Thursday, March 02, 2023

The LuLac Edition #4, 925, March 2nd, 2023




Schlapp turns out to be SCHMUCK! (Photo: Washington Examiner)

Tom Boggioni from Raw Story reports that  as the annual CPAC confab prepares to get underway in Maryland, with a multitude of high-profile Republicans avoiding it this year, there is a cloud over its founder who has been pushing back at his accuser, a male staffer on Herschel Walker's failed U.S. Senate campaign who accused the influential conservative of groping him while he served as his driver.

According to a new report from the Washington Post, "dozens of current and former employees and board members interviewed by The Washington Post described a wider range of complaints about the longtime Republican power broker and CPAC’s culture under his leadership."

Add to that, the report notes, "A Post review of the Walker staffer’s claims also corroborated that he shared his story with friends and colleagues in the immediate aftermath."

According to the report, the Schlapp organization has seen an uptick in staffers quitting with allegations of mismanagement being lodged.

The Post's Beth Reinhard and Isaac Arnsdorf wrote, "Some expressed concern that Schlapp has given an inexperienced contractor too much influence. One former employee notified the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last month of plans to sue over claims that she was fired in retaliation for complaining about a co-worker’s sexist and racist comments."

“The culture was toxic. From my perspective, he acted like a bully," former communication director, Regina Bratton explained.

The report also notes that some members of the CPAC board are "growing anxious" at the prospect that assault allegations could irreparably damage the organization.

"Board member Morton Blackwell said he expected the allegation to be discussed at a board meeting at the start of CPAC and that 'it’s impossible for it to be ignored.' He added, 'Obviously it’s a serious allegation but it’s put forward anonymously, which tends to discredit it.'"

The Post is also reporting that the 2023 CPAC is already feeling the effects of Schlapp's difficulties, noting, "ticket sales are lagging from past years, prompting price cuts, giveaways and a special rate offered to congressional staff, according to people familiar with the event’s inner workings who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information. Many high-rollers who have in the past bought the conference’s biggest premium packages have not registered this time."




Ron Desantis (Photo: CNN)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday to take control of municipal services and development for the special zone encompassing Walt Disney World. The move deals a major blow to the company's ability to operate with autonomy.

The heart of the bill is the appointment of a five-person state board to oversee municipal services, such as fire protection and road maintenance, where Disney World operates.

The newly appointed board will have the ability to raise revenue to fund services and pay off Disney's debts. DeSantis' previous pledge to strip Disney of its special tax status sparked fears that local taxpayers would be left on the hook, which would, in turn, spark a significant spike in local tax rates.

DeSantis stressed on Monday that under the new structure, Disney would still be responsible for its municipal debts and local governments would not raise taxes.

The governor said the five board members include people who "very much want to see Disney be what Walt envisioned," implying The creation of the self-governing zone, known as Reedy Creek Improvement District, was instrumental to Disney's decision to build its theme park near Orlando in the 1960s, according to WMFE reporter Amy Green.

The zone sits on nearly 25,000 acres, sandwiched between Orange and Osceola counties. Once a remote and rural area, the Reedy Creek Improvement District received electricity, water, roads and police thanks to Disney's investments.

According to a local tax collector, Disney has taxed itself roughly $53 million each year to pay off the debts from that de Disney, which employs nearly 80,000 people in central Florida, wields great influence in the state.

The company donated to DeSantis during the 2020 election cycle. In 2021, the governor's staff reportedly worked with Disney to give it an exemption from a law designed to crack down on big tech companies.

But the relationship between the two started to sour that same year after Disney took a stricter stance on preventing the spread of COVID-19, mandating its workers show proof of vaccination and its theme park guests continue to wear face coverings.

At the same time, Disney was increasingly drawing criticism from conservatives for making changes to its parks and films to increase inclusivity. Disney World closed Splash Mountain, for example, after a petition accusing it of "stereotypical racist tropes" gained 21,000 signatures.

DeSantis, who has been fighting what he calls "woke indoctrination," said the company "crossed the line" when Disney CEO Bob Chapek said he'd support the repeal of Florida's Parental Rights in Education Act, known by its critics as the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

DeSantis immediately turned Chapek's statement into a fundraising point. A month later, he introduced legislation on revoking Disney's special tax status, development. that Disney's values wouldn't be negatively impacted.

DeSantis has proven that if you disagree with him, he’ll revert to the same old playbook of punishing people instead of working with them. These “small men” get so threatened by what governing really means show their true colors. DeSantis is more dangerous, in my view than Trump because he understands how to work the levers of government. Trump was a clown, DeSantis is  a power hungry toad who knows how to screw the people with a smile on his face. (ncpr, LuLac) 




Joanna McClinton (Photo: AP)

Philadelphia state Rep. Joanna McClinton on Tuesday became the first woman to serve as speaker of the Pennsylvania House, ascending to the chamber’s top position on the strength of a fresh one-vote Democratic majority.

