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Chris Christie behind a stylized George Washington Bridge
Maureen Dowd looks across the bridge.
If you’re going to wage a vendetta, at least make it a well-thought-out one. How can Christie & Co. run a national campaign when they can’t even aim straight? How moronic to think the mayor of Fort Lee would get blamed for problems on a bridge that everyone knows is controlled by the Port Authority. If you want to be malicious, it would be so easy to put a project close to the mayor’s heart on hold for a few months or redirect 60 state snowplows the night before a storm.

The governor groveled to New Jersey residents after his aides so gleefully burned them (even joking about children being late for the first day of school because of the orchestrated gridlock on the George Washington Bridge).

After zapping Obama for being so clueless that he couldn’t find “the light switch of leadership” in a dark room, Christie is trying to salvage his once blazing career by claiming he was in a dark room, clueless to the bogus traffic study masking a revenge plan that top aides were executing in plain sight.

When she tries, Maureen does good.

Frank Bruni gets personal.

Politics boils down to three pronouns: I, you, we. The politician who has them in balance goes a long way.

From the “I” comes the lust for attention necessary to face all the cameras, hear all the clamoring, weather all the commentary. From the “I” comes the yearning to be celebrated and, because celebration often hinges on accomplishment, the drive to get things done. Personal glory and public good dovetail. What we call narcissism overlaps with what we call altruism, neither of which is as tidy as we make it out to be.

...

In his news conference on Thursday he found a way to spell apology with a thousand I’s.

Perhaps he nonetheless managed to assure voters that he hadn’t directed the nightmare on Fort Lee’s streets. His denials couldn’t have been more emphatic, unconditional or expansive. He spoke and spoke and spoke, which made some sense, in that he cast himself as someone volunteering information rather than running from the truth.

But as he spoke and spoke and spoke, the apology sprawled into an odd aria of self-congratulation, and he even praised his own penance.

The great apologizer?

Kathleen Parker says yes! Americans will flock to a guy who can grovel.

On the train from New York to Washington on Thursday, two words continuously rose above the din: Chris Christie. The best summation of how the scandal is playing politically came from two high-profile consultants who happened to be on the same train — Republican Mary Matalin and Democrat James Carville.

“BFD,” said Matalin when I asked her thoughts.

...many Republicans in the Matalin camp see this as much ado about little, especially compared to, for instance, President Obama’s repeated falsehoods about people keeping the health insurance they like under the Affordable Care Act. Democrats see this as the inevitable ruin of a bully run amok.

But another consequential feature of this controversy is an emerging narrative that, barring the unforeseen, could shift focus from Christie’s administration to the greater villain — the media. Judging from my overflowing inbox, there’s a growing sense on the right that Christie is being unfairly battered by a media all too eager to help defrock the Republican front-runner.

Needless to say, one bad deed (Obama’s falsehoods) does not excuse another (misusing power to punish a political foe). The bridge scandal is compelling precisely because it fits the well-documented bullying image of Christie, notwithstanding his denials during the news conference. “I am not a bully,” he said, reminding us mostly of “I am not a witch.” Or “I am not a crook.”

Yes indeedy. The "greater villain" here is reporters for daring to, you know, report. And besides, fake scandals are more important than real ones. Fake scandals are more important than real ones. Fake scandals are more important than real ones. Now click your heels together and close your eyes.

Dana Milbank gives us one last view.

Things we learned about Chris Christie during his 108-minute apologia:

“I’m a very loyal guy.”

“I am not a focus-group-tested, blow-dried candidate.”

“I’ve worked for the last 12 years in public life developing a reputation for honesty.”

“I’ve engendered the sense and feeling among the people closest to me that we’re a family.”

“I’m a person who cares deeply about doing my job well.”

“I’m incredibly loyal to my people.”

“I was the class president and athlete.”

And this was all in the process of saying what he had done wrong in the George Washington Bridge fiasco that threatens to upend his presidential hopes. Christie apologized profusely — but not for anything he did. “I’m telling you: I had nothing to do with this,” he pleaded. Instead, he blamed bad people who lied to him, taking advantage of his trusting and honorable nature.

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

What do we get out of this? Republicans, for all their vaunted talk, love guys that talk fast and blame everyone else. They'll accept that their guy has nothing to do with a bridge scandal. Hell, they'll believe that their guy had nothing to do with selling weapons to terrorists and playing footsie with a nation that's supposedly our enemy. They'll #@^%ing  believe that their guy didn't know that everything used to drag our nation into decades of war was a lie.  

Kathleen is right. "Me? I don't know nothing." is sweet music to the Republican ear. It's their favorite tune. And besides, the media is the real villain.

Come inside, let's see if anyone is talking about something else...

Ross Douthat unleashes his vocabulary toward the Online War on Women

Another magnifier is ideology. Hess is a feminist who works in culture-war terrain, and there’s no question that women writing from that perspective come in for more personal, sexualized abuse than women writing about, say, monetary policy. Where the personal is political, the political becomes personal more quickly, and the grotesque abuse that liberal, feminist writers can receive for being liberal feminists is a scandal that conservatives, especially, need to acknowledge and deplore.

But many conservative and libertarian women also take a remarkable amount of sexual-political abuse. So it may be that the culture war cuts both ways, and a certain kind of left-wing narrative about gender — in which women are expected to hold liberal views just by virtue of being female — can become a license for allegedly progressive men to demean and dehumanize women who decline to play that part.

And then to further complicate matters, there is the phenomenon of intraliberal misogyny — like the flood of abuse, cited by Hess, that greeted the atheist writer Rebecca Watson when she wrote about sexism and harassment at a skeptics’ convention.

Cases like Watson’s suggest that there’s a chauvinist attitude in play here, a kind of crypto-ideology of sex and gender, that doesn’t map neatly onto what we usually think of as culture-war divides. This attitude is “liberal”  in that it regards sexual license as an unalloyed good, and treats any kind of social or religious conservatism as a dead letter. But at the same time it wants to rebel and lash out against the strictures it feels that feminism and political correctness have placed on male liberty, male rights.

It goes on. It boils down to: women are treated badly on the Internet and often made the subject of the kind of sexual remarks rarely directed toward me. I agree. Conservatives tend to do it more, but liberals are also guilty. Agree again. But then Douthat fades off into a kind of "legitimate male anxieties" area that's the written equivalent of a shrug. But man, he sure worked the thesaurus.  

Stephanie Coontz looks at the War on Women in the real world, and how fighting it also helps men.

Although women are still more likely to be poor than men, on average women’s income and labor-force participation have been rising since the 1970s. By contrast, between 1970 and 2010 the median earnings of men fell by 19 percent, and those of men with just a high school diploma by a stunning 41 percent. And while women have regained all the jobs they lost during the recession, men have regained just 75 percent.

Since about 1980 the percentage of men and women in middle-skill jobs has declined. But for women, nearly all of that decline was because of increased representation in higher-skill jobs. Women’s employment in low-skill jobs increased by just 1 percent. By contrast, for men, half the decline in middle-skill jobs was a result of increases in low-skill jobs.

The most urgent issue facing working Americans today is not the glass ceiling. It is the sinking floor. So wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on gender-neutral economic policies?

Actually, it wouldn’t, because “gender-neutral” work practices and social policies were traditionally based on a masculine model. Employers assumed that there was no need to accommodate caregiving obligations because the “normal” worker had a wife to do that. Policy makers assumed there was no need for universal programs such as family allowances and public child care because the “normal” woman had a husband to support her and her children. Accordingly, most social benefits, such as Social Security and unemployment insurance, were tied to prior participation in the labor market. Welfare was a stigmatized and stingy backup for misfits who were not in a male-breadwinner family.

