Tuesday, November 30, 2010

War on Christmas in Sunbury, PA

                                  Photo courtesy of John Deppen                                                         

As resident of Shamokin Township and frequent visitor to Sunbury, I got a kick out of this. 

Remodel Town Park in Sunbury, check!  Move military cannon to new site in park, check!  Place Santa's house at traditional place in park, fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Will Bill O'Reilly return to his WNEP haunts to check this out?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Colon Cancer, 8 Years of Survival

On November 29th, 2002, I awoke with the anticipation of doing some "Black Friday" Christmas shopping.  However the day turned quickly south as deep, sharp pain in my abdomen affecting my ability to function.  With the Mount Carmel-Northwestern Lehigh game later that Friday night, I decided to go home and lie down.

Making a long story short, I made my way to a doctor on the following Tuesday.  On Friday, December 6th, I had a plum-sized tumor removed along with a few feet of colon.  From pain to the operating table was 7 days.  I was only 36 years old.  There was no family history, no prior symptoms.

In my little neck of Penn's Woods, I had great medical care from nurses, doctors, to surgeon's expertise.  I didn't have to the insurance battle like so many other cancer patients who are "out of the norm."  I was one of the 10% diagnosed with colon cancer under 50.  You can say I hit the lottery in reverse.

The disease did have it's blessings, though.  I did get to meet and work with many people to realize colon cancer screening being covered by insurance in Pennsylvania.  I also got to meet fellow survivors that were on the same boat as me, young and scared.

If you are approaching age 50, please talk to your doctor about screening.  If you have a family history of colon cancer and other digestive tract conditions, please talk to your doctor.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ode to Gort42

I was sorry to see read earlier this week about Gort42 transitioning out of his blog.  Although the move may only be temporary, the final decision remains to be seen.  I think we all go through blogging slumps or blocks.  Like Gort42, the Phillies and election results both hit us like a ton of bricks. Even the NEPArtisan went through some post election blues.  I got over the Phillies pretty fast knowing they will be competitive and a Philadelphia team will always be in the wings ready to break your heart and mine.

Gort42 once told me challengers don't win elections, incumbents lose elections.  I hit this blog hard in the beginning of 2007 as a poll watcher working for Chris Carney in 2006 and trying to pass colon cancer screening legislation in PA.  I guess it was the questioning by candidate Marino of Carney being at home with his wife during cancer surgery in late August that had some people think, but for the most part Marino never had to answer for the comment.  Mr. and Mrs. Carney and myself have all have had our bouts with the "devil".

I am in the process of finishing my second novel by author P.F Kluge of Eddie and the Cruiser and Dog Day Afternoon fame.  Kluge states that his goals of writing are:

to make what matters to us matter to others, to make an audience of strangers care.

For Gort42 and NEPArtisan, there is still something out there that matters.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jim Roth Previews Riverside

Jim Roth talks about Riverside for Week 13.

Working in radio for nearly 15 years has it's high and low moments and many times you look back and laugh quite a bit about some of the stunts and pranks. This has to be one of the funniest sitcom episodes to air about Thanksgiving from the show WKRP in Cincinnati.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Epilogue for 2010 Shamokin Indians

Now that the dust has settled and Shikellamy is the new District IV Class AAA champions, I would like to offer the good, bad and ugly of the Indian's 2010 campaign. 

There was a lot of good when you look at the program on whole.  Shamokin made the playoffs for the first time since 2004.  Penalties were drastically cut down. The offense produced a 1000-yard for the first time since 2005. There was much improvement on the offensive line.  The freshman program was eliminated but the program had good numbers from 7th through 12th grades. 

The bad was bad when it reared it's ugly head.  The Indians showed as much inconsistency and being consistent.  It seemed Shamokin was a different team on the road than they were at home only winning one game away from Kemp.  After a two touchdown lead, they had to hang on at Montoursville.  The Indian schedule was back end loaded. (You don't get to pick and choose) For the first time in a long time, Shamokin had some "easier" competition in the beginning of the season.  Even though they were winning, it didn't appear they were improving.

