What Did Christie Know & When Did He Know It?

Billmon’s not the only one line-by-lining Bridge-gate as the second, farcical coming of Watergate. Here’s David Simon, the man behind The Wire:

For that kind of behavior you need someone really, really small. For the anger and argument to become that self-absorbed and infantile… You need someone who saw himself as being not only larger than the sum of his constituents, but larger than the commonweal itself. Add in the potential for actually harming innocent people — ambulances unable to reach calls, school buses unable to transport children… For this kind of petty venality, you have to look to a Huey Long or a Richard Nixon, someone for whom any fealty to democratic processes and public service no longer matters when personal ambition and aggrandizement are at stake.

If Mr. Christie didn’t order this mayhem himself, then he knew because the aides who achieved this carnage on his behalf were so successful in doing so that they could not have possibly held their silence. Not over the course of four long days of maintaining the traffic snarl in Fort Lee… 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.

I’m sorry for Mr. Christie, who seems in his better moments to be something of a leader. But anger and argument lose all charm when they are employed for stakes so small, stupid and selfish. He knew. And he’s lying about it now.

Taegan Goddard at Political Wire points out, per the WSJ, that Christie was trying to obstruct the investigation going back to at least mid-December. Ben Smith, Koch-funded editor of Buzzfeed, sniffs the wind and publishes a post on “Why The Christie Mess Is Even Worse For Him Than It Seems“. Alex MacGillis at TNR hunts down Christie’s high school baseball coach to establish that, even then, thrown-under-the-bus aide David Wildstein was “sitting on the bench and providing the Lancers with data that helped make them one of the best teams in the state. The classic loyal geek. And decades later, he was still doing what he could behind the scenes to help the big man on campus, Chris Christie. Except it was again in Christie’s interest to look right past him…”

As the original miscreant so famously said, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.”

297 replies
  1. 1
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    I guess I should have waited five minutes and posted this here.

  2. 2
    mclaren says:

    Who gives a shit about Chris Christie?

    He’s not going to come anywhere close to a Republican nomination for serious national office. Likewise, Ted Cruz, if nominated, will go down in flames much worse than Rmoney.

    So the real issue facing the Democratic party for the near future (meaning the 2016 presidential election cycle) involves a choice between reaffirming the well-intentioned but deeply corrupt and corporate-owned Clinton family, or moving to a genuinely progressive candidate like Elizabeth Warren.

    That’s the big issue for liberal Democrats right now. Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, they’re sideshows. Those clowns are going nowhere. They’re in the same category as Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal. None of those people can appeal to significant slice of the mainstream electorate. The Tea Party may love ’em, Texans may give ’em ticker-tape parades, New Jersey may adore ’em, but outside of those niches, they’re dead meat on a stick electorally speaking.

  3. 3
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @mclaren:
    fuck off.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    If a private firm built and owned the bridge, this never would have happened. Once again, big government is the problem.

    /wingnut

    (Just speculating on how this debacle will be spun next.)

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    TPM is reporting that some WSJ editors were among those stuck in Christie’s traffic jam. That’ll show those liberals.

  6. 6
    skerry says:

    I’m more interested in how we stop the fast track for the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty. That is really scary.

  7. 7
    kc says:

    Get this:

    September 13, 8:41 a.m Bill Baroni to Pat Foye: “Pat we need to discuss prior to any communication”

    Sept. 13, 8:55 a.m. Foye to Baroni: “Bill we are going to fix this fiasco”

    Sept 13, 9:03 a.m. Baroni to Foye: “There can be no public discourse”

    Someone seems really anxious to keep info from being disseminated.

  8. 8
    mclaren says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo):

    fuck off

    Spoken with all the intellectual gravitas and deep concern for evidence and logic of the typical Balloon Juice commenter.

    “…what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.” — from the movie Billy Madison (1995)

  9. 9
    kc says:

    @mclaren:

    Who gives a shit about Chris Christie?

    He’s not going to come anywhere close to a Republican nomination for serious national office.

    But reporters love him like they loved McCain.

  10. 10
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Christie admitted, right from the very first question, months ago, that he was personally on the GWB, putting out the cones

    I think we should take him at his word.

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @kc: He’s got McCain press coverage and he would have (had?) Romney’s financial advantage in the primaries and general. He might well be toast, but I still think that until 48 hours ago he was the R’s best candidate.

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    Chris Christie is one of the big stars of the GOP, or so everyone thought. Him going out in a protracted scandal will drag down the GOP brand. That is good news for the country. It’ll especially be a drag on the “moderate” side of the GOP, since that’s where Christie supposedly was. That means emboldened crazy ass teabaggers–“See! You can’t trust those moderate Republicans!”

    Popcorn.

  13. 13
    LanceThruster says:

    When will Christie know it’s time to go?

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    To quote Jon Stewart from last night, the tone Christie set for his administration is ‘FU Sharp’.

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki: You’ve misunderstood the quote. This either has something to do with ice cream cones or is the fault of Comrade deBlasio.

  16. 16
    BGinCHI says:

    Karl Rove must be asking himself, “How in the HELL did I avoid getting caught doing something like this in TX in the 90s?”

    Birds of a fucking feather.

  17. 17
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @mclaren: Fuck off

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    @LanceThruster: Time to go where? Next week he’s going to Florida for a series of fundraisers, including one for Rick Scott.

  19. 19
    efgoldman says:

    Several sites (Pierce, Benen, Drum) have picked up on Kindly Doc Maddow’s report that it had nothing to do with the Fort Lee mayor, and everything to do with a long, tough battle over the membership of the NJ Supreme Court
    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-ma.....he-scandal

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Karl Rove must be asking himself, “How in the HELL did I avoid getting caught doing something like this in TX in the 90s?”

    He didn’t screw up the commute of anybody that worked for the WSJ. This is only a big deal because New York.

  21. 21
    mclaren says:

    @skerry:

    I’m more interested in how we stop the fast track for the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty. That is really scary.

    Good point. The corruption in the Democratic party runs deep, and affects the Obama administration as well as the Clintons. The Clintons are deeply corrupted by the money they’ve taken from Wall Street financial crime lords like Goldman Sachs and by the fact that Chelsea Clinton married a hedge fund trader, while Obama is deeply corrupted by the donations for his presidential library bribes he has taken in order to pass the profoundly dishonest license-to-steal for giant monopolistic American corporations misnamed the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    these pacts have perilous little to do with trade, they are really about enriching Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Big Pharma, financial services firms, and multinationals, while crippling the ability to impose regulations of all sorts, including wage protections). (..)

    Just as the the foreign negotiators are digging in their heels over the Administration’s overreaching and bullying, quite a few Congressmen fail to see why they should throw their constituents under the bus to help Obama get funding for his presidential library. This is an election year, and it was apparently not lost on members of the House that so-called Blue Dog Democrats (a neoliberal voting bloc that fell in with Obama’s policies) were almost entirely turfed out by voters in 2010.

    Huffington Post tells us that the Administration’s efforts to get so-called fast track authority, which the negotiators claim is critical to getting a deal done, looks to be going pear-shaped in the House. While we’ve written previously about significant opposition (both Democrats and Republicans had circulated letters against the bills and gotten an impressive amount of support, but not enough to give the opponents a clear majority), it is looking as if the nays might carry the day…

    Source: “Obama Lame Duck Watch: House Democrats Stymieing Trade Deal “Fast Track;” Silicon Valley Surveillance Payoff Language Published,” nakedcapitalism.com, 10 January 2013.

  22. 22
    beltane says:

    @BGinCHI: Does anyone, at least any Republican, ever get in trouble for doing anything in Texas? That state is an accountability free zone for wingnuts.

  23. 23
    Cervantes says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): You know, that might be the most cogent argument you’ve made in a while.

  24. 24
    Ash Can says:

    Both the left and right are saying, “See? We told you he was a putz.” And any broad, squishy “centrists” who are still deluded into believing Christie is still viable as a national candidate are trying to argue that he’s handled this mess better than Obama has handled any of his crises, such as… And then they proceed to rehash Benghazi, the IRS, or some other kerfluffle that was yesterday’s news, has long since been defused and/or debunked, and that no one cares about any more except them and a bunch of mentally disturbed teahadis. Meanwhile, the great irony in all of this is that the one potential GOP presidential candidate, among all those even identifiable at this early stage of the game, who had any actual moments of sanity and competence in his track record has been the one to get run over by his own dickishness and have his ass blown out of the race. When you step back and look at the big picture, it looks as though karma might have it in for the GOP after all.

  25. 25
    mclaren says:

    @efgoldman:

    membership of the NJ Supreme Court

    That’s apparently a code phrase meaning “get the n*gger off the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

    Not the best electoral strategy outside white suburban New Jersey, really. Yet another reason why oafs like Christie are going nowhere in national electoral politics.

  26. 26
    lamh36 says:

    Ya know what the best kinda money to receive is…money you were never expecting to receive and you didn’t have to do anything to get. I paid off my car in late 2012, just got a notice from my former loan company that they had reviewed their files an I had been charged fees I shouldn’t have been. So they cut me a check for the complete amount of the overcharge!! Good way to start out a weekend, right?

  27. 27
    BGinCHI says:

    @beltane: True. It’s like they expect to be killed by their GOP overlords.

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    @lamh36: Nice! Whatever happened with the job you interviewed for and they offered you on the way home? The one in NOLA?

  29. 29
    tybee says:

    @mclaren:

    only one problem: warren ain’t running.

  30. 30
    beltane says:

    How long until Andrew Cuomo is accused of being hyper-partisan and mean spirited for not helping his neighbor with the cover up?

  31. 31
    Anne Laurie says:

    @efgoldman: Posted Maddow’s clip here last night.

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @BGinCHI: They welcome death at the hands of their GOP overlords because this is a sign that ultimate Freedom has been achieved.

  33. 33
    Ash Can says:

    @Violet:

    It’ll especially be a drag on the “moderate” side of the GOP

    I’m thinking the same thing. Who’s left in the GOP to run as a “moderate”? Tom Fucking Coburn? This has got to pose a real concern for the big-money types in the GOP.

  34. 34
    Jay C says:

    “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.”

