Friday, August 23, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2501, August 23rd, 2013

State Representative Kevin Haggerty. (Photo: LuLac archives)


Kevin Haggerty has taken a lot of heat this week because of the fact that he referred to the President’s visit as mere window dressing for this economically depressed area. In a way he has half a point. Any Presidential visit is going to bring out those politicians that feel entitled to the invitation. You rarely see some of them when there is a problem. Like the only thing I know about Haggerty’s prospective opponent in 2014 is that he has nifty tee shirts and did a terrible interview on the radio. Haggerty has been in the Legislature making some waves. His stance on the Presidential visit got attention because it is rare for a politico to say no to the most powerful man in the land.
Haggerty is correct when he said Scranton is a distressed city but by blaming the President, he is like a member of the GOP blaming Obama for everything. That said, here are two interesting things:
1. By making his statement he became the skunk at the garden party. And no one likes a skunk. But when the garden party is the same old bobble heads that resist change and only want to get the glory, maybe someone should make a stink. What better way to do it when there is a lot of attention to a big event. I bet if Haggerty made these same statements without a big visit, no one would even bat an eyelash.
2. Haggerty called attention to the same old same old in Lackawanna County. Instead of electing a new person with new ideas for Mayor, Scrantonians chose an insider who doesn’t pay his rental fees. Instead of choosing an energetic, out of the box thinker like Corey O’Brien to lead the Chamber of Commerce, Scrantonians chose Chamber retread and Austin Burke crony Bob Durkin. Haggerty’s only mistake was calling for an economic summit and have the President stay here for two days. He should have asked Obama or Biden to knock some heads of the entrenched politicos here in the Lac.
3. Finally, it is interesting at the ridicule Haggerty has taken. He has been accused of being too political, self aggrandizing and cynical. It is significant that all sides are ganging up on him.
I can attribute that to only one reason: THE TRUTH CAN HURT.

President Obama in Scranton today at Lackawanna College address college education. (Photo: Times Leader).


In a 32 minute speech at Lackawanna Junior College, President Obama said education is a necessity, not a luxury. The President also said that with the opposition he has had from Congress on his many programs, especially health care, the road will be rough. The President referenced his grandfather’s educational ride on the GI Bill and noted that students today face debt after school because of high education costs. The President said people with college debt can’t buy houses or start families with that around their neck. The President, joined by Vice President Biden said the “Pay As You Go” program has been successful for about 2 million students, said that colleges need a new yardstick to see which are most effective and fiiscally efficient. He said federal subsidies should go to the schools that produce. Obama also said that schools needed to be more innovative like offering more online degrees and easier access.
The President was interrupted by a fracking protester at the rally but the crowd drowned out the agitator. Obama also took at shot at the GOP House saying they wanted to shut down the government on September 30th instead of offering solutions to concerns like college affordability.


I can’t believe that President Obama and Joe Biden are traveling together. Not since John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson went to Dallas did this happen. The security for this is crazy and the logistics can be problematic if anything went wrong. Might a separate Biden visit been more practical? Just saying.


A word about Mike McGlynn. I knew him for about 35 years. I first met him when Franco Harris came through town on a campaign stop in 1980 for State Representative Joseph Rhodes when he was running for United States Senate.
Through the years, I’d see him at Donahue’s Hour Glass Café sparring with the bartender Joe as I sat calmly watching as I ate my clam chowder. He held court but did so in a very nonchalant but kindly subversive manner.
Two things I loved about him as a reporter was that he not only wanted both sides of the story, he demanded and got all sides of the story. The other thing was he never care about being first, he cared about being right.
Finally, LuLac was started in no small part to guys like McGlynn who penned Party Animals. When that went away as well as Bill Griffith’s political column in the Times Leader, there was no budget, inclination or institutional knowledge, sense of irony or skill level at the local level for that type of thing. To be sure, I am a poor imitation but at least I try to live up to those standards set by Mike McGlynn.
Finally, I hope wherever he is there is a keyboard, a bar stool, a cold beer, ham and cabbage and the whiff of a cigar smoke filled room filled with political talk. That will be Mike McGlynn’s well deserved heaven.

