Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3705, January 31st, 2018.


Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.


By G. Terry Madonna & Michael L. Young

The recent news about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court striking down the gerrymandering  of Congressional districts in the state last week has everyone in the political game talking. As reported recently, the decision will have Congressional candidates along with any remaining incumbents wondering what their next moves will be. Today on Write On Wednesday, we turn to statewide political experts Terry Madonna and Michael Young  to sort things out. Here are their thoughts and a link to their site.

A shock it was not.
The dramatic decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to strike down the state’s 2011 Republican-drawn congressional boundary lines was not a huge surprise. At some point, the egregious gerrymandering implemented in the state earlier this decade was bound to be struck down - both on the merits and the hard political fact that the state Supreme Court now sports a commanding 5 to 2 Democratic majority.
Might met right on this one and both prevailed in finding that the 2011 voting district lines violated the state constitution.
The rejected 2011 maps were designed to ensure that Republicans would dominate congressional elections in the state throughout the decade; they accomplished this brilliantly giving them 13 of 18 seats, despite Democrats holding an 800,000 active voter edge. They did this by creating some voting districts whose shapes are so horrendous they made Pennsylvania an ongoing national joke. One particular atrocious example is the seventh congressional district, one of the most gerrymandered in the nation. So grotesquely disfigured, it was nicknamed “Goofy chasing Donald Duck.”
Until now, the U.S. Supreme Court had put the issue of gerrymandering on the back burner when it decided that gerrymandering was not justiciable – essentially meaning court had not been able to develop a standard to decide how much gerrymandering violated the U.S. Constitution. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court solved that particular legal nicety by simply finding the gerrymandered districts in violation of the state constitution.
But the story doesn’t end here. While most unbiased observers agree the Pennsylvania 2011 map had to go, many were shocked at the time frame imposed by the court ruling. The court gave the legislature an almost impossible three-week deadline to draw new lines - plus a few additional days to get agreement with the governor (he can veto any new legislative drawn map if he chooses).
Moreover, the court has issued a not so veiled threat that if no new map is produced by February 15th, they (the Supreme Court) will deal with the redistricting themselves. One suspects the court will cry no crocodile tears should the new map not materialize by the February deadline.
In fact, the court has already retained a widely known election law expert to assist them. Indeed, a court adopted map breaks no judicial precedents (it happened before in 1992) and it gives the court’s Democratic majority enormous advantage to produce a map more favorable to Democrats.
With five open Pennsylvania Republican House seats this year (Barletta, Dent, Meehan, Murphy, and Shuster), the opportunities for Democrats to pick up congressional seats may be unprecedented. The increasing expectation that 2018 may be a “wave election” against Republicans only underscores the stakes.
But opportunity for Democrats is chaos for Republicans as well as the voters of Pennsylvania.
The time frame imposed by the court is far too constricted. In trying to adhere to the May 15th primary schedule, it has set up a chain of unanticipated consequences that could make the cure worse than the disease. The legislature probably has the technical capacity to complete the task on time. But the court-imposed deadline leaves no time to gain political consensus. Republicans in control of the legislature have to get agreement with its own members as well as deal with minority Democrats, and gain the assent of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.
Nor is there time for other stakeholders in the process, such as congressional incumbents to testify or at least weigh in on the new geographic composition of the new map. Also, the plaintiffs and the public need a chance to express their views before the legislature as well.
Further complicating matters, there are more than 60 individuals who have announced (and more may still announce) that they are running in congressional races in the state. They have poured time and resources into the campaigns and it might turn out that they don’t even live in the districts they plan to run in.
Bottom line: the Supreme Court, righting one wrong, has created another. While rightly tackling Pennsylvania’s horribly gerrymandered congressional districts, they have unwisely unleashed an inherently unstable process that creates more problems than it solves. Fortunately, the court still has time to accomplish its original noble goal by extending the time frame to produce a new map by an additional 30-45 days.
Yes, this means the May 15th primary should be moved into June –and yes, a lot of important people in Harrisburg are going to be inconvenienced by that. But a congressional redistricting process that has robbed them of the right to fair elections for almost a decade is inconveniencing a lot more Pennsylvanians – about 12 million more.
We seem on the verge of fixing that. Let’s do it right.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3704, January 30th, 2018


Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that a woman named Mary Kennedy became the very first person to get a Masters Degree in of all the things, The Beatles!
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that the Republican party still is obsessed with Hillary Clinton. The attack machine has ramped up against the FBI. The party of Law and Order is casting doubt on all the career agents who serve this country in fighting domestic wars of terror and drugs on all front.
The dumbest thing they are saying is that former Director Jim Comey gave Clinton a pass during his investigation. Really? His last minute revelation essentially damaged her campaign even though there were no charges ever brought! A pass? Fools. Liars. Idiots. The new national Republican brand.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but very happy that a local School Director, notably Bill Jones from Mountaintop made a very good suggestion regarding Crestwood teachers and snow days. Jones said that teachers should be docked the two hours for the school delays because they aren’t really putting in a full days work. Great idea and I’m glad there was someone who had the guts to finally say it and suggest it.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that the state of Wisconsin has points further east than the state of Florida. That’s all I’ll say about those two states.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that it seemed to me Pope Francis did some damage when he did not totally renounce a sex abuse scandal in Latin America. Francis set off a national uproar upon leaving Chile recently when he accused victims of the country’s most notorious pedophile priest of having slandered another bishop, Juan Barros. The victims say Barros knew of the abuse by the Rev. Fernando Karadima but did nothing to stop it — a charge Barros denies. Francis’ remarks were so potentially toxic to the Vatican’s years long effort to turn the tide on decades of clerical sex abuse. By defending one of his own, it lends credibility to the critics who say the church’s renunciation of the pedophiles is just talk.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………staying on the Papal theme here, it will be 5 years ago in February that Benedict XVIth stepped down from The Papacy.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..but not, that Melania Trump decided not to accompany the President on his recent visit. Instead she went to the Holocaust Museum (maybe because someone might have told her it was fake and she wanted to misspell that right wing, racist lie) and then Flew to Florida by herself. 
I’m thinking that she looked up Stormy Daniels filmography and found out the woman made over 153 Adult films. With the revelation that her husband was with Stormy, maybe she thought that staying away from The Great Leader might be prudent both health wise and emotionally. I love the suggestion that a Democrat should bring Stormy to Trump’s State of The Union address. That would reprise Trump’s stunt by bringing Clinton’s accusers to the second debate. 
Maybe they should also invite Alana Evans who was approached by the intrepid Stormy to join a three some with the Trumper Humper. She told People Magazine she turned him down since Trump was no Brad Pitt. Good to know that some people do have limits on what the would do for money. Maybe Paul Ryan should take a cue from Evans after he whored himself  to the Koch Brothers! 
More on Stormy though, she will be Jimmie Kimmel's guest on his program tonight right after the State of The Union address by Mr. $130,000. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that puny Pat Toomey has been on the immigration soapbox of the Republican party. He has been spouting his views even though in 2013 he was willing to do a deal on Immigration with other Senators and President Obama. But now gutless Pat says that DACA needs a closer look and shovels the nonsense about illegals who came here with their parents. Puny Pat needs to remember that in the state he so pitifully represents, that state has allowed nearly 6,000 people to live and work legally in Pennsylvania, and ending it would cost the state $357 million annually.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that in Ancient Greece, the strawberry was a symbol for the Goddess of Love, Venus.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the longest word in the dictionary is Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It was nvented by the president of the National Puzzlers' League as a synonym for the disease known as silicosis. It is the longest word in the English language published in a dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines it as "an artificial long word said to mean a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand dust.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that so many people under rated Nick Foles of The Eagles when he took over the Quarterback duties of the Birds in December. Foles was a good Quarterback before he was traded to the Rams. He was brought back by the Eagles GM Howie Roseman who knew he still had it. Also, never forget back up Quarterbacks Earl Morrell and Jeff Hostetler took both The Dolphins and the Giants to the Super Bowl. 
MAYBE I'M AMAZED......that the Trump administration has declared war on its own Justice Department and FBI. And the REPUBLICAN party has let him. The fact that the GOP has decided to investigate the FBI while a former FBI Director, appointed to be the Special Counsel  to investigate this President, is stunning. Any thinking person should NOT even consider voting for a REPUBLICAN for Congress in the next election.  

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3703, January 28th, 2018


(Photo: Times Leader)
This month has been a tough one for the Luzerne County Republican party. A few weeks ago Donna Baloga passed away and this past week it was Ray Gustave. Gustave ran unsuccessfully twice for Luzerne County Council and that to me was a shame. Having voted for Ray twice, I recognized that we needed quality, qualified people like Ray on the Council.
Ray had other things to contend with the time around and fought a courageous battle against cancer. Here is his obituary from the local papers. Please take a look at his qualifications and why the loss of someone so gifted is such a tragedy. RIP Mr. Gustave.
Raymond Paul Gustave, 71, of West Wyoming, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, at the Celtic Hospice Inpatient Unit at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Ray was the middle son of the late Fred and Hattie Witt Gustave and graduated from Coughlin High School, Class of 1964. A Vietnam veteran, he served in the U.S. Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller, receiving the U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal for his service in Vietnam. He graduated from Wilkes College, married his best friend and dancing partner of 44 years, the former Donna Duzen, and then began his career in federal service. After moving his family to Centreville, Va., he became Chief of the Financial Management Branch of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. While there, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Award in Administrative Excellence as well as numerous other awards. Ray devoted over 20 years to community service while living in Virginia, being deeply involved in land use and other community issues. Upon retiring, Ray and Donna moved to West Wyoming where he served as Borough Manager for two years. He was a man of deep faith and extremely involved in his parish, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, where he served as a Eucharistic Minister and as a member of the Altar Guild. He enjoyed making pirohy and kreple for food sales and summer bazaars. He was also a life member of VFW Post 4909, Dupont.
In addition to his beloved wife, Donna, Ray is survived by two daughters who he loved beyond words and their families: Hilary (William) Browning, of Colorado, and Ashley (Shon) McManus, of Maryland, and step-granddaughter, Katelynd McManus. His young granddaughter, Madeleine Browning, brought him incredible joy even on his most difficult days. He leaves behind two brothers: Dr. Fred (Rhonda) Gustave, of Illinois, and Ken (Terri) Gustave, of Pringle, as well as sister-in-law Paula (Frank) Matthews, of Swoyersville, aunts Geri Witt, Irene Smith, "Aunt Val," along with many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family would like to thank all those who provided excellent care, especially Medical Oncology Associates and Celtic Hospice. His "prayer warriors," who lifted him up, had a special place in his heart. Memories are sacred and eternal.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 116 Hughes St., Swoyersville, PA 18704 or to the AmVets Honor Guard, c/o Gerard Gurnari, ICO AMVETS, 111 Lidy Road, Dupont, PA 18641.


