Tag Archive: NY Times

Not NJ: Also, Not Al Qaeda in Benghazi

promoted by Rosi

OK, Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State when the attacks on Benghazi killed three Americans on September 11, 2012.  And she is the Democrat Chris Christie is most often polled against for President.  So there’s a teeny-tiny NJ in this one:

A months-long investigation by The New York Times “turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role” in the assaults last year on a U.S. diplomatic mission and a C.I.A. compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The attack on Sept. 11, 2012 resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

The Times’ investigation relied on “extensive” interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack. The report concludes that the attack was led by local fighters who “had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.” And — contrary to claims made by Republicans — the Times also reports that the incident “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

h/t TPM.  Read the rest at the whole NY Times article.

How Does the NY Times Know?

I was struck by this line in the endorsement of Cory Booker for Senate by the New York Times:

[H]e has worked well with Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, on areas of agreement in crime, development and education. That ability to work with the political opposition could be an asset for Mr. Booker if the ice age of a divided Congress ever ends.

First of all, how is Chris Christie the “political opposition” of Cory Booker?  Sure, they’re in different parties but Booker decided early on not to run against Christie, and Christie has done little more than stand next to Booker while Mark Zuckerberg handed over a $100 million check (none of which has gone to classrooms, by the way).  If Booker was really able to work with and convince Republicans to his side, why couldn’t he get the Governor to work with him on gun violence — an issue the NY Times specifically praised Booker for?

Second of all, both Frank Pallone and Rush Holt have worked with Republicans for many issues.  Sandy aid, for which all political benefit accrued to Christ Christie, is one even during the “ice age of a divided Congress.”  Earlier in the endorsement the NY Times called Holt “the most able legislator among them” which is not a possible description for someone who can’t work across the aisle.

But most importantly, Shelia Oliver, Pallone and Holt have spent their careers in legislative positions that require working with Republicans, the “political opposition.”  Each of them has had to get along, has voted with, has co-sponsored bills with Republicans.  

Booker’s entire political career has been in Newark where the Democrats rule completely from the neighborhood to Council to Mayor to the legislature to Congress.  As a legislator on the Council he famously did not get along with most of his colleagues, all of whom were of his party.  Last year he tried to force his own candidate to fill a vacancy and the result was a near riot and the opposition of every progressive on the Council.  

Booker has never had to work with Republicans, and the photo ops with Governor Photo Op don’t count because in truth nothing has come from Trenton to Newark as a result of it.  

But Booker has had to work with real political opposition because in Newark being a Democrat doesn’t mean you’re on the same side as other Democrats.  And Booker has proven that he can beat the political opposition in Newark, but he has also proven that he would rather beat them down than work with them.

And that goes completely against the image portrayed by the NY Times’ endorsement.

NY Times Points Out the Obvious

Give the NY Times credit for pointing out the obvious:

While Ms. Weinberg and Mr. DiVincenzo took advantage of the same law, their cases are quite different. She is 76, an age at which Social Security, 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts require people to collect pension payments, whether or not they are working. He is 58, not old enough to collect Social Security, or to withdraw money from any retirement accounts without penalties.

Mr. DiVincenzo is paid more than $153,000 a year for his full-time position, and his pension is almost $69,000 a year. The salary for Ms. Weinberg’s part-time job is $49,000, and her pension is about $36,000.

If you’re going to “take a bat” to Weinberg for numbers so small, I’d suggest using one made for whiffle ball.

The Legislature Showing Resolve

“We get it. It’s the economy. Too many people are out of work as we speak. Too many people are losing their homes still.” – Sen. President Sweeney

“One thing we can all agree on is the need to create new jobs, reinvigorate our economy and put New Jerseyans back to work.” – Assembly Speaker Oliver

The Legislature on Wednesday  introduced its “BACK TO WORK NJ” bill package to boost the economy and create jobs. This action followed Tuesday’s legislative offer to the Governor of a “Tool Kit” compromise on arbitration reform which the  governor rejected as “watered down.” Christie may yet change his stance on the compromise offer, and the legislature may introduce other “tool Kit” bills, particularly civil service reform. Senate and Assembly Democratic leaders, however, made clear that their focus into early January will be on “BACK TO WORK NJ.” Bob Ingle pointed out in a column “When you go to the governor’s page for his fall reforms under economic development you get the equivalent of under construction.” Christie’s plans are vague. The legislature, in contrast, has real plans and has taken ownership of the issue which most concerns New Jerseyans.  

