Is it wrong that I am smiling?

Big Chris Christie scandal coming to light. You may read the documents here, courtesy of Talking Points Memo.

On Sept. 9 and Sept. 10, Wildstein was apparently receiving ongoing updates about the “traffic disaster” in Fort Lee. On Sept. 10, Wildstein said to someone via text message that Fort Lee’s mayor had reached out to Bill Baroni, another Christie appointee, expressing worries about “getting kids to school.”
“Help please. It’s maddening,” Sokolich wrote in a message to Baroni.
That message appears to have been passed on to Wildstein who wrote, “Is it wrong that I am smiling?”

It is unclear who Wildstein was corresponding with, however the recipient of his message said, “No.”
“I feel badly about the kids,” wrote Wildstein. “I guess.”
“They are the children of Buono voters,” joked Wildstein’s correspondent, referring to Christie’s challenger in last November’s election, Barbara Buono.

What you learned in 5th grade remains true:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Wednesday canceled his only public event for the day after multiple media outlets published emails and text messages linking Christie aides to lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.
Christie had planned to speak in Ocean County about housing recovery after Hurricane Sandy, but announced that the event was canceled in an email without citing any reasons.

chris-christie-finger-wagging

Bullies are cowards. Always.






61 replies
  1. 1
    Big R says:

    I guess this whole situation was . . . no Buono.

    Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week, tip your waitress, try the veal.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    The whole scandal is just amazing. So, to punish a Democratic mayor for not endorsing a Republican governor (in an election where he was running way way ahead of his opponent), Christie and his minions bollixed up traffic for a shitload of commuters, schoolchildren, and emergency vehicles. And then demonstrated that “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” still has potency (blaming a “traffic study” that they weren’t able to produce or demonstrate existed). And now apparently leaving quite the paper trail of gloating about school kids caught in gridlock.

    Have any of Christie’s minions been photographed twirling their mustache while a train bears down on the damsel they’ve strapped to the tracks?

  3. 3
    Chyron HR says:

    Big Chris Christie

    Why must you stoop to FAT SHAMING?!

  4. 4
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Chris Christie is bigger than a few lane closures and will beat back the impeachment effort that is on the way. When he survives impeachment, he will be better positioned to compete with all of the other ethically-challenged Republican candidates for president.

  5. 5
    Kay says:

    @dmsilev:

    Have any of Christie’s minions been photographed twirling their mustache while a train bears down on the damsel they’ve strapped to the tracks?

    That’s the part that gets me, too, the first day of school comic book villain part.

    Did they choose the first day of school? I mean, Jesus. Get a grip, Warriors for Christie.

  6. 6
    AnotherBruce says:

    It must suck to be Christie right now.

    Is it wrong that I’m smiling as I type this?

  7. 7
    PaulW says:

    Seriously, we’re talking about traffic that also f-cked up commute into New York City, right? Can’t the state of New York file charges on Christie and his cohorts for conspiracy here?

    If they broke any laws in Jersey, please document it and see who’s in position to file those charges, ’cause damn this shit is bad shit (and I don’t mean bad as baaaaaaaad, I mean sucks-blue-whale-bad).

  8. 8
    pat says:

    Is it wrong that I am smiling?

    Teehee.

    Edit: not surprised that I wasn’t the first.

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    @pat:

    “It will be a tough November for this little Serbian,”

    That’s the mayor of Ft Lee, they’re discussing there.

  10. 10
    Poopyman says:

    @Kay:

    “It will be a tough November for this little Serbian,”

    That’s the mayor of Ft Lee, they’re discussing there.

    Who is Croatian.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chyron HR: Right? This enormous scandal is meaty enough without larding the descriptions with bloated adjectives! That’s largely my opinion.

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    @Poopyman:

    Who is Croatian.

    hah!

  13. 13
    Scotius says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why a Democratic mayor would be expected to endorse a Republican governor. That makes almost as little sense as closing the lanes to punish Fort Lee in the first place.

  14. 14
    piratedan says:

    it’s just chickenshit stuff, showing that pettiness is a feature, not a bug, of Republican politics in the last 20 years. Cripes, talk about taking the wrong lessons from Watergate… hey assholes, it was a national tragedy, not a political primer.

