Bridgeghazigate: Drip… Drip… Drip…

Thanks to commentor Smiling Mortician.

As Richard Nixon could’ve told Christie, that’s the weak point in every professional bully’s armor — if your only talent is pushing people around, even the lickspittles and remoras who prosper by your rise are unlikely to stay loyal when you’re threatened…

ETA: More on that Fort Lee project, from NYMag:

The project is question is the redevelopment of 16-acre piece of Fort Lee land located at the foot of the George Washington Bridge. Sokolich divided the space, which sat vacant for years, into two parts: The eastern portion is now occupied by two new residential towers that should be finished later this year. The western half is to serve as the site of Hudson Lights, a $218 million mix of residential, commercial, and parking space that, as Kornacki notes, used its proximity to the George Washington Bridge access lanes as a major selling point to potential investors and tenants. Groundbreaking on Hudson Lights was delayed this summer because of financing issues. However, the project’s developers announced that they had finally secured financing on September 16 — three days after New York Port Authority official Pat Foye put a stop to the access lane closures by questioning their legality in an e-mail to his New Jersey counterparts…

Also, since this is a lazy Sunday afternoon, something’s been niggling me about Christie distancing himself from David Wildstein, the political appointee at the Port Authority.. [who] was Christie’s “eyes and ears” at the huge agency”. As reported by Alex MacGillis in TNR:

[D]uring his two hours at the podium yesterday, Christie pushed back against this perception by telling the world that Wildstein was no chum of his:

Well, let me just clear something up, OK, about my childhood friend David Wildstein. It is true that I met David in 1977 in high school. He’s a year older than me. David and I were not friends in high school. We were not even acquaintances in high school. I mean, I had a high school in Livingston, a three-year high school that had 1,800 students in a three-year high school in the late ’70s, early 1980. I knew who David Wildstein was. I met David on the Tom Kean for governor campaign in 1977. He was a youth volunteer, and so was I. Really, after that time, I completely lost touch with David. We didn’t travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don’t know what David was doing during that period of time…We went 23 years without seeing each other. And in the years we did see each other, we passed in the hallways.

In other words: David Wildstein, are you kidding me? Different lunch table, dudes…

Now, Christie Christie was the catcher on his high school’s varsity baseball team. So, yeah, an ‘athlete’, but still. Maybe it’s just because most of what I know about baseball I learned from Japanese anime, but isn’t ‘catcher on the baseball team’ roughly equivalent to ‘drummer in the rock band’ — i.e., the comic relief character?

195 replies
  1. 1
    Keith P says:

    The Christie line that really sticks out for me is after fielding some questions early about the bridge, he comes back with a “the fact that one town has three lanes dedicated to it, that kind of gets me sauced.” Seems like me he was doubling down on the pressure to imply that the whole thing blowing up was going to ultimately lead to a permanent traffic jam.

  2. 2
    Plantsmantx says:

    I don’t know what David was doing during that period of time.

    He was getting elected to the local school board at the age of 16. One of your teen-aged schoolmates gets elected to the school board, and you don’t know what he was doing at that time? Please.

  3. 3
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    . . . isn’t ‘catcher on the baseball team’ roughly equivalent to ‘drummer in the rock band’ — i.e., the comic relief character?

    No. Absolutely not. In fact it’s the exact opposite. Catcher is a leadership position that requires communication skills and is the one that requires the most analysis and thought. A disproportionate number of successful managers were catchers when they played.

  4. 4

    There are droplets of fresh blood on my floor leading from the dog door to the middle of the living room. I have already established that it is neither myself nor my husband bleeding. Have checked the dogs and cats and it is none of them either. This leads to the conclusion that someone (either dog or cat) brought a bleeding corpse into the house and HID IT SOMEWHERE. Frankly, I would be happier if someone had handed me a note saying “there is a bomb in your house” because at least I would know what to do about that. As it is if I don’t find the corpse I am just going to have to wait for the inevitable smell to lead me to it.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    And Christie had so little contact with the guy that later, out of the blue, Christie appointed him to a high-ranking post at the Port Authority.

    Just because.

  6. 6
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Right. The catcher is the only player who looks* at the whole field during play.

    *ETA: Well, has a view of the entire field. Whether he looks or not…

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt:

    This leads to the conclusion that someone (either dog or cat) brought a bleeding corpse into the house and HID IT SOMEWHERE.

    To be fully exhaustive of all possibilities, perhaps your husband brought in the bleeding corpse…

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Now, Christie Christie was the catcher on his high school’s varsity baseball team. So, yeah, an ‘athlete’, but still. Maybe it’s just because most of what I know about baseball I learned from Japanese anime, but isn’t ‘catcher on the baseball team’ roughly equivalent to ‘drummer in the rock band’ — i.e., the comic relief character?

    AL, you are going to get slaughtered for this.

  9. 9
    bmoak says:

    Christie’s baseball coach said that Wildstein was involved with the baseball team as a Sabremetrics stats geek/manager who provided good analysis on opposing teams.

  10. 10
    RSR says:

    No, catcher is the manager on the field–knows the ins and outs of the opposing batters, and how to pitch to them. The catcher gets that info from the team stats guy. Who, in this case, was Wildstein .

    On most teams, those two people would be putting their heads together on a regular basis.

  11. 11
    Keith P says:

    Now, Christie Christie was the catcher on his high school’s varsity baseball team.

    I was envisioning “captain of the bowling team.” Along these lines.

  12. 12
    Hal says:

    You know, I was the class president and athlete.

    Why do I find this story so fascinating? I know part of it is schadenfreude. I have never liked Christie and have been perplexed at the MSM and NJ voters willingness to give Christie a pass on everything.

    5 million for a pseudo campaign ad in guise of a Jersey’s open for business campaign featuring his family, 20 million for a special election he fucking admitted was done to pad his numbers. Jesus, the guy flat out says; “sure, I did this to make myself look better” and people congratulate him for being direct and honest? Taking a helicopter and then a limo to your kids game?

    Not to mention the bullying of his constituents. Hey Christie, did you ever answer the question from the mother who asked about public school funding after you were done yelling at her for daring to mention your kids go to private school?

  13. 13
    kuvasz says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You bet. Catchers on a baseball team are usually the toughest mother fuckers on the team.

  14. 14
    RSR says:

    I’d also like to suggest dropping the ‘ghazi’ suffix. It elevates the non-scandal of Benghazi.

  15. 15
    Calming influence says:

    Not to elevate Christie, but the catcher is often team captain and is an extension of the pitcher in terms of tactical baseball.

  16. 16
    R-Jud says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt:

    As it is if I don’t find the corpse I am just going to have to wait for the inevitable smell to lead me to it.

    Yep, did that this morning. Followed my nose to discover a flayed, decaying pigeon behind a bookshelf. After disposing of the pigeon, we screwed the bookshelf to the wall.

    On-Topic: I was born in NJ– in Kevin Smith country, to be precise– and most of my relatives hail from there. One of my aunts still living there, whom I love to bits, is a hippy-dippy crystal-fondling new-ager who writes things like “I pray the gentle wisdom of the earth guides you” in my birthday cards.