U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) today endorsed Lou Barletta for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.
In a video announcing his endorsement, Senator Toomey called Barletta a "trusted conservative, and a relentless fighter for hardworking Pennsylvanians."
"When we recently needed an ally in the House to pass the most sweeping tax reforms in a generation, Lou was there every step of the way," Toomey said. "It's time we all unite behind Lou and support him with our time, our energy, and most of all, with our vote."
"Senator Toomey has been a leading conservative voice in the U.S. Senate, and he has a strong record of winning tough campaigns in Pennsylvania," Barletta said. "I am proud to have his support and friendship, and I look forward to working with him to continue fighting for Pennsylvania."
The full text of Senator Toomey's endorsement video can be found below:
Hi, I’m U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.
I’m proud to announce my endorsement of Lou Barletta for the United States Senate. Lou has proven time and again, he is a trusted conservative, and a relentless fighter for hardworking Pennsylvanians.
No one in the House of Representatives has been more committed to fighting to protect our borders, or to ending dangerous sanctuary city policies, than Lou Barletta.
Lou has also been tireless in his efforts to repeal Obamacare, defend the sanctity of life, and to eliminate misguided liberal policies that have hurt American jobs.
And, when we recently needed an ally in the House to pass the most sweeping tax reforms in a generation, Lou was there every step of the way.
It’s time we all unite behind Lou and support him with our time, our energy, and most of all, with our vote.
My race in 2016 came down to the wire and Lou’s will be no different. Liberal special interests will be spending millions to try and defeat him. This is why I am asking you today to visit and learn more about the various ways you can join Lou’s team.
With your support, I am confident that Lou Barletta will be the next United States Senator from Pennsylvania.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3702, January 25th, 2018


Barletta Up

Meehan Down

(Photos: LuLac archives,
Late last year there was a significant amount of talk about a challenge to Senator Bob Casey in the 2018 election. Sources tell me that a lot of money was being gathered by Congressman Pat Meehan. As a matter of fact, Meehan was going to be the guy to take down Casey.
Meehan is from the Philadelphia suburbs and was widely regarded as a Congressman that could move up statewide. Meehan, a former federal prosecutor serving his fourth term in Congress and was frequently mentioned by the likes of Chris Matthews and Michael Smerconish as the type of Republican acceptable to women. The 7th District also includes most of Delaware County and parts of Chester, Berks and Montgomery counties.
But no less an authority than The New York Times reported that Meehan used thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to settle a misconduct complaint against him.
Meehan was removed from the House Ethics Committee and asked to repay whatever taxpayer funds were used. Speaker Paul Ryan ordered that edict after the report was published Saturday.
According to the Times, Meehan had long expressed interest in the personal life of the aide. The aide, whom the Times did not name, regarded Meehan as a father figure.
Last year Meehan professed romantic desires for her in person and in a handwritten letter and became hostile when she did not reciprocate, according to the Times.
Meehan has come forward and used the term "soulmate" saying that his intention was not to harass. 
The woman filed a complaint alleging sexual harassment with the congressional Office of Compliance over the summer. She ended up leaving her role, and later reached the confidential agreement with Meehan's office, the report said.
Meehan of course denied the allegations and has played the “I’m running for re-election and this is a smear card”. However even members of his own GOP aren’t buying it. The Lancaster County Party Chair wanted Meehan to step down.
But look at he time line. At the end of last year, the Fair Haired Boy was Pat Meehan. Then when the rumblings began, Meehan became, well not so attractive.
Enter Barletta. Now Lou has ambitions and maybe he wanted this all along. But a primary challenge against Meehan in a state party that is tightly controlled by GOP leadership would never be in the cards had this not been bubbling under the radar with Meehan.
Barletta is running in earnest and even though I like him and don’t think he’ll win, he is, given the recent allegation about Meehan has a  much better chance. One can only speculate if the field was going to cleared for Meehan, then Barletta would be given that same opportunity. For the most part, he has in the primary.
The allegations against Meehan and Barletta are in no way shape or form connected by the Philly area's Congressman. But a path was pretty much cleared by the cooling Meehan's ardor for the Senate seat when this stuff was hitting the fan.  
Lou Barletta is charismatic, perseveres when he wants to reach a goal and will be a formidable candidate. There are those who still underestimate him. But if you ever wonder how Lou came up in prominence so quickly, look to two things.
1. His relationship with the President.
2. Significantly, the shenanigans revealed from the 7th.
Politics is all about providing a reasonable alternative and Barletta is certainly one to what was very likely to be a flawed Meehan Senate candidacy. 


