Friday, July 31, 2009

Tout le monde!

Hello to visitors from Indonesia, Turkey, Italy, India, Qatar, France, Croatia, England, Canada, Netherlands and Germany!
We are delighted to welcome vsitors from these countries and many others -- and from every one of the nation's fifty states!
Spread the word to all corners of the world: This blog is the place to be!

Democrat Officeholders Back Christie

Today, Perth Amboy Democrat Councilman Ken Balut, Elizabeth Board of Education Member and Democrat County Committeeman Tony Monteiro, and Former Union County Freeholder and Elizabeth Board of Education Assistant Board Secretary Donald Goncalves announced their endorsement of Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno for Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey and denounced Corzine's negative campaign.
"Oblivious to what is at stake in this year's election, Jon Corzine continues his nasty, negative attacks ads instead of talking about solutions to our problems," said Perth Amboy Democrat Councilman Ken Balut. "Over the past few months, Chris Christie has shown his commitment to New Jerseyans by providing realistic plans to put our state on the right track and provide real relief. I support Chris because he refuses to gamble our future with politics as usual."
Former Union County Freeholder and Elizabeth Board of Education Assistant Board Secretary Donald Goncalves said, "It's time for New Jerseyans to say 'enough is enough' with Jon Corzine's negative, shameful campaign ads. As a Democrat, I always want to support fellow Democrats, but unfortunately, Jon Corzine's negative attack ads only seek to distract voters from his atrocious record. New Jerseyans deserve better when families are struggling just to make ends meet. With Chris and Kim, we'll finally get the strong leadership we need to turn our state around."
"I am a devoted Democrat but I am disappointed in Corzine's record and the direction that his campaign is headed," said Elizabeth Board of Education Member and Democrat County Committeeman Tony Monteiro. "With unemployment on the rise, Corzine's high taxes, and businesses leaving every day, we need serious leadership, not the same old attacks that we have heard time and again."
Balut, Monteiro, and Goncalves join Garfield Democrat Councilwoman Tana Raymond, who recently held a campaign event at her home for Christie and Guadagno, in their support for the ticket.

Corzine Taxes Clunker Cash

New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement after learning that the Corzine administration will tax the vouchers that new car buyers receive under the so-called “Cash for Clunkers” federal stimulus program. Pennsylvania and Connecticut reportedly are among the many states that will not tax federal vouchers.
“Leave it to the Corzine administration to penalize New Jersey residents who gather the courage and the scarce resources needed to buy a new car during these uncertain times,” Senator Kean said. “It makes no sense to reduce the benefits of stimulus aid when the economy is still ailing. The governor should overrule this new nuisance tax immediately.”
Democratic leaders in Congress are racing to provide more money for the so-called Cash for Clunkers program because it has turned out to be one of the most powerful federal economic stimulus measures yet enacted. The program has helped lure thousands of cash-strapped buyers into local car dealerships desperate for sales. Their car purchases are boosting employment and economic activity across the nation.
Instead of allowing the vouchers to create the maximum amount of private sector employment in New Jersey, the Corzine administration has ruled that the $3,500 or $4,500 vouchers paid to new car buyers are subject to state sales tax. That could cost each car buyer in New Jersey more than $200 each, if the vouchers are taxed fully at the 7 percent state rate.
“This policy will particularly hurt small businesses and middle class taxpayers who must replace their worn-out vehicles,” Kean said. “It just makes no sense to make New Jersey less affordable during a recession by taxing aid that taxpayers provided. It’s cynical government policy and incredibly short-sighted economic policy. I urge Governor Corzine to reverse this decision today.”

The Summer's Hottest Movie

Week after week it keeps pullin them in.
And week after week they keep laughin and tellin their friends.
It's stupid. It's raunchy. It's preposterous.
And yet, just when it seems that everybody has seen The Hangover, more people show up to experience the nonsense.
Why was I laughing with all the rest of them? Why was I even watching this stupid film?
I'm not sure. Except, I did enjoy it.
Here's a big reason why the movie seems to work: the star of the film is Las Vegas. All the glitz and glamour and all the good and bad of the desert empire is here: the showgirls, the mobsters, the thugs, the gamblers, the losers, the swindlers, the whores, the creeps and yes, the dumb bachelors. All this is combined with the sun, the fun, the nightlife and the neon. And it's all played for laughs -- even the wildly reckless parts.
It reminds me of that other Las Vegas winner: Honeymoon in Vegas.
You could call The Hangover a buddy film or a bromance (and the four male stars certainly do play up the guy love) but the truth is that everybody seems to like this movie regardless of gender.
The gags are great. The comic twists are clever. The story (such as it is) keeps moving and even the flashbacks and time shifts are well done. Plus, it doesn't go on too long.
See it: TheHangover.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Friends Are EVERYWHERE!

Welcome New Zealand, Mexico, Hungary, Italy, Malta, France, Netherlands, Poland, England, Lithuania, Singapore and Canada!
These are just some of the countries that are represented by our recent visitors.
Yes, the blog that you are now reading is being read by people all over the world. You're part of a global community.
And we're thrilled to be attracting such a huge and diverse audience.
Tell your friends about us so that we may continue to entertain, inform, reach out and GROW!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Christie In Mt. Laurel Today

New Jersey gubernatorial frontrunner Christopher Christie will be in Mt. Laurel today to talk about his plan for higher education in the garden state.
Here are the details:
WHO: Chris Christie
WHAT: Higher Education and New Industry Roundtable
WHEN: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Burlington County College
Enterprise Center
3331 Route 38
Mount Laurel
Hurry on over to Mt. Laurel and meet Chris Christie!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NJ Corruption: Emergency Action

New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called on Governor Corzine to order an immediate meeting of the state’s Local Finance Board.
The board should consider exercising emergency control of cities in turmoil because their mayors and other key officials haven’t stepped down after their arrests on corruption charges. Federal agents have accused the mayors of Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus, and Jersey City’s council president of bribery and other crimes. Though many of these public officials benefited immeasurably from Governor Corzine’s political support, they have so far ignored his pleas to resign from office immediately.
“No city government can function smoothly after top leaders have been handcuffed and led before judges to face corruption charges,” Kean said. “Many taxpayers will suspect the affairs of government are not being handled honestly.”
“There are good local officials in both parties who have had to endure the betrayal of corrupt colleagues. The governor should order that the Department of Community Affairs and the Local Finance Board help monitor their interests and those of the taxpayer,” Kean said.
“The citizens of Hoboken are demonstrating in the streets for change in government. There are certainly competent officials remaining at the DCA who can help them succeed,” Kean said. “Looking forward, the governor should select a new Commissioner of Community Affairs who will work to ensure no city mired in corruption can escape scrutiny in New Jersey.”

Monday, July 27, 2009

World's Cutest Dog!

It's official!
The world's cutest dog is an 11-week-old Lancashire Heeler.
The world's cutest dog is named Moose -- so named because he was the largest of the litter. But Moose will never grow to be very big which makes his name all the more delightful.
And, the world's cutest dog belongs to Adam Cirucci.
The Lancashire Heeler is a very rare breed and not very common in the United States.
It's a small breed of dog developed for use as a drover and herder of cattle.
It is alert, friendly, energetic, intelligent and a pleasant companion. Although it may look like a heeler, it is actually a very strong dog with great hunting instincts, making it an excellent hunting dog as well as great family pets.
The Lancashire Heeler was created long ago, it is a mixture of breeds. Some say the Corgi and Manchester Terrier had a big part to play in the evolution of the Lancashire Heeler, once known as the Ormskirk Heeler.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rumors Dogging Governor?

There are rumors swirling around an east coast Governor (not Jon Corzine) and these rumors ain't pretty.
These rumors are salacious, sensational and raunchy.
These rumors tend to reinforce long-standing tales about this Governor and his voracious appetites.
It's not yet clear if anything is going to come of these whisperings. In the past, this particular public official has been very good at evading public scandal.
But now many people insist that the gig is up. They say this has the potential to blow wide open.
Stay tuned.

'Stupid' Statement Was Stupid

Just for a moment, let's put aside the details of the Henry Lewis Gates affair in Cambridge.
Let's forget about rights and wrongs; who said what or who may or may not have been offended.
And let's focus on the President's comments at his news conference where he said that the Cambridge police actions were stupid.
The President was wrong on two counts:
1) First, from a purely legal viewpoint the President was wrong because he did not have all the facts of the case and he admitted as much. Look, it's questionable whether the President should be passing judgement at all on an ongoing legal matter. But to do so without the facts is ill-advised to say the least.
2) From a practical public relations standpoint the President should have said as little as possible. Why? Because the matter had the potential to become a major distraction from the purpose of his news conference, namely health care. And that's exactly what happened. Once President Obama passed judgement and effectively came down on the side of Gates, that became the major story of the news conference.
And this story has legs.
Furthermore, Obama compounded the situation last night on Nightline when he refused to back down from his statement about the police acting stupidly. So now the story continues.
Obama should admit that "stupid" was a poor choice of words and get the matter behind him. End of story.
But the President can be quite stubborn when he gets his nose in the air.
Then it becomes a petty matter of pride.
And that's exactly what seems to be happening.
The facts be damned
To hell with practical public relations.
And so much for framing the agenda around health care.
BTW: We have an old rule in public relations. We say "stay on message." This means that no matter what question you're asked, you find a way to answer it that advances your core message. If you can't do that, you say as little as possible and move onto the next question. You get back on message.

