August 31, 2004

And the Pissing Contest Continues.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:17 pm

The day after Golan Cipel announced, through counsel, that he would not sue Governor McGreevey for sexual harassment, Cipel stated, “I have no doubt that I would have won a civil case against the governor.” Still insisting on the righteousness of Cipel’s claim (and Cipel’s heterosexuality), one of Cipel’s attorneys talked of Cipel’s responding “forcefully and assertively” to fend off the governor’s most recent sexual advances.

The governor’s camp, not surprisingly, dismissed Cipel’s and his attorney’s statements. In fact, one of the governor’s most ardent supporters, state senator Raymond Lesniak, went so far as to say, “I challenged Lowy [Cipel’s attorney] repeatedly, through the press, to file a suit. I wanted to take Cipel’s deposition under oath.”**

Enough, already with the ridiculous posturing. We see this pathetic soap opera for what it is.

The real issue that remains on the table is the governor’s steadfast refusal to leave office before September 3rd. His leaving prior to that date would permit the citizens of this state to elect the person who will be the chief executive of the state through November 2005. Imagine the nerve of us actually wanting a say in who governs the state?

** Don’t make me laugh. First, Mr. Lesniak a state senator, most certainly would not represent Governor McGreevey in such a suit and therefore would not take Cipel’s deposition “under oath,” [They’re always taken under oath.]. And, second, if I were the client, I would not want Mr. Lesniak to take a deposition, even in a rear-end hit case.

August 30, 2004

Garden Staters Dixie Bound.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:29 pm

New Jersey flag.jpg Rebel flag.jpg
All this talk of endless alcohol consumption, world-class bullshitting story telling, southern hospitality (even for Yankees, provided we agree to at least try grits – no sugar, of course), and free-for-all guitar playing and singing finally got to me. I therefore have decided to head down to Helen, Georgia to participate in the Jawja Blogtoberfest on October 15th and 16th. I will be bringing my guitar and however many hundreds of songs are permanently stuck in my head. I hope to get a chance to play with Eric and Acidman and anyone else who shows up with an axe (and maybe even to do a bit of harmony).

Not only will my guitar be coming with me, but I will also be accompanied by one (and possibly even two) of the oftmentioned Usual Suspects.

From what I have read here and here, I see that we will not be the only Yankees in attendance. It looks like we have the possible makings of a Yankee invasion, and we all know how things turned out the last time that happened.

I think we had better avoid wearing blue.

No Suit, After All.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:41 pm

Today we learned that Golan Cipel, Governor McGreevey’s alleged former boyfriend, has announced through his attorney that he will not file the sexual harassment lawsuit that had been threatened and which presumably played a part in Governor McGreevey’s decision to resign. Frankly, I am not surprised that Cipel, who claimed to be heterosexual, decided not to go down that long and nasty road.

I am, however, curious to see what happens with the federal investigation of the Governor’s claim of extortion. My guess is that it will die on the vine, as it quite possibly should, because this entire mess appears to be little more than a pissing contest between former lovers.

Meanwhile, the Governor remains in office, and there are no signs that he has any plans to leave before September 3rd, the date after which we lose our right to elect a governor to serve for the next fourteen months.

…and the beat goes on.

August 29, 2004

McGreevey at the Bakery.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 4:08 pm

Baker: “May I help you, sir?”

McGreevey: “Great day for reading Plutarch, no?”

Baker: “Excuse me?”

McGreevey: “Plutarch, great stuff there.”

Baker: “Sir, there are people in line. May I help you?”

McGreevey: “Oh, yeah. I’d like a loaf of rye bread, please.”

Baker: “Large or small?”

McGreevey: “Speaking of large and small, how about that Jonathan Swift? He sure had the large and small thing wired.”

Baker: “Huh?”

McGreevey: “I’d like a large loaf, please.”

Baker: “Seeds or seedless?”

McGreevey: “Seeds….seedy….reminds me of Upton Sinclair. He wrote about some pretty seedy stuff there in Chicago.”

Baker: “What? Sir, you’re holding up the line. Seeds or seedless?”

McGreevey: “Seedless, please.”

Baker: “Sliced or whole?”

McGreevey: “Ahhh. Slice….Slice of life. Reminds me of Proust and his Remembrance of Things Past.”

Person in line: “Hey, buddy. We don’t have all day here.”

McGreevey: “Sliced, please.”

Baker: (hands over the bread) “Here you are, sir. That’ll be $2.99.”

