Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Happy New Year
Kul 'am wa antum bikhair
Urte Berri on
Sun nien fai lok
Stastny Novy Rok
Onnellista uutta vuotta
Ein glückliches neues Jahr
Eutychismenos o kainourgios chronos
Hauoli Makahiki hou
Boldog uj evet
Felice Anno Nuovo or Buon anno
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu
Sehe Bokmanee Bateuseyo
Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab
Godt Nytt År
Manigong Bagong Taon
Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
La Multi Ani si Un An Nou Fericit
Ia manuia le Tausaga Fou
Feliz año nuevo
Heri za Mwaka Mpya
Gott Nytt År
Sawatdee Pi Mai
Chuc mung nam moi
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Home Rule petitions
We have a chance to fix this reign of incompetence.
Luzerne Home Rule
Luzerne Home Rule is proud to announce that it is now time to start circulating petitions to place Home Rule on the ballot in May. Click here to download yours today!
4,790 valid signatures are needed to get it on the May primary ballot that would elect another study commission that would draft a new home rule charter. If they use the 2003 Charter proposal with some tinkering it could be on the ballot in November.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Such bullshit. I don't know how many times I bought a CD or DVD after getting a preview on YouTube. The record indusrty /Hollywood companies have it wrong.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Monty Python - Spam
Dog Shoplifts [Caught on Camera]
Some of our canine friends are too worn out from the holidays to engage in a crime spree.
New pics at Facebook.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
felix dies Nativitatis
Chuc Mung Giang Sinh
Pretenders 2000 Miles
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Skrep is outraged
Skrep objects to Philly law firm
Skrepenak said he received no contact whatsoever about this hiring in advance. Commissioners should have followed county policy by declaring a state of emergency to avoid the public request-for-proposals search process, he said. He also questioned why no executive session was called to brief all three commissioners on the hiring plan.
He believes the failure to notify him violates the state County Code.
Commissioner Chair Maryanne Petrilla's response was to suggest that he show up for work once in a while if he wants to be part of the decision making.
This pissing contest between the Commissioners and President Judge Mark Ciavarella is going to end up costing Luzerne County a pretty penny if the State Supreme Court doesn't take original jurisdiction. Zen left a comment on an earlier post advocating the throw away the key approach and Mark points out that our demand that every criminal be prosecuted to "full extent of the law" is expensive and maybe the Judge has a pretty good case.
So the Commissioners are being sued by top Judge in the county and the case will be heard by a bunch of other Judges. Who do you think will win?
Job cuts are scheduled in all offices of the Luzerne County Government except the Judiciary at this time.
County approves 27 job cuts to begin Jan. 1
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
WILKES-BARRE – Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. on Monday sentenced 19-year-old Nora Rynkiewicz to nine to 18 months in county prison followed by three years of probation.
The shrinks offered the usual psychobabble explaining her behavior which may be valid because I have a hard time understanding how such a young girl could be so full of hate. I think the sentence is excessive for an act of vandalism. She should probably spend a short time in jail and make restitution and be on probation as ordered by the Judge. He could have have been creative by putting her in a community service requirement such as working at the Jewish Community Center as a condition of probation.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Between snow shoveling and puppy training I haven't had much time for blogging this weekend. Sometimes you have to say screw politics because what is going on in your life is more important. This little guy is learning faster than any dog I've ever had. He already knows his name, fetch, sit and is getting an idea of what NO means. I'll explain the name later.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Luzerne County Judge sues himself
CV: Luzerne County President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. escalated his fight against county commissioners, filing a lawsuit Wednesday to block judicial branch layoffs outlined in the 2009 county budget....Ciavarella named himself as a defendant for his role as a member of the Luzerne County Salary Board, and as the plaintiff, as president judge.
Clerk of Courts Bob Reilly is also threatening to sue over staff reductions.
For the longest time the county payroll has been looked at as some sort of jobs program for the relatives and friends of the well connected and now the gravy train has come to end of the line. Luzerne County has been so mismanaged that they can't even get a normal tax anticipation loan so the axe has to fall somewhere.
