Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'Twas the week before 2010

'Twas the week before 2010, and all through the State,

Not a Politico was worried, about our problems so great.

They were all on recess with nary a care,

West State Street was empty---not a lobbyist was there.


All Politicos went home--to the South and the North,

‘cause ‘Lame Duck’ was over, --at least ‘til the Fourth.

Both the Reds and the Blues---had new state leaders in place,

And some had their eyes on their Congressional race.


In ’09, Three Wise Men vied for the state’s top post,

Only one could win, and the others would be ‘toast’.

And for the first time, a Lt. Gov would be elected,

Serving at the side of the man who’d be selected.


But the November Election had caused such a clatter,

Talking important issues ---like which candidate was fatter.

Driving records, loans to friends, and who paid what tax.

Emails to ex-girl friends and who worked at Goldman Sachs.


While the Governor incumbent, used his own cash,

The other campaigns were paid with taxpayers’ stash.

Did they get their money’s worth in the campaign?

Well, some taxpayers voted, but they mostly abstained.


Christie went after State corruption with political zest,

Some politicos were indicted, some subject to arrest.

"On Sharpe James! On, Bryant! On Manzo, Mims Hackett!

“You’re gonna help me get to my new home, Drumthwacket.”


Christie said he’d cut spending- “I’ll turn Trenton upside down!”

“Things will change when I get to that town!”

"I will never raise your taxes! Never! Not one cent"

But never revealed specifics about what would be spent.


Back and forth the polls said the lead changed hands.

Who would we agree on? Who’d have the most fans?

Their Debate raged on like a “Who’s on First?” routine,

Only thing the candidates agreed on: Bruce Springsteen.


And so in November the result of the Election,

Was that New Jersey had chosen a new, different direction.

Of course, this was not what the Democrats would expect.

But now, Chris Christie of Mendhem is the Governor-Elect.


Some say “He is full of bluster. Will be a lousy state boss.”

“And he’d benefit much from a Dale Carnegie course.”

You can say what you will about the Christie machine.

But any governor contenders must wait till 2013.


Tis true that problems won’t change very much,

With taxes and debt and traffic and such;

Still, no better place to live than New Jersey, right here,

"Happy Holidays to all, and to all a Good Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Coalition of Indicted and Jailed Politcos form Group to Help State

The New Jersey’s CrimeStoppers Program has made thousands of arrests and paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in reward money over the past two decades. But officials say many of the do-gooders who have turned in thieves; rapists and killers have truly been good Samaritans and turned down the reward money.

"The majority of people don’t want the money," said Morris County CrimeStoppers Chairman John Sette. "They want the bad guys off the street."

Well, the State now has nothing to worry about: A group of former elected officials, now serving time in prison, have formed a group to help the state out, so that the money can be distributed for a “good cause”.

From behind prison doors, former State Senators Sharpe James, Wayne Bryant and John Lynch have formed CASH, Citizens Associated for State Help. “There is no group who is more committed to handing state money than we are,” said former state senator Sharpe James, through a prison spokesman. James (federal inmate number 28791-050) is currently serving a 2-year prison sentence in a federal prison camp in Petersburg, Virginia. The investigation and prosecution of James was led by New Jersey Governor-elect Christopher Christie, who at the time was the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

Former State Senator John Lynch agreed, “We are used to handling large sums of cash, and are more than willing to help the state out in these tough economic times.” Lynch, the former State Senate President from 1989 to 1991, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court on one count of mail fraud and one count of tax evasion in 2006.

Their plan is to take the large amount of the state funds, convert it to CASH for use in the “white envelope industry, the diners on state roads, and the table manufacterors for 'under-table' construction."

"CASH is committed to helping the state in anyway we can, and we look forward to working with Governor Christie," finished Mr. James.

Former Mayors are currently forming CASH Franchises around the state. Anthony Suarez of Ridgefield, Dennis Elwell of Secaucus, Leona Beldini of Jersey City, and Peter Cammarano III of Hoboken, all forward to working with CASH.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jersey Officials finally caught up with Ilya the Manatee. Problem: No Beach Tags.

After almost two months vacationing in the Garden State, Jersey Officials finally caught up with Ilya the Manatee.

Problem: No Beach Tags.

“This big fat sea cow had no Beach Pass to speak of. And he’s been lounging around the water near the Atlas Yacht Club in Bayonne. Next, in a creek outside a Linden oil refinery,” said a local beach official who wished to remain anonymous.

Ilya was first spotted Thursday morning in Morses Creek off the Arthur Kill by a ConocoPhillips worker conducting regular inspection rounds at the Bayway refinery, according to company spokesman Rich Johnson.

Johnson was livid at this kind of scam. “If I have to reach in my pocket for a Beach Tag for my family to use the Jersey Shore, so does this fatso,” squawked Johnson, sounding perturbed. It may have been that Ilya the Manatee was not used to having to pay for a Beach Tag. The beaches along the coast from Florida through North Carolina, Virginia and Delaware are all free.

Generally, manatees weigh between 880 to 1,200 lb, and are about 9.2 feet to 9.8 feet long. Since this was a first offense, Ilya was let off with a warning. However, he was placed under the authority of the US Coast Guard, and sent back to his home state of Florida, under the aegis of the Miami Seaquarium.

“This guy Ilya was huge. It took ten of us to lift him into the transport,” said a Coast Guard spokesman. “Very lazy. All he wanted to do was float around and eat vegetables.”

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Hunterdon County Republican Committee met today to choose a Freeholder

The Hunterdon County Republican Committee met today to choose a successor to replace Freeholder Erik Peterson, who resigned Tuesday to become a member of the State Assembly. Peterson took the place of Senator Michael Doherty, who stepped up to take the place of Leonard Lance, who became a member of Congress in January.

Initially, there were three candidates seeking to replace Mr. Peterson. Contenders included Mayor Rob Walton of Hampton; Tom Borkowski, a former Clinton Township mayor, and Carol Hoffmann, an Alexandria Committeewoman. But late yesterday, a fourth candidate emerged: The Wolf-Dog, who was nominated after continuing to escape from his owners in Holland Township. Wolf dogs are defined as dogs with a wolf ancestor in the past three generations.

Holland Township resident Cliff Zager thinks the Township Committee's consideration of banning wolf dogs is something personal. So, he decided to nominate his Wolf-Dog for freeholder, in an attempt to fight for his rights. Zager owns 14 of the dogs, which are a hybrid of wolves and domesticated canines. "I believe the Township is hell-bent on getting me out of here," said Zager.

“The Holland Wolf-Dog is the really perfect Republican candidate. They have unpredictable behavior patterns. Very curious and are generally more destructive than dogs. They have social habits revolving around a pack structure,” continued Zager. “Their aggression tends to peak during the winter months when hormones run high. Attacks may also be spurred by people becoming suddenly and conspicuously vulnerable due to either injury, disease or fear. Once again, the perfect Freeholder come budget time.”