Christie “Quietly looking” to Stiff Pensioners

The NY Times has a story about action states are taking to deal with the pension problems and contains a good deal of news about plans for here in NJ:

New Jersey will not give anyone pension credit unless they work at least 32 hours a week.

But wait, there’s plenty more:

In New Jersey, the administration of Gov. Christopher J. Christie recently imposed pension cuts on future hires, but has been quietly looking into whether it could also reduce the benefits that current employees expect to accumulate in the coming years.

“Can they change the benefit formula going forward? Sure. It’s not etched in stone,” said Edward Thomson III, an actuary and trustee of the New Jersey pension system who was asked to offer an opinion on whether New Jersey could adopt the federal pension law – the one that covers companies – as its governing statute.

Something tells me there is going to be lots of “quietly looking” going on with this administration. But that’s not what the Governor was saying just a few months ago as a candidate:

Last fall, while running against then-Gov. Jon S. Corzine, Christie said he would seek to put new workers in a 401(k) and roll back the 9 percent pension-benefit increase, but not otherwise reduce pensions for current workers.

“You have to keep faith with those people,” he said in October. “They made plans for their life based on that.”

So let me get this straight, Christie insists on giving a tax cut to millionaires when we need the revenues, but is “quietly looking” for a way to screw people who work for a living. Ladies and gentlemen, Governor Christie brings you “Shared sacrifice.” The only thing he’s “quietly” doing is breaking faith with the same workers he promised not to target further.

NY Times Bombshell on Christie politicization of the US Attorney’s office

The NY Times is out with a story tonight called, Christie May Have Gotten Improper Aid and it has some serious accusations regarding Chris Christie, Michele Brown and politicization at the US Attorney’s office:

When news broke in August that the former United States attorney, Christopher J. Christie, had lent $46,000 to a top aide in the federal prosecutor’s office, he said he was merely helping a friend in need. He also said the aide, Michele Brown, had done nothing to help his gubernatorial campaign.

But interviews with federal law enforcement officials suggest that Ms. Brown used her position in two significant and possibly improper ways to try to aid Mr. Christie in his run for governor.

Here’s the situation:

In March, when Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s campaign requested public records about Mr. Christie’s tenure as prosecutor, Ms. Brown interceded to oversee the responses to the inquiries, taking over for the staff member who normally oversaw Freedom of Information Act requests, according to federal law enforcement officials in Newark and Washington. The requested information included records about Mr. Christie’s travel and expenses, along with Ms. Brown’s travel records.

In mid-June, when F.B.I. agents and prosecutors gathered to set a date for the arrests of more than 40 targets of a corruption and money-laundering probe, Ms. Brown alone argued for the arrests to be made before July 1. She later told colleagues that she wanted to ensure that the arrests occurred before Mr. Christie’s permanent successor took office, according to three federal law enforcement officials briefed on the conversation, presumably so that Mr. Christie would be given credit for the roundup.

But wait, there’s more:

News of Mr. Christie’s loan to Ms. Brown broke in August, dealing a blow to his candidacy, and he apologized for failing to report it on his tax returns and ethics filings.

Less than two weeks later, Justice Department officials told Mr. Christie’s interim replacement, Ralph Marra, to remove Ms. Brown from acting as coordinator of the Freedom of Information Act requests about Mr. Christie’s tenure because of the obvious conflict of interest, according to a federal law enforcement official briefed on the communications. Ms. Brown resigned from the prosecutor’s office the same day, the official said.

These are the same FOIA requests that have produced headlines of $700 limo rides and 5 star hotel stays putting Christie in the position to defend and justify since they’ve surfaced. We wondered why Brown resigned so fast and now we know. We’ve long suspected many of the things that are coming to light now and it’s good to see them getting some of the scrutiny they deserve. The story seems like it has the potential to be big and certainly will have people talking tomorrow.

