He drove off to his local, where he felt anti-social

I love local politics. The angles people are taking are more complicated and the reporting is much better (because it’s done by hard-working middle-class journalists not millionaire corporate shills). Things don’t break down as neatly into liberal versus conservative, and there are a lot of people in both parties who are genuinely interested in helping their communities. On the other hand, it can be depressing, especially the level of corruption and the realization that some of your fellow travelers are irredeemable assholes.

From what I’ve seen with various projects around Rochester, I’d say it’s not unlikely that Bridgegate had something do with the billion-dollar Hudson lights project taking place near the GWB:

One of the top Democrats in New Jersey told TPM on Monday that it’s “absolutely” possible a billion-dollar redevelopment project is at the root of the scandal that has consumed Gov. Chris Christie (R) in recent days.

[….]

“Would these developments play a role in this and be sort of a typical Jersey political story? Absolutely,” Weinberg said. “It could have been to show this developer: ‘You want a piece of the action? I want — I’m making something up here — I want to be the traffic consultant, I want to be the attorney who rents out the property,’ or, you know, whatever.”

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88 replies
  1. 1
    Cervantes says:

    I agree. It’s plausible.

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Slap and Tickle. Excellent.

  3. 3
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    If one must have an earworm, Slap and Tickle is acceptable. Though Tempted is even better IMHO.

  4. 4
    srv says:

    Bob Gates is angry:

    “Well, for a micromanaging White House, they should go look in the mirror,” Gates told Couric. “Maybe they ought to think about how they do business. And I think it’s fair to say that the book is a lot more critical about the people around the president than it is of the president.”

    “Frankly, I just don’t buy the notion that the book shouldn’t have been written or shouldn’t have been written for another three years or that it is a negative narrative about President Obama,” Gates said.

    Gates pointed out that many of Obama’s top aides were “in high school or undergraduates” when he took his first Cabinet-level position, as President George H.W. Bush’s Central Intelligence Agency director in 1987. To the Obama aides, Gates told Couric, “I was sort of the geezer.”

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Another Nail in my Heart beats both.

  6. 6
    cmorenc says:

    According to Fox News, the Christie matter is now “nothing to see here, move along” following what they covered as a highly successful apology press conference. You will not see the slightest hint of a Christie story at their website tonight, nothing about the feds investigating his possible use of Sandy relief money to make campaign ads for himself.

  7. 7
    Bill Arnold says:

    My current favorite wild and completely unsupported guess is that it’s a baseball thing:
    Three strikes -> “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
    (1) Hudson Lights development project (the main strike being that it is the FT Lee mayor’s pet project)
    (2) Problems getting Christie judges confirmed
    (3) FT Lee mayor’s lack of endorsement.
    (OK 1 and 3 are similar. Maybe look for another strike.)

  8. 8
    Trollhattan says:

    A couple congressional districts away from me, one of the Good Guys is retiring: George Miller (D–CA).

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/capito.....o-run.html

  9. 9

    Squeezin in some good post titles, DougJ

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    Fuck Max Baucus, also, too.

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: On general principle or has he done something egregious?

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: At this point, I am much more willing to listen to this angle than TRMS theory.
    For just spinning wheels and not knowing what box to stuff all this mess into, this theory has $$$ in it, and that means political power/favors.

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: All of the above. He’s a POS but this is specific to the fast tracking attempt on the TPP.
    Hate that fucking guy, and hate being in bed with that fucking guy.

  14. 14
    Trollhattan says:

    @srv:

    Herd bits of his multi-part interview on Morning Edition. He was playing the I’m-too-emotionally-connected-to-the-troops trope like a hammer dulcimer.

    “Hi, I’m Bob Gates and I have a book to sell. Also, too, the preznit is near.”

    A cautionary tale to future presidents on the wisdom of keeping cabinet baggage left over from the previous administration in order to burnish your ‘bpartisan bona fides.” Look at all the good that’s done for Obama.

