Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Of Property Taxes and Rebates

March 11, 2009

Paul Mulshine has a good piece on NJ.com today about Gov. Corzine’s new tax plan.

While we have been know to take Mr. Mulshine to task now and again. In particular, comparing Bruce Springsteen to Jimmy Buffet still casts grave doubts about Paul Mulshine’s credibility.

Still, the irony laced piece is a good read and in these times there’s something juxtaposing lines like this

“To help pay for the rebates, we have proposed eliminating the property tax deduction next year for everyone but seniors.”

Gov. Jon Corzine said it Tuesday during his budget speech. I still can’t believe I heard it.

Corzine’s Spot Hits the Interent

May 24, 2007

Gov. Jon Corzine’s “buckle up” public service announcement is all over the Internet today. NJ.com has it on the home page today if you haven’t seen it.

The clip begins with Corzine introducing himself and then telling everyone he should be dead. The clips from the crash that follow back up his point. We don’t want to rake Corzine over the coals. Not wearing a seat belt in an SUV going 90 miles per hour is pretty stupid but by the looks of the governor he seems to have suffered quite a bit for his mistake.

The click is part of a national “click it or ticket” campaign, and hopefully the PSA will hit home with some people. However, even in this day and age some people just don’t get it. There was a picture on the wires yesterday of President Bush riding around his ranch without a seat-belt. You can see the photo on USAToday’s OnDeadline blog.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this. It seems that it’s perfectly legal to not wear a seat belt when you drive on private property in Texas. I suppose accidents on private property are much less lethal than those on public property. However, after Gov. Corzine’s incident wouldn’t it be nice to have leaders lead by example for a change.

JC

The Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore Can’t Run for President

March 27, 2007

There are moments during “An Inconvenient Truth” where I’m picturing my Republican friends throwing bricks at their flat screen televisions. It’s not the science parts, which aside from some quibles here and there, is mostly accurate and largely compelling.

No, it’s the shots of Al Gore on his farm, or pensivly looking over his global warming slide show on his laptop, or working from his home office doggedly dedicated to the cause that probably irritate them. It’s a bit like the shots of President BusAn Inconvenient Truthh clearing brush on his ranch that irritate the heck out of liberals. Gore is often portrayed in the film as a wronged politician and the only guy in the room who got things right. What’s really scary is the film may be right.

This is a serious issue for us here in New Jersey. If you’ve ever been to Island Beach State Park or to Long Beach Island than you know there’s a thin strip of barrier island that protects the Garden State from whatever lurks out there in the Atlantic. If Gore is right most of those places Jerseyans hold dear would be under water.

We generally refrain from politics here on Jerseycool but we will dip our toes in this if only for a moment. Gore’s slideshow should be required viewing for everyone whethor or not you agree with his politics. There are a good number of partisans out there who scoff at Gore, calling him the man who invented the Internet. But the issue at the forefront of “An Inconvenient Truth” and the consequences of not acting on global warming leave no room for jokes.

This brings me to my main point and this is directed squarly at Mr. Gore, who I’m sure is an avid JerseyCool reader and will see this shortly. Al you can’t run for president.

Here’s why.

If Gore truly believes in the threat caused by global warming and by watching “An Inconvenient Truth” it seems he does then it cannot be cheapened. If Gore runs for president then the entire film ceases to become a rallying cry for action and instead will become a piece of propaganda. Sure, the science will still be there, but the motivation will be tainted just enough to derail any progress.

So what should Gore do if he doesn’t run for president? May we suggest a sequel. There’s more to Gore’s slideshow than what’s in “An Inconvenient Truth” he should show more of it and “An Inconvenient Truth: Part 2” would give Gore a chance to answer and/or clarify some of the science that’s been questioned.

Gore has already taken his campaign to Congress. He should take it to the American people on television, on radio and on the Internet. Instead of being the guy who invented the Internet, he shold be the guy who got Americans to take their energy consumption seriously. What Gore can do more than anything else is bring attention and focus to global warming more effectivly than the national media or anyone else can at the moment.

As history has show any idiot can become president, how many people get the chance to save the planet?

JC

Pull Over and Drop that PDA

March 20, 2007

Seems the NJ State Assembly has finally caught on that texting people while driving is a bad idea. An article on NJ.com today says two assembly speakers have introduced bills that would make driving while texting an offense that would give police authority to pull you over and fine you as mush as $250.

While certainly a good idea. Hey, we’ve almost gotten into crashes just by fiddling with our iPod (and our stereo just to be fair) but this goes to the trend of government legislating common sense. It goes with things like don’t smoke in a car with your kids and pick up your dog’s poop. These are things that people’s parents should have taught them but, let’s face it, people are stupid. Oh, individually most of us are OK but as an animal dumbness seems to be a prerequisite.

There are a lot of dangerous things people do in their cars. We drive the terror alleys of New Jersey’s roads every day and still see people yacking on cell phones, putting on makeup, reading and lately watching their in-dash DVD players. Back in the day this used to be called reckless driving and you’d get a ticket for it.

So I suppose this bill is needed just to bring some attention to those out there who need to be told “Hey dummy, stop texting people and watch the road.” Come to think of it that wouldn’t be a bad name for the law, not bad at all.

JC

Excitables for Feb. 16-19

February 16, 2007

There’s an extra day added to this weekend’s exictables and for good reason. It’s President’s Day weekend, that convergence of Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays that allow us to pause and remember the great men who have led our county. People like Millard Filmore, James Tyler and Rutherford B. Hayes. Yep, not every president is a keeper, which is why this weekend is perhaps better known for buying cars than celebrating those 43 white dudes who ran things or tried to run things.

Anyway, if you’re truly in the spirit. Try these things.

