Friday, September 30, 2005
NJ Chlorine Leak
If the city's residents had been dumb enough to elect a Republican, any emergency preparedness grants would likely have been denied (or just outright ignored) by the attorney general, the governor and the rest of the Trenton Democrats. If you don't know what I'm talking about, my friend at GayPatriot talked about it here and Michelle Malkin wrote a column about it here.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Dirty campaigning, identity theft and Senator Schumer
The skinny is this: Staffers from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, chaired by New York Senator Chuck Schumer, obtained Maryland's Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's credit report by using his Social Security number. Steele, who is considering a run next year for retiring Senator Paul Sarbanes's Senate seat, is outraged (as he should be) and has yet to receive an apology from the Committee or its Chairman. As Michelle Malkin notes, Senator Schumer has in the past been very vocal about identity theft. Unfortunately, he hasn't opened his mouth about this specific instance of it.
By the way, it is illegal under federal law to knowingly and willfully obtain a credit report under false pretenses. Federal law also provides for civil remedies for the consumer. Its also bad form and dirty politics to obtain one in hopes of finding something you can use against a campaign opponent.
Steele might consider moving to New Jersey, where Acting Governor Cody recently signed into law the nation's most progressive state identity theft legislation. Read about the new law here (free registration required).
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Talk to Biden
Here's the information: (888) 202-2422; Passcode 1469975
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Poet Sharon Olds to Laura Bush: Take your festival and shove it!
The letter, in full and, really, a tad over the top, is here.
So the prospect of a festival of books seemed wonderful to me. I thought of the opportunity to talk about how to start up an outreach program. I thought of the chance to sell some books, sign some books and meet some of the citizens of Washington, DC. I thought that I could try to find a way, even as your guest, with respect, to speak about my deep feeling that we should not have invaded Iraq, and to declare my belief that the wish to invade another culture and another country -- with the resultant loss of life and limb for our brave soldiers, and for the noncombatants in their home terrain--did not come out of our democracy but was instead a decision made "at the top" and forced on the people by distorted language, and by untruths. I hoped to express the fear that we have begun to live in the shadows of tyranny and religious chauvinism -- the opposites of the liberty, tolerance and diversity our nation aspires to.
I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness -- as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing -- against this undeclared and devastating war.
But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration.
What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary rendition": flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us.
So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it.
I'm at somewhat of a loss. Why can't you be both for books and against the Iraq war? [Please note, I am both for books and the Iraq war]. Why can't you attend a "festival of books" and still disagree with the policies of the host's husband? Sharing the butter dish at dinner with the First Lady would somehow make you feel as if you were condoning President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq? I really don't understand it.
(I stumbled upon the Olds letter here.)
Corzine: No on Roberts
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Golan Cipel, taxes and the debate
"Forrester was clearly the stronger of the two candidates on stage tonight. He won the debate on points, but, unfortunately, political debates aren’t won on points — they’re won on perceptions, and expectations. * * * The one memorable line of the night from Doug: “If he’s [Corzine] a tax cutter, then Golan Cipel is a homeland security adviser.”
Hahahahahahaha (emphasis is mine). Funny, but also pretty accurate. I don't think our dear Senator has been on the forefront of cutting taxes and, given the state of New Jersey's fincances (i.e., a transportation trust fund that is just about bust), I think Jon will fully support the 15 cent gas tax that the Democrats plan to jam through the legislature in a lame duck session this fall. But what other taxes and fees will Governor Corzine support if he wins? As we all know, he will not make a "no new tax" pledge.
But will he be honest about it? Remember, Jim McGreevy prided (no pun intended, actually) himself in not raising taxes (except on people making more than $500,000 a year). He was able to make such a claim because instead of raising taxes, McGreevy (i) used the issuance of debt to pay for general government services (only making it tougher for New Jersey in the future by having to pay interest and principal back to its bondholders; thankfully the New Jersey Supreme Court has outlawed this practice for the future) and (ii) raising every single "fee" the state charges (i.e., your drivers license costs more now as does your car registration) as well as adding a few new ones (if you've purchased a car since 2004, you'll notice that there is now a tire fee assessed by the state -- something like $7 for each tire on a new car; brilliant!). I can only imagine what "fees" Corzine will dream up. I think someone should ask him that very question.
Update: More on the tax side here
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Trenton Democrats' hands not just in the anti-terrorism cookie jar
Towns in legislative districts represented by Trenton's ruling Democratic Party got nearly 90 percent of $86 million in special state grants the past three years, even though officials proclaimed they had removed politics from the process, a Star-Ledger analysis has found
A review of 10 programs showed state officials repeatedly ignored a carefully crafted application process and instead distributed the money to satisy wishes of key Democratic lawmakers.
The grants helped towns pay for everything from Homeland Security equipment and tourism promotion, to library shelves and ramps for the disabled. They also went to expand fire departments, buy playground equipment and aid the destitute. In total, legislative districts dominated by Democrats got nearly $77 million, while Republican towns received $9.3 million, according to records obtained under the state's Open Public Records Act.
