Archive for Hurricane Sandy

Meet a charming young power couple: Mary Pat Foster & Chris Christie

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NotNailedDownw244h398Forget Bill and Hill,  Barack and Michelle ... meet the younger college Power Couple:  university age Mary Pat Foster and Chris Christie.

Another guest post by our friend hardibear of freerangetalk.com

Continuing to report in depth on the slow Fall of Trenton, Rachel Maddow introduced us to yet another important player's name to memorize in Jersey politicking:  the first incarnation(s) of Governor Chris Christie. It's a must savor. Enjoy the video below.

As the scandals and subpoenas continue to pile up, one more name has surfaced in the list of those Christie has ... 'assisted' to power, shall we say ... that of the aforementioned Miss Mary Pat.

Is anyone that sh-shocked that Governor Arsehole is not beloved of either party from Florida to Texas?? What is of nouveau interest is something the goodly muck-rakers at Talking Points Memo have been reporting on, that the Bully and Bullshit Show has been on the road since his proverbial salad days. [He did have them, WaPo columnist and C. C. critic, Eugene Robinson!] The University of Delaware must be kicking themselves for not seeing what they had let loose on the Northeast.

DUSC2014

Who was the succeeding president of the formidable D.U. Student Congress? Clue: her future brother-in-law Todd managed her campaign, dear man. First Lady Mary Pat Foster Christie is no gubernatorial desperate housewife -- probably why Bravo's notorious Real Housewives of New Jersey people haven't strapped a mic-pack on her. Yet.

Of her unopposed triumph, the outgoing president said to a press he could control, "Mary Pat is a good person and all the experience in the world can't compensate for that", the young Christie told their mutual college newspaper, The Review. Adding that [paraphrased] 'even though Foster · ran unopposed in the election, it was more a sign of silent approval than voter apathy'. 

Oh, he was always this good a truth bender. Mary Pat Foster, however, has played the Good Cop rather well. She may well be a saint and cough completely uninvolved in any iota of the dirtier handwork, but this description of her breadth of skill from her Governor husband just in 2013 speaks volumes. Original story at Bloomberg.  

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie drew laughs at the Pine Brook Jewish Center in Montville last month as he explained the “ugly truth” of his 27-year marriage: His bond-trader wife is his meal ticket.

Courtesy governorasshole dot com

Courtesy governorasshole dot com

Not a bad strategy ... have you SEEN Drumthwacket?! It beats the Soprano Manse by a Jersey mile, the guv'nah couple's current residence.

The governor, a first-term Republican seeking re-election, often boasts that his spouse is the reason he could give up his career as a lawyer and enter politics. A managing director at Angelo Gordon & Co., Mary Pat Christie is the main earner. She also juggles raising four children and oversees a $33 million Hurricane Sandy charity.

Image courtsey Lehigh Valley News

Image courtsey Lehigh Valley News

Of course no other than George Wackadoo Bush brought this pair of career politicians back to life ... following many many campaign donation dollars and Eastern Corridor loyalty promises. Thanks W. Again.

From Drumwalk dot com.

From Drumwalk dot com.

Steve Bennen, Maddow Blog guru and recently seen in select cable programming wonk-heaven moments, has some fresh squeezed juicy goodness,  whilst going back to the original angles. Why, you might ask? Because Rachel is a dying-breed sort of modern journalist, and that is what they DO. Find and broadcast facts. Occasionally after stepping awaaaay from a keyboard and infectious hysteria.

His fine updates continue here.

In December, the governor belittled reporters and lawmakers who took the bridge controversy seriously. Asked about false testimony his top aide at the Port Authority delivered to the state Assembly, Christie said his “curiosity is more than satiated.” Asked whether he look for additional information, the governor replied, “Why would I? … I have a lot of things to do. I know you guys are obsessed with this. I’m not. I’m really not. It’s just not that big a deal.”

"It's just not that big a deal." I think Joe Biden might have a different term (not to mention opinion and some future deserved resentment re the University of Delaware). Massively BFD, Dude. Enjoy the last days at Drumthwacket.

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New emails, interviews: Hoboken mayor under pressure from Christie administration

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chris christie angrytick tick boom

Why, it seems like only yesterday that I posted Ruh roh! Chris Christie's brother bought property just before Christie pushed for big overhaul. Oh wait, it was yesterday.

And now it seems like only today that the New York Times is reporting about emails showing that Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor Dawn Zimmer was indeed being pressured by the Christie administration.

drip drip drip

You remember this story, right? Governor "Heartbroken's" allies were oh, so "offended" and started pointing fingers at Zimmer for daring to suggest that she'd been leaned on.

Zimmer alleged that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno told her that the very pricey Rockefeller real estate project was important to her boss and that Zimmer should “move forward” with it in order to get Hurricane Sandy clean-up funding. The mayor even jotted down contemporaneous notes about the conversation in her journal. Oh my bad, Zimmer's a woman: Her "diary."

She had a meeting scheduled with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to discuss protecting Hoboken from future natural disasters. However:

But according to newly obtained emails sent among the participants, the first topic of discussion on the agenda was “review of concepts for flood control measures at Rockefeller property,” a reference to a billion-dollar office complex proposed at the north end of town. The developer, the Rockefeller Group, which had long been trying to gain approval from local officials, sent two executives, two lobbyists and an engineer to the meeting. [...]

The Christie administration has denied ever linking the Rockefeller project to hurricane relief, an accusation that is now under federal investigation.

But whatever the outcome of the inquiries, the emails and interviews make clear that the development-wary mayor was coming under increasing and repeated pressure from politically connected lawyers working for Rockefeller Group and from the Christie administration.

What's that saying again? Oh yeah:

ruh roh smallerUPDATE via TPM:

A longtime adviser to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) conducted a 2012 poll on behalf of a development firm at the center of one of the scandals that has recently rocked the governor's administration, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

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VIDEO: Hurricane #Sandy "could be Chris Christie's Bain Capital."

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chris christie hurricane sandy fundsbain_capital

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I've been describing Chris Christie as "Noun, verb, Sandy" as a snarky but accurate riff on Vice President Biden's 2007 description of Rudy Giuliani as "A noun, a verb, and 9/11, there's nothing else":

Chris Hayes did America a huge favor last night by explaining what a self-serving, abusive (photo) opportunist Chris Christie really is. Now let's hope people listen, because the New Jersey governor did a great job of pulling the wool over many eyes on election day last Tuesday.

It's shameful how many people admire manufactured optics, cosmetics, and style over policy, character, and substance.

Chris Hayes:

Chris Christie spent the day basking in the glow of his resounding victory last night. But before we get caught up in what he called "the spirit of Sandy" it is worth actually taking a look at the man's record....

The spirit of Sandy that Christie evoked so many times last night is one thing. But the facts of the recovery are something else entirely.

New Jersey received billions of dollars in federal aid to rebuild, and 1.8 billion of that came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to get people back in their homes. To get that money, Christie promised that 60% of the funds would be reserved for low to moderate income households. Right now, it appears that Chris Christie is breaking that promise...

The Christie administration has released no information on how the federal money is being spent. What we do know came out of a lawsuit that alleged the Christie administration was "improperly withholding data on the funds."

In response to that suit, Christie's government released information on where just a fraction of it all went. Of that money, only 36.9% went to the people Christie promised he would give it to.

The whereabouts of the rest of the billion of dollars remains a total mystery.

We do, however, know where an additional $25 million in Sandy aid went: to a very well produced ad campaign. In fact, a whopping $7.4 million federal dollars paid for this one commercial.

Turns out the firm hired to run the campaign had been chosen over an advertising firm that had bid 40% less, but did not propose using the governor's family in the spot...

Right now, there are thousands of people still out of their homes a year after the storm hit....  Mortgage defaults are up over the past year in the Sandy-hit areas. 75% of New Jersey residents affected by the storm say people like them have been largely forgotten in recovery efforts.

For many people in New Jersey, Sandy was the worst thing that ever happened to them. For Chris Christie, it could be the best....

Chris Christie is not just benefiting politically from a natural disaster, he is benefiting politically from a natural disaster made more disastrous by his own administration's failure to prepare.

During his first term, Christie de-funded the state's Office of Climate Change and Energy. After Sandy, when reporters filed public records requests to New York and New Jersey, they found that New York City's transit plans for severe storms is detailed in five binders, each three inches thick. New Jersey's transit plan? Three and a half pages with everything blacked out.

chris christie sandy victims forgottenJoy Ann Reid:

Chris Christie has perfected this performance of being sort of the great man of the people. That entrances reporters, it enraptures and almost hypnotizes reporters, because it's so "gosh darned everyman," but his actual performance as governor doesn't marry up with the image. Last night he talked about almost as if he was a Marine, not leaving people on the beaches of Normandy. He talked about his big, substantive achievement.

