Sunday, November 28, 2010

Signing Off

This concludes our irreguarly scheduled program. Thank you for tuning in.

Klaatu barada nikto

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving thanks

It is fitting that one of the last posts on this blog comes from a regular contributor.


A Thanksgiving Message by Mean Old Man

Here we go again with the crappy holiday of Thanksgiving when I have to be subjected to my goofy relatives nagging me on a day I should be relaxing. What the hell is it that makes everyone think that just because there’s a holiday like this one or the dreaded Christmas, that relatives have to see each other??? Damn!!!

Sure enough, tomorrow morning my two loser sons Clay and Harlan will be stopping by with their dumb kids in tow (not to mention their harlot wives) to ruin my day. And it doesn’t end there, by sundown every creepy in-law and cousin will have graced my front door telling me stories I don’t want to hear and smelling of cheap perfume (including my cousin Phil’s “buddy”, Hal—you get what I mean). My question always is, where the hell are these twerps when I could use them??? A few months back my septic tank was blocked and I was forced to shovel into the ground all day to reach the pipe, but my two runts were nowhere to be found. I called and they were “out doing something”. And it ain’t even as if they could have graced me with at least one grandson to help out with the chores, no they had to have daughters; who by the way are of no help to Thelma Jean because these two tramps in waiting would find the act of boiling water a difficulty.

So what is there to be thankful for this year, anyway??

Thanks Pres. Obama for giving us the commie national health insurance (govt. should stay out of the health care business).

Thanks Mr. President for cutting my Medicare.

Thanks for cutting my Social Security while increasing the benefits for all the illegal aliens.

Thanks for destroying the reputations of two fine young Judges, namely Judge Chiavarella and Judge Conahan with trumped up charges.

Thanks for the influx of juvenile delinquency that has hit my area now that those two judges are out of office and we now have bleeding hearts like Tina Polachek Gartley in charge (she needs to learn to cook and sew, that would be a far more respectable place in society for her).

In short Mr . President, thanks for nothing!!!

I hope this year to be able to sneak out of the house after dinner to go join my friends Jiggs, Slinky and Gummo for a game or two of pool at the legion, down a few Stegs and afterwards listen to the soothing sounds of Vicki Carr singing The Christmas Song.

That’s my holiday, no kids, no family, no sissy love.

Take that Commies,

Happy Thanksgiving and Go to Hell!!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

You Tube weekend

I sang this song in a bar in Delaware and got a round of applause.

Friday, November 19, 2010


James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Good afternoon. Today, one of the toughest tales of the recession took another big step towards becoming a success story.

General Motors relaunched itself as a public company, cutting the government’s stake in the company by nearly half. What’s more, American taxpayers are now positioned to recover more than my administration invested in GM.

And that’s a very good thing. Last year, we told GM’s management and workers that if they made the tough decisions necessary to make themselves more competitive in the 21st century -- decisions requiring real leadership, fresh thinking and also some shared sacrifice –- then we would stand by them. And because they did, the American auto industry -– an industry that’s been the proud symbol of America’s manufacturing might for a century; an industry that helped to build our middle class -– is once again on the rise.

Our automakers are in the midst of their strongest period of job growth in more than a decade. Since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, the industry has created more than 75,000 new jobs. For the first time in six years, Ford, GM and Chrysler are all operating at a profit. In fact, last week, GM announced its best quarter in over 11 years. And most importantly, American workers are back at the assembly line manufacturing the high-quality, fuel-efficient, American-made cars of tomorrow, capable of going toe to toe with any other manufacturer in the world.

Just two years ago, this seemed impossible. In fact, there were plenty of doubters and naysayers who said it couldn’t be done, who were prepared to throw in the towel and read the American auto industry last rites. Independent estimates suggested, however, that had we taken that step, had we given up, we would have lost more than 1 million jobs across all 50 states. It would have also resulted in economic chaos, devastating communities across the country and costing governments tens of billions of dollars in additional social safety net benefits and lost revenue.

That wasn’t an acceptable option –- to throw up our hands and to quit. That’s not what we do. This is a country of optimistic and determined people who don’t give up when times are tough. We do what’s necessary to move forward.

So these last two years haven’t been easy on anybody. They haven’t been without pain or sacrifice, as the tough restructuring of GM reminds us. And obviously we’ve still got a long road ahead and a lot of work to do -– to rebuild this economy, to put people back to work, to make America more competitive for the future and to secure the American Dream for our children and our grandchildren.

But we are finally beginning to see some of these tough decisions that we made in the midst of crisis pay off. And I’m absolutely confident that we’re going to keep on making progress. I believe we’re going to get through this tougher and stronger than we were before. Because just as I had faith in the ability of our autoworkers to persevere and succeed, I have faith in the American people’s ability to persevere and succeed. And I have faith that America’s best days and America’s -- and American manufacturing’s best days are still ahead of us.

Finally, I just want to embarrass a couple of people. Ron Bloom and Brian Deese are key members of the team that helped to engineer this rescue of GM and Chrysler. So it had not been for these two gentlemen, a whole lot of people might be out of work right now. We are very proud of them and I figured that I’d go ahead -- you can see they’re all looking sheepish -- point them out to you.

So thank you very much, everybody.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The transition

I've been on bit of hiatus for the last week or so and it may continue into the future as I decide if I want to continue to do this solo blog or sign on to another platform. Maybe I just might throw in the towel altogether. Mrs G points out that I get in this funk after my sports team or political party comes up short in the latest contest. Double whammy from the Phillies and the Dems this time.

Looking forward the Luzerne County government has been changed and we will now be electing 11 council members next year but not have elections for row officers. It's a new world in the land of the Wyoming Indians. In the near future (5 years) the new charter can be amended so the county executive can be elected and the council can be elected by districts if that is what the people want but we have to deal what is in front of us. The May 2011 primary election will have dozens of candidates running on both tickets then in the fall we may see a few Libertarians, Greens and independents in the mix.

Right now the transition committee of 5 home rule commission members and the sitting commissioners have to pick 3 people to help them out. 47 people applied for the 3 unpaid spots.

Some of the applicants from the TL that caught my eye.

The Yonk!

David Yonki, Wilkes-Barre, has a bachelor’s degree in government, politics, communications and marketing. David has written 3 books and is our local political historian. He writes one of the best blogs in Luzerne County.

Peter Gagliardi, Wilkes-Barre, has a master’s degree in government and politics. He has 17 years of experience with the federal government, 20 years as a freelance writer and has held various customer-service and sales positions in private industry.

Robert D. Seeley, Jackson Township, has a Ph.D. in economics and has been an associate professor of economics at Wilkes University since 1989. He was a member of the commission that drafted the proposed 2003 home rule charter.

• Betsy Summers, Wilkes-Barre, has an associate’s degree in animal science and has worked as territory manager for Midwest Veterinary Supply since 2005 and as manager of three rental properties since 1985. She was also a member of the commission that drafted the 2003 charter.

• Edward Chesnovitch, Jackson Township, has been an outspoken watchdog and served as treasurer of the Friends of Home Rule organization. He served on the township planning commission for 15 years and the Board of Auditors for four years.

• Susan Shoval, Kingston, has a bachelor’s degree in economics and was co-founder of GUARD Insurance Group. She is co-chair of the Luzerne County Diversity Commission and serves on other boards.

