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Technorati is indexing me again! They had to make a code change to fix the problem with my blog getting stuck in their queue. Kudos to Eric M. and the guys at GetSatisfaction.com where they have "community powered support for Technorati".
Well, they're "sorta, kinda" indexing me anyway. It's on a 24 hour tape delay or something. So I never get picked up by Memeorandum because they pull from Technorati and Technorati has stuff I posted yesterday listed as my latest blog entry. And that's old news to Memeorandum.
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The "greening" of California's energy infrastructure is producing some unforeseen consequences.
Solar power doesn't work very well at night. Or on cloudy days. Wind power tends to operate intermittantly.
A robust power grid takes those factors into account, usually by having natural gas turbine generators on standby. Alas, California's ecotwits have forced most of the state's fossil fueled power plants into mothballs. The ones that are still limping along will likely be shuttered by 2020 thanks to onerous and prohibitively expensive upgrades required under the Clean Air Act.
So what will happen on cloudy, windless days?
In 21st Century America. California will join the third world.
I imagine the Green Goons see this as a feature.
Remember a few weeks ago when President Obama lamented that he couldn't be Emperor of the United States?
"This is something I've struggled with throughout my presidency," said Obama. "The problem is that I'm the president of the United States, I'm not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed."
Ask, and ye shall receive, courtesy of Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP.
Days before the March 1 deadline, Senate Republicans are circulating a draft bill that would cancel $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts and instead turn over authority to President Barack Obama to achieve the same level of savings under a plan to be filed by March 8.
The five-page document, which has the tacit support of Senate GOP leaders, represents a remarkable shift for the party. Having railed against Senate Democrats for not passing a budget, Republicans are now proposing that Congress surrender an important piece of its Constitutional "power of the purse" for the last seven months of this fiscal year.
The sweep .... is striking. If Congress were to follow this course, significant power would be shifted to the president, an unusual maneuver that even Obama himself and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have scoffed at. But the plan appears to have the backing of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and is being advanced by conservative Republicans who don't want the White House to continue using the sequester as a public relations hammer.
It's like we're living in bizarro world.
When it comes to holding the line on spending, Chris Christie is all talk and no action. If you still think he's presidential material, or some kind of conservative, consider this.
He imposed a hard 2% cap on municipal, county, and school district budget increases. Because, he said, taxes are killing us here in New Jersey.
So imagine my surprise when he took to the Assembly chamber today to present his annual budget address. We already knew he was gonna cave on Obamacare. But nothing prepared me for the full extent of his duplicity.
His budget proposal calls for a record $32.9 billion in spending, a 4% increase over last year, with pretty much every line item seeing an increase.
More money for education? Check.
More money for public employee pensions? Check.
More money towards Obamacare? Check.
More spending on Hurricane Sandy relief? But of course.
More borrowing for transportation funding? Sure. Why not? Everybody else did it.
Then he has the unmitigated gall to say this:
He urged the Legislature the pass bills that would close loopholes allowing towns to exceed the cap by instituting user fees and eliminate sick-leave payouts.
"Those who were supposed to be responsible for controlling taxes and spending before we came to office fundamentally deceived the people of our state," he said. "They said yes to everything — yes to higher taxes. Yes to more spending. We must not return to that era of recklessness and deceit."
Curiously, the income tax cut he promised last year, and failed to provide, is missing this year. And property tax rebates are pushed back. Again.
So here's Chris Christie. Saying yes to higher taxes. And saying yes to more spending. Increasing our debt load. Exceeding his own cap. But somehow we are no longer in the era of recklessness and deceit.
What a putz.
Sheesh, the guy sits next to Michelle Obama at a fancy dinner and the next thing you know Chris Christie is singing the praises of Obamacare.
Gov. Chris Christie will expand the state's Medicaid program to cover 300,000 uninsured New Jersey residents, The Star-Ledger learned today.
The governor's new budget, which he plans to unveil at joint session of the Legislature this afternoon, also relies on state revenue growth of 4.9 percent and delays some property tax rebates for local taxpayers, according to three sources with knowledge of the budget plan who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
As for his decision to expand Medicaid, the Republican governor, a critic of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, could reap up to $300 million by expanding the state program in the coming budget year.
Before passage of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, people without children were not eligible unless they applied for welfare and earned no more than $140 a month. Allowing the expansion would reduce the burden on hospitals to treat uninsured patients, and the state, which partly reimburses those costs.
The revised Medicaid program would shift 100 percent of the costs to the federal government for these new enrollees for the first three years, then gradually taper it to 90 percent. The state could expect $1.7 billion a year to cover the costs.
Does Chris Christie have principles? Sure! And if you don't like those, he's got others.
Instead of a tax cut, we get more government spending! How's that for "conservative?"
They suckered him in with a promise of $300 million now. Which he desperately needs to plug his budget deficit. But, three years from now New Jersey's gonna need to come up with $1.7 billion just to keep this boondoggle afloat. Probably more actually, since nothing in Obamacare even comes close to restraining costs.
Yeah, that's fiscally prudent. If you're a
A national Democratic organization that supports pro-choice female candidates has a message for Gov. Chris Christie: His record is on women and family issues is "appalling."
EMILY's List, an influential Washington political action committee, announced today that it has placed Christie "on notice."
Oooh. He's "on notice!" They're mounting their brooms, ready to storm Drumthwacket, preaching the joy of infanticide while defending families.
The group said the criteria for the notice is two-fold: a politician must amass an "appallingly anti-woman, anti-family" record and have "a major Democratic female talent" ready to challenge them.
"Chris Christie's record is right wing and indefensible," EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock said in a statement. "He's anti-choice, anti-equal pay, and doles out billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations while hammering working families with massive cuts to education and healthcare.
You'd think that killing babies would be as "anti-family" as you could get, right? Nah, these gals don't see the irony. The only "family" they care about is the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Abortions for everyone! Or, you're "an extremist."
"Christie is a GOP extremist plain and simple, and New Jersey families need to know he's not on their side. With the help of the EMILY's List community — now two million members strong — voters are going to get to know the real Chris Christie: wrong on the issues, and wrong for New Jersey."
Unfortunately for Mizz Schriock and her two million sycophants, Chris Christie enjoys the highest approval rating in the history of the universe — 74%. That sounds pretty right for New Jersey to me!
So she's certainly got her work cut out for her. Here's an idea. Instead of putting him "on notice," put Chris Christie on Double Secret Probation. That'll really get the voters' attention.
I'll have Dean Wormer call your people.
I suppose it isn't exactly climactic when it takes 4+ years to get to one million hits. Then again, I got a million hits!
It's cool to me.
And what better way to celebrate than with a one in a million gal? Here's Raquel Welch from One Million Years BC.
Perseverance pays off. 2762 posts oughta count for something, right?
The millionth hit came from a guy in Haworth, New Jersey via Facebook around 2:30 AM.
Thanks for being awake!
Onward to 2 million...
...by snagging the coveted seat next to Michelle Obama at this weekend's Governor's Ball.
Gov. Chris Christie and President Obama have been in "an extended hugfest" since their bipartisan showing during Hurricane Sandy, reports The Atlantic Wire.
Perhaps that's the reason Christie scored a coveted seat to the right of Michelle Obama at the Governor's Ball on Sunday night?
Gag me with a spoon.
Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy needs money for his re-election campaign. And he's got a list of city employees. So he's personally calling each and every one of them, asking for donations.
Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has been calling city workers and employees of city agencies asking them to donate to his political campaign, and his longtime political rival is using the term "shakedown" to refer to the solicitations.
Healy even put the squeeze on one worker who earns less than $20,000 annually, asking for "whatever little contribution you can make to the cause of the re-election," according to two voicemails obtained by The Jersey Journal.
In both calls, Healy asked the worker to bring a donation in person to Healy campaign treasurer Patricia Connors, a Kennedy Boulevard real-estate agent.
"You know we got this reporting deadline at the end of the year, so please do what you can to get it there," Healy says in one of the messages. "And have a great New Year's."
In another voicemail played for a Jersey Journal reporter, Healy urged a city agency worker to give $500 to his re-election bid. In the message, Healy referred to a Dec. 6 campaign fundraiser at Casino in the Park that his campaign has said brought in over $100,000. "We were hoping you'd write a check for $500," the mayor says in the voicemail.
He knows where you live. He knows where you work. The implication is clear.
And Healy isn't taking "no" for an answer.
Most of the workers who spoke to The Jersey Journal asked not to be identified. One, who payroll records show earns less than $20,000 a year, said he received multiple phone calls from the mayor.
"You call once, that's fine, but you call three times ... he needs that money that bad?" the worker said.
You have it wrong sir. Do you need your job "that bad?" Because the mayor is giving you an opportunity here. Pay. Or ... maybe he'll find someone to replace you. Someone more accomodating, if you get my meaning.
C'mon, show a little gratitude already. Mayor Healy works hard for you!
Sadly this is how the Democrats do politics here in New Jersey. It shouldn't even
be news. Now if Healy wasn't shaking down city workers? That
would be news. Right next to the story saying "pigs fly."
It turns out that providing insurance for people with pre-existing conditions costs way more than HHS and Dear Leader thought. So their solution is simple. Close the program to new applicants.
New Jersey next Friday will suspend enrollment in an insurance program for people with preexisting medical conditions mandated by the new federal health care law, officials said.
The state was directed to do so by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which received limited funding from Congress to provide coverage in each of the 50 states. Without the suspension, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan would be in danger of running out of money to cover those currently enrolled, according to a message posted on the program's website.
Who'da thunk it, eh? People with pre-existing conditions are expensive to insure. That's because they don't want insurance, they want someone to pay their bills. Insurance is for people who might get sick. When you're already sick there's no way your premiums can begin to cover your costs. Someone else has to pick up the tab.
I'm just amazed that HHS is admitting there is more to health insurance than rainbows and unicorns. Obamacare promised "affordable" coverage for everybody, and Dear Leader waved his hands whenever someone asked how he was going to pay for it.
Now we know how. Denial of coverage. Sorry. The election is over. He won.
He doesn't need you anymore. And if you thought he was gonna take care of
your problems? I guess it sucks to be you.
Research. Into "comprehensive sex education" for our nation's youth.
The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act would expand comprehensive sex education programs in schools, while ensuring that federal funds are spent on "effective, age-appropriate and medically accurate" programs. . . .
Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) are co-sponsoring the bill, as well as 35 House members.
I'm sure Bob got a comprehensive "education" from those underage Dominican hookers that he, ahem, allegedly, patronized.
Congressional junkets are well-known to be Serious Fact-Finding Missions. It's purely a coincidence that they're destined for exotic locales crawling with loose women and free booze. Bob was All Business, IYKWIMAITYD, spending his every waking minute on "research" into sex education. Then he high-tailed it back to the Senate where he wrote everything down, and got his good and trustworthy friend Al Franken to join forces with him.
Alas, the average low-information New Jersey voter is waking up to Bob's mendacity.
Forty-four percent of New Jersey voters believe Sen. Bob Menendez is not honest and trustworthy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
Two-thirds of those polled said allegations against the Democratic lawmaker should be investigated.
Overall, the senator now has a 36 percent approval rating, a number that was 51 percent the last time Quinnipiac asked that question, in a survey released Jan. 23.
Seven out of 10 voters in the Garden State have read or heard something about the scandals swirling around Menendez and Melgen.
And here's the best part. The more they know, they more they hate Bob.
More than two thirds of voters have heard of his troubles and the more they know, the less they approve.
Is it any wonder that State Run Media suppressed these, um,
allegations, until after the election?
One day, perhaps when nobody was looking, Matt Damon took over for Joe DiVincenzo as Essex County Executive. Because when it comes to the "State of Essex County," Joe D summed it up in 4 words — "We Bought A Zoo!"
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo still has a list of things to do.
Foremost is raising the county's bond rating to AAA, DiVincenzo said tonight during his 10th annual State of the County address. But he also has plans to continue expanding Essex County Turtle Back Zoo.
Yeah, our Founding Fathers fought and died so government could tax the citizenry for zoos.
Maybe if he wasn't always borrowing money for boondoggles our bond rating would already be AAA.
"If we are not fiscally sound, nothing else matters," DiVincenzo told more than 300 party faithful.
Building a restaurant with county funds on county land for one of your political cronies? Yeah, that's the very definition of "fiscally sound."
And for his next trick? The biggest zoo expansion yet, with Chris Christie on board to boot.
Christie also accepted an award to head the 50th anniversary celebration of the county zoo as the event's chairman. This year, DiVincenzo will unveil a massive expansion of the zoo featuring a new sea lion exhibit, 1,600-gallon touch tank for sting rays and sharks and a brand new education center.
"This will be the largest addition in the history of the zoo," DiVincenzo said.
The next time someone says Chris Christie is a "conservative," ask him what conservative principle leads to spending $5.5 million tax dollars on sting ray exhibits. Or $4.8 million tax dollars on Safari Mini Golf.
And then please, tell me why it was imperative for Joe D to raise taxes. Again.
My guess? Those sea lions, sting rays, and sharks will all vote
As you might have guessed, I was on vacation this week. Blogging was light, and my Facebook account saw zero action.
Sophie would say, "Good times, good times."
Thinking back on the week, it occured to me that Disney World is a microcosm of our own universe. And not just because you can walk from Mexico to Norway before you finish your margarita.
Everything requires that you establish your identity. Check in to a resort? Photo ID. Buy a souvenir? Key in your PIN. Enter a park? Scan your keycard, and validate your fingerprint. Try using the wrong finger? No entry for you.
There's no "ticket fraud" at Disney World.
Contrast that with voting. Say a name. Vote. Walk across the hall. Say another name. Vote again.
Yeah, that's secure.
The Disney people could solve our voter fraud problem in 5 minutes, with one hand tied behind their backs.
But then, Democrats might lose.
Remember when I took a vacation last summer and my friend Rich Stelt did a little guest blogging? Rich said there was no such thing as "vote fraud."
The limited benefits of laws like photo ID requirements are simply not worth the cost. They are more likely to disenfranchise a relatively large number of elegible voters.
Yeah, "eligible voters" like Melowese Richardson and her army of fake relatives.
The Obama/Biden lawn sign remains proudly planted in front of Melowese Richardson's Cincinnati home, three months after the presidential election.
It seems that President Obama has an especially ardent supporter in the veteran Ohio poll worker.
Richardson told a local television station this month that she voted twice last November. She cast an absentee ballot and then voted at the polls as well.
"Yes, I voted twice," Richardson told WCPO-TV. "I, after registering thousands of people, certainly wanted my vote to count, so I voted. I voted at the polls."
Authorities also are investigating if she voted in the names of four other people, too, for a total of six votes in the 2012 presidential election.
Richardson claimed she had submitted an absentee ballot, but was afraid her vote would not count so she also voted in person. She also said she voted in the name of her granddaughter and yet another person.Three other absentee ballots in the names of different people were submitted to the Board of Elections from Richardson's address on Nov. 1. Officials say the handwriting on those ballots is similar and that they were all received together, on the same day that Richardson's absentee ballot arrived at the office. Richardson maintains that some of the other voters live at her house.
Oh but, she did it for Dear Leader, so that's OK!
"I'll fight it for Mr. Obama and for Mr. Obama's right to sit as president of the United States," Richardson vowed when asked about the voter fraud investigation that is now under way.
"There was absolutely no intent on my part to commit any voter fraud," she insisted.
Rich, who BTW is also in the tank for Obama, calls photo ID laws a "waste of time and money." Well sure. Five fewer votes for his Lord and Savior is definitely a waste of his time and money. It's not like Ohio's electoral votes were influential in the election's outcome, right? Ohio isn't Wisconsin, where the fraud really was blatant.
Nah, Rich wants the votes of people like Melowese Richardson to count.
Six times. Or more. Whatever it takes to keep those evil Rethuglicans from
"disenfranchising" Dear Leader's minority supporters.
I hate Bill Gates. And Windoze. And my laptop.
I'm "Cookie Dad" for Sophie's Girl Scout troop. Tonight is the last night to enter orders. So here I am, updating my troop spreadsheet, when Poof!, my laptop reboots.
"Installing Windows Updates", it says.
Like that's supposed to make me feel better.
"Do not unplug or turn off your PC."
How about if I plug 120 Volts directly into Bill Gates' genitals? Because there's no excuse for him wiping out my work.
Yeah, I suppose there's some setting, somewhere, that'll turn off his heavy-handed hijacking. But why is it up to me to tell him to get stuffed? Didn't I pay for this lump of iron? Shouldn't I be in charge of what it does?
VMS would never do this to ne.
Dear Kathleen Sibelius, "No means No." We told you we wanted you to set up your own confounded Obamacare Exchange for New Jersey, and so, no, that doesn't mean we want to "partner" with you in running it either.
Leave us out of it. Keep your Washington bureaucracy in Washington.
Now if only Bob McDonnell could be as forthright,
Smitty would be a happy guy.
Because nothing says "good government" quite like wage and price controls.
New Jersey residents will vote in November on whether to raise the state's minimum wage and tie future changes to inflation.
The Democratic-controlled Assembly passed the last of a set of resolutions Thursday that puts the question to registered voters, seeking approval of a proposal to raise the minimum wage by a dollar, to $8.25 an hour, and link future changes to the consumer price index through a constitutional amendment.
If voters approve the measure on Nov. 5, New Jersey would become the 11th state to tie its minimum wage to an index.
Oh how very European of them! You'll have a Constitutional Right to a "living wage."
But why stop at $8.25? Dear Leader wants it to be $9. And it's racist if you don't do what Dear Leader wants, isn't it?
Here's a thought. Make it $100! Everybody deserves to be "rich," right? If you're going to go to the trouble of amending our State Constitution, go for the brass ring! Any liberal will tell you, $8.25 an hour is an insult to the "working poor." So, how about we do a good deed and eliminate poverty once and for all!
And here's the best part. With all jobs paying a minimum of $100 per hour, everybody will be subjected to Dear Leader's millionaire's tax! Just imagine how much new tax revenue will be rolling into the IRS under a plan like that. It'll eliminate the deficit in no time at all!
Or, and I'm just throwing this out there, because according to Nobel Laureates like Paul Krugman the laws of supply and demand don't apply to government, but hear me out — maybe there won't be as many jobs available at $100 an hour. Maybe employers won't be able to afford to pay that much. They'll cut back on workers, or go out of business altogether.
Nah, that's crazy talk, right? This is Dear Leader's Socialist Utopia. Where rainbows and unicorns dance in streets paved with gold. Wave a magic wand, or pass a Constitutional Amendment, and the money will just flow like water.
Or so the Democrats would have you believe.
Go ahead. Vote yourself a pay raise. What could go wrong?
It's official. Frank Lautenberg won't seek re-election next year.
U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a pugnacious and plain-spoken Democrat who has represented New Jersey for three decades, will not seek re-election to a sixth term next year.
"I am not announcing the end of anything. I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey," Lautenberg told the Star-Ledger. "While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I'm going to keep fighting as hard asever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate."
More like the beginning of the end. It's your swan song Frank. About damned time too. If you really mean it. After all, you did "retire" once before.
Then again, Cory Booker is no Bob Torricelli.
In July of 2010 an unemployed NJ resident named Jim Chukalas posed for a White House photo op with a beaming President Barack Obama. At issue, extended unemployment benefits, and a promise to improve the economy so guys like Jim could land a new job.
New Jersey resident Jim Chukalas had already been out of work for 20 months in July 2010 when he was among a handful of people invited to the White House to stand behind President Obama as he urged Congress to extend unemployment benefits. Now more than 2½ years later, Chukalas remains one of the more than 440,000 people who make up New Jersey's 9.6 percent unemployment rate.
"Some days I want to pull my hair out," the 45-year-old from Sussex County said.
Obama spent part of his State of the Union speech on Tuesday outlining a series of steps to boost the economy, partly by preventing automatic spending cuts that would eliminate jobs when they kick in next month, and partly by enacting new proposals and older ideas that failed to win support in Congress before.
