Storm over Congress
2018 midterm issues
If there’s a blue wave coming, what are the issues driving it?
Debate info
WEDNESDAYS in OCT: NJTV Debates
Next up: CD7 - Tom Malinowski v. Leonard Lance (Weds. Oct. 17)
Native American students
VOTE in Blue Jersey’s poll: Should NJ junk Columbus Day?
for Indigenous People’s Day (like other states)?
Voters stand in line
A convo about Dem Party reform
Toward a more transparent, justice-focused, fair & fierce progressive party
Khizr Khan and wife at Dem Convention
Gold Star father Khizr Khan for for Andy Kim
Watch.

Latest Posts

Menendez & Lautenberg: Speak Up

Progress Now reports that on Fox News Radio yesterday, Senator Wayne ‘Whiny’ Allard (R-CO) accused Senator Feingold of “[siding] with terrorists” for introducing legislation to censure the President. This cowardly statement – a blatant attempt to stifle a discussion of Bush’s illegal spying on Americans – deserves nothing less than a swift condemnation by every Senator. Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg need to strongly condemn these comments – not just to defend a colleague, but more importantly, the principles of democracy and open debate.

UPDATE: We have the audio now, thanks to AM 760 in Boulder.

Listen to Senator Allard:
“He has time and time again taken on the side of the terrorists that we are dealing with in this conflict.”

     

The Senate Majority Project points out that Whiney Allard is also a hypocrite:

Not so long ago, while Americans were serving in Yugoslavia, Allard was a war critic, voting against giving the president power to bring Slobodan Milosevic to justice and attacking the effort while troops were serving.

Allard Attacked Previous Administration for Attacking Slobodan Milosevic to Stop Brutal Campaign of Ethnic Cleansing

In March 1999, Allard strongly opposed NATO bombing missions in Serbian Yugoslavia, saying, “The (Clinton) administration, as in past missions, has no long-term plan beyond the bombings, and unfortunately, in the end these bombing strikes will accomplish very little; in fact, they may even strengthen the hand of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.” Allard also explained that he did not support the U.S. involving itself in civil conflicts [Rocky Mountain News, 3/24/1999].

Now I Understand Why Ferguson Hates Your iPod

Last week Congressman Mike Ferguson (R-NJ7) proposed a bill to block people from recording radio shows and listening to them later on their iPods or other portable listening devices.

This caused an uproar amongst many in the blogsphere and in circles where people respect freedom, and many suggested that Rep. Ferguson was simply trying to score points with the RIAA and other music industry campaign contributors.

But today we find out that Rep. Ferguson had altruistic motives in preventing people from using their iPods as they wish.  Yes, the anti-iPod bill was simply the first salvo in an attempt to protect our young ears from the damage of too loud headphones.

I went to this morning’s press conference at the National Press Club on hearing-loss concerns related to the use of portable media players like iPods as well as CD and DVD devices.

The American Speech-Language Hearing Association which held the press conference released a survey whose implications are very troubling. The poll by Zogby International found that significant percentages of the high schoolers surveyed reported signs of hearing loss. …

Meanwhile, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) who, along with Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-NJ) spoke at the event, said he thought that hearing loss was one issue over which lawmakers might be able to call a truce.

“This is an issue, where there will be, in my opinion a bipartisan coalition of Democrats and Republicans. It’s very hard to find the liberal or conservative way of looking at hearing loss, the damage that could be done to children that would affect them for a lifetime.”

Yes, Mike Ferguson just wants to engage in a bipartisan effort to protect all of us from the vagaries of early hearing loss, and if the RIAA and Sony have to make more money because of his selfless goal, then so be it.

Thanks, Mike, for everything you do.

Now if only we could get an up or down vote on over the counter Plan B!

A GOP IPO

We were passed along this invitation to a Dick Cheney/Tom Kean Jr fundraiser that’s happening next week…

Notice of Republican Investment Opportunity: Dick Cheney To Host Fundraiser For Tom Kean Jr

All proceeds to be deposited in:

Jr & Jr Inc
A Political Hedge Fund

George Bush Junior & Tom Kean Junior
‘Investing In The Political Alliance’

A GOP IPO (Invitation to Political Oblivion)

“Our campaign will be for those who are ready to aim higher.” – Tom Kean, Jr

Call on Supplemental Spending Bill & no bases in Iraq

Here’s Peace Action’s call to oppose funding the war, but suppport no permanent bases in Iraq.

