Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2248, October 31st, 2012

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo. 



During the 2012 GOP Presidential primary campaign, Mitt Romney made a lot of statements to appeal to the right. We all knew at least a few of them were going to come back and bite him hard. But events involving a historic storm along with his commits might put him at a disadvantage. In the closing days of the campaign. The New York Times pounced on this story. Here’s what they wrote: 
Most Americans have never heard of the National Response Coordination Center, but they’re lucky it exists on days of lethal winds and flood tides. The center is the war room of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where officials gather to decide where rescuers should go, where drinking water should be shipped, and how to assist hospitals that have to evacuate. Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states. He not only agreed, he went further. “Absolutely,” he said. “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.” Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was “immoral” for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt. It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning. FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen. The agency was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds Republicans to its value. Many don’t like the idea of free aid for poor people, or they think people should pay for their bad decisions, which this week includes living on the East Coast. Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA’s budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as “an excellent piece of work,” would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions. Does Mr. Romney really believe that financially strapped states would do a better job than a properly functioning federal agency? Who would make decisions about where to send federal aid? Or perhaps there would be no federal aid, and every state would bear the burden of billions of dollars in damages. After Mr. Romney’s 2011 remarks recalculated on Monday, his nervous campaign announced that he does not want to abolish FEMA, though he still believes states should be in charge of emergency management. Those in Hurricane Sandy’s path are fortunate that, for now, that ideology has not replaced sound policy. 



Last week the Citizen’s Voice wrote an editorial that dovetailed with the Romney commits. This s story involved the horrible but predictable behavior of the state GOP leadership in getting money back to flood victims. How anyone can vote for a Republican after seeing these stories is beyond me. 
More than 13 months after severe flooding swept through the Susquehanna River Basin, state lawmakers have swept themselves out of Harrisburg to campaign, without approving flood aid. Tens of millions of dollars' worth of road, bridge, sewer and water system repairs will just have to wait until lawmakers get around to funding them. That won't be this year because the current session of the Legislature has ended and there are no more voting days. Under the best of circumstances, funding would not be approved until the beginning of the new session in January. But even that would not accelerate repairs because they would have to wait for the beginning of construction season. And, because some lawmakers favor funding flood repairs as part of the general budget rather than separately, the funding might not be available until July 1, the start of the next fiscal year. This is precedent-setting irresponsibility toward state communities affected by natural disasters. Lawmakers often have appropriated emergency funds to supplement federal assistance since the Hurricane Agnes floods of 1972. Remarkably, lawmakers and the Corbett administration couldn't come to a funding agreement this year even though both houses of the Legislature and the administration are controlled by the same party. The Senate favored a $150 million recovery bond issue, a form of loan, that is well within the state government's means. House leaders and Gov. Tom Corbett favored an approach that precluded borrowing - which would have been ideal had they followed through on it. The fundamental issue, though, isn't whether the government borrows the money, but whether - and when - the badly needed infrastructure work is completed. Meanwhile, after failing to fund the needed work, many of the campaigning lawmakers will be on the stump blaming others for a slow economic recovery. When they wander back to the Capitol, lawmakers should adopt a protocol that mandates rapid funding for emergency responses, even if the state government has to borrow some money.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2247, October 30th, 2012

Storm Aftermath. 


There will be political ramifications of this big storm. How the President reacts and delivers services to the people hit by the disaster will give people a glimpse into how government and an administration can function. For bald faced political junkies, people like us will look to see if the candidates make the right call. I think it is safe to say that the best politics will be no politics at all. Plus it is an opportunity to show those people who want government out of their lives, that government is too intrusive (except for of course controlling a women’s vagina) and that their freedoms are threatened by government, to demonstrate what government at the federal, state and local level can do. An administration’s legacy lives on in how  it takes care of its people. There are insiders in the Bush administration who have said their lowest moment was when that regime mishandled Hurricane Katrina. You can be sure no one is going to saying again to a functionary, “Brownie you’re doing a good job”. The best thing to do is for the challenger to lend his support and the President to keep his head down and work like he did when he was a community organizer. Good politics is letting the chips fall where they may.
Mitt Romney's big promise.  


Say Mitt Romney becomes President. And say he tries to repeal Obama Care. First off it would take about a year to do that. It would drive up costs because right now Health Care Insurance companies have modules in place for pre existing conditions as well as enrollment. All of that would be upended. Second, the insured currently would become uninsured. So where would that money go currently being invested? Away. And those people losing the insurance would be driven back to the Emergency Rooms. Again costs go up. It is reckless to say you are gong to try and repeal a law passed by Congress and with the imprimatur of the Supreme Court, If Romney persists in this, he will look foolish.


The Citizen’s Voice reports that Education scores are down in Luzerne County. It appears that the scores for area children have taken a dip. True to form the Education lobby, specifically the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Administrators blame the cut in education funding by the Corbett administration. I’m stunned. Not really. Look, we’ve been throwing money at education for the last decade in this state. And we have little to show for it except the results for the full day kindergarten advocated by Ed Rendell. You raise kid’s reading and Math scores by having parents and/or a parent sitting at the kitchen table drilling the kids on what they learned that day. Instead most parents today bitch about the homework their kids take home. The kitchen table, not the bloated education system’s conference table will raise the scores. 


The solution to this is simple: shoot to kill. Then dump the bodies in a trash compacter. That’ll stop the looting.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2246, October 29th, 2012


We hope and pray people are safe and the damage is at a minimum. But if it isn’t, I am sure there will be a network of services to help people in need hit by a disaster and freakish storm. It is not time to preach about “pulling oneself up with the boostraps”, or the garbage line that a helping hand is a handout, it’s time to extend a hand to help. If we are away for a few days, it’ll be a power problem. If things stay stable, we’ll be posting every day. 


Bob Harper media is back on the airwaves in Luzerne County. This time in the 119th District race between Gerald Mullery and Rick Arnold. Arnold ran last time and made it is credible race. Harper’s touch is in the radio ads that are as always brilliant. This time an elderly couple goes into the Doctor’s office complaining of a number of maladies. The good doctor diagnoses their problems as a reaction to Harrisburg. Harper had ads running last year for Stefanie Salavantis and Frank Farina. Both won. With his subtle shots about “too many lawyers”, Mullery is one and the recognition of Arnold as being an independent businessman might have an appeal. Arnold is gregarious and energetic and will never pass up an opportunity to speak to someone. He has made an effort to buttonhole me every time he saw me. I saw Mullery this summer at the Sanitary in Nanticoke and got nothing. Granted the guy was on his way to a soccer match with his daughters and most likely had a lot on his mind but a blogger with a cane and a serious limp is pretty hard to miss. I’m sure my friend and fellow blogger Gort would agree, ignore us in an off year, we’re cool with that but in an election year? L.A. Tarone thinks Arnold is going to win this race in an upset. Mullery has the Democratic backing as well as the support from the Yudichak machine. Plus, from what I understand, he has an office that is geared toward excellent constituent service. That said, Bob Harper rarely loses. We’ll see on Election Day.
Let us eat cake!!!!!


The Laureen Cummings for Congress campaign has issued an invitation on Friday, November 2 for a Dessert Reception for the candidate. There will be scrumptious desserts to sample, and a splendid time is guaranteed for all! When: Friday, November 2, 7-9 PM Where: The Cafe ...An American bistro 1120 Highway 315 Plains Township, PA 18705 $35 donation requested. The food is good and she really needs the money.
11th Congressional candidate Gene Stilp. 


