Tuesday, November 29, 2011
So far 9 Republicans have lined up to take on our Senior Senator with a few others looking at the race.
Nine and Counting? GOP Contenders Vie For Casey's Senate Seat
The candidates are:
Tim Burns (R) - BioTech Executive & '10 US Rep. Nominee
David Christian (R) - Business Consultant, Vietnam War Veteran & '84/'86 US Rep. Nominee
Laureen Cummings (R) - Tea Party Activist, Nurse & Businesswoman
John Kensinger (R) - Pharmacist & '10 Write-In CandidateKeith Loiselle (R) - Medical Technology Executive
Sam Rohrer (R) - Ex-State Rep., Businessman & '10 Gov. Candidate
Marc Scaringi (R) - Attorney & Ex-Congressional Aide
Tom Smith (R) - Retired Coal Mining Company Owner & Tea Party
John Vernon (R) - Retired Army Officer & Iraq War Veteran
Steve Welch (R) - Biotech Corporation CEO, Mechanical Engineer & Ex-Democrat
This field will be whittled down before the April 2012 Primary because some of them will not be able to get the 2000 signatures to get on the ballot and the Republicans usually line up behind whoever wins state party endorsement. I'm rooting for Lackawanna County underdog Laureen Cummings and I have been invited to an event for John Vernon. Sam Rohrer is the most familiar name having run for Governor in 2010 but got crowded out before the primary.
Steve Welch is an atractive candidate because he can self finance a campaign and has put up a web ad that is worthy of the Onion. My lefty friends rip it apart but I think that it is so stupid that it is funny. Get a sense of humor people.
REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: BOB CASEY BORN IN KENYA, POSSIBLY GAY - A new web video from Pennsylvania Senate candidate Steve Welch is your latest demon sheep. The fake "Nightline"-style news segment highlights similarities between Bob Casey and President Obama's politics by postulating that the Pennsylvania senator and the commander-in-chief are actually twins and/or the same person (it's a little muddled in that respect). A slew of fake "experts" testify to Casey and Obama's alleged familial connection. It's a cute concept, and the production values are truly top notch. However, instead of leaving the viewer with the impression that Obama and Casey are related, the basic takeaway is that the two men are really gay for each other. The video features a torrent of photos of the men wearing the same clothing (including one withmatching argyle sweaters!). The announcer asks, "Is it possible Casey has some unconscious desire to become one person with Obama and somehow morph together?" He goes on to ask Dr. Melinda Farraday, "body language expert," whether she "see[s] two colleagues who just think and act the same, or is there something deeper?" Dr. Farraday is unequivocal: "The touching and the hugging, much more than you would ever see by just two colleagues." Take it to Vermont, you two!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, November 27, 2011
NEW DETAILS: President Obama to Travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania to Discuss Payroll Tax Cut
WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, November 30th, President Obama will travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania where he will continue to push Congress to act to extend and expand the payroll tax cut that has given tax breaks to millions of families across the country this year. The President’s event at Scranton High School will be open to pre-credentialed media and ticketed members of the public.
He will speak at 2:45PM
PUBLIC TICKET DISTRIBUTION INFORMATION
A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public. Tickets will be distributed TOMORROW, Monday, November 28, 2011, beginning at 4:00pm at the Main Entrance of Scranton High School.
Carney could be planning comeback
Like Borys I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to talk with Carney despite contacting everyone I know that is in touch with him. They assured me that they passed on my messages but the phone has yet to ring.
I have been able to confirm is that there is a Chris Carney for Congress campaign staff and an Act Blue Page with 25 donors so far. He has also sent out of couple of teaser emails.
There is a Draft Chris Carney Facebook group which I thought was wishful thinking as there is also a Draft Dick Cheney page backing a war criminal for President. The page administrator passed along a few emails from Carney that I questioned the veracity at first but they turned out to be legit. I put them on Google Docs so you view can view them. Resonable Ledership and a Veterans day message.
Tom Marino certainly deserves a challenge as he has voted in lockstep with the Republican leadership including supporting the Paul Ryan plan that would destroy Medicare and blow up the budget. Then he voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment that would make the Ryan plan impossible, even Ryan voted against it. He even favors other radical proposals.
CV: Marino said downsizing government is a way to cut wasteful government spending while keeping taxes low. Just like businesses, he said the federal government must do more with less and should revert back to the spending levels of 2002....He suggested getting rid of government agencies such as the Department of Energy, Department of Education, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Internal Revenue Service which, he said, is "causing grief for people trying to run a small business."
We will probably have to wait until redistricting is done to find out if Susquehanna County will be in the 10th or 11th CD to get a decision from Carney. Although he can run in either district if runs against Lou Barletta and his home is in the 10th you will hear the carpetbagger charge.
The clock is clicking so he will have to make a decision soon if he is going to able to raise the money to mount a challenge to either one of them.
