Thursday, January 09, 2014


How're conservatives reacting to Chris Christie Is An Asshole-gate? James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal:
Worse, the Christie administration's evident abuse of the Port Authority is reminiscent of the Obama administration's abuse of the Internal Revenue Service...
I already checked, guys -- no mention of Benghazi. For that you have to go a few rungs down the ladder to Greta Van Susteren, or to the sub-basement that is Michelle Malkin's alternate-universe Twitter.

Or maybe -- hang on, this article by Joel B. Pollack is from November. Yet it may be relevant!:
Chris Christie Really Needs Benghazi
Benghazi is Hillary Clinton's most important weakness, no matter whom she faces in the 2016 presidential election. Among Republican contenders, only Chris Christie can claim it as a strength. That's because of his performance during Superstorm Sandy. Whatever his mistakes--i.e. heaping praise on Obama and backing a pork-laden relief bill--his performance was a sharp contrast to Clinton's dereliction of duty during Benghazi.
Has this bullet become any less magic? Then Christie should save himself by demanding a Benghazi investigation at once. It's not like he doesn't have the nerve.*

If you have 11 minutes to spare, this is what Christie's bit about being "misled by a member of my staff" reminds me of:

I guess National Review sent Kevin D. Williamson to Appalachia just so he'd have white welfare cases to harsh on, and thus escape charges of racism. Charges of stupidity will be harder to evade. Williamson admits there are few opportunities for the unfortunate residents of Owsley County, and can't even make the usual specious case that marriage would make the hillbillies rich. So his anti-government-assistance case boils down to 1.) some people have defrauded the system, something you never see investment bankers and other such higher-order beings doing, therefore the system has failed; and 2.) whatever this is supposed to mean:
In effect, welfare has made Appalachia into a big and sparsely populated housing project — too backward to thrive, but just comfortable enough to keep the underclass in place. There is no cure for poverty, because there is no cause of poverty — poverty is the natural condition of the human animal. 
Which Kevin D. Williamson evaded by luck, pluck, and virtue. The rest of you can go fuck yourselves. Liberty!
...The lesson of the Big White Ghetto is the same as the lessons we learned about the urban housing projects in the late 20th century: The best public-policy treatment we have for poverty is dilution. But like the old project towers, the Appalachian draw culture produces concentration, a socio­economic Salton Sea that becomes more toxic every year.
Maybe he means we should evacuate and demolish these poor hill towns, as if they were urban projects, and "dilute" their populations. Maybe send them to Mexico? They better hurry, the authorities may start to get strict about who they let in.

*UPDATE. I should add that I don't think this will negatively affect Christie's Presidential push. That he's an asshole is a large part of his appeal, and there's a whole country full of suckers who, like the folks who hire a hitman, are inclined to believe he'll restrict his viciousness to people they don't like.

UPDATE 2. Ah, here's the libertarian-branded response to Christie from Ed Krayewski at Reason:
The petty, retaliatory nature of the lane closure reminded me of something the Obama White House might do, something like closing down open-air spaces or websites because of a partial government shutdown or even getting Tea Party groups audited.
Refresh my memory: I seem to recall that libertarians were once perceived to be something different from conservatives. Anyone remember how that got started?

UPDATE 3. I'm even more convinced now that Christie will skate, notwithstanding his refusal to accept my Benghazi advice.

Meanwhile we have this from the Daily Caller:
As liberals support Christie during scandal, conservatives abandon him
The evidence: Guys like Erick Erickson who consider Christie a RINO continue to bay for his blood, "Democratic mayors in New Jersey who endorsed Christie’s re-election are also defending Christie," and David Axelrod thinks Christie will skate -- like me, so I guess I'm also part of Christie's liberal love-wave. I assure you it's inadvertent!

UPDATE 4. Meanwhile from the other side of the bullshit rainbow, The Washington Free Beacon:
U.S. Attorney Probing Christie Has Donated Thousands to Democrats
I tell ya, guys, we gotta get our story (as told by rightwing operatives) straight.


  1. In effect, welfare has made Appalachia into a big and sparsely populated
    housing project — too backward to thrive, but just comfortable enough
    to keep the underclass in place.

    So ... does this describe Appalachia solely after the Great Society, or do we have to go clear back to the New Deal to find the roots of Appalachia being a big, sparsely-populated area with a backward underclass living in it?

  2. Muriel Volestrangler11:27 AM

    If you want to know what conservatives think, ask a spokesman:

    Judging from MSM reaction, what Christie's aides did is worse than Benghazi and the IRS combined.

