I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am. …I don’t think there’s a mother or a father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, ‘You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all of our dreams would be realized.

New Jersey governor and compassionate Republican CHRIS CHRISTIE, who by the way pulls down $699,000 a year along with his wife.

The New York Daily News calls him out and dares him to try living on $17,000 a year — or what a person making New Jersey’s minimum wage brings home annually.


Chris Christie (R-NJ) Signs Bill To Fast Track The Privatization of Public Water

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law on Thursday legislation that critics say sells out the state’s water supply and democratic process for private profits.

The Water Infrastructure Protection Act, which purportedly aims to address aging infrastructure , allows for fast-tracking of sales of municipal water systems to private entities.

Among the sponsors of the measure, which passed the state legislature in December, was Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), who stated Thursday: “We recognize that there are times when private entities might be most capable of operating, maintaining and upgrading drinking water and sanitary wastewater systems,” and keeps “the public’s ability to be part of the process.”

Quite the opposite, according to the law’s critics.

"Governor Christie has sided with private water companies over our water supply," stated Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "This law will raise rates, hurt consumers and businesses."

Chris Christie has plundered New Jersey. Second in job growth to Alaska. Increased poverty? So much for #strongerthanthestorm bullshit. Christie let the most most vulnerable suffer, all for political reasons.

This is pretty much the worst job you could do in a state with such an educated population near major cities.

Empathy Deficit Disorder

Commenting on a recent student suicide at an Alaska high school, Alaska’s Republican Congressman Don Young said suicide didn’t exist in Alaska before “government largesse” gave residents an entitlement mentality.

“When people had to work and had to provide and had to keep warm by putting participation in cutting wood and catching the fish and killing the animals, we didn’t have the suicide problem,” he said. Government handouts tell people “you are not worth anything but you are going to get something for nothing.”

Alaska has the highest rate of suicide per capita in America – almost twice the national average, and a leading cause of death in Alaska for young people ages 15 to 24 — but I doubt it’s because Alaskans lead excessively easy lives.

Every time I visit Alaska I’m struck by how hard people there have to work to make ends meet. The state is the last American frontier, where people seem more self-reliant than anywhere in the lower forty eight.  

It’s true that every Alaskan receives an annual dividend from a portion of state oil revenues (this year it will be almost $2,000 per person), but research shows no correlation between the amount of the dividend from year to year and the suicide rate.

Suicide is a terrible tragedy for those driven to it and for their loved ones. What possessed Congressman Young to turn it into a political football?

Young has since apologized for his remark. Or, more accurately, his office has apologized. “Congressman Young did not mean to upset anyone with his well-intentioned message,” says a news release from his congressional office, “and in light of the tragic events affecting the Wasilla High School community, he should have taken a much more sensitive approach.”

Well-intentioned? More sensitive approach?

Young’s comment would be offensive regardless of who uttered it. That he’s a member of the United States Congress — Alaska’s sole representative in the House – makes it downright alarming.

You might expect someone who’s in the business of representing others to have a bit more empathy. In fact, you’d think empathy would be the minimum qualification to hold public office in a democracy.

Sadly, Young is hardly alone. A remarkable number of people who are supposed to be devoting their lives to representing others seem clueless about how their constituents actually live and what they need.

Last week New Jersey Governor Chris Christie groused to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage.”  

No doubt some in the audience shared Christie’s view. It was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, after all.

But many of the Governor’s constituents are not tired of hearing about the minimum wage. They depend on it.

New Jersey has among the largest number of working poor in America. Some 50,000 people work for the state’s minimum wage of $8.25 an hour.

This isn’t nearly enough to lift them out of poverty. The state’s cost of living is one of the five highest of all states.  

In any event, doesn’t hearing from constituents about what they need go with the job of representing them?

Christie went on to tell his audience “I don’t think there’s a mother or a father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, ‘You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all of our dreams would be realized.’ Is that what parents aspire to?”

A minimum-wage job is no one’s version of the American dream. But Christie is wrong to suppose most minimum-wage workers are teenagers. Most are adults who are major breadwinners for their families.

Christie seems to suffer the same ailment that afflicts Alaska’s Don Young.

Call it Empathy Deficit Disorder. Some Democrats have it, but the disorder seems especially widespread among Republicans.

These politicians have no idea what people who are hard up in America are going through.

Most Americans aren’t suicidal, and most don’t work at the minimum wage. But many are deeply anxious about their jobs and panicked about how they’re going to pay next month’s bills.

Almost two-thirds of working Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

And they’re worried sick about whether their kids will ever make it.

They need leaders who understand their plight instead of denying it.  

They deserve politicians who want to fix it rather than blame it on those who have to depend on public assistance, or who need a higher minimum wage, in order to get by.

At the very least, they need leaders who empathize with what they’re going through, not those with Empathy Deficit Disorder.   

Chris Christie was responsible for the reduced deal, not the attorney general. Decades of investigation and fines dismantled by this clown.

That shortfall in state revenue will be converted to a reduction in services to NJ citizens by Christie, as per GOP mantra.

Cuba has no interest in letting the US have Assata Shakur.

Now that the relationship between Cuba and the US is thawing, Chris Christie and the State of New Jersey want Obama to extradite Assata Shakur from Cuba.

Last year, the reward for her capture was doubled to $2 million and she was placed on the Most Wanted Terrorists list…for allegedly killing a cop 40 years ago.  Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s head of North American affairs, has a statement about that:

We’ve explained to the U.S. government in the past that there are some people living in Cuba to whom Cuba has legitimately granted political asylum.  There’s no extradition treaty in effect between Cuba and the U.S.

So take that, Christie.  This is a vendetta against the lest vestiges of the Black Liberation Army and Black Panther Party anyway, and to put a 66-year-old Black woman with one murder rap from 40 years ago on the list with actual terrorists is just political grandstanding by the federal government.

Keep reading

The major takeaway, however, is how delusional Christie clearly is about his leadership of New Jersey. It turns out that YouTube videos in which the governor screams at teachers and tells constituents to sit down and shut down do not a prosperous state make. In fact, New Jersey’s credit rating has been downgraded eight times on Christie’s watch, and while the state was outperforming the national unemployment rate when he took office, New Jersey’s 6.4 percent jobless rate is now higher than the national 5.7 percent rate. The state ranks 49th in terms of private sector job growth.

But more about “strength” and “leadership” and “straight talk” please, governor!

—  Luke Brinker on Chris Christie’s clueless notion that his trademark bombast will put terrorists like ISIS in their place.
Chris Christie Tired Of Minimum Wage Debate, But Not As Tired As Those Working 2-3 Jobs

"I gotta tell you the truth, I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage, I really am." - Chris Christie

No one aspires to a minimum wage job. No one wants to work 70-80 hours a week. There are not the same opportunities for everyone.

Raising the minimum wage helps a broad “demand side” section of our consumer economy instantly.

The Ebola fight is not in New York City. It is in West Africa. That fight is not going to be won if healthcare workers are discouraged from joining it. It’s not going to be won by ill-informed politicians in the U.S. and their political posturing. That’s as true for Chris Christie as it is for all the Republicans screaming for travel bans.

Chris Christie’s Long Flirtation With Anti-Vaccine Conspiracy Theories

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made headlines on Monday for saying that parents have the right to make their own choices about whether to vaccinate their kids. Although his office has since sought to clarify those statements, the controversial remark is shedding new light on Christie’s complicated history with vaccine safety.

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