Thursday, May 12, 2022

The LuLac Edition #4,738, May 12th, 2022



Northeastern Pennsylvania is famous and infamous for many things. Old Forge Pizza and Pittston Tomatoes come to mind when we talk about famous. We are also infamous when it comes to potholes. This week 118 State Rep candidate John Lombardo’s campaign ran an ad against former Pen Dot spokesperson James May   who in his advertising mentioned his road side experience. In his position there May was very front and center and during emergency snow storms did yeoman’s work in keeping people safe. But then there were the potholes. May’s predicament is summed p in that old adage that no one hears about an airplane ride but when there’s a crash, everyone hears about it.

The ad speaks for itself in its creativity and really hots home hitting all the punching bag points you’d want in a GOP ad. Jen Psaki, etc. and especially roundabouts. No one likes them and in typical Pa. style, they came twenty years too late. The ad has given the May campaign (this is his third run for a State Rep seat) conniptions and Lombardo fans something to inventively  campaign with.

Whatever side you’re on, it starts a debate about a race that is down ballot and not normally getting attention. Debate and engagement are what people want. Here  it is:







Corman and Barletta (Photo: WITF)

KDKA reports that Jake Corman, a Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor, announced Thursday that he's dropping out of the race and endorsing Lou Barletta.

"Campaigning for governor has been a tremendous honor," he said in a statement. "It's been a true joy getting to meet and talk with so many good people - good Pennsylvanians."

In the same statement, Corman shared his support for Barletta.

"Lou Barletta is a hardworking former mayor and congressman who supports the America First Agenda," Corman said. "He's a tough, experienced and principled leader who can win in the fall. As Senate President Pro Tempore and a leader of our party, I believe it's my duty to put the Republican party first. There's a tremendous opportunity to do something that we've only done once in the last two decades - elect a Republican as governor of Pennsylvania. The only thing that will prevent this is if we nominate someone who cannot possibly win in the fall, and that's a real possibility with nine candidates in this race."

Corman, from Centre County, was first elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in 1998.

This tells us all that Republicans in the middle think Mastriano will be a terrible candidate against Josh Shapiro. His candidacy seems more about a radical right agenda than bringing people together. His stance on Act 45 and Public Health is questionable at best and the fact that he was at the Insurrection will not bode well for him with swing voters.

The biggest questions about the Corman endorsement are this.

1.       Is this endorsement too little too late? It comes just 6 days before the election and the impact might not be as great if done earlier.

2.       See # 1 because many voters might have already voted for Corman by mail.

3.       Corman really never caught fire as a candidate. His numbers weren’t great in the polls and his base was small even though he’s a powerful State Senator. The fact that he is and has endorsed Barletta may have given traditional Republicans permission to vote for someone other tan Mastriano, (Barletta after all has been for Trump since the start of the former President’s ascension and will be an alternative to the MAGA crowd) but will that be enough? If this were Bill McSwain with his numbers it might be better for Barletta. But it looks like you have a .220 hitter coming up in the bottom of the ninth when you need a .300 hitter to win the game.   All that said, Barletta played it very smart by welcoming the support and not bashing Mastriano. 



Shapiro, Mayor George Brown and your blog editor at the event. (Photo: Bob Price) 

Before a large crowd last Saturday on Public Square, Democratic candidate for Governor Josh Shapiro appeared. Here's the link from the Times Leader on the event and a photo of Mark Barrett who was quoted in the piece. 



Kathy Barnette (Photo: WHP)

I said this on Jim Riley’s Bold Gold Community Forum Show last Sunday. Kathy  Barnett is in shouting distance of winning the Senate nomination for the GOP primary. This worries both parties. Think about it on the Republicans side. You have to front runners spending millions on their races. In the end they don’t even get a tee shirt. "

Influential Republicans in Washington and among the nationwide party elite are having a belated "oh s--t" moment over the previously unimaginable prospect that Kathy Barnette could win their party's nomination for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania," Axios reported Wednesday. "In Barnette, who's been soaring in the polls ahead of Tuesday's primary, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would be dealing with a general election candidate who'd be an opposition researcher's dream — potentially endangering the GOP effort to take back the Senate."