Gene Stilp Says He Can Take The Heat In Congress Unique New Ad Touts the Congressional candidates Record Of Taking On Tough Battles And His Ability To Face New Ones 
Last week,  11th Congressional District Candidate and Democratic Nominee, Gene Stilp, unveiled a campaign advertisement which recounts the difficult fights he has taken on in the past, under intense heat and pressure to do otherwise, and states that he is not afraid of doing the right thing in Congress, no matter how hot it gets. The unique 30 second ad cites the longtime activist's prior fights against the 2005 illegal legislative payraise and perpetrators of government waste, fraud and abuse in state government and states that Mr. Stilp can take on "the firestorm of corruption in Washington". See the new ad here. Additionally it cites the misleading comments from his opponent, Congressman Lou Barletta's recent ad. It states that Mr. Stilp wants to cut over $700 million from Medicare. In addressing the false claim, Mr. Stilp said, "Mr. Barletta's ad is completely false. It's Congressman Barletta that wants to cut Medicare, as he voted for the Ryan Budget, which would turn Medicare into a voucher program and would harm our seniors. Mr. Barletta has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and corporations to run this false and misleading ad. That is what is wrong with Washington and is why I am running. As you can see in this ad, I am uniquely equipped to take on this fight." Gene Stilp is a longtime activist fighting against government waste, fraud and abuse for many years. He filed the only lawsuit contesting the illegal legislative pay raise in 2005, which overturned the pay hike for legislators. Also, he also filed the initial complaint in the Bonusgate scandal, which led to significant upheaval in the legislature and important changes to ensure better government. Gene is also a first responder in Dauphin County and was at Ground Zero to participate in the recovery efforts after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th. The 11th Congressional District is a new district put into place after the 2010 redistricting efforts. It contains all of Columbia, Montour and Wyoming counties and parts of Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin, Luzerne, Northumberland and Perry counties. It stretches over 200 miles in length.


This is a powerful ad being run by the Obama campaign. This is designed to appeal to every staunch Democrat’s memory of the 2000 Presidential race.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2245, October 28th, 2012

Electoral map of the United States. 



Last week we told you we would be presenting our Presidential prediction. We are prepared to do that with one caveat. Since this election is changing daily in terms of the polls, we will revisit this prediction next Sunday. The only reason why I want to do that is in case there is a shift in the last week. In at least two elections in my lifetime, the last week provided a shift that blew the race wide open. An example that comes to mind is the 1980 race between President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. The other race that changed was the ’88 race where George H.W. Bush opened up an impressive lead over Michael Dukakis. A lot can happen in this race in the next 8 days. If there is movement, here’s why it will happen. 
1. Voters who were lukewarm toward President Obama just might shift viewing Governor Romney as a better alternative when it comes to the economy. Voters not thrilled with the President might start to move if they view Romney as someone who could do no worse than President Obama. A lot will hinge on the unemployment figures that come out the Friday before the election. 
2. Although it hasn’t been mentioned much, there is the Bradley factor. That term comes from Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley who was regarded as a shoe in for Governor of California. Bradley, a black man was well regarded and the polls showed him winning big every time. But he lost each time he ran for Governor. It was later revealed that people talking to pollsters lied because they did not want to be seen as racists. There might be people telling the pollsters they will vote for Obama but really have no choice or Romney. 
3. President Obama’s is having difficulty hitting the 50% margin in key states. That is horrible news for an incumbent. You usually want to have an incumbent over 50%. In states like Virginia and Colorado, Obama can’t get past that magic mark. If that trend continues, there might be a move toward Romney much like there was a move toward Reagan over Carter in 1980. Even though the polls showed them close the week before, by the last weekend before the election Reagan was ahead to stay. So, when we revisit this next week, we’ll see whether my prediction needs to be modified. I’ll be appearing on the L.A. Tarone Radio Show on WILK at 1PM if you want to talk to me about it. 
Here is a break down of the states that I think will vote for Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney. (I have given the swing state of Florida to Romney and Nevada to Obama. ) The LuLac Electoral breakdown has a very close race. 
253 OBAMA (20 STATES) 
California, (55) Oregon, (7) Washington, (12) Nevada, (6) Hawaii, (4) New Mexico, (5) Minnesota, (10) Illinois, (20) Michigan, (16) Pennsylvania, (20) New York, (29) New Jersey, (14) Maryland, (10) Delaware, (3) Rhode Island, (4) Vermont, (3) Connecticut, (7) Maine, (4) District of Columbia (3) Wisconsin (10) and Massachusetts (11).  
Alaska, (3) Idaho, (4) Montana, (3) Wyoming, (3) Arizona, (11) North Dakota, (3) South Dakota, (3) Kansas, (6) Oklahoma, (7) Texas, (38) Louisiana, (8) Arkansas, (6) Mississippi, (6) Alabama, (9) Georgia, (16) South Carolina, (9) North Carolina, (15) Tennessee, (11) Missouri, (10) Kentucky, (8) Indiana, (11) West Virginia (5) Utah, (6) Nebraska, (5) and Florida, (29). 
SWING STATES (5) Five remaining swing states: 
Colorado, (9) Iowa, (6) Ohio, (18) Virginia, (13) New Hampshire, (4). 
Ohio is going to be key. It can be the path to 270 for either man at this point in the race. BUT what type of lift will it be to get to 270? 
If Obama wins Ohio, he gets to 271. If he loses Ohio, he needs a maximum of three states to win the Presidency. 
If Romney wins Ohio, he needs a maximum of two states to win the Presidency. If he loses Ohio, even if he wins the rest of the states, he comes in at 267. 
So, all that stated, Barack Obama will win the Electoral College vote and Mitt Romney will win the popular vote. Here’s why: 
1. Romney is way ahead in his red states. The Obama campaign has virtually abandoned their grassroots efforts there. Romney will win very big pluralities in these states. It will increase his popular vote total. 
2. History and the Hillary factor. Many people forget that during the 2008 primaries, Hillary Clinton’s dope of a campaign manager, Mark Penn made a strategic blunder in not competing in the caucus states. Clinton came on like gangbusters toward the end of the campaign. But it was too late because Obama sewed up more votes. Obama won the nomination by a scant 102 committed delegate votes even though Clinton got more popular votes than he did in the primary. 
3. The Obama campaign will win because of their ground game in key battleground states. This targeted method of finding committed voters and getting them to the polls is set up in those states. They aren’t designed for a landslide, just enough to get a win. 
So for the fifth time in American history, the presidency will go to a candidate who did not win the popular vote. 
In 1824, John Quincy Adams lost the popular vote to Andrew Jackson. 
In 1876, Samuel Tilden won the popular vote against Rutherford B. Hayes, but Hayes beat Tilden by a single vote in the Electoral College. 
In 1888, incumbent president Grover Cleveland beat challenger Benjamin Harrison in the popular vote, but lost a to a landslide Harrison victory in the Electoral College. 
And in 2000, Al Gore lost Florida and the presidency when George W. Bush beat him in electoral votes despite a close win for Gore in the popular vote.
And as of today, that’s how this long, torturous race will end in 2012.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2244, October 27th, 2012

The late Dave Stroud. 


