Thursday, January 31, 2013

Educating America About Chris Christie

The American people are being sold a bill of goods. Make no mistake about it - the upcoming New Jersey gubernatorial election is a national event. Not just because Chris Christie is leading the diminishing sane wing of the Republican Party for the 2016 presidential nomination, but also because he will be using his media-induced star power to raise tens of millions of dollars for his gubernatorial race this year.

The problem is that Christie's record is painted by his handlers and the media as a tough-spoken, hard-driving manager who has put New Jersey on the road to economic salvation. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yet, most people outside of New Jersey and even many in the Garden State don't see it that way.

No doubt, the Democrats led by Senator Barbara Buono will work hard to get out the message that the effect of Christie's policies are not much different than those of some of the more extreme GOP governors like Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and Rick Snyder. And if Christie is re-elected, it will embolden him to move even closer to a dictatorship of the wealthy.

Christie is running a national campaign for the New Jersey governorship. This is exemplified by his fundraiser with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his cozying up to the Koch Brothers and their billions of dollars of stealth campaign contributions.

No Democratic candidate would be able to match the GOP's Citizens United juggernaut of campaign dollars. Environmental and gay rights groups can't match the fortunes of the polluters and the education/military/insurance industrial complex.

Because a significant portion of Christie's campaign dollars are coming from outside the state, it's important to educate America about Chris Christie. The nation needs to know the truth about his infrastructure blunders, his anti-equality stance, his dealings with his cronies, his dubious budget manipulations, and his politicizing just about everything from the Supreme Court to the Rutgers Board of Trustees.

We can't stop the flow of right-wing dollars into the Christie campaign, but by taking Senator Buono's message nationwide, we can help to work to mitigate the Christie dollar advantage. Talk to your out-of-state friends about the truth about our governor. Make them understand that this election is not just about New Jersey, but it's for the future of our kids, minorities, and women's rights. Having them send a few bucks to Buono's campaign would be nice, but educating them about the real Chris Christie is essential.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

One Million Moms for Gun Control Rally in Jersey City

January 26 was a freezing cold day, but that didn't stop about 200 citizens from gathering in Lincoln Park in Jersey City to hear elected officials and others talk about sensible gun laws.

Not a single speaker spoke about repealing the Second Amendment.

Not a single speaker proposed taking guns away from responsible citizens.

Instead, they spoke about the children of Newtown and countless other tragedies that have been precipitated by this nation’s obsession with guns.

It took a generation to change the tobacco culture in America. It may take longer to change the faux machismo worship of killing machines. But we have to start some time. That time is now.

Below are links to the videos of remarks from the speakers at the Jersey City Rally.

Introductory Remarks - Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy
Mandi Perlmutter of One Million Moms 4 Gun Control

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Where Do We Draw The Line?

According to the gun fanatics, the Second Amendment gives Americans unfettered access to assault weapons.

Why draw the line there?

Can we extend their rationale to say that the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to own bazookas? How about surface-to-air missiles? If someone is carrying a surface-to-air missile and launcher in the back of their pickup truck near an airport, do the gun fanatics claim he shouldn't be arrested?

Why draw the line there?

By their logic, any American should be able to own a Howitzer to launch tactical nuclear weapons.

This exercise in absurdity shows that the Founders never intended for Americans to own weapons of mass destruction like automatic weapons with large clips.

I wonder why the Second Amendment absolutists don’t attack restrictions on the First Amendment. If they are to be consistent, they should lobby for the repeal of libel laws. After all, those laws inhibit “free speech.”

The Constitution is a living document. Hopefully, our legislators and courts apply a common sense filter to extrapolate 18th Century intent into 21st Century reality. Is expecting reality from the gun fanatics achievable?