  15. 15
    Kay says:

    @Scotius:

    I think the reason they pursued it was because it fits into a pattern, a pattern we didn’t hear about on Morning Joe and one that goes a long way toward explaining Christie’s bipartisan appeal, among pols, anyway. He got the endorsements and support because he handed out political favors to those who supported him. It helped them get and stay elected. There was a flip side, too, where those who didn’t were punished.

    So, in other words, it has less to do with his leadership magic and appeal, and more to do with straight political favor-trading, which is exactly what he campaigned AGAINST. He said he wasn’t that kind of politician, while being EXACTLY that kind of politician.

  16. 16
    Cervantes says:

    @Big R: Well, I liked it.

  17. 17
    Ash Can says:

    The e-mails do indicate that Christie likely was aware of the situation. The first dozen or so appear to be discussing scheduling a meeting to plan how to mess up Fort Lee’s traffic, and one says “It’s the only day that works for the Gov.” (H/t commenter justanotherhuman @ LGF)

    The USS Christie 2016 has smacked into the GWB, torn off a huge chunk of its hull, and is sinking rapidly.

  18. 18
    Kay says:

    @Ash Can:

    I think he should come out strongly against the corrupt and venal government thugs in his government.
    I could see it, actually. “This is exactly why we need smaller government”
    I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

  19. 19
    Chyron HR says:

    @Scotius:

    I’m still trying to figure out why a Democratic mayor would be expected to endorse a Republican governor.

    GET ON DA TRAIN OR GET UNDA IT, YA MOOK!

  20. 20
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Maybe I’m a cynic but I don’t see this hurting Crlhristie. What GOP voter cares if the candidate throws an elbow at a Dem?

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: One who sat in traffic for three hours?

  22. 22
    Scotius says:

    They used email to gloat about this? Seriously? Was Twitter busy that day or something? How does Christie expect to be president if he can’t even find staff who know how to do a coverup?

  23. 23
    TG Chicago says:

    @pat: I believe Kay was first (see post title). :-)

  24. 24
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    People Christie needs to back his national ambitions weren’t harmed by the shutdown. If he’s playing the long game this won’t affect him.

  25. 25
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Anybody with a kid in school, who didn’t appreciate politicians having a good laugh about their kids?

  26. 26
    kindness says:

    I was reading a similar thread over at LG&M and half the comments are folks accusing each other of not being good liberals because someone made fat inference.

    While we all can relate to that, let us not go circular firing squad because intemperate joking. I’ll use Cobert….Is Christi fat? I don’t know, I don’t see fat…

    @Betty Cracker: Duh oh! funny though.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    So, in other words, it has less to do with his leadership magic and appeal, and more to do with straight political favor-trading, which is exactly what he campaigned AGAINST.

    And is also something that will have very little value outside of his own backyard. Arm twisting isn’t very helpful unless you have some leverage, and his leverage is limited to New Jersey. Also, too, it means that any Democratic endorsement will now be subject to extreme scrutiny.

  28. 28
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Local stuff. I still don’t see this having much impact on a national stage in 2016 or whenever. Not that I’m not enjoying it.
    I’m in MX at the moment, commuting daily from TX. The Border folks could teach a master’s class in backed up traffic.

  29. 29
    Geeno says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Not his nature. Just like Nixon did, he’s taking something that was bad enough and making it worse. His handling of it will come off bad to the backers.
    Christie has a thin – snerk – skin.

  30. 30
    MattR says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Odds are that some high powered folks in Wall Street were affected by this – either directly or indirectly when one of their “vital” employees was delayed. I don’t know that they will just let it slide. If anything, they may wonder if they could be next (ie. what happens if Christie becomes President and these big business types oppose one of his plans? what kind of revenge will Christie try to enact?)

  31. 31
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Geeno:
    Coverup not the crime. Agreed. We’ll see what kind of legs this has. I do hope it does his image some harm.

  32. 32
    gnomedad says:

    Red shirt. Beam ‘im down.

  33. 33
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    And is also something that will have very little value outside of his own backyard. Arm twisting isn’t very helpful unless you have some leverage, and his leverage is limited to New Jersey.

