While I am not surprised that a poll finds New Jerseyans have a higher dislike of former Jim McGreevey now than when he resigned, I wonder why this was even polled. Who is interested? Is the crook looking to get back on the public dole again? . . . The Millville BOE eliminated 13 positions this week. Last year it eliminated many positions too. The thing is, each of the last two years, Millville increased taxes on property to pump up its budget . . . Speaking of education in Millville, after cutting those jobs the other night, the BOE approved 60 new positions. It is using “stimulus” money to create temporary positions. How silly is this? Let’s just give it the rosiest of all scenarios, student achievement becomes 100% from Pre-K through 12th grade. At the end of the year, away go the funds for those positions. Or will Millville again get a waiver to increase its budget above the cap to make some of these positions permanent? Yup, that’s how it works . . . Will Obama count those 60 positions as jobs created? Will he subtract them next year when they are eliminated? . . . Does anyone think Obama’s townhall in New Hampshire yesterday was staged, like his other events? A little girl asking about “mean signs“? Really? I heard nothing of un-American mobs that some leaders have charged . . . Wow! One congressman requires a photo ID to attend a town hall meeting with him, but opposes them to vote. Hypocrisy knows no bounds . . .While I was put off at the beginning of his book Liberty and Tyranny, Mark Levin’s chapters on the Constitution and Federalism are spot on. I recommend those chapters for all citizens . . .
All I can do is shake my head. If it wasn’t so pathetic, I would laugh.
Today it was reported that The American Lung Association has graded New Jersey’s tobacco prevention program an F.
In 2006, the state instituted the Smoke-Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in essentially all workplaces and areas open to the public. Conversely, the state received an “F” grade for tobacco prevention and control spending and coverage of products and programs to help people quit smoking.
There’s a simple reason for that. No money is available to spend on prevention problems.
Let’s not blame the poor economy either. Sure, had there been money, I am certain it would have been raided. But that is not why there is no money.
Jim McGreevey is responsible for this. In 2003, he sold the billion dollars the Garden State received in the tobacco settlement. I chronicled all this in 2005. One aspect of the way the tobacco money is structured is that if cigarette taxes decrease, so does the amount of money spent on prevention. We noted that New Jersey has had decreasing tax revenue for the last two years.
So, it is absolutely no surprise we earned our F.
Several years ago I spent some time documenting the ridiculousness of sin taxes. Taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and the like are promoted as a way to curtail behavior society scofts at. The more a government taxes these things, the fewer citizens will participate in them thus society is better off.
Of course, using government to curtail legal business is bad public policy.
But all that is just a smoke screen. The taxes are levied not to curtail the behavior but to raise cash for the government to spend. The irony is that government relies upon that bad behavior to fund its business. It needs folks purchasing butts and hooch.
It is easy to tax sins. There aren’t many who will go out on a limb to argue against taxing cigarettes. If money is needed, ’tis better to get it from some group like that than property owners.
There is a line, however, for which it does not pay to push pass. New Jersey learned that last year. For the first time ever, a state taxed cigarettes so much that tax revenue shrunk over the year. This year’s report is out and for the second consecutive year, New Jersey tobacco tax fell.
For the second consecutive year, New Jersey has shattered the conventional wisdom on cigarette tax increases: That higher taxes serve the dual and seemingly opposite purposes of reducing and exploiting cigarette consumption.
Do you recall, dear reader, the tobacco settlements from about eight years ago? At the time, states sued the tobacco companies for billions of dollars claiming the tobacco companies are responsible for the health costs states incur treating tobacco-related illnesses. New Jersey, like many other states, received billions of dollars.
We don’t hear about that cash any longer do we? That’s because then governor Jim “I’m a Gay American” McGreevey sold off that cash. Yes, we were supposed to receive some each year. He decided to cash out and blow it on political favors and cute boys working at Drumthwacket. That bundle of cash is now a liability for the state as we are paying the vig on the bonds the state sold.
In New Jersey we take assets and make them liabilities.
Governor Corzine has done the same thing. He needed cash to get matching federal highway dollars. He indebted New Jersey for 30 years to get that cash. We’ll be paying off the debt on those loans well after my children are graduated from college. Still not enough money in the coffers for spending, Corzine rammed through a sales tax hike after shutting down government.
So on the heels of learning that New Jersey lost even more tax revenue from the regressive tobacco taxes, what do we get from the Garden State government?
Well, on Friday we learned of a two-phase toll hike scheme to
tax raise money.