"Trafalgar has new polls out in the Pennsylvania Republican primaries, which will be held next Tuesday. The Senate poll is not far from a three-way dead heat, with Dr. Oz at 24.5 percent, Kathy Barnette at 23.2 percent, and Dave McCormick at 21.6 percent, with 15 percent undecided and the other candidates in single digits," he reported. "The RCP average in the Senate race has Oz 23.3, Barnette 21.0, and McCormick 20.3."

The takeaway here is that McCormick has slipped to third. Barnette has been helped by GOP lead candidate for Governor Doug Mastriano who has introduced her as the next Senator from Pennsylvania. That helps with the MAGA crowd but the fear is that Barnette might not bee the best candidate for the general. The flip side of that is she may be a formidable opponent appearance wise against John Fetterman. Fetterman like George H.W. Bush and Joe Biden (when they were running for Vice President) had to navigate carefully against Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin respectively and not appear to be bullying them. 

Both parties are concerned. (Raw Story, LuLac)



Pennsylvania State Representative Russ Diamond, a Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, discussed possible methods to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election with former President Donald Trump’s attorney John Eastman leading up to January 6.

According to a report from Politico, emails released by the University of Colorado, where Eastman worked as a visiting professor, showed Rep. Diamond reaching out to Eastman regarding methods to potentially overturn Pennsylvania’s election.

According to Politico, the emails were “obtained via public records requests by the Colorado Ethics Institute, which sent them along to the Jan. 6 select committee last month.”

Eastman gained national attention for drafting a memo that falsely argued former Vice President Mike Pence could keep Trump in power by overturning the results of the election during a joint session of Congress convened to count electoral votes.

In an email sent by Rep. Diamond on December 4 from his official legislative email account, he says he found Eastman’s testimony on the 2020 election before Georgia’s State Senate to be “compelling.”

Rep. Diamond stated in the email “numerous other frustrated colleagues and I are searching for legislative solutions to our current national predicament.”

Why is all this important? Mainly because the Lt. Governor becomes Governor if anything happens to the top guy.  (WHTM, LuLac) 



Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)

Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell applauded the announcement of $2 million in federal funding to support a new initiative his office is launching to reduce violent drug, gang and gun activity in the region. This funding is part of a fiscal year 2022 appropriations package secured by U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright.

The $2 million Community Projecting Funding for the Lackawanna County Gang and Gun Reduction and Intelligence Project (GGRIP) was announced this afternoon at a press conference at the Lackawanna County Courthouse that included District Attorney Powell, Scranton Police Chief Tom Carroll, State Police Captain Peter Gutkowski and Congressman Cartwright.

According to Powell, GGRIP will specifically target gang, drug and illegal gun activity by enhancing law enforcement’s ability to share intelligence and successfully prosecute violent offenders.

“Gangs have become increasingly sophisticated, and our law enforcement agencies are in dire need of this federal assistance to stay one step ahead of them, investigate and interrupt their networks and put these bad actors behind bars," Powell said. “This funding will go a long way when it comes to keeping our community – and our officers – safe.”

The overall goal of the GGRIP initiative, Powell explained, is to enhance public safety through aggressive investigation and suppression of violent gang activity and successful prosecution of criminals through a collaborative, multi-jurisdictional, community-involved approach.

Specifically, funding for the GGRIP initiative will be used to:

Identify, disrupt and prosecute individuals involved in gang and illegal gun activity through aggressive investigation, patrol and interdiction efforts.

Act as a hub for intelligence analysis between law enforcement agencies to foster cooperation.

Offer gang, drug and illegal gun training to law enforcement partners.

Allow for more effective electronic surveillance monitoring of violent offenders and provide technical support services to law enforcement agencies throughout Lackawanna County.

Provide interview, interrogation and polygraph support to law enforcement partners.

Support community-based educational programs and targeted outreach to prevent gang affiliations.

“Our officers and law enforcement officials deserve to be equipped with the best resources, the best technology and the best colleagues geared for the job at hand,” Cartwright said. “The funding we’re announcing today will help our blue line operate at the highest level.”




