Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: October 2005

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Monday, October 31, 2005

Saving Money That Isn't Being Spent

How the hell can you justify putting 300,000 people into starvation?
Moreover, how can this still be the party of moral family or any values?
About 300,000 Americans would lose benefits due to tighter eligibility rules for food stamps, the major U.S. antihunger program, under the House plan. The cuts would be part of $3.7 billion pared from Agriculture Department programs over five years as part of government-wide spending reductions.

I hope to god they are going to cut some of the subsidies that go disproportionately to corporations like ADM?

This is a crime particularly since:
Antihunger activists said hunger rates were up for the fifth year in a row, so the cuts were a mistake.

Also affected are imigrants and children:
On food stamps, the House committee agreed to require immigrants to wait seven years, instead of the current five, to apply for aid. That would affect an estimated 70,000 people.

It also would deny food stamps to people who automatically get food stamps because they receive help through other welfare programs but whose income is above food stamp levels. About 225,000 people fall in that category.

North Dakota Democrat Earl Pomeroy complained that 40,000 children would lose free meals at school because of that provision.

So why? What can possibly be the justification for these cuts? Well according to Rush Limbaugh the food stamps aren't being used anyway.

Far be it from me to be some sort of government actuary, but even if Limbaugh was right, isn't money not being spent equal to budget savings?


Newspaper NOT for New Jersey

Perhaps the most surreal event of the weekend is that the newspaper that publishes within throwing distance of my house, had its editors write this tepid endorsement. It is a rather silly little piece of publishing, and makes me wonder why I can't be someone who gets paid to write. Let us take the media bullshit detector out and see what we can come up with about this sorry collection of words.
The candidates for New Jersey governor have made property taxes the chief issue in this election. But obscenely high property taxes -- highest per capita in the nation -- are only a symptom of the chronic illnesses that infect New Jersey: an antiquated tax structure, runaway spending and a culture of corruption that rewards the politically connected.

With reservations, we have come to believe that Republican Doug Forrester is the shock therapy the state needs.

Forrester is the candidate who has the best chance of stanching the self-inflicted wounds that undermine the state's abilities to meet its obligations and to operate with the trust of its citizens.

I will tackle the lede later on, however, remember that property taxes are admitedly the number one issue according to the imps running the Star Ledger's editorial page.

First of all, what sort of endorsement comes with reservations? It seems to me chosing sides would require a bit more resolution than this. However I guess if you are endorsing Flip-Flopping Forrester, a side order of reservations is a requirement. Flip-Flopping Forrester is hardly the human embodiment of shock therapy. Besides, shock therapy is not something to be administered with reservations. It is a cruel and inhumane treatment that should never be administered period, let alone upon an entire state's population. Poor choice of metaphor, even poorer choice of exemplar for said metaphor.

Also what is this about operating with trust? Doug Forrester's tax plan claims it is constitutionally guaranteed. This is false. No candidate can guarantee ammending the constitution. Much less one that will probably have an opposing majority in the State Assembly. This is but one of a long list of lies constantly regurgitated by Flip-Flopping Forrester, and does not effectuate feelings of trust in this citizen, nor should it in any citizen.

Let us move on...
While we support most of the policies Democrat Jon Corzine has championed as a U.S. senator, he hasn't convinced us he can stand up to the entrenched bosses of his party or to the powerful public employee unions.

Interesting, they support Corzine but not enough to write an endorsement. Somebody's bipolar! By the way, Forrester hasn't stood up to Democrat party bosses either. In fact, he has done business with the darkest of them all, George Norcross (as reported in August by the NYTimes).
Put simply, Corzine appears to suffer from the same disease of wanting to please everyone that contributed to the downward spiral of James E. McGreevey's administration.

Interesting, I tought that Forrester's positions have also suffered from the disease of wanting to please everyone. Also symptomatic of this disease (called flip-flopitis) are things like supportive language followed by scathing rebukes of behavior that has exhisted solely within the realm of dishonest campaign ads. If you support most of Jon Corzine's senate record, why endorse the opponent?

I know not where the imps are going with this editorial so let's move on..
We have said repeatedly that we don't like the property tax planks of either candidate's platform. Neither addresses root causes. Corzine would increase property tax rebates, not decrease property taxes themselves. He says he would support a constitutional convention to do that but wouldn't want it to deal with spending. Good luck accomplishing anything with that rule.

So finally, they admit that they don't like how either candidate is addressing the "chief issue in this election." Yet they determined that is irrelevant to joining the endorsement party. Somehow, the notion of abstaining from the race entirely did not cross the minds of the SL's editorial board.

Forrester is promising to reduce taxes but is unrealistic about how he'll pay for the shortfall. Promising to find waste in state government when its biggest costs are mandated personnel expenses is silly. He recognizes, however, that relying most heavily on the property tax is wrong. If he has the grit to do something about altering that sooner rather than later, we'll be the first to forgive him for reneging on his campaign promise.

Well isn't this rather nice. Calling the candidate you are endorsing silly, and then granting him a "get off the hook free" card. The editors are admitting that Forrester's plan is unrealistic and unlikely to pass as proposed. As such, they believe this deserves some sort of pre-emptive nod from any future possibility of criticism residing on their editorial page. This is like Judy Miller promising "former hill staffer" status to Lewis Libby. Let us review, a newspaper, decides to endorse a candidate based on a tax plan they admit is unrealistic then grant him indemnity from any future attacks should he not come through on his campaign promises?

And they wish good luck on Corzine? Can this editorial get any worse?
Since neither man -- both accomplished businessmen with considerable financial acumen -- has been forthcoming about what is required to reduce New Jersey's horrendous property taxes, that issue wasn't the deciding factor for us.

Huh? Well it seems to be the forebearing issue with the citizens whose trust you would like to be palced in Forrester. OK out of touch newspaper, what then is the deciding issue for you?
Their approaches to spending, however, are very different. Corzine has talked of even more bond debt to pay for school construction, the transportation trust fund, stem cell research and environmental programs. And he has called for programs to expand Abbott-type assistance for education and to offer more equitable health care. We're not arguing against these ideas, but we've yet to hear how they'll be financed.

While Forrester has talked of the need to work on social ills such as drug addiction and the demographic disparity among prison inmates, he has offered a more focused and programmatic approach to state government. It is one that begins with a consistent budget policy rooted in a realistic assessment of revenue available. In plain language, it's time to end the let's-make-a-deal-for-political-allies thinking that happens too often in New Jersey before the means to pay for the schemes are nailed down.

OK, now they are lying. Forrester's approach to state government is anything but focused and programatic. Do the editor's read their own paper? Furthermore, how is a budget policy rooted in the short falls associated with the available cuts in "waste fraud and abuse" a realistic assessment of revenue available? Didn't they just deem this unrealistic three paragraphs ago? I think the operative word they used to describe it then was "silly."

If anyone resembles Monty Hall it would be the candidate they chose to put upon a pedastle. Flip Flopping Forrester the crook has made his living by making deals to get contracts with government agencies. The method of doing business this way is generally called pay-to-play, and it typically involves Monty Hallesque techniques.
We supported Jon Corzine for U.S. Senate and have few regrets. But neither his time at Goldman Sachs in Manhattan nor his tenure in Washington strikes us as solid preparation to be governor of New Jersey. In the Senate, he supported worthwhile causes such as ending the genocide in Darfur and pushing for securer ports. But he voted against the well-qualified John Roberts for chief justice, apparently out of party loyalty alone.

Forrester, a former director of the state pension fund and a former mayor, has a better grasp of how New Jersey government, and particularly its budget process, work.

Somehow, the skills required of a United States Senator are irrelevant to New Jersey politics. Perhaps if New Jersey was such an exemplar of Democracy and politics, there would not be the corruption and budgetary shortfalls the editors are whining about. Yes, Forrester's experience as mayor of a rich town in New Jersey, must by all means supercede the lawmaking skills acquired in our nations capitol.

It also amazes me that Forrester a man who has made his money by no bid government contracts is still deemed some sort of outsider. Corzine made his money the old fashioned way, on Wall Street, in the free market that Republican's hold so dear to their hearts.

Almost done, by now you must be feeling the reverse parastolsis affecting your digestive system.
Further, we're more impressed with Forrester's internal GOP party experience -- winning a tough primary by testing his views against competing and less moderate Republican philosophies. Corzine faced no primary opposition because he made considerable contributions early and often to his Democratic cohorts, including the powerbrokers, to such an extent that no other voices could be heard over the din of the cash register.

