Archive for the ‘New Jersey’ Category

The real scandal in the Menendez story…

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

is the relationship between Miami ophthalmologist Solomon Melgen and New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez:

Melgen had reportedly received help from Menendez is the matter of a port-security contract between a company owned by Melgen and the Dominican government. That contract could be worth as much as $50 million a year for 20 years — that is, a total of one billion dollars — except that Dominican officials refuse to honor what they have condemned as the “exorbitant” terms of the contract. Melgen’s financial situation looks shady; he reportedly owes the IRS $11.1 million. But if he could get the U.S. government to pressure the Dominican Republic into honoring that billion-dollar contract, Melgen’s money worries would be over.

Unfortunately for Melgen, however, Matthew Boyle broke the story less than a week before Election Day last fall and, while the mainstream media ignored Boyle’s exclusive at the time, now the potential political ramifications are quite serious. Even if it cannot be proven that Menendez consorted with hookers, underaged or otherwise, during his visits to Melgen’s Caribbean luxury resort, the New Jersey Democrat’s connection to his Florida benefactor is sure to be subjected to intense scrutiny now.

Let’s hope so.

In Santo Domingo, Vinicio Castillo, Melgen’s and Menendez’s Dominican lawyer – who also happens to be Melgen’s cousin – said the accusations are aimed at discrediting Salomon Melgen and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and stopping a contract to X-ray shipments moving through ports in the Dominican Republic.

Castillo called the allegations part of a “diabolical plot” orchestrated to discredit Melgen, who owns a company with a lucrative contract with the Dominican government to provide X-ray machines at ports. The machines would be used to scan shipping containers to look for contraband and illegal drugs.

The contract was originally signed with the Dominican government a decade ago. Two years ago, Melgen bought out the company that had signed the contract.

That contract has raised controversy due to its cost — an estimated $500 million to $1 billion over 20 years. And the machines have not been installed.

Menendez, who has received healthy campaign contributions from the doctor, in a July Senate hearing peppered Obama officials about what they were doing to help U.S. business interests in the Dominican Republic. He specifically mentioned the contract for X-ray equipment at the ports.

Castillo’s father, Vinicio “Vincho” Castillo, the government’s drug czar and Melgen’s uncle, has also spoken about the need for the machines.

Menendez would rather have you believe this is a story that “anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a Web site” concocted.


New Jersey: Lautenberg wants to give Corey Booker “a spanking”

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Latin America’s not the only source for bizarre news.

88-year old Frank Lautenberg (Senator for my district), who went back to the Senate in 2003 thanks to the Torricelli maneuver, is upset enough at the prospect of Newark mayor Corey Booker challenging for the seat that he let it rip,

“I have four children, I love each one of them. I can’t tell you that one of them wasn’t occasionally disrespectful, so I gave them a spanking and everything was OK,” Lautenberg said with a smile in his first public comments since Booker announced he was considering a run for Senate.

This statement is wrong in so many levels (and he gets away with the obvious because he’s a Democrat), where to start?

By asking, “you and who else, Frank?”

On this corner we have 88-year old walking-with-a-cane Lautenberg.

On the other corner we have 43 year old Booker, fit enough to run into a burning house and pull a woman to safety.

It would make a heck of a fundraiser.

Booker may be “entitled to run”, but Lautenberg’s the one who can’t hide.

What time do the polls close?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

I voted at Princeton University’s Jadwin Gym earlier today, where six other districts were moved due to the hurricane damage (the local schools were closed until yesterday, when electricity was restored).

Turnout seemed good for the time of day, but there were no lines.

NJ polls don’t close until 8PM, and NJ voters can text “WHERE” to 877877 to find out where to vote.

Vote Romney!

—————————————

I’ll be in Rick Moran’s podcast from 8-9PM Eastern.


Where to vote in NJ

Monday, November 5th, 2012

 

I tested the above text and it is correct as of the writing of this post.

In Princeton, check the Township and the Borough websites.

