Monday, January 13, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2584, January 13th, 2014

Our “13 Questions” logo. 


1. Would you rather be right than happy?

Happy. Even if you are right, there will always be people who say you aren’t. There will be some argument, some fact, some nuance where people will think “maybe he’s not right”. You can’t argue with happy. And the cool thing about happy is it infuriates miserable people.

2. Will the GOP take control of the U.S. Senate?

At the start of the year I thought yes. But they seem to be trying to play the part of Scrooge. Take this extension of unemployment benefits. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t come across a friend or associate looking for work. Or who have lost jobs. The attitude of most Americans who have jobs is, “There but for the grace of God go I”. There are exceptions but people understand others not working. And the Republicans can scream all they want about Benghazi, NSA and the IRS but when push comes to shove, Americans don’t like mean.

3. How are you coping with winter?

Not well. Hate the dark, hate the snow, hate the cold.

4. I know you use most of your writing time on keyboards at work and home but where do you get your pens?

Unique question! I have two pens that I won’t use because they are special gifts. The pens are from the JFK Library, and the Jefferson Memorial. When there’s a sale at Office Max we get pens but in the pinch, I “borrow” them from a Doctor’s office or a Restaurant. Best “borrowed” pen, a Green Fidelity Bank number. But make sure you tip the waitress extra if you are going to “borrow” The Fidelity pen.

5. I read that you thought Judge Caputo’s decision on Ray Musto was fair. Do you think it’s fair that Musto is pulling down his 10,000 a month pension?

Yes. He earned it. He took the risk of running for office. He made the trips to Harrisburg and Washington. If he gets convicted, then follow the law. But until then, until convicted, he’s retired.

6. What’s the LuLac winter drink regimen?

Diet Coke and Low Sodium V8 at the office at 9. Diet Tea at lunch, water in the afternoon. Then Diet Tea or water. Had a hot chocolate one of those nights the wind was howling. As a treat, I’ll grab one of those 8 ounce Classic cokes about twice a week.

7. Best radio job for SWAG?

First off definition of SWAG is “Stuff We All Get”.  Rock 107 had a great deal for events and if you attended you got a tux to wear. Plus you could count on a Rock 107 Birthday tee shirt every spring. But the best was when I was at Citadel, now Cumulus. I still have a Hot 97, WARM, Cat Country and The Bear Denim shirt. They are button down chambray and are closing in on being the legal drinking age. Last week I found a very nice Fleece sweatshirt that was too small for me when I got it back in ’99. But I pulled that baby out of the LuLac archive prize closet, had Mrs. LuLac wash it and I wore it twice last week to work during the cold snap.

8. Any favorites so far for the Democrats running for Governor?

Not yet. Too many to process so far. It is surprising that Katy McGintey seems to be running well in the polls. For Lt. Governor I’m seriously booking at Mark Smith, a Bradford County Commissioner. State Committeeman Tom Shubilla had a meet and greet for him which I missed because of an emergency work commitment but he’s on my radar for that office.

 9. Will Mayor Leighton run in 2015?

Not sure. But a clear indication will be what he does in 2014. If you see him making the rounds of the Gubernatorial candidates and other events, that might be a signal. Book it if he says he’s thinking about a neighborhood clean up.

10. My Sports Illustrated Magazine started running a little box before Christmas asking me if I did not want the Swimsuit Issue sent to me. Yeah as if I’m going to access that! Will Kate Upton three peat or will a new lovely grace the cover and who might be since you seem to be an SI aficionado?
Wow, high praise, thank you. I’m thinking Kate’s reign will be over and think Chrissy Teigen will be on the cover. She has a lot of buzz within SI with her numerous appearances on the Dan Patrick Show (who has a column for SI). Plus her impending marriage to singer John Legend also helps. But we shall see.