Friday, November 25, 2011
I know that many stores make a big chunk of their yearly profits in the Christmas shopping season but this is ridiculous. The local news have stories about people camping out waiting for the doors to open then showing the rush. This will only encourage the big box stores to shit all over their employees. No wonder Occupy Wall Street has hit a nerve.
An employee of Target collected 200,000 signatures on a petition asking the company to roll back its Black Friday shopping hours but the corporate mouthpiece said no go because the shoppers demanded that they open at midnight. She added the the company big wigs would also be in the office early. Expect this guy to be fired in a couple of months on some "unrelated issue". The human toll not only includes the loss of family time.
PAHOKEE, Fla. -- A woman coming home from working her early-morning Black Friday shift at Target fell asleep at the wheel and drove into a canal, Palm Beach Sheriff's deputies said Friday.
Pure Bunkum sums it nicely with tongue firmly in cheek: Finally, the stores get us.
We want Thanksgiving out of the way as fast as possible. It’s a nuisance holiday standing between us and our Christmas shopping.
Mrs. G wanted to drag me out shopping today, I'd rather eat glass. I'm not going to deal with this nonsense
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
WHY DON’T THEY JUST OUTLAW THANKSGIVING!!!
A holiday message from Mean Old Man
Here we go again with the stupid and useless holiday, Thanksgiving!
Once again, I have to put up with my two dumb sons and their even dumber kids, not to mention their harlot wives. Damn!!!! What the hell is so special about the damned day anyhow? Everyone gets together to eat turkey and stuffing. If my wife Thelma Jean wanted me too, I could provide that practically every day courtesy of my trusty Remington. But some idiot down the way had to come up with an idea to make a holiday about eating damn supper!!!
In my day we celebrated Thanksgiving too, but it wasn’t like nowadays. Back then spoiled snot nosed kids knew their place and if they didn’t an adult in the room would be more than happy to show them the way courtesy of a fat lip. Those were the days! I remember one Thanksgiving when my old man came home from the breaker with one too many Stegs in his belly. Mom had the turkey on the table with all of the trimmings and I could still recall how good everything smelled. Anyways, Pops came out of the washroom and stumbled right into the table, knocking the leg off it and the entire turkey and rest of the food with it! All on Mom’s clean kitchen floor. I could still hear the howl in the kitchen, NO NOT FROM MOM, but from Pops because Mom had ruined Thanksgiving by not moving the table a little further from the washroom door. Fortunately, Mom had a spare turkey (that Pops had shot) in the ice box and she had to cook the meal all over again. It took hours but Mom didn’t complain because back then women knew their place and it wasn’t standing on a stage with Gloria Allred!!!! By the time we did finally eat, Pops had a long nap and was sobered up, at least until he hit the bottle again after dinner. Good Ol’ Pops, what a guy. I miss him a lot.
Women today don’t even know how to cook, let alone improvise like good ol’ Mom did. My two sons, Harlan and Clay married women whose idea of cooking a meal is throwing a TV dinner in the oven or boiling a box of spaghetti. No wonder my dumb grandkids look like refugees---and think like nitwits.
And don’t even talk to me about how my day is going to be ruined. Thelma Jean can cook a turkey with the best of them and her biscuits are the best in the world---even Joe Paterno would smile this turkey day if he tasted one!! But this great meal is going to be ruined by all these damned “family” events. I always tell my sons to go to their in-laws for dinner, but apparently even my daughters in law’s mothers can’t cook either!!
I’d like to know where my damned sons are whenever I need help fixing the chicken coops or the septic tank. Or even painting the barn!!! You know where? If you do let ME know so I can give them a good kick in the shins, like my Pop would if I disrespected him!!!!!
I’ve a mind to just skip the whole damned family thing and go to the Thanksgiving gathering at the VFW. I know that my good pals Creep, Birch and Gummo will all be there and the barkeep Mitch is making the turkey and the stuffing. Ol’ Mitch worked the mess hall back in WWII and he can make a feast out of a morsel. Plus there will be plenty of Steg there and I won’t have to worry about any of my sons swiping it.
So, all you subversives have a nice Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to send your holiday donation to the DNC. As for me, I’ll be at the bar having a few Stegs, dining on some of the best grubb this side of the Mason Dixon , puffing on a Lucky, and listening to the soothing sounds of the Andrews Sisters singing “Apple blossom time”. To hell with my stupid sons, and grandkids and their harlot wives! And while I’m at it to Hell with all of you too!!!
A few reform proposals that I have read make sense. Change the prepay rules and bring them in line with normal accounting standards and let the price of a stamp rise to a rate that reflects the cost of delivering a letter. In most Western countries first class postage is twice or more of what we pay. Even that may not be enough so the Congress should consider funding the USPS shortfall. I don't know when the Post Office became a quasi business instead of an essential public service. It is an essential public service that can not be replaced by the private sector. Fedex, UPS, DSL, etc. can't match the level of service provided by the Post Office.
Locally, budget cuts are threatening local jobs. Postal officials are looking at whether or not they should move the mail processing plant from Scranton to the Lehigh Valley.
