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Do our U.S. Senators have clout, or what? Down in Washington, D.C. they are kicking ass and taking names! New Jersey is their primary concern and they're looking out for us.
The truth is those two bozos haven't lifted a finger to help our state in a very long time. When it comes to bringing home the bacon, they're still trying to figure out where the store is. Their latest failure? Not finding a way to tell Ray LaHood to take his "bill" for $271 million dollars and shove it up his ass.
In a sharply worded letter, the U.S. transportation secretary said he was ordering New Jersey to repay $271 million after Gov. Chris Christie backpedaled on a plan to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
I don't know whether to laugh, or cry.
On the one hand, "a sharply worded letter" from an Obama flunky isn't exactly the threat it seems to be. Just ask Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; he's wallpapered an entire wing of one of his palaces with "sharply worded letters" signed by Barack Obama and we all know how effectively that's deterred him from building nuclear weapons, right?
Maybe Chris Christie should put on a funny hat and make an appearance on Libyan TV. Then if El Jefe lobs a few cruise missiles at Trenton we can all breathlessly watch John McCain search for some surviving Tea Party rebels he can exploit for a photo op.
Yeah, that oughta be good for a few laughs.
Unfortunately crying won't help either. Besides, it's not Chris Christie's style. Here's an idea — Barry Albin can propose a "Useless Senators And The Morons Who Voted For Them" tax and demand the legislature enact it to cover the $271 million.
So thanks Frank and Bob. You've proven once again that we sent the right men
to the Senate! When New Jersey needs you, you wait for Chuck Schumer to tell
you what to do. If that's not Leadership, I don't know what is.
Maybe I should go on vacation more often. I took 3 days off to take my daughter on a whirlwind tour of Washington, DC and while I was gone an interesting discussion broke out in the comments for this post on the dangers of compact fluorescent light bulbs.
So, from on board Amtrak, DC to NJ, here are a few thoughts.
To get things rolling Trestin made a sweeping generalization:
Every environmental solutions ends up being worse for the environment than the problem. It's not about the planet, it's about control.
And Nadz quite reasonably responded:
That's flat wrong, @trestin, on two counts. One, there have been countless "solutions" that actually have solved environmental problems. Two, it's never been about the "planet". The planet can take care of itself.
And then later he on added:
You said EVERY environmental solution fails. So I just need to give you just one counter example. Here it is: indoor plumbing. Modern sanitary sewers probably save millions of lives a year.
Of course, Nadz is right on this point. Sanitary sewers, and many other "environmentalist" solutions are beneficial to mankind. Garbage collection, sensible landfills which avoid polluting groundwater, control of hazardous waste discharges from manufacturing and refinery operations, conservation of scarce natural resources, these sorts of restrictions are reasonable and necessary. (As for the ancient Romans not being "environmentalists?" Yup. Perhaps they did what they did for selfish reasons, yet it can't be denied that "don't shit where you eat" is not just a saying, it's a way of life.)
But Trestin is right too. Modern environmentalism is about control. Somewhere during the 1970s the environmental movement morphed away from seeking to steer mankind into harmony with nature. They felt their power, and the power went to their heads.
Indeed today's eco-warriors lust for power. Their decrees have a religious quality about them, their principles require dogmatic acceptance. Naysayers are denounced and publicly humiliated. Even the most outrageous alarmist predictions (remember no Himalayan glaciers by 2012?) must be accepted as Gospel Truth, regardless of how many times the predictors have turned out to be full of shit.
The "settled science" of Global Cooling / Global Warming / Global Climate Change, aside from being hard to keep straight from one decade to the next, inspires a ferver in its adherents which accepts no compromise and leaves little room for contrary evidence. It also serves as a battering ram with which to establish total control over every breath we exhale. (CO2 is bad, whether it comes from coal-fired power plants, cow farts, or all of us huffing and puffing as we run to catch the alternative fuel bus to Nirvanna. Or, is it?)
When we allow worry-warts upset about habitat for a bait fish to disrupt the livelyhoods of every resident of Central California and significantly raise our food prices in the process I'd say we've lost sight of what's really important.
Back to that quote from Nadz, in the context of refuting the assertion about "control":
The planet can take care of itself.
Not according to the eco-warriors it can't. Evolution is another "settled science" which apparently can't ever be permitted to run its course. At one point the dinosaurs were an endangered species too. Would that we should recreate Jurassic Park to "conserve" them? (Was there a Richard Nixon of the Cretaceous Period? Did he go to China?)
Of course not. And I hate to break it to the Sierra Club, but the earth won't miss the delta smelt.
And one more thing, (the train has almost reached Newark, time to wrap this
up!), I'd like to personally thank the dinosaurs for dying off and leaving
us all that oil in their place. Now if we only had a sensible policy for
extracting it from the bowels of the earth…
New Jersey's legislative redistricting saga gets more convoluted every day.
Our angry feminists are taking one for the team. "Impartial" mediator Alan Rosenthal's slice-and-dice legislative redistricting map's shifting boundaries left the majority of women state representatives out in the cold.
Female lawmakers bore the brunt of recent legislative district redistricting process, according to a Rutgers University analysis released this morning.
"In a state where 28 percent of the current Legislature is female, women make up 70 percent of the legislators who will retire from the legislature as a result of redistricting," says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics. "The impact of the new map has been especially harsh on incumbent Democratic assemblywomen, with one quarter of them leaving the legislature."
Ruh, roh. They chose another minority (hispanics) for favorable treatment, gerrymandering the districts to ensure more members of that group will be elected. So the gals got pushed to the back of the bus.
Walsh said women have made progress in winning seats in the Legislature in recent years, but "that progress may now be slowed."
Yeah, there's only room in the Democratic Party for one group of token minorities at a time, and I'm sorry to have to break this to you feminists, but you're no longer it. They've got your vote. Where else will you go? Join up with Sarah Palin and the Republicans? Bwhahahahaha!
The Democrats' map also zings another of their traditional core constituencies. By consolidating the majority-Black cities of Newark and Jersey City into two districts each instead of three it significantly dilutes their clout. Had a Republican map done that Al Sharpton would be marching non-stop as we speak. But for the Dems, another formerly sanctified minority also takes it on the chin with nary a whimper.
That's the bummer about Political Correctness. One day you're in, the next
day you're out. Wouldn't things be so much better if we were all judged on
the content of our character rather than on our gender or the color of our skin?
The Episcopal Church won't ordain former NJ Governor Jim "I'm a Gay American" McGreevey into the priesthood.
Why, you ask? Because his divorce was "bitter."
"It was not being gay but for being a jackass -- [McGreevey] didn't come out of the whole divorce looking good," said a source with the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.
Oh, I see. It's OK to divorce your wife, abandon your children, and shack up with a gay lover. You just can't be a "jackass" about it.
I'm glad they finally cleared that up.
See why Trending Right is so necessary?
Two of my blog-buds, John Hawkins and Doug Ross, have teamed up to create a new site — Trending Right.
Instapundit had a post up yesterday which triggered a long forgotten memory.
FOND REMEMBRANCE OF THE RECENT PAST: "Which looks better and better every day, when compared to 2011. Hey, remember when gas was $2.20 a gallon and the unemployment rate was 4.4%? What happened with that? …Oh, right, the Democrats won the 2006 Congressional elections."
