Friday, November 30, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2281, November 30th, 2012

Bob Mellow today after sentencing.
Former Senator Bob Mellow in the 70s. 
Photos from Scranton Times Tribune

NOT SO SWEET 16 FOR MELLOW 


He was once one of the most powerful men in Pennsylvania history. Some would refer to him as a political Midas. Elected to the State Senate at the age of 27, Bob Mellow served four decades in the 22nd Senatorial district. Despite his win at a young age, Mellow was not a wild child politico trying to change the world. Instead,  he was a student of power observing how things worked in the Senate. Early on he sought out the counsel of Luzerne County’s Martin L. Murray, seeing the machinations of power in the glacially moving capitol of Harrisburg. He built relationships with Henry Hager, Michael O’Pake, T. Newell Wood, Frank O’Connell and Charles Lemmond. He recognized that dual power in the Senate could help his region. As his seniority grew, and challenges against him became non existent locally, he built coalitions all across the state of Pennsylvania. He became President Pro Tempo rare of the Senate, the third in line of succession in the Commonwealth. (It was a post Martin L. Murray held). When the Democrats were out of power, he became the Minority Leader. Any bill that went through Harrisburg had to have the Mellow imprimatur on it. 
In Northeastern Pennsylvania he was the man you saw if you needed anything. His office staff was meticulous in their customer service skills. I once needed a letter of recommendation for a job I was seeking. An out of district voter, I walked into his office on a Tuesday, stated my case and by Tuesday got a copy of a letter he sent to the company on my behalf. (I did not get the job). 
At first, Mellow said he wasn’t going to be a political hack but hired his father for an office job shortly after being elected. He worked hard to pass the lottery which helps seniors and was a close ally of Governor Shapp. When the Shapp administration ran into scandal, the wily Martin L. Murray created distance for the  Democrat Senate by giving Mellow the opportunity to ironically craft an ethics bill. During the Casey, Ridge and Rendell administration, Mellow was involved in the passage of CHIP (the Chidren’s Health plan for the state) as well as property tax reform attached to casino gambling. As a newcomer in the 70s he voted against a pay raise and wanted to reduce the size of the Senate from 50 to 40. By the time the new century and more than 34 years of seniority were under his belt, those tunes changed. 
Today, we might conclude that his hard working staff might have been too efficient for their own good. Mellow plead to mail fraud and underpayment of taxes. But the big one was using staff to do political work for himself and like minded allies. My friend Dr. Joe Leonardi once said that we are jailing politicians for being politicians. I agree partially with that because the two are so closely aligned, some days the shades of it will be gray. But I’m sure there was a Bonus gate component in this using staff to reduce your opponent’s chances at success. I personally know people in the Mid Valley who regard Mellow as a hero. There are others who point to his serious disregard for the rules. Mellow made so many rules that in the end he thought he was above them. He got passes on his Blue Cross Board membership where he collected a stipend of $25,000 a year, renting property to himself for office space as well as ruling with an iron first politically. After sidestepping or ignoring the outcries against these things, he thought he could leap frog another hurdle. But the feds have a way of taking the hop out of any frog. 
In the end, after he plead to these charges there are those who claim they were a tap on the wrist. More than 200 people wrote letters on his behalf including former Governor Ed Rendell and Austin Burke Chairman of the Scranton Chamber. Mellow made a plea for mercy and had a blowhard of an Attorney that seemed more about making the moment about himself than his client. Some observers felt that maybe this out of town Judge might be buying what the Defense and Mellow was selling. He wasn’t. Mellow got 16 months and will report on January 15th. When he was a younger man, in addition to being a state lawmaker, Mellow was a PIAA basketball official. He’d run up and down the court with the best of them and make the calls. Fair or foul. Somewhere along the way, as Mellow became more powerful and that youthful sporting activity gave way to more meetings and caucuses, Mellow forgot or choose to ignore the rules. Sooner or later the federal referee was going to call foul. And everyone knows there’s always a penalty to pay for that.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2280, November 29th, 2012

Mitt Romney and President Obama in the Oval. 

THE BIG LUNCH 

Mitt Romney got to the White House in November but it wasn’t for a tour of the living quarters. Romney met with his opponent President Obama for a quiet sit down not open to the prying eyes of reporters. Romney had an eventful arrival when a man rushed him and was escorted away by the Secret Service. Gave him sort of a Presidential feel for the job, ya think? There were the usual press platitudes about the bitterness of the campaign subsiding. It was reported the two shook hands and Romney wished well for the country and the President in the next four years. Romney is a very talented businessman. He owes nothing to the Republican party that before the first debate did everything to promote themselves for 2016. His staff also weren’t the best braintrust. In this economic crisis, having Romney sit on the sidelines is like having Willie Mays on the bench in an all star game. Romney should be asked then he should accept for the country to provide his input on creating those 12c million jobs he was talking about. If this happened, “Romnesia” would give way to “Rom-work-now”. 

WILKES BARRE BUDGET 

Budget talks are being bandied about in Wilkes Barre city. Mayor Tom Leighton is trying to put together a budget that will ease the pain of the taxpayers. but he isn’t getting any cooperation from the city Unions worried more about their jobs than the future of the city. This I budget number crunching time, right? Then why aren’t members of the City Council chipping in by donating part of their salary? And if this is all about money and budgets and fiscal stuff, why is Karen Ceppa Hirko, the losing candidate for Controller more visible than the duly elected officer, Kathy Kane? Quick, someone wave a consulting fee check and she just might emerge out of hiding. If she has shown up at all.
First Gubernatorial candidate for 2014, John Hanger. 

HANGER IN  

Former State DPW Secretary John n Hanger has announced that he will be a candidate for Governor in 2014. He is running early making sure that he gets the jump in what might be a crowded Democratic field. Treasurer Rob McCord and businessman Tom Knox have expr5esed interest.Hanger has decent name recognition in the state and is going to be canvassing the state two years before the general election. In his announcement, Hanger said he vowed to make Tom Corbett a one termer and break the cycle of eight years rule by each party. The tradition started when Edward Martin was elected in 1946 and then followed by fellow Republican John Fine. Since then the office has changed parties every 8 years. Corbett’s popularity is ebbing back up but Hanger thinks he can be beat. If there is not a big primary field from the Democrats, then he might have a shot. 

MELLOW SENTENCING FRIDAY 

Former Senator Bob Mellow will be sentenced in federal court tomorrow. He can get up to two years in jail. My prediction is the Judge will split the difference and give him a year in a minimum security prison. Maybe he might be in the same facility as his cousin Fred Rosetti. 

MEDIA MATTERS 

SUNDAY MAGAZINE 


This Week on Sunday Magazine A special encore edition of Sunday Magazine features Brian Hughes' interview from October with business and workplace expert Alexandra Levit, regarding the gap between the skills employee have versus the skills prospective employers are looking for. And an encore of Brian's May interview with the Rev. Ronald Weeks from the Keystone Rescue Mission Alliance, about how you can help the rescue missions in Scranton & Wilkes Barre in their efforts to help the poor, especially during the holiday season. 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 TV

Tis the season for the annual presentation of "The Nutcracker" at Marywood University in Scranton and Joanne Arduino, Director of the Dance Studio at the Scranton Ballet will join Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo on ECTV Live the week of December 3rd. to talk about the show and what it takes to put it together. ECTV Live is presented at Noon, 6pm, and Midnight each day on Comcast Ch19 to promote quality of life events and programs in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Our “1967” logo. 

1967 

The Beatles release Magical Mystery Tour in the US as a full album. The songs added to the original six songs on the double EP include All You Need Is Love, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields Forever, Baby, You're a Rich Man and Hello, Goodbye. Release as a double EP will not take place in the UK until December. Who knew that 45 years later, "Hello Goodbye" would be my ringtone on a phone that is three times smaller than my first grade pencil case!

