Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Here's How To Guarantee A 'One Term Proposition'

'Broke' Corzine Still Raising Big Bucks For Obama

We love the following post from Matt Rooney at the Save Jersey blog and we thank him for allowing us to post it here as well. Make sure you visit Save Jersey often. It's one of the best!

Jon Corzine is the gift that keeps on giving for conservative bloggers!

Former Governor Jon Corzine: Sugar Daddy for Corrupt Politicians!
His problems at MF Global are now common knowledge. We know $1.2 billion disappeared on his watch.
That’s “billion” with a “B,” Save Jerseyans.
Unsurprisingly, that didn’t stop our well-heeled former governor from raising $500,000 for Barack Obama this cycle alone! Click here to see his honorary “$500K+” designation on the President’s campaign donor website.
It goes without saying that President Obama’s campaign should immediately return the money. $1.2 billion is still unaccounted for; plenty of hard-working Americans lost their shirts including 38,000 farmers who have already filed suit against Corzine.
We know the president is perfectly comfortable surrounding himself with crony capitalists. And he’s pocketed plenty of campaign cash from Corzine’s efforts in the past. But wouldn’t you think he’d draw the line somewhere? Particularly in an election year?
Sometimes, I think he’s beyond caring… we’re too far below him!

Why Romney Won Big In Florida: Five Reasons

Behind the big Romney win in Florida are five significant factors that turned the tide of the election:

1) Romney's stellar debate performances leading up to the primary. Romney stumbled in early debates. But then he got a new debate coach and came roaring back. Romney showed he's willing to fight -- willing to mess things up a bit -- and GOP voters liked that. They want to see somebody who's gonna take it to Obama in November -- someone who's not afraid of a good fight; someone who can be sharp, feisty, fearless. Romney began to show them that and they liked what they saw.

2) Gingrich's crazy ideas. Gingrich's looney ideas about a colony on the moon and other pie-in-the-sky schemes began to catch up with him. The man likes the sound of his own voice so much that he doesn't pay very much attention to what he's actually saying. He's undisciplined. He's peripatetic. Sloppiness doesn't win elections. Discipline does. See my column in the Philadelphia Daily News tomorrow for more on this.

3) Senior citizens. Seniors vote -- and they went big for Romney. They like his steadiness, his sensibility and his stability. They like the fact that Romney looks and acts like a President -- that he appears to be ready to assume the office; ready to run the country. My hunch is they also like the fact that he has a real, intact family and that he's been married to the same woman his whole married life.

4) The economy. The more people worry about the economy, the more they turn to Romney, the businessman. Romney's business acumen plays well during economic upheaval and economic hard times.

5) Electability. Among those who made their decision based who has the best chance to actually be elected in November, Romney won running away. More and more people see him as a winner -- the one candidate who can lead the party to victory this year.

Now, look for calls from party leaders for Gingrich to get out of the race and for everyone to begin to coalesce around Romney. The GOP doesn't like long, bloody battles -- especially once a clear leader has emerged. There will be a lot of pressure on Gingrich. A lot. He would do well to pay attention to those who have the best interests of the party at heart.

Fox Calls It: Florida Goes To Romney!


Christie Files Nominations, Announces Other Picks

Yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie filed the following nominations with the State Senate. The Governor’s nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the State Senate.


Nominate for appointment Bruce A. Harris (Chatham Borough, Morris)
Nominate for appointment Phillip H. Kwon (Closter, Bergen)

Nominate for appointment Paula T. Dow (Maplewood, Essex)
Nominate for appointment H. Matthew Curry (Lopatcong Township, Warren)
Nominate for appointment Kathi F. Fiamingo  (Kenilworth, Union)
Nominate for appointment J. Christopher Gibson (Cape May Courthouse, Cape May)
Nominate for appointment Robert G. Malestein (Hopewell Township, Cumberland)
Nominate for appointment James R. Swift (Millville, Cumberland)

Nominate for appointment Harry D. Norton, Jr. (Ramsey, Bergen)

Nominate for appointment James G. Devine (Scotch Plains, Union)


Last week, Governor Christie filed direct appointments for the Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Public Members – Gubernatorial Appointee
Appoint Craig A. Domalewski, Esq. (Randolph, Morris)
Appoint Colin M. Newman, Esq. (Pennington, Mercer)
Appoint Nancy R. Thaler (Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania)
Public Member - Senate President Recommendation
           Appoint Allison Murphy (Cape May Court House, Cape May)
Public Member - Assembly Speaker Recommendation
Appoint Valessa Rocke Goehringer (Wenonah, Gloucester)

Sweeney Promised Action In March; Now What?

NJ STATE SENATOR STEVE SWEENEY (on May 2, 2011): The Governor has a couple nominations come March of next year and you know, one of the things I hope the Governor keeps in mind is the racial diversity of the Courts. We need to make sure we have a racially diverse Court that looks like the state of New Jersey. But there’s a commitment from me to move the nominations come March also.

Every Day, Philadelphia Is COMPLETELY Yours!

This video is a new community asset, produced by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau with Bozeken, highlighting the best of Philadelphia, from its universities and life sciences community to dining, shopping and culture, and features a welcome by Mayor Michael A. Nutter.
In addition to being used to welcome meeting attendees and visitors from around the globe, it is available to any business or resident looking to spread the word about Philadelphia as a destination of choice, whether it's to live, work or visit. 
Click here to share it with others!

