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Copyright 2011 MoreMonmouthMusings Posted: July 31st, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Marco Rubio | Tags: John Kerry, Macro Rubio | 1 Comment »
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Little Silver Mayor Suzanne Castleman passed away on Friday evening. She was 76 years old.
“Suzy,” as she was known to her many friends, served as mayor of the borough since 1994. She was a member of the council from 1984 until becoming mayor.
In April she announced that she would not seek another term as mayor in order to spend more time with her beloved husband Donald. Donald passed a month later at the age of 82. Donald and Suzanne would have been married 55 years this month.
Suzy is survived by her two daughters, Anne Connell and Elizabeth Halpin, and four grandchildren.
Suzy was elected to the Red Bank Regional High School Alumni Hall of Fame in 2004. She was elected to the NJ League of Municipalities Hall of Fame in 2006 for twenty years of service as an elected official.Click here for reuse options!
By Art Gallagher
Peggy Noonan is an extraordinary wordsmith. As President Reagan’s speechwriter she helped the Gipper change the world. As a columnists, Noonan brings clarity to complex political events with eloquent prose and illustrious alliteration.
In her October 2008 book, Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now, a pre-election call to America to support the next President after the stresses and divisions of the Bush years, Noonan wrote:
“What we need most right now, at this moment, is a kind of patriotic grace – a grace that takes the long view, apprehends the moment we’re in, comes up with ways of dealing with it, and eschews the politically cheap and manipulative. That admits affection and respect. That encourages them. That acknowledges that the small things that divide us are not worthy of the moment; that agrees that the things that can be done to ease the stresses we feel as a nation should be encouraged, while those that encourage our cohesion as a nation should be supported.”
“We must try again to be alive to what the people of our country really long for in our national life: forgiveness and grace, maturity and wisdom.
What a difference three years makes. Yesterday in the Wall Street Journal Noonan wrote of President Obama:
So he is losing a battle in which he had superior forces—the presidency, the U.S. Senate. In the process he revealed that his foes have given him too much mystique. He is not a devil, an alien, a socialist. He is a loser. And this is America, where nobody loves a loser.
What has changed in three years is that we have gotten to know Barack Obama. We didn’t know who he was when we elected him President. We still know very little about the man before he became a U.S. Senator. Those who question his youth, his college years at Occidental, Columbia and Harvard, and his associations in Chicago are labeled as racist by the leftist media elite. Had the media done its job and vetted Obama in 2008, Hillary Clinton would probably be President. Rather, the media anointed Obama and protected him from those who had the incentive to vet him, like the Clintons, or the audacity to do so, which John McCain did not, by playing the race card.
We have learned more about Michele Bachmann in the month that she has been a Presidential candidate than we know about the pre-U.S. Senate Barack Obama.
In 2008, America assumed Obama was a leader. He looked like one and acted like one. Those who didn’t assume he was as leader hoped he was. The Hope that Obama evoked for many was that he was up to the job.
Since his inauguration we’ve learned that he is not a leader and he is not up to the job.
He didn’t lead on ObamaCare. He left that up to Frank Pallone and Nancy Pelosi,who still don’t know all that is in that bill 16 months after they passed it.
He’s not leading now as Congress “works” through the weekend to come up with a debt ceiling deal to prevent a default or downgrade of the full faith and credit of the United States of America. If Obama was a leader, the situation in Washington would never have gotten to where it is today.
What is happening in Washington is not about our country’s finances. It is not about taxes or spending. If it was, an agreement would have been made weeks ago. What is happening in Washington is entirely about Barack Obama and his desire to get elected to another term before America wakes up to who he is.
As Noonan wrote:
The fact is, he’s good at dismantling. He’s good at critiquing. He’s good at not being the last guy, the one you didn’t like. But he’s not good at building, creating, calling into being. He was good at summoning hope, but he’s not good at directing it and turning it into something concrete that answers a broad public desire.
