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Former Christie cronies Wildstein and Kelly have made it clear all along they are willing to tell all in exchange for immunity.  Those of us who do not like the news to hold us in suspense longer than a three-act play are getting impatient.  Why hasn't there been a deal yet and why do we not, finally, know everything?

The answer is pretty simple:  nobody will sign off on a deal until both sides agree on the price, and we are going to have to wait a little longer before the price becomes clear.  However, the process is moving and we can hope for an interesting outcome.  In the meantime, it seems Chris Christie himself is proceeding on the assumption that he has already done everything he can for damage control.

To make sense of all this we have to consider how immunity deals are actually struck.

The underlying premise behind an immunity deal is that prosecutors will give up the ability to go against one wrongdoer -- by giving him/her immunity -- in exchange for information that will help them point the finger to a more valuable target.  In criminal schemes, this means a kingpin;  in the present context, it means someone higher up in authority.  There really is no likely target Wildstein and Kelly could offer other than Christie, if they want to make a deal.  Conceivably each could be trying to pin the situation on the other, but that does not seem like the sort of deal that would tempt a prosecutor, who would more likely use their joint emails to go after both of them.  The fact they are both courting immunity can only mean they both think they can hurt Christie.

Additionally, a prosecutor will not make a deal until he knows what he is getting.  This involves at least two steps.  First, the prosecutor investigates the case to see what comes to light without a deal.  In a case like this, there is a vast web of emails other electronic messages that needs to be fleshed out. With emails, you look at what you have in hand, and that tells you everyone who got copied.  You ask those people to produce their emails, and by looking at what you already have you know if they have produced everything or not.  (That is why earlier in this case we heard a lawyer tell a judge he know things existed because he had seen them - but without producing any examples.  You don't turn up all your cards.)  If the prosecutor finds he has a complete case without needing another witness, a deal is unnecessary.

When a deal looks promising, a prosecutor usually will want to pin down the specifics.  That means getting a proffer from the would-be witness.  The proffer spells out what the witness "would" say if given the right conditions.  Basically, in this case, an acceptable proffer would be something like "I am not saying anything, but if you give me immunity I will not only point the finger at Chris Christie, but also give you some documents or details that confirm my statement."  It takes time to flesh this sort of thing out, since the negotiations have to move cautiously, and the prosecutor is also always keeping an eye on the information he is getting from other sources.  Seeking immunity, you want to turn up only enough cards to show what you could tell, without actually documenting the complete case.

On the other side, the person negotiating for immunity will be looking for two things to fall into place.  First, if it looks like the investigation is drying up, there is no sense in cutting any deal.  Better to hold out and look like a hero to your boss.  In a case like this, someone who keeps quite might end up with another high-paying, basically no-show job.  Second, if it looks like you actually are in danger of prosecution, then you want to cut a deal that really does let you off the hook.  To do that, you need to know what your exposure is.  In the Bridgegate mess, it looks like there was a violation of both state and federal law.  That means that we cannot expect anyone to start cutting deals until they can get immunity from both state and federal prosecutors.  Obviously, the NJ legislature cannot do that.

We can assume that all of the investigations are sharing what they get.  That means that as state, legislative, and federal investigations go forward, they are  harvesting a lot of miscellaneous detail.  Bit by bit they are figuring out what really happened, and they are sharing that information.  Whoever it was that ordered the lane closures, it is inevitable that his/her identity is going to come out, along with the motivation.  We are also likely to, eventually, get an awful lot of information about political deals that were struck in NJ.

One reason my money remains against Christie is that Kelly and Wildstein seem to be holding out for an immunity deal.  If they did not have something really good to sell, then I would expect one or the other to start cutting a cheaper deal.  If each could only implicate the other, it is unlikely they could get off completely.  The deal we would be seeing then would be one where one or the other agrees to plea guilty to something relatively minor in exchange for pointing the finger at the other, who ends up getting charged with something more serious.  Because Kelly and Wildstein appear to be fairly equal as prosecutorial targets, each could be expected to be rushing to be the first to turn state's evidence against the other.  The fact this has not happened seems to suggest everyone is looking at a higher, and bigger target.

So what can Christie do?  Basically, nothing.  If he was involved in the lane closures, we can assume that eventually Wildstein and Kelly will find a cutting a deal preferable to taking a fall for the big guy.  Since there is nothing Christie can really do to prevent that, he is simply making the best of a bad situation.  Better to bluster on through, keep his present job, and maybe even have a crack at president if there is some breakdown in the investigation.  Maybe he only said something like "will nobody rid me of this mayor of Ft.Lee?" in an intimate discussion, and maybe prosecutors will feel that rumor of such a rhetorical statement is not worth bringing a case.  He may slip through.  I would put my money on the prosecution, though.

What is less likely to slip through entirely is the political dealing in New Jersey that is again coming out.  There were deals upon deals, to the point the whole picture may be too complicated to wrap up in a simple case.  There, the probability is that difficulties in prosecution, coupled with debts owed by some of the prosecutors themselves, will result in most of the shady deals being ignored, with one or two pursued for a token victory.