  3. glennisw11:29 AM

    "Dilution" ? What is that supposed to mean? If the poor are the salt of the earth, then dilution would mean that you send more people in there, not take the salt out.
    So does that mean bring in the high-tech plant, import the trained (less-salty) workers, who will then need supporting businesses, houses to be built, and services, that would require more workers to be hired? Sort of a Raleigh-Durham triangle, transplanted to W. VA? Dare I say, building more community, with more government infrastructure, etc., more educational facilities, more public workers.
    But conservative principles don't support this kind of development at all, they only support digging out more coal.

  4. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps11:46 AM

    Williamson doesn't even try to hide it. The only reason he's concerned with the plight of Owsley County, and not Watts or Camden or the Pine Ridge Reservation, is because it's nearly completely white.

  5. M. Krebs11:48 AM

    Without welfare, hillbillies would have already reverted back to proudly self-sufficient hunter-gatherers.

  6. PersonaAuGratin12:00 PM

    Need to go back to the Plantation of Ulster, at least...

  7. JennOfArk12:07 PM

    Gotta love how a bunch of smoking gun emails only equate to "evident" abuse in Christie's case, while zero evidence of administration wrongdoing (or even IRS wrongdoing) in the IRS non-scandal is presented as settled fact of abuse.

  8. and there's a whole country full of suckers who, like the folks who hire a hitman

    one gets the feeling that a christie voter is among the same sort who will browse craigslist for said hitman.

  9. Worse, the Christie administration's evident abuse of the Port Authority is reminiscent of the Obama administration's abuse of the Internal Revenue Service...

    Of course, the IRS scandal was completely made-up bullshit.

    The Christie administration's evident abuse of the Port Authority is more like Bush's post-Katrina cockup. He appointed an unqualified political operative to a position best filled by a technocrat, and said technocrat fucked things up in order to punish "those people".

  10. Chris Christie Really Needs Benghazi

    They're not even pretending to care about the State Department staffers anymore.

  11. I'm surprised he didn't turn it into an anti-TVA screed.

  12. So I went over to Williamson's article because I didn't know what the hell he meant by "dilution," either. Having dug through the comments (and oh, what a fun time that was), it seems to be this theory that if you force poor people to live among more upwardly-mobile people, then the poor people will pick up good habits by osmosis. In other words, you "dilute" their bad poverty culture in a sea of good, wholesome middle-class white culture.

    And because I had to endure those comments, here's the top-rated one as of this comment:

    And violent crime is HALF the national average........ So much for the poverty causes crime theory. There must be another reason..........

    This dog whistle slowly turns into a fog horn as the thread advances. Really, adding comments to NRO was the best thing Rich Lowry ever did.

  13. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps12:15 PM

    He obliquely mentions how they're the descendants of the successors of African sharecroppers; I'm pretty sure that's his attempt to pin their poverty on reverse racism and inner-city welfare queens.

  14. Spaghetti Lee12:28 PM

    The best public-policy treatment we have for poverty is dilution.

    Well, that's one way to say "Sweep it under the rug and hope no one notices."

    There is no cure for poverty, because there is no cause of poverty — poverty is the natural condition of the human animal.

    Aren't libertarians usually the guys who accuse liberals of being too defeatist and cynical?

  15. LittlePig12:29 PM

    Tee hee. I expect, and hope, he will receive the nomination, just so we can see that big vein on his forehead pop on national television when Hills eats his lunch at the debates.

  16. Spaghetti Lee12:29 PM

    Party of Personal Responsibility Chronicles, Vol. 328,302: "Uh, um, hummina, remember when those other guys did something bad? That means what our guy did doesn't count! Nyah-nyah!"

  17. DN Nation12:33 PM

    Well, yes, yes it is! Thanks for pointing the obvious out, Ari!

  18. It's hard to tell the players without a thesaurus.

  19. Hang on, incoming transmission through the interstices of the void:

    "The petty, retaliatory nature of the lane closure reminded me of something the Obama White House might do,

    ... if I were a rabidly partisan goddamn idiot with an inability to grasp even simple facts. Fortunately, ..."

    [The libertarians over on Earth 2 have actually heard of Benjamin Tucker.]

  20. DN Nation12:37 PM

    I recall back when Rick Perry was making a horse's ass of himself in the later days of his campaign that the Wingnut Talking Points Of The Morning were "fine, Perry's a dolt, but LOL OBUMMER HE DOLTER!". Always the same with these yahoos. I fully expect a breathless Heh Indeedy update from the Perfessor about how Obama may know a guy who may know a guy who may know a guy who may know a guy who may be involved in this and, well, that settles it, was always Obama's fault.

