Posts Tagged ‘Chris Christie’


Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

By Jeffrey Page

So long, Chris. Write when you get a job of work, not an appointed commissionership.

That is, if you get work; there’s not much call for professional bullies and blowhards. Maybe you can make a career of explaining why people hate being treated like chumps. Sometimes it seems like making fools of people is your specialty.

Here’s what I mean.

Gov. Chris Christie and family enjoy an exclusive day on the beach.

Gov. Chris Christie and family enjoy an exclusive day on the beach.

Several million dollars was supposed to be set aside for the much needed but long delayed repair and rehabilitation of the railroad tunnels that connect lower Manhattan and New Jersey. The tunnels need a lot of work.

So weren’t New Jersey and New York rail commuters left aghast when they learned you diverted a huge chunk of that money for other uses?

The explanation was the basis of a recent story in The New York Times, which reported that you’ve been diverting a large sum from the tunnel repair project and using it instead to support a little used ferry boat service that connects Atlantic Highlands on the Jersey Shore with service to Jersey City and Hoboken.

Chris, you are a screen writer’s dream. Passengers aboard the ferry pay a roundtrip fare of $24, and then New Jersey reimburses the carrier at the rate of $95 per round trip. But wait, this gets better. The Times noted that in addition to the individual subsidy, the carrier, Seastreak, also received $7,200 a day.

In the meantime, the rail tunnels await repairs.

Now, just six months before you leave office, it’s Beachgate, the latest outrage you’ve foisted on New Jerseyans.

It was a beautiful day, a perfect beach day, recently. But anyone thinking about taking the family to Island Beach or any other state park in New Jersey soon found himself out of luck: The state’s beaches were closed due to a government shutdown.

This of course didn’t apply to you, Chris. You’re a man who’s good at getting what he wants and who spares little in getting it. Except when you played sycophant extraordinaire to Donald Trump so that he’d make you his vice presidential running mate. Hey, you can’t win them all.

It was hot and the beaches were cool on July 2. So you took the family and a bunch of aides to Island Beach and if any of the other 8,958,999 perspiring New Jerseyans objected they could take the first bus to hell.

When journalists got wind of your little outing, one enterprising photographer grabbed an incredible shot of you and your private party taking in the rays. The rest of the beach, which is 10 miles long, was empty of all visitors.

A reporter later asked you about your private use of the public beach, and you responded with the tact of a mule: “This is just the way it goes,” you said.

If you ever wish to understand why New Jerseyans dislike you as much as they do, just play back that quote.

‘Which Mitt’ Would Preside Over FEMA?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

By Emily Theroux

Ssshh! A moment of silence, please.  Turn down that racket from incessant campaign ads and warring TV pundits (if you didn’t already lose your cable service to a gargantuan maple tree toppled by Hurricane Sandy, as I did Monday afternoon).

You wouldn’t want to miss the sound of one hand clapping, a paradox that developed when poor Mittens had no one to play partisan patty-cake with. His good buddy from New Jersey abandoned the Tea Party games that MittWit had talked him into playing. The frivolity got too preposterous and infantile for Mitt’s BFF to stomach, so he ran off to join the grown-ups who had finally reached across the aisle to begin solving the country’s problems.

In the eerie hush of an early Halloween twilight — without lights, heat, and background noise in the millions of households without power — you could almost hear Mitt Romney fuming, all the way from Ohio, over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s treachery.


Obama & Christie emerge  as politics’ strangest ‘power couple’

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, left, praised President Obama for his bipartisan collaboration with the GOP leader on disaster relief, after Hurricane Sandy devastated Christie's state. (Photo: Associated Press)

The news teemed with post-disaster anecdotes about “Sandy’s political odd couple,” Christie and his unlikely ally President Barack Obama, who worked in tandem to coordinate the relief effort and flew together in Marine One to tour parts of New Jersey devastated when the hurricane made landfall there. And just look who’s green with “envy” now, absorbing the spectacle of political polar opposites patting each other on the back, a freaking mutual admiration society!