However, after all the votes were counted, Hampton mayor Rob Walton was chosen by Hunterdon's Republican party leaders to be the county's fifth freeholder. “I will work hard for all Hunterdon residents,” said Walton uncomfortably, as he eyed the Wolf-Dog, growling.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Roundin' Up The News 12.2.09

Here you go, folks---a round up of the top stories from around the Garden State in small bites you can almost taste.

N.J. Governor-elect blasts Democrats, Senator Paul Sarlo gives pre-emptive response.

TRENTON -- Returning from a Thanksgiving vacation, Gov.-elect Chris Christie today quickly ended any illusion of harmony in the gubernatorial transition.

With rhetorical flourish, the Republican criticized three main issues: He tore into Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine’s "wildly off" budget projections, his nomination of "unqualified" Middlesex County Sheriff Joseph Spicuzzo to sit on the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, and various Democrats’ lame-duck maneuvers, including weighing bills that would require spending.

In a pre-emptive response to the Governor-elect’s criticism of the three issues, Senator Paul Sarlo declared, “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.”

The Governor-elect could not be reached for further comment.


Hapless NJ Nets' move to Brooklyn gets boost

The New Jersey Nets planned move to Brooklyn advanced Tuesday when the team owner received favorable ratings on the bonds he must sell to build an arena and a court knocked down another appeal of the project, according to a report in The New York Times. This was surprising considering the New Jersey Nets are lounging in last place in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference at 0-17.

An anonymous source from the bond-ranking service said “We have used the same metrics here that we used to measure the economic status last year of Lehman Brothers, AIG, and General Motors. And we feel confident that the best is yet to come. The Nets will turn things around very soon.”

In other Nets related news, NJ Nets players approve of choice of Kiki Vandeweghe as new coach, who will apply immediately for TARP bailout funds from the Federal government “ so the team can afford better player, like Jason Kidd.”

New state Senator Michael Doherty targets Highlands Council.

Michael Doherty became the state senator for the 23rd District, which includes all of Warren County, on Nov. 23 in the Trenton legislative chambers. Senate President Richard Codey administered the oath, and Linda Doherty held the Bible.

Michael Doherty says he will press for the abolition of the Highlands Planning Council in his new position as state senator for the 23rd District.

In a time of economic downturn, the Highlands “has added great uncertainty to economic activity this part of state,” he said. Senator Doherty is sure to be one of the more conservative members of the upper house.

Mr. Doherty, who has a strong belief in smaller and smaller government continued, “I would also like to see the eventual dismantling of COAH, the dismantling of beaches of New Jersey by allowing off-shore oil drilling, and maybe even the eventual dismantling of counties of Warren and Hunterdon, and the entire northwestern portion of the state.”

Finally he stated, “Perhaps an itsy bitsy government would be best at every level.”

Joey Novick can be reached via email at joeynovick@earthlink.net.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Just a Second Banana

Twenty lieutenant governors and seconds-in-command succeeded to governor from 2000 thru November of 2009. Several of the largest states by population are lead by former lieutenant governors. An average of one in every four governors first served as lieutenant governor or first in line of succession. A study showed no other city, state or Congressional office is more successful than the office of lieutenant governor as a springboard to governor.

Bill Halter, Brad Owen, John Cherry, Becky Skillman, Barbara Lawton, Casey Cagle, Peter Kinder, Walter Dalton and James ‘Duke’ Aiona. Their names may not be familiar to you, but they are America’s last line of defense when a state’s chief executive is no longer able to lead.

They are the greatest of unknown Americans: the Lieutenant Governors.

New Jersey long scoffed at the idea of having an LG. Why have an orderly transition in the case of a gubernatorial vacancy when you can have the Senate President also be the Acting Governor? You’re saving a paycheck and office space. Plus, you won’t have to keep redecorating Drumthwacket.

While Chris Christie is becoming New Jersey’s 55th governor in January, the truly historic news is that Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno will be the first Lieutenant Governor in the history of our state. Never before has New Jersey had a permanent second-in-command, and only time will tell how that will change our politics.

The most exciting aspect of New Jersey having an LG is that New Jersey has never had a scandal involving an LG. We’ve never had federal law enforcement agents storm an LG’s office and carry away computers. No LG has ever been caught in a sex scandal, taken a bribe, or hired people for no-show jobs. It is the cleanest office in New Jersey.

While we’ve had all sorts of elected officials go to prison, no New Jersey LG has ever been behind bars.
Clean slate, so far.

Also in 2010, New Jersey will be able to take its rightful place in one of the nation’s most prestigious organizations, the National Lieutenant Governors Association. When the NLGA meets in Washington, D.C. in March to take care of important lieutenant governor business, Kim Guadagno will be there to make sure that New Jersey’s voice is heard.

What do you think the conversation is like at these meetings? “My governor lets me have full run of the mansion when he’s away, and he gave me the code on the remote control so I can watch all of the pay-movie stations.” “When he’s got a lot of meetings, my governor let’s me take his limo wherever I want to go.”

Actually, according to the NLGA’s website, lieutenant governors are making big news. Michigan LG John Cherry was highlighted for his outspoken support of the state’s new multi-species hunting package. Now, people in Michigan can get pre-approved to hunt for all sorts of animals, not just elk and deer but turkeys too. Missouri LG Peter Kinder is passing out gold, silver and bronze medals to people who take part in the “Your Heart is in Your Hands” healthy food and exercise program. North Carolina LG Walter Dalton even started a charity drive to get shoes to needy children by holding a “barefoot” press conference.
Important work for all.

So I now call on my fellow New Jerseyans to give their full support to Kim Guadagno as she looks to make her mark among the other great Americans now serving as Lieutenant Governor. And take her rightful place at the NLGA annual conference in Mississippi on July 27th-31st, 2010 at the Beau Rivage Resort.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Flemingtoon* 11.24.09 *All dialogue mostly guaranteed almost verbatim.


I have a Blackberry device that I am not completely thrilled with. It’s clunky and not intuitive like an IPhone, which I would rather have. In fact, the regular message on all my Blackberry emails is “I have a Verizon Blackberry, but I would rather have an IPhone.”

While the folks at Verizon were not too happy about that, it’s my phone and I will send out the message that I want.

Anyway, the email function on the Blackberry has this spelling correction feature -- Presumptive Spelling. When generating a text or email message, I often use abbreviations. The Presumptive Spelling function “thinks” that I am misspelling certain words and will automatically change the words to what it thinks it should be.

The other day I get an email from a local Democrat in Flemington, and she [let’s go with a generic name of “Shirley”] asks me the following question:

“My husband and I were appalled to find out that State Senators and Assemblymen can still practice as lawyers when they get elected. Can Chris Christie still be a lawyer when he becomes governor? We’d thought you might know.”

So, I answered her on my Blackberry:

Shirley,

“When he becomes Governor, Christie will still be atty.” [I abbreviated ‘attorney’ as ‘atty’.]