“It was almost 250 years before a woman could stand at this desk, not just to give a prayer, but to get the gavel,” McClinton said after being sworn in. “That’s pretty incredible.”

The leadership reshuffling came nearly two months after Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat, became the surprise choice for speaker. Democrats flipped a net of 12 seats in November to retake majority control by the narrowest of margins after more than a decade, but their control did not become effective until their candidates won three special elections in early February.

Rozzi said Tuesday he was willingly stepping aside after being speaker since Jan. 3, but is remaining a House member. Rozzi’s top legislative priority, a two-year window for victims to file otherwise outdated lawsuits with claims of child sexual abuse, passed the House last week but faces an uncertain fate in the GOP-majority Senate.

“I will not allow the allure of power or the trappings of office to keep me from doing what is right. I was not elected by the people for this office and I will not stand in the way of the woman who was,” Rozzi said in floor remarks. He called McClinton “one of the most intelligent and compassionate women I have met in politics.”

In nominating her, Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Philadelphia, noted McClinton is also the second African American to serve as speaker, after Leroy Irvis, who held the position in the late 1970s. The vote for McClinton over the Republican nominee, Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar of Somerset County, was 102-99, reflecting two absences.

“She’s brilliant, formidable and she gives voice to our values in ways that ring so true it reverberates around this chamber,” said Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny.

McClinton, 40, a state lawmaker since 2015, grew up in southwest Philadelphia, where she still lives, and attended La Salle University and Villanova Law School. She has worked as a public defender and a state Senate attorney. She had been the Democratic floor leader since 2020, and was also the first woman to hold that position.

Democrats will have to reshuffle their leadership ranks and get rules passed about how the chamber operates. McClinton vowed that the House will “have rules that protect women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, because this is Pennsylvania, where democracy was born.”

It has been 10 years since the Democrats have had the majority in the House. By choosing such a leader, the Dems are demonstrating to the entire state that even with a one majority they are ready to include an not exclude like the impotent and punitive GOP. (The Morning Call, LuLac) 


Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) joined representatives from YMCAs throughout the region at a press conference held Wednesday morning to unveil a new Wellbeing Initiative thanks to $1.85 million in federal Community Project Funding he secured.

The $1.85 million will allow YMCAs in the Greater Scranton area, the Wyoming Valley area, Carbondale, Pittston and Wayne County to provide mental health education and support services that includes a partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). While some components of the new programming have already been introduced, the remainder of the new wellness initiatives will be rolling out in the next few weeks.

“I was proud to advocate for these funds in Congress, and I look forward to working with the Greater Scranton YMCA and others in the region to ensure the success of this new program,” Rep. Matt Cartwright said.

Trish Fisher, President and CEO of the Greater Scranton YMCA, says the funding will also help serve the underserved in our region who need it most.

“This vital funding will allow us to offer one-stop shopping for mental health and substance use services to those most in need,” Fisher said. “It will also support the hiring of program coordinators and specialized staff at each YMCA which will allow each participating YMCA to offer multiple proactive and preventative services. The YMCA is a charity and we are proud to turn no one away for an inability to pay. These services will support members of our community who may otherwise not have access.”

The YMCA’s Wellbeing Initiative will offer the community multiple opportunities to enhance and support their emotional and mental health and wellness through a combination of educational and awareness programming, specialized instruction, social and emotional learning, workshops and seminars, community collaborations, as well as connection to community resources and services.

By using evidence-based learning, the program will also engage children in social and emotional learning to improve their learning skills, empathy, emotional management, friendship skills and problem-solving abilities in an effort to develop and improve a child’s protective factors and emotional resiliency.

Congressman Cartwright, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Commerce Justice and Science Subcommittee, brought home $19.6 million in Community Projects in Fiscal Year 2022. In Fiscal Year 2023, he brought home $52.68 million to the district. He was ranked Number One in Pennsylvania two years in a row and is now Top Ten in the country for securing Community Project Funding dollars for the Eighth Congressional District.

“Bringing our fair share of federal tax dollars back to our region is the main reason I ran for Congress,” Rep. Cartwright said. “This funding directly responds to some of the most pressing needs in Northeastern Pennsylvania by creating jobs with better pay, making us safer, and strengthening our communities.”