“Seeing him with Chris Christie is tearing me apart,” satirist Andy Borowitz imagined a steamed Mittster venting. (The nerve of Mitt’s own convention keynote speaker, defecting to the enemy camp just one week before Election Day to call a truce in electoral hostilities over a freaking windstorm!)


Storm of the century sidelines Mitt from headlines

“Frankenstorm” is over, leaving a grim tally of casualties and destruction in its wake: 94 reported dead thus far, millions without power, countless families homeless, 9 out of 23 subway lines still closed in New York City, and as much as $50 billion in property damage, extra living expenses, and lost business. The president admirably rose to the challenge to oversee disaster relief endeavors by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Christie, doing likewise, even signed an executive order “rescheduling Halloween” because the streets in his state weren’t yet safe for trick-or-treaters.

Mitt Romney

Marooned in my silent living room sans Internet access, I could still easily discern from my cell phone connection that Mitt Romney didn’t have a lot to say about how he would handle disaster relief if he were in the president’s coveted shoes.

Granted, Mitt’s got several tough acts to follow. Even though Obama was bashed for reacting “prematurely” to the hurricane threat by stunningly inept Katrina-era FEMA head Michael Brown (of  “Heckuva Job, Brownie” fame), the president smoothly coordinated a truly bipartisan storm response with fellow executives like Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

The GOP  contender, as New Yorker columnist John Cassidy opined, “has a FEMA problem and a Chris Christie problem.” The “unemployed” multimillionaire challenger finds himself cast in the unenviable position of odd man out in a venue tailor-made for incumbents. Obama shines by simply doing his job (and gleans a 77 percent approval rating among likely voters on his overall response to the storm). Romney, on the other hand, has no official tasks to perform and doesn’t feign empathy very well. He’s limited to phony photo ops that reveal him to be the cynical, calculating, and purely political android that he really is.

"Donations" to Mitt's fake storm relief event were actually purchases from Walmart. (Photo: BuzzFeed)

In the aftermath of the superstorm that flooded city streets, swamped the New York City subway system, and flattened homes, businesses, amusement parks, and boardwalks along the Jersey Shore, the sidelined Romney campaign staged a bogus “storm relief event” offering faux “donations” of granola bars, diapers, and canned goods purchased by staffers from an Ohio Walmart for $5,000. People who showed up for what was originally billed as a “victory rally” were encouraged to pick up Walmart merchandise and hand it to Romney in front of the cameras. When skeptical reporters began questioning him about whether he would ax FEMA, as he had suggested during a 2011 primary debate, Mitt clammed up and ignored them as if they were a bothersome swarm of gnats.

Sharron Angle, AP photo

Like Tea Party whack job Sharron Angle, who ran for Harry Reid’s Nevada Senate seat in 2010, Mitt traded his mirthless, chiseled mug for a Halloween mask just days before the 2012 election, dodging questions he didn’t want to answer by pretending the people asking them were as ephemeral as  “Invisible Obama.”


As Massachusetts governor, Mitt vetoed flood prevention bill

After watching Barack Obama “palling around” for days with Christie, Romney was finally goaded by his campaign staff to respond to the anti-FEMA rap that his own past positions had pinned on him. The craftily constructed switcheroo issued by the Romney campaign late Halloween night read as follows:

“I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters.”

While insisting that Romney doesn’t intend to eliminate or defund FEMA outright, this “Mitticism” relegates the federal agency to “play(ing) a key role” in working with states and localities. Like every other vague policy proposal that the GOP’s Obfuscator-in-Chief has released to date, this statement is as flimsy and mutable as Mitt Romney’s word. He could change it tomorrow, next month, or next year.

If he wins next week’s election, what would Romney really do? His record as governor of of Massachusetts offers an ominous prologue. In 2004, after Peabody’s downtown had been repeatedly flooded by heavy spring rains, Romney vetoed a $5.7 million flood control bill. His longtime spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, claimed that Romney had asked Peabody officials for more information but “none was forthcoming” — a charge that local residents vehemently disputed.

