Thursday, February 28, 2008

Estabrook Supports a Waiting Period…when answering a question.

Generally speaking, it’s not a good thing for a candidate for office to like the Sounds of Silence. Maybe the song, but certainly not while on the stump.

Now some may differ, like Mark Twain who said, "It's better to keep your mouth shut and have your peers think of you as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

But that advice is too late for Anne Esterbrook, Republican candidate for Senate, either way. The issue that shot Estabrook in the foot was, ironically, gun control and the Second Amendment.

Ms. Estabrook was speaking to the Woodbridge Republican Club, a small group in a Democratic bastion of a town. She appeared with UberLibertarian Dr. Murray Sabrin, who was videotaping the event for his website.

The question that shut her up was about her support or lack thereof.for the Second Amendment.

Her first assertion was that she supported Federal legislation currently on the books that requires that gun shop owners to be told if a prospective gun purchaser is one who has been a mental health risk.

Sounds reasonable, even for a Republican.

Next, she said she supports a ‘waiting period’. Unfortunately, we’re not sure if she meant a ‘waiting period’ for the purchase of a handgun, or a ‘waiting period’ when answering a question.

In the middle of her answer, she fell silent, shuffled through her papers, hummed and hawed and waited a full ‘Final Jeopardy 30 seconds’ to say that she supports a “Criminal background check”. Good for you, Anne.

If she does that in each and every debate with Senator Frank Lautenberg for each and every question, the debate could take a while.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Senator Leonard Lance wins hometown support in Hunterdon

No surprise there: Five of the other candidates are from Somerset. His biggest target [before Linda Stender] is his good pal’s daughter, Kate Whitman. Both are claiming to be the fiscal conservative in the race. I am sure Whitman will be chanting “I know you are, but what am I” real soon.

In his speech to his Hunterdon homies on Monday night, Senator Lance waxed on eloquently as he quoted one of the last two best Republicans, President Lincoln, as he stated, “America is still the world’s last best hope on earth." How true, Mr. Lance, how true. As long as there is no Republican in the White House come January 20, 2009 at 12:01pm, America still is.

Whitman The Younger was boastful about raising the most money thus far. She declared, “…loyalty will not be enough to hold on to this seat.” She urged the Hunterdon Republicans assembled to “abandon the tradition” and support her instead of Lance.

Kind of ironic, ain’t it? I mean, a Whitman asking Hunterdon’s stalwart supporters of Lance to “abandon …tradition”. Go figure.

Lance claimed to have a two digit lead over Linda Stender, while Whitman the Younger has only a single digit lead. Perhaps that was a poll taken of only the current 7th CD candidates on the Republican side. Right now there are 8 candidates; that number should thin out by June.

Dark horse: Tom Roughneen, the Iraqi veteran.

By the way, the second last great Republican: Teddy Roosevelt.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Freeheld Wins Oscar for Best Documentary

"Freeheld, the Laurel Hester Story" tonight won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

New Jersey rocks this year with both the New Jersey Giants winning the Super Bowl, and the story of Laurel Hester's fight for civil rights gets its due on the national stage.

Congratulations to director Cynthia Wade.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Many more Mensches and the Pick of the Putzes

As a professional stand-up comedian, I use the First Amendment each and every weekend at a comedy club somewhere in the country. So, I am proud to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU of New Jersey. These folks are like the DELTA Force for free speech here in the Garden State, and you don’t want to mess with these bad-asses.

Relentless is defined as, “not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty; ‘intense determination'”. The ACLU-NJ folks are relentless. They most recently went relentless on the City of Newark.

Back in 2004, the ACLU found that “the City [of Newark] required anyone who wanted to hold a march to secure a $1 million insurance policy and indemnify the city from harm or damage.” This requirement was over turned in court.

Long story short, Executive Director Deborah Jacobs and Legal Director Ed Barocas followed up this week in court yet again because of Newark’s failure to live up to that 2004 court ruling. They are truly and absolutely relentless.

For their never-ending story of fighting the entrenched bureaucracies of the cities of New Jersey against First Amendment violations, Jacobs and Barocas are once again Mensches of the Week.

The Power of Being a Putz

"When did you become an illegal alien?" questioned Essex family court Judge James B. Convery of lawyer Ivette Ramos Alvarez. Alverez is a former president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, and she was the recipient of the 2005 Professional Lawyer of the Year by the New Jersey State Bar Association.

What would compel Judge Convery to pose such an offensive question? Who cares, because it does not matter.

Alvarez has filed a complaint against the judge with the New Jersey Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC), so that the issue can be brought to the attention of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.

The Hispanic Bar wrote to Chief Justice Rabner, “…immediate and aggressive action to ensure that comments by members of the judiciary, either on the record or off the record ... never again fall outside the boundaries of common sense and propriety."

For this bad judgment show by Judge Convery, he is our pick for Putz of the Week.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hillary Clinton Goes For Corporate Sponsorship In Debate.

There has been lots of finger-pointing from each presidential candidate ---Senator Obama and Senator Clinton ---regarding fund-raising issues. Obama has accused Clinton of taking too much money from lobbyists and corporate interests. And Clinton has accused Obama on fudging numbers on how many actual donors he has.

But the Thursday night CNN debate revealed something troubling about Senator Clinton’s campaign fund-raising. The new issue in this race is "product placement".

Apparently, this might be a new way for a candidate to get their hands on corporate cash, but is it with the campaign finance rules? It is not a donation, per se----the corporate entity is getting some value out of the exchange, but is it kosher?

For those of you unfamiliar with ‘product placement’...
“Product placement advertisements are promotional ads placed by marketers using real commercial products and services in media, where the presence of a particular brand is the result of an economic exchange...Product placement occurs with the inclusion of a brand's logo in shot, or a favorable mention or appearance of a product in shot. This is done without disclosure, and under the premise that it is a natural part of the work. Most major movie releases today contain product placements."
When a TV sitcom family sits down for breakfast, and has a box of Frosted Flakes with Tony the Tiger’s face prominently displayed, that means that Kellogg’s gets a good plug.

Or, for example, in the movie, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, the stranded alien gets hooked on Reeses Pieces, which increased sales of the candy’s sale by eighty percent. Sometimes it’s done rather inconspicuously as when a bag of Wise potato chips or empty diet-Coke can is placed on the table in the lunch room at the hospital on “E.R.”

Well, on the CNN debate between Obama and Clinton, it seems that Clinton may have engaged in some product placement dollars coming her way. This, from a well-known maker of copiers with the following exchange regarding her charge of plagiarism lodged against her opponent.

Obama: “…we’re starting to get in to the silly season of politics…”

Clinton: “…It’s not change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox.”

And the crowd may have contained more fans of the other photocopier companies---like Canon or Ricoh ---because they certainly booed Hillary.

What’s next for product placement in the presidential race? Nike Shoes sponsoring candidates walking in a New York City parade? Gerber’s sponsoring the kissing of babies? An underwear company sponsoring the popular campaign theme of ‘change’?

And it won’t end there—what if Hillary becomes president ---will Swanson's Dinners sponsor state dinners? Will Continental Airlines sponsor flights of Air Force One? Or maybe movie promos for the movie Air Force One on Air Force One?

It’s a slippery corporate slope, folks. Also, as a lawyer, Hillary should know not to use the trademarked term "Xerox" in such a generic manner.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We Miss Rush Holt

If you’re like me in Central Jersey, and you used to have Congressman Rush Holt representing your interests in D.C., you miss him.

Once again, Rep. Holt proved his mettle by standing up to the president on the issue of illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. It’s good to have someone who is able to teach Bush Jr. about the constitution.

Holt, courageously said:
"There has been a fundamental shift under the Protect America Act in the relationship between the people of this country and their government. It is whether or not the government regards the ordinary American with suspicion first…Think about it. The reason this country and our liberty have survived so well is because the government understands they are subservient to the people."
The Protect America Act just recently passed the Senate by a 68-29 margin. In the past, Obama and Clinton both voted against the Act.

Ironic, though, that the “law and order” Republicans have no problem giving “retroactive immunity” to those telecommunications companies who broke the law and allowed phone conversations of law-abiding Americans to be listened to. Go figure.

The Protect America Act [recently passing the Senate] allows the government to monitor “foreign-to-American” phone calls without obtaining a warrant. So, all those customer service phone calls to gas companies and electric companies that are outsourced to call centers in India---can all be listened in to by the NSA.

Good going, Rush. Keep up the great work. You and the New Jersey Giants rule.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This Week: Both a Mensch AND a Putz.

