Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yes, Mr. President: They Miss You More Every Day

By a 50-42 margin voters in Ohio say they’d rather have George W. Bush in the White House right now than Barack Obama. And remember, Ohio is a key swing state. As Ohio goes . . .

Christie Signs Law For Clean Water Infrastructure

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today continued his commitment to environmental protection and a strong and secure clean water infrastructure by signing legislation to appropriate $821 million in no-cost and low-cost loans for crucial water and sewer infrastructure projects across the state.
The financing, administered through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program, will make available approximately $549 million for clean water project loans and $272 million for drinking water project loans, with the federal government picking up at least half of the cost.
Governor Christie signed the legislation today in Mount Olive, the site of the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority (MSA), which stands to receive $2.5 million in zero percent and market rate loans. A majority of the MSA's funds will come from the federal government, with the remainder to be bonded through the Environmental Infrastructure Program.
"It is imperative that we maintain the integrity of the State's water supply and sewer systems, to protect the public health and ensure our continued commitment to the environment,'' said Governor Christie. "There is nothing more important to our residents.''
"This is a vital tool in our effort to safeguard the public water supply,'' added Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. "It fits right into the prime mission of the DEP: to protect the environment - our air, water, land, and natural resources and public health.''
The infrastructure projects also will create hundreds of jobs throughout the state.
More than 75 applications from cities, towns, counties, authorities, utilities and private associations already are being considered this year for much-needed money for clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects, in a program that dates to the 1980s and has previously financed 749 projects totaling almost $5 billion.
Successful applicants can get zero and low interest loans, at one-quarter or one-half the market rate, with no bond insurance required, no arbitrage concerns and no wait for funding or interest payments during construction, among other benefits.
In the case of the MSA, which operates a regional facility serving towns in Morris and Sussex counties, plus the International Trade Center in Mount Olive, the agency is in line to get two loans to improve the reliability, efficiency and safety of existing outdated sewage treatment systems, while upgrading its pumping stations.
The available money for all of the projects comes from a revolving loan program administered in part by the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (EIT), an independent state financing authority. It provides loans to local governments for construction of wastewater treatment facilities, sludge management systems, plus sewer overflow, stormwater projects and non-point source pollution management projects.
It also offers loans to publicly and privately owned drinking water systems for the construction or upgrade of drinking water facilities, transmission and distribution systems, storage facilities, and source development.
Funds are made available under the federal Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts and various state bond acts. The program provides zero percent interest rate loans to local government units from the State DEP for up to half the allowable project costs, and a market rate loan from the Trust for the remaining allowable costs.
For information about EIT and its financing programs, visit www.njeit.org
For a copy of the legislation (A-2928) and list of potential projects, njleg.state.nj.us

Schundler Admits Mistake, Accepts Responsibility

Former New Jersey Education Commissioner Brett Schundler has now admitted that it was his mistake on the "Race to the Top" federal grant application that caused the foul up leading to his removal from the Education Commissioner's post.
Schundler says that he has learned that the Department of Education has a draft of the grant application with notes in his handwriting that remove important information from the proposal. Though he apparently doesn't remember making such notes, Schundler's action may have led to the loss in $400 million in federal education grant funds to New Jersey.
Schundler has now admitted the error and is accepting responsibility saying that the mistake did indeed occur during the editing process.
Schundler made his remarks in an interview with the Associated Press.
One would hope that this will bring the whole Race to the Top controversy to an end.
The race is over. New Jersey lost.
It's time to move on.

PLEASE; One Elected Office Per Person!

It's quite a well known fact that New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney holds two public offices. He's also the president and director of the Gloucester County Freeholder Board.
And even though the state legislature passed a law that prohibits dual office holding in New Jersey, the law doesn't apply to Sweeney or, for that matter to anyone who held office before the law was passed. All of those officials were grandfathered into the law. They're protected.
Sweeney isn't the only one in Gloucester County who's pulling this off. Assemblyman John Burzichelli holds his state Assembly seat and is the mayor of  Paulsboro. Freeholder Frank DiMarco also has a seat on Deptford's township council. And Freeholder Joe Chila is also the mayor of Woolwich Township. Along with Sweeney, that makes four Democrats in Gloucester County who are dual officeholders.
As the Courier-Post points out in an editorial today, Sweeney has promised time and again that he will relinquish his seat on the Freeholder Board. But Sweeney has been tardy in keeping that promise. Over and over, he's postponed his departure from the board.
Sweeney now says he will leave the board by the end of this year. But the newspaper wants him to give up his board position now.
Hey, maybe if Sweeney does the right thing and resigns his board posts, the other three dual officeholders will follow.
There is no reason for anyone in New Jersey to be holding more than one public office.
You can read the Courier Post editorial by clicking here.

Ron Johnson: A New Day For Wisconsin

Wisconsin US Senate candidate Ron Johnson is out with a clever ad that successfully pokes fun at hypocritical career politicians.
Ron Johnson is a breath of fresh air -- a new type of candidate for a new day in Washington.
For more information about Ron Johnson and his campaign click here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

NYC Homelessness Up 50% As Lib Leadership Fails

The New York City Department of Homeless Services is reporting that the number of people who are sleeping in city streets is up by 50% in the past year.
More than 1,000 people now actually live in the New York City Subway system. That figure has alone has jumped by 11%.
While all this is happening New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has been playing golf with President Obama and lecturing the nation about religious tolerance as he ridicules those who oppose the construction of the massive mosque at Ground Zero.
But Bloomberg is still the Mayor of New York, not the Archbishop of Progressivism.
And the sad fact is that under Bloomberg New York has deteriorated.
The Mayor has become a tiresome liberal windbag with outsized ambitions, an presumptuous attitude and a suffocating ego.
Frankly, I think it's time for Bloomberg to get out of the public eye for awhile and get back to the day-to-day business of running the city. There's a lot of work to be done, Mr. Mayor. And if you can't do it, you need the get out of the way.
Between the economic downturn, the homeless problem and the bed bug infestation (to name a few crises) New York needs more action, and fewer pompous lectures.

A Revealing Look Inside A True Champion

When it comes to books, I'm partial to real-life memoirs. I've always found that truth is more fascinating than any fiction that any author could conjure up.
This summer I made my way through quite a few biographies and autobiographies. But none was more engrossing than Andre Agassi's autobiography entitled Open.
The title really says it all: This is the open, revealing story of Agassi from his boyhood to the present.
Now, it needs to be said that I've always been an Agassi fan. So, I was partial to the guy before I even opened his book. I like Agassi's passion. And I came to greatly admire the excitement, the spontaneity and the dexterity that he brought to the game of tennis.
And here's what's intriguing about all this: From an early age, Agassi was trained to be a tennis automaton. He was trained to be a hard-charging, high-velocity player and an ace-server. But he turned out to be an unpredictable baseline player: a scrappy, relentless competitor who was often at his best when his back was against the wall. You could never count him out.
At times it seemed like he made up the game (and devised his strategies) as he went along.
Andre Agassi made tennis exciting. He gave the game heat.
Yet, Agassi never even liked the game. In fact, he says he hated it. He was forced into tennis by his father, who drilled him and pushed him and bullied him day after day after day from a very early age.
Agassi's story is the story of the only man in tennis history to have achieved a career grand slam: winning the US Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the Olympic Gold Medal. It's a stunning feat -- and an incredible story.
But this isn't simply a sports diary.
This is a book about Agassi himself -- his struggles, his demons, his life, his loves and his missteps.
You will be surprised when you read this book because Agassi is as hard on himself as he is on anyone else. He has examined his own faults carefully and he lays bare all of his frustrations and insecurities.
Having said that, I think you will also find Agassi's journey uplifting.
This is a story of a man who has come of age and who has found new reasons -- new causes and purposes -- to motivate him and to once again move him to embrace a game that he came to hate.

Are Iraq, Afghanistan Distractions For Obama?