• Casey Evans, Lehman Township, studied political science, is second district chairman for the Luzerne County Democratic Committee, was a staffer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and has worked on others.

• Charles Hatchko, Jenkins Township, worked as a correctional officer in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for more than 16 years before retiring in 2006. He also has experience in union negotiations and in the trucking industry.

• Barry P. Finn, Swoyersville, worked as a television meteorologist for almost 25 years and later worked as a career school admissions director for seven years.

Victor Kopko, Hanover Township, has a doctorate in business administration and currently teaches college courses in communications, business and management part-time. He has owned and operated several businesses and has a pending lawsuit attempting to throw out the county’s 2009 reassessment.

• William M. Gagliardi, Ashley, has a bachelor’s degree in biology and has management experience, most recently as a supervisor with the U.S. Postal Service until December 2009. He recently passed a national certification exam for massage therapy.

• Raymond P. Gustave, West Wyoming, has a bachelor’s degree in biology and retired from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2007, after 37 years of employment with the federal government.

Monday, November 15, 2010

“Weather Or Knot”

After a five year wait, the second novel by local writer David Yonki has finally arrived. The book, a murder mystery is called “Weather Or Knot” and is about employees working in a tax funded Call Center in a small Eastern town. The book follows the daily challenges faced by characters like call center employee, Josh Pinski and political impresario, Maxie Wine. The novella also outlines the complicated relationships between the Call Center Owners and the fledgling City administration responsible for bringing it to town. Trouble ensues when local weather casters are being killed. The path leads back to the Call Center and one of its employees. The book is on sale locally at Barnes and Noble, Arena Hub Plaza Wilkes-Barre Township. The author will hold a book signing there on Saturday Dec. 4th from 1 to 4pm.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David S. Yonki has worked in radio, newspapers, TV, Public Relations and sales throughout his career. The author published his first novel, “A Radio Story”/”We Wish You Well In Your Future Endeavors” in 2005. Two years later in 2007, “Legis Vitae”/”26 Rulers of Life” took readers through a philosophical journey of his core beliefs of how to live a good life. In his latest offering, “Weather Or Knot” David offers a fast paced murder mystery novella on the business and political machinations of a fledgling call center in a small town on the East Coast. David Yonki is a graduate of King’s College Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania with a BA combined degree in Government/Communications and also is a proud graduate of the now defunct Career Academy of Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. Yonki who resides in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is the daily author of the popular political website
. an online blog/site that centers on politics and pop culture in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the nation. Mr. Yonki has been a contributing guest on politics and pop culture on various TV and radio outlets throughout Pennsylvania. PROMOTIONAL VIDEO

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

I always joke that I expect a call from the White House on Veterans Day.

I understand why the last occupant of the place never called since he didn't give a shit about the people that were killed and maimed as a result of his Oedipal complex and my opposition to it. I voted for Barry and expected better from him but he continues the ill fated adventure in Afghanistan. Clinton waged a half assed effort in the Balkans and his predecessor had a violent reaction when oil supplies were threatened as any (oil) junkie would.

Some of you know that I wore the uniform of the United States Air Force after high school.

During my time in the service the United States engaged in 3 significant military actions on the orders of President Reagan. The bombing of Libya was justified but didn't deter them from taking down an airliner over Scotland a few years later. I knew the navigator in the F-111 that went down. Although I didn't know it at the time I was part of the planning of the raid. In the Beirut fiasco a good friend who was a load master on a C-130 got shot up on the tarmac of the airport, 241 Marines later died when their barracks was blown up after the US took sides in a civil war. The next day the US invaded Grenada.

I hate war.

Comcast update

I broke down and ordered the boxes from Comcast that are supposed to restore my TV viewing to what it once was in the days when Adelphia was my cable provider with the promise of more channels. They arrived today and I hooked up the first one and followed the instructions provided but I still don't have the upgraded service. Nothing worked. Even worse, after I plugged in all the wires and boxes then waited the required time it knocked out my internet connection. I'm usually pretty good with electronic devices but I can't figure this out. I disconnected everything to get things back to normal.

I'm sure that Comcast will offer to send over a tech geek to make it all work for a "modest service charge" sometime between 6Am and Midnight someday next month if I ask.

Update: I figured it all out. So now I can be enticed to buy first run movies for a low. low price.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Corey O'Brien for Congress 2012

I was going to hold off speculating on who would take on Congressman Nelligan in 2012 but it looks like founder Dan Hirschhorn has started the ball rolling in Politico.

Pennsylvania Dem looks to recapture Paul Kanjorski's seat

Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien, who mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge to Kanjorski this year, began shoring up support for another run soon after Kanjorski lost to Republican Lou Barletta, people close to him say.

You have to wonder if the teabag guy Brian Kelly wasn't on the primary ballot and Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien had run a better campaign by not spending all his money so early what the primary result would have been. Kanjorski pulled less than half the vote in May which immediately made us all worried about the fall. It's impossible to say O'Brien would have beat Lou Barletta in this environment but you can make an argument that he would have had a better chance as a fresh face without all of Kanjo's baggage.

Dan asserted in his story that The district's favorable demographics — coupled with the fact that Republicans can't make it more GOP-friendly through redistricting without hurting their own incumbents in neighboring districts — have Democrats bullish on a return to power there. I'm not so sure about that. After the 2000 census Harrisburg Republicans tried to merge the 11th CD with the 17th seat held by Tim Holden until then State Rep Kevin Blaum restored some sanity to the process. We still ended up with Luzerne County being chopped in half and Scranton being taken out of the the 10th CD after many years and put in the 11th. Who knows what this bunch in Harrisburg will dream up this time.

O'Brien is up for reelection as Lackawanna County Commissioner in 2011 and would have to walk a fine line when asked if he would serve out his term if he wins or is he just using it as stepping stone to Congress. My advice would be to skip the Commissioner's race and put a full time effort into winning the Congressional race but that is easy for me to say because I don't know his circumstances.
Corey certainly won't have a clear path to the nomination as it is no secret that many other Democrats will be in the running for the nod. As I have told many of my friends the 2012 Democratic primary will be a donnybrook.
I asked O'Brien about this story yesterday. His response:

Gort - hope all is well. I'm weighing all options and will be talking more seriously about it over the holidays with my entire family.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Weak tea

This is just the beginning.

Is Rand Paul Already Selling Out?

So Rand Paul talked the talk on earmarks but says he will "fight for Kentucky’s share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it’s doled out transparently at the committee level and not parachuted in in the dead of night. “I will advocate for Kentucky’s interests,” he says."

The senior Senator from Kentucky agrees “As I think all of you know, you can eliminate every congressional earmark and save no money,” the Republican leader said. “It’s really an argument about discretion.”

I think McConnell is right about the arithmetic but the symbolism is deadly.

This is just the beginning of a string of broken promises by the newly empowered Republicans. The question is will the tea party voters call them on it or will they just lay down and be trampled on like what happened under Bush because it's OK if you are a Republican to break your word.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Comcast responds

From the inbox:


I came across your post and wanted to reach out to you regarding your concerns. First, we are going all digital so that we can reclaim some of our bandwidth for more programming and increased internet speeds. For every 1 analog channel on our system, we can fit up to 10 SD channels or up to 2 HD channels. Also, we are working to bring speeds of 105mbps in Xfinity areas. If you are subscribing to our Expanded Basic tier and are losing channels as a result of the changes, we are offering up to two DTA devices (digital transport adaptors) to each home at no additional cost. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns regarding the changes and the options available to you. I’d be happy to have one of my colleagues from the regional corporate office reach out to you.

