Thursday, April 05, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2010, April 5th, 2012

WE’RE NUMBER 53?????? 

The third annual national “County Health Rankings” came out and Luzerne County was ranked near the bottom. Ever wonder why we can’t get good paying jobs in this County? There are some clues. We are ranked 53rd in social and economic factors that statistically result in poorer health, including education level, unemployment rate, percentage of children living in poverty (27 percent here), children in single-parent households (35 percent) and people with inadequate social support (22 percent). (Souece: Times Leader). But let’s take a closer look. 27 percent of children or one quarter are living in poverty. Now granted its not the poverty we see in third world countries but it is poverty nonetheless. There are kids in this community hearing the words from their parents, “I can’t”. In my generation and in my socio economic background, my parents at least had the ability to say “I might” or “I’ll try”. Some kids in this community don’t have a chance because they are poor. The social dynamic is different, when I was a kid, I could count on my one hand the people in my school who had wealthy parents. In one of my previous jobs working with young people, I saw first hand how the poorer kids were put in a box. Two examples, a young girl wore the same sweater in freezing temperatures three days in a row. She was reduced to tears for being “poor”. (I understand from the magic of Facebook that she’s a pharmacutical drug rep in Florida. So she’s not poor or cold anymore.) Another time a kid from a poorer family asked out a cool girl from the good side of the tracks. He got beat up by the cool boys from the good (?) side of the track. If you’re poor today as a kid, you are stigmatized. And your chances at this juncture in our society aren’t getting any better because we have a Republican led state government that wants to cut programs that bring people up. The single parent household thing is also an incredibly bad statistic. 35% are living in single parent homes. Kids today are facing warring parents, revolving boyfriends and girl friends for mom and dad and the fact that their needs come last. Sometimes divorce is the only and final option. But if you ask me, people today in relationships have no idea what commitment means. They bail on the first mistake and only think of themselves. All of these factors contribute to an unhealthy psychic lifestyle which causes more health problems down the line. I bet Luzerne and Lackawanna County lead the leagues in alcohol consumption. The one bright light in this whole survey is that we only have 11% uninsured people in this community. So at least we know we’re unhealthy and have insurance to cover it. 


Got a phone survey tonight on the Cartwright/Holden race. Cartwright is saying that Holden voted with President George W. Bush more times than any Democrat in Pennsylvania during W’s term and that Holden voted no on the Affordable Health Care Act. That’s true. Holden is saying that Cartwright’s campaign is being funded and propped up by Texas millionaires and that he Holden can bring home the bacon If re-elected. If he loses, Holden said there would be dire economic consequences for the new 17th. Holy crap! I had dealing with Matt Cartwright when I was a political commentator on WYOU TV. With all due respect, I don’t think Matt Cartwright would recognize a big Texas millionaire if he tripped over him at the Longhorne Steak House! And Holden’s seniority? Twenty years and have you been to Schuylkill County? Holden can’t make the argument that seniority is going to count since Lou Barletta and Tom Marino are brand new and Holden, even with his years of experience will be at a disadvantage because of his center to right leanings. After voting against the Affordable Care Act, he wouldn’t be my favorite Democrat if I were Nancy Pelosi or Stenny Hoyer. Cartwright is running a common sense, populist campaign. Complaining that he’s a millionaire lawyer is no campaign strategy at all. Holden confuses the fact that the poor and middle class people of this district are envious of the truly successful. We’re not. Witness the Presidents we vote for FDR, JFK, and LBJ. All rich. People in this region are wise enough to realize that there are two kinds of rich people, those who will lift you up by true democratic representation and those who will screw you out of your salami sandwich so their friends can have a half dozen yachts when one would be enough. Tim Holden is going to find out soon enough that Matt Cartwright is no George Gekas.  