I remember when gas was 29 cents a gallon. Then some fella named Jimmy Carter came along and ruined everything…
From the recesses of my childhood this song popped into my head:
How come we aren't proud to be bringin' home the oil anymore?
I think they knew all along. I think it's part of their plan for all of us to die for Gaia. Mandating that we replace our incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents furthers the econuts' anti-people agenda. If the mercury poisoning doesn't kill us, the cancer-causing electrical smog will:
Fears have been reignited about the safety of energy saving light bulbs after a group of scientists warned that they contain cancer causing chemicals.
Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone's head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.
Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin's Alab Laboratory, said: "For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment."
…Andreas Kirchner, of the Federation of German Engineers, said: "Electrical smog develops around these lamps."
"I, therefore, use them only very economically. They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head."
See what happens when you buy into that Globull Warming hysteria? Death! As an early adopter, TrogloPundit has, uh, regrets:
Holy crap! I've got a bunch of these in my house right now! Like in my living room, and my dining room! Does that count as "the human environment?"
You might be a Cave Man if you have to ask that question dude.
As for the rest of us, we're gonna die.
The People's Map may not be dead yet. When mediator, and Democrat in sheep's clothing, Alan Rosenthal cited "continuity of representation" in selecting a legislative redistricting map which overwhelmingly favors Democrat incumbents it was a triumph of gerrymandering over constitutionality. It didn't help that Rosenthal completely ignored all the testimony submitted to the redistricting commission and simply consulted with party leaders before rendering his decision.
Thursday, the group filed a lawsuit contending the "gerrymandered" map favors Democrats, is unconstitutional and "will lock in one-party control of the New Jersey Legislature for the next decade."
Of course it will, that's why Rosenthal picked it.
My man Russ is locked and loaded.
Attorney Russell Cote, a member of the tea party group, argued the new map is unconstitutional because South Jersey districts tend to have more residents than North Jersey districts and nobody on the commission represented unaffiliated and third-party voters. He also said counties are split many more times than necessary, and Newark's and Jersey City's clout was diluted because they would each go from three legislative districts to two.
The tea party group also charged the districts were shaped with the sole aim of protecting incumbents.
"There is simply no rational explanation for the fantastical shapes into which the Commission Democrats crammed New Jersey's legislative districts other than to effectively disenfranchise millions of voters and to protect incumbents' jobs," wrote Cote in suit, which was filed in state Superior Court.
The odds of this lawsuit going anywhere are slim at best. When it comes to
these kind of inside-baseball machinations both parties and the judiciary are
all in cahoots. Incumbent protection works for the Republicans too. But if
anybody can pull off an upset it's Russ Cote. He's one tenacious dude. If
nothing else he'll bring the corrupt stench of their backroom maneuvering out
into the light of day. That's something for which all New Jersey voters should
Remember Derek Fenton? He's the guy NJ Transit fired after video surfaced of him burning a Koran during a 9/11 protest last year. At the time Gov. Chris Christie said, "I knew he was going to be fired, and I had no problem with it."
Well, guess what. The U.S. Constitution does have a problem with it. And yesterday, in what they hoped would be a low-key settlement, NJ Transit agreed to give Derek Fenton his job back, complete with back pay and legal fees.
"Our government cannot pick and choose whose free speech rights are protected, based on whether or not they approve of the content of our statements or actions," Fenton said in a statement. "This is the very essence of the First Amendment."
Score one for Free Speech.
Cue Islamic Rage Boy and another round of apologia from our supposed "leaders" in 3… 2… 1…
May the joy of the Risen Christ be with us all.
Meanwhile at Right Wing News, Chris Kobus posts a far-reaching roundup of dhimmitude run amok in Dearbornistan.
Last month I noted that New Jersey was poised to lead the way toward the wireless and broadband future we've all been promised. A bill to unravel the myriad tangles of regulations which stymie innovation was on the fast track toward passage.
Then along came the luddite lobby. Grandma's party line might go away! People would have to, Gasp!, pay the actual cost of the services they used! The high quality programming you've come to expect from Public Access Cable TV could be superceded by instant access to YouTube™.
Well, it looks like Grandma's party line is safe. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to modernize New Jersey's archaic telecom regulatory scheme is now stuck in an indefinite holding pattern.
There's too much to quote. Read the whole sorry thing. It's a mealy-mouthed paean to Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt served up by pandering politicians whose backbones have long-since been surgically removed.
And sadly New Jersey, home to Bell Labs and the birthplace of modern telecommunications, will remain a technological backwater, innovation hamstrung by 19th century regulations designed when Western Union was considered to be the cutting edge.
All those obsolete services remain protected, ostensibly for the good of consumers. New firms which might want to pioneer advanced technologies are still forced to file tariffs for party lines, rotary dialing, and ringdown circuits on the off chance Alexander Graham Bell calls up and wants to order one. Any new services need to be scrutinized by legions of bureaucrats who'll ascertain if they meet "reasonableness" tests for cost and accessiblity to low-income residents.
It's a red tape scheme tailor-made to protect the entrenched monopoly providers who've been trained to navigate the bureaucratic labyrinth. The new guy doesn't have a clue how to jump through those hoops, which of course is by design. The regulatory behemoth exists to sustain itself and the primary by-product of its hegemony is a career path which starts out as a lowly clerk at the Board of Public Utilities and ends as VP of Regulatory Affairs (complete with a sizeable staff) at Verizon or AT&T or Comcast.
Where would the need for those jobs be if the telecom industry was deregulated? Nevermind too that the requirement for government to collect a plethora of fees and taxes to support the regulatory bureaucracy would also disappear. Isn't that good for consumers?
Apparently not. One goal of the regulatory apparatus is to subsidize
grandma's party line via a portion of those fees and taxes. Because
otherwise Society As We Know It would collapse. Or something.
Anybody remember the DISCLOSE Act? It was Chuck Schumer's attempt to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Fortunately it's one-sided restrictions on free speech never saw the light of day; Congress ditched the DISCLOSE Act because it favored unions at the expense of corporations.
Then the democrats on the Federal Election Commission tried their hand at regulating corporate speech. That effort was likewise thwarted by folks with sounder minds.
And now, here's Barry with a nifty new Executive Order which, purely for non-partisan purposes of course, implements most of the DISCLOSE Act by fiat.
If this Executive Order stands all government contractors will be required to disclose the personal political contributions of their employees, officers, and directors made with private funds. Not corporate funds, private money. And not just to candidates but also to third parties which "might" use those contributions to make independent expenditures or electioneering communications.
That there is the "issue advocacy" dagger which eviscerates the Citizens United ruling.
Curiously no such regulation is being aimed at labor unions or organizations like Planned Parenthood which receive many millions of dollars in federal grants. Hmmm. I wonder why that could be.
Did someone say, "because those groups contribute mainly to Democrats?"
You guys are such cynics.
And speaking of contributions to Democrats, how's this for hypocrisy. Barry's already raking in the dough for his re-election campaign. But, just like last time, he's not gonna tell anybody where it's coming from or who's writing the checks!