Will Corzine Drop Out?

Yesterday as he asked for the resignation of his Community Affairs Commissioner (who's implicated in a massive corruption investigation) New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine seemed flummoxed.
He stammered, fell over his words and mumbled something about there being too many layers of government in the state. Imagine, Corzine -- one of America's liberal icons -- trying to make a case for too much government.
The huge corruption scandal that exploded yesterday (involving mostly Democrat officeholders) makes Corzine's vow that he would end "politics as usual" in Joisey seem downright laughable.
But Corzine wasn't laughing. No way.
He seemed droll, fatigued, disengaged.
He didn't look, act or sound like a leader. Rather, he seemed like a hapless spectator watching a volcano erupt all around him.
To be sure, this scandal has many wondering if the Dems will try to squeeze Corzine out and pull a Torricelli-style switcheroo before the November election.
Remember - stranger things have happened in New Jersey. And the state Supreme Court has been all too willing to let them happen.
Nearly a month ago, right here, I reported as follows:
New Jersey Democrats that I talk to are running scared.
Died-in-the-wool Democrat friends don't even wanna talk about November's gubernatorial election.
And when they do talk, it's not good. Having been a Democrat myself, I know lots of Democrats and count them as longtime friends . . .
They all say the same thing: Corzine looks tired, overwhelmed, defeated.
Some people tell me they feel the governor has simply not been the same since his unfortunate auto accident.
Others say the bottom fell out when his turnpike toll hike plan was soundly rejected.
"He's lost something along the way. He doesn't really seem to want to be in the job anymore," someone commented. "He seems distracted."
A well-connected Democrat told me that the state Democrat hierarchy really didn't want the Governor to run again.
"They feel he's a liability," this person said. "But he controls the purse strings, so what can you do?"
A Republican officeholder said he hasn't seen anything like this in New Jersey for a long time. "It's unprecedented," he said. "I've actually had Democrat leaders come up to me and quietly assure me that the Republicans have the better candidate. They as much as tell me that they're voting for Chris Christie and urging family members and close friends to do the same. I hardly know what to say."
Once again, I must caution the GOP: Don't take anything for granted.
The Democrat establishment that controls the state is as slippery as ever and the Dems still have more than a few tricks up their sleeve.
It's a long, long way from July to November.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Christie 53%; Corzine 38%!

Christie Campaign Manager Bill Stepien released the following statement regarding today's Strategic Vision Public Opinion Poll showing Chris Christie leading Jon Corzine 53% to 38% and Corzine's job approval at only 35%:
Stepien said, "Jon Corzine doesn't seem to get that New Jerseyans find inaccurate and misleading campaign ads insulting when they are struggling each and every day just to make ends meet. At a time when the unemployment rate is 9.2%, 200,000 New Jerseyans have lost their jobs in the last year and Corzine has eliminated property tax relief for 1.2 million residents, the best he can do is throw his Wall Street money behind negative attacks. Jon Corzine hasn't run a positive ad since the primary and he only has to look at his poll numbers to see that New Jerseyans expect solutions from their governor, not millions in attack ads that stretch the limits of believability."
Read the full poll here.

Toomey Tied With Specter

Could it be that the people of Pennsylvania have finally had it with Arlen Specter and his bag of tricks?
Could it be? Could it?
Well, Pat Toomey has just pulled even with Specter.
Here's the story from the and the AP:
A new poll shows conservative Republican Pat Toomey virtually tied with incumbent Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter if Pennsylvania's 2010 Senate race were held today.
The statewide survey by Quinnipiac University released Wednesday showed Specter supported by 45 percent of the respondents and Toomey with 44 percent.
One out of 10 registered voters said they hadn't made up their minds.
The poll showed both Specter and Toomey far ahead of their leading rivals for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the May 2010 primaries.
The telephone poll conducted during a six-day period that ended Sunday included 1,173 voters.
The sampling error margin was plus or minus 2.9 percentage points

Chris Listens, Corzine Deceives

Chris Christie and Sheriff Kim Guadagno spent time yesterday having a discussion with New Jerseyans about the challenges they face in their day to day lives and laid out how a Christie - Guadagno Administration will turnaround the rising unemployment rate, create long-term, sustainable jobs and make it easier for communities to grow. And Chris and Kim will be at it again today as they travel the state discussing real issues with real people.
Meanwhile, Governor Jon Corzine did what he does best and ducked talk about the real issues by releasing another false and negative attack ad.
Christie Campaign Manager Bill Stepien said, "Jon Corzine has now spent over $4 million since the primary on television ads that don't address a single issue Chris discussed yesterday with the residents of Hamilton, let alone whatever the governor's vision is for fixing these problems. This is a governor who only knows one way to run for office, and we've seen him do it over and over again. Instead of solutions, it's easier to slash and burn your opponents with his Wall Street millions. Instead of taking cheap shots, we challenge the governor to actually talk about what he's going to do to fix our state's 9.2% unemployment rate, put an end to his crippling taxes and create sustainable jobs to reverse the 16,000 New Jersey jobs lost under Corzine every month."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Libraries Open New Doors

From Aimee Cirucci at Associated Content:
I don't know when I stopped reading, but I'll never forget when I started again. I was 25, a few years out of college and living in the suburbs of Washington, DC.
A voracious reader as a child and young adult, somewhere between a trying high school experience and a terrific college tenure, I simply stopped turning the pages. Hobbies, like loves, come and go, one minute you're scrap-booking with reckless abandon, the next you're wondering what you ever saw in all those stickers and stamps. Reading was like that for me. Sure, I hadn't stopped all together, I read just enough to get by in my classes, and later in my job, but reading for pleasure had gone the way of '80s hair bands.
People who have religious conversations often speak of an indescribable but powerful pull and that was the sensation I had when I felt the urge to read again. I was knee deep in the post college malaise of an office job that left me unfulfilled and a paycheck that just covered my newly acquired mortgage, doing everything expected of me, but painfully aware that something was missing.
Though I felt drawn to reading it wasn't until two collapsed lungs forced me to give up my long-distance running habit that I acted on the impulse. I had extra time on my hands and a yearning I was unable to quench with movies, television, friends, and Oprah-type self-improvement strategies. It was then that I discovered the Arlington, VA Library. Tentative at first, like a visitor returning to a place I used to know, I ordered a card over the Internet and slipped in one day after work to get my bearings. I left that day with ten or twelve books. An ex-pat from the library for so many years, when I returned it was as if I had never left. Sure the technology had changed - self check out machines, no more card catalogue of my youth - but the visceral experience had not, the smell of the books, the excitement and potential they presented, the feel of the spines running underneath my fingertips as I picked, pondered, and pulled them from here and there.
My old love returned with a vengeance. I found the excitement my office job denied me, I found friends when I was lonely, travel when I didn't have the money, and stories that utterly absorbed me. And the library itself became my hangout, it was my Cheers, my after work wind down place and the one spot that always relaxed me. I went even when I didn't need books. I went for the silence, the smiling faces, the stolen moments to sort out my life. And slowly I did. Idiscovered audio books and found they were the perfect anecdote for the congested capitol-area traffic. I began recommending books to friends and keeping a log of those I read every year. That first year I read fourteen books and felt utterly victorious! Who would guess that within two years I'd be reading an average of seventy?
I discovered favorite authors - Jennifer Weiner, Marian Keyes, Anne Lamott, Abigail Thomas - visited their websites and went to see them speak. I started to read publishing industry blogs, track new releases and unsurprisingly, to write myself.
It is no exaggeration to say that the simple act of stepping into the library changed my life. Eventually I quit that office job and felt strong enough to search for my own adventures. I moved from Arlington and joined the large and vibrant Philadelphia Free Public Library and subtly and seamlessly, like the plot of any good novel, my life came together. Before I knew it my profession and my passion were bedmates. The more I read, the more I wrote, and the more I saw my words in print. I felt most successful when I sold my first essay to a print anthology. Part of my payment included a free copy of the book. As you might imagine, I gave it away. For me the real thrill was checking it out of the library.