Yes, Forrester had to use his "moderate sword" on radical Republicans like Steve Lonegan who got single digits in the primary. He had to recently whip out the sword again to fight off an endorsement from the pro-lifers. Forrester is equally culpable when it comes to contributions to the local party. This unfortunately is part of the problem with Jersey politics (as demonstrated here), and the Star Ledger should perhaps educate people instead of misleading them.

Almost over kids
Like many of you, we've come away from this gubernatorial campaign with little affection for either candidate. Candidly, we'd rather vote for acting Gov. Richard Codey and call it a day.

Codey, a Democrat, has most closely represented the blend of pragmatism, heart and political savvy that the state needs to steer it out of difficult times. Ironically, his party's standard-bearer, Corzine, doesn't.

So our choice for governor is Doug Forrester. We believe that the time has come for a distinct difference in how government operates in Trenton and that he is the person to jump-start that process.

I like Codey too, yet this isn't about him. This editorial is supposed to be an endorsement of a candidate that's running. As Rumsfeld would put it, you vote for the candidate you have, not the candidate you wish to have.

As for pragmatism, heart and political savvy, I don't know if these words can be used within the same context to describe Doug Forrester. First the editors claim the state needs shock therapy, now they want delicate pragmatism? As for heart, I think one of the the only Senators to take action on Darfur, and vote against the war in Iraq would qualify.

Political savvy I am sure is a requirement of someone operating for 5 years in the United States Senate.

Not that the SL's editors would know the first thing about political savvy. For if they had any inkling of savvy, they would not dare take sides without taking sides (as they have so eloquoently done with this column), and they wouldn't mislead their readers by publishing lies. The Star Ledger, in printing this aweful example of an endorsement, can no longer call itself "The Newspaper for New Jersey."


Corzine Meetup

Yesterday I visited my first ever political house party. What a doozy! The blogger formally known as GD frogsdong was the host. Both he and his wife were gracious to let radical left wing moonbats such as myself into their home. I met big time bloggers Matt Stoller and Scott Shields, both of whom were more rather down to earth and decent hearted folks. I noticed Scott and I share the blight of working for big time pharma as consultants. Other bloggers included Sharon GR, Juan, Mariel,and laughing at the pieces Rob.

The highlight was of course Congressman Rush Holt (whom also made an appearance on 60 minutes last night). He spoke of glorious things including ways of combatting right wing extremists. He is a generally nice man, approachable, soft spoken, intelligent, well mannered, and all things nice. His appearance in and of itself, pretty much solidified my support for all things Holt. I am hoping he gets the nod from Corzine and is coronated NJ's next senator. If not, he will have my support in the 2006 primaries against Bob Menendez. It is important to note that Menendez is my congressman.

Anyway, with the help of Juan's lightening typing skills, Rush liveblogged his appearance and took comments from the internets. He also added this doozy of a post.

In any case, it was great meeting the folks, a little awkward, but not any more awkward than meeting anyone whom you have only known via electron dances upon and LCD screen, or short discussions on the telephone.

All in all, I now really feel like I am part of a movement. A movement that is powerful enought o generate great interest from at least one Congressman.

Fantastic really. Mr. and Mrs. DBK, thanks for having us!


Corzine Meetup

Yesterday I visited my first ever political house party. What a doozy! The blogger formally known as GD frogsdong was the host. Both he and his wife were gracious to let radical left wing moonbats such as myself into their home. I met big time bloggers Matt Stoller and Scott Shields, both of whom were more rather down to earth and decent hearted folks. I noticed Scott and I share the blight of working for big time pharma as consultants. Other bloggers included Sharon GR, Juan, Mariel,and laughing at the pieces Rob.

The highlight was of course Congressman Rush Holt (whom also made an appearance on 60 minutes last night). He spoke of glorious things including ways of combatting right wing extremists. He is a generally nice man, approachable, soft spoken, intelligent, well mannered, and all things nice. His appearance in and of itself, pretty much solidified my support for all things Holt. I am hoping he gets the nod from Corzine and is coronated NJ's next senator. If not, he will have my support in the 2006 primaries against Bob Menendez. It is important to note that Menendez is my congressman.

Anyway, with the help of Juan's lightening typing skills, Rush liveblogged his appearance and took comments from the internets. He also added this doozy of a post.

In any case, it was great meeting the folks, a little awkward, but not any more awkward than meeting anyone whom you have only known via electron dances upon and LCD screen, or short discussions on the telephone.

All in all, I now really feel like I am part of a movement. A movement that is powerful enought o generate great interest from at least one Congressman.

Fantastic really. Mr. and Mrs. DBK, thanks for having us!


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Law 101

Lots of conservative talking heads that aren't lawyers are all over the television claiming that the out the spy law was not broken.

This is not true.

In order to prove a law was broken you need a few things including motive.

However, more importantly, you need all those involved in the investigation to be truthful. As Fitzgerald was so kind to remind everyone during his press conference. Truth is paramount.

That means that if the truth is not forthcomming, a prosecutor and a grand jury cannot prove the crime they are going after. It is also difficult to prove motive in a non-truth telling setting. It is difficult to prove almost anything if you LIE.

It is that simple. I am deftly surprised that the folks who rammed the same purjury charge and super knowledge of the law down Bill Clinton's throat have not applied the same scrutiny to Lewis Libby.

What can be said about the indictment of only Lewis Libby, is not that the whole Plame affair was an innocuous venture into the workings of Beltway politics as usual. No. What this means is that thanks to Mr. Libby's obstructing and purgury, the prosecutor was unable to do his job. Which is to prove if the law was broken.

So if the law was not proven to be broken it is not due to the cooperation of the White House, as David Brooks keeps putting it, quite the opposite. It was the lack of cooperations of Lewis Libby at the very least that has resulted in what has cutely become a non-charge of perjury.

A charge that was somehow sufficient to impeach a President for only the second time in this countries history, yet when applied to chiefs of staff of Vice President, is now deemed a narrow escape from the rule of law.


Congressman Rush Holt

Blogging today at 3 PM over at

Go over there and say hi.


Saturday, October 29, 2005


Bonus weekend post.

Atrios gloriously reminds us of a Jonah Goldberg piece written in the height of the "deter liberal thought crimes" era that we all lived under not too long ago.

It is a piece about how liberal thought criminals at the time were basically comparing Bush to Hitler and the Nazi's.

I thought it interesting though, that as is typical in most right wing websites, there is always a section where you can buy right wing propaganda for a neato discount. This comes at the bottom of the in the NRO piece linked to above.

If you are lucky enough, when you scroll down you will find one of the propaganda paraphernalia they are selling is this:

Granted the link for you to buy the "The Liberal Most Wanted Deck" of cards is not longer operative. Which is unfortunate because, as you can see above, the Ace of Spades is Hillary the evil lesbian Clinton.

The deck of cards, eerily resembles another deck of cards that the entrepreneurs supporting the Iraq Phase of the Eternal War to Resubjugate Brown People put on the market at the time:

Notice who the Ace of Spades is in this deck? Here is a hint.

Somehow, in the spotless mind of Jonah Goldberg, equating Bush to Hitler = bad, equating Hillary to Saddam = good.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Wanna watch reporters look stupid?

Click here. I fear that may not work so go to C-SPAN and search of the "lewis Libby Indicted" link.

It amazes me that the media didn't fine tune their legal chops before going into this thing. You would think that they would have retained some stuff they learned about grand juries in the late 90's. I know they were perhaps just trying to squeeze as much info as they did out of the guy, but Fitz just waltzed all over them, and any legal questions were returned with an I can't comment or if you knew the rules you wouldn't ask that question in the first place kinda thing. Also noteworthy, was how well he answered questions about the "seriousness" of the charges, and the fact that he trounced and trampled upon any partisan pin the gang of 500 tried to pin on him. He was dismissing talking points left and right. He said, anyone hoping this has to do with the war will be dissapointed, and anyone thinking I am a partisan hack they are full of it too. Can we rename him Patrick "just the facts" Fitzgerald?

Point is, this guy ain't done yet, and until he is, more breath holding. For now, we know that Libby is gonna have to sing like a song bird and straighten this whole thing out, unless of course, he's willing to go to the pokey for whoever he was covering up for with all the lies and deciet.

You can read the indictment here (pdf).

Merry Fitzmas and a Happy New Year!



Listening to the Majority Report last night and they had a great montage of sound bites that Bush & Co will have to dip into some ketchup and swallow with a smile. Download this MP3 and go to about the 11th minute and listen to the yummy goodies they have been so kind to blend together for us all.

bonus! go to the 18th minute (for Ann Coulter's future breakfast words as well).



