Sunday, April 29, 2007

Katsock has a secret

"I would rather not say because it is a religious organization,” -Luzerne County Commissioner candidate Christine Katsock

That was her answer when she was asked who her new employer is. What religious organization could it be, Scientology? The Council on American-Islamic Relations ? I'm not sure but I think candidates are required to disclose their sources of income. Even if their not it's a stupid answer to a legitimate question.

The rest of the CV article gives a rundown of all the Republican candidates for commissioner. All of them said they won't to stop or delay yet again the county’s first reassessment of property values since 1965. Incumbent Steve Urban has teamed up with Bill James but they disagree on the proposed inflatable dam. Katsock is still feuding with Urban and Urban is knocking David Shipula for contributing to Democratic Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton's reelection. He also questions Bill Jones independence because his brother and daughter got county jobs because of his alleged cozy relationship with Greg Skrepenak. Jones and Shipila want to build a new county prison while Urban and Jones want to renovate the old juvenile detention facility. They are all leery of the proposed cargo airport near Hazleton and want to take another look at the sweetheart deal for the juvenile detention facility in Pittston Township.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Republican family values, escorts and the need for them

Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation. Tobias is 65 and married.

Along with his wife, Marianne, Tobias donated over $100,000 to Republican candidates and political committees, according to the campaign finance Web site Tobias is the second prominent man to be identified as a customer of the Palfrey's "sexual fantasy service." Two weeks ago, Palfrey alleged that military strategist Harlan K. Ullman, creator of the "shock and awe" combat theory and now a scholar with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was also a customer.

In related news; Former U.S. Rep. Joseph McDade is scheduled to appear in a Florida courtroom Tuesday for arraignment on a charge of indecent exposure.

In addition to criminal charges McDade is also facing civil action from the ASPCA for choking his chicken and spanking the monkey.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Gravel Rocks

In the joint press conference that was billed as a debate the goal for the big 3 of Hillary, Obama and Edwards was to avoid saying anything stupid or anything at all that wasn't scripted. For the most part they met that goal. The rest of the field had to find a way to get noticed. Dodd and Richardson sounded smart and Biden had the best line of the night when asked if he had the discipline to keep his mouth shut simply said "Yes." But Mike Gravel wasn't timid. He called the Iraq war a crime and said the United States should not look at other countries as enemies. Things are not always black & white and the trick is to deal with the grey. At the end something came up about nuclear weapons and asked the question of "Who the hell are we going to nuke?"

Saturday, April 21, 2007

This ad is running on the Citizens Voice website. If you click on it it takes you to the official Wilkes-Barre Area School District website.
Something is wrong here. Candidates for election shouldn't link back to an official government website.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The money primary: Carney and Kanjo edition

With all the attention on the gazillions of dollars that the Presidential candidates have raised the first quarter fundraising totals of our local Congressmen show they have also been raking in the bucks.

My favorite freshman Chris Carney pulled in almost a quarter of a million according to the FEC. At this pace he will have $2 million by the next election in 2008. He'll need it as the 10th disrtict of Pennsylvania is top target of the GOP. No Republican filed a finance report but there is plenty of speculation on who will challenge him. The latest name I hear is US Attorney Thomas A. Marino and the Joe Peters boomlet seems to be petering out. Retired Honesdale state rep Jerry Birmelin may take a shot at it and David Madeira spends a lot of energy writing to the local papers attacking Carney. I don't think former Lt Governor Bill Scranton lives in the district but you don't have to according to the Constitution. Anyway, the 2008 Republican primary should be fun.

And Luzerne County's own Paul Kanjorski added over $100,000 to his war chest and has a cool million in the bank. That might scare Hazleton's Mayor forever Lou Barletta into running for statewide office. But the GOP has another attractive candidate waiting in the wings.

Mirror, mirror, who's the scariest one......

