Occam’s Razor Lost Its Edge

There are a couple of gnawing thoughts tonight about the Outlaw Jersey Whale (thank you TBOGG) that are keeping me awake tonight.

The first is my conflicted opinion about what Tim referred to as “Chris Christie demands to know why nobody told him what everyone in his office is up to.” I mean, to me, it just defies all logic and reason that all his close aides were involved in this shit and yet he is just stunned to be learning about it. What the fuck did he spend the last few months doing since these allegations were first made?

Having said that, I’ve spent a lot of time studying groupthink, and I have had employees in the past in both the “real” world, in academia, and in the military when I was a squad leader, so I know all about the concept of mind guarding and keeping info from the boss and the uncanny ability of employees to fuck up the simplest of things without any recognition of the depth and breadth of what they have just done. In this case, though, Christie presents himself as a hands on guy who is in control of things (that was him walking around after Sandy in a hard hat with Obama, wasn’t it), so that shit just doesn’t fly. He spent hours with these people every day. Either he knew or he is the most incompetent executive ever.

Second, this whole thing with that young, blonde, long-term rightwing aide who got run over by the Christie bus just reminds me of another young blonde female who was also a vicious political hack- Monica Goodling. I simply don’t remember so many vicious female political hacks when I was younger. There was always Phyllis Schlafly and Anita Bryant, but, it just seems like there are so many more female political hacks than before. Not that they outpace the male political hacks by any measure.

Finally, what I really don’t get out of this whole thing is what was the fucking point of it all? It doesn’t matter if Christie was involved or not, what was the fucking point? All it was was a dick move that fucked over a lot of people. No political point was made (until they got caught). No one on the bridge stuck there for hours thought “Well God Damned. I’ll not vote Democrat again.”

It was just pointless dickish idiocy. Which, I guess, isn’t so far removed from the House GOP voting 38 times to repeal the ACA. So I guess, If you look at it holistically, the whole damned thing makes sense after all.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

*** Update ***

I’d also like to be the first to note that this is the second Republican Presidential/VP hopeful in the last few years to have problems with what we shall call a “Bridge to Nowhere.” If I were Christie, I’d personally shoot anyone who mentions the term “Appalachian Trail” within 100 yards of me.

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143 replies
  1. 1
    John Casey says:

    Clearly, for your own sanity, your mind refuses to recall Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham.

  2. 2

    […] of course, John Cole at Balloon Juice beats me to it: “It doesn’t matter if Christie was involved or not, what was the fucking point? All it was […]

  3. 3
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Christie can’t control himself. It’s why he is grossly overweight, why he has screaming meltdowns with his staff, why he yells at constituents who ask him questions and why he retaliated in this manner against NJ State Senate Leader Loretta Weinberg, who represents Fort Lee. Let’s be glad he’s shown the world now that he doesn’t have the demeanor to have his finger on the nuke button.

  4. 4
    patrick II says:

    What the fuck did he spend the last few months doing since these allegations were first made?

    I am with you on this. A few months ago he definitively stated that there was not a problem with the people in his office. How did he know? He asked the people in his office if it was true if they had political motives for closing those lanes, and they told him “no”. And he “believed” them. It wouldn’t have taken much to investigate this, even at a very informal level — just ask to see the traffic study they were purporting to be the true purpose behind the lane closure. But Christie hasn’t done that — and it has been three months. He didn’t ask to see the study either because he didn’t really want to know the truth — or he knew it all along.

  5. 5
    Cacti says:

    It was just pointless dickish idiocy

    That was the point. Nothing more complicated than that.

    Things like this don’t have a rational basis. Christie and his stooges did this because they could, and because they get their jollies from being pricks. There was no reason for Nixon to order the Watergate break-in. The only question about the outcome of the 1972 election was the margin of victory. He ordered it because he was a power-mad, paranoid fuck.

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s not so much about what Christie gains by doing it, it’s about making an example of those who would defy his will: “Cross me and there will be consequences.” His out-of-control self and/or his out-of-control aides were using their power just to remind people they had it.

    ETA: … And, as Cacti notes, because bullying people feels good.

  7. 7
    Warren Terra says:

    It’s not that hard. If they can make the citizens of Fort Lee generally unhappy, they can make the local officials fear for their careers. It helps if the unhappiness is somehow manifestly connected to governmental authority (albeit state-controlled and not locally controlled in this instance), but it isn’t essential: if they could have controlled local radio to play crappy music, that would have worked, too. And the knowledge of why the local citizens are peeved doesn’t have to spread widely: a quiet, suggestive, indirect word can always be whispered in the appropriate ear. Or, indeed, the bullies can keep the knowledge secret among themselves, perhaps chuckling with each other about how their political enemies’ lives are unduly difficult.

  8. 8
    Joey Maloney says:

    Regarding the why, Rachel Maddow presented an interesting theory tonight, that it really had nothing to do with the mayor of Fort Lee at all. Rather, Christie has been feuding with the (Democratic) head of the State Senate’s judiciary committee over SCONJ appointments for years. The day before the now-infamous “time for some traffic problems” email was sent, Christie threw a public tantrum and withdrew the nomination of a long-time friend after the committee signaled that she would have a very difficult time getting through the committee.

    That legislator who chairs the committee? Represents Fort Lee.

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The totally implausible part is that these people did this on their own. They picked up the vibes for dickishness from somewhere, and they enthusiastically did it KNOWING that they’d be well thought of by Christie for doing so.

    Christie’s protests that he was lied to are just such bullshit. He knew, he approved, and he joked about it afterwards.

  10. 10
    Joey Maloney says:

    …oh, well, never mind, should’ve read downstairs before posting.

  11. 11
    Amir Khalid says:

    If I were Christie, I’d personally shoot anyone who mentions the term “Appalachian Trail” within 100 yards of me.

    Oh, I wouldn’t worry about this. I cannot imagine Chris Christie, of all people, going hiking. Neither can anyone else.

  12. 12
    Thlayli says:

    @John Casey:

    Clearly, for your own sanity, your mind refuses to recall Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham.