Are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan a distraction for President Obama?
Sometimes, it certainly seems that way.
In a recent New York Times piece on the President as Commander in Chief, reporter Peter Baker notes: "Where George W. Bush saw the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as his central mission and opportunities to transform critical regions, Mr. Obama sees them as 'problems that need managing,' as one adviser put it, while he pursues his mission of transforming America." 
Some people wonder whether Obama even wants to be Commander in Chief -- whether he even likes the job.
In Commentary, Jennifer Rubin declares: "Obama doesn’t like being commander in chief, isn’t good at it, and has relied on one tutor, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who is leaving next year."
Many believe Obama feels these are not his wars. He inherited them. He has to manage them. He will try to bring them to a conclusion. But he's got other, more important problems on his mind.
Well, let's hope this isn't the case.
Because if it is, we're all in trouble.
Read the New York Times piece here.
Read the Commentary piece here.

Bed Bugs: What You Need To Know Now

No doubt you've been hearing about bed bug infestations in major cities.
It's not a joke.
The bed bug problem is real. It's here. It's now.
Bed bugs are being spread because of travel, immigration and their resistance to modern pesticides (or lacke thereof).
Here are some of the things you need to know:
1) A bed bug's egg can be no bigger than a speck of dust.
2) The bugs themselves are small and oval shaped with a flat body. They are brownish in color and can grow as big as a quarter inch.
3) bed bugs can survive for up to one year without any sort of nourishment at all. They can hide in walls and cracks. They don;t have to live in beds.
4) Bed bugs pass through five life stages and require a blood meal between those stages. The blood meal is where we (humans) come in.
5) Bed bugs feed at night. And one human can host hundreds of them on his or her body.
There is now even a web site (bedbugger.com) disseminating news and information about bed bugs.
Here's one sign of bed bugs: Little black specs may appear along the corners and/or seams of your mattress or box spring. These may appear to be specs of dirt. But if you have bed bugs, these are actually bed bug excrement.
Bed bugs can hide almost anywhere. They don't have to hide in mattresses and box springs -- or between the two of them.
It's no secret that there has been a record bed bug infestation in New York City this summer. And as we have previously reported here, some very reputable clothing retailers in the city have had to close because of infestations. Also affected have been movie theaters and hotels.
But the problem is by no means limited to New York City.
Become aware -- and be on the alert.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

'That's Life': Frank & Frankie At Caesars

We took a quick trip to Caesars in Atlantic City last night to see Joe Piscopo and Michael Longoria at the Circus Maximus Theater in a musical/comedy show called "That's Life" built loosely around the music of Frank Sinatra.
I say "loosely" because the Sinatra portion of the show is just one part of an evening that includes tributes to and/or sendoffs of Bruce Springsteen, Gene Krupa, Johnny Cash, David Letterman, Jerry Lewis and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
If you remember Joe Piscopo on Saturday Night Live then you know that Piscopo's rendition of 'Ole Blue Eyes is spot on. And in this show Piscopo looks, sounds, acts and moves like Sinatra. It's almost eerie.
And Piscopo's basso profundo take on Johnny Cash is equally effective.
I'm not ordinarily one for tribute shows or impersonators but Piscopo is very good at what he does. And, he's so multi-talented that he's bound to win you over. In the course of the evening (backed by a 14-piece orchestra and vocals) Piscopo played the piano, the saxophone, the drums and the flute.
Plus, Piscopo's vocal range is impressive.
But even Piscopo could not manage the high-pitched sounds of Frankie Valli. That's where Michael Longoria came in. Longoria originated the Valli role on Broadway in Jersey Boys.
Longoria is gifted with an an incredible voice but he also has undeniable star quality.
This diminutive young man has an extraordinary stage presence. His vocal dexterity, his timing and his moves on stage all come together to create something that can only be described as electrifying. And Longoria didn't limit himself to Frankie Valli. He covered a variety of jukebox tunes, mostly from the doo-wop era. But here's the thing: He made each of these classics seem totally new again. Every song came alive with a surprising new luster.
At times Piscopo and Longoria seemed to be an odd couple -- the streetcorner Joizee Guy and the newly-minted Broadway Baby. And yet, the evening worked.
Yes, the show still has some rough edges. For example, some of the transitions need to be smoothed out.
But I would encourage these two to continue performing together.
For pure entertainment value, this show is hard to beat. And, with a little help from a few more friends "That's Life" may yet wind up on the Great White Way.
BTW: The Circus Maximus Theater is a great place to see a show. This is a traditional setting with  theater-style seating. The seats are comfortable and the sight lines are great. Production values are high and nearly every seat is a good seat.

George W. Bush Set For Dramatic Return

President George W. Bush will make a dramatic return to the public spotlight this fall to promote his new book, Decision Points which is due out in November, just after the midterm elections.
His memoir will examine 14 key decisions and their ramifications in Bush's life and work.
President Bush, who once termed himself "the decider" will look at some of the forks in the road that he faced and some of the turns that he took.
Among the decision points addressed in the book will be: the financial bailout; the military surge in Iraq; limiting embryonic stem cell research and the Bush tax cuts. The book also touches upon the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the situation in Afghanistan and the immigration debate.
The big buildup to Decision Points begins November 8 with a one-hour prime time TV special on NBC.
The plan also calls for a book signing tour and numerous other media interviews.
President Bush has remained largely out of the public spotlight since he left office nearly two years ago.
Though he's been a near-constant target of attack from and ever-present object of blame by President Obama and the Democrat Party leadership, Bush has remained silent.
He has let others (most notably Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove) defend his administration and his time in office.
But soon George W. Bush will re-emerge and he will speak his own mind,

One Of The Year's Dumbest Editorials

The New York Times is out today with one of the dumbest editorials I've ever read.
It seems as if the Times is trying to chastise President Obama for the worsening economic situation. But the Times now has so much invested in Obama that the newspaper is simply unable to go ahead and place the bame for this mess where it really belongs.
So, the Times sorta blames Congress.
But, guess what?
The Congress is fully controlled by President Obama's party -- and by a wide margin, in both houses.
And since the ultra-liberal Times has no intention of blaming Democrats for anything the newspaper winds up blaming the people who have the least amount of power in the whole scheme of things -- the Republicans.
According to the Times, Obama's big challenge now is heading off Republican criticism. The Times says the President can do this with a sort of tough love economic policy that lays out cold, hard truths and asks for more sacrifice from the American people.
Can you imagine?
What is Obama supposed to do -- ask for even higher taxes?
Well, that's what we'll get if the Bush tax cuts are left to expire at the end of the year.
And surely that's what the Times would like.
But deep in the editorial the Times is forced to admit that the frequently-postponed economic rebound is simply not going to arrive in time for the midterm elections.
Why? Because the stimulus package was not big enough, the ediorial argues.
So now it seems the liberal line is that we need even more government money poured into this mess and even more government programs and even higher and higher taxes.
There's just one problem with that suggestion.
The public's not buying it.
And the public will have its say very, very soon.
You can read the entire Times editorial (should you care to) by clicking here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Year's Most Tragic Love Triangle

Here's one of the latest ads from the Sharron Angle campaign. For more information, click here.

Obama Like Reagan? Sorry, Try Again.

In the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan takes a keen look at Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama at the same time in their presidencies. Here's part of what she finds:
Mr. Obama's supporters like to compare him with Reagan: 18 months in he had difficulties in the polls too, and a recession. But Reagan was focused on what the American people were focused on: the economy, the size and role of government, the challenge of the Soviet Union. And on the eternal No. 1 issue, the economy, Reagan had a plan that seemed to make sense, in rough terms to try to cut spending and taxes, and force out inflation. People were willing to give it a try. Mr. Obama's plan, to a lot of people, does not make sense, or does not seem fully pertinent, or well-executed.
Read the full Peggy Noonan column at the Journal.

