Monday, December 5, 2011

Should WE Keep Paying People Not To Work

This Opinion piece comes from

Do we really want paying people not to work for 99 weeks – nearly two years – to be a permanent feature of the American economic system? Is that what the American people voted for in the historic landslide election of 2010? If not, then why are Republicans poised to – for the first time since the election – extend this program?

The economic case for nearly two years of unemployment benefits is extremely weak. While supporters tout the demand-side effect of the benefit checks being spent, they ignore the much larger supply-side effect of creating a significant disincentive for work and consequently for economic production. The same Keynesians who brought us trillions of failed stimulus and a mountain of debt tell us the paying people not to work is a good way to grow the economy. Common sense – and the data – say otherwise.

As the Cato Institute’s Alan Reynolds eloquently explained: “Whether the government pays people to work or to stay on the dole, it has to get the money by taxing, borrowing or printing money — all of which reduce real income and employment opportunities in the private sector. … If every dollar of unemployment benefits really added $1.61 to real GDP, then putting everyone on the dole would make us all much richer.”

In reality, economists have shown that unemployment benefits actually increase unemployment because they increase the average duration of unemployment for individuals. There is less incentive to search for new employment when the government pays people as much as 60 percent of their previous salary to do nothing at all.

It should be no surprise then that since the extended benefits were signed into law, the median duration of unemployment has more than doubled from 9.6 weeks to 20.8 weeks, and the unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high for months on end.

Not all of this can be attributed to overly-generous unemployment benefits, of course, but they certainly aren’t helping. And given that more people are staying on government benefits for longer periods of time, federal spending on unemployment compensation has nearly quadrupled from $45 billion in 2008 to $160 billion in 2010 – all funded by higher taxes or federal debt, which takes resources out of job creators’ hands.

House Republicans will have their first opportunity to end this costly giveaway. To win, they need only to do nothing; the 99 weeks of unemployment are set to expire at the end of the year, automatically returning to the standard 26 weeks of unemployment (some states pay more).

Unfortunately, it looks like most Republicans missed one of the key messages of the landslide 2010 election – no more expensive giveaways.

Last Thursday The Washington Post reported that House Republicans plan to renew the expiring benefits program in a larger package that also includes an extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut. Perhaps it will be similar to a bill introduced by their Republican counterparts in the Senate, which extends the benefits but subjects them to means testing. Regardless, it will mean continuing to pay many people for nearly two years for not working.

This is a key test for the House Republican majority: will they listen to the small-government mandate that swept them into office? Or will they succumb to political pressure and advance a disastrous economic policy?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Barletta Rips Obama Campaign Visit

In this Times Leader article by Jonathan Riskind Congressman Lou Barletta rips into President Obama for playing politics with his visit to Scranton, Pennsylvania today.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta said Tuesday he supports extending the Social Security payroll tax cut into 2012, but criticized President Obama’s visit to Scranton today as playing politics with the issue.

Guest speaker, U.S. Congressman, Lou Barletta, addresses the gathering at the Chamber of Commerce autumn Breakfast Meeting.


Obama is to make a pitch for the payroll tax cut extension during his speech this afternoon at Scranton High School.

Barletta, a Republican from Hazleton, said keeping the payroll tax low for another year is a good idea because “I believe that money is better staying in the pockets of American citizens than it is in the coffers of the federal government.”

But Barletta said Obama would be better served by staying in Washington and working with Senate Democrats to pass “some of the 20-plus job-creating bills that we in the House passed, and that are now sitting in the Senate.

Rep. Tom Marino On President Obama's Visit To Scranton, PA.

WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Marino, PA-10, today issued this statement regarding President Obama’s visit to Scranton, Pa., in the neighboring 11th Congressional District:

“A visit by a President is always exciting but today’s appearance has lost some of its luster because of the President’s poor performance in the White House.

“His lack of leadership and his refusal to do what is best for the country and his insistence on sticking to his worn-out ideologies and Chicago-style politics is clearly hurting the national economy and Americans of all walks of life.

“He delays making important decisions and leading at a time when we need a strong and reassuring President.

“One of the best examples is the President’s delaying of the Keystone Pipeline, a project that would immediately employ 20,000 people with the promise of 200,000 jobs down the road.

“A true leader would not table such an important project just to appeal to opposing sides of his political base. The question is clear: `President Obama, do you want to pander to extreme leftist environmentalists or do you want to create thousands of good-paying, union-labor jobs?’

“If the President wants to make a career out of not being able to make a decision, he should go back to the U.S. Senate where the Democratic leadership has refused to vote on important bills passed by the House including 20-plus job-creating measures.

“President Obama can do all the campaigning he wants but we in Pennsylvania have a good memory. We remember what he really thinks of us and how he mocked our respect for our religion, for life and for our Second Amendment rights.”

Monday, November 14, 2011

Boehner Visits Flood Victims

Barletta and Boehner Tour Bloomsburg Flood Area Just a year ago the political pundits were saying our area would have no clout in Washington if Paul Kanjorski was not reelected. Bringing the Speaker of the United States House of Representative to tour the flood damaged areas in your district during your first term is an accomplishment worth noting on both sides of the political party aisle. Lou Barletta deserves credit, I don't care who you are.

How Can The Democrats Stand For This?

Judge wins election despite money and ethics troubles

By Mark Fazlollah
Thomas M. Nocella is being sued over sale of VFW land.
Thomas M. Nocella is being sued over sale of VFW land.  
Newly elected Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas M. Nocella credits U.S. Rep. Bob Brady - Philadelphia's Democratic Party boss - for intervening with ward leaders to put him on the ticket.

"He is the one in control," said Nocella, 67, rated qualified for the bench by the Philadelphia Bar Association, despite having been sanctioned by the city Ethics Commission in 2009.

He pointed out that he had done years of free legal work for the party and said the judgeship was his reward. "That's the way it's done in Pennsylvania," he said.

On Jan. 2, he will begin drawing a $165,000 judicial salary. Nocella welcomes the new income because there is a $358,000 IRS lien against him, the state says he ignored local taxes for years, and he has more than $1 million in debts listed in a bankruptcy case.

Vince Fumo was resentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter last week.  He tagged another 6 months onto Fumo's original sentence.  In this Newsworks article Buckwalter sums up what is wrong with the Philadelphia political machine.

"I'll never understand Philadelphia politics. Not in my life," said Judge Ronald Buckwalter after listening to Fumo speak for more than an hour.

How in the wide world of sports can a Judge say he is getting $165,000 in salary for FREE legal work?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yannuzzi And Graham Job Creators Leads to Continued Employment For Hazleton

In the City of Hazleton Municipal races for Mayor and City Council, Mayor Joe Yannuzzi and Councilwoman Evelyn Graham placed this ad in the Standard Speaker to highlight the amount of jobs both officials created in Hazleton during their lifetimes.

