Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3846, July 31st, 2018

AS MEDICARE & MEDICAID TURN 53 THIS MONTH, TRUMP, GOP TARGET VITAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR CUTS....................
NEARLY $2 TRILLION COST OF TRUMP-GOP TAX CUTS THREATENS 4.9 MILLION PENNSYLVANIA RECIPIENTS WITH LESS COVERAGE, HIGHER COSTS

As Medicare and Medicaid turn 53 years old this week, the two historic healthcare programs covering 120 million Americans—including 4.9 million recipients in Pennsylvania—are under threat from Trump-GOP tax and budget cuts. We urge you to write an editorial or op-ed explicitly drawing the connection between the GOP’s tax cuts costing $1.9 trillion that passed late last year and Republican plans this year to slash trillions of dollars from vital public services, as shown by their proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
Americans for Tax Fairness and allied organizations have released state reports marking the programs’ anniversaries, one of which details the impact the GOP’s proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have on Pennsylvania residents. The report also explains how the new tax law mostly benefits the wealthy and corporations in Pennsylvania, creating a cruel tradeoff of tax cuts that mostly enrich the already wealthy leading to budget cuts that harm working families.
The report finds:
4.9 million Pennsylvania residents enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid face threats to their coverage as President Trump and the GOP try to pay for the deficits caused by their tax cuts, which mostly benefit the state’s wealthiest families and most profitable corporations.
Trump, who as a candidate promised never to cut Medicare or Medicaid, now is seeking a total of $1.3 trillion in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA.
House Republicans propose slashing $2 trillion from Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA to reduce the debt and pay for the tax cuts.
Parents in a Pennsylvania family of three can make no more than $28,676 to qualify for Medicaid. The median income of Medicare recipients nationwide is about $26,000.
By comparison, the 64,170 Pennsylvania residents who make up the state’s wealthiest 1% have an average annual income of $1.9 million. Each will get a tax cut of over $53,580 a year on average under the Trump-GOP tax law.
Trump and the GOP still want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which protects 5.3 million Pennsylvania residents with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage or charged exorbitant premiums.
The Trump-GOP tax law gave the nation’s 10 largest drug companies a $76 billion tax cut on their accumulated offshore profits, even as those firms have jacked up prices on their most widely used products by up to 15% annually in recent years.
The report concludes that to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid for another half century—and support improvements to the Affordable Care Act—Congress should repeal the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations and use the recovered revenue to bolster, not weaken, the American healthcare system. We hope you will write an opinion piece that reaches the same conclusion.
To find out how the U.S. senators and representatives in your media market voted on “Health Care Repeal” and the Trump-GOP Tax Cuts you can go to this vote chart. (PHAN, Pennsylvania Health Network).

Monday, July 30, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3845, July 30th, 2018

BOB CASEY’S NEW AD

Take a look t the latest Bob Casey ad. It is playful, to the point and will be run thousands of times before the General Election. In a time when people are in their separate political camps, this is a pretty good message.


SUE HENRY ON THE MOVE 
 Sue Henry taking it to the streets. (Photo: Kathleen Smith)
What did you do this weekend? I went to dinner, saw a baseball game on Sunday and then listened to a little  Todd Rundgren on Sunday night. Sue Henry though was beating the pavement doing door to door campaigning in her bid to unseat State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski.

SPEAKING OF PASHINSKI

He’ll be having his annual brunch reception at Genetti’s in Wilkes Barre. Sunday, September 16 at 11 AM - 1 PM


CARTWRIGHT ANNOUNCES LEGISLATION TO INCREASE ORGAN DONATION
EFFORT COMES AMIDST SHORTAGE, RESULTING IN THOUSANDS OF PREVENTABLE DEATHS EVERY YEAR

Congressmen Matt Cartwright  (Photo: LuLac archives)
Addressing our nation’s dire organ transplant shortage U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright ( introduced the Organ Donor Clarification Act on July 19th.There are 115,000 people on the organ transplant waiting list and 20 people die every day as they wait for an organ. This bipartisan legislation will remove existing hurdles for donation and test out new ways to increase donations.
“This is life and death; 20 people die every day because they could not survive the wait for a viable organ,” Rep. Cartwright said. “Kidney waiting lists in major cities can last from five to ten years, which is often longer than a patient can survive on dialysis.”
The number of people in the United States with kidney failure has increased by nearly 20% since 2000 and there are currently over 95,000 Americans on the national waitlist for a kidney. Each year 17,000 patients receive a kidney transplant, while about 35,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list. As many as 80,000 additional patients may be good candidates for kidney transplant, but have never even been listed.
This legislation removes existing barriers that donors face under current law and allows for a pilot program to test the effectiveness of non-cash incentives to increase the supply of organs for transplantation.
Currently, organ transplantation is governed by the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984. This law prohibits buying or selling organs for “valuable consideration.”
“Confusion about what constitutes valuable consideration hampers donation by scaring people away from reimbursing organ donors for things like medical expenses and lost wages,” said Rep. Cartwright. “Reimbursements are legal under NOTA, but the law’s lack of clarity and criminal penalties have created uncertainty that has prevented or delayed reimbursements in many cases. Additionally, this bill will allow experts and scientists to run pilot programs – subject to ethical review and government oversight – to test the effect of non-cash incentives in reducing the organ transplant waiting list.”
The expanding kidney wait list has also become a burden on our nation’s finances, as costs for dialysis and other intermediary treatments become more expensive each year. The taxpayer ends up footing the bill through Medicare and other social service programs. Experts project that eliminating the waiting list would save taxpayers well in excess of $5.5 billion per year in medical costs and billions of dollars more in savings to other social programs.  (Cartwright office).