DemTime: In Trenton 'Timely' Means 'No Time Soon'

Trenton To English Translation: “Timely” and “Expedited”
Senate Judiciary Chairman Nicholas Scutari Says That Governor Christie’s Supreme Court Nominees Will Not Have Hearings “Any Time Soon,” Which Seems To Contradict Senator Sweeney’s Promise Of A “Timely” And “Expedited” Confirmation Process


1.       Coming early or at the right time
2.       Appropriate or adapted to the times or the occasion


1. Coming after months of delay and political posturing
2. “No time soon”


·         “Although the governor called on the state Senate to take up the nominations as soon as possible, Scutari said the hearings would begin ‘no time soon.’” (Christopher Baxter, “N.J. senator: State Supreme Court nominee's confirmation chances 'jeopardized' by legal issues,” Star-Ledger, 1/31/12)

·         Sweeney “agreed the Senate would hold timely hearings when Christie makes nominations to permanently replace Wallace, as well as Justice Virginia Long, who also faces mandatory retirement in 2012.” (Maya Rao, “Sweeney, Christie End Impasse Over N.J. Supreme Court Nomination,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/3/11)


1. To execute promptly
2. To accelerate the process or progress of


1. To delay for delay’s sake
2. To slow down a process for political expediency, as in: State Supreme Court Justice Anne Patterson’s expedited confirmation process took 420 days.


·         “As part of the agreement, the Senate President agreed to provide the same expedited process in 2012, holding hearings for Christie’s nominees in sufficient time to have them seated by March of 2012, if confirmed.” (Kevin McArdle, “Diversity And NJ’s Surpreme Court,” NJ 101.5, 11/3/11)

Congressman Runyan Reacts To Challenger's Candidacy

Congressman Jon Runyan has released the following statement on Shelley Adler's candidacy for Congress:

I welcome Mrs. Adler into the race,” said Rep. Runyan. “If she is ultimately the Democratic nominee, I look forward to a spirited campaign on the issues that matter to the residents of Burlington and Ocean counties.”
“I intend to run on my record of standing up to President Obama’s failed big-government agenda, fighting to restore fiscal responsibility and implement pro-growth economic policies that create jobs and opportunity for all Americans, preserving and strengthening Medicare for current and future generations, and strongly supporting our veterans, active military and the operations at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.”
Runyan consultant Chris Russell pointed to Mrs. Adler’s decision to run despite not living in the newly-configured 3rd Congressional District.
“After the Carl Lewis fiasco and the public backlash towards him, you would think candidates would be more wary of seeking elected office in a district that they don’t actually live in,” added Russell.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Obama: Your Husband's Joblessness Is 'Interesting'

Obama is stumped that an semiconductor engineer cannot find a job.
He flails as he tries to explain it away. Then, he simply says it's "interesting."
Without a telepormpter, he seems helpless.

Video: Obama Bungles Job Numbers!

During his live online interview Pres. Obama claims that his administration helped create 22 million jobs (January 30, 2012). He should only wish. What a joke!

Did Michelle Really Spend $50,000 On Lingerie?

WHILE PRICES CLIMB, HOME VALUES DROP, THE POVERTY RATE SOARS AND MILLIONS SEARCH FOR JOBS: Britain's Telegraph and other sources say that First Lady Michelle Obama conducted an estimated $50,000 lingerie shopping fest at NYC's chic Agent Provocateur. Reportedly, the First Lady closed off Madison Avenue to go on a shopping spree with the Queen of Qatar. Zillions on elaborate vacations, $2,000 for a dress, $1,000 for a skirt, tens of thousands in lingerie, unprecedented amounts on showy White House parties -- all this during an ever-lingering recession. 
Where does it end?

Why Do So Many 'Conservatives' Oppose Gingrich?

One would think that conservatives would be rushing to support Newt Gingrich.
After all, Gingrich presents himself as a sort of conservative champion.
Again and again he wraps himself in the cloak of conservatism.
But lots of conservatives simply aren't buying it.
Peter Wehner has a wonderful column in Commentary that examines why so many genuine conservatives actually oppose Newt Gingrich -- why they district him and his candidacy.
Here's an excerpt:
The reality is that conservative/”establishment” opposition to Gingrich generally falls into three categories. One is that if he won the nomination, he would not only lose to Barack Obama, but he would sink the rest of the GOP fleet in the process. A second area of concern is that Gingrich is temperamentally unfit to be president –he’s too erratic, undisciplined, and rhetorically self-destructive. A third area of concern is the suspicion that the former House speaker is not, in fact, a terribly reliable conservative, that he is not philosophically well-grounded
Click here to read more.

Guadagno Welcomes Watson Pharm's NJ Expansion

Today’s announcement by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that the company is establishing its global research and development center in North Brunswick shows that the New Jersey Comeback is in full swing, said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. Watson develops and distributes generic pharmaceuticals and specialized pharmaceutical products focused on urology and women’s health.

"Watson's decision to further expand in New Jersey shows the Christie Administration’s strategy to attract business, rebuild New Jersey's economy and create jobs is working," said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. "Strengthening the state's competitive position in the life sciences is a priority, and the commitment by a global pharmaceutical leader like Watson is proof that companies are finding New Jersey increasingly attractive."

In 2010, Watson moved its global corporate headquarters to Parsippany, a move that included relocating certain corporate leadership functions that had been located at the company’s Corona, California site.

During the Christie Administration’s first two years in office, New Jersey added more than 60,000 new private sector jobs and attracted scores of companies. In fact, 2011 was the best private sector job growth year in New Jersey since 2000, according to Rutgers University economist Joseph Seneca.

Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Guadagno, the New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA) worked with Watson to encourage the company to choose New Jersey for its global research and development center. The center, which will employ about 50 professional and support staff, will undergo a $4.5 million renovation and is expected to open in the spring of 2012.

The Partnership for Action is a three-pronged public-private approach to economic development and the starting point for all initiatives, policies, and efforts to grow New Jersey’s economy and create quality, sustainable jobs in our communities. The three elements of the PFA include the Business Action Center, which reports directly to the Lt. Governor and provides the business community with a single point of contact, applying a proactive, customer-service approach to businesses’ interactions with State government; the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, serving as the state’s “bank for business”; and Choose New Jersey, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation created to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout New Jersey.

“The jobs Watson is bringing to North Brunswick are precisely the type of jobs we’re working to bring to New Jersey,” continued Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Watson’s move further strengthens the state’s already robust and admired life sciences industry cluster.”

Businesses considering a move or in need of assistance are encouraged to call New Jersey’s Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or visit the State’s Business Portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.

Click here for an audio clip of Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno discussing Watson’s move to New Jersey. A transcript of the Lt. Governor’s comments is below:
“New Jersey has targeted life sciences as one of the six key industries for New Jersey job growth in the 21st century.
“Watson Pharmaceuticals announcement today is just an early win, with Watson’s already strong presence and its plans to continue to invest millions of dollars in New Jersey, we have plainly begun to make New Jersey a home for growth again.”

Romney's Positive Message Resonates With Floridians

Florida voters will have a chance to begin the process of putting our country back on the right track by voting for Mitt Romney. After three years of failed leadership in Washington, it is time that we have a proven leader in the White House.
Wherever you live, you can get involved and help Mitt Romney right now. Click here to get involved.

Christie Names Two New Cabinet Members

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today announced the nomination of two cabinet members to lead the Departments of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) and Banking and Insurance (DOBI). Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff, who has served as Acting Adjutant General since December 16, was today nominated to assume permanent leadership at the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Ken Kobylowski, currently chief of staff and Acting Director of Banking at DOBI, was nominated to replace Commissioner Tom Considine, who is resigning to return to the private sector.

“I am proud today to nominate Brigadier General Cunniff as New Jersey’s next Adjutant General, making permanent his leadership of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs,” said Governor Christie. “Over the past month, General Cunniff has impressed me with his effective leadership of the Department and its operations. I’m pleased he has agreed to continue that service and leadership to the people of this state as Adjutant General.”

Governor Chris Christie appointed Brigadier General Michael Cunniff to serve as Acting Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs on December 16. Prior to that, General Cunniff served as the 108th Air Refueling Wing Commander of the New Jersey Air National Guard. In that capacity, he was responsible for two flying units and the command of more 1,300 members in over 25 support units.

General Cunniff entered the United States Air Force in July 1982, and was commissioned through the Academy of Military Science in October 1983. He received his pilot's wings at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, in 1983. General Cunniff has served in many operations including Operations Northern Watch, Joint Forge, Allied Force, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Ken Kobylowski, currently Chief of Staff and Acting Director of Banking at the Department of Banking of Insurance, will replace Commissioner Tom Considine, who will leave the Administration effective February 10 for a position in the private sector. Considine will join MagnaCare, a health plan services company, as Chief Operating Officer.

“New Jersey's insurance regulatory climate and reputation in the banking sector have improved considerably because of the work of Tom Considine,” said Governor Christie. “Under Tom’s leadership, the Department was a model for bringing private sector metrics and performance management to state government. In just two years, 59 new insurers have come into New Jersey while 64 others have expanded their authority. I thank Tom for his service and demonstrated record of achievement to the State and people of New Jersey.

“At the same time, I am pleased to announce my nomination of Ken Kobylowski to succeed Tom and continue the important work at the Department. Ken is a person of considerable talent, expertise and accomplishment, who has been instrumental every single day in the Department’s successes over the last two years in his capacity as chief of staff. I thank him for taking on this new challenge and have no doubt he will build on DOBI’s strong record of the last two years,” Governor Christie continued.

Ken Kobylowski joined the Department of Banking and Insurance as Chief of Staff in February 2010 and took on the additional role as Acting Director of Banking in October 2011. He serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the Department with full responsibility for all legislative, regulatory, operational and administrative matters. Ken also serves as the Department’s liaison with other State departments and federal agencies, notably the Federal Reserve and the FDIC. Ken is a gubernatorial appointee to the State Employees’ Health Benefits Plan Design Committee and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Plan Design Committee.

Prior to joining the Department, Ken was in private law practice for 20 years, beginning at Connell, Foley & Geiser in Roseland, New Jersey, and then moving to Herrick, Feinstein LLP, first in its New York City office and then in its Newark, New Jersey office. He represented a wide array of clients, including banks, insurance companies, lenders, developers and public and private entities. Before practicing law, Ken began his professional career as a bank analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Seton Hall University and a cum laude graduate of New York Law School, where he served as Executive Editor of the Journal of International and Comparative Law.

Shortly after becoming Commissioner in 2010, Considine raised confidence in the banking community when he revised the government unit deposit banking regulation. In addition, he was instrumental in reforming New Jersey’s reinsurance and surplus lines laws and in establishing New Jersey’s captive insurance market. He also launched the Bureau of Fraud Deterrence at DOBI, making the fight against civil insurance fraud a key component of DOBI’s portfolio. Considine has played a significant role in reforming New Jersey’s PIP regulation to stem the upward pressure on auto insurance rates.