Transparency is for the other guy. El Jefe is above the law.
I don't think the leaders of the New Black Panthers understand the meaning of the word "irony."
Hot off their denunciation of an insignificant neo-nazi rally in Trenton last week, the New Black Panthers are organizing a "National Day of Action and Unity" to, get this, boycott "all non-black business" on April 23rd. (h/t Nice Deb)
The New Black Panthers plan to protest non-black establishments and entities via "rallies, marches, demonstrations, programs, and confrontations" in over 60 cities.
"Because blacks worldwide are dissatisfied at their current condition," the Panther's announcement explains.
Permits? They don't need no steenkin' permits!
Black Marchers, New Black Panther Party, vow to Rally in front of the Adam Clayton Powell building with or without a permit in solidarity with 60 cities and states on Saturday, April 23rd for the "National and International Day Of Action and Unity."
As in other revolutions, protests and uprisings going on around the earth, a showdown is looming for Saturday April 23rd as marchers with the "National International Day of Action and Unity" are furious and frustrated with New York officials blatant discrimination and denial of their constitutional and human right to rally and march. Marchers are marching and rallying in 60 cities around America and in London and Africa to demand justice for Black People and improvement in our conditions.
The owners and employees of Freddie's Fashion Mart were unavailable for comment.
And, just to help out you folks who are keeping score at home, black people boycotting non-black businesses is NOT racism. Ask them. They'll assure you that it isn't.
Right before they wave a billy club in your face and demand you vote for Obama.
I suppose that's not racism either.
When you work for Chris Christie and you commit tax fraud you get fired.
A New Jersey deputy attorney general was fired last week after he was charged with failing to pay more than $47,000 in income tax in New York, officials in both states said Monday night.
Richard Schleifer, 58, was one of nine people arrested on income tax evasion charges in a statewide sting called "Operation AccountAbility," said Thomas Mattox, commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
A copy of the charges was forwarded to New Jersey officials last week and Schleifer was fired Friday, said Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.
But as we've seen many times before (cough, Tim Geithner, cough), when you work for Barack Obama and you cheat on your taxes you get a mulligan.
US Attorney General Eric Holder and his brother failed to pay the property taxes on their childhood home in Queens, which they inherited last August after their mother died, The Post has learned.
And because their ailing mom, Miriam, was already behind on two quarterly tax bills when she succumbed to illness on Aug. 13, the charges went unpaid for more than a year -- growing to $4,146.
It wasn't until The Post confronted Holder last week about the delinquency that he and younger brother William Holder finally paid up Friday, including $73.14 in interest.
The siblings "weren't aware of the initial missed payments, which happened in the last months of their mother's life when she was battling illness," said a Holder spokesman. ...
Oh, I see. If you "weren't aware" of your duty to pay taxes then New York State doesn't rat you out to your boss. Or your boss doesn't care. I'm not sure which is applicable here, although we have seen how little Barry cares about whether or not his people pay their taxes.
So, assuming Mr. Schleifer wants a new job, I'm sure he'll fit right in with
the rest of the Obama Administration. He should give Eric Holder a call.
N.J. 'millionaire tax' would … not raise tax revenue
Republicans say it would drive millionaires out of the state. Democrats say it's a painless way to raise $600 million.
But the "millionaire tax" being debated in Trenton would do neither, if history is any indication.A soon-to-be published study out of Princeton and Stanford universities analyzes a similar income-tax increase in 2004, finding only a "negligible" rise in the number of millionaires who left New Jersey afterward. And according to the state Treasury, a 2009 tax hike prompted the rich to seek out more tax loopholes — upending the Legislature's revenue estimates.
Who'd a thunk it? Taxing millionaires ain't all it's cracked up to be. And not for nothing, but I can't believe the ultra-liberal DNC-talking-point-regurgitating Star-Ledger admitted it! In print! When I read this story in yesterday's paper I had to double-check the masthead to be sure it wasn't The Wall Street Journal.
Even if every millionaire stayed, the Christie administration doubts the state would really reap $600 million — an amount officials say wouldn't solve the state's fiscal problems anyway. In 2009, when Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine raised the top tax rate to 10.75 percent for a year, the Legislature predicted added revenue of $1 billion, but Treasury spokesman Andy Pratt said the state only collected an extra $560.2 million.
Fifty-six cents on the dollar. So, $600 million becomes $336 million. Maybe.
Without having to uproot their families or leave their jobs, the rich could move to New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, this year cut the top tax rate from 8.97 percent — the same as in New Jersey — to 6.85 percent. They could decamp to Pennsylvania, which has no special tax bracket for millionaires, just a flat rate of 3.07 percent. They could also move to Connecticut, which takes 6.5 percent of its millionaires' incomes.
Wait, I thought the millionaires wouldn't flee if their taxes went up? The headline writer obviously didn't read the story, did he?
And how delicious is it that while our Democrats are pushing for more taxes their brethren across the Hudson have caught tax-cut fever? Hey guys, take a field trip to Albany and expose yourselves to The New Reality.
James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, said the millionaire tax was bad policy.
ZOMG! Now I know I'm in some kind of Twilight Zone. Raising taxes
is bad policy! Of course it is. But, who's the Tea Partyer on the
S-L editorial board? 'Cause I wanna shake his hand.
Miracles do happen.
(Via Anna Little
Another day, another unhinged Progressive asshat on YouTube:
These prime products of our leftist indoctrination public school system set out to bring their patented brand of Shock and Awe to a Tea Party protest. I'm sure their parents are proud.
Aside from being unable to utter a coherent thought, their profanity-laced hatred is just so predictable and sophomoric.
"I wipe my ass with the American flag."
"Bring your Republican Mama I'd like to f*ck her in the ass."
Just once I'd like to see some crusading truth-to-power poseur claim to wipe his ass with something really controversial. Like a Koran. Or offer to f*ck Mohammed in the ass.
But that would take guts.
Is Brazil becoming the new home for jobs Obama won't let Americans do? Our oil drilling industry is now dead in the water thanks to his head-in-the-sand policies. Brazil is in full-on Drill, Baby, Drill mode; encouraged by Mr. Obama and reinforced during his recent visit to that country.
So my radar perked up when I read a recent report in The Wichita Eagle that 1400 American jobs are on the line as the Obama Administration is considering awarding a Light Air Support aircraft contract to Brazil's Embraer over Kansas-based Hawker Beechcraft.
If cost were the only material criteria, or if Embraer were a truly independent multi-national outfit, then by all means let the best bid win. But some things you just don't outsource. National security is one of those things.
The Brazilian government is not an ally in the War on Terror. In fact they're publicly against it. The airplane under consideration is slated to be a key component in that fight. The plane's mission is Light Attack and Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR), a new type of air support which promises to significantly improve our quick response capabilities. Faster response means fewer Americans get killed. I like that.
Both the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 and the Embraer Super Tuscano are designed with LAAR support in mind. Either could be a fine choice. But here's the rub. The Brazilian government holds veto power over all Embraer production and sales activity via a corporate regulation known as The Golden Share.
The Golden Share allows the Brazilian government to maintain direct control and veto rights over the "creation and/or alteration of military programs, whether or not involving the Federative Republic of Brazil" as well as the "interruption of the supply of maintenance and replacement parts for military aircraft."