Her answer to me seemed odd, at the time: “Not funny. Stop the jokes.”

Upon further investigation, I made a discovery.

The only thing is the Presumptive Spelling function ‘corrected’ the ‘atty’ abbreviation for me, and unbeknownst to me, I hit SEND.

The correction produced:

“When he becomes Governor, Christie will still be fatty.”

Makes me wonder what other embarrassing ‘corrections’ lurk in the Presumptive Spelling function. Now, I need to figure how to turn it off.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Murray’s Margin of Error

Patrick Murray is the founding director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. According to their website, “The Monmouth University Polling Institute has become a premier independent survey research center known for its in-depth tracking of public policy and quality of life issues.”

Murray is a frequent media commentator on politics and public opinion---in fact, one of the folks that PolitickerNJ.com asked the opinion of each week to see which gubernatorial candidate “Won The Week”. PolitickerNJ.com named him one of 14 People to Watch in New Jersey Politics in 2009. He’s got a fancy looking website, with all sorts of numbers and names, graphs and graphics, statistics and such. Polling Institute director Patrick Murray appears regularly on One-on-One with Steve Adubato, and is a frequent guest on all the shows that cover NJ political scene.

Furthermore, according to their website, “The Monmouth University Poll’s standard methodology utilizes a random digit dial (RDD) ‘probability’ sampling design to select survey participants. All telephone exchanges (i.e., area code and first three digits of the phone number) that reach a household are programmed into a computer…after interviewing is complete, the sample is ‘weighted’ to correct for the fact that some respondents are harder to reach than others…. The Monmouth University Poll either tracks or adjusts for geography, gender, race, age, and education to comport with current U.S. census figures of the adult population. This weighting ensures that findings from a sample can be generalized to the full target population.”

One would think that Mr. Murray could predict anything with extreme accuracy, given all the fancy degrees, computers, and statistics training.

But wait, there is this catch-all disclaimer on all the surveys: “All surveys are subject to ‘sampling error’ ”----you know, that “plus or minus” number at the end of the poll that tells you just how much they could be off by. “This poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%” or so is what you’ll hear.

Now, my background---I am just an old, bald, overweight comedian from Brooklyn, with no fancy statistics degree. I don’t have an extravagant office at Monmouth University. I am not on NJN or ‘One on One with Steve Adubato’ each week. I was not named one of PolitickerNJ’s ‘most important’ anything last year or this year. And the same will most likely be the case for next year.

My methods for predicting the results of a contest between two (or more) does not require me to spend hours and hours bothering people of all ages by phone at dinner time, and then weighting the results ‘cause I could not get enough of one type of folk or another.

I just go by my instincts. That’s right—from the gut. My keen insight. My unique sixth sense. And that insight told me the Yanks in Six.

With all his fancy training, stats, and phone calls—what was Murray’s prediction?

That the Phillies repeat.

I guess that would be a margin of error of ---“plus or minus 100%” percent.

“I was looking at the World Series through (Phillies)red-colored glasses,” opined Mr. Murray, paying off on our bet. The result: one hundred dollars from his pocket to the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Camps for kids with cancer. And he will be sending on a jar of honey to me, too. How sweet it is.

So, the lesson: If you want accurate predictions of who will win political races in NJ, stick with Murray. (I predicted Jon Corzine by 3 points).

However, if you wish to predict the winner of any World Series where the Yankees play the Phillies, call me.

If anyone else want to donate to the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Camps for kids with cancer, go to www.jumpforjoey.org and follow the links.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"A Keg tapped at both ends." Well, it's time to tap back.

So, there you have it:

Cheese Steak vs. Hot Dog. South Bronx vs. South Philly. The Hudson vs. The Delaware. The City That Never Sleeps vs. The City of Brotherly Love. The Statue of Liberty vs. The Liberty Bell. Philadelphia Daily News vs. The New York Daily News.

Where WC Fields once said, “I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.
” And Jay Leno once said, “The crime problem in New York is getting really serious. The other day the Statue of Liberty had both hands up. ”

And just where is New Jersey with all of this? Just as Ben Franklin said, “A keg tapped at both ends”.

Well, it’s time to tap back.

What state will NY Yankees fans and Phillies fans have to pass through? Us. What roads will they have to travel on to get to their respective stadiums between now and next weekend? Ours. Which bathrooms will they be using if they drink too beer much at a game? Which gas stations will they use to fill up their tanks? Ours, that’s whose. Forget ‘Pay to Play’:

New Rule: “Pay to Pass Through.”

Set up EZPass to detect the Phillies ‘P’ and the Yankees ‘NY’ and quadruple the tolls. Charge them to use the bathrooms. If a Yankees and/or Phillies fans stops here for gas, charge’em a ‘pump your own gas’ surcharge. If they stop to eat in a NJ restaurant, add a World Series travel fee.

We have state debt in New Jersey, and now’s our shot to have help from Yankees and/or Phillies fans pay it down.

So, raise your beer to Ben Franklin: He had the right idea. He was just a century or two too early. And just had no way to pay for it.

(In the interest of complete disclosure, Ben would have most likely been a Phillies fan, where as I am a life-long Yankees fan. Prediction: Yanks in six.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Am New Genius

Albert EinsteinOver the past year, due to the illness of a family member, I had not been as involved in the local politics of my hometown of Flemington, as I would have liked. So this year, with the gubernatorial race in full throttle as well as local Council races needing a helping hand, I went to a local meeting of Democrats in Hunterdon County.

Now, the thing about Democrats in Hunterdon County is this: they are very dedicated souls, and true ‘blue’ to the core. If you’re a Democrat in this very Republican County, you’re REALLY a Democrat. There is no reason to be a Democrat here except for a true belief on the party of Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Clinton.

Such is the case with Reyna and Irving Zelinsky. Great Democrats, always willing to help canvass, donate, host events, and phone bank during election time. I called upon them a lot, and they never say ‘no’.

The Zelinskys, now both American citizens, were originally from Czechoslovakia coming here as a couple in the 60s, forty years ago. They both speak English now, albeit with a Czechoslovakian accent. I met this couple about six years ago during a local Flemington campaign, when they asked me for help with a Motor Vehicle Commission matter. Seems that when they moved from NYC to New Jersey, there was some issue with switching Irving’s drivers license. He was getting the runaround in both New Jersey and New York, and was very frustrated. I made a few phone calls to both offices, and was able straighten out a simple bureaucratic mess. And we became friends through politics.

Upon my arrival at the meeting, I was very glad to see the Zelinskys. I had not seen them much in the last year or so, and was glad to run into them at this party meeting at the home of the local Democratic chair. Reyna and Irving never failed to call me “Mr. Novick”, and my ongoing joke was, “Mr. Novick, that’s my father. Call me Joey.”

Hugs all around, and Reyna says to me in her Czechoslovakian-accented English, “Mister Novick! How are you? I’m glad you’re here.” I make my usual joke, and say hello to Irving, too.