"When the Governor named me Commissioner in January 2010, I said that we would hang out a sign saying New Jersey is open for business for financial services companies,” said Commissioner Considine. “I am proud of the achievements and inroads the department has made in bringing a seismic cultural change that promotes growth in the banking and insurance industries as demonstrated by our repeal or scale-back of 21 burdensome regulations, as well as the reduction of our new product review and approval time by up to 58 percent. I thank Governor Christie for the opportunity to serve New Jersey and the positive changes we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Christie To Newt: Stop Attacking Romney's Character

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie yesterday made the following statement on Newt Gingrich’s comments about Mitt Romney’s character:
“I know Mitt Romney. I know the kind of father he is, grandfather he is, and husband he is. I have seen Mitt Romney with his kids, and even with my own. Mitt Romney is man of impeccable character. Even though I am not the one being attacked, it offends me that Newt Gingrich would attack the character of Mitt Romney. If Americans are looking for a leader with character, there is no better choice than Mitt Romney.”
Click here to learn more or to become involved.

Obama Has Failed; Washington's Still Broken

Pep Boys Sold; Inquirer/Daily News On Market Again

The legendary Philly-based auto parts chain Pep Boys has been sold for $1 billion ($15 a share) to private equity buyer Alan Gores. Pep Boys chief Mike Odell says he expects his management team to stay in place "for now."
So, another Philadelphia institution slips into the hands of an outsider.
Also, the New York Post is reporting that the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com are up for sale -- again! The report claims that the current owner, Philadelphia Media Network is hoping to get roughly $100-million for the papers and the website.
Philadelphia Media Network is mum on all this, refusing any comment. That's not a good sign.

See Elmo In Camden Today, At Liacouras In March

Sesame Street Live’s most popular fuzzy friend Elmo follows his imagination to the Adventure Aquarium at 1 PM today, Monday, January 30 to join young children at the underwater destination. 
Elmo is in town in preparation for Sesame Street Live “1-2-3 Imagine! with Elmo and Friends” coming to the Liacouras Center from Thursday, March 15 to Sunday, March 18.
“1-2-3 Imagine! with Elmo and Friends” is a high-energy musical that will transport audiences to far away places using the power of imagination. In the show, Elmo’s friend Bert meets an octopus who has the blues and Ernie captains the high seas. This story of adventure and fun teaches children they can be anyone, do anything and go anywhere.
Tickets for Sesame Street Live “1-2-3 Imagine! with Elmo and Friends” at Liacouras Center from Thursday, March 15 to Sunday, March 18 are available exclusively through ComcastTIX online at ComcastTIX.com/elmo, by phone at 1-800-298-4200, or in person at the Liacouras Center box office.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Valentine At Seasons 52!

Seasons 52, the highly acclaimed fresh grill and wine bar restaurant, is offering a special, limited-time addition to its menu of Mini Indulgence desserts this February. 

From the 1st to 15th of the month, the seasonally inspired restaurant will offer guests Chocolate Raspberry Valentine, which features a combination of decadent chocolate cake layered between ribbons of chocolate syrup, raspberry puree and raspberry mousse, garnished with whipped cream and a chocolate “kiss.”

“Chocolate and raspberry are a classic dessert combination, as the richness of the chocolate balances the contrasting fruit flavor,” said Chef Clifford Pleau, Senior Director of Culinary at Seasons 52. “The Chocolate Raspberry Valentine is the perfect ending to your dining experience at Seasons 52, especially as we approach Valentine’s Day.”

Seasons 52 originally pioneered the smaller-portioned dessert concept at its first restaurant in Orlando, FL, in 2003. Mini Indulgences offer guests classic dessert flavors featuring top quality ingredients and highly creative presentations. The idea is to provide all of the pleasure of finishing your meal with a great dessert, but none of the guilt. In addition to perennial guest favorites like Rocky Road, Pecan Pie and Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse, the Mini Indulgence lineup also features seasonal favorites such as Pumpkin Pie with a ginger snap crust, Strawberry Shortcake and now the Chocolate Raspberry Valentine.

The ideal destination for any occasion, Seasons 52 changes its menu four times a year, with weekly fresh features to truly capture the flavors of the season. Nothing on the menu is above 475 calories, from the signature flatbreads and appetizers to every entree and the Mini Indulgence desserts. Seasons 52’s promise of “a fresh dining experience that celebrates living well” has been consistently praised by restaurant critics across the country and people’s choice awards alike.

About Seasons 52
Seasons 52 <http://www.seasons52.com/> , which debuted in 2003, is a fresh grill and wine bar that provides guests with a fresh dining experience, enabling them to celebrate living well. The menu is orchestrated by award-winning Chef Clifford Pleau, and is inspired by the seasons and the fresh appeal of the farmers’ market – 52 weeks a year. The award-winning wine list created and developed by Master Sommelier George Miliotes – one of 180 Master Sommeliers worldwide – is consistently praised for its diverse international selection of 100 wines, including more than 52 offered by the glass. Seasons 52 is recognized as a forward-thinking restaurant concept that is “right for the times” and always offers guests something new to discover.

Seasons 52 currently operates 21 locations in 12 states across the country and will open additional restaurants in Garden City (Roosevelt Field), NY, and Oak Brook (Oakbrook Center), IL, in spring 2012, and in Santa Monica (Ocean and Broadway), CA, in autumn 2012. For more information, please visit Seasons52.com, or find us on Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/Seasons52> and Twitter <http://www.twitter.com/Seasons52> .

