Sunday, July 31, 2011

Both Extremes Unhappy? That's A Good Sign!

The word out of Washington is that the extremes of the right and the left are unhappy with the reported deal that's been reached on the debt ceiling and proposed cuts.
Frankly, I take that as a good sign.
Early indications (and I stress that these are still FIRST impressions) indicate that this may be a solid, across-the-aisle deal with some good, effective features. I certainly hope this is the case.
And I take it as a healthy indicator that the far ends of the spectrum are disenchanted.
If the leaders of the parties in Congress do their work and a majority can be cobbled together we may have real progress here.

Big 'Thank You!' To Rio's Von And Alexis

I promised a big 'thank you' to Von and Alexis at the front desk of the Rio here in Las Vegas and so here it is.
These two young ladies were so friendly, so cheerful and so happy to satisfy us when we needed their help that they deserve our accolades. The Rio is lucky to have them (one an amployee and the other a trainee and about-to-be employee).
They helped to make our day at the Rio very pleasant and now we're looking for a woderful night in the Rio showroom at the spectacular Penn & Teller Theatre with the stars themselves.

Las Vegas, Reid, Debt Ceiling And Going For Broke

I'm trying to remember the last time I was tn Las Vegas -- before now, that is.
It had to be more than a decade ago. Yes, it was well beyond a decade.
I do remember that I was here once when the first President Bush was in office. And then I was here again when President Clinton presided. Beyond that, I was here way back in 1967 when Frank and Dean and Sammy and the old Rat Pack held sway. That was in the age of what I like to call the "adult" Las Vegas -- a time of nightclubs and cigarettes; diamonds and furs; Brylcream and brassieres. Of course, I didn't actually see Frank or Dean or Sammy (not here, and not in 1967 anyway) but I did see Ann Margret and Don Rickles and at least we can say that both of them are still alive and still performing.
And Las Vegas is still very much alive as well.
But, like New York it's been reinvented so many times since then that it's hardly worth trying to figure out what (or who) was where when.
We can't live in the past. And neither can cities -- not if they want to continue to attract visitors; not if they want to continue to be centers of commerce; not if they want to survive.
Cities know that you've got to keep changing. You've got to change your ways.
But Harry Reid doesn't seem to understand this. Though Las Vegas casinos don't gamble with their own money, the Senator from Las Vegas is gambling with ours. Overnight, he tried to call a 1 a.m. Senate vote on his own debt legislation to counter the progress that the House has already made on this matter.
He did this after promptly tabling the House bill. But even with a majority in the Senate, 'ole Harry just didn't have the votes. Like The Desert Inn and The Dunes and The Sands, time ran out on 'ole Harry. Right now, even President Obama doesn't seem to be listening to this lethargic Las Vegas relic.
Still, 'ole Harry doesn't live in the same world as you or I. So he'll probably try to take one more spin at the wheel this afternoon.
It's all very sad to watch. And it's very, very dangerous.
Because, back here in Harry's home state, just beyond the world-famous strip, the Las Vegas where people actually live is full of abandoned housing projects, vacant stores and foreclosed properties. And right here in the middle of the desert lots of people are under water.
You'd think that a man whose whole career has been bankrolled by gambling interests would understand that there really is no free buffet, no free lunch, no free slot pull.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

More Philly Flash Mob Attacks: This MUST Stop

Last night there were two more Philly flash mob attacks in center city.
One occurred near 15th & Chestnut and the other was near Walnut and Juniper. In both cases innocent people were attacked. In one case a man was severely injured. One of the incidents involved an 11-year-old perpetrator. At least one young person was part of both attacks.
Once again pedestrians in center city were victimized and the evening was disrupted by these dangerous and unconscionable attacks. One attack is one too many but these attacks have occurred far too often.
The city must crack down on this brazen lawlessness.
EVERY responsible organization in the city must speak up and demand action. Groups such at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Center City Proprietors Association, the Center City District, the Tourist and Convention Bureau, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, condo owners associations, neighborhood groups and similar organizations should band together and speak with one voice. And they should demand action now. They should also insist that these young hooligans be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
This situation simply CANNOT be tolerated any longer.

Guadagno Welcomes New Jobs To Garden State

New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno yesterday helped celebrate the opening of Huawei Technologies new regional headquarters in Bridgewater and the telecom company’s plans to add at least 55 jobs. In addition to sales, services and operations, the new headquarters will serve as Huawei’s North American research and development hub for wireless technologies.

Huawei, a leading telecom solutions provider, had four employees when it came to New Jersey in 2008. It now has about 110 employees in the state and anticipates increasing that number by more than 50 percent over the next three years.

“Businesses go where they are welcome,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “In October of last year, I reached out to Huawei to let them know we wanted them to grow with us in New Jersey. Less than a year later, and after working with the State Economic Development Authority, we stand at a ribbon cutting which solidifies New Jersey’s commitment to Huawei and Huawei’s commitment to New Jersey. This is the story of New Jersey’s comeback.”

“We are truly honored to have the Lt. Governor attend our celebration,” said Charles Ding, President of Huawei North America and Co-President of Huawei USA.  “With the opening of the Bridgewater facility, we will continue close collaboration with U.S. technology partners, suppliers and vendors, as well as research-oriented universities to deliver world-class integrated solutions to our U.S. customers.”
Huawei’s research and development activity in New Jersey not only augments the company’s global leadership in next-generation wireless technology developments, but also allows for unique technology customization to meet specific North American carrier requirements. Huawei, which has nearly 1,500 employees nationwide, takes pride in its contributions to innovation. Princeton and Rutgers are among the American universities that have benefitted from Huawei’s program sponsorships – which totaled more than $10 million in 2010. Huawei’s products and solutions have been deployed in more than 100 countries and support the communications needs of one third of the world’s population. It is headquartered in Shenzhen City, China.
Lt. Governor Guadagno has made economic development a key component of her office. She is in the midst of visiting 100 businesses statewide to reinforce the Administration’s support for business and employment growth. About 28,000 private sector jobs have been created in New Jersey over the last 12 months.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Video: Poor Little Dog Can't Jump High Enough

EMBED-Little Dog Can't Jump - Watch more free videos

House Passes Boehner Plan; Harry, Barry Balk

House Republicans voted tonight in favor a debt ceiling plan put forward by House Speaker John Boehner.
The proposal received the support of 218 members, while 210 members voted against the measure. No Democrats voted for the measure. The bill would cut $917 billion in government spending over ten years and would require the passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before raising the debt ceiling for a second time in February.
Several times already Republicans have produced and approved bills to cut spending, attack the deficit and raise the debt ceiling.
The Democrats have approved NOTHING. In fact, they've never come forward with a plan.
But now the ball's in the Democrats' court.
Hurry, Harry! Don't tarry, Barry! It's your move.

Gallup: Obama's Popularity Sinks To New Low

Forty percent of Americans approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president in Gallup's three-day rolling average for July 26-28, a new low for him. His overall approval rating essentially matches his recent rating for handling the debt ceiling negotiations.

Sneak Peek: New Episodes Of 'True Blood'

Noonan: Nobody Loves Obama

Peggy Noonan has a great observation in the Wall Street Journal on why Obama seems so disconnected and irrelevant just now. Here's part of what she says:

"Nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy." They'd often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support. And surely this has implications."

