Love has no pride

Sweet Bieber, the right wing of establishment media is so far in the tank for Christie (h/t reader J):

DAVID BROOKS: Now, my friend Mike Murphy, the political consultant, says the essence of Christie, he doesn’t come in small doses. He comes in big doses. And the challenge for Christie as a candidate has always been, will people accept somebody who comes on that strong?

But if he comes on that strong as even a little bit of a bully, which is sort of what he looks like in this, he could be that people want a bully to go to Washington. If they’re going to vote for Christie, they don’t want a charmer. They want a big bully. And this will not hurt him, I think.

I think some politicians would be hurt by this kind of scandal. He will not be hurt, because his image, as a big, tough, bully, that is what you are hiring him for if you are going to elect him president. And so this is consistent with that image, I think.

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225 replies
  1. 1
    aimai says:

    Christ, when I think how they have turned the most courteous, graceful, refined, thoughtful, generous president in my lifetime into the second coming of Hitler!!!!111111! with constant accusations that he is “ramming things down people’s throats” and “appointing Czars!” and “acting like a dictator” you’d think that Brooks would think a moment about just how attractive a “bully” really is when you are talking about a majorpolitical figure. But no.

  2. 2
    Fred says:

    Sadly, I suspect he may be right. It’s sure what the GOPer base gets hot for.

  3. 3
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    So that’s why Romney won the last election. He came across as a bully.

    The only people who want bullies are other bullies.

  4. 4
    elm says:

    Smells like desperation, but Brooks remains as uninfluential as always.

  5. 5
    BD of MN says:

    I heard this yesterday and immediately thought “he’s toast”…

    “David Brooks Is Always Wrong” returns 2.1M hits on teh google, which I hope Mr. Levenson is making a small profit from…

  6. 6
    Citizen_X says:

    the essence of Christie, he doesn’t come in small doses. He comes in big doses.

    Not even touching that one.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    Wait, Christie said he wasn’t a bully.

    Have we inaugurated the “this is good news for Chris Christie” meme yet?

  8. 8
    WereBear says:

    They’re professional shills. They paint shit to look like shinola. It’s not just to sell it to rubes, either; it’s to back up other professional shills.

    I’m strong, you’re aggressive. I’m assertive, you’re a bitch. I’m a fun loving hedonist, you’re a hound dog with no morals.

    That’s the level they work at. “Yes, of course we want a bully in the White House!” Just how stupid is that?

  9. 9
    Pincher says:

    America wants a bully who intentionally sets out to harm the citizens. This is what passes for “big ideas” among thinking conservatives.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    Once Darcy Licorish testifies, Christie is toast.

  11. 11
    MattF says:

    Bullying is Good. Also, War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength,… et cetera.

  12. 12
    Valdivia says:

    I could never make it through one conversation with this guy without wanting to drive a fork in my temple or smack him.

  13. 13
    Jewish Steel says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    The only people who want bullies are other bullies.

    I would add craven lickspittles to that group.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    @Baud: Christie claims he’s so much not a bully he even remembers how long it’s been since he yelled at anybody. Who remembers the exact amount of time its been since they yelled at someone?

  15. 15
    PeakVT says:

    Brooks fucked that up. This is clearly one of those times he should have played sensible conservative and stuck a knife in Christie.

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    @Valdivia: he’s single now and available.

  17. 17
    Hal says:

    A conservative friend on Facebook had two posts yesterday on Christie, who he does not like, OK? He’s a RINO! But Benghazi! IRS! NSA!

    According to him, some Christie aide put out a few traffic cones and now the media is covering for Obama’s failures.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: May I suggest that his temple would be a better target?

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    In the old days, conservatives longed for Big Daddy figures who made the trains run on time. Now they long for flabby loudmouths who make sure the trains don’t run at all.

    I see that David Brooks is back to smoking the strong stuff.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @WereBear:

    “America wants a bully. But we hate Chicago style tactics.”

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    Former FBI director Hoover, had an enemies list. Since Christie doesn’t discriminate, he could just use the census.

  22. 22
    elm says:

    On second thought, there is one inference I can draw from this: the right-wing pseudo-centrists have no backup candidate at the moment.

    Brooks defends Christie because he hasn’t yet been instructed to change horses. Somebody must have all their eggs in the Christie basket.

  23. 23
    Shalimar says:

    @Valdivia: Don’t smack Brooks, he apparently gets off on that sort of thing.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    I know. It’s like trying to remember the last time you had someone whacked.

  25. 25
    Haydnseek says:

    @Jewish Steel: Not to mention feckless guttersnipes!

  26. 26
    elm says:

    @PeakVT: If he had an alternative to endorse, I’m sure he would have. His dogged defense of Christie suggests that he has no other option.

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    @elm: If John Kasich or the like entered the race, Brooks would drop Christie like a sack of hot potatoes. Give him enough time, however, and Brooks will find it within him to shill for Rand Paul or whatever nutjob ends up as the GOP nominee.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @elm: Uep, I can’t think of anyone else on whom they can hang their hats. Christie is the hill on which they must die.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @Citizen_X: Dammit. That will teach me to walk outside for a minute.

  30. 30
    Haydnseek says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hey, careful with the fat jokes…….

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: FYWP. Edit doesn’t work for the mobile site.

  32. 32
    Valdivia says:

    @Violet:

    I know. I was actually going to say I could never make it through a date with him ;)

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Haydnseek: What fat joke?

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    @Haydnseek: Come on, he said Christie is the hill on which they must die, not the Matterhorn on which they must perish.

  35. 35
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    see this is what’s wrong with me. I should have thought of that. :)

    @Shalimar:
    wait, how do you know that. :D

  36. 36
    Haydnseek says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Referring to him as a hill, even metaphorically. Sorry, it was a stretch, I know. Original post was sarcastic, in any case…

  37. 37
    Corner Stone says:

    @beltane: You mean the Donner Party they must not…um, never mind.

  38. 38
    elm says:

    @beltane:

    Once the 2016 nominee is clear, Brooks will surely fall all over himself to tell us how Huckabee (or whomever) is the second coming of Burke.

    For the moment, I find it amusing to watch Brooks twist in the wind.

    But I’ll never forget that his job is the same as always: to repackage right-wing puke into a form acceptable to totebaggers.

    @Shalimar:

    Great. Now I have an image of Brooks with a ballgag stuck in my head. I don’t normally start drinking this early, but today I’ll have to make an exception.

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @elm:

    Now I have an image of Brooks with a ballgag stuck in my head.

    I thought everybody pictured him like that?

  40. 40
    aimai says:

    If you read the transcript Mark Shields basically says “No, you ignorant slut” to David Brooks over and over and over again. I had no idea he had it in him. He attacked Brook’s mercilessly over the question of whether the war on poverty and medicare/social security were failures or not and forced Brooks to admit that its all that stands between the seniors in this country and complete immiseration. Also: head start was not a fucking failure, David.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Haydnseek: It’s not my fault that your mind goes immediately to that subject when I merely used a fairly common expression.

    /vaguely outraged innocence

  42. 42
    elm says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Previously, I had thought of him in a zippered leather hood. That was easier to deal with.

  43. 43
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Haydnseek: Mudlarks, tosspots, the whole lot of them!

  44. 44
    MattF says:

    @elm: Cold and wet outside. Bottle of good scotch on the shelf behind me. Thank you.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    He’s clearly making a mountain out of a mountain.