Space Program Leaders Endorse Romney

Leaders in America’s space program today wrote an open letter in support of Mitt Romney. The full text of the letter is below:


The U.S. space program is a strategic national asset, which makes critical contributions to our scientific knowledge, technological innovation, economic competitiveness, national security, and international leadership. We have watched with dismay as President Obama dismantled the structure that was guiding both the government and commercial space sectors, while providing no purpose or vision or mission. This failure of leadership has thrust the space program into disarray and triggered a dangerous erosion of our technical workforce and capabilities. In short, we have a space program unworthy of a great nation.

Restoring the U.S. space program to greatness will require the leadership, management skill, and commitment to American exceptionalism possessed by only one candidate in this race: Mitt Romney. We support Mitt’s candidacy and believe that his approach to space policy will produce results instead of empty promises. As his long record of success in both the private and public sectors attests, Mitt will do more than provide our space program with an inspiring vision and mission of exploration. He will also set aggressive yet achievable goals, adhere to realistic budgets, and execute on a carefully drawn plan.

As president, Mitt Romney will facilitate close collaboration not only within the government’s civil and national security space sectors, but also with the private sector and with research institutions. He will create conditions for a strong and competitive commercial space industry that can contribute greatly to our national capabilities and goals. And he will ensure that NASA returns its focus to the project of manned space exploration that uniquely affirms American strength and values around the globe. Under his leadership, America will once again lead the world in space.

Scott Pace, Chair of the Romney Space Policy Advisory Group
Director, Space Policy Institute, The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University
Former Assistant Director for Space and Aeronautics, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Mark Albrecht
Chairman of the Board, USSpace
Former Executive Secretary, National Space Council

Eric Anderson
Chairman and CEO, Space Adventures
Chairman, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Gene Cernan
Commander, Apollo XVII

Bob Crippen
Pilot, First Space Shuttle Mission
Former Director, NASA Space Shuttle Program

Michael Griffin
Former NASA Administrator
Former Head of the Space Department, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Peter Marquez
Former Director of Space Policy, National Security Council
Former Director of Special Programs, Department of Defense

William Martel
Associate Professor of International Security Studies, The Fletcher School at Tufts University
Former Alan B. Shepard Chair of Space Technology and Policy Studies, Naval War College

*Organization names are provided for identification purposes only.

Romney's New Debate Coach Sends Him Soaring

THIS is the Mitt Romney we've been waiting for: More alive, more animated, more engaged, more pugnacious and unwilling to continue to allow himself to be misrepresented or maligned.
Those of you who were here for my live blogging during the debate will recall that I immediately noted that were seeing a more aggressive, sharper, feistier Mitt Romney.
Turns out Romney has a new debate coach and this change has certainly made a huge difference.
BTW: Check out Romney's body language and note that how you say it is as important as what you say.

Noonan: Gingrich As Heir To Reagan? Not Quite!

Peggy Noonan has written a wonderful column in this weekend's Wall Street Journal about the Romney/Gingrich matchup in Florida, all the talk about the legacy of Ronald Reagan and the future of the Republican Party.
Here are some excerpts.
One way Newt is unlike Reagan is that Reagan was a constructive figure, not destructive. If Newt is the donkey who knocked down the barn, Reagan's the guy who'd build it. He wasn't driven by need, and anger wasn't his fuel. He was equable, even-tempered, personally content. Martin Anderson always said Ronald Reagan didn't need high office to feel good, Ronald Reagan dated Lana Turner. He already thought he was quite a fella. . . .
Mr. Gingrich does not disdain Reagan and surely never did. He says he loves him and he probably does, in the way that people come to love what they need to love. They come up with reasons!
But the point is Newt senses the lay of the land. If a new and modern strain of Rockefeller Republicanism looked like it was about to take hold, he'd see the virtues in that. Right now the growth area looks like it's in opposition to elites and establishments. So that's where he is.
Click here to read the entire column.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why Did Bush & Bush Give Obama This Photo-Op?

First. former Florida Governor Jeb Bush pulled away from making any endorsement in his state's GOP primary. In the all-important Romney/Gingrich battle he decided to remain neutral.
Then, he and his dad President George H. W. Bush paid a call on President Obama at the White House and effectively allowed the current occupant to take advantage of them via this photo which the White House promptly posted on Flickr.
Word is the Bushes were in DC to attend the super-exclusive Alfalfa Club dinner tonight that the President will also attend. No one will say why father and son Bush visited the White House or what they talked about.
But they did give the President an unnecessary photo opportunity. On the eve of the Florida primary, he gets to look non-partisan and they participate in the ploy.
George H. W. Bush has always had a goofy make-nice gene. But I didn't know that it extended to Jeb as well. Why play into the hands of someone who has attempted to batter you and denigrate your accomplishments -- and would gladly do it again once you're out of his sight?
Beats me.

