Planes, trains, and automobiles

Well, maybe not trains. I’m pretty disappointed that Christie is killing the Hudson Tunnel Project, but then again, I’m not from New Jersey. I can only try to sympathize from a distance, and without as much context as I’d like.

Still, I can’t imagine that this will be very good for the Garden State’s economic prospects, especially given how much of the money was coming from the federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. I understand that Jersey is hurting financially, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Sometimes not spending money – not investing that money – means you lose big in the long run.

(via)

See also: Paul Krugman who calls this ‘the worst policy decision ever made by the government of New Jersey’.






79 replies
  1. 1
    Kryptik says:

    Mr. Kain…see there’s a problem here. A disconnect when it comes to money and how it’s spent, and it’s something like this:

    When a company or corporation does it, it’s investing, and is to be encouraged.
    When a government does it, be it state, city, federal, etc., it’s rampant soshulism and can’t stand, even if it means slashing everything.

    We have no infrastructure because people think actually investing in it is literal theft.

  2. 2
    Kryptik says:

    Mr. Kain…see there’s a problem here. A disconnect when it comes to money and how it’s spent, and it’s something like this:

    When a company or corporation does it, it’s investing, and is to be encouraged.
    When a government does it, be it state, city, federal, etc., it’s rampant soshulism and can’t stand, even if it means slashing everything.

    We have no infrastructure because people think actually investing in it is literal theft.

  3. 3
    Kryptik says:

    Guh. Sorry for the repeat posts. It didn’t seem like it was going through, since the page kept refusing to load up properly after I hit Submit.

  4. 4
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    I wish Eisenhower’s ghost could see what the GOP has wrought to projects like his beloved Interstate system.

  5. 5
    Ryan says:

    @Kryptik:

    Hey, if it is really worthwhile, the Market will provide.

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    live by the wingnut, economically die by the wingnut.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    I understand that Jersey is hurting financially, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

    Actually, I think that old chestnut has been completely dropped, even in business. The company my husband works for it constantly talking about how they need to grow, but they’re also constantly cutting back at every opportunity. They somehow seem to think they’re going to be able to run the 24/7 business that they want with an 8-5 staff and no overtime.

    Businesses have completely lost the concept of “spend money to make money.” Now it’s “cut back and more money will magically appear.” It’s like they looked at the Laffer curve and decided that if it works (more like “works”) for taxes, it will work for business too. Turns out it works about as well for business as it does for taxes.

  8. 8
    gene108 says:

    As a resident of NJ, I really do wonder what people see in Gov. Christie. As aggravating as Corzine was, he at least tried to make government work and fix the budget problems. Christie basically just wants to shut government down and hope the budget problems fix themselves. He’s really gutting whatever social services the state provides, on top of his education cuts.

  9. 9
    Hal says:

    Christie has become New Jersey’s Schwazenegger. A hero who rides in on a white horse to “save” the state, only to fail miserably and end up as unpopular as his predecessor.

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    Conservatives everywhere in comments (at, say, Plumline where I hang out), when confronted by how many stupid GOPs there are, say that Chris Christie is their favorite, that he’s really the star of the bunch. So smart, principled, and so on.

    But solving the problem of budget issues by doing nothing isn’t a solution.

    I’ll say this for the millionth time: We CAN’T elect people who don’t believe in government to govern.

    It’s like putting someone in charge of making pizza who hates pizza. No, fuck, it’s worse. Goddamnit.

  11. 11
    Michael says:

    @gene108:

    As a resident of NJ, I really do wonder what people see in Gov. Christie. As aggravating as Corzine was, he at least tried to make government work and fix the budget problems. Christie basically just wants to shut government down and hope the budget problems fix themselves. He’s really gutting whatever social services the state provides, on top of his education cuts.

    At heart, conservatives are lazy-assed fat fucks who think that problems just solve themselves.

    They chew up infrastructure without maintaining it. They chew up natural resources and dump their shit without adequately dealing with the waste. They took all the New Deal and postwar infrastructure and pretended that it had nothing to do with how they were all “self-made” men.

