Tag Archive: George W Bush

Chris Christie is Irrelevant in 2016

While he makes for good copy, Chris Christie is an irrelevant buffoon. His recent antics at a Dallas Cowboys football game verify this long-standing observation.

First of all, Christie will never be president, for a number of reasons:

First, he is too sane. The Republican Party is fond of putting crazy people in charge. They put Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency. They put Darrell Issa in charge of a witch-hunt committee that would make Senator Joe McCarthy jealous. They refuse to disavow themselves from an anti-Semitic racist in the new House leadership. Say what you want about Christie – he’s an egomaniacal, ethically challenged, dishonest self-serving official. But he’s not crazy enough to appeal to the core GOP power brokers.

The other reason that Christie will never be president is that he doesn’t want it.  

Beyond Obamacare

Healthcare.gov will be fixed. People will sign up and reap the benefits of universal health coverage starting in January. So what’s next?

No doubt, the Republicans will continue their quest to reverse the limited progress made to date. They will try to deny coverage to many, eliminate the cap on “administrative” costs to insurance carriers, and cut preventative care, which saves lives and money.

Democrats are counting on the projected ubiquity and success of Obamacare after January to lock it in and to shut down the GOP’s incessant and futile efforts to repeal. They’re wrong. Just take a look at other successful programs like Food Stamps. The Republicans are not hesitant to take food from children and veterans in the name of fiscal responsibility. They’re not even hesitant to shut down the government in the name of fiscal responsibility either, knowing that their shutdown cost tens of billions of dollars. And some Democrats are complicit, confusing “blackmail” with “compromise.”

But for now, let’s assume Obamacare survives the wounds being inflicted by the mean-spirited GOP. Like Medicare and Social Security, the Affordable Care Act will be meshed within the fabric of society while still being constantly attacked. So what’s next?

Elections are not Horseshoes

The most optimistic supporters of Barbara Buono’s gubernatorial campaign are quick to point out that the gap between the challenger and the governor in the poll numbers is closing. Let’s assume that this gap continues to get smaller and that Buono loses the election by a small margin, say two percent.

Some Buono supporters will be mildly disappointed, but nevertheless ecstatic. Disappointed because their candidate lost, but ecstatic that she almost toppled the most popular politician in America. Buono’s campaign staff will move on and put this statistical “upset” on their résumés as they seek jobs for the 2014 campaigns.

There’s a saying that goes, “coming close only gets you points in horseshoes and thermonuclear war.”

Don’t ever assume that a close and underwhelming victory by Chris Christie will humble him. Remember when his mentor, George W Bush lost the 2000 election? Despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court decided to disenfranchise Florida voters and the fact that Al Gore won the popular vote, upon taking office Bush acted as if he had a mandate to promote the conservative agenda. Christie will do the same if our election is close. He’ll use state resources in court to fight the anticipated override of his veto of marriage equality. He’ll continue to throw lucrative state contracts to his cronies. And he’ll move further to the right on disenfranchising the poor and middle class in order to enhance his presidential ambitions.

A close loss for Buono is still a loss. Not only for her, but also for the people of New Jersey. That’s why it is critically important to pull off the electoral upset of the decade. Her own party is not helping her, so it’s up to the people to pull out all the stops to send Chris Christie back to his Mendham mansion permanently.

Despite the numerous missteps of Buono’s campaign staff, it’s time for anyone who gives a damn about this state to volunteer for the campaign. You hate making phone calls? Well, do you hate making phone calls more than you hate what Christie is doing to your state? You can’t afford to contribute to the campaign? Well, if you’re poor or in the middle class, the dollars that you don’t contribute will come back to bite you as higher fees and fewer services if Christie is re-elected.

Bush “won” in a close election, and the nation is still trying to recover from the mis-steps and damage he precipitated. A second Christie term will result in similar damage to the state – social, economic, and political – and it will take years to recover. A close election is not good enough. Let’s not make the same mistake twice.


“I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”

– Chris Christie’s mentor and patron, George W Bush

In a column extoling the support that Chris Christie is receiving from certain “Democrats”, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Matt Katz discusses the reasons why the governor has received accolades. Unsurprisingly, it boils down to money and power.

