Saturday, June 28, 2008
In my last post on this subject I asked both Chris Carney and Chris Hackett to comment on the decision.
From Congressman Carney:
"I come from a background with a strong sense of service. It has carried me through the Navy and it compelled me to run for Congress. For me, being a Member of Congress is about doing what is right, working hard and being accountable. This race has never been about who is personally wealthy and who is not, but about who understands how hard it can be to afford health care, take care of an aging parent, and find a good-paying job in tough times like these."
Spokesman Mark Harris for the Hackett camp:
"Most of the recent laws passed by Congress under the guise of "campaign finance reform" are really aimed at restricting free speech in the cause of incumbent protection. Washington politicians certainly don't like when ordinary citizens are permitted to criticize their actions. The Supreme Court's decision was the right one, consistent with the bedrock First Amendment principle of political free speech. As for our campaign, Chris has made no decisions yet about the extent of personal funds we'll use, and that option is very much on the table. The Court ruling will have no bearing on our decision in this regard."
When I was in high school the Vice-Principle was a guy named Al Sallit. Whenever I saw him in the hallway I would ask him "how's the weather, Mr. Sallit?" He never got the joke.
I've been using this routine ever since I first heard it.
Tonight's forecast is dark, turning to widely scattered light...and if you look at our weather map you'll see that we don't have one.
George Carlin 'The Hippy Dippy Weatherman'
George Carlin at the Tonight Show (1966)
JediMaster has his favorite Carlin routine explaining religion.
Friday, June 27, 2008
As far as I know Dan Meuser has not endorsed Hackett. Did I miss something? What can you tell me Eric, Mark, David, Kar, Zen, Bob, Scott, RW, Sassy, Chris and Dan.
I haven't written much about this race since the primary which has put this blog's unofficial title of the "de-facto McLaughlin Group" for the 10th District in danger.
Today's big news that affects this race is a Supreme Court decision that hasn't got much attention because of the court ruling on guns that both Chris Carney and Chris Hackett support.
The Supreme Court yesterday ruled in FEC v. Davis that the "millionaire's amendment" of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law was unconstitutional saying it violated free-speech protections.
The Millionaires' Amendment is a provision of the McCain–Feingold Act that is designed to level the playing field when someone is able to spend large amounts of their own money in a federal election. If someone drops $350,000 of spare change into their own house campaign the contribution limits are tripled for the opponent and the national and state party's may make unlimited coordinated expenditures on behalf of the candidate.
This is good news for Chris Hackett. In the primary Hackett spent $930,000 of his own money to beat Dan Meuser who spent twice that much from his piggy bank.
I've asked both campaigns to comment on this decision of the Supreme Court and will post the responses without comment when I get them.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
County closes on $87M+ bond deal
I know that you have to borrow money to pay for things you can't pay for today (house, car, appliances) but will be able to pay off in a reasonable period of time and government has to do the same thing. The trick is not to get in over your head and don't borrow for things you want instead of what you need. That's why I have a problem with this latest bond issue. The last time I checked Luzerne County was on the hook for over $300 million in principle and interest payments over the next 20 years. Remember that a bond is only a loan against future taxes. The list of projects in the TL doesn't have many details on what the money will spent on and the Luzerne County Commissioners in the past have had a bad habit of borrowing money for one purpose and spending it on another. Shall I remind you of one thing that is in the news:
In 2003 $9 million was borrowed to build a new for a new county-owned juvenile detention facility. It was never built because the Bond Brothers (Skrep and Vondy) decided to sign a 20 year $58 million lease with a private company, PA Child Care, that was owned by a business partner of a couple of local judges. Instead of returning the money or holding on to it to deal with a future emergency that eventually came they spent it on other projects.
Via I’ve Made a Huge Tiny Mistake
Comcast, Big Ten reach pay-TV deal
The nation’s biggest cable company and the Big Ten Network reached a deal today that will put the new college sports channel in millions of Comcast Corp. homes in Pennsylvania and other states.
The Big Ten Network will launch on the Comcast network on Aug. 15, in time for the Penn State football season.
Last year 3 PSU games were on The Big Ten Network forcing me to abandon the comfort of my recliner to seek out a watering hole with a dish package that carried them. As luck would have it the one place that I've found that had the games was Big Ugly's in Wilkes-Barre which is owned by Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak's dad. I didn't run into Skrep on those Saturday's because he was probably home watching Michigan on ABC.
Now the question is will I need a box to tune them in?
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower.Barack Obama says the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE every time he sees an American flag. He also ends every sentence by saying, "WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL." Click here for video of Obama quietly mouthing the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE in his sleep.