Not to be outdone by that, Corzine announced a new spending program. He wants New Jersey state government to purchase foreclosed homes. I kid you not, dear reader.
Speaking this morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Corzine proposed the federal government buy the mortgages at market value then restructure them, and possibly buy houses outright.
A short time later, in an appearance on WABC’s “Eyewitness News Up Close,” Corzine indicated he would follow his own advice, suggesting the state would be buying homes.
“We’re going to do some on-the-ground purchases of homes,” he said. He vowed to “protect neighborhoods” from being devastated by large numbers of foreclosures, which lower the values of nearby houses.
So, the federal government commandeers over $1 trillion dollars to bail out these flawed bankers and now a flawed banker running New Jersey is going to commandeer even more of my money to bail out the folks who bought over their heads. Meanwhile those of us who lead a prudent life pay and pay. Remember, Corzine is a likely candidate for President Obama’s Treasury Secretary.
As the title of this piece states, these lessons have been internalized. It matters not what I think, how I vote, what I do: government is run amok and will keep exercising its power to reach into my pocket.
Why does a march against gangs happen on Father’s Day? How about honoring Dad instead? . . . TwitterLocal is pretty kewl. Here is the feed for Millville and 20 miles out . . . I am getting old. My students had physical education today. Whilst picking them up, I took a couple swings with the “Nerf” covered bat. I swung so hard on the second pitch I hurt my wrist. Even so, the ball slammed off the far wall. My students were impressed. 🙂 I’ll pay for this for a few days, I am sure . . . Haven’t been watching The Factor much recently. The more air time Dick Morris gets, the less I am inclined to tune in. He’s been wrong with his analysis throughout the campaign. Why does this john still get a platform? . . . Not that I am following this at all, but the headline caught my attention. “Because of this case, I have been financially crippled,” McGreevey told the judge. Oh please. The divorce hasn’t harmed you, your corrupt nature has affected your earning power. I am fine him not paying his wife millions. She seems to want servants, helicopters, and the like. But “the Gay American” should be forced to pay a certain percentage of his income, just in case he is not playing it straight in the trial. History says it’s a fair bet he isn’t . . . Hey, Sen. Obama, I understand your use of sweetie. I use sweetheart several times a day. Of course, I say it to nine- and ten-year old students . . . Just in case anyone thought government does not overstep its purview, check out what New Jersey is pushing through the legislature. Citizens apparently no longer have the right to not purchase health insurance . . . Oh, I can’t believe suing is going to help Carla Katz with the union . . . I have to say I agree that the NJ DOE should seek to recoup squandered tax dollars from school districts who misused the funds . . . FWIW, playoff hockey is exciting . . . Forget closing the state parks. I just found $143 million to cut from NJ’s budget. This money comes with no strings attached. I thought Corzine got rid of the Christmas tree fund. I guess not. Really, Garden State voters: how long are you going to vote for corruption? . . .
It apparently was not enough that James McGreevey was a crooked governor. We here in New Jersey keep reading about each detail of his divorce proceedings. This isn’t news. We already know he is morally bankrupt.
Today’s “news” was all about his former limo driver and the claim that he was involved in threesomes with the McGreeveys for two years while James McGreevey was mayor of Woodbridge.
Two thoughts come to mind:
- Who cares? Stop reporting this garbage. The McGreeveys are unworthy of notice.
- The man who cheated on his wife, had a gay lover on the taxpayer payroll, lives with a man (who traveled with the limo driver to China), and confirmed threesomes today is still in seminary to be an Episcopal priest. There is something seriously wrong with that!
Dina Matos McGreevey, estranged wife of former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, submitted a 17-page filing in the ongoing divorce proceeding. According to the Asbury Park Press:
The complaint compared her current “by no means extravagant” living arrangements to the amenities she enjoyed as first lady, including trips abroad, bodyguards, cars with drivers, access to helicopters, a mansion equipped with groundskeepers, cooks and housekeepers, and the governor’s summer home at Island Beach State Park with “wonderful views” of the bay and ocean.
Forgive me for not sharing Matos McGreevey’s grief. The amenities she enjoyed as first lady were compliments of the taxpayers of New Jersey. Certainly she cannot think that she is entitled to those amenities. Perhaps she enjoyed living high on the hog, much like her estranged husband did. Those perks are gone because the taxpayers no longer fund the corruption of her husband’s administration.