Toomey Gets High Marks From Media, Pundits

Here's a roundup of reviews and observations on the Pat Tommey  Senate campaign in Pennsylvania:
  • “But so far Pat Toomey has controlled the conversation in their nationally watched statewide contest . . . Beyond his early advantages, Toomey has done more with the available weapons. The political environment does not bode well for politicians linked to Obama’s policy agenda, and a stream of commercials have painted Sestak as a supporter of massive government, staggering deficits and ruinous health care reforms.” (Colby Itkowitz, Morning Call, 08/23/10)
  • This has certainly been, so far, Toomey’s summer in terms of his ability to frame the election he wants, tell the narrative he wants to tell.” (Terry Madonna, Franklin & Marshall College Professor of Political Science, Morning Call, 08/23/10)
  • “Toomey rolled into the York County Republican Party’s campaign headquarters on East Market Street shortly after noon as part of a four-day, 23-county “more jobs, less government” tour across Pennsylvania.  The former three-term U.S. House member used the stop to highlight his differences with Democratic opponent U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak.  Toomey said Sestak is among the most liberal of Democrats and characterized him as a free-spender who supported faulty policies including the federal stimulus package, the auto and bank bailouts andfederal health care plan.” (Carl Lindquist, York Dispatch, 08/25/10)
  • “Toomey has certainly been textbook.  His outreach to not only moderate Republicans, but also Democrats, has been exemplary. (Democratic consultant Larry Ceisler, Morning Call, 08/23/10)
  • “Toomey’s lead is being fueled by a combination of an eight-point advantage among Independents and a sizable chunk of Democrats who are buying into his message.” (Tim McNulty, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08/24/10)
  • “A sharp speaker with a commanding arsenal of free-market ideology talking points, Toomey said the federal response to the economic meltdown has been abysmal.” (Laura Vecsey, Harrisburg Patriot News, 08/24/10)
  • “Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, rated Toomey/Sestak a toss-up back in May.  Now, he tells me, ‘Frankly, that’s one of the ratings likely to be changing. Increasingly, it appears that the GOP is going to have a good year in Pennsylvania.” (John Baer, “Toomey’s window has a view of DC,” Philadelphia Daily News, 08/25/10)
  • “Liberal poll expert Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight—which is now hosted by the NYT—says Pat Toomey has an 88 percent chance of winning Pa’s open Senate seat this year.  He has consistently led in the polls (another this morning put him 9 up on Joe Sestak) and the closer you get to November, the harder it is to close a gap that great.” (Tim McNulty, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 08/26/10)

Olivia deHavilland: Alive, Well & Starring On TCM

Olivia deHavilland is the only surviving star from the epic film Gone With The Wind.
All of the other major stars of that landmark movie have since passed on.
Olivia deHavilland is 94 years old and lives in Paris. She has not been seen very much in recent years.
She did appear as a presenter at the 75th Annual Academy Awards in 2003. In 2006 she made an appearance at the 90th Birthday celebration of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Last year she gave a newspaper interview in which she said she was working on an autobiography.
By any measure, deHavilland is one of the most accomplished movies stars of the 20th century.
She made 49 movies between 1935 and 1979.
In addition to Gone With The Wind, among her better-known vehicles were: The Light In The Piazza, The Heiress, The Snake Pit, Hold Back The Dawn and To Each His Own. She won the Academy Award for Gone With The Wind (supporting actress) and for Hold Back The Dawn, To Each His Own and The Heiress (all best actress).
Last night I watched her in To Each His Own on Turner Classic Movies. In this film she plays a single mother who gives up her son, then fights to remain a part of his life.It's a classic tear-jerker: poignant, personal and heartfelt. With Olivia deHavilland in the starring role the film never becomes cheap or maudlin. She brings a radiance and a somewhat regal presence to every role.
Olivia deHavilland: A great Hollywood star worth celebrating.
They don't make 'em like this anymore, folks.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Christie Names Acting Education Commissioner

Today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's Office announced that Rochelle Hendricks, Assistant Commissioner for the Division of School Effectiveness and Choice at the New Jersey Department of Education, will serve as Acting Commissioner of the department while a national search for a new commissioner commences. Gregg Edwards, Director of Policy in the Office of the Governor, was named Acting Chief of Staff for the Department of Education.
“I am glad to step into this new role at the department to ensure that Governor Christie’s bold reform agenda moves forward without interruption,” said Hendricks. “The governor has made educational excellence and high student achievement a top priority, and that commitment will continue to be the driving force in the activities of the Department of Education. I am proud to share in the Governor’s vision and look forward to continue working diligently on behalf of children and parents to ensure that the opportunity, hope and empowerment that comes with parental choice is available to every family.”
Rochelle Hendricks has more than 20 years of experience working on education issues in New Jersey. Hendricks joined Governor Kean’s Department of Education in 1987 and has previously served in various capacities within the department, including work as the Director of the Office of Vocational-Technical, Career and Innovative Programs, Director of the Office of Innovative Programs and Schools, and managing the Charter School Unit within the Office of Innovative Programs and Schools.
Prior to joining the Department of Education, she worked for over 15 years at Princeton University in numerous capacities including, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Educational Opportunities Program and Interim Director of the Women’s Program. Hendricks began her career as a teacher at the Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School District, where she taught for three years.
As Assistant Commissioner for School Effectiveness and Choice, Hendricks oversees key reform initiatives and areas, including the Offices of Board Development, Small Learning Communities and School Culture, District Schools, Turnaround Partnerships, Inter-District Choice and Opportunity Scholarships, Charter Schools, Career and Technical Education, and Online Education. She has also served previously in the department as a Director of the Professional Development Office, Manager of the Office of Policy and Planning in the Administration Division, and Assistant to the Deputy Education Commissioner.
While serving as Acting Chief of Staff in the Department of Education, Gregg Edwards will temporarily relinquish his current position as Director of Policy in the Office of the Governor, where he develops and implements policy initiatives for the Christie Administration.
Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Edwards was the founding President of the Center for Policy Research of New Jersey and a long-time, respected voice for education reform and academic achievement in New Jersey. Edwards is a former member of the Hamilton Township Board of Education, including two-term Board President, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Senate, and Chief of Staff to the late former Congressman Bob Franks.
Hendricks and Edwards will assume their respective duties effective immediately.

Governor's Office: How Schundler 'Continues to Sully His Own Image'

Following is a statement from Michael Drewniak, Press Secretary to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:
“We regret that Mr. Schundler continues to sully his own image by engaging in revisionist history.  His attempts to cover up misleading the Governor are evidenced by the contrast between his letter to Secretary Duncan, in which he describes making a verbal clarification at the presentation, and the video released by the U.S. Department of Education.  Mr. Schundler was the Administration’s only source for what occurred in the Race to the Top presentation.  All of the Governor’s statements were based on Mr. Schundler’s account.”

Quick And Decisive Action: Christie Fires Schundler

OK, so it appears as if New Jersey Governor Chris Christie caught his Education Commissioner in a flat-out lie. So Christie went ahead anf fired him.
Yes, Christie fired Brett Schundler today.
Note that the Governor took responsibility and acted quickly and decisively.
Here's the statement from Governor Christie:
“I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me by the New Jersey Department of Education and which I then conveyed to the people of New Jersey. As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler’s service as New Jersey’s Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration. 
“As I have said before, I never promised the people of New Jersey that this would be a mistake-free administration. However, I did promise that the people serving in my administration would be held accountable for their actions. As I said on Wednesday, I am accountable for what occurs in my administration. I regret this mistake was made and will do all I can to have my administration avoid them in the future.”

Chris Christie Takes On 'Mindless' DC Bureaucrats

Yes, Governor Christie accepts responsibility.
No, Christie doesn't scapegoat.
No, Christie doesn't whine and complain.
Yes, he gets angry -- and he has every right to be.
Yes, he knows who to get angry at.
And yes, New Jersey should have won that "Race to the Top" grant.
Message to the "box checking" bureaucrats at the federal Department of Education in Washington: Watch out; Chris Christie's on your case. Don't mess with him!