 

Originally posted to Gil Bagnell on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:13 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Do you think Christie could Agnew his way out (10+ / 0-)

    by resigning and offering a plea of nolo contendere in exchange for no jail time?

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:17:41 PM PDT

  •  What about Samson? (33+ / 0-)

    Even though he resigned, effective immediately, he knew about what was going on just by the comment that "Patrick Foye is playing in traffic."  He could be disbarred and also sent to jail for his part in Bridgegate.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

    by Rosalie907 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:55:36 PM PDT

    •  This report is Samson's fig leaf as he heads to (30+ / 0-)

      the lions' den.

      1) Samson was known for his ability to play with both Dems and Reps.
      2) Samson groomed Christie's rise.
      3) Christie rewarded him with the PA checkbook under the condition Christie was indirectly in the dark on the internal deals.
      5) Wildstein was Baroni/Samson's cover.
      6) Kelly was Setpien/Christie's cover
      7) Samson got greedy and it went public.

      This quote points to just one of multiple situations where he didn't recuse himself.

      The Port Authority’s general counsel on Wednesday agreed to change the recorded board vote on a $1-a-year lease deal involving 13 acres of agency property after the board’s chairman said he did not intend to vote on the contract, which benefited NJ Transit, a client of his law firm. - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/...
      And this quote says game over.
      Several speakers at a public meeting of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey called on the agency’s chairman to resign on Wednesday. But David Samson didn’t hear them.

      That’s because Samson, who was appointed to the top position by Gov. Chris Christie, recused himself from the matter before the board and said he shouldn’t be present.

      I think that Wildstein and Kelly will both get immunity because Wildstein has the goods on one half and Kelly has the good on the other half. Setpien is gunning for immunity because he's the next link to Christie. Baroni is the link to Samson and he is being represented by the PA so he is hanging low.

      Christie's hope is to use this report to go to Cuomo so he can redirect attention to fixing the PA. As we know Cuomo is an easy buy off.

      Our only hope is the Attorney General!

      •  hope so (14+ / 0-)

        Christie is bluster.  I agree totally on the covers, Christie spoke with Sepien who spoke with Kelley who ordered Wilsdstein.  

        Christie is trying to save his boy Bill Sepien by cutting him off from Kelley and Bill was waiting for the report so he could claim his own innocence, and blame it all on Kelley cause if Sepien didn't know then Christie didn't know.

        They run the office like a criminal enterprise, with limited contact to the leader, so that he can claim ignorance, unlike the open door policy in non-criminal enterprises, where the CEO wants everyone to talk to him and provide the different perspectives.  Christie's office is run like a RICCO organization, which is what Chis Matthew's has been noticing all along.  Christie is all about plausible deniability.

        immunity applies only to what is provided in testimony, if a prosecutor finds out incriminating evidence that had nothing to do with the testimony, it can be used.

        Back in Iran/Contra days, Oliver North testified, and he was later prosecuted, and his conviction was overturned because they'd used evidence that was based on his own testimony, even though he had not been given criminal immunity, which the legislature can't give.  You still can't be forced to testify against yourself, so if they 'order' them to testify or to give up the documents, either would be safe, based on case law.  But, they'd need to hear the magic words, if it's voluntary at all, no deal.  

      •  Moreover, we still have no idea what (6+ / 0-)

        less-than-transparent Cuomo development activities may be exposed, and how that is affecting the NY Governor -- a bully of a different stripe than Christie, but a bully nonetheless.

        What construction dirt may be looming over his head right now I shudder to think

        Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

        by Catskill Julie on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:33:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Or maybe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thestructureguy

    There really isn't anything to it?  The simples answer is usually the right one.

    Wake me when the pie is served.

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:27:25 PM PDT

    •  Enjoy your nap... (13+ / 0-)

      ...but as for the Christie investigations, there's plenty of "there" there.  If there's this much evidence of widespread skullduggery already leaking into public view, imagine what a gigantic iceberg of sleaze lies just beneath the surface.

      It's a matter of simple matter of informed inference and extrapolation..

      MM

      All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

      by Mystic Michael on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:11:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diversion of the tunnel project money all by (7+ / 0-)

      itself is enough.

      Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

      by Catskill Julie on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:34:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought this is how politics is usually played (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oceanview, LI Mike

      I'm surprised to read of Christie -- or whoever is the biggest fish they catch -- going to jail for 10-20 years.  I thought this kind of crap went on all the time, and usually managed to skate beneath the radar.  When it couldn't be covered up, some little person got thrown under the bus as the fall guy -- someone like Lyndie English.  

      Is this really worse than what I imagine is typical political payback?  Or is the trail of evidence just clearer, or does it lead to the guy at the top with unusual clarity?  

      But I doubt "there's nothing to it".  It seems to me that "the simplest answer" is that Christie built a political machine based on bullying and the cynical "principle" that shit flows downhill.  I'm surprised at the tenacity of the story -- it won't go away from the news, even though nobody can find an example of anyone who died in an ambulance stuck in the traffic jam.  Perhaps almost everyone in New Jersey and New York City has been waiting for a chance to get even with Christie, and now that chance has come?