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT


Vietnam War: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces his resignation to become president of the World Bank. This action is due to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson's outright rejection of McNamara's early November recommendations to freeze troop levels, stop bombing North Vietnam and hand over ground fighting to South Vietnam. …..U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy announces his candidacy for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, challenging incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson over the Vietnam War. I remember seeing this on TV and thinking, “Hmm, this isn’t supposed to happen!” My father said he had no shot but in 1968 legions of young people cut their hair and became “Clean For Gene” and gave people an excuse to not vote for President Johnson…..in Pennsylvania, Senator Joe Clark is noncommittal about McCarthy’s chances but says that someone other than legislators and protesters could articulate the anti war stance…and in Luzerne County, various school boards are reorganized with new members taking seats on joint school boards for the first time in Pennsylvania history and 45 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees.

Wikipedia, LuLac archives. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2279, November 28th, 2012

Write On Wednesday logo. 

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY 


This week the buzz in Washington is about the fiscal cliff and where we are going to f8ind the money to balance the budget. A budget that need I remind you the GOP blew through in one administration. With President Obama set to clean up the mess created by the neo cons, here are some ideas from economist Steve Ratner that was in Sunday's New York Times.

More Chips For Tax Reform 

Almost lost in the tug of war over whether the top income tax rate should be 35 percent or 39.6 percent is another consequential tax issue: the proper rate for capital gains and dividends. It was the absurdly low rate on those forms of income — just 15 percent — that yielded Mitt Romney’s embarrassingly small tax payments. And that’s what also led to Warren E. Buffett’s lament that his tax rate was lower than his secretary’s. So as we scurry around looking for new revenue to help address the yawning budget deficit, let’s zero in on this special preference. President Obama has proposed much of the needed adjustment, including eliminating the special treatment of dividends and raising the tax on capital gains to 20 percent for the rich. Personally, I would go further and raise the capital gains rate to 28 percent, right where it was during the strong recovery of Bill Clinton’s first term, and grab hold of a total of $300 billion of new revenues over the next decade. Inevitably, a chorus of outrage would greet any such increase. Capital investment would be severely impaired! Some of the wealthy might decamp from America! With a new 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income about to take effect, this would exacerbate the disincentives for investment! Put me down as skeptical about such dire forecasts. During my 30 years on Wall Street, taxes on “unearned income” have bounced up and down with regularity, and I’ve never detected any change in the appetite for hard work and accumulating wealth on the part of myself or any of my fellow capitalists. Remember also that corporate leaders have pretty much convinced policy makers of both parties that business taxes should be reformed to allow them to compete more effectively around the globe. Providing this relief makes sense, but since the benefits would flow to shareholders, this is yet another argument for higher taxes on dividends. Increased revenues, meaning higher taxes, will be a central element of any successful long-term budget plan, and President Obama is right to insist that the wealthy — the slice of America that has come through the recession in by far the best financial health — should provide those funds. Here’s the math: We need at least $4 trillion of long-term deficit reduction, with a substantial portion — on the order of $1.2 trillion — coming from new revenues. That means other veins belonging to the wealthy will need to be tapped. Raising the tax rates for American households with incomes above $250,000 per year, as President Obama has proposed, would certainly be a productive and welcome step. But viable alternative measures are available. At a minimum, we need to implement the “Buffett Rule,” the concept that Americans making more than $1 million a year should pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. This wouldn’t raise a huge amount of money — between $47 billion and $160 billion depending on what else is done to rates — but it would reinforce the responsibility of the wealthy to pay their fair share. 
Steve Ratner was a former advisor to President Obama and is a commentator on MSNBC TV.

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY (PART 2) 

PLYMOUTH COUNCILMAN NEEDS PARDON 

The issue of the action that Plymouth Borough Council took against one of their own still is talked about locally. Peter Gagliardi wrote a story about this for voicesyahoo.com, and urged a pardon from the President for Bill Dixon. We are prohibited from reprinting it but here's the link:
http://voices.yahoo.com/ask-president-obama-pardon-councilman-bill-dixon-11892447.html?cat=17 
Peter Gagliardi is a former federal employee, ran for Wilkes Barre City Council and is a contributing writer to various websites and newspapers.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2278, November 27th, 2012

John Cryer, last man standing. 

FROM THE "WHO CARES" DEPARTMENT 

Things are kind of light politically so let’s talk about religion. Specifically religion and TV. That show that starred Charlie Sheen, “Two And A Half Men” now is having trouble with another one of its co stars. This time Angus T. Jones, who played the “half” in two and a half is imploring people to stop watching the show because of its unmitigated filth. Jones who is now a Christian was on the show since he was ten. But now he’s found God and is asking people to abstain from watching the program. To me, the show has always been mildly amusing. If I had a kid, I’d be hard pressed to let the child watch if he or she was under 12. The producers aeren’t sure they want to ask Jones back and he won’t be back on the two remaining episodes of this year. It seems the only original member of the trio, John Cryer who is this cenmtury’s comedic Tony Randall “everyman” just might be the last man standing, Since they moved the show to Thursday, I really just listen to it while I’m at the E Mail machine. But I do have a question to Mr. Jones, if you were doing this since the age of ten, and were paid $350,000 an episode, are you going to give the money back now that you are so disgusted?

LINCOLN-THE MOVIE 

See it. It is certainly timely if you see how Lincoln was not afraid to compromise and get himself down and dirty in the trenches. Daniel Day Lewis was great but Sally Field, Tommy Jones and James Spader were exceptional. Look for a former female member of the original “Law and Order” series in two short but interesting scenes with Tommy lee Jones.
Baseball union head Marvin Miller and players in a 1977 meeting with the Red Sox and Phillies. (New York Times photo). 

MARVIN MILLER 

He was a small in statue, huge in intellect labor lawyer who changed the course of baseball and modern sports. Marvin Miller died today at the age of 95. Miller was the Attorney who fought the reserve clause in baseball. The reserve clause bound players to their teams for as long as the owners wanted them, leaving them with little bargaining power. Come contract time, a player could expect an ultimatum but not much more. The minimum salary was $6,000. Miller was hired by the players in 1966 and by the time he retired in the early 80s, baseball players were free agents, had higher salaries and benefits and became nearly coequals with many of their owners. Miller has been eligible for the Hall of Fame but has been repeatedly denied. His union activities had a lot to do with that. His death, due to liver cancer was announced by the Major League Players Association.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2277, November 26th, 2012

The Hotel Sterling. 

ON THE HOOK AGAIN 


It appears that Luzerne County taxpayers may be on the hook again for the Sterling Hotel. The Federal freaking government has issued a report saying that the 6 million dollars loaned to City Vest was not supervised correctly and that they want the money back. No one from CityVest has been asked just what the hell they did with the 6 million dollars from the County. The time to start asking and investigating is right now. The bottom line is simply this, Luzerne County taxpayers are going to pay for the CityVest incompetence and mismanagement. Whether those guys ever get charged with anything will be another story. As a progressive, I don’t mind paying taxes to build on our future in this country to make sure everyone has a fair shake. But I abhor paying taxes to pay the bills of a bunch of idiots that took 6 million dollars in public funds and never even did anything but “study” what they were going to do with the Hotel. In the end and that’s where we’ll get it, we, the Luzerne County taxpayers will pay. 

PART TIME BENEFITS 

 While we’re on the County budget, let’s stop this nonsense of paying health care for part time workers under the Luzerne County dome. A lot of these part timers are solicitors who get paid a good hourly rate, have their own law practices and should pay for their own damn health care like the rest of us. And if the County Manager’s hands are tied because this is a union contract, break the union. 