    The first name that popped into my head was Mary Matalin.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    The appropriate analogy — which I haven’t seen anyone mention yet — is Iran-Contra.

  14. 14
    hoodie says:

    @Warren Terra: Hence the GOP projection about Black Hitler Obama — it’s what they’d do if they were in power.

  15. 15

    The Orcosphere is already in full deflection mode. Elias Isquith at Salon boils down the Twitter reaction from the righties to “Yeah, Chris Christie may have messed up, but he’s still better than the mainstream media, Democrats, Obama … and did you hear about Benghazi?”

    I have no doubt that there’s someone out there who is sure that Hillary Clinton engineered the whole thing to make Chris Christie look bad. The Fox News people will lap that up and turn it into a plus for the GOP. Count on it.

  16. 16
    raven says:

    Ah, Joe is back on point. BARAK OBAMA. BENGHAZI, IRS, FAST AND FURIOUS. And Mika is right with him.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    “I’m not making this about Barak Obama”

  18. 18
    geg6 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    This. That’s what all the redactions on the emails and the taking the Fifth was all about hiding. Christie’s fingerprints are all over this and he’s dead meat. As soon as his high school buddy gets a deal, he’s spilling and that will be the end of the Jersey Whale. I’ve never seen a press conference as nuts as the one he gave yesterday. It was all about him, he couldn’t or wouldn’t shut up and he made statements that are patently false and will be easily verified as such. Hard to believe he was a US Attorney.

  19. 19
    hamletta says:

    @John Casey: Yeah, Cole was a Republican back then, but during the Clinton dick business, there arose a the Barbizon School of Blonde Prosecutors.

  20. 20
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    No political point was made (until they got caught). No one on the bridge stuck there for hours thought “Well God Damned. I’ll not vote Democrat again.”

    True, but I bet a few of them are now thinking, “Goddamn, I’m never voting for a Republican again.”

    If they aren’t, they should be.

  21. 21
    raven says:

    Right-Wing Media Deflect From Gov. Christie Bridge Scandal To Attack Obama, Invoke Benghazi

    Right-wing media responded to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) admission that his administration caused a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge as political payback with praise for the embattled governor and used Christie’s response to pivot to criticisms of President Obama including invoking the phony Benghazi scandal.

  22. 22
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole:

    I simply don’t remember so many vicious female political hacks when I was younger.

    I blame Ayn Rand.

  23. 23
    JGabriel says:

    Amir Khalid:

    It’s not so much about what Christie gains by doing it, it’s about making an example of those who would defy his will: “Cross me and there will be consequences.” His out-of-control self and/or his out-of-control aides were using their power just to remind people they had it.

    That pretty much works as a description of the authoritarian mind-set in general.

  24. 24
    mai naem says:

    Ho is saying Christie did just fine. Mika says Christie did just fine. Then they talked about how Obama didn’t take responsibility for the IRS scandal. Nobody brings up details about the so called IRS scandal. Nobody brings up that Ho bitched about Obama defenders comparing scandals to Bush scandals because these were Obama scandals – nothing to do with Bush. Also too, nobody brings up the Christie aide taking the fith.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    All the faux scandals remind me how amazingly clean this administration is. It really is astounding, especially when you look at recent history.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    Blockquote>Thus spoke Zarathustra.More commonly, Thus Spake Zarathustra.

    Also too, Nietzsche is pietzsche.

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    Corrected format of #26 (this week’s insomnia is starting to tell):

    Thus spoke Zarathustra.

    More commonly, Thus Spake Zarathustra.

    Also too, Nietzsche is pietzsche.

  28. 28
    mai naem says:

    @JGabriel: There’s going to be a lot of NJ people thinking about any nightmare commutes they’ve had in the past few years. The guy was a US Attorney and he just believed his staff? Really? Sounded like he didn’t even do individual interviews. Just a conference table meeting – going around the table. Too unbelievable.

  29. 29
    raven says:

    Oh boy, Mika is so fucking happy to read Peggy Noonan’s blow job of the fat boy. And OBAMA!

  30. 30
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @mai naem: Ho also missed that Christy appointed these folk to their positions; the President didn’t hire the folk in the Cincy IRS office.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    The only time something of Noonan’s should be read out loud is at her commitment hearing.

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: And how desperate the right is. All this reminds me of the fact that for a black man to succeed in this world, he has to work twice as hard, be twice as smart, and evidently, twice as clean as any white man.

  33. 33
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    I haven’t really followed this closely until tonight, but what’s up with all the email redactions? If these emails were written by state government employees, during work hours, on their state government assigned email accounts, then they are basically public property, are they not? And if so, why aren’t all the names public? What kind of claim could really be made for redaction? National security gets laughed off. Is there a possible set of prosecutions in the future that are better served by keeping a couple of identities in the dark for the time being? It’s really the only reason I can think of.

  34. 34
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @raven: Our Lady of the Magic Dolphins finished her crawl into the gin bottle when they buried St. Ronnie. She’s only got pictures of him in his cowboy hat to keep her warm now. Poor dear.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    It’s really been amazing to watch. I was never “post-racial” but I’m taken aback by how easily the hate has become accepted as a normal part of society.

  36. 36
    MattF says:

    So, this mayor of Ft. Lee. Seems to have pretty good judgement. Croatian, not Serbian, btw.

  37. 37
    Hal says:

    A conservative friend on Facebook has already posted a “big deal! Let’s talk about Hillary and Obama and Benghazi” post. People are starting to panic and since I find Christie an obnoxious bully, I can’t say I’m hating all of this.

