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New Jersey to GOP congressmen:
Time for some questions, people.
Clergy unite for healthcare
תק׳עה
Disrespect for clergy at Rep. Tom MacArthur’s office?
Hate Has No Home Here sign
NJ’s the kind of place where these signs are popping up everywhere
Yard signs of welcome & acceptance Inmigrantes.”

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Consolidation of Your Energy

The latest hand dealt in the famous “free market” shell game, leaves New Jersey energy consumers with an unfair deal.

NJPIRG is fighting a good fight and they need our help.

In February of 2005, Exelon Corporation, an energy giant based in Chicago, submitted applications to state and federal regulators to takeover PSEG–the last state-based utility in New Jersey. If this deal is approved, Exelon will be the largest, most powerful utility in the nation, with over $79 billion in assets and 9 million electric and gas customers. But when it comes to meeting the needs of New Jersey’s ratepayers, bigger has nothing to do with being better.

New Jersey ratepayers are already captive to their electricity bills-consumers have incredibly little choice when it comes to the company that provides their electricity service. And the problem is getting worse-in the past two years, the number of companies selling electricity in New Jersey declined by two-thirds, while prices shot up nineteen percent.

If Exelon is allowed to takeover PSEG, they will have enough market power to establish a near monopoly over electricity prices. Over time, New Jersey’s ratepayers will be forced to pay billions more in utility bills to keep the lights on.

According to the NJPIRG report, there are many reasons to oppose such a merger including poorer service, higher rates, and less safety at Oyster Creek.

Why Andrews should be Senator

In this weekend’s Washington Post, Rep. Rob Andrews shares his strategy for convincing Corzine that he is the right person for the Senate seat. He’s hoping he can get Democratic officials to lobby Corzine on his behalf:

“I’ll tell them that America’s future will be bleak without me in the Senate.”

America’s reputation has been ruined in large part because of this pre-emptive war. Andrews played a leading role in drafting the resolution that got us into it. In case anyone needs a reminder

“Make no mistake about it, these weapons of mass death are not pointed at the Germans who doubt the scope of this risk. They are not pointed at Saddam’s Arab neighbors who scoff at the necessity of this mission. These weapons of mass death are meant to kill Americans, and we will not and should not ask anyone’s permission to defend the people of this country.”
– Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), 10/08/02

To this day, I have yet to hear Rep Andrews retract, apologize for, or correct any of these statements which he, the administration and hundreds of others used to scare us into a completely unprovoked and unnecessary war. We need LESS of this type of leadership, not more. Replacing Corzine with another abuser of U.S. military power is a bad move, and I’d guess that alone has led Corzine to cross him off his short list.

It’s the voting machines stupid

Clinton got away with bombing the crap out of Iraq “no fly” zones,

and economic sanctions that hit innocents especially hard, with not a peep out of the American people–maybe largely because of the handling of it all by the war profiteering corporate news monopolies–but, anyway, the precedent is there. Antiseptic killing by distant bomber pilots, and other forms of assault, can safely be ignored and kept out of “the news,” if ground troops are not involved.

I hadn’t thought of our bombing capability. I was wondering what the Cartel’s plan was. It’s getting clearer. Get the oil, via ironclad contracts with unjust terms (that the savvy Sunnis would never agree to) from the Kurds and the Shias. Bomb any village or neighborhood that the Kurds and the Shias want bombed. Let the Kurds and Shias gang up on the more educated and westernized Sunnis (who have already been cut out of the oil deal), and wipe them out. And the Kurds and the Shias will be safe (from us) as long as they don’t nationalize their oil. Iraq was so impoverished by the UN sanctions that, for a while, ordinary Kurds and Shias may be content with slight improvements. If Iraq follows the model of other western-created Arab states, whatever wealth the Cartel permits them to have will soon be concentrated in a few hands and new dictators will arise–just the sort of government that the Bush Cartel prefers to deal with.

Bush’s religious beliefs are of no concern. He is not in charge. He is being handled by people who know how to feed him delusions of grandeur, and utilize his simple, primitive thought processes, to control him–and how to prop him up, and drug him or whatever they do, to enable him to speak his lines. He is a bully and a war criminal, but only dimly aware of the details of his own and his junta’s crimes–they can’t trust him with the details–and his religious beliefs are completely irrelevant to what is happening. Massive thievery is what is happening–and also, the complete subversion of the U.S. Constitution, and the destruction of our democracy.

Bush is an empty suit, a prop. That’s the scary part–that our government is being run by a cabal of rightwing, fascist, corporate war profiteers that have NO beliefs in anything and no loyalty to us or desire for the common good. They are thieves and looters. And, in Bush, they found someone whom they could install and use of their puppet. His alcoholism and religion–and stunted personality, and limited intelligence–made him an easy tool.

The Neo-cons and PNAC-ers are also largely window-dressing. The real powers in this cabal don’t have any interest in governing, or creating or running an Empire. That takes some skill and some thought for the long term, and indeed, some loyalty. Everything they do speaks of chaos and looting. They are not into creating anything, not even a fascist state. Our government, for them, is just a sham–a way for rich men to get richer. It gives them an aura of legitimacy which they would discard in a minute if it suited them. They have absolutely no belief in its principles.

