Sunday, September 30, 2012

Road Rage

As I pointed out in a post last weekend First Street is closed in the Hudson section of Plains but the repairs to the RR crossing in Laflin is complete so I'm not trapped despite the efforts of that evil PennDoT government  bureaucrat James May who wants to restrict my freedom.

The First Street sidewalk repairs are done then they moved on to fixing the bridge over Gardner's Creek but there has not been much progress.

Here is a picture of the bridge last weekend.

This is a picture of the bridge today.

Nothing has happened in a weeks time.

These people are taking credit for this project.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Zen is back

The last time Zen posted at Political Rants was in November 2010. That was a very good year for the Republicans and he enjoyed the election results. On national issues we mostly disagree but on local issues we are often in agreement. His site has been restored to the blogroll.

Idiot Watch

Rick Santorum said this would happen if they gays could marry.

"In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be."


Couple allegedly had sex with dog


According to the Luzerne County probation department, on June 6, Moore called the probation office and admitted that she and Antonelli were having sex with their Golden Retriever.
“(Antonelli) and his wife put themselves in danger by having sex with a dog who was not vaccinated,” a violation report says.

From the TL comments: Whose vaccinations? the Antonelli's or the dog's. I'm more worried about the dog coming down with something vile
I showed this story in the paper to Quincy. He didn't like it.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tom Pizano to retire

Luzerne County interim Election Director and Clerk of Courts Tom Pizano will retire on Monday.

This is a big surprise especially since the election is just over 6 weeks away and he was picked to run the Elections Bureau after Leonard Piazza got canned in April. Pizano is a former controller and county commissioner who was brought back into the county government by convicted criminal Bob Reilly.

I don't want to jump to conclusions like some of the people that comment on the TL and CV websites. I don't have a formal comment policy but I would delete many of those comments if they appeared on this blog because they are accusing him of crimes without any evidence. His friends say he is dealing with health issues.

This may have nothing to do with his decision to go back to his farm to grow pumpkins and azaleas but the Voice filed an open-records request asking for copies of his emails. The county is stonewalling saying he is a judicial employee and "Mr. Pizano email can contain DNA and RNA records" and a "Pizano email can contain a record identifying the location of an archeological site or an endangered or threatened plant or animal species if not already known to the general public."

I'm not sure what to make of that last sentence.

The county had no problem providing the CV with former elections chief Leonard Piazza's emails . They document the pissing contest he had with Controller Walter Griffith over time clocks and a turf battle with new county manager Robert Lawton which led to Lawton giving him the boot. I like this reference to Griffith "He can be a real pain!" I've been calling Walter a pain in the ass for years. s

A nationwide search has been underway for the next director of elections but only received 6 responses.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Busy Weekend

Start off with drinks with Tom on Friday then breakfast with Phyllis on Saturday, lunch with Matt and dinner with the Fearsome Foursome. Unfortunately I won't be able to make any of these great events because of other obligations. 

Fellow blogger Tom Borthwick of NEPArtisan is celebrating his 30th birthday & his run for Scranton School Board next Spring.The Party will be at Joyce's Cafe in Minooka from 5:30 PM - 8 PM on Friday, September 28th. You can RSVP on the Facebook page.

Come help Tom celebrate his "Borthday!" BTW, What's this about a wedding?

After you sleep off the effects of the Jager Bombs that Tom is not promising to buy for everyone you can join my 2nd favorite state legislator for a Bloody Mary and some scrambled eggs. Sorry Phyllis but Daryl Metcalfe has moved into the lead for all the wrong reasons or maybe I'm just being lazy.

SRPM: The Third Annual Breakfast Fundraiser for State Representative Phyllis Mundy will be held on Saturday September 29, 2012 from 9-11am at Genetti’s Conference Center Wilkes-Barre. Matt Cartwright, 17th Congressional District Democratic Candidate will be the featured speaker.

Spill out of Genetti's then head north on I-81 to Scranton but first see if you can get a deal on some Televisions. 

