The politics of ooh feeling good

Chris Christie was photographed with David Wildstein on September 11 of 2013, during the lane closure. A few days ago, Christie claimed:

“I have had no contact with David Wildstein in a long time, a long time, well before the election,” which was held Nov. 5, Mr. Christie said last week. “You know, I could probably count on one hand the number of conversations I’ve had with David since he worked at the Port Authority. I did not interact with David.”

As I’ve said before, the lane closure story is bigger politically than the national media thinks. The misuse of Sandy funds is probably nowhere near as important.

The official establishment punditry line about Bridgegate will be “local politics is messy”. And indeed, people understand that there’s a lot of graft in local politics, probably especially in the northeast. Greasing palms and letting your own palm be greased is one thing, though, and being a dick to thousands of motorists is quite another.

The gap between elite media’s embrace of blatant assholery (everybody needs to feel the pain, etc.) and the voting public’s distaste for it is very wide. In some ways, this gap may be the most important story in contemporary politics. Yes, being an asshole towards mythical strapping young bucks and welfare queens has been good politics for the GOP over the past 40 years, but that’s racism, not a universal unconditional love of dickishness.

And yes, the right and its stooges at Washington Post et al. have done a good job of duping the public about the wonders of austerity, what with the number of Jesus dollars we owe in debt and the incontrovertible truth that when I tighten my belt, gubmint should tighten its too. I’d argue they’ve done it not by convincing people that budget cuts are awesome but by convincing them that austerity will be good for the economy. The public isn’t so much laissez faire as laissez les bon temps rouler.

John had it right:

what really is killing the Republican party is that deep down, they are just complete assholes.

Yes, Republicans and much of establishment media think there’s not much downside to being an asshole, that, at best, it’s wise Burkean tough love and at worst it’s boys will be boys. They’re wrong.

Reagan managed to come across as a genial guy. So did Bush in 2000.

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197 replies
  1. 1
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    The politics of movin’, uh huh.

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    What makes this Christie stuff sweeter is that it’s the WSJ doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

  3. 3
    Gene108 says:

    The bigger issue, for Republicans at least, since Nixon is the ability to abuse Executive power without consequences.

    Christie could have proven he is ready for the national stage, but he and his underlings a clearly bush league, with extent of the “paper” trail they have left behind to tie themselves to the bridge closure.

  4. 4
    elmo says:

    While Christie was doing his neverending press conference of denial and sadness, more than a few media people were saying, essentially, “He’s making some pretty strong denials – he must be really sure none of the smoking guns have his fingerprints on them. He’d never go this far out on a limb if there was a chance he’d get caught lying.”

    Wonder what those media people will say now?

  5. 5
    Dave says:

    Geniality is a lot like sincerity and integrity… Once you learn to fake it, you’ve got it made.

  6. 6
    chopper says:

    Chris Christie was photographed with David Wildstein on September 11 of 2013, during the lane closure.

    of course he was. christie is an old-school politician. he doesn’t realize that there’s this thing called the internet where it’s relatively easy to find out if you’re telling the truth when you say ‘him? don’t know the guy really, i haven’t even spoken to him in ages’.

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Too bad David Brooks wasn’t driving across the GWB at that time.

  8. 8
    C.V. Danes says:

    People don’t generally think they need the government until they do, like when 300,000 people have to go without drinking water because a company dumps chemicals a mile and a half upstream of the water supply due to cuts to environmental protection programs, and so on, and so on, and so on…

  9. 9
    C.V. Danes says:

    @chopper:

    of course he was. christie is an old-school politician. he doesn’t realize that there’s this thing called the internet where it’s relatively easy to find out if you’re telling the truth when you say ‘him? don’t know the guy really, i haven’t even spoken to him in ages’.

    Hence the dichotomy of the Internet: believe nothing you read, but the documentation will follow you forever.

  10. 10
    C.V. Danes says:

    @elmo:

    Wonder what those media people will say now?

    They’re saying the same thing Christie is saying…”We don’t remember saying that!”

  11. 11
    shortstop says:

    He’ll be gone before Memorial Day.

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    He was also the statistician for Christie’s high school baseball team. So the “we barely knew each other back then” bit is a crock too.

  13. 13
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Gene108:

    Christie could have proven he is ready for the national stage, but he and his underlings a clearly bush league, with extent of the “paper” trail they have left behind to tie themselves to the bridge closure.

    Christie lost his chance at the national stage when he couldn’t pass vetting by Romney. There are so many poison pills in his past that he would never have made it past the first round :-)

  14. 14
    piratedan says:

    what gets me is this assumption that just because you’re a professional it’s taken that you’re smart or competent in fields outside your bailiwick, call it the sleeping at a Holiday Inn Express syndrome. We see it with Neurosurgeons denying climate change and with Lawyers thinking that they’re politicians. Christie, if the reporting bears out, obviously didn’t pay enough attention to the guys he was prosecuting because he sure appears to be imitating and emulating their behavior instead of using it as an object lesson.

  15. 15
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    People don’t generally think they need the government until they do, like when 300,000 people have to go without drinking water because a company dumps chemicals a mile and a half upstream of the water supply due to cuts to environmental protection programs, and so on, and so on, and so on…

    But this is kind of the reason I think John and Doug are off about the harm of assholishness to the GOP. Yes, it’s a source of their problems, but it’s also the source of their strength: they simply don’t give a shit about governing norms because they just want success at all costs, and it seems like more often than not, that heartless ambition wins them more victories and fans than it does defeats and detractors precisely because, for many, it ‘doesn’t affect me’. Same reason why people think gov’t is useless until it directly affects them, people are willing to overlook blatant assholery and instead laud it as ‘go-getterism’ or simple ‘boys will be boys’ dismissiveness because they don’t live with the results.

    I hope Christie gets the boot for this, but it might come down to the locals demanding penance since they were directly affected, and the GOP’s penchant for shuttling losers just long enough until the public at large sends the incident down the memory hole. I’m honestly convinced most of the country would crucify Christie not for being an asshole but for ‘losing’ the political battle in the end if he does get the boot.

  16. 16
    Belafon says:

    @Cacti: Of course it is. Jocks don’t stick with nerds just because they went to high school together. He was chosen because Christie knew what his skills were.

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    @piratedan: Criminy, that’s right! He was a prosecutor!

    Yet he is making unbelievably stupid mistakes. I would gather he was not a very good prosecutor, hmmm?

  18. 18
    shortstop says:

    I have just discovered that the third baseman once worked (in the private sector) with one of the Names in this scandal, placing me three degrees from Governor Liesalot.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @elmo:

    Wonder what those media people will say now?

    “Mistakes were made.”

    These “journalists” are pathetic. No integrity, no pinciples, only an endless desire to suck up to the rich and powerful to get some of their leavings.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  20. 20
    Gene108 says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    Romney got his shot despite not passing McCain’s vetting process for Veep.

  21. 21
    Cacti says:

    @piratedan:

    Christie, if the reporting bears out, obviously didn’t pay enough attention to the guys he was prosecuting because he sure appears to be imitating and emulating their behavior instead of using it as an object lesson.

    Chris Christie survived the Bush administration US Attorney purge of 2006. In other words, the Bushies found him sufficiently corrupt or corruptible to keep his employment. He also used to work for Bernie Madoff’s lobbying org.

