On to Sandy. I got an email from Senator Menendez about the negotiations for Hurricane Sandy funds and it has occurred to me that if Menendez and Lautenberg concede on the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations, it could be that they’re being pressured to give in or the funds will be much, much smaller than we need or non-existent. Would the Republicans screw business owners in New Jersey who have been footing the bill for their states for decades by getting the least amount of federal funds back for every dollar they send to Washington? Sure they would. They’re not concerned with the fate of New Jersey, the shore communities that make their livings in the summer or the fact that the Northeast Corridor trains from DC to New York cut through this state or that New Jersey towns are really suburbs of either New York City or Philadelphia. No, all that matters is that the Republican donors get to sit on as much wealth as they can possibly accumulate under them. I’d like to hear what is going on with the Sandy reconstruction funds and be reassured that they aren’t being held hostage to the Republican terrorist threat but I am not hopeful.
Ooooo, so close.
But I was wrong. Yes, you heard me say it. I was wrong to think that Republicans were going to use Sandy as a threat on the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations.
I’m betting they’re going to use this for the next hurdle, the debt ceiling. “Nice little state you got there, Senator Menendez. Be a shame if something *happened* to it.” Or it might be something in the interim. They’ll make helping New Jerseyans and Lawnguylanders into a bad thing.
Would Republicans do it? Oh ,heck yeah they would. There’s nothing they like so much as to make people feel good about kicking the next person down on the totem pole. Except that’s not the direction where all the money is.
Chris Christie got a little exorcised (as opposed to exercised, a word with which he appears to be unfamiliar) today when he said this:
“There is only one group to blame,” Christie said. “The House Majority and John Boehner.”
“Last night, the House Majority failed the basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state,” he said. “It was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”
“Shame on you, shame on Congress.”
Following his remarks, Christie doubled down on his criticism in a lengthy — and incredibly candid — press conference in which he laid into House Republicans for putting “palace intrigue” ahead of their actual jobs.
“Our people were played last night as a pawn…and that’s why people hate Washington, D.C.,” Christie said later. “They forget that we’re the ones who sent them there.”
Asked who he thought was responsible on the holdup over Sandy aid, Christie laid the blame entirely on Boehner.
“It was the Speaker’s decision — his alone,” Christie said, adding that he tried to reach Boehner four times, but that the Speaker did not take his calls until this morning.
“I won’t get into my conversation with [Boehner], but I will tell you there is no reason to believe anything they tell me.”
If I hadn’t watched Christie throw his weight around here in NJ for the past three years, yelling at teachers, maligning union workers and giving our two Democratic Senators the silent treatment, I might feel a little sorry for the predicament he’s in. Here’s a Republican governor pissed as hell with his party for good reason. If human behavior were susceptible to selective pressure, this is the time when Christie would begin to experience empathy for the Sandy stricken victims in his state and evolve away from the hard hearted, “fend-for-yourself” political tactics of his party.
Well, a girl can dream.
On the other hand, I have read somewhere that political revolutions happen when the pain intensifies on the middle and upper stratum of society and the Haves start feeling betrayed by the Have-Mores. We might be at that point now. So, maybe the House Republicans should continue to act like f^&*ing assholes. In fact, the assholier the better. Get it all out there. Let’s see how low they can go.
I’m more than a little incensed right now that the Republicans have decided to hold New Jersey hostage. Unemployment here is pretty bad since the big pharmas picked Massachusetts as their new Bug Out Location. And it’s only going to get worse in the summer if the shore properties and businesses are still under water, metaphorically or not. The money would have been a much needed stimulus package as well as a way to fix our deteriorating infrastructure.
But the Republicans are the majority in the House and they’ve decided to do nothing. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Not sure what Christie can do at this stage. He’s made a career out of nastiness to Democrats and while they’ll do the right thing, his own party is never going to forgive him for sashaying around the shore with Obama a few days before the election. Of course, that’s just the excuse they’ll give for being sociopathic bastards who are bent on killing the social safety net. They don’t really need a reason but their gullible public will probably demand one so they feel justified in piling on poor Ortley Beach and Hoboken. Christie’s in a tight spot.
Then again, he could just send some men around to break some knees.
Update on the tree situation: It’s going to be a long process cleaning up the trees. All along the roads, people have stacked tree corpses in neat little pyramids. But the other day, I was driving through the Duke Estate in Hillsborough and the storm has been devastating there. The estate has lost 2,000 trees. Brook and her friends wanted to visit the nature center and ride their bikes through the park back in early December. But when they got there, the caretakers told them the estate was closed because of tree damage. It’s just too dangerous to ride along the paths. I could tell that there was substantial damage and had to agree with them. You just never know.
Then, a wind storm struck right before Christmas. The wind was really strong and as I was driving through the other day, I noticed that there were a lot more trees down. The estate now looks like a bomb hit it and more fragile trees that made it through Sandy came down. That might have been where I saw another tree dragging down a power line. It’s unnerving because cutting through the Duke Estate is the best way to avoid the main drag here.
I’ll try to take pictures tomorrow.