Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New PA 10th CD poll


Chris Carney (D-inc): 46%

Chris Hackett (R): 36%

(MoE: ±4.6%)

The Sept. 21-25 poll of 460 likely voters has 18% undecided.

In an interview, Carney called Monday's poll results a "reflection of what we've been hearing on the campaign trail from people from both sides of the aisle. I believe constituents are paying attention and appreciate my efforts down here."
Hackett, though, pointed out that Carney failed to reach the 50-percent threshold that incumbents facing re-election strive to reach.
"If you take these poll numbers as credible, Chris Carney at under 50 is a very troubling sign for an incumbent who has had two years to try to bolster his position," he said...Carney is "intentionally trying to mislead voters" into thinking he's a conservative, Hackett said. "If you listen to his rhetoric and watch the way he votes, they are two very different things. ... He may call himself a Blue Dog Democrat (a group of conservative House Democrats), but when he goes to Washington, he's a Pelosi puppy." ..."Mr. Hackett must have a very low opinion of the constituents of the 10th District if he thinks they're not smart enough to see honesty, if he thinks the wool is being pulled over their eyes," Carney said.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Off topic

I've been receiving emails over the last few weeks asking me to post about various issues such as cluster bombs, land mines or feeding hungry children. I'm sure that they are all worthy causes and I'm flattered that you think that a post on this sight will further your cause. But it ain't gunna happen. This is a blog about local politics and sometimes some other stuff but I rarely ask my readers to spend money on something. I think I know my audience and like me you are all a bunch of tightwads.

A new twist on this arrived in the inbox today asking me to review the website for some product. They offered me one of their gadgets or a cash payment for doing so but didn't offer the product to take out for a test drive before I write something. Pretty lame.

However, if Apple or some other manufacturer wants to give me a new lap top to try out and review I'm willing to lower my standards.

I will also entertain offers from the Ford Motor Company, Toyota or General Motors.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Phargon Phillies have Phinished in Phirst

92 wins and we go on to the the next level. I like our chance against the Brewers. We have Cole Hamels throwing Game 1 and won't see CC Sabathia until Game 3 on Saturday.
Congratulations to Joe Torre for winning the West in his first year as the Dodgers skipper. It breaks my heart that his last team didn't make the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
And how 'bout them Mets, again.
Here is a touching Eulogy to Shea Stadium.

Another House arrest on the way

LCCC dean fired over accusation of theft

Call me cynical.

YouTube weekend

RIP Paul Newman

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid

Friday, September 26, 2008

Who won the debate?

I have a poll on the sidebar. Tell me why your guy did better than the other one in the comments.

YouTube weekend

This is painful to watch. I'd rather go to the Dentist.

One-On-One With Sarah Palin CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric

I'll get back to you on that.

Bonus video via Big Dan


YouTube weekend

The Make or Break Moments in Presidential Campaign History

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's the hurry?

Are hundreds of banks really going to fail on Monday if the Congress doesn't agree to borrow $700 billion to bail them and Wall Street out?

We have yet to see a list of banks that would fail if the government doesn't "do something."

I think we are being railroaded and just about everyone I have read or talked to today agrees.

The free market also means the freedom to fail.

This is the Crown Jewel of the Bush Administration.

Skrep is feeling lonely

“I don’t think it’s a secret that my party has abandoned me, but I still have a large following – a following that asks me every day for direction. I want to provide them with that direction.”-Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak
Poor Skrep. He continues sniping with fellow Democratic Commissioner Maryanne Petrilla and his pals Sam Guesto, Sam Diaz and Todd Vonderheid have moved on. And I doubt if he exchanges Christmas cards with Steve Urban. Now he says that County Democratic Chairman Mark Bufalino isn't talking to him and he's not being invited to Obama campaign events. Bufalino and the Obama camp both dispute that claim.
I'm not sure what he means about that large following. The way he's been talking about reassessment he might be angling to be the next Mayor of Harveys Lake.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pennsylvania 10th CD air war/update

The latest ad from the Chris Hackett was a standard issues contrast spot with the last frame saying that Chris Carney is more liberal than Obama with both their pictures on the screen at the same time. I thought it was effective although I''m getting tired of Republicans using the word liberal as a pejorative. I would post it if it was available (get on the stick Mark).

A few days ago the Carney campaign and the DCCC started went on the air with a couple of attack ads that get personal about his companies recent history of late tax payments.

To be fair to Hackett the last time I saw him he explained that they were the equivalents of nuisance taxes for businesses and he was disputing them on the merits. After all 16 grand is not going to break him or his companies. But he paid them late and that is fair game.

His camp reacted strongly to the Dems spots.

Dallas, PA Yesterday, Chris Carney's campaign stooped to a new low launching an untrue negative attack ad against challenger Chris Hackett.
Just like the Washington politician that he is, Carney has now obliterated his promise on primary election night, when he then said, ""I offer my congratulations to Mr. Hackett and look forward to a campaign that focuses on the issues that really matter to the families of northeast and central Pennsylvania." (Carney, WNEP, 4/23/2008)

First, Carney repeatedly rejected numerous debate offers. Now, he engages in personal character attacks. So much for a "campaign that focuses on the issues."

"Now that Chris Carney's liberal record has begun to be exposes, he has officially hit the panic button. I guess he no longer believes his campaign's own made up poll numbers," said Hackett campaign spokesman Mark Harris. "Chris Hackett has spent nearly twenty years creating jobs in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. Now the best Carney can do to try to save his seat in Congress is smear Chris Hackett. It's a disgrace, and our district deserves better."