Yannuzzi created several companies that continue to operate today.  Yannuzzi Inc., Yannuzzi Plumbing and Heating, J Distributing, and Crossroad Computers were started by Joe Yannuzzi and still operate today in some capacity.  Yannuzzi Inc. and Crossroad Computers continue to operated under their same name.  Yannuzzi Plumbing and Heating is now part of Zola's Plumbing and Heating.  J Distributing is now YOU Trucking.

Evelyn Graham and her late husband, Seymour started Kama Plastics in the Heights Section of Hazleton.  Eventually the company was sold to Alcoa who then sold it to Multi-Plastics, Inc.

The amount of jobs remaining in Hazleton from those business startups is at least 250 jobs. 

Their opponents have no job creation experience or any adminstration experience.  Grace Cuozzo has refused to answer the question surrounding her Social Security Disability award, however she has not held a job in decades according to her State Ethics Commission filings.  Her inexperience in any management position as well as any elected governmental position cannot be ignored in applying for the lead job in Hazleton.

John Medashefski opposed portions of the Illegal Immigration Relief Ordinance that is very popular with most voters in Hazleton.  Past remarks by Medashefski regarding the direction from the city's chief executive supports the following assessment.

Yannuzzi's experience and leadership speak volumes to the reason voters in Hazleton should re-elect Yannuzzi to the position of Mayor.  Yannuzzi has brought the compliment of officers in the Hazleton Police Department back to 40.  He has added two additional code enforcement officers and one health officer to help with the City's enforcement.

Yannuzzi announced that the deficit spending of the last few years has been stopped in the year 2010.  It appears that financial results will have the city breaking even when compared to its budget.

Yannuzzi brought in the Pennsylvania Economy League to look at all operations of the City of Hazleton and asked for recommendations.  Their overall examination will be reported in the future and can provide a blueprint to keep Hazleton's operations in the black.

The candidates will face off in a debate to be aired on Channel 13.  Let's see if Cuozzo can act like a proper person and leave the name calling at the door. 

Graham's accomplishments in the Hazleton area are too numerous to mention.  Her generosity and committment to Hazleton residents make her re-election an almost certain victory.

Polling numbers for both Yannuzzi and Graham show significant leads, however they intend on campaigning right up until the polls close. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sending Jobs Overseas To Cure Our Recession?

If you have been following Fisker Automotive and Vice President Joe Biden you would know this is his "darling" he enveloped with open arms. Fisker secured a $529 million dollar loan guarantee for its startup electric car company from the Department of Energy.

A venture capital firm financing Fisker includes former Vice President Al Gore. Oh, the price of the car, $97,000.00.for its luxury version and $57,000.00 for the mass produced vehicle. Now that's a price we all can afford. Remember, Barack Obama put a Car Czar in charge of Government Motors and the electric car,Volt, will only set us back $41,000.00. Yet, the Democrats call the Republicans "rich". What a laugh.

ABC news is reporting that Fisker created 500 manufacturing jobs in Finland to produce the car. You can read the story here.

Henrik Fisker said the U.S. money has been spent on engineering and design work that stayed in the U.S., not on the 500 manufacturing jobs that went to a rural Finnish firm, Valmet Automotive.

An investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News found that the DOE's bet carries risks for taxpayers, has raised concern among industry observers and government auditors, and adds to questions about the way billions of dollars in loans for smart cars and green energy companies have been awarded. Fisker is more than a year behind rolling out its $97,000 luxury vehicle bankrolled in part with DOE money. While more are promised soon, just 40 of its Karma cars (below) have been manufactured and only two delivered to customers' driveways, including one to movie star Leonardo DiCaprio. Tesla's SEC filings reveal the start-up has lost money every quarter. And while its federal funding is intended to help it mass produce a new $57,400 Model S sedan, the company has no experience in a project so vast.

What's that's George Bush's fault, right. Leonardo DiCaprio??

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pennsylvania- Maybe Government Needs To Go On A Diet

Three days ago the Pittsburgh Tribune published this article about tax revenue by Thomas Olson.

Pennsylvania tax revenue increases 6.2% over last year

If Pennsylvania's tax collections are any guide, the state's economy is starting to pull out of its recessionary slump, according to experts in Harrisburg.

Overall tax receipts from individuals and companies in Pennsylvania for the fiscal year ended June 30 increased 6.2 percent to nearly $26.5 billion, according to the state Department of Revenue. And taxes of $194 million collected in July and August, the first two months of the current fiscal year, were 5.9 percent ahead of last year's pace.

Today the Times Leader features this article.

Pa. state tax revenues lag expectations by $215M

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania tax collections are lagging $215 million behind projections after the first three months of the state government's fiscal year.

State Revenue Secretary Daniel Meuser announced Monday the state general fund brought in $5.8 billion from the start of July through the end of September. That's 3.5 percent below expectations.

September collections were $152 million less than had been estimated. Major categories contributing to the shortfall are corporate and personal income taxes.

However, taxes on liquor, cigarettes and table games are running ahead of expectations.

What a beautiful dysfunctional state.  Jobs and sales of goods aren't leading us out of the recession.  The vices are.  They should just legalize prostitution and get it over with.

Maybe this is what they mean by tolling 80!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Federal Employee Benefits Outstrip Social Security

It is hard for public employees to understand why there is such a backlash by the private sector against their benefit package and overall work environment.  On a federal level there are about 10 million persons involved compared to 54 million Social Security beneficairies.

ABCnews published this story that outlines this issue in a very succint perspetive.

The government paid a record $268 billion in pension and health benefits last year to 10 million former civil servants, military personnel and their dependents, about $100 billion more than was paid a decade earlier after adjusting for inflation. And $7 billion more was deposited into tax-deferred accounts of current workers.

In addition, the federal government last year made more than a half-trillion dollars in future commitments, valued in 2010 dollars that will cost far more to pay in coming decades. Added last year:

•$107 billion in retirement benefits accumulated by current workers.

•$106 billion in new benefits granted to veterans.

•More than $300 billion in the snowballing expense of previous retirement promises that have no source of funding.

In all, the government committed more money to the 10 million former public servants last year than the $690 billion it paid to 54 million Social Security beneficiaries.

Government employees will foster the argument that they work for their money just like the private sector.  What they fail to understand is the liberties they have working for government agencies, holidays, personal days, sick day accumulation, payments made to remain off the government sponsored healthcare, defined pensions, etc. are NOT the norm in the private industry. 

Obama just today announced he wants a federal takeover of the nation's power grid.  Our nation does not need another bureaucratic agency with more employees that we can't afford through taxation.