Ugly is ugly.  Shamokin went through a two-game stretch where they were outscored 99-7.  Kick in the Mount Carmel game, the first team offense disappeared for three games.  Some of this had to do with predictability.  The defensive backfield had major breakdowns all season and tackling on the whole defense at times was not up to par.  After watching many teams, good defensive backfields are luxury commodity.  In my opinion, it is a generation problem and not so much isolated to Shamokin.  Offensively, the Indians became a very predictable bunch in the end.

The hallmark of the Shamokin football program over the past 30 years hasn't been the great games or the great players but the head coaching shuffle.  Mr. Foor came to Shamokin as an outsider, but has poured a strong foundation.  If you want to define the season in a nutshell, look at the last game.  Any team that was beaten 44-0 could have laid down two weeks later and ended the season.  Shamokin was a first down away from beating the team that won the district.  You don't do that unless you have players that could believe they could do it.  It was a combination of the coaches and the kids working together. 

Most of the great programs around the state have experienced the agony of the big loss before tasting the big victory.  See at what happened to Southern Area, Selinsgrove and Manheim Central to name a few.  Shamokin can build on this defeat.

Being around this game for somewhat of 35 years as a student, fan and reporter, I have observed one thing.  Three teams in the Heartland Conference, who I like to refer to as the "Big Three" in Selinsgrove, Mount Carmel and Southern Area, have kids with one thing in common that give them a leg up on everyone else.  It is pride in the program and the uniform.  Being a Red Tornado, Seal or a Tiger is something bigger than themselves.  Take note all three have won championships under more than one head coach.

A Parade?

On Friday night the Shikellamy Braves went on a parade through their school district after winning the District IV Class AAA title from arch-rival Selinsgrove.  It was the first win over Selinsgrove since 1996.  Shikellamy has a few winning seasons in the last 3 decades.  These Braves worked hard to be on top.  I think it was a good move for the program and district.

Have Mercy!

A few seasons ago, the PIAA adopted a "mercy rule".  When a team is ahead by 35 points in the second half the clock doesn't stop except for timeouts and a change of possession of the football.  The idea was good, but I have seen too many games last much longer than they should and risk injury. It is not designed to keep in starters against the winning team 2nd or 3rd string unless there is a roster shortage.

Although there isn't any formal mercy etiquette, there is something about having some class.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kurt Masser Says So Long

Kurt Masser resigns as Northumberland County Commissioner effective at the close of business today.  In Masser's last act as county commissioner, Masser suggests Why Can't We Be Friends by War as the official song of the Northumberland County Commissioners.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pottsville Loses a Giant

Irvin D. Schappell passed away on Wednesday in his home.  For most Little League and District 24 fans Irv was the manager of the 1997 Railway Park Little League team that made their way to the big stage in South Williamsport.  In 1997, only four team made the Little League World Series.

For his many years of service, Schappell could have walked away from the game.  13 years later he was still a fixture at Railway.

Many towns across the United States have an Irv Schappell.  Men like Schappell are hard to come by in youth sports.  In today's world, many parents and coaches look out for their own well being at the expense of the rest.  They have hard time seeing the big picture.  Their own influence on the lives of children under 12.

The men like Schappell do what they do because they love to do it.  In 1997, glory found Irv.  God bless the Schappell family. He will never be replaced, but he will always be remembered.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fate Not Kind To Shamokin Indians

Back in August, if you would have told me Shamokin would be playing in Week 11 with a chance for a playoff win I would have done a double take.  Sure, with a four team playoff for 6 "AAA" teams in your district, I would have said yes.  The Indians would limp to 4th place finish and get dusted off early in the first round.  Predictions were that Selinsgrove and Shikellamy would be on the top of the heap, followed by whoever.

Since 2004, the Shamokin Indians had a combination of athletes that never realized their potential in an 11-man team sport.

Last night the seniors and the rest of the Indian football team had to replay a house of horrors that they experienced just two weeks earlier over Halloween weekend.  It was hard to describe to people two weeks ago how a team could lose 44-0 and not be pushed around.  Usually, the two will go hand-in-hand.

Last night, Shamokin Area not only proved that the game two weeks was an aberration, but Shamokin also came to play and came to win.  Shamokin dominated offensively and defensively.  You can certainly talk about the tying Shikellamy touchdown and whether there was possession or not.  The Braves scored on first down, there still would have been 3 downs to defend.