Ten Ways That Obama Is Destroying The Middle Class

President Obama spent a lot of time during his State of the Union speech talking about protecting, preserving and helping the middle class.
But the record shows that his policies are actually contributing to the destruction of the middle class.
In fact, the statistics paint a sobering picture for just what President Obama has achieved in his fight to “help the middle class reclaim a sense of economic security that will benefit the entire economy”:
  • Unemployment: The number of people unemployed has grown by over one million. 
  • Long-term Unemployment: The average duration of unemployment has more than doubled, to an astonishing 40.8 weeks.
  • Jobs: Nearly 1.7 million jobs have been lost.
  • Income: Median household income has declined by nearly $1,000.
  • Poverty: The number of people in poverty has grown by over six million.
  • Hunger: Food stamp participation has increased by more than 14 million people, to a devastating 46.2 million.
  • Health Care: Average family health insurance premiums have increased by more than $1,500.
  • Energy: Gas prices have nearly doubled, to $3.38 per gallon.
  • Housing: Foreclosures have spiked to a record one-million-plus annually.
  • Debt: Each family’s share of the publicly-held national debt has skyrocketed by more than $35,000, to nearly $90,000.
When Barack Obama ran for the presidency, he promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” Sadly, he is succeeding. He is pushing America toward a European-style entitlement society that would have been unrecognizable to our parents’ generation – let alone the Founders’ – with diminishing economic opportunity and ever-growing government programs and regulations.

The election this November will be about whether the America want to continue in this direction, or reverse course and rebuild the Opportunity Society that has made her the greatest in the history of the world. Mitt Romney looks forward to offering voters that choice.

Mitt Romney Gains Support Of Puerto Rico Governor

Mitt Romney today announced the support of Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuño.

“It is an honor to have Governor Fortuño’s support,” said Mitt Romney. 
 “As president, I look forward to working with Governor Fortuño on the issues most pressing for the people of Puerto Rico – job creation, public safety and resolving the Island’s 113-year political status question. Every job created on the Island is another American job added to our nation’s economic comeback. Working together to continue Puerto Rico’s economic recovery will ensure Puerto Rico is part of the United States’ economic revitalization. By implementing pro-growth policies that promote job creation, we can help Puerto Rico and the rest of the country. 
"We must also commit ourselves to stopping drug trafficking into Puerto Rico as a priority of the Federal Government and the required resources need to be assigned. I will never neglect the U.S. Caribbean border and will continue to support strong trade and economic opportunity, and robust border security. In addition, I pledge to work with Congress to help the American citizens residing in Puerto Rico resolve their century-long status issue by choosing from the constitutionally-viable status options. I look forward to working with Governor Fortuño on these issues as well as many other issues.”
Announcing his support, Governor Fortuño said, “Mitt Romney is the one candidate who has the record, leadership, experience, and pro-growth plan to continue the course of private-sector job creation we’ve begun in Puerto Rico and provide economic stability for generations. Mitt Romney has shown throughout his life that the principles learned in the private sector can be applied to all challenges, whether it was saving the 2002 Olympics or balancing the budget as Governor.”

Background on Governor Fortuño:

Governor Luis G. Fortuño Was Elected in 2008. As Governor, he has reduced government size, closed the biggest deficit in the country and set the course for a balanced budget in his first term, cut taxes and revitalized the local economy. He serves as Chairman of the Southern Governors Association and President of the Council of State Governments. Prior to his election, he represented the people of Puerto Rico in the U.S. Congress. During his time in the U.S. House, Fortuño served as Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference and was a co-sponsor of the Puerto Rico Democracy Act.

Newt's Favorite President: NOT Reagan; NOT Any 'R'

Video: Gingrich Can't Run Away From His Record

Friday, January 27, 2012

Romney To Obama In Michigan: Where Are The Jobs?

Mitt Romney today wrote an open letter to President Obama ahead of his visit to Michigan. The full letter will run in the Detroit Newsand the Detroit Free Press.

Dear Mr. President,

Welcome to Michigan. I have a simple question for you: where are the jobs?

As we enter the fourth year of your term, unemployment here is a staggering 9.3 percent. Nearly half a million men and women are fruitlessly seeking work. Many others have simply given up looking. They’ve given up hope.

I recognize, of course, as do all Americans, that you inherited an economic crisis. But you’ve now had three years to turn things around. The record of those three years is clear. Your policies have failed, and not only in Michigan, but across the nation. We have now had 35 consecutive months of unemployment over 8 percent, the longest such stretch since the Great Depression. Your policies, from Obamacare to your regulatory onslaught to your out-of-control spending on a pork-barrel stimulus bill to your crony-capitalism “green” investments in companies like the now-bankrupt Solyndra, have gotten in the way of economic recovery.

The results are a continuing tragedy for millions upon millions of people. I’ve met too many Americans who’ve lost their homes to foreclosure, who’ve had to put aside retirement plans and take work at minimum wage, whose dreams of sending their children to college have been shattered, whose lives have been upended. This is not the way it is supposed to be in America. This is not the way it needs to be.

It is plain that your policies have made things worse, not better. You pressed hard for legislation that your team promised would hold unemployment below 8 percent. The price tag on that legislation was $787 billion, which vastly expanded our nation’s deficit and contributed to an unprecedented downgrade of our nation’s credit rating. And yet for all the taxpayer money that was spent and borrowed, unemployment remains tragically high.

Mr. President, forgive me for being blunt, but when it comes to economic affairs, you’re out of your depth. Unlike you, I am not a career politician. Unlike you, I’ve spent more than two decades working in the private sector, starting new businesses and turning around failing ones. Undoing the damage you’ve done will be a daunting challenge. But I’ve learned a thing or two about how government policies can kill private investment and stifle job creation and I have a plan to get government out of the way and unleash the potential of the American people.