I have to give credit to Commissioners Maryanne Petrilla and Steve Urban for trying to clean up the mess that they have inherited although I think that they are partially responsible for it. The past budgets proposed by Greg Skrepnak, Todd Vonderheid, Tom Makowski, Tom Pizano, Rose Tucker, Frank Crossin, and an almost endless list of past commissioners, were works of fiction.
Apologies to McGruff for stealing his headline and the Yonk suggests some possible solutions to the impasse.
Deep Throat is deep sixed
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I have spent all of my Blogging Energy Units for today.
Don't use Internet Explorer until after 1PM
Microsoft issued a critical security warning Tuesday that a malicious exploit is making the rounds and attacking vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer 7.
The risk is believed to be widespread, given that IE 7 is the latest version of Microsoft's browser and is bundled with XP service pack 3 and also Vista, said Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications for McAfee's Avert Labs.
The AZN Trojan, which has been making the rounds since the first week of December, has the potential of infecting users' system with a Trojan horse, or "downloaders" that can download other forms of malware onto a user's system.
Microsoft announced it will release a security patch Wednesday via its automatic update system to patch users computers.
The patch will be available after 1PM. You can still probably use IE7 as long as you don't do anything stupid like click on a link in a spam email. But I'm not taking the chance.
Things are tough all over
Mayor Lou Barletta is taking an axe to the City of Hazleton's budget trying to avoid a tax increase. He is about $900,000 short of balancing the city's $9 million budget and is proposing to close the gap by canceling a 3% pay raise for employees and requiring them to contribute toward their health care plan. He is also proposing going after people who have not paid the garbage fee and businesses that have not paid the mercantile tax.
With all these hundreds of billions of dollars being thrown around by the Feds to bail out banks, Wall Street investment firms and Auto companies a few dollars to help out our local governments is not an unreasonable request.
Note: I had a chat with Mayor Lou yesterday and he agreed to an interview in the first week of the new year. Send me your questions for his Honor in the comments or email. I'll put up a reminder before we meet. Please keep it clean people.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Here come da Judge
PittstonPolitics.com has been keeping the scorecard of who might be running. Some of the names he has tossed out are:
Joe Terrana, Tom O’Connor, Jackie Carroll Musto, Lisa Gelb, Fred Pierantoni, CJ Bufalino, Mark Bufalino, Rose Randazzo, Eugene Sperazza, Joe Cosgrove, Ray Hassey and Mike Vough.
And these are only Pittston area attorneys! I'm sure there are Barristers from Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton and the Back Mountain that are considering a run.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
What the hell is a Prothonotary?
Incumbent Luzerne County Prothonotary Jill Moran should not seek reelection. I have an archive of her missteps and will repeat them if she decides to run again.
I've heard a few names that are willing to take on the challenge. We really need Home Rule.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Economic Human Rights Speaker Series
The Center will be hosting Chris Caruso, PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center, on Wednesday, December 17th at 6:00 p.m. as part of our Economic Human Rights Speaker Series.
Mr. Caruso will be clearly outlining the roots and manifestations of the present housing market collapse and economic crisis, and we invite the public to attend this presentation and discussion.
Any local residents, organizations, or community leaders interested in participating are encouraged to join us on Dec. 17th or to contact us at www.nepaorganizingcenter.org.
President-elect Barack Obama's struggles with the evil tobacco weed is in the news again.
I know what Barry is going through because it's easy to quit smoking, I've done it about 6 times. For all the gimmicks and crutches out there that will make your wallet lighter the only way to do it is.....
Cold turkey..........John Lennon
In other news
Supreme Court Overturns Bush v. Gore
Friday, December 12, 2008
The Pennsylvania Society meets in New York
"I don't know anyone who's been bought at Pennsylvania Society, Rented maybe -- but not bought." - Montgomery County Republican Ken Davis
Again I haven't been invited to any of the swanky parties this weekend. It must have been an oversight because I was ready to cash in my aluminum cans at Bilecki's Junk Yard to finance the trip.
The big news is that Tweety won't be attending according to Politico: Chris Matthews no longer plans to attend a ritzy Saturday night dinner hosted by the Pennsylvania Society, as Politico reported earlier. Matthews informed the event organizer that he and his wife could no longer attend, according to the organizer's assistant.