McGreevey: (takes the bread and pays with exact change) Thanks. I’m heading home to catch up on my Thomas Aquinas. Have a nice day.” (leaves the shop)

Person in line: “Did he say something about Pluto?”

Update: It would appear that some non-Jersey folks who may not be familiar with the depth of the political swamp in this state might need a hint.

August 28, 2004

Sun, Fun, Cocktails, and the Great Music Debate.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 2:36 pm

Usual Suspects Small.jpgYes it is sunny and hot today in the Garden State, and we are running out of summer weekends. So, we are headed over the The Deck to speng the afternoon and evening with the Usual Suspects, which will include swimming and doing water aerobics standing around and drinking in the pool. Ken, the anal cruise director, will have the water set at a pleasant temperature, so as to prevent the “oooch, ooohc, oooch” that can happen when one enters the pool of a less anal retentive host.

I expect that the music (pumped out through Bose outdoor speakers, of course) will, as always, be fodder for debate and ridicule:

“Yo, enough already with the freakin’ Motown!”

“Bullshit! Wadda you wanna hear? More freakin’ Beatles? You can’t dance to that shit.” (This would be Original Bill.)

“Skeeter Davis? Are you out of your mind?”

“The Four Farookin’ Seasons?? Gimme a break. I don’t give a shit if they’re from Jersey. Their only song worth a damn was “Rag Doll. Put on the Eagles.” (This would be me.)

…and so it goes.

I may be back later, depending on how much sun, fun, and cocktails I have had.

August 27, 2004

Golan Cipel — A Day at the Office.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:02 pm

Golan is sitting in a leather executive chair at his empty desk, thumbing through the most recent issue of American Bodybuilder magazine, when the phone rings.


Cipel: “Yes?”

Agent Fox: “Hello. Is this the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security?”

Cipel: “Yes it is.”

Agent Fox: “Finally! I’ve had trouble finding anyone who knows your phone number. Anyway, my name is Thomas Fox. I am a special agent with the FBI, and I have been assigned to the National Office of Homeland Security. I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lot of time here. We have received some troubling intel suggesting that you may have a problem in New Jersey some time within the next 48 hours. Homeland Security Secretary Ridge wants you to brief him in thirty minutes. He wants a summary of the Table of Organization and Equipment of the State Police, with special emphasis on identifying the number of state police personnel, and the type and amount of equipment, including weapons and communication gear, that can be deployed in the event of an attack on a petroleum storage facility or a sports arena. He also wants details on the makeup and skills of any special tactical units that would be available to respond as well. Any questions?”

Cipel: “I believe that you will need to talk to Mr. Cipel.”

Agent Fox: “What? Who is Mr. Cipel?”

Cipel: “He is the special counsel to the governor for New Jersey’s homeland security.”

Agent Fox: “Dammit, why didn’t you tell me that right away? OK let me speak with him.”

Cipel: “Sorry, sir. Mr. Cipel is not in the office at the moment, but I will let him know you called, and I’m sure that he will get back to you. He’s busy today and he’ll be on vacation tomorrow, but I am confident that he will call you first thing Monday morning.”

Agent Fox: “Monday Morning? This can’t wait ‘til…..”

Cipel: “I’ll be sure to give him the message.”

Agent Fox: “Hold it, dammit! Let me speak with…..”

Cipel: Like I said, sir. I’ll give him the message.


Cipel: (Dialing the phone) “Jeez!”


Nelson: “Hello.”

Cipel: “Nelson, bring the car around.”

Nelson: “How soon do you need it, sir?”

Cipel: “How soon do I need it? I need it NOW, BITCH. I’m already late for my pedicure.”

August 26, 2004

Federal Lawsuit Seeks to Force Special Election.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:29 pm

On September 8th, U.S. District Court Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. will hear arguments in a case that was filed on August 16th by two Princeton attorneys to force a special election in November. The legal theory being pursued by the plaintiffs is that, by announcing on August 12th his inability to effectively govern, Jim McGreevey essentially created a vacancy as of that date, and that by remaining in office through November 15th, he is preventing a special election and thereby depriving New Jersey citizens of their constitutional rights, including the right of due process.

Presumably the attorneys chose this particular argument, because they guessed (correctly, as it turns out) that the hearing would not take place until after the September 3rd deadline for requiring a special election.