Once again, Peggy has hit the mark.
Obama is a cold fish. "No drama" Obama doesn't seem to make real-life, personal connections with people. He doesn't really endear himself to people. He's strangely disconnected. Often he seems aloof and above it all -- almost as if taking the time to care about and get involved with people, one on one, is just too much trouble for him or too mundane, too pedestrian, too boring.
Let's face it: If a politician isn't a "people person" what the hell good is he or she. In the end, such a person is bound to fail.
So now Obama is failing. No one should be surprised. What's incredible is that he's gotten this far almost solely on image and faux branding.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Christie Leaves Hospital; Comments On Health

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was released from the hospital early this evening after a brief health scare. The Governor, who suffers from asthma, was lightheaded and had difficulty breathing. Christie said he felt tired after the ordeal but otherwise was OK.
Here are some comments from the Governor:
On the asthma and hospital tests:
"It's been a long time, I think since law school, since I had to go to the hospital for my asthma. Everything else checked out fine. There were no surprises."
On why he immediately went to the hospital:
"The first thing I thought about was my kids; when you have four kids you don't take chances."
On his ongoing weight problem:
"I think the weight exacerbates everything. The lighter I am, the healthier I'll be. It's one of the major struggles of my life. I'm working on it."
While he was in the hospital Christie did receive a call from Democrat State Senate President Steve Sweeney who recently lashed out at the Governor. Sweeney wished the Governor well. It marked the first time the two men had spoken in nearly a month.
We're so happy that the Governor is fine and we wish him continued good health.
We know that it isn't always easy to remain trim and healthy and we encourage the Governor to work on getting his weight under control. Yo, Governor: We love ya and we want ya to be around a long time. Be well!
Click here to read more.

Christie: No Heart Problems; Blood Pressure Normal

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's Communications Director Maria Comella says that the doctors at Somerset Medical Center who have been treating Christie have reported that tests so far show no apparent heart problems and that his blood pressure is 118/78, considered normal. Christie has had chest x-rays, an EKG and perhaps other tests.
Christie is 48 and suffers from asthma.
Comella said the Governor carries an inhaler with him at all times. Earlier this morning he used the inhaler when he began to have trouble breathing. That's when state police determined that they would take him to the nearby hospital. The Governor was in Somerset County for an event in Hillsborough. He walked into the hospital on his own and was taken to a room using a wheelchair.
Comella says Christie was diagnosed with asthma when he was 15 years old.
The Governor apparently continues to undergo tests and is with First Lady Mary Pat Christie and his brother, Todd Christie. He is expected to be release from the hospital later today.
Comella says the Governor was never incapacitated and that he is feeling fine.
Click here for more.

Christie Is Fine, To Be Released From Hospital

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is fine and is expected to be released from the hospital later today.
The Governor, who suffers from asthma, was hospitalized this morning "out of an abundance of caution" after he had some difficulty breathing.
The Governor has undergone tests (chest x-ray, EKG, etc) and everything appears to be normal.
He feels fine and has been working from the hospital.
We wish Governor Christie continued good health.
Click here to read more.

Video: Chris Christie's Medical Condition

From and the Newark Star Ledger, here's a video of the announcement of New Jersey Governor Governor Christie's medical condition. The spokesperson is the Governor's Press Secretary, Michael Drewniak.
Reporters were assembled this morning for what was to be a Christie news event at a farm in Somerset County. But the Governor was not able to make the event and an explanation was in order.
The Governor, who suffers from asthma, is resting comfortably, undergoing tests and feeling fine. He was taken to the hospital "out of an abundance of caution."
Click here to read more.

Report: Runyan Leaning Toward Yea On Boehner Plan

There's a good story about New Jersey first-term Republican congressman Jon Runyan in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer.
Runyan has spent his time thus far in Congress listening, learning and trying to make a positive difference when and where he can.
And, he's also written some bills and watched out for his sprawling district which stretches from the New Jersey coast in Ocean county clear across the state to the Philly burbs.
Here's a brief excerpt from the story:
"I have this unique ability to tie anything that happens to sports," Runyan said. Earlier this year, GOP representatives were fighting over pet causes to insert in the continuing resolution needed to keep the government running. Runyan stood up in a meeting and told them to knock it off.
"I was saying that I've been on football teams with that kind of fracture, especially when you're winning. People think, 'We're out front, so I'm doing my thing,' " Runyan said. "But that's not what got you there. You got there by working together."
He thinks his remarks helped Speaker John A. Boehner corral the members and get the job done.
This week, as Boehner tried to rally wayward Republicans around his latest debt-ceiling plan, Runyan was reportedly assuring the GOP caucus that he was on board. Though the plan was "not perfect," a Runyan aide said, "it prevents default."
I tend to agree with Runyan. The Boehner bill isn't perfect but it's preferable to the alternatives. We must be practical and remember that the perfect is the enemy of the good. 
Click here to read more.

Christie Health Crisis: It's Likely Asthma

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was taken to the hospital this morning when he complained of difficulty breathing.
But the word is that Christie's problem may not be in the least life-threatening. The Governor suffers from asthma and often refers to this himself during his town hall meetings throughout the state.
Christie's spokesman, Michael Drewniak, confirmed that Christie does indeed suffer from asthma, and says the Governor was taken to Somerset Medical Center in Somerville "out of an abundance of caution." Drewniak says the governor was "doing fine: and undergoing tests.
Christie had been scheduled to attend a bill-signing ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in Hillsborough, Somerset County but the event was canceled. He is also expected to take questions at 7 p.m. tonight on "Ask the Governor," a monthly call-in radio show on New Jersey 101.5 FM, but there is no indication at this point as to whether he will keep that engagement.
We'll keep you posted.
But we feel reassured that the Governor is OK.

Live Blogging (With Rembrandt) From Art Museum

I'm live blogging this morning from the Philadelphia Museum of Art which is about to unveil a wonderful new exhibit called Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus.
This is the first major exhibition of Rembrandt at the Philly Art Museum since 1932 so it's quite significant.
This show comes directly from The Louvre and marks this Museum's first collaboration with The Louvre. At The Louvre this exhibition drew a quarter of a million people and the Philadelphia Museum of Art expects it to be a major attraction here.
At this exhibition you will see many works by Rembrandt including a remarkable depiction of Jesus that has not been seen in this country for decades.
We don't get to see Rembrandt paintings that much outside of Europe so this exhibition is a very special treat.
The Museum has made special efforts to reach out to faith communities to generate interest in the exhibition. Tonight there will be a special reception for faith and religious communities.
The Museum will present an interfaith forum on the exhibition. the forum will include Catholic, Protestant and Jewish representatives.
In depicting Christ Rembrandt decided to challenge tradition and present a truly human view of Jesus. He gave us a new view of Jesus -- one that we could relate to on a personal, human scale. At the same time he was imparting this view to his own students.
These are said to be some of Rembrandt's most ambitious works.By viewing these paintings we get to watch Re,Brandt innovate and we also get to watch Rembrandt interacting with his Jewish neighbors in Amsterdam.

Time To Drop Those Atlantic City Parking Fees

It's no secret that Atlantic City's casinos are facing renewed competition and a real crunch.
Nearby, casinos have sprouted in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and Connecticut.
Now, New Jersey has to pull out all the stops to keep Atlantic City viable as a gambling and tourist Mecca. We're talking more than those day-tripping bus excursions here.
To his credit, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has taken a very activeninterest in the plight of Atlantic City and has been successful in creating new initiatives to revive what was once considered "America's playground."
But here's quick thought -- a suggestion, really. If really serious about making Atlantic City attractive to visitors, isn't it time to eliminate the dreaded paking fees at Atlantic City casinos?
Right now there is a minimum state-imposed $3.00 parking charge for self-parking at casinos. This charge was initiated at $2.00 but has since been raised (as they almost always are).
As I understand it the money goes to the casino reinvestment fund and it somehow benefits Atlantiv City. And that's fine. But what might really benefit Atlantic City is lots more casino traffic. LOTS more.
And don't forget this: On evenings and weekends the casinos themselves jack up the parking charge to as much as $20.
So, what started as free parking can now cost you as much as twenty bucks.
Atlantic City is the only casino venue in the nation that charges for parking. The only one. Even if you chose to patronage a casino near center city Philadelphia (an area notorious for it's onerous parking charges) you won't have to pay to park.
If Atlantic City is really, really serious anoint ginning things up it's time to drop the parking fees. Or, at the very least maybe they. Could lower or drop the fees during certain hours.
In any event, something MUST be done.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Major GOP Role For Rubio in 2012?