    If any recent affaire illustrates this classic, if simple maxim, it’s Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” – a cheap, stupid, politically-motivated prank at bottom: but one whose negative fallout was not only apparently completely unanticipated (through arrogance? stupidity? poor planning?), but which might prove far more damaging to the author than any alternative might.

    Good job. Governor…..

  35. 35
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Cervantes: Did we ever got a copy of the traffic study?

  36. 36
    dmsilev says:

    Correction of the day, courtesy of the NY Time’s story on The Bridge:

    Correction: January 10, 2014
    An earlier version of this article misidentified the state where Andrew M. Cuomo is governor. It is New York, not New Jersey.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @lamh36:

    A few weeks ago when I totally retired, I cancelled my monthly parking contract with my office building. Turns out I had been over barged for quite a while, and they cut me a cheque for $200 bucks. Nice found money, during the holidays.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    @Ash Can: The “moderate” wing of the GOP is just anyone who is left who isn’t a nutjob teabagger. McCain? McConnell? Lindsey Graham? As far as governors go, maybe someone like Susanna Martinez of NM? The “center” of the Republican party has moved so far rightward that “moderate” means something entirely different than it did ten or fifteen years ago.

  39. 39
    ChrisNYC says:

    Always despised Christie. Always will. Looking forward to his continued going down in flames. It’ll be this or it’ll be the surely innumerable other illegal/distasteful megalomaniac stunts he’s pulled. If his crack team of advisors were so indiscreet in their emails about the GWB they surely were on other matters.

  40. 40
    Anne Laurie says:

    @MikeJ:

    This is only a big deal because New York.

    Yeah, but Christie has only ever been a big deal because New York — specifically, Wall Street money backing his eventual Presidential run. Lotta those prospective fundraisers have to cross the GWB every day, and as Buzzfeed points out, Christie just moved from ‘Guy who appreciates Hard-Working Capitalists Like Us” to “Jagoff who fvcked up our commute because he’s a petty little bully”. There’s plenty Repub candidates willing to tonguebathe Hard-Working Capitalists, but only Christie’s been identified as a traffic cone.

  41. 41
    MikeJ says:

    @Ash Can:

    Who’s left in the GOP to run as a “moderate”? Tom Fucking Coburn? This has got to pose a real concern for the big-money types in the GOP.

    Huntsman. Pawlenty. Thune.

    You don’t have to actually be sane to pretend to be a moderate Republican, just avoid actually drooling on yourself in public.

  42. 42
    Ash Can says:

    @efgoldman: I see no reason it couldn’t have been both, although the timing does favor the state SC flap.

  43. 43
    lamh36 says:

    @Violet: I still have not heard from the recruiting office at the job aside from a call Monday about faxing a release form. Nothing to say that my faxed copy was received, nothing to say what step in the process we are in, nothing.

    I know I’m probably expecting too much, but every job I’ve ever applied for once the interview happened if they wanted to consider you for the position you were made aware of the process and if you weren’t being considered you were notified of the disinterest. I haven’t heard from them yet.

    IDK, maybe I was just spoiled by my previous experiences but in my mind this does not make a good impression to me of the company’s human resources management or HR environment. It’s particularly stark right now because I just came from a premiere experience seminar by my current employer discussing quality of service and care. The one thing mentioned in costumer satisfaction surveys was administering services in a TIMELY manner. Maybe I’m being too harsh but this whole treatment doesn’t seem to be done in any timely manner

    I’m still interested in the position because the lab itself and the staff were fine, but this HR process is frustrating to say the least. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be if I didn’t currently have a job that for all intent and purposes is an okay job. I’m not in desperate need. At the very least it makes me definitely more willing to play hardball with my increased salary requirement. If I don’t get the pay I asked for I’m gonna decline any offer of employment.

  44. 44
    Culture of Truth says:

    Just heard David Brooks on NPR. He says Christie will skate because we’ve always known he’s a bully and crook and people want to send a bully and criminal to Washington.

    I’ve heard this all my life. We don’t expect ethics from Republicans because they are “tough” and “get things done” (like daddy!) But we expect more from Democrats because they’re supposed to be good. Brooks said this too. Of course the host agreed and EJ Dionne pushed back a little but has little time.

    But maybe his Achilles heel will be Christie’s mis-management. He’s a bully, and incompetent! Sigh.

  45. 45
    Gex says:

    @Violet: Policy wise they are nearly identical. “Moderate” in the GOP means you can stick to the sound bites and avoid sounding like a rabid zealot.

  46. 46
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dmsilev:

    That whole NYT article was full of win.

    Reposting from an earlier thread:

    Inspector Darcy Licorish of the Port Authority Police Department

    Darcy Licorish. Best.Name.Ever.

  47. 47
    beltane says:

    @Culture of Truth: David Brooks deserves to be trapped in an elevator with Chris Christie for several days.

  48. 48
    kc says:

    @lamh36:

    Drinks on you!

  49. 49
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Turns out I had been over barged for quite a while

    Um, overCHARGED.

    Jesus fuck.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    @lamh36: Well, best of luck with it. I have to say, when you said the hiring manager told you the salary part was all up to the HR department that sent a red flag to me. I know there will be a range they have to stay in, but the hiring manager is the one who needs someone and if they want you, they’ll tell HR to do what it takes to get you. Definitely play hardball to get what you want.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @lamh36:
    Wonder if it’s a decent company that found the mistake and repaid it or maybe they got audited and someone discovered their “mistake”?
    Worked out good for you in either case.

  52. 52
    James E. Powell says:

    @mclaren:

    a choice between reaffirming the well-intentioned but deeply corrupt and corporate-owned Clinton family, or moving to a genuinely progressive candidate like Elizabeth Warren.

    Are those the only two choices? What about the old school progressive but social issue suspicious Brian Schweitzer? The aging but still has all his marbles Jerry Brown? The actually trying to do something in the senate Kirsten Gillibrand? The liberal who wins in the Midwest Sherrod Brown? Or that guy from Maryland who doesn’t have a phrase in front of his name yet?

  53. 53
    gogol's wife says:

    @dmsilev:

    I loved that one!

  54. 54
    BBA says:

    The Port Authority is supposed to be an independent, autonomous bi-state agency. It’s designed to be insulated from political pressures. Historically this has just meant they’re unaccountable when it comes to things like raising tolls and transit fares without warning or wasting billions of dollars on the World Trade Center construction.

    But if they’re accountable enough that Trenton can have them close a bridge lane behind Albany’s back, then I really don’t know how they can get away with the other shit…well aside from Albany and Trenton also being unaccountable to anyone.

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @Gex: Yeah, a Republican is a Republican, although you have Republicans who do things like refuse the Medicaid money and those who don’t. So there are some differences. It’s those small differences that make them “moderate”, I guess.

  56. 56
    scav says:

    @Ash Can: The SC thing might explain the timing of pulling the trigger, but there necessarily was planning ahead of time to get this prepped to be set off with an e-mail. Then didn’t it take weeks afterwards to become a real thing and didn’t we just find evidence they were explicitly naming the local mayor as the source of the problem to some included the FD? Seems to be a mixed beast — they were pretty much indifferent as to whose Millie got gored, but just sat back and enjoyed the generalized pain and mayhem in their guise of Wanton Boys.

  57. 57
    lamh36 says:

    Ya know, I really do hate dumb blond jokes and stereotypes, but I admit, I thought of a few when I read this story, but then I forgot ’em all and just decided to say “F&*( Mika and Joe “Dead Intern” Scarborough”. I hope they both go out an play in heavy traffic.

    Mika Brzezinski Believes Friend Chris Christie Handled His Crisis Much Better Than Obama (VIDEO)

  58. 58
    efgoldman says:

    @lamh36:

    Good way to start out a weekend, right?

    Cash it quickly before some maker changes their mind.

  59. 59
    lamh36 says:

    @Ruckus: Probably an audit process. The letter with the check said after a “recent file review” they found the overcharges. It’s been over a year since I paid the final payment (I think it was Oct 2012?) So they did take a bit of time to find the error

  60. 60
    lamh36 says:

    @efgoldman: Oh I plan to. Gonna hightail it to the bank tomorrow morning

  61. 61
    Arclite says:

    @beltane:

    TPM is reporting that some WSJ editors were among those stuck in Christie’s traffic jam. That’ll show those liberals.

    You know that can’t be true. WSJ editors would never stoop to living in Jersey.

  62. 62
    mclaren says:

    @tybee:

    only one problem: warren ain’t running.

    Yet.

  63. 63
    efgoldman says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Did we ever got a copy of the traffic study?

    I’ve got it right… here… ::rummage::
    Maybe it’s in my other suit… ::rummage, rummage::
    Did I leave it in my office?
    Oh, wait, i know – i gave it to the governor’s chief aide. She’ll be releasing it at a press conference any minute….

  64. 64
    Howard Beale IV says:

    I hope Wildstein turns states’ evidence and gives up Christie.

  65. 65
    efgoldman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: .

    …and they cut me a cheque for $200 bucks.

    Y’all aren’t from aroun’ here, are ya’?

  66. 66
    kc says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    CoT, there are a few documents buried in today’s released emails that apparently constitute the results of the “traffic study.” It’s pretty lame.

    To quote the NYT:

    The study was emailed among officials at the authority on Sept. 12.

    It was four pages long and found that, in essence, closing toll lanes creates traffic backups.

    Link to NYT story: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01.....&_r=0

  67. 67
    Arclite says:

    @kc:

    @mclaren:

    Who gives a shit about Chris Christie?

    He’s not going to come anywhere close to a Republican nomination for serious national office.

    But reporters love him like they loved McCain.

    That was my thought. He actually had the best chance, b/c Repubs actually choose the least batshit candidate to run: Romney, for all his faults certainly looked the most competent and grounded (relatively speaking). And McCain was the most moderate of his bunch of crazies as well.

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    @lamh36:
    I’d say it’s a crap shoot as to getting any info other than a hiring proposal. Some HR people just don’t bother with the niceties. That’s been my experience anyway.

  69. 69
    beltane says:

    @Arclite: Maybe they were on their way to a golf course.