Princeton update 3: Need a shower?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

In Princeton: the John Witherspoon school

In Plainsboro: Got an email from a friend,

Princeton Plasma Physics Lab has opened its cafeteria and locker rooms to the public until 8pm tonight. They are offering heat, hot showers, phone and laptop recharging, wifi, vending machines, microwaves and CNN.

Scudders Mill Rd to Campus Drive to Stellarator Drive (!!!) to the guardhouse where you show id. They have staff to direct people to the cafeteria.

Princeton update 2: Heat, electric on!

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Public Service Electric and Gas crews of 3-4 trucks are working street-by-street. The traffic lights from Princeton to Kingston on Lincoln Highway (Rt. 27) are now working.

Fortunately the electricity at casa de Fausta’s back on.

At the same time that PSE&G is working, several other crews from private tree services are clearing the hundreds of fallen trees, so many roads and local streets are blocked. Downtown, Van der Venter is still closed by the movie theater.

All the public schools remain closed until Monday.

All things considered, we are blessed to have come through with relatively minor damage.

Princeton update: No electricity, no heat

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Downtown is the only part of town with electricity; the only traffic lights that work are downtown on Nassau street, from Harrison to Marquand park.

The Sunoco on Nassau street, and the Getty and Gulf onn Rt 1 & Washington Avenue are open, with very long lines.

McCaffrey’s is the only business open at the Princeton Shopping Center. All others, including the pharmacy, are not. The traffic lights in that area don’t work and some of the streets are blocked. I didn’t see any workers.

Many, many fallen trees and downed electrical lines have not been repaired, including on the street where I live. You’re better off staying away from the area.

I urge anyone who’s able to donate or volunteer to the Salvation Army.

Thousands are homeless in NJ. Obama had his photo op with Christie, and headed west.

The reports on New York City are horrible. Bloomberg is going ahead with the Marathon tomorrow, even when Staten Island is in desperate need.

BLOOMBERG DIVERTS FOOD, GENERATORS FROM DEVASTATED STATEN ISLAND TO NYC MARATHON

The NY Post has the photo of the generators,

Generators power up marathon tent as rest of city struggles without electricity

UPDATE,
Bloomberg cancels marathon; let’s hope the generators are on the way to where they’re most needed.

Bob Menendez & the height of hypocrisy

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Easter Sunday was on Sunday, April 8, 2012.

On Easter Sunday this year, aircraft records obtained by TheDC show that Melgen’s plane left Florida the morning of Easter Sunday, stopped at the Teterboro private airport near Menendez’s home in New Jersey, and flew on to the Dominican Republic.

Two days later it returned to the United States, from a private airport near Casa de Campo.

While he was there,

Two women from the Dominican Republic told The Daily Caller that Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez paid them for sex earlier this year.

In interviews, the two women said they met Menendez around Easter at Casa de Campo, an expensive 7,000 acre resort in the Dominican Republic. They claimed Menendez agreed to pay them $500 for sex acts, but in the end they each received only $100.

You would think that politicians would know by now that they ought to pay hookers.

On April 17, 2012

Sen. Menendez was interviewed by NJ Today Online and was asked about what the consequences should be for the secret service agents who were involved in the sex scandal in Cartegena, Colombia.
(video above cue at 1:54)
He answered, “If the facts are true, they should all be fired. The reality is is that the secret service not only protects the president of the United States, they represent the United States of America. They were on duty. If the facts are true as we are reading in the press, they shouldn’t have a job.”

The sex part is not the big issue,

1) Prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic. This doesn’t make it right or any less sleazy, but it takes away the most vivid “senator accused of illegal acts” angle. Although I suppose paying only 20 percent of what you promised could get you in legal trouble…

2) Menendez is not married.

3) Most New Jersey residents have much bigger issues on their minds right now, thanks to Hurricane Sandy. In fact, this might be the very best possible time for this story to break for Menendez.

What I want to know if Menendez reports the free vacation(s) and free use of Salomon Melgen’s private jet.

It’s New Jersey Dems, folks.


