Archive for Chris Christie

“What Happened to the New York Times?”

Oh, I don’t know. What did you expect from the New York Times?

Last Friday, the paper published a huge story. [Heh. Get it?] “Christie Knew About Bridge Lane Closings, Port Authority Official Says,” the headline screamed.

Huge. [We get it already!] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, during a two-hour press conference weeks ago, had repeatedly insisted that he knew nothing about lane closures on a bridge leading into New York City, after allegations emerged that the lanes were shut down to punish a mayor who failed to endorse the governor’s re-election bid. Now, The Times said, it turned out “Christie Knew.” Huge. [Stop it!]

The article went on to prove — nothing. No proof whatsoever of the “evidence” (which was highlighted by the weird wording “had the evidence” — does that mean he no longer “has” it?) Still, the claim was shocking. And it directly targeted a sitting U.S. governor, who just happens to be the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

[O]ne might wonder why the newspaper didn’t ask the very first question nearly anyone else would ask when presented with such a claim: “Uh, OK, you say you have evidence, can we see it?”

But no, The Times ran with the piece, which made the follow-on media follow on the story throughout the day. But few noticed the way the lede was changed — in less than 20 minutes.

In a write-through of the piece, the new lede said: “The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge, central to the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, said on Friday that ‘evidence exists’ the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening.”

“Evidence exists”? Where? Does anyone “have” it like, say, the reporter writing the story about its existence?

Meanwhile, the headline, once a killer with the declarative “Christie Knew,” also morphed into a watered-down weakling. “Christie Linked to Knowledge of Shut Lanes.” “Linked to Knowledge”? A far cry from “Christie Knew.” And what does it even mean for someone to be “linked to knowledge”?

As questions began to emerge about the altered piece and headline, The Times was forced to put out a statement.

“Times metro editor Wendell Jamieson addressed the change in an email to HuffPost’s Michael Calderone: ‘We’ve made probably dozens of changes to the story to make it more precise. That was one of them. I bet there will be dozens more,’” the Huffington Post wrote.

Dozens more? Maybe, just maybe, The Times should work the story for a while until editors and reporters can draft a strong piece before publishing. Just a thought.

For the record, David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who claimed he “had” the evidence, has been publicly asking for immunity since the scandal hit the press. He has even been held in contempt by the New Jersey Legislature for refusing to testify. And the threat of “evidence” makes up just one sentence in a two-page letter from his lawyer.

“Could we have made this more clear? Yes,” The Times reporter who wrote the piece, Kate Zernike, said Sunday on CNN. “Did we make it more clear? Yes.” And all those changes, softening the lede, the headline? “That’s a typical newspaper process,” she said.

An aside: We happen to remember when Ms. Zernike was a hungry cub reporter for the Boston Gob. She was the attack bitch (if a young feline can be an old canine) on the Glob’s campaign to water down the state laws on special education. Evidently the liberal elite in the Commonwealth did meet a constituency they didn’t like: developmentally disabled children. Ms. Zernike served her masters well—the law was gutted—earning a promotion to the big leagues.

The article doesn’t leave you hanging too long for the answer to the question it poses: Chris Christie is the elephant in the room. (Hey, if the author can, I can.) The president may have sicced the IRS, NSA, and FEC on American citizens, but if Chris Christie can be smeared for a traffic jam he may or may not have known about (“evidence exists”), that’s their story.

This blog is neutral on Christie and his presidential aspirations. He’s far down my list of preferred candidates, but I’d be hard pressed to vote against him if he were the nominee. Media muggings, on the other hand, are our bête noire. Christie and Sarah Palin are nothing alike (you can say that again), but they share this. Both have been taken down by a Democrat-Media complex out to destroy any chance they might have. Maybe Palin-Christie should be the ticket in 2016.

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Big-Ass Scandal

I’ve tried to get worked up about so-called Bridge-gate, the seemingly proven allegation that very high members of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration “paid back” the Democratic mayor of Ft. Lee, New Jersey by closing access to the GW Bridge, thereby snarling traffic for days—for the “crime” of endorsing a fellow Democrat, rather than the Republican Christie.