Chris, Kim At Ponzio's

Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno came to Ponzio's in Cherry Hill this morning to meet and chat with the breakfast set in South Jersey.
Chris and Kim received a warm welcome from visitors and diners at South Jersey's legendary eatery and they chatted amicably with guests.
Yes, Camden County GOP leaders and others were there. But Chris and Kim focused on ordinary New Jerseyans and their concerns. Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno make a great pair: personable, engaging, attentive and at ease with the people of New Jersey.
They both seemed right at home in this classic Jerey setting; smiling, conversing easily and understanding the concerns of typical taxpayers. And taxes were on most people's minds as diner after diner expressed his or her weariness with high taxes and worries over the economy.
Chris and Kim also took time to chat with the wait staff at Ponzio's and other employees.
Always well-mannered, Chris worried that his visit might disrupt business at the diner and at one point cautioned his supporters to stay clear of doorways, even holding the door open for a Phillies fan attired in a World Champions tee shirt. "Let's get this Phillies fan in here," Chris said as the fan smiled in appreciation. To be sure, Ponzio's management seemed to be happy to welcome Chris and Kim -- and the TV crews and press cameras that followed them.
BTW: Just moments before Chris arrived Phillies coach Charlie Manuel left the diner. Hey, if you stay long enough at Ponzio's you'll meet everybody!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tues.: Christie In Cherry Hill

Chris Christie and his new running mate Kim Guadagno will be in Cherry Hill on Tuesday morning as they travel through the state on their campaign to release New Jersey from the clutches of wacky, tax-hungry Governor Jon Corzine.
Here's the schedule. Come out and meet Chris and Kim!

Tuesday, July 21st

WHO: Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno
WHAT: Diner Stop
WHEN: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 9:45 a.m.
WHERE: Ponzio's Diner
7 Route 70 West
Cherry Hill (Camden County)

WHO: Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno
WHAT: Community Roundtable
WHEN: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce
1A Quakerbridge Plaza Drive
Mercerville (Mercer County)

WHO: Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno
WHAT: Seniors Meet and Greet
WHEN: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 2:15 p.m.
WHERE: Toms River Senior Center
652 Garfield Avenue
Toms River (Ocean County)

WHO: Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno
WHAT: Hillsborough Rotary Fair
WHEN: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 6:45 p.m.
WHERE: Hillsborough Promenade
315 Route 206
Hillsborough (Somerset County)

Senator Allen: Delay Obamacare

New Jersey Senate Deputy Republican Leader Diane Allen called on Jon Corzine to join the bipartisan chorus urging Congress to delay a vote on a health care reform bill until Washington figures out a way to pay for the plan without shifting costs to the states. Governors of both parties meeting in Mississippi over the weekend expressed grave doubts about the bill’s impact. Democrat Governors Christine Gregorie of Washington, Phil Bredesen of Tennessee and Bill Richardson of New Mexico were among those who said Washington appeared poised to require that states pick up billions in Medicaid obligations without providing federal aid to pay for them.
“Governor Corzine should add his voice to those insisting that health care reform be done right,” Senator Allen said. “New Jersey can’t afford a bill that requires the state to pay for more unfunded mandates from Washington.”
Senator Allen noted that the Obama administration has insisted that health care reform must both cut costs and not add to the deficit in the federal budget.
“Pushing costs onto the states saves the taxpayers no money,” Senator Allen said. “In New Jersey, we’re already facing a deficit of $6 billion to $10 billion in 2011. We can’t afford new mandates that will tie the hands of the next governor as he struggles to deal with an unprecedented fiscal crisis.”

Christie Picks Guadagno

Today, Chris Christie announced Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno as his running mate and Lieutenant Governor candidate.
The official announcement was made by video via Christie's social networking sites.
In the video Christie said, "Times are tough and the issues are too serious not to be tackling our state's problems head on.
We just cannot afford to do it any other way. That's why you'll see Kim and I all across the state of New Jersey whether it's on their front porches or in diners, talking directly to you, the people of New Jersey about your problems and your concerns." Guadagno said, "As a Federal Prosecutor and later as the Monmouth County Sheriff, I had to make tough decisions.
This is the time in New Jersey's history where we have to make tough decisions, Chris. I am proud to be a part of your team because I know you will face those challenges head on."
Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno will campaign today with an announcement event in Asbury Park, followed by a stop at The Reo Diner in Woodbridge, and rounding out the day with a front yard meet and greet at the home of Garfield Democrat Councilwoman Tana Raymond.

Man On The Moon!

"Man on the moon!"
Those were the words from Walter Cronkite 40 years ago today as America's historic lunar landing was broadcast to the world.
Many newspapers the next day ran headlines with those exact same words.
But my favorite headline was "Footsteps On The Moon!"
Nobody had to say whose footsteps they were.
They were Neil Armstrong's footsteps. They were American footsteps on the moon.
"That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said as he stepped foot on the moon's surface. And yes, he did say "a man" and not simply "man." Both Armstrong and a careful listen to enhanced recordings of his words verify this.
The world watched, mesmerized.
America had done it again.
We kept John F. Kennedy's promise. We landed on the moon by the end of the 1960s - a decade with enough news to fill 30 or 40 years.
Our pioneering spirit surged again.
Yes, we knew we were living through historic, thrilling, challenging, even uproarious times.
It was an Age of Upheaval.
But for that one moment all was well. The Eagle had landed.
And yes, it really was Tranquility Base.
Not just up there on the moon but all over America.
We were united. We were grateful. We had nothing to apologize for and plenty to be proud of.
It didn't matter what anyone else thought of us. We knew who we were and what we had accomplished. In a snapshot, the future looked bright.
Right there, right then, we were one!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Civil War Underwear Show

Ever wonder what they wore under the heavy garments of yesteryear?
Underwear from the Civil War era is currently on exhibit at Smith Plantation is Roswell, Georgia. The show runs through July 31.
The exhibit features original examples of Civil War era women, men and children’s underclothing as well as women’s wrappers and men’s dressing gowns.
Wrappers and dressing gowns, or Banyans as they were sometimes called, were very commonly worn inside the home.
“At Home” accessories such as women’s day and night caps, men’s smoking caps and house slippers are also on display.
Original underclothing on display includes all the various layers of underclothing for women, men and children.
A special addition to the collection is a pair of dress under-sleeves worn by the daughter of General William T. Sherman

We Welcome The World

Hello France, England, Canada, Israel, Belgium, Russia, Vietnam, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Czech Republic, Jamaica and Finland!
People from these countries have been among the recent visitors to this blog.
Indeed, we've counted more than 4,000 page views in the past week and we are literally welcoming people from all over the world.
Thank you for visiting.
Keep coming back and keep telling others!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Corzine's Tax Shell Game

New Jersey Republican Senate Leader Tom Kean said he was surprised to hear that Governor Corzine issued a press release touting record-high state spending on property tax reimbursements under the Senior Freeze program.
“Senior Freeze reimbursements only rise if property taxes increase,” Kean said. “This is an admission the governor has failed to stop the growth in property taxes for yet another year.”
Kean noted that Republicans pushed through the Senior Freeze program when they controlled the Legislature so more of New Jersey’s senior and disabled citizens could afford to stay in their homes.
“It’s a great program, but it provides relief only to seniors and the disabled,” Kean said. “The governor’s release doesn’t note that he eliminated tax rebates for more than a million other New Jersey residents this year, on top of the thousands who lost their rebates last year.”
New Jersey residents continue to pay the highest property taxes in the nation, even though Governor Corzine promised “record” property tax relief, Kean said.
“These checks are not the solution. They are no substitute for tax and spending policies that will make New Jersey more affordable to everyone,” Kean said. “Governor Corzine should be apologizing for not providing the tax relief he promised when he first ran for governor, not touting increased spending that is a direct result of his failed policies.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

Robert Irvine's 'Eat!'

