Michael Avenatti
Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti
The Fluffer.
“Welcome to Herointown
NJ’s Opioid Crisis
Who’s got the best ideas?
Democracy is not for sale
Midterm Elections
“Money ... Money"
Moms Demand Action logo
How did Moms Demand Action “Gun Sense” group end up looking like they back the same guy the NRA does?
Good question.
Jeff Van Drew & NRA logo
DCCC pre-selects Jeff Van Drew - passing over the Black woman, Tanzie Youngblood, who DIDN’T wait for Lo Biondo’s retirement announcement
NRA: “A” rating. Marriage Equality: Voted No. Pro abortion limits. Pro pipeline. Awful enviro record. DINO.
Bob Menendez
To nobody’s surprise, Bob Menendez is running for re-election
Who do you talk about when you’re still under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee? Somebody whose ethics are worse ... Trump.
Let Us Be Part of the American Dream
Immigration Yesterday Today Tomorrow
There is nothing new in U. S. history about Trump’s anti-immigration policies.
Republican NJ Rep. Chris Smith
DCCC now has all 5 NJ Republican seats targeted for take-down
Chris Smith’s held his seat for 37 years. Dems now intend to take it away.

Latest Posts

Whatever Happened to Thanksgiving?

I’ve come to grips with the reality that there are some aspects of my childhood that will simply not be repeated for future generations.  Things like: watching a black-and-white TV with a set of rabbit-ears and having the incredible choice of three channels, watching the McDonald’s being built and counting the days until Ronald McDonald would whip out his huge scissors and the first Big Mac in town would be sold, and hearing from the pulpit that our faith should be shown, not shouted.

And I’m wondering how long it will be until Thanksgiving disappears. Christmas, despite right wing attempts to portray it as “under attack”, will never disappear.  The twin American Gods of Football and Shopping (both of which bow down before Gluttony) are simply too powerful.  Quite simply, there is too much cultural significance to Christmas for it to be endangered.  

Thanksgiving, however, gets a parade, two NFL football games (Dallas and Detroit), and – oh yeah, let’s not forget a four day weekend.  That four days is about the only thing that keeps Thanksgiving going.

Republicans Refuse to Honor Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen famously was “born in the USA,” but he’s getting scorned in the U.S. Senate.

An effort by New Jersey’s two Democratic senators to honor the veteran rocker was shot down Friday by Republicans who are apparently still miffed a year after the Boss lent his voice to the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

The chamber’s GOP leaders refused to bring up for consideration a resolution, introduced by Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Jon Corzine, that honored Springsteen’s long career and the 1975 release of his iconic album, “Born to Run.”

No reason was given, said Lautenberg spokesman Alex Formuzis. “Resolutions like this pass all the time in the U.S. Senate, usually by unanimous consent,” he said.

Telephone calls to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s office seeking comment were not immediately returned.


Murtha’s bill & the NJ delegation

The Repug’s are pushing for a vote today on Murtha’s bill.  He’s a defense hawk who is asking for troop withdrawal from Iraq within six months, since he doesn’t see the point of continuing.  

In an attempt to stop the momentum generated by Rep. Murtha’s courgeous
stand yesterday, it looks like the Republican Leadership is going to hold
an ‘up or down’ vote on Congressman Murtha’s Iraq resolution (H J Res 73)

Take one minute and call your Rep. urging them to vote yes on Murtha’s
bill for immediate withdrawal from Iraq!
Capitol Switchboard:
(while this is not the perfect bill, it does call for immediate withdrawal
from Iraq.  This sudden vote is an attempt by the Republicans to silence
the call for an end to the war, we cannot let them succeed!)

Sue Udry
Legislative Action Coordinator
United for Peace and Justice

I called Pallone, Holt, Andrews and Menendez’s offices.  The staff won’t state their positions, but the vote is up next on the floor (4pm).  They are supposed to adjourn at 6pm.

Will this vote affect their jockeying for the senate seat?

A conservative Christmas tradition

While waiting for the Wednesday morning traffic report on the way to work I had to endure the sound of Jim Gearhart playing Dr. Moreau to a livelier-than-usual mob of New Jersey 101.5 mouth-breathers, all whipped to a frenzy by the notion that Christmas is about to be banned by secular humanists in league with the ACLU.

This tired refrain, which used to be the province of the Tim LaHaye/James Dobson crowd (the sort of religious hysterics who scream about persecution because the eagle on the national seal hasn’t been replaced with a 3-D image of Jesus), is apparently going to be a popular conservative Christmas carol for years to come. I guess it really took hold last year, when Bill O’Reilly started babbling about liberals stealing candy canes off his Christmas tree and Ann Coulter exulted that whenever she said “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays,” she felt like she was saying “Fuck you.” Leave it to the family-values crowd to set an uplifting tone for the holidays.