Senator Bob Casey (Photo: LuLac archives)

U.S. Senators Bob Casey , Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) announced that the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee passed their bipartisan Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act, legislation to prevent furniture tip-overs resulting in injury or death, and is headed to the floor for consideration by the full Senate. The bill would change the stability standard for manufacturers of clothing storage units from voluntary to mandatory—requiring companies to ensure their products are tested for safety and stability before being sold. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), tip-overs cause an average of 25,500 emergency room-treated injuries each year as children are crushed, trapped or struck by furniture, TVs and appliances. The bill, as marked up, has broad support from Parents Against Tip-overs, IKEA, the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) and other consumer, manufacturing and industry groups, and received bipartisan support in Committee. U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) introduced the House companion to the bill.

“Our children’s safety is non-negotiable. Because of inadequate safety standards and testing for furniture tip-overs, families have had to endure unimaginable tragedy and loss. My STURDY Act would implement much-needed reforms to make homes safer for children. I am proud to see this legislation pass out of committee and I will work with my colleagues to get it to the President’s desk quickly,” said Senator Casey.

“No family should live in fear that their child could be severely injured or even killed by preventable accidents,” said Klobuchar. “By strengthening our furniture safety standards, the STURDY Act will help protect more children from the risks of furniture tip-overs. Now that this bill has advanced through the Senate Commerce Committee with bipartisan support, I look forward to it passing the full Senate and being signed into law.”

“Today’s committee vote is an important step forward in preventing deadly furniture tip-overs that can be tragic for children and their families,” said Blumenthal. “By establishing a process to finalize mandatory furniture stability requirements, the STURDY Act will protect millions of American households from dangerously-designed furniture, and curtail hundreds of needless injuries and deaths. As Chair of the Consumer Protection Subcommittee, I’m proud to have joined my colleagues in introducing and negotiating this legislation and I look forward to continuing to fight for its passage in the Senate.”

According to a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tip-overs cause an average of 25,500 emergency room-treated injuries each year, with 44 percent of that number involving children who are crushed, trapped or struck by furniture, TVs and appliances. Product instability that leads to a tip-over incident can be caused or affected by an unstable dresser design such as a small base and top heavy, use on a sloped or unstable surface such as carpet, not using a restraint device or using a defective tip-over restraint device, heavy objects placed on top of a dresser such as a TV, or multiple dresser drawers open simultaneously. The bill also requires rigorous testing measures for furniture, simulation of real-world use and warning requirements based on the most up-to-date safety standards.




Governor Tom Wolf (Photo: LuLac archives)

 Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Representative Steve Malagari, Senator Maria Collett and community leaders today to discuss Gov. Wolf’s call for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to immediately use a portion of the $1.7 billion in unspent American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help older adults and individuals with disabilities through property tax and rent rebates to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our commonwealth is sitting on billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief money that is meant to help our citizens and it is past time to use that money for its intended purpose – to improve the lives of Pennsylvanians,” said Gov. Wolf. “For Pennsylvanians on a budget or a fixed income, inflation causing costs to go up on everything, can lead to painful decisions. That’s why I want to use some of Pennsylvania’s federal COVID-19 relief funding to provide a boost to this program and legislation has been introduced in support of my plan. Now, I am calling on Republican leaders in the General Assembly to take action to send those bills to my desk.”

In February, Gov. Wolf proposed his $1.7 billion action plan, which includes a proposal to direct $204 million to provide property tax relief to Pennsylvanians by investing in the existing Property Tax Rent Rebate program. This investment would be a one-time bonus rebate to current program users, doubling existing rebates with an estimated 466,000 Pennsylvanians receiving an additional average rebate of $475. Since its inception in 1971, the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program has delivered more than $7.1 billion to older adults and individuals with disabilities.

In Montgomery County, the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefitted 13,442 Pennsylvanians who received a total of $6.4 million. Almost 75% of these recipients were age 65 and older.

“For seniors and many others across the state, they have been affected by rising healthcare and prescription drug costs, and the rising cost of food and utilities and other necessities in life,” said Rep. Malagari. “The proposal to use these funds to mitigate the damages inflicted by the pandemic on financially vulnerable residents is exactly what the federal funds are meant to do.”

Sen. Collett recently introduced S.B. 1187, which supports Gov. Wolf’s proposal to provide the one-time bonus rebate, which was referred to committee in the beginning of April. The bill has set stagnant since.