And so his failures in the debt ceiling fight. He wasn’t serious, he was only shrewd—and shrewdness wasn’t enough. He demagogued the issue—no Social Security checks—until he was called out, and then went on the hustings spouting inanities. He left conservatives scratching their heads: They could have made a better, more moving case for the liberal ideal as translated into the modern moment, than he did. He never offered a plan. In a crisis he was merely sly. And no one likes sly, no one respects it.
When I first read the last two sentences of Noonan’s piece my head snapped. I was shocked that such a dignified writer would end a brilliantly written and insightful piece (which in addition to Obama, accurately described the Republican vs Tea Party relationship) so colloquially.
But if there was a better way to say it, Noonan would have. Once again Peggy Noonan has nailed it. She has articulated the obvious truth of our situation before anyone else crystallized it.
We may have needed Patriotic Grace in 2008. We didn’t get it because we did not elected a graceful leader.
What we need now is leadership. We’re not likely to get it this week or this year. We can Hope for 2012.Click here for reuse options!
By Art Gallagher
President Obama took to Twitter yesterday, spamming his 9.4 million followers, asking that they tweet their Republican congressmen to support a compromise debt ceiling bill.
37,000 unfollowed him as of 7:30 last evening, according to Mashable.com.
The Republican congressman he targeted picked up approximately 6,000 followers.Click here for reuse options!
Planning Board member Owen Henry said the new changes to the R-120 zone, allowing for one house per acre and the clustering of homes, will make development cheaper and create more open space.
For example, a property owner with 100 acres, under the old requirements of the R- 120 zone, could build 33 homes spread out over the entire property. Now, the township would allow 30 homes to be built on 30 acres, with the rest remaining open space. Because only one corner of the 100 acres is being used, Henry said, this makes developing the property much cheaper and gives the township free open space.
“It’s an oxymoron — with development will come new open space,” Henry said. “Hopefully, we will expand that to other areas.”
Republican Mayoral Candidate Owen Henry, a former Business Leader of the Year, worked tirelessly on and with the Planning Board for two years, against significant resistance from the Democrat Council Members and Mayor Patrick Gillespie, to bring a real plan for economic revitalization and jobs to Old Bridge.
While it is encouraging to see the Democrats and Mayor Gillespie fully endorse the Republican plan for economic growth in Old Bridge, (albeit in an election year), we shouldn’t forget that the need for such a plan is of their own doing. Eight years of economic malfeasance by Mayor Gillespie and the Council Democrats has led Old Bridge to the situation in which it finds itself.
On November 9th, put Owen Henry, Brian Cahill, Debbie Walker and Jim Anderson on the Old Bridge Council so we can continue on the right track to jobs and prosperity in Old Bridge.Click here for reuse options!
The other day I received a blast e-mail from Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) signed by its president Grover Norquist. Mr. Norquist has become a lighting rod for President Obama and congressional Democrats because of his opposition to higher taxes to address the fiscal crisis in Washington D.C. President Obama and Democratic leaders have asserted that a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction is needed including raising tax rates on upper income Americans. In addition, the Obama administration wants to end so-called loopholes for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations so they can pay their ‘fair share” of taxes to avoid cuts to domestic spending. Norquist and other anti-tax groups oppose Obama’s desire to hike taxes in any form.
Although ATR has been successful in getting hundreds of first-time candidates and legislators to sign its pledge not to vote for higher taxes if they are elected or reelected to Congress or their state legislature, it and other DC anti-tax groups have failed miserably in reining in the real issue facing the country-government spending.
In Norquist’s recent email, he writes, “The D.C. mentality of spending money that they don’t have must end.” This is the first time I can recall receiving a message from ATR about spending. In the past, its mantra has been no new taxes, which I agree with 100%. However, the debt crisis we face today has its roots in the “conservative” Reagan and Bush I administrations.
During Reagan/Bush’s twelve-year rein, federal spending doubled and the national debt rose from $1 trillion to $4 trillion.