Regarding Keith Olberman, Comcast is not in any way involved with the decisions made currently by NBC news. As this transaction is still in negotiations and awaiting approval, the law prohibits our involvement.

Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with. Our team is here if you need us.

Kind Regards,

Melissa Mendoza
Digital Media Analyst
National Customer Operations

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Hazleton on the hook for big bucks

Hazleton is facing $2.4M legal bill

My friend McGruff points out that this a misleading headline because no court has yet to rule on the attorney fee petitions. In fact it could be much higher.

The total bill the city could be forced to pay will be much higher, however, as that petition dealt only with legal work that was performed in the first round of the battle.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys will also be entitled to payment for work performed on the city’s appeal of Munley’s ruling, which was upheld by the Third Circuit on Sept. 9 this year, and its anticipated appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Payment of all fees was stayed pending final resolution of the case.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the city's insurance company doesn't have to pay for the reckless actions of Mayor Lou Barletta and then Senator Rick Santorum (R-VA). In September it upheld Judge Munley's decision that local governments can't make immigration law citing the supremacy clause of the Constitution. Mayor Lou said said back in September he will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court and incur even more legal fees. As far as I know that has not happened.

What the hell, it''s somebody else's problem now with Lou heading to Congress and Ricky running for President.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Comcast and Keith Olberman

This started out on my Facebook page and I will mix in some comments from some friends.

I've had enough of Comcast. They sent me a piece of mail today saying I won't be able to watch TV unless get one of their boxes. Blackmail. My TV's aren't that old but they are moving more channels to the digital tier that I will need a box to tune in. I miss Adelphia, they were run by a bunch of crooks but we had great service but I'm actually happy with the internet service. I've had it for 5 years and only had one brief outage. I'm reluctant to get a dish because many of my friends tell me they have weather issues and my late father-in-law would roll over in his grave if we defaced his brickwork on our house.

Keith Olberman has been suspended by MSNBC because he gave some money to Democratic candidates. A host of another MSNBC show gave money to Republicans

Joe Scarborough did the exact same thing


My friend Tony quotes Rachell:

"I know everybody likes to say, 'Oh, that's cable news, it's all the same. Fox and MSNBC, mirror images of each other.' Let this lay that to rest forever. Hosts on Fox News raise money for Republican candidates. They endorse them explicitl...y, they use their Fox News profile to headline fundraisers. Heck, there are multiple people being paid by Fox News now to essentially run for office as Republican candidates....They can do that because there's no rule against that as Fox. They run as a political operation; we're not."- Rachel Maddow

This should be a case of don't do that again because you violated company policy so take a few days off and don't do it again. But even MSNBC will grovel before the FoxNews/TeaParty/Republican noise machine.

What Role Did Comcast Play in Keith Olbermann's Suspension?--UPDATED with Comcast response

Local GOP victory lap

Luzerne County Republicans will host a Victory Party from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, at Genetti Hotel & Conference Center, 77 E. Market St., Wilkes-Barre.
Special guests are Congressmen-Elect Lou Barletta, 11th District, and Tom Marino, 10th District... For more information go to the website,

They are rightly crowing about helping to put the statewide and congressional candidates over the top but the real story is what is happening in the down ballot races. In 2008 the Republicans didn't have one candidate run against the 5 incumbent Democratic State Representatives in Luzerne County. This time around they put up a full slate and were very competitive in the 119th and 120th districts and even knocked off the the Democratic House leader in the 116th although I think that had more to do with Todd Eachus getting beat up by the local papers for flying around on Robert Powell's jet than the merits of Tarah Toohill. But a win is a win. Last year they won 2 of the 3 county row offices after losing every contest in 2007.

Three things have helped change their fortunes. The election of Terry Casey as chairman of the party, the hiring of Renita Fennick as Executive Director and the financial backing of a few donors that always gave money to state and federal GOP candidates but usually skipped the local elections or gave to Democrats because that is where the smart money went.

The back mountain money boys have made it possible to have a full time, year round campaign office in Wilkes-Barre with Renita operating the nuts and bolts. From what I'm told Casey has been a good recruiter and has been able to smooth over the internal divisions of the various factions and got them to work toward a common goal.

For all the hand ringing over the lack of guaranteed minority representation in the new Luzerne County Home Rule Charter it looks like the Republicans will win some seats.

On to 2011.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tuesday's winners

11th CD


83,422 45.5%


100,108 54.6%

10th CD

89,170 44.9%


109,603 55.1%

PA Gov


1,783,762 45.5%


2,136,901 54.5%

PA Senate

1,916,471 49.0%


1,993,908 51.0%

Good job folks, 3 out of 4 ain't bad

I asked you, the readers of Gort 42 to predict 4 races and you got 3 out 4 of them right.

From the sidebar

11th CD

Paul Kanjorski (D) 113 (45%)

Lou Barletta (R) 136 (54%)

10th CD

Chris Carney (D) 146 (69%)

Tom Marino (R) 65 (30%)

PA Senate

Joe Sestak 70 (49%)

Pat Toomey 72 (50%)

PA Guv

Tom Corbett (R) 110 (56%)

Dan Onorato (D) 86 (43%)

BTW, If you have a picture of Congressman Jim Nelligan please send it to me at

I make good on my bets

Joe V in the comments: Hey Gort - Considering the R's will now have control of the house, when can we expect a photo of Newt, Palin or Boehner front and center on Gort42?

Please forgive me for being away from the keyboard since the polls closed last night but a few things popped up including a visit to the dentist today that was less painful than watching the results from last night's election.

You may remember that I made a wager with fellow internet scribe Joe Valenti of Pittston Politics . If the Dems kept control of the House he would replace his profile picture with an image of the soft spoken grandmother from Sodom on the San Andreus. That didn't happen so I will replace my profile picture with one of the above. To show my bipartisan spirit after this election I decided to rotate photo's of all 3 for the next week.

If the gentleman from across the aisle and river would want to show his spirit of bipartisanship he should consider using this pic as his profile.

Or maybe we should both just admit what happened and use this image provided via email by Joe's BFF.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Bloggers prognosticate

My felow scribes in NEPA and across Pennsylvania give us their predictions. I will highlight their calls on the 10th and 11th CD races.

Joe at PAWatercooler

10- Marino 11-Barletta


10- Carney 11- Kanjorski

Penn Patriot

10- Marino 11-Barletta

Carbon County Voice

10 - no call 11 - Kanjorski (I think)

Pure Bunkum

10 - Carney 11 - Barletta

Norton teamed up with Dave Madeira and came up with a split decision.


Dave - Marino
Steve- Carney


Dave - Barletta
Steve - Kanjorski

Then there is Bernie

Pennsylvania Exit Polls

A grand total of only one poll worker was outside the Plains Twp. firehall when I was recorded as voter number 310 out of 1000+ at about 3;30PM today. She handed me a card urging me vote straight Democratic but I have never done that in the 32 general elections that I have voted in unlike my polar opposite.

I did vote for the Dems in 4 out of the 5 races on the ballot with the one exception being James O'Meara in the 121st State House contest. If James wins it will be the biggest upset in local politics that I can remember.

