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.