Then Reyna continues, “Mr. Novick, I missed you. Your new genius. I was just talking Irving the other day. I miss your new genius come election time.”

Well, I was very moved by this seemingly very moving complement. I've worked hard on elections, won more than I lost in this very Republican town, but never thought of myself as a ‘genius’. I attributed the term ‘new genius’ to her sometime misunderstanding of American idiomatic expressions. However, I thanked her anyway.

“Reyna, that is very kind of you, but we all work hard on elections in order to win. I am hardly a ‘genius’ or a ‘new genius’. I learn from everybody…I”.

Then she interrupts me and asks, “What are you mean ‘genius’? What?”

I am uncomfortable at her question, but try to laugh it off. “I think we are all geniuses—when we are working hard…”. Just then she turns to her husband, and she says something in her native language. He says something back, and they both start laughing together. Irving, laughing, tries to explain.

“Mr. Novick, Reyna didn’t say ‘new genius’. She said she misses your (he pauses to speak slowly)…she misses, we miss your ‘nudgey-ness’. The way during election time you call for meeting. You call for phone banks. Put sign up. Everyday you call. Help out with seniors. Help out at office. You’re a nudge. Your nudgey-ness. This we missed. Nudgey-ness.”

I smile, laugh and thank them again. However, I am humbled.

But, I know in my heart that one does have to be somewhat of a genius out here in Hunterdon to win as a Democrat, be a nudge, and still keep your sense of humor.

And make new friends like the Zelinskys.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

GOP Recruits Serena Williams to Run for Congress After Profane Outburst.

"This is our kind of candidate we need running for Congress", says RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

"Can you imagine her at the next State of the Union address? Oba...ma won't be able to handle the 'F%#K Y%u!' she uses in her serves, or the 'A##hole!' she has in her baseline game. He's toast!"


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Manners of the Members and the Top Eight Rejected Obama Heckle Response

Congressman Joe Wilson may be number one in South Carolina’s 2nd district, but Wednesday he clearly stepped in Number Two. If you heckle the president during a speech and you’re not a Congressman, you’ll usually be removed by Capitol Building police. However, if you are a member of the House, your behavior will only help your opponent raise money.

Wilson’s likely Democratic opponent has raised nearly $200,000 per word. Thus according to www.examiner.com, “Cash is still pouring in for Rob Miller, the Iraq war veteran and Democrat poised to challenge the infamously uncouth South Carolina Republican Joe Miller in next year’s House election.”

This is a great fundraising idea. Put President Obama on tour ---“Go ahead: Call Me A Liar 2009”----speaking in close districts where there is a Republican Congressman. Get the Congressman to call Obama names, and then watch the campaign contributions roll in.

Update: Not to be outdone, after Joe Wilson shouted out “You lie!”, California Congressman Jerry Lewis yelled out “Hey, Lady!”, and New Jersey’s own Rush Holt, yelled out an explanation of “the Unified Field Theory”

Top Eight Rejected Obama Heckle Responses: As a comedian, I have been periodically heckled in comedy clubs. It’s always good to have some responses in the can. Here are some that we know Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel suggested to President Obama, but the President wisely rejected:

1- “Obviously the Congressman is auditioning for Blue Collar Comedy Tour."

2- 'It's alright, folks, I remember the first time I had a beer.'

3- 'If I wanted to hear from an asshole, I would have farted.

4- 'Hey Congressman, so I guess there was no tractor pull tonight in South Carolina?

5- ‘Hey, Congressman. This is my job. I don't show up at your job and unplug the Slurpee machine.'

6- “Billions of sperm cells, and yours is the one that won.”

7- “Congressman, if I want anymore shit out of you, I’ll squeeze your head.

8- "I guess it’s true what they say about the South--it is a shame when cousins marry."

Recent crime reports have indicated two important trends in New Jersey: Violent crime is down; however, non-violent crime is up. Perhaps this second trend is directly attributable to the recently discovered driving record of gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie.

Mr. Christie has worked all summer trying to score points in the race for governor. And racing he has been doing: Between 1985 and 2000 Christie was found guilty on 10 tickets totaling 25 points on his license. Wonder what HIS insurance rates must be? Oh, I forgot ----at times, he has had no insurance, like at his stop in Lambertville.

So, that got me thinking---Christie is asking us to let him drive the New Jersey bus. But, would you trust him with your kids on a school bus? Is his driving record good enough for him to get a job driving a school bus in New Jersey?

Let’s see…if you go online, and Google ‘school bus driver’, you get hundreds of hits. So, there are plenty of jobs out there. I found one school in Old Bridge, with the following requirements:

  • Current driver's license required with no more that 3 moving violations in past three years (no alcohol or drug related convictions)
  • CPR and First Aid certification required
  • 2+ years of experience transporting children highly desirable.

Christie has 25 points from 1985 to 2000----but none in the past three years. So, he is OK, there.

Don’t know if he is “CPR and First Aid certification required”. But when he got into an accident with a motorcycle rider, the rider did end up in the hospital. So, maybe Christie is not “CPR and First Aid certified”.

And finally, he does have experience driving kids around to ball games, etc. Thumbs up there.

When Christie down to give testimony to Congress over the summer, he left early because he had to take the train back. Perhaps he could have stayed longer had he driven down to DC. But with his driving record, maybe taking Amtrak was a good idea.

So, the jury is still out. Would you trust Chris Christie driving your kids in a school bus in the morning?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wing Man: How I survived three days of Right-Wing peace, love and music.

Part One: Gorillas in the Missed


In the 1970s, Dian Fossey spent a great deal of time living in a habitat with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, in an effort to learn all about their way of life. She wanted to separate the truth about the mountain gorilla from the Hollywood "King Kong" myth of an aggressive, savage beast.


I was very inspired by her story, and so I decided to do the same thing. Just not with gorillas, though.

Last weekend, I spent three days of ‘peace, love and music’ with that very rare animal in New Jersey, the Republican-Conservative-Libertarian (herein after referred to as the ‘RCLs’). I wanted to separate the truth about the RCLs from the national political rhetorical myth of being passionless, humorless, narrow-minded, and not-very-bright politicos. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most are bright, spirited, passionate, insightful folks, whose values very largely differ from mine, as well as other Left of center Democrats. Oh, they have plenty of whackos, for sure. But ALL of the RCLs should be not defined by those whackos.

While the Daily Kos Netroots Nation conference was happening at the Westin Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh, just across one of the Three Rivers, the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) were holding their own counter-conference---the RightOnline Conference. This is where, at the Station Square Sheraton Hotel, the RCLs gathered with their ilk for some information, inspiration, and instruction from the likes of commentator/blogger Michelle Malkin, economist Stephen Moore, Bush tax-cuts creator Grover Norquist, and (even) Joe The Plumber---just some of the aforementioned RCL whackos.

