Hey, @GovMurphy the @Yankees played Miami tonight. The game you’re pretending to watch was played Tuesday. Dare I say: If being a phony is your thing, maybe we’re not your state. And, by the way, work on that tan. Jersey Shore beaches are beautiful. https://t.co/ZKqFWQApse— Jack Ciattarelli (@Jack4NJ) July 31, 2021
Saturday, July 31, 2021
The following is from catholicvote.org:
A RealClear Opinion Research poll found majorities of both Republican and Democrat voters support school choice. 74% of voters support school choice, including 83% of Republicans, 70% of Democrats, and 69% of independents, according to the poll, which was conducted in June. A majority (66%) of both Republican and Democrat poll respondents also supported giving public education funding directly to parents, rather than the education system, “to use for home, virtual, or private education expenses.”
Friday, July 30, 2021
The ZOA opposes the expected nomination of Emory University lecturer Deborah Lipstadt to be the U.S. Combating Antisemitism Envoy, because of her statements displaying partisan left wing bias. Lipstadt obscenely and falsely likened President Trump to Nazi murderers and propagandists; helped promote a video that wrongly did the same; promoted the Charlottesville Hoax (despite President Trump’s clear condemnation of neo-Nazis and white supremacists); and falsely called President Trump (the grandfather of Orthodox Jewish children) an “antisemitic enabler.” Lipstadt’s abuse of false Nazi and antisemitism charges against those with whom she disagrees politically should disqualify her from serving as the U.S. Combating Antisemitism Envoy.
Lipstadt’s primary focus is antisemitism on the right (both real and imagined), at a time when the major threat is Islamist and far-left antisemitism. We are concerned that Lipstadt will ignore and/or give far too little attention to antisemitism from groups such as the Black Lives Matter organization, and leftist and Islamist BDS groups and Israel-bashing NGOs.
President Biden promised to heal and bring all Americans together when he assumed office. Nominating and confirming Lipstadt would increase partisan divides. The Combating Antisemitism Envoy is a sensitive position that requires someone non-partisan, who will honestly and strongly address all real forms of antisemitism, from the left wing to the right wing, and who will not make inaccurate charges of antisemitism to defame political adversaries. Lipstadt is a bad choice.
Below is a reprint of ZOA’s previous statement about Deborah Lipstadt’s promotion of the false, obscene comparison of then-President Trump to Nazis:
ZOA Condemns Holocaust Lecturer Deborah Lipstadt for Defending & Promoting Biden’s Obscene Comparison of Trump to Nazi Goebbels
October 7, 2020
Note: The ZOA does not endorse, oppose, or recommend any political candidates.
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:
ZOA strongly condemns left wing Emory University lecturer Deborah Lipstadt’s horrific and absurd defense of Joe Biden’s obscene statement likening pro-Jewish, pro-Israel, Noble Peace Prize nominee President Donald Trump to Nazi monster propagandist Joseph Goebbels. As “Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War,” “Reich Minister of Propaganda,” and Hitler’s appointed successor, Goebbels was a prime architect of the Nazis’ “total war” and the Nazis’ massacre of six million Jews. Yet, sickeningly and wrongly Trump-hater Lipstadt tweeted that Biden’s outrageous analogy was “historically apt.”
Last week, ZOA demanded that Joe Biden must apologize for his outrageous analogy of President Trump to Nazi monster Goebbels. (See “ZOA to Biden & Jewish Democratic Council of America: Apologize/Retract Offensive/False Analogy of Trump to Nazis,” Sept. 29, 2020) Biden has still not apologized. Lipstadt should join ZOA in demanding that Biden must apologize, instead of defending Biden’s despicable Nazi analogy.
There is nothing “historically apt” about Biden’s analogy. In fact, President Trump has a long record of combatting and condemning antisemitism and white supremacy, including: Trump’s prosecution of Charlottesville white supremacists (all of the white supremacists that were charged eventually pleaded guilty and received prison sentences); President Trump’s December 2019 “Executive Order on Combatting Antisemitism” to protect Jewish students facing growing campus antisemitism (also see here); and Trump’s decision to end previous administrations’ payments to the Palestinian Authority. By ending these payments, President Trump ended indirect American support for the PA’s official program paying Arab terrorists to murder Jews and Americans.
ZOA and Morton Klein, as a child of holocaust survivors, strongly opposes the abuse of Holocaust analogies by anyone, because this demeans the unmitigated horror perpetrated by the Nazis on the Jewish people and many others. However, it is especially disgraceful that Deborah Lipstadt defended Biden’s false analogy. Lipstadt, as a public debunker of Holocaust deniers, has a special obligation to maintain her credibility, and to not defend Biden’s false Holocaust analogy.