A tape exists of Michelle Obama saying the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE at a conference on PATRIOTISM.
Every weekend, Barack and Michelle take their daughters HUNTING.
Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is STRONG.
Barack Obama has the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE tattooed on his stomach. It's upside-down, so he can read it while doing sit-ups.
There's only one artist on Barack Obama's iPod: FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.
Barack Obama is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. His favorite book is the BIBLE, which he has memorized. His name means HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic. He is PROUD that Jesus was an American.
Barack Obama goes to church every morning. He goes to church every afternoon. He goes to church every evening. He is IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW.
Barack Obama's new airplane includes a conference room, a kitchen, and a MEGACHURCH
Barack Obama's skin is the color of AMERICAN SOIL.
Barack Obama buys AMERICAN STUFF. He owns a FORD, a BASEBALL TEAM, and a COMPUTER HE BUILT HIMSELF FROM AMERICAN PARTS. He travels mostly by FORKLIFT.
Barack Obama says that Americans cling to GUNS and RELIGION because they are AWESOME.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Mr. Sulu get's married
George Takei of "Star Trek" plunked down $70 for the first same-sex marriage license issued in this gay mecca yesterday and turned to the crowd, beaming.
"Congratulations to all of us, and may equality live long and prosper," the actor said, borrowing a phrase from the days he played the Enterprise's Mr. Sulu.
"This means so much in terms of civil rights," said the 71-year-old Japanese-American who, as a child, was forced into a World War II internment camp.
"America really can change," he said.
I bet he's dancing.
Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing
Friday, June 20, 2008
Top to bottom, left to right: Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan, Pennsylvania Child Care owners Robert Powell and Greg Zapalla, Luzerne County President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella , Prothonotary Jill A. Moran, Commissioners Greg Skrepenak and Todd Vonderheid.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Esperé hasta el final del discurso para darle la única razón por la que estoy corriendo para el Congreso.
Lou Barletta: "El cambio está en camino!"
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
In the first major thrust of what is expected to be a hard-fought contest, U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski’s re-election campaign is scheduled to begin airing commercials today on the four local major network television affiliates. 'Mr. Kanjorski bought a week’s worth of air time on WNEP, WBRE, WYOU and WOLF — totaling $36,015 and 127 commercials — according to records at the stations.
Paul Kanjorski - "Home"
Capitol Ideas reports that Paul Kanjorski has bought a mess of television time in his re-election battle with El Alcalde de Hazleton, Lou Barletta starting today.
In Pennsylvania we are using the day to promote the PA Single Payer legislation, HR 1660 and SB 300. If passed this legislation would create a single payer system in Pennsylvania and put Blue Cross, and all health insurance companies, out of business.
In Wilkes-Barre we are having a rally and a press conference, and we are marching to our local Blue Cross office to protest. We have strong support from the PA Association of Staff Nurses, Wyoming Valley Labor Council, the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, and the Luzerne County Green Party. This is a profound opportunity for Pennsylvania to fix health care properly.
The W-B event will take place at noon on the 19th on Public Square.
More info at NEPA Organizing Center
The Pennsylvania Progressive has the details of rallies that are scheduled all over the state:
Health Care Rallies June 19th
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The market values they assigned to our properties are in line with the appraisals I had done a few years ago when I was was doing one of my wrap around financing deals so I don't think I have good grounds to appeal. I did find a one mistake in that one side of the the double block we own was valued higher than the other by a few thousand dollars and they are mirror images. I may ask for an informal review but they may just say I'm right and raise the value of the lesser side.
The thing I don't understand is how they translated the values into taxes since the notice doesn't break down township, county and school taxes. Are they using the same millage? According to this story in the TL: County officials said millage rates must drop dramatically when the new assessed values take effect next year. That goes for school districts, the county and municipalities.
For example, the county millage, currently at 94.9 mills, is expected to drop to about 5 mills after the reassessment. A mill is $1 tax for every $1,000 in assessed property. That means someone with a home worth $150,000 after reassessment would pay $750 in county taxes at 5 mills.
When I did some quick math that makes a big difference and shows we may not get whacked as bad as the notice says. I haven't decided what to do about this, if anything.
The Yonk responded to my blogger call to swarm about this subject which I wasn't able to do yesterday as did Mark.
Earlier some of our local scribes sounded off on this subject:
Zen-Why hasn't anybody asked the question?
NEPALibWatch-Welcome to Luzerne County, bend over please.
Politics in Northeast Pennsylvania -Reassessment Botched?