  70. 70
    efgoldman says:

    @MikeJ:

    Huntsman. Pawlenty. Thune.

    None of whom could pass a charisma test next to the statue of Paul Revere in Boston, or Lenin’s corpse in Moscow.

  71. 71
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @efgoldman:

    Heh. I always revert to Canadian/Brit usage, partly because I attended school in Canada during a particularly receptive time of learning that spelling, and partly because I have just retired from 25 years of working for the Government of Canada. Old habits die hard.

  72. 72
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @dmsilev:

    It is New York, not New Jersey.

    I think that’s the state motto.

  73. 73
    MikeJ says:

    @efgoldman:

    None of whom could pass a charisma test next to the statue of Paul Revere in Boston, or Lenin’s corpse in Moscow.

    And they picked Romney last time. Your point is?

  74. 74
    Mike in NC says:

    @Culture of Truth: So Bobo thinks Christie will make the trains run on time, like Mussolini? Unless he decides that railroad studies need to be done.

  75. 75
    Ash Can says:

    @mclaren: I happen to believe that Elizabeth Warren is one of the most honest people on the federal level of government today. Why do you think she’s a liar?

  76. 76
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Culture of Truth: Brooks was probably just high.

  77. 77
    Arclite says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Karl Rove must be asking himself, “How in the HELL did I avoid getting caught doing something like this in TX in the 90s?”

    Birds of a fucking feather.

    Nah, Rove knew he could get away with ANYTHING in TX. And when you screw the minority Dems down their it’s mostly browns and blahs anyway, so it’s easy to sweep stuff under the rug.

    Christy is in a Dem state, with a Dem legislature. He brought a knife to a gunfight and got shot.

  78. 78
    Culture of Truth says:

    But can you really separate the crime from the cover up? Wasn’t Nixon’s real mistake not burning the tapes?

    In any case, is it at least in part the crime, from both an ethical and pragmatic perspective. But if CC has lost the beltwat media, he better prepare for a bumpy ride.

  79. 79
    Origuy says:

    I’ve got to get serious about those popcorn futures: He’s BAAAACK!

    Celebrity billionaire Donald Trump told a group of more than 40 Republican leaders today that he would want a united party if he runs for [New York] governor, a spokesman said.

  80. 80
    mclaren says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Yes, you’re right that we have more choices. I’m just trying to highlight the fact that the major public policy moves over the next 6 to 8 years won’t come from Republicans like Chris Christie. Christie essentially took his lead from Obama’s policies.

    The Republican party is so degenerate and so morally and intellectual bankrupt that all the serious public policy proposals are coming from Democrats. That makes it especially important that we elect the right Democrats. The Clintons look increasingly like transitional figures between the dementia of the Reagan years, when the Republican party was going strong, and the current era of collapse and Republican dysfunction, which clearly requires an entirely new progressive strategy other than balancing the budget (what the fuck for when the Republicans will just piss it all away?) and triangulation (code words for Reactionary Lite, by which the entire electorate is now repulsed).

    Jerry Brown is probably too old, at 75 now and 78 by the time we get to national elections in 2016 (he was born 16 August 1938). Joe Biden is also probably too old. Both Brown and Biden also have such long records that they represent a target-rich environment for oppo research in today’s presidential politics.

    Brian Schweitzer doesn’t have a lot of name recognition yet. Sherrod Brown and Kirsten Gillibrand and TX state representative Wendy Davis are real possibilities. I’d also throw in congressman Alan Grayson and former senator Russ Feingold as vice presidential possibilities. Because they’re both Jewish, they can’t run for president in this racist religiously fanatical Christian country, but they’d make excellent progressive running mates.

  81. 81
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Mike in NC: Or the trains are all under water because a hurricane was coming and he was too busy yelling at people to notice.

  82. 82
    Suffern ACE says:

    Has anyone found a site that discusses what laws were broken by closing the lanes? Yeah, the grandma died and that is sad, but is it against the law to close the bridge toll booths, study or no study?

  83. 83
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: See, SuperBowl 2014

  84. 84
    Culture of Truth says:

    @kc: dammit, I was attacked here for saying there was no traffic study. Such a shame.

  85. 85
    beltane says:

    @Origuy: Hmmm…Trump or Astorino. Trump’s hair would come in handy when Cuomo ends up mopping the floor with him.

  86. 86
    mclaren says:

    @Ash Can:

    She’s not lying when she says she’s not running for president. She’s just telling us she’s not running for president today.

    It’s a long tradition in America for potential presidential candidates to deny their interest in running.

    Here’s a YouTube clip of a CNN interview in 2004 in which Barack Obama discounts any possibility that he’ll run for president, saying he’s “not qualified.”

    This is standard stuff. Nobody is actually running for president…until they, you know, run.

  87. 87
    efgoldman says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Wasn’t Nixon’s real mistake not burning the tapes?

    No, his real mistake was letting it fester and creating worse felonies in the cover up.
    If he’d come out as soon as the connection between CREEP and the burglary became known, and done the “some over-enthusiastic people in my campaign…” thing, with some rolling heads to accompany, there wouldn’t have been any investigation to speak of. It was the cover up that got the likes of Mitchell, Haldeman, and Erlichmann indicted and convicted on obstruction charges. As far as I remember, Nixon himself never had any foreknowledge of the Watergate break in.

  88. 88
    dmsilev says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: My favorite part was this:

    The documents also show a concerted effort to keep their true motivation hidden, including the insistence by one official of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in an email that communications about the matter should not be conducted by email or discussed publicly.

    “Let me send you an email telling you not to use email”.

  89. 89
    lamh36 says:

    Golden Globes this weekend. My money’s on 12 Years A Slave for a win in all categories.

    Can’t wait for the Oscars noms. I’m as cynical as most people are when it comes to movies about POC, so I am fully expecting the possibility that 12 Years is just “too much” of a brow beater for Academy voters (read that somewhere) or “torture porn” (as one idiot called it) and therefore like films before it, being upset by another film, such as American Hustle, which of late I’ve been hearing alot of buzz about or Gravity which has the heft of being a good film and having big stars like Bullock and Clooney.

    At the very least, I hope to see Oscar noms for Adapted Screenplay, Director, Motion Picture, Best Actor (Chiwetol Eljofor) and Best Supporting Actor (Lupito Nyongo, who is lovely, BTW).

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet: I, personally, never thought Christie was going anywhere in the R primaries.
    BUT, I agree with you that this is awesomely popcorn inducing. Because now he not only can not be the R nominee, but this opens the floor to the nuttier-than-Bachmann wing of the R party. They will absolutely think this is an open contest and hate, hate, hate on any establishment R candidate.
    And the beauty of that is, that every candidate who is not *them* is in fact, the “establishment” candidate.
    It’s gonna be a bloodbath to get through the primaries. There will be no Romney-esque person who everyone hated but had to get behind anyway.
    This will be the primary fight where we see Santorum and Cruz both get accused of being RINO’s.

  91. 91
    gwangung says:

    @mclaren:

    Spoken with all the intellectual gravitas and deep concern for evidence and logic of the typical Balloon Juice commenter.

    Nah. Just speaking in simple words you can comprehend.

    Now fuck off.

  92. 92
    Arclite says:

    @ McLaren.

    I agree that Warren is an ideal candidate. But Clinton is the one who will bring in voters. She’s the known quantity, and the Clintons have built up a huge name brand. She had the highest approval ratings of any of Obama’s staff. For better or worse, if she runs, she wins the nomination. Is she perfect? Far from it. Is she better than whatever the Repubs are offering? Yup.

  93. 93
    Ash Can says:

    @efgoldman: MikeJ has a point — the GOP Machine can package and market pretty much anyone they want. However, what I wonder — and what I’m sure you and a lot of other people wonder as well — is which candidate would be able to survive a primary involving a gantlet of voters who should all be in straightjackets, and still retain any “moderate” cred. Romney managed it last time by pretty much being both a blank slate (and saying contradictory things to different audiences and never being called on it) and a familiar personage. Huntsman wasn’t well-known enough for his name-recognition to offset any “non-conservative” (i.e. sane) blemishes on his record. Perhaps Pawlenty could be resurrected and made into another Romney since he has name recognition from the last time, but not a whole lot of notoriety regarding his record. Or maybe Rand Paul will blast his clown car through the primaries and the GOP kingmakers will be stuck with him. Should be interesting.

  94. 94
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Honest truth? The NY state motto is “Excelsior”. Which, as the born-and-bred-in-NYC nun who had us third-graders memorize that fact told us, is what you call the wood shavings that were then still in use as packing material for fragile products. Because, she added, the state founders didn’t know the Latin translation for “bullshit”, which was & remains the state legislator’s main product…

  95. 95
    lamh36 says:

    @Ruckus: Yeah, I’m expecting that now. Like I said, I think I’m just spoiled by the experience I’ve had in the past vis a vis HR applications and proposals.

    This place is the slowest of the bunch. In fact, my current job, part of the interview process included going back to the HR Department and having the recruiter sit me down and explain the whole reasoning behind the offer of employment and the pay rate they were offering. I knew what they were offering me before I was even offered the job. I received a call from the HR Recruiter, not the lab manager, that they wanted to offer the job to me.

    So like I said, I think I’ve been spoiled. But there is another position at another hospital in NOLA, that is IN my field, which as I’ve said doesn’t happen often, that I am thinking about applying for this weekend.

  96. 96
    mclaren says:

    @Arclite:

    Don’t forget that the Clintons also have an awesome amount of money + connections. Slick Willy and HIllary have been around Washington for so long that they both know all the movers and shakers. When it comes to cornering endorsement from prominent Demos, Hillary is miles ahead.

    But of course anything can happen between now and 2016. Two years is a lifetime in presidential politics. That’s why I hold out hope for a more progressive candidate than Hillary.

  97. 97
    mclaren says:

    @gwangung:

    David Simon’s words apply equally well to you with a few slight changes:

    … For that kind of behavior you need someone really, really small. For the anger and argument to become that self-absorbed and infantile… You need someone who saw himself as being not only larger than the sum of his [comments], but larger than the commonweal itself.

