Tuesday, February 07, 2023

The LuLac Edition #4, 908, February 7th, 2023




I spent this morning at the Jewish Community Centers Men’s Club. I spoke about Black History Month and touched on the work the Wilkes-Barre Health Department did with minority populations. I made the statement that truth had more nuances than lies. The initial reaction to the balloon over Montana was telling in its partisan bent. Republicans yelled, “you’re WEAK! Shoot it down!”  The Democratic administration took it time knowing that if you shot it down, you weren’t being weak but smart. People could get killed by debris. But the GOP persisted saying the administration was found wanting.

A senior US defense official said Saturday there were three instances during the Trump administration when China briefly flew a surveillance balloon over the continental United States.

The “PRC (People's Republic of China) government surveillance balloons transited the continental United States briefly at least three times during the prior administration and once that we know of at the beginning of this administration, but never for this duration of time,” the defense official said.

Mark Esper, the former Secretary of Defense under President Donald Trump, told 'CNN This Morning’ on Friday that he was “surprised” by the Pentagon’s statement that similar incidents had happened during the Trump administration.

When US President Joe Biden learned a suspected Chinese spy balloon was drifting through the stratosphere 60,000 feet above Montana, his first inclination was to take it down.

By then, however, it was both too early and too late. After flying over swaths of sparsely populated land, it was now projected to keep drifting over American cities and towns. The debris from the balloon could endanger lives on the ground, his top military

brass told him.

The massive white orb, carrying aloft a payload the size of three coach buses, had already been floating in and out of American airspace for three days by the time Biden was briefed by his top general, according to two US officials.

Its arrival had gone unnoticed by the public as it floated eastward over Alaska – where it was first detected by North American Aerospace Defense Command on January 28 – toward Canada. NORAD continued to track and assess the balloon’s path and activities, but military officials assigned little importance to the intrusion into American airspace, having often witnessed Chinese spy balloons slip into the skies above the United States. At the time, the balloon was not assessed to be an intelligence risk or physical threat, officials say.

This time, however, the balloon kept going: high over Alaska, into Canada and back toward the US, attracting little attention from anyone looking up from the ground.

“We’ve seen them and monitored them, briefed Congress on the capabilities they can bring to the table,” another US official told CNN. “But we’ve never seen something as brazen as this.”

It would take seven days from when the balloon first entered US airspace before an F-22 fighter jet fired a heat-seeking missile into the balloon on the opposite end of the country, sending its equipment and machinery tumbling into the Atlantic Ocean.

The bottom line here is that some people of America gladly showed their ignorance and their lack of trust in military matters. (LuLac, CNN)  

Monday, February 06, 2023

The LuLac Edition #4, 907, February 6th, 2023


Thursday, February 02, 2023

The LuLac Edition #4, 906, February 2nd, 2023



I am wondering why it took Luzerne County Council SO LONG to distribute federal money to County residents. Could it be that the impotent Republican majority can't govern? Why did it take so long when other more competent and compassion laden people got the money out months go? 

Maybe they're all as dumb as some of them look.    


Newly released video obtained by CBS News provides the first look at former President Donald Trump's deposition last summer in the New York attorney general's civil fraud investigation.

"This is the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country."  He called James "a renegade and out of control prosecutor" and accused her of having political motives for her office's investigation into his financial practices.

"This whole thing is very unfair," Trump says in the deposition video.

"Anyone in my position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool, an absolute fool," Trump said, adding that on the advice of counsel, "I respectfully decline to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution. Here is the video from CBS News.

And here is a video song out going out to Baby Diaper Donald Trump.



Former President Donald Trump is strapped for campaign cash following the mid-November launch of his 2024 presidential campaign, according to end-of-year figures obtained exclusively by NBC News.

Trump, who has been the GOP’s most prolific fundraiser in recent years, pulled in about $9.5 million over the final six weeks of last year through his campaign and a joint fundraising committee, according to a person familiar with his haul.

The numbers were shared with NBC News in advance of Trump's filing of the first campaign finance totals of his third bid for the presidency Tuesday.

Trump's decision to launch in the shadow of a tough midterm election for the GOP, donor fatigue and his soon-to-end absence from the social media giant Facebook all contributed to the cash crunch, Republican operatives said.

In a sign that Trump understands he’ll need to raise more money faster for what promises to be a competitive GOP primary campaign, his campaign recently expanded its digital fundraising team by hiring the firm Campaign Inbox to solicit the small-dollar donor set. Campaign officials have long said he would use the early part of this year to build up his apparatus and begin expanding his footprint in early primary states.

