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Category: Big Government

Obama – and the Presidency – Hit Rock Bottom

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Angry ObamaPresident James Buchanan didn’t just failed to stop the Civil War, Save Jerseyans, for which I won’t condemn him because it was likely inevitable. He didn’t even try. In his State of the Union message to Congress, Buchanan gave a verbal shrug.

“All for which the slave States have ever contended, is to be let alone and permitted to manage their domestic institutions in their own way, Buchanan said. “As sovereign States, they, and they alone, are responsible before God and the world for the slavery existing among them. For this the people of the North are not more responsible and have no more right to interfere than with similar institutions in Russia or in Brazil.”

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Preventing Ferguson From Happening Here

By Charlie Barr | The Save Jersey Blog

An increasingly-common armored police vehicle (Photo: Dakota County Sheriff's Office)

An increasingly-common armored police vehicle (Photo: Dakota County Sheriff’s Office)

“Weapons of war have no place on our streets.”

President Obama said it in early February 2013 attending an anti-gun rally. While Obama and I have some staunch differences about the definition of “weapons of war,” I would sum it up by looking at recent pictures out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Vietnam.

Military vehicles roaming the streets supplied by the President’s Pentagon.

Tear gas being thrown in the middle of the night.

Explosives being thrown at citizens and police all the same.

They have no place on our streets.

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Doherty Wants Probe Into Alleged Bribes

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Red Light CameraThe red light camera fad continues to unravel in the Garden State, Save Jerseyans.

State Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) wants an investigation in the wake of seismic allegations that New Jersey local officials received bribes from Redflex Traffic Systems, a leading company installing and operating red light camera systems in New Jersey which exist pursuant to a pilot program due to expire at the end of this year.

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Christie Vetoes Jobless Job-seeker Bill

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie Voorhees town hallClick here to read Governor Chris Christie ‘s S-1440 veto message.

Background: the Governor signed a watered-down bill on Monday that prevents an employer from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal history prior to a first interview. This vetoed legislation would make it illegal for an employer to refuse employment on the grounds that the applicant is unemployed.

He was wrong on Monday but right today, Save Jerseyans.

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Christie Responds to Showboat Employees

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

governor christie speaks in ocean cityGovernor Christie brought his “No Pain, No Gain” tour to Ocean City on Thursday, Save Jerseyans. So I biked on up to the Music Pier to see him speak.

Now, if you’re reading this blog, you’re obviously familiar with our pension and benefits situation. So I am not going to focus on that.

Because if you read this blog, you’re also aware that I am a staunch supporter of forward-thinking strategies geared towards turning Atlantic City around and saving/creating as many jobs as possible.

The Governor was met with a handful of protesters. Some oppose his pension plan and there were a few granola types protesting the BL England Pipeline. There was also a group of Showboat employees (the casino slated to close on August 31st unless a buyer is found) demanding that Gov. Christie save their jobs by forcing Showboat to remain open.

Before delving into his pension-related remarks, the Governor took the time to address these employees. Below is video of what he said (sorry, my phone is not a TV studio). I’m not going to include any commentary; watch and arrive at your own conclusions…

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Obamacare Will Burst N.J. Benefits Bubble

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

CadillacGovernor Christie is on the Ocean City Music Pier today pushing for another sweeping round of public employee benefit reforms, Save Jerseyans.

It’s timely.

You know what the pension numbers look like because you’re a regular reader. That being said, our obnoxiously gigantic $40 billion in unfunded pension liabilities is eclipsed only by a public employee health benefit program that’s $47 billion in the red. What else could you expect from a state with roughly 81 government employees per square mile?

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‘Open Space’ Travesty Says It All

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

fieldEverything that drives me crazy about Trenton played out in last week’s passage of a new “Open Space” measure, Save Jerseyans, setting up a ballot question for the November election and another expenditure which we can ill-afford.

Bad logic. Reckless spending. And a little good old fashioned horse trading?

In case you’re not aware of the background information, SCR-84 results in a proposed constitutional amendment on New Jersey’s next general election ballot which, if approved by the voters, dedicates $150 million per year for open space conservation over 30 years.  That’s a roughly $4 billion investment at a time when our government just declined to make an additional, pre-planned $2.4 billion payment towards our chronically underfunded pension system.

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Christie Vetoes Fracking Waste Bill

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie at desk signing budgetThe Governor took action on a number of legislative items on Friday, Save Jerseyans, including the appointment of a pension and benefits reform review commission.

Names/bios of the members, and a full listing of legislative items acted upon (including veto messages), are below the fold…

The members of the New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission are (with more in-depth bios below):

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N.J. Sick Leave = Sicker Job Market

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

sickI’m still trying to figure out how State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) came up with a proposal for one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, Save Jerseyans; that’s roughly 5.333 sick hours per month based on a 4-week month. It works out to about 63.996 hours per year if my math is somewhat accurate.

The Assembly will begin considering earned sick leave legislation in September crafted by the Assembly Speaker.

I’m not sure if this is cumulative where, after a number of years, they can be cashed in if not used, or if they aren’t used will  be lost… or does an employer have to monetarily compensate for days not used because they were earned sick day? If that is the case, it amounts to nothing more than extra time off in addition to vacations. We’re still waiting on more details but it’s clear enough that the idea will prove disastrous for New Jersey’s job market.

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Echoes of Obama in Helmetta

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

I’m not going to pass judgment on the substance of the incident behind this viral YouTube video, Save Jerseyans, where Helmetta, New Jersey Special Police Officer Richard Recine is seen telling a resident that, in his not-so-humble opinion, police don’t have to follow the U.S. Constitution because President Obama doesn’t follow it.