    She has been BEYOND hilarious on Facebook recently, writing decidedly un-mellow things about how Chris Christie is a goddamn lying motherfucker and posting pictures of Mr Creosote. Another, older, aunt, who’s a right-winger (framed oil painting of Reagan in her living room) is wailing about how this will affect the party’s chances in 2016.

    Bridgegate is entertaining me on so many levels.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    Catching is one of the most difficult positions to play both physically and mentally.

    eta I didn’t even bother reading the comments because I knew what they would say.

  18. 18
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: Oh god. One of my friends had a cat who used to bring mouse bodies in and shove them down between the couch cushions.

    @Plantsmantx: I thought that whole “I was an athlete and he was invisible” line sounded like a flashback to high school and cool kids vs. the nobodies. It was offensive.

  19. 19
    Keith G says:

    Anne, I see TTP already covered it above, but you couldn’t be more lacking in your baseball knowledge.

    On a well coached team, the catcher functions a bit like a quarterback (signal caller). A good catcher knows the strengths and weaknesses of his pitchers and has studied the scouting reports in order to have an idea about the abilities of the opposition lineup.

  20. 20
    Talentless Hack says:

    Tell that to Johnny Bench, who was probably the greatest catcher of all time. He was truly badass. He could barehand a fastball and beat the guy trying to steal second base by at least two strides. He could take an old-style catcher’s mitt and wear a hinge into it by brute force. He could hold seven (I think) baseballs in his non-gloved hand. AND he could hit.

    And the drummer is the backbone of any rock band. The Beatles were nobody until they found the right one. Ditto for Rush. Led Zeppelin couldn’t continue without theirs. Def Leppard almost didn’t, and devised workarounds after he lost his arm.

  21. 21
    Calming influence says:

    I find it richly amusing that what was done in an apparent fit of bullying pique, without thinking of the consequences, ended up inconveniencing multiple Wall Street Journal editors, who them unleashed WSJ reporter Ted Mann with instructions to find out who exactly had fucked up their morning commute.

    Bullying is a tell for a lack of self control. They all eventually end up fucking with someone they shouldn’t.

  22. 22
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    AL, you are going to get slaughtered for this.

    Yeah, well, I never claimed to be an expert!

    There’s only sixteen catchers listed in the Hall of Fame. Heck, there’s nine umpires on that list…

    (For the record, while I never followed baseball, I always had a soft spot for the drummers.)

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    I thought that whole “I was an athlete and he was invisible” line sounded like a flashback to high school and cool kids vs. the nobodies. It was offensive.

    Of course, it was offensive. Offensive is what Christie does. I always figured he would blow up at a 16 y/o waitress in a diner in Iowa or Wisconsin during primary season because his bacon was too crispy and that would be the thing that did him in. I’ll take this, if it does it.

  24. 24
    raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: Quit while you are ahead.

  25. 25
    WaterGirl says:

    @IowaOldLady: Yeah, but christie wants the cool kids to know he was one of them. The invisibles don’t matter, they never did.

  26. 26
    russ says:

    I wonder what Andrew Cuomo has to say about this. Has he called the Clinton’s?

  27. 27
    Calming influence says:

    Well, Anne, looks like you picked a bad day to fuck with catchers.

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @Calming influence: Is there a link for that? Sounds like it could be a satisfying read.

  29. 29

    @Plantsmantx:

    Exactly. And yet he somehow plucked him out of obscurity however many years later and appointed him to a very important position, without “knowing what he was doing”. Christie is lying through his fucking teeth and he knows it.

  30. 30
    raven says:

    Do Former Catchers Really Make Great MLB Managers?

    That means five of the past 11 World Series-winners have been led by guys who once donned what are known as the tools of ignorance.

    “What’s that they say about ignorance and bliss again?

    So while not every former big league catcher who’s gone on to become an MLB manager has been successful—let alone, World Series-winning successful—it seems likely that teams will continue to hand the reins to ex-backstops.

    And judging by recent history, that’s not a bad idea.”

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    Fascinating article by Brian Murphy over at TPM on the billion dollar development project that was possibly put at risk by the timing of the lane closures. Worth a read.

    Excerpt:

    I find it hard to believe that would-be investors in this project weren’t alarmed by the prospect that Port Authority officials had decided, without warning, to begin running experiments to see what would happen if local access to the GWB was temporarily, and then permanently, restricted. And in light of Mayor Sokolich’s first question to Chris Christie during their face-to-face meeting in Fort Lee this past week, asking the governor to promise not to exact revenge on Fort Lee for the trouble this scandal is causing, it seems even more significant that the governor was musing about making permanent changes in public during his December 2 press conference in Trenton. The cat was completely out of the bag on whether there had been a legitimate “traffic study,” and yet the governor persisted in characterizing the allocation of toll lanes as something that gave an unfair benefit to Fort Lee at the expense of the rest of the human race. Even in December, it seemed, Fort Lee and this project still faced a threat.

  32. 32
    WereBear says:

    It’s bassists who get no respect.

  33. 33
    Ronnie P says:

    Drummers aren’t so bad themselves.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Calming influence says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    “roughly equivalent to ‘drummer in the rock band’ — i.e., the comic relief character?”
    “I always had a soft spot for the drummers.”

    I guess you can kiss drummers goodbye now, too!

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    We didn’t travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete.

    God, 50 years old, governor of a huge state and until recently, a man with a good shot at winning the White House, in his mind I’m sure he was/is inevitable, and he’s bragging about his HS resume.

    also, as a couple of people have pointed out, he has two versions of when he heard the news, “in my pajamas and robe”, and “after my work-out”. A very petty thing, but he’s still trying to construct an image for 2016.

  38. 38
    TG Chicago says:

    Thumbs down to the name “Bridgeghazi”. Using -ghazi as a suffix for a scandal implies that Benghazi was a scandal on par with Watergate. Given that Benghazi wasn’t even a scandal, that seems like a bad idea to me.

  39. 39
    Calming influence says:

    @WaterGirl: Yeah, it’s in the original 22 pages released. Here’s TPM: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/wsj-bridge-scandal

  40. 40
    Violet says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Life is high school for Republicans.

    What jumped out at me in the press conference was just how many times he repeated “I learned about it at 8:50 a.m.” or “I learned about it just before nine o’clock in the morning”. He repeated that time so many times in various ways…and for what? Why do we need to know the exact moment? We don’t. It’s a tell. Liars repeat stupid, useless details like that. Normal people would say something like, “I just found out about it yesterday morning.” The exact time is not relevant. Except to Chris Christie’s lie. It’s a tell.

  41. 41
    Hill Dweller says:

    We’re talking about high school baseball; not college and/or pro baseball. It’s a completely different world where the coach has far more control and usually calls the pitches. Furthermore, the better athletes/players usually play multiple positions. In fact, I’d bet most great catchers didn’t play catcher full time until they reached college/minors.

    If Christie was a full-time catcher in high school, I bet he wasn’t very athletic, so they stuck him behind the plate.

  42. 42
    muddy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Perhaps he was trying to distract by titillation. Pajamas! Sexy!

    It was at 8:50, mind you as well. Not 9, or around 9, or first thing. 8:50.