Tried, but largely failed. Political pay-back is older than Greek Democracy, and no one practices it better than Democrats, if the Massachusetts variety is anything to go by. And given the enormous number of Obama scandals, some leading to death, that the media have buried, ignored, excused, I refuse to allow their fit of vapors over this story to bother me one bit.

But it does bother me anyway.

We should all be so lucky if government left us alone. (Please, God!) But when government decides to engage in score-settling, and we the people are the ones who suffer because of it, that is the very antithesis of the role of government as laid out in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it…

Game, set, match. I think Christie would agree—which is why he [bleep]-canned anyone implicated in the shameful shenanigans.

But does Obama? In response to the equally-proven IRS scandal, where whole government agencies (plural—add the FEC) denied American citizens their right to assemble and speak freely, President Dumbo initially expressed righteous indignation. Once the story cleared the front pages, however, he dismissed it as a phony scandal. Nixon wouldn’t have had the balls.

What about Fast & Furious, a wholly owned Obama/Holder subsidiary, that led to the deaths of several Mexicans and at least one American? Benghazi was a sin of omission more than commission, but no less deadly. The NSA phone-tapping and TSA invasive searches of colostomy bags and teddy bears look benevolent by comparison.

And if we’re going to talk about scandals involving bridges, we should surely hear from Miss Mary Jo Kopechne.

So, shame on Chris Christie if he encouraged or tolerated this assault on citizens’ rights. And eternal damnation on the media for covering up far worse.

PS: I suppose I should state for record that I would vote for Christie in the 2016 general election, but not in the primary, when I would choose the most conservative candidate electable. Which ain’t Christie.

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That’s Not Funny!

Two can play at this game:


Hillary Heaviest Favorite of Modern Era – Harry Enten, The Guardian

What’s the matter, Dems? Why aren’t you laughing?

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Camden NJ in ObamAmerica

The most dangerous city in the US is dropping its police department

Hope and Change, Baby!

Crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey – often referred to as the most dangerous city in the United States—is getting rid of its police department.
In the latest example of a cash-strapped municipality taking drastic measures to deal with swollen public sector liabilities and shrinking budgets, the city plans to disband its 460-member police department and replace it with a non-union “Metro Division” of the Camden County Police. Backers of the plan say it will save millions of dollars for taxpayers while ensuring public safety, but police unions say it is simply a way to get out of collective bargaining with the men and women in blue.
“This is definitely a form of union-busting,” Camden Fraternal Order of Police President John Williamson told FoxNews.com. “This method is unproven and untested, to put your faith in an agency that doesn’t even [yet] exist.”
Camden County Mayor Dana Redd has said layoffs of the city’s police force will begin by the end of the month. Only 49 percent of current city police officers will be transferred to the new county division, whose members will begin a four- to five-month training program.
“There is a crisis, but this is not the solution. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

“The officers who are getting laid off are going to have to be the ones who train their replacements,” Williamson said.
The department has been under the control of the state since 2005, when a power struggle between then-Mayor Gwendolyn Faison and the department prompted Faison to ask the state to take over. That arrangement is set to expire and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has thrown his support behind the transition to county control, which he indicated will help keep costs down.
“A county police force that has a reasonable contract, and that’s going to provide a huge increase in the number of police officers on the streets here in Camden, is a win for everybody,” Christie said at a recent event at Rutgers-Camden University, where he signed a reform bill for higher education. “I’m willing to put my name on the line for this concept.”

Well, I certainly hope that the new police force is as competent as the previous police department. If it works, will NJ replace teachers too? All unionized workers? Is this how municipalities are going to get out of contracts? I have mixed feelings about this. I understand that they are broke, but they did sign contracts…

- Aggie

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Funny

Chris Christie visits Israel, hilarity ensues

Why can’t Christie be the Republican nominee?

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a man mentioned as a possible Republican vice-presidential candidate, met Monday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and said it was only natural Israel would be his first foreign destination as governor.

“This is my first visit abroad as governor and there was never any question of where we would come first, so I’m glad we did,” Christie said before the meeting.

He was elected governor in November 2009.

Netanyahu welcomed Christie with a line likely to become fodder for US late night comedians, saying, “You know, there are so many similarities between New Jersey and Israel.”

