Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Great Presidential Speeches

John McCain is getting greener. Check out his recycled Rudy/GWB Health Care Proposal.

Gort42 has good look to what's going on politically in NEPA.

Who says race isn't an issue in a campaign. Lou Barletta is betting on it. Count how many issues he addresses in his campaign in PA-11th.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Barack Obama on the gas tax

Half a tank of gas. That's [John McCain's] big solution...this is at the same time he is proposing hundreds of millions of dollars of more tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Americans...that's typical of how Washington works, there's a problem, everybody's upset about gas prices, let's find some short-term, quick fix so that we can say we did something, even though we're not really doing anything...and then we pretend like we did something. So I'm here to tell you the truth. We could suspend the gas taxes for six months, but that's not going to bring down gas prices long term...we have to go after the oil prices and look at their price gouging, we've got to go after windfall profits...and we have to stop using less oil, that means raising fuel efficiency standards on cars, and developing alternative fuels, that's the real honest answer to how we're gonna solve this problem, that's what you need from a president, someone who's gonna tell you the truth, who's gonna tell you not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Lawmakers poised for smoking-ban fight in PA

In 2008, it could be like that again for Pennsylvania lawmakers who are considering a bill to ban indoor smoking in workplaces, bars and restaurants across the state. They have a choice: Fight for a ban without exceptions or switch to a softer bill, as a good first step.

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Roger Clemens And Mindy McCready Had 10-Year Affair, Says Re

NEW YORK — Roger Clemens had a decade-long relationship with country star Mindy McCready that began when she was a 15-year-old aspiring singer and the pitcher was a Boston Red Sox ace, the Daily News reported.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Jenna Bush on Larry King

Jenna Bush transcript:

KING: Do you have a favorite between the two, the two Democrats?

L. BUSH: My favorite is the Republican.


KING: Yours, too, I would imagine.

J. BUSH: I don't know.

KING: A-ha. J. BUSH: But, I mean, you know --

KING: Are you open to --

J. BUSH: Yes, of course. I mean, who isn't open to learning about the candidates? But, I mean, and I'm sure everybody is like that. But I really -- I honestly have been too busy with books to really pay that much attention.

L. BUSH: No, no, the way they talk about the president.


L. BUSH: For somebody who wants to be the president, I think maybe it's a good idea not to talk about the president that way. But anyway, that's my advice to them.

Maybe she is haunted by many Americans about their 2000 and 2004 votes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

David Sirota: Hill: D.C. Dems Back Off Health Care Pr

In a stunning - if predictable - story, the Hill newspaper reports that congressional Democrats are now saying that they will effectively thwart any effort to create a national health care program.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

1.8 million dollars lost it's buying power

Chris Hackett will face Chris Carney in November in the 10th Congressional District. Dan Meuser is out.

Obama Girl was a sure vote in Pennsylvania primary

The loyalty of Obama Girl, aka Amber Lee Ettinger, was unfailing Tuesday. Ettinger was in her home town of Hazleton to cast what she said was her first vote ever.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mike Barnicle: Pennsylvania, and the Anonymous Few Dying

PHILADELPHIA - I spent a morning last week looking for Francis Xavier Kane on his anniversary even though I knew he was gone, lost all those years ago, exactly 40, when he was killed April 21, 1968 a few miles west of a lethal place called Quang Tri City in a country called Vietnam.

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In midst of recession, Halliburton rakes in billions.

Economists are forecasting a recession, U.S. company profits in almost all sectors are taking a hit, and many American families cannot say they are better off than they were eight years ago. But one giant oil services company is weathering the economic storm quite well.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Flannery has resigned at Bucknell

From the AM Press Conference

Posted by DAVID JONES, Of The Patriot-News April 18, 2008 10:06AM

Bucknell men's basketball coach Pat Flannery resigned today.
Bucknell president Brian Mitchell has just announced that Pat Flannery contacted him "earlier this week" and told him he wanted to retire as head men's basketball coach. Flannery will become involved in the university's $400 million fundraising drive. It appears this really was Pat's decision.

Here are some edited quotes from the press conference which concluded at 10:25 EDT:

"I couldn't be happier. And my family couldn't be happier. One thing you'll notice today is, I have a tie on and I'm not chasing an official. That will be something that I will very much enjoy in my next role."

