Thursday, March 11, 2021

The LuLac Edition #4,481, March 11th, 2021



The definition of irony is what on the surface appears to be the case or to be expected differs radically from what is actually the case.

It is ironic that the Republicans who voted against the Biden Stimulus plan complain that it is too much money and mortgages the future when they had no problem voting for the Trump tax cuts that screwed the middle class. 

It is ironic that these Republicans say that only 9% of the bill is Covid related when in fact it helps, children, cities, governments, vaccinations, the unemployed,nonprofit institutions, and arts organizations that were indeed hit by CoVid 19.  It is ironic their definition of what CoVid affected has shrunk. Well they’ve always been an impotent party anyway.

It is ironic that no Republican voted for this because of principle when they were led by their snouts from the most unprincipled President we ever had. Principle? C’mon man!

It is ironic that now they say the Democrats are not being bi partisan when their party did a Stimulus plan in December (after months of begging for it from Chinless Mitch) and it was passed. The reason why the Dems went in on it with them was because while it wasn’t perfect, Dems knew there were people in need. Unlike the Republicans now.

It is ironic that the Republicans whine and cry about their sainted grandchildren’s future when in fact they didn’t give a rat’s ass about the little tykes when they ran up huge deficits.

It is ironic that Republicans whine that the Voting Bill proposed by the President will ensure that they won’t win any more Presidential elections. Newsflash GOP babies, you’ve lost the popular vote in the last 7 of 8 elections. Did it ever occur to you that maybe inclusion might help fix that? Or are you afraid of the complexion of the voters?

It is ironic that it took the GOP 8 months to get a Stimulus package out in 2020 when it took President Biden less than 8 weeks to do the same. Uh guys when the bus  is in gear you gotta get on board.

It is ironic that Diaper Don and his Pampers brigade now want to take credit for the vaccines when in fact they had no plan on how to distribute it. It was like they made a successful rocket, launched it into nowhere and had no plan on how to get it to the people who needed it. Once Diaper Don lost the election, he lost interest in the vaccine.

Finally, this. It is ironic that the Trumpsnzees (you should have heard the winners (Marie as an example of ignorance and ingratitude) spouting their ignorance on WILK this yesterday afternoon, I lasted a hot 23 seconds) will take   that stimulus money when it comes, but take it and bitch like ingrates all the way to the Casino.

As Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday about the Republicans,








One of my former bosses Tom Joseph passed away last weekend. Early in my career I passed on a job to work with Tom. My career life was going in another direction and it was a decision I financially regretted. But a few decades later I wound up working for him when he bought The Metro Newspaper. The Metro was a weekly Scranton based tabloid that would make William Randolph Hearst envious. Joseph put the weekly paper on the map for its tough investigative reporting, colorful layout and pertinent columns. Joseph was known to take a hand at writing a column under the pen name of Aristotle which was wildly entertaining.

He provided me with many business lessons that an MBA course couldn’t. The reason for this was that it was street level experience.

One thing I’ll never forget was when we were discussing the pulse of America. He reared back in his chair and told me, “David, remember this one thing. America is a middle of the road country. They loved Johnny Carson. Why? Because, he was not too far right, not too far left. Look at what happened when he quit. David Letterman’s zaniness caught on for a while and he was beating Jay Leno’s brains in. For a short time. Then America tired of him and went to Leno. Middle of the road”. 


One day we were talking about the weather. He said, "You know David, you have to be tough to live in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Other parts of the country are even but here, we have zero temperatures in the winter and hot sticky humidity in the summer. Ya gotta be tough to even deal with the weather here". 

He used to do his grocery shopping on Sunday nights as I remember. He marveled at how the Wegman's clerks gave him so many plastic bags for just a few items. "Now if I had invested in that plastic......." he said sheepishly. 

He was a tough man to compliment. Especially in front of people. One time he was taking a trip and the staff gathered to wish him well and say goodbye on his cruise. Mr. Tough guy looked both visibly touched and a little embarrassed that we were making such a fuss.


