Friday, October 31, 2008

YouTube weekend

Mac may regret this phone call. A repost.

Is McCain Palin's Bitch?

YouTube weekend

It's Halloween and this would win the best costume award. I can wear heels but not like Tim Curry.

Sweet Transvestite [scene 8]

Bill Clinton in Wilkes-Barre Monday

From a release.

Wilkes-Barre – Former President Bill Clinton will join Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) in Wilkes-Barre on Monday to encourage Northeastern Pennsylvanians to get out and vote on Tuesday for Kanjorski and the Democratic ticket. The event will be open to the media and the public.

The Kanjorski campaign will release more details as they become available.

I thought (advocated) that Hillary would be dropping into Scranton for a rally to help out Kanjo. But I'll go to an event starring Bubba.

The Phillies parade

Chase Utley will forever be remembered for his eloquence.

"World Champions! World Fucking Champions."

The fans erupted and cheered for several minutes.

I know how you feel pal. I'm still riding a Phillie's high.

This a pretty good sports year. The Phillies win the World Series and Penn State is still undefeated with a shot at the National Championship. Now if we can get a Eagles-Steelers matchup in the Super Bowl that would be sweet. And in my other favorite contact sport it looks like the Democrat's will win the White House.

John McCain coming to Scranton

TL: Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, will make an appearance Sunday at the University of Scranton's John Long Center. His stop will come two days before the presidential election. Doors open at 11 a.m.

He is also scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live tomorrow. I hope Tina Fey is there.

Happy Halloween

A guest post.


By Mean Old Man

I’m sicker than Bill Clinton’s mind over the fact that every October 31st my evening of television is ruined by the pagan ritual of Halloween!!!
In my day we had Halloween too; but my pals and me didn’t dress up in sissy costumes going door to door begging for candy and having to do some sissy sing song routine that would put ol’ Al Jolson to shame. We celebrated the damned holiday by doing something that is foreign to today's kids: WORKING!!!

I remember my old man telling me that if any of my buddies came to his door on Halloween night that he would make sure they would walk away with "a treat they would never forget—a load of buckshot in their behinds!" Good ol’ Pops, he really had a great sense of humor; I miss him a lot.

Kids today don't know anything about respect. A couple of years back when (on Thelma Jean's orders) I last took in trick or treaters, it wasn't just little kids at the door--it was their damned parents too!! This moron yuppie couple had their little daughter in my living room singing some stupid show tune and all the while the poor little kid is shaking in her slippers, tears coming down her eyes, while her two parents are standing there beaming with pride as if she's some sort of Judy Garland or something. And the liberals call a whack on the butt of a delinquent snot nosed kid child abuse??? Damn!!!

And what about these punk teenagers coming to the door, what with their beards and baggy pants. Hell, some of them don't even attempt to wear a costume. I remember last year one of them got ticked off because I gave him a small Kit Kat Bar ( Kit Kats are the best!!!), but the punk wanted money (no doubt to go and score some drugs at the mini mart). He thought that since I was old he could finagle me. Well, you should have seen him running down the road faster than a jackrabbit after he stares down the barrel of my classic Smith & Wesson Buffalo Bill Edition rifle. My missus can really strike a pose when she has that great American piece of machinery in her arms, that's for sure!!!

Instead of acting like sissies, why don't these punks do something worthwhile; like getting a job!! These kids have it too easy today and their parents are always coddling them. I remember telling my two runts Josh and Clay that if they thought that I was going to splurge some of my hard earned money on subversive pagan costumes that they had another thing coming. Like my old man told me, " Halloween is for rich snobby kids; not real American kids!" Being a kid is not about having fun; it's about learning to respect your elders and suffering a little bit!!!!
So all you snot nosed liberals, you and your kids enjoy your Halloween, enjoy your Chinese poisoned candy, enjoy your kids' stupid singing recitals. As for me, I'll be sitting by the fire, sipping on a bottle of Steg with a lucky in my other hand, watching Wheel of Fortune. Just do an old vet one little favor; STAY AWAY FROM MY DOOR!!! I hate you all!!!!

We are the United States of America

When I first heard this speech to the 2004 DNC I said afterward that this guy sounds like a President.

Barack Obama Speech Conventionat 2004 DNC

This last week he sounds the same.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The fact of the matter is ...Nancy Pelosi is a liberal

I should have run a drinking contest for people who watched the 10th CD debate tonight. Every time Chris Hackett mentioned liberal or Nancy Pelosi you take a slug and every time you heard Carney say 'the fact of the matter is'... take another belt. The problem is Hackett mentioned liberal/ Pelosi at least 18 times and Carney said the "fact of the matter is" least 24 times and I'm sure I under counted. So if you took my advice you would have been under the table after a half hour.

I will have a serious write up of the 10th CD debate and a prediction tomorrow.

11th CD Prediction

So this is your chance to sound off before the big day, tell me why your guy will win and by how much. The polling I've seen still shows a big undecided block.

Paul Kanjorski has been successful in bringing home the bacon over the years. Every time you drive down River Street you see the levee system that has been able to prevent another Agnes disaster and the Earth Conservancy has been successful in the reclamation of mine-scarred lands. This week he came through with federal help to renovate Coal Street park in Wilkes-Barre and money to help out General Dynamics in Scranton and countless other projects. The question is will people remember his accomplishments or will Cornerstone and Mexicans matter more.

Lou Barletta's campaign has been all about illegal immigration. I used to like Lou Barletta until 2006 when Rick Santorum needed an issue in his doomed reelection campaign and got Mayor Lou to propose a ridiculous law that tried to make landlords and others into immigration agents. It didn't take a constitutional law scholar to figure out that a small town in Pennsylvania can't usurp the powers of the Congress and a federal judge agreed. The case has been appealed and if Hazleton loses the city is on the hook for a big legal bill. Lou said the city may have to float a 20 year bond to pay off the legal fees, maybe he should run for county commissioner. I think it was one of the most reckless things that I've ever heard of a local official doing. I also object to a politician trying to find scapegoats for his problems. That's been tried before with disastrous results.

