Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hats Off To Al Boscov

Al Boscov has placed a big bet on the future. At a time when the pundits are writing about the demise of retail shopping and the devastating impact it will have on malls Al Boscov, 79, was able to stump for a bailout of his former chain operation. With the assistance of the chain's former president, Edwin Lakin,85, they brokered a deal which included public and private financing to buy the chain in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. This article highlights the banks and governing bodies including the Commonwealth and Luzerne County that backed the plan to save the chain.

The Times Leader featured an article from Michael Rubinkam of the Associated Press on Al Boscov's passion for his former chain.

"“We spent 50 years building this damn thing,” Boscov said. “I didn’t want to see it go to nothing. I wanted to see it survive and live on.”

In Pennsylvania, Boscov’s now operates 24 stores and employs more than 5,000 people. Among them are ones in downtown Wilkes-Barre, at the Mall at Steamtown in Scranton and at Laurel Mall in the Hazleton area. Boscov’s also has stores in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware."

Detroit would learn a lesson by reading Al's story. He didn't need one Congressional hearing to rescue the chain.

Footnote: Michael Rubinkam broke the news that Lou Barletta was challenging Paul Kanjorski in the early part of this year. I met Michael at the WVIA studio before their debate.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Juvenile Law Center Files Second Request To Review Luzerne County's Juvenile Court Procedures

On the heels of my December 20th post about the Juvenile Law Center comes this press release in the Times Leader. It appears the JLC is reiterating its request to the State Supreme Court for review of juvenile cases that occurred without representation in Luzerne County's Juvenile Court. I, for one, want to know the number of children sent to detention since Judge Lupas took over Juvenile Court.

If you want to read about an incredible case I first noticed two years ago click here. I asked the Times Leader for a follow up to the story but haven't read it yet.

After the outlandish punishment issued by the Judicial Conduct Board against Judge Lokuta one would think that denial of due process rights would rank much higher on the court's agenda.

Or maybe, just maybe as in the Blagojevich case where the U.S. Attorney asked Obama to delay releasing the results of his own internal investigation, maybe the U.S. Attorney or the F.B.I. has asked the State Supreme Court to wait until their investigation is finished.

My Dell

I just bought my son a Dell Laptop for Christmas. I ordered it through Costco because it was much cheaper than ordering it directly from Dell. The box came in today shipped from Lavergne, On the carton is a big white label-"Computer Made In China."

The last Dell Laptop I purchased came from their outlet. I paid $1,399.00 for the same computer that would cost $2,790.00 new when I priced it on their website with the same warranty. On inspection the top had an ink mark on it. I tried every solvent known to man to remove it. When I called Dell they informed me they would have to build a new computer and ship it. The top couldn't simply be replaced. I received a new one in ten days from Taiwan.

Keep that in mind when the bailout talk resumes in January.

Pennsylvania Legislature- What A Job If You Can Get It

So far the House of the Pennsylvania legislature has met 70 days this year where 7 of those days were non-voting.

Below is a list of days certain committees of interest were in session.
AGING AND OLDER ADULT SERVICES Committee met for four days.
ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY Committee met for fourteen days.
FINANCE Committee met for ten days.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Committee met for eight days.
LIQUOR CONTROL Committee met for four days.
TRANSPORTATION Committee met for four days.

And the INSURANCE Committee did not meet for 2008.

Base Salary for House of Representatives- $76,000.00

Did I mention that in addition to their salary they are entitled to $158.00 each day they show up for work in Harrisburg to pay for meals? Did I mention that if someone picks up their meals they are still entitled to $158.00 for the day? That's because I didn't. Brad Bumstead over at the Pittsburgh Tribune Review wrote an excellent piece on the subject.
If you want to see what people working for them make look here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pennsylvania's Motor Vehicle Sales Tax Problem

A story that appeared in Sunday's edition of the (Sub-)Standard Speaker highlights the tax consequences of the auto industry's plight. Pennsylvania's motor vehicle sales tax revenue is down 25% when compared for November 2008 over November 2007.

The data supplied by the state Revenue Department shows the motor vehicle sales tax revenue is down $60 million year to date which represents a 12% drop. Two reasons are cited in the story- difficulty in securing financing(credit scores of at least 700 I am told by my friend at Tom Hesser Nissan) and those who do purchase buying lower priced and smaller cars to keep pace with the high price of gasoline.