Mr. President, Four years ago, campaigning for the presidency, you declared that you were “absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Mr. President, the American people are tired of the grandiose promises. And they are even more tired of the paltry results.

Mr. President, your promises now ring hollow. If you have brought new ideas to Michigan for creating jobs, why have you waited three years to unveil them? Have you suddenly had a revelation, or is it because 2012 is an election year? Whatever the case, what you are offering Michigan now is too little, too late. What Michigan needs, and what the country needs, is not four more years of economic mismanagement and failed leadership, but a fundamental change in direction. I was born and raised in Michigan at a time when our state was the pride of America. With new leadership, Michigan can feel that pride once more.

Mitt Romney

Romney On Holocaust Remembrance Day: Stand Firm!

Mitt Romney made the following statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
“On this day, we pause to remember the millions of Jews murdered in Europe.
"But it is not enough merely to reflect on those horrors and the evil that brought it about. We must also reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that there will never be a recurrence of such terrible events.
"At a moment when the state of Israel is under threat from violent terrorists, from tyrants seeking nuclear weapons, and from a campaign to deny the legitimacy of a Jewish state, the United States must stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally in its quest for peace and security.”

'Welcome Back Kotter' Actor Dies At 60

You remember him as Phillipo de Huevos Epstein.
But his real name was Robert Hegyes and he was jersey born and bred.
Hegyes, who played Jewish Puerto Rican wheeler-dealer on the 1970s classic TV comedy "Welcome Back Kotter," died from an apparent heart attack this morning. This happened shortly after he sufferd chest pains at his Metuchen, NJ home. He was 60.
Hegyes, later co-starred on "Cagney and Lacey" and taught occasional master classes at his alma mater, Rowan University, in Glassboro NJ. But he was best known for his work on "Kotter," in which he performed alongside a young John Travolta.
 Hegyes was one of the tough remedial students called the Sweathogs.
Hegyes and nearly all of the original cast members reunited last year at the TV Land Awards to recognize the show's 35th anniversary.
Click here to read more.

Ann Romney Wows Hispanic Crowd In Florida

The Palm Beach (FL) Post has been reporting on Mitt Romney's campaign in Florida.
Here's an excerpt on a story that notes the huge success that Ann Romney (and the Romney sons) are having with Hispanic audiences:
Romney was introduced to the crowd in Spanish by the couple’s youngest son, who spent several years in Chile. After a quick “Ola!” from one of their 16 grandkids, Ann Romney delivered what appeared to be a heartfelt, funny and down home assessment of the rigors of being a candidate’s wife and raising five children while her husband traveled on business and why she agreed, once again, to join him on the campaign trail.
“Four years ago, I was definite about one thing: I would never do it again,” she said of her husband’s failed 2008 campaign. “Mitt said, you say that after every pregnancy. All the women out there know what I’m talking about.”
When he broached the subject again, she said she was reluctant. Before she was going to endure another campaign, she asked him to answer one question: “Can you fix it?” When he answered yes, she was in.
Click here to read more.
Click here to get involved with the Romney campaign.

Here Are This Weeks BIGGEST Stories

Here are the most-visited stories on the Dan Cirucci blog this week:

Sep 6, 2010, 1 comment
653 Pageviews
Jul 19, 2011, 1 comment
373 Pageviews
Apr 2, 2011, 1 comment
220 Pageviews
Jan 25, 2012, 2 comments
177 Pageviews
Jan 22, 2012
98 Pageviews

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Christie Orders Flags Lowered For Fallen Marine

Today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the following Executive Order:
Executive Order No. 86 - Ordering all State buildings to fly flags at half-staff on Monday, January 30, 2012 to honor the service and sacrifice of United States Marine Corporal Kevin J. Reinhard, who was raised in Woodbridge and attended Ramapo College and Middlesex County College, and in 2008 interrupted his studies to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. Corporal Reinhard lost his life serving on active duty in Helmand Province, Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Romney On Gingrich: 'A One Man Band'

Senator Bob Dole today release this statement:

I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late. If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway.

Gingrich served as Speaker from 1995 to 1999 and had trouble within his own party. Already in 1997 a number of House members wanted to throw him out as Speaker. But he hung on until after the 1998 elections when the writing was on the wall. His mounting ethics problems caused him to resign in early 1999. I know whereof I speak as I helped establish a line of credit of $150,000 to help Newt pay off the fine for his ethics violations. In the end, he paid the fine with money from other sources.

Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall. He loved picking a fight with Bill Clinton because he knew this would get the attention of the press. This and a myriad of other specifics helped to topple Gingrich in 1998.

In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads and in every one of them Newt was in the ad. He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year. Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty ice-bucket in his hand—that was a symbol of some sort for him—and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it.

In my opinion if we want to avoid an Obama landslide in November, Republicans should nominate Governor Romney as our standard bearer. He has the requisite experience in the public and private sectors. He would be a president we could have confidence in.

Debate: Santorum Embarrasses Himself

Rick Santorum tried hard to rattle Mitt Romney in the Florida GOP debate.
And he failed.
It's hard to figure out exactly what Santorum's game plan is.
He peaked in Iowa.
He's beyond desperate now.
Now he's becoming pathetic.

Ron Paul Has Best Line Of Debate

At the Florida GOP debate, Ron Paul has the best line of the night: "I don't think we should go to the moon. I think we should send some politicians there."

