Chris Christieis really, really popular — by New Jersey standards.Christie’s 56 percent approval rating in a Fairleigh Dickinson University pollthis week may not seem all that remarkable, but when it comes to New Jersey, it is.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (Jonathan Ernst – Reuters)
The reason: New Jersey voters are notoriously tough on their politicians.
Consider this:* President Obama hasn’t gone higher than 56 percent approval in Quinnipiac polling of the state since June 2009 — slightly after he took office on a high note.
* The highest approval that Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) has ever recorded, according to Quinnipiac pollsters, is 55 percent. That was in the year 2000, before he retired from the Senate and then made a comeback.
* Even at his most popular (after he suffered serious injuries in a car accident and cut taxes early in 2007), former governor Jon Corzine (D) barely cleared 50 percent approval. When he was in the Senate the first part of the decade, his approval only climbed into the high-50s for a brief time.
* Sen. Robert Toricelli (D-N.J.) never cracked 50 percent in his one term prior to succumbing to scandal.
* The highest approval rating Quinnipiac has measured for a governor since it began polling the state in 1996 was Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R), who once earned a 62 percent approval rating. That’s only three points better than the 59 percent Christie posted in Q’s most recent poll.
When we wrote about the 10 most popular governors in the country (and ranked Christie 2nd), his approval rating didn’t necessarily match up with the 60- and 70-percent-plus approval ratings posted by other governors (including No. 1, New York’s Andrew Cuomo).
But given how tough it is to please voters in New Jersey, the mid-to-high 50s is a significant accomplishment.
Christie said this week that he doesn’t know whether he’ll seek re-election in 2013 (he seems to have his eyes on another prize), but if he did, you have to wonder whether Democrats would even be able to field a top-tier candidate.
One thing’s for sure, though: His record as governor and the way he has been received in his home state is nothing but a plus when it comes to the GOP veepstakes.
Comment: Chris Christie is very presidential. What refreshing strength for a country rich in con-artists but befreft of adult leadership in this Obama administration. The president’s incompetence gives even his Marxism the bad name it deserves.
“Less than 48 hours after the Washington Post published a major, 5,000 word exposé that portrays Mitt Romney as a homophobic, high school bully, the story has started to unravel. Jason Horowitz’s profile alleged that Romney high school chum Stu White has “long been bothered” by an unconfirmed incident in which Romney supposedly cut the hair of a fellow student. But White wasn’t present at the alleged incident, Romney doesn’t remember it, the alleged victim has been dead for eight years, and White only learned about the incident decades after it supposedly happened.
In response to that, the Post today airbrushed the story. Until today, Horowitz’s story read:
“I always enjoyed his pranks,” said Stu White, a popular friend of Romney’s who went on to a career as a public school teacher and has long been bothered by the Lauber incident. “But I was not the brunt of any of his pranks.”
Today it reads:
“I always enjoyed his pranks,” said Stu White, a popular friend of Romney’s who went on to a career as a public school teacher and said he has been “disturbed” by the Lauber incident since hearing about it several weeks ago, before being contacted by The Washington Post. “But I was not the brunt of any of his pranks.”
The Post did not publicly acknowledge that alteration for hours — more on that below. It just appeared in the online version. Also today, Lauber’s family has come out to contradict key parts of the story, and they further suggest that the Post smeared their deceased family member, who obviously is in no position to defend himself. Despite Lauber’s having been deceased since 2004, the Horowitz story directly quotes him, through another so-called witness to the haircut event. Is it standard Post practice to quote the dead, and use them as props in political stories?
Thursday afternoon I tweeted and emailed Horowitz directly about the White discrepancy. Horowitz never responded and has gone silent on Twitter, but today, the Post quietly altered the story to clean up that problem. The paper is evidently paying attention to criticisms of the story, but not responding directly to queries about it. This morning, I emailed the Post ombudsman about the White timeline problem and the Lauber family’s reaction to Horowitz’s story. I sent the ombudsman two polite emails on the subject. The ombudsman, Patrick B. Pexton, has not responded at all. But while I have been putting this report together, the Post did publish an editor’s note regarding the White timeline.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story reported that White “has long been bothered” by the Lauber incident. White later clarified in a subsequent interview that he has been disturbed by the incident since he learned of it several weeks ago from a former classmate, before being contacted by The Washington Post.