Harris continued: "Regardless of Carney and his liberal allies' personal mudslinging, rest assured that this election will be about the issues. The voters of the Tenth District do not want a liberal congressman who votes to raise taxes, increase wasteful pork spending, oppose off-shore oil drilling, expand corporate welfare, and support taxpayer funded abortions. That's why they are rejecting Chris Carney."

The Carney people are sticking by their guns.


Hackett Owes Taxes:
The Scranton Times Tribune (6/11), reported that Hackett's company One Source Staffing owed tens of thousands in back taxes. Hackett's $16,915state tax lien filed Aug. 12, 2004 is still listed as outstanding at the Luzerne county courthouse.
Hackett claimed to pay the state of Pennsylvania $13,615 on August 2,2007 the same month he announced his Congressional bid. Hackett also waited until he had secured his party's nomination on April 22,2008 to settle the bulk of his tax liens four and five years overdue?finalizing a $7,946 federal lien from 2003 on April 23, 2008 and a$14,966 state lien from 2004 on May 1, 2008.

Politico (7/23) reported that Republican House candidate Chris Hackett touts his experience as a certified public accountant who knows a few things about numbers and balancing the books. But since 2000, court filings and newspaper accounts show that the Internal Revenue Service and tax authorities in NewYork and Pennsylvania have filed nine liens against businesses owned by Hackett.

Hackett Hires Illegal Immigrant, and doesn't pay taxes:
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader (4/8) reported that Hackett admitted to hiring an illegal housekeeper. "Hackett said he fired his housekeeper after learning the woman was an illegal immigrant. He didn't notify the authorities because, he said, he didn't feel he was required to do that."Chris Hackett's own advertisements have the temerity to tout "Hackett's strong leadership against illegal immigration..." (Hackett TV SPOT "Best")Was his strong leadership hiring an illegal immigrant and not paying the taxes? This is clear evidence that Hackett believes in one set of rules for himself, and another for everyone else. People are tired of that kind of politician.

Hackett was sued to pay his taxes:One Source was sued by the Williamsport City and School District Mercantile &Privilege Tax Office for not withholding the right amount from workers.After the office performed an audit, the realized that One Source (previously Workforce Solutions) did not properly withhold taxes for certain employees.OneSource owed $1,170 for withholding, plus another $117 in penalties and another $102.60 in interest.Oddly, One Source agreed to pay the $1,170 but refused to pay the penalty and interest, forcing the locality to sue. The locality won the case, and then One Source settled the suit.

The Carney spot has this tag line:

Hackett on Taxes: You pay 'em so he doesn't have to


Chris Hackett: Mistakes Happen (PA-10)

Nigerians In Washington

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

From JudiPhilly

Committee meeting

An emergency meeting of the Saturday OT Committee and Operatic Society is scheduled for this Wednesday 5PM at Marks Pub 1287 N Washington St, Wilkes-Barre (map it).
We will be addressing the financial crises by infusing cash into the malt beverage industry to ensure it's liquidity.

Joe Biden in Wilkes-Barre Thursday

via That's How I See It

Joe Biden will be in Wilkes-Barre Thursday.

Info: Nesbitt Park180 Market Street Wilkes-Barre, PA Thursday, September 25th Doors Open: 1:00 p.m. Program Begins: 2:30 p.m.

Monday, September 22, 2008

John McCain in Scranton

John McCain was in Scranton today for what was billed as a "Town Hall Meeting" but it was just another campaign rally. He only took 4 softball questions from the audience that he hit out of the ballpark which explains why you needed a ticket to get in.

He started by reading a speech off one of those violin music holder things that sort of addressed the Wall Street meltdown. The one thing I got out of it was he was against golden parachutes to the top dogs of Lehman Brothers et. al. who drove the company into the ground. He also likes apple pie.

His remarks on immigration surprised me. He reiterated his long held position "I believe we have to have a commitment -- because it's a national-security issue as well as an economic issue as well as a humanitarian issue that we enact comprehensive-immigration reform." It was like sticking his thumb in Lou Barletta's eye.

The first question asked if the gas tax should be suspended. He said yes and then went off on some tangent about the Iraq war. He said that Donald Rumsfeld should have been fired and David Petraeus is the best military commander since Gaius Julius Caesar.

The second one had a guy that told McCain that he is spending $18K a year for his family's health insurance. He blew him off promising a $5000 a year tax credit.

Question 3 was not a question. "Thank you for Sarah Palin." -Lots of cheers. -Then she threw out all the BS you would hear on Rush.

McCain said "Great question." He said his running mate could take the barbs and was tough. "She's a reformer and will bring change."

The last guy who asked a question had the best one of the day. He said he worked for a Fortune 500 company that is about to downsize and ship 1500 jobs overseas.

How do you keep jobs in the USA?

McCain didn't have an answer, nobody does. He suggested that the solution would to be cutting corporate taxes from $35% to 11%. He said some other things that suggested he will just throw up his hands and will give our kids training at Community Colleges on to how to flip hamburgers.

Why aren't these guys at work?

I spotted Senators Joe Lieberman, Arlen Specter and Lindsay Graham at the Senator John McCain event in Scranton today. Senator Bob Casey was also in town to hand out a check for the new Medical School. A check of the news shows that Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden are also on the campaign trail.

With the government about to pass a $700 billion bank bailout that has to be approved by the Congress shouldn't they be in Washington working on it? The Seante is in session.

I just read that the plan is now going to include foreign banks. What the hell, why don't they also bail out Boscovs?

If you have bad assets you'd like the government to take off your hands. And remember, when estimating the value of your 1997 limited edition Hanson single CD "MMMbop", it's not what you can sell these items for that matters, it's what you think they are worth. The fact that you think they are worth more than anyone will buy them for is what makes them bad assets.