The Blogfather shares his deepest, darkest voting secrets with us.

Predictions: The statewide contests

Everyone I talk to says Tom Corbett will be the next Governor and I have to agree. If that does comes to pass I hope he will be a better Governor then he has been a candidate. I'll forgive him the usual Republican claptrap about waste, taxes and regulations. There is going to be a big budget gap to be dealt with next year and we will see if he throws the rhetoric out the window and governs responsibly. There is no way he going to balance the state budget by cutting the number of cars owned by state agencies and some taxes will have to be increased. His stance on Marcellus gas drilling borders on criminal neglect. Dan Onorato would be a much better Governor and still may win, that's why we have elections.

In the Senate race I think Jose Sestak eeks it out against Pat Toomey. I really can't imagine having a Rick Santorum clone representing PA in the US Senate.

Monday, November 01, 2010


I have been asking people to predict the outcome of tomorrow's election.

Just about all my Republican friends say Paul Kanjorski will win and my Democratic buds say Lou Barletta will be heading to Washington.

It's that close.

Predictions: 119th, 120th and 116th State Rep races.

In the overwhelmingly Democratic 119th District I expect the Democrat to win the race to succeed John Yudichak. Gerald Mullary had a rally with Yuddy on Friday night that should seal the deal. Republican Rick Arnold has run a great campaign but I don't think he can overcome the registration numbers and Libertarian Brian Bergman will drain votes away from him.

The 120th race has been my favorite this cycle as I have got to know and like all 3 candidates. But then I am like the Will Rogers of the local blogosphere and all 3 have mixed it up in the comments of this blog. The story in this race is the Libertarian candidate Tim Mullen who got 2700+ signatures on his nominating petitions and has had enough financial support to open an office in Kingston. I don't remember a local 3rd party candidate ever being taken this serious. That being said Phyllis Mundy will be reelected and the real race is who will finish second.

State House Democratic leader Todd Eachus has been beat up pretty good over his rides on Robert Powell's jet this last week and his one TV spot attacks Tarah Toohill for her connections to the juvie brothers. He is worried. I think Eachus will hold on but this could be the surprise of the night. Got to love this spot that forced Eachus into a debate.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sarah Palin talks dirty to me

This is the first time I have ever heard Sarah Palin use a swear word.

"corrupt bastards."

Predictions: Home Rule Yes and some state legislature races

I have been doing an informal survey of office holders, fellow bloggers and other political watchers over the last few days and we pretty much agree on the following races.

The Luzerne County Home Rule Charter will win big. Unlike 2003 there has not been a very organized effort against it and people are so fed up with what has been going on for years that just has recently been exposed that they are willing to take a chance on another form of government. The charter is not perfect but the biggest objections about an elected county executive and council elections by district can be addressed in 5 years by amendment instead of going through the whole process of electing another commission and writing another charter.

The PA 14th Senate race will be won by John Yudichack(D). The district has an overwhelming Democratic registration and Yuddy has been a good state rep. I like Steve Urban (R) and think he has been a good county commissioner. The Libertarian candidate Betsy Summers will eat into his vote but even if she wasn't in this Yudichack would still win big.

In the 118th State Rep District incumbent Mike Carroll (D) will be returned for another term.
Carroll has pleasantly surprised me with his desire to overhaul the campaign finance laws (there aren't many) of Pennsylvania and reform the redistricting process. His opponent Terrance O'Conner likes to dress up in 18th century garb and stand in the bed of his pick up truck yelling into a bullhorn. Today is Halloween so O'Conner should fit right in. One of his campaign planks is repeal ling the sales tax on ammunition. It's hard to win an election when you make yourself into a cartoon character and a joke.

Karen Boback (R) will win big in the overwhelmingly Republican 117th District. I have to congratulate Richard Shermanski (D) for running a energetic campaign.

James O'Meara (R) is my favorite underdog in this cycle. He has stayed positive in his uphill challenge to unseat Eddie Day Pashinski (D). He came to every blogger event and he married a great girl. I have never cast a straight ballot so this is one Republican I will be voting for. Pashinski wins big.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Attack ads and polling

Negative advertising is nothing new as this clever video shows.

A tip of the tricorner to my FB friend and fellow Phils fan Karl for pointing this out.

I recently asked a longtime politico to put up a few positive spots reminding people why they should vote for his client and not just against the other guy. He said our "polls show that seniority and past accomplishments don't move the numbers this year. " Unfortunately that is probably true of any year. The truth is the negative ads work as my friend on the other side Dana recently lamented.

The campaign pollsters drive races these days and while you have to take any polling numbers released by a campaign with a grain of salt these polls are considerably more expensive and the methodology is more rigorous. If they tell their clients just what they want to hear and turn out to be terribly wrong future campaigns won't hire them. That is why I give more credence to polls conducted by the Dem outfit Momentun Analysis and GOP fav The Tarrance Group.

I don't really trust the public polls this cycle as polling is getting harder and more expensive to do as this story in my favorite magazine The Economist documents.

It is getting ever harder to work out what the American public thinks

The immediate problem is the rapid growth in the number of people who have only a mobile phone, and are thus excluded from surveys conducted by landline. About a quarter of Americans are now “cellphone-onlys” (CPOs) in the industry jargon, and this poses both practical and statistical difficulties... They often retain their telephone numbers, including the area code, when they move from state to state, so it is hard to know where they are. And it costs more to call a mobile phone in the first place.

Sure there creditable public polls such as Gallop and the Q Poll but much of the the rest of it is dime-store junk as Charlie Cook said.

Speaking of junk the Times Leader published a poll on Wednesday that it paid a company in Maine to conduct that came up with the opposite results of just about every other pollster. According to this rookie political polling operation Kanjorski is up 47-39% but just 2 weeks ago Barletta was leading by 2 points. I sure hope that they are right but I seriously doubt that there has been a 10 point swing in this race in just 2 weeks. In the 10th CD they have Marino up by the same margin as last time with a big undecided. Every other public and private poll that I have seen has Carney leading.

One candidate is not running negative ads and he just may win.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kanjorski-Barletta debate post game

Again I wanted to post the video from WVIA but I can't despite the embed link on the website.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski defended his record and attacked Mayor Lou Barletta's management of the city of Hazleton.

They started off by sparring over the amphitheater to be built on a sludge filled coal strip that Kanjo said was being investigated by the FBI. Mayor Lou denied anything illegal was going on.

Barletta denied that global warming is man made and Kanjo said he put his faith in science. Barletta talked about a solar park that Kanjo said was a pipe dream. Mayor Lou hit that one out of the park recalling Kanjorski's ideas for an inflatable dam, people movers and monorails that never happened.


Kanjo said that the Mayor doesn't understand the law or the Constitution. He said that Barletta knew better and said some people might think that he proposed his famous ordinance for political purposes, "Now, I wouldn't be that crass to say that."

El alcalde Barletta luego relató la historia familiar de violencia en Hazleton causados por inmigrantes ilegales y cómo se fue a Washington para pedir ayuda sólo para ser arrancado por la Administración Bush.

Then they got into amnesty. Kanjo said he always voted against amnesty and it was a 'Damnable lie' that he voted for it.

