The following are excerpts of his prepared remarks:
Excerpted Remarks of Governor Chris Christie
to the Foundation for Excellence in Education
November 30, 2010
I know this…I would not be standing here today if it wasn’t for the fact that my parents had the opportunity to send me to the public schools that gave me the best possible education I could have.
In each one of us, there is a certain God-given ability, but that God-given ability will only take us so far.
We need someone to nurture it and draw it out of us. We see this happening today in the best schools, in the best homes and with the best teachers and parents.
But it also has to happen each and every day in what are now the worst schools by nurturing children who do not come from the best homes. We have to draw out and empower parents. And we have to demand that the teachers, the principals and the administrators put these children first.
If we do not do this…If we do not change what is happening in our mediocre and poor performing schools, then we are failing our children. And continuing to play the blame game and to make excuses only makes the adults feel better.
It does nothing for our children.
I’m going to fight as hard as I can against those who believe that what we’re fighting for is the status quo.
Because it is not acceptable to let a teacher who can’t teach stay in the classroom. It is not acceptable that a child who is neglected in one of our schools must just accept it because of their zip code. It is not acceptable that parents who can’t afford to send their children to a private school, or aren’t lucky enough to draw a good lottery number, have no choice but to be resigned to the fact that the difference between a successful future for their child and prison has already been predetermined.
No parent should ever have to stand up in that awful moment, with their child’s future on the line, and be powerless to change the outcome. It is the terrible complacency of those who defend the status quo, those who accept these choices and circumstances for our children, that we must stand against.
This is the fight. It is not a Democratic fight. It is not a Republican fight.
This is a fight where Republicans and Democrats can stand united. One where President Obama, Mayor Booker, Bill Gates and I can all stand in agreement.
It is a fight for our children.
And yes, sometimes the fight will be angry. Sometimes the fight will be loud. Sometimes the fight will draw tears. And still, sometimes the fight will require embrace.
There is nothing more important to the future of our country than this fight, because this is the fight that will define all of the other fights. This is why we all must have the stomach and the strength to take it on.
We cannot let this moment pass us by. We cannot let the enthusiasm and the intensity with which our leaders have been discussing education reform diminish.
Failure is not an option. Which is why I would rather lose an election and lose my career, rather than look back and realize that I did not do enough, or that I put myself and my career ahead of the future lives of the children of New Jersey.
Is the bra size of Khadafi’s nurse and the fact that no one knows his routine like she does really a matter of national security? Is anyone really surprised that Saudi Arabian leaders want the U.S. to neutralize Iran? Better us than the Israelis they probably think.
The cables show something many have always known — that most so-called leaders and politicians are liars, schemers, crooks, egomaniacs, and incompetents.
Unfortunately, the above characterization applies also to this country’s government elites. The documents reveal these people’s duplicity and the fact that they cannot protect even their own internal data. But what would you expect of Hillary Clinton’s State Department? Would you expect it to be a well-oiled machine filled with people of high ability and integrity? But let’s not be unfair to Hillary Clinton. Government rarely does anything right. One wonders only why so many people still believe in it.
Yes, it is unfortunate that our leaders and politician are liars, schemers, crooks, egomaniacs and incompetents. I didn’t need WikiLeaks to dump cables full of gossip to tell me that. But I’m from New Jersey.
I could be proved wrong, but I don’t think this story has the legs the media elite thinks it does or that it is as earth shattering as the government elites apparently think it is.
It’s interesting to learn that our diplomats are keeping dossiers on their counterparts. Maybe it is Jersey cynic in me, but I assume the counterparts in the diplomatic community are doing the same thing to our diplomats and leaders and have been for years. Don’t you think that Russia, France or Israel had a file on Bill Clinton’s proclivities before Ken Starr’s grand jury found out about them?
Glenn Beck said the WikiLeaks don’t contain any new information, but that they are contributing to the perfect storm of anarchy and chaos that will cause the collapse of the free world. If there is nothing new, why anarchy and chaos? I need to put my tin foil cap on to understand the rest of what Beck said.
So far we are fortunate that the material that WikiLeaks has released is nothing new. It’s more entertaining than Jon Corzine’s email exchanges with Carla Katz. What is distressing is that Jon and Carla’s email was more secure than our state secrets. What is distressing is that our government can shut down websites that are selling counterfeit goods but can’t protect its electronic communications from a private in Baghdad pretending to listen to Lady Gaga.
The WikiLeaks cable dump will not be Obama’s Katrina. The cable dump is not a “game changer” favoring the GOP in the 2012 Presidential election, nor should it be. This issue will blow over before Christmas. The GOP should keep focused on the economy, the size of government and taxes and spending.
Sandy Hook Partners, LLC has been evicted from the three buildings it retained control over after its MasterLease with the National Park Service to rehabilitate Fort Hancock was terminated. The former park headquarters, the theater and the chapel were subject to the separate lease that Sandy Hook Parnters defaulted on in October.
