An Inconvenient Truth
Speaking of an inconvenient truth
. Democrats, progressives, liberals or whatever you preferred label have been blowing smoke for nearly fifty years:
Both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had a higher percentage of Congressional Republicans voting for their enactment than the percentage of Congressional Democrats.
As for black economic advances, the most dramatic reduction in poverty among blacks occurred between 1940 and 1960, when the black poverty rate was cut almost in half, without any major government programs of the Great Society kind that began in the 1960s.
While liberals may think of the 1960s as the beginning of many "progressive" trends in American society, cold hard facts tell a very different story. The 1960s marked the end of many beneficial trends that had been going on for years -- and a complete reversal of those trends as programs, policies, and ideologies of the liberals took hold.
Teenage pregnancy had been going down for years. So had venereal disease. Rates of infection for syphilis in 1960 was half of what it had been in 1950. There were similar trends in crime. The total number of murders in the United States in 1960 was lower than in 1950, 1940, or 1930 -- even though the population was growing and two new states had been added. The murder rate, in proportion to population, in 1960 was half of what it had been in 1934.
Every one of these beneficial trends sharply reversed after liberal notions gained ascendancy during in the 1960s. By 1974, the murder rate had doubled. Even liberal icon Sargent Shriver, head of the agency directing the "war on poverty," admitted that "venereal disease has skyrocketed" even though "we have had more clinics, more pills, and more sex education than ever in history."
The Progressive Assault on Healthcare
Dr. Sanity writes
: “That's what it has come down to. Either you do it the "progressive" way; or they will label you as vermin and attack you with all the firepower of their rhetorical armament. "Progressives" aren't really interested in what works to achieve the desired result in the real world; they are more interested in what makes them feel virtuous”Socialized healthcare
is a great example of an issue the left loves to feel virtuous about without any concern for cost or actual results. Take a recent posting, Money Driven Medicine
, from my new best friend Matt
(See comments from Matt on my postings here
One of the great fights we're going to have again over the next four years is in health care. The great mystery is that the system is both awful and expensive, and that national health care is something that people want, and yet it doesn't happen, year after year.
Or rather, it's not a mystery. Go through the FEC statements and you'll find $5k donation after $5k donation to politicians of both parties (though more to the R party) from all sorts of actors in the medical system.
This book is the beginning of the progressive assault on those entrenched interests. I'll be blogging various thoughts on the corruption of the medical system as I go through it.
We’re just suppose to take Matt’s word for it that the American medical system is awful and the majority of the American people are clamoring for the government to take complete control over one more area of our lives.
Our medical system is awful compared to what, some idea of perfection Matt and company have in their progressive little heads? And does anyone believe if the government took over the entire healthcare industry that quality would increase, costs would decrease and innovation would continuo apace? Please, show me one country in the world where this has happened under nationalized healthcare.
They sacrificed so that we may be free. Thank you!
Content of Our Character
Congressman William Jefferson (D-La.) was caught on tape accepting $100,000 in bribes. Several days later the FBI found $90, 000 of the marked bills in Jefferson’s freezer. Two of his former aides have already pleaded guilty to participation in a bribery conspiracy.
Given such compelling evidence and Democrats' “culture of corruption” election strategy, it’s not surprising that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would ask Jefferson to step down from the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. She did, he declined and now the congressional black caucus is playing the race card
"Congresswoman Pelosi, by preemption without any legal justification, has now created a new precedent for how members are going to be treated.
Unfortunately, she’s chosen to single out an African-American for this honor.”Then the aide added an electoral threat, saying, “The African-American community, which overwhelmingly backs the Democratic Party, will not take this lightly. I hope she enjoys being minority leader.”
I know I’ve said this before, but I am going to say it again - charging racial discrimination in situations that obviously have nothing to with race leads to legitimate cases of discrimination not being taken seriously. The congressional black caucus by taking such a ridiculous position only serves to reinforce the idea that blacks represent a narrow interest -- not the best interests of their constituents , their party or the country.
As Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi can remove Jefferson from the House Ways and Means Committee, she doesn’t need his acquiescence. I know there are many people thinking the only reason she hasn’t taken this action is because Jefferson is black and they would be right.
I have a dream that one day we will live in a nation where we will not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character. I have a dream today.
No Americans Allowed
The Michigan Department of Education is attempting to ban the word "America" and "American" from its public schools.
The Department of Education asserts that "Americans" includes Mexicans, Canadians and others in the Western Hemisphere, so referring to U.S. residents as Americans is inappropriate.
According to the department, before the American Revolution, George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were North Americans. But so were the French colonists in the Louisiana Territory, the Spanish settlers in Mexico and the British colonists in Canada -- not to mention the Native Americans.
The American Revolution is now the North American Revolution.
What people in the United States are to be called after the Revolution is not clear, so long as they are not referred to as Americans.
The Michigan Department of Education considers the dictate "internationally friendly." Why being friendly to an international audience or perspective is important in teaching and learning American history is incomprehensible.
Don’t “educators“ have anything better to do with their time? I’d say unbelievable, but I have long since realized that leftist have taken over American public schools, colleges and universities. As the author of the article, Michael Warren, a Circuit Court judge, a former member of the State Board of Education and a board member of the Michigan Center for Civic Education said:
Censoring the word "America" from our own schools is something Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden would never have thought possible. Michigan has done it without a whimper.
It’s enough to make you sick. Hey, but at least it wasn’t New Jersey. Not yet anyway.
"Several stories in the news recently shine a spotlight on the children pretending to be adults that make up the political left of today" - Childish
When Will Abbott Graduate?
I don’t know how old Author Raymond Abbott was in 1981 when he sued New Jersey Education Commissioner Fred G. Burke for a thorough and efficient education. I figure if Abbott started his lawsuit when he was in the first grade, about 6 years-old, he’s now at least thirty-one. Is this guy ever going to finish school?
Today, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued another new ruling
ordering the state to come up with more money for new schools the SCC is building.
The schools had told the court that the costs associated with opening the new schools- which the court said the state had to pay to build as one of the rulings in the Abbott v. Burke lawsuit- would be around $80 million. The state said the task could be done for around half that amount.
As a general rule I’m against social promotion, but in this case why don’t we just give Abbott his diploma.
Howard Dean Worked Behind the Scenes to Defeat Nagin
Democrats should have been honest and above board with their efforts to unseat New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin for his pathetic judgment and leadership before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. But, Howard Dean had to keep up the fiction President Bush was responsible for the Katrina mess in New Orleans and couldn’t run a truthful campaign in the best interests of the people of New Orleans. Instead, Democrats lead by Howard Dean tried to use their money and “voting rights program” to get rid of Nagin on the sly.
Remember this is what Howard Dean said about Mayor Ray Nagin
just a few short months ago:
Dean also offered a spirited defense of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, both Democrats, saying that "spin doctors in the Republican Party" were trying to dump blame for the disaster response on them.
"Ray Nagin is a hero," he said
If Nagin was a hero why was Dean working to defeat him behind his back? Black voters are taken for granted and used as pawns by Democrats in their power games. I saw through that act a long time ago. I just wish others would wake up and see reality.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) secretly placed political operatives in the city of New Orleans to work against the reelection efforts of incumbent Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean made the decision himself to back mayoral candidate and sitting Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (D-LA), sources reveal. Dean came to the decision to back the white challenger, over the African-American incumbent Nagin, despite concerns amongst senior black officials in the Party that the DNC should stay neutral.
The DNC teams actively worked to defeat Nagin under the auspice of the committee's voting rights program. The party's field efforts also coincided with a national effort by Democrat contributors to support Landrieu. Landrieu had out raised Nagin by a wide margin - $3.3 million to $541,980. Preliminary campaign finance reports indicate many of Landrieu’s contributions came from out of state white Democrat leaders and financiers, including a $1,000 contribution from Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-NE) PAC.