  98. 98
    efgoldman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    …this opens the floor to the nuttier-than-Bachmann wing of the R party. They will absolutely think this is an open contest and hate, hate, hate on any establishment R candidate.

    But unless they coalesce around one of the nutcakes (unlikely), the TeaHadis can’t actually deliver the nomination.
    @Ash Can:

    Romney managed it last time by pretty much being both a blank slate (and saying contradictory things to different audiences and never being called on it) and a familiar personage.

    Mittster managed it mostly by carpet-bombing the GOBP primary states with negative ads about the nutcakes (most of whom were just in it for the grift, anyway) at a level greater than the GDP of a number of small countries.
    Combined.

  99. 99
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @Culture of Truth: Nice typo

    beltwat media

  100. 100
    Ernest Pikeman says:

    @mclaren:

    … TX state representative Wendy Davis … Alan Grayson as vice presidential

    That’s a winning ticket! A state rep from Texas with Alan Grayson’s Guts as VP. Dude, you’ve got to hook us up with your dealer, that’s some wacky shit.

  101. 101
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And the beauty of that is, that every candidate who is not *them* is in fact, the “establishment” candidate.
    It’s gonna be a bloodbath to get through the primaries. There will be no Romney-esque person who everyone hated but had to get behind anyway.
    This will be the primary fight where we see Santorum and Cruz both get accused of being RINO’s.

    From your keyboard to the FSM’s orrichetti!

    Sarah Palin’s already on the infotainment shows, explaining that this is what those east-coast eee-leetists get for electing a ‘Wall Street guy’ instead of a true conservative. In my happy dream, this will offend Christie enough that he shivs her in return…

  102. 102
    gbear says:

    @Ash Can: Tim Pawlenty has his own ‘bridge’ problem. He vetoed additional infrastructure spending after I-35W collapsed. He’s too boring to get any traction anyway.

  103. 103
    JPL says:

    @Suffern ACE: I haven’t seen a discussion on this yet but I would assume that commerce laws and homeland security laws could have been violated. imo

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dmsilev:

    Yeah, that’s good, but c’mon, DARCY LICORISH.

  105. 105
    tybee says:

    @mclaren:

    and hillary isn’t running, either.

  106. 106
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Ash Can:

    Romney managed it last time by pretty much being both a blank slate (and saying contradictory things to different audiences and never being called on it) and a familiar personage.

    Romney managed it, in 2102, by having enough of his own money that he could lie low while all the Klown Kar candidates tore each other up. Even if the Wall Street wing of the GOP finds another billionaire who wants to add ‘Oval Office’ to his resume, the gambit probably can’t work twice, because the 2016 Klown Krop will be alert and eager to quash any Walton heir or JPMorgan retiree as a RINO squish.

  107. 107
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman: I have no illusion that they can deliver anything. That’s the beauty of it.
    Right now, in our fevered fantasies, we have Christie and Jeb Bush. No other potential candidate I am currently aware of can I see ever *ever* getting the R nomination.
    It won’t be Cruz, Santorum, Perry, Rubio or Paul. I have a bridge with fully functioning lanes to sell you if you believe that.
    So…take out Christie and now everyone has to go after Jeb Bush when he pokes his fucking little patrician nose out of the swampy water.
    And they will chew him up.
    It’s gonna be awesome.

  108. 108
    eric says:

    @tybee: she wont run because Ombambi is going to declare martial law and install himself to a third term just in time to execute new UN global warming protocols.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: You can’t even say my name anymore, can you?
    *sobs quietly*
    hooo…hooo.hoo…sniffle…hooo hooooo

  110. 110
    lamh36 says:

    @mediainvestors
    @nycjim Rasmussen: 56% in NJ Think Christie Should Resign If He Knew About Fort Lee Retaliation. http://t.co/93FktLBHFT

  111. 111
    scav says:

    I’m glad someone at the Guard also burst into a chortle at the sigline in Exhibit A

    “One text or call could wreck it all / http://www.distraction.gov”.

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    I know absolutely nothing about Patrick Foye, but if he is anything like he comes across in this scandal he is an absolute bad ass.

  113. 113
    Suffern ACE says:

    @JPL: I just think that is rather important. Right now, this is being played as “Christie and company are mean” but honestly there still isn’t much here. Are people in Indiana or Alabama really going to care that Christie created a four day traffic jam on purpose? However a lawyer who ordered or helped underlings to break laws is a bigger problem. One that will actually tie him up in New Jersey.

  114. 114
    lamh36 says:

    Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

    “I don’t know who e-mailed whom, who works for whom. I have been in traffic before and I know how angry I am, and I’m always wondering, who did this.”

    – Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), quoted by CNN, commenting on the bridge scandal swirling around Gov. Chris Christie (R).

  115. 115
    MikeJ says:

    @scav: You have an extraneous unicode char in your url.

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    No shit. If it is, in fact, a legit study then why the hell wouldn’t you tell your boss that a real study was causing all kinds of fucked up bullshit that everyone hated?

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ:

    You have an extraneous unicode char in your url.

    You were always really bad at insulting the other kids on the playground, weren’t you?

  118. 118
    WereBear says:

    @Violet: Oh, Violet, that sounds so good!

  119. 119
    amk says:

    @Suffern ACE: people in Indiana or Alabma don’t give a fiddlesticks about the fat fucker any way.

  120. 120
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You can’t even say my name anymore, can you?

    Yeah, I can. I choose not to.

    Also, LOLWUT?

  121. 121
    JPL says:

    @Suffern ACE: I assume that will be the next shoe to drop. Hopefully it will be commerce because homeland security could be seen as more political. Surely one of the lawyers who comment here will write something soon.

    @lamh36: I have never sat in a traffic jam and said who did this. It wouldn’t have occurred to me before this fiasco. It was an interesting comment from Paul.

  122. 122
    scav says:

    @MikeJ: Blame it on the cut & paste, I wasn’t expecting it to become a link. Sorry.

    ETA. I assume I played on different playgrounds than CS or that I’m unusually dense with regard to self-esteem unicode issues.

  123. 123
    beltane says:

    @Corner Stone: Here’s a story about him from 2011 http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....e-1.965202 He doesn’t look like a man who is easily intimidated. Christie may be a loudmouth but he happens to be just one loudmouth among many.

  124. 124
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Suffern ACE: I don’t know about Indiana or Alabama, but at Panera today, I heard two guys talking about CC, and you almost never hear anyone talking politics in public. We’re too polite. I couldn’t hear much but one guy did say, “It doesn’t do to stay mad at CC.” I’m not sure what that means.

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That was me crying and sniffling from the pain. I’m a very sensitive man.

  126. 126
    beltane says:

    @JPL: Rand Paul most likely thinks that traffic jams are caused by the illuminati. Of course he would sit in traffic trying to unravel the conspiracy that lies at the heart of it all.

  127. 127
    Culture of Truth says:

    @efgoldman: I agree, but I think many Nixon partisans believe that he was a victim of a partisan witch hunt and believe (correctly, probably) that if he burned the tapes he would escaped resignation.

  128. 128
    scav says:

    @beltane: Would that he would sit in unjammed traffic trying to figure it all out.

    Traffic Jams are sometimes just the Illuminati, waving at us backwards.

  129. 129
    mdblanche says:

    Governor Harkonnen is now the biggest Nazi gasbag to crash and burn in New Jersey since 1937.

    Stick a gom jabbar in Christie, he’s done.

  130. 130
    Baud says:

    @lamh36:

    I have been in traffic before and I know how angry I am, and I’m always wondering, who did this.”

    Um…unless you’re in New Jersey, you did this, Rand. If you’re in traffic, you are traffic.

  131. 131
    Baud says:

    Duplicate.

  132. 132
    efgoldman says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    ….if he burned the tapes he would escaped resignation.

    Depends when he did it. Once Butterfield told Congress (I forget which committee) about the taping system and the tapes, it was probably too late – it becomes destroying evidence (not necessarily against Nixon himself) and obstruction.

    I think many Nixon partisans believe that he was a victim of a partisan witch hunt

    No “think” about it. If you listen to the likes of Gestapo Pat Buchanan and his sister, the harpy, they were very clear about it. An obscure congressman from somewhere out West, name of Cheney, also too. I didn’t read the WSJ in those days, but I’ll bet there was a ton of apologia on their ed and op-ed pages.

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @lamh36: Actually, when I hear Rand Paul’s answer there, I hear him say, “who did this to me“.
    Which I think gives it a better insight.

  134. 134
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You’re ripping my heart out here.

  135. 135
    jl says:

    Put all together, the circumstantial evidence is that Christie ordered the traffic jam for payback to somebody or something. Or, fostered an atmosphere that gave three people on his staff or very closely associated with him, and two of his appointees, the impression that it was an appropriate thing to do, and Christie himself knew about it shortly afterward.

    Or, Christie should have strongly suspected it, unless he is mentally very slow.

    Against common sense, we have Christie’s absolute denial, but several pundits have said that much of credibility of that denial comes from the fact that Christie left himself no out or wriggle room if information comes out that he did order it, or learned about it shortly after it started, or should have suspected it and investigated it but accidentally didn’t quite catch on to it on purpose and therefore did not investigate. But now we are in the infinite regress logic of bluffing.

    Christie is surely smart enough to notice the GWB statement that he left as little written record and made as few written communications as possible so people would not ‘read his stuff’. So maybe Christie figures that will be his impregnable defensive line, especially if any orders where disguised as ‘jokes’ or ‘loose figurative talk’.

    I don’t know whether Maddow’s theory is correct, that the target was a Democratic legislative leader over a protracted fight over the NJ Supreme Court, but why Ft. Lee or its mayor would be a target remains a mystery.

    And what is the deal with Port Authority cops telling people that the Ft Lee mayor decided to close the lanes? If any cop of any kind said something like that in a similar situation in CA, I wouldn’t say anything to the cop, but I would think he was joking, or maybe a little tipsy.

    I guess the world of NJ politics is too foreign for me to figure much out on my own.

  136. 136
    jl says:

    A more appropriate question would be
    ” If He Didn’t Order it, How Could Christie Not Figure it Out Within a Day, Unless He is A Idiot?”

  137. 137
    efgoldman says:

    @jl:

    …but why Ft. Lee or its mayor would be a target remain a mystery.