During the Luzerne County Commissioners meeting Wednesday discussing the proposed Hazleton Cargo Airport Commissioner Stephen A. Urban asked "Is there a need? ... I don’t want to see a white elephant built.” A reasonable question since Skrep admitted they haven't even contacted any of the large cargo companies such as UPS or Fedex to ask if they would locate their operations at the new airport. But Skrepenak said he remains optimistic the proposal is feasible and said Urban was trying to scare people.“I’m not going to paint a picture of fear,” Skrepenak said.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

No debate for Luzerne County DA or Judge

An old rule of politics says don't debate your opponent if you think you're way ahead. And Dave Lupas and Jackie Musto Carroll follow the rules. Both of them are ducking the League of Women Voters forum that has been traditionally held before each election. More candidates every year bail on this event and I think that has to stop. I don't care what office you're running for or what you think of your opponents chances you still have to explain yourself to the voters.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

Image via Instapundit

Damn the Dam on Earth Day

Kayak Dude has a call for action:

If you've been following the inflatable dam project, you know that the PA DEP and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are now reviewing the "complete" application for permits to build the dam on the Susquehanna near Wilkes-Barre. I've been told by the DEP, as recently as yesterday, that it may be several months before a decision is made. And to date, no required public hearing has been scheduled to discuss the twice-revised plans for fish passage and "Operational Flexibility."

This Sunday - Earth Day - I will be making a very simple yet very visible statement opposing this project. Beginning at ~sunrise, I will be on the apex of the Market Street Bridge, downstream side, with high-quality signage big enough to be read from the Luzerne County Courthouse. I've notified all traditional media outlets, bloggers, and the hundreds of contacts I've made through the years we've been opposing this project. Over a month ago, I also notified the Wilkes-Barre Police Department of my plans.

At the 5/1/06 public hearing, someone sitting next to me - who also testified against the dam - said we needed to become more visible & organized against this project. What better day than Earth Day to do just that? If you'd like to help, here's my list:

I'll have my kayak. Drop off yours for the day so we have more than my red tandem lining the sidewalk. I plan on wrapping up at ~3 p.m.
Hang around for an hour or so, bring a chair. If you've purchased a "No Dam" T-shirt, please wear it.
Forward this e-mail to anyone that you know is opposed to this project. Feel free to post it on your blog.
The Susquehanna River in the Wyoming Valley needs to flow freely, now and in future generations. Regardless of the "powerful" people supporting this project, I believe it can be stopped.

Hope to see you - and many others - on Earth Day.

Don Williams

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Walter has a website

Thanks for saying hello!

I would like to take this time to introduce myself to you.

My name is Walter L. Griffith, Jr., and I have chosen to pursue the office of City Council Representative. I have chosen to serve the people of Wilkes-Barre, because I really believe the City of Wilkes-Barre can be a clean and wonderful place to live once again, as it was years ago. My goal as your City Council Representative is to always remember that the Taxpayers are the people that I represent, and not the Political Bosses in City Hall.

I am pleased to inform you that I intend to run this year for one of the five seats on the Wilkes-Barre City Council. Since my last campaign three years ago, I have attended City Council meetings on a regular basis to witness and to analyze Council proposals and actions and to present “another point of view” (on your behalf). Furthermore, I have tried to bring attention to ongoing city-wide needs and issues which seemingly have become much less important in the shadow of the “Downtown Revitalization”.

Sell the Barons/Yankees

What a start to the baseball season. The Phillies are winning one game a week and are on a pace to go 44-118 which would set a new major league record for losses. A-Rod is winning games with walk-off grand slams and Dice-K was outpitched by Seattle Mariner hurler Felix Hernandez.
Now Lackawanna County Commissioner Robert C. Cordaro’s claims that agreements with SWB Yankees LLC take politics out of the baseball operation. The clowns that run Lackawanna County lost the Phillies franchise and come out of it looking like heroes because they landed the Yankees AAA team. Even running ads that feature Brian Cashman singing Cordaro's praises. Now that there is possible windfall involved the Luzerne County Commissioners what a piece of the action and typically are throwing insults at each other. As ugly as this process has become I'm glad to see the team being sold to people who know what they are doing. The government shouldn't own a baseball team as I've said over and over.
My favorite local cartoonist John Cole had this to say about Cordaro:
Lackawanna County Commissioner Bob Cordaro has long struck me as one of the most impolitic politicians I've ever watched. Short of temper, publicly disdainful of anyone who questions his policies (to say nothing of his brilliance) and never one to shy away from pointing out his opponents' intellectual shortcomings, he is the consummate grump.
From the Inbox:
I was kinda shocked you didn't mention anything about the stadium fight between Skrep and Cordaro, knowing our shared passion for the game of baseball. I don't know what Skrep was talking about when he said Luzerne County should get a share because our fan's go there. Should we have them call up Mayor Bloomberg and demand that the big Yankees give us money because Luzerne County fans go there. They should just settle it and call it the Scranton Yankees and the Wilkes-Barre Penguins. Both stadiums were purchased by those two respective counties. If what Lackawanna County is saying is true then we shouldn't be entitled to more than what they say we are. I guess when you hope to add new programs, it benefits to try to snatch money from everyone else. I guess Skrep is just trying to be the Ed Rendell of NEPA. I'm still a little ticked they are called the Yanks because I won't buy a shirt that says Yankees due to my love for the Sox but in the end I am allowed something that a ticket price entitles me... Heckling the next generation of Yankees, if they aren't traded for over the hill power-hitters.