The editor’s note raises more questions: Who is the classmate, and where did the classmate hear about the haircut story? In what context did the unidentified classmate tell it to Stu White? It’s possible that Horowitz brought it up to the classmate over the course of working on the story, who then told it to White. If that’s the case, Horowitz tainted the witnesses.
The Jason Horowitz story is no small matter. Its release coincided perfectly with the week’s messaging from President Obama. It depicted Obama’s rival, Mitt Romney, in a sharply negative light. It was a front-page, 5,000+ word story that must have taken weeks or even months to write. Significant resources went into the production of that story. Yet the Post has gone silent as cracks have started to appear in it.
I have sent Mr. Pexton a third email on the subject, asking questions raised by the editor’s note. The ombudsman, who is supposed to be the readers’ representative at the newspaper, has not responded.
Paul Begala on Romney: Once a Bully, Always a Bully
The following article with the above profound headline has been cranked out by the Obama campaign crowd. These Marxists have spread a smear story from the Washington Post to muscle up the gay vote for Obama in November with an attack on Romney when he was 18 years old. The story has been described as false by the family involved.
Lefty Begala writes the fokllowing in the Daily Beast:
z’Romney would be able to dismiss the bullying story as ancient history if it didn’t confirm what we already suspected about him—that he’s a serial abuser of power.
It is a good general principle that we ought not hold teenage wrongdoing against middle-aged people. Mitt Romney has run a business, run the Olympics, run a state, run for the Senate, and run for president. Surely we can and should judge him on his performance of those public duties.
But what if childhood conduct helps shed a light on adult behavior? Romney’s teenage bullying hurts him because it is consonant with his adult record. Voters may well conclude: once a bully, always a bully; once a privileged abuser of power, always a privileged abuser of power.
If the Washington Post reports of his teenage behavior are true—and even Romney does not dispute them, except to disingenuously say he doesn’t remember—what adult traits do those actions presage?
First, abuse of power. Romney was tall, handsome, and rich. But he was not athletic, at a time and a place when athleticism among young men was the coin of the realm. So he became a cheerleader. Like fellow cheerleaders George W. Bush and Rick Perry, he adopted a macho swagger, perhaps overcompensating for his lack of ability on the field. Maybe that’s why he didn’t confront his nonconformist classmate alone but rather took the coward’s path: assembling a posse in an episode one classmate described as like “Lord of the Flies.”
A less-commented upon part of the Post‘s story on Romney’s teenage years is nearly as cruel as the bullying of his classmate. Cranbrook, Romney’s elite private academy, had a teacher who was so visually impaired the kids called him “The Bat.” Romney and a pal walked The Bat up to a door. Romney beckoned The Bat to walk through first, making a sweeping motion toward the door as if it were open, but it wasn’t. The Bat walked into the closed door as Mitt collapsed in fits of sadistic laughter.
One can draw a straight line from the young man who pinned down a terrified teenager and walked a blind man into a closed door, to the adult who put the family dog in a kennel and strapped it to the roof of the car, to the businessman who laid off hundreds of people, cancelled their health benefits, and paid himself millions while their company went bankrupt. And the line continues: the governor who slashed education and raised fees on the middle class, and the possible president who would use his power to cut taxes on his fellow millionaires while pushing for the gradual demise of traditional Medicare.
Then there is the aura of someone who acts as if the rules don’t apply to him. The Post reported that the abused boy was ultimately expelled from Cranbrook—for smoking a cigarette. Really. The victim got expelled for smoking a cigarette, but Mitt faced no sanctions for maliciously victimizing a vulnerable student and a teacher. It’s good to be a prince. Maybe that’s why Romney felt entitled to take a $10 million bailout for Bain, but opposed President Obama’s bailout of the auto industry. He thinks there’s one set of rules for the privileged, and another for the rest of us.
This is why Romney’s ancient misconduct at Cranbrook haunts him today: it helps illuminate the man who seeks to become the most powerful person in the world.”
Comment: There is far more evidence that America has a damned racist in the White House. We have Obamatones written by Obamahand when he was searching for his father’s authority for evidence….a father who was himself a racist, by the way…..a Muslim one.
No one but a couple Obama Democrats claims Mitt Romney administered the bulliness, this 40 years ago. Mitt says he doesn’t remember the incident, which may be true. He said he wasn’t privy to the haircutting, but had done something untoward teasing regarding an affeminate boy of the day.
