Thursday, October 08, 2015

Updating the Blog Roll

The big news in the local political blogosphere is A Big Fat Slob has started posting again after a 4 year hiatus and he started off with an instant classic If Trump Wrote the Gettysburg Address

The sad news is that's the only addition to the blog roll as many of our former bloggers have either quit or now put all their energy into Facebook. I can understand why. I deleted a bunch of sites because they haven't been updated in years.

Of those remaining:

Potential 2032 Democratic Presidential nominee Omeed renamed his blog Firouzi Files . He likes Joe Biden.

John Cole Cartoons is one of the best in the business.

NCFE touches on politics and has observations on life, the universe, everything plus he is a fan of  Hunter Thompson. Give me ether.

2 Political Junkies keep  us up to date on Pittsburgh and national politics. They keep Jack Kelly honest.

Lehigh Valley Ramblings is one of the best local political blogs in the country. Bernie does a lot of original reporting that results in some very entertaining pissing contests.  No pot belly pigs were harmed writing this post.

The Lu Lac Political Letter is regarded as the gold standard of local NEPA political blogs. The Yonk has built it into something of a media empire with his appearances on TV and radio.

The reluctant Democratic Committeeman Another Monkey has been busy shooting the moon.

Big Dan flies the false flag.

Keystone Politics is a progressive Philadelphia blogger that supports the Guv and bike riding.

The author of Susquehanna River Sentinel is a local product that now lives in the Philly area and is one the best sources of information about the River and the environment. 

 One of my first friends in this blogging thing was a guy from New York who helped me win some awards that don't seem to matter much now. Simply Left Behind  is the only site outside PA on the blogroll.

The Pennsylvania Progressive is like me. Slaking off. 

Above Average Jane is another one from the early days of hobby bloggers.

I still can't read Posts From The Fringe because of the background.  

Michelle doesn't post on her blog often she really hit on this one

What happened to Jennie Monica? 

Pittston Politics stopped posting over the summer but he has threatened to come back.  It looks like Joe has given up on the blogging thing in favor of posting right wing talking points on Facebook. Guns good, Rebel flag good and abortion bad.

 The Keystone Report looks similar to Drudge but  it's must visit everyday because Chris gives us all the headlines and his hair looks mahvellous. 

 Then there is the Blogfather. My inspiration and mentor. Wilkes-Barre Online probably got rid of the worst Mayor in the the history of the city. After his mission was complete he seemed to loose  his focus and now blogs infrequently at Circumlocution.




Saturday, October 03, 2015

A new job for the Benghazi committee

Since the Speaker to be  Kevin McCarthy confessed that the committee's best work has been hitting Hillary's poll numbers it's time for them to look at a real problem. The soft spoken grandmother from Sodom on the San Andreas has an idea.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner calling for the creation of a Select Committee on Gun Violence to confront the crisis of gun violence in America and recommend common sense legislation to help end it.  In addition, Leader Pelosi urged Congressional passage of the bipartisan King-Thompson bill to strengthen background checks that save American lives.
As Leader Pelosi wrote, “The epidemic of gun violence in our country challenges the conscience of our nation.  Mass shootings and gun violence are inflicting daily tragedy on communities across America.  As of today, nearly 10,000 Americans have been killed by guns in 2015 – more than 30 gun violence deaths a day.  Yesterday’s terrible attack at Umpqua Community College in Oregon marked the 45th school shooting this year alone.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Everybody should have a gun, it makes us all safer




So many politicians try to make us afraid of some Muslim terrorist trying to kill us but the chance of that happening is very remote. A guy tries to set his sneakers on fire on a plane so we all have to take our shoes off for the next few years. 

Today there was yet another mass murder in Oregon but nothing will be done about it because of a broad reading of the 2nd Amendment by the courts and the gun(NRA) nuts have a veto on almost all gun safety laws. 

   2nd Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  What about the "well regulated militia" part.  The Supreme Court has ignored it and we have been arguing about it since 1791. The Militia  is important, so if you want to own a gun you should be ready to muster and fall in line to protect the country from invasion, rebellion or Indian attack.


4 Pro-Gun Arguments We're Sick of Hearing

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dobash knocks Lawton and endorses candidates

From the email:

This letter is a plea to the Majority of County Council and the Luzerne County Citizens to hold Luzerne County Manager Robert Lawton accountable.  It is also a letter of support for five Luzerne County Council Candidates who are on the November General Election Ballot.
On September 22, 2015 Luzerne County Council was informed that since the start of this year Luzerne County was without a hazard mitigation plan.   I was surprised, shocked and angry because public safety and wellness was not Lawton's top priority.  This is the biggest error and missed deadline made by Luzerne County Manager Lawton.
Listen to the 9-22-2015 Work Session meeting audio.