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    Speaker-elect Vincent Prieto in NJ could not be any more classic NJ Pol than if he had walked right off central casting.

  16. 16
    Garbo says:

    All this Squeeze love. You are good people.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @Trollhattan:

    like a hammer dulcimer.

    Wow.

  18. 18
    smintheus says:

    Possible is different from likely. Doesn’t explain so well why the conspirators were taking so much pleasure in messing with “The Serbian”. Also doesn’t exactly explain why Wildstein responded to the subpoena by including a doc showing that Christie was supposed to meet with Samson a week before the chaos was unleashed. Why would Samson need to be involved in a simple shakedown-message?

    And why would Samson help them to “retaliate” when the NY authorities forced the lanes to be reopened? If the message was already sent, then what was the axe that they and Samson were grinding?

    The whole thing looks very personal and full of animus.

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: It certainly makes more sense than the other reasons that have been put forward.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    It’s a fact that real estate development is where the money is in local politics. Not so much nationally, not counting The Donald, and I don’t. So it’s very plausible that developers and development are playing a role here– And where has Christie been getting the money for his campaigns, anyhow, if I may ask?

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    @srv: Saw a bit of his interview of the Today Show. He’s got a neckbrace and it’s bunching up his jowls and he looks really odd. Matt Lauer asked something and Gates protested that whatever Lauer said was being taken out of context. It wasn’t. It’s like Gates doesn’t even know what’s in his own book.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @smintheus:

    Doesn’t explain so well why the conspirators were taking so much pleasure in messing with “The Serbian”.

    What I thought about that little part, was they said something like, “a tough November for the little Serbian”.
    Well, just speculating, but since financing for Hudson Lights hadn’t yet been firmed up, and did not get firmed up until the next week after the lanes opened back up, maybe they thought he would be sweating balls trying to convince the finance guys the development deal was really a solid investment?
    And would be begging these guys to come back to the table and sign off on it?

  23. 23
    muricafukyea says:

    When you break down fat bastard Christie’s Sergeant Shultz defense there are really only 3 conclusions.

    A) He’s completely incompetent at his job for not knowing what is going on around him including what his his closest handpicked aids are doing. But only the stuff that makes him look bad. He like totally knows what is going on when it makes him look good.

    B) He is lying through his teeth.

    C) Both.

    Meanwhile the wr0ng way Coles of the world are all ackey breaky heart over their man crush going sour. Twisting themselves into knots to try believe the increasingly unbelievable bullshit coming from fat bastards mouth.

  24. 24
    Trollhattan says:

    @Violet:

    Paints quite the picture. Get that man a fat, white laptop cat, stat!

  25. 25
    Bill Arnold says:

    @MattF:

    So it’s very plausible that developers and development are playing a role here– And where has Christie been getting the money for his campaigns, anyhow, if I may ask?

    Yeah, this is where to look. e.g. Is the Hudson Lights developer(s) a Christie supporter?

  26. 26
    burnspbesq says:

    All of the theories about the bridge scandal share two things: (1) superficial plausibility and (2) a distinct lack of evidence to support them.

    I think I’m waiting for Kelly’s testimony before I draw any conclusions.

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Is the Hudson Lights developer(s) a Christie supporter?

    Or – enemy?

  28. 28
    Trollhattan says:

    @muricafukyea:

    Am really warming to the Borowitz theory.

    TRENTON (The Borowitz Report)—At a hastily called press conference today, Chris Christie revealed that he only became aware that he was the governor of New Jersey in the past seventy-two hours.

    “Unbeknownst to me, some people I thought I could trust were secretly working to elect me governor of this state,” a visibly stunned Christie told reporters. “I have acted swiftly and fired them all.” While asserting that he had terminated all of the people who were involved in the scheme to elect him, he said that, if he finds additional conspirators, “I will deal with them accordingly.”…

    http://www.newyorker.com/onlin.....ernor.html

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    @burnspbesq: Has Kelly surfaced yet? I haven’t seen or heard anything from or about her except what happened before the story broke. And I doubt she’ll testify without a deal. It’s gotta be a race for the deal now. Who’s got the most dirt and who gets the deal first wins immunity.