In his victory speech late Saturday night, Nagin praised President Bush.
"I want to thank you, Mr. President. You and I have probably been the most vilified politicians in the country. But I want to thank you for moving that promise that you made in Jackson Square forward. We now have $3 billion for levees. We have $8 billion for incentives. We have $10 billion for housing. You are delivering on your promise, and I want to thank you for all the citizens of the City of New Orleans."
Funny isn't it, you never hear these facts on the news.
Quote of the Week
Quote of the week
: "Thomas Sowell once defined “racist” as a conservative who’s winning an argument with a liberal."
Make English the Offical Language
Senator minority leader Harry Reid called a proposed law to make English the national language of the United States “racist”
. As I’ve said before, Democrats are wearing people out with calling everything they disagree with racist. What is racist about the English language? Or having an official language?
The official language of Mexico is Spanish
. I suppose Reid would consider that racists too, after all Spanish is another language originating in Europe, just like English.
It’s about time we got around to making English the official language
before we go down the costly and divisive path of becoming a bi-or multi-lingual country. Besides this is a measure just about everyone in the country is behind.
A poll by Zogby International earlier this year found that 84 percent of Americans say English should be the official language of government operations. The same poll found that 77 percent of Hispanics agree.
And it's a bipartisan issue, according to the poll, which found that 92 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of Democrats approve making English the country's official language.
To become a citizen of the United States, an applicant “must be able read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language”. Is this long standing naturalization requirement
racist too? Of course not, race has nothing to do with it.
I think the leaders in the Democratic Party enjoy dividing the country in every way possible. For some reason they think it is to their advantage to divide people by income, race, sex, national origin, religion and sexual orientation. Pitting one group against another seems to be their stock in trade.
Senators are supposed to pass laws advantageous to American citizens. Sometimes you get the feeling that some in Congress
have sworn their allegiance to an anti-American cause.
A Call Out with Cosby
Bill Cosby is on a mission to spark a debate about the crucial issues facing black communities with his "A Call Out with Cosby
” tour. His campaign is aimed at motivating people to take action against problems that plague inner-city communities — crime, illiteracy and teen pregnancy.
He has held ‘Call Out’ events in about 20 cities so far. They are locally sponsored meetings aimed at finding solutions for what Cosby sees as self-destructive behavior, and at offering inner-city kids encouragement and better options.
Of course Cosby has his critics, such as University of Pennsylvania professor Michael Eric Dyson who wrote the book: Is Bill Cosby Right? (Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?). Dyson premise it that Cosby’s “view is a simplistic one because it ignores institutional and societal forces, such as government neglect and racism, that have helped create the conditions in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.”
Cosby said he was undeterred by critics, who he says don't want to acknowledge that their way of doing things hasn't worked. "A lot of the people who criticize me are angry because the job that they were supposed to be doing hasn't been getting done," he said. "We've been able to give people examples of other people in their communities who've been down and are now up. If I didn't like poor people, why would I come and tell them how to make their lives better?"
We need more people like Bill Cosby telling folks the truth instead of some version of ‘you’re a victim of a racists system’ spiel. When people listen to Cosby they know he’s telling the truth – even if they don’t want to admit it out loud. Very few people are going to have a happy and productive life by joining a gang, dropping out of school, doing drugs, abusing alcohol and having children outside of marriage.
We have to take responsibility, first for our own lives, then for our family and then for our larger community. Until people get that though their thick skulls, life in our inner-city communities isn’t going to improve, no matter much money we throw at the problems.
Keep calling them out Cos!
Via Jim at Parkway Rest Stop
I answered the quiz with the most questions. Cousin laughing in the background.
