Friday, April 19, 2024

The LuLac Edition #5, 097, April 19th, 2024

 

JOE BIDEN COMES TO TOWN



 

President Joe Biden came back home on a first stop in this crucial state. Here’s a summary of what he talked about when he arrived.

HIS RIVAL AND WHAT HE WANTS TO TAKE AWAY

“Folks, he’s coming for your money, your health care, and your Social Security, and we’re not gonna let it happen, we can’t let that happen — we won’t let that happen.”

TRUMP’S FOR THE RICH

“Now Trump is running again on the same failed trickle-down policies,” Biden said. “Nothing has changed. Just a few months in Florida, he said You’re rich as hell. We’re going to give you tax cuts.’ Folks, they laughed about it — not because they didn’t think it happened — but because they know it will happen.” No billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a teacher, a sanitation worker, a nurse.”

MEMORIES OF SCRANTON

“Scranton is a place that climbs into your heart and never leaves,”I learned a lot in Scranton. I learned that money doesn’t determine your worth. All everyone wants is a fair shot. People like Donald Trump learned a different lesson — his money was handed to him.

THE ECONOMY

“When I look at the economy, I don’t see it through the eyes of Mar-a-Lago — I see it through the eyes of Scranton. I prefer Scranton values over Mar-a-Lago values. I’m a capitalist — if you wanna make a million bucks, fine, just make sure you pay your fair share in taxes.”

MEDICAL ADVICE FROM DR. TRUMP DURING THE PANDEMIC

“Trump told us to inject bleach, remember that. Bless me, Father!”

SOCIAL SAFETY NET

“I’ll protect Social Security and Medicare, and I’ll make the wealthy pay their fair share, and I’ll expand the child tax credit, because no child should live in poverty.”

ON THE MILITARY AND VETERANS

Biden became passionate about how Trump  called soldiers who served, were injured or gave their lives, “suckers”. How dare he, who the hell does he think he is?”


 

(Photos: WNEP)

Biden then went to his old neighborhood, visited the family who obtained his boyhood home, spoke to a union group (Carpenters) then spent the night in town.

The next day before leaving he visited an old haunt, Hank’s Hoagies near Marywood and left for Pittsburgh. 


KENNEDY FAMILY MAKES ‘CRYSTAL CLEAR’ ITS BIDEN ENDORSEMENT IN ATTEMPT TO DEFLATE RFK JR.’S CANDIDACY

The AP reports from Philadelphia on the last day of President Biden’s tour that  President Joe Biden scooped up endorsements from at least 15 members of the Kennedy political family during a campaign stop Thursday as he aims to undermine Donald Trump and marginalize the candidacy of independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, niece of former President John F. Kennedy and sister of the current presidential candidate, delivered the endorsements in Philadelphia by calling Biden “my hero.”

“We want to make crystal clear our feelings that the best way forward for America is to reelect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for four more years,” she said.

She never directly mentioned her brother, but insisted “there are only two candidates with any chance of winning the presidency” this year, framing the campaign as a choice between Biden and Trump, with no room for a third party contender.

 

THE RACE IN THE 120th

Musto, McDermott, Leard and Pugh (Citizens' Voice)

The Wilkes-Barre League of Women voters hosted a debate for the people running for the seat being vacated by 5 termer Aaron Kaufer.

The Citizens’ Voice reports that During a League of Women Voters forum on Tuesday night for 120th state House District candidates, Democrat Fern Leard often offered different takes on issues than the three Republican candidates — Patrick Musto, Lee Ann McDermott and Brenda Pugh. Buffer.

So three GOP candidates showed, while Leard was the only Democrat. Leard ran the last time against Aaron Ksaufer and ran a good race. Her events have been packed with good supporters this year and she has the endorsement of long time retired Representative Phyllis Mundy. Musto  and McDermott (a second term County Council member) are up against Brenda Pugh who has the support of the moneyed and traditional GOP. She will most likely emerge as the winner as the other two split their oppodsition tallies.(LuLac)

Leard was the only candidate to express support for legalizing recreational marijuana, for a constitutional amendment to protect the right to get an abortion and for closing the loophole that allows the sale of firearms at gun shows without background checks. Leard also said she wanted to close tax loopholes for big corporations and opposes using public money to fund private schools.

