Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The 23rd gets another right wing zealot

Just when you thought the 23rd Assembly district was safe, up comes another right wing zealot.

Mike Doherty ---pro-life, pro-gun, anti-marriage equality, doesn't-believe in global warming [and maybe questions evolution, too] is out. And now John DiMaio is in. Mr. DiMaio also is a "pro-life, pro-gun, anti-marriage equality, doesn't-believe in global warming" kinda guy. Don't know his stand on evolution, yet.

Unlike Mike, this guy used to be a Democrat. How'd we ever let him get away?

Technically, he will replace Marcia Karrow. But in spirit, he's closer to Doherty.

From the ever thinning Courier News:

Republican county committee members from Hunterdon and Warren counties voted Saturday to have John DiMaio of Hackettstown fill the 23rd Legislative District seat.

DiMaio, who serves as a Warren County freeholder, defeated two Hunterdon County freeholders for the seat during a meeting held in Clinton Township.

In the first ballot, he earned 129 votes, followed by Erik Peterson with 104 and Matt Holt with 56. That eliminated Holt and, in the second round of balloting, DiMaio edged Peterson 153-141.

However, DiMaio said he would not immediately assume his new post, citing pending matters in Warren County.

Good luck to Mr. DiMaio. We will be watching to see what you do when you do take the seat.

Friday, February 20, 2009

You're fired. No, I quit!

The Donald is dumped.

From NJ Law Journal:

Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for bankruptcy protection early Tuesday, just hours before bondholders apparently planned to force the company into bankruptcy over $53 million in late interest payments.

I wonder if this is a scene that will be played out on his TV Show, “The Apprentice”....

Trump and his daughter Ivanka quit the company's board last week over disputes with the bondholders....

It's good to see a father and daughter doing something together...

The company, which last filed for Chapter 11 in 2004, now lists about $2 billion in assets and $1.7 billion in liabilities and has been hurt badly by a decline in gambling revenue from its three Atlantic City casinos.

I guess gambling [or 'gaming', as they like to call it] was not such a great gamble...

Bloomberg News reported that Trump Entertainment's market value has dropped from a peak of $842 million in Aug. 2005 to just $7.3 million Wednesday. Trump has turned to Weil, Gotshal & Manges for representation in the Chapter 11 case, with McCarter & English serving as New Jersey local counsel.

Well, at least he is providing work for attorneys...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

That’s nucleus of the cell, not doughnut hole.

Some folks in Trenton are traveling down the long lonesome road again to try to get towns to merge. This time, they want to merge “doughnuts” with “nuclei”.

Doughnut is their term for the larger towns that surround smaller towns in New Jersey. Bridgewater and Somerville. Freehold and Freehold Township. And my own town of Flemington, surrounded by Raritan Township.

Nucleus is my term for the center of those towns.

The problem, I think, is one of perspective. The Trenton folks think of the center of these towns as the empty “hole in the doughnut”.

I think of those towns as the nucleus of the cell.

Wikipedia defines a “doughnut” as “a sweet, deep-fried piece of dough or batter.” Pronounced “doʊnət”. I don’t know what those symbols are either, but it means “doughnut”.

The average doughnut has about 385 empty calories. And it takes about 28 minutes of walking (4mph) to burn the calories in one plain doughnut. More if it has custard or jelly in the center.

Now, a nucleus is the control center of a cell, which contains the cell's chromosomal DNA. It’s where it’s all happening. The center of activity. The vibrancy. The brains, baby, the brains.

And that is the point here: nucleus versus doughnut. The center of all activity versus the empty calories of fried dough.

Their perspective needs to change.

Perhaps the bill being passed around Assembly committees requiring ‘doughnut’ towns to merge with their ‘empty’ centers, should itself be forced to merge, and placed in the center of another bill.

Maybe one that establishes a constitutional convention to deal with the way property taxes are determined. Yup, that’s a good idea. And tasty, too.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, eh.

If you are gay in New Jersey, you cannot get married to your same gender significant other.

Governor Corzine has been courageous enough to declare that he would, indeed, sign a marriage equality bill, should reach his desk.

However, right now, gay couples must be satisfied with civil unions, which apparently do not work very well, legally speaking. Justice Barry Albin wrote the opinion that gave us civil unions in New Jersey. In civil rights terms it is kind of like being in the middle of the bus.

However a new wrinkle has reared its ugly head. Let’s say you and your gay beau got married in a country where gay marriage is legal ---right now, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, and Spain. And you’re an American. And now you want to get a divorce----if you live in New Jersey, you have to stay married, according to the AG’s office at least.

So, you can’t get married, and if you’re married you can’t get a divorce. Some progress.

From the NJ Law Journal:
In a ruling of first impression, a state judge in Trenton held Friday that same-sex spouses validly married in other states or countries can seek divorces in New Jersey if they otherwise meet jurisdictional requirements. Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that La Kia Hammond of Trenton may file for divorce from a woman she married in British Columbia, Canada, and who now lives in Delaware. Hammond could not seek a divorce in Canada because she is not a resident there, leaving her with no other forum than her home state. The N.J. attorney general's office opposed recognizing the same-sex marriage for purposes of divorce, suggesting instead that the marriage be dissolved as if it were a civil union. Officials have not said whether the state will appeal.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back in the fold...

OK, I am now back each and every day. Had some major computer problems for the past ten days or so, and I was unable to post.

Boy, so much has changed since Inauguration Day!

First off, gold medal guy Michael Phelps was caught on camera inhaling from a water bong. Mark Spitz did not need drug enhancement to win his seven golds. Maybe the difference was a hit with bong water.

Perhaps Phelps should have taken the Clinton approach and said he did not inhale, or that he did not like it. Or maybe his pool lane was filled with bong water, and there was a big Doritos bag of chips at the end of the lane.

The US Swimming folks suspended him for three months. So, now Phelps has all this time on his hands to party, hang out with his buddies.... Maybe community service would have been a better idea. It’s kind of ironic though, that he lost a sponsorship deal from Kellogg’s---the folks who use Tony the Tiger [no last name?] for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes----who imbibes the ‘frost’ of the flakes, and then frenetically screams, “They’re Great!!”. Sort of a double standard here?

Also, in the news: Apparently Democrats Daschle, Geither, and Rangel had all not paid back taxes [Daschle, Geither now have, with penalties and interest]. So, what I don’t get here you still have Republicans complaining about high taxes, and these three Democrats VOLUNTARILY agree to not pay them---and the Republicans still have a problem with that. Go figure.

Finally, the field of Republican candidates for NJ governor grows larger and larger. The latest to nudge and budge his way in to the group of all white males running is David Brown, an inventor of something called “The String Thing”----which helps New Jersey residents recycle newspapers bigger, faster, stronger appearently.

Anyway, Mr. Brown and I appeared on “New Jersey Power and Politics” recently, and I got a chance to chat. Tough road for Mr. Brown, but his voice on the debate date should make an interesting one.