    Chris was less an attorney than a consigliere.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WereBear:

    He was a Federal Prosecutor who passed the Alberto Gonzales/Kkkarl Rove Federal Prosecutor test.

    Which tells you a great deal about him.

  23. 23
    Aji says:

    @WereBear: He was a Republican. That was all he needed to be.

  24. 24
    shortstop says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It did crack me up that Christie said “Mistakes were made” at least twice during the Press Conference That Would Not End. Talk about not knowing your political history.

  25. 25
    MCA1 says:

    Agree with DougJ. Even in the parts of the Midwest that have turned somewhat blood red or have been trending that way (Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin), while no one’s going to cringe at hard right policy positions, they still don’t appreciate people who are dicks. Buffoons like Steve King will be suffered, but Scott Walker acted like a prick and found himself in a recall battle needing more Koch money to avoid being turned out for it. Even if Christie’s positions were far enough right to jazz up the new rural Midwestern rightwinger (and they’re not), he’d never have a chance of flipping Iowa or Wisconsin or Ohio or Michigan because his basic demeanor so turns off the swingable voters there. He’s Tony Soprano to those people.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gene108:

    Yet Sarah Palin did.

    Which says a lot about both John McCain and the Marquis de Mittens.

  27. 27
    smintheus says:

    Christie and his entourage are really yukking it up in that photo. I guess that’s how assholes commemorate the 9/11/01 attacks.

  28. 28
    EconWatcher says:

    Reasonable minds can differ, but I’m struck more by the weirdo factor than by the jerk factor. Shutting down bridge lanes to retaliate against a local politician strikes me as just nuts. If we didn’t have plain documentation of it, I’d find it really hard to believe, because it’s just so weird.

    I’ve never been in Jersey longer than necessary to drive through it–is there some kind of cultural angle I’m missing that could make sense of this? On its face, it sounds like something from Doug Feith (isn’t he the one that wanted to invade some alleged random terrorist haven in South America in retaliation for 9-11, just to keep the terrorists guessing?)

    I think being perceived as a weirdo might be even worse than being a jerk. But YMMV.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    Same reason why people think gov’t is useless until it directly affects them,

    If you’ve seen any reporting from WV, it summed up by a bunch of people angry at the company but resigned to their fate. They’re drinking water provided by FEMA but probably hate FEMA for it.

  30. 30
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cacti: and one thing catchers never, ever care about is stats on other team’s batters, etc.

  31. 31
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon:

    I have absolutely no doubt that Christie and Wildstein were VERY close in High School, seeing as how Christie was the catcher on the team and Wildstein was the Sabermetrics guru.

    Unless Christie was a seriously shitty catcher. Which is not totally unbelievable, but pretty close to.

  32. 32
    Paul in KY says:

    @WereBear: He was ‘good’ enough that he didn’t get purged by Gonzalez/Rove.

  33. 33
    gbear says:

    @WereBear: He was also one of the prosecutors who wasn’t purged by Carl Rove and GWB when they got rid of all of the prosecutors that wouldn’t do political prosecutions. He kept his job because he was a toady willing to work with Rove.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Shit, one old woman was upset about the inconveniences of the crisis, but was afraid that Big Coal would be hurt by it.

    Too fucking stupid to live, this woman is.

  35. 35
    Paul in KY says:

    @Gene108: Did McCain really have a ‘vetting process’? How come he ended up with the High Plains Grifterette?

  36. 36
    Cacti says:

    @Paul in KY:

    and one thing catchers never, ever care about is stats on other team’s batters, etc.

    The former coach made Wildstein sound like the Billy Beane of New Jersey high school baseball. Not the sort of guy you’d tend to forget after graduation.

  37. 37

    I think Bernie Sanders has it right in this video he sent out to those on his mailing list. I will paraphrase what he says right at the end of the clip (I do recommend you watch it all the way through):

    We need to expose rightwing extremist Republicans for what the are: folks who are dependent upon Billionaire Dollars to fund their campaigns and who are at war with the middle class and working class.

    Will dickishness be enough to bring down politicians funded by these guys? I personally think it will not. Billions of dollars buys a lot of media content. Nothing will change until the Citizens United ruling is overturned by a constitutional amendment. (Sanders talks about it in the linked video)

  38. 38
    shortstop says:

    @Gene108: Someone should really explore the psychology of people who run for national office despite the graveyard full of skeletons in their closets. The rank arrogance that enables someone to have a seriously shady past yet think he can slide through anyway — well, it combines egotism, lack of self-awareness and a condescending belief that others aren’t smart enough to bust you.

    And I’m betting this phenomenon has a really short window: right now, the people in question are old enough (or, in some cases, old-school enough, as chopper says of Christie) not to understand how easy it is to uncover and widely disseminate information today. In a few years, even the most Luddite candidates will understand that their secrets aren’t going to stay secret.

  39. 39
    Paul in KY says:

    @smintheus: IMO, they’re yukking it up because they know what’s going on with the bridge (right then).

  40. 40
    Joey Maloney says:

    @elmo: Wonder what those media people will say now?

    “Who you going to believe – me, or your lying eyes?”

  41. 41
    Paul in KY says:

    @EconWatcher: It’s classic Jersey goomba politics. You don’t kiss my ring, here’s what happens Mayor Chump.

    Only the goobas usually do it better & with less of a trail.

  42. 42
    dedc79 says:

    Maybe I’ve missed it but I wish more journalists were linking the bridge scandal to Christie’s decision a few years ago to turn down tons of federal stimulus money to help build an additional train tunnel between NJ and NY. Anyone who has traveled frequently on Amtrak or NJ transit between NJ and NYC knows how much that tunnel was needed. The Governor is apparently more interested in creating traffic than reducing it though.

  43. 43
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Big Coal is the only employer in town. We can be angry that people have been made serfs, but someone’s fears about their own future prospects are still quite understandable.

  44. 44
    Paul in KY says:

    @EconWatcher: I think Mr. Fieth was just being pro-active about using 911 as a pretext to do every wacky thing they had ever thought/hoped about. I don’t think ‘keeping them guessing’ was his real reason for wanting to hit them.

  45. 45
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    And yes, the right and its stooges at Washington Post et al. have done a good job of duping the public about the wonders of austerity, what with the number of Jesus dollars we owe in debt and the incontrovertible truth that when I tighten my belt, gubmint should tighten its too.

    President Obama, October 29 2010:

    “The hard truth is that getting this deficit under control is gonna require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government,” Obama said. “After all, small businesses and families are tightening their belts. Their government should, too.

    The right and their stooges at the WAPO, absolutely, but they had lots of help across the board, including he who so many here hold blameless. It was the Very Serious Position, and only supposed left-wing cranks like Krugman or Dean Baker, among others, were saying that the emperor had no clothes and Serious wasn’t very serious at all.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @shortstop:

    The rank arrogance that enables someone to have a seriously shady past yet think he can slide through anyway — well, it combines egotism, lack of self-awareness and a condescending belief that others aren’t smart enough to bust you.

    The arrogance comes from actually having all those little skeletons hidden away. And yet they keep rising in their ambitions. So, naturally, they *are* better than everyone else, smarter, tougher!, better looking!!…umm, but back to those other guys, it’s getting harder to hold on nowadays.

  47. 47
    shortstop says:

    @smintheus: I don’t mind that they’re laughing, but Christie is going to look stupider than ever when he inevitably says he didn’t even know Wildstein was there that day.