    I dream of shitting on the grave of Ronald Reagan, in public. If I’m ever given a terminal diagnosis, that will be my personal gift to America.

  12. 12
    Halteclere says:

    Gov. Christie is, supposedly, also the person who screwed with the proposal for the educational challenge for ideological reasons (screw the teacher’s union!), which resulted in New Jersey’s proposal not receiving a high enough ranking to receive funds.

  13. 13
    Dave L says:

    Look, this is all about re-instilling an old-fashioned spirit of self-reliance, instead of passively expecting big government to take care of us.

    If there are real economic arguments for traffic between New York and New Jersey, then people will find their own means of getting across the Hudson.

    Swimming, for example.

  14. 14
    Steve says:

    Every time people are stuck for 20 minutes on their commuter train going to NYC in the morning, they’re going to be thinking about how Chris Christie didn’t want to build a new tunnel. That’s my only consolation.

  15. 15
    Martin says:

    Anyone bother telling Christie that NJ could save even more money if they stopped running trains into Manhattan altogether?

  16. 16
    Zandar says:

    New Jersey’s GOP does seem to have a rather impressive amount of faith in the Magical Infrastructure Fairies.

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Michael:

    I dream of shitting on the grave of Ronald Reagan, in public. If I’m ever given a terminal diagnosis, that will be my personal gift to America.

    My undergrad is located in the town in which Joe McCarthy is buried, and students have been known to go piss on his grave on occasion.

  18. 18
    Tractarian says:

    @Halteclere: And then, like a true self-reliant Galtian superman, he…. blamed it on Obama.

  19. 19
    Dave says:

    And let’s not forget the 6000 or so jobs that won’t be created now directly by the project. And the secondary jobs that money would create downstream. And the sales taxes. But hey, who needs all that when you can make a half-assed point.

  20. 20
    Dan says:

    As a prior resident of New Jersey for approximately 20 years, and a regular Amtrak user, I am very disappointed. I think Christie is using this economic crisis the way Bush used 9/11, to get away with all this shit he probably planned to do anyway, but now gets to pretend is necessary.

    There is really a pretty desperate need for more train tunnels between NJ and NYC as anyone who commutes between the two could tell you. Whenever anything goes wrong with a single tunnel it not only screws up NJTransit , but Amtrak as well.

  21. 21
    suzanne says:

    @Michael:

    I dream of shitting on the grave of Ronald Reagan, in public. If I’m ever given a terminal diagnosis, that will be my personal gift to America.

    Make sure to get that on video. It could be my new screensaver.

    I would have thought a fucking bridge falling down into the river below would have made these shitstains begin to grasp the concept of “investing for the future!”. Once again, I misunderestimated the power of stupidity.

  22. 22
    Steve says:

    @Dan:

    There is really a pretty desperate need for more train tunnels between NJ and NYC as anyone who commutes between the two could tell you. Whenever anything goes wrong with a single tunnel it not only screws up NJTransit , but Amtrak as well.

    And every Amtrak train from Boston all the way down to Washington has to pass through NYC, so when you delay those trains, you delay the entire Eastern Seaboard. Which, by the way, is why this project was a great candidate for a federal-state partnership.

  23. 23
    Dave L says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    – A fellow Lawrentian?

    Tail-gunner Joe was still revered by the locals back when I matriculated.

  24. 24
    Asp says:

    Darling, please. Christie’s real constituency doesn’t have to commute that far, and God forbid they use public transportation to do it. That’s the whole point of living and working in Morris County. So that you can pretend the eastern part of the state, where they’d never vote for him anyway, doesn’t exist.

  25. 25

    @Steve: Ah, Federalism. NJ gets to screw us all…which, I’m sure, is giving Gov. Christie a happy right now.

    Seriously, though — Krugman is exactly right. NJ will now have to pay the Feds $300 million to shut this project down, while losing every damn job this project would have created during construction, and every cent that would accrue indirectly, from the benefits of the economic activity the tunnel’s existence would facilitate.

