The LuLac Edition #1238 July 16th, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: HARRY HAAS, WHO MADE A VERY GOOD RUN FOR THE WILKES BARRE AREA SCHOOL BOARD IN '09, OUR 1966 LOGO AND PART OF "TEAM HILLARY", CIRCA '08. CAN THEY BE ROUSED AGAIN?
HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT?
Former Delaware Governor Pete Dupont wrote an interesting article about a possible Hillary for Clinton Presidency run in 2012. This is fascinating fodder but I think needs to be taken with a grain of salt. First off DuPont is a GOP statewide rival of Vice President Biden. Second, DuPont is a GOP moderate out in the cold given the current hillbilly right wing climate of the national GOP. He ran for President in 1988 and was very articulate but equally unsuccessful. Third, the article seems to be wishful thinking on the part of the GOP who is hoping the Dems become as hopelessly divided as they are at this point. And given power politics it looks like a slam against Biden because if Obama was challenged, he’d name Hillary (like he should have in ’08) to the ticket. To be sure progressives, or liberals like myself are pretty peeved at the “no balls” approach Obama has taken with certain issues like health care, the wars and the Middle East. The very fact that he is losing those progressives makes articles like this news worthy. And while it is not “Write On Wednesday”, here’s the article:
By PETE DU PONT
America's economy is failing to produce jobs, increase growth or raise confidence, and it will likely get even worse next year. Our federal government's spending has increased to $3.7 trillion this year from $2.98 trillion in 2008. Publicly held national debt is up by $2.4 trillion in less than two years, to about 63% percent of GDP from 40%, and is expected to reach 70% by 2012. Add in the unemployment rate, which has remained above 9.4% for over a year, and America is clearly failing economically.
Next January the economy will be further depressed by increasing tax rates. The top income tax rate will rise to 39.6% from 35%, and the phase-out of itemized deductions and personal exemptions will effectively lift the top bracket to about 40.8%. On New Year's Day the tax on dividends is scheduled to go up to 39.6% from 15%, and come 2013, ObamaCare will add another 3.8%.
Other bad public policies will further drag down the economy. ObamaCare will increase individual costs and expand the deficit. Failing energy policies, from Washington's inept response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to its effort to limit tapping America's oil supplies, will drive up our use of imported foreign oil beyond the current 67% of our country's oil consumption.
Add together all these increases in government regulation, spending and taxes and a dim employment outlook, and the result is a dramatic national decline in support of the White House, Congress and their administration of our national policies.
So what can be done to change America's policies and make our economy stronger? For one thing, we could elect a president with different thinking. Almost any Republican candidate would have that, and, as we will see in a moment, there is one obvious Democrat who would change our course too.
And why would the Democratic Party want to do that? Because the re-election of President Obama is becoming more problematic. The latest Rasmussen Reports polls show the dramatic decline of the presidential approval index, the difference between those who "strongly approve" of Mr. Obama's performance and those who "strongly disapprove." It began at plus 25% when the new president was sworn in, and has steadily declined to minus 13%.
It isn't just the president whose poll numbers are falling fast. According to recent Harris polling, Vice President Biden viewed favorably by 26% of the public and unfavorably by 45%. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does even worse, 20% positive to 49% negative. A June Nevada poll gave Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader, 33% approval and 52% disapproval.
But the greatest contrast and most interesting statistic is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's ratings: 45% favorable and only 35% unfavorable.
That is not surprising, and there are some obvious factors that suggest she might have a chance of defeating President Obama if she were to challenge him for the 2012 Democratic nomination.
First, as Peggy Noonan wrote earlier this month, the conclusion one hears from most "normal" American people is that the president "is in over his head, and out of his depth." Even most progressives agree that "the Obama presidency has been a big disappointment," according to Eric Alterman of The Nation. That means there's a big opportunity for Mrs. Clinton.
Second, she is physically and intellectually strong enough to take on a difficult campaign. She showed that running against Obama two years ago.
Third, she is one of the most experienced prospective candidates the Democratic Party has had in a long while: wife of a governor, U.S. first lady, senator and now secretary of state. This is a good record to run on as someone who knows how the government works.
Fourth, she is an experienced foreign-policy adviser who understands the threats to our national security: unresolved conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, rising threats of nuclear capability in Iran and North Korea, and uncertainties in Pakistan.