Total sales tax from non-motor vehicle categories are $9 million less than last year. It is going to be hard for Fast Eddie Rendell to convince the electorate there is extra money for his electrical spike and healthcare for the uninsured initiatives.

I am going to take the liberty to post in its entirety a letter to the editor that appeared in today's Morning Call. It highlights consumer sentiment that prevails today.

What's an 'American car,' anyway?
December 21, 2008
A Dec. 14 letter, ''Buying 'American' helps the U.S.'' encouraged us to buy American cars. In 1991, I bought my first new car, a Ford Escort. American? Well, it was actually assembled in Mexico.

In 1999, I tried again to buy American, this time a Ford Windstar. Strike two: It was assembled in Canada. Next up was a Chrysler Town and Country. It was also assembled in Canada.

With my most recent car purchase, I was determined to buy an American-made car, and I finally succeeded: A Toyota Camry, assembled in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Will someone please tell me what constitutes an ''American'' car?

Alan Earnshaw



Saturday, December 20, 2008

My All Time Favorite Christmas Song

And I will throw Disney in as a bonus. Send this out to all my friends, past, present, and future.

We Are Printing And Inventing Money- President Elect Obama Is Headed Down A Wrong Path

A must read if you are interested in the dire consequences we will be facing as a nation.

No Public Outcry Over Pennsylvania General Assembly's Surplus

Apathy in America seems to be at an all time high. It's a sorry place we find ourselves today. Anyone paying attention to the news knows about the $50 billion Ponzi scheme, the Fed printing money translating inventing money, a $17.4 billion bailout of a terminally ill auto industry, a $700 billion bailout of the financial services sector, a 40% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, housing prices falling to the tune of 39% in some areas, and mortgage/general credit unavailability.

In the wake of all that doom the Pennsylvania General Assembly has a $200 million dollar surplus. The interesting part of this story to me is not so much about the surplus but about the cost of government. According to Legislative Audit Advisory Commission the cost of Pennsylvania's General Assembly was $316 million plus another $37 million for a total of $353 million.

There are 253 legislators in Pennsylvania between the House and the Senate. On average each legislator costs Pennsylvanians $1,395,256.00. Pennsylvania has the highest number of legislators per 100,000 residents. If the legislature were cut in half Pennsylvanians could save almost $177 million per year. Imagine the services that could be funded with that kind of money.

Back to the $200 million surplus. Why is the Legislature keeping the surplus money? In most other states that money is returned to the General Fund at the end of the year, translates, back to the taxpayer.

Petrilla & Co. Fire Back At Ciavarella

In response to an injunction granted against the Luzerne County Commissioners and the Luzerne County Salary Board, Commissioner Petrilla and her colleagues fired back with an emergency petition to the State Supreme Court. Their attorney used an extraordinary but rarely used action called "Kings Bench Jurisidiction." The term eminates from England where the king actually sat on the court.

In this case the Supreme Court is viewed as "a supervisory tribunal to keep other jurisdictions within their proper bounds". Its civil jurisdiction is against the officers or ministers of the court entitled to its privilege.

What is ironic is the fact that Ciavarella is telling the court irreparable harm will come to the courts if their funding is cut. However, he has no study or factual information to back up his assertion. I guess he feels that no irreparable harm will come to Luzerne County or the taxpayers if he is given a blank check.

In a twist to this story the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania plans to submit a brief in support of Luzerne County's efforts.

"Association Executive Director Doug Hill said Friday the timing of Luzerne County’s legal battle is "ironic" because the association earlier this month filed a motion asking the state Supreme Court to force the state to honor a 1996 Supreme Court order to fund county courts."

If Ciavarella was truly concerned about his funding why didn't he petition the State Supreme Court to enforce its order? He likes to pick the low hanging fruit. If it involves work he tries to sidestep it.

Anybody remember the lawsuit filed by the Juvenile Law Center against Judge Ciavarella to intervene on the juvenile court cases where the children had no legal representation. That is what I call irreparable harm.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court does not accept all cases that are brought before it. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett each filed briefs to convince the Court to take jurisdiction in this matter.

A bigger question is why isn't the mainstream media taking Ciavarella to task on these issues? Peter seems to have a grasp on the magnitude of Luzerne County Court problems.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ciavarella Files Lawsuit Against Himself??

As promised Judge Mark Ciavarella has filed a lawsuit against the Luzerne County Commissioners and the Luzerne Salary Board over budget cuts approved in the 2009 county budget. When you read the pleading you will see that Ciavarella's attorneys listed him as a member of the Luzerne County Salary board. The pleading also contains the following assertions.