Breaking! Libby indicted 5 counts!


Stem Cell Ad

I realize that I will probably get some beef for criticizing the "Carl ad" that was recently released by the Corzine campaign, but hear me out. I know the papers are already all over this one, I am also aware that Mr. Riccio himself has put out a statement that says he does not feel like a political prop. I am also fully aware that Doug Forrester is a constant flip-flopper on the stem cell issue, first being for only adult stem cell research, then changing his mind in the recent debate to being for stem cell research, and finally leaving it up to his trusty assistant Sylvester the cat to tout his position is that he doesn’t want any funding for any stem cell research.

I wont qualify myself any further. If you are a regular reader you know where my politics lie.

However, I have to agree with David Rebovich:
It's an emotional ad, certainly, and one wonders if it's too much, if it goes too far," said David Rebovich, a political analyst at Rider University in Lawrenceville. "He's leading in the polls. Does he have to use a young person in a wheelchair to draw a distinction between his position and Forrester's?
This is my contention with the ad. I am viewing it from a purely politically scientific standpoint. I am all for red meat and I hate when Democrats pussy foot around in their campaigns. However, this ad strikes me as cheap.

Another reason for my disputing the ad is the timing of it. Corzine is well ahead of Forrester in this race. He isn'’t in desperate need of votes to take to dichotomizing himself with Forrester. If anything, stem cell research is one issue where the dichotomizing is required.

Jon Corzine'’s position on stem cells is better than the icky feeling this ad leaves in my tummy. He posits that with a little state funding in the proper embryonic arm of stem cell research, you get an Apollo type response in the free market. NJ being Pharma-alley is a prime location for being the birthplace of the potential that embryonic stem celPossessess.

Does NJ really need reminding that the creation of the Food and Drug Act resulted in most of the Pharmaceutical job opportunities that have blessed this state? Creating a funding source for our excellent schools and pharmaceutical institutions would result in a similar boom in stem cell economy. Embryonic Stem cells are this generation's Human Genome Project. This is what Jon Corzine believes.

A simpler more digesteable ad that would have the same basic red meat feeling would be to have a doctor describing the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research. Then following that with some potential economical impacts of such research on state funds… (possibly even link it to lower property taxes). Then finish off with some nasty GONG sound and Doug Forrester's multiple remarks that I highlighted above.

Or just have Doug Forrester windsurfing and call him a flip-flopper on the issue. Highlight his statements and call it a day.

If Corzine wants to make powerful statements he just did. However, this was a bit risky when he has so much going for him.

It is an ad that unnecessary, cheap, and worse, it opens Crozine up for attacks from the right and the press. Just look at all the articles discussing this ad, all in a negative tone, and unfortunately, they were all from a standpoint that the average Joe joe would and could agree with. While staunch liberals have already defended this ad, let me be the first liberal to say, it was a not so great move.

Let us hope the polls don't reflect my opinion.


The Ann Coulter Challenge

OK folks, I have a challenge for the blogosphere.  The famous blogsphere that found naked pictures of a low life nobody reporter posing as a prostitute (or was it vice versa).  The famous blogosphere that can dig up more dirt on Plamegate than the MSM.  

It is obvious by reading her column that Ann Coulter doesn't believe in a simple constitutional right to privacy legitimized by Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade
By creating a nonspecific 'right to privacy,' Griswold v. Connecticut led like night into day to the famed 'constitutional right' to stick a fork in a baby's head.

For those of you who don't know, Griswold ensured that adults can use contraception due to their right to privacy. It is also the main reason why Ann Coulter and the rest of the Keyboard Kommandos fought tooth and nail to force Harriet Meirs (who was recently exposed as a Griswold lover) into a wee hole in the wall.   It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Coulter thinks this way.  

So if the lovely lady who seems to be sexually active doesn't mind an invasion into her own privacy, let us see if we the blogosphere can't muster up some of the powers we had during Gannongate to play 6 degrees from Ann Coulter's pharmacist.  

She lives in NY and I am sure that with 8 million folks (some of them bloggers) someone has got to come accross her skinny blonde ass once in a while.  Once in a while that Coulter crossing must occur as she is in the pharmacy picking up her birth control pills.  This is the only assumption in the entire challenge.  I am sure that since Ms. Coulter doesn’t believe in an adult woman’s right to keeping her use of birth control pills to herself, she wouldn’t mind us prying into her own use of said pills.

So who among you will run with the hunt…

Has anyone of you 50 bagillian bloggers seen Ann Coulter pick up some BC for her uterus?  Luckier still, can anyone connect Kevin Bacon to Ann Coulter’s pharmacist?  For the jackpot, is Ann Coulter’s pharmacist a blogger?  

If so I would like to use her own idea that her privacy in terms of her use of birth control does not apply to Ms. Coulter.  As such, we should be able to find out and publish it throughout the blogosphere.

Anyone up for this game while we await Fitzmas?


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bye Bye Froggy

It is a sad day in Blogdom.  For today it has lost its Frogsdong.  What else can possibly be said?  
Go visit Blanton’s and Ashton’s and let the impostor DBK know what you really think.


Cartoons are so silly


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Superfund State Part 3

In this third and final installment (see one and two) I will first highlight the severity of the situation in Ringwood, then touch upon the disparity between Corzine and Forrester in terms of how they would rather handle the situation. But first, let us remind ourselves just why Ringwood should be an issue. The Bergen Record does a fine job of cataloguing the attrocious nature of how Ringwood and the surrounding communities became the exemplar of toxic waste dumps Superfund sites that it is today:
A slab of bright blue lies beside a mountain stream above the Wanaque Reservoir. It's a sporty color, maybe the "Diamond Blue" that Ford sprayed on Galaxies in the late 1960s. It hardened like lava where it was dumped more than a generation ago.

When running high, the stream rinses over the slab and down the mountain, through marshes and past beaver dams, toward the reservoir.

It's everywhere, this paint.

Chunks of it jut from the driveway of a house in Ringwood where a child got lead poisoning. It is so toxic he and his mom have moved out.

Piles of it, weathered and gray and wrinkled like an elephant's skin, cling to a hillside. Nearby is the home of a boy who died of a rare tumor.

On the other side of the hill a spring-fed stream once ran clear and fresh. For generations, it quenched the thirst of the mountain's residents, the Ramapoughs. Now the water is bright orange and laced with cancer-causing benzene.

Just upstream from Mahwah, a ridge of waste paint longer than a football field slowly leaches arsenic, lead and other heavy metals into the Ramapo River.


The paint sludge is from the Ford Motor Co.'s factory in Mahwah, once the largest auto assembly plant in the nation. Before closing in 1980, the behemoth plant spat out 6 million vehicles and an ocean of contaminants - including enough paint sludge to fill two of the three tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.


The Record found that Ford repeatedly dumped in poor communities and failed to clean up its mess. Documents reveal that Ford executives knew as early as 34 years ago that its waste had contaminated a stream that feeds the Wanaque Reservoir. They show that the company tried to evade responsibility by presenting tainted land as a "gift" to the state.

Organized crime played a key role in a vast assault on the environment. An analysis of public records and interviews with truckers who hauled Ford's waste shows mob-controlled contractors dumped anywhere they could get away with it. They bribed, threatened, even murdered to maintain control of Ford's trash.


Ford says others dumped in Ringwood and share responsibility for the pollution. The company also insists it is doing everything required by the EPA to clean up, in Ringwood and elsewhere. Ford declined requests for an interview and would answer questions from The Record only via e-mail.

If you think Ringwood doesn't affect you, think again.

Let's see... Which river was it that was flooding recently?

Right...The Ramapo

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words so if you live in the blue area, worry.

more here...

Unfortunatley, the case of the enormous area in Ringwood, has many folks to blame. Ford dumped the paint onto mobsters. Mobsters being the waste managers of old dumped it anywhere they felt like dumping it. At times the mob bought dumping grounds. The Superfund law came to being and the cyclical clean-up by the polluter ensued. Who to blame?

Not that this exculpates the company, but Ford has literally done what the EPA has told it to. Ford (the polluter) contracts someone to clean up the mess (as deemed by the Superfund law). The EPA comes along after Ford says things are clean and claims the area clean. Then a few months or years go by, and sludge magically appears in the surrounding area, prompting local outrage and DEP inspection. The DEP comes and says, the site needs more cleaning. Then Ford contracts a cleaner, and the viscious Superfund cycle begins anew. This is now the 5th time we go around.

