Saturday, June 24, 2006
Afraid of history
We would rather the Democrats see that incredible error in raising the sales tax as the reason not to vote for it, but if fear of losing their next election does the trick, we'll take it.
July 1966: Democratic Governor & Democratic Legislature impose sales tax at 3%. Next election: Democrats lose 19 seats in the Assembly.
March 1970: Republican Governor & Republican Legislature increase sales tax to 5%. Next election: Republicans lose 20 seats in Assembly.
July 1990: Democratic Governor & Democratic Legislature increase sales tax to 7%. Next election: Democrats lose 22 seats in Assembly and 10 seats in the Senate.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Jim and Mark buy a house
I said it before, and I'll say it again: you were a horrible, scandal-plagued governor, but I'm glad Jim is at peace with himself and trying to be happy. Good luck with the new house, Jim -- it sounds fancy!
The ivy-covered Georgian Colonial boasts eight bedrooms, five fireplaces and four bathrooms. The neighborhood is home to several local politicians, including former Plainfield Mayor Al McWilliams and Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Union).
* * *
The palatial home, which includes a solarium, a butler's pantry and in-ground swimming pool, sits on 1.7 acres and was originally built for a founder of the New York Stock Exchange. Its gardens were designed by the firm of noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who created Central Park.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The sweet smell of Staten Island
Anyway, why I am writing about this now? Well, on my somewhat-daily treck through posts over at Gothamist, a "website about New York City and everything that happens in it," I noticed their post on Mr. Goldstein's trash nightmare-turned-garbage fairytale. Of course it contained the obligatory crack against New Jersey -- this time its smell:
The Daily News reports that a Staten Island man accidentally threw out his wife's 3.5 carat diamond ring, but was able to call the Department of Sanitation, who let him follow the truck to New Jersey (yes, yes, that's the smell).
Obviously the Gothamist has forgetten that Staten Island -- the home to both Mr. Goldstein and the world's largest garbage dump -- is part of its beloved New York City.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Where was the ACLU on this one?
Thomas Sypniewski Jr. was suspended for three days during his senior year in 2001 for wearing a T-shirt that listed blue-collar comedian Jeff Foxworthy's Top 10 reasons someone might be considered a redneck sports fan (Reason No. 4: Your bowling team has its own fight song).
District officials said the T-shirt violated the high school's anti-harassment policy, enforced in the wake of racial incidents in which students referring to themselves as "Hicks" and "Rednecks" harassed black students.
Sypniewski, now 23, dropped his lawsuit against the district last month, saying he was working as a union carpenter and had moved on with his life. He maintained, however, that he wore the shirt simply because he thought it was funny.
Like the case of the boy in the skirt, Sypniewski was victroious in his fight to wear what he wanted to school (even though he agreed to drop the lawsuit).
Unfortunately for Warren Hills, the ACLU didn't give Sypniewski pro bono representation in his free speech lawsuit. Instead, he had private counsel who are owed attorneys' fees of $710,871. Since Sypniewski is considered the "prevailing party," a judge ordered the school district to pay most of those fees -- $574,245. All this for a stupid $5 t-shirt.
But my question is, why was the skirt worth the ACLU's time and money but not the t-shirt? My guess, not many "rednecks" donate to the ACLU.
"We're concerned about where they are going to find the revenue. It shouldn't come from the backs of public workers."
Joyce, hon, we all have to feel a little pain -- public and private workers alike.
Can't trust him with loose change
Corzine does not support the suggestion that the state's unionized work force should work less or see any reduction in their pay of benefits. In fact, as he shouted into the microphone at yesterday's rally, "I'll stand with you. I'll fight with you." We all know what that means -- the unions will win big next year when their contracts are renegotiated. Mr. Corzine, you need to realize that you sit on the "management" size of the collective bargaining table, not labor.
Be prepared for the store to be given away.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Zulima to corrupt pols: Keep your freedom and your pension
I tend to agree with Senator John Adler, D-Camden, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who is all for the jail time and pension forfeitures: "Crime is a crime."
Corrupt politicians, those unsavory symbols of New Jersey who have tarnished its national reputation, should not necessarily have to go to jail or lose a pension, the state's top law enforcement officer said Thursday.
"I oppose mandatory sentences," including jail time, said state Attorney General Zulima Farber at a Senate committee hearing. "I would oppose forfeiture."
The forfeiture would mean the loss of a pension by a politician or other public employee who had gone bad.
Farber, whose opposition to mandatory sentences is well-known, said it would be unfair, for example, to deny the pension of a 30-year government veteran who was corrupt in year 31.
How will New Jersey ever stop the incredible amount of public corruption that plagues the state, its counties, cities and towns if it does not punish those who violate the public trust with severe penalties. Elected and appointed officials need to know that if they are caught in any sort of corruption scandal that they will face criminal penlaties of the highest order. That means jail, fines and forfeiture of pensions.
Ms. Farber (and Governor Corzine), its time to stop protecting the criminals at the expense of the taxpayer.
Zulima, girl, what were you thinking?
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Speaker Pelosi, Leader Murtha and Chairman Moran
If Democrats win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran said he would use his position in the majority to help funnel more funds to his Northern Virginia district.
Moran, D-8th, told those attending the Arlington County Democratic Committee's annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner on June 9 that while he in theory might oppose the fiscal irresponsibility of “earmarks” - funneling money to projects in a member of Congress's district - he understands the value they have to constituents.
“When I become chairman [of a House appropriations subcommittee], I'm going to earmark the shit out of it,” Moran buoyantly told a crowd of 450 attending the event.
I think Wayne and Garth said it best:
Wayne: I smell bacon. Do you smell bacon?