    Well, Fort Lee is the place where the bridge ramps *are.* It’s the most obvious.I suppose they could have done the same thing with the Holland and/or Lincoln tunnels. Or all three. They all belong to the Port Authority.

  138. 138
    Chris says:

    @Gex:

    “Moderate” in the GOP means you can stick to the sound bites and avoid sounding like a rabid zealot.

    I think “moderate” in the GOP is about your background rather than your politics. “Moderate” is what the establishment, the blue bloods, the Wall Street and Washington based crew call themselves (it’s another word for Very Serious Person.) “True conservatives” is how heartlanders in the South and West see themselves (pure and untainted by VSP elitism). Been that way since Rockefeller v. Goldwater at least.

    Nowadays there’s hardly any difference between them in terms of policy. But there’s still the tribal chauvinism on both sides, with the “moderates” seeing the heartlanders as backwards-ass country hicks with the wrong priorities, and the “true conservatives” seeing the East Coasters as degenerate elitists that they suspect of plotting with liberals behind their backs.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @jl: Yeah. Christie – Liar or Buffoon?
    Your choice Governor.

  140. 140
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jl:

    And what is the deal with Port Authority cops saying that the Ft Lee mayor decided to close the lanes.

    Someone told them to give that answer. They didn’t come up with it on their own. They were briefed on the closure action and were told who was responsible for it.

    This entire thing was done with malice aforethought.

  141. 141
    Chris says:

    @Ash Can:

    Romney managed it last time by pretty much being both a blank slate (and saying contradictory things to different audiences and never being called on it) and a familiar personage.

    And by having the money and establishment backing that enabled him to outlast his Monster Of The Week competition.

  142. 142
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Liar buffoon or incompetent buffoon?

    Sort of like the situation Ronaldus Magnus faced with Iran-Contra.

  143. 143
    pluky says:

    @Culture of Truth: But since when has David “BoBo” Brooks been right about anything?

  144. 144
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s kind of disappointing, considering that he’s now chiseled into Mt. Rushmore.

  145. 145
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud:

    Dumbfuck is too stupid to figure that out. HE is never the problem…someone else is. Always.

  146. 146
    Corner Stone says:

    I don’t think TRMS did any pre-interview with this Bergen Record journalist.
    He is awful.

  147. 147
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    They fucked up on that. He should have been chiseled on to Stone Mountain, GA, with his fellow reactionaries.

  148. 148
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I said this morning that the Iran-Contra analogy hasn’t been made enough.

  149. 149
    Yatsuno says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well he copied Ronnie’s defence down to the last vowel. If any hint of his awareness of the happenings here comes to light he’s slightly singed melba.

  150. 150
    Helen says:

    I live a block and a half from Burns Street and Ascan Ave in NYC. How is this relevant to this discussion? Dunno – but which politicians should resign for dumb-ass political/personal decisions? Prolly those who affect their constituents Unlike my neighbor at Burns St and Ascan Ave who was forced to resign. 10 points to anyone who can name my “neighbor”

    Also? Helen +6

  151. 151
    efgoldman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Sort of like the situation Ronaldus Magnus faced with Iran-Contra.

    Yeah, but Big Chicken left his Teflon suits in the other closet.

  152. 152
    efgoldman says:

    @Baud:

    I said this morning that the Iran-Contra analogy hasn’t been made enough.

    Who even knows the reference anymore, anyway? Except people like us who wouldn’t vote for Big Chicken under any circumstances?

  153. 153
    Baud says:

    @Yatsuno:

    I’ve studied the Board’s report. Its findings are honest, convincing, and highly critical; and I accept them. And tonight I want to share with you my thoughts on these findings and report to you on the actions I’m taking to implement the Board’s recommendations. First, let me say I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration. As angry as I may be about activities undertaken without my knowledge, I am still accountable for those activities. As disappointed as I may be in some who served me, I’m still the one who must answer to the American people for this behavior. And as personally distasteful as I find secret bank accounts and diverted funds — well, as the Navy would say, this happened on my watch.

    Let’s start with the part that is the most controversial. A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages. This runs counter to my own beliefs, to administration policy, and to the original strategy we had in mind. There are reasons why it happened, but no excuses. It was a mistake. I undertook the original Iran initiative in order to develop relations with those who might assume leadership in a post-Khomeini government.

  154. 154
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman:

    The young uns don’t, but the media certainly does. They certainly remember what every Democrat was doing in the 60s and 70s.

  155. 155
    jl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I agree, I was implying that in a snarky way. But also, it’s such a weird and goofy HS prank thing to do. And why would the cops follow an order like that?

    Lots of corrupt and weird stuff happens in CA politics. But I cannot imagine a morning briefing that goes like “Hey youse guys, Zen-Guv Brown wants da Bay Bridge Maze shuddown tight like a can a bad farts, so youse geddonit, OK?” “Fuck all ‘how come?’, that whats he wanna do, OK?” I just can’t imagine that happening here.

    It’s like something out of a bad movie script.

  156. 156
    the Conster says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Dems should cut an ad for the Superbowl, asking “who do you trust to get you in and out of here safely?”

  157. 157
    Culture of Truth says:

    This is much worse than Iran-Contra.

    And what is the deal with Port Authority cops saying that the Ft Lee mayor decided to close the lanes.

    <

    This is a key point. Cops can be subpoened, and prosecuors can work from outside in. Who told them to say this?

  158. 158
    jl says:

    @jl:

    Sorry I meant to type

    “Hey youse guys, da mayor wants da Bay Bridge Maze shuddown tight”

    I guess a Freudian slip on my part.

  159. 159
    GregB says:

    @Corner Stone:

    My brother said he should stick to writing.

    Pretty incoherent.

    @efgoldman:

    I believe the common refrain was ‘every politician does it, Nixon got caught’.

  160. 160
    Chris says:

    @Baud:

    This is key. Even if you, in good faith, had no idea of all the dirty deals, it’s still your administration. If you’re unable or unwilling to keep tabs on what your deputies are doing and rein them in when it’s criminal, that’s just as much reason why you need to go as if you’d been ordering the criminal activity yourself.

    (Not that I believe for a second that Christie had no knowledge of this, but it’s a moot point even if he is).

    @Baud:

    And even quite a few things they weren’t doing.

  161. 161
    Cervantes says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Did we ever got a copy of the traffic study?

    From whom?

  162. 162
    Yatsuno says:

    @Baud: Wow. The similarities to what Christie said today are jarring. I wonder if the immunity is about to be handed out like candy like it was back then.

  163. 163
    jl says:

    @Cervantes: There was no traffic study, so no copy exists. I think that is the correct answer. That is one of the few aspects of this story that makes any sense.

    Now I see on TPM, that besides Port Authority cops saying weird garbage about the shut down of the lanes was because the mayor said so, apparently there is something odd about the timing of the order to close the lanes and chief cop’s promotion.

    My dear BJ dudes and dudettes, this scandal is going to have plenty of strong legs sheerly out of the entertainment, WTF!? and hoodunnit? angles. By this point, it’s like watching a good TV who-done-it, mystery, but broadcast in five minute segments, separated by a day or two of commercials.

  164. 164
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Cervantes: From who ever ordered it.

    You probably remember, when you went after me, when I said there was no traffic study, and this was abuse of power, and you implied I said Bob Somerby beats his wife.

    I was hoping perhaps this long lost traffic study had finally turned up. Any luck yet?

  165. 165
    Helen says:

    @jl: Yes and go back to my comment at #150.

    My stupid friends do not know anything about politics. Only 30% of Americans can name 1 Supreme Court Justice.

    90% of them name????? 10 more points!

  166. 166
    jl says:

    And it will be fun (at least in terms of Christie’s political hopes and the fate of the 2016 elections), because Christie will be hanging out there looking like some kind of gigantic ass in front of the whole country. We do not really know for sure precisely what kind of gigantic ass he is at this point, but it is clear to all that Christie is some kind of gigantic ass. Which I for one, think is a very good thing.

  167. 167
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Culture of Truth: TPM has today’s document dump, which includes at least one power point presentation and various emails. As near as I can tell, the idea (at least ostensibly) was to shut off access from Fort Lee and see if it made traffic faster for everyone else. Until the people who really know talk, it’s tough to say whether this was a stupid but legitimate idea and inconveniencing Fort Lee was icing on the cake, or whether it was all just a cover story.

  168. 168
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Helen: Spitzer?

  169. 169
    jl says:

    @Helen: I saw your comment, but it didn’t come to my mind who you were talking about.

    Well I can name the Chief Justice. Not sure who you are talking about. But since the street names you mentioned sound kind of New York New Yorky, any hot doggers in your neighborhood?

    If so, that guy should have been a very serious object lesson to politicians of all parties and political stripes. And wrt to this scandal, it should be an object lesson to us lesser persons that there are people with those kind of brass balls and that kind of judgment walking around among us. And exactly how closely has Christie followed that model, and in what ways? The answers will be interesting.

  170. 170
    danielx says:

    @beltane:

    Actually, I’m thinking David Brooks should have to spend the rest of his life at an ABBA concert.

    Am I really that cruel?

  171. 171
    jl says:

    @jl: Yeah, Spitzer fits too. But if Christie is trying to pull off something as brazen as the hot dog guy tried to, Weiner is a better example.

  172. 172
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Do you know if there a copy of the study online anywhere? It’s been since September, and is a national story, after all.

  173. 173
    mclaren says:

    @danielx:

    Actually, I’m thinking David Brooks should have to spend the rest of his life at an ABBA concert.

    Better yet, a Captain and Tenille concert.

  174. 174
  175. 175
  176. 176
    Helen says:

    @jl: BINGO. WEINER!!

  177. 177
    beltane says:

    @danielx: David Brooks might be the type to enjoy the Hayekian wholesomeness of an eternal ABBA concert, especially if he were stoned.

  178. 178
    mclaren says:

    Over at Crooks and Liars, I saw the headline “As U.S. Attorney Examines GWB Scandal, Lawyers And Pols Weigh In On Possible Outcomes” my heart leapt. Wow, I thought, a federal prosecutor is finally looking into the 8-year-long scandal of the George W. Bush administration! Maybe they’ll even issue some indictments.

