Friday, August 31, 2007

How 'bout dem Mets

For the second time this season the Phillies swept the Mets and are only 2 games out of first place. Today's hero was Chase Utley getting a game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th, on Tuesday it was Ryan Howard smacking a walk off homer in the 10th. I think the key was that Pat Burrell keeps killing the Mets pitching with 3 home runs in 2 games. On the down side the twins (Alfonseca and Mesa) did their best to give away the game.
What a season the Phightins are having as just about everybody has been on the disabled list at one time or another and they must have used at least 30 pitchers. Give credit to Manager Charlie Manuel for keeping the whole thing together with duct tape, Ben-Gay and just keeping his guys loose no matter what happens. Chris thinks he should be Manager of the Year and I agree.
In the other league the bad guys also used some brooms.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

PA 10th CD update

Chris Carney has now attracted at least 5 Republican challengers.

Don Ely, a retired school teacher and minister from Northumberland County is the only one who has officially announced his candidacy for the nomination. Davis Haines of Tunkhannock is someone I've never heard of but he knows State Rep. Tina Pickett and showed up at her picnic. As predicted self described Homeland Security expert and statewide loser Joe Peters has been on the hustings. Greg Skrepenak's (D-Luzerne) buddy Christopher Hackett of One Source Staffing Solutions got some nice press in the Williamsport paper. He emphasized his opposition to illegal immigration, which is standard fare for a Republican, but that is dangerous territory for someone who runs a temp agency.

And the eventual nominee Dan Meuser had a nice interview with Townhall. He bobbed and weaved about Iraq and other foreign policy issues and takes a couple of swipes at Bush. He's against increasing taxes, promotes free trade but doesn't want to screw with Social Security.

I think Meuser will be the nominee because he has the most money, even if he gives some of it to Hillary and other Democrats. The GOP is going to be playing defense in 2008 and having a candidate like Don Sherwood that is willing to buy a seat in Congress will be a great help.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

George Bush's tribute to Frank Zappa!

I'm back

Sort of. Keith O's show is starting before football. The Phillies won big today. Cordaro has another challenge to his reelection bid and people are telling me that John Yudichak is running for Congress.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Road trip

See you in a few days.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Take me out to the ballgame

We went to the Red Barons game tonight but it wasn't the Baron's. I don't know many of the Yankee AAA players but if any of them show any promise they will be traded. We started upstairs...

Then moved downstairs.

Big Ten Network and Comcast

Will cable dispute sideline Lion fans?

It still comes down to the sports tier vs. $1.10 a month for everyone. Comcast wants to put BTN into a sports package that people who are interested pay an extra $5 a month and BTN wants to be on basic cable at $1.10 per suscriber. The Chicago Tribune has a good rundown of the dispute. Comcast says that the BTN has a limited appeal and should be put off on a specialty band and BTN calls bullshit on this argument pointing out that they already carry limited appeal channels such as Versus and a bunch of religion and shopping networks. Since Comcast took over from Adelphia they have cut four channels from my local lineup; the WE network(38), ESPN Classic(67), UPN-57 (11) and Newswatch16 (63) and the price went up. Comcast also has entered The Customer Service Hall of Shame.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Happy Babe-Elvis Day

As we pass through another summer without enough holidays I want to remind everyone of my proposal to make August 16th a day of celebration. This is the day both Babe Ruth and Elvis Presley died. Much is being made of the 30th anniversary of the demise of the King but the Babe seems to be forgotten in the hoopla.

We need a day that celebrates our penchant for excess and what cultural icons embody it better? The Babe had a robust lifestyle that is well documented and the King himself expired on the throne. For some reason my letters to members of Congress proposing this holiday have never been answered but maybe I'm aiming too high and we should start with a local event. Babe Ruth once visited Artillery Park and a commemorative plaque is planned. It should be unveiled next August 16th with a festival in Kirby Park where people would play baseball while being serenaded by Elvis impersonators. I'm sure it would catch on nationally.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chris Carney update

Pennsyltucky Politics points out a really bad idea from Matt Stoller at Open Left. Matt wants to take a page out of the Club for Growth playbook and run ads against Democrats like Chris Carney who voted for FISA or other things that are disagreeable. I'm as disappointed as some of my friends with some of Carney's votes, particularly his unwillingness to vote to end the Iraq occupation. But spending money on attack ads that are only going to help his Republican opponent is not a good use of limited resources. The Netroots has proven to be an effective way of raising money for Democratic candidates and Carney's contributions from ActBlue seems to have dried up. That's his loss. I agree with this comment on the post :

Why single out someone like Carney (PA-10, which you list incorrectly as PA-04 in the main article) whose District is R+8 and is seeking re-election as a freshman?