Coontz makes a compelling case that in designing a male-centric workplace, companies have built a model that punishes women and men, and now serves to hold back both. This is your "Read it all" of the morning.

The New York Times defends the president's appointees.

Under the Constitution, the president nominates federal judges, cabinet members and officials for executive agencies, and the Senate votes on their confirmation. But what if the Senate isn’t in session? The answer has always seemed clear: The Constitution gives the president the power to fill “all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.”

On Monday, for the first time in its history, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over the meaning of that clause. On one level, the debate is about language and history: What does “the recess” refer to? What did the framers mean by “happen”? But this legalistic dispute should not obscure the larger issue at stake: The government needs to be able to function even when Congress can’t — or won’t — do its job.

... in a remarkably myopic ruling last January, the federal appeals court in Washington blocked out that reality and held, among other things, that the Constitution’s use of the words “the recess” must mean there is only one, which falls between the end of one Congressional session and the start of the next.

There are historical arguments for why that reading may have made sense in the nation’s early days, when travel times were long and recesses could last for months. But in the 21st century, senators come and go as they please, and recesses are short and frequent. What has not changed is a president’s need to be able to staff the cabinets and federal agencies so that the government’s work can be done.

This Supreme Court is likely to ignore any damage to the Constitution so long as it can score points against this President... so I'm not hopeful.

Carl Hiaasen calls for an end to endings... but not for the usual reasons.

The execution of Thomas Knight last week is a textbook case for why Florida’s dysfunctional death penalty should be scrapped.

Here was a man whose guilt was never in doubt, whose crimes were cold-blooded, whose attitude remained remorseless and often defiant — yet the system took nearly 40 years to close the book.

In South Florida, Knight will be remembered for abducting and killing a Bay Harbor Islands couple, Sydney and Lillian Gans, in 1974. After a frantic manhunt he was found hiding in the mud with the rifle used in the crime, and $50,000 cash that he’d forced Gans to withdraw from a bank.

Ironically, Knight wasn’t executed for those murders. In 1980 he fatally stabbed prison guard Richard Burke with a sharpened spoon, and it was that homicide that finally delivered him to the death chamber for a lethal injection.

...

Set aside for a moment the moral and religious objections to capital punishment, and the questions about its disproportionate application to minorities. Consider the statute strictly as an expensive, endless drain of legal resources.

Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, Florida has averaged slightly more than two executions a year while adding about 12 new residents annually to Death Row. You can do the dismal math in your head.

Today 396 men and five women live on Florida’s Death Row, and most (if not all) have attorneys working on appeals. The pace could never be described as swift.

Knight was no anomaly; many capital cases have been slogging along since the mid-1970s.

Laura Spinney looks at the secret history being revealed as the glaciers melt.
The summer of 2003 was the hottest in Europe for 500 years. On the remote Schnidejoch pass, 2750 meters above sea level in the Swiss Alps, an ice patch shrank by half its volume, leaving a wooden object high and dry. When hiker Ursula Leuenberger came across it, she realized it had no business there, so far above the tree line, so she picked it up and handed it over to the local archaeological service. It turned out to be part of a Neolithic arrow quiver, almost 5000 years old.

Since then, archaeologists have found more than 800 artifacts in the vicinity of the pass.

Originally posted to Devil's Tower on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:59 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What is the difference? (74+ / 0-)

    What is the difference between Christie causing pain to some million commuters by jamming up the George Washington Bridge and 233 Republicans in Congress causing pain to some millions of families by cutting food stamps and unemployment payments?

    I really don't see any - in both cases, it is politicians causing grief to the people in order to advance their own agendas.

    Why should we be surprised by one Christie in NJ when we have 233+ in DC, from all corners of the country?

    •  That is exactly true (20+ / 0-)

      The modern GOP views serious to American citizens as reasonable collateral damage in their pursuit of power and victory.  As such, they are unfit to serve.

      "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

      by SottoVoce on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:28:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's no difference; they're elected to punish (15+ / 0-)

      us including their own voters.

      We need to get rid of these mean "daddies". The evil TGOP & their voters can go back to hell instead of making it here.

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:51:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Drawing parallels (18+ / 0-)

      Today Kathleen Parker to trying to compare Obama's "keep your plan if you like it" stumble to Christie's petty, vengeful actions. Yesterday it was Giuliani comparing the IRS "scandal" which impacted big money groups (right and left) rather than everyday constituents to Christie's close inner circle shenanigans. Tomorrow? No doubt someone will be comparing Benghazi because, you know, BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!

      Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' ― Isaac Asimov

      by GoodGod on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:52:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More conflation (8+ / 0-)

        On Meet The Press, a WSJ hack is stating that Bridgegate doesn't rise the level of the supposed IRS abuses, the Obamacare misstatements or the executive branch's misuse of Sequestration. She didn't mention Benghazi, but no more than 15 minutes after my original comment, a Congressman (R) on This Week tried to link it. And Reince Priebus is now making the link to Benghazi on MTP; "Chrisitie fired staffers, while Obama doubled down on Susan Rice after Benghazi".

        The joke outside of the conservative circles is the dog-whistle nature of BENGHAZI!!! But they sure don't get it, because they're so conditioned to hear the sublte (and sometimes not-so) Repub whistles.

        Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' ― Isaac Asimov

        by GoodGod on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:02:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's how the GOP thinks... (8+ / 0-)

          There's a fundamental issue here.  Republicans are willing to overlook all kinds of bad behavior from one of theirs.  In fact, sometimes they seem to really enjoy it. Think Cheney  dropping the F-bomb on Leahy, or the outing of Valerie Plame.  So they assume that Democrats have the same value system.  But Democrats have historically been more likely to punish their own for bad behavior.  That's why Vitter is still in the Senate, but Weiner isn't.

          So, to a Republican, if you somehow claim that a Democrat did something as bad as or worse than what Christie did, then the Democrats will naturally back off.  The Republican sense of right and wrong (assuming it exists!) is ALWAYS subjective based on who is being judged.

      •  One word: NIXON. This ain't about a blowjob, (9+ / 0-)

        or the IRS, or about the Congress, or Benghazi.  This is about the abuse of power and the violation of New Jersey law, political corruption and the violation of the Constitution.  This is a failure to preserve protect and defend.  This is Nixon redux.  Doesn't matter whether they find  a smoking gun.  Christie can never prove himself innocent and everyone will always suspect him as guilty.  

        And what other abuses of power have their been in Christie's government?  Because this is certainly not  a one off.  Because this event shows a practiced hand.

        GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

        by SGWM on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:10:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Christie didn't have to do this. He was assured (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SGWM

          of a landslide in November.  But he's a power addict, and addictions are progressive diseases.  He's also a narcissist and believes he can always get away with one more insult, one more theft of another's dignity.  He's a dangerous man, especially to the defenseless.

          Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

          by hawkseye on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:32:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think Repubblicans (13+ / 0-)

      as a whole, pander too much to the hard right of their party, and protect the rich from the horrors of higher taxes.
      While you're right that the policies the GOP House support (keeping subsides to rich farmers while paying for them by slashing $40 billion out of SNAP benefits) directly hurt people, Christie's actions were more petty- he didn't do it to enrich himself or his friends, he did it because he's always been nothing more than a petty thug, and he did what petty thugs do when they get too much power, they overreach.
      He was also the most viable candidate against Hillary that the GOP had.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:58:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This will be a trivia question by 2016 (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        dfarrah
        Hidden by:
        Jake formerly of the LP

        If you think this will stop Chris Christie from pursuing, and likely getting the GOP nomination, then you're nuts.  This is such a minor scandal that the Left will look incredibly small and petty harping on this in 2016.  