What's that mean? It means Barry's buddy Lula can cut the Air Force off at the knees whenever he feels like it. If Lula doesn't like who we're attacking next week, the supply of spare parts dries up. Or, we stop attacking.
Either way it's an undue foreign influence over U.S. diplomatic and military policy.
You guys know I'm not one of those "Buy American" cheerleaders. I like competition. I like low prices. The Free Market is a beautiful thing.
That said though it can't hurt during these tough economic times to keep 1400 good jobs right here in the U. S. of A. Especially when the alternative is to send those jobs into the arms of a potentially hostile foreign government.
The Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 is based on the tried-and-true T-6 design. It's a plane our pilots and airmen know and love. That's another reason to keep this contract here at home. Integrating the AT-6 into our arsenal should be relatively painless. At the same time the new design ensures we get all the bells and whistles and bang for our buck we need. Without, I might add, a foreign potentate scrutinizing how and when we use it.
So what'll it be Barry? Jobs and national security? Or a kick in the ass to the good people of Kansas?
Over at T. Christopher's place he noted, a more conservative budget presented in the House almost spoiled Paul Ryan's day. Like that's a bad thing.
House Democrats staged the charade of voting "present" in response to a very conservative budget proposal put forth by the Republican Study Committee. Why? Because they wanted to paint the GOP into a corner. And "The Stupid Party" obliged them.
The ever impartial TPM wrote:
The vote was on the Republican Study Committee's alternative budget — a radical plan that annihilates the social contract in America by putting the GOP budget on steroids. Deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, more severe entitlement rollbacks.
Yeah, a budget that might actually get America working again. Can't have that!
I know I sound like a broken record here, but where in the Constitution is this "social contract" the liberals keep harping about?
Anyway, hillarity ensued:
Panic ensued. In the House, legislation passes by a simple majority of members voting. The Dems took themselves out of the equation, leaving Republicans to decide whether the House should adopt the more-conservative RSC budget instead of the one authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. As Dems flipped to present, Republicans realized that a majority of their members had indeed gone on the record in support of the RSC plan — and if the vote closed, it would pass. That would be a slap in the face to Ryan, and a politically toxic outcome for the Republican party.
Nice spin fellas. Why is it "a slap in the face" to take Ryan's plan and make it better? His plan admittedly doesn't go far enough; that is it fails to return the U.S. to a balanced budget in the near or long term.
The RSC budget closes the gap. Right on!
The Ryan plan subsequently passed. Yippee kai ay.
Now it is the baseline, the starting point for Harry Reid and Barack Obama to chip away at. We'll be lucky to get another phantom $38 billion in "cuts" while the Dems pat themselves on the back for exercising fiscal restraint.
Boehner and the GOP was played. Big time.
They should have passed the RSC plan. Made it the starting point for negotiation with the Senate. Then when they pulled the Ryan plan out of their back pocket and said, "lookee here, it's a reasonable alternative," the Dems would've had to swallow it whole.
We'd get what we want, and the Dems would get eviscerated. Win!
I can't believe the GOP leadership didn't war-game this scenario in advance.
I can't believe they weren't smart enough to seize the moment.
Well yeah, sadly I can believe it.
Once again John Boehner snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.
Well, as a part of John Boehner's Most Excellently Craptastic Budget Deal we were promised a straight up-down vote in the Senate on funding Planned Parenthood.
Of course the deck was stacked against the innocent unborn babies.
It always is.
the merchants of death prevailed. Planned Parenthood gets to keep
subsidies blood money.
From the womb the Senate can't hear the screams. But God can.
Is anyone else amused by having our tax deadline moved to Monday because Washington, D.C. is celebrating Emancipation Day? Lincoln freed the slaves, only to have the bureaucracy turn around and make us all slaves to the government behemoth.
The joke's on us, eh?
A friend sent this along via email. I believe it's part of the Democratic Party Platform.
Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.
Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.
Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.
Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...
Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom...'
When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Taxes upon taxes upon taxes. Where will it end?
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Marriage License Tax
Personal Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
We've come a long way baby.
My favorite tax-related quotation:
"Anybody has a right to evade taxes if he can get away with it. No citizen
has a moral obligation to assist in maintaining the government."
— J.P. Morgan
Here's a few more pearls of tax day wisdom from one of my 9Rules buds.
Theo's got some tax day cartoons which hit the mark. I swiped this one:
"Thank God for the Bush Tax Cuts!"
That is an actual quote from my ever-reliable Obamabot friend. No, she hasn't renounced The Dark Side, but when she got this year's bad news from her accountant, well let's just say there are no atheists in foxholes.
Her bill would have been significantly higher if President Obama had gotten his way. Heh.
She's not alone. More than 60% of Americans want spending cuts, not tax hikes, to close the budget deficit.
Barack Obama tried to make the case for tax hikes yesterday as a means to close the budget deficit and reduce debt, but a new poll from the Associated Press shows that new taxes will be a tough sale. Voters prefer spending cuts to tax hikes by a 62/29 margin.
I don't want to hear one more goddamn thing about my "fair share." When the rubber meets the road, we are all Taxed Enough Already.
Fellow Right Wing News weekend updater TrogloPundit pokes some fun at Arianna Huffington's legions of whiny indentured servants.
Huffington Post bloggers who think they ought to get paid for their volunteer writing have been litigating their case in the court of public opinion. Now they're taking it to a real one.
Today, a group of bloggers led by union organizer and journalist Jonathan Tasini filed a class-action suit against the Huffington Post, founder Arianna Huffington, and AOL, which acquired the news-and-blogs site in February.
Boo frickin' hoo, right? They're volunteers. Much like the deal Trog signed on for at RWN:
As many of you reading this are aware, The Trog is a weekend guest blogger over at Right Wing News. Have been since…wow, it's almost two years already. Right Wing News earns revenue for its proprietor(s). I do not share in that revenue.
I think the operative word here is sucker.
I knew I wasn't going to be paid (at least, not in money) when I agreed to post at Right Wing News. But that's okay by me, because that was the deal. I'm a volunteer, who is reimbursed in traffic, exposure, and ego-boost. I bet that was the deal for all those now-whining liberal bloggers at HuffPo, too.
He bought that line? "Traffic, exposure, and ego-boost?" Is that all he's getting? I guess this isn't the best time to clue Lance in our little secret — the rest of us get checks.
Big, honkin' checks. Signed by the Deputy Finance Minister for Nigerian Oil Exports. Those checks are the Real Deal, aren't they? 'Cause I just bought a boat.
I guess it's not a secret anymore…
New Jersey's public employee salary and benefit packages are second to none. Gold-plated retirement plans which start after 25 years on the job (20 for cops and firemen), free medical and dental for life, automatic "breathing bonuses" (annual raises based on years of service) to name just a few.
Now we find out they also are entitled to the most generous uniform allowance in the nation. $700 per person. Even if their job doesn't require them to wear a uniform!
Nearly 50 percent of the white-collar state employees who are receiving a $700 annual clothing allowance are not wearing uniforms or any other type of specialized clothing on the job, state Comptroller Matthew Boxer said Wednesday morning.
