Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another poll?

How many of these will I be getting this year?

Interestingly, this one had different questions than the last one (and this pollster was able to pronounce Declan O'Scanlon.) They asked whether I'd seen anything that the candidates for senate were tossing around about scandals, including one I hadn't heard yet: That Jennifer Beck has had her driver's licence suspended five times.

I wonder what she did to deserve that. I'm surprised that Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson didn't tell her how to drive; the state Repugs dictate everything else she says or does.

Beck v. Karcher were on On The Record this weekend; if you want to watch, it's here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Dance with her."

I had to pull out the black silk blouse today.

Most women reading this immediately know what that means. For those who don't: many women have a "funeral outfit." A black dress, shirt, suit or sweater we only use for funerals, or routinely wear with something bright red but for funerals is worn with other black and white clothes. Usually we get no advance notice for needing mourning clothes, so we have something in the back of the closet we can whip out when needed.

Today I had out the dreaded black silk blouse. This time it helped me mark the loss of a relative who was a friend; a woman with a great sense of humor and an easy laugh who was loved by her children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, and so very much by her husband of over forty years.

At the funeral this morning, my cousin, her husband, shook my husband's hand and hugged him. My husband was then directed, in no uncertain terms, to hug me every day, and whenever possible, dance with me. "Don't forget," my cousin said again when we were leaving, "dance with her. Whenever you get the chance."

He's right, and we will do our best not to forget. You never know when the people we love suddenly won't be there, and we won't get to dance together again.

So, call. Send a quick email. Hug. Tell someone how much they mean to you now, before the black blouses make their appearance.

"Dance with her."

Monday, October 22, 2007

I just got polled!

Get yer minds out of the gutter.

I mean that I just took a survey on the phone about the upcoming election. The woman doing the survey sounded very new- I could hear the supervisor over her shoulder prompting her on the questions. Poor thing, she absolutely couldn't pronounce Declan O'Scanlon.

Hopefully, none of us will have to remember how to pronounce it come Nov. 7.

BTW: don't forget, you don't need a reason to vote by "absentee" ballot in Our Fair State. You can request a mail ballot up to seven days before an election. In other words, you don't have an excuse not to vote.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stubbornly Turning Their Backs

That's Frelinghuysen, Garret and Saxton! From this morning's Daily Record:
Gov. Jon S. Corzine accused Reps. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen and Scott Garrett of "stubbornly turning their backs" on the state for opposing the expansion of a children's health insurance plan.
Frelinghuysen, R-Harding and Garrett, R-Wantage, responded by saying Democrats are politicizing the issue and reiterated their support for President Bush's veto of the bill.
Corzine pinpointed the two local congressmen along with Rep. Jim Saxton, R- Mount Holly, as the only three members of the state's 15-member delegation to reject the bill to expand the program by $35 billion over five years.
The governor and other state Democrats are calling on the House members to vote to override President Bush's veto of the bill on Thursday.

The gov, state Democrats, and most people of compassion and thought.

(hat tip Blue Jersey)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Flu shots: Hamilton, Princeton, and more

After my last post about the flu vaccine, I got several searches looking to get flu shot schedules for certain towns. So, since we sometimes like to provide a service here at CoNJL, here are several locations throughout Central NJ:
  • Branchburg Township: click here
  • Hamilton Twp. clinics: click here (click on the "flu and pneumonia clinic" link under health)
  • Robert Wood Johnson clinics, both at Hamilton and Ewing: click here
  • Princeton University: click here (FluFest!)
  • Princeton Borough & Township: click here (seniors only)
  • Ocean County flu clinics: click here
  • Visiting Nurse Association (throughout Monmouth and Middlesex counties): Click here
Most seem to charge $25 or take Medicare, read up before you head out. Some folks shouldn't get a flu shot without checking with a doctor, check out that list here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just a pinch

My throat is a little bit scratchy, I have a lil' bitty headache, and my arm is sore.