The park service changed the locks on the buildings on November 24, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press.
Sandy Hook Partners was chosen from a pool of 20 applicants to rehabilitate Fort Hancock in 2001. There plan faced strong opposition from the late Judith Stanley Coleman who formed Save Sandy Hookto oppose the private redevelopment of the fort. The Sandy Hook Partners master lease was terminated last year when the firm failed to secure financing for their plan after six extensions to the agreement.
Congressman Frank Pallone supported private redevelopment before joining the opposition. He and Congressman Rush Holt are now urging the Park Service to lease the 36 rundown buildings to non-profits on a building by building basis and not as part of an overall rehabilitation effort.
That won’t work either. If Fort Hancock is to remain a historic landmark and open to the public, federal funding is the only viable option to restore the buildings. Pallone did not have the clout to make that happen during the Clinton administration nor during the first two years of the Obama administration. Not only is it unlikely that he can get funding for it now that he is soon to be a minority member of Congress, he’s not even trying.
In the meantime the buildings continue to deteriorate. It is very likely that they will continue to decline, unless Pallone can prevail on Senators Robert Menendez and/or Frank Lautenberg to secure funding for rehabilitation.
As the Park Service seeks public input on the future of the fort, they should also consider turning it over to the military….either the adjoining Coast Guard station or to the Earle Naval Weapons Station.
Newark Fraternal Order of Police President Derrick Hatcher cut off negotiations with Mayor Cory Booker on Monday, forcing 167 police layoffs, according to a reports in the Star Ledgerand Bloomberg.com.
Hatcher did not allow his rank and file to vote of the Mayor’s proposals.
Bloomberg quoted union Vice President Walter Melvin blaming the spike in violence in Newark over the Thanksgiving weekend on the impending layoffs:
“The criminal element out there realized this and believed it had already happened,” he said in a telephone interview following Booker’s announcement. “It’s a fallacy to think public safety is not going to be an issue here. Any thinking, logical person can see that.”
That’s right. The police union knowingly chose no sacrifice for its senior members over the jobs of its junior members and over public safety.
This is a perfect example why union membership is inappropriate for government workers. The union leadership now has more impact on public safety in Newark than the Mayor and the police department leadership does.
Booker is closing a $89 million budget deficit. $9.5 million of the deficit will come from the police layoff. 400 civilian employees are also being laid off in Newark.
America’s public-sector unions have transformed the landscape of our political system with major implications for taxpayers. In Shakedown, Steven Malanga shows how unions have aligned themselves with politicians and activists to grow government and increase public spending. The bill for this growth is now coming due, and Malanga chronicles how it has all but bankrupted once-rich states like New Jersey and California. From undermining welfare reform in the 1990’s to the War on Poverty to slashing mortgage standards, Malanga provides a comprehensive summary of how these groups impact you and why we need constructive change more than ever.
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande will be hosting the fourth in a series of informational sessions on Governor Christie’s Property Tax Reform Toolkit on Wednesday, December 8th at the regular meeting of the Colts Neck Township Committee at 7:30 p.m
Similar informational presentations have taken place throughout the 12th District in Marlboro, Tinton Falls, and Manalapan. The Legislators give a presentation on how enacting these reforms will benefit municipalities, followed by a question and answer period. All area residents are encouraged to attend and learn more about how these proposed reforms will help make New jersey a more affordable place to live.
My family and friends think my appearance on NJN’s Reporters Roundtable with Michael Aron was wonderful.
My brother emailed me that his wife said I looked good. I responded, “No wonder you love her, she is very generous!” “Yes, she is,” was his reply.
The final broadcast of the first “Bloggers Roundtable” featuring yours truly, Murray Sabrin, and BlueJersey’s Jay Lassiter and Jeff Gardner is at 10AM this morning. NJN is channel 23 on Comcast in Monmouth County. Check your local listings if you have a different TV provider.
If you miss the broadcast you can view the video here.
American Express has created a self serving campaign to support small businesses by encouraging shoppers to patronize such establishments tomorrow. Today is known as Black Friday. Monday has become known as Cyber Monday. The two days are the busiest shopping days of the year. Amex wants to make the Saturday after Thanksgiving a new shopping day.
While the goal is laudable, this campaign will serve American Express at the expense of the small businesses they are purporting to support. As most small business owners know, the fees that American Express charge businesses that accept their card are often 50-150% higher than the fees other credit card companies charge.
Governor Chris Christie has joined the campaign to support small businesses,
“Thanksgiving is the traditional kick off to the holiday shopping season,” said Governor Christie. “Our small businesses are critical to our economy and to our livelihood. I have a number of things on my shopping list for this season and I hope New Jersey residents will join Mary Pat and me as we spend time shopping locally this Saturday.”
Small business is key to the future of our nation. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration there were nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States last year. Over the past two decades, they’ve created 65 percent of net new jobs. Their importance to local communities extends even further. For every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures, according to the small business advocacy group The 350 Project.
