In the video below of Cory Booker addressing the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy in 2010, the mayor recounts how his father’s stories get better (or worse, depending on the point of the story) the more often he told them.
Good story telling to make a point, or move an audience or teach a lesson, either in a conference room, college graduation, church or family dinner table, is a trait Booker apparently inherited from his father.
At the 14 minute mark of the video, Booker tells the story of “the lowest point” of his life. Wazn Miller’s murder in 2004.
In the version of the story told at ACS, Miller doesn’t die in Booker’s arms.
Booker gave basically the same talk at NYU Law in October of 2010. In that version, Booker was present when Miller died. He starts the Miller story at the 6:30 mark and speaks of the death at the 8 minute mark.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 13th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Cory Booker, Senate Special Election, Steve Lonegan | Tags: Cory Booker, National Review, Open Public Records Act, OPRA, Special Senate Election, T-Bone, ThinkProgress, Wazn Miller | 2 Comments »
Says T-Bone “could be my Dad”
Cory Booker used to tell at story of T-Bone, a Newark drug dealer, who once threatened his life and later asked him for help avoiding arrest and prison. Booker told the story “millions of times” on the stump in Newark, at colleges and at fundraisers where the moving tale separated donors from their money.
Booker stopped telling the story after The Star Ledger questioned its veracity in 2007, even though Booker insisted T-Bone is both “1000 percent real” and an archetype.
The National Review has revived the story.
Our friends at #BookerFail found a video of Booker telling the tale, which is posted above.
Either Booker made up T-Bone, or he confessed on video to harboring a fugitive.
Posted: August 29th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Cory Booker, Newark, Senate Special Election | Tags: #BookeraFail, Cory Booker, National Review, T-Bone | 3 Comments »
A National Review Editorial
Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman seem to be engaged in a perverse contest to be the Republican presidential candidate to say the most asinine thing about Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm at which he served as chief executive, helped turn around a number of failing businesses, and, in the process, produced magnificent profits for his investors and for himself. Mitt Romney ran a firm that invested in struggling businesses, made money, and never asked for a bailout — and Romney’s rivals apparently expect Republican voters to regard that as a liability.
We are largely immune to the charms of the CEO who promises to sweep into Washington and run the government like a business, mainly because the government is not a business. At the same time, private-sector expertise and experience is an invaluable thing in a chief executive, and Romney has nothing to regret on that front. Would that we could say the same thing of his tin-eared declaration that he, too, once feared getting the dread pink slip. Suffice it to say that the multimillionaire/CEO/governor son of a multimillionaire/CEO/governor does not fear losing his job in quite the same way as the typical American worker does.
Newt Gingrich’s risible super-PAC factotum has gone to the length of producing a feverish little film about Romney’s tenure as a “corporate raider” at Bain. Governor Perry, for his part, told a Republican audience: “If you are the victim of Bain Capital’s downsizing, it is the ultimate insult for Mitt Romney to come to South Carolina and tell you he feels your pain — he caused it.” To appropriate Governor Perry’s favorite adjective, that is the ultimate in populist pandering, or something close to it.
Huntsman’s private-sector experience consists of having served as an executive at the firm owned by his billionaire father. Gingrich and Perry have between them about eleven minutes’ worth of relevant private-sector experience — Perry being subsidized by the federal government to farm cotton, Gingrich subsidizing himself by farming his political connections — and therefore may not know (or care) what a private-equity firm such as Bain does. (Gingrich might consider asking his friends at leveraged-buyout firm Forstmann Little, where he was on the board.) Bain is involved in, among other things, leveraged buyouts, meaning that the firm and its investors borrow money from banks to acquire companies, usually firms that are in trouble but believed to be salvageable. These firms generally are bought on the theory that they represent fundamentally sound underlying business enterprises that are for one reason or another performing deficiently, usually because of incompetent management. Strong, thriving companies rarely are targets for leveraged-buyout acquisitions — if things are going well, there is no incentive to sell the company. If the firms are publicly traded, they often are taken private, their stocks delisted from the exchanges, and then reorganized. Once the company has been returned to profitability, it is taken public again or sold to a private buyer, in the hopes of turning a profit on the deal.
As you can imagine, companies that are buyout targets often are in very poor shape, and reviving them is no small thing. Many of them go into bankruptcy. Product lines are discontinued, retail locations are closed, assets are sold off, and, almost inevitably, jobs are lost. Some never recover. When the restructuring is successful, reinvigorated firms expand, add locations, develop new products, and create jobs. That is the creative destruction of capitalism. Staples has 2,000 stores instead of one store because of a Bain investment. And, as Herman Cain is well-positioned to appreciate, Burger King was severely underperforming when Bain and a group of franchise owners acquired it from corporate parent Diageo in 2002. The restructured burger chain, which went public a few years back, is now valued at more than $3 billion. Household names from Dunkin’ Donuts to Guitar Center have been among Bain’s projects.
Bain’s business is high-risk and high-reward. Romney made a pot of money — by investing in real businesses, which, it bears noting, employ many thousands of real Americans. Governor Perry likes to brag about the jobs created in Texas during his tenure: Perhaps he should subtract from that admirable sum those positions at companies in which Bain invested, for the sake of his intellectual integrity.
Romney also is being roasted for saying that one of the things he prefers about the private sector is that when it comes to the incompetent or the unsatisfactory, “if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” Choice — including the choice to fire a non-performing employee, or to fire your bank if you prefer another one — is the essence of the free market. In education, health care, and any number of other spheres of American life, more choice desperately is needed. An education system in which incompetent teachers could be routinely fired would be a real improvement over the current regime of tenure and “rubber rooms” — and Romney has nothing for which to apologize in connection with that remark, nor for taking on the thankless task of explaining the goodness of profits to an Occupy Wall Street heckler. Huntsman mocked Romney for the remark — but whoever the next president of the United States is, he should be provided with a very long list of people in the federal bureaucracies who need firing. If Huntsman does not have one, he has not thought hard enough about the issue.
Wall Street has its share of miscreants, and they should be recognized as such when appropriate. But to abominate Mitt Romney for having been a success at the business of investing in struggling American companies, connecting entrepreneurs with capital and producers with markets, is foolish and destructive. Republicans ought to know better, and the fact that Gingrich et al. apparently do not is the most disturbing commentary on the state of the primary field so far.
Posted: January 10th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: Bain Capital, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, National Review, New Gingrich, Rick Perry | 1 Comment »
Governor Christie’s flirtation with the national media and GOP fundraisers over running for president started to build momentum during March. He told reporters in Washington that he wouldn’t be governor in 2014. He told the National Review’s Rick Lowry “I already know I could win” the presidency.
The Monmouth County Freeholders suspended three SCAT drivers who had called out sick on February 25 but were caught on camera protesting labor reforms in Trenton. State Senator Joe Kyrillos praised the Freeholders for their action and stepped up his call for civil service reform.
Anna Little told The Auditor that she was thinking of running for U.S. Senate instead of Congress.
Peter Burnham was suspended as Brookdale College President on March 3. On March 9 Burnham resigned.
Citizen journalist James O’Keefe embarrassed NPR and came to Monmouth County as a Special Guest Speaker at the Bayshore Tea Party Group’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. O’Keefe ended up being embarrassed himself over the press coverage of the event which included accurate reports that he did not want the event videoed.
Monmouth University Pollster Patrick Murray accurately predicted that Dr. Alan Rosenthal, the tie breaking member of the legislative reapportionment, would choose the Democrats new legislative map. Murray based his prediction on Rosenthal’s scholarlly work espousing “continuity of representation,” i.e., that there is a value to voters being continuously represented by the same legislator after redistricting.
Even though MMM debunked the value of “continuity of representation” and the Bayshore Tea Party Group submitted a constitutional map, Rosenthal did indeed side with the Democrats, thereby assuring Democratic control of the legislature at least until the 2021 election.
After months of reading MMM, former Democratic Assemblyman and triCityNews publisher Dan Jacobson had an epiphany and registered as a Republican. Jacobson started submitting his weekly columns to MMM and prepared to challenge Senator Sean Kean in old 11th district Republican primary.
Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich received the Monmouth GOP’s endorsement for Freeholder. Rich received 25 votes from the screening committee. Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas received 23 votes and Wall Committeeman George Newberry received 22 votes. Howell Mayor Bob Walsh removed himself from contention prior to the committee vote.
Posted: December 27th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2011 Year in review | Tags: Alan Rosenthal, Andrew Lucas, Anna Little, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Bob Walsh, Brookdale Community College, Chris Christie, continuity of representation, Dan Jacobson, Freespeaker1976, Gary Rich, George Newberry, James O'Keefe, Legislative Reapportionment, Monmouth County Freeholders, Monmouth GOP, Monmouth SCAT, Monmouth University, National Review, NPR, Patrick Murray, Peter Burnham, Rick Lowry, Sean Kean, Senator Joe Kyrillos, The Auditor, triCityNews | No Comments »
Let There Be Light!
A National Review Editorial
The 1,219-page, trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill that will fund the government through fiscal year 2012 appears to be the usual mix of compromise and compromised. But out of the mire of horse-trading and half-measures there is at least one bright light: bright light itself.
As we understand it, the omnibus contains a rider defunding Department of Energy efficiency standards that would have effectively killed the incandescent light bulb on January 1. The reprieve is temporary — instead of repealing the relevant regulations, it merely stalls their implementation through next September. But riders are sticky things, often renewed automatically, and this rider marks an important win for House Republicans, consumer choice, and Edison’s fine old filaments.
Breaking liberals’ usual rule about government not intruding in the bedroom, Stephen Chu’s DOE would have insinuated itself into your bedroom and into every other room of your domicile, casting the pale pall and dreary buzzing of compact fluorescence over every home in America.
And why? For our own good, Chu says, to “tak[e] away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.” What a splendid mission statement for the DOE, and a pithy summation of the case for abolishing it. Call us old-fashioned, but we think that if government interventions into a market are ever justified, they are justified on the grounds of giving consumers more choice. Regulation undertaken in the name of Green piety inevitably offers less. One need look no further than the contemporaneous, and so far successful, move by the FDA to ban arguably the most effective asthma inhalers because they contain CFCs. In Bureaucraworld, Freon in the atmosphere trumps oxygen in the lungs.
In a way, the damage done by the promise of the incandescent ban is irreversible: GE closed its last U.S. factory making incandescent lights in 2010, as GE chair and Obama crony Jeffrey Immelt counted on a rush of new business for his more expensive fluorescent bulbs. And Democrats will no doubt claim a “compromise” in the rider, as they have apparently managed to insert language forcing the recipients of DOE grants in excess of $1 million to meet the mothballed standards in any event. But DOE grants are not exactly held in the highest esteem these days, and should themselves be continued targets for conservative cuts. The branches have been pruned; next up, the roots.
The obvious joke here is, “How many bureaucrats does it take to screw up the light bulb?” Thanks to this small victory, we’ll have to wait at least until September to hear the punch line.
Posted: December 19th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Light Bulbs, National Review | 3 Comments »