  38. 38
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @Baud: It was always there under the surface, but a lot of us white guys had to either learn to see it or at the least look for it because we’re beneficiaries of the system (plus I grew up in a pretty predominantly white town, I think my graduating class of 400 kids at my high school may have had half a dozen black kids, tops). But when the President got too near, and then got re-elected, both times quite comfortably, I think a lot of folks whose racism went largely unspoken lost their shit and have let their freak flag fly. For them, being American means, among other things, being white. (I actually wonder how many folks were hit upside the head with that association after his election who didn’t consider themselves racist and did some reflecting on it. ) That’s where all this birther crap comes from. He can’t possibly be a “legitimate” President because he’s a Democract AND a black man with a background that doesn’t fit into their prefab typecasts. And it “became” accepted only in the sense that it became ok among a lot of the right wing talk radio crowd to say this stuff out loud, rather than think it silently or snicker over chain emails about it.

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: He didn’t miss that, he ignored it. On purpose.

  40. 40
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    I read that at least some of the e-mails were from private accounts.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink: These e-mails were on private accounts, for the specific reason of trying to hide what they were doing. That’s why they had to subpena’d.

  42. 42
    the MEitcong says:

    Perhaps Christie has just been following the GWB script. Lots of people loved them some GWB swagger and manly manliness, and equated it – as with Christie’s temper and verbal abusiveness – as “leadership.” In GWB’s case we know it was a charade, an empty storefront; the staff was left to run amok with all manner of political pursuits and misuse of office. I suppose it’s possible Christie is just a vacant blowhard who enjoys playing a competent executive, although I suspect there’s quite a bit more to come out of all of this.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    And it “became” accepted only in the sense that it became ok among a lot of the right wing talk radio crowd to say this stuff out loud, rather than think it silently or snicker over chain emails about it.

    If it were just the right-wing, that would be one thing. But it’s also the fact that so many non-wingnut whites have just rolled over in the face of it, even though important things are not getting done because we have to fight these stupid fights. It’s like post-Reconstruction all over again.

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: And my greatest disappointment. I never thought racism was dead but I did naively think we had finally turned the corner. Maybe all this crap is just the last desperate dying gasps, but 47% is a lot of people.

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink: This. I suspect that a not insignificant number of white people found that not being racist came at a *cost* to them. The cost being that in a more equal America, they aren’t “special” anymore.

  45. 45
    geg6 says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    It was private emails subpoenaed from Wildstein, who did the redactions with his lawyer. IMHO, it is a strategy to get a deal and I believe Chistie will be toast once we see the names in those redactions.

  46. 46
    MikeJ says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Maybe all this crap is just the last desperate dying gasps, but 47% is a lot of people

    But at least 47% is a minority. That is turning a corner in a way. Even 10 years earlier it would not have been a minority.

  47. 47
    amk says:

    He is a fucking liar & cowardly bully. The end.

  48. 48
    IowaOldLady says:

    @the MEitcong: I saw a study somewhere that showed people mistake confidence for competence. Swagger must be ultra-competence.

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @MikeJ:

    I don’t in any way diminish the progress we have made. It’s more a lesson about the fact that so much lies under the surface than is often obvious to us, particularly us liberals.

  50. 50
    NorthLeft12 says:

    “and keeping info from the boss and the uncanny ability of employees to fuck up the simplest of things without any recognition of the depth and breadth of what they have just done.”

    John, what you wrote above applies tenfold for managers. For every major eff up that gets exposed like this, there are many times more that employees get it right without the boss knowing diddly squat about, and most likely his direct instructions have been modified or reversed in some significant way. But, they will still take credit [and be rewarded] for the positive result.
    And yeah, I have been a manager and supervisor in two multinational chemical companies too.

  51. 51
    Elizabelle says:

    @raven:

    Watched Morning Joe for a small while (in solidarity with raven) to see what he was making of this. You got it.

    Benghazi! IRS scandal! Telling his viewers that Obama has had scandal after scandal after scandal. (Really?)

    Then assuring us that Christie will put this behind us and succeed in national office. Well alrighty.

    Couldn’t watch too long. An insult to one’s intelligence.

  52. 52
    Valdivia says:

    I can report that Ron Fournier, our favorite (not) Villager, in a column yesterday already compared Christie to Obama and said that Christie was masterful and took charge ans responsibility. His point being that Obama never did, on anything. What?
    And this was in a column that wasn’t actually that positive about Christie. But he had to put in that little Obama dig.
    These people are all pathological in their hatred of him eh?

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @Valdivia:

    They hate Obama pathologically. But they also have a lot invested in Christie. He’s their Great White Hope for 2016.

  54. 54
    Steeplejack says:

    @Cole:

    [. . .] I know all about the concept of mind guarding and keeping info from the boss and the uncanny ability of employees to fuck up the simplest of things without any recognition of the depth and breadth of what they have just done.

    True, but there is a difference between employees you “inherit” and those who—as is presumably the case here—are hand-picked members of your core team. Back when I was a manager, I had differently calibrated expectations of, and communications with, those different groups. With the drones, I never went into one of my spittle-flecked rants about the incompetent villains at Corporate. At the same time, my inner group knew that my spittle-flecked rants were not a coded directive to take an upper-decker in the executive washroom. That wasn’t my style, so to speak.

    The idea that Christie’s inner circle is not taking its lead from him and is insulating him and keeping him clueless like the pointy-headed boss in Dilbert is laughable. The fish rots from the head.

  55. 55
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @Baud: On “rolling over,” that’s at least partially a reflection of the broader discomfort white folks have talking about race in general, even amongst one another (unless they feel “safe,” in which case you get things like one of my white Australian co-workers complaining about all the dang Chinese in the particular neighborhood of Melbourne we worked in that should just “go back to their country–I just deadpanned an agreement about all the immigrants taking all the dang jobs in my Yankee accent and that shut her up). I have never seen a group of white people use the phrase “white privilege” in a non-academic setting, ever. And the non-bigoted run the risk of getting shouted at every time they point out that somebody is either saying something racist, (or getting sucked down some stupid “reverse racism” rabbithole from which there is no coherent return) and let’s face it, shouting about the politics of race and privilege isn’t on a lot of top hobby lists. I don’t exactly confront people for being racist as long is it’s not the violent sort. I prefer to mock them where it’s possible, and at times when it’s not I’ll plead guilty to being silent. And on TV? Wingnuts speak bumper-sticker, and bumper-sticker rules on TV. There’s so much to unpack to have an intelligent conversation on this topic that doing it in soundbites is practically impossible, and asking it to happen on cable news, well, the best you can usually hope for there is an occasional burst of righteous indignation done with some flair. And if you’re waiting to get that from Mika Brezinski (yes I’m sure I spelled that wrong), then get comfy, because you may shake hands with Godot first.