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3844, July 29th, 2018


HUMANAE VITAE @ 50

The tumultuous year of 1968 that saw an ever expanding proliferation of sex, drug and rock and roll was temporarily put on notice by The Vatican and a consequential encyclical by Pope Paul VIth. Paul who succeeded John XXIIIrd continued the ground breaking tenants of the Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church. There were many changes that many assumed would lead to a more liberal interpretation of birth control. For those thinking that, they were incorrect.
The Pope’s Encyclical essentially called for moral clarity among Catholics regarding the family. The text was issued at a Vatican press conference on 29 July, fifty years ago today Subtitled On the Regulation of Birth, it re-affirmed the orthodox teaching of the Catholic Church regarding married love, responsible parenthood, and the rejection of most forms of artificial contraception. In formulating his teaching he explained why he did not accept the conclusions of the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control established by his predecessor, Pope John XXIII, a commission he himself had expanded.
With the appearance of the first oral contraceptives in 1960, dissenters in the Church argued for a reconsideration of the Church positions. In 1963 Pope John XXIII established a commission of six European non-theologians to study questions of birth control and population. It met once in 1963 and twice in 1964. As Vatican Council II was concluding, Pope Paul VI enlarged it to fifty-eight members, including married couples, laywomen, theologians and bishops. The last document issued by the council (Gaudium et spes) contained a section titled "Fostering the Nobility of Marriage" (1965, nos. 47-52), which discussed marriage from the personal point of view. The "duty of responsible parenthood" was affirmed, but the determination of licit and illicit forms of regulating birth was reserved to Pope Paul VI. In the spring of 1966, following the close of the council, the commission held its fifth and final meeting, having been enlarged again to include sixteen bishops as an executive committee. The commission was only consultative but it submitted a report approved by a majority of 64 members to Paul VI. It proposed he approve at least some form of contraception for married couples. A minority of four members opposed this report and issued a parallel report to the Pope. After two more years of study and consultation, the pope issued Humanae vitae, which removed any doubt that the Church views hormonal anti-ovulants as contraceptive. He explained why he did not accept the opinion of the majority report of the commission (
To Pope Paul VI, as with of all his predecessors, marital relations are much more than a union of two people. In his view, they constitute a union of the loving couple with a loving God, in which the two persons generate the matter for the body, while God creates the unique soul of a person. For this reason, Paul VI teaches in the first sentence of Humanae Vitae, that the "transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator." This is divine partnership, so Paul VI does not allow for arbitrary human decisions, which may limit divine providence. According to Paul VI, marital relations are a source of great joy, but also of difficulties and hardships. The question of human procreation with God, exceeds in the view of Paul VI specific disciplines such as biology, psychology, demography or sociology. According to Paul VI, married love takes its origin from God, who is love, and from this basic dignity, he defines his position:
Mainly because of its prohibition of most forms (some licit therapeutic procedures with sole intent to cure bodily diseases are excepted) of artificial contraception, the encyclical was politically controversial. It affirmed traditional Church moral teaching on the sanctity of life and the procreative and unitive nature of conjugal relations.
It was the last of Paul's seven encyclicals.
Paul VI reaffirmed the Catholic Church's orthodox view of marriage and marital relations and a continue condemnation of "artificial" birth control. There were two Papal committees and numerous independent experts looking into the latest advancement of science and medicine on the question of artificial birth control, which were noted by the Pope in his encyclical. The expressed views of Paul VI reflected the teachings of his predecessors, especially Pius XI, Pius XII and John XXIII, all of whom had insisted on the divine obligations of the marital partners in light of their partnership with God the creator.
Although polls show that many Catholics dissent from church teaching on contraception, there has nevertheless been a resurgence of support for it in certain quarters, from Roman Catholic theologians and numerous Catholic authors. There seems to be a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Church's teaching regarding sex and marriage. At the official level, Catholicism’s commitment to Humanae Vitae is more stable than ever. After five decades of bishops’ appointments by John Paul II and Benedict XVI, both unambiguously committed to Humanae Vitae, mean that senior leaders in Catholicism these days are far less inclined than they were in 1968 to distance themselves from the ban on birth control, or to soft-pedal it.
You can’t argue though with Paul’s conclusions that the strength of the family would be diminished if the tenants were not followed by many Catholics. That much was stated in the reaction by current Pope Francis. On 16 January 2015, Pope Francis said to a meeting with families in Manila, insisting on the need to protect the family: "The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life. I think of Blessed Paul VI. At a time when the problem of population growth was being raised, he had the courage to defend openness to life in families. He knew the difficulties that are there in every family, and so in his Encyclical he was very merciful towards particular cases, and he asked confessors to be very merciful and understanding in dealing with particular cases. But he also had a broader vision: he looked at the peoples of the earth and he saw this threat of the destruction of the family through the privation of children . Paul VI was courageous; he was a good pastor and he warned his flock of the wolves who were coming."
A year before, on 1 May 2014, Pope Francis, in an interview given to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, expressed his opinion and praise for Humanae Vitae: "Everything depends on how Humanae Vitae is interpreted. Paul VI himself, in the end, urged confessors to be very merciful and pay attention to concrete situations. But his genius was prophetic, he had the courage to take a stand against the majority, to defend moral discipline, to exercise a cultural restraint,
Fifty years after its presentation, it is telling that there isn’t much discussion among Catholics regarding this letter. American Catholics treat this as a private if not flexible matter. But the church’s stance is concrete. The legacy of Humane Vitae is mixed. The Doctrine itself remains intact, but the support of it among modern day Catholics is not universally accepted. Paul VI never produced another encyclical after this one.
He died in 1978 after a 15 year reign as Pope. (LuLac, wikipedia, The Vatican website).

The text of Humane Vitae.  http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3843, July 26th, 2018

TRUMP COMING TO WILKES BARRE 
Next Thursday, August 2nd at Mohegan Sun Arena. Maybe we can send him a copy of his oath of office. We'll be watching the numbers and just how many of the local ingrates will show up. I bet you can make a ton of money by seeing how many of his supporters are still bitching about Hillary.

TRUMP AND THE FARMERS

So the President screws the farmers on tariffs that will cause many of them to lose money and their farms. Realizing that these corn fed Americans who feed us and are the most important industry in this country might get hurt (because Trump knows who and how he is screwing people) he then turns to the government to give them aide. He is using a 1930s statute that was meant to help farmer’s in the Great Depression. Farm growth has increased over the last decade and a half but now that is on the decline because of Trump’s tariffs.
So Trump causes the problem and asks for a bailout for the crap he caused. It's like one of those (and these are only isolated cases here) volunteer firefighters setting a fire to his firehouse. Then he borrows equipment from the fire house the next town over, puts the original fire he started out and THEN takes credit for saving the day because if he hadn't started the fire in the first place, he wouldn't be able to save it from burning!
This is what happens when a know nothing loudmouth is given the reins of power.
But to be fair Trump does have agricultural experience.


LOU SUPPORTS TRUMP IN HELSINKI TRIP

Representative Lou Barletta has essentially endorsed the treasonous behavior of President Trump in Helsinki by his silence and lap dog defense of Trump. After that meeting Trump said that he believed Vladimir Putin didn’t interfere with American politics and by doing so, broke his oath of office. The Republican Constitutionalists who waved their pocket copies in our faces stand by as Trump sides with Putin and forgets that his oath says to “defend, protect and preserve" the Constitution of the United States.
Barletta’s comment went like this. “People have lost focus of the good that has come out of that meeting. The question is: ‘Is the world better off that they met or not?’” Barletta told The Philadelphia Inquirer while in Washington on Tuesday. “The Democrats want to try to find that one drop of blood in the water so that they can focus on Russia, their favorite subject.”
Blaming the Democrats? Lou baby, you have control over three branches of government.
What, tell me exactly what is the good that came out of that meeting? Trade? Any stances on human rights? Maybe stop poisoning people on the streets of London? Was there any agreement that helped “Make America Great Again?
No!
One drop of blood in the water? This Russian investigation has been hemorrhaging because of proven indictments and rule of law where American citizens indicted people who were involved with Russia! IT IS CALLED A GRAND JURY!
Lou, did you not see Putin leap onto that stage while your boy stood there like a star struck teenager?
By the way, Barletta’s office hedged on whether the concerns against the President was a witch hunt.
Barletta said that he believed the intelligence officers and that he, Barletta would do everything to make sure that Russia will not do this again. How Lou, like your fellow Republican Jim Jordan who wants to do it through Voter ID?
Jeez and this guy wants to be a Senator! What will Lou say..or NOT say next week when his boy graces Luzerne County. (LuLac, Philadelphia Inquirer)

FLORIDA VOTERS WEIGH IN ON TRUMP

This past Sunday, Florida voters weighed in on Trump, Russian and the state of the country. I have no great love for the state of Florida. I truly believe that in my personal, eye to eye contact with them through the years, 85% of them are ignorant, entitled, racist and ungrateful people. Now this is my personal feeling and disagree or not, to me nothing has given me proof of anything otherwise.
This is the long version of Ed O’Keefe’s gathering with a few citizens of the Sunshine State.
 It’s long but keep an eye on this guy who when asked if he believed that Putin was innocent and if he believed the intelligence agencies were wrong and Trump was right, said unequivocally yes. Then he blamed Obama and the intelligence agencies. Priceless ignorance.




