Damaged Goods Christie Damaged

New Quinnipiac Poll has him at the lowest approval rating of ANY governor this year. 38% approval to 56% disapproval.

New Jersey voters disapprove 56 – 38 percent of the job Christie is doing as governor, his lowest approval rating ever and the lowest approval rating for any governor this year in the nine states surveyed by Quinnipiac University.

Lower than Rick Scott, even?

Yes! Lower than Rick Scott.

His disapproval jumped 8 points and 65% in New Jersey say he’d make a bad president

New Jersey voters say 65 – 29 percent that Gov. Christie would not make a good president, and voters say 64 – 33 percent that he should not run for president.

But they didn’t poll on whether they’d like to see him on Fox News yelling at people after O’Reilly. The entire GOP clown car will be competing for jobs like that because Hillary is a cruisin’

54 – 34 percent over Paul;
56 – 30 percent over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee;
53 – 33 percent over Bush;
54 – 34 percent over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida;
54 – 32 percent over Walker;
58 – 30 percent over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas

U.S. History Files – When They Tossed Out the Rascals

Our beloved Congress has a 10% approval rating and a 95% reelection rate. Everybody thinks Congress is fucked up but their Congressman is okey dokey. It doesn’t make any sense at all, of course. And funny business at the state level with gerrymandering districts to a ridiculous level makes a bad situation impossible. But that wasn’t always the case.

Two thirds of the 14th Congress (1815-1817) was either defeated for reelection or decided not to run. TWO FUCKING THIRDS.

How the hell did that happen?

The 14th Congress was considered remarkably productive. They passed a protective tariff that was very popular, they authorized the Second Bank of the United States which was fairly controversial at the time, but since President Madison had come over to Alexander Hamilton’s belief that we needed such a thing, after having been against it for decades, most of his party went along.

Where they went unforgivably off the track, for the public of the day, was when they voted themselves a pay raise. They had been receiving $6 a day and they voted for themselves a salary of $1500 a year. It wasn’t unreasonable. 28 civil servants earned more. The president got $25,000 a year, but had to run the White House with that money. From Daniel Howe’s Pulitzer Prize winning “What Hath God Wrought – The Transformation of America, 1815-1848”:

Given the nationalist agenda, it made perfect sense to strengthen the national legislature by making service in it more attractive to talent. The electorate, however, would have none of it: Their wrath fell on Federalist and Republican (Democrats) alike. All told, of the 81 members who voted for the bill, only 15 won reelection. Even some who voted against it were punished with defeat, on the grounds that they should not have accepted the money.

The biggest problem the 14th Congress had was that they voted the increases in pay for themselves, not just for their successors. The public in Nov. 1816 found that an unpardonable sin.

Imagine what they would have thought of NAFTA.

Asshole of the Week – Daniel Lapin

This is next level crazy so get ready for this. Rabbi Daniel Lapin went on a show hosted by “the Home of the Whopper” the dread Family Research Counsel and said that liberals are sexually attracted to Islamic terrorists.

“Today, after a 30- or 40-year epidemic of leftism that has swept its sordid stain across America, we’ve become much more feminized and we are attracted to the masculine strength and brutality of Islam. This is the girl in the high school being attracted to the bad, tough guy and that’s really what’s happening. There is no other way that I know of to explain this utterly irrational — and as soon as I said to myself that it’s irrational, I said, where else do you see irrational behavior? When people are sexually attracted you see irrational behavior. On a spiritual level, the feminized American left, show business, politicians, particularly academia, all the people who love Islam, when Christianity and Judaism are exactly the reverse.”

You can hear it here. Mind blown.

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Damaged Goods Christie Making Noises

Chris “Damaged Goods” Christie (formerly known as “The Luckiest Man in America”) is making those noises that indicate he’s going to run despite all the shadows hanging over him and his horrible record in NJ. So what if half your staff is going to be indicted, your state credit rating keeps getting downgraded, judges have said you have to make pension payments you tried to avoid, the casinos you personally funneled money to are going belly up and 69% of New Jerseyans say you’d make a bad president? When you’ve got nothing you’ve got nothing to lose.

1. It’s the GOP, it’s a crap shoot no matter how bad your numbers are or how damaged you are. Nobody’s popular with every segment of the party. Damaged Goods’ odds suck for him but what the hell?