  46. 46
    Haydnseek says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Fair enough. It was a cheap joke. They can’t all be gems……sheesh….

  47. 47
    elm says:

    @MattF: I’m going straight to the Sterno and Robitussin.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @elm: Sometimes in life, you just have to look right at a thing, and deal with it.

  49. 49
    Haydnseek says:

    @Jewish Steel: HAH!

  50. 50
    eldorado says:

    a hardon, a hardon, a hardon, a hardon
    a hardon don’t mean you’re in love

  51. 51
    Botsplainer says:

    But if he comes on that strong as even a little bit of a bully, which is sort of what he looks like in this, he could be that people want a bully to go to Washington. If they’re going to vote for Christie, they don’t want a charmer. They want a big bully. And this will not hurt him, I think.

    He IS the Kweisatz Haderach!

  52. 52
    efgoldman says:

    @Valdivia:

    I could never make it through one conversation with this guy without wanting to drive a fork in my temple or smack him.

    Brooks, Christie, or DougJ?
    Also too you forgot a spork inna’ eye.

  53. 53
    Irishguy says:

    Speaking of “in the tank” . . . is “off the deep end” related?

    A couple of days ago, this blog asked if Bob Somerby would be issuing a correction for being horribly wrong about this story and an apology to Rachel Maddow for the horrible things he said about her for reporting it.

    I predicted that he’d simply throw it down the memory hole and stop blogging about it.

    Another poster predicted he’d double down.

    Today, he writes that it is still “possible” that the whole thing was a “legitimate” traffic study done “in good faith” that simply went wrong, which means he’s right and the rest of the human race is wrong.

    I was wrong.

    And he is taking one hell of a beating on his own blog. But then, his combox hits are way up, which I strongly suspect is the only thing that matters to him any more.

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    He will not be hurt, because his image, as a big, tough, bully, that is what you are hiring him for if you are going to elect him president.

    This is something I would have expected to see out of RedState. WTF is in the id of these people that makes them crave some monstrosity like this?

  55. 55
    MattF says:

    @Irishguy: Sucked into the singularity. Whooooop!

  56. 56
    efgoldman says:

    @elm:

    Now I have an image of Brooks with a ballgag stuck in my head.

    How did you get a ballgag stuck in your head? Do we even want to know?

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    @Botsplainer: I would have thought by now you’d be explaining to us all here how Christie is the answer to our feckless current CinC.
    A real man. Someone who orders a beat down for protestors and goes on live TV to announce drone strikes against his domestic enemies.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    Gotta go get ready to get my heart ripped out of me for three hours. Still better than picturing Brooks with a ballgag.

  59. 59
    Mandalay says:

    If they’re going to vote for Christie, they don’t want a charmer. They want a big bully. And this will not hurt him, I think.

    I kinda get that bully argument, but only in the sense that a bully is someone you dare not fuck with. Folks like Cheney and Norman Schwarzkopf under Bush 1, and Steve Jobs, and probably umpteen other ruthless, successful business figures.

    But AFAIK (though I could well be wrong), those bullies didn’t sweat the really small stuff. They were above it.

    Not only is Christie a bully, but he is a mean, small, petty, vindictive bully, not unlike Donald Trump. So while some voters may be happy with a bully (aka “daddy”) as president, I’m not persuaded they want a bully who publicly berates reporters and teachers as president.

  60. 60
    cokane says:

    That man should be embarrassed at how he gently licks the balls of the powerful while pretending to call himself a journalist

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud:

    Gotta go get ready to get my heart ripped out of me for three hours.

    Fighting the county appraisal district property tax evaluation?

  62. 62
    Valdivia says:

    @efgoldman:

    Brooks, of course!

  63. 63
    dexwood says:

    So, Brooks has a big, tough bully fantasy. Why am I not surprised?

  64. 64
    beltane says:

    @Mandalay: Christie is more of a tyrant than a ruthless, efficient, gets-things-done type of guy. Inconveniencing thousands of people in order to avenge a personal slight is something you’d only expect to see in the world’s more tawdry dictatorships.

  65. 65
    Mandalay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    This is something I would have expected to see out of RedState.

    Actually not. You won’t see a word from RedState journalists about Christie right now. Even more than FoxNews, they are absurdly pretending that it is a big fat nothingburger.

    ETA: 15 articles from RedState in the past 2 days. None of them about Christie.

  66. 66
    gogol's wife says:

    @aimai:

    This.

  67. 67
    karen says:

    Translation: the GOP wants a white thug as opposed to the pretend black thug in the white house.

  68. 68
    gogol's wife says:

    @Valdivia:

    As Irene Adler said on Sherlock, she knows what he likes.

  69. 69
    SFAW says:

    @Mandalay:

    I’m not persuaded they want a bully who publicly berates reporters and teachers as president.

    Then you haven’t been paying as much attention as we thought.

  70. 70
    Visceral says:

    Sadly, Brooks doesn’t have to be in the tank for Christie to think like this. He’s right; people who would vote for Christie before are just going to see this as confirmation that he’s exactly who they always thought he was and is exactly the kind of man they want as president. Republicans want a bully and a boor and a lot of moderates want the personality if not the policies: someone who won’t turn the other cheek in the name of bipartisan comity or whatever, but will demand his due (allegedly on all our behalf) and make trouble if he doesn’t get his way.

  71. 71
    bemused says:

    @WereBear:

    A $4 million estate plus other perks are great incentives for some people to write stupid shit.

  72. 72
    efgoldman says:

    @beltane:

    Inconveniencing thousands of people in order to avenge a personal slight is something you’d only expect to see in the world’s more tawdry dictatorships.

    Like central Africa, Texas or Florida, certainly not New Jersey.

  73. 73
    maya says:

    @Corner Stone:

    WTF is in the id of these people that makes them crave some monstrosity like this?

    Probably because they all were pantsed, wedgied or locked in lockers in HS by some bully. Stockyholm Syndrome.

  74. 74
    beltane says:

    Aside from David Brooks, etc., it seems that Christie has no real friends. As is usually the case with bullies, once they are seen as vulnerable it is open season on going after them: http://www.boomantribune.com/s.....145347/530

  75. 75
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: I can’t remember which one Darcy Licorish is. Or did you just say that so you could say Darcy Licorish? Because I can see why that would be a temptation.

  76. 76
    SFAW says:

    @efgoldman:

    certainly not New Jersey

    I think you mean “soitenly.”

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Nah. That’s just money. I’m talking about something important.

  78. 78
    MattF says:

    @beltane: Kind of a New Jersey version of Vladimir Putin. Hmm. Maybe we should start looking at who’s been sent to prison in NJ lately.

  79. 79
    SFAW says:

    @maya:

    Stockyholm Syndrome.

    He prefers “Bigbonedholm.”

  80. 80
    gogol's wife says:

    NewsMax headline: “Do You Still Like Chris Christie? Vote Here Now.”

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    @MattF:

    Where is New Jersey’s Pussy Riot?

  82. 82
    MattF says:

    @SFAW: ‘Husky.’

  83. 83
    SFAW says:

    @MattF:

    Maybe we should start looking at who’s been sent to prison in NJ lately.

    Nets fans are hoping for Mikhail Prokhorov.

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    @MattF:

    Where is New Jersey’s Pusssy Riot?

    (Original stuck in moderation.)

  85. 85
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Edit only works on my iPad if I open Edit in a new window. Not sure if the same trick works on a phone or not.

