Sunday, July 31, 2005


The more I hear about the new slots at Pocono Downs the less I like it. From today's Times-Leader:

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority has plans to transform an oversized parking lot at Pocono Downs into a gleaming new casino with thousands of slot machines.
And while they have said they'd like the "Racino" to be a regional draw pulling from as far north as Binghamton, N.Y., and as far south as Allentown, they're focusing on the facility as a primarily local casino.

That translates into millions of dollars being siphoned from the local economy each year, according to William Thompson, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas professor who prepared a report on potential state revenue from slots for Gov. Ed Rendell in 2003.

I have talked to many people who go to Atlantic City on a regular basis to play the machines. Only one has told me they plan to go to Pocono Downs when the slots are installed. Most people enjoy the trip to New Jersey. If you take the bus the casino gives you your money back. Plus there allot of other things to do such as the boardwalk and big name entertainment.

Even considering the property tax relief funded by statewide casino revenues and the casino-sponsored subsidies to the counties and municipalities that host the facilities, the endeavor could still be a loss to the Wyoming Valley's economy, Thompson said.
"It's a loser for you economically," he said.

Thompson, who expects gamblers to be 95 percent local at the Plains Township casino, contends there is no way the casino can be a winner for the local population.

If the facility doesn't attract people from out of the area the expected development along Rte. 315 and Fox Hill road will not amount to much more than another gas station and a fast food joint. There is rumor a hotel is going to be built at the intersection next to the bank but I haven't seen anything in the papers or talked to anyone with first hand knowledge of the project.

And there may be a daily drain on the economy as well.

Mohegan officials have said they expect thousands of gamblers to lose as much as $300,000 at the slots every day.

And most of that money will be coming out of local gambler's pockets.

So local property and some school taxes will be voluntary if enough people go there. BIG IF. Right from the start I doubted slot machines would generate as much money as hoped for. I hope I'm wrong and the Racino generates significant out of town traffic and the expected revenue. But the more I read and hear about it discourages me. On the plus side if all the seniors are playing slots I won't have to stand in line behind some geezer buying $100 worth of Daily Numbers when I want a lottery ticket.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Serious challenge to Kanjo?

From the TL:

As Democrats scout U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood's district to determine whether they have a legitimate shot at toppling the Tunkhannock Republican, the GOP says it may target Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski next year.

I hope they find a serious challenger to take him on. It is not healthy for the country to have all these "safe seats." The founding fathers intention was for the House of Representativess reflect the will of people every 2 years.

Of course there is an element of payback here.

The interest comes at the same time Democrats have been talking about trying to defeat Sherwood, a married family-values congressman who has become embroiled in an extra-marital affair and lawsuit involving a 29-year-old woman.
Kanjorski has not had a Republican opponent since 2002, when Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta ran unsuccessfully for the seat, losing 56 percent to 42 percent. Despite the loss, political insiders said Barletta made a valiant effort and came closer to knocking off Kanjorski than anyone else.

Mayor Lou is an attractive candidate that has good name recognition in the district. He seems to have done a good job running Hazleton. I'm sure he has some local detractors but who doesn't? But it will all come down to money.

The 2002 showdown between Barletta and Kanjorski became the most expensive congressional race in the district's history. Kanjorski spent $1.1 million to hold onto his seat, while Barletta spent about $500,000, and special interest groups poured in an additional $900,000 running issue ads.

If Barletta doesn't want to run I hope they find another strong candidate to give it a shot. The same in the 10th District. I hope Skrep or Chris Carney takes on Sherwood. I know it is very difficult to beat a long time incumbent but it's worth a try. You never know when something that will affect the race will come out of the blue. Just ask Don Sherwood.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Joke roundup

I decided to devote one day a week to political jokes. If you have any, leave them in the comments or email me and I will post it. They can be original or borrowed.

Heaven's New Policy!

It was getting a little crowded in Heaven, so God decided to change the admittance policy. The new law was that in order to get into Heaven, you had to have a really bummer day on the day that you died. The policy would go into effect at noon the next day. So, the next day at 12:01 the first person came to the gates of Heaven. The Angel at the gate, remembering the new policy, promptly asked the man, "Before I let you in, I need you to tell me how your day was going when you died." "No problem," the man said. I came home to my 25th-floor apartment on my lunch hour and caught my wife having an affair. But her lover was nowhere in sight. I immediately began searching for him. My wife was half naked and yelling at me as I searched the entire apartment. Just as I was about to give up, I happened to glance out onto the balcony and noticed that there was a man hanging off the edge by his fingertips! The nerve of that guy! Well, I ran out onto the balcony and stomped on his fingers until he fell to the ground. But wouldn't you know it, he landed in some trees and bushes that broke his fall and he didn't die. This ticked me off even more. In a rage, I went back inside to get the first thing I could get my hands on to throw at him. Oddly enough, the first thing I thought of was the refrigerator. I unplugged it, pushed it out onto the balcony, and tipped it over the side. It plummeted 25 stories and crushed him! The excitement of the moment was so great that I had a heart attack and died almost instantly." The Angel sat back and thought a moment. Technically, the guy did have a bad day. It was a crime of passion. So, the Angel announced, "OK sir. Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven," and let him in.

