Chris Christie Wants To Punch Female-Dominated Teachers Unions ‘In The Face’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that it was teachers unions who deserved a “punch in the face” on the national level.

Tapper asked the Republican presidential contender about previous statements he’d made about two ways one can treat bullies: “During your first term as governor, you were fond of saying you can treat bullies in one of two ways, ‘saddle up to them or you can punch them in the face.’ you said, ‘I like to punch them in the face.’ At the national level, who deserves a punch in the face?”

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said during a television interview Sunday that the national teachers union deserves a “punch in the face.” Christie made the over-the-top comment during CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper on Sunday after the host asked him about his longstanding advice on when to dole out a physical assault.

Bombastic New Jersey governor really knows how to elevate the 2016 dialogue


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Everything you need to know about the right's obsession to defame and defund Planned Parenthood (but were afraid to Google)
What is going on here and why does it matter? "Nope, zero." That was President Obama's response when Speaker Boehner asked him how much he was willing to cut from Planned Parenthood in 2011. Defund...

What is going on here and why does it matter?

“Nope, zero.”

That was President Obama’s response when Speaker Boehner asked him how much he was willing to cut from Planned Parenthood in 2011.

Defunding the organization that has provided health care for 1 in 5 women in America has become a conservative obsession since the rise of the “non-partisan, tax-focused” Tea Party movement. No less than four Republican candidates for president — Chris Christie, John Kasich, Rick Perry and Scott Walker — have all rejected funds that would have provided poor women with STD screening and contraception.

The federal government provides 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s budget with about half a billion dollars. This cost-effective investment pays off for taxpayers, which is why the organization was championed by fiscal conservatives like Barry Goldwater and was funded without controversy through the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Bush and Bush.

Rabid anti-choicers” calling themselves the Center for Medical Progress have released and will release more sting videos deceptively edited to suggest that Planned Parenthood executives are engaging in illegal or unethical activity when it comes to the transfer of fetal tissue for research purposes. The group also released the full videos assuming that most news organizations would ignore that the totality of the footage debunks its own narrative. And this assumption has been largely been proven correct.

The strategy of releasing misleading videos that were partially or wholly debunked was used effectively to attack the group ACORN. Conservatives enjoyed defunding that group so much that it still does it on a semi-annual basis, even though the group has not existed since 2010.

Congressman Steve King keeps an acorn in his pocket to this day.

“This represents ACORN’s scalp,” King said last week. “Ask me after the appropriations cycle and see if I have a talisman in my pocket for Planned Parenthood’s.”

That’s the end game here and every single Republican presidential candidate who has been asked has backed the federal defunding of group. Jeb Bush reiterated that pledge on Wednesday.

Republicans have been mostly silent on the issue of reproductive rights since the birth control and Todd Akin debacles of 2012. But these conservatives are insisting that it come back with a vengeance. And GOP candidates eager to win over primary voters are happy to oblige.

Did Planned Parenthood break the law?

Providing tissue for research with consent of the patient and being reasonably reimbursed for their transfer is a legal, regulated activity. It’s not just legal, actually. It’s life-saving.

“The study of fetal tissue has already led to major discoveries in human health,” Samuel M. Cohen said, a microbiologist at the University of Nebraska, testifying before Congress in 2009.

The Nation‘s Michelle Goldberg explains that fetal-tissue donation “has been used to develop vaccines, to search for treatments for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cystic fibrosis, and, crucially, to protect infants.”

The only suggestion of law breaking, according to Goldberg, comes when the representative of Planned Parenthood suggests they might alter a procedure upon the request of the conservative activist posing as an employee of a “human biologics company.” There’s no evidence that happened but the three Republican-led congressional committees will likely investigate that along with conservative suggestions that Planned Parenthood is profiting off the transactions.

Is this really even a scandal?

It  depends on your view about reproductive rights, as Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum explains.

“If you think abortion is murder, then of course you think it’s wrong,” he wrote. “If you think abortion is morally benign, as I do, then you’re glad to see donated tissue being used in important medical research.”

Even if you would rather avoid abortions but understand that they’re actually more common when criminalized, you’re probably glad to know that science is being advanced whenever it can be.

In a sense, this debate is just an extension of the stem cell debate from the George W. Bush era. The right thinks any marriage of sperm and egg is life — some to the point that they even oppose in vitro fertilization. Any attempt to prevent this marriage or to do anything but make sure that embryo becomes a baby is, to these extremists, some form of murder.

So what happens if Planned Parenthood is defunded?

The same thing that would happen if Obamacare is repealed: more abortions.

The Obama Administration and Planned Parenthood are both extraordinarily successful in preventing unwanted pregnancies. As a result, abortion is now at its lowest rate since it became legal in all 50 states.

This is about denying poor people, poor women especially, control of their bodies. Rich women will always have access to the health care they need, whether it’s legal or not. Even being in the middle class allows you the means to travel to a place where abortions are safe and legal.

A real scandal is that Republicans funnel millions of taxpayer dollars to “crisis pregnancy clinics” that, rather than offering sound medical advice, often lie or mislead women.

If the right actually cared about the health of these patients, they’d open actual clinics that offer the same federally-funded services Planned Parenthood do. They don’t because this isn’t about the health of women or babies; it’s about pushing a religious mindset where a woman’s freedom is limited by her ability to conceive children.

What’s next?