  30. 30
    Thlayli says:

    You have to throw the stone to get the pool to ripple….

    My freshman year of college, 45s and Under was one of the three albums everyone on the floor had. The others were the Cure compilation Standing on a Beach and the first Violent Femmes album. Also too, all the guys had Licensed to Ill, but none of the girls did. I don’t know why.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    @Bill Arnold: The theories are all good, as long as they keep the often overlooked dark side of Christie in the news. The guy’s got lots of shady bullying BS, dishonest policy spinning, and thuggery in his background that were not considered appropriate to look at. Now that is OK to look at.

    As I mentioned in earlier thread, the fed investigation into Christie padding a disaster relief public service announcement program in order to turn it into little more than a Christie campaign ad buy is considered worth reporting now.

    If the Ft. Lee traffic jam scheme was about the Ft. Lee development project, I guess that could make it more likely that Christie’s staff was going rogue behind his back to see if they could get some influence or some take from the project. But that wold reflect on the kind of people worked for Christie and the kind of methods that were considered appropriate. At least there would be an understandable motive.

    Whatever happens, the scandal makes looking at the dark shadows of the Christie approach to politics and policy an inherently interesting news item. Which is good. And I think if Christie’s chances in the 2016 general get dimmer, one of the few reasons for the wingnut GOP base to put up with him is gone.

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I think I’m waiting for Kelly’s testimony before I draw any conclusions.

    I am also eager to hear more testimony on the record. But what I don’t think anyone here has to wait to understand is that any time someone with power/money/position is in a tight spot, you will certainly be there to defend them. The record on that is pretty clear.

  33. 33
    MattF says:

    @burnspbesq: Here’s a take on Bridget Anne:

    http://www.irishcentral.com/st.....83121.html

    If he’s right, Christie is dead meat.

  34. 34
    srv says:

    @Violet: I wish John was older, he’d be so much easier to set off.

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet:

    It’s gotta be a race for the deal now. Who’s got the most dirt and who gets the deal first wins immunity.

    I thought that was what Wildstein was doing at his hearing. Firing off a red signal flare that he wanted to be first past the post to spill his guts under wide immunity.

  36. 36
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Corner Stone:

    since financing for Hudson Lights hadn’t yet been firmed up, and did not get firmed up until the next week after the lanes opened back up, maybe they thought he would be sweating balls trying to convince the finance guys the development deal was really a solid investment?

    Doubt there is any evidence for that in writing.

  37. 37
    DougJ says:

    @Thlayli:

    Same with my dorm. I was class of 91.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    Christie-related tidbits today:
    Endorsement was mentioned:

    FORT LEE – Mayor Mark Sokolich confirmed Monday that the idea of his endorsing Governor Christie did come up during the governor’s bid for reelection.

    But the Democratic mayor said he was never asked directly to endorse the Republican politician and he would not disclose who made the overture.

    “It got as close as `Is this something you’d consider?’” Sokolich said before refusing to answer any more questions.

    More people paid attention to the polar vortex than the Christie scandal. And Christie’s approval ratings are virtually unchanged:

    According to Pew, 60 percent of all Americans indicated their opinion of the New Jersey governor has not changed. The reaction was essentially the same among those who are paying attention, too.

    Fifty-seven percent of those who are following the bridge scandal “very” or “fairly” closely said their opinion of Christie hasn’t changed.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh, yeah, that was what he was doing. But Kelly may have more dirt or already be talking to the right people. Or something. Who knows. Maybe they’ll do a joint deal and both get immunity to tell their various sides.

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bill Arnold: You mean there’s not an email that says, “Let’s fuck that Serbian by closing access lanes so the financing for the billion dollar development deal guys hold off” ?

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    @Violet:

    Has Kelly surfaced yet?