There will be plenty of other office seekers making the rounds. The list of potential Governor's includes Tom Corbett, Pat Meehan, Don Cunningham, Tom Wolf, Tom Knox, Dan Onorato, Jack Wagner and Jim Gerlach who will all be pressing the flesh at various soirees. And Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey plan to attend. I've asked some of our local office holders if they plan to take part and will update when they get back to me.
The last few years Gene Stilp has sponsored a pot luck dinner at the capitol in Harrisburg at the same time but I'm not sure if he is doing it this year. There has been grumbling about the fact that this event has been held out of state forever and many people think it should be held in the Commonwealth but as Governor Rendell said "People say if you had it in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh no one would come." That would break my heart.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Luzerne County Controller
TL: “Therefore, I am placing you on notice that as a supervisor of the fiscal affairs of the county, I will not pay any bills for any unauthorized and unwanted services that you force upon the county, for the reasons stated in this letter.”
Commissioner Maryanne Petrilla was the the previous Controller replacing Steve Flood who asked a lot of of uncomfortable questions about the PA Child Care lease and other things. There is no way to tell but I think the debit card scandal and the no bid contracts at the prison would have come to light earlier if Flood had a 2nd term.
Governor Rendell was supposed to appoint a new Controller with the consent of the State Senate but he punted. A couple of people applied for the job but they were ignored. Former Wyoming Valley West School District superintendent Augie Piazza wanted the post but I haven't heard if he is running next year. PittstonPolitics reports that former Pittston Area School Director Tony Rostock has been shaking the bushes and a potential rival let everybody know that he got a $30,000 no bid contract at LCCC. That potential rival is Wil Toole.
Wil Toole wanting to be a fiscal watchdog has to one of the funniest things I've ever heard. He charged thousands of hours of overtime to Pittston City and is now suing because he contends that the city should pay for his wife's health insurance indefinitely. He is good at lawsuits.
Piazza, Rostock and Toole are all Democrats.
I think we need a Controller from the other party. The Dems have been in charge for too long and have become arrogant and reckless although Petrilla and her new BFF Steve Urban is trying to right the ship.
The only Republican name that I have heard that is willing to take a stab at running for Controller is Bob Sypniewski. We have a draft Bob movement going on in the comments but he is reluctant to make the run so let's encourage him.
Update from the inbox:
I am also contemplating a run for the Luzerne County Controller Position...I am a republican that really cares about the lack of accountability of our elected officials and will work hard for the Taxpayers of Luzerne County...
Walter L Griffith JR
Luzerne County Taxpayer and Activist
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Dan Meuser speaks
Ann Lokuta booted
HARRISBURG - Luzerne County Judge Ann H. Lokuta will be removed from the bench, the state Court of Judicial Discipline ruled in a 6-1 decision today. Lokuta will not be allowed to hold any other court office.
I agree with the Yonk: This punishment does not fit the crime or perceived crimes... Lokuta is gone because all of her fellow Judges (two who have some worries ahead of them I've heard) complained about her behavior. The staff on the third floor was angry because the Judge, a working class daughter of coal miner parents didn't think anyone born on third base was entitled to say they hit a triple. So they got even. And they won.
Her cooperation with the investigation of the business dealings of then President Judge Michael Conahan may have played a roll in this. And it's no secret that they can't stand each other and Conahan was behind the charges being brought against her.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Take me out to the ballgame
And he is pissed.
WASHINGTON - Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) provided the statement below about the Associated Press article that recently appeared about Freddie Mac and Members of Congress.
"As early as 2000, I have consistently and vocally promoted a strong, independent, world-class regulator for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with the resources needed to get the job done. Unfortunately, President Bush, with the support of some Republican Members of Congress, obstructed efforts to improve the regulation of these government-sponsored enterprises. In 2005, with my strong support, the House Financial Services Committee, on a bipartisan basis, passed a comprehensive reform bill. A short time later, the bill passed the House, but this legislation died in the Senate in part because of the lack of support in the White House. Mike Oxley (R-OH), the Republican Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee at the time blamed the White House for failing to pass the bill and causing the current crisis with Fannie and Freddie, stating ‘What did we get from the White House? We got a one-finger salute.' When the Democrats regained control of Congress in 2006, we made regulation of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae a priority and passed a regulatory reform bill in May 2007, which the Senate passed and the President finally signed a year later. I only wish that the President had heeded warnings earlier about the need to act.