THE 32 HOUR WEEK 

 Really? Are we still, debating whether County Courthouse employees should work a 40 hour week? Or at the very least a 37 and ½ hour week? Why are we even asking? Everyone I know works a 40 hour plus week. It’s time to get those people who work for us to do the same!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2276, November 25th, 2012

OF UNDERDOGS AND FOOTBALL 


One of the best things about sports is the drama. Sports is the ultimate reality show. Sports will never get old, sports will always give you a surprise. This year, sports in college football was measured by successes of two iconic programs. Two football programs which used to face each other. The two programs that surprised and delighted us this year was Penn State and Notre Dame. I have never been a big follower of College Football My favorite venue was the NFL. But if you were a sports fan growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, you had to have a working knowledge of Penn State and Notre Dame. Growing up, those two franchises were always on my radar especially when I attended St. John the Evangelist High School in the early 70s. Being from Pittston, the pride of the Irish and the drafting of hometown hero Jimmy Cefalo made it mandatory for you to follow these teams. So that said, it was good to see both teams rebound to heights not imagined this time last year. 
PENN STATE: After the drama of the Sandusky arrest and conviction, the booting of Joe Paterno as head coach, his death and then the ignominious end to his public veneration, Penn State was at its lowest ebb. Some players defected, others stayed. An NFL Assistant Coach was hired to replace the sainted Paterno. Bill O’Brien came in being his own man but never ever forgetting where the future f Penn State was, in the players who had stayed. He chose to give them the recognition by placing their names on the back of those uniforms. After a disastrous start, Penn State played beyond its potential. Even facing a steam roller like Ohio State, Penn State played with a focused abandon that was rarely seen in the staid, regimented Paterno regime. O’Brien brought the team as well as the student body who cheered for them back to not only respectability but hope for its future. O’Brien’s work and the dedication of the team to move forward went a long way toward erasing the gloom and doom over the campus. The stain of what Jerry Sandusky did will never leave Happy Valley but the way this team and coaching staff conducted itself along with their 8-4 season will put those sins further in the rear view mirror than if there was no season or one with a bad record. This year proved that someone corruptible like Sandusky could be relegated to the hell that he deserves and that the irreplaceable like Paterno, while celebrated for his good works and deeds, could also be replaced.  
NOTRE DAME If Notre Dame was not America’s team on the scholastic level, it was pretty darn close, Notre Dame has been a presence and a legend since the early part of the 20th century. The movies, the personalities, the larger than life personalities that populated the campus green will always be legend. But like all legends, sometimes they tend to get threadbare. And the Notre Dame brand has been that for at least the last twenty five years. The last time Notre Dame was a national championship game was when Lou Holtz was the coach. That was late 1988. A majority of the people I work with weren’t even born then. Te last 25 years showed some promise but it never was a potential that was truly met. Bob Davey, Tyrone Willingham, Charlie Weiss and the non starting of George O’Leary and the interim status of Kent Baer wore down the luster of the job. By the time Cincinnati coach Brian Kelley took over, the Irish gem was not shining but with a dull hue. It is true that most of the recruits on this team were men picked by Charlie Weiss but it was Kelly who revamped the entire culture of Notre Dame. It started in the locker room, then the training room, then in the way the players were treated in off hours. For the first time in history, there was a training table for meals. There was consistency and more accountability. And in this third year of Kelley’s reign, a bit of Irish luck like the Pittsburgh game. Last night Notre Dame won a spot to play in the National Championship game. They had a perfect season. Unlike Penn State and the other perfect team, Ohio State, no scandal was attached to the season. Notre Dame players were gaming for a piece of that illustrious history. The fight for that will come on January 7th, 2013. That’s six weeks out, long enough for fans here and across America to thump their chests just a bit. Just like the old days.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2275, November 24th, 2012

The Luzerne County Courthouse. 

LET ME IN!!!! 

News came this week from the Luzerne County Sheriff that there will only be on entrance to the Courthouse. If you need to go there for Jury Duty, to pay a bill, get a license, whatever, you and thousands of others will have to use the back door. The last I stopped in it was like a mine field in the back parking lot to even get there. And if you are disabled, despite the lift in the back, you are going to have a challenging visit. Starting on December third, the south lawn entrance will be closed until 430pm. After that, it will be open for meetings to the public because they won’t need a security guard there at night. Get that puzzled look off your face, and quit shaking your head, I’m trying to figure that one out too.
Hagman as Governor Fred Picker in "Primary Colors".  

LARRY HAGMAN 


 Sometimes it’s not the talent or desire in the actor that makes them a pop icon but rather the role they get to play. Larry Hagman got the opportunity to play J.R. Ewing on the hit TV series “Dallas”. If Mary Tyler Moore made it acceptable for single women in the 70s to stay home and not feel like losers, then the 9PM Friday night start time of “Dallas” was mandatory for families that wanted to get a fictional glimpse of how the other half lived. The Ewings were just as dysfunctional as anyone a TV viewer could imagine and J.R. was the villain in chief. Watching that show made you grateful for the family you landed in. Hagman was 81 when he passed away, but I was struck by the bullet points I saw on line announcing his death. They were: 
Son of actress Mary Martin. 
Played J.R. Ewing on “Dallas”. 
Created a ratings frenzy when his character was shot in one of the first TV series cliffhangers. Drank four bottles of champagne a day before he decided to enter rehab. 
That last part was sad and amusing at the same time. If you are going to be a drunk, be one with expensive tastes at least. Hagman also played a role in one of the most talked about political movies of the 90s, “Primary Colors”. Written by “anonymous” (that later turned out to be Time Magazine’s Joe Klein) Hagman played former Florida Governor Fred Picker who enters the Presidential race late in hopes of wresting the nomination from the character (Jack Stanton) played by John Travolta. It was a role that gave audiences a glimpse into Hagman’s acting range. He also played roles in “Nixon”, “Failsafe” But he will always be remembered as J.R. Ewing, that Texas icon that you loved to hate. He played businessman Jack Jones in the movie "Nixon", here's that clip.

 

Friday, November 23, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2274, November 23rd, 2012

Our “Maybe I’m Amzed” logo. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED 

MAYBE I'M AMAZED………….that the White House Thanksgiving day menu, unchanged since 2009 features six, count them six different types of pie. They are but not in order of importance, banana cream, pumpkin, apple, huckleberry, cherry and sweet potato pie. Michelle Obama most likely gave the First Family some slack on the big day. My sister had Lemon Meringue and Pumpkin, Mrs. LuLac made an Apple earlier in the week and my sister in law had two pies that I quietly smuggled in from The Sanitary. They were Pumpkin and Caramel Apple. After the leftovers, we are back to at least attempting to eat right. For some tips, check out my friend Doctor Leonardi s site. http://fatthenfitnow.wordpress.com/ 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that people still care about the New York Jets. The loss on Thanksgiving night was really bad. It is time for the blowhard Rex Ryan to leave. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that steel is 100% recyclable. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that in the hubbub of Thanksgiving week, we forgot to remember the birthday of one of the greatest Vice Presidents in the history of the nation, one Mr. Joseph Robinette Biden, that scrappy kid from Scranton. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that if you shake a can of mixed nuts, the larger ones will rise to the top. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that when I awoke Thanksgiving morning and wrested the Bose remote from Mrs. LuLac, I heard a replay of the post election day Sue Henry show with me, Frank Scavo, Bob from Wilkes Barre, and Peter Gagliardi all talking about the results. Plus a whole host of others. Like Yogi Berra said, “It was deju vu all over again”. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that I saw two bumper stickers on a car in front us this morning that read “Obama/Biden 2012” and “Sisters Of Mercy”. So much for the political education campaign of the Catholic Church. At least one vehicle that clearly did not take. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that there are more chickens than people in the world. I bet Colonel Sanders was happy about that. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the Macy’s Santa parade featured a Santa that I’m told brought tears to the eyes of those watching it. I guess to rekindle the magic of Santa as a child, you have to have the right stuff and I’m told that was the case on Thursday. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that the city of Cleveland was home to the first electric traffic lights in America.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2273, November 22nd, 2012


THANKSGIVING DAY 


Enjoy the day with family and friends. Here is the official proclamation by the President. Just think....we get four more of these from him!!!! 

THANKSGIVING DAY, 2012 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION 

On Thanksgiving Day, Americans everywhere gather with family and friends to recount the joys and blessings of the past year. This day is a time to take stock of the fortune we have known and the kindnesses we have shared, grateful for the God-given bounty that enriches our lives. As many pause to lend a hand to those in need, we are also reminded of the indelible spirit of compassion and mutual responsibility that has distinguished our Nation since its earliest days. Many Thanksgivings have offered opportunities to celebrate community during times of hardship. When the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony gave thanks for a bountiful harvest nearly four centuries ago, they enjoyed the fruits of their labor with the Wampanoag tribe -- a people who had shared vital knowledge of the land in the difficult months before. When President George Washington marked our democracy's first Thanksgiving, he prayed to our Creator for peace, union, and plenty through the trials that would surely come. And when our Nation was torn by bitterness and civil war, President Abraham Lincoln reminded us that we were, at heart, one Nation, sharing a bond as Americans that could bend but would not break. Those expressions of unity still echo today, whether in the contributions that generations of Native Americans have made to our country, the Union our forebears fought so hard to preserve, or the providence that draws our families together this season. As we reflect on our proud heritage, let us also give thanks to those who honor it by giving back. This Thanksgiving, thousands of our men and women in uniform will sit down for a meal far from their loved ones and the comforts of home. We honor their service and sacrifice. We also show our appreciation to Americans who are serving in their communities, ensuring their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. Their actions reflect our age-old belief that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, and they affirm once more that we are a people who draw our deepest strength not from might or wealth, but from our bonds to each other. On Thanksgiving Day, individuals from all walks of life come together to celebrate this most American tradition, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country. Let us spend this day by lifting up those we love, mindful of the grace bestowed upon us by God and by all who have made our lives richer with their presence. 
 NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 22, 2012, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States to join together -- whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors -- and give thanks for all we have received in the past year, express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and share our bounty with others. 
 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh. 
BARACK OBAMA

The LuLac Edition #2272, November 22nd, 2012

J.D. Tippett memorial plaque.
J.D. Tippett 

THE FORGOTTEN MAN 


Today marks the 49th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy. Another person killed that day was Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippett. Tuesday a memorial was unveiled at the corner of 10th Street and Patton Avenue in Oak Cliff where Tippitt was killed by a fleeing Lee Harvey Oswald. NBC 5 KXAX reported that the Dallas Independent School District supported the memorial after all these years on land that is now part of Adamson High School but had been private land until recently. Attending the dedication was former Dallas police detective Jim Leavelle, who was assigned to Tippit's case. Leavelle was wearing the white hat escorting Oswald when Jack Ruby shot Oswald in front of television cameras. "I think it’s a great honor to Tippitt, and he deserves it, and I’m just glad I could be alive to see it," Leavelle said. Tippitt's widow Marie also attended the dedication ceremony. To many Tippitt is a footnote to history. The forgotten man if you will on that tragic day in Dallas. But in my opinion this was the right time to do this. Next year, with the 50th anniversary of the JFK killing looming, Tippitt’s memory would again be obscured.  

John F. Kennedy. 

JFK 49 YEARS ON 


Today marks the 49th anniversary of the death of Joh F. Kennedy. Millions of Americans of a certain age remember vividly this day. JFK….gone too soon.

The LuLac Edition #2271, November 22nd, 2012

Hillary Clinton. 

CLINTON ON DECK 


Diplomatic efforts sped up Tuesday to bring the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict to an end. Increasingly worried about the conflict, the United States has also intensified efforts to broker a truce between both the warring states. On Wednesday, a ceasefire was announced between Israel and Hamas with Hamas claiming the credit. But it was the involvement of Egypt that got the thing to a peaceful end. All of this activity has centred on US Secretary of State Hillary. This latest trip might give the Secretary an opportunity to do something her husband could not, get a true peace going in the Middle East. It is apparent that Clinton has been the go to person for Foreign Policy in this administration. Ironically it is Clinton who has made the Democratic party stronger in foreign policy than the Republicans. It is true that Clinton will have to answer to history about Benghazi. But it should be pointed out that that it was an attack on a consulate that was perpetrated by our enemies. How history will treat this vent and Clinton’s role in it will have much to do with whether she is a candidate for President in 2016. Or does Clinton want to take the path of least resistance and maybe try for the Supreme Court? My friend Gort 42 brought the specter up a few weeks ago on his site. And it isn’t as if the current occupant in the White House doesn’t owe the Clinton clan.

VETERAN’S PLATES AVAILABLE 


State Senator John Blake announces that Veteran’s license plates are going to be available. PennDOT has made available a new series of license plates designed to honor veterans and active duty members of the Armed Forces who have received medals. The new plates display the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star for Valor and Bronze Star. PennDOT also offers specialty plates honoring individuals who served in the military and in major conflicts, ranging from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom.
The crowd stampede on Black Friday. 

WORKING ON THE HOLIDAY 


I worked all of my life on holidays. Starting in broadcasting, as the single guy I worked on all of the holidays. The only day that I lobbied for was Christmas Eve because we always had the big Christmas Eve supper. So I was used to it. But broadcasting is a little different than retail and I remember many of my friends having Thanksgiving off before Black Friday. But things changed when Wal Mart and K Mart started opening on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, once a day of family, reflection and gratitude has now become a grab and go day. Grab and go some dark meat and stuffing at mom’s, load up the car and over the woods not to Grandma’s place but to a store where you waited in oline to grab your big sale item. A co worker of mine has a second job at Wal Mart and he has told stories of being pushed up against a wall by screaming, avaricious shoppers. Workers are pushing back by telling the stores they’d like some time with their families. The workers want quality time before Black Friday. The stores want to gain a financial advantage. It’s a stalemate. But the people who can break the tie are those people, those Americans, those LuLacers who must decide what is more important, spending time with their family or standing in line to get a deal. Until the latter becomes a lower priority than the former, there will be more of this nonsense. 


AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT 


 

MEDIA MATTERS 

ECTV 

Judge Tom Munley will be joined by guest host Paula Deignan on ECTV Live for the week of November 26th, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty is scheduled to discuss the history and status of the popular Holiday Light show that's offered each year at Nay Aug Park. ECTV Live is presented each day at Noon and Midnight on Comcast Ch19. The program is repeated on selective weekdays at 6pm as well. 

SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Art Aiello from Generex about preparing for winter storms. Brian speaks with Barry Lundquist from the Council for Disability Awareness on the need for workers to have Disability Insurance. And Brian speaks with John Koller from Play Station about the best high tech gifts for Christmas. 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.

SAVAGE SAYS STOLEN 

So if Michael Savage says the election was stolen, then by Jesus it was stolen. Savage now heard on WILK from 9 to midnight was yammering on while Mrs. LuLac was cooking the yams in the oven tonight. On the way to the bathroom, I hard Dr. Savage saying that Obama was still an illegitimate President and the Democrats stole the election. By three million votes. I guess they didn’t take the advice of Joe Kennedy and decided not to pay for more than a few hundred thousand vote margin! Anyway, I said the other night that Savage should stop talking about his dog Teddy. But now after hearing this, I wish he’d keep on talking about his pet instead of spewing this hate.
Our 1967 logo. 

1967

United States General William Westmoreland tells news reporters: "I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing." ........... UN Security Council Resolution 242 is adopted by the UN Security Council, establishing a set of principles aimed at guiding negotiations for an Arab–Israeli peace settlement......Major floods hit Lisbon, Portugal, killing 462….in Pennsylvania the PA Game Commission reports that an abundance of deer are out there for the hunting if sportsmen get in the game during the short time frame allowed……..in Wilkes Barre, City Councilman Bob Brader projects that Wilkes Barre can be sustainable financially under the new Council/Manager form of government set to take place in January of 1968….and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in Lulac land and America was “I Can See for Miles” by The Who.   Wikipedia/LuLac archives.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2270, November 21st, 2012

"Write On Wednesday" logo. 