I have often repeated that the most difficult burden a young human male can endure in life is being gay. A cancer doesn’t even compete with its weight.
But I do not remember much teasing during my high school years 1948-1952. The public was far more Christian then. To tease to humiliate would have been totally outside the “Christian” thing to do. That word referred to so much decency in those days. It was an understood code which demanded observance lest one be considered unworthy of human intercourse.
I never heard a swear word escape from silence in public school I attended as a child, except for one which slipped from my lips in Miss Marie Hart’s 9th grade General Science class.
Miss Hart made no secret that she was Roman Catholic.
I never swore. I never knew how to use ‘them words’ in syntax. I couldn’t even list five or so I had ever heard in an essay or on a list. No one swore in my public during the Home Front of and after World War II.
Neither of my parents or anyone in both of their extended families ever swore in my or any cousin’s experience.
However, my Mother who never swoer, as I menationed, did have a habit of an “Oh, my Lord” outburst from time to time as a phrase of significant surprise or disbelief. I believe although I cannot be sure, that she expressed herself in this manner during my first week of life with my bottom burried in diapers……she used it so frequently.
“OH, MY LORD, DID SHE?”….my Mother would respond to such news as I have described.
Miss Hart, a teacher in her 50s whom I dearly respected and loved, must have had a different view of that capitalized word in my expression……well, really my Mother’s….for Miss Hart would ahve none of Mother’s expression.
“Mr. Ray…..WHAT DID I HEAR YOU SAY?
By her very tone I knew I dare not repeat it….after all it was only three words. I became speechless.
(Miss Marie Hart was also my homeroom teacher…in room 310 at Central High School in St. Paul, Minnesota.)
Immediately I was instructed to appear at 3:05 in her homeroom, every afternoon for a week.
I said nothing…what was there to say?….after all I had said, “Oh, my Lord”, hadn’t I?
And then, she did say, “Don’t you ever use the Lord’s name in vain, again!” in case I had any doubt what I had done.
Central High School was a little more than five miles from where I lived. Three ‘pieces of public transportation had to be ridden twice every school day for me to go and return from learnings. The same for many 14 year old girls.
It seems we lived on an entirely different planet than this one mouthed by Barack Hussein.
An occupational license is, put simply, government permission to work in a particular field. To earn the license, an aspiring worker must clear various hurdles, such as earning a certain amount of education or training or passing an exam. Of interest is the trend in increasing licensure: while only one in 20 workers in the 1950s required licensing, that figure has since risen to one in three.
The Institute for Justice, in assessing the economic impact of these licensing trends, documented the license requirements for 102 occupations nationwide. It noted in its study that these laws can pose substantial barriers for those seeking work.
The 102 occupational licenses studied require of aspiring workers, on average, $209 in fees, one exam, and about nine months of education and training.
Thirty-five occupations require more than a year of education and training, on average, and another 32 require three to nine months.
At least one exam is required for 79 of the occupations.
Sixty-six occupations have greater average licensure burdens than emergency medical technicians.
These requirements vary substantially from state to state.
Louisiana licenses 71 of the 102 occupations — more than any other state — followed by Arizona (64), California (62), and Oregon (59).
Wyoming, with a mere 24, licenses the fewest, followed by Vermont and Kentucky at 27.
Arizona and California rank as the most widely and onerously licensed states, with a large number of licensed occupations and burdensome requirements.
Furthermore, the licensure requirements differ a great deal between jobs and states.
Only 15 occupations are licensed in 40 states or more, with many having requirements in only a small number of states.
Residential HVAC contractors, for example, are required to obtain licenses in only five states.
Similarly, 10 states require four months or more of training for manicurists, while these workers need only have three days experience in Alaska and nine in Iowa.
As millions of Americans struggle to find productive work, one of the quickest ways legislators could help would be to reduce or remove needless licensure burdens.
Source: Dick M. Carpenter II, Lisa Knepper, Angela C. Erickson and John K. Ross, “License to Work,” Institute for Justice, May 2012.
“Still think that Barack Obama might pull a convention surprise and put Hillary Clinton on the ticket and bounce the human gaffe machine Joe Biden out of his administration? Edward Klein has a reminder for all of us why Hillary wasn’t on the ticket in 2008. The title for Klein’s new book for Regnery on Barack Obama, The Amateur, comes from a conversation that took place last summer between Hillary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in a passage excerpted by the New York Post today:
“Barack Obama,” Bill Clinton said, according to book excerpts, “is an amateur.”