  86. 86
    beltane says:

    @efgoldman: If Christie had made sure to keep his tantrum purely in-state he would have gotten away with it. However, he made the mistake of spilling his trash on the neighbor’s lawn, a neighbor who has nothing to fear from him.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Mandalay says:

    @beltane:

    Christie is more of a tyrant than a ruthless, efficient, gets-things-done type of guy.

    Apparently so. Part of the Christie brand had been that he was a good manager who could get things done, and (unlike other Republicans), he could work with Democrats. Putting aside the bullying aspect, he is now shown to be a lousy manager who can’t work with Democrats. Assuming he survives as governor, I don’t see what his selling point would be if he ran for president.

    Reporters are now scrutinizing every aspect of his past performance. I think we will soon be reading some pretty unflattering stuff about his management of Hurricane Sandy relief.

  89. 89
    Tom Levenson says:

    @BD of MN: Alas, no. But I’m glad it’s becoming a meme…

  90. 90
    beltane says:

    @Mandalay: As Sandy was making landfall there was a story circulating that residents of Atlantic City were put at risk due to tensions between Christie and AC’s Democratic mayor. All of this was brushed aside in the post-storm kumbaya but now that it’s safe to talk, we will be hearing all kinds of revelations.

  91. 91
    mclaren says:

    Obligatory link to satirical article suggesting Christie uses the “NSA defense.”

  92. 92
    scav says:

    Dear Dear. Even the ChiTrib is linking directly to pdfs of the doc dump. Rather a genteel nudge nudge toward the undercarriage of the the multi-wheeled educational vehicle.

  93. 93
    Valdivia says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    most excellent response.

  94. 94

    Brooks is getting more pathetic by day

  95. 95
    GregB says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Darcy Licorish is one of the Port Authority Police officers. If she is attractive she’ll turn into the Fawn Hall of this scandal.

    It should also be noted that the chemical leaking from the Freedom Inc. faulty storage tanks in WV reportedly smells like licorice.

    I don’t know where this is going but if Scooter Libby turns up with a poetic note about Aspens and licorice and bridge closings I am filling sandbags and heading for the basement.

  96. 96
    raven says:

    So is there going to be a playoff thread or do we go back to Good Betty Cracker?

  97. 97
    efgoldman says:

    @Mandalay:

    Part of the Christie brand had been that he was a good manager who could get things done

    You know who else was a good manager who could get things done….

  98. 98
    Keith G says:

    @WereBear: I will repeat in toto what you typed since it is almost all that needs to be typed.

    They’re professional shills. They paint shit to look like shinola. It’s not just to sell it to rubes, either; it’s to back up other professional shills.

    I’m strong, you’re aggressive. I’m assertive, you’re a bitch. I’m a fun loving hedonist, you’re a hound dog with no morals.

    That’s the level they work at. “Yes, of course we want a bully in the White House!” Just how stupid is that?

    The boys and girls over there on the red side need – really fucking need – Christy. So unless he is caught skull fucking the corpse of Ronald Reagan while receiving a rear pleasuring by Al Sharpton, they will say what they need to protect him.

    Santorum and Kentucky Booboo scare the hell out of the GOP establishment. If they dominate the nominating process, all is lost. Paul Ryan is a possibility, but there is little charisma there and many doubts about readiness for prime time.

    Christy looked like the real deal, so they will move heaven and hell to keep his fat ass in the running – even if they suspect he has used up most of his last life.

  99. 99
    raven says:

    @efgoldman: steady in the ranks

  100. 100

    @GregB: Darcy Licorish is some one’s real name? Sounds straight out of fiction.

  101. 101
    Mandalay says:

    Well here is some kinda good news for Christie: not only are voters really dumb, but they are also completely irrational

    A new poll released Friday by Rasmussen Reports found that 56 percent of likely voters in New Jersey think Gov. Chris Christie should resign from office if it’s shown that he gave the approval to close local lanes to the George Washington Bridge last September as a means of political retaliation.

    The poll, conducted by a telephone survey Thursday night, also shows that 54 percent of voters in the state believe it’s “at least somewhat likely” that Christie had prior knowledge of the closures

    Despite those numbers, 55 percent of voters still look favorably upon Christie and another 60 percent still approve of the job he has done as governor.

  102. 102
    smintheus says:

    Speaking of road signs, what I wouldn’t give for a pic of Christie standing next to a “One Lane Bridge” sign.

  103. 103
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mandalay: No, I meant the bully worshiping. The overt call for a big, tough bully.
    Not specifically Christie.

  104. 104
    Aji says:

    @raven: Yeah, this. Just finished muck duty for six (SIX!) horses, came in, showered, turned on the game . . . and no football thread? C’mon, guys.

  105. 105
    GregB says:

    @Irishguy:

    Poor Somerby, he’s entered his Pat Cadell phase of bitter partisan unravelling. Look for a drooping hang dog face, shitty dyed comb-over and one wild-rover of an eye to start occupying his countenance as he sinks deeper into his self-loathing pathos.

  106. 106
    James E. Powell says:

    @Corner Stone:

    WTF is in the id of these people that makes them crave some monstrosity like this?

    Look at the big picture from where they stand – and look at the way their worldview developed. They came of age politically with Reagan. The core of the Reagan argument was that everything from the 60s, and some things from the 30s, were wrong, a combination naive reckless pie-in-the-sky ventures and evil schemes designed to destroy America and the whole idea of freedom. Bush I is regarded as a bumbling fool – first for failing to go all the way in Iraq and second for losing to that pot smoking draft dodger and his murdering lesbian wife. The whole Clinton administration is regarded as an anomalous near disaster from which we were saved by dedication of Newt Gingrich and Ken Starr. Bush II put the adults back in charge. Their total incompetence and unrestrained corruption are forgiven because their hearts were in the right place and because they did cut taxes.

    Then some black guy with one of the most un-American name ever comes along and beats The Hero-Man They Most Admire – a man who they assumed everyone admired. Shocker, but they blamed the economy and Barney Frank. The 2010 midterms gave them faith that we were still on track for the permanent Republican majority. Then the black guy beats their Ideal American CEO. Now, as they look into the future, they see President Hillary Clinton – they cannot deal with that nightmare.

    They believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that The Hero-Man They Most Admire and The Ideal American CEO both lost to that [insert racist epithet] because they weren’t willing to get tough, they were too noble to “go there” – though it’s hard to see where they didn’t go. So they want a loud, overbearing blowhard.

  107. 107
    gogol's wife says:

    @Valdivia:

    “recreational scolding”

  108. 108
  109. 109
    GregB says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    No, all of these names are getting seared into the national psyche. Darcy Licorish is indeed a real human who is involved in this case.

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    RETRACTED!!

  111. 111
    raven says:

    @Aji: Betty did have this back yonder:

    “What are y’all up to? Please feel free to discuss your philosophy on domestic help, your plans for today, football or whatever.”

    All season we get football threads AFTER the first game. Now we get them hours BEFORE.

  112. 112
    Aji says:

    @raven: Weird. [Sigh] okay, I’ll go backward if I must . . . .

  113. 113
    Heywood J. says:

    Ha. Bobo wants a bully because Bobo, as Taibbi once pointed out, has no penis and wants to spend the rest of his life choosing between periwinkle bath towels. Brooks is the perfect consumerist commentator — he’ll put up with any level of bullshit, so long as the strip mall stays open.

  114. 114
    elm says:

    @Aji: Sounds more like a character in a Philip K. dick novel, or maybe John Kennedy Toole.