Eight years of Bill Clinton could be considered the golden age of fiscal restraint. Federal spending rose by only $450 billion, or about 32%, while the federal debt rose by slightly less than $1.5 trillion. Moreover, in the last four years of the Clinton administration, the federal government ran a nearly $600 billion budget surplus. At the end of the Clinton administration budget surpluses were projected to be $6.5 trillion for the first ten years of the 21st century. It did not happen.
Thanks to eight years of Bush/Cheney, who gave us the welfare-warfare state in spades, federal spending nearly doubled to $3.5 trillion and the national debt nearly doubled to $12 trillion. President Obama is making all previous presidents look like fiscal conservatives with three consecutive $1 trillion budget deficits, mind numbing spending and more of the same for the next several years. In short, federal spending is now at the proverbial crossroads as the federal budget reaches nearly $4 trillion.
Although ATR’s goal of stopping tax hikes has been relatively successful, the real burden of the federal government is how much it spends, because the American people have to pay for spending eventually in the form of higher taxes or devalued money. In other words, ATR’s anti-tax pledge has been meaningless in the end because signers of The Pledge ignored spending as Reagan, Bush I and Bush II increased federal expenditures and the national debt to unconscionable levels. George W. Bush’s manic spending paved the way for the election of Obama and the fiscal crisis we face today.
ATR needs a pledge on spending. The pledge would state: “I promise to vote for a budget only if it is lower by at least 10% than the current one.” This would cause the federal budget to decline every year until spending and revenue are balanced at much lower levels. Eventually, the federal government would only spend the American people’s money on programs authorized by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.Click here for reuse options!
By Art Gallagher
What does that headline make you think of?
I didn’t write it, thus the quotes. Dan Jacobson didn’t write it either, but he’d be more likely to do so than I would.
I read the headline to my assistant, a 42 year old single mother, and asked her what it made her think of. Her answer was probably what you are thinking now, which was the same thing I thought of when I saw the headline.
The headline is from APP.com’s InJerseyMag. The sub-headline is worse:
“Jersey Shore housewives defy TV stereotype”
The related article is not terrible. It is about five dynamic Monmouth and Ocean County women who don’t live like the Jersey women portrayed on MTV or Bravo. It could have been a great piece highlighting role models healthier than Snookie for our region’s teenage and twenty something women . That was probably the writer’s intent. However, the context of the article created by the headlines defeated the purpose. Epic fail.
One of the women featured is Matawan Councilwoman Toni Marie Angelini.
While Angelini is real and she is spectacular, she is not a housewife! She’s an ex-wife!
Toni is single and available. Why is APP.com limiting her opportunities by highlighting her in an society piece about housewives? Even when APP tries to do something nice for a Repubican they manage to screw it up.
“I am the furthest there is from a housewife,” Angelini told MMM, “not that there is anything wrong with that.” In addition to raising her three children, running the Hazlet MVC office and serving on the Matawan Council, Toni is apparently a huge Seinfeld fan. She filled me on the Seinfeld origin of “They’re real and they’re spectacular.”
Toni is endowed with great talents. Not Teri Hatcher type talent so much, but equally as beautiful, if not more so. Every guy I know, married, single, straight or gay, who meets Toni and finds out that she is divorced wonders, “What was they guy thinking? Is he gay? Is she gay?” That last thought often leads to other wonderings I can’t print on a right wing blog.
“Oh my God, Art! That is going to be the new rumor now! Forget about it, I’m hanging up,” Toni said in reaction to those wonderings, “My feet are firmly planted in the straight column, not that there is anything wrong with feet that are not in the straight column.”
The point of the APP article, despite the disempowering and inaccurate headlines, was to portray Monmouth and Ocean women as intelligent, capable, productive , “real and spectacular.”
The point of this article is to affirm all of those things about Toni, and to provide a public service to any eligible guy who had an eye on Toni, saw the APP story, and was heartbroken about her being a “housewife.” The point is to make Toni’s phone ring.
