An NJ Teacher Schools The Governor

April 22, 2010

I’m sorry I didn’t find out about this video in time to put it up before last Tuesday, but I still think it’s important, if for no other reason to show that there are real-world consequences when a Repug mangles a state budget (and leave tax cuts for millionaires alone, of course…audio could be a little better, but it’s OK for now).

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A Word On The Repug “Resurgence”

April 1, 2010

I think that, with the passing of a few months, we can now step back and look at what has been wrought by the Repug “winds of change” that have blown across our political landscape.

Let’s begin in New Jersey, where the following was written about Gov. Chris Christie (here)…

Still, some conservatives acknowledge that they’re still a little wary of Christie, noting that the governor-elect has embraced moderate positions in the past.

Personally, I find nothing whatsoever that is “moderate” about Christie’s first budget, including the following (here)…

To close a deficit that he asserted was approaching $11 billion, Governor Christie called for the layoffs of 1,300 state workers, closings of state psychiatric institutions, an $820 million cut in aid to public schools, and nearly a half-billion dollars less in aid to towns and cities. He also suspended until May 2011 a popular property-tax rebate program, breaking one of his own campaign promises.

Democrats were quick to characterize Mr. Christie’s proposal as falling disproportionately on the backs of the middle class, the poor, the elderly, schoolchildren, college students and inner-city residents, while leaving largely unscathed the wealthy and most businesses.

In a nutshell, I would say that this cartoon symbolizes Christie’s budget priorities.

So what of Christie’s fellow Repug governor Bob McDonnell in Virginia?

Well, this tells us how Ken Plum, a Democratic member of the state legislature, has joined a protest mounted by Virginia’s academic institutions of McDonnell’s directive (though Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli) “to rescind policies that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

And of course, McDonnell is a charter member of the “Drill, Baby, Drill” chorus (along with President Obama, sadly), even though such exploration will likely not yield much oil, and any benefit of such an activity would not be realized for years (and of course, no one knows for certain what kind of environmental damage would ensue).

Update 4/6/10: And I suppose white hoods would be optional (here)?

Update 4/7/10: Keep digging that hole, Bob (here).

Update 4/13/10: Add this to the pile also (h/t Atrios).

Last but possibly least, I give you Scott Brown, the third member of this “wave,” whose signature accomplishment thus far, as noted here, is to fundraise off the imaginary campaign challenge of MSNBC TV host Rachel Maddow.

So, while it is still possible for the Repugs to mount a “second wave” for November, it appears that they don’t have much else to campaign on besides values voter-fueled indignation (of course, the Democrats can’t assume anything either, though delivering on health care reform will give them a “push,” IMHO).

I guess I should come up with something of an April Fools’ joke out of this, but to me, the only thing that qualifies is the notion that any Repug politician is anything other than a craven servant of the corpocracy who offers nothing but umbrage at Democrats and the “religion” of tax cuts for the “pay no price, bear no burden” crowd while the “ownership society” leaves everyone less well off ground down even further than they already are.


Chris Christie’s Economic Plan Revealed!

January 21, 2010


Charles Dickens would be so proud (here)…

Although he used a prompter to deliver (his 28-minute inaugural address after his swearing-in as New Jersey governor) and hewed closely to his prepared text, Mr. Christie pounced on an opportunity to flash his quick wit.

At one point he singled out several “New Jersey heroes,” including Jim Benedict of Freehold, the founder of a soup kitchen that, in Mr. Christie’s telling, provides free meals to the hungry three times a week. Mr. Benedict duly stood and was applauded, but called out to Mr. Christie that the charity actually serves meals four days a week.

Laughing at his error, Mr. Christie replied, “In this administration, Jim, we’re shooting for five.” The audience roared.

Wow, it looks like workhouses and the manufacture of gruel will apparently be growth industries under a Christie administration.

And the fact that the crowd “roared” in anything but disapproval and protest represents a rather grotesque disconnect between the hardships of everyday residents in the Garden State and the relatively slight difficulties faced by the privileged few currying for Christie’s favor.


Monday Mashup (9/28/09)

September 28, 2009

William_Safire_main
Yes, I know William Safire is dead.

Aside, from the fact that he once called Hillary Clinton a “congenital liar” (to which HRC famously replied that she didn’t feel offended for herself, “but for her mother’s sake”), and aside that he brought up the thoroughly debunked claim that Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, met with “an Iraqi intelligence agent” in Prague, he also claimed that the Iraq war would be “quick,” with “Iraqis cheering their liberators.”

Bill Moyers called him out on this here, but, like Thomas Friedman, Bill Kristol, Roger Ailes, Charles Krauthammer and Judith Miller, Safire chose not to stand up and try to defend that which is indefensible.