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:58:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's Not Political Payback (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        david78209, jfdunphy, Maudlin

        It's part of Christie's system of getting his brother the best development deals in NJ, using the Port Authority as the tool.

        Yes, that is the way political machines typically operate, especially in NJ. But they typically aren't so reckless as to grind the George Washington Bridge to a standstill for several days - including the first day of school, 9/11, the biggest Jewish holiday (that revolves around being at home by sunset)... within weeks of a presidential election in which the NY governor's candidate landslid over the NJ governor's candidate, even as the NJ governor landslid in their own election. This was a screwjob beyond the ability to either pull off or to cover up.

        Maybe you just don't understand that even on a normal "rush" hour the GW Bridge generates tens of thousands of angry drivers ready to literally kill anyone they could individually blame for getting in their way. Yes, multiplying that by 100 for weeks and being able to blame a bully like Christie is going to stay in the headlines as the bully makes hamfisted flails to exonerate himself.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:02:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Either way, I'm sure enjoying my toast as I write (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ruellia

      this. Literally having some toast. Not planned. Tastes yummier with prospect of bad Repub bigshot possibly becoming toast.

      Christie's made the mistake of doing a coverup with public funds. Oops. Then he was overconfident and called his ex confidante a slut. Huh?? Not a smart move. He will pay, because he almost had this under some control with the whitewash report and let's move on nothing here strategy. His rage spilled out and people don't like it, so he will get what he deserves. At least it looks that way today moreso than yesterday.

    •  Or Maybe Christie Is the Devil (0+ / 0-)

      The real devil. Quite the trickster.

      With "maybe" you can believe anything.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:57:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Links? Sources? Or is this just made up? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

    by thestructureguy on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:08:09 PM PDT

  •  Kelly and Wildstein may not be able to finger (22+ / 0-)

    Christie as they were too low in the chain of command to deal with him directly. Same might be true for Boroni and Stepien.

    David Samson may be the key, however he is 74 and a lawyer so he may be able to run out the clock.

    As a benchmark, the U.S. Attorney took four years from the start of the case to bring indictments a few months ago against Governor McDonnell of VA and his wive and that case was simple by comparison, with much more straight forward tangible evidence.

    In four years Samson will be 78. Now that he is retired he can pretend not to remember anything.

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:15:46 PM PDT

  •  A Taste of Mercer County, NJ Prison for Contempt (4+ / 0-)

    might change the attitudes of Kelly, Wildstein, Stepien, Baroni, Samson, and other Christie hacks and loosen their lips in exhange for the prosecution mentioning their cooperation at their sentencings.

  •  I think Palatucci is the biggest fish. (11+ / 0-)

    He's got his finger in a lot of these pies, these sweetheart deals. As an AG, Christie got rid of a lot of little fish to make the big fish better off. Palatucci will have to cut Christie off at some point to save himself, and he & his staff would have plenty enough.

    There's a million ways to laugh; everyone's a path.

    by Tom Lum Forest on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:11:37 PM PDT

  •  For now, the web of lies is holding... (11+ / 0-)

    ...but just barely.  And the interactive game theory dynamics occurring amongst all the players is intriguing - and intense.

    But sooner or later - and before much longer - at least one of the conspirators will buckle under the pressure, make a deal for immunity or for a lighter sentence, and spill the beans.  Most likely that'll happen once the state legislative investigative committee has amassed a critical mass of evidence, once the US Attorney has issued his first felony indictment(s) - or both.

    When that happens, it won't take long for the whole ugly, sordid mess to unravel, as the rats will be jumping off the good ship Christie in droves - just as fast as their little rat legs can carry them.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:42:58 PM PDT

  •  The First One Granted Immunity Wins..... (5+ / 0-)

    The second one to cross the finish line may be too late.
    In order to get immunity, you have to reveal some big stuff, put the finger on the big whale.

    I think the feds are most interested in Samson.....a clear cut conflict of interest as Port Authority Chair & head of a law firm that represented Port clients who received contracts from the Port.  He's an insider to all of Christie's deals & scams.  

    They go way back in the you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours club.  Samson's law firm earnings skyrocketed after he was appointed Port Authority Chair.  And.....who appointed him?

  •  It depends in how long Wildstein & Kelly are (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Bensdad, doinaheckuvanutjob, ichibon

    Unemployed, or whether they're getting some kind of pay off. That may be a motivating factor also.

    Now that They are both disavowed, I hope it happens soon enough.

    Christie has to be destroyed.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 04:44:38 AM PDT

    •  "Christie has to be Destroyed" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, doinaheckuvanutjob

      LOL.. really? Why?

      regardless of this incident, Christie never had a national political career ahead of him.

      he's a pathetic bully/hothead; there aren't enough racist, angry white men to put him in office; just like there weren't enough to put Rmoney in office.

      "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

      by Superpole on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:41:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nixon was a crook; he didn't get punished; the (6+ / 0-)

        Evil rotten Rs get away with everything. It's time a big monster goes down. That is a big problem. The biggest crooks get better jobs because enough people don't give a crap.

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:54:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Hear You (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude, Librarianmom

          However, you've got to have some sort of hard evidence; like for example the recorded phone calls of the buffoon former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich-- where he was basically saying "I gots to GET PAID for this or that".