It seems like every weekend we see be writing a tribute to someone who passed on. Once more we are faced with that task on this Saturday. Dave Stroud passed away on Wednesday and for those of you who knew him, you’ll get what I’m writing about here. For those of you who didn’t, or heard about him, you’ll get more of a glimpse into the guy. I met Dave Stroud in the second act of his career. He had been a long retail person most notably managing a few of the McGrory’s stores in the area. We first met at WARD Radio. It was the early 90s and the late Jim Ward had a talk station. The morning shows however had a concept now used widely by every commercial station in the market called The WARD Home Shopper. Sales Manager Buzz Boback sent out  representatives went out to area businesses and sold advertising on a barter system. A restaurant or tire place would give a certain amount of certificates and then an advertising schedule would be placed on the radio. At the time I worked with John Kearney, Steve Liebenson and Stroud. 
One time when Stroud was having car trouble, I went out on the road with him. He was a relentless cold caller (defined by stopping In on the fly at a business and trying to sell them something on the spot) and was persistent but not pushy. There wasn’t a strip mall he didn’t know, like or sell. I came to the conclusion that if a broom closet had a sign on it, “Stroudie” would stop and look inside of it to see what was going on in there. And if the mop didn’t talk to him, he’d strike it off his list. Although I missed him at WARM and Magic 93, I did work with him at Cable Rep Advertising. I first bought from him when I did media for some local candidates and then sold with him. A few of the young people thought his straight forward old fashioned ways were quaint but his clients loved him. 
In radio,  the men gossip worse than the women and Stroud was an active listener filing it in his head for future use on the road or at a sales meeting when we were asked why this client wasn’t buying or if they were expanding. Stroud also used that information freely when he was concerned about people he knew. When my first book, “A Radio Story/We Wish You Well In Your Future Endeavors” came out, Stroud tracked me down at my then employer and gave me a detailed report on how many area media reps he knew who bought the book, how many went to Barnes and Noble and how many bought two. He then furrowed his brow and said, “But I have some bad news. Some guy wants to sue you because he says you’re defaming his old girlfriend!” (That guy now is one of my very best friends and even though we don’t see eye to eye on things, those arguments never reached the courtroom). 
Dave Stroud also had an innate sense of what to do at the proper time. At the end of Jim Ward’s funeral, Stroud said, “Wow that was tough. Now we can go have a drink somewhere and cry. But only for a little while”. When the late Terry McNulty of WARM won his Employment Discrimination case against Citadel Broadcasting, his family threw a party at his home. Everyone was celebrating but wandering around aimlessly until Stroud got the attention of the crowd and offered up a congratulatory toast. At the end he said, “Now let’s get to know each other!” and at that moment, the media people started mingling with the legal people who had triumphed in court. Another time, when I worked at Cable Rep, our manager who was from Florida committed the egregious sin of parking between the trash cans on Center Street in Dupont (where residents carved out spots to park during snow). The residents called the police on the women as she tried to get her car out of the “reserved” places. She then got stuck. Stroud in galoshes and red and green scarf along with his shirtsleeves (not coat) grabbed a little shovel out of his trunk and proceeded to dig her out. The receptionist at the time said, “Who’s digging her out, oh my it’s Stroud, my God that man is always stepping into the fray and is always prepared!”
Stroud was also the ultimate optimist. Nothing ever seemed to get him down, even when he had a life threatening injury. One rainy day, I was in Abe’s with a friend and Stroud approached our table in his usual friendly manner. He proceeded to slip on something and stumbled near us. My friend said, “Hey be careful, you’ll break your neck” and Dave looked at him and said with a smile, “I did!!!” He then proceeded to tell my friend how he fell backwards at his home trying to catch his cat breaking his neck. No bitterness, no poor me, just a recap of the facts. Even if you never worked with Dave Stroud, you knew he was working. He had a mainstay of clients that stuck with him through the years and if you heard them on ESPN, you’d know he was still plugging away. 
I last saw him a few months ago in the summer at Victory Pig in Wyoming. He was with a crowd of his family and I didn’t realize it was him until he stopped over. He looked robust but had no hair. He told me he was catching up to my hair style but then told me and Mrs. LuLac that his cancer had reoccurred. He asked if I was writing any more books and I told him I’d send him one. As we left the eatery, I took a glance over at Stroud holding court, laughing, enjoying himself with his friends and family. I’m glad that vision was still in my mind when I read about him the other day. 
Stroud had a license plate on his car that read “IDID26” , which referred to his running in the New York marathon and other running events. He was proud of that accomplishment but I’m sure that the plate is not accurate. Because if I knew “Stroudie” the way I think I did, when he reached that 26 mile mark, he went a little bit further……just to make sure and give it just a little more extra effort. As we say goodbye to him, everyone will agree that he always went that extra mile. Although too short, his life was a road well traveled with a few extra steps along the way. In my mind, Dave Stroud always did more than 26. More than was expected or asked. He was just that type of guy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2243, October 26th, 2012

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that after what seems like a very long time, Campaign 2012 is in the last gasps of a very long, contracted race. With less than two weeks to go, the ads are going to increase, the passions are going to soar and the cable news shows will be relentless in the prognostications. Strap yourself in for the wild ride. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that there are more species of fish in the Amazon River than there are in the Atlantic. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the St. Louis Cardinals won a World Series last year and got into the playoffs this year because of the new rules set up by Commissioner Bud Selig regarding the Wild Card. If Selig had not put these “reforms” into play, and things had remained the same, St. Louis wouldn’t even be near post season play this year. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the new TV season this year makes me kind of nostalgic for some of the old TV shows. I look at some of the dramas on “Me TV” and am impressed with the quality. To be sure some of the newer shows are just as good but there is a lot of junk on commercial TV that passes for quality. So I guess it isn’t any wonder that Cable, HBO and others win the Emmys. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that as Luzerne County closes out there are some little skirmishes going on. There is a new budget, there still needs to be managers hired as well as a plan to pay off the debt. Already there have been political threats against those up for re=election next year by one of the Urbans but we knew that was coming. The road has been bumpy but so far no big detours. But then again, the year isn’t over. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………….at the morons who vandalize churches and little league fields with spray paint and physical force. These are crimes that need to be punished. Not with a fine, and not with a slap on the wrists. And I can tell you the punishments I’d have in mind if I ran the world would be very unChristianlike. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…… the blow back I’m getting from the defenders of the board that manages the Luzerne County Transit Authority. I have never seen so many people get more defensive than these guys. One guy who is not hiding from it is Luzerne County Councilman Edd Brominski. In an e mail, Brominski said that Patrick Conway is not going to be a fall guy and that Brominski himself helped shed the light on the ridership issue this summer. We appreciate the communication from Mr. Brominski. 
Dave: Pat Conway will not be booted off the board as long as I have a say in the matter. And I do!! The County Council names that board and no motion to remove or appoint can be done by the LCTA Board. Only in cases of complete criminality by a board member can they be removed. There has been no criminal activity by Pat , maybe by others. If you recall , I brought up the subject at a council meeting, after being apprised by Pat of the possibility of extra riders added. Given time this matter will be resolved , and Pat Conway will not be the fall guy but rather the man responsible for looking out for the public good as all board members should. Edd Brominski  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………….that the other side of the coin of open communication is being seen in the race for State Representative in the 116th District. Tarah Toohill has been avoiding some members of the press standing up L.A. Tarone on “Topic A” Wednesday and not responding to Steve Corbett on WILK the other day. If you ask me she could get ahead of these issues that are casting aspersions on her character. But she has to engage broader media than You tube to get her message out. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at just how well Vice President can deliver a eulogy. Biden knocked it out of the park Thursday night at a service for the late George McGovern at the 1972 Democratic nominee’s funeral. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Indiana Republicans rejected a statesman like Richard Luger this summer and nominated Richard Mourdock in the primary to replace him. Replace him after nearly thirty years of distinguished service Te scary thing about Mourdock was this, he looked and sounded normal. But then he said this about rape, telling voters he opposes abortion for rape victims because “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen.” Where do they get these guys from? And I guess a better question is this, what type of women marries a guy like this??? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…………that Colin Powell, former Secretary of State has come out for President Obama one more time. The bigger news would be if Powell didn’t endorse at all. What impact will it have? Might help galvanize some moderates but I don’t think this is going to win the President any swing states. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………at how much candy is bought in America on Halloween. How much is how much? We're talkin' 600 million tons of candy purchased every Halloween, which accounts for a $1.9 billion haul, or $44 per household! Candy corn is, by volume, America's most popular candy (followed by Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kats, and M&Ms, in that order). Halloween accounts for 75% of all candy corn's annual production. About 35 million pounds of the stuff — or roughly nine billion pieces — are produced each year, which translates to about 27 individual corns for each and every American. In fact, if you laid each little candy out end-to-end, they would circle the Moon four times. Of all the common individual candies handed out at Halloween, Mr. Goodbar is the least healthy of the chocolate bunch. A 49-gram Mr. Goodbar has 250 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 23 grams of sugar. According to, who rated the sweets, the next least-healthy candies are Nutrageous, Snickers, Baby Ruth, and Mounds. Meanwhile, the (relatively) "healthiest" candies were Jolly Ranchers (70 calories, no fat, 11 grams of sugar), followed by Blow Pops; Gobstoppers; Pixy Stix; and our old standby, candy corn