It’s now reportedly the subject of an internal affairs investigation. We’ll see where it goes. I want context; at first glance, I’m reminded of a recent incident where a frustrated border agent vented to a trucker about the state of our immigration system.

What I will say? Elections have consequences. My entire generation doesn’t think oral sex IS sex because, as Bill Clinton taught us as school children in the 90s, definitions are contingent upon the definition of the word “is.” In this case, we elected a man – Barack H. Obama, who continually demonstrates no respect for the rule of law. He may not believe in trickle down economics but we’re finding that his tyrannical approach to public affairs is, in fact, trickling down across the country in a million different, dangerous, scary ways that go well beyond health care and border control:

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Why the CIA Scandal Matters

By James Pezzullo | The Save Jersey Blog

The entrance of the CIA New Headquarters Building (NHB) of the George Bush Center for Intelligence

The entrance of the CIA New Headquarters Building (NHB) of the George Bush Center for Intelligence

Call me what you want – millennial, young voter, Generation X – but the key point is that I am young, Save Jerseyans.

I was born during the Clinton administration. I have no memories of the world before 9/11, and I became politically aware right around the time an unknown senator, ast name “Obama” pulled an upset victory in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. My views are very much in line with the rest of my generation, and even though 60% of under-30 voters went for Obama in 2012, my generation – especially people my age and younger, who were largely uninfluenced by the Bush Administration – is not as liberal as it is made out to be.

We don’t fall within the traditional lines of Republican or Democrat.

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Kathe Right to Tackle Tedesco’s Tanks

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

tedescotankBergen County isn’t officially organizing a formal army, Save Jerseyans, but it is drawing fire from the ideological right and even the anything-but-right Bergen Record for purchasing military grade vehicles and equipment.

To be fair, this trend is hardly unique to Bergen. As Barack Obama continues to gut our military, local governments across America are buying surplus military tools including M-16 rifles, grenades, and yes, armored vehicles designed to withstand mortar and rocket fire as well as roadside bombs.

What makes it a little more disturbing in Bergen is the Democrat-led push to merge the county police force with the sheriff’s department.

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Great Obamacare News for Me, Bad for You!

By Irwin Fletcher | The Save Jersey Blog bart phone call

Did you see this, Save Jerseyans?

You don’t even have to be a real person to get Obamacare subsidies!

It’s being reported that the Government Accountability Office (an oxymoronic construction) successfully created fake people with fake documentation who obtained Obamacare subsidies and whose documents were “verified” by the exchanges or, in some cases, they didn’t even bother to look.

Turns out, “verified” actually means “the exchange assumes all applicants tell the truth and all documents are authentic unless it is blatantly obvious it’s a fake.” In fact, here is what the GOA says on the matter: CONTINUE READING….

10 Mind-Blowing Pension Numbers

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

pink-piggy-bankI’m not in the habit of transcribing press releases or talking points, Save Jerseyans, but Governor Christie’s office released a list of ten pension-related stats following Tuesday’s press conference in LBI that’s definitely worth sharing with anyone who doesn’t yet appreciate the severity of New Jersey’s looming legacy cost crisis:

$120 Billion - Savings NJ taxpayers will see from Governor Christie and state leaders from both political parties coming together in 2011 to pass historic, bipartisan pension and benefits reform. Even this just simply isn’t enough.

$24.4 Billion - Expenses over the last 10 years from New Jersey’s health care benefits (from FY 2006 through FY15).

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Lance: SCOTUS Should Hear Subsidy Cases

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

LanceRep. Leonard Lance (NJ-07) responded to Tuesday’s circuit split over Obamacare’s exchange subsidies by calling on our nation’s highest tribunal to take up the question, Save Jerseyans.

“Today’s legal rulings are very consequential and undoubtedly will not be the last word on the matter,” Lance opined in a statement. “Millions of taxpayer funds have already been dedicated to these exchanges and now the market, insurers and consumers are left in limbo.  This is the exact reason why Congress should not pass thousand page bills without thorough analysis.  The Administration has consistently been forced to re-work, delay or completely ignore parts of the President’s law as it finds the statute unworkable.  The Supreme Court of the United States should review this matter in its coming term.”

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Federal Appeals Court Decision’s N.J. Impact

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Doctor

The beginning of the end for the individual and employer mandates?

Perhaps. The esteemed D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals made huge waves on Tuesday morning, Save Jerseyans, when a three-judge panel that the language of the (Un)affordable Care Act prevents states from providing subsidies to residents of states who declined to establish their own independent insurance marketplaces from the federal exchange.

Thirty-six of fifty U.S. states fall into that category including our own New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie repeatedly vetoes attempts by the Democrat legislature to establish a state-based exchange.

“It is implausible to believe that Congress gave the IRS discretion to authorize $150 billion per year in federal spending, particularly when Congress had directly spoken to this issue,” the Halbig v. Burwell plaintiffs successfully argued. “Major economic decisions like these — indeed, any decisions granting tax credits — must be made unambiguously by Congress itself.”

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Guv Makes Light of Rock Video Flub

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Well, it’s certainly not the roll-out they were hoping for.

The Christie Administration raised a few eyebrows over the past 24 hours when it abruptly took down a pension reform promo featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s name before taking it down and relaunching the video without him, Save Jerseyans, and neither the Rock nor the Guv or their respective people are talking about it, but while the golden media touch he once enjoyed is conspicuously lacking these days, Governor Christie still had the good sense to take it all in stride: