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New York City councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) is largely responsible for the plastic bag fee about to hit the Big Apple. And why is he so gung-ho about it? Because he wants the government to "irritate" you.
"It works by irritating us into changing our behavior," Lander said of the bag tax.
It works by irritating us. There can be some debate about the accuracy of one of those verbs, but not the other. Government, when it's being honest, acknowledges it isn't your buddy, your helper, your protector, your go-to source for inspiration and dreams.
Nope, the government is now proudly proclaiming itself your irritant. Let me suggest a very slight rewording of Lander's remark: "Our work is irritating you." And let it be inscribed in granite in public places.
This is the Progressive Democrats' raison d'etra, to irritate you.
And of course to signal how virtuous they are.
Do they care if their irritants cause real hardships for real people?
Don't make me laugh.
It's a display of self-love by upscale liberals. The Emmas and Sebastians of New York are already gaga about their nifty canvas tote bags and their virtue-signaling designs (NPR, Ready for Hillary, whatever) — and are crazily obsessed with getting the poor to act more like eco-conscious social-justice warriors.
But being poor is so stressful, so saturated with worry, that remembering to bring a reusable shopping bag stands to be more difficult for many of those with lower incomes (though those who buy with food stamps will be exempted). The same goes for old people. It can take a lot of bags to bring your groceries home. For some, 50 cents is a significant expense. Forcing the grandmothers of New York to pay up to teach them a lesson is an exercise in cruelty.
Hey, they bankrupted an entire industry (coal), putting millions of people out of work, devolving vast swaths of West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio into soul-crushing poverty. Do you really think they care about some old lady in Queens living on Social Security? Her electricity rates have already "necessarily skyrocketed." What's another 50 cents?
Think of how many Democratic party policies have at their core the propensity to irritate us. Which they always manage to say is for our own good, of course.
It's dictatorship of the nanny state.
Progressives always know what's good for us better than we do. Just ask them. It's necessary for them to control us, because then we're busy complying with their mandates and we don't have time to get our own ideas. Once in a while they throw us a bone and we lap it up like good little automatons, because making choices is hard and making good choices is harder still.
Several years ago I actually had a person tell me in response to some new bureaucratic diktat or another, "why should I worry about that when the government has already decided the best way to handle it?"
Then in the next breath she complained about the Iraq war, but the disconnect in those two statements was completely lost on her. The government is only omnipotent when it's doing things Progressives believe in, I guess.
Oh, by the way, those reusable cloth bags come with their own problems. So get ready for an "unexpected" jump in e. coli infections, disproportionally affecting the elderly and the poor, that all the progressive media outlets will dutifully report on but dare not connect with Councilman Lander's plastic bag ban.
And then the progressive virtue signalers will mandate cloth bag testing
stations, manned by unionized government workers, who'll issue Certificates
Of Cleanliness that must be exchanged for your groceries. Sure that'll cost
a lot, but it'll save lives and you didn't think the government
wasn't going to protect you, right?
Seven years of Obama and now nobody knows what bathroom to use…
Transgender people should be able to use whatever bathroom they want, Donald Trump said Thursday.
"Oh, I had a feeling that question was going to come up, I will tell you. North Carolina did something that was very strong. And they're paying a big price. There's a lot of problems," the Republican presidential candidate said during a town hall event on NBC's "Today."
New York Values!
I'm hoping all his faux-conservative supporters are jumping with joy this morning. Phyllis Schlafly, try to spin this as "pro-family,", OK?
Only now the perverts are protected by liberals pandering to the LGBT bullies. Your pre-teen daughters? Yeah, not protected. Not one bit.
And if you object? You're the hater. You have to change your ways. You need to go find an alternative restroom, and shame on you for judging the Max Klingers of this Brave New World.
Democrats and their media allies are determined to make coed bathrooms the next bastion of "tolerance." Hillary Clinton is enthusiastically on board. And ESPN just fired baseball great Curt Schilling for the unpardonable crime of stating the obvious. Because apparently women are totally vulnerable to sexual assault on college campuses nationwide, except when they walk into a coed restroom or locker room. Then they're completely safe! Honest!
So who's the one candidate willing to stand up for our moms' and daughters' restroom privacy?
'Men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls,' Cruz said during a taping of an MSNBC town hall today. 'As the father of daughters I'm not terribly excited about men being able to go alone into a bathroom with my daughters.'
'That is a perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make,' he told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd.
Of course it's perfectly reasonable. So naturally Democrats, and Donald Trump,
are opposed to it. They won't be satisfied until every societal more is ripped
to shreds, sacrificed on the alter of "tolerance." Except the one thing they
refuse to tolerate is dissent from their totalitarian worldview.
Ole Chuck doesn't like it when people take him at his word.