In all, New Jersey is spending $4.8 million to provide clothing allowances to white-collar state employees, the comptroller said.
"The state spends millions of dollars every year to cover the cost of uniforms for state employees who don't actually wear uniforms," Boxer said. "It's absurd."
Sure it's absurd. But absurd is what you get when public workers are granted collective bargaining rights. Most of these contracts were negotiated during the tenure of former Gov. Jon Corzine. He of course was sleeping with the head of NJ's largest public employee union all that time. So it's a pretty safe bet he didn't scrutinize the agreements very closely, if at all.
Even for the workers who do need to wear uniforms New Jersey doesn't ask to see a receipt. Every other state does, but not us. We just write the check.
Adding insult to injury, other states only pay between $58 and $175 toward uniforms. But I guess in those states the union employees aren't shopping at Brooks Brothers or Neiman Marcus.
Chris Christie needs to get Scott Walker on speed dial. Please, before the
union parasites put all of us in the poor house.
Dateline April 12th…
Fort Sumter, 1861:
"Strike a Blow!"
Yuri Gagarin, 1961:
First human in space.
The New York Times, 2061:
Cryogenically frozen feminists awaken to trot out the 77% distraction on Equal Pay Day.
Yes, it's that time of the year again. Time for the feminuts to whinge about Lilly Ledbetter and having to work for slave wages just because they don't have a penis.
Except it's not true. None of it. There is no male-female wage gap.
Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women's earnings are going up compared to men's.
I want a raise.
He really deconstructs the feminut harridan mystique. Not that they'll listen, but if they did, wow, our world would be a far better place.
Double Dipping Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo is shameless. He's unapologetic about his fake retirement and not slowing down even a little in building more monuments to his own munificence.
His latest waste of our tax money continues his quest to one-up Teddy Roosevelt in the Big Game Hunter department. Hot on the heels of his $5 million Safari-themed Mini Golf extravaganza Joe D is building a Cathouse. For Big Cats. He's appropriated another $3 million dollars so Turtle Back Zoo can put jaguars and cougars on display. When it's completed in September Cougars driving Jaguars can take full advantage of some plush new environs for stalking their boy toys. 7500 square feet of Southwest hardscape beckoning the rough and ready adventurers of Essex County.
I must have missed that part of the Constitution which explains how the Founding Fathers fought and died so politicians could tax the citizenry to pay for zoos.
But wait, there's more! Joe D is gonna build an Elks Lodge, too. For elk. Four elk, imported from Canada, are set to be lavishly ensconced within a stone's throw of the marauding cougars and jaguars. That's another $3.2 million we can't afford. Oh, but it'll be part of the new Aerial Adventure Course, complete with zip lines and a suspension bridge! Kilimanjaro comes to West Orange? It's educational!
"Everything we do here … this is not just an amusement attraction … everything we do is about education," he said. "We will teach them about tree-top exploration, about the reservation, about how scientists study animals in the tree-top, in the midst of recreation."
What happened to film strips? Remember those? They were educational, and a whole lot cheaper too. But then again, the taxpayers are certainly getting an education. An education in wasteful government spending, not that we really needed it.
Next up on Joe D's radar? Elephants. He can't let
the Go Daddy guy have all the fun, can he?
Barry sat on the sidelines during the last budget battle, lobbing potshots at John Boehner from the golf course. But now he's ready to take a more active role in budget negotiations. Barry's got a plan!
Of course, it appears as if his plan is more of a draft, well, really, a rough outline… OK, more of some talking points scribbled on a cocktail napkin from a campaign event…
Can you guess what his plan is?
You're right! It's raise taxes on everybody making more than $250,000 per year.
Gee, where have we heard that number before?
It's more of a guideline really, right? Just a target for his class warfare ire. A number he can tag with "you're rich!" before sticking his hand in your pocket.
Tax cuts spur growth. Tax cuts increase overall revenues.
look it up.
Maybe now that Congress is done haggling over miniscule budget cuts they can return their attention to the Obama Administration's net neutrality power grab. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is hell-bent on redistributing the networks built by AT&T and Verizon to every penny ante bit player who comes along.
Why build your own wireless network when you can get Socialists R Us to force the existing networks to carry your traffic for you? The FCC cleverly calls it "equal access" but it's anything but equal. So now we have a new player such as Burt's Broadband and Bait Shop who can set up one mobile access point, and instantly be granted an unfettered ability for his customers to use every AT&T or Verizon 3G or 4G hotspot nationwide.
Burt gets all the benefits of a nationwide broadband network for little or no capital investment. That is what the government calls "net neutrality."
I call it "theft."
If Burt wants to play with the Big Boys he'd better pony up the money and the time and the wherewithal to build his own damn data network. Networks ain't cheap, or easy, and they don't grow on trees either.
But, without all the overhead of the bigger carriers Burt can charge less. A lot less. That's seductive to the Naderites who believe everything should be free. But why would AT&T or Verizon keep building state-of-the-art networks if the government is going to interfere in their business plans?
The FCC order does say the existing carriers must be compensated on "commercially reasonable terms." Sounds good, right? Sure, until you realize it is the FCC who gets to decide the definition of "reasonable."
There are areas where it costs more to provide good wireless broadband coverage than in others. The first time somebody's grandma (especially if she's a member of a designated prefered minority group) gets hit with a bill for what it actually costs to provide her cut-rate service you can bet the consumer advocates will be hounding the FCC for relief.
Then suddenly all wireless roaming charges will be set by the government, even if they don't begin to cover the actual costs incurred.
Don't believe me? That's exactly how the FCC regulates land line telephone service. There's a whole bureaucracy dedicated to ensuring the residents of East Nowhereville don't "overpay" for their phone service. And another bureaucracy assigned the task of doling out taxes levied on the phone companies to hopefully cover the actual costs involved.
As we all know, when our money is laundered via the government invariably some of it is siphoned off to lubricate the wheels of bureaucracy. And of course the government isn't particularly concerned about efficiency either. So the overall cost of a government regulated system is always higher than what the free market would have produced.
The big carriers enter into free market roaming agreements every day. They do them at a price point which makes sense from the perspective of their investment in infrastructure and overall capacity. But again, that means some small-time players will pay more than others. The social justice types can't countenance that fact. And so the FCC steps in to regulate yet another innovative and useful commercial service into submission. All in the interests of "fairness," of course.
Kim Cattrall's new movie debuts this weekend. It's an old story, virgin nerd pursues aging and jaded former porn star, redone for the digital age. To say the kid's got issues is the understatement of the week. Don't waste your money, it's sure to be queued up for Netflix by Tuesday.
Breaking out of her typecast sex kitten role from Sex and the City Kim explores the depths of the ex-sex-kitten genre. And she sure does it well. At the tender age of 54 Kim Cattrall has still got it goin' on.
See for yourself.
It's business as usual in Washington, D.C. this morning; in more ways than one.
The government is open for business, a shutdown having been averted with only minutes to spare before the deadline.
President Obama is claiming credit for "historic" spending cuts.
I guess to a socialist spendthrift even the elimination of one single dollar in spending is "historic." To anyone with a brain though, $38 billion is a pin prick, a wart on the butt of progress, and certainly nothing to crow about.