With all that said I think this will be a nailbiter. Challengers don't win elections, incumbents lose them and Kanjo has had plenty of missteps such as his interview on CBS when he talked about free money and said Congress has it's own rules. But in the end this is an overwhelming Democratic district in a Democratic year. Kanjo wins a close one.

Kanjorski - Barletta debate highlights

The Lu Lac Political Letter has the best recap of the debate that I have read. I thought Kanjorski had the best line of the night when asked about Cornerstone he said (paraphrase) 'if I had done anything illegal don't you think that the Bush Justice Department would have nailed my ass to the wall by now.' The whole debate is available on WVIA's website.


As I have done in the last few elections I will be asking you to predict the outcome on Tuesday. An added feature will be a poll on the sidebar. I will be posting my predictions in the 10th and 11th CD races and the Presidential contest over the next couple of days.

10th CD debate tonight


Thursday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m . 10th District of Pa. Incumbent Congressman Chris Carney will take part in his only debate against Chris Hackett. The debate panel will include: Andrea Mulrine, the President of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters; Brian Lockman, the President of PCN; and Coulter Jones, a staff writer for the Citizens Voice. The debate will be moderated by WVIA President and CEO Bill Kelly.

Since the World Series is over my evening is free I was able to score a ticket. See you there.

Meet the surrogates

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell will hold a 10 a.m. get-out-the-vote event for Barack Obama at Wilkes University's student center this Friday.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will make a stop tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at the Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Hall, 152 Watson St., Wilkes-Barre Township, to show support for McCain.

Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, will stump for Obama on Sunday during a 3:30 p.m. event at Wilkes University's student center, 84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre.

117th State Legislative District debate tonight

Incumbent Republican Karen Boback and Democrat Russ Bigus will face off at 7 p.m. tonight Oct. 30 at Crestwood High School.

The latest dustup in the race is that Boback has been endorsed by the NRA and Bigus isn't happy about it.

TL: I just want to make certain that everyone knows this is a slap in my face,” he said. “I’m real sensitive about this issue.”
Bigus, running as a Democrat, says it goes back to 2006, when Boback, a Republican, asked him for assistance in filling out the NRA’s candidate questionnaire when she first ran for the seat.
“Before she was an elected official, I don’t think she had a position on the issue,” Bigus said. “I believe, just like she’s always done, she’s voted the party line. She doesn’t know what these issues are.”

CV: I’m honored to have earned the respect of the NRA. Their endorsement is proof positive that I represent the people I serve,” Boback said.Asked about critics’ claims that she’s not a sportswoman, she replied, “It just goes to show that you don’t have to be a hunter to vote like one.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Phargon Phillies have won the Phreaking Series

In what has to be longest game in baseball history the Philadelphia Phillies have defeated the Tampa Bays Rays 4-3 for their 2nd World Series win in franchise history. I''m sipping some champagne and tasting some crackers with brie with a Arugula side salad in celebration. Well, not really. I'm actually slamming some Yuengling's back and munching on Ceccoli's pizza. If I was in Philadelphia I would be at Pat's for a cheesesteak.

Cole Hamels wa named the MVP but I would give it to the Phil's Bullpen.

11th CD debate tonight


Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.mThe 11th District Congressman Paul Kanjorski will debate with Lou Barletta. The debate panel includes: Jane Manganiello, the President of the Luzerne County League of Women Voters; Borys Krawczeniuk, a staff writer for the Scranton Times-Tribune; and Drew McLaughlin, a senior student that will represent King's College. The debate will be moderated by WVIA President and CEO Bill Kelly.

National Security

A guest post from our friend KAR.

The more that I think about the upcoming Presidential election the more I am convinced that it is one of the most important Presidential elections in my lifetime. There are many issues that get voters worked-up; abortion, education, healthcare, immigration reform, gun control the economy, but for me the number one issue is the security of the United States.

It’s not that I don’t find the other issues important, but the idea that we can somehow let our guard down vis-à-vis the terrorist threat posed by radical Islamists is, to me, very worrisome.
Since 9/11 pundits have droned on about the inevitability of another attack on American soil, and yet it hasn’t happened. This doesn’t mean that the radical Islamists aren’t trying; it means they have been thwarted. Their failure isn’t a result of “dumb luck” or “divine providence”; it is as a result of the actions taken by this administration to prevent attacks.

George Bush has endured shameless attacks from the left and the mainstream media almost from the time the dust settled after 9/11. These people have insisted that the common sense measures taken to protect this country have somehow diminished us, and transformed us into a fascist state.

These same people insist that we should deal with the terror threat as a law enforcement matter; meaning that we should investigate and apprehend only after another attack. The “Bush Doctrine” of preemptive action makes perfect sense in these matters; get the bad guys before they kill thousands of innocent Americans.

Those on the left seem more concerned that a terrorist has been read his “Miranda rights “than in stopping him from committing an act of terror. They wring their hands over interrogation techniques; they worry about the conditions at the detention centers. They act as if these individuals were “garden variety” criminals, they aren’t. These terrorists would gladly give their lives in an effort to kill as many of us as possible. They recruit women and children to carry out their murderous attacks, they need to be dealt with in a manner that ensures we, and our way of life, prevail.

Think about this when you cast your vote this November, ask yourself which party and which candidates have demonstrated that they understand the threat and will act proactively to protect this country.…the answer seems pretty clear to me.

New PA 10th CD poll

Lycoming College

Chris Carney (D-inc): 50%

Chris Hackett (R): 35%

Undecided: 15%

(MoE: ±4.7%) 441 likely voters interviewed Oct. 19-23

Carney has a favorable rating of 54 percent and an unfavorable rating of 24 percent. Hackett has a 35 percent approval rating and 40 percent unfavorable.

Our friend Local Values has been keeping track of all the 10th CD polls and like RCP has been averaging them.

