Friday Mashup Part One (9/24/10)

  • 1) It seems that “Governor Bully” is going to be appearing on “Oprah” shortly today (probably has already by now); as noted here…

    The Oprah Show, which flashes on Garden State screens in just a few hours, features the Oprah-adulation of (Newark Mayor Cory) Booker you expect (she’s given millions herself to…Newark), but also features a warm hug from herself to the Governor. Makes me wonder if her people prepped her to understand that while we’re talking $100 million, he just pulled a $400 million dollar rug out from the rest of New Jersey’s kids.

    Also, I thought this post (cross-posted from Blue Jersey) had some interesting thoughts on that state’s public employee pension crisis, particularly the following…

    …I say we call his bluff.

    If Christie’s “reforms” go through, the NJEA (that state’s most influential teacher’s union…not sure if there are any other such organizations – ed.) ought to turn to him and say: “OK, in that case, we’re out. You are on the hook for all current obligations – but our members are no longer going to contribute. Everyone not vested gets their money back with interest; no one contributes anything more into the system.

    “Instead, WE”LL run the whole thing. We’ll move to defined contribution if we have to, but it will be better than the raw deal you’re proposing. We’ll take over all retirement benefits from now on, and we’ll be overseen by members, a public board, and federal regulators – certainly better than what we have now. So you don’t get to touch our money any more – you’re out.

    “And we’ll negotiate employer contributions with the districts. Try to stop that and we’ll see you in the Supreme Court.”

    In many ways, it would be his worst nightmare. ALL obligations would have to be met by the state’s contributions and investment returns. I’d love to see him weasel out of that one.

    Well, I can dream…

    No word on whether or not Christie would be amenable to this; as noted here, he’s been busy confronting hecklers at GOP campaign events, among other non-NJ-related events (and just what on earth is he doing traveling across the country campaigning for other GOP pols anyway?).

  • 2) Also, I’ve noticed our corporate media suddenly paying attention to American Crossroads, the Karl Rove/Ed Gillespie-fronted GOP fundraising outfit relying on a few well-off donors and corporations (as this tells us, they raised $2.6 million in August).

    That’s not bad, I’ll admit, but as noted here, Act Blue raised about $6.7 million in July and August; split the difference at about $3.35 mil apiece, and that still beats what American Crossroads did over the same period.

    Yes, I know I shouldn’t get preoccupied with the “horserace” political stuff either, but all I’m asking is that you remember this the next time you find yourself hearing more than you’ll ever want to know about Republican party activism (particularly those zany characters with their funny hats and racist/violent signs – more on them in a minute) and next to nothing about what is going on with the other side.

  • 3) Finally, if you’re like me, I’ll bet you’re just chomping at the bit, as it were, when it comes to finding out whether or not the core constituency (or so they think) of the Republican Party supports “Contract on America II” unveiled this week (and I’m talking about those “values voter” “fundies” – here)…

    Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released a statement Thursday morning on the House Republican leadership’s “Pledge to America.”

    “While I have some disappointment that the pledge to honor the values issues such as traditional marriage were not more clearly defined within the document, this is a significant improvement over the 94 Contact with America which was silent on the moral issues. The Pledge is not exceptional, but it is satisfactory, as it does lay a foundation to build upon, and it moves Congressional Republicans to a place of public acknowledgment that values issues are to be a part of the conservative way forward.”

    And I guess it should be thoroughly unsurprising to note that Perkins has said that gays should be allowed to serve “if you want a military that just does parades” (here).

    Despite that somewhat tepid endorsement, Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition stated as follows (here)…

    The agenda embraces time-honored values like traditional marriage and ending taxpayer-funded abortion as well as lower taxes and reduced spending. The message was unmistakable: we will not be divided by a false choice between fiscal responsibility and strong families. We will fight for both, and indeed we must do both if we are to restore America’s promise.

    And I thought this was particularly funny from Reed…

    Pro-family candidates are the most likely to be fiscal conservatives, and Tea Party candidates are the most likely to be pro-life.


    No word on whether or not their “pro-life” bona fides extend to those with whom they disagree of course.

    In a related note, some of our lower life forms are gathering at Shady Brook Farm in Lower Makefield, PA apparently to re-enact “Lord of the Flies,” which should begin any moment (here) – my kingdom for the EPA dome over Springfield from “The Simpsons’ Movie.”

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