RESIST sign
Pretty sure Trump just saw this
Flying into Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster
Impeachment Explained
Are we there yet?
Probably not. But Robert Reich is ready to walk you through how it works
Pinelands
The right choice for the Pinelands
Who gets the next seat on Pinelands Commission? A qualified environmentalist or another fossil-fuel advocate?
Anonymous person
Where was Phil Murphy during this battle?
The de facto leader of the party was campaigning, raising funds in Israel, and conspicuously absent during negotiations. Negotiations? He’s a friggin’ ambassador. Diplomat. Trained in negotiating.
Christie on bridge
Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee
Hispanics in NJ: Their wondrous diverse culture, political strength and life stories
Bill Orr’s latest series

Latest Posts

Heads up: Codey on The Daily Show tonight

Hotline’s Last Call says that Dick Codey will be on the Daily Show tonight:

“Peggy Noonan and NJ Acting Gov. Dick Codey (D) on “The Daily Show” (Comedy Central, 11 pm).”

but the Daily Show’s website says:

TONIGHT: Author of “John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father,” Peggy Noonan! Plus, Jason Jones on “New Jersey Slogan!”

I think Jason Jones is just doing a segment which will feature Codey, so it won’t be a live interview with Jon. Most likely they’ll splice together content completely out of context to make him look ridiculous. Those are the best segments.

Did Corzine Tip His Hand?

The Inside Edge has a scoop:

In August, Governor-elect Jon Corzine contributed $2,600 to Albio Sires’ campaign for Congress — a campaign that only takes place if Corzine appoints Bob Menendez to the United States Senate. Corzine gave Sires $500 on August 7th and then another $2,100 eleven days later.

Could mean nothing, but could be telling.


VOTE IN THE POLL: DOES THIS MEAN ANYTHING?


Update: Thinking on this, it seems sort of odd.  If this contribution had been public prior to the election it would have set off all kinds of firestorms.  The Republicans would have gone nuts, saying Corzine had made up his mind and refused to be honest with the public.  Also, it would have played into their “Boss of Bosses” theme.

Southern NJ Democrats would have gone nuts that Corzine was hiding this from them just to keep their support, and maybe have stayed home/withheld support on election day.  Progressives would have had the same sort of pique because Payne, Pallone and Holt were blown off.

It just made no sense for him to tip his hand that early.  There was too much risk.

However, why else make the contribution unless to make the point that Menendez was his guy?  That money would have been just as helpful to a Congressional run now as it was then.  Sires isn’t spending any cash at this point for Congress.  He didn’t need the money then as opposed to now unless it was a promise.

Making the contribution — unless there are others out there we don’t know about — was pretty risky.  If he picks Menendez now, it will start a new round of weak press releases from GOP chair Tom Wilson.

USA Today pushes for Nia Gill

Like it or not, race and gender tends to be a player in who Gov. Elect Corzine picks to fill his Senate seat.  That doesn’t mean Corzine is racist or sexist, it just means that its the reality of the situation. It is shameful to think that someone will be appointed to any political position to pander to some gender or racial segment of the voting population. However, it is equally shameful that only 5 African Americans have served in the United States Senate, only one of which was a woman.

DeWayne Wickham of USA Today makes the case for appointing State Senator Nia Gill. He mentions how Gill was the co-chair of Corzine’s campaign.  Which to me means that she knows how to run a campaign. In simpler terms, this means she can win an election.  

Wickham also makes an excellent point regarding the loss of black votes to Republicans.  He notes that this has occured in the past and that the recent appointments of Condi Rice and Colin Powell have played a role in the Republican gains in the black community.

Hey Assembly Speaker Roberts, we’re mad as hell (aren’t we?)

OK kids, what does a crooked congressman in CA remind you of?

(CNN) — Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham said Monday he is resigning from Congress after pleading guilty to taking more than $2 million in bribes in a criminal conspiracy involving at least three defense contractors.

Hint: look in the mirror

(NJ Times 11/11/05) “Whatever we do [about proposed campaign finance legislation] has to be constitutionally sound, and when you talk about restraining the ability of citizens to make legal political contributions, like it or not, that’s affecting their First Amendment rights, and I think it’s irresponsible for members of the Legislature to advocate a position that is constitutionally unsound,” Roberts said.

Another hint: compare the above with George Bush and Orrin Hatch on McCain Feingold

BUSH [to Hatch]: I believe the McCain Feingold bill will hurt the Republican Party and hurt conservative causes.

HATCH: [The] bill is unconstitutional. [It] leaves all the first amendment rights for the public interest groups to speak and do whatever they want to and raise any kind of moneys they want to and takes away the first amendment rights from the two political parties…

Blue 7th Calls On Ferguson to Return Dirty Money

Blue 7th PAC called today for Congressman Mike Ferguson (NJ7) to return a $1,000 contribution he received from convicted felon Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Cunningham pled guilty today to conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004. Cunningham also resigned his Congressional seat in disgrace.

Ferguson is tied financially with the three main criminal corruption probes currently facing the Congress.  He has:

  • Received $54,403 over seven years from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), indicted for money laundering and conspiracy to violate Texas campaign finance laws;
  • Contributed $27,000 in 2004 to House candidates from Texas supported by Tom DeLay;
  • Received $1000 from Randy Cunningham in 2004, who pled guilty today;
  • Received $132,000 in 2001 from a Retaining Our Majority Program fundraiser coordinated by Jim Ellis, Tom DeLay’s treasurer and co-defended for money laundering and conspiracy to violate Texas campaign finance laws;
  • Received $1000 in 2001 from Jack Abramoff, indicted for wire fraud and conspiracy in a case involving mob-style executions and floating casinos;
  • Received $1000 in 2001 from Adam Kidan, indicted with Jack Abramoff for wire fraud and conspiracy.

In late September Abby Bird, Ferguson’s spokeswoman, was quoted in The Express Times saying that Ferguson refused to return the DeLay money.  Bird was also quoted in an August Asbury Park Press article that Ferguson would keep the Abramoff contributions, as well.

Corzine to make interim appointment?

I think this it’s unlikely that Corzine would decide to appoint a caretaker, but that’s what some are suggesting, according to politicsnj:

Some Democratic insiders are increasingly coming to believe that Governor-elect Jon Corzine might be better off making an interim appointment to fill his United States Senate seat and allowing Democrats to nominate their own Senate candidate in the June primary, two Democratic County Chairmen told PoliticsNJ.com today. One Chairman noted that Corzine is having an “impossible time” trying to please his allies — many of whom have very different views about his potential choice.

Menendez – The New Jersey GOP’s Best Pick to Replace Corzine

First, the good news for Pope Bobbie – his name has been in lots of newspapers lately speculating on his chances to replace Jon Corzine as US Senator.

Now, the bad news – reality.  Very little of the publicity is positive at all.  

The folks over at Red State has the facts boiled down tightly.  Menendez has money, otherwise he wouldn’t be considered at all.  He isn’t well-known in New Jersey (at least not until the last month or so) and among those that know him, he isn’t well-liked.  Part of this has to do with the fact that he is far too liberal for conservatives and his vote for the bankruptcy reform bill has sunk his reputation among liberals.

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.