Mario Fiorucci in the news

SUGAR NOTCH MAYOR: Mario Fiorucci is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor of Sugar Notch.

Fiorucci is employed as a medical records processor. A graduate of Hanover Area High School, he attended Luzerne County Community College; College Misericordia, class of 1980, where he received a bachelor of arts; and Georgetown University, class of 1982, where he received a master of arts in political science.

As mayor, he plans to begin a recycling program by piggybacking with either Ashley or Hanover Township; reduce council from seven to five members to save money; and merge the police department with Ashley or Hanover Township.

Fiorucci has worked on the regionalization issue since 1999 and is confident it will deliver better protection to the citizens of Sugar Notch. He does not believe the town can provide all municipal services necessary for a proposed 300 home development led by Earth Conservancy.

Mario realizes that a little town of less than 1000 people can't keep going it alone. It's a hard sell telling people that they can't afford their little fiefdom much longer and merge services and eventually their political identity with a larger neighbor. His annual State of the World Forum is coming up in May.

The chairman of PACleanSweep, Mr. Russ Diamond, will talk about his reform agenda and proposal for an unlimited constitutional convention for PA. A resident of Annville, Lebanon County, Mr. Diamond after the midnight pay raise by the General Assembly.

The second speaker will be Mort Malkin. He is asocial-political activist and author of four books on health and fitness. He recently edited "The Lilac Book of Peace-Axioms & Quotes." He has a column of political satire called "Gadfly" in the Towne Crier and a health & fitness column called "The Body and Brain Trade" for the News Eagle.

Also speaking is Mr. Caleb Ginyard III. He will conduct a multi-media presentation about his famous father, Caleb Ginyard Jr., a renowned black doo-wopand spiritual singer. His book, "My Name is Caleb N.Ginyard: A Father and Son Autobiography of a Spiritual Musical Genius," is the basis of his presentation. Theelder died in 1978 after traveling the globe, creating a musical legacy as lead singer of several groups including the Du-Droppers, Jubalaires and Royal Harmony Singers, among others.

Annual Free Speech Awards at the State of the World. Special award to Kurt Shotko of Lackawanna County, for political protests at the Wilkes Barre, St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2005 and Tim Grier, presently a primary candidate for mayor and council in Wilkes-Barre. His most important protest was for third party ballot access. He stood in the voting booth for 30 minutes in 2005 without voting. His stance generated much needed media coverage of third party issues in NEPA.

The annual event takes place on the first Sunday in May. This years' date is 5/06/07. The event is held indoors and outdoors, rain or shine at 893 Main Street Sugar Notch, PA. From I-81 take the Nanticoke exit,then take Exit #1 into Sugar Notch. The building isthe last house on the right, exactly one mile from the first house in town. It will have several big State of the World sings on it. A parking lot is across the street in the Dr.'s Clinic. Phone Mario Fiorucci at 570-819-0721 or email him for more info. Food, music and refreshments are provided.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter

By Mean Old Man

I’m angrier than Donald Trump at a Hair Club for Men meeting over the way the Commies have infiltrated our glorious holiday of Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by replacing him with the subversive Easter Bunny!!!

