Author Archive: Hopeful

Blast from the Past

Talking Points Memo tells us that the late Robert Bork just made news again:

Robert Bork says President Richard Nixon promised him the next Supreme Court vacancy after Bork complied with Nixon’s order to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1973.

Bork’s recollection of his role in the Saturday Night Massacre that culminated in Cox’s firing is at the center of his slim memoir, “Saving Justice,” that is being published posthumously by Encounter Books. Bork died in December at age 85.

Bork writes that he didn’t know if Nixon actually, though mistakenly, believed he still had the political clout to get someone confirmed to the Supreme Court or was just trying to secure Bork’s continued loyalty as his administration crumbled in the Watergate scandal.

Naturally Bork’s reaction was to stay loyal to Nixon rather than resign. Bork truly was unfit for the Supreme Court. Frank Lautenberg was one of 58 senators to vote against Bork‘s appointment to the Court in 1987 — though by President Reagan. The senator can feel proud of that vote once again tonight.

News Roundup and Open Thread

The state is suing a Hurricane Sandy relief organization:

“This organization told the state it does not pay its executives, but our investigators found a paper trail reflecting thousands of dollars being transferred into the individual defendants’ personal bank accounts,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said in a prepared statement. “Meanwhile, less than one percent of the money raised, has allegedly been paid out to help the victims of Sandy.”

Guns

As you read here at Blue Jersey, 22 gun bills were passed by the Assembly. Senate President Sweeney says the Senate will consider gun bills by the end of April.

Money and Roads

Will Chris Christie allow Medicaid expansion? Even Florida’s Governor Rick Scott has folded now. We might find out on Tuesday.

Chris Christie may be flying high in the polls, but his budget isn’t doing well. The state $350 million short this year.

Meanwhile the roads are falling apart. Here’s the latest from Atlantic County.

Plans are on for a 295/76/42 interchange upgrade. It will take until 2021. There are also upcoming bridge replacements on Route 57 in Mansfield.

Jobs

Bill Parscell visited Bergen Tech to highlight the Bring Jobs Home Act:

While these bright students are working hard holding up their end of the bargain, we need to do the same to make sure there are good jobs waiting for them upon completion of their studies

Local

I’ve been writing round-ups for years and I’m getting tired of the unresolved Shieldalloy radioactive-slag-heap case.

The South Jersey Times points out Camden and Atlantic City made Forbes’ list of most miserable cities.

2013 Races

The WSJ looks at how former Obama aide Mark Alexander is challenging Nia Gill.

Republicans are trying to recruit Peter Inverso to run against Linda Greenstein.

The state higher education teachers union endorsed Barbara Buono for governor:

“Under the Christie administration New Jersey has the worst job creation numbers of any state in the country and has suffered big cuts to funding in education,” said Tim Haresign, a Stockton biology professor and President of the Council of New Jersey State College Locals (www.cnjscl.org), an American Federation of Teachers affiliate representing more than 9,000 faculty, adjunct faculty, librarians and professional staff at New Jersey’s nine state colleges and universities. “Senator Barbara Buono is dedicated to reversing these trends and fighting for a brighter future for the workers and students of the New Jersey.”

“Fasten Your Seatbelt,” here comes Senator Geraldo?

GeraldoUPDATE from Rosi I just want to remind people that the last time Geraldo was in the news was when he said Trayvon Martin’s decision to wear a hoodie was as responsible for his own death as George Zimmerman was. Prompting Geraldo’s own son to say he was ashamed of Geraldo’s idiotic remarks. That’s all. – Rosi

It’s difficult to imagine something this country needs less than a Fox News personality in the Senate, but Geraldo doesn’t agree with me:

“I mention this only briefly, fasten your seatbelt,” Rivera said on his radio show. “I mentioned this only briefly to my wife … but I am and I’ve been in touch with some people in the Republican Party in New Jersey. I am truly contemplating running for Senate against Frank Lautenberg or Cory Booker.”