Car czar, energy czar, count them; there are 32 czars in the Obama administration.  In April Obama announced his czars aren't going anywhere.  He won't abrogate his Presidential perogative.  Although not a supporter the liberals don't have to look far to understand why the Tea Party was formed.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hazleton Area School District- Poor Performance Continues For Years

In today's Standard Speaker veteran reporter Mia Light writes a story that Hazleton Area School District students failed to meet standardized testing benchmarks according to results released by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessments test is administered every spring to every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 in reading and math; students in grades 5, 8 and 11 are assessed in writing; and students in grades 4, 8 and 11 are assessed in science.

The test scores, from the 2010-11 school year, are part of the data used to determine whether schools have achieved Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Other data used to determine AYP includes percentage of student population that takes the test, school attendance rates and graduation rates.

In the Hazleton Area School District, where data from the 10 individual schools are combined to determine whether the district as a whole achieved AYP, the results were split 50/50 - results met the mark in five district schools and failed to make the grade in five others.

Hazleton Area schools that made the AYP grade include Freeland Elementary/Middle School, McAdoo-Kelayres Elementary School, West Hazleton Elementary/Middle School and, by default, Arthur Street Elementary School and its annex.

The state Department of Education classifies Arthur Street and the annex as a "feeder school," which means it contains only students below third grade and does not get tested for AYP. Because Arthur Street and the annex feed into schools that are held accountable for third grade PSSA results, the Arthur Street school and annex receive AYP results based on overall district results. Because the district's third grade met the thresholds in math and reading overall, Arthur Street and the annex are identified as having met AYP.

The five district schools where the AYP requirements were not met include Drums Elementary/Middle School, Hazleton Elementary/Middle School, Heights-Terrace Elementary/Middle School, Valley Elementary/Middle School and the high school.

At Drums, AYP was achieved in attendance and test participation but not in academic performance. Students there did achieve AYP in math and reading overall, but students in the special education sub-group failed to meet the mark in mathematics, which cast an AYP failure on the school's final grade.

According to the Department of Education, this is the first time the Drums school did not meet all AYP measures. In the first year of not meeting AYP, a school is placed in "Warning" status, meaning it fell short but has another year to achieve the standards before any consequences are imposed.

In July the Times Leader ran a story about teachers' ratings in area school districts.  As part of the federal stimulus reporting the teachers ratings were released by the Pennsylvania Department of Education according to school district.  The federal stimulus program poured billions into education and required measures be taken to reform the decline in student test scores witnessed nationwide.

The following charts, produced by Gary Visgatis and Mark Guydish of the Times Leader, show that teachers in the Hazleton Area School district received a 100% approval rating but student acheivement was not one of the measures used to evaluate teachers.

On July 16, 2011 the Standard Speaker published an article written by Mia Light about An investigation is under way into why test scores at several Hazleton Area School District buildings in the 2008-09 school year were "statistically atypical" and highlighted in a state report that questioned whether they were earned fairly.  Subsequently HASD personnel suggested that a reporting error may have skewed that data although a full report has never been filed or reported to the public.

Hazleton Area School District was ranked 402nd out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2011 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on five years of student academic performance on the PSSAs for math, reading, writing and three years of science.  The HASD was rated 368 out of 500 in 2007 by the same publication and went down to 401 out of 498 in 2010.

Hazleton Area School District board members and administrators need to stop the intense bickering, partisan degradations, and outright bullying of each other and get back to educating our children.

At the same time 94% of all Pennsylvania school districts made the grade on performance standards according to Mary Niederberger and Eleanor Chute of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  These facts should be an eye opener for the public.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Obama's Claim On Jobs A Myth

Obama plan would make small dent in jobless rate

Even if Congress heeds President Barack Obama's demands to "pass this bill right away" and enacts his jobs and tax plan in its entirety, the unemployment rate probably still would hover in nosebleed territory for at least three more years.

Why? Because the 1.9 million new jobs the White House says the bill would produce in 2012 falls short of what it's needed to put the economy back on track to return to pre-recession jobless levels of under 6 percent, from today's rate of 9.1 percent.

That's how deep the jobs hole is. The persistent weakness of the U.S. economy has left 14 million people unemployed and more than 25 million unable to find full-time work.

More on the Obama Campaign and A Stimulus Recipient Hosting a $25,000.00 Fundraiser

Missouri stimulus beneficiary hosting a $25,000-a-head fundraiser for Obama

Tom Carnahan is at the helm of Wind Capital Group, an investment firm that received a $107 million federal tax credit to develop a wind power facility in his home state of Missouri. In October, he’s scheduled to host a $25,000-per-person fundraiser to aid Obama’s reelection effort.

“At a time when Barack Obama is under fire for steering hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus funds to a failed company linked to a major campaign donor, it is stunning that he would come to Missouri and raise money with another recipient of stimulus cash,” Smith said in a statement to POLITICO. “Sadly, Missourians have come to expect this kind of pay-to-play from the Obama administration. November 2012 can’t come soon enough.”

Please tell me how this scheme is all that much different than what Mericle did with Ciavarella and Conahan.

Democrats Block Disaster Aid Bill

Just last April Democrats were excoriating House Republicans asserting they were holding government hostage during the contrived government shutdown debacle. In a tit-for-tat move the Senate Democrats are now the "stonewallers" on keeping the government going by failing to pass the stopgap CR(continuing resolution).

In this latest saga the government is holding disaster relief hostage. Up and down the Wyoming Valley political pundits took jabs at Congressmen Lou Barletta and Tom Marino during the first showdown. It remains to be seen whether they voice the same opinion against the likes of Harry Reid and his cohorts in the Senate. Senate Blocks House Disaster Aid Bill

The Democrats are holding out for funding what they call an "Energy Department Loan Program".  Well twist my britches in a knot and send me over the edge.  The White House embarassment over the  Solyndra bankruptcy announcement after backing it with loans(Obama administration agreed to Solyndra loan days after insiders foresaw firm's failure) this past week and charges it inflated the claim of green jobs (Fly a plane or drive a bus? Then Obama says you've a GREEN job: White House accused of massaging eco-employment figures) shows genuine chutzpah to make this issue a stumbling block to disaster aid.

Administration Defends Half Billion Dollar Loan to Bankrupt ‘Clean Energy’ Firm

Obama administration officials told U.S. lawmakers Wednesday that a contributor to the president’s 2008 campaign played no role in pushing the $535 billion federal loan to the bankrupt solar panel firm Solyndra, Inc., raided by the FBI last week.

However, one Energy Department official did not answer directly when asked whether he had direct communications with the White House over the loan provided through stimulus money.

Emails obtained by the House Energy and Commerce Committee appear to show that Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Department of Energy (DOE) employees had expressed concerns that the process was being rushed – even as President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu were touting the California-based “clean energy” company as the wave of the future.

The Administration was warned back in 2009 about Solyndra but they threw caution to the wind with taxpayer money.

There's an even bigger problem that has been put on the back burner.  Our government has not passed a budget in 900 days making these CR's a necessary evil.

Is it any wonder why this nation is so colossally screwed?  Right now party leaders on both sides of the aisle are using this nation as a pawn in their political brinksmanship.

The amount of disaster aid needed to re-fund FEMA is a drop in the federal budget bucket at $ 7 billion when we are racking up multi trillion dollar deficits.  Everyone in Washington knows that FEMA is going to get its money so get on with it. 

Did anyone tell the leaders that 1 in 4 children in Northeastern Pennsylvania live in poverty? 

One in every four children in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton metropolitan area lived in poverty in 2010, a dramatic increase over the previous year that came even as median household income in the region edged up slightly, new U.S. Census Bureau estimates indicated Thursday.

The jump was accompanied by a rise in the number of regional households that received food stamps, according to the American Community Survey, a census sampling of counties with population of at least 65,000.

"We are really talking about a huge portion of residents in Northeastern Pennsylvania who have trouble putting food on the table," said Teri Ooms, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, a Wilkes-Barre-based think tank.

Families have lost everything, children are living in poverty, and Washington is quamired.  They got molasses in their britches in a time when this nation needs action and compromise.  The Democrats know they can't keep spending and the Republicans know that the government still has responsibilities.  In that statemen

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Clinton Tells Obama His Plan Won't Work

Foxnews is reporting that Bill Clinton stated raising his taxes won't solve the current economic problem.
Both sides in the debate on job growth and deficit spending are claiming an ally in Bill Clinton, the multimillionaire former president who has declared his willingness to pay more in taxes, but said that it won't help get the economy moving.

Clinton, in interviews over the weekend, touted President Obama's $447 billion jobs package as a smart move. But speaking with Newsmax, he criticized the president's deficit-reduction plan, which calls for $1.5 trillion in tax hikes to be collected by raising the rates on people making $200,000 or more and adding an additional calculation for people making more than $1 million.

"It's okay with me. I'll pay more. But it won't solve the problem," Clinton said, adding that the country shouldn't deal with increased taxes or spending cuts "until we get this economy off the ground."
Clinton also said that Obama "knows perfectly well the Republicans aren't going to be for" a debt-reduction package that raises taxes. He said he would advise Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to "go work it out. Meanwhile, focus on putting America back to work now, because it just confused Americans."

Following the interview, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said he hopes Obama will "heed" Clinton's advice

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Barletta Fights For FEMA Help Desperately Needed In His District

This Morning Call blog reports Congressman Lou Barletta has joined 70 Democrats in asking Republican Leadership to give FEMA a larger relief pool of funds.

Around 70 House Democrats sent a letter to House Republican leadership urging them to accept a larger funding pool for FEMA disaster relief. Among those Democrat signatures one name sticks out: Pennsylvania Republican Lou Barletta.

Barletta, whose 11th district was ravaged by recent flooding, said he has joined the Democrats because his constituents need the extra help. He described grown men and women crying on their front porches, their homes destroyed, possessions lost, wondering if anyone will help.
How much to supplement FEMA's disaster relief fund in the wake of Hurricanes Irene and Lee has become a major sticking point in passing a resolution to keep the government funded through November. At issue is this: The House Republicans want to pass a "continuing resolution" with $3.65 billion for the fund with offsets. The Senate has already passed a stand alone measure providing $6.9 billion for FEMA. Majority Leader Harry Reid has said if the House passes its funding bill and sends it to the Senate he will attempt to amend it with the larger FEMA pot. House Democrats are also planning to vote against the bill.

Barletta said he has not yet decided whether he too will vote against the House Republican version.
In the letter, the members write that "FEMA cannot begin full recovery efforts in areas recently devastated because of the lack of adequate resources." The fund is expected to run out of money before the end of the month. "We have an obligation to fulfill to our fellow citizens," they write. "FEMA and other federal agencies need the entirety of the Senate's bill to help suffering Americans today. Please prevent disaster aid from getting caught up in budget brinksmanship by bringing the bill passed by the Senate up for a vote.

In related news, Reid secured a handful of Senate Republican votes to pass the $6.9 billion FEMA funding bill. Among those Republicans was Pennsylvania GOP Pat Toomey. Reid will need those votes again if he wants to amend the House bill and there's no guarantee Toomey and the other will vote for it a second time around.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Vinsko The Country Cluber- Insensitive During This Crisis

If Congressman Lou Barletta put out a press release like this one the local media would be all over him. Pundits local and afar would be chastizing him for insensitivity in this time of such devastation and destruction to homes and lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania.   He would be called a rich country cluber.

The Citizen's Voice announced on the VINSKO COCKTAIL PARTY.

The Bill Vinsko for Congress Committee will host a cocktail party from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Wyoming Valley Country Club, Hanover Township. Tickets are $125 per person. For information and tickets, call (well you didn't think I would really publish the number did you?).

Nice timing Attorney Vinsko. While he is enjoying the caviar and martinis at the Club people a few miles away have no heat, electricity, water, or sewer.  Kanjorski built a campaign around Frank Harrison's junket while the giardiasis crisis hit the region.  Look's like Tropical Storm Lee may show Vinsko what happened to General Lee in Gettysburg.

BTW Mr. Vinsko, this one is on me.  Why don't you have the mandatory federal disclaimer notice at the end of this political ad?  One would think an attorney would be up on federal laws concerning campaign notices but then again anyone who is part of Tom Leighton's machine seems to be able to skirt those laws.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Paul Kanjorski Are You Done Gloating??

Citizens Blame Levee For Damage To Town

Many residents said they now plan to move because they’ve suffered enough.

SHICKSHINNY – Residents’ emotions in this borough of less than 1,000 ran the gamut Monday as they began recovery from Friday’s flood devastation.

One was resentment.

“I’m going to go to the dike (in the Wyoming Valley) and put a big sign on it that says ‘Happy 150th Anniversary, Shickshinny. Here’s your gift.’ I don’t care what the politicians say. These people know what that dike is doing to them. It’s killing this town,” Shickshinny Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator Kevin Morris said.

Mayor Beverly Moore estimated 80 percent of the town was affected by flood waters that in lower-lying areas rose to the roofs of houses when the Susquehanna River crested at 42.66 feet.
Morris and others believe the Wyoming Valley Levee System north of them did its job – keeping the water within the river banks.

That is, until the waters pass through the system and hit downstream communities such as Shickshinny with greater force than ever because they can no longer spread out upstream.

“This may be the death of the town and it’s mainly due to that dike,” Morris said.
If it’s suggested that the Wyoming Valley would have been flooded without the levee, Morris believes fair is fair. “Let them share the pain. Why is Mrs. Smith on Main Street in Wilkes-Barre any better than Mrs. Smith on Main Street in Shickshinny?”

“I think this is the end of the line. I hope not and I’m trying to be optimistic, but there are a lot of homeowners who just said, ‘I’ve had enough,’ ” Morris said.

Cynthia Beach, 53, has lived with her husband, Doug, 54, at their 10 N. Susquehanna Ave. home for about 30 years, but they don’t plan on staying there much longer. Hit by flood waters five times before, the past weekend’s disaster was the final straw.
“We’ve been through it enough. We’re just tired. We’re not getting any younger,” Cynthia said. “The neighbors next door are leaving. They’re tired too.”

The Beaches and their children, Andrew, 22, and Joseph, 19, were able to get some belongings moved out before the midnight evacuation, but they still lost a lot.

“The government keeps promising this and promising that, and they’re never going to do anything,” Doug Beach said. “They don’t want to raise (a levee), so we’re just going to leave.”
“Or let them tear (the house) down and give us the money,” Cynthia Beach said.

A couple blocks north, Lillian Kresge, 85, sat in a lawn chair across the street from her home of 45 years watching her nephew, Aaron Jones and his son, Aaron Jr., wash her porch with a high-pressure sprayer.

As she looked at her mud-covered belongings on the sidewalk, her voice cracked as she fought back tears. “You think you’re all right until you sit down, and then you fall apart.”

Kresge has been hit by smaller floods before and has recovered. Can she do it again?
“I don’t want to. I love my house. I hate the thoughts of having to leave it. But at this point, I’m going to have to, I guess. We’ll see,” she said.

Kresge, too, thinks Shickshinny deserves a levee. She and other residents feel slighted, ignored, even in TV news coverage, Kresge said. “You never see anything much about Shickshinny. It’s like we don’t exist.”

Morris, the fire chief, said he and other officials began assessing the damage on Monday.
“Normally that happens a lot quicker because the fire hall and the borough building aren’t affected,” Morris said. But both took on 4 to 6 feet of water.

The borough set up an emergency command center a few lots up from the fire hall on West Union Street in the garage of Bob McDaniels. American Red Cross representatives made their first appearance in Shickshinny on Monday. “Everything we got up to this point has been private donations. Shickshinny area takes care of Shickshinny when it comes to something like this,” Morris said.

Holly Morris, fire company president, said there would be food and supplies at the command center and the Methodist church on South Main Street.

Mayor Moore, a nurse at Berwick Hospital, said she expected a tetanus clinic would be set up in the borough this week.

As far as relief in the form of a levee, Moore said she doubts Shickshinny will ever see one. “I honestly think they would buy out the town before they would put a dike down here,” she said.

Read more:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Biden, Clinton, Car 54 Where Are You!!!

August, 2008 Now Vice President Joe Biden told us how his childhood left a lasting impression.

Joe Biden left blue-collar, bare-knuckles Scranton for the greener pastures of Delaware when he was only 10 years old. But Scranton, it turns out, left an indelible impression on him. Barack Obama's running mate has returned again and again to the city of his youth, where he attended grammar school at St. Paul's, learned politics at his Irish-Catholic grandfather's knee, and made friendships that have lasted 60 years. He's such a familiar presence here and in the Philadelphia media market -- which includes Delaware, his political base for more than 35 years -- that he's known as Pennsylvania's third senator.

That may be one reason Biden's on the Democratic ticket. In choosing a lunch-bucket Democrat, Obama hopes to capitalize on Biden's appeal to the socially conservative, working-class voters who populate Scranton and many other regions of Pennsylvania. Named for the late governor from Scranton, so-called "Casey Democrats" are a critical voting bloc -- and they largely spurned Obama in the primary, handing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a 10-point victory.

March, 2008 Hilary Clinton returns to her roots in Scranton.

Hillary Clinton begins her six-week siege of Pennsylvania today with an afternoon rally in Scranton, where her rough-hewn father, Hugh Rodham, was born to Welsh immigrants almost 97 years ago. Once a major mining community, the city now is best known as the setting television types picked for NBC's sitcom "The Office." Scranton, nestled in state's northeast corner, has embraced this reflected glory; as noted in a New York Times article last year, the publicity is a welcome change for a city "whose name never seemed to appear in print without the words 'hardscrabble former coal-mining town.' "

Paul Kanjorski thumps his chest over what he did for Wilkes Barre and the levee system. He failed to acknowledge the devastation and destruction the citizens are presently suffering at the fate of Tropical Storm Lee downstream because of that same system. Instead this tragedy was all about him.

Wilkes Barre gives thanks to God, Levees and Paul Kanjorski.

And Todd Eachus protege Edddie Day Pashinski had this to say.

But everyone should be thankful that it never failed, said state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, who represents the city. "I hope that people take a moment tonight and say a prayer and thank the Lord that that dike held," Mr. Pashinski said. "Those of you that experienced 1972 know what kind of devastation we experienced in Wilkes-Barre and throughout the entire valley. Ladies and gentlemen, we dodged a major bullet."

Oh yeah?  Ask the residents in West Pittston and Duryea if they feel like they "dodged the bullet".  How about West Nanticoke??  Downtown Shickshinny look below:

Flood ravages Shickshinny.
Doesn't look like the representative knows what dodging the bullet means.  The bullet wasn't dodged Mr. Pashinski; it was fired at other communities.

And pandering Tom Leighton had this to say about Paul Kanjorski.

Mayor Tom Leighton ordered an evacuation of homes in flood zones near the river and the unpredictable creeks that run through the city. About 20,000 people fled as Wilkes-Barre prepared for a worst-case scenario similar to the wrath of Agnes, which flooded the city from River Street to Wilkes-Barre Boulevard almost 40 years ago. Had the city sustained a similar flood, the waters would not only have devastated homes, but also would have closed businesses that employ the 15,000 people who comprise the state's fourth-largest downtown workforce, Mr. Leighton said. But that never happened, thanks in part to former U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski's work to raise the levee system in the Wyoming Valley, Mr. Leighton said. "Without his hard work in Washington over the years, this valley would have been ruined," Mr. Leighton said.

Let's get back to the beginning of this post.

Where is Joe Biden and Hilary Clinton in this crisis? I know where Lou Barletta and Tom Marino are. Nough Said.

Friday, September 9, 2011

FEMA Disaster Aid The Real Story Electric Cars

As the flood waters start to recede in the Wyoming Valley the political pundits will start their typical barrage of misinformation against Congressman Lou Barletta about his position on disaster aid and budget cuts. Nancy Kman already took a shot when she interviewed Barletta yesterday. Here is the real story about federal disaster aid. So Gort, why don't you ask your fellow Democrats including Senator Robert Casey why THEY are the ones playing politics with federal disaster aid.