2. It’s the GOP, you run to burnish your conservative grifter bona fides, by golly.

What are you going to do when you’re term limited out of the current job you suck at and president is the only other elected job you would consider taking, even if there’s no way you’ll even be the nominee? You run a bullshit campaign for president talking the crazy conservative talk so that you can get a radio or TV gig.

DG’s future is as the next radio or TV loudmouth. That’s the one place (other than NJ) where being a loud, ignorant blowhard does not count against you. Tell average people to “shut up and sit down” at a townhall and it’s iffy but tell callers to “shut up” and your ratings go through the roof. We need another Morton Downey Jr. like a hole in the head but get ready ’cause DG has got the lungs, belly and gall for the job.

But first things first, DG has to reintroduce himself to GOP donors and voters to get some traction. The best way to do that is to reestablish his fearless persona by stepping directly on the third rail of Social Security reform (for donors) and going hard right on social issues (for voters).

So he proposes means testing for SS (reduced benefits for $80K a yr. and up, eliminated for $200K a yr.), which is a bad idea but popular, because it makes sense to too many people who have bought into the premise that SS is in trouble, so we have to do something. If we have to do something then it makes sense to cut benefits for people who have some money. Then he couples that with a horrible idea that is rightfully unpopular: raising the retirement age to 69! Oh and raising Medicare eligibility to 67.

This is awesome because, if he makes this his campaign raison d’etre, he will cause all of the rest of the GOP field to compete for worse and worse ways to “fix SS” and that’s a 75 pound barbell around any of their necks. If Hilary comes out for expansion and lifting the cap, as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have, she’ll have a perfect contrast issue. Although given this GOP she wont be lacking those.

The other issue Damaged Goods came out strong against was, get this, legal marijuana. Yep. I’m going to fix Social Security for the kids so they’ll vote for me (although they will have to retire when they’re 69, stay healthy people!) but I’ll take away their pot. That’s what I call a mixed message.

Well, it would be if it was meant to go out to the real world, but it’s not. Damaged Goods is talking to the base here. The 75 year old Fox News audience that still thinks marijuana causes you to jump out of windows and race hot rods up suburban streets. There’s an audience out there for reruns of Dragnet and Damaged Goods is going right after them.

Citing an “enormous addiction problem” in the U.S., Christie, who has not yet announced a presidential run but has launched a political action committee, said that a very clear message needs to be sent “from the White House on down through federal law enforcement.”

“States should not be permitted to sell it and profit” from legalizing marijuana, he said.

I can hear him on the radio now: “Shut up, put the joint down and don’t even think about retiring you idiot!”

Frances Perkins – My Nominee to Replace Jackson on the $20

20 dollar bill
There’s a movement to get Andrew Jackson removed from the twenty dollar bill. While I have issues with the general practice of judging people by the values of a different era, it’s not hard to find Pres. Jackson reprehensible enough by any standard to make a change on the $20. Like Jefferson he was a slave owner, but he was far more racist and his crimes and double dealing against Native Americans are well documented. So I’d go further and say that the Democratic Party can do better to honor its beginnings by replacing Jackson in their annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinners with Martin Van Buren, who was actually more responsible for the modern Democratic Party than Jackson. Old Kinderhook just wasn’t as popular as Old Hickory.

This revision of history coincides with the fine idea of honoring a woman on paper money for the first time. There are many very worthy women in our history. The problem is that none of them is remarkably well known by the public except for maybe Eleanor Roosevelt (yes!) and Rosa Parks (sorry, no!). But my choice, even over Eleanor is Frances Perkins, the first woman cabinet member in U.S. history who served as Secretary of Labor under FDR. This article by David Brooks is actually quite good.

Perkins’s grandmother had told her that when somebody opens a door, you should always walk through. So Perkins confronted FDR with terms if she was to become his labor secretary. If she were to join the cabinet, FDR would have to commit to a broad array of social insurance policies: massive unemployment relief, a giant public works program, minimum wage laws, a Social Security program for old age insurance, and the abolition of child labor. “I suppose you are going to nag me about this forever,” Roosevelt told her. She confirmed she would.

Perkins was one of the most important voices in FDR’s sphere because of her sincere concern for social change. She was a key figure in the enactment of Social Security, unemployment insurance, the minimum wage abolition of child labor, etc. As much as Eleanor, Frances Perkins was FDRs conscience that kept nagging him and pushing him on behalf of the poor and afflicted.

She was, as Kirstin Downey would put it in the title of her fine biography, “The Woman Behind the New Deal.”