"I've come to realize that I've reached a point in my life where I'm looking forward to this change [to an administrative role]. ... I'll be glad to get out of the limelight."

Regarding his health issues and missing games during the past four seasons, three times leaving contests while they were in progress, Flannery mentioned his wife Patti and boys Ryan and Jesse:
"The most important thing was my wife and my kids. I can't thank them enough...

"Your kids go to school and they're asked a lot of crazy questions. Especially when they take your dad out and you don't know where he went. They [his sons, of middle-school and grade-school age] handled it probably better than I have."

On whether his health mandated that he retire in any way or that he was forced to quit, Flannery said no, not at all:

"I have a clean bill of health. I feel great. I think if I wanted to keep going, [his doctors] I'm sure would've said, 'Go for it.'

"I think my thing was, where was it going to lead? Was I going to get any better? I haven't changed in 28 years [in coaching] from when I was a 22-year-old and now I'm 50. That was leading to a path where... we all have family and you have kids. We all evaluate."

Flannery said he told the BU players Thursday night in a previously scheduled meeting:
"There were a lot of good feelings. ... Painless memories. No regrets."

No successor has been named. BU athletics director John Hardt said a "national search" has begun.

Some facts of Flannery's career...

He earned his bachelor's degree in econ and poli-sci while playing for the Bison and graduated in 1980. He then earned a master's degree in college administration in 1983 while coaching as a grad assistant at BU.

After a successful Division III career at Lebanon Valley where he coached a national champion, Flannery was named Bucknell's head basketball coach in April 1994.

In 2005 and 2006, his teams won the Patriot League tournament championship and each year won first-round games in the NCAA tournament, the first over Kansas in Oklahoma City, the next over Arkansas in Dallas. They were the first two tournament wins for Patriot League teams in the NCAAs.

Flannery's record at Bucknell is 234-178, and his career record is 329-221. His 125 conference wins at Bucknell stand as a Patriot League record.

See Saturday's Patriot-News for an interview with Flannery.

Head Bucknell Basketball Coach Pat Flannery Decides to Step Down

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Bucknell University President Brian C. Mitchell announced this morning that Bison men's basketball head coach Pat Flannery has decided that effective July 1, 2008, he will retire as coach and will assume a new fundraising position within the University's Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Flannery, a graduate of Bucknell, has been the most successful coach in Patriot League history.

"Coach Flannery's decision to retire as head coach is a tremendous loss to our basketball program," President Mitchell said. "At the same time, the national respect he has earned as a coach, as a leader, and as an alumnus of the University will be an extraordinary asset to his alma mater. When I learned of Pat's decision, my thoughts as president immediately turned to the impact he could have as part of this campaign. He has earned national stature as a coach, as a leader, as an alumnus of the University, and as a friend to so many. I therefore was pleased to offer to Pat the opportunity to become a vital member of our fundraising program. To my considerable appreciation, he accepted. I have no doubt he will be a major figure in the largest fundraising effort in the history of Bucknell."

"It has been an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to coach outstanding young scholar-athletes here at my alma mater for 14 years," Flannery said. "I am grateful to my wife and children for the support they have given me throughout this time, and the understanding they have shown for the long hours and extensive travel that being a head coach at this level requires. With them in mind and after much reflection, I have decided it is time to move on to a new phase in my life. I am deeply grateful to President Mitchell and Bucknell for offering me this exciting new opportunity to serve this great institution I love, and look forward to doing what I can to support Bucknell and building on the commitment that I know Bucknellians around our country have for the University as this campaign goes forward."

Pat Flannery won 329 games during is coaching career, 234 of them at Bucknell.

"Coach Flannery has been an important figure in establishing the national reputation of Bison athletics as a leader in the scholar-athlete model," said Director of Athletics and Recreation John Hardt. "Pat has not only experienced tremendous success on the hardwood, he has won the right way, with young men of class and accomplishment. All of us in the athletics department are happy to know that we will still be able to call Pat a Bucknell colleague, and we have no doubt that he will continue to provide significant leadership and service to his alma mater in his new role within the University's fundraising campaign."

Hardt indicated that he had already begun putting together a national search process, and that the University is determined to bring in a new head coach who will continue in the Bison tradition of excellence in the Patriot League and at the national level.

