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YO! New Jersey People… LISTEN UP!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:46 pm - January 6, 2012.
Filed under: State Politics & Government
Sadly, New Jersey’s existing rules pertaining to cable and telecommunications providers are grossly out of date. These rules, created decades ago before the iPhone, laptop computer or the Internet were even dreamed of, hamstring the communications marketplace and prevent competitors from operating on a level playing field. As it stands, government red tape is slowing innovation and preventing communications providers from creating jobs in New Jersey.
That is why Senator Raymond Lesniak introduced legislation earlier this year to reform New Jersey’s outdated laws. S. 2664, the Market Competition and Consumer Choice Act, removes bureaucratic red tape and decades-old rules in the communications and video industry, but maintains important protections such as LifeLine service for seniors and other vulnerable populations. This important legislation will open New Jersey to new investment.
Cable and telecommunications providers operate at a national level. Like any business, their resources are not limitless. If outdated rules and regulations prevent open competition in New Jersey, cable and telecom companies will chose to invest their resources elsewhere. This makes New Jersey less competitive in the region, stunts job growth and hurts the vendors and suppliers working in the communications sector.
If this is of interest to you, please take action!
Lawmakers in Trenton must work to enact public policies that give consumers what they demand, promote jobs and improve our economy. That’s why legislation like S. 2664, “the Market Competition and Consumer Choice Act” is critical to New Jersey’s future.  The bill will modernize telecom regulations and ensure the state remains open to competition, innovation and jobs.  Tell your elected officials in Trenton that you support S. 2664.
The website Jobs for New Jersey will help guide you through contacting your lawmakers about this important modernization effort.
-Bruce (GayPatriot)

GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia Backs Mitt Romney
(I still have misgivings about the former Massachusetts Governor)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:24 pm - January 6, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,GOProud

If I had to choose among the four leading contenders (at least according to the latest polls) for the Republican nomination, I would settle on former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney not so much because of his strengths, but because of the weaknesses of the other three.

Although Rick Santorum is not the extremist portrayed in the legacy (and gay) media, the former Pennsylvania Senator is more of a George W. Bush Republican than any of the other contenders and, over the years, has made some pretty bizarre statements about homosexuality.  Excellent on domestic issues (and asking important questions on money and banking), Ron Paul favors an isolationist policy at a time of growing unrest abroad — and he has himself made some strange statements.  And there were those, as Ace puts it, “old-line racist/neoconfederate ravings in Paul’s newsletters“.

And then there’s Newt, often eloquent on the stump, brimming with ideas, but also a man who responds in a manner similar to the Democratic incumbent when political rivals criticize him and his record.  And he does have a lot of baggage.

That said, although I prefer Romney to his three leading competitors, I’m not yet ready to sign up for his campaign or signal my support for him.  I have expressed my concerns about his candidacy on several occasions, notably here and here.

My friend Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud, however, has expressed no such hesitation:

Ann Coulter, the honorary chair of GOProud’s Advisory Council, is rarely wrong — and when it comes to the 2012 Republican nomination, she is spot on: If conservatives want to defeat Barack Obama, then it is time to rally around former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

. . . .

Let me be very clear, this is a personal — not an organizational — endorsement. GOProud represents a wide swath of right-of-center individuals and our members support a wide range of candidates for president. I believe there are many good candidates in this field and I respect the decisions of those who support other candidates. For me, however, this decision is an easy one: Only Mitt Romney can beat Barack Obama in November.

Taking on those who “conservatives who have had and who continue to have misgivings about Mitt Romney”, Jimmy reminds us “that plenty of our greatest conservative leaders have had similar evolutions. (more…)

We are all Clintonians now*

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:48 am - January 6, 2012.
Filed under: Ideas & Trends,Random Thoughts,Real Reform

In his speech Tuesday night (at 0:51 in this video), libertarian Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said, “Back in the old days in the early 70s, Nixon said we’re all Keynesians now, which meant that even the Republicans accepted liberal economics. . . . I’m waiting for the day when we can say we’re all Austrians now.” He was referring to the Austrian School of Economics which teaches, among other things, the benefits of free markets.

I too am waiting for that day.  Paul’s hopes (and mine) notwithstanding, it seems that day is far off.  While Republicans no longer accept Keynesian economics, many have resigned themselves to a somewhat intrusive federal government.  House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, for example, a folk hero to many conservatives (including yours truly) has proposed reforming Medicare rather than privatizing this federal (i.e., government) program which provides health insurance coverage for the elderly.

When we talk about scaling back the size of the federal government, we may long for a federal government the size it was when John F. Kennedy took office — or when Calvin Coolidge returned to Massachusetts, but we would settle for using the FY 2007 baseline to set current spending.  The more optimistic among us strive to return to the FY 2001 baseline.e.  That is, even some of the most conservative among us would be content with the spending levels set by the Clinton administration (in cooperation with Republican Congresses).

Bill Clinton, in seeking to “reinvent government,” sought to reform existing federal programs and make them more efficient, a notion not unlike the entitlement reforms proposed by Ryan and some of the Republican presidential candidates.  One such candidate, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman may have put forward a bold economic plan, advocating repeal of intrusive legislation passed in the Obama and Bush administrations, but the only other federal institutions he proposes abolishing are the GSEs (government-sponsored enterprises), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which sparked “the Panic of 2008”.

In short, like Bill Clinton, we conservatives have, by and large, resigned ourselves to reinventing government (though, to be sure, we come at this resignation from the right, he from the left**).  We recognize that the American people expect the state to have a considerable role in our lives, “considerable” here meaning programs created by the “progressive” reforms of the Roosevelts as well as those of the Great Society and Nixon eras, but have become increasingly wary of the more burdensome regulations of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. (more…)