They might be in jail but once more the Ballot Ghosts of Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan have been resurrected (tough analogy on Holy Thursday I know) by the Tim Holden campaign. This is going to go on for years because a campaign that is losing will seek to link anyone who came within spitting distance of both Ciavarella and Conahan and their criminal deeds. To be frank, this is unfair to the candidate they are linking the association to and the family members of the two disgraced Judges that are trying to get on with their lives. Here’s the scoop: With three weeks left until the April 24th Primary Election, Tim Holden has resorted to mud slinging. Perhaps the poll he conducted last week showed poor numbers, and he acted out of desperation. One thing is for sure, however, he forgot to do his homework. Holden’s TV ad attempts to link Matt Cartwright with the notorious “Kids for Cash” scandal that plagued Luzerne County back in 2008, by citing old campaign contributions from the Munley, Munley and Cartwright law firm to the judges involved. (The firm has supported dozens of Democrats in the past 25 years.) But Holden’s “guilt by old association” tactic was done without knowing enough about the county or Matt Cartwright. In the wake of the scandal, Matt Cartwright spearheaded the Juvenile Defense Lawyer Project in Luzerne County to ensure that juveniles were treated fairly by the courts and judges. In fact, in a Times-Leader article on June 11, 2010, Cartwright was “recognized for his leadership of the Juvenile Pro Bono Defense Program, which was created to guarantee pro bono counsel for juveniles that had been adjudicated by former President Judge Mark Ciavarella in the event their cases were retried.” If anything, Matt Cartwright was a hero in cleaning up the criminal mess that these judges created. “Tim Holden spent the past 20 years in Washington, and this is what he decided to talk about,” said Cartwright. “Of course, it is not surprising that Holden does not want to discuss the facts that he voted to create the Halliburton Loophole and against Health Care Reform. Further, in 2001 and in 2002 he voted with President George W. Bush more than any other Democratic member of Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation.” Matt Cartwright is a Democrat, running for Congress in the 17th Congressional District, which now includes parts of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe and Northampton Counties, as well as all of Schuylkill County. Cartwright is running for Congress to bring jobs to Northeast Pennsylvania, and make sure that corporations and wealthy Americans pay their fair share of taxes.


Some of us will spend Easter with our family, some will be working. Others will be worshiping at their church with either a sunrise service or the interminable Saturday Night Vigil that goes on and on. Very few of us will be hanging out at a Casino but if convicted felon Bob Kulick has his way, he’ll be in Atlantic City staying at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., despite being on probation. In a motion filed this week, Kulick, who has completed in-patient substance abuse treatment and is now in an out-patient program, asked U.S. District Judge James Munley for permission to travel to Delaware County and Montgomery County Thursday and Friday to meet attorneys. On Holy Saturday, Kulick, wants to travel to Atlantic City to stay at the Trump Taj Mahal - where a relative is an executive vice president - and stay until Monday morning. There are three bars that serve alcohol in the Trump facility. That is temptation waiting to happen. My understand of sobriety is that for at least one year after rehab, you stay away from places and things that would tempt you to go back to your old ways. Now a case can be made that Bob Kulick’s family is better off with him miles away from their home on Easter than in close proximity to it. And that it would be more convenient for his visit after seeing his legal team. But the question needs to be asked, should Judges take into consideration the convienece of a convicted criminal who violated his probation? Jeez, next thing you know he’s going to asking to go to Mexico on vacation! Oh wait, one of our local Judicial yutzes, Dave Lupas let that happen! 


 Mitt Romney's son Tagg continued his rail against AMC's "Mad Men" on Twitter Monday after a character in the period drama slammed Tagg's grandfather as a "clown," tweeting "dad is fair game. grandpa isn't." AMC spokeswoman Marnie Black defended the throwback remark in the Los Angeles Times. The character who called Romney a "clown" works for New York City's mayor John Lindsay, and “Lindsay and Romney were known political rivals,” she said. But as the scene was set in 1966, the reference was not to Mitt, but to George Romney, the GOP candidate's late dad. "Well, tell Jim his honor's not going to Michigan. Because Romney's a clown and I don't want him standing next to him," Betty's husband, politician Henry Francis, said on the phone. On the show, Francis works for New York City mayor John Lindsay, and was referring to George Romney, the then-governor of Michigan. The line was a throw away and would not have even been there had Mitt Romney not chosen to run for President. Those who were around in the day know George Romney was anything but a clown. But the little dust up proves one thing; “Madmen” always gets people talking. Even if it is a sentence uttered about a popular figure who was in power 46 years ago and dead 17 years since.  