From the Wall Street Journal

Democrats Hold Disaster Relief Hostage Until Republicans Approve Electric Cars

Rahm Emanuel may have decamped to Chicago, but Democrats in Washington still won’t let a good crisis go to waste. Their current gambit is to use Hurricane Irene as a pretext to prevent spending cuts to one of Washington’s most notorious boondoggles.

This week the left-wing press has been attacking House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for holding disaster relief funding “hostage.” A more accurate way to put this is that Senate Democrats won’t approve new funding for disasters unless they get the funding they want for corporations that make electric cars.

Here’s the story: In June, House Republicans passed the 2012 Homeland Security appropriations bill, which included an amendment adding $1 billion to the Disaster Relief Fund of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In a sensible move for taxpayers, the amendment offsets this new disaster funding by cutting spending on the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. This may ring a bell with readers as the funding conduit for one of Washington’s adventures in crony capitalism.

In 2009, the Department of Energy announced that it would loan more than half a billion dollars through this program to a California-based company, Fisker Automotive, to make luxury electric cars. About a month after the loan package was conditionally approved, CEO Henrik Fisker and Joseph Biden appeared in the Vice President’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware to announce that Fisker would now be making some of its cars at the city’s old General Motors factory.

At the event, Mr. Biden described many “long talks” he’d had with Mr. Fisker. The Vice President’s office later said that Mr. Biden didn’t make any direct appeals to Energy before the loan was approved, but Delaware’s chief of economic development told the Journal that Mr. Biden was the state’s “secret weapon, except there is nothing secret about Joe Biden.”

All of this is background to say that the GOP has found the federal program that is arguably the most deserving of a cut to free up funds for disaster victims. But Senate Democrats refuse to pass the House bill and Mr. Cantor has earned their ire this week by continuing to press for cuts in corporate welfare.

Perhaps unwilling to defend the indefensible, some have taken to claiming that the Republican bill cuts cherished liberal entitlements. In an email seeking donations for an anti-Cantor advertising campaign, the group Democracy for America exalted, “We’re hitting Eric Cantor hard—exposing his call to hold Hurricane Irene disaster relief hostage to more cuts in vital programs, like Medicare and Social Security—with in-district ads all next week.”

In the Senate, Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin seems unwilling to accept even the idea that the government might set priorities and choose to fund disaster aid instead of other claims on the federal fisc. “If [Mr. Cantor] believes that we can nip and tuck at the rest of the federal budget and somehow take care of disasters, he’s totally out of touch with reality,” said Mr. Durbin.

One reason the House bill has less funding for Democratic priorities is because, even before the hurricane, Republicans had decided that the President’s budget didn’t have enough money for the Disaster Relief Fund. So they funded it at $850 million above the President’s request. Then as they realized that the damage in places like Joplin, Missouri would put additional strain on the fund, the GOP added the amendment that provided still more disaster assistance and cut funding for Mr. Biden’s beloved electric cars.

The White House hasn’t asked for more funding, though White House budget director Jacob Lew wrote to lawmakers Thursday suggesting it could be well north of $5 billion. But so far Mr. Cantor is being blamed for opposing disaster relief because he has been trying to spend more than the President, and to place that above other spending priorities.

By the way, this political theater is having no impact on victims in need of help. The MSNBC gang may like to pretend that Mr. Cantor is stealing blankets from homeless flood victims, but the Washington debate is largely about funding for construction projects that may be years in the future.

Yes, FEMA has warned that its disaster fund is running low, a warning it issues almost annually. And the agency has said it won’t approve new municipal construction projects until it gets more funding. But rebuilding, for example, a bridge in Vermont likely couldn’t happen for months or years anyway as the locals debate designs, approve plans and conduct environmental reviews. The agency’s emergency assistance—water and generators, or money for new windows or clothing—continues without interruption.

To have any hope of controlling spending, Congress has to make choices. That means having the fortitude to give up more corporate welfare to finance more urgent disaster relief.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cuozzo And Deakos Cost Taxpayers Thousands And Were Dead Wrong

Hazleton's constant complainants, Dee Deakos and Grace Cuozzo teamed up against their own City of Hazleton to make incredulous allegations regarding a lease arrangement including debt passed by Hazleton City Council to the Department of Community and Economic Development filed June 27, 2011. Their initial complaint was faulty and they resubmitted an amended complaint on June 30, 2011.

SOP has obtained a copy of the decision by C. Alan Walker, Secretary of Community and Economic Development in favor of the City of Hazleton in their latest unfounded attack. Categorically, the Secretary catapults their claims as inaccurate through failing to provide any concrete evidence to their assertions with phrases like - in this regard the Complainants have not provided any concrete evidence, the Complainants challenge that the nature of the project is inconsistent with the provisions of the URA law is also without merit, and the Complainants do not cite any specific provisions of the URA law.

The best one that sums up the inability of these two vexatious complainants is this description found on page 6. Finally, the Complainants allege that the borrowing should have been approved by ordinance, not by resolution, in accordance with the Third Class City Code. This allegation is without merit factually. The city did pass an ordinance for the Project, No. 2011-10 on June 7, 2011, not a resolution.

In part II of his answer titled "Challenges to the Regularity of the City's Debt Proceedings" the Secretary reminds them that his department does not deal with allegations of violations of the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law or the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.

The pair also alleged that the borrowing was an open ended agreement with no limitations on maximum interest payments and was summarily dismissed as misplaced. In part III they had to be reminded that Tax Anticipation Notes are not "debt".

None of this information made Kent Jackson's article in the Standard Speaker regarding this matter. He reported that their complaint was dismissed because it wasn't timely filed.

Hazleton mayoral candidate Grace Cuozzo challenged the city's plan to borrow $5.6 million too late, a state lawyer said when explaining why her complaint was dismissed.

Scott Longwell, assistant counsel for the state Department of Community and Economic Development, said Cuozzo needed to challenge the tax and revenue anticipation note when the city borrowed it in January. Instead, she and Hazleton resident Dee Deakos filed the challenge this summer after the city sought to extend the repayment and long after the 15-day deadline ran out.

Cuozzo said dismissing the challenge on a technicality leaves unanswered two concerns that led her to file the challenge.

It seems odd to SOP that a letter signed by the Secretary is quoted in a newspaper article as information from the assistant counsel.  It seems even odder that given the detail with which the Secretary dismissed their complaints only timeliness made it to the people of Hazleton via publication. It is also evident that Cuozzo appears to mislead the public about the entire content of the Secretary's letter.