The Senate's No. 3 Democrat said Tuesday that his 2007 promise to block a conservative Supreme Court nominee should not be used by the GOP to justify its own plan to ignore President Obama's choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said his pledge to stop a nomination by then-President George W. Bush is an "apples to oranges comparison" to the current vacancy because he would have at least entertained the nomination and voted on it.
Uh, that's not what you said Chuck. Let me refresh your memory.
Schumer told the American Constitution Society in 2007 that Democrats "should reverse the presumption of confirmation," because the court was "dangerously out of balance." At the time, George W. Bush was president.
Guess what Chuck? We're gonna "reverse the presumption of confirmation."
Thanks for the idea!
Oh, but now Chuck is saying he'd only oppose an "extreme" nominee.
Left unsaid is that Chuck's idea of "extreme" is anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders.
Also left unsaid is how Democrats have been playing outrageous games with the appointment process for a quarter century.
When Robert Bork was defenestrated by Joe Biden, despite Biden's having said he would have no choice but to vote for someone so well-qualified, he was setting the table for payback. When Harry Reid pulled the trigger on the nuclear option (on lower court appointments) he was warned that this would come back to haunt him. When Democrats disgustingly blocked Miguel Estrada from the bench solely because he was a Hispanic, they set the table to be turned. When Barack Obama voted to filibuster Alito, he set the table to be turned.
Your team made the rules Chuck. Don't come crying to me when we start playing by them.
From where I sit it's about damn time we stood up and shouted "no!"
And if you don't like that? Well, in the immortal words of Dick Cheney,
Go fuck yourself.
For 8 years we've heard how Republicans are racist for daring to criticize Barack Obama. It's every Democrat's favorite retort, especially when she's losing an argument.
Yesterday, the Congressional Black Caucus leveled the same charge against Socialist upstart Bernie Sanders, because he's aligned himself with Democrats who criticize Obama.
Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York, the chairman of the CBC, tore into Mr. Sanders, a Vermont independent, calling his record on gun control "very troubling" and questioning the significance of his growing roster of black surrogates.
"His record on guns is very troubling. Bernie Sanders voted to protect the gun manufacturers. That's a problem."
Mr. Meeks said Ms. Clinton has been focused on "getting guns off the street" and accused Mr. Sanders, who served in the House for nearly two decades before his election to the Senate, of not being a partner with the CBC. The Queens congressman predicted […] Mr. Sanders […] would fail with the black electorate.
Since both Iowa and New Hampshire are almost entirely white, and Mr. Sanders hails from one of the whitest states in America, the "real primary" is just beginning now, Mr. Meeks argued. He ripped some of Mr. Sanders' most prominent black surrogates, including Dr. Cornel West, a fierce Obama critic. This, along with a focus on Mr. Sanders' gun record, has been an emerging Clinton attack line: that Mr. Sanders, who claims to support President Obama and promises to protect his legacy, aligns himself with the likes of Dr. West, who once called Mr. Obama a "niggerized" president for not challenging white supremacy.
"Cornel West is one of the biggest critics of Barack Obama. People like him don't acknowledge all the good work he's done," Mr. Meeks said. "These are all critics of Barack Obama, which means Sanders is a big critic of Barack Obama."
Yowza! This is starting to get good!
See, it's not enough to promise everyone Free Stuff. Nope. You have to promise Black Americans more Free Stuff than anyone else in order to garner the CBC's endorsement.
Then there's Rep. John Lewis, attacking Bernie for claiming to have fought for civil rights in the 1960s.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., hit Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders' past activism during the civil rights movement while throwing his support behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Lewis was participating in a press conference on Thursday announcing that the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee was endorsing Clinton. In response to a question from Roll Call about Sanders' previous work on civil rights, Lewis, a civil rights leader who chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and spoke at the 1963 March on Washington, said he did not work with Sanders."I never saw him. I never met him," Lewis said. "I was involved in the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery and directed the Voter Education Project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton."
Lewis' remarks contrast with Sanders' frequent highlighting of his record on civil rights. Sanders' campaign website bio shows him as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at the University of Chicago to see Martin Luther King — and incidentally, Lewis — speak in 1963.
Sorry Bernie, it's all about what you've done for them lately. And sucking up to Al Sharpton when you should have been pandering to the CBC, well, that's not how the game is played.
Nevermind that according to Larry Elder writing at Real Clear Politics Blacks are worse off under Obama. In most cases far worse off. And nevermind that the former Chairman of the CBC has this to say about Obama in 2011:
The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., in 2011, complained about the economic plight of Black America. He said, "If (former President) Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House." He repeated the statement 12 months later, when black unemployment stood at 14.1 percent: "As the chair of the Black Caucus, I've got to tell you, we are always hesitant to criticize the President. With 14 percent (black) unemployment, if we had a white president we'd be marching around the White House."
Instead they've sold their souls to Hillary Clinton, who has promised to be
the realization of Obama's 3rd term. Whether or not that's good news for
Black America, or for that matter America in general, is very much in doubt.
Bernie Sanders' New Hampshire victory speech in a nutshell: We want what you've got.
For the life of me I can't understand how any red-blooded American can sit there and stomach such nonsense.
The guy's never worked a Real Job in his life. Or rather, he failed miserably at every job, except politics. Yet he believes he's entitled to take from those of us who didn't fail and live large off our efforts.
You can call it Socialism. You can dress it up as "fairness," except it really isn't all that "fair" to the guy forking over his hard-earned money.
What it really is, is Theft.
And what is theft but greed by another name? The Bible calls it "coveting." And that's the essense of Bernie's socialism. He covets his neighbor's goods. He envies your and my success. And his goal is to take what we have, by force.
How that is somehow better than the system we have now is left unanswered. Hipsters don't do irony, right?
So, riddle me this. Why should Bernie stop at Free College and Free Health Care and Free Housing and Free Drugs and Free Love? Why not Free Flat Screen TVs? Or Free Cars?
Bernie's vision of government is to meet everyone's "needs" without regard for their efforts or abilities. Marxism 101. Go ahead, look it up.
That's not "fairness." It's never been about "fairness." It's always, and I mean always resulted in abject misery, except for the Chosen Few.
Look at North Korea. Or Cuba, Venezuela, China, and of course Bernie's favorite dictatorship, Soviet Russia. Because that's Democratic Socialism in action.
I want them to understand what forced redistribution of wealth really looks like, up close and personal.
Alas, they won't believe it, will they. Not these kids. They're smarter than me; their professors told them so.
To them, Bernie Sanders is Santa Claus, albeit with armed reindeer and a naughty list a mile long. They're gonna ride Santa's sleigh to the promised land, because it's easier than getting up and going to work every morning.
But then, by the time Bernie gets around to screwing them over too, it'll be too late.
Too late for them. Too late for Freedom. And too late for America.
Which of course they'll characterize as
U.S. Senate Democrats — including New Jersey's Robert Menendez and Cory Booker — blocked action on legislation that would impose new restrictions on admitting Syrian refugees.
The vote to consider the legislation was 55-43 with 60 votes needed. Two Democrats joined 53 GOP lawmakers to support the bill, and 43 Democrats voted no. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the measure.
Under the bill, which passed the House in November by a veto-proof 289-137 vote, refugees could only be admitted after the FBI director, Homeland Security secretary and the director of National Intelligence all concur. This would be in addition to the current 18-to-24 month background checks of refugees already conducted by the Homeland Security Department.
Because the vetting Obama's guys do is so thorough, and no terrorists can slip in through the cracks.
And the Tsnarnaev brothers were such fine, upstanding people, right?
Hey Bob and Cory I've got a really great idea. Pick some women you care about.
Tell them to bunk with your Syrian buddies. I'm sure everything will be
Bob Menendez repeatedly said he didn't have sex with prostitutes. He even labeled the accusations a right wing smear campaign instigated by conservative media outlets.
But as it turns out, where there was smoke, there was indeed fire.
When federal agents looking into health care fraud searched the office of Florida eye doctor Solomon Melgen in January 2013, they found references to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez scattered all around.
There was a black notebook, found on the bottom shelf of a bookcase, according to court records. In it, agents found what "looked to be a ledger of prostitution activities," FBI Special Agent Gregory Sheehy wrote in a court affidavit. Menendez's name also appeared in the notebook, along with his phone number, Sheehy wrote.
Sheehy later filed a more detailed affidavit that discussed the notebook, which he said included the names of numerous women, many "denoted simply by a single name in quotation marks." Most included a phone number next to their name, and a few mentioned a nationality, Sheehy wrote in the affidavit. There were also names of men, including Menendez, Sheehy said. The senator's name appeared on nine separate pages.
Now why do you suppose Bob's good buddy, a guy who Bob did so many favors for, would keep records of Bob's dalliances with ladies of the evening?
Can you say "insurance?"
Sure, I knew you could.
Bob Menendez was bought and paid for, and Dr. Melgen wanted to ensure that Bob stayed bought and paid for. Quid pro ho, to coin a phrase.
And, according to the New York Daily News, some of Bob's sexual partners were under the age of 18.
But in a motion Monday asking the judge to ignore the defense arguments, Justice Department lawyers say the hooker allegations "were not so easily disprovable as the defendants suggest."
Prosecutors used the defense claims to highlight previously undisclosed tidbits on Menendez's pursuit of younger woman.
The lawyers say their investigation resulted from "specific, corroborated allegations that defendants Menendez and Melgen had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic."
Bob Menendez, the Jared Fogle of the US Senate.
Which might explain why Tom Moran and the Star-Ledger are so gung-ho to rehabilitate the reputation of Bob Torricelli. Their editorial reads like a love letter to an old flame.
If indeed Menendez goes down, it's a safe bet that Torricelli will throw himself back in the game. And if there is a smarter politician in this state, on politics or policy, then we have yet to meet.
Sheesh, get a room.
But hey, if there's one thing NJ Democrats are good at, it's replacing one
corrupt politician with another. After all, they have an endless supply.
Experienced, adult political operatives who want to do grassroots work for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign currently have no choice but to work as unpaid, full-time interns, raising new questions about how the White House frontrunner runs her own labor force as she prepares to double down on young people's role in the American economy.
The Clinton campaign is currently in the midst of what multiple Democratic sources described as a "hiring freeze" for paid organizing positions in the early campaign states where the former Secretary of State is laying the foundations of a massive national staff, with few if any paying jobs available for field operations.
Clinton's camp has made headlines about its frugality and a hard sell on its fellowship program, which allows aspiring politicos between the ages of 18 and 24 to spend this summer as full-time campaign volunteers. The result, however, is the human-resources reality of a campaign — one scheduled to hold at least 26 fundraisers this month alone — that isn't just taking on college students with political science degrees but expecting political veterans to gamble their careers on her without pay.
Clinton, according to her would-be employees, has left full-time organizers with little choice but to criss-cross the country and work as "free help".
That's Hillary. Talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
Now, on the one hand, if you're stupid enough to donate your time to Hillary, you deserve to be poor. And of course there's always welfare and food stamps and Section 8 (or a nearby couch) and Medicaid to see you through. Or family money if you're part of the limousine liberal crowd she seems to attract so easily.
On the other hand, isn't this exactly what she accuses employers like Walmart of doing to their employees — paying next to nothing and then asking the taxpayers to foot the bill for their supposed reluctance to honor a "living wage?"
Why yes, yes it is.
Because "hypocrisy" and "Democrat" go hand-in-hand.
So try not to laugh too hard the next time Bill or Hill charges two or three hundred grand to bloviate about how Americans need a $15 per hour minimum wage.
At Team Clinton the minimum wage is zero. And the lemmings like it
Cory Booker got out of Dodge before the full effect of his incompetence hit. Which left Ras Baraka to finish the job his Marxist anti-Semite father started in 1967. Amiri Baraka (nee LeRoi Jones) lit Newark on fire. His son has succeeded in burning Newark's finances.
The city of Newark — its finances already under state control — has been hit by a major credit downgrade relegating some of its outstanding debt to junk bond status.
The move targeting the state's largest city comes amid growing questions by Wall Street over the financial strength of at least five other struggling municipalities — including Atlantic City, Paterson, Union City, Asbury Park and Kearny — in the wake of New Jersey's own fiscal troubles.
The debt of both Atlantic City and Paterson have also been downgraded below investment grade by Moody's Investors Service. The three other municipalities were rated as an increased risk.
Among the downgrades announced in the past week by Moody's included a drop in Newark's general obligation unlimited tax rating affecting $374 million in debt, to Baa3 from Baa1, indicating substantial credit risk. Another $39 million of general obligation limited tax bonds dropped from Baa2 to Ba1, a rating considered junk bond debt.
What do Newark and those 5 other towns have in common?
Decades and decades of Democratic Party rule.
Yeah, I'm wearing my shocked face too.
Where Democrats reign, despair, decay, disinvestment, and now downgraded debt inevitably follow.
For his part, Mayor Baraka disclaimed any responsibility, and threw his predecessor under the bus.
Newark officials said they were dismayed by the downgrades, but called the city's weakened financial position a "legacy of prior administrations." The city's new business administrator, Jack Kelly, said Mayor Ras Baraka — who was elected last year — had been in office less than eight months when Moody's requested a credit review.
"The majority of the city's two previous year ending deficits were caused by overestimating revenues to close budget gaps. When these overly optimistic revenues didn't materialize, both the 2013 and 2014 budget years ended with deficits," Kelly said.
Well, Cory Booker was busy running for Senate, so getting Newark's budget in order probably wasn't on his to-do list. Meanwhile, his designated seat-filler, Luis Quintana, didn't even really try to get anything done.
Of course Booker sang the same song as Baraka when he tweeted into town — all this stuff is Sharpe James' fault!
And, if you're old enough to remember when James took over, he blamed Ken Gibson, who I recall "inherited a mess" from Hugh Addonizio.
Excuses, Newark's always got 'em, in a never-ending supply.
How's that song go? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
What amazes me is that the people of Newark keep falling for it. They got the government they apparently wanted, and it's failure is their failure.
Because I assure you, they'll definitely get fooled again.
We know Democrats believe in voting for a living. But I never expected one to actually come out and say it so succinctly.
Not right: A min. wage-earning single parent of two must work 50 hrs/week to escape poverty. http://t.co/QafnNscfql— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 7, 2015
Hard work is what exactly? Overrated? Too hard? Not worth it?
Only somebody who's never held a Real Job in his life could believe such nonsense.
.@CoryBooker Working hard to escape poverty is overrated, amirite?!— The Real Bepo (D) (@TheRealBepo) May 7, 2015
When I started out, I worked a helluva lot more than 40 hours per week.