Remember when they promised us $100 billion in cuts? Me neither.
Did they even read Paul Ryan's budget proposal? Of course not.
All the way down to the wire House Speaker John Boehner swore he'd stick to his guns and defund Planned Parenthood. The "deal" doesn't do that. Oops.
Any hope of reining in the EPA's odious carbon emission regulations went up in smoke too.
He had the Democrats on the ropes. And John Boehner snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
But hey, he didn't shut down the government! Because as we all know, that's what America really wants.
I'm with Clifton on this one:
If Republican want to have any hope of enacting anything remotely similar to Ryan's budget proposal, it is very clear that tougher, bolder and braver leadership will be required. Boehner simply isn't up to the task.
Hey Johnny, here's a song for ya.
He's willing to shut down most of the government, but please don't let that interfere with the First Family's vacation plans. President Obama is breaking for some "much needed rest and relaxation" this weekend. Barry and the family are headed to Colonial Williamsburg!
So how's this for tone deaf? The Obama's travel on military aircraft. Crewed by active duty airmen and pilots who won't be getting paid because Barry nixed their exemption.
"All military personnel will continue in normal duty status regardless of their affiliation with exempt or non-exempt activities," says the draft planning guidance that was prepared for the services and defense agencies. "Military personnel will serve without pay until such time as Congress makes appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service."
House Republicans presented a stopgap funding resolution which guarantees military pay through the end of the fiscal year but Scrooge McObama has said he'll veto it.
Now tell me, exactly how much of an asshole do you have to be to look these
men and women in the eye and say "schlep me and the missus and the kids
around, wait on us hand and foot, and don't complain about having to work
After wading through another tedious and formulaic Star-Ledger editorial this morning — blah, blah, blah ... Tax The Rich! ... blah, blah, blah — I came across this video:
There you have it Star-Ledger class-warriors. You can't eat the rich. You can't tax the rich to pay for all your utopian dreams either.
Paul Ryan is right. We are spending too much money. The only solution, and you guys had better write this down because it will be on the test, the only solution is to cut spending. Dramatically.
And yes, that means a lot of the free stuff you were led to believe is your birthright as an American won't be there for the taking anymore. You'll have to get off your ass and work for it from now on.
For more on the nuts and bolts of Paul Ryan's budget plan please check out
this excellent summary by Maggie. You'll find that contrary to the
Star-Ledger's overheated rhetoric his plan really doesn't mean
The End Of The World As We Know It.
Kearny, NJ teachers held a rally yesterday to protest Chris Christie's cuts to "education" (ie their paychecks). Here's some video:
Near the end a pleasant-sounding white-haired lady (identified as "Barbara Toczko, Retired History Teacher") says:
"He's proud of what he's doing."
"Democracy in action is the key to this whole country, and he's going against every democratic principle we've ever had."
"You can tell I taught history." (cackles)
She taught history? Boy am I glad I didn't get stuck in her class.
Exactly which "democratic principle" requires the hegemony of the teachers' unions? Chris Christie is the elected governor, working with the elected legislature. That is "democracy in action."
Paul Tractenberg and the perpetual plaintiffs at the Education Law Center ganging up on the State Supreme Court? Now there's something which is going against every democratic principle we've ever had! They run crying to a judge every time the people's elected representatives do something they don't like.
And unfortunately the power-hungry judges are all to eager to flex their muscles by imposing outrageous demands upon the legislative and executive branches.
Separation of Powers is one of those "democratic principles" Madam History Teacher really ought to be so fond of, isn't it?
I think by "democratic principles" this lady actually means "Democratic Party principles." Then yeah, Chris Christie is definitely going against those. He has to. Otherwise we're gonna go broke.
Just because they've got the word "democrat" in their name doesn't necessarily mean they're pro-democracy, an observation that anyone who's been paying attention to events in Wisconsin would immediately understand.
Maybe if more history teachers actually read the Constitution instead of NJEA press releases I wouldn't have to take time out of my day to explain this stuff to them.
Five minutes with Google reveals that Barbara Toczko is much more than just a "retired history teacher."
She's Co-Chair of the Government Relations Committee for the Hudson County Education Association (ie the Teachers Union). So now we know why she has such a skewed view of "democracy," don't we?
Funny how the (unionized) newspaper dudes at the Star-Ledger didn't see a need to mention that, eh?
And speaking of NJEA press releases, according to this one, Barbara Toczko is also employed by the NJEA directly.
Last May she got herself photographed vehemently protesting (with her best Howard Dean Yee-arrgghh face) at an NJEA rally in Trenton.
"Retired," my ass.
Barbara Toczko is The Union, and the union is The Problem.
You can't talk about the Catholic Church in history class. Not in any meaningful way anyway. Our children are taught that Joan of Arc was just another war-mongering wench and Henry VIII merely had a minor quibble about the terms of his divorce. Otherwise the specter of religion might creep into the public schools and wash away the apocryphal wall of separation between Church and State.
Context is important in teaching history, unless that context contains elements of religious dogma. Thus you get the blood and gore accounts of The Crusades or The Inquisition without any inkling of their origins in theology or Canon Law.
So I was mildly amused Wednesday afternoon to read about a dust-up occuring in California over the need for homosexual context to be included in history curricula. It seems one cannot possibly teach about Harvey Milk or Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin (who?) without also graphically illustrating the finer points of sodomy while making the case for same-sex "marriage."
Uh, OK. You got it. I happen to believe that context is important.
Now, here's what I want in return. First off, no more "Columbus gave syphillis to the Indians" crapola. If the disease spread by homosexual activity is still off-limits (and indeed none may dare say how HIV is transmitted throughout the gay community) then I don't want to hear any more of those slanders against my man Christobol.
And it's The Holy Inquisition to you bub. The Church did the world a favor by consolidating a plethora of arbitrary and capricious excuses for "justice" into a well-defined process for uncovering the truth. In the same vein The Crusades were honorable pursuits by pious men seeking to glorify Almighty God and reclaim the Holy Land for Christendom.
If you think about it, the Twin Towers would still be standing if they'd vanquished the Mohammedans. I'd call that a "win."
And while we're on the subject of context how about teaching the kids just how many card-carrying Lenin-loving communists there really were in Hollywood and how they were mailing government secrets off to the Russkies by the truckload. Joe McCarthy was a Patriot, with a Capital P. That's a fact. Alger Hiss was a traitor. That's a fact too.
What's that? You're suddenly not such a big fan of "context?" That's what
I thought. Now I'm sure you can find a way to explain why Harvey Milk was
assassinated without having to demonstrate butt-fucking to kindergarteners.
As a government shutdown looms (cue scary music) President Obama made it clear he intends to be tough and engaged. Right after he gets back from a campaign and fund raising trip to Philadelphia and NYC.
But, he did spare three whole minutes to converse with House Speaker John Boehner via telephone this morning.
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had a brief phone call Wednesday as a government shutdown loomed, and Boehner told the president he is "hopeful" a spending deal can be reached, the Speaker's office said.
"The Speaker reiterated that the House's goal is to prevent a government shutdown and make real cuts in spending, which the Speaker has argued is necessary to support private-sector job creation and boost confidence in the nation's economy," a readout from Boehner's office said. "He told the President he remains hopeful a deal can be reached and that talks would continue."
