Eddie Day Pashinsky of Luzerne County comment. and House & Senate members discuss proposed legislation to better manage sports related concussions, including testimony by a former Tamaqua Area girls high school basketball player who talks about her own experience dealing with a concussion. And Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Summer Belles and Ann Bramlett Barr from the West Pittston Library about their presidents display, in time for President’s Day.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7, 6am on 97BHT & 97.9X,
6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.


Bloody Sunday: The British Army kills 14 unarmed nationalist civil rights marchers in Derry, Northern Ireland.....Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations….King Birendra succeeds his father as King of Nepal...The Committee to ReElect the President, CREEP opens up its offices in downtown Washington in anticipation of the ’72 Presidential race…….Remnants of the Constitution Party in Pennsylvania urge former Third Party Presidential candidate George Wallace to make another independent run for President. The Pennsylvania third party offers Wallace its endorsement at a small rally in Harrisburg……in Wilkes Barre police step up patrols in tiny alleys in the city to cut down on vagrancy and possible nefarious activities……..and in 1972 the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Day After Day” by Badfinger.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1450, Jan. 26th, 2011



In his best chance of the year to connect with the nation, President Obama devoted most of his prime-time address to the economy, the issue that dominates concern in a nation still reeling from a monster recession — and the one that will determine his own political fortunes in the 2012 election.
The President unveiled an agenda of carefully balanced political goals: a burst of spending on education, research, technology and transportation to make the nation more competitive, alongside pledges, in the strongest terms of his presidency, to cut the deficit and smack down spending deemed wasteful to America. Obama's proposals included cutting the corporate tax, providing wireless services for almost the whole nation, consolidating government agencies and freezing most discretionary federal spending for the next five years. In the overarching theme of his speech, the president told the lawmakers: "The future is ours to win."
Obama congratulated new GOP House Speaker John Boehner and also called out his Vice President Joe Biden saying the two were part of the American dream. The President said, “That dream is why I can stand here before you tonight. That dream is why a working class kid from Scranton can stand behind me. That dream is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father’s Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on Earth.”
And in a passage that brought me back to shades of Paul Kanjorski, Obama spoke of rail travel. “Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway”. Scranton to Hoboken maybe? Kanjorski brought that up here and many made fun of him.
This State of the Union was almost like an introductory dissertation on what the President and the Congress will try to work on in 2011. That of course will them dovetail into the election year of 2012. And the beat goes on….


The State of the Union usually has a response from the opposite party. This started in the Nixon administration. Representative Paul Ryan from Wisconsin gave his take on the speech. His message was calming and charismatic id not predictable. The Tea Party movement also got into the act bringing our Representative Michelle Bachman. CNN ran the web based response. No one else did. Bachman recently credited President John Quincy Adams as one of “the founding fathers” and the President that ended slavery. With such a command of historical facts, I can’t imagine why this cookie was given the assignment. John Quincy Adams was the son of one of the founding fathers, one John Adams. Quincy Adams was a staunch opponent of slavery but that was during his time as a member of the House of Representatives when he served in the 1840s. Quincy Adams was the 6th President, His father John the second. Slavery was abolished after one Abe Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation and about a half million people lost their lives in the Civil War fighting about it. WBRE TV’s Monica Medeja talked to a local representative of the Tea Party who said the country had to follow the Constituting. Okay, like the one that wouldn’t let women vote and had black males listed as a fraction of a person. It appears that Barack Obama has stumbled upon the same good fortune Bill Clinton did in his 2 term Presidency. Sometimes you are more blessed by the enemies you have than your friends.