Unfortunately, Lipstadt also seriously damaged her credibility, reputation, and even dignity by promoting the false, offensive Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) video ad analogizing President Donald Trump to Nazi murderers. On the day that the JDCA released its horrific split-screen ad, showing President Trump side-by-side with Nazi scenes, the JDCA held an accompanying briefing by Professor Lipstadt. Lipstadt was one of the only Jewish voices endorsing this horrendous JDCA ad. The JDCA has also ignored ZOA’s demand that the JDCA must retract and apologize for this ad, and other widespread condemnation of the ad. Even the leftist ADL condemned the JDCA ad (after ZOA urged the ADL to do so).
Moreover, these are not isolated incidents. Prof. Lipstadt has been dishonestly maligning President Trump for some time, in a similar manner. In her 2019 book, “Antisemitism Here and Now,” Lipstadt wrongly calls President Trump an “antisemitic enabler” and falsely and misleadingly claims that Trump equated “neo-Nazi, KKK, and white supremacist marchers with those who had come to protest against them” (the infamous Charlottesville hoax). As we and many others have often noted, President Trump’s “very fine people” statement solely referred to peaceful protestors who had differing views about removing a Robert E. Lee statue, and President Trump specifically excluded and absolutely condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the next sentence.
In the very same breath as his “very fine people” statement, President Trump said: “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.” (See here (includes video) and here and here.)
During her speech at Tufts University in September 2019 (video), Lipstadt again falsely and negligently perpetrated the “Charlottesville hoax” about Trump’s statements. At minute 26:40, Lipstadt clearly referring to her misinterpretation of Trumps statement that there were “fine people on both sides,” she declared: “Nice people don’t march in Charlottesville chanting Jews will not replace us. Nice people don’t come to marches sponsored by the alt-right, an overtly racist antisemitic entity. And they certainly don’t march with tiki torches, which is a direct linkage back to the Third Reich.”
But in fact, Trump condemned the neo-Nazis and KKK members who marched with tiki torches, chanting that Jews will not replace us, and Trump never called neo-Nazis or white supremacists “nice people” or “fine people.”
Furthermore, would Donald Trump ever dream of praising as fine people the Jew-hating, murderous neo-Nazis when his daughter is an Orthodox Jew, his grandchildren are Orthodox Jews, and his son in law is an Orthodox Jew? This is beyond ludicrous, ridiculous, and obscene!
And at minute 40:25, Lipstadt reiterated her absurd claim that the president is an “antisemitic enabler” and “makes people believe it’s okay to put a swastika on the door.” Lipstadt claimed that, although the president wasn’t “involved” with the Pittsburgh and Poway shootings, “but when you read their stuff, they [the shooters] all think he’s [President Trump’s] on their side.”
Wrong Ms. Lipstadt! In fact, when you read the “stuff” written by the neo-Nazi white supremacist shooters at Poway and Pittsburgh, it is clear that they hated President Trump, because of the President’s love for the Jewish people and the Jewish state, and because of Trump’s condemnations and prosecutions of the Charlottesville neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
An hour before shooting innocent worshipers at the Poway Chabad, shooter John Earnest posted a screed on 8chan calling President Trump “that Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorousc-cksucker.”
The Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, Robert Bowers, hated Trump for being surrounded by Jews. The shooter wrote on Gab: “There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation [in the Trump Administration].”
The Pittsburgh shooter also posted an anti-Trump image depicting a man in a yarmulke giving Trump orders, while Trump replies, “Yes, sir.”
The Pittsburgh shooter also agreed with a Gab post that claimed that Trump “betrayed Americans in Charlottesville, by comparing them with a violent mob.” Bowers responded: “For the record I did not vote for Trump, nor have I owned, worn, or even touched a MAGA hat.”
Bowers also shared a post criticizing Trump for having federal prosecutors bring federal charges against Charlottesville white supremacists.
ZOA again reiterates that we do not endorse or oppose any candidates. In light of the fact that many ZOA members are children, descendants, or relatives of Holocaust survivors or victims, we simply cannot abide by the abusive Holocaust analogies and false antisemitism portrayals espoused by Joe Biden, the Democratic Jewish Council of America, and Deborah Lipstadt.
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President
of the United States of America
Under the weak leadership of Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans continue to lose. He lost Arizona, he lost Georgia, he ignored Election Fraud and he doesn’t fight. Now he’s giving Democrats everything they want and getting nothing in return. No deal is better than a bad deal. Fight for America, not for special interests and Radical Democrats. RINOs are ruining America, right alongside Communist Democrats.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
When I heard about the recent passing of legendary comedian Jackie Mason, I thought about a time when comedians didn't have to worry about who they might be offending and comedy was so much funnier because it was truly irrepressible. After all, it wasn't so long ago that late night TV shows featured hilarious opening monologues and nightclubs showcased ribald or outrageous humor that made fun of every person, group, belief and segment of the population imaginable. In other words, we were making fun of ourselves and taking delight in it. Now, comedians (the extent to which they still exist) tiptoe around topics or, worse yet, wind up lecturing us.
Realizing how much we've lost along the way set me to thinking about the nature of comedy itself. One of the funniest guys who ever lived, Charlie Chaplin said "Life is tragedy when seen in close up but a comedy in long-shot." And, in many ways, that really nails it. Comedy is important precisely because it allows us to step back and take a broader view of things -- a view that often actually turns out to be more objective. The separation that comedy affords us allows us to set our raw emotions aside for a moment and acknowledge the common (and often funny) absurdities of everyday life.
Like most great comics, Jackie Mason understood this. He saw the universality of it all in the same way that Chaplin did. And, like Chaplin, Mason poked as much fun at himself as he did everyone else. Also, while Mason (a rabbi by training) took on all comers, he was almost always harder on his own ethnic group than others. In truth, he was simply making comedy out of what he knew best and who he new best. He was a city guy, an observant Jew and a lifelong New Yorker. And all of this became part of his comic routine -- part of his schtick.
Mason won a Tony award for his one-man show, The World According to Me which had a long Broadway run. I have to admit I was skeptical when I went to see the show. How could one man hold the stage alone for a couple of hours on Broadway with nothing more than stories and jokes? And how could this be done in Mason's rapid-fire, staccato manner that devoured one-liners ravenously? How did it happen? To this day I'm really not quite sure. I only know that I never stopped laughing while Mason held the stage. And I was joined by just about everyone else in the audience. The people, the situations and the dilemmas that Mason described were familiar to us. Many times he touched upon things that we readily recognized but hadn't dared discuss among ourselves. But Mason allowed us to step back as he opened the lid on it all and set everything tumbling forward. And in the endless laughter there was a catharsis -- something we desperately needed.
Well, we need that laughter -- that joyous release -- now more than ever. But very, very few are offering it. Call it wokeness, call it political correctness, call it whatever you want; the truth is it's had a chilling effect not just on comedy but on the whole world of entertainment. And no one found this more distressing than Jackie Mason himself. In his later years he lamented the passing of the sort of artistic freedom that made his career possible.
Someone who is trying to keep wide-ranging standup comedy is alive is Sebastian Maniscalco. This guy sells out huge venues wherever he goes. But look at where his inspiration comes from. It's not from Colbert or Fallon or Kimmel. "Growing up, I was a huge fan of Johnny Carson," Maniscalco says. “I’d watch Johnny’s monologue and get super excited any time he had a comedian on.” That's admirable but you still won't find Maniscalco venturing into the sort of take-no-prisoners, topical political humor that was commonplace on the old Tonight Show where Carson and Leno routinely lambasted both Democrats and Republicans equally.
It was the 17th century playwright, actor and poet Molière who said that "Life is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to whose who think." And therein lies the problem. Modern day liberals, who dominate the popular culture, are all about feelings -- feelings that are ubiquitous, easily triggered and invariably offended. As they seek to turn the whole country into a "safe space" for their delicate feelings they're robbing us of our freedom, trampling on individual liberties and creating a dreary, ultimately cheerless environment.
Jackie Mason understood this. Few still do.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
New Jersey state Senator Sam Thompson and Senator Michael Testa, both Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee, provided written testimony for the Murphy Administration’s virtual American Rescue Plan Hearings scheduled for this afternoon and tomorrow morning.
The Senators’ comments, submitted online prior to the Tuesday hearing, are presented below:
Statement from Sen. Sam Thompson, LD 12
American Rescue Plan Hearings
July 27 & 28, 2021
New Jersey has known about this almost $6.5 billion federal block grant since March when Congress enacted it. All of the cash has been in the bank since May. And the federal rules guiding its use have been in place for months.
It is disappointing that in light of the immense needs that we are only now getting around to letting people make a pitch for how it should be spent.
My Senate Republican colleagues and I publicly proposed an outline of how to spend this money back in May. Our proposal in its entirety can be found easily enough on our web site with a simple google search. We first issued it in May and then again on June 7 as a formal budget resolution. Both proposals are easily found on our web page.