"Finally, there are strict rules prohibiting Members of Congress from receiving most gifts. I have never violated those rules. The ticket to attend the opening game of the Washington Nationals was valued at less than $50, which was the gift limit at that time. The Associated Press article misled its readers by refusing to include this information in the piece. Furthermore, it is ludicrous to suggest that my positions on policy could be influenced by any factors other than the merits of the policy."
Patrick Murphy for Senate
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
The Bush farewell tour
Note to The Onion Lawyers: I know I went past fair use by reprinting the whole thing, please forgive me.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Luzerne County scandals
Forget the Secret Service and the US Attorney General the agency that matters in this is the IRS. I think it's pretty simple. If the people who had the debit cards in 2006 and charged personal expenses to it without declaring it as income on that year's 1040 should have to answer to charges of tax evasion.
Also, there has to be a Pennsylvania law about then County Manager/Chief Clerk Sam Guesto having a slush fund to pay the bills for Sam Hyder's trips to strip bars, etc. that then Controller Maryanne Petrilla claims she was not aware of. I don't know if any federal laws were broken but the PA Auditor General and Attorney General should be all over this.
Some of my previous posts on this and other related subjects:
Luzerne County Prison
No Bid Contracts
The Latest Outrage in Luzerne County
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
If your in America and can’t speak English, get the Fuck out.
Check out how "you're" is spelled. The police cited him for disorderly conduct because he used an obscenity in the message, adding that children walking to Pittston Area middle and elementary schools might see it. OMG, the children might just melt or become mass murderers if they read or hear a dirty word. I hope the Hughestown police drop this before it becomes a circus involving the ACLU and Focus on the Family.
The way I see it is that some local yokel wants to be the next Joey Vento, owner of Geno’s Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, who is famous for posting a sign at his restaurant that says “This is America. When Ordering, Speak English.” But since that has already been done Mr. Decker decided to spice up the message.
Maybe he was a classmate of this guy
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Jobs like Prothonotary and Register of Wills are clerical positions that should not even be elected offices. Same goes for Jury Commissioner who's only official duty is to once a year hit the print button on a computer to get a list of prospective jurors. But we will have elections for these jobs until we get Home Rule.
As usual the action will be in the Democratic primary that will probably make the November election a formality. I hope that I'm wrong about that prediction and new county GOP Chairman Terry Casey can recruit some quality candidates and the back mountain money guys raise some serious cash for them.
I will be posting some scuttlebutt about who may be running for these positions in the coming days. If you have heard any names being tossed around let me know in the comments or toss me an email.
We will also get to pick at least one new Judge plus various school board members and municipal offices.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Liz Sichler resigns
She is famous for finding ways to get other candidates kicked off the ballot and until recently was the right hand of Rep Karen Boback.
It looks like business is tough for her company, Priority Search Inc. in Kingston. The local papers are reporting that the Secret Service is investigating the outfit because it didn't carry out it's responsibilities and some money is missing. One the people who has been burned by this outfit is 2007 Republican Commissioner candidate Bill Jones who might be giving it another try in 2011.
Remember that Liz has not been charged with a crime, yet.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Luzerne County budget
The previous regime of the Bond Brothers, present minority Commissioner Greg Skrepnak and past commissioner Todd Vonderheid (who moved on to the Chamber of Commerce), and people before them presented works of fiction that counted on money from land sales that never happened and more aggressive tax collection, etc. When that didn't work out they floated another bond so now the county is just about tapped out on how much debt it can take on. No new prison or anything else.
Majority Commissioners Maryanne Petrilla and Stephen Urban have come up with a mix of tax increases, fees, borrowing and layoffs to try to bring some sanity back into the process. I hate the layoff and borrowing parts but they are being up front about it instead of waiting until January to drop a bomb.
Now the question is will the row officers and the courts go along with this plan.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thanksgiving is a time for family
TO HELL WITH THANKSGIVING; AND RELATIVES TOO!!!!
By Mean Old Man
I can’t stand the fact that it is once again the stupid holiday of Thanksgiving!!! Every year I have to put up with my dimwit relatives and their cackling kids playing Frisbee with my Perry Como albums while I'm trying to take a damned nap!! Well, at least this year I don't have to drag myself over to my stupid son Harlan's place to eat his harlot wife's turkey loaf with Stove Top Stuffing!! Hell, I wouldn't feed that tripe to a liberal!!!!!