New Jersey Bloggers on Immigration Reform
I clicked around the New Jersey blog scene to see what folks had to say about President Bush’s speech on immigration reform
. Here’s everything I found:
A Blog for All provides an overview of blogger reaction
outside of New Jersey.
Fausta says she regards the President’s speech last night as a start
. “At least now there's a President officially looking into a vital national security issue. Beyond that, I'm not particularly impressed either way.”Dynamobuzz believes
“tightening the borders and cracking down on employers should be the strategy, not amnesty for millions of lawbreakers.”
Enlighten-NewJersey proposes a compromise
to deal with the current illegal immigrant population – register and screen them for potential admission into the President’s proposed guest worker program.
From Riehl World View
: “I am not a "no amnesty" type. I don't care if we never send anyone already here back unless they have broken other laws, or won't assimilate. I want border security. What Bush offered won't come close to providing that.”The Political Dogs calls out the New York Times
editorialist for referring “ to the President as “Minuteman in chief’ and called the stop-gap plan to temporarily place National Guardsmen on the nation's border with Mexico "a victory for the fear-stricken fringe of the debate." “
All of these posts come from the so-called right side of the political spectrum. Not one word about the President’s speech or immigration reform from the left side of the New Jersey blogosphere, including Blue Jersey. Interesting, don’t you think?
Now that I have had a chance to digest the President’s proposal and have read what others are saying, I’m not sure people paid attention to the border enforcement points in the speech. The President proposed increasing border patrol agents, sending the National Guard , building fences and other barriers on the border, deploying technology to prevent and detect crossings. What else could have been proposed to secure the border?
I think people object to the guest worker and “path to citizenship” proposals and tune out everything else. Enlighten offers a compromise that makes sense to me. We’ll just have to wait and see if the Senate and House can come up with a bill that can win majority support. The issue has reached a boiling point and something must be done.
Democrats and the left seem to have little interest in solving the illegal immigration problem. That’s the most telling aspect to me - the Demcorats don't have a plan and as with Social Security would prefer to matain the staus quo while throwing stones at Republicans for not "doing something".
The President's Immigration Reform Plan
I watched President Bush’s speech tonight on immigration reform and thought it sounded like a comprehensive and balanced approach to the problem. But, I need to think about all the components outlined in his plan before I can intelligently give my opinion on the subject.
One thing I did notice, Bush used the term illegal immigrant, instead of undocumented worker and he acknowledged many problems caused by those in this country illegally.
Successful politics is about intelligent compromise. I suppose it’s necessary to put forward a plan that has the best chance of achieving the intended objectives and gaining bipartisan support. I need to keep that in mind as I review the major points in the President’s speech:Secure the Borders
Increasing the number of border patrol agents from 12,000 to 18,000
Use the National Guard (6,000) to support border patrol agents until additional agents can be hired, trained and deployed
Construct high-tech fences in urban corridors and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas
Employ motion sensors, infrared cameras, and unmanned aerial vehicles to detect and respond to illegal border crossings
Increase federal funding for state and local authorities assisting the border patrol on targeted enforcement missions
Send home illegal immigrant caught crossing the border
End catch and release – expand the capacity of detention facilities and reduce the average deportation timeCreate a Temporary Worker Program
Guest worker program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing
Create a legal path for foreign workers to enter the U.S. in legal manner for a limited period of time
Guest workers must pass criminal background checks and temporary workers must return to their home country after permit endsHold Employers Accountable
Enforce of employment laws – no excuses
Biometric identification card for every legal foreign worker so employers can verify the legal status of prospective employeesDeal With The Millions Of Illegal Immigrants Already Here
Increase the annual number of green cards that can lead to citizenship, but the President is firmly opposed to amnesty
Defining a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant and a program of mass deportation
Illegal immigrants who want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law
Required to have an otherwise clean record, pay their taxes, learn English, and work in a job for a number of years
Be able to apply for citizenship but approval will not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the lawAssimilate Into Our Society
Demonstrate an appreciation of our history, respect for our country and its values
Be able to speak and write the English language
Blue Jersey Mystery Solved - Truth Revealed
I wondered why jmelli, on Blue Jersey
, tried to tie two completely unrelated stories together in an attempt to smear “red state” Alabamans and New Jersey Republicans as racists. As I previously pointed out
, the jmelli posting was dishonest and purposely misleading.