  48. 48
    Joey Maloney says:

    @WereBear: Yet he is making unbelievably stupid mistakes. I would gather he was not a very good prosecutor, hmmm?

    Someone – Steve Benen, maybe? – pointed out the other day that you can put all of Christie’s behavior in context by remembering that he survived the Bush purge of Federal prosecutors. They fired everyone who wasn’t stupid, craven, or corrupt enough to put party over country. And Christie started a bullshit investigation of Senator Menendez during the runup to his ’06 election.

    …Meh, cacti got there first.

  49. 49
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, yes, people who think gov’t is useless even when it does affect them positively are involved too but tangental to my point (especialy since they’re hopeless cases like those who revere assholishness even when they’re the target).

    I’ve kept up to a point on the whole situation since my parents are in an affected county (but thankfully get water from a diff. company).

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Other Chuck: There’s a reason they are so dependent on Big Coal. Years and years of policy using/misusing every other resource available. Considering how many dollars the state gets from tourism, it’s unbelievable they don’t get any more pushback.

  51. 51
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cacti: He also sat in same dougout with them game after game after game…

    Probably showered togther, etc…

  52. 52
    Turgidson says:

    @elmo:

    They’ll say he’s too busy being the manly-man bully that America desperately wants and needs as president to remember every meeting he’s had with his goons the last few months.

  53. 53
    pzerzan says:

    I guess what shows the real disconnect of the media with political reality is thinking Christie could go to Iowa and New Hampshire and bully the local activists into endorsing him. There is a lot to be said about the problems with how both parties nominate their candidates (side note: I personally would scrap the system and replace it with a rank-choice national primary but that’s just me) but one advantage of spoiling primary voters in the early states is you avoid real pieces of work from getting the nomination. You have to have the type of temperament to sit in a room with a bunch of party activists who have an inflated view of themselves and get them to think highly enough of you to vote and campaign for you. When you think about foreign policy and what it entails, you need the same kind of skills when dealing with foreign leaders. Christie was never going to be able to sit through a house meeting with a bunch of conservatives from Ames or Manchester demanding that he push their agenda without blowing up with them. The Bridge Scandal only confirms that. How the media thought he could get the nomination when they cover Iowa and New Hampshire so extensively, I don’t know…

  54. 54
    MCA1 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: They graduated from high school in around 1980. High school baseball team “statisticians” in those days sat on the bench and kept the scorebook, then compiled batting averages and the like for the team. There were no sabermetrics at the time, and they didn’t scout other teams. They were closer to a waterboy than Billy Beane. Hell, I graduated high school over a decade after these guys and was a pitcher and never once looked to our statkeeper for scouting or numbers on an opposing lineup. We’d get a one-page printout of our team’s stats every week or so. My catchers didn’t know jack shit about how to call a game, much less tendencies of batters in advance. Maybe this was different at huge schools with extremely serious baseball factories, and maybe Wildstein was some ahead of the curve genius, but I’d be willing to guess that was not the case for Christie.

    There’s no doubt Christie “knew” Wildstein in high school, the same way I remember our baseball team record keeper. But the implication that they must have worked together the same way Joe Mauer coordinates with the Twins’ advance scouts and numbers gurus is crazy. It was high school ball in Jersey in 1980.

  55. 55
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Agree that he didn’t push back stong against the austerity in government trope. I will note that his ideas of where to cut Government expenditures & the RWA’s ideas were/are quite far apart.

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: From DEP reports coming out, it’s clear the company knew all about how risky this stuff was, and how behind in maintenance they were. The leak didn’t “just happen”. It had already happened and they half assed it, trying to control it, for some period of time. Until the pressure pushed past their chewing gum and popsickle stick defense.
    That was kind of what I was trying to say. They’ll never connect it that the govt should have been in a position to mitigate this “free enterprise” company, except for all the policies they have supported their entire life.
    Now they’ll hate govt for not protecting them.

  57. 57
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @chopper:

    Depends on what the definition of “in ages” is. At least, i expect that’s how it’ll be spun.

  58. 58
    Anoniminous says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Without coal mining companies West Virginia doesn’t have those ~$60k working class jobs or even much of an economy. Woman isn’t being stupid, she’s being realistic.

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MCA1:

    You’re not familiar with Chrstie’s coach’s recollections of Wildstein’s role.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Anoniminous:

    So, we’ll just drink toxic water because we’ve got passable middle class jobs that send those with them to an early grave.

    Gotcha.

  61. 61
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cacti: Some enterprising soul should compare the recorded stats for the catcher and the official stats. Christie’s claim to never have had a passed ball and a .375 obp might have gotten an inside boost.

  62. 62
    aimai says:

    @elmo: But that was silly, even then. Its not possible to be a little bit pregnant with a scandal–you either deny it entirely or you are swallowed up in it. Technically, Christie had already tried denying it entirely for three months. The actual press conference wasn’t really any kind of strategy reflecting certain knowledge that there was no paper trail or possibility of his people flipping on him. In fact the entire thing was taking place within that context. He ran no greater risk of being found to be a corrupt liar by flatly lying to their face at the conference than by temporizing and hedging.

  63. 63
    hoodie says:

    @EconWatcher: People in congested, expensive areas tend to obsess about traffic and real estate. A lot of the folks I’ve known from NJ identify themselves by freeway exit numbers, and there seems to be a preoccupation in the region with traffic and commuting, kind of like “The Californians” bit on SNL. Messing with freeway access is probably a big thing, so you have to wonder what justified such a heavy-handed move. The theory about Christie and/or his people trying to muscle for campaign donations or other favors from the Fort Lee developers rings true to me.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Yeah, I didn’t know where DougJ was going with that either, except as some kind of cold trolling.

  65. 65
    Anoniminous says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yup. That’s what economic domination does.

    Am I happy about it? No. But I acknowledge until there are some actual, Real World, alternatives people like that woman are going to be supportive of what they have.

  66. 66
    Gene108 says:

    @MCA1:

    Other than gun ownership, how is Christie not right-wing ?

    I am not saying he is pro-gun control, but to appeal to gun-nuts now you need pass a SYG law to show you are above any non-GOA approved measures (because every true gun-nut knows the NRA are a bunch of gun-grabber appeasers).

    He is staunchly anti-abortion. He gutted government services, while cutting taxes for millionaires in the name of fiscal responsibility.

    He is kept in check by a Dem legislature or else NJ would have gone the way of WI, PA and MI.

  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You’re not familiar with Chrstie’s coach’s recollections of Wildstein’s role.

    This.

    Christie’s coach threw cold water on the idea that Wildstein was an anonymous schlub.

    Quoth the coach:

    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

  68. 68
    johnny aquitard says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Shutting down bridge lanes to retaliate against a local politician strikes me as just nuts

    It is nuts. Nuttier if one stops and remembers this is from the guy who was so un-nutty, such a hard-nosed pragmatist, that he made nice with Obama to secure federal money for Hurricane Sandy to preserve his governorship despite the howling of the national GOP and the Teanuts. One may believe that he figured (correctly) the national GOP and the Teanuts would have little effect on him in NJ. But isn’t that a measure of his ability to judge political risks?

    So he has demonstrated a grasp of realpolitik then he does something so looney it has no political advantage and huge political and legal liabilities. And that just doesn’t square.

    And I don’t buy he didn’t know. That’s looney too.

