Author Archive: Nick Lento

Mayor Dawn Zimmer Dares To Speak Truth To Power!!!

This is the time for all the residents of Hoboken…and of our whole state to find the courage to point out that the would be emperor is naked.

It is outrageous that one town gets 15 million to fix one boardwalk….but Hoboken only gets 300k to deal with the aftermath of Sandy.  Something is seriously  wrong with that picture….and now we know for certain what many of us have suspected all along.

What Mayor Zimmer is doing takes what JFK wrote about in his book,   “Profiles in Courage”.

There is no certainty as to the outcome of all of this.  If the forces of darkness and corruption prevail….there will be retribution for decades to all who have stood up against them.

This is now about much more than simply bridgegate,  or about Hoboken or even just about governor Christie………it’s about the way we do politics in New Jersey.

The politics of retribution and distribution are toxic and wasteful.   The golden goose is starving to death….we never could afford the corruption.

Let’s use this systemic mess  as an opportunity to form a statewide movement to radically transform NJ politics in the direction of justice and and common human decency.

This is a time for all people of good will who care about truth, justice and good government to stand with Mayor Zimmer in speaking truth to power.  

The people, united…can never be defeated.…

If Christie Was Truly Innocent…Etc Etc Etc

From day one of this story Christie himself has ether remained silent, or issued forth all manner of self serving denials of any personal culpability in which he trivializes the significance of the lane closures and attacks the people trying to bring the truth to light as if all they were after was destroying him and nothing more.

If Christie were truly innocent in this matter…and by innocent I mean that he had absolutely no inside knowledge what so ever about the lane closures before or after the fact…and that he had absolutely no conversations or communications with any of the individuals involved with orchestrating the cover up of the closures after they became a public scandal…..then Christie would have been rightly and righteously leading the charge calling for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to emerge as quickly and as thorougly as possible.  

If Christie was truly innocent in this matter…if his hands were truly clean it would have been in his own best interests (not to mention the best interests of the people of NJ) for him to have publicly initiated his own internal investigation…and to have called for law enforcement at every level to investigate and to have called for all of the relevant legislatve oversight committees to investigate using subpoena powers.

If Christie was truly innocent in this matter he would have been praising and supporting Loretta Weinberg in her initial, and mostly ignored, efforts to press the PANYNJ commissioners to take a united and public stand against this outrageous action.

If Christie was truly innocent in this matter he would be as pissed off and outraged as any one of the people who was stuck in traffic for hours for four days….instead we saw him minimizing the lane closures and the fallout from them while he mocked the people trying to get to the truth as if the whole story was just about him and his own political ambitions and nothing else.

If Christie was truly innocent in this matter he would have fired Baroni and Wildstein in such a way that they would not be able to collect unemployment…for cause.   It was 100% patently obvious to anyone with any level of awareness and intelligence, that there was no LEGITIMATE “traffic study”.  Instead Christie cut loose Baroni and Wildstein in ways that distracted from and minimized their connection to the dastardly lane closures….there bye acting as part of the de facto cover up.

If Christie was truly innocent in this matter he would have been on TV yesterday…the minute the story broke of the connection to his own senior staff….he would have been announcing the firing of the staff member and again calling for all others involved to come forward and to leave his administration.   He would have been calling for their political heads on a pike and for full scale criminal investigations and prosecutions.   Instead Chrisite stays silent and waits to see what others are saying and doing.

One could go on and on with all manner of actions a truly innocent Christie would have taken…but the bottom line is that these lane closures were not some out of the blue outrageously bizarre one time freak accident.  They were typical and symptomatic of a culture of political retribution of one’s perceived enemies and rewarding of one’s perceived political friends that is totally typical of machine/boss politics in New Jersey.

Arguably Christie’s operation took it to new depths in this case.  Imagine the cocksure hubristic sense of absolute arrogance it must have taken for these people to have thought they could do this and get away with it!

Frankly, had it not been for the dogged persistence of Senator Loretta Weinberg…this story may have been successfully swept under the rug…she was the one who gave “legs” to the story and compelled the press to cover it for the months leading to the recent revelations shaken loose only by the power of subpoenas.

It is obvious that the individual who sent Wildstein this email from her own Yahoo account is not the authorizing/organizing  source for these closures.   The plan had to have been cooked up by people above her level…she was clearly just making a comment and lighting a fuse on a bomb that had been previously designed and built by others.   It will be interesting to see if she is wiling to take all the blame on to herself….or if she will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.   It’s amazing that she is still employed by Christie!