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said today that Florida Senator Marco Rubio will play a major role in the 2012 Republican presidential campaign.
Priebus spoke on a conference call with reporters. He is not the first Republican to suggest that Rubio will be playing an increasingly influential role in the 2012 Republican effort.
Republican nomination contender Mitt Romney has been hinting that Sen. Rubio could be a potential running mate.
Reportedly, one Romney insider said: “We think that [Romney/Rubio] could be a dream ticket.”It does have a nice alliterative ring to it.
The RNC chair said Rubio could assist Republicans in building support among the Hispanic community. And let's not forget the delegate-rich, pivotal state of Florida.
Lots of people are high on Rubio. He certainly seems to be a vital part of the future of a growing and increasingly diversified Republican Party.
Viva, GOP!

Video - Christie To Obama: Where's YOUR Plan?

'Take China To The Mat?' Obama Did NOTHING!

When he ran for president, candidate Obama said he would take China "to the mat" over its unfair trade practices – but instead he is the one being treated like a doormat.
China still does not play by the rules or provide an open and level playing field on which we can compete.  In fact, the most recent data shows that while China continues to grow its economy rapidly, our exports to China are actually falling!
If Mitt Romney is elected President, he will not tolerate this situation.  He will get tough with China.
Make no mistake – Mitt Romney is a strong believer in free trade and open markets.  Opening new markets overseas creates new demand for American products and services, which in turn creates new jobs for American workers.  As the world's second largest economy, and one of the fastest growing, China offers incredible opportunities for American companies.  If these companies are able to compete in the Chinese market, they will create countless jobs here at home.
Unfortunately, China is trying to deprive America of that opportunity.  For too long, we have allowed China to take advantage of our goodwill and commitment to openness.  We have opened our own markets to them, but we have gotten little in return.  They steal our technology, manipulate their currency, and put up barriers that prevent us from competing.  As a result, for every four dollars of goods China sells into our market, we are only able to sell one dollar's worth into theirs.  The resulting trade imbalance is the largest in the history of the world.

Christie Announces Expanded Port Newark Effort

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today joined Port officials at the Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT) to announce a half-billion dollar investment project at the terminal that will create a state-of-the-art container terminal that will help the port meet the region’s shipping needs during the first half of the 21st century and create nearly 800 new jobs. The announcement follows on the heels of the Port Authority’s June 14 approval of a restructured lease with PNCT that will create nearly 800 new jobs – including 350 construction jobs, and will generate 1,450 overall jobs for New Jersey. It also will guarantee an annual increase in cargo container volumes from Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s second largest shipping company.

“When global port leaders choose to invest $500 million at Port Newark, it sends a strong signal to the entire industry and is another example of business recognizing the benefits of investing in New Jersey,” said Governor Christie. “The port project we are celebrating here today is about positioning our port to lead at this time of escalated port competition. This investment will dramatically increase cargo volumes at Port Newark, create stable, good-paying jobs and advance our commitment to a competitive port growth strategy.”

By investing in their current operations, and expanding by more than 100 acres to create a state-of-the-art facility, PNCT and MSC will be able to dramatically increase cargo volumes at the port – from 414,000 containers today to 1.1 million by 2030.

Port Authority Chairman David Samson said, “Today, we are seeing the immediate signs of the $500 million in private investment and nearly 800 new jobs that come with this expansion project. It is essential that the Port Authority continue to focus its efforts and develop its infrastructure to maintain our leadership role in international trade. Governor Christie is committed to ensuring that our ports remain an engine for growth, and this project is another example of that commitment.”

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “This is good news for the port and good news for the region’s economy. It means more cargo, more jobs and a world-class anchor tenant at our port. It will keep the Port of New York and New Jersey the largest and most competitive port on the East Coast.

Coupled with a commitment to raise the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate the bigger post-Panamax container ships, investment in one of the most modern freight rail systems, and the acquisition of new dock property that is hard to come by, the Port Authority has mapped out the right investment and growth strategy to bolster activity at our ports, attract new business and create new jobs.

“This project is part of our on-going effort to keep our port the busiest on the East Coast,” said Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “This project will bring thousands of jobs to New Jersey and keep our port the envy – and destination – of the world.”

Port Authority Commissioner Raymond M. Pocino, Vice President/Eastern Regional Manager, Laborers International Union of North America, said, “The expansion project demonstrates the tangible benefits that come from investing in growth. The 350 construction jobs and thousands of other jobs the agreement will generate over the course of the lease is welcome news for workers and businesses throughout the region during these challenging times.”

“We commend the PANYNJ and its board of commissioners who have worked tirelessly to help us reach a long-term, sustainable agreement that is business friendly and stimulates growth and investment,” said Ports America President and CEO Michael Hassing. “Additionally, we owe our deepest thanks and appreciation to the many people who have made this expansion project possible and with whom we will continue to work hard to ensure a seamless transition and smooth operation as we go forward.”

“Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT) is extremely pleased to provide our customers with greater capabilities at our facility,” commented PNCT President Dave Adam. “We are proud of our employees and labor force, who have contributed their very best efforts to ensure a safe and productive work environment during this process.”

Moon Will Land In Philadelphia

Twelve-and-a-half feet in diameter, a moon-like sphere made of white wool felt formed by artist Tristin Lowe will make its Philadelphia debut this fall in the Joan Spain Gallery in the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Entitled Lunacy, this large-scale sculpture was created in 2010 and represents one of Lowe’s most ambitious works to date.

Mice Take Over Philly neighborhood

Mice have moved into a city neighborhood big time.
They've not only invaded homes but they're acting like they own the homes. They scurry about freely. They nibble away at cereal boxtops and foodstuffs. They stare back at residents as if to say: "What the he'll are you doin here?"
One woman has caught 80mice in her home so far. Mice scurried across a man's fet as he watched TV. A mouse ran across a teenager's forehead as she tried to sleep.
It's a virtual nightmare.
Go to to read more.

Those Phightin Phils And Looming October

It's the end of July and the Phillies are hot, hot, hot.
Last night's inside-the-park home run by Chase Utley had the fans in a state of euphoria. The Phils have now set a new club record for avoiding consecutive losses.
Each key franchise that the Phils face is viewed as a harbinger of things to come: Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco, even Pittsburg.
If the Phils sweep the Giants or the Braves or the Sox now does that really mean anything? Does that say anything about what might happen in the fall?
I hope it does. But I don't think so.
The Phils will have a great record this year -- maybe the best of ny team in the majors.
But the playoffs and the World Series are a whole different matter. Literally and figuratively it's a whole 'nother ball game.
July and August are not September and October.
So many things can happen between here and there -- so many twists and turns. And baseball is a quirky game. It depends on a complex set of variables.
It's just like in politics -- now is not then and primary elections are not general elections.
So it'll take patience and nail biting and crossed fingers between now and then. It's a long and winding road.
Hang in there Phillies fans,

Rare Flower Blooms: Can You Identify It?

During a long summer walk in Hilton Head I came across this unusual looking bloom.
This flower is one of the most beautiful, vivid and strangest things I've ever seen. But it may be more common than I think it is -- especially in the South.
I wonder if anyone can identify it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Car Plows Into Center City Burger-King

Yesterday, we arrived in Philadelphia not long after this big Grand Marquis jumped the curb near 8th & Market Sts. As you can see, the car plowed into a Burger King. The Marquis sailed right through a large window and a nearly waist-high brick wall earlier in the afternoon. This accident occurred just a few steps from the busy, nearby PATCO transit line station.
An 85-year-old man was driving the Grand Marquis and  while the car appeared to suffer suprisingly little damage the driver and six others were hurt. One man suffered two broken legs and was listed in critical condition. Others suffered lacerations and minor injuries.
Fortunately, the restaurant was not terribly crowded when the car hit.
Photo copyright 2011 by Dan Cirucci.

Christie Signs Bill Encouraging Job Growth

Continuing to act on his commitment to create jobs for New Jersey families, Governor Chris Christie today signed Senate Bill 2972 to expand job-creating tax incentives and provide an immediate economic boost to the state. Governor Christie was joined by Mayor Cory Booker at the Broad Street train station in Newark, a designated Urban Transit Hub, in signing the legislation that makes changes to incentive programs utilized by the state of New Jersey to promote economic growth and job creation – the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant (ERGG); the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act; and a residential development program originally created under the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act. Numerous large-scale development projects currently pending around the state are expected to be jump-started by the expansion of these programs.