NFIB ENDORSES JOHN CHRIN’S CAMPAIGN FOR CONGRESS
Candidate for Congress in the 8th, John Chrin. (Photo: LuLac archives)
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Fed PAC has announced its endorsement of John Chrin (R-Skytop) to represent Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district in the November election.
NFIB has identified John Chrin as a pro-small business candidate who is their preferred candidate on the the issues important to small business like affordable healthcare, reducing onerous regulations, and keeping taxes low on small businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy in Northeast PA. I am proud to receive the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the voice of small business.” said Chrin.
“I understand the importance of keeping taxes low and cutting regulations so that small business owners across the country have the needed tools to continue positive growth and job creation. My opponent, Matthew Cartwright voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and supports its repeal. Hardworking families all across Northeastern Pennsylvania are benefitting from these tax cuts and cannot afford Matthew Cartwright’s tax hikes. When I talk to local small businesses, they know the dire economic consequences of hiking taxes on employers. The bottom line is that Matthew Cartwright’s tax hikes are a first class ticket to recession. I am also for lowering the cost of healthcare while Cartwright supports unaffordable healthcare policies.” (Chrin campaign)

CARTWRIGHT ANNOUNCES $116,000 IN USDA
GRANT AND LOAN TO GREATER PITTSTON AMBULANCE RESCUE SERVICE ASSOCIATION

Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded a Community Facilities Direct Grant and Loan to the Greater Pittston Ambulance Rescue Service Association. The award includes a loan of $66,000 and a grant of $50,000.
The funds will be used to purchase a 2018 Ford E 550 4x4 Horton 457 Ambulance. This will replace their old ambulance that was totaled during an accident. The Greater Pittston Ambulance Rescue Service Association is one of the only regional emergency medical providers in the area; in addition to Pittston City, services are provided to neighboring communities. This association also operates the only community-based paramedic service in northern Luzerne County, designated as Luzerne County Medic 29.
“Targeted federal funding programs like those managed through USDA Rural Development, go a long way toward helping our first responders in small communities,” said Rep. Cartwright a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “I support maintaining these programs so our small towns in Northeastern Pennsylvania do not get left out or left behind.”
USDA Rural Development offers a broad portfolio of programs to improve the lives of rural Americans. They provide loans, grants and loan guarantees for housing, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure. They promote economic development through loans to businesses through banks, credit unions and community-managed lending pools. They provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs, and they help rural residents buy or rent safe, affordable housing as well as make health and safety repairs to their homes. (Cartwright office)

CHRIN AND CARTWRIGHT ON SINGLE PAYER
One of the biggest issues in the battle for the 8th Congressional District seat is going to be Health Care. Matt Cartwright has his challenger John Chrin coming after the Congressman for his vote against repealing the Obamacare medical device tax. Chrin said in a news release, This tax passes higher costs onto medical services which in turn are passed onto patients. Chrin cites the Tax Foundation saying that because of that tax there was a loss of 21,500 jobs between 2013 and 2015. The Tax Foundation is conservative business friendly”. “My opponent, Matthew Cartwright, is supportive of a single-payer, government-run healthcare system. He supports legislation that would establish a public option or ‘Medicare for All’, hurting the quality of care for seniors who are currently enrolled and have paid into the program all their lives.
If implemented, this healthcare model would bankrupt our country r=to the tune of 32 million dollars over the next ten years.”
Maybe Chrin should talk to actual patients and Doctors who think Medicare is the easiest and efficient system of health care. Maybe Chrin should see the health care costs inflicted by insurance companies on patients. Maybe Chrin should talk to the working poor who have had drug prices go from a zero co pay to $600 bucks a month in some cases.
Chrin is worrying about elderly people on Medicare when a single payer system is not even in place. What does he think about Paul Ryan’s and other Republicans plan to gut Medicare to pay for the tax cuts?
I met Mr. Chrin and like him. But this is typical Republican mantra, give tax breaks for the very rich and the debt be damned BUT when it comes to the cost of taking care of American’s health, then they worry about the cost and become deficit hawks. .
I can’t wait for the debates on this one.

MEDIA MATTERS

WALN TV

BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUM


Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri joins Jim Riley this week. Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400-The Game, NEPA's Fox .Sports Radio and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


ECTV LIVE

Rusty Fender continues his solo hosting on ECTV Live during the week of July 30th as Producer and co-host David DeCosmo continues his vacation. Rusty welcomes PennDot representatives James May and Mike Taluto to the program to discuss the State Transportation Departments plans and projects for northeastern Pennsylvania during the coming months.
ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired during the Noon, 6pm and Midnight hours each day of the week. Following Monday's Live program the show will become available on Electric City Television's YouTube channel which can be viewed on your computer.

BUDDY RUMCHEK

Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”

BOBBY V’S DOO WOP SOCK HOP
SUNDAY NIGHTS!

1960

Our 1960 logo

The Soviet Union launched a space capsule with two dogs, Pchelka and Mushka, in advance of manned space flight. Korabl 3 burned up upon re-entry into the atmosphere….

The lunch counter at the Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina, where the "Greensboro Four" had started the first sit-in in January, began service to African-American customers (actually, three store employees) at 2:30 p.m.. Integration of Greensboro's other restaurants did not happen until 1963….

Fifteen months after U.S. President Eisenhower had proposed that the Soviet Union and the United States be allowed to inspect their opponents' missile sites, the Soviets made a counteroffer "to allow international inspection teams to carry out three on-site inspections annually on its territory." The U.S. and its allies considered the number to be inadequate, but saw it as the basis for negotiations. Actual inspections would not take place until more than 25 years later........

The opening title sequence of The Andy Griffith Show, showing Andy Griffith and Ron Howard preparing to go fishing, was filmed in advance of the show's October 3 premiere. The Franklin Canyon Reservoir in Los Angeles served as Myers Lake (named for the show's production manager, Frank E. Myers) on the outskirts of Mayberry, North Carolina, for purposes of the show..

In Chicago, delegates to the Republican National Convention nominated U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon for President, with 1,321 votes. Ten delegates voted for Barry Goldwater. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. was nominated for Vice President…..Republican Senator Hugh Scott says he is thrilled with the Nixon-Lodge ticket for the fall of 1960 and is sure it will prevail…..Luzerne County Republicans say they believe the selection of Vice President Nixon will be a sure winner for the 1960 election and fifty eight years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Only The Lonely” by Roy Orbison.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3842, July 25th, 2018

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo

This week we go to the local letters to the Editor page to present an opinion on the upcoming race for State Representative in the 121st Legislative District. Charles Urban, the long time head of the Luzerne County Tax Payer’s Association penned the letter in support of Sue Henry.

