Hey, anyone happen to be following this story?

Christie Bridge Traffic Scandal Probed by US Prosecutors (3)

In a nutshell: “The Bergen Record newspaper published on Wednesday this week emails indicating that high-placed figures within the Christie administration ordered those closures after Ft. Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich declined to endorse the incumbent governor during last year’s election. Traffic on and around the world’s busiest bridge was brought to a standstill as a result of those manufactured traffic jams, and authorities now say one person may have died because emergency personnel couldn’t reach her in time due to the delays.” (FBI and US attorney to probe bridge scandal looming over 2016 …).

Outrageous.  Not the fact that a politician is using underhanded tactics against another politician (that’s business as usual as far as I’m concerned), but the fact that he does so with absolutely no regard for the average citizens, many of who may well have voted for him!

Christie’s Traffic Jam May Have Cost Millions

Okay, okay.  Innocent until proven guilty, right?  Governor Christie denies any knowledge of the political payback scheme…even though a number of his top aides are implicated.  So, in effect, he’s saying he’s not a petty, vindictive bully; simply a complete dolt who was out of the loop.  He was out of the loop when his aides decided to shut down the bridge to inconvenience a political opponent.  And he remained out of the loop, completely clueless while, over the course of the four day closure, others complained the closures were politically motivated.  Let’s get this straight…

The closures inconvenienced people for days.  His political opponents were pointing their fingers at his office, insisting the closures were politically motivated.  If you were Governor Christie and were actually oblivious to what YOUR people were doing, wouldn’t you ask one of them if there was any truth to the charges?  Are we to assume that, as some point, he did ask – and they all lied to him?  Realistically, why the hell would they lie , keeping their boss out of the dark while they CONTINUED to keep the lanes loses for an additional three days?  Are we really expected to believe they “went rogue”?  That they took these actions on his behalf, didn’t tell him, and then lied to him when he asked about it and continued merrily on their way?  Or maybe he never bothered asking?  He just wasn’t the least bit curious?

And, oh my, it gets worse…

Bridge Scandal Papers Point to Cover-Up by Chris Christie Allies …

Cover-up of New Jersey bridge scandal: Gov. Christie implicated?

Christie hit with lawsuit as US bridge scandal deepens

Governor Christie has taken swift action to make things right save his political career: “On Thursday, Christie moved to contain the damage from the scandal, firing his deputy chief of staff, cutting ties to one of his chief political advisers and apologizing for the traffic jams. Two Christie appointees at the Port Authority resigned last month as the scandal unfolded.” (New documents show worries about bad publicity in NJ traffic-jam …).

On an unrelated note, I’ve severely reprimanded my dogs after discovering they took it upon themselves to order the NFL Package via my satellite provider.  I sincerely apologize for their behavior and would like my $200 back.

38 thoughts on “January 11, 2014: Oh, come on!

  1. “… but the fact that he does so with absolutely no regard for the average citizens, many of who may well have voted for him!”

    I understand your consternation, but not your surprise. Sounds like SOP to me. Also, I’m sure he was “out of the loop” in the same way Harper was on the Senate scandal. As in, fat chance. It strains common sense that a person who is normally highly controlling and wants to be in charge of everything, would not know what’s going on in his own office (Harper). Christie either knows or SHOULD have known what was going on. There is no win for him in any scenario. I would guess that at this point, any aspirations that he had for a presidency run are shot, or they should be.

    By “severely reprimanded”, I’m presuming that means one less dog treat than normal? 😉

  2. I’m a New Jersey resident for nearly 40 years now and my governor is Chris Christie. It has been my firm belief for quite some time that to be a politician in this country, (or NJ) you must become singly focused on attaining personal power and authority above most else. If you’re a person incapable of that, you won’t succeed in politics here. They will say, I wish to serve the people, improve their lot, make a difference, but I don’t buy it. Therefore, despite my low esteem for most of those elected to political office, I have hope that Gov. Christie will either be cleared of wrong doing or be held accountable. Real people died and were disadvantaged by the GW Bridge stunt and there is no excuse for that.

    People who actually do make a difference to benefit others do so quietly, without fanfare, accolades or desire for recognition. They are humble and care only to do good. To truly help those in need.