Senator Bob Casey (Photo: LuLac archives)

Senators Bob Casey  and Steve Daines (R-MT) and U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA-3) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5) are announcing introduction of the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act, (TCIEA) legislation to end subminimum wages for people with disabilities. Currently, the Fair Labor Standards Act permits employers to pay people with disabilities below the minimum wage if they hold a certificate to do so. The TCIEA would end this discriminatory practice and support employers transitioning to paying competitive, fair wages to people with disabilities to work in integrated settings in their communities. People with disabilities are better able to achieve financial independence and spend more time engaging in their communities when they transition to competitive employment and work in integrated environments—workplaces that hire both people with disabilities and people without disabilities. The majority of subminimum wage workers have an intellectual or developmental disability and are paid less than $3.50 an hour.

Sen. Casey and Rep. Scott are also highlighting the results of a new report they requested from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) detailing the Department of Labor’s (DOL) oversight of the 14(c) certificate program, which allows employers to pay subminimum wages to workers with disabilities. The report finds that between 2012 and 2021, DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) identified over $15 million in unpaid back wages owed to more than 73,500 14(c) employees due to employers’ failure to fairly compensate employees.

“Paying workers less than the minimum wage is unacceptable. Everyone deserves to be paid a fair wage, and Americans with disabilities are no exception. This commonsense, bipartisan bill would lift up people with disabilities by raising their wages and creating competitive jobs in workplaces that employ both workers with and without disabilities,” said Senator Casey.

“Montanans with disabilities contribute to our communities and their work is valuable—they should never be paid below minimum wage. There is dignity and hope in work, so we should be doing all we can to expand opportunity and ensure fair pay to Montanans with disabilities in the workforce,” said Senator Daines.

“While GAO notes that the number of employers authorized to pay subminimum wages under the 14(c) program decreased by 50 percent between 2010 and 2019, the data suggest that most 14(c) workers are earning less than $3.50 per hour.  In other words, they are still being denied equal opportunity in America,” said Ranking Member Scott. “It is long past time for Congress to phase out the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities and expand access to fulfilling employment and economic self-sufficiency.  By fostering collaboration between employers and services providers, this bipartisan legislation makes clear that it is not only possible, but beneficial, to invest in fully integrated and competitive jobs for people with disabilities.  We must take this next step to ensure that every worker can succeed in the workplace and earn a fair wage.”

“America is the land of opportunity where no one is defined by the conditions of their birth. It’s in this spirit that we should be doing everything we can to bring people with disabilities off the sidelines and into the workforce,” said Rodgers. “This work started with creating and expanding ABLE accounts, which are empowering individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential. Today, with this bipartisan legislation, it continues on the next policy frontier – employment. Together, we can end the outdated practice of paying individuals with disabilities a subminimum wage and help them live more independent lives.”

Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “States, federal agencies, and employers themselves increasingly recognize that it is time to move away from the antiquated model of segregated, subminimum-wage employment and toward allowing the blind and other disabled Americans to participate in the kind of meaningful, remunerative work that others take for granted. Blindness or disability does not equal lack of capacity to engage in competitive, integrated employment, and we applaud Chairman Casey for rejecting eighty-five years of false thinking about our capabilities.”

The GAO report found that the number of employers paying subminimum wages to people with disabilities has decreased from 3,100 in 2010 to almost 1,600 in 2019, while more people with disabilities, including those with intellectual disabilities, participate in the labor market than ever before. WHD officials and stakeholder organizations attribute the declines in subminimum wage employment to recent federal and state policies, including Senator Casey’s successful efforts to include funding for the Subminimum Wage to Competitive Integrated Employment (SWTCIE) pilot program in the FY21 federal spending bill. The program provides five-year grant awards for states to help employers transition to paying competitive, fair wages to people with disabilities. The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation will receive $13 million to begin phasing out subminimum wage jobs for Pennsylvanians with disabilities as part of the program.

GAO also found that WHD’s processing times for 14(c) certificate applications and renewals varied widely, ranging from 2 days to over 2 years. Long processing times allow employers with expired certificates to continue operations without meeting program requirements. Some of these requirements include paying fair commensurate wages to workers and providing required career counseling about employment options outside of subminimum wage work, activities that can help people with disabilities earning subminimum wages to transition to competitive, integrated employment.

GAO outlined three recommendations to WHD to ensure better oversight of the 14(c) certificate program:

WHD should set and track timeliness goals for intermediate steps and overall duration for processing 14(c) applications.

WHD should externally communicate its goals for timely 14(c) application processing to employers and stakeholders.

WHD should solicit feedback from 14(c) employers regarding the online application and take steps to address limitations and improve the overall timeliness of application processing.



Shapiro and Davis (Photo: LuLac archives)

, Governor Josh Shapiro announced he is appointing Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis as the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). The Shapiro-Davis Administration has made public safety a top priority, working to invest in the safety of our children, families, and neighbors.

Then-Montgomery County Commissioner Shapiro served as Chairman of the PCCD from 2015 to 2017 and served on the Commission from 2011 to 2017. Governor Shapiro believes that all Pennsylvanians, no matter their background, want and deserve a criminal justice system that keeps our communities safe and enforces the laws in a fair and consistent manner.

