Archive for opportunist

Don't believe the Chris Christie hype. He has a "crappy economic record..."

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chris christie me me me

Back in October, I wrote about the wonderful Dean Obeidallah: Let's annoy the hell out of right wing haters. "You've never laughed this hard at a Muslim."

That very same wonderful Dean Obeidallah has a wonderful post about Chris Christie in the Daily Beast that he shared with me, one that I feel compelled to share with you in a huge way (no pun).

New Jerseyans should be ashamed of themselves for re-electing self-serving, narcissistic Gov. Photo Op. I'm talking to you, New Jersey Democrats. What in the world were you thinking?

All that, and still the guy won by a landslide. That was one of the biggest WTF Moments in recent memory.

Dean reminds us that Gov. MeMeMe ran and won against an unknown, underfunded opponent. He was so excited about a completely expected win against someone who deserved more but didn't stand a chance, that he felt an uncontrollable urge to tell everyone how dedicated to New Jersey he is on four Sunday talk shows.

He's so dedicated, in fact, that he may cut his second term short to run for president in 2016. How Palin the Quitter of him.

Chris Christie’s greatest obstacle to becoming president of the United States is neither his weight nor his conservative credentials. It’s his crappy economic record as governor of New Jersey. [...]

But Christie won big for two reasons, neither of which is his record. First, as a proud New Jersey native, I can tell you Christie connects with New Jersey voters on a visceral level. [...]

To make matters worse for Buono and better for Christie, a number of Democratic elected officials and political bosses broke ranks and either publicly supported Christie or sat out the election. [...]

When governors run for president, their record is their résumé. [...]

Their political opponents, meanwhile, will sift through their record like a CSI lab technician, looking for any hint of failure... It won’t take a person in a white lab coat to uncover Christie’s failings, however. They’re easy to spot. [...]

A lot can happen to the state’s economy between now and then. But unless the economic numbers improve greatly, Christie will be wishing people were still just talking about his weight and not what matters most: his record.

Dean goes on to list Christie's economic record’s lowlights. Please hop over to The Daily Beast for details.

Did I mention that Christie Now Refuses To Say Whether He Supports A Pathway To Citizenship?

And there's this: A Chris Christie Presidency Would Be a Disaster for Liberals. But Democrats vote for him anyway. His treating the president as legitimate apparently makes him a "moderate," and he still got Democratic votes.

what's the matter with new jersey

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VIDEO: Hurricane #Sandy "could be Chris Christie's Bain 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: Charlie Crist tries to convince us he's a real Democrat. Compare to tweets, video of the "old" Crist.

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The other day I posted this: Charlie Crist to join the Democratic Party. On three… 1… 2… Meh! I was greeted with some rather unkind remarks on Twitter for that opinion. "He'll fall in line! We should be welcoming him in!" they bellowed. (Well, as much as anyone can "bellow" on Twitter.)

But I did welcome him in, just not enthusiastically. Why? Because I don't trust him; he comes off as just a tad opportunistic. I repeat:

He has a mixed record on gay issues. He supported school vouchers and a constitutional amendment for school prayer, was rated A- by the NRA, “indicating a pro-gun rights voting record.” Here is his past history on more issues. He’s fine on some things, but he’s such a flip-flopper... that his political gymnastics simply leave me cold.

If he ran for Florida governor, would he be an improvement over Rick Scott? Just about anybody would be. So welcome to the party, Charlie, but all I can muster up at this point is a rather muted “meh.”

Just now Crist was on "Hardball" where Chris Matthews was grilling him on what kind of Democrat he'd really be. Here's what he said about his transformation:

"The party’s changed.” So when asked if he has changed, he answered by saying it was all the GOP leadership’s fault (because of their positions on deportation, voter suppression). He said that the turning point for him was 2 or 3 years ago when he became an independent. "It became uncomfortable" for him to stay in the Republican party.

Indeed, because he couldn't win a Senate primary against Marco Rubio.

He went on to say he's a “live & let live kind of guy… compassionate, kind.  Do unto others, reach out, we're all in this together.”

And he claims he's absolutely "fine with" unions and no longer supports school vouchers. “I’m a public school kid,” says he... now.

On immigration, he told Chris Matthews that he's in favor of a pathway to citizenship because his grandfather was an immigrant. Matthews asked him, what about the tough stuff like enforcement? His answer: “I don’t know. I’ll be guided by my heart, my upbringing, common sense."

Matthews, listening to these responses and sounding a little incredulous, said, "That's quite a switch."

Crist ended the segment by sharing that he's “more comfortable with the Democratic party than he was in the Republican party or being an Independent.”

And after that aired, BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski linked to the following:

Link

Link

So IMHO, Charlie Crist will have to do more to convince me he's a "real Dem" than to say he's a "live & let live kind of guy guided by his heart." The last time someone tried to convince everyone he was a moderate, he won one debate and then lost a presidential election.