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2242, October 25th, 2012


This past week Pat Conway, a board member of the Luzerne County Transportation Authority took a few hits from his fellow board members. Conway was the one who went to the press about phony ridership on the bus. Board members were outraged because he just wasn’t playing nice and doing the LuLac land bobbing head doll thing. Board member Sal Licata lamented that if only Conway had brought it to the board, by gummite they’d a done something about it  betcha by golly Bob!!! Minutes later, a woman named Patricia Horst who was sexually assaulted by an LCTA manager/employee stood before the board and decried their non action in her case. She also told of how she was “asked” not not go public with the accusations. For this woman to have to come forward publicly to state and advocate her case is nothing short of a disgrace. You could bet your ass if she was one of the connected board member’s daughters or nieces, there would be consequences. The gutless board did not vote to suspend the clueless man who serves as its Executive Director. The board is going to do what Luzerne County boards usually do, stonewall. What can you expect from hacks like Paul Maher and others who have lived on the status quo all these years. Pat Conway will most likely be booted off the board but at least he brought to light the things that are going on that needed some bright lights shed on it. It is unfortunate that Ms.  Horst had to “out” herself publicly while the bobble heads sat there wondering what the hell hit them. The answer to that is simple: honesty. 


Republican Aaron Kaufer faced off against 120th State Representative Phyllis Mundy the other night. Kaufer said he will try to reform the State Legislature and bring in jobs to the district. Kaufer is a very earnest young man but the GOP legislature is nothing but a bunch of little dictators who most likely have manhood issues. They have tried to stop people from voting with the ID scheme and just last week thumbed their noses at flood victims. Imagine Kaufer trying to “reform” these guys. He’ds be sleeping with the fishes in the Susquehanna! As for jobs, Kaufer didn’t say how the heck he would bring in jobs to his district. Mundy on the other hand promised to try and represent her district with the more than twenty two years of seniority she has built up. In the debate, both seemed to agree more than disagree. Displacing a multiyear incumbent like Mundy would be counterproductive to the interests of the district. Kaufer has run a decent campaign and has gotten a few defections from the Democratic party. Even though he has acquitted himself well, this is not his time to win. Stronger candidates through the years have fallen to Mundy. That will not change this year either. 


The Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations (PCTA) has announced its endorsement of Aaron Kaufer for the 120th seat of the Pennsylvania Legislative District in the November 6 general election. The PCTA, a statewide organization that promotes education finance reform alliance, specifically mentioned Aaron's stead fast support for House Bill 1776, the Property Tax Independence Act. With the proper support, HB 1776 will terminate and equitably replace school property taxes while reforming a collapsing system of taxation. "The current tax structure is ineffective and outdated. People living on fixed incomes, especially senior citizens, are struggling to pay the taxes on homes they already own. It is time that our representative of the 120th district take a stand in promoting common sense tax reform throughout the state." Aaron is proud to receive the endorsement of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, and is committed to achieving tax reform and the implementation of common sense policies for both the citizens of Pennsylvania and the 120th district. 


Vice President Joe Biden gave a campaign speech in Ohio on Wednesday, refusing to let a crying baby distract from his message that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is no good for the United States. "I don't blame that baby for crying," he said, over audible wails from a child in the crowd. "You know what, she just realized what it means if Romney gets elected. She is out there -- God love her. Hi, baby, how are you? It's okay, he's not gonna get elected, you're going to be okay. You're gonna be okay. But you can't blame her. God, I shouldn't be scaring children like this." 






Tuesday, October 30 at 7pm 10th Congressional District Debate Congressman Tom Marino and Phil Scollo 
Wednesday, October 31 at 7pm 17th Congressional District Debate Matt Cartwright and Laureen Cummings 
Thursday, November 1 at 7pm 11th Congressional District Debate Congressman Lou Barletta (or perhaps a staff member if Barletta doesn't think its important enough)  and Gene Stilp 
All live on TV 44, WVIA TV. Bill Kelly is the moderator. 



This Week on Sunday Magazine This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Kimberly Paige Burnam about her annual Christmas Card Drive for veterans, and how you can help out. Brian speaks with Dr. Archelle Georgiou about how Northeastern Pa. hospitals fared in the latest Healthgrades 2013 National Performance Report. And an encore of Brian’s interview with Karin Rodriguez, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Apple marketing program. Sunday Magazine, Sunday mornings at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93 and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.  


Penn State plays Ohio State this Saturday so I’m thinking my friend Shadoe Steele will be preempted.
Our 1967 logo. 


An abortion bill passes in the British Parliament…………..Charles De Gaulle vetoes British entry into the European Economic Community again..........London criminal Jack McVitie is murdered by the Kray twins, leading to their eventual imprisonment and downfall…… Pennsylvania Governor Shafer meets with Michigan Governor George Romney. Romney was entering the ’68 Presidential race and was trying to shore up support from fellow Governors. Shafer remained uncommitted because he wanted to see what New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller would do……….in Luzerne county, a tough race continues to develop for 2 Judgeships. Democrats Peter Paul Olsweski Senior and Ralph Johnston face off against Robert Hourigan and District Attorney Thomas Mack….and 45 years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was a unique song by comic and TV star Bill Cosby.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2241, October 24th, 2012

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo. 



Emily Walsh sent these thoughts along a few weeks ago. Because of the heavy load of pieces we’ve received as well as the busy campaign, we just got around to putting this up. But it does detail the aftermath that a modern day Veteran must deal with in post war Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Health Risks of the Military and Dealing With Them 
Whether serving just one tour or retiring after thirty years of active duty, military personnel of all branches of the armed forces face a variety of risks to emotional and physical health, just because of their service. Because military service can cause damage, both major and minor, to an individual’s well being, the US armed forces and the Department of Veterans’ affairs continue to develop a variety of support services for both active duty personnel and veterans. In addition to the obvious risks of combat duty and the well-publicized aftermath, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, military personnel are at risk for developing a variety of illness when stationed at various locations around the world. For all personnel, whether in combat or not, severe stress can affect mood, sleep, appetite and job performance – or trigger a substance abuse problem, depression or suicide. Those stationed far from home are forced to miss children’s births and family special occasions, or even the deaths of loved ones. In some cases, experiences during active duty have long lasting effects that don’t manifest themselves immediately, but cause long-term problems for soldiers and their families. Combat troops exposed to blasts from explosive devices may not show signs of traumatic brain injury until months later. Likewise, those exposed to chemicals like the Vietnam-era Agent Orange may find themselves battling a variety of neurological problems, while those exposed to asbestos – widely used in military applications between World War II and Vietnam – are at high risk for mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer caused by asbestos fibers in the tissues. Acknowledging the potential health risks of military service, a variety of medical, legal and social services have been introduced to help active duty personnel, veterans and their families to cope with the aftereffect of the many health risks caused by military service. On most military bases, counselors and social workers are available to offer assistance to spouses and families left behind when a soldier is away, and these services are also available to help returning soldiers cope with the transition back to family life. Services supporting active duty personnel include substance abuse and mental health services, and ongoing counseling, therapy and rehabilitation for those injured in combat or accidents while serving. Veterans, too, are eligible for a variety of services to help them cope with the aftermath of experiences during their service, including legal advice, referrals for social services, and support groups to deal with ongoing mental and physical health issues. For those with life threatening illnesses such as mesothelioma from long-term asbestos exposure or exposure to military-mandated toxic substances, services include legal advocacy to file claims for assistance, as well as specialized health services and family support. Although military service can pose serious health risks, soldiers and their families can expect support and assistance in dealing with those risks. 
Emily Walsh is a Community Outreach Blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. 