NY Times Gives Republicans The Budget Headline

Great catch, vmars. Promoted from the diaries – – Rosi

The headline for the NY Times article about the NJ budget passing took the Republican message and shouted it to the world:

New Jersey Passes Budget Fueled by $1 Billion in Tax Increases

But buried in a parenthetical phrase in paragraph two is the news about the shrinking budget (emphasis mine) :

The bulk of the new revenue in the budget, which is $4 billion less than the current budget, will come from a one-year increase in the income tax on people making more than $400,000 a year, or roughly 61,000 residents. Taxes will go up by 12.5 cents per pack on cigarettes, and 25 percent on hard liquor and wine. People who win $10,000 or more in the lottery will see their good fortune taxed as well.

Four billion dollars is a 12 percent reduction in the state budget, which to my mind is big news.  To the liberal NY Times the only news is that rich people making $200,000 or more will have to pay a little more in taxes.

It’s not until paragraph five that we find out the vast majority of people will see no tax impact or see a benefit.  Keep in mind that the median household income in New Jersey is $67,142.

By contrast, those making less than the state median income of $82,000 stand to be largely spared.

Wait, well more than half of New Jerseyans will see no increase in their taxes?  But the headline and lead is about people making $200,000?  

And also buried in article is the reason why the budget needed to have an increase in some taxes.  Here’s the entirety of paragraph six:

The increase in taxes was necessitated by a $5 billion drop in revenues, due largely to Wall Street?s collapse.

Oh.  So a national, international economic collapse necessitated a major change in the budget equal to 15 percent of this entire budget.  Corzine and the Democrats were able to make up this massive shortfall which was not their fault by making drastic budget cuts.  

Put another way, 80 percent of the $5 billion in lower revenues was made up by budget cuts, and only 20 percent by increased fees, taxes and reduced rebates.  

So the New York Times, in covering how New Jersey made up a massive shortfall due to outside forces, focuses on 20 percent of the changes made, the 20 percent that Republicans are focusing on.

Liberal media my ass.

NY Times tells RGA to cease and desist

An interesting twist to the RGA attacks on Governor Corzine talked about in the Fix:

The site — known as the Corzine Times — is a near facsimile of the New York Times homepage layout, a similarity that has prompted a cease and desist letter from the Times to the RGA.

“The title for the site is designed to recall the world famous, protected New York Times logo, and the pages use the same fonts and layouts as nytimes.com in order to mimic its design,” writes the Times’ Deborah Beshaw, who is an administrative assistant at the paper according to her profile on LinkedIn.

The letter goes on to demand that the RGA “cease and desist any further use of the The Times’ design, format and other intellectual property in any manner whatsoever” and, if the RGA fails to comply within three days, “all available legal remedies will be pursued.”

The RGA said they found it amusing that the Times was standing up for the Governor and then went on to attack. So I wonder what legal remedies they are considering? You would think the site will get more attention and exposure from the NY Times recognizing they exist.

NY Times endorses Adler, Shulman & Lance

They only made choices in three NJ races:

3rd District: The race in this district from the Camden suburbs into rural Burlington County is for an open seat. State Senator John Adler is a thoughtful, moderate Democrat who has helped ban smoking and curb predatory lending. The Republican is Chris Myers, the mayor of Medford Township who has held executive positions at Lockheed Martin. Mr. Myers has a businessman’s view of what needs to be done in Washington. Mr. Adler would focus more on the middle class, including tax relief. We endorse John Adler.

5th District: Residents in this stretch from northeast Bergen County to rural northwestern New Jersey are represented by Scott Garrett, one of the most conservative members of Congress. Mr. Garrett supports constitutional amendments to ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. He backs President Bush?s tax cuts for the wealthy and limited aid for the poor.

We endorse Dennis Shulman, a Democrat who is a rabbi and psychologist. Mr. Shulman says he would work to mitigate global warming. He would also take an interest in psychological counseling and educational opportunities for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

7th District: In the race for the open seat in this central state region, Republican Leonard Lance and Democrat Linda Stender are both excellent candidates.

Mr. Lance has a fine record in the State Senate, where as Republican leader he won praise from both parties for his fiscal conservatism and his thoughtful views on social issues. Ms. Stender is a progressive Democrat who would make a worthy member of Congress. But Mr. Lance’s leadership qualities and his voice of moderation are needed now in Congress and in the Republican Party. We endorse Leonard Lance.