  115. 115
    beltane says:

    @GregB: Darcy Licorish was hired in 1980 so I don’t think this will be a Fawn Hall situation: http://new-york-employees.find.....D-Licorish

  116. 116
    raven says:

    @Aji: Up front!

  117. 117
    Valdivia says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    that seems to good for the likes of Brooks ;)

  118. 118
    MattF says:

    @Corner Stone: I guess it’s projection, as usual. Christie does the things they’d like to do. But then, the other side of projection comes into play– you have to deny and disclaim that baaaad person. Mr. Brooks is a bit behind schedule, but he’ll catch up if necessary.

  119. 119
    Mandalay says:

    @Irishguy:

    Today, he writes that it is still “possible” that the whole thing was a “legitimate” traffic study done “in good faith” that simply went wrong

    I certainly don’t think that there was a legitimate traffic study, but in the mountain of emails that were released yesterday there was plenty of contemporary correspondence relating to that traffic study. Folks like Chris Hayes who just blindly asserted that there was no traffic study will have to climb down. Sure the traffic study may have been an absurd sham, and reckless, but it did exist.

    The fuckers who closed the lanes were dumb, but not dumb enough to have no cover story at all.

  120. 120
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Keith G:

    The boys and girls over there on the red side need – really fucking need – Christy. So unless he is caught skull fucking the corpse of Ronald Reagan while receiving a rear pleasuring by Al Sharpton, they will say what they need to protect him.

    He is the only potential GOP candidate who has any positive opinion about him outside the whackadoodle right wing, ergo the only one with a chance in hell of winning the general election. So what if he’s actually the thug and petty dictator they claim Obama is?

  121. 121
    rikyrah says:

    Incoming NJ Assembly speaker to renew the subpoena power of panel in GWB scandal
    Saturday January 11, 2014, 12:46 PM
    BY MICHAEL LINHORST STATE HOUSE BUREAU

    The chairman of the committee leading that investigation said this morning that he can not issue any new subpoenas until his authority is renewed. It officially expires on Monday, the final day of the legislative
    session.

    Hours later, Vincent Prieto, the Democratic assemblyman who takes over as speaker on Tuesday, issued a statement promising to renew the subpoena power in a special session on Thursday.

    “The documents released this week related to the George Washington Bridge situation clearly show the need for a continued thorough investigation by the New Jersey General Assembly. Many questions remain unanswered about this threat to public safety and abuse of power,” Prieto said.

    http://www.northjersey.com/new.....JBxJC.dpuf

  122. 122
    GregB says:

    By the way, has anyone touched upon this?

    “A classic newsroom scenario makes history: original GWB bridge queries were prompted by WSJ editors stuck in traffic.”

    Link.

    Murdoch’s paper helped tip the first dominoes.

  123. 123
    rikyrah says:

    Does anyone watch Grimm?

    I was just thinking before last night’s episode..

    ” How come there aren’t any Black Vescen?”

    And there they were, some Black Vescen.

    I felt so bad for Hank…..first, he gets poisoned and nearly killed by Adalind Schade, and now, he’s got a crush on a Vescen…but, I have hope for him and the Vescen.

  124. 124
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mandalay: The end product can not be called a traffic study.
    It followed no process or procedure. It had no goals and not established outcome.
    If anyone wants to legitimize the garbage they are trying to call a traffic study, I, for one, am going to continue to call it bullshit.

  125. 125
    MattF says:

    @GregB: Funny. I’ll bet the WSJ editors assumed it was just more bullshit from those commie utopian do-gooder traffic engineers.

  126. 126
    beltane says:

    LOL, Christie’s communications director, Maria Comella, previously worked as Sarah Palin’s communications director: http://www.politico.com/story/.....94169.html

  127. 127
    smintheus says:

    @Mandalay: Their first cover story was that it was ordered by the mayor of Fort Lee. That’s what the PA people told drivers who were stuck in the mess. The traffic study hoax was dreamed up later.

  128. 128
    Mandalay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    If anyone wants to legitimize the garbage they are trying to call a traffic study, I, for one, am going to continue to call it bullshit.

    Call it bullshit by all means. I agree entirely. But some are asserting that there was simply no study at all, which is not the case.

  129. 129
    WereBear says:

    @James E. Powell: So they want a loud, overbearing blowhard.

    Fear isn’t just the mind-killer. It’s like their Force.

  130. 130
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Why can’t a hand-written document saying “Closing toll lanes screws up traffic” be a traffic study? Elitist.

  131. 131
    Mike in NC says:

    He comes in big doses.

    I think in WW2 the US Army had an anti-VD slogan that went “Don’t give a dose to the one you love most”.

  132. 132
    Keith G says:

    @James E. Powell:

    President Hillary Clinton – they cannot deal with that nightmare.

    No one should underestimate this.

    I will contend that the non-wacko contingent of conservatives, do not hate Obama any more than they would any effective centrist Democrat. What has their scalp all tingley is another 4 or 8 years of Democratic executive administration. They know that they cannot keep the process of “do nothing” legislative obstruction up for much longer.

    The resurgence in liberal idealism among the masses is a real thing and soon enough it will have consequences in Congressional elections.

  133. 133
    beltane says:

    @Mandalay: Perhaps we should take Wildstein and Kelly’s lead and refer to the traffic study as a traffic “study”. By no means should we be conferring more legitimacy on Christie’s claim than Christie’s own people did.

  134. 134
    patrick II says:

    Regardless of how we here at BJ see him, Christie was (is?) the Republicans best hope for the White House in 2016. He has had big money behind him and polls the best of any republican against the democrats. There is a lot of investment in him, so the right wing media is going to do its best to save him. Right now most of the right wing media is silent and hopes the story will die. But at some point there will be serious pushback. They have no other viable candidate and they know it.
    I have looked upon Christie’s bridgegate with glee because the thought of avoiding a Christie presidency is possibly almost country saving. But republicans also see him as perhaps their only chance, and big money will not give up easily.
    This isn’t over. I have seen too many horror movies where the dead corpse comes back to life and reaches out from the grave, so I will not stop worrying about Christie until I see his ashes scattered to the wind.

  135. 135
    Mandalay says:

    @smintheus:

    The traffic study hoax was dreamed up later.

    That is not the case. There are dated emails relating to the adverse effects of the (sham) traffic study while the lanes were closed.

  136. 136
    elm says:

    @Mandalay: A “study” suggests that someone formed a hypothesis, created a model, and collected data for analysis. Subject-matter experts should have been deeply involved.

    There is no evidence that what they did is anything like a study.

  137. 137
    Mike G says:

    Reagan declared “government is the problem”, and Repukes have been making it so ever since.

  138. 138
    Violet says:

    The thing about this story that resonates and will stay in people’s minds is that Christie is not only a bully, but he’s a bully who is willing to hurt them, not just those other people–the brown, black, poor. Everyone was affected by the bridge lanes being closed–even rich, white people. Christie’s office didn’t seem to care.

    Everyone can relate to being stuck in traffic and being late for something important. That the traffic jam was created on purpose, done so indiscriminately and didn’t just affect specific targets is something people will remember. That’s the wrong kind of bully.

  139. 139
    MattF says:

    @elm: I agree. There was no traffic study. None. Nil. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

  140. 140
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in NC: I don’t know about that but during OCS a Captain gave this safety brifly before letting people go for a weekend pass: Don’t drink and drive. And remember, no glove, no love.