Carl Romanelli from the Green Party sent us some points in opposition to the State of the Union. It is infinitely more interesting than the schizophrenic GOP versions.
The Green Party leaders offered comments on President Obama's 2011 State of the Union speech to Congress and the nation, scheduled for Tuesday, January 25. The Green response covers major issues the President will discuss in his speech, as well as topics he won't address.
"There’s a lot of talk about Democrats and Republicans 'reaching across the aisle' during the State of the Union. What about the gap between Washington and the rest of the country, much wider than the aisle between the two Titanic parties?" said Carl Romanelli, 2006 Green candidate for the US Senate in Pennsylvania.
Should the Democratic health care reform bill be repealed? Yes, say Greens, and replaced with a Medicare For All plan -- legislation for single-payer national health care, covering everyone regardless of ability to pay, age, or prior medical condition, while allowing freedom to choose one's physician and hospital. Medicare For All reduces costs dramatically by enabling price controls and because Medicare's overhead is only about 3%, while the for-profit health insurance bureaucracy -- the real "death panels" -- pad costs by up to 30% for administrative overhead, executive bonuses, and profits for investors. Medicare For All would help business and stimulate the economy by relieving employers of the burden of providing health benefits.
Obamacare and the Republicans' effort to overturn it demonstrate that the leadership of both parties care more about profits for the insurance cartel, Big Pharma, and other corporate interests than high-quality low-cost health care for everyone. The Obamacare mandate (originally a Republican idea from the 1990s) forces people who can't afford it to purchase defective, inadequate coverage from private insurance companies, while doing nothing about skyrocketing costs.
The narrow Democrat vs. Republican debate on health care, which refuses to allow even the argument for Medicare For All, proves the need to get Greens elected to Congress and state legislatures.
There are millions of jobs waiting to be created in alternative energy, retrofitting of buildings and other forms of conservation, and expansion of public transportation to reduce car traffic, say Greens, but this can only happen with a 'Green New Deal' with public investment in these ideas at national, state, and local levels. All of the Green New Deal proposals have become vitally necessary in the century of global warming. See "Fast Forward to Renewable Energy" by Cecile Lawrence (
Such measures face a huge political obstacle: opposition from Republicans and "moderate" Democrats who insist -- contrary to all evidence -- that the best way to stimulate the economy is to reduce government spending (by $100 billion, according to the GOP), slash taxes on the highest income brackets, privatize essential public services and resources, and send taxpayer-funded bailouts to reckless Wall Street firms.
The White House and Congress can reduce the deficit drastically by ending the wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, cutting military spending and the number of US bases on foreign soil, and taxing the wealthy so that they pay their fair share. Future meltdowns can be averted by breaking up the "too big to fail" financial firms into smaller locally-based companies. The Green Party's goal of a decentralized economy, based on Main Street rather the Wall Street, will restore economic stability and security to the US.
Instead of shilling for Wal-Mart's grocery section, First Lady Michelle Obama would do far more good by promoting local produce, small farms and businesses, local banks and credit unions, union jobs with good benefits at stores like Walmart, extended compensation for the unemployed, and aid for people dealing with home foreclosures, said Greens. Ms. Obama's promotion of Walmart coincides with efforts by the chain to open four department stores in Washington, DC, over the objections of many local residents and merchants.
On the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision upholding the legal status of corporations as person under the US Constitution, Green Party leader Sarah 'echo' Steiner announced that she intends to take the Supreme Court at its word and honor her marriage when she finds a suitable candidate. See "First Ever Marriage to a Corporation Contemplated by Single, Female, 39" (Jan. 18 press release,, as well as an interview and other links on the Green Party's home page (
The decision, which abolished limits on corporate spending for political campaign ads, severely damages the integrity of US elections and caused a flood of misleading and offensive corporate-sponsored ads in the 2010 election season.
President Obama and some other Democrats initially criticized the Citizens United ruling but have taken no further action. Greens have urged the President and Congress to recognize that the growing power of corporations threatens democracy, economic stability, and human rights and freedoms in the US and abroad. The Green Party, along with Move To Amend (, supports passage of an amendment that limits constitutional rights and protections to humans and makes corporations accountable to their own charters and to the public good.


Members of the House wore white ribbons in honor of the Tucson victims.


Former Governor Ed Rendell appeared on NBC TV as a political analyst. Rendell said the President needed to speak more about gun violence.


George Washington gave the first address followed by John Adams. Thomas Jefferson mailed all of his in saying that giving a speech in both houses smacked of royalty. It wasn’t until 1913 that Woodrow Wilson gave his address in person. Calvin Coolidge gave the first address on nationwide radio, Harry Truman the first on TV in 1947. The first prime time address was given by Lundon Johnson, prior to that the speech was given at 12:30PM. George W. Bush in 2002 gave the first SOTU on the World Wide Web.

The LuLac Edition #1449, Jan. 26th, 2011




This week Dr. Joe Leonardi takes off his political hat and writes about the late fitness guru Jack Lalanne who passed away this week.
I can’t afford to die, it will wreck my image!” Jack LaLanne.
Well Jack, death could never wreck your image. Yesterday, fellow chiropractor and fitness enthusiast, Jack LaLanne left this earth.
I know the nick-name, godfather of fitness, was most often associated with Jack LaLanne, but in my mind, along with Bernarr MacFadden and Angelo Siciliano better known as Charles Atlas, these three men made up the holy trinity of health. They were the founding fathers of the mass media fitness movement.
However, unlike the founding fathers of our country who gathered at a hall in Philadelphia, these three great men spanned different eras, and Jack spanned the globe. Atlas and LaLanne both learned either directly or indirectly from MacFadden and each went on to impact anyone who has ever broken a sweat in the name of fitness.
Jack LaLanne was a bodybuilder and one of the original visitors of muscle beach. An unhealthy, sugar addicted child he met MacFadden inspired Paul Bragg, and it was through Bragg that a young Jack was given the foundations to take control of his health. Jack used his newly found education and sought to inspire the world.
If you have ever used a leg extension or smith machine — you have Jack to thank.
If you are an athlete who utilizes weight training to excel in your chose sport — you have Jack to thank.
If you are a woman who enjoys the benefits of exercise and weight training, yep you guessed it — you have Jack to thank.
Bernarr McFadden scowled, “Weakness is a Crime, Don’t be a criminal!”
Charles Atlas promised, “To make a man out of you.”
Jack, well, he came into our homes every morning and showed us that being fit and healthy was a goal unto itself.
Before experts complicated exercise, Jack kept it all simple. Although he owned and endorsed health clubs, he showed us how to work out at home. While medicine was searching for a panacea in a pill, Jack knew that proper nutrition combined with exercise were the only keys to good health. He, through his longevity, demonstrated how easy it was to remain fit and live a healthy life.
Dr. Jack LaLanne had a profound influence on me. It was his example I followed when I set up my simplified eating plan. It was his model I used when I designed my easy and effective exercise strategy. And, it was his inspiration I followed when I chose brevity and basics in writing my book.
The last interview I saw was on his 95th birthday. He was spry, excited and as motivational as ever — he had a glint in his eye and a joy in his voice. I know it is unrealistic, but some people you just never expect to die, and in Jack’s case that is not so far-fetched.
His physical existence may have ceased, but because of every person who endeavors to improve their health via lifting a weight, jogging, swimming, doing a Jumping Jack, so named for him, or choosing a bowl of berries over a bowl of ice cream — Jack LaLanne will live on forever.
Dr. Joe Leonardi is a frequent contributor to this blog site. Dr. Leonardi has a blog site Fat Then, Fit Now as well as a blog site. Here's the links:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1448, Jan. 25th, 2011



Rahm Emanuel should not appear on the Feb. 22 Chicago mayoral ballot, according to a ruling issued by an Illinois appellate court yesterday.
Emanuel told a news conference he would appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court and would ask for an injunction so his name will appear on the mayoral ballot.
In a 2-1 ruling, the appellate panel said Emanuel does not meet the residency requirement of having lived in Chicago for a year prior to the election. The judges reversed a decision by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, which had unanimously agreed that Emanuel was eligible to run for mayor.
“We conclude that the candidate neither meets the Municipal Code’s requirement that he have ’resided in’ Chicago for the year preceding the election in which he seeks to participate nor falls within any exception to the requirement,” the majority judges wrote.
No wonder the Professor In Chief has been having so much difficulty expressing his agenda to the American public. This guy is supposed to be savvy politically, why in the world didn’t he check this all out? I mean this was something he was planning for quite a while and you don’t check out the residency requirements? This guy needs Ed Mitchell or Jim McNulty running his campaign!


Former Governor Ed Rendell will ink a deal with MSNBC to sign on as their political commentator for the 2012 race. Ed will be right at home bobbing and weaving with the best of them. Plus with Comcast's plan to buy NBC just about approved, Ed can move easily between loquacious politicians and the taciturn speech patterns of Andy Reid.


Sid Michaels Kavulich recently weighed in on the Adult Basic Insurance issue. As reported earlier here, funding for Adult Basic will go away by February. Governor Corbett has asked President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide some money to cover the program. The new representative noted that a few of his constituents who are part of the working poor are in dire need of the help. Corbett’s new Insurance Commissioner Mike Considine wrote to the President and Kathleen Sibelius on the matter. Michaels Kavulich pointed out that Blue Cross companies had been helping fund adultBasic. However, the blues’ agreement with the state has expired and they will no longer continue funding the program despite a $2 billion increase in their surpluses between 2002 and 2009. “I don’t know too many blue-collar workers who’ve seen their financial surpluses increase 60 percent in recent years. …”
Just like Phyllis Mundy’s attitude toward the Blues in Luzerne County, Sid has made himself crystal clear for his Lackawanna County constituents on this issue.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1447, Jan. 24th, 2011



Governor Tom Corbett hosted an open house at the Governor’s 30 room Mansion this past weekend. Hundreds made the trek in the cold to meet and greet the new Governor and presumably tour what we’re all paying for. That said, I have no problem with the top official in the state having an official residence. The mansion is a splendid showpiece. While Governor Ed was an avowed Eagles fan, Corbett loves those Steelers and there was a big banner touting his team. The tour was over before 6pm so the new Guv could view his team on TV. Unlike the last Governor, Corbett did not take to the airwaves shortly after the contest to pontificate.


Gov. Tom Corbett says he plans to issue a plan this week aimed at fulfilling a campaign promise for changes in the way government does business.
Corbett told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in an interview that the effort will be an ongoing dialogue with legislative leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers.
One proposal would eliminate or reduce “walking-around money,” the nickname for a secretive process controlled by legislative leaders that funnels tens of millions of dollars a year in state grants to legislators’ pet programs in their home districts.
Another proposal would pare down the $188 million legislative surplus and require documentation for $157 legislative per diem payments that lawmakers can collect for overnight stays in the state capital. Other proposals would require House members to contribute toward their health care costs, as senators do, and create a user-friendly online database so taxpayers can search for state spending. Corbett said he has other changes in mind for employees under his own jurisdiction, but declined to discuss them. And he cited with approval legislative proposals for a spending database and a two-year state budget. During the governor’s race, Corbett vowed in a television ad to send lawmakers a plan on “day one” if elected, which prompted critics to accuse him of breaking a campaign promise. Corbett said substantive change requires working with lawmakers, since only they can introduce legislation and expenses are governed by House and Senate rules.
The surplus and “walking around money” will be taken up during budget talks with leaders, Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said. The House is advancing a plan to eliminate state fleet cars, require documentation for per diems, and demand a health care contribution from members, and both bodies say they want to pursue the database plan. GOP House spokesman Stephen Miskin said lawmakers had been meeting with Corbett’s staff, and accusing the governor of inaction was “absurd.”
Mike Tyson used to say that “Everybody has a plan until they get hit”. The very fact that people are already criticizing Corbett for not getting to this on Day 1 tells me that people are training their eyes on any elected official who uttered any type of promise last campaign season.


A gentleman named Walter PItcavage passed away over the weekend. I never knew him or met him. His obit says that Walter worked as the meat manager of Sunshine Market for 49 years of his life, until his retirement in November 2009. His employers and fellow coworkers revered him as a skilled, kindhearted, personable manager. First off the success of any business happens from its people. The now defunct Sunshine was known for the quality of its meats. Also for someone to work in one place for nearly 50 years is almost unheard of these days.


Attorney Lesa Gelb will announce her candidacy for judge of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas at 5:30 p.m. today in the gallery at 517 Pierce St., Kingston. Gelb has been a fixture in Democratic politics for a while serving on the State Committee for a few terms. Last September she was picked as one of the most outstanding women of NEPA by the Wilkes Barre Times Leader.


It was great to see former Packer Willie Davis at the trophy ceremony Sunday night after the Packers beat the Bears to get into the Super Bowl. Davis was a Packer Hall of Famer but also a successful businessman in Wisconsin after his playing days. When I worked at Rock 107, the late Tim Durkin (who I dedicated my first book, “A Radio Story” to) scored me an personally signed photo from Davis at one of the Shamrock Communications Meetings he attended. Davis owned two Shamrock stations in Wisconsin.


Fitness guru Jack LaLanne died at the age of 96. It was said that he exercised two hours a day up until the end. Even with all of that, we never get out of this things called life alive no matter how much we accumulate or what we do.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1446, Jan. 23rd, 2011



Jennifer Rogers declared her candidacy the other night for Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge. Most likely she will be one of about 40 candidates throwing their respective hats into the ring for 6 seats on the ballot. Rogers, a Democrat will cross file. Rogers made her first run in 2009 and ran a very credible campaign. One local political handler told me that out of all the candidates running last time, Rogers was one of only a few that connected with the voters in terms of having a comfortable media presence. She made her announcement at the Courthouse surrounded by a crowd of family and friends.
Rogers currently practices law in Kingston, and specializes in family law, general civil and commercial litigation, estate planning and administration, real estate transactions and contract disputes.
Rogers is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association. She has been admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, New York Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court for Middle District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Expect Rogers to run the same type of aggressive campaign she ran the last time. It is a political truism that sometimes in a crowded race, the first time you run for name recognition. As I stated earlier, although Rogers did not win her first time out, she garnered a respectable amount of support which translated into an entire new group of supporters. I’m sure that will only strengthen her profile as the campaign progresses.