Garth: I definitely smell a pork product of some sort.
What a classy group.
[Red State Aspirant]
Monday, June 12, 2006
Didn't Robert Byrd already make Senate history?
Robert C. Byrd became the longest serving U.S. senator in history Monday. And, with almost 48 years of service, he's not finished yet.
Byrd, D-W.Va., surpassed the record of Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., and has spent 17,327 days in the body, where he's the epitome of an old-school senator.
But I think he's already in the Senate history books -- the first open member of the Klu Klux Klan to also be a member of the U.S. Senate. Even if he wasn't the first, he's now the longest serving senator who is also a former member of the Klan.
The Cuban government cut off electricity to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana a week ago, and U.S. requests for power to be restored have gone unanswered, the State Department said Monday.
The facility has been operating with generator power.
Work at the mission continues, including interviews of refugees and outreach programs for the Cuban people, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
"I would just say that the bullying tactics of the Castro regime aren't going to work," he added.
He said Cuban authorities also reduce the availability of water to the mission from time to time.
McCormack said he suspects that the decision to cut the power was in response to efforts by the mission to provide information to the Cuban people.
"That, of course, is not something that the Castro regime takes kindly to," he said.
Wow Fidel, you so powerful!
A few Zarqawi tid bits:
You gotta love the New York Post, conversation bubble and all.
It seems like Mr. Zarqawi was alive for almost an hour after the bomb interrupted the meeting with his spiritual advisor. His 52-minutes of suffering and subsequent death does not nearly make up for the suffering and death he inflicted on others.
Zarqawi's successor is named. The new guy with a target on the back of his head is Abu Hamza al-Muhajer. Good luck, Abu, but we're not gonna give you a head start.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Zarqawi to Allah: Where are the damn virgins?!?!
Boy is he gonna be pissed when he ends up in Hell and realizes that the 72 virgins aren't exactly what he expected.
Some of the reactions I've read so far this morning:
"ZARQAWI HAS BEEN KILLED"
Zarqawi dead…for real
Important Symbolism in Zarqawi Reaction by Iraqis
The meeting ended early
More On Zarqawi (includes links to video)
Although I agree that Zarqawi's death is a major victory and a setback for the insurgents, I think it will have only a small impact on the deeds of Zarqawi's organization. I hope I'm wrong.
Now its Osama's turn.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Its not just Patrick Kennedy . . .
The tiny state of Rhode Island still ranks rock bottom in terms of driving knowledge, according to a national test conducted by GMAC Insurance.
Oregon drivers answered the most questions correctly. The test revealed that about one in 11 licensed drivers in the United States would fail a state drivers test, according to GMAC Insurance.
Rhode Island ranked last year, also, with an average score of 77. Last year, Oregon's average score was 89, which still placed at the top of the rankings that year.
This (plus the Ambien, the alleged stomach flu and the martinis) may help explain Patrick's recent driving problems, but what about Ted Kennedy's indiscretions behind the wheel?
Friday, June 02, 2006
That Kerry sure can spell
Ursprache was the winning word, meaning "a parent language, especially one reconstructed from the evidence of later languages." Some other words that Kerry correctly spelled on her way to the championship: "recrementitious," "psittacism," "aubade," "kanone," "izzat," "tmesis" and "kundalini."
And the word that did in Kerry's final competitor: "weltschmerz," which means sadness over the evils of the world.
Good job, Kerry!
Oh, while we're speaking of spelling bees, if haven't seen the movie Akeelah and the Bee, get to the theaters now!
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Can you say "crackpot"?
It's time for NYC to secede from this self-interested, anti-urban, unthinking country. The US of A-holes. Not only do we already give a lot more money in taxes than we get back, but then they shortchange us the money we need to protect ourselves. Watch what'll happen if there is another terrorist attack on NYC: people in Omaha, Louisville and everywhere else will hold candlelight vigils and say "We're all New Yorkers now," but then when money is apportioned for security, they'll want it all for themselves yet again. If we ask for our reasonable share, their internal John Rocker comes out and they wonder why they should bother to protect a city full of immigrants, queers, and liberals.
The mentality of this government and the people who elected it is perfectly summed up in a blog post I saw a few weeks ago that railed against people in NYC for saying it was "too soon" for United 93. These conservative jerks asserted that it was important to portray the heroism of the passengers on that flight because people "have forgotten about 9/11," and it called New Yorkers liberals and wimps. Meanwhile, we never have forgotten about 9/11. We live with it every damn day, because we were the ones who got attacked and who are in the biggest danger of getting attacked again. They're happy to use New York as a prop for their convention and their maudlin 9/11 tributes, but they don't live with the reality of that day's aftermath or the fear we all feel in the back of our minds every time we're on the subway or near Times Square or walking across one of the bridges.
Fuck this country. I'm proud to be a New Yorker, but not to be an American.
And as for Tightwad (you can always count on some malicious, ill-informed conservatives [that's redundant of course] commenting on Gothamist posts): the money isn't "for politicians." As the NYT article detailed, among other things, it's for police overtime for officers guarding all of the monuments and potential targets we do have. And that is needed. And as for the monument/icon thing, the entire island of Manhattan is an icon! How is that not obvious.
He wants "NYC" to secede, but we know he just means Manhattan (and probably only those portions below 92nd Street). Now, does Hillary Clinton want to be President of the United States or Queen of Manhattan? And is this the type of person Hillary (and Chuck) want on their side?
More: Another unhinged New York crackpot thinks President Bush deserves a "bullet between the eyes" (paraphrased). This one though isn't an anonymous blog commenter; instead he's statewide elected official Alan Hevesi. [Michelle Malkin]