What Katz and the general public fail to see is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Christie is one of the most astute politicians of our lifetime. He rarely blunders in his quest for political power and influence, and his taxpayer-funded squad of spin doctors is among the best in the business.

They say that history repeats itself, and that is becoming apparent in the political ascent of Chris Christie.

Christie’s Latest YouTube Video Relegates Thousands of New Jerseyans to Second Class Citizenship

Governor Christie’s latest publicly-funded campaign video is entitled “The Greatest Social Program in the World is A Job.” This video is mind-boggling on so many levels.

As he is wont to do, Christie starts out the video with a lie. Well, not technically a lie, but an extremely misleading twist of words that conveys false information.

He says that under his administration, state taxes have not gone up. What he fails to mention is that due to his policies, property taxes have exploded. While these are strictly not state taxes, the rise in property taxes is inexorably linked to Christie’s policies, and under his rule, fees and tolls have gone up also. There’s no question that the tax burden on the middle class is directly attributable to Christie’s right-wing agenda.

But that’s not the worst aspect of this campaign commercial. By saying that “the greatest social program in the world is a job”, Christie relegates thousands of New Jerseyans who receive some sort of assistance to second class citizenship.

Take, for example, my friends Mike and Kathy Pollock. Mike wrote about his wife’s illness, his battles with the medical-industrial complex, and how Christie’s policies have made their already difficult lives even more difficult. Mike is the embodiment of the American Dream – the owner of a mom and pop hardware store in rural New Jersey. But that dream took a terrible turn when Kathy developed a debilitating illness and was written off by her doctors. Through Mike’s tenacious efforts, Kathy is alive today. Christie has severely cut the social programs that help Kathy, and those programs are denigrated by Christie by this video.

And if jobs are the greatest social program as Christie espouses, then why has he cut jobs across the state throughout his reign? He’s cut teachers’ jobs. He’s cut tens of thousands of construction jobs with his cancellation of a much-needed tunnel which would facilitate New Jerseyans to get to well-paying jobs. He’s cut thousands of green jobs with his Koch Brothers anti-environmental policy.

If jobs are his priority, why did he veto the minimum wage? Does he endorse the fact that families on the minimum wage are still living in poverty? Again, his “Jobs are the Greatest Social Program” mantra is insulting and mean-spirited.

There are thousands of New Jersey citizens like Mike and Kathy. Working hard to survive, but either fully or partially reliant on a social safety net. The vast majority would like to work, but for one reason or another, either can’t or still need assistance. None of them are second-class citizens.

Christie’s mentor, George W Bush, proved conclusively that “trickle-down” economics do not create jobs – quite the opposite. But Christie never learned that lesson and that’s hurting all of us. Yet he continues to espouse these lies on the public dime. There hasn’t been a more insidious institutional propaganda machine since the KGB.

Corzine Democrats

promoted by Rosi

It seems like one strategy of the Christie re-election campaign is to tie his opponent, Senator Barbara Buono, to the record of Christie’s predecessor, Jon Corzine.

As with most of Christie’s bluster, nothing could be further from the truth. One of the aspects of Senator Buono is that she is her own woman – independent of party bosses and the establishment. She speaks truth to power, whether it is with regard to the extreme right wing policies of her opponent, or when she disagrees with those within her own party.

So when the Christie campaign labels Barbara Buono as a “Corzine Democrat”, I know it’s inaccurate and let it slide. Besides, I’d rather have a “Corzine Democrat” in Trenton than a “George W Bush Republican”, which is exactly what Chris Christie is.

Some Random Thoughts on Today’s Sandy Hearing

The Senate Budget Committee convened today in Toms River, to hear about the impact of and the recovery efforts due to Hurricane Sandy. State, county, and local officials briefed Senator Paul Sarlo and his committee on the events, the impact, and the massive remediation and recovery costs that this “storm of the century” has thrust upon the fiscally fragile state economy.

