Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton to NJ March 29
Registration for non-Rutgers personnel opens TUES, March 20. Click for how to attend.
Learn More
NJ statehouse
Gov. Murphy presented his first state budget last week.
Bill Orr’s latest series digs into the issues, recommendations, and political climate
Learn More
The president is wrong. Let us not harden our schools. Instead, let us soften the world. – Kauffman
You should read this piece by Ronen Kauffman. So should Donald Trump.
Learn More
Zombie Apocalypse
In the midst of blaring, daily headlines of an unstable White House
We can’t miss the consequences of Trump’s predatory moves on healthcare. There’s trouble ahead.
Learn More
We stand behind New Jersey’s students
We are so proud of you.

Latest Posts

Ferguson: Out of the Mainstream on Contraception

Congressman Mike Ferguson’s opposition to contraception and family planning services is a lesser known cousin to his fervent opposition to abortion.  It is all tied up in the Right to Life community he is beholden to.  His positions on contraception, abortion, embryonic stem cell research and other issues are so far out of the mainstream that his colleagues in the House jokingly call him “Mr. Embryo.” He opposes such common sense programs such as requiring hospitals to inform rape victims that emergency contraception is available.

Recently a constituent received a letter from Ferguson that further illustrates his radical position, and his willingness to ignore facts and research to support it.  The entire letter is printed after this post, with the recipient’s name and address redacted, but here is the relevant part:

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) on June 16, 2005, offered an amendment to H.R. 2862, the annual appropriations bill that finances the State, Justice and Commerce departments, which would lift restrictions on U.S. taxpayer assistance to UNFPA. [United Nations’ Population Fund]

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced July 17, 2004, that UNFPA helped China manage programs that involved forced abortions.  Powell said at the time that the administration would continue to help women and children around the world through other programs.  The United States is the largest donor of bilateral assistance to help improve the health of women and children and provided more than $1.8 billion in 2004 through a U.S. Agency for International Development fund

Rep. Maloney’s amendment failed 192-233, and I voted against the amendment in the House.  I believe it is wrong for U.S. taxpayers to subsidize a program that aids in coerced abortions and forced sterilizations in China.

It’s true that the administration claims that the UNFPA is involved in China’s programs, but it’s also true that they have no evidence to back up the claim. 

Supplemental Spending Bill for War

As you probably know, the administration doesn’t put the war spending in the regular budget bill, but instead uses supplementals to fund the war.  Especially since it is an election year, they are asking for alot now, so they don’t have to bring the issue up again in the fall.  United for Peace and Justice is asking people to call their Senators and House members to ask them to say no to the supplemental.  They’ve of course made it more difficult by adding Katrina and Avian flu spending to bring the total to a $120 billion supplemental.  From UFPJ:

Bush asks for $72.4 Billion More

Total cost of war approaches $400 Billion

National “Vote No on the War Supplemental”
Call-in Day will be Tuesday, Feb. 28!

President Bush has submitted his “emergency” supplemental appropriation request to Congress.  He is asking for $72.4 billion for the continued occupation of Iraq and the war in Afganistan.  This is in addition to the $320 billion already spent on Iraq and Afganistan, and in addition to the $460 billion in military spending in the 2007 budget. 

Although we expected this supplemental request to include aid for the hurricane-ravaged gulf coast, that request will be made separately. This is to our advantage, this will be a clean vote on war funding.

About the Supplemental Appropriations process:  Both the House and the Senate will vote on the President’s request.  Amendments are allowed, they cannot change policy, but they can set conditions on the spending.  We expect a vote in the House as early as March 13.

Members of Congress have returned to their districts  (until Feb. 27) for the President’s day recess.

According to UFPJ, here’s how NJ’s congressmen voted on the supplementals for war over the past three years.  I’m not sure about Lautenberg’s record, but he could use a reminder.  The Senate is avoiding the issue of the war, since they passed Warner’s watered down version of Levin’s amendment calling for reports from the administration every 90 days on what his happening in Iraq, but no real call for an exit strategy.