The recent Trenton news story jmelli linked to had nothing to do with Republicans and the 2004 article about Alabama he completely twisted to paint Alabamans as racists. I’m used to reading distortions and bizarre logic on Blue Jersey, but the linking of a story about a black separatist candidate in Trenton to an old story about a referendum in Alabama, really seemed to come from left field. It left me wondering what prompted jmelli to put these two stories together?
Now I know - jmelli was engaged in a preemptive move to protect Democrats. He must have known a Democratic candidate for Alabama attorney general
, a Holocaust denier, was scheduled to speak in Newark, New Jersey this weekend to “a ‘pro-white’ organization that is widely viewed as being racist”. Jmelli’s posting was a pathetic attempt to tie Alabama racists to New Jersey Republicans in order to deflect potential bad publicity for New Jersey Democrats.
The truth is that racists come in all skin colors, are members of all major and minor political parties and reside in all states and countries throughout the world. This truth ruins the leftist meme that Americans and white Republicans in particular are the evil racists on this planet.
The good news and the reality of the situation is that racism has been on a steep and steady decline in the United States. A racist message does not sell any better in Alabama than it does in New Jersey. Larry Darby, the racist Democrat running for AG in Alabama is at 12 percent in state polls
For some reason the bloggers on Blue Jersey didn’t want you to know the truth, but wanted to keep the race baiting theme alive. Keep this example and jmelli’s motives in mind when you read postings on that blog - caveat emptor.
Blogger, jmelli, on Blue Jersey asks - What's the Difference Between Alabama and New Jersey
? His answer, “We're not retarded”.
Maybe, as some have suggested, I am wasting my time exposing the over the top postings on that blog, but I think it’s important it not go unchallenged. In this instance, jmelli attempts to smear Republicans and Alabamans as racists by distorting two completely unrelated news stories. He writes:
Yesterday, Trenton mayoral candidate Wiley Fuller Jr. - a Republican who's entire platform is based on racial segregation - received 40 votes - just 0.3% of all votes cast.
Either jmelli didn’t bother to read the article or he hopes his readers are too lazy to verify his spin. Fuller is a black separatist who has taken a page from Lewis Farrakhan’s book. And the political party the mayoral candidate supposedly represents – Fuller calls it the African Republican Party. Fuller explains:
"Blacks in this country made a major mistake when they fought for integration. Integration ruined the black community in terms of economics, education, everything."
"Blacks would have had their own commerce and schools. Think of all the money that goes outside of the black community? Man, blacks should be boogeying right now. We could have been billionaires."
"I don’t necessarily want to be mayor of Trenton. I want my political party -- the African Republican Party -- to gain recognition."
Fuller alleges that his self-created party includes 300 documented members.
It’s amazing how the complexion of the story changes with the facts. Fuller does not represent the Republican Party or anything the party stands for. Anyone who bothered to read the article would have realized it.
The second half of jmelli's posting doesn't get any better. To further his race baiting he tries to tie the Fuller as a Republican nonsense to his next distortion:
In November, 2004, the voters of Alabama were offered a chance to remove antiquated language requiring segregated schools from their state constitution. 50.07% of voters - or about 691,000 residents, voted AGAINST it.
I'll take the funny cancer-causing water and marginally breathable air over racist rednecks any day.
By now you have caught on that there’s more to this story than jmelli would lead you to believe. First as you know, that antiquated language in Alabama's constitution has long since been trumped by federal law and practice in the state.
Second, the amendment before the voters had had two main parts: the removal of the separate but equal school language and the removal of a passage that said Alabama's constitution does not guarantee a right to a public education.