    By the way, on another topic. “Terms of Enlistment” was a grand read! I began it and finished it today in a marathon reading session!! I recommend it as a solidly written, military sci-fi tale, by an author new to me, Marko Kloos. The sequel, “Lines of Departure” is due Jan 28th for Kindle.


  3. We will never know the truth. Its fucking politicians and their fucking superiority complexes. Same thing goes for the news outlets. All of them are politically biased. Fuck everyone of them. If they do prove he had knowledge of this, i hope hold him accountable according to law. If they cant prove it, then they should apologize for accusing him of being responsible for the deaths of people.

    Btw, where was your post about the politicians responsible for the safety of our citizens in Benghazi? I must have missed it.

    Thumbs down for blogs on political scandals…

  4. gforce already beat me to this, but there is quite the parallel to our own PM Stephen Harper and his denial of knowledge regarding the actions of his own Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright, and others in the PMO, regarding the Senate scandal. Everyone knows what a micromanager Harper is… I mean, really? He didn’t know about the Wright-Duffy deal? Right, sure.

  5. For this roll of bologna –
    – Oh, come on
    – give me a freaking break
    – are you freaking kidding me
    – realllllly?

    First – these are politicians
    Second – these are politicians or in their close circle
    Thurd (pun intended) – these are politicians
    Might have been somewhat believeable had Christie come forward and done these actions sooner. At this late date – does give the appearance of impropriety.

  6. Kaffee: Governor Christie, did you order the Code Lane Closures?!

    Judge: You don’t have to answer that question!

    Christie: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?

    Kaffee: I think I’m entitled!

    Christie: You want answers?!

    Kaffee: I want the truth!

    Christie: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has political parties, and those parties have to be guarded by men with orange cones. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Sanitation Department? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for traffic jams and you curse the Road Construction Crews. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that traffic jams, while tragic, probably taught a lesson. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, probably saves rats in the sewer! You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at conventions, you want me on that Port Authority. You need me on that Port Authority. We use words like “payback”, “code”, “revenge”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent trying to achieve the Presidency. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the traffic light of the very long bridges that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “I’ll vote for you”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a stop sign, and stand in an intersection. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

    Kaffee: Did you order the Code Lane Closures?

    Christie: I did the job that—-

    Kaffee: Did you order the Code Lane Closures?!!


  7. You don’t get an office full of bullies unless the guy in charge is setting the mood.

  8. All over the national news. Watching, since it’s my home state, but more concerned with judging success of Christie’s weight-loss surgery.

  9. The only reason I think he *may* have been in the dark initially is that he called these people out on national tv, calling them liars and such. Of course, that could be to discredit anything they may say to the contrary by putting doubt in people’s minds when these folks decide to tell their sides of the story. It also could be that he wasn’t involved in the closure, but learned soon afterwards and attempted to keep it quiet by cleaning things up behind the scenes (didn’t someone resign shortly thereafter?) – that’s very possible. If so, it would have been best to come out right then and there and expose the situation – waiting is never a good thing. But to come out on national tv and claim no knowledge and point the finger at others, well…you either have to be 1. Very confident in your own innocence, or 2. Very blinded by your own hubris. We’ve seen the latter many times in politics, especially in the sex scandals…and anything to do with a certain Canadian mayor… 😉

    Is Christie capable of being so confident that he could deny his role in Bridgegate knowing full well of his involvement? Certainly. Is he involved? Well…I really don’t know. I guess we’ll find out unless he’s extremely good at covering his tracks.

    That said, since the beginning of political time underlings have been known (and often well documented) to act without their boss’ knowledge – sometimes because they think it’s what their superior would want, and sometimes because they’re looking to advance themselves…and sometimes a combo of the two. Just about everyone in politics, even those at the bottom of the food chain, have ambitions, and those ambitions can potentially overrule any qualms of conscience that may come along. So, can I imagine these people acting without the Governor’s knowledge? Certainly. It reminds me of the account of David and Saul in 2 Samuel chap. 1, when the report came to David that King Saul was killed. Now Saul had, on many occasions, tried to kill David out of hatred and jealousy, so you would think that it would have been a relief for him to learn of his King’s death. But when the young man – probably thinking he would be honored for his actions – confessed to the fatal blow, David became deeply grieved and had the man put to death for killing the anointed of God. The same sort of stories permeate politics throughout history, and many are the secret horrors carried out by political underlings in places like ancient Rome, Medieval Europe and…ya know…modern America.