I decided to go for the full-tilt-boogie RCL experience: I traveled with them. I stayed in a hotel with them. I ate meals with them. I hung out in between sessions and ‘joked’ with them. Yes, that is right---

Contrary to popular belief; the RCLs do have a sense of humor. They cracked jokes about Gore (“Yup, he invented the Internet…..and Global Warming.”); President Obama (“The Anointed One even needs a teleprompter to take a dump.”); and the Netroots Nation people across the three rivers (“We can tell where the Left-Wingers

are---from the smoke haze above Pittsburgh---they’re all smoking dope, wearing tie-dye and singing ‘Kumbaya’”.) Well, maybe, that last observation is not too far off.

I rode with them on their AFP bus from New Jersey, leaving bright and early at 7am in Bordentown, NJ, and picking up several other Pennsylvania

RCLs along the way in King of Prussia. After that stop, we were on our way to Steel City. While I was disappointed that Mr. AFP-NJ himself ---Steve Lonegan ---was not on the bus, I was treated to a plethora of various RCLs of different species during the six-hour plus ride. Some were more CL than R. However, all seem to be pro-life, anti-marriage equality, anti-any tax, and all solid Reaganistas. And they were all on the bus to fight against health care, cap and trade, and any further bailouts.

I seem to ‘fit’ in just fine. Being fat, bald, and white-bearded, I seem to ‘blend’ in just fine. It did not hurt that I know many of the required RCL ‘buzz words’, and know my Constitution fairly well.

No one asked me about my politics----which I would have shared gladly. At one point, however, I was asked who I voted for in the presidential primary. I declared that “I hold my secret ballot sacred, but I will tell you one thing: I did not vote for John McCain.” Nodding knowingly, she said, "Neither did I."

Like out of a Hollywood casting call, there were RCLs of every shape and size. While the names here are not going to be changed to protect the innocent---these folks were hardily innocent---I will, respectfully, just use initials.

There was ‘M’, a very religious Evangelical Christian who carried a photo book of a trip he made to see Bush speak in New Jersey a few years back. In a conversation we had about the Iraq War.

He made to see Bush speak in New Jersey a few years back. In a conversation we had about the Iraq War. I asserted that I was opposed to the war (in part), because there was never a formal declaration of war under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. For that ‘infraction of conscience’, he actually reported me to the bus captain as being opposed to ‘peace through strength’. Really. More on 'M', later.

There was chain-smoking ‘R’, a newly elected Republican State Committee member, who was furious that his State Committee refused to adopt the Pro-Life/Anti-Gay RNC National Platform. There was ‘D’, a 40ish former media professional, who hated Affirmative Action, who asked me, “What’s the problem with those people? We have a black president? What else do those people want?”


There was ‘N’, a teacher who was a former Liberal Democrat (‘LibDem’ was the self-describing term she used), who was converted over the airwaves by the magic of Rush Limbaugh. She now argues regularly with her brother, a solid ‘LibDem’. She said she was in a quandary over his assertion that “healthcare is a right, like ‘police protection, and an education.’”

For the next twenty minutes we looked diligently at the Constitution copies we had been given, trying to figure the whole thing out.

I came up with the idea health care was a ‘right’ under the “promote the general welfare” assertion in the Preamble. And that the "cruel and unusual punishment" clause of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution had been interpreted by the Supreme Court to require prisoners, as part of their humane treatment during detention, to be guaranteed the right to health care under ESTELLE v. GAMBLE, 429, U.S. 97, 1976. “And certainly citizens have rights greater than that of prisoners,” I said, to which all nodded.

...So, it must be a ‘right’. And, after all, what more important way to ‘promote the general welfare’ than promoting the ‘health’ of the populace. And it’s so important, the Founding Framers chose to put it up front.”

This did not sit well with ‘M’, the former LibDem. Fighting against government health care was the reason she was on this bus. I got that “Deer in the Headlights” look from her.

I would get that look periodically through the weekend from several other RCLs.

More later, in Part Two: Lonegan and the Conference.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Read ALL about what happened yesterday!

Here is the news round-up from Monday. Why waste your Monday looking at the news of the day, when you can relax and read it tomorrow:
News Roundup & Open Thread for Monday, Aug. 17, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

At RightOnlIne Conference

I am at the Right OnLine Conference, and just got a brief POV on the overall conference from the Timothy Lee, Director of Legal and Public Affairs for the Center for Individual Freedom.

Right now, I am in the Patients First, Healthcare Reform forum. The guy speaking compared the Cash for Clunkers program with Obama's approach on healthcare----Government thinks that expendable, people are expendable, the Constitution is expendable...this is the way the Obama adminstration thinks..."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Read The News Yesterday, Oh Boy....

Many of the New Jersey blogs and political websites try to “out news” each other in the mega early of the morning with features like “News Roundup & Open Thread” (BlueJersey) Or Wake-Up Call –(PolitickerNJ).

These folks get up waaaay too early, don’t have breakfast with their loved ones, leave the house a mess, and gather news from web-news sources and newspaper websites (who probably have people who get up even earlier to gather the news around the state). They care about you that much to make sure you get the news immediately, and as early as possible. Oooh, Politigasm.

Reminds me of the old joke about Jews in Florida: “They eat dinner at 4:30pm, lunch at 11am, and dinner the night before.”

They scan websites from every source and site from north to the south; from east to west, from the cyber to the historical—teetering-on-the-edge-of-demise dailies like the Star-Ledger, Asbury Park Press, Bergen Record, Courier News, Courier Post. From weeklies, monthlies, and magazines. From other websites and even each other. They link back to these stories with clever little lines like “Christie is a jerk” or “Teabaggers stage protest”. Or “Joey Novick is funny and brilliant.” Bigger, faster, stronger.

All in pursuit of all the news that fits we print. Or blog.

So, in order to make it even easier for you, the daily blog reader, each day I am going to try to do the same thing. Link back to the news. But make it even easier for you. I will link back to everyone else’s news round-up----but not until they’re done, usually the next day. The news does not change that much from day to day, anyway. “Christie is a jerk”. “Teabaggers stage protest”. Or “Joey Novick is funny and brilliant.” Yada yada yada.

That way, I can be done more quickly, and sleep later. Or have breakfast. Or take an exercise walk. Here is the news from yesterday. Tomorrow, we should have today's news. Thanks to Rosi and Laura.

PolitickerNJ Wake-up Call from Tuesday, August 11th

Blue Jersey News Round up Tuesday, August 11th

...also, if you missed it, Lincoln lost New Jersey.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Steve Lonegan anti-Cap and Trade Road Show

Went to see the Steve Lonegan anti-Cap and Trade Road Show last night. This one in Clinton, in the heart of conservative-right wing-libertarian Lonegan country.

Packed house for the usual right-wing debunking of the global warming "myth/conspiracy". On hand, of course, was Assemblyman Mike Doherty, the original anti-global warming zealot.