This week Shadoe Steele presents “Saturday Night Live at the Oldies on WILK AM & FM. Tune in from 7pm to midnight with ABC News at the top of the hour.


This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with chiropractor and former congressional candidate Joe Leonardi about the big races in the upcoming Pennsylvania Primary on April 24th. Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Mike Zimmerman from the Family Service Association of Wyoming Valley about their upcoming Spring Gala fundraiser. This Week In Harrisburg features comments from State Senator John Yudichak on fighting back against gang violence, and State Senator Lisa Baker on her legislation to reform Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, and 6:30am on Magic 93 and WARM 590 AM. ECTV 


Live will recognize April as Child Abuse Awareness Month as hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo welcome Mary Ann LaPorta to the program during the week of April 9th. Mary Ann has served as the Executive Director of the Child Center for Lackawanna County. She'll discuss the problem of Child Abuse, signs to look for to identify a problem, and actions that can be taken to deal with the issue. ECTV Live is shown on Comcast Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight with selective additional showings at 6pm three days each week. The program will mark the beginning of the third year of ECTV Live on the Public Access Station based in Scranton. 


This week Tiffany Cloud presents Part 4 of her series on Illegal Immigration. Tune in to this informative program on WYLN TV 35 @ Th 930p, Sat 5p, Sun 11a, Mon 830p, T 930p. Michael Cutler concludes his visit with Tiffany this week.


On April 4th, Martin Luther King Junior breaks with President Johnson on the Vietnam War. Martin Luther King, Jr. denounces the Vietnam War during a religious service at the Riverside Church in New York City. This is what King said about the war, "I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor. Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours." A year later to the day, Martin Luther King was killed in Memphis...........Georges Pompidou begins to form the next French government….Statewide, Governor Raymond Shafer calls on Pennsylvania residents to embark on Spring clean ups of their town and neighborhoods amplifying the anti littering campaign started by First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson……former State Senator Harold Flack who was defeated in the 1966 primary by T. Newall Wood for the Senate seat in the 20th district is named the Senate Librarian at a salary of $15,0000 a year and 45 years ago today the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Here Comes My Baby” by the Tremeloes, a group that was signed before the Beatles in the early 1960s as the next big thing. Turns out they were not. 



At 6:22 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

Is it in any way probable that the reason this area has such a poor health rate and is a high cancer bastion is because there is tens of thousands of gallons of toxic waste flowing underneath courtesy of the Penna. Coal Co.???????

At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That speech alone makes King something special and a great American. Wow did he ever hit the nail on the head and I remember the shit it caused! We just can never admit we were wrong and it continues today. Sadly and so it goes...


At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki, a few things. I don't get the fascination with Madmen. It moves at a glacial pace. Also, you are getting a tendency now to be the wild child of local bloggers. Your attitude has been really changing in the last year. While polite, you have become the Michael Savage of local blogs. It seems like no political side can make you happy. And please, please, stop with the Perry Como already.
All that commented upon, I read you every single day.

At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Don Sherwood was invited to get together with Mitt Romney down in T-Town today?

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Republican led state government that wants to cut programs that bring people up."????????????????
Are you nuts. Those programs are meant to keep people down and reliant on the government for EVERYTHING. I grew up very poor. We took nothing from the government. My parent's said CAN'T and it wasn't to buy a $600 ipad. If I wanted I WORKED. I didn't walk with my ****ing hand out.
The reason that people's health is so poor isn't their psychy. It is they are fat, drunk and lazy..
It is too bad they have insurance, becuase we who wish to do well are paying for them to live and stay in the way

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa, Get outa 4;31's way.
He is going somewhere and he is angry and in a way I can agree with his point if not his words.
Its just so damn all screwed up out there. Things that started with the best of intentions to help people get from here to there for a little while, have morphed into entitlements and expectations and its become freakin crazy!Plus nobody wants to pay back by recovering and paying taxes and contributing to the system that supported them for too long!

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Rush was right again...YES we're p!$$ed about how things turned out.
How long do we continue to pay for programs that don't work or have lost their effectiveness?
This April 17th is, ironically, Tax Freedom Day. If you are working, you have been working to pay your taxes.
Check it out. I did. I need to work 9 more days.


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