Voted AGAINST supplemental spending for war over past three years:

1.  Andrews:  never
2.  LoBiondo:  never
3.  Saxton:  never
4.  Smith:  never
5.  Garrett:  never
6.  Pallone:  ’03, ’04, ’05
7.  Ferguson:  never
8.  Pascrell:  ’05
9.  Rothman:  ’05
10. Payne:  ’03, ’04, ’05
11. Frelinghuysen  never
12. Holt  ’03, ’04, ’05
13. Menendez:  ’03, ’05


Look! There Goes Junior’s Raison d’être!

We haven’t seen Kean Jr’s first ad yet, but we know what to expect.  As a moderate Republican in a blue state that doesn’t like Bush much, the logic that Kean Jr. will likely come out with is this:

Yes, I know 60% of you don’t like George Bush.  I’m not a Bush Republican..he doesn’t speak for me.  But the Republicans are in power at the Federal level, and I can get you more as a Republican, as an inside guy, than if you keep electing people who will be on the outside.  I’m in the room.  Oh yeah, did I mention that my dad was…..

Port Update

Knock Knock.
Who’s There?
I duh
I duh who?

I duhno.

That’s right folks, the famous, I dunno defense is now being toted by the White House. The problem is, people who work for the White House, actually DID know.

The next thing you know, the White House will no longer be commenting on an ongoing “investigation.” At least that is what the Karl Rove playbook says.

Also of interest, according to Think Progress, another law was broken, and our future Port operations managers in Dubai actually met with Osama Bin Laden.

Again use this as an open thread to voice your concerns about this National Security issue that our Senator Bob Menendez brought to the forefront of our national conversation.

News Round-up

News Round-up for Wednesday, February 22, 2006:

  • The State Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee started picking through the Medicaid budget yesterday in search of savings. The Committee proposed a new office of oversight for Medicaid spending, which is currently split between the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Human Services.
    • Governor Corzine stated yesterday that he wouldn’t consider privatizing the Turnpike to assist the failing Transportation Trust Fund. He stated his current choice will be to (sigh) borrow more money and refinance the existing debtload instead. The Governor said that this would not be the only facet of his plan but nothing else has been stated yet.
    • Controversey is swirling around Governor Corzine’s pick for state treasurer. Bradley Abelow has been accused by businessmen who say they were victims of a short-selling scheme by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., where Abelow was a board trustee. Abelow has stated that “lawsuits against DTCC “have been largely dismissed or withdrawn and have nothing to do with me personally or my service on the corporation board.””
    • Lawyers are arguing that Our Fair State’s new rules for pay-to-play restrictions are confusing. At a hearing yesterday for the Election Law Enforcement Commission, Dover Twp. (Ocean) attorney Garry Mundy testified about ill-defined terms, questionable timeframes for permissable donations, and whether local ordanances supersede or enhance the state’s ban, among other issues.
    • Acting Environmental Commissioner Lisa Jackson is requesting public hearings on safety of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. There are concerns with corrosion of liners at the site, vulnerablity to aircraft attacks, and monotoring and management of aging equipment. Excelon submitted an application for renewal of the power plant’s licence last summer; if renewed in 2009, the plant will remain licenced until 2029.
    • U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings makes her first visit to Our Fair State today. She will be speaking at Fairleigh Dickinson University then visiting the acclaimed Robert Treat Academy Charter School in Newark. She is not expected to visit any public schools where Children have been Left Behind.
    • NJ Transit is reviewing just how many people will use a proposed Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex rail line. Let’s hope they have better luck predicting ridership there than they did on the RiverLine.
    • The Star-Ledger editorial weighs in on the port deal with UAE-owned Dubai Ports World. Bush’s defense of his position on this deal? “Trust us.”
    • Have you heard the Sen. Menendez podcast interview? You can subscribe to BlueJersey’s podcast so you never miss one!