Here are two options that make more pragmatic sense:

Idea A

Why not focus that same money, time, and energy lobbying members in more Democratic districts where you will (1) likely have more success and (2) not help elect a Republican over an economically progressive Democratic freshman like Carney?....

Note: Carney's District, PA-10, went to Bush 60-40 in 2004. What kind of Republican would replace Democrats who are holding seats like that?

Idea B

Why not focus that same money, time, and energy on electing progressive Dems in current republican-held districts like PA-06 (Gerlach)?

I think Down With Tyranny's strategy is better:

There are various courses of action to take in different districts. Obviously, never vote for a Republican for anything, anywhere. They all stink because their underlying partisan philosophy of Greed, Bigotry, Hatred and Selfishness is just plain toxic. Reactionary and corrupt Democrats who voted like Republicans should never be supported and when primary time comes around they should be opposed.

I doubt if anyone will take on Carney in the primary but if some Democrat ran against him over his Iraq votes it would be interesting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Will he or won't he

After withdrawing from the ballot because of a legal challenge to his financial disclosure Lackawanna County Commissioner Robert C. Cordaro was nominated by the county Republican executive committee to replace himself on the ballot. If he does accept you can expect another court challenge. He hasn't said yes or no yet but his reelection ads are still running on TV.

And yet another story speculates about Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta's future. Will he run for Congress against Paul Kanjorski or seek another office? He says he will decide by January whether to run for Congress in 2008 which suggests to me that he will pass on a 11th CD run. To take on a long time incumbent like Kanjo he would have to start raising money now.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday pet blogging

Stinky Dog

Last week's adventure involved Humphrey trying to make friends with a skunk. The skunk was having none of it and expressed his displeasure in the usual way. This happened at 1AM on Friday which required the dog to spend the rest of the night outside much to his chagrin. Forget tomato juice this mixture of peroxide, baking soda and dish soap works much better. But nothing eliminates the smell totally it just takes time to wear off. When I gave him the bath he didn't act like I was going to kill him like he usually does. A week later after a second bath and new collar he doesn't stink anymore.

Ptolemy thought the whole thing was pretty funny.

Other pet blogs this week got exotic. Northern Girl gives us a view of life on the farm with cats, dogs, goats and horses with the added bonus of the wheat harvest. Patricia has been feeding stray cats and box turtles.

Kanjo News

Our own PA 11th district Congressman Paul Kanjorski has been in the news this week for some colorful remarks.

After getting feedback from a few town meetings he felt that people have lost trust in the government and he said “I’m in fear for the survival of the republic,” he said. “People want to get their deer rifles out and go to the barricades.” Then he offered a technical government speak solution to ward off the revolution. Sorry Paul, hyperbole is not your strong point.

But he didn't stop there and and offered some criticism of the appropriations process when responding to an emergency. There is a rule that Congress won't OK more than $100 million in immediate disaster relief to a state for any one incident. They can always approve more money later if it's warranted. The collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis is the type event that the $100 million rule applies. The rule was ignored in this case when Minnesota asked for more ($250 million) and Kanjorski objected even though he voted for it, go figure. Nobody has ever accused him of being a fiscal conservative and his reaction would be funny if someone bitched about a piece of his pork.

"They discovered they were going to get all the money from the federal government and they were taking all they could get,” he said. In essence they took the opportunity “to screw us,” he said of the funding grab.

This quote got all kinds of attention. Think Progress picked up on it then spread it all over the place.