The other night we found ourselves at one of Hilton Head's newest, hippest dining spots - Robert Irvine's Eat!
With celebrity chef Robert Irvine at the helm Eat! is a runaway sensation -- the winner of HHI'S Monthly Reader's poll as the Best New Restaurant on the Island. And that's saying something since Hilton Head has more dining spots per square inch than you can imagine.
One of the best ways to experience Eat! is via the tapas (small plates) menu. And every Tuesday evening tapas, wine, beer and liquor are half price.
Yes, we enjoyed icy lemondrop martinis and followed that with an array of tastes that was more than enough for the four of us.
We savored, shrimp, seared diver scallops, beef sliders, chicken sliders, fried green tomatoes, short ribs, house made gnocchi with mint basil pesto, crab cakes, grits, salad, she crab soup and coconut pecan grouper cheeks.
Everything was wonderful. Our favorites; the gnocchi, sliders, crab cakes and tomatoes.
Eat! is nothing less than spectacular inside with seductive lighting, rich woods, romantic banquettes, a knockout bar and a sophisticated urban vibe.
And yes, Chef Irvine visited the dining room and chatted amicably with guests.
As host of Dinner: Impossible on Food Network, Chef Robert Irvine serves stunningly creative dishes both for intimate gatherings and for huge crowds, all without warning and at a moment's notice.
On the show, he has cooked on a desert island, in an 18th Century kitchen, in an Ice Hotel, for cowboys on a cattle drive, for master instructors at the Culinary Institute of America and at the Inauguration of Pennsylvania's Governor.
A native of England, Irvine joined the British Royal Navy at the age of 15 and his skills in the kitchen soon came to the attention of his superiors. As part of his service for the Royal Navy, Irvine was selected to work on board the Royal Yacht Britannia where the Royal Family and their entourages regularly dined.
During his time training US Navy chefs as part of a guest chef program, Irvine worked in the White House kitchens and his creations were served to high-ranking government officials.
In over 25 years in the culinary profession, he has cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas, in hotels and on the high seas. In his career, he has also had the opportunity to serve 6,000 servicemen and women on a US aircraft carrier and plan the menu at a spectacular celebrity-studded after-party at the Academy Awards.
Irvine's first book, Mission: Cook! (Harper Collins, 2007) was published in September, 2007.

'Great Pretender' Does Baseball

Maybe you've seen it.
Or maybe you haven't.
But it's worth noting that Obama thinks Comiskey Park is/was called "ComiNksey Field" and he doesn't seem to know that the Park/"Field" is now called US Cellular Field. BTW: Obama also called Penn State's Nittany Lions the "Nittaly Lions." Well, after all, JoePA IS of Italian heritage so they must be nITALY Lions.
It's amazing what this guy gets away with.
Bottom Line: The man is simply lost without a teleprompter. He's a pretender whose erroneous zones begin to show.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Seasons 52 King Of Prussia!

As we reported some time ago Seasons 52 restaurant (which opened to wide acclaim in Cherry Hill) will now come to King of Prussia.
Yes, it's official: Seasons 52, the popular fresh grill and wine bar restaurant, has selected King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, as their next site for expansion.
Expected to open in spring 2010, the new restaurant will join the recently opened Seasons 52 at Cherry Hill Mall, as the company's second location in the greater Philadelphia market, increasing the total number of Seasons 52 restaurants to 10.
Seasons 52 has been recognized as a forward-thinking restaurant concept with proven consumer appeal. Known for its seasonally inspired menu and fresh approach to dining, the award-winning concept has capitalized on the growing consumer interest in fresher seasonal foods that offer positive lifestyle benefits.

Toomey Gets NRSC Nod

Just three months after announcing his U.S. Senate candidacy, and ten months before the Pennsylvania Republican Party primary, Pat Toomey received the formal endorsement of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the political and fundraising arm of U.S. Senate Republicans.
The NRSC’s endorsement comes on the heels of an impressive list of national and local endorsements, and recent news of Toomey’s fundraising success, having raised $1.6 million since he announced his candidacy in mid-April.
To date, Toomey has been endorsed by several members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, as well as numerous leading state elected officials and county party chairmen in every region of the state.
The NRSC’s considerable financial resources will now combine with Toomey’s extensive and expanding grassroots network to form a powerful political force. Toomey’s campaign has already received contributions from over 15,000 individuals, surpassing the total number of contributors he had in the entirety of his 2004 Senate race.
“I am honored to have the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s endorsement along with the wave of support I have received from people all across Pennsylvania,” Toomey said. “Pennsylvanians are looking for thoughtful policies instead of the extremism they are witnessing in Washington today. Over the next sixteen months, I will continue to bring my message of fiscal responsibility, political balance, and economic growth to voters across the Commonwealth.”

Democrat Rule Fails Cities

Camden, New Jersey one of the poorest cities in America, is my hometown.
It's where I grew up; where I attended the public schools through high school; where I was molded.
Camden has been solidly controlled by Democrats for more than half a century and New Jersey's Democrat governors have long promised to resurrect Camden. Jon Corzine talks the talk when it comes to Camden but like others, he's doesn't walk the walk.
Here's the legacy of Democrat rule and Democrat promises in Camden:

On Education:

In 2007, the New Jersey Department of Education failed Camden's Public Schools in all five categories of evaluation. They scored just 6% in Instruction and Program. (NJ Department of Education, "Commissioner's Evaluation of the Trenton School District," 07/23/07)

52% of Camden High School seniors didn't pass the state's standardized graduation exam. (NJ Department of Education, 2008 Report Card)

On Employment:
In May 2009, 17% of Camden's residents were unemployed. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed 07/14/09)

On the Economy:
38% of Camden's residents live below the poverty level. (US Census Bureau 2005-2007 American Community Survey)

On Crime:
In 2007, Camden suffered with over 42 Murders and 1,755 Violent Crimes. (NJ State Police Uniform Crime Report 09/08).

For Camden, Newark, Paterson, Trenton and other New Jersey cities things can't get much worse.

This week New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie is touring New Jersey's major cities with new ideas, new plans and new initiatives for their future. Isn't it time we turned away from the clearly failed practices of the past and turned to new leadership for New Jersey and its cities?

Corzine's Policies Strangle Jersey

New Jersey State Senator Joseph Kyrillos, senior Republican on the Senate Economic Growth Committee, said Wednesday's report that New Jersey’s unemployment rate surged to 9.2 percent in June shows the state is paying a terrible price for Trenton’s inexcusable neglect of economic development over the last eight years.
In addition to having the highest unemployment rate in the region, Kyrillos noted that New Jersey led the nation in new jobless claims during the week of June 27.
“Increasingly grim reports show the painful consequences of eight years of leaders who have deliberately turned their backs on the businesses that create jobs,” Kyrillos said. “New Jersey’s unemployment rate continues to be far higher than any neighboring state’s because Trenton enacted policy after policy that discouraged private sector job creation.”
Unemployment was well above 10 percent in numerous New Jersey cities during the first quarter including Atlantic City (14%), Trenton (18%), and Newark (13%), Kyrillos noted with sadness.
“Residents of our urban areas pay the highest price in suffering for the governor’s neglect of economic development,” Kyrillos said. “This Legislature should be in session today debating economic development measures that will start to bring jobs to our state’s cities.
“Governor Corzine should start the session by calling for the repeal of excessive business taxes and apologizing for the state’s clumsy mismanagement of economic development efforts during his administration,” Senator Kyrillos said.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nick Lisi Fondly Remembered

We deeply mourn the passing of our friend Nick Lisi -- a caring, passionate, proud and loving man who is remembered with great affection by so many in the Philadelphia legal community and beyond.
Nick was a class act; a man who treasured his family and his heritage; a man who showed kindness toward others and enjoyed many kindnesses in return.
Nicholas J. Lisi, 68 of Wayne, PA, died on Saturday at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, after a long and courageous battle.
Mr. Lisi, an attorney in Philadelphia with the firm of Padova & Lisi, was born in Vineland, NJ. He earned his bachelor's degree at LaSalle University in 1962, and his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1965. Following law school, Mr. Lisi was an Assistant Public Defender for the State of New Jersey and a partner in a litigation practice in Millville, NJ, until he moved his practice to Philadelphia. An active trial lawyer, Mr. Lisi was a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association, the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.
He was a member of the National Italian American Bar Association, as well as the Justinian Society, an organization for Italian American lawyers, where he served on the Board of Governors from 1984 until 2009, and as Chancellor from 1992-1994. Mr. Lisi was also involved in the Philadelphia Bar Association, serving on its Board of Governors from 1995 to 1997 and was also a two-term member of the Philadelphia Judicial Selection and Retention Commission, which he chaired in 2001.
In addition to his involvement to the legal community, Mr. Lisi was also a very active alumnus of both LaSalle University and Boston College. He served on LaSalle's Board of Trustees from 2002 through 2007. He was involved in the LaSalle University Alumni Association, and served as President from 1997 to 1999. While at LaSalle, Mr. Lisi was a founding member of Sigma Phi Lambda fraternity and remained an active alumnus of the fraternity. In recognition of his outstanding service to the University and the Alumni Association, he was named as the recipient of the LaSalle University Alumni Association John J. Finley Award in 2002. Mr. Lisi was a delegate to the Boston College Law School Alumni Association. He was also a founding member and the first President of the Philadelphia Area Chapter of the Alumni Association. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award as part of Boston College Law School's 75th Anniversary celebration.
Mr. Lisi enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, working in his garden, collecting model trains and spending time at the Jersey Shore. He was an avid baseball fan, having attended Game One of the 1980 World Series and Game Three of the 2008 World Series, both won by his (usually) beloved Phillies. He enjoyed the game on many levels and was also a Little League coach for several years.
Mr. Lisi is survived by his wife of 43 years, Marie Elena (nee Santoro) Lisi; his daughter, Kristin Lisi Conway and her husband, Craig; his son, Michael D. Lisi and his wife, Kerith; his son, Mark A. Lisi and his wife, Tracy; his six adoring grandchildren; Ryan, Andrew, Alexandra, Luke, Madeline and Joshua; his sister, Rose Marie Parenti and her husband, James; his brother Joseph Lisi and his wife, Rosemary and his sister-in-law, Ellen Lisi. He was predeceased by his brother, John Lisi."
The funeral arrangements are as follows:
Wednesday, July 15, 2009: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. viewing at D’Anjolell’s Memorial Home, 2811 West Chester Pike, Broomall, Pa.
Thursday, July 16, 2009: 8:30 a.m. viewing at D’Anjolell’s Memorial Home; 10:00 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. John Neumann Church, 380 Highland Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pa.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Nick's memory to support the work of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which provided him with outstanding support, care and hope. Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 27106, New York, NY 10087 or made online at
The Justinian Society has also created a scholarship in Nick’s name to be managed by The Justinian Foundation. Donations to the "Nicholas J. Lisi Justinian Foundation Scholarship” can be made to: The Justinian Foundation, C/O Gaetan J. Alfano, Justinian Foundation Treasurer, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP, 1818 Market Street, Suite 3402, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Checks should be made payable to The Justinian Foundation noting the scholarship name in the memo.