At our meeting, County Council Chair Linda Houck, asked: "What is the usual procedure?  I can tell you I hadn't heard about it"  Houck questioned Operational Services Director Tanis Manseau about the process to get the plan on the Council agenda.  Manseau replied, "we send it to the Manager".
So Lawton ignored it! Did he put it on a pile or throw it away?

When I took my turn to comment I said: “It’s extremely alarming. I’m asking for an investigation as to why we were not notified.”
I also stated I was thinking of the potential financial disaster.  This is gross mismanagement by the County Manager. 
Lawton's failure to meet our designated deadlines gives enough reasons to replace him with a person who has real leadership skills.
I ask Chair Houck and the rest of the Council majority to wake up and open blind prideful eyes.    Lawton overspends $16.9 million, lies to Council Council and cannot meet deadlines in a responsible manner.  It is time for Mr. "Lateton" to go. 

After a man made or natural disaster we depend on and receive  the recovery money to rebuild lives.
However, to get that money, counties and municipalities need a hazard mitigation plan.
Below is a memo to help  ease our concern:
"This letter should end the concern that Luzerne County didn’t have a FEMA approved HM Plan in place.
All work had been done, the necessary municipal adoptions had not occurred once FEMA Region III provided the normal FEMA “Approval Pending Adoption” Letter.
Nancy/Lucy – Please ensure all municipalities continue to get their municipal adoptions into the county and FEMA Region III, to include the upcoming County adoption in October.  Thanks."
Thomas S. Hughes
PEMA State Hazard Mitigation Officer
Bureau of Recovery and Mitigation
Hazard Mitigation Division
PA Emergency Management Agency
2605 Interstate Drive | Hbg PA  17110

 We need a County Manager who places  Luzerne County Citizens first on his priority list.

The future of Luzerne County  is in the hands of the voters.
The voters have a chance in the November General Election to select the incumbents and those candidates who put public safety first  and stop County Manager Robert Lawton  from crippling the area.

Re-elect Edd Brominski, Stephen A. Urban and Stephen J. Urban, incumbents who have voted against EVERY tax increase since the beginning of the new Home Rule Government.
- These incumbents  opposed the elimination of the Homestead Tax Credit.
- These incumbents supported actions to replace County Manager Lawton who has proven himself to be fiscally irresponsible four years in a row and late with every important deadline designated in our Charter.

I also ask voters to elect Mark Rabo and Ray Gustave who have dedicated their time to attend County Council meetings and know the issues we face.  
- They are the only candidates who have consistently researched the law and shared information at public meetings.
- Both gave excellent suggestions to County Council on important issues before Council took action.

Moving forward with leadership will take strong trustful individuals.
I place my faith and confidence in the people who really care.


Kathy Dobash
Luzerne County Council Member

Runs with Scissors

Our neighbor Alisha  just relocated her hair salon Runs with Scissors    to her home at 1 West Stanton St. in Plains. The place has a storefront that used to house Kupstas Market that was known for some of the best Kielbasa in NEPA. She has done an amazing job revamping the retail space and even turned the meat locker into a bathroom. Today she had a grand reopening that clogged up all the parking in the neighborhood because she has so many loyal clients and friends.

Hair cutting is one of the few local "Mom And Pop" businesses still left but even they are under attack by chains such as Supercuts. We are lucky in Plains that we still have local family owned businesses such as the best butcher shop around in Plains Meat Market and Sheehan's Pharmacy.

All the girls tell me Alisha and her crew do a great job. Now if she would only learn to make Kielbasa.

More photos at my FB page

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Pope in America

 Photo Credit

Pope Francis started his North American tour in Cuba then flew to Washington and now he is in New York. His address to Congress has been interpreted as endorsing one political point of view or another depending on who you listen to. As far as his pronouncements about helping the poor and being tolerant of other people he hasn't said anything different than previous Pontiffs. Do good works, feed the poor, stop poisoning the planet and follow the golden rule.

 He reminded us all in the Americas that most of us are immigrants.

 It will all be forgotten by next week.

Congress-critters weigh in:

Matt Cartwright

“I am struck by the historical significance of His Holiness Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, and honored to have witnessed Pope Francis address a Joint Session of Congress this morning.
“I share key public policy priorities and commitments set forward by Pope Francis during his tenure.  Specifically, I was pleased and inspired that His Holiness discussed the caring for the marginalized and the poor, advancing economic opportunity for all, and serving as good stewards of the environment.
“I am very much moved by the presence of the Holy Father and my hope is that his message will stir policy makers to make the world a better place for all of its citizens.”