    It seems there’s more to this than meets the eye.

  69. 69
    Cacti says:

    @Gene108:

    Other than gun ownership, how is Christie not right-wing ?

    Yep.

    Hates unions and public school teachers. Loves tax cuts for the 1%. And is as anti-choice as a Mississippi Congressman.

  70. 70
    GregB says:

    People are idiots.

    Chris Christie is clearly looking at someone else in that picture, therefore he didn’t see Wildstein.

    Now leave him alone.

  71. 71
    Suffern ACE says:

    @hoodie: The ties between developers and the political lawyers who run the local government out here are par for the course. If this development in Ft. Lee was built on land at all owned by the government I have very little doubt that the developers were going to be hit up for campaign contributions or risk having the development stalled. Either that, or there would be some kind of demand that some relative of said politician be allowed to quietly invest in the development project. That’s why the mayor of the town next to mine is on trial, and why the feds raided my township’s hall last year and took a bunch of files to be shown to a grand jury. Its the tri-state metropolitan way of living off politics.

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    @GregB: And even funnier, during the press conference he was very precise with a few key facts. Even though he mished them up a little after the second or third time he said them, he used precise times and dates for some of his story.
    But Wildstein? Some time long ago…in a galaxy far, far away.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Its the tri-state metropolitan way of living off politics.

    Well I’ll be damned. So *that’s* why Dr. Doofenschmirtz is so obsessed with ruling the “Entire Tri-State Area!!”.

  74. 74
    johnny aquitard says:

    @johnny aquitard: It may be a shrewd political calculation that this only affects him locally.

    It’s not looney if it doesn’t affect him and it’s shrewd if he knew it cold it wouldn’t.

    It makes him dangerous as fuck. A vindictive and extremely petty asshole who knows exactly when he can get away with it. A Nixon without the resentment and sense of victimhood.

  75. 75
    scav says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Poor dearie has a lot to be worried about. Volunteering everyone nearby to live in a waste-heap without warnings, regulations or penalties for fuckups so that a few get crumbs and still fewer make tons might be getting pushback on other fronts: Panel Reinstates Penelties for Sago Mine Explosion.

    The agency had cited Wolf Run for failing to immediately notify it of the explosion and summon mine rescue teams.

    Sound familiar? Smell the Freedom.

  76. 76
    Turgidson says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Is a .375 OBP that remarkable in high school baseball? I had given up baseball by high school so I don’t have first-hand experience, but I thought the good players routinely had batting averages in the .400 range and OBP a few ticks above that. (Either way, Christie is still an asshole…just curious)

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    I still know a couple guys I played ball with, long ago. With one exception we don’t talk much except at a wedding of a mutual friend. So, I find that very not compelling.
    To me, the fact that he created a patronage job paying six figures and then hired Wildstein in the spot is much more damning of a personal relationship.

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Turgidson: In the MLB it gets you in the top 10. In HS you’re a solid player but not unusual on a decent squad. Nothing to be ashamed of, but no trophies for it.

  79. 79
    burnspbesq says:

    Republicans should be overjoyed that Christie’s travails are sucking all the air out of the room, as it is diverting attention from all the other horrible things they’re about at the moment. Those include, but are not limited to, continuing to obstruct any extension of unemployment benefits and trying to blow up the peaceful, diplomatic resolution of issues related to Iran’s nuclear program.

  80. 80
    Turgidson says:

    @Gene108:

    He’s a “moderate” by current GOP standards only because he’s not a braindead mouthbreathing teatard and doesn’t try to play one at parties either. His policy record is fairly staunchly right-wing overall. The only big exceptions I know of offhand are that he’s not a complete nutball on guns, he nominated a Muslim judge and then told the bluntly crazies to piss up a rope when they got upset about it, he said nice things about the president that one time, and he accepted Medicaid expansion. That’s pretty much it as far as I know.

  81. 81
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Corner Stone:

    If you’ve seen any reporting from WV, it summed up by a bunch of people angry at the company but resigned to their fate. They’re drinking water provided by FEMA but probably hate FEMA for it.

    Hard to blame them. I’m no expert, but I’m met people from there. The place has been ruined by the extraction industry and the unions destroyed by wildcat strikes and (I think the unspoken side of this) the Republican war on private sector unions and OSHA. They don’t trust the feds because the feds don’t care about them. Meanwhile, the industry blows off mountain tops and fuck the people who live up there because extracting coal that way requires less labor. And now coal’s in the shit and it’s easy for them to believe Obama did it because haven’t urban activists been attacking coal for years? It’s easier to believe in an enemy you can see than an invisible gas stealing your livelihood, I guess.

    Not excusing… met some wonderful people FROM WV, they don’t live IN WV, haven’t for decades.

  82. 82
    raven says:

    Jesus, is there one thing new at all in this conversation?

  83. 83
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven: Only that the cops have raided Justin Bieber’s home.
    Happy now?

  84. 84
    Ernest Pikeman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I have absolutely no doubt that Christie and Wildstein were VERY close in High School, seeing as how Christie was the catcher on the team and Wildstein was the Sabermetrics guru.

    Granted that I only went to an American high school for one year, but what makes you so sure that a jock like Christie would want to have anything to do with some statistics geek who hangs around the school baseball team?

  85. 85
    Turgidson says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yeah, that’s sort of what I thought. In the MLB, excellent contact hitters can go over .400 OBP, or sluggers who hit for a decent average and are dangerous enough to get intentionally walked frequently. But I wouldn’t imagine a .375 OBP in high school gets you onto too many scouts’ or top college recruiters’ radars. Anyway, Christie’s a dick, amirite?

  86. 86
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @dedc79: +1

    And like Rick Scott, he lied about the project while canceling it. At least Rick Scott looks to get turfed out this time. AA voters stayed home when Sink lost to Scott but I’m not getting that impression this time… I think some people will be crawling over broken glass for the pleasure of voting him OUT.

    To review: Crist reformed restoration of civil rights for felons (which are disproportionately of color in our Southron criminal injustice system)

    Scott got in office and immediately signed an executive order to make restoring civil rights a byzantine process worthy of the Indian civil law court system. Yes, I say that deliberately. Knowing someone (a white guy, did his time over two decades ago without reoffending) who is going through the process, very secretive, bizarre, incomprehensible process, I am starting to wonder if the right kind of bribe is what is required.

  87. 87
    MCA1 says:

    @Cacti: That’s not terribly convincing to me, sorry. “He gave you the stats from the previous week’s games?” That to me means, “Thomas went 2 for 9, 1 single, 1 double, 2 K’s, 1 BB, no runs, blah blah blah.” So what? Splits against righties and lefties “and that sort of thing” is nice, but about whom? The coach’s own team, or the rest of the league? I’m guessing the former, since nothing in that statement from the coach indicates Wildstein was scouting other teams (allowing that perhaps it’s elsewhere in the quoted article). How would he have gathered the data he needed? It’s not like there was a website for high school baseball back then, with game stats and scores uploaded after every game. I think it’s a huge stretch to take the recollections of an old school coach (who’s probably 85 years old now) from 35 years ago about getting some splits, and then calling Wildstein the unknown Bill James of his time, as if he was calculating OPS 15 years before anyone else. There’s no indication that Wildstein “gave” this stuff to anyone other than the head coach, who could then use it or not as he chose, which more than likely meant he was armed with a little bit more knowledge than he might otherwise have been in things like pinch hitting situations. Was there a separate quote about how Wildstein conveyed his knowledge to the players, too?

