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Panhandle Slim… Art for Folk…

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Panhandle Slim…

NJ editor on Christie: ‘He lies’

bridgegate (1)

Well, it’s about time. Tom Moran, editor of the Newark Star-Ledger (who endorsed Christie for reelection), takes the unusual step of warning voters about Chris Christie’s pathological lying and causes quite an uproar:

They all lie, and I get that. But Christie does it with such audacity, and such frequency, that he stands out.

He’s been lying on steroids lately, on core issues like Bridgegate, guns and that cozy personal friendship with his buddy, the King of Jordan. I’ll get to all that.

But let’s start with my personal favorite. It dates back to the 2009 campaign, when the public workers unions asked him if he intended to cut their benefits.He told them their pensions were “sacred” to him.”

“The notion that I would eliminate, change, or alter your pension is not only a lie, but cannot be further from the truth,” he wrote them. “Your pension and benefits will be protected when I am elected governor.”

He then proceeded to make cutting those benefits the centerpiece of his first yearin office.

This, we know now, was vintage Christie. Other lying politicians tend to waffle, to leave themselves some escape hatch. You can almost smell it.

But Christie lies with conviction. His hands don’t shake, and his eyes don’t wander. I can hardly blame the union leaders who met with him for believing him.

“He seemed very sincere,” says Bill Lavin, head of the firefighters union. “Why doubt someone who tells you this is sacred to them?”

[…] “We just won a major court decision supporting the pension reforms that we put into place in 2011,” he told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News.

Supporting the pension reform? The court found those reforms to beunconstitutional. Christie had to know that, because it was an argument put forward by his own lawyers so that he could escape the law’s provision requiring big payments into the pension fund.

These are painful moments for New Jersey reporters who cover Christie. Stephanopoulos and Kelly are facing a crowded Republican field with more than a dozen contenders. They can’t be expected to know this stuff. Which is why Christie prefers to sit down with the national press. It’s easier to get away with these lies. For now.

Is it fair to use the word “lies” to describe these moments? After all, an honest mistake is not a lie. And sometimes politicians make promises they intend to keep, but circumstances prevent them. So what qualifies as an actual lie?

Here is one that doesn’t make the cut: Christie broke his promise to make pension payments, which some consider a lie. But I don’t. The economy slowed down and he didn’t have the expected revenue. Democrats were surprised as well.

But the examples in the list above, which is only a sampling, are deliberate and serve Christie’s political purposes. None are course corrections based on fresh information.

Webster’s defines lie this way: “To make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.” That fits neatly.

And that’s my warning to America. When Christie picks up the microphone, he speaks so clearly and forcefully that you assume genuine conviction is behind it.

Be careful, though. It’s a kind of spell.

He is a remarkable talent with a silver tongue. But if you look closely, you can see that it is forked like a serpent’s.

Morning Glory Diner in South Philadelphia comes up with innovative names for their specials on the weekend. The “Antonin Scalia is a Douche” special brought eggs scrambled or in a frittata with andouille sausage, tomato, scallions and monterey jack cheese. There was enough sausage to make around 150 of the dish, and it was so popular… Continue Reading »

Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) presidential candidacy, buoyed by a national media anxious to take former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton down multiple pegs, has created a lot of excitement among a particular segment of the Democratic base, but not among the coalition of white and non-white voters that delivered President Obama two consecutive victories. If Senator… Continue Reading »

supremecourt

It’s always been annoying to hear people bitch about being “forced” to pay their union dues, especially when you don’t hear them pushing to negotiate their own damned salaries. But I guess we all knew this was coming:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court signaled Tuesday that it may be prepared to strike down laws forcing public employees to pay union dues, posing a major threat to organized labor.

The justices agreed to hear a California case next fall challenging the requirement that teachers contribute to unions, even if they don’t join them or agree with their positions on issues.

Two lower courts upheld that arrangement, but the high court in recent years has been hostile to the so-called “agency shop” rules. In two prior cases, Justice Samuel Alito has written majority opinions scaling back on the requirement.

Under the court’s 1977 precedent, unions largely have been allowed to collect dues from all private or public employees they represent. Those who object don’t have to contribute to political or lobbying activities, but they must chip in for the unions’ efforts in fighting for better wages, benefits and working conditions.

But in the most recent case last year, the court ruled 5-4 along ideological lines that home-care workers in Illinois do not have to pay dues to public employee unions. The workers said the unions lobbied the government, often on issues the workers oppose — thereby abridging their First Amendment rights.

In his ruling, Alito said that except in rare circumstances, “no person in this country may be compelled to subsidize speech by a third party that he or she does not wish to support.”

The Supreme Court is stopping texas from abortion restrictions that would result in the closing of 10 clinics. The justices voted 5-4 on Monday granting an emergency appeal from the clinics after a federal appeals court upheld new regulations and refused to keep them on hold while the clinics appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme… Continue Reading »

It’s turning into “where were you when you heard?” Already. It’s turning into “what was life like, before the war?” Already. It’s turning into the biggest change, the biggest alteration, and it only took a decade. Except it didn’t. It took a hundred lifetimes. http://www.thegailygrind.com/2013/03/21/lgbt-history-photos-of-gay-couples-from-the-1880s-1920s-tbt/ I think we have this idea, in America. We have this… Continue Reading »

Leaving

Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis:

Dat dere

Rickie Lee Jones:

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