    This comes as no surprise to me. It’s one reason I am politically neutral. But at the same time I’m not an anarchist – I believe in obeying the laws of the land, paying taxes, and being a good citizen. However, I couldn’t in clear conscience be responsible for putting in office someone I don’t trust…and, truth be told, I don’t trust any of them.


  10. Side note…

    As I sit here watching Arsenic and Old Lace for the billionth time, is it wrong of me to have a little crush on – not Cary Grant – but Peter Lorre? 😛 (I know I’ve confessed that here before…but it doesn’t hurt to say it again. 🙂 )


  11. Many politicians and corporate CEO’s have been found to be Sociopaths, previously commonly called Psychopaths. They are known to have the following personality traits:

    Glibness and Superficial Charm

    Manipulative and Conning
    They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing others as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

    Grandiose Sense of Self
    Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”

    Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

    Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
    A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

    Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

    Does this sound like anyone we know?

  12. Really?
    You must be bored 😛

    Sidenote: @Arcticgoddess Yes, sounds like a very familiar pattern of behaviour, and like several people I could mention. 😀

  13. @Ponytail: Nicely done!

    @das: Thanks for sharing the Daily Show excerpt – that was excellent.

    And, for the record, I think Peter Lorre is kind of sweet (in an off-beat sort of way) in Arsenic and Old Lace. But he can be very creepy when the role calls for it, too.

  14. The truth will out. Right now, you have people covering their butts, while others are witch hunting for their own political gain. No matter what. Christie is ultimately responsible, since he chose the people who carried this off. But whether his failure is a criminal abuse of power, or a lack of good judgement, is still to be determined. As for those who did carry this out, the solution is simple. They should be penalized as much as the law allows, THEN be whipped across the G.W.B. by those drivers who suffered because of their arrogant abuse of power.

  15. gforce: Loved the picture of Bart!

    Deni: Have you found a house yet?

    arcticgoddess: Nice! Scary!

    The whole Christie thing reminds me of an old movie called “Falling Down”. There was one scene where Michael Douglas’s character finds out that a lot road construction was unnecessary and it’s just to manipulate the citizens.

    I like Christie and I really hope he’s innocent. Obama has been the focus of several scandals, as well. Like Christie, Obama might have known things all along but I’ll give both the benefit of the doubt. However, if they didn’t know, they should have! They are either being lied too, or are oblivious to what’s going on around them. I’m not sure which choice would be better.

    Oh and by the way, the untested Rape DNA kits in Memphis are up to 15,000. That should alarm everyone in the U.S. Potentially, 15,000 felons are at large and could have been caught/linked to other crimes. It all comes down to money and the PTB that funnel money to their own projects. Ugly politics everywhere these days!

    I finished Work Done for Hire. It was good and I liked the main character. I may buy Terms and not borrow it. It’s only 2.99 and I think my hubby might read it next.

  16. And while we’re distracted, Congress is about to grant fast track authority to Obama for global trade pacts such as TPP that do all kinds of Leviathan evil, one of them causing me to be priced out of a medication I need. Oh, maybe I can get the money from my mom, but that’s not the point. The point is that politically-connected corporations get to profit extra and make my life harder. I’m not looking at it from the angle of corruption, that’s a given. I’m not looking at it from the angle of left/right politics – that’s a distraction from the terrible things like this they do in unity.

    I’m looking at it from the angle of who profits from this coming out now and who was in a position to make sure it happened when it did. Or maybe I’m looking at it too deeply, maybe Americans don’t need any extra distractions at all to let its leaders get away with shenanigans.

  17. I am fortunate enough to live in a Single Party town. Chicago would never have to put up with such Shenanigans. I turned on the tv last night to watch the two games. As a vikings “fan” I was glad to see the Saints loose but was not all the enthused about the Seahawks. It was a game worth watching.