Lou Barletta

“It was a singular honor for me and my wife, Mary Grace, to be present in the House chamber when Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress, the first time any pope has done so.  These are very troubling times in which we live, and the pope’s message of peace is something that people of all faiths – or no faith at all – can benefit from.  We should be greeting the Holy Father as Americans, not as Republicans or Democrats, and check our politics at the door as we do so.  He is the leader of one of the great religions of the world, the successor to Saint Peter, and we should all listen to and reflect on what he has to say.
“As a Catholic, I revere the pope as the leader of my church, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and I am glad to have him open conversations about secular policy, which we may consider and discuss freely.  Whether Pope Francis’s remarks confirmed your position on a certain issue, or caused you to examine your own beliefs, his speech was a call for us to be better caretakers of each other and our world.  As matters of public policy, members of Congress may disagree on the pathway to achieving certain goals, but his overall message is something we can all embrace.  
“I agree with Pope Francis that we must be good stewards of the environment, and appreciate his embrace of new technologies as a means to that end.  His view that prosperous nations such as ours should welcome new citizens is well taken, as is the church’s Catechism that those new arrivals must respect the laws of their new host countries.  Finally, he was unequivocal about the sanctity of life, and that we must cherish and protect life in all of its stages.
“When the pope speaks of caring for the poor, the sick, and the unborn, he is speaking to what many of us believe.  It is fitting that he has visited America, because this is a nation which shares his vision of putting people in position to be able to pursue their dreams and enjoy the blessings of liberty.
“This was an extraordinary thrill for Mary Grace and me to witness Pope Francis’s address, as well as the canonization mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  These are experiences we will never forget.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I am not worthy

A big thank you to one of my first blogger buddies for featuring Gort42 on his gig on WBRE.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

What if Trump wins the GOP nomination?

Photo from here

I've been watching Presidential politics a very long time and I have never seen anything like this. The more outrageous things he says that would sink the usual presidential bid makes him even more popular.If he is caught out saying something dumb or lacking knowledge he just insults his opponents or the inquisitor. They are losers and stupid.

He is top of the polls nationally and leading in 3 of the early voting states. Whether he can build a turnout operation remains to be seen but that may not even matter if the people he is connecting with show up on their own. Many people I talk to both Democrat and Republican tell me 2 things they like about him. Kicking out illegal immigrants and the system has been been corrupted by money and since he is rich he can't be bought.

He may win a few of the early primary and caucus states but the SEC Primary happens on March 1st. Trump may have the momentum to win some of them but not all . This is also Hillary's firewall. My prediction is that he will many of the southern states and clear the field. Then what?

At that point he will have to start kissing the ass of the big donors since he probably doesn't have $1 Billion to finance a general election campaign on his own. Then the much vaulted "Republican Establishment" will have a choice to make.

Much has been made about the loyalty oath that the Donald signed pledging to back the Republican nominee. But if the Trump is the nominee I can see a 3rd party/independent bid by an establishment Republican. It may be one of the candidates running now because the loyalty oath isn't worth the paper it's written on or it could be someone waiting in the wings like Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney

Friday, September 11, 2015

Glenn Geissinger for Congress

Northampton County Councilman Glenn Geissinger launched his congressional campaign Tuesday for the PA-17th CD against  U.S. Rep. Matthew Cartwright. He is the first Republican to announce and we can expect more.

His announcement via the Morning Call: "I want Matt Cartwright to understand that solutions come out of the private sector. They come out of people like you and me going to work every day to make America a better place. They don't come out of adding more regulations. They don't come by scaling back on our ability to produce jobs,"....I am going to do what it takes to win in order to bring what these people think government should be to Washington,"....

Sounds good until this;

 The people of northeast Pennsylvania need someone in the nation's capital who would go up against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and protect blue-collar jobs and the coal industry that dominates the northern part of the district. 

The coal industry in PA is just about dead in Pennsylvania and employs less than 9000 people statewide. It seems that it is a tenet of faith for Republicans that the EPA is some sort of  evil organization that people hate. The last time I checked people like clean air and water. 

He also took a shot at the Democratic House Leader  Geissinger painted himself as a better fit for the district than Cartwright, whom he labeled a "Nancy Pelosi Democrat."

This is so 2008. Trying to tie a local candidate to the soft spoken grandmother from Sodom on the San Andreas hasn't worked beyond the people who would never vote for a Democrat anyway. 

I would argue that Pelosi was a more effective Speaker than John Boehner  who can't even keep the government working because he can't  deal with a bunch of anti-government anarchists.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pashinski Brunch

Eddie Day and the Guv
 Thom Shubilla and Eddie
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski is having his annual September Brunch at Genetti's in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday at 11AM.

This event always draws a big crowd and in 2013 our future Governor scored some major points with the locals by greeting everyone at the door.