          Where is this hard evidence implicating Christie?

          how long has this been going on now? six months? don't you think the email would have surfaced by now?

          "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

          by Superpole on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:04:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No one (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            doinaheckuvanutjob

            has ever come out and asked the most salient question, Governor, what's worse, that you knew, or you didn't know? That question has only bad answers...

          •  Testimony (0+ / 0-)

            This article and many like it are about the process necessary for the damning testimony to come out. Those wheels are turning.

            Six months is no time, especially considering the first half was spent during the 2013 election in which Christie won by a landslide, and has long been a darling of the press. The process will take years. Especially because it's 2 more years before Christie would run in a Republican primary - and the multitude of deals that are made taking the various outcomes into account. Plus all the $BILLIONS in Port Authority deals that are now suddenly in danger of being examined.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:12:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but there may be enough Koch money to buy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, Subterranean

        the election.

      •  Christie has to go down, just for me and my (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo

        revenge impulses.

        We now have 3 CA state leg Dems brought down by the FBI, they all deserved it as they committed gross acts of intolerable corruption if the allegations are true. One of them was running guns for the gangs, sheesh, alleged. He has such a nice guy image too. Anyhow, with all that, I want some Repub blood shed. Just kidding, kind of, but such is my baser feeling that it's only fair.

      •  Like Romney, McCain and Bush (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rashaverak

        If Romney weren't Mormon he possibly could have been elected over Obama. If he were a governor his chances could have been even better. If he were a Federal prosecutor before that too even better chances. If he were running against some new Democrat instead of against an incumbent on top of that he probably could have won. He was a pathetic bully/hothead whose core was racist angry White men, and he came awfully close with the rest who joined them.

        McCain likewise. Bush too, who if he were smarter probably would have actually won the election not just the Supreme Court decision.

        It's not at all funny that people like Christie must be destroyed lest they become the president.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:09:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely..... (0+ / 0-)

      ....the "antagonism" between Kelly and Christie may be all for show while some sort of payoff is arranged.

      If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

      by Bensdad on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:57:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is a good question. (8+ / 0-)

    First off, it's kind of fun watching Christie try in epic fashion to attempt to B.S. his way out of this.  I give him credit for his acting abilities.  I would hand him his SAG card for his performances .

    We all know he's going down in flames.  The very fist questions I remember being asked, was "Did you talk to
    Bridget Kelly, and ask her why she ordered the bridge to close it's tool booths"  And, he simply said "No"   As if there was no reason to ask such a silly question.   And there is the moment we all knew he was going down.   Yes, we knew he was going down on the very first question.  

    So, he won't talk.  She won't talk.  David won't talk.  Yet.

    So, let's ask another question that does not involve Chris Christy , David Wildstein  or Bridget Kelly.

     Dawn Zimmer, the Mayor of Hoboken, said she was pressured to agree to a very large, and profitable project "The Rockefeller Project" or funds for hurricane sandy relief funds would be withheld.  

    My question is.  Does it appear that funds were withheld from the city of Hoboken in any way ?  If funds were allocated, when, and does that timing mean anything?

    So there.  That is a question that does not require  a day in court, or a pardon, or any reports.    

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:23:56 AM PDT

    •  I have a follow up question. (4+ / 0-)

      It would be helpful, if Rachel Maddow , or someone on her show were to compile a calendar with dates and amounts of funds that were released designated as "Sandy Relief"
      and see if there is a definite pattern  with who received funds, and if they "supported" Chris Christie  in his re-election or not ?

      What if the list lays out who got funds, and who was withheld matched up with who supported his re-election and who withheld support ?

      Again, Dawn Zimmer claimed Hurricane Sandy relief funds were withheld, at least up to the date she was insisting persons working with Christie on the "Rockefeller" project wanted her support, or the relief funds designated for Hoboken would be withheld.

      What if Hoboken ( With a Democratic Mayor) isn't the only city that had funds withheld.    What if it's a black and white list ?

      " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

      by EarTo44 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:47:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  prisoners' dilemma (6+ / 0-)

    being played out before us!  kind of fun

    www.tapestryofbronze.com

    by chloris creator on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:32:57 AM PDT

  •  WHERE is the Smoking Gun?? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Librarianmom, Kingsmeg, SpamNunn

    the email between Christie and Wildstein or Kelly? the recorded phone call? the note scribbled in Christie's handwriting?

    if there was an email, don't you think it would have surfaced by now?

    sorry, I doubt Wildstein and Kelly are going to turn over and implicate Christie-- because that means the end of their careers.

    If they state Christie verbally ordered them to close the bridge, Christie can simply deny this, or he can say something like "Oh, I was just joking.. I never meant for them to take me seriously on that".

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:38:08 AM PDT

    •  The smoking gun is about to be shown. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      Bridget Kelly is going to show and tell, and Chris Christie will have an end to his political carrier .

      There will be a big smoking gun.    Get the popcorn ready.

      " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

      by EarTo44 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:51:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL.. I've Seen This Movie Before (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Librarianmom, Subterranean

        ever since Mr Wanker won the recall election in Wisconsin, a couple of people here have been insisting his removal from office is imminent due to some nebulous "crime" he committed.

        he's still the governor of Wisconsin.