Check out:

Buy My Shitpile

Meet the candidate

Chris Hackett

Tuesday, September 23rd
Town Hall Meeting - Middleburg (Snyder County)7-9pm
Middleburg Firehall
Chris will be speaking with local voters about issues important to them

Thursday, September 25th
Scranton Chamber of Commerce Legislative Board Meeting 8-10am
222 Mulberry St, Scranton
Chris will be speaking to the Legislative Board of the Scranton Chamber of Commerce about important issues to his campaign.

Saturday, September 27th
Selinsgrove Street Fair 3-5pm
Downtown Selinsgrove

Congressmen Paul Kanjorski and Chris Carney are in Washington dealing with the Bush administration's proposal to nationalize the commanding heights of the economy.

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta will be.................?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Who's lying?

"Tell him to stop lying about my record." -Bob Dole to GWH Bush in 1988.

In every campaign both sides accuse the other of lying about their candidate. It's no different this year.

The Daily Item put this question to both 10th CD camps:

What is your opponent saying about you that is untrue?

Chris Hackett

“Chris Carney makes false claims about me just about every day. There are too many items to count. Probably the most inaccurate claim is that my opposition to Washington’s wasteful pork spending system will somehow short-change our district.

“In fact, the opposite is true.

“By stopping the corrupt earmark system, we will save the taxpayers of our district from having to pay for a Mule Museum in California, a Lobster Institute in Maine and thousands of other wasteful projects all across the country that Chris Carney has supported because of his allegiance to the pork spending system.”

Chris Carney

“Chris Hackett has rapidly developed the well-deserved reputation for being an overly negative, typical politician who distorts the facts and misleads voters at every turn. We saw this in the extremely vicious personal attacks that he launched during his primary campaign and we continue to see it in the general election. What is even worse is that Hackett always says one thing and does another as if the rules simply do not apply to him — including not paying his taxes, hiring illegal immigrants and running TV ads with completely false statements about the congressman. Whether it is taxes, immigration or Congressman Carney’s record, Hackett just doesn’t seem to be able to tell the truth about anything."

“Voting record: The truth is that Chris Carney has a voting record that reflects the 10th District. Carney has broken with his party many times, and his voting record is recognized as the center of Congress by the nonpartisan National Journal magazine. National Journal rated Congressman Carney 217 out of 435 members of Congress — the exact middle of Congress.

“Carney has been attacked by the far left and the far right for voting with his district. He broke with his party to vote against adjournment when there was so much work to be done, and just this week he voted with 151 Republicans to support the Childers Amendment and ensure the rights of gun owners. Carney is a fiscal conservative and a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, which promotes pay-as-you-go policies that will bring down our national debt.

“Taxes: The truth is, Carney has fought for middle-class tax cuts, and across-the-board tax cuts for small businesses and veterans. He introduced Made in America tax cuts for manufacturers and businesses aimed at keeping and creating jobs right here in America. Hackett called the bill a campaign gimmick instead of acknowledging the bill’s bipartisan support and the need for Congress to do everything in its power to stimulate and strengthen our economy. Carney also introduced the Caregiver Tax Credit — which allows families to better take care of aging relatives; tax cuts for veterans and military families, and has voted for tax cuts for small businesses and the middle class including a fix for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The only taxes Chris Hackett wants to cut are those for millionaires — like the ones he pays.”

"Debates: Given the lies about the issues, its no surprise that Hackett would lie about the campaign and debates scheduled. Hackett is running false advertisements on debates— when he knows a debate has been scheduled for months. It’s scheduled for October 30th on WVIA.”

I'm Stinger Assassin Palin and I approved this message

Sarah Palin named her kids Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow, and Piper. If she named me I would be called Stinger Assassin Palin. Find your name if she was your mother at Polit Tsk Tsk Tsk.

Thanks to my siblings Scat Dubya Palin, Quarter Granite Palin and Sack Panther Palin for pointing this out.

Some say that her claims to being a successful Hockey Mom are exaggerated.

Hockey Moms Against Sarah Palin

Saturday, September 20, 2008

YouTube weekend

I never go to Subway. Some people try it but are disappointed because they believed the lies about double meat. The outrage.

Keith Olbermann impression / impersonation

YouTube weekend

RIP Richard Wright

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

Friday, September 19, 2008

Is George Bush running Luzerne County?

When Dubya moved into the White House the budget was in surplus and the national debt was falling. Now there are record deficits and the debt has almost doubled.

The recent headlines in the local papers say that Luzerne County has a $16 million shortfall this year but buried in the fine print is the fact that they have already obligated $18 million from the latest bond issue to cover it. So the real deficit this year is $34 million for a budget of $200+ million. The last time I checked in November of last year Luzerne County was on the hook $419 million in principal and interest through 2026. So lets add the $93 million they borrowed earlier this year plus the $16 million they want now and the total is $528 million not counting interest to be paid back over the next 20 years. Remember that the county is also looking at building a new prison that will require that will require floating another bond that may be as much as $100 million. In the last few years whenever there was some left over bond money the commissioners always spent it on something else instead of saving it for a rainy day or just paying back the money.

Every budget the last few years has been a work of fiction.

County to request $16M loan

Skrepenak, Petrilla clash over county finances

Commissioners continue budget squabble

Thursday, September 18, 2008

John McCain coming to Scranton

TL: Republican presidential candidate John McCain will have a town hall meeting Monday morning at the Scranton Cultural Center in downtown Scranton, according to a party official.

The event begins at 10:30 a.m. with doors opening at 8:30.

The center is at 420 N. Washington Ave.

Luzerne County scandals

No indictments yet but the buzz says it's just a matter of days. I've lost track of how many investigations are going on in the county.