It's curious that there is nothing on the intertubes about this gathering. Pashinski doesn't have a Facebook campaign page and his campaign website hasn't been updated in a few years.

Blogcon this Saturday

Mark your calendars! NEPA BlogCon 2015 is scheduled for Saturday, September 12, 2015 at East Stroudsburg University's Hoeffner Science & Technology Center. Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the first session will begin at 9:45 a.m. Sessions will run throughout the day until 4:00 p.m., with a 45 minute break for lunch.

All proceeds will benefit a technology and programming camp for girls in grades 4-6. For the cost of your ticket, you'll get exclusive access to this area’s top Internet professionals, ready to show you all the tips and tricks you'll need to spice up your social profile, beautify your blog, and network with the best of them!

NOTE: RSVP'ing via the Facebook page does not guarantee ticket availability.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Young Dems getting the band back together

I have always been a supporter of our local chapters of the Young Democrats and Young Republicans in Luzerne County . Both outfits have very generous to me over the years.

 Just looking at their Facebook pages they both have been dormant since 2013 so it's good to see one of the organizations getting back in gear.

  2016 is a very important Presidential Election and no matter who you are supporting it is important to come out to get the ball rolling. In addition 2015 can be a great opportunity to get a new crop of Democrats elected on the Municipal level and get geared up for the 2016 Primary and General Election.
We will also discuss officer elections and possibly be joined by 2015 candidates!
YDs President Thomas Shubilla

 Membership is open to anyone under 36 who is a registered Democrat. Please come participate. We will elect board members and discuss future plans.

 Monday September 14 at 7PM
Leggio's Restaurant.

Note that this is the Plains Township location at 1092 Rt 315
Wilkes Barre, PA 18702.

I hope to see the Young Republicans  become active again.  Under Bob Zaruta they put on a great event Youth in Politics. Frank Mazza is now the President but he is busy working for Pat Toomey and is a Temple fan

Friday, August 28, 2015

Barletta BBQ on Monday

Congresista Lou Barletta está teniendo una comida campestre en el barrio de Hazelton oeste el lunes. Yo no estoy seguro que asiste pero Rick Santorum debería hacer una aparición para pagar Lou para su aprobación.

 El ex senador y candidato presidencial republicano Rick Santorum ha anunciado el respaldo del congresista Lou Barletta para su campaña presidencial 2016.

"Me siento orgulloso de apoyar a Rick Santorum para el presidente. El senador Santorum es una de las voces más apasionadas y eficaces de nuestra nación para las familias norteamericanas trabajadoras. Él entiende que necesitamos políticas en Washington que ponen a los trabajadores estadounidenses primero, no el gobierno grande o grandes cantidades de dinero ", dijo Barletta. "Tengo muchas ganas de trabajar con la campaña de Santorum."

The last we heard from his only opponent so far, Mike Marsicano, he was walking up hills in Shamokin

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Defending Tony George

A couple of tidbits I ran across on the intertubes.


It would appear that the opponents of Tony George becoming mayor of Wilkes-Barre will resort to any means of preventing it!
The present administration knows that when George becomes mayor, many of the activities of the outgoing administration will come out for public scrutiny. There must be a lot of things that the present administration does not want known, or needs more time to bury.
I am confident that our district attorney will not find any willful intent in the accusations leveled at Mr. George.
I’m pretty sure that between now and the General Election more attempts will be made in an effort to muffle the voice and choice of the people.
Ray Arellano

 CV Picture

This was on Facebook:


Attention all Democrats, Republicans and Independents: The upcoming election is being attacked, no not by outside foreign terrorists but from within our city boundaries. A small group of people are using all means at their disposal to highjack the upcoming mayoral election in the city of Wilkes Barre. They are attempting to erase the candidate which you chose through your constitutional exercise of voting with their hand picked choice, they want to erase your choice and APPOINT a person to head this city. They are using the courts, the DA's office and the democratic committee to take away your right to choose the person you feel is best suited to become the next mayor of this city. DON"T LET THEM!

Don't be fooled by the charade of certain people who claim to be doing this out of a sense of fairness and justice, these very people campaigned, canvased, attended fund raisers, and for some contributed money to the person they are trying to appoint to the position of Mayor of WB through any means possible. They may have erased their pictures which clearly showed who they supported during the primary and erased all connection to that candidate but some of us are not so dumb as they would like to believe we are. A husband and wife standing together at a campaign fundraiser wearing that candidates campaign button is not so easily forgotten, or a woman who is friends with a relative of the person they wish to appoint as your Mayor. They claim they are doing this because of this outrageous all encompassing disastrous what they call a crime and I call and most people I know call a mistake that was corrected and unlike current office holders admitted to. I wonder were these very people hid when tens of thousands of gallons of taxpayer funded gasoline went missing? Oh could they have been at a council meeting praising the man who some felt should have been charged with something for that missing gas, of course that was "JUST A MISTAKE OF PAPERWORK" it was taxpayers money so we can all overlook that, right? Well the DA said yes we can overlook that, so we move on. I may not agree with the DA on that but it was and is her decision to interpret the law as she feels fit, so I moved on even though the missing gas cost me my tax money. The problem these certain people are so up in arms about is not about yours mine or anyone's tax money being squandered or used in a way that seems wrong, it is about a private persons donation, yes donation to a candidate for mayor, it is not public money it was private money donated to a campaign, it cost me not one blessed penny! I really wish these people got so engaged when it was their money and our money being wasted and squandered, things may have turned out differently.