The House of Representatives could be be voting on the $72 billion dollar budget supplemental appropriations bill to fund Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistanas soon as tomorrow.

Please take the time to call your representative between 9:00AM and 5:30PM EST today or early tomorrow at 800.614.2803* to tell them:

“I’m a memeber of Peace Action. Please vote against the supplemental money for war in Iraq and please support amendments from Representaives Allen (D-MA) and Lee (D-CA) that call for a prohibition on permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.”

… Please spread the word as far and wide as possible.

3/14/06 News Roundup

  • Hudson County prosecutor Edward DeFazio announced that police “seized more than 27,000 bags of heroin with a street value of more than $250,000” from a Hoboken-based cartel on March 6.  The alleged leaders of the drug ring were arrested as well as a number of participants.  There are going to be a lot of nervous, disappointed addicts in Hudson County this month.
  • The Jersey Journal has opened nominations for its Everyday Hero Awards.  Click this link for details.  If you know someone who qualifies, nominate him or her.  That’s nice, no?
  • Trenton lawmakers were warned by Philip D. Murphy, a retired Goldman, Sachs & Co. executive who chaired a special task force that looked at the public pension funding crisis,  that “the state needs to stop using gimmicks and borrowing to prop up the pension system.”  There is no truth to the rumor that Penn and Teller have been hired to keep the pension system solvent.
  • The Gannett State Bureau is reporting a rumor from “three people familiar with the administration’s thinking” that Governor Corzine is considering ways to raise an additional $1.5 billion via new or increased taxes.  Yes, I know it hurts, but this is the budget mess he inherited, and magic won’t make it go away.  And no, I don’t like it either.
  • Wally Edge says that “Democratic insiders speculate that Corzine will back New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs.”  Governor, if you have to back a sitting Senator, Russ Feingold has been a staunch opponent of the Iraq War and has been showing he is one of the few in the Senate with actual spine.  I’m just sayin’.  (Views stated here are not necessarily representative of Bluejersey.net as a whole, or even of my views.  In fact, I would say that I am probably not qualified to speak for me, but I do have my power of attorney.)
  • Governor Corzine made the following appointments to the State Planning Commission: Bradley Abelow, Treasurer; Lisa P. Jackson, Commissioner; Kris Kolluri, Commissioner; Deborah A. Mans, Smart Growth Ombudsman. Shouldn’t that be “Ombudsperson”?
  • Also, the second week of March is Procrastination Week.  I meant to report that last week, but somehow I just never got around to it.
  • A Liberal Dose: We Need a Budget that is, ahem, “Fair & Balanced”

    There is no doubt that New Jersey faces another very difficult budget situation. Years of failing to step up to the plate to meet the needs of this state’s citizens are now paying compound interest of the most painful kind.

    The Fairness Alliance has spoken before about how to deal with the reality that state government in New Jersey has not been taking adequate measures to meet its obligations. One of our suggestions was, in part, followed—and as a result New Jersey is now requiring from its highest earning households something closer to their fair share of the income tax burden. It was—and is—our feeling that the state income tax increase enacted in 2004 should have included households making in the area of $200,000 a year.

    We have also called in the past for repealing the state income tax cuts of the 1990s that so far have cost the state $15 billion in lost revenue and caused local property taxes to rise beyond many peoples’ ability to pay.

    We have noted the need to extend the state sales tax to cover transactions more likely to be made by upper-income residents and we have discussed establishing a wealth tax that would make the overall system fairer by recognizing that vast assets of the super-rich go untaxed while the principal assets of low- and middle-income families—their homes—are taxed at a high rate.

    This year, the Fairness Alliance eagerly awaits the proposals to be made by a new Governor.

    WWJD?

    What Will Junior Do?

    So Tom Kean Jr. has 3 days until Tuesday to make a decision and Bergen County Republican Chair Guy Talarico says the clock is ticking…

    According to PoliticsNJ, Bergen County GOP Chairman Guy Talarico has given U.S. Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr three days to decide whether he will run on the organization line. READ the letter

    This is made more interesting by the fact that it’s set against the backdrop of the infighting withing the Bergen County Republican Organization

    Junior has to choose. Will he run on the line of Party chairman Talarico and Todd Calguire? Or will he run on the line with Alan Marcus who is callenging Talarico for chair along with Kathleen Donovan? Donovan and Calaguire are both vying in the primary to unseat Democratic County Executive Dennis McNerney in November.