  43. 43
    raven says:

    @Hill Dweller: And the coach calls the positions the defense and calls the cutoffs?

  44. 44
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @muddy: And was it a plaid flannel onesie? People are saying this a Very Serious Question.

  45. 45
    Smiling Mortician says:

    Ooh! My very first front-page shout-out. My heart’s all a-flutter . . . I don’t have a speech prepared!

    OK, now I’ll read the thread.

  46. 46
    Scotius says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Maybe he likes to work out in his pajamas and robe?

  47. 47
    gogol's wife says:

    @dmsilev:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt:

    I used to sound like Norman Bates pretending to be his own mother when I’d find things like this — “Oh, no, what have you done now, Spanky?”

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    If Christie was a full-time catcher in high school, I bet he wasn’t very athletic, so they stuck him behind the plate.

    He might not have been very mobile; I’ll give you that. Still the pitcher and catcher are the only players involved in every play on defense. You don’t put your worst guy there.

  49. 49
    IM says:

    So that is his line?

    He wasn’t a high-school friend who I have known 40 years, but only a high school acquaintance who I have known for 30 years with intermittences?

    That is not even banging the table.

  50. 50
    raven says:

    Christie as a hs catcher. So you can bag all the fat guy shit.

  51. 51
    WaterGirl says:

    @Calming influence: thanks for the link!

    from the link:

    After the release of the documents on Friday, both Mann, the Journal reporter, and the newspaper’s deputy New York bureau chief reacted to the released email on Twitter.

    “For the record, my editors take the train,” Mann wrote Friday afternoon.

    “Nor have we ever asked [Mann] to look into traffic problems,” Michael Amon, the newspaper’s deputy New York bureau chief, added. “NJTransit delays are another story entirely though.”

  52. 52
    slag says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Thumbs down to the name “Bridgeghazi”

    Agreed. Besides which, it’s incredibly obnoxious and insensitive. People died. That’s a tragedy; not a scandal. And certainly not pun-worthy.

  53. 53
    Aji says:

    Completely O/T, and just in case anyone’s interested:

    Just over two weeks ago, I mentioned that I was mourning the loss of one of our elders. For anyone who wants to know more, my warrior sister has written a beautiful tribute over at the GOS (he was a Kossack, too).

    He deserves to have as many people as possible know what he brought to this life, and to our peoples.

  54. 54
    WaterGirl says:

    @muddy:

    Pajamas! Sexy!

    I could have gone my whole life without ever reading that in connection with christie. Thanks a lot!

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    @IM: Don’t forget that Christie was a star on the baseball team in high school and the other guy a statistician, aka nerd. Christie would never hang out with the nerds. He’s to big for that.

  56. 56
    raven says:

    He also recalled that David Wildstein was right there on the team with Christie:

    David Wildstein was our baseball statistician. He was a very quiet, unassuming, brilliant kid. He’d do the baseball stats like you wouldn’t believe. He gave you the stats from the previous week’s games, he had a brilliant mind for numbers and figures….And he was doing it without any of the computers you have today. He’s doing it all with a calculator, none of the fancy technology…You know, averages against righthander and against lefthander, that sort of thing…He knew the game but he wasn’t at all a player. I mean, not at all.

    Yes, young Wildstein was into sabermetrics before it was cool, sitting on the bench and providing the Lancers with data that helped make them one of the best teams in the state.

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven:

    And the coach calls the positions the defense and calls the cutoffs?

    In HS baseball? You bet your ass.
    People here are acting like a HS catcher = an MLB catcher.
    Bullshit.
    In most HS rotations you have 1 guy who has three reliable pitches. You have, if you’re lucky, two others who have 2 reliable pitches. The others either have a decent fastball or a changeup they can reliably get across the plate.
    The catcher is important but he’s not a fucking general in HS ball. Especially when Christie went to school.

  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @RSR:

    I’d also like to suggest dropping the ‘ghazi’ suffix. It elevates the non-scandal of Benghazi.

    Word. I was just about to make the identical comment for the identical reason.

    The “-gate” suffix is tiresome, tedious, and lazy. It does, however, have the advantage of reminding everyone, however subliminally, of Watergate — the definitive Republican scandal. Genuine scandal, I might add.

  59. 59
    Hill Dweller says:

    @raven: @raven:

    And the coach calls the positions the defense and calls the cutoffs?

    Yes, the coach usually does position players in HS, and college for that matter.

    The catcher isn’t the only position that calls cutoffs. Nevertheless, calling cutoffs isn’t exactly high level strategic thinking. You learn to do it in little league.

    Again, we’re talking about high school baseball. The best athletes/players aren’t going to be behind the plate full time.

  60. 60
    Tokyokie says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: I once came home to find the kitties in a group excited about something, and realize that one of them had chased a chipmunk into the house. I managed to separate the cats from the ground squirrel, chase the rodent into the bathroom, and force the chipmunk to run behind the toilet, and into the wastebasket I’d jammed on the other side. I then covered the wastebasket with a towel, went outside and set the chipmunk free, and did all this without suffering the slightest personal injury. I was pretty darn proud of my ingenuity and resourcefulness.

    And about three days later, I found a chipmunk hindquarters under the kitchen table. Oh well.

  61. 61
    gogol's wife says:

    This is all fascinating. I love this story, and all the BJ commentary.

    I know little about baseball, but it seems to me that drummer is probably the most important position in a rock band.

  62. 62
    apocalipstick says:

    @Hill Dweller: Dude, I get that you’re trying to crap on Christie, but at almost every level of baseball, the catcher is the guy who wants to be involved in every play. My dad was a state-champion miler and when he began playing softball after high school (small-ball fast-pitch softball, not that high-arc, tee-off-and-whack-it-into-the-next-county excuse for slow-pitch), he played center field for one year, then moved to catcher, because he could be involved in every play and manage the game. He caught for over 20 years, and could still run faster than me when he quit. Catchers ain’t slackers.

  63. 63
    IM says:

    And Bridgeghazi is funny.

  64. 64
    elftx says:

    We want a drummer that can’t keep time..

    Said no band ever!

  65. 65
    Tokyokie says:

    @Anne Laurie: Even ones who spontaneously combust?

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Aji: Wonderful tribute. Thank you for linking to it.

  67. 67
    Garbo says:

    So if the billion dollar development was the issue, what were the Christie Crew staying to accomplish?

    To scuttle the deal that would be the crown jewel for a Democrat mayor? To put the deal in jeopardy so Christie could swoop in a the last minute with a save and steal the glory? To scuttle deal and replace it with one that favored a developer on Christie’s inner circle?

    The cops telling the folks stuck in traffic it was a decision by the mayor to close the toll booths makes me think it is more likely a “steal the deal” gambit. Little pissant Dem mayor can’t get this done, but BMOC can..?

    Curiouser and curiouser….

  68. 68
    scav says:

    I saw the HS stuff as partly generic politicking. Populist appeal! HS smart — but not too smart! Not that other kind of smart, see oh, what’s his name again. Athletic! So, Proof again of not the wrong kind of smart but of the right kind of cool — not to mention just an athlete that’s put on a few pounds don’t we all bonding. The didn’t know the guy play seemed dim — too easy to dispute, unless he’s got something on everyone somehow connected to that HS at that time — seriously, in this post book of faces world?