As a car and truck dealer that frequents the Hazlet MVC office, I can attest to Toni’s abilities. The place runs much better since Toni took over from the Manalapan Democrat.
At first I thought the improved service might be because I’m a “powerful Republican blogger,” as Dan Jacobson likes to write. But the quality of service hasn’t changed since I started writing about Dan and publishing his work here. Dan is running for Assembly against Toni’s mother, Mary Pat.
I thought for sure I’d have to start taking my dealer work to Eatontown or Freehold after we (MMM readers) killed Mary Pat’s bill A3242. I was wrong. Mary Pat and her staff have not called me back since I broke the story about the bill that if passed would have allowed school personnell to question students about personal and private family matters without their parent’s consent, but the service at Hazlet MVC keeps getting better, even when there are computer problems.
Then I thought, maybe the service from Hazlet was lacking, for me, when the Manalapan Democrat was running the place because I’m a “powerful Republican blogger.” I suppose that is possible, but I don’t think so.
The give away that something has changed radically is the employees. They are happier and friendlier than at anytime since I’ve been doing business with the agency dating back to 1992 when it was in Matawan. Most people only go to MVC once per year, if that. The employees go everyday. Us dealers go weekly or more. I see more smiles now on both sides of the counter, employees and drivers, than at anytime over the last 19 years. The only thing that I can see has changed is the management.
Don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper. While Toni Marie Angelini is “real and spectacular” she is not a housewife.
Not that there is anything wrong with housewives.
And MVC doesn’t suck. It is getting much better.Click here for reuse options!
By Art Gallagher
Governor Chris Christie walked himself into the Somerset Medical Center’s Emergency Room, had a normal chest s-ray and blood work, and is expected to be released by the end of the day, according to Politickernj.
Christie’s blood pressure is 118/78. He’s alert, in charge and working on the phone.Click here for reuse options!
By Dan Jacobson, Originally published in the July 28th, 2011 edition of the triCityNews
I’m running as an Independent for the state Assembly. And I’m not about to kiss the Tea Party’s ass. No way.
But they shouldn’t be offended.
I’m not kissing anybody’s ass. I’m just calling it like I see it in this campaign – exactly as I’ve done at this newspaper for over a decade.
So all you Tea Party types, here’s what I’m about. Make your own call.
My beliefs are united by one thing – a knee-jerk reaction against the concentration of power, wherever it may be found. That includes government employee unions who use mandatory dues to elect those sitting across the bargaining table. That includes powerful corporations that get government favors instead of competing in the free market. It also includes big media – my disgust with the Gannett-owned Asbury Park Press is well-documented. And it includes political parties who order elected officials what to do. I recoil against it all.
Some key issues? I think school vouchers should be tried in poor urban school districts. I want competition between the public and private sectors to better the education system. And I support the recently-passed pension and health benefits reform bill as a step in the right direction, although its supporters in Trenton overstate its impact. (Of course, the bill – surprise, surprise – leaves unstated who will pay the taxes that it clearly requires. Wow, what courage. No wonder the pension system has been underfunded for 15 years.)
The mainstream media has tagged the Tea Party with such divisive figures as Sarah Palin (an idiot) and Michele Bachman (a wacko). The media calls them Tea Party favorites and Tea Party darlings, suggesting the movement is narrow, extremist and divisive. I just don’t see it that way.
The Tea Party movement has done a great service to this country by forcing the Republican Party back to its limited government principles. Voters need that option. The best example? Had the Tea Party been around before 2006, when the Republicans lost control of Congress, it would be a much different country today.
In 2006, conservative Republicans stayed home because the GOP was spending like crazy liberals – and that delivered the House and Senate majorities to the Democrats. That gave us Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. The Tea Party movement would have prevented that. Under Tea Party pressure, Republicans would never have strayed so far from their limited government roots. Those that did would have been defeated in Republican primaries by Tea Party candidates. In that scenario, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would never have come to power. Conservative Republicans would have voted in 2006, continuing House and Senate Republican majorities.