Well, darn it, he hugged people, and people hugged him. It is a minimum standard for a governor to accept federal aid. He didn't do that. And he didn't hate Barack Obama in the process. He gets credit for being able to do that in a Republican party that punishes you for not hating Barack Obama.

Chris Hayes:

That is a low bar....

He is stoking it in his sort of narcissistic fashion. I think Sandy has a potential as a political issue to be his Bain Capital. Because at of end of the day, did you do your job?

More about who Christie really is here.

chris christie sandy money for ads

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VIDEO: Why would ANY Democrat consider voting for fraud Chris "No #Sandy Hero" Christie?

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chris christie angry point to self

Chris "Photo Op" Christie is way ahead of gubernatorial Dem challenger Barbara Buono in the polls. That means Democrats are supporting him, as well as independents. But why? Just go back and read any one of the following posts, and then fill me in on why any Democrat or thinking independent would vote for such a nasty, self-serving, abusive, hypocritical conservative:

On "All In," Chris Hayes gave me plenty of reasons to add this post to the above list:

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Thank you Chris Hayes, for bringing us this story:

Here's something you might not know about the "Stronger than the Storm" ad campaign. The New York Times, in outlining some Jersey storm victims complaints over how Gov. Christie has managed the recovery, included this tidbit: "They accused him of using the storm for his owning aggrandizement, particularly after he spent $4.7 million in federal money to hire a politically connected firm to produce the television ads, choosing it over an agency that bid less but did not plan to show the governor in its commercials."

...Fair Share Housing Center has sued Governor Christie over Sandy aid.

Has Governor Cristie done a good job of rebuilding New Jersey in the wake of Sandy?

Congressman Rush Holt:

He's done a good job to build his image.

The harder you're hit by Sandy on average, the less satisfied you are with the response of the Christie administration. You made reference to this lawsuit against him on lack of transparency on how the funds are disbursed and only a very small fraction of the funds have been disbursed. And so i think there's a lot that's lacking in the response.

And i also should say, the response should include a forthright recognition of the reality of climate change. And the response should include keeping the government open so that the -- so that the federal funds can actually be distributed. You know, a billion and a half dollars in funds were delayed, HUD funds, because of the government closure....

People from afar, maybe in other states, think that the governor's response has been wonderful. It sure looks good on film. But the closer you are to it, the less satisfied it seems it seems that you are.

Adam Gordon, staff attorney, Fair Share Housing Center:

There's 75% of people that were hit by the storm that they felt that the Christy administration's response doesn't care about people like them.

And in related news, Republican Sandy naysayers now want New York money. Unbelievable.

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VIDEO: "If you value your life, please seek shelter from Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry leaves trail of death, Rubio sucks"

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marco rubio sucks

Adam Mordecai  posted some brilliant video snarkitude at Upworthy that caught my eye:

There are members of Congress who don't understand or accept basic science concepts. This hilarious video is dedicated to them.

Dedicated to the ignorant, stubborn, backward, self-serving Republicans who lack foresight and continue to cater to Big Oil, Mother Earth and her inhabitants be damned.

This one is a must-watch:

Brought to you by the amazing 350.org:

Go to http://www.climatenamechange.org

Since 1954, the World Meteorological Organization has been naming extreme storms after people. But we propose a new naming system. One that names extreme storms caused by climate change, after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy. If you agree, sign the petition at http://www.climatenamechange.org/#/pe...

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Christie - Between A Rock And A Hard Place

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Pinocchio

We've probably all been called upon over the years to make some sort of toast, or speech or even give our recommendation to someone who we didn't exactly feel deserved the praise. We sucked it up and made the endorsement with our noses pinched shut. But most likely there wasn't any harm in saying the nice, kind, carefully chosen words because it was a gesture, not a ringing endorsement. You most likely found something you have in common with the person receiving your kudos and focused on that.

Well, Governor Chris Christie watched his Pinocchio nose shoot into oversize when he was called upon to give Steve Lonegan, the New Jersey candidate for the senate, an endorsement. BTW, this is the same Steve Lonegan that Christie ran against in 2008 and lambasted over and over again as unworthy, outrageous and out of touch. Hmm. Now he's got Christie's endorsements.

Makes you wonder if Christie vetoed gay conversion therapy but secretly signed a bill making party conversion politics therapy, valid. First success story is Christie -- he doesn't believe a word of what he's saying.

Don't Believe A Word I Say

There was no way for Christie to avoid a tainting on this one. If he didn't give an endorsement, his Republican party opponents for the 2016 run would say he wasn't strong enough to come out in favor of their party's nominee. He lacks GOP conviction.