Flannery earned his bachelor's degree in economics and political science in 1980 and his master's degree in college administration in 1983. Both degrees are from Bucknell. He became Bucknell's head basketball coach in 1994. In 2005 and 2006, his teams captured Patriot League championships and went on to win first-round games in the NCAA tournament, the first two tournament wins in Bucknell and Patriot League history. His overall record at Bucknell is 234-178, and his career record is 329-221. His 125 conference wins at Bucknell are a Patriot League record.

On July 1, Flannery will assume his new role as a fundraiser within the University's Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Bucknell recently initiated the largest fundraising campaign in its history, with an initial goal of $400 million.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Harpooning a Seal

Bill Scott, Selinsgrove Head Football Coach, resigned yesterday. Here is the story from the Daily-Item.

Scott resigns as Seals grid coach

By Brandon Paul
For The Daily Item

SELINSGROVE -- Bill Scott, embattled coach of a Selinsgrove High football program that won 267 games in his 36-year career, has resigned.

Scott, 70, said the pending resignation of three assistant coaches and his stress-related stomach condition factored heavily in his decision to resign, effective Wednesday afternoon.

"It's time," said Scott, whose teams won nine Central Susquehanna Conference-Division I and District 4 Class AAA titles. "All good things must come to an end. It's time to move on.

"I have the physical strength (to continue), just not the mental resolve."

His resignation marks the end of a difficult year for Scott, which began with his hospitalization and multiple surgeries for a blood clot and hemorrhage in his brain, which occurred while Scott was visiting family in Louisville, Ky.

The veteran coach, told by doctors following the procedures that he may never walk or talk again, progressed through a remarkable recovery that allowed him to return to the sidelines this past fall.

Selinsgrove in 2007 advanced to the state Class AAA quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive year, ultimately losing to eventual state champion Thomas Jefferson, 24-10.

The Seals finished 11-3 overall, and Scott was named the Class AAA Coach of the Year in Pennsylvania by The Associated Press.

Questions loyalty of assistants

The recent resignations of assistant coaches Dave Hess, Chip Moll and Derek Hicks ignited a firestorm in the Selinsgrove program, creating a divisive environment extending from the locker room into the community.

Scott wondered aloud about "questions of loyalty to me" with regard to his assistant coaches, in particular when he was hospitalized for six weeks in Kentucky.

When initially asked about the rumor that he had resigned as head coach, Scott said: "It's not a rumor. It's a fact.

"I've had three assistant coaches jump ship on me. Looking to replace three coaches, this late in the year. ... It's difficult to find quality people."

The loss of those assistants, all employed as teachers in the Selinsgrove Area School District, along with his health weighed heavily in Scott's decision.

"You have to look at yourself and your team," Scott said. "The only way for Selinsgrove to continue at a high level (in football) is if I stepped aside."

Assistants may return to team

The resignations of Hess, Moll and Hicks would not become official until Monday, and Scott said he believes that they may change their minds and return next season.

Scott added: "I will not, under any circumstances, rescind my resignation as coach."

Looking back on his nearly 40 years on the sidelines at Selinsgrove, Scott cited the Seals' 13-game winning streak in 2006, the school's record in football prior to his arrival (10 games below .500) and current record (112 above .500), and his record in his final five years as coach, 56-10, as his favorite memories.

"I feel that I did a good job, without cutting corners, to achieve victories," Scott said. "People accuse me of being past my time, but just 65 miles up the road (in State College), they're saying the same thing about Joe Paterno (who is 30-9 over the past three seasons at Penn State)."

Relationships to be missed

Former Selinsgrove all-state kicker Ryan Rumberger, who is currently attending graduate school at Arcadia, said: "There's a part of me that is surprised (Scott retired) and a part that isn't. We had some great athletes (from 2000-2002). Each year I grew to have a better relationship with him."

Scott said that he will miss his relationship with his coaches -- "though some have stabbed me in the back" -- and his relationships with the players as well.

"I'll definitely miss it, come August," Scott said. "I've been coaching football for 46 years, so I'm looking forward to doing things I was unable to do when I was coach, like watching my oldest granddaughter play field hockey.

"I feel that a huge weight has been lifted (from me)."

Even after his resignation, Scott still continues to have an unusual impact on the Selinsgrove football program.