A common theme of my fellow bloggers is that we just don't trust anything that the county does. We're willing to pay our fair share but will everyone else?
Saturday, June 14, 2008
An exclusive Father’s Day message by Mean Old Man
I’m angrier than Barack Obama at a bowling tournament over the way today’s so called fathers have become such a bunch of panty wastes!! The other day, I was taking a brisk walk around my goofy son Clay’s neighborhood (Thelma Jean and I went to his house for dinner [no doubt, the meal was bought pre-prepared at one of those commie grocery stores] and I needed to get away from my screechy voiced daughter in law) when I saw a sight that made my jaw drop. This guy is toting this little runt around in a carriage!! I swear I nearly dropped from a stroke!!! Of course, I shouldn’t have been surprised since this feminizing of fathers has been going on little by little for the past twenty years—and now It’s too late to do anything about it.
I remember my old man; Pops was something else. For one thing, he wouldn’t have been caught dead pushing me in a baby carriage. Fact is, the closest pops came to that was when I was on my tricycle in front of a barrel of beer bottles at the lodge picnic and Ol' Pop’s pushed me out of the way to grab a beer to cool his dry throat. I ended up speeding downhill faster than Dale Earnhardt Jr. and straight into a pile of folding chairs. All of the chairs fell on top of me (good ol’ hardwood American Made chairs, not the commie plastic stuff you have today); I had a gash on my head the size of a steer and my foot was so swollen that I couldn’t walk on it for two weeks. I cried myself to sleep that night from the pain. God, how I miss those days, and how I miss my Pop. What a guy!!!! But don't even dare try to show a little runt today the joys of pain; just whack one of them slightly on the backside and you'll be in a state prison for 25 years. Thanks liberals---DAMN!!!!!
Dads have made it easy on their wives today and they have no idea what Fathers Day is all about. Of course, the commies at N.O.W. wouldn't have it any other way. When those subversive broads were talking about the ERA years ago what they really meant was equal rights for WOMEN ONLY!!! Whatever happened to the days when a woman appreciated a good ol' ironing board at Christmas, or a new pot holder for her birthday?? Now, it's the guy who gets these woman's gifts--and in my America that just isn't right!!!
When I put a wedding band on my lovely Thelma Jean she had only one thing to worry about; having kids and taking care of them and cleaning the house and making sure my dinner was on the table after work. Okay, that's more than one thing, but shut up!!! Women today want it all; they want jobs and equality and all the perks that used to belong to the man of the house. Damn!!!!
So, all you prissy fathers out there, how about getting yourselves a bit of guts and tell the little woman to quit her job, get rid of the Hillary Clinton pant suits and learn how to cook!!! Then maybe you yourselves can put the pants on and go out and find a real man's job--not sissy househusbandry.
To all the manly men out there, have a Happy Father's Day. If you raised your kids the right way like I did, then I doubt they are coming over the house to see you (damned ungrateful hippies!); but do as I do; take a seat in your easy chair, pop open a Steg, light a lucky, and put the mellow sounds of Andy Williams on the ol' victrola. As for the sissy househusband fathers (?) out there, well, I'm sure you'll be too busy cooking and cleaning to enjoy the day.
Happy Father's Day Schmucks! I hate you all!!!!
P.S. If anyone tells Thelma Jean about this column, you're going to get it!!!!!!!!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Now the rumors have started again. From the inbox:
My xxx is a xxx with Congressman Kanjorski in DC... He told me today that 1) the Congressman will not be on the ballot in November and 2) he wants Chris Doherty to replace him. I don't know the Democratic party procedure for dealing with this sort of thing but presumably the Congressman will get his way because his/ the DCCC's internals are low and Rahm Emanuel and co. would be happy to have Kanjo out of the picture.
According to xxx, Kanjo already mentioned this scenario to Doherty, but Doherty wouldn't commit to anything--he just said something like, I'm running for reelection and don't think about hypotheticals.
It started with Kanjo giving an honest assessment of what happened in 2006 then Politics in Northeast Pennsylvania found this about the surge in Iraq.
The Fox News piece rehashing the Cornerstone thing got NEPALibWatch all excited.
Then there is this:
Congressman Kanjorski doesn't apologize to anyone
This has come up before:
Chris Doherty for Congress
Rumors and gossip
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
She called for an investigation of Judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael Conahan business relationship with PA Child Care owner and Cargo Airport builder Robert Powell after it was widely known that the FBI and IRS had already launched a probe.