The call, which Obama initiated, last approximately three minutes, Boehner's office said.
While picking up lunch from the deli I caught some random talking head on Fox who said the two sides are $7 billion dollars apart. Republicans are pushing for $40 billion in spending cuts, Democrats have already agreed to $33 billion.
C'mon guys, cut some more. I know you can, I know you can!
Or else don't act surprised when the people tell you, your three minutes are up!
Remember the little boy who made headlines with the impossibly cute video that shows him crying uncontrollably because he's "too small" to be the governor of New Jersey?
Today, Jesse Koczon gets his wish. Governor for a day!
[Gov.] Christie will sign a proclamation today at 3:30 to make Koczon honorary governor for the day. Christie will deliver opening remarks before the proclamation signing, said spokesman Kevin Roberts.
"We thought it would be a nice thing to do to bring them in," Roberts said. "It sends a good signal to kids around the state who are public service-minded to keep their dreams alive."
Little Jesse and his family will get a tour of the Governor's office prior to him being sworn in as Honorary Governor.
Former Acting-Governor-In-Waiting-For-Life Dick Codey was unavailable for comment. But he's probably kicking himself for not thinking of a stunt like this one!
UPDATE 06 Apr 2011 18:06:
Congratuations Governor Jesse Koczon!
He got his wish, he's sitting in the governor's chair, holding a press conference.
Five-year-old Jesse Koczon got a quick lesson in being governor today.
"I'm not going to be the governor for that long," Jesse said when the real Gov. Chris Christie asked him what would happen if he raised property taxes.
Smart kid! The last guy who raised taxes wasn't governor for long either.
Mr. Christie even had some great advice for his protege: "Never go on vacation during a snow storm."
UPDATE 06 Apr 2011 20:55:
Governor Koczon's office released this video:
That there is the epitome of cute.
Thanks oh Cheese-tastic One!
Just when you thought we might be making progress on a budget deal, here comes Barry to stick his two cents in.
From CNN, via iGoogle:
BREAKING NEWS: President Obama says he will keep calling congressional leaders back to the White House until a budget deal is sealed.
Except that by "congressional leaders" he means "not Paul Ryan."
And you gotta love this part:
"What we can't do is have a 'my way or the highway' approach to this problem," he told reporters at the White House.
Do tell Barry! Wasn't "my way or the highway" exactly the approach you used to enact ObamaCare? Did the rules change?
Speaking of Paul Ryan though, can he crunch the numbers, or what?
Our budget, which we call The Path to Prosperity, is very different. For starters, it cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the president's budget over the next 10 years, reduces the debt as a percentage of the economy, and puts the nation on a path to actually pay off our national debt. Our proposal brings federal spending to below 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), consistent with the postwar average, and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion.
Despite these massive cuts, keep in mind that at the end of ten years, the debt still is not paid off. That's how big a hole Barry and the Democrats have dug us in to. And their budget plan makes the deficit worse.
So Barry, how about we compromise a little and talk about "your way or The
Highway to Prosperity?" I know which one I'd choose!
Face it libtards, everything Obama touches turns to shit. Instead of ending two wars like he promised you he would he went and started another one! And in this one he's not sure which side he's on! It's Tuesday? Oh, we must be bombing the rebels today…
We're now relying on the Russians to haul our shit into space. Because in Obama's America we no longer Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before. Well, we are boldly going to hell in a handbasket, but iirc Rome, Athens, and most of Europe already blazed that trail.
Did you notice that his re-election kickoff ad doesn't actually have him in it? How's that for Hope and Change? Vote for the guy who's over there somewhere! Because he's cool!
And none of his cheerful, young, earnest, Obamabot spokesmodels dares to say thing one about any of his accomplishments. He has accomplished stuff, right?
Who wouldn't be proud of a record like this:
Another 12 million Americans are on food stamps thanks to his policies.
The national debt is about a gazillion times larger, and growing more every month under Obama than George W. Bush incurred in an entire year.
ObamaCare is so wildly popular that most of the unions and advocacy groups who pushed for its passage are now demanding (and receiving) waivers from having to abide by it.
France laughs at us now. With good reason.
Yup, that there is a record any president would be proud to run on!
This just in, Obama gave Yemen to al Qaeda this morning.
I think that's what he calls "smart diplomacy." We definitely need four more years of that. Not!
Here's a better idea:
Stacy McCain, from whom I totally stole the headline.)
Today the Supreme Court ruled that Arizona's school voucher tax credit program is constitutional.
The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by the court's more conservative members, preserves Arizona's school voucher program that is funded by tax credits offered to state taxpayers. Most of the students who use the voucher money attend parochial schools.
Opponents of the Arizona system filed a lawsuit claiming the $500 tax credit violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause that prohibits the government-backed endorsement of religion. The high court in 1968 said taxpayers could bypass the prohibition against lawsuits if they lodge an Establishment Clause claim.
But on Monday the court ruled that taxpayers could not sue based on a generalized First Amendment complaint but rather need to show specific individual harm to get into a courtroom. "The [Arizona] tax credit is not tantamount to a religious tax or to a tithe and does not visit the injury identified in ," Kennedy wrote.
The distinction between a tax credit and an actual tax or appropriation from general income tax revenues was a key factor in the case, with Kennedy writing that "awarding some citizens a tax credit allows other citizens to retain control over their own funds in accordance with their own consciences."
This is most certainly good news for New Jersey's proposed voucher program, which likewise relies on tax credits for its funding. The NJEA must be beside themselves.
Adam Liptak of The New York Times is apopleptic (no liberal bias here, eh?) making much of Obamabot Justice Elena Kagan's strawman arguments against the ruling.
But her specious examples don't hold water. "Suppose a state wishes to subsidize the ownership of crucifixes" she opines with high dudgeon in her very first dissenting opinion.
However Liptak is forced to acknowledge that the court had never thought the point even worth arguing over. Why? Because it's ridiculous on it's face, that's why.
The state subsidizes the ownership of all sorts of things. Food, housing, even electric cars produced by Government Motors. That's not the issue here. The state subsidizes education too, and now thanks to some clear thinking by Mr. Justice Thomas the citizenry can at long last do likewise.
One would think that the same folks who are so gung-ho to expand the ability of a mother to choose between life or death for her unborn baby would be equally in favor of letting her choose how to educate a child she chose not to abort. Choice. What a radical idea!
Oh look, there's a
thread that won't link me because it's loaded with liberals…
Repeat after me. There is no such thing as an ethical email marketing company.
Sooner or later they're all exposed for the business they're really in — spam.
JP Morgan Chase greeted me this AM with the announcement that their private customer data, including my name and email address, has been given to spammers by a third-party marketing company they hired.
Chase is letting our customers know that we have been informed by Epsilon, a vendor we use to send e-mails, that an unauthorized person outside Epsilon accessed files that included e-mail addresses of some Chase customers. We have a team at Epsilon investigating and we are confident that the information that was retrieved included some Chase customer e-mail addresses, but did not include any customer account or financial information. Based on everything we know, your accounts and confidential information remain secure.
Our "accounts and confidential information remain secure." Well, as secure as the clowns at Epsilon can keep them anyway. For now.
