Tag Archive: GOP

Breaking Bad: Your Federal Government Shutdown

Need to get away? Sorry. National parks are closed. Ditto national zoos. All national museums. And the Smithsonian. And the National Zoo. They’ll still feed the animals, but that’s it. You can’t go. That’s 368 National Park Service sites closed.

People who make money off tourists: Shuttered national parks are bad news for the hotels, restaurants, & other attractions that feed off them.

Panda Cam is down. Nooooooo.

Mars Rover Curiosity. You just discovered water on Mars. Woo! But nobody’s going to be there to read your data. So you’re down. And on NASA’s birthday.

Federal government employees? How many are fuloughed? 800,000 to 1 million, out of 2.1 million total.

Surely this will save us money. Rght? No, it costs big. Remember that the next time you hear a Republican talk about fiscal responsibility. A government estimate after the shutdown in 1995-96 estimated its cost at $1.4 billion. Stock market fell 3.7% in 1995-96.

Not E-Verify … But, isn’t it important to Republicans to be able to find out if workers are actual legal ‘Muricans? Yeah, but it’s shut now.

It’s peak forest fire time in the west. But hundreds of US Forest Service workers are furloughed and not watching.

Sick people: The NIH will not admit new patients unless ordered by the director.

Factory workers: OSHA will halt regular inspections.

Want a new small business loan? Too bad.

New gun permits. Try to live with longer waiting period.

Civil War battlefields? Nope.

Does your grandfather want to see the WWII Memorial before he dies? National Park Service will have to block visitors and turn off fountains.

Stay the hell off the water. Coast Guard cutting back on routine patrols & navigation assistance.

Getting audited? IRS will suspend those right now.

Stuff that doesn’t stop:

Obamacare.

The federal government’s health exchanges opened at midnight, at the exact moment the Republicans shut down just about everything else.

Also: ‘Critical service’ folks like air traffic controllers, hazardous waste handlers report to work, mail delivery, 911 calls, Social Security checks (but they might not be on time, and you can’t apply for benefitsPan), active duty military get paid (but 400,000 DOD employees that support them go on unpaid vacations.), meat inspectors (whew), unemployment checks (also may be late),  

Congressional GOP Still Going After Corzine

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It’s weird how the Congressional GOP hates Wall Street bankers who lost clients’ money when that banker is a Democrat like Jon Corzine, but totally ignore the billions and billions stolen — literally stolen through fraud — from ordinary Americans who couldn’t afford MF Global if they saved for 20 generations.

But these “honorable” Congress critters have latched on to former US Senator and NJ Governor Jon Corzine and aren’t about to let go.  I don’t know if it’s because they have an actual Democrat who screwed up as opposed to their myriad faux scandals, or if they’re trying to help Chris Christie (who doesn’t need it) with his “Corzine Democrat” line, but this vendetta has reached the point where the shark is in the tank and Rep. Michael Grimm is up on his skis in a leather jacket.

Eighteen House Republicans wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last week, arguing that new evidence revealed in a civil case against Corzine contradicts what he told Congress at the time.  …

“It is outrageous and unacceptable to let this discrepancy go without a formal criminal investigation,” wrote Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., in a statement. “Mr. Corzine has a duty to be honest with the customers from whom he stole money as well as the Members of Congress to whom he testified. Any refusal to move forward with an investigation would be a gross injustice.”

“Mr. Corzine stands by all of his congressional testimony,”  a spokesman for Corzine told Reuters.

It’s most likely this will go the way of every other scandal, with a puff of smoke that wafts away to reveal a big pile of steaming nothing, but these House GOPers will still point to the nothing and say, “See, the conspiracy is so deep they stole the evidence while our smoke obscured it!”

Christie Todd Whitman Even More Down on the GOP

promoted by Rosi

Governor Christie Todd Whitman was a fairly moderate Republican Governor in New Jersey whose moderation wound up losing her the gig as George W. Bush’s head of the EPA.  After she was pushed out of that job she wrote a book called, “It’s My Party, Too.”