Casey Evans is taking a run at one of the open seats on Luzerne County Council. Evans explained why he felt this particular election was so important,
I'm running for county council to give us a home rule government that works for everyone. As you know, roughly 40% of the voters rejected the charter last November; many people still have pause over the issues that surround it: accountability, transparency, the fact that the "referendum" takes an obscene amount of signatures to get an issue on the ballot in our county (almost three times the amount it takes to run for Governor or U.S. Senate), the fact that the manager can move funds around without prior notice to anyone, et. al. Those same people, and a growing number of people that supported the charter, are concerned with how the transition committee has been conducting itself, and are worried about one-sided governance. I'm running to be the council's watchdog: To call out shady governing when I see it and to speak for all of the people in this county, especially those in the outlying suburban and rural communities that pay their taxes to a government that forgets about them after the election is over.
I have both the real world and political experience to bring real results for the people of Luzerne County: I was born and raised in the Back Mountain and graduated from Lake-Lehman High School and went to college at Misericordia. My first job was cleaning tables as a bus boy in my family's restaurant, the Red Rooster, in Sweet Valley when I was 14 years old. From then on, I worked at a number of jobs in food service, offices, even construction work with my father's contracting service! I know, first hand, the problems working families have because I've been through it myself. I understand where they're coming from because I came from the same place.
I went to school, I took internships with companies and with U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, and I was lucky enough to have caught the attention of Hillary Clinton's staff when she was running for president; they hired me. I travelled with her campaign from Pennsylvania all the way to Oregon, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to meet real, everyday Americans, and listen to why they were supporting then-Senator Clinton -- whether it was because they were paying for health care for their kids, but couldn't afford it themselves, whether they were trying to decide whether to buy groceries for the week or pay their heating bill, or if it was because they were going through the change cup in their cars to put enough gas in their car to go home from because they couldn't afford to fill their tank. People with sons and daughters in Iraq, people holding on to their homes by the skin of their teeth, people looking to take a second job to take care of their families: It affected me greatly.
From my time with Senator Clinton, to my time as Rural Regional Field Director for the Virginia Democratic Party, to my work with the House Democratic Campaign Committee for PA State Representative Gerald Mullery, I've heard from people from coast to coast who just want better government that will let them thrive and flourish, but still be there to help when times get tough -- a government that will act for positive change, and work well for them. I took everything I learned, ran for Democratic Committee here in Luzerne County in 2010, and was elected Chairman for the 2nd District, and now I serve on the Executive Committee. I was offered a position on COPS' executive board as Secretary.
I am so excited and so enthusiastic for this campaign, and I'm meeting with almost overwhelming positive support for my candidacy from people in all parts of the county. My plan for Luzerne County is a plan to empower the citizenry, keep government accountable, and stay vigilant against corruption and exploitation.
On Accountability:
Establish new protocol requiring purchase orders for any county expense over $50.00Authorize and order the county to host a publicly accessible website that will document the county budget and list every expense and transaction from every department, commission, agency, etc. over $25.00 so each citizen can go online and see exactly where their tax dollars are going. No more debit card scandals!
As the Charter doesn't allow funds for councilmembers to have their own offices, I will be setting one up privately and publish my office contact information to the public: if anyone wants to meet with me to discuss and address their issues and concerns with them, I will gladly do so; I will go to them, or they can come to me! I pledge and promise to be the most publicly accessible member of council.
Preserve the nondiscrimination provisions in the county personnel code.
On Taxes:
Implement a 5 year freeze on tax increases from property assessments for Luzerne County residents.
Establish protocol requiring the county to have a clear appeals process set in place well before any future property assessment takes effect.
On Energy and Natural Gas Extraction, a.k.a. "Fracking"
Pass county legislation requiring that the natural gas companies provide a comprehensive land development plan for each fracking site, new and existing, that will include a contingency plan that will document exactly what those companies will do in case of emergency and hold them responsible and accountable for any clean-up and relief effort relating to leaks, spills, waste removal, and blowouts (Believe it or not, when asked to submit a "contingency plan" earlier, companies only provided a list of all police and fire stations in the county and essentially said, "If there's a spill or an emergency, call 911"). If they are incapable of drilling safely, they shouldn't be drilling at all.
Promote Luzerne County to alternative energy companies: Our land and water resources make us an invaluable place for them to set up shop in! Alternative energy production based right here at home will lower our area's energy costs and electrical consumption, help preserve our environment and natural resources for future generations, and most importantly, will create good paying, permanent jobs right here in Luzerne County.


Here is a delay in the Ray Musto trial. That word came down the other day. There’s all type of speculation going on but the most logical one that I see is that there is a great deal of activity on the Federal level in terms of on going cases. No new date has been set in Federal Court. Also there are reports that the defense needs more time to prepare for their case.


As many of you already know, Keith Olbermann from MSNBC resigned from his “Countdown” show on Friday night. Quickly. It was the classic Friday afternoon corporate firing but this time Olbermann was given the chance to say goodbye on the air. Late Friday night my friend Dr. Joe Leonardi sent me an e mail with the link and posed the intriguing question, “Olbermann: next Press Secretary?” Leonardi has a penchant for predicting political events such as the GOP pick of Sarah Palin in 2008 as Vice President. Now at first blush that might seem a little sarcastic or out there but think about it, would Keith Olbermann be a good press secretary?
1. He is a passionate defender of the Obama administration’s policies, much more than I dare say than the old Professor in Chief himself.
2. Olbernmann can articulate the goals and missions in understandable terms.
3. Olbernmann is a recognizable figure that can blend both reality and fact which is although unfortunate in today’s media culture, It is also a way that business is conducted.
1. In a time when Washington is trying to quiet down the rhetoric, Olbermann is not the guy to have as your point man.
2. He does get angry and sometimes irrational and that might not bode well for a high profile position like this.
3. More people in the press might take the message as Olbermann’s and not necessarily that of the White House.
However, if you like roman candles blowing off from time to time, this might be entertaining as hell.