As a matter of fact, I still do.
No wonder I'm not a Democrat.
Take it away James Franco!
All I know is that when I needed McDonald's, McDonald's was there for me. When no one else was.
In 1996, I moved to Los Angeles from Palo Alto at age 18 to study English at UCLA. I soon realized that half the city was working in the movie industry and the other half was trying to get into it, and because I hadn't applied to the theater department as an incoming freshman, I would have to wait two years to even apply.
Someone asked me if I was too good to work at McDonald's. Because I was following my acting dream despite all the pressure not to, I was definitely not too good to work at McDonald's. I went to the nearest Mickey D's and was hired the same day.
I was given the late shift drive-thru position. I wore a purple visor and purple polo shirt and took orders over a headset.
After a month, they allowed me to work the front counter during the day.
After three months of working at McDonald's, I booked a Super Bowl commercial for Pizza Hut. Because it was for the Super Bowl, it was very elaborate: a computer-generated Elvis singing and serving the new Deep Dish pizza. From that point on, I could support myself through acting.
I was treated fairly well at McDonald's. If anything, they cut me slack. And, just like their food, the job was more available there than anywhere else.
And the rest, as they say, is history. From humble beginnings, great things can be accomplished.
"Nothing ever comes to me, that is worth having, except as a result of
— Booker T. Washington
I doubt Cory Booker has ever set foot in a McDonald's, let alone worked the late shift at the drive-thru. What the hell does he know about "not right?"
"Not right" is counting on McDonald's as a career. Not that it isn't honest work, and if you can live off the salary, great. But entry-level jobs are just that, entry-level and the goal isn't to spend the rest of your life flipping burgers.
Hard work is the stepping stone to success.
Unless, of course, you're an affirmative action hire at a guilty white liberal law firm. Then you're just an out-of-touch putz pretending to stand up for The Little Guy. Except he's probably working his butt off right now and he isn't actually interested in what senators playing pundit on Twitter have to say.
Oh, who am I kidding? That preening senator and his cronies are going to
promise their gullible
suckers voters a quick path to
Easy Street. No work required. Just vote Democrat, and sit back while
the wealth redistribution rolls in.
It's unsustainable in the long run of course. But they don't care. By the
time "the long run" hits they'll be rich and retired. All the suckers who
bought their bullshit? Not so much.
It just depends on what his meaning of "the poor" is, I guess.
Former President Bill Clinton defended his family's foundation amid mounting conflict-of-interest questions, claiming there's nothing "sinister" at work -- while saying he might consider stepping down as foundation president if his wife wins the presidency.
Clinton addressed the issue during an interview aired Monday on NBC's "Today" show. The interview comes as media reports raise questions about donors potentially benefiting from their relationship with the Clintons.
But Clinton described the criticism as a "very deliberate attempt to take the foundation down."
"And there's almost no new fact that's known now that wasn't known when she ran for president the first time," he said.
As for the foundation's work, Clinton said there's nothing "sinister" in trying to get wealthy people and countries to spend money in a way that helps the poor.
Because devoting a mere 6½% of its budget to charitable work is the very model of altruism, or something.
The Clinton Foundation's finances are so messy that the nation's most influential charity watchdog put it on its "watch list" of problematic nonprofits last month.
The Clinton family's mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.
The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.
In all, the group reported $84.6 million in "functional expenses" on its 2013 tax return.
"It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons," said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group where progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout was once an an organizing director.
Gee, I wonder how anyone could get that impression?
The Clintons are just Plain Folks. And they're "broke," remember?
Clinton also said he will continue to speak at events if asked. Some people have questioned his paid speaking engagements, which can command as much as $500,000 or more.
"I've got to pay our bills," he said.
It's tough being a Clinton. No wonder Hillary is running for president, she
needs the paycheck, to help, uh, "the poor."
Is there a sucker born every minute?
Former governor and U.S. Senator John Corzine may soon add another title to his resume — hedge fund owner.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the fund would likely be launched with Corzine's own personal wealth, along with contributions from a handful of outside investors.
You remenber Jon Corzine, right?
He's the financial genius who took over MF Global, ran it into the ground, vaporized more than a billion dollars of his clients' money, and then tried to weasel his way out of any responsibility for the debacle.
You know, just the kind of guy you'd want looking out for your life savings!
So, what's his sales pitch this time?
Because I'm pretty sure that "Give me all your money, never see it
again!" isn't going to win him very many customers.
Wherever Bob Menendez goes, corruption isn't far behind. And it looks like that buying himself a pet U.S. Senator isn't going to help Salomon Melgen avoid prison.
New federal charges of Medicare fraud involving tens of millions of dollars were filed late Tuesday against Salomon Melgen, the Florida eye specialist who was indicted earlier this month with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez for allegedly bribing the senator in exchange for help with financial and personal matters, including a Medicare billing dispute.