Kanjorski comments on bridge collapse spark fierce backlash

This is an interesting story because it cherry picks the comments from Think Progress but doesn't but doesn't cite the source. I'm sure the reporter sourced his story but it was edited out. What is it with the local rags unwillingness to give credit to the blogosphere? And as far as the rumors that he may hang it up his mouthpiece, Ed Mitchell, said he has no plans to retire. Kanjo himself hasn't been able to be reached because he is off on his annual trek to New Mexico. I hope he is as lucky as was on his last trip when he won 20 grand playing blackjack.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Joe Lieberman for Vice President

Scary thought but possible.
A few days ago PSoTD asked his blogroll this question: Will Joe Lieberman support the Republican candidate for President in 2008, reasons why or why not, and what's the political value to him?
First of all I appreciate the question as it sure beats the silly tell us 5 stupid things about yourself memes and he points out that if he does the Democratic Party will get bathed in a propaganda push about how the moderate Democrats are splitting from the "liberal left", bleh bleh bleh. So let's get ahead of the curve.
It's impossible to get inside his head but I think that Lieberman is angling for the VP spot on the Republican ticket. he would accept the offer as history has shown that being VP is one of the best paths to the Presidency. James Carville once said that running for President is like sex, you don't only do it once.
He is raising money for Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and declined to investigate the Hurricane Katrina foul-ups as Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. He supports the endless Iraq occupation saying we have have to give it more time and has suggested that Democrats aren't serious about national security.
No matter who wins the GOP nomination, adding Lieberman as VP would be let the Republicans go to the country with a "bi-partisan ticket." Forget all the traditional balancing of geography, ideology, etc.
Back to the original question. If he is not the VP pick he's smart enough to read the tea leaves and knows the the Dem's are going to have a big year in 2008. I doubt if he would go to the GOP convention or endorse the Republican nominee.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Home rule in Luzerne County

Jennifer Learn-Andes has a story in TL today that asks the members of the last study commission if they think that another one is needed. They all said yes but don't expect me to that again. The plan that was voted down in 2003 was actually pretty good. It would have restructured the county government into a sort of Mayor/Council arrangement. The DA and Controller would still be elected as well as the Judges. But the row offices would become appointed positions which makes sense to me as elections for Prothonotary or Register of Wills are a waste of time. They are not policy positions and it's hard to judge who would be better at filing forms. And in this day of high tech medicine the Coroner should be hired based on his/her qualifications. There is no Democratic or Republican way to do an autopsy.

Both parties opposed the plan with Democrats saying things are fine the way they are because they win most of the elections but the Republicans reason was downright funny. They were afraid they would lose the only office they are guaranteed to win, minority commissioner.

What if FDR had been like GWB?

He would have gave Rockefeller a tax cut and invaded Switzerland.

According to this at Yankee Fog.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dan Meuser update

It looks like Meuser is making the rounds of the conservative interest groups and kissed Grover Norquist's ring by signing his Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Norquist is best known for this quote, "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years," he says, "to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." He's also a good friend of Jack Abramoff, even helping him with his work for some Indian tribes' that landed him in jail.

Meuser's company, Pride Mobility Products Corp., has run into another legal problem.

EXETER A woman formerly employed at Pride Mobility Products Corp. has filed a wage discrimination lawsuit against the company, alleging she was paid less than male counterparts who performed the same job.

She also is alleging sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it. Earlier Pride settled a lawsuit over the death of an elderly man using their wheelchair, in which plaintiffs alleged that a defective battery caused a fire.

The timing of this lawsuit is interesting and Pride said they'll fight it court. Want to bet they settle out of court with a confidentiality clause included in the agreement.

And we all know about some of his campaign contributions that prompted this "Thank You" from the Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman.

Dear Mr. Meuser,

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, I wanted to thank you for your kind, past contributions to strong Democrats such as Congressman Paul Kanjorski, Senator Hillary Clinton, Congressman Charlie Rangel and many others. Your contributions have helped Democrats to take back the House and Senate in 2006 and potentially take the White House in 2008.

Thanks to your contributions, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has been able to increase the minimum wage, ensure that our men and women in uniform have the resources they need in Iraq and continue to put pressure on President Bush to change his failed policies in Iraq.

We thank you for your past support and hope that you continue assisting us.