Packed house—all the usual Republicans were there: Hunterdon Chairman Kuhl (no question with a name like that he be opposed to global warming); the aforementioned Mike Doherty, who had his own anti-global warming road show while back---the one where he was asked if he believed in evolution, and he said, “It does not matter. Evolution or creationism. It just does not matter.” Erik Peterson, the winner of the political sweepstakes shift when Leonard Lance won his seat in Congress.

Missing were State Senator Marcia Karrow and Congressman Lance, himself.

Lance has always been a good thinker, and an independent legislator, by and large. No doubt he is a Republican by philosophy, geography and family lineage ----however in a district that went big time for Lonegan in the gubernatorial primary, he may be shifting too far to the center to suit some of the RLC* folks –*Republican Conservative-Libertarian. His vote for Cap -n- Trade was one of the few Republican votes in Congress. Three from NJ, so he was not alone. But the usually popular Lance got booed last night.

Much of the anti-Cap and Trade was based on their “proof” that climate change does not exist. Debunking Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” with stories by John Stossell about how a photo of a polar bear was taken in August; how the whole global warming conspiracy can be traced somehow to Goldman Sachs, who would make billions on Cap n Trade; and how their science (which comes from ‘objective’ sources like The Heritage Foundation) was just seeking The Truth.

Anyway, 250 or so angry folks sat and listened to Lonegan, who cracked jokes (“Proof of climate change for me is the change in women’s lingerie over the years.”), asserted that Friends of The Earth and the Sierra Club were “communist front groups” (Are you listening Comrade Tittle?) and got cued-boos when he mentioned Obama, Gore, or Lance.

By way, maybe the liberalism is catching: Congressman Lance and Al Gore both went to the same law school, Vanderbilt University Law School.

Anyway, if any of the folks there did not see “An Inconvenient Truth”, it is now available on DVD.

Cap and Trade is what the Republicans always say they want: tax incentives to promote environmental protection, rather than government regulation.

Friday, August 7, 2009

2009 NJ Powerlessness List

You may have noticed that PolitickerNJ recently posted their own Power List for 2009. Their list identifies New Jersey’s 100 most politically influential personalities. People whose phone calls get returned. People whose advice everyone seeks. People who get interviewed by CNN, Fox News, and the Star-Ledger. The Ultra-Movers and Uber-Shakers.

Well, I’ll have none of that for my list. This list identifies the most politically non-influential personalities. On my list, I don’t worry about some arbitrary number like “100”. While PolitickerNJ eliminated current office holders, former governors, former senators---we’ve eliminated no one.

If you no longer matter in New Jersey, you matter to me.

We include anyone and everyone whose phone calls don’t get returned, Those who never get invited anywhere anymore. Those with whom photos would be a death knell in any election campaign.

As opposed to the PolitickerNJ 2009 Power List, our method was scientific, empirical, data-driven, objective---and any other super cool words used by Ben Dworkin or the folks at Eagleton.

And while there are no right or wrong answers, this list changes from moment to moment---just like 'realpolitics'. As a matter of fact, when you started reading this list, you were on the list. But because you have taken out time to read this very important stuff, you’re now too important to be on the list. Puff, you’re gone.

We welcome your comments. Contact me at joeynovick@earthlink.net. And if you’re unimportant and un-influential enough, I won’t respond to your email.

So here goes:

14-20- Former [and soon to be former Mayors] Peter Cammarano, Anthony Suarez, and Dennis Elwell used to wield much power, albeit some for a longer time than others. Now, not so much. [I am leaving space for at least five others ‘soon to be former elected officials’ to fill out the list]

13 Golan Cipal—Then: He brought down a governor, and was the punchline to comedy club jokes. Now: He has a website explaining “his side” of the story. www.GolanCipal.com, still under construction.

12-Craig Carton—the former 101.5 personality once was able to make state legislators fear for their political lives. PolitickerNJ.com named him the 9th most politically influential personality in the State of New Jersey in 2007. Now, like every other guy, he just talks sports in the morning.

11-Dina Matos McGreevey – Then: The Queen of Drumthwacket. She appeared on Oprah. Now: Her book is on the quarter rack at .99 stores.

10-Mike Ferguson – The golden boy of New Jersey’s right-wing spent eight years in the halls of Congress, and his most notable achievement was successfully retrieving his congressional pin from a co-ed at a Georgetown bar. One day: He’ll be the answer to a Jersey Jeopardy question: Who beat Tom Kean, Jr. in a primary for a seat in Congress?

9-Mayor Henry Franco – There’s nothing negative to report on the mayor of Deal, other than the fact that he’s so unknown that some of his constituents, namely a group of Syrian Jewish rabbis, seemed to have more influence in Trenton than he does.

8-Steve Lonegan – There’s an old saying that someone is so unknown that they couldn’t even get arrested in this town. Well, Lonegan did once get arrested for protesting ---- outside a Corzine town hall meeting, but that may be the end of his public theatrics and criminal record.

7-Sarah Palin- she has a string of ‘formers’ now added to her resume. Now the former Mayor-Beauty Queen-Governor-VP Loser can’t even get Chris Christie to invite her to NJ.

6-Sharpe James – He once wielded strong power in the state senate and ran our state’s biggest city with an iron fist. But now, the imprisoned former mayor of Newark is mostly concerned with protecting his own southward.

5- The Star-Ledger –this once mighty newspaper laid off so many experienced reporters, that they are a thinner, paler version of their former selves. Still, they carry my favorite strip, Doonesbury.

4-Randall Pinkett- Once the heir apparent to the coveted LG spot, “The Apprentice” champ Pinkett was replaced by feisty Jewish grandmother Loretta Weinberg before you could say, “You’re fired!”.

3-The “In The Lobby.com” guys – Their emails are boring, and they have too many ads. Never seen a scoop there at all. Hey, I write for the PolitickerNJ team. What did you expect?

2-Chairman of the Hudson County Republican Party. Pathetic. Not even the Republican State Committee knew who he was. There’s standing room only at the courtrooms where Democratic officeholders are being arraigned, and this guy can’t even field a softball team let alone a slate of candidates. The statue of Lou Costello in Paterson wields more influence.

But there is one person who is the least influential politico in New Jersey politics and that’s…

1-Me – I’m in Hunterdon County. Getting votes delivered? I can’t even get a pizza delivered. I'll be lucky if I can stop a street naming after Dick Cheney. There’s an old saying in politics. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, write sarcastic blogs about those who can.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The definition of irony: “an incongruity or discordance between what one says or does.”

Like a school crossing guard who crosses in between, and not at the green, the Government Records Council (GRC) ---the folks who were created to enforce the Open Public Records Act---found themselves on the wrong side of the law. No irony in that.

In July, a Mercer County gave props to the fine folks at the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG), and ordered the GRC to provide full copies of requested emails in unredacted form. In the interest of full disclosure, I must reveal that this blogger is on the state board of NJFOG.

Details, details: NJFOG was trying to get the names and email contact information for people who had filed complaints with the GRC, with the attempt to contacts those folks to help them further, if need be. Good folks those NJFOG people, if I must say so myself.