    Truly, the Republicans are ready to governate.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Dave L: When were you there? I was 82-86.

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michael:

    I dream of shitting on the grave of Ronald Reagan, in public.

    There is a “He is Risen!” joke in here, desperate to come out.

  28. 28

    PS: I see now how to create liberals. Find conservatives and let them post to the Balloon-Juice community. Either they retire in flames or they go the way of E. D.

    Welcome to the party, Mr. Kain!

  29. 29
    ChrisB says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    My undergrad is located in the town in which Joe McCarthy is buried, and students have been known to go piss on his grave on occasion.

    I hope we’re talking politics and not baseball, because the great Yankee manager by that name was my great great uncle. Or maybe they’re just Red Sox fans.

    As for Christie, I can’t tell you how much I hate that fat fuck.

    What a bully.

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kryptik: The infection rate of Omnes Omnibusitis is robust, and has caught several unawares.
    You are not alone my sick and decrepit amigo.

  31. 31
    Joshua says:

    Christie is awful and this decision is predictably terrible.

    Tons of Jersey residents earn high salaries at good jobs in NYC then come home every night and spend that money in their local communities. Heaven forbid we would want more of that.

    If the governments of CT and NY were smart, they’d use this opportunity to rev up commuter rail projects in their states to get those jobs out of NJ’s hands.

    Maybe we should go one step farther and turn I-80 into a gravel road like they did in North Dakota or whatever. Why spend money on infrastructure when Wal-Mart has a sale on bootstraps?

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ChrisB: Politics.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: I bet you think you are clever, don’t you?

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: If I can’t make a joke at the expense of someone I’m ambivalent about, then what’s the point of getting out of bed in the morning?

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: I really don’t know why you bother. Getting out of bed, that is.

  36. 36
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Kain, didn’t you dedicate some of your early posts to how awesome and fiscally responsible the Christie administration was?

    How’s that been working out for you?

  37. 37
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Michael:

    They chew up infrastructure without maintaining it. They chew up natural resources and dump their shit without adequately dealing with the waste. They took all the New Deal and postwar infrastructure and pretended that it had nothing to do with how they were all “self-made” men.

    That’s one of the most incomprehensible aspects of the modern conservative belief system. They’ve somehow managed to overlook the fact that the hospitals they were born in, the schools in which they were educated, the fire and police services that kept them safe throughout, the roads, the bridges that they use somehow just happened rather than being paid for with the taxes of generations of Americans. I doubt that those Americans were any more enthusiastic about paying taxes than so-called conservatives are now but, at least they had the notion that we sometimes have to act collectively for the greater good of us all.

  38. 38
    Dave L says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Hah! Let’s just say “quite a bit earlier”, and let it go at that.

  39. 39
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Maybe you shouldn’t double post so much instead.

  40. 40
    RSR says:

    >> ‘the worst policy decision ever made by the government of New Jersey’.

    And this is a state that once outlawed runny eggs.

  41. 41
    evinfuilt says:

    I saw a post to this economist article in the comments on Krugmans post. I have to say their summary of penny-wise and pound-foolish is quite apt.

  42. 42
    RSR says:

    @Dave L: Or do like Commodore Vanderbilt, and start your own ferry service! Huzzah!

  43. 43
    Maude says:

    Christie lost the $400 million grant for education.
    I don’t understand why he is still the Govenor.
    He’s been out and about playing celebrity.
    There has to be a way to take that decision about the tunnel out of his hands.
    The Camden library is being shut down.
    He has done damage and he’s not even in office for a year.
    He is despicable.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Dave L: Okie dokie then.
    @Bob Loblaw: WTF?

  45. 45

    Isn’t this the state government that lost out on the education grant?

    [And Ohio says Thank You, as we were next in line.]

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The cheetos and whiskey don’t just float to you on their own.
    Plus, masturbation.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: I guess I asked, but, dude, TMI.