Last year during the election for Luzerne County Council, Jenkins Township resident Charlie Hatcko was a frequent traveler on the campaign trail “Bible Buck” is not sitting still in this Presidential election and has lent his support to a Pro Life candidate. Here are his thoughts: Let us look at what Scripture and what the Church Fathers have stated about Abortion. (Exodus 20:13) and (Deut. 5:17) says --Thou shalt not kill. Human life must be respected and protected. Life begins at conception. Abortion is homicide yes murder. Sacred Scripture condemns murder. Look at (Job 24:13-14) gives evidence the murderer rebels against the light. (Jeremiah 22:3) gives evidence to do not shed innocent blood. Abortion is an abomination against the Almighty God. Abortion is called "the culture of death" by former Pope John Paul II. Human life must be absolutely protected and respected from birth to death. The inviolable right of every human being must be respected from conception to death. In America there is a false pluralism regarding issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and euthanasia. Sacred Scripture gives a grave warning regarding falsehood. (Isaiah 5:20) states-Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil. In (Matthew 18:7)- Jesus exhort --Woe to those who cause scandals, who through scandals come. (Jude 11) says--Woe to those who walk in the way of Cain. Cain who was the first creature created by human beings, was was a murderer, an apostate, a reviler of God, a deceiver and the leader in humanistic worldly culture. Cain is a model of unbelief and fratracide. (Genesis 4:8-10)-- gives evidence that Cain was a murderer. Abortion is murder in the eyes of God. In (John 10:10)-- Jesus exhorts---I came to give life and give life abundantly. Although Scripture nowhere mentions the word "abortion", there can be a deducible inferences taken from Biblical Revelation regarding abortion. Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium absolutely forbids abortion. Look at the following Biblical texts closely,--(Jeremiah 1:5)-- Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. Look at Sacred Scripture--(Job 10:8-12)---Thy hands fashioned and made me; Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that thou molded me like clay, and thou will turn me to dust again. You clothe me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and steadfast love. Look closely at the following Biblical Text--(Psalm 139:13-15)---For You created my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise thee, for thou are fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance. Look closely at (Isaiah 44:2)--Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you in the womb and will help you. (Psalm 22:10-11) and (Wisdom 7:1-6)-- give affirmative Biblical evidence regarding the formation of man by God. Tradition of the Church Fathers absolutely condemns abortion. Abortion was forbidden in the early foundation of the Church. The Didache – the writings of the Apostles from about 70 to 80 A.D. – gives absolute affirmative evidence that one must not procure an abortion; The Epistle of Barnabas (75A.D.), Section 19 gives absolute affirmation that one may not slay the child procuring an abortion. Athenagoras, writing in 177 A.D., gives evidence that women who use drugs to bring on an abortion are murderers. In fact the word Sorcerer --Greek--Adjective-(pharmakia) (Rev. 9:21)--(Rev. 22:15)--means medicines and potions-- one who made drugs for killing the fetus. Terullian, throughout 197-210 A.D., gives numerous writings that absolutely forbid abortion, especially through surgery. He has written that life begins at conception because the soul is given by God at conception. St. Hippolytus, in 228 A.D. in his Refutation of All Heresies, gives evidence of woman taken drugs to prevent conception. St. Basil the Great, St. Jerome, and St. John Chrysostum all wrote of the evils of abortion.Divine Tradition--(paradosis)-- condemns and castigates abortion. When we look at the biological process occurring in the conception and gestation of the human body in the female uterus, many have claimed that the blastula is not really a human body, but a mass of undeveloped tissue. Modern medical science has shown the gestation process under a microscope, assigning terms to the primitive stages of development such as zygote, blastula, embryo and fetus. Medical science has proven the Church Magisterium regarding abortion correct. The Bible condems murder. (Matt. 5:21) Jesus gives evidence Thou shalt not murder. (Matt. 19:18) gives evidence--Do not murder. (Mark 10:19) gives evidence--Do not murder. (Luke 18:20) states--Do not murder. The Psalms gives evidence the Lord abhors murder--Yes the bloodthirsty. Look at (Psalm 9:12)--When He avenges blood He remembers them.. Abortion is used by politicians sometimes for political expediency. Look at (Isaiah 59:3)--(Ezekiel 22:8) regarding the shedding of blood. --(Romans 13:9) gives evidence--Thou shalt not murder. (1 Tim. 1:9) gives evidence the law is made for the murder.(James 2:11) gives evidence Do not murder. (1 John 3:15) gives evidence whoever hates his brother is a murderer and that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. Mitt Romney is the Pro-Life candidate by many Pro-Life Groups--Look at my reasons--(Matt. 24:4)--Mark 13:5)--(Luke 21:8) Jesus exhorts--Do not be deceived. (Malachi 1:14) states--Cursed be the deceiver. In the years 2002 to 2004 -There was a Reublican Supreme Court--A Republican US Congress--A Republican US Senate and a Republican President--George W. Bush--Bottom Line We still have abortion--Republicans are experts using Pro-Life in political expediency. President Obama actions are abominable --he supports abortion and same-sex marriage. Mitt Romney has supported abortion and same sex in his political career-as Governor of Mass. Life Site--A Pro-Life Website has reported the Chief Executive Officer of the Morning After Abortion Pill --Yes CEO Phil Frost ran a $50,000 dollar a plate Fund Raiser for Mitt Romney--several months ago.Yes May 11th 2012 in Flordia I will not be deceived--I will Support and Vote America's Party Candidate Tom Hoefling--from Iowa-- for President. America's Party is the former American Independent Party. I know the best Pro-Life Candidate. Even Gary Johnson New Mexico Governor --Liberatarian party and Virgil Goode Virginia -Congressman Constituition Party have much better--yes much better voting records on abortion than Mitt.Romney. That is why the Republican Party has challenged their right to run in Penn. for President. 
Principles over Politics--- True Pro-Life Pennsylvania Voters Write in America's Party Candidate -Tom Hoefling America's Party is the former American Independent Party. Alan Keyes a close associate with Tom Hoefling ran on this Party for President in 2008--Tom Hoefling as worked for Pro-Life for many many years-- Again True Pennsylvania moral Pro-Lifers Write In --Tim Hoefling --President-- 
God Bless You--Thank You Elector for America's Party
-Charles Bible Buck Hatchko--
Jenkins Twp.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2240, October 23rd, 2012

United States Senator Bob Casey. 


Last week, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Pennsylvania’s largest newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, endorsed Bob Casey for Pennsylvania’s U.S Senate seat. Now, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Patriot-News have followed suit. The Tribune-Review writes that Bob has the “kind of personal comity that serves Pennsylvania and the nation best.” The Patriot-News says Bob is “a solid member of the U.S. Senate who seeks out ways to work with, and has the respect of, those on both sides of the political aisle” and the Post-Gazette agreed that Bob is a “centrist senator [that] can work with both parties” and applauded that Bob “worked to raise the minimum wage; argued for a higher tax on oil company profits; advocated ‘fair trade,’ not ‘free trade,’ to preserve U.S. jobs.”
120th District State Representative Phyllis Mundy and 17th District Congressional candidate Matt Cartwright. 


Matt Cartwright and State Representative Phyllis Mundy will host a Get Out the Vote Rally on Tuesday, October 30th from 6 to 8 PM. The event will be at the West Wyoming Hose Company No. 1 at 926 Shoemaker Ave in West Wyoming. The event is free and will feature food and refreshments. For more information, please call 570.371.3870 . 