Investments: Romney Hits Homer

Romney just hit a homer on the matter of investments and success in business.
Romney holds firm and demands accounting from Gingrich for his repeated attacks. Gingrich has been squirming somewhat tonight and clearly seems unsettled when the attacks are turned on him.
These questions and challenges are good for Romney. Let him answer them now and get sharp on the uptake because he's going to get plenty of attacks like this when the Dems launch all out class warfare on him if he becomes the nominee.
Romney will be strengthened by this of he handles himself well.
Paul is now scoring points on the issue of his age. Actually, his boyish demeanor belies his age. If elected, he would be the oldest president ever.

Debate: Romney Hitting Hard

Romney just hit Gingrich hard on supposed "investments" in FannieMae and FreddieMac.
Gingrich is now becoming defensive. He's been thrown off his game tonight.
Paul is scoring points now as Gingrich fades.
Watch out for Paul. He aims to pick up enough delegates at caucuses to be
a player at the convention. He should not be viewed lightly even though he has some seemingly wacky ideas.

Live Blogging The GOP Debate

We're watching the GOP debate and it's off to a fast start and so far Mitt Romney has clearly gained the initiative. Mitt has taken the offensive and has wasted no time in calling Gingrich on his inflammatory rhetoric.
Right now Santorum and Paul are arguing about Latin America.
And once again Gingrich has been caught on a past inflammatory quote in which he called Spanish the language of the ghetto.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

THIS Christie Video Will Give You Goosebumps!

Do you make jokes about New Jersey?
Even when the state had the good sense to elect the most genuine, most credible Governor in America?
Even while the whole country is now watching America's most compelling public figure transform New Jersey into a model for the nation?
Even while millions are wishing that this native of Newark, NJ was the President of the United States?
Obviously, you need to stop making those jokes. And you need to stop it right now.
For a lot of reasons. But here's another reason why.
This video of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie answering a question from a young Giants fan at a recent Christie Town Hall will give you goosebumps -- no matter where you live or what team you root for.
It not only shows Chris Christie at his best but it also demonstrates his pride in his home state and his understanding of New Jerseyans' keen sense of identity with the Garden State.
He says it. He means it. He does it!

Romney And Cuba: Record And Policies Are Clear

Mitt Romney will adopt a clear policy toward the Cuban regime: no accommodation, no appeasement. The United States should not relent until the day when the Castros’ regime meets its end and their history is written among the world's most reviled despots, tyrants, and frauds. The North Star that guides Mitt Romney’s policy toward the island is the realizable dream of a free Cuba.
Unfortunately, President Obama has adopted a strategy of appeasement toward the Castro regime. He unilaterally relaxed sanctions without making any demands of the regime. Predictably, the Castros responded to these naïve concessions by tightening their grip on the island and by taking an American, Alan Gross, as a political prisoner. Now, increased travel and remittances to Cuba prop up a regime desperate for foreign currency.

Mitt Romney will break sharply with President Obama’s appeasement strategy. Mitt Romney believes unilateral concessions to a dictatorial regime are counterproductive, helping to secure a succession of power and greater repression instead of a transition to freedom. Mitt Romney will send a strong message to both the regime and the Cuban people that the United States stands with the courageous pro-democracy movement on the island, and that our support will never waver. Mitt Romney’s policy toward Cuba will include:

Reinstating Travel & Remittance Restrictions. Mitt Romney will reinstate the 2004 travel and remittance restrictions that President Obama naively lifted.

Adhering to the Helms-Burton Act. Mitt Romney will strictly adhere to the Helms-Burton Act, including Title III, to place maximum pressure on the Cuban regime.

Demanding Release of Alan Gross. Mitt Romney will demand the immediate release of Alan Gross.

Democracy Promotion Programs. Mitt Romney will fully fund and effectively implement democracy promotion programs to support Cuba’s brave pro-democracy movement.

Breaking the Information Blockade. Mitt Romney will commit to breaking the information blockade the Castro regime places on the Cuban people. He will order effective use of Radio and TV Marti’s broadcasts to the island and employ robust Internet, social media, and other innovative steps to bring information to the Cuban people and help them send information out.

Publicly Naming Oppressors. Mitt Romney will publicly identify by name those police officers, prison officials, judges, state security personnel, and regime officials who mistreat, torture, and oppress the Cuban people so they know they will be held individually accountable.

Holding the Castros Accountable for the Brothers to the Rescue Shoot Down. Mitt Romney will explore all avenues — including criminal indictment — to ensure that Fidel and Raul Castro are held accountable for the killing of four Americans in the downing of the Brothers to the Rescue airplanes.

Mitt Romney recognizes the wider threat to freedom posed by the anti-American Bolivarian movement across Latin America that is led by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers. This movement threatens the principles enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter and poses a serious national security threat to U.S. regional allies and the U.S. homeland in the form of an enhanced drug-terror nexus. Mitt Romney will pursue a resolute policy toward Latin America that will include:

Bolstering the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter will form the cornerstone of U.S. policy in the hemisphere. There will never be a Cuban exception to the Charter.

Campaign for Economic Opportunity in Latin America. In his first 100 days, Mitt Romney will launch a vigorous public diplomacy and trade promotion effort in the region — the Campaign for Economic Opportunity in Latin America (CEOLA) — to extol the virtues of democracy and free trade and contrast them with the ills of the model offered by Cuba and Venezuela.

Hemispheric Joint Task Force on Crime & Terrorism. Mitt Romney will form a unified Hemispheric Joint Task Force on Crime and Terrorism to coordinate intelligence and law enforcement among our allies against regional terrorist groups and criminal networks.