It seems obvious that the model of claiming a place a "Superfund site" does not work. Particularly in this case. First of all, if a polluter is deemed liable via the Superfund law, and that law demands the polluter to clean up the mess, then only strict regulatory oversight can accomplish the end goal. For how can a polluter responsible for dumping "oceans of sludge" be trusted for doing the job solely on its own?

This is like asking a 10 year old that they can only go outside an play if they clean and dust their room, and then not checking for dust with a white glove. As many mothers out there will tell you, you better check behind every nook and cranny, before you let that toddler go.

This is precisely what the EPA failed to do. Perhaps after the first time they deemed the site clean and were wrong they should have performed the same investigation that the Bergen Record did. The record having much less access was able to find a large part of the sludge that the EPA missed. They also did the proper tests on soil and drinking water from the surrounding areas. How is it that the Bergen Record outdid the Environmental Protection Agency?

It's baffling but I am sure some of New Jersey's famous corruption was behind it.

Onto the disparities between the candidates.

Doug Forrester wants to claim it as a Superfund site (again). Strange for a conservative as well as a representative of the "party of personal repsponsibility" to want to remove the polluter from the responsibility to pay the bill. Granted, he doesn't want to waste NJ tax dollars on the clean up, he would rather pass those costs onto the Federal Budget. This may be a good political move, but I think the Superfund route has wore out its welcome in Ringwood. Besides, Forrester has been critical of Corzine's voting for Superfund tax increases. So if Forrester had been in charge, perhaps the Superfund wouldn't exhist anymore.

Jon Corzine, on the other hand, would like to begin a criminal investigation into the Ringwood affair. This is perhaps the only option left. Given that the Superfund route has tried and failed so many times, and the polluter keeps hiring cleaners who don't do the job throughly, and the watchers fall asleep at the switch. A criminal investigation into who did what, when would be a fine change of pace in this case.

Simply put, blame has been pushed around, an Erin Brokovichesque investigation will let the chips fall at the feet of the appropriate folks, whomever they may be. It will also put the power of jurisprudence behind the penalties ensued. Perhaps court orders could be better implementations of strict clean-up procedures and who should pay for which part of it. Surely the EPA needs to be taken off the case, since they keep either looking the other way, or simply being incompetent. Judges reviewing hard evidence may be better at the oversight part of the equation here.

At the very least, a court can reward long overdue damages to the families already affected, and perhaps families that have not yet been affected. Either way, penalties need to be applied and enforced, and the area needs to be cleaned up. PERIOD.

With all of Doug Forrester's grandstanding and the phony calls for action, I think the Corzine approach is more in line with good old fasioned "rule of law."

Either way, I would like to see both candidates address the fact that NJ has the most toxic waste dumps Superfund sites in the country and perhaps try to reduce that number during their tenure.


Hester on Forrester

Never mind the headline chosen for hester's piece (Ominous indeed). Jr. takes Forrester by the handle, sprays him with some Orange Clean, and takes to the dog hair infested floor.

Just some of the beautes include:
Despite Forrester's oft-repeated claim that voters prefer his property tax plan, voters split on who would do a better job on property taxes.


Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce, R-Morris Plains, said the problem isn't that voters don't buy the Republican plan to have the state pay 30 percent of the property taxes on each primary home. "We haven't advertised it as well as we could," DeCroce said.

Others, including fellow Republicans, have certainly advertised the plan's seemingly flawed premise - that property taxes will increase 3 percent per year from now on, when they've averaged a 6.5 percent annual increase over the past two decades.

Let me interject and say, that even the plan's brain father denies that he is the plan's brain father. So perhaps the advertising isn't the only problem with the plan... Onward
Forrester, of West Windsor, would be the 11th governor to spend significant time living in Mercer County as a private citizen. Among the more familiar gubernatorial names who spent significant time residing in Mercer County are William Paterson, Samuel Southard, Charles Olden, Woodrow Wilson and Richard Hughes. Forrester isn't a New Jersey native, so Robert Green, governor from 1887 to 1890, will remain the last Mercer County native to become governor.


Forrester, meanwhile, recently said he's a fan of both the Eagles and Giants, a stance conflicting with laws of nature.

Hester is quick to point out some simple intricacies that Forrester cannot possibly deny. First, he is a non-native. Not that I am opposed to having non-natives run our state, but I am sure some conservatives are.

Hester then appeals to Giants fans. Which I don't know how many there are, but if football alone helps you choose your govna... then how can any upstanding Giants fan vote for Forrester. As froggy pointed out earlier, the man is a ...

Dare I say it...


Send him off.


Hackett Is The Man!

Last night on The Majority Report Paul Hackett (the hero of Ohio) was on the horn along with Kos. Hackett talked about what needs to happen about Iraq. It made total and absolute sense. He said it isn't the military loosing this battle its the civilian leadership. OK no surprise there, but what he said afterwards made the real sense. He said the President as Commander in chief has failed to listen to the real experts, the Generals, the whole time. Hackett went on to say that the only option left is for the President to own up to this mistake, bring together a round table of Generals, and order them to come up with a withdrawal plan. This plan comes complete with a date, because he said the military needs a date for which to plan. Generals can't just sit on their hands without a clue of what the President wants. These folks are used to following orders. Typically, these orders come from the Pentagon. If the Pentagon isn't issuing orders, or more importantly if said orders are of no obvious assistance to completing the mission in a general sense, then the President needs to take matters into his own hands and take his Commander In Chief role a bit more seriously.

It's obvious that Dubya has got a bit more battle experience than Rummy. Why he hasn't grabbed the proverbial Iraqi bull by the horns is beyond me.

Hackett made the point crystal clear that the Commander in Chief needs to do some commanding. Asking the Generals to get out of Iraq with a win under their belts is a task that Generals can handle. However, Hackett was quick to point out that this plan needs to have a goal set. A date. So that the Generals can have some timeframe in which to plan for. This shouldn't be a foreign idea to Joe Voter either. This is basic to grasp. Anyone with a job knows there are deadlines for everything. Without a deadline things just get tabled and back-burnered. Iraq is no different. Sodliers are the laborers of the war. They need a time to get things done. Every order is usually get X done by Y time or you have to drop and give me 20... (or something like that).

Then Hackett did the unthinkable, he wrapped the whole thing up in a "this is crucial for our troops' survival" ribbon. Rightly so, the only visible mission seems to be to cut off the insurgent hydra heads, while loosing proportionately less of our own soldiers in the process. This plan hopes that the law of averages is on your side, however, the easiest way to stem that law is to not fight. This may sound like losing to most people, but this isn't what Hackett is saying. Hackett was saying that men need purpose. They need something to fight towards. A plan would do that and a plan with a timeline would save U.S. soldier lives as well as give them an end goal to achieve. Hackett also brought up that each short term goal that has been set had resulted in loss of moral due to the lack of visible progress. Progress to a soldier is going home feeling like something in the mission is accomplished by you the soldier. Life driven by Purpose, or IOW, The Purpose Driven Life.

Hackett is a narrative machine. He was able to bring it into terms that even krazy kristians would be able to cut into with a knife and fork. It is no wonder that an Iraq war veteran talking sense like this gets as far as he has. If I were MIke DeWine I'd be pooping me pants right now.

Hackett handily narrated an exit strategy that involves the following:

1) the President taking responsibility (that stuff he keeps wanting to bring into the White House)

2) A timeline idea that even Joe Public could digest (eg timeline for getting job done so that the job gets done and not tabled)

3) Talks in words that even Krazy Kristians understand (Purpose Driven Life)

Democrats should listen to Paul Hackett when it comes to Iraq war ideas and narratives. He seems to have them all and their in convenient politically viable packages. Of course it would help if the Democrats who voted for this war would start having more Dodd, Feinstein, and Harkin moments. They should top their "I regret voting for the war" sundae's with the Hackett plan for withdrawal whipped cream. Then spoon feed it to the media while the White House wriggles around the forthcomming indictments.

UPDATE: Podcast available here. (via Blue 2nd) Welcome Ohioans!


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Sphere... She is Round!

Back from sunny Dominican Republic. For those of you who like all inclusive resorts I reccomend Melia Caribe' in Punta Cana. Luckily Tropical Depression Alpha (the first to be named on the alpha system... global warming must be a hoax) only affected my last night there, and even still I managed to be drinking some Cuba Libre' in the pool with some other nutty bastards whom I call friends. I am sure I will return to the DR, yet not so sure I will stay in an all inclusive next time. I'm a go-out-and-see-it kinda guy and all inclusives aren't really ammenable to that type of stuff. Either way, good time had by all.

