August 17, 2004

Today on the McGreevey Front.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:14 pm

I sat down to chronicle the litany of horribles that is today’s political news in New Jersey. However, it turns out that there is no point in my doing so, because, again, The Bad Hair Blog and DynamoBuzz (see also here) have done a first rate job of bringing it all together.

A special congratulations to Fausta of The Bad Hair Blog for participating in a demonstration outside of Drumthwacket, the Governor’s mansion in New Jersey.

Not having to compose a roundup has provided me with the time to do something I have been meaning to do for quite some time, and that is to add The Bad Hair Blog to Mr. Blogroll.

August 16, 2004

Cousin Jack.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:41 pm

Cousin Jack, about whom I have written often in this space, has returned from his blogbreak. I found it interesting that when Jack, who has lived on the West Coast for decades, needed to recharge his batteries, he returned to the Jersey Shore.

I hope he found time for a sausage and pepper sandwich on the boardwalk and Taylor Ham and eggs for breakfast.

Ya can take the boy out of Jersey….

Dems Turn on McGreevey. (Updated)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:12 pm

Every day brings a new surprise in the Garden State. Now, it seems that the Democrat Power Brokers in Jersey want McGreevey to step down within the next three weeks rather than waiting for November 15th, as he had stated in is resignation-but-I’m-hanging-around speech.

Make no mistake about it; this move was not made out of a concern for the democratic process in New Jersey. Rather, the party big shots want McGreevey out now, because they don’t much care for Richard Codey, who will ascend to the governorship if McGreevey waits until November 15th, as promised, and then he would be able to run as incumbent next year.

The Democrat plan apparently ripened over the weekend when U.S. Senator Jon Corzine indicated that he would be willing to run for the governor’s office in November. Jon Corzine, you may remember, is the former Goldman, Sachs & Co. CEO who used $63 million of his own money to get elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000.

Getting Corzine elected is only part of the plan. The political two-cushion shot involves Congressman Robert Menendez getting Corzine’s Senate seat.

As much as I want McGreevey to step down so that there can be a special election in November for the governor’s office, realistically, I think that the prospect of any republican beating Jon Corzine and the well-oiled Democrat machine in New Jersey is, at best a long shot.

But one can always hope.

Update: Fausta at the Bad Hair Blog has an excellent summary of the latest developments in the McGreevey Mess. So does Roberto at DynamoBuzz.

August 15, 2004

Golan Cipel Talks Straight to the Press.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:45 pm

Golan Cipel, Governor McGreevey’s alleged lover and former holder of high-paying state jobs for which he was entirely unqualified, is quoted by an Israeli newspaper as stating that he is not gay.

“It doesn’t bother me that it is said I am gay, but I really am not. I’m straight. On the other hand, to accuse me of being an extortionist? Someone here has lost his mind.”

Question: Can this possibly get any messier?

Answer: Abso-farookin’-lutely. This is New Jersey.

August 14, 2004

Amendment to Previous Post.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:15 pm

WHEREAS, in a comment to the previous post, Craig observed that he would have added as additional “Cool Thing” the ovation given to the teams from Afghanistan and Iraq; and

WHEREAS, in the same comment, Craig opined that he would have added Bob Costas as an additional “Dumb Thing.; and

WHEREAS, Jay Solo, at Accidental Verbosity, had the same view about Costas and reminded me of a couple things Mr. Costas said that I failed to pay enough attention to; and.

WHEREAS, during a telephone conversation with TJ, who is watching the HD feed of the ceremonies with son-in-law, she observed that she and son-in-law thought that the “Olympic Caldron” looked more like a giant “doobie” than a giant cigarette lighter; and

WHEREAS, I agree with all of the above.

NOW, THEREFORE, the previous Post is hereby amended to include the foregoing as additional observations.

Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies – Insta-Review.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:41 am

Olympic team with the best looking women: Italy

Cool thing: The people who were made up to look like marble statues.

Weird thing: The emergence from an artificial lake of a five-story sculpture that resembled female genitalia.

Dumb thing: Katie Couric

The Olympic Caldron: It looks more like a giant cigarette lighter.

Participating countries I never heard of: A shitload.