  21. Wha? He blames the problems faced by the whitest population in the country on black people?


  22. M. Krebs12:39 PM

    "A big, sparsely-populated area with a backward underclass living in it" kind of describes all of (or a lot of) America from the point of view of white people prior to, what, the 20th century? The whole Manifest Destiny thing was one big project in the "dilution" of the Native Americans. And we diluted 'em up real good, too.

  23. I guess the best way Ms. Clinton could have gotten over the Benghazi disaster would have been to invade Grenada. It worked for Reagan.

  24. Ellis_Weiner12:45 PM

    O Lucky Man! was Helen Mirren's debut, if memory (as it so seldom does) serves. I'm still recovering from the scene in the Millar Institute where he encounters that sheep in a bed.

  25. He's not going to content himself with vein popping. He's going to
    behave like the loud, misogynistic bullying shit he is, thereby crushing
    Ms. Clinton and winning the general election with his tough,
    no-nonsense lady-dominating style. Just ask Senator Rick Lazio.

  26. M. Krebs1:01 PM

    She started out several years earlier. I think Age of Consent (1969) was her first starring role. (And boy did she stand out!)

  27. BigHank531:07 PM

    I live in Appalachia. One of the nicer bits, I'll grant, but I'm less than 300 miles from Owsley. I'd feel better about Williamson's piece if it wasn't for this bus-sized turd in the opening sentence:

    the last redoubt of the Scots-Irish working class that picked up where African slave labor left off

    That wasn't an economic or political decision, you fucking nitwit, it was a geographic one. The mountains don't have enough arable land to make a plantation profitable. Logging and mining are unconducive to slavery. ("Here, take this pickaxe. Do what I say or I'll hit you with this whip...uh...wait a minute.") Those professions were also too dangerous to risk valuable slaves in. Williamson appears deliberately unaware of how West Virginia even came to be a state at all, and why they wound up on the Union side. Appalachia has always been pretty goddamned lily-white, at least once they kicked the natives out.

    Now, I know he has a political axe to grind, and I can almost forgive his inclusion of the NR-mandated racial dig. However, later he starts wringing his hands about the paucity of retail outlets and we come to this stunning piece of blatant dipshittery:

    Amazon may help, but delivery can be tricky — the nearest UPS drop-box is 17 miles away, the nearest FedEx office 34 miles away.

    FedEx and UPS both deliver stuff to your goddamn door, not their fucking drop-boxes. That's what they do. That's their business model. And there's no way in hell you can tell me that neither Williamson nor his editor hasn't had packages delivered by both companies. What the fuck is this sentence even doing here? Can returns be a hassle? They are everywhere, between RMAs and forms and whatnot. But you know what? If you have a prepaid return tag, FedEx or UPS will drive out to your house and pick up that box.

    That's the lowest-hanging fruit in this utterly dishonest piece of trash. I'm sure there's more, but you know what? After finding one rancid scallop in my dinner, I don't really feel the need to eat the rest.

  28. bourbaki1:15 PM

    "Dilution" sounds better than "liquidation."

  29. crosspalms1:15 PM

    A libertarian is a conservative who got a library card in order to read "Atlas Shrugged" for free. Over and over.

  30. So, anyone want to take a bet when Fox's Chyron starts running Governor Chris Christie (D) below all pictures of Christie?

  31. M. Krebs1:27 PM

    Huh. You'd think there'd be a German word for "age of consent."

  32. ChrisV821:30 PM

    Chris Christie has yet to suffer for being an asshole, I don't see how this changes things. New Jersey voted for the state's first black US senator and to raise the minimum wage in the same election cycle* that we elected Christie back into office, so there's no logic that can defeat him.

    *Fiscally conservative Christie had the state pay millions for a special election just to keep Corey Booker off the same ballot as him, so we had two elections in three (or so) weeks. Which reminded me of the way Obama did such and such and this and that..,

  33. Budbear1:34 PM

    Nuh-uh! That's a sucker's bet

  34. mortimer20001:45 PM

    You'd think there'd be a German word for "age of consent."


  35. Well, I mean, if you're a person inclined to violent crime in a rural setting you don't exactly have an unending stream of victims...

  36. If the government hadn't just handed everyone electricity, they would surely have found the wherewithal to get out there and scrounge up their own electricity!

  37. Logging and mining are unconducive to slavery. ("Here, take this
    pickaxe. Do what I say or I'll hit you with this whip...uh...wait a

    Caveat: aboriginal American slaves were used to mine silver and whatnot during the early days of Spanish colonization. But of course, when you have a large army with guns, the fact that your slaves have pickaxes isn't such an issue. So yes, you're certainly right in the context of the antebellum US south, which didn't have a large standing army around to keep the slaves in check.

