Lackawanna County Commissioner Laureen Cummings was at it again last week. She essentially threatened to sue the executive director of Scranton’s Fringe Festival for having the temerity to exercise his First Amendment rights and criticize her on Facebook. See, the commissioner had made a point of voting against funding for the festival, stating she feared it might expose young children to “rated R, rated PG-13” subject matter (no, really — she said that). Such overt concern over protecting public morals would seem to be at odds with her support for our current sexual-harasser-and-potty-mouth-in-chief. Further, the episode illustrates Cummings’ lack of understanding of what it means to be an elected public official in a democracy.
Last week’s shooting at Marshall County (KY) High School that claimed two young lives was the 11th such event in 2018, and January’s still not done. That this and other instances of mass shootings barely register anymore — let alone provoke elected officials to do anything about the proliferation of guns or adequately fund mental health services — proves that America’s become numb to the violence.
Despite overwhelming evidence that government shutdowns and standoffs simply don’t work (ref. the Clinton and Obama years), Chuck Schumer and the democrats decided to take a page from the GOP playbook. Predictably, it didn’t turn out well.
Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District’s meandering, jigsaw borders have earned it the reputation for being the country’s most outrageous example of gerrymandering, as well as the nickname “Goofy Kicking Donald Duck.” It and the remaining 17 GOP-drawn congressional districts have been thrown out by the state supreme court.
Noticed the number of gutted and now off-limits parking meters in downtown Scranton?
There’s nothing else in the world Trump enjoys than a slobbering, combative yes-man — someone just like senior policy advisor and creepy, dead-eyed white nationalist Stephen Miller. A lot of people have made a big deal about Trump being the first president not to have a pet (and, indeed, the only use his family seems to have for animals is either as food for as things to kill and be photographed with) but Miller’s aggressive, snarling devotion is arguably canine.
Former Luzerne County Judge and current federal inmate Mark Ciavarella is back in the news. Three of of the 12 counts he was convicted of in the infamous “Kids for Cash” scandal were thrown out after it was determined his attorneys had missed a statute-of-limitations defense (details in the story). How this will in fact play out regarding the length of his 28-year sentence is uncertain, and he remains in prison as plans for a new trial take shape. It’s unlikely anyone — the courts included — is happy about giving someone like Ciavarella another shot, but that’s how the justice system is supposed to work.