Opponents of the amendment said they had no problem with removing the separate-schools language, but feared court ordered tax increases would result with the removal of the second passage in the amendment. The writer of the linked article, Manuel Roig-Franzia, dismisses the opponents reasoning and says the fear of tax increases was “ridiculed by the state's newspapers and by legions of legal experts”.
Manuel Roig-Franzia and jmelli would rather pin the amendment’s defeat on racism. Others might question why the removal of the odious separate schools language was purposely tied to removal of the language dealing with a right to a public education, especially in light of public concern over the tax implications.
I believe the proponents of the amendment had hoped by playing the racism card that they could achieve their real objective – opening the door for court ordered tax increases for school funding – just as opponents feared. I’d bet the amendment would have passed by a wide margin if the measure had been limited to removing the separate but equal passage. I also have no doubt the same newspapers and legions of legal experts would be signing a different tune had the constitutional amendment been approved.
I offer as exhibit ‘A’ New Jersey’s court rulings that led first to an income tax and more recently to the highest property taxes in the country based on the innocuous "thorough and efficient" education language in New Jersey’s constitution. As exhibit ‘B’ I offer the fact Alabamans have not subsequently been asked to vote on an amendment removing the separate but equal language from their constitution.
So I’ll answer jmelli’s question - What's the difference between Alabama and New Jersey? The people in Alabama, unlike those in New Jersey, were smart enough to keep tax and spending decisions out of the courts and before voters. They were also smart enough to see through race baiters and legions of legal experts with an axe to grind and an ulterior motive.
People that cry racism and play the race card for their own political ends trivialize and undermine the struggle for racial equality. Legitimate cases of racial discrimination become lost in a cacophony of baseless charges of racism and people begin to tune out real problems. Blue Jersey’s jmelli should be ashamed for his distortions, smears and blatant bigotry. He adds to ignorance, works to divide Americans and hurts us all.
Some Bad Ideas Never Die
I’ll bet Republican leaning states and congressional districts are just chomping at the bit to vote for Democrats with this agenda: Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes. Repeal the estate tax repeal Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration Paper ballots Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI Universal health care Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. Kill faith-based funding. Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation
Republicans in New Jersey have to do a better job of comparing their agenda with the agenda of the Democrat’s left-wing. An agenda supported by Democrats Bob Menendez, Camille Abate and Linda Stender.
Booker Elected Newark Mayor in a Landslide
defeated the old corrupt guard, in today’s election for mayor of Newark. He has a huge job in front of him and I wish him the best. It’s not going to be easy with an entrenched bureaucracy used to treating taxpayer money as their own personal bank account.
May the people of Newark have turned a page on the long nightmare that was Sharpe James.
A major change in Newark’s politics and management could have a profound impact, not only for the people of Newark, but for the entire state. An honest leader, with the will and tenacity to try new ideas and abandoned the failed programs of the last 35 years could send shockwaves across the state.
Much hope and faith has been placed in Cory Booker, I just pray he doesn’t let us down. I will go to bed tonight optimistic about New Jersey for the first time in a long, long time. New Jersey desperately needs change, may this be the beginning of a tidal wave of change to come.
New Jersey Democrats on the Down Low
Blue Jersey bloggers
are well beyond low. Their postings are juvenile, profane and so far to the left, Noam Chomsky would be considered conservative by comparison.
I bring this to your attention because incumbent congressional Democrats and those running for congress have become members of the Blue Jersey blog community. Do we really want New Jersey represented by people who pander to and align themselves with “activists” of this ilk?
To give you just two examples of what I’m talking about, check out these quotes. The first is from a guy who calls himself Media in Trouble
Personally, I don't like too many cops. They always come up to my car and treat me as if I am a terrorist loving communist. That's before they even find out that I really am a terrorist loving communist.