  56. 56
    Elizabelle says:

    Thinking more on Morning Blow and his List of Obama Scandals: I think newly energized Democrats should push back on some of the issues involved. Because there are Republican/elite class fingerprints all over them, and screaming about “Obama! Scandal!” has obfuscated that.

    Benghazi: yes, everyone is sick of this one, but Republicans in Congress blocked sufficient funds to protect our overseas embassies and personnel. That said, one cannot keep a great ambassador like Chris Stevens under house arrest. What happened to him is what happens to people in areas of conflict. Sad but true. He’d no doubt accept the assignment again.

    Last, the NYTimes’ exhaustive investigation backed up the US government on their account. Crickets!

    IRS “scandal”: The scandal is what is tax exempt and what anonymous donors can hide behind. Should the Koch Brothers’ political arms be able to shelter donors and claim “social welfare” as its aim? Should Tea Party groups, which are outright political, get tax deductions? Should Democratic groups which are political do so?

    The Republic can survive without showering this kind of activity with tax deductions. This one is Democrats, Republicans, plutocrats, everyone with a hand out for tax deductions. Cut the deduction. Our infrastructure needs the revenue, and these groups can scream and paper us all with solicitations without being tax exempt.

    Narrow that “social welfare” definition, and do it soon, under the guise of bringing in more revenue and strengthening the middle class and our public infrastructure. Make it an “ethics” issue. Can Obama do that by executive order, under the guise of giving the IRS better and cleaner instructions?

    The IRS employees were not targeting the Tea Party. They were trying to carry out their duties with very little guidance.

    “Fast and Furious”: one scandal is how much the NRA and its Congressional and state minions have gutted our gun laws. 90% of the public supported gun purchasers’ background checks. Take a fresh look at gun safety laws in our society awash with guns.

    I say it’s time for pushback. That would energize me.

  57. 57
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    The point was “Nice town there, mayor, it would be a shame if anything happened to it. Like this, see? You thought you could defy the Governor and not endorse him? You’ll think twice about that next time, I bet”

    Everything I’ve seen in the emails and elsewhere shows that it was about the mayor, despite what Christie claims, and it was discipline/revenge/retribution. That’s how thuggish groups exert their dominance and control.

    That’s how this administration was working, clearly, and it doesn’t matter one bit if the Governor himself can be found in some email ordering this specific move, he should be forced to resign for creating an administration that engaged in anything like this.

  58. 58
    Steeplejack says:

    I semi-watched Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow last night and got to see a lot of clips from Christie’s press conference (which I missed in real time). One thing that struck me was that Christie’s voice sounded slightly higher-pitched than usual and had a slightly rushed, run-on cadence that reminded me of a kid trying to explain himself out of a tight spot. “No, I was trying to put the cookies back into the jar, but then the dog came in and knocked it over, and then while I was picking the cookies up this pirate was at the back door trying to get in, and then I turned around to lock the door, and then the dog took the cookies upstairs and put them in my drawer, and then . . .”

    (This is maybe wish fulfillment on my part.)

  59. 59
    Valdivia says:

    @Baud:

    I just don’t get the appeal. At all. And I come from a region with some great authoritarian traditions–he’s too over the top.

  60. 60
    debbie says:

    This episode is typical East Coast Republican politics. Rudi Giuliani was no different and probably even more vindictive. Of course, all this “not knowing” served Reagan very well.

    As for vicious blond hacks, no one will ever top Mary Maitlin, who continues her spiteful nonsense even in obscurity.

  61. 61
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @Steeplejack: I watched the Maddow clip Anne Laurie linked to, and I actually agree with Rachel that he sounds fairly convincing on the whole endorsement question. I think her alternative theory makes a lot more sense, and I also agree with people here that this may have been brewing for a while in the background before it suddenly became actual retaliation. May have even started out as a joke or a semi-joke, given the length of time and the intensity of the feud involved with the Jersey state Senate. There had to have been enough out there in the culture of Team Christie for one to send that single sentence to another, and have it make sense.

  62. 62
    Penus says:

    @the MEitcong: See Joe Arpaio. Bury wide swaths of corruption under a thick layer of ass-kicking bravado, to be lapped up by a compliant media with a soft spot for Republican “tough guys.”

  63. 63
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Valdivia: The Village media is once again focused on personalities, as if Christie is put on trial by press conference, and based on whether he’s found to be charming or something, he gets let off for this. Plus of course this is Fournier who’s a Republican cheerleader, so there’s that on top of it in this case.

    No one should survive in office after all this came out. He’s known to be kind of a thug, and now his whole administration is found involved in thuggery with real-world consequences, acting as enforcers to discipline a non-obedient lower official. Whether he can “win” the news cycle with reporters by some performance he gives should have zero to do with it, he should be forced to resign.

  64. 64
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @debbie: Obscurity cannot mature rapidly enough in the case of Matalin and Skeletor (seriously, what’s happened to that guy’s HEAD in old age? He and Chertoff should just offer themselves to some quack phrenology school for the students to learn on)

  65. 65
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Finally, what I really don’t get out of this whole thing is what was the fucking point of it all? It doesn’t matter if Christie was involved or not, what was the fucking point? All it was was a dick move that fucked over a lot of people. No political point was made (until they got caught). No one on the bridge stuck there for hours thought “Well God Damned. I’ll not vote Democrat again.”

    This is why I initially thought the story was bullshit, while recognizing that this is the Chewbacca Defense. It made a little more sense when I realized it was really Fort Lee city traffic that was backed up and not the usual I-95 gridlock. But it’s still a very Rube Goldberg way of sending a message.