        And, the GOP voters could care less about this.  So, a bunch of people who probably vote democrat in every election got shafted because they took on the Gov and lost?  Big deal.  If you don't like being bullied, then win and start bullying back.

        As presidential candidate scandals go, this is incredibly small.  Much smaller than:  Jimmy Carter's alcoholic brother (at least that was a big deal in 1976), Bill Clinton's infidelities, George W. Bush's college alcohol use, and Reverend Wright.  None of those "Scandals" derailed the nomination, let alone the election to president.

        The more the Left media harps on this, the more they betray their own apprehension about his candidacy.

      •  In some polls, he was ahead of FS Clinton, (0+ / 0-)

        but I don't believe that he would have been elected.

        What will defeat him won't be Dems, though--it'll be the conservative base.

        Actually, is economic and educational politics are very much aligned with corporatist (DLC) Dems like FS Clinton--which is why he has/had the "mainstream, business Republican" backing.

        I believe that the corporatist Repubs will have a harder time in the 2016 election cycle running a corporatist.

        From all I read, conservatives have "had their fill of" mainstream Repubs, after McCain and Romney.

        So, I believe that they will nominate a candidate who "triangulates," and also has some appeal to Tea Party types, without actually being one.

        But, time will tell . . .

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 03:22:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is anyone "surprised" that Christie the bully (8+ / 0-)

      Got caught acting like a bully?  Is anyone "surprised" when republicans in congress act the same way?  Nope.  But we don't shrug our shoulders and walk away muttering about "Politicians!"  We loudly protest, and we try to change it.
      Every time we get some awful, scandalous news, there are always people suggesting that everyone knew about it already, and no one's surprised, the implication being that its a common thing, and no big deal.  Well, it is.  If nothing else its a surprise that his inner circle got caught.  It's a surprise that the media is bothering to write about it.  It's a big deal because now there's proof of the kind of political vindictiveness that no one can approve, and now we can demand that our laws be enforced.
      World weary cynicism is an invitation not to bother.

    •  Don't forget that Chris Christie turned down (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE

      that important tunnel infracturer project proposal from the feds.....that denies a better future for the region as well.

      Right now, as a Michigan Democrat, I'm sorry that Rick Snyder hasn't yet made such an easily exploitable, understandable and stupid move like Chris Christie has done with his bogus bridge-related transportation system management cheap political revenge attack on the Mayor of Fort Lee, NJ.

      Chris Christie and Rick Snyder are each uniquely pernicious authoritarian sociopaths in their own ways and the sooner that Democrats can end their political careers, the better.

    •  Yes, Republicans have been doing this for DECADES (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Janet 707, Minnesota Deb

      In Congress, it usually manifests as hostage-taking or (more recently) gross obstruction.

      At the local level, it manifests as Christie-style thuggery.

      And yes, it's all the same attitude towards politics and life. "Gimme what I want or the kids/elderly/vets/disabled get it in the throat."

      All these bastards belong together on a barge where they can stab each other instead of innocent bystanders.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 01:34:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're right about Maureen Dowd (19+ / 0-)

    as she proves correctly the adage

    even a blind squirrel is right twice a day
    Wait, did I get that wrong?

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:09:50 AM PST

  •  Obama vs Christie.....Obama is President, Christie (11+ / 0-)

    is a wannabe.....Big difference.

    •  Obama used to be a wannabe. It's all timing. (0+ / 0-)

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:34:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but.....When Obama was a wannabe he wasn't (7+ / 0-)

        considered to be a creep.

      •  BS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zinger99

         Some folks have it, some folks don't. I thought you corporate types believed that more than anyone else.

          Christie is just like Giuliani- a paper tiger that happened to be the guy in office when a disaster hit. He's not a leader with guts.

        •  Corporate type? I admire your willingness to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dfarrah

          claim facts not in evidence.

          On balance, however, it's better to at least know a little bit when you say something.

          As to Christie -- we'll see.  This is pretty petty ante stuff and I think it will get drowned out in all of the political noise, presuming, of course, that Christie handles himself with any grace at all.  If he can't manage that with little perterbations, he doesn't deserve the White House anyway.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:59:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Two things... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mmacdDE, zinger99, dinotrac, Janet 707

            Christie will be judged by Republicans based on two things:

            1) You're not supposed to see the shiv.  One of the worst sins in GOP world is getting caught.  The whole episode was handled very badly.

            2) They've already put a financial cost on it, and it's big.  Lives were put at risk, a LOT of people were impacted - not just Democrats.

            Depending how the media handles this case, it could be the end of Christie's presidential aspirations, or it could be just a speed bump.

            •  If this were 2016, I'd be inclined to give your (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dfarrah

              argument more weight.  It's not, though, so I have a hard time taking this flap very seriously.

              As to being judged by Republicans, I wonder how much that matters?  Republicans have become a pretty small minority of the country.  People who might once have called themselves Republicans are independents these days -- as are a good many people who might once have called themselves Democrats.

              It will be interesting to see who votes in the primaries.
              Ditto for Hlllary, should she actually run.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 09:17:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  {{{{{YAWN}}}}} (4+ / 0-)

                Am I the only person getting Chris Christie fatigue?

                This is just an exceptionally early flame-out in the 2016 Republican Clown Parade. Herman Caine and Donald Trump at least had the fortune to flame out in the year of the primaries.

                I'm going to take a nap now. Don't bother me...zzzzzzz

                What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 09:40:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  hillary equivalence... (1+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fcvaguy
                  Hidden by:
                  Jake formerly of the LP

                  Republicans jump all over anything that might hurt Hillary because she scares them.  Never mind that little short of serial killing will have much impact this much before campaigns get under way.

                  Ditto for Democrats and Christie.

                  The part that makes it all funny is that it's exactly counter-productive.  By the time the election actually rolls around, this stuff will already be old news, spun, ignored, etc.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:21:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, but I don't see this particularly as Dems (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dinotrac, zinger99, Janet 707

                    piling onto someone they're particularly afraid of. The Dem mayor of Ft. Lee is falling all over himself to say he doesn't believe bad things about his Gov.

                    Compared to the frothing about BENGHAZI!!™ this is pretty civilized.

                    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                    by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:41:25 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think Benghazi is a pretty good comparison if (0+ / 0-)

                      you adjust for the difference between an embassy attack which kills an ambassador and others vs traffic jams.

                      Lots of frothing for a traffic jam.

                      All background noise and ground well-trod by campaign time.

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:43:42 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  do you live in the area? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        zinger99, Janet 707

                        have you any idea how infuriating this is to us? 4 days of sitting in traffic for no good fucking reason??? you don't get away with that in these parts. The man is going down. He pissed off too many people. He may run for president, but he won't be governor for much longer.

                        •  Not my point, but... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          dinotrac, Janet 707

                          ...I can imagine that Christie will never be elected to dogcatcher in Ft. Lee. Sorry if you interpreted my comment that way but, no, looking at it from the left coast, I was referring to the national picture.

                          Yes, I've sat in traffic before and can only begin to imagine what kind of chaos closing 2 of 3 lanes caused.

                          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                          by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:03:29 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  I can't imagine he'll get many votes in Ft Lee. (0+ / 0-)

                          If New Jersey is anything like Illinois, however, you're constantly being stuck in traffic jams because of people doing things for no good reason.

