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Chris Christie's Waterloo?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 2014 Bridgegate

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#1 Spectacles

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:05 AM

The editorial board of a paper that endorsed Mitt Romney thinks so.

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http://www.nydailyne...ticle-1.1570246

In the best possible light, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie built a top staff of lying thugs who threatened lives and safety to serve his political ends. If not, Christie is a lying thug himself.

Emails and text messages among his close aides made public Wednesday documented that in September they gleefully engineered George Washington Bridge lane closures to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for failing to endorse their boss’ reelection.

Local officials say the gridlock they caused delayed ambulances in responding to four calls, including one involving an unconscious 91-year-old woman who later died.

Christie’s presidential ambitions are all but kaput, as he will be lambasted and lampooned as a man of low character and horrible judgment — again viewing him in the most favorable way.

The Port Authority’s sudden, unannounced closing of bridge entrance lanes produced hours-long backups for four days. They ended only after Executive Director Patrick Foye discovered the shutdowns, which were later traced to rogue orders issued by Christie PA appointee David Wildstein, a high school buddy, and to a cover-up by Bill Baroni, Christie’s top person at the bistate agency.

For months, responsibility remained clouded. During that time, Christie made light of the charges. He joked that the press was suggesting he had moved traffic cones personally. Last month, he described the affair as “not that big a deal.” He supported Baroni’s story that the lane closures were part of a traffic study.

His aides’ communications, made public Wednesday, put the lie to that.


Those emails show what happens when people let political partisanship control their values.



Christie responded, finally, to the release of those emails yesterday by declaring his innocence and his profound disappointment in his inner circle, which had--according to Christie, now--apparently closed lanes on the GWBridge for FOUR days behind Christie's back. He was shocked, shocked to discover yesterday how many of his staff were involved.



Is it possible for Christie to bounce back after this? Can he run for president? Dogcatcher?


"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#2 BklnScott

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:13 AM

The GOP should take note - This is what a real scandal looks like.

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#3 Nonny

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:57 AM

earworm!

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Waterloo  Waterloo  where will you meet your Waterloo
Every puppy has his day everybody has to pay
Everybody has to meet his Waterloo

I can't wait to see which GOP commentator declares that Chrisite was a Democrat all along first.   :rolleyes:
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#4 Spectacles

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:01 AM

^Yep.

http://www.nytimes.c...sings.html?_r=0


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The mystery of who closed two lanes onto the George Washington Bridge — turning the borough of Fort Lee, N.J., into a parking lot for four days in September — exploded into a full-bore political scandal for Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday. Emails and texts revealed that a top aide had ordered the closings to punish the town’s mayor after he did not endorse the governor for re-election.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, emailed David Wildstein, a high school friend of the governor who worked at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the bridge.

Later text messages mocked concerns that school buses filled with students were stuck in gridlock: “They are the children of Buono voters,” Mr. Wildstein wrote, referring to Mr. Christie’s opponent Barbara Buono.

The emails are striking in their political maneuvering, showing Christie aides gleeful about some of the chaos that resulted. Emergency vehicles were delayed in responding to three people with heart problems and a missing toddler, and commuters were left fuming. One of the governor’s associates refers to the mayor of Fort Lee as “this little Serbian,” and Ms. Kelly exchanges messages about the plan while she is in line to pay her respects at a wake.


Good lord....


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In early October, Mr. Wildstein wrote to Bill Stepien, Mr. Christie’s campaign manager, about an article in The Wall Street Journal about the suspicious lane closings.

“It’s fine,” replied Mr. Stepien, recently named by Mr. Christie to be head of the state Republican party and a top adviser to the Republican Governors Association. “The mayor is an idiot, though.” He added, with an apparent typo, “When some, lose some.”

“It will be a tough November for this little Serbian,” Mr. Wildstein replied. (The mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, at whom that barb was aimed, is actually of Croatian descent.)


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Mr. Christie was cruising to re-election over Ms. Buono in the fall, but he and his campaign were leaning on local Democratic officials to endorse him so that he could pitch himself to national Republicans as the presidential nominee who could attract broad bipartisan support.