  141. 141
    elm says:

    @Violet: Exactly right. If Christie’s people had had the sense to selectively fuck with poorer and/or browner people, this wouldn’t have blown up.

  142. 142
    smintheus says:

    @Mandalay: Like I said, that came later. Initially they blamed the chaos on the mayor. It was only after the thing started to blow up in their faces, and reporters were asking questions, that they settled upon the traffic study pretext. You do know we have a dated email from the mayor early on saying that his voters had been told that he had requested the closure?

  143. 143
    MattF says:

    @elm: Just for grins and giggles? Well, maybe. But there was a message that Christie (and/or his minions) wanted to get across.

  144. 144
    WaterGirl says:

    @smintheus: I basically agree with what you’re saying about the study and the mayor, but I would add one minor point. I learned this morning that the wording of the email/letter from the mayor said that the change was the result of a decision that had been recently made by the mayor.

    One could conclude the mayor had made the decision to close the lanes OR that the mayor made a decision Christie & company did not like, and the lane closures were the result of that decision.

  145. 145
    Keith G says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    So what if he’s actually the thug and petty dictator they claim Obama is?

    I know that is a rhetorical question,, but keep in mind that those who opine about Obama’s dictatorial bent are the terminally stupid and those who wish to herd the terminally stupid.

    As a Democrat, once or twice I have gotten behind the candidacy of an inferior human just because I did not think it wise to let the opposition win that seat and control that vote.

    That’s part of the reason many of the founders were wary of political parties. This process doesn’t always bring out the best in us.

  146. 146
    smintheus says:

    @Mandalay:

    Included in the Friday document dump was a Sept. 12 letter to Baroni from Fort Lee Mayor Mayor Mark Sokolich, who wrote, “Many members of the public have indicated to me that the Port Authority Police officers are advising commuters in response to their complaints that this recent traffic debacle is the result of a decision that I, as the mayor, recently made.”

    The mayor had no authority to order such a study. Thus the attempt to blame it on him, logically, had to have come first, before the cover story of a traffic study was dreamed up as a fall back position.

  147. 147
    smintheus says:

    @WaterGirl: Except it was PA business and the mayor had no authority to decide anything about toll lane closures.

  148. 148
    Mandalay says:

    @smintheus:

    Like I said, that came later. Initially they blamed the chaos on the mayor.

    FFS, the lawyers for Baroni and Wildstein submitted emails from last September relating to the traffic study that were dated for the period while the lanes were closed. Are you claiming those emails are forgeries?

    Blaming the mayor is a separate issue, which does not depend on the absence of a traffic study, nor the existence of a real or sham traffic study.

  149. 149
    danielx says:

    It’s from David Brooks….Q.E.D.

    Hey, if that’s what some voters want….from Urban Dictionary:

    doucherocket

    A douchebag who is so chock full of douchebaggery that it propels them into a new dimension of horrible behaviour and unbelievable stupidity.

    “That guy won’t stop yelling about the girls who won’t sleep with him and the intellectuals who won’t listen to him. What a doucherocket!”

    Yes, that would be Chris Christie.

  150. 150
    Anne Laurie says:

    @beltane:

    In the old days, conservatives longed for Big Daddy figures who made the trains run on time. Now they long for flabby loudmouths who make sure the trains don’t run at all.

    Stealing this, I so am!

  151. 151
    Keith G says:

    @Mandalay: Okay lets put this nonsense to bed.

    TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three Port Authoritiy officials testified Monday that there was no traffic study being conducted while access lanes from Fort Lee on the George Washington Bridge were closed in September, as was originally claimed.

    Appearing before the the state Assembly’s Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee, the officials also said the closure was ordered by David Wildstein, the second-highest appointee from New Jersey.

    Executive Director Patrick Foye told the committee he would have fired Wildstein, but he’s not in the position to do that.

    Foye testified that he had a conversation about the closures with Wildstein’s supervisor, Bill Baroni.

    “I told him it was absolutely outrageous, unacceptable,” Foye said.

    Bridge officials told the committee that Wildstein told them not to tell Fort Lee officials or Foye.
    Some Democrats believe Wildstein was sending a message to the Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie in his re-election bid.

    Wildstein announced his resignation Friday but continues to collect his six-figure paycheck.

    This was from a hearing in Dec. Will you please stop the “There was a study” line of conjecture? It is a dead end.

  152. 152
    WaterGirl says:

    @smintheus: I’m not saying that I consider it possible that the mayor asked for the lane closings. I was just trying to provide a detail I thought you had missed.

    @Keith G: Thanks for the block quote.

  153. 153
    beltane says:

    @Anne Laurie: I am flattered.

  154. 154
    Anne Laurie says:

    @beltane:

    Give him enough time, however, and Brooks will find it within him to shill for Rand Paul or whatever nutjob ends up as the GOP nominee.

    Rick Santorum. Will even David Brooks have enough of the craven lickspittle’s ability to abandon his own ‘reasonable centrist’ posturing and go full-godsbotherer? How ugly will it be, if he does?

  155. 155
    MattF says:

    @Anne Laurie: Well, Burke had a mean side.

  156. 156
    Violet says:

    Trending stories on Politico:
    1. Docs show scramble over NJ bridge flap
    2. The GOP’s tarnished golden boys
    3. 16 Christie controversies you missed

    Seems like the knives may be out.

  157. 157

    I think I might have died a happy man if I had never thought of David Brooks thinking of Christie’s essence…

  158. 158
    Violet says:

    @Keith G: Speaking of David Wildstein, this article (Politico link) is interesting. Among things I learned:
    1. Wildstein created and ran Politicker.com.
    2. He was “Wally Edge” a “pseudonymous blogger who broke news about New Jersey politics on a site called PoliticsNJ.com”
    3. He helped various “cub reporters” get started, including Steve Kornacki. Keep that in mind with anything Steve Kornacki might say about Wildstein–he knew him and worked for him.
    4. He took the job at the Port Authority in June 2010 as a Christie administration appointee.

  159. 159
    smintheus says:

    @Mandalay: Are you blind, or merely daft? I said that the first cover story was to blame the chaos on the mayor. When reporters started investigating the ongoing chaos they changed their excuse and dreamed up the traffic study nonsense.

    Obviously, if they planned all along to justify it as a PA traffic study then they wouldn’t have ever tried to put the blame on the mayor.

  160. 160
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Mandalay:

    some are asserting that there was simply no study at all

    “study” was used a code word for the retaliation mini-project. At least that’s how it reads. Words have meaning, and so far there is no evidence that there was an actual study.

  161. 161
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    David Brooks must think that when T Roosevelt called the Presidency “a bully pulpit” he meant “a good place for a bully”, whereas he just meant “a good pulpit”, i.e. a nice platform from which to preach.

  162. 162
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet: The more important thing, IMO, is if we can keep seeing the late night comedians targeting Christie.
    Not that we can effect that, but if they choose to make him the butt of a punch line, that is how tens of millions of people will remember him. Those who may not know much about him at all, will have primary exposure as what a joke he is.

  163. 163
    Mandalay says:

    @Keith G:

    This was from a hearing in Dec. Will you please stop the “There was a study” line of conjecture? It is a dead end.

    Your link is form last December. Yesterday the lawyers for Baroni and Wildstein released new information: copies of a ton of angry emails that were flying around while the lanes were closed, referring to the study that you claim never existed.