                          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                          by dinotrac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:07:00 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  No, I'm not. I get stuck in traffic due to (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TerryDarc

                            accidents, construction, or unusually heavy travel due to holidays or nice weather for the beach. Those are good reasons. Not because a vindictive group of assholes purposely shut downs lanes of the busiest bridge into the busiest city in the country. If I sit in traffic on the MA pike headed to Maine for a weekend of fishing during Labor Day weekend, I'm less inclined to be upset as compared to sitting in traffic on the GW bridge and missing an appointment with a cardiologist.

                      •  People fled from NYC on 9/11 across the GWB. This (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Jake formerly of the LP

                        is a big fucking deal. Those thousands of commuters were not in Bengaziiiiiiiiii, they were on the bridge trying to do their lives and fat ass and his gang of thugs fucked with them. They made people hours late when they were trying to take care of their kids. These idiots fucked with peoples kids.  And nobody can make sense of how PBO is responsible for the deaths of anybody in a diplomatic post that was attacked in Africa.

                        The Jersey Hulk is over.

                        •  It is petty ante politics. (0+ / 0-)

                          Doesn't even come close to Mayor Daley sending in the heavy equipment to Meigs Field to rip up the runways in the middle of the night.

                          If this gets you in such a lather, some medication might be in order, even if it's just a nice stiff drink.

                          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                          by dinotrac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:24:18 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Lather? Sitting on his own bear trap is nicest (0+ / 0-)

                            thing Christie has ever done for NJ. Messing with peoples kids just makes it easier to call prick on Christie and the pricks who work for him.

                            This thing is just getting started dino, maybe you should have the drink.

                            This is going to be better than HBO.

                          •  I spent too much time in Chicagoland to be (0+ / 0-)

                            impressed by something like this.

                            If it's the tip of an iceberg, it could be trouble for Christie.
                            If not, he's glad it came out now and it'll be old news that only Democratic partisans will care about.

                            This is Benghazi -- unfortunate, infuriating, but not much impact on 2016.

                            And nobody died.

                            And, like the IRS dustup, heads have rolled.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:56:58 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Bengazeeeee & the IRS were investigative theatre. (0+ / 0-)

                            One was a tragedy and other was an agency simply acting within the law and following unpopular guidelines. No matter how fast and furious the repugs screamed fire, there just never was one to show anybody.

                            In Jersey real people got stuck in real traffic and real emails show Christie's closest aides and high level appointees ordering and making the desired traffic jam happen.

                            We just don't know why they did what they did or if Christie is lying about what he knew and when.

                          •  In Benghazi real people got killed. (0+ / 0-)

                            I might be wrong, but even New Jerseyites (and it's been a long time since I lived there, so things may have changed) consider being killed as a bigger inconvenience than being stuck in traffic.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 09:27:31 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes people died in a dangerous place doing their (0+ / 0-)

                            dangerous jobs. And there is no evidence that PBO or his staff took part in or ordered the attack or tried to cover anything up. The pugs have never come up with accusations that make sense, and on examination don't seem frivolous given that 4 people did die. What pugs miss about Bengazeee, F&F, and the IRS investigations is that reasonable people need to see some facts proving allegations before they decide anyone is guilty.  

                            The GWB scandal IS a scandal. Christies office and his highest appointees at the PA did order and execute an illegal closure of traffic lanes on an interstate bridge. They did this during the heightened security of the anniversary of 9/11. Any proven charges can have the sentence made significantly more severe because of the terrorist laws. One of the formerly gleeful perps is seeking immunity for local state ands federal crimes. This is not the way Issa's investigations have rolled out. He makes thunderous charges and comes up with popcorn fart evidence. Then does it again. Only the beltway pundits listen to him now.

                            Hundreds of thousands of people commuting and trying to accomplish interstate activity and life were eyewitness victims of the bridge crime. And millions will watch or hear about the trials, who gets convicted, who is acquitted and what everyone says about Chris Christie.  

                            This is just starting.

                          •  Benghazi is merely a matter of incompetence, not (0+ / 0-)

                            scandal. Let's see what happens with this New Jersey pissing match.  If it really is just petty shit, it will end up helping him.

                            If  not, it will sink him.

                            Why will it help him?

                            If the investigations don't uncover anything of consequence, the activity that will be most recently in the news and in people's memory will be the administration (of Democrats) going ballistic and spending government time and resources on what amounts to nothing.

                            Now -- you may see things differently. You may, for example, believe that Ken Starr greatly advanced the  fortunes of Republican office seekers.  

                            And that's OK.  We'll both know all the answers in a couple years' time.  Hell, Christie could drop dead before then.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 11:25:29 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ken Starr? That history has descended into farce (0+ / 0-)

                            and is repeating itself under Issa's chairmanship. I remember that Ken never convicted anyone directly related to the land deal he was supposed to investigate. Something about a blow job?

                            Government resources were spent by Christie's people to pay for an illegal lane closure on the GWB. What we don't know is why. This is easy to understand and Christie is a gov not a pres. This won't consume the airwaves and reporting like a Presidential investigation would. This is likely to calm down to a run of the mill abuse of power case with a clear and easily understood crime.

                            The only fireworks is gonna be if and who rolls on Christie and if someone does, will it nail him.

                            So far Christie is hapless naif. Hard to see him squeeze any hero time out of this.

                          •  We'll see what gets found -- and if there is a (0+ / 0-)

                            crime, who's behind it.

                            Just remember:  It's really easy to shout "crime", but crimes have well-defined elements and require sufficient evidence to prove them.

                            There may be something there, but I'll believe it when I see it.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 11:46:50 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Closing access lanes to the GWB to create traffic (0+ / 0-)

                            problems in FT Lee is a crime. And because it is an interstate bridge the crime may be subject to everything from local to Federal charges.

                            The crime is being investigated to see who is responsible for committing it. And if the well defined elements and evidence of a crime point to individuals than someone gets charged. In the meantime the NJ legislature is holding hearings and is on a document hunt.

                            Drip Drip Drip.

                            The Jersey Hulk is over.

                            And yes it is easy to shout "crime" look up "Issa".

                          •  It's easy to cry crime, harder to establish it. (0+ / 0-)

                            What crime, exactly, is it?

                            This being the United States, all crimes are statutory, so I presume you have the statute book handy and can recite the crime and the elements that must be proven to establish it.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:05:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, I don't have a Jersey, Bergan Co, or US code (0+ / 0-)

                            of statutes books handy but it has been established in articles in magazines, blogs, newspapers, diaries here and comments by legislators in NJ that it is a crime to use any state resources for personal or political gain in Jersey. It is a federal crime to impede interstate traffic and interstate commerce, so there's that, the feds have already opened an investigation And endangering the public, which is going to be easy to establish, is illegal in local to federal law depending on jurisdiction, all over the country.

                            I have read more than one diary here that outlines the possible crimes committed concerning the GWB. I am not your secretary dino, hit the googles. Scroll down the diary list. The information you seek s going to be easy to find.

                            I agree that it can sometimes be obvious that a crime has been committed, but it can be sticky trying to find out just exactly who committed, or caused a crime to be committed. But that's what hearings, investigations, and document searches are for.

                            This is just starting dino, and barring some collapse of will by the offended Dems in Jersey, this is going to go on for some time. And headlines aren't indictments, but they can cause political death by a thousand paper cuts.

                            The Jersey Hulk is over. Why are you taking this so hard?

                          •  What am I taking hard? (0+ / 0-)

                            I have a tendency to prefer fact over hyperbole.

                            Nothing more, nothing less.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:43:15 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, "Nothing more, nothing less" quotes sound (0+ / 0-)

                            pretty hyperbolic.