“As the Democratic Chair of the Senate’s Aging & Youth Committee, I’m pleased to see Governor Wolf supporting initiatives like this to help older and disabled Pennsylvanians,” said Sen. Collett. “My legislation (SB 1187) would double this year’s payments under the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, ensuring our most vulnerable neighbors are able to keep roofs over their heads. With billions of federal ARPA dollars left to spend, there is no excuse not to make this investment.”

In addition to members of the General Assembly, Gov. Wolf was joined by Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Chair Dr. Valerie Arkoosh in support of the proposal and proposed legislation at today’s event. AARP also provided their praise of the proposal.

“Everyone is paying more for nearly everything today – from prescription drugs to gas to housing but, the problem of inflation is hardest for those on fixed incomes,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. “The very purpose of the American Rescue Plan Act is to provide flexible, emergency funding for state and local governments to effectively respond to the negative economic impacts created by the pandemic. AARP Pennsylvania is pleased to support this critical investment of American Rescue Plan Act dollars to support Property Tax Rent Rebate Program beneficiaries.”  





Walters and Hartz

Hartz on C-Span 
Photos: New York Times, C-Span)

I was a big fan of Jim Hartz when he took over The Today Show after Frank McGee died of bone cancer at only 53.  Hartz, the low-key, folksy newsman who hosted the “Today” show with Barbara Walters in the mid-1970s, less than halfway through his three-decade television career,. He was no stranger to broadcasting though because he had already spent a decade in New York at WNBC, covering local stories, from John V. Lindsay’s mayoralty through Robert F. Kennedy’s funeral and well into the Watergate scandal.

Both on “Today” and in other broadcast jobs, Mr. Hartz covered numerous space missions. He and the broadcast-news pioneer John Chancellor were co-announcers in 1971 during the Apollo 15 launch, which led to a three-day lunar visit by astronauts.

The “Today” job came along in 1974, when executives chose him to replace Mr. McGee, passing over Tom Brokaw and Tom Snyder, who were both considered more dynamic personalities and both better known nationally. But Mr. Hartz’s laid-back style seemed to be a better fit with Ms. Walters, who had been promoted to co-host after 13 years with the show and was determined, she made clear, not to take a back seat to anyone. But in 1976 Walters went to ABC to be an anchor and the Peacock Netwk hired Jane Pauley. The brass felt two rookies would just not cut it and hired Tom Brokaw.

From 1976 to 1979, he was news anchor at WRC, the NBC affiliate in Washington. He later worked with PBS on various projects. He was 82 when he died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Ironically, Hartz died on the same date, April 17th that his Today show predecessor McGee. 





Due to a family situation, WILK local talk show hosts are adding an extra hour to their shows. The morning gig with Nancy and Jason goes from 6am to 10am, Nikki Stone from 10am to 2 and Bob Cordaro from 2 to 6 The only one whining about it was Cordaro Our best wishes ad prayers go out to Frank and his family in this situation. 



I went to  Rail Riders game with my friend Yankee Frank. After the game (Which was an 11am start) I went to Shop Rite because I heard they had rye bagels. Shop Rite is in the Birney Plaza where K Mart used to be. So I’m coming out of the store and  a guy named Kevin is sitting in his car with feet out and was going to shop but I just I knew he was going to speak to me. You just know in certain cases. He says, “People who are loudmouths sometimes think they know everything but they don’t.” I  said, “I try to learn from everybody because I don’t know everything”. He says, “Okay but what kills me are these people who say they know everything but are blaming President Biden for everything. Thwy think they know everything so they blame him for everything  But maybe I’m saying too much to you”

I told him I agreed with him, that Biden was left a bad hand, that he was trying to dig us out of jtter destruction from Trump in the State Department and other agencies. I told him I was tired of the loud mouths who claim their country is being stolen by Biden when it was their pog slob who wanted to over turn the election as well as shoot black demonstrators for shits and giggles”.

He seemed pleased to find a fellow traveler. We bade each other goodbye, he scolded me for not wearing a hat because I got a lot of sun and I got back in the car. I had WILK tuned in from the morning and heard Cordaro blathering his shit about the crazy left wing radicals who were running his life and just smiled and turned him off. Kevin a retired veteran and wlder  was right. There are loudmouths who people think know everything but it’s because they yell louder than anyone else.

