Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Your Right To Vote Will Cost You 44 Cents"..... and Some Random Thoughts

I took the absentee ballots from my Mom and Dad, and sealed them....and I did help my father in filling out his ballot....and filled out the proper spaces on the ballot acknowledging that I did assist in filling out the ballot, and that I would be transporting the ballots to the post office.

And then I drove to the US Post Office to pay the postage for each of my parents ballots. In a sense, they had to pay for their inalienable right to vote in the United States of America. The absentee ballots for Middlesex County, NJ were not postage paid for 2011's election of New Jersey state senate and the assembly.

Last year I took my parents ballots to the post office for the 2010 midterms....I had to get extra postage for those ballots. I thought the principle of an individual having to to pay any amount to vote in an election was unfair and un-American, but I kept my mouth shut. But that was last year.

And this is now.

Last year the ballots were heavy, and one stamp wouldn't cover it....so I paid the extra 20 cents, or whatever it was. This afternoon the price was only 44 cents each.....but the question remains; why should some voters have to pay to vote by mail while those who vote in person do not? The board of elections pays poll workers and for use of facilities in elections....shouldn't they be required to pay postage for those who may not be able to get to the polls without extreme physical difficulty?

I'm not asking for an entitlement, but I am asking about the right of a truly free election- the amount of money for the postage is not the problem. The fact that it must be paid in order for some of our most vulnerable citizens to vote is the issue. Where is Grover Norquist, he who hateth all taxes, on this one? And the Tea Party, in their Colonial Williamsburg outfits, complete with Brown Bess muskets, waving the  Constitution in the air like it's a winning lottery ticket? I know.....it's the Ayn Rand thing, isn't it? Social Darwinism....the old folks paying to vote are just a bunch of dinosaurs on their last legs....put 'em in a corner and move on, right?

Back in the 1960's the poll tax was done away with in the Jim Crow South. It was a weapon to suppress and nullify the African American vote. Paying to vote by absentee ballot is not in the same ballpark as the poll tax....but in principle, it is just as wrong.  Some citizens must pay in order to have their votes counted, and others don't.....and that is simply wrong.

Absentee ballots for all elections on all levels should have postage paid by the board of elections. Its the right and fair thing to do.

Random Thoughts

Chris Christie- "It's not my time (to run for President)".....Dang! I already had a campaign slogan already for him if he wanted to get into the Republican Primaries;
"Vote for Chris Christie- at Least He's Not Crazy"

Yeah, he's a brash loudmouth, and a bully.....but he's not a Mitt Romney "what flavor am I today?", or a yahoo like Rick Perry, or a total whack job like Michele Bachmann. But at least Christie has a charisma that goes a long way. Now that doesn't mean I've flipped and have become a Christie supporter- you can have a certain amount of charm and likability but still have a personality traits that repel and even disgust you- kind of like Tony Soprano.

You know what you get with Chris Christie....that is, if you live in New Jersey. I don't think the national media really gets it with the guy- yes, Christie got bipartisan support in getting his agenda passed, and then he threw the Democratic State Senate President and Speaker of the Assembly under the bus in front of their base in a power play. And he did the same thing to his first Commissioner of Education in the "Race to the Top" fiasco- Christie screwed up, and Brett Schundler, his commish, had to pay for it.

The alleged "tough guys" in the media, like Chris Matthews and Piers Morgan, either throw Christie softball questions or seemingly swoon over him like they have a man-crush....and Chris Matthews, do you really think that a guy with Christie's ego would ever want to become Vice President and preside over the Senate for at least four years? Chris, start talking to guys in the New Jersey media, like Tom Moran, Michael Aron, Paul Mulshine, or Kevin Manahan before you start that crazy talk. For 10 reasons Chris Christie will never be president, check out this column by the Star-Ledger's Kevin Manahan.

Oh, and did a mention....the Republican Party has moved so far to the right with it's Tea Party wing they could never stomach Christie's appointment of a Muslim to a judgeship. And that's just for starters.

Now, can we please stop this Christie for President nonsense....like, right now?

Hank Williams, Jr.- When are people going to realize that using Hitler as an analogy for all individuals and things they hate is a bad move?

Last night I was flipping back and forth between Monday Night Football and the Yankees-Tigers Division Series, and was surprised that there was no "All My Rowdy Friends" by Hank, Jr. on ESPN. I figured there was some kind of glitch, or possibly I just missed it when I stayed with baseball for a bit longer than intended.

But there was no Hank Jr.

And it wasn't until after the game was over that I saw that ESPN pulled the song, a fixture for more than 20 years, because of comments made by Williams on (where else?) Fox and Friends to the usual suspects.

Hank equated President Obama to Hitler.....and notice how Doocy, Carlson, and Kilmeade jumped to POTUS's defense IMMEDIATELY?

You didn't see it? Funny...I didn't either. And Joe Biden, he's the enemy too, in the Gospel according to Hank, Jr.

Maybe it's just me....but doesn't he appear to be in the bag, even at that early hour?

A few hours ago Williams offered a "sort of" apology for his remarks.

Isn't it odd how Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks got hate mail and death threats for their 2003 remark about being ashamed to be from the same state as George W. Bush (not to mention being ostracized by the country music establishment), and Hank Jr. seemingly gets a pass (Hank being Hank) for calling the current president "the enemy".

One last thing.....Hank said he might run for the Senate in Tennessee in 2008.

Who knows...maybe he'll be the VP candidate in 2012.

And in closing....Eric Foster's injury on Monday Night Football

It was tough to watch the terrible injury to Eric Foster of the Indianapolis Colts in last nights 24-17 loss to Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. Foster appeared to have a dislocated ankle, that twisted horribly and unnaturally, causing even hardened NFL players to wince and even shed tears for a fallen member of their fraternity. Surgery was performed on Foster's ankle, and he will be flown home on owner Jim Irsay's private jet. Eric Foster will be placed on injured reserve- his season is over.

Eric Foster was always one of my favorite players when he was at Rutgers. The big defensive lineman was a captain and the heart and soul of that incredible 11-2 team from 2006 that just barely missed winning a BCS bowl bid. Foster became a You Tube star in 2006 after a win against South Florida made the Scarlet Knights 5-0....Foster led in this locker room chant.

Ironically, the locker room chant took place in the same stadium- Raymond James- as the one Eric Foster was carted off from last night.

Get well, big guy!

And it was a bad week for former Rutgers NFL players. In a span of eight days Foster, Colt teammate Gary Brackett, and Tennessee Titan Kenny Britt all sustained season ending injuries.



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