Christie Relaunches On Twitter

Chris Christie's campaign for Governor today relaunched its official website,, giving Christie's followers on Twitter a first look.
The website exhibits not only a new look, but emphasizes the importance of social networking sites like, and, which enhances Christie's ability to communicate with New Jerseyans.
Most recently, the Christie campaign unveiled its Energy as Industry Plan on Twitter using video to directly engage voters.
" is more informative, interactive and user friendly than ever before. Our new website allows users to not only access information about Chris' record and positions on the issues, but also have a dialogue with our campaign," said Christie Campaign Manager Bill Stepien.
And more: On the other side of the river, Pennsylvania's newest gubernatorial candidate, Congressman Jim Gerlach used Twitter and Facebook to anounce his candidacy.

Hilton Head: Best Eats

We've been at our southern command post since the beginning of July and our blessed island is just as lush and sunny and kissed by the sun as we've always remembered it.
And there are great places to eat here on Hilton Head as well.
Here are a few of them:
Southern Coney: This is a new breakfast and lunch place in the Bi-Lo shopping center off of Pope Avenue near Coligny.
Great hot dogs and Coney Island treats in a bright, super-clean environment. Plus, they serve southern breakfast. The owners are very friendly and the service is excellent.
Il Carpaccio - Best popularly priced Italian food on the island. Northern Italian dishes with plenty of wonderful pasta specialties and great, authentic, thin-crusted Italian pizza. In Pinelands Plaza shopping center.
British Open Pub - In Wexford Village shopping plaza. Wonderful fish n chips, chicken pot pie, steak and kidney pie and other British specialties in a cozy. golf-themed atmosphere. Also: crab cakes, ribs, chicken, and other selections. Plenty for every taste, and the price is right, too!
Truffles - The original (at Sea Pines Center) is still the best but the new site (on Pope Avenue) is good as well. Steaks, chops, fish, salads -- all great American fare is a delightful, convivial environment.
Crane's - An early-American tavern and steakhouse with Philadelphia roots. Also, sandwiches, soups, salads, famous French dip, burgers, meatloaf and more. Now serving breakfast as well. Lovely atmosphere.
San Miguel's - At Shelter Cove harbor. Far and away the best Mexican restaurant on the island. Great margaritas, too. Consistently good!
Old Fort Pub - Upscale dining on Skull Creek in Hilton Head Plantation. An island favorite for decades. This is one of the few places where the food and the service match the spectacular views.
Plantation Cafe - On Pope Avenue near Coligny. This is where you'll find the island's best southern breakfast. Also, great sandwiches and other lunch fare. Not fancy. Just real good food at great prices.
Michael Anthony's - On New Orleans Road. Best upscale Italian on the island. Classic fine dining Italian cuisine prepared with a creative touch, presented with a contemporary flair and served in casual and comfortable warm surroundings. A superb treat!
Giuseppi's - The island's best pizza. We prefer the original outlet in Shelter Cove on William Hilton Parkway. It's busy. Prepare to wait.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Toomey Fundraising Sets Records

In the 11 weeks since Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey announced his candidacy on April 15, 2009, Toomey has raised $1.6 million dollars from over 15,000 contributors across the country with $1.1 million cash-on-hand remaining.
Toomey’s strong first campaign quarter fundraising compares favorably with those of successful U.S. Senate challengers in the last election. In fact, he has raised more than every successful 2008 challenger. In his first quarter as a Senate candidate, Toomey has raised more than candidates Al Franken (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kay Hagen (D-NC), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Mark Begich (D-AK), all of whom went on to defeat incumbent U.S. senators (see chart below).
With over 15,000 contributors, Toomey has also surpassed the total number of contributors he had in the entirety of his 2004 Senate race.
It seems clear that Pat Toomey’s Senate campaign is off to a fantastic start and his message of fiscal responsibility and bringing balance to Washington is resonating with individuals across the state and country.
“I am honored by all the people who have contributed to my campaign since my announcement,” Toomey said. “These contributions come from folks across all of Pennsylvania and the country who know that America has a better future than the runaway spending and endless bailouts that are coming from Washington today. Together, I believe we can bring fiscal responsibility, political balance, and economic growth back to our country.”

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This Fall On Broadway

It's not too early to take a peek at the new fall season on Broadway.
Here's a list of confirmed upcoming productions as compiled by David Sheward at Backstage:
The Addams Family, a musical based on the cartoons of Charles Addams, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) and score by Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party). Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter) will direct and design. Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane star. A pre-Broadway run is scheduled for Chicago this fall. Broadway performances are tentatively scheduled to begin March 5, 2010, at a theater TBA. Opens April 8, 2010.
After Miss Julie, a new play by Patrick Marber based on August Strindberg's Miss Julie, produced by Roundabout Theatre Company. Rehearsals begin Aug. 18. Runs Sept. 18-Dec. 22 at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., NYC.
Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, revivals of Neil Simon's autobiographical plays, to be performed in repertory. Rehearsals begin Aug. 24 for the principal cast and Sept. 21 for understudies. Performances begin Oct. 2 (Brighton Beach Memoirs) and Nov. 18 (Broadway Bound) at the Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St., NYC. Opens Oct. 25 (Brighton Beach Memoirs) and Dec. 10 (Broadway Bound).
Bye Bye Birdie, a revival of the 1960 musical about an Elvis-like rock star facing the military draft. Robert Longbottom will direct for Roundabout Theatre Company. Opens Oct. 15 for a limited run through Jan. 10, 2010.
Catch Me If You Can, a musical based on the 2002 film about a real-life con man, with book by Terrence McNally, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Directed by Jack O'Brien, with choreography by Jerry Mitchell. Tom Wopat, Norbert Leo Butz, and Aaron Tveit head the cast. Kerry Butler has been mentioned for the female lead. A pre-Broadway production is planned for Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, July 23–Aug. 14.
Collected Stories, a revival of Donald Margulies' 1996 play about the relationship between an established writer and her protégé. Manhattan Theatre Club will produce, with Linda Lavin starring. Performances begin April 29, 2010, at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., NYC. Opens May 18, 2010.
Fela!, a musical about the Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, produced Off-Broadway in 2008 and directed, choreographed, and co-written by Bill T. Jones. A developmental project runs June 15–July 3. Performances begin Oct. 19 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, 230 W. 47th St., NYC. Opens Nov. 23.
Finian's Rainbow, a revival of the 1947 musical by Burton Lane, E.Y. Harburg, and Fred Saidy about Irish immigrants in the Deep South and a leprechaun searching for his stolen pot of gold. Based on the Encores! concert presentation, which ran March 26–29 at City Center. Casting: Performances begin at the St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., NYC, on a date TBA.
Hamlet, a revival of Shakespeare's classic. Jude Law stars in this Donmar Warehouse production directed by Michael Grandage. Previews begin Sept. 12 at the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 45th St., NYC, for a run of 12 weeks. Opens Oct. 6.
In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, a new play by Sarah Ruhl. Produced by Lincoln Center Theater. Performances begin Oct. 22 at a Broadway theater TBA. Opens Nov. 19.
A Little Night Music, a revival of the 1973 Stephen Sondheim–Hugh Wheeler musical, based on the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night. Trevor Nunn directs. Rehearsals begin in October. Opens in December. Dates are tentative.
Love Never Dies, a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, set in New York in 1907. Andrew Lloyd Webber will compose the music, and Glenn Slater will write the lyrics. Jack O'Brien directs. Target opening in London: March 2010, with a Broadway opening the same season. Memphis, a musical based on the life of Huey Calhoun, a white disc jockey in the segregated South of the 1950s who caused controversy by promoting African-American music. David Bryan of Bon Jovi wrote the music; the book and lyrics are by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change). A production played Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre through Feb. 15. Previews September 23 at the Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St., NYC. Opens Oct. 19.
Oleanna, a revival of David Mamet's two-character play about sexual harassment. This production, starring Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman, is playing the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles through July 12. Previews begin Sept. 29 at the Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., NYC. Opens Oct. 11.
Race, a new play by David Mamet. Richard Thomas, James Spader, and Kerry Washington will star. The playwright will direct. Rehearsals begin Oct. 26. Previews begin Nov. 17 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., NYC. Opens Dec. 6.
Ragtime, a revival of the 1998 musical by Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens, and Stephen Flaherty, based on E.L. Doctorow's novel. This production played the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Previews begin Oct. 23 at the Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St., NYC. Opens Nov. 15.
The Royal Family, a revival of the 1927 comedy by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber about a family of actors. Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club; to star Rosemary Harris, John Glover, Jan Maxwell, Reg Rogers, Tony Roberts, and Stephen Collins. Doug Hughes directs. Rehearsals begin Aug. 11. Previews begin Sept. 15 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., NYC. Opens Oct. 8 for a limited run. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a musical about the comic book superhero. Julie Taymor will direct and collaborate on the book with Glen Berger. The score is by Bono and the Edge of U2. A reading was held in Manhattan on July 12 and 13, 2007. Previews begin Jan. 16, 2010, at the Hilton Theatre, 213 W. 42nd St., NYC. Opens Feb. 18, 2010.
Superior Donuts, a new play by Tracy Letts about a Chicago doughnut shop. Produced at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company during the summer of 2008. Tina Landau directs. Previews begin Sept. 16 at the Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St., NYC. Opens Oct. 1.
Time Stands Still, a new play by Donald Margulies about a photographer and a journalist returning from covering wars to lead a more conventional life. Laura Linney stars in this Manhattan Theatre Club production. Previews begin at Jan. 5, 2010 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., NYC. Opens Jan. 28.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tense, Neurotic Public Enemies