Disgraceful: Empire State Building Won't Honor Mother Teresa

Shame on the Empire State Building and its owner Anthony Malkin for refusing to honor the memory of Mother Teresa yesterday on the 100th anniversary of her birth.
Instead, the iconic skyscraper chose to honor the 90th anniversary of the right to vote for women.
Previously, the building has used its crown lights to honor the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Maria Carey, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the end of Ramadan and Easter, among other events.
The Catholic League requested that the top of the building be bathed in blue and white (the color of Mother Teresa's order) to commemorate the centennial of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta who was beatified in 2003 and is one step removed from sainthood.
Malkin refused to comment on his decision.
Here's a suggestion: If you visit New York, skip the Empire State Building. There are plenty of other things to do in the Big Apple.

Rasmussen Shows Continuing Shift To GOP

The new Rasmussen poll figures now show that Republicans lead Democrats as the party to trust on each of ten major issues facing the country: the economy, social security, Irag, Afghanistan, education, ethics, immigration health care, taxes and national issue.
On the key issue of the economy, the GOP holds an eight point lead. On national security the Republicans hold a 12 point lead. On taxes, they hold a commanding 16 point lead. And even on health care, they hold an eight point lead.
And here's more good news for the GOP: Rasmussen has moved the Florida Senate race from "toss up" status to "leans Republican." And the California Governor's race has also moved to "leans Republican."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Christie's 'Serious Concerns' About Kyleigh's Law

From the Camden County GOP blog:
Kyleigh’s Law is a very hot topic in the New Jersey Legislature.  Currently, the New Jersey Senate is considering repealing or amending Kyleigh’s Law ( S-2034 would remove the decal provision of Kyleigh’s Law and establish a new, inconspicuous system for law enforcement officials to identify novice drivers).
Governor Christie came to Haddon Heights on Monday and shared his thoughts on Kyleigh’s Law.  The short video is below.

Crusty 'Ole Alan Simpson: Get Off The Stage

The co-chair of President Obama's bipartisan debt commission is under fire for some rather intemperate written remarks contained in an e-mail response to a critic.
Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson called Social Security "a milk cow with 310 million tits!"
And then Simpson told his critic: "Call when you get honest work."
Prior to this Simpson characterized those who oppose cuts to Social Security benefits as "Gray Panthers" and "Pink Panthers."
Well, Simpson doesn't have to worry about Social Security benefits because he gets a Big Fat Pension and other lavish benefits as a former US Senator.
Later, Simpson said he did not intend for his comments to cause "anguish."
Awwww . . . . ain't that nice?
Alan Simpson who is now 79, served for 20 years in the United States Senate and held the spotlight as Senate Majority Whip under Bob Dole. Simpson's father was also a Senator.
But Alan Simpson hasn't served in public office for more than a decade.
Simpson has never been known for his tact and he seems to enjoy verbal bullying.
He can do all the bullying he wants privately, with friends and family.
Now, however the time has come for him to resign his public position. It's time to get off the stage. These old "jokes" aren't funny anymore.

First, Let Me Know What The Weather Is . . .

If it's really gonna be a sunny day, I'll get up.
Otherwise, why bother? I've had enough of clouds.

Sneak Peek Of Tony Danza In A & E's New 'Teach'

 Tony Danza's new reality TV series "Teach" which is filmed at Philly's Northeast High School will begin airing on A & E on October 1. Tony rules!
This sneak peek is featured on You Tube and was previewed in Philly yesterday by our favorite columnist Dan Gross.

Democrats Beginning To Admit: Prospects Look Dim

Key Democrats in Washington and beyond are beginning to admit that the party's prospects look dim for this November.
It's not just the hotly contested congressional races that have Democrats worried -- it's also what were once considered some of the "safe" seats.
 The reality is that the GOP is putting more and more House and Senate seats in play. And since Democrats hold a wide majority (and have way more members trying to hold seats) that means more and more Democrats are at risk. Many Washington insiders, Democrat pollsters and even Dem House members (including members who hold what were once considered "safe" seats) are privately conceding that chances of retaining the House may be disappearing. And those who have witnessed sea-changing elections before now fear that the dominoes may begin to fall and the Senate could even be lost outright or effectively lost through a greatly diminished Democrat majority.
Democrats are scratching their heads and wondering how the summer drifted away without any type of economic progress whatsoever -- and no Democrat rebound.
Many Democrats feel abandoned by President Obama and are wondering what the President and his advisers are thinking. But of course, they have little idea of finding out since the President is still on vacation (his tenth this year) enjoying golf, reading, shopping, sailing and eating lobster at one of America's trendiest and most exclusive resorts -- an island enclave for the super-rich.
So, for now Obama's out of the picture and (with dwindling poll numbers) doesn't seem to be of much help when he is around.
As for Biden, people are even astounded that Joe Biden tried to step forward and argue that "we're headed in the right direction" -- this while unemployment remains high, home sales have tanked, the stock market goes wobbly and fears of a double-dip recession (or even a depression) deepen.
It's not a pretty sight.
But remember, there are still 67 days to go before the election.
A lot can happen in two months and seven days.
In politics, even a few days can sometimes seem like an eternity.
And there's always a chance that fate can hand the Democrats an extraordinary opportunity between now and election day.
For now however, the boys and gals at camp LeftWing are not a happy group of campers. Not happy at all.
Ain't it a shame?

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza To Open Another Philly Area Restaurant

We love Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza and we're delighted to see that Anthony's will be opening another restaurant in the Philadelphia region.
Yes, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza (ACFP), the South Florida-based concept that uses authentic coal-burning ovens to create “well done pizza,” will open its second restaurant in the these parts this month. The newest restaurant will be located in Wayne at 309 East Lancaster Avenue.
Founded by Anthony Bruno, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza is best known for its high energy atmosphere, signature menu items, quality ingredients and of course, its use of 800-degree anthracite coal-burning ovens. Anthracite is known to be the “cleanest” of coals, burning smoke free with extremely high heat to create a unique taste and perfect pies. In addition to its famous pizzas, the restaurant’s simple and consistent menu features award-winning “Italian Soul Food” creations including coal-oven-roasted chicken wings with caramelized onions, pork ribs with vinegar peppers, home-style meatballs made from a Bruno family recipe, and Eggplant Marino.
“We’re excited about bringing our brand of authentic pizza and Italian Soul Food to the neighborhoods where people really know good pizza when they taste it,” said Bruno. “We’ve received a tremendous response to our recently opened Horsham location, and we’re very pleased to begin expanding throughout the Northeast.”
Besides Bruno, ACFP’s notable partners include Hall of Fame football legend Dan Marino. Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza launched in 2002 and has grown to over 20 restaurants throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Earlier this year, Anthony’s successfully debuted in Wilmington, DE and Horsham with additional expansion plans scheduled for White Plains and Carle Place, NY later this year.
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza’s food and service have continually been ranked “very good to excellent” by Zagat Survey, the distinguished dining and entertainment ratings guide, and ACFP is rated as a “Top Restaurant” in Zagat’s 2010 Miami/South Florida edition. Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza was also voted Best Pizza by The Miami Herald and Miami.com’s “The Best of South Florida Survey.”
Hours of operation for the Wayne restaurant are from 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. In addition to dining in, patrons have the option of carry out.
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza has 20 locations in Florida, serving the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach and St. Petersburg-Tampa-Orlando regions, as well as restaurants in Wilmington, DE, and Philadelphia.
For our review of Anthony's (posted when we visited their Wilmngton location) click here.
And don't forget to visit www.anthonyscoalfiredpizza.com for more information.