SUPPORT HENRY FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE

Property owners of the 121st district, do you want to eliminate you school property taxes? You can by voting in the Nov. 6 general election.
There are two candidate running for state representative: incumbent Eddie Day Pashinski and challenger Sue Henry, a former WILK radio talk host.
Henry is eager to accept the challenge and campaign on the property tax reform as a strong supporter of HB 76.
Pashinski is a rabid opponent of HB/SB 76. His reason? He says Independence Fiscal Office and the Department of Revenue both stated officially in a full report it does not work.
The Independence Fiscal Office never said such a thing. They reported the numbers without comment, and Pashinski is twisting them.
Pashinski was the head of the teachers union in the Luzerne County district where he was employed. He is collecting approximately $4,420 a month and is working on his second guarantee pension as a state representative, collecting more than $80,00 in salary and social security benefits. The PSEA state teachers union is his largest contributor to his campaign. The PSEA is the most active opponent of school property taxes.
The Pennsylvania Collation of Taxpayers Association has endorsed Henry. Henry is firmly committed to HB 76.
As president of Luzerne County Property Owners and a member of 86 PTCC groups, I am asking you to vote for Henry.
You must do all you can to remove Pashinski from office. Let Sue Henry help save our homes.
Charles Urban
President, Luzerne County Property Owners

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3841, July 24th, 2018

WAGNER PULLS A TRUMP

Scott Wagner the candidate for Governor in the state has made no secret of the fact that he thinks Climate Change is just not true. Now there are many, about 2/3 of Pennsylvanians who think he is wrong. I know many Wagner supporters and they are behind him 1000%. Wagner even has some good ideas like Property Tax Reform. But watching him on TV and in videos, he gets defensive when challenged and goes down a road that even his strongest supporters might cringe at. (WEl maybe not, most of tem still defend Trump to the death)
But I digress. Recently Wagner was asked a question by an 18 year old female a question about climate change. She prefaced it with his taking $200.000 in campaign contributions It was a clear signal that it was not a friendly question. Wagner gave this remark.

It was first off a dismissive insult that scrammed, “Okay little girl, go away and let the big men handle it”. It gave the Democrats in power (who by the way haven’t been great in running the Executive branch) something to rev up their base of women, millennial and people who don’t agree with Wagner on this issue but might find some common ground with him on other things a chance to nick him.
I understand his frustration but Wagner needs those voters to even have a puncher’s chance in the race against Wolf and Fetterman.

CARTWRIGHT ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)
Meanwhile Matt Cartwright is defending his stance on Climate Change. My opponent has attacked me for talking about climate change and our environment.
Like there's something fundamentally wrong with being interested in clean air, clean water, and ensuring our children and grandchildren inherit a healthy planet.
So I'll just say it: I care about the future of our planet, and I know you do, too. Guilty, as charged.
I've waited for years for Republicans in Congress to stand up for science. To put forward good-faith solutions to climate change that can also create jobs here in America. To take the threat seriously.
Every indication, however, is that for Republicans in Congress and their candidates on campaign trails across America, the answer is NO.
Republicans are saying NO to solutions to climate change. NO to ensuring clean air and clean water for our families. NO to the basic principles of science.
What do they support?
Big campaign checks from the Koch Brothers, from massive corporations that profit from inaction, from polluters who want us to continue to look the other way. Questioning basic facts.
The same big donors who are now coming after me and backing my opponent. Go figure.
Cartwright will not shy away from this issue so it appears he will be in interesting conflict with his opponent John Chrin.

Monday, July 23, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3840, July 23rd, 2018

SUE HENRY PACKS THEM IN

Tonight Sue Henry had her first official campaign kickoff in her quest to unseat multi term incumbent Eddie Day Pashinski. More than 125 people packed into Kelsey's Bar in Ashley on a rain soaked night to add support for her efforts. What impressed me was that the usual GOP Republican suspects were there but were complimented in numbers by folks with no real leadership in the party as well as a few Independent and Democrats seeking a better representation in Harrisburg.
Henry, flanked by her family and friends announced that Tony Brooks, President of Wilkes Barre City Council would be her co chair. This is a huge boost given Brooks' popularity in the City. Plus add to that the recent GOP headquarters opening in the downtown spearheaded by party Chair Ron Ferrence and you get the feeling the Republicans are getting energized for this race. The district has never had a GOP Representative with the seat being held by Bernie O'Brien, Kevin Blaum and the aforementioned Pashinski for nearly 60 years.
The speech was short in which Henry referenced Property Tax Reform, The Opioid Crisis and the fact that "she is one of us". All those three themes resonated and wowed the crowd. Sheepishly saying that the speech might be too long, one wag in the crowd hollered, "Not longer than Eddie's!" Henry advised that she had nothing against Pashinski personally but that the time had come for a change. 
 Greg Wolovich, the person who stepped aside for Henry to run was delayed due to a household emergency but those in the crowd who supported him in the primary were all in for the entire GOP ticket, state and local.
Here are a few photos from the event. 
 Sue Henry seen here with Tony Brooks addresses the crowd along with Linda Joseph, a key supporter from the city of Wilkes Barre. 
    Journalist Andreas Mink, a U.S, Correspondent came all the way from Connecticut to the event. He'll be meeting with Democrat Wendy Cominsky tomorrow but was getting an earful rom5th District Vice Chair Lynette Villano and Chair P.J. Pribula. 
 Here's Sue with longtime Republican stalwart Dr. Bill Lewis along with Priscilla Keating. 


Joe Peters known and respected by many in both Democratic and Republican  party circles made the trek to Luzerne County to lend support.  He's here with Kathleen Smith who was on Team Wolovich and has made a very nice transition to Team Henry. 
(Photo: Kathleen Smith, LuLac) 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The LuLc Edition #3839, July 22nd, 2018