    So either this was people hurting people (very indirectly) just because they could, or someone must have made very opaque threats of repercussions if the target didn’t cooperate. The target of the threats hasn’t mentioned them, though, so they may not have picked up on them at the time.

    Or, putting the best possible spin on this, they backed up traffic for other reasons, knowing it would cause problems, and thinking the problems were a feature, not a bug. And that’s the best case.

  66. 66
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @Penus: Steven Seagal for Governor of Arizona, bitches. I wonder if he’d use his own band at the inauguration ball?

  67. 67
    Valdivia says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    excellent point. I think it’s more like the press conference is the Political Idol audition. :)

  68. 68
    kc says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Didn’t Sarah Palin do something similar? I wonder how many of them were sent during working hours?

    These assholes . . .

  69. 69
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @Valdivia: Oh dear God. Now I just have visions of Halperin and Fournier and Woodward behind that stupid fucking judges’ panel while Chuck Todd puts out the calls for America’s Vote and Luntz wanders through the audience of reporters gathering comments from adoring fans

  70. 70
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @kc: Troopergate!

  71. 71
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MikeJ: Yeah Mike, this is true. Maybe it is the volume that depresses me.

  72. 72
    Valdivia says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    Actually in this contest only the WHPC gets a vote.

  73. 73
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @Valdivia: That’s a cheery thought. I guess the next question is whether the “explanations” will have a beat that David Gregory can dance to.

  74. 74
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @kc: They’re all doing it these days. Republican, Democrats, independents it doesn’t matter. It has become SOP since the passage of sunshine laws. Turns out governance hates the light of truth.

  75. 75
    Valdivia says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    :D

    Now I need some brain bleach ;)

  76. 76
    Chris says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    Hit the nail right on the head.

  77. 77
    Steeplejack says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    I agree that Christie sounded semi-convincing on the Fort Lee endorsement part. Where he didn’t sound convincing was in the “I’m shocked—shocked!—at what my staff members have done” part. He kept running on about how hurt and mad and taken by surprise he was—but yet he had no interest in questioning Bridget Kelly (or anyone else, it seems) about what went down.

    I also agree that the ongoing feud with the legislature about Supreme Court nominations is a much more plausible root cause than one mayor’s withholding of an endorsement.

  78. 78
    p says:

    having a memory, a heart, and being curious (wanting to know the truth)
    can be a bitch

  79. 79
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steeplejack: “I am not a witc… I mean bully!”

  80. 80
    debbie says:

    I rest my case:

  81. 81
    JGabriel says:

    Steeplejack:

    I also agree that the ongoing feud with the legislature about Supreme Court nominations is a much more plausible root cause than one mayor’s withholding of an endorsement.

    I’m not sure any excuse sounds more plausible than another. We’re talking about people who thought shutting down a state’s major infrastructure into the country’s most populous city for political payback was a rational idea.

    I mean the payback itself was such unbelievable overkill – punishing all of New Jersey’s GW Bridge commuters for the political decisions of a few state politicians, possibly just one – that it wouldn’t be any more surprising to hear that it was over a hangnail than it was over the political motivations that have been proffered so far.

  82. 82
    poptartacus says:

    http://youtu.be/_NQH7aFLux0

    Christie done it

  83. 83
    poptartacus says:

    http://youtu.be/_NQH7aFLux0

    Christie done it

  84. 84
    debbie says:

    I know I pasted the link in the right way, but one more time:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....s_christie

  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    WaPost’s Erik Wemple has a great blogpost up about how the Bergen Record ferreted out this story. Their traffic columnist, John Cichowski, was tipped to the toll lane closings; ran a story on Friday the 13th of September.

    [Cichowski’s] piece carried this quote from Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich: “I’ve asked the Port for an explanation, but they haven’t responded. I thought we had a good relationship. Now I’m beginning to wonder if there’s something I did wrong. Am I being sent some sort of message?”

    Next, the Record’s reporter on the Port Authority beat, Shawn Boburg, obtained the emails, possibly via leak. He had filed “about a dozen public-records requests.”

    Wemple: Since it’s a bistate entity filled with political appointees of various loyalties, it’s tough to get records requests through the thicket. That same dynamic, however, ensures that some of the records being sought formally get leaked informally. “There were documents leaked to us several times that would be responsive [to public document requests] if they had actually supplied the documents,” says Boburg, noting that the formal response from the Port Authority has been to seek more time …

    Three cheers for the Bergen Record, doing its job through good, dogged reporting and personal contacts. Yea Shawn Boburg and John Cichowski, watching out for your readers.

  86. 86
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @debbie: Boys will be boys, amirite? Oh that Chris, such a scamp!

  87. 87
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @JGabriel: This. None of the explanations really make sense.

    1. Callous innocence (Yeah, we’re doing a traffic study and it will make life difficult in Fort Lee. Sucks to be those kids, but they didn’t vote for us anyway.) doesn’t make sense, because where’s the paper trail backing up the traffic study, what is the “traffic study,” and why are local officials kept completely out of the loop?

    2. Sticking it to the Mayor doesn’t make sense, because his statements (“Have I done something wrong?”) suggest he never picked up on any threat, and like Cole said, why would people blame him for something the Port Authority did?

    3. Sticking it to the state representative makes even less sense. As with the mayor, there doesn’t appear to have been any threat, and again, who blames her for something the Port Authority did?

  88. 88
    Chris says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Benghazi: yes, everyone is sick of this one, but Republicans in Congress blocked sufficient funds to protect our overseas embassies and personnel. That said, one cannot keep a great ambassador like Chris Stevens under house arrest. What happened to him is what happens to people in areas of conflict. Sad but true. He’d no doubt accept the assignment again.

    Agreed. Bringing up the Republicans’ blocking of funds to protect embassies is worth doing simply to illustrate the hypocrisy and how little they actually give a shit about protecting diplomats in the field (something anybody who’s ever heard them talk about the profession already knew). But the plain fact is that the fortification/militarization of our embassies is already something that pisses off quite a few of our diplomats, in my anecdotal experience – it keeps making it harder for them to do their job. The plain fact is that Stevens died doing exactly what he and many diplomats consider their job.

