Trickle, trickle, trickle ... LIE
Republican “tax reform” = Republican trickle down scam
Republicans are trying to achieve ‘savings' on the backs of students, teachers, schools & universities.
Camden postcard
George Norcross expects Camden residents to move “to the Suburbs”
That’s tone-deaf, on what’s beneficial for Camden residents, and also the potential role that NJ’s cities can play in a state desperate for more urban innovation
House of Representatives voting buttons
Bill’s 6-part series - on taking Republican seats from Frelinghuysen, Lance, MacArthur & LoBiondo (open)
Defending Gottheimer’s seat & taking vulnerable GOP seats in 2018
House Republican tax overhaul
Check out what it would mean at your house. Photo: AP/Alex Brandon

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Please Help End Childhood Cancer

FIRST: Recommend This Diary on Daily Kos!

Tonight at hundreds of locations around the country, people will be shaving their heads at annual St. Baldrick’s Day celebrations.  This is not some drunken revel (though some of us will be drunk!), but a serious effort to raise money for childhood cancer research.  Already more than $1,000,000 has been raised in 2006 and the event hasn’t even started yet!  You can donate here.

In my hometown, North Plainfield, NJ we have more than 40 people getting their heads shaved and have raised nearly $40,000.  Tonight we will collect even more.  I am Council President in North Plainfield, and I convinced six of the seven members — all of the Demcorats — to get shaved. It is the second year that a quorum of the Council participated in the fundraiser.  You can donate here.

My 20 month old daughter, who thankfully has had only two sick days in her life and doesn’t have cancer, is getting her first haircut tonight.  Not a shave, but a trim!  Already she is learning that collective grassroots action can help change the world.  You can donate in her name here.

About Freakin’ Time

The Washington Post: Longtime Newark, N.J., Mayor to Run Again

Mayor James comes riding to the city clerk’s office on…a bicycle.  I think he’s officially transitioned his campaign from “stunt” to “gimmick.”

After filing a petition Thursday to seek a sixth term, Mayor Sharpe James did not make any major speeches to a crowd of reporters and photographers assembled at City Hall.

“I filed the petition and that should speak volumes,” said James, 70.

Brought to you by Everything Newark.

News Roundup For Thursday March 16

  • Dave Graham, FDA whistleblower, has been ordered by the judge to testify against Merck in the Vioxx case. This “despite FDA’s abjections.” WOW! I am sure the Merck folks are not going to sleep tight tonight. However, why would the FDA object to this guy going on the record? They shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
  • A motion to add a 9th seat on the Senate Health Panel was shot down. Loretta Weinberg was slated to fill that 9th seat. Word on the street is that this is due to her support of AIDS reducing measures like the Needle Exchange programs so adamantly opposed by the Senators (*cough*James, Rice Sr.*cough*) who voted against her nomination. (we will have more on this soon)
  • Sharpe James has about an hour to make up his mind on wether or not he will defend his title as King of Newark. Though the feeling is that he will at least file the papers.
  • NJ Catholics celebrating St. Patrick’s day can have their corned beef with their green beers this Friday.
  • Laura Bush gives Newark kids $14 million reasons to love her.
  • A poll shows that NJ folks don’t want tax hikes and do want spending cuts. No word on what programs these folks would want to cut. If you have any ideas you can send them right to the Govna here.
  • The Assembly passed the Transportation Trust Fund ReFi. The Republican response can be found here. (see fair and balanced).
  • The Tom Kean Jr./ Bergen County Republican soap opera continues, and it just seems to keep getting better. Now, there may be a primary challenger comming out of the BC Reps. The Law of Thermodynamics is at play here (see implosion), and the Bergen County Republicans are meddling with powers they cannot possibly comprehend!
  • Corzine is thinking about taxing the smokers some more, I look forward to another million stripper march.

Call Reps – House voting on permanent bases in Iraq today

Here’s an alert from UFPJ

The Supplemental  Appropriations bill is being debated on the House floor right now.  The following amendment on No Permanent Bases in Iraq will be considered.  Votes are expected from 2:30 to 5:30pm this afternoon.

Please make a phone call to your Representative’s office as soon as you get this! 

Tell your Representative to support the No Permanent Bases Amendment to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill!  You should also tell your Representative to vote against additional money for the Iraq War.

You can reach the Capitol Hill Switchboard at: 888-355-3588 or 202-224-3121

Here’s the appeal from Lee and Allen:

Support the Lee-Allen-Hinchey-Schakowsky Amendment:

No Permanent Bases in Iraq

March 16, 2006

Dear Colleague:

The President has stated on several occasions that we will stay in Iraq not one day longer than necessary, a policy reiterated in the President’s Strategy for Victory in Iraq . Last month Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told members of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee that:

” We have no desire to have our forces permanently in that country. We have no plans or no discussions under way to have permanent bases in that country.”