                            dino there is a crime here. That's why high level appointees and staff are resigning and being fired all over the tv machine. That the document dump has outrun some of Christie's defense and apologia is going to start to get around. for instance, he claims lawyer Samson, a very powerful man in Jersey, was a paragon of public rectitude and, oops, he's in the scheme. It is not hyperbolic to describe what you hear with your ears and see with your eyes.

                            I don't know if Christie is going to be charged with anything, but it is odds on someone will be.

                            This has trashed his brand. He hires people who lie to him about ratfucking New Jersey cities over an interstate bridge that brings the feds to Ft Lee.

                            The Jersey Hulk is over. Chritie Smashed.

                          •  There may be. We'll find out. (0+ / 0-)

                            I seem to remember a time when Bill Clinton had "trashed his brand" and came back from the dead.

                            It's easy to accuse.
                            It's even easy to launch investigation.

                            Will Christie be charged?
                            In the current hyper-partisan world that is American politics, I would be surprised if he is not (unless, of course, he turns out to be a Wall Street Mogul in disguise, in which case there would be no chance of him getting charged).

                            Will he be convicted?

                            If not, THAT could be a springboard to the White House.

                            I can already see the campaign against the evil "new fascism" that has taken control of American politics and must be beaten back before the voters lose whatever power we may hold.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:21:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Christie could be another Bill Clinton? Well heh. (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Not what I said. (0+ / 0-)

                            The words, they matter.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:53:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Coming back from the dead is what I was referring (0+ / 0-)

                            to. The personal style is really different between these two.

                          •  Very different. (0+ / 0-)

                            Christie can't come back from the dead until he joins them.

                            People here get excited very easily.
                            In the absence of many facts, I'm willing to hold on and let the pieces sort themselves out.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 09:20:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's just getting started. Invest in popcorn. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dinotrac
                          •  It is just getting started, but don't forget the (0+ / 0-)

                            IRS flap.  Problems there, to be sure, but not the sort of problems originally reported.  Time has a way of filling in the picture.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 06:36:59 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This won't go away. There was no fuel for the fire (0+ / 0-)

                            for Bengazeee, or the IRS, or any of the other phony scandals flogged by the conservatives. There is something everyday since this broke. Somebody is going to get charged for closing those lanes. That it looks like $60,000 for a traffic study in a city 35 miles away was used to cover the lane closure is real easy to understand. And hard to explain, but there will be an explanation.

                            Christie's aides left fingerprints everywhere. That a deputy CoO ordered a traffic rat fuck in Ft Lee and a two PA appointees, pulling down more than $400,000 in salaries between them, carried it out is a big slow moving target.

                            It seems Jersey is a pretty casually corrupt state. Pulling on the bridge string may bring all kinds of players down including democrats. The fall out is already happening. Christies pick for state AG is a non starter. What's next?

                            He'll really be toning down his state of the Sate speech tonight.I'm guessing it will be downgraded from 'elect me president' to 'don't tase me bro'. Look for the punditocracy to push how he has saved his presidential hopes with a speech that was just the right tone.

                             And stock up on that popcorn!

                          •  Check back in 6 months. (0+ / 0-)

                            We'll see how it looks then.

                            If things are continuing to spiral, the guy is likely toast.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 11:24:02 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  As an aside, I'm beginning to wonder if Hillary (0+ / 0-)

                      has actually made a brilliant political move by withdrawing from the spotlght.

                      With her out of the headlines, it gets harder and harder to keep old scandals fresh and shiny.  They get harder to bring up and people lose interest.   Come time for the campaigns, the most resounding noise from things like Benghazi is likely to be "Who the hell cares about that any more?"

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:48:39 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think that's one reason she's not Sec. of State: (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dinotrac, mmacdDE

                        just to be free of BENGHAZI!!™, etc.

                        HRC is no dummy and has been around that consummate pol and husband of hers. Neither are my favorite characters politically, except that there is a certain operatic quality to their lives. They are so much more fun than some dull turd like Bob Dole or GWB.

                        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                        by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:09:03 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Obama was my Senator in 2008, but I was pulling (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TerryDarc

                          for HRC.  Didn't much like her once upon a time, but she's grown on me.  I still don't think she can be elected in 2016 if Republicans put up anything like a competent candidate and run anything like a competent campaign, but these are not even the Republicans of George W. Bush, let alone Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon.

                          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                          by dinotrac on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:37:19 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Bengazi isn't a scandal, it was a tragedy. And (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Jake formerly of the LP

                        dragging dead bodies thru the streets didn't nail Hillary in the 90s and it won't nail her in 2016. It is just repugs dragging other peoples dead thru the gutters.

                        Bengazi is not a scandal, it was a tragedy.

                    •  really? he just told MTP he thinks the guy is (0+ / 0-)

                      a bully, paraphrased...

                      •  Maybe the "little Serbian" is moving (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        zinger99, dinotrac

                        onto the national stage? Or at least a state-wide stage.

                        I saw Sokolich on Rachel a couple of times and I thought he went waaay out of his road to be nice to his lardship.

                        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                        by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:11:58 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  BS, again (0+ / 0-)

                      Many of us have always viewed Christie as an empty fraud who bullied his way into prominence, but had failure throughout his tenure as governor. This story proves it in a spectacular way.

                       Take that garbage to the below-ground bubble-world, because it don't fly here, son.

          •  Petty ante? (0+ / 0-)

            On 91 year-old woman died. Do you have anyone who has died from the ACA?

            Once that lawsuit gets started, look out. If there is any proof that she could have been saved, this story will have even more legs.

            I don't see this as petty ante at all. The people who did this (whether Christie was actually included or not) only did this out of spite. Nothing more. We are finding out that this is not out of the ordinary with this group, which means it's part of the culture of his administration. The fish rots from the head.

  •  Kathleen Parker (10+ / 0-)

    is my Republican Mom on steroids.  And my Mom is in her 80's.  Sheesh!

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:15:01 AM PST

  •  Even with big words, Douthat is clueless. (22+ / 0-)
    But at the same time it wants to rebel and lash out against the strictures it feels that feminism and political correctness have placed on male liberty, male rights.
    Strictures on male rights?  That is one big lol. The incompetent, don't know they're incompetent, and the privileged don't know they're privileged.
    ]
    ]Why is this man paid to write?

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:15:02 AM PST

  •  Remember Christie yelling at the teacher and the (16+ / 0-)

    guy on the boardwalk like he was a tough guy? My guess is that as a kid Christie was a husky guy who took a lot of abuse and certainly couldn't stand up to bullies who were leaner and more agile. Now he has manipulated our somewhat deranged political system into a situation where he can be the bully and feel secure that he won't get an ass kicking because he has state troopers and others to take down anyone who comes at him. But in his heart he still knows that to this day any sophomore from the lacrosse team could knock him down and steal his lunch. And that bullied kid that he was years ago was the person I imagined as I watched him grovel and babble in his press conference the other day. I could almost see his Sicilian mother backing him up with a rolling pin in hand as he pointed out the bullies for her with snot and tears running down his face.

  •  Someone (28+ / 0-)

    needs to investigate how Hurricane Sandy relief money was doled out and if any was witheld as retribution

    "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

    by LieparDestin on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:17:28 AM PST

  •  Kathleen Parker (13+ / 0-)

    has been sucked deep into the rightwing vortex of denial.  I mean, truly, what's worse? Orchestrating four days of traffic jams at one of the world's busiest bridges in a moronically petty act of political retribution?  Or reporting on it?

    Did 2012 teach Parker nothing?  Nothing about the distance between reality and Republican truisms?  Nothing even about the danger the Right faces when it crawls into its little burrow of epistemic closure?

