So.....ladies and gents. I performed my civic duty at around 12:00 today, voting for governor of New Jersey and for the state assembly, which is what we call our lower house. New Jersey is unique because there is a major election every November. In 2008, it was for President and for Congress. This year its for governor and the assembly. Next year (2010) is the mid term congressional election, then in 2011 the State Senate is up for grabs...that brings us to the 2012 Presidential race (repeat process).
Its one big never ending political campaign- presidential elections bleed into the gubernatorial contests, and then into US House and Senate, then back to the Jersey Senate....it never stops. Being wedged between the #1 and #4 media markets assures us of having political advertising on the tube 24/7, 365 days a year...well, almost always. Its so bad it makes me, a political guy, sometimes consider blowing my brains out because of the non- stop barrage of finger pointing, lies, damned lies, and statistics. You want info from the Guantanomo detainees? Don't waterboard or abuse them- just make them watch New Jersey political ads for a month- they'll be beating down their cell doors to spill everything they know, plus what their parents and siblings know.
New Jeresy is a Blue state , most of the time. Every eight to twelve years there is a budget crisis, usually after a Republican administration leaves office. Here's what happens- the GOP gets elected in this nominally democratic state. Most New Jersey Republicans talk the national party line to get the nomination, and then after they win they slide towards the middle, particularly on social issues. In most of the country Republicans run of God, guns, and gays....and they do here, at least in the nominating process. But their Grand Slam Home Run thing in Jersey is
taxes, taxes, taxes!!! They take office, and they do cut taxes....but do not cut the size of government. Christie Whitman tried to privatize things like auto inspections, and ended up with a disaster. She did cut taxes, but borrowed from state pension funds to offset the losses to the state coffers. It was perfectly legal, and a gimmick that worked for her, and for the succeeding governors until Jon Corzine, who got stuck holding the check.
To be fair, it was Whitman who came up with this legal Ponzi scheme, but both Democratic and Republican governors played the game. To touch taxes is the kiss of death in New Jersey- just ask former Governor Jim Florio.
As I'm typing this I fully expect Chris Christie to oust Corzine....and then we can expect the shell game to resume in earnest. Christie is a good man and a fine prosecutor, but trust me...if he manages to balance the $8 billion budget gap he will do it with borrowed money. Business people are always yelling that government should be run like a business, so New Jersey elected a self made millionaire and financial wizard to straighten out the mess. He couldn't get the necessary results in a single four year term.
But we will likely be turning over our leadership to a man who has never had to balance a budget of this magnitude in his life, during an economic crisis that has not been seen since the 1930's.
If he does win, I will not do a Limbaugh- I will not root for him to fail.
After voting, it was over to the post office, to send in my summons to the JURY POOL...yes, I've been selected for jury duty. On December 15.
That's right....ten days before Christmas.
I suppose I should start Christmas shopping early this year- just in case. I hate being one of THOSE kind of people, the ones that get all of their holiday shopping done a week BEFORE the Army-Navy game in early December. There's something inherently un American about not shopping desperately on Christmas Eve, with jack frost nipping at your nose and agita twisting in your chest.
Saturday Night Funnies -
10 hours ago