There was a meeting last night to get public comment on the proposal. The comments were not supportive of closing the facility.
Scranton post office backers state case
Public Meeting Held on Scranton Mail Processing Facility
Postal officials expect they will save more than three million dollars by moving the processing center but local union members say it would have a much bigger hit on the local economy."The hit will be somewhere between $27 and $30 million, with probably $1.7 million lost in local and state income taxes."
11th CD Democratic candidate Bill Vinsko was at the meeting and posted this on his Facebook page:
I was proud to stand with and support the postal employees union in Scranton tonight at Scranton High School in their bid to keep the Scranton Area Processing Center open and avoid moving operations to the Lehigh Valley. This is a regional issue and concern, which will affect Luzerne and Columbia Counties. We need to do what we can to save jobs like these in NEPA! When elected to Congress, I will work to protect jobs like these!
Congressman Lou Barletta was not in Scranton for the meeting. He was at Wilkes University talking about, what else, immigration.
Immigration in spotlight
“Qué indica es que esta ley; esta cuenta se apropiará de cualquier ciudad de hacer cumplir E-Verifica si el gobierno no lo hace primero.”
Un potro del truco
Update: A response from Barletta spokesman Shawn Kelly
I read your post about the potential closing of the mail processing facility in Scranton. Rep. Barletta is concerned about this issue and was represented at the meeting by a staff member.
More than that, Rep. Barletta isn’t just talking about helping the U.S. Postal Service; he’s actively working to help it and protect its employees. Rep. Barletta is a cosponsor of and strongly supports H.R. 1351, the United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011. This bipartisan bill would allow the Postal Service to apply billions of dollars in pension overpayments to the congressional mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees.
H.R. 1351 could protect the mail processing facility in Scranton and other postal facilities because it would alleviate the need for some of the drastic cost-cutting measures the USPS is being forced to consider.
In fact, earlier this year, dozens of postal workers took to the streets in front of Rep. Barletta’s Hazleton District Office to thank him for his support of H.R. 1351 and the postal service employees. Rep. Barletta spoke with those employees and personally pledged his support of H.R. 1351. A photo is attached.
As for your comments regarding the illegal immigration forum, it must be noted that illegal immigration impacts American jobs. Even the most conservative estimates say there are 11 million illegal aliens in the United States. How many jobs do they have? Imagine the jobs that would be available to American citizens and those legally in this country if the federal government enforced our existing immigration laws.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I bullet voted voted for Kathy Grinaway and Sam Troy.
Toole was only incumbent on the ballot and she has been going against the grain teaming with Lynn Evans. I met Galella on election day but wasn't impressed. I remember Mr. Quinn from high school when he was a bit excitable in the classroom and on the basketball court and baseball field. My commenter's tell me that Elmy has thousand of relatives working at Vo Tech which remindes us of Barbara Youngblood.
Two years ago the district decided to put a hiring policy in place and appointed a sub commitee to draft it. Christine Katsock was put in charge of the effort but it has fizzled.
We get a big tax bill from the W-B Area School District every year that I am willing to pay because there is nothing more important than teaching our young people. Taxes are the price we pay for civilisation.
The latest dustup is Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton's son getting a job as a full time teacher .
Bad timing. I like Mayor Tom because he has done a darn good job bringing back Wilkes-Barre from financial chaos and reviving the downtown. Some people don't think that is good enough.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
the exact location of the 11th Congressional District boundaries. It's time to get things done for the
people. What I said when I announced remains true: I'm not running only as a Democrat or Republican, I am running as an American. Political map makers cannot control the people no matter how hard they try. You either get the job done or you don't. I'm going to get the job done."
Bill Vinsko has finally added some content to his website. Check it out
Friday, November 18, 2011
The people of the 11th Congressional District need JOBS to help to balance their own budgets, while Congressman Barletta proves he is part of the know-‐nothing, do-‐nothing
On Thursday, November 17, 2011, Congressman Lou Barletta (R-‐PA-‐11) issued a fundraising email to constituents of the 11th Congressional District of Pennsylvania which leads the great people of Northeast and Central Pennsylvania to believe that a The people of the 11th Congressional District need a congressman who is ready to lead and not to follow; someone who is truly an independent thinker, guided by principle and not party doctrine, but most of all, Northeast and Central Pennsylvania need a representative rooted in the law with a full-‐understanding of the mechanics of government and legislating, because that is how one achieves results for his constituents and not points with extremist pundits. Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution is a “necessary step” to control government spending. Mr. Barletta then says “President Obama has already made it known that he will veto the Balanced Budget Amendment if it passes in Congress.”
This statement is embarrassing to the people of the 11th Congressional District, and an example of a Congress which is not only doing nothing, but, apparently is equally unaware of the procedure for a Constitutional Amendment. I find such an inaccurate statement alarming from a member of Congress who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. The President of the United States has no veto-‐power over any amendment to the Constitution let alone a balanced budget amendment. A proposed amendment must pass both houses of Congress with a
2/3 majority and it is immediately referred to the state legislatures where 3/4 of state houses must approve of the amendment to ratify.