The latest one is about the theft of funds from the treasurer’s office that DA Jackie Mo handed off to the FBI. I'm sure if someone gets caught with their fingers in the till they will get house arrest just like Robert Pritchard and Carl Salitis.

The more serious probe centers on the tangled web involving Judges Mike Conahan and Mark Ciavarella with PA Child Care owners Robert Powell and would be Hazleton Airport builder Greg Zapalla. Prothonotary Jill Moran also has ties to a company, W-Cat Inc., that they all have money invested in.

Then there is the Debit Card scandal that the Secret Service is investigating and the no bid contracts at the prison that some secret police outfit is supposed to be looking into.

I need a scorecard to keep track of all of this. Will someone help me out?

Luzerne County's greatest hits, so far:

Debit Cards

Sam Hyder

Luzerne County Prison


No Bid Contracts

The Latest Outrage in Luzerne County

Did I miss something?


Staff Meeting

The Presidential race is about the economy not moose burgers.

From Political Animal:

In a speech in Elko, Nevada, this afternoon, Obama relayed the story about John McCain, in the midst of a financial meltdown, boasting that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." Obama responded today, "But it sounds like he got a little carried away, because yesterday, John McCain actually said that if he's President, he'll take on the -- and I quote -- 'ol' boys network' in Washington. I am not making this up. This is someone who's been in Congress for 26 years -- who put seven of the most powerful Washington lobbyists in charge of his campaign -- and now he tells us that he's the one who will take on the ol' boy network. The ol' boy network? In the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting."

"Sold Us Out" Ad

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Barnyard politics

After a week of non stop coverage of porcine cosmetics in the Presidential race the local Elephants in the PA-10th CD are back on the farm. A Chris Hackett supporter dressed up in a chicken suit and few other people, including prolific letter writer and blog commenter David Kveragas, came out to voice their disapproval over what they said was U.S. Rep Chris Carney’s (D-Dimock Township) refusal to debate Hackett.
This stunt is right out of a West Wing episode and is even older than that. What next, an empty chair debate or one with a cardboard cutout of Carney?

In the 2006 Pennsylvania Senate race we had "Bobby the Duck"
(left) and in the 117th State House Republican primary this year the Boback Duck (right).

The good news for Hackett is that Laura Bush will be in Moosic for a fundraiser on September 18th.
The fine print of of the invitation sounds like the disclaimers in the drug ads. If you swallow this pill you might grow a third ear or your spleen will develop arms and strangle the rest of your internal organs.
Hackett Pennsylvania Republican Victory Committee Disclaimer
The first $2,300 of any contribution from an individual or non-qualified political action committee and the first $5,000 of any contribution from a qualified political action committee will be allocated to Chris Hackett for Congress-General Election; the next $10,000 of any contribution from an individual or non-qualified political action committee and the next $5,000 of any contribution from a qualified political action committee will be allocated to the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania, subject to the limitations and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended. Notwithstanding this formula, contributors may designate their contributions to any participant(s), subject to the Act. Any contributor may make his contribution payable directly to any participant, subject to the Act. Contributions are not tax-deductible as charitable contributions. Contributions by foreign nationals and corporations are prohibited. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the full name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year.

Hackett has a new ad up that closes with the picture of Chris Carney next to Barrack Obama alleging that Carney is more liberal than Obama. I think that it is their best spot so far even though it is a stretch. If it was available on the campaign website or YouTube I would post it. Since it is not I will give you the latest Carney spot.

America's Best

Pennsylvania 11th CD poll

A new Franklin & Marshall College poll has Republican Mayor Lou Barletta leading incumbent Congressman Paul Kanjorski by 9 points.


Barletta is leading Kanjorski 44 percent to 35 percent, with 21 percent undecided, according to the poll of 547 registered voters in their northeastern Pennsylvania congressional district.

F&M hasn't posted the poll on it's website yet and that 21% undecided number jumps out at me. I'll check out the cross tabs and methodology when they are available.

Barletta is thrilled:

"Those results seem to coincide with what I've been hearing all across the 11th Congressional District: The hard-working people of northeastern Pennsylvania want a new congressman. They are tired of the same old, embarrassing antics and the dismal lack of leadership in Congress and they want change."

Kanjo spokesman Ed Mitchell (yes, he's still with us) casts doubt on the numbers:

Kanjorski campaign spokesman Ed Mitchell dismissed the poll. He said the sample was weighted too heavily to voters 65 and older and did not reflect voting patterns in the district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin.

"We are confident the voters will choose Paul Kanjorski, who has a record of standing up for working people in northeastern Pennsylvania, instead of Lou Barletta, who sides with George Bush's policies that have driven our economy into the ground."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ed Mitchell staying put

From PolitickerPA:

Inside Edge has learned from confidential media source in NEPA that longtime Paul Kanjorski spokesman Ed Mitchell is stepping down from his role as spokesman.

I asked Ed Michell about this and he says it's not true:

No. There's no change in my status. We added some help in the press office. I'm still doing everything I always did. I'm still the general strategist, the media consultant and the spokesman.

Gene Fischi takes a well deserved retirement

I haven't been a fan of the Luzerne County early retirement schemes* but maybe this time it has done some good.
After all the fun and games that have gone on at the prison the last few years Fischi and Deputy Warden Sam Hyder asked for 5 year contracts that the prison board ignored. So he quit, good for him. I wasn't aware that senior county managers even had contracts. I was under the impression that the top administrators were "at will" employees of the Commissioners like all political appointees. Mr. Fischi is still a young man so I'm sure he will find another government position after he "retires" ala Bill Brace.