Chase isn't the only firm affected by the carelessness of yet another company you've never heard of. My daughter got a similar advisory from Disney. Reportedly Best Buy, McKinsey Quarterly, AbeBooks, and Lacoste are all singing the same tune.
"It's not our fault, and what's the big deal anyway."
We regret that this incident has occurred and any inconvenience this incident may cause you. We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information.
"But don't count on us to sever ties with Epsilon or any other Son of Sanford Wallace email marketers. Do you know how much money we make off of your email address?"
Nine days from now will mark the 17th anniversary of the very first spam email sent. In that time much has changed, and spammers have grown significantly more sophisticated. But at their heart they're all the same.
Epsilon is just Canter and Seigel with better PR. In the beginning everyone condemned the bottom feedering spammers. Now they've got respectable companies like Chase and Disney making excuses for them.
How's that for progress?
It's the kind of inside baseball political battle that cures most people's insomnia — the decennial redrawing of NJ's legislative districts. But the stakes couldn't be higher because shifting some lines on a map can have far-reaching consequences for the future of our state. Who's in, and who's not; which towns are sliced and diced, and which ones remain intact.
The Democrats "won" this battle. Purportedly impartial mediator Alan Rosenthal facilitated the charade of soliciting input from far and wide and then did exactly what he did last time, endorse the map drawn by the Democratic Party. The map they gerrymandered to engender maximum benefits to entrenched Democrat politicians is now in effect.
Why? Because he favors "continuity of representation." Democrats are currently in the majority so Democrats should retain the majority. A majority I might add they continued courtesy of Rosenthal's last redistricting map from the year 2000, and if memory serves, the one before that too.
Funny how the "impartial" mediator always seems to align with the same side.
Not that the Republican's map was any better. It's a hodge-podge of wavy lines which pretend to enhance minority clout by clumping hispanics together as tightly as possible. And naturally it favors GOP incumbents.
Meanwhile Rosenthal didn't give 5 seconds of consideration to The People's Map, the only map drawn according to strict state constitutional principles. I said this map was so sensible there was zero chance Rosenthal would adopt it, and I was right.
The People's Map didn't care which politicians were favored and which weren't.
That of course Just Wouldn't Do. So Rosenthal consulted his crystal ball and reliably pulled the lever for the Democrats. I suppose he's quite pleased with himself. "Continuity of representation" is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind, right?
Russ is even more blunt than ne: Hello New Jersey, my name is corruption. Pleased to meet you!
Yeah Russ, the whole process stinks to high heaven.
I don't know which is funnier.
A prominent NJ Democrat caught red-handed exploiting a loophole he's pushing to eliminate, or…
Public employee unions aiming their ire and indignation at the Democratic Party hands that feed them because of it.
The state's largest police union called on Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. to resign today in the wake of revelations that he is receiving a salary and a pension for the same job.
"This is unbelievable, the man is out yelling about reform and he takes a loophole to retire at a higher salary, a classic example of do as I say not as I do," State Policemen's Benevolent Association President Anthony Wieners said in a statement. "This exposes him as a fraud and just another politician who lies to the public."
Only in New Jersey can you retire and keep doing the same job. The trick is to once have held a different government job. Then you "retire" from that job, even though you're not doing it anymore, and collect both your salary and pension benefit (which is of course based on your total years of government employment and the highest salary you ever collected). Not bad for government work, eh?
Joe D is unapologetic — "I had to make a decision that was in the best interests of my family."
And I want to make a decision that's in the best interests of the taxpayers and vote your double-dipping ass out of office. But this is Essex County, where the residents are born genetically incapable of voting for anyone but a Democrat.
Yet, the times, they are a changin'. Two of NJ's most prominent Democrats are under fire from the public employee unions. South Jersey political boss Steve Sweeney tried to out-maneuver Chris Christie on public employee health benefits reform. He got bitch-slapped by the unions for his trouble, and to almost no one's surprise he promptly backed off.
Joe DiVincenzo and Steve Sweeney and their union frenemies perfectly exemplify the notion we've become a nation of takers, not makers.
I want them all to take one more thing. A hike.
CALDWELL, NJ, April 1 /WyNewswire/ - Only days after their ill-conceived and revenue-fatal pay wall went live The New York Times has agreed to be acquired by an obscure New Jersey blogger in an all stock deal.
"I'm swapping my stock of old girlie magazines for what's left of their inventory of washed-up liberal pundits," said Chris Wysocki, founder and CEO of WyBlog.
The new publication, tentatively to be renamed "The New WyBlog Times," will be headquartered on the second floor of the Ringside Pub in Caldwell, NJ.
"It's the perfect location for a major new media daily," Wysocki said. "There's a bunch of big screen TVs downstairs so I can watch both Fox News and Fox Business and still keep an eye on ESPN. Plus I can glom WiFi from the coffee shop next door. And the bartender on Friday nights is really cute so I'm hoping my new-found success will finally convince her to pose for some tasteful Rule 5 pics."
The deal will close almost immediately. With the Times daily hit count plummeting faster than Barack Obama's poll numbers publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger, Jr. needed to quickly unload what had become an albatross around his family's neck.
"I was taking a tour of what was left of their newsroom and overheard this guy crying in the corner, 'I wish somebody would make me an offer for this dump.' So I walked over and introduced myself and the rest, as they say, is history."
"What really sealed the deal was when I mentioned I had a mint-condition copy of the rare 1978 Girls of the Ivy League Harvard Law Review Supplement featuring both Hillary Rodham and Michelle LaVaughn Robinson. His eyes lit up and he just got this huge goofy grin on his face," Wysocki said.
Plans for The New WyBlog Times include a completely revised pay wall. "Pay for my beer and I'll let you in behind the wall," Wysocki said. "Hell, pay for any right-of-center blogger's beer and you're in like Flynn."
Staff reductions at the Times were immediate and brutal. "I went down to the parking garage and fired everybody whose car had an Obama bumper sticker on it. And for the 20 or so cars with Kerry/Edwards stickers, those guys I shot on sight."
An announcement recruiting a new, right-of-center, staff for The New WyBlog Times will go out next week. "Everyone on my blogroll is encouraged to apply," Wysocki said. "You're pretty much guaranteed a job so long as you link this post."
He was linking me before linking me was cool. You guys might want to take note of that.
Carol is angling for the Art Director slot by listing me as This Week's Featured Blog.The Other McCain awards The New WyBlog Times with this week's Full Metal Jacket Reach-Around Award. That puts Stacy in line for Editor at Large, Smitty as our Chief Military Correspondent, and gives Wombat-socho a shot at helping Tori keep things running smoothly around here.
Congrats on your new gig Bob!
He didn't ask for a particular job, so I'm assigning him to the coveted post of Guy Who Gets To Whack Paul Krugman Upside The Head Whenever He Feels Like It.
Because I can!
Behold the power of The New WyBlog Times!
The Olde Times wasn't much for sports coverage, but thanks to Doug that's definitely gonna change!
Meanwhile Fishersville Mike garnered himself an op-ed slot.
Our first staff meeting is tonight at 9:00 PM at the Ringside. Attendance is mandatory!