Fifth, experience will be even more important to voters in the 2012 presidential election, whose 2008 gamble on someone with little experience is proving costly. Finally, Washington's deadly left-liberal policies that have propelled the American economy in a very bad direction can be turned around. If Mrs. Clinton made the case that America must get rid of the huge debt the current administration has created, must create much better economic growth with lower tax rates, and must strongly assist employer job creation, she would appeal to a broad voter coalition.
All this must be obvious to the inner circle of the current president's administration. So what is he to do? That's pretty simple--just add his secretary of state to the 2012 ticket as his new running mate.
We don't know whether Mr. Obama is already thinking about making this kind of change next year, but we do know he needs some very good policy outcomes to be re-elected. And if none of these Obama changes come to pass, Mrs. Clinton could put together a very effective campaign to get the nomination for herself.
Considering how badly things are going in America just now, that could turn out to be a slam dunk for her and the disgruntled Democratic Party.
ED, ED, ED
The Rendell administration stated the obvious this week. The Statewide Gaming is not doing what the Rendell people thought it would for property tax relief of Pennsylvania home owners. Ya think????
Steve Corbett was talking about the once grand Luzerne County Courthouse and the cracks in the structure. The place is in need of repairs. Maybe if we had all the money the crooks at under the dome stole, we could fix that rotunda up nicely. Or maybe we can open up a skate park on the North Street Bridge side of the Courthouse directly across from Courthouse Towers. Last Friday afternoon, Mrs. LuLac and I observed a young “skate kid” doing his finest imitation of Tony Hawk off of those steps. Yeah, he was there a good half hour. Having the time of his life, (no helmet of course) and riding that concrete surf. Only in Luzerne County.
BARLETTA ON TV
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta who I think had the best line over the death of Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, “George is up in heaven trying to fire Billy Martin again” is up on TV with an impressive ad. He is of course running against Congressman Kanjorski. And a new poll has Barletta looking pretty good. But the caveats to that are he paid for the poll and had similar results before. But here’s the ad:
WHAT YOU GET
Many people in the Wilkes Barre Area were expressing outrage over the appointment of one Renee Pizzella, the daughter of Plains Township resident and former Wilkes Barre Area School Board member Frank Pizzella. Now first off, to be fair, the young lady has credentials. She educated herself and earned them. If you are serious about school, it is hard work. She was a full time substitute which is a hell all on its own. All that said, here’s the problem. There had to be other applicants just as qualified. There had to be other young women or men versed in Home Ec who wanted that job. Renee and Frankie Pizzella are not the problem. They are making the use of every opportunity afforded to them. And those chances come from the voters in the entire Wilkes Barre Area School District. I cite as a prime example Harry Haas. In the last election, Harry Haas, an educator himself who actually talked about ideas about American kid’s performances vs. foreign students was beat out by old time political hack Phil Litinski. The voters chose to pick a relic over a guy with ideas. The school board then has the chance to redeem itself and maybe pick Haas for a vacant seat. What do they do? Choose another political hack, Gary Polakowski who gave Sue Henry a line of bull “I’m all about the kids” when he was appointed. Wilkes Barre Area voters want this crap, they must because they keep on electing these people. Christine Katsock being called a “traitor” by Sue Henry today, well Sue has a tendency to be too nice once in a while. Here’s the point boys and girls, Pizzella may be watching ESPN News with his ankle bracelet in his house while he is serving his sentence and the others guys from the board are doing jail time. But the system they gamed is still in place. And obviously doing well. And as far as Sue Henry saying that Renee Pizzella should have walked away from the Wilkes Barre Area School District and applied elsewhere, here’s my take on that: why should she? Her outcome was just fine. Thanks to the geniuses who vote in Wilkes Barre Area School Board races.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
British Prime Minister Harold Wilson flies to Moscow to try to start peace negotiations about the Vietnam War (the Soviet government refutes his ideas)...Gemini 10 with astronauts John Young, Michael Collins) is launched. After docking with an Agena target vehicle, the astronauts then set a world altitude record of 474 miles (763 km).......The Hough Riots break out in Cleveland, Ohio, the city's first race riot……..Statewide, the Pennsylvania State Highway Department sets a record by spending nearly one half millon dollars in cleaning up litters thrown out of cars by highway motorists. That dollar total breaks an all time state fiscal record……and in Pittston Mayor Robert Loftus advises city residents to brace for a major tax increase in 1967…..and the number 1 song in America and LuLac Land was “The Pied Piper” by Crispian St. Peter.
Another song making the rounds in the summer of '66 but was being banned by radio stations because of its implications regarding people with mental health difficulties was this one by Napoleon the 14th.