Tag Archive: Tom Kean Sr

Challenges for our higher education

The University of Wisconsin is well known for its sports teams and tonight plays against Duke University for the national NCAA basketball title. Wisconsin is also known for its academic excellence. Such did not stop Republican Governor Scott Walker (a presidential wannabe) from making national headlines in February when his proposed state budget included sharp reductions in funding and redefined the mission of the University of Wisconsin as “to develop human resources to meet the State’s workforce needs.” Following much protest he retracted the mission statement. How about a better mission such as “The arts and sciences prepare students for a lifetime of success by developing inventive employees and thoughtful citizens who are vital to a vibrant culture and democracy.”

In our governor’s proposed 2016 budget there is the claim, “Among Governor Christie’s highest priorities has been strengthening New Jersey’s higher education community.” Nonetheless his current budget reduces the operating expenses of our senior public colleges and universities. Such represents just one example of where his budget is lacking.  

The legislature has a proposed resolution (ACR220) which “encourages four-year public and 12 independent institutions of higher education to offer baccalaureate degree programs that cost no more than $10,000 in tuition and fees.” For such an aspiration to become a reality, the legislature would have to increase higher education operating expenses not reduce them, and the institutions would have to rethink their business plan.

The 2010 Report of the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education chaired by Tom Kean Sr. said, “The State must provide the resources for students who have the intellectual ability to go to college but cannot afford to attend. Institutions must be accountable for successfully fulfilling their distinctive missions. New Jersey’s economic development depends on their success.” We have a long way to go to meet these challenges. The process includes more appreciation for the broader mission of higher education, the need for additional financial student aid, a higher investment on the part of the state, and a better business plan from individual institutions.  

Afternoon Election News

Some news trickling into the Blue Jersey center you might find interesting:

  • Here’s another sign Steve Rothman’s early endorsement of Barack Obama increased his standing:

    Congressman Steve Rothman has accepted an invitation from Senator Barack Obama to be with him at the election night event in Chicago tomorrow evening.  Rothman was the first Member of Congress in the 8 northeastern states to endorse Obama and has served as Northeast Regional Chair of the campaign since July of 2007.

  • Politickernj tells us Hillary Clinton recorded a robocall for Josh Zeitz
  • Politico says Tom Kean may be considered for Education Secretary by Obama. Don’t faint: That’s Tom Kean Sr., not Jr.  
  • Rasmussen Reports has Barack Obama leading by 15, 57-42.  I suppose the good news for McCain is that 42 matches his best poll result in the last three weeks. Obama has a 63% favorable rating.
  • Update: Rush Holt has asked County Clerks to distribute supplemental poll books:

    I was very troubled to read today, in the Asbury Park Press, that some number of voters ? possibly thousands — whose registrations met the October 14 voter registration deadline were not included in the official election rolls in your county, and that instead of distributing to your poll workers supplemental poll books including the names of those voters you will be requiring those duly-registered voters to cast provisional ballots.  This places those voters, unnecessarily and unjustly, at a greater risk of not having their votes counted in this historic election.

    I am writing to strongly request that you distribute supplemental poll books to your poll workers so that they will have every opportunity and ability to confirm that all voters in this election who registered before the deadline are in fact duly registered, and therefore entitled to cast a regular ballot.  In addition, I strongly request that, to the extent that any voters may still be required to cast a provisional ballot, that you take all necessary steps to ensure that the provisional ballots of all voters who registered by the October 14 deadline are counted, whether you timely entered their names into the rolls or not.

  • Update 2: Barack Obama’s maternal grandmother has died.  
  • Questions for Tom Kean

    The 9/11 Commission was “chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks.”  Glenn Greenwald has been highlighting that last weekend, “Attorney General Mukasey claimed that, prior to 9/11, the Bush administration was aware of a telephone call being made by an Al Qaeda Terrorist from what he called a ‘safe house in Afghanistan’ into the U.S., but failed to eavesdrop on that call.”  This is a remarkable claim because no such episode is described in the Commission Report.  In fact, after hearing about this story yesterday, I re-read the relevant Chapters 5, 7, and 8:  While it is clear that there was contact between Afghanistan and the U.S.A., there is nothing that corresponds to Mukasey’s tale.  We face the disturbing alternatives that either the Attorney General is telling a false story, or the Report is missing what would plainly be an important fact.  

    Greenwald has e-mailed Chairman Tom Kean to ask about this incident.  Here are his questions:

    I interviewed Phil Zelikow via email, who said that he has never heard of any incident of the type alleged by Mr. Mukasey to have occurred. Is the Attorney General’s claim about this incident true? Was the 9/11 Commission ever made aware of any such claim?

    Will Tom Kean answer, even if he has to show that a high level Bush Administration official using false claims to exploit the 9/11 attack?  You might recall that just last December Kean said the CIA impeded the 9/11 Commission.  