    And is she so blind that she cannot recognize the dominant theme of those angry emails in her inbox?  They're furious that the media are trying to learn the truth about what a Republican did, and they're asking fair questions about the proper consequences.

    Christie is toast.

    by deminva on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:20:47 AM PST

  •  Although I support the death penalty (6+ / 0-)

    Hiaasen makes a sound fiscal point for abandoning it.

    As to the original murders that landed Knight in prison:

    The daughter of Sydney and Lillian Gans didn’t attend Knight’s execution because of poor health. At 73, she is now older than her parents were when they were slain.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:23:16 AM PST

    •  I thot it was well known that the death penalty (0+ / 0-)

      was gobstoppingly expensive, way more so than simply locking 'em up and throwing away the proverbial key. This is not exactly news but certainly bears repeating.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 09:51:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Christopher Clark describes the Prussian (9+ / 0-)

    conservatives post 1848 as....'narrow minded, self-centered and retrograde'........I had to laugh......nothing new under the sun.

  •  After the colossal embarrassment (5+ / 0-)

    of watching Chris Christie's chickens come home to roost, because the Republican's only agenda, "Give tax cuts to the rich by bullying the poor" is the efficacy of failure.

  •  Dowd did good; Douthat is a he-man woman (8+ / 0-)

    hating asshole & Parker's generation are getting older all the time.

    I'm glad that you read this crap so we don't have to, THANKS!

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:33:28 AM PST

  •  I'm wondering (4+ / 0-)

    If a turn to the Right is a big Jump the Shark for a lot of creative people, like Al Capp, Dennis Miller, David Zucker, Frank Miller, etc....

    Now I'm thinking about Michael Crichton in his Disclosure and State of Fear late career....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:35:40 AM PST

  •  That graphic looks like he's behind bars (4+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:45:01 AM PST

  •  A ‘Fast Track’ to Less Democracy and ... (8+ / 0-)

    title of article today by John Nichols

    A ‘Fast Track’ to Less Democracy and More Economic Dislocation

    Here is a way to see if Obama is serious about income inequality. He needs to give a speech and say that TPP will harm workers. Followed by killing off TPP. Then we will know if he is serious about that issue.

    But, what we have is continued efforts of the Ad Ministration to push through TPP without debate.

    (Hey, is that a good one or not? AD Ministration! to show the deep propaganda in out politics)

    The framers of the Constitution were wise to include Congress in the process of framing and approving trade agreements made by presidents. That authority to provide advice and consent should, the wisest legislators have always argued, be zealously guarded.

    Unfortunately, in recent decades, Congress has frequently surrendered its authority when it comes to the shaping of trade agreements. By granting so-called “fast-track authority” to the White House, Congress opts itself out of the process at the critical stage when an agreement is being struck and retains only the ability to say “yes” or “no” to a done deal.

    The result has been a framing of US trade agreements that is great for multinational corporations but lousy for workers, communities and the environment. Instead of benefitting the great mass of people in the United States and countries with which it trades, deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the permanent normalization of trade relations agreement with China de-emphasize worker rights, human rights, environmental and democracy concerns and clear the way for a race to the bottom.

    http://www.commondreams.org/...
  •  To understand Repubs' defense of Christie (15+ / 0-)

    (and, come to think of it, their embrace of him prior to Bridgeghazi), one has to realize that most Repubs are motivated almost entirely by the following:

    1 - Power, however raw and brutal and incompetently and corruptly exercised. It's ALL about the performance and outward projection of naked aggression. They LOVE that shit, being sadists and masochists at heart. Which is why they not only don't see his behavior as wrong, but actually LIKE it.

    2 - Self-interest, for themselves, their families, their allies, and their "tribe", usually delineated along ethnic, regional, religious and class lines. Everyone else is just a outsider "taker" and can just go fuck themselves.

    3 - Fear and a resulting hatred of everyone who's not one of them, and of ideas and things they're not familiar or comfortable with, be it "socialism", evolution, global warming, or universal health care.

    4 - The complete destruction of such people, ideas and things, both out of self-interest, and to eliminate any potential threats and risks.

    Seriously, that's IT. These are reptilians at heart, operating out of much based instincts and interests than liberals do. They're wired that way, to one extent or another. We can't change them. We can't "fix" them. We can only bypass, neutralize or beat them. This has been true since Cain and Abel.

    Republicans are nature's sick joke, or failed experiment.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:49:27 AM PST

    •  We can outlive them... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      curthess

      ...and we will. Clearly, looking at the rights of people in the early days of the republic and then today: workers' rights, child labor laws, voting and political rights for people of color/women, social safety nets, and so on: clearly we are on the right track and clearly it is taking too long but it is underway.

      And, we shall overcome.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 09:58:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Class president and......athlete? (0+ / 0-)

    What athlete? Sumo wrestler? I don't mean to pick on the man's weight, but I don't see the governor as the athletic type.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:56:40 AM PST

  •  Remembering Ariel Sharon (0+ / 0-)

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:56:58 AM PST

  •  Christie's too tough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minnesota Deb

    Do you KOS people have any idea of what's going on today? Look at this NSA mess. Are you foolish enough to think this is a primary cause of grief? It's a symptom; else Obama would have done something besides stall on this. He's part of the real problem which is that our government was taken over by a coup immediately following the 2000 election. Gore won by 500,000 votes, not Bush. He was a pretender, ushering in the real 1984. Until we've swallowed this and understand it we won't have a chance of reclaiming democracy in the USA.

    The other side of Christie's toughness is that he's far less likely to be the pincushion Hilary Clinton is sure to be. She's a jellyfish destined to be in the hip pockets of the Pentagon and the spies who'll likely bypass her and touch off World War III.

    •  Hillary can handle being a pin cushion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, hester

      Any Democrat who wins the primary will be a pin cushion.
      Christie was the most viable potential candidate against Hillary Clinton. Now he's not.
      On an electorally focused web site like this one, that's an important subject. So is the NSA spying, and there have been plenty of diaries talking about it.
      But we're not talking about it here, today.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:21:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is good news for John McCain (0+ / 0-)

        someone had to say it

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

        by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:07:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am not a big fan of Hilary's (0+ / 0-)

      politics, but I would never call her a "jellyfish." The woman's tough.

  •  Christie's too tough (0+ / 0-)

    Do you KOS people have any idea of what's going on today? Look at this NSA mess. Are you foolish enough to think this is a primary cause of grief? It's a symptom; else Obama would have done something besides stall on this. He's part of the real problem which is that our government was taken over by a coup immediately following the 2000 election. Gore won by 500,000 votes, not Bush. He was a pretender, ushering in the real 1984. Until we've swallowed this and understand it we won't have a chance of reclaiming democracy in the USA.

    The other side of Christie's toughness is that he's far less likely to be the pincushion Hilary Clinton is sure to be. She's a jellyfish destined to be in the hip pockets of the Pentagon and the spies who'll likely bypass her and touch off World War III.

  •  the big wink (4+ / 0-)

    Can't watch the Sunday pundits because no one seems to be getting what I get out of all this: they're playing pretend! This is why people like Mayor Rob Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura keep getting elected. Howard Stern would have no trouble winning a race. In Ford Country, as on the Daily Show, nobody believes these guys. Christie has it worse though: he is in the NYC media pool, and he is a large fellow. His base will stick with him, but now as a late-night joke he can't go any further in politics.

    The press conference was one long wink-wink, I can get away with this. That's OK with Jersey voters until it crosses over the moral tipping point, and then it is all bad. Christie is toast. He can still control appointments and money (NJ constitution has a very strong executive), but his big alliance in state politics will be chaotic from now on.