“Creating good paying, lasting jobs for New Jersey families is a top priority of this Administration, which is why tax cuts and incentive programs that help businesses grow and expand were a core aspect of my budget, and will continue to serve as tools to foster economic growth. Today, we are providing needed changes to incentives that are critical to growing our economy, creating jobs, and providing more opportunities for New Jersey families,” said Governor Christie. “Putting in place targeted incentives to encourage businesses to build, develop and expand in the state is a critical piece of our broader efforts to drive New Jersey’s economic recovery. New Jerseyans put to work as a result of our efforts are the final and most important beneficiaries of everything we do, which is why we will continue working aggressively to build on the positive, early progress we’ve made in returning our state to prosperity and affordability.”

S-2972 expands the ERGG program to make growth areas in the Meadowlands eligible for ERGG grants, adding the Meadowlands to the other areas of the state where growth is encouraged and eligibility for ERGG grants is already provided, including State Planning Areas, Pinelands growth areas, transit villages and closed federal military bases. This change will impact the American Dream at Meadowlands project that Governor Christie has worked to get back on track with a new plan under a new developer – Triple Five, owners of the Mall of America.

In addition, the legislation also makes several changes to the Urban Hub program: increasing the credit for residential projects from 20% to 35% of eligible costs over 10 years; providing that affordable housing requirements for an Urban Hub project are to be determined in the sole discretion of the municipality; allowing mixed use projects to receive tax credits for both the residential component and the commercial components of a project; allowing the tax credits to be carried forward for up to 20 years; clarifying existing law that property located within an Urban Hub area, but adjacent to a rail spur for freight rail that is not within an Urban Hub area, is eligible; and providing new standards and procedures for the net benefit analysis for in-state job moves.

Over the course of the last year, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been involved in discussions with developers advancing significant mixed use projects across the state. The goal of the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program is promoting vibrant communities where people can work, live and shop, and the changes signed into law today are a significant step forward for impactful revitalization projects. The Christie Administration expects renewed activity in moving them forward. Examples of these projects include the Teachers Village project in Newark, the Gateway project in New Brunswick and Haddon Avenue Transit Village in Camden, each representing game-changing projects with investments aimed at providing housing and retail opportunities with commercial components and each leading to significant job creation and private sector investment.

“This is a significant day for Newark and for New Jersey – a day when the state’s urban centers receive a set of supercharged tools to create jobs and kick-start New Jersey’s economy. The bill Governor Christie signed today is the product of a true bipartisan collaboration. I am grateful to the Governor and his Administration – as well as to Senator Ray Lesniak, Assemblyman Al Coutinho, and the Legislature – for joining forces with cities like ours and crafting this important package,” said Mayor Cory A. Booker. “In Newark, these incentives will enable crucial development projects to break ground. With credit to our collective efforts to date as well as these new measures, over 25 development projects in Newark will be underway in 2011. That represents over $700 million in total development, producing over 2,500 construction jobs and over 2,500 permanent jobs. Together, these projects will have a transformative impact here in New Jersey’s largest city. Thanks to our partnership with Governor Christie and the Legislature, this is Newark’s Groundbreaking Year – and we look forward to making much more progress together.”

In addition, as part of the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget proposal, Governor Christie provided $180 million in targeted tax cuts for small businesses in New Jersey to spur job growth and increase business investment and expansion. Among the tax reforms included were: a change in the corporate business tax formula from a three-factor formula to a single sales factor formula; an option for taxpayers to carry forward losses from certain business-related categories of gross incomes for up to two years; a 25 percent reduction in the minimum tax for S-Corporations; a doubling of the research and development credits; and a phase out of the Transitional Energy Facility Assessment (TEFA) by January 2012. The Governor has consistently stressed the need for reform and fiscal discipline to break from the state’s hostile climate towards business expansion and job growth.

Since Governor Christie took office, the Administration has been committed to bringing real, bipartisan solutions to the critical challenges faced by the state. These include signing into law a Fiscal Year 2012 Budget that provides $180 million in job creating tax cuts for small businesses and that does not raise taxes on New Jersey families, closing an $11 billion budget deficit without tax increases, passing Cap 2.0 to bring real property tax relief, and enacting historic, bipartisan pension and health benefits reforms. Yesterday, Governor Christie and Lt. Governor Guadagno reported that since 2010, new foreign direct investment in New Jersey is expected to support more than 410 new jobs, 1,500 construction jobs and contribute over $1.4 billion of capital investment into the state.

Additionally, the Administration has continued to advance policies to further improve New Jersey’s business climate by sunsetting the corporate business tax surcharge, signing new, robust business attraction legislation, and protecting businesses from an average $400 per employee, or 52% increase in the unemployment insurance payroll tax. Those policies, coupled with recent activities like the Governor’s ‘Creating Jersey Jobs Summit,’ and the Lt. Governor’s ‘100 Businesses’ initiative all demonstrate that New Jersey is well-positioned for business expansion, economic growth and job creation as our economy recovers.

Coulter: GOP Can't Do It All

Last night, during her appearance in Philadehia, Ann Coulter admitted that Republicans are limited in what they can accomplish. She basically said there's only so much the GOP cam do, particularly on the debt ceiling and deficit issues.
"We missed gaining control in the Senate by basically three seats," Coulter said. "So, we have the Houae. But until we have two-thirds majorities in both the House and The Senate, there's not much the GOP can do."
Coulter factored in the ever-present possibility of Obama vetoes. Thus, a. Two-thirds congressional majority would be required in both houses to override any veto.

Democrat David Wu Resigns Amidst Sex Scandal

Well, another Democrat has just bit the dust.
Democratic Rep. David Wu (Ore.) resigned from the House today, just days after news broke that He had been accused of having an “unwanted sexual encounter” with a teenage girl.
The Taiwanese-born Wu, 56 said he was stepping down to protect his family while he responds to “these very serious allegations.”
Wu is the second congressional Democrat rp resign in recent months amidst a sex scandal. His resignation follows on the heels of that of Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York.

Can't Keep This Campaign Button In Stock

Word is they can't keep this campaign button in stock.
Tons of Democrats (and some republicans) are buyin 'em up like there's no tomorrow . . . and there may not be!

Man Attempts Hernia Repair With Butter Knife

A hernia is more of a nuisance and an embarrassment than anything else.But it needs to be repaired because
it's the protrusion of an organ or the fascia of an organ through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it. 
It requires medical attention.
But a 63-year-old Glendale, California man tried to "fix" his own hernia with a butter knife. Ouch!
The man was reportedly in stable condition after he attempted self-surgery  with a six-inch butter knife. He sought to remove a protruding hernia from his stomach, police explained Tuesday.. Ugh!
When authorities arrived at the man’s home Sunday night, they saw him lying naked outside on a lounge chair with what looked like the handle of a knife protruding from his stomach, according to police.
But there's more. After they arrived, police said the man pulled out the knife and shoved a cigarette he was smoking inside the open wound. OMG!
It was the man's wife who notified police. She said her husband was upset about the hernia and wanted to get rid of it.
We repeat: Don't try to fix your own hernia. Don't try self-surgery. And don't put out cigarette butts in open wounds!
Click here to read more.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coulter Draws Huge Philly Crowd; Praises Christie

Here's a part of the HUGE crowd that turned out in Philly earlier tonight to dine with Ann Coulter at Union Trust steak house and get the scoop from Coulter on her new book, Demonic, as well as her views on the national political scene. As you can see the line of people waiting to get in stretched as far as the eye could see. Who says there aren't any conservatives in the Philadelphia region?

Congratulations to Chris Stigall of The Big Talker, WPHT, 1201 AM radio in Philadelphia and his Red Meat Tour.
Chris completely sold out the Union Trust steak house tonight for a wonderful Evening With Ann Coulter, the New York Times Number One Best-Selling author and leading conservative commentator.
It was great to be on hand with the effusive and funny Chris Stigall and so many happy conservatives. Chris has been like a breath of fresh air on local radio here in Philadelphia. He's a smart, witty, very human and highly engaging radio personality -- a nice guy and a real common-sense conservative.
During the evening Coulter asked everyone to write to Mary Pat Christie and tell her to urge her husband to run for president. "Tell her he'll get to live and work at home (it's an easy commute) and get to spend lots of time with her and the kids," Coulter said. Obviously, Coulter had high praise for Christie calling him "a man with a high IQ who also knows how to communicate and tell the truth" and extolling him as "courageous."
Of course, Chjristie has said he's not running for president.
So, Coulter predicted that if Christie is not the nominee the Republican Party will probably nominate Mitt Romney and she described Romney as "acceptable and electable." Coulter told the crowd that "we have to focus on winning. We can defeat Barack Obama." And she reminded them: "Romney isn't McCain."
Coulter said the Democrat Party has now become the party of  public employees and she thanked Christie for taking on "the huge issue" of this monstrous sea of government workers with their benefits and pensions. "If the boss is not asking you to work more and earn less you don't need a union," Coulter explained. "And government is not asking its employees to do either."
Coulter was dazzling as usual. And Stigall was nothing less than ebullient. 
It was a great night with good friends and smart people!

Christie Embraces Education Reformers For Progress

Governor Chris Christie joined with Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) Executive Director Geoffrey Canada to announce an expanded Promise Communities initiative and partnership between HCZ and the Christie Administration. July 20, 2011.
You may have to turn the volume up a bit to hear this but it's well worth it.

Here Are Our Top Five Stories This Week!

Jul 23, 2011
  244 Pageviews
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  188 Pageviews
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Jul 19, 2011
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Jul 23, 2011
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Young Republicans To Meet Wednesday

A general meeting is of the South Jersey Young Republicans is set for Wednesday, July 27 at 8:30pm at the CCGOP headquarters on  900 Haddonfield Rd, Cherry Hill.
On the agenda: By laws and election of officers.
Please come out for the vote and bring potential members.
The Camden County GOP welcomes your support.

Christie & Co.: NJ Sees Expanded Foreign Investment

On the heels of its 30th Anniversary Celebration of the New Jersey-Zhejiang Province Sister-State Agreement, the Christie Administration reported today that foreign direct investment (FDI) in New Jersey over the past 18 months points toward increased expansion of foreign partners investing in New Jersey and creating more high-paying jobs in the State.

“New Jersey’s import-export industry is a cornerstone of our economy and increasing investment into New Jersey is critical to the growth of our economy,” said Governor Christie. “By expanding the number of businesses that bring operations into New Jersey, we can leverage foreign investment as a powerful engine for New Jersey’s economic growth and job creation.”

Since taking office, there have been 14 new FDI projects, including three Memorandum of Understandings that were signed during last week’s New Jersey-Zhejiang Trade Symposium. These projects represent over $1.4 billion of new capital investment in New Jersey and are expected to create over 410 new jobs and 1,500 construction jobs. The majority of the FDI came from China, Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

“Through his vision and leadership, Governor Christie has created an ambitious economic development strategy that has strengthened New Jersey’s global reputation and increased our overseas market share,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “Thanks to Governor Christie, there is a new energy and enthusiasm in the global community about investing and doing business in New Jersey.”

The Christie Administration has shown a new, unprecedented commitment to growing exports and foreign direct investment to create Jersey Jobs. Under his leadership, the Partnership for Action strategy was implemented, creating the New Jersey Business Action Center and its Global Advocacy team focusing on bringing new global investment into the State. As part of our aggressive strategy to grow foreign investment, the State has hosted more than two dozen foreign delegations and meetings with trading partners including last week’s Symposium, as well as a 75-member delegation with China’s Vice Minister of Commerce last fall.

Additionally, the State has invested $1 billion into modernizing the Bayonne Bridge to receive additional tankers – an infrastructure investment crucial to Port Newark – increasing its capacity to handle the next generation of shipping vessels; signed two agreements to open trade offices in Shangri and Europe to provide continuous outreach to foreign markets; as well as leveraged the Governor’s appointment to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations by President Obama to share the importance of trade to the American economy - specifically supporting Free Trade Agreements and granting fast-track Trade Promotion Authority for the President to encourage expansion of trade.

'Think You Can Dance' Finalists In Philly

Finalists from hit television show “So You Think You Can Dance,” will perform some of their hottest routines live on stage at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, September 25, as part of their So You Think You Can Dance Tour 2011. Tickets will go on sale exclusively through ComcastTIX on Friday, July 29 at 10 a.m. on line at, by phone at 1-800-298-4200, or in person at the Wells Fargo Center Box Office.
The live on stage dancing include routines in hip-hop, contemporary, ballroom, tango, broadway, salsa and more. The finalists performing in the 2011 tour are Caitlynn, Clarice, Jess, Jordan, Marko, Melanie, Mitchell, Ricky, Sasha and Tadd. These ten finalists in the eighth season of So You Think You Can Dance range in age from 18 to 25 with expertise in hip-hop to jazz to contemporary and come from all over the United States. Due to the physical nature of the performances, not all dancers may perform and dancers are subject to change.

How A Beautiful Bromance Went Bust

IT SEEMED THE MOST unlikely romance imaginable. One, a Democrat; the other, a Republican. One a (nominal) liberal; the other a (sometimes) conservative. One a high-school grad and labor organizer; the other a successful lawyer with key contacts in the business sector. One an advocate for government; the other a tough prosecutor who sent corrupt government officials to jail. One a Phillies fan; the other a Mets fan. One from bustling North Jersey; the other from more rural South Jersey.
And yet, it seemed to work. These two certified Big Guys somehow managed to wrap their arms around one another and feel a connection. It was as if actors James Gandolfini and Kevin James had suddenly fallen in love and wanted the whole world to know about it.
But it wasn't . . . . . 
Click here to read the rest of my column from today's Philadelphia Daily News.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

'Dallas' Returns To TV; Behind-The-Scenes Video

The legendary series 'Dallas' returns to TV  next summer on the TNT network.
'Dallas' will feature young, new stars (the next generation of the Ewing clan) as well as the stars of the original series.
You won't want to miss it!

One In Five Pees In Pool

Don't swim in the yellow water.
Unfortunately, you might not have much of a choice, according to a survey conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council. The survey shows that one in five Americans pees in the public pool;
Apparently, just getting out of the water and going to the bathroom is too much of a hassle for almost 20 percent of Americans using public pools -- and those are just the ones who admit it. Most everyone surveyed thinks their fellow swimmers are guilty of using the public pool as a potty place.
The same survey found that roughly a third of all Americans pass by the shower before taking a dip.
A less specific (but arguably grosser) finding shows almost half of all Americans (47%) admit to one or more behaviors that contribute to an unhealthy pool. There's no breakdown of what exactly the unsafe behaviors are ... one can only guess.
The Centers for Disease Control suggests a few tips (that really should be obvious) if you plan to visit a public pool:
  • Don't swim when you have diarrhea
  • Don't swallow pool water
  • Clean up kids wearing diapers -- especially their rears -- and change the diaper often
So, as you head to the public pool this summer to relieve yourself of the sweltering heat, just remember -- someone near you is probably relieving themselves in a much different, but oh too common way.

One Year Later . . . Things Are Even WORSE

Following is something I posted LAST SUMMER.
Read it and reflect on the fact that nothing has changed. In fact, things are now even WORSE!
More jobs lost. Unemployment still at record levels.
Payroll numbers down once again.
Work week hours down again.
Factory orders down again.
Foreclosures at a new high.
A continuously sluggish housing market.
Consumer confidence taking a nosedive.
The nation mired in massive, unprecedented debt -- the highest since World War II.
This is NOT a recovery. This isn't anything even close to a recovery.
And the President and the Vice President want us to believe that this is "recovery summer"?
They oughta be ashamed of themselves.
Shame on 'em! Shame on all of 'em!

Do You Remember Leo's Yum Yum?