The Matt Cartwright for Congress campaign is hosting its first annual Fall Festival this weekend at Nay Aug Park in Scranton.  The event will take place on Saturday, September 29th from 1 – 3.30 PM. 

The family friendly event will feature live entertainment from the Jeanne Zano Band, a BBQ dinner featuring whole roast pork, as well as a moon bounce and pumpkin decoration for children.

Details on Facebook.  Hope it doesn't rain.

NEPA Blogcon 2012 will start at 8AM on Saturday

Join us for a day long conference and networking event covering blog and social media centric topics including: All things Google, SEO, HTML, branding, content strategy, monetizing your blog and more. If that sounds too boring, we promise there will be videos of cats and geek bellydancers.

The after party  will be at Rodono's on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre starting at 5PM. If you're hungry get the pizza with the walnut topping. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Debating Debates

It's an age old dance. The challenger wants as many debates as possible and the incumbent wants as few as possible. The thinking is you don't want to give the upstart any exposure but usually agree to one encounter close to the election.

In the 120th HD the League of Women's voters will host a forum with incumbent Phyllis Mundy (D) and her challenger Aaron Kaufer (R) at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at Wyoming Seminary's Buckingham Performing Arts Center. The LVW doesn't actually have a debate but the candidates will read opening and closing statements and answer questions from the moderator and the audience. I don't know how many of these type of things I have attended and they always bore the pants off of me. Any wonder why only 30 or 40 people usually show up.

Kaufer still keeps hitting himself in the head with this. Kaufer also said he wants to have multiple debates because Mundy was a former president of the League of Women Voters a few decades ago and suggested a debate with another moderator.

I don't know anyone that doesn't think the LVW isn't fair. He suggested to me on Facebook that Tiffany Cloud would be a neutral moderator. Stop laughing, I love Tiff but she is hardly neutral as I'm sure she will be the first to tell you. I suggested the Yonk as the moderator of a blogger hosted debate. No response from either campaign.

Gene Stilp wants a a debate in every county of the the 11th CD just like Lou Barletta wanted a debate in every county of the district last time. Not gonna happen but we may get at least 2. WVIA-TV has one already scheduled for Nov. 1, and an announcement is expected next week about plans for a debate in Luzerne County that will be hosted by a news organization. No word if a debate will be held in the Harrisburg area.

A debate between the 17th District candidates, Republican Laureen Cummings and Democrat Matthew Cartwright, will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Oct. 17. The Morning Call, PBS39 and partners will air the debate..

Legislators plan debate 2 weeks before election


In the new and sprawling 11th, debates could matter


The Morning Call, PBS39 to present face-offs for candidates in 15th, 17th districts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sleeping with Dog Tags

Tiffany Olson is the hostess of Storm Politics on WYLN. I was her guest on the show last December which inexplicably is not available online. Being a veteran I can relate to her worries.

Wife Of Decorated Spec Ops Soldier Writes Sleeping with Dog Tags, A Memoir About Deployment From The Spouse’s Perspective

In 2011 while most were going about their normal daily routine, Tiffany Cloud Olson of Conyngham, PA was thinking of her husband, SSG Erik Olson, a decorated Special Operations combat veteran serving outside the wire in eastern Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush near Pakistan.  Based upon insurgent activity in the region, a high probability existed that he would be injured or worse. Olson was not naive to battle, as prior to Afghanistan, he served two year-long tours with Special Operations in Iraq where he was awarded numerous commendations, among them, three bronze stars, including the bronze star for valor. But despite being a seasoned combat veteran, the risks for him were real, and the fears for her, palpable.

As self-imposed therapy, Cloud Olson began to write about her experiences as a military spouse lacking sleep, worrying daily, checking the casualty report incessantly, & coping sometimes well (often horribly) while her husband was at war. Her writing evolved into a book entitled Sleeping with Dog Tags, which released this month and is available in major bookstores,, Barnes & Noble/NOOK, Kindle, eBooks etc.