Best Commercial: Budweiser Clydesdales (One of the team pulling the Budweiser wagon winks at a Clydesdale foal as it watches the team pass by the pasture).

Shitty Beer: Budweiser.

First Political Jackass Move: The Iranian wrestler who may withdraw from the games because his first draw was an Israeli, who, like his nation, does not exist according to Iran.

August 13, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:36 pm

Around these parts, the McGreevey Mess has momentarily diverted our attention from Kerry’s Kontinuing Kambodian Konfusion. It’s getting to be downright comical.

Via Beyond the Black Hole

A Future Comeback?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:30 pm

In a comment to yesterday’s post, Fausta of The Bad Hair Blog said:

“McGreevey’s speech positions him perfectly for a comeback. Just wait & see.”

When I first read the comment, I wondered how she could have come to such a conclusion. However, after reading her post discussing the point, I think she may be right.

I hope we’re both wrong.

August 12, 2004

McGreevey’s Resignation. (Updated 8/13)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:10 pm

Like millions of Jerseyeans, I was caught flatfooted, initially by the late afternoon rumors that the Governor’s resignation was imminent, and later by the actual resignation and his stated reasons for doing so (being gay and having had a consensual homosexual affair).

The initial reactions were predictable. There were the expressions of sympathy and support for the governor and his family for his having to make such a public announcement. That was followed by the statements of gay rights advocates, who were happy that the governor came out, but who were saddened that his sexual preference resulted in his leaving office.

I, for one, am glad to see him go, not because he is gay (I really don’t care about his sexual preference), but rather because he was and is a very bad governor.

Everyone should take a breath before we conclude that the governor’s resignation was solely an “intensely personal matter,” the announcement of which necessitated the first openly gay governor’s resignation, lest he (and we) be tortured by swarms of homophobes. No way. In the days and weeks ahead, we will see more of what is really going on here, none of which is terribly surprising, given the administration’s performance over the last couple years.

More specifically, we shall see that the governor had appointed Golan Cipel, his significant other, who is an Israeli poet and PR guy, and who could not get a US security clearance, to serve as his special counsel for Homeland Security at $110,000 per year. Homeland security, for Chrissake! And, when Cipel could not get a security clearance, and the FBI refused to share sensitive information with him, he stepped down, but retained his special counsel title, salary and a staff of there people.

Now we learn from DynamoBuzz that Cipel currently works for Charles Kushner. You remember him. He’s the McGreevey friend who arranged for a prostitute to have surreptitiously videotaped sex with a potential witnesses against him and then forwarded the tape to the patsy’s wife (Kushner’s sister)!.

In addition, the effective date of McGreevey’s resignation shows that it was not the selfless and apolitical act that he would have us believe. His resignation is not effective until November 15th, which will deprive the citizens of New Jersey of the opportunity to elect a new governor on November 2nd. McGreevey’s timing of the effective date of his resignation ensures that Richard Codey, the democrat president of the state senate, will occupy the governor’s office until 2006, a time when Codey can run as an incumbent, or he can step aside for now-Senator John Corzine to run for governor. Remember, these are the same folks who engineered the Torricelli – Frank Lautenberg switcheroo.

Keep an eye on this one. It will be a wild ride.

Update 8/13/04: The Editorial in the Star Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, questions the timing of McGreevey’s announcement, as well as the timing of the effective date of his regisnation.

August 10, 2004

Bulk Day.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:17 pm

Oscar grouch.jpgToday was “Bulk Pickup Day” in our town. That is the one day per month that residents are permitted to drag their “bulk” items to the curb to be picked by the town’s waste contractors (cue the Soprano’s theme) or the Scavengers (see below), depending on who gets there first.

While the definition of the term “bulk” for purposes of “Bulk Pickup Day” lacks a certain degree of precision, I think it can roughly be defined as stuff (often large stuff, hence the choice of the term “bulk”) that doesn’t qualify as what we would customarily think of as common, everyday household trash (e.g. your chicken bones, ashtray dumpings or banana peels), or “recyclables” (e.g. your paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and aluminum). Although some things seem to elude easy categorization (venetian blinds come to mind), as is the case with pornography, most folks know Bulk Waste when they see it.