    It’s amusing, because Christie’s big “brave” crusade was against government employees, how they had “captured” Democrats who used the leverage of government jobs, etc. politically.
    But Christie does the same thing, and he trades in something that is much more valuable than “a job”, which is a privatization contract. That’s where the real money is. Not “a job” in a government-run lottery, for instance, but the contract to run the lottery privately.
    Christie is a star at Reason, and he’s a star because he privatizes government services. It’s just amusing to me that “private contractor thugs” are much more appealing to libertarians and conservatives than “government union thugs”.
    It doesn’t make any sense. There’s nothing more pure about a contractor. It’s the same fucking thing they yell about when it’s government employees.

  34. 34
    Ned F. says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: My feeling too. The base loves the idea of poking the libs in the eye, and outside of the tri-state area, no one will remember anything about bridge closures in 3 months.

  35. 35
    VOR says:

    @Kay: Union = votes Democrat and therefore evil. Contractors are freedom-loving job creators.

  36. 36
    NCSteve says:

    I find it remarkable that the reason it is “unclear” who Wildstein was talking to in those texts is because the other party’s identifier was redacted. I find it more remarkable that no one in the press seems to have explained that fact.

  37. 37
    NCSteve says:

    I find it remarkable that the reason it is “unclear” who Wildstein was talking to in those texts is because the other party’s identifier was redacted. I find it more remarkable that no one in the press seems to have explained that fact.

  38. 38
    Xboxershorts says:

    According to the post at Rawstory, the other correspondent with Wildstein is Deputy Chief of Staff Anne Kelly.

    And the correspondence was done using private email accounts.

    Putting this order fully within the governor’s office.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....opponents/

  39. 39
    Gypsy Howell says:

    It is unclear who Wildstein was corresponding with, however the recipient of his message said, “No.”
    “I feel badly about the kids,” wrote Wildstein. “I guess.”
    “They are the children of Buono voters,” joked Wildstein’s correspondent, referring to Christie’s challenger in last November’s election, Barbara Buono.

    How much do you want to bet REDACTED=CHRISTIE?

  40. 40
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    It’s just amusing to me that “private contractor thugs” are much more appealing to libertarians and conservatives than “government union thugs”.

    It’s the conservative/libertarian big lie. They pretend that they’re shrinking government when they’re really outsourcing it. It’s exactly the kind of corrupt, inefficient practice they claim is the worst part of government, but by moving it nominally into the private sector they’re suddenly for it.

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’ve been getting some traction here with what I think of as the “distribution” argument re: government employees versus government contracting.

    The big plus of actual government employees for someone like me, who depends upon people making a decent wage so they can pay me, is that tax dollars are more evenly distributed. I get absolutely no benefit from a privatized contract CEO in some other state receiving big salary bucks from my tax dollars, and then paying all the people who actually work HERE 12 dollars an hour.
    I’d rather the public employee manager gets 130k and then the workers get 42K instead of the privatization split, where the CEO gets millions and the local workers get peanuts.
    Privatization hurts every small or independent business in this county. Their tax money goes out and it never comes back. I’d rather keep more here.

  42. 42
    geg6 says:

    Nope, not wrong at all. I lol’d this morning when I read the emails on TPM.

  43. 43
    Xboxershorts says:

    Found the original story from NJ that alleges the knowledge/order of lane closures reaches the governor’s office…

    http://www.nj.com/politics/ind.....lyout_news

  44. 44
    Scott S. says:

    They really seemed to think this would hurt the mayor politically. That seems particularly hilarious.

  45. 45
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @NCSteve: The redacted person is likely the source.

  46. 46
    Xboxershorts says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    The redacted person is likely the source.

    The redacted person is Bridget Anne Kelly, Gov Christie’s deputy chief of staff

  47. 47
    slippytoad says:

    @Scotius:

    I think you said it pretty well.

    This problem is inexplicable. Christie has no cause, morally or otherwise, to punish someone for failing to endorse him. Jesus fuck what an ego that man must have.

    The punishment is beyond inexplicable. It hurts recklessly in every direction. People DIE in bad traffic. It’s not something to do deliberately.

    I’d like to see this asshole resign from his governorship immediately. His idea of what the job of Governor entails is obviously not an adult, sane, reasonable one.

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:
    It also seems that there’s a huge potential for corruption any time you have somebody who’s in a position to make millions of dollars on a government contract. Republicans are constantly talking about the political corruption caused by public employee unions, but the corruption from big political contractors is worse because the money is so concentrated.

  49. 49
    Yatsuno says:

    @Roger Moore: The IRS attempted to privatise collections under Dubya. It was a complete disaster, collections fell, people were getting Taxpayer Advocate involvement right and left, and the contractors were breaking the law in threatening taxpayers with punishments they were not eligible for. That program ended in 2010 and all collections moved back in-house. Which is good cause that’s my job. :)

  50. 50
    thalarctos (not the other one) says:

    @Ned F.: I can’t say that I agree. If this were Dallas, or Chicago, or Philly, it might be forgotten soon–but too many of the major news outlets run out of NYC, so we probably can count on this pot boiling for some time to come.

  51. 51
    NCSteve says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I’m thinking these documents were leaked by someone on the port authority, probably the one who said the subpoenaed documents proved the orders came from higher up. I suspect the redaction is either because the the identifier on the text message is a phone number rather than a name and/or they came from Christie.

  52. 52
    NCSteve says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I’m thinking these documents were leaked by someone on the port authority, probably the one who said the subpoenaed documents proved the orders came from higher up. I suspect the redaction is either because the the identifier on the text message is a phone number rather than a name and/or they came from Christie.

  53. 53
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yatsuno:
    So Republican screwing around with the IRS caused collections to decline? Hoocoodanode?

  54. 54
    slippytoad says:

    @Ned F.:

    The republican base exists entirely for flipping off, and jamming their thumbs, into the eyes of virtualized “librulz” who cry like babies.

    They are always so . . . angry that real liberals turn out to be smarter than they are, and unafraid to jam a few fingers in a few eyes ourselves.

    Wow, is Christie an asshole or what, guys? I mean, really fat jokes aside there’s nothing appealing about this man and even less now that his true colors are revealed. How PETTY a sad little prick he must be.

  55. 55
    Yatsuno says:

    @Roger Moore: Shulman, a Dubya appointee, put the IRS on a hiring freeze in 2010. It most likely won’t get lifted until the budgeting gets done for the actual offices. Turns out the money to run the gubmint wasn’t in that big budget bill that just passed, and that gets done separately now. They’ll probably try to dick us over again even though we bring in $4 for every $1 spent on the IRS. Businesses would kill for a ROI like that, but that would also be an instance of gubmint actually working and can’t have that now can we? If there’s a big budget cut I might get remaindered because I was last hired and I now get screwed on all decisions because my SSN ends in a zero. I really don’t want to go back to the private sector, but that might just happen.

  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yatsuno:

    I now get screwed on all decisions because my SSN ends in a zero

    ??? I thought the last four numbers were randomly assigned within a regional office/group. What does having a SSN ending in zero have to do with “last hired first fired” and similar?

  57. 57
    Yatsuno says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Per the contract, any decisions that affect the work situation get decided first by date of hire, then the GS of the hire, then by Social Security Number if all of those are ties. That order flips every year, even numbers 9 is on top odd years 0 leads. So I was first choice for things last year but this year I’m bottom of the barrel. So if there are reductions in force I’m first in line to get one. This may not be a fun year for me I’ll just say.

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yatsuno:

    They’ll probably try to dick us over again even though because we bring in $4 for every $1 spent on the IRS.

    Corrected for actual Republican thought processes.

  59. 59
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yatsuno:

    This may not be a fun year for me I’ll just say

    That’s an understatement!

    On the other hand, maybe you will have two new hips and be pain-free when it’s done, and still have your job. I am feeling optimistic today, my money is on door #2.

  60. 60
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yatsuno: Thanks for that clear explanation. I had no idea that was the system. And for you, hope it doesn’t reach that point.

  61. 61
    metricpenny says:

    Kay,

    I know I’m waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay late to this party, but I had to give you kudos for the “Bullies are cowards.” line.

    You have validated my opinion of Gov. Christie expressed to a fellow progressive. She stated she thought he was one of the sane Republicans. I told her it didn’t matter that he was sane, he was a bully and I don’t like bullies and would not vote for one.

    She disagreed he is a bully, just tough.

    I’m going with your assessment.

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