The LuLac Edition #2302, December 20th, 2012
UNPATRIOTIC PATRIOTSThey tell us how much they love freedom. They tell you they care about the future of the country, tugging at the heart strings and talking about your grand children. They tell you they are open to new ideas. They look you in the face and tell you they want fairness. But in the end, all they want is to serve the narrow masters that fund their very existence. I am of course talking about the Republican party. If we are to go over the fiscal cliff, blame the Republican House and back stabbing Speaker John Boehner. The White House thought they were close to a deal on Monday. The President made the huge concession that taxes could be raised on income of not $250,000 like he’s been saying since he ran for President but $400,000. Another huge concession was Obama’s willingness to look at benefit cuts in Medicare as well as means testing for it among high income people. And the GOP walked away. Maybe Boehner is using this as strategy but one thing is clear. Much to the chagrin of the left, Obama has moved significantly. The GOP has not. Even business leaders who castigated Obama think the time for a deal is now. Not Boehner and the Republicans. They are still in the opposition mode that they have always been in. Americans must realize there is something unseemly about this odd opposition to a President elected twice by a majority of the American people. In the past election, despite all of the lies about health care, the President’s place of birth and the Stimulus plan, the country turned their back on this Republican party. These were policy and election issues. But right now this party is heading into dangerous territory. Americans are fair minded, common sense people. Sooner or later they are going to realize the Republican party is close to treason in its blinding opposition to this administration. The fiscal cliff deadline will come and go. And our economy will get worse. If you think a gun bill will pass, sorry, but this party will never let it happen. They’ll stand in front of the flag, hand over heart, lips trembling crying crocodile tears for the dead children but as sure as the sun comes up, they’ll find a way to shout “freedom, freedom., freedom” while more people die. My friends Bruce Simpson and Wil Toole have told me I am crazy for saying that it is okay to vote for a Republican if they seem reasonable. It is unfair to think that the actions of the national Republicans should impact local GOP people. But the GOP has not been fair to this President or this nation since January 21st, 2009. If there is no deal and if the GOP puts road blocks into a sensible gun bill (by the way, there are over 900 weapons a gun enthusiast could buy) it will be time to destroy the Republican party, district by district, ward by ward, and lie by lie. I never thought this way, but the actions of the Republican party this week dictate that it is time for them to go. Permanently.
NRA, A PAPER TIGERIf you ever had a chance to read Ed Rendell’s book “A Nation of Wusses”, he takes special aim on the National Rifle Association. Rendell talks about how politicians are threatened by the NRA. On TV last week, virtually none pro gun politicians appeared on TV. It is true the gun lobby has defeated great men and women. (Joseph Clark in ’68 was defeated that way, the only saving grace was that a moderate Republican Richard Schweiker was put in his seat). But the times are different. People are more reasonable now. And Rendell points out that three times he ran for big offices in Pennsylvania (a gun state if there ever was one) and won big each time. It is time for politicians to roll up their sleeves and face down the playground bully referred to as the NRA. Next time an NRA member talks about his freedom, just ask them about the freedom of this little girl pictured below. What about her freedom…..to live?
(Photo: Catwright for Congress.)
CARTWRIGHT’S COMMENTSWe didn’t get a chance to share some of the comments we received from Congressman Elect Matt Cartwright’s office the other day. But they are worth reading. Here are his comments:
On the day I found out about the shooting at Newtown, Connecticut in the mid-morning, that Friday, when I was in a foreign policy briefing. U.S. Rep.-elect Elizabeth Esty, the excellent new Congresswoman for the district in which Newtown is located, was sitting next to me. She took the call on her mobile phone. I saw the look on her face. She was stricken. It’s hard to know when the right time is to shift from mournful comments about the tragic loss of lives, and the terrible toll taken on the families. It’s hard to know when it’s all right to start talking about how it could have been prevented or at least how it could have been prevented from being as bad as it was. The problem is that people will feel that it’s not right to try to score political points out of a horrible situation like this. I don’t want to make points about politics. I want to make a point about law. The most important principle about making laws is that they should promote good and avoid evil. St. Thomas Aquinas, in his best-known work, the Summa Theologica, wrote of the natural law, “this is the first precept of the law, that good is to be done, and promoted, and evil is to be avoided. All other precepts of the natural law are based on this.” He wrote that in 1274. If ever there was a clear presentation of the contrast between good and evil, it appeared in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. The goodness, the innocence, of 6- and 7-year old boys and girls, full of fun, eager to learn, and excited to be together, would never be questioned. Whatever it was that possessed their killer, whatever psychosis invaded his brain, whatever mental turmoil it was that drove Adam Lanza to kill that day, it was evil. And what he actually did, with a Bushmaster