Sleeping with Dog Tags tracks the emotional rollercoaster of a military spouse’s year at home while her husband is deployed in Afghanistan. Central to her narrative is the conviction that while war is hell for the soldiers, it is also hell for family members manning the home front, and there are few supports for those left behind.

But the story is also a love story. A story about two people meeting later in life after divorces and discovering they are soul mates—despite their very different backgrounds. And it is the wisdom garnered from a life of experiences that feeds a very poignant, yet very self-aware reflection on the challenges of dealing with the ever-present specter of death, the “my way or the highway” nature of the military, and the missteps of a strong woman treading the unchartered path of the military spouse. But, her humor and passion elevate the narrative. This is not a bitter or whiny piece of writing—angry at times, yes, sad too, and funny as well—but her objective is not to complain. Rather, she strives to offer some perspective on her experiences in the hopes that other military spouses will take some courage and confidence from the heartfelt reminiscences of a woman who got really tired of saying “good-bye.”
                                                                                                                                                -Word Association Publishers

She does not only wish to raise awareness of the military family experience with this book, she also wishes to raise money for an organization benefiting her community. Cloud Olson intends to donate a portion of the profits from Sleeping with Dog Tags to The Rolling Angels for Armed Forces, a motorcycle group that supports military and their families in multiple ways—soldier send offs, return home celebrations, presence at military funerals, and gifts for military children during the holidays, among the many things they do.  Amy Crego, Founder of The Rolling Angels, authored the book’s foreword.

SSG Olson returned from his Afghanistan tour earlier this year, recipient of The Purple Heart. He is currently recovering from injuries at a military base near Washington D.C. where he is in The Wounded Warrior Program.  




Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blogfest post game report

A big thank you to Gene Rooney and staff for the outstanding service as usual.

We walked by the pink bus with long lost blogger Zen to find Pope George Ringo and Forrest Gump had set up a forward observation post at the bar, their natural habitat. Harold and Michelle set up the NEPA Bloggers display. They do a great job promoting the event.

17th PA CD candidate Matt Cartwright came early to work the crowd and was there when Gene Stilp assembled his big Medicare wheelchair. I asked Matt if he had one, he replied "The dog ate it." He left before his opponent Laureen Cummings showed up. Her campaign Manager James O'Meara came early and stayed late.

Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith had a nice chat with his 2009 opponent Bob Morgan. Bob said he is not looking for a rematch in 2013 despite what Luzerne County Dem Chair Bob Boyer tells me.

A couple of candidates from outside Luzerne County came  because " I know that bloggers are now part of the political conversation and you guys are read by people in in my district."

10th CD candidate Phil Scollo with his campaign manager Will Sherry made it and  are running hard against Tom Marino. Who knows what will happen, that is why we have elections.. In 2006 no one gave Chris Carney a chance then Sherwood was exposed as  the Tunkhanock Strangler. 111th HD candidate Jeff Dalander has an uphill race against long time incumbent Sandra Major in Wyoming County. Good to see him.

My 2nd favorite back cracker turned radio loudmouth Dave Madeira charmed the crowd as did fellow blogger Betty of Pure Bunkem. Blogger Big Dan was there along with health blogger Karin.

The 120th HD candidates Phyllis Mundy and Aaron Kaufer worked worked their magic.  Lou Barletta was stuck in Washington but sent the lovely and talented Renita Fennick to represent him. Tom Marino was somewhere and sent no one.

State Rep Mike Carroll didn't like my baseball bat comments but he is a leader for reform of PA government. Take redistricting away from the politicians and campaign finance reform.

The Young Democrats and Young Republicans were out in force. Tom Shibula and Bob Zaruta are our future leaders that brought along a posse including Alex Milanes, Mike Szu and others.

116th HD candidate Ransom Young told me he wants to run a clean campaign. He was there with his wife and PR person Jana.Tarah Toohil was a no show and didn't send a surrogate. 