When you’re full of venom, hate, lies and shit…….you got nothing else but decibels to hide WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW! 



This week's guest is Gary Duncan, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Council on Seniors. You'll hear the program Sunday at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400 am The Mothership and 7:30 am on 105 The River.





Our 1975 logo.

At 2:10 pm local time (3:10 am in Washington DC), the United States merchant ship SS Mayaguez was stopped in international waters by the P-128, a Cambodian gunboat manned by Khmer Rouge forces. Ten minutes later, P-128 fired machine guns across the bow as a warning, and at 2:35, a group of seven Khmer soldiers boarded the Mayaguez, commandeering the ship and taking its 39 crew captive…….With two goals from 47-year-old ice hockey legend Gordie Howe, the Houston Aeros won their second straight World Hockey Association championship, defeating the Quebec Nordiques, 7-2, to sweep the best of four series…….Two Soviet destroyer ships, the Boykiy and the Zhguchiy, sailed into Boston Harbor, becoming the first Soviet ships to dock at a U.S. port since the beginning of the Cold War. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of the Allied victory over Germany.[35] The next day, the U.S. Navy ships USS Leahy and the USS Tattnall sailed into Leningrad……Helmut Kohl was selected ahead of Franz Joseph Strauss as the Christian Socialist Union candidate for Chancellor in the 1976 West German elections…. After the British government declined to award a patent to César Milstein, Georges J. F. Köhler and Niels Kaj Jerne for inventing a process to create specially-made antibodies, Milstein and Köhler submitted a letter to the British science journal Nature, which published the news in its August 7 issue. The three biochemists would win the Nobel Prize in 1984……Nineteen years after the Academy Award for best screenplay was awarded to, but went unclaimed by, an author with the pseudonym of "Robert Rich", Dalton Trumbo was presented the 1956 Oscar for scripting The Brave Ones. Trumbo had been blacklisted from Hollywood during the 1950s for his former membership in the Communist Party…..Thousands of Hmong soldiers and officers, who had assisted the CIA during the Laotian Civil War, reported to the Long Chieng airbase in Laos, along with their families. Though the Hmong were told that they would be airlifted to safety before the country was taken over by the Communist Pathet Lao, only two cargo planes were allotted to the rescue, which saved only 2,500 people. The others were forced to flee into the surrounding jungles, where they were hunted down after Communist troops captured Long Chieng. Those who survived to make it to Thailand lived in refugee camps for years. The first full-sized luxury electric car, the Transformer 1, was introduced by Apollo Energy Systems at a press conference in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan. Robert Aronson showed the car to reporters and Aronson's friend, television personality Arthur Godfrey, drove the vehicle around the grounds of the Raleigh House. The Transformer 1 was a modified two-door 1975 Chevy Chevelle powered by a 180-volt lead cobalt battery….  

The American merchant ship Mayaguez, seized three days earlier by Cambodian forces, was rescued after the U.S. Marines landed on Kohn Tang Island, where the 45 crewmen had been held captive. Another contingent of Marines had boarded the Mayaguez and found it deserted, while the 130-man force sent to the island fought in combat against the Khmer Rouge. Under the white flag of surrender, a Cambodian vessel brought 30 Americans to the destroyer USS Wilson. Thirty-eight U.S. Marines were killed in America's last battle in Indochina.The American assault force that landed on Koh Tang expected only 20 Khmer Rouge defenders, and encountered 150. A Khmer rocket brought down "Knife 31", a U.S. Sikorsky HH-53 helicopter, and 18 of the 231 Americans were unaccounted for when the attack force withdrew. It would later be revealed that three of the Marines (Joseph N. Hargrove, Gary L. Hall, and Danny G. Marshall) and two Navy medics (Bernard Guase and Ronald Manning) may have been alive when they were left behind on the island….Star Trek: The Animated Series, the Star Trek franchise's second series, won the franchise's first Emmy Award.and the number one song this week in LuLac land was “(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Don  Somebody Wrong Song” by B.J. Thomas.  



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