Kent Jackson wrote about the cost of their futile challenge to the taxpayers of the City of Hazleton.

Hazleton's acting Director of Administration Mary Ellen Lieb said the complaint delayed the borrowing and cost the city $20,000 to $25,000 in legal fees. Also, additional interest paid while extending the original loan, which expired June 30, exceeds $10,000 so far and will accrue at $270 a day until the new loan is finalized, which Lieb said might take a few more weeks.
The accrual could amount to thousands more if it will take a weeks to resolve. 

Civarella Sentence- 28 Years

Judge Edwin Kosik sentenced former Judge Mark Ciavarella to 28 years in prison. According to Sue Henry of WILK news radio Ciavarella intends on surrendering today.

Update:  The Times Leader is reporting this storyM on the sentencing of disgraced former Judge Mark Ciavarella in what the U.S. Attorney's Office is calling the most corrupt investigation in local history. The federal investigation, the largest and the most sustained political corruption inquiry in the history of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, was initiated under the direction of former U.S. Attorney Martin C. Carlson, now a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Middle District, and continued under Dennis C. Pfannenschmidt, who succeeded Carlson as court-appointed U.S. Attorney in 2009, and Smith, the current U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Disjointed Democrats Blame The Tea Party

It is hard to believe that during the present debt crisis and downgrade by Standard and Poors the best the Democratic party can come up with is "blame the Tea Party" as reported in this FoxNews article.

Ilogical, disjointed, disconnected, scattered, SOP could go on and on about the lost message John Kerry and Howard Dean are pursuing to save their President. Shoot the messenger is the best they can come up with??

Obama doesn't have a clue, Geithner is worse. The current debt ceiling crisis and associated credit downgrade started along time ago. Clinton, Bush, and Obama are all to blame. The Tea Party platform only highlighted what America was facing. To call this a "Tea Party downgrade" is like calling melting snow due to the weatherman.

One thing the Tea Party accomplished was stopping Harry Reid, Nancy Pelois, and Barney Frank from blaming George Bush for the country's problems. Obama squarely owns them now. The Democrats are even resorting to vicious name calling like "terroists" and "hostage takers".

 On the other side, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips said on his group's website that it is Democrats causing this mess. "This is the Obama depression and this is the Democratic downgrade," he said, adding that the Tea Party is also fighting "establishment Republicans" to cut spending.

But Standard & Poor's Managing Director John Chambers said there's "lots of blame to go around." He agreed with several officials that the environment in Washington is "dysfunctional," and said the fact that the dysfunction put the United States within hours of hitting its debt ceiling was a driving factor in the downgrade decision.

 The second factor, he said, was the country's "fiscal trajectory."

"The fiscal situation in the United States is not sustainable," he told Fox News.

Who cares who is at fault.  Democrats start talking about job creation and less about government entitlements.  Leave the name calling for another time.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blame The American Will

The downgrading of American debt rocked the foreign markets this evening according to this ABC news report.

Blame the American will. Washington was sent a message last election. You can be a liberal, liberal or a conservative, conservative. Regardless, take notice. OUR COUNTRY needs fixin and quite frankly Scarlet we don't give a damn.

Unions who rely on government for employment cannot have a blank check. Social programs who rely on Americans cannot have a blank check. States who look to the Federal government to solve their problems cannot have a blank check. End of story. Because obviously our credit is not a blank check according to ratings agencies.

Now, does that mean the federal government cannot collect taxes and redistribute it to the masses to effect growth? Hell no. But don't disguise an agenda behind the true meaning of government assistance. For the day of atonement is upon those who want government to tax more for their benefits and salaries.

FDR made people work for government money. John Kennedy asked not what can your country do for you, ask what can you do for your country. Tomorrow lay down the pulpits of party and unite for the country's sake like they did when our Founding Fathers created this country. Small states vs. large states, southern states vs. northern states, all had an agenda to prevent the formation of our great Union, a republican form of government. Yet it was accomplished and worked. Tomorrow tell America what you are willing to do to make it succeed. For any less committment is a phony obligation to the future.

Are you willing to have those in India and China who struggle take over your country because they are more committed to bettering themselves? More willing to study, more willing to work long hours, more willing to sacrifice the pleasures of life for a sustaining future? Our children are awash in fancy cars, summer vacations to the shore, Iphones, Ipods, laptops, cash in their pockets, gasoline money, etc. etc. etc. If we learn to say no our country will benefit in the long run. In the short run we are failing the future by demanding a blank check.

Forget what America is facing, what is America's vison, ask how are we going to chart its future?

Today Seal Team Six devoted its lives to our pettiness. Tomorrow we owe it to them to sacrifice like they did for a common cause.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Straight off the PR Newswire. ACORN's strong arming lead to an unprecedented number of invalid voter registrations in the state of Colorado.

Judicial Watch, a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law, uncovered documents from the Colorado Department of State showing that ACORN and its affiliate, Project Vote, successfully pressured Colorado officials to implement new policies for increasing the registration of public assistance recipients during the 2008 and 2010 election seasons.

The documents, obtained pursuant to a June 8, 2011, Colorado Open Records Act request to the Colorado Office of the Secretary of State, include approximately 400 internal emails. They relate to a complaint by ACORN and Project Vote that the state of Colorado was in violation of Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Under Section 7, states are required to offer voter registration services at all public assistance agencies, including unemployment offices and food stamp offices.

As a result of this collaboration between ACORN, Project Vote and Colorado officials, the number of voter registrations at Colorado public assistance agencies rose from 3,340 in 2007 to almost 44,000 in 2010. (In a February 15, 2011, email to Project Vote, Christi Heppard, Special Projects Coordinator for the Elections Division of the Colorado Department of State, wrote, "…I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the numbers.") However, the collaboration also led to a large number of invalid and duplicate voter registrations. A total of 8% of rejected registration forms came from public assistance agencies in Colorado in 2009-2010. This is more than four times the national average of 1.9% for that same time period.

According to the documents, Amy Busefink, who at the time was under indictment on 13 voter registration violation charges in Nevada, stemming from her time as regional deputy director for ACORN, later she managed the online program for Project Vote nationally, including Colorado.

Project Vote's Busefink ultimately entered an Alford plea to two gross misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of compensation for registration of voters. (An Alford plea is a guilty plea, where the defendant does not admit the act and asserts innocence, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.)

Democrat Bernie Buescher, who served as Colorado Secretary of State from January 2009 through January 2011, received support from the Secretary of State Project, an organization funded in part by liberal financier George Soros and organized by the leftist group (In April 2010, Buescher campaigned with former State House Speaker Terrance Carroll for a proposed bill that would have implemented universal mail-in balloting, same-day voter registrations and pre-registration of 16 year olds. Facing stiff opposition from county election clerks, the bill was tabled on April 21, 2010.)