9. Defendants have refused to adopt and/or refused to fund in full the Court's budget request for 2009,where said budget requests are reasonable and necessary and mirror image the previously approved and funded budget of 2008 with any increase, except as detailed in avertment twelve(12) below.

12. Any increase in payroll attributable to the Court, is solely and exclusively due to union mandated collective bargaining agreement contracts that Defendant have negotiated and become legally bound to honor pursuant to and in accordance with 16 P.S. §1620.

It is time to remind his honor about a post he created in 2008 that wasn't in the original budget. He hired Sam Guesto at a salary of $78,160.00 per year for a job CREATED as a new court director. People will remember Sam Guesto as the person behind the debit card fiasco that the Secret Service recently turned over to the U.S. Attorney.

A little about Guesto from a Times Leader article. "Guesto resigned as chief clerk in February to take a newly created position as a director of specialty courts/alternative sentencing. The switch came amid a storm of controversy surrounding his involvement in an illegal piecemealing scandal at the county prison and the misuse of county debit cards."

The pleading ends with Mark Ciavarella's verification statement. "I, Mark A. Ciavarella, President Judge of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. verify that the facts set forth within the foregoing Mandamus Complaint are true and correct, to the best of our knowledge, information and belief. I understand that false statements herein are subject to the penalties of 19 P.C.S. §4904 relating to unsworn falsifications to authorities."

An action of Mandamus is to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly. I thought Luzerne County Commissioners trying to pass a balanced budget within reasonble income expectations would be performing the duties of the office correctly.

Why Does Paul Kanjorski Keep Blaming George Bush About The Iraq War?

Here is an excerpt from an article written where Kanjorski talks about the lies he credits to President Bush over weapons of mass destruction. [Until he saw the pictures, Kanjorski said, “I hadn’t thought that Iraq was a threat.” ] Evidently Paul Kanjorski never spoke to people in his party.

"Iraq is a long way from (here) , but what happens there, matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." Madeline Albright 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, and he has ten times since 1983." Sandy Berger 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." Nancy Pelosi 1998

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." Al Gore 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction." Ted Kennedy 2002

I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-if necessary-to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." John Kerry 2002

Paul Kanjorski Refused To Commend Our Troops

Voted NO on approving removal of Saddam & valiant service of US troops.

States that the House of Representatives:

1.affirms that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq;

2.commends the Iraqi people for their courage in the face of unspeakable oppression and brutality inflicted on them by Saddam Hussein's regime;

3.commends the Iraqi people on the adoption of Iraq's interim constitution; and

4.commends the members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service.

Reference: War in Iraq Anniversary resolution; Bill H Res 557 ; vote number 2004-64 on Mar 17, 2004

Social Security Is A Bigger Ponzi Scheme

Bernard Madoff is credited with putting together one of the biggest Ponzi schemes. He was arrested after he admitted to squandering $50 billion of investor money.

A federal judge issued an order seeking the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC to protect investors duped by Madoff.

So let's get this straight. Madoff used money he received from new investors to pay off long time investors. As long as new money kept flowing in he was able to keep the scheme going.

Doesn't this scheme sound exactly like Social Security payments? Look at this article about Social Security. The Social Secuirity taxes we pay today fund current obligations to Social Security beneficiaries. It is not a tax that goes into a private account available to us when we retire. In other words the tax money the government receives from "current workers" is used to pay off benefits to "retired workers."

The governement is under no obligation to make sure Social Security is available when we retire although we paid into the system every day of our working lives.

And they arrested Madoff.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Paul Kanjorski- Why Aren't You Saving Jobs At Sanofi Pasteur

Press releases over the weekend indicate that Sanofi Pasteur is negotiating to move as many as 400 jobs from its Swiftwater(11th Congressional District)location to Bethlehem.

Obstacles from townships,Monroe County, and envrionmentalists fueled this ongoing issue. Sewer issues have plagued the progress to expand their Swiftwater site.

Pocono Township finally approved a plan but it will take three years to complete. Sanofi's timetable cannot be met under such this plan.

"Company Vice President Frank Epifano says 600 employees now use temporary trailers at the Swiftwater campus. He says the company plans to relocate several hundred jobs."