Military experts have cited our very presence in Iraq as a recruiting tool for the insurgency. Last year, General George Casey testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that:

“to gradually reduce the visibility of coalition forces across Iraq [will be] taking away one of the elements that fuels the insurgency.”

As Congress debates supplemental funding for the war in Iraq, we should not miss this opportunity to send the positive message to our troops on the ground and to the Iraqi people that we will not establish a permanent presence in that country. The Lee-Allen-Hinchey-Schakowsky Amendment would accomplish this by assuring that “None of the funds in this Act may be used by the US government to enter into a basing rights agreement between the United States and Iraq.”

Is This Site Next?

Cross-posted from Tammany on the Hudson

From the Jersey Journal:

By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

City Hall’s ban of an Internet message board critical of the administration has raised the eyebrows of the site’s owner, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.

City officials said they banned the Web site getnj.com roughly three months ago because of its below-the-belt comments, which one official described as “anonymous garbage.”

Hey, one man’s garbage – you know the rest.

Mike Ferguson Says Medicare Chief Doing “Great Work”

Congressman Mike Ferguson was an avid supporter of the Medicare Part D prescription plan when the bill passed back in 2003 after much arm-twisting by Republican leaders in the House and intentional misstatement of the true costs by the White House. 

The implementation of the plan has been disasterous, with many seniors who signed up for plans not being entered in the system and unable to get the drugs their doctors prescribed, “being turned away or overcharged at pharmacies, prompting more than a dozen states to declare health emergencies and pay for their life-saving medicines.”  Throughout the country, participation in the plan is significantly below expectations because of the confusing and often incomprehensible number of plan choices. 

On March 10, the Courier-Post reported that the State of New Jersey has stepped in to protect its seniors from being overcharged and denied needed drugs to the tune of $150 million.  That’s your state tax dollars being used to pay for a federal program that is not working properly, and the federal government is refusing to help out.

GOP campaign law violation in CO

I think we can expect these kind of tactics in NJ too.

Dems cry foul over GOP fundraiser invitation

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency violated federal campaign laws by allowing his name and title to appear on an invitation to a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Rick O’Donnell, the chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party alleged Friday.

Party leader Pat Waak filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, asking for an investigation into any laws that may have been broken in relation to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson’s appearance Thursday at a $300-a-plate fundraising lunch for O’Donnell in Denver.

“By exploiting Mr. Johnson’s role as EPA administrator, Mr. Johnson and the O’Donnell campaign have jeopardized what should be a distinct separation between public policy and partisan politicking,” Waak wrote.

O’Donnell is the lone Republican candidate running for the 7th Congressional District seat being vacated by Bob Beauprez. O’Donnell officially resigned Friday from his job as director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to campaign full-time.Officials from the O’Donnell campaign and the EPA have denied any wrongdoing in regard to Johnson’s visit.

The federal Hatch Act allows presidential appointees to stump on their own time for their favorite candidates, but it prohibits them from listing their titles on the invitations.

The subject line of an invitation e-mailed last week on behalf of former state health department Director Doug Benevento invited potential donors to a “Fundraiser with Administrator of EPA Stephen L. Johnson for Rick O’Donnell.”

The attached invitation was titled, “Fundraiser with Administrator of EPA.”

Benevento hosted the lunch at his Denver law firm, Greenberg Traurig, where he has practiced law since resigning from his state job Dec. 30.

He said Friday that the e-mail originated from his office, and that he was accountable for it. He said the e-mail did not violate the Hatch Act, since a government official didn’t send it.

“The fact of the matter is, a private citizen took it upon himself to change the subject line and sent an e-mail that was not approved by our campaign or the EPA,” O’Donnell campaign manager KC Jones said.

“Doug Benevento has apologized profusely and has said, ‘I did this. I did not know it was wrong. I’m sorry,’ ” she said.

Democrats said that Benevento was just taking the fall for the Republican Party.

“It’s the same culture of corruption stuff,” said Kate Bedingfield, regional spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“It’s tweaking the law here and bending the law there for personal gain.”

Menendez Backs Censure?

I’m not sure about this, but firedoglake posted today that New Jersey’s junior senator is backing Russ Feingold’s resolution censuring the President.

Laurie Kellman, Associated Press: 

Feingold introduced censure legislation Monday in the Senate, but not a single Democrat has embraced it.

What a lazy, dishonest hack job. John Kerry has been saying right out of the gate he would support the resolution, Boxer’s office has been confirming that she would and so has Menendez. And now Harkin (above) has signed on as a co-sponsor. Counting Feingold himself, that’s five.

If it’s true about Menendez, this is great news.  It doesn’t quite offset the Patriot Act vote, but together with his cloture vote on Alito it shows he is willing to stand strong against the national Republicans.