All that is because I got my flu shot yesterday. I'm one of those folks who gets a mini-flu after the shot. For about a day, I feel not quite all right; then it's all better.

I never bothered to get a flu shot until a few years back when I got the flu. If you've ever had the flu, you know it's no simple winter cold- it's seven straight days of lying on the couch wondering if death would be preferable to this. It's taking three Advil to start and noticing that it barely takes the fever down. It's going through several boxes of tissues a day. It's hell. For some, it's even deadly.

It's also preventable. Now, every year, I get the vaccine. It doesn't hurt; it's just a pinch and it helps to prevent a whole lot of agony.

Go get your flu shot. There's supposed to be no shortage this year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Better than I could've said it- drunken sailor edition

This is from Eugene Robinson's Friday column in the Washington Post, which my paper got around to printing today:

To say that George W. Bush spends money like a drunken sailor is to insult every gin-soaked patron of every dockside dive in every dubious port of call. If Bush gets his way, the cost of his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will soon reach a mind-blowing $600 billion. Despite turning a budget surplus into a huge deficit, the man still hasn't met a tax cut he doesn't like. And when the Republicans were in charge of Congress, Bush might as well have signed their pork-stuffed spending bills with a one-word rubber stamp: "Whatever."

So for Bush to get religion on fiscal responsibility at this late date is, well, a joke. And for him to make his stand on a measure that would have provided health insurance to needy children is a punch line that hasn't left many Republicans laughing.

Hasn't left many voters laughing either. Certainly not any parents or children.

Bush's veto Wednesday of a bipartisan bill reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program was infuriatingly bad policy. An estimated 9 million children in this country are not covered by health insurance -- a circumstance that should shock the consciences of every American. Democrats and Republicans worked together to craft an expansion of an existing state-run program that would have provided coverage for about 4 million children who currently don't have it.

It was one of those art-of-the-possible compromises designed to advance the ball toward what has become a national goal. Health care is arguably the biggest domestic issue in the presidential contest and, while the candidates and the country may be all over the map in terms of comprehensive solutions, there's a pretty broad consensus that some way has to be found to ensure that children, at least, are covered.

Make that an extremely broad consensus: According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week, 72 percent of Americans supported the bill Bush vetoed.

72%. Wow.

Head stuck firmly where no information or sunlight will reach it- that's Teflon W! (Along with Rep. Jim Saxton, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, and Rep. Scott Garrett- Our Fair State's own who voted against the bill.)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My media-verse, updated

30 Rock is the funniest thing on TV.

Watch the 1st episode of this season. There's a part of that which is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on television. Ever. Including Soap.

Friday, October 05, 2007

"Clean Election" Debates for the 14th

The League of Women Voters is sponsoring the two Clean Election debates (required by the program):

On Oct. 10, there will be an hourlong debate among the 14th District Assembly candidates starting at 7 p.m. at Monroe Township High School Performing Arts Centre.

On Oct. 22, an hourlong debate will take place among 14th District Senatorial candidates followed immediately by a one-hour debate among 14th District Assembly candidates. This event will begin at 6 p.m. at Steinert High School in Hamilton.

Mark your calendars!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Out of touch Jim Saxton- again

Today's Times of Trenton had a nice juxtaposition on pg. A7. At the top of the page is an article about Jim Saxton voting against children's health insurance and the Democrats targeting him to change his vote: ( I can't find the article on, but since it's an AP piece, here it is at the Home News Tribune.)

Rep. Jim Saxton, R-3rd Dist., cast one of 159 nay votes in the House on the bipartisan bill subsidizing health care for children and families. Though the measure passed with 265 votes, it's still 15 votes shy to override a presidential veto.
President Bush vetoed the bill Wednesday. A veto-override vote has not been scheduled.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began running radio ads Monday targeting Saxton and seven others they view as vulnerable in the next election, hoping to spark voter ire and, ultimately, change their votes, said committee spokeswoman Carrie James.
"The Democrats are clearly using children and children's health care as a political tool as they gear up toward an election," (Saxton spokesperson Jeff) Hollendonner said. "It has been well-known for months President Bush would not accept something with such high spending."