Two years later, I voted for Barack Obama – John McCain simply didn’t have the temperament to be President. But it was a grim choice. I predicted in this space that a Democratic Congress with a Democratic President would be disastrous. Turns out I was right. What a different story it would have been – and a very good one – if Obama had faced a Republican Congress from day one in dealing with the economic crisis.
Think about that for a moment. Had the Tea Party been around before the 2006 election, the Republicans may have kept control of Congress. None of the nonsense we endured under Pelosi and Reid would have happened.
Obama and a Republican Congress from the start would have been great for this country. I love that we elected an African-American President whose father was a Muslim. You won’t see France doing that. Obama’s problem is his utter lack of experience in the private sector or feel for free market economics. Yet he had tremendous potential as a leader with a Republican Congress – they’d be a check on each other’s excesses. After all, Bill Clinton soared after Newt Gingrich and the Republicans took over Congress. Obama should have been a success. It’s a shame what happened.
Look, the Democrats are idiots on economic policy. We all know that. They’re clueless on how to fix a free market economy. Democrats are around to make sure this country doesn’t turn into a theocracy. That’s why we elect them. I’d rather not live in Iran, thank you.
So I blame the Republicans as much as anyone for today’s economic mess by straying from their limited government principles – and handing the Congress over to Reid and Pelosi back in 2006. That was a complete disaster for this country. A catastrophe. What a shame the Tea Party movement wasn’t around back then to stop it.
In that context, the Tea Party movement certainly doesn’t look extremist to me. Quite the opposite. I think the broad majority of people in our area, and in this country, would agree with my analysis: President Obama and a Republican Congress from the start would have been great for this country. Certainly much better than what we got.
The local people I know who support the Tea Party principles of limited government are almost all self-reliant, self-employed types who can’t stand political bullshit. Definitely my kind of folk. It’s a streak of economic libertarianism we share. (I also have a libertarian streak on social issues.)
As for endorsements from local Tea Party groups, I doubt I’ll get them. Nor do I particularly care – I want voters and groups to do whatever the hell they want. I know there’s one Tea Party group in Colts Neck, which is in the new 11th District where I’m running. We’ll see what they do.
Unfortunately, my suspicion is that the Republican Party will eventually co-opt these groups, which would be a shame. In addition, movements like this often collapse under their own weight as egos, personality conflicts and downright bizarre people end up dominating them. That’s when the political pros move in to defang or co-opt them. And finish them off.
But back to my campaign.
It’s not endorsements that are important to me. What I find very cool, however, is the positive response to my candidacy from people ranging from Tea Party supporters to Green Party supporters. That’s a helluva range. I love that!
It demonstrates an anti-establishment current that’s alive and well around here. It’s certainly right for these times. People want their elected to just tell them the truth – and not give them a line of bullshit to cover up some other political agenda everyone knows is being followed.
So Tea Party people, whoever you are, there you go. Make your own call in the voting booth!
(The 11th District where I’m running includes: Asbury Park, Long Branch, Red Bank, Ocean Township, Neptune, Neptune City, Interlaken, Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbour, West Long Branch, Eatontown, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls, Colts Neck, Freehold Township and Freehold Borough.)
Bloggers note: All candidates for any office are welcome to submit material for publication to MMM. So is anyone else. Send to Artvg @ aol.com.
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Politickernj is reporting that Governor Chris Christie has been taken to Somerset Medical Center due to breathing difficulties.
Christie was on his way to a bill signing ceremony in Hillsborough. That event has been canceled.
At the Middletown Town Hall meeting this past January, the Governor made a passing reference to the fact that he is an asthmatic.
Press Secretary Michael Drewniak told reporters in Hillsborough that Christie is routinely tested for asthma, according to Politickernj.
The Wall Street Journal quotes Drewniak as follows:
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“The Governor is extremely grateful for the quality of care he is receiving this morning and has nothing but praise for the world-class doctors, nurses and staff,” his office said.