    IRS “scandal”: The scandal is what is tax exempt and what anonymous donors can hide behind. Should the Koch Brothers’ political arms be able to shelter donors and claim “social welfare” as its aim? Should Tea Party groups, which are outright political, get tax deductions? Should Democratic groups which are political do so?

    I agree with this too. The only scandal in IRSgate was that groups that were blatantly political still had their tax exemption at the end of the investigation. And worse, that this struck everyone as normal.

  89. 89
    muricafukyea says:

    Wr0ng way Cole is struggling to determine why he is wrong. Twisting himself into knots to try justify his typical Republican warped view of reality. Lol

    You want to know why Fat Bastard Christie’s explanation doesn’t see to make sense. BECAUSE HE IS LYING! These guys are nothing but glorified used car salesmen.

  90. 90
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @debbie:

    This episode is typical East Coast Republican politics. Rudi Giuliani was no different and probably even more vindictive.

    Yep.

    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Thursday defended his pal New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) …. just a “stupid political prank that backfired.”

    I think people are overthinking this. Guiliani understands it completely. A “political prank”, showing that Rudi thinks that being this reckless with entire cities and people’s lives is just part of hardball politics, as does Christie clearly, despite his protests yesterday. Analyzing what the motives were specifically is tea-leaf reading to some degree.

  91. 91
    JGabriel says:

    Remember when Spitzer had to resign?

    I’m wondering how many people were inconvenienced or died as a result of Spitzer’s whoremongering compared to how many were inconvenienced or died as a result of the Christie administration’s lane closings on the GW Bridge for political payback?

  92. 92
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @JGabriel:

    But you’re forgetting something that totally makes what Spitzer did 10 times worse than anything Christie could ever dream of doing. Something he shares with Obama, who also totally is 100x worse than anything Christie ever did, like, totally.

    3 guesses what that one thing is, and the other 2 don’t count.

  93. 93
    Shortstop says:

    @Amir Khalid: Exactly this. Whether he was going after Weinberg, Sokolich or both, the point was to send a message to all Dems who don’t bow down. Just setting the tone for a fresh new term! The town of Fort Lee/Weinberg’s district also had the advantage of containing the world’s busiest bridge, which just sweetens the message: if I can fuck something this big up this badly, imagine what I can do to your territory.

    As for his not knowing what goes on in his office, many have noted through the years that he’s a micromanager. Somebody (Buono? Weinberg?) commented on MSNBC last night that he gets well into the weeds in NJ municipal mini-issues. The idea that he wouldn’t have been interested in real time in a four-day massive traffic jam and also wouldn’t have explored it later in the face of massive complaints…laughable. If he’s been hands off on this problem, it’s apparently his virgin voyage into delegation.

  94. 94
    Fred says:

    What is the point? Kicking Democrats in the balls is what GOPers do. It is their reason for being in politics. Anymore it seems to be the ONLY thing they do. They sure don’t seem to want to run government.
    And maybe the point (if we want to search for reason) is the same reason a loan shark has a deadbeat killed. It sends a message to anyone else thinking of not paying. The very ham handed, arbitrary nature of it could bring that message home. ‘We don’t give a fuck all. Don’t cross us.’
    Now, as to how this dooms (Ah say DOOMS) Christie’s political future. Yeah right. The GOP would never run a vindictive punk for president and if they did the American people would never elect (or rather almost elect) such a person. Just ask President Al Gore about that.
    Christie is a very dangerous man. Just listen how smoothly he lies about this stuff. If he dodges criminal charges in this mess, he will sail past it with hardly a wrinkle. Hell it will be a badge of honor proving what a tough mutha he is. The GOP base loves tough and even more if a GOPer pol can stick it in the eye of libruls’ and get away with it. It’s all revenge for how America betrayed Nixon. And you know America did betray Nixon and after all he did for us.

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: The part of TRMS last night I thought was the most informative was the interview with Sokolich. And after it was over Maddow said, “The fact that the first question he asked the governor was about retribution? That’s pretty telling.”
    All these guys just expect to get fucked with.
    And if you’re the mayor of Ft Lee you have to have a ginormous ego to entertain the idea that someone is closing the GWB down to spite you in some way. So it’s all just mystifying that this level of retribution for basically nothing does not surprise the politicians involved.

  96. 96
    slippytoad says:

    So let me get this straight. Chris Christie, Republican, fucks up hugely and gets people actually dead in a petty, pointless act of retribution, and all the newsjokers can talk about is Obama?

    No fucking wonder I can’t watch TV news. Just another reason to permanently stay off the network.

  97. 97
    TerryC says:

    @JGabriel: @JGabriel: It’s Faux News. Young women are growing up with that role model.

  98. 98
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Fred:

    It’s not about how smoothly he lies. This shit, no matter how smooth he is, wouldn’t pass the sniff test if people would dig deeper. It’s the fact that the press corps doesn’t WANT to dig deeper, outside of a few crazy super-psycho libby-libs. They’re throwing their hands up and absconding to their fainting couches about how anyone could blame a wonderful man like Christie for something his evil evil ambitious and independent underlings did, and why no one is demanding more from Obama, who (nudge nudge wink wink) totally doesn’t take responsibility for anything himself and is totally fucking 100 times worse because BENGHAZI.

    Or, in other words, IOKIYAR, both sides same thing except Democrats are totally always worse, ignore the whale behind the curtain.

  99. 99
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    The point was “Nice town there, mayor, it would be a shame if anything happened to it. Like this, see? You thought you could defy the Governor and not endorse him? You’ll think twice about that next time, I bet”

    Christie’s governing philosophy is the same as Caligula’s: “Let them hate so long as they fear.” The trouble with that method is that the more you make them fear you, the more they hate you and want to defy you, and you feel you must do more and more outrageous things to make them fear you.

  100. 100
    Chris says:

    @slippytoad:

    So let me get this straight. Chris Christie, Republican, fucks up hugely and gets people actually dead in a petty, pointless act of retribution, and all the newsjokers can talk about is Obama?