Supporters are sticking together and thus far President Obama is remaining as steadfast against any cuts to Planned Parenthood in 2015 as he did in 2011. You can help by showing support for Planned Parenthood publicly and sharing articles that put this whole attack on reproductive freedom in context. Also keep in mind that this will really be settled next year, which is just another reason 2016 is the most important election of our lifetimes.

[Photo by Anne Savage.]

H/T: LOLGOP at Eclectablog


New Jersey Governor and GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie made a bold decision today, using a speech at Iowa State University to declare that the idea of debt-free college is morally “wrong,” Politico’s Allie Grasgreen reports.

Christie introduced the idea by harkening back to his father, a Army veteran who attended Rutgers thanks to the G.I. Bill, and said that if he became president he would install “a system where we all need to take personal responsibility to grasp the opportunities in higher education, but also one where we can get a leg up when we need it.”

Could he have chosen an audience less likely to be receptive to his message than college students?

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.”

1) Since becoming governor, reports indicate he has grossly abused his expense account

According to New Jersey Watchdog, an Internet transparency group ran by Mark Lagerkvist, Chris Christie has spent $360,000 of his taxpayer-subsidized expense account over the last five years. Of that amount, $300,000 was used to purchase what the state budget describes as “an allowance of funds not otherwise appropriated and used for official receptions on behalf of the state, the operation of an official residence, for other expenses.”

2) He has allegedly used Hurricane Sandy relief money for political purposes

As the Newark Star-Ledger reported last year, nearly one-third of the federal house aid money allocated to Hurricane Sandy victims went to areas of New Jersey that weren’t particularly impacted by the storm. “Nearly a third of the money—$47.6 million, earmarked for new affordable housing projects—landed in Essex and Middlesex counties,” wrote Ted Sherman, “while many hard-hit Jersey Shore communities in Ocean saw relatively little of it.”

3) He has purportedly misused billions in Port Authority funds for unrelated projects in New Jersey

Only a few months after taking office, Christie killed an $8.7 billion transportation project known as the ARC Tunnel, which was already in development when Christie took office (and, indeed, had been development for 30 years) and aimed to clear congestion by providing commuters with a public train under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey to New York City.

4) He has privatized the state’s public pension system, enriching wealthy business interests at the expense of taxpayers and state workers

Since taking office, the Christie administration has moved the retirement savings of public workers like teachers, firefighters, and police officers over to private financial firms on Wall Street, as Salon reported last week. “While Christie says the pension system cannot afford to maintain current retirement benefits, pension fees paid to financial firms have quadrupled to $600 million a year,” writes David Sirota, “or $1.5 billion in total since he took office in 2010.”

5) He has reportedly blocked reforms that would clean up New Jersey’s government

While it isn’t illegal to veto legislation that is necessary for the maintenance of the public trust, it is certainly scandalous—especially for a politician who, like Christie, has presented himself as an advocate of reforms that would clean up the state government.

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Study: Gov’t figures off by $1 trillion; Social Security trust funds will be gone by 2033

New studies by Harvard and Dartmouth Universities have concluded that the SSA’s trust funds will be depleted by 2033.

From CNBC:

The Social Security Administration projects that its trust funds will be depleted by 2033—not an optimistic forecast. But it may be even bleaker than that.

New studies from Harvard and Dartmouth researchers find that the SSA’s actuarial forecasts have been consistently overstating the financial health of the program’s trust funds since 2000.

“These biases are getting bigger and they are substantial,” said Gary King, co-author of the studies and director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “[Social Security] is going to be insolvent before everyone thinks.”

The Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ 2014 report to Congress last year found trust fund reserves for both its combined retirement and disability programs will grow until 2019. Program costs are projected to exceed income in 2020 and the trust funds will be depleted by 2033 if Congress doesn’t act. Once the trust funds are drained, annual revenues from payroll tax would be projected to cover only three-quarters of scheduled Social Security benefits through 2088.

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“…have been consistently overstating”

When I lie to the government about how much money I have, they call it “perjury” and I go to jail. When the government lies to me, they call it “overstating” and nothing happens.

And by how much have they been “consistently overstating” it? About $1 trillion. Look, even if you love love love all things government and support the current social security system, this should make you angry. If it doesn’t, ask yourself why. They’ve been lying to you.

Look, something’s got to give when it comes to Social Security. It’s simple math. It simply cannot continue on its current trajectory and remain solvent. Of course, the only real solution is to stop forcing people to pay into an inefficient, bloated, flailing government program and instead allow them to privately invest their money as they see fit. But very few politicians would ever agree to that. It would give them less power.

So what are the “solutions” being thrown around at the beginning of this election cycle? Let’s examine one from prominent “Republican” Chris Christie:

In other words, we’ll soak the rich. We’ll redistribute the money. We’ll tell all the people who have paid into Social Security (in many cases against their will) over decades that they won’t be getting that money back, in spite of the “lock box” promises, etc. From what I hear, Hillary Clinton’s “solution” (for the purposes of getting elected, of course) is to scoff at the notion that there’s anything wrong and hit Christie for wanting to take money from little old grandmas. Sheesh. Politicians have ruined this country.

I Will Crack Down And Not Permit [Legal Marijuana]

Chris Christie 

If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ® becomes president of the United States, he said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” Tuesday, he will “crack down” on those states that have ended prohibitions on marijuana.

When asked by Hewitt if he would enforce federal drug laws in those states that have legalized and regulated cannabis, Christie responded unequivocally. 

But the majority of Republicans told pew that the government should not interfere with states that have legalized marijuana. Find out more here.