Well, Bush wouldn't accept something that helps American children with such high spending; he's willing to shovel money at Iraq, though.

Oh, sorry, went off subject there. Anyway, back to my morning paper: at the bottom of pg. A7 is a Newhouse article about a survey done by the Rutgers Center for State Heatlth Policy: (here, from the Star Ledger:)

Concern about the availability of health insurance runs so deep that a majority of New Jerseyans would support a tax increase to guarantee benefits, a new survey revealed yesterday. Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), who is preparing legislation to provide universal health care coverage in the state, said he was greatly encouraged by the poll.
While it isn't clear Vitale's legislation will require tax increases, the Rutgers survey showed 57.1 percent would support some tax increase to ensure that everyone has health insurance they can't lose. It found 47.9 percent said they would accept an increase larger than $500 annually to fix the nagging social problem.

So, Rep. Jim Saxton, and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, and Rep. Scott Garrett, your constituents here in Our Fair State are so concerned about health insurance they'd be willing to accept a tax increase to pay for it. Did'ja see that? Do you care about what Our Fair State's residents actually want before you vote, or are you just willing to fall into Bush Lockstep?

Cross-posted at Bluejersey

My media-verse for October

My media-verse is about to change drastically. Yesterday, I recieved my Amazon shipment with my new Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace and my new Voice of Crow, so there's my audio and literary media-verse for the next week right there.

Also, Top Chef ended last night (I didn't see it yet I was too tired to stay up I'll watch it tonight don't tell me who won lalala I can't hear you) so for TV viewing I'll stick with DVDs. We borrowed the British show Chef! and I do love it. Lenny Henry is great.

What's haunting your media-verse lately?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

So this is Clean Elections?

GOP leader balks at signing Baroni letter Party faithful decries content as unethical and negative. From today's Times of Trenton:

Racquel Chiarella of Monroe considered herself a faithful Republican, so when she was asked to write a letter to the editors of several newspapers in support of state Senate candidate Bill Baroni, she was more than happy to oblige.
But when Baroni's staffers sent her a form letter to sign that was critical of Democratic Senate candidate Seema Singh, Chiarella not only refused, but resigned her leadership position with the Monroe GOP committee.
"Bill Baroni is about running clean campaigns and I felt that this letter was unethical and so negative that I wouldn't sign it," Chiarella said. "If it had just been a letter supporting (Baroni), I would have signed it without a problem, but because it was attacking his opponent and I don't even know if the issues it raised are legitimate, I could not put my name on it."
Chiarella said she was originally contacted by Baroni staffer Arnaz Ali, who said the campaign was looking for a Monroe resident to sign a letter in favor of the Republican. The instructions accompanying the letter asked Chiarella to send a copy to four newspapers.

Form letters-to-the-editor are pretty common in campaigns, but who would write one so unethical that even the party faithful wouldn't sign it? Well, of course, it was all done by an overzealous young staffer (according to Baroni spokeswoman Stacy Schuste). Isn't it always some young staffer?

Monday, October 01, 2007


Seen a lot of ads on cable TV recently pro-Ellen Karcher and anti-Jennifer Beck. 'S nice to know that the Dems take the 12th seriously in this election.

I've seen Jennifer Beck at town halls and such a couple of times, and honestly- even if I wasn't a die-hard Ellen Karcher fan, I'd be anti-Beck. She spent no time doing anything other than spewing the NJ Republican line. She struck me as someone who has no idea what she wants to do for Our Fair State, just someone who wants to get elected to a higher office. That's a lousy recipe for a State Senator; it was a lousy recipe for an Assemblycritter too.

Go Ellen!