The Princeton attorneys argue that, because the governor made his announcement well before the September 3rd deadline (and, as noted, effectively created a vacancy at that time), the court should, as the New Jersey State Supreme Court did in the Torricelli case, ignore the state-imposed deadline in order to preserve the citizens’ right to vote for the candidate of their choice.

I don’t pretend to know any more about the specifics of the lawsuit other than what I have read in the newspapers. Having said that, it seems to me that the Princeton attorneys have a bit of an uphill climb. It would appear that there are more than a couple ways to distinguish the Torricelli case from the present situation created by the governor’s resignation, not the least of which is that this case implicates the New Jersey State Constitution, rather than just state election laws and regulations, which were at issue in the Torricelli debacle.

Article V, Section 1.6 of the New Jersey Constitution provides, in pertinent part:

In the event of a vacancy in the office of Governor resulting from the death, resignation or removal of a Governor in office, … the functions, powers, duties and emoluments of the office shall devolve upon the President of the Senate, for the time being…

Article V, Section 1.9 of the New Jersey Constitution provides, again, in pertinent part:

In the event of a vacancy in the office of Governor, a Governor shall be elected to fill the unexpired term at the general election next succeeding the vacancy, unless the vacancy shall occur within sixty days immediately preceeding [sic] a general election, in which case he shall be elected at the second succeeding general election…

So, like it or not (I don’t), the New Jersey Constitution provides a scheme for succession in these cases (including the sixty day pre-election time limit) and does not provide for “effective vacancies” as is being urged by the attorneys for the plaintiffs.

I just don’t see the judge fooling around with the plain language of the New Jersey State Constitution.

As such, I figure that, unless Jim McGreevey leaves office before September 3rd, we can forget about actually having a say in who occupies the governor’s office from November 15th through the next election in November 2005.

August 25, 2004

NYC Protests.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:34 pm

protest2.jpgToday, a New York State judge ruled that the “peace” activist organization United for Peace and Justice would not be permitted to demonstrate in New York City’s Central Park. In essence, the judge ruled that the organization pulled a fast one in filing suit at this late date after having previously agreed to hold its protest at an alternate location.

This morning (prior to the court ruling), I heard on the radio the Head of the organization intimate that the some of its claimed 250,000 members might assemble in Central Park even if the face of an adverse court ruling. However, in a newscast after the court issued its decision, I heard someone who purported to speak for the organization state that the organization would not seek to assemble in Central Park.

The United for Peace and Justice website seems to suggest that the organization will comply with the law, when it states:

We are very disappointed in the ruling today, denying our request to rally in Central Park. But make no mistake: Our August 29 protest march is still happening! We have an agreement with the City for a legal, peaceful march past Madison Square Garden, the site of the Republican Convention, and we are negotiating with the New York Police Department for a safe, peaceful, and orderly closure of the day’s events.

However, the part about “negotiating with the New York Police Department for a safe, peaceful, and orderly closure of the day’s events” suggests to me that, after the organization marches past Madison Square Garden, it might well turn in the direction of Central Park, rather than the direction of the West Side Highway, the permitted location. I hope I’m wrong.

A.N.S.W.E.R., another “peace” organization that also lost an earlier federal court battle for access to Central Park, is considerably less circumspect about its intentions.

The spontaneous reaction to the Judge’s decision and the widely publicized response to the Judge ruling from the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition spokesperson – that “Thousands of people are coming, and many of them intend to be in Central Park, and we believe that it is their right to be in Central Park” (from August 24 NY Times front page story) – has made it as clear as day to the authorities that the denial of permits for the August 28 and 29 demonstrations was a huge miscalculation. Even unnamed police officials are now being quoted in the media that the Mayor and the city made a mistake by denying the permits because the people are likely to assert their free speech rights and descend on Central Park. This is a sign that the powers that be are getting nervous.

I, for one, am nervous, given the track record of A.N.S.W.E.R., an organization that advocates “Counter-Revolution and Resistance in Iraq” (i.e. “Support those who currently are killing American soldiers).

Who knows what these organizations have planned to “disrupt” the convention? Unfortunately for us and possibly even for their members, New York City next week will be a prime target for a terrorist attack. I would much rather have the police, who will be occupied keeping order among the protesters, spend that time looking for people who would happily kill as many Americans as they can and who won’t much give a damn whether the victims are delegates, innocent spectators, or A.N.S.W.E.R members.

August 24, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:28 pm

Anyone know what’s going on at Tasty Manatees?

Yet Another Hiatus.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:07 pm

A Small Victory.


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