LOCAL VALUES AVERAGE: Carney – 48% Hackett – 34% Undecided – 18%

I've never seen a challenger win an election with higher negatives than positives. Hackett's line of attack of yelling liberal, taxes and he wears Nancy Pelosi's underwear doesn't seem to be working. An added factor is the left over hard feelings from the primary in which he trashed Dan Meuser and Pride Mobility making it difficult to unite the local GOP. Now after the Pat Toomey outfit, the Club for Growth, has sunk time and money into the race on his behalf he runs an ad starring Senator Arlen Specter. In 2004 Specter defeated Toomey in a bitter primary and the spot strikes me as a slap in the face of Toomey. What a great way to treat your friends.

Carney's campaign has been a mix of touting a positive message of his accomplishments and going for Hackett's throat. The 2 issues about Hackett that people in the district have told me that resonate with them is Hackett didn't pay his taxes on time and he employed a housekeeper who was an illegal immigrant. The Zoey Baird problem. And he doesn't apologize for getting earmarks, people like pork.

The Carney camp put out a press release today saying that they have raised over $2 million:

“We’ve exceeded all of our finance goals, and are proud of having raised over two million dollars this election cycle,” said Aren Platt, Congressman Carney’s Finance Director. “Congressman Carney has a strong base of support, which includes over 1300 grassroots supporters from our 2008 cycle.”

That compares to Hackett's $2.9 million of which $1.58 million came out of his own pocket. Then they got into the usual squabble over where the money is coming from and accusations of pay to play.

I think that the amount of money spent on election campaigns is obscene and a better way to fund them has to be found. But that is a subject for another post.

Rock Solid

Mixed messages

Andrew: Obama is a Marxist Muslim Arab Jesus Black White Terrorist Technocrat Racist Do-Gooder Liberal FDR Stalin Hilter Commie Fascist Gay Womanizing Naive Cynical Insider Noob Boring Radical Unaccomplished Elite Slick Gaffe-Prone Pedophile Pedophile-Seducing Liberation Theology Atheist Etc. & Anti-Etc. with a bunch of scary friends from - wait for it! - the Nineteen Hundred And Sixties.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kanjo makes his case

“Illegal immigration exacerbates hatred. But my opponent wants you to believe that everything of dissatisfaction in your life is a result of illegal immigration. Nobody likes a creep who takes advantage of bad things, and that’s what illegal immigration is.”-Congressman Paul Kanjorski

More choice quotes from the TL:

Kanjorski argues that Barletta would be a freshman congressman of the minority party in Congress and – because Kanjorski believes Barack Obama will defeat John McCain for the presidency – he will have no ally in the White House.

“If I call the White House, no matter who will be president, I will have access,” Kanjorski said. “If I’m not re-elected, this area will have to wait 24 years to get that kind of seniority.”

Kanjorski says he has brought more economic development money to the district than it has ever seen.

“I’ve asked my constituents who they would want in Congress if another Agnes disaster (1972 flood) occurred and they overwhelmingly said they would want me,” Kanjorski said.

Lou Barletta responds by saying “People want change.” Hmm, where have I heard that line? And then he blames immigrants for Hazleton's problems. Last week the Mayor Lou camp sent out yet another press release attacking Kanjorski over illegal immigration that cited something he said to an obscure local blogger 2 years ago.


The World Series will continue tomorrow. The game should have been called in the 5th. I think we have just been phucked.


PHILADELPHIA - Game Five of the 2008 World Series will not resume tonight due to inclement weather. Game Five is now tentatively scheduled to resume on Wednesday evening at 8:37 p.m. (ET), weather permitting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Latest Hackett ad

Had my jaw dropping.

10th PA Congressional Republican nominee Chis Hackett has been playing catch up to Frosh Democrat Chris Carney and seems to have thrown in the towel on the Presidential race.

The message I get from this spot is the 'Democrats are going to win so vote for me.' It doesn't make any sense. If there is going to be a Democrat in the White House and the Congress is going to be controlled by the other party and you keep telling people that you won't ask for any pork, what is the reason we should vote for you? We don't want backbench members of the minority party pleading our case in Washington be it Hackett or Barletta. They won't get anything done.

An added bonus of this ad is that Hackett has that Conservative Icon Senator Arlen Specter making the case. Maybe they should have just shown footage of a slow motion train wreck.

TV Ad: Hackett-Specter

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The fall foliage is so beautiful

I think it is a pain in the ass.

I spent the afternoon raking leaves which is one of my least favorite yard jobs, second only to cleaning out the gutters. After doing the initial poop patrol I kept discovering more output from our Golden Retriever shit machine as I raked.

When I was a hotel manager in Boston, October was always our best month because of the leaf peepers. Some people should get a life.

After gathering the leaves in a pile I brought out my trusty Toro mulching mower and chopped them up.

There are more leaves on the way.

Phils up 2-1

You never know with baseball. The worst hitter on the team this season has been the Phillies best hitter in the World Series. Carlos Ruiz hit a dribbler down the 3rd base line that scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th. He also hit a home run. The "old man" Jamie Moyer went into the 7th still throwing his slop and the bullpen gave up a run. Just win baby. We have Blanton going for us tonight and the big bats came alive yesterday.

In other sports news the Pennsylvania State University football team defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 13-6 for the first win in Columbus in 7 tries. Defense wins. Now we need Alabama or Texas to lose to get into the national championship game. The rest of regular season schedule looks like it favors the Lions with only Michigan State playing well now. We should blow through Iowa and Indiana then win the (bleh) Land Grant Trophy.

The Eagles have knocked off the Falcons 27-14 and now we need the Stillers to beat the Gints to make it a successful Pennsylvania sports weekend.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Latest Pennsylvania Presidential polls

Muhlenberg (10/20-24/08, 601 LV) Obama 52% McCain 41%

SurveyUSA (10/21-22/08, 620 LV) Obama 53% McCain 41%

Strategic Vision (R) (10/20-22/08, 1200 LV) Obama 50% McCain 43%

Big Ten (10/19-22/08, 566 LV) Obama 52% McCain 42%

Quinnipiac (10/16-20/08, 1425 LV) Obama 53% McCain 40%

Allstate/National Journal (10/16-20/08, 412 RV) Obama 51% McCain 41%

The national map

Obama 375 McCain 157 Ties 6

Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO FL IN IA MO NV NM NC OH VA

GOP pickups (vs. 2004): None

McCain hasn't led in any PA poll since April and is behind in every state that voted for Kerry in 2004. He needs to flip at least one state and the GOP camp thinks PA is his best shot. Mac will be tagging along with Sarah Palin for 3 stops in the Commonwealth Monday and Tuesday in Pottsville, Hershey and Shippensburg. This is the first election in my memory that both the Prez and VP candidates are appearing together this late. Let's call it the Geezer and Gidget tour. And Barry is not ignoring us with appearances scheduled in Pittsburgh Monday and Chester on Tuesday.