This week, here at, the same person is both a Mensch and a Putz. That's according to whether you’re the Senator from Illinois or the Senator from New York.

This week, Roz Samuels, a Super Delegate originally committed to Clitnton flipped to Obama. Samuels is a secretary to a school principal in Newark and member of the executive committee of the state NAACP.

So, if you’re the head of the Clinton campaign in New Jersey, maybe she is a Putz.

But, if you’re Mark Alexander, the guy in charge of the Obama campaign in New Jersey, just maybe Samuels is a Mensch.

Either way, Obama has O-mentum!. Much better than having Hill-Mentum at this point, I guess.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hey, looks like it’s the DC Gang of Nine is cutting in on The Soprano Family of New Jersey

Yesterday, Samuel “The Justice” Alito dissed Tony “T” Soprano and Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri. Of course, it’s a bit ‘safer’ to do it now ----since Tony and Company are off the air.

The U.S. Supreme Court Justice, born in Trenton and who had lived in Caldwell [not too far from the Sopranos himself] criticized the HBO and 'The Sopranos' for Italian-American stereotypes.

Justice Alito said at Rutgers, “You have a trifecta - gangsters, Italian-Americans, New Jersey - wedded in the popular American imagination.” The Justice was speaking to a student group about the many unfair stereotypes of Italians in the United States. His program focused on how the chronicling of Italian-Americans' journey must be preserved as to its testament to the “true nature as a nation of immigrants."

On the Supreme Court, Justice Alito has often sided with another New Jersey born and bred Trentonian, Antonin Scalia. But, no one can deny that Justice Alito hands ‘justice’ a bit differently than Tony Soprano.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Can’t tell the players without a score card.

In the 7th Congressional District, all the Democrats are supporting Assemblywoman Linda Stender. No confusion there. And, I wish to state that I endorse her candidacy, too. She has my enthusiastic endorsement.

But, the endorsements on the Republican side----maybe that’s a message a bit tougher to decipher. There seems to be little rhyme or reason.

Some are pretty straight forward, after that it gets mucky. Former governor Christie Todd Whitman, whose family [The Todds] are long time friends with the Lances, is supporting ---let’s see---her own daughter, Kate Whitman.

This is in spite of the fact that her daughter has tried to create some distance from her mom by declaring that she is “more conservative” than her mom.

Gov. Mom helped her “more conservative daughter” get the thumbs up from Somerset County Clerk Brett Radi and Freeholder Rick Fontana. Whitman the Younger tried to follow in the footsteps of Whitman the Elder’s footsteps last year and become a Somerset County Freeholder, but fell short and lost in a primary.

On the Lance side, thus far is State Senator Kip Bateman and Assemblymember Denise Coyle and Pete Biondi are supporting Senator Lance. Senator Ton Kean is supporting Lance, too ----over the candidates that come from his neck of the woods [Kelly Hatfield and Mayor Martin Marks].

Now, fellow Trenton Republican legislators Jon Bramnick and Eric Munoz are not supporting Lance, but giving the thumbs up to Hatfield ----they think she is the real McCoy. But maybe that will lead to a feud.

None of the other Republican congressional hopefuls -- Bridgewater Councilman Michael Hsing, Warren Mayor Vic Sordillo, former Hillsborough Councilman Chris Venis and Thomas M. Roughneen, a Watchung attorney and Iraq War veteran ----seem to have the gravitas to line up ‘top shelf’ name endorsements as of yet.

The Republican County conventions should prove interesting. Maybe I will attend one to observe their process, and report back.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A mention for a Mensch and a Putz of a pollworker.

You always remember your very first time: Voting, I mean. The first time I voted was in 1972: I was 18 and I supported the Democrat who opposed an unpopular war. My candidate was George McGovern.

This year, Hunterdon Central HS student Soham Gupte is 18 and supports the Democratic candidate who opposes an unpopular war. His candidate is Barack Obama.

Oh, and Soham almost did not get to vote.

Soham turned 18 on January 11th, and downloaded his voter registration form from the Internet. He dutifully mailed it in on Saturday, January 12th to the state election folks in Trenton. With the deadline for registration being just three days later on January 15th, that would seem to be enough time for his registration to get there. Wrongo.