Chairman Sarlo opened the hearings by announcing that the panel would talk about recovery and remediation efforts, but would not be discussing budget issues. (If you didn’t follow the @bluejersey twitter feed, you can find more on the meeting by clicking here.) Sarlo rightfully prioritized the effort to find temporary housing and quickly move to more permanent housing for those who lost everything. He said they would discuss infrastructure improvements and smart rebuilding efforts.

All of this is necessary. But it is not sufficient. While we can’t prevent 100-year storms (which scientists say will now occur with greater frequency), we can do a lot as a state and a nation to mitigate the severity of these storms.

First, we need to have a serious discussion about how we rebuild the shore towns and the areas within flood plains – a discussion that was given only lip service today. It’s very difficult for people to lose their homes, especially those who have lived in them for decades. But does it make sense to rebuild the same way only to go through the same trauma a few years from now? Is it more cost-effective if we bite the bullet now and put our power distribution lines underground?  That would be more expensive in the short term, but cheaper in the long run. Should we allow wealthy shore homeowners to dictate how the barrier islands are protected?

Chris Christie’s Legacy

All politicians have egos. Few are as big as Chris Christie’s. With a big ego comes the drive to establish one’s legacy. So what can Chris Christie do to build a legacy that would put him in a positive light in the annals of history?

One way is to be elected President of the United States. Christie opted not to actively enter the race in 2012, and his actions in the Hurricane Sandy relief effort were right and admirable, but made a future presidential run less likely. He alienated the Republican base by standing side-by-side with President Obama and promoting the big government rescue and relief efforts that the GOP hates. If President Obama wins on Tuesday, I doubt that the GOP will have an epiphany and realize that they have become a party of extreme zealots. So while the New Jersey governor’s brusque style resonates well with the GOP, his cooperation with a black Democratic president makes a future nomination from his party highly unlikely.

There’s been talk about Christie accepting a cabinet post in a second Obama administration, or God forbid a Romney administration. But while serving on the President’s cabinet is a tough and important job, it’s a dead end for a politician with grander ambitions.

Christie can, and probably will, run for a second term as New Jersey governor. If the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts go well, the resulting economic stimulus will create jobs and be an excellent boost to the state’s economy. Christie could be hard to beat in 2013.

Given the fact that a Romney victory would cut Christie out from presidential politics for eight years and an Obama victory would move the GOP even further to the right, what could Christie do to establish his legacy?

Thank You, Governor Christie

Dear Governor Christie,

Thank you for your efforts in providing relief and comfort to the citizens of New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I’m glad you did your job. You are receiving a lot of well-deserved praise from the press on your performance. After all, the bar was set pretty low by your patron, George W Bush in Katrina, and by yourself and your Lieutenant Governor when you were both out of the state during a major snowstorm here – leaving the relief efforts to the Senate President. So while your response to Sandy is appreciated, it is what we would expect from any governor.

It was comforting and reassuring to New Jerseyans to see you walk hand in hand with President Obama to provide solace to those touched by this tragedy. This was a welcome change from your disdain for teachers, union workers, and women’s health. Perhaps this is because Hurricane Sandy knew no class distinction. On Long Beach Island, she destroyed multimillion dollar homes in Harvey Cedars as well as trailer homes in Holgate. I only wish you had the same equality of compassion in times other than those imposed upon us by Mother Nature.

You and the President showed how governing used to be, and how it should be. You toned down your rhetoric (although Mayor Langford might disagree) and put the people before politics. You took the risk of angering your base by realizing and embracing the fact that there is a role for big government – whether it is in FEMA and the military in providing the type of assistance that cash-strapped states can’t, or in the Army Corps of Engineers repairing the beaches.

There’s a saying that “all politics is local” and whether your decision to cooperate with the President was motivated by politics or by compassion doesn’t matter. You are handling this crisis well, and we all thank you for that. Hopefully, this will be a learning moment for you and that you realize that whether or not we voted for you, you are the governor of all New Jerseyans. You are my governor. I hope the lesson of Sandy is carried forward and that you continue in the spirit of cooperation to work with those who support clean air and water, those who advocate for women’s health, those who promote marriage as a way any two adults can commit to each other, and those who rely on the public infrastructure. After all, you work for us, not the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove.

With appreciation,