Speaker Paul Ryan. Is he channeling Trump with those pout like lips? (Photo: Time)
Just days after the House passed its version of the federal tax law slashing corporate tax rates, House Speaker Paul Ryan collected nearly $500,000 in campaign contributions from billionaire energy mogul Charles Koch and his wife, according to a recent campaign donor report.
Koch and his brother David spent millions of dollars to get the tax law passed and are spending millions more in a public relations campaign in an attempt to boost support for the law, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Koch Industries, one of the largest private corporations in the nation, operates refineries and manufactures a variety of products. The new tax law — which slices corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, slashes estate taxes and includes a special deduction for oil and gas investors — is expected to save the Koch brothers and their businesses billions of dollars in taxes.
Well, after all, you do have to pay whores. Ryan, the guy who wants to jettison Social Security and Medicare is the biggest one of all. (AOL. News, LuLac)


So we get this missive from Congressman Lou Barletta using Immigration, as he always has as a political football. We all knew this government shutdown was about Democrats, including Senator Bob Casey, putting illegal immigrants over Americans.
Well, Senator Bob Casey just confirmed it. On Friday, Senator Casey voted to shut down the government and deny funding for our veterans, military, seniors, and health insurance for our children.
Only when Senator Casey got assurances that the Senate would vote on a bill to protect illegal immigrants did he vote to re-open the government.
Illegal immigrants who came to this country with their parents. Dreamers who are serving in Barletta’s military, going to school and paying taxes. I’m printing all of these missives to demonstrate to people where Lou’s priorities lie. Not in doing anything for his district BUT preaching the Trump doctrine of hate against innocent kids who are contributing to society.


Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $8,174,363 in Continuum of Care (CoC) funds to local agencies and organizations working to address homelessness.
The CoC program is part of a strategic plan to solve homelessness for veterans, adults, families, youth, and children. The program provides federal funding to nonprofit organizations and local government agencies in an effort to rehouse homeless individuals, increase access to mainstream programs for the homeless, and promote self-sufficiency.
“I am a strong advocate for federal funds that prevent people from experiencing homelessness and provide tools to achieve financial independence,” said Rep. Cartwright, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “Every American deserves a safe, stable place to live. I am glad that the recipients of these funds will continue to provide invaluable housing services to vulnerable Pennsylvanians in our local communities.”
The program funds will be disbursed to member agencies of Eastern PA CoC, Wilkes-Barre/Luzerne CoC, and Scranton/Lackawanna CoC. CoC grants will provide critically needed support to these local programs on the front lines of serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness in their communities.


GOP contender for Governor Scott Wagner (Photo: Wagner campaign)
2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner recently won the Republican State Committee Southeast Caucus straw poll. Wagner’s win is his fourth out of the four straw polls that have been conducted during the party’s endorsement process so far. With more total votes than any candidate, Wagner is just 45 votes shy of the threshold to clinch the State Committee’s nomination.
“Today, Scott continued his steady march toward earning the party’s endorsement on February 10,” said Campaign Manager Jason High. “By adding the Southeast to his ongoing sweep of State Committee caucuses, Scott is demonstrating that his outsider candidacy has strong support in multiple corners of the Commonwealth. A vast majority of party leaders realize that Scott is the only candidate who possesses the toughness and the bold ideas required to defeat Tom Wolf in the general election and Scott is looking forward to growing that group two weeks from now.”
During the first three straw polls, Wagner received 91 out of a potential 140 votes. (Central – 62 , Northeast – 18, NECRA – 11). The Southwest and Northwest Caucuses will conclude the State Committee straw polls and will take place on the weekend of February 3.




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 hosts Rusty Fender, David DeCosmo, and Director Mark Migilori welcome Nancy Post to the program during the week of January 29th. Nancy is Director of the Voluntary Action Center in Lackawanna County which provides services to hundreds of citizens throughout the area. She'll review the agencies programs and use of and need for volunteers.
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.


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!”



Our 1960 logo

The National Football League announces expansion teams for Dallas to start in the 1960 NFL season, and Minneapolis–St. Paul for the 1961 NFL season.– The African National Party is founded in Chad, through the merger of traditionalist parties……Governor David Lawrence says that the state Education system must be more centralized due to the changing landscape of the state as well as the nation…in Luzerne County, an investigation into the Knox Mine Disaster continues and 58 years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” by Freddie Boom Boom Cannon. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3701, January 23rd, 2018

The current district BROWN is the 10th, Marino, the 11th is Barletta in YELLOW and the 17th is Cartwright in GREEN.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, by a vote of 4 to 3 threw out the current redistricting plan that has been in place since 2012. Now this will only affect Congressional Districts. The Court struck down the boundaries of the state’s 18 congressional districts, saying they violate the state constitution and granting a major victory to a group of Democratic voters who argued the districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit Republicans.
You can bet the Republican right wing loudmouths will say, like puny Pat Toomey, that the Courts should stay out of the elections. Oh wait, puny Pat, like the Supreme Court did in the 2000 election?
Elections do matter and in those off year elections in odd numbered years, you know those Judges we pick and choose blindly? Remember those names we don’t know and sometimes just pick one from the east, one from the west and some jasper from the middle? They are the Court member who make this decisions. Elections, ALL of them, MATTER!
The Democratic-controlled court issued a brief order giving the Republican-controlled Legislature until Feb. 9 to pass a replacement and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf until Feb. 15 to submit it to the court. Otherwise, the justices said they will adopt a plan in an effort to keep the May 15 primary election on track.
The court said the boundaries “clearly, plainly and palpably” violate the state’s constitution, and blocked it from remaining in effect for the 2018 elections. The deadline to file paperwork to run in primaries for the seats is March 6.
Republicans who controlled the Legislature and governor’s office following the 2010 census broke decades of geographical precedent when redrawing the map, producing contorted shapes, including one dubbed “Goofy kicking Donald Duck.”
Districts have always been re-drawn by those in power. But in Pennsylvania, the GOP has had an incredible run. The Governor in office in a census year gets to pick the committee that draws the districts.
From 1980 through 2010, the Republicans controlled the Redistricting. Being typical Republicans, in 2010, they forgot that Democrats controlled the redistricting in 1960 and 1970. It was not divine right that they got to do this. So they jumped the shark. They got greedy. Plus the stupid bastards bragged about their plan.
So now the Court has struck it down ordering that the Governor and the Legislature must come up with a plan. This from two opposites that could never decide on a budget. The saving grace is if they can’t come up with a plan, the Courts will.
My money is on the Court to come up with a better plan. How does it affect us locally?
Well the 10th which used to have the City of Scranton just might get it back. The 11th might be trimmed from the outlying areas of Harrisburg to make it more compact. The 17th just might morph into one of those.
Republican candidates are standing pat and hoping for the best. But Democratic aspirants who have been staying out of this just might get in. That would increase the competition but also make the General more of a nail biter.
Bottom line for The Lu and The Lac is that once upon a time, like for 70 years, both Wilkes Barre and Scranton had their own Congressman. It’s early but don’t be surprised if that happens again.
Finally don’t expect the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved in this because so far it has shown no inclination weighing in on whether redistricting can be so partisan that it violates the U.S. Constitution, in cases from Maryland and Wisconsin. The high court has never struck down an electoral map as a partisan gerrymander.
More to come. (LuLac, NY Daily News)