  18. Articgoddess, sadly your comments sound like practically every politician I know. I can count on a couple of fingers the politicians that I respect. Nowadays, to get elected you have to sell your soul and I am not sure some of them even have a soul or conscience to give. Too many people that would make good public officials can’t or won’t run because they can’t raise the money they need to get elected without compromising themselves and are not willing to have their families’ lives scrutinized and torn apart. We need set limits on how much you can spend, how long you can campaign and actually I would like to see limits on how long you can serve (anyone remember Strom Thurmond?). Some accountabiliy and performance expectations would also be nice . Heck, at this point I would be happy to see the two parties actually work together on one single issue without sniping at each other and refusing to compromise. Think Joe has a greater chance of getting his $200 than I do of getting any of my wishes.

  19. Joe, clearly you are going to have to question all your dogsitters and fire the one(s) who taught the dogs to use the tv remote!

  20. I live in Utah, where corruption is packaged in charming smiles with a nice Mormon blessing on top.

    I’ve been following what is happening to the same sex couples here who snagged a marriage license during the short time our state was forced to allow such unions, and is now telling them their marriages are not recognized on a state level, federal only. Supreme Court, here we come. Governor Herbert is wasting millions to stop gay marriage. We have homeless, poorly funded education, and an overpriced transit system… and we;re going to spend money on dictating who can get married? Sheesh. His donors (I’m looking at you in particular, Eagle Forum) have their hand so far up his ass they can floss his back molars.

  21. A new appointee for NJ assembly speaker will decide if the NJ legislators can continue the investigation which stopped on the13th of January. The speaker was appointed by Christie.

    Some think Christie’s team was simply delaying as long as possible so the NJ legislator’s investigation ran out of time so Christie’s appointment could refuse to start the investigation before something was found, which failed.

    If Christie was really concerned about getting to the truth, he would have said he was in favour of such a renewal of the investigation by his appointment. He didn’t.

    He seems singularly incurious about why all this occurred, from the very beginning. He was the guy in charge, and when the bridge was backing up traffic and causing problems, never tried to fix the problem, even as New York’s bridge authority personnel screamed bloody murder trying to get the bridge open again. Then Christie’s people started talking about shutting the New York Bridge Authority up, because he had a habit of complaining when the NJ side screwed up. They started talking in emails about getting payback on the NY bridge authority appointee. And that Mayor was screaming to fix it.

    Even if he didn’t know, Christie appointed or hired these people himself. These are the kinds of people he surrounded himself with. People who are mean spirited bullies who like using their power to punish those who annoy them. You would expect to have one or two in any office. When this many turn up, you have a pattern and a problem with the person doing the hiring.

    Christie can say anything to the press, there is no comeback besides bad PR and turning off voters and he has every reason to delay while waiting for his appointees to get into position to help protect him, to search and remove implicating material.

    The new attorney general is being appointed by Christie. This is the person who will decide if charges will be brought by the state.

    If the email had not been found Christie would still be making jokes about traffic cones and calling news reporters stupid for suggesting the traffic study was bogus.

    It’s possible Christie knew nothing. But he did nothing and has done nothing to help the problem, and is doing the very least he can do to get to the bottom of it. Which appears to be nothing. It’s always hard to sort out the politically motivated accusations from the truth, but Christie was denying this from the start.

    And if Christie had no idea, he certainly is NOT owed an apology. These were HIS hand picked people.

    And who would approve a “traffic study” that causes this much traffic tie-up that goes on day after day after day all day? Even mandatory maintenance on important bridges is done at the slowest times whenever possible and re-opened during rush hour to avoid doing exactly what they did.

    He’s many things, but Christie’s not stupid enough to believe this was for a traffic study. He knows better. And he is the ultimate person in charge who should have stopped it in it’s tracks.

    Sorry for the rant. I find this entire thing fascinating and not nearly as aggravating as when my own politicians screw up.

    Arctic Goddess: Yes, it reminds me of the lying liar Gordon Campbell, ex Premier of British Columbia.

  22. Das: Thanks for the Jon Stewart link!

    DP: My MIL used to mail order medication from other countries. I’m not sure if that’s legal but it was a lot cheaper.