  48. 48
    gex says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Did you just use the word “collective”? Commie soshulist!

  49. 49
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Isn’t this the state government that lost out on the education grant?

    California managed to accomplish that feat as well.

  50. 50
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @BGinCHI:

    It’s like putting someone in charge of making pizza who hates pizza.

    Electing Republicans to run the govt is like hiring militant Vegans to run a steakhouse.

  51. 51
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @gex:
    Shoes for industry, Comrade!

  52. 52
    gene108 says:

    @Dave L: What really got me was when Camden’s libraries were shutting down, due to lack of funding. Christie cut the millionaires tax. In a true free market system, the millionaires with some extra coin in their pocket would’ve charitably stepped in to save the library system.

    Of course that didn’t happen….but charities funded by the rich, with their tax cuts will fill in the social services the government provides…one day…in the Randian utopia we are making for ourselves…

  53. 53
    BGinCHI says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Yes. Much better than my lame example.

    It’s like the nuts running the asylum but they think it’s the Aspen Institute.

  54. 54
    RSR says:

    BTW, a local blog in Philly refers to Gov Christie as Sopranos character Bobby Bacala.

    http://www.philebrity.com/2010.....econd-now/

  55. 55
    mclaren says:

    But this is America in a nutshell. “It takes money to make money.” Problem is, America as a whole doesn’t have any money. We’re broke.

    We pissed it all away on worthless military hardware and tax cuts for billionaires. Reagan started that process, and Obama continues it (more trillions for more war, no increased taxes on the rich on his watch).

    The fiscal situation in New Jersey is truly dire. They honestly genuinely do not have the money. That Hudson Tunnel project would be a great boost to the NJ economy, but the state just doesn’t have the money. Same deal with America as a whole: high speed rail would be a great boost to the American economy as a whole, but we just don’t have the money. A big Manhattan-project-type retooling to move us away from internal combustion engines and onto some kind of electric vehicle would be a huge money-maker for America down the road, and it would save us tons of bucks in the long run… But America just doesn’t have the money.

    Reorganizing our broken health care system as a single-payer nationalized system would be a huge money-saver and would pay enormous dividends in making American industries more competitive by removing those extra business costs of health insurance… But America just doesn’t have the money.

    At this point, after 30 years of Reaganoid tax-cuts and military spending, there’s no money left. We’re busted. We’re done. America literally cannot make the basic investments we now need to make in order to stay competitive with industry in the rest of the world, so we’re just falling farther and farther behind the rest of the world.

    Welcome to Shithole America, slime pit of the world. Third World America, the backwater of creation. The U.S.A. has now become Burkina Faso with rockets ‘n nukes.

    Get used to it. It’s not going to change anytime soon. Just as it took us 30 years to dig ourselves into this giant hole, it’s going to take a whole hell of a long time to dig ourselves out. Get used to gravel roads, streets without streetlights, empty shut-down hospitals, schools without school books or pencils or chalk, slow slow slow slow broadband barely faster than dialup, and libraries closed on weekends and shuttered outside of noon to 5 p.m.

  56. 56
    BGinCHI says:

    @mclaren: What time does your emo band go on?

  57. 57
    Steve says:

    @mclaren: Not sure what you’re talking about. Of course NJ has the money. Even the Governor is saying that he’s going to divert the money to something else, not that we don’t have the money. Now, as for the $300 million in penalties we’re going to have to pay the federal government because of this harebrained decision, that might be money we don’t have.

    Considering Christie flatly refused to renew the millionaires’ tax this year, the argument that “we don’t have the money” wouldn’t hold much water anyway.

  58. 58
    gene108 says:

    Problem is, America as a whole doesn’t have any money. We’re broke.

    In Bizzaro world maybe, America has no money.

    In the real world, America is home to the world’s largest economy. Even with the economic crisis, our economy is larger than China’s, Germany’s and Japan’s (that’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th largest economies in the world) combined!