  38. I blame the Democratic Party bigwigs for not even lifting a finger to help Barbara Buono. I don't know what the turnout was like for the election, but at least a fight could have been waged convincingly.

  39. waspuppet2:02 PM

    "... or even getting Tea Party groups audited."

    Of course, by "audited," he means "made to fill out forms," because of the IRS's shocking, scandalous assumption that a group with "Party" in its name might be engaging in political activity. Because libertarians and conservatives - but I repeat myself - don't know anything about anything they talk about.

  40. Nah, as I noted over at LGM, it was a hopeless battle from the start. As the party bigwigs obviously observed, how could any Democrat possibly beat Christie when they themselves were endorsing him, donating to his campaign, and voting for him? Better to cut their losses.

  41. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps2:43 PM

    The priorities in the 2013 election were really skewed; it seemed like most of the campaigning effort by the state Dems went towards Booker, who was cruising to a victory over an even more hopeless Steve Lonegan. I guess the hope was that maybe some of that Twitter magic would rub off on Buono three weeks later?

  42. Point well taken... after all, these are the same people who nominated John Corzine.

  43. Gromet3:08 PM

    Nah, that ol' trick only works for Republicans. Remember when Mr. Clinton "tried to distract us" from Monica by bombing... uh... bin Laden? He was just wagging the dog! So cynical!

  44. Gromet3:09 PM

    "There is no cure for poverty, because there is no cause of poverty — poverty is the natural condition of the human animal."

    "Life is nasty, brutish, and short -- that's our policy."

  45. Yeah,I was going to say the same. Slave labor in mines is the rule, not so much the exception. Roman Mining, Brazilian Mining--all slave labor.

  46. They really didn't want Buono to get in. I think Christie was "better the devil you know (is corrupt) than the devil you don't know who might be a goo goo."

  47. Gromet3:13 PM

    It's one of my favorite things when Republican friends & family tell me we're the greatest nation ever and there's nothing America can't do... except survive a few Democratic policies designed to prevent people from dying in the streets. From starry-eyed patriot to terrified pessimist in zero seconds, every time.

  48. satch3:14 PM

    "...he's an asshole is a large part of his appeal, and there's a whole
    country full of suckers who, like the folks who hire a hitman, are
    inclined to believe he'll restrict his viciousness to people they don't

    Yeah... and unfortunately, too many of those suckers are Democrats.

  49. Not only that but, like masculinity, another natural world phenomenon and moral imperative, poverty seems to need to be helped to exist by policies that immiserate the populace. Like right now: if poverty has no cure why are they so frightened of Obamacare? Its not going to make any difference and it is, in fact, cutting the deficit. So what do they care?

  50. Gromet3:17 PM

    Don't you see? That just proves the South treated it's slaves super well! Why, they were practically members of the family!

  51. Howlin Wolfe3:19 PM

    That really creeped me out, too. *shudder*

  52. satch3:21 PM

    "In effect, welfare has made Appalachia into a big and sparsely populated housing project — too backward to thrive, but just comfortable enough to keep the underclass in place."

    It's a good thing that sentiment didn't keep Franklin Roosevelt from initiating the TVA and bringing in rural electrification.

  53. satch3:23 PM

    Oops... should have read more of the thread. Unlike Williamson, OUR commenters are too smart to overlook rural electrification.

  54. KatWillow3:30 PM

    There is no cure for poverty, because there is no cause of poverty — poverty is the natural condition of the human animal

    Says the loyal lickspittle lackey of Billionaires

  55. Jonathan3:54 PM

    My family is from Owsley County; I grew up one county over and still live just over the mountain.

    How the hell do you write this many thousand words about OC and its economic collapse and not mention tobacco farming? That's what my family did 30 years ago, along with approximately everyone I knew at the time. Small tobacco farming became non-viable over the next ten years or so, and nothing has come along to replace that.

    A decent reporter might have driven around the county and noticed a whole bunch of idle farms with tobacco barns on them, and asked what was up with that. But it's way easier to drive to Booneville, find a yokel or two to moralize about, then high-tail it back to Lexington to your room at the Hyatt.

  56. Fats Durston3:57 PM

    You know, Dilution Camps. Or, Dilution Non-Camps. It's kind of confusing.

  57. smut clyde4:00 PM

    The poor we will have with us always, as the Father intended.