#Sandy: I thought the rise of the oceans began to slow 4 years ago

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

but you wouldn’t know it if you owned property near the shore.

And then there’s this.

Things at home are unharmed, & I’m so pleased!
No heat, no electricity, but OK.

Thank you for all your prayers.


This morning’s no-surprise news: Corzine and Assange UPDATE

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Assange first:
As expected, Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain

Ecuador announced Thursday that it was granting political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been holed up for two months in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London awaiting the decision.

The move leaves Mr. Assange with protection from arrest only on Ecuadorean territory, meaning he could only leave the embassy for Ecuador with British cooperation.

Huffing and puffing,

Just before the announcement by Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño at a news conference in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, President Rafael Correa said on his Twitter account: “No one is going to terrorize us!” The night before, Mr. Patiño said that the British authorities had threatened to force their way into the embassy, to which he responded: “We are not a British colony.”

Reading from a government communiqué, Mr. Patiño said: “The government of Ecuador, faithful to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or in its diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange.”

He added, “There are indications to presume that there could be political persecution,” and that Mr. Assange would not get a fair trial in the United States and could face the death penalty there.

The article points out that “Mr. Assange arrived at the embassy on June 19, seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden“, but never mind,

Mr. Patiño said he hoped Britain would permit Mr. Assange to leave the embassy in London for Ecuador — a request Britain has rejected, saying it has a binding, legal obligation to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over accusations that he sexually assaulted two women.

The British Foreign Office said it was disappointed by the Ecuadorean announcement but remained committed to a negotiated outcome to the standoff. Sweden called the decision “unacceptable” and summoned Ecuador’s ambassador, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Patiño’s news conference was broadcast live on British television and Mr. Assange watched the announcement as it happened, British news reports said. He told embassy staff members: “It is a significant victory for myself and my people. Things will probably get more stressful now.”

Particularly if it serves a propaganda purpose. The Mex Files is expecting the masses to rise,

While war is the extension of diplomacy by other means, that doesn’t mean a shootin’ war, by any means, but the British are likely to pay a very high price for these intemperate claims: I would expect at a minimum that British Embassies throughout Latin America are going to be besieged and quite a few windows broken, and various Latin American (and probably other) states enacting policies and procedures designed to make life difficult for British passport holders (amazing what Immigration and Customs service types can come up with when they want) and I fully expect British-owned businesses (some of which — like HSBC — are already seen as “dodgy” to use Brit-speak ) might be in a zealous application of existing regulatory and oversight functions.

I’m too cynical to get a rise over Assange. Perhaps that’s why The Mex Files refers to my blog as “The far right-wing Latin American website.”

Speaking of cynicism, No Criminal Case Is Likely in Loss at MF Global, surprise, surprise!

In the most telling indication yet that the MF Global investigation is winding down, federal authorities are seeking to interview the former chief of the firm, Jon S. Corzine, next month, according to the people involved in the case. Authorities hope that Mr. Corzine, who is expected to accept the invitation, will shed light on the actions of other employees at MF Global.

Those developments indicate that federal prosecutors do not expect to file criminal charges against the former New Jersey governor. Mr. Corzine has not yet received assurances that he is free from scrutiny, but two rounds of interviews with former employees and a review of thousands of documents have left prosecutors without a case against him, say the people involved in the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Imagine that: Prosecutors can’t build a case against a guy who simply doesn’t know where $1.2 billion of his clients money is, but who also managed to raise $500,000 for Obama.

Ed Morrisey‘s asking,

Ahem. What kind of “porous risk controls” allowed MF Global to bet money that wasn’t theirs on Euro-zone debt?

Good question.

But, fret not,

Mr. Corzine, in a bid to rebuild his image and engage his passion for trading, is weighing whether to start a hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of his plans.

Can’t wait to see what he calls it!

Cross-posted in The Green Room.

UPDATE,
WARNING: Language not suitable for work
Here’s why Julian Assange is the most annoying and arrogant person in the whole world