So now…in a few hours Governor Christie will be giving one of his patented press conferences…at 11AM.   I suspect it will start late and run for a long time….and serve as a distraction from the hearing to be held just a little later.

We shall see if Mr Wildstein shows up for the hearing scheduled at high noon.  Will Wildstein’s attorney succeed in quashing the subpoena?   I doubt it.  Such an act of patently fallacious desperation could only be successful if it were heard and ruled on by a sympathetic and corrupt (or incompetent) judge, surely we have none of those in NJ, eh?

If he shows up, will Wildstein tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?   I doubt it.  We will be lucky if he says anything at all besides words to the effect of “under the advice of my counsel I chose to plead the fifth so as not to incriminate myself”.  But I would love to be wrong on that.

Meanwhile, no doubt we shall see Christie denying all knowledge and all responsibility for Bridge-Gate….after all, we all need to know that our governor “is not a crook”.

It’s sad to see that even at this point…most of our public officials are still afraid of Christie and still waiting to see which way the wind blows before strongly condemning these lane closures as being political terrorism and calling for criminal prosecutions of all culpable parties at any level of involvement.

The would be emperor is naked.

Christie has, pretty much, always been a blustering vindictive bully who “succeeded” by intimidation and who exemplified and typified all that is pathological about politics in general and New Jersey Politics in particular.

Again, lets see what the latest iteration of the Christie con job will be at this morning’s press conference….but let it not distract us from the far more important content of the hearing scheduled for 12 noon in Trenton.

Barbara Buono…Too Nice For New Jersey?

The first debate just ended…and I must say that I am disappointed in Barbara Buono’s performance.    I figured that, at the least, she would be prepared to lob a few  factually substantively loaded zingers in Christie’s general direction.

Christie was successful tonight in keeping his sharp teeth and claws well sheathed.   He pretended to be a relatively nice guy.    That’s what bullies do when they know the spotlight of a national audience is on them.  

On the substance, Buono raised some facts and statistics and made some good arguments in response to the questions asked…but in terms of the style and the vibe of the debate not only did she fail to draw blood (which would have been needed to win) but she failed to lay a glove on Christie.

The closest thing to a jab landing was her calling on Christie to “man up” and to take responsibility for his actions.

This was a debate for governor of New Jersey….in terms of the intensity levels…. it seemed more like a debate for who was going to be elected class president…..which is just what Christie wanted.    He’s already way ahead in the polls and was content to lay back and simply play a prevent defense….which wasn’t even necessary because there wasn’t much of an offense.

Barbara Buono is a wonderful, smart, competent, compassionate human being…….but to beat Chris Christie the capacity (and the will!) to rhetorically cut a bully down to size and the capacity to call out a liar and the capacity to force bright sunshine into the dark nature of Christie’s actions and policies are all required.    

Christie will continue to shaft the vast majority of New Jersey’s people over the next four years as he has done since he beat Jon Corzine.    Most of the people who will vote for Christie are being shafted by his policies……but they like him because they falsely perceive him as a tough guy who “tells it like it is”.   Of course Christie is in reality conning them and lying to them……but if no one in the press is willing, or able to expose the con job…or to shed light on the lies….and no one in the political realm is willing or able to confront the lying con artist….then, guess what, he wins and he gets away with the con job.

Hey, it worked for Bernie Madoff for quite a long time.   The problem is that, sooner or later, reality hits the fan.

Republicans have a knack for framing issues and using well focus grouped words and phrases to blame real Democrats for the consequences of Republican policies/ideology….then they use those lies and cons to elect more Republicans….and, sadly…..tragically….in New Jersey we have many morally corrupt pay to play Democrats who have sold their souls to Chris Christie in exchange for his not picking on them.  Meanwhile, income inequality continues to grow as the quality of life becomes more and more crappy for larger and larger majorities of New Jerseyans……and the middle class continues to be economically massacred…..and fed to the wolves.

On one level, it’s easy to blame Buono for being too nice…..but the reality is that she’s been, pretty much, out there all on her own.     The progressive community has not picked up the ball that has been dropped by the Democratic establishment…..and done what needed to be done from the ground up to create grassroots opposition to Christie.   And I include myself in that inadequately active progressive community…..I know that I haven’t done all I could have to support Buono’s campaign and to truly en-COURAGE Barbara Buono to seriously fight.

Christie has succeeded in taking the wind out of our sails and in dis-couraging all that is good and decent and humane and compassionate in New Jersey.

What Barbara Buono said tonight about Chris Christie was 100% true.    Christie is a fraud who’s ACTUAL policies favor the rich and the largest businesses at the expense of the poor, working, middle classes and small businesses……..but that truth was not presented tonight….not in a way that could cut through four years of Christie’s bullshit and bluster……or four years of pseudo-Democrats collaborating with the great deceiver.

There was one point in the debate where I had hope that Buono would score some points….when she confronted Christie on the atrocity of the REPUBLICAN dominated SCOTUS decision to rape the voting rights act which has enabled and encouraged racist bastards to suppress the voting rights of minorities and of any constituency likely to vote Democratic (under the bullshit pretext of fighting “voter fraud”) …..Buono asked, politely, that Christie take a stand finally…..on that decision……..and then Christie totally fucking ducked the question….totally!!!  And not even a peep out of Buono…..or out of the obsequious press for that matter.

It’s as if people are afraid of Christie on a gut level…as if he was going to have you killed if you dare to truly confront his nonsense and falsehoods and fallacies.

God help us if this mean spirited morally corrupt monster ever becomes President.

“Boss Joe” Ferriero Indicted Again!!!

What follows is an excerpt from a well reported article by Jerry DeMarco in “Cliffview Pilot”… (you can access the rest of the story and a PDF of the actual 75 page indictment there)…

>>>”A federal grand jury today indicted Joseph A. Ferriero, the former chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization, on charges of soliciting bribes and extorting payments as part of a racketeering scheme that included various grants, building projects and software contracts, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced this afternoon.

The indictment also charges Ferriero, 56, with conspiring to promote bribery and distribute payoffs, as well as committing mail and wire fraud, among other offenses.

It had been expected for months, sources had told CLIFFVIEW PILOT, and  comes three years after the former power broker left federal court in Newark a free man, thanks to a change in the “theft of honest services” fraud law by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The new indictment includes charges related to the activity that Ferriero was first accused of, while adding a pair of alleged schemes involving a real estate company in Virginia that allegedly paid $1.7 million in an effort to develop land owned by the N.J. Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA) in Bergen County. It also accuses Ferriero of accepting bribes through a Nutley-based attorney in exchange a favorable opinion of a software developer and his companies to various public officials in Bergen County.

Fishman accused Ferriero of running the Bergen Democratic organization as a racketeering enterprise, “abusing power for profit.”

Aaron T. Ford, who heads the Newark FBI Field Office called the indictment “another unfortunate example of someone misusing their position in our political system for personal gain. Such conduct tarnishes our political system.”

According to the indictment, Ferriero – who served as BCDO chairman from 1998 until January 2009 – “conducted the BCDO’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity involving three schemes: the Governmental Grants Consulting (GGC) kickback scheme, the retail and entertainment project bribery and extortion scheme and the SJC Consulting (SJC) bribery scheme.”<<<

Here is a link to the Bergen Record’s coverage……

My take on this is that it is good news for anyone who cares about justice being done…

VIDEO: The US Constitution Wins Big In Teaneck!!! (For Now…)

This is great reporting from last night’s meeting, Nick. Thank you. Particularly loved the last video, of Teaneck locals Loretta Weinberg and Steven Goldstein marveling at the tone Council took with the public. Promoted by Rosi.

The public part of last night’s Teaneck’s town council meeting wasn’t scheduled to start til 8:00…but I got there at around 7:30 because I was told I may not get a seat otherwise…and they were right,   The chamber was packed and there were about ten or more folks standing in the doorways after 8:00….the room was hot and stuffy, even with windows and doors open.   The council did their routine business first so it took nearly an hour to get to the public comments section where people could speak.

Loretta Weinberg and Steven Goldstein were there before me…waiting patiently as were all the folks present.   I would estimate somewhere between 160 and 200 people were present, I should have counted…the place was packed.

For anyone who has been following the saga of how the Teaneck Town Manager unilaterally dis-invited Jason Castle, an honored 7 year Marine veteran who served in Iraq, from speaking at Teaneck’s upcoming Memorial day service…and how the Mayor and Council then voted to affirm the dis-invitation…last night’s Town Council meeting in Teaneck was an extraordinarily dramatic and intense event.  