Another conversation we had was when Dean Martin died on Christmas Day 1995. No one barely noticed. Tom thought that was awful. “He was well known years ago, he was big, big David. Big! But people forget. If people forget Dean Mrtin, what the hell chance do we have?” 


Well I can answer that now. Given the outpouring at the news of his passing, it is evident that Thomas Joseph needn’t have worried about anyone forgetting him. 


He came into my career life in its middle stages. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. Here’s his obituary. 


Thomas A. Joseph, resident of Mountain Top, passed peacefully on Saturday, March 6, 2021, due to complications from COVID-19. His passing was preceded by expressions of love and gratitude from his five children, with his daughter at his side. He was a beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who lived a remarkable life and will be sorely missed.

Born in Scranton, Tom was the son of the late Fred Joseph, a Lebanese immigrant, and the former Nancy Dippre, of Scranton. He graduated from St. Patrick's High School with distinction in both academics and athletics and was well-regarded because of his intelligence, loyalty, quick wit and boisterous personality. Tom went on to earn degrees in business and accounting from the University of Scranton, working numerous jobs to self-fund his education and support his young family.

 He worked for his beloved Uncle Tom at his beer distributorship and he discovered his ability to excel in business as the youngest top sales associate selling magazines. After graduation, Tom worked in marketing and sales for Moore Business Forms and Computer Data Processing, while also starting and running his own fundraising business. He soon realized that entrepreneurship was his true passion.

Tom founded Pittston-based firm Markdata, combining his expertise in direct mail marketing and data processing — and kicked off his lifelong journey as a business leader, innovator and philanthropist. He was recognized multiple times by Inc. Magazine's "Inc. 500" list, having founded one of the fastest-growing companies in America. As the business expanded to multiple cities, including Washington, D.C., Thomas was selected to serve on a federal small business roundtable, through which he had the honor to meet President Ronald Reagan.

 Over his illustrious career, he created 1000s of jobs, received numerous awards and recognitions and made anonymous contributions to charities, hospitals and universities. Tom was a compassionate and generous man, always silently giving to those in need without ever wanting recognition for it.

Tom had an interest in history and enjoyed watching documentaries, as well as appreciation for cars, planes and boats and fondness of Arabic food. Tom's other business pursuits included event promotions, newspaper publishing and ground transportation at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. In 2020, he was very proud to become a published author of "The Mountain Top Bears," a story inspired by his children and canine buddy, Henri, with themes of love, friendship, courage and heroism. It is a story for all that will endure for future generations.

Tom is survived by his children, Tom Jr., Michael, Leah, Luke and Jeffrey; grandchildren, Jacqueline, Taylor, Daniela, Charlotte, Halston and Ford; great-grandson, Jayce; sisters, Rosemary and Freda; and brother, Fred Jr., and of course, his favorite canine companion, Henri. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert.





Susan "The Tease" Collins

Senator Susan “The Tease” Collins was finally called put for what she is. “A Tease”. She talks a good game about the middle class, about bi partisanship about justice but ALWAYS votes with her party. She teases Democrats into thinking she’ll do the right thing BUT NEVER DOES. This week leadr humer said this and it was anout time!

For weeks Collins has questioned Schumer’s handling of coronavirus relief negotiations, and on Tuesday night Schumer fired back to blame Collins’ fiscal conservatism for exacerbating the last financial crisis. The New York Democrat said in a nationally televised interview that his party’s courtship of three GOP votes for its Obama-era stimulus bill shrunk the legislation too much: “We made a big mistake in 2009 and ’10. Susan Collins was part of that.

She toys with being a moderate but always votes with the right wingers. No class, no conscience. Hypocritical teaser. 




Marc Stier, director, PA Budget and Policy Center, updated the blog detailing what's included in the $1.9 trillion American Recovery Plan and how it will impact Pennsylvanians. Below is the blog as it stands currently; click here for the full detail and expanded numbers and real time updates.

The American Recovery Plan as put forward by President Biden and about to be approved by the US Congress is a bold effort not just to restore the American economy to health in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but to make it far more just. Here we point to some of the leading features of the plan with estimates of how many people in Pennsylvania will benefit from it. (PA estimates are from the Senate version of the legislation. Links are to the sources of our information.)