But having the holiday here at the ol' homestead ain't no picnic either. The whole disaster starts at around 10 that morning when the first of the wrecking crew arrives. It usually is Thelma Jean's brother Judd--now I ain't one to cast judgments but I think he's one of those "funny boys" (if you know what I mean) what with his manicured nails, his fancy suits, the six pack of Zima, not to mention the fact that he always shows up with his "fishing buddy" Hal. I was stuck one year alone in the living room talking to these two bozos and I can tell you that they really creeped me out; I was more relaxed being under a bare light bulb during an interrogation by a Japanese Lieutenant during WWII. Damn!!!!
Of course, my stupid sons and their spawns arrive around noon; that's when the headaches really start. My son Clay's dense wife Jill always feels as if she has to bring dessert. She comes in with this liquid concoction settled in a granite shell which she calls pumpkin pie. She says that it's a secret family recipe; if I came up with that dumb recipe I'd keep it a secret too. The pie, however does come in handy for keeping the ol' barn door open on windy days.
I always keep looking at my trusty pocket watch, hoping that time flies and they will all go the hell home.
When Thelma Jean finally plops the turkey on the table, well, you've never seen anything like it. I swear that the pigs in my pen show more class and manners while they're eating!! I have to train my eyes to look only at my plate, otherwise I see my snot nosed grandkids chewing with their mouths wide open, my stupid daughter in law pasting on her bordello style lipstick every twenty seconds and my dumb brother in law Judd insisting that eating any kind of meat is a sin and unhealthy (I told you he was "funny") and on and on and on. I'm sure that even you commies who read this twirpy webpage can understand where I am coming from.
Then after dinner the real fun starts because the punk grandkids have to play, but don't dare tell them to take it outside. It's usually cold or rainy and, of course, that'll kill a little kid. Kids today are such wimps, they don't know anything about adventure. I remember one Thanksgiving when I was a tyke and it was snowing like the Yukon outside, the wind was blowing at around 80 m.p.h. My old man stuffed his gut, popped open a Steg, and went into the living room to listen to the Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Thanksgiving Hour on the trusty teardrop radio. But before he did any of this he opened the door and kicked me out of it. I wandered around in the snow (which was up to my chin) for what seemed like hours. When the show was over and he let me inside I had blue skin, my lips were all chapped from the cold, I was disoriented and my ears were burning up. It was horrendous, painful and degrading for a child. And I loved it!!!! Because my old man taught me something, he taught me to be tough and to have character!!! Not like the wimpy kids today who tell the parents to go outside!!
So the little runts will be running around the house and throwing things, complaining and crying that they want to go home. Sometimes to get them off of my back I'll call them over to my chair in the corner and rip my false teeth out of my mouth. The look of fright on their little faces is almost worth the six hours of misery that I have to go through. It's usually after this that my hippie sons and their wives get mad at me and leave the house crying. Then, if I can dodge Thelma Jean's pie roller from cracking my skull, it’s Wheel of Fortune time!
Well, all you damned commies, enjoy your Thanksgiving. Maybe you'll luck out and Sarah Palin will bring a fresh killed turkey to your door (though I doubt any of you eat meat); as for me, I'm quickly eating dinner, heading to the attic with a few bottles of Steg and a pack of Lucky's (LSMFT), and my Perry Como albums, along with a toothbrush to polish up my false teeth for later on. Happy Turkey Day. I hate you all!!!!!!!
Can Bush pardon himself?
Now the chatter is about Bush granting preemptive pardons to people who have been accused of violating the Geneva Conventions and American law prohibiting torture among other crimes.
Since this is Thanksgiving the press is focused on the White House Turkey ritual. Somehow Scooter Libby got in on the act.
The Onion: In Thanksgiving Tradition, Bush Pardons Scooter Libby In Giant Turkey Costume
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
American International Group
And many others. Today Citigroup has been added to the list.
I'm dismayed that some of my conservative friends are blaming the unions for the collapse of Detroit. Did the unions cause the collapse of the big financial companies? I know a few people that work for CitiBank and not one of them belong to a union and they are hourly employees.
I haven't read a liberal or conservative blogger or talked to a Republican or Democratic voter that agrees with what is going on but we keep hearing the same mantra that Margaret Thatcher was famous for when I lived in England, "There is no alternative."
I can't get my arms around what has happened in the last month and I'm an Economics major. As a rule I don't like it when the government goes into panic pass mode because they usually get it wrong, think the Patriot Act or the MCA.
As a minimum we should expect some accountability from these companies such as the firing the top management of these not now going concerns and limits on any future compensation for their successors. The auto execs showed how tone deaf they are to the mood of the country by flying into Washington on private jets with while asking for a hand out. This past week's exchange between Congressman Paul Kanjorski and GM CEO Rick Wagoner shows how arrogant and out of touch these guys are. Kanjo asked Wagoner a simple question that he couldn't answer.
"How Much money do you need until March 30th?" And he couldn't give a straight answer.
Auto CEOs Tell Congress Why They Need $25b
Erin Moody of the Citizens Voice has a nice write up of his efforts.
Framing stained glass snapshots
If the church closes for regular services and is used for only an occasional wedding or special service, Jenkins, 40, worried that the windows might be damaged or removed. Even if the building is maintained, if the church doors are closed most of the time, the only way to see the windows will be from the outside, with nothing lighting them up from behind to make the images clear and colorful.So, while waiting for his cousin’s wedding to begin, Jenkins pulled out his camera and started clicking. Several weeks later, he’s still taking pictures, trying to get the best photos of each decorative window in the church.
“I’m trying to do it all,” Jenkins said. “I’m trying to preserve it not only for myself but for anyone else.”
Check out the whole series at Another Monkey.
I noticed that I have some dead links on the sidebar but right now I can't delete them or add new sites because Blogrolling has brain damage. When/if they fix the problem I will be adding PittstonPolitics.com and Keystone Progress.
And one of my first blog buddies (where are you LVDem?) has decided to take a break. Above Average Jane has a full family schedule and needs to rehab her pitching shoulder so her blog will be put on the back burner. I have learned many lessons reading her blog but the one that stands out is her knack for finding the local angle to a national story that I have tried to emulate on my site. Thanks "Schoolmarm of the Local Blogosphere."
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
"Seconds" by Human League
Abraham. Martin, John & Bobby
Friday, November 21, 2008
Another lesson in be careful what you ask for. The feds (Republicans) are still busy nationalizing the commanding heights of the economy (socialism) and now the state and local governments are getting in on the act.
W-B, Scranton to loan Boscov’s $3 million each
Gov. Ed Rendell (Democrats) also secures $35 million to aid family regain Boscov’s chain.
State and city money is said not to be at risk because they are using federal funds in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program administered by HUD. According to the TL story the money comes from a pool of money that is separate from the CDBG funds that are used to pave streets and tear down vacant buildings, etc. We will see about that.
Is a local department store chain really too big to fail?
Sarah Palin pardons a turkey
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Buy a Cadillac and get GM Stock
A car dealer in Maryland is offering customers 100 shares of GM stock if you buy a used Cadillac which I think is a creative idea. GM stock closed yesterday at $2.79 so if you drop $40K for one of those boats you get a $279 lottery ticket. GM's 52 week high was $29.95 and it looks like the government is not going to let the auto companies go under so it's not a bad bet. Even if the share price recovers only half it's value you can make a tidy profit. I would say the odds are better than buying a PA lottery ticket or pushing some buttons on a slot machine at Mohegan Sun that you would win some money.
Sarah Palin on Desperate Housewives
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Denise Carey wins and so do the people of Wilkes-Barre
In 2004 Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton was faced with some tough budget choices and he decided to close the fire house in the Heights section of the city. The people in that neighborhood were understandably upset and worried about their safety but we elect people to make tough decisions for the greater good. I thought it was good call because it would cost a fortune to repair the building that has since been sold.
In 2005, Denise Carey filed a petition to allow voters to decide the fate of the firehouse through a ballot referendum. The city argued some of the 1,300 signatures were collected under false pretenses, and Carey withdrew the petition on the day a county court hearing was scheduled to resolve the dispute. The city asked that Carey pay $11,056 to cover the city’s legal fees and Judge Michael Conahan agreed. The award was overturned on appeal in January 2007. That judgement by Conahan was the heart of this case.