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY 


NEWS FROM TAMPA 


So just who are these socialites in Tampa stalking our American military? A good friend sent me this from his local newspaper and will give you an insight into one Ms. Jill Kelly. 
Jill Kelley seen as a wanna-be in South Tampa society  did not grow up in Tampa. -
TAMPA — She wanted the Cattle Baron's Ball to go black tie. But that just isn't how things are done in South Tampa society. Tuxedos come out for Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla's coronation ball, but the Cattle Baron's Ball is intractably Western — Stetsons, Tony Lama boots, pearl-button shirts. Black ties at the Cattle Baron's Ball would be as silly as Hawaiian shirts at the elegant Pavilion gala. Jill Kelley might have known so, had she grown up south of Kennedy Boulevard, gone to Plant High School, come out as a debutante, paid dues to the Junior League and had a daddy who teed off at the Palma Ceia Golf and  Country Club. A decade ago, Kelley was an arriviste, a new-in-town doctor's wife looking to climb rungs on Tampa's social ladder. The annual cowboy ball to raise money for cancer research could have been her way up. She offered to chair the event if she could turn it into a formal affair. She went so far as to mail out save-the-date cards with a new dress code. Thank you, no, organizers said. It would remain hoedown casual. With that, Kelley had overstepped an invisible line in a city where boundaries were set so long ago no one need even discuss them.  She was a spirited, attractive, sexy-dressing socialite who partied with the powerful. She was also a name-dropper who wanted to be somebody in Tampa. Though probably not like this. As the world now knows, Kelley's complaint to an FBI friend about emails accusing her of flirting with then-CIA director David Petraeus ultimately exposed his extramarital affair. It also led to revelations that she traded personal emails with Marine Gen. John R. Allen, commander of military forces in Afghanistan. Those exchanges are now under government scrutiny. And so, with her twin sister, Natalie Khawam, Kelley, 37, is near the center of a scandal that has everyone peering at Tampa society — with some national wags snarkily questioning its very existence. In truth, this city has the sort of rigid social structure that is backbone to many a Southern town. Here it is born of families made rich by cigars, cattle and citrus and steeped in the tradition of powerful men who dress up now and again as pirates. The old family names adorn tall downtown buildings, bridges and landmarks. Lykes. Frankland. Lowry. And then there are the other layers. "Most of South Tampa society," says former mayor Sandy Freedman, the first woman to run the city, "is the Gasparilla krewe, the Yacht Club, Palma Ceia. It's lots of people who have grandfathers, great grandfathers, third, fourth generation. "Then there are people who move to town who are affiliated with banks and big companies, and they're immediately welcomed." And then, the wanna-bes. "There are some nice wanna-bes who behave properly and wanna-bes who are a real pain. I think these people" — Kelley and sister Khawam — "are, without question, wanna-bes. "Tampa's answer," Freedman says, "to the Kardashians." South Tampa, the society whose approval Kelley sought, occupies a mere 15 square miles in a county of 1,000. Part of a peninsula, it allows views of two bays: Tampa Bay to the west and Hillsborough Bay to the south, from porches of grand mansions on Bayshore Boulevard. Kennedy Boulevard, so named after the president's assassination, is its northern border and invisible boundary. People boast of living the bulk of their lives SOK, or South of Kennedy, center of the social universe. "I would say South Tampa society is just like any Southern town society, except more extreme, more weird," says Patrick Manteiga, publisher of La Gaceta, Tampa's trilingual newspaper. "It's got more sex involved. It's got more cliques involved." The roots for Tampa society were planted more than a century ago, when a newspaper society reporter set out to drum up interest in a ho-hum May Day festival. Lifting from a pirate tale, she teased readers to turn out for an impending invasion by a mutinous (and nonexistent) Jose Gaspar. Residents who came watched 50 businessmen persuaded to put on masks and play along. Crowds have come ever since, making the annual march down Bayshore Boulevard one of America's biggest parades, a beer-soaked, bead-tossing tradition complete with a grand pirate ship. The first Gasparilla king and queen were crowned that night in 1904, creating what remains Tampa's signature social club, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. Their descendents — bankers, lawyers, politicians — make up the current 800 all-male roster. Even now, their wives' social calendars revolve around krewe tradition, like the Captain's Ball (dress code: pirate formal). Back then, women started a Junior League and later the Chiselers, so named when they helped chisel paint off tiles at the old Tampa Bay Hotel. They took off their white gloves to play bridge and golf. They sailed, played tennis and showed horses. Children who grew up watching their fathers paint on pirate scars became pages, debutantes and courtiers. With piratehood largely inherited, integration was not a priority. The Latin community started its own krewe of prominent men, the Krewe of the Knights of Sant'Yago. But in 1991, with the Super Bowl headed to town during Gasparilla, the NFL raised questions about the all-white Ye Mystic Krewe. Unwilling to bow to pressure, the krewe called off the parade that year. A few black men were subsequently asked to join, and the pirate ship Jose Gasparilla sailed again. Since then, dozens of new krewes have stepped up to include gay, female, Hispanic and African-American revelers. "The good thing is Tampa is a very different place than it was when I got here," says Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "It is far more embracing, far more diverse and far more open because of the influx of many new people."  
Tampa society still means money — old money, new money, and people who lack it yet flaunt it nonetheless. The Kelleys hosted gatherings even as their mortgage went unpaid. They hired bartenders who poured soft drinks for kids' birthday parties. And people notice. Too-eager excess stands out like a rhinestone toilet or a home decorated with all-new furniture. There should always be an ugly lamp handed down from Granddaddy or a secret room kept locked from guests. "We were a small Southern city for a long time," Buckhorn says. "As a result of that, all the families grew up together and knew each other and had been involved for generations. "I picked it up pretty quickly. You trace the pedigrees," he says. "You know who are posers and who are legitimate." For a scorecard of the players, cast eyes on an invitation list to one of the galas. When Gasparilla King David A. Straz Jr. hosted a formal dinner in October, the program's list of Ye Invited Guests placed a small asterisk beside every former king or queen. There were 87 invited royals. They feasted on venison tenderloin, after a duck appetizer and baby arugula salad, listened to an opera diva, then retired to the Riverwalk for champagne and cigars beneath a sky lit up by fireworks just for them. Some of the same faces appear at charity fundraisers. These deep-pocketed A-listers spend big at auctions and their attendance is courted. Some do not flash money but come through quietly when needed. "If you are brand new to the community, and you want to get into that echelon, you do need to meet high charitable expectations," says Kasey Shimberg Kelly, a South Tampa native and member of the Shimberg clan that has donated millions to various causes. "It definitely requires a hefty commitment of time and or money. If you're able and fortunate to come in with an open checkbook, you're welcomed with open arms. With cash comes bigger exposure because everyone knows who you are — the diamond sponsor, not just a table host." The 82-page book of auction items from the last Cattle Baron's Ball included a chance to fly off with the Tampa Bay Lightning on an away game, a wine tour to Italy, a Yankees weekend in New York, a trip to the 2013 Grammys and a week at the Jimmy Buffett house in Key West. Caterers get $50 to $150 a head to feed crowds large enough to require arenas and party halls — TPepin's Hospitality Centre or A La Carte Event Pavilion — or small enough to take over homes and back yards. "We've probably done parties at a good quarter of the homes on Bayshore," said caterer Kim Bailey, amid plans for a Thanksgiving fete for 80. He recalls planning an event for a woman with more than 200 guests and asking her about renting dishes. "And she opens up a room, maybe 20 by 20, and she has everything we need, china, glassware, a full room of it." • • • Jill Kelley wanted to live with her doctor husband and three children on Bayshore Boulevard, a 4 1/2 mile waterfront ribbon of concrete and the city's prettiest and most prestigious address. For months she knocked on doors, even suggesting to some residents it was time to downsize. The Kelleys bought a charming brick mansion. She attended teas, luncheons, fashion shows, cocktail parties and galas. But insiders didn't consider her one of them. They say she tried too hard. She should have gone slower. The Times made several attempts to interview Kelley for this story. The inquiries were referred to a publicist, who declined requests for comment. Kelley eventually turned her sights a half-dozen miles south of her Bayshore mansion, past the Yacht Club where everyone who's anyone has been served eggs Benedict or a Bloody Mary. There sits the tip of the Interbay Peninsula, home to MacDill Air Force Base. Tampa's military presence is as much a point of pride as its thriving state university or its world-class international airport. The base and its officers became a draw for Kelley. They weren't kings and queens, but they were generals. They ran the world. Insiders say 99 percent of MacDill's big-name local boosters sincerely support the military in their midst. "We've been there lots of times to parties and meets-and-greets at the base," says Beverly Austin, Tampa resident for 50 years and wife of pioneer developer Al Austin. "We try to be respectful and not overwhelm them. They're the greatest citizens we have." Then there are people with money, or at least the appearance of money, whose status can only rise by forming friendships with four-star generals. Mark Rosenthal — like Kelley, a civilian liaison to MacDill — enjoyed learning about the military from Petraeus and other officers. But Rosenthal said Kelley seemed more interested in talking about herself. He thought it odd that she communicated with Gen. Allen directly instead of with his wife. That would have been proper protocol, which matters in the military, says the retired Tampa developer who has connected MacDill with Tampa residents for about five years. The military officers remained polite to Kelley and her sister, Rosenthal says, even when the two women were loud and boisterous at parties and dressed inappropriately. "It's a disaster what they've done to the military," he says. "The sad thing is, that military has been open to the people in Tampa and this one bad bunch could ruin it for everybody." 
Tampa Bay Times staff writer Jessica Vander Velde and researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2269, November 20th, 2012

The late Warren Rudman. 