    No such luck.

    GWB refers to the George Washington Bridge.

    That’s America, right there. Close a fuckin’ bridge for a few weeks and everybody comes unglued. Invade the wrong country in an endless unwinnable war and loot the coffers by tossing military contracts to your corrupt cronies while you set up legal witch-hunts of your political opponents and tear up the constitution and use it to wipe your ass?

    Oh, that’s no problem. Hey…the constitution isn’t a bridge. Who cares if you shut the fuckin’ constitution down?

  179. 179
    Helen says:

    @jl: I did not say Chief Justice. I said Supreme Court Justice. They all say…Thomas, of course. All we need is SEX to remember.

    Nobody gets the 10 points. Sorry…..

  180. 180
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    TPM has today’s document dump, which includes at least one power point presentation and various emails. As near as I can tell, the idea (at least ostensibly) was to shut off access from Fort Lee and see if it made traffic faster for everyone else. Until the people who really know talk, it’s tough to say whether this was a stupid but legitimate idea and inconveniencing Fort Lee was icing on the cake, or whether it was all just a cover story.

    Likely a cover story, because they could do the study using computer modeling.

  181. 181
    beltane says:

    @Hill Dweller: It appears that there were cameras installed to measure the normal flow of traffic but that the lane closures ordered by Wildstein had nothing to do with this. If this were a legit study, the NY Port Authority contingent would have been aware of it and they were not. The fact that Christie’s lackeys repeatedly put quotation marks around the word “test” (because they are so cute and witty) is also damning.

  182. 182
    jharp says:

    @amk:

    I live in Indiana and I care.

    I have no interest in Christie becoming Pres.

    Cheers.

  183. 183
    jl says:

    @Helen: Ohhhh nnoooo! I want some points.

    And my favorite Justice, who I woudda named, is Suuuuupppeerr Sonnnnyaaaa Sotomayor!!!!!!!!

    She can climb down into the constitutional interpretation octagon and wipe the mat with Fat Tony any day, IMHO.

    Edit: who I also think is kind of cute. She is my constitutional law crush, I guess.

  184. 184
    Culture of Truth says:

    @beltane: Note the warning of “sideswipe crashes.”

  185. 185
    Culture of Truth says:

    Since it’s been since Sept. I was hope for actual traffic study itself.

    ….any day now…

  186. 186
    Little Boots says:

    he knew it all. we know it. he knows it. the port authority knows it.

  187. 187
    Cervantes says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    From who ever ordered it. You probably remember, when you went after me, when I said there was no traffic study, and this was abuse of power, and you implied I said Bob Somerby beats his wife. I was hoping perhaps this long lost traffic study had finally turned up. Any luck yet?

    You’ll have to remind me where this conversation took place because, contrary to your assessment, I do not, in fact, remember. Sorry.

    As for the alleged study, there are a couple of hints floating about (including in this thread), plus Rachel Maddow talked about it briefly on December 13 — but beyond that I have no idea. Sorry again.

  188. 188
    Helen says:

    @jl: Yup. I watched her confirmation hearings (actually I watch all the confirmation hearings; my favorite was Souter’s where those dumb-asses fell over their lame-ass selves NOT to call him GAY). But yeah – if anyone in America is against affirmation action -watch Sonya’s hearings.

    And just cuz I like you jl, you get 10 Helen points. You are welcome!

  189. 189
    Corner Stone says:

    Naked Jessica Biel is naked.
    Oh, sorry. What?

  190. 190
    mclaren says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Sort of like the situation Ronaldus Magnus faced with Iran-Contra.

    Big difference. Ronnie “the senile sociopath” Reagan was a charming charismatic genial thoroughly lovable sociopath. Whereas Chris Christie is just a thuggish boorish crude in-your-face sociopath.

    That’s why Reagan was so dangerous. He had all the viciousness and indifference to consequences and dishonesty of Christ Christie, but Reagan did such a superb job of masking it that even liberals adored him.

    I remember students in college who flocked to listen to Reagan’s speeches even though his policies were slashing their Pell grants. “But that asshole is wrecking your life!” I used to object. “Yeah, man, but Reagan is just so cool!” they replied.

  191. 191
    Little Boots says:

    deep, deep waters here.

  192. 192
    jl says:

    @Helen: Thanks. I was kind of angling for you to email me a beer, but I’ll take the ten points gladly.

  193. 193
    Little Boots says:

    bob somerby beats his wife?

    what the hell has happened to these internets?

  194. 194
    beltane says:

    @Culture of Truth: It’s also weird that Christie claimed he was putting the cones out himself. Governors usually are seen at ribbon cutting ceremonies opening bridges to traffic, not closing lanes down for “traffic studies”. People are scratching their heads over the lack of a good motive, but if you see these people as the grown-up College Republicans they are, their behavior has a perverse logic to it.

  195. 195
    Keith P says:

    @mclaren: I’d like to see him at a Gwar concert.

  196. 196
    Corner Stone says:

    @jl: Wake me up when those 3D printers can make an Imperial Stout.

  197. 197
    GregB says:

    @Helen:

    Souter was and has always been a confirmed bachelor. Maybe you are thinking of the weepy Mrs. Alito?

  198. 198
    Little Boots says:

    @Corner Stone:

    first, explain christie.

    seriously, what the hell?

  199. 199
    Cervantes says:

    @mclaren:

    That’s America, right there. Close a fuckin’ bridge for a few weeks and everybody comes unglued. Invade the wrong country in an endless unwinnable war and loot the coffers by tossing military contracts to your corrupt cronies while you set up legal witch-hunts of your political opponents and tear up the constitution and use it to wipe your ass? Oh, that’s no problem.

    The lanes were closed for a few days, not weeks, but other than that it’s not a bad point.

  200. 200
    Cervantes says:

    @Little Boots: Don’t believe everything you read!

  201. 201
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Liberals did not adore him. Sorry, pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

  202. 202
    Little Boots says:

    @Cervantes:

    which parts? the closing happened. the staff was involved. there are, admittedly, wild rumors, but what do you think happened?

  203. 203
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: Man, you’re like an intertrons vigilante and shit. First you hunted down Culture of Truth and now you’ve brutally silenced mclaren.
    I remember that time you came after me on the windy plateau. Tracked me for days because I’d used an outdated spelling of a French word for impromptu mimicry.
    I ran and ran. All across these series of tube but you were relentless.
    How you feelin’ now, Cervantes? Now that we both know my choice of spelling was correct. How you feelin’ now?

  204. 204
    patroclus says:

    I don’t believe Christie – I think he knew about it beforehand or shortly threreafter. He seems to be a ratfucker. Very Nixonian.

    With Nixon, it was petty retribution all the time. Watergate was truly the tip of the iceberg; there was the Segretti stuff, the anti-Muskie stuff, the Kennedy stuff, the Larry O’Brien material, the enemies list, the IRS targeting, the Ellsberg break-in, the Huston Plan, Charles Colson and Gordon Liddy, two of the great ratfuckers of all time, Hoover, Mark Felt and virtually anything you name, Nixon targeted it for retribution.

    Maddow’s reporting shows that Christie is Nixon revisited. I don’t want that.

  205. 205
    Helen says:

    @GregB: OH no. I watched Alito’s hearings too. Trust me, they kept saying to Souter “AH MAH GAH, imagine that you like books…and hiking. Of course YOU ARE NOT GAY.”

    Don’t forget Souter was presented as a Conservative, but was really a liberal (in terms of 1990ish definitions of those words). The Senator(s) who nominated him were faking it for GHW Bush. Gotta go look up which Senators said that but they have totally admitted it now.

  206. 206
    jl says:

    @Cervantes:

    We go to political war with the scandals we have, not the scandals we wish we had. Cripes, how old is mclaren, and how long has s/he followed political scandals?

    It’s actually a good thing no one (as far as we know so far) was seriously hurt as a direct consequence of the lane closures. Otherwise speculation about Christie’s role would ruin the fun, since it would implicate him in manslaughter and people would have to be all careful about what they said front of the pundits.

    So far, this is a fun scandal that will prove at the very least humiliating and damaging for Christie. So, why complain?

    When some of you folks can find a way to get the general population riled up about an illegal, deadly, counterproductive war or civil rights, let us all know. Seriously, let us know how to pull it off, it would be useful information.

  207. 207
    Little Boots says:

    @patroclus:

    he is a thin skinned bitch. that is obvious.

  208. 208
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: Humble, that’s how.

    Who the hell is Jessica Biel?

  209. 209
    Cervantes says:

    @mclaren: Please tell me you did not just extrapolate from “students in college” to “liberals,” because that would break my heart.

  210. 210
    Helen says:

    @jl: Well, did I say Helen +6? I am now Helen +10. Sorry darling. I drank your beer.

  211. 211
    Little Boots says:

    @Cervantes:

    okay, nobody buys this.

    okay?

  212. 212
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: Nobody is more humble than me, you MFer! NOBODY!

  213. 213
    Culture of Truth says:

    @e antes: True, except this does involve use of state power to exact revenge on children for their parents voting against the state executive, not exactly a minor issue, and it seem like, far from everyone coming unglued, a number of people in politics and the media are actively covering for Chris Christie, trying to pretend this didn’t happen at at all; or if it did, it’s no big deal; or if it did and it’s abuse of power, everyone does it.

  214. 214
    jl says:

    @Helen: Your internet persona does not suggest beer, but that is OK. Please don’t go Cole and have a mishap with the mouse or get tangled in the keyboard.

  215. 215
    Cervantes says:

    @Little Boots: Damned if I know. Just don’t ask me to jump to conclusions.

  216. 216
    Little Boots says:

    @jl:

    he is kind of a lightweight.

  217. 217
    kc says:

    @beltane:
    That’s good work by that blogger. That makes perfect sense. Wildstein just tacks the lane closures onto an already planned non-disruptive study.

  218. 218
    Little Boots says:

    @Cervantes: @Cervantes:

    oh, these are the internets.

    speculate.

    it would be irresponsible not to.