More skirmishing about taxes. Kanjo said Barletta raised Hazleton property taxes by 70% and earned income taxes by 20%. Mayor Lou countered that Kanjo voted to raise taxes 150 times and Kanjo parried by explaining that in 20+ years he voted to raise some taxes and cut others. It's easy to cherry pick voting records.

Kanjo defended the Health Care reform bill rebutting every bogus argument against it.

Then Barletta said something really stupid. He said that this will end up putting health care insurers out of business because it will lead to a single payer system. Nothing in HCR will put the insurance companies out of business.

The post game press releases are always fun.

From the Kanjo camp:

Barletta Makes False Claims in Debate

WILKES-BARRE -- Mayor Lou Barletta made a number of false claims about Congressman Paul Kanjorski's record during the WVIA debate on Oct. 28, 2010. Read the facts below:

1. Barletta Claim: Paul Kanjorski voted for an $800 billion economic stimulus bill that resulted in the loss of 2.7 million jobs.

THE TRUTH. Lou Barletta wants it both ways. With one hand, he waves his finger to complain about the Recovery Act, but with his other hand Mayor Barletta accepts more than $50 million in stimulus assistance for Hazleton.

§ Lou Barletta criticized the Recovery Act, but had no problem accepting federal funding from the law. Stimulus funding is being used to support the Hazleton City Authority’s water-related projects ($15.3 million), the Greater Hazleton Joint Sewer Authority’s upgrades ($33.6 million), and the purchase of equipment for and the construction of the Hazleton Intermodal Facility ($1.5 million), among other things.

§ Money from the stimulus has also allowed the Hazleton Housing Authority to modernize residential units ($524,000) and increased the City of Hazleton’s Community Development Block Grant to improve local resources and create economic opportunities ($255,000).

§ Lou Barletta criticizes the stimulus, but under his watch, the City of Hazleton has the highest unemployment rate in the state. Once again, Lou Barletta is trying to blame others and divert attention from his failed job as mayor.

2. Barletta Claim: The Hazleton mine reclamation project is safe for the people of Hazleton.

THE TRUTH. Federal officials have raised concerns about the mine-fill material and the public is concerned about their safety.

§ Human exposure to the experimental materials being used to fill Hazleton’s mine land is a serious concern to the federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

§ In 2008, Barletta sold mine land to developers for $3 million when it was appraised for $8 million, resulting in a $5 million loss for the city of Hazleton (, 4/20/2010)

§ The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection attended a public meeting in Hazleton in August where citizens expressed concern for environmental and health risks of the mine reclamation project. (Standard Speaker, 9/1/2010).

§ The developers of Hazleton’s mine reclamation project had their offices raided by the FBI earlier this year.

§ The developers of the mine reclamation project donated $10,000 to Barletta’s 2007 re-election campaign for Mayor. (, 4/20/2010)

3. Barletta Claim: Paul Kanjorski voted for amnesty in the 1986 immigration bill.

THE TRUTH. Paul Kanjorski voted to oppose amnesty in the 1986 immigration bill.

§ During consideration of the 1986 immigration reform law, Paul Kanjorski voted to block amnesty for illegal immigrants (Roll Call #455).

§ Paul Kanjorski also voted for the 1986 comprehensive immigration reform law in order to create a new system of penalties for employers who knowingly hire or continue to employ illegal immigrants.

4. Barletta Claim: Paul Kanjorski voted for amnesty for illegal immigrants to allow them to stay in the United States.

THE TRUTH. Paul Kanjorski has consistently voted against amnesty for illegal immigrants.

§ Paul Kanjorski has been voting against amnesty for illegal immigrants for 26 years, while Lou Barletta just started to address the issue in 2006.

§ During consideration of the 1986 immigration reform law, Paul Kanjorski voted to block amnesty for illegal immigrants (Roll Call #455).

§ Paul Kanjorski has also strongly advocated for an enforcement-only approach, and helped introduce the SAVE Act which aims to remove the job magnet that draws illegal immigrants to the U.S. and to improve border and interior enforcement of our immigration laws.

§ An October 6, 2008 article from the Scranton Times-Tribune states “Both [Kanjorski and Barletta] oppose amnesty and pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

5. Barletta Claim: Seniors did not get cost of living increases this year, but Members of Congress gave themselves pay raises.

THE TRUTH. Paul Kanjorski stands up for seniors and is working to ensure that they receive the payments that they deserve. He will soon vote for a $250 payment for seniors.

§ Paul Kanjorski has fought for years to pass legislation that would ensure that seniors get the cost of living increases they deserve. He helped introduce legislation that would create a seniors COLA to ensure that the cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients more accurately reflects the costs that many seniors incur moving forward. (H.R. 2365, 111th Congress).

§ Congressman Kanjorski announced his support for a $250 one-time payment to compensate for the lack of Social Security cost of living increases this year, which the House will soon vote on.
§ The cost of living adjustment is based on inflation and determined by the Social Security Administration. This unprecedented situation is a result of economic conditions, not the result of Congressional action or inaction.

§ Congress has denied itself an automatic cost-of-living adjustment 8 times since 1994. Paul Kanjorski voted against Congressional pay raises for 2010 and 2011.

6. Barletta Claim: The health care reform law will cut $500 billion from Medicare.

THE TRUTH. According to AARP, nothing in the health care reform law will cut benefits for seniors. Lou Barletta is only continuing his desperate attempt to spread fear and misinformation to seniors.

§ The health care reform law works to reform Medicare Advantage by reducing overpayments to insurance companies whose bottom lines have greatly benefited from the program.

§ The law works to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse from Medicare Advantage, and then inject that $500 billion in savings back into Medicare. As a result, it will extend the life of Medicare by almost 10 years.

§ The health care reform law will, in fact, provide cost savings for many seniors.

§ Paul Kanjorski will continue to protect Medicare for seniors.

7. Barletta Claim: The health care reform law will allow for the federal funding of abortion.

THE TRUTH. No federal funding will be used to fund abortions in the health care law.

§ Paul Kanjorski is pro-life and supports the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding of abortion, and remains the law of the land. He also supported the Stupak amendment which ensured that no federal funding would be used for abortions in the health care legislation.

§ The President issued an executive order on March 24 which reaffirms that the health care reform law will not allow for the federal funding of abortion.

§ Paul Kanjorski worked to ensure that the high-risk insurance plan created for Pennsylvania residents under the new law will not allow for the federal funding of abortion. He specifically reached out to the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner to clarify this issue.

Barletta Claim: Kevin Cook, the CEO of Mercy hospital, said that the three hospitals are being sold in part because of the new health care reform law.

THE TRUTH. Kevin Cook recently told WNEP-TV, “I actually find it disappointing that a decision that we made that was in the best interest of the community has been politicized the way it has,” referring to the sale.

§ Unfortunately, Lou Barletta is purposely twisting the facts and knowingly taking Mr. Cook’s comments out of context, even after Mr. Cook clarified that the health care reform law is not the reason for the sale of the hospitals.

§ Paul Kanjorski has worked to secure $270 million total for the 11 local hospitals in Northeastern Pennsylvania over the last 6 and a half years for Medicare payments.

§ Paul Kanjorski helped obtain this funding because he understands the difficult financial situations that many area hospitals have faced and continue to face. He has worked to ensure that the hospitals receive the Medicare payments that they deserve.