WILK’s John Webster and I have a wager on today’s Packers-Bears game. John is a Bears fan who watches the games from a distance because he’s afraid he’ll jinx their chances for victory. I get that but only watch the last 10 minutes of a Packers game so I won’t jinx them. But today throwing caution to the wind, I’m going to watch the whole thing. The wager? Hot dogs what else!!!

This is the first time in 70 years the two teams are playing for a Championship. Think about that, when they played there was no TV, no cell phones, no space program, no automatic transmission, no Webster, no Yonki........

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1445, Jan. 22nd, 2011



This week’s interview subject is someone who hopefully will be a new reader. I chatted with him at the Conspiracy Trial of the former police officers of Shenandoah at the Federal Courthouse in Wilkes Barre. I was subbing for a member of the WYLN TV staff.
Q: You act as if you’re here every day. What media outlet are you from?
A: Oh I’m not from the media. I’m just following this trial. Been here for the whole thing.
Q: Where are you from?
A: Easton.
Q: Easton, you mean you drove up here in this crappy cold weather to see this?
A: Wouldn’t miss it. There’s a lot of stuff going on here. The feds have charged three people in the case and I’m interested to see how the defense plays this out.
Q: What do you do?
A: I had a small toy company, sold that but now I have a little construction business.
Q: Good for you. You seem like an informed citizen. I see you have the Times.
A: Heck of an article in there today about Israel and Lebanon. Editor’s Note: We then get into a discussion on the Mideast and the power of Hezbollah.
Q:You come up to view these trials, I see you have a notepad, what do you do with your files?
A: Oh I make notations and letters to my grandchildren so that they can get an appreciation for how justice operates in this country.
Q: Well this concerns Schuylkill County but in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties we’re going to have a few banner trials.
A: Oh yeah, Ciavarella, that case was something else.
Q: You mean you’re going to drive up from Easton every day to see that thing?
A: Wouldn’t you? That trial is going to be something to see.
Q: You can’t make any of this stuff up, right?
A: You are correct.

Q: Are there any interesting trials down your way?
A: Not as good as these!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1444, Jan. 21st, 2011



Maybe I’m Amazed……..that while trying to defund health care, the GOP Congress is okay with keeping some of the core elements of the Health Care Bill like pre existing conditions and keeping children on parents plan. What don’t they like?
Maybe I’m Amazed…..that the two major political parties have not run a slate for Luzerne County Council. I’m sure they will but there doesn’t seem to be any rumblings on it yet.
Maybe I’m Amazed……that the Corbett administration entered in the new regime with a fair amount of partying. These guys just might put the Dems to shame.
Maybe I’m Amazed….that my man, former Governor Ed Rendell wants prisoners to have dogs. I love dogs, cats not so much. But what about the extra man power in the prisons? What about the psychos? You want to give them a dog? Imagine Michael Vick and his crew with dogs? Plus criminals have smuggled stuff in everything from teddy bears to women’s breast implants. You want to give them a new transfer vehicle? Ed, Ed, Ed! Buy a hoagie, open up a Diet Pepsi and clear your head.
Maybe I’m Amazed……that the woman who was texting in the mall, you know the one who was so selfish and preoccupied she fell ass over tea kettle into a water fountain now wants to sue the Mall because the security cameras invaded her privacy! Anyone who saw her in the Mall would realize what the huge You Tube audience saw, a self absorbed, self important, short attention span moron. You might hide evil but you can’t hide stupid.
Maybe I’m Amazed……that the 20 year old who was texting in our area highway did not get killed when she ran her car off the road. She was thrown from her car. Thank God no one else got hurt. Wonder if she had her precious phone in the ER whether she would have tweeted, “Awesome, I almost died! LOL, I did-unt”.
Maybe I’m Amazed….
that the stars and celebs are angry at Ricky Gervais for his commentary at the Golden Globes last week. I heard him on Sunday’s Morning Edition on Public Radio and he said he was going to be outrageous and most likely wouldn’t be invited back. C’mon Hollywood stars and starlets, get some thick skin if it hasn’t already been botoxed out.

AND NOW THIS………………….

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1443, Jan. 20th, 2011



Tom Corbett was sworn into office on Tuesday. The Inaugural Ball took place at the Farm Show Arena. PCN did a bang up job covering the event. Governor Corbett’s first big challenge is going to be the budget. There is a looming deficit that has to be dealt with. Former Governor George Leader (who was one of the youngest Governors ever elected in 1954) advised the new Chief Executive to use a scalpel rather than a sledge hammer in making his cuts. Good advice, I hope he takes it.