Members of the Pennsylvania Republican Congressional Delegation issued the following statement in response to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Ruling Monday on the state’s congressional map:
“Yesterday’s misguided decision by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court is an unfortunate example of the judicial branch inserting itself into the core functions of the legislative branch. Today’s Congressional maps were drafted and approved by both Republicans and Democrats. It also comes on the eve of a midterm election. An orderly electoral process is an essential function of our Democracy.”
Yeah well guys, now you might have to work for all of your constituents, not just those in the Country Clubs! 

The following Members of Congress have signed the statement: U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05), Mike Kelly (PA-03), Scott Perry (PA-04), Ryan Costello (PA-06), Patrick Meehan (PA-07), Bill Shuster (PA-09), Tom Marino (PA-10), Keith Rothfus (PA-12), Charlie Dent (PA-15), and Lloyd Smucker (PA-1). (State GOP office).

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3700, January 21st, 2018


Today we are at the 3700th Edition mark on LuLac. As we move forward, our goals are to provide information and provoke discussion. We appreciate the readers, posters and backers of this 11 year plus effort. LuLac remains the only political blog in this area that is on line on a regular basis. That has happened because of your interest and support.
With Providence and health, on to #3800.

State Representative Tarah Toohill (Photo: LuLac archives)
State Rep. Tarah Toohil, of Butler Township has announced plans to host a "Coffee and Conversation" event in Salem Township where she will provide an update on property tax relief efforts in the General Assembly.
Toohil invites residents to attend free event on Thursday, Feb 1 from 10 am to noon at the Salem Township Municipal Building 38 Bomboy Lane , near Berwick.
For more information, contact Toohil's district office at 570-453-1344 Salem Twp. is in Luzerne County.
Again, Propert Tax Reform for single home owners NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.
Those Legislators who have not budged, need to hear from us.
These senators and representatives are not supporting HB/SB 76: Sen. John Blake, Sen. John Gordner, Rep. Ed Pashinski, Rep. Mike Carroll, Rep. Maureen Madden.


Tantrum all better and forgotten on Championship Sunday!  "I'm never gonna watch the NFL ever, ever, ever again, you watch and see!" (Photo:
Since Championship Sunday is one of the biggest sports days in America, I’m wondering about this. Will the same loud mouth patriots who believe that a different opinion has less integrity than their own put their money where their mouth is? Let me explain.
Back in September, President Trump made an issue about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. He railed against their peaceful protest. The lemmings followed suit and said that the NFL players who chose to do a protest didn’t love the flag, didn’t love America, didn’t deserve to have the skilled position they trained for all their lives and were not as “American” as those who attacked them.
We were treated to NFL fans who attacked every team who even remotely supported the peaceful protest. They loudly proclaimed, “I’m never gonna watch an NFL game ever, ever again!”
I wonder how many of those characters will have their asses parked in front of the TV today from 3 to 11pm watching in their words, “Those unpatriotic thugs who don’t love America, hate our military, and hate our flag?”
Wonder how many are watching with wing stained fingers and a 30 pack of Bud at arm’s length today?
For those who stuck to their guns,  you might want to check out  “Frozen In Love”, “Harvest Love”, “One Winter Weekend” and “Birthday Wish” is on Hallmark.  I bet none of the loudmouths will back up their usual bullshit.

Stormy Daniels, the "goods" and a smiling Donald Trump (Photo: 
Don’t you love the fact that the Evangelicals are lining up to excuse the President’s behavior a year after being thrice married with a porn star? He hung with her while his wife was carrying his son. Now this is the guy who during the campaign had the stones to load the debate stage with Bill Clinton’s “friends” all the while paying hush money to his “actress” friend!  Hey, give Trump credit for balls of brass and using the leverage.
But what I will never understand is how “Christians” say it’s okay to forgive him but still can’t forgive a dreamer for having been born to illegal immigrants? Then there was the case of Franklin Graham (whose father, btw never became political) literally excusing and absolving Trump of this behavior saying that he should be forgiven!
That’s why these type of “Christians” I could never identify with. That’s why I will always identify myself as a Roman Catholic and not a Christian. I never want to be associated with that brand of hypocritical Christianity.
Pretty harsh you say?
Not one Christian leader, to my knowledge, has condemned Trump for this “stormy” choice.  The Evangelicals have sold their souls to their dear leader. And that leader is not "The Lord".