  219. 219
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Liberals did not adore [Ronald Reagan]. Sorry, pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

    Hell, buddy, liberals were deep-throating fuckin’ Chris Christie only 6 months ago:

    Gov. Chris Christie is cashing in donations from top Democratic fundraisers and other traditionally liberal donors across the country, even nabbing the support of a handful of rainmakers aligned with President Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Star-Ledger review of state and federal records shows.

    The checks are flying into the Republican governor’s war chest from all sorts of unlikely places — the hedge fund run by liberal billionaire George Soros, for example, and the politically progressive halls of the University of California, Berkeley.

    The nascent support from Democratic donors is an early sign of Christie’s fundraising prowess in a potential run for the White House in 2016, experts and Democratic donors said, and dovetails with recent polls showing him gaining popularity nationally among Democrats and independents.

    Source: “Major Democratic donors flock to Christie,” The Star-Ledger, 3 June 2013.

    And now you’re trying to tell us the obviously foolish lie that massive numbers of Democrats never flocked to support Reagan? That huge numbers of liberals never cheered Reagan until their throats were hoarse?

    Now we know you’re a paid astroturfer for the military-industrial-prison-surveillance-police-torture complex, buddy.

    Reagan Democrat is an American political term used by analysts to denote traditionally Democratic voters, especially white working-class Northerners, who defected from their party to support Republican President Ronald Reagan in both the 1980 and 1984 elections.

    Source: “Reagan Democrats” entry in Wikipedia.

    The problem with paid astroturfers like you, omnes omnibus, is that you keep going too far. You get cocky after denying fact after fact after fact and nobody calls you on it…so you step right up and start blatantly denying whole huge chunks of documented recent history.

    Bad idea, buckaroo.

  220. 220
    Little Boots says:

    @mclaren:

    there are actually appealing things about Christie. there are.

    the bluntness was appealing.

    but now he has been revealed as a douche.

    he will not be president, ever.

  221. 221
    Cervantes says:

    @jl:

    We go to political war with the scandals we have, not the scandals we wish we had.

    A bit of a cop-out. It is possible to set the agenda. Difficult, but possible — especially if you can wield, say, 200-300 minutes per week on prime-time MSNBC. (You may have heard recently that Bob Somerby tries to make this point; in vain.)

    So far, this is a fun scandal that will prove at the very least humiliating and damaging for Christie. So, why complain?

    Is someone here complaining about the damage Christie is sustaining?

    When some of you folks can find a way to get the general population riled up about an illegal, deadly, counterproductive war or civil rights, let us all know. Seriously, let us know how to pull it off, it would be useful information.

    Oh, we did find a way. It’s your turn now.

  222. 222
    mclaren says:

    @patroclus:

    He seems to be a ratfucker. Very Nixonian.

    All Republicans today are Nixonian ratfuckers.

    That’s the legacy of America’s refusal to try and convict that scumsucking thug and sentence him to life in prison without parole for his high crimes and misdemeanors.

  223. 223
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: The Venn diagram of liberals and Democrats is not a perfect overlap. Yes, some Democrats supported (or at least voted for) Reagan. How do you get from that to liberals adored Reagan? Some of us were alive and reasonably sober during the relevant time period.

  224. 224
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Little Boots:

    there are actually appealing things about Christie. there are.

    No. There aren’t.

  225. 225
    Little Boots says:

    @Cervantes:

    oh stop trolling.

    be a human.

    what do you think is going on here?

  226. 226
    Helen says:

    @jl: OMG. That is the most loudest bestest sentence in the whole history of internet questions. So, my internet persona makes you think I am a wine, champagne, vodka, whiskey, girl? What?

    Please do not hold back. I am fascinated by your comment.

    And mishaps – they only started when I got old. Well – oldish. As comparison – Cole is young. He can’t be my son – but he can be my MEGA younger brother.

  227. 227
    Little Boots says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    there are, buddy, but there are apparently all these other things.

  228. 228
  229. 229
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Helen:

    I am a wine, champagne, vodka, whiskey, girl

    A little selective editing and look what we get.

  230. 230
    Cervantes says:

    @Helen:

    That is the most loudest bestest sentence in the whole history of internet questions.

    Just what I was thinking.

  231. 231
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    How do you get from that to liberals adored Reagan?

    Because plenty of fucking liberals adored Reagan during the goddamn 1980s. I was there. I saw it. So did millions of other people. Full stop.

    This discussion is over. Somebody hit the lights on the way out.

  232. 232
    Kropadope says:

    @mclaren: How many Democrats do you think that group of voters voted for after Reagan?

  233. 233
    jl says:

    @Helen: Some kind of sophisticated NY NY cocktail sequence that I would not understand, was my vague impression.

  234. 234
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Little Boots: I guess I have always reacted to Christie differently than many did. The loud blustering was always off putting for me. The meanness was obvious. He is the stereotype of the Ugly American who always embarrassed me when I was in Europe. Never could see any positives about the guy.

  235. 235
    kc says:

    @mclaren:

    Damn, OO gets paid to post here? And all this time I’ve been doing it for nothing?

    Hey, OO, hook me up!

  236. 236
    Little Boots says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    there is true ugliness. but that won’t kill him. I think it’s the pettiness.

  237. 237
    max says:

    And now you’re trying to tell us the obviously foolish lie that massive numbers of Democrats never flocked to support Reagan? That huge numbers of liberals never cheered Reagan until their throats were hoarse?

    Huge numbers of Southern Democrats did support Reagan (the Congressional contingent were called ‘Boll Weevils’ – you could look it up on Wikipedia, even). Huge numbers of liberals? No. If anything liberals were taking a beating for being anti-Reagan, even though it so turned out they were correct on the merits.

    Meantime, huge numbers of *Democrats* basically backed Bush’s foreign policy agenda even though it was wrong-headed in every way. And conservadems like Rahm like to cover their bases with their pals.

    I’m not a conservative, never was. I wasn’t, however a hard leftie either. I was not (at the time!) pro-Reagan, and I was never pro-Republican. I can say nice things about Reagan about the fact that he went with Thatcher and made nice with Gorbachev (who I consider probably the most important actor of the late 20th century, and arguably the savior of the human race).

    I don’t know what those other folks were thinking.

    max
    [‘Ask John Cole, maybe he can explain it to you.’]

  238. 238
    gwangung says:

    @mclaren: Aw, c’mon kid….none of of that impresses any of us who were around and sober. Pull the other one.

    Also. Fuck off.

  239. 239
    mclaren says:

    @scav:

    Pretty obviously the Target scam was the proof-of-concept for a new exploit by our charming friends in Bulgaria or Latvia or Buttfuckistan or whatever-the-hell central European former Soviet republic run by gangsters and riddled with impoverished former Soviet scientists and programmers who now have to write the code for these kinds of exploits to feed their children after the end of the Cold War.

    The really impressive ones I’ve heard about are the remote exploits that access a car’s brakes and ignition and windows and all its other automatic systems while the car is travelling at speed over the car’s wifi. How long will it be before luxury sedans travelling on the freeway in HelL.A. start getting OnStar messages from another car tailing them, instructing the car’s driver to transfer a few thousand dollars into a wire account, or the car tailing ’em will remotely trigger their brakes and send the car into 20-vehicle collision fireball?

  240. 240
    Cervantes says:

    @mclaren:

    [P]lenty of fucking liberals adored Reagan during the goddamn 1980s.

    True enough, but roughly 36 million people voted against him in 1980 and 1984. What were they, chopped liver?

  241. 241
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jl:

    And why would the cops follow an order like that?

    Because that’s what grunts do.

    Waaaaay back in the 80’s, when I was a 1LT pulling staff duty, one of my responsibilities was to inspect the guard. I asked one of the soldiers if I gave him an order to shoot someone who was within the protected perimeter (we were responsible for guarding some warehouses near the battalion area) what would he do? His answer was very simple. “I’d shoot them, sir.” I was hoping to see if the soldier would question such an order and use some of his own judgement, but the grunts are, by necessity, I suppose, inculcated with fairly blind obedience to orders that are issued, even questionable ones like that.

    If the cops were briefed to respond to queries from motorists stuck in traffic what the hold up was, they were told to say the Mayor of Ft Lee had ordered a traffic study. This is pure ratfucking, but someone had to give the order to brief the cops that way, knowing that the cops would repeat it pretty much verbatim.

  242. 242
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kc: According to mclaren, I am a PFC posting from some DoD warehouse. I will admit that I was briefly an PFC during Basic Training – before I went to OCS. That was about 27 years ago.

    @mclaren: Not all nominal Democrats are liberals. Provide some valid evidence to support your statement or stand revealed a liar.

  243. 243
    max says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The loud blustering was always off putting for me. The meanness was obvious. He is the stereotype of the Ugly American who always embarrassed me when I was in Europe. Never could see any positives about the guy.

    Thanks, that was exactly my reaction. (‘You people think this worthless shithead is going to win? Good God, why?’)

    max
    [‘But then, lots of ’em thought invading Iraq was a fucking GREAT plan, so I guess you can fool some of the people all of the time.’]

  244. 244
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Stand revealed as a liar, Pfc Butterfield!

  245. 245
    Helen says:

    @jl: OH sweetie – I am in Queens, NY. a block an a half from Weiner!!!!!

    I choose Queens. I can live in Manhattan – but those assholes drink martini’s.

  246. 246
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: I love that line.

  247. 247
    kc says:

    @mclaren:

    Liberals suck!

  248. 248
    Corner Stone says:

    @gwangung:

    Also. Fuck off.

    Jesus Christ. When did you turn into me?

  249. 249
    Little Boots says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    what exactly are the initials about?

  250. 250
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Holy shit, that was you telling me you’d shot them?

  251. 251
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Don’t you think you can co-opt me, nor my precious bodily fluids!

  252. 252
    max says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I asked one of the soldiers if I gave him an order to shoot someone who was within the protected perimeter (we were responsible for guarding some warehouses near the battalion area) what would he do? His answer was very simple. “I’d shoot them, sir.” I was hoping to see if the soldier would question such an order and use some of his own judgement, but the grunts are, by necessity, I suppose, inculcated with fairly blind obedience to orders that are issued, even questionable ones like that.