Bob says "billing dispute," the Justice Department says "fraud." With a capital "F."
The new charges, contained in a 76-count indictment handed up in Florida, accuse Melgen of falsely diagnosing patients with a potentially blinding eye disease and then fraudulently billing Medicare for doses of an expensive drug he did not buy, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern Florida.
Between January 2008 and December 2013, the release said, Melgen billed Medicare for more than $190 million and his company, Vitreo-Retinal Consultants of the Palm Beaches, was reimbursed more than $105 million. Prosecutors said that "a substantial portion of these reimbursed payments were allegedly obtained through fraudulent billing.""Patients fearing blindness sought treatment from Dr. Melgen's office," said Shimon Richmond, special agent in charge of the Miami office of the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Instead, they allegedly received medically unreasonable and unnecessary tests and procedures for which they and taxpayers paid millions of dollars."
And coincidentally, some of those millions found their way into Bob Menendez's pocket, as well as into the coffers of the DNC.
Reached late Tuesday, Tricia Enright, a spokeswoman for Menendez, said of Melgen's new indictment: "The senator knows nothing about this. It has nothing to do with the senator's case."
Dr. Melgen should've bought a dog instead of a Senator. At least then he'd
still have a friend.
Corruption? In a politician from New Jersey's Hudson County? Where's my shocked face?
Bob Menendez's chickens have finally come home to roost. A federal grand jury indicted him today on corruption charges, including conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud.
Sen. Bob Menendez has been charged with using his office to improperly benefit a Florida eye doctor and political donor.
A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted the New Jersey Democrat on charges including conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud.
Prosecutors had been investigating whether Menendez improperly advocated for the business interests of Dr. Salomon Melgen, including by intervening on the doctor's behalf in a medical billing dispute.
And no, this isn't an April Fools post.
Interestingly, news leaked earlier this week that Bob's co-conspirator is going to be indicted as well.
Federal prosecutors are moving toward charging a Florida eye doctor over his dealings with New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, according to a person familiar with a Justice Department investigation into their relationship.
How nice. They can be cell mates. It's a bit of a step down from the private plane and fancy villa in the Dominican Republic that they're used to, but I suppose they'll muddle through OK.
And I guess we're gonna need to hold another special election. Steve Lonegan,
please call your office!
Hillary Clinton is not alone among Democrats. In Jersey City, NJ, everybody uses a private email account. The government servers are lonely, and empty.
As Hillary Clinton faces scrutiny over her use of a private email account to handle government business, some local public officials are defending their own use of private email accounts while on the job.
The officials -- including Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who runs Jersey City's prisoner reentry program -- offered a variety of reasons for why they use private email accounts, including age.
"I'm going to be 58 years old and am fortunate I know how to use one email account," McGreevey said in a statement from the city spokeswoman.
I'm 57 years old.
I can manage 5 different email accounts.
And yes, they're all on my BlackBerry.
Sorry Jimbo, you're a putz.
Other officials who use private email accounts include Bob Sommer, who last week became a volunteer Fulop adviser after nearly two years on the city payroll using his Gmail account almost exclusively; Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill, who switches between her city and personal Gmail accounts; Jersey City Councilwoman Candice Osborne; Hudson County spokesman James Kennelly, who uses personal and county accounts; Freeholder Bill O'Dea, who uses Yahoo; and Bayonne spokesman Joe Ryan, who uses Hotmail. Fulop switches between his Gmail and city accounts.
What are they hiding?
Don't count on finding out.
And you know what?
I'm really pissed off.
In what universe is that right?
Because I'm pretty sure that her job was more important than mine.
I never made a life or death decision.
Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Chris Stevens were unavailable for comment.
And Steve Fulop wants to be governor? When he, and his minions, are concealing their communications from the Freedom of Information Act?
What's he got to hide? He's supposed to be Mr. Squeaky Clean.
Yeah, if you believe that, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn you can have, cheap.
The only reason to maintain a secret email account is to avoid scrutiny.
If you're going to cheat on your wife, you don't use your work email to arrange trysts with your mistress.
And if you're going to screw the taxpayers, you don't use a government email account to talk about it.
Hillary Clinton is dirty. Her foundation took money from some of the worst human rights abusers on the planet. And she's complicit in their misogny. She's obviously got something to hide from her adoring femininut friends.
Steven Fulop is hiding something too.
Democrats always have something to hide.
What amazes me is the fact that the Palace Guard media, who are 110% in the tank for 0bama, are out in front of these email scandals. That can mean only one thing. They're hoping Elizabeth "Fauxcahontas" Warren takes Hillary's place. And, closer to home, "the other Steve" (Sweeney) lands in Drumthwacket.
Alas, the silent majority might, and I emphasize might, this one time wake up and smell the bullshit. Because the stench is overpowering.
You can vote for Democrats and their secret email accounts.
Or, you can wake up and get a clue.