To summarize our proposal:
- $2.5 billion was to stabilize the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Other states are doing it. It will head off tax increases on employers – including small businesses and nonprofits still reeling from COVID 19 – that will otherwise be phased in with a first increase retroactive to July 1 this year.
- $1 billion in additional assistance for small employers, including nonprofits, still recovering from COVID 19. Their assistance to date has only trickled out and it has been insufficient. Forty percent business closures have proven that more is needed.
- $500 million to provide additional relief for middle class renters and, indirectly, their landlords, who have been left out of limited support programs.
- $1.5 billion for capital projects by the State, schools (both public and private), higher education, local governments, libraries, authorities, and third-party service providers.
- $500 million to modernize antiquated IT systems, including but not limited to UI and MVC systems that provide unacceptably poor service to citizens and do not have the capacity to handle impacts from COVID 19 and future pandemics.
- $500 million for school funding to restore budget cuts over three years as schools and economy stabilize post pandemic.
The first two proposals that support employers are critical if New Jersey is going to reverse its fifth worst unemployment rate – 7.3% — in the country. Over four years, New Jersey’s unemployment rate went from being in the middle of the pack to … now … the fifth worst. That is unacceptable. Some of the reasons for our outlier unemployment rate include anti-employer mandates, high taxes, and EDA tax credit programs that expired and were only recently reinstated.
But make no mistake. Part of the reason is a mismanagement of COVID 19. Businesses shutdowns were draconian, and one quarter of a previous federal block was abused to pay for $600 million of previously budgeted state employee salaries and benefits. Only a fraction of that amount was used to support crushed employers – and even then, the money that was provided was delayed endlessly.
Don’t make the same mistake of squandering federal money by just washing it into the State’s budget. Get it into the hands of employers quickly. Stop impending tax increases on all employers. Reverse this administration’s poor performance on jobs.
Statement from Sen. Michael Testa, LD 1
American Rescue Plan Hearings
July 27 & 28, 2021
Let me get straight to the point. New Jersey’s unemployment rate is now one of the worst in the country. We stand at 7.3 percent, and only five states have a worse unemployment rate. Getting help to employers needs to be a priority.
One of the reasons we are an outlier with the worst unemployment rate in the U.S. is that employers – not just big corporations, but small employers and nonprofits, too — have continually been abused. To this administration, businesses have always been an afterthought when it comes to assistance.
Last year’s use of the $2.4 billion CARES block was a perfect example of the administration “putting employers last.” We cannot make that mistake with this round of federal funding.
Despite the severe economic damage inflicted on business and nonprofit employers during the pandemic, help from CARES Act funds was very slow arriving. EDA grant programs were opened with $5 million in April 2020, and funding ran out an hour after the applications were accepted.
My colleagues and I supported the pleas of businesses and nonprofits. We repeatedly requested that substantial levels of CARES money be set aside as grants to help them. We sponsored legislation to that effect — with one bill being vetoed.
Meanwhile, one quarter of CARES Act money — $600 million — was spent on previously budgeted salaries and benefits for State workers, even though there was never a risk that they would not be paid.
The effect was to launder federal money into the State budget with no relief going to anyone who was suffering.
To prevent that from happening again, my Senate Republican colleagues and I publicly proposed an outline of how to spend this new money back in May. We submitted the proposal on June 7 as a formal budget resolution. Our proposal in its entirety can be found on our web site with a simple Google search
I won’t repeat the proposal, but I want to emphasize two parts of it.
One priority is to make available $1 billion of federal funds to support employers, with an emphasis on small businesses and nonprofits that continue to suffer.
As the administration hints it may be considering more closures to respond to the Delta variant, the need for assistance is overwhelming and obvious.
If our unemployment rate that is among the worst in the country is not proof enough, a walk down any Main Street will reveal a glut of empty store fronts and “for lease” signs. The economy cannot afford another slow trickle of symbolic aid.
Second, use $2.5 billion to stabilize the Unemployment Insurance Fund. That fund is currently insolvent and mired in debt. Without federal money being used to stabilize the fund, employer tax increases reaching $1.5 billion per year will be phased in, retroactive to July 1.
If you fail to use these funds this way – as other states are doing on a bipartisan basis – the unemployment rate will continue to be an outlier and an obvious failure of this administration.
It is time to take a breath from employer mandates and jacking up taxes, which is killing our economy. Finally make employers a priority with these funds. Help restore the dreams the excessive COVID closures destroyed. Stop the tax increases on employers that are imminent if you once again waste money by laundering it into the State budget while people suffer.