MAYBE I'M AMAZED







Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that those Trump supporters who will defend him to the gates of hell don’t seem to realize that by siding with Vladimir Putin, the American President violated his oath of office. "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The key words here are “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution, ergo the United States of America. Out of the 45 Presidents we’ve had, great, mediocre, passable with a push or crooked, Donald Trump is the ONLY ONE who consciously broke that oath.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but not really that the only continent without snakes or reptiles is Antarctica.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….and rather sad that baseball, which used to be the dominant sport in America now barely gets a mention during the time leading up to the All Star game. If you take a look at the top stories before the break, there was LeBron, the NBA and Football training camps dominating sports talk radio. The game was exciting though for those who watched it.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the old Immigration card is being played by the Republicans on Health Care. I rarely listen to talk radio in the afternoon on the drive home from work anymore but tuned in the other day for a quick listen. At the tail end I heard a caller, a well known local Conservative complaining about his wife’s health care cost. (We wish his wife well by the way in her health troubles). But the comment was made that America should take care of its own in terms of health issues instead of illegal immigrants getting health care. The next caller, named Karen who worked for an insurance company said that illegals didn’t get free health care. The reason being that if they needed to provide fake documents with watermarks it would cost them money they could not afford to fake it. She put the blame where it should be, squarely on the shoulders of the overpaid Health Care Executives and staffs who deny coverage or increase rates. When the host asked about Emergency Room care for illegals, she replied that EVERYONE without coverage gets care at the ER. ER’s will stabilize you or save your life for the time there but you get no more care after that. I was relieved to see a caller out there push back and grow like a rose in the weeds of stupidity and ignorance that has become local talk radio.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that one bail of cotton can make 275 pairs of jeans, 1217 tee shirts, 313,600 $100.00 bills.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the same people who bragged about carrying the Constitution in their back pocket during the Obama years now pretty much are silent when their President violates the basic tenant of his office. ."I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Preserve, protect and defend, not make goo goo eyes at a Russian dictator. I guess those pocket Constitutions they used to wave at everybody, implying that THEY were the only TRUE Americans because they carried one have gone silent in their acquiesce of its desecration by a fourth tier titan deadbeat titan of industry they hired. .
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..you can tell a turtle’s gender by the noises it makes. A male will grunt and a woman will hiss. Not much different than humans. But here are Turtles that always made some great noises.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but not really having warned readers about the tax cuts the Republicans passed. Bloomberg’s Noah Smith said that while it’s too soon to reach a definitive conclusion, it does appear that the Republican tax cuts are failing to provide much of a boost for American workers. The only thing that’s booming is stock buybacks, while business investment is only moderately higher and wages are falling. “Huge, immediate gains for wealthy shareholders combined with tepid increases in business investment and decreases in real wages don’t paint a flattering picture of the tax cut’s impact so far,” Smith wrote.
While it’s still possible that the corporate tax cuts will boost long-term growth in a way that significantly benefits American workers, the lackluster results so far suggest another possibility: “Corporate taxes were really the last hope for the tax-cutting strategy,” Smith said. “But if even that doesn’t provide more than a small momentary fiscal stimulus, then we’ve reached the end of that approach’s usefulness.
The bottom line here is the rich took the tax cuts, and will invest only a pittance to help even out income equality. What is even more amazing to me is that the Republicans pull this stunt every few years and get it passed.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that local school board (Wilkes Barre Area) director Denise Thomas defended her racial comments in e mails from 7 years ago by saying “she doesn’t have a filter”. I’m not sure that’s a good defense here but it’s useful for all of us because we like to see people like her coming. The NAACP (of which I’m a member) called for her resignation along with that of Ned Evans who made a lewd sexual comment about an Arizona teacher having sex with a 13 year old male. Both were bad and unbecoming school directors but there is a key distinction in my mind. 
Thomas made the remarks about local students as an attendance officer. (Yeah she got the job because she knew someone). She showed disdain, disrespect and arrogance for those parents, guardians and students she was supposed to help. Thomas, from a long line of political lackeys fed at the public trough for a sum 3 times the average of what those families made. By contrast,  Evans comment was made in response to a far flung incident miles away. Big difference there. It appears there might be two resignations on the Wilkes Barre Area School Board soon. But in my opinion, Thomas needs to go yesterday.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that I get this e mail from Jim Jordan, the Freedom Caucus thug who talked real big in numerous Congressional hearings insulting witnesses and just being a total smarmy person. Well now he’s whining like a little rat with this fundraising e mail.  He says: The swamp in Washington wants to destroy anyone who fights for real accountability and is a threat to their power.
It's why President Trump and many others like Devin Nunes and myself have been targeted with fake news reports and constant political attacks. No, the reason why they are being targets is because: 
1. THEY ARE THE SWAMP.
2. THEY HAVE MADE THEMSELVES THE TARGET. THE MEDIA DIDN'T KEEP QUIET ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE AT OHIO STATE, JORDAN DID! DIDN'T WANT TO GET INVOLVED. 
3. THEY ARE WUSSIES WHO CAN GIVE THE HEAT BUT START WHINING WHEN THEY GET CALLED OUT ON THEIR LIES.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…(on the same track here) that newborns can’t actually cry tears. That normally occurs between 3 weeks and 3 months of life.

Now this baby, he cries all the time!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3838, July 19th, 2018

 SUE HENRY EVENT MONDAY!!!!!
FOX NEWS PARROT TUCKER CARLSON SHOWS RACIST SIDE 
Well the GOP right has to come up with some way to defend the President’s recent actions and repudiation of his own oath of office to protect and defend the United States of all enemies Foreign and Domestic. Carlson said the United States was under attack by Mexico because of Immigration which by the way has been decreasing. But he seems to be bothered by the color brown.
In an interview with "The Five," Fox News host Tucker Carlson said that Russia had sought to meddle in US affairs. But he asserted that other countries, such as Mexico, have been more successful in doing so. "I don't think Russia is our close friend or anything like that. I think of course they try to interfere in our affairs. They have for a long time. Many countries do. Some more successfully than Russia, like Mexico, which is routinely interfering in our elections by packing our electorate."
As the host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" in Fox's prime-time lineup (a show on which I have appeared), he regularly rails against undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities. He has been a strong supporter of Trump's hard-line immigration policies.
That this brand of racism is still alive and well speaks volumes about the state of conservative thought in the age of Trump. American citizens of Hispanic descent who are voting are participating in democracy. And for the record, there is no evidence to support Carlson's claims.
Besides being false, Carlson's comments are insidious because they go back to the tired trope of "illegals" being somehow responsible for everything that ails America, from social ills to violent crime. This line of thought is hardly new or novel. After he won the presidency, Trump falsely claimed that "millions" of illegal voters cost him the popular vote; a commission set up to investigate such supposed massive voter fraud was disbanded in January without finding any real evidence of corrupt elections.
Now Carlson seems to be crossing a line by suggesting that the true threat to American democracy is not Russia or Putin's agents but Hispanic voters. This is an astonishing claim. To vote in our elections, a person must be a US citizen. It sounds like Carlson is not pleased with the idea of his fellow citizens -- who might happen to be of Mexican origin -- voting. How is that idea not offensive, to the 8 million people born in Latin America who are now US citizens? Carlson's sentiments should be offensive to all Americans -- especially the thousands of Hispanic-Americans who have served in the US military. (LuLac, CNN)

WHY NAACP PA STATE CONFERENCE OPPOSES BRETT KAVANAUGH’S SUPREME COURT NOMINATION,
WHY WE ARE ASKING SEN. TOOMEY TO VOTE “NO” ON THIS NOMINATION,
AND WHY ALL PENNSYLVANIAN’S SHOULD TOO
SEND A MESSAGE TO PAT TOOMEY

Senator Toomey, please stand for what is best for Pennsylvanians and hear the voices of your constituents.
Pennsylvanian is the birthplace of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We hold that the next Justice must uphold these for the Common good.
The progress toward social, economic, and racial justice made over the last 64 years is at stake. Judge Brett Kavanaugh has demonstrated through his writings and opinions that he is a threat to this progress.
Based on his writings and rulings, Judge Kavanaugh is a threat to:
•Health care for families
•LGBTQ rights
•Women’s rights
•Workers’ rights
Public safety – opposing gun regulations at a time when gun violence is a public health crisis in Pennsylvania and across the nation
This country is in crisis. The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.
Contact Numbers for Senator Pat Toomey:
215-241-1090 (Philadelphia office),
202-224-4254 (Washington, D.C. office)

PENCE COMING TO PA FOR LOU

Vice President Mike Pence is going to be coming to Pennsylvania next week to support Lou Barletta for the Senate. Here’s a statement from Barletta’s campaign:
It has been an honor to work with my friend and former House colleague, Vice President Pence, to implement a conservative, pro-America agenda. Because of the Vice President’s hard work, we have lowered taxes for Pennsylvania families, strengthened our borders, and kickstarted the economy!
Friend, I am committed to working with President Trump and Vice President Pence to Make America Great Again. I promise you, if elected to be your U.S. Senator, I will work every day to make you and our great state proud.
Just so you know, if Barletta is committed to working with President Trump and Vice President Pence to “Make American Again”, perhaps given the President’s latest fiasco with Russia, we all better bone up on our Russian
Barletta MUST be asked the question, “Do you side with President Trump in his attack on our own intelligence agencies and the Vice President’s tacit support of the Trump actions?
If so, Lou Barletta DOES NOT belong in the Senate. .