Someone disagreed with a decision of her local government so she took action to oppose it and they tried to ruin her financially. My friend David put it better than I could:
The Council and Leighton thwarted Carey's efforts to try and get the Fire House closing on the ballot. The action against Carey basically said to city residents, if you dare to criticize or God forbid organize in opposition to the City administration policies, and we, the rich, wealthy and powerful will squash you like a bug. Maybe put you in debt, maybe take your home and livelihood away.
TL: "Mayor Leighton may be able to take away a fire station, but don’t let him take away our constitutional rights. A verdict in Denise Carey’s favor tells citizens you are safe. You can speak out and you don’t have to fear that a politician or the government can come back and sock you with a hefty attorney bill.”
In other business Leighton wants money from the state gaming funds for more surveillance cameras in the city. Slots money=Lower property taxes, do any of these politicians remember that?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Where are Rachel and Keith?
I usually watch Countdown and the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC when I get home from work. Tonight both hosts are MIA.
What's going on?
Smile, You're on Macaca camera
George Allen introduces Macaca
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The Sunday Newspaper
Like many people my age I can credit the Sunday Funnies with helping me learn to read. The comics are still the first part of the paper I go to on the weekend or weekdays for that matter. I know that you can read the comics online but it is just not the same. I enjoy making a mess in the living room as I skim all the different sections usually starting with the sports section then moving on to Opinion/Review and the news. I even like clipping the coupons anticipating my next shopping trip to the grocery store.
The financial news from the publishing industry has been bleak the last few years as the papers try to adapt their business models to the internet age. Every poor financial report from the New York Times brings a gleeful headline on Drudge and other right wing blogs. Be careful for what you ask for folks, if the Times goes under you will lose your favorite whipping boy.
The credit crunch is not helping, forcing the publishers of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News to scramble for cash. Jane is reporting that the Inky is now putting an exact copy of the print edition online and charging less than for home delivery. She also gives us an update about Pennsylvania stories that appear in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) every week. The WSJ is a good technical rag but it's not a real newspaper. I look through the thing and I can't find a sports section or the comics let alone a crossword puzzle and NO coupons.
I can't imagine a big city without a daily paper but that just might happen in the next few years. The thing we have going for us in this area is that we are always a few years behind the rest of the country so we will have the print editions of the Voice, Leader and Times after the rest of them go under.
Eagles 13 Bengals 13
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Secretary of State Hillary
Now I think making Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State is both good politics and good government.
I love all the Machiavelli/Godfather/Team of Rivals references about keeping you enemies closer than your friends. That works in Hollywood and cable TV but that's not all of it.
It's good politics because it would co-opt a rival and avoid sniping from the sidelines.
It would be good government because Hillary has been travelling the world for years and knows many of the players and they know her.
America will present a new united face to the world.
I posted some Humphrey pictures on my Facebook page.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Todd Eachus wants to be House majority leader
Luzerne County State Rep. Todd Eachus , who ran the Dems' fall campaign effort, wants to be the majority leader of Pennsylvania House after some modest success increasing the Democratic majority by 2 seats. He is taking on current House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese and Frank Dermody of Oakmont.
From a PR:
“The people of Pennsylvania spoke clearly last Tuesday. They want access to affordable health care for people of all ages. They want to know their children are getting a good education. They want to know that there will be good jobs available for them and for future generations. They want safe roads and bridges and a brighter future for all of us.”
We all want those things but his support of the fantasy cargo airport near Hazleton gives me pause. He inserted a $16.5 million authorization for the cargo airport in a House bill listing projects under the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund. Shortly after that I got a curious piece of mail from Eachus paid for by the taxpayers claiming 100,000 jobs could be created. It was unusual because I'm not even in his district. So far there is no anchor tenant such as FedEx or DHL. Well, forget DHL. The slots money was supposed to be used to lower our property taxes and people like Eachus keep finding new ways to spend it on other projects. Enough of that. They really need to rewrite that law.
According to Capitol Ideas, who gets to read Capitolwire because he has an expense account, DeWeese is probably going to win re-election to his leadership post "unless, of course, he doesn't."