Toomey Shares Vision For Pennsylvania As He Crosses State

As Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate and former small business owner Pat Toomey kicked off the third day of his four-day long bus tour across Pennsylvania yesterday, he saherd his vision for creating jobs through ending the bailouts and runaway Washington spending, reducing taxes for workers and job creating businesses, and lowering health care costs by making insurance companies compete with each other to the people of Armstrong, Butler, Allegheny, and Washington Counties.
In contrast, Congressman Sestak promised that his $787 billion stimulus bill would keep the national unemployment rate at 9% (Sestak press release, 02/14/09).  Instead, the nation’s unemployment rate soared far past 9%, while Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate climbed from 8% to 9.3% as of last month.  Meanwhile, Pennsylvania taxpayers will be forced to foot the bill for Sestak’s spending spree with higher taxes.
Armstrong County:
Cost of the stimulus for residents of Armstrong County: $177,995,563
Current unemployment: 9.7% - only .3 percentage points lower since Sestak voted for the stimulus and still above the national average.
Butler County:
Cost of the stimulus for residents of Butler County: $484,513,311
Current unemployment: 7.8% - an 8.3% increase since Sestak voted for the stimulus.
Allegheny County:
Cost of the stimulus for residents of Allegheny County: $3,196,511,865
Current unemployment: 8.3% - a 23.8% increase since Sestak voted for the stimulus
Washington County:
Cost of the stimulus for residents of Washington County: $544,049,785
Current unemployment: 8.5% - a 7.5% increase since Sestak voted for the stimulus
“As I travel across Pennsylvania, I will share my plan for creating jobs through reducing the deficit, implementing job-creating tax cuts, and eliminating big-government obstacles to small business growth,” Pat Toomey said.  “I believe we can achieve a booming recovering if we institute the right kind of policies and stop the fiscally irresponsible path Washington is taking our country down right now.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We Agree: Let's Repeal NJ Teen Drivers Decal Law

New Jersey State Senator Jennifer Beck has expressed disappointment that an effort to amend A-2740 to include the immediate repeal of teen driver decals was blocked by the Senate Democratic majority. The amendment, offered by Senator Tom Goodwin, was blocked in an 18-17 vote.
“I have heard repeatedly from my constituents that they do not support the teen driver decal requirement that was implemented as part of Kyleigh’s Law,” said Beck. “While the law was meant to keep young drivers safe, many teens and their parents feel like it puts them at increased risk.”
Since the decal requirement took effect earlier this year, there have been a number of reported incidents that have increased concerns regarding the use of the decals. Some teen drivers have suspected that other drivers have driven more aggressively to pass or distance themselves from cars bearing the decals, and other young drivers have felt that they were followed after placing the decals on their cars.
Beck has signed on as a co-sponsor of S-2034, which would remove the decal provision of Kyleigh’s Law and establish a new, inconspicuous system for law enforcement officials to identify novice drivers. The bill would provide law enforcement officials in New Jersey with the ability to clearly identify a motor vehicle which may be driven by a novice driver without having young drivers being identified by the public.
“It’s clear that despite being well intentioned, many parents are concerned that the decal requirement inappropriately alerts others to the presence of minors,” added Beck. “We can enact common-sense changes to allow for provisional drivers license laws to be enforced, while alleviating the concerns of parents and young drivers.”

Senator Beck is absolutely correct and we agree with her.
This law should be repealed.

Runyan Debuts New TV Spots

Jon Runyan has debuted his new TV spots.
Runyan begins by zeroing in on Adler's record as a career politician and Adler's near-unanimous support for the policies of Nancy Pelosi & Co.

Get Low: THIS Is What Filmmaking Is All About!

You may have heard that Robert Duvall gives a commanding performance in the new film, Get Low.
And indeed he does.
Duvall is nothing less than astonishing in this film -- an accomplished actor at his very best.
But I'm here to tell you that the entire cast is superb.
What a joy it is to see Sissy Spacek back on the big screen. She's not only a great actress; she's also one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Bill Murray is wry, calculating and wonderfully assured.
Lucas Black is pure and steady and winsome.
And Bill Cobbs conveys a richness of character that is inspiring.
Get Low takes place in the 1930s in the South. And the film is so faithful to the time and the place that one feels totally transported to this other time and place -- a place of  tall tails, rugged individualism, endless toil and simpler distractions.
The story is based on the true tale of  Felix "Bush" Breazeale who attracted national attention (and a huge crowd) when he three himself a funeral party in 1938 in Roane County, Tennessee.
As depicted by Duvall, Bush is a hermit and an outcast who seems at odds with the world. Something in his past still haunts him but we don't know what it is -- not until Bush begins to come out of his hiding place to confront his demons.
This Aaron Schneider film is an American folktale but it plays with the richness and the vividness and the believability of the here and now. And yet  it still manages to do this while being true to time, place and genre.
The script by Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell (both of whom serve as executive producers) is lean and measured so that every word, every sigh, every glance and every move are all the more effective.
Get Low moves at its own pace.
So, be prepared to take your time with this film. Venture into it as you would a carefully-crafted novel. Let the story unfold naturally. And pay attention to the details as the ultimate meaning of this compelling story is revealed.
These actors, this creative team, this script -- this is what fine filmmaking is all about.
Don't miss it!

Give Up Your Cell Phone? It's Suddenly Chic.

Some well known people no longer have time for cell phones.
They feel the phones get in the way of their relationships, their thoughts, their ability to get things done.
Billionaire Warren Buffet no longer uses a cell phone. Neither does talk show host Tavis Smiley.
The same cam be said for Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire Rusiian owner of the New Jersey Nets.
This could be a trend.
But let's not forget that a recent study showed that at least 15 percent of Americans have interrupted sex to answer their phones.
Read more in a fine story by Joel Stein for Bloomberg at MSNBC.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pick Up Your Jon Runyan For Congress Lawn Signs

The Jon Runyan campaign has asked supporters to please stop by any of the following locations to pick up your Jon Runyan for Congress lawn signs!

Jon Runyan for Congress Campaign HQ
3747 Church Road, Suite 3
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Phone: 856-437-6471

Burlington County Republican HQ
223 High Street
Mount Holly, NJ 08060
Phone: 609-267-3432

Ocean County Republican HQ
21 Route 37 East
Toms River, NJ 0875
3Phone: 732-244-5400

Third District Victory Office
511 Route 72 East (Driftwood Shopping Plaza)
Manahawkin, NJ 08050

Christie Signs Bills Recognizing Veterans

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie yesterday signed a package of bills recognizing the loyal service, bravery and sacrifice of New Jersey’s active duty service men and women and retired military veterans. The bills signed today – A-1945, A-515, A-1944 – honor the service of members of the New Jersey National Guard, recognize veterans of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and expand the membership of the Veteran’s Services Council. S-795, previously signed into law and recognized today by the Governor, pays tribute to the sacrifices of Vietnam Veterans from South Jersey in Southern New Jersey.
“I am proud to have the opportunity to honor the service of New Jersey’s military service members and veterans by signing these bills today. Our state’s servicemen, servicewomen and their families have bravely and selflessly sacrificed in defense of our nation and our values,” said Governor Christie.
“It is only fitting that we take every opportunity to recognize and repay, in every we are able, all that they have given to us. These bills are just a small token of our gratitude and appreciation for everything they have done for our country.”
“These bills demonstrate New Jersey’s ongoing commitment to the men and women who have served this nation in uniform,” said Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, the Adjutant General. “From the expansion of Operation Recognition to include Korean and Vietnam Veterans, to the special award for service in the New Jersey National Guard Honor Guard, these bills honor all who served.”
The first bill, A-1945, creates a New Jersey Honor Guard Ribbon for active members of the New Jersey National Guard, Honor Guard Retiree members and Contracted Civilian Buglers who have served to honor deceased veterans at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery. Eligibility for the Honor Guard Ribbon is determined by the Adjutant General.
The first recipients of the Honor Guard Ribbon are SGT Allain Batong, SGT Damont Brown, SGT William Camp, SPC Lawrence Davidson, SFC Raymond Denson, SGT Laseric Diaz, SSG Gregory Flynn, SPC Joseph Harang, CW4 (Ret) Kenneth Langer, SSG Rachell Lewellen, 1Lt Angel Perez, PFC Roy Pierson, SPC Raheem Rowell, TSgt Christopher Schauers, MSG (Ret) Karl Tomaszewski, MSG Lavona Toplyn, SPC Asim Williams, and A1C Katherine Yunes.
The second bill signed by Governor Christie, A-515, expands Operation Recognition to include veterans of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The program currently awards state-endorsed high school diplomas to eligible World War I and World War II veterans who left high school before graduation to enter the U.S. military.
Another bill, A-1944, changes the membership requirements of the Veteran’s Services Council, increasing membership from 9 to 12 and requiring there be at least two women members. The Council is responsible for formulating policies for the coordination of all services benefiting war veterans and their dependents.
Governor Christie also recognized S-795, which he previously signed. That new law pays tribute to the sacrifices of Vietnam Veterans from South Jersey by naming a portion of Route 47 in Glassboro Gloucester County as the "South Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Highway.