*The original "Life Transition Plan" in 2006 was supposed to save $2 million over 15 years by floating a bond to finance the plan that will cost $23 million over 15 years. I have yet to see an accounting or progress report that documents any money that has been saved. Another feature of this scheme was to hire back many of the people who took the golden parachute through a temp agency owned by PA-10th Congressional GOP candidate Chris Hackett who gave his first campaign contribution ever to the Democratic Luzerne County Commissioner candidates Vondy and Skrep.
I've been asking Chris Hackett for an interview but he has been reluctant. The last time I asked him about it he gave me the weather report for Hades. Saying I will get a sit down when the weather down there turns unseasonably cool. I thought our last chat went very well. He wants to debate Chris Carney but he won't debate Gort? I've also asked Carney for some time but his campaign has yet to get back to me. He won't debate Hackett and he won't debate Gort?
Well, not a debate, I would just like to ask them both some similar questions about budgets, spending and taxes. And a few other things.
Gene Fischi's greatest hits.
The Prison violated the county purchasing policy and possibly state law.
His Deputy, Sam Hyder, travels the world on the county dime and has not still payed back his personal expenses incurred during his visit to a strip club. Bad eyesite.
And we became a laughing stock of the country when Hugo Selenski used bed sheets to escape from the lockup on Water Street. It was a cliche from a bad old campy Movie.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hillary and Sarah on SNL

PALIN: You know, Hillary and I don’t agree on everything…

CLINTON: Anything…I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy.

PALIN: And I can see Russia from my house.

CLINTON: I believe global warming is caused by man…

PALIN: And I believe it’s just God huggin’ us closer.

CLINTON: I don’t agree with the Bush Doctrine…

PALIN: And I don’t know what that is.

SNL: Sarah Palin & Hillary Clinton (Tina Fey & Amy Poehler)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

YouTube weekend

Hurricane Ike is slamming into the Texas coast and I hope that everyone that is in harms way stays safe. The cable news networks are showing the ususal images of reporters on beach being blown around by the wind and getting soaked by the rain. Weather is always a big story and around here the local channels always go into overdrive when we have a big snowstorm or just a prediction of one.

Neil Young - Like a Hurricane

YouTube weekend

The Hazleton immigration ordinance is back in the news which reminded me of this Cheech & Chong diddy.

Mexican Americans love education so they go to night school and take Spanish and get a B...

Mexican Americans & Beaners

Remember when people liked Mexicans?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pennsylvania Attorney General

With all the attention on the Presidential race and 2 of the hottest contests for Congress in the country I haven't paid much attention to the statewide offices.

Incumbent Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett has been making news with the indictment of 10 Democratic PA State House staffers and 2 state reps in the Bonusgate scandal. Some Republicans are also accused of being involved in similar misconduct but won't be charged until after the election to avoid undue influence on the balloting. Whatever.

He also makes the local news occasionally when there is a sweep of street level drug dealers in the area. The lede in the papers and the TV news always report that it's part of Operation Futility or some other military style name. So they arrest some kids who sell drugs to their friends and tell us that the dangerous druggies have been taken off the streets. The next day somebody else takes their place and the poison is still available to those who want it. The tough nut to crack is how to convince people not to take drugs in the first place. The United States has locked up more and more people because of drug offenses over the last 40 years and it hasn't decreased the demand.

His challenger, Democratic candidate District Attorney John Morganelli of Northampton County,
thinks that Corbett dropped the ball on the Bonusgate investigation. He wants a bunch of debates just like every challenger.

Campaign websites:

John Morganelli

Tom Corbett

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A moment of silence


I remember where I was that day.

Rangel to host fundraiser for Kanjorski

From Politicker.com

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Nanticoke) is set to be the beneficiary of a Sept. 24 fundraiser featuring Charlie Rangel, the embattled chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
The event, scheduled to take place at The Monocle restaurant on Capitol Hill, will help fill Kanjorski’s campaign coffers as he prepares to face off against Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta.

Charlie has some issues and Kanjo doesn't have any problem raising money so why is he giving ammo to the other side?

Birds of a feather flock together. This is just more damning evidence in the case against Paul Kanjorski,” said Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Maybe Charlie Rangel and Paul Kanjorski can vacation in Punta Cana together after they are thrown out of office for ethical misconduct.”

Ed Mitchell punches back:

“When Lou Barletta gives back the thousands of dollars he received the convicted and jailed drug dealer and his brother in Hazleton, and when he gives back the thousands of dollars he received from landfill operators who are also under indictment, and when he gives back the money he has received from indicted U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, we’ll give some thought to cancelling our fundraiser with Charlie Rangel."

Luzerne County reassessment

Lawyers, lawyers everywhere and ...............they will make money.

Reassessment opponents to hire lawyer

Pa. court weighs state's property tax assessments

They may tie it up for a while but in the end we will pay more in property taxes and the esquires will be better off.

I paid our property taxes today and we got a $211 reduction from the slots revenue. That is good but why is only half of this money is dedicated to property tax relief? The other half is to go to "economic development projects" that the rest of us call Corporate Welfare.

Some examples:

The new hockey arena in Pittsburgh

A fantasy Airport in Hazleton

Part of the money is "EARMARKED" to help the host towns deal with the problems that arise from having one of these money pits such as traffic control, wear and tear on the roads plus the anticipated increase in crime. From what I see the Mohegan Sun Casino hasn't had many negative effects on my little hamlet of Plains Township. We have actually benefited from the place because more than 20 streets have been paved since the cash started flowing in. The best benefit for me and my neighbors is that the cost of a case of trash bags was reduced from $75 for a case of 50 to $25.

Thanks Suckers

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A worthy cause

Party Unity My Ass

Lou Barletta is now branding himself as a Maverick.

