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Rogue Wave

Now that elections are over, I have a few observations, in no particular order:

1.) New Jersey.  I don’t like Christie, didn’t vote for him and think he’s a bully.  But I do kinda understand why New Jersey re-elected him.  First, I’ve noticed that Democrats have been tending to not support candidates that are liberal.  I’ve mentioned more than once that there are no women in the Congressional delegation in either the House or the Senate and it’s been that way for a couple of decades.  In 2006, there were a couple of liberal candidates that got very close to winning congressional seats and were supported vigorously by the party.  That all changed in 2008 when the Obama campaign took over the machinery after Obama secured the nomination.

Second, there is Sandy.  It was pretty rough.  I lived 36 miles from NYC and the shore and it was still awful.  Power lines down for about a month.  No school for a couple of weeks.  Whole forests decimated.  Price gouging on firewood when my entire township couldn’t turn on their electric or gas heaters in November. And gas lines like you would not believe.  Seriously, people.  It was no picnic.  But there was one thing that stood out for me about Sandy that made me think of Christie.  It was this.  Two days before it hit, I was on my way to the movie theater to pick up Brook and I was at a red light at Route 206, which is the only, inadequate single lane road in central NJ.  It was dark.  All of the sudden, a convoy of electric company utility trucks  and cherry pickers passed by.  There were about 20 vehicles.  That was weird enough but what was even weirder was that they were from out of state.  They were from Michigan or Vermont or somewhere.

You can say a lot of negative things about Christie, and I have, but when push came to shove and he saw that monster bearing down on us, he swallowed his pride and begged for help.  And he got it.  He couldn’t do anything to stop nature but he went beyond the call of duty in making it bearable.  The state is still a mess.  In particular, the infrastructure is pathetic for a state that is essentially the suburbs of NYC and Philadelphia.  I put a lot of the blame on the Republicans for failing to change what is the worst part of living in NJ.

Taxes.  That is the third part of why Christie won.  Ironic because his party should take the blame for how ridiculously expensive it is to live there.  The property tax burden is especially brutal for middle class people living in the suburbs.  It’s actually not so bad for the very wealthy.  Some wealthy townships are in sending districts, which means they send their kids to a neighboring school district for high school.  Consequently, their taxes are relatively low in comparison.  And there’s not much of a sales tax, which is great if you live in NYC and can go shopping in NJ but now that I live in PA, I can see why a sales tax is so useful. The wealthy can’t get out of paying at least *something*.  In NJ, the wealthy can pick and choose what taxes they want to pay and they’d prefer to put the entire burden of financing the state on the backs of people who are in the middle who own houses.  My taxes on a modest little townhouse in a middle class burb?  $6700/year.  Ridiculous.

When it comes to elected officials, NJ taxpayers go with the person who promises not to raise their taxes.  They’ve had bad experiences with democrats who promise to reform the tax system and then throw up their hands in frustration and don’t do anything.  That would be Jon Corzine.  And they’re not fond of Democrats who say taxes have to be raised, like Jim Florio, because, frankly, there’s only so much blood you can squeeze from a stone.

Then there are the teachers’ unions.  Now, I was on the school board and I don’t begrudge teachers their salaries and pensions.  It is expensive to live in NJ and teachers are making a living wage there and that’s about it.  And I don’t think Christie is being fair or honest when he says NJ teachers produce a bad product.  Those teachers are pretty good for about 95% of children who live there.  They absolutely SUCK when it comes to the gifted though.  It’s criminal.  No, really, I mean it.  Now that I live in PA and the local school system tested Brook and we know exactly why she didn’t fit in to school for 11 years, it’s kind of a relief to know that there was nothing wrong with *HER*.  It was all the NJ teachers’ collective hive mind and their ridiculous ideas about heterogenous classroom experiences.  I do not miss NJ when it comes to the schools but I realize that we are a special case.  If you have a reasonably bright kid, his or her future on Wall Street is all but assured as long as they are obedient, compliant and willing to stay up all night.

