Bramnick has a message. Will NJ Republicans follow?

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick recently released this most excellent video.  Bramnick starts by detailing what Republicans are against

But then, more importantly, Bramnick lays out three solid policy positions that points New Jersey Republicans in the direction of what we should be for

(1) Cap State Spending at 2% (just like local government spending is capped).

(2) Cut the State Income Tax by 10% (make NJ more competitive w. other states).

(3) Full Deduction of Property Taxes on the State Income Tax (a move that takes the property tax issue away from Democrats like Andy Kim, Mikie Sherrill, and Josh Gottheimer).

In the video, Bramnick is engaging, folksy, and compelling.  So finally, here is the core of something to move the Republican Party forward.  So why isn’t everyone banging the same drum? 

Two days after Bramnick’s video went up on Youtube, the NJGOP – the State Republican Party – blasted out its weekly newsletter via email.  There was some very good stuff in there.  Unfortunately, the Assembly Republican Leader’s video was not part of the newsletter.  An oversight that should be corrected at the earliest opportunity. 

On Thursday, the Garden State Initiative – a free-market, pro-business think tank – held a meeting about the state of New Jersey’s economy and how it can be improved.  All the experts present agreed that the business climate went south after the Democrats gained control over the Legislature, nearly two decades ago.

That said, the most prominent plan for recovery featured at the gathering was the one put forward by Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat and so a leader in the party responsible for the downturn in the first place.  As with legislation protecting the Bill of Rights (specifically the 2nd Amendment) and culturally traditionalist social legislation (like the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Protection Act), the Senate President will always be handicapped in how much he can accomplish by his need to appease the far-Left of his party’s caucus.  In the end, Sweeney will go as far as Leftist Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg allows him to go – and is anyone under the illusion that this Marxist-lite fellow-traveler is pro-business or pro-taxpayer?

In a column published on his Save Jersey news website, Matt Rooney brilliantly dissected the Trenton Democrats last week…  

We hear a lot about the “working class” from Trenton, but each and every policy and budget are designed to put the screws to taxpayers in favor of keeping these rich guys and their power structures chugging right along.

What I’m saying is that Democrats’ lofty rhetoric doesn’t match their reality. On either side of this fight. New Jersey’s true form of government is a blend of socialism and oligarchy (with a sprinkle of kleptocracy for good measure).

So why aren’t pro-business and pro-taxpayer forces pushing the Republican Plan put forward by Bramnick and making its three points the basis of not only the recovery of our party’s fortunes, but those of the state’s taxpayers?  Why aren’t they pulling together behind the Bramnick plan, then building on it, to tackle the obvious divide between the haves (those municipalities who bathe in money, courtesy of the Abbott decision) and the have nots (those who pay the highest property taxes in America)?   

As New Jersey 101.5’s Dennis Malloy recently noted, the public frustration over property taxes and government in the Garden State is stifling:  “Being the state with the highest property taxes in the nation used to be the number one issue in almost any campaign for public office in New Jersey. Lately, (crickets)! Why? …most people have given up hope that it will ever be normal or fair or affordable to most people. There is no one on the horizon with the guts to be honest about it and promise to fix it…” 

And yet, in the midst of this frustration, there are thousands of brave souls who are spending their time and energy – both in and outside social media – to address the oppression of their neighbors and fellow taxpayers.  Too often, they find themselves on their own, without the assistance or direction from the Republican Party, the business community, or even established figures within the state’s conservative movement. 

Take the grassroots effort to Recall Governor Phil Murphy, as an example.  This effort is in the process of training hundreds of volunteers in the basics of one-on-one political outreach that could be harvested in future GOTV operations.  But is anyone providing them with any real assistance?  Listen to this appeal from one of the most effective recall leaders, Bill Hayden of Sussex County:

https://www.facebook.com/raidenhayden/videos/10214053859525724/?notif_id=1557702128406942&notif_t=live_video

In May 1940, the allied armies of France, Great Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands faced the threat posed by a newly re-armed Germany.  One of the great myths about the Fall of France is that the Germans had more tanks.  They did not.  In numbers, weaponry, and armor-protection, the German tanks were outclassed by those of the French Army and its allies.  So why did the Germans so easily over-power the superior tanks of the French?

