Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Roman Polanski

As the father of two young women, I'd like to weigh in on the issue of Roman Polanski's arrest on a 30 plus year old California warrant for drugging, raping, and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl.

Bring his sorry behind back to the US so he can face justice for his crime. As for the Hollywood types who are defending him...shame on them.

GOP Health Care Plan

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) delivered a speech in the U.S. House of Representatives summing up the GOP's plan for health care reform:

Later Rep. Grayson offered this apology:

Finally...a Democrat in Congress with guts! I love this guy!

More hypocrisy from FOX NEWS

Here is another example of the pervasive hypocrisy of FOX NEWS. The video below shows Glenn Beck of FOX NEWS complaining about a group of NJ school children singing a song of praise about President Obama during last February's Black History Month.

Notice how Beck references this would never happen if the person being praised was George W. Bush. Well Glenn, as you can see from the video below, someone on your staff didn't do such a hot job of research before they let you make a jackass of yourself, Hannity, O'Reilly and other FOX NEWS contributors.

Corzine creeps up on Christie.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released today, Democratic incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine has cut Republican challenger Christopher Christie's lead in half and now trails the former federal prosecutor 43 - 39 percent among New Jersey likely voters. Independent candidate Christopher Daggett has 12 points, with 6 percent undecided. This compares to a 47 - 37 percent Christie lead, with 9 percent for Daggett, in a September 1 survey.

It seems the "knight in shining armor" luster on Christie has worn off. Beyond the poll, here is recent video that shows all we need to know about Christie.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Ken Short Screw-up!

According to today's Daily Record, the township has levied $3,200 in fines against West Morris Central High School for what is claims are false alarms since August of this year. There are so many "leaks in this boat" it's hard to know where to start.

  1. If there is a problem with false alarms at the high school, why wait until the 20th one to say or do something? Why send a shot across the bow with a $3,200 fine? Why not have Township Committee High School Liaison James Harmon address the problem early on? Isn't this the proper role for a liaison? Or has Mr. Harmon abandoned this liaison assignment the same way he abandoned his Finance Liaison assignment?

  2. Mayor Short's reasoning for the fines is "If you have an ordinance and you don't enforce it, there's no point." Funny how this logic didn't shine when fellow Republican James Harmon was negligent is removing campaign signs within the 5 day post election deadline, clearly prescribed in the current sign ordinance.
  3. Having just lost $200K in inter Local revenue from the Chesters, let's treat another shared services partner like dirt and see what happens?
  4. Finally, Short made the following statement: "But if there's an alarm, we hope it's going to be a real alarm". This has to be one of the most moronic comments I have heard from an elected official. If any "alarm" sounds why would you not hope it's false? Would Ken Short instead prefer a fire that burns down the school and everyone in it?

Bottom line: This is yet another demonstration of the pervasive incompetence of the Short administration and the local Republicans who support it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Frelinghuysen's Town Hall

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen held a town hall meeting in Montville today which by Fred Snowflack's account was civil and informative. I am not surprised, as Congressman Frelinghuysen is a class act and despite our partisan differences, is someone whom I greatly admire.

Nice job by all!

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Million Dollar Bill"

I received an email from an angry resident who accused me of lying about William "Million Dollar Bill" Roehrich's "tax and spend" record. She challenged me to "post my figures". Well madame, your wish is my command. The relevant numbers can be found on the "WTBOE Data" page in the row marked "2004"; the year Bill served as BOE President. Read it and weep!

Bottom Line: Numbers don't "lie" - Republican William "Million Dollar Bill" Roehrich owns the largest tax increase (of any kind) in the history of our township.

Well deserved accolades for Tracy Tobin

This week's OT has a nice front page story on former mayor and committeeman Tracy Tobin. The Daily Record has a well deserved opinion piece as well. One wrong note within the OT story; while Tobin and I may belong to different political parties, we were never "political foes". Quite the contrary, as I consider him a mentor.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A follow up...

Back in the early summer, I commented on a story out of Philly where a private club was accused of racism because it asked a group of minority children to leave its premises despite a prior contract to allow the kids to use their facilities.

Well the results of a state investigation have been made public and guess what? A state panel has found probable cause of racial discrimination at the suburban Philadelphia swim club.