Hope and same!
But it is not clear how the steps Obama outlined, which include raising the minimum wage, creating innovation centers for manufacturing and a second stimulus program to repair unsafe bridges, would translate into opportunity for Chukalas, a former parts manager at an auto dealership.
Jim's been out of work for four years. The entirety of Dear Leader's first term. His extended unemployment benefits are long since exhausted. And his White House photo isn't worth the paper it's printed on. He's a statistic. Forgotten by the man who once promised him a brighter future.
There are millions of Jims across America. Waiting. Hoping. And Dear Leader is so gosh-darned concerned about their fate that he's pivoting himself into yet another vacation to rest up after his grueling State of the Union speech.
Maybe Jim Chukalas should apply for a job as his caddy.
Our local officials "scaled back" their deer hunt this year. Because the Bambi-lovers demanded it. So instead of whacking 500+ deer like in previous years, they bagged 152.
The controversial county-sponsored deer hunt eliminated 152 deer this year, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said.
The sixth annual hunt was scaled back to roughly half the scope of 2012's hunt and will serve as the model for next year, DiVincenzo said today at the South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange.
Officials will conduct spotlight counts in March and April at the county-owned recreation sites to determine deer density.
DiVincenzo, who was lobbied by conservancy groups at Hilltop and South Mountain to continue the hunt, said the deer management program aims to restore overbrowsing and prevent deer-related car crashes on county roads.
Yo Joe, the deer moved. Come visit my front lawn. You can hit your 152 quota without breaking a sweat, probably in less than a day. The little bastards are everywhere. Eating everything. If it was up to me I'd have your guys using flame-throwers. Bar-b-cue 'em right on the spot. Because your idea of "deer management" is to chase 'em out of your parks, and into my neighborhood.
My idea of "deer management?" Shoot every last one of the fuckers. Twice.
Maybe then my shrubs won't look like they'd been attacked by Agent Orange.
Or as it turns out, misguided hippy-dippy adoration for four-legged vermin.
When you've got trouble in the Dominican Republic, Bob Menendez is the man to see. Today's Star-Ledger reports that a second donor to his campaign also availed himself of Bob's Senate bully pulpit.
On the very same day Menendez interceded with Obama administration officials on the ports deal last summer, he also went to bat for another company involving a heavily disputed Dominican road-building contract. A deal, records show, that benefited New Jersey investors who contributed to his campaign.
The road contract, which has attracted scant attention in the United States, involved a firm called Codacsa, a Spanish consortium with U.S. interests, various government records show. At a hearing on July 31, 2012, of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere — then chaired by Menendez — the New Jersey senator called on the U.S. government to pressure the Dominican government on behalf of Codacsa in connection with a $42.5 million international arbitration award, according to an official transcript of the proceeding.
After fighting the Dominican government for years over a contract it won in 2001 for two big highway projects, Codacsa had won the arbitration award in January 2012, but had no way to collect the money.
Menendez, a Democrat, told officials from the State and Commerce departments that countries needed to be sent a message that they could not violate trade agreements and arbitration awards. "If these countries can get away with it, they will," he said at the hearing, according to the transcript.
Donate to Bob's campaign and he'll be your collection agency!
A Star-Ledger review of court documents and public records in the Dominican Republic shows that the lone U.S. investor in Codacsa is a New Jersey company named Clearly Tropical. After revving up and winding down its investment over the years, the Fairfield, N.J.-based company had a $130,000 stake in Codacsa in 2012.
State corporate records show the company is headed by Ruby Pacheco, who — with her husband, Joseph Bonanno — have donated $19,800 to Menendez's campaigns and leadership PAC since 2006, according to Federal Election Commission records. Their most recent contributions came this past June, with two $2,500 checks to Menendez's November re-election campaign.
It's good to see the liberal media finally noticing just how sleazy ole Bob really is. Still, it's a pity they couldn't have done that before New Jersey's low information voters chose to return him to the Senate for 6 more years. With of course, a whole lotta help from the media that's now turning against him. It's almost as if they're bringing up all this stuff now so that by the time Bob's up for re-election again most folks will have forgotten all about it.
I didn't watch it. But my FB feed provided more than enough evidence to assure me that I didn't miss anything important.
The State of our Union is … Not Progressive Enough! More Government! Now!
What a load of horsepucky.
Universal preschool? Yeah, because starting the progressive indoctrination at age 5 is sometimes too late. Gotta get 'em when they're really young and impressionable. By kindergarten some kids already believe in God, and that cuts down on their ability to pledge unvarnished fealty to the State.
How else can he expect to create a nation of sheeple who'll let him play dictator via the Executive Order(s) of the Day? The government is smarter than you; go back to watching American Idol and leave the thinking to us!
Gun Control! Now! Because children.
How about ponies? Children want ponies too. I'll bet I can find a boatload of YouTube videos of kids asking for a pony. Are those kids any less earnest than the kids begging Dear Leader to take away my guns?
If I wanted a child to run the country I would have voted for one. Can we put the adults back in charge? Please?
"The fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15." Um, no. Sorry Sport. Not even close. Get your facts straight.
Oh, who am I kidding? To his followers, anything Dear Leader says is automatically a Fact. Unless you're a racist.
He's reduced the deficit by $2.5 Trillion. He said it, it must be true. In some alternate universe.
I suppose that'll be a Fact now too.
Jay Leno: "Oh, and for the first time ever...when the President walks into the chamber, instead of 'Hail to the Chief,' they played 'Hey, Big Spender.' I thought that was kind of interesting."
And then the bugler could sound "Retreat." Because the war against Al-Qaeda is won. Chris Stevens was unavailable for comment. Maybe he's vacationing in Mali.
The decade of war is over but we face threats from new regions but we are reducing by half our troops in Afghanistan but our troops deserve our support but we need taxes or the axe will fall on the Defense Department.
Followed by stuff like, the sequester is Bad, even though it was my idea. Karl Rove probably used his brain-wave thought-implantation device to stick it in my head. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Because you rubes will believe anything I say, and forget I said the exact opposite just 5 minutes ago.
And finally, you really do have a job, even if you're unemployed. Cashing a government check is now officially a job. I just signed a Secret Executive Order saying so. See, when I say I'm pivoting to the economy, I can really pivot. That's why I golf so much, to practice pivoting, on my backswing.
God save us.
By the time Dear Leader is done slashing our military all we'll have left for defense is a couple of slingshots and a box of firecrackers. But on the plus side, the money he should be using to keep us safe will buy a helluva lot of free stuff for the moocher class. And that's really all he cares about.
What's a potential smoking crater on the West Coast compared to Obamaphones for everybody, right?
C'mon, it's not like North Korea is well on their way to perfecting their atomic bomb, is it?
North Korea today confirmed it had carried out its third and most successful nuclear test yet which triggered an artificial earthquake near the underground explosion site.