The French used their tanks piecemeal and fought actions individually.  Many were not even equipped with radios.  The Germans fought coordinated actions, in which not only individual tanks within a unit fought in support of each other, but entire units worked in concert with other units to achieve a particular goal.  It wasn’t hardware that won the battle, but tactics – how the hardware was used. 

The three major units of New Jersey’s Republican Party – the State Committee (NJGOP), the Senate Republican Majority (SRM), and the Assembly Republican Victory (ARV) – do not work in concert or present a unified message or vision.  From there is gets worse.  Each county, each candidate, each club marches to its own beat.  And the party is barely on speaking terms with the movement conservatives who make up its base and constitute its most loyal voters.  Working together could amplify a message and make it punch through to distracted voters.  But instead of amplification, we have a cacophony of murmurs, each from its own silo.   

Jon Bramnick has offered a simple, three-point way forward.  Everyone should amplify it.  That would make a start at working in concert.

At Thursday’s meeting, Garden State Initiative President Regina Egea said voters should ask every politician how they intend to lower the cost of living and the cost of doing business.  The Bramnick Plan provides the answers.

Sussex video shows how easy it is to punk the media.

The day after the Andy Boden for Sheriff campaign attempted to shake down the local Republican Party, a doctored video was distributed purporting to show their opponent in a compromising #MeToo situation.  The Boden campaign had specifically referenced said video in its shake down attempt.  They claimed that the video had been obtained by off-duty corrections officers (men with badges and guns) in an unofficial political surveillance operation.

The doctored video was released to more than 150 media outlets, using a fake Facebook account, under the name of someone who does not exist.  The Boden campaign refused to comment to the media.  Candidate Boden likewise refused to comment.   

In published stories, the media admitted that it could not locate any person associated with the fake Facebook account.  48 hours after the doctored video was posted, the fake Facebook account disappeared.

Nevertheless, several media outlets not only published the doctored video, but published a long, rambling press release – issued on a fake Facebook account by an entity that does not exist – treating it as a factual statement.  And they did so despite the fact that they could not locate any actual person who would vouch for its authorship.

Despite clear evidence of alteration and it lack of provenance, these media outlets failed to test the technological accuracy of the doctored video.  Surprisingly, they behaved as if they operated sometime in the 1950’s – before technological changes, particularly in digital technology, had turned the old phrase “seeing is believing” on its head.  For instance, does anyone really believe that Tom Hanks is shaking the hand of President Kennedy in this video?

In September of last year, Bloomberg reported on the threat to authenticity posed by “deep fake video technology” and warned media outlets that “fake videos and audio keep getting better, faster and easier to make, increasing the mind-blowing technology’s potential for harm if put in the wrong hands.”  The story suggested that all video should be closely examined and vetted by technological professionals before being cited as a source. 

The Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is clear: 

-       Ethical journalists take responsibility for their work.  Verify information before releasing it.

-       Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.

-       Identify sources clearly.  The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.

-       Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information.

-       Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information.

-       Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort.  Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.

-       Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves… Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.

-       Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.

-       Expose unethical conduct in journalism.

-       Abide by the same high standards they expect of others.

Those media that reported on this, handled it like a #MeToo situation.  In fact, there was no complaint by anyone claiming to be a victim.  Instead, the complaint came from the illicit surveillance operation.

Sources claim that the corrections officers who conducted the operation took what they had to the home of a former elected official/computer expert, and that he “cleaned it up” or “enhanced” it.  The backstory here is that the corrections officers are angry with the incumbent Sheriff because the county jail is being downsized, which has placed some of their jobs in jeopardy.  Off course, this downsizing is a consequence of Bail Reform passed as a ballot question in November 2014.  With a dwindling jail population, the Sheriff cannot justify maintaining high levels of staffing and the consequent cost to property taxpayers in Sussex County.  Estimates of the cost to refurbish the jail for other purposes run upwards of $60 million and the Freeholder Board is in no place to raise taxes or debt to accommodate such costs.  The doctored video is seen as a desperate move by a few, very disgruntled, corrections officers.