        The KEY here is to stop these cretins from getting elected in the first place-- NOT rely on courts-- which seem to be OK with white collar crime. the problem is the democratic party is unable to win these elections.

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:58:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fox News and a couple of wealthy men. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, Dirtandiron, GAS

          I have to agree.  The Democratic party does not have 32 24 hour a day propaganda broadcasting outlets.  The Democratic party does not have the unlimited funding provided by the Koch Brothers.  

          But, The Democratic party does have the middle class at it's best interest.  The Democratic party needs to stop being polite, and start to compete with Fox News and shut out the false information.

          Or, we need the FCC to do it's job, and revoke "News" broadcasting rights, to those like "Fox" that aren't news, but are simply propaganda.

          Or, we need to immediately change how elections are funded, and literately stolen by two men.

          Or, we need to improve the "Supreme Court" and change the "Lifetime" appointment.    Case in point, Clarence Thomas, besides being an idiot, and not providing any helpful insight into his decisions, he almost never asks any questions.  It's simple.  He does not want to be discovered as an idiot.   His wife.  She has accepted millions of dollars for her Republican group "Liberty Central Inc."  A part of the Tea Party.  That in itself should be worth discussion.  

          So, This movie, the Chris Christie movie, won't be a re-run.  He's going down.  He's going to go down hard and fast, as soon as the first e-mail is published with his name prior to the tool booth's being shut down.  He can't B.S. his way out of that.

          " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

          by EarTo44 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:48:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again with the "Vast Power" of FAUX (0+ / 0-)

            News.

            You actually believe if FAUX News went off the air tomorrow that 1,000's of their clownish base would "swing over to our side"?

            NOPE.

            Regarding the sad Mr Christie; re: "he's going down soon"... I'll believe it when I actually see the federal indictment.

            You realize it can't be Kelly's word against his, right? he'll simply do what he's already doing-- call her a liar.

            there has to be concrete proof-- something in writing.

            "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

            by Superpole on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:13:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fox News has stolen a whole generation of people. (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a2nite, Dirtandiron, JVolvo, cybersaur, hbk, ichibon

              I do believe we would be BETTER off without fox news.
              Yes.

              I do believe fox news uses incorrect information, and is more of a propaganda machine, than informative news.

              I do believe there will be "Written, indisputable proof" that will show Chris Christie as lying to the public, on several occasions, not once or twice.

              I do believe Chris Christie will not have a political future.

              " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

              by EarTo44 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:44:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  NOPE (0+ / 0-)

                "Fox News has stolen a whole generation of people".

                with all due respect, you're wrong.

                you do realize our nation was chock-full-o' clueless GOP'ers, racists and ignorant people wayyyyy before Fox News came on the scene, right?

                what caused that? newspapers? No, the sad fact is our nation has always had a large contingent of racist morons. you may recall the Civil War? what was that about if not elitist, entitled white people thinking it was OK to enslave and abuse people simply because of their race?

                FAUX News is simply preaching to the choir; the people who have always been there.

                "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

                by Superpole on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:51:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nope. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dirtandiron, JVolvo, hbk

                  Facts back my statement.  

                  Hang back for a while.  Let's see what way the wind blows.

                  " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

                  by EarTo44 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:54:34 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Promotional Cycle (0+ / 0-)

                  Fox most certainly has reinforced the Republican standing in this country. That is its purpose, and it is successful. Of course it started with a willing audience. But it was smaller, and far less totally at war with anything less than extremely Conservative.

                  The US has always relied on its partisan media to push people to new lows in antisocial behavior. The Civil War was a good example. Fox is the latest incarnation, though fascist websites are their inheritors. Of course Fox has a very popular website.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:29:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  grammar police (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            runfastandwin, Res Ipsa Loquitor

            I agree with your comment and thanks for participating, but please please look up the difference between "its" and "it's". Please.

            But, The Democratic party does have the middle class at it's best interest.  The Democratic party needs to stop being polite, and start to compete with Fox News and shut out the false information.

            Or, we need the FCC to do it's job, and revoke "News" broadcasting rights, to those like "Fox" that aren't news, but are simply propaganda.

            "...if they conscripted wealth like they have conscripted men, this war would not last over forty eight hours." Joseph Gilbert (Gilbert v. Minnesota, 1920)

            by kevin ssn on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:25:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, for Christ's sake get over it. (7+ / 0-)

              the discussion is more important then a freakin' apostrophe.

              •  I don't think kevin was saying otherwise (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cedwyn, numble, DocGonzo

                Respectfully, I think you are getting a little overheated about a comment that I read as intending to help with our messaging.

                Kevin certainly wasn't elevating form over substance.  

                Form is, nonetheless, important.   Both Fox's form and reasoning lack rigor.  Demonstrating rigor in form makes it both more likely that you will demonstrate rigor in your reasoning, and more likely that your ideas will be taken seriously.   Watch Fox news and you will see that they frequently disregard rigor throughout the spectrum of form to substance: from punctuation, to word usage, to egregious use of logical fallacies.