Parents and fans, look at the big picture.  Shamokin put in a new offense.  The new offense produced a legitimate 1000-yard rusher.  Penalties were cut down big time.  The Indians were competitive in the playoffs.   Many freshman seen time on the varsity.  To practice with the varsity will produce dividends.  Trust me on this one.

If the worse thing that happens in life is to lose an overtime football game on the road at a place you were beaten 44-0 just two weeks earlier, the Shamokin Indians are well ahead of the game. Hats off to seniors and the coaches. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shamokin vs. Shilkellamy Part 2

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," says the opening line of the Dickens' novel Tale of Two Cities. You are never as good as you are on your best day and never as bad as you are on your worst day.

Shamokin will travel to Sunbury to take on Shikellamy for the second time in three weeks.  Two weeks earlier the Indians lost to the Braves 44-0. The loss marked a two-game stretch for Shamokin where they gave up 99 points and scored 7.

This highlights an huge offensive drought for Shamokin.  After scoring 21 points in the first half against Montourville in a game the Indians held on to win, 21-17, the starting offense has just scored 7 points in the last 14 quarters.

The good thing about playing Shikellamy is that you seen their offense and speed.  The bad thing is that they put 44 points up rather easily and had 28 on the board before the end of the first quarter.

In the battle for the Coal Bucket last Friday against Mount Carmel, the defense came alive but was on the field too long.  The defensive backs improved in the tackling department.

This game is simple, offense moves the ball, Shamokin has a chance.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Celebrate Our Veterans

I am posting this announcement a day early.  I you are traveling or in the Reading vicinity, there is very comprehensive Veterans' Day Program on Saturday, November 13th..  Here is a comprehensive list of speakers from World War I to the present:

Margery Mattox Wheeler (author, artist, & daughter of WWI veteran Clarence Wheeler)
Lyle Koenig (WWII, Pearl Harbor survivor)
Gene Strine (WWII, anti-submarine air squadron)
Ed Taggert (WWII, Guadalcanal, New Caledonia, Leyte, Philippines)
Gust Kraras (WWII, OSS, Greece)
Richard Biehl (WWII, Sicily, D-Day, Europe)
Paul Gordon (WWII, B-17 ball gunner, POW)
Stan Blazejewski (WWII, Battle of the Bulge)
Severin Fayerman (Holocaust survivor, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buchenwald)
Felix Uhrenik (WWII, Battle of the Bulge, Remagen Bridge)
Ken Stoudt (WWII, Navy, Pacific)
Stewart “Rusty” Lerch (American WWII Orphans Network)
Joseph Boccagno (Korea, Vietnam, Army)
Bob Orzechowski (Vietnam, Marine Corps)
Douglas William Graybill, Jr. (Vietnam, tunnel rat, Grenada, Beirut)
Liz Graybill (Bosnia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Germany)
Joseph Baddick (82nd Airborne, author)
You could also check out this event on Facebook

Margery Wheeler Mattox has just released her book called Lifetime of Illusions. Mattox's late brother, Richard Wheeler wrote 17 books on the Revolutionary and the Civil War.  Wheeler's most read works are Iwo and the Bloody Battle for Suribachi.  Wheeler served at Iwo under the command of Lt. Keith Wells and was injured two days before his platoon raised the first flag on Iwo.

Wheeler was called a modern day Thoreau by fellow Pine Grove author Conrad Richter.

If you are in the Selinsgrove area, HBO documentary War Torn will be shown at the Selinsgrove VFW.

For all the Marines including my father, Happy 235th!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bimbo Coming to Sunbury

Funny, but true.  Sara Lee announced that it is selling it's North American Bakery unit to Grupo Bimbo of  Mexico.  Included in the sale will be the Butterkrust division in Sunbury.  There is no word on what the future of the Sunbury plant.

Hopefully, the plant will remain open and part of the Sunbury community.

I Just Bought The New York Yankees

It is a stretch, but yesterday an agreement was hammered out between Lackawanna County and Mandalay (not Vandelay) Baseball Properties and the New York Yankees.  Here is how the deal breaks down:

The Yankees

- Pay 14.6 million for the franchise.

