Menendez joined 17 Democrats in voting for the budget reconciliation, the one containing $70 billion in tax cuts. The 17 are more or less a laundry list of who is up for re-election this year. Lautenberg voted against, as did four Repugs .
Apparently, political footing isn’t quite as sure as it used to be. Joe Cryan lost his shot at being the next chair of the Democratic State Committee. Why?
Cryan was accused of pocketing an envelope stuffed with $100 bills during a fund-raiser five years ago
(Cross-posted from Blanton’s and Ashton’s)
Let me tell you about my mother-in-law and father-in-law.
My mother-in-law is in her seventies now. She is a terrific woman with a wonderful character and a mind that is as sharp as a razor. She was an incredibly hard worker and, even now, it is hard to imagine her as less than a force of nature. She used to make great babkas (but never less than five or six at at time because her recipe wouldn’t work if she cut it down), is a terrific pinochle player, and loves to laugh as much as she loves to do anything. When she was a young woman and fresh out of high school she joined the Navy so she could see the world. She saw Kansas as a Navy air traffic controller, and has more than once mentioned that she was the person who taught Allen Shephard how to land an airplane.
Mr father-in-law, also in his seventies, is just as terrific. I cannot tell you how many people have told me that my father-in-law “introduced me to my wife”…and they weren’t angry at him, either. He loves to talk. If you need a joke, he’s your go-to guy. He has a huge heart and he’s generous beyond sensibility. At the age of 68 he took up golf and he plays every chance he can get. The joke is that he’ll try out for the Senior Tour when he’s old enough.
This is what happens when “moderate” republicans abandon their principles in the name of loyalty to a party gone mad. The AP reports:
A federal judge blasted former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman on Thursday for reassuring New Yorkers soon after the Sept. 11 attacks that it was safe to return to their homes and offices while toxic dust was polluting the neighborhood.
Oh, and in case there was any doubt about her ruling, the Judge added:
“No reasonable person would have thought that telling thousands of people that it was safe to return to lower Manhattan, while knowing that such return could pose long-term health risks and other dire consequences, was conduct sanctioned by our laws,” the judge said.
Whitman had no comment, according to a spokeswoman. A Justice Department spokesman said the government had no comment.
Bad news Christie – this IS your party.
- Example is leadership.
- Albert Schweitzer
Christopher Dickey wrote an article on the Middle East reaction to the SOTU. It’s titled Battleground of Ideas. I read it yesterday, but it’s stuck with me, so I figured I’d share it. Following are some exerpts that struck me, but you should read the whole thing.
So only a few people in the region listened to President George W. Bush
deliver his State of the Union address last night. But they know the message,
now, almost as well as they know the call of the muezzin; it has been repeated
so often, so relentlessly, and so mechanically. The difference is that many
believe the muezzin, and few believe Bush.
We shouldn’t be surprised. The State of the Union, perhaps more than any other speech the president makes, defines the way the administration wants to see its world. But its narrative is so foreign to the thinking of most people in the Arab world that they’ve come to hear Bush’s language as a kind of code: “liberation” means occupation, “freedom” means war, “victory” means victims, “reconstruction” means chaos, “democracy” means following directives from Washington. Bush, whatever his intentionsâ€”and I think he should be credited with some good onesâ€”has come to be seen as a caricature, talking about strength and determination, projecting an image of stubbornness and confusion.
More below the fold.
Yesterday the GOP House of Representatives crafted a razor-thin victory that will shape all of our lives for decades. I wasn’t alone in decrying the lack of attention this measure got. Ihlin at dailyKos had a diary up lamenting how so little attention was paid to this vote, which basically served to ram Republican budget priorities down the throats of every American for years to come. This was a bill for the folks who’ve been seeking to brand “entitlements” as a code word for government hand outs that people don’t deserve.
Social Security and Medicare aren’t hand outs. They represent YOUR money. You paid in. Everybody does. In fact, every penny the government spends is your money. Branding government dollars as undeserved “entitlements” sure is a convenient way to bash senior citizens, the disabled and the poor; it’s also a great way to reward the wealthy friends of the GOP. (If you make less than $200,000 and vote GOP, you are voting against your own economic interests.) The only way to stop this BS is to defeat a few of the Congressional Republicans who keep this convenient “lie” going.
Vij Pawar, the 2002 Democratic nominee, appears likely in for another race against Rodney Frelinghuysen in NJ 11. Pawar and friends are shown having kicked in $2,712 in the latest Federal Election Commission report. He had spent $100.
In 2002, Pawar raised $15,000 and spent $19,000 while getting 26% of the vote against Frelinghuysen. There is a sizeable Indian community in Morris County including Parsippany, the county’s largest town.
Amy Vasquez is getting her toes wet in NJ 4, showing a $250 election kitty.
Maybe both openings will be filled.
The Hill is reporting that LoBiondo broke the tie to pass the budget in the House:
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) gave Blunt the margin he needed, breaking a 214-214 tie. The final tally was 216-214, with all of the Democrats who voted and 13 Republicans voting no.
Chris Smith (4th) was one of the 13 Repugs voting against it.
Newhouse News picked up again on Mike Ferguson’s refusal to return money he has received from Tom DeLay, the indicted former Republican Majority Leader of the House.
Ferguson has refused to refund $47,403 he received since 2000 from Americans for a Republican Majority, a political action committee tied to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who has been indicted on money-laundering charges in Texas and whose former aide Michael Scanlon has pleaded guilty in the Jack Abramoff bribery scandal.
Asked if he would refund the DeLay funding, Ferguson said, “No, I’m not going to. Those contributions were appropriate.”
Ferguson appears to have some pretty loose rationale for determining what makes a contribution appropriate or not.