                We on the left should do everything possible to have our ideas taken as seriously as possible by as many people.  We owe it to those ideas to present them in as polished a way as is possible.  

                If we do not maintain Justice, Justice will not maintain us. -Sir Francis Bacon.

                by Res Ipsa Loquitor on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:51:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You Get Over Yourself (0+ / 0-)

                They didn't say the apostrophe was more important than the subject of the conversation or the conversation itself. Reasonable people are able to have a brief note of a technical issue like grammar without making it more important than the main subject. Why can't you?

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:30:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I be got's to improve. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dirtandiron, hbk, Subterranean

              One day.  
              Hey Grammar Police.  For the fun of it, try watching a sports show, and log all the incorrect enunciation you hear and the incorrect usage of the English language.  It's enough to make your head spin.

              " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

              by EarTo44 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:41:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's why I usually turn off the sound. (0+ / 0-)

                One reason, anyway.  The bigger reason is, even if the language usage was correct, what's being said isn't worth listening to.

                There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress. -- Mark Twain

                by southriver on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:14:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  The Walker situation is a little different (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GAS

          It's not an overt act the way the closing of the bridge or the withholding of Sandy recovery money is. If Christie ordered the bridge closing or the withholding of money from storm ravaged towns, that's easy to understand what happened and why it was illegal because taxpayers were harmed.

          Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

          by Dirtandiron on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:09:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Get It (0+ / 0-)

            but how long has bridgegate been going on now?

            Six months?

            "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

            by Superpole on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:20:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Investigations take time (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              numble, DocGonzo, miracle11, mkor7

              If the Governor of my state made the commute harder for thousands of innocent people every day for a week (not to mention the damage to trucking companies and drivers), for his own political purposes, I want it investigated. If it takes six months or sixteen years, I want the facts to come out. The governor has a tendency to bully people and this time he bullied people who did absolutely NOTHING to provoke it. I am sick of these politicians (usually Republican) who think they are above the law.

              Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

              by Dirtandiron on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:17:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  If the investigating committee or the US Attorney (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, hbk, runfastandwin

      have a smoking gun on Christie, they're not going to release it yet. They are methodically figuring out what happened and if there is one, carefully building a case.

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:07:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pattern of behavior (8+ / 0-)

      Imagine Christie is innocent. Would he fire Bridget Kelly and not attempt to find out if anyone else aided and abetted? Would he participate in pushing the long discredited "Ft. Lee lanes" bullshit traffic study story, which he pulled out as recently as YESTERDAY? Would he not go out of his way to reassure the independence of an internal inquiry, rather than stack the panel with loyalists, one of who he vacationed with?

      He's definitely been obstructing investigations, and probably obstructing justice. And just because we haven't seen a smoking gun doesn't mean there isn't one out there.

    •  This is only one of the scandals Christie (0+ / 0-)

      appears to be involved in.  The Sandy money is big and doesn't involve Kelly or Wildstein.  So I would guess the target they want to flip is above both of them.

      "Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson

      by Leftovers on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:26:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you believe (0+ / 0-)

      there is no smoking gun yet, there is nothing that would convince you, short of a Christie confession, and even then you'd claim he was coerced unfairly. So buzz off.

    •  The End of their Careers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7, Rashaverak

      Their careers are now over, having been fired for lying to Christie and for running the bridge jam (and for getting Christie at all implicated in something while he runs for president). They can get their careers back only if the prosecution both fails to nail Christie and they don't give testimony/evidence in exchange for immunity. Then they get guaranteed safe careers. But that doesn't look at all likely.

      No, I don't think the damning evidence would necessarily have surfaced by now. That's what investigations are for. Even the media didn't start to investigate until a couple of months ago. The government didn't start until a month ago. And there's plenty of bipartisan corruption dirty laundry especially belonging to NJ Democrats that will slow the investigations.

      So no, despite your charming expectation that justice in a case like this will be swift and certain, the failure to publicly show a smoking gun a few months into the scandal doesn't mean Christie isn't guilty. Unless you're his lawyer and that's what you're paid to believe.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:27:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just like Richard Nixon took on (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Fury, GAS, hbk

    the Norma Desmond persona back in 1974, believing he could make a comeback, Christie's Norma Desmond persona has been persistent for three months. Christie believes he can make a comeback..."All right, MSNBC, I'm ready for my close up."

    Oh, and by the way, it's Christmas morning for cable news hosts. Pretending that the bully has not lost touch with reality. :D

  •  I think Christie has been counting on the fact (6+ / 0-)

    that both parties in NJ have made all kinds of deals (definitely some legal and perhaps some illegal) and neither party is anxious to have the details come out. But now that it's a Federal issue involving interstate commerce, (a bridge between two states) he may very well be in trouble this time.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:03:11 AM PDT

