Sy Hersh ‘Watching Lebanon’ & Pallone’s Open House

Is anyone else freaking out about Seymour Hersh’s latest New Yorker article, Watching Lebanon

According to a Middle East expert … Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah – and shared it with Bush Administration officials – well before the July 12th kidnappings. “It’s not that the Israelis had a trap that Hezbollah walked into,” he said, “but there was a strong feeling in the White House that sooner or later the Israelis were going to do it.”

The Middle East expert said that the Administration had several reasons for supporting the Israeli bombing campaign. Within the State Department, it was seen as a way to strengthen the Lebanese government so that it could assert its authority over the south of the country, much of which is controlled by Hezbollah. He went on, “The White House was more focussed on stripping Hezbollah of its missiles, because, if there was to be a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it had to get rid of the weapons that Hezbollah could use in a potential retaliation at Israel. Bush wanted both. Bush was going after Iran, as part of the Axis of Evil, and its nuclear sites, and he was interested in going after Hezbollah as part of his interest in democratization, with Lebanon as one of the crown jewels of Middle East democracy.”

Administration officials denied that they knew of Israel’s plan for the air war. The White House did not respond to a detailed list of questions…

“The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits,” a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. “Why oppose it? We’ll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran.”

And guess who’s behind it:

April 15, 2006 News Roundup

  • Politics NJ’s count of how races are going to swing is up. Currently the U.S. Senate race is listed in the “Toss Up” category but with a chance of moving towards the “Leans Democratic” column.
  • After switching from Democratic to Republican parties candidate for East Hanover Town Council, Philip Maenza , is still not fully accepted as a true GOP member by sitting council members. They feel that Maenza is running on the Republican ticked, not because his values have changed, but because he has a better chance of winning as a Republican in Morris County.
  • Staunch environmentalist, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ6), is calling for expedited cleaning of PCBs in the Raritan River that have been harming fish and have the potential to harm humans as well. PCBs were outlawed and are now classified as a possible carcinogen that  can cause nervous system disorders.
  • The smoking ban went into effect at 12:01 this morning. No smoking in bars, racetracks, bowling alleys, clubs and concert halls are just some of the provisions of the ban. Sorry smokers, maybe now is a good time to quit, no?
  • Governor Corzine’s sales tax hike has hit a major speed bump. Legislators from both sides of the aisle are strongly opposing it, and now rumors have started that it may not have enough votes to pass through the State Senate.

    Happy Saturday!!!

  • Meet the Candidates

    This is the most recent listing of candidates that have filed petitions for federal office. The first candidate listed in each category is the incumbent. The number after their names indicates the number of petition signatures submitted, and I also included the slogans of some of the candidates running without the party endorsement.

    US Senate:
        Bob Menendez (D) 8029
        James D. Kelly Jr (D) 1300
        Thomas H. Kean Jr. (R) 4202
        John P. Ginty (R) 1742

    House Districts
    1:  Rob Andrews (D)

    2:  Frank LoBiondo (R) 804
        Viola Thomas-Hughes (D) 298
        Henry David Marcus (D) 207 "Change the Course!"

    3:  Jim Saxton (R) 949
        Richard Sexton (D) 293

    4:  Chris Smith (R) 675
        Gary Schiavone (D) 310

    5:  Scott Garrett (R) 513
        Michael Cino (R) 300
        Paul Aronsohn (D) 495
        Camille M. Abate (D) 427 "A New Spine For Congress"

    6:  Frank Pallone Jr (D) 310
        Leigh-Ann Bellew (R) 278

    7:  Mike Ferguson (R) 896
        Linda Stender (D) 532

    8:  Bill Pascrell (D) 4301
        Jose Sandivol (R) 407

    9:  Steve Rothman (D) 1020
        Vincent Micco (R) 321

    10: Donald Payne (D) 1244
        Deshon Porter (D) 211

    11: Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) 699
        Tom Wyka (D) 332

    12: Rush Holt (D) 1216
        Joseph Sinagra (R) 225

    13: Special election for unexpired term
        Albio Sires (D) 530
        James Geron (D) 268

    13: For full term
        Albio Sires (D) 3229
        Joseph Vas (D) 594
        John Guarini (R) 255

    Every NJ Congressional District Will Be Challenged

    Update 3 (A big one, so I’m posting it up top): There WILL be two Democratic challengers to Frank LoBiondo in NJ-2. Fairfield Township councilwoman Viola Thomas-Hughes and Henry David Marcus will compete in the primary. This now means that every Republican House member in New Jersey will face a challenger in November.

    According to the Division of Elections, Gary Schiavone has filed to challenge Chris Smith in the 4th Congressional district. With about two hours left until the filing deadline, no Democrat has filed in the 2nd yet to challenge LoBiondo.

    The GOP has failed to file challenges to Rob Andrews (NJ-1) and Donald Payne (NJ-10).

    Update 1: Donald Payne (NJ-10) will have a challenger in the primary, and Michael Cino has just filed to challenge Garrett in the primary. Assemblywoman Oadline Truitt (D) from the 28th legislative district will face a primary challenge.

    Update 2: (via politicsnj)

    Joe Vas filed petitions to run for the full 2-year term in the 13th district, but not for the Special Election.

    John Ginty filed petitions to seek the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate today.  Ginty filed with 1,742 signatures.

    James Kelly, a resident of a group home for the mentally disabled , filed as a U.S. Senate candidate in the primary against Bob Menendez.

    BlueJersey Podcast – with Congressman Pallone

    We’re baaaaack! The latest installment of the BlueJersey.net Podcast is live and ready to download.

    We sat down with Congressman Frank Pallone to discuss taking back the House in 2006, the republican prescription drug disaster, why he’s proud to be a democrat, and more, including – blast from the past – the Superfund! (Listen now)

    Pallone let his feelings be known on the corruption scandals rocking Washington:

    I really question whether the republican leadership is going to do ANYTHING about ethics reform.

    on appealing to the base:

    We HAVE to motivate our progressive voters, or we don’t win.

    and even on marriage equality:

    I have no problem with gay marriage. I’m hopeful that the Supreme Court of New Jersey will actually say that it is constitutionally based and can’t be prohibited.

    To listen now, click here.

    If you’ve already subscribed to our feed through iTunes, it should download for you next time you start the program. If you haven’t already subscribed, you can subscribe here  

    You get one question to ask Congressman Pallone – GO!

    BlueJersey’s podcast series soon will be continuing with our next guest, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6).

    Congressman Pallone has graciously agreed to sit down with me for a half-hour interview that will be recorded and available as a BlueJersey.net podcast. And you, dear reader, are invited to whisper your questions into my ears. Best questions will be included in the interview.

    What? You mean you haven’t subscribed to the BlueJersey.net podcast yet? What are you waiting for? Subscribe!