After a lengthy and intense rhetorical pounding from the folks who spoke at the meeting…the Mayor and Council did a “180” and backed off.  They rescinded the dis-invitation….and asked Jason Castle to speak at the event…and Jason Castle honorably accepted…and there was applause!

But there’s much more to the story….

Watch the public comments at the meeting.

Connie Wagner CAN Defeat Scott Garrett!!!

First, you should check out the new fb group…  “Draft Conie Wagner for Congress”.   Loretta Weinberg and other leading Democrats have signed on and I dare say so should all Blue Jerseyans!…

Here’s what I just posted there…

“Republicans convince people in the lower 99% of the income divide to vote against their own interests by keeping the real Republican agendas hidden in the dark. To win elections Democrats must turn on the lights!”

That’s how we beat Scott Garrett like a drum…sunshine remains the best disinfectant!!!

Connie, please run…and run as a proud progressive, that way you not only win….but you win BIG and send a message to the rest of New Jersey, the country and the world! Common human decency is on the rise in America…there’s a limit to how much we can be conned by the kind of ersatz “morality” preached by hypocrites on the extreme right!!!

The Republicans who drew the map for the “New Fifth” thought that 4% was enough of a lead that it would discourage any strong/serious Democrat from running…you have the power to blow up that pustulent projection by accepting this challenge and running hard!

This is most definitely, “Mission Possible”!!!

I’ll be with you and, more importantly, so will many hundreds/thousands(!) of progressives throughout the district and the state.

Run Connie, Run!!!

I hope you all agree!   Let’s encourage Connie to run and to run an all out strong committed race…that’s how we all win!!!     πŸ™‚

Roger Ailes and Chris Christie Enjoy a “Confidential” Relationship

Looks like Roger Ailes has something in common with Karla Katz!!!

Gov. Chris Christie Claims Fox News Chief as Confidential AdviserThe office of Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is claiming that Fox News chairman Roger Ailes is a confidential adviser whose interactions with the governor should remain secret under New Jersey’s executive privilege.

Last month, after New York magazine reported that Ailes met with Christie last summer and called him this year to urge him to run for president, Gawker filed a request under New Jersey’s Open Records Act seeking any correspondence between the two men, as well as any records of meetings or phone calls with Ailes from Christie’s schedule or call logs.

Last week we received a rather surprising response: While declining to confirm the existence of any such records, Christie’s office said they “would be exempt from disclosure…based upon the executive privilege and well-settled case law.” In other words, Christie’s staff refused to search for any records-which, given the undisputed reports of a dinner and phone call, almost certainly exist-on the basis that Ailes is a confidential adviser whose comments should be shielded from public scrutiny.

New Jersey has a rather robust executive privilege-former Gov. Jon Corzine successfully employed it to keep his email exchanges with his ex-girlfriend and former union boss Carla Katz secret in the face of a public records act request-and there’s nothing particularly unusual about Christie invoking it. What is unusual is his attempt to use it to cover conversations with someone who is, ostensibly at least, a news executive. It amounts to a rather bald admission that Ailes provides Christie with political advice.

Christie is clearly gunning for the White House…if now now, then in 2016.   Ailes and Christie……turds of a feather, imperfect together.

If NJ Democrats and progressives allow Christie to continue to ride roughshod over the people of NJ, then it’s likely he’ll be wanting to do the same to the whole country…….this guy only “wins” where he can bully.  

Ed Schultz Rightly Raises Impeachment Of Christie As Justifiable

Just a few minutes ago Ed Schultz had Senator Loretta Weinberg on his national radio show for a good ten minutes or so.   The main topic was his latest episode of arrogant self absorbed stupidity that is now coming to be popularly known as “choppergate”.

Once again (as she did last night on his TV show) Loretta administered a soundly well deserved rhetorical spanking to the Arrogant One.  

I especially applaud her for bringing up the devastatingly telling revelation of how “wrong way Christie” got away with hitting a motorcyclist who was driving the right way down a one way street while Christie was driving the WRONG WAY UP THE ONE WAY STREET…and how the Arrogant One got off 100% scott free.  No ticket.  No legal consequences.  No political consequences.  

The Arrogant One was allowed to win the NJ governorship without ever having to come clean about this dirty stinking rotten corrupt sick pathological disgusting abuse of power (though at the time that this emerged during the campaign I was screaming bloody murder about it here and demanding that the democrats use the story to deflate Christie’s bubble.)  