    She is apparently hiding out in the trackless wastes of Ramsey. If Christie gets to her before the Assembly or the US Attorney’s office, she may become part of the football field at Don Bosco.

    Who’s got the most dirt and who gets the deal first wins immunity.

    ‘Zactly.

  42. 42
    srv says:

    Nattering nobobs of negativity, tis but a flesh wound, and Christie is floating to the top:

    The scandal has so far exacted only a modest price on the governor’s job approval rating. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said they approved of Christie’s performance, down from 65% in December. Disapproval rose to 32%, up from 25% last month. Most of the decline reflected a loss of support among Democrats and political independents, suggesting many were viewing the developments through a partisan lens.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/.....z2qK8dN95m

  43. 43
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MattF:

    And where has Christie been getting the money for his campaigns, anyhow, if I may ask?

    Hurricane Sandy relief funds from the Feds.

  44. 44
    burnspbesq says:

    @Corner Stone:

    any time someone with power/money/position is in a tight spot, you will certainly be there to defend them.

    What the fuck are you talking about, you deranged asshole? Who am I defending here?

    Jeezus. Get a life.

  45. 45
    geg6 says:

    Ooooo, great band, great song.

    Fucking Jersey Whale (I love you, Tbogg!) is toast. Soon as I heard Kornacki mention this Saturday (or yesterday, can’t remember now), I knew it sounded right. A land deal. So Jersey. Like water deals in California.

  46. 46
    jl says:

    @srv: Is it even a week since the smoking gun texts and emails came out? I will await developments, and trust public opinion, especially among Democrats and Independents, to evolve accordingly.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    jl says:

    @burnspbesq:

    ” (2) a distinct lack of evidence to support them. ”

    I do not understand what you are thinking, or smoking. What were the ‘time for traffic in Ft. Lee’ communications about? Were they code talking about a surprise birthday party, or what?

    Edit: I mean, for goodness sake, we do not fully understand the motive or motives yet, but do we not have intent? There was some sort of scandal involving political payback or influence or muscling in on some financial action. Or are you going to get all lawyer up in peoples’ grills about it not being nothing unless some courtroom BS. You peddling some BS about there is no scandal unless convicted in a court of law, or what?

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    @jl: Yeah, this is the kind of drip-drip-drip story that takes awhile to seep into public consciousness. At this point there’s probably some awareness of it by a lot of people, but they haven’t yet formed an opinion. However, weeks of more news coming out, underhanded deals, laws being broken, committee testimony, and the whole thing creeping ever closer to Christie isn’t going to do him any good.

    I hope the story goes on a long time with more details coming out all the time. It’ll not only damage Christie but it will rub off on the Republicans in general and “moderate Republicans” in specific. That in turn will embolden tea partiers (“See! We’re the pure ones you can trust!”) who the general public find a bit too scary in general elections. It’s just a win all the way around if you’re not a Republican.

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    @jl: Christie’s staff was going rogue behind his back

    I don’t believe this in a New York nanosecond. You don’t get creative with a boss like that, and you sure don’t pull a stunt like this on your own.

    Christie was the one who said, “Do it.”

  51. 51
    Violet says:

    @jl: I think burnsie is right on this one. Right now there’s a lot of data and plenty of theories but so far the dots haven’t been connected. Those folks who are following it closely, like northjersey.com and TPM and Steven Kornacki are saying pretty much the same thing. They’re speculating based on data, but it isn’t adding up yet.

  52. 52
    geg6 says:

    @WereBear:

    Or he’s said do it in so many other situations that there was no question as to what the boss wanted in situations like this one.

  53. 53
    DougJ says:

    @burnspbesq:

    All of the theories about the bridge scandal share two things: (1) superficial plausibility and (2) a distinct lack of evidence to support them.

    Yeah, but, you are aware that there’s an invention called blogs, and on this invention they speculate about superficially plausible things with a distinct lack of evidence to support them?

