As president of the United States I want to make it very clear that we are going to meet our federal obligations because we are one country. When one part of the country gets affected, whether it’s a tornado in Joplin, Missouri or a hurricane that affects that eastern seaboard, then we come together as one country and make sure that everybody gets the help that they need.President Barack Obama • Speaking about the need for federal disaster funding during a visit to Irene-ravaged New Jersey yesterday. This is an issue as a result of some stuff Eric Cantor said last week, suggesting that federal funding of disaster cleanup would only happen by cutting matching funding elsewhere. We like the point The Bergen Record’s Mike Kelly makes about this: “Memo to conservatives: You make good points about the need for America to get serious about government spending. But this is not a John Wayne western, with steel-eyed gunfighters making black-and-white decisions about life and death.” Conservatives are right on a surface level on this — we need to cut spending — but get down to the nitty-gritty and it’s simply not clear-cut. source (via • follow)
» And they’re far from alone: Nearby New Jersey has a backlog stretching back a solid 49 years, and noted foreclosure mecca Florida has a decade-long backlog. A big reason? The courts are overworked on this issue and can only handle so many cases. But even in the 27 states where courts aren’t involved, the wait is often still significant — at least a year in many cases. Beyond the courts, the entire system is overworked — and lenders seem to be in no rush to add any more repossessed houses to their balance sheet.
I’m not admitting it was wrong. What I’m saying is that, if the public perceives for a moment that I’m using that for a perk of office, I want to take that away from them right away. But I would not make a different decision if I had to do it again because it was important for me as a father to be there for my son.New Jersey Governor Chris Christie • Speaking with Piers Morgan, in an interview to be aired tonight. Morgan asked Christie about his decision to use a state helicopter to attend his son’s basketball game. Christie replied that it’s important to him to be there for his son, which is a quality that speaks well for Christie’s character as a family man. It is, however, a strictly personal motivation to fly to watch his son play. It has no value whatsoever to the people, and it’s undeniably what he’s concerned some might view it as, a perk of his office. He also makes it clear that his decision to pick up the tab on the flight was not about a standard of ethics, just image management. Which, even though this story isn’t that major, is an odd thing to admit on national television. Maybe that speaks well for Christie, too — this seems like a pretty honest answer, if not a politically tactful one. source (via • follow)
We need to have robust New Jersey public broadcasting, but we need to have it in a way that is not continuing to cost the taxpayers and can be perceived as truly independent from state government.New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie • Describing his plan to have WNET take over public television coverage in New Jersey, as well as to offer up public radio coverage to stations in Pennsylvania and New York. A deal’s already in place. The decision is controversial to say the least — some New Jersey residents are concerned about losing local programming as a result of the plan, and over 100 people will lose their jobs — though they have the opportunity to reapply for similar jobs with WNET. Though officials reassure that donaations raised for public broadcasting “will stay in New Jersey,” this is kind of a crap move if you ask us. These services cost the state relatively little and their benefits are pretty high. And the state wouldn’t be able to get away with this move at all if they weren’t relatively small and adjacent to states with large public broadcasters already. source (via • follow)