I have some anecdotal evidence that Obama will win this thing. I get my hair cut at an old fashion barber shop in Edwardsville who's majority of clientele are older gentleman. My barber is running his own poll of customers on the Presidential race and it's McCain 31 Obama 30. If McCain doesn't win an overwhelming majority of old white guys it's going to be a blowout.

Another Dilemma

The 3rd game of the World Series between the Phillies and Rays is scheduled to start at the same time the Ohio State- Penn State game will kick off.

YouTube weekend

Cher on a Battleship. Mrs G's idea.

Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time

2000 posts

I just noticed that I have posted over 2000 items since April 2005. Thanks for tuning in and a big THANK YOU for all who take the time to leave a comment.

YouTube weekend

Its been eight long years since the boys said wassup to each other. Even with the effects of a down economy and imminent change in the White House, the boys are still able to come together and stay true to what really matters.

Wassup 2008

via Andrew Sullivan

Thursday, October 23, 2008

PA 11th CD mud wars

The NRCC has a spot up rehashing the Cornerstone controversy titled Kick Out Kanjorski and another one that is somewhat amusing using the the theme song from Deliverance riffing on the age old charge of flip-flopping.

Dueling Kanjos

The Kanjo camp went after Barletta over the sludge that is that being dumped around Hazleton.
Despite threats of a lawsuit the latest Kanjorski spot brings up the DeAngelo brothers involvement in drug dealing and their ties to Lou Barletta.

Lou Barletta: Bad Judgment, Bad Ideas.

The Kanjo ads have been fact checked by the unofficial Barletta oppo research website.

Both camps have been firing off press releases.


Wilkes-Barre, PA - When he first ran against Lou Barletta in 2002, Congressman Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) released his income tax returns. Barletta did not. The Congressman says he will release his last ten income tax returns again during this campaign, but if only if Barletta agrees to release all his income taxes from the same period.

The response from the Barletta campaign .

I like this one: The quantity of and amounts deposited in Kanjorski accounts in the Cayman Islands, if any.

If any? What BS. If Barletta has proof that Paul Kanjorski has a bank account in the Cayman Islands or Switzerland he better provide the details

The Phillies win the phirst game of the World Series

Cole Hamels went his usual 7 innings, the bullpen was perfect again and Ryan Howard kept striking out. Chase Utley hit a 2 run homer and Carlos Ruiz had the game winning hit.

Phils win 3-2.

Dana calls the election

I think he is right. People like me will vote for Barrack Obama and my friends on the other side will vote against him. McCain is almost irrelevant and Palin has become a joke.

Why Barack Obama is going to win

The world according to Skrep

According to Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak everyone in the county government is a liar.

He should know. Last week he said this in the TL:

Skrepenak said he will attend Monday night’s meeting of the Luzerne County Democratic Party executive committee with the hope that he and Petrilla, with the help of party leaders, can put their differences behind them and work together for the people of the county.
“We need to support each other as Democrats and as Democrats we should adhere to certain beliefs that all Democrats share,” Skrepenak said. “We have to work for the greater good.”

On Tuesday he accused Commissioner Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla of perjury.

Skrepenak said she either lied or developed “a serious case of amnesia.” ...Skrepenak also said Pribula didn’t tell the truth when he testified that a $2.3 million transfer to the county pension fund wasn’t in the budget.“He either lied, or he is incompetent.”

Petrilla punched back “I am so sick of his ridiculous remarks,” Petrilla said. “I have been working so hard for 10 months, and he has been whining and whining and whining about being the minority commissioner.”

Judge Ann Lokuta said no to the $16 million new bond but didn't push the county off the cliff because she did approve a $5 million loan.

Every budget that Skrep and his pals have proposed over the last 3 years was a lie.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meet the candidate

From the TL:

Candidates to discuss local job outsourcing at Thursday meeting

With the nation’s economic crisis front and center in political campaigns, local elected officials will participate in a town hall meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Genetti’s Hotel and Convention Center in Wilkes-Barre which will focus on the need to save manufacturing jobs and stop them from being shipped overseas.

U.S. Reps. Chris Carney, D-Dimock Township, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke, Republican congressional candidate Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta and state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, will join local business leaders at the meeting, which is being sponsored by the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a non-partisan partnership of leading U.S. manufacturers and the United Steelworkers.

It looks like successful local businessman and Congressional candidate Chris Hackett has been left off the program of this non-partisan event. According to this story Kanjo and Mayor Lou will be in the same room at the same time. The last time they were scheduled to appear together was last Wednesday at a NAACP forum at East Stroudsburg University but Kanjorski cancelled at the last minute.

The World Series

In the 120+ year history of the Philadelphia Phillies they have only won it all once with this being just their 6th appearance in the fall classic. The Tampa Bay Rays have only been around since 1998 and this is the first time that they have had a winning record. I've learned that it is impossible to predict the outcome of a baseball game let alone a series but that doesn't mean we can't speculate.

So who will win the World Series? Vote in the new poll on the sidebar.

Allyson for Senate?

Republican challenger Marina Kats is talking up the possibility that U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) will take on Arlen Specter in the 2010 Senate race. Allyson ran for Senate in the 2000 primary for Rick Santorum's seat but Ron Kink won the nod and the people of Pennsylvania got klunked and we were stuck with the Senator from Virginia for another 6 years. In 2000 the clear choice was Allyson Schwartz She would have made her differences with Santorum clear instead of saying "me too" and would have excited the Democratic base. In the end Gore won the state and Klink lost by 5% after being outspent 7:1. If we had a real Democrat that talked about important issues instead of the hot button nonsense things may have been different.
She has a prized seat on the Ways and Means Committee so it would be a tough decision to give that up.
Update: I asked Allyson's spokeperson about this, her reply
"Allyson loves her job in Congress. She's got a great seat on the most powerful Committee in Congress - Ways and Means - where she will have a real role in pushing for healthcare reform next Congress in a Democratic Administration."