BARLETTA VOTES TO STRENGTHEN GENOCIDE PREVENTION EFFORTS

Lou Barletta (Photo: LuLac archives)
Congressman Lou Barletta voted for H.R. 3030, the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocity Prevention Act. Named after the Nobel Peace Prize recipient whose personal experience as a Holocaust survivor led him to defend human rights and peace globally, the bill, which Barletta cosponsored, would require the prevention of genocide and similar crimes to be part of the U.S. National security strategy. The House passed H.R. 3030 by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 406 to five.
“The United States is the international leader in responding to genocide,” Barletta said, “and this bill helps us strengthen our efforts to prevent this kind of tragic violence from ever happening again.”
Introduced by Representative Ann Wagner (MO-02), H.R. 3030 would require the State Department to train its foreign service officers to identify warning signs and escalation of genocide. That training would include instruction on conflict assessment, delegitimizing violence, and capacity building within society to peacefully manage disputes. Further, the bill requires an annual report to Congress on the administration’s actions to prevent and respond to potential genocides and mass atrocities, and the identification of countries at risk of such genocide or mass violence. Genocide and atrocity crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing, are defined by shocking acts of violence perpetrated by governments and non-state actors, resulting in the murders of millions of civilians and other innocent persons across the globe. 
But I guess it's okay for Barletta to side with Trump for taking children away from their parents.  That happened some 75 years ago in Germany didn't it?


MEDIA MATTERS

JOE GRIES

Joe Gries (Photo: Times Leader)
Joe Gries longtime broadcaster at WBRE Radio passed away the other day. Through the years, Joe and I would occasionally butt heads but he was always a gentleman. Our source of conflict came when I was an inrern at the then unionized WBRE Radio and TV. As a kid, Gries had to gently rein me in.
Joseph began his career in broadcasting at Texas Lutheran College and later the University of Texas and West Virginia University. In 1955, he returned to the Wyoming Valley, working for WBRE Radio and later WSCR in Scranton, to announce University of Scranton athletics and high school sports. He covered thousands of high school, college and professional baseball, basketball and football games in his long career, most notably the Sugar Bowl, and did play-by-play for the New York Giants, the great Wilkes College Colonels football teams and King's College basketball teams of the late 60s and 70s. He retired as the national sales manager and sports director at WARD Radio.
For his distinguished broadcasting career, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. In addition, he received the Wilkes University Lifetime Career Achievement award, PIAA Broadcaster of the Year award, Capital Records Disc Jockey of the Year award and numerous other honors and awards for his service to the community as a speaker before various civic clubs and groups.
Joe was high school and college football/baseball/ basketball broadcasting in this area. He was a consummate pro and shared enthusiasm for the sport and the athletes. The last time I saw Joe was when he and Jim Ward attended a Tony Bennett concert at the Kirby when Bennett was making his rebound. Great guy. He was pure class.


WALN TV

BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUM

Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400-The Game, NEPA's Fox .Sports Radio and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


ECTV LIVE

Rusty Fender will handle the hosting duties on ECTV Live during the week of July 23rd while David DeCosmo is on vacation. Rusty welcomes Marko Marcinko and Bob Shelsinger to the program to unveil plans for this year's Scranton Jazz Festival.
ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired during the Noon, 6pm and Midnight hours each day of the week. Following Monday's Live program the show will become available on Electric City Television's YouTube channel which can be viewed on your computer.


BUDDY RUMCHEK

Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”

BOBBY V’S DOO WOP SOCK HOP
SUNDAY NIGHTS!

1960

Our 1960 logo

The Soviet Union completed the Sino-Soviet split by notifying the government of the People's Republic of China that all 1,390 Soviet advisors and experts there would be withdrawn. Over the next monthhe Soviets cancelled twelve economic and technological agreements, and 200 joint projects.[3……..The phrase "New Frontier", which would be used to describe the policies of John F. Kennedy, was first used in Kennedy's acceptance of the Democratic presidential nomination in Los Angeles. After referring to the American West ("what was once the 'last frontier'"), Kennedy said that "we stand today on the edge of a new frontier— the frontier of the 1960s"…..In Chicago, the National League's owners voted unanimously to expand from eight teams to ten, and to meet with leaders of the American League and the new Continental League to plan the growth of Major League Baseball. The new NL teams, both in CL cities, would be the New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45s (later the Houston Astros)…… At 8:30 pm EST, CBS aired the unsold pilot for "Head of the Family" on Comedy Spot.

The pilot had Carl Reiner as TV writer Rob Petrie, Barbara Britton as Rob's wife Laura, Sylvia Miles as Sally Rogers and Morty Gunty as Buddy Sorrell. In 1961, CBS would score a hit with a new name and a new cast of Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam…President Eisenhower announced that the United States had a budget surplus of $1.06 billion at the end of the 1960 fiscal year, a dramatic turnaround from the $12,426,000,000 deficit at the end of the 1959 fiscal year…The first television station in Egypt began broadcasting. After a verse from the Koran was read, United Arab Republic President Gamal Abdel Nasser was shown live, making a speech during celebrations of the eighth anniversary of the 1952 revolution…..Pennsylvania Democrats return from their convention in L.A. convinced that they have a winning ticket with Senators Kennedy and Johnson….in Scranton Young Democrats at the University of Scranton led by a young Jim McNulty say they are all in support of the ticket and fifty eight years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was Finger Poppin' Time by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3837, July 18th, 2018

NELSON MANDELA @ 100

Mandela in Brazil. (Photo: Wikipedia)
It was 100 years ago today that Nelson Mandela was born. Today we continue our series of famous people born in 1918. Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in Mvezo, British South Africa. He studied law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of the Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in Johannesburg. There he became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics, joining the ANC in 1943 and co-founding its Youth League in 1944. After the National Party's white-only government established apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged whites, he and the ANC committed themselves to its overthrow. Mandela was appointed President of the ANC's Transvaal branch, rising to prominence for his involvement in the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People. He was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the 1956 Treason Trial. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the banned South African Communist Party (SACP). Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government. In 1962, he was arrested for conspiring to overthrow the state and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.
Mandela served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison, and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure, and with fears of a racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990. Mandela and de Klerk led efforts to negotiate an end to apartheid, which resulted in the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to victory and became President. Leading a broad coalition government which promulgated a new constitution, Mandela emphasized reconciliation between the country's racial groups and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. Economically, Mandela's administration retained its predecessor's liberal framework despite his own socialist beliefs, also introducing measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial and served as Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999. He declined a second presidential term and in 1999 was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an elder statesman and focused on combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Although critics on the right denounced him as a communist terrorist and those on the radical left deemed him too eager to negotiate and reconcile with apartheid's supporters, he gained international acclaim for his activism. Widely regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice, he received more than 250 honors—including the Nobel Peace Prize—and became the subject of a cult of personality. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba, and described as the "Father of the Nation". (LuLac, wikipedia)

The LuLac Edition #3836, July 18th, 2018

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo

This week we can't help but bring to the attention of our readers an opinion piece by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times. Friedman has been one of the most prolific writers in terms of American Foreign Policy and the ramifications it has had on the United States. In this article, he cites a dire warning for this country and the very foundation of its being, or democracy. One must wonder after Monday's meeting with Putin, can this Republic be saved?