The withering criticism is incredible, given the fact that Bill Clinton is actively campaigning for Obama’s re-election.
But according to the book, Bill Clinton unloaded on Obama and pressed Hillary to run against her boss during a gathering in the ex-president’s home office in Chappaqua last August that included longtime friends, Klein said.
“The economy’s a mess, it’s dead flat. America has lost its Triple-A rating . . . You know better than Obama does,” Bill said.
Bill Clinton insisted he had “no relationship” with Obama and had been consulted more frequently by his presidential successor, George W. Bush.
Obama, Bill Clinton said, “doesn’t know how to be president” and is “incompetent.”
Hillary replied that it didn’t make any sense to take a risk now (in mid-2011), which implies that she’s not as ready to hang up her political spurs as she claims. Bill responded that the nation needed Hillary, but then amended it to “The country needs us!“ That is, of course, the same selfless attitude that so many of us recall from the Clinton days. The memories of The Big Me have only faded because the self-absorption of the current President makes Bill Clinton look like the amateur in that regard.
Besides, had Hillary run against Obama, it would likely have finished both of them. The fight would have drained the surprisingly limited resources that Obama has accrued and would have forced Hillary to do real damage to Obama in a primary. There would have been no guarantee that she would have won, either, against an incumbent President whose party establishment would have feared losing the White House altogether had he been supplanted in a primary. Plus, let’s not forget that Hillary couldn’t beat Obama when she was the favorite and had a large initial funding edge. If Obama lost a general election after taking damage from the Clintons, the party would never have forgiven her — or Bill, for that matter.
Otherwise, this is just popcorn-passing time for Republicans. The Clintons will deny the quotes, and they’ll go after Klein as a tool of Regnery, a conservative publisher known for its broadsides against the Obama administration. Klein has a resume that might make that difficult, however, as Amazon notes in the entry for the book:
Edward Klein is a seven-time New York Times bestselling non-fiction author. He is also the former foreign editor of Newsweek and former editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine. Klein frequently contributes to Vanity Fair and Parade, and currently lives in New York, New York.
In other words, he’s no amateur. This new book just might have to be The Official Book of the Obamateurism Series here at Hot Air. It definitely makes my reading list.
Obama has launched the “Big Data” Initiative. Six federal agencies are involved with a total of $200 million committed to dig into, digest, and dissect “huge volumes of digital data.” The Administration wants to ” extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data…to solve the Nation’s most pressing challenges.”
Medical privacy is at risk. Private medical records are increasingly part of these vast collections of digitized data; the health care issue is considered one of the Nation’s biggest problems; and HIPAA does not protect patient privacy. It is the reason Obama’s “Big Data” initiative to analyze private data can proceed.
According to one expert quoted in Healthcare IT News, there are boatloads of data, but “the issue is how do we tap into that to make sense of what’s going on.” He notes that government “is imposing a tremendous amount of information for folks to report” and believes they will soon “crack the code” of the Big Data problem to reduce health care costs and keep patients healthy.
They want in. “Big Data” enthusiasts think your private medical records are public records. A Kauffman Foundation press release boldly says, “Opening Up Big Data is the Big Solution to Curing Health Care Ills.” John Wilbanks, an author of the new Kauffman report, “Valuing Health Care: Improving Productivity and Quality,” says, “Using proper safeguards, we need to open the information that is locked in medical offices, hospitals and the files of pharmaceutical and insurance companies.”
Your genes could even be analyzed. Mr. Wilbanks suggests, “combining larger datasets on drug responses with genomic data on patients” as a way to determine which people get what therapy. This raises certain questions. For instance, could your data be used to “scientifically” ration your care? How would you know? What could you do?
“Big Data” is a vast government research project. Government officials are moving forward without your consent, and very likely in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Your private data could be used for purposes to which you may object, according to agendas that may violate your autonomy and cause you real harm.
It’s time to act. Privacy is not as much about privacy as it is about control. He who holds the data makes the rules. State legislators should move quickly to enact real medical privacy laws, as permitted under HIPAA, that require informed written consent for online placement and outside access to private medical records. Significant penalties for violations should be included.