Evidently, Christie bought off the victim with a cash payoff and purchased his silence.  How Christie bought off or blackmailed the cops into caving in we may never know.  One thing we all DO know is that is  if WE ever drove up a one way street and put another person in the hospital WE would be F****D big time!!!!  That’s the kind of thing that costs people their licenses and messes up their lives.

When Big Ed asked Weinberg if this latest abuse of privilege that clearly involves a mis-allocation of state resources was an impeachable offense, she was somewhat taken aback and equivocated a bit…and that’s understandable given how much crap NJ pols have gotten away with over the last 50 years…..our standards have become so effing low here…….but the more I think about it, the more legit it becomes.

Imagine any OTHER state employee using their state supplied transportation that was SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED to facilitate STATE BUSINESS for their own personal and private convenience!  The person would certainly be written up and disciplined and maybe even fired.   But from our own Arrogant One we New Jerseyans are cowed into silent submission.

This is the vicious bastard that called for journalists to take a “baseball bat” to Senator Loretta Weinberg!  He has still never apologized for that ugly and vicious  verbal assault!!! From all indications the creep is proud of his brutal imagery in that attack.   This is one sick puppy!!!

Given the whole pattern and context of Christie’s behavior so far…I think it’s entirely appropriate for the state Assembly and the state Senate to compel governor Christie to come clean about this trip and to reveal ALL the details about how he has used this chopper from day one!!!   No more hiding behind “national security” bs excuses and redacting the information.

If a pattern of abuse is found Christie should indeed be impeached!   If this was truly the only abuse, he needs to be held accountable by the legislature!  That should be a severe sanction, including reimbursement and an apology to the people of NJ!!!

Christie was elected to be our governor, not our KING!!!

And if any Republicans want to make this into a partisan issue by “standing up for their man” then they need to be equally taken to task.   What Christie did with this helicopter was at the very least, unethical and arrogant.  He owes us, at the very least, an apology and some cash.  

If Christie once again fails to comply with the norms of common human decency and with, in this case, legal requirements of full disclosure, he needs to be impeached and removed from office!!!

Trump The Chump, AC and The Mob

It turns out that the self described “100% clean”  Trump is a liar and that he did have some mob connections in his Atlantic City casino.

One of his prime Atlantic City developments, the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, relied on a partnership with two investors reputedly linked to the mob, prompting New Jersey regulators to force Trump to buy them out. And he employed a known Asian organized crime figure as a vice president at his Taj Mahal casino for five years, defending the executive against regulators’ attempts to take away his license, according to law enforcement officials.

As the famously brash developer now considers a run for the presidency, this history could complicate his efforts to project an image of a trusted power in the business world. It exposes a seamy underside to Trump’s rise to fortune — one that involved intimate links to unsavory characters.

I hope the Republican birther base fanatics all vote for Trump in the primaries and that he becomes their nominee.   Of course that’s unlikely since his “run” is just a publicity stunt to feed his ego and his ratings.

Wouldn’t it be cool if NBC were to find it’s conscience and say to this assoholic clown: “YOU’RE FIRED!!!”   One can dream…


Should A Teacher That Sees Their Students As “Future Criminals” Keep Their Job???

THis story from the Record raises some important questions and issues.…

A first-grade teacher was suspended Thursday following alleged comments on her Facebook page in which she said she felt like a “warden” overseeing “future criminals,” according to a district official.

It’s pretty clear to me that if a teacher truly believes that to be true, then she or he needs to be all about radically agitating and politicking to change the status quo…not just grousing on their facebook page.

If that feeling/belief is shared by large numbers of teachers in poor and minority communities then those beliefs/attitudes can become SELF FULFILLING expectations/prophecies!!!

If you’re a burned out cynical negative nasty person who sees the students as some kind of subhuman hopelessly damaged goods and as  enemy…then you have to get the **** out of the teaching profession!!!

And if the teacher was writing on facebook under their own name, then we have a massive invasion of the privacy and dignity of the students….that alone should be grounds for dismissal!

I don’t care how many advanced degrees you studied for (and are getting lots of money for) if you don’t sincerely and truly LOVE the job…get the hell out of it because the kids can tell and it affects their ability to learn when you see them as pieces of shit and you’re just there to collect a paycheck and a pension!!!!!!