It sounds like Matos McGreevey is cut from the same fabric as her husband is: entitlements and living off the taxpayers. Good riddance!
Grrr . . . Jim McGreevey does not get it. Not one bit!
In today’s Washington Post, McGreevey launched his prayer for Larry Craig. In this twisted, sordid piece of garbage, McGreevey attempts to explain that Craig did nothing wrong and lashes out at those “who judge him harshly” as not recognizing “the worth and dignity” of admitted criminals.
McGreevey takes us through the sordid details of how he used his public position to get out of legal trouble:
I pulled into the rest stop, parked my car, flashed my headlights, which was “the signal,” and waited. Glancing in my rearview mirror, I saw a state trooper approaching. I desperately tried to convince the trooper of my innocence, showing him my former prosecutor’s badge, a gift from the office when I left. The trooper radioed his office and returned. “I never want to see you here again,” he said. I survived for another day.
Remember, McGreevey is enrolled in an Epsicopal seminary to become a priest.
But where the former governor of New Jersey really demonstrates his naiveté is when he discussed his conscious decision to lead a life where he cruised for men. He states:
The danger of this decision is the implicit shame it carries.
On the contrary, the danger of living the life he chose is exposing two wives and two children to death. Picking up strangers at highway rest stops as he admitted to earlier, McGreevey brought whatever those folks had to share into his family, the family he used as a prop in his political career. Do what you want to yourself, but by doing so and then exposing your wives (the Catholic faith apparently wasn’t good for you on more fronts than just homosexuality) and ostensibly to your children is reckless. That sir, is the danger of leading the life you selected.
Not all homosexuals pick up men in this fashion. You did. Stop hiding behind the gay community at large to remove the stain of your actions. They deserve better than that.
Likewise, Senator Larry Craig is not just a pitiful man who is misunderstood. He decided to make the same kinds of reckless decisions you did and thus exposed his family to similar health issues. Once caught, he admitted to a crime, pleaded down to a lesser charge (I wonder if that is because of the public office he has). That is why he is judged, Mr. McGreevey.
McGreevey is corrupt thoroughly. Even without public office, he is seeking approval. Despite his claim that public opinion no longer matters to him, McGreevey is desperate to re-make himself. Why else would he publicly submit a letter to a newspaper more than a thousand miles away from Idaho? Had he sought to merely counsel Craig, he would have been far more discreet . . . much like he was when he cruised the highway rest stops.
How can the Episcopal Church think this man is a suitable candidate to preach the Word of God, let alone be a spiritual guide to parishioners?
Who would have thought that Dina Matos McGreevey would speak such wisdom?
In order to be a leader, whether it’s a leader of a state, a nation or a church, you need to have some sort of moral compass
Her estranged husband, former New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey, has enrolled in an Epsicopal seminary. A priest is a spiritual leader, one who guides parishioners. That relationship is predicated on the priest having guidance to offer.
In McGreevey’s case, that guidance includes corruption from the governor’s mansion, tried to appoint his boyfriend as head of homeland security, is on a federal wiretap using a codeword to announce a deal was agreed to, hired young men for his staff at extraordinary salaries and told them to write their own job descriptions, cruised for sex with men in public bathrooms, finagles his way back on the public payroll and pension roll by teaching an ethics class, hangs a 50″—40″ photograph a naked man above his bed and then has his daughter view it, wrote a book that documents how he lied to his wives and to the entire state of New Jersey and how his lies influenced policy, and is amid a bitter divorce suit with his estranged wife.
What guidance do suspect he will impart upon parishioners? Would you trust counsel from Father Jim?
When Gert and I were married the ceremony was in the Episcopal church. I was reared Episcopalian and that was the church we had attended when we dated. The Episcopal faith was always explained to me as being a slightly more liberal Catholicism. The most notable difference was that Episcopalians permitted divorce.
Then in my youth, the Episcopal faith permitted female priests. Again, that is something most folks can accept and it never seemed a huge issue to me.
Of course, I knew the Catholic faith was steadfast in its faith. When I attended a Catholic school, I was told directly I was not welcomed at the altar. And that began a struggle that I now understand, but fought to understand for a long time. Catholics do not permit any non-Catholic to receive communion in their church. Episcopalians are much more welcoming in this manner. My friend Oli had no issue receiving communion at the Episcopal school we attended, but I was not welcomed to do so at his wedding. It seemed, well, a hardcore policy.