The Seals' unofficial Web site,, is publishing the simple slogan: "The End of an Era. Bill Scott, Head Coach, 1972-2007" and a list of his accomplishments.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Robert L. Borosage: McCainomics: A Double Dose of the Same


Across Main Street, the recession is starting to hit, stores are shutting down, bankruptcies are spreading, houses are being foreclosed or abandoned. The pain of the recession is just beginning to hit. But John McCain, the Republican nominee in waiting, owner of 10 homes and, by marriage, one of the wealthiest men in the Senate, doesn't get it.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This article is from 1993, has anything changed?

In a Gritty Town, Hope Outlives the Prosperity

New York Times
Published: October 26, 1993

Against all odds, pine trees have taken root on the black mountain of coal mining waste that looms above this small city in central Pennsylvania. The people of Shamokin have also put down deep roots, holding fast to a bleak place despite a harsh economic climate. It is a triumph of time over adversity.

By objective measures, Shamokin (pronounced shuh-MO-kin) is a dying town. The coal and textile industries folded up years ago, unemployment rose, and most of the young people fled.

A quarter of the 9,200 residents here are over 65, a demographic fact apparent on any street on any weekday, making Shamokin's population the second oldest of any Pennsylvania city's, after Monongahela's. And except for Florida, Pennsylvania has the oldest population in the country, with 15.4 percent of its residents over 65, a fact the state recognizes by spending its lottery revenues on programs for people over 65. A Prison Is Good News

One of the few bits of good economic news lately was Shamokin's victory over a dozen other communities in the competition for a new state prison. The city sold bonds to build the institution, which opened a year ago just outside of town, and is leasing it back to the state. "Last October we had a job fair for 400 jobs at the prison, and 4,300 to 4,500 people came and applied," said David F. Matash, manager of the Shamokin Job Agency, a state employment office.

It is not clear how much the prison will mean to businesses in Shamokin, since many of the institution's supplies are bought elsewhere. But there are hopes that the utilities installed to serve the prison can make it easier to lure industry to the community.

To visit Shamokin (or any one of dozens of small towns like it) is to see a Pennsylvania a world away from the vitality of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and just as far removed from the prosperity it once enjoyed from the mines and mills. To visit Shamokin is to be reminded, too, of how the bonds of place and family can sustain a community as it grows old and stares into a bleak future.

During the day, after many of the people of working age have driven to jobs as far away as Harrisburg, 55 miles to the south, or even Philadelphia, 125 miles away, Shamokin looks like a retirement community. But the gathering places are not golf courses but church basements. Getting By, Thank You

Many of the elderly in Shamokin say they lack for nothing they can't do without. But there are only a half-dozen doctors in town -- too few, the state says, to serve Shamokin and surrounding Northumberland County. The city does not have a pediatrician.

On a recent morning, a dozen elderly women sat around a table in the St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Church basement, peeling potatoes and onions to make pirogi, or dumplings, to sell to benefit the church school.

A 79-year-old widow, Vi Golden, said that on a typical weekday she went to 8 A.M. Mass, then helped out at a nursing home. Dinner is often a spaghetti or chicken plate at church. Her parents immigrated from Poland to work in the mines, and she has lived in Shamokin all her life. Her seven children all moved away to find work. "I do miss them," she said.

Mrs. Golden, who worked in factories and as a cook, retired with no pension and lives on a $517 monthly Social Security check. She lives in a frame house, next to her 87-year-old sister-in-law. "The house needs everything," she said, especially a new furnace.

People dismiss the notion that their city could wither away. They talk about living in homes built by their grandparents and attending churches their families helped build.

Their city is poor: the median household income is $14,500, and 21 percent of its residents live in poverty.

"It is disheartening when our youth have to go elsewhere for employment," said James E. Yurick, a city councilman and carpentry instructor at the regional vocational school. But he added, "I don't look at Shamokin as a dying city, and I don't look at Shamokin as a depressed, older community."

The biggest concern for many people is the Catholic Church's recent proposal to close five of the city's eight churches. "I have a lot of sorrow in my heart with all this talk of church mergers," said Dolores Demas, 63, a secretary at St. Stephen's Church.

Shamokin started as a mining camp in the early 1800's and reached its peak population of 21,200 in 1920. The coal mines gave out in the 1930's, and the textile mills and shoe factories began losing out to foreign mills in the 1970's.