Public Enemies, one of this summer's most eagerly-awaited movies has now opened and we recently saw one of the first showings of this tale of John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd.
Starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cottilard, Giovanni Ribisi, Billy Crudup, Channing Tatum and Steven Dorff, the film is directed by Michael Mann.
Both literally and figuratively, this is a very dark film and it is clearly influenced by The Untouchables, Road to Perdition and, above all The Godfather, Parts I, II and III.
Johnny Depp's performance as Dillinger is s0 mumbled and consciously delivered that you feel he's channeling Brando. In fact, everyone in this film seems to be mumbling, whispering and/or speaking with a mild southern accent and it gets so bad you have to strain to figure out what the actors are saying.
Also, the film is episodic and seems choppy at times, almost as if it's unfinished.
One longs for a greater cultural context to Public Enemies. I found myself longing for more signposts of the 1930s depression and a greater sense of the fads, music, architecture, manners and styles of this distinctive era. I kept wanting to open the film up and free it from its constraints.
But this is a tense, neurotic gangster flim and it's very violent.
Lots of people get killed. And sometimes it's hard to tell the gangsters from the law enforcement agents.
But the film remains compelling. The story moves along at a nice pace and even though we all know how it ends, it's hard to turn away from Mann, Depp & Co.
In the end, somehow they make it work.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Christie In S. Jersey Monday

New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie will make three South Jersey campaign stops in Pitman, Vineland, and Ocean City on Monday, June 13th.
Republican National Committee NC Chair Michael Steele and New Jersey Republican State Committee Chair Jay Webber will also attend the stops in Pitman and Vineland.
Be sure to come out and meet Chris Christie. Here is the schedule:

Monday, July 13th
WHO: Chris Christie
RNC Chairman Michael Steele
NJGOP Chairman Jay Webber
WHAT: Meet and Greet
WHEN: Monday, July 13, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Main Street Financial Group
130 North Woodbury Road

WHO: Chris Christie
RNC Chairman Michael Steele
NJGOP Chairman Jay Webber
WHAT: Meet and Greet
WHEN: Monday, July 13, 2009 at 2:45 p.m.
WHERE: Larry's II Restaurant and Diner
907 North Main Road

WHO: Chris Christie
WHAT: McCann-Donohue Campaign Headquarters Grand Opening
WHEN: Monday, July 13, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: McCann-Donohue Campaign Headquarters
The Stanton Building
810 Asbury Avenue
Ocean City

Corzine Legacy: Jobless NJ!

Today, Christie for Governor Campaign Manager Bill Stepien released the following statement regarding the latest jobless claims numbers from the United States Department of Labor showing New Jersey with the largest increase in the country for unemployment insurance claims:

"While the rest of the country's jobless claims hit the lowest levels since January, New Jersey learns that thanks to the failed polices of Jon Corzine our state once again is at the bottom of the list when it comes to retaining jobs and growing our economy.
While over 11,000 New Jerseyans in the last two weeks of June filled their claims to collect unemployment insurance Jon Corzine was busy putting together a budget that raises taxes by $1.2 billion and taxes away needed property tax relief for 1.2 million hard-working, middle-class families."

Regardless of the statistics, Jon Corzine claims that "New Jersey is faring better than other states by any standards." (Jon S. Corzine, State of the State Address 2009, 01/13/09)
For the week ending on June 27th, New Jersey had the largest increase in initial claims adding an addition 7,876 in just one week. "The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 27 were in New Jersey (+7,876), Massachusetts (+4,730), Kansas (+4,469), Kentucky (+3,614), and New York (+3,019), while the largest decreases were in Florida (-12,493), Illinois (-5,321), Pennsylvania (-3,949), California (-2,919), and Tennessee (-2,743)." (Press Release, "Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report," United State Department of Labor, 07/09/09)

For the week ending on June 20th, New Jersey was second in the country with 3, 170 jobless claims filled. "The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 20 were in California (+14,570), New Jersey (+3,170), Oregon (+3,062), Maryland (+2,342), and Michigan (+2,032), while the largest decreases were in Missouri (-5,753), Pennsylvania (-3,037), Texas (-2,759), Alabama (-1,926), and Florida (-1,894)." (Press Release, "Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report," United State Department of Labor, 07/02/09)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Letterman Attacks Palin Again

David Letterman's got Sarah Palin in his sights again.
This from his Tuesday night monologue:
Now how about this, ladies and gentlemen? The Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, has announced she is stepping down. She will no longer be the Governor of Alaska. First thing, she woke up and went out on her porch and waved good-bye to Russia. Obama was waving to her.
And people are puzzled by this. They say, “Well Governor, Sarah, what are you going to do? What’s going to happen?” And insiders believe that she hopes to be the next “Octomom.” But I don’t know.
But she’s going to take the summer off, and then will come back next fall in the 10 o’clock slot.
She said that before she decided to quit, she called Dick Cheney. Do you remember Dick “Ka-boom” Cheney? And I thought, well, this is great because when you want some advice on strategic maneuvers, I mean, you go to the architect of the Iraqi war. I mean, isn’t that where you go? That’s where you want to be.
But friends of Governor Palin are saying that she is resigning because she is tired of attacks from the media. Thank God I didn’t say anything.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Corzine-Xanadu-Expo Deal Stinks

New Jersey State Senator Kevin O’Toole issued this statement after reading reports that the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority is “effectively operating at a deficit” and that the long-delayed Xanadu project will not open until at least next year.
“The Sports & Exposition Authority, once a source of pride and generator of revenue for the state of New Jersey, now sounds as if it’s overleveraged, losing money and at risk of bankruptcy,” Senator O’Toole said. “One can’t help but wonder how much of this fiscal crisis is due to eight years of shameless political wheeling and dealing over bungled arena, stadium and Meadowlands development projects.
“Governor Corzine has asked the public to trust him as he poured ever-more public money into projects to prop up the teetering Xanadu development,” Senator O’Toole said. “Yet he has never provided all the details about the significant conflicts of interest that he and his adviser, Gary Rose, have had involving Xanadu’s developers and Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, where Corzine was once the chairman and chief executive.
“Just last year, when Xanadu was scheduled to open, the governor toured Xanadu, said he was impressed and liked ‘the revenue projections’ for the 4.8 million square-foot retail and entertainment project. The governor should say if he still likes the revenue projections now that Xanadu’s opening has been delayed again until at least next year.”
According to published accounts, Goldman, the Manhattan-based investment bank where both Rose and Corzine were partners, loaned Xanadu developer Mills Corp. more than $1.1 billion. Investors feared the money could be lost as an accounting scandal sent Mills veering near bankruptcy in 2006. At Corzines behest, Rose engineered a Xanadu bailout that included Dune Real Estate, a hedge fund. Rose owned an equity interest in Dune. Corzine later also disclosed that he had close ties to Daniel Neidich, Dune’s CEO and a former Goldman partner.