In talks with Lehigh County and Upper Saucon Township officials Sanofi will be able to take advantage of a KOZ designation for the Stabler site. The KOZ designation can eliminate payment of all state, local and school district taxes for 10 years.

Look at the jobs that will be moved to the Bethlehem site. Most are high level managerial jobs that pay significant money. Imagine the EIT tax lost to those townships and Monroe County.

Paul Kanjorski, what efforts were made by your office to address this issue in your district? Its appropriate that it is Christmas time. The answer to my question can be found in Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. Yukon Cornelius sticks his axe in the snow, takes a lick and says "Nuttin."

Of course in Bethlehem they are yelling "WAHOOOO"!! for the jobs.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dick Cheney Says Its Herbert Hoover Time

When the Senate failed to pass the auto bailout plan VP Dick Cheney told the Republican Senators it would be "Herbert Hoover" time. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Herbert Hoover.

The final attempt of the Hoover Administration to rescue the economy was the passage of the Emergency Relief and Construction Act which included funds for public works programs(Barack's Plan) and the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932. The RFC's initial goal was to provide government-secured loans to financial institutions, railroads and farmers(AKA Bailout). The RFC had minimal impact at the time, but was adopted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and greatly expanded as part of his New Deal.(now adopted by Obama)

In order to pay for these and other government programs, Hoover agreed to one of the largest tax increases in American history.Obama's at it again. The Revenue Act of 1932 raised income tax on the highest incomes from 25% to 63%. The estate tax was doubled and corporate taxes were raised by almost 15%. Also, a "check tax" was included that placed a 2-cent tax (over 30 cents in today's dollars) on all bank checks. Economists William D. Lastrapes and George Selgin,[29] conclude that the check tax was "an important contributing factor to that period's severe monetary contraction." Hoover also encouraged Congress to investigate the New York Stock Exchange, and this pressure resulted in various reforms.

For this reason, years later libertarians argued that Hoover's economics were statist. Franklin D. Roosevelt blasted the Republican incumbent for spending and taxing too much, increasing national debt, raising tariffs and blocking trade, as well as placing millions on the dole of the government. Didn't Obama say the same thing about George Bush??

Roosevelt attacked Hoover for "reckless and extravagant" spending, of thinking "that we ought to center control of everything in Washington as rapidly as possible," and of leading "the greatest spending administration in peacetime in all of history." Roosevelt's running mate, John Nance Garner, accused the Republican of "leading the country down the path of socialism".[30] Obama you go man! Spend on healthcare. Spend on job creation. Spend, Spend, Spend, or should we call you Billy Idol

As for Roosevelt who easily beat Hoover for re-election- "Roosevelt overreached on his Supreme Court packing plan, and a further financial recession in 1937 and 1938 tarnished his image of invincibility."

Any of this sound like Deja Vu?

Robin Williams On Obama's Election

I thought I would beat Gort to the Youtube weekend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Paul Kanjorski Is Wasting Billions

Last evening, December 10, 2008, Lou Dobb's was interviewing Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren, head of the Congressional Oversight Panel that was created as part of the bailout package.She noted during her interview that the bailout money given to the banks failed to trickle down to the American public.

"We've handed this money out. It's been stuffed into the vaults of the banks. We haven't asked the banks for any terms or to change anything. We haven't said how are you going to tie this to the American families. Let's face it. The bottom line is you can't save banks if the American family goes down the tubes. It's not possible. They can't exist. You don't get to save them and not save this country and the people who run this country, who are the real economy in this country."

During that segment Lou Dobb's aired a video of Paul Kanjorski's comments on the hearing held on the bailouts. Once again Paul Kanjorski doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. Here are his comments.

"REP. PAUL KANJORSKI (D), FINANCIAL SERVICES CMTE.: We have to tell the American people the truth, and that truth is going to hurt. Some of that truth is we're going to spend billions of dollars incorrectly, wrongly and wastefully. They're going to have to know that because we're like mad scientists in an economic laboratory trying to get the correct potion."

Professor Warren had this reaction to his comments:

"WARREN: There's just -- this breaks my heart. We don't have billions of dollars to spend here. One of the problems with spending money in this way is that at some point we really do run out of money. And if we're not using our money in the right ways, in ways to strengthen the American family, in ways to help out with this crazy mortgage foreclosure situation that we've got going, then our opportunity will be lost. It will be gone."

Paul Kanjorski claims to be the second highest ranking Member of his subcommittee. Just keep spending billions on your experiment, Paul. The people of the 11th district are more than happy to fund it.