In August, the last of the city's dress makers closed, laying off about 200 workers and pushing the local jobless rate to about 12 percent, compared with 6.7 percent nationally.

The city's biggest employer is the school district, but just outside the city limits, in an industrial park, several large companies employ a total of about 1,000 workers. They build mobile homes, package greeting cards and print tickets for theaters.

After being unemployed most of the last three years, Michael J. Canfield, 31, just started working for one of these companies as a part-time machinist at $9.60 an hour. He said that he had worked in Orlando, Fla., for five years but that he preferred the coal region. "It's more peaceful around here, and people know everybody," he said.

Ms. Demas, the church secretary, says that she and her husband moved away from Shamokin to Baltimore in 1950, so he could find work as a truck driver. They missed Shamokin so much that she recalls the date they were able to come back: July 25, 1986. "We couldn't wait to return," she said.

Shamokin is a sleepy place where people sit for hours on their porches. The most prominent building downtown is an abandoned shoe factory with a copper clock tower and six stories of broken windows. There used to be an empty textile factory across the street, but it recently burned down. The business district has several blocks of small shops, restaurants and medical supply businesses. Pressures From Outside

Shopping malls 20 miles away have taken their toll. Some Shamokin storefronts are vacant, two clothing stores are closing, and the largest store, J.C. Penney, had only a few customers one recent afternoon. Next door to Penney's, "Sleepless in Seattle" was playing in the only movie theater.

Residential streets, with names like Anthracite, Carbon and Coal, fan off the downtown area, up into the hills whose coal has scarcely been worth mining for decades. The mines and mills were not locally owned, so there are few big houses in town.

But no matter what it looks like, no matter what it is, Shamokin is home to some people. After going to Harvard College and Medical School, Dr. Wayne Miller returned to Shamokin to care for the elderly. They include his grandfather, Robert Evans, a retired miner who has black lung disease.

"I've always enjoyed living here," said Dr. Miller, who is 31 and practices internal medicine. "I grew up here seeing that the medical care was substandard, and I've always planned to come back."

Mr. Evans, who is 81, said he was not surprised by the decision. "We're doing pretty good here," he said.

Pa. Voters Divided Over Obama Remarks

But many more seem to think it was no big deal _ and if there's a problem it's with the political slapfest that has followed.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Obama bashes bitter Pennsylvanians

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Energy Department predicts $3.60 a gallon gas prices in June

Looks like we will all be staying home for the summer. I hope the Phillies will still be in the hunt.

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RJ Eskow: Separate And Unequal: U.S. Health Care and the Rep

For his part, according to the Boston Globe, John McCain is still "working out the details" of his health plan. He's already done enough. Some friendly reporters are emphasizing his willingness to offer tax credits rather than just tax deductions, as his GOP predecessors have done. But his plan is the same prescription for disaster that Bush's and Giuliani's were. Like them, he proposes to end tax benefits for employers providing health insurance. That would effectively scrap the current employer-funded system which, however imperfect, provides health coverage to millions of Americans today.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

NCAA Final: Cinderella Sitting This One Out

"The Voice" and 1985 Tournament MVP Villanova's Ed "E-Z Ed" Pinckney
Kansas and Memphis, two number one seeds by the way, will battle it out for NCAA college basketball supremacy. The ingrediants that made this tournament great in years past are missing once again.

Heartland Conference

Three teams in the News-Item coverage area; Shamokin, Mount Caremel and Southern have their schedules posted for the 2008 season. Click here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

"Unadulterated greed" and PP&L

Very interesting story how PP&L customers will get raked over the coals in the coming years. Click the (read more) part below. PP&L are crying about possible bankruptcy after making record breaking profits in 2006 and 2007.

If you time this with no end to skyrocketing fuel and food prices, coming out of the so-called non-recession may prove very difficult in the upcoming years. Ever hear of Enron and California energy crisis.

More than 200 people, mostly seniors worried about skyrocketing electric bills, attended the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission hearing. It was the first such hearing directly related to electricity deregulation since shortly after the state decided to restructure its electric industry in the 1990s.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pennsylvania smoking ban votes delayed!

Looks like the exceptions are on the way!!! Roll the dice on the casinos.

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