Article 5 of the United States Constitution sets forth the exact procedure for a Constitutional Amendment. In 1798, the United States Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v. State of Virginia, 3 U.S. 378 (U.S. 1798), stated that the President does not have a role in the formal amendment process.
This is why the American people are upset. We have to stop using politics and scare tactics and start to get things done. This is also another example of the current Congress catering to the extremists, and an example of Mr. Barletta using the politics of fear to mislead the people of his district in order to be re-‐elected. 74% of the public may support the intent of balanced budgets and reducing the federal deficit, and I am one of them, but 100% of the people are fed-‐up with the partisan politics that have raised the level of dysfunction in Washington to unprecedented heights.
Ironically, even if this version of the Amendment was to pass, it would not help create one small business in the district, it would not create one job for a resident of the district, and it would not reduce one dollar of the federal deficit. For us in the 11th Congressional District, this version of the Balanced Budget Amendment would likely force critical cuts to Medicare, Social Security and crucial Veteran’s programs.
The people of the 11th Congressional District need a congressman who is ready to lead and not to follow; someone who is truly an independent thinker, guided by principle and not party doctrine, but most of all, Northeast and Central Pennsylvania need a representative rooted in the law with a full-‐understanding of the mechanics of government and legislating, because that is how one achieves results for his constituents and not points with extremist pundits.
Dear Gort --
This week, Congress will vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. A Balanced Budget Amendment would put an end to Washington’s out of control spending.
In fact, it’s a measure 74% of Americans agree with, yet Washington Democrats are labeling those of us who support a balanced budget as “extremists!”Extremists?!?
Hardly. 49 of the 50 states have balanced budget requirements.
Decades of reckless spending brought us to the mess we’re currently in. You sent me to Washington to fix it. A Balanced Budget Amendment will do just that.
The solution to this problem isn’t complicated. If you’re spending more money than you’re taking in, you need to spend less of it. Unfortunately, Washington’s career politicians just can’t seem to control themselves so a Constitutional amendment is a necessary step.
President Obama has already made it known that he will veto the Balanced Budget Amendment if it passes in Congress.
Article V of the US Constitution says that an amendment must be passed by two thirds of the House and Senate then ratified by three fourths of the State Legislatures.
The President can not veto a Constitutional Amendment!
In addition to learning what is in the constitution he needs to learn something about history and economics. A law is not needed to balance the budget because there was a surplus as recently as 2000 under our last Democratic President until the Republicans decided tax cuts were more important than balancing the books. If such a requirement existed in the 1940's the United States would not have been able to fight WWII or before that deal with the great depression.
How do you even define a balanced budget? It's a very technical question. Who would decide if the budget is actually in balance if there is a dispute, the Supreme Court? It would take years to get a ruling. Will there be exceptions for war or recessions? Yes, the states have a requirement to have a balanced budget but they issue bonds for projects such as building roads and bridges that can't be paid for out of current taxes. If this actually passes would it eliminate T-Bills and Savings Bonds?
The Constitution is about rights and processes not specific policies. Prohibition was a policy that was added to the constitution that had disastrous results and was later repealed. A budget is a policy document that should be decided in the political arena of Congress and elections.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
First it was Michelle Bachman winning the Iowa straw poll who's understanding of American history confirmed that our school systems are failing. Then Governor Rick Perry's inability to speak in complete sentences in the debates burst his bubble and shamed his English teachers. Nobody wants another Texas Governor that murders the English language. Next was pizza guy Herman Cain who is mired in sexual harassment charges and seems to think that his ignorance of foreign policy is a plus. Right now Newt Gingrich is topping some polls but was paid over $1 million by conservative boogie man Freddie Mac and is haunted by his past events like serving divorce papers to his 1st wife when she was in the hospital recovering from cancer and being forced to resign from being Speaker of the House because of ethics issues. Not to mention the Tiffany's thing.
So that leaves former PA Senator and Virginia resident Rick Santorum who is banking on a good showing in Iowa to keep his campaign alive until he drops out after South Carolina or Florida. He is only polling 3% in Iowa but polls in a caucus state don't always predict the outcome. Iowa Republicans are known for their religious conservatism and his hawkish foreign policy stances play well. Santorum has always been a consistent abortion opponent who wants to turn the clock back on gay rights and thinks starting a war with Iran is a good idea feeding off the end of times Israel can do no wrong fundamentalism.
His camp is actually touting an interview with Glen Beck of all people. Beck was kicked off FOX News for being even to nuts for them. He also said that Penn State shouldn't go to a Bowl game and Sarah Palin disagreed "It's not the players' fault that they have a perverted former assistant coach," she told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. "I would like to see the players not suffer more than they have suffered."
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Election 2011 proved to be an election of change in the 2nd District, with candidates making history and voters sending a message.
In Dallas Township, the heart of the natural gas debate, Democrat Liz Martin was elected Supervisor, beating a Republican incumbent in a Republican town that held that position since Dwight Eisenhower was president, and the first woman to hold the post. A critic of the gas industry, Liz vowed to preserve our environment, protect the integrity of our drinking water, and stop the industrial exploitation of our land at the expense of public safety. In short, the people of Dallas won on election night, and the gas companies lost.
At Harvey's Lake, Democrats took a majority of the seats up for election for borough Council, with Michell'e Boice, Ed Kelly, and Thomas Kehler leading the charge. Natural gas played a significant role in this race, as well; The voters sent a message to the GOP-controlled Council that passed a weak, watered-down ordinance in October -- while having rejected a stronger, more substantive ordinance in March -- by electing Boice, Kelly, and Kehler, signaling that they want their water protected and free from contamination.
Both races were the proverbial ball game in the 2nd District, and the results go to show that solid, progressive candidates with the interests of the middle class and working families at heart will always triumph over regressive, corporate-backed politcs.
Finally, the biggest 2nd District winner of election night was Harvey's Lake's own Jennifer Rogers, receiving the highest number of votes for Judge in Luzerne County.
Congratulations to all Democratic winners and candidates. The 2nd District is quickly turning a beautiful shade of blue. In 2011, it was Dallas and Harvey's Lake, and in 2012, it's going to be Harrisburg and Washington, D.C.!
Spread the news: The sun is comin' up in the Back Mountain, again!
2nd District Democratic Chairman
From the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections
Supervisor DALLAS TWP
Liz Martin (DEM) . . . . . . . . 893
Glenn M. Howell (REP) . . . . . . 849
Council HARVEYS LAKE
Michelle T. Boice (DEM). . . . . .417
Amy Williams (REP) . . . . . . . 382
Ed Kelly (DEM). . . . . . . . . 379
Thomas Kehler (DEM) . . . . . . . 359
Jamie L. Coleman (DEM) . . . . . 332
Richard K. Haas (REP) . . . . . . 328
William Monk (REP) . . . . . . . 293
Richard Svec (REP) . . . . . . . 283
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The race for the new County Council was the most unpredictable yielding a somewhat surprising result with only 6 Democrats winning seats in a county with a big Dem registration edge. There will be 4 Republicans and an Independent rounding out the newfangled 11 member body. Kingston Mayor and study commission chairman Jim Haggerty told me before he wrote the new charter that he wanted to try to minimize the influence of campaign contributions For the most part each candidate ran a solo effort with a few alliances that at times crossed party lines but didn't work out. My good friend David Yonki said that name recognition would be a key in this race because of the crowded field predicting that Urban the Elder and Urban the Younger would top the poll. It was good to see that the CV quoted a real political expert in addition the Captains Obvious college professors. I would add that the Independent Rick Williams TV spots raised his name recognition contributing to his win. I expect (hope) that party loyalty will be put on the back burner and our new Councilors will do what is best for us all. It will be interesting to see what alliances and deals that will be made in the coming months and years.
Now the hard part.
Members get applicant details
The first job of the new council is to hire an unelected county manager but this story tells us that they can't even agree on the ground rules on applications.
In other news the present Commissioners have decided to spend $1 million to tear down the Hotel Sterling after pissing away $6 million trying to save it. The place was wreck even before the recent flooding.
Another boondogle on the horizon is the Market Street Square property that the county bought from Thom Greco for $5.8 million in 2006. They voted to sink another $2 million into the place to clean it up that will let the county put a senior center and the tourism bureau office in the station. $7 million plus for a senior center and tourist office for this place ? Another property that should be bulldozed and start from scratch. I worked at the Station years ago and it was an eyesore and hazard even then. There was some entertainment value when Greco and the owners of the Woodlands owners the Cornfelds got into a pissing contest that resulted in some expensive cars getting towed all over town.
Greco and Greg Skrepenack should enjoy the show on TV.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Rep. Barletta votes to increase veterans' benefits
“Our veterans deserve the very best care and compensation we can provide, and this legislation will make sure that our veterans with service-connected disabilities receive a much-needed and well-deserved cost-of-living adjustment this year,” Rep Barletta said.
Can't argue with that but it will increase the deficit.
Rep. Barletta calls for disaster relief funding for farmers
“Our nation's farmers have experienced a rise in natural disasters this year, including tornadoes, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tropical storms earthquakes, and most recently, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. While farmers are normally able to recover from crop losses, the intensity and volume of this year's natural disasters has threatened their very livelihoods."
Can't argue with that but it will increase the deficit.
Rep. Barletta supports increased funding for LIHEAP
“Thousands of people in Northeastern Pennsylvania rely on LIHEAP to stay warm during the winter months. With the lagging economy and the high cost of energy, I’m very concerned that the most needy in our communities have access to the valuable benefits LIHEAP provides,” Rep. Barletta said. “We’re barely into November, and we’ve already had unseasonably cold temperatures and a heavy snowfall. I worry about how the most vulnerable members of my district will be able to stay warm in what seems like will be a long, cold season. Keeping or increasing LIHEAP funding might save lives, and it’s the right thing to do.”