    And in the shadow of all that blatant bullshit, still the biggest chunk of the public when polled replies that they think the media is biased towards liberals.

  101. 101
    magurakurin says:

    @Baud:

    He’s their Great White Hope for 2016.

    I can see Christie now,

    Hey Hil. Hey Hil. Hey Hil. I never went down, Hil. You never got me down, Hil. You hear me? You never got me down.

  102. 102
    rk says:

    I simply don’t remember so many vicious female political hacks when I was younger. There was always Phyllis Schlafly and Anita Bryant, but, it just seems like there are so many more female political hacks than before. Not that they outpace the male political hacks by any measure.

    Monica Crowly, Kelly Ann Fitzpatric, The blond who died on 9/11 (she was particularly vicious in her Clinton hatred, Susan Mcmillan. I’ve been seeing stupid blond right wingers forever.

  103. 103
    kindness says:

    You know what I don’t get about the whole thing? How come the media is able to bring forth all these Democrats who say they voted for Christi twice and still support the guy? How is it that New Jersey Democrats don’t see the clusterfuck Republicans as a whole have tried to throw this nation down the rat hole so that the gazillionaires can pick the carcass and increase their portion of the wealth? Christi was no liberal. Christi wasn’t even a moderate. Christi has repeatedly screwed NJ by turning down funds to build a new tunnel across the Hudson and by continuing the budgetary policies of the top 1%.

    How does one ignore all that and still call themselves a Democrat?

  104. 104
    Lavocat says:

    How’s YOUR drinking water, John Cole?

    Seems the entire state of West Virginia has just declared a state of emergency on their water supplies.

    WTF?

  105. 105
    Svensker says:

    @kindness:

    I have lotsa NJ friends and there are basically 2 reasons NJ Dems like Christie:

    1. Jon Corzine
    2. Christie is just SO Jersey and NJ people are proud of that.

  106. 106
    danielx says:

    @Cacti:

    Yup. Dickish idiocy is the point. It had no point other than to majorly inconvenience the residents of a town whose Democratic mayor declined to endorse a Republican governor. Note: I am shocked, shocked to hear that a Democratic officeholder declined to endorse a Republican officeholder. Some might say that dickish idiocy is pretty much the encapsulated essence of today’s Republican Party. I’d add self-destructive dickish idiocy in this case, since among those inconvenienced were undoubtedly a fair number who voted for Christie. I doubt they’ll do so again.

  107. 107
    chopper says:

    @geg6:

    Christie knew all about this from the beginning. What he didn’t know, what really blindsided him, was that his staff would be stupid enough to leave a paper trail. Staff these days…

  108. 108
    catclub says:

    @Elizabelle: “about a dozen public-records requests.”

    Did you notice it was a gmail email account? Not an official one.

  109. 109
    Joey Giraud says:

    Occam’s razor says that rich and powerful people enjoy screwing with the little people because they can.

    It’s naive to believe there must be a strategy or a goal to Christie’s behavior.

  110. 110
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Fred: What states that Obama won in 2012 would a Christie candidacy put into play? I doubt he would win NJ, let alone New York or PA. Additionally, his appeal drops precipitously outside of that area. Remember, he needs to convince voters who are on the fence to vote for him, not fire up the GOP asshole contingent.

    Bush was a vindictive asshole, but it wasn’t what he lead with. It is what Christie would be leading with.

  111. 111
    Jamey says:

    This all boils down to one essential fact, IMO: Bridgeghazi has all the hallmarks of Christie’s typical MO–brittle, vindictive, shifty. His denials at best portray him as an empty suit; at worst as a wannabe crime boss.

  112. 112
    feebog says:

    There is no reason to believe that the bridge lane closures was a thinly veiled threat to just one politician. Hey, we close the lanes and people get pissed off at both the Mayor and Wienberg, It’s a twofer!

    It is obvious from the emails already revealed that there was prior discussion about the lane closures. The emails discussing the Mayor’s attempts to reach Port Authority Officials might lead one to believe the was the target, but that could just be a lack of context because we don’t have more information.

    According to TPM, additional emails are scheduled to be released today by the Transportation Committee.

  113. 113
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Tweety asked a guest yesterday, I think the NJ state leger who’s leading the hearings, for an example of Christie’s bullying. The initial act underneath Rachel Maddow’s theory is maybe the best example I’ve heard. Himself’s firing (essentially, that’s what it was) of the state’s only African American Supreme Court justice had no other reason than partisan vindictiveness, demonstrating indifference if not hostility to a constituency he didn’t think he could win or needed to (this was I guess before Morning Joe told him the path to the White House was ‘running up the score’, and he thought he might be running against B00ker).

    I think RM said this was actually the first time a governor had used this weapon against a sitting state SC judge? If not unique, it’s apparently really rare. State supreme courts rarely make national news, but considering everything Christie does has been viewed through the 2016 lens, this is one more example of the unbearable whiteness of our Beltway Greenrooms.

  114. 114
    Cervantes says:

    @Thlayli: Karen Hughes. Nicolle Wallace.

    Celinda Lake. Linda Chavez-Thompson. Susan Estrich. Donna Brazile. Mandy Grunwald. Stephanie Cutter.

    I guess it depends on your definitions but these are some you might consider.

  115. 115
    Roy G. says:

    Of course he knew, and David Simon nailed the reason why:

    The same kind of people who would embark on such an action would not be able to do anything but run right down the hall to tell the governor how they had delivered pain to his political enemy. They would then wait on their attaboy. People of that ilk live for the attaboy. Like cats with a fresh-caught mouse, they were bringing home a prize. And there’s no joy for any housecat if the prize can’t be displayed to the master of the house.

    http://davidsimon.com/the-high.....en-heroes/

    And Jon Stewart nailed the other point – Christie NEVER APOLOGIZED!

  116. 116
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes:

    Celinda Lake. Linda Chavez-Thompson. Susan Estrich. Donna Brazile. Mandy Grunwald. Stephanie Cutter.