    If we managed our shit properly, we’d not be feeling like we, as a nation, are broke.

    If America doesn’t have the money than no nation on Earth should have the money to do a damn thing, but other nations manage to invest in their human capital by providing low cost college educations; industrial countries at least provide universal health care and are investing in renewable energy.

    Something’s broke in America, but it ain’t our nation’s pocket book; it’s the fact the government has been badly mismanaged for most of the past 30 years, with regards to our fiscal well being, with a brief respite during the Clinton years.

  59. 59
    WereBear says:

    Where’s Andrew Carnegie when you need him?

  60. 60
    gene108 says:

    @Steve: I agree, NJ’s finances aren’t as bad as Christie makes them out to be. NJ has a very strong economic base. The fiscal problem facing the state is a hang over from several bad governors, who had to leave in disgrace and a lack of focus on how to solve the fiscal problems.

    As frustrating as Corzine was he was actually trying to address these problems.

    Christie’s pretending to address these problems, but in the end the problem isn’t that the state spends too much money on education or the mentally ill, it’s that it isn’t taxing its revenue base properly.

    What got me about Christie is he rolled back the millionaires tax to make a statement about fighting taxes, but left the 1% increase in the sales tax – that Corzine effectively ruined his governorship with by shutting down the government to ram it into law – in place.

    I bet a lot of people would be happier with rolling back the sales tax to 6% and that’d make a statement about cutting taxes for everybody, but then again cutting taxes for the poor bastards isn’t Christie’s goal.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WereBear: Dead.

  62. 62
    Steve says:

    @gene108: Can’t disagree with anything you said. Christie keeps spewing these fantasies of the tax base fleeing the state or going Galt, which bear no relationship to the world I see around me. Where are all these Wall Street types going to move – New York?

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve: Connecticut.

  64. 64
    meander says:

    Perhaps a deal like this would convince Christie to change his mind and allow this important, economic-might-building project go forward: the contractors will use children to do the work (preferably using hand tools — all of those modern construction machines are expensive!), not be held to any safety standards, and exempt from environmental laws.

  65. 65
    Steve says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: If people want to spend an extra 2 hours every day commuting because their taxes went up by 1%, more power to them, I guess.

  66. 66
    Nathan says:

    I think the tunnel is irrelevant to NJ. 90% of the growth in NJ is concentrated in Hudson county and served by the PATH system. I lived in Jersey City for most of the past five years, and at least 15 skyscrapers (both commercial and residential) were completed in that period. Amtrak and thus this tunnel serves those NJers who choose to live in what are technically exurbs, that is those places that are beyond Newark.

    Christie may be a terrible governor, but dismantling NJ’s education system is the most tragic action he has taken. This tunnel would have generated billions for NY and next to nothing for NJ. An extra PATH tunnel (which moves 100,000 people every day) or an extension of the PATH system would be of far greater value.

  67. 67
    chopper says:

    @BGinCHI:

    you win the internet.

  68. 68
    Ralph says:

    @gene108:

    Corzine tried to fix the budget problems?

    You want another shot at that?

  69. 69
    Jamey says:

    Wow, bankshot! Christie gets to fuck organized labor, mass-transit fans, and the predominantly Democratic-voting residents of Bergen and Hudson Counties.

    I hope he gets syphilis from a dirty toilet seat.

  70. 70
    mclaren says:

    @gene108:

    In the real world, America is home to the world’s largest economy. Even with the economic crisis, our economy is larger than China’s, Germany’s and Japan’s (that’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th largest economies in the world) combined!

    If we managed our shit properly, we’d not be feeling like we, as a nation, are broke.

    You really truly don’t get it. Doesn’t matter how much income you have if you spend more than comes in.

    Remember Mr. T? Made millions. And he spent it all. Guy wound up broke.

    That’s America. We’ve got a huge economy and we spend even more money than we take in. We spend moer than 1.1 trillion just on our military every year. We piss away 2.2 trillion on health care and get crappy results for it.