More than 50 local Democrats endorsed Mr. Christie, and some whispered that they feared the governor would withhold state money or favor if they did not go along.

Mr. Sokolich, a Democrat, was among those who did not endorse him.
This week, Steve Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City and a rising Democratic star, said the governor’s office had canceled meetings with him in October the day that he said he would vote for Ms. Buono.

The governor’s office dismissed it as routine schedule changes. But the emails that came to light on Wednesday show that Mr. Fulop’s reluctance to endorse the governor did not sit well with the governor’s office. In one exchange, Mr. Christie’s aides and the Port Authority staff talked about how they were ignoring messages from the mayor of Fort Lee, who had called Mr. Baroni to report the lane closings as “urgent matter of public safety.”

“Did he call him back?” Ms. Kelly asked.

“Radio silence,” Mr. Wildstein replied. “His name comes right after Mayor Fulop.”

“TY,” she wrote, using shorthand for thank you.

Mr. Sokolich texted Mr. Baroni, Mr. Christie’s chief appointee at the Port Authority, later in September seeking to understand why the lanes were closed, and said people were saying it was “punishment.”

“Try as I may to dispel these rumors I am having a tough time,” he wrote.
Mr. Sokolich, in an interview on Wednesday, said he found the emails — particularly the one referring to him as “this little Serbian” — “condescending, offensive, insulting and slanderous.”
“How dare you?” he added.


These people are awful--petty, vindictive, damned near sociopathic in their delight over their little prank, which possibly contributed to the death of a 91 year old woman whose ambulance was stuck in the hours-long traffic jam they cooked up.

It says a lot about the state of contemporary politics in this country that such soul-less people rise to power.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#5 BklnScott

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:19 AM

Christie presser at 11.  Either he's resigning or doubling down.  I assume the latter.  Either way, it's must-see TV.  I just pushed my one on one with my boss to the afternoon so we can watch it.

It should be noted that there's a long and storied - and bipartisan - history in the NYC-metro of corrupt politicians creating traffic nightmares to influence elections.  Doesn't mean it's not a criminal abuse of power, of course, but it's nothing new.

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#6 Tricia

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:40 AM

I'm still trying to find the words to express my disgust and anger over this mess.

At the very least Christie should fire these idiots.

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#7 BklnScott

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:45 AM

I'm sure he already has - but these idiots are his closest friends and colleagues.  He went to high school with the Port Authority exec.  Even if he didn't know - which is impossible to swallow - what would that say about his competence?

Edited by BklnScott, 09 January 2014 - 10:46 AM.

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#8 Tricia

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:07 AM

Totally agree^^^

I guess we'll find out soon what he has to say

Edited by Tricia, 09 January 2014 - 11:08 AM.

In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change. --Thich Nhat Hanh


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Do not ask that your kids live up to your expectations.  Let your kids be who they are, and your expectations will be in breathless pursuit.


#9 Spectacles

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:22 AM

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Scott: It should be noted that there's a long and storied - and bipartisan - history in the NYC-metro of corrupt politicians creating traffic nightmares to influence elections.

Interesting! And awful.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#10 scherzo

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:04 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 09 January 2014 - 08:13 AM, said:

The GOP should take note - This is what a real scandal looks like.
Sooooo…
IRS targeting the tea party
Benghazi
Justice Dept compiling AP phone records
Justice Dept targeting Fox News reporter James Rosen
Eric Holder perjury
Fast and Furious
The Pigford scam
Solyndra
Lying about keeping insurance
etc…etc…etc…

All(ALL) trumped up BS in your view. But 1 day after this Christie thing breaks, you're confident we're finally seeing really bad behavior. That's AWESOME!

BTW if Christie gave the order, or even knew this was happening…I'd like to see him do prison time. His people should already be in handcuffs.  I see nothing political in what they did…just evil.
"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."    -Ronald Reagan, October 27 1964
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#11 Spectacles

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:17 PM

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Scherzo: BTW if Christie gave the order, or even knew this was happening…I'd like to see him do prison time. His people should already be in handcuffs.  I see nothing political in what they did…just evil.

On this, we agree. A rare moment, I know.