    How could it be any other way? You tell him there is enemy in the perimeter, you tell him to shoot them. He does it. That’s his job.

    Now, you tell him explicitly to shoot up a school bus full of children, maybe he reacts differently.

    max
    [‘Depends.’]

  253. 253
    patroclus says:

    @mclaren: Most Republicans adore Nixonian tactics and the politics of personal retribution. Because he had embraced Obama during Sandy, I had thought Christie was different. I was wrong. He’s even more Nixonian than most.

    Reagan was different. He thought simplistically and had oncoming Alzheimers through most of his Presidency, leaving him somewhat of a doofus who didn’t really know what was going on most of the time. Dangerous things certainly happened with Reagan, but like with Iran-Contra, he often seemed only to have a vague relationship with events. With Reagan, there was a rotating series of culprits; with Nixon, it was always him and his henchmen.

    Christie is more like Nixon.

  254. 254
    Little Boots says:

    @Corner Stone:

    everyone love omnes.

  255. 255
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Big difference between telling his boss he’d do it, and actually freakin’ doing it.

  256. 256
    Little Boots says:

    honestly, as they should.

    omnes is one of the best things about this site

    I love omnes.

  257. 257
  258. 258
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @max:

    It was the bluntness of his response that kinda knocked me backwards. He didn’t ask any questions about it, or ask for clarification, or a better description of the scenario.

    My response would be “do we really need to shoot this guy? Might be better to not fire on him and miss and scare him off without knowing what he was doing there…”

    But then again, guys with brass are supposed to be the brains.

  259. 259
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Little Boots: OCS = Officer Candidate School.

    @max: He was in a peaceful area. Rules of engagement are different.

  260. 260
    Little Boots says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    see? helpful,

    why people love omnes.

  261. 261
  262. 262
    Little Boots says:

    omnes? why are you withholding?

  263. 263
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Little Boots: Dude, you must chill.

  264. 264
    Little Boots says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am.

    I’m trying.

  265. 265
    scav says:

    Are his gold plates talking to mclaren again? Has he explained to us fully what we were failing to observe as we apparently arrived at our current ages without traversing the actual past that mcl traversed, seeing and understanding all, perfectly, but apparently very very alone? I’m personally rather amused to discover my entire past is manufactured, like all those fake fossils jeebus hid on the top of mountains while riding his dinosaur.

  266. 266
    Corner Stone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: You mocked me once, never do it again! I died that day!

  267. 267
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

  268. 268
    Mike in NC says:

    @mclaren: Liberals in the 80s didn’t adore Reagan. Was there and such a claim is bullshit.

  269. 269

    @mclaren:

    Wait, you’re astonished that the college students who voted for Reagan were fans of Reagan? (If you’re confused by all of the graphs, the relevant one is “Presidential Legacies: How Those Who Came of Age Under Different Presidents Have Voted.”)

    Generation X is a conservative generation, more conservative than the generations that came directly before and after it. Sorry, but it is.  Claiming that you must have been talking to liberals because everyone knows all college students are liberals is letting your Republican slip show again.

  270. 270
    Corner Stone says:

    @scav: Man, you’re like on a multi-day high and shit. Can you share with us what, exactly, you’re ingesting?

  271. 271
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): What do you think those charts tell us?
    I mean, I know you’re crazy as a shithouse rat, but what are the pretty pictures saying in your fucked up brainpan?

  272. 272
    scav says:

    @Corner Stone: Suddenly, It’s been a long life.

  273. 273
    Helen says:

    @Mike in NC: Ding Ding Ding. I was there.

  274. 274
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’ve never been in the military, but also, you’re assuming that just because he said it, he would’ve actually done it. Things are never the same when they’re actually happening as they are in your head when you’re planning for them (one reason I find gun nuts amusing and pathetic when they talk about how they’d totally go John Wayne when faced by a dangerous criminal).

    Heck, wasn’t there a study in World War Two that showed a staggering number of soldiers couldn’t bring themselves to shoot at an enemy even on a battlefield?

  275. 275
    Corner Stone says:

    @Helen: Well, somebody voted for that motherfucker. Was it you?

  276. 276
    Amir Khalid says:

    What Did Chris Christie Know & When Did He Know It?

    My guess, if anyone wants to know: Everything. From the get-go.

  277. 277
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: It wasn’t liberals.

  278. 278
    Helen says:

    @Corner Stone: Nope. I am way embarrassed to say that that was my first vote. Yep I was 18 yrs old in 1980. And I voted for? John Anderson. SHUT UP. I was stupid.

  279. 279
    Corner Stone says:

    @Helen: Nothing to be ashamed of. He had a great hit song, that one time.

  280. 280
    Irishguy says:

    “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.”

    Sorry, but I didn’t get that when it was said about Watergate and I don’t get it now.

    It is the crime AND the cover-up.

    First we “All the President’s Men” — and no doubt in my mind the president himself — ordering the burglarly and bugging off the offices of the opposition party. This is dictator stuff. It was never a “third-rate burglary.”

    And if you don’t think this “crime” was serious, go read the angry e-mail from the head of the Port Authority, Patrick Foye. He sure thought it was the crime, since the cover-up had not even begun.

  281. 281
    Irishguy says:

    @Helen: My first vote was for George McGovern. Not many people can say that.

  282. 282
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Irishguy: I was fucking eight years old. Jesus!

  283. 283
    Helen says:

    @Irishguy: What year was that? 196??? And how Irish are you? Mom was born and raised on Conway St. If you are good Irish you will know Conway St.

    Joke – but really not.

  284. 284
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Helen: It would have been ’72.

  285. 285
    max says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He was in a peaceful area. Rules of engagement are different.

    True, but generally anyone toting a gun in a secured area is going to be a guard, and a guard’s duties generally involve dealing with perimeter penetrations.

    Also, an officer is asking a hypothetical question of a enlisted man about whether the enlisted man is going to obey orders.

    @Villago Delenda Est: It was the bluntness of his response that kinda knocked me backwards. He didn’t ask any questions about it, or ask for clarification, or a better description of the scenario.

    See, I suspect he’d say he’d shoot up a bus that he knew was full of schoolchildren. Because orders.

    My response would be “do we really need to shoot this guy? Might be better to not fire on him and miss and scare him off without knowing what he was doing there…”

    And I’d bet he would do that on his own (or go ask his sergeant)… but if an officer goes ‘ENEMY! KILL!’ bang bang band.

    But then again, guys with brass are supposed to be the brains.

    I’m certain that both his DI(s) and his sergeant had repeatedly informed that thinking was above his pay grade.

    max
    [‘In all the accounts I have ever read, balking at an *EXPLICITLY* illegal order is so difficult as to border on the impossible. Iffy scenarios are no-brainers. So to speak.’]

  286. 286
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @max:

    [‘In all the accounts I have ever read, balking at an *EXPLICITLY* illegal order is so difficult as to border on the impossible. Iffy scenarios are no-brainers. So to speak.’]

    FWIW I was given an illegal order by my battery commander (a captain) when I was a first lieutenant. It wasn’t a shoot civilians thing – it was simply a directive to do something improper. I said no. My commander repeated it as a “direct order” and I said that we should probably take it to the battalion commander (my boss’s boss); at that point, it got dropped. My relationship with my commander was somewhat fraught from that time on, but I already knew that the army was not a career for me.

  287. 287
    Helen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Thanks Omnes – 10 I was.

  288. 288
    PurpleGirl says:

    Helen — Allan Hevasi. He was the NYS comptroller and was forced to resign over decisions made as comptroller and also because he had state employees using a state car take his wife to the hospital for her chemotherapy sessions.

    Another dynastic family in the making when his son also ran for State Assembly, I believe.

  289. 289
    KS in MA says:

    @Irishguy: I can! And damn proud of it!!!

  290. 290
    Helen says:

    @PurpleGirl: OY vey I went to grad school with his son Dan. The stories I could tell you. Dan is why Alan did not go to jail. Alan made a deal to save Dan.

  291. 291
    Helen says:

    @Helen: Sorry – why Alan DID go to jail. He saved his son Dan. And now the other son – don’t know his name is my NYS Assemblyman. You’d think they would be embarrassed – but no.

  292. 292
    Joey Maloney says:

    @jl: When some of you folks can find a way to get the general population riled up about an illegal, deadly, counterproductive war or civil rights, let us all know. Seriously, let us know how to pull it off, it would be useful information.

    Start preempting Duck Dynasty with news reports about it.

  293. 293
    Joel says:

    @Suffern ACE:Christie’s viability depends on his ability to project a “bipartisan” front. This scandal takes that facade away, leaving him without a considerable edge on any of the other republican candidates for 2016. Yes, he can hang his hat on Sandy, but Rudy Giuliani’s 9/11 Mad Libs campaign didn’t go very far, so I don’t think Christie will, either.

  294. 294
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I can usually spot an autocorrect, but in this case I thought I had just learned a new colloquialism. I kind of like it. over barged

  295. 295

    […] What Did Christie Know and When Did He Know It? […]

  296. 296
    Cervantes says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    You probably remember, when you went after me, when I said there was no traffic study, and this was abuse of power, and you implied I said Bob Somerby beats his wife.

    I went after you? What on earth does that mean?

    Anyway, I went back and looked. Here’s the exchange you’re likely talking about:

    Culture of Truth: This is corruption and abuse of power defined. Perhaps Mr Somerby doesn’t care about elected officials using their power to disrupt the lives of citizens to exact revenge against other elected officials for endorsing his re-election, out of corruption or fear of blackmail, but other people do. Using power over public infrastructure to fix elections is they definition of corrupt government, and that doesn’t help schoolchildren or anyone else — except perhaps, devoted defenders of people like Chris Christie.

    Cervantes: Perhaps I can’t stand Chris Christie any more than you can — and perhaps Mr. Somerby beats his wife and does not care about baby seals — but these perhapses have very little to do with Somerby’s criticism of Maddow.

    Read it again. You just may have missed the point.

    I was hoping perhaps this long lost traffic study had finally turned up. Any luck yet?

    See above.

  297. 297
    Drosselmeyer says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    “Beltwat Media” You win the intertubes today.

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