“We’re roughly the same size,” Netanyahu said. “We’re roughly the same population. I know your voters have better neighbors. Other than that, there are several similarities and I look forward to discussing how we can increase the cooperation.”

Soon after Netanyahu made his comment, prominent US political journalist and blogger Ben Smith tweeted: “Other things New Jersey and Israel have in common: Beaches, obsessive politeness.”

- Aggie

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Another Reason to Love Chris Christie

Many have pointed out that he’s not as conservative as we might believe—but boy can he put things well!

New Jersey governor Chris Christie, speaking to an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) group in New York, emphasized his commitment to Israel, the Weekly Standard reported.

“America should stand by its friends and its democratic allies, even, and sometimes especially, when it’s unpopular to do so,” Christie said. “And you know I know, that it may not be fashionable in some of the chancelleries, the foreign ministries, and salons around the world to talk about why America stands with Israel – but that’s no excuse not to be saying, and saying it loudly.”

Christie went on to quote President Franklin Roosevelt, “Please judge me by the enemies I have made.” The governor affirmed, “In that same spirit, I would like to say to all of you tonight: I admire Israel for the enemies it has made.”

Christie addressed the issue of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons by stressing that both “Americans and Israelis believe – we know deep in our bones – that if the Islamic Republic of Iran acquired a nuclear weapons capability, it will be an existential threat to Israel, to America, and to world civilization itself.”

He continued by stressing, “stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability must be a top priority of the United States of America. Any president, Republican or Democrat, who allows such a thing to occur on his watch, would be acting in a way that is profoundly against the national security interests of the United States and the security interests of our friends in Israel.”

“It’s only by speaking the truth boldly, or by speaking the truth to power that we will prevent this from happening,” Chrisite continued. “It is only by decisive actions by leaders who truly understand that a threat to Israel is a threat to America. A threat to the Israeli way of life is a threat to the American way of life. Not only for here in America, but for all the nations that emulate our democracy or are trying to emulate our democracy around the world.”

I admire Israel for the enemies it has made.

Bing-go!

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Just Think, New Jersey, Corzine Could Have Been Your Governor! Or Senator!

He could have misplaced all the money in the state, too.

But he is much thinner than Chris Christie. So the Washington Post regrets your vote for Christie, because, as we all know, fat people can’t be good managers.

Former MF Global chief Jon Corzine apologized to customers, employees and investors who have suffered because of the brokerage firm’s collapse, but said he does not know where missing customer money is.

“Their plight weighs on my mind every day — every hour,” Corzine, a former U.S. senator, said in 21 pages of remarks prepared for delivery on Thursday before the House Agriculture Committee.

“I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date,” he said.

Corzine’s contrite but defensive remarks are his first since MF Global’s October 31 bankruptcy and his resignation days later. Revelations of massive bets on European sovereign debt caused markets to lose confidence in the firm.

Take it from me, folks, never trust a Republican, always vote for the Democrat. Corzine’s face should be your screen saver.

PS – the article never mentions Corzine’s political affiliation. That would be a great big D, for Democrat.

- Aggie

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A Hoor By Any Other Name

Be vewy, vewy quiet. James O’Keefe, he who cwacked ACOWN, is hunting jouwnalists. Heh-heh-heh-heh. (Via Five Feet of Fuwy)

Our latest video focuses on another Pulitzer Prize winner and professor at Columbia Journalism School, Amy Ellis Nutt.

A writer for New Jersey’s Star-Ledger for the past twelve years, Amy Nutt was easily able to agree with the importance of re-electing President Obama and was quick to characterize New Jersey governor Chris Christie as a an “[expletive], he’s a bully and he’s a liar.”

Nutt spoke with one of our undercover journalists ironically at an event titled, “Hiding in Plain Sight.”

She called him an a**hole if you’re wondering. While she didn’t bring up Obama, the undercover op did and she merely agreed, she did say how lucky it was Christie wasn’t running. While he’s an a-hole, she argued, he’s an articulate a-hole who impresses people. Imagine America ever electing an articulate a-hole. What is she thinking? He’d have to be clean, too.