 -Pay rent on the stadium or whatever is there for 750,000 a year for 30 years. This commitment is for 37 million over 30 years. 

State (taxpayer)

-Kicks in up to 20 million in stadium improvements.

Lackawanna County

-Kicks in 20 million for stadium improvements which breaks down as following:

4.3 million from the sale (kickback?)
3 million in state reimbursements from the courthouse projects
8.7 million in new authority financing (bond?)
4 million in stadium authority funds.

There is a small pittance of the lawsuit filed by Luzerne County that should be resolved. 

If you look at the deal in the context of the New York Yankees.  They only have an upfront commitment of 11 million if you take off the 4.3 million rebate plus stadium rent.  Since 2003, the parent franchise has payed 175 million (90%) of baseball's total luxury tax collected. 

The Yankees end up getting a 30 year deal for the going rate of  CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee.

Shortly, the Yankees will be making a mega offer to free agent Cliff Lee while gaining total control of their Triple AAA franchise for peanuts.

Sell my soul to the devil........Damn Yankees!!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Possible GOP Plan for Healthcare

During the past campaign season, everyone from the winning GOP side of the election including federal and state elections are suggesting to buy insurance over state lines.

All you have to do is revisit the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2005.  Under the guise of helping out small business, the bill would enable small business health plans to purchase health insurance coverage that deviates from state insurance requirements as long as the plans offer an alternative containing the covered benefits offered in a state employee health plan in one of the five most populous states: California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and New York.

However, there was a bad side to this bill.

Why is the legislation harmful?
• S. 1955 would create a federal ceiling on consumer protections that would lessen the protections offered to consumers in virtually every state.

• Only benefit protections that exist in the vast majority of state would remain, potentially eliminating valuable benefits that states have afforded their citizens.

• Stronger state laws that limit the ability of insurers to vary premiums based on age, gender and geography would be preempted.  For many older and sicker Americans, this would price them out of the health insurance market.

• S. 1955 would likely place additional stress on the health care safety net – especially on the Medicaid program – and would likely increase cost-shifting because the proliferation of health plans to that do not cover basic and preventative health care services such as annual physicals, mammographies, maternity coverage, colonoscopies, clinical trials and other proven therapies.  As a result, many consumers would lose valuable health care benefits.

Everyone including small business would like to extend the insurance pool and spread the risk, but long hard fought basic service should not be lost.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Is Vinny Clausi Off to Elba?

Recent election results in Northumberland County have sent Republican Kurt Masser off to Harrisburg with a 2-1 margin of victory.  Does the 2-1 margin, set Masser up as being the Northumberland County's next powerbroker?

In the latest series of developments already since the Tuesday victory,  current Northumberland County Commissioner Vinny Clausi has seem to put himself on an island. On Thursday, DCNR gave the county a $400K check for the proposed OHV Park for which Masser still serves on the Steering Committee.  But Masser said the decision is up to the county now.

Clausi has now declared was on the union that represents the Transportation and Weatherization departments in the county.  Read this account in the Daily-Item. In News-Item account of the same story, this little piece caught my eye:

Clausi, who is very upset about the union's rejection of the county's contract offer, added, "Under the Sam Deitrick, Kurt Masser and Frank Sawicki administration in 2007, they gave the kitchen sink away to the union for three years." 

In 2011, all three commissioner seats will be up for election.  Will Masser use his new found machine to swing the election to a 2-1 Republican majority.  Governor-elect Tom Corbett campaigned on lower taxes, lower spending and less government.  Does he want to give away 5 million away for the park to make, Clausi and Sawicki look good?  Or was a promise made to Masser who sits on the OHV committee?

If your keeping score at home, since Tuesday, Clausi has thrown Masser under the bus once, while Masser has punted on the OHV issue once. 2011 promises to be big drama on the local county scene.

Both have a way out.  Masser through Corbett could simply say the state can't afford the grant at this time.  Is Clausi's way out through ballot referendum on the OHV Park and leave it up to the voters?

Want to follow the money, big business (drillers) funded the Corbett campaign.  To paraphrase NCFE the least of our brothers (Matthew 25:45), look for funding for human services to be slashed big time.

With Clausi's war on the county worker and the new Masser machine, Clausi's 2011 election prediction come next November could indeed come to pass.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Does Tom Marino Hate College Students?