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright.  (Photo: LuLac archives)

Congressman Matt Cartwright penned an e mail regarding the usage of Medicare as a way to leverage political capital in the government shutdown fight when Congress returns from vacation. Yeah, they return from vacation and want to shut things down. What is wrong with this picture?? Here's the Congressman's message:
Despite the efforts of House Democrats, Congress left Washington last month without fixing our nation’s finances.
That means without bipartisan action, the government will shut down on September 30th.
It gets even worse. Some of my colleagues on the far right are actually trying to use Medicare as a bargaining tool -- saying that the only way to avert a shutdown is to cut health care for our seniors.
I'm joining with other Pennsylvania Democrats to call them on their bluff. Will you sign your name to our petition right now and demand Congress keep Medicare off the chopping block?
Copy and paste this link and
sign the petition to stop this madness. Or just click:
Yes, we have a budget deficit. Yes, that means tough choices. But I believe in a government that can maintain its most basic functions AND protect health care for our seniors. Pitting those two things against each other is a false choice.
The way we treat our seniors says a lot about the kind of country we are. Their benefits should never be used as partisan poker chip -- ever.



After some alternating vacation weeks the ECTV Live Host Team of Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will be back together for the week of August 26th. Their guest will be  Chris Dimattio, Chairman of the annual Italian Festival in Scranton held over the Labor Day weekend. Chris will review all of the plans and featured musical acts for this year's "La Fiesta." ECTV Live can be seen every day on Comcast Ch19, Electric City Television, at Noon and Midnight will additional showings as the scheduled allows at 6pm.

Jill Konopka and me circa 2008. (Photo: LuLac archives).


Just wanted to give a LuLac shout out to our good friend Jill Konopka . Jill was the weekend anchor on WBRE and took her considerable talents to New England. Yesterday was her birthday and we wish her nothing but the best. I found her to be one of the most energetic and hard working reporters that came through this market. Hope she had a great day!


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with author Michael Wood, a contributor to the "Golden Rule Bible", regarding mistranslations and misinterpretations he discovered while researching the Bible. Brian speaks with Mo Devlin about the 3rd annual Bow Wow Pool Party coming up next Saturday in Pottsville to benefit the Hillside SPCA Animal Shelter.
And an encore of Brian's interview with professor Shaun Adrian Chofla on preparing youngsters for kindergarten. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.


Karel Zubris and Nancy Kman doing live coverage of the President's speech in Scranton. WILK does this all the time with great results. (Photo: John Dawe-Facebook).
Our 1976 logo.


In Uruguay, the army captures Marcelo Gelman and his pregnant wife. Marcelo is later killed and his wife (and unborn child) disappear..........Jacques Chirac resigns as Prime Minister of France; he is succeeded by Raymond Barre.........There is a landslide disaster in Sau Mau Ping, Hong Pennsylvania, GOP Senate candidate John Heinz barnstorms the state with his primary foe, Arlen Specter. The two also make some select stops with outgoing U.S. Senator Hugh Scott as Heinz travels the state in his bid to succeed Scott. Heinz becomes a fixture at County fairs across the Commonwealth…in Luzerne County, Joseph Tirpak makes the rounds of all the summer picnics and bazaars. Tirpak announced early he was running for Controller again in 1977. Even though he was the victor in 1973, courts ruled he could not serve because of a financial conflict. Tirpak, a broker with a financial management company did not have a problem with that association. What stymied him was that he served as Deputy Budget Director under Frank Shintz and was barred by law at that time because of the conflict. Stephen Yanoshak remained in that office until 1976 when he became the Minority GOP Commissioner. Tirpak went full gear the summer before the election to make sure the folks knew he wanted to reclaim that financial throne one he held until his death in 1997 and the number one song in LuLac land and America was one of my all time favorites, coming in during the waning days of the season, “Summer” by War.


At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Representative Haggerty and who does he represent? The nerve of this punk to "snub" the President of the United States. Trust me young man, the President wont miss your support or you. You, Sir, certainly don't represent me. Have you ever heard of RESPECT? Pete

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great tune Dave. I see we are starting the next 2500 out with the usual bang and quality!!!

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:58, your bubble butt was probably throwing rocks when the Bush white house was doing the same thing Obama is doing now back in 2005..and now you call for respect for the President...grow up loser!

At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where to start- Pete, Kevin showed some balls saying what he did ahead of time. I did not hear the speeches today, and god forgive me because I'm going to go by what Corbett said on the radio- And that was that Obama said Scranton was doing well, and Biden had another rambler. Scranton is in the tank, and on it's way to Detroit status. When you can't compromise, you go nowhere. The GOP have to take a share of blame, but it scares me to hear these recent stories about Obamacare & what companies like UPS & Subway want to do. What morons in Washington think up these things and think they are good for the country? we as a country are starting to circle the bowl- The things that are happening in Washington, the stalemates & downright party line stubbornness is affecting the country. When the Pols go on their "recesses" they sure aren't staying in they districts otherwise they would get an earful. I'm an Army vet, and haven't fired a weapon since the 70's, but I'm ready to arm myself just in case. And that's scary.....

At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi David,
Went to see the President and thought he was wonderful. But you know, I'd feel better if he had a few more guys like Matt Cartwright on his side. His legacy must be defined as more than great speech making. I really hope he can knock some heads together.
DVRed Topic A. And I have to tell you there has been a change in the show. There was always good chemistry and comradie wit you and L.A. Tarone but now there seems to be a lot more energy. I can't put my finger on it but it is good.
I agree with your assessment that it was also an uncessary luxury to have the President and Vice President on the same stage. I know security did its job well but.....
As always great job with the LuLac and on TV.
And to amplify (get it???) what 10:pm sad about "the tune", thanks for finding that long version of "Summer". Really great. '76 had some clunkers but this one by Eric Burdon was one of the best!

At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no fool, Honest. I understand that Obama is just another talker.
They all are. In the Military I served under Dick Nixon. Wasn't my choice, but he was Commander in Chief. I showed respect, no question. I only called President Bush, President Bush. He was the President. Wrong I thought, but President. There is a certain respect due to the office and by extension to the Man or Woman who holds that position. That to me represents proper respect.


At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I can’t believe that President Obama and Joe Biden are traveling together."

Subtle, kick off for 2016. Obama is showing support for Biden by appearing together in Joe's birthplace.

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing I remember about Jill Konopka is during one of the snow storms around here how Mayor Leighton wigged out on her. But she took it like a champ. Really mis her a lot but glad she went on to bigger and better things.

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your point is well taken Pete. Nixon was my CinC as well, and I watched him resign from my post in FRG. Honestly, Kevin didn't do any worse then what's done on a daily basis in DC. Remember "You lie!"? It will be interesting to see if there will be any backlash. And sometimes when we elect leaders like Bill Clinton, who did a good job as president, but some questionable moral acts, it's more like respect the position, not the person in it....

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haggerty did this because he wanted to call attention to the inertia of government and how it relates to all branches, state, national and local. I agree with Yonk's point that no one would have paid attention if he came after Corbett, Doherty or Casey and Toomey.
The sad part is no one talked about the premise of his arguement, they just focused on his peck's bad boy choice of attack.
I can't argue with his points, Scranton is galumping along into an abyss. And Mellow morphs into Blake and others morph into the guy that came before them. And nothng changes.

At 5:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opinions posted on this edition are in many ways just off the rocker. Haggerty gets praise for dissing the president, people complain because the president came to our area, Biden joins him in his early hometown and people see that as political campaigning......WTF? Are people brain dead? Complaining about the Affordable Health Care and using companies such as UPS as a model of its failure? Did you jerks who believe that consider that UPS which was a great place to work for many years have joined the Republican cause of reducing good jobs to part time employment and cutting benefits? Just for the record, OPS began screwing its employees almost 20 years ago so this action by them is not news, it is just another excuse to screw the people. And that comment that the Republicans deserve to take part of the blame? Are you friggin nuts? They caused this entire mess. Bush starting two wars and cutting taxes as he did so and using a credit card to finance the wars and giving Cheney's old company Haliburton who moved their offices to Dubai and receiving a no bid contract to run the war effort and on and on and on yeah, they deserve some of the blame. If the LULAC readership has slipped to this low level, the entire world is in trouble so let's elect more Republicans..... that's kinda like the old practice of bleeding people who were dying. Idiots all!


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