That from a Star-Ledger article by Rick Hepp (my emphasis). The article goes on to explain in more detail what grants went where, what high-ranking Democrat legislators were actully making the decisions on what towns received the money and that the entire grant program was devised to hide the fact that Democrat legislators would be making these calls.
I guess I'm fortunate that I live in a "blue" district with my assembly members and senator all Democrats. For the half of New Jersey that is just unlucky enough to have a Republican legislator, there is no anti-terror funding, no funding for your libraries, no funding for your fire departments and no funding for tourism. Lesson to be learned: the New Jersey Democrat majority will punish you if you dare vote for someone else.
Trailer Park Jon
The Star Ledger writes about it here.
Friday, September 16, 2005
More Voter Fraud . . . this time its New Jersey
Among their findings, the GOP said 4,397 people who are registered in two New Jersey counties appeared to vote twice in the 2004 general election; 6,572 people registered in both New Jersey and another state appear to have voted in both states last November; and 4,755 officially listed as "deceased" voted in the last election, along with 13,440 people supposedly dead who were still registered as of May 1.
Read the full story here.
Any guess as to the Attorney General's response? Lee Moore, spokesman for AG Harvey, said that "[t]his matter is going to be given due attention. . . . A determination will be made as to whether or not there are problems, and we're going to take the appropriate course of action."
Corzine's $5 Million Vote
Corzine cast that vote in March 2004 as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was considering a complex tax treaty between the United States and its closest Pacific Rim ally. The vote was unanimous.Check out the full story.
The treaty included a narrowly crafted clause that gave a tax break to an exclusive group who had invested in failing banks subsidized by the Japanese government. It saved Corzine and his partners millions of dollars in tax payments.
Read Corzine foe Doug Forrester's statement in response to the article here.
"Internal sloppiness in the management of" bioterror research facility in Newark, NJ
Yes . . . the PLAGUE! Yet another problem at UMDNJ.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Drew Sheneman: U.S. Troops are "screw up[s]"
I have to disagree with you, Drew. I think our troops have done a great job in both Iraq and Louisiana and I can't think of a single instance where I would refer to our entire military, collectively, as "screw ups."
Thankfully, the U.S. military is ready, willing and able to protect your right to call them names (and get paid for it). Consider yourself lucky.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Personally, I pledge allegiance . . . under God
Fox News story: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,169379,00.html
Opinion via FindLaw: http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/religion/newdowus91405opn.pdf
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
It's not all about you, Chuck
Senator Charles Schumer of New York made 49 first-person references in a 10-minute statement at the beginning of the John Roberts confirmation hearings.
Hurricane Katrina was also a popular reference
Sunday, September 11, 2005
I don't see the necessity of "take-home" cars at all. If I have a late meeting to attend to or have to work on a weekend, I am reimbursed for the travel. I'm not given a car with a full tank of gas and the insurance paid for. I don't see why county employees across New Jersey are given such a perk. Its no wonder that property taxes in New Jersey are so high and just keep getting higher.
Friday, September 09, 2005
The Jersey Journal discusses the town clerk's salary and some other interesting facts about the essentially vacant post. Take a read.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Hoboken is a city of about 40,000 people (38,577 according to the 2000 U.S. Census). That is over $3 in salary for each man, woman and child in Hoboken. In contrast, Jersey City, which borders Hoboken to the south, is a city of over 240,000 people (2000 U.S. Census) and its mayor makes a mere $98,363 a year. That's a bargain -- just about 41 cents per person. The governor of New Jersey has a maximum salary of $175,000 a year (note, that even Jim McGreevy did not draw his full salary, instead accepting just under $160,000 of that allowed by law). With about 8,000,000 people in the state, that is less than 3 cents per citizen.
Applying the same formula to New York City, with a 2000 population of 8,008,278, would benefit even a mayor of Michael Bloomberg's immense wealth -- his salary at $3 per person would be over $24,000,000. New York's mayoral salary is (or at least was in 2001) $195,000 -- just $70,000 more than Mayor Roberts. Mayor Bloomberg receives a salary of just $1.
Without any discussion of Mayor Robert's performance, I think his salary is too high for the job he has. Hoboken is unique and has some issues that require the mayor's attention. But at $124,419 a year he is one of the highest payed elected officials in the state, yet he governs just 1 of the 7,417 square miles in the state.
The Hoboken mayor's salary should be reduced.
Take a read about how much mayors in New Jersey make:
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
$50 a Wedding
See for yourself, from the Jersey Journal: 2 mayors perform enough weddings to list income
The sweet chime of wedding bells sounds more like "cha-ching!" to two Hudson County mayors.
North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco and Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos both claim performance of weddings as a source of revenue on their 2005 financial disclosure forms, meaning it was the source of at least $2,000 in income last year.
* * *
Both charge $50 per wedding and do occasional free ceremonies for friends and relatives, which means that both make between roughly $4,000 to $10,000 a year.
Click for the full article: