Monday, August 30, 2010

The Cost of Incompetence

Candidate Chris Christie made a point over and over again about his fight against corruption in New Jersey government as US attorney. And Gov. Chris Christie made it a point to vilify, bully, and denigrate the teachers of the NJEA.

He even made a joke about it when questioned by Star-Ledger reporter Tom Moran. Doesn't seem quite as funny now, does the governor Christie?

  • Gov. Chris Christie asked the teachers in New Jersey to give up their pay raises.
  • Gov. Chris Christie asked New Jersey voters last April to vote against their local school budgets.
  • Gov. Chris Christie took a hard stand against the NJEA and all that organization did for the past who knows how many years to make New Jersey schools the best schools in the country.

And what did Chris Christie give back for all he asked? Incompetence.

$400 million. For that same amount of money, the following could have been provided:

5200 Elementary School Teachers for One Year.

Or 44,600 Head Start Slots for Children for One Year.

Or the 33,706 University Scholarships for High School Students for One Year.

So Gov. Christie, when Tom Moran asks you about your administration's incompetence and what that means for the citizens of New Jersey, are you going to laugh about that, too?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

US Department of Education reveals real reason why New Jersey lost “Race to the Top” funding: Gov. Christie was on “steroids”.

It seems that baseball is not the only American pastime plagued with steroids these days: US Department of Education spokesperson Grant Handley revealed today the real reason why New Jersey lost out on $700 million in educational funding: “it's obvious from the mistakes in this application, and the way it was hurried down to DC from New Jersey that it was obviously prepared by someone on steroids. And that someone is Gov. Chris Christie.

Under US Department of Education funding federal statutes, it is “illegal to use any substance such as steroids, narcotics, or perception enhancing drugs when preparing an application for any type of federal funding.” Ironically, this law was signed by Pres. George W. Bush––the man who appointed Chris Christie to be US attorney.

Mr. Handley made note that this was not the first time that it was observed that Chris Christie may have been on performance enhancing steroids. Like Roger Clemens when he threw a bat at Met catcher
Mike Piazza in the 2000 World Series, steroids can cause “rage, irritation, extreme arrogance and lashing out at others on a regular basis. With the New Jersey governor's attitude towards the NJEA, small towns and suburbs and most recently Justice Wallace of the Supreme Court––it's obvious that the governor has been suffering from steroid rage for a long time.”

Other evidence of governors use is his enormous “bulking up”––similar to the way baseball homerun hitters Barry Bonds and
Mark McGwire looked after many years of being on steroids. “You don't look you don't look that ‘bulked up’ from just eating food,” said a source inside the governor's office, who wished to remain anonymous.

Other evidence of the governor's use of steroids in the past was his blaming on Commissioner of Education
Bret Schundler for a “compromise” he made with the NJEA back in June during the first round of “Race to the Top” educational funding. Back then, he hid his steroid use by saying of Schundler, "I’m sure we’ll have disagreements in the future. Hopefully we’ll just handle them a little differently,”--after which he flew into a steroid rage.

Handley pointed out that last fall Christie flew into a steroid rage in front of Congress, when he was giving testimony. He left in a hurry, saying that he had to “catch a train and get back to New Jersey.”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Congressman Lance: “yada yada yada… tax cuts… yada yada yada… Republican ‘no’ votes"

Last night I went to the town hall meeting of my congressman, Leonard Lance. Unlike, the summer town hall meetings of 2009, this was rather tame by comparison.

First of all, I want to say that I like Leonard Lance very much. When I was on Borough Council in Flemington, he was always extraordinarily helpful getting us much-needed financial support from the state for roads and other municipal projects. Back then, State Sen. Lance would have no problem getting “earmarks” for those in his district. But now, Congressman Lance toes the Republican line against such earmarks. Oh, what a difference a few years and a larger district makes.

I expected that there would be many Tea Party people taking the Congressman to task on his Cap and Trade vote––but I guess that issue is mostly over since the June primary. Back then, three separate Tea Party candidates failed to garner even a majority of the vote to oust Lance. So there were conservative Tea Party people there at the Town Hall meeting, who had only supportive questions for the congressman. The only time I heard them peep or squawk was when a Democrat got up to ask a question and expressed support for Obama,––then there were boos and hisses. They were rude bunch to say the least.

There's no question about it---after seeing him last night---Congressman Lance is very different from State Sen. Lance. State Sen. Lance is the person who bucked his own party by voting against a pension bond scheme by then Gov. and family friend Christie Todd Whitman. He also was the person as Sen. Lance to sue then Governor Jim McGreevy over borrowing money for the state without voter approval.

I got a chance to ask him if he had to do it over again, would he support Cap and Trade this time around. His answer: "No, I would not.” His answer, however, did not surprise me––because he flip-flopped on this issue mostly under pressure from the right wing of his party. What did surprise me is his reason for flip-flopping on the issue: He said that the reason why he would not vote for Cap and Trade again is because “the Obama administration did a poor job of negotiating in Copenhagen”, and he wasn't willing to take on the responsibility for the United States to deal with this issue alone. Of course, the follow-up question I should've asked had I thought of it would have been, “so Congressman, had the Obama administration negotiated successfully in Copenhagen then you would still be supporting Cap and Trade?”

And so, Congressman Lance “yada yada yada’d” his way through questions about his “no” votes on job creation, consumer protection against Wall Street's schemes, and his switch on Cap and Trade. I believe that he is still one of the few Republicans who was moderate in his heart, but has become conservative in his “political brain”.

As long as the seventh District has to have a Republican in Congress, I wish we had the old Leonard Lance back. He was a maverick, he was independent, and voted his own mind. Unfortunately, we may not see that Leonard Lance again for a while––if at all.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Anna Little is now following me on Twitter! And boy, am I excited!

This morning, I awoke to the following e-mail:

“Anna Little is now following your tweets on Twitter. A little information about Anna Little: 2380 following. 2306 followers.”

Now, while that doesn't seem to me like a really great number of Twitter “followers” for someone running for Congress. However, I really shouldn't talk. I have a mere 277 followers, and I follow 522 people. I don't know what it says about you if you are following twice as many people as are following you––I do feel kind of like a very unpopular high school geek. But, I digress.

Waaaaaay back at the beginning of the summer in June, on New Jersey Primary Day, Anna Little was outspent, out–gunned and out-media-ed by her billionaire primary opponent, Diane Gooch for the right to run against Frank Pallone for Congress in NJ-6. Gooch spent $200,574 on her campaign, more than ten times as much as Little spent, after raising $432,902. Little won the nomination on a literal shoestring budget of $19,503. So it goes.

Little, under her Twitter feed, lists the following bio:

“I am a Constitutional Conservative running for Congress to beat Frank Pallone in #NJ6 and resist the progressive agenda. It's time to take our Country back!”

Notice that she capitalizes the words ‘constitutional’ and ‘conservative’, and “country”–––like she owns them. Like they are hers. Like she has had them trademarked and no one else can use them. I'm surprised she doesn't have a little “TM” in a circle next to each word.

However, she fails to capitalize The Words “progressive” or “agenda”. Oh, she does properly capitalize the words “Frank” and “Pallone”.

Before the primary way back in June, I asked AFP president Steve Lonegan for a prediction––and he correctly predicted that Little would beat Gooch.
So, I offered him the following bet––which he took: if Little wins, then I write a check to AFP for $100. However, if Frank Pallone wins, then Steve writes a check for $100 to the ACLU-NJ.

And so, now I will begin to follow Anna Little on Twitter because they tell me that it's only courteous that if someone follows you, you should follow them right back.

My prediction: the ACLU of New Jersey will be $100 richer in November.