    Again, I’m not debating the basic point here, which is that Christie saying he didn’t even know who Wildstein was in high school is complete bullshit. I’m just saying that there’s really no reason to think he leaned greatly on Wildstein’s genius as a catcher, or that they were close collaborators. He’s still a filthy liar.

  88. 88
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Please. the POTUS was signalling his willingness to compromise with the GOP wave about to be swept into office. Isn’t that what grownups do, as opposed to the children in the GOP? We know how that turned out. BTW, who put that GOP wave in power? Do you remember, maybe? Hm?

  89. 89
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Corner Stone: Tourism has a low margin and doesn’t support high paying jobs. Sorry, jack, that’s a fact.

    Your post upthread about Christie’s personal Dunning-Kruger saga was spot on, however. The more he gets away with it, the more brazen he gets.

  90. 90
    MCA1 says:

    @Turgidson: That’s precisely what I referring to, as well. I didn’t mean that he’s not rightwing from an objective standpoint on the issues, but rather that he’s not perceived as rightwing enough by the far right and the Tea Party and wouldn’t be able to reverse that perception in a primary contest running against a bunch of hardline crazies. I think the way he’s been crucified for those couple of semi-moderate instances as a kind of grand apostasy by the far right is testament to that.

  91. 91
    Yatsuno says:

    @Turgidson: He also made nice-nice with the Kenyan usurper after Hurricane Sandy. Of course he was in the middle of misappropriating funds for his re-election so playing nice-nice was keeping a personal gravy train flowing. And I’d bet a hamburger Christie has some connection with that production company so some of that sweet sweet cash landed in his pocket.

  92. 92
    Corner Stone says:

    @MCA1:

    Again, I’m not debating the basic point here, which is that Christie saying he didn’t even know who Wildstein was in high school is complete bullshit. I’m just saying that there’s really no reason to think he leaned greatly on Wildstein’s genius as a catcher, or that they were close collaborators.

    Yes, I agree. It’s very possible Wildstein had great stats for the team. But the coach almost certainly didn’t have enough quality athletes to make much use out any of it. He’s still going to field his best active players, no matter if they hit 15 points lower against lefties over the course of the last month.
    And the HS players of that era? Would have gave him a wedgie for telling them what to look out for from an opposing pitcher.

  93. 93
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The people who think like you get an education and get out.

    I was a kid and my parents were in the front seat on a family vacation driving through the Midwest. We’d driven through some places that smelled like manure, but suddenly we get a whiff of the worst smell on earth and my mother frantically shuts the vents. We drive by something that looks like the lithium cracking station on Delta Vega but more alien and with more stuff on fire. When we ask how anyone can live around a refinery my mother sagely notes that to refinery workers it “smells like money”.

  94. 94
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Sure, but you can only blow the tops off so many mountains. The rest of my post mentioned years of policies that have left them praying to have the opportunity for abuse at the hands of Big Coal.

  95. 95
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @burnspbesq: trying to blow up the peaceful, diplomatic resolution of issues related to Iran’s nuclear program.

    Which would be entirely impossible for them to do without the collusion of the AIPAC stooges on the Dem side of the aisle.

  96. 96
    Gex says:

    @Corner Stone: Exactly. These are political appointees. How are we supposed to believe that he is virtual strangers with this guy he knew in high school who he then appointed to this position? That makes no damn sense.

  97. 97
    WaterGirl says:

    @EconWatcher: it’s not about petty retribution exacted upon a small town mayor. It’s about POWER. Check out the idea floated on UP with Steve K on Sunday.

    The huge development project that the mayor of fort lee is shepparding is big bucks. And he’s doing it without Christie. That project can’t go through without those lanes that were shut down. This was a major shot over the bow that says “if you want your project, you have to cut me in on the deal”.

    I’m not from New Jersey, but I grew up in mayor daley’s Chicago so I speak the language.

  98. 98
    MCA1 says:

    @Turgidson: Wait, Christie actually claimed to have a .375 OBP in high school? First of all, nobody gave two shits about on-base percentage 35 years ago, so it’s unquestionably a lie. Secondly, what kind of douchebag would make a claim like that in a political career? (And agreed that that’s a decent but hardly exceptional stat for a high schooler. The guys who go on to play college ball and/or get drafted mostly hit .400 or higher as a straight BA, with OBP even higher, unless they’re in a significantly elevated talent area where they’ll face a bunch of other future college or pro level talent; i.e. not New Jersey).

  99. 99
    LanceThruster says:

    Well…in the photo they’re not touching so technically there is no “contact.” Additionally, while Wildstein appears to be addressing himself to Gov. Christie, Christie himself seems detached, hence no “interaction.”

    Guess he’s *not* a lying, prevaricating SOB.

  100. 100
    Paul in KY says:

    @raven: Considering you are complaining about the comments….no, not one thing new ;-)

  101. 101
    Cacti says:

    @MCA1:

    I think it’s a huge stretch to take the recollections of an old school coach (who’s probably 85 years old now) from 35 years ago

    As opposed to the equivocation of an anonymous internet poster who uses his own high school experiences as an analog of how things must have been for Christie?

  102. 102
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Probably have to buy alot of junk from Scott’s company.

  103. 103
    Paul in KY says:

    @MCA1: This Wildstein kid (back then) got himself voted on to the school board. Had a lot of get up & go. Probably did do alot of what you are talking about. He sure liked numbers.

  104. 104
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Turgidson: OK. In referece to Chris Christies OBP and passed balls claims – I’ve made the facts up. I don’t think until this week that I knew Chris Christie played baseball until this week so he doesn’t go around bragging about inflated stats…

    Anyway. Sorry for sardonic humor. I doubt that at any point, Chris christie was running out ground balls to increase his OBP and I doubt he had enough plate discipline to take a lot of walks. He’s been a hack for a long time.

  105. 105
    raven says:

    Aw grubs again, grumble grumble.

  106. 106
    some guy says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Menendez and Schumer really need to eat a bag of salted dicks, the bought and paid for fuckheads.

  107. 107
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @MCA1: I recall from many years ago that Shawon Dunston, who played shortstop for the Chicago Cubs in the 1980s, had a 0.750 BA in high school somewhere in New York. He was a decent shortstop, but a relatively poor major league hitter. A 0.375 on-base percentage does not strike me as being that high for high school.

  108. 108
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Got a luagh out of your description! Glad the smell didn’t accompany it.

  109. 109
    Paul in KY says:

    @MCA1: Either the superstatitician was doing that 34 years ago or he had one of his underlings go back and calculate it. Knowing him, they probably inflated it a bit.

  110. 110
    eric says:

    lets all be clear. the reason this is even a story is because Obama ordered his friends in the liberal media to create a story to distract from the poor enrollment numbers and from the start-up of the death panels in red states. The media is trying to ram this story down everyone’s throat, but our throats are already stuffed with Obama’s lies regarding the IRS, Benghazi, and, most importantly, the assassination of Loretta Fuddy by Obama’s chicago boyz.

  111. 111
    RaflW says:

    And a big part of it is that these folks are all assholes together, they never mix beyond the elite cocktail circuit. And I mean most of the elite journalists and pundits.