I'm sure the timing of this announcement is purely coincidental.
According to an exclusive report published first by CNN, Democrat Senator Bob Menendez will be indicted by the Department of Justice on federal corruption charges.
The Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, alleging he used his Senate office to push the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts.
People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on prosecutors' request to proceed with charges, CNN has learned exclusively. An announcement could come within weeks. Prosecutors are under pressure in part because of the statute of limitation on some of the allegations.
The government's case centers on Menendez's relationship with Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who the senator has called a friend and political supporter. Melgen and his family have been generous donors to the senator and various committees the senator is associated with.
I am no fan of Bob Menendez. But this thing stinks. He's been vocal and persuasive in his opposition to Dear Leader's policies on Cuba and Iran. And this "investigation" has been percolating for six years.
So why now?
"Will no one rid me of this turbulent senator?", cried President Valerie Jarrett. And lo, Eric Holder unleashed the hounds.
I got a buck that says if Bob pipes down and acts like a good boy the whole thing will go away. That's how the Obama White House operates. They punish their enemies, and they reward their friends.
Bob Menendez didn't get with their program. So now he's gonna get an orange
They were going to throw her off the ballot anyway.
Just an hour after her running mate said he will not support her re-election, state Assemblywoman Linda Stender announced she will call it quits when her term ends in January.
Stender (D-Union) is facing controversy over her husband's use of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate to demolish a Sandy-damaged home he owned in Manasquan, and for his attempt to use the non-profit to build a much larger and more luxurious house on the site.
"Over the last several days, it has become apparent that personal issues involving my family and a nonprofit group have become an insurmountable distraction to me, to my running mates and, most importantly, to the constituents I have been proud to represent for more than a decade," Stender said in a statement. "As a result, I have decided not to seek reelection."
Don't feel bad for her though. She'll be keeping that $90,000 per year job her cronies created for her at the Union County Improvement Authority.
Hey, they're not mad about what she did, they're mad because she got caught.
When you donate to Habitat for Humanity, you expect your money will go toward helping needy people put a roof over their heads.
And it's kinda hard to believe an NJ Assemblywoman and her husband qualify as "needy," especially since she's a well-connected Democrat who was just appointed to a $90,000 per year job at the Union County Improvement Authority, on top of her $49,000 legislative salary.
But Monmouth County's Coastal Habitat for Humanity thought differently. They approved the Stenders' application for Hurricane Sandy relief with plans that call for an impressive 2000 square foot, two story, 4 bedroom, 3 and ½ bath home to be built at the Jersey shore.
When state Assemblywoman Linda Stender's husband asked a Habitat for Humanity group for help after his nearly half million dollar Manasquan bungalow was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, he wanted to replace it with a two-story house that would be nearly three times larger, documents show.
Zoning plans filed with Manasquan's construction office show that Richard Stender, who owns a printing company and is married to the longtime Union County Democratic assemblywoman, sought to replace the 700-square foot, single story bungalow that the Monmouth County-based Coastal Habitat for Humanity demolished for him with a 2,000-square foot house.
The "Stender residence" plans, filed in August 2014, show a proposed home far from the more modest ones Habitat for Humanity groups typically build for lower-income families.
The plans call for four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, an eat-in kitchen, a dining room, a two-car garage, a wood-burning fireplace, a screened porch on each floor, and an outdoor shower with a "louvered ceiling," privacy screen and a changing area.
And gold-plated fixtures too?
Habitat typically builds modest "starter homes" with 3 bedrooms and 1 and ½ baths. And the Stenders earn far more than the maximum income that ought to qualify for Habitat's help.
[Habitat] helps homeowners who make up to 80 percent of Monmouth County's median household income, which is $84,526. However, Linda Stender's legislative financial disclosure records shows her combined income with her husband was at least $99,000 a year in 2012 and 2013.
Now for the best part. Manasquan in Monmouth County is far outside of Linda Stender's Union County district. But it's OK! She "lives with her mom." Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
The financial disclosures also list the Manasquan property as the only one owned by either Stender or her husband. Stender registered to run for reelection in 2013 from a Scotch Plains address, and told her district-mate, Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Union), that she lives with her mother and that her husband lives in Manasquan.
So, it appears that Assemblywoman Stender is either scamming the voters, scamming Habitat, or more likely, doing both. In other words, she's a typical Democrat!
The good news is, Habitat is "re-evaluating" the Stenders' application.
And in November, the voters will get a chance to "re-evaluate" Linda Stender's employment. I hope they make the right choice.
Saying it will "not allow itself to be taken advantage of," a Monmouth County Habitat for Humanity affiliate today said that state Assemblywoman Linda Stender's husband owes it $11,000 for demolishing his Manasquan home that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The charity, Coastal Habitat for Humanity, which is set up to help low-income homeowners, in a statement today also put Linda Stender (D-Union) directly into the growing controversy. According to the group, Linda Stender attended a meeting with Habitat officials and her husband to discuss the house he wanted to build on the site of the demolished home — one three times the size of the modest bungalow her husband owned.