According to the documents, while Colorado officials took measures to satisfy the demands of Project Vote related to the registration of public assistance recipients, Buescher sought a waiver from the Obama administration that would allow a delay in sending out ballots in time for the military to vote in the last election. The Department of Defense rejected the request.

"The ACORN/Project Vote gang has not gone away, and continues to help generate fraudulent voter registrations that can lead to voter fraud. These emails clearly demonstrate that the corrupt organization ACORN/Project Vote had an inappropriate level of influence over the electoral process in Colorado," said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. "Colorado officials bent over backwards to abide by the demands of ACORN/Project Vote, which was helped to run by an activist facing criminal charges. So it comes as no surprise that there was a sharp increase in voter registration irregularities. And it is shameful that the concern for voting rights of the citizens of Colorado did not apparently extend to military personnel in the state. If we're going to protect the integrity of the 2012 elections, attention must be paid to the continuing nefarious activities of ACORN/Project Vote."

MoveOn, George Soros, Democrats, voter fraud??? Say it isn't so. They weren't ZIPcars that were spotted in the Poconos during the 2008 election. Heaven forbid there was voter fraud in Pennsylvania. Of course our then Secretary of the Commonweath Pedro Cortes said it wasn't so saying the state has laws and safeguards in place to deter voter fraud.

Pedro, venga aqui. There are laws against child abuse/pornography, bank robbing, and murder. Of course EVERYONE obeys them. Tu eres un idiota.

End of this story. Acorn filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy November 2, 2010. Look at this file photo of Acorn activists

They sure as hell sold "economic recovery" as the path to the future. But Obama failed miserably in delivering on that promise of change. How could he being from Chicago and part of their polluted political machine.

Obama Doesn't Understand Debt Period

The debt crisis held the country's attention. Republicans in Washington worked on the underlying problem of too much government spending(yes, Gort too much spending, not spending alone) during the negotiations while Obamacrats wanted tax increases aka MORE government spending.

This spendthrift President threw billions at the economy and look where it is today. But that action wasn't enough to ruin the United States.

On Tuesday last week he continued the train wreck by catapulting our debt to new heights. In one day we went from $14.294 trillion to $14.532 trillion adding $239 billion. (and I guess that was George Bush's fault again). Obama, in one day, used up 60% of the debt ceiling increase You can read all about it in this Washington Times article.

The previous one-day record debt increase was $186 billion, set on June 30, 2009. Imagine that, another Obama record.

Standard and Poors for the first time in history announced a downgrade of our credit according to this ABC NEWS article.

For the first time ever, the United States lost its perfect credit rating as Standard & Poor's reduced its U.S. long-term debt assessment from AAA to AA+ with a negative outlook.

In announcing the move late Friday, the ratings agency said a deal this week to reduce the nation's debt did not go far enough and exposed paralyzing political dysfunction.

The downgrade could cost the government and ordinary consumers billions of dollars by jacking up interest rates the U.S. must pay on its $14.4 trillion debt and a host of rates consumers pay for items such as mortgages, car loans and credit cards.

The move by S&P follows decisions by two other major ratings agencies, Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings, to maintain the United States' AAA rating, though Moody's assigned a negative outlook.

When will this President and the Democrats get it. Enough is enough. Excessive government spending is not a Tea Party issue. It is a crisis for all Americans.

Barack Obama was ill prepared for this job but more importantly so are those who surround him it seems.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vinsko's Mess- River Road or Railroad

Today's Times Leader features this article by veteran reporter Jennifer Learn-Andes reporting that Wilkes Barre (aka Tom Leighton's Cook County Version) was rescinding its controversial deal with Leo Glodizk III to sell him the former Old River Road Bakery.

The city is expected to appear before the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board today seeking forgiveness of more than $445,000 in back taxes on the property so it won’t be listed in a September back-tax auction.

School board members said no to the request once, in part due to public complaints about the handling of the sale to Glodzik.

The city did not publicly advertise the property to ensure it obtained the highest offer from prospective buyers. Glodzik, owner of LAG Towing, the city’s towing contractor, has donated $10,400 to city Mayor Tom Leighton’s campaign committee since 2005.

Leighton has said in the past that political donations have no bearing on city business. The mayor also said other buyers had expressed interest in the property, but none were willing to pay close to the $38,000 offered by Glodzik.

Take a look at that picture and convince yourself that the building and property aren't worth more than $38,000.00. It was assessed at $478,300.00.

Sources close to SOP tell us that Attorney Vinsko failed to file papers on time in this matter leading to the current situation.

Leo Glodzik III of L.A.G Transport Inc, a staunch Leighton political supporter, wanted to use the property as storage for his towing business.

A federal lawsuit was filed in Scranton back in 2009 over this property as described in this Times Leader article by Terri Morgan-Besecker.

Tyler and Antonia Hammond claim Leighton and Vinsko took steps to deprive them and other persons of the right to purchase the property at 250 Old River Road so that it could be sold to a person who was a private client of Leighton’s real estate business and Vinsko’s law firm.

The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Scranton by attorney Cynthia Pollick, does not identify the person to whom the property was sold. But details contained in the suit indicate it revolves around the sale of the defunct bakery to Leo Glodzik III of L.A.G Transport Inc.

Glodzik recently purchased the property for $38,000 to house a storage facility for his towing business. Luzerne County had assessed the 1.14-acre property at $478,300.

Wilkes Barre City is asking for the Wilkes Barre Area School Board to forgive $445, 000.00 in back taxes owed on the property. Or is the translation Leighton is asking the school board to forgive $445, 000.00 in back taxes so he can get Vinsko off the hook and sell the property to his political buddy, Leo Glodzik, III.

It should be worth noting that the City of Wilkes Barre enforced liens it had on the Hotel Sterling project against CityVest according to this TL article by Jennifer Learn-Andes back on June 21. Ask Wilkes Barre Area to do what the Wilkes Barre City wouldn't. Hmmmmm

Tammany Hall..lets see...

Chicago Unemployment Up 48% Since Obama Elected

No wonder Rahm Emanuel is hiding...And he has the nerve to put this commercial out there. What does he mean moving forward?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Third Circuit Court Of Appeals Vacates Own Order Against City of Hazleton

On September 10, 2010 it was reported that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the City of Hazleton concerning its local ordinances dealing with the effects of illegal aliens within its borders. This year the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Third Circuit in June and remanded the case back to them for further review.

Today sources tell SOP that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated its own decision from last September meaning the City of Hazleton no longer has a decision against it from that court.

This development is significant for the City of Hazleton, Congressman Lou Barletta, Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi, and Councilwoman Evelyn Graham who spearheaded the ordinances in 2006.