Also, this tells us that Safire once claimed that “nobody was telling (President Obama, on the occasion of his acceptance of the Democratic Party nomination for president last year) or the voters that Democrats preferred abject surrender,” when in fact Dems are routinely vilified by Safire and his like-minded brethren in that manner.

Good riddance.

fiorina_6a00d8341e9e5b53ef00e55400e1388834-800wi
This tells us that former John McCain Presidential Campaign Adviser Carly Fiorina, currently debating whether or not she’ll challenge California Dem U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer next year, discussed her battle with breast cancer in this interview with Karen Tumulty of Time Magazine. I give Fiorina credit for enduring this and trying to turn her struggle into something positive.

However, as noted here, Fiorina has claimed that “There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore,” an interesting remark for someone who, as former CEO of Hewlett Packard, turned a blind eye to that company’s trading with Iran (at the very least), as noted here.

And as Mike Morrill of Keystone Progress tells us here (noting, among other things, HP’s disastrous merger with Compaq):

  • Fiorina Laid Off Nearly 18,000 HP Workers During “Restructuring.” According to the Omaha-World Herald, “Hewlett-Packard, based in Palo Alto, Calif., had a $ 903 million loss on revenue of $56.6 billion for its fiscal year that ended last Oct 31. According to a summary by Hoover’s Inc., an Austin, Texas, provider of business information, Hewlett-Packard has undergone extensive restructuring under Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina. The company announced earlier this year that it planned to cut 17,900 people by October because of a weak economy and its merger with Compaq.” [Omaha-World Herald 9/29/03]
  • Fiorina Suggests Her Biggest Mistake Was Not Firing More People More Quickly. In 2005, Fortune magazine reported that “Fiorina does not agree, naturally, that there’s been a brain drain (at HP). In fact, she believes that one lesson she’s learned while running HP is that she should have moved more quickly in ejecting certain people. Smartened up now, she says, “I would have done them all faster. Every person that I’ve asked to leave, whether it’s been clear publicly or not, I would have done faster.” [Fortune, 2/7/05]
  • Despite Being Forced Out, Fiorina’s Severance Package Was Reportedly More Than $42 Million. CNNMoney reported, “Ex-Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will get a severance package worth about $21.4 million, but stands to reap another $21 million after she was forced out by the computer maker’s board last week, a newspaper reported Saturday. The additional amount reflects the estimated value of her Hewlett stock and options as well as her pension, which were not included in her severance package, the New York Times reported.” [CNNMoney.com, 2/12/05]
  • Fiorina Was Paid $10.7 Million In 2002, But Was Decreased To $6.6 Million In 2003 Due To Poor Performance. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, “Hewlett-Packard has slashed the pay of chief executive Carly Fiorina after she missed some performance targets last year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission… Fiorina’s total pay — including salary, bonus and stock options — dropped about 38 percent from $10.7 million in fiscal 2002 to $6.6 million last year.
  • While her base salary went up from $1 million in 2002 to $1.24 million in 2003, her performance-based bonus dropped from $2.9 million to $2.1 million and the value of her stock option grants declined from $6.8 million to $3.3 million.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/24/04]

    If Fiorina is serious about making a run for the Senate, she should expect some sympathy for overcoming the odds on her personal health.

    However, that would be grossly overshadowed by the monstrous incompetence she has demonstrated in her corporate career, a frightening harbinger of what she would do in “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

    Medical Devices Fraud
    And finally, I’m going to do something I’ve been meaning to do for some time; that would be bringing us up to date on that political piñata running for governor of New Jersey as the Republican standard bearer (from here):

  • Hmmm, Christie and Turd Blossom, huh?
  • Christie’s bad week (8/18) continued.
  • Somehow I don’t quite think “oops” covers this on Christie.
  • Is it just me, or does Christie’s whole “law and order” facade start to crumble (here)?
  • Is the Christie juggernaut “off the rails” (here)?
  • Christie is nothing but a bully and a thug (here – h/t The Daily Kos).
  • It’s getting harder to keep up with all of the Christie revelations (here and here…this guy shouldn’t be running for dog catcher, let alone governor of New Jersey).
  • And it sounds like Christie’s running mate has a case of foot-in-mouth disease herself (here).
  • Not an appearance of wrongdoing by Christie on this, but worth considering anyway…
  • It should be an interesting fall.

    Update 10/14/09: No “small dive” is good enough for Christie, it seems, based on this, unless you’re talking about his polling numbers.

    Update 10/19/09: At least Christie is honest in acknowledging his debt to Bushco; I’ll give him that much based on this.


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