They should change their slogan to "Swimming & Discriminating Since 1954".

Economic recovery is in sight...

Earlier this afternoon, the Fed highlighted signs of economic recovery as it wisely left rates steady. The central bank also said it will slow purchases of mortgage-backed securities.

"Economic activity has picked up following its severe downturn," the Fed said in the upbeat policy statement it released at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting. Here is the Fed's full statement.

The economy President Obama inherited from GWB and the "do nothing" Republicans is beginning to show signs of recovery, thanks in part to the efforts of this president and the Fed. I for one am happy to see the Fed maintain the current 0 to 0.25% inter lending bank rate. For those with resetting ARMs, that's good news.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bill Roehrich's Tax and Spend Record

It is only a matter of time before the WT Republicans appoint William "Million Dollar Bill" Roehrich to fill the current opening on the Township Committee. Truth be told, I have no personal issue with Bill. I do however, have grave concerns with his fiscal record as an elected official, specifically during his tenure as BOE president when he championed a school budget containing an 8.4% - unprecedented $2.2 million increase, the largest property tax levy increase of any kind in the history of Washington Township.

Now, I know there will be those who say I am picking on Bill, but facts are facts. If anyone out there can prove the school tax levy increase imposed on Bill's watch as BOE president wasn't the largest in township history, I'll be happy to retract this assertion.


A new WSJ/NBC poll ask the question if President Obama is "overexposed". The results are predictively, partisian. A majority (68%) of those who voted for McCain think he is. Obama voters think otherwise with only 8% agreeing with McCain voters.

My take - in today's fractured TV market you can never get too much of a good thing!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Committeeman Tracy Tobin

This morning, former mayor and current committeeman, Tracy Tobin informed me and others he is resigning from the Washington Township Committee for personal reasons. His presence will be sorely missed. I can think of no other committeeman who has more honorably served our township.

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Westrick's Cheap Shot...

In a Letter to the Editor in this week's OT, Washington Township Republican Club President Chris Westrick congratulates the Township Committee on their recent resolution of the emergency dispatch situation. While that's all fine and dandy, Mr. Westrick goes on to say he was "dismayed to learn that Democratic candidate for Township Committee Harlin Parker, along with former Democrat Committeeman Kevin Nedd and Democrat Chairwoman Sally Hudson had attended the meeting with the intention of politicizing this important issue in an effort to score cheap points for the upcoming election". Pardon me, but since when do the powers of Mr. Westrick's political position include the reading of minds? My purpose for attending the meeting was no different from any other hear the Committee's decision and thought process behind it. When the decision was announced, during public comment, I congratulated the Committee on their recommendation. Please feel free to check the record, since I don't think Mr. Westrick bothered to attend this important special meeting. Instead, as usual, he relied on partisan hacks to spoon feed him talking points.

And while we are on the subject, perhaps Mr. Westrick can explain how the net savings to taxpayers has dwindled to $150K now that the Chesters walked away with their $200K in annual revenue. This is of course far below the $346K in savings former Republican Washington Township mayor John "Krickunomics" Krickus touted in his recent partisan OT letter. More importantly, it would be great if Mr. Westrick could manage to square all this with Committeeman Howard Popper's 2007 promise to voters of $600K in savings by moving our dispatch to the county? This seems like yet another broken promise by a Republican who obviously didn't know what he was talking about. Yes, the Committee reached the right conclusion and for that they deserve credit, but it seems how they got there has not worked in the BEST interests of Washington Township taxpayers.

Lastly, the next time Mr. Westrick pens a letter where he makes it a point to mention (no less than 4 times) the people he's taking to task are Democrats, he should show a little integrity and not leave it to the OT Editor to note he is the President of the Washington Township Republican Club. Unless of course Mr. Westrick is ashamed of his title due to the recent unlawful actions of a prior occupant of his title.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hats off to seven House Republicans!