There are other reasons to think that Trump can bolster his cash machine.

He has yet to launch a traditional mail-fundraising apparatus, which is a time-tested means of gathering small contributions in large numbers. And his early fundraising has been limited by his ban from Facebook, a top fundraising platform for him in 2016 and 2020, which kicked him off for inciting the mob that sacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. But the company has said the ban will be lifted.

Trump also hurt himself by announcing his campaign right after the midterm elections, a fundraising doldrums for candidates across the partisan and ideological spectrum. (NBC News)



Senator John Fetterman with blog editor  (Photo: LuLac archives)

Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman on Thursday released the following statement after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the percentage of American workers who belong to a union dropped to its lowest rate ever:

“Every worker deserves a union. Unions built the middle class and they built America. It’s time to pass the PRO Act and drastically expand union membership across this country.”




Senator Bob Casey (Photo: LuLac archives)

U.S. Senator Bob Casey Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI-6) are introducing legislation to expand access to home and community-based services for older adults, people with disabilities, and injured workers, while increasing pay and improving benefits for the caregivers who provide this life-sustaining care. The Better Care Better Jobs Act would enhance Medicaid funding for home care, helping many of the over 650,000 people on waiting lists nationally finally receive care in the setting of their choice, allowing them to stay active in their communities, and live independently. This legislation would also strengthen the caregiving workforce, improve quality of life for families, and boost the economy by creating good-paying jobs to make it possible for families and workers alike to thrive economically.

“The United States is in the midst of a caregiving crisis. Across this Nation, seniors and people with disabilities are struggling to find and afford care, forcing families to make difficult decisions like leaving the workforce in order to care for a loved one. For too long, many families thought this was a personal issue that they had to deal with on their own but now, countless families across the Nation know that they are not alone in this fight and that there is a solution. The Better Care Better Jobs Act is a generational investment in home care—it’s about both caring for our loved ones and making the smart economic choice for families and communities across all levels of the government to strengthen this workforce. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s an American issue,” said Chairman Casey.   

“We have a caregiving crisis in this country that has been worsened by the Coronavirus pandemic. More than 50% of Americans 50 or older serve as a caregiver, and family caregivers need relief. As many know, this is deeply personal for me – I was lucky to have my husband John receive care at home, which showed me the significant fractures in this system, from low wages for workers to thousands on HCBS waitlists to so many people not knowing how to get the care they desperately need. Aging Americans and individuals with disabilities overwhelmingly prefer to receive care in the comfort of their homes and within their communities. Better Care Better Jobs moves us closer toward ensuring that no one must wait to get the care they deserve, and no care worker has to live below the poverty line to provide this care. I thank Senator Casey for his continued partnership in this fight,” said Congresswoman Dingell.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgent need to ensure that all Americans have the option to receive quality, long-term care in the setting that meets their needs and preferences, and the vast majority of Americans prefer to receive such care and support at home. While all states provide coverage for some home care services, there are significant variations and gaps in coverage due to varying eligibility and benefits standards. The home care workforce—a majority of whom are women and people of color—earn a median wage of $13 per hour with few or no benefits while providing life-sustaining care. Roughly 18 percent of these workers live in poverty. This results in exceptionally high annual turnover rates, estimated to be above 60 percent.

The Better Care Better Jobs Act would increase payment rates to promote recruitment and retention of direct care workers, increase wages, and develop and update training opportunities. The legislation would provide support to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to conduct oversight and encourage innovation to benefit direct care workers and care recipients.

The Senate cosponsors of the Better Care Better Jobs Act are U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Fetterman (D-PA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jack Reed (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Peter Welch (D-VT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Gary Peters (D-MI).



Governor Josh Shapiro (LuLac archives)

Governor Josh Shapiro signed an Executive Order to improve the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes, beginning a comprehensive review of how long it takes agencies to process applications and how workers and businesses apply online. This Executive Order will help to establish a date-certain for each license, permit, or certificate by which applicants will hear back – if applicants don’t receive a response by that date, the agency responsible will refund their application fee.

The Shapiro Administration is committed to transforming Pennsylvania government to more effectively and efficiently serve Pennsylvanians. Last week, Governor Shapiro launched a new initiative to grow Pennsylvania’s economy and provide faster, more efficient customer service to Pennsylvanians when he created the Office of Transformation and Opportunity – a one-stop-shop for businesses that want to grow in Pennsylvania. Today’s Executive Order builds on Governor Shapiro’s commitment to improving how government works and creating economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.