Scranton, Wilkes Barre, so you get millions. He is giving away billions. Where is your share??? Kanjorski had the trash talk nerve to call Lou Barletta a creep. Paul, in Hebrew, you would be a hamor. In Spanish you would be a pendejo. No matter what language you speak you would still be the same thing. I hope you can hear me now.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Paul Kanjorkski Stretching The Baseball Facts

Paul Kanjorski, in his usual arrogant attitude, fired back at the Associated Press over their story concerning Freddie Mac and the Washington National baseball tickets. He states that the Associated Press mislead the public in its story. Paul, what a crock. How many times in your career have you mislead the public? The Veteran's Hospital in Wilkes Barre is one example but we will save that for another day.

Kanjorski blames George Bush for everything. I don't know what he is going to do after January 20, 2009.

Here is the part of the AP story Paul wants everyone to forget.

"The records obtained by the AP reflect growing concern within Freddie Mac over a chorus of criticism from Republicans worried that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had grown too big. The two companies owned or guaranteed over $5 trillion in mortgages.

The Bush administration and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan were sounding the alarm about the potential threat to the nation's financial health if the fortunes of the two mammoth companies turned sour. They did eventually, when they took on $1 trillion worth of subprime mortgages and when their traditional guarantee business deteriorated. Commercial banks regarded Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as competitors and were anxious to pick up business that would result from scaling back the two companies.

Pushing back, Freddie Mac enlisted prominent conservatives, including Gingrich and former Justice Department official Viet Dinh, paying each $300,000 in 2006, according to internal records."

"The AP previously described, in October, how Freddie Mac thwarted efforts to bring a tough regulatory bill sponsored by Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and John McCain of Arizona to a full Senate vote.

At a meeting days after Hagel's bill went to the full Senate, Syron and McLoughlin berated the company's in-house lobbyists for failing to keep Hagel's bill corralled in committee, said the four people familiar with events at Freddie Mac at the time.

Freddie Mac shifted into high gear, secretly paying a Republican consulting firm, Washington-based DCI Group, $2 million to kill Hagel's legislation. The covert lobbying campaign targeted Republican senators in 2005-06.

According to the newly obtained records, DCI's deployment was part of a broader campaign that targeted mainly Republicans on Capitol Hill.

The internal Freddie Mac documents show that 17 of the lobbying firms and consultants paid in 2006 were specifically directed to focus on Republicans and four on Democrats, with varying targets for the rest."

Paul, the Democrats had control of Congress, not the Republicans. That is why Freddie Mac needed to concentrate on the Republicans. There was little disagreement in the Democratic party to leave Freddie Mac alone.

Paul, do you really want us to believe that Freddie Mac buys individual tickets for each game as oppossed to having box seats. Here is the pricing for the Washington Nationals. It is reported that Diamond Club seats are $90.00, not $45.00. Let's entertain Paul's story for a moment. The price of his ticket is $45.00. The price of parking is between $15.00 to $40.00 for valet per game. The average price of an entree at Kosher Sports is between $11.00 and $20.00. Burgers at the Hard Times Cafe located at the stadium are almost $9.00. The price of a domestic draft beer is $7.50. The price of a mixed drink is between $8.00 and $12.00.

Lets add it up. $45.00 for ticket, $20.00 for parking, $9.00 for a sandwich, $8.00 for a mixed drink, and these prices are the low end. $82.00 is what I get, not $45.00. When you go to the ball park do you only have one beer???

When you go to your seat what are the chances that the CEO and lobbyists of Freddie Mac are sitting next to you? But, according to Paul, it was the Associated Press that is misleading the public.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Once Again Paul Kanjorski Goes National

How Freddie Mac Splashed Cash to Halt RegulationDec 8 2008- According to internal Freddie Mac documents obtained by the AP, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac's in-house lobbyists. Both were members of the House Financial Services Committee.

AP IMPACT: How Freddie Mac halted regulatory drive By PETE YOST – 7 hours ago- According to internal Freddie Mac documents obtained by the AP, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac's in-house lobbyists. Both were members of the House Financial Services Committee.

Company documents: Kanjorski took gift of lender Sunbury, PA Dec 8 2008-According to confidential company documents obtained by The Associated Press, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac’s in-house lobbyists. Kanjorski declined comment through a spokeswoman.