A few weeks later, Mr. Gupte received a postcard from those same state election folks telling him that he was registered, but wouldn’t be able to vote in the 2/5 primary ‘cause they didn’t receive the application until January 22nd. Undeterred, Soham contacted a member of the Hunterdon Board of Election, who reiterated what his postcard read. “Wait till November; you can vote then”, he was told. That was not good enough for Soham. He was involved in the Model UN, the mock trial cub, president of the Junior Statesman's Club, and participated in a summer political science program at Georgetown University. He was even more undeterred.

So, Soham contacted me in my capacity as an Election Day “Election Protection” lawyer volunteering with the ACLU, and asked me to go to court on his behalf. At about 6pm on February 5th, we were sitting in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Steven Rubin, in Hunterdon County. With very little coaching, Soham advocated for his right to vote in a very professional manner. Since there was no evidence presented by the Deputy Attorney General for the Hunterdon Board of Elections that the voter registration form was actually received too late, Judge Rubin ruled in Gupte's favor. Thirty minutes later, Soham cast his first vote for Senator Barack Obama.

Young people Soham’s age are in the demographic least likely to register to vote, and least likely to vote even if they are registered.

So, for being so highly motivated as to advocate for his right to vote, and standing up confidently in court, new voter and future lawyer Soham Gupte is this week’s Mensch of The Week. I only hope I don’t ever have to go up against him in court.

Governors tend to vote early in elections because their days are kind of full. And Governor Jon Corzine is no different. This passed primary day the governor went to vote at his usual polling place in Hoboken, only thing is ---- the voting machine refused to cooperate.

According to Michael Harper, the clerk for the elections board, a poll worker at the polling place in Hoboken/ Ward 2, District 3 did not push the right combination of buttons when activating the voting machine. That created a delay for voters [including Governor Corzine] of about 15 to 20 minutes.

And so, for pushing the wrong set of buttons and making NJ’s chief exec wait to vote, that unnamed poll worker is our Putz of the Week. Hint: When anyone goes to vote [including the governor] try not to make them wait.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Merging New Jersey Towns

In his book New Jersey’s Municipal Madness”, Alan Karcher looks at how and why the boundaries of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities were drawn. Sometimes there were economic considerations. Some times political. Sometimes personal agendas.

Railroad lines, need for new alcohol licenses, new roads, new school districts sometimes compelled one town to split off from a larger township.

So, we are left with 566 local governments, with much duplication of services. Home rule is and can be very expensive.

So, there is a solution: Merge communities.

And the communities do already try to engage in “shared services”. Some nearby each other have tried to merge. Some quite far apart have shared responsibilities and resources---Regional Contribution Agreements with regard to COAH requirements, for example.

So, maybe some of the towns far apart may attempt mergers. And merging would require new names for the entities.

For example, if Wayne in Passaic County and Newton in Sussex County merged, the town could be called Wayne-Newton. The residents will certainly chant "Danke Shoen" for that plan!

If Nutley merged with Roxbury and Asbury Park, the new municipality could be called Nuts & Berries. Or if Alexandria Township in Hunterdon came together with Great Meadows Township in Warren County, the new town might be called Alexander the Great.

Or merge Great Gorge in Sussex, with any of the many Washington Townships in New Jersey, and with Bridgewater you’d get the town of Gorge Washington Bridge.

Or perhaps Atlantic City with Ocean City, and you get Atlantic-Ocean.

If East Amwell, West New York, North Plainfield, and South Bound Brook could get together, their residents would live in East-West-North-South, NJ. Whew! That’s quite a trip!

The merger of Hillsdale, Mt. Airy, and Clinton might rankle their resident Republicans just a tad ---they could merge in to Hil-Airy-Clinton. That might help her campaign even more!

Hamburg in Sussex County, could merge with Egg Harbor City and Little Egg Harbor Township to form the great breakfast community of Ham & Eggs. Yum!

If they care to, Cherry Hill in Camden County can get together with Pittstown in Hunterdon, to form Cherry-Pitts. Not the most attractive name, but it might save them some money.

If Alpha Township in Warren, and Bates Mill in Camden can come together, they could call the new town Alpha-Bates. Good spellers could move there.

Some towns might merge with some, and then reform with others. For example, Applegarth in Middlesex County, could merge with both West Orange and East Orange, and Bound Brook----and form the dual communities of Apples & Oranges, AND Garth-Brooks. Unless that would be out of ‘bounds’.