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The LuLac Edition 3699, January 20th, 2018


This Saturday evening, January 20, Heinz College will host a Gubernatorial Debate in the hotly contested GOP primary race between:
• Attorney Laura Ellsworth
• Businessman Paul Mango
• Speaker of the House Mike Turzai
• Senator Scott Wagner
The event will take place at the lovely Kresge Theater at our College of Fine Arts, and we encourage you to attend if you are in the Pittsburgh area. Enjoy mingling during an informal “Meet the Candidates” session from 6-7 p.m. Auditorium doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the debate will take place from 7-8 p.m.
You can also watch the debate locally on WPXI-TV Channel 11, or internationally online via the Heinz College Facebook Live stream.


With the government shutdown going on many die hard Republicans are blaming the Democrats for shutting down the government. Know this:
1. There are three branches of government controlled by THE REPUBLICAN party. The impotent REPUBLICAN PARTY.
46 Republicans supported it. 5 DID NOT.
If a party cannot control its own……they are IMPOTENT.


Check out this e mail Lou Barletta is circulating. Barletta Blasts Casey for Voting to Shut Down the Government and Jeopardize Funding for Children's Health Insurance
"While the House passed a Continuing Resolution that provides funding for our military, veterans, seniors, and kids, the Senate rules require 60 votes to pass spending legislation. Republicans only hold 51 seats in the Senate. It was impossible for the Senate to get to 60 votes and avert a government shutdown without Democrat support. By voting no tonight, Senator Casey and the Democratic Senators who joined him are solely responsible for denying funding for American citizens. There are 342,000 children in Pennsylvania who benefit from the Children's Health Insurance Program and 4,900 DACA recipients. By voting to shut down the government, Senator Casey put illegal immigrants over health insurance for our kids. Pennsylvanians should be furious."
Hey Lou…………it is your REPUBLICAN party that let the CHIP program expire.
It is your REPUBLICAN party who blocked it time and time again using children as a bargaining CHIP.
Lou………get a CLUE. Your party has been against health care of any kind for anyone let alone Pennsylvania children.
Your attack on Casey reminds me of the kid who killed his parents but then asked for mercy from the court because he was an orphan!



Our friend Charlie Urban sent this letter to the paper regarding a House and Senate Bill for Property Tax Reform. This is an issue whose time has come. When overpaid Legislators tell you thy are against it, remember whose side they are on. NOT OURS!
Editor: Election time is coming. As president of the Luzerne County Property Owners, I am asking voters to vote for those listed that are coming up for re- election in November. These legislators are sponsors and supporters of HB/SB 76, elimination of school property taxes: Sens. John Yudichak and Lisa Baker, Reps. Gerald Mullery, Karen Boback, Aaron Kaufer, Tara Toohil, Sid Michaels Kavulich, Kevin Haggerty and Marty Flynn.
These senators and representatives are not supporting HB/SB 76: Sen. John Blake, Sen. John Gordner, Rep. Ed Pashinski, Rep. Mike Carroll, Rep. Maureen Madden. Please call and demand they support HB/SB 76; accept no excuses. We did the talk now it’s time to do the walk.
Charles Urban
Luzerne County Property Owners


(Photo: Times Leader)
One week ago, Donna Baloga died. Donna and her husband Dave were staunch members of the Republican party and the Pro Life movement in this area. She was gracious, funny, engaging and just a beautiful person.
On Monday hundreds of people came to say good bye to this great lady.
As a frequent guest at local GOP functions, I enjoyed our brief encounters along with her and Dave.
Like so many people I’ve known, she fought a courageous battle with cancer. To say she will be missed is an understatement.
RIP Donna. Heaven gained another angel.




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.


Martin Henehan has turned personal tragedy into a campaign for the homeless and those dealing with addiction. He'll join ECTV Live hosts Rusty Fender, David DeCosmo, and program director Mark Migilore on ECTV Live during the week of January 22nd to tell his story. 
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.


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!”



Our 1960 logo

In France, President Charles de Gaulle fires Jacques Massu, the commander-in-chief of the French troops in Algeria...Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh descend into the Mariana Trench in the bathyscaphe Trieste, reaching the depth of 10,911 meters (35,797 feet) and become the first human beings to reach the lowest spot on Earth....A major insurrection occurs in Algiers against French colonial policy.In Washington, D.C., the National Association of Broadcasters reacts to the payola scandal by threatening fines for any disc jockeys who accepted money for playing particular records……Talks begin in Pittsburgh about the revitalization of the town……in Luzerne County the ew team of Commissioners headed by Attorney Mitchell Jenkins takes the helm at the Courthouse and 58 years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Running Bear” by Johnny Preston.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3698, January 17th, 2018

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo
This week’s piece comes straight out of The Citizen’s Voice. The paper asks the question does Pennsylvania need a full time Legislature?
I say no. With communication and transit more enhanced than days gone by, consolidation is a no brainer. Plus the Legislature has moved at a glacial pace in meaningful changes to the very survival of the middle class in Pennsylvania. Here’s what the Editorial Board had to opine.