WIth so much reading to do and some of my old posts being comment spammed, I figured it would be best to bring back the Sphere ... she is round, segment for something to put up since it has been a week. Amazingly, that last post about Clooney is still generating mad traffic. Another milestone today was the latest blogad (to the right) I won't tell you who the sponsor is but I will let you guess in comments. The proceeds should cover the yeast for my next batch of homebrew!!! Hopefully a Hoegaarden clone.

Luckily I haven't missed indictments in the Plame case. Though it seems according to Ms. Hamsher that this Cheney speculation may be a bit more than simple well... speculation. Pretty convincing arguement if you ask me. As they say, the plot thickens. Read more here and here. Also, Miller vs. Calame. It amazes me that Judy Miller still thinks she was doing the right thing. Someone shoot her high horse, please. Besides, if she gets fired, there is at least one news outfit that will take journalists who aren't journalists.

Look at the big brain on Brett (warning obscure movie reference)... or Alec or whatever Baldwin came up with this great catch. It is too bad that Senator's like Kay Bailey aren't required to take an oath before making public statements. Otherwise we would be sans Majority Leader as well as the Vice President.

The Carnival of NJ Bloggers which I had not participated in this week is laden with Jesus and religious stuff. If you fish around you will see an atheist like me trolling about. Otherwise Katespot did a good job. Hey it's not her fault people submit religious posts.

This Frontline should clear up any doubts in your mind about what the Fuck is going on with this country and their Torture policy. A policy which was written perhaps in part by Harriet Miers, and which President Ass for Brains doesn't want to release. Also on Miers, Atrios asks the question of the day... What Happened to Up or Down Vote?

Media Girl dumps on Kos because he managed to piss on liberals once more. I couldn't agree more.
Basic machinations of Politics haven't changed in millenia, what makes kos think that the internet and the minority of the polulation who reads his blog somehow make politics and history not repeat themselves. Kos is an arrogant son of a bitch if he thinks he has single-handedly (with the help of some blogging friends) taken the political landscape and made it into his wee obedient pet. FUCK YOU KOS.

RIP Rosa Parks.

Forrester and Corzine debated the night before I left. I thought it was the worse debate of the three. The moderators were silly aweful and let the candidates lie unchallenged. I know I heard Forrester lie at least once. One on the stem cell issue when he obfuscated and didn't oppose embryonic stem cells, even though he is opposed to them, he said "I am for stem cell research." But didn't mention that he is really for the comparatively useless adult stem cells. Matt has more on this. Also check Frogsdong's recap.

Alright kids, that ought to keep you busy for a while.

She is NOT FLAT!


Monday, October 17, 2005

Charlie Rose: Clooney Challenges O'Reilly

Unfortunately, The Charlie Rose Show gets very little attention in the blogosphere. Perhaps it is the lack of transcripts. However, watching friday's show was rather excellent. For one, George Clooney blew me away, not just with his good looks either. He was stunningly Intellectual, superbly interesting, and damned smart too. The most interesting part however, was when Charlie brought up Bill O'Reilly. Now, I wont give it an unofficial transcript here, but Clooney said that he would debate O'Reilly anytime on Charlie Rose's show. Charlie said, are you sure? Clooney said, bring it on. Clooney also said he would debate him anytime except on O'Reilly's show, saying that he would never debate the man who owns the microphone. Fair enough. If Clooney is gonna do this, he wants a fair and balanced moderator.

So, Falafel Bill, ball is now irrefutably in your court. Will you debate Clooney on Charlie's show?

UPDATE! Misspellings fixed. And the hits just keep on comming... Vilkomen Kangaroos and American Politicos. Welcome Raw Story and SJIHBORers! Y'all come back now ya hear!


Two Articles

First read this then read this. Both will require a wee bit of time.

The first article is perhaps the finest piece of journalism written by the NYT thus far on the Plame story. The ladder, sadly enough, is perhaps the worse. The first is chock full of goodness, reflecting just how much wankery was going on from the very beginning of this affair. The second, (should you have read it after the first) will again reflect wankery, of the author.

I find it rather amazing, that Miller going to jail was totally her decision. She had noone to protect, and was rather encouraged to testify. She however, in her convoluted sense of reality and whatever she defines the words "I told Mr. Abrams that the waiver was voluntary," decided jail was the proper recourse to doing precisely what Libby wanted her to do. To me this only furthers the idea that Miller and Libby are having some sort of "relationship."

Miller's account is still disturbing. For how can this woman be allowed to publish anything else after all the Van Natta Jr. article claims (and was edited and vetted) to be true? She is obviously a pathological liar whom has forced her editors, and her bosses (indeed the head cheese of the Times) to stick by some wierd cause that they knew from the day Tate (Libby's lawyer) spoke to them had no application to Miller's situation. They wrote editorials and editorials over and over again, claiming some 1st ammendment high ground, while skepticism and speculation mounted in the public. The Publisher and Editor in Chief of the trendsetting newspaper of the land knew they were shoveling shit at the public the entire time. They knew Libby had given Miller a voluntary waiver, yet they hid behind and pressed forward a shield law that wouldn't even apply towards Miller's case. In fact, by doing so, they may have jeopardized any possibility of a federal shield law comming to pass. Great way to stick up for journalism guys!

Congressional hearings took place for said shield law. Other journalists put their good names and reputations behind their Congressional testimonies. What's worse, Keller and Sulzberger cite concern over the possible chinks in Miller's (non-exhistent) case that could have come about had they spoken about what they knew. This is laughable, we live in a world where journalists (like our Miller admits in her piece) are more than willing to protect sources annonimity by giving them not only the title of "senior administration officials" but "former Hill staffer" so as not to give the appearance of the "White House attacking WIlson"; I am sure they could have told at least their own Bill Saffire to save his breath in front of congress... you know..."off-the-record."

Then there is this gem from the middle of the Van Natta piece:

Still, Mr. Keller said the case was not ideal: "I wish it had been a clear-cut whistle-blower case. I wish it had been a reporter who came with less public baggage."

Whistle-blower case? Whistle-blower case? Clear-cut? Mr. Keller, you have been in the news business long enough to be able to distinguish a whistle-blower case (clear-cut or otherwise) from a Vice President of the United States Chief of Staff bitching about a low-level ambassador. Typically, whistle-blower cases (which I didn't know had certain distinctions like clear-cut) involve people without power, describing how those IN power are abusing said POWER. Wether or not any whistle-blower case has different levels of clear-cuttedness should also be explored, but I will leave that to Mr. Keller himself. The only way Scotter Libby could possibly be considered a whistle-blower, would be if he were ratting on Dick Cheney's abuses in those clandestine meetings with neocons at the Pentagon. If Scooter boy was interested in outing Cheney, then yes, I would give him whistle-blower status. Otherwise, it baffles me how Bill Keller, who has been in the news business for 35 years, can draw any whistle-bloweresque similarities here.

Other things like Miller worrying about her security clearance is laughable as well. Anyone going to Iraq gets some sort of classified clearance, but as many commenters are pointing out, that clearance is gone once you leave the assignment for which you have been granted clearance. I am sure Fitzgerald knows this, and I am sure Miller is not telling the total truth when she says:
I told Mr. Fitzgerald that Mr. Libby might have thought I still had security clearance, given my special embedded status in Iraq.

Fitzgerald, I am sure has become quite the expert on what it means to have security clearance and how nobody in their right mind could possibly believe this previous statement. Libby, being chief of VP staff, having gone to the training that everyone at that level goes through in the first weeks of taking that job, had to know that any clearance Judy had in Iraq stayed in Iraq. However, let's say Judy IS still carrying some sort of clearance. To me, that means she's an asset. I have long had a tin foil hat theory on this, and I thought the evidence was there, but reading these accounts really make me skeptical. First and foremost, I think Judy is a liar. She may like to play "spy vs. spy" but she is obviously not so great at it. If she were a better spy she would find the WMD, and she wouldn't spend all this time in jail, her cyanide pill would have safely found its way into her tummy long ago. So to recap, the above statement, is a lie. Either that, or she herself had forgotten her own classified info training program.

Any way you slice it, its poor journalism, and an editor should have picked this up.

All in all, the soap opera is not yet ended. For indictments have yet to be handed out. However, from these two accounts printed in the Grey Lady's pages I see nothing but a bunch of loosers. Sulzberger and Keller for the obvious reasons, Miller for lying to everyone even in what is hopefully her last published article, and of course the public whom relies on "The Grey Lady" for "all the news that's fit to print." Of course, due to what one publisher, editor, and reporter deem "fit to print," it is perhaps time to rescind the prestige bestowed upon the "paper of record."