The Republican candidates said they oppose legalizing recreational marijuana, want to eliminate property taxes, oppose changing laws on gun ownership and support school choice in which funding goes to the schools students choose to attend. Buffer

These statements are what one would expect from their philosophies. (LuLac)

John Morgan Leard’;s opponent said he had a meeting at the Sanitary Authority and could not attend. The meeting ended at 530. He was seen taking pizza to workers at Toby Creek at 630. The debate was at 7 so the question  is why did he not attend to face the people.

It is interesting that no one asked (or maybe the League got the question and ran out of time) what the three GOP candidates thought about the recent split in their party and who they were aligned  with.

The answer to that question would have been more illuminating than the boiler plate answers given. (d) (Michael Buffer, Citizens’ Voice, LuLac)


CARTWRIGHT BILLS WILL PROTECT AMERICAN TAXPAYERS, CLEAN UP ‘ZOMBIE’ COAL MINES

THE COAL CLEANUP TAXPAYER PROTECTION ACT AND BOND IMPROVEMENT AND RECLAMATION ASSURANCE ACT WILL ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY AND SAFEGUARD COMMUNITIES


Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) introduced a pair of bills to help ensure accountability and save taxpayers millions by addressing and preventing “zombie mines,” idled modern-era mines that have not been cleaned up by irresponsible coal companies.

The Coal Cleanup Taxpayer Protection Act, co-led by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06), will help ensure coal companies restore mine lands across the country to their original state after mining operations cease. 

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) was supposed to ensure that mines would not be abandoned without sufficient funding available to clean up and reclaim them. Typically, these funds would be made available in the form of bonds provided by the mine operator as part of the initial permitting process. If the mine operator failed and did not restore a mine to usable land, the bond would be forfeited, providing the state with enough money to cover the cost of cleanup.

However, loopholes within SMCRA have allowed too many mine operators to fail to put down bonds equal to cleanup costs. This means coal mine operators have been able to avoid responsibility and costs required for cleaning up their mines once those mines are closed.

Cartwright’s Coal Cleanup Taxpayer Protection Act eliminates reckless self-bonding practices and requires operators to put down the full cost required for cleanup of their mines. Currently, self-bonding allows coal companies to promise to cover these cleanup costs without putting up sureties or collateral, leaving regulators with little to no recourse if a coal company goes bankrupt and forcing the American people to fund unfinished cleanup efforts. The bill also tightens rules on other types of bonding that have been shown to leave taxpayers paying for cleanup costs.

“We’ve seen way too many coal companies file for bankruptcy and break their promise to clean up mine sites after they’ve made their profits, leaving the American people on the hook to foot the bill,” said Congressman Cartwright, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. “These idled and abandoned mines also prevent economic development and pose environmental dangers.”

“If you build it, it should be your responsibility to take it down and clean it up,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “Non-operating, defunct mines continue to negatively impact our water, air and lakes, and it shouldn’t be on the taxpayer to foot the bill to clean up these sites. I’m glad to join Congressman Cartwright to introduce the Coal Cleanup Taxpayer Protection Act to put an end to this harmful practice.”

This legislation is endorsed by the Alliance for Appalachia, Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, Appalachian Voices, Citizens Coal Council, Earthjustice, Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR), Friends of the Cheat, National Wildlife Federation, Powder River Basin Resource Council, Sierra Club, The Lands Council, Western Colorado Alliance for Community Action, Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), and the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.

“The whole idea of self-bonding, as it stands today, is a loophole and a farce,” said Bob LeResche, board member of the Powder River Basin Resource Council and the Western Organization of Resource Councils. “We appreciate Congressman Cartwright’s efforts to   prepare for coal company bankruptcies and the permanent closure of coal mines by tightening the rules for self-bonding. Coal companies should not be allowed to offload mine cleanup costs onto taxpayers and states.”

Cartwright’s Bond Improvement and Reclamation Assurance Act, also introduced today, goes one step further in tackling bonding issues by requiring regulators to consider important financial and environmental factors when calculating and recalculating bond amounts, specifically:

   ·  anticipated length of mine operations;

   ·  inflation rates;

   ·  long-term water pollution treatment needs;

   ·  anticipated coal market conditions;

   ·  the cost of reclamation if performed by the regulatory authority.

This legislation is endorsed by the Alliance for Appalachia, Appalachian Citizens' Law Center (ACLC), Appalachian Voices, Powder River Basin, Sierra Club and Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC).