  58. Oh you starry eyed dreamer. Better that one grandmother should die of inanition and cold than that one Koch brother should.

  59. Gromet4:02 PM

    Right? That's what gets me: why oppose it so vehemently? It's obviously going to save lives and money... but they're on record saying it gives us Death Panels and must be repealed or sayonara freedom. For pete's sake, all they have to do is tack on some amendment and in 2018 claim their dumb mod is the reason it works. Why the terror? Why drag us all through this miserable, wearying, national-IQ-lowering tantrum? (Oops, maybe I answered my own question.)

  60. parsec4:09 PM

    Wildstein's first question: Are you now employed? No. Second question: Where were you previously employed? I take the fifth.

  61. smut clyde4:12 PM

    I think Williamson is not advocating *forced* deportation from the Appalachians, just cutting off all support and making the zone safe for mining uninhabitable, so that the inhabitants will voluntarily deport themselves.
    Then they can learn thrift and entrepreneurial skills, in their new role as urban servants.

  62. smut clyde4:14 PM

    Think "servant class" -- housemaids, lawn-boys, nannies -- but non-Hispanic! Win-win!

  63. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps4:20 PM

    It's the Bloomberg plan for Manhattan: "doing menial labor for pennies for" counts as "living among" for their purposes. Pack them onto the bus out of midtown when their shifts are over so the market value of your condo doesn't drop. I'm sure the average Beltway reader of NRO is salivating at the idea of having their own captive, non-dusky servant class trucked in from the mountains daily.

  64. KatWillow4:20 PM

    And population density is 1/10 (thats a guess) the national average. Surprise!

  65. Fats Durston4:23 PM

    As all good historians know, once Bismarck invented the welfare state, Germany turned into a big and sparsely occupied housing project, and faded into obscurity.

  66. KatWillow4:23 PM

    There is no cure for poverty, because there is no cause of poverty — poverty is the natural condition of the human animal

    Actually, Socialism is a cure for poverty, and the conservative leaders, movers & shakers know that. That's why they teach their dead-eyed & crazy-eyed followers to equate Socialism with Athiesm=EEEEEVVVVVIIILLL!

  67. America can do anything! Except, apparently, provide affordable healthcare, well-maintained public infrastructure, a strong job market, livable wages for all... So what does that leave, exactly?

  68. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:24 PM

    The intermingling of genes must have occurred by contact osmosis!

  69. M. Krebs4:25 PM

    You know what's a cure for poverty? Money.

  70. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:27 PM

    Barnyard animals, sexual assault stats, something something.

  71. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:29 PM

    The poor people move away, the district is now on average wealthier, and therefore dilution works. They make it sound like they want to help poor people by doing this...

  72. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:33 PM

    We should start all over again in the Appalachias. Make the place a proper place where corporations want to do business and anti-business intellectual types with glasses can be "diluted". We should change everything up to the calendar and restart the year count:

    Year Coke Zero

  73. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.4:40 PM

    There is, it's "Schutzalter". Not a title which will attract moviegoers let me tell you.

  74. BigHank534:43 PM

    Williamson isn't a reporter. He's a political propagandist. He knew what sort of story he was going to write weeks before he set foot in the county. All he was there for was enough local color to pretty up the conclusions he's already reached.

  75. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.4:44 PM

    It's a bit more complicated, but yes if you're 17 old or 18 or even 21 you can have consensual sex with someone who is at least 14 years old in Germany.

  76. smut clyde4:53 PM

    There are only so many carloads of lost college students on vacation.

  77. brandonrg5:05 PM

    One is an actual, real scandal so...yes?

  78. brandonrg5:10 PM

    I thought FedEx and UPS often relied on the USPS for rural end-point deliveries? Too costly for them to send trucks out there when the USPS is already going to be delivering mail.

  79. M. Krebs5:25 PM

    Also, not sure about FedEx, but UPS charges extra for delivery to rural areas.

  80. ADHDJ5:35 PM

    The whinging about "needing Benghazi" made me think of this:,793/

  81. Jay B.5:36 PM

    I hate that oily toad to the core of my being. Which is why, after years of avoiding it, I finally now see the greatness of Twitter -- being able to slag these assholes in a public forum. What a gift!

  82. slavdude6:02 PM

    But wait, remember this is District 12 we're talking about. Who else are we gonna have for our cheap entertainment as the first victims of the annual Hunger Games?

    Oh, wait, you mean this isn't real?

  83. Rugosa6:07 PM

    Wait a sec - I read "Night Comes to the Cumberlands" back in college. That was a long time ago, but if I remember correctly, poverty was endemic in the Appalachians going way back. Does he explain how already-poor people were made poor by welfare? Besides freedom.