Viewers Chucking Pay TV Services

The number of people subscribing to pay TV services is dropping.
While the multi-channel TV market gained nearly 400,000 subscribers last year at this time, figures for the latest quarter sho subscribers down by more than 200,000.
Cable TV is taking the biggest hit as more viewers seem to be switching to satellite TV or to TV on their computer.
Then too, the economic downturn may be forcing many to drop pay TV services entirely.
Patrick Seitz has the full story at the IBD techonolgy blog.

Dinniman: Restore Honor To Medal Of Honor Grove

Just outside of Philadelphia in the shadow of Valley Forge National Park and overlooking the Schuylkill River sits a hallowed place.
It's called Medal of Honor Grove.
The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge runs the 52-acre site that commemorates those who have received the nation's highest military award -- the Medal of Honor.
It's an admirable tribute to the worthiest of the worthy -- some of our nation's most courageous heroes.
But now the site has fallen into disrepair. In fact, it's in such bad shape that State Senator Andy Dinniman of Chester County has called it a "desecration." And Dinniman adds that he doesn't think that's too strong a word to describe the current situation.
Senator Dinniman is championing moves to get the site cleaned up and repaired. He feels we owe this to those who are honored there. And Dinniman is helping to organize volunteers who will get to work on the site
The Senator deserves lots of credit for shedding light on the situation and acting in a positive way to help make the Medal of Honor Grove presentable again.
Of course, the long-term care and maintenance of the Grove is the responsibility of the Freedoms Foundation and that may pose a bigger challenge.
As Dinniman says "the Foundation has to get its act together."
Read more about this in a fine story by Kathleen Brady Shea at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Christie Issues Conditional Veto

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie yesterday conditionally vetoed legislation that would have removed the ability of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to evaluate instances of unemployment benefits overpayment and make waiver determinations for the liability of recipients repaying those funds.  The provision would have effectively removed all liability for any unemployment benefit overpayment, except those resultant from fraud, knowing nondisclosure or misrepresentation or ineligibility, from the recipient of the overpayment.
“With the unemployment insurance fund $1.75 billion in debt, it is our responsibility to ensure that every State dollar spent on benefits is done correctly, lawfully and that any waste – whatever the cause – is rooted,” said Governor Christie.  “It would be fiscally imprudent, and possibly in conflict with federal law, to take away the Department’s ability to evaluate instances where an overpayment of benefits has occurred and make a case-by-case determination of whether a hardship waiver is in order.”
If the provision were included in the law, approximately $28 million would be annually exempted from any evaluation or scrutiny by the Department of Labor where an overpayment of benefits has occurred.  
The conditional veto retains the goals of the legislation to prevent abuses in the Unemployment Insurance system, including improper delay or denial of benefits and increasing the number of days for a benefit determination to be appealed from the current 10 to 20 days.  

Boehner: Summers And Geithner Must Go

House GOP leader John Boehner says that two of the President's top economic guys (Summers and Geithner) must go.
And he also wants the President to toe the line on additional spending and avoid any additional tax cuts.
Boehner says thet if he gets to be Speaker of the House he will "challenge the old ways" in Washington.
Kathryn jean Lopez has the story at National Review.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Revealed: Justin Bieber Goes To The Bathroom!

What if I told you that Justin Bieber is a real kid? What would you think?
I know it's sorta hard to believe.
But pop idol Bieber is a real 16-year-old kid.
And to prove it, Bieber comes right out and confesses in the current issue of USA Weekend.
Bieber says that he really, really feels that he's real.
"I guess I'm not . . . processed," he adds.
But Bieber goes one step further.
He tells us that he actually goes "to the bathroom like everybody else".
Wanna know what Justin Bieber has for breakfast? Frosted Flakes!
Now, how's that for real?
You can read Bieber's interview with Marco R. Della Cava by clicking here.

Ohhhh . . . Those Monday Morning Blues!

You mean I gotta face a WHOLE NEW WEEK?!

Obama The Head Of A 'Dysfunctional Family'?

Over at the New York Times, columnist Maureen Dowd says America is one vast "dysfunctional family."
And she also sees the country "going mad in herds."
In many ways, she feels sorry for President Obama -- that he has to lead a nation that's "having some sort of weird mass nervous breakdown."
Funny, I don't feel like I'm having a nervous breakdown.
Among those that she blames for this sorry state of affairs are Rush Limbaugh (are you surprised?) and Rev. Franklin Graham.
She's not uncritical of President Obama but she still seems to feel that Obama is rational and most of the rest of us are are not. She says Obama is "a high minded man in a low-minded age."
Whew! Now it's not just the country, it's the whole age we live in that's dumb and dumber.
So, let's summarize: Obama is more rational, smarter and high-minded than the rest of us. We're mostly dysfunctional, irrational and low-minded.
And, even though the Democrats control the Presidency, the House, the Senate and are thisclose to controlling the Supreme Court, the source of our problems is not Obama, Pelosi, Reid or any of the people who are currently running the country.
Rather, the fault lies with people like Limbaugh and Rev. Graham.
Get it?
You can read Maureen Dowd's column by clicking here.

II Reasons To Vote Democrat This November

This video has made a big splash on Facebook and You Tube and at other sites. It's really making the rounds and is gaining quite a large following. By their own words you shall know them.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

There's A Rainbow Round My Shoulder!

Rainbow in South Jersey just a few moments ago!

Phollow The Phillie Phanatic All Over Philly!

During the 2010 Phillies Season, 20 life-size Phillie Phanatic statues were placed at different locations across Philadelphia.
This video captures all of the statue locations from a first person perspective during a one-day tour of Philadelphia beginning at the Philadelphia International Airport and ending at a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.
For more information about the Phanatic Around Town program, go to visitphilly.com/phanatic.

Obama Shops At 'Grapes' For Books

President Obama went shopping at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Mahhhthaaahhs Vineyahhhd yesterday during his ten-day vacation.
Why does the bookstore have a name that sounds sorta like a produce market or winery? I dunno.
Maybe it's because everything on the Vineyard is so chic.
When you're chic, you can't be obvious.
So, nothing can be what it seems. It's gotta be more subtle, more complicated.
Thus, places have unusual names.
You have to know. You have to understand what a place is. You can't tell just by it's name.
That way, if you don't know, you obviously don't belong there and you'll leave.
So, if you're an outsider (or not "in the know") and you go into Bunch of Grapes looking for say, well, uhhhh . . . . a bunch of grapes -- you'll feel like a damned fool. And hopefully you'll turn tail and leave.
You don't know. You're not an insider. Go home.
Of course, the Obamas KNOW. They're Vinyard regulars. They understand these things.
Obviously you've heard that the President is VERY intelligent, very sophisticated. And so he is.
Mind you, they've NEVER have a Barnes & Nobles or a Borders or even a Borders Express or (worse yet) a Books-A-Million on Martha's Vineyard. Horrors!
But I'm wondering: If the local bookstore is called Bunch of Grapes, what do they call the produce market?
PS - Ya think I could buy one of Glenn Beck's books there at the Bunch of Grapes? Huh?

The Empire State Building Gets Buggy

Have you been reading the stories about the bedbug infestation in New York?
From the stories, it sounds like bedbugs have invaded Manhattan.
Hey, these are high-living bedbugs.
They've even been found in some of the most exclusive stores. And it seems they've been known to frequent Times Square movie theaters.
And yes, they're in hotels as well.
Now, the New York Daily News has reported that bedbugs have even been found in the Empire State Building.
I love New York ( I really do). But I gotta admit, these stories are scary.
Will I stop visiting the Big Apple? No.
But I'm gonna be VERY careful.
You can read the latest Daily News story by clicking here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Florida: Rubio Hits Back Hard On Vital Issues

For more information go to Marco Rubio's web site.

National Portrait Gallery Boasts New Names

Portraits of Martha Stewart and Michelle Obama are just two of those that have now been added to the walls of the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.
Others included in the new "Americans Now" exhibition at the Washington museum are Willie Nelson, LL Cool J. and new "video portraits" of Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and David Letterman. You can see also portraits of George Clooney and LaBron James.
And did we mention President Barack Obama? His portrait is there, too.

Miss USA Wants The Proposed Mosque Moved

Miss USA is a practicing Muslim.
She's also the first Arab-American ever to be chosen as Miss USA.
And this daughter of Labanese immigrants from New York City wants the proposed Ground Zero mosque moved to a different site because she feels that our sensitivity to the tragedy that occurred on September 11 should come first.
Jennifer Fermino has the full story at the New York Post.

Why He Sees A Huge GOP Win In November

Famed political prognosticator Charlie Cook (he of The Cook Report) sees a huge GOP romp in the November elections.
And according to Gerald F. Seib at the Wall Street Journal, Cook doesn't seem to see anything that might be able to stop the turnaround.
Like many others, Cook seems to think that Republicans re-capturing the House is, as of now, now only possible but probable.
Cook is a highly-respected and prudent political observer. When he speaks, Washington listens.
You can read the whole story at the Wall Street Journal.

185,000 Visits . . . And Still Counting!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Look. Listen. Learn. And Keep America Safe!

We thank Keep America Safe for producing this video and for making it available.
For more information or to get involves, go to Keep America Safe.

The Exotic, Post-American Presidency

"Aloof non-Americanism."
Over at the Power Line blog, that's the phrase that John Hinderaker uses to define Barack Obama's public image.
Hinderaker argues that Americans just can't figure out exactly who Obama is.
Agreed. Americans really don't know this guy. They don't understand him. They don't feel close to him. They can't relate to him. And they have not bonded with him.
At times, it seems as if Obama feels he's doing us a great favor (or carrying out some Higher Plan) by serving as President.
Hinderaker says: "Obama postures as a citizen of the world who has graced America by condescending to be our President and to instruct us."
It's troubling.
This is not like any President we've ever known. Nor is it like any Presidency we've ever witnessed.
But here's a bigger (and maybe, more important) question: Does Obama himself really know who he is?
Does he really know what he believes and what he's really all about? Has he ever actually -- genuinely -- figured that out? I wonder.
We're overwhelmed with so much uncertainty right now (the economy, the future of health care, nukes in Iran, etc. etc.) that the last thing we need is uncertainty about our leader; about the man who will make life and death decisions impacting the entire world.
So much hangs in the balance. So much.
We don't need that kind of uncertainty.
But now, it seems that's exactly what we've got.
Read John Hinderaker's column at Power Line.

Prince Charles Finds His Cause: Short Showers

Britain's Prince Charles is urging his countrymen to take short five-minute showers and "snub the tub" to save energy.
It's part of Charles' latest campaign to save the earth.
But spokespersons for the Prince refuse to say whether or not he follows his own advice. They simply say that the Prince follows most of the tips on his "save energy" list.
Let's face it, Prince Charles has become a bit of a joke.
As long as his mum is alive and continues to reign, he has nothing to do. And it appears as if the Queen will live as long as her mum, who lived past the ripe old age of 1oo.
So Charles is left to find projects for himself.
But nobody takes him very seriously. He's like an overgrown adolescent.
It's possible that he may indeed be a very fine person -- bright, thoughtful and caring. Yet, we only know him by his public persona. That's the only thing we have to go on. And that ain't exactly sterling.
Though the Queen remains personally popular and widely-admired and respected, she presides over a somewhat daffy and disconnected brood.
Money can't buy everything, mates.

Are You A 'Snooki' Fan? Shame On You!

Does President Obama really know who Snooki is?
Do you know who Snooki is? Do you care?
Let’s recap. On the daytime TV gabfest The View, when asked about Snooki, Obama replied, “I don’t know who that is.” But two months ago at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner, Obama dropped Snooki’s name as part of a joke about his indoor tanning tax.
So, either Obama has forgotten about Snooki or he’s flip-flopping on Snooki or he never really knew who she was in the first place and he simply went along with a joke that some speechwriter composed for him.
To be sure, Snooki is quite a joke.
She ain’t one bit funny, but she is a joke. She’s a sick joke on all of those who watch the inane TV show Jersey Shore And the show is a sad, sad commentary on the state of the popular culture in this country.
I thought we had reached a new low when someone asked then President Clinton whether he wore boxers or briefs and Clinton actually answered: “Usually briefs.”
But now we have the President of the United States nattering with a bunch of hags on daytime TV about the trashiest show on cable.
Jersey Shore is cheap and tawdry and its characters are dumb, self-centered, hoodlums.
Recently, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was arrested at the Seaside Heights beach for disorderly conduct and cast member Ronnie Magro was arrested in the same town last November for getting into a fight with another young thug. And when the cast of the MTV reality show made a personal appearance in North Jersey earlier this year, fights broke out among the crowd forcing the closure of a thoroughfare and leading to the arrests of four people.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is right when he says that Jersey Shore is a “negative” for New Jersey. Christie noted that the show “takes a bunch of New Yorkers, drops them at the Jersey shore, and tries to make America feel like this is New Jersey.” And the Governor added: “When they say this is New Jersey, it’s not New Jersey. If you want to come to the Jersey let’s go. I’ll show you the real New Jersey. The Jersey shore is a beautiful place.”
Christie nailed it. This gutter-level, manipulative TV show is nothing but an excuse for a bunch of loud-mouthed, bronzed young jerks to defile themselves and others while showing off their tattoos.
In its casting phase, Jersey Shore was reportedly called “The Guidos.”
So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone at all that the show is offensive to Italian-Americans. The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has blasted Jersey Shore for reinforcing the “guido” stereotype of Italian-Americans. Philadelphia lawyer and NIAF President Joseph V. Del Rasso, pointed out that “the reality of the Italian American experience is much different” from that depicted on Jersey Shore.
“New Jersey’s ‘reality’ of Italian Americans includes Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., General Raymond T. Odierno, Bruce Springsteen, and Governor Chris Christie,” Del Rasso noted. “It also includes a diverse group of white- and blue-collar individuals with varying socio-economic and educational levels who share a common position: that the outrageous behavior evident on Jersey Shore, which is laden with promiscuity, debauchery, and violence, is a disgrace.”
Even The View’s uber-liberal Joy Behar has admitted that the characters depicted on Jersey Shore “make it hard for young Italian Americans to be taken seriously in the work force.”
And the New Jersey Italian-American Legislative Caucus has gone so far as to say that the Jersey Shore “violates the spirit of the New Jersey’s hate crime laws.”
Caucus Chair, Senator Joseph Vitale said: "The bias-related acts displayed by employees of MTV Networks in the production and marketing of ‘Jersey Shore,’ by their nature, are confrontational, inflame tensions and promote social hostility. These acts are contrary to the spirit of New Jersey law and jeopardize the active and open pursuit of freedom and opportunity."
Though its cast members may be breaking their share of laws, I’m not sure Jersey Shore is illegal.
And I’m certainly not advocating that a pay TV program should be censored. You buy the channel, you get the program. It’s your choice.
But you also have the choice not to buy and/or not to watch.
Still, Jersey Shore is filthy and relentlessly assaultive.
So, with tough midterm elections approaching, I can understand why President Obama might want to put a little distance between himself and Snooki., Ronnie Magro and the other members of the show’s cast.
I certainly wouldn’t want to be associated with them.
Mr President, Jersey Shore is a national disgrace.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Depends On How You Define 'Extreme' . . . Yes?