You can watch the video here, but I won’t embed it because it’s too boring and too Michael Moore for my liking. Showing up unannounced in lobbies and asking to meet busy people when you don’t have an appointment was funny maybe once, in Roger and Me, 22 years ago. Now it’s threadbare and tiresome. (Pauline Kael, to her eternal credit, was unimpressed even at the time.) But the money shot of La Nutt’s comments is priceless.

But I don’t need undercover journalists to tell me the media worked for Obama’s election in ’08 and reelection in ’12—when they are shameless about saying it in public:

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Chris [Hearts] Mitt

So, Chris Christie is endorsing Romney:

Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey will endorse Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a Tuesday afternoon event at the Marriott Courtyard in Lebanon, New Hampshire, multiple sources confirmed to CNN.

Christie passed on his own run for the White House last week and suggested he might endorse a candidate in the 2012 race.

Rush and Ed Morrissey have opined that Romney doesn’t want this thing to get away from him, so he pushed for this now. Some may be disappointed in Christie’s choice, but, save for his silhouette, he and Romney share a cut of jib.

Look, I hope Herman Cain gets his chance. I’m listening to Bill O’Reilly on local radio at this very moment saying Cain is a neophyte, a poor choice for the office. But Cain has an unshakable foundation of beliefs, and Romney, like him or loathe him, doesn’t. I’ll vote for him without question in the general election, but in the primary, I want my first choice. If it can’t be Sarah, it’ll be Herman.

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Is This Chris Christie’s Moment… Or Is He Too Fat?

Political analyst, Jay Cost, says that Christie is a perfect fit for voters this year.

I’d take a fat man over an antisemite any day of the week. I think Chris Christie is kinda cute.

Despite continued claims that he’s not running for the White House, credible news outlets continue to report that Chris Christie is still considering running for president. But should he run?

Ultimately, a presidential bid is an intimate and personal choice. After all, Christie would have to commit the next ten years to living in the presidential bubble, and his life would forever be altered. Some people just can’t stomach that. But if Christie can, and if he does indeed have presidential ambitions, he should run now.

In fact, Christie should think carefully about the career of the last president from New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson. The political trajectories of Christie in 2009-2011 and Wilson in 1910-1911 are eerily similar. Christie, like Wilson before him, faces a very strange set of political circumstances that suggests now is the best, if not the only, time to go for it.

I count three notable parallels between Christie and Wilson, all of which point very strongly in the direction of a presidential bid.

He makes good points – go to the link. In all honesty, personally I would never want to run for President or be related to a President, because it is a nutty life. But if he cares about the future of America enough to make that sacrifice, then I hope he’ll run.

Off-topic: Have you heard the one about the N-word on the rock of the place that Rick Perry’s father leased? How is that worse than sitting in Reverend Wright’s church for twenty years and listening to hate speech from the pulpit? Why should anyone get bent out of shape about this?

- Aggie

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A Boy Can Dream, Can’t He?

The opera ain’t over till the fat man sings.

Mi-mi-miMImimi-mi:

With the party’s frontrunner sagging, Chris Christie is reconsidering pleas from Republican elites and donors to run for president in 2012, two Republican sources told POLITICO.

The New Jersey governor has indicated he is listening to big-money backers and Republican influence-makers, and will let them know in roughly a week whether he has moved off his threat-of-suicide vow to stay on the sidelines of a presidential race that remains amorphous heading into the fall, the two sources said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s candidacy has failed to clear a basic bar with elites and some donors, and his shoddy debate performance in Orlando has only highlighted the window for someone who Republicans searching for a Mitt Romney alternative can rally around.

I’ve learned that in the punditry business you have to repeat yourself often to be heard and remembered. I’ve said before (and say again) Romney is everybody’s third choice—and I’m probably being charitable. I will vote for him if I have to—without a second thought in November 2012— but I personally would rather not have to. Give me Palin, Christie, Rubio et al first.

But it’s most important to defeat Obama. I don’t much care which hairdo we elect, as long as it’s Republican. The alternative is too horrifying to consider.

PS: I also wrote last week that it would be Christie and Clinton in ’12. It’s beginning to look possible, isn’t it?

PPS: If I acknowledge that Chris Christie is fat—Chris Farley fat, John Candy fat—do I have permission to say that Hillary Clinton is looking terrible these days? Almost Helen Thomas terrible?

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Chris Christie For President

He is wonderful.

- Aggie

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