The group is fighting back because the home the Stenders proposed was far larger and more elaborate than the houses it typically helps homeowners build or repair.
Sounds like Habitat for Humanity is in Damage Control Mode.
If they held a meeting with the Stenders, and if they saw plans for a McMansion, why didn't they raise a red flag?
I think it's time to break out the popcorn. Because this ain't over, not by a longshot.
The state Attorney General's Office is investigating the dispute between state Assemblywoman Linda Stender's husband and a Monmouth County charity that claims the Stenders tried to take advantage of it to transform a damaged bungalow into a luxury shore home, NJ Advance Media has learned.
As part of the investigation, authorities are looking into whether her husband, Richard Stender, was deceitful in his claim that his home in Manasquan, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, qualified for help as a primary residence, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.
NJ has been pretty aggressive in prosecuting Sandy fraud. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Here comes the spin! Last week millionaire Democrat Hillary Clinton teamed up with populist uber-leftist millionaire Elizabeth "Fauxcahontas" Warren to deliver a zinger aimed at American businesses:
"Don't let anybody tell you that it's corporations and businesses that create jobs."
She's a Statist. Statists believe only the government can create jobs. (Or Vernon Jordan, if you count creating jobs for Bill's mistresses.)
We get it, we didn't build that.
But, after enduring a weekend of ridicule (except on the Big 3 networks of course) The Hilldabeest backtracked, and blamed her "misstatement" on an internet video.
"Trickle down economics has failed. I short-handed this point the other day, so let me be absolutely clear about what I've been saying for a couple of decades," she said. "Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in America and workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out — not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas."
Yeah, I can see how that mouthful could be easily confused, tongue-twisted even, into "Don't let anybody tell you that it's corporations and businesses that create jobs."
Sure thing Hill. Because, at this point, what difference does it make? We know you're a godless commie. And you know that we know that you're a godless commie. So really, stop pretending. Tell us the truth, all the time. We can take it.
The real question is, can you?
Barack Obama, he's like kryptonite to Democrats.
First it was Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, dodging her obvious Obama sycophancy at every turn.
Now Georgia's Michelle Nunn won't dare admit what we all know.
Another Democratic Senate candidate has refused to say whether she voted for President Obama: This time it was Michelle Nunn in Georgia.
The same question has tripped up other red-state Democrats on the campaign trail. On two occasions over the past week, Kentucky's Alison Lundergan Grimes has been panned for her refusal to answer the question, twice citing the "sanctity of the ballot box" as her reason for keeping mum.
Nunn was approached by a tracker who asked her if she voted for the president in 2008 or 2012. Nunn did not respond and kept walking towards the venue she was headed to. In the video captured, a member of her entourage faces the tracker and asks, "Would you leave her alone?"
And yesterday, Barack Obama did the unprecedented — he canceled a fund-raising trip to New Jersey — ostensibly to coordinate an Ebola response strategy with his Cabinet. The thing is, Obama has never canceled a fund-raiser before. Remember when he took off for Vegas to party with Beyonce while 4 Americans died in Benghazi? Nothing gets in the way of this guy having a good time. Nothing.
So I gotta wonder, did Cory Booker back-channel a not-so-subtle hint that he'd handle the fund-raiser on his own thanks-very-much and maybe Barry could stay in Washington and act presidential, because really, being photographed hanging out with him while people are dying does look rather awkward.
Yeah, I'd lay even money on that one. Jeff Bell is inching up on Senator Twitter, and now's not the time to remind voters that Cory's a 100% hard-core Obamabot.
Over on Long Island, the message isn't even subtle. Barack Obama is persona non grata.
It's generally friendly territory, but Obama's appearance still has the potential to roil local races.
The event's overall goal has been slashed from $1 million to $500,000, said one Democratic source, who griped it was "not helpful" to local Democrats for Obama to show up now.
"It's sort of like a Columbus Day sale, several days later," said the source.
Two Democratic congressional candidates — Rep. Tim Bishop and Nassau DA Kathleen Rice — are skipping the event at the Garden City Hotel.
As of today, 10 Senate races are rated toss-ups by Real Clear Politics, where the ratings are based on poll averages. Of those 10 seats, seven are held by Democrats and three by Republicans, while each party holds 46 seats rated either "likely" or "leaning." If we rule out any unexpected meltdowns in one of those "likely/leaning" races, we see that the odds of a Republican takeover are roughly 2-to-1: The GOP must get to 51 seats to control a Senate majority; 46 seats are more or less locked up for them; and of the 10 "toss-ups," 70% are held by Democrats, who are more that twice as vulnerable of losing half of those 10.
Keep it up GOP. Ask every Democrat you meet, "did you vote for Obama?" Get it
on tape. Hilarity, and a Senate majority, will ensue.