    They are as cosseted and clueless as the politicians they, ahem, cover. I was just hearing about the 5 days of million dollar parties that now surround the White House Correspondent’s Dinner and i though to myself “tumbrels!”

  112. 112
    Paul in KY says:

    @eric: Erck, son of Erick, is that you? Don’t you have some BS to make up for your losers?

  113. 113
    some guy says:

    @eric:

    what is it with you wingnuts and the “ramming down our throats” meme?

    if you want to suck cock then suck cock, and stop projecting your homo-erotic fantasies onto the rest of us.

  114. 114
    kc says:

    @elmo:

    While Christie was doing his neverending press conference of denial and sadness, more than a few media people were saying, essentially, “He’s making some pretty strong denials – he must be really sure none of the smoking guns have his fingerprints on them. He’d never go this far out on a limb if there was a chance he’d get caught lying.”

    Hell, I thought that myself.

  115. 115
    catclub says:

    @Another Holocene Human: “to refinery workers it “smells like money”.

    But many poor parts of Louisiana have learned it smells like cancer.

  116. 116
    Patrick says:

    @eric:

    the reason this is even a story is because Obama ordered his friends in the liberal media to create a story to distract from the poor enrollment numbers and from the start-up of the death panels in red states.

    So you think it is perfectly OK for a Governor to pretty much shut down a highway in retaliation of a political opponent???

    Somehow I think people like you would go berserk if the black guy in the White House tried the same crap.

  117. 117
    catclub says:

    What A Man Standing In A Square Can Teach Us About Protest

    This was interesting at Charlie Pierce’s usual spot. From Col Bateman.

  118. 118
    catclub says:

    @Paul in KY: I think your snark meter needs adjusting.

  119. 119
    NonyNony says:

    @Patrick:

    I’m fairly certain that this is a Poe’s Law situation.

    I mean it does sound a lot like something from Freeperland, but I’m still pretty sure it’s a Poe.

  120. 120
    Paul in KY says:

    @catclub: Sounds just like the real shit I hear from them. If it was parody, it was not ‘out there’ enough for me to pick up on it.

    I do live in Kentucky.

  121. 121
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ernest Pikeman:

    Because the statistics geek is key to the position Christie was playing.

    The role of the catcher is “field general”. The catcher is involved with every play in the game. The catcher calls the pitches. The catcher is the one who, if he’s smart, studies the stats on the opposition to determine what pitch the batter is most vulnerable to, is least likely to be able to hit, or, alternatively if they do hit it, it will likely be something that can be fielded for an out.

  122. 122
    raven says:

    Fat boys speech is on.

  123. 123
    eric says:

    @Paul in KY: I thought the assassination of Loretta Fuddy put it out there ;)

  124. 124
    Corner Stone says:

    @kc: I said as much during the presser. It seemed to me he was confident about no hard evidence.
    But now, after some more context, he’s just an arrogant blowhard who thinks this will blow over just like the last time he accused a staffer of lying – who ended up to be not lying.

  125. 125
    scav says:

    Oh, and if there’s spare bandwidth while waiting for cement shoes to drop in Joisy, there’s this in Northern Ireland: Care home abuse inquiry to open in Northern Ireland which bundles together several Catholic orders, some Orangemen and loyalists, MI5 and some RUC Special Branch connection and kids sent to Australia. More here. No word yet of any albino monk.

  126. 126
    Corner Stone says:

    @eric: I thought the “our throats are already stuffed” part would have done it.

  127. 127
    scav says:

    @eric: Miz Loretta Fuddy indeed convinced me. Can we keep her?

  128. 128
    raven says:

    Cool, CNN switched to Obama and the Miami Heat!

  129. 129
    WereBear says:

    @MCA1: Paul Ryan lied about his marathon time in college.

  130. 130
    redoubt says:

    @Jerzy Russian: Which called for the Wrigley bleachers to create the Shawon-O-Meter: “.215 And Slumping. Go Cubs”

  131. 131
    Ash Can says:

    @Paul in KY: Speaking as someone who has had to do the same on occasion, you need to give your snark-o-meter a whack or two; the needle appears to be stuck.

    ETA: Or, what catclub said. A while ago. :)

  132. 132
    raven says:

    @redoubt: Remember “Claudell slept” here in right at Comiskey?

  133. 133
    Paul in KY says:

    @eric: Honest to God, I didn’t read down that far before letting loose. You are correct, that put it ‘out there’ :-)

  134. 134
    raven says:

    This shit don’t define me, punk.

  135. 135
    Paul in KY says:

    @Ash Can: I am chastised. I didn’t see the Loretta Fuddy line. Nevermind…

  136. 136
    Corner Stone says:

    The guy’s got some brassies on him, that’s for freakin’ sure.

  137. 137
    Paul in KY says:

    @Corner Stone: Not to a dingbat like me :-)

  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    @Paul in KY: eric has been working on it for a while now. I think he’s getting better. Or maybe “they” are just getting nuttier.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    NJ has unemployment of 7.8% and this freakin’ guy is spending time getting political payback and shutting down bridge lanes.

  140. 140
    Corner Stone says:

    Or an “Attitude of Gratitude”
    /Spongebob

  141. 141
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Well, given the insanity being passed off as “hard hitting factual reporting” on Bill Clinton’s various rubouts back in the 90’s, even this Lorretta Fuddy thing isn’t as cut and dried Poe material as some might think.

  142. 142
    Corner Stone says:

    All these things he’s saying sound like conservative asshole wet dreams wishlist.

  143. 143
    Corner Stone says:

    To run their govt’s like a business. Uh, no. No thank you.

  144. 144
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I guess there is a real Loretta Fuddy? Am at work, so I don’t have time to google. Too bad she didn’t marry a guy with last name of ‘Duddy’.

  145. 145
    Corner Stone says:

    This Unit, who I did absolutely not appoint the head of, said firing people saved taxpayers money.

  146. 146
    Corner Stone says:

    I hate this fucking guy.

  147. 147
    Cacti says:

    @Corner Stone:

    This Unit, who I did absolutely not appoint the head of, said firing people saved taxpayers money.

    Boasting that he put 6,000 State employees out of work.

    Moderate my arse.

    ETA: and at a time when NJ is still a full percentage point above the national unemployment rate.

  148. 148
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Corner Stone: There should be a footnote: firing people people savings offset by lawyer fees in this case.

  149. 149
    EthylEster says:

    I’ve said this before here and I’ll say it again. The first comment I ever made at this site (long ago in 2005 during the Terry (Terri?) Sciavo BS) was that seemingly to be a republican you first had to be mean-spirited.

    I had a hard time believing that then. Now it’s pretty much CW.

  150. 150
    Tommy says:

    @EthylEster: Years ago I had a blog about Katrina. I mean I wrote to it daily. Later I morphed it into the oil spill. You know keeping on the topic of Lousiana. What I was always stunned about was the hatred of those on the right. I’d use their words. Blockquote them. Yet belittled and literally given death threats.

  151. 151
    ellennelle says:

    racism, not a universal unconditional love of dickishness

    these are different??

    seems to me racism is simply the cloak or target (pick your metaphor) for universal unconditional love of dickishness.

    and, not to really derail the thread at all, but ….
    also seems to me dickishness bubbles up from a deep and intense core of fear.

    cowards, the lot o’ them.