Now you may say they have the right to do what they are doing, and I guess they do, but let's be honest with ourselves do we really think they are doing this for us? Or for that matter for themselves? I doubt it, I mean after all I would like to think that if the person I wanted to win the election lost I would be disappointed but I can say without a doubt I would not stomp my feet and pound the table like a little kid and I would move on and accept the choice of the majority, after all for the last 12 years I have had to endure the choice of the majority even though I still can not understand how they voted for him 3 times, but I went forward with him as not only the mayor of my city, but as my mayor and I hoped he did well for us, which some things he did, so I accepted the choice of the voters. If I only knew I could have tried to turn a mistake into a crime back then maybe I would have sued to try and steal the election from him.

I want to be clear, I voiced my concern to Tony George about the mistake and like the honest upstanding man he is, he apologized , The character of a man is not how loud he screams his accomplishments but in how honest he is about his mistakes. To try and make anything criminal out of this more common than you know mistake, is nothing but a political stunt. I truly believe this to be the case, just as a truly believe that certain individuals who hold office currently and some who sit on election committees are doing all they can to remove Tony George from the ballot and appoint their chosen one to office of the mayor.

I beg you to not let this happen, we as a society can not have a future if we allow the elected to choose who will follow them into office, we must hold our vote close to our hearts and minds or this tactic being used right now locally will become precedent and you will no longer have a say in even your own vote.

We have two candidates chosen by their peers, Tony George on the democratic ticket, and Frank Sorick on the republican ticket. You have a choice in the general election to elect as your next mayor either one of these fine men, but I beg you to not allow a member of a committee or a disgruntled campaign supporter or even the DA or Courts to take away your choice of who will represent you in this city. If you do you will have in my opinion dishonored the millions of Americans who before you fought for the right and the privilege to have their vote count!

You have the choice in front of you, either man would be a good choice, an honest choice and most of all your choice!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Feel the Bern

Join us at Bottlenecks in Wilkes-Barre to help form the Wilkes-Barre Team of NEPA 4 Bernie Sanders. We will be planning future fundraisers, canvassing events, and recruiting tactics. 
Saturday, August 22, 2015 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Robert Smith
Bottlenecks Restaurant (Wilkes Barre, PA)
3 S Main St
Wilkes Barre, PA 18701

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tony Brooks for Wilkes-Barre City Council

Tony Brooks had a great turnout for his campaign kickoff for the  W-B District B council seat at Le Manhattan Bistro on South Main St. last night.  He reports that the event pulled in almost $3700 which is some serious coin for a city council race. It was also the first event I ever went to were the waitstaff was circulating escargot with the other hors-d'oeuvres

This guy has created more excitement in a local race than I have seen in years but he has big hill to climb to overcome the Democratic registration advantage,but he can do it. In the primary
more Dems voted than Republicans 807 to 167 but in the last General Election in 2011 only 1254 people bothered to vote. If he can identify his voters and increase turnout he wins.

And why not? Like me he was born in the old Wyoming Valley Hospital on Dana St. and left for a few years but came back to place he was born and loves. Tony is a historian known for leading tours of Wilkes-Barre's treasures.

In his address to the crowd he threw out some ideas like residents are the key to the downtown. You need a 5-10 year plan to revitalize Wilkes- Barre not just wing it. We need more neighborhood associations and even look at making downtown into a retirement village where people can actually walk to things to meet their needs. We need walkable neighborhoods like Rick Williams recently proposed on county council  He made a strong point by saying don't move, Improve.   Like me he thinks the KOZ program has been a failure. He also addressed the Sherman Hills problem by pointing out that people won't go downtown because of all the problems but they still go to Wegman's which is closer to the notorious apartment complex. Being a Republican he ruled out a tax increase calling for expanding the tax base. Tony pointed out that many places don't have partisan elections for local offices and he not in this to trade votes for jobs. He then did a Q&A with the crowd and one person reminded us that there a lot of good people living in Sherman Hills.

He delighted in  pointing that the crowd not only included  Republicans but Democrats, Greens and even a Socialist from the soviet of Washington State and claimed that his primary opponents in both parties had endorsed him. 

I teased Shawn Walker of the WB Area School Board that the headline of this post would be Walker Endorses Brooks. He was fine with that saying he couldn't get any more popular with the other board members.

I also had a nice chat with Republican Mayor candidate  Frank Sorick who told me he hates asking people for money for a political campaign because people are taxed enough.

In local elections in the last 20 years I have voted for more Republicans than Democrats because there is no party way to plow the streets or pick up the trash. What matters is competence and integrity .Tony Brooks has both.

No post on local politics would not be complete without these 2 characters. Anchor baby on the left the fashion challenged  guy on the right.

Pictures on my FB page

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Upcoming Events

One of my favorite features of The Lu Lac Political Letter is the Yonk's plugging the upcoming political events. Mrs. Lu Lac tells us he is doing fine after surgery and we all hope he will back soon. I'll try to pick up the slack while he is away. If anyone has an event coming up please email me at

Tomorrow will be a busy day.

Le Manhattan bistro
264-268 South Main St, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 18701 (corner of Ross St)
5-7PM Wednesday August 19th

Tony Brooks for City Council Campaign will host a fundraising campaign kickoff for the General Election. 

$20 per person.

Come have some hor d'oeuvres and see one of Wilkes-Barre's new restaurants. If you would like to stay for dinner please call 570-706-9588.

Checks can be made payable to Brooks for Wilkes-Barre Committee and mailed to 72 West River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702, or brought on the day of the event. No corporate checks. For information, call 570-793-3631.

 The Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition is pleased to announce the latest episode in its Marcellus Shale Reality Tour series, and will have a screening and pipeline discussion on August 19 at the American Legion, Rt. 415 (across from Leggio’s) in Dallas, PA at 7 pm.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Skip the corn dogs

The Iowa State Fair is underway and the Presidential candidates will be expected to gaze at the butter cow, speak from a hay bale stage (and get heckled) and eat all sorts of fried food. From  what I  can see from a quick google search most of them have been enjoying a pork chop on a stick.That's a shame but they were warned:

CBS: On the food front, there is one resounding warning call: avoid the corndogs. At this typical Americana event, food is king, and everyone will talk about the food the politicians eat. The media will also take photos of the candidates as they eat.

WaMo:  I’d say Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry would agree.

Well that advice will disappoint a lot of wise guy bloggers who would post pictures like these:

It's also  probably a good idea to skip the ice cream:

Just stick with the beer:

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Jack Stollsteimer for Attorney General

HAVERTOWN, Pa - Jack Stollsteimer announced today that he is running for Attorney General of Pennsylvania and will be seeking the Democratic nomination in the 2016 Primary.
Stollsteimer has spent much of his legal career as a criminal prosecutor, both as an Assistant District Attorney in Delaware County and as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
In 2006, Stollsteimer was appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania as the Safe Schools Advocate for the Philadelphia School District. As the Advocate, he brought to light the District’s underreporting of violent crimes in schools and its failure to discipline violent students in accordance with the District’s own Student Code of Conduct. His work resulted in changes in District policy, establishing a safer environment for both children and teachers within Philadelphia’s schools.
"I have established a long track record for protecting Pennsylvanians from crime," said Stollsteimer. "It is time to take that proven track record and put it to work again so that the citizens of our Commonwealth are assured that they have someone as their chief law enforcement officer who is 100 percent focused on keeping them safe."

Jack Stollsteimer, born in Philadelphia, currently resides in Delaware County with his wife and two children.

 Website and Facebook page

Kathleen Kane is in a world of trouble so now the  sharks are circling the waters. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli is exploring a bid.  Blog buddy Bernie of LVR thinks he should take over now.
 Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro is being mentioned as possible candidate but then again the great mentioner is always mentioning Shapiro to be running for something.

2 other row offices are also up next year. Auditor General and Treasurer. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kane: Boys should not be able to look at porn

 Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she is a victim of a witch hunt because she exposed some people were looking at porn.

That was her defense to charges that she committed perjury, obstructing the administration of law, official oppression, conspiracy and false swearing for releasing information from a 2009 grand jury probe to a Philadelphia newspaper in 2014.

She contends that the charges popped up right after the email porn scandal although she said  her defense wouldn’t be that an old boys network was after her.

“My defense will be I broke no laws of this Commonwealth. Period,” she stated.

Then there is her confusion about movies. PennLive:   "Boondog Millionaire" at the news conference, which left some wondering did she mean "Slumdog Millionaire" or "Boondock Saints"?