Most notably, the legislation takes a major step forward in making health insurance through the ACA more affordable and includes a welcome expansion of child tax credits, which for the first time would give low- and moderate-income families in our country the kind of support that can be found in many other countries.

And, at one stroke, the legislation would ensure that state and local governments and school districts could all overcome the revenue shortfalls created by the pandemic and meet the challenges it has created in our communities.

This legislation is bold and far-reaching. It would restore our economy to health and take a necessary and long-delayed step forward in overcoming the inequities that the pandemic has revealed to all of us.

Individual Payments

The Senate bill would provide payments of up to $1,400 to families with an income of less than $160,000 per year and to individuals with an income of less than $80,000 per year.

5,876,366 Pennsylvanians will receive a total of $14.8 billion in direct payment from the federal government.

Unemployment Insurance

Under the extension of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), people who are unemployed would get $300 added to their regular weekly unemployment benefits through September 6. Under the extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) freelancers, gig workers, and independent contractors would continue to receive unemployment insurance during that time. Under the extension of the Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program provisions that increase the duration of payments for those in the traditional state unemployment system would continue as well. The first $10,200 of unemployment payments would be tax-free for households with annual incomes less than $150,000.

642,478 Pennsylvanians, 10.23% of all workers in the state were facing a cut-off of these benefits. They will now continue.

Health Care

The legislation includes a major expansion of the Affordable Care Act, including subsidies for health insurance on the exchanges / marketplace for two years. Democratic leaders plan to continue the subsidies after that time.

Individuals and families would now pay no more than 8.5% of their income towards coverage, down from the current amount of nearly 10%. Also, those earning more than the current cap of 400% of the federal poverty level—about $51,000 for an individual and $104,800 for a family of four in 2021—would become eligible for help for the first time. Subsides for lower-income individuals and families would be increased, in many cases eliminating their premiums entirely. People collecting unemployment benefits would pay no premiums in 2021.

280,000 Pennsylvanians now secure health insurance on the Pennie, the Pennsylvanian insurance marketplace. Our rough  estimate is that at least a third and perhaps up to a half will see their premiums go down.  In addition, thousands of people who purchase insurance outside the marketplace will now have a strong incentive to buy insurance inside it. That will expand the pool of insured and bring premiums down even more.

Some particular examples of the impact of In Pennsylvania, we estimate that:

A 45 year old individual with an income of $60,000 would see her monthly premium go down $89 from $514 to $425.

A sixty year old couple with an income of $75,000 would drop $1402, from $1933 to $531 per month.

A family of four with an income of $120,000 would see their premium drop $605 from $1455 to $850 per month

A 60 year-old with an income of $55,000 will see his premiums drop by $527 a month from $917 to $390 for a silver plan per month. A low-cost bronze plan will drop by $535 a month from $634 to $99. A low-cost gold plan will drop by $497 a month from $841 to $344.

In addition, 26% of the uninsured in PA, 96,216 people are now eligible for a free bronze level plan or a low cost silver plan with a very low deductible.

The Senate legislation also provides more generous assistance to those who lost their jobs but want to remain on their employer health insurance plans through COBRA. These laid-off workers would not pay any premiums through the end of September.


The legislation includes a major expansion of the child tax credit. It would give low-income families $3,600 for each child under 6 and $3,000 for each one under age 18, up from the current credit of up to $2,000 per child under age 17. The child tax credit would become fully refundable so that very low-income parents would receive benefits. And households could receive payments monthly, rather than in a lump sum once a year, which would make it easier for them to cover their expenses. Over 2.3 million children, or 90% of all children under 18 in Pennsylvania will benefit from the expansion. of the child tax credit.

The legislation would also provide $39 billion to childcare providers, some of which must be used to help families struggling to pay the cost.

 In Pennsylvania

892,000 children under 17 who were left out of the full $2000 Child Tax Credit will now benefit.

140,000 children under the age of 18 will be lifted above poverty

311,000 children under 18 will be lifted above or close to the poverty line

90% of children under 18 will benefit from the expansion

The legislation would also provide $39 billion to childcare providers, some of which must be used to help families struggling to pay the cost.