§ Rather than helping to provide for his city, Lou Barletta raided his city’s pension fund, and a report published in July 2010 said that Hazleton’s pension fund was the most distressed pension fund in Luzerne County (Times Leader, 7/27/2010)


This one is my favorite because it cites an obscure local blogger.

From Lou Barletta:

During Thursday night’s debate, 26-year incumbent Congressman Paul Kanjorski said he voted against amnesty for illegal aliens, and said Lou Barletta’s statement that he (Kanjorski) supported amnesty was a “damnable lie.”

But the record proves Kanjorski absolutely voted for amnesty.

In 1986, Congress passed a major overhaul of immigration law, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. This law “granted amnesty to about three million illegal immigrants for the stated purpose of solving the immigration problem and securing our border. The enactment of the (IRCA) dramatically eroded border control not only by granting citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants but by encouraging millions more to enter into the United States illegally in the hope that they too would eventually receive legal status.” (“The New American” magazine, June 26, 2006).

The IRCA was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 15, 1986, by a vote of 238-173. Kanjorski voted for that amnesty bill, according to the same magazine article.

A search of the Congressional record shows Kanjorski voted for amnesty – twice. The votes were for the final House version of the IRCA (roll call vote #457, 10/9/86; source: 1986 Congressional Quarterly Almanac) and the final version of the IRCA after it was passed by the Senate (conference report roll call vote #469, 10/15/86; source: 1986 Congressional Quarterly Almanac).

Kanjorski is listed as voting for the IRCA amnesty bill in the book “Anatomy of a Public Policy: The Reform of Contemporary American Immigration Law,” which was written by Michael C. LeMay and published in September 1994. Kanjorski’s vote is listed in Appendix B: The Roll Call Votes Enacting IRCA. LeMay was professor and chairman of the Department of Political Science and director of the National Security Studies Program at California State University, San Bernardino.

A blogger who asked Kanjorski about his stance on illegal immigration in 2006 received a response that included this statement: “In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act with my support.” (, Aug. 3, 2006)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

10th CD debate recap

Tom Marino said Nancy Pelosi is a liberal and kept calling Chris Carney a liar although he couldn't say what he was lying about. Carney went after him about his letter of reference for Louis DeNaples when he was seeking a Casino license and when Borys asked him about it Marino simply refused to answer the question and changed the subject. Carney asked him to answer the question and Marino kept calling him a liar about his health care vote. He lied when he said Carney voted for TARP or just doesn't know his voting record. They both accused each other of running negative ads and Carney pointed out that Marino hasn't run one positive spot.

They were both disappointing with their responses about Marcellus Shale drilling. Carney asked Marino about his stance about the Frac Act but Marino didn't answer that either.

Carney said one the biggest obstacle to progress in the 10th CD is the political extremes and touted his ability to work across the aisle saying his Congressional staff is half Dems and half Reps. It's about working together.

Marino then riped into the stimulus and attacked Nancy Pelosi yet again. Carney asked him wanted what projects he wanted to take back. No response.

Marino said he wanted to eliminate the Department of Education (or maybe not) and Carney responded by criticizing No Child Left Behind because of it's emphasise on standardized tests the don't teach kids critical thinking.

Answering a question about the Susquehanna River Marino said we have the same amount of water that we have as we had a few billion years ago. I wonder how that will play with the fundy/creationist crowd.

Carney recounted how he got substandard military helmets previously made by prisoners are now made by companies in NEPA.

Marino went on another 91% voting with Pelosi, cut taxes, etc. rant that Carney rebutted by Carney saying that his opponent can only repeat talking points that he memorized from the internet and talks in platitudes.

Carney defended the health care bill after Marino said it was jammed down our throats by Pelosi and Reid. Carney said it was vote of conscience being a cancer survivor that realizes that everyone deserves the care he received and said he was lucky because he had insurance. Someone without insurance will eventually end up in the emergency room when it it's too late and will cost the rest of us much more than if it was treated from the beginning. The CBO estimates that the bill will save $1 trillion+ in the future.

Video at WVIA

Carney and Marino duke it out on WVIA

Carney focuses on DeNaples link

Carney, Marino argue their cases before voters

Campaign reactions.

Well, it looks like only one campaign is sending me press releases now. What's up Jason? I always published your stuff.

Marino dodges questions during debate

Pressed for answers from panel at WVIA debate, Marino goes silent, again

CLARKS SUMMIT -- Pressed by panelists about why he provided a casino reference for a felon when he was a U.S. attorney, Tom Marino continued to repeatedly ducked the question, denying the voters of the 10th District an answer about his years as a public official, first as district attorney and then as a U.S. attorney. Yet even as he remained silent on his controversial past, he claimed he was a “straight-shooter.”

“I’m a straight-shooter,” he told the public. “The truth is out there.”

Campaign spokesman Josh Drobnyk made the following statement: "Was he a straight-shooter when he said he had permission to give the reference for his felon friend, or when he said later that he never had permission to begin with? The fact is that Tom Marino is anything but a straight-shooter. He's willing to say anything to get elected."

Marino continued to falsely accuse Congressman Carney of voting to expand TARP. Congressman Carney voted against that measure. Marino also continued to changed his positions. Asked why he has advocated eliminating the Department of Education, Marino denied the charge.

“I said I would do away with education the way it exists now,” he said. Yet in May, he was quoted in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette as calling “for the elimination of the federal Department of Education."

"This debate continued to highlight the clear choice that voters face on Nov. 2. There is only one candidate in this race who has a grasp of the issues and vision for the future of the 10th District and that is Chris Carney."

Fact Check: Marino continues to lie about TARP expansion vote

Even after admitting "mistake," he repeatedly makes false claims at debate about Congressman Carney's votes

CLARKS SUMMIT -- Tom Marino's pattern of lying has not ended with his own career. He repeatedly lied at Wednesday's debate about Congressman Carney's voting record, even after publicly admitting that he had made a "mistake" in his claim that Congressman Carney voted for the Wall Street Bailout. In fact, Congressman Carney opposed the Wall Street Bailout every time the bill came to the floor -- against the wishes of Republican and Democratic Party leaders. Congressman Carney voted AGAINST the expansion of TARP, contrary to Marino's false claims.

"The information that I received said that he finally ended up supporting that. If he didn’t then that is my mistake," Marino told WKOK radio in Sunbury on Aug. 25.

Yet he continues to lie. He claimed in Wednesday's debate that Congressman Carney voted to expand TARP. Congressman Carney opposed the Wall Street bailout twice and voted against expanding TARP. He needs to get his facts correct once and for all.

"Tom Marino has demonstrated that he has no problem lying not only about his own career but about Congressman Carney's record as well," said Josh Drobnyk, campaign spokesman for Congressman Carney. "When will he learn to tell the truth?"


HR 3997
failed 205-228 on 9/29/2008
Roll #674 (
Congressman Carney voted against

HR 1424
passed 263-171 on 10/3/2008
Roll #681 (
Congressman Carney voted against

HJRes 3 (Resolution PREVENTING expansion of TARP)
passed 270-155
Roll #27 (
Congressman Carney voted in favor

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10th CD debate tonight

Incumbent Democratic Congressman Chris Carney takes on Republican challenger Tom Marino tonight at 7PM. You can watch it on WVIA.

Please give your reviews in the comments.

I don't believe this race is as close as the public polls are indicating. Carney has actually been running a positive spot this week.