She called for Sam Guesto's head when it was revealed that he was strong arming county prison officials not to bid out items that were previously bid and deciding on his own to build a bigger prison. Not to mention the Debit Card Debacle. But Guesto has a job with the courts now and his boss is Ciavarella who says he's doing a great job. I have an idea, since this newly created court director job was invented for him after his position as chief clerk became untenable how about the salary board meet and eliminate the job.
The prison board suspended Warden Gene Fischi and the Purchasing Director for a week for violating the county bidding policy and possibly breaking state law. They should have been fired. Some sort of secret police organization is supposed to be investigating this mess according to DA Jackie MO.
And why does Sam Hyder still have a job on the public payroll?
Remember when Controller Steve Flood was screaming about the 20 year lease with PA Child Care and a bunch of other things. He was making too much noise and asking uncomfortable questions so he had to to go. So the County Dems recruited Maryanne Petrilla to take him out in the Primary of 2005. In her 2 years as Luzerne County Controller I don't remember her making any waves except for auditing the Republican Row Officers and even then she didn't find much wrong.
With all that said I hope that she does kick ass and takes names but I'm a cynical old bastard that has to see results.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Tell that to Dennis Kucinich.
I've been a lazy blogger for about 2 weeks because of a number of reasons which I won't bore you with. So lazy I couldn't even finish this post on Monday. Now I have this guy needling me and acting like Torquemada.
Now back to business.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
The Saturday OT Committee and Operatic Society will gather to watch the Belmont Stakes at the usual place and time; Saturday, 4PM at Marks Pub 1287 N Washington St, Wilkes-Barre (map it).
I know I've ignored local issues lately and haven't been blogging as much as usual but I have an excuse. I hope to be back to normal next week.
This pic of Rapid Edward and Barbaro (below) is one of our favorites:
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Nicknames are easy
Gov. Rendell-Rapid Edward, not fast Eddie
Vondy and Skrep-The Bond Brothers. Do I have to explain?
And so on
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Hey G-man, If you revisit the Presidential race, and Steve Corbett's histrionics, here's my e-mail to Corbett, which you can do with whatever you wish:
I don't know why you've decided that in order to support Sen. Clinton, you feel it's necessary to denigrate people who voted for Sen. Obama.
Let me tell you something. I'm not anything like a"party boss" trying "push someone through." Neither am I a pawn, dutifully doing whatever those aformentioned"party bosses" tell me. Nor do I conform to your latest caricature, as someone who's mentality will only allow them to support someone who can be successfully intimidated and told what to do.
I am a voter. I am a member of the Democratic Party for more than 20 years. I am someone who gives careful consideration to my vote. Every time, for every office in every election.
More recently, I'm the father of a 10-month old son,who makes all important decisions with the face of my son firmly planted in my mind, and his future as my one overriding concern. In particular, when I make a decision about something as important as my vote for the next President of the United States, I do so upon serious reflection on what kind of world and what kind of America I want my son to grow up in.
And it was with my son's image, as he is now, and all the potential that he has to be in future, that I cast my vote for Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary. I was not pushing anyone aside. I was not doing what I was told. I was voting for my son's future.
So you can dismiss that, and diminish it, and run it down all you want. And you can deny that's what you're doing, if you like. But the truth is clear.
I pledged long ago, as an Obama supporter, to shift that support to Hillary Clinton if she won the nomination. I would accept the result of the process,even if it wasn't the one I'd been hoping for.But go ahead, please, keep insulting me and my vote and my motivations and my sincerity. You may convince me yet that the best course of action is to insist that it's my candidate or nobody.
I listened to Corbett for about 4 minutes yesterday hoping he would be covering a local topic but when it was just the same old whoring for Hillary BS I switched back to ESPN radio for the rest of my commute. Last week he had a couple of great shows covering reassessment and our esteemed Luzerne County jurists that I enjoyed and hope he gets back to local issues.
NEPAConseravtive was also listening and had some fun with photoshop:
Hillary won Puerto Rico Sunday in a big way with a whopping 16% turnout. Yawn. The island doesn't even have Republican or Democratic party's. Kos asks why does Puerto Rico have more delegates than 27 states. Tomorrow South Dakota and Montana will chose fewer delegates than Puerto Rico but they have electoral votes and Obama is expected to win both.
From KP: the Uncommitted Delegates will have to make a choice this week.
Holdouts ready to choose
It looks like that by the end of the week Barry will have enough delegates to claim the nomination and I think the General Election won't even be close. The election will be a referendum on Bush and the Republican mismanagement of the last 7 years.
If this is not done this week and Hillary wants to go on to the convention a West Wing writer offers a possible scenario:
Four Days in Denver