If this is class warfare, the Republicans aren't putting up a fight: Mulshine

By Paul Mulshine | The Star Ledger
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on January 19, 2015

Chris Christie and Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign; both talk a good game against class warfare but both have fought on the wrong side.

 

The great H.L. Mencken once observed that “Every election is an advance auction of stolen goods.”

In that light, let us consider the tax proposal President Obama is expected to introduce in his State of the Union speech tonight.

The proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy and cut taxes on the middle class will of course be dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Congress. It’s really nothing more than a debating point for Democrats going into next year’s presidential election.

The Republicans expect to win that debate by accusing the Democrats of “class warfare.” But if this is a war, the Republicans are barely fighting back.

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N.J. teens feel impact of Dr. King's civil rights movie

By Barry Carter | The Star-Ledger
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on January 19, 2015

Trae Daniels, right, with his father, Steve, after watching “Selma,’’ a movie about voting rights protests under the leadership of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Daniels was among 50 students from Jersey City who were treated to a free screening of the film by the city's recreation department.

 

The historical civil rights movie wasn’t even 10 minutes old before it scared Trae Daniels.

He didn’t expect to see four little girls, decked out in their Sunday best, die in the blink of an eye when their church was bombed in Birmingham, Ala.

Daniels leaned over toward his dad, Steve, wondering if they had gone to the wrong theater at Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City

“Is this a horror flick,’’ said the father, recalling what his 15-year-old son asked him.

“I said no. I had to explain to him real quick that actually happened.’’

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How did N.J. get into this pension mess?

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By Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com 

TRENTON — Some 800,000 people, working and retired, are beneficiaries of New Jersey’s pension system, a collection of funds going deeper into the red.

It’s a system that Gov. Chris Christie, in his State of the State address last week, called “an insatiable beast.

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N.J. lawyer argues Christie's 2011 pension deal is invalid

By Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on January 15, 2015

CWA members protest outside the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse before a ruling by Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson in favor of Governor Christie's grab from the state pension fund to balance the state budget. Trenton, NJ 6/25/14

TRENTON — A lawyer for the state argued today that Gov. Chris Christie cannot be forced to make full pension payments because the 2011 law committing him to fully fund the state system in exchange for union concessions was unconstitutional.

Interrupting the assistant attorney general, Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson said the state’s case suggest that 2011 promise was “a hollow commitment.”

“You’re saying it should have been known at the time that it was a false promise,” Jacobson asked. “You’re saying that from the get-go, this statute, the requirement to make these contributions was void.”

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Deserted by Devils, Nets and Profits, Izod Center in North Jersey Is to Close

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On Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Newark airport workers hold sit-down protest

By Mark Bonamo | 01/15/15

PolitickerNJ

 

NEWARK – On the 86th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., more than 150 protestors used a tactic often deployed by the slain civil rights leader – a sit-down, civil disobedience protest, this time on a Newark bridge to support better working conditions at nearby Newark Airport.

“If we stick together, and we continue to fight the good fight, we can get whatever we need for working families in this city, and working people in this state,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka as an assembly of airport workers, politicians, clergy and labor activists gathered at Newark’s Weequahic Park on Thursday before they marched to the middle of Haynes Avenue Bridge overlooking the airport’s control tower. “The folks at the airport should be ashamed of themselves for not doing what they know they should do when they are making billions of dollars in profits every year and workers can barely feed their families. Do the workers right at the airport.”

State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) noted that he made a detour from his nearby Elizabeth home to attend the protest.

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Chris Christie has accomplished little as governor, most N.J. residents say in poll

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By Matt Arco | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com 

TRENTON — Three-quarters of New Jersey residents believe Gov. Chris Christie has made minor or no real accomplishments to the state since first taking office, according to a new poll.

A majority of residents rate Christie average when stacked about against his predecessors and 75 percent indicated his accomplishments for the state have been minor or minimal, according to the Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll released today. It found only about one-in-five residents, just 19 percent, said the Christie years have been good for the average Garden State citizen.

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Federal judges questioning NYPD surveillance of N.J. Muslims

By The Associated Press
on January 13, 2015

n this file photo, University Hospital in Newark and the Islamic Community Health Collaborative host the 10th annual Unified Pre-Ramadan Health Fair at Rutgers Medical School in Newark.

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court appeared concerned Tuesday that the New York Police Department may have spied on Muslim groups following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks solely because of their religion.

The three-judge panel questioned whether police had any specific leads to justify the surveillance of Muslim businesses, mosques and student groups in New Jersey following 9/11. The practice went on from 2002 to at least 2012, according to a lawsuit filed by several Muslim groups.

U.S. District Judge William Martini of Newark had thrown the lawsuit out, concluding that police could not keep watch "on Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself."

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Governor Trumpets Reforms – and Makes Surprising Pitch for School Vouchers

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Chris Christie 2016 presidential campaign shows signs of igniting as top RNC fundraiser steps down

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Gov. Chris Christie. 
(Aris Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media)

By Matt Arco | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — The Republican National Committee’s top fundraiser is stepping down this week as Gov. Chris Christie edges toward a 2016 presidential campaign.

Ray Washburne, the Texas-based fundraiser who was named national finance chairman in 2013, will be leaving his post, the RNC confirmed today.

The Associated Press reported that Washburne is preparing to join a prospective Christie campaign. Washburne told the AP he won’t hold the position “at the end of the week” but declined to comment further because Christie has yet to announce whether he’ll run for the White House in 2016.

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