Child Care

Pennsylvanian will receive 34.45 million in new funding for Head Start. $457 million from the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program and $731 from the Child Care Stabilization Grant program both of which are part of the Child Care and Development fund which provides support for child care for low-income families.

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Senate bill  would also expand the Earned Income Tax Credit. Working adults who are not raising children at home now get only a small credit. The legislation would raise the maximum EITC for these “childless adults” from about $530 to about $1,500, raise the income cap for them to qualify from about $16,000 to at least $21,000, and expand eligible childless workers to include younger adults aged 19-24 who aren’t full-time students and those 65 and over.

The expansion of the EITC will benefit 700,000 childless workers in Pennsylvania. 

Food Assistance

Those who receive food stamps would continue to receive a 15% increase in benefits, which had been scheduled to lapse in June, through September. The families of children whose schools are closed would be able to receive benefits that replace free and reduced-price meals through the summer if their state opts to continue it. In Pennsylvania 1.8 million SNAP recipients will get an average increase of $27 a month, adding $50 million per month in total food assistance.


Funding in the amount of $20 billion would go to state and local governments to help low-income households cover back rent, rent assistance and utility bills.

For homeowners, $10 billion would help those who have difficulty paying their mortgages, utilities, and property taxes.

 States and localities would receive $5 billion to assist those at risk of experiencing homelessness and an additional $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers for those who are currently homeless.

Support for Businesses

The Senate bill includes $15 billion for the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program, which would provide long-term, low-interest Small Business Administration loans.

It includes $25 billion for a new grant program, specifically for bars and restaurants. Businesses could receive up to $10 million for expenses including payroll, mortgage and rent, utilities, and food and beverages.

The Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently taking applications for second-round loans, would get an additional $7 billion, and the legislation would expand eligibility for non-profit organizations.

 State and Local Governments

The legislation includes $350 billion in much-needed assistance to state and local governments. The state of Pennsylvania would receive $7.293 billion, and county and municipal governments would receive $6.149 billion. Every county and most municipalities in Pennsylvania would receive some aid with $1.1 billion going to Philadelphia and $354 million to Pittsburgh. This funding would help state and local governments cover revenue shortfalls created by the pandemic, respond to the COVID-19 emergency, and make investments in broadband and water and sewer systems. States would not be allowed to use these funds to reduce taxes or add to pension funds.

 Education Funding

The legislation includes $168 billion in education funding—$126 billion for K-12 education, $40 billion for higher education, and an additional $2.75 billion for private schools and other uses. K-12 funding is for helping schools reopen and helping students catch up on what they have missed during the pandemic. States would be required to spend a percentage of the funds on summer learning, after-school programs, and education technology. Some funding would be set aside for challenge grants focused on educational equity. An amendment added during the Senate floor negotiations would provide $800 million to support education and wraparound services for homeless children. It would also require school districts to develop a plan for the safe return to in-person schooling. About $7.2 billion would go toward the E-rate program to help residences and libraries connect to the internet.




Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)

The Help Extended Auditory Relief (HEAR) Act is designed to extend Medicare coverage to routine hearing check-ups and hearing aids. Currently, Medicare covers accidents and emergencies, but most seniors will lose their hearing in a gradual way. And most doctors recommend addressing gradual hearing loss with routine check-ups. 1 in 3 seniors experience hearing loss, so this bipartisan piece of legislation is incredibly important and necessary. Rep. Matt Cartwright is committed to fighting for this bill’s passage.





Robert Casey (Photo: LuLac archives)

On the heels of the Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan, which includes policies to cut child poverty, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Child Poverty Reduction Act of 2021, which would establish a national goal of reducing child poverty by half in 10 years and require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Census Bureau to annually track the progress toward that goal. In 2018, 11.9 million children were living in poverty. U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis (D-IL-7) is introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

 “It is completely unacceptable that children are living in poverty in the richest country in the world,” said Senator Casey. “Children living in poverty are at greater risk of behavioral and emotional problems and poverty has also been shown to adversely affect academic and health outcomes of children, especially during early childhood. With more than 15 percent of children in Pennsylvania living in poverty, the Child Poverty Reduction Act is a critical tool to help improve economic stability and security for children and their families. We must ensure every child in Pennsylvania, and across the country, has the opportunity to flourish and the freedom to reach their full potential.”