Oh, how I remember the Yum Yum.
Mmmmm . . . so cool and refreshing on these hot, hot late summer days.
If you don't know what Yum Yum is, you don't know what you're missing.
But if you're from Camden, NJ you probably do remember Leo's Famous Yum Yum.
Founded by Italian immigrant, John (Giovanni) Leo, Leo's Famous Yum Yum began in 1936 on Third Street in South Camden (then known as Little Italy or Little South Philly).
According to Phil Cohen (as reported on Phil's excellent web site about Camden's earlier days):"Leo's Famous Yum-Yum was sold to street vendors in metal Twenty-quart cans packed in wooden barrels surrounded by ice and salt. Yum-Yum was delivered on a daily basis to the various vendors. The dessert lasted in ice for about fourteen hours. By the 1950's, Leo's Famous Yum-Yum had become the leading frozen dessert treat not only in Camden, New Jersey (120,000 population at the time) but in all of South Jersey."
Yes, I remember those wooden barrels.
I remember them because I carted one of those wooden barrels through the streets of Camden selling Yum Yum out of a little red wagon. How I remember digging deep into the can as the day wore on. And how we all loved counting our pennies, nickels, dimes and (sometimes) quarters as we sold the Yum Yum on side streets amidst Camden's row homes.
We used to keep burlap over the barrel with the can inside to help keep the yum yum cold.
Well, I'm happy to report that Leo's Yum Yum is still available and it still tastes much as we all remember it.
The third generation of the Leo family is now making the Yum Yum in nearby Marlton, NJ.
Here's how Leo's web site describes the Yum Yum: "It's like a sherbet but it isn't. It is kind of like real Italian gelato, but not really. It is a product that has a taste and a history all it's own."
Here's how I describe it: It's not slushy like water ice. It's drier. And, it doesn't have all the syrup that water ice has. It's smoother than water ice. But it's not creamy like gelato. The texture can even be a bit clumpy or flaky. But it's icy cold and genuinely tasty: a unique delight that you are bound to enjoy.
And of course, I recommend the lemon Yum Yum. That's the original, true flavor.
You can buy Leo's Famous Yum Yum at The Candy Buffet on the corner of Kings Highway and Haddon Avenue in Haddonfield. or at Leo's at 7 Tomlinson Mill Road in Medford.

Bag 'O Doughnuts! And, Oh . . . That Loster!

It's called a bag 'o doughnuts.
But it's ooohhh so much more.
Yes, it does come in a bag. Eight doughnuts all together. But they're not actually doughnuts.
Instead, they're freshly-baked, warm, cinnamon and sugar doughnut balls. They're shaken in the bag just before they're served and then, like a small miracle the bag is opened and the intoxicating aroma invites you into the sweet, warm surroundings.
It's doughnut heaven. They're crunchy and crispy on the outside but soft and dreamy on the inside.
This is one of the new desserts at The Palm restaurant, long a favorite haunt of ours.
We urge you to get over to the nearest Palm and try it soon, along with the incredible summer lobster special. Here's what you get:
Enjoy a 4 lb. Jumbo Nova Scotia Lobster split for two with melted butter and lemon, starter salad, and sides for just $95!
Mixed Green Salad - romaine, iceberg, baby greens, cucumber, carrots, radish, scallions and cherry tomatoes tossed in a garlic vinaigrette
Classic Caesar Salad - garlic focaccia croutons and parmigiano reggiano
Watermelon Salad - frisee, grilled fennel, pickled onions and feta cheese
4 lb. Jumbo Nova Scotia Lobster Split for Two with melted butter and lemon
$15 each additional lb. of lobster
choose from The Palm's signature vegetable and potato sides served family-style
This is about as good a deal as you're likely to find anywhere -- probably better! And it's all coupled with The Palm's legendary hospitality and wonderfully attentive service; not to mention those icy drinks from the world's best bar.
Don't miss this summer-only attraction.

Some Phrases We Can Do Without

One phrase that really grates on me is “sounds like a plan.”
To begin with, it either is a plan or it isn’t a plan.
If it merely sounds like a plan (but it’s not actually a plan) why bother pursuing it?
But my real problem is this: I just don’t like plans.
I naturally resist plans and planning. I don’t make “to do” lists and I don’t go through life making plans. I like to be spontaneous. I like to be surprised.
And, like a lot of words and phrases that are overused, “sounds like a plan” doesn’t surprise me anymore. It doesn’t interest me.
In fact, so many words and phrases are used so often that they are sounding the death knell for simple, original, concise and creative thought and expression.
Here are a few of the culprits:
Disingenuous. I don’t know how disingenuous became the Word of the Moment but it’s time to get this straight: To use “disingenuous” is to be disingenuous. This is a snob word.
When you are disingenuous it means you are evasive. You’re two-faced or devious or sneaky or downright dishonest. You may be a flat out liar. Which makes disingenuous a 20 dollar word for something that isn’t worth more than a few cents. So let’s call this what it is and stop wasting five syllables on it. You lie!
Just sayin . . . – OK, but if you’re “just sayin” am I supposed to slough that off? Should I ignore it? Or, does that mean I should lend it added importance? In other words, what in hell are you tryin to say when you’re “just sayin”? Yes, I understand that when you’re just sayin you’re sort of trying to diffuse any hard feelings that I might have about what it is that you’re saying. Well, not for nothing, but this sounds just plain dumb. No offense, but ya know what I mean? Ditch it.
Shout out – Hey, do me a favor. If you want to greet me or recognize me in some way please don’t give me a “shout out.” To begin with, I don’t like people shouting out, at or to me. Still, this phrase persists.
It’s gotten so bad that on the day of the tragic Fort Hood massacre the President of the United States incorporated this crude and inappropriate lingo into his public remarks. Yes, the president was forced to react quickly as he segued from one topic to another. But the casual use of this all-too-common phrase robbed his remarks of any relevance on what should have been a very serious and somber occasion.
Bottom line - Hey, guess what? If everything is the bottom line, then there really is no bottom line after all. So now, this phrase has lost all the meaning it might have once had.
Just when I think you’ve come to the bottom line, you have more to show me or there are added costs or you have more to say or there are more conditions and caveats. Yesterday’s bottom line has become today’s starting point. And, in the middle of an economic crisis, do we really want to know the bottom line anyway? Avert your eyes.
Under water – You owe more than it’s worth. You’re in debt. Your biggest investment went kaput. Get it? When I think of  natural tragedies like snowstorms, monsoons, tsunamis and floods, I don’t want to hear about being “under water.” Since I'm not a very good swimmer, the phrase itself makes me gasp for breath. It’s all too overwhelming.
It’s time to get our heads above the muck of this colloquial swamp and try thinking and talking and writing clearly.
Let’s not just think outside the box, let’s destroy the box altogether and start saying what we mean and meaning what we say.
How’s that for a plan?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse: The Truth Behind Her Descent

Talented, yes.
But Amy Winehouse was a very troubled person.
And much of the trouble was played out in public. It was not a pretty sight.

Winehouse's battles with substance abuse were the subject of much media attention.

In various interviews, she admitted to having problems with self-harm, depression and eating disorders.

In 2005, she went through a period of drinking, heavy drug use, violent mood swings and weight loss. People who saw her during the end of that year and early 2006 reported a brief rebound that coincided with the writing of Back to Black.

Her family felt that the mid-2006 death of her grandmother, who was a stabilizing influence, set her off into addiction.

In August 2007, Winehouse cancelled a number of shows in England and Europe, citing exhaustion and ill health. She was hospitalized during this period for what was reported to be an overdose of heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine and alcohol. Winehouse told a magazine that the drugs were to blame for her hospitalization and that "I really thought that it was over for me then." Soon after, Winehouse's father commented that when he had made public statements regarding her problems, he was using the media because it seemed the only way to get through to her.

In December, 2007, images of the singer outside her home in the early morning hours, barefoot and wearing only a bra and jeans, appeared on the internet and in tabloid newspapers. In a statement, her spokesman blamed paparazzi harassment for the incident.

The spokesman reported that the singer was in a physician-supervised program and was channeling her difficulties by writing a lot of music. A British tabloid posted a video of a woman, alleged to be Winehouse, apparently smoking crack cocaine and speaking of having taken ecstasy and valium.