  84. JennOfArk6:17 PM

    Ah, but see, the problem is that they aren't poor enough. If we could just make their lives a bit shittier, they would have no choice but to sell themselves into slavery or die. Which is, I believe, a plank in the Republican platform.

  85. He even hit the local Applebees for some of their delicious salad bar fixins.

  86. Yeah, it's real hard work getting spurted out of Koch pere's koch.

  87. smut clyde6:37 PM

    There is NOTHING WRONG with being nasty, brutish and short. Harumph.

  88. whetstone6:40 PM

    It's really spectacularly stupid. The problem with fucking over people
    on the premise that you're conducting a "study"--a presumably public or at least
    FOIA-able one--is that... you kind of have to have a study in the end
    or otherwise you might look suspicious.

    If Christie has an out,
    it's that he has a track record of effective political revenge,
    time-tested techniques like slashing line-items and redistricting
    opponents, and it's implausible that he'd be this

    Also: who's like "hey, I know a meek and submissive constituency we can quietly screw over... JERSEY DRIVERS!"

  89. LittlePig6:50 PM

    I discount that because the sheriff is likely to be the person's brother or father (or both)

    /as a genuine Ozarkian hillbilly I feel qualified to make that joke. I asked my wife, too, and Sis said it was OK.

  90. AGoodQuestion6:51 PM

    Ooh, it's been awhile since we heard a good "It's all FDR's fault" diatribe. Could another be on the horizon?

  91. AGoodQuestion6:58 PM

    Because libertarians and conservatives - but I repeat myself - don't know anything about anything they talk about.
    This is considered a feature, not a bug.

  92. LittlePig6:58 PM

    I loved his references to "abject stupidity". I knew, of course, he was referring to the use of e-mail, leaving a document trail, when everybody knows this kind of thing has be handled sub rosa.

    Or sub rattus futuĊ, in this case.

    /yes, I know I messed the case up. Been a long time.

  93. So... Gentrification, then.

  94. LittlePig7:03 PM

    I hope Homeland Security (still feel German when I type that) decides it was a national security issue. Unlikely, I know, but that would piss in Christie's Post Toasties big time.

  95. mommadillo7:09 PM

    "Here, take this pickaxe."

    "And this dynamite."

  96. Denial of well-established scientific facts? We gotta be in the top five, at least.

  97. glennisw7:34 PM

    I was thinking that they could have achieved the same results by doing it completely above-board; scheduling some bogus maintenance or something, notifying the City and emergency services, and then just being passive-aggressively bureaucratic about it - all completely open and "legitimate" while still screwing over Fort Lee.
    Plus - what did the failure of the mayor to endorse cost Christie? Nothing, he won by a huge margin. What's to gain by doing this?
    So the question is, what kind of really vindictive nasty people are they - or is he - to do something like this? And the remark about the children of Democratic voters - that's really beyond the pale.

  98. glennisw7:36 PM

    Or a Princeton classmate of Michelle's.

  99. glennisw7:53 PM

    Interesting take on the Christie thing by Michael Tomasky at "Daily Beast:"

    I wrote a fair amount back in my New York days about the Port Authority, which on the whole is a great organization....Jersey governors were always feeling shat upon by New York governors—that New York made decisions without Jersey knowing, etc. That historic sensitivity would be hard-wired into wouldn’t make any sense that any Jersey governor, especially one as bellicose as the incumbent, would sit around letting something like that happen for four days without demanding an explanation.
    Good point. If Christie were completely innocent of wishing ill will on Fort Lee, he certainly would have felt that the Port Authority screwing with Fort Lee was screwing with him and his state, during those initial days.

  100. BigHank537:54 PM

    Gentrification will have to do, as indentured servitude isn't legal anymore. Fucking Obama.

  101. BigHank537:59 PM

    Interstate 95 crosses the bridge, as does US 1/9. Federal money is provided for the upkeep of those roads, so there's pretty much no way on Earth they could keep the FBI (and by extension, the rest of Homeland Security) out if they decide they want in.

  102. KatWillow8:40 PM

    Ask the Kocks. I'd like to ask them what they plan on doing when the droughts and famine start, and the oceans wash away coastal cities and towns.

  103. smut clyde8:47 PM

    The best public-policy treatment we have for poverty is dilution.

    Dilute poverty by a large enough factor and it makes you wealthier. That's basic homeopathy!