The test was an important step toward its goal of building a bomb small enough to be fitted on a missile that could reach United States.
North Korea made clear that the explosion of its third atomic device — which it claimed was smaller than the ones in its previous two tests — was a warning to what it considers a "hostile" United States.
And how does Dear Leader plan on responding to this imminent threat? By dismantling one third of our nuclear arsenal.
Barack Obama is expected to propose sweeping new cuts to America's nuclear weapons arsenal on Tuesday when he delivers his annual State of Union, arms control experts said, as the re-elected President searches for a long-term legacy for his second term.
The proposal to cut the US strategic warhead arsenal by up 40 per cent could save billions of dollars and take America another step closer to the long-term goal — avowed by Mr Obama in his landmark speech in Prague in 2009 — of a nuclear-free world.
"A nuclear-free world." Hmmm. I don't think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong Un got the memo. Maybe Dear Leader should send them another copy. That oughta do the trick, right? Because it worked so well with his buddies in the faculty lounge. Really. They like totally believed his bullshit.
And now he's got a Nobel Peace Prize and everything. So there's no way he could be wrong.
I feel safer already.
He's been on the job for a little over a month, but new Caldwell Councilman Edward Durkin is already making a name for himself. As a crybaby.
At his very first council meeting Mr. Durkin pompously pronounced that he'd personally look into a resident's complaint regarding an issue with the Caldwell Community Center. Mr. Big Shot Greenhorn Councilman wanted to make a splash!
Alas, we happen to have a Mayor, 5 other Councilmen, and an extremely competent Borough Administrator. They quietly handled the situation, except they didn't run it by Durkin The Magnificent first.
And when you're a legend in your own mind you don't take that kind of thing laying down. Nope. No way. You throw a public temper tantrum instead!
Durkin, during the council meeting February 5, was upset he was not included in the discussions or letter sent out in the council's name to the Mignone family before it was drafted, written and mailed.
"I reached out to this gentleman (Mignone) to get his side of the story," he noted. "I wanted to hear the resident's side. I cannot believe you guys resolved this matter with a letter sent out from the governing body from our attorney. I had zero knowledge of this letter - zero."
Durkin also said he believes the way the letter was handled was wrong, and that the procedures were incorrect as well, since he was not included.
[Borough Attorney Greg] Mascera disagreed.
"I do not set procedure, councilman," he noted. "You should learn procedure. You do not call out anyone on council in public."
As the argument grew more heated, Mascera said he was instructed to draft the letter by the mayor and governing body.
But Durkin was adamant: he wants to be included in matters impacting residents of Caldwell - saying this was vital to him especially if he publicly states he wants to get involved.
Referring to his fellow councilmen Durkin said, "I know we are not all the best of friends. I'm an elected official and I want the best for the residents of Caldwell regardless."
Caldwell Council President Richard Hauser also commented, saying "Along the lines of some of those comments, I think comments at the last meeting were inappropriate instead of throwing our government employees under the bus."
"I am not apologizing (since) all I need to get is two (sides) of the story," he said.
At one point, Durkin said they could "step outside" to talk further about the matter, but this statement was taken as a threat by Mascera who said he wanted this statement to be put into the official minutes of the meeting.
Mascera, who runs the council meetings with a professional and courteous manner, was upset by the discussion. Truly, over the past 4 years as borough attorney, he has never been seen as this upset and emotional, and has instead usually been the voice of reason during arguments.
"I have never been spoken to in a council meeting, in four years, or accused of any wrong doing in a council meeting for four years," he said. I resent the fact that Mr. Durkin did not pick up the phone and tell me to discuss the situation."
Yeah, "step outside" is Real Professional. Classy even. What's next Eddie? Holding your breath until you turn blue? All because you didn't get to play hero?
In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, "There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit." Maybe you should write that down Ed.
Later in the evening Mr. Mascera offered a little wisdom.
Mascera said Durkin's reaction may be a result of him being green.
"Most new council members get their feet wet gradually and learn the process and then act accordingly," he said.
He added, "There is no place for partisan politics at a municipal level. Partisan politics in my view get in the way of what is best for the community."
OK, Caldwell Democrats, it's time to muzzle your attack dog before he
embarrasses himself again. But in case he doesn't take the advice, we'll
be sure to have the Waambulance on standby outside the next council meeting.
Hey Bob, the New York Times is starting to notice your shady dealings. You sure you wanna keep protesting your innocence?
Or did you forget you told DHS to back off from helping the Dominican Republic set up their port security operations because then they wouldn't need to buy the equipment from your buddy Salomon Melgen.
Senator Robert Menendez sought to discourage any plan by the United States government to donate port security equipment to the Dominican Republic, citing concern that the advanced screening gear might undermine efforts by a private company — run by a major campaign contributor and friend of his — to do the work.
The intervention with the Department of Homeland Security last month came even though Mr. Menendez has publicly chastised the Obama administration for not doing more to combat the surging drug traffic moving through Dominican ports.
And it came shortly after the senator's friend, Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, arranged to meet with a senior State Department official, accompanied by a former aide to Mr. Menendez, in a related push to protect the port security contract, which is worth as much as $500 million over 20 years.
It's really not that hard to connect the dots Bob. Melgen writes you big checks, and maybe throws in a few underage hookers for good measure. And then, purely coincidentally right Bob?, you go to bat for Melgen whenever he picks up the phone. Which turns out to be all the time.
But wait, there's more! In what must be another one of those amazing coincidences, when you need cash, Melgen writes more checks.
That's called influence peddling Bob. And it's against the law. Even
in New Jersey.
So, while you were digging out from Winter Storm Nemo, Bob Menendez was busy, busy, busy — trying to deflect attention from his ethical misadventures.
See, as it turns out, Bob Menendez's good buddy Dr. Salomon Melgen quadruple-billed Medicare for the same vial of eye drops. All the time.
At issue in the reimbursement dispute is Melgen's multiple use of individual vials for eye injections to treat macular degeneration. Federal auditors have said Melgen often billed the government three to four times for injections from a single vial, according to two federal officials and lawyers familiar with the case.
The government's Medicare program reimburses providers $2,000 for each vial, so Melgen was billing $6,000 to $8,000 for each vial.
Melgen's attorneys said the doctor was properly billing for treating four patients with medical injections, albeit from one vial.
After CMS ruled in 2008 that Melgen would have to repay the government, he and his legal representatives contacted Menendez's office, arguing that the finding was unfair, the senator's aides said. Menendez's staff members had several conversations with agency officials to learn more about the billing rules and the details of Melgen's case in particular, the aides said.
In July 2009, Menendez called Jonathan Blum, the Medicare director at CMS, to express concern, the aides said. Menendez brought up Melgen's case, they said, in the context of broader concerns about the guidelines.