Winehouse's father moved in with her, and Island Records, her record label, announced the abandonment of plans for an American promotion campaign on her behalf.

In late January 2008, Winehouse reportedly entered a rehabilitation facility for a two-week treatment program.

In January 2008, the aforementioned video was passed on to the London police who questioned her in February. But no charges were brought. In March 2008, Winehouse's spokesman said she was "doing well" and denied a published report in a British tabloid that consideration was being given to having her return to rehab. Her record company reportedly believed that her recovery remained fragile. By late April 2008, her erratic behavior, including an allegation of assault, caused fear that her drug rehabilitation efforts had been unsuccessful. This led to efforts by Winehouse's father and manager to seek assistance in having her committed. Her disheveled appearance during and after a scheduled club night in September sparked new rumors of a relapse.

Photographers were quoted as saying she appeared to have cuts on her legs and arms.

In an interview released in June 2009 Winehouse's father said the singer was in a drug replacement program. He said she was gradually recovering but that heavy drinking was causing "slight backward steps". A documentary shot early in 2009 shows Winehouse apparently intoxicated according to a newspaper report. Pictures published by a magazine in July 2009 upon her return to the United Kingdom from her extended stay in St. Lucia appeared to show that Winehouse had gained weight and that her complexion was improved.

In an October 2010 interview Winehouse said she had been drug free for three years saying "I literally woke up one day and was like, ‘I don’t want to do this any more.’”

But problems persisted.

Winehouse entered the Priory Clinic in May of this year where she stayed for one week.

She also had her share of legal problems.
In 2007, Winehouse and her then-husband were arrested in Norway for possession of seven grams of marijuana.

In April 2008, Winehouse was cautioned after she admitted to police she slapped a man in the face, a "common assault" offence. She voluntarily turned herself in and was held overnight. Police said, at her arrival she was "in no fit state" to be interviewed.

Winehouse was arrested in May 2008 on suspicion of possessing drugs after a video of her apparently smoking crack cocaine was passed to the police in but she was released on bail a few hours later because they could not confirm, from the video, what she was smoking.

And there were many other allegations and charges in the years that followed.

In March 2009, Winehouse was arrested and charged with common assault following a claim by a woman that Winehouse hit her in the eye at a September 2008 Prince's Trust charity ball.

At the same time, she was reported to have spat at the English socialite Pippa Middleton and to have headbutted a photographer. Winehouse's spokesperson announced the singer cancelled a scheduled United States appearance in "light of current legal issues".

In December 2009, Winehouse was arrested again on charges of common assault, plus another charge of public order offense Winehouse assaulted the front-of-house manager of the Milton Keynes Theater after he asked her to move from her seat.

On 20 January 2010, she admitted common assault and disorderly behavior. She was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay court costs and compensation to the man she attacked.

Amy Winehouse Dead: Stars React On Twitter

In Britain, leading personalities have already started Tweeting their reactions to the death of singer Amy Winehouse:
Radio DJ Fearne Cotton said: 'Can not believe the news. Amy was a special girl. The saddest news.'
Singer and presenter Myleene Klass wrote: 'OMG. Amy Winehouse. Exceptional talent and really nice lady. RIP.'
Kelly Osbourne tweeted: 'I can't even breathe right my now I'm crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. I love you forever Amy & will never forget the real you.'
Presenter Phillip Schofield added: 'Just heard the sad news that Amy Winehouse has died. At only 27 what a terrible waste of a great talent. Sincere condolences to her family.'
Singer and radio presenter Emma Bunton said: 'Such sad news about Amy Winehouse. My thoughts are with her family.'
Sarah Brown, the former Bristish prime minister's wife, tweeted: 'Sad sad news of Amy Winehouse - great talent, extraordinary voice, and tragic death, condolences to her family.'
Click here for more.

Amy Winehouse Found Dead In London

Amy Winehouse, the roubled singer,  has been found dead at her home in London.
She was found at the property by emergency services at 3.54 pm, London time, this afternoon, according to sources, and her death is being treated as 'unexplained' by police.
Metropolitan London Police report they  were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square today Saturday following reports of a woman found deceased.
Click here for more.

Marilyn Monroe And Joan Crawford? . . . Really?

Many people view it as an old, old story.
Others think it's just so much gossip.
To some it's a fantasy.
But a lot of people still haven't heard about it. I'm talking about the one-night-stand that Marilyn Monroe reportedly had with Joan Crawford.
This story gained such credibility that a few years ago it was actually written about in the Los Angeles Times. According to accounts based on transcripts of tapes recorded by Monroe's psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, Marilyn Monroe was propositioned by Joan Crawford and Monroe apparently accepted.
But Monroe said the session with Crawford left her cold. Monroe supposedly explained it this way: "Next time I saw Crawford, she said she wanted another round. I told her straight-out I didn't much enjoy doing it with a woman. After I turned her down, she became spiteful."
One would presume that all this happened before Crawford turned churlish  told Monroe, later publicly characterizing her as "vulgar" because she didn't wear a girdle. This could have been the trigger for that public rebuke.
Oooooh, that was Hollywood's golden age!

Unmasking The REAL Harry Reid

A special alert regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would like you to believe that he's hard at work protecting the so-called "little guy". Ignore for a moment the millions he's made doing real estate deals or his powerful supporters (like casino mogul Steve Wynn ), Reid is all about "the little guy".
You can really see how deeply he cares for "the folks" when you read his remarks after the Senate killed the House's "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan yesterday, which he said was a waste of the Senate's time.
To recap: The "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan was designed to implement substantial cuts in current spending in order to reduce the deficit immediately, put into place enforceable spending caps that would lead to a balanced budget; and passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment that would ensure that the current fiscal crisis wouldn't be easily repeated.
Reid and his Senate allies would be in opposition to this plan simply because it dares attack the main reason for the oncoming budget calamity: entitlements for senior citizens, namely Social Security and Medicare.
Putting aside all of the empty rhetoric, the inarguable fact is that both programs are staring at complete financial Armageddon, sooner rather than later. As baby boomers age, fewer and fewer taxpayers are available to pay for more and more recipients, and that's a recipe for disaster.
Democrats will continue to forestall any attempts on behalf of Republicans to make any serious changes simply because doing so is worth millions of votes come November 2012. And voters in their infinite wisdom will either buy into the Democrats shameless lies or not pay enough attention to the problem in hopes that it will go away.
Regardless, Harry Reid can continue to fight for the little guy, people like billionaire Steve Wynn and wealthy Nevada real estate developers.
HatTip: National Tea Party Alert.

Hilton Head: Don't Miss 'Smokey Joe's Cafe!'

Part of the cast of Smokey Joe's Cafe: Samantha Gershman with L-R: Steven M. Goldsmith, Deonte Warren, Kent Zimmerman, Shavey Brown & Delius Doherty
If you're in the Hilton Head area, you have only a couple of weeks left to see one of the finest theatrical productions we've experienced in some time: the musical Somokey Joe's Cafe at the beautiful Arts Center of Coastal Carolina right in the center of the island on William Hilton Parkway.
Somkey Joe's Cafe is filled with the songs of Leiber and Stoller. The cast of nine is young, lively, talented and energetic. The show is fast-paced and delightful in every respect.
Leiber and Stoller virtually invented rock 'n' roll. In this show their songs provide the basis for a musical celebration of the golden age of American entertainment. The classic themes of love won, lost and imagined blend with hilarious set-pieces and slice-of-life emotions in this song-and-dance smash that ran for years on Boradway.
The show features nearly 40 of the greatest songs ever recorded – “Poison Ivy,” “Fools Fall in Love,” “Yakety Yak,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Potion No. 9,” “Spanish Harlem,” “Stand By Me” and many more.
But Smokey Joe’s Cafe is more than just great pop music, it's actually compelling musical theatre.
And the Arts Center's theater is a gem. There's not a bad seat in the entire house.
Plus, this show has high production values including great sets, costumes and wonderful musicians providing live music.
We had a great time and we urge you to see the show before it ends its hugely successful run. You won;t be disappointed.