And if he came out with an endorsement, it would be used against him by everyone who doesn't agree with what Lonegan stands for. So what do Lonegan, and by default Christie, stand for? Watch this fine Lawrence O'Donnell segment from The Last Word.

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No Hurricane Sandy aid, no compassion or health insurance for pre-existing conditions, (cancer -- Lonegan: "not my problem"), anti-choice, anti-planned parenthood, anti-marriage equality, and anti-family leave, and anti gun control. There's your check-list. This is what both men stand for -- one is going to lose, the other is going to win. And by large margins. So what do you make of the fickle state of New Jersey?

Christie has taken more than one hit on his size, and perhaps that's unfair. But surely, if the good governor could drop everything he's doing to go to his son's high school baseball team, there must have been some other pressing state matter that could have called him away so he didn't have to make the clown of himself that he did with his endorsement.

So now you have to ask yourself, would you have done this, or if you were going to lie anyway, couldn't you have fabricated an excuse not to be available for this lie-fest?

Sadly, Christie is so far ahead in the polls in NJ, it won't hurt him in his governor's race. But when it comes time for the GOP primaries, you know the name Lonegan and the governor's endorsement will come up many a times. He's in that purgatory -- he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't (support Steve Lonegan) -- with the gift that will keep on giving.

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Fatman and Robbin'

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I'm not crazy

How crazy is New Jersey? Well, when they re-elect Chris Christie to stay as boss as they are poised to do shortly, we may be scratching our heads and asking that question.

So, let's look at our habitually dyspeptic occupant of the state house in the Garden State. He's irritable, barks orders at and demeans people around him, lies, cheats, steals even uses government transportation for personal pleasure (remember his state helicopter rides to see his son play little league?).

With that said, he has a sometimes affable side -- he's even made fun of himself from time to time -- not hard to do when the rest of the country looks at you as the loudmouth bully from Trenton.

But then disaster struck. Hurricane Sandy. Suddenly he showed some mettle. He jumped into action and we saw signs of unbiased, unpolitical and very caring machinations in his moves. He not only welcomed President Obama to his state, he opened his arms and his state's coffers to accept federal aid. He even went so far as to applaud the President's efforts and give him his due respect.

Now we flip to a few months later. The New Jersey poster boy is now badmouthing the Black man. He's flexing his power and biting the hand who bailed out his fanny. Now, suddenly Obama, whose ring was being kissed when he was needed, is suddenly the target of Chritie's wrath. Rema Rahman quotes you:

"We look at Washington, D.C., and we shake our heads in wonder at a president who can't figure out how to lead, at a Congress that only 11 percent of the people in the last poll I saw approve of the job they're doing," he said.

Referring further to those low approval ratings, Christie said "that's what happens when you don't have a leader at the top. That's what happens when you have someone in the executive office who is more concerned about being right than he's concerned about getting things done, and I'm not going to be that kind of leader of New Jersey."

Hmm.  Let's see.  You don't want to be a leader who gets things done?  You don't want to be right?  You only want to make popular choices?  That's some reelection platform you're running on.  I get it.  If you want someone who doesn't care, strives to do the unpopular, is only self-serving, makes wrong choices and can be counted on to not complete the job, vote for Chris Christie!

With that platform, Christie must be hoping to garner votes from the whackjob right who think Obama caused Hurricane Sandy just to get re-elected.  Those and the people who claim Obama caused the twisters in Oklahoma and the current heat waves in the west to punish those who didn't vote for him.

He dismissed criticism he received for the praise he gave Obama for the government's response to Sandy.

"And when the storm hits the state and the president of the United States calls you and says, 'I want to come and see it and I want to help,' and he actually follows through on the promises that he made, then you have to say that on that part of it he did a good job," Christie said. "That doesn't mean I like Obamacare, that doesn't mean I like what he's doing on taxes or spending or anything else."

His spending was for your state, and it saved your derriere.  Obamacare is to bail out the uninsured in your state and guarantee them a chance at a healthy existence (lowering your state's costs) -- and not at a penny's cost to you.  So maybe you should listen to what you are really saying.  Take a look at what you're really doing.  Consider this, where else in the world can an lying, cheating, dishonest person hold get reelected to run a state of good people after squatting and taking a dump on them?

New Jersey deserves better, but they're going to give you another chance.  They gave Nucky Thompson a number of chances in Boardwalk Empire.  They gave Tony Soprano all of their love on the Sopranos.  They evidently love taking a feces bath in New Jersey and you're just the guy who's going to give it to them.

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