Then-Gov. Mitt Romney vetoed a flood control bill passed after the downtown district of Peabody, Massachusetts, was repeatedly 'submerged' in 2004.

Two years later, the area flooded again. “Massachusetts is sitting on millions in unspent emergency funds from Hurricane Katrina and more than $1 billion in cash reserves, yet Romney has failed to even respond to the Lowell delegation’s requests to discuss additional aid for victims,” the “conservative-leaning” Lowell Sun commented.

“When you’re dealing with a candidate as sketchy and shifty as Romney, his brief record as an elected leader is perhaps the most telling guide you have,” wrote Paul Constant in Seattle’s Slog blog. “Romney has demonstrated an inability to prepare for the future, and then an inability to face the consequences of his actions when the future arrives.”


Privatized disaster relief would put profits before victims

The day after Hurricane Sandy decimated the East Coast, The New York Times published an editorial titled, “A Big Storm Requires Big Government.” Without FEMA’s “war room,” the National Response Coordination Center, the Times argued, relief efforts for a multistate emergency would be virtually impossible to coordinate. When Romney expressed his position du jour at the September 2011 New Hampshire GOP primary debate, he went beyond saying that disaster management should be “returned to the states. … If you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”

Jeb Bush

Romney the “vulture capitalist” has given us no reason to doubt that he really does believe privatization of many government functions would be optimal. Privatizing disaster relief, however, would be, well — “disastrous.” If Romney wins the election, private disaster response companies (including one headed by Dubya’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush) are waiting in the wings to profit from disaster victims’ misery. Stephen D. Foster Jr. of the blog Addicting Info calls this playbook “a recipe for fraud,” as for-profit response companies could hold both disaster areas and individual victims hostage until their asking price is met. Foster cites a frightening recent example:

“Remember the home in Tennessee a couple years ago that was allowed to burn down by the local for-profit firehouse because the residents failed to pay the fee? Well, you can bet that same scenario will play out across the country and on a more sickening scale.”


Christie says he doesn’t ‘give a damn’ about Election Day

Pundits have speculated about whether Christie is simply sucking up to Obama because he won’t be able to run for president as the GOP candidate in 2016 if Romney wins in 2012. Democrats, however, aren’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, so most are taking Christie at his word.

That word, as usual, is devastatingly blunt when you’re on the receiving end of it, as Fox flunky Steve Doocy found out after wondering aloud when Romney “was going to get some of the same benefits from the hurricane with a photo op in disaster-stricken New Jersey towns,” in the words of the blog Raw Story’s David Edwards. “[W]e hear that perhaps Mr. Romney may do some storm-related events. Is there any possibility that Gov. Romney may go to New Jersey to tour some of the damage with you?”

Christie minced no words in his response:

“I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could [sic] care less about any of that stuff. … I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power, I’ve got devastation on the shore, I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.”

That nonpartisan approach could be just the ticket for an Election Day rejection of the mendacious, divisive politics embodied by the Mitt Romney wing of the Republican Party.

USS Mittanic Lists in Turbulent Seas

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Illustration by Lance Theroux

By Emily Theroux

The decks are beginning to creak aboard the ship of fools that the GOP insists cannot be sunk. The legendary iceberg looms in the dark water dead ahead, but the captain and crew have had too much $100-bill bubbly to see disaster coming.

When the USS Mittanic put out to sea after the Republican primaries yielded a lackluster contender no one was really thrilled by, the shipbuilders who were funding the crusade to purge Barack Obama from office thought they had come up with a sure bet. Willard “Mitt” Romney wanted the presidency so badly that his fat-cat donors figured, once they had ponied up to install him in the Oval Office, he’d be happy to “dance with the ones that brung him.”

America faced a stalled economy, with Barack Obama at the helm. Everyone with a conservative blog and half a brain or less believed “Nobama” was a foreign, socialist, Muslim, job-killing tyrant who was universally hated by his “subjects.” How could they be so sure? Because Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Erick Erickson, and Rush Limbaugh told them so, and that handful of towering intellects had yet to be conclusively proven wrong.

