Author Archive: willlivingston

NJ First State With Medical Marijuana TV Ads

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Turns out NJ is the first state to have medical marijuana ads on the television. The website MarijuanaDoctors.com equates buying pot from a unregistered dealer with buying sushi on the street, which is kind of funny, but kind of stupid. For folks who already buy on the street it’s not a convincing argument, but for a grandma who needs it for glaucoma or a formerly straight-edge cancer patient, I can see it making a difference in how and where they buy.

All in all, though, it seems odd to have an exchange that will find you a doctor willing to prescribe one particular type of medicine rather than finding doctors to address certain types of conditions.

BloodThinnerDoctor.com would be weird, and ProteaseInhibitorDoctor.com even weirder. But I guess with not all doctors willing to prescribe this particular drug due to it’s controversial nature, it makes sense. Kind of.

Christie Gives Up on 2016 South Carolina

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One of the most important states for someone seeking their party nomination for President is South Carolina because of it’s early primary, the first in a southern state.  In 2000 George W. Bush solidified his position by winning it (with rumors spread about John McCain’s child and fidelity), and Newt Gingrich surged into frontrunner status there in 2008.

Since Chris Christie is a northern Republican, a win in South Carolina would be huge. He’d have an even shot at Iowa, and a pretty good hold on New Hampshire. Three wins in a row would overcome most concerns about his electability.

Which is what makes the new ad the Republican Governor’s Association (of which Christie is chair) is running against the Democratic nominee for Governor in South Carolina all the more troubling for Christie.

“Remember this guy, Sheheen? Well first, Sheheen supported much of Obamacare. But then he refused to support the lawsuit to stop it,” the ad says. “Now, Vincent Sheheen wants to use Obamacare for a $2 billion expansion of Medicaid in South Carolina.”

It ends with the ominous text: “Vincent Sheheen’s Plan: Even More Obamacare.”

Wait, What? Christie Has “No Idea” Still?

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Here’s a gem hidden in an NJ.com article on Christie’s curiosity:

Christie told host Eric Scott he had “no idea” whether one of his former top aides, Bridget Anne Kelly, orchestrated the infamous Fort Lee traffic jam on her own.

It was bad enough when he said on the day after he found out she ordered the lane closure that he hadn’t spoken to her, but how is it possible that he doesn’t have any idea now … or care?

This is a situation that has severely damaged his political future, taken more than 20 points off his approval ratings and threatened his tenure in office.  And he isn’t interested?

That’s simply not credible.

Cuomo Beats Christie for President Now

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Back in the fall Chris Christie was close or even ahead of Hillary Clinton among NJ voters asked who they would support in 2016 for President.  This was seen as proof that Christie had the kind of bipartisan support that would lead the GOP back to the POTUS promised land.

Then Bridget Ann Kelly’s e-mail calling for traffic in Fort Lee hit, and Christie lost support among every cohort (including Republicans) except the far right and his numbers fell far below Clinton.

But now it’s even worse.  Christie is not only far behind Clinton now, but he’s a point behind New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (apparently only people with last names starting with C have a shot at the White House).

In the aftermath of the George Washington Bridge scandal, Gov. Christie has not only taken a hit in his personal ratings but also in his presidential chances for 2016, at least with New Jersey voters. In a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll January 14-19, 2014, NJ registered voters give a clear lead to Hillary Clinton over Christie, while making it close between Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, when asked about potential 2016 matchups.

Clinton is a clear favorite in the “blue” state of New Jersey. Only 34 percent of NJ registered voters say that they would vote for Christie if the election were today, while 55 percent support Clinton. The potential Christie-Cuomo race, on the other hand, is neck-and-neck: 41 percent favor Christie while 42 percent would vote for Cuomo.

Will Christie Turn Away More Millions in Federal Funds?

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There was a time when the measure of a top-level politician (Representative, Senator, Governor) was being able to bring federal dollars back to the state. New Jersey is a donor state, sending a dollar in federal income taxes to Washington DC and getting back somewhere around 60 cents.

Somehow that went away, at least for Republicans, and turning down federal bucks shows how “conservative” you are.  Governor Christie did it by mistake for Race for the Top, on purpose for the ARC tunnel, almost turned down Medicaid expansion, and now this

The Christie administration faces a deadline today to decide how it will spend $7.6 million in federal funds intended to help launch its own health exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Christie let the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services create and run the online portal, healthcare.gov, which people use to shop for and select an insurance policy. Since then, the money has sat while Obama and Christie officials have negotiated how it should be spent. If they can’t come to an agreement, federal officials have said the state will have to return it.