A few seconds later the next guy came up. To the Angel's surprise, it was Donald Trump. "Mr. .. Trump, before I can let you in, I need to hear about what your day was like when you died." Trump said, "No problem. But you're not going to believe this. I was on the balcony of my 26th floor apartment doing my daily exercises. I had been under a lot of pressure so I was really pushing hard to relieve my stress. I guess I got a little carried away, slipped, and accidentally fell over the side! Luckily, I as able to catch myself by the fingertips on the balcony below mine. But all of a sudden this crazy man comes running out of his apartment, starts cussing, and stomps on my fingers. Well, of course I fell. I hit some trees and bushes at the bottom, which broke my fall, so I didn't die right away. As I'm laying there face up on the ground, unable to move and in excruciating pain, I see this guy push his refrigerator of all things off the balcony. It falls the 25 floors and lands on top of me, killing me instantly." The Angel is quietly laughing to himself as Trump finishes his story. "I could get used to this new policy," he thinks to himself. "Very well," the Angel announces. "Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven," and he lets Trump enter.

A few seconds later, Bill Clinton comes up to the gate. The Angel is almost too shocked to speak. Thoughts of assassination and war pour through the Angel's head. Finally he says "Mr. ... President, please tell me what it was like the day you died." Clinton says, "OK, picture this. I'm naked inside a refrigerator.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The ghost of Gorby

Once in a while my old dog Gorby speaks to me in a dream. He was my best friend for 12 years and I miss his insight on current events.

Well Gort I'm up here in dog heaven having a good time with my harem of Chelsea, Sandy and Sable. I kept an eye on the neighborhood while you were away and noticed a few things. Why did they change the shape of the dental floss containers? I know this has to bug you since we were both raised on a floss farm. I miss the days when we would raise the floss, wax it down and put it in a little white box that was sold uptown. That drunken monkey is running around the neighborhood again. Make sure you lock up the rum so we don't have repeat of what happened last time. Please keep him away from a typewriter. The last time a bunch of drunken monkeys got a hold of one they wrote a script for a Ben Afleck movie. The world suffered for that. How about that guy that wants dogs to wear seatbelts? Some village is missing a perfectly good idiot. All the pets are up in paws about this. Our neighbor Fritz made a good point. He is a retired Seeing Eye dog living on a small pension from the Lions Club. He didn't know where he would get the money to pay for it. He can't cut expenses anymore since he is already eating dog food. Tell Mrs. Gort that Lucky is his troublemaking self and let Social Butterfly know that Tyler ate my remote. I have to go now. I'm off to Spike's Chomp and Drool Tiki Bar. Sable is bartending tonight. She is truly a real bitch but she makes a great Alpo Daiquiri. And Chelsea looks hot in her new collar. She is such a fashion plate. I don't know where she gets the Milkbones to pay for it all. And some of the things she does when wearing her new rain coat is perverted.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Committee meeting

Blogging will be suspended while I'm on vacation for the next 10 days. Pope George Ringo has offered all who can attend an invitation to the meeting of the Saturday Overtime Committee and Operatic Society. We gather on Saturday around 4:30PM at Dougherty's Pub, 1287 N Washington St, Wilkes-Barre. It has just changed ownership and will be known as Mark's Place. All are welcome to attend and a have refreshment or six. Drop by and help solve all the world's problems.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My Dog opposes this legislation.

It is bad enough that Rover has to have shots, a license and be on a leash in public.

Now this:

Proposal could put seat belts on dogs

The bill, submitted to the Transportation Committee in June, would make it illegal for drivers to let their pets stick their heads or other body parts out the window. It also would require pets to be restrained by methods that could include a pet seat-belt system, or a crate or carrier box.

Are these guys drinking water right out the Susquehanna? Do they live to close to 3 Mile Island and feel the effects of the radiation?

I conducted a poll of the local dog population to get their reaction. Spot said it would cause him a financial hardship and he may have to choose between a seat belt and Alpo. Rusty was very upset. He said "How many snausages is this going to cost me? Tell me where he lives and I will leave a present in his yard." My own dog was very cynical and pointed out that they worry about stuff like this but do nothing to establish a National Vet Care Program. He also wants some politician to guarantee a Milkbone in every supper dish. The ankle biter across the street had a typical comment, yap yap yap yap, etc. I also consulted the cat. He told me to buzz off because he was taking a nap.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Babe-Elvis Day

Why don't we have more summer holidays? Memorial Day starts the summer and Labor Day ends it. The only mid summer holiday is Independence Day. We have 6 holidays between November and February. Why couldn't Washington, Lincoln and MLK Jr been born in the summer? And they certainly could have called off World War I a few months earlier. We need a holiday in August. I propose August 16. That is the day both Babe Ruth and Elvis Presley died.
They are two of the biggest American cultural icons and it would be fitting to honor them.