WHATEVER TRUMP IS HIDING IS HURTING US ALL NOW

Our democracy is in serious danger.
President Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy.
That is, either Trump’s real estate empire has taken large amounts of money from shady oligarchs linked to the Kremlin — so much that they literally own him; or rumors are true that he engaged in sexual misbehavior while he was in Moscow running the Miss Universe contest, which Russian intelligence has on tape and he doesn’t want released; or Trump actually believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he is innocent of intervening in our elections — over the explicit findings of Trump’s own C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. chiefs.
In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. It is impossible yet to say which explanation for his behavior is true, but it seems highly likely that one of these scenarios explains Trump’s refusal to respond to Russia’s direct attack on our system — a quiescence that is simply unprecedented for any U.S. president in history. Russia is not our friend. It has acted in a hostile manner. And Trump keeps ignoring it all.
Up to now, Trump has been flouting the norms of the presidency. Now Trump’s behavior amounts to a refusal to carry out his oath of office — to protect and defend the Constitution. Here’s an imperfect but close analogy: It’s as if George W. Bush had said after 9/11: “No big deal. I am going golfing over the weekend in Florida and blogging about how it’s all the Democrats’ fault — no need to hold a National Security Council meeting.”
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At a time when the special prosecutor Robert Mueller — leveraging several years of intelligence gathering by the F.B.I., C.I.A. and N.S.A. — has brought indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups — all linked in some way to the Kremlin — for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections, America needs a president who will lead our nation’s defense against this attack on the integrity of our electoral democracy.
What would that look like? He would educate the public on the scale of the problem; he would bring together all the stakeholders — state and local election authorities, the federal government, both parties and all the owners of social networks that the Russians used to carry out their interference — to mount an effective defense; and he would bring together our intelligence and military experts to mount an effective offense against Putin — the best defense of all.
What we have instead is a president vulgarly tweeting that the Russians are “laughing their asses off in Moscow” for how we’ve been investigating their interventions — and exploiting the terrible school shooting in Florida — and the failure of the F.B.I. to properly forward to its Miami field office a tip on the killer — to throw the entire F.B.I. under the bus and create a new excuse to shut down the Mueller investigation.
Think for a moment how demented was Trump’s Saturday night tweet: “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign — there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”
To the contrary. Our F.B.I., C.I.A. and N.S.A., working with the special counsel, have done us amazingly proud. They’ve uncovered a Russian program to divide Americans and tilt our last election toward Trump — i.e., to undermine the very core of our democracy — and Trump is telling them to get back to important things like tracking would-be school shooters. Yes, the F.B.I. made a mistake in Florida. But it acted heroically on Russia. What is more basic than protecting American democracy?
It is so obvious what Trump is up to: Again, he is either a total sucker for Putin or, more likely, he is hiding something that he knows the Russians have on him, and he knows that the longer Mueller’s investigation goes on, the more likely he will be to find and expose it.
Donald, if you are so innocent, why do you go to such extraordinary lengths to try to shut Mueller down? And if you are really the president — not still head of the Trump Organization, who moonlights as president, which is how you so often behave — why don’t you actually lead — lead not only a proper cyberdefense of our elections, but also an offense against Putin.
Putin used cyberwarfare to poison American politics, to spread fake news, to help elect a chaos candidate, all in order to weaken our democracy. We should be using our cyber-capabilities to spread the truth about Putin — just how much money he has stolen, just how many lies he has spread, just how many rivals he has jailed or made disappear — all to weaken his autocracy. That is what a real president would be doing right now.
My guess is what Trump is hiding has to do with money. It’s something about his financial ties to business elites tied to the Kremlin. They may own a big stake in him. Who can forget that quote from his son Donald Trump Jr. from back in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.” They may own our president.
But whatever it is, Trump is either trying so hard to hide it or is so naïve about Russia that he is ready to not only resist mounting a proper defense of our democracy, he’s actually ready to undermine some of our most important institutions, the F.B.I. and Justice Department, to keep his compromised status hidden.
That must not be tolerated. This is code red. The biggest threat to the integrity of our democracy today is in the Oval Office.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/18/opinion/trump-russia-putin.html




Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The LuLac Edition 3835, July 17th, 2018

TED WILLIAMS @ 100
(Photos: Sport Magazine, AP)
He had retired just as I was becoming aware of baseball. But 58 years after his final game, in which he hit a home run to end his career, Ted Williams remains one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game.  Here are a few observations from various sources through the years.
Williams was selected to 19 All-Star games, won two American League MVP awards and batted .406 in 1941, one of the greatest hitting seasons ever. He led the AL in home runs four times, in batting average six times, and twice won the prestigious triple crown award, in 1942 and 1947.
Theodore Samuel "Ted" Williams was born August 30, 1918. He played his entire 19-year Major League Baseball career as a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox from 1939 to 1960, only interrupted by service time during World War II and the Korean War. Nicknamed "The Kid", "The Splendid Splinter", "Teddy Ballgame", "The Thumper", and "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived", Williams is regarded as one of the greatest players in baseball history, despite being a below average defensive left fielder. In addition to his all star heroics, Williams was a two-time recipient of the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award, a six-time AL batting champion, and a two-time Triple Crown winner. He finished his playing career with a .344 batting average, 521 home runs, and a .482 on-base percentage, the highest of all time. His career batting average is the highest of any MLB player whose career was played primarily in the live-ball era, and ranks tied for 7th all-time (with Billy Hamilton).
Born and raised in San Diego, Williams played baseball throughout his youth. Joining the Red Sox in 1939, he immediately emerged as one of the sport's best hitters. In 1941, Williams posted a .406 batting average, making him the last MLB player to bat over .400 in a season. He followed this up by winning his first Triple Crown in 1942. 