AP IMPACT: How Freddie Mac halted regulatory drive- Phila. Dec 8, 2008 According to internal Freddie Mac documents obtained by the AP, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac's in-house lobbyists. Both were members of the House Financial Services Committee.

Even Oregon got into the picture. AP IMPACT: How Freddie Mac halted regulatory drive
12/8/2008, 12:43 a.m. PST By PETE YOST The Associated Press- According to internal Freddie Mac documents obtained by the AP, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac's in-house lobbyists. Both were members of the House Financial Services Committee.

From dust thouart to Asheville, N.C. thou shalt return. Miami, Cleveland, I could keep going.

Lets return to two of my previous posts. If you really want to go to the September 23, 2008 post and my September 21, 2008 post. Why is it new to the Associated Press?

Obama and Kanjorski Benefited From Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae's Influence

Here is a Youtube.com video where Daniel Mudd, Fannie Mae CEO calls Obama and the Dems the "Family" and "Conscience" of Fannie Mae. He is speaking before the Congressional Black Caucus at its 2005 swearing in ceremony.

The Associated Press reported how Freddie Mac influenced Congressional action to thwart increased regulatory oversight. Of course, Paul Kanjorski would be at the cetner of that influence.

"When the Washington Nationals played their first-ever baseball game in the nation’s capital in April 2005, two congressmen who oversaw mortgage giant Freddie Mac had choice seats — courtesy of the very company they were supposed to be keeping an eye on.

Efforts to tighten government regulation were gaining support on Capitol Hill, and Freddie Mac was fighting back. The baseball tickets for the home opener were means of influence.

According to confidential company documents obtained by The Associated Press, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke, spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac’s in-house lobbyists."

Bob Ney would be the same Congressman who authored the Ney-Kanjorski bill which attempted to gut state predatory lending laws.

Ney would be the same former Congressman who was sentenced to 30 months in jail after admitting "that he performed official acts for Abramoff's lobbying clients between 2001 and 2004, receiving in exchange luxury vacation trips, skybox seats at sporting events, campaign contributions and expensive meals." Would they be the same tickets Paul Kanjorski accepted and uncovered by the Associated Press?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Barack Obama Took Victory Away From Lou Barletta

This map came from Google and shows the electoral votes. The map below shows county by county how the presidential elections faired out. It is from Newsmax.com.

Paul Kanjorski has robo called my house two times in the last week over the auto industry bailout. He knows he is in deep trouble next election. Even his own party can smell it. There will be younger challengers from the Democratic ranks who will defeat Kanjo in the primary.

Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss survived his re-election battle in part because Obama was not at the top of the ticket for election run-off. Louisiana voters delivered two Congressional Republican victories while ousting indicted U.S. Representative William Jefferson. In these elections Obama was not present to unfarily influence the outcome. He bought the election and he knows it.

If Kanjorski had to face Barletta in an off year he loses. If one analyzes the election results that fact is in the data. And Paul, quit calling my house with my dollars.

The fairy dust has cleared. The realities about Obama are starting to settle in. Before the election one could buy Obama on QVC. He was a carefully wrapped package sold to the unsuspecting public.

Obama announced that he is going to put America to work under a MASSIVE government spending program. I thought they crucified George Bush for doing exactly that. He intends to create 2.5 million jobs. So let me get this straight. A Democratic President is about the create the largest "corporation" in America but the Republicans are about big "business." I must give him credt. As he did during his campaign he gave few details during his annoucement.

Mr. Obama, please explain how you are going pay to hire 2.5 million people and pay to provide all people in this country with universal healthcare at the same time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Secret Service Probe Of Luzerne County-Crooks, Tales, Trails-

The Secret Service is reporting that it finished its investigation into the probe of Luzerne County's debit card fiasco. Its findings were turned over to the U.S. Attorney's office for review to see if charges are warranted in that inquiry.

A little noticed comment appears in the Citizen's Voice article that is worth exploring. [Kosik-Whitaker said the U.S. attorney’s office will not publicly release the Secret Service report on the debit-card probe when the case is closed because it “remains an internal document, which may contain information gained through grand jury information.”

Let's step back for a moment in time. Former U.S. Attorney Thomas Marino resigned his post last year. A Big Fat Slob reported ""What is unclear from the reports is how long it took Marino to recuse himself from the investigation of his long-time friend. (But, it's gotta give you a warm and fuzzy to realize that the chief Federal law enforcement official in the Middle District has a long-standing friendship with a convicted felon who has long been reputedly associated with the largest organized crime family in his District.)

It was reported last year that, between 2000 and 2005, DeNaples and affiliates contributed over a million bucks to Rendell and Bob Mellow, among others, who were instrumental in naming folk to the gaming board that eventually awarded DeNaples his slots license. Earlier this week, citizens groups filed ethics complaints against one of those board members, whose law firm represented DeNaples and another slots applicant."
(Information from Vince Fumo's trial likens to watching Caddy Shack. You never know when that gopher is going to pop its head out of the ground. Mellow, Rendell, Casey)

Marino considered running for Congress in the 10th Congressional District at one point but obviously changed plans. It seems the Pennsylvania State Police had interest in Mr. Marino's partial ownership of a nightclub in Williamsport that committed liquor violations. Marino now works for Louis DeNaples after probing him.

The reason all of this information may be relevant to the comment about the grand jury is not about DeNaples but about Marino's successor. Martin Carlson was the First Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania at the time of Marino's resignation. Today he is Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District.

Here is the interesting twist. According to the Patriot News at the time Marino's cases were transferred to Binghamton after he recused himself over the DeNaples investigation. Is any of this relevant to the Secret Service and the debit cards? Elementary, my dear Watson.

There is speculation that a grand jury may have been convened in Binghamton over the FBI and IRS probe of the Luzerne County courthouse. Information from that grand jury may be contained in the Secret Service report, hence the reason it will not be released due to the other testimony. In any event there was no known grand jury convened over the debit card process. Stay tuned. If this all hits in the next coming months watch the sky

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Eachus Hires Christopher Casey To Do An Efficiency Study???

At a time when Card Check is a buzz word, Todd Eachus was elected House Majority Leader beating Rep. Frank Dermody of Allegheny County in a closed door election process.

Eachus replaced Bill "Da Weasel" DeWeese who is now No. 3 at Whip. You have to admire someone who hits the ground running since he assumed the job December 1.

Eachus announced that HE hired outside legal counsel for the House Democratic Caucus(remember that he paid off arrested Mike Veon's campaing debt without consulting the rest of the caucus Members). His choice was Christopher Casey, brother of Senator Bob Casey.

On December 2, 2008 I reported on the Vince Fumo trial where the latter Casey's name was part of the testimony.

If you look at the bio on Christopher Casey you will read the following:

Areas of Focus: Partner, Corporate Investigations and White Collar Group. Mr. Casey concentrates his practice in white collar defense, criminal and civil antitrust, defamation, and complex commercial litigation.

I guess that Bonusgate probe by Attorney General Tom Corbett was focused on the "government duplication, waste and inefficiencies" that citizens demand during difficult economic times. At least that is what Eachus said in his press release. The release also states Casey will be "tasked with examining current procedures, contracts and staff structure." Having been involved in a merger of the number two and number five corporations in my industry I can report that an attorney was not brought in for these areas. Consultants with expertise were hired to reduce duplication, etc. but they weren't attorneys.

Since Eachus was one of the representatives who refused to give back the illegal pay raise of 2005 his explanation seems like a case of "Wag The Dog".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Senator Vince Fumo Behind Anti-Rendell Ads in 2002

The Associated Press is reporting out of Philadelphia that testimony in ex-Senator Vincent Fumo's trial indicates he quitely funded anti-Rendell campaign ads according to an article in today's Times Leader. As you read the story it parallels Attorney General Tom Corbett's efforts in Bonusgate.

Fumo gave $35,000 to a political action committee that placed anti-Rendell newspaper ads, had state Senate aides set up computer and phone equipment at Rendell rival Bob Casey’s headquarters, and delegated Senate contractor Howard Cain to run a get-out-the-vote effort for Casey, Cain and others testified.

The newspaper ads gave no hint that Fumo, a longtime Philadelphia power broker, was involved. In small type, they said only that they were sponsored by “Public Officials for a Better Pennsylvania” — a PAC formed two months earlier by two high-ranking Democrats, Rep. Bill DeWeese and Sen. Bob Mellow. Both men supported Casey.

Mellow told The Philadelphia Inquirer recently that he could not recall what role Fumo played in the PAC. DeWeese also cited a hazy memory. But DeWeese conceded that using the group to shield Fumo’s role in the attack “certainly seems to be a dubious mechanism.”

Harrisburg is nothing but a breeding cesspool full of corrupt politicians. Some get caught and others get talked about.