GRC’s claim: That “it was protecting complainants' privacy by shielding their home e-mail addresses.”

NJFOG: was trying to "evaluate and monitor the GRC's performance in handling individual complaints."

NJFOG filed suit on May 8, alleging that was a violation of OPRA, the common law right of access to public records, and N.J.S.A. 1:1-14.1(a), which provides a right of access to quasi-judicial records of administrative agencies.

Winner: NJFOG.

Thanks to attorney Richard Gutman, who “analogizes the GRC's effort to withhold the addressees to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ‘violating the law against discrimination.’”

Monday, July 27, 2009

And she told the media: ''How about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit makin' things up?''

...and "How about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit makin' things up?" too, ex-governor?

Palin's lies.....

Palin lied when she said the dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, had nothing to do with his refusal to fire state trooper Mike Wooten; in fact, the Branchflower Report concluded that she repeatedly abused her power when dealing with both men.

Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed to have said, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere; in fact, she openly campaigned for the federal project when running for governor.

Palin lied when she denied that Wasilla's police chief and librarian had been fired; in fact, both were given letters of termination the previous day.

Palin lied when she wrote in the NYT that a comprehensive review by Alaska wildlife officials showed that polar bears were not endangered; in fact, email correspondence between those scientists showed the opposite.

Palin lied when she claimed in her convention speech that an oil gas pipeline "began" under her guidance; in fact, the pipeline was years from breaking ground, if at all.

Palin lied when she told Charlie Gibson that she does not pass judgment on gay people; in fact, she opposes all rights between gay spouses and belongs to a church that promotes conversion therapy.

Palin lied when she denied having said that humans do not contribute to climate change; in fact, she had previously proclaimed that human activity was not to blame.

Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska produces 20 percent of the country's domestic energy supply; in fact, the actual figures, based on any interpretation of her words, are much, much lower.

Palin lied when she told voters she improvised her convention speech when her teleprompter stopped working properly; in fact, all reports showed that the machine had functioned perfectly and that her speech had closely followed the script.

Palin lied when she recalled asking her daughters to vote on whether she should accept the VP offer; in fact, her story contradicts details given by her husband, the McCain campaign, and even Palin herself. (She later added another version.)

Palin lied when she claimed to have taken a voluntary pay cut as mayor; in fact, as councilmember she had voted against a raise for the mayor, but subsequent raises had taken effect by the time she was mayor.

Palin lied when she insisted that Wooten's divorce proceedings had caused his confidential records to become public; in fact, court officials confirmed they released no such records.

Palin lied when she suggested to Katie Couric that she was involved in trade missions with Russia; in fact, she has never even met with Russian officials.

Palin lied when she told Shimon Peres that the only flag in her office was the Israeli flag; in fact, she has several flags.

Palin lied when she claimed to have tried to divest government funds from Sudan; in fact, her administration openly opposed a bill that would have done just that.

Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed that troop levels in Iraq were back to pre-surge levels; in fact, even she acknowledged her "misstatements," though she refused to retract or apologize.

Palin lied when she insisted that the Branchflower Report "showed there was no unlawful or unethical activity on my part"; in fact, that report prominently stated, "Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."

Palin lied when she claimed to have voiced concerns over Wooten fearing he would harm her family; in fact, she actually decreased her security detail during that period.

Palin lied when asked about the $150,000 worth of clothes provided by the RNC; in fact, solid reporting contradicted several parts of her statement.

Palin lied when she suggested that she had offered the media proof of her pregnancy with Trig to "correct the record"; in fact, no reports of her medical records were ever published; and the letter from her doctor testifying to her good health only emerged hours before polling ended on election day, even though there was nothing in it that couldn't have been released two months earlier.

Palin lied when she said that "reported" allegations of her banning Harry Potter as mayor was easily refutable because it had not even been written yet; in fact, the first book in that series was published in 1998 - two years into her first term - and such rumors were never reported by the media, only circulated as emails.

Palin lied when she denied having participated in a clothes audit with campaign laywers; in fact, the Washington Times later confirmed those details.

Palin lied when asked about Couric's question regarding her reading habits; in fact, Couric's words were not, "What do you read up there in Alaska?" or anything close to condescension.

Palin lied when she mischaracterized the "$1200 check" given to Alaskans as the permanent fund dividend check; in fact, that fund had yielded $2,069 per person, and she claimed otherwise to obscure the fact that Alaskans also received a $1200 rebate check from a windfall profits tax on oil companies - a tax widely criticized by Republicans.

Palin lied when she claimed to be unaware of a turkey being slaughtered behind her during a filmed interview; in fact, the cameraman said she had picked the spot herself, while the slaughter was underway.

Palin lied when she denied having rejected federal stimulus money; in fact, she continued to accept and reject the funds several times.

Palin lied when she claimed that legislative leaders had canceled a meeting with her to hold their own press conference; in fact, they only canceled it after being told she would not participate, and the purpose of the press conference was very different from the meeting's.

Palin lied when she announced on the news that she never holds closed-door meetings; in fact, she had just attended a closed-door meeting with the legislature earlier that day.

Palin lied when she said that former aide John Bitney's "amicable" departure was for "personal" reasons; in fact, Bitney said he was fired because of his relationship with the wife of Palin's friend, plus a Palin spokesperson later claimed "poor job performance" for his firing - without elaborating.

Palin lied when she said she kept her running injury a secret on the campaign trail; in fact, her bandaged hand was clearly visible in photographs and the story was widely talked about.

Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska has spent "millions of dollars" on litigation related to her ethics complaints; in fact, that figure is much, much lower, and she had initiated the most expensive inquiry.

Palin lied when she denied that the Alaska Independence Party supports secession and denied that her husband had been a member; in fact, even the McCain campaign noted that the party's very existence is based on secession and that Todd was a member for seven years.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Landslide District? Slim chance of Changing power.

With candidates winning in some districts with 60%, 70% or even 80% of the vote---just how much true democracy do we really have? If the majority party in a district ---whether Rs or Ds---has voter registration levels that produce winners each and every time, can we truly say that is a fair and democratic system.

Sure, the voter has a choice. But with districts being ‘cut’ with a clear majority, does that voter’s vote really mean that much? This is called ‘landsliding’. And it has gotten worse over time.

According to Governing.com, “In 1976, when Jimmy Carter was elected president, less than a quarter of the American people lived in so-called "landslide counties" — those in which the spread between the two major presidential candidates was 20 percentage points or more. By 2004, when George W. Bush was reelected, nearly half the electorate lived in this kind of politically tilted territory.”

For democracy, so it goes.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bailout of Madoff Not Making Everyone Happy

Special to AP Newswire

With 700 billion dollars being spent on the General Motors bailout, AIG, and many other financial institutions, “the money is flowing from Washington like sh*t through a goose”, as described by one “Congressman from the 3rd district of Alabama”, who asked not to be named.