    The A.P. ran a decent story on using Gmail (actually it was Yahoo mail) instead of official mail to try to avoid FOIA requests and subpoenas.  But it glossed over an essential supreme court case in NJ, when Gov. Corzine was able to withhold his emails. I did a little search, and I think that was controlled by the specifics of the case, not a general principal. In any case, the NJ assembly got the private emails, and that was all the difference. Gov. Coumo, by the way, uses a Blackberry and has claimed in previous cases he has no records at all. http://www.philly.com/...

    Speaking of Coumo, Politico claims this is a big deal in NY politics, and it's yet to be determined if Cuomo initially supported Christie within the Port Authority after the scandal broke in the WSJ last fall. http://www.politico.com/...

    •  add... (0+ / 0-)

      ...former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry to the wink-wink list. As long as people feel he's on their side, they will vote for him. Unless it's an obvious matter of ideology, competence, policy, etc. Note he's still on city council, while Anthony Weiner is not. Would he be if he tried?

      •  Maybe...but when you look under the rock that was (0+ / 0-)

        under that rock that was under two rocks, etc. we're liable to find out something really, really nasty.

        At best case for Gov. Christie is that he will still be remembered not-so-fondly in 2016 as the butt of a lot of late night jokes on the teevees.

        All this is gonna take is Briget Kelly to day, "Yes, I told him about it 3 months earlier and the Gov. said 'Go for it!'" or, as someone suggested above, looking into the hurricane Sandy disbursal of funds. Any retribution there?

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

        by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:15:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ohio's Governor Rhodes (4+ / 0-)

    James A Rhodes, Ohio's infamous governor owned stock in Wendy's and had a few franchises in Columbus. The Columbus Dispatch found out he used state personnel and snow plows to plow his restaurants parking lots. Another blight on his political career. Christy may be just as corrupt.

    If we lie to the government, it's a felony...but if they lie to us it's politics.

    by rmb on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:18:21 AM PST

    •  Has everyone gotten their relief money? Photo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vamulticulturalist, TerryDarc

      ops & talking doesn't fix the broken infrastructure if you NOT one of the favored few. In addition, his wife is running a scam to collect money for Sandy relief. Where's that money since it has not gotten to anyone on the ground.

      He's evil sadistic & a good con man. He fooled you & many other good people.

      Any Dem is better than Don Christie for anything.

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:54:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chris Christie (0+ / 0-)

    I am a Democrat.  There is very little I can find about the GOP to either like or support...in fact, I despise most of what they pretend to stand for.  But oddly enough, I still like Christie.  He is what he is, which is certainly not a perfect human being, or a human being who entertains any illusions about his own perfection.  Yes, he can be a blustering, borderline bully at times, but I have to admit, his performance when Sandy hit the NJ shore trumps the rest of his flaws for me.  He may have looked the other way on this bridge scandal, but I find that hard to believe about the same man who was willing to lay down partisan politics and work with an unjustly despised president when his people were hurting; knowing that he would risk the ire of many of the ghouls in his party.  That still counts for something with me.  Besides, I don't really like Hilary and I'm tired of dynasties occupying the office of POTUS.  

    •  Which dynasty are you (6+ / 0-)

      referring to? The Bushes? Because unless you're really, really old, that has been the only "dynasty" that's occupied the WH in recent history.
      As for Christie, if you find it hard to believe that he knew about this, it's pretty hard to believe that when two of his own appointees at the Port Authority resigned last month, he never once thought to call them to his office and explain why they were resigning?
       Christie never looked into why Wildstein hired a lawyer a few weeks ago when he was called to testify before the legislature committee that was investigating the incident?
      No one on his staff alerted him to the fact that the Bergen Record was also looking into the scandal?
      If that's the case, he is an incompetent buffoon, along the lines of GWB. We don't need another one of those in the WH. The last one almost destroyed the economy.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:39:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  dynasty (0+ / 0-)

        Can't say I really disagree with what you are saying....especially about the Bush era, but that still doesn't make me like Hilary and dislike Christie.  The biggest difference for me, even if Christie is an incompetent buffoon, is that the Clintons have always been guilty of much worse, but they get away with it because they don't get caught...notwithstanding the Monica L. scandal.  There have always been a lot of scandals floating around the Clinton camp, but they are well-connected where it counts, so the scandals have mostly disappeared.  At the end of the day, I find it difficult to trust politicians period, I think they are all, mostly corrupt, but there is something human about Christie that remains endearing, in spite of both his over-sized flaws and pants size.  Of course, Bill Clinton rode that same endearing human band wagon as far as it would take him too.  Politics really is a zero-sum game; all you really end up with is the right to pick your poison.

        •  Ah, so the Clintons are guilty... (4+ / 0-)

          of all the stuff they haven't been caught at. As in?

          •  Kenneth Starr spent $60 million taxpayer $'s (5+ / 0-)

            trying to prove zip: Whitewater to Vince Foster's death to Monica's blue dress through White house stolen silver. And onandonandon...

            Complete and utter waste of time and money. Starr was going to continue beyond the end of Bill's second term as I recall when someone finally got smart.

            What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

            by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:23:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  ar-kansas (0+ / 0-)

          The Clinton's shenanigans were more-or-less par for the course in Arkansas. Hillary Clinton's less likable than Bill though, for some reason. It's not entirely a gender thing, since there are enough likable women pols. The New England and Pacific NW senators are looking particularly good now, disregarding whatever you think of their politics (Ayotte, Collins, Cantwell, Murray), and of course figures like Barbara Lee and Barbara Mikulski.

    •  I'm an NJ Democrat, too, and I don't think his (5+ / 0-)

      Sandy performance excuses what happened here, or gives him a pass.  He embraced Obama because he knew, like all the rest of us reading Nate Silver, that he would win, and he knew Obama would have the money needed to rebuild.  He merely did what any Governor would have done.  Were the Republican Governors who had to pick up the pieces after Katrina or any number of hurricanes any less vigorous and committed to their people?

      •  I would agree except (0+ / 0-)

        how do you explain Republican governors turning down Medicaid expansion. I give Christie the teeniest bit of credit for not being as fucking awful as Walker, Scott, LePage, and Corbett.

        Christie's a jerk and he deserves all he get out of this bridgegate stuff but there are worse examples abounding the party of NO.

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

        by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:30:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  when the cameras were running... (16+ / 0-)

      Mr. Christie may have seemed to be bipartisan and caring when the cameras were running and, in the early days after Sandy hit, as the press followed his actions. He was running for re-election, after all, and he wanted to appear  to be saintly and selfless, sort of like the Mother Theresa of the northeast, so he would be perfectly positioned for 2016.

      But later on, when media attention waned, he directed the federal funds almost exclusively to the more upscale areas of New Jersey, ignoring the less well-to-do areas, especially those without large white majorities.  

      Also, of course, he wasted (non-relief) state funds to stage two elections, so the Democrats would turn out for Cory Booker and then stay home when he was on the ballot several weeks later.  And there is the bullying thing, which is not desirable in a president, who must appear to treat others, especially private citizens, with respect.

      Chris Hayes is one of the few who is paying attention, still, and he has pointed out on several occasions (even before the bridge scandal) that some people affected by Sandy have yet to get their fair share of the recovery funds.  And that, along with Mr. Christie's other character flaws, make him unworthy, even, of his current office.  

    •  hugging Obama... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb

      if that's all it takes?

      so now do you like Hillary?

    •  I don't particularly care for Christie, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      curthess

      but I believe that some Dems "should be careful what they wish for."

      I'm guessing that Marco Rubio might replace Christie as Repub frontrunner, if this story has legs.