In a rare action, the House rebuked one of its members Tuesday for shouting "You lie!" at President Obama last Wednesday, ending a week-long standoff during which Democrats demanded a public apology that the lawmaker refused to give. On a largely party-line vote, 7 Republicans joined 233 Democrat lawmakers in passing a "resolution of disapproval" against Joe Wilson, a S.C. Republican for interrupting Obama's speech last week. While he clearly deserved the action taken by his collegues, it's nice to see at least seven GOP spines in Congress. Here is the final vote tally.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008

The US Census Bureau has released a report on Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008. The introduction of the report is as follows:

"This report presents data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States based on information collected in the 2009 and earlier Annual Social and Economic Supplements (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data presented in this report indicate the following:

  1. Real median household income fell between 2007 and 2008, and the decline was widespread. Median income fell for family and nonfamily households, native- and foreign-born households, households in 3 of the 4 regions, and households of each race category and those of Hispanic origin. These declines in income coincide with the recession that started in December 2007.

  2. The poverty rate increased between 2007 and 2008.

  3. The percentage of uninsured in 2008 was not statistically different from 2007, while the number of uninsured increased between 2007 and 2008.

These results, though widespread, were not uniform across groups. For example, between 2007 and 2008, real median income was statistically unchanged for households maintained by a person 65 years old and over but declined for households maintained by people of all other age group categories. Additionally, the poverty rate increased for children under 18 and for people 18 to 64 but remained statistically unchanged for people 65 and over; and the percentage of uninsured for non-Hispanic Whites, Asians, and Hispanics increased, while the percentage of uninsured for Blacks was not statistically different.

These results are discussed in more detail in the three main sections of this report—income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. Each section presents estimates by characteristics such as race, Hispanic origin, nativity, and region. Other topics include earnings of full-time, year-round workers; families in poverty; and health insurance coverage of children."

An objective read of the report clearly shows the Bush Administration's neglect on a segment of the population that required its assistance, but clearly didn't get it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

POTUS prepared remarks to the nation's school children

Here are the prepared remarks the President will deliver to school children across the nation tomorrow.

UPDATE: By all accounts the President's remarks were well received. Shame on those who chose to make this about politics and showed disrespect towards the presidency.

Thank you Mike...

Over the past 20 years or so, I've been a fan of Mike Lupica, a writer for the NY Daily News. He is also a frequent guest on the Imus in the Morning program on WABC. Mike's take on the controversy over Obama speech to schoolchildren is spot on. The only thing I can add is how this is just another example of the blatant hypocrisy of the far Right. When Ronald Reagan spoke directly to school children, he talked about tax cuts; when Bush '41 (who I once worked for) had his chance, he specifically asked kids to write him letters stating how they could help his presidency. I guess Glenn Beck and the other clowns over at Fox News weren't around to bitch about these atrocities, huh?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wrong way Christie?

Today we learn of yet another example of Chris Christie's inexcusable driving record. He caused an accident by turning the wrong way into a one way street! This figures to be a good omen for what will happen to the state if he is elected.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No Finance Liaison?

Having spent most of the past 3 months in Japan, upon my return I was shocked to learn the Township Committee eliminated the Finance Liaison committee assignment a few months back. It's pretty clear they did so because James Harmon couldn't fill the shoes of his predecessor.

Nevertheless, a few important questions:

1. Who along with the Mayor is signing vouchers?
2. Who is going to attest to proper finance controls in the annual audit?
3. Who is reviewing monthly budget run-rate reports each month and informing the committee of potential issues?
4. Who is taking the lead on ensuring fiscal targets are in place for the committee when they develop the budget each year?

With the help of his GOP teammates, Jim Harmon has once again slithered away from his assigned fiscal responsibilities. In two and a half years (or less) he and he alone will be accountable to voters.

Township Committee's Dispatch Decision

Having attended tonight's Special Meeting of the Township Committee, I was one of the first to congratulate them on their decision to maintain the status quo dispatch system and not move to the county. In addition, they entered into an arrangement that would allow the offload of some call volume to a third party provider. This will allow for a reduction in the current staff. This, according to Mayor Short should save about $350K a year. The other possibility was to move to the county which by all current estimates would have resulted in an INCREASE in net costs.

Unfortunately, there is one downside to what the committee has done. Due to their clumsiness in reaching what should have been easy decision, they have piss off the Chesters to the point they are now seeking other options which puts $197K in interLocal agreement (dispatch) revenue at risk for next year.

The actions taken by the committee should remind us that a baseball player with a .100 batting average gets a hit at least once in ten at bats!