Not so sure she feels this way as this video of an appearance on RNN shows her increasing frustration with the GOP and the radicals running the national party.

via Talking Points Memo

PolitickerNJ Announces “Release” of GOP Campaign Video

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A lot of folks think that PolitickerNJ has a rightward lean at times, but this has to be a new … something for a purported news organization partnering with a political campaign.

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) and some GOP candidates in swing disricts are jabbing at Democrats in a new web ad set to be released on PolitickerNJ.com on Thursday and Friday.

Is this what campaigns can expect?  That if a campaign pays for an advertisement on PolitickerNJ they can expect to have an article pre-announcing the ad, and article that has all the content of the ad but is not labeled as such? No need for a disclaimer, ’cause it’s a news article not a paid ad!

Gotta wonder if the Democrats, or Greens, or Libertarians will get these added bonuses should they pay for an advertisement.

Chris Christie and the NFL Player, Sex Offender Helping Raise Money for Him

Art Gallagher has an interesting item over at More Monmouth Musings. Art’s reporting that Chris Christie’s April 30 fundraiser in Middletown has a convicted sex offender on the Host Committee.

He’s Christian Peter, former NFL star who has a long history of abuse of women from his playing days as a college football star, and a reputation that followed him into his days as a pro. Here’s the invitation; scroll down for all the names, which include a long list of GOP electeds, including Asm Mary Pat Angelini and Sen. Jennifer Beck. Peter is listed as a Supporting Member of the Host Committee.

Redemption can be a commendable thing, if it’s paid for in admission and redress. I’ll leave it to Christian Peter to determine for himself what kind of man he’s become, though the kind of man he spent years being is clear enough. But the optics of Christie hobnobbing with an abusive for campus sports demigod this week, as Rutgers broils over its own campus sports scandal of abuse … well, let’s call it a questionable choice.

Want to know more about who Host Committee Chair Joe Kyrillos has helping pull in cash for Christie? Yeah, so did I. Rest of the story, below the fold.

GOP Version of “Bipartisanship”

LOL vmars. But haven’t we already seen them do some of that? Promoted by Rosi

Here’s Republican Declan O’Scanlon description of what Democrats’ bipartisanship would look like:

“The problem is there have been a few instances where they have reached across the aisle, yes,” O’Scanlon acknowledged in reference to the Democratic majority. “But we need them to be bipartisan on these and other issues. They’re not going all the way.”

I can only assume “going all the way” means “rolling over like an obedient dog and following orders.”

An Observation

Yesterday, I sat through the testimony of Randal Perkins, the CEO of AshBritt. Bill Orr has done an excellent job of writing about AshBritt’s political shenanigans, and I’ve written about AshBritt’s environmental record. But that’s not what I want to discuss in this diary.

Several times during the proceedings, the Democrats kept reminding Perkins of the obligation that the legislators have as stewards of the taxpayers’ money. Each time, Perkins immediately responded that he’s a taxpayer, too, and he railed against the fact that his taxes keep going up.

Notwithstanding the fact that tax increases affect the poor and middle class more than they do affluent CEOs like Perkins, Mr. Perkins needs to be reminded where the money comes from that pays for his salary, his business, and his lobbyists  – the taxpayer.

I don’t know Mr. Perkins’ political leanings, but based on the “donations” that his company spews to GOP candidates and lobbying firms, it’s a good bet that he’s a Republican – the type of person who rails against taxes unless those funds go to help them directly.

The poor in our inner cities deserve help as much, if not more than the help the Sandy relief gives to owners of shore homes. The children of New Jersey deserve adequate after-school programs as much if not more than the Sandy relief gives to the tourist industry. Every New Jersey citizen deserves a well-maintained infrastructure and clean environment more than millionaires deserve tax breaks. Yes, our tax system is broken, placing more burden on the lower income earners and property owners. Fixing it will be difficult. But a simple solution like across-the-board tax cuts doesn’t work. Our friends on the Republican side of the aisle just don’t get it.