Romney, the former “Taxachusetts” R.I.N.O., had instantly reversed every principle or ideal that he had ever claimed he held, declaring in the most withering tone he could muster that he had been “a severely conservative Republican governor.” He’d be putty in the hands of the Brothers Koch and Karl Rove, who were running the show. What could possibly go wrong?

As it turned out, just about everything.

In a recent interview, David Koch discussed wealthy donors “investing” in political candidates with the expectation of receiving some kind of return, now that the Citizens United case has made such a breach in the democratic process possible.

It had never occurred to the campaign’s high rollers that their enormous cash stash might not be enough to close the deal and actually buy the American presidency outright. (That was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as are a lot of the things I write — which I feel I need to declare, since this campaign’s have become so surreal that readers are starting to take parody and satire as accounts of actual events.*)

GOP masterminds had all the bases covered, including getting so many Republican state legislators elected in 2010 that voter ID bills have already been passed in 33 states. Their goal was to disenfranchise black, Latino, poor, and college-age voters, in case Mitt began to straggle behind the president in the polls.

They had even had the foresight to establish a movement called True the Vote, a conservative “voter vigilante” organization whose website is packed with right-wing lies. The group plans to sic one million volunteers on polling places in poor and minority neighborhoods all over the country. Their goal, in plain English: bullying Democratic voters by singling them out, challenging their identification even if the state has no law requiring photo IDs, telling voters they’re in the wrong place, or they don’t have the proper paperwork, or the election happened yesterday whatever intimidates people enough to make them leave without making it into the voting booth.

Do what you have to do to get where you need to go; that’s Citizen Rove’s motto. Leave what your parents taught you at the door when you agree to work for totally unscrupulous people. It doesn’t matter how you play the game. Winning is everything. Failure is not an option.

If Romney can’t get there by following the rules, he’s not above winning ugly.


‘Republicans don’t fall in love; they fall in line’

Yet it still wasn’t clear that their plan would work. The GOP had put up the best candidate in the bunch, and by mid-September, the public disliked Mitt Romney so much that he was clearly losing.

Ever since the Mother Jones website linked to Mitt’s Big Bloopers Reel a week and a half ago, and all of that rot that proverbially starts at the fish’s head began to ooze out, a really big stink ensued on the far right. The religious fundies were hopping mad, praying that God would smite the listing vessel with something godawful, maybe a North Atlantic typhoon. That would fix those Beltway Republicans for the mortal sin of dredging up Romney again from the dustbin of history, brushing him off, and dressing him in mom jeans and a blue checkered shirt that he didn’t take off for the next four months.

But that’s the way it’s done in the Greed and Opulence Party, whose entitled members feel they can afford to be magnanimous. For the current campaign’s “winner,” they almost always choose the previous campaign’s loser. For some reason, the GOP put stodgy old Bob Dole up against ever-popular incumbent Bill Clinton in 1996, and sure enough, as Ann Coulter warned at the outset of the current cycle, “He lost.” They ran John McCain in 2008, eight years after he had lost the nomination to George W. Bush (who, even though his father had been president before him, happened to be the first “D.C. neophyte” that the GOP had nominated since Ronald Reagan recaptured the White House  from Jimmy Carter in 1980).

Mitt Romney embarked on his general election voyage in 2012 as the also-ran of 2008. This blueprint for failure has caused disastrous results for Republicans, yet for some reason they refuse to abandon it. The party keeps going with the “safe” moderate and then expecting him to hang a sharp right and morph into a firebrand wingnut ideologue. As hard as he tries, Mitt-bot’s demeanor and delivery are so mechanical and repellent that nobody’s buying it.

Now, the Romney/Ryan campaign is imploding before the presidential debates have even begun. The rats are deserting the ship left and right. Normally blustery N.J. Gov. Chris Christie’s allegiance to the current GOP nominee sounding iffy; he crooned Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” at the convention, and the other day he admitted to a reporter, “We had a bad week. If the election were going to be held tomorrow, that would be a problem.” Christie added that the campaign still had 42 days to catch up, but he didn’t sound that convincing.