“I am proud to appoint Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis to lead the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency,” said Governor Shapiro. “For far too long, too many communities have been forgotten and left out of the conversation in Harrisburg. Every Pennsylvanian deserves to be safe and feel safe in their communities and together, Lieutenant Governor Davis and I will work to support the work of law enforcement, invest in our communities, promote anti-violence initiatives and youth programming, and pursue smart reforms to keep people safe across the Commonwealth.”

“A shooting in my neighborhood in McKeesport is what first spurred me to action and called me to public service, back when I was still in high school,” said Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis. “Now it’s 18 years later, and this work is more important than ever. As Lieutenant Governor, I will not allow politics to stand in the way of progress on this issue. Our children are counting on us to get this done. I’m honored that the Governor has put his trust in me to lead the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. We will bring together the top experts, use the latest research, and study best practices from across the country with the goal of preventing gun violence.”

As Chairman, Lieutenant Governor Davis will work to invest in services for Pennsylvania’s youth and violence prevention initiatives and will help drive investment into communities that have been left behind for far too long.

The PCCD serves as the justice planning and policymaking agency for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. By bringing together a wide range of experts in the fields of criminal and juvenile justice, victim services, and related professions, PCCD finds and implements violence prevention solutions.




The public radio station went on the air on April 23rd 1973. The staff has assembled vignettes of days gone by as this landmark anniversary year continues.




The famous "Dave from Kingston" finally got his due from WILK. Having been screamed at (well he screams at everybody challenging him) the  LMM (Late Morning Mussolini, yelled at by Frank Andrews on one of his off days, challenged by Nikki Stone and denigrated by the cesspool of MAGA callers, "Dave from Kingston" is featured on a promo by the new guy, O'Donnell.    Many minutes of your new found fame young man and kudos to O'Donnell for the idea. 




This week's show features Luzerne County officials and Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry discussing the new LETI Program.  Tune in Sunday at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on The Mothership 1340/1400am; and at 7:30 on 105 The River





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U.S. Capitol shooting incident: Four Puerto Rican nationalists open fire in the United States House of Representatives chamber and wound 5; they are apprehended by security guards. U.S. Capitol shooting incident: Four Puerto Rican nationalists open fire in the United States House of Representatives chamber and wound 5; they are apprehended by security guards.

The 1954 United States Capitol shooting was an attack on March 1, 1954, by four Puerto Rican nationalists who sought to promote the cause of Puerto Rico's independence from US rule. They fired 30 rounds from semi-automatic pistols onto the legislative floor from the Ladies' Gallery (a balcony for visitors) of the House of Representatives chamber within the United States Capitol.

The nationalists, identified as Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irvin Flores Rodríguez, unfurled a Puerto Rican flag and began shooting at Representatives in the 83rd Congress, who were debating an immigration bill. Five Representatives were wounded, one seriously, but all recovered. The assailants were arrested, tried and convicted in federal court, and given long sentences, amounting to life imprisonment. In 1978 and 1979, their sentences were commuted by President Jimmy Carter. All four returned to Puerto Rico.

On the morning of March 1, Lebrón traveled to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, where she rendezvoused with the rest of the group. They took the train to Washington, DC, and went the short distance from Union Station to the Capitol. Rafael Cancel Miranda suggested they postpone the attack, as it was late and the weather was rainy. Lebrón said, "I am alone" and continued towards the Capitol building's interior. The group looked at each other, and decided to follow her.

When Lebrón's group reached the visitor's gallery above the House chamber, they sat while the representatives discussed the Mexican economy and issues of immigration. After Lebrón gave the order, the group quickly recited the Lord's Prayer. She stood up and shouted, "¡Viva Puerto Rico libre!" (approximately, "Long live a free Puerto Rico!") and unfurled the flag of Puerto Rico. The group opened fire with semi-automatic pistols toward the Representatives below.

Some 30 shots were fired (mostly by Cancel, according to his account), wounding five lawmakers. Lebrón said she fired her shots at the ceiling, while Figueroa's pistol jammed. Wounded were Alvin Morell Bentley (R-Michigan), who took a bullet to the chest, Clifford Davis (D-Tennessee), hit in the leg, Ben F. Jensen (R-Iowa), shot in the back, as well as George Hyde Fallon (D-Maryland) and Kenneth A. Roberts (D-Alabama). House pages helped carry Bentley off the House floor. The representatives were treated and recovered. Upon being arrested, Lebrón yelled, "I did not come to kill anyone, I came to die for Puerto Rico!"…here is a video of the attack from C-SPAN feqturint our Congressman Paul Kanjorski.  

and this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Three Coins In the Fountain” by The Four Aces.


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