For the record, I'd say the same if Christie were a Democrat.

And even if Christie did not personally order the closures, I can't imagine a scenario in which subordinates in ANY organization would do anything so horrible without at least the sense that it would be permissible to the boss.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#12 BklnScott

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:30 PM

Actually, this broke 117 days ago.  The smoking gun came out yesterday - which is why it's now national news and this corrupt f***er will probably never be president now.  There's a difference.

And yes - all of that other stuff is BS trumped up by a GOP desperate for a scandal narrative to use against Obama because they can't beat him any other way and they've got nothing POSITIVE to talk about in the policy department.  Only negative.  P.S., that's why those stories only matter inside the right wing media bubble - they're meant to distract right-leaning folks from the real problem which is in their own house.  It's also why Fox News ignored the Christie story yesterday (only Shep Smith spent a few minutes on it in the 3PM hour - nothing in prime time) when it was every other news organization in the country's top story.  This is telling.  

That said, I'm happy that we agree on the remedy here.  The US Attorney's Office for NJ has started an investigation. I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg.  The mayor of Jersey City has alleged similar payback tactics for his failure to endorse Christie.  This was not an isolated incident.  This is how they do business and it means he's either incompetent or criminal - either way, unfit for the office he currently holds, let alone higher office.

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#13 BklnScott

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:33 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 09 January 2014 - 12:17 PM, said:

For the record, I'd say the same if Christie were a Democrat.

As would I.  This should go beyond partisanship - particularly for people who actually live here and know first hand that this was the very definition of reckless endangerment.  (An old lady died waiting for an ambulance... whether this was directly the result of the traffic jam or not, it's a fact that the poor woman had to wait a lot longer for that ambulance than she otherwise would have.  There will be a lot written about that in the next days and weeks.)

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#14 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:38 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 09 January 2014 - 08:13 AM, said:

The GOP should take note - This is what a real scandal looks like.

Yeah, I mean it's not like the IRS scandal was THAT big of a deal. Nor was the murder of 4 Americans in an American Embassy. And the fraud by the President about being able to keep your healthcare and doctor wasn't really all THAT important.


Now, as for me...regarding Christie and the lanes being closed. For arguments sake, let's say it was done by members of his staff, without his knowledge. The lanes were closed for 4 days. I'm pretty sure that by the end of day 1, he would've known about those lanes being closed. So my question is, why the hell didn't he order those lanes opened on day 2...if not by day 3 at the latest? I do like Christie, but something just doesn't smell right in the state of Jersey(no pun intended)
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

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Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

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#15 BklnScott

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:56 PM

View PostLord of the Sword, on 09 January 2014 - 12:38 PM, said:

View PostBklnScott, on 09 January 2014 - 08:13 AM, said:

The GOP should take note - This is what a real scandal looks like.

Yeah, I mean it's not like the IRS scandal was THAT big of a deal.

It wasn't - and DEFINITELY wasn't BY COMPARISON to this.  In fact, the IRS needs to be more aggressive in this regard post Citizens United.  Currently, it is exceedingly easy to get that tax determination letter - and a very weak validating and monitoring operation to confirm that the groups deserve tax free status.  (This goes way beyond politics, BTW.  It's a fraud magnet.)  

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Nor was the murder of 4 Americans in an American Embassy.

4 Americans murdered in a war zone is a tragedy.  The coverup allegation by the right was and remains a pathetic and shameful attempt to make political hay out of said tragedy.  This should NEVER happen in this country.  Once upon a time, politics stopped at the water's edge.  At least in public.  Shame on the GOP for this!

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And the fraud by the President about being able to keep your healthcare and doctor wasn't really all THAT important.

It really isn't - again, BY COMPARISON.  

Meanwhile, there is direct and incontrovertible evidence that this criminal payback operation was conducted directly from Chris Christie's office.  Not his "administration" -  not deep within some byzantine bureaucracy of tens of thousands.  FROM HIS OFFICE.  Perpetrated by his top aides including his deputy chief of staff and one of his oldest friends from high school.  

He's still clinging to this "traffic study" canard - which was clearly a lie from the get-go.  Really?  A traffic study?  Why were the lane closures not announced?  (As they ALWAYS are for planned lane closures on the busiest bridge in the country in deference to the fact that they are known by all to be massively disruptive.)  

Was it a secret traffic study?

Edited by BklnScott, 09 January 2014 - 12:59 PM.

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#16 Spectacles

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:06 PM

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LoTS: The lanes were closed for 4 days. I'm pretty sure that by the end of day 1, he would've known about those lanes being closed. So my question is, why the hell didn't he order those lanes opened on day 2...if not by day 3 at the latest?

Even worse, the mayor of Fort Lee appealed to folks on the NYC side and got a couple of lanes opened. The released emails from Christie's staff show them being pissed off and then moving to get them closed again.

This is just vile stuff. For behavior like that, I'm for bringing back tar and feathers. Seriously. I hope that at least family and friends of those Christie staffers do their best to shame them. This is just sociopathy.

Edited by Spectacles, 09 January 2014 - 01:06 PM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#17 Spectacles

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:12 PM

Thought so. Apparently Christie has a real reputation in NJ for being a petty, vindictive a-hole.

http://www.nytimes.c...agewanted=print

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In 2010, John F. McKeon, a New Jersey assemblyman, made what he thought was a mild comment on a radio program: Some of the public employees that Gov. Chris Christie was then vilifying had been some of the governor’s biggest supporters.

He was surprised to receive a handwritten note from Mr. Christie, telling him that he had heard the comments, and that he didn’t like them.

“I thought it was a joke,” Mr. McKeon recalled. “What governor would take the time to write a personal note over a relatively innocuous comment?”

But the gesture would come to seem genteel compared with the fate suffered by others in disagreements with Mr. Christie: a former governor who was stripped of police security at public events; a Rutgers professor who lost state financing for cherished programs; a state senator whose candidate for a judgeship suddenly stalled; another senator who was disinvited from an event with the governor in his own district.

In almost every case, Mr. Christie waved off any suggestion that he had meted out retribution. But to many, the incidents have left that impression, and it has been just as powerful in scaring off others who might dare to cross him.

His national image--reasonable and pragmatic if a bit rough-edged straight-shooter--is pretty far removed from who he is up close: a pathological politician who makes Nixon look noble.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#18 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:17 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 09 January 2014 - 01:12 PM, said:



is pretty far removed from who he is up close: a pathological politician who makes Nixon look noble.

I thought this thread was about Christie, not President Obama.
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

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#19 Dev F

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:19 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 09 January 2014 - 12:56 PM, said:

4 Americans murdered in a war zone is a tragedy.  The coverup allegation by the right was and remains a pathetic and shameful attempt to make political hay out of said tragedy.
Ayep. It's an unfortunate and inescapable truth that you haven't had to look hard to find examples of tragedy, mismanagement, and plain old bumbling in the past few years of Obama's presidency. What you haven't found in any of those cases, not even if you're a congressional Republican desperate to gin up outrage against the evil Muslim socialist in the White House, is the kind of evidence that came crashing down on Christie yesterday: a paper trail to indicate that the crappy situation wasn't just the result of bad luck and/or bad management at some level or another, but was deliberately engineered for political purposes.

So, yes, this is different from something like the IRS scandal, because at no point did we see an e-mail from someone in the administration to the IRS staff saying, "Time for tax problems at the Tea Party." Indeed, subsequent reportage made it pretty clear that this was an internal procedural failure at the IRS that indiscriminately swept up liberal political groups as well as conservative ones. And the only "evidence" that this it was about political payback is conservatives' unshakable conviction that Obama and his "Chicago-style" cronies would totally do something like that.

#20 BklnScott

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:21 PM

View PostLord of the Sword, on 09 January 2014 - 01:17 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 09 January 2014 - 01:12 PM, said:

is pretty far removed from who he is up close: a pathological politician who makes Nixon look noble.

I thought this thread was about Christie, not President Obama.

Maybe it's time to brush up on what Nixon actually did...?  

just a thought.

Edited by BklnScott, 09 January 2014 - 01:22 PM.

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