  •  Hardly. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dksbook
    So what can Christie do?  Basically, nothing.  If he was involved in the lane closures, we can assume that eventually Wildstein and Kelly will find a cutting a deal preferable to taking a fall for the big guy.  Since there is nothing Christie can really do to prevent that, he is simply making the best of a bad situation.
    He is still a politician, who rose to the top in what is perhaps the most corrupt political environment in the USA. I cannot imagine that he has no ammunition whatsoever, that he isn't trying behind the scenes to sabotage the investigation by any and all means possible.  I expect the investigation will fizzle far short of implicating him, and I further expect that prosecutors are not cutting a deal with Kelly and Wildstein because they know that realistically, these two are the highest targets they will ever be allowed to pursue.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:35:42 AM PDT

  •  "We are going appropriately nuts" (6+ / 0-)

    Wildstein said this to Kelly when Foye re-opened the lanes. This proves there could not have been a two-person project, as the Mastro report attempts to state (leaving plenty of room for wiggle room by admitting new evidence may yet emerge). It's already preposterous to suggest Bridget Kelly went rogue. At his press conference yesterday Christie defended Samson by saying he had no "operational" responsibility. That he couldn't have closed the lanes, that kind of thing was not in his control. He said the SAME thing about Bridget Kelly in his January press conference: "no operational authority." One of many glaring contradictions in his story.

    Christie may or may not have planned the sabotage campaign, but he allowed others to give approval, and he participated in the cover-up campaign (dedicated Ft. Lee lanes which required a study) which he was STILL pushing YESTERDAY. Obstruction of justice has to be one of the things that investigators are looking into.

  •  If there were a smoking gun, we would have (0+ / 0-)

    seen it by now.  If we haven't, the only explanation is that Paul Fishman is stretching this thing out to have maximum impact on 2016.  Paul Fishman has a good reputation, so I doubt that's the case.  

    Steve Kornacki is Wildstein's personal pipe line to the national cable news.   If he had something to spill, don't you think he would have leaked it by now, to get back at Christie for dissing him?  

    Kelly's attorney, Mike Critchley, is one of the best criminal lawyers of this age.   He hasn't really hinted that he has cards to play, either.  

    IMHO, it's all over but the shouting.  

    If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

    by SpamNunn on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:04:33 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for your analysis of this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzeli

    Needless to say, been following this case with great passion, for many reasons, not the least of which is because I have felt from the beginning that this could be the tip of the iceberg on exposing and routing out the massive corruption in NJ, as you touch upon here:

    What is less likely to slip through entirely is the political dealing in New Jersey that is again coming out.  There were deals upon deals, to the point the whole picture may be too complicated to wrap up in a simple case.  There, the probability is that difficulties in prosecution, coupled with debts owed by some of the prosecutors themselves, will result in most of the shady deals being ignored, with one or two pursued for a token victory.

    * * * DONATE/VOLUNTEER: Marianne Williamson for CA-33 * * * #CampaignFinanceReform is the lynchpin of our democracy. #AIKIDOPROVERBMoveSoonerNotFaster ~

    by ArthurPoet on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:36:52 AM PDT

  •  Why didn't Christie have the state's AG do the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    in house investigation?  The AG would have had both coercive and subpoena power over state empoyees, and access to any and all state documents and records.

    Possibly because the NJ AG is an Independent, and not a Republican hack?  If the AG were more interested in getting facts out to yhe public than in prosecutions, he possibly could give immunity more readily than either the Committee or the Feds?

    I'm just guessing, but the same report from an AG who is not a Republican tied to Christie would have been much less laughable than the one Mastro has put out to powder Christie's dirty behind or to slut shame and estrogen shame Kelly and Zimmer..

  •  But what if Wildstein and Kelly are bluffing? (0+ / 0-)

    I think they are. The only thing Wildstein has is that he told Christie on 9/11 about the traffic issues.  Kelly has not publicly hinted that she has anything to says except that she can verify one account or another.  In fact, her attorney's letter screaming that Christie is sexist for suggesting that an affair with Stepien impaired he judgment suggests she's got nuthin'. While it is true that Christie's defense is disgusting, the fact that it is disgusting does NOT mean it won't be effective and it certainly does not mean that Kelly has anything to sell to the prosecutor.

    Christie's camp is NOT breaking on him. They are hanging solid. And Kelly and Wildstein just got cut loose BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE THE GOODS ON CHRISTIE.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:51:25 AM PDT

    •  You try to draw conclusions from seeing (0+ / 0-)

      no evidence.

      The claim about the attorney's letter, related to Kelly, is constructed. The letter as much as asks for immunity -- that is all.

      There is no telling what USAO has found. And surely they will not stop with the bridge closing episode. If these worthies get into the school privatization processes, there's just under $500,000,000 a year to be pursued.

      There's more. And surely there is reason to audit Port Authority. The Jerseys have been stealing vast sums, more than the usual to be sure.

      Christie is a classic liar. His central lie is that he did not know about the lane closings ahead of time. He repeats this over and over.

      i know it's a lie because no one is still asking about that. He's so good at this lie that he can't stop telling it.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Ryan-Paul von Koch

      by waterstreet2013 on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:37:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Cedwyn

    how someone gets a 200k job with no interview, no resume, and no job description. I'd think anyone who paid toll fees to the PA over the last 5 years has a good lawsuit, hell, I'd take them to small claims court even.

  •  My two sense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, Librarianmom

    Both Wildstein and Kelly will get paid to keep their mouths shut at some critical point. Right now they are in auction mode and as usual, money will be the top winner.