Not only is the Christie administration regularly turning down funding from the feds, but also their transparency commitment has gone by the wayside:

Calls and emails to the state Department of Banking and Insurance this week were not returned.

Really?  The staff of five or six public relations hacks paid with public money aren’t returning media phone calls now?  Wow.

Red Light Hits Brick Traffic Cameras

You know Will, right? Promoted by Rosi.

It’s not often you’ll find this old Governor supporting the good conservative Declan O’Scanlon, but there’s excellent news for anyone who like civil liberties and safer intersections:

The red-light cameras went dark in Brick today, as the township’s mayor became the first in New Jersey to reject the controversial but lucrative traffic devices that have ensnared hundreds of thousands of motorists.

State Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth), a vocal critic of the cameras, couldn’t let the occasion pass without a commemoration. So he stood under a camera during its last day Monday and displayed a banner that read “Good Riddance!”

O’Scanlon’s issue is that these cameras were solely to bring in revenue for minor traffic violations and that amounted to “stealing” from the public, which is a kind of silly argument since if you ran the light you ran the light.  Law and order Republicans and all that.

But the fact is that these cameras have done little if anything to increase safety, and some reports say they are actually detrimental.  Add on the government taking pictures of your car to tell where you are, and they’re a nightmare.

The fewer cameras recording people legally traveling or congregating in public spaces the better, to my mind.

Wait, Christie’s a Bully Who Screwed Up Sandy Relief?

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All those Democrats who endorsed Chris Christie for Governor did so because (they said) he was a tough-minded guy who handled the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy perfectly.

But now it comes out few Sandy victims are actually getting any help from Chris Christie and his staff.

The overwhelming majority of Sandy victims who have applied for state aid say they have been “largely forgotten,” a new poll says.

The Monmouth University poll reveals that just 26 percent indicated New Jersey’s efforts are focused on helping people in their situation.  …

Meanwhile, just 36 percent of applicants to reNew Jersey Stronger, the federally funded Sandy assistance program said they are satisfied with the state’s recovery effort. People who are still displaced give the program even lower marks – just 21 percent told pollsters they are satisfied.

Obama and the Congressional Democrats (along with some Northeastern Republicans) got the money for New Jersey to recover from Sandy, and Christie’s administration has blown it.  

The Star Ledger’s already rescinded their endorsement based on the discovery that Christie’s not tough-minded skilled administrator, but a bully who had no idea his staff was taking political retribution using public resources.

Now that we learned the Sandy recovery has been botched as well, will Christie’s Democratic fanboys be reconsidering their support?

Heckuva job, Bushie.

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If you want to know why Chris Christie thinks that he’s a good administrator despite all the evidence against it (Sandy aid denial, potential corruption, Bridgegate, tax refund delays, $120 million in trains destroyed, Race to the Top funding lost, etc.), just look to this quote:

“Every Republican took for granted George W. Bush while he was there. The guy won two national elections. How easy has that looked the last eight years?” Christie said. “He was, first, an outstanding political candidate. And I think he was grossly underappreciated by his own country and his own party as a politician.”

The things Christie respects about Bush, the things he thinks are “underappreciated”, are all related to winning elections and being a good politician.

None of it is about governing or helping the American people.

This is a President who started his term with the worst attack on American soil since 1941 and ended it with the worst economic downturn since 1932.  In between he orchestrated two unwinnable wars that cost hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives (not to mention even more crippled and wounded).

Heckuva job, Bushie.  Both of ya.

Christie Did Not Fly Over the GWB Traffic

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Turns out not only didn’t Governor Christie fly over the Bridgegate traffic jam, but he was(n’t) alone when he didn’t do it.

The State Police released a statement saying Christie’s helicopter took three flights during the week of Sept. 8, when the closing of local-access lanes at the nation’s busiest bridge caused days of traffic jams in Fort Lee.

“None of the three flights transporting the governor during that week flew over, or close to either the George Washington Bridge or Fort Lee, including the flight on 9/11,” the statement read.

So he’s in the clear on this one.  

Former Ohio Governor: Christie is Lying or Incompetent

This is a bit discountable since it’s the Democratic Governor’s Association event and a former Democratic Governor, but former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland’s phrasing is just about perfect.

“I’m suggesting two things, two possibilities: Either the governor knew and he is lying, or he is the most inept, incompetent chief executive imaginable,” Strickland said at a press conference this morning arranged by the Democratic National Committee, just one block where Christie was scheduled to give a talk to the Economic Club of Chicago two hours later.