WARREN RUDMAN DIES 


Still another Senate moderate has left the scene. Former New Hampshire Sen. Warren Rudman has died. His name will always be linked to a 1980s-era effort to tame the federal budget deficit and to a pre-Sept. 11 warning about the nation's security. And he will be remembered as a "moderate" Republican who could work across party lines. According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the 82-year-old Rudman "had been ill for a considerable time." Bob Stevenson, a spokesman for Rudman, tells us the former senator died just before midnight Monday at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Rudman had lymphoma. What is significant here is that the issue of debt reduction is still being fought more than twenty five years after Rudman made it an issue. The Graham Rudman Act also included budget triggers which automatically cut spending. But Social Security was exempt from that aspect of the law. Rudman along with former Senator Gary Hart predicted in 1999 "we should expect conflicts in which adversaries, because of cultural affinities different from our own, will resort to forms and levels of violence shocking to our sensibilities"America will become increasingly vulnerable to hostile attack on our homeland, and our military superiority will not entirely protect us." Rudman served only two terms in office. Rudman defeated incumbent John Durkin in the 1980 election, riding the wave of Ronald Reagan's landslide victory. Durkin resigned and the Governor appointed Rudman to fill the vacancy in late December 1980. Rudman was 82.
Partial Source:  WBUR FM,, NPR, 90.9FM. 

Bobby Kennedy, circa 1968. 

BOBBY KENNEDY 


Ibobby Kennedy, former Attorney General, Senator from New York and Presidential candidate would have been 87 years old today.
Health Care provider. 

HEALTH CARE UPDATE 


The last few days I’ve been having some health issues with my shoulder and neck. My primary care physician has referred me to a neurologist to get his take on what is going on with me. I was told I would get the next available appointment and would be put on a priority list. The date for that appointment is……….wait for it now…………..February 20th, 2013. So the next time someone tells you that in Canada they have to wait months to see a Specialist, and therefore when Obama care takes effect, the same thing will happen here, just tell them to shut up. The same thing is happening here under the non Obama care system. Obama care…….it can’t get any worse!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2268, November 19th, 2012

THE TWINKIE CONTROVERSY 


Hostess, the makers of Twinkie and Ho Hos is going out of business. The reason on the surface is that union workers would not cave in to the company’s threat to close up if 18,000 workers did not submit to their business plan. This was a business plan that increased the company’s debt to over a billion dollars, up from the 450 million they were in a hole prior to being taken over by a Bane Capital type mechanism. The workers are told to pound sand but the CEOs and top managers (who ran the company into the ground) want their bonuses. Hostess made a good product. Even in these diet conscious times, the product was made well. The workers did everything asked of them. Did you ever hear of a product recall from Hostess? No. So the only logical conclusion is that the CEO’s blame the workers for the plant shutting down. Yep, those big bad bakers trying to make a living wage were all to blame. In the meantime, some other company will come in and get Hostess at a bargain price, free of the debt that was owed the workers through their pension plans that they worked for. God Bless big business and damn the worker.
Sugar Notch Councilman Mario Fiorucci. 

SUGAR NOTCH SANTA SHUFFLE 


The late Terry McNulty from WARM used to refer to the “Sugar Notch Shuffle” in his radio program. At Sunday’s Sugar Notch Santa Parade, Council member Mario Fiorucci took a holiday flag. Bought from his favorite shopping venue and marched through the streets beckoning the adults and children that Santa was on his way. The performance was so energetic and convincing , that people thought Fiorucci was the Grand Marshall. That of course was impossible because everyone knows in a Santa parade, the man with the bag, and not the flag holds that title. But much to the delight of the crowd, Fiorucci could’ve been a close second if he had a Santa suit.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The LuLac edition #2267, November 18th, 2012

Fixed income isn't just for a few.  

THE 98% AND “FIXED INCOMES” 


I am really get sick and tired of senior citizens, (and if God spares me I hope to be one someday) telling anyone who would listen that “They are on fixed incomes”. When a TV reporter interviews them about a tax increase, they’ll say "I’m on a fixed income"
You know what Mr. and Mrs. Senior, we’re all on a fixed income. Most people in the middle class have lost income since 1997. 
People with young families are on fixed incomes with money allocated for school, supplies and raising the children. Sure there are deductions but the money and budgets have to be met every month. Fixed income. 
People in the military have to maintain communications with their families. They have to budget their money while worrying about whether they are going to be in harm’s way. Just because people come up to them at airports and thank them for their service, no one is paying their bills. Fixed income. 
People with kids in college have to make that tuition payment every semester. Sure there is help with grants and scholarships but the cost of college is a far cry from what I paid thirty five years ago. Some families have to take loans, mortgage houses again and still live their live meeting their obligations. Fixed income. 
People with health care issues, yes those with insurance have to allocate a certain amount of money for drugs, medicines, co pays and procedures without the benefit of Medicare or a supplemental plan. Insurance costs have gone up but the bills are still due to those who pay for health care. Which is everybody. Fixed income. 
Even business people who start their own companies have built in costs before they can even make a profit. If they have employees dependent on therm, they usually take care of them first. Then the vendors, then the taxes. Fixed income. 
Most everyone is on a fixed income. Not just seniors. So next time you see a TV report about how higher taxes in a city or municipality is going to affect those on fixed incomes, remember it just isn’t the Seniors. It is nearly all of us.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2266, November 17th, 2012

"Just the Facts" edition logo featuring Jack Webb, circa 1953. 
  

JUST THE FACTS EDITION 

NOT A SORE WINNER 

A few of my posters and friends have said my recent comments about Mitt Romney and why he lost should not have been reported. I’ve been told it would be wise to enjoy the victory and ten not complain about the loser’s post mortem. Fair enough. But Romney’s comments give us an insight into why he lost. The comments were narrow and benefited the Obama campaign. But not the country as a whole. Because when there is an inclusive two party system, America wins. Reasonable people who wanted to vote for Romney did not. That’s a fact. As someone who supported the President’s policies (although I wish he went further on Health Care and someone who benefited from his Stimulus plan, I’m glad he won. But as I pointed out earlier, this second term is filled with tough decisions he has to make. And this “sore winner” will be watching  him closely and commenting when and if he comes up short. 

LULAC POSTING 


I understand that it is still hard to post on LuLac through the blogspot. Feel free to use the LuLac e mail address and post anonymously if you like. Instead of dealing with the very weird verifications, send your comments to: lulacletter@hotmail.com. In the subject line put either a one word direction, anonymous or leave a first name/comment.

MEDIA MATTERS 


PCN TO AIR FORUM ON VOTER ID AND VOTING REGULATIONS 
The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) and Widener University School of Law are partnering together to bring a special series of forums concerning law and government. The third of the four programs, which will focus on voter ID and voting regulations, will air statewide on Tuesday, November 20 at 8:30 p.m. An encore presentation has also been scheduled for Wednesday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m. A panel including Widener Law School Constitutional Law professor G. Randall Lee; Director of Widener Law & Government Institute John Gedid; Widener Law associate professor Michael Dimino and Common Cause executive director Barry Kauffman will discuss voter ID and voting regulations. For those without access to cable or those unable to get to a TV, streaming of this program will also be made available online during the network airings by subscribing to PCN Select at pcntv.com. For more information about the streaming service, visit http://pcntv.com/pcn-plus/subscribe-to-premium-content/ For more programming information, visit pcntv.com. 