(aside: I would go on, but in Bloglandia, I am decades late to the story. Jay Rosen has a good roundup of what exactly other folks are saying. I have read much of it, and I am sure others have made similar points to mine. However, I doubt anyone picked appart the whistle-blower stuff.)


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Why is it?

That when John Kerry "changes his opinion as reasonable people do" its called flip flopping.

Yet if Kate O' Bierne does it, it goes unchallenged?:
"According to the two transcripts Drudge has posted, Harriet Miers was a critic of the Federalist Society before she became one of its biggest fans. She changed her opinion as reasonable people do - but wait. The President tells us that she is the kind of person who will never, ever change. This gets very confusing. I'm not surprised that this year found Miss Miers praising the Federalist Society - that is the view of her boss. Do powerful people ever notice that the people in their employ agree with them an extraordinary amount of the time? Funny how that works"

Amazing! So Harriet Miers is a reasonable person for flip flopping?


Flippity Floppity

Our Friend Uncle Al Gonzales seems to be in a bit of a tiff.

As Reddhedd is reporting over at Firedoglake, Fund says Al has supposedly not really liked Harriet Miers for the SCOTUS pick. Cheney don't like her none either.
A last minute effort was made to block the choice of Ms. Miers, including the offices of Vice President Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

That's odd!
I could have sworn I read this in the Guardian:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asserted Wednesday that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers would bring ``a unique brand of experience'' to the high court and that critics will feel comfortable when they get to know her.

Gonzales, himself once considered a leading candidate for a vacancy there, said there is ``nothing unique or earth-shattering'' about Miers' nomination and said people should give her time to say who she is and what she believes.

President Bush ``has a wonderful track record'' in naming judges, Gonzales, a longtime Bush aide and confidant, said in an interview on ABC's ``Good Morning America. He said the Miers nomination ``is consistent with that model.''

``She is a person who believes in judicial restraint, understands the proper role of a judge,'' Gonzales said. ``She is uniquely qualified. She will bring a diversity of experience.''

``She is going to bring, in my judgment, a unique brand of experience to the court that will strengthen the court,'' Gonzales added when asked about criticism, much of it from conservative Republicans, that Miers lacks legal stature for the job.


Gonzales said he shares Bush's confidence in Miers' confirmation prospects and predicted that the controversy will fade after people have had an ``ample opportunity'' to hear from her.

Awww! Ok Maybe, (in Uncle Al's defense) he was a little more comfy once the whole base got pissed off at her, just as much (if not more) as they would if he were the nominee.

Uncle Al, which is it?


Intelligent Design

Finally a columnist gets it right (sub only... go here):
The 'intelligent design' debate is different. First, let's call it what it is: ID is a proxy for a kind of creationism that may not be literally biblical but posits that an intelligent creator designed the world and still keeps a hand in its managment.

Proponents of intelligent design have made not a single, verifiable or refutable scientific claim. That is why it is not considered science. If it's not testable, it's not science, and ID has never been independently tested.

For an oppinionated columnist, this is excellent. For this last part isn't even opinion. It is what it is. And any journalist can put those three sentences in any article about Intelligent Design or Creationism and not be tarred and feathered with any sort of "bias" accusation.

So journos, please, more of this.


James Carville What Do You Know?

When did you know it, and more importantly, why aren't you telling any of your Democratic friends? We are left on the sidelines, gleaning from press reports when one of our very own political operatives' wife Mary Matalin was involved in the now implicated White House Iraq Group (a.k.a. WHIG).

Remember 2 years ago when HBO had that ill fated series K Street? Where the luxurious and lustrous life of lobbyists was intermingled with actors playing out sub-plots? I thought for sure George Clooney had a winner here.

Then around the 5th week or so, the leak investigation hit Carville and Matlin's lobby firm. Matlin was probed, then Carville, and the series took a turn towards less of the reality of politics, and more towards the lives of the fictional characters.

Either way the show got cancelled and little was ever portrayed regarding the Leak Case. However, as of this week, it seems that the WHIG has come back into play here. So the scrambled camera shots in the HBO series we know were totally real, and we know that their is information that perhaps James Carville can help us figure out from his very own involvement.

So Mr. Carville, I am sure you have discussed the issue with your wife, what is it that she knows from being on the inside?

Why aren't you helping those of us here in Left Bloglandia uncover such things?

If Matt Cooper can come clean I am sure you can do the same?


Great Moments In Punditry

Friday, Ann Coulter on Bill Maher's show:
And Frist, I mean, he's basically been cleared at this point. He started to – this move to sell off the stock back in April when the stock was flying high and all the insiders thought it was doing just fine. So what you have is a lot of, you know, hysterical accusations.

Today WaPo:
"Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has been subpoenaed to turn over personal records and documents as federal authorities step up a probe of his July sales of HCA Inc. stock, according to sources familiar with the investigation."

(via Atrios)

Does anyone remember Foot in Mouth disease? Cuz it has just afflicted Ann Coulter.

UPDATE! Welcome Daouians! Y'all come back now ya hear!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Plame Affair Roundup

Ironically, a blog named Media In Trouble has not posted much on the CIA leak case. The reason is cuz there is better stuff out there namely from the great sexy Arriana. But if you are of simpler mind, even more ironically, Hardball had a great roundup including the author of Bush's Brain, Howard Fineman, and Michael Wolff.

So grab a bag of carrots and go read the transcript.


The Superfund State Part 2

In this second installment I will try to cover a bit more ground on the Ringwood Sludgepool.  However, I will focus this edition on the Superfund law itself so that we can all learn a bit more about what the law accomplishes.

In a nutshell, the law consists of two things.  First, the law created a tax on chemical corporations that gets collected into a fund for cleaning up any messes they have left in the wake of their prosperity.  Second, the law also allows for broad Federal intervention in the oversight of clean-ups.  This law went into effect December of 1980 and was retroactive to some extent, so that messes made before 1980 could fall within its jurisdiction.

CERCLA established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites, and:

 * provided for the liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous waste at these sites; and
 * established a trust fund to provide for cleanup when no responsible party could be identified.

CERCLA authorizes two kinds of response actions:

 * Removal actions. Typically short-term response actions, where actions may be taken to address releases or threatened releases requiring prompt response. Removal actions are classified as: (1) emergency; (2) time-critical; and (3) non-time critical. Removal responses are generally used to address risks such as abandoned drums containing hazardous substances, contaminated surface soils posing acute risks to human health or the environment, etc. The regulations for removal actions can be found at 40 C.F.R. 300.415.
 * Remedial actions. Usually more long-term response actions than a removal action. Remedial actions permanently and significantly reduce the risks associated with releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances that are serious but lack the time-criticality of a removal action. These actions can be conducted only at sites listed on Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA), National Priorities List (NPL), in the United States and territories. The regulations for remedial actions can be found at 40 C.F.R. 300.430.

Under CERCLA, four classes of parties may be liable for contamination at a Superfund site:

 * the current owner or operator of the site (CERCLA section 107(a));
 * the owner or operator of a site at the time that disposal of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant occurred (CERCLA section 107(a)(2);
 * a person who arranged for the disposal of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant at a site (CERCLA section 107(a)(3)); and
 * a person who transported a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant to a site; that transporter must have also selected that site for the disposal of the hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants (CERCLA section 107(a)(4)).

So it seems clear about how to handle what it considers a toxic waste dump Superfund site.  (remember NJ is #1 in the country with 116 of its very own toxic waste dumps Superfund sites)

As far as I can tell, the CERCLA law is well intentioned and it has worked to clean up many environmental mishaps throughout its history.  However, as with many laws, there are loopholes.  Nobody is better at finding loopholes to the laws they write they are bound to than Corporate lawyers.  Unfortunately CERCLA has been weakened many times by legal arm wrestling (as I suppose is common when large sums of money are at risk of being exchanged).  Last time I mentioned how GE had wheeled a deal to clean some, but not all, of the PCB's it has contributed to the glorious Hudson.

But there are no guarantees that the $700 million project will go smoothly, because the consent decree splits the cleanup into two phases. While General Electric has agreed to Phase 1, it will not make a decision about the second phase until the first is completed. The company also agreed to pay $78 million to cover government costs associated with the cleanup, on top of $37 million it has already paid.

General Electric used PCB's, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the manufacture of transformers. PCB's were banned in 1976, but the large amount of the chemicals that G.E. had discharged into the Hudson had settled into the bottom of the river, where they posed a continuing threat to the environment and to people who ate fish caught in the Hudson.