Front and center at the festivities was former 10th Congressional candidate Dan Muesser. Muesser who was named Revenue Secretary by the new Governor attended the ball and was introduced to the crowd along with the other cabinet members. Muesser role will be key to economic development.


R. Sargent Shriver died the other day at the age of 95. Shriver was the founder of the Peace Corps. He also led Lyndon Johnson’s War On Poverty. (In the 90s Shriver said that people needed a chance to be brought out of poverty but needed to want to step out of it. ) Johnson dispatched Shriver to be Ambassador to France when it became clear Sarge’s brother in law Bobby Kennedy was going to run for President. Shriver ran for Vice President as George McGovern’s running mate in 1972. Shriver was a replacement after Missouri Senator Tom Eagleton revealed he had shock treatments for mental depression. Shriver also ran for President unsuccessfully in 1976. That’s the surface resume of Sargent Shriver. But on the more quiet side were some of the things that Sargent Shriver was involved in that pretty much changed the course of history.
1. During the Kennedy campaign of 1960 it was Sargent Shriver who brought the jailing of Martin Luther King Junior to the attention of then candidate John Kennedy. King was jailed on trumped up charges and was said to be in physical danger. King’s wife made a public plea for help for her husband but no one responded. It was Sarge Shriver who advised his brother in law, JFK to call and offer support and sympathy to Mrs. King. After JFK did that, Shriver’s other brother in law, Bobby Kennedy pretty much went crazy because he believed it would jeopardise Kennedy’s shot at the Presidency. He pretty much reamed out Shriver and wanted to delegate him out of the campaign loop. Events however proved Shriver’s move both morally and politically savvy. Martin Luther King Senior was so impressed with JFK’s concern that he stated publicly in his church that Sunday that he was voting for Kennedy. This was a seismic shift because prior to that, blacks in America had always favored the Republican party. (The Lincoln connection). Toward the end of the 1960s more than 90% of the black population was voting Democratic.
2. In 1968 Hubert Humphrey was in a quandary for a running mate. After the killing of Robert Kennedy, the only other candidate standing along with Humphrey was Senator Eugene McCarthy. McCarthy and Humphrey were never going to come to an accommodation on the war. Plus McCarthy pretty much disdained Humphrey because of his association with Johnson. Humphrey wanted a running mate free of politics. What safer pick than an Ambassador who was essentially out of the loop in the last year turbulant year of '67-68. The Humphrey people talked to the Shriver people about the Vice Presidency. It was pretty much a done deal finalized on the second day of the Convention in Chicago. Shriver had a flight booked on that Wednesday morning to arrive in Chicago for the announcement. The Humphrey people paid for the ticket. But then suddenly the Kennedy family stepped in with “concerns”. It was pretty much the fact that if Shriver took the Vice Presidency, it might block a path for Teddy Kennedy’s succession to the Presidency. If Shriver was the Veep, HHH might have moved closer to his calling for peace talks. Plus even though Edmund Muskie was a decent candidate, the cache of a quasi Kennedy would only enhance Humphrey’s down to earth Midwest roots. But it was not to be.
3. The Democratic Party’s national ticket has always had as its two candidates pro choice people. Shriver was the last Pro LIfe candidate on a Democratic national ticket. Roe Vs. Wade happened in 1973 after people screaming that the McGovern campaign would bring us Acid and Abortion. Roe happened under Richard Nixon’s watch.
Sargent Shriver had an impressive resume and he lived a long life. His accomplishments, both widely and little known make him one of the most compelling Americans of the 20th century.


Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the Inauguration of John F. Kennedy. It was a very snowy day that January. I was kept home from school because of the snow. So was my sister. The factory my mom worked in was also shut down. My dad had just pulled a 16 hour shift cleaning snow off the railroad tracks. So, as a family we saw Kennedy's address.


I was getting worried when I was seeing some of the names of the people running for County Council. I was glad to see that Harry Haas is going to take a run at it. Haas is an educator, smart guy and a person concerned about the community. Haas will be making an announcement this Saturday on the steps of the Courthouse. Here are the details:
Saturday, January 22 at 10:00am
Location: The Steps of the Luzerne County Courthouse, Wilkes-Barre, PA.


Lackawanna County Commissioner Mike Washo made a surprise announcement the other day. Washo said he was not running for another term as County Commissioner. Washo said he wanted to take some time with his family. Ands unlike other politicos I think the guy means it. Washo had a trip abroad a year back and I think he saw the advantage to being able to do that. Washo became a minority Commissioner after Randy Castellani resigned to take a state job. As Minority Commissioner Washo dealt with the frustration of dealing with the Cordaro/Munchak administration. In the 2007 primary Washo and Corey O’Brien prevailed. In that year’s general the duo plotted a flawless campaign and won election handily. Once in office the Washo/O’Brien administration enacted a tough code of ethics. It was assumed that among the Democrats, Washo was a lock and O’Brien, because of his failed Congressional campaign might have been the weaker candidate. This development puts O’Brien in as the lead dog. Essentially he can name his running mate. Names already being mentioned are former State Representative Jim Wansacz, former County Commissioner Joe Corcoran, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherrty, Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor, Insurance Executive Gary DiBileo, Scranton School Director Chris Phillips (although that might not fly now because of his wife’s appointment in the district) Scranton School Director Patrick O’Malley and Evie Refalko McNulty and Patty Lawler. The latter two are interesting candidates because of their gender. Lackawanna County has never had a female Commissioner and Refalko McNulty made a good case for it in 2007 in her primary bid. I mean Washo’s move essentially upsets the Democratic applecart. A few scenarios:
1. O’Brien loses and DeBilio and Doherty win.
2. O’Brien wins and so does Edie Refalko cNulty who he did a number on in the 2007 race.
3. O’Brien loses and Joe Corcoran and John Wansacz win. The duo opposed each other in the 2010 primary when Senator Mellow’s seat was up.
4. O’Brien loses and Chris Phillips and Pat O’Malley, Scranton School Directors win. Phillips will have to explain why his wife got the principal’s job and O’Malley will have to explain why he supported it.
5. O’Brien wins but so does Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor. No gray hairs there.
6. O’Brien loses and Refalko McNulty and Patty Lawler win. The Dems couldn’t elect a woman the last time and now they have two on the ticket.
7. O’Brien wins but has to run with someone totally unknown and out of the blue.
8. O’Brien loses because he has to run with an unknown entity who came out of the blue.
9. O’Brien throws his hands in the air and gives up saying he is going to run for Congress in 2012 which most folks think he’s going to do anyway.
10. John Webster and Marissa Burke are elected beating out by a thin margin long time radio guy Dave McAndrews and fellow blogger Tom Borthwick.
11. Both parties are so discombobulated that Michael Scott and Andy Bernard win the election because Scrantonians and Aechabalidians say, “I seen those fellas somewhere!”


The Times Leader reported this week that a Larksville man was arrested on charges he exposed himself in the lobby at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs casino and fought with police.
The man was arraigned Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre Central Court on charges of open lewdness, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $2,000 bail. The guy couldn’t afford bail but was ****ing his money away at Mohegan Sun?
According to the criminal complaint: Police said the urinator and a woman, who were both intoxicated, were arguing in the casino lobby at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Steele urinated on a lobby door and refused to remove his hands from his pockets when instructed by officers. This falls under the category that nothing good happens after midnight any place, whether it be a dingy dark alley or an opulent casino floor.




This week on WILK AM & FM Shadoe Steele hosts Saturday Night Live at the Oldies. The show airs 7pm to midnight with ABC News on the hour. Shadoe’s guests this week will be the super female group BananaRama.


This Weekend on Sunday Magazine: Jan 23rd.
Brian Hughes speaks with Joseph Shock of Northeast Pa Paranormal Investigators about ghosts at various Northeast Pa landmarks, along with audio evidence. And Brian speaks with Roseanne Kolberg about a screening for the documentary “Out In The Silence” about a specific type of teen bullying. The screening will be held Jan 29th at 6pm at St Luke’s Episcopal Church, on Wyoming Ave in Scranton.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7, 6am on 97BHT & 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.


This week L.A. Tarone’s guest on his weekly TV show on WYLN TV 35 will be this blog editor. L.A. and I will be talking about local and state politics. The show airs: 6:00PM on Thursdays, 12:30PM Saturdays, 8:30AM Sundays, 4:00PM Mondays and 7:30PM Tuesday.


A week ago we talked about that wonderful film documentary on the Agnes Flood. Here is a website link so you can learn about it and hopefully contribute to its completion. By the way, this is not a Paul Sorvino film for all of you people in the Lac should know your dollars are going through the historical society.


A New Delhi bootlegger sells wood alcohol to a wedding party; 100 die................A Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi is discovered in Guam; he had spent 28 years in the jungle.....Shirley Chisholm, the first African American Congresswoman, announces her candidacy for President.....Statewide, Senators Hugh Scott and Richard Schweiker tour the state in supports of the Nixon Agnew re-election effort. Both Senators say the efforts of the two candidates on the right John Ashbrook and on the left Pete McClouskey (two Congressmen will have no bearing on the GOP primaries and convention… Scranton Congressman Joe McDade advised he would be running for another term in Congress. He made the statement at the Chamberlain plant in Scranton and 39 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was "American Pie" by Don McLean. This song, along with "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" is one of the most overplayed oldies in the world.