For those New Jersey resident who like to be everywhere at the same time----Middletown Township in Monmouth could merge with Lower Township and Upper Township [both in Cape May County] to form Upper-Middle-Lower Township.

For a town with a real European flavor, Frenchtown could merge with Englishtown, and form...well, you know.

If you like the the Beatles, Paulsboro in Gloucester, could merge with Ringoes in Hunterdon, Great Gorge, and Johnstown from Pennsylvania to form Paul-John-Gorge & Ringo. But that would require going across a state line.

And if Ho-Ho-Kus and Hoboken merged----it would make Santa's job that much easier, when he visits the new town of Ho-Ho-Ho.

I am sure there are other possibilities.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It’s Election Day…again.

In the movie Groundhog Day, weatherman Phil Connors experiences the same day over and over again. Now it seems that Michigan and maybe Florida may want to do ‘Election Day’ over again. Once more with feeling, and maybe they can actually seat their delegates.

Michigan has a good number of delegates –156, to be exact. The state set their presidential primary early early---on January 15th, in violation of the DNC rules. So, they got slapped back and their delegates did not get counted. No Democrat stepped foot in to Michigan to campaign.

Now, Michiganders---like State Senator Tupac Hunter of Detroit [an Obama supporter] wants to get back in the game. "We don't want to go into the convention with Michigan and Florida hanging in the balance," he declared.

Their new primary or caucus could be in June, but the Obama-Clinton race might be over by then anyway. Oh, well.

Glad we got all that done and done in New Jersey real early.

Now, of course, Assemblyman Mike Doherty wants to turn the clock back and make NJ be irrelevant again: He is going to introduce legislation moving presidential primary back to June.
“…here is an easy way to save more than ten million dollars without having a negative impact on the people of this state…holding one primary election instead of two is just common sense.”
Yup, just common sense. In SillyLand, maybe.

Mr. Doherty: Records numbers of young people registered to vote. Record numbers of people voted ---on both sides of the aisle. New Jersey was relevant in the primary, unlike in years passed. Candidates came and campaigned here----again, on both sides of the aisle.

But maybe you’re right.

Since the Democratic Party will win the White House anyway, and will be united behind the re-election of the president in 2012, we won’t have the need for a primary in NJ, anyhow.

Only your party will.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Central Jersey, by the numbers.

As I watched the national returns late yesterday, I could not help ask the question, “So, nu? How is this good for the 7th Congressional District and Linda Stender?

First of all, let’s look at my home town of Flemington. Republicans out number Democrats right now by about 2.7-1.

However, here is the vote break down from the primary for the major candidates:

McCain 185
Romney 82
Huckabee 47

Total Republican votes: 314

Clinton 185
Obama 158

Total Democratic votes: 345

So, the major Democratic candidates got more votes than the major Republican candidates. In a town where Republican registration is higher, that is significant. People want change. The Rush Limbaughs, Sean Hannitys, Anne Coulters, Mark Levins are falling all over themselves to be the biggest McCain basher. And that may have had an effect locally on Republican turnout.

Now, to the 7th.

There are four counties [or parts thereof] in the 7th Congressional District: Hunterdon County, Middlesex County, Somerset County, and Union County. Of those counties, Barack Obama won Hunterdon, Somerset, and Union. Mrs. Clinton won in the very traditional Democratic county of Middlesex.

What does this mean for Linda Stender?

By the numbers, Democratic voters came out to vote more than their Republican counterparts. Those are the voters who came out in large numbers to support BOTH Clinton and Obama. Largely, those voters are those who are opposed to the war, and wish for a strong change in leadership. Linda Stender stands solidly for those same values. While all the announced Republican candidates simply do not.

As I have asserted before, all the Republican 7th congressional candidates would vote with the rest of the Republican Party in Congress to sustain the war in Iraq and to oppose providing affordable healthcare for the working families of the 7th.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

NJ is Relevant, again.

New Jersey is relevant, at least for today.

Anyone who has been hiding under a rock may not know that today is 'Supercalifragilistic-expialidocious' Tuesday in the nation with a whopping number of delegates available just for the askin'.

Obama, according to a new national poll, leads Clinton by three points, 49-46.