There are many nuggets like this in this article.  Take this typical excuse given by the company for you know... "leavin' it deya".
For years the company argued that dredging the river mud would cause more problems than leaving the PCB's undisturbed. Environmental groups and community organizations along the river claimed yesterday that the consent decree did not ensure that the entire river would ever be decontaminated.

And of course some more deal details:

Under the terms of the agreement, G.E. will dredge the heaviest deposits of PCB's, at a cost of $100 million to $150 million. That work, which is expected to take about a year, will remove about 10 percent of the 2.65 million cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment.

Excellent isn't it?  A big rich corporation bitching about cleaning up 1/10th of the mess they've made.  For about 6/10ths of 1% of their profits from one year.  So you see, it is these deals (among other things) that can weaken the Superfund law.  

In my next installment I will focus on how CERCLA has failed the Ringwood area.  Until then, I urge you all to read The Bergen Record's fine (yet unprinteable, uncopy-pasteable) reporting over at Toxic Legacy.


My Letter to WNYC

Dear Listener Services,

The recent report by Bob Hennelly entitled "Candidates Question Each Other in NJ Gov Debate" I feel lacks the high quality typically displayed by WNYC reports. First, it is completely lacking in argueably the most interesting portions and issues debated by the candidates. More importantly, the issues that matter most to New Jersey voters were completely ignored by the article. Almost anyone following the New Jersey gubernatorial race would concede that property taxes and the state's budget are worth a bit more air time than wether or not the candidates have pandered to current or former political office holders.

The following paragraph is practically irrelevant to the race:
Democrat Jon Corzine probed his opponent on whether his prescription drug company ripped off its customers by pocketing rebates from pharmaceutical companies. Forrrester denied the charge and questioned Corzine's praise of Governor Jim McGreevey just before the former Governor's exit in disgrace. For the first time, Corzine conceded that McGreevey's tenure was a failure. But he said that his joint appearances with the former governor were the poltical eqiuvalant of Forrester's glad-handing President Bush or his top strategist Carl Rove.

While both candidates have been playing to each others political connections, and accusing each other of corruption, this is hardly an issue of substance in terms of policies that each candidate will espouse as governor. In a report on a debate that was chuck full of policy substance, I find highlighting political name calling irresponsible journalism.

Finally, the report culminates with an outright mischaracterization of truth in its final paragraph.
The debate did provide insights into what a Forrester or Corzine Governorship might be like. Both mulit-millionaires would forgo their $175,000 state salary should they get the job.

It was pretty obvious to anyone listening to the debate that Senator Corzine would forgo his potential salary, whereas Doug Forrester said he would accept the salary from the taxpayers and would then donate it to charity. While neither of the candidates would in fact keep their salary, only Corzine would leave the funds in the State of New Jersey's couffers.

I would like to see a correction to this effect at the very least, and more relevant reporting in future coverage of the New Jersey gubernatorial race.

Media In Trouble (My actual name was used in the actual letter)

cc Angela Delli Santi
Associate Press
FOX News

XP'ed at Bluejersey


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

BREAKING: Both Candidates PRO-POT

You heard it here first!  

Over at the LIVE blog and over my radio I hardly believed it.  Both candidates were asked about medical marijuana by a caller and both said they were FOR IT!

Only one cliche' can follow that news.



Monday, October 10, 2005

Nobel Economists

Lots of chatter about the left sphere about the Nobel Prizes going to 2 American economists today. Granted most commenting are economists. However, it strikes me that they haven't mentioned the other winners this year, a vast majority of which have been Americans. This is fantastic that with the age of the rebirth of Creationism in this country, the Swedes can still be objective and choose folks who actually have done some brilliant shit to change the planet we live on in superhuman ways.

It strikes me that today's announcement of the economists should hold a bit more weight than the others. For the Maestro is about to pass his baton. With so many Economic Nobel Laureates residing within these shores, it baffles why there should be so much damned speculation about who will be the next Greenspan.

While the right constanly defends this nation's education policies by the quantity of Nobel's on display in American trophy cases, I wonder if they will support any of the folks on the above list for argueablty the most economically powerful job on Earth?

I think it doubtful that we will get anyone from the pool Nobel prize winners. The right would hardly support anyone of intelligence for the job, unless of course, the candidate secretly takes the requisite oath to uphold and engender Reaganomics.

Nah... we'll just get another crony.


Friday, October 07, 2005

NJ Toxic Legacy - Part I

I fell upon this story in the Bergen Record totally by accident. While listening to an WNYC report yesterday about how GE had bamboozled the government into cleaning up the PBC's they had dumped in the Hudson river, I remembered something about Forrester wanting to do the same "Superfunding" in Ringwood, NJ. My first thought was to write just a quick snarky post on how Forrester's stance was politcally expedient but incomplete and potentially wrong on all fronts.

However, my initial research made me realize just how big this Ringwood issue really is. As such, I think it deserves a more detailed approach to nailing our potential governor with this story. I have been rather dismayed by the lack of environmental platforms put forth by both candidates for governor. This is one of the most polluted states in the country, it deserves to have an environmental agenda at the top of any political platform. According to NJ is:

1st with the ammount of Superfund sites with 116

2nd in Cancer and other Health Risks associated with Hazardous Air Pollutants

4th in Impaired water bodies (with respect to the Clean Water Act)

in Housing units at risk of Lead hazards

in Health risks associated with Criteria Air Pollutants

in Emissions of Criteria Air Pollutants

These are the kind of rankings you want to be at the bottom of the 50 states, not at the top.

The story the Bergen Record is exposing is but of one of the 116 Superfund sites, and what damage it has done to surrounding communities, towns, counties, and in terms of water supply, all of Northern New Jersey. The Record's own Frank Scandale put it best, the story "conjures up images of "Erin Brockovich" and "A Civil Action," two Hollywood tales rooted in true stories about pollution and resolve." You will see failures of herculaen proportions on various levels of government, including the EPA, and all the other folks in whose hands we place the trust of caretaking our environment.

So, this is my first installment of what is to come. The Record is to be commended on a text book job of what has been lost in other media outlets claiming to be journalistic. This is textbook investigative journalism.

You can read ahead at the Record's excellent Toxic Legacy website. As I research the Record's reporting, I will juxtapose these reports, and what both Doug Forrester, and John Corzine have shown as their positions on this issue.

Stay Tuned...

XP at Blue Jersey


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Torture Passes With Veto Proof Majority

So the worlds most deliberative body just gave El Presidente the big FU!

Why the following 9 schmucks think its OK to torture anybody (which I have previously stated as anti-american) is beyond me, why they would go on record with it is simply batshit crazy:

Allard (R-CO)
Bond (R-MO)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Stevens (R-AK)

Now I wont go into the juicyness of bashing each one of these guys. You can find that elsewhere. However, why is our media so lazy. I have read the NYT, and the WaPo accounts of this vote. They both state the "stiff opposition" this ammendment faces in the House, and the threat of veto by El Presidente. In fact, the WaPo account cites suggests "tweaking the measure" so that it will more easily suits the torture supporter's demands:
Despite his victory last night, McCain has two major obstacles remaining: House GOP leaders object to attaching it to a spending bill, and Bush could veto it. However, senior GOP Senate aides said they believe the differences could be bridged, either by tweaking the measure or by changing the field manual.

How can we trust the people running the country when they don't know their own rules?:
Veto-proof describes those votes with a margin sufficient to override a veto, should it occur.

Since a 2/3 vote is required to override, a veto-proof majority is 290 in the House and 67 in the Senate.

These things don't happen in a vacuum, a few phone calls by some tough Senators should do the trick here.

Besides, I am sure that House Repugnicans are looking at their recent leader's mishaps as a sign that perhaps taking the high road on some issues (such as torture) is looking politically prudent nowadays, no?

So if a veto proof majority exists in the Senate, I am sure it can spill-over into the House.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Wishful thinking

Question: What would you think if you saw a poll today about an election 1 year ago from now?

Answer: Probably not as much as the folks over at I present to you yet another version of Republican wishful thinking, accompanied by despair, perhaps remembering the hope they must have held around this time last year when it was feared that Jersey would fall to Bush:
Good news from the New Jersey front!
A new poll has been released that unfortunately shows Doug Forrester being beat by 48% - 39%, which is relatively a high margin compared to other polls. Then there is good news, from this sample, it was found that the Republican contender who is expected to win the nomination wins versus 2 out of 3 possible Democrat candidates.