This second example comes from another regular contributor to Blue Jersey, DBK, who recently wrote this on his personal blog
I can't believe I have to say this, but Iran's leadership has more credibility than the United States leadership. I don't like saying that, either, but it is true.
If you haven’t visited Blue Jersey
before, you should. Read their blog postings and decide for yourself if you want to vote for someone who helps promote nasty, immature and irrational political discourse.
I’m calling out the congressman and challengers making “their voices head” on Blue Jersey because the media have overlooked this story. The people of New Jersey should know just how low these candidates are willing to go for campaign support.Camille Abate
- Challenger New Jersey's 5th Congressional DistrictPaul Aronsohn
- Challenger New Jersey's 5th Congressional District
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr
.- Incumbent New Jersey's 6th Congressional District
Assemblywoman Linda Stender
- Challenger for New Jersey's 7th Congressional District
Congressman Steve Rothman
– Incumbent New Jersey's 9th Congressional District
Congressman Rush Holt
- New Jersey's 12th Congressional District
It’s the Taxes, Stupid
New Jersey voters' biggest concerns, by a 41 percent margin, are state and local taxes
according to recent a Quinnipiac poll. Reading our friends on the left, you’d think our state’s hot button issues were Iraq, “universal healthcare”, stem cell research, “rolling back the Bush tax cuts”, illegal immigrants’ rights, gay marriage, the environment and abortion.
"When you ask people what's bothering them, with the whole world of troubles to pick from and without any prompting, to draw 41 percent is a very big number," said Clay Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Governor Jon Corzine’s agenda and priorities are out of sync with peoples’ concerns. I believe that’s why he became so unpopular so quickly. He said some things people wanted to hear during the campaign
“It’s a fact: New Jerseyans are paying too much in property taxes ... As a former businessman, Corzine has never seen a budget he couldn’t cut – and that experience will allow him to scrub the state budget, line-by-line, and use the savings for property tax relief.”
But, if you paid attention, it was obvious Corzine’s property tax relief plan, now largely abandoned, was introduced during the campaign to counter the Republican Doug Forrester’s property tax reduction plan. His real agenda was more state taxpayer financed goodies, from taxpayer backed “business investments’ to expanded government healthcare plans. Review Corzine’s proposed budget and you’ll see it tracks with his desire to expand government. People heard “cut spending” and “property tax relief “and tuned everything else out. Buyer’s remorse has quickly set in now that it's obvious Corzine favors spending and tax increases.
So as Democrats run around New Jersey campaigning for this fall’s congressional races, will Republican leaning districts be swayed to Democrats who have for years called for the repeal of the “Bush tax cuts”, “universal healthcare”, stem cell research, etc.? I don’t think so, no matter what they think about the situation in Iraq and George Bush.
Welfare Reform Worked
There is an excellent article in City Journal - How Welfare Reform Worked
– by Kay Hymowitz that I have meaning to bring to your attention.
It’s instructive to look back and remember what the pundits and politicians were saying ten years ago when welfare reform was first enacted and compare those opinions with reality today.
Hymowitz reminds us Democrats called the reform anti-family, anti-child, mean-spirited and warned of impending third world-style poverty. Children would be begging for money and food - eight and nine year olds would be forced into prostitution.
“[A]s New Jersey senator Frank Lautenberg put it. “They are coming for the children.” Senator Ted Kennedy called it “legislative child abuse.” Marion Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund called the bill “national child abandonment” and likened it to the burning of Vietnamese villages.”
The New York Times proclaimed the legislation “draconian” and a “sad day for poor children.” The Atlantic Monthly called signing the Republican bill “The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done.”
So what actually happened? Were the scaremongers and poverty pimps on target with their dire predictions? In a word, ‘no’. President Clinton considers welfare reform his singular achievement and the New York Times now trumpets the legislation as “one of the acclaimed successes of the past decade.” Here’s why:
Most welfare leavers had more money than when they were on welfare. The poverty rate for single women with children fell from 42 percent in 1996 to 34 percent in 2002; before 1996, it had never in recorded history been below 40 percent. This was the first boom ever where poverty declined faster for that group than for married-couple families.