2012 GOP Nominee? It's Still Too Early!

It's still to early to have any indication of who the 2012 Republican nomine for president will be.
Way too early.
Consider the following:
In 2004, the last time an incumbent president stood for reelection, Howard Dean was the early Democratic frontrunner, and he polled best against George W. Bush. John Kerry (the eventual nominee) was always a few points behind. But once Kerry became the frontrunner in early 2008, he started to run away with it. Rasmussen notes: "Polls conducted a year-and-a-half before an election provide a snapshot of where things are today but give little indication of what the mood might be on Election Day."
In the 2008 race, John McCain never took the lead in a national primary poll until December 31, 2007.
And let's not forget that in 1979, many people still considered Ronald Reagan a has-been, a loser and a kook. Reagan seemed to be faltering until that pivotal debate ion New Hampshire in the beginning of 1980 when he seized the moment and began to gain on George H. W. Bush. The elder Bush eventually became Reagan's running mate in 1980.
A clearer picture of things will begin to emerge toward the beginning of the new year.
But for now,  it's still too early.
Patience, patience  . . . . .

Guadagno Welcomes Sea Box To South Jersey

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno recently visited Sea Box Inc. to help celebrate the company’s grand opening of its new 378,000 square-foot world headquarters in Cinnaminson in Burlington County.

“Sea Box’s grand opening is happening because of its unprecedented growth over the last few years,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “It’s a tribute to both the company’s ingenuity and its commitment to its customers and to New Jersey. I am delighted to help Sea Box inaugurate its new facility and I hope to see the company continue to grow and flourish here in Burlington County. Their decision to expand here is a testament to the quality of work that New Jersey’s innovative and highly trained workforce produces. We look forward to continue utilizing the State’s strengths to grow and build upon our successful and productive relationship with Sea Box.”

The Lt. Governor joined dozens of local and state officials in formally christening a new home for Sea Box. Sea Box Inc., which was created in 1983, specializes in the design, modification and manufacture of ISO containers for commercial and military applications. The ISO is the international standards organization that regulates mass shipments of cargo, and all ISO containers must conform to approved standards relating to strength, durability, and size. Sea Box expanded in the 1980’s by increasing its business with the U.S. military and by launching a domestic container storage/leasing business. In addition to its headquarters in Cinnaminson, the company operates a manufacturing and service business in East Riverton and a second production facility in Hillsborough.

Sea Box’s new facility boasts about 330,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 18,000 square feet of warehousing, and 30,000 square feet of office space. The property also offers a rail spur for additional logistical capability. The site covers 20 acres with an additional 20 acres available for future expansion.

Sea Box is committed to helping those in need and to good environmental practices. The company sent a shipping container full of supplies to help earthquake-ravaged Haiti in 2010. Its factory and office building run on 100 percent solar power. The company has 147 employees in New Jersey.

Lt. Governor Guadagno is visiting 100 businesses across New Jersey to reinforce the Christie Administration’s support for business growth and economic expansion. Friday’s visit was her 45th.

Friday, July 22, 2011

GOP: No Tax Hikes; Debt Deal Fails, Obama Walks

Jobs Scarce, Salaries Down, Oppotunities Gone

In 2009, President Obama Held A Rally At The University Of Maryland And Promised To “Build A Better Future” For The Next Generation.
“I Promised To Be A President … Who Would Ensure That [Your] Generation … Had The Same Chances And The Same Opportunities That Our Parents Gave Us. That’s What I’m Here To Do. 
OBAMA: “In [the 2008] campaign I promised to be a President who didn’t just clean up yesterday’s crises; I didn’t want to be a President who was just content with standing still. I promised to be a President who would build a better future; who would move this nation forward; who would ensure that this generation – your generation – had the same chances and the same opportunities that our parents gave us. That’s what I’m here to do. That's why I ran for President of the United States of America.”
Under President Obama’s Stewardship, Young Workers Are Struggling With Historic Levels Of Unemployment And Economic Uncertainty:
The New York Times: “Employment Rates For New College Graduates Have Fallen Sharply In The Last Two Years, As Have Starting Salaries For Those Who Can Find Work.”
“Now evidence is emerging that the damage wrought by the sour economy is more widespread than just a few careers led astray or postponed. Even for college graduates – the people who were most protected from the slings and arrows of recession — the outlook is rather bleak. Employment rates for new college graduates have fallen sharply in the last two years, as have starting salaries for those who can find work.” (“Many With New College Degree Find The Job Market Humbling,” The New York Times, 5/18/11)

Video: Obama Haunted By Broken Promises

Christie, Guadagno Welcome New China Trade

Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Guadagno recently hosted Secretary Zhao Hongzhu and a Zhejiang Province delegation for two days of events as part of the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the New Jersey-Zhejiang Province Sister-State Agreement. To celebrate this milestone, both states yesterday co-hosted a trade and investment business-to-business symposium at William Patterson University in Passaic County. The Symposium included a plenary session, with remarks by the Lt. Governor and Secretary Zhao, followed by direct bilateral business-to-business sessions for companies.

The Christie Administration hosted a welcome luncheon at Kean University for Secretary Zhao and the visiting dignitaries. The luncheon was followed by the 30th Anniversary Celebration Ceremony for the re-dedication of the State-Province Agreement between New Jersey and the Province of Zhejiang, during which Governor Christie signed a proclamation marking July 21, 2011 “Zhejiang Day” in New Jersey.

“It is an honor to welcome Secretary Zhao and his delegation to New Jersey. Zhejiang Province is home to thousands of flagship Chinese and multinational companies and its industrial strengths are similar to the strengths in New Jersey”, said Governor Christie. “The re-dedication of our Memorandum of Understanding will help further link foreign business to our region and provide new growth opportunities for our businesses and universities.”

The original Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Governor Brendon Byrne in May 1981 to support bilateral trade and link foreign businesses to our region and provide outreach opportunities for New Jersey-based companies to spur business growth. The re-dedication of the MOU, to be signed today between the State of New Jersey and the Province of Zhejiang, strengthens the efforts to pursue common goals in relation to developing economic relations, encouraging industrial innovation and fostering cultural and educational exchanges and collaborations.

“This ongoing and healthy relationship between our states will expand New Jersey’s ability to create jobs and revenue through global trade and build our ties with the Zhejiang Province and the larger Chinese market overall,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno, who also serves as Secretary of State. “Through these efforts to promote cooperation and encourage cultural and educational exchanges, New Jersey will be in an even better position to attract foreign direct investment to the state and increase export opportunities for our companies.”

In total, the new MOUs represent more than one billion dollars of new investment in the State of New Jersey, including a Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement between EffiSolar Energy LLC, and Zhejiang Guoguang Science Technology Co., Ltd., to build a solar power station in New Jersey. The investment stands to bring approximately 100 permanent jobs and at least 1,500 construction jobs to New Jersey.

The original agreement has afforded New Jersey’s universities with opportunities to establish educational ties. Zhejiang universities have enjoyed sister-university agreements with Kean University since 1998 and with William Paterson University since 2004. These agreements are for a number of joint-degree programs and student and faculty exchange programs, and have generated significant investment into the institutions. The two universities will also sign agreements today at the ceremony. Kean University will enter an agreement with Hangzhou Normal University for a faculty and student exchange, while William Paterson University and the University of Technology will sign an agreement to establish the Zhejiang University of Technology Overseas Students Training Center at William Paterson University.

New Jersey and China have historically benefited from a strong trade and investment relationship. In 2010, New Jersey’s exports to China grew by 31 percent, making it the State’s seventh largest trading partner. For the past decade, China has been the number one trading partner for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, providing about 30 percent of the Port’s traffic volume. Additionally, more than 100 Chinese companies are located in New Jersey, including top-tier Fortune Global 500 entities such as the China Ocean Shipping Co. America Inc. (COSCO), Minmetals, Inc., China Construction and Bao Steel. Furthermore, New Jersey is home to two Zhejiang pharmaceutical companies that are invested in New Jersey – Huahai Pharma and Hisun Parma.