GOP Party stalwart Lynette Villano brought a few people.

I'm sure I have missed mentioning some people because there was so many.

 Professor Milburn Cleaver lurking in the shadow smoking a pipe. 

Bible Buck, Karla Porter, Bill Goldsworthy, Justin Vaculla, Angie Fanelli, Jane Waitikus, Bill Urbanski, Terri Stella and many more.

Let me know if  I left you out.

I'm not hotlinking this post because it would days to do it. Blogger is telling me that there are too many labels.

The bloggers report.

Fall 2012 Blogfest another huge success

 The Lu Lac Political Letter 

 Pittston Dispatch


NEPA Blogfest packs Rooney's in Pittston


Saturday, September 22, 2012

YouTube Weekend- Whats your sign

Whenever someone asks "Whats your sign?." I reply Neon.

Union Street is closed  going to Laflin

First Street is closed as they rebuild the bridge. If this keeps up I may not be able to get out of Hudson.

I put up a few campaign signs. Notice how they lean left.

Another great Blogfest

We had so many people at Blogfest come and go on Friday night  that I lost count.

Like the last one 11th CD candidate Gene Stilp stole the show,  this time  he parked his pink pig bus in front of Rooney's in the afternoon then assembled his 10 foot tall Medicare wheelchair. He got 17th CD candidate Matt Cartwright to join in.

Full report in the morning..

The political bloggers that make Blogfest happen.

Yonk, Joe V and your humble narrator

More photos at this LINK

Even more photos on Joe V's Photobucket

Snarky Blogger time. Some Bigwigs weigh in on Blogfest.

  Joe Biden. "I hear this Blogfest is a big fucking deal."

 Mitt Romney. " I'm sorry I couldn't make it tonight, Blogfest sounds like great sport. I had a crises when my dancing horse got stuck in the car elevator again. 47% of YOU people can't even imagine the problems I have to deal with for Pete's sake.

GOP US Senate candidate Tom Smith responded to my invitation to Blogfest. "Where the hell is Pittston? Do they have coal there?"

 Bob Casey. " I introduced a resolution in the Senate recognizing Blogfest as a great Pennsylvania tradition but the Republicans filibustered it."

 Clint Eastwood. "What do you want me to tell Gort? I can’t tell him to do that. I can’t tell him to do that to himself."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blogfest Tonight

Bloggers, politicians, and candidates for political office will gather together at Rooney's, 67 South Main Street, Pittston on Friday, September 21 starting at 6:00 for the Fall 2012 edition of Blog Fest.

You can RSVP on our Facebook event page.  

 It looks like we will have a good turnout. So far I have received confirmation from about 20 campaigns for Congress and State House that the candidate and/or supporters will be attending. That includes Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Pastafarians. The statewide candidates have been invited along with local office holders not up for election this year and people interested in running for local offices in 2013. Some national figures have been invited and you never know who just might make it.. Our political bloggers from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties will be there along with our readers, commenter's and people who are just interested in local politics.

Since it's inception 2 years ago Blogfest has been described as the best political event of the season.

The beauty of Blogfest is a few simple rules. No speeches from any politician or anyone else, agree to disagree without being disagreeable. The dress code is basic,  you must wear clothes even if it is warm.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

PA 11th CD happenings

Congressman Lou Barletta's disater relief bill was passed by the House of Representatives with a poison pill built into it. We will see if the Senate takes it up next week. The funding offset is “the  lower rate and the refunds will be paid for by eliminating federal funding for political party conventions” Good luck with that.

His opponent Gene Stilp is a master of free media.

 The pig bus covers up 47% of the Romney bus.

This headline from KP is great:

Gene Stilp’s Bus Challenges Mitt Romney’s Bus to a Fight

From Stilp: Where's Mitt Romney? I had some serious questions for him, but he apparently wasn't on his own bus trip.
But then again, where is Lou Barletta? I have a few questions for him also.
I'll debate whichever one of them is willing to step up and defend their lock step positions on Medicare, Social Security, Jobs, etc. Anywhere. Anytime.

