Author Archive: vmars

Paragraph of the Day: Gail Collins on Bobby Jindal

Promoted by Jason Springer:  vmars goes off on the Republicans in NJ and nationwide.

I made a small change [see parens] in the text below to make it appropriate for Blue Jersey, but here is a damning paragraph from today’s Gail Collins’ NYT column.  It slaps around the GOP anti-tax mantra by noting, well, check it out …

Louisiana has gotten $130 billion in post-Katrina aid. How is it that the stars of the Republican austerity movement come from the states that suck up the most federal money? Taxpayers in New [Jersey] send way more to Washington than they get back so more can go to places like Alaska and Louisiana. Which is fine, as long as we don’t have to hear their governors bragging about how the folks who elected them want to keep their tax money to themselves. Of course they do! That’s because they’re living off ours.

If these Jindals and Palins and other anti-income tax Governors were serious they would refuse to take penny one from the federal government that they didn’t send to the federal government.

I’d LOVE if Alaska, which gets more than $2 in federal money for each $1 of federal taxes paid, were to ship us a few bucks to make up for the lack of federal spending in our state.  And if Jindal doesn’t want stimulus money I’ve got a bridge a few blocks from my house that needs to be repaired we can spend it on.  My neighbor works in construction and just lost his job after sending 45 cents of every federal tax dollar he paid out of state.  

Hell, if the New Jersey Republicans want to balance the New Jersey budget all they have to do is call their brethren in welfare states like Alaska, Wyoming and Louisiana and get our federal tax dollars back.  But they won’t because for all their screeching on the issue of the federal government and taxes they believe in the system just as much as Democrats do.

The national Republicans are hypocrites.  It’s something that happens as soon as they get there, just like Leonard Lance who says he is going to vote against bills to fund the Green Brook Flood Control and repairs to Route 22 but is glad to take credit for the money.

When is the media going to start really taking a look at this trend?  Lectures from an unwed teen mother on the importance of abstinence?  Harangues on federal spending from governors who demand more than their share?  Blustering on the evils of marriage equality from ministers who pay gay prostitutes?  

You’d think that at some point enough would be enough.

Morris County: Grover’s Mill Redux?

A few weeks ago strange red lights started appearing in the skies over Morris County, and some people suspected they were UFOs.  Actually, there were UFOs because they were flying objects people couldn’t identify.  Some people thought they were spaceships filled with aliens, then.

Now we have a series of Morris County earthquakes that are puzzling the experts.

Could it be that, just like in 1939 when aliens landed in Grover’s Mill, NJ and it was covered up by the government, that recent reports of the police saying the lights were balloon candles are hiding the fact that these aliens are creating earthquakes?

We report, you deride.

Leonard Lance: Stimulus Hypocrite

Twice Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ7) was given a chance to vote up or down on the economic stimulus package signed by President Barack Obama yesterday.  Twice Leonard Lance chose to stand with his party instead of with his constituents in his vote.  

He even wrote a piece defending his vote against the bill that was run in multiple papers, suggesting that it was a vote of honor rather than a vote of partisanship.

But now Lance is trying to have it both ways, touting his “principled” vote against spending while getting photo-ops for the papers hoping stimulus money will come to his district.

Under the terms of the stimulus plan signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama, infrastructure projects that are “shovel-ready” could be the first to be funded with economic recovery money.

That’s the hope of Rep. Leonard Lance, R-Clinton Township, who toured the project’s construction sites Tuesday morning with Mayor Carey Pilato, members of the Green Brook Flood Control Commission and representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the project.

“This is a classic example of a “shovel-ready’ project,” Lance said after the tour.

You never heard Lance say this before the stimulus vote.  It would have gone against the GOP bosses position that stimulus spending was bad if Lance had suggested we should put the Green Brook Flood Control Project in the stimulus package.  And going against the bosses can be bad juju for a freshman Rep.

Further proof that this was a partisan effort to take credit for a bill he voted against, Lance toured the area solely with Republican Pilato — former staffer for Mike Ferguson — and none of the Democratic council members from Bound Brook.  

He didn’t invite the Democratic Mayors of Green Brook, Manville or North Plainfield either, three towns that flooded massively in the 1973 storm that spawned the Green Brook Flood Control Project, flooded again in 1999 when Hurricane Floyd hit and gave new impetus to the effort.  Manville again flooded in 1997 when the Nor’Easter hit.

No, after voting in lockstep with his party against the Democrats in the House Lance blocks out Democrats from working with him in protecting their homes and businesses from flooding.

In the State Senate Lance had a reputation for bi-partisanship and working to solve problems without being a blind party follower.  In just a month as a member of Congress he’s giving up that hard earned image to become another drone in the national Republican party.

UPDATE: Jay Lassiter shows us that Lance is using Facebook to pimp his wish for more stimulus dollars he voted against to come to NJ.  Sheesh.

Line of the Day: Paul Krugman

Sweet

What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses?

A proud centrist.