    Reaping What Their Parents’ Sow

    We already know Tom Kean Jr. pales in comparison to his father in terms of political acumen.  We regularly see comparisons between father and son that don’t look too good for the son, with Senior’s success and reputation raising expectations for Junior — expectations Junior can’t meet.

    Now we see a new problem for Tom Kean Jr. when it comes to his father: Dad’s negatives attach to the son, as well.

    Yet with state debt at an all-time high and public pension and health care expenses rising, the political leadership agrees the time has finally arrived to take the car into the garage to do something about the spending, even if some are unhappy about it.

    “There’s a great deal more (cutting of) waste and structural reform that need to be implemented if we’re going to get to the goal of making the state more affordable,” state Senate Republican Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean Jr., of Union County, said. “We have to look at everything.”

    Yet when Kean’s father, Thomas H. Kean Sr., was governor in the 1980s, state spending doubled during his eight years in office.

    Oooooh, it was your own family’s fault?  Daaaaaaammmmmmnnnnnn.

    The truth is that Kean Sr. not only drastically jacked spending but also handed his successor, Jim Florio, a massive deficit that Florio closed with increased taxes.

    Yes, that’s right.  Kean Sr.’s spending caused Florio’s tax increase.

    It’s an old Republican trick since the Reagan days.  They get in power and spend like drunken sailors, then give up power to the Democrats and scream to the rafters about taxes increasing to pay for their own excesses.  

    They get to give the public all the goodies of increased spending, then blast the Democrats who are forced to pay for it.

    And that’s just what Junior’s doing today.  Corzine inherited a mess that was in no small way created by 16 years of Kean Sr. and Whitman spending, debt and government growth.  Kean Jr. and Kate Whitman are now blasting Corzine and making fixing it harder.

    Because, you see, it’s more important to get back in power so they can spend again than to actually fix the situation and help New Jerseysans.

    Tom Kean Sr Says Iraq Was a Mistake

    In a report on NJN by Zachary Fink last night, they revealed that Tom Kean Sr, in an interview done earlier this year, has said the Iraq War was a mistake, putting him at odds with his son:

    FINK (voiceover): In an interview last spring, Kean’s father, the former governor and chairman of the 9/11 commission, said he thought the war was a mistake.

    Kean Sr (from April 7 sitdown with NJN): Iraq is a situation that’s developed after our action. We have to deal with that instability. But if you want to go back historically, that wasn’t the place to go.

    FINK (voiceover): Kean has been campaigning with his father this fall but seems to have staked out a different position on Iraq.

    FINK (today, outside statehouse): Was it a mistake?

    Kean Jr: I will not be asking what ifs. It’s a disrespect to the troops who have their lives and sacrificed so much over the last several years. The important question is what’s next.

    So Tom Kean Jr either believes his father (who is now a centerpiece of his campaign) is disrespecting our troops or he’s being disengenuous and is just afraid to answer an important question.

    New York Times: Junior to Suddenly Become Positive

    The New York Times is reporting that Candidates in New Jersey Try to Show a Softer Side.  What’s happened is that Junior has suddenly realized he has followed the failed Forrester 2004 path:  lots of negative ads against a Democrat, and not a single reason to vote for the Republican challenger.  Kean’s campaign is specially notable since it has consisted entirely of smears.  He jumped immediately into attacks, even when they had little basis. Indeed, The New York Times and the Star-Ledger debunked the Junior’s first smear, the Jersey Journal and Xpatriated Texan debunked Junior’s second smear, and the Star-Ledger exposed Kean’s partnership with a imprisoned criminal.  You might wonder what this leap into the gutter shows about Tom Kean Jr’s character, but it’s hard to think of the right words.  Fortunately, the New York Times consulted with a Hunter College professor, who said:

    You know you’re going to be attacked, so attack first, pre-emptively. That’s kind of pathological.

    So now what?  Well, we know the national Republican party is considering spending millions on negative ads.  Meanwhile, Junior will campaign with his father and show one TV ad with his family where he says he will stand up for New Jersey.  This is supposed to show he is bipartisan through some “genetic” effect, even though Tom Kean Sr is actually just negative campaigning too:

    Tom Kean Sr., the respected former governor and father of the Republican running for senator from New Jersey, again attacked his son’s opponent over ethics concerns Tuesday, even as a new poll finds voters weary of all the negative campaigning.

    The bottom line is that Tom Kean Jr. sought an office with no motivating idea for his campaign, other than than personal ambition to fulfill his family destiny.  His bid is now failing because he has run without any sense of shame or restraint, and of course because his party under George W. Bush has lead this nation into disaster. 

    Time for Tom Kean Sr. to Condemn Bush/Rice Coverup

    The corrupt national Republican party has so many scandals blowing up it’s hard to keep track of them all, but here’s one that hits close to home.  Bob Woodward’s new book reveals that CIA Director George Tenet and counterterrorism chief J. Cofer Black met with Condoleeza Rice on 10 July 2001.  Their purpose was to urgently warn Rice that a major attack was imminent and that something had to be done. 