  104. M. Krebs9:05 PM

    Vielen Dank! The only reason I threw that out there was that, when I spent some time in Trier (1986-87), I was fascinated by the non-literally translated German titles of American movies. That all of these movies were dubbed into German really annoyed me, too. So I would take the train to Luxembourg on Sundays to see movies that weren't dubbed. There they had three sets of subtitles, which was weird in itself.

  105. TGuerrant9:22 PM

    I wonder what it's like to go through a national campaign with a lap band. The physical and psychological endurance required is nearly superhuman as it is - and that's when you can, like Bill Clinton, slide into a doughnut shop early one morning and make the inventory disappear just for the restorative indulgence of it all.

  106. M. Krebs9:25 PM

    That's right. All you need is a potato, couple of pennies, and a couple of zinc-plated nails. Boom, indoor lighting.

  107. redoubtagain9:36 PM

    it's implausible that he'd be this amateurish.

    I would agree with you if not for my hazy memory of CREEP.

    So, CREEG?

  108. redoubtagain9:38 PM

    The petty, retaliatory nature of the lane closure reminded me of something the Nixon White House might do


  109. Spaghetti Lee9:45 PM

    It works for Kathy Shaidle.

  110. Spaghetti Lee9:47 PM

    Well, yes, Fleisch, they're reacting that way because it is a bigger scandal, because it actually happened the way people say it did.

    What's the American equivalent of 'Truth from Pravda'?

  111. hellslittlestangel10:07 PM

    Yes, the lack of evidence is itself evidence of a cover-up. The smoking gun proves there's nothing to hide.

  112. bulletsarepeopletoo10:16 PM

    "So what does that leave, exactly?"

    The rich keep getting richer and the corporations are hoarding cash.

  113. hellslittlestangel10:19 PM

    Democratic elections meet professional wrestling. "In this kawnuh, two tons of fightin'fun -- Chris Christie!!!!" YAY!!!!! "And his opponent -- the Bitch of Bergen County -- Barbara Buono!!!!!" BOOOO!!!!!

  114. FDRliberal10:21 PM

    "*UPDATE. I should add that I don't think this will negatively affect Christie's Presidential push. That he's an asshole is a large part of his appeal, and there's a whole country full of suckers who, like the folks who hire a hitman, are inclined to believe he'll restrict his viciousness to people they don't like."

    As liberals though we sometimes underestimate the one thing Christie did which nullifies all his other Evil Qualities to the indoctrinated Tea People - he publicly showed respect to the president, on the eve of an election no less. This was the Unforgivable Sin.

    This is the reason why there were shouts of joy across TeaVille yesterday. They think this will lead to the eventual coronation of President Ted Cruz, being oblivious to the fact Christie was their most viable candidate.

  115. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:25 PM

    the solution is dilution

    If it's a rhyme, it's a crime...

  116. smut clyde10:28 PM

    If you're not part of the dilution you're part of the concentrate.

  117. edroso11:24 PM

    I take your point, but I expect by 2016 these folks won't remember their own names, let alone Christie's Sandy treason.

  118. DocAmazing11:40 PM

    No restitution in the Constitution? It's ablution with pollution.

  119. DocAmazing11:44 PM

    I'm represented by Nasty, Brutish & Short, LLC.

  120. BigHank5311:48 PM

    Caveat accepted. The situation in Central and South America wasn't completely analogous, though, as there were substantial gold and silver mines already in operation, and the Spanish essentially took over from previous management. Miners' families were also close at hand for reprisals should workers object to their lot. The largest factor, in my opinion, is that most of the mines (pre-industrial revolution) in the eastern US were pretty small in comparison (often family operations) and likely less well suited to exploit slave labor. The Appalachian Range itself was also a significant route on the Underground Railroad; sparse population and dozens of valleys made for better cover than the Piedmont.

  121. M. Krebs11:48 PM

    I dunno. Maybe I'm less than well-informed about Christie, but he seems relatively decent -- indeed better than some Dems I can think of. Still, I don't mean to defend him, just to say that the most likely scenario to me is that he's got a bunch of movement-type freaks working under him, which is, of course, his fault anyway.

  122. BigHank5311:53 PM

    The next time you stop by their office, remind my cousin that he still owes me two grand.

  123. M. Krebs11:56 PM

    Absolution without diminution!

  124. Dr. Bronner's poverty cure. Dilute! Dilute!

  125. FDRliberal12:20 AM

    Christie is a hard line conservative. Granted, he is not an utter crackpot like Ted Cruz. He has done some nice things like defend a Muslim judge:
    but he is also renowned for yelling at school teachers to "JUST DO YOUR JOB!"
    and of course he rejected billions in stimulus tunnel funding like fellow Republican governors Scott Walker and Rick Scott.