When it comes to who's "extreme" and who isn't this video from the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee pretty much says it all. Our thanks to the NRSC for allowing us to share it with you. Find out more at the NRSC web site.

Toomey: Cap 'N Trade = High Taxes, Job Losses

In an op-ed in the Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times Leader, Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Pat Toomey makes some good points about the proposed federal cap 'n trade bill that his liberal opponent, Joe Sestak supports.
Here's part of what Toomey says:
Last spring, Congressman Sestak co-sponsored and voted for a cap-and-trade bill that would impose a massive tax on energy. If you put a massive tax on energy, all forms of energy – from electricity, to gasoline, to natural gas – become more expensive. That means families have higher electricity bills, it costs more to fill up at the pump, and businesses, especially energy intensive industries, will have to deal with skyrocketing costs. The inevitable result will be fewer jobs, and the industrial base in Northeastern Pennsylvania would be especially hard hit.
Read the full piece at the Times Leader.

Even On The Vineyard: Bush Outsells Obama

The Boston Globe is reporting that vacationers and residents at Mahhhthahhhs Vineyahhhd aren't quite as excited about President Obama vacationing on the elite New England island this year. In fact, there's been a rather dramatic change (even in Massachusetts) in the attitude toward Obama.
In the story, here's how one island merchant puts it:
“Last year, Obama gave you goose bumps, but I don’t think you’re going to see that this year,’’ said Alex McCluskey, co-owner of the Locker Room, who sold more than 4,000 “I vacationed with Obama’’ T-shirts last year. But so far this year, he said, his hot item is T-shirts of former President Bush asking, “Miss me yet?’
read the full story at the Boston Globe.

Christie Moves To Spur Growth, Save Energy

Today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continued his commitment to grow and strengthen New Jersey’s economy by utilizing and promoting energy initiatives as key to the State’s technology future by signing the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act. The bipartisan measure will spur economic growth in the Garden State through the development of renewable energy resources and the creation of green jobs.
The legislation will establish an offshore wind renewable energy certificate program (OREC) and will make available financial assistance and tax credits from existing programs for businesses that construct manufacturing, assemblage and water access facilities to support the development of qualified offshore wind projects.
"The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act will provide New Jersey with an opportunity to leverage our vast resources and innovative technologies to allow businesses to engage in new and emerging sectors of the energy industry,” said Governor Christie. “Developing New Jersey’s renewable energy resources and industry is critical to our state’s manufacturing and technology future. My Administration will maintain a strong commitment to utilizing energy as industry in our efforts to make our State a home for growth, as well as a national leader in the windpower movement.”
"This is a terrific step for New Jersey,'' said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.”It makes us a leader environmentally, while at the same time providing New Jersey with a major economic boost from jobs that surely will be created by this green industry. Certainly, we would rather have wind turbines, and the environmental and economic benefits they offer, than oil rigs off the coast of New Jersey.''
"We are far ahead of most other states in developing a technology that is better for the environment and will help the state's economy,'' Commissioner Martin said.
The bill directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to develop an offshore renewable energy certificate program that calls for a percentage of electricity sold in the state to be from offshore wind energy. This percentage would be developed to support at least 1,100 megawatts of generation from qualified offshore wind projects.
Through the legislation, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) will provide financial assistance to qualified offshore wind projects and associated equipment manufacturers and assembling facilities.

Having A Right vs. The Right Thing To Do

The Daily Local News of West Chester is out with a fine, well-crafted editorial on the Ground Zero mosque.
Here's part of what it says:
There are dozens of mosques already in the New York City area where American and foreign Muslims are free to practice their religion daily. This fact is testament to the religious freedom that exists in this country. America is a country where different religions are not only tolerated, but celebrated.
However, to most Americans the site where the Twin Towers used to stand — buildings that were attacked for being symbolic of Western dynamism and culture — is now hallowed ground. . . .
There is a difference between what is legal in this country and what is right. . . .
Americans retain the right to peacefully protest this plan, which some understandably see as an affront to the memory of the victims and heroes who died there.
Voluntarily moving the mosque to a different location would show the world that America's Muslim leaders can be sensitive as to the feelings of non-Muslims, just as we expect our leaders to be when it comes to treating our Muslim brothers with respect that is their due as human beings.
You owe it to yourself to read the whole editorial at the Daily Local News.

Christie Gains NJ Voters Confidence, Scores High

The Quinnipiac University poll is out today with great news for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Here are some of the highlights:

New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie is winning the hearts and minds of New Jersey voters who approve 51 – 36 percent of the job he is doing and say 51 – 39 percent that the Governor is more a “leader” than a “bully,” according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. . . .
In today’s survey, Christie gets a 75 – 13 percent thumbs up from Republicans and a 61 – 29 percent approval from independent voters. Democrats disapprove 63 – 24 percent. The Governor’s approval rating is higher than for other players in Trenton:

  • Voters disapprove 28 – 17 percent of the way the State Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney is doing his job, with 55 percent undecided;
  • Voters split 19 – 19 percent in their approval of Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, with 63 percent undecided; ·
  • Voters disapprove 45 – 28 percent of the State Assembly; ·
  • Voters disapprove 46 – 30 percent of the State Senate. . . .

Most New Jersey voters give Christie passing grades after six months in office:

  • 15 percent give him an A;
  • 32 percent give him a B;
  • 20 percent give him a C;
  • 16 percent give him a D;
  • 14 percent give him an F. . . .
President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped to an all-time low in New Jersey, a split 47 – 47 percent, down from a 50 – 46 percent approval rating June 17. Democrats approve of the President 80 – 16 percent while Republicans disapprove 80 – 14 percent. Independent voters disapprove 53 – 41 percent, compared to a 52 – 45 percent disapproval June 17.
From August 9 – 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,190 New Jersey voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

Read more about the poll at Quinnipiac.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many

In the fall of 2010, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present a major exhibition devoted to the work of Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933) in the Dorrance Galleries for Special Exhibitions. Widely recognized as a key figure in the development of Italian art in the 1950s and 1960s and a founding member of the Arte Povera movement, Pistoletto has also gained increasing recognition in this country as an important influence on a younger generation of artists involved with the participatory practices that have become increasingly prevalent in contemporary art during the past two decades.
The first major survey of works by Pistoletto in the United States in more than twenty years, Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956 - 1974 will place his art in the context of the cultural transformation of Western Europe that occurred after World War II and relate his work to developments in Italian and American art since the 1960s, including Pop Art, Minimalism, Arte Povera and Conceptual Art. Drawn from public and private collections in Europe and the United States, it will include some 100 works, many of which have never been exhibited in this country.

Washington State: Dino Rossi Sparks GOP Surge

Here's an important message that we just received from Senator Jim DeMint and the Senate Conservatives Fund:
Washington State has an unusual primary system. All of the candidates, Republicans and Democrats alike, run on the same primary ballot. The top two candidates selected by voters in the primary compete against each other in the general election. Last night, Washington State primary voters chose Dino Rossi to run against incumbent Democrat Senator Patty Murray.
Washington State has an unusual primary system. All of the candidates, Republicans and Democrats alike, run on the same primary ballot. The top two candidates selected by voters in the primary compete against each other in the general election. Last night, Washington State primary voters chose Dino Rossi to run against incumbent Democrat Senator Patty Murray.
This is yet another victory for conservatives and it's yet another example of Americans ignoring Washington elites and fighting to take their country back.
I want to personally thank the thousands of grassroots supporters in Washington State and across the nation for making this happen.
I also want to thank the members of the Senate Conservatives Fund for supporting this outstanding leader. Because of your commitment, the Senate Conservatives Fund invested over $50,000 in this race in just two weeks.
Dino Rossi is exactly the type of leader we need in Washington. He believes deeply in the principles of freedom and will stand up to the big spenders in both political parties.
Get the full story at the Senate Conservatives Fund and be sure to visit Dino Rossi's web site.