    We now know that this meeting was covered up by Rice and the Bush administration.  Tom Kean Sr. must immediately condemn their lies before the respected 9/11 Commission. 

    News Round-up & Open Thread for Thursday, Sept 14

    Today’s news roundup is brought to you by Tom Kean Jr, Karl Rove and lots and lots of pot.

  • On Monday, Herb Jackson, reporter for The Record, interviewed Tom Kean Sr about his involvement with the fictitious and revisionist 9/11 movie.

    Q: There’s a theory on the bluejersey.net blog that you’re trying to blunt the criticism of the Bush administration on terrorism to help your son’s campaign for Senate. What’s your reaction?

    Kean Sr sets up a false dichotomy:

    A: And two years ago, that’s what I decided to do when they approached me? [Laughs] I figured out at that point my son was running? I must have been very, very smart to do that. I don’t think the producers would go along with that. Hey, look. If people look at this and think the Clinton administration’s to blame, then that’s not the point and the series has failed.

    Hahahaha! It must be funny for him to be a cheerleader for a movie that desecrates the history of our country. But this is also about the choices he’s making today, even after clear evidence that the movie is full of fabrications. And just because he didn’t realize and won’t admit that ABC’s sole purpose for involving him in the project was to lend credibility to a partisan hack job doesn’t make it true (why didn’t they also invite commission vice-chairman Rep Lee Hamilton to help consult?).

  • Karl Rove and Tom Kean JrSpeaking of hacks, Karl Rove will be holding a $2000/person fundraiser for Tom Kean Jr next Monday (see the invitation). Bob Menendez responded:

    Rove demands absolute loyalty to George Bush’s agenda, and if pro-war Tom Kean Jr. is elected, that is exactly what he will get.  Tom Kean Jr. supports George Bush’s war in Iraq, he supports his plans to privatize Social Security, and like Bush, he has opposed stem cell research when it counted.  No matter what he says a few weeks before the election, his record shows he stands with George Bush and his fundraising just seals the deal.  Kean Jr. is running up quite the tab with the Bush administration, and if it ever came time to pay the bill, it’s New Jersey that would pay the price.”

    Junior will take Rove’s dirty money (and campaigning advice), but he found another excuse to avoid actually attending and being seen with Rove at the event.

  • Three scientists at Princeton University have found a way to hack an electronic voting machine in under a minute. They are able to rig the machine so that in test mode, it appears to function correctly, but after the election, the votes are switched around, leaving no evidence behind of malicious code being used. The scientists conclude that “a voter-verified paper trail is the most important safeguard that can make e-voting machines more secure.”
  • On Oprah Winfrey’s show next Tuesday, Jim McGreevey reveals that his affair with Golan Cipel began while his wife was still in the hospital after giving birth to their daughter. According to one audience member, “McGreevey recounted going to the library as an Irish-Catholic adolescent to look up homosexual in a dictionary. When he saw terms such as perverse and psychiatric disorder in the definition, he said, he realized he didn’t want to be that and quickly learned to repress the feelings he knew the church and his community would abhor.”
  • Bob Menendez and Tom Kean Jr have agreed to three debates in October – two on TV on Oct 8 and 15 and a third of NJ 101.5 either on Oct 11 or 17. For some reason, the stations decided they will air the debates at 8:00 am, so for the three of you who end up watching, let us know how it goes.
  • State Senator Lesniak spoke before the NJ Death Penalty Commission, urging that the death penalty be replaced with life in prison.

    In 1982, I voted to reinstate the death penalty in New Jersey. I was wrong. Thank God, no one has been executed to date. And thank God, no innocent person was executed. As the saying goes, ‘There but for the grace of God….

  • The SEIU, with 28,000 members in New Jersey, endorsed Linda Stender for Congress yesterday.
  • Two brothers were arrested yesterday for growing a 3,000 square foot plot of pot, near Livingston Ave and Rt 280, “toward the rear of the Prudential corporate complex.”
  • Legislators want Whitman investigated and Kean Sr. keeps talking

    According to the Star Ledger…

    Democrats from New York and New Jersey asked on Wednesday for an investigation that could lead to criminal charges against former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman for breathing problems suffered by thousands after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Of course Tom Kean Sr., master of the 9/11 comment wouldn’t pass up a chance to weigh in…

    Former Sept. 11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, also a former Republican governor of New Jersey, said it was troubling that the Democratic congressmen “would misuse the heroic service of thousands for their political gain in an election season.”

    Um, correct me if i’m wrong, but wasnt Mr. Kean involved in that garbage on ABC with made up scenes creating his own heroes?  And lets see just who these democrats are and why they say they’re really taking this step…

    The congressmen — New York Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Anthony Weiner and New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. — said the health of their constituents, and not politics, was their concern.  In a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the trio accused Whitman of “endangering the lives of thousands of people.”

    Well, these Congressmen are all in rather safe districts, so i don’t see why they need the political boost.  I don’t know if they’ll get the investigation, but I’m glad someone is trying to get answers.