Dick Codey, our acting Governor has the best shot says the poll. He tried to run for re-election, but the Democrat establishment did not want him to. So, you think they will let this relatively moderate non-establishment acting Governor run for Senate? Probably not. This is good news, in a sample that has Doug Forrester down, Kean is up 9% against the guy who word on the street says will get the nomination, Bob Menedez, the second most influential Democrat in Congress.

Tom Kean, Jr.

Richard Codey
Tom Kean, Jr.

Rob Andrews
Tom Kean, Jr.

Bob Menendez

First off, WTF? They tend to miss the point entirely that this poll is asking about an election a year from now, IF Senator Corzine wins (ok he probably will). Either way, Corzine picks his successor there is no election (something the redstate.orgers seemed to have forgotten to mention). They make it seem like they will have one more seat in the Senate like yesterday.

It gets worse, the red staters source PoliticsNJ for their poll. This is the link. They don't provide the link directly, I had to dig for it. Kudos to PoliticsNJ for doing a pisspoor job of presenting poll data. "Wall Street Journal/ Zogby" does not automatically equate Senate '06 race to me. Plus no MOE?

I would have sourced a more easy to follow, more complete, I dunno original like the WSJ itself? I would have also told my readers to click on Senate Races and then on NJ.

In any case, making any types of what if predictions for 2006 that are contingent upon what happens somewhere in some statehouse is a pipe-dream wrapped up in delusion, swirling in fantasy.



Lucky me! The good folks over at are trying to gel the Jersey Blogosphere together into something resembling that which resides on the surface of the glorious Passaic River. They have asked me to be a front pager. I hope this turns as big as it seems to sound. So go there, you can click on the little iconish link on the cluttered sidebar or just click here. I am on the front page right now.


Forrester, Martinez So Happy Together!

In case you missed it (BTW, this is the subject line of ever Forrester Mass email), Forrester had Martinez over for fundraising.

This makes total sense, Forrester has enlisted the help of a well known Republican to garner votes. Not the first time. This would be innocuous on the surface but recently, Mel Martinez has been up to not so good.
As fiscal hawks surrendered, would-be government contractors were meeting in the Hart Senate Office Building to figure out how to get a share of the money. A "Katrina Reconstruction Summit," hosted by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and sponsored by Halliburton, among others, brought some 200 lobbyists, corporate representatives and government staffers to a room overlooking the Capitol for a five-hour conference that included time for a "networking break" and advice on "opportunities for private sector involvement."

(hat tip to billmon)

So Mista Forresta, How many more times will you associate yourself with tax dollar looters? Wan't it enough to have Dick Cheney and Karl Rove over for fundraising? Aren't there so many more examples of good Republicans out there that Forrester can marshall to his aid? Here he is constantly boasting about change and not being like the other guy, this and that, and he enlists another Halliburton associated politcian to garner support?

One that sponsored the lobbyist orgy for Katrina Rebuilding funds?


Support the Troops!

Well really its about not supporting torture while supporting the Pentagon's contractors, but you gotta love infighting amongst Repugs. Can I get a Blockquote:
One of the Senate's old bulls is locking horns with Majority Leader Bill Frist over a stalled defense bill, spotlighting how fractious debate over the wartime measure has become.

The challenge by Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., a 27-year Senate veteran, is unusual because Warner is known for quietly seeking consensus rather than waging public battles. It's also rare for a defense bill written during a war to run into problems in Congress.

No Shit! Democrats take heed!

Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP:
At issue is the annual bill that sets Pentagon policy and plans its spending. Although Warner's committee approved the bill in May, the full Senate might not end up voting on it. Unlike other authorization bills, the defense bill has been a for the last 40 years.


The stalemate began in July when Frist, R-Tenn., who shepherds President Bush's agenda through the Senate by deciding what bills get a vote, abruptly stopped debate on the bill. That avoided a high-profile fight over amendments, supported by Warner and sponsored by Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., restricting the Pentagon's handling of detainees in the war on terror.

The White House had threatened to veto the entire measure over the issue and sent Vice President Dick Cheney to Capitol Hill to press the administration's opposition.

This is about all we need. President Bush with all this shit about supporting the troops and the Republicans always talking about how they are the military party and the Democrats can't shoot a trigger if they were paid to, and now their wonder boy leader shall veto the whole thing?!

This is baffling. The President of the United States (via surrogates Dick and Frist) is taking away congressional oversight of the Pentagon. Had we had Ulysses S. Grant in charge of the Pentagon doing a fine job maybe this would be warranted. Sadly, this is not the case. You have Donald Rumsfeld, leader of the failed War on IraqTerror, unsuportive of troops, and generally in charge of fucking up whatever wet dream ideas he had for Iraq. If there has ever been a time when a DC Department required congressional oversight, this is it.

President Bush, Dick Cheney, and Bill Frist. Wrong on defense! Deja vu.


Miers for Justice?

OK, George Will is the latest to join the "Right Wingers Againt Miers" club (or RWAM one of these acronyms are gonna stick someday I just know it). I for one am conflicted. I just had my tin foil hat refitted and its snugger than ever on this one.

First, as Atrios pointed out the other day, it is only fair and right that the wingers are pissed. They wanted a real Winger, carrying a fetus in a jar to the confirmation pageant and slapping it right on the table for all to see whilest dodgeing non-questions from the Senate JC. They wanted this person to be something of a Judge who has been practicing this preaching like Owen, or Brown, or take your pick of people looking something like this:
Fearing the attacks from the "liberal media" that would surely ensue, once they dug up his record of previous statements, Democrat Reid was quick to back Miers. Other Democrats have been a bit more cautious. But OH the Wingers are salivating, spitting blood, even Patty Patty Buch Buch has flamed Harriet. Kristol has joined the pissfest as well.

So what do I think of all this. First on the surface I have to agree with the arguements that the Supreme Court is no place for cronies. The institution deserves more respect than that. I know nothing about Harriet Miers' philosophy, or her qualifications, and I suspect little will come out of her past. Though I wonder how so much can be dug up on a gay fake reporter and so little can be dug up on someone who has spent half their life in public life, I digress.

I think it is safe to assume she is a winger. Anyone who thinks this president to be "the most brilliant person she has ever met", can safely be painted a winger. She may not be the fetal jar carrying type, but she's a winger. She may not be a judge and I don't know or care about that, it bothers me she is not married or a mother. That sounds like a cold person lacking compasion and the basics sense of what it is to love another person. Her endearing business qualities scare me as well, for corporations have more than enough rights and they certainly don't need someone else on the highest court to help them further their ways.

More importantly are the politics of this decision. What do we on the left do from here? Where do we go? If we let the wingers have their way, it is likely that they can gather the muster to defeat their own dear leader and convince enough Repugnicans to vote Miers down. Is this a good thing? Frankly, I think the wingers have received enough victories within the last 5 years. They could practically fly to heaven with all the feathers they have accumulated on their caps. If it weren't for the sheer importance of the Supreme Court I would say fight them on this for the simple reason of stopping another victory for the right. However, if they win said battle, the president will be forced to put a REAL WINGER on the court.

This is scary. In which case the right's victory becomes a double whammy victory. Leaving the left to shout and the Democrats to split and let a real winger on the court.

This is real brain chess here and it seems as if the left is just holding its guns to see what the outcome is. When the left has opinions on just about anything, it is scary to hear crickets. This is THE political chess move of the second Bush term. Roberts was a really good move, but his intelligence probably dwarfs that of Miers, she cannot possibly handle herself the same intelligent way he did, spitting case sitations like a programmer for Lexus Nexis or West Law. Roberts got by because folks figured they had another chance comming, and this guy was so damned smart no Senator of average (or below average0 intelligence could have possibly beat him at cerebral joust. Roberts may be the anti-christ in disguise, but he impressed even me with his legal obfuscations.

The major difference this time is which wingers are berating the president's choice. Last time you could barely find anyone that wasn't on the fence. This time you have real important wingers like Kristol and Frum and lots of others, pissing flames over Harriet. That is scary, that tells me that unless Karl Rove spends the next few weeks calling all his buddies reassuring them that Harriet is one of them, they may get a movement together and shoot Miers down faster than a Canadian Quacker in October.

Which would unleash the real winger waiting in the wings.

This, I fear, should force the left into supporting Miers as much as possible. Or at the very least abstain from the discussion altogether. This is about the path we are on right now. While supporting the President sounds icky at best, it may be the only way to save the SCOTUS from the Winger's grasp.

Though later on down the line, should Harriet Miers become the anti-christ. We will all look back on our words and say "pass the barbecue sauce."

Since I don't like to eat words, I'll wait for some facts to come out.