11. Will Hillary Clinton have an easy path to the nomination?

Anything can happen, I mean just look at the Chris Christie thing this week. With Hillary, right now the path seems clear but watch out for these two guys to gum up the works for her. The one is former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer who has been sounding a populist wave and could be 2016’a Howard Dean. And if he doesn’t give her fits, I’m hearing buzz about Jerry Brown, the current California Governor who ran in ’76, 80, and ’92. Brown was the final holdout against Bill Clinton. Too early to tell…but with the Democrats you never know. And with the Presidency on the line, nothing is a sure thing. It would be ironic if Clinton cleared the field of guys like Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and others but got caught up by these two guys.

12. If you had to give the new Home Rule Charter a grade in its first administration, what would it be?

I’d give it a B plus. This group came in with the task of putting together a new form of government that Luzerne County has never seen the likes of in its history. They had to find and hire a manager, they dealt with personnel problems that came up and started to attack that debt of 429 million dollars. One thing the first Council administration didn’t do was kick the can down the road. They moved forward to try and restore professionalism to the old boy network. A lot of the decisions they made were criticized. There were some who felt they shouldn’t have raised taxes, then there are some like me who feel they didn’t raise them enough. My grade is based on three things
a. The amount of work they did in terms of dedication and hours.
b. The fact that the Council had two Chairs that treated everyone with respect and heard their opinions. Ad nauseum at times. The next administration will have big shoes to fill in terms of the Chairs from the first administration.
c. This form of government in this County will never get an A minus or an A place. There are still too many people who feel the old ways should return. Guys, this is only two years in. Patience and a steady hand is needed.
I got crap for calling this a fledgling government and maybe that was a wrong term. The definition of the word is someone or something that is getting started in a new activity. I did not mean the people involved in the first Council had no experience or ideas on how to accomplish them. I meant it was NEW.
Getting back to my point about why this form of government will never get an “A”, here’s why. If everyone was 100% happy with their decisions or 100% unhappy with them, there would be something wrong.
The ultimate vindication of this form of government will come if Lackawanna County gets their form started up with an elected manager. I predict you aren’t going to see anything near a B minus with an elected County King or Queen.

13. When you go to political events do you pay your own way?

I always have. I feel strongly that I shouldn’t get freebies even though I’m not a journalist. I got kind of spoiled by all the free events from the County Council candidates in ’13 and really went to a lot of them in the Fall to make up for being laid up in the primary.  I’ll usually set some money aside to go to small events. I think the most I paid was 70 bucks for a Judicial candidate and the lowest might have been 10 bucks. The Rendell Inauguration in 2003 was a big ticket but that was not political and a special occasion. But I think bloggers should pay. As well as other media. .


At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonk, My only thought on the possible success of our county government is that it doesn't have a chance at being what it could or should be due to the mentality of our county voters and residents. The people who couldn't pass a test on their best day vote every election and those that could don't even register. My proof is in the following: Both Urban's got elected and Daddy Urban was high vote getter after switching Party affiliation. In the past, changing Party was a shot to the head. Then the voters put Kathy Dobash in and if anyone takes the time to listen to her at the mic, it is obvious she has her mouth running while the brain is not in gear. Proof of that is her not wanting to raise taxes and her first move was to suggest they should hire a person to take verbatim notes at meetings..... but no higher taxes. Finally, reading the comments in local papers and you see the same negative comments attached to every story regardless of content or subject. It shows the Valley mind set. Sorry my friend, I just don't see it working. Did you see any outcry when all the big jobs went to out of towners? Did you her any outcry when a guy with a law degree and experience was fired so a political hack with no experience and his third ;political job in two years could replace him? No you didn't and that's why Home Rule will not work. Previously, if you wanted a political favor all you had to do was get active and earn the privilege but today, you have to be in tight with the county manager from out town. This idea of them hiring the best went out the window when the hack was hired. Look to our state senator for an answer to that.

At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Yonki, gotta tell ya that nothing makes me happier than being right. That's having your cake and eating too.

At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:07 no question the valley is full of sheep. it truly sucks the life out of the good people who run honest campaigns and dont get in.

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trini switched parties and survived it quite well.


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