That being said, there are a lot fewer New Jerseyans who can afford to pay these teachers.  That’s because the pharmaceutical industry, which was one of the few remaining non-financial industries left in NJ, pulled out en masse in the last 4 years.  I am not exaggerating when I say that everyone I worked with in the past 25 years was laid off because of site closings, mergers and other reductions in force.  Some of these people auditioned for new jobs in their companies and had to relocate to Groton or Cambridge or the west coast.  Others went to work for CROs.  Others are struggling  with small start ups or are self-employed.  Most of them are making much, much less money and many of them have no health insurance.

I was not surprised to see that the Obama administration is dismayed by the number of older people signing up for the exchanges.  I would love to see the numbers.  I’m guessing that there are a lot of 45-65 year olds in NJ who are in that cohort.  Their companies abandoned them in one of the most expensive places of the country to live and health insurance on the individual market is out of reach for most people.  That’s one of the reasons I moved to PA.  At least I could somewhat afford health insurance, although probably not for very much longer.  It’s sucking up all my savings.

So, anyway, the bottom line in NJ, as I see it, is still taxes.  Perversely, the higher property taxes are, the more a Republican who promises not to raise taxes is likely to do well.  A Democrat is either going to find NJ hard to reform or slap on a new tax and nobody there wants or can afford.  So, until the economy improves, don’t be surprised that Christie is a winner in NJ.  But let’s also not forget that he may be a local phenomenon.

2.) Virginia.  Ok, some of you lefties have a very weird thought pattern when it comes to Terry McAuliffe.  It’s like “He turned me into a newt!” and he wears a long pointy nose.  I think it has something to do with the idea that pure politicians are cool, detached, intellectual types who do not dirty their hands with money.  Yeah, that’s how we got Obama.  HE didn’t dirty his hands with money.  All of his financier class backers did.  I have read a lot of allegations about McAuliffe’s money but nothing feels or looks or reads as anything tangible.

Oh, but he was involved with the Clintons.  uh-huh.  That’s the thing, isn’t it?  The thing about the Clintons is that the Big Dog admitted that he made a mistake when he listened to his economic advisors.  He seems to have learned.  You would think that Obama would have learned too but he’s actually worse, so, you know, there’s that.

From what I can see of the Virginia voter demographics I’m going to guess that a.) it was an off year election, b.) many of the Democrats’ key constituencies are wondering if it’s worth voting at all ala Russell Brand and c.) many Republican hard ass so-called Christian types are still motivated to go out and punish people who insist on having sex without their permission, like that’s the only thing in the world that matters.  But it still wasn’t enough for the Republicans to win.

Never the less, I don’t know if there is going to be a wave election next year.  I’m predicting that Obamacare is NOT going to get better.  I think it’s going to be the equivalent of the work house for Americans of a certain age.  Everyone is going to be very, very afraid to lose their job because they might have to go on Obamacare.  We’ll see.  I’ve been right about Obama so far.

Gotta go.

16 Responses

  1. Back in the nadir that was the Reagan Administration we all had the hope that it would get better, it did for a while in the 1990’s. But then Bush and Obama fixed all that.

    There are a couple of bill floating around Harrisburg to remedy the property tax situation but a general distrust by the public that all they will do is increase our tax burden.

    I’m going to support candidates who promise to scrap Obama-care and go Single Payer. If I can’t find any candidates willing to do that, I’ll support a candidate that kills the ACA and replaces it with nothing.

    The one Bill Clinton shouldn’t have listened to was Monica, his actions sowed the seeds of the downfall of the Democratic Party.

    • I don’t get that. The Supreme Court installed Junior and after eight years of him and Cheney, the Republican Party was on life support.
      As it has been said, the Dems could have nominated a club sandwhich and won in 08 (why the felt it was necessary to put a thumb on the scale for Obama is another story.)
      Obama won and, now, thanks to hisplanned or unplanned incompetence and failure to deliver to the poor saps who voted for him, it’s the Democrats who are gasping for air like beached carp.
      How is all that the fault of Clinton, the most popular American political figure alive?

      • I do know that carp are a freshwater fish, I just like the sound of beached carp.
        That is all.