“There are far too many children living in poverty both in Wisconsin and across our country. We must act now,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m leading this legislation with Senators Casey and Brown to take action and meet the challenge of better understanding and ending child poverty, so we can build a better future for all children in America.”

 “Whether they’re raised in families that are working harder than ever with less and less to show for it, or in overwhelmed and underfunded foster care programs, far too many children are brought up with the odds stacked against them. For Black and brown children, systemic racism often reinforces cycles of poverty. Building on the historic expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan, which is estimated to cut child poverty in half, this legislation is an important step toward ensuring that federal policies and programs actually work to reduce child poverty and promote the health, safety, and economic security for all children,” said Senator Brown.

 “We live in the wealthiest nation in the world,” said Representative Davis. “It is inexcusable and unacceptable for so many of our children to be condemned to grow up in America under these conditions. Including this bill in our coronavirus response will prioritize alleviating child poverty and ensure our success. Without continuous monitoring of child poverty during this crisis and recovery, we risk irreparable harm to our youngest children, especially children of color.”

Poverty not only affects individual children, but also has broader societal effects, including higher spending on health care, increased rates of crime, reduced rates of education attainment and higher spending on remedial education. Last year, Senator Casey announced a comprehensive legislative agenda, the Five Freedoms for America’s Children. This agenda laid out a roadmap identifying five basic freedoms that our society must guarantee to the Nation’s children—the Freedom to be Healthy, the Freedom to be Economically Secure, the Freedom to Learn, the Freedom from Hunger and the Freedom to be Safe from Harm.

Among the policy recommendations in the agenda, Senator Casey proposed expanding the Child Tax Credit, with Senators Brown and Michael Bennet (D-CO), and authored the expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, both of which were included on a temporary basis in the American Rescue Plan. Casey has also proposed the creation of children’s saving accounts, seeded annually with $500 in government contributions, which can be used for retirement savings and long term equity building or to pursue a post-secondary education, home ownership or a business enterprise.







Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on The Mothership 1340/1400 am, 100.7 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on The River 105 and 103.5.





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17th Easter Seal Telethon raises $35,184,425….The  FBI apprehends most wanted Claude L Dallas, Jr in California. Dallas was charged with the murder of two state game wardens on January 5, 1981 in remote Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho.[4] He eluded capture for over fifteen months, until he was arrested in northern Nevada by FBI Special Agent Franz Nenzel and SWAT officer Dave Gillan on April 18, 1982, north of Winnemucca, after he was shot and wounded in the leg during a car chase and shootout. Convicted that October and sentenced to 30 years,Dallas escaped from prison on March 30, 1986,  and eluded law enforcement officials for nearly a year; he was finally apprehended outside a convenience store in the suburban southern California city of Riverside on March 8, 1987……The  "A Team" last aired on NBC-TV after 4 years …..The Chrysler Corp offered to buy American Motors Corp for $1 billion…..The Vatican formal opposition to test-tube fertilization & embryo transfer….."Les Miserables" opens at Broadway/Imperial NYC for 4000+ performances……David Robinson scores 50 points in a NCAA basketball game…a Federal judge dismisses lawsuits sought by Oliver North……. Ice Pairs Championship at Cincinnati won by E Gordeeva & Grinkov (Soviet Union)……Men's Figure Skating Championship in Cincinnati won by Brian Orser (Canada……USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk (Soviet Union)…… Ice Dance Championship at Cincinnati won by Bestemianova & Bukin (URS)…… John Gotti, boss of the Gambino crime family, is acquitted of racketeering and in 1987 the number one song in LuLac land and America was  “Nothings  Gonna  Stop  Us Now by  Starship.


At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Ed Zygmunt said...

"$350 billion for state and local governments", which will help fund state and local police departments. All the Republicans said "NO" to this too. What a sneaky way to defund the police. Thankfully Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and President Biden stopped them.


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