Yuddy and Urban club each other in debate, Summers along for the ride

Senatorial smackdown

Urban, Yudichak fire off at one another in debate

Yudichak and Urban go after each other in 14th Senatorial debate

Watch it on WVIA

I wanted to embed it but kept getting an error

Ptolemy says Hi to Todd

Copernicus would understand.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Polls and predictions

I put up 3 polls on the sidebar tonight asking who you will think will win the races in the 10th and 11th Congressional Districts plus the Governor's race in Pennsylvania. I'm not asking who you are voting for but who you think will win. I'll add a few more polls on the competitive races over the next few days. My predictions will be posted next weekend but until then please feel free to give me your prognostications in the comments or even better send me a guest post. I expect my fellow bloggers will also break out their crystal balls.

Meet the candidate

Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett will hold a rally in Wilkes-Barre Tuesday as supporters unite behind his campaign for Governor.
WHAT: Rally for Tom Corbett for Governor
WHEN: October 26th, 2010
TIME: 10:00am
WHERE: Luzerne County Victory Office
41 South Main Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Demonstration on Public Square W-B Tues to inform Tom Corbett
WHO: Residents concerned about the effects of natural gas on the environment, health and community.

WHAT: Demonstration

WHERE: Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square

WHEN: Tuesday morning at 9:30 AM

WHY: To show visiting Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett how concerned local residents are about natural gas drilling.

Inquirer Editorial: Onorato has the skills
SRS: Tom Corbett is owned by the natural gas industry. Who do you think he'll represent in Harrisburg if elected? ..."Now more than ever" applies once again. The future of our commonwealth is at stake, and for that very reason, on November 2nd, I'm voting for Dan Onorato for Governor.

And as a lifelong Republican American, I still have that right.

The Blogfather: I’ve compared the candidates, and I believe Dan Onorato to be the better of the two candidates. I like his track record, I like what he’s been saying, and I feel that his stated goals are more than reasonable, doable if you will. I also think he’d be more adept at creating jobs as well as creating incentives for employers to come here.

And I do not like the fact that Tom Corbett seems to be in the pocket of the energy companies lining up to drill every square foot of our area.

Congrats Tom Corbett: Republican PA Attorney General Tom Corbett achieved one of the rare feats in politics with his subpoena of the twitter account of the blog CasablancaPA. He united bloggers of all stripes in condemning the move. The reaction of Democratic bloggers was predictable but many PA Republican bloggers also thought that it was a boneheaded action. One thing about bloggers is that we close ranks when one of our own is unfairly attacked.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Big Dawg in Naticoke tomorrow

President Clinton to Participate in Rally for Kanjorski Tuesday

WILKES-BARRE -- The Kanjorski campaign announced today that President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, will speak at a rally in Congressman Kanjorski's home town of Nanticoke on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 4:00 p.m. The rally will take place at the Greater Nanticoke Area High School.

"I am extremely honored to have President Clinton here to campaign for me again this year, and I look forward to bringing him to my home town," said Congressman Kanjorski. "Nanticoke is where I grew up, where I began my career in public service, and where I still live with my wife, Nancy. I look forward to having Northeastern Pennsylvanians from across the region join President Clinton and me in Nanticoke."

Under President Clinton's leadership, and with Congressman Kanjorski's strong support in Congress, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in United States history. These efforts resulted in unprecedented progress for America, including moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs - more than any other administration; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest home ownership and college enrollment rates in history.

During the Clinton Administration, Congressman Kanjorski was able to secure $250 million for the Wyoming Valley Levee Raising Project, which has saved Northeastern Pennsylvania from an estimated $1 billion in flood damages.

President Clinton visited Northeastern Pennsylvania in November 2008 to campaign for Congressman Kanjorski at Wilkes University. Congressman Kanjorski also campaigned in the area with President Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, when she ran for president that year.

The public is invited to attend the rally in Nanticoke. More details are available below and at

· Address: Greater Nanticoke Area High School gymnasium

427 Kosciuszko Street

Nanticoke, PA 18634

· Doors open at 4:00 p.m., line to attend starts at 1:00 p.m.

· No tickets needed for the free event.

My Republicans friends are throwing a hissy fit over the venue.

Another Monkey adds:

In any event, this is to my knowledge the first time any President, current or former, has passed through Nanticoke's city limits.*

*It is possible that Richard Nixon threw up a bit while flying over Nanticoke after his 1972 post-Agnes visit to Wilkes-Barre.

Here is clip from President Clinton's last visit to Luzerne County.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kanjo responds to terrorists

In this image taken moments after the shooting, (from left foreground) House Pages Bill Goodwin, Paul Kanjorski, and Bill Emerson carry a stretcher bearing a wounded Member to a waiting ambulance. Photo from the Office of the Clerk.

I was recenetly talking with a DC type who reminded me of this incident.

On March 1st, 1954 the United States Capitol was under attack and five Members of Congress were shot....Future Representatives Bill Emerson of Missouri and Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania were among a group of Pages who helped to evacuate wounded Representative Alvin Bentley on a stretcher.

Currently representing Pennsylvania’s 11th District, Congressman Kanjorski (D) was 16 at the time of the shooting.

Home rule event tomoorow

My favorite radio talking head asked me to post this and I'm happy to oblige. Unlike some other people on WILK she is up front about her loyalties and biases, I can respect that. Plus she is a Red Sox fan, we'll get 'em next year.

If you are blogging, can you give a shout out to a:

Home Rule Forum
King's College
Monday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center
Third Floor Walsh Room

Sponsored by the King's College Pre-Law Society
Moderated by Dr. Jayne Klenner Moore, King's Professor of CIS
10 minute opening statement, then questions from the audience
Open to the public!

Featuring Jim Haggerty and Rick Morelli on behalf of Home Rule yes and Attorney Vito DeLuca on behalf of Home Rule no

Coordinated by Dr. David Sosar of the Political Science Dept.
Thank You,


If you are blogging?

The above pic is from the Arlen Specter airport rally in April with VP Joe Biden. (L to R) Attorney and past Judge candidate Joe Terrana, the lovely and talented WILK newstalk radio host Sue Henry and fellow blogger Steve Urbanski who writes SPPE who is talented but not lovely.

You will notice that they put them in a cage.

The 2010 World Series

I don't have a dog in this fight since the Phillies came up short and the team we love to root against (the Yankees) was eliminated. But I always put up a poll on the sidebar and I don't want to break a tradition.

Here is another view of the great American passtime.


By Mean Old Man

I’m fit to be tied over the fact that it is once again playoff/world series time in the prissy game of baseball!!! Ballplayers today are nothing but a bunch of glorified and overpaid panty wastes who couldn’t measure up to the players of my day---including my buddies and me who used to play after school or while playing hooky.

I remember one time when I was at the plate and my pal Gummo pitched a scorcher that came straight to my head and whacked me for a loop. I remember laying on the hard ground and the throbbing pain in my jaw and the taste of blood in my mouth. In fact, the blood was gushing out of it faster than Old Faithful. It was a nightmare and the pain was ripping me apart----IT WAS GREAT!!!

Because me and my pals knew the joy of the pain of good baseball; not like the sissy boys of today’s game.

And what about the fairy boot pitchers today. In my day we had guys like good ol’ Babe Ruth. The Bambino could go out all night and drink his tail off while playing winning hands at poker and get by on one hour of sleep yet still show up at the ballpark to pitch a great game, try that, Halladay!!!!