Kane plans to stay attorney general, fight

 BREAKING: Kathleen Kane Seeks to Shift Focus in Press Conference


In somewhat related news Kane's company is shelving natural gas trucks because one of them exploded via Scott Cannon:

Kane Trucking mothballs natural gas trucks after fire, sues maker



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

GOP Picnic this Sunday

The Republican Party of Luzerne County will be hosting its 4th Annual Summer Picnic on Sunday, August 16, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Tony Attardo Memorial Park, 79 Bryden Street in Pittston. The Park is conveniently located about one mile off of Interstate 81, Pittston Exit, number 175.

I find it interesting that the county GOP website hasn't been updated but you can get the details on their Facebook page  and RSVP on the FB event page

I think it was good move to move it from the Urbanski farm to a place little easier to get to. The farm is beautiful but it is literately a tough road to travel.

County GOP Chair Bill Urbnaski is excited that all 5 Republican statewide judicial candidates will attend.

From his press release:

All five Republican candidates for statewide judicial office in this Fall’s General Election will be attending the Luzerne County GOP’s 4th Annual Summer Picnic this Sunday, August 16, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
Judges Anne Covey, Michael George and Judy Olson are running for three open spots on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Judge Covey, a resident of Bucks County, is a former member of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and currently serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. Judge George is the former District Attorney and current President Judge of Adams County.  Judge Olson was elected to the Pennsylvania Superior Court in 2009, after having served as a judge on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
Judge Emil Giordano, who is running for a vacancy on the Pennsylvania Superior Court, is a graduate of Villanova Law School and has served on the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas since 2003.
Paul Lalley, the candidate for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, is an attorney who has specialized in appellate practice before the Commonwealth Court, is a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law and a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
 From left to right: Paul Lalley, Esq., Judge Anne Covey, Judge Michael George, Judge Judy Olson, Judge Emil Giordano.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Paperwork problem for Tony George

This one has me scratching my head. City Council member Tony George is the Democratic nominee for Mayor of Wilkes-Barre and was previously the police chief of the county seat. He has probably filled out hundreds if not thousands of forms making sure to cross the T's and dot the I's as a police officer as a mistake could screw up a prosecution or wrongfully deprive someone of their liberty. He has also been a candidate for election before and had to file campaign finance reports.

He claims he tried to do the reports himself and screwed it up. TL: “What was I trying to hide? My problem was I kept poor records,” George said Friday. He has brought in professional accounting firm to fix the problem and file an amended report. He also said he he would have help running the city "The mayor has a controller and finance office. I’m not going to run the whole city myself. That’s why they have all the department heads,” George said. OOKAY.

The reports are so screwed up that county election board is referring the matter to the District Attorney . Solicitor Mike Butera said The District Attorney’s Office will be asked to determine if the mistakes were an intentional attempt to deceive the public, which would be criminal. " Not that Stephanie Salavantis  will find time to deal with this before the election.

Bob Caruso, who has been involved in elections for decades, told the board George’s campaign reports are “the most irregular election reports I’ve ever seen.”
Amended reports should be permitted in cases where something must be added — not to redo and replace a significant portion of the information, Caruso said.

 Republican candidate for Mayor Frank Sorick and writer of local bog Wake Up Wilkes-Barre
  was surprisingly restrained.
Sorick accepted George’s explanation. “This was a multitude of honest mistakes,” he said.
Still Sorick said voters should be concerned and ask themselves which candidate is most capable of running the city.
“Voters should look closely at who has the best opportunity to serve the city residents, who has been doing the best job and doing it without asking for a dime in return,” he said.
He contrasted his campaign to George’s saying it’s more of grassroots effort with less focus on raising funds because with school district, county and city taxes people in the don’t have the money give.

This is coming from a guy  who refers  to present Mayor as Tom Lie-A-Ton


Election board calls for criminal probe of W-B nominee's campaign finances


George: Campaign finance mistakes expected to be issue in Wilkes-Barre mayor race



Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Never trust a politician that doesn't pay her parking tickets

Pic from here

Attorney General  Kathleen Kane  has been mired in controversy since she took office. She has burned through  staff members including about  57 press secretaries. Our own Joe Peters didn't last long. It's been one thing after another from not prosecuting a corruption case in Philly to leaking Grand Jury information. She can't manage and her office is a mess. 

Now multiple sources say she will be charged with a crime tomorrow. 

When I wrote a post about her not paying her parking tickets many  said that was not important and was the oldest attack in the book.  Sue Henry on WILK thought it was important and it even made it to the afternoon show.

I think that every elected official should obey the law and pay the fine when they commit a minor infraction. Especially someone who is charged with the duty to enforce the law and prosecute those who do not follow it.  The Ticket thing just smacks of an old arrogance of 'I'm important and only the little people have to do that, not me.' It should have been a warning siren. 