Oddly enough, the Hill doesn’t mention Lou Dobbs as a potential primary opponent.

So, what’s your best Al Capone’s Vault or Map in the Sand Senate joke?

Democrats pass Sandy Relief over Republican opposition

All New Jersey Republicans voted for Sandy relief in the end, but 179 votes against the bill came from their party. Frank LoBiondo summed up the situation in his Republican party:

“To my colleagues who have sought funding themselves and now say we need to change the rules of the game: shame on you,” LoBiondo. “We need to have a new caucus, the hypocritical caucus.”

Still, LoBiondo and our “moderate” northeastern Republicans mainly have themselves to blame. They adopted the “Party of No” strategy to sabotage the American economy and the Obama presidency and benefited handsomely from it in 2010… betraying New Jersey and New York is just more of the same.

If only an armed teacher had been there…

Terrible news out of Gloucester Township in Camden County, where an arrested man grabbed a gun, and shot three officers before being killed in a police station. Fortunately all the police survived.

You may have seen someone running around on TV saying that mass shooting only happen in public places where guns are banned. It’s easy to get a “scientific” result like that — shooting three people in a police station by definition is not a mass shooting, it’s just some other sort of shooting.  

Amazing new Internet Archive tool

The Internet Archive has announced an incredible new service allowing you to search and borrow TV News coverage:

This service is designed to help engaged citizens better understand the issues and candidates in the 2012 U.S. elections by allowing them to search closed captioning transcripts to borrow relevant television news programs…

The collection now contains 350,000 news programs collected over 3 years from national U.S. networks and stations in San Francisco and Washington D.C.  The archive is updated with new broadcasts 24 hours after they are aired.  Older materials are also being added.

It’s too bad it doesn’t have Atlantic City, Philadelphia or New York broadcasts, but it’s still of interest. For fun, click here to see the results of a search for Rush Holt Jeopardy.  

The service isn’t perfect. For one thing, names like “Garrett” are common so there’s a lot of false hits. For another, it relies on the close captioning transcripts, and I found that “runyan” is a way to misspell both “Iranian” and “Romney.” Worst of all, many of our Representatives have a very low national profile so most hits are C-SPAN clips.

Still, I hope you check out the service and look for clips. It may help you learn about the candidates — or a good subject for a blog post.

Monmouth University Poll

One of our own New Jersey state colleges, Monmouth University, has continued its tradition of public service by conducting a national poll on the Presidential race (PDF). It paints the same picture as other polls: Obama leads by three among likely voters (48-45) and seven among registered voters (48-41). Why isn’t Mitt Romney more popular?  

One interpretation is that put forward by the pollster:

“If the past week was Mitt Romney’s opportunity to show how he would handle a foreign crisis, the GOP nominee did not put his best foot forward as far as voters are concerned,” said Patrick Murray, director of the New Jersey-based Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Isn’t that a nice way to put it? I myself thought the same — voters think Romney would do a bad job — until another expert came forward. Mother Jones has discovered a video where Mitt Romney explains his view of America:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

See it for yourself:

How to spin a 14 point deficit

The Inquirer New Jersey Poll just found that President Obama leads Governor Romney by 14 points here in New Jersey. That’s not even blogworthy –in fact, at first I confused it with yesterday’s Farleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll, which found President Obama leading by, you guessed it, 14 points. This sweet quote, however, got my attention:

But Adam Geller, a GOP pollster from National Research Inc., cautions the Obama camp not to order balloons for its Garden State victory party yet. He said that almost all the 12 percent of voters who picked neither candidate would end up voting for Romney. As a general rule, undecided voters rarely end up with the incumbent, he said.

That would cut Obama’s margin significantly – and it indicates weakness, Geller said.

Back in the real world, Republicans have given up on Pennsylvania where Obama’s lead is an even weaker 9-11 points.