Now, I’m sure we’re all impressed by the ability of right-wingers to turn anything — even Christmas! — into a vehicle for resentment and political attacks, but I’m also a traditional kinda guy. So let’s set at least one ground rule — no lying about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. The radio squawkers should like that: after all, there’ll be more people on the roads driving to the malls to do some shopping. And it will give the term “Black Friday” a whole new level of meaning. How about it, wingers?

Cross-posted at The Opinion Mill.

Runoff Voting

The Times of Trenton yesterday posted a letter about runoff voting from Steve Welzer, which discussed the Green Party’s impact on recent elections. He mentions that the Green Party candidates each received more than 2,000 votes; if those votes had gone to the Democrat Robert Morgan, the outcome of the election would have been different. This is a great argument for Instant Runoff Voting where voters can rank their choices. To quote Mr. Welzer’s letter:

Simply Unbearable

It’s almost a yearly argument. Each year, black bears stumble through backyards and parking lots in certain areas of New Jersey. While they wouldn’t mind finding a pick-a-nick basket, it seems they are actually more concerned with trash cans.

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife is charged with monitoring the black bear population.  They’ve recorded the following statistics for the years 2001-4:

Reports of bears who
1) dig in garbage – 1,433
2) damage a commercial beehive – 59
3) kill livestock – 104
4) enter a residence – 161
5) damage property – 410
6) attack a human – 5
7) enter a vehicle – 20

Tonight Thursday at 11 pm, WNBC-TV/4, the story of Lt. Laurel Hester…

…the police officer with cancer who was denied domestic partnership benefits for her partner.

This is just the beginning of our ferocious media and grassroots campaign that will not end until Laurel and her partner Stacee get justice.  This story represents so much of what all of us are fighting for: Marriage equality, because no other alternative, not domestic partnership benefits and not civil unions, will ever work in the real world to provide equality or dignity.

Steven Goldstein, chair
Garden State Equality

“You are not obligated to complete the work of justice, but neither are you free to refrain from it.”  – The Talmud

Wed Nov 23rd, 11 am Rally for NJ police officer with cancer denied domestic partnership benefits

OF THE HIGHEST URGENCY to LGBTI New Jerseyans and our thousands of straight allies from Steven Goldstein, chair, Garden State Equality, cell (917) 449-8918:

The word is spreading like wildfire and thousands of you are up in arms:  One of the most grotesque instances of homophobia in New Jersey history has just taken place in Ocean County.

As reported in the Asbury Park Press today, a policewoman with advanced lung cancer, deemed inoperable, was denied domestic partnership benefits for her partner because the Ocean County Administrator and Freeholders said it would not be “moral” to give such benefits to a same-sex couple.

3% of NJ could be underwater in 100 years

According to a study by researchers at Princeton University, ocean levels could rise 2 to 4 feet (see map on right for affected areas in red and blue, respectively) in the next 100 years as a result of global warming, which would leave up to 3% of New Jersey underwater:

“The ground is warming, the ocean surface is warming, the ice sheets are warming,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor in the university’s Department of Geosciences and one of the report’s authors. “And it may turn out that these projections for New Jersey are even a little optimistic.”

For each foot that the ocean level rises, 120 feet worth of inland ground will be lost in New Jersey. Doesn’t sound like much?

New Jersey is particularly vulnerable to any rise in sea level because it has a long coastline for a small state, a coastal population of about 5 million people, a $16 billion tourism industry in the Shore communities, and fragile ecosystems along the coast that support countless wetlands.

The possible solutions? Fight back with bigger, stronger barriers and keep replenishing beaches or withdraw the populations from affected areas. The wealthier communities may be able to fight it off for a while, but most will not. But to address the cause and not just the symptoms “in the long term the only solution is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Do that and you see a decrease in the rise of sea level.”

Democrats take control of Mercer County

After this year’s election, Democrats will hold all county-wide elected offices in Mercer County.

Democrats have held of the office of sheriff in Mercer since 1990. They took over the last of seven freeholder spots in 1994. The county executive seat was held by Republican Robert Prunetti for 24 years, until he retired in 2003. Democrat Brian Hughes challenged Republican Catherine DiCostanzo, who was clerk at the time, for the open position. Hughes won, and DiCostanzo retained her seat as clerk, the last remaining county-wide office still held by a Republican.

A few months ago, DiCostanzo made the following comment, which I couldn’t make up if I tried, when asked about the various problems in the clerk’s office:

“We serve the public – Democrats, Republicans, independents, atheists – this should not be partisan.”

After counting provisional ballots in this year’s election, DiCostanzo’s challenger, Democrat Paula Sollami-Covello, has a lead of 237 votes (out of over 94,000 cast) and will soon take office. I don’t know too much about Paula, but if I had to guess – I’m pretty confident she doesn’t consider atheism to be a political afiliation. And that’s not a bad start.