My old man used to take me to Yankee stadium (when it was a good year) and I got to see all of the greats play. Good ol’ Joltin Joe DiMaggio could hit with the best of them and dated great gals like Marilyn Monroe. I bet there isn’t a single panty waste in the whole National or American leagues who could even handle an hour with good ol’ Marilyn---now there was a dame!!! I remember once when Pops dragged me across the street after a game outside of the house that Ruth built over to the Stands bar. My old man was quite the consumer of alcohol, some in the neighborhood would go so far as to call him a drunk, but he was a real man as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, after drowning himself with about 8, 9 or 10 Ballentines, he dragged me out in the street for a whooping because I failed to catch a foul ball that some goofball Red Sock had hit toward us earlier. Just as he was about to give me the (deserved) beating of my life, out of the shadows comes the Babe. You know, they say that Ruth liked kids because he was an orphan or something like that, but it ain’t so; the Bambino saw my Pops getting ready to lasso me with his trusty belt and I was expecting to hear him protest at the horrible treatment this adult was about to give his son, boy, was I wrong!!!

“Give it to him good!” I heard Babe scream to my dad, “ He probably deserves it, anyway!” With that my pops cracked my back about four or five or six times and afterwards dragged me back to the bar with the Babe in tow.

To this very day, Babe Ruth is my favorite ball player because he knew that kids were to be seen and not heard and that most importantly a son should never disappoint his old man by missing an oncoming foul ball in a baseball stadium—glove or no glove.

The world series used to be an event, too!!! In my day you could catch the games in the afternoons, you didn’t have to stay up until 1, 2 or 3 in the morning to catch the bottom of the 9th. Try that today; because the entire game is all about money and not about the fans. Good ol’ Mickey Mantle used to sell used cars in the offseason. I’d like to see Derek Cheater do that. Hell, maybe I’m wrong, Cheater would actually do quite well as a used car salesman, he’s certainly given the fans a real snow job for the past few years!!! Damn!!!!!

And whatever happened to fighting in baseball???? IN my time there would be a dustup practically every game and sometimes more than one time. Players like the great Billy Martin wouldn’t take no gupp from nobody and they were glad to give a knuckle sandwich to some schmuck from Boston. Poor Billy got a raw deal, first from goofy Steinbrenner, who , like a woman, could never make up his mind and secondly from father time who ended his far too soon. I bet if Billy were here today, even as an old man, he could beat the crap out of any player in the majors. Hell, even I could do that, though!!!!

Baseball players today have it too easy and they don’t know anything about what the game is all about. I know some little leaguers who can out play these goofs---and that’s coming from someone who isn’t a fan of kids.

So, anyway, enjoy your dumb world series. Maybe the ghost of George Steinbrenner will come over and nag you like the little woman does. You prissy wimps probably would enjoy that. Go to Hell!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

No tax on Drillers

Rendell calls gas severance tax dead this year

An effort to enact a state severance tax on natural gas production during the past 18 months ran into a dead end Thursday amid a round of political recriminations. Gov. Ed Rendell pronounced the push to enact a severance tax on natural gas production dead this year - a tacit recognition that the legislative session is effectively over until January and his term in office ends that month too. Rendell said the unwillingness of Senate and House Republican leaders to negotiate in good faith on a compromise tax is responsible for the breakdown.

The argument that a tax on gas extraction will chase away the drillers is laughable as just about every other state has one. The natural gas market is a world wide market just like oil. The gas extracted in PA doesn't stay in PA but is put onto the world market so consumers in the Commonwealth are already paying a severance tax to other states. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center explains.

Across the country, 96% of natural gas is produced in states that have severance taxes. Pennsylvania, however, remains one of the only energy-producing states without one.

While some policymakers in Pennsylvania worry about the impact of a severance tax, studies in Wyoming, Utah and other states have shown that tax rates have little effect on natural gas production. Rather, drilling decisions are made based on the location of reserves and the expected price of natural gas.
This weekend, Pennsylvania will reach a new milestone - $100 million in revenue lost by the Legislature’s failure to approve a natural gas severance tax. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is tracking in real-time how much severance tax revenue has been lost since October 1, 2009 by not having a tax in place. View the Severance Tax Ticker here.

This is not surprising since we have the best legislature and candidates that money can buy.

The Money Game: Marcellus Shale Cash

It might seem odd that Kim Pegula, a self-described "homemaker" from Boca Raton, Florida, would donate $180,000 to help state Attorney General Tom Corbett become the next governor of Pennsylvania. ...To be sure, Ms. Pegula is no ordinary homemaker, but is responsible for an 8,000-square-foot, Tuscan-style estate in the exclusive St. Andrews Country Club that is currently on the market for $5.4 million... A study of reports filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State shows that in the 18-month period between January 1, 2009, and last June 30, drillers gave at least $751,762 to candidates-nearly triple their total of $276,802 for 2008.

One thing is very clear: the gas companies believe that their interests will best be served through the election of Republicans. Of the grand total of $1,028,564 contributed in 2008, 2009 and the first half of 2010, fully 82 per cent, or $843,884, went to Republican candidates.

Corbett accepted $311,803 in natural gas money
while his Democratic opponent in the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, took $94,000. State Auditor General Jack Wagner, who lost to Onorato in the Democratic primary, received $26,250.
For the record, Corbett opposes taxing natural gas, saying it would hurt a fledgling industry.

If this wasn't bad enough SRS points out that they not only don't want to tax this activity but want taxpayers to subsidize it.

Bill proposes State funding for marcellus infrastructure

Our environment is being raped in slow motion and the perps want us to pay for the pleasure. The water in Dimock has been poisoned by the gas drilling but Cabot Oil won't accept responsibility for its actions. Instead of making it right for the families affected Cabot pours money into the coffers of friendly politicians that will help them to avoid paying for the damage they have done and will do in the future. Yes, $12 million to build a water pipeline to service 16 families is madness. Expect more madness in the near future. The question is who will pay for the madness?

117th Democratic State Rep candidate Richard Shermanski sent this statement:

Shermanski Declares Death of Severance Tax Bill "Offensive"

The failure of the Pennsylvania legislature to enact a severance tax in the state was called "irresponsible" by Governor Rendell. Richard Shermanski, candidate for the 117th district, would also call it offensive. Given Pennsylvania's budget struggles, leaving a $70 million hole in the revenue plans is bad - but the issue of safety is another matter entirely.

"I'm committed to making sure that gas extraction is done safely. How can we make sure it's safe? We must have monetary reserves on hand to make sure that we can quickly respond to a disaster on the scale of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill we saw just months ago. A tax will put in a position to do just that," Richard said earlier today.

Richard said that House Republican leadership and their loyal foot soldier, Representative Karen Boback, had been more concerned about making sure the corporate interests were assured of higher profits
than safety of Northeastern Pennsylvanians.

"Pennsylvania will be the only mineral rich state in the country without a severance tax. The argument that a tax here would force companies elsewhere is absurd."

As we progress into the next legislative session, it's imperative that we tackle this issue. I want to pass this tax so that our commonwealth can improve financially - and, by extension, the lives of the citizens in Northeastern Pennsylvania will improve financially. Richard also said, "That House Republicans would look out for these out-of-district corporations over the potential safety of the families in the 117th and elsewhere is simply offensive."