This, then, is where we find ourselves today, ten years after reform: a record number of poor single mothers off the dole and the majority of them gainfully employed; less poverty among single mothers, especially black single mothers, as well as their kids
More striking was what happened to rates of child poverty. They not only went down; by 2001, they hit all-time lows for black children.
After 1996, juvenile violence and teen pregnancy continued to go down, as they had since the early nineties.
Read the article, it’s excellent and keep the welfare reform example in mind the next time the usual suspects start screaming the sky is falling.
We're All In It Together
I read this article
today by Paul Waldman
, the author of the book, Being Right Is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success
. He posits the problem with progressives is that they don't know how to present themselves in a way” the public understands and is attracted to”.
Waldman says that if you ask ordinary citizens what conservatives stand for, chances are they’ll give you some version of “small government, low taxes, strong defense and traditional values.” In a nutshell that sounds about right to me, although there is much more to the conservative (Republican) philosophy than those four sound bites.
He also says if you ask people what liberals stand for, chances are they’ll say “big government, high taxes, weak defense, and moral relativism.” That sounds like it neatly sums up the left wing of the Democratic Party. But again, I know there is much more to the liberal philosophy than these four basic points convey.
To counter this negative stereotype, Waldman suggests progressives use "a variant of the common good” and recommends “Progressives believe we’re all in it together”. Supposedly, this formulation has the benefit of implying the flip side, “conservatives believe we’re all on our own and we’re all out for ourselves”.
He also prefers “the idea that we’re all in it together” because the phrase “doesn’t necessarily imply personal sacrifice for others’ sake—that you have to give something up to benefit the common good.” Although, it the progressives’ call for even greater sacrifice that is the very core belief Waldman is trying to downplay with the bland “we’re all in it together.” He writes, “If I’m selling Americans’ altruistic instincts a little short in arguing that a more direct appeal to sacrifice has political limitations, so be it.”
In other words, if progressives openly and honestly explained their how-to plans people would be turned off - so it’s best to hide behind a truism that gives no hint as to how the greater good is to be accomplished. I believe both sides agree on the goal, but disagree on how best to make it happen.
This leads us right back to the general understanding of how each side proposes to achieve the greater good. Therein lies the progressives’ real problem – the majority of American people are fully aware of how liberals propose achieving the greater good - big government, high taxes, weak defense, moral relativism - and have rejected those ideas. Americans also know they make personal sacrifices for the sake of others in countless ways and object to the progressive implication they’ve somehow let the team down.
Proclaiming “I’m for” is not enough, what progressives must learn from conservative success is that ‘how to’ plans matter – they actually have to create the greater good. Perhaps that is the biggest distinction of all – conservatives believe you have to create, progressives believe you have to take.Update:
Here’s the chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean’s take on the difference
"I was recently asked about the difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. When it comes right down to it, the essential difference is that the Democrats fundamentally believe it is important to make sure that American Jews feel comfortable being American Jews."
The Democrat's Energy Plan - No!
The caption with the photograph tell us this is a man in Los Angeles urging passing truckers to stage a general strike
, or "huelga.".
So how was your day without illegal immigrants? I commuted into the city, put in my usual ten hours, had my normal commute home and didn’t notice any difference. Fausta reporting from Princeton
didn’t see anything out of the ordinary either.
In Bound Brook, NJ
things were a bit different, with a row of businesses including temporary employment agency, a diner, a taxi company and a hair salon all closed.
"People are already feeling the impact. There are no cars in the street and no one is buying anything,'' said Jerry Toribio, the owner of P&P Temps, Inc.
Toribio was not taking the day off, though. He said he had to do his payroll so that the hundreds of illegal aliens who work for him would be able to get paid on Friday.
Illegal aliens in America, redefining chutzpah