PA 10th CD airwars

Sort of. The Hackett camp has stopped updating their website and uploading their TV ads to Youtube. When I watched the WNEP news at noon yesterday I didn't see a Hackett spot or I just missed it. Has Chris stopped writing checks to his campaign?

The Carney camp is hitting Hackett hard over his supposed support of the fair tax. I've been watching this race closely and I have never heard Hackett say anything like that. Yeah, he thinks that cutting taxes will solve all our problems but this ad is wrong and unnecessary. This follows a mailer on the same subject that Local Values picks apart.

Chris Hackett: Can't Afford the Bills Now? You Can't Afford Hackett (PA-10)

Ciavarella to Petrilla

Luzerne County is up against the wall

“Ask Mr. McGarry if Sam Guesto is an essential employee.” Luzerne County Commissioner Steve Urban

It's for real this time. Since Judge Ann Lokuta wouldn't agree to the county's plea to borrow yet even more money just to meet payroll an axe will have to fall. All the Row officers said they would help trim the expenses the rest of the year but now Clerk of Courts Bob Reilly speaking for all the Row Officers claims that they have cut to the bone and warn that services will be interrupted. And the President Judge Mark Ciavarella through his mouthpiece Paul McGarry still threatens to sue if Commissioner Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla tries to lay off court personnel.

The worst case scenerio:

.The layoff of 20 percent to 30 percent of workers in each office.
• Temporary closure of “nonessential,” or non-mandated, offices.
• Closing the entire courthouse the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
• Downgrading to a three-day work week for the rest of the year.

From the comments:


I see in today's Citizens Voice Legal Notice section of the paper the County is going to borrow 4 Million Dollars and no one knows about it..I have attended all the County Meetings and this was not on the agenda at all..this is in addition to the 5.3 Million that I fought about in Court..This County is out of control and I will be surprised if they ever get control of the spending with this type of mindset.

Walter Griffith Jr

Sarah Palin to appear in Beaver

So many jokes, so little time.

Please join
Governor Sarah Palin
for a Road to Victory Rally
in Beaver, PA

I'm sure she will look good decked out in the $150,000 worth of bling that Republican donors paid for. Maybe Larry Flynt can work this into his movie.

One for the Professor

Obama Wins Scholastic News Election Poll

It's official. At least for the kids! The Scholastic Presidential Election Poll results are in: Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama won with 57 percent of the vote, to 39 percent for Republican nominee Senator John McCain.The poll was open to kids from grades 1 to 12 in Scholastic News and Junior Scholastic magazines...Since 1940, the results of the student vote have mirrored the outcome of the general election all but twice: In 1948, kids voted for Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman. In 1960, more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than for John F. Kennedy.

Nickelodeon also has a kids poll.

Michelle gets an extra chocolate milk after recess for pointing this out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Colin Powell endorses Barrack Obama

I went to see the former Secretary of State when he visited Wilkes-Barre in December 2007 and had this to say after the program:
I'm sure whoever wins the Republican nomination in 2008 will ask the General to be his/her running mate. Imagine a McCain/Powell ticket?
Well, it looks like I got that one wrong. Norton recaps his appearance on Meet the Press where he spelled out his reasons for voting for Obama. He sounded more disappointed with McCain than pro Obama. He said that "he didn't have a complete grasp of the economic problems," he decried the negative tone of the McCain campaign and the pick of Sarah Palin as VP. He also gave an impassioned reason to vote for Obama that you can read in the transcript.
The reaction on the right has been predictable and ugly. I was listening to Rush today and I thought his head would explode. He shouted into the mic that Powell's endorsement was all about race. I guess the corollary to that is that his support of McCain is all about race.
Back to Powell's W-B visit:
The thing that stuck with me is he said don't let the terrorist change who we are. We are the most open, free and generous people in history. And when mistakes are made, like the Patriot Act or using torture, we have the means to fix them.
For the most part I don't think that individual endorsements matter for much more than a press release and some short term publicity but this may be different.
Our last poll had Obama winning the last debate over McCain 50%-37% with Cole Hamels coming in with 13%. It is interesting that nobody called it a draw. There is a new poll up about the Powell endorsement on the sidebar.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Congrats Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Red Sox in 7 games and will face our Phillies in the World Series. I'm happy to see Tampa make their first appearance in the fall classic led by Hazleton native Joe Madden. Go Phils, kick their ass.

The Blue Royster Cult

Penn State finally beat Michigan after 9 years of just coming up short. Evan Royster had 174 yards rushing with a big TD in the 2nd quater, I wonder why isn't he mentioned in the Heisman talk.

In the second quarter the PSU defense took over the game and the offense poured it on in the 2nd half scoring 32 points.

The star of this game was the Lion defense. PSU 46 Michigan 17.

NEPA Blogs

Michelle, DB Echo and I have been trying to keep up with all the comings and goings in the local blogoshere by listing all the new entries on NEPA Blogs.

It's not easy because they come and go so fast.

Here are the latest entries:

Fat than thin Now

The Kid from Northeastern PA

Scranton: The Election City

And Norton is back. OneVoteCounts

Bonus points for anyone who can give us the details on the photo. Where is the giant cow?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Latest PA Presidential polls

Morning Call Tracking (10/11 - 10/15, 595 LV) Obama 53% McCain 37%

SurveyUSA (10/11 - 10/13, 516 LV) Obama 55% McCain 40%

Marist (10/05 - 10/08, 757 LV) Obama 53% McCain 41%

Strategic Vision (R) (10/05 - 10/07, 1200 LV) Obama 54% McCain 40%

Rasmussen (10/06 - 10/06, 700 LV) Obama 54% McCain 41%

Locally, the latest F&M poll in the 10th CD has McCain leading by only 46%-39% and Obama ahead in the 11th CD 47%-43%. If Mac is to win PA he needs big margins up here in the Alabama of the north.