The video was just posted. Here you go:

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Charlie Crist to join the Democratic Party. On three... 1... 2... Meh!

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Link

Now watch Democrats drool and slobber all over him. Sorry fellow Dems, but I won't be one of them:

(CNN) – Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who served his state as a Republican then sought office as an independent, tweeted Friday night that he switched his party affiliation to Democrat. [...]

"I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know Charlie, you're a Democrat and you know it,'" Crist told the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

The question is, what kind of Democrat? Color me skeptical.

He has a mixed record on gay issues. He supported school vouchers and a constitutional amendment for school prayer, was rated A- by the NRA, "indicating a pro-gun rights voting record." Here is his past history on more issues. He's fine on some things, but he's such a flip-flopper, such an opportunist, that his political gymnastics simply leave me cold.

If he ran for Florida governor, would he be an improvement over Rick Scott? Just about anybody would be.

So welcome to the party, Charlie, but all I can muster up at this point is a rather muted "meh." At best.

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VIDEO-- Christie hearts Obama: Bromance or opportunism?

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Here are a couple of short videos that show a new (temporary?) friendship appearing to blossom:

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It was nice to see Chris Christie gush over President Obama. It's nice to see they're BFF during these very stressful, very painful, very difficult days. Putting politics on pause is healthy, coming together is necessary and beautiful and can only make the healing process easier.

But everyone around me is asking the same questions I am. What's in it for you, Gov. Christie? Here's what he said about a week ago:

The president "doesn't know how to lead!" He's just some dufus "community organizer... looking for a clue."

Here's what he said yesterday:

"I've got a job to do here in New Jersey that's much bigger than presidential politics... If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me."

See? He doesn't care one little bit about presidential politics. He doesn't give a damn, says he. He certainly would never tour New Jersey's storm damage, at least not with Mitt Romney. He's got a job to do!

And yet he toured with the president. And yet he's all over the president, the man he'll have to rely on to help rebuild his state. And suddenly he doesn't seem to have the highest opinion of his own candidate, the man he's officially supporting.

Call me cynical, but IMHO, he's reaching across the aisle all the way to his re-election bid, or even farther, to a presidential run in 2016.

Or maybe he really is putting politics aside in order to help the people of his state. I hope that's it.

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Why must we continue "providing Paul Ryan space to proclaim his "moral courage" in his never-ending attack on Medicare?"

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Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

In defense of Medicare

Re "GOP is back with a revised Medicare overhaul," March 17

Let's remember that Republicans were against Medicare when it was established in 1965, and they've been opposed to it ever since.

Let's also remember that the payroll tax we pay 45 years later is 1.45% despite the fact that for years medical costs have risen much more.

Couple that with the shifting demographic of retiring baby boomers and the fact that Medicare paid for the healthcare of a generation of Americans who paid relatively little into the system, and is there any doubt as to why the system is in trouble?

Slashing benefits or ending the system as we know it aren't the only alternatives — we pay ever-increasing premiums to insurance companies so they can deny us coverage on the flimsiest of excuses — so why not "man up" and increase the tax for Medicare to more realistically cover its costs? It is by far the most efficient portion of our healthcare "system." Let's keep it that way.

Hardy Hayes
Camarillo

***

The Times correctly points out that typical voters "overwhelmingly support keeping Medicare as is" and "favor … taxing wealthy Americans … to bring the budget into balance." It is also true that the Medicare program is not in deficit.

So, when there is so much else within the federal budget to redline (perhaps immoral, senseless wars, for example) why is it we must continue providing Rep.Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) space to proclaim his "moral courage" in his never-ending attack on Medicare? Sadly, Ryan missed the history that compelled the creation of Medicare: healthcare costs were sending the elderly to the poorhouse and, consequently, into the arms of the state for their support.

Geoffrey N. Lachner
Mission Viejo

***

Ryan is quoted as saying: "And I really think the politics, if we help push it, will turn to rewarding the people who are bold in taking on the problems, and penalizing the people who don't."

Nowhere is the GOP's doctrine of selfishness more evident than in this statement.

By Ryan's own admission, he's revealing that the true motivation for his double-down gamble on destroying Medicare is simply to create an opportunity to further his political career.

Matthew Singerman
Newbury Park

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VIDEO: Professor Gingrich was "often absent" and "spent little time teaching history."

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This is a must-watch video.

Taegan has a link to the Wall Street Journal story about Newton Leroy Gingrich's stint at University of West Georgia, way back when he supposedly taught history:

"In addition to seeking the college presidency, Mr. Gingrich was often absent as he pursued political goals. He embarked on an effort to moonlight as a paid consultant. And, it turns out, he spent little time teaching history."

He's never had another professorship, and he hardly spent any time actually, you know, teaching. "He was always too big for his britches.... He's all over the place... disorganized..."

Some historian. Some professor. Some candidate.

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