Why Famous People Die Together

Why do famous people die at around the same time?
Look at this list:
Princess Diana (Aug. 31, 1997) and Mother Teresa (Sept. 5, 1997).
Authors Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis (Nov. 22, 1963), who were joined by President John F. Kennedy (also an author).
James Brown (Dec. 25, 2006) and former President Gerald Ford (Dec. 26, 2006).
Pope John Paul II, head of the smallest kingdom in the world, the Vatican (April 2, 2005), and Prince Rainier, head of the second smallest kingdom in the world, Monaco (April 6, 2005).
Milton Berle, Dudley Moore and Billy Wilder (March 27, 2002).
Hunter S. Thompson and Sandra Dee (Feb. 20, 2005).
And, most recently Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.
Author Marilyn Johnson, has a new book about obituary writing called "The Dead Beat," and Johnson claims that "mystical forces" are needed to explain why different famous people die on the same day.
Johnson says these cluster deaths are "supernatural."
She has no other way to explain them.
She seems to feel they are part of some larger plan.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who's World's Greatest Entertainer?

During the Michael Jackson memorial today numerous speakers described MJ as "the world's greatest entertainer."
It's quite an accolade.
But so many others have also been exalted as "the greatest."
As long as there have been entertainers people have been trying to identify "the greatest." This has been an especially popular pastime in the modern media age.
Indeed, the 20th century has been replete with "greatest entertainers."
Today, at Jackson's memorial someone sang the song "Smile." You know this song ("although a tear may be ever so near . . . "). But how many people know that the song was written by Charlie Chaplin? Chaplin was not only a great movie actor but also a comedian, musician, writer, director, mime and acrobat. He started as a music hall performer in England. He surely must be considered one of the greatest entertainers ever and his work has certainly endured. His legacy is secure.
Many people felt that Al Jolson was the greatest entertainer ever in his time. Jolson was a superstar before there were superstars. He electrified audiences with his live performances.
There is no doubt that Jolson inspired people like Sammy Davis, Jr. Like Jackson, Davis was a child star. Davis sang, danced, acted and became an accomplished impersonator as well. He conquered the stage, screen, television and the movies long, long before African Americans were accepted in such roles. And, of course he charted new paths for black entertainers. Sadly, Davis dies in relative obscurity and virtually broke. He did not receive the sendoff that Michael Jackson received.
One of the people who helped Davis gain a foothold was Frank Sinatra. For longevity alone Sinatra must be considered one of the greatest entertainers ever. The "Chairman of the Board" was an entertainment empire all to himself. He produced, directed, sang, danced, acted. Let's not forget that "Ole Blue Eyes won an Academy Award for his acting and that he starred in numerous movies.
Sinatra, Jolson, Chaplin, Davis -- they mostly created themselves.
Elvis Presley was largely created by Col. Tom Parker, his domineering manger. Parker molded an entertainment sensation - The King of Rock and Roll. Presley's career was well-managed but the control was stifling and many feel it held Elvis back. Certainly, Elvis starred in a string of forgettable flicks and he was tormented by the endless typecasting imposed on him by Parker.
Have we mentioned the great Noel Coward?
The Master, as he was known, was a playwrite, director, actor, writer, singer, comedian. There seemed to be nothing he could not do.
So many other great entertainers come to mind: Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minelli are two of the most sensational live performers ever to grace the stage. Liza eventually won the Oscar that her mother should have won. In fact, Liza achieved the rare distinction of winning the Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards.
Those who saw Judy Garland in person never, ever forgot her. And she certainly dominated the movies as one of MGM's most popular stars ever.
Besides Liza, another to achieve the quadruple awards crown was Barbra Streisand. Stresand's talent (especially in her early recordings and performances) can only be described as dazzling.
She defined the word "superstar."
World's greatest entertainer?
Where do you begin?
Who would you pick?
I'm sure I left out more than a few greats.
We could argue over this for ages.
Just remember: This title should not be tossed about indiscriminately.

Greenwald Slammed On 'Pain'

New Jersey State Senator Marcia Karrow, R-Warren and Hunterdon Counties, said this in response to insensitive comments made by Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Lou Greenwald on New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio.
Greenwald reportedly said that if the economic crisis “is solved too quickly, people believe the pain was not real, and I think it will be very easy for elected officials to fall into old habits and bad habits. We need true reform."
“As gratifying as it is to see Corzine, Greenwald and other Democrats giving lip service to reform of their own job-killing economic development and fiscal policies, I have to differ with Assemblyman Greenwald on one point,” Senator Karrow said.
“My constituents do not need prolonged economic hardship to understand that Trenton desperately needs reform. They’ve been demanding it for the last eight years! They saw this economic crisis coming because of Democrat policies discouraging job creation and economic growth in our state. The question is why didn’t Governor Corzine and Chairman Greenwald?
“Just a few years ago, Greenwald and other Corzine Democrats were talking about ‘having the courage to spend’ as they raised every possible tax and fee on the businesses and individuals that create jobs and economic growth. They let state economic development efforts languish to near irrelevancy as jobs fled the state. They ignored desperate pleas from Republicans and every member of the business community for sensible and responsible regulation.
“Only now, when New Jersey has far higher unemployment than any neighboring state, are they belatedly calling for reform of job-killing policies. Only now – as we are on track in this decade to lose more private sector jobs than we’ve gained for the first time in our modern history – are they jumping on the job-creation bandwagon.
“Assemblyman Greenwald, it’s far too late for you to see the light and advocate for reform. The only ‘true reform’ that will work in Trenton is a change in leadership so that we can repeal job-killing policies.”

'Yappy Hour' For Dogs

How lushable is your lovable pup?
You can find out at Yappy Hour.
Yes, now you can take your pup to Yappy Hour every Tuesday evening at Tail Waggers Gourmet Pet Bakery and Boutique on Hilton Head Island, SC. Tail Waggers sponsors Yappy Hour from 6 to 7 PM at its Coligny Plaza boutique.
Tail Waggers features all natural treats and goodies for dogs, pet toys, designer beds, doggie t-shirts and apparel, collars, leashes, even artwork.
So, while you're gettin happy, your canine can get yappy.

Elizabeth Taylor Health Crisis

No, Dame Elizabeth Taylor did not collapse when she heard the news of Michael Jackson's death.
But yes, Taylor is distraught over the passing of the "purest, most loving, most giving" friend she has ever known.
Still, Elizabeth was not suicidal over Jackson's death as some have reported.
But Elizabeth Taylor is not in good health. She's 77 years old and is confined to a wheelchair. She's not ambulatory and has recently undergone extensive tests.
Someone who saw her at the test site reports that she is barely
recognizable. In fact, this person who chatted with the Last Great Hollywood Star did not even realize who she was chatting with until her brief conversation with Dame Elizabeth was almost over.
Taylor was reportedly accompanied by her beloved Maltese dog, Daisy. Taylor adopted Daisy when Daisy's predecessor, Sugar died in 2005.
At this point in her life Dame Elizabeth is completely focused on dogs and connected with dog lovers.
BTW: We understand that Elizabeth will have to undergo more medical tests. In fact she will be back in the hospital on Wednesday or Thursday to complete tests she had already begun.
Don't count Elizabeth Taylor out, however. She remains the ultimate survivor!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Beatles Win Entertainer Poll

One hundred and thirty seven people voted in our poll which asked: Who among these five is (are) the world's greatest entertainer(s)?
That was a record number for this site.
You were only allowed to vote for one.
And, you picked The Beatles, followed by Elvis Presley, then Sinatra, then Michael Jackson with Judy Garland a distant fifth.
Here are the raw votes:
The Beatles - 38 votes.
Elvis - 35 votes
Sinatra - 28 votes
Michael Jackson - 27 votes
Judy Garland - 9 votes. Of course, The Beatles had four members whereas each of the others were single acts. So, among the single performers, Elvis is still tops. And The Beatles and Elvis easily garnered more than half the votes.
Thanks for participating.
We'll have more polls soon!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Who's World's Greatest Entertainer?

Vote in our poll from among these top five (Beatles, Garland, Jackson, Presley, Sinatra) for the world's greatest entertainer.
More than 130 people have already voted.
Have you?
There are only seven hours left to vote.
Vote at the top right corner of this page.