Marino talks about his mission to repeal HCR in the Daily-Item, but this little diddy caught my eye:

Marino said there was an earmark in the bill that addressed federal student loans.

"What," he asked, "does that have to do with health care?"

Although attached to HCR, it cuts out the middleman(banks and fees) in the student loan process.  The CBO estimates that  61 billion would be saved over 10 years with 36 billion going back into Pell Grants (students). The other monies would to reducing the deficit and other Democratic educational priorities.

It was a nice gravy train for lending institutions who made the profit without assuming the risk.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Football in Northumberland County Park

Last night Northumberland County and the DCNR of PA decided to play their own little game of football last night. DCNR presented a 400K check to Northumberland County for the proposed Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area.

According to accounts in the Daily-Item and News-Item, further funding may need to be "creative."  DCNR punted the ball to Northumberland County.  Newly elected 107th state rep, Kurt Masser punted:

County Commissioner Kurt Masser is a proponent of the park and views it as providing a potential economic boost to the region, but said the decision on how to proceed will be up to Clausi and board Chairman Frank Sawicki because he's resigning this month to take a seat in the state 107th Legislative District
Northumberland County officials Vinny Clausi and Frank Sawicki decided to defer action until more money is available for the project. 

The project by some estimates could bring in 30000 visitors and generate revenue of 3 million dollars.

In a strange irony, Masser may have to step up to the plate early in his term on this one.  Masser who last week campaigned with Tom Corbett at the Southern-Mount Carmel football game is on record to reduce spending and cut taxes. 

The reduction in spending not yet named by Corbett, could cause future holes in local government budgets including counties, municipalities and school districts.

The first order of business for county may be looking for sponsor to name the park as one source.  For the record, I am for the project but the county is wise to table the project until funding arrives.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Battle for the Coal Bucket

For the first time in nearly 30 years, this annual battle returns to the final spot on the season schedule.  From 1934 to 1973, it was played on Thanksgiving Day as part of many Turkey Day games.  Shamokin's last win in the series came in a 14-0 win at Kemp Memorial Stadium.  Mount Carmel will be looking for 15 in a row come Friday night.  Both schools have gone are on their third head coach since that game including one that has shared time at both schools during the last 15 years.

Trust me. When Shamokin sent Carmen DeFrancesco into exile after the 2006 season, Defrancesco never thought he would be part of a Coal Bucket game as a coach again.  Only a football purgatory called Upper Dauphin came calling in 2007.

"Not getting the job last year when it was open was heartbreaking," said DeFrancesco.  "I was getting prepared to spend the rest of my time coach at Upper Dauphin and we had a nice thing going there."

History for Shamokin Area is not on their side.  Beside Mount Carmel winning from 1972 through 1984, the Red Tornadoes have won the last 14.  Since Shamokin High's merger with Coal Township, Shamokin Area have on in 1988, 1990 and 1992 at the Silver Bowl.

In recent years, Shamokin has been plagued by someone stepping up from the Red Tornadoes.  In 2004, Ryan Kogut's 98-yard quarterback sneak was the difference in a 13-11 game.  In 2005, Dave Pellowski came out of nowhere to rush for close to 100 yards and a touchdown out of the fullback slot.  Trailing, 12-7 at the half in 2006, Jonas Pachuski's 6 receptions for 166 yards and 4 touchdowns came out of nowhere.  His 4 TD receptions in a game are still a Red Tornado record. Justin Pellowski had 5 receptions for 162 yards and two TD's in a 41-14 win in 2007.

The last two years have been 47-7 and 33-6 blowouts in favor of Mount Carmel.

Shamokin has been a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde team in all of 2010.  They have played really well at home, but not on the road.  When they play bad, it's really bad.  Pass coverage has been dismal.  Over the years, no matter the record or one-sided, Shamokin Area has played MCA tough with the exception of the last two seasons. 

The Indians have to stop the running of Myerick Lamb before doing anything at all and to put pressure on Rob Varano who will be making his first start at quarterback for the injured Eddie Stewart. Varano has been a starting quarterback on most of the football teams he has been a player.  Friday, only the stage gets a little bigger.

With the game somewhat returning to it's roots on the schedule, will the outcome be any different?????

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Swipe of a Credit Card

Last night the voters with the swipe as quick as a credit card sent their message out loud and clear to the incumbents Democrats across the country and state.  In my own neck of the woods (PA-10th), Tom Marino defeated Chris Carney by nearly 10 points.

Working as a poll watcher for Carney in 2006, I was worried about his reelection in 2008 more than 2010.  His district is registered 48 to 40 percent in favor of the GOP.  The 10th elected a man who criticised a husband for being home with his wife during cancer surgery and missing a vote.  Classy!!!!

The bottom line, broke out of work people saw the federal government spending money that the people don't have to spend on themselves.  The people who voted for President Obama in 2008, change didn't come instantaneously as the credit card swipe.  The often referred to the Constitution, but forgot it contained checks and balances.  Employment was also the key with unemployment hovering close over 9% but a really number of 17%,

Who were the winners and losers?

Winners both Federal and State

Marcellus Shale Coalition - the drill baby drill crowd is now in PA.

Big Media - 4.2 billion was spent in 2010.  My figure is going to 10 billion to unseat Obama in 2012.

William Jefferson Clinton and Michelle Obama - still pretty popular on November 3rd.

Sarah Palin - and the rise of the Tea Party and probably won the House for the GOP.

Defense spending - Hello Iran and Yemen!

Masterbation - "Ding, dong the witch is dead"  Sorry, I couldn't resist.


The enviroment - I'm sure DCNR, DEP and EPA will be underfunded or told to look the other way.

Public Employees - if you work for the state or federal government, most things are on the table.

The Democratic Party - see November 2nd, see redistricting.

The Republican Party - Karl Rove must do battle with Sarah Palin.  The ball is in their court.  They are great at election rhetoric but lousy at delivering results.  With the number one job to repeal Health Care Reform, what will be first?  Cut children with preexisting conditions, donut hole seniors, college age children.....take your pick.  If people don't see jobs, Palin and O'Donnell become mainstream. God only know what will crawl out from under the abyss.

The Tea Party - they probably lost the Senate for the GOP.  How did Harry Reid survive?

Big Money - 200 million just doesn't buy what is once did.  See Whitman, Fiorina, and McMahon or the New York Yankees.

Witchcraft - I couldn't resist

State Government - I will save that for another post.

The unemployed - to borrow something from the GOP - pray that another extension could get passed.

If you look at this election, many people that voted started to vote after 1980.  Most people born after 1984 or grew up after Vietnam did not have any idea of hard times until September 11th, 2001.  They got mostly everything they want in life and instant gratification was the norm.  They came out and voted for President Obama in 2008 and were not rewarded like they were most of their lives. For both sides of the aisle, you need to know who your constituents (customers). Trust me, there are many of these elections in the making, but remember checks and balances.

President Obama and the 111th Congress were faced with war, financial meltdown, unemployment, the oil spill and tackled health care reform in 21 months.  By the way, did we win the war in Iraq?

Change in Northumberland County

First off, congratulations to the candidates who ran for office yesterday and were elected.  Much on that later.  With Kurt Masser winning the 107th District held by the retiring Robert Belfanti. Northumberland County will have to replace Mr. Masser.  This will be done by the Republican Party, but will they look short or long term?

The relationship between fellow Democrats Vinni Clausi and Frank Sawicki has not alway been the best.  They have never campaigned as a team and minority commissioner Masser became an ally of Clausi as noted in Masser's campaign.  Will Clausi be able to work with the new "minority" commissioner or will Clausi have to bridge a divide that exists between himself and Mr. Sawicki.

Masser may not be the only that needs to be replaced.  County Controller Chuck Erdman was a contender in the 108th primary and lost a close vote to eventually winner Lynda Culver.  Could the new Corbett administration tap Erdman's talent?  In his years as Northumberland County Controller, Erdman usually enjoyed bipartisan support and has ruffled the feathers of both parties.

Will Coroner Jim Kelley decide to run for a seat held for many years by his father? 

Guess what?  We are less than a year away from another spirited county election.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Exercise Your Right to Vote!!!!

Over the next 24 hours, we as a nation, will exercise our right to vote.  Roughly over 4 billion was spent on ads by candidates critical of each other.  Come Wednesday morning, it will be all over.  

The Democratic Party gained 58 House seats and 14 Senate seats in the 2006 and 2008 elections.  It looks likes the Republican Party will regain the House while the Senate is a toss up.  For their 21 months in power, the President and the 111th Congress accomplished the following:

  • Passed Health Care Reform - (note it's a start)
  •  Saved the American and possibly a global banking meltdown - (this was TMI folks)
  • Drew down combat troops in Iraq - (The War was based on lies)
  • Throw in bank reform, credit card reform, equal pay for women, insurance for children, cut into the deficit, and create more jobs than the last administration in 8 years.

America by most accounts will reward the party that did absolutely nothing.  Instead of new ideas, their platform consists of doing absolutely nothing.  But hey, this is America.

Lulac has these questions:

As a potential voter who has seen and heard all the talking points offered by the national GOP, I have a few questions.

1. What are you going to do if you get the majority and you have to raise the debt ceiling?

2. By extending the Bush tax cuts to everyone, how can you justify the added deficit expense when you would have denied unemployment benefit extensions to middle class workers?

3. How are you going to defund Health Care and what parts of it are you going to gut? Pre-existing conditions?

4. How can you blame individual Congressman for the economy? Exactly what will a Freshman Congressman be able to do if you take power?

5. You demonize the health care program. You say you’ll fix it. How is it in a 1200 page bill you couldn’t find anything you liked? That’s like going to the Mall of America and hating every thing.

6. If you gut the health care plan, are you going to divest yourself of tax payer sponsored health care for you and your family? We are, after all starting over so I think it’s only fair you pay for your own.

7. Why did you refuse to vote on tax breaks for small businesses the last session? Are small business owners becoming the new Pro Life version of the GOP? You yes them to death and say you’re behind them but never, ever give them any substantial political change? Are you making fools of small business owners like you’ve done for years with the Pro Life people?

8. Do you actually know the difference between Medicare and Medicare Advantage programs? And why are you deliberately mixing them up? Get your rocks off scaring old people? Let me explain it to you. The health care reform law works to reform Medicare Advantage by reducing overpayments to insurance companies whose bottom lines have greatly benefited from the program. The law works to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse from Medicare Advantage, and then inject that $500 billion in savings back into Medicare. As a result, it will extend the life of Medicare by almost ten years. The health care reform law will, in fact, provide cost savings for many seniors.

9. What are your specific plans for governmental cuts to balance the budget? Are you going to go after seniors, veterans, children’s early intervention programs or tax breaks for millionaires? Why is it that no Republican running in this country has every offered anything specific on what they will do?

10. You’ve told us you’re going to give us our country back, take back our liberty and take back our freedoms. Where exactly are they, where did they go?

11. Finally, why should we vote Republican? Last chance: give us a reason. And please be specific, if you dare. 

Where as the Rendell Administration championed property tax relief through casino gambling, this election is about drilling and how much sovereignty we as Pennsylvanians give up to the Cabots and Halliburtons.

I have a big problem with one candidate trying to find the identity of a blogger just for criticism about his own hypocrisy.  (Google: CasablancaPA) Do you think this will occur again in the next four years?  You betcha!!! 

As a businessman, not getting anything in return for an energy resource is hazardous at best and moronic at worst.  

Above is the evidence from the last energy revolution in Pennsylvania.  A few men became rich beyond their wildest dreams, you had class of indentured serfs, and the "shit criks" still flow through our valley floors.  

Every election they preach jobs, less spending and less government.......delivering is a another story.

This Texas Statesman once said, "There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again."

Wealth Creation

Did anyone see David Stockman on 60 Minutes last evening? He was the former budget director under Ronald Reagan.  Here is what he said,

"In 1985, the top five percent of the households, wealthiest five percent, had net worth of $8 trillion, which is a lot. Today, after serial bubble after serial bubble, the top five percent have net worth of $40 trillion," he explained. "The top five percent have gained more wealth than the whole human race had created prior to 1980."
Does anyone remember the first piggy bank that got raided?  Remember what S&L's primary missions were to customers?

If you were born prior to 1980, did you take part in this great wealth expansion?  Where have you gone middle class?