    Did anyone consider this? Do people really believe that once this blows over that Christie won't come out on top?

    If you haven't considered this, then ask yourself a simple question? How many CEOs (Kingpins/banksters)  of the great heist have been indicted much less gone to jail.

    We are in a different era. People have been known to fall on their swords , do a small amount of jail time with a relative fortune waiting on the outside.

    Despite Christie's low ratings today, there is what we can most charitably call; political redemption.

    “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

    by Dburn on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:42:29 AM PDT

    •  Christie is toast. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dburn

      He stands in the way of Jeb Bush. He also has this disgusting habit of going off now and then and saying something that is simply true.

      "Silent Jeb" is going to be the Establishment candidate come 2016. His wife, Columba, is Mexican by birth so he's the only candidate in the GOP with a sensible claim to be electable with today's demographics.

      Who else?

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Ryan-Paul von Koch

      by waterstreet2013 on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:18:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It Won't Inevitably Come Out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7
    We can assume that all of the investigations are sharing what they get.  That means that as state, legislative, and federal investigations go forward, they are  harvesting a lot of miscellaneous detail.  Bit by bit they are figuring out what really happened, and they are sharing that information.  Whoever it was that ordered the lane closures, it is inevitable that his/her identity is going to come out, along with the motivation.  We are also likely to, eventually, get an awful lot of information about political deals that were struck in NJ.

    I disagree. NJ is corrupt. The NJ Democrats in the legislature whose investigation got things started must have known all along the Port Authority is corrupt and the governor's slush fund. In NY we know this even if we're private citizens. The legislators have a hand in the corruption - a bipartisan operation, though led by the majority Democrats.

    Meanwhile the Feds are a Democratic "Justice" Department that has let the greatest criminals in American history stay at their jobs in warfare and banking, getting raises and unlimited power. The DOJ corrupt agenda doesn't exactly coincide with the NJ legislature's. BTW Holder spent 5 years under Clinton as DC's US Attorney, prosecuting Democratic officials, though he let NJ's Corzine off the hook last year for his obvious crimes at MF Global.

    So I don't think the two investigations are sharing everything. At the very least the legislature will hold back - or not look into - info that implicates legislatures in the fabric of corruption the bridge jamming is embedded in. The Feds have their own history of pulling punches and choosing alternate targets based on where the big money is spent.

    They will each minimize the info released to the public about political deals in NJ that would make their own political and business careers more difficult. In fact that priority will probably trump any actual legal consequences to any of the criminals in the bridge jamming. It will all be used to generate more political chips and favors for their own developer friends, to cash in on the money and power that are the lifeblood of the corrupt NY/NJ Port Authority.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:56:32 PM PDT

    •  Why bother with democracy at all? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7

      But yes, PA is a slush.

      And forcing commuters to pay for the new WTC #1 is outright larceny. We get zero return on our money.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Ryan-Paul von Koch

      by waterstreet2013 on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:12:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More than just Gov Christie is at stake (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7

    The Herald News, a north Jersey newspaper, carried a long front-page article about how Port Authority of NY/NJ was pressured by the Christie administration to squeeze $1,8 billion out of Port Authority to refurbish the worst road in NJ, the Pulaski Skyway. The pressure was intense, and Port Authority lawyers objected, saying the deal was shaky, since the Port Authority could do projects for the Lincoln Tunnel (not far from Giants Stadium, Superbowl fans), but surely not for the Pulaski, as it was really the pathway to the Holland Tunnel (closer to Wall Street), and thus legally a superstretch, so much so that the lawyers though it could not only be challenged legally, with some probability of success, but worse, likely to draw lawsuits from bondholders, who would be angered by the money being used for non-Port Authority purposes. Worse, especially given the state of the bond market, bondholders could vote with their wallets, and sell off Port Authority bonds, and the market for new bonds, needed for the new multi-year building of airport renovations and the like, could greatly diminish. The bottom line for the poor toll payers is that somehow that $1.8 billion in toll money would have to be made up---meaning no lower tolls, and probably higher tolls--for less service--because Port Authority will be out $1.8 billlion.  At 412/toll for a car, that's 150 million cars passing through the George Washington Bridge, for example.
       So I would suggest that there is a bigger target here than Gov. Christie--namely a system where the pollitical corruption of cronyism undermines the effectiveness of an otherwise useful Port Authority. And given the scarcity of decent paying jobs, that translates into fewer good transportation jobs in the region.
       (P.S. Not that fixing the Pulaski Skyway is  a bad idea--it needed fixing for a long time. The questionable item here is the way it is being fixed. Money should come from NJ transportation funds, but the GOP administration doesn't want to raise the funds by new taxes. Hence, the money grab from the Port Authority. IMO, some lawyers should lose their law licenses for participating in such a large-scale fraud). Moral of the story: the war on workers continues on a large scale.

  •  I've been saying this all along: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    Christie looks bad either way. If he was involved, he's a petty thug and his political career is over and he'll possibly face impeachment and removal. If he wasn't directly involved, it makes it look like he has an out-of-control staff and is not fit to lead a state, much less the country.

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