Just Sayin’, Our Bench Blows Theirs Away

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Looking at the roundup for Sunday I was struck by the incredible bench we have in the New Jersey Democratic Party for state-wide national office.  And how thin a bench the Republicans have.

For an open US Senate seat we have: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Congressman Rush Holt, State Senator Shelia Oliver, Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman Bill Pascrell, State Senate President Steve Sweeney.

The GOP has mentioned running Joe Kyrillos again, or maybe Tom Kean.  Tom Kean’s district mate Assemblyman Jon Bramnick gets a mention, but everyone says, “Who?” Geraldo Rivera even put his hat in the ring, though polls tossed it back at him.

It’d be nice if we were that strong for House seats that should be competitive, especially with the allegedly moderate GOPers here in NJ voting to back crazy Tea Party bills and budgets.  Why can’t we find strong candidates for those seats, fund them well and take back our House majority?

Educating America About Chris Christie

The American people are being sold a bill of goods. Make no mistake about it – the upcoming New Jersey gubernatorial election is a national event. Not just because Chris Christie is leading the diminishing sane wing of the Republican Party for the 2016 presidential nomination, but also because he will be using his media-induced star power to raise tens of millions of dollars for his gubernatorial race this year.

The problem is that Christie’s record is painted by his handlers and the media as a tough-spoken, hard-driving manager who has put New Jersey on the road to economic salvation. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yet, most people outside of New Jersey and even many in the Garden State don’t see it that way.

No doubt, the Democrats led by Senator Barbara Buono will work hard to get out the message that the effect of Christie’s policies are not much different than those of some of the more extreme GOP governors like Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and Rick Snyder. And if Christie is re-elected, it will embolden him to move even closer to a dictatorship of the wealthy.

Christie is running a national campaign for the New Jersey governorship. This is exemplified by his fundraiser with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his cozying up to the Koch Brothers and their billions of dollars of stealth campaign contributions.

No Democratic candidate would be able to match the GOP’s Citizens United juggernaut of campaign dollars. Environmental and gay rights groups can’t match the fortunes of the polluters and the education/military/insurance industrial complex.

Because a significant portion of Christie’s campaign dollars are coming from outside the state, it’s important to educate America about Chris Christie. The nation needs to know the truth about his infrastructure blunders, his anti-equality stance, his dealings with his cronies, his dubious budget manipulations, and his politicizing just about everything from the Supreme Court to the Rutgers Board of Trustees.

We can’t stop the flow of right-wing dollars into the Christie campaign, but by taking Senator Buono’s message nationwide, we can help to work to mitigate the Christie dollar advantage. Talk to your out-of-state friends about the truth about our governor. Make them understand that this election is not just about New Jersey, but it’s for the future of our kids, minorities, and women’s rights. Having them send a few bucks to Buono’s campaign would be nice, but educating them about the real Chris Christie is essential.

Christie’s Civil Rights Crossroads

President Obama’s amazing inaugural address let at least one genie out of the bottle, never to be put back. His alliterative juxtaposition of Selma, Seneca Falls, and Stonewall put the LGBT struggle for civil rights front and center. Regardless of how long it takes (after all, if you think the struggle for African-American rights is “won”, take a look at the statistics of poverty and incarceration), President Obama put the emphasis on gay rights as the civil rights battle of the twenty-first century.

Now it’s time for Chris Christie to do the same. As a member of the minority of sane and rational members of his party, the Governor needs to “evolve” and allow marriage equality to become the inevitable norm that it will be here in New Jersey.

When he vetoed the marriage equality bill, the Governor asserted that same-sex marriage was against his personal beliefs. That’s fine. He does not have to marry another man. But personal beliefs do not trump civil rights. He has no right to deny equal rights to two people who love each other.

The marriage equality bill that was passed last February is in limbo. The legislature has until January 2014 to override the governor’s veto. It will take several Republican votes in each chamber to override, but for now, the GOP members are under strict orders from the governor not to support equal rights. Christie can show courage and leadership by releasing his hold on his GOP minions and allowing them to vote their conscience. If he does so, it will make New Jersey one of the leaders instead of one of the laggards in the civil rights movement of our time.