Archive for June, 2008

McCain’s Veep

Author: Rory B. Bellows

There has been a lot of talk recently about who the presumptive nominees in both parties will choose as their running mates. A story on Politico reported that former Governor Mitt Romney may be the favorite for the number two spot on the Republican ticket.

I think this makes sense, especially if Barack Obama taps Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Romney would draw sharp contrasts with both Democrats and shore up weaknesses in the McCain candidacy.

First there is his background as a succesful executive in both the public and private sector. None of the current candidates has ever run so much as a lemonade stand so already you have clear differences with the Democrats, eliminating a McCain weakness while highlighting the experience argument. Not only has McCain been around the block, but he has a guy by his side who has actually run something. Obama cannot say that.

Next there is Romney’s wildly successful business career and command of economic issues. He was the darling of economic conservatives in the primary season and in a year where the economy will be the number one issue, Romney brings the strongest economic bona fides of anyone on either ticket. Romney’s standing with economic conservatives will allay fears that McCain is not one of them. His rhetoric duing the primaries and in the early stages of the general election has been all over the place and sometimes made economic conservatives uncomfortable. Romney would wash away fears of McCain’s misguided and wildly incorrect attacks on oil speculators, the pharmaceutical industry and people on Wall Street he claims shoul be in jail because the of the subprime “crisis.”

Romney helps McCain with fundraising. So far this has been another weak point in the McCain Campaign. Romney has a natural fundraising base with members of the Church of Latter Day Saints and former business contacts. Members of the LDS are the richest religion per capita in the country. The claims that Romney could raise 50-60 million dollars in two moths are not out of the question.

Governor Romney could help expand the electoral map. As we saw in January, the Romney name is golden in the state of Michigan. Romney also proved to be a tireless campaigner and effective debater. The combination of his name, energy and standing on economic issues could be enough to put Michigan into the red column. Romney also proved to have a base in the west, and the large number of Mormons in that region of the country would keep states like Nevada red and offset the probable loss of Iowa.

Finally, Governor Romney would play to McCain’s message as a reformer who has the ability to reach across party lines to get things done. Should Obama choose Hillary Clinton, you could contrast that wiht a McCain/Romney ticket. McCain infuriated conservatives by working with Russ Feingold, Joe Lieberman and Ted Kennedy on issues such as campaign finance reform, immigration and global warming. Mitt Romney’s signature achievement is working with about as Democratic a legislature you can find and coming up with healthcare reform. The Republicans would have two men who have been able to work with opposing parties to achieve reforms while the Democrats would have the most liberal Senator in the Senate and one of the most polarizing figure in American politics.

Governor Romney would be a wise choice for Senator McCain.


The Nanny State

Author: Rory B. Bellows

New Jersey is on the verge of creating another massive entitlement we cannot afford. By 2013, New Jersey will offer universal baby sitting/day care/preschool or whatever you would like to call it to every child in the state. This will cause the Department of Education to raise day care/baby sitting/preschool spending from $520 million to $820 million. So much for doing more with less!

Some may object to labeling this program as day care, but that is what it is and day care centers are what communities are currently using. Red Bank officials visited three day care centers that could house the expanded universal preschool program. Calling preschool daycare is just a way politicians can sell a skunk, and an especially expensive one at that, to the public by tugging at the heart strings. Day care is something parents should provide, not providing preschool causes parents to fret that little Johnnie will end up at community college instead of Harvard.

Honestly, what is the incentive to live in New Jersey if you are anything other than poor? If you are classified as poor, you get free healthcare, “affordable” housing, free preschool and god only knows what else the central planners and collectivists can cook up. If you are a producer, why do you want to live here and put up with confiscatory tax rates that make you little more than an indentured servant to the state?

Unequal Pay for Equal Work at Obama’s Office

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Hot Air has the story involving the latest Obama hypocrisy.

Al Gore’s Top Ten List

Author: Rory B. Bellows

of errors and exaggerations tied to his global warming fiction.

It Never Ends

Author: Kari

Shame on us for thinking the Keansburg School Superintendent’s retirement package disgrace being blasted all over NJ news outlets would change the situation.

According to an Asbury Park Press editorial, Joseph Passiment will soon retire as Manalapan-Englishtown Schools Business Administrator and is expected to move into the position of Monmouth County Executive Business Administrator.  His retirement package (despite the fact that he’s not actually retiring) includes an annual pension of almost $80,000 in addition to a $153,000 check for unused sick and vacation time.  His next government job will yield him $95,000 per year.

It’s not over.  The district plans to award him a 4% salary increase before his ‘retirement’ in approximately eight weeks.

There is a tiny beacon of light in the whole mess. The Manalapan-Englishtown School Board had put a $15,000 cap on unused sick/vacation days from the time of Passiment’s most recent contract (June 07), and presumably that rule will hold for future administrative officials. However, the Board did not address the ridiculousness of paying taxpayer-funded pension as a retirement benefit to a man moving into a different taxpayer-funded job.  

On a side note, the Superintendent of the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District could be forced to restructure the district and fire nine teachers due to a budget shortfall for the 2009-2010 school year. The biggest component of the budget consists of salaries and benefits – 63%.

Obama’s Next Flip Flop

Author: Rory B. Bellows

The New Yorker thinks it is going to be Iraq.

As the campaign goes along, we see all talk of hope and change is just that: Talk. Obama is your typical politician who will say anything at anytime to any audience in order to get himself elected. Did his starry eyed followers think he was going to do anything else? If, god forbid, we have President Obama, and he meets with General Petraeus, and the General says we can win, but he needs forces to remain as they are for 6 months to 1 year, did the code pink crowd think Obama would fire him and replace him with some yes man?

To Drill or Not to Drill

Author: Rory B. Bellows

New Jersey Politicians are lost. I know that is not revealing state secrets or anything, but they are out to sea on offshore drilling. The majority of New Jersey’s congressional delegation is opposed to the idea of drilling off the Jersey coast.

Environmental activists raise the specter of massive Oil Spills ruining the Jersey Shore. There has not been a refinery spill in the United State since 1969. Drilling opponents claim a spill would destroy New Jersey’s tourism industry. While a spill is hypothetical, $4 a gallon gasoline is not. How is tourism supposed to thrive when no one can afford to drive to the shore or Atlantic City?

According to a recent poll, 67% of Americans support the idea of offshore drilling. The US Mineral Management Service reports that America’s outer continental shelf contains 19 million barrels of recoverable Oil. ANWR is estimated to contain 10 billion barrels of oil. There are 29 billion barrels of Oil that we have but cannot recover. There are 800 billion barrels of Oil in the Green River Formation.

We cannot get to any of that. Politicians, including those in New Jersey, are going to end up with nice, pristine beaches and vacation destinations that average Americans cannot afford to drive or fly to because supposed leaders lacked the foresight or political spine to support expanding America’s domestic oil supply.