Patrick Murphy nominated by the President

This email from the White House popped into my inbox:

Patrick J. Murphy, Nominee for Under Secretary of the Army, Department of Defense
Patrick J. Murphy is a Partner at the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.  He has also served on the Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy since 2011.  As the first Iraq War veteran elected to the U.S. Congress, Mr. Murphy represented the 8th District of Pennsylvania in the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011.  He served on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Appropriations Committee.  From 2003 to 2004, he was deployed to Iraq as a paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, where he earned the Bronze Star for Service.  In 2001, Mr. Murphy volunteered for overseas deployment and was deployed to Bosnia in 2002.  Prior to that, he served as a commissioned officer in the Army Reserve from 1996 to 2000.  Mr. Murphy received a B.A. from King’s College and a J.D. from Widener University School of Law.

 I have to admit that I'm partial to fellow vet Murphy a graduate of King's College who had the honor of introducing President Clinton when he visited Wilkes-Barre in 1996. The first time I met him he told me "I read your blog." He attended the fall 2011 Blogfest driving through a monsoon to get there. He has been hosting a Sunday show on MSNBC "Taking the Hill" that  focused on military service, progressive politics, and national service. 

I thought he was the better candidate in the 2012 Attorney General race than  Kathleen Kane. Headlines like this prove me right.

AG Kane to face criminal charges, sources say

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Linda Urban running in Wilkes-Barre

From her Facebook page:

I filed my nominating petitions today for two Wilkes-Barre City elected seats. I am an Independent candidate for Wilkes-Barre City Council District D. All registered voters regardless of party affiliation can vote for me this coming November 3.
( District D encompasses sections of Parsons, Miners Mills, East End and the Heights.) I also filed today for Wilkes-Barre City Controller. I ask that my family and friends support me in my effort by voting for me on November 3. I promise to serve with ethics as my guide and will work for the betterment of our city families.

Linda has  run for office a few times before as a Republican and will face incumbent Bill Barrett in District D who won the Democratic  nomination. There is no Republican on the ballot.

The only other Controller candidate is Democrat Darren Snyder.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Joe Biden for President

All the Sunday morning talking heads show were abuzz about this NY Times story that Vice President Joseph Biden may after all run for President. In a normal year he would already be running and be the front runner. But this is not a normal year when the guy that finished second in the GOP primary last time, Rick Santorum (R-VA), is an afterthought and a guy that shoots from the lip, Donald Trump, is leading the pack.

Most of the "experts" said this shows how weak Hillary is because Bernie Sanders is drawing crowds and she is just another scandal away from imploding. I think Hillary will probably live through any real or imagined controversy as she has proved to be one tough cookie.

I've read many comparisons to past campaigns that say things like this will  be like 1968 when Gene McCarthy (Sanders) knocked President Johnson  out of the race only to have his VP Hubert Humphrey pick up the pieces after RFK was murdered to win the nomination and came close to sparing us from Nixon. Well things have changed since 1968 because of early filing deadlines for the primaries and it would be almost impossible to mount a campaign after Iowa and New Hampshire vote. 

So if Joe Biden is going to make a run he has to decide very soon.

I actually love the guy and think he would be a great President as does my pal Omeed. In 1988 I was working for his campaign in New Hampshire until the Dukakis campaign was able to torpedo him over the Neil Kinnock thing.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Medicare and Medicaid at 50

    Many of the gloom and doom predictions about Medicare in the 1960's have been repeated about the Afordable Care Act (Obamacare). Of course none of that came to pass. Doctors can still live and practice where they want to and it has not lead to a Socialist takeover the the means of productions.  If anything programs like Medicare and Social Security have increased the freedom of senior citizens by not being dependent on family or charity.

Many Republican candidates are now floating ideas to replace Medicare with voucher plans which I think is disingenuous since the most reliable Republican voter is over age 60. They tell them your benefits will be fine but  we will take them away from your kids and grand kids because the system isn't sustainable. That is not true as Kevin Drum points out :
Ten years ago, Medicare was a runaway freight train. Spending was projected to increase indefinitely, rising to 13 percent of GDP by 2080. This year, spending is projected to slow down around 2040, and reaches only 6 percent of GDP by 2090.
Six percent! That's half what we thought a mere decade ago. If that isn't spectacular, I don't know what is.

 Medicaid is another matter because it is a means tested program that people don't pay into like Medicare so it's easier to attack as a handout to the undeserving poor. What people don't know is that big chunk of Medicaid money is spent on nursing home care. My mom is in a nursing home and we sure don't have the $9000+ a month to pay for it.

I have an Uncle (WWII vet) who gets all of his medical care from the VA  and can't believe I'm not a Republican until I told him that I won't vote for a party that wants to close the VA Medical Centers.