      Cino Says United States Navy Should Take Over Ports

      Cino Says United States Navy
      Should Take Over Ports

      Cino Says National Security Paramount

      Michael J. Cino Congressional Candidate in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District states that the United States Navy should step into the Port Deal, exercising eminent domain on the basis of National Security Concerns, and take over all the ports covered by this transaction.

      The Attorney General should then be directed to properly compensate the current seller in this transaction.

      The United States Navy would then have a new ports from which we can DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE OUR HOMELAND SECURITY.

      “The Sailors in the Navy are already on this Nation’s payroll.  How hard is it to have the Navy expand its role in Port Security?  Commodore John Barry would not believe any of this – he would be shaking his head,” Cino stated.

      Commodore John Barry, of Irish descent, was recently recognized by the United States Congress as the First Flag Officer of the United States Navy – Michael J. Cino is a Candidate in the June 6 Republican Primary in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District which includes Northern Bergen County, Sussex, Warren and Upper Passaic Counties.

      Open Thread on Ports

      Quick idea.

      How about we let the United Arab Emirates folks pay for the dredgeing of the Delaware River!

      For those of you listening to the aweful media coverage on this, remember how simple this is.

      The President, acting without Congress, approved the sale of our ports to a nation that is a terrorist sponsor, and has a huge economic relationship with Iran (axis of evil).

      Use this as an open thread to discuss the President making a major business deal with a terrorist sponsoring nation!

      Tough challenges when you renew and reuse

        Ooooh that smell
        Can’t you smell that smell

          Lynyrd Skynyrd

      “Organic recycler faces regulatory wrath” is the headline of this article in Monday’sTimes of Trenton, but you might wonder why after reading the opening paragraphs:

      Eastern Organic Resources has big plans for the decomposing fruit, vegetables and grass clippings it collects at its composting plant in Springfield, Burlington County, hoping to enclose the pungent piles and generate enough methane gas to power a 5-megawatt cogeneration plant at neighboring McGuire Air Force Base.

      If the company wins approval from regulators, it would be the first commercial food waste composter in the state to produce both soil and fuel, solid waste experts say.

      Eastern Organic’s plans sound like a win-win scenario. But read on and you’ll
      understand the problem in a story that highlights the pitfalls and promise of
      recycling and renewable energy.

      New Jersey Will Sue to Block Port Deal

      Corzine has asked that state and federal lawsuits be filed to prevent the sale of our ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates::

      [T]he Port Authority of New York & New Jersey will seek to terminate its lease with Port Newark Container Terminal, a current operator at Port Newark. Under the terms of the lease, the type of transaction engaged in with Dubai Ports World requires prior written approval from the Port Authority; none was sought and none was given. The lawsuit will be filed in Superior Court in Essex County.


      Corzine also directed Attorney General Zulima Farber to file a lawsuit in federal court based on the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives independent sovereignty to the states. As part of the suit, the state will assert its independent authority and obligation to protect New Jersey citizens and the Port of Newark.

      Rich Sexton, Assemblyman Joe Roberts, Senator Shirley Turner, Assemblyman Joe Pennachio, Assembly Speaker Albio Sires and Assemblyman Tom Kean Jr all jumped on the deal-blocking bandwagon today.

      Ferguson’s Polluted Slide in Washington

      We have long maintained on this site that Congressman Michael Ferguson presents a moderate face to the 7th Congressional District, but that when he goes down to Washington DC he removes the mask and votes as the true right wing conservative he truly is.  For a time, he could get away with it and even fool progressive organizations into believing they could work with him. 

      As a result, early in his tenure Ferguson received endorsements from groups like the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), a non-partisan organization that endorses Democrats and Republicans.  In 2001, LCV gave Ferguson an impressive 71 percent rating for his first year in Congress and endorsed his reelection in 2002.

      Then things changed, and Ferguson’s true voting patten emerged.  After starting well, Ferguson finished his first full term with a lowly 59 percent rating.  His second term score dropped even farther, slipping to 35 percent over 2003 and 2004 and losing the LCV endorsement.

      Today the LCV ratings for 2005 came out and, as predicted last week, his environmental record plummetted to a lowly 17 percent