    “If we managed our shit properly” is exactly the problem. You can be a billionaire but if you spend every dime you’ve got and take out loans so you can spend more money you don’t have, you’re broke. You’re busted. You got nothin’.

    That’s America. Wake up and smell the latte, folks. Problem isn’t income. It’s expenditures. America is insolvent. We’ve pissed away every dime we have and borrowed more money from foreign T-bill investors so we can spend even more.

  71. 71
    Chris from Pittsburgh says:

    @WereBear

    It is my duty as a Pittsburgher to remind you his name is pronounced, Car-NAY-gee. We say it right in Pittsburgh.

    Now my throat hurts, I’m gonna go get a lozenger.

  72. 72
    Terry Ott says:

    “Turnaround CEOs” are brought in by shareholders, trustees, boards, etc, to an organization in dire straits. Dramatic changes in direction and style of operation and an organizational culture shift are required. Often quickly. I think this is what the voters presumably wanted and seemingly got with Gov Christie. The phenomenon is not often seen in government. I am familiar with the scenario by private sector experience in the private sector, 40 years’ worth as executive, then owner, then management consultant.

    The turnaround CEO gets the job because he/she is a proverbial “force of nature”. Not usually likable, often brutally frank and focused, and NEVER patient, NEVER tentative. If they turn out, once hired, to be patient and tentative, it’s a bad selection and they will be gone in 18 months or so.

    A huge part of the repertoire of the turnaround exec is consistency of message and action. They don’t “bend” much because the inertia they must overcome is pervasive. “What you see is what you get”. “Walk the talk”. “Plan the work and work the plan”. “No excuses.” “The train is leaving the station; say goodbye to the past, quickly, and get on board if you wish to.” Those are some of the mantras. Think Vince Lombardi. Think Lee Iococca. Gerstner at IBM.

    There are “tests”. Things happen, challenges to the game plan are put up, and how the turnaround CEO faces off against them will either (a) contribute to the image and credibility of the leader, or (b) chip away at it.

    Many will buckle and “go along” with something inconsistent with the mission and stated priorities (and indeed their “personal brand” as a “different kind of leader”) because it is popular and/or the course of least resistance. Few will have the courage to say, “that’s NOT what we are doing because it is not consistent with why I was put in here.”

    The turnaround CEO knows he/she is under the gun to deliver measurable change and dramatically improved results. They know that if they allow the organization to wander back to its old ways, they have failed. They will say things like, “if you expect me to do ‘X’ after hiring me to do ‘Y’, then you have the wrong person”.

    I admire people who can pull this kind of thing off. They set outrageous goals, they are “requiring” to the hilt. You almost NEVER see those kinds of people in government.

    So, if that’s not really what the people of NJ want, after seeing things play out, then they need to elect someone quite different.

    In the case of the tunnel, I can only surmise but I think Gov Christie is sending this message:

    Projects (even ones that “feel good” and are well intended) that are not firm in terms of costs, and are not credible in terms of the justification (hard numbers), and that we cannot pay for, are not going to be green lighted any more. It’s a way of forcing discipline and focus (culture change).

  73. 73
    Steve says:

    What message does it send to rip up a federal funding application and blow $400 million in education grants because you didn’t want to be seen working cooperatively with the teachers’ unions? What message does it send when you then try to scapegoat anyone and everyone for your mega-fuckup? Is that the sort of measurable change and dramatically improved results we expect from the turnaround CEO?

  74. 74
    Terry Ott says:

    Steve, I don’t follow politics much, am far removed from NJ, and don’t know the particulars of which you speak. Especially, the part about “working cooperatively with the teachers union” — what impact did that have? (link, maybe?)

    Wasn’t there a clerical error in the application, for which someone was fired. I wondered at the time, if some a wrong page or data (wrong year was it?) was inserted then why didn’t someone reviewing it in Washington pick up the phone and point that out so it could be corrected. I wondered if the reason was that others saw it as an opportunity to serve up a “gotcha” on the Gov and his staff.

    I’m quite apolitical; my interests run more to leadership and change, which is why I am interested in Christie. To answer you, in my study of organizational leadership it’s obvious that “scapegoating” isn’t practiced by the best leaders. Just the opposite, so as to create a culture of accountability. “The buck stops here” is the mantra for that scenario. Didn’t Christie say something along those lines?

    Something else I am following with interest: Milwaukee has a $15-20 million “new and improved” digital police radio system that was supposed to have been operational 5 years ago, but never has been sound and reliable. The city was kind of a guinea pig for new technology. Now: 500 pages of reports from officers telling of defective operation, and today it was totally inoperable for a while. Insofar as I can tell, the mayor is invisible on this issue, just kind of waiting for something to change and not talking about it with the public. He’s not “scapegoating” but he also isn’t taking visible ownership of the situation and demanding it get fixed. Pretty dangerous situation, actually.

    He’s a go-along, get-along, hands off kind of person. This is the kind of situation no strong leader would allow to drift under the radar on his shift. He would be kicking butt and taking names and giving no quarter to those responsible. But this is what tends to pass for executive leadership in the public sector all to often. How is hr dealing with it going forward? Mayor Barrett is now running for Governor of Wisconsin. Oyyyy….

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jamey:

    the predominantly Democratic-voting residents of Bergen and Hudson Counties

    Say what now? How do you explain the truly loathsome Scott Garrett? It’s not just his neighbors in Sussex re-electing the guy to Congress.

  76. 76
    burnspbesq says:

    @Nathan:

    I think the tunnel is irrelevant to NJ. 90% of the growth in NJ is concentrated in Hudson county and served by the PATH system. I lived in Jersey City for most of the past five years, and at least 15 skyscrapers (both commercial and residential) were completed in that period. Amtrak and thus this tunnel serves those NJers who choose to live in what are technically exurbs, that is those places that are beyond Newark.

    You think incorrectly. Commuters are every bit as important to the economy of New Jersey as Big Pharma. Make it more difficult to commute into the city, and those people will take their purchasing power, and the sales tax revenue that goes along with it, to Westchester. Sure you want that?

  77. 77
    Silver Owl says:

    Guess Christie figures NY and NJ do not need easier nor increased economic interaction nor increased revenue long term.

    I went to NJ and visiting NY at the time was fun and nice. Traffic driving sucked in a major way, parking was a pain but a train would have been great and kept the NY visits on the list.

  78. 78
    Jado says:

    I live in NJ.

    NJ screwed up the education application via outdated info. Washington asked for the correct info prior to the deadline, and the NJ CommEd effectively said “We’ll get that info to you” and then never did. When the application went out again, the info was unchanged, and the final “score” on the application wasn’t enough to beat out Ohio.

    If the Christie admin had compromised with the teacher’s union, the score of the application still would have been better than Ohio’s, even with the typo.

    In true “blame everyone else” fashion, Christie came out swinging against Obama (cause, you know, the POTUS personally was overseeing this application process) for not picking up a phone. And when it was patiently explained to Christie that yes, Washington DID ask about the typos (it was on video – Christie has not come out and questioned the authenticity of the video-yet), Christie fired the CommEd.

    The NJ Senate is investigating, in keeping with the true calling of the NJ legislature, which is circus performances as a distraction from the fact that they are not doing anything to help the state. After all, actual results might be used against them during an election…

    NJ is well and truly screwed, and has been for quite some time. I love it here…

    http://www.app.com/article/201.....with-union

  79. 79
    Terry Ott says:

    Jado,
    Thanks for the explanation. I understand.

    Christie can be justifiably criticized for lashing out at a perceived “process failure” by Washington before he investigated internally to see what happened on his side of this mess up. Excellent leaders get the facts, and until then they keep their mouths shut.

    Not sure about the “not compromising” with the union. Depends on what he didn’t compromise about, I guess. As I said earlier, turnaround executives generally don’t see compromise favorably. But it all depends, obviously …..

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