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @DougJ:

    there’s an invention called blogs, and on this invention they speculate about superficially plausible things with a distinct lack of evidence to support them?

    Sounds cool. Where would I find a good one?

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @jl:

    we do not fully understand the motive or motives yet, but do we not have intent?

    I think we have intent, but there are still a lot of pieces missing. I’m happy to keep the story in the news, though.

  56. 56
    piratedan says:

    @TaMara (BHF): for this situation, I would humbly suggest Messed Around might even be more appropriate….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7OEk6aRdy4

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @geg6: Exactly. The guy is KNOWN for his temper and his career ambitions. Some bright young assistant is going to take this on… and convince others?

    Never happen.

  58. 58
    Linnaeus says:

    Take it to the bridge/Throw it overboard/See if it can swim/Back up to the shore/No one’s in the house/Everyone is out/All the lights are on/And the blinds are down

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Violet:

    I’m happy to keep the story in the news, though.

    Yeah, it is like the old LBJ pig-fucker story. “I just want to make him deny it.

  60. 60
    Roger Moore says:

    @WereBear:

    Christie was the one who said, “Do it.”

    The Boss said, “Make it stuck.” Little Bridget made traffic stuck, all right.

  61. 61
    catclub says:

    @Trollhattan: Only democrats do that.

    “carryover old cabinet secretaries in order to burnish your ‘bpartisan bona fides.”

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @Violet: @DougJ:

    It seems to me that the texts and emails released last week, along with documents proving a bogus, maliciously incompetent fake traffic study, establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was, in fact, misbehavior and possible criminal wrongdoing in Christie’s administration.

    We don’t know the motives, and we do not know the extent and nature of Christie’s involvement or malfeasance or incompetence yet. But there are several smoking guns that this is a definite, real, serious scandal. So, what am I missing? It is a scandal, proven and documented, period.

    What, it’s not a ‘real’ scandal unless it involves a criminal verdict against Christie himself? I don’t want to go fluffing up Bengazi BS against Christie, but I don’t think GWBridgeGate is a fake scandal.

  63. 63
    👾 Martin says:

    @srv:

    Gates pointed out that many of Obama’s top aides were “in high school or undergraduates” when he took his first Cabinet-level position,

    Sounds like he could have titled his book ‘Everyone is on my lawn’ and skipped all the writing, publishing only the cover.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @👾 Martin: Also, Mozart was dead at about half Gates’s age.

  65. 65
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Another Nail in my Heart beats both.

    “Pulling Mussels (from the shell)” is pretty nifty, too.

  66. 66
    Violet says:

    @jl: I think it’s a real scandal! It’s unfolding in real time so we don’t yet know how it all fits together. Right now the smoke is so thick we can’t see who’s on fire. Someone is. Maybe multiple someones. It doesn’t look good for Christie, that’s for sure. But people slither out of stuff all the time, so who knows how this will play out in the end.

    Like I said above, the more dirt that comes out, the more people will review other Christie-related things and possibly uncover more dirt. And the more that’s uncovered, the more tarnished Christie becomes.

    Here are some examples:

    15 Chris Christie Controversies You Missed
    (Politico Magazine).

    Christie faces dual investigations–bridge scandal and Sandy aid. (NJ.com)

    I don’t have another link left or I’ll go into moderation, but there’s another one where the Mayor of Jersey City said a bunch of meetings with Christie’s office were canceled hours after he said he wouldn’t endorse Christie. A lot of people are looking back at stuff in a different light.

  67. 67
    Trollhattan says:

    @catclub:

    Sadly true.

  68. 68
    Trollhattan says:

    @Violet:

    “When you’ve lost Politico….” That this bridge thang is the tip of the Christieberg should surprise aproximately nobody. That he’ll be torpedoed (mixing my metaphor) over something so trivial and petty is a testament to his sparkling personality and governatin’ capabilities.

    Up north, Rob Ford wants to give Christie a big ol’ hug and some bong hits.