Recently in a Times-Tribune, Congressman tom Marino explained why he's voted twice to end the Medicare guarantee by turning it into a voucher program that would raise costs thousands of dollars a year on seniors. He said, "I've had numerous people say to me ... 'I don't need the Medicare.'" I dare the Congressman to find me one of those people. Don’t bring me someone you know from your days as Louie DeNaples go to guy, or some millionaire you and your party are indebted to. Find me a regular person who is just trying to get by. Bet you can’t do it!!! In a recent interview with the Scranton Times-Tribune, Congressman Tom Marino said he want to raise payroll taxes, increase the Social Security retirement age, and reduce Social Security benefits. His position on Social Security should come as no surprise because in 2010 he told a radio station that "My generation and probably the generation that follows me, we're going to have to step up to the plate and say, 'We're not going to get Social Security' ... It would have to be cut for my generation to pay for it."  "From the start, this has been the biggest difference between me and Tom Marino. I just do not believe we should be cutting benefits people have worked their entire lives to earn," said businessman Phil Scollo. "The seniors I talk to can't afford the $6,000 in new health expenses they would incur because of Tom Marino's plan to privatize Medicare. Seniors, middle class families, they can expect to count on me as a staunch defender of Social Security and Medicare." 
Phil Scollo left Wall Street to start a small business in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He learned hard work and public service early from a New York City Fire Fighter, his father. His business, a management-consulting firm, has served all types of organizations from global corporations to small businesses and government agencies. Phil has lived in Dingman Township, Pennsylvania since 1998 with his wife, Karen. He is the proud father of three children. A summa cum laude graduate of St. John’s University, Phil holds a B.S. in Government and Politics.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2239, October 22nd, 2012

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama make their points with CBS News’ Bob Schieffer who served as moderator. 


President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney faced off in a Foreign Policy debate that should cement their qualifications or lack thereof with the minuscule amount of undecided voters. Tonight Mitt Romney looked like a bobble head doll that kept on agreeing with the President’s Foreign policy. President Obama on the other hand looked totally exasperated as he saw Romney change his previous positions right before his eyes. The disagreements Romney brought up had to do with economics. Romney said that America could be a stronger leader in Foreign policy and the world if our financial footing was better. President Obama defended his record and took shots at Romney’s prior positions. 
Interestingly enough, Romney defended himself but barely not disrespecting the President and reiterating policies that have been in place since 2009. To be sure there were disagreements but in my opinion they were cosmetic. But there were differences. Obama said he had ended the war in Iraq, was on a path to end the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan and has vowed to bring justice to the attackers of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last month — an assault that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. He also jabbed at Romney’s having said during the campaign that Russia is the United States’ No. 1 geopolitical foe. Romney meanwhile gave a compliment to the President regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden but he did say we can’t kill our way out of terrorism. Romney also said that despite early hopes, the ouster of despotic regimes in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere over the past year has resulted in a “rising tide of chaos.” He said the President has failed to come up with a coherent policy to grapple with change sweeping the Middle East, and he added ominously that an al-Qaida-like group has taken over northern Mali. 
Monday night marked the third time in less than a week that the president and his challenger shared a stage, following the contentious hour and a half town-hall-style meeting last Tuesday on Long Island and a white-tie charity dinner (The Al Smith Foundation dinner in New York) two nights later where gracious compliments were mixed with humorous barbs. 
This debate, unlike previous debates really did not change anything regarding major differences in American Foreign policy. Romney, even though he look uncomfortable at times displayed a working knowledge of the world. Since Sarah Palin, the Foreign policy bar has been set pretty low. President Obama on the other hand defended his policies, finally talked about a vision as to where he was going to go in a second term and had a forceful closing. 
The debates are now over. Unlike previous years, they had an impact. Debate number 1 legitimized Mitt Romney as a viable alternative to undecided voters. The second and third debates gave President Obama a chance to climb out of the hole he dug for himself in the first outing. But there haven’t been any knockouts. Polls are pretty much fluid in terms of one candidate up or down. Some are dead even. 
The last two weeks will now depend on ground games, get out the vote efforts, a flow of ads to battleground states and a concentration on about 10 states out of the 50 United. It will be like watching 10 races for Governor or Senator. And each state will be winner take all. Hang on to your hat. If you are a political junkie, you’ll love it. If you are tired and hope it will all go away, it won’t. If you have no opinion, call the coroner. It’s going to be a wild ride. And there’s no debate about that.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2238, October 21st, 2012

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in the final showdown. 


Monday night is the final Presidential debate before the Election on November 6th. The debate will center on Foreign Policy. With Governor Romney winning the first debate and President Obama coming back in the second round, this third series might be pivotal to the Election Day results. Even with the economy being the major issue, Foreign Policy and America’s role in the world is something people will be interested in. Here’s what the two men need to do: 
President Obama: He needs to reiterate the strength America has projected in his administration. He has made significant progress in repairing relationships with allies. He can’t tout the Osama Bin Laden card too many times in 90 minutes but he can’t ignore it all together either. He needs to make a logical explanation of what happened in Benghazi and lay out the facts in a clear manner so it will make sense. On Iran he has to make the same case Vice President Joe Biden did in articulating the fact that America needs to stay out of another war. He can turn that around with a nod to the economy saying that if we can reduce our involvement in the world, the United States can put money back into rebuilding our own nation. 
Governor Mitt Romney: Romney needs to be less of a fact machine and more of a conveyor of a message. Romney needs to convey the message that he indeed will keep the world a safer place. He’ll lose if he tries to discredit the administration’s foreign policy with only harping on Benghazi. It is a fact that the Foreign Policy component of the Obama administration (thanks in large part to Hillary Clinton) is more successful than his economic programs. Most importantly, Romney needs to look comfortable in discussing Foreign policy. The fact of the matter is he doesn’t. He looks like me trying to explain to a carpenter how to do his job. He seems stilted and by all means has to avoid a mistake during the last debate when he challenged the President on whether he called the Benghazi event a terrorist attack. If Romney asks a question like that again, he should remember the old lawyer’s saw that you never ask a question that you don’t know the answer to. Plus Romney has had so much focus on the economy, he might be rusty in that area. If he looks confident and avoids a Gerald Ford like mistake, he might make this third debate a draw. 
Once the election is over, Foreign policy in most cases is the most forgettable part of a Presidential election. Issues change constantly and rarely do the portions of the debate carry over into crisis. Those usually come from nowhere. In the 1960 debates, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon argued about the safety surrounding the Pacific islands of Quemoy and Matsu. In terms of facts about foreign affairs, a majority of Americans will say they care about Foreign policy but cannot pick an issue that is important to them. Granted military families will be paying close attention but the American voter I believe has a very low bar for a President when it comes to Foreign affairs. First and foremost, Americans want to be safe and free from attack. In Foreign Affairs the devil is usually in the details and few Americans know the details or care to. 
To that end, Romney has to appear Presidential. The President must keep fighting back from that first debater. He would be wise to not attack Romney on Foreign policy but state what he has done (which is considerable) and address the future of his role as leader of the free world. Foreign policy will always be fluid and both men would do well to stick to their facts because in truth, with the exception of Iran, both men agree than disagree more with each other. It would be novel if not unexpected if both men showed a little statesmanship. We shall see though.
17th District candidate Matt Cartwright 


A reception for Matt Cartwright, Democratic Candidate for Congress, PA-17th will be held on Wednesday October 24th from 6-8pm at the Woodlands, Highway 315, Wilkes-Barre. Cost is $35 per person. Checks should be made payable to Cartwright for Congress, P.O. Box 1805, Plains, PA 18705. For more information or to RSVP please call 410-727-0501, or email: 


LuLac will predict who will win the Presidency.

The LuLac Edition #2237, October 21st, 2012

George McGovern in his late 80s.
The speech not many people saw at the Democratic Convention in 1972. Here is McGovern at the podium.
McGovern during the war with his bride Eleanor.
The iconic photo of George McGovern used on every campaign poster during the '72 campaign. 