Then, in June 2012, Menendez raised Melgen's case again at a meeting with CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, aides recounted.
Bob's persistent, eh? The message seems to be pretty clear. Lay off Melgen. Because Bob believes billing the taxpayer 4 times for the same vial of medicine is an "ambiguity."
"Regarding Medicare reimbursement, he has in the past raised concerns with CMS about conflicting guidelines and ambiguity in CMS rules that are difficult for providers to understand and can lead to judgments after the fact," the statement said. "His interest was in making sure providers were not penalized if CMS clarified or changed the rules of the game retroactively."
Yeah, I'm sure it's merely abiguous that you can't sell the same vial of medicine to 4 different patients. Common sense doesn't enter into it, right? Did Melgen pay his supplier 4 times the going rate? Of course not! He was bilking the taxpayers, and Bob thought that was just hunky-dory, because a lot of Melgen's ill-gotten money was destined for Bob's re-election fund.
Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Menendez's for many years. Last year, his practice gave $700,000 to Majority PAC, a super political action committee set up to fund Democratic candidates for Senate.
Aided by Melgen's donation, the super PAC became the largest outside political committee contributing to Menendez's re-election, spending more than $582,000 on his behalf.
In fact, Bob makes quite a profit on the beneficiaries of his legislative largess. He gets them lucrative government contracts, and they write him big fat checks.
There was the $295,000 he received from biotech companies and hospital PACs. The senator later authored tax breaks for biotech companies.
There was the $825,000 he received from contractors and landowners who benefited from the development of a Hudson County light rail system. The senator fought for federal money to get it built.
There was the $13,700 contributed to Menendez by a Hackensack company that makes artificial knees.
The senator urged the Food and Drug Administration to license the product. And the company hired his former chief of staff as a lobbyist.
Quid Pro Quo. No?
Some of those connections include the major overhaul of health insurance known as Obamacare, which included provisions Menendez authored that provided tax breaks for biotechnology companies and higher Medicare reimbursements for urban hospitals. And biotech company PACs and employees gave at least $95,000 toward his reelection last year, while hospital PACs and employees gave more than $200,000.
Menendez also introduced a bill to relax rules on foreign investment in commercial real estate, and the head of the Real Estate Roundtable raised $32,000 in contributions for him last spring, while the National Association of Realtors "bundled" an additional $21,000 in late 2011.
And he wrote a letter to the Federal Reserve supporting the sale of a troubled Elizabeth bank whose executives had contributed more than $50,000 over his career. He reintroduced a bill in July 2008 to legalize Internet poker, and deposited nearly $16,000 in contributions from professional poker players a month later.
What's that old saw? Follow the money. The money? It leads to Bob Menendez. All the time.
The guy might as well hang a For Sale sign on his door.
Oh wait, that wouldn't be ambiguous, would it?
Caldwell is blessed to have 3 "hyper-local" news crews, all vying for our attention, eyeballs, and ad dollars. They have emergency apps. And email blasts. And Facebook alerts.
And of course, cute graphics.
So while you're hunkering down, scrambling to find milk, eggs, and bread, consider this: "...we've had storms named Snowpocalypse, Frankenstorm, Snowmageddon, Snowzilla. Now we're supposed to be scared of... Nemo?"
Everybody is posting school closings, stories of gas lines, rumors of supermarket catastrophes, and dire predictions of massive snow accumulations, with the inevitable comparisons to Hurricane Sandy. ZOMG!, we might lose power! To which some wag replied, "I've already thrown out all the food in my refrigerator and freezer, and cut the power to my house. I'm way ahead of you guys."
Relax everybody. It's winter. We get snow. Or were you expecting
Score another one for Wayne LaPierre and the NRA. Passaic Valley High School will soon have a pistol packin' principal.
Raymond Rotella, a career cop and former school resource officer, may become North Jersey's first school administrator to pack a pistol when he enters Passaic Valley Regional High School each day.
The decision to arm the principal is one of several moves the district has made to beef up security following the school shootings in Connecticut late last year, including developing a rigorous registration process for visitors and installing elaborate security entrances.
"Having a teacher or a principal carry a weapon is not a policy I would have recommended for most people," Superintendent Viktor Joganow said. "But we don't just have someone who is trained to use a weapon, we have someone who is trained to respond to a crisis."
Joganow said he sent 1,400 copies of a letter detailing the proposal and Rotella's qualifications to parents. While only a few parents responded, the reaction has been mostly positive, he said.
The Passaic Valley Regional school board will meet Tuesday to take up the first of two votes required to adopt a policy permitting Rotella to carry a weapon in the school.
Rotella has served as the high school's principal for the past three years. In his previous career as a Little Falls policeman, he served for four years as the high school resource officer. He's had his concealed weapons permit since he retired in 2007 as a police sergeant in charge of the department's firearms training unit.
Rotella sees the policy as a means to reassess the role of a school principal in a crisis. During a lockdown, he typically would be required to lock himself in his office or a classroom. But if the policy is approved, he said in an interview Wednesday, he would become an integral part of the school's security plan.
The best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Bravo Principal Rotella for leading the way.
The vultures are circling. And the FBI is moving their Menendez investigation from Miami, where one could assume their primary focus was Bob's good buddy Dr. Salomon Melgen, to Newark. Bob's home turf.
Two FBI sources have told The Daily Caller that the bureau's inquiry into Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is now based in New Jersey, not Miami. One added that pressure is mounting from the highest levels of the Justice Department to pursue the investigation.
The change of focus away from the bureau's Miami field office indicates that the government is focused primarily on Sen. Menendez — and not on his longtime donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, as political observers have speculated.
Menendez is embroiled in a scandal sparked by allegations that he slept with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.
Underage hookers are the least of your problems Bob. Influence peddling. That's the Real Crime. Dr. Melgen wouldn't know port security from port wine, but suddenly he's the owner of a company with a billion dollar contract? And, quite coincidentally, it just so happens he gets a little help from you with dislodging that contract from some State Department red tape?
Now that all this has come to light, the highest levels of the Justice Department are looking at you Bob. Why do you suppose that is?
There are rumors that powerful Democrats are now working to hasten the downfall of Menendez.
Attempts by certain liberal journalists (e.g., Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post) to minimize the seriousness of this scandal will prove ineffectual, because if Senator Menendez tries to hang on, it might inspire greater scrutiny to other politicians connected to Dr. Melgen, and those other politicians don't need that scrutiny.
Are you sweating yet Bob? Because if I was you, I'd be sweating.
Hot on the heels of raising their prices (again), the Postal Service announced plans to eliminate Saturday mail delivery.
The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week under a plan aimed at saving about $2 billion, the financially struggling agency says.
In an announcement scheduled for later today, the service is expected to say the Saturday mail cutback would begin in August.
Under the new plan, mail would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays.