In some states, and, oddly enough, even in parts of this state, “Bulk Waste” sometimes finishes out its life serving as lawn ornaments (cue the banjo player), albeit rusty and not particularly attractive (e.g. your old washing machine and refrigerators). However, in my town, I am happy to say that such things are hauled away and taken to God knows where.

I like Bulk Days not only because they prevent Maytags from becoming bird feeders, but also because, on my morning walks on Bulk Day, I can take a look at what kinds of things people are prepared to permanently part with for no money. (Some people hold garage sales to try to make a few bucks on things just prior to their reaching “Bulkdom” status, but that’s a story for another day).

Looking at the various curbside assemblages of castoff stuff may sound like something born of simple nosiness, but really it isn’t. I think about the bulk things more than I do about the prior owners. In fact, I don’t bother to connect any curbside array to its creator. I look at these piles ‘o stuff as an interesting peek into the Zeitgeist.

Here are some of the things I recall from this morning’s walk:

Furniture. Lots of people throw out furniture, but from what I see, they only throw out really, really, raggedy, worn out furniture. My guess is that each piece of furniture that has found its way to the curb has seen years of service by its original owner and then got several more years’ duty either in the basement of the original purchaser or in the house or apartment a friend or relative, who, but for such handoffs, would have no furniture. Thus, in general, by the time furniture becomes “Bulk Waste,” it really looks like crap.

Computers and Computer Stuff. Seeing so much computer stuff being tossed is a fairly recent phenomenon. I suppose it takes several years and a few computers for the typical original purchasers of these things to realize that the Compaq 286 that you bought a dozen years ago (even though it would still work if you plugged it in) is about as useless as a buggy whip today. It is too big to be a paperweight and its shape prevents its use as a hat rack. I have two generations of computers n my basement. I think it’s time for the curb.

Exercise Equipment. Today someone was tossing an inexpensive looking exercise bike. I figured that the wear and tear on the thing probably was from serving as a place to hang laundry. Nobody really interested in exercising buys cheapo exercise bikes like that.

A Fairly Serviceable Golf Bag. I saw this and immediately wondered about the golf bag back-story. I figure that the owner must have gotten lucky and won a new golf bag at a golf outing, and his wife bitched when he wanted to keep his old golf bag and his new golf bag. I can hear her now. “Why the hell do you need two damned golf bags?” The poor bastard. I hope he had more sense than to counter with “Yeah, so why do you need two-dozen purses?” Yeah, that’s gotta be it.

Appliances. Televisions made their appearance at curbside before computers, and it happened around the time when one could buy a new TV for what it would cost to get the old one fixed. These usually appear on the first Bulk Day following the “Cardboard Recycling Day,” when the box for the new TV appears. (Yeah, I look at people’s cardboard too. More Blogfodder.)

Bulk Day Scavengers.

As I mentioned, the town is responsible for picking up Bulk Stuff, but scavenging has become a cottage industry. There are scores of people who begin prowling the streets the night before Bulk Day to see if anyone is throwing away something that they can use, or someone else could use, either by giving it to them or selling it to them.

Some things that the scavengers take are quite predictable and, in fact, probably really are useful or valuable to someone other than the person who tossed the stuff. For example, furniture that is not a complete wreck disappears fast. Once I put out a perfectly good desk (no scratches) and chair (nobody I knew needed it, nor was I about to go through the aggravation of trying to sell it), and it was gone five minutes after I put it out.

By contrast, some things that the scavengers take surprise me. Once, the day before a Bulk Day, my friend (Ken, the Anal Retentive Cruise Director) helped me take apart an aluminum backyard shed. Ken, being anal and all, insisted that we tie up the big pieces of twisted and bent aluminum in bundles. The bundles took up about 25 feet of curb space. They were gone in less than an hour – the day before Bulk Day. I wondered whether the stuff was valuable enough for someone to go to the trouble of picking it up, hauling it around and then selling it. I assume so.

Then there was the time I tossed a box of miscellaneous old band equipment hardware. In the box of junk was one brush – not a hairbrush, but a metal brush with the rubber handle that drummers use to play some slow tunes. Someone stopped the car, looked through the box and took the brush. Go figure.

Perhaps you are thinking, “Yo, Jimbo. You’re looking at people’s garbage. Get your shit together!”

To that, I reply, “Yeah? Yo mama!”

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