Barletta won’t support McCain

“I’m not endorsing anybody. I’m running my own race right now,” Hazleton’s mayor said. “This isn’t about John McCain versus Barack Obama. This is about Lou Barletta versus Paul Kanjorski, and that’s what I’m working on.”

“I don’t need a personal relationship with a president,” he said. “I need a relationship with the people I represent so that I can go to Washington and stand up to them and not be a puppet and become a puppet of the party.”

More debates about debates

The latest dustup in the Pennsylvania 10th CD race is about GOP challenger Chris Hackett's latest ad with Hackett saying " “I’ve challenged Chris Carney to numerous debates, but unfortunately he refuses.” The Carney camp objected and fired out a press release saying that claim is false because there is a debate scheduled for October 30th on WVIA. Like all challengers Chris Hackett wants as many debates as he can get and like most incumbents Chris Carney wants a few as he can get away with. I'm with Hackett on this one. I think there should be at least 3 debates but now that Hackett has decided to make it a campaign issue the chance of that happening are zilch.

I think the spot is a mistake by the Hackett campaign. You don't want to get off the issues and start arguing about process. It tells me that Hackett thinks that he is behind and wants to change the conversation, too bad he can't pick a running mate that knows how to shoot a moose.


I've asked both candidates for an interview. If they can't agree to debate each other they should at least agree to answer a few questions from a concerned citizen.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Who's running for President?

With the media all agog over Sarah Palin it's hard to remember that the GOP nominee is John McCain. More information keeps dripping out and some of the more outrageous claims have been debunked by Newsweek.

False Internet claims and rumors fly about McCain's running mate.

But that left wing rag, The Wall Street Journal, calls her out her lie about stopping the Bridge to Nowhere.

Record Contradicts Palin's 'Bridge' Claims

Gov. Palin, who John McCain named as his running mate less than two weeks ago, quickly adopted a stump line bragging about her opposition to the pork-barrel project Sen. McCain routinely decries. But Gov. Palin's claim comes with a serious caveat. She endorsed the multimillion dollar project during her gubernatorial race in 2006. And while she did take part in stopping the project after it became a national scandal, she did not return the federal money. She just allocated it elsewhere.

Palin has attracted a lot of fans among my Republican friends including our old pal KAR:

John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate is starting to look like a brilliant move. Democrats constantly harp about how they are the champions of diversity, yet a closer examination of the recent record reveals that republicans actually provide opportunity as opposed to just talking about it.

· First female Supreme Court Justice? Sandra Day O’Connor, appointed during the Reagan Administration.
· First African -American Secretary of State? Colin Powell, appointed during George W. Bush’s administration.
· First African -American Female Secretary of State? Condi Rice also appointed during the current republican administration.
· Second African -American Supreme Court Justice? Clarence Thomas, appointed during George H.W. Bush’s administration.

Democrats will tell you that none of these people actually count because they are conservative, that they actually setback the cause of women’s right and civil rights due to their conservative viewpoints…come again?

Apparently to democrats it doesn’t count unless you’re liberal, unless you buy into the whole victim mentality, achievement doesn’t matter, continuing the “struggle”, and establishing a mind set that allows the “struggle” to continue is of paramount importance.

Now we have Sarah Palin, a genuine human being if ever there was one. A working mother with 5 children, a “god-fearing”, gun toting, hunting and fishing, breath of fresh air. If this is the type of person Obama was referring to when he described rural folks as clinging to their guns and religion then please let’s get more of them running for office, it would be a refreshing change.

Palin must be a good choice, listen to the level of attacks against her by the democrats. Paul Begala questioned McCain’s sanity, nice of them to be so concerned, but Palin starts to look better every day. I thought it was amusing that Palin was criticized for not writing her acceptance speech and using a tele-prompter. Joe Biden knows a thing or two about using the words of others, and I’m quite sure both he & Obama have used tele-prompters.

I believe that a lot of American women are looking at Palin and thinking that they have a lot more in common with her than the likes of Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. Palin, I believe, has struck a chord with main stream women, women from both parties.

Look at the candidates, judge them by their actions, and decide for yourself which party has a proven record of inclusion. I believe that many people, including democrats, are looking at McCain/Palin and thinking that they are the ticket that represents change, genuine change.

And Dr. Joe has a series of posts backing her.

PA 11th CD update

The Hazleton immigration ordinance will go through it's 2nd round in Federal Court on October 31st. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to have the appeal heard by a three-judge panel. The publicity from the oral arguments will be a boon to Lou Barletta right before the election but in the end it will probably be shot down again. A small town in Pennsylvania cannot make immigration policy. Judge Munley cited the Supremacy clause of the Constitution (page 92 of the decision) to strike down the Illegal Immigration Relief Act. Hazleton is on the hook for $2 million for legal fees so far and they are talking about floating a bond over 20 years to pay it off.

In ther news Mayor Lou opened an office in Wilkes-Barre.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski has been busy doing what he does best.

He gets all wonky about the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac crises. I'm still trying to figure it out and would be interested in hearing Barletta's views.

He keeps bringing home the bacon for the W-B/Scranton Airport, the National Heritage Corridor, Helping to Open a New Business and so much more.

Kanjo introduced the Democratic nominee to the audience at Schott Glass in Duryea and was spotted at the Plymouth Kielbossa Festival.

PA 10th CD update

The big news is that the TL is reporting that Laura Bush will be in Moosic for a fundraiser to help out Republican challenger Chris Hackett. No details yet but I expect it to be an invitation only affair with lots of coverage by the local TV stations. I'll keep an eye out for my invite. Too bad Jenna or not Jenna don't do political gigs, I would pay to see that.