  69. 69
    jl says:

    @Violet: Thanks. I was probably over reacting to whatever burns Esq was trying to say, and started yelling at you, because, I am cranky today

    Maybe I’ll ring up Bob Gates and we can spend the evening yelling at clouds together.

  70. 70
    sparrow says:

    @cmorenc: Thy have a full-page photo of Bamz AND Hillary with some nonsense about BENGHAAAAAAAZI. So you know the Christie thing is bad.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl:

    Maybe I’ll ring up Bob Gates and we can spend the evening yelling at clouds together.

    Not on his lawn.

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @srv:

    “I was sort of the geezer.”

    Yes, and it shows, with your despicable “you kids get off my lawn” attitude, Gates.

    What a fucking asshole. Add this guy to the tumbrel list.

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    @jl: No worries. Like I said, I’m just happy that Christie is getting this kind of scrutiny. Drip, drip, drip. That’s how it went with Watergate too. Took awhile for the dirt to come out and people to be investigated. Nixon didn’t resign the first day.

    Not that this is Watergate, but any ongoing scandal connected to not only one of the perceived front runners for the Republicans in 2016, but the current head of the Republican Governors Association–whose job is to go around the country and fund raise on the behalf of other Republicans–is a good thing in my book. Will Governors and other Republicans want to be seen with Christie? Each of them will have to make that decision. Will donors give if he’s there? That Republicans have to think about that stuff is all good.

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    About all these Dems releasing all their emails and faxes with regards to Governor Krispy Kreme:

    All the Dems who haven’t been licking Christie’s boots and have been
    disgusted by watching other Dems kiss his ass….they have been waiting for this moment. They have just been sitting there, seething, waiting for the moment that they can torpedo Gov. Krispy Kreme.

    And hell no, now that they have their opening, they’re going all in.

    This isn’t done….no way, no how.

    They’re just getting started.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    Mitch McConnell’s grand, ingenious strategy
    By Greg Sargent
    January 13 at 2:18 pm

    Here’s Mitch McConnell, sobbing hot tears in Politico magazine about the long lost days when legislation used to pass the Senate with bipartisan support:

    When you look at the vote tallies for some of the more far-reaching legislation over the past century, for example, the Senate was broadly in agreement.

    Medicare and Medicaid were both approved with the support of about half the members of the minority. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed with the votes of 30 out of 32 members of the Republican minority. Only six senators voted against the Social Security Act. Only eight voted against the Americans With Disabilities Act.

    None of this happened by throwing these bills together in a back room, then sending them to the floor with a stopwatch running. It happened through a laborious process of persuasion and coalition-building. It took time and patience and hard work. Importantly, it also guaranteed that every one of these laws had stability and wouldn’t be endlessly relitigated.

    Now compare that to the attitude behind Obamacare. When Democrats couldn’t convince Republicans that this bill was worth supporting as written, they plowed ahead on their own and passed it on a party-line vote.

    That’s why the chaos this law has visited on our country is not just tragic, it was entirely predictable. Chaos will always be the result if you approach legislation without regard for the views of the other side.

    Ed Kilgore has a very good response, noting that McConnell and the GOP are forever searching for ways to undermine these very social programs, and that they wouldn’t have passed under today’s GOP.

    I’d add one point, though. Guess who has usefully confirmed for us that Republicans actively worked to deny Obama bipartisan support for his proposals for strategic reasons? Mitch McConnell, that’s who. Here is what McConnell said just after the 2010 elections, back when his strategy was looking fearsomely brilliant:

    “We worked very hard to keep our fingerprints off of these proposals,” McConnell says. “Because we thought — correctly, I think — that the only way the American people would know that a great debate was going on was if the measures were not bipartisan. When you hang the ‘bipartisan’ tag on something, the perception is that differences have been worked out, and there’s a broad agreement that that’s the way forward.”