  23. Thank you for expressing your outrage on this topic, Joe, because I share it completely! You’ve explained very well why it strikes such a chord with people. It wasn’t petty revenge like letting the air out of the mayor’s tires. It wasn’t surgically targeted like an ice pick to the back of the head of a rival mobster. It was thuggery on a grand scale with nothing but collateral damage.

    If Christie didn’t know, it was because he demanded not to know.

    Meanwhile his reaction, which some call ‘leadership,’ was to make himself the victim and actually try to garner pity for these horrible people and what they did to HIM. What a narcissistic a-hole. I hope his career is done. If a career can be ended by texting a pic of your tighty whities, this bullcrap should lead to prison time!

  24. @Tam Dixon – That’s what I mean by priced out. It’ll close loopholes that allow me to order my medication from elsewhere so I’d have to pay the rigged price here.

  25. @Tammy: Maybe. We’ll be in Tampa most of this week checking stuff out, but we think we’ve found the one (and it’s GORGEOUS). Hopefully. Oy. We’re moving in two weeks, but with all the colds/flus, bad backs and holidays, time kind of got away from us. 🙂 It’ll all fall into place somehow. Hopefully. Oy. 😉

  26. This reminded me of another illegal closure, but this was of Meigs field in Chicago by then Chicago Mayor Daley. No, real repercussions for Daley though as Chicago, and Illinois in general, are pretty much a one-party state and town with no real oversight except when the Feds get involved. Several pilots were stranded and many more endangered as Daley did not give notice (30-days notice are required before closure by Federal law) and he simply carved ‘X”s (a symbol for closed runways) into the runways, destroying the airfield in one swift stroke.


    To non-pilots, this may seem like a not much of a big deal, but to put this in perspective, this is akin to closing an exit ramp by blowing up part of the exit ramp bridge but NOT putting up signs to warn drivers.

    My attitude on such things is that if pubic property (or public access) is impaired or destroyed, then it needs to be investigated and prosecuted. If it’s simple incompetence, then people should be fired, if it’s purposeful, then people need to go to jail. That would be the ideal, but in practice the political parties protect their own, especially where there is not a strong opposition party.

    Not to excuse anything Christie may have done (i.e. if he is involved then he needs to be prosecuted), but Christie is getting hammered in part because he is a Republican in a predominately Democratic state. The parties do not police their own well, and the press is increasingly more about the quick story rather than an in-depth investigation, so there is less and less oversight, and what oversight does occur is primarily in mixed party executive/legislative branch situations.

    Sometimes voting is not much of an oversight either. I tend to be a results oriented guy, and I’m not talking about the success of political agendas here. I simply try to evaluate who is going to be better at managing a state, town or whatever the office is and then I want to vote for the best candidate to do that job.
    What drives me nuts here in Illinois, though, is that every time I have tried to get an accurate ballot before an election, so that I can research who is running for what, what their qualifications are, or what propositions are on the ballot, I find the online ballots (provided by the county) are always incomplete and never include local/village candidates, judges, or complete ballot propositions. And the local newspapers do not even try to fill the gap, so I’m left with voting party-line, or doing random Google searches for offices that may be coming up for election.
    Summing up, Illinois is pretty much the worst state I have lived in in regard of getting access to voter information. Of course that may be the intent; an educated voting population is anathema to career politicians.

    Sorry for the long comment Joe; this was a hot-button post (as I’m sure you knew it would be 😉 ).

    On other topics, I’m still thinking Seahawks/Patriots for the Superbowl, my son David is holding out for Seahawks/Patriots, and Barb has Broncos/49ers. Maybe you should have a Superbowl pick contest? 🙂

  27. @Deni:

    Barb and I will be in Tampa in September (part of a conference and a visit to Savannah), so maybe you can recommend some restaurants by then? 😉

    Also, Jason Momoa will be in Chicago in August for the convention. Will you be coming up for that? We could trade travel advice! 🙂

  28. @ LJ & Sparrowhawk – I think there’s something about Lorre’s acting quality that reminds me very much of Johnny Depp. Perhaps it’s that ‘sweetness’ you speak of, Sparrow. Even when he’s at his creepy best, there’s something sensitive that comes across in his characters that draws me to him.

    Back in the 80s I have a little grey kitty that lived in our office. Sweet little thing with a round face and big eyes. I named her…Lorre. 🙂


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