Pennsylvania lawmakers use several theories to justify their expensive full-time status, even though many other states, including large ones, get by just fine with part-time legislatures.
The sheer volume of government business requires full-time attention, they say. Constituents need and deserve full-time advocates, they claim. And they fret that bureaucrats, rather than elected representatives, would be in charge if lawmakers were to become part-time.
And, they contend, part-time lawmakers would be focused on their full-time occupations rather than on public business.
Those arguments are not particularly convincing, and even less so because, as a practical matter, the Legislature isn’t really full-time.
Pennsylvania’s 253 legislators are paid a base salary of about $86,000 a year, plus daily expense payments for which they do not have to provide receipts, along with platinum benefit packages and diamond-level pensions and enhanced pay for assorted assignments. They take six-week summer vacations and end the year after the November election, while regularly failing to attend to important public business, like adopting a budget on time.
Yet, as reported by the state-government journalism group, the Caucus, more than half of the members of the General Assembly have outside employment and ownership interests in private-sector companies, creating conflicts of interest in many cases and raising serious questions about full-time attention to legislative business in all of them.
The state Constitution requires any member of the Legislature who has a personal interest in any matter subject to pending legislation to disclose it and refrain from voting on the bill.
Historically, however, lawmakers have taken that as a suggestion. Former state Sen. Robert Mellow, for example, for a time was a paid member of bank and insurance boards of directors while sitting on legislative committees specifically relevant to those industries.
Lawmakers are required to report their financial interests, but it is rare for any of them to abstain from votes on related legislation.
Part-time legislators would not be immune from conflicts. But they would be more obvious to the public because of each individual’s occupation. And, because a part-time body would have tight deadlines, it likely would be more productive and accountable.
Part-time status is no more likely than term limits, which would be justifiable if the current system worked as advertised.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3697, January 15th, 2018

Today the light shone bright in Wilkes Barre on an icy, dreary day in January as NAACP Chapter #2306 held its first annual Unity Breakfast at Genetti’s. More than 150 attended the event to celebrate the life and works of Doctor King. The wide ranging program featured members of the local NAACP Leadership as well as Community Leaders who took part in the program.
As Joe Biden would say, this was “big deal” for a number of reasons. The first Unity Breakfast celebrated the fact that this was the first year that Wilkes Barre City Hall was closed and City Administration workers had the day to reflect, play, sleep, or do whatever. As Ron Felton, long time head of the local unit said, “Do whatever you want on this day, sleep, go to the Mall, go to a community event, do what you want to do but just know why you’re doing it.”
Cassandra Coleman Corcoran was the key note speaker and listed the ways the immigration of all ethnic groups made this country stronger.  She stated the diversity and unity made this country what it is today. She talked about how each one needs to combat the backward slide that some leaders want us to take. She also highlighted her background and how the Wolf administration brings both women and minorities to the same table. Her essential message was "diversity is our strength”.
Constance Wynn gave an impressive history of the NAACP. Personally I was so glad she singled out my good friend (gone too young) Bob Crawford, a broadcast buddy of mine who was the first African American teacher in the Wilkes Barre Area School District. (Also the first Black American on The Mighty 590, WARM) Her recitation of all of the leaders gave those in the audience a sense of history of the activism this organization has produced.
Ron Felton gave an impressive acceptance speech having been the first Annual recipient of the Freedom Fighters Award. Felton started out very deliberately but finished with a crescendo giving the audience an inside view of the “Mountaintop” speech Martin Luther King, Junior gave the night before he died.
The current President of the NAACP, Attorney Guerline Laurore began with a rather playful stance asking Veterans, NAACP members, Politicians both incumbents and candidates, and others asking to stand to be recognized.
At first I wasn’t sure where she was going with this but her point was to outline the diversity in the ballroom. She then spoke about her Haitian roots. She highlighted the words of nullification and ignorance spoken on Thursday, and now being denied yesterday spoken by the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Referring to the blood that flows through all of us, slaves, slave holders, abolitionists, etc., Laurore said that it was time to stand up against blatant racism. When I heard her call him a racist, I thought “good for her”. Right now, the Trump defenders say “he says what his supporters are thinking but won’t say”. After her speech, I thought that we should not just think he is a racist, but scream the fact that he indeed is from the Mountaintops. There is plenty of video tape to back us all up!
Another corner heard from was from young Max Laurore who gave the “I have a dream speech”. The child was flawless and got a standing ovation from the crowd.
Well, many of the speakers got standing ovations because the messages resonated with those in attendance.
I first became a member of the local chapter of the NAACP last year. My advancing age has given me time to join groups I couldn’t because of other responsibilities as a young man. It was a natural progression for me to join the NAACP. My youth was crystallized by the 1960s. At the age of 9 battling a childhood illness, quarantined in a room, I became aware of King listening to news accounts of his fight for equality in 1963. That’s when my relationship started with him.
There was no baseball for me on that hot August summer day when, on our behemoth black and white TV tuned to CBS, broadcasted the speech. My fascination with King came in part to my own religion. Growing up as a Roman Catholic, the sermons I heard were staid, somber and scared me half to death. But when I first heard a King speech on NBC Monitor weekends in its entirety, I thought, “This cat is a preacher?” Once I got past the theater, I listened to the content. My 10 year brain translated the words into, “Wait, hold it, my favorite left fielder for the Phillies couldn’t eat with his team mates? My favorite Yankee, Ellie Howard, had to stay in a separate hotel?” But then Selma happened. I saw the violence. Like, was this Christian, beating people to death? Then King came out, one year to the day before he died against the Vietnam War because of the inequality of the soldiers fighting.
On April 4th as I sat doing my homework, I was jarred when I heard the news from Chet Huntley that King had been shot dead. His funeral pretty much stopped everything at our Slovak school in Pittston. To be truthful, some of us were paying attention, others were not.
That was fifty years ago. Sadly, still 5 decades later there is much work to be done. We need now more than ever to pay attention to what is said. We cannot stay silent when people make racist comments. Whether it is tepid or it is blatant, we cannot normalize it!
With Luzerne County giving the current occupant essentially this state, perhaps people here in The Lu should heed the words of Laurore who said, “make sure the next person we elect, doesn’t call them ****hole countries. 
 Doctor King is essentially frozen in time. Having been killed at 39, his image will not change. That's frozen. It is our job though to thaw out the hate he fought, and we still fight to this day with as another one of my boyhood heroes, Hubert Humphrey said, "By walking forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights!"  

 Ron Felton accepts award and gives a stem winder with Cassandra Coleman Corcoran looking on. 
Here's Mayor Tony George with Councilman Tony Brooks and NAACP Secretary Erika C. Petrole. 
County Council Members Shelia Saidman and Tim McGinley were on hand. 

WBRE/WYOU's Crystal Cranmore served as MC. Great job. 

Former County Councilman Rick Williams spoke with 11th Congressional Democratic candidate Alan Howe. 
 David Barber Senior, one of the organizers of the event gave remarks. 

I sat at the LCCC table with President Tom Leary and former board member Jim Bryan and Dave Usavage. Seated next to me is Susan Spry,  Vice President of Workforce Development. President Leary shared with the group a photo exhibit that will be on loan at the school through February. 
Max Laurore gave a speech of his own bringing down the crowd. Max is part of the youth group. 
Finally, this event was all about them. The future. 


Saturday, January 13, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3696, January 13th, 2018

 Humphrey with Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Junior. (Photo: Time)
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Senator Hubert Humphrey. It was an icy cold night when I heard it on the radio of his passing. The evening at Barrells in the Mall ended with the news that HHH had died. In the midst of the Martin Luther King Junior weekend, we should highlight Humphrey's role in the Civil Rights Legislation passed in the 60s.
HHH made the 1948 election all about Civil Rights. Humphrey's support of civil rights led to his being ostracized by Southern Democrats, who dominated most of the Senate leadership positions and who wanted to punish Humphrey for proposing the successful civil rights platform at the 1948 Convention. Senator Richard Russell Jr. of Georgia, a leader of Southern Democrats, once remarked to other Senators as Humphrey walked by, "Can you imagine the people of Minnesota sending that damn fool down here to represent them?" However, Humphrey refused to be intimidated and stood his ground; his integrity, passion and eloquence eventually earned him the respect of even most of the Southerners.
In a renowned speech, Humphrey passionately told the Convention, "To those who say, my friends, to those who say, that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years (too) late! To those who say, this civil rights program is an infringement on states' rights, I say this: the time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states' rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights!" Humphrey and his allies succeeded; the convention adopted the pro-civil-rights plank by a vote of 651½ to 582½.
As a result of the Convention's vote, the Mississippi delegation and half of the Alabama delegation walked out of the hall.  Many Southern Democrats were so enraged at this affront to their "way of life" that they formed the Dixiecrat party[and nominated their own presidential candidate, Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. The goal of the Dixiecrats was to take Southern states away from Truman and thus cause his defeat. The Southern Democrats reasoned that after such a defeat, the national Democratic Party would never again aggressively pursue a pro-civil rights agenda. However, the move backfired. Although the strong civil rights plank adopted at the Convention cost Truman the support of the Dixiecrats, it gained him many votes from blacks, especially in large northern cities. As a result, Truman won a stunning upset victory over his Republican opponent, Thomas E. Dewey.
Civil Rights Act Moves Through Congress
Kennedy was assassinated that November in Dallas, after which new President Lyndon B. Johnson immediately took up the cause.
“Let this session of Congress be known as the session which did more for civil rights than the last hundred sessions combined,” Johnson said in his first State of the Union address. During debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, southerners argued, among other things, that the bill unconstitutionally usurped individual liberties and states’ rights.
In a mischievous attempt to sabotage the bill, a Virginia segregationist introduced an amendment to ban employment discrimination against women. That one passed, whereas over 100 other hostile amendments were defeated. In the end, the House approved the bill with bipartisan support by a vote of 290-130.
The bill then moved to the U.S. Senate, where southern and border state Democrats staged a 75-day filibuster—among the longest in U.S. history. On one occasion, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a former Ku Klux Klan member, spoke for over 14 consecutive hours.
But with the help of behind-the-scenes horse-trading, the bill’s supporters eventually obtained the two-thirds votes necessary to end debate. One of those votes came from California Senator Clair Engle, who, though too sick to speak, signaled “aye” by pointing to his own eye.
Having broken the filibuster, the Senate voted 73-27 in favor of the bill, and Johnson signed it into law on July 2, 1964. Humphrey played a critical role in fighting the effort by Southern Democrats to kill the bill. He set up a dormitory type room where Senators slept in shifts to make sure there was no way the filibuster would succeed. “It is an important gain, but I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come,” Johnson, a Democrat, purportedly told an aide later that day in a prediction that would largely come true.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with at least 75 pens, which he handed out to congressional supporters of the bill such as Hubert Humphrey and Everett Dirksen and to civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Roy Wilkins.
(wikipedia,, LuLac archives)