Pennsylvania workers often have to wait months and are forced to navigate inefficient digital systems to receive their professional license, permit, or certification – and Governor Shapiro knows this is unacceptable. The Governor is directing all state agencies, boards, and commissions to compile a catalog of the licenses, certificates, and permits they issue – including the statutory authority governing the length of time they must process applications and the application fee charged by each agency. Commonwealth agencies will have 90 days to send this information to the Governor’s Office, which will then review, analyze, and establish efficient application processing times for all occupational permits or licenses based on agency recommendations. Once those recommendations are put in place, if an agency does not respond to an applicant before the date-certain, the agency will be required to refund the application fee.

Under this Executive Order, the Governor’s Office will also conduct a review of the existing digital services that Pennsylvanians use to apply for licenses, certificates, and permits and work to modernize those application platforms and services to better serve Pennsylvanians.

“State government’s top priority should be serving the people of our Commonwealth, but for far too long, Pennsylvanians have had to endure long wait times, outdated systems, and bureaucratic delays. They deserve a government that works efficiently and effectively to get them answers,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Under my Administration, Pennsylvanians will have certainty – they will know how long it will take for agencies to respond, and if an agency doesn’t live up to that promise, they deserve their money back. Pennsylvanians work hard to keep our economy moving, and the Commonwealth should work just as hard to process their applications.”

“Today, with this Executive Order, Governor Shapiro has launched Pennsylvania on a new path. This Administration is making the people of Pennsylvania and customer service our top priority,” said Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt. “People shouldn’t have to suffer through long wait times to put their skills and knowledge to good use. Together, with the Governor’s Office, we will work to ensure Pennsylvanians can get to work in a timely fashion without having red tape hold them back.”

Unpredictability and long wait times for Commonwealth-issued licenses, certificates, and permits can create unnecessary barriers for Pennsylvania workers and businesses. For example, an NPR analysis from 2021 found that Pennsylvania had some of the longest wait times in the country for issuing nursing licenses. More than half of the nursing applicants who applied in Pennsylvania that year waited at least three months to hear back.

In addition to nursing licenses, the Commonwealth issues hundreds of licenses, certificates, and permits, from barber and salon licenses to teacher certifications to business permits. Under the direction of the Governor, the Administration will work expeditiously to ensure Pennsylvanians get responses in a timely manner – and the Shapiro Administration will have real skin in the game. Governor Shapiro is making clear his Administration will be customer-service oriented and that state government will work harder to get them a response, so that they can pursue their dream





Rob McDonald debuted his show Tuesday on WILK's 3 to 6pm slot. A transplanted New York detective McDonald will apparently not lend any balance to the daily line up. He brought up George Santos and then went into a derailed little speech on ONE THING Elizabeth Warren did, and then made a snide remark about Hillary Clinton. (Another guy with a hard on for Hillary!) I was back to NPR after 3 minutes of his "whataboutisms" and hearing about his drinking glass just like Sinatra's. 

And the tiresome beat goes on.





 You'll hear the program Sunday at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400 am The Mothership and 7:30 am on 105 The River.




Our 1954 logo.

After authorizing $385 million over the $400 million already budgeted for military aid to Vietnam, President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower warns against his country's intervention in Vietnam. Eisenhower’s Cold War policies were firm but cautious. He sought to contain communist expansion while easing tensions and avoiding direct confrontation. He was determined to prevent Vietnam from falling into communist hands, seeing this as a threat to all of south-east Asia. Eisenhower’s administration funded the French in their struggle against the Viet Minh, though the president harboured concerns about returning the French to Vietnam as a neo-colonial power. In 1954, Eisenhower refused to intervene to save the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu, ignoring the advice of vice president Richard Nixon, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his military chiefs.  After the French defeat, Eisenhower’s administration refused to sign the Geneva Accords or abide by their resolutions. Eisenhower also backed the formation of South Vietnam as a separate state and the instalment of Ngo Dinh Diem as its pro-Western leader. Eisenhower supported Diem through the 1950s, despite strong misgivings about Diem’s anti-democratic and often brutal methods. Eisenhower retired in January 1961, handing the presidency to John F. Kennedy. During Eisenhower’s two terms the US had been drawn into Vietnam, first as a benefactor to the French, then as a supporter of the Diem regime in Saigon. Eisenhower’s defiance of the Geneva Accords and his involvement in Vietnam left a difficult legacy for the three presidents who followed him. Eisenhower lived out his remaining years in Pennsylvania, sometimes speaking publicly in support of US military involvement in Vietnam. He died in March 1969…and this week in 1954 the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Little Things Mean A Lot” by Kitty Kallen.