FREDDY NEDOFF 

 For those of a certain age, people in the city of Wilkes Barre this week lost a good friend. Fred Nedoff,  who ran the family restaurant with his family for over 50 years died this week. Fred was a quiet man who had a huge heart. He worked the night shift at Nedoff’s and had an array of customers that populated that second shift. The cool thing about Fred was that he never made judgements on people. He was a live and let live type of guy. But he also had a giving spirit. I know for a fact that he paid out of his own pocket for medical procedures for some folks and was always there to bring a person up even when the world was kicking them when they were down. One incident that I will never forget with Fred was when I was at a pretty low point. Fred left a message on my machine that lasted about three minutes. In calm, even tones he told me that there would be brighter days. And there have been many. Fred Nedoff proved that simple acts of kindness could make lives better. Fred was a Medic in the Service. But his methods of healing customers, friend’s and just plain old acquaintances like me continued through his life. He was one of the good guys and we extend our sympathies to his family and legion of friends. 

ALAN MURPHY 


When I first went on TV in the 70s at WVIA TV Alan Murphy was my cameraman and then director. I had a chance to do a Friday afternoon program at 5Pm. A big deal for someone just out of college. Alan who always wore a satire vest and had the best movie star mustache I ever saw was extremely honest in his critique of our performances. As difficult as it was to accept, his honesty made us better broadcaster. He passed away this week at age 60. And although I haven’t seen him in years, he was an integral part of my early career at WVIA TV and FM. Our sympathies to his family.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2265, November 16th, 2012

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED 

 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the new porcupine logo for the Railriders looks suspiciously like the Iron Pigs logo from Lehigh Valley. The Pigs has the snarl and the gritted teeth. So do the Railriders. Coincidence or not? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that in keeping with LuLac land tradition, there is now a question about the vote count for the winning tally of the Railriders. The Citizen’s Voice revealed that the team had already gotten the trademark approved for Railriders before the voting was announced. Team officials say that the two names, Railriders and Porcupines were so far ahead f the others that it was just an easy decision to get the paperwork in. We are a conspiracy oriented society but here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, faulty elections are something we are familiar with. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that only one County Council member seemed to call Luzerne County DA Stefanie Salavantis to task on why the overpaid County detectives weren’t recognizing just how critical the budget process is in this new form of government. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that women’s hearts beat faster than men's. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that no one seems to make the connection between local cash strapped governments and the lack of support from the Federal government. If seed or revenue sharing money is gone, revenue has to come from somewhere. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that people are amazed that fighting has broken out in the Middle East between Hamas and Israel. The lid on this thing has been on a long time and tensions as well as the chance for a full blown war are good. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that people were so appalled when Mitt Romney made his remarks about the role of FEMA in a debate. Romney was only following the Republican party line of the last few sessions of Congress . Remember when the GOP said citizens would get flood and hurricane aid but it first had to be made up in the budget before the checks went out? That tells you everything you need to know about why Mitt moved so far to the right on a simple issue,. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that it takes more than 72 interactions of human muscles to produce human speech. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that this David Patraeus story just iisn’t going to die down. Now it is revealed that Jill Kelly visited the White House three times. Even more amazing is the fact that Kelly had been in debt since 2009 and has been living large nonetheless. As a normal, bill paying, schmo that gets bent out of shape if the Amex bill isn’t paid on time, I wonder how that can be? I mean who supports these people? Who takes their loans? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that no one seems to even blink an eye when Donald Trump makes a stupid, asinine statement regarding the President or national policy. “The Art of the Deal” has now become “What’s the big deal…there he goes again?” 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that it took my four years to sit down and talk politics with my good friend and Republican Jimmy O’Meara. It was way too long but I want to assure all of America that you are all safe. We both hammered out all of the problems tonight at Dan’s Keystone Grille. As Bobby McPherrin sang, “Don’t Worry, Be happy”. Jimmy, we’ll do this again very soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2264, November 15th, 2012

Mitt Romney. 

ROMNEY’S TANTRUM 


Most men who have lost an election mourn in many ways. Hubert Humphrey retreated to academia for a few years, Al Gore grew a beard and Richard Nixon started to plot a comeback trail. Mitt Romney’s remarks are historic in nature because he took a tantrum to his donor base. It revealed at least to me that Romney was not qualified in spirit to be President of the United States. Romney revealed himself as a data guy, as a sales guy. His comments that President Obama bought the election through interest groups of students, minorities and people who want health care. Somehow in his jumbled state, Romney looks at these things as entitlements. Students must pay interest in getting their loans paid back. It is not free. It is racist if not downright unpatriotic to think that minorities who have jobs and are taxpayers want a hand out. In Romney’s world every minority must be drug addicted, unemployed and want something for nothing. When Romney talked about the 47% in the General Election, there are some that said he was just talking strategy. Others less kind said that it was his true colors coming out. I always thought that if Romney was elected, I could live with him because deep down I thought he was a moderate. He more than proved me wrong today. And then there is the matter of “gifts”. Government policies are not “gifts”. Political alliances are not built on “gifts”, they are built on interests of a coalition. Romney had to be listening to too much Limbaugh and Hannity. Romney’s loss did not happen this fall. It started in the primary slog of late 2011 when Romney put on the cloak of a conservative. And like one does when the weather gets more threatening, he added more layers so that by the time of the November voting, he was unrecognizable to many Americans. The American people can forgive anything, except one candidate that will not stand for something. 

TAXES ON THE $250,000 

A lot of my friends, wait, who the hell am I kidding, a minute number of my friends a and associates who make more than $250,000 a year are worried that the recently re-elected President Obama will soak them with taxes taking their hard earned money. It won’t happen. Look for that $250,000 number to be raised a bit as part of a budget deal.
Plymouth Councilman Bill Dixon. 

THE CASE OF BILL DIXON 


Bill Dixon was a duly elected member of Plymouth City Council. Bill Dixon volunteered in the community mentoring sports teams for the young people of the borough. By all accounts Bill Dixon was a model citizen. But in the late 70s Dixon was arrested and jailed. Prior to that he served in Vietnam. After his imprisonment, Dixon did what we want all prisoners to do. Get better and build a life. He built that life in Plymouth. When he went before the voters of the town, he was rewarded and honored by their votes. Now the other members of city council have voted to get rid of Dixon as a City Councilman. Predictably the Council members didn’t have money in the budget for the fight ahead. And they could not articulate why they made their decision skulking out like skunks who’s actions stunk to high heaven. Joe Holden tried to ask questions but they just mumbled incoherently. But here’s a question I have. With all of the violence shootings in Plymouth the last few years perpetrated by young black men, don’t you think the Council is running the wrong guy out of town on a rail? I guess Dixon should be grateful there’s no tar or feathers in Plymouth.
State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski. 

GOVERNOR DRAGGING HIS FEET 


Corbett delaying action on health insurance shopping 
State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski reports that Time is running out for the Corbett administration to set up an online health insurance exchange so Pennsylvania residents and businesses can shop, compare and buy health insurance plans. Creating an easy-to-use clearinghouse for consumers to search for insurance and find the best deal is intended to create more competition among insurance companies, lower prices and increase access to health care for thousands of Pennsylvanians. Please take a moment to contact Governor Corbett and urge him to put politics aside by taking this step toward making it easier for people to get the best deal on health insurance. The Corbett administration requested and received $34 million from the federal government to establish the online insurance exchange but the governor is sitting on the sidelines and failing to take action. Pennsylvania risks not only losing the funding, but could be forced to use a health insurance exchange created by the federal government. I believe running our own exchange that is customized to the needs of our state is the best option for the people of Pennsylvania. I am asking the governor to immediately request an emergency extension to Friday’s deadline from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The additional time would allow his administration to finally work with all relevant parties to complete and submit the required proposal to the federal government. The time has come for Democrats and Republicans to work together to implement federal health care reform, including an affordable insurance exchange, in a way that benefits all Pennsylvanians. 

THE GENERAL’S LIBIDOS 


Hey how about these Generals? I respect the military, glad that people have served, I thank a vet, I buy the poppies every spring and fall but how about those Generals. I never thought they’d have groupies. When Ralph Kramden said to Alice that “She fell for his uniform”, he wasn’t kidding. Ladies love the medals and those Gold Stars. And kudos to David Patraeus for hitting the 2 decade mark. (That’s a philanderers’ point of honor when you can get a woman two decades younger than you to follow you anywhere. It almost, and I underline the word almost worth getting caught.) But what would irk me if I were a Commander in the Field or a soldier risking life and limb far away from home, what would really burn me was the amount of time and number of e mails wasted on this crap. Who e mails this much? Even in the first blush of lust, who e mails this much? The answer: people with way too much time on their hands. Maybe when the saltpeter is handed out, the Generals should get some too. 

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

 

MEDIA MATTERS 


ECTV Michael Taluto and James May of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will outline plans for special enforcement programs and safety for the upcoming winter driving session on ECTV Live during the week of November 19th. Host Judge Tom Munley will be on vacation during the week. But co-host David DeCosmo will welcome special guest host Rusty Fender to the program! "Rusty" is just one of the Stage names used by veteran broadcaster Dale Mikolaczyk who, until recently, provided daily traffic reports and an Oldies musical program on WILK radio. ECTV Live is presented each day at Noon,6pm, and Midnight on Comcast Ch19. 

SUNDAY MAGAZINE

Our 1967 logo. 

1967


 NASA launches the first Saturn V rocket, successfully carrying the unmanned Apollo 4 test spacecraft from Cape Kennedy into Earth orbit......In a propaganda ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 3 United States prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong and turned over to "New Left" antiwar activist Tom Hayden. • – The Congress of Colombia in commemoration of the 150-year anniversary of the death of Policarpa Salavarrieta, declares this day as the "Day of the Colombian Woman"..........In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Governor Raymond Shafer declares that his first year was successful given the fact that he had a tough act to follow in the person of Bill Scranton. Shafer said that the government will be more efficient when the amendments to the Constitutional convention get approved…..and in Luzerne County, repercussions an reverberations are abundant as the political world is shook upside down with a near Democratic sweep in the Courthouse. Only Republicans Joseph Mock as Sheriff and Blythe Evans as District Attorney win offices….and 45 years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Incense and Peppermint” by Strawberry Alarm Clock”.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2263, November 14th, 2012

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo. 

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY 


To: School Board Re: Tsk, tsk, tsk 


The Times Leader this week took the Wilkes Barre Area School Board majority of flunkies to task for keeping things the same old same old. While what the paper stated was true, Wilkes Barre voters must take responsibility for choosing Lou Elmy over Kathy Grinaway in the last election. That decision at the polling booths in 2011 gave Wilkes Barre School Board the same pile of mud to be mired in. Here’s what the Leader had to say on the subject: 
Unlike editorials meant to reach large numbers of people, this one is intended for only five members of the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board: Robert Corcoran, Louis Elmy, Dino Galella, Phil Latinski and John Quinn. You blew it. After Luzerne County residents – including tens of thousands of voters, plus state lawmakers and public servants – made tremendous efforts since January 2009 to reform and reshape our corruption-marred court system and corruption-marred county government, the task of overhauling the most corruption-tainted school district in our county fell to you and your board colleagues. The five of you, the feckless five, failed to deliver. By voting last week, in a 5-4 split, to halt a far-reaching search for a new district superintendent and instead simply hand the job to the in-house candidate, you circumvented the intended hiring process, snubbed your board cohorts and surrendered credibility. By refusing to recognize and prohibit the destructive influence of nepotism on a public institution such as Wilkes-Barre Area School District, you revealed your insular thinking. Worst of all, by showing your true colors at a time when destiny called on you to do something grand, you reinforced many area residents’ defeatist mindset that in Luzerne County nothing will change. Ever. And, unless you soon provide evidence to the contrary, maybe those people are right. It is as if the five of you toured the still-smoldering ruins of the Great Chicago Fire, heard the public’s cries for revised building standards and improved firefighting forces, but instead responded by saying, “Nah, we’ll stick with the old way of doing things.” Your actions at the Nov. 5 school board meeting disappointed and disgusted us. We needed to tell you that in a “letter.” We hope other people will, too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2262, November 13th, 2012

Our “13 Questions” logo. 

13 QUESTIONS 


1. What will be President Obama’s biggest challenge? 

Getting the fiscal house in order and getting the GOP to go along with him. It is not all the Senate’s fault. Not all the House’s either. He has to get down and dirty with these guys. And if he doesn’t get the cooperation, go over their heads. Even if it means addressing the nation every night for five minutes with a progress report. I don’t think he’ll squander this second term and he might break the second term jinx. He also has to start to form a relationship with Wall Street. Have a meeting with them, even if it means going to them. The markets are nervous now because if a meeting isn’t set by Thanksgiving, they might not be able to do a deal. I’d also put off any holiday trips to Hawaii too. 

2. You picked a closer election than what actually happened. Thoughts? 

I really thought Romney would have more of a turnout because of excitement from the GOP and the negative advertising that came out against the President. I never thought he’d be able to carry Virginia or Colorado and frankly was stunned by Florida. But I think people in Florida looked at their new Governor, looked at what the GOP had become in opposition and went for Obama. It was about a 70,000 vote margin. People call that close. Gore/Bush at 537 was close. This wasn’t. 

3. I saw and heard you say on TV Friday night that George Bush 43 might very well become the Herbert Hoover of the 21st Century. What did you mean by that? 

In an exit poll last week, more than 53% of the American people blamed the bad economy on President Bush, not President Obama. That is significant because ever since the 2010 elections the GOP has been saying this is President Obama’s economy. I think most thinking Americans know that we were at the precipice of disaster in late 2008, 2009. Even President Bush knew it or he would not have agreed to some of the bailouts. If this all becomes part of the “new Normal”, Bush may not shoulder all the blame but a share of it. I also believe that the problems that happened in the first decade and the reactions to it will plague Presidents all the way to the 2050s. 

4. Do attack ads work normally in politics and did they this year? 

It depends. Locally the ads against Tarah Toohil, Gerry Mullery and Phyllis Mundy had little impact. All went back to the State House without any problems. Nationally, the Obama ads defined Romney in the early summer as an unfeeling business leader out of touch with regular folks. Earlier, in the primaries, Romney did jobs on every candidate who was popping up to challenge him. Those worked because they were so numerous. But if you were one of those money people funding a PAC and your guy lost, or Tom Smith who sunk in over 17 million of his own money to lose to Bob Casey by a huge margin, you have to wonder if it was worth it all

 5. What is the greatest takeaway from this election? 

That it was not a fluke. That President Obama was not Jimmy Carter and this was not 1980. Benghazi was not Iran, Romney was not Reagan and Americans reaffirmed the fact that they wanted a government that didn’t say to all of us, “You’re on your own”. 

6. Pumpkin pie or apple? White or dark meat? 

Pumpkin. (From The Sanitary). And dark meat, drumstick if available. And so far most people through the Thanksgiving dinners have been kind. 

7. Are you getting ready for your popular year end editions? 

Working on them now

8. Going to see the Lincoln movie starring Daniel Day Lewis? 

Yep. 

9. What are your thoughts on Saturday Night Live satirizing the candidates? 

I think they did a real good job this year. No one topped Tina Fey last year but these guys came close. The Biden was hilarious. 

10. Do you ever regret not seeing someone in person when you had the chance? 

Oh yeah, I have a big three. I saw Nixon at Yankee Stadium and never made a move to go to his box even though I had press ID, I had a chance to meet Ted Williams but decided to not go on the trip to the card show at the last minute and never had the foresight to see the late Jerry Orbach on Broadway. 

11. Can we loom forward to hearing any opinions on 2016? 

Not until 2014 if I can help it. 

12. Have you ever skied? 

No. 

13. With the new Stadium being built, are you looking forward to the 2013 season in Moosic?

It’s one of the things that gets me through the winter!