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I know little about baseball, but it seems to me that drummer is probably the most important position in a rock band.

    You bet. Ask someone else to keep time. Good luck.

  70. 70
    raven says:

    @Aji: Wow, what a great piece and a great man. I’m sure you have read Fighting Words on the Future of the Earth by Russell Means?

  71. 71
    Aji says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: She did a beautiful job, didn’t she?

    And you’re welcome.

  72. 72
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @gogol’s wife: Do you sincerely miss those heavy metal bands you used to go and see on The Landing in the summer? playin’ Kiss covers, beautiful and stoned?

  73. 73
    Cervantes says:

    @IM: Is it wrong that I’m not smiling?

  74. 74
    Anne Laurie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Okay, you guys have convinced me (even though, like you, I am beyond tired of the ” – gate” designation for every two-bit political outrage.

  75. 75
    apocalipstick says:

    @gogol’s wife: Agreed. Guitar players are a dime a dozen, but a good drummer will have gigs forever.
    “You know how you can tell it’s the drummer at the door? The knock speeds up.”

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Garbo: IMO, it’s possible he wanted to muscle in and get his people the contracts. Control the jobs/contracts and wield enormous power through the state. Because once that project is online, all the taxes and funding can be used for more patronage contracts/jobs.
    “Hey, nice access lanes Ft Lee has there. Maybe I yank them…maybe I don’t.”

  77. 77
    gogol's wife says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I was partial to “A Bridge Too Fat,” myself.

  78. 78
    Aji says:

    @raven: A lot of us are . . . conflicted, to say the least, about Russ. There’s a lot of history there for NDNs, not all of it good for us. Selling out to Ronnie Raygun, among other things.

    There’s a public image that’s one of celebrity, and then there’s the rest.

  79. 79
    gogol's wife says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Kornacki has me convinced that this is the crux of it, but how exactly it was to play out isn’t clear yet. That “Tollbridge magazine” article last night (I’m probably not getting the name right) seemed to indicate that they were contemplating getting rid of some access lanes.

  80. 80
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Tokyokie: Especially the ones who spontaneously combust!

  81. 81
    raven says:

    @Aji: Ah, damn. Well it was a nice piece included in a book called “Questioning technology.Technology, Tool, Toy or Tyrant”.

  82. 82
    WaterGirl says:

    @Aji:That was a lovely tribute. I never would have clicked the link if it weren’t for the last line of your comment:

    He deserves to have as many people as possible know what he brought to this life, and to our peoples.

    I had no idea this man had ever existed; his was certainly a life to be honored.

  83. 83
    WaterGirl says:

    @Garbo:

    The cops telling the folks stuck in traffic it was a decision by the mayor to close the toll booths

    Actually, as I recall from the email from the mayor, the wording was that the lane closures were the result of a decision the mayor had recently made.

    To me, that does not say the mayor decided to close the lanes, but it does make me wonder if the mayor hadn’t pissed off the governor with a recent decision related to project, resulting in the decision by the governor to close the lanes.

  84. 84
    IM says:

    @Cervantes:

    No. I don’t think it is that insensitive, though. There is Benghazi the incident were four american were killed and Benghazi the fake scandal. It is riffing of the later.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    @gogol’s wife: I’m really not sure at this point. But if there’s a “billion dollar development” going in minutes from the GWB to NYC?
    If you’re the NJ Gov and DO NOT KNOW about it? What kind of clueless buffoon are you?!

  86. 86
    raven says:

    Sorry I was thinking of One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season about a coach who let the kids actually play.

  87. 87
    gogol's wife says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And it’s much more convincing than the judicial appointment theory that Rachel Maddow was raising. I didn’t even understand that one. But big pieces of undeveloped land next to the GWB that are about to be developed? Wow.

  88. 88
    Honus says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): I agree, but catcher’s equipment is called “the tools of ignorance”

  89. 89
    Aji says:

    @raven: Nah, don’t worry. Doesn’t mean that there’s not value in it for folks. I just . . . have multiple reasons to feel exasperation, shall we say. But he’s gone now, too, and he did some good work back in ’73 (among other times and places), and people should honor him for that.

    Carter was a different sort – all for the people, absolutely no interest in the spotlight or public attention, all warrior through and through. In our household, he’s always been a hero, and we loved him.

  90. 90
    Garbo says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I think Corner Stone is right, although it isn’t beyond Christie to scuttle a big project as a fuck you to a political rival, i.e. the tunnel project. But you would think they would want to bring a billion dollar project to the state. But perhaps not if they can’t “profit” from it.

  91. 91
    Violet says:

    @scav: The “I was the class president and an athlete” stuff seemed petty to me. I wasn’t a fan of the class presidents in my schools–all a bunch of suck ups who wanted that office to put on their college applications. None of them did anything.

    As for “I was an athlete”–the juxtaposition of the morbidly obese Christie and the word “athlete” makes my head spin. If he’d said, “I played baseball” then that would be different. Lots of people played sports in high school and aren’t exactly fit now. But he defined himself as an athlete. That word brings up a different image. And it highlights just how far down Christie has fallen if he truly was an athlete in high school.

  92. 92
    hilts says:

    Brit Hume offers a unique theory:

    Brit Hume has himself a theory about why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s got this nagging “bully” reputation hanging round his neck: it’s not his fault, see, he’s just a bull in the emasculated china shop of the world. “In this sort of feminized atmosphere in which we exist today, guys who are masculine and muscular like that in their private conduct, kind of old-fashioned tough guys, run some risks,” Hume said on Sunday’s Media Buzz.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bri.....tmosphere/

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @hilts:

    “In this sort of feminized atmosphere in which we exist today, guys who are masculine and muscular like that in their private conduct, kind of old-fashioned tough guys, run some risks,

    Oh FFS. Anyone who equates being masculine with being an asshole or a bully has severe problems.

  95. 95
    Aji says:

    @WaterGirl: Thank you!!! This was exactly why I wanted to post it here.

    The names from 1973 known outside of Indian Country – Means, Banks, the Bellecourt brothers. Carter was the warrior heart and soul of the operation – of the movement – and yet, because he never sought the spotlight (indeed, shunned it), he’s not known outside of our peoples (or, sadly, even among them, when it comes to a lot of our young people) . And he did so much for so many, his entire life – still helping others to the end. He deserves to have his story told, to the entire world, IMO.

  96. 96
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet: Check out raven’s link upthread to a photo of christie when he was a catcher. Christie looks young and fit, and I felt terribly sad when I looked at that photo.

  97. 97
    gogol's wife says:

    @Aji:

    You know he had an obituary in the New York Times, right?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01.....at-72.html

  98. 98
    scav says:

    @Violet: I didn’t mean to imply he was extremely successful in his politicking, and certainly less so with those likely to be found here. It’s just the odor I got coming off those comments — I personally heard a fair bit of boilerplate campaigning in between his kitten mews of how he was sad and betrayed.

  99. 99
    gogol's wife says:

    @jeffreyw:

    What a face!