This past week Congressman Chris Carney put out 2 new TV ads that the Hackett camp critiqued here.



This 2nd spot I think is effective. Who favors lead paint in toys or child pornography? It also play up his bipartisanship pointing out that the bill passed 416 to 0.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Eagles pre-game live

I'm watching the pre-game show and they did yet another feature about some fans tailgating before the game. The revelers sent some omelets over to the crew and before Michael Brakann even got done with the thank yous Rapid Edward had already scarfed his down. Later they did a bit with Andy Reid giving the injury report saying the Guv sustained 3 mustard stains on a new jacket in the 3rd quarter. I haven't seen it myself but I've been told is that when you're at an event you don't want to get between Rendell and the buffet table.
Now about that property tax reform.
All the prognosticators are picking the Eagles to win the NFC but I find it hard to predict pro football. A couple of key injuries and your season is in the toilet.
The Eagles just took the kickoff and marched right down the field with Westbrook scoring from the 1 on a shovel pass.
2 drives 2 TDs. After forcing a punt on the Rams first touch they score again on a pass from McNabb to TE LJ Smith. 14-0
Mrs G is on the porch watching her favorite team, the Stillers, and they're up 21-0. I just heard that Tom Bady is hurt and out of the game.
In other news the Phillies are playing the Mets in the 1st game of a doubleheader. Pedro was always a fastball pitcher but now he is now throwing slop. He's up against the King of Slop, Jamie Moyer and the Phils lead 2-0 in the 2nd.
90 yard TD pass McNabb to Baskett. 21-0.
Another Birds TD. PSU alum Tony Hunt punches it in. 28-0.
A big punt return by Jackson leads to a Aikers FG 31-0.
Dobbs smacked it out. Phils 5-0 in the 4th. Pedro is out of the game.
Stillers are up 35-10.
Another TD for Westbrook. 38-0.
Eagles 38-3
Stillers 38-17
Phils win 6-2.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

YouTube weekend

Recently 2 of my blog buddies sent their daughters off to college. This is for Judi of Truth, Justice & Peace and Dana of Common Sense Political Thought.

The Beatles - She's Leaving Home

YouTube weekend

How John McCain picked Sarah Palin with a 3PM phone call. This is funny and not safe for work.

Is McCain Palin's Bitch?

More Sarah stuff and Andrew adds to the speculation. Plus I got this in the inbox.

YouTube weekend

Oops, they did it again.

The Republicans have run into more trouble this time using a song introducing their celebrity VP candidate.

Republicans Lack Heart!

Ann and Nancy Wilson are pissed at the Republican Party and have fired off a cease and desist letter to the McCain/Palin campaign. Specifically, the Heart women are upset that the GOP has used their classic "Barracuda" as a theme song for Sarah Palin. TMZ obtained a statement from Heart's rep, who says "The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission."

Heart - Barracuda (Remastered) (HQ)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Barack Obama in Wilkes-Barre Friday Sept. 5

Or close by.

He will be in Duryea at the Schott Glass plant today at noon. It's invitation only according to Bill O'Boyle in the TL. It's a photo op with the workers at the place. No rally? He could fill the Arena even up here in the Alabama of the north.


Local blogger Tony was there.

That's How I See It


If you scroll down to the Recent Program section there is a link to watch the video of Barack's speech in Duryea. It was a private event. People in attendance where volunteers, elected officials, and plant workers. I lead the Pledge of Allegiance for the event and sat in the front row to the left side. At the very end of the video you can see me when Barack comes over to shake our hands. I'm wearing a yellow dress shirt and at the end I face towards the camera because I am talking to the gentleman next to me. It was a fantastic speech and I felt he did well.

It is something else to standing next to someone like Barack Obama who can be the next president and especially to have shook his hand twice.

McCain makes it official

Yeah, but what about the issues?

Barry and Bill O

Bill O'Reilly interviews (argues with) Barack Obama.

Pet Blogging

I haven't done one of these in a while.

My blog buddy Dana sent his daughter off to college and replaced her with a cat so now he is asking for some help coming up with a name.

Common Sense Political Thought

I was busily typing away at the computer, minding everyone else’s my own business, when Mrs Pico arrived home from work at about 9:00 this evening; in her arms she had a dark grey male, six-week-old kitten, with white paws. Said kitten has yet to be named, so I’m asking everybody to contribute a name suggestion for said kitten. The winner will get a free subscription to Common Sense Political Thought.

I'm in:

Please don’t name him whiskers or socks.

I like political/historical names.

The Egyptians worshiped cats so our guy is named Ptolemy. Ptolemy was General in the army of Alexander the Great who declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt after Alexander’s death and founded a dynasty that lasted until Cleopatra VII had a fling with Julius Caesar.

My last one was Idira Gandhi. The only explanation for it was she was too pretty to call Margaret Thatcher.

Our Golden Retriever is named Humphrey after the Vice President. Although Mrs. G disputes that and claims the name came from the Disney cartoons. My last guy was called Gorby because when I was living in England I spotted a tabloid that nicknamed Mikhail Gorbachev that just after he came to power. I said to myself…that doesn’t sound like the name of a President, it sounds like the name of a dog. So I got a dog and named him Gorby.

Pharaoh is not a bad name for a male cat or use a name of one of the Pharaohs.




A list is here:


Thursday, September 04, 2008

NEPA Blogs

Me and DB Echo with the help of our newest team member Michelle have listed some links to our new local scribes at NEPA Blogs .