    …………

    Maintaining undiluted Republican opposition to Obama’s agenda was central to maintaining that fiction. (The ongoing assault on Tea Party dogma from Michael Gerson and Michael Strain is interesting because it directly calls out this fiction, as Jonathan Chait has argued.) We know this was the game plan because McConnell told us so himself, though he didn’t put it that way.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....y/?hpid=z2

  76. 76
    feebog says:

    @burnspbesq:

    All of the theories about the bridge scandal share two things: (1) superficial plausibility and (2) a distinct lack of evidence to support them.

    Does it really matter exactly what the motive was at this point? It could be any of the three motives already thrown out there, any combination of the three, or something we don’t even know about yet. Bottom line is that this was clearly political retribution for something. The motive will come out eventually, and it is not necessary to establish the motive at this stage of the investigation.

    I think I’m waiting for Kelly’s testimony before I draw any conclusions.

    Don’t hold your breath. If she has a lawyer of any competence whatsoever she is going to be claiming the 5th on every single question put to her by the Transportation Committee. She is not going to cooperate until she gets multi-agency blanket immunity. She is without a doubt the weak link in this fiasco, but we are not going to hear from her any time soon.

  77. 77
    rikyrah says:

    An odd silence among Senate Dems on Iran
    By Greg Sargent
    January 13 at 12:01 pm

    The White House has invited the entire Senate Democratic caucus to meet privately with the president on Wednesday evening, a Dem aide confirms, adding that Dems expect one of the topics to be Iran.

    Which raises a question: Where are all the Senate Democrats on the bill to impose sanctions on Iran that is being pushed by Senators Robert Menendez and Chuck Schumer? How many of them are really prepared to support this bill, and how many oppose it? By my count, more than half the Democratic caucus have been mum on where they stand.

    Will the announcement that the six month deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program is moving forward undercut the momentum of those pushing for a new sanctions bill? The White House says such a bill could derail negotiations and make war more likely, right at the moment when the process is showing preliminary signs of working.

    Right now, the current count of Senators who are co-sponsoring the Iran sanctions bill is at 58, with 16 Democratic Senators supporting it. Meanwhile, 10 Democratic committee chairs have come out against the bill. Harry Reid is said to be against it, too. That leaves nearly 30 Senate Dems unaccounted for.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....s-on-iran/

  78. 78
    rikyrah says:

    Fox Announces Spring Premiere Dates for 24: Live Another Day, Surviving Jack and More

    Jack Bauer’s latest day from hell will commence this May.

    Fox announced Monday that its 12-episode event series, 24: Live Another Day, will premiere with a special two-hour episode on Monday, May 5, before settling into its regular Monday-at-9/8c time period on Monday, May 12.

    24: LAD will find Kiefer Sutherland’s clock-watcher attempting to thwart an unthinkable terrorist attack in London (where the series will be set)

    http://tvline.com/2014/01/13/2.....iere-date/

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    Dems call GOP bluff on jobless benefits

    By Greg Sargent
    January 10 at 2:05 pm

    Harry Reid is now set to allow votes on a “reasonable number” of amendments to legislation extending unemployment benefits that GOP Senators are pushing for, his office tells me.

    Republicans had been furious with Reid for blocking their amendments, and he got pummeled today by tough pieces in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal over his opposition to letting them move forward.

    What made these stories tough for Reid was that two amendments came from GOP Senators who supported cloture on the initial three-month unemployment extension — Kelly Ayotte and Rob Portman. As the Times piece put it today, despite their support for the initial UI legislation, their amendments were blocked by the “brutish” Senate Majority Leader.

    Instead, Democrats rolled out their own new legislation — an 11 month extension paid for by continuing mandatory sequester cuts much later — but Republicans balked, citing the refusal to allow votes on amendments as the reason why.

