Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Which party supports veterans again?

cross posted at blue jersey

Center for war-related brain injuries faces budget cut
Posted 8/8/2006 10:01 PM ET E-mail
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
Congress appears ready to slash funding for the research and treatment of brain injuries caused by bomb blasts, an injury that military scientists describe as a signature wound of the Iraq war.
House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriation bill contain $7 million for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center — half of what the center received last fiscal year.

Proponents of increased funding say they are shocked to see cuts in the treatment of bomb blast injuries in the midst of a war.

"I find it basically unpardonable that Congress is not going to provide funds to take care of our soldiers and sailors who put their lives on the line for their country," says Martin Foil, a member of the center's board of directors. "It blows my imagination."...

How is it possible that this Republican congress can find

- billions for Paris Hilton
- billions for oil companies
- billions for Halliburton

but not $7 million for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center? Geez. I'd bet President Bush has wasted more than that on bike tires. That's not fiscal conservatism. That freaking obscene.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Garrett's Crazy Church Conducts "Scientific Research"

More of Scott Garrett's crazy "Lafayette Federated Church"'s nutty views on the issues of the day.

According to a "online census" (whatever that means), the church shows that same sex marriage in the Netherlands is not as sustainable as marriage in the United States. Without so much as citing this "online census" (for which I can guess is not a scientifically legitimate survey), the survey suggests that gay couples stay married for significantly shorter periods of time. What this propaganda leaves out is that marriage, heterosexual and homosexual in the Netherlands is shorter than in the United States, which isn't exaclty the embodiment of marital stability with a larger than 50% divorce rate.

See for youself.

Scott Garrett's views are molded by this extremist view of Christianity. The Christians, Jews, Muslims, and members of other faiths in this district don't agree with Scott Garrett and don't really respect flat out lies being purported as facts when discussing people's lives.

More to come. In the meantime, support Paul Aronsohn.

Questions for Ernie

DEMS PLAYING POLITICS WITH MAJORITY LEADER DeLAY -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 22, 2005)

Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, Social Security is in major trouble, hundreds of thousands of Americans still I need the opportunity to obtain health insurance, and much more work must I be done to secure our ports and borders. Yet the Democrats must have all those important issues solved because they are wasting all their time playing politics and making unsubstantiated accusations against United States House Majority Leader, TOM DELAY. Like their stance on most important issues, facts seem to matter very little to most Democrats. They have done nothing to help create jobs in this country. Nothing to help lower the cost of health care, nothing to help root out waste, fraud and abuse of the people's money, and to date, have not presented one plan to save Social Security. Yet they make politically motivated, unsubstantiated accusations without any evidence against Majority Leader DELAY and because they know that an investigation would clear his name, they are now putting up road blocks for the Republicans on the Ethics Committee to do their job. My friends on the other side of the aisle, your constituents need more from you than this. Voters sent you here for a purpose; I don't think these childish games are what they had in mind.

Ernie really went to bat for his friend and financial backer, huh? A few questions, though:

  1. Does Garrett know what party is in control of all 3 branches (and has been for some time)?
  2. Does Garrett think an indictment qualifies as a "politically motivated, unsubstantiated" accusation?
  3. Garrett seems to be very concerned about Social Security. Does that mean he opposes President Bush's reckless privatization plan?
  4. Has Garrett accepted money from any other indicted people? If so, has he ever returned those funds?
  5. When Garrett supported the move to allow an indicted person to serve as Majority Leader, was that an effort to remove "road blocks for the Republicans on the Ethics Committee to do their job"? Have they "done their job"?
  6. When Garrett said Democrats have done "nothing to help root out waste, fraud and abuse of the people's money", he meant Republicans, right? Afterall, the Republican-led Congress has failed to adequately investigate how billions upon billions of dollars have gone unaccounted for or misspent in Iraq. Perhaps his oversight was a result of his fondness for DeLay?
I can obviously go on, but I think you catch my drift.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Garrett Belongs to the Crazy Christianist Wing of the GOP

Extremist Rubber Stamp Radical Republican Scott Garrett really is a wingnut. He belongs to the extremely ultra-right-wing Evangelical church, the Lafayette Federated Church. This church is connected to wingnutters like James Dobson, as you can see here on their site.

In addition, you can see some of their literature that I have sleuthed out.

According to Garrett's church's literature, "there is no proof that [embryonic stem cells] can be manipulated to... become any cell or tissue in the human body." Well, according to the National Institutes of Health, that's just a flat out lie. And I'm going to trust the federal government's premier scientific medical research arm over Garrett's crazy church any day of the week.

According to the literature, NJ's stem cell law allows for the "commercial trafficking in the sale of baby body parts."

Don't believe me, see for yourself.

More to come on Garrett's wingnut church tomorrow!

I paid for these?