The fireworks were absolutely magnificent last night in beautiful Sea Pines Plantation on dreamy Hilton Head Island here in South Carolina's beguiling low country.
The sky was clear with a full moon and whole families came to Harbour Town in droves for
this great Fourth of July classic.
The show lasted at least half-an-hour by our count and ended, as expected with a spectacular finale.
Children were everywhere, all excited and delighted as a perfect Independence Day came to a close. The little girl in front of me reported tha there would be 89 fireworks in all and she said that with such authority that I wasn't about to argue with her.
Did I count them? Naahh . . . I was having too much fun!
After the fireworks we walked back to Sea Pines Center (about a mile) through the pines and the darkness under a glorious full moon with the bullfrogs croaking and the crickets cricketting.
We ended the evening at Coligny Plaza where we enjoyed hot fudge sundaes! A perfect Fourth!
Sean Pines fireworks photo by Mark Tarasiewicz

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Essence Of America

What is America to me?
A name, a map, or a flag I see
A certain word, democracy
What is America to me?

The house I live in
A plot of earth, a street
The grocer and the butcher
Or the people that I meet
The children in the playground
The faces that I see
All races and religions
Thats America to me
The place I work in
The worker by my side
The little town, the city
Where my people lived and died
The howdy and the handshake
The air a feeling free
And the right to speak your mind out
Thats America to me

The things I see about me
The big things and the small
That little corner newsstand
Or the house a mile tall
The wedding and the churchyard
The laughter and the tears
And the dream that's been a growing
For more than two hundred years

The town I live in
The street, the house, the room
The pavement of the city
Or the garden all in bloom
The church the school the clubhouse
The millions lights I see
But especially the people- yes especially the people
Thats America to me
Lyrics by Abel Meerpoll, aka Lewis Allen.

Vote In Our Poll

It's a neck-and-neck race in our poll to identify the greatest entertainer.
So far more than 120 people have voted and The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra are bunched near the top.
Poor Judy Garland is a distant fifth.
Have you voted yet?
There are only a couple of days left to votes.
Vote today.
Make your choice at the top right of this page.

Children And The Fourth

If the Fourth of July is about anything it's about children.
For America is still a relatively young nation. We are young both in terms of the age of our nation and the age of our people.
And we are a nation that has always looked forward - forward to that shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan envisioned.
This is a day to look ahead to greater aspirations.
This is not a day for policy and politics. That's why it's unfortunate that President Obama used his radio address today to push his policy agenda ad his own political positions.
So, on the Fourth of July I look at our large, rich national family and I like to spend the day with children. The children give me hope for the future.
I like to watch them t parades and Fourth of July ceremonies. I like to see them with their decorated bicycles and watch hem waving flags along the parade routes.
I like to watch the fireworks with the kids.
This is their day.
It's their future to dream.
It's their country to mold.
After Obama is long gone and after his collectivist ideas are but a faint memory, these children and their children will determine what America's really all about.
May they be inspired by and guiding by America's great boundless spirit -- a spirit of adventure and discovery; a spirit of innovation and triumph; a spirit of free enterprise and unencumbered rugged individualism.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Palin Surprises; Moves Foward

Sarah Palin's impending resignation as Governor of Alaska seems to indcate that she is positioning herself for a presidential run.
She wats to focus on her future, open up her options and move forward.
Paln has huge spport and grea potntial.
She doesn't play by traditional rules. She has a nimble mind, great spirit and a competitve nature that naturally propels her forward. Sh like toget in there with the Big Boys and mix things up.
Palin is a quick learner.
All of this makes Palin remarkably refreshing.
Big media senses that this woman cannot be tamed, cannot be intimidated and is not threatened by their antics. Members o the mainstream media dn't like this. They aren't used to it.
But Palin doesn't care.
She listens to her own drmmer.
Apparently, lots of people hear th same drummer.
Wach out, America.
Things are aout to get a helluva lot more intersting!

Capital Grille Cherry Hill

Capital Grille Cherry Hill.
Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
Well, the new Capital Grille is up and running at the Cherry Hill Mall so we recently decided to give it a try.
This new restaurant is located on the Haddonfield Road side of the Mall in front of the great new Nordstrom store. The Capital Grille is a free-standing building with valet parking and a small but nicely landscaped outdoor dining area. Once you step inside you will be greeted by the dark hues, large oil paintings, distinctive lighting fixtures and woodsy atmosphere that define The Capital Grille.
The speciality here is steaks and the approach is Big Deal dining.
A bar area runs across the front of the property just to the left as you enter. Then, a huge glass-walled wine preserve separates the bar from the dining room which is open but hushed, plush and subdued. The open grill lies beyond the dining area.
We've been to the Capital Grille in Philadelphia many times and we knew what to expect. And, our expectation were high.
The martinis were cold and crisp and the signature breads were fresh and delicious as usual.
We shared a Caesar salad which also lived up to expectations.
Regrettably, we ordered a fried calamari appetizer which never arrived.
After several apologies from the server, we noted that the entrees were ready and felt we should move along with the dinner.
Steak entrees were presented along with sides for the table. Service is a la carte so side dishes must be ordered separately. When ordering steaks here, rare, rare means rare (mostly pink and served warm) and well done means well done (no pink, and just this side of burnt on the outside). Each steak was cooked to order and sides (huge, crispy fried onion rings and seasoned fries) were presented in cone-shaped nests.
Because our calamari was MIA, our party of five was invited to select three complementary desserts. We chose a brownie cookie ice cream sandwich (more cookie than brownie and not enough ice cream) a slice of key lime pie (legendary and delicious) and creme brulee (dreamy).
You can enjoy a lush, leisurely evening here and know that you are dining at one of the finest restaurants between Atlantic City and Philadelphia. This is surely a cut above.
I expect that for most people dinner at The Capital Grille Cherry Hill will be a special occasion or expense account event. Plan to spend between $80 - $150 per person, including tax, tip and an adult beverage.
Of course, lunch will be more affordable and we will report on that later.
Our best wishes to Cherry Hill Capital Grill General Manager Philip Holcombe and his staff.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our Flag Deserves Better!

Summer is America's season. And it's also the season of Old Glory. It's the time of year when our flag seems more visible than ever. It flies proudly at Fourth of July celebrations, leads parades and community observances, decorates monuments and gravesites, flutters above tall buildings and city streets.
This is the season of the red, white and blue. But I'm worried about our flag because too often I see it displayed with everything from indifference to disrespect or dishonor.
I know that lots of people displayed the flag right after Sept. 11, and that was understandable. Old Glory naturally appears when we want to come together as a nation and demonstrate our strength, unity and pride. But some of the flags that were flown after 9/11 seem to still be on display nearly eight years later. And what's left of them is not a pretty sight.
And it's not just the original Sept. 11 flags that leave me with an unsettled feeling. I see too many other tattered flags, faded flags, worn-out flags.

To read the rest of my column in today's Philadelphia Daily News click here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blog Achieves 50,000 Hits!

Just a few moments ago this blog logged its 50,00th visitor and the numbers are climbing at a record rate.
Today alone, we will exceed 2,000 visits and 4,000 page views.
This a one-day record for this blog.
It's gratifying. It's inspiring. It's thrilling. Honest!
And we owe it to you, our loyal visitors -- old and new, young and old -- ALL of you!
Tell your friends. Link to the blog. E-mail the link to others. Talk about it. Comment on it. Pass the word on Facebook and Twitter and via other social media.
And Thank You!
Thank you for makes us a genuine phenomenon.

Hurry! Vote In Poll!

We're asking you to vote for the greatest entertainer among five of the acknowledged legends of the entertainment world: The Beatles, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.
Remember: You can only pick one!
Vote in our poll at the top right corner of this blog.
Vote now!

Why's Greenwald So 'Proud?'

Scot DeCristofaro and Brian Greenberg, candidates for the Assembly in New Jersey's Sixth Legislative District, called on incumbent Assemblyman Lou Greenwald to explain why he is so proud of the budget Governor Jon Corzine signed this week.
“This Greenwald-Corzine budget is terrible,” Scot DeCristofaro said. “Lou Greenwald pushed it through his committee, helped guide it through the Assembly and then watched Jon Corzine sign it. He might as well have driven a stake through the hearts of the taxpayers. This Greenwald-Corzine budget is going to chase my parents out of the state.”
Brian Greenberg said, “This budget is a job killer. No self respecting businessman in their right mind would come to Jersey where the highest state income tax - 10.75% - and the highest property taxes in the nation reside. Moreover, given the mixed stew of deception, sleight of hand, and the cynical theft of designated reserves, one should call this the Bernie Madoff budget."
"California is facing imminent bankruptcy and the Greenwald-Corzine budget has set up New Jersey for a similar fate next summer." Greenberg stated.

Philly Tea Party Saturday!

For more information click here!