      • Incompetence is often a cover for malice or hidden agendas. He was very competent at immunizing and impunitizing the banks and others who caused the crisis. He was very competent at preserving the Bush Tax Cuts and making them permanent under cover of a symbolic token tax-rise on the “very richest”. He has very competently used the greater debt-load produced thereby to extort more support for his plan to cut Social Security and Medicare. He is recruiting ever more Catfood Democrats to that cause. He has very competently immunized and impunitized Bush-Pelosi Administration personnel from any legal exposure to their admitted or even bragged-about war crimes and violations of international treaty. He and his Catfood Democrats have very competently achieved a so-called health care plan which was designed to dis-insure as many already insured people as possible and force them to pay more money for often-worse insurance, and in many cases pay more money to subsidize poorer people as conduits to transfer all that subsidy money straight to the insurance companies.

        • It’s true. Obama appears very competent to Wall Street, The Banks and Manufacturers of horrible weaponry, just as did Bush,Jr.
          But like Bush, I don’t think Obama is the mastermind. He, too, is a showroom salesman, or as John Smart used to say “errand boy.”

      • The SCOTUS was able to steal the election because it was so close. It was close due to the machinations of the print and broadcast media painting Al Gore a feckless and a serial liar. This played in part because the Ken Starr witch hunt caught Bill out in a lie about his relationship with Monica. At least when a Democrat shoot some one in the face they don’t end up in the ER.

        • It was largely that. I don’t know how much actual influence a certain Green Party candidate had on attriting Gore’s numbers in Florida. I know a certain Green Party candidate ran precisely and only to attrit Gore’s numbers enough in Florida and elsewhere to get Bush elected, because this was a certain Green Party candidates sole and only goal.

          But then of course a certain stupid local Democratic operative designed butterfly ballots designed to trick Gore wanna-voters into voting for Buchanan. More Gore wanna-voters voted for Buchanan because of that butterfly ballot than Nader voters voted for Nader.
          So the Dem operative who designed those butterfly ballots deserves more credit for Bush’s victory than Nader does. Then too, massive anti-black voter purging from the rolls.

          And finally the Democrats and Gore were too nice a guy to challenge the Florida Electoral Delegation in the Congress. The Black Caucus tried, but Gore was too nice a guy. He didn’t want it as bad as Bush did.

          • But then of course a certain stupid local Democratic operative designed butterfly ballots designed to trick Gore wanna-voters into voting for Buchanan. More Gore wanna-voters voted for Buchanan because of that butterfly ballot than Nader voters voted for Nader

            And, let’s not forget that crucial and contested state’s, SOS, Katherine Harris, appointed by one Candidate’s brother, Governor Jeb Bush

          • Ah yes. Good reminder.

  2. RD:
    Always like your blogs…they bring some senses to the overcrowded world of nonsense.
    and I agree with you about Bill Clinton…he let his cock and his ego to blur his better judgment. I still believe that Monica was a hired “belle” to catch him with his pants down; sucker!

  3. Glad to have your insight.
    When I watched Christie in the aftermath of Sandy, I could almost feel the people of New Jersey bond to him, just as a slim majority of Americans bonded to Bill Clinton after the Oklahoma bombing.
    It’s that mystical bond of which Lincoln spoke. I knew, then, that Clinton would be re-elected.
    I don’t think that Christie’s mojo will play in Peoria.
    Although, after eight years with Mr. Cool, Christie’s pissed off teamster act (as if) might just fly.
    My husband is getting laid off in January, after several reprieves, and we’re just a little too young for Medicare; so Obamacare here we come.
    Unless, of course, we miss the deadline for enrolling or some such bullshit.
    Thank God, McAuliffe won. Those teaparty faves are a disaster, and, you know, I don’t have many illusions about the current Democratic brand; but the teaparty “movement” should have been strangled in its crib.
    Did you catch Frank (Pancho) Bruni’s NYT column on Hillary? He still thinks that the Clintons are the evileeeeeest thing to ever happen in politics.
    Frank and his ilk just can’t stand it that the hillbilly governed well and that Obama, once again, proved what a feckless, useless lot are the best and the brightest.”
    Stevenson v Truman, indeed.

    • “Frank and his ilk just can’t stand it that the hillbilly governed well and that Obama, once again, proved what a feckless, useless lot are the best and the brightest.
      Stevenson v Truman, indeed.” —nail meet hammer. Think back to Carter’s initial set of Washington woes and you’ll notice that all began with a particular subset of the Democratic party.

      The Civil War lives on.

      Clinton/Warren 2016

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