As a resident of NJ5, I never hear from E. Scott Garrett. Even when I write to ask him a question. So why the heck am I hearing from him now? (There isn't an election coming up, is there?) And why the heck do we need to pay for it? How much franking money has this "fiscal conservative" spent?

I'm no expert on franking rules, and these were probably drafted to skirt them anyway. Someone needs to step up and do something about this, though. Set aside all of the falsehoods and misleading statements (without citation) in these particular examples. We should not be paying for an additional advantage for incumbents. In my opinion, no incumbent- R, D or I- should be allowed to send taxpayer funded mailings for 9 months before an election. If they do, it should have to credit their opponent an equal amount.

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What's the definition of hypocricy?

Speaker: Representative E. Scott Garrett (NJ)
Title: Honoring the National Association of State Veterans Homes
Location: Washington, DC
Date: 07/25/2006


Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, as a cosponsor of H. Con. Res. 347, I am pleased to support this resolution honoring the work of the National Association of State Veterans Homes and the 119 homes across the country that honor our nation's heroes.

I am proud to work on closely with the State Veterans Home in Paramus, New Jersey. This excellent facility is run by caring individuals who work hard each day to see that our veterans are given the care that they earned sacrificing for our nation. Veterans Affairs Secretary Nicholson recently had the opportunity to tour the facility with me and see the tremendous effort that Doris Neibart, director of the home, and all the nurses and staff have put into caring for veterans in the final stages of life's journey.

Throughout the 20th Century and now into the 21st, the American soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine has been a force for good in this world. Working together, they have kept our nation safe from the threats of fascism, communism, and now terrorism. We owe them all a great debt of gratitude and the best care we can provide.

Our nation has a rich history of promoting freedom and spreading democracy, a history that was made possible by countless individuals who served in our armed forces. We remember all who contributed as well as those that stand ready to serve the cause of freedom today. I am proud to represent so many selfless and brave heroes and to honor those who work for their welfare.

Wow. He must really support veterans, huh?

2005 Representative Garrett supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2005.

2004 Representative Garrett supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2004.

2004 On the votes that the The Retired Enlisted Association considered to be the most important in 2004, Representative Garrett voted their preferred position 33 percent of the time.

2003 On the votes that the Disabled American Veterans - House considered to be the most important in 2003, Representative Garrett voted their preferred position 50 percent of the time.

Rep. Garrett opposed expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of Reservist and National Guard members, even though 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40 percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage.

Rep. Garrett voted against granting a bonus to grant a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and Reserve forces.

Nope. Not so much.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Postcards from Ernie....

In today's installment, we've got a postcard from Ernie to Dick Cheney:

Help Paul Aronsohn say "Happy Trails" to Ernie Scott Garrett!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Breaking! Garrett postcards found!

I cannot reveal my sources, but I've been able to get my hands on a bunch of postcards from Ernie Garrett's travels. Today's was sent from just off the NJ coast, dated 8/12/2009:

Next? Ernie writes home from South Korea (on a foreign agent's dime)!

Some Letters to the Editor in Sussex County

An interesting set of letters to the editor in the New Jersey Herald in Sussex County. People throughout the 5th are tired of Scott Garrett and want him gone.

Check it out.

Now We Know Why Scott Garrett Is So Out of Touch

Fascinating! Scott Garrett spends more time in Asia than in Emerson. Garrett spends more time feasting off of foreign lobbyists than he does listening to the concerns of his constituents. And Scott Garrett spends more time breaking House Ethics rules, lying, and making stuff up than he does representing the views of our district. Scott Garrett has got to go!

The Bergen Record, and thanks to Herb Jackson, ran an expose on Scott Garrett's abuse of power and corrupt practices. In the article, Jackson notes that Garrett has grovelled for lobbyists from the time he was elected to the present:
Rep. Scott Garrett was in office less than six months when he and his wife left on a $13,000 "educational trip" in June 2003 to Sri Lanka funded by that nation's chamber of commerce.

Before another six months had passed, he'd taken another $34,000 worth of privately funded travel, and along the way racked up the highest average per-trip travel expenses in the New Jersey delegation.

And Scott Garrett continues his streak of standing alone in the NJ congressional delegation. And again, it is not a noble thing to do.

I'd love to know exactly what Scott Garrett "learned" in Sri Lanka. Let's see where else student Garrett has gone:
In November and December, they were off to South Korea for a trip that cost $19,466. And less than a month later, Garrett traveled alone to Taiwan for a five-day, $5,080 "educational trip" sponsored by the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association.
Hmmm. Maybe Scott Garrett "learned" that our nation is losing jobs to Taiwan and South Korea in droves and that would cause him to vote against free trade agreements. Whoops! That's too much:
The same Taiwanese group had treated one of Garrett's aides to a $4,150 trip to Taipei three weeks earlier, while Garrett was in Korea. But it seems to have paid off: Earlier this year, Garrett was one of 50 co-sponsors on a bill calling for a free trade agreement with Taiwan.
Looks like foreign lobbyists have just as much pull in paying off Scott Garrett as American lobbyists do.

OK. So maybe I overreact, after all, it's good that Scott Garrett is "learning" something, since his extremist votes seem to demonstrate massive stupidity. But after all, what's so bad about privately-funded trips if they're legal and ethical?

Oh, wait, they're not:
Garrett's Korea trip appears to have broken House rules because it was funded by the Korea-United States Exchange Council, a registered foreign agent, and House rules bar members from accepting travel from foreign agents.
OK, so Garrett broke House Ethics rules, what's the biggie? After all, Tom DeLay broke those same rules and look what happened to him. That's right, he retired from Congress. Looks like you should follow his lead, Ernie!

In fact:
Roll Call reported last year that the Korea council was created by Hanwha Group chief executive Kim Seung-youn with the help of a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and funded trips for DeLay, Garrett, and 10 other members of Congress.
Tom DeLay and Scott Garrett sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Well, at least Garrett was willing to explain to us how there was nothing wrong about his trips and how this was all a big misunderstanding:
Garrett would not answer questions about the Korea trip or any others. He responded to a two-page list of questions e-mailed to his office with a three-paragraph response from his press secretary, Audrey Jones.

"Our policy is to only take those trips reviewed by the ethics committee," the statement said. Asked if the Korea trip had been approved, and when the policy of committee pre-approval was instituted, Jones simply re-read the sentence. Twice.

Well, I'll be damned. Scott Garrett is withholding information from his own constituents. I can't believe it. Well, that makes sense, after all, we're so dumb anyway that I can't imagine Scott Garrett trying to explain himself to us anyway. At least, he was timely in reporting his unethical behavior. Gotta give him points for that! Oh, wait:
Garrett's own form for the Israel trip reported it had taken place in 2001, more than a year before Garrett took office.

Jones ultimately corrected the dates to 2003. Garrett also filed the disclosure form for the Korea trip March 18, 2005, or more than 15 months after he returned. The form says disclosure is due within 30 days of a trip's completion.

Wow, this just keeps getting worse and worse for Ernie. At least, he filed the reports at all. I know Ernie has to believe in transparency. After all, he said so through his spokesperson:
Garrett's statement also said he "believes that transparency in all aspects of the legislative process is part of the practice of a healthy democracy."
That makes me feel so much better. I hope he means what he says. Alas, I am a dreamer:
But Jones could not answer why Garrett had signed three disclosure forms by his aides for trips ranging in cost from $634 to $1,388 that did not include destinations.
So, let's recap. Garrett takes more privately funded travel than any other New Jersey congressman, even though he is the most junior of the group. He takes trips that are more expensive than any other New Jersey congressman. Garrett takes a trip paid for by a foreign lobbyist and then becomes a co-sponsor for a bill that the lobbyist is pushing, even though the bill is antithetical to the interests of Americans. Garrett takes a trip to Korea that is a clear violation of House Ethics rules and takes the trip even though corrupt former congressman Tom DeLay took the same unethical trip. He is not forthcoming about any of this, and skirts the issues when questioned by reporters. Garrett files his disclosure forms 14 months too late and does not fully fill out the form.

If this were a report card for the end of the semester of college, I'd probably be expelled simply for my behavior, forget about my extremist votes which completely fail me out of school. Does anyone hear the retirement bells for Scott Garrett?

It's time to take him out. Immerse yourself in Paul Aronsohn's website.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Over 2,000 Houses Visited!!!

(by Parisa Sabeti)

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you all know that Paul reached a mini-milestone yesterday on the campaign trail - He passed the 2,000 mark! While walking through his 23rd town, Paul knocked on his 2,006th door. (I also think he drank his 2,000th bottle of Gatorade!)

This number, of course, doesn't include the thousands of additional houses visited by other members of our campaign team, who accompany Paul daily on our "walk-the-walk" tour.

Thank you all for your support. I hope you can join us on the trail one day soon; and please don’t forget to let us know about the people/places to visit when we come walking through your town.

Campaign Manager
Paul Aronsohn for Congress

ACTION ALERT: Take Immediate Action to Retire Garrett

I am planning to organize a student-led rally outside the Paramus office of Extremist Rubber Stamp Radical Republican Ernie Scott Garrett. If any of you know students in the 5th district or have any contacts with progressive campus organizations in the 5th, please shoot me an e-mail at ahf8@georgetown.edu.

It will take more than blogging to defeat Scott Garrett, and we can do it. Let's show Scott Garrett that he can't avoid his constituents any more!

Also, General Wesley Clark will be with Paul Aronsohn tonight at the American Legion Post 170 at 33 West Passaic Street in Rochelle Park at 6 pm. I'll have it on video hopefully and up on the blog in the next few days.