  152. 152
    Botsplainer says:

    Richie Farmer took a 27 month sentence.

    http://www.whas11.com/news/ale.....49251.html

    On, on, U of K

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l0hqBdTAI8

    ROFLMAO

  153. 153
    Trollhattan says:

    O/T Yet again, Freedom rings in a public school, this time New Mexico.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....oting.html

  154. 154
    srv says:

    Mean people get stuff done. George Washington didn’t sit around complaining about filibusters.

  155. 155
    Belafon says:

    @srv: George Washington also tried to get the advise of the Senate once, and never did that again.

  156. 156
    EthylEster says:

    @srv: You know who else got things done?!!!

    Couldn’t resisit. And GW wasn’t a meanie, IMO.

  157. 157
    Rome Again says:

    Sorry that this is OT, but, I’m wondering… is it just me whose computer doesn’t display a blog post about the Net Neutrality decision of the US Court of Appeals or did Balloon Juice just decide that Net Neutrality isn’t important anymore? What gives?

  158. 158
    scav says:

    @srv: Usually followed by the delight of the trains running on time, although with the train tunnel killing and bridge clogging actions, that trite aphorism may be slightly misapplied in the current instance.

  159. 159
    The Other Chuck says:

    Christie to convene another marathon press conference where he leads off with “Ohh, that David Wildstein!”

  160. 160
    Tommy says:

    Years ago I lived in DC. It took me on a good day like two hours to get to work. I did the reverse commute, meaning went from DC out to NOVA (Northern Virginia). 23 miles, but most days it took me at least an hour. Often times much longer. One of the reasons I left the area. I couldn’t deal with being in a car for that long each day.

    So when I hear somebody wants to make my car ride longer it pisses me off. Christie is going to pay for this big time. Those that live in a major metro area know how bad traffic is and will judge him as such.

  161. 161
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @EthylEster: There were 300 or so people at Mt Vernon to whom he wasn’t particularly nice.

  162. 162
    🎂 Martin says:

    Here’s the thing – this won’t necessarily hurt Christie in the primaries – and it might even help him, but it’ll kill him in the general. Cole’s mancrush is gone as I’m sure quite a few independents and liberals.

    It’s quite clear now that the GOP has nobody capable or willing to run that isn’t just a huge flaming asshole. That’s enough to lose the 2016 election right there.

  163. 163
    MCA1 says:

    @Cacti: In what sense am I equivocating? What’s with the unnecessary potshot?

    I never said the coach’s quote you copied was an incorrect memory, just that it’s incomplete for the logical connection you and someone else upthread (can’t even remember who now, sorry) have made. Where has the coach, in his praise for wonderboy Wildstein, averred that he and Christie were bosom buddies and close collaborators? Where did he say there was information on other teams that his team used to pitch to certain batters’ weaknesses? If there’s more to the quote than you’ve copied upthread, I’m happy to read it. But without that, I feel I’m justified in saying that you (not the coach) is making a big stretch. It’s more than likely Wildstein’s crackerjack statistical compilations were likely (a) not what we’d called advanced metrics by today’s standards, unless we’re prepared to call him a genius who was operating on approximately the same timeframe as Bill James, and (b) limited to his own team, and therefore of little value to the catcher on said team in terms of strategic use; ergo, it’s unlikely they sat around and looked through numbers together. On what are you basing your conclusion? The logical notion that a bully jock clearly formed a close relationship with the dweeb who filled in the scorebook and gave stats to the coach at the end of every week, because he was a catcher and he’s been proven a liar as an adult?

    Again, there’s no question in my mind that Christie’s claim to have not even known Wildstein in high school is not believable. We don’t need them to have sat in the locker room for hours on end, pouring over scouting reports to establish this.

  164. 164
    catclub says:

    @scav: “which bundles together several Catholic orders, some Orangemen and loyalists, MI5 and some RUC Special Branch”

    Wow, full spectrum from Catholic to Orangemen. I guess it takes a village to abuse the helpless.

  165. 165
    Cacti says:

    @MCA1:

    What’s with the unnecessary potshot?

    Unnecessary potshots are the bread and butter of this blog,

  166. 166
    the Conster says:

    @Paul in KY:

    eric speaks fluent wingnut.

  167. 167
    shortstop says:

    @eric: Silly eric. It’s The Gay Agenda that’s getting rammed down people’s throats. I know because all those hyperhetero men in NOM and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are patently unable to come up with another metaphor.

  168. 168
    MCA1 says:

    @WereBear: Ha! Had forgotten that one. Manly man Republican lies about former athletic prowess could be a tagline here, I guess.

  169. 169
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Rome Again: Decisions like that are the reason Obama needed to get his appointees’ asses on the bench.

  170. 170
    shortstop says:

    @Corner Stone: That was a thing of beauty for sure.

  171. 171
    Botsplainer says:

    Oh, fuck me. Its gonna be “Stand Your Ground” (aka Murder the Stranger):

    http://gawker.com/florida-man-.....socialflow

    Reeves told Pasco Sheriff’s deputies Monday that Oulson stood up and struck him in the face with an unknown object when they were arguing inside a Wesley Chapel movie theater during previews. Reeves said he was “in fear of being attacked,” according to an arrest affidavit.

    The “unknown object” was a bag of popcorn.

  172. 172
    burnspbesq says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Love the quote about “bad judgment.”

    No, Richie, “bad judgment” was throwing the ball to Pelphrey when Mashburn was open.

    You stole the money. It’s a crime, not “bad judgment.”

  173. 173
    RobertB says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I had a grouchy Econ professor tell me the very same thing. The two worst industries for value added are tourism and resource extraction.

    Remove some more mountaintops, and tourism isn’t going to be on WV’s list. Unless there’s a West Virginia Strip Mall Tour.

  174. 174
    burnspbesq says:

    @Rome Again:

    Decision is a correct interpretation of the law as it currently exists. If you don’t like it, take it up with Congress.

  175. 175
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: The decision left it wide open for the FCC to draft new rules that are almost exactly the same.

  176. 176
    Tommy says:

    I tend to agree with Charles P. Pierce. He says Rand Paul sounds smart for like ten minutes, then you question everything he has to say. Goes off the rails.

  177. 177
    JoyceH says:

    Okay, so Christie was in NYC on 9/11 in the middle of the bridge fiasco. Next question – how did he travel from NJ to NYC? My money is on helicopter.

  178. 178
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Paul in KY:
    Yeah, real. She certified B. Oboma’s long form birth certificate, and recently died shortly after a plane crash off Molokai. Birthers are on it –
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....35768.html

  179. 179
    Turgidson says:

    @redoubt:

    Ahh, good times, I remember the Shawon-o-meter. For some reason we all loved Dunston, even though he wasn’t that good (oh, right, we are Cubs fans. performance didn’t have much to do with it). He had some kind of a cannon for an arm, though. His routine throws to first looked like they were 100mph. The not-so-rare occasions where he’d sail one into the stands had to be pretty harrowing for the fans along the first base line.

  180. 180
    revrick says:

    Hijacking the thread somewhat (apologizing in advance), I just want to pick up on the comment about establishment dickishness in general, and especially its pearl-clutching about the debt, which is based on a huge damned lie. Two things need to be said.

    First, this alleged terrible burden on the children is no such thing. The debt could be paid off tomorrow. If you look at any US currency you will read somewhere on the face that “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” In other words, if the Chinese want us to pay them what we owe them on the debt, the Federal Reserve could simply crank up the printing presses and ship them a boatload of $100 bills. Or tell them, “Have fun shopping at K-Mart! They have some great blue light specials.” More likely, it would be some ,minor functionary hitting a computer keystroke and shifting the debt for T-bills to cash on some Chinese bank’s asset sheet.

    Second, context is all important. In 2008, the total US public and private debt stood at about $50 trillion. Today, the total public and private debt stands at about $50 trillion. All the hyperventilating about the debt is complete BS. While, yes, the public debt has soared, it has only matched the deleveraging of the private debt of individuals and corporations. Which is why the interest rate hovers around 0%.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  181. 181
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @revrick: “fiscal conservatives” are terrified of a “Weimar” which is very telling. Hyperinflation kills rentiers (which, to be fair, includes little guys and pensioners) but not working people with jobs. Note that in the 1970s the least of the increase went to the top wealth-holders in the US, and note the reaction which followed. “stag-flation” wasn’t for African-American households, for example. The working class got killed in the 1980 recession and the union busting that followed.

    Other issue is that these folks have confused a lot of hate-radio-plugged-in shmoes on the street who don’t understand that you can’t have hyperinflation in a recession and that deflation robs them quicker than inflation and that USD is a reserve currency and those World Bank/IMF collapses were caused by banksters and other scum (energy extraction, for one example) calling the debts in hard currency which took more out of the economy than that economy had to give, in other words, more akin to Mao’s great leap to eating next year’s seed corn than to, just to give some examples here, Mexican hyperinflation, Argentine hyperinflation, and Weimar republic’s hyperinflation. (The latter probably wouldn’t have happened at all if France hadn’t been allowed to try to seize Germany’s industrialized Ruhr valley. Failing by military force they made a second attempt by treaty, demanding tribute to seize all of the profits and then some. The people running Germany at the time saw a dodge and took it.)

  182. 182
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Botsplainer:

    In Florida, it’s perfectly legal to shoot an unarmed person and claim that you were in fear for your life. It’s happened multiple times.

    I knew George Zimmerman was going to walk, because people didn’t realize that the definition of self-defense in Florida was re-written after SYG was passed. Now the only criterion is if the killer says s/he felt threatened. Not whether a reasonable person would have felt threatened (which is the standard in most states), but whether the person on trial claims s/he felt threatened.

  183. 183
    danielx says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    He was a Federal Prosecutor who passed the Alberto Gonzales/Kkkarl Rove Federal Prosecutor test.

    Which tells you a great deal about him.

    Actually, it tells you just about everything you need to know about him. And while I’m thinking about it….

    what really is killing the Republican party is that deep down, they are just complete assholes.

    Chris Christie is just about the leading example of this in the news lately, but generally speaking, it’s seldom that a day goes by without some Republican, in some location, doing or saying something that pretty well designates that person as an asshole.

    They can’t help themselves.

    One of my oldest friends is what I used to call a “reasonable Republican”; my current term is “political enabler”. During a discussion a while back I told him that if Republicans want to win national level elections, their solution is pretty simple – they need to stop acting like assholes. About that point I realized that old friend though he is, and respect him though I do, whatever I said was a waste of breath. Telling a Republican that Republicans should stop acting like assholes is like saying that sharks should quit swimming and eating. You are what you do, and if you act like a complete dick, you are a complete dick.

  184. 184
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @catclub:

    But many poor parts of Louisiana have learned it smells like cancer.

    Too bad they are 0wned by Big Oil. When I visited last year I ran across ads for the “Oil and Shrimp” festival advertised with an anthropomorphized shrimp dancing in front of an oil derrick.

    Keep voting for spite and racism, keep getting 0wned. Doesn’t hurt that the Ds all seem to be part of political dynasties with suspect loyalties too. After so much political repression (ending with the “Yankees” wresting control from the “Creoles” who outnumbered them, but were uncomfortably brown, so you see, they had to lose for their own good) I think the political culture in LA is just about fucked.

  185. 185
    feebog says:

    With all due respect to the baseball mavens here, what fucking difference does it make how will Christie and Wildstein knew each other in high school? We already know they worked on at least one campaign together after high school and we know that Wildstein was a Mayor of a small New Jersey town. What some enterprising reporter should be doing right now is digging into those political connections that Christie and Wolfstein developed after high school.

  186. 186
    Rome Again says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Your position in support or against this decision doesn’t concern me. I’m just curious why there is absolutely NOTHING on BJ about it at all.

  187. 187
    Rome Again says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Okay, I give up, why do you want to be subjected to loss of access and higher costs? I merely came here wondering why BJ has nothing on this decision, but, I’m confused why you think Net Neutrality is bad?

  188. 188
    JustRuss says:

    @WereBear: I suspect he never prosecuted a governor or other high state official, because one doesn’t go after Important People, unless of course they’re Democrats.

  189. 189
    JustRuss says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Not whether a reasonable person would have felt threatened (which is the standard in most states), but whether the person on trial claims s/he felt threatened.

    So you don’t believe the paranoid should have a license to kill? What kind of freedom-hating commie are you?

  190. 190
    mclaren says:

    Reagan managed to come across as a genial guy. So did Bush in 2000.

    To most people, maybe. To me, Reagan came across as a soul-sucking hate-filled lizard. In the 2000 election Bush struck me as “the man with the sniveling sneer,” a classic frat boy asshole.

    Your mileage may vary…

  191. 191
    mclaren says:

    @eric:

    You forgot the Obama beheadings.

    “ObamaCare Medical Codes Confirm: Execution by Beheading To Be Implemented in America…” Red Flag news website.

    Presumably that’s why Obama travelled to Mars in the 1980s. He’ll need a place to hide out when the ACA-mandated mass beheadings start.

  192. 192
    mclaren says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Decision is a correct interpretation of the law as it currently exists.

    Prove it.

    Of course, you can’t. Because a court decision is an opinion. And opinions are subject to revision, alteration, reversal, and change.

    This explains why court decisions like Dredd Scott can be reversed 180 degrees by appointing different judges.

    Once again, the sociopath burnspbesq tries and fails to absolve the legal branch of all responsibility for wrecking America. Whereas in fact black-robed terrorists like Antonin Scalia and John Roberts and Clarence Thomas are one of the main reasons America is circling the porcelain bowl, and the suction is pulling it down fast. Decisions like Kelo v. City of New London and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission are the American equivalent of the German judicial atrocities in the 1930s.

    Burnspbesq is here reiterating the morally and intellectually bankrupt position set forth by H. L A. Hart in “Positivism and the separation of law and morals,” Harvard Law Review, 1958, No. 71, pp. 529-593.

    But this specious claim, that courts have no choice but to enforce a legal statute no matter how evil its aims may be, was conclusively rejected by the Nuremberg tribunals.

    And so, as always, we see burnspbesq casting his lot with the goose-steppers who were hung at Nuremberg in 1946.

  193. 193
    Paul in KY says:

    @the Conster: He sure does!

  194. 194
    Paul in KY says:

    @burnspbesq: Agree,oh Duke fan. He got off easy, IMO.

  195. 195
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bill Arnold: Woh! It’s all coming together now…

  196. 196
    Paul in KY says:

    @mclaren: That was my take on them too. Sadly though, we were in a minority.

  197. 197
    Rome Again says:

    @mclaren:

    I agree.

Comments are closed.