    But Reid’s office tells me he’s re-opened discussions with Republicans who are negotiating with Dems over UI — Senators like Ayotte, Portman, and Dean Heller — and told them he’s now willing to allow votes on a certain number of Republican amendments.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....-benefits/

  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    igorvolsky @igorvolsky
    Follow

    New Obamacare numbers: 2.2M in private coverage 30% ages 0-34; 24% ages 18-34 (enrollment for this group increased 8x in Dec!)
    3:00 PM – 13 Jan 2014

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:

    @Violet:

    Right now the smoke is so thick we can’t see who’s on fire.

    I don’t know which people are on fire, but Chris Christie’s pants are definitely on fire right now.

  82. 82
    rikyrah says:

    Morning Plum: Republicans all over the map on jobless benefits

    By Greg Sargent
    January 13 at 9:12 am

    With a crucial Senate vote set for today on the Democratic plan to extend jobless benefits, Republicans continue to offer one reason after another for opposing the extension. At this point, their rationales are all over the place.

    Oddly, though, it has fallen to a Republican Senator to reveal just how flimsy GOP reasoning on the issue has become. On Face the Nation yesterday, Marco Rubio declared that there is a “general consensus” that jobless benefits should be extended. If true, this is certainly welcome news. But note how Rubio said this. Asked by CBS’s Bob Schieffer if there is any way Congress might pass an extension, the Senator said:

    “I do think there is an outcome that we can arrive at. And if you look at it, I there is a general consensus that these programs need to be extended, but they need to be paid for. And in addition to that, maybe not as part of this effort right away, but in the long term we need to figure out way to reform those programs so that we get more people back to work.”

    Elsewhere in the same interview, Rubio, speaking in general about federal anti-poverty programs, said: “As far as the war on poverty is concerned, its programs have utility; they do help alleviate the consequences of poverty, but they don’t help people to emerge from that poverty.”

    Taken together, these statements are useful additions to the debate. Their logical implication is that even if you think programs like UI need to be overhauled for the good of poor people themselves, that still isn’t an argument against extending UI right now. After all, programs like these “help alleviate poverty” in the short term. Those who care about helping poor Americans should support a temporary extension — to alleviate short-term economic suffering – while eying broader reforms for later.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....-benefits/

  83. 83
    slippytoad says:

    I know this is a catastrophe for Christie for two reasons:

    #1, I went to my favorite right-wing cesspool just a few minutes ago, and the pages were a-blazin’ with Benghazi like it happened yesterday.

    #2, I just read that Fox News has declared the scandal over.

    Christie is making a Google-tastic trail of news right now of himself refuting that he is a bully. That he is only either a vindictive, sociopathic asshole, or that he hires sociopathic, vindictive assholes and then plays see no evil with them. Either narrative looks like shit for him as a President, and his buddies are under federal investigation right now, an investigation he can’t buy off or scare away.

    Which is why I chortle at poll numbers taken today. He’s not on most Americans’ radar for POTUS, and thanks to this now he never will be, I promise. But boy, oh, boy are the wingers fucking nuts today about the fact that a real Republican scandal is actually growing in front of their horrified eyes, so they are frantically wishing a “both sides do it” Obama scandal into being.

    It’s so . . . cute, almost.

  84. 84
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @rikyrah:

    Morning Plum: Republicans all over the map on jobless benefits

    Does “all over the map” = “in disarray”?

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    @rikyrah: Bunch of cowards.

  86. 86
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Annie Get Your Gun.

    Up the Junction
    is their best sad song.

  87. 87
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m not so surprised that the polling on Chris Christie hasn’t been significantly affected, up or down, by Bridgegate. (For some reason, I keep thinking of it as Bridgetgate, maybe because of Ms Kelly’s first name.) It remains to be seen if Christie’s successor as US Attorney, who’s just started sniffing around, will end up filing charges against him; or if Christie’s ruined as a presidential candidate; or if Bridgegate or the misuse of Hurricane Sandy funds will force an end his career. But to those who follow politics, what’s come out so far seems entirely in character for him.

  88. 88
    Jewish Steel says:

    I must be in a minority but Goodbye Girl is my favorite. That beat!

Comments are closed.