Barletta has a duty to constituents to debate Stilp Kevin Blaum In the Arena

Lou poses with the VP Nominee

 Maybe Barletta should bring Paul Ryan to the district to help him get reelected. Ryan is real popular with people that have Medicare.



Barletta Spox Shawn Kelly takes issue with my "poison pill" comment.

I noticed in your posting about Rep. Barletta’s Disaster Loan Fairness Act of 2012 that you referred to the eliminating of political party convention funding as a “poison pill built into it” that will doom the bill in the Senate.
I respectfully disagree. You might not be aware that the Senate recently voted for a measure that does just that.
On June 21, 2012, the Senate voted 95-4 for an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn. This amendment, S.AMDT.2214, is “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit the use of public funds for political party conventions, and to provide for the return of previously distributed funds for deficit reduction.” You can learn about that amendment here: Search for S.AMDT.2214.
If the Senate was willing to add that amendment to another bill by such a overwhelming margin, it stands to reason that they would support a bill that includes that language to begin with. Therefore, to call the inclusion of such a provision a “poison pill” is incorrect because the Senate has already shown a willingness to pass a similar measure.





Talk Like a Pirate Day

Yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate Day. One of those quirky celebrations like Towel Day. 

The President got into the spirit.

White House Back-Story: The President And The Pirate

 Even Mitt Romney joined in the fun.


  Gosh, I think Talk Like A Pirate Day is a swell idea! It's a lighthearted reminder that the moochers who support President Obama are filling their "treasure chests" with taxpayer "pieces of eight"---that's the money they used back then, you see---and burying it on some deserted island, like the Cayman Islands which Ann and I love so dearly. And if we get four more years of big-spending liberal "plundering," it will surely "shiver our timbers." I think Obama should "walk the plank," my friends, for the reasons I've just described in some detail. But seriously, I love Pirate Land, ladies and gentlemen. The peg legs are the right height, lemme tell ya. Ten thousand dollar bet that Polly wants a cracker? Ten thousand dollar bet???


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

PA Voter ID

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court kicked the voter ID law back to the Commonwealth Court with a narrow question. Can PennDot handle the task before the election?  I'm not optimistic.

SPPE has more.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court sends Voter ID law back to Commonwealth Court

Carolee will not go quietly into the night

To the surprise of no one former Prothonotary Carolee Medico Olenginski is threatening to sue Luzerne County because she was fired by county manager Bob Lawton for obstructing the transition of her office to the new records division mandated by the home rule charter. She got into a turf war with deputy Art Bobbouine and called Lawton a "dictator." That wasn't the only insult she hurled at Lawton.

Now she is threatening to sue claiming age discrimination and her lawyer claimed that Bobbouine stabbed her in the back. She opposed the charter and sued to try to keep her job. In the past she a problem with the carpeting in her office and took legal action about filing cabinets in her first stint as Prothonotary. I actually voted for Carolee in 2009 after Jill Moran proved to be such a disaster and the Dems nominated the wife of a corrupt WVW School Board member.

Betty has the play by play at Pure Bunkum

He Said. She Said

 The papers have the story

 Ex-official fighting dismissal

Axed prothonotary says ageism behind ouster


There is a legal question about whether or not the County Manager can dismiss an elected official even if she continues to be paid. Does the the new charter trump the 3rd class county code? Carolee will probably take this to the Supreme Court. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney just lost the election, again

I'm hard pressed to think of a Presidential campaign that has been this inept. Is it the curse of Massachusetts? John Kerry and Michael Dukakis ran poor campaigns but it wasn't because they scored so many own goals like Romney but the lack of response to the Republicans beating the shit of them and looked weak. No, I think you have to go back to the 1972 McGovern campaign's botching the VP pick and a hundred other stupid moves.

This video from David Corn in Mother Jones is all the buzz.

Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

"[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."


To recap:
  1. Romney falsely claimed that 47 percent of all Americans are complete freeloaders.
  2. It turns out two-thirds of that 47 percent still pay federal taxes. (As it turns out, they actually probably pay a higher rate than Romney.)
  3. Of the remaining one-third who don't pay any federal taxes at all, more than half are elderly Americans who have already paid plenty of taxes.

BoBo of all people shoots down this nonsense

 Thurston Howell Romney

 Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers...This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?....The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees

Reading my Republican friends on Facebook and cruising the right wing blogs it's apparent they love this from Romney. Vodka swilling welfare Queens driving Cadillacs are bleeding the country dry.  I know people that get public assistance such as Medicaid and Food Stamps and they all tell me it SUCKS!

 Then there is the Politico story.

Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled

 You usually see a story like this after the election. The Romney camp knows they are going to lose so the knives are coming out early.

Bain Capitol moved jobs to China 

From Buzzfeed

  And this one


Mitt Romney's Mexican Roots; His Father Was Born In Mexico, Could Choose Dual Citizenship

 The NY Post reports that Romney made his remarks at this guy's place


Nude frolic in tycoon's pool

 That should go over well with "values voters." 

 DN:  Former presidential contender Rick Santorum told a group of social conservatives this weekend that the country's "smart people" will never be on their side.

  From what I read the Romney campaign thinks that they can win the election by running up the score with white working class males. Sorry to disappoint the GOP and the pollsters but I'm a white working class male that will vote for the President.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

YouTube weekend

You Tube weekend

Upcoming Events

The Luzerne County Young Democrats will gather at Sabatinis Pizza, 7PM on Tuesday 9/18
1925 Wyoming Avenue, Exeter, Pennsylvania 18643
You can RSVP on the Facebook event page

  State Rep Tarah Toohill

Representative Tarah Toohil
Slusser’s Grove

636 Ridge Avenue

West Hazleton, PA 18202

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

5:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 State Rep Gerald Mullery

2012 College Clash Golf Tournament




You can RSVP at the Facebook event page 

Local blogger Joe Valenti of Pittston Politics will be singing at

37 E Carey Street, Plains, Pennsylvania 18705
  Saturday, Sept 22, 2012 
Check out the FB event page 
 The 6th District Republican Party Tailgate and Chili cookoff
Sunday, September 23, 20 4:00pm until 7:00pm

  • Mulligans Downtown Irish Pub. 41 South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre

Fellow Blogger Tom Borthwick of NEPArtisan is getting old (30) and is running for the Scranton School Board.

Tom Borthwick is celebrating his 30th birthday & his run for Scranton School Board next Spring. Party will be at Joyce's Cafe from 5:30 PM - 8 PM on Friday, September 28th.

Come help Tom celebrate his "Borthday!"
My favorite state legislator Phyllis Mundy is having a breakfast on Saturday September 29, 2012 from 9-11am at Genetti’s Conference Center Wilkes-Barre. Matt Cartwright will be there

Details at her website

Matt Cartwright is the Cartwright for Congress 1st Annual Fall Festival Saturday, September 29, 20121:00pm until 3:30pm  

At Nay Aug Park


Again the details are on FB event page

NEPA Blogcon is a squirrely  thing

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Play some golf

The Luzerne County Dems have a golf tournament tomorrow at Blue Ridge. Detail on the FB event page.

Why Romney will not win this election

Most people consider themselves middle class. We have had Presidents that were rich but understood what working people have to deal with. Romney is so out of touch that this pic floating around Facebook sums it up.

Carolee is fired

Luzerne County Manager has finally had enough of (former) Prothonotary Carolee Medico-Olenginski. Carolee opposed the Home Rule Charter and filed a lawsuit arguing separation of powers that was rejected by the court. Everyone knows that she doesn't play well in the sandbox just ask Bob Sypniewski.

County manager fires Carolee Medico Olenginski after conflict comes to a head

Long lost blogger Zen Rants had this post about some of her previous complaints about her relationship with the local GOP.