George McGovern died this morning at the age of 90. For anyone who grew up in the 60s, George McGovern was a political figure that was a creature who’s career was mixed with happenstance as well as rock solid beliefs in what he stood for. McGovern was a bomber pilot in World War II serving successful missions. When he came home to South Dakota in the 40s he went to school, as many veterans did on the GI bill. He served three terms in Congress and was elected to the Senate in 1962. McGovern was relatively unknown to the nation until the death of Robert Kennedy in the midst of the 1968 Presidential campaign. The Kennedy people, in the aftermath of the assassination of the Senator did not want to swing their support to their arch rival Eugene McCarthy. Nor were they willing to align themselves with Vice President Hubert Humphrey who had not come out for a bombing halt in the Vietnam War. So the Kennedy team asked McGovern to be the standard bearer for the Kennedy candidacy. McGovern delayed making a decision, making sure that Bobby's brother Ted Kennedy did not want to enter, and with his staff still concerned about the senator's own reelection prospects. Finally he did so and received a few hundred votes at the 1968 Convention in Chicago. 
After the tumult of that violent convention, the Democrats decided to change the party rules. Stung by the fact that Humphrey won the nomination by not entering any primaries, the pendulum changed drastically. No longer where there winner take all primaries. Plus the rules made the party more inclusive for blacks and women. When George McGovern decided to run for President in 1972, the old time party rules of engagement were gone. It was tailor made for McGovern’s insurgency. 
Like McCarthy in 1968, McGovern did not win the New Hampshire primary against Edmund Muskie, Humphrey’s Vice President and a Maine Senator. But his margin was close enough in defeat to rock the Muskie effort. During his primary victories, McGovern used an approach that stressed grassroots-level organization while bypassing conventional campaign techniques and traditional party power centers. He capitalized on support from anti-war activists, reform liberals, and students. McGovern ran on a platform that advocated withdrawal from the Vietnam War in exchange for the return of American prisoners of war and amnesty for draft evaders who had left the country. McGovern's platform also included an across-the-board, 37 percent reduction in defense spending over three years. He proposed a "demogrant" program that would give a $1,000 payment to every citizen in America. Based around existing ideas such as the negative income tax and intended to replace the welfare bureaucracy and complicated maze of existing public-assistance programs, it nonetheless garnered considerable derision as a poorly thought out "liberal giveaway" and was dropped from the platform. But that charge stuck as did many other issues in the general election. 
McGovern’s convention was a triumph and a disaster at the same time. Down 3% in name recognition in January he won the big prize. But because of the total inclusiveness of the campaign, and multiple nominees for President, McGovern gave his speech at 3AM. Not many people saw it. McGovern’s running mate pick, Senator Thomas Eagleton also tuned into a big problem. it was revealed that Eagleton had received electroshock therapy for clinical depression during the 1960s. McGovern initially supported Eagleton, in part because he saw parallels with his daughter Terry's battles with mental illness. But reality set in and McGovern needed a running mate. After asking Senators Muskie, Jackson, Humphrey, Church and Hughes, plus a plethora of others, R. Sargent Shriver the former Director of the Peace Corps and Kennedy in law ran with him. The general election campaign did not go well for McGovern. Nixon was buoyed by the success of his visits to China and the Soviet Union and, shortly before the election, Henry Kissinger's somewhat premature statement that "peace is at hand" in Vietnam. Top Republican figures attacked McGovern for being weak on defense issues and "encouraging the enemy". McGovern chose to not emphasize his own war record during the campaign. The McGovern Commission changes to the convention rules (which helped him gain the election, did not help in the fall effort) marginalized the influence of establishment Democratic Party figures, and McGovern struggled to get endorsements from figures such as former President Johnson and Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley. Some southern Democrats, led by former Texas governor John Connally, switched their support to the incumbent President Nixon through a campaign effort called "Democrats for Nixon". In addition, McGovern was publicly attacked by Nixon surrogates, and was the target of various operations of the Nixon "dirty tricks" campaign. The infamous Watergate break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in June 1972 was an alternate target after bugging McGovern's headquarters was explored. The full dimensions of the Watergate scandal did not emerge until after the election, however, and Nixon's covert operations had little effect on the outcome. 
McGovern lost 49 states and was stung by the defeat. He briefly considered moving to England. He served 8 more years in the Senate before being displaced in 1980 by the Reagan landslide. McGovern's Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs expanded its scope to include national nutrition policy. In 1977 it issued a new set of nutritional guidelines for Americans that sought to combat leading killer health conditions. Titled Dietary Goals for the United States, but also known as the "McGovern Report", it suggested that Americans eat less fat, less cholesterol, less refined and processed sugars, and more complex carbohydrates and fiber. While many public health officials had said all of this for some time, the committee's issuance of the guidelines gave it higher public profile. The recommendations proved controversial with the cattle, dairy, egg, and sugar industries, including from McGovern's home state.  
McGovern harbored thoughts of running in the 1976 presidential election, but given the magnitude of his presidential defeat, the Democratic Party wanted nothing to do with him then or later. Unfamiliar and uncomfortable with Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter, McGovern secretly voted for Ford instead. McGovern ran again in 1984, this time as an issues candidate with no chance of winning and introduced himself to a new generation of Democrats. McGovern hosted Saturday Night Live in 1984, considered another run for President in 1992, wrote 7 books, (one on Abraham Lincoln one on the Iraq war) and served as chair of various policy councils. He also went into the bed ands breakfast business in the early 90s. His wife (Eleanor) died in 2007 and also spoke opening of the alcoholism and death of his daughter Terry. McGovern was slated to be on CSPAN in a documentary in December of 2012 but was injured in a fall. He went into Hospice earlier this month. 
McGovern in effect became my generation’s Adlai Stevenson. He and his campaign was different, witty, principled and ultimately failed. But from that failure came an appreciation of the political process and just what serving meant in the public arena. While McGovern might not have become President, he inspired many (most notably Bill and Hillary Clinton) who did. And that is a legacy any public figure would accept gladly. 

The LuLac Edition #2236, October 21st, 2012


For those of a certain age, October 1962 was a time of great change and great fear. Two events were the constant topic of discussion and even though I was just a young child, I could sense that these two events in the cool, crisp month of October were significant.
Pope John XXIII in 1962. 

"I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in." Pope John XXIII 


Going to a Catholic school in the 1960s was a cultural tug of war. As a young generation exposed to TV and rock and roll, we were educated by nuns who essentially left the world of pop culture in the 1940s. What was deemed pop culture at the time and in front of our faces was foreign to our educators. I recall one of my classmates in 1966 struggling to explain the lyrics of that great but banal Mike Douglas song “The Men In My Little Girl’s Life” to one of our teachers. And anyone who has read this blog since we started in 2006 will surely remember the editions of 2008 when we chronicled the year 1968. It was against that backdrop that the Catholic Church decided to make major changes in the way that it did business. Pope John XXIII announced the creation of the Second Vatican Council (also known as Vatican II) in January 1959, it shocked the world. There hadn't been an ecumenical council — an assembly of Roman Catholic religious leaders meant to settle doctrinal issues — in nearly 100 years Pope John was not the guy who was supposed to do this. Elected in 1958 after the nearly twenty year reign of Pope Pius XII, the elderly rotund Bishop was supposed to be a placeholder for the next generation of Papal leaders. The council called between 2,000 and 2,500 bishops and thousands of observers, auditors, sisters, laymen and laywomen to four sessions at St. Peter's Basilica between 1962 and 1965. Cultural changes in the aftermath of World War II spelled a need to reconsider church practices. These meetings did just that — 16 documents in total came out of it, laying a foundation for the church as we know it today. 
Perhaps the best legacy left by the Council was the open discussion of church issues. Pope John left a legacy of dialogue which has not necessarily led to change that maybe many reformers wanted. Pope John Paul II was more conservative than most people thought he would be and Pope Benedict who has been accused of looking fondly on the pre Vatican days of the Latin Mass has constantly reiterated the impact and importance of Vatican II. For my school., the changes at first were foreign. But after Pope John’s death in 1963 of stomach cancer, his successor Pope Paul VI accelerated the changes. As students, we had to attend “dry Masses” which were practice sessions for the new liturgy. No more Latin but now English. And the altar was turned around too. Those were the cosmetic changes seen by our young eyes but as the years went on, those 16 doctrines shaped the Catholic Church that we attend as adults. To be sure the church and its people sometimes are on opposite sides but at least there is more open discussion about the rules of doctrines than there was before Vatican II.
A Cabinet Meeting during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. President Kennedy is in the middle. 