T.J. Rooney

EDITOR'S NOTE: in the 2004 and 2006 elections, Dan Meuser and Pride Mobility made the following contributions to Democratic Candidates in the House and Senate. (Click here for contribution record)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Saturday pet blogging

Ptolemy's chair

It used to be my chair until I rocked it back and forth one too many times yelling at the TV during a Penn State game and broke a weld. I resisted replacing it just like I won't get rid of a favorite shirt with a bunch of holes in it. But Mrs G's Mom bought me a new recliner for Christmas because they both wanted it out of the house. So we installed the new piece of furniture and put my old friend off to the side until the junk hauler would come and get it. Then the cat decided he liked it and lays on it all the time. Now I'm told we can't get rid of it because it's Ptolemy's favorite which is OK by me because it occupies the space we usually put the Christmas tree. Humphrey is indifferent.

I'm told that Kevin Drum started this pet picture thing with FRIDAY CATBLOGGING. The Bassets are actually standing up this week and Fred was framed.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A call to action

No, I'm not going to ask you to call your Congressman about some issue or show up for a protest. But you might want to take action on this issue to preserve your peace and quiet at home.

Pennsyltucky Politics let's us know that the do-no-call list is only good for 5 years and if you signed up for it in 2002 you have until September 15 to re-up or risk getting swamped by calls from companies that think that they can sell you something by pissing you off when they interrupt your busy life.
Sometimes I miss the telemarketing calls because I would either play with them or let loose if I was in a bad mood. A company called Appleby Windows called me and I explained that I didn't need windows because my house was built into a cave on a side of a mountain. Another time I told a young lady from another company that she sounded like a nice girl and asked why she couldn't get an honest job. If I was in a particularly sour state of mind I would tell the person on the phone that if they ever called me again I would reach through the the phone and rip their lungs out. Some organizations are exempt including charities, pollsters and political outfits.
To make sure you're not called, go to, or call toll-free, 1-888-777-3406. The national do-not-call registry by the Federal Trade Commission is at or 1-888-382-1222.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bob Cordaro can't fill out forms

“People are able to fill their statements out without having scientists or forensic accountants help them. They just tell the truth and then they’re held accountable for what they tell,” -Mike Washo

Here we go again. For the second time Lackawanna County Commissioner Bob Cordaro is off the ballot after a challenge to his latest financial statement. He got bounced off the primary ballot when his last statement was found to be incomplete by the state Supreme Court but won a write-in campaign. He may get a third chance if the party nominates him as his own replacement and will file yet another financial disclosure. Good luck with that. So is he incapable of filling out some routine forms or doesn't he want to fill them out completely?

I've never been a fan of this guy and it has nothing to do with his party affiliation. I don't live in Lackawanna County but I'm still pissed off that he chased the Phillies Triple A team out of town then came up smelling like roses because the Yankee's team took their place. He's been running ads that have have Brian Cashman singing his praises. He was put in charge of the negotiations with Mandalay and gave away the store. I think the team should be sold but not at a bargain basement price. Luzerne County is objecting to his business acumen. And I won't even go into the fun and games at the Airport.

Lou Barletta get's a challenger

Hazleton-Local artist and coffee shop owner John Medashefski filed nomination papers for the city’s top office on Tuesday as a member of the Libertarian Party. He will run against Barletta in the November general election...."Look at the city. It’s a deplorable mess. Friends and relatives tell me they feel like prisoners in their own homes. There’s been three shootings since the primary. It’s like the wild west. Something’s got to be done,” Medashefski said.

He says he's optimistic about his chances, I'm not. Crime, roads and playgrounds are always good issues but Barletta is the local hero right now winning both the Republican and Democratic nominations.

Luzerne County candidate forums

Not much has been happening in the Luzerne County races for Commissioner and the row offices so I've spent the last few days speculating on the Congressional races next year. I expect that to change this month as the Luzerne County employees union (AFSCME Local 1398) has announced a series of forums with the candidates. They're not debates but a mix and match of candidates for different offices on different days appearing at different times. Doesn't make much sense to me but it's always good when candidates face a public forum. Right now I hear that a few of them have been hitting the Pierogi and Halushkie circuit (church bazaars). Things should heat up after Labor Day. Gee, I wonder what candidates the union will endorse?