      Rubio is a regular "guest speaker" at supposedly left-leaning Brookings, and is generally liked by the more conservative Repub Base (including Tea Party types).

      IOW--he will able to pick up the same votes as corporatist Dems in some states, and appeal to the hard right of the Republican Party.

      Not to mention that he might have some appeal among some somewhat conservative Latino voters.

      BTW, I get your point about another "dynasty."

      For some reason, some folks conflate the Clintons' willingness to "be tough and fight for themselves," with willingness to stand and fight for liberal policies on behalf of the Dem Party Base.

      And that doesn't necessarily hold true (NAFTA, Welfare Reform, Repeal of Glass-Steagall, etc.)

      ;-)

      My biggest concern would be FS Clinton's willingness to stop the erosion of our social insurance programs, due to the DLC/Third Way stance on entitlement "reform."

      So, I'd like to see the Dem Party nominate a true liberal or progressive Dem candidate.  

      IMHO, the nation has never been more ready for a President who would be willing to enact "New Deal"-like economic policies!

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 04:38:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Garrison Keillor, Rush Limbaugh, and Rupert (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vamulticulturalist, a2nite, ORDem

    Murdoch all think you're ridiculous, then Kathleen Parker isn't going to help you.

  •  Have you seen that commercial about the world's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, TerryDarc, mmacdDE

    oldest trick: "Hey, look over there?"
    Think Christie.

    You can get anywhere in life if you'll simply take the time to learn how to kiss ass correctly. Unfortunately, you have to live with yourself thereafter. If Republicans and some others here and there have taught us anything: it's that. Best of luck!

    by franklyn on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:44:15 AM PST

  •  This is the kind of mentality that must be changed (0+ / 0-)

    Cut and pasted out of this mornings editorial pages of one of the local papers in South Dakota.

    Ice-free prediction freezes solid

    In 2007, Al Gore hysterically warned the world that the North Pole would be “ice-free” by the year 2013. Joining this song and dance with Gore, and citing “climate experts,” the government-funded BBC hyped the mass hysteria, along with other major media outlets with the dire warning: “Arctic summers ice-free by 2013.”

    Well folks, 2013 has come and gone; as for arctic ice, it increased in size and mass by about 50 percent during 2013. In fact, it was the largest, single year increase in arctic ice since records have been kept.

    The “experts” should know that ice increases and decreases at both poles on a 60-year cycle because of ocean currents, not global warming.

    But then, what the heck, these environmental geniuses just recently stopped a highway building project in Iceland because it could endanger the elves that “might” live along the route. You can’t make this stuff up — but maybe you can.

    We elected a man to the highest office in our land whose only claim to fame is that he was a “community organizer.” I guess elves in Iceland make as much sense as that.

    Don Kopp, Rapid City

    If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes.

    by RepresentUsPlease on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:36:00 AM PST

    •  idiots are going to be idiots (0+ / 0-)

      Icelandic Elves story.

      Andri Snaer Magnason, a well-known environmentalist, said his major concern was that the road would cut the lava field in two, among other things, destroying nesting sites.
      What that has to do with the 2008 election of then US Senator Barack Obama to be President is unclear to me.
      •  I swear, whenever *anyone* does anything (0+ / 0-)

        for the elves, everyone's motivation for doing the same thing is instantly credited in the foreign press as to being for the elves as well. One or two people join a widespread environmental protest, and suddenly, the protest is about elves, with the environment as a side issue.

        To picture an equivalent in the US, imagine if a couple people started protesting Keystone XL because it runs through Bigfoot habitat, and all the foreign press started portraying the protests as being mainly about Bigfoot.

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:24:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow! Our own climate denier! (0+ / 0-)

      And the fact that 9 of the warmest 10 years on record are in the last decade? What would make of that? The warmest year on record was 1998 which escapes the decade but just.

      Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean underwent a sharp recovery this year from the record-low levels of 2012, with 50 percent more ice surviving the summer melt season, scientists said Friday. It is the largest one-year increase in Arctic ice since satellite tracking began in 1978.

      The experts added, however, that much of the ice remains thin and slushy, a far cry from the thick Arctic pack ice of the past. Because thin ice is subject to rapid future melting, the scientists said this year’s recovery was unlikely to portend any change in the relentless long-term decline of Arctic sea ice.

      Al Gore is not looking wrong to me. 60 year cycles? Where did you pick up that bit of bs? Nature has never been that nice and tidy.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:38:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  we need to be writing our own (0+ / 0-)

      letters to the editor, refuting this BS. That is my one-and-only New Year's resolution (besides eating more vegetables)!

  •  Christie the honest, straight-shooter (7+ / 0-)

    Kornacki had a great find this morning (many such, but this one for now):

    He relayed the story of one of Christies appointee's screwing up an application for federal education money, and losing the money.  Christie publicly insisted that the Obama folks had unfairly screwed NJ, that his appointee had tried to furnish the information that was missing from the application, at the meeting with the feds to review the application, but the feds meanly refused to accept it.

    It later came out, that was not at all true.  The meeting had been videotaped.

    Christie then fired the guy for lying to him (about the feds refusing to accept the information at the meeting--the appointee was not able to produce it).  "You don't lie to the governor."  (Awesome video clip shown by Kornacki, of Christie saying this.)

    Sounding familiar?

    Well, the fired appointee then furnished reams of emails showing that he had not lied to Christie, that he had honestly confessed to Christie his mistake.

    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    Is this loud but honest-as-the-day-is-long straight-shooter have the constitution to lie to us public?

    To concoct a story to get his constituents angry at evil Obama instead of his administration?

    Then, when said story proves a lie, to be shocked and furious at the underling who lied to him?  But not to worry folks, I fired his ass?

    •  Follow the money (0+ / 0-)

      I found Kornacki's segment on the billion dollar development project that is adjacent to the bridge much more interesting.

      Remember folks, this is NJ we are talking about, where all political power is derived from the money, and all the money comes from builders and developers who are intent on paving over every square inch of the Garden State.

      Short version... Christie closes dedicated lanes that directly connect the new high rise development complex to the bridge.    This has the potential to wipe out hundreds of millions of dollars in value in the project.    This was a shot across the bow to those developers and investors in the project with a clear message, either get all those politicians in your pocket in line or we will ruin you financially.

      There is a joke in NJ,
         Q: What do you call the most honest politician in the state?  
         A: A crook.    

      All elected officials are owned in one way or another by the developers, who exercise their power via the party bosses by spreading around campaign contributions, high paying consulting jobs to friends and family of the politician, and even occasionally a fat envelope stuffed with Benjamins.  

      There is no doubt in my mind (NJ Resident for 30+ years) that Christie was putting a squeeze on the Hudson Light's project so they in turn would put pressure on Senate Dems to back off Christie's Supreme Court nominees.

      And far from being a trivial and petty issue, this all goes to the absolute cornerstone of Christie's agenda, which is to overturn the Abbott District ruling of the NJ Supreme Court which would then allow Christie to decimate the NJ School funding system and destroy the teachers union once and for all.

  •  Now, the front page of HuffPo has no mention of... (0+ / 0-)

    ... Christy and/or bridgegate, so far as I could find.

    Apparently, this is now old new until the grand jury is convened.

  •  President Obama's lie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ricestarz, willynel

    Yes he should have said people could keep their junk health insurance and have the right to lose their home.

  •  Kathleen Parker's comments prove one thing... (0+ / 0-)

    She truly is a whore. A media whore at that.

    The media didn't even want this story until more truth came out. And she suddenly decides it's their fault. She must be looking for a gig on Fox.

    Whore.  

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