Apparently "millions of Americans" support the switch to a 5 day delivery schedule. These are the people who still believe the Pony Express is in the mail delivery business.
They're not. They're in the retiree pension and health benefits administration business. Most of the money you spend on postage doesn't go toward delivering the mail. It goes into the pockets of retired mailmen. And their doctors.
The Post Office isn't unique in that regard. Government Motors is also primarily a pension plan; their sideline just happens to be building cars instead of delivering mail.
I wonder if GM will ever build a car that only runs 5 days a week.
After ducking reporters for a week, Menendez for the first time in a brief interview on Capitol Hill directly addressed the allegations that he consorted with prostitutes in the Caribbean, angrily labeling it all a smear campaign.
"It's amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a website can drive that type of story into the mainstream, but that's what they just did," said the New Jersey Democrat, raising his voice as he spoke. "The bottom line is (that) all those smears are absolutely false."
Gee Bob, I'm hurt. I'm not anonymous. I've got a name. And a face. Don't you care Bob? I'm a constituent too. Are you saying I'm not important to you Bob? Perhaps because I haven't written you a large enough check? Or treated you to some "full service" R&R at the luxury resort of your choosing?
Can I help it if I've got higher moral standards than most of the folks you hang around with?
You know who else isn't "nameless and faceless" Bob? These guys.
Alas, the senator's indignant denial is false. That is to say, the "individuals on a Web site" who are driving "that type of story" are neither anonymous, nameless nor faceless. The reporter who originally broke the Menendez story is Matthew Boyle, a young investigative journalist who made a name for himself at the Daily Caller before hiring on more recently at Breitbart.com. Boyle is brash and aggressive — perhaps occasionally, a bit too aggressive — but there is nothing "anonymous" or "faceless" about him. Neither, for that matter, can that description be applied to Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald, or Neil Munro of the Daily Caller or any of the other reporters who have been breaking stories about the Menendez scandal in the past week, since the FBI raided the Palm Beach, Florida, offices of Dr. Salomon Melgen.
Sure, they aren't your usual bunch of sycophantic boot lickers from the Star-Ledger, but that doesn't make them non-persons, does it Bob?
Know what else Bob? You're lying.
Menendez insists that he never had sex with anyone at any time during his Dominican trips. "Now, nobody can find [the prostitutes]," Menendez told CNN's Bash in their Monday interview. "No one ever met them. No one ever talked to them, but that's where we're at. So the bottom line is all of those smears are absolutely false and, you know, that's the bottom line."
Again, however, the Menendez denial is false. Matthew Boyle says he interviewed two of the women last year, and Boyle is adamant in his belief that these accusers were telling the truth.
And then Stacy McCain poses the question that should have you losing sleep Bob.
This presents a rather tricky dilemma for any journalist: Who is more trustworthy, a Dominican prostitute or a New Jersey Democrat?
I'm pretty sure we all know the answer to that one.
President Obama missed the Monday deadline for submitting a budget to Congress, marking the fourth time in five years he has been late — and in a town where missing deadlines is routine, this one is beginning to get noticed.
The Budget Act requires that he submit a blueprint for taxes and spending by the first Monday in February, but only once, in 2010, has he met that deadline. This year, the White House hasn't yet said when it will have a plan.
But in an ironic twist, the president missed the deadline the same day he signed the aptly named "no budget, no pay" act, which withholds pay from members of Congress if they don't pass a budget by their own legal deadline of April 15. That was attached to a bill that waives the federal debt limit through mid-May.
You'll note that "no budget, no pay" doesn't impact Dear Leader. So, what does he care? His checks, and the checks for Queen Moochelle's entourage, will keep rolling in. He might have to cut out hot breakfast for our troops though. Hey, sometimes sacrifices are necessary.
And besides, he's busy. Retooling his re-election campaign into a gun-grabbing juggernaut. Making incoherent speeches. Shooting skeet. And of course, finding new and questionably legal ways to whack American citizens from orbit.
Come to think of it, he hasn't even had time for golf. So let's give
the guy a break, OK?
Well Golly Beev! The crackerjack reporters at the Star-Ledger found a lady who says she isn't one of the prostitutes who (allegedly!) slept with Bob Menendez.
A young woman named in connection with an alleged sex scandal involving U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez denied in a television interview she was ever involved in prostitution and said she had never met him.
The 21-year-old, who lives in a village in the south of the Dominican Republic, said: "It's completely false. I don't know that man even from the television."
Separately, Vinicio Castillo, a Dominican lawyer and cousin of Salomon Melgen — a major campaign donor now at the center of an FBI investigation that has sparked widespread speculation of Menendez's involvement — charged that Melgen was the target of a "dirty campaign" by drug cartels aimed at discrediting him.
We'll get back to the "drug dealers" angle in a minute. But first, let's hear from an Actual Dominican Prostitute:
A Dominican prostitute's firsthand account of sex parties allegedly attended by New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez refers specifically to another participant: Vinicio "Vinicito" Castillo Seman, the scion of a prominent Dominican political family who serves as a lawyer for his cousin, Dr. Salomon Melgen, in the Caribbean nation. . . .
At least one of the women allegedly involved has said she was younger than 18 when she first had sex with Sen. Menendez.
In her account, sent via email on April 21, 2012 to the liberal advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the prostitute identified "Vinicito" by name as a participant, along with Melgen and Menendez. . . .
"It was during some yacht outings that I realized I needed to get out of there," the young prostitute wrote in one email included in that collection, "because these people are so important and they do whatever they want with whomever they want."
"Vinicito was there, who goes to many of the doctor's functions and invents things [to do] with the young girls, and then forces them to do the same things with the doctor's friend. And he really liked it and wanted to take them to another place, but I don't know where. They threatened those girls and told them to not talk, and that they couldn.t leave." . . .
In an April 28 email to CREW about the sex parties, the same woman said that "we women are very mistreated," especially "the younger ones between 16 and 18 years old."
Menendez continues to deny consorting with and/or mistreating underage hookers. And his friends at the Star-Ledger are only too happy to trumpet his denials on page 1. Just like they pretended he never took a plane flight (or 3) to the Dominican Republic until, you know, Bob coughed up the cash to pay for the flights he said he never took.
Sooner or later the Media is gonna have to start investigating. For real.
What you're beginning to see now is the drip-drip-drip effect: Once the scandal got serious enough that the New York Times was forced to report on it, that served as a signal to other news organizations that this is a legitimate story, rather than (as many mainstream reporters had apparently wanted to believe) just some flimsy thing ginned up by Menendez's right-wing enemies.
Right-wing enemies. Or Drug Dealers. Whichever bogeyman the Ledger finds convenient. See the drug dealer angle ties into Melgen's sweetheart port security deal, the one his good buddy Bob had the State Department light a fire under. What's an eye doctor doing in the security business anyway? Fighting "drug dealers!" Or lining his pockets, and funding Bob's re-election? Hey, what the hell do I know about stuff like that? Maybe a Real Reporter could look into it. If he wasn't running interference for Menendez.
