News Roundup & Open Thread for Friday, Feb. 15, 2013

Space rock, death (okay, injury) hurling from the sky. Seriously awesome videos.

Lautenberg will not seek re-election

  • Matt Friedman at Star-Ledger breaks the story.

  • Lautenberg draws high praise from Obama, Christie, NJ politicians.

  • Stile: Lautenberg relied on his business sense in decision to retire.

  • Moran: As time and sickness take their toll, reality sets in for Sen. Lautenberg.

  • Lautenberg retirement opens up fight in 2014.

  • Holt interested in U.S. Senate seat.

  • Sheila Oliver fastens her eyes on U.S. Senate.

  • Pallone: Senate landscape has changed.

    The cost of war, borne by the families of its sons & daughters

  • Di Ionno: Milltown family who lost son to war, daughter to grief proves the battle never ends.


  • Matt and Craig Romney, Chris Christie make nice.

  • Gordon MacInnes: 15 Billion Reasons for Chris Christie to Expand Medicaid.

  • A Big Man’s Advice for Gov. Chris Christie (Video)


  • Trenton Times: Common sense N.J. gun control proposals focus on training, background and mental health checks.


  • San Francisco Chronicle: Mark Zuckerberg Hosts Chris Christie At His House, Upsetting A Lot Of Women And LGBT Activists.

  • Huffington Post has video outside Zuckerberg’s Christie funder.

  • Inky’s Matt Katz says he finds this odd: New Jersey liberals never protest Christie events in New Jersey, but were able to help mobilize action 3,000 miles away.

  • Christie fundraiser at home of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg brings out protesters.

  • Inside at Zuck’s house.

    Rush Holt writes in The Hill: Mounting evidence demands action to combat causes of climate change

  • Politicians are famously reluctant to make commitments – especially about the future, as Yogi might say. Not facing up to the way humans are changing our climate is one of the most dramatic and costly examples of this reluctance.

    Stay classy, GOP

  • Republican National Committee Fundraises With Statutory Rape Joke.


  • NJ Transit workers take trip to Super Bowl on taxpayers’ dime.

  • NJ schools hurt by Sandy to share $1.25 million in federal grants.
  • Comments (4)

    1. 12mileseastofTrenton

      Not only will they divide the progressive vote, but there’s the possibility that neither will be in congress come 2015.  Losing one would be tough enough, but both would really hurt.  Not that the Dems couldn’t hold their seats, but it’ll be tough to get representatives as good.

    2. carolh

      Rush Holt (who I love, don’t get me wrong) makes no mention of the methane from drilling adding to the problem. But here are two more reasons to be concerned that what some folks see as helping, really isn’t:

      Fresh water is already disappearing in parts of the world.  We have been experiencing record drought, and natural gas drilling uses up fresh life giving water. We need to address this.  I know water resources engineers don’t build huge skyscrapers and our best work is buried underground, but you really need to listen to us now.  Natural gas drilling during drought is not a wise use of resources.  

      Second thought – According to this report –… sponsored by the army and prepared by the NRC, just cleaning up contaminated groundwater sites we know of now will cost from $110 billion to $127 billion (that’s billion – with a B) and will not be even complete 50 to 100 years from now.  In other words, we should not be injecting toxic chemicals deep into the earth when we have no good way to clean what we’ve already done by accident.  You can say it will be treated after they have already injected it into the earth, but the scientists who clean up groundwater can tell you, they just aren’t good at it yet.  If this drilling liquid cannot meet the Clean Water Act before it is used, it has no business being used.  Most NJ folks do not appreciate this but we are sitting on one of the most pure aquifers in the United States.  And we should do everything in our power to keep it that way.  The fact that the experts are telling us we don’t have good ways of cleaning up contamination underground is a good hint that we need to stop being reckless – especially under the mistaken guise of saving the planet.

      I love Rush Holt but a rocket scientist needs to look at his feet sometimes and notice the toxic legacy we have already created on the ground, at the very same time he has his sights fixed on Climate Change in the clouds.

    3. 12mileseastofTrenton

      In the months leading up to the merger between Univision and the Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. in September 2003, Menendez testified during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing that the union would make it difficult for other Spanish-language media organizations to compete in the market, citing as an example the Spanish Broadcasting System.

      At the time, Menendez owned stock in the Spanish Broadcasting System worth as much as $15,000, according to his financial disclosure form that year, and some of the company’s executives were reliable campaign donors.


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