Ken Burns, Civil War — It just recently aired on PBS and there’s a new digitally enhanced box set available on DVD. If you don’t want to spend the $100+ on the discs they are all available on Netflix or wherever you rent your discs. The 13-hour sprawling masterpiece focuses much of it’s attention on Abraham Lincoln but there’s also quite about Ulysses S. Grant as well. The documentary is beautifully narrated by historian David McCullough, which brings us to….

John Adams, David McCullough — There may be no better loved biography in recent years and this about one of the more forgetable presidents. Not just one of the best historical books JC has read but also one of the best books period.

If you liked John Adams you may also want to check out 1776. McCullough’s account of the first year of the revolutionary war has lots of then General George Washington and a lot of detail on New Jersey’s role during the early days of fighting including of course the Battle of Trenton.Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland Birth Place, 207 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ (973) 226-0001 — You’ve probably passed by it a half dozen times on Bloomfield Avenue so maybe this weekend is the time to take the kids over to the The Grover Cleveland Birth Place. The ancestral home of the only president who was so nice they elected him twice, and the only president named after a muppet. The museum houses artifacts such as the President’s cradle, his chair from the White House and his fishing gear. Call ahead for hours before heading over.

If dead presidents aren’t your thing. Here are a couple of other alternatives to pass away the time:

Fat Tuesday Cometh Oddfellows in Hoboken is celebrating Mardi Gras beginning tonight and lasting through Fat Tuesday, Feb. 20. We hear there will be drinking and food there.

Get Your Motor Running — In the cinemas this week. Jersey movie lovers have three pretty credible choices. Breach, the spy drama staring Ryan Phillippe and the always good Chris Cooper; Ghost Rider, the Nic Cage comic book caper and Bridge to Terabithia. So far it looks like Breach is getting most of the critical reviews but we’re gonna place our bets on Terabithia’s ad campaign, which probably showed enough to interest parents and children alike. As for Ghost Rider, the comic has its fan base, but, as with horror flicks, comic book movies that get rescheduled from the summer to a winter release are usualy clunkers. Daredevil, anyone?

Music and Lyrics, the Drew Barrymore/Hugh Grant Valentines Day vehicle, which opened on Wednesday, is also in wide release and should do well despite uniformly crappy reviews. I’ll make the producers a deal. I’ll suffer through it if they promise to take that commercial off the air, that stupid song they sing sticks in your head like glue.

Did we miss something? Leave us your comments below or drop us a line by clicking here.

Have a happy weekend everyone.

JC

America’s Past Time: Scoring Cheap Political Points

February 1, 2007

The SuperBowl hasn’t even passed and already Congress is taking on one of it’s most important issues: baseball.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), the guy who lost the last election, is apparently ticked off over a proposal to make DirecTV the exclusive host of Major League Baseball’s extra innings package, and he plains to raise the issue with the FCC.

The package, which is available on most cable systems in NJ, allows fans to watch every game during the baseball season for a fee of course. However, if the proposed deal goes through only subscribers to DirectTV will have the option to fork over good cash to watch let’s say the Brewers play the Pirates.

Now, the NFL has had this exclusive agreement with DirecTV for years without any government intervention. We’d like the NFL games to be available on cable systems and we’d like baseball games to be available as well (relax Yankee and Mets fans this is only for out of market games) but, I don’t know, maybe this isn’t something for the government to be looking into.

Kerry says this is a fairness issue but we thinks this has more to do with all the irate Red Sox fans in Massachussets.

On the bright sides, I suppose this means they have that Iraq thing under control.

JC

Going to the Moon for a Fill Up

December 15, 2006

Wondering what all this going back to the moon crap might really be about? Well, interesting piece over at Wired posits that the new Moon base may be more about solving the nation’s long term energy problems than any space-based science initiatives.

It appears a substance called Helium 3 can be used in cleaner fusion reactors. Now, H3 is pretty rare here on terra firma but take a wild guess where there’s boats shuttle loads of it? 

JC

One Step Closer to Big Brother

December 6, 2006

Well this is interesting. According to ABC.com’s  Blotter a court ruling in a case against the Genovese crime family allows the FBI to use your cell phone as a hidden microphone.

Apparently, the technology, known as a “roving bug” let’s the FBI listen in to conversations using the microphone on a cell phone even when the phone is off. The only work around is removing the battery.

JerseyCool usually refrains from politics but this story gives us just a bit of the willies. Now, before everyone freaks out, the FBI still needs a court order to do this and generally as long as there’s a judge looking over law enforcement’s soldier I’m willing to grant them a little lattitude.

Readers of this space know that a solid 90 to 95 percent of what I write is pure hooey. That pretty much goes for my day-to-day conversations, so I don’t know how interested anyone, much less the FBI, would want to listen in on them. Still,  it’s easy to see how something like this could be misused.

Fortunatly for us Americans, with a competent, by the book President like George W. Bush that should never be a problem.

JC

Seeing is believing

November 9, 2006

NJ.com posted this earlier.  I as a property tax payer am skeptical, but you know the tax situation is out of hand when Democrats propose cutting taxes.

Of course, this means the cigarette tax will likely go up 225 percent.

 JC

Read This if You Love Your Country

November 8, 2006

I’ve been staying out of politics for awhile now but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. Everyone needs to read this post on The Blotter and if you don’t read The Blotter everyday you just aren’t informed. Let’s give some props to old media when they get ‘new media’ right.

Republican or Democrat this election is a good thing since as taxpayers we deserve to get some answers to questions that should have been asked a loooooong time ago.

Any Republican who tells you different is simply more concerned about being a good Republican than being a good American.

Don’t worry JerseyCool fans — all two of you. I’ll get back to writing about the stupidity of everyday life tomorrow. Working on a juicy review of Table 8 in my Montclair hood.
JC