This may be small comfort, but they are not Nazis. They are looters. The Nazis turned a ruined country into a great industrial machine, capable of achieving their evil dreams of racial purity and a Nordic empire. The Bush cabal is doing just the opposite–it is ruining a once sound country, and squeezing it of every last dime, and haven’t convinced anybody of anything. (58% of the American people opposed the Iraq war before the invasion. Feb. ’03. And continue to oppose it, even moreso today. 63% of the American people oppose torture “under any circumstances.” May ’04. Look at the issue polls and other opinion polls! Most people hate Bush and all of his policies, and, if Diebold and ES&S hadn’t intervened, he and his cabal would have been ousted in 2004.)

Our difficulty is that we have misdiagnosed the problem. We thought we could get rid of the inept Mr. Bush. Not so. They fiddled the vote with their new electronic voting systems, with its ‘TRADE SECRET,’ PROPRIETARY programming code, owned by Bushite corporations. Most of us didn’t have a clue that it was not this one man and his bluster and his stupidity that was the problem, but rather a cabal so powerful that it could gain control of the election system, and dictate our leaders forevermore–and insult us with this dimwit, and degrade our idea of democracy, and depress and disempower us.

So it’s not good to dwell on Bush, as a personality. We need to widen the lens, to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Libby, Bolton, Rice, Rove and others, and to unseen persons (heads of Diebold, ES&S, Halliburton, Bechtel, etc.), to fathom how this cabal operates, and work on a strategy for defeating it, and for restoring our democracy and getting our country back.

And let’s hope that it will be a better country than we had before, and one that is less vulnerable to corporate takeover and fascist coups.

Linda Stender to challenge Ferguson (NJ-7)

The Star Ledger reports that Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) from the 22nd legislative district will challenge Matt Linfante and Joe Tricarico for the Democratic nomination to run against Rep. Mike Ferguson (R) in the 7th district.

The mayor of Fanwood from 1992 to 1995 and a Union County freeholder from 1994 to 2000, Stender has served in the Assembly since 2002. She faces a primary battle with Democrat Joe Tricarico, the former mayor of Hillsborough, who has already announced he’ll run.

Blue 7th PAC and Dump Mike have been working to unseat Ferguson, so go check them out.

Lt Hester draws international attention

Across the pond, the UK Gay News is covering Lt Laurel Hester’s situation:

How this situation – and the thousands of others that go unnoticed – can arise in the United States puzzles us at UK Gay News. America proclaims itself as the leader of the world. But when it comes for basic rights of same-sex couples living in a long-term relationship, the country is probably in the bottom quartile.

The old chestnut about family values and sanctity of marriage just does not wash. America has one of the highest divorce rates in the world and is where a pop star can get married for the weekend.

The word “humbug” comes to mind. And is this instance it applies to the Freeholders of Ocean County

Meanwhile, an editorial in today’s Ocean County Observer slams the OC freeholder’s hypocricy:

Never mind that the freeholders have demonstrated stupendous greed through their own history of feeding at the public through, often in jobs that helped boost their own pensions.

A Note from The Broccoli

Recently, Warren County has been thrust into something of a national spotlight by two people: Rebecca Beach and Professor John Daly. Professor Daly can now be referred to as “late of the faculty of Warren County Community College”. For more on this situation, click the link:

http://tinyurl.com/drd4c

Well, there is more to this story, although I am afraid I have no deep skinny to reveal. Just some points to consider, after the jump.

Codey snags 6th place

As reported in the Home News Tribune, Acting Governor Codey fared pretty well on election day:

According to unofficial election results compiled in a Gannett New Jersey survey involving all 21 county clerks’ offices, Codey received at least 9,668 write-in votes for governor in the Nov. 8 election.

That amounts to about one out of every 200 voters writing in Codey’s name, or 0.5 percent of the vote. That was good enough for a sixth-place finish, ahead of five of the eight third-party and independent candidates whose names were on the ballot.

So, while Codey was aggressively discouraging people from writing him in, he still beat 5 people actively campaigning for governor. What does that say about the viability of 3rd party candidates in NJ?

More on Lt. Hester


The five homophobic Ocean County freeholders (Gerry P. Little, John P. Kelly, James F. Lacey, Joseph H. Vicari, John C. Bartlett Jr.) denying Lt. Laurel Hester her pension benefits because she is a lesbian.

It’s a slow news day, but Lt. Laurel Hester’s simple request to pass on her pension benefits to her partner continues. In an editorial by Richard Schiff, Editor In Chief of the Greenwich Village Gazette, he writes on the next meeting of the Ocean County freeholders. Schiff notes that on December 7th, supporters of Lt. Hester will be out in force to hold their feet to the fire:

On December 7th a very vocal and determined force backed with Lawyers will attend the next meeting of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders. These dedicated people are not prepared to take no for an answer.

I urge all citizens of conscience to be there to lend support and show the Freeholders that we value Lieutenant Hester’s 24 years of service to the community enough to treat her as equal in all ways with every other officer.

Let her die in the arms of someone who loves her. Who that is is none of anyone’s business. Choosing to turn Lt. Hester down and rejecting her basic rights should not be a decision the Freeholders get to make without a great uproar of injustice from the citizens.

From a few days ago – the Ocean County Reporter has video of the rally in support of Hester, where 200 supporters were joined by Congressman Frank Pallone.