  100. 100
    Aji says:

    @gogol’s wife: Yeah; took ’em long enough. Even longer than WaPo, whose writer basically phoned it in. But Native media was already ahead of the curve, with some really fitting tributes.

  101. 101
    Violet says:

    @Aji: Lovely tribute. Thanks so much for linking it. The two photos of him holding the phone at different points in his life were amazing.

  102. 102
    WereBear says:

    @Aji: Thank you for sharing that. What an extraordinary person! And of course, he still is.

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gogol’s wife: Good god. They actually described Wounded Knee as “the last battle of the American Indian wars” in the obit. It was a battle in the way that My Lai was a battle.

  104. 104

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Nor is “drummer in the rock band” a good comparison. A rock band ain’t shit without a drummer, for starters. The drummer and the bass player hold the whole thing together.

    The comic relief is the hippie playing percussion toys.

  105. 105
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Violet:

    The day began like any other day. As usual, I was working out in my bathrobe, and at precisely 8:50 a.m (just a few minutes before 9 o’clock), having completed my bathrobe-clad workout, which is what I do, routinely, every morning, I reached, as I always do, for my copy of the morning edition of the Bergen Record, which I read every day after working out in my bathrobe. Little could I imagine, even in my wildest dreams, that the day ahead of me, which had started so normally, was about to become the most abnormal day of my life.

  106. 106
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet: Second the comment on the two photos. Fascinating to see nearly identical photos taken so far apart.

  107. 107
    Aji says:

    @Violet: Wasn’t that? It just hit me right in the heart. And you’re very welcome.

    @WereBear: You’re very welcome, too. He really was. And it’s a badge of honor that he called me “little sister.”

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah, innit? There’s plenty in that “obit” that is questionable, but it’s clearly written by and for the dominant culture with no understanding of ours, much less of what it was like in that place at that time (or even now).

  108. 108
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @hilts: Brit Hume thinks Christie is muscular, now? Look, I’m not into fat-shaming, that’s not where I’m headed — and actually, it’s cool that he decided to lose weight — but “muscular” is not the right adjective for Chris Christie. Unless you’re counting the lump of muscle in his head.

  109. 109
    Violet says:

    @scav: Oh, yeah, he was definitely campaigning. Someone counted how many times he said “I” during the press conference, along with “I’m” and “me”. It’s pretty high. He’s all about selling himself and used the press conference, which he knew was nationally televised, to work on his 2016 campaign.

  110. 110
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Honus: Yeah. You do have to be touched in the head to want to play catcher. Sure, you’re involved in every play but you also get hit by foul tips on a regular basis and are expected to let a baserunner plow you over to keep him from getting to the plate. Squatting that much is hell on your knees.

    It’s not as much of a sign of being completely nuts as being the goalie in hockey, but it does take a special kind of willingness to absorb physical punishment.

  111. 111
  112. 112
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Can anyone substantiate the claims that Christie had been complaining for some time that Fort Lee didn’t merit that many access lanes?

    This comment earlier today made me remember that.

    Shortstop: Sokolich has been saying for days that Christie didn’t like the successful redevelopment efforts in Fort Lee, which apparently have been taking place mostly without Christie’s largesse. Town with mayor accomplishing big stuff who didn’t endorse egotistical control-freak governor + represented by state senator who crossed Christie on judicial appointments = obvious target for retribution in the form of hitting the literal pipeline to more redevelopment.

  113. 113
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet:

    Excellent article on that very topic: The ‘I’ in Christie’s Storm

  114. 114
    WaterGirl says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Forgot to comment on the graphic that accompanies the article. I found it very compelling.

  115. 115
    Violet says:

    @Violet: Found it. Dana Milbank:

    Even in disgrace, the New Jersey governor — and the nominal front-runner for the 2016 GOP nomination — managed to turn his nationally televised news conference into a forum on the virtues of his favorite subject: himself.

    Use of the word “I”: 692 times.

    I’m: 119.

    I’ve: 67.

    Me: 83.

    My/myself: 134.

  116. 116
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Okay, you guys have convinced me (even though, like you, I am beyond tired of the ” – gate” designation for every two-bit political outrage.

    It’ll be better for you if you use it ironically.

  117. 117
    SatanicPanic says:

    @WereBear: Bassists are absolutely essential, except when they’re not. As a general rule, guitar players are by far the most replaceable band members.

  118. 118
    kc says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But if there’s a “billion dollar development” going in minutes from the GWB to NYC?
    If you’re the NJ Gov and DO NOT KNOW about it? What kind of clueless buffoon are you?!

    The kind who couldn’t pick the Fort Lee mayor out of a line-up, doesn’t know what his top aides are up to, and only just knows that guy, Wildstein, enough to say “hi” to in passing.

  119. 119
    efgoldman says:

    @raven:

    So you can bag all the fat guy shit.

    Hell, i weighted 170 at the end of basic training too. That was an awful lot of meals and snacks ago.

  120. 120
    EthylEster says:

    AL wrote: but isn’t ‘catcher on the baseball team’ roughly equivalent to ‘drummer in the rock band’ — i.e., the comic relief character?

    Hmm. Your ignorance is showing, my dear.
    Stick to that unfunny cartoon strip.

  121. 121
    SatanicPanic says:

    @brendancalling:

    The comic relief is the hippie playing percussion toys.

    I actually thought Mickey Finn was a key member of T-Rex.

  122. 122
    Steeplejack says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Great!

  123. 123
    efgoldman says:

    @Tokyokie:

    I found a chipmunk hindquarters under the kitchen table. Oh well.

    Once the chipmunks come out in the spring, may I borrow your kitties?

  124. 124
    raven says:

    @efgoldman: I weighed 140 when I came home from over there.

  125. 125
    Hobbes says:

    The little I know about baseball comes mainly from Cross Game, but catcher seems like a fairly important position.

  126. 126
    Jamey says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: And with good reason. If you don’t know about baseball, yet want to somehow tie Christie’s adult life to his teenage athletic accomplishments, you should probably pursue another subject, Anne.

  127. 127
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    but isn’t ‘catcher on the baseball team’ roughly equivalent to ‘drummer in the rock band’ — i.e., the comic relief character?

    That may be the perception of drummers for the public, but it sure isn’t the way most musicians feel. If you’re putting together a rock band, a good frontman/woman is the first priority but a solid drummer is probably the second. Doesn’t need to be showy (see Ringo) but they have to be decent or the band will sound terrible. Whereas, terrible or sloppy guitar/keys/bass can all be ok and even a stylistic choice (see punk and alot of indie music) but a drummer that is offbeat or speeds up/slows-down pretty much kills everything.

  128. 128
    raven says:

    Bolts makin a run.

  129. 129
    Cervantes says:

    @IM: There’s also Benghazi, the city in Libya — but who’s counting?

  130. 130
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hilts:

    Brit Hume is a Villager jackass, and a Faux Noise favoite.

    Utter fucking scum.

  131. 131
    raven says:

    Within 7, 3:53 to go.

  132. 132
    shelly says:

    It’s bassists who get no respect.

    The Kids In The Hall had a whole skit on that subject.

  133. 133
    IM says:

    @Cervantes:

    O come on. As if they matter.

    Next you will tell me there is a city called munich.