In my day Easter meant one thing; you got your butt out of bed, put on your Sunday best, and tagged along with Mom (and sometimes Pop, if it was a good year and he had a sober Saturday night) to celebrate mass. Don’t get me wrong, we got an Easter basket too (Mom and Dad weren’t stick in the muds, despite what you Commie heathens might think), but it just had colored eggs, and only two colors—and if you were "lucky", you got a piece of chocolate; that is if the rats didn't get to the basket first; and you loved it!!! I can remember one day when my old man came home from the bar, after a short 12 hour stint at the breaker, and I asked him about the Easter Bunny. I was about 5 or 6 and I had this silly notion that I would wake up on Easter morning and come downstairs to all of these chocolates and other treats in a huge basket, just like I saw in the Fred McMurray movie I snuck in to. I can still feel the shiner that good ol' Pop laid on me after I asked him that question and I remember his words even better. "Hope for the Bunny to come all you want dimwit; as far as this house goes, I'm the Bunny and you get what I give ya, if I give ya anything! And by the way--there ain't no Santa Claus either!!!" Good ol' Pops; when they made him they broke the mold!!! I tried to be as good a dad to my losers as Pops was to me, but it never rubbed off and they didn't appreciate it. Damn!!!!!!!!
It's so damned different these days at Eastertime; my stupid grandson Clay is expecting a cell phone and some sort of computer gizmo games. I told my dimwit son Harlan that he’d better not expect me to dig deep into my wallet for it—I’ll go so far as to spring for a couple of Hershey bars—but that’s as far as I go!!! Damn!!! Kids today have it too easy and they don’t even know what the holiday is about. The other day my wife Thelma Jean forced me to go into the living room where my pop tart granddaughter Molly was watching some degenerate cartoons. Thelma Jean always likes having the kitchen to herself when she's baking her champion biscuits. So I’m sitting there and the little runt is staring me down. Mind you, I don’t make it a habit talking to kids (especially Commie kids), but I thought I'd make the effort, being that it’s the Christian thing to do. So I ask the future Lolita what she thinks about Easter and she replies that it’s a nice holiday, "Because we all go to church to celebrate the Bunny’s birthday”. I swear it took all of the gumption that I had not to throw the little schmuck out of the window!!!! Thanks Commies!!!!!!

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, what with her being raised by two hippy freak parents. Hell, my prissy sons didn’t even have the guts to go fight for their country in Vietnam, like my friend Gummo’s son Chip did. While my creepy spawns were growing their hair long and listening to their perverted Beatle albums, Chip was wading through the rice paddies in ‘Nam, sporting a good ol' American crew cut. Sure, Chip got blown away by a land mine and isn’t here to celebrate Easter with Gummo—but that’s not the point!!! Gummo can look at Chip's picture on his living room wall and say “That’s my boy!!”, while I have to look at "my" sons and ask myself, “Where the Hell did I go wrong?". If they were any type of loving sons, would it have been too much for them to give me the opportunity that Gummo had?? Then I wouldn’t have to deal with ungrateful, goofy grandkids!!! Hell, even if one of them had gone over and come back minus an arm or a leg--then I could walk into the ol' VFW with him and be a proud father, like my pal Creep Davis and his son Birch--but I guess that was asking too much. It's for the best--my luck, if they had gone over, they'd probably be munching on rice with Ho Chi Minh. Damn!!!!

So, all you Joe Stalin, Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Minh worshiping subversives have a nice Easter and don’t forget to buy your spoiled brats a computer game and a cell phone (Peking is waiting on their call!)—Hell, why not throw in a car for good measure. As for me, I’m having a ham dinner with some of the best biscuits this side of the Mason Dixon, then heading over to my friend Gummo’s homestead with my pal Creep, where we’ll put on some real music (the contemporary sounds of the Andrews Sisters--the greatest American girl group of all time [take that you turncoat Dixie Chicks!!]), and raise a bottle of Steg to the photo of a fine young man--a “real” American hero (one hint--it ain't one of my sons!). To Hell with the Easter Bunny and to Hell with Liberals! Here's hoping you all choke on your chocolates and drown in your prissy Zima---I HATE YOU ALL!!!!!

Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

So much to do, so little time. The blog had to take a back seat for a while and will again over the next few weeks. So what did I miss this week?

The Phillies got off to the usual fast start by getting swept by Atlanta.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Yankees made their debut in the snow amid more arguments among the politicians about selling the team. And the grope, er Grump, got arrested for "entertaining" young boys.

In politics the candidates for Judge have dueling polls.

The Sixth Legislative District Democratic organization is in a quandary on who to endorse in some W-B council races. I thought the whole idea of a primary was to decide which candidates to back.

Lou Barletta says he wants to be Mayor of Hazleton forever.

Hillary and Obama raised $50 million between them. But the real surprise was the Democratic field as a whole out raised the Republican contenders.

Steve Flood has been released from the hospital after suffering a stroke but will remain on the ballot for Luzerne County commissioner. Get well Steve.

Back to my hiatus. In my absence the Mean Old Man will be filling in.