Barletta is proposing to spend more money on this program than than the Obama Administration budgeted. Can't argue with that but it will increase the deficit.
Barletta bill will lower federal disaster relief loan rates to 1 percent for homeowners and business owners
"When disaster strikes anywhere in the world, the United States is the first country to help rebuild. But now that a disaster occurred here in our own backyard, we must start rebuilding here. Let’s help Americans first. We must restore American lives, save American businesses, and protect American jobs.”
Shades of Dan Flood when he got 1% SBA loans after the Agnes flood. Good for him.
Rep. Barletta announces federal buyouts for Plymouth Township
“These buyouts are good news for Plymouth Township residents who have been seeking this news for a very long time. I’m pleased and proud to tell these families that they will no longer have to suffer through repeated flooding and the process of rebuilding their lives,” Rep. Barletta said. “I hope these families will be able to live without worrying about flooding ever again, and I wish them well.”
This program has been around for some time but Congress has not fully funded it and it will increase the deficit.
Is Barletta trying to emulate long time 10th CD Congressman Joe McDade by voting for every tax cut but vote for every spending program that brings home the pork?
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Many people have called for Joe Paterno to step down over the last few years but nobody thought it would end like this. If anything the people I know predicted that the only way you would get him off the football field would be on a stretcher. I'm not going to join the lynch mob calling for his head as I'm not sure exactly what Mike McQueary told him. The Board of Trustees caved into the media frenzy without doing a proper investigation.
Bloggers have drawn parallels to the Catholic Church scandal.
Bless Them Father For They Have Sinned.
The Least Of Our Brethren
I can't put my finger on it but I remember hearing stories about Jerry Sandusky's bad behavior a few years ago.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Stephen A. Urban (DEM) . . . . . . 22,741
Jim Bobeck (DEM) . . . . . . . . 22,635
Stephen J. Urban (REP) . . . . . . 21,640
Tim McGinley (DEM) . . . . . . . 20,904
Edward A. Brominski (DEM) . . . . . 20,720
Harry Haas (REP) . . . . . . . . 20,502
Rick Williams (IND) . . . . . . . 19,765
Elaine Maddon Curry (DEM) . . . . . 18,913
Linda McClosky Houck (DEM). . . . . 18,618
Eugene L. Kelleher (REP) . . . . . 18,240
6 Dems, 4 Reps and an independent
Fred A. Pierantoni (REP/DEM) . . . . 39,881
Joe Sklarosky Jr. (REP/DEM) . . . . 39,535
Michael T. Vough (REP/DEM). . . . . 35,739
Dick Hughes (REP). . . . . . . . ......... 34,995
Lesa Gelb (REP/DEM) . . . . . . . ...... 34,755
Molly Hanlon Mirabito (DEM) . . . . 34,014
This is a bit of a surprise.
Lisa Cope (REP) . . . . . . . . 2,365 33.89 %
Betsy Summers (LIB) . . . . . . . 737 10.56 %
Them Dem's made a clean sweep wining all the council seats and the Controller's office.
In the unscientific poll of Gort 42 readers you are predicting 2 close races.
The Luzerne County District Attorney contest Stefie Salve is leading Jackie Mo by a hair
Carroll 51 47%
Salavantis 57 52%
Tom Leighton 40 45%
Lisa Cope 38 43%
Betsy Summers 9 10%
A sample of the paraphanalia
Monday, November 07, 2011
It just may work.
Peter Paul (PPO-2) lost a rentention vote because of this and the Luzerne County Government looks different after the kids for cash scandal.
I have never seen a slash and burn campaign like this locally.
Another hard hitting commercial:
In addition to the host municipality fee Plains Township gets for putting up with the casino there is another pot of money for the health, safety and economic development projects in those counties where the casinos are located. In the last 3 years the Plains Twp Board of Commissioners have kicked backed a million dollars a year to the Casino to pave the parking lot that is located on top of the old East Side Landfill neglecting other needs such as purchasing a new ladder truck for the fire department. Kevin Blaum documented that a few years ago. Such nonsense, we are supposed to make money off the place not subsidise it.
Sure enough, there was an application on DCED’s list for $5 million, half the amount available, to remove garbage from Mohegan Sun land to enlarge its parking lot. Obviously Mohegan is capable of paying for its own paving and garbage removal. Yet this project survived DCED’s initial cut (an official act) while many projects in other communities did not.
It’s important to note that a casino may not apply for this money. If it did, it would be laughed out of town. ...To end-run this prohibition, the application was submitted by none other than Plains Township (an official act). This application, if approved, would return $5 million to Mohegan Sun at the expense of other municipalities that need these funds.
Why would anyone do such a thing? Follow the money.
Another old story that bugs me but nothing ever came of it.