"In the last few years in Kentucky, we've seen several mine permits abandoned by the coal operator with inadequate bond amounts,” said Rebecca Sheldon, director of Policy for the ACLC. “We’re so grateful for Congressman Cartwright's leadership in ensuring that mines have reclamation bonds that are sufficient to cover the costs of cleanup. Our regions deserve clean water and reclaimed land so that we can live safely and transition these sites into new opportunities."

 "We applaud Congressman Cartwright's dedication and leadership to ensure that coal mines are cleaned up, and to ensure that taxpayers aren't paying for coal mining reclamation,” said Chelsea Barnes, director of Government Affairs and Strategy for Appalachian Voices.  “Everyone deserves to have clean water and to be safe in their homes; the Congressman's bills are crucial measures to ensure coal companies aren't leaving mining communities to deal with their messes."

 

CASEY, BALDWIN SUCCESSFULLY PUSH BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TO INVESTIGATE UNFAIR CHINESE TRADE PRACTICES IN SHIPBUILDING

CASEY, BALDWIN PRESSED ADMINISTRATION TO CRACK DOWN ON CHINESE TRADE CHEATS, STAND UP FOR AMERICAN WORKERS


Senator Bob Casey (Photo: LuLac archives)

U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced they successfully pushed the Biden Administration to investigate unfair trade practices by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that undercut American shipbuilding, threaten our national security, and hurt American workers. Senators Casey and Baldwin have led their colleagues in support of the United Steelworkers’ (USW) effort to press the Biden Administration to initiate a full investigation into the PRC’s unfair trade practices in the maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding sectors. Today, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai announced they are heeding that call.

“Senator Baldwin and I pushed the Biden Administration to investigate the Chinese Communist Party’s shipbuilding industry to protect the American workers and manufacturers who have already paid the price for China’s cheating in this critical sector,” said Senator Casey. “I’ll continue pressing the Administration to hold this predatory regime accountable by imposing tariffs. If we do not take on the CCP, American workers will only pay a higher cost.”

 “China has been cheating the rules and it’s hurting American workers and putting our national security on the line. I am glad to see the Biden Administration heed our calls and launch this investigation to hold China accountable, helping protect America’s shipbuilding industry and American workers,” said Senator Baldwin. “Wisconsin’s manufacturing workers keep our country safe, provide for their families, and keep our economy moving forward – and I won’t let China undermine them and jeopardize that.”

Today, Trade Representative Tai announced that USTR accepted USW’s petition and will launch an investigation of China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Public comments will be accepted through May 22, 2024, and a public hearing will take place on May 29, 2024.

In March, USW filed a petition under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to call on USTR to initiate a full investigation into the PRC’s unfair trade practices in the maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding sectors. Senators Casey and Baldwin joined USW and other labor leaders in support of the petition for a press conference and also sent a letter to Trade Representative Tai to conduct a full investigation.

Over the last 20 years, the United States has lost industrial shipbuilding capacity as a result of China’s increasingly aggressive subsidization of their shipbuilding. Chinese state-owned enterprises and other facilities in China are now capable of producing over 1,000 ocean-going vessels a year, while the United States currently produces fewer than ten. While shipbuilding capacity, suppliers, and shipyards remain vital to the U.S. economy and national security, uncompetitive trade practices have led to 25,000 domestic shipbuilding suppliers leaving the U.S. market over the past 20 years.

Senator Casey is a staunch supporter of Buy America standards, as well as legislation to develop American manufacturing capacity. In November, he sent a letter to President Biden sharing their serious concerns about potential reductions of Section 232 and 301 tariffs previously imposed on China on national security grounds. That month, he also voted against a resolution to effectively remove Buy American standards for electric vehicle (EV) chargers and force the United States to continue relying on China for products critical to the next generation of clean vehicle infrastructure. He fought to pass the Build America, Buy America Act as a part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which requires that all of the iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in infrastructure projects are produced in the United States. Casey also fought to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which included tax credits for individuals and companies manufacturing or deploying clean energy technologies to help lower costs and secure our energy independence, as well as his provision to provide a “domestic content” bonus credit for companies that use American steel, iron, and manufactured goods.

Pursuant to Senate Policy, petitions, opinion polls, and unsolicited mass electronic communications cannot be initiated by Senator Casey's office for the 60-day period immediately before the date of a primary or general election. Subscribers currently receiving electronic communications from Senator Casey's office who wish to unsubscribe may do so here.

 

SHAPIRO ADMINISTRATION MAKES RECORD AMOUNT OF STATE FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR PROPERTY TAX RELIEF, SAVING MILLIONS OF PENNSYLVANIANS MONEY BY REDUCING PROPERTY TAX BURDEN

GOVERNOR SHAPIRO’S OFFICE OF THE BUDGET CERTIFIES $900 MILLION – A RECORD AMOUNT – AVAILABLE TO CUT PROPERTY TAXES FOR MILLIONS OF PENNSYLVANIANS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.

THE SHAPIRO ADMINISTRATION’S CONTINUED TRACK RECORD OF FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP IS PUTTING MORE MONEY BACK IN PENNSYLVANIANS’ POCKETS.


Governor Josh Shapiro (Photo: LuLac archives)

Governor Josh Shapiro’s Administration formally certified that a record $900 million will be available for statewide property tax relief through the Department of Education and local school districts. As is required by Act 1 of 2006, Secretary of the Budget Uri Monson certified that this record amount of relief is sustainable for at least the next five years – and local districts will be required to pass this funding on to local taxpayers.

For the past several years, the Property Tax Relief Fund has been robust enough to provide $750 million in statewide property tax relief. However, thanks to strong revenues and conservative projections from the Office of the Budget, the Shapiro Administration is able to make available a historic amount of state funding for property tax relief. Today’s announcement means that an additional $150 million will be available per year, for each of the next 5 years to help cut taxes and lower costs for Pennsylvanians.

In accordance with Act 1 of 2006, school districts are required to pass 100 percent of this funding on to its taxpayers. Often, that is done by increasing the homestead exemption, which lowers property taxes by reducing the taxable assessed value of the home. For example, if a home is assessed at $50,000 and the homestead exclusion is $5,000, then the homeowner only pays taxes on an assessed value of $45,000. School districts often use the funding announced by the Shapiro Administration today to increase the homestead exclusion, which in effect, means homeowners have a smaller tax burden and are required to pay less in property taxes.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education will notify each school district of its property tax reduction allocation no later than May 1, 2024, which will allow every school district to reduce the property tax burden on its citizens. The amount allocated to each school district will be available at education.pa.gov at that time.

“As I’ve traveled across Pennsylvania, I’ve heard from so many homeowners who are struggling with the burden of high property taxes – and that’s why I’ve been focused on cutting costs and delivering real relief for them,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Thanks to our smart, sound fiscal management, we are providing a record amount of property tax relief to millions of homeowners all across our Commonwealth, and I will continue working to bring people together in Harrisburg to cut costs and keep putting more money back in Pennsylvanians’ pockets.”

In addition to $900 million for statewide property tax relief, the Shapiro Administration also certified that $175.6 million is available to support the historic expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. Last year, Governor Shapiro and legislative leaders in both parties worked together to expand the program and pass the largest targeted tax cut for seniors in nearly two decades.

Today’s announcement builds on the Shapiro Administration’s strong record of sound fiscal management and work to cut costs and lower taxes for Pennsylvanians. Thanks in part to those policies, all three major credit rating agencies affirmed the Commonwealth’s responsible budgetary management. In December, Secretary Monson announced that the Commonwealth conducted a successful bond sale of approximately $1.3 billion in new GO Bonds, saving taxpayers nearly $100 million on debt service savings over the life of the bonds – and in January, Secretary Monson released the Commonwealth’s first-ever debt management policy, providing the Commonwealth and the public with predictable, consistent policies.

In addition to expanding the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program in his first year, Governor Shapiro secured a major expansion of the Pennsylvania Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit, helping to make childcare more affordable for over 200,000 Pennsylvania families and increasing the maximum state credit from $630 to $2,100 for Pennsylvania families.

In his 2024-25 budget proposal, Governor Shapiro called for further action to deliver real relief for Pennsylvanians, including:

$50 million for the Whole Home Repairs program, to continue to provide direct assistance to homeowners and keep more families in their homes.

$4 million for medical debt relief for low-income Pennsylvanians and calls for healthcare providers to implement transparent practices to limit medical debt from being incurred in the first place.

 

MEDIA MATTERS  

 

WVIA PUBLIC MEDIA HOSTS ANNA QUINDLEN

 

It was a great night at the Mary Stegmaier mansion as WVIA Pubic Media hosted noted author and NY Times columnist Anna Quindlen.  She spoke of many topics this evening (book banning as a terrible disservice  to young learners) dealing with less time left on this earth (for some of us more-so than others and (local news deserts 🌵 ) in a time when there is less emphasis on local news except for WVIA’s commitments to telling local stories.
I was thrilled to meet up with an old WVIA FM colleague David Bravman. I was his board man for the Sunday Night Opera. 