    I am happy to agree that the “study” was absurd, idiotic and probably had sinister ulterior motives, but it certainly did exist. If you want to claim that it didn’t exist then you are also claiming some of the emails that were published yesterday were forgeries. Is that really your position?

    Try this link for starters: http://www.businessinsider.com.....udy-2014-1

  164. 164
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet:

    including Steve Kornacki. Keep that in mind with anything Steve Kornacki might say about Wildstein–he knew him and worked for him.

    I like Kornacki, so take that as YMMV, but so far he has seemed to play his inside knowledge straight up, with full disclosure and very measured analysis/inference as to what’s going on.

  165. 165
    Mandalay says:

    @smintheus:

    they changed their excuse and dreamed up the traffic study nonsense.

    Then how do you explain the emails that referred to the traffic study while the lanes were closed?

    Well, it turns out, they sort of were conducting a study. That is, while the closures appear to have been politically motivated, the “study” guise existed at the time the closures were going on and was not wholly invented after the fact.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....udy-2014-1

  166. 166
    Violet says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t watch him but on the occasion that I have seen him on some show with four people on MSNBC (does that show still exist?), I thought he seemed like a good reporter. Doesn’t he have his own show now or something? Glad he’s going full disclosure. Won’t help anyone to hide any relationship to this mess at this point. Get it all out there now.

  167. 167
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Violet: He’s now hosting UP, the weekend show Chris Hayes first hosted. He’s been interesing on this stuff because he knows a lot of the players including Bridget Kelly.

  168. 168
    sherparick says:

    @aimai: But he will be their bully, and that makes all the difference.

    Christie’s problem with the grass roots is not that he is a bully, or that he and his people shoved it up tens of thousands of innocent people using the GW Bridge for a week, who happen to be in a district and or town that failed to show proper deference to him (think of Tyrion Lannister sending the Mountain into the riverlands to teach the Tullys a lesson by savaging their common folk and you have the proper mindset). Bobo is right, they rather admire that. The problem for Christie is that he is still a “Yankee” and therefore not to be trusted (see Romney, McCain, Dole, and G.H.W. Bush) and he put his arms around the Spawn of Satan, the Kenyan Usurper, who is responsible for destroying the wonderful U.S.A. that Reagan left behind. That won’t be forgiven.

  169. 169
    Keith G says:

    @Mandalay: There was no traffic study. Ask yourself, “Who was the agency that had jurisdiction over that road bed?”

    And then ask, “What agency has the power to implement a traffic study on that road bed?”

    The only correct answers to questions 1 & 2 is

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

    Now for the clincher….Ask yourself, “What has the head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey testified about said traffic study?”

    Cornerstone and I can sent hundreds of emails about the traffic study on Houston’s Gulf Freeway that we are going to start, but if I were you, I would not for a minute actually believe that there is one.

  170. 170
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet: @Corner Stone: When I saw Steve Kornacki speaking on MSNBC right before they cut away to Christie’s press conference, he also made it clear that he hadn’t spoken to the guy, so he didn’t have access to any inside information. I was straight up impressed with how he handled it.

  171. 171
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: If there was an actual study, where is the report? Where is the the raw data? Don’t you think that someone would have printed off the thing and presented it if it existed?

  172. 172
    Keith G says:

    @Mandalay:
    Clincher #2

    Form your link:

    Well, it turns out, they sort of were conducting a study. That is, while the closures appear to have been politically motivated, the “study” guise existed at the time the closures were going on and was not wholly invented after the fact.

    Ya might want to check out the def of “guise” before continuing.

    Hint: It is not a New Jersey dialect for the plural of guy.

  173. 173
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: But I already bought the cones…?

  174. 174
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet: MSNBC has had The Kornack all over their damned air since this came out. On every segment. They are touting him as their “NJ politics expert/guru”. And he certainly seems knowledgeable and concise, although he is forced to repeat some minutiae each time as context.
    I just get the impression that he knows his shit and he doesn’t play fast or loose with what he knows v thinks.

  175. 175
    smintheus says:

    @Mandalay: Proving that you are in fact daft.

  176. 176
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    You really, really need a session with a clue by four.

    To think you’re doing this for that fuckwit Somerby, too.

  177. 177
    Mandalay says:

    @Keith G:

    There was no traffic study.

    The facts say otherwise….

    When Christie’s appointees closed two of three local access lanes to the bridge, Port Authority engineers really did watch the traffic effects closely. They found the change caused traffic backups in Fort Lee that stretched over half a mile and lasted well past rush hour, all the way until noon.

    By all means insist that this didn’t meet your standards of approval, but stop claiming that there was no traffic study. Port Authority engineers really were surveying the effects of lane closures last September. You can see the relevant emails in the release made yesterday.

    When you are in a hole, stop digging.

  178. 178
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay:

    When you are in a hole, stop digging.

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

  179. 179
    Keith G says:

    @Mandalay:

    When you are in a hole, stop digging.

    With that the World Wide Web has reached a new level of awesomeness.

    Carry on young Scout, carry on.

  180. 180
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    To think you’re doing this for that fuckwit Somerby, too.

    I don’t even know who Somerby is.

    A pile of folks here with cognitive dissonance are incorrectly asserting that there was no traffic study when the lanes were closed last September. A pile of emails released by lawyers yesterday show that there was. Given those two sources, I know which one I believe, but YMMV.

  181. 181
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Keith G:

    I dare say that Mandalay has reached the Robert Gates “Self aware? Me? Nah…” point.

  182. 182
    Mandalay says:

    @Keith G: So your position is that the emails released yesterday showing that there was a traffic study by Port Authority engineers while the lanes were closed last September are forgeries? Yes or no?

  183. 183
    Corner Stone says:

    I guess in the same way that Congressional Republicans produced a 19 page booklet of something and called it their Roadmap for America, then a 4 page traffic study showing closing lanes backs up the local streets can also be just as valid an actual product.

  184. 184
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    Somerby is the guy who was attacking Rachel Maddow saying the whole thing was a nothingburger.

    Now, instead of admitting that Maddow was right, and he was wrong, and a contrarian jackass, he’s saying “well, there could have been a traffic study”

    This is pretty much the equivalent of someone defending the casus belli of the invasion of Iraq by saying “well, there could have been weapons of mass destruction.”

    And you’re defending that point of view.

  185. 185
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: Excuse me while I pop out with my legal pad to count the cars on Westheimer crossing Shepherd (too damn many, btw).

  186. 186
    WaterGirl says:

    I read that there actually was a traffic study going on during the period in question, but that the study was only using cameras to track whatever it was they were trying to track.

    I also read that the lane closures they referred to as a “test” actually disrupted the real study that was going on.

    But there is nothing to indicate that the lane closures were related to an actual traffic study.

    Mandalay, I suggest you watch the thursday and friday night rachel maddow show. I don’t normally watch her, but I did because of this bridge scandal. I think it would help you to understand the nuances.

  187. 187
    WaterGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: well put!

  188. 188
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    And you’re defending that point of view.

    Not at all. My position has absolutely nothing to do with Maddow or Somerby. I’m simply pointing out that there was a traffic study done last September while the lanes were closed. The many folks here who insist that there wasn’t are factually wrong.

  189. 189

    @Mandalay:

    Wait a minute. Just…wait.

    The headline of the link you are citing in your favor, whose facts you claim “say otherwise,” reads:

    Officials On George Washington Bridge Closures: There Was No Traffic Study

    What are you even doing with your life right now?