From SOP: More Corruption Allegations In Luzerne County: Plains Township
According to Andy Mehalshick, lead I-Team investigator, Pennsylvania State Police are looking into allegations of use or misuse of taxpayer-funded equipment and township employees with particular focus on the Department of Public Works. The township is now conducting an internal investigation. Steven Menn of Plains Township says, “As I understand it the board is going to do an internal investigation to find out what is going on. That information has to be looked into, and who’s making that complaint and what actual allegations are, I don't believe we have all the information of those involved or who is making the complaint."One Township Commissioner, Ron Fillipini, stated he supported an independent investigation by an agency such as the State Police.
I've never seen the report of the so called independent investigation. I asked the DPW people that I know about this but they wouldn't confirm or deny anything. One said I just can't talk about it.
2 of the Democrats were also able to snag Republican write-in nominations, long time Commish Brigid Murray O'Conner and Ciro Cinti. Ron Filippini is other incumbent. It s nice club if you can be invited to join. There is one outsider running and I hope he shakes it up.
James O'Meara Sr
He answers the most important question:
I will oppose gas drilling in Plains Township. That’s as plain as I can say it.
My name is James O’Meara Sr. and I’ve been a resident of Plains Township since 1984 when I married my wife, Ann M arie, from the Keystone section of Plains. Both of my children were born and raised here, and both still reside here (my daughter at home, and my son and his family just across the yard).
I attended Penn State as an undergraduate from 1975 through 1978. I left to work full-time. I also attended College Misericordia during the early years of my marriage, and left to work full-time to support a growing family. In short, I have a pile of college credits but never got the sheepskin. I don’t regret that one bit. That decision led me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Over the years, I have advanced in my career through hard work and my own initiative. I haven't been afraid to take chances. I follow some advice my father gave me: Always bite off a little more than you think you can chew. I’ve worked at US Foods in Pittston since 1995, and my father’s advice has served me well during my time there. I’ve had to tackle complex problems and respond to challenges that were difficult at times, but always exciting. I worked my way up from a computer tech to the manager of a department that at one time was responsible for the data operations of three warehouses in three states.
If there is one lesson I learned above all, something driven home by my first political campaign last year when I ran for State Representative, it is that the People matter above all else. I’ve learned you don’t run against other candidates. You run for the People.
I don’t bring a wealth of political experience to the plate. I bring a dogged perseverance to find solutions, a passion to serve, and a love of hard work. I believe I can make a difference in Plains Township . I will ask hard questions. I will look for creative solutions to problems. I will work for you with the same passion I bring to everything I’ve attempted in life. I will be available and accessible.
If you would like to hear a new voice as Commissioner, I ask that you bullet vote for me on November 8.
Thank you, and together let’s make a difference!
James O’Meara, Sr.
James O'Meara, Sr.Republican Candidate for Commissioner
Sunday, November 06, 2011
The call came from a number in Utah 801-410-7248. I did a google search to try to find the owner of the number but I couldn't nail it down. Reading the reverse lookup sites it appears to be from a telemarketing firm that ignores the do not call registry trying sell some product or other.
We hope that you can join us tonight at our Blogger Meet-up.
The Who/What: NEPABlogs.org will be hosting an informal Blogger Meet-up. Come out and meet the NEPA Blogs (dysfunctional) family. ALL ARE WELCOME. There is no admission or cover charge.
The When: Sun Nov. 6, 2011 starting at 5pm. Stay until the cows come home….or last call. Whichever comes first.
The Where: The Metro Bar & Grill in Dallas, 1174 Memorial Hwy (Twin Stacks), Dallas PA, For directions to the Metro Bar and Grill, please visit: http://www.themetrobarandgrill.com/
Saturday, November 05, 2011
Take the race for Commonwealth Court. Republican Anne Covey has an ad on the air attacking Kathryn Boockvar for doing something perfectly legal but Covey can't comply with simple campaign reporting rules.
From The Pennsylvania Progessive
Covey Continues to Violate Election Law
Commonwealth Court candidate Anne E. Covey, in her cycle 5 campaign finance report, continues to violate Pennsylvania election law. How could we elect someone to the bench who has contempt for the law? Not only does she refuse to even sign her reports but they continue to be notarized falsely. Perhaps she doesn't sign them and her treasurer doesn't get them properly notarized because of the inaccuracies within them.
Because Covey neglected to properly account for her finances her cycle 5 report continues to show an inaccurate picture of her campaign's finances. Voters have a right to know the state of every candidate's campaign finances and Covey has neglected to do so.
Tom Corbett gave her $5,000, Dominic Pileggi $2500, Jeff Piccola $1000, and tons of energy industry people and PAC's. Covey has accepted substantial funds ($9,000) from Marcellus shale gas drillers making one question her ability to impartially decide cases brought before Commonwealth Court regarding those issues. She also accepted $3000 from Vahan Gureghian who was written up quite unfavorably recently for his penchant to sue anyone who runs against his favored candidates. John Templeton, contributor to many extreme right wing causes, gave her $30,000.