    I’m gonna sit back, make some popcorn and enjoy the show.  Won’t you join?

    Support Haddon Twp Domestic Partner Resolution TOMORROW

    Kathy Hogan, the openly gay Deputy Mayor of Haddon Township, led the effort in 2004 to grant pension benefits to domestic partners in Haddow Township. She recently introduced a resolution to grant health benefits to domestic partners of municipal employees. The problem is that the other two commissioners – Mayor William Park and Commissioner James Broderick – are opposed to the resolution.

    They need to see that voters and township employees support extending benefits to domestic partners.

    Residents of Haddon Twp and nearby Camden County communities (Haddon, Haddonfield, Collingswood, Cherry Hill, Pennsauken, Woodlynne, Oaklyn) are encouraged to attend the “Commissioner’s Caucus” meeting at 7:00PM tomorrow at the Haddon Township Municipal Building, 135 Haddon Avenue in Westmont.

    If you can’t make it, you can call them and respectfully let them know you support the domestic partner resolution:

    Haddon Twp Mayor William Park: 856-854-1176 Ext. 137 
    Commissioner James Broderick: 856-854-1176 Ext. 112

    And send Kathy some love, too:
    Kathleen Hogan: 856-854-1176 Ext. 156

    Below is a letter Kathy wrote the mayor and commissioner responding to their concerns.

    NJ Law Journal Comes Out in Favor of Gay Marriage

    This is a big deal. Today the New Jersey Law Journal, which is read by thousands of lawyers, judges and their staffers across the state, endorsed marriage for same-sex couples. This is the same paper that in the past was only willing to support civil union.

    Some excerpts:

    The state’s reliance on the historical definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman fails in our view because it seeks to use past discrimination to justify continuing the practice. The fact is that society no longer subscribes to the so-called “traditional” view of marriage, which derives from a time when wives were deemed chattel, when they could not own property in their name, and when they could not be raped by their husbands. None of these “traditional” views of marriage remain part of our jurisprudence.

    Each time our American society has pondered extending fundamental rights – from emancipation, to women’s suffrage, to Civil Rights, to interracial marriage, to gay and lesbian adoption – a vocal majority has feared that the extension of our basic rights to the minority would alter the American way of life. Those fears have always proved unfounded, even if the majority was not always ready to immediately accept the change.

    A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in this case will not signal the unwarranted usurpation of the legislative function by an “activist” court. Rather, it would serve as a text-book example of the Court doing what it is constitutionally compelled to do – protect the rights of the minority where the Legislature has failed to do so.

    The editorial is behind a subscription firewall, but it’s so good that I’m including the full text of it below. That’s probably a really bad idea considering the journal is run by a bunch of lawyers…

    Are All Politics Local?

    Fortunately, today we have an opportunity to help answer that question. Let’s partake in the political process as a team!

    Over the weekend, Sen. Russ Feingold announced he was going to introduce a motion to censure the President. This is largely a symbolic gesture to ask the Congress to hold the President’s feet to the fire over his blatant disregard for the law (see wiretapping, domestic and warrantless).

    Russ is reaching out to the netroots today with a diary on DailyKos, following suit is Atrios and Firedoglake , and Anonymous Liberal with a call to help them help Russ.

    All you have to do is contact Sen. Lautenberg, and Sen. Menendez and ask them if they support Sen. Feingold’s censure, if not why not, and if so have they made any plans to talk to the press about it.

    Sen. Lautenberg:
    (202) 224-3224

    Sen. Menendez:
    (202) 224-4744

    While you are at it, you can call the rest of your Congresscritters (find them here, and ask them the same questions.

    Below the fold are some talking points you can refer to on these exciting phone calls.

    Once you do, report back here (in comments), and I will report back to Firedoglake and in the end, we should have a report about how all Congresscritters feel about  Russ Feingold’s maneuver. Of course, any congressfolk (or their authorized representatives that are reading this) can directly answer these questions in comments.

    Have fun engaging in the political process!

    UPDATE: Feingold to speechify at 4PM

    As Shakespeare’s Sister reminds us, censuring a sitting President hasn’t been accomplished since Jackson.  I realize that like many other things these days, censuring Bush may require a pig and some anal unicorns to take flight but we can at least make a phone call to see if the forecast calls for swine.