That said, the role played by the media outlets tricked into distributing this video – and their willingness to be punked by a fake Facebook account – is a matter for concern, especially as it will only get easier to fake videos in the future.  Perhaps this is a case for the Ethics Committee of the SPJ?  Stay tuned…

Pro-Sanctuary Democrats try to take down GOP Sheriff.

Earlier this year, within days of the Sussex County Freeholder Board signaling its intention to rebuff the Murphy administration’s plans to turn Sussex County into a Sanctuary State, the allies of Governor Murphy were out to replace Sheriff Mike Strada, the current conservative Republican, with someone who would block the Freeholders’ plans to place the Sanctuary State question on the ballot and ask the voters to opt out.

They found just the pawn they needed in Corrections Officer Andy Boden, who had been placed on leave after a psychological examination found him unfit for duty.  The Democrats knew that Sheriff Strada had run afoul of the Corrections Officers’ union – which endorsed Leftist Democrat Phil Murphy for Governor in 2017 – after cutting spending at the county jail.  The Sheriff’s cuts – amounting to nearly $2 million – helped to hold the line on county property taxes this year.

Sources claim that after reviewing some of Boden’s Facebook posts, his Democrat handlers suggested to him that he remove such crazy “selfies” as the one below, which shows the candidate on a bear rug, in a state of undress.  Hey, we try to be open-minded about such things, so we won’t comment further.

BodenBear.jpg

Earlier this month, after the Freeholder Board took the historic vote to place the Sanctuary State question on the November ballot – giving the Sheriff the power to ignore the Murphy administration’s directives – the Leftist Pro-Sanctuary forces really went nuts.  Andy Boden’s campaign attempted to shake down the Republican Party Chairman and targeted Sheriff Strada’s family with threats.

And just as they did with President Donald Trump, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Assemblyman Parker Space… they came up with false accusations designed not so much to win a political campaign as to cause personal damage to the Sheriff, his wife, and children.  And all because he opposes the Democrat Governor’s plans to make Sussex County join his pro-Sanctuary State, pro-illegal immigration, bandwagon.

Remember how these same forces tried to smear Donald Trump in 2016… Parker Space in 2017… and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.  Once again, conservatives need to fight back.

AOC’s “youth rebellion” is doomed. The future is old.

Democrats like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez think they are mobilizing youth in a “wave of the future” moment.  But that’s not how the world is going.  In this video, the statisticians at The Economist illustrate what the future will really look like…

The pyramid is a traditional way of visualizing and explaining the age structure of a society. If you draw a chart with each age group represented by a bar, and each bar ranged one above the other, youngest at the bottom oldest at the top, and with sexes separated, you get a simple shape.

In 1970 that shape was a pyramid because the largest segment of the global population was the youngest. 0-5 years old comprising 14% of the total, followed by the next youngest 6-10 with 13% and so on in regular increments until about 85 years old - there were so few people that the shape vanished into a point.

The pyramid was characteristic of human populations pretty much since the day organized societies emerged - with life span short a mortality high, children were always the most and old people the least numerous group.

A population chart of England in 1700 looks like a pyramid but now look at the chart of the global population in 2015. It looks more like the Dome of the Capitol building in Washington DC than something you find along the Nile. Young children are still the largest group but now make up only 10% of the population and those above them are almost as big with 9.5. The angle of the slope changes most markedly only after the age of about 40. 

In 1970 the youngest had not only been the largest but also the fastest-growing section of the population but between 1970 and 2015 the population age 0-19 grew by only 42% whereas the population age 20 to 39 rose by a hundred and twenty eight percent.

This group added almost twice as many people to the overall numbers than the group age below 20. There are also now over 50 million people above 85 so the dome of 2015 has a spike. In 1970 to 2015 the dominating influence upon the global population was the fertility rate - that's the number of children a woman can expect to bear during her lifetime. It fell dramatically over the period meaning that the world shifted from having larger to smaller families. In 2015 to 60 the biggest influence upon the population will be aging. Small families are already the norm. The fallen fertility is slowing down and now everyone's living longer than their parents, dramatically so in developing countries.