  134. 134
    Bill Arnold says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    That “Tollbridge magazine” article last night (I’m probably not getting the name right) seemed to indicate that they were contemplating getting rid of some access lanes.

    The thing is, they could have test-closed 1 lane of the three, and they would have probably gotten away with it. But they funneled everything into one lane that handled both E-ZPass and cash (if I’m reading the email correctly) which was guaranteed to cause a massive backup. The traffic engineering emails that were released suggest (though they don’t say) that closing down to one lane was an outlier option and kinda shouldn’t be done. So there was some serious heavy-handed messaging going on. Maybe it was all three, mucking with the mayor’s development project, message to the mayor about lack of endorsement, message to the state rep for the area about judges. (three strikes – is Christie known work in threes?)

  135. 135
    Cervantes says:

    @hilts: If I were Brit Hume’s son, I might have shot myself long before age 28.

  136. 136
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It’s our newspaper of record, you see.

  137. 137
    JPL says:

    @hilts: I know macho and Chris Christie is not macho.

  138. 138
    Cervantes says:

    @Bill Arnold: Responded to your earlier comment.

  139. 139
    Another Holocene Human says:

    busted, didn’t read the OP before commenting. DAMMIT!

  140. 140
    Daffodil's Mom says:

    @Aji: Aji, Read it there but still haven’t figured out how to comment or I would have. I am terribly sorry for your — and all of our — loss. I’m old enough to remember him back in the day, and was delighted when he started commenting at GOS – as wisely and passionately as ever. He will be missed, but I do think there is great hope to be had in the next generation — it’s just that the whole world needs more people like Carter Camp.

  141. 141
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: I had a cat years ago who would bring wounded live animals, and let them loose. Let me tell you. Finding your cat squared off against a live rat in your bedroom closet… well, let’s just say it was a unique experience. One I hope never to repeat.

  142. 142
    Emily68 says:

    @Corner Stone: Ringo once said that he considered himself a success as a drummer because the other three Beatles all stopped playing at the same time.

  143. 143
    Aji says:

    @Daffodil’s Mom: Thank you. Yes, “passionately” – that was Carter. LOL – he jumped to my defense numerous times there; I was lucky enough to be able to return the favor sometimes. He didn’t suffer fools or racists gladly (or at all), but he was one of those people who was 100% genuine – what you saw was exactly what you got.

    Oh, and are you registered as a user at the GOS? You have to register there to be able to comment. If so, then you should drop a note at their help desk, letting ’em know you’re not getting the comment interface.

  144. 144
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @RSR: Ah, no. Ridicule is the most effective weapon against ideologue, against which facts strive in vain.

  145. 145
    Hal says:

    @Violet:

    The “I was the class president and an athlete” stuff seemed petty to me. I wasn’t a fan of the class presidents in my schools–all a bunch of suck ups who wanted that office to put on their college applications. None of them did anything.

    Anytime anyone mentions they were class President I think of Tracy Flick from Election. Not a flattering comparison.

  146. 146
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human: For ridicule to work, the target has to be smart enough to know he is being ridiculed.

  147. 147
    TG Chicago says:

    @slag: Didn’t think of that, but I completely agree. I’ve seen “BENGHAZI!!!!111” used around here so frequently that I failed to consider that part. Thank you for reminding us that it’s not something to joke about.

    Granted, the rightwing freakout is impossible not to mock, but we need to keep a clear line between the two things.

  148. 148
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Corner Stone: That was my impression but since I didn’t make varsity I wasn’t sure. Over the years I played catcher, shortstop, 2nd & 3rd base and right outfield. Catchers and shortstops have to move quick. IMO, shortstop in junior leagues needs to have a better understanding of the game than catcher b/c your kind of MLB catcher plays don’t apply. Btw, right outfield is usually where you send a dumbass fuckoff. In third grade I was famously more interested in the dandelions than the ball, hehehe…

  149. 149
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Cervantes:
    Oh that. Yeah, finally ran a free ocr tool (freeocr) over the pdfs and am trying to build an email timeline, just to get a feel for the challenges that might be involved in doing this sort of analysis (of scans of text) professionally. The story, it is feeling … more complicated.
    The analysis of the disruption appears to be just that, an analysis that was requested (not sure when).
    I don’t have a theory about Durando’s “Took a shot. He didn’t bite.” (If I had to guess or die, a 25% guess would be that there was a verbal discussion about reducing the planned level of disruption.)

  150. 150
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Actually, over the last 10 years the HS game has really changed. My best friend is a guy who played pro baseball and has been a JC coach, a College coach and for the last decade +/- a private hitting instructor for rich kids.
    We both played ball under a coach who was a former TAMU player and was a freakin Nazi. He rode the back of a fantastic pitcher for two years to get into state playoffs. The kid had a dominating fastball and a wonky curve. At 17 he hit high 90’s from start to finish. Of course, the coach overused him and the kid blew out his rotator cuff and had surgery right after HS. Coach started him three nights in a row in one stretch.
    Anyway, in the olden days of yore when Christie was a catcher the odds are incredibly high that he didn’t do shit but what the coach told him to do.
    HS Baseball coaches are tyrants, by and large. Just like HS Football coaches.

  151. 151
    Kropadope says:

    @Smiling Mortician: I think he was using “muscular” as a metaphor for his personality.

  152. 152
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Kropadope: Yeah, but I’m still gonna disagree with the descriptor. “Muscular” implies discipline as well as strength. Not really seeing either in Christie.

  153. 153
    Kropadope says:

    @Smiling Mortician: I get the sense that Brit Hume’s vaunted “muscular” masculinity is less about discipline and more about Neanderthals swinging their big clubs around.

  154. 154
    TG Chicago says:

    Just saw that the post title changed. Thank you, Anne!

  155. 155
    Cervantes says:

    @TG Chicago: But not the URL.

  156. 156
    Kropadope says:

    @Cervantes: What’s it to you? Who you think you are, the Duke of URL?

  157. 157
    Cervantes says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    The story, it is feeling … more complicated.

    Not yet sure about this story in particular but, in general, reality is more complicated than the versions we get from the carnival-barkers in the media.

    Anyhow, you might be interested in this December 17 article by Peter Samuel in Tollroads News: “Poorly executed toll lane reallocation trial at Geo Washington Bridge escalates – two top execs of PANYNJ are out in political furore.”

  158. 158
    Pogonip says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: Yup, just follow your nose.

    When I was a kid, my dad had a rabbit dog who felt her true purpose in life was to end the scourge of moles. To this end, she did not bay as a rabbit dog should; she spent their outings chasing moles in deadly silence. Our yard looked like Bugs Bunny had been furrowing through it after taking the wrong turn at Albuquoique; Lady could dig as fast as the moles could tunnel. Finally my dad concluded that being a rabbit dog was just not in Lady’s stars and gave her to a guy who had a houseful of kids and a yardful of moles. Everyone except the moles lived happily ever after; including my dad and his new rabbit dog, Joe, whose bellowing enthusiasm at scent of a bunny could easily have been mistaken for a tornado drill.

  159. 159
    cleek says:

    never let it be said that liberals aren’t afraid of Christie.

    an entire week of wall-to-wall Christie belies that notion.

