The future's bright, politicsnj's orange

What a surprise yesterday when I made the daily rounds of my favorite internet sites, and discovered that, an addictive site run by a mysterious sandwich-eating guru self-named "Wally Edge" that covers the inner workings and personalities of politics in New Jersey (a bit like what I do for Passaic County - except statewide, with better sources, and with more attitude) had completely changed its look.

Before I could absorb the new content, the greyed-out site was mostly covered by a letter that popped up, superimposed on the faded background, giving a pleasingly sentimental history of politicsnj's role as spirit-guide of Garden State political junkies for the past 7 years.

The new layout looks great, despite a certain feeling of nostalgia for the less slick look of the previous site. Content wise, Wally's pulled a coup by getting former Governor Christie Whitman (R), former US Senator Bob Torricelli (D), and others to sign on as columnists. Long gone are the days when Wally Edge conducted job interviews for potential employees of politicsnj, like well-missed reporter Steve Kornacki (who is now back), by instant messenger!

Many people may not realize the most delicious irony associated with this recent transition - the NY Observer, which has purchased politicsnj, is published by Jared Kushner, son of Charles Kushner. The cat is out of the bag, as the Asbury Park Press, courtesy of the AP, noted today, and was prominently linked by politicsnj itself. This may bother some Republicans, given Charles Kushner's affinity for NJ Democrats, but if they're silly enough to squawk about it, then they probably deserve the mockery they will surely endure from Mr. Edge.

I personally am a fan of the Observer, since one of my other daily site visits is the blog of reporter Phil Weiss, who has started making major waves in Jewish circles with his analysis of the changing disposition of American Jews toward Israel, and how that affects their political activities. Despite Phil's liberal leanings, he has been twice published in paleoconservative jounral The American Conservative in recent months, including a February article on Jimmy Carter's controversial book Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid. When I noted this irony to him, he remarked:
"The interesting thing to me is that as a lefty I am now in bed with paleos and realists who understand how destructive [the Iraq War] is. I was for impeaching Clinton, by the way."
Phil has taken a lot of heat, especially from American Jews who don't share his views, but I believe he is going to make a major impact.

In any case, congratulations to politicsnj on their re-launch as well as to the Observer for their fine acquisition, and of course thanks to Wally Edge for the reciprocal link to this blog.


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