Some deal with politics:

The Really Pissed Off Republican

The Empire of the Mind

Right Wing Wiz Kid

Pa GOP Insider

Some don't:


Harold Says

Crazy Chris's Woodshed

Dr. Glenn Czulada

Inspired by the Susquehanna

Cultural Council of Luzerne County

NEPA Power

NEPA Miners Football & Entertainment

Northeastern PA Mortgages Blog


PA on the Go Weblog


Sarah Palin accepts the nomination for Vice President

"We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco."

The VP nominee is supposed to be an attack dog and she sure sounded like one.

"the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull."
"Lipstick," said Palin.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Home Rule back on the radar

I hope this takes off.

Luzerne Home Rule

If you are dissatisfied with the way Luzerne County has been operating you are in the right place.

There is a long and difficult road ahead, but we are motivated by democracy. We can no longer stand aside and watch those in Government strip us of everything while they line their own pockets with our tax dollars.

Neither the law nor ethics can stop these greedy, corrupt officials. The only way to finally end their reign is to unite as citizens and take the back the government - return it to where it belongs - the hands of the people.

Barack Obama in Wilkes-Barre Friday?

I'm getting a handful of hits from this google search:

obama sept 5 wilkes-barre

It's probably nothing but if he is coming to town you heard it here first.

Update: I can't get confirmation of this but Obama will be in PA tomorrow.

Sen. Barack Obama will return to Pennsylvania tomorrow for two days of campaigning. On the same day that John McCain accepts the Republican nomination and gives his speech promising more of the same, Barack Obama will speak at Buchanan Park in Lancaster. The event is free and open to the public. He will outline his plans jump start our economy, provide middle class tax relief and get America moving in the right direction again.

Update 2: The TL is reporting Obama will be in the W-B area on Friday. Details to follow.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The speech not given

PA-10th CD candidate Chris Hackett was scheduled to address the GOP convention yesterday but as we all know the activities were curtailed because of Hurricane Gustav.

Below is the remarks he was planning on giving:

Good afternoon. It's a great pleasure to be here.

I bring greetings from Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. My part of Pennsylvania has lots and lots of small towns filled with people who
Barack Obama says are bitter and who cling to things like guns and religion.

Well, I can report to you that Barack Obama is wrong. The people in our
area are hard working, patriotic, optimistic, wonderful people. The only thing that makes us bitter is liberal politicians like Barack Obama who want to raise our taxes, waste our money on pork
spending projects, and refuse to expand American energy supplies. That's what makes us bitter.

Today, we face many difficult challenges as a nation: A soft jobs
market, choking energy prices, Islamic terrorists, and a federal
government that wastes our tax dollars.

But in John McCain, we have a candidate for President who is up to those challenges. In fact, John McCain is uniquely qualified to tackle them.

Not since Dwight Eisenhower has there been a candidate who is more
qualified to serve as Commander in Chief than John McCain. And never has there been a candidate for president with John McCain's track record when it comes to fighting wasteful government spending. In over twenty years in the Congress, John McCain has never asked for a single earmark. That remarkable record gives him the credibility to lead our Party back to its fiscally conservative, pro-taxpayer roots. More importantly, it gives John McCain the ability to lead our country back to a position of financial strength for this generation and the next.

We can succeed in dealing with our challenges, but we need true
leadership that will take us in the right direction, not the left. As a
candidate for Congress, I look forward to serving with John McCain to defend America, stop Washington's out-of-control spending, and bring us true energy independence.

All of that will begin when Pennsylvania provides the 21 Electoral
College votes that put John McCain over the top on November 4th.

God bless you and God bless this great nation.

Fire Fighters Endorse Carney

Forty Fort, PA—The Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association will be formally endorsing Congressman Chris Carney’s re-election TODAY, Tuesday, September 2nd at 3:30 PM.

"Congressman Carney has stood on the frontline with Fire Fighters and has given us steadfast support during his tenure in Congress. Not only for Pennsylvania Fire Fighters, but for all Fire Fighters nationwide. This is why we proudly stand with Congressman Carney and support his bid for re-election." said Art Martynuska, President of the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association. Mr. Martynuska will be on hand this Tuesday to present Congressman Carney with the official endorsement.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Tom Eagleton

Remimber him? The McGovern campaign had to dump this guy which doomed his already slim chance. It was a desperation choice after Ted et. al. turned him down. John McCain decided to throw a hail mary by picking Alaska Governor Sarah Palin which tells me doesn't think he can win the election. She may not even live through the convention.

Abstinence Only. It really works

Update: This was not a shot at Palin's daughter, I wish her the best, but it calls into question the judgement of her mother and the McCain campaign. How did they not know that this news would create a firestorm. There is a lot more coming out about Palin that suggests that she wasn't properly vetted.

From TPM:

* The news that Palin once backed the Bridge to Nowhere went national.
* It emerged that Palin has links to the bizarro Alaska Independence Party, which harbors the goal of seceding from the union that McCain and Palin seek to lead.
* The news broke that as governor, Palin relied on an earmark system she now opposes. Taken along with the Bridge to Nowhere stuff, this threatens to undercut her reformist image, something that was key to her selection as McCain's Veep candidate.
* It came out that Republican lawyers are up in Alaska vetting Palin -- now, more than 72 hours after it was announced that she'd been picked.
* Palin lawyered up in relation to the trooper-gate probe in Alaska -- a move that ensures far more serious attention to the story from the major news orgs.

Thanks to Judi for the cartoon.

I'm painting my fence

So I'm skippnig the news. For now.

Joe Biden in Scranton today

The only announced event is a invitation only discussion on jobs and the economy with local residents at the house where he grew up. There is speculation that he will attend La Festa Italiana at Courthouse Square today but that has not been confirmed. It looks like both campaigns will be be low key for the next few days because of Hurricane Gustav.

"Scranton" TV Ad