Experts estimate that 138 million people will shop this weekend, generating economic benefits for both employers and employees alike. The holiday shopping season is traditionally the time when retailers are the busiest. New Jersey has over 28,000 retail establishments with 20 employees or less giving residents of the Garden State a whole host of options for shopping on Saturday.
“New Jersey has some of the most unique and exciting retail shops in the nation,” added Governor Christie. “Boutiques and shops from Cape May to Newton will be welcoming shoppers with specials and savings. Saturday is the perfect time to explore the unique offerings and experiences offered only by New Jersey small businesses.”
I, and I’m sure thousands of other small business owners, deeply appreciate Christie’s support. We, and our employees will deeply appreciate your patronage. If we accept American Express, we won’t turn your card away or ask you to use another at the point of sale. However, we will appreciate it all the more if you use another method of payment.
Do I have an ax to grind with American Express? Yes I do. It gives me great pleasure to lend my voice to support other small business owners and to cost Amex a few sales along the way.
You’ve probably used and heard the word “happy” more in the last few days than you have all year. How many “Happy Thanksgiving” greetings have you given and received? We’ve entered happy season.
For the rest of the year, and for a few days into next year “happy” will replace “nice” as in “Have a nice day” as our standard hello and good-bye greeting. Really happy people will allow themselves to say and hear “merry.” People who are not so happy will be offended when they hear the “merry” phrase. Those who are moderately happy won’t be offended by hearing merry, unless there is someone else within ear shot that is offended by it. If two or more people who want to say merry but are concerned about offending each other if the say it discover that none of them are offended by merry, they will be happy and jolly, momentarily.
After January 4, you must go back to saying “nice”, unless you’re addressing someone on or about the anniversary of their birth or marriage. Then you can say “happy”, but not “merry.” “Merry” is reserved for the truly happy and only to be used after the 4th Thursday in November.
Why do I say “merry” is reserved for the truly happy? Only a conservative would unapologetically say the merry phrase without concern for PC BS. As Dennis Prager points out in his column, Why Unhappy People Become Liberals, in the National Review Online, conservatives are happy and liberals are not.
Prager identifies four reasons for this phenomena.
1) Liberals view society as out to hurt people. Prager uses racism as an example.
“Take black Americans, for example. It makes perfect sense that a black American who is essentially happy is going to be less attracted to the Left. Anyone who has interacted with black conservatives rarely encounters an angry, unhappy person.
Because the liberal view on race is that America is a racist society. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, a black American must abandon liberalism in order to be a happy individual. It is very hard, if not impossible, to be a happy person while believing that society is out to hurt you. So, the unhappy black person will gravitate to liberalism and liberalism will in turn make him more unhappy by reinforcing his view that he is a victim.”
2) Life is hard.
“The unhappy gravitate toward the Left for a second reason. Life is hard for liberals and life is hard for conservatives. But conservatives assume that life will always be hard. Liberals, on the other hand, have utopian dreams. At his brother Robert’s funeral, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy recalled his brother saying: “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’”
Utopians will always be less happy than those who know that suffering is inherent to human existence. The utopian compares America to utopia and finds it terribly wanting. The conservative compares America to every other civilization that has ever existed and walks around wondering how he got so lucky as to be born or naturalized an American”
3) Conservatism demands self-reliance, which makes one happy.
“Imagine two Americans living in essentially identical socioeconomic conditions. They earn $45,000 a year, they have the same amount of debt on their homes, and both have the same number of dependents. One seeks governmental assistance wherever possible; the other eschews any governmental help. Which one is likely to be the liberal and which one is likely to be the happier individual?
This is not a question only an oracle can answer. The one who yearns for governmental help is the one who is likely to be both liberal and less happy. Conservatism, which demands self-reliance, makes one happier. The more a man or woman feels like captain of his or her ship (as poor as that ship may be), the happier he or she will be.”
4) Liberals are governed by their feelings. Conservatives know that behavior, not feelings, is what matters and that to be truly happy, one must govern their feelings.
“A fourth explanation for greater unhappiness among liberals is that the more people allow feelings to govern them, the less happy they will be. And the further left one goes, the more importance one attaches to feelings.
It is liberal educators and liberal parents who have clamored for protecting young people from the pain of losing games. The liberal world came up with the idea of giving trophies to kids who lose; they don’t want their children feeling bad. Conservatives, on the other hand, teach their kids how to lose well. They are less worried about their children feeling bad.
Those who know that feelings must not govern us, but that we must govern our feelings, are far more likely to be happy people.”
Prager concludes that given his thesis, defeating the Left is amazingly simple.
There is an amazingly simple way to defeat the Left: Raise children who are grateful to be American, who don’t complain, who can handle losing, and who are guided by values, not feelings. In other words, teach them how to be happy adults.
Prager’s right, but his solution will take a least a generation.
In the meantime, encourage all people to be happy and merry. This is the perfect time of year to do it. The Lefties won’t even notice.