Here we are with Erika Funke moderator of the program. Thanks to Erika we got some nice recognition as representatives of the early days of WVIA FM.

Here is Ericka with me and Development chief Kate Sickora.
There’s always a big smile when I see my good professional friend
Alecia Panuski. Both of these leaders can be reached at WVIA if you are interested in helping public media grow.



Here is the guest of honor greeting her fans and the new novel! 👔


JASON  BARSKY’S OBSERVATIONS

I  love listening to Nancy Kman and Jason Barsky but when he is going solo, the show becomes a very different animal. Jason is a people pleaser and even in situations where there is an obvious side, Jason tries to twist himself into an isosceles triangle to be fair.

On Wednesday the day after President Biden’s visit Jason could not understand why some WILK listeners on the Facebook page were violently anti Bidden even when the leader of the free world from their home town was making simple declarative statements like “nice to be here”.  Jason was confused that these listeners were saying “he (Biden) lied about everything”.

I give him credit for trying to understand the typical NEPA WILK listener. You can’t because there is no logic.

Most are older, bitter, racist, ignorant people who aren’t nuanced at all on the issues. A majority are on government programs but hate the government when it’s a Democratic administration who got them those programs. A minority hate Biden, a home town boy so much they can’t stand the fact there is a street named after him., This loud minority embrace a fake billionaire that has no empathy for the little guy but makes these angry folks feel good because he has been a  voice for them. Why do they like a liar?  His lies give THEM the license to lie.

A majority are Roman Catholics and Christians who disdain the guy who goes to Mass every Sunday vs. the guy who boinks porn stars.

The hatred of these folks is good business foir Audacy and WILK because the Mid Day Mussolini who screwed up his political career by getting indicted and convicted fuels their vitriol. His antics prove that even a former lawyer can reduce his mental capacity to that of a third grader calling people names.

Then there’s the afternoon guy, a former police detective who in a promo said the January 6th was not an insurrection because as a cop he saw riots that were worse. Here is a former policeman who thinks the killing of Capitol police was not an insurrection?   Next time he uses the word :brethren” to describe a policeman, well we all know what that’s worth.

The WILK listener is enabled by these two because they have permission to do so.      Barsky  needs   to get  that these aren’t nice people he hears from. A little later on during the 8 o;clock hour Barsky heard about the death of a woman who was the wife of a WILK regular caller. He had met the woman, spent time with her and was emotionally shaken up. As he struggled on the air to make sense of this, was there universal empathy from the haters? Nope, they wanted him to get on with the  show! “C’mon man, not my wife!”

Yes Jason you give the typical WILK listener too much credit. Through the years they were against baseball and the arena. They were against Barack Obama. They vilified Hillary because both sexes couldn’t  stand a smart woman (again with ties to NEPA) doing better than they were. Like abused suitors Trump makes those  haters feel his hate and that’s just dandy.  They can text, call and share their  ignorance on the air for all to hear.

What chance did Barsky,  and Angelo from Madisonville’s wife have a chance with these people Wednesday morning.

God bless Barsky rough for being real. There were some who appreciated him and the moment.

 

WALN TV


 

BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUM

This week’s guest is ME, David Yonki from  the LuLac Political Letter discussing Primary Election ‘;24.

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.

 

 BOBBY V’S DOO WOP SUNDAY NIGHT SOCK HOP


 

BEATLE EDD’S FAB FOUR MUSIC HOUR


Tune in every week to the Home of Rock and Roll for a jam packed, unpredictable hour starting at 9am Sundays. Host Edd Raineri gives you facts and great music from the immortal Fab Four on ROCK 107.

 

1984

Our 1984 logo

Pulitzer prize awarded to Mary Oliver for "American Primitive"…….Braves pitcher Pascual Perez suspended due to cocaine usage…..During Libyan Embassy demonstration in London, British police officer Yvonne Fletcher shot dead……oan Benoit runs world record female marathon

Space Shuttle Challenger flies back to Kennedy Space Center via Kelly Air Force Base…..Advance Australia Fair is proclaimed as Australia's national anthem, with green and gold the national colors…..Nemesis, death star of dinosaurs 1st appears in print (Nature magazine) and this week in  1984  the number obe song  in Lulac land was"Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me" by Phil Collins.