Williams interrupted his baseball career in 1943 to serve three years in the United States Navy and Marine Corps during World War II. One must reflect on what his numbers might have been if his career was not interrupted by two wars. Upon returning to the majors in 1946, Williams won his first AL MVP Award and played in his only World Series. In 1947, he won his second Triple Crown. Williams was returned to active military duty for portions of the 1952 and 1953 seasons to serve as a Marine combat aviator in the Korean War. In 1957 and 1958 at the ages of 39 and 40, respectively, he was the AL batting champion for the fifth and sixth time.
Williams retired from playing in 1960. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, in his first year of eligibility. Williams managed the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers franchise from 1969 to 1972. An avid sport fisherman, he hosted a television program about fishing, and was inducted into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame. Williams' involvement in the Jimmy Fund helped raise millions in dollars for cancer care and research. In 1991 President George H. W. Bush presented Williams with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States government. He was selected for the Major League Baseball All-Time Team in 1997 and the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
It all began in 1939. Williams came to spring training three days late, thanks to Williams driving from California to Florida and respiratory problems, the latter of which would plague Williams for the rest of his career. In the winter, the Red Sox traded right fielder Ben Chapman to the Cleveland Indians to make room for Williams on the roster, even though Chapman had hit .340 in the previous season. This led Boston Globe sports journalist Gerry Moore to quip, "Not since Joe DiMaggio broke in with the Yankees by "five for five" in St. Petersburg in 1936 has any baseball rookie received the nationwide publicity that has been accorded this spring to Theodore Francis Williams". Williams inherited Chapman's number 9 on his uniform as opposed to Williams' number 5 in the previous spring training. He made his major league debut against the New York Yankees on April 20, going 1-for-4 against Yankee pitcher Red Ruffing.
In the second week of spring training in 1941, Williams broke a bone in his right ankle, limiting him to pinch hitting for the first two weeks of the season. Bobby Doerr later claimed that the injury would be the foundation of Williams' season, as it forced him to put less pressure on his right foot for the rest of the season. Against the Chicago White Sox on May 7, in extra innings, Williams told the Red Sox pitcher, Charlie Wagner, to hold the White Sox, since he was going to hit a home run. In the 11th inning, Williams' prediction came true, as he hit a big blast to help the Red Sox win. The home run is still considered to be the longest home run ever hit in the old Comiskey Park, some saying that it went 600 feet (183 meters). Williams' average slowly climbed in the first half of May, and on May 15, he started a 22-game hitting streak. From May 17 to June 1, Williams batted .536, with his season average going above .400 on May 25 and then continuing up to .430. By the All-Star break, Williams was hitting .406 with 62 RBIs and 16 home runs.

In the 1941 All-Star Game, Williams batted fourth behind Joe DiMaggio, who was in the midst of his record-breaking hitting streak, having hit safely in 48 consecutive games. In the fourth inning Williams doubled to drive in a run. With the National League (NL) leading 5-2 in the eighth inning, Williams struck out in the middle of an American League (AL) rally. In the ninth inning the AL still trailed 5-3; Ken Keltner and Joe Gordon singled, and Cecil Travis walked to load the bases. DiMaggio grounded to the infield and Billy Herman, attempting to complete a double play, threw wide of first base, allowing Keltner to score. With the score 5-4 and runners on first and third, Williams homered with his eyes closed to secure a 7-5 AL win. Williams later said that that game-winning home run "remains to this day the most thrilling hit of my life".
In late August, Williams was hitting .402. Williams said that "just about everybody was rooting for me" to hit .400 in the season, including Yankee fans, who gave pitcher Lefty Gomez a "hell of a boo" after walking Williams with the bases loaded after Williams had gotten three straight hits one game in September. In mid-September, Williams was hitting .413, but dropped a point a game from then on. Before the final two games on September 28, a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics, he was batting .39955, which would have been officially rounded up to .400.[59] Red Sox manager Joe Cronin offered him the chance to sit out the final day, but he declined. "If I'm going to be a .400 hitter", he said at the time, "I want more than my toenails on the line." Williams went 6-for-8 on the day, finishing the season at .406. (Sacrifice flies were counted as at-bats in 1941; under today's rules, Williams would have hit between .411 and .419, based on contemporaneous game accounts.) Philadelphia fans ran out on the field to surround Williams after the game, forcing him to protect his hat from being stolen; he was helped into the clubhouse by his teammates. Along with his .406 average, Williams also hit 37 home runs and batted in 120 runs, missing the triple crown by five RBI.
Williams' 1941 season is often considered to be the best offensive season of all time, though the MVP award would go to DiMaggio. The .406 batting average—his first of six batting championships—is still the highest single-season average in Red Sox history and the highest batting average in the major leagues since 1924, and the last time any major league player has hit over .400 for a season after averaging at least 3.1 plate appearances per game. ("If I had known hitting .400 was going to be such a big deal", he quipped in 1991, "I would have done it again.") Williams' on-base percentage of .553 and slugging percentage of .735 that season are both also the highest single-season averages in Red Sox history. The .553 OBP stood as a major league record until it was broken by Barry Bonds in 2002 and his .735 slugging percentage was the highest mark in the major leagues between 1932 and 1994. His OPS of 1.287 that year, a Red Sox record, was the highest in the major leagues between 1923 and 2001. Despite playing in only 143 games that year, Williams led the league with 135 runs scored and 37 home runs, and he finished third with 335 total bases, the most home runs, runs scored, and total bases by a Red Sox player since Jimmie Foxx's in 1938. Williams placed second in MVP voting; DiMaggio won, 291 votes to 254, on the strength of his record-breaking 56-game hitting streak and league-leading 125 RBI.
On this day, July 17, 1956, Williams became the fifth player to hit 400 home runs, following Mel Ott in 1941, Jimmie Foxx in 1938, Lou Gehrig in 1936, and Babe Ruth in 1927. On August 7, 1956, after Williams was booed for dropping a fly ball from Mickey Mantle, Williams spat at one of the fans that was taunting him on the top of the dugout. Williams was fined $5,000 for the incident The next day against Baltimore, Williams was greeted by a large ovation, and received an even larger ovation when he hit a home run in the sixth inning to break a 2 – 2 tie. In The Boston Globe, the publishers ran a "What Globe Readers Say About Ted" section made out of letters about Williams, which were either the sportswriters or the "loud mouths" in the stands. Williams explained years later, "From '56 on, I realized that people were for me. The writers had written that the fans should show me they didn't want me, and I got the biggest ovation yet".Williams lost the batting title to Mickey Mantle in 1956, batting .345 to Mantle's .353, with Mantle on his way to winning the Triple Crown.
In 1957, Williams batted .388 to lead the Major Leagues, and at the age of 40 in 1958, he led the American League with a .328 batting average.
When Pumpsie Green became the first black player on the Boston Red Sox in 1959—the last major league team to integrate its team—Williams openly welcomed Green.
Williams ended his career, hitting a home run in his very last at-bat on September 28, 1960. A essay written by John Updike the following month for The New Yorker, "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu", chronicles this event.

Williams is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to have appeared in Major League games in four decades. He is also one of only four players to hit a home run in each of four different decades, the others being Willie McCovey (who, like Williams, also retired with 521 career home runs), Rickey Henderson and Omar Vizquel. 

 In his last years, Williams suffered from cardiomyopathy. He had a pacemaker implanted in November 2000 and he underwent open-heart surgery in January 2001. After suffering a series of strokes and congestive heart failure, he died of cardiac arrest at the age of 83 on July 5, 2002, at Citrus Memorial Hospital, Inverness, Florida, near his home in Citrus Hills, Florida. (wikipedia, Sport Magazine, LuLac)