The national map

Obama 349 McCain 171 Ties 18

The most interesting thing that has happened in the past week is that North Dakota, Montana and Georgia are back in play. If you look at where the candidates are campaigning today it tells you what both camps are thinking. Barry is on offense with events in Missouri and Mac is playing defense trying to hold on to North Carolina and Virginia. Sarah Palin is in Lancaster, PA trying to shore up the Amish vote and increase Viagra sales in the area.

YouTube weekend

RIP Levi Stubbs

Four Tops: can't help myself / Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch - live

117th State Legislative District debate set

Incumbent Republican Karen Boback and Democrat Russ Bigus will face off at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at Crestwood High School. This Sunday Russ is hosting a Meet and Greet at the Harveys Lake Legion starting at 1:30 pm.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Radio Gort

A reminder. You can catch Me and David Yonki with Shadoe Steele on his Outlook On NEPA show. If you're up early it will air at 7AM this Sunday on WKRZ 98.5 FM, Froggy 101 FM and the Mountain 102.3 FM. If you sleep late and can tear yourself away from football it will also be on WILK Sunday between 5-7PM . It will be repeated every Sunday until election day.

The borrowing has to stop

“Every American citizen is forced to tighten his or her belt and to become fiscally more responsible during this period of economic stress – the county should not be excused from such necessity simply because political in-fighting has polarized county officials from acting in a fiscally responsible manner by reviewing financial information which was reasonably available and foreseeable.”- Judge Ann Lokuta

Judge Lokuta told the county government to get its act together. When I read her decision on Luzerne County's request to borrow another $16 million to cover this year's shortfall I felt like somebody finally gets it. I have been complaining the outright lies and fiction that has passed for a county budget for as long as I have been blogging. Every year they expect millions from land sales that never happen and tell us that beefed up tax collection will bring in tens of millions more that they haven't been able to collect in the past. They offer early outs to employees then hire them back through temp agencies and cronies get no bid contracts that violate state law. A partial archive of my bitching about these practices are available here if you're interested. And how many times have they floated a bond for one purpose then spent it on another project. 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. And it has happened over and over again.

Commissioner Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla is warning of layoffs and has asked all the department heads for help in cutting costs and they are reported to be helpful. We will see about that. The TL reports that our esteemed head of the county Judiciary told her to take a hike.

Luzerne County Commissioner Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla said she called county Court of Common Pleas President Judge Mark Ciavarella on Thursday to discuss upcoming employee layoffs, and he refused to cooperate.
Petrilla said the judge told her no layoffs will occur in any court branches, and commissioners can’t “touch” court employees. He said he will get a court order and sue commissioners who attempt to institute layoffs in court branches, Petrilla said.
Those branches include domestic relations, probation services, court administration, district justice offices, central court and stenographers.

Joe the Plumber reacts to the debate

From J-Walk

Mac had a bad moment last night.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Phargon Phillies have won the Phennat

For only the sixth time the Philadelphia Phillies will go on to the World Series and they only won it once (1980). Keep crying on my shoulder Cubs fans. Cole Hamels is the MVP of the LCS but I think that Shane Victorino won it for them with his timely hits.

The final Presidential debate

I thought the best line of the night came from Mac. "I am not president Bush. If you want to run against president Bush, you should have done that four years ago." I hope he keeps saying that.

The split-screen made McCain look antsy while Obama kept smiling. Mac's body language and facial expressions were intense and Barry was cool.

Obama may have won on points but McCain displayed a passion like the time he denounced the "agents of intolerance" on the eve of the Virginia primary in 2000 . He lost that election to Bush. I probably shouldn't confess this but I could have voted for John McCain for President in 2000.

Our last debate poll said Obama won 57% to McCain's 34%.

There is a new poll on the sidebar. Who won tonight's debate? Tell me why your guy did better than the other one in the comments.

BTW, the Phillies beat the Dodgers 5-1.


What to watch on the tube tonight? Should I tune in to see if John McCain will "whip" "That One's" "you-know-what" in the debate or see if the Phils can wrap up the National League pennant? Probably both since we have 2 sets in the living room and the TV in the unsecured disclosed world HQ of Gort42 has picture in picture.
J-Roll leads off the game with a HR.
The CNN debate pregame has about 50 people on stage all with laptops in front of them, weird.
J-Roll walks, steals 2nd and comes home on a Ryan Howard single then Utley scores on a Burrell hit. Phils 3-0
Joe the plumber? Mac wants to buy your mortgage and freeze spending.
Senator Obama, I'm not President Bush. If you want to run against President Bush you should have ran 4 years ago.
Mac says the nasty campaign is because Obama didn't agree to town hall meetings and jumps on John Lewis' George Wallace remarks.
Obama says the American people are not concerned about hurt feelings and shifts to economics.
The Dodgers starter, Billingsley, is pulled in the 3rd.

Blogger error, I just lost the a bunch of stuff. Live blog is over.

Retirement savings

We just got the last of our 3rd quarter 401(k) and IRA statements today. It's a bloodbath and may get worse. How ya doin'?

Congressman Chris Carney-the interview

I had a chat with Freshman Pennsylvania 10th CD Rep Chris Carney and we were joined by his ace press secretary Rebecca Gale. We discussed some of the important issues of the day like who will win the World Series, growing up in Iowa he is a Cubs fan. Being a Phillies fan I feel his pain. He also likes the Packers and seeing number 4 in a Jets uniform is killing him.

Give me the short version, Why should you be reelected?

I’m very proud of the record we have been able to amass in the first term. The kind of things we have been able to accomplish as a freshman are very remarkable. We can start for example with education benefits we were able to get for the guard and reserve to put them on par with the active duty side. You are probably aware that the guard and reserve prior to this legislation had an education benefit as long as they were in the military. Over the last few years our guardsmen and reservists have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, sometimes 2, 3 or 4 deployments so they couldn’t actually use that education benefit. So if they come home and want to get out they would lose that education benefit when they separate. This legislation extends the time they can use their education benefits up to 10 years after separation. That’s the kind of thing that lives up to promise this country made to our men and women in uniform. Second of all, you end up creating an excited, dedicated and disciplined workforce out there. And that’s we need to do to keep the economy strong, vibrant and growing. It’s a win, win for everybody. The Made in America tax credit that is in the Ways and Means committee that provides tax incentives to make sure that manufacturers don’t leave the U.S. rather they stay here and keep jobs here. That’s very important. The child pornography bill that just got passed that goes after child predators, both the producers and consumers of child pornography looking to dry up the source and the demand. You bring common sense to the job. But more to the point it’s the way that you govern to me makes a lot of sense. I’m a very bipartisan as it turns out. You’ve probably heard this story before but after I was elected I had to build up my staff. I had to interview a lot of people but the one question that I did not ask was what is your party affiliation. I asked what you could do for the United States and depending on that answer and others determined whether I offered them a position. And it turns out that we have a staff that is half Republican and half Democrat which to me is the right may to govern. Frankly, I grew up in broken home. My Mom is a Republican and my Dad is a Democrat. In fact when I ran my Mom became an Independent. She wouldn’t become a Democrat all the way. I grew up in a home, and Mom and Dad are still around, and talk about things with them all the time. I grew up listening to both Mom and Dad’s conversations on politics so I understood the validity and fallacy of both arguments eventually. If you synthesize those arguments you can accomplish a lot more. I’ve always been one to believe that we have to get away from the partisanship that has paralyzed Washington all these years. There was a time you could be a Republican or a Democrat and disagree on principle on things and actually have honest intellectual disagreements on how you should proceed on policy. But at the end of the day you were friends and you understood that you were working for the good of the country. Now it’s blood sport, now it’s not about policy but sticking a shiv into somebody’s ribs and we have to get away from that.

You talked a lot about being bipartisan and reaching out to Republicans but how do you reassure Democrats that you are one of them?

The fact of the matter is that most people are reasonable on what we have to get done. The far left attacked me, I’m not liberal. They ran newspaper, radio and television ads against me. So frankly if the far left and the far right are attacking you- you are probably in the right spot actually.

Let’s talk about some of those attacks. When you voted against the hate crimes bill some people said you promised that you would vote for it and made the accusation that you lied to them.

Of course they did. I didn’t promise but said that I would consider the bill very carefully. As it turns out what we ended up with a piece of legislation that creates special categories for certain people. When you create special categories you excluded people, why shouldn’t young mothers be included in a category or special protections under the law. All crime is hate crime. By the same token I voted for ENDA, the employment non-discrimination act. That’s important.

How about the FISA bill, particularly the retroactive immunity clause?

They need to read the bill first of all. It doesn’t give retroactive immunity. What it does is to require the telecoms to come before a court with the papers to prove that they were asked by the administration to do the surveillance. Second of all, it allows the government to go after the administration even after they are out of office. This a situation where people need to pay closer attention to what the bill does.

There is a provision of the Military Commissions Act that says the government can declare a United States citizen an enemy combatant and hold them without habeas corpus.

When you suspend the constitution you have to be little bit nervous about that. I swore a couple of times to protect and defend the constitution both as a military officer and as a member of Congress. You can hold people in this country by charging them under the 5th amendment and charge them with a crime and they get due process. American citizens should not be deprived due process.

So do you favor repealing that provision of the act?

As long as there is a legal way to cover them if they are an American citizen they get full rights as an American citizen.

Is that a yes?

That’s a yes. When we ignore our own rules we hurt ourselves as a nation. We hurt our ethic, we hurt what we stand for in the eyes of our people and the eyes of the world.

Recently a federal judge ordered the release of some people from Guantanamo Bay.

The Uighurs

There was no evidence that these people were terrorists. Should the Guantanamo Bay prison be closed?

It should be made smaller. There a number of people there who are very bad guys. I’ve been to Guantanamo, I’ve been to the cages and face to face with these people. And there are definitely people in there that were hell-bent on doing destruction to the U.S. But frankly a significant portion of those people were simply caught up in the sweep when we went into Afghanistan and they were taken off to an area and detained. And they may or may not be involved with the Taliban or Al-Qaeda or any anti-American activity and now they have been sitting in Guantanamo for 5 or 6 years. We create a situation where we have enemies incarcerated. Some of these guys were brought in on a C-130 aircraft. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a C-130?

Many times.

So you know that that control wires run on the inside of the fuselage. Some of those guys tried to chew through the wires. So they are dedicated to our demise or their own demise. So there are some bad guys in there and some of them need to be kept. On the other hand those who innocent or you find anything to charge them with and no actionable intelligence value we really have to start repatriating them.

Let’s talk taxes and budgets. Do you favor a balanced budget?

I absolutely do, I’m a blue dog.

How about a balanced budget amendment to the constitution?

I think we have to consider it. We are at a point now where we have to pay for 2 wars, we had to give emergency supplemental appropriation’s at least twice since I’ve been in. We have to be able to respond to economic contingencies like we have now. So a balanced budget would have to take into account a lot of things. For example, would it require that the Dept of Defense budget become a discretionary not a mandatory part of the budget? That’s something we have to answer. In concept yes but we have to see what the legislation actually says. To do a good job of making huge cuts in the budget you would have to go after the defense appropriated and I’m not comfortable doing that especially since we are involved in the wars that we are involved in right now.

To get to a balanced budget you will need to either raise taxes or cut spending or a combination of both.

I want to cut taxes on the middle class and close the loopholes for the very, very wealthy. I think that makes a lot of sense and I think that would have a huge impact in alleviating the crises we are in right now.

How about cutting spending?

Absolutely we should be cutting spending. I chair the Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight of the Homeland Security Committee so I’ve gotten some pretty good glimpses into how the government is procuring things that it needs to do it’s job. The fact of the matter is that we don’t have a good procurement corps at all. This is not the sexy kind of glamorous stuff that really hits the news but this is the nuts and bolts of government. This is stuff that we don’t do well. So what the DHS has done is to go out and hire contract personnel to be their procurement officers. Well guess who they procure from? Those are things we got to do to reduce spending overall. But we also need to spend smartly. We need to spend money that will give us a return on our investment. I think it makes a lot of sense to improve our transportation infrastructure. I think it makes sense to put more toward educating our population. Under this administration we have slid many, many places in comparison to the rest of the developed world in terms of educational achievement of our public school students. We got to better than that. So if we are going to spend money spend it in a way that gives us a return on that investment.

With at least a $500 billion deficit and growing you’re going to have to take an axe somewhere. Is there a specific program, department or agency you would eliminate?

What I would like to see, going back to DHS, is a reorganization of the department. You could collapse some of those organizations into one. You should pull FEMA out and give it Cabinet level status like it had under the Clinton Administration. Well it wasn’t a cabinet level organization.

You mean when it worked, right.

When it worked, yeah. That’s the kind of thing we can do. We could be a lot smarter about how we organize the government and that will take a few years. You know as well as anybody that in Washington that turf wars are the most bitterly fought.

Our friend Local Values has a question on the pay go rules. The AMT patch actually violated the pay go rule and even Steny Hoyer voted against it but you voted for it. Any comment.

The pay go rule? Which one, what time? It was also part of the sweetener package in the last bailout. It did comply with pay go because they did identify the pay for in the next budget. The pay for was identified in the first one but was not identified in the bailout bill which is one of the reasons I voted against it. Values guy is wrong.

He’ll be glad to hear it. He has all the poll results on his side bar and you are leading in all of them. I wonder why we don’t see Hackett's internal polls? The last time I talked to him I think in June or July he said he hadn’t polled since the primary. I’m sure he has polled since then.

I think it’s very interesting that they won’t release their internals if they are running so strong. If Mark Harris is to be believed they should be out loud and proud with their poll results. The polls we’ve seen like the Lycoming and F&M shows us pulling away. When they blame the methodology of the poll for the result that a pretty spurious argument.

I read your contrast with Hackett on immigration in the CV. The one thing it didn’t address was your thoughts on the Hazleton Act.

I understand the Mayor’s concern that the city is responsible for illegal immigrants but you’ve got to live up to the constitution. Judge Munley said look you can’t make federal policy as the Mayor of Hazleton.

The Supremacy clause.

Yeah. So we have our nation of laws and if we are going to change the rules we have to do it in the legal system. And I know that Lou Dobbs really likes Lou Barletta but if we are going to do this we have to do it in a sane way that makes sense.

I haven't talked to Hackett lately and he won't agree to another interview. It's like he wants to debate you but he won’t debate me.

It’s not even a debate it’s just a discussion, right?

I don’t know why. Maybe he didn't like some of the questions I asked him last time. I don’t understand it. I don’t play gotcha, if you say something and say don’t quote me on that I won’t. The same with him.

I have a question from a reader on corn based ethanol, How is it affecting food prices?

I think it’s having a negative effect on food prices. It’s causing an increase in food prices and feed prices for our dairy farmers. But we have an opportunity here, we can have ethanol produced from other sources. You saw that we could get Ethosgen in Dallas some federal money to continue their R&D of switchgrass. No one eats switchgrass as far as I know but it produces a lot of sugars for ethanol. And they have figured out a way to 100,000 gallons of ethanol per acre out of switchgrass. That’s pretty good and that’s the kind of R&D we should be doing. This is part of the larger issue and I’m going to get a little expansive here. This is my vision for this area. We have always been part of the energy heritage of America, this part of the world, this part of Pennsylvania, steam and coal and now we can use the alternatives. We drive along and see the windmills on the ridge tops, I love seeing that. It’s exactly what we ought to be doing. We need to be doing geothermal, that’s critical. We need to be doing the switch grass and the ethanol. Up in Towanda for example they are doing a lot of work for the military making long life small batteries with a lot of power but they are also producing affordable film that you can embed into the siding of your house or roof shingles so your house becomes an electric generator when the sun is shining. That’s we got to be doing, there is no reason that we can’t be the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. We’ve got the talent here, we’ve got the resources and now finally, thank god, we have the political will to move in that direction. I think that’s is where we oughta go. The opportunity that will afford the region by creating green collar jobs, new technologies and weaning us off of oil and fossil fuels to the point where we can have reliable sources of energy that are renewable. We can do that here and there is no reason we can’t. You can’t tell me that Brazil is smarter than us. They are using their sugar cane crops to fuel their cars.

How about Nuclear?

I strongly favor nuclear. A lot of folks in my caucus and my party disagree and I’m not one to often cite France as an example of what we should be doing .

McCain really likes France, when I saw him at the Kirby he kept talking about the French.

But the point is that they made the decision that they were going to be as free from foreign oil as they could be. And by the time they are done about 80% of their electric needs will be generated by nuclear power. I think we ought to do that. The fact is that the reactors themselves are basically scram proof and the technology is much safer than a Three Mile Island or a Chernobyl or anything like that. They were old technologies. In Europe they have able to recycle the fuel so in the end there is 95% less of the fuel and radioactivity than the old systems. It’s not a complete perfect but it’s a 95% solution.

The Presidential race, we really haven’t heard much from you.

I support the Democratic ticket. I really like Joe Biden, he campaigned for me back in 2006. He is a genuine guy, I really love that he says what is on his mind and he’s a skilled politician but very genuine in what he is saying. I love the fact that he goes home at night to be with his family. I’ll tell you what, if I where closer I would do that too, but it’s little hard to drive up to Dimock from Washington every night .

Maybe we need an Amtrack link.

We are working on that. We are working on getting train service all over the eastern seaboard.

Making us proud

TT: 1:25 p.m.Chris Hackett addressed the increasingly feisty crowd as they await the arrival of Gov. Palin.Each time the Republican candidate for the seat in the 10th Congressional District mentioned Barack Obama the crowd booed loudly.

One man screamed "kill him!"

Supporters have been noted shouting “kill him,” “terrorist,” “off with his head” and other equally incendiary terms about Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Others have directly suggested Mr. Obama is a Muslim, which he is not, or a traitor. Some comments even drew rebuke from Republican presidential nominee John McCain. Other than the lone man, there were no other such outbursts.