Fortunately the Miami Herald isn't in Menendez's pocket. They checked out some of the HookerGate details. And found them credible.
You can read the whole thing. The details confirmed by the two Miami Herald reporters are important because — as anyone with experience chasing this kind of story would tell you — if the story were totally bogus, basic facts like names and addresses wouldn't check out.
A bogus story would have make-believe girls at non-existent addresses, but instead this story has the little details right. The fact that the women have now "disappeared," as McGrory and Sanchez report, isn't particularly surprising, nor is it surprising that the landlady (a) thought the hookers were "foreign exchange students" and (b) didn't know the names of their alleged clients.
See? Real Reporting. Aggregated by none other than the indefatigable Robert Stacy McCain. Stacy's been all over the Menendez story from the get-go, and along the way he just happened to discover a very interesting fact about tourism in the Dominican Republic.
"Prostitution is everywhere here; on the beach, in the bars, in the clubs," said Antonio Guzman, 36, a hustler who has worked the beach for 15 years and regularly connects tourists with prostitutes. "This place runs on it." . . .
Long before explosive allegations emerged claiming Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and a political contributor flew to the country for wild parties with several prostitutes, the Dominican Republic had cemented its reputation as a hub for sex tourism. . . .
Studies suggest between 60,000 and 100,000 women work in the sex trade in the country, according to the Center for Integral Orientation and Investigation, a health and outreach organization based in the capital, Santo Domingo.
Like I said, very interesting. Bob Menendez just happens to take frequent trips to the Hooker Capital Of The Universe, and we're supposed to believe it's merely because he enjoys the food.
Or maybe, and I'm just thinking out loud, maybe Salomon Melgen wanted to
cement his "quid pro ho" with Bob Menendez, and felt that having some underage
hookers in his back pocket would come in handy some day. See the Real Scandal
here is the
influence peddling. Bob's cheerleaders at the Star-Ledger don't
want you to remember that though. So they throw up a smokescreen — a
woman who says she's not a hooker also says she never slept with Menendez!
— and they call that "news."
Sometimes you read something in the paper and you just shake your head in bewilderment. Like with today's saga of liberal idiocy.
There's no disputing the fact that Essex County Freeholder Rufus Johnson was carjacked last week. Right in his own driveway. By three armed thugs. So now he's lashing out. At the government, and himself.
Johnson was mum in the days immediately after being violently carjacked on Jan. 26, but spoke out late last week.
This isn't his first brush with violence, either. Months earlier, Johnson was having breakfast at the counter of a mom-and-pop eatery popular with police and local clergy in the West Ward on 18th Avenue when gunfire erupted inside, leaving one man dead and two others injured.
Looking back on both incidents, Johnson said government leaders like himself must shoulder responsibility in combating violence by keeping youth from getting sucked into a life of crime.
"It's a whole lot of things that contributed to what happened to me. It's not just those kids," he said.
A former basketball player who coached for nine years, Johnson, 56, also works as chief-of-staff for state Sen. Ronald Rice and describes himself as a longtime youth advocate. Over the past decade-and-a-half, Johnson said, government cutbacks have laid waste to the budgets of social services and youth recreation programs which he said are vital to a community's health.
Carjacking is all too common in Newark. Caused, of course, by "government cutbacks." No more midnight basketball? Pick up an Uzi and stick it in some guy's face!
Freeholder President Blonnie Watson, a Central Ward resident, agreed that the focus must be on helping young people.
"When you're hungry or you need a roof over your head...what do you do as a human being? These young kids are suffering because their parents can't provide for them," she said.
Can you believe this sophistry? The only answer to hunger and suffering is … crime! That's it. There's your choice. Free stuff from the government. Or crime.
Personal responsibility? Self-reliance? Nope. Not part of the equation. Since time immemorial, poor kids abandoned their morality and immediately turned to a life of larceny. Right?
What do you do as a human being Ms. Watson? You show a little respect. For yourself. And for others. Here's some excellent advice from a judge in New Zealand.
"Always we hear the cry from teenagers 'What can we do, where can we go?'"
... My answer is, "Go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons, and after you've finished, read a book."
"Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do not owe you fun. The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty or sick and lonely again."
"In other words, grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Start behaving like a responsible person. You are important and you are needed. It's too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now and that somebody is you..."
Find those kids who carjacked you Mr. Johnson. And then beat them over the head with this advice until it sinks in. You'll do them, and yourself, a world of good.
It's The Hunger Games, round two. Fresh off of limiting the caloric content of your child's school lunch Michelle Obama's minions at the USDA are moving to restrict what snacks can be sold during the day. No snack can exceed 200 calories, and must comprise either a fruit, vegetable, dairy product, protein food, "whole-grain rich" product, or a combination food that contains at least 1/4 cup of fruits or vegetables.
In practice, the proposed rules would replace traditional potato chips with baked versions and candy with granola. Regular soda is out, though high-schoolers may have access to diet versions.
Friday's release won praise from health advocates who say it will help combat childhood obesity, a growing problem in the United States with wide implications for future public health spending.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that students' academic performance may also improve with healthier habits.
Improved academic performance? You mean like the last time when some kids were so hungry they started gnawing on their backpacks? Didn't you hosers learn anything from that fiasco?
Apparently not. Central Planning 101 — all children will eat what
Michelle Obama tells them to eat. And nothing more. Because The State is
onmipotent. And your child is merely one of millions, all alike,
interchangeable with any other, bred to serve the government, and destined
to conform with every whim of the bureaucracy. For their own good, of course.
Sen. Bob Menendez used his influence to advocate for a Dominican Republic business deal that helped a longtime friend and donor whose South Florida office was raided by federal agents this week.
Menendez questioned Obama administration officials at a July hearing about what it was doing to help U.S. businesses that he felt were being unfairly treated by the government of the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries.
One of the companies Menendez was apparently referring to: ICSSI, acquired the year before by Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Palm Beach County eye doctor and friend. The company was seeking to enforce a contract it had won to X-ray Dominican Republic port cargo that could be worth $500 million to $1 billion over two decades.
"You have another company that has American investors that ... has a contract actually given to it by the — ratified by the Dominican Congress — to do X-ray of all of the cargo that goes through the ports," Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, said at the July 31 hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. "And they don't want to live by that contract either."
So Dr. Melgen flies his good buddy Bob down to the Dominican Republic for some "full service" R&R, and in turn Bob tells the State Department to put its weight behind freeing up a cool billion dollars or so in revenue for Doctor Love's newly acquired business venture.
Foreign Relations, it's all fun and games until
the FBI starts asking questions.