Why isn't she capable of following simple instructions on her reports, such as address or signatures? Is she really this stupid?
I saw her attack ad against her opponent, a civil rights attorney. She accuses Ms. Bookvar of aiding convicted felons. I thought that once someone pays their debt to society they are free to assume their civil rights once again? Does Anne Covey not believe the Bill of Rights applies to every free citizen of the United States? If Covey doesn't understand the concept of civil rights can she properly perform the duties of a Judge which require her to take an oath to uphold those rights as enumerated in our constitution? This ad raises serious questions about her fitness for office.
CW court ad in SW PA slams Dem
"She has chosen to take the low road and violate the judicial ethics pledge," Boockvar told reporters. "She tried these same tactics with the law enforcement community, and I'm truly proud to say they endorsed me."
She noted that the 2009 House measure would have spent no additional tax dollars to provide the forms. Here's a fiscal note confirming that the bill wouldn't have a cost -- noting that the Department of Corrections at that time already provided voter-registration forms to released inmates as an agency policy.
Bookvar has a positive ad up. I won't post the nonsense from Covey.
Judges on Merit continues to make the case against electing appellate court judges and it's a good one. For the most part we don't know who these people are and trying to decide who to vote for based on TV ads paid for by lawyers is not a good decision process. I would take it further and require County Judge candidates to undergo a vetting process. I continue to ask could Michael Conahan have survived a background check?
Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act in August 2010, changing the 100-to-1 disparity between minimum sentences for crack and powder cocaine to 18 to 1. The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted this summer to make the reduced crack penalties retroactive, which means more than 12,000 current inmates are eligible to request reduced sentences.
The war on drugs waged over the last 40 years has clearly been a failure. The US locks up millions of people every year for drug offenses but the poison is plentiful as ever. It's about time to look at drugs as a public health problem not a law enforcement issue. Portugal changed their laws and has seen positive results.
5 Years After: Portugal's Drug Decriminalization Policy Shows Positive Results
Street drug related deaths from overdoses drop and the rate of HIV cases crashes
A street kid gets arrested gonna do some time
He got out three years from now just to commit more crime
A businessman is caught with 24 kilos
He's out on bail and out of jail and that's the way it goes
Friday, November 04, 2011
CV: 18-month sentence for Powell, kids-for-cash financier and star witness
A YEAR & A HALF from the Yonk
The point I have been making since this broke is the Judges were corrupt but somebody was paying them off. As far as I'm concerned Powell and Robert Mericle are just as guilty as the Juvie Bothers Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella and they deserve the same punishment. Michael Toole also went down because of his association with Powell.
Some kid that sold a bag of pot to a friend that turned out to be "confidential informant" gets more time.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Most of the attention in the city of my birth this election has been focused on the Mayor's race pitting incumbent Democrat Tom Leighton against Republican Lisa Cope and Libertarian Betsy Summers. Most incumbents like it when there are more than 2 names on the ballot in the General Election in a local election. The TL political reporter quotes 2 Captains Obvious confirming that
Political science professors see two challengers dividing city’s opposition vote
Tom Baldino of Wilkes University and David Sosar of King’s College say Leighton already has several advantages in the race, but with two candidates vying for the votes of discontented residents, the two-term Democrat becomes an even safer bet.
The Citizens Voice ran profiles of the candidates for the 5 Wilkes-Barre city council seats. W-B will see at least 3 new council members next year.
Incumbent councilmen targeted in Wilkes-Barre
Nov. 8 election to change face of Wilkes-Barre council
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
I know the Wilkes-Barre Mayor's race has been polled (guess what camp did that) and Pittston Politics reports that Jackie Mo had a survey that showed her up big before Salaventis went on the air. In the last Congressional races the local papers paid for polls but they are not about to waste money on a municipal election. Besides, it looks like the Times-Leader can't afford it anyway.
Polling the Judicial races is pointless and trying to survey the races for seats on the new Luzerne County Council is impossible with so many candidates and without a model to build on.
Local bloggers decide to take up the slack .
The LuLac Political Letter
Here are the poll results we took for the General Election in 2011. As we indicated yesterday, the poll was among LuLac readers, it had 178 respondents, to our knowledge they only voted once and is presented as an unscientific sampling of the pulse of LuLac readers who follow politics as well as this blog site.
It's a tradition on Gort42 to put up some polls on the sidebar the week before the election. I'm not going to list multiple candidate races such as County Council and the Judicial contests. Altogether there are 35 candidates.
So we have 2 questions.
Who will win the races for Luzerne County DA and Mayor of Wilkes-Barre?
Vote on the side bar.
Looking to 2012 I have heard reports that the NRCC has polled the 11th CD recently finding that former 10th CD Congressman Chris Carney would top Congressman Lou Barletta by 5 points. I'm trying to get more info on that.
Speaking of local bloggers
Blog of the week
Harold Jenkins from NEPA Blogs talks to us today about "Gort42", the ultimate guide to local politics and local political blogs.
NEPA Blogs Flapdoodle