AR-15, inside that elementary school, was pure evil. No one doubts it. The question is, how is this kind of evil to be avoided? Can we make laws to help avoid this kind of unspeakable evil? The answer is, yes, we can. We can enact laws that restrict the purchase and sale of semi-automatic assault rifles. We can enact laws that restrict the purchase and sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines. We can do this, and it is legal. It has been done before. Between 1994 and 2004 we had an assault rifle ban in our country. Prominent members of the law enforcement community supported the ban. The nation did not dissolve. The Constitution did not disintegrate. The sky did not fall. It does not violate the Second Amendment to ban assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines. For generations, the Supreme Court has made it clear that there are limits to the declarations in the Bill of Rights. For example, the First Amendment’s right of free speech does not extend to going into crowded cinemas and yelling“fire!” On July 29, 2012, nine days after another mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, Justice Antonin Scalia – possibly the most conservative member of the Supreme Court in its entire history – told Fox News Sunday in a discussion of the Second Amendment: “Yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed.” Banning assault rifles like the Bushmaster AR-15 used on the Sandy Hook children would not cure the evil that drove Adam Lanza to kill. But it would make it more difficult for him to kill. In killing 27 people, Lanza is reported to have fired as many as three hundred rounds, pumping as many as 11 bullets into each victim. Lanza was using equipment that made him an efficient child-killing machine. This kind of firepower is not necessary for hunting, or self-defense. Our American experience has showed us example after example of assault rifles and high capacity clips being used in mass killings of innocent people. What we never hear about are instances of these weapons being used in self-defense, which is the point of the Second Amendment. We also never hear about assault rifles being taken hunting. No self-respecting deer hunter would even consider firing a dozen bullets at a buck. I announced my support for an assault rifle ban in July, after the Aurora shooting. I urge you to contact your elected officials to express your support for bans on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines. How many more innocent schoolchildren have to die before we find the courage to enact laws that will actually help us avoid this kind of evil?
ANNIE YES, TOOLE NO
It appears two former Judges are asking to have their pensions reinstated. I say yes to one and no to the other. Anne Lokuta was railroaded by the Luzerne County Court system for not eing a long legged blond and obnoxious behavior which sometimes bordered on incompetence. But she did not commit a crime. Patrick Toole did. He plead guilty. He spent time in jail. That trumps being mean and nasty any day. Give Lokiuta her pension.
THE COUNTY TIME CLOCKLeave it to Luzerne County to mess up a system that has been used successfully in hundreds of thousands of businesses across America and the world. Controller Waltyerr Griffith said the time clock’s threshold was set low so that county workers would not get frustrated if they ran into problems getting the clock to accept finger scans. Yep, don’t want to upset those put upon employees with new fangled technology.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
CORBETT’S COUPSSteve Corbett of WILK scored two big interviews this week relating to the Sandy Hook shootings. He had both former Governor Ed Rendell and U.S. Senator Bob Casey on to talk about the tragedy and what this country can do to change its mindset on guns.
This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Psychologist Dr. David Palmiter about how to discuss the tragic school shooting in Connecticut with your children, and what we can learn from that tragic event. An encore from September of Brian's interview with bullying activist Monica Thomas. And closing out the program, the New York City Children's Chorus rendition of "Silent Night", featuring during the opening of last weekend's edition on NBC's Saturday Night Live, as a tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hok Elementary School shooting. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning 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.
ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will help their viewers celebrate Christmas week with a guest who is really into the holiday! Joe Spenelli will join the duo to tell the story of his animated musical Christmas display set up outside his home in Newfoundland and open to visitors free of charge! You can see ECTV Live on Comcast Ch19 at Noon, 6pm, and midnight throughout the week. And on behalf of Electric City Television Judge Munley and David DeCosmo would like to wish all of their viewers a very Merry Christmas!
Harold Holt, Australian prime minister, disappears when swimming at a beach 60 km from Melbourne……..Professor John Archibald Wheeler uses the term Black Hole for the first time………in Pennsylvania Governor Ray Shafer, at a year end press conference side steps speculation about who he will support for President in 1968…..and in Luzerne County, long time Democratic party chairman, Dr. John Dorris dies of a heart attack the day after Christmas. Dorris was widely credited with being the architect of the Democratic party resurgence in the 1967 elections which saw the Democrats take control of the Courthouse for the first time in fifty years. His death sparked an inter party battle that lasted for the next decade and a half..and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles with one of their biggest, “I Second That Emotion”.