“In the 1980s, I solved the whole dang Alabama state financial crisis myself when I was Calhoun County Commissioner with good Republican principles…that’s the d*mn truth. You can look it up. Give me ten minutes, and then go check Wikipedia.”

At least one blogger was not happy with current government bailout plans: “Bernie Madoff is getting his share of the government bailout in the form of 150 year’s worth of housing, three square meals a day, and full medical coverage. What’s this country coming to?”, posted blogger Spanky182 at www.Whatsthiscountrycomingto?.com. “I can understand a year or two until he gets back on his feet, but this is ridiculous.

However, the Madoff bailout had no effect on the housing market nationally: As the government was providing Madoff with lifetime housing, they also seized his wife’s penthouse apartment, “…an even swap, with a net effect of zero on the housing market,” one DC official was quoted as saying.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

On the job

Strangely enough, a politician who wants to get a little nookie on the side while he is in office can’t win no matter what they do. The latest to test this theory was Governor Mark Sanford from South Carolina.

If you’ve been following the news, you may know that Hiking the Appalachian Trail” is a new Southern euphemism for “getting laid”.

Sanford traveled all the way to South America get his nookie, apparently.

At least the others in the US: Spitzer got his in Washington, DC; McGreevey stayed at NJ highway rest stops for his.

And President Bill Clinton stayed on the job by getting his right in the Oval Office. If nuclear launch codes were needed, Clinton was still right there will and ready to be the leader of the free world.

Not so Sanford. He was out of town during his affair.

Unreachable by his staff, the press and the people of South Carolina. He met his paramour on a trip a year ago paid for by the South Carolina Department of Commerce---the taxpayers kicked in for that one. To his credit, the governor did offer to pay back the state for that portion of the trip where he had the affair. I guess any days where he failed to get laid, he’s not paying for. Good sport, governor.

Under the South Carolina State constution, Article IV, SECTION 2. “Qualifications of Governor”:

No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor who denies the existence of the Supreme Being.

So, if when he was getting his nookie, the good governor did not shout out the Lord’s name, perhaps he can get impeached.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The New new New York Yankee Stadium

So, what do you think of the new Yankee Stadium? Yeah, me, too.

Friday, June 5, 2009

So, nu? The New Family discusses marriage-equality...

“Hello, Jersey? It’s your cousin, Hampshire. How are you, darling? How is your Garden? How’s your Shore?

"Dear, I want to thank you for your nice gift on the occasion of my getting ‘Marriage-Equality’. The tomatoes were fabulous! Nice and big and ripe. You really are the Garden State of the New family….”

“So, are you and York still having your troubles? Look, you really need to get over that whole 'Statue of Liberty' thing. It’s been going on for years, and the Statue really does belong to York. The gift from France was for New York, and not you. (Oy, not this again). Yes, I know the gift was for all the States…(and again with the 'it's closer to me' whine)... Maybe you and York could just get together over a nice lunch, but really….(oy vey, I am sorry I brought it up)….she is your sister state and your neighbor, and you really need to forgive….”

“Look, the real reason I called is to see what’s happening with you in the ‘marriage-equality’ department. You know, you’re not getting any younger. I was with the Norths the other day----you know Carolina and Dakota----oh, they’re fine. Y’know, Carolina never shuts up and you can’t understand a thing she says ----with that accent of hers, and Dakota never says a word. But they were asking about you, dear…."

“Y’know, it is about time you got marriage-equality. It really is better for you. No, that ‘domestic partnership’ nonsense just does not work. Sounds like a law firm. And no one knows what it is. And the ‘civil unions’ ----hey, why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free, know what I mean….marriage-equality is the only way to go….

“Now your mishuguna cousin California from the other side of the States----can’t make up her mind. First she has marriage-equality, then she doesn’t. Then she has it again. Oy, what tsoris she’s causing!...."

“Now, you should see the way I look since I got marriage-equality…my pastures are greener…my mountains look bigger and my lakes are bluer. You need to try it. All my neighbors have marriage-equality--- Connecticut. Maine. Massachusetts. Vermont. It will work for you, too, dear. Trust me, it’s so much better..."

"Even your goyish-a cousin, Iowa has marriage-equality. Who knew?”

(a special shout out to Steven and Daniel)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Americans for Prosperity conference

Second to none in the Republican world are the folks from Americans for Prosperity (AFP). These conservatoids march to the beat of a different drummer on their side of the political aisle.

Their leader in New Jersey is none other than former gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan. Now, this time around he was taken a bit more seriously by the Republican powers that be and they actually ran attack-commercials against him touting his 'flat-tax' as a scam to raise taxes on "70% of New Jersey residents" which "Lonegan actually admitted to the Philadelphia Inquirer". Yup, folks---if you're gonna raise taxes on New Jersey residents go out of state to admit it. Now, the flat tax, as I hear tell it would have raised taxes on the lowest level income folks in NJ.

And Lonegan said that was OK 'cause it was "not really that much" (an additional $400 per year or so"), and that the money would be used to help create jobs and stimulate the economy. Now, let me understand this----you're going to help create jobs and stimulate the NJ economy with tax dollars? Is not that what President Obama is attempting to do with federal stimulus money? And Steve is just willing to do it with poor people's money----but not rich people's apparently. Maybe the rich are different. Their money is no good here.

Anyway, the AFP folks included Lonegan, and Joe Schlip (Piscataway Republican Club guy and the guy they chose to introduce their keynote speaker, Curtis Sliwa) who is pro-life to the nth degree, against marriage equality, and told me he believes that Islamists are taking over Europe and if we did not do something in America we would be an "Islamist Republic" in years to come. Well, his exact time frame was 25 years, so I have got 2024 marked on my calendar for the ocassion. Joe, you can pick up your tin-foil hat at the next AFP convention.

It was fun as I got to meet Ryan, the 22 year-old conservative true believer who was staffing a table for the conference. A firece conservative-libertarian, Ryan wants the government out of his life completely----even to the point of not wanting any local zoning boards making sure that an oil refinery could not be zoned next to his house. "My freedom is important to me," he said. "If that means losing the value of my home, that's OK with me." Perhaps Ryan can purchase his home in Joe Schlip's future America from the folks from the future Islamist Republic----and wear his own tin-foil hat during the house closing.

At the AFP Con, I got to meet Curtis Sliwa, who I miss broadcasting with Ron Kuby on WABC in the mornings. Curtis [now on at night] and Kuby [now on Air America, I think] were bumped a year or so by Don Imus. Funny how life works---Imus calls the Rutgers womens basketball team "nappy headed hoes", ---and voila----Kuby ends up in radio wasteland. Love Air America, when I can get it, which is not that often. What goes around comes around, even if it you did not start it.

In my neck of conservative NJ, Lonegan won big---and so did Michael Doherty, edging off Mrcia Karrow---a good legislator who was a good critical thinker most of the time. Doherty, however, will join the other right-wingers from out here in the back rows of the NJ Senate.

So, it goes.