  190. 190
    Mandalay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I read that there actually was a traffic study going on during the period in question

    Which is exactly the point I have been making, while others here have steadfastly insisted that there was no traffic study, despite contemporaneous email evidence to the contrary.

  191. 191
  192. 192
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Were the lane closures a part of that study? The whole fucking point is that there was no study of which the lane closures were a part.

  193. 193
    rikyrah says:

    Christie Showed His Stripes

    by BooMan
    Sat Jan 11th, 2014 at 08:28:51 AM EST
    The dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy of 2007 has been largely forgotten, but it was a very big deal at the time. It resulted in the resignations of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Acting Associate Attorney General, the chief of staff for the Attorney General, the chief of staff for the Deputy Attorney General, the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the former acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, and the Department of Justice’s White House Liaison. It was a total disaster for the Bush administration that was the natural result of a conspiracy to deliberately politicize the Justice Department. The U.S. Attorneys who were fired were fired for insufficient partisan zeal. In some cases, they refused to open meritless voter fraud cases. In other cases, they wouldn’t open meritless investigations on Democratic politicians. In still other cases, they were actually investigating lawbreaking by Republicans.

    So, one of the takeaways from the scandal was that the U.S. Attorneys who weren’t dismissed were incredibly suspect. The attorneys who were found acceptable to the Bush administration were the ones who would launch phony investigations against innocent people and who would cover up criminal activity if is was carried out by Bush’s allies. Chris Christie was a U.S. Attorney who passed that test. He was considered sufficiently corrupt (or corruptible) to remain a U.S. Attorney in Alberto Gonzales’s (and Karl Rove’s) Justice Department.

    How did he pass that test? Let’s go into the Wayback Machine:

    The enmity between Mr. Christie and Mr. [Bob] Menendez dates at least to 2006, when Mr. Menendez was running for Senate and Mr. Christie was the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey. Mr. Christie’s office started an investigation that touched on Mr. Menendez’s dealings with a community group. Mr. Menendez charged that the inquiry was politically motivated — nothing came of it — and people close to the senator say he still resents it.

    Why wasn’t Christie dismissed in the great purge of 2006? Because he did what he was told, and harassed Bob Menendez during election season.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/s.....82250/5972

  194. 194
    Mandalay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Omnes Omnibus:

    The whole fucking point is that there was no study of which the lane closures were a part.

    No. The argument being made here by several was that there was no traffic study at all. But they all seemed to fade away when I pointed out that there was.

    If you want to make some points of your own then have at it.

  195. 195
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: The fact that traffic engineers made observations while the closures were ongoing does not add up to a traffic study. The testimony of the PA officials indicates pretty clearly that they did not did not consider this power point deck to be an actual study. If they don’t think it was, why should we?

  196. 196
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mandalay: Okay, now you are being intentionally obtuse. Or you are just playing games with words. Either way, I’m out.

  197. 197
    Corner Stone says:

    The actual professionals who would be responsible for a study all testified under oath that there was no study. These are the people who convene, review and produce traffic studies. If they didn’t do one, who did?

  198. 198

    @Mandalay:

    The argument being made here by several was that there was no traffic study at all. But they all seemed to fade away when I pointed out that there was.

    These are very dubious statements.

  199. 199
    Cervantes says:

    @Mandalay:

    Blaming the mayor is a separate issue, which does not depend on the absence of a traffic study, nor the existence of a real or sham traffic study.

    An elementary fact and yet I’m fascinated by how elusive it appears to be.

  200. 200
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Mandalay:
    OK, i’ve started to read the document dump.
    From Exhibit E, any transcription errors mine (haven’t tried OCR but the scans are crooked).
    Question: When did Ft lee make the request?
    Response (bold): Fort Lee Police made the request for the video [a data collection project studying normal traffic patterns] on September 3d
    Question: [unreadable, probably A]re the cameras operating yet? If yes, when did they start and when do they finish? If no, when do we plan on starting and finishing?
    Response (bold): – Yes; data collection is ongoing – 09/09/13 to 09/16/13. HOWEVER, due to the “TL24 Test”, all data collection will have to be retaken when the “test” is complete.
    Question: – once they complete the video, how long will it take before they send us an analysis?
    Response (bold): – Data processing and develop base Synchro network – complete by 09/27/13; however will be delayed to the ongoing “TL24 Test”.

    I don’t see any way to explain around this. Data collection project delayed by “TL24 Test”, also known as “test”, with quotes in the original.

  201. 201
    elm says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Whether the cause is trolling, pedantry, contrarianism, or something else, it’d pretty clear that your correspondent has no intent to actually understand the matter at hand.

    The motive behind closing toll lanes was *not* one of studying traffic flow. A 4 slide powerpoint deck that says “someone fucked with traffic, and traffic was fucked” does not pass the laugh test as a “study”.

    Actual studies don’t start out with an email of the form “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

    The fact that Christie’s henchmen had created several tissue-thin cover stories at the time of their malfeasance doesn’t change anything.

  202. 202
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    And a google search suggests that Synchro is probably (almost certainly) a traffic modeling tool, by trafficware

  203. 203
    Anya says:

    Christie is the victim of MSM bias, or at least that’s what Joe and Mika told me. Where is the focus on all Obama’s scandals? Benghazi-gate, website-gate, IRSgate. I am so glad Mika and Joe are taking such a principle stand against covering this made up scandal. Also, let’s remember that Obama, unlike the brave and tough Chris Christie, never fired a single person for all any of those scandals. Thanks for Ezra Klein and Buzzfeed for pointing that out.

  204. 204
    Mandalay says:

    @Bill Arnold: Respect to you for actually taking the time to look at the actual data, but what is your specific concern? Apologies, but you are seeing something that I am missing something here…

  205. 205
    Mandalay says:

    @elm:

    The motive behind closing toll lanes was *not* one of studying traffic flow. A 4 slide powerpoint deck that says “someone fucked with traffic, and traffic was fucked” does not pass the laugh test as a “study”.

    That is your subjective opinion. Someone who is probably more qualified than you disagrees….

    The newly released documents show that there was, in fact, a traffic study that was done, or at least a preliminary one. Two versions turned up in the documents — one was six pages and the other 16. Both were dated Sept. 12, the day before the lanes reopened.

    The documents include study findings that Baroni gave to lawmakers at a hearing last year: When the lanes were closed, the main bridge traffic moved a bit faster, but local traffic had major delays.

    Michael Cassidy, a University of California-Berkeley engineering professor who occasionally works with the California Department of Transportation, told The Associated Press that the preliminary study appears to be a legitimate internal report of the sort transportation officials often circulate among themselves.

    “It could well be a good-faith effort, if not the finest in the annals. I cannot say this is not a study,” he said. “You wouldn’t want to publish it in an academic journal.”

    Now we have had folks here insisting that there was no study in the first place, and that it was all invented as a cover excuse later. However imprudent those lane closures might have been, and however dishonorable the motives were, there was a background to them that some folks here are being willfully blind about.

  206. 206
    Mandalay says:

    @elm:

    The motive behind closing toll lanes was *not* one of studying traffic flow. A 4 slide powerpoint deck that says “someone fucked with traffic, and traffic was fucked” does not pass the laugh test as a “study”.

    That is your subjective opinion. Someone who is probably more qualified than you disagrees….

    The newly released documents show that there was, in fact, a traffic study that was done, or at least a preliminary one. Two versions turned up in the documents — one was six pages and the other 16. Both were dated Sept. 12, the day before the lanes reopened.

    The documents include study findings that Baroni gave to lawmakers at a hearing last year: When the lanes were closed, the main bridge traffic moved a bit faster, but local traffic had major delays.

    Michael Cassidy, a University of California-Berkeley engineering professor who occasionally works with the California Department of Transportation, told The Associated Press that the preliminary study appears to be a legitimate internal report of the sort transportation officials often circulate among themselves.

    “It could well be a good-faith effort, if not the finest in the annals. I cannot say this is not a study,” he said. “You wouldn’t want to publish it in an academic journal.”

    Now we have had folks here insisting that there was no study in the first place, and that it was all invented as a cover excuse later. However imprudent those lane closures might have been, and however dishonorable the motives were, there was a background to them that some folks here are being willfully blind about.

  207. 207
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Mandalay:
    Thought it was pretty clear. There was an ongoing video-based data collection project to study normal traffic patterns, so that a model could be built to plan for some maintenance/road work referred to on previous pages. This study was disrupted by the “TL24 Test”, also referred to as the “test” (with quotes).

  208. 208
    Mandalay says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    These are very dubious statements.

    Hardly. Folks here flat out insisted that there was no traffic study at all….
    Post 127:

    The traffic study hoax was dreamed up later.

    Post 151:

    Will you please stop the “There was a study” line of conjecture? It is a dead end.

    At least the discussion now has graduated to the level of “well-ok-there-was-a-study-but-it-does-not-really-qualify-as-a-proper-study-cos-I-am-a-self-appointed-expert-in-what-a-traffic-study-must-be”.

  209. 209
    Mandalay says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    These are very dubious statements.

    Hardly. Folks here flat out insisted that there was no traffic study at all….
    Post 127:

    The traffic study hoax was dreamed up later.

    Post 151:

    Will you please stop the “There was a study” line of conjecture? It is a dead end.

    At least the discussion now has graduated to the level of “well-ok-there-was-a-study-but-it-does-not-really-qualify-as-a-proper-study-cos-I-am-a-self-appointed-expert-in-what-a-traffic-study-must-be”.

  210. 210
    Mandalay says:

    @Bill Arnold: Gotcha, but your point is what? That the disruption of some other ongoing study somehow invalidated studying the effects of the lane closures?

  211. 211
    Mandalay says:

    @Cervantes:

    An elementary fact and yet I’m fascinated by how elusive it appears to be.

    This whole thread will be a rich hunting ground for aliens to study when they try to work out why the human race died off.

  212. 212
    Mandalay says:

    @Cervantes:

    An elementary fact and yet I’m fascinated by how elusive it appears to be.

    This whole thread will be a rich hunting ground for aliens to study when they try to work out why the human race died off.

  213. 213
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Obsessive pedantry by the completely literal minded?

  214. 214
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Mandalay:
    Yes, the way that the Jose Rivera responded was professional and careful (one typo), and talked about how an actual traffic observational study, which was to be used to create a traffic model for planning purposes, was disrupted by a “test”, that was clearly from his point of view, not anything useful. The quote marks around “test” were derisive, suggesting that it served no practical purpose. If he (Jose) were under oath, what do you think he would say?

  215. 215
    Corner Stone says:

    I have absolutely lost the plot on this thread.

  216. 216
    Cervantes says:

    @Mandalay: Yes, there were two things; (1) a study entitled “Center & Lemoine Traffic Data” (CLTD), for which an engineering firm (Hardesty & Hanover) had been hired to install non-invasive flow-monitoring cameras to collect data for an upcoming project; and (2) Wildstein’s extremely non-non-invasive “TL24 Test” (TL24). One of these (CLTD) went through normal PA protocols. The other (TL24) did not. Also, it appears that CLTD was disrupted and its completion delayed by TL24.

    Are we on the same page so far?

  217. 217
    ChaseBears says:

    holy shit.

    At least the discussion now has graduated to the level of “well-ok-there-was-a-study-but-it-does-not-really-qualify-as-a-proper-study-cos-I-am-a-self-appointed-expert-in-what-a-traffic-study-must-be”.

    As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, the actual experts in whether the lanes were closed as part of a traffic study – the Port Authority – have stated that there was no study.

  218. 218
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Cervantes:
    Whoever put together the slides at the end of exhibit E has a dry sense of humor.
    ” – Based on estimated Fort Lee queues of approximately 550 vehicles at 10 AM, many of these vehicles will pay the off peak toll.
    – At an E-ZPass market share of 84% during the 9:00 hour, this works out to a revenue loss of around $1000 per day or $250K per year”
    [This reads (to me at least) tongue in cheek, since in reality people would adjust if the one lane entrance were somehow made permanent.]

  219. 219
    mak says:

    “If they’re going to vote for Christie, they don’t want a charmer. They want a big bully. And this will not hurt him, I think.”

    How about convict, Dave? Do you think that being impeached and convicted of a crime and/or being forced to resign instead of going to the pokey will hurt him? Cuz I think it will, even among whoever the fuck you think is still supporting this guy.

  220. 220
    mak says:

    @JPL: And David Wildstein. And Bridget Kelly. And Stepian, Samson, Eog, or (whatever thefk her name is) and O’Dowd. Not convinced Baroni will talk, but there are plenty of others who will.

  221. 221
    Cervantes says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Whoever put together the slides at the end of exhibit E has a dry sense of humor.

    Yes, I saw that. I was also reassured to see that at least one person was concerned about privacy and the potential mis-use of traffic data by the local constabulary. (He must be a “dudebro.”)

    I’m curious about the “Took a shot. He didn’t bite.” message from Durando to Fulton on September 8. It references a conversation with Wildstein.

    Then there are some apparently legitimate research questions the engineers discuss on September 11 re TL24: e.g., the cost of the slightly improved flow on I-95; and the relative performance of parts of the bridge (“The big surprise for me was that the [lower level of the bridge] keeps on doing better than [the upper level] each day. Any ideas why this is?”). These questions may not reflect the original purpose of TL24; they could just reflect the engineers trying to make the best of a bad thing.

    And I’m curious about the content of that completely redacted message Foye sent to Durando on September 13. Perhaps it was too … colorful for us to read. Durando immediately forwarded it to Fulton without comment. Probably there was then a phone call between Foye and Durando. Wildstein reassures Durando that Foye’s staff knew about TL24. And then Foye’s infamous “hasty and ill-advised decision” note comes less than two hours later — and the closings are reversed immediately after that.

    Also, I meant to thank you for that transcription.

  222. 222
    xian says:

    @PeakVT: Brooks is a low-tax conservative. And a liberal whisperer. The rest is puffery.

  223. 223
  224. 224
    gorram says:

    @Mandalay: That’s like insisting that everyone refer to a robbery as an “inspection” because that’s what the thieves insisted they were doing, while they were being caught.

  225. 225
    Cervantes says:

    @Irishguy:

    Today, [Somerby] writes that it is still “possible” that the whole thing was a “legitimate” traffic study done “in good faith” that simply went wrong.

    Here’s what he actually wrote:

    Is it possible that the mess in Fort Lee really was some sort of bungled traffic study? After scanning the new cache of documents released yesterday, we can’t exactly say.

    He’s not telling you what he, personally, suspects. He’s not speculating. He’s telling you what he thinks one can or cannot conclude[*] from the documents released so far. He may be wrong about this, but I’d say that’s for you to demonstrate.

    [*] Note that “conclude” has a certain finality to it.

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