So by 2060 the dome will have come and gone and now the shape of the population looks more like a column or perhaps an old-fashioned beehive. It's a little fatter near the bottom and curves in at the top but up to the age of about 50 the generations are of almost equal size and the shape has vertical sides.

The size of the Earth's population is still rising. From 7.2 billion 2015 to 9.5 billion in 2060. But according to calculations by Emi Suzuki and Wolfgang Fengler of the World Bank, two-thirds of the extra 2.2 billion people will come from the older age groups those aged 40 to 59 and between 60 and 79 - not from the younger.

The increase in the last oldest segment is a specially marked. Between 2015 and 2016 the number of 60 to 79 year olds will double to 850 million. That's more than four times the increase in the number of children and teenagers which will rise by only 200 million or 8%.

The numbers of the oldest people of all, those above 85, will rise at the fastest rate by 281% in 2015 to 60 but from a much lower base so they do not add as many people to the total. For all of history humans have lived in societies dominated in numbers at least by children. By 2060 children will be no more numerous than any other age group.

The year 2015 was roughly the halfway point in this astounding transformation.

Poll: Democrats in denial on illegal immigration

A new Rasmussen poll just out shows voters continue to view illegal immigration as a serious problem but don’t think Democrats care enough to stop it.  Data also shows that voters are willing to consider cutting foreign aid as a means to stop the flow of illegals into the United States.

Rasmussen reports that 67 percent of all Likely U.S. Voters think illegal immigration is a serious problem in America today, with 47 percent who say it’s a Very Serious one. 32 percent say it’s not a serious problem, but that includes only 8 percent who rate it as Not At All Serious.

That’s 47 percent to 8 percent in terms of voter intensity.  Here are the toplines…

National Survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters

Conducted April 2-3, 2019
By Rasmussen Reports

1* How serious a problem is illegal immigration in America today? 

47% Very serious
20% Somewhat serious
24% Not very serious
8% Not at all serious
1% Not sure

2* Do most Democrats in Congress want to slow or stop illegal immigration?

31% Yes
45% No
24% Not sure

3* Do most Republicans in Congress want to slow or stop illegal immigration?

70% Yes
14% No
16% Not sure

4* Should the United States halt foreign aid to Mexico and governments in Central America that refuse to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into this country?

48% Yes
37% No
14% Not sure

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

New Jersey Democrats continue to kid themselves into believing their tired mantra that “New Jersey is different” – in the process ignoring the fact that nobody is running in “New Jersey” this year.  That’s New Jersey… as in the whole state.  The electoral battles this year are being fought in little pieces of New Jersey – pieces that in no way reflect the state as a whole. 

Take one of those statewide polls the Establishment is so fond of pointing to and then pull out Montclair, Newark, Paterson, Hoboken, Jersey City, Trenton, Camden, and most of the Abbott Districts… and then tell us what Phil “Sanctuary State” Murphy’s numbers look like.  Because none of those places are in contention this year.  Not a damned one of those votes matter.

Of particular concern to the Goldman-Sucks wing of the Democrat Party, is data that shows the $30,000 to $50,000 income group is most concerned about illegal immigration, with 73 percent saying illegal immigration is a serious problem in America today – 51 percent who say it’s a Very Serious one. Just 25 percent say it’s not a serious problem – that includes only 6 percent who rate it as Not At All Serious.

70 percent of the working poor (earning under $30,000); 65 percent of those earning $50,000 to $100,000; and 59 percent of those earning $100,000 to $200,000 say illegal immigration is a serious problem in America today.  Even economic elites (those pocketing over $200,000) say illegal immigration is a serious problem, albeit by margins of 60% to 40%.  39 percent of these say it is a “very serious” problem, with 11 percent saying it is “not at all serious”.

The Democrats’ former blue-collar base appears to understand market economics and the policy of using illegal wage-slaves in the gray economy to undercut the public relations gimmick of raising the minimum wage.  Every duplicitous Democrat on the ballot needs to have this cranked up their bunghole.

Stand against the gray economy and the exploitation of undocumented immigrants… stand with organized labor.