As Jim Hightower says in a book, the only thing in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead armadillos.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized

One of the reasons why electing Barack Obama for the next four years — and hopefully eight — is to ensure that the US Supreme Court doesn’t get dragged farther to the right and in a perfect world even comes back a little to the left.

We’re reminded of this today as former Rutgers Law Professor and Clinton appointed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was hospitalized for pancreatic cancer.  Ginsburg is 75 years old, and has been a reliable voice on the court if not an unabashedly liberal one we are looking for.

There is no indication her case is terminal, but obviously at her age any health issue can be serious, cancer more so than others.

Here’s hoping she is cured and has a long tenure on the court.  However, if she has to resign thank goodness Barack Obama is our President and not John McCain.

Chris Christie Lost a Public Corruption Case?

Promoted by Jason Springer

Well, here’s a bit of news — Chris Christie is not undefeated in his effort to nail corrupt politicians.  According to PoliticsNJ, Peter Murphy was convicted under the previous US Attorney of trading contracts for political contributions.  He was given 43 months in prison.

While Chris Christie was US Attorney Murphy appealed the case and the “Third Circuit overturned his conviction in May 2003.”  That would be, for those keeping score, a victory for a corrupt public official against Chris Christie’s team.

Instead of taking Murphy back to court and trying him on the previous charges, Chris Christie negotiated a plea bargain for — wait for it — time served.

Peter Murphy is, by the way, a Republican just like Chris Christie.  He is also, after getting this lovely parting gift from Chris Christie of not having to go through another trial and spending more time worrying about shivs in the laundry, now backing Chris Christie for Governor.

But, of course, that has nothing to do with the plea bargain deal.  Because Chris Christie is an anti-corruption crime fighting super-hero.  The media tells us so.

Blocking Lisa Jackson

Promoted by Jason Springer

Update II, VMars style — Apparently the Senate GOP took a laxative and unclenched their science hating sphincters.  Jackson got confirmed unanimously along with a few others.

Update, VMars style — Looks like TPM screwed the pooch on this one and they were wrong about Barrasso — and also wrong about Inhofe who they hadn’t even mentioned.  It’s some other ignorant science hater who is blocking the first competent EPA head from New Jersey.

Talking Points Memo determines that Senator John Barrasso, Science-Denier of Wyoming, is at least one of the buffoons putting a hold on the nomination of New Jersey’s Lisa Jackson to head the EPA.

Apparently Wyoming’s leading luminary is afraid that Jackson’s efforts to stave off global warming will destroy Wyoming’s beef industry.  You know, ’cause the methane farts of the cows and everything.

Isn’t That Just Devine?

Q: What animal has more lives than the El Gato of story and song?

A: Jim Devine.

Way back when Jim Devine still owned his newspaper chain, since lost to back taxes and a bad divorce, he made a lot of money off the Union County Democratic Party as a paper of choice for legal and campaign ads.  Then, according to the local gossip, he tried to flex his muscles against some of the powers that were and got slapped down.  

Being Jim Devine fought back, tried a few slaps back instead of turning the other cheek, and got hammered.  The word went out that no one should spend a dime on Devine Media if they expected support of the Democrats in Union County.  Suddenly the profitable local papers took a major financial hit. Personal troubles took the papers out of his hands, and Devine has since been trying to climb his way back up.

He is a fierce critic of Joe Cryan, the NJ Democratic Chair, spewing accusations of corruption and incompetence via e-mail, letters to the editor, and even Facebook.  He claims to be a progressive, and we are unable to verify or refute that claim.  He seems to support progressive candidates and activists, though, but at the same time he really pisses a lot of people off on all sides of Democratic issues.

Last year Devine had a major win outside of Union County, taking a relative unknown in Wilda Diaz and beating Mayor (and Assemblyman) Joe Vas in Perth Amboy.  Along with Mayor Diaz, Devine’s campaign management brought new council members to the table such as Keneth Balut.

Since the 2008 election Devine has been seeking a Democrat to primary Jon Corzine.  His November 28th Facebook status read:

James is looking for some Democrat to challenge Jon Corzine in the primary.

On January 6th he had a new status of:

James is wondering if I am the only Democrat who thinks Jon Corzine is a disaster

Now Wally Edge, the incorporable founder of PoliticsNJ who has seen his baby turned into the half-assed PolitickerNJ, reports that Councilman Balut is considering primarying Corzine for the Democratic nomination for Governor.

It’s not a big stretch that Devine is behind this trial balloon.  Union County Democratic politics appears to be closed to him, so he moved on to Middlesex and had a big (relative to his position) victory in Perth Amboy.

But, as the gossip mill suggest is his wont, Devine appears to be overreaching again.  State party leaders are likely to look unfavorably on such a primary, and take revenge on anyone associated with Devine.  Diaz, Balut and their partners in Perth Amboy could be looking at a world of hurt in the future if this turns into a real primary.

And the odds of winning are no better than Rob Andrews were last year.  All it will likely serve is to sap the resources of the state party, and to create significant enemies for the good government folks in a large city.

Devine is always willing to tilt at windmills and take his lumps.  It will be interesting to see if his proteges in Perth Amboy are willing to do the same.