After Gert and I were married we continued to attend the Episcopal church. About a year later, we began discussing our family plans. That discussion brought us to religion. Gert is a Roman Catholic and she expressed her desire to return to her church. That then had an impact on our family discussion. How were we going to raise our children?
For a while, we went with the idea that Mommy would attend one church and Daddy would attend another and that the children would split their time between the two. We were naive in that thinking.
Gert began attending some Catholic churches in the area to see where she was comfortable. She struggled finding such a church. She was going to just go to the church she grew up in, but admittedly that was now a bit far given where we purchased our home. Eventually she tried the “big” Catholic church in town and liked something about it. She liked it enough to invite me.
The Episcopal church we attended was in dire straits. It was a small congregation (albeit larger than the 15-person congregation of another church I attended when I first came to town) and it was not able to pay its way. That meant the diocese subsidized the church. Fortunately, the church had a retired priest as an interim. He joked when he hit the decade mark about what interim meant. Father Vanaman was a good man who provided lots of counsel to me. He, like almost everyone else in the church, was elderly. As Gert and I contemplated our family plans, we did recognize that our children would not have a wonderful children’s program available.
So I visited the Catholic church with Gert and was very much impressed. Those who know me know I like my church service “churchy” and Father Carmel is the epitome of that. Incense, a thick Italian accent, pomp and circumstance. The church had it all. Furthermore, there is a Catholic school associated with this parish.
I had been investigating my faith at this time. What did I believe in? What was important?
It just so happens that the Episcopal church was amid a significant change in what it believes at this time. The church was set to confirm Gene Washington as the bishop of New Hampshire. Bishop Washington was openly gay.
I do believe in tolerance and forgiveness. I do not, however, believe that a church should uphold this behavior as exemplary. A bishop is the definition of a role model. Washington did not meet that criteria for me.
Father Vanaman and the rest of our congregation were adamantly opposed to the church’s action here. As a matter of fact, many Epsicopalians throughout the United States were. It was not long before a fractured church was seen. The larger Anglican church was equally dismayed with this decision too and pressure was applied. To no end, it turns out as Robinson was confirmed and the Episcopal church adopted language that made it very clear it had broken with the Anglican church.
As for me, I sought the counsel of Father Vanaman and Father Carmel. After much research, discussion, and prayer, I decided to convert to the Catholic faith. I enrolled in RCIA and further investigated my faith. Due to another issue beyond my control, it was a long process. But eventually I made it! 🙂
What has happened to the Episcopal church? Apparently, it is now the sanctuary for gay community. Former New Jersey Governor McGreevey announced that he converted to the Episcopal faith from Catholicism last Sunday. Furthermore, McGreevey is entering the a seminary to become an Episcopal priest.
This is wrong on so many levels. McGreevey is the poster boy for political corruption. He was driven out of office because of his lies. He announced he was “a Gay American” and left his wife to shack up with a man. They hang a 50×40 photograph a naked man above their bed for his daughter to view. McGreevey then airs all his corruption for all to see, continues to battle his estranged wife, and somehow gets a gig to teach an ethics class at a state university to pad his pension. Now he wants to be a counselor to others, the religious leader of people’s faith. And the Episcopal church seems willing to let him have a go at it.
The Episcopal church has changed and for me I found a home where I am comfortable. There is no way I could rectify my faith with this week’s announcement from McGreevey.
I pray for the man, but I do not respect his decision.
How ethical is it to show your daughter a “life-size photograph of a nude male model”? How ethical is it to have your daughter sleep in your bed with your gay lover?
Former Governor James McGreevey is alleged to have done these his estranged wife claimed in papers filed for their divorce.
Larry King: You pick up some men at a truck stop or they pick you up?Transcript
Larry King: And you didn’t even know their name maybe?
McGreevey: No. You don’t know anything about them.
This is the man who is bumping his retirement by teaching an ethics class at a state university. Actually, the class is named, Ethics, Law, and Leadership. Your tax dollars, dear reader, are funding this. McGreevey is a sorry authority to teach this class.
According to Kean University president, Dawood Farahi:
For a university like us to have the ability of a former governor — for what we pay him — it’s an opportunity for our students we shouldn’t miss.
Farahi lacks judgment and needs to be called on it immediately. There is no reason for McGreevey to ever receive another dollar from the taxpayers of New Jersey. He broke our trust and deserves no opportunity to right himself on the backs of the taxpayers.
And listening to Dina Matos McGreevey, it sounds like his judgment is just as flawed today as it was when he was office.