    How many of those are political hacks?

  117. 117
    shortstop says:

    @Roy G.: Somebody else did the dead-mouse-proffered-as-prize analogy the other day. It cracks me up.

  118. 118
    shortstop says:

    I s’pose this is a banal observation, but I find it unbelievably depressing that the right wants Christie to survive this. What the hell kind of abuse of power has to happen before people write their own boy off? I get that they have nobody else for 2016, but come on.

    In contrast: Blago certainly wasn’t a candidate for president, but here in Illinois we kicked our governor out within four days of the January General Assembly session opening (the story broke in December, when the lej was out of session). We did it. Dems.

  119. 119
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    How many of those are political hacks?

    I guess it depends on your definitions but these are some you might consider.

  120. 120
    shortstop says:

    @Cervantes: Okay, we’ll just confine ourselves to laughing at the characterization of Donna Brazile as “vicious.” If only she had been in certain circumstances.

  121. 121
    Cervantes says:

    @rk: Ah, yes, I forgot the lesser half of the Crowley sisters.

    (And yes, she probably would not agree that she is a hack, either.)

  122. 122
    slippytoad says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    Jesus Christ if there is a textbook example of “sinecure” and “useful idiot” in the encyclopedia, Noonan’s picture is next to it just so we can see what those two appendages look like.

  123. 123
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @shortstop: I thought it was funny that one of the most prominent R’s to go after Christie was Lindsey Graham. I think it was just a few months ago Governor Invincible flew down to So Carolina to give Senator Aunt Pittypat some help in what has to be the longest Senate primary campaign in history.

  124. 124
    slippytoad says:

    @shortstop:

    Well, conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed. So Christie is a raging success, right up until he’s a humiliating, savage embarrassment. Then, he has failed conservatism. It won’t be that he did anything wrong. Give this pathetic bunch of douchenozzles another couple of weeks to fap themselves blind over excusing this, and they’ll be telling us all about how un-questioned the right of a Governor is to manhandle traffic in his state, and how traffic studies meant to simulate a six-hundred car pileup are nothing to see, move along here.

    The fundamental point here is you’re dealing with sociopaths, who can never, ever, ever admit that they are wrong. So now even disaster must be re-defined as victory, failure as triumph, and shit as chocolate ice-cream.

  125. 125
    shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: LOL at the moniker “Senator AP.” Hilarious to watch him contorting himself daily in response to ‘bagger whims, huh? I almost wish Christie could be elected president for a day so we could watch him lay the hammer on Huckleberry for crossing him. Almost.

  126. 126
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I doubt he would win NJ, let alone New York or PA.

    In the general and/or the primaries?

  127. 127
    shortstop says:

    @slippytoad: I do understand that. At my age and level of cynicism, and with the keen attention I’ve paid to Republican shenanigans through the years, none of this should shock me. But the depth of their depravity still gets me sometimes.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: General.

  129. 129
    Cervantes says:

    @shortstop: Sure. I was just listing female political operatives, that’s all. Some might find hackery in the list, others won’t.

  130. 130
    shortstop says:

    @Cervantes: I wasn’t talking about hackery. I referred only to viciousness, the other descriptor Cole raised.

  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roy G.: What, you don’t count Christie’s “I’m really sorry my staff lied to me” as an apology?

  132. 132
    Cervantes says:

    @shortstop: Yes, no problem. Thanks for clarifying.

    And for the record, I thought Cole’s question was a bit silly: there a lot fewer professional female anythings when the world was younger. Then again, he didn’t really ask a question at all.

  133. 133
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I agree — if by some chance Christie wins the nomination, he is unlikely to take PA, NY, or even NJ in the general.

  134. 134
    Lex says:

    The Wall Street Journal reported on ***Dec. 12*** that Christie had asked Andrew Cuomo to call of the dogs on Port Authority’s investigation of the lane closings, and that the day after Christie made that request, his top appointee to the Port Authority resigned. There is simply no way in hell that that those two facts square with Christie’s insistence that he knew nothing until earlier this week. He lied his ass off yesterday, and clearly no reporter at the press conference recalled enough or had guts enough to call him on it.

    And with one of his aides held in contempt by the NJ legislature yesterday, we might find out sooner than we thought how willing any of his people would be to go to jail for him. My guess that not one of them intends to do a single day to protect him.

  135. 135
    burnspbesq says:

    I simply don’t remember so many vicious female political hacks when I was younger.

    Politics is no different than any other workplace. Women have to be twice as good to get half the recognition.

  136. 136
    dricey says:

    What was the point, you ask?

    There was no point. Republicans are assholes. Period. End of story. The entire conservative Republican movement over the last thirty years has been built on nothing more than applauding and encouraging assholish behavior: offending and insulting people you don’t like for the sheer pleasure of knowing that you offended and insulted them. That’s why there is no consistent ideology. It isn’t about ideas. It’s about behavior. Being mean, prickish, vindictive. Being Republican.

  137. 137
    Paul in KY says:

    @rk: Barbara Olsen. Wife of Ted Olsen.

    A more vicious harpy never picked up a pen.

  138. 138
    Paul in KY says:

    @shortstop: Ha, ha! Good point on Ms. Brazile.

  139. 139
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Paul in KY:

    A 911 truther pointed out that Ted must have wanted to rid himself of that plague and when he heard the master plan, hastened to book her a ticket on the proper plane.

    “Honey, I just want to see you now, I can’t wait until September 12th”

  140. 140
    Elizabelle says:

    @catclub:

    Oh, yeah. Definitely a gmail account. And reporter Boburg’s sources came through, leaking the emails, private and maybe some public too. I don’t know.

    Maybe you’re pointing out that’s why the Port Authority was stalling for more time, that it couldn’t find any “official channel” correspondence. That again, I do not know.

    But we could find out in the Bergen Record, maybe.

  141. 141
    Rome Again says:

    42, but other than that, you’re spot on!

  142. 142
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The Jackie Robinson Standard.

  143. 143
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Hal: Is it wrong that I’m smiling??

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