And, in New Jersey the race by the latest Zogby poll shows the two statistically dead even. That's relevant.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Jersey and the Giants: Perfect Together

Congratulations are in order for the Giants, who play in New Jersey half the time, and elsewhere around the nation the other half---but never in New York City. Their most recent road game was in Arizona, against the almost perfect New England Patriots.

And the Giants of New Jersey were perfect, upsetting the New England Patriots, as well as many fans in Boston, I assume.

All the other teams that play in New Jersey are named for New Jersey. The New Jersey Devils. The New Jersey Nets. There's the New Jersey Cardinals (A). And the New Jersey Jackals.

And the Giants should be known as the New Jersey Giants. Maybe an act of the State Legislature or perhaps a Executive Order. But that is for another day.

Today the Giants of New Jersey are the world champions of football, and Eli Manning deserves to be asked the question:

"Eli Manning, you just won the Super Bowl. What are you going to do now?"

And we can only hope Manning answers, "I'm going to Six Flags Great Adventure!" ---but I doubt it.

Congrats are in order either way.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mensch of the Week and Putz of the Week February 2nd, 2008.

Happy Groundhog Day.

Happy Groundhog Day, again.

As Congressman Rush Holt is trying to reinvigorate support for HR 811 [the H.R. 811: Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007] , there are some judges who are trying turn back the clock on the integrity of the electoral process.

Such is the case in New Jersey with Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Grass who wants to let voters in New Jersey vote early and often.

And like in the film Groundhog Day, he wants them to vote again and again, until they get it right. If you voted too early, and your chosen candidate has chosen to drop out of the race, you get another bite at the apple.

So, supporters of Biden, Dodd, Edwards, 911uliani, Kucinich---maybe even Brownback and Tancredo, can now give it another try. “They must sign an affidavit stating that the candidate they voted for is no longer running…The county clerk can then decide whether the voter gets a second ballot.”

The County Clerk decides whether or not the voter gets a second ballot?? The Couty Clerk? Based on what criteria? And in what part of the New Jersey Constitution does it say that the partisan County Clerk gets to decide who can vote once and who gets to vote twice?

For those of you who voted for a candidate who dropped out, you’re not disenfranchised. You just chose unwisely. Your choice lost before Election Day. Those decisions should be political ones in the voting booth, not legal ones in the courtroom.

This decision is so fraught with the possibility of fraud, it is lacking in good judgment on its face. What ever happen to “one man [or woman]/one vote”? Apparently in New Jersey, that just isn’t the case any more.

For his decision, Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Grass is our Putz of The Week.

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark is a great speaker, and has, perhaps, the second toughest job in New Jersey. He has decided to back another great speaker and inspirational communicator for president, Senator Barack Obama. Amidst speculation that Booker would scoot south to DC for a Cabinet post should Obama win, recently he declared, “I'm a purpose-driven person, and my purpose and my consuming passion is Newark…And there's not a job in Washington someone could offer me that would pull me away from what I am doing here.”

From someone like Mayor Booker, you can believe that to be true. Others, like Gov. Christie Whitman, skedaddled south once Bush was in power, leaving NJ to be led for years by an acting governor.

For his commitment to New Jersey, the City of Newark, and finishing what he started, Cory Booker is our Mensch of the Week.

Senator Obama: The Six Pointed Star

Senator Obama: The Six Pointed Star

The New Jersey Primary is a mere 72 hours away. And the percentage points that now separate Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama is a single digit Six. Count'em---6.

The wide road that separated them was 32% in December, and then slipped down to 17% sometime at the tail end of January. Ground Hog Day is today, and now it’s down to a miniscule Six Points, “according to a private poll commissioned by one of the state’s most powerful Democratic leaders, George Norcross. The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner on January 30-31, was distributed to some Norcross allies earlier this morning and obtained by” Hmmm.

I hear tell that if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, we will have eight more months of campaigning after Tsunami Tuesday.

Presidential contenders are dropping like flies.

This week, Rudy 911uliani dropped out, and endorsed Senator John “100 years in Iraq” McCain. John “Two Americas” Edwards is gone, too---but has yet to endorse. Also gone is Rep. Dennis “I’m having a primary this year in my district in Ohio” Kucinich. Apparently, no one may want his endorsement.

Still in the race is Alan Keyes, the last Republican candidate Senator Obama defeated. Only problem for Keyes is, that no one knows he’s running for president.