  126. FDRliberal12:27 AM

    Well anything can happen of course. But the hate that many in the Tea Party base have for Christie is quite deep. And hate as we know is one of the few things they do quite well.

  127. mortimer200012:43 AM

    Look forward to Christie's video at the NJ Radio & TV Correspondents dinner, with him going "Nope, no traffic study over there!" and 'Maybe under here?" and "That traffic study has got to be somewhere!"

  128. smut clyde2:46 AM

    Nash, de Brutus and Short -- from Gravity's Rainbow -- may need a few words with your representatives on the issue of intellectual property.

  129. smut clyde3:00 AM

    UPDATE 3. I'm even more convinced now that Christie will skate

    It does not bode well for his chances that so many apparachniks are already making roadkillade, and the word has evidently gone out to associate Christie's name and alleged misdeeds with Obama's (these reflexes won't condition themselves!).

  130. smut clyde3:04 AM

    es, the lack of evidence is itself evidence of a cover-up.

    It seems to be the other way around here. Christie's awareness of and involvement in a cover-up is supposed to show that he was not responsible.

  131. RHWombat3:42 AM


  132. RHWombat4:58 AM

    wasn't it a pig?

  133. I love ya man.

  134. Buono said on the teevee last night that the Democratic donor class were basically so frightened of reprisals from Christie that none of them would donate to her in amounts (over $300) that would show up on publicly available donation reports.

  135. Rachel Maddow, who helped bring this whole thing to public attention several weeks ago, is now theorizing that the shutdown wasn't payback to the mayor of Ft. Lee, but rather to the leader of the Democrats in the state senate for their refusal to go along with Christie's judicial appointments--after Christie took the apparently unprecedented step of unilaterally blocking tenure for a sitting liberal justice on the state supreme court. That senator's district includes, of course, Ft. Lee. As Rachel puts it: "Watch this space."

  136. These knees won't jerk themselves.

    Nor will these jerks knee themselves.

  137. Be the ones with private armies to protect their high ground and food supply? I'm gonna wildly speculate that they don't give a fuck.

  138. Well, as decent as an anti-choice, anti-poors, anti-union, corrupt bullying misogynist fuck can be, anyway.

    Seriously, it's been magical the way that a straight down the line rabidly conservative supply-side absolute asshole can be viewed as "reasonable" and "moderate" because he doesn't automatically hate Muslims or free money from the federal government. I mean, what notable Dems do you have in mind whom he's more decent than? Chuck Schumer? Joe Manchin?

  139. Nor will these jerks knee themselves.

    Good, 'cause I've got unused holiday time.

  140. Ellis_Weiner10:18 AM

    Saw that last night. V. compelling, and makes more sense than the mayor-payback, which even the mayor himself doesn't understand. Watch it here:

  141. Ellis_Weiner10:25 AM

    Well, okay. But besides from having got the movie wrong and the scene wrong, I stand by my post.

  142. There are too damn many Dems who have become so used to hearing Tea Party bullshit from the mouths of run of the mill Pugs that when they don't hear Christie actually drooling or denying science, they think he'll govern as a "moderate" who will reach around... er... ACROSS the aisle. The only reason he's seen as a "moderate" is because he's being somewhat restrained by a Dem legislature.

  143. glennisw11:20 AM

    I saw that too. The timing is pretty compelling.

  144. whetstone11:57 AM

    I thought about that. The problem there I can see is that if you wanted to do an actual pointless study, you'd have to involve mid-level bureaucrats. And unless you've really done a good job at stacking the bureaucracy with yes-men, some of them are going to be professional public servants who care about their jobs, and don't want to 1) pointlessly screw the fellow citizens they serve 2) piss money away on a grudge match 3) risk a good, stable career on their boss's boss's boss's petty backstabbing. It's doable, but the conditions would have to be right, I think.

  145. The solution is a suspension. Bridge, that is.

  146. There once was a man named Chris Christie
    When questioned he made a fist fistie
    He couldn't care less
    Blamed staff for the mess
    Why does he always seem pissed pissedie ?


  147. Cthulhu08187:48 PM

    "Are you not entertained?!?"

  148. Cthulhu08187:53 PM

    That wealth and upward mobility just keeps "Trickling down" in big yellow sheets, don't it?

  149. Cthulhu08187:54 PM

    And canoeists and kayakers....

  150. Mutaman10:17 PM

    Time to do what's necessary to inform yourself. To many people voting for jerks because he "seems relatively decent". How do you think we got 8 years of Sonny Bush?