The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan, who once worked for Saint Ronnie,  clambered into one of the first lifeboats, pronouncing Romney “incompetent” one day and then bumping her criticism up several notches the next day to “a rolling calamity.” Her emergence from the elephant herd handed the press a colorful metaphor for kicking off MittWit’s upcoming bus tour.

  • Tim Pawlenty resigned last week, trading in his leading role in the sinking of the USS Mittanic for a cushy sinecure as a banking lobbyist.
  • Obama is currently 8 points ahead in Ohio, the state that no Republican who won the national election has ever lost.
  • Remember those folks at NASCAR that Mitt trashed, cruelly mocking their cheap plastic ponchos? A new Zogby poll showed that 49 percent of NASCAR fans now favor Obama, while only 42 percent would vote for Romney.

“The Romney campaign has the stink of death right now,” warned Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, who seemed to be keeping a safe distance from the sinking clown show.


Politico satire taken seriously by pundits because this campaign is so crazy, it almost could be true

Roger Simon of Politico, inspired by the bedlam the Romney campaign has become mired in, turned the tragicomic Plight of the Right into a wickedly funny satirical riff on a quote that appeared in The New York Times. The speaker, GOP operative Craig Robinson of Iowa, had described the stinking rift that has sprouted like a dank mushroom in the ill-fated Romney/Ryan union. Here’s an excerpt:

“Paul Ryan has gone rogue. He is unleashed, unchained, off the hook.

“‘I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him,’ Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The New York Times on Sunday.

“Coming from a resident of Iowa, a state where people are polite even to soybeans, this was a powerful condemnation of the Republican nominee.

“Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, ‘If Stench calls, take a message’ and ‘Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.'”

I came across Simon’s piece late last night, after somebody posted it on Twitter. I clicked on the link, began to read it, and couldn’t stop laughing at the hilarious picture Simon had evoked in his Ryan parody. My first thought was that it had to be satire because it couldn’t possibly be true. Unfortunately, not everybody realized it was a joke.

  • Paul Krugman of The New York Times, who apparently fell for Simon’s account of PowerPoint’s origin as “a way to euthanize cattle,” blogged about Politico’s fantastic Ryan “scoop,” calling the V.P. hopeful’s alleged tantrum “just bad behavior.” Upon learning that he had been unintentionally “scammed” by a political column that Politico didn’t label “satire,” Krugman revisited his own column and used a heavy hand with the strike-through key. One reader retorted in the comments section that Krugman was “just dumb as bricks” for falling for Simon’s spoof; another branded Krugman “a sore loser.”
  •  Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC absolutely couldn’t resist the opportunity for a lengthy on-air snark-fest at Ryan and Romney’s expense.
  • Tommy Christopher of Mediaite who did, to his credit, express some trepidation about using unattributed Ryan “quotes” apparently succumbed to how newsworthy they would be, if true. “For what it’s worth, I believe the quotes are real,” wrote Christopher, who later posted an indignant update.
  • Comedy Central‘s Dennis DiClaudio called “the Stench” one of those “affectionate nicknames” that politicians (“namely,” Dubya) bestow on each other, like calling Rove “Turdblossom,” or Vladimir Putin “Pootie-Poot.” (DiClaudio attempted to save face by printing a Photoshopped picture of Paul Ryan and Peggy Noonan having finger sandwiches.)

BuzzFeed reported that conservative blogger Jammie Wearing Fools, who apparently wasn’t punked by Simon’s spoof, offered the embarrassed pundits a way out: “Satire should actually be funny,” Jammie opined.

Bloggers, of course, weren’t the only night owls online in the wee hours. The Twittersphere pounced on the story, and within three hours, the hashtag #TheStench was trending at No. 3 in the U.S.

“Over at Politico, where the story originated,” I posted on my blog-in-progress, “the attribution may be a little murkier, but ‘the dirt’ is so funny that Tweeters (who aren’t constitutionally capable of sitting on their hands when a good joke is idling) had no other choice than to just take #TheStench and run with it.