For whatever reason in the fall of the year at St. John the Baptist School boys of a certain age played war. We took the smaller thinner guys and had them ride on the backs of the bigger kids (maybe this was the beginning of what did my hip in!) and played our own version of combat. Stoked by actual TV versions of “Robin Hood” and the very popular “Combat” program we regularly did this at recess. No one got hurt but we were all pretty much exhausted as we came back to class. All that stopped in mid October 1962 . The kids who “played” at war were told there might be a real war and it was going to be a doozey. Maybe a war that would end life as we knew it. As youngsters it was foreign to us. We were kids, we couldn’t grasp the enormity fully of a single death let alone a world without a world. It was only years later that my generation came to realize just how close we came to Armageddon. 
For thirteen days in October 1962 the world waited—seemingly on the brink of nuclear war—and hoped for a peaceful resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis. In October 1962, an American U-2 spy plane secretly photographed nuclear missile sites being built by the Soviet Union on the island of Cuba. President Kennedy did not want the Soviet Union and Cuba to know that he had discovered the missiles. He met in secret with his advisers for several days to discuss the problem. After many long and difficult meetings, Kennedy decided to place a naval blockade, or a ring of ships, around Cuba. The aim of this "quarantine," as he called it, was to prevent the Soviets from bringing in more military supplies. He demanded the removal of the missiles already there and the destruction of the sites. On October 22, President Kennedy spoke to the nation about the crisis in a televised address.  
No one was sure how Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev would respond to the naval blockade and U.S. demands. But the leaders of both superpowers recognized the devastating possibility of a nuclear war and publicly agreed to a deal in which the Soviets would dismantle the weapon sites in exchange for a pledge from the United States not to invade Cuba. In a separate deal, which remained secret for more than twenty-five years, the United States also agreed to remove its nuclear missiles from Turkey. Although the Soviets removed their missiles from Cuba, they escalated the building of their military arsenal; the missile crisis was over, the arms race was not.
As I wrote earlier, as an eight year old boy I never had the appreciation for just how close we came. At the school we said the rosary every morning in school and then on the ride home on the bus. No one joked about playing war. I remember my friends the Wasko brothers Drew and Bob policing some more rambunctious members of our class and saying “this is serious stuff”. In college I read everything I could about that time. In discussions with people who grew up in that era, one thing is a common denominator when we speak of it even today, the chill that still runs up our spine when we talk about it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2235, October 20th, 2012

The Luzerne county Courthouse. 


Luzerne County Bidget Director Robert Lawton submitted his budget this morning at 7AM. The County Manager worked through the night and came up with a plan that reduced spending by $383,490. The budget totals $122,249,099. In terms of staffing, more than 70 positions will be eliminated through layoffs (33) and attrition (41). The net job loss is about 60 because more than ten new jobs were added. That figure includes the department heads. The budget is going to be lean because it must pay for labor and health care cost and the debt that was built up by previous administrations. The reaction of the County Council will be interesting to say the least. 


Harrisburg legislators, under the control of that compassionate party the Republicans have opted to not put a flood recovery bill on the accomplishment list of completed items. Times Shamrock Harrisburg Bureau Chief R.B. Swift reports that Lawmakers left town Wednesday night without approving either a $150 million recovery bond issue as the Republican-controlled Senate sought or a no-borrow plan authorizing the smaller transfer of funds from a state economic development authority to pay for projects as the GOP-controlled House sought. A no-borrow flood aid bill that could have served as a compromise vehicle remains in the House Rules Committee. Lawmakers from Northeastern Pennsylvania have compiled a list of damaged roads, bridges and water and sewer systems in need of repairs as well as needed flood control projects to mitigate the impact of future flooding. What does this mean? Three things. 
1. More than a year after the September floods of 2011, there is no money available for disaster relief for people to continue to fix their properties. 
2. There are no more days left in the Legislative calendar. These jokers are going home and aren’t coming back for a lengthy session time until next year. 
3. The GOP wants the money to go through the annual state budget process. If that happens the money will could come as late as June 30th, 2013 when the new state budget is passed. 
The disgusting thing about this is that the money is used to compliment the federal aid that has already arrived. The state though is not living up to its end of the bargain. And as State Senator John Yudichak has pointed out without this aid, flood victims do not have the money to recover that was made available to anyone flooded in the last half century. For those of you who scream about government being too big, or government being a nanny, what do you say about this? Too bad, so sad, you got flooded in the wrong century? Dan Flood might have ended his career with a plea bargain, but he would never have let people whose very lives were destroyed left to fend for themselves. But yet, that’s what the GOP preaches. Individual freedom. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps. American individualism! This non action, this blocking of vitally needed money for flood victims is just one reason why the Republican legislature in Harrisburg is a criminal disgrace. But hey, no worries. The GOP in Harrisburg might not help you fix your house but they’ll gladly use an ultrasound to peek up your wife’s vagina to see if she really needs that health care service all in the name of protecting life. What about the lives of those flooded in a disaster? Priorities man, priorities.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2234, October 19th, 2012

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that Yankee fans are upset that A Rod hasn’t been hitting. Well the rest of the team wasn’t hitting either so you can’t put this four game sweep by Detroit all on him. What is hysterical is how the media is upset that A Rod tried to score a date by sending an autographed ball (signed by him of course) to a woman in the stands. Wouldn’t it be funny if the targeted person switched her seat or gave the ball to a less uh shall we say bombastic friend.  Yeah, I said it, bombastic friend. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that there seems to be many people weighing in on the fact that Luzerne County Manager Bob Lawton has not registered to vote. The guy can’t win for losing around here. He tries to be non political to the highest degree by not registering and he gets political blow back from people decrying his decision. In Luzerne County, not only is everyone a critic, everyone wants to be a Civics teacher. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that Pennsylvania has become a swing state. Ed Rendell has been saying this will be tight for weeks but no one listened to him. And the most amazing thing is Pennsylvania became a swing state without Mitt Romney spending a red cent. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that Hazleton Mayor Joe Yanuzzi’s full term as Mayor will not be as smooth as Mayor Barletta’s when it comes to City Council. Council voted thumbs down on Yanuzzi’s choice for City Administrator. Barletta had Yanuzzi on Council as a broker and advocate. Yanuzzi needs another Yanuzzi to bridge the gap with the new council. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………..that as baseball winds down nationally, the area’s minor league team, the Scranton Wilkes barre Yankees have had a very visible presence in terms of marketing the new stadium and team for 2013. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that on Friday evening, we got two telemarketing calls from schools Mrs. LuLac attended asking for money. It has to be outsourcing because even though they sound young, I can’t imagine students making phone calls at 9PM on a Friday night touting the old Alma mater. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that a friend of mine who works at Wal Mart told me that in the store’s warehouse where he works, Halloween candy is packed from the floor to the ceiling. And going fast. He estimates more sweets will be needed by the big day. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at the instant opinions you get on Facebook and Twitter regarding events like a football game, major trial or in the case of the 2012 election, the Presidential debates. Everyone has become a political analyst and the opinions are instantaneous. You have to love social media. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………….that with City, County and States on the brink of financial disaster or at least incredible tight belt buckling, you have to wonder what the future will bring. No matter who gets elected President, the national debt will have to be addressed. I wonder how long it will be before the deficit hawks realize that cutting government will mean cutting services. It is easy to demonize big government but let’s face it, when the roads get unpaved, the local taxes go sky high (as they are in Wilkes Barre) the money is either going to have to come from somewhere. If it doesn’t, then the services will be nowhere. And I wonder how long the big mouths who hate government will stand for that. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZZED………..that Senator Bob Casey, once a lock for reelection is in serious trouble. Challenger Tom Smith has closed the gap to within 4 points. If he wins, this will be the upset of the country.