  160. 160
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Cervantes:

    Peter Samuel in Tollroads News

    Interesting article; good to see I wasn’t misreading the emails (at least not badly).
    I do not find Peter’s theory about Weinstein playing traffic engineer at all convincing; the push-back from the real traffic engineers about the effects of narrowing from 3 lanes to one mixed ezpass/cash lane would have been technically convincing.

  161. 161
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Garbo: I think it was more than just a political thing. There are some exchanges last night on twitter that took me to a darker place.

    Josh Marshall at TPM linked to a <a href="

    Here's the evidence for Bridget Kelly being the person on the other end of these infamous Wildstein texts: pic.twitter.com/TNv6M1I1ll— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 11, 2014

    “>tweet from Ryan Lizza that shows Bridget Kelly was the person commenting that she felt sorry for the kids. Sort of. In the ensuing twitter convo Lizza says he really wants to know is what does it mean to “pull a <a href="

    @joshtpm what I really want to know is what does it mean to "pull a faps"?— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 11, 2014

    “>Faps?” Sarah Chase replies, “This?”

    FAPS is Foreign Auto Preparation Services, a business located at the Jersey Port Authority that receives and prepares luxury imported cars. In May 2012, after being in negotiations for a year, they were suddenly notified that they needed to come up with $2.4 million dollars in the next 8 days or be evicted. Googling Foreign Auto Preparation Services, I found that they are still in business at their PA address, so they appear to have found financing for the $2.4 mil. Just as the Ft. Lee redevelopment project found financing after the bridge shutdown. I sure would like to know who the financing is through, and if it is the same entity for both FAPS and the Ft. Lee project.

    BTW I checked the FEC.gov website and the brothers who run FAPS, August and Gary LoBue, have made some hefty donations to New Jersey democrats in the last 10 years. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 figures.

  162. 162
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek: It’s enjoyable to let the air out of him a bit. I find the ending of a bully, spit on his own petard, to be much fun.
    And it also redounds to the idea that, IMO, this gives wide berth to the Bachmann-Nutso wing of the R party to see this as a truly wide open contest.
    Anyone running will be tarred as an “establishment” Republican. There will be much bloodletting, IMO.
    Some may fear Christie. I’m anticipating the ride.

  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bill Arnold: Yes, I found the tone of, “Hey, why all those lanes, anyway?”
    To be very incredulous.

  164. 164
    joel hanes says:

    @Aji:

    Carter.

    Would a donation in his honor to First Nations Development Institute be fitting?

  165. 165
    Cervantes says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    I do not find Peter’s theory about Weinstein playing traffic engineer at all convincing.

    He had a follow-up article three days later (December 20), from which:

    Professional traffic engineers and senior managers at PANYNJ had used routine traffic models to forecast much of the level of gridlock that the lane closure “trial” would generate, but the two appointees of Governor Chris Christie insisted on proceeding, all the while managing to conceal the trial from PANYNJ’s executive director Patrick Foye and from the PANYNJ board of directors.

    The two top PANYNJ officials successfully ordered the director of tunnels and bridges [Fulton] at PANYNJ and the manager of the George Washington Bridge [Durando] to keep the toll lane closure trials a secret. The first knowledge chief executive Foye had was late on the fourth day of trials, when he saw the issue on a list of media inquiries.

    Christie urged the pair of officials to resign for having made “mistakes,” but he has also made statements siding with the proposal to reduce toll lanes for Fort Lee.

    The Wall Street Journal’s Heather Haddon quoted Christie as saying PANYNJ “should review its policy on granting dedicated lanes to local communities at its bridges and tunnels.”

    Anyway, I agree that your reading of those e-mail messages makes sense.

  166. 166
    mophene says:

    @cleek:

    Yes Lord, I fear The Christie. The similarities between him and Kwame Kilpatrick are downright frightening.

  167. 167
    Aji says:

    @joel hanes: You know what I think he’d like best of all? A donation to the Indigenous Environmental Network. he worked with them in his later years. Carter was a tireless opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, tar sands development in Canada and the U.S., and tracking, and he manned the blockades even after notified his prognosis was terminal last year. He always admired the work IEN did to save the environment, and I think if you were able to ask him, that would be the tribute he would choose.

  168. 168
    Corner Stone says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    But big pieces of undeveloped land next to the GWB that are about to be developed? Wow.

    I thought TRMS theory was at least as plausible as any other avenue at the time. Because, to me, none of this seemed like it could fit into a box that real people could read about and say, “Oh. He fucked that guy for XYZ. Ok then.”
    But billions of dollars in jobs/patronage/power? That makes all kinds of sense.
    You’re going to torch a schmuck for not endorsing you? Say what now?
    But. You’re going to break a schmuck to get in charge of the action? Yes. Yes, that makes a sense every Joe 6-P can nod wisely about. It takes 20 seconds or less to explain.
    “The Gov closed the lanes to make sure that mayor knew who was boss. And he didn’t give one shit who got hurt in the middle of it.”
    Oh, ok. Got it.

  169. 169
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Cervantes:

    Professional traffic engineers and senior managers at PANYNJ had used routine traffic models to forecast much of the level of gridlock that the lane closure “trial” would generate, but the two appointees of Governor Chris Christie insisted on proceeding, all the while managing to conceal the trial from PANYNJ’s executive director Patrick Foye and from the PANYNJ board of directors.

    Ouch. (Especially in light of the message exchange requesting traffic problems in Fort Lee). What are peoples’ odds on how much damage this scandal ends up doing to CC?

  170. 170
    Corner Stone says:

    @kc:

    and only just knows that guy, Wildstein, enough to say “hi” to in passing.

    Gerald Wulderschutz? Nah, never heard of him. I mean, he may be somebody I’ve known for 30 years and created a patronage job for paying six figures that didn’t exist before, but the name…doesn’t strike a chord with me.

  171. 171
    Cervantes says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Ouch. (Especially in light of the message exchange requesting traffic problems in Fort Lee).

    Yes, I thought you might find that article helpful as you build your time-line.

    What are peoples’ odds on how much damage this scandal ends up doing to CC?

    Bush was “re-elected” in 2004, so what do I know?

  172. 172
    cthulhu says:

    Maybe someone can answer this question who watched the marathon press conference or knows the answer otherwise…

    Seems to me that there are two questions you ask of someone you have just discovered has lied to you in a major way: Why did you lie to me? And what else have you lied to me about?

    Now I could see that the occasional person might walk out of a personal relationship without trying to get answers to these questions (“You lied to me! I’m done with you. Get out!”) but it would seem moronic not to try to debrief the liar in professional/business circumstances. Was Christie asked about this? What was his response, if so?

    There’s just so much about his behavior that suggests that he was not in the dark about this at all.

  173. 173
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @cleek: So you believe the liberal media myth, do you?

  174. 174
    Sourmash says:

    @Talentless Hack: Grateful Dead AND the Allman bros need two!

  175. 175
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @raven:

  176. 176
    gogiggs says:

    @Talentless Hack: One of these things is not like the others.

  177. 177
    ottercliff says:

    I heard he was the backstop.

  178. 178
    Cervantes says:

    @cthulhu:

    It would seem moronic not to try to debrief the liar in professional/business circumstances

    Judge for yourself (from the January 9 press conference):

    GOV. CHRISTIE: I’m telling you that when I ask for an answer from a member of my staff and they lie, regardless of what the conduct is they lied about, they’re gone. So I never had to get to the conduct, the underlying conduct. If you lie when I ask you a question, you’re fired. That’s it.

    Now if I had to have gotten to the underlying conduct, there was plenty underlying conduct there to fire her on too. But I didn’t need to get there, because question one was, do you know anything about this, did you have any involvement in it? The answer was no. The e-mail’s evidence that the answer should have been yes. I needed to go no further than that in terms of making a determination about her future employment with me.

    Q: Governor Christie, but one of the things is that in terms of a lying standpoint, the very person who has probably these most information about why she did this is the very person you cut off communication with. Isn’t that a management mistake?

    GOV. CHRISTIE: Are you suggesting I should have kept her?

    Q: Well, I’m saying talk to her. I mean, in terms of the conversation, like why did you do this? Get some information.

    GOV. CHRISTIE: Listen, Bob, and then if I did that, then you’d have the legislature complaining that I’m talking to someone who the chairman has said yesterday publicly he intends to call as a witness.

    And I think the higher priority is for me not to interfere with what the legislature is in the process of doing. And so no, I’m not going to do that because then — listen, the political nature of this would lead charge — to charges of interference. I’m not going to do that. If after — if she’s brought to testify there, which the chairman says he intends to do, and she testifies, if after that time I have — we have other questions, then we can make the decision at that time whether to pursue that information. But it is my judgment — you can disagree with it, but it’s my judgment that for me to get involved with someone who the chairman has said he’s going to call as a witness between the time I discovered this and the time that she may testify would be not the right thing for me to do.

    Q: Like tampering with a witness — (inaudible)?

    GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, I’ve certainly wouldn’t tamper with a witness. (Laughter.) But I could be accused of tampering with the witness —

    Q: (Inaudible) — something though about — (inaudible) — what point does political misconduct cross into criminality?

    GOV. CHRISTIE: I don’t know, Bob, you know. And the fact of the matter is I’ve — the best way for me to not involve myself in that is to not involve myself in that. And I’m just trying to be a safe and careful steward of the public trust. And would I love to have more information yesterday? You bet. But I also have to understand the position I hold. And it’s a position of extraordinary trust. And I have to execute that position with the acknowledgement of that trust. And so that’s why I’m not doing it.

  179. 179
    cleek says:

    @Death Panel Truck:
    humor me… tell us why you would say such a thing.

  180. 180
    Cervantes says:

    @cleek: Probably because when you referred to “liberals” and “an entire week of wall-to-wall Christie,” Death Panel Truck thought you were referring to the media at large.

  181. 181
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    What are peoples’ odds on how much damage this scandal ends up doing to CC?

    I think that pretty much kills Christie in the GOP primaries, unless the rest of the candidates are outright nutters. People compare Christie to Romney – establishment and not liked by the base, but Romney had no scandals like this.

  182. 182
    Cervantes says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Romney had no scandals like this.

    How do you compare a week of traffic jams to what Bain & Co. did?

  183. 183
    cleek says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    What are peoples’ odds on how much damage this scandal ends up doing to CC?

    based on what we know right now?

    -10 health points, which will be regained by this time next year. utterly insignificant.

  184. 184
    tybee says:

    the threads about carter camp bring back an early college memory.
    spring quarter in 1973, dee brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee had just come out that spring in paperback (which meant that i could afford to buy it – the hardback was too expensive for a poor college student).
    the AIM takeover had just been announced on the news the day before.
    i was reading the book just before a class and a professor (unfamiliar with the book) walked by and commented that the author must have stayed up all night writing that book as the “incident” had just been announced.
    just one of those memories that sticks out….

  185. 185
    Paul in KY says:

    @Talentless Hack: Travis Barker is the backbone of Blink-182.

  186. 186
    Paul in KY says:

    @Pogonip: He was the bane of Moledor!

  187. 187
    J R in WV says:

    @jeffreyw:

    Wow! I’d take that guy home! What a cute puppeh, looks like he could run in circles for hours!

  188. 188
    cat says:

    @brendancalling:

    A rock band ain’t shit without a drummer, for starters. The drummer and the bass player hold the whole thing together.

    Unless you are The Doors ofc.

  189. 189
    MCA1 says:

    @Hill Dweller: This. I’m all down with everyone’s defense of catchers from AL’s (admittedly) ignorant dismissal, but very few high school catchers are calling pitches – they’re relaying signals from the bench, or they’re guessing what the pitcher wants to throw until they guess right. That may have changed from 20 years ago when I was playing high school/Legion ball, as the sophistication of the game has trickled down immensely in that time. But in the early ’80’s, I’m pretty confident in saying that the catcher was likely to be the guy on the team who was slow but had a decent arm and wasn’t afraid of blocking a ball with his equipment. Oftentimes, it was the hockey goalie if he played baseball, too. The best athletes on most high school baseball teams were the shortstop and the center fielder, and they doubled as pitchers.

    Also, Wildstein was not providing any sabermetric information to his team circa 1980, as such information didn’t exist. There was no video scouting of opposing teams, there was no pitch charting, no one kept pitch counts or valued walks much, etc. etc. in those days. The guy probably kept the team batting averages and basic counting stats for hitters as well as pitchers’ ERA, BB’s and K’s, and sat on the bench with the scorebook during the game.

    For Christie to say he basically didn’t even know the guy is still ridiculous – of course you’d know the waterboy – but to suggest they were probably in close coordination is a big stretch. Again, high school ball, early ’80’s. Recall that The Bad News Bears was set about 5 years before Christie graduated high school.

  190. 190
    cthulhu says:

    @Cervantes:

    Now if I had to have gotten to the underlying conduct, there was plenty underlying conduct there to fire her on too.

    That’s interesting right there.

    Sadly unasked follow-up question: Did you encourage her to be truthful and forthcoming in her testimony to the Committee?

  191. 191
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You bet. Ask someone else to keep time. Good luck.

    Saw a Rolling Stones doc last year in which they said they followed Keith, not Charlie. But they didn’t have too much luck with that.

  192. 192
    Rex Everything says:

    Are you kidding me, AL? Drummers make or break a band. OK, Keith Moon’s or John Bonham’s antics were funny, I guess. But both of them absolutely MADE their bands (and those bands didn’t consist of slouches either). And the point generalizes.

  193. 193
    Cervantes says:

    @cthulhu: So I’m wondering if you’d apply the word “moronic” to this aspect of what he did.

  194. 194
    Paul in KY says:

    @cat: Doors had a hell of a drummer.

  195. 195
    cthulhu says:

    @Cervantes: Well, I never took Christie to be a moron. But if your asking whether I think this explanation holds water, he was a US Attorney albeit not the most ethical of one. I would imagine he would know what he could do and could not do under the circumstances. I think it is another example of the vast divergence between Christie’s previous image and the one tossed about these days (take charge, hands on vs remote executive, leave everything up to others). Quite the personality switch.

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