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Life in Post-Apocalyptic New Jersey: Was it something I said?

Hoboken Path train station flooding during Sandy

Back on December 19, 2012, I wrote:

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.

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9 Responses

  1. Maybe all the Sandy stormtrack office-holders will make sure to make sure that action on any other future disaster in some other place will take as long for relief as the Sandy zone has taken/ will take. And if
    the R officeholders beyond the Sandy zone end up preventing the relief bill from ever passing, perhaps the Northeast Coastal Caucus can do its best to make sure that no disaster relief bill is ever passed for any other region hit by a major disaster. And keep making sure of it until
    the Sandy Relief and Repair bill finally passes.

  2. For my money, Christie is striking a campaign pose.

    • Um, I don’t think so. Peter King was livid too. This is not a game. There were people who were wiped out. If it looks like he’s trying to score political points, that won’t looks so good come November when he has to run for reelection.

      • Au contraire, it’ll “look” great. Christie, and his staff, is a master of PR. Results are something else again, but many people don’t know much of anything outside their own lives. And many people love their tough guy gov, the gov who travels with a state police praetorian guard which muscles anyone who gives the gov an argument.

        He’s campaigning. Peter King is special pleading. What else is new?

        • From what I have read, everyone in the House was expecting a vote on Sandy relief. They were all fired up and ready to vote. Then Boehner pulled it. So, it sounds to me like this was sudden and unexpected.
          I’m not sure this works in Christie’s favor. What will work in his favor is getting the money. No money, no re-election. It really is that simple. And he knows it.
          Now, if you want to get all tin-foily, you might think that Christie is in on the scam to use Sandy as a way to pressure the Democrats to concede on social insurance programs. I wouldn’t put any of that past the Republicans. But in Christie’s case, time is of the essence. The shore has to be ready for business in 5 months. He doesn’t have time to be dicking around with House Republicans. So, either this thing gets resolved now or the House Republicans are messing with him.

          • Whichever way this goes, Christie very smartly has positioned himself, unlike the image incompetent Kathleen Blanco in Louisiana, to “look” good. Were I asking for billions from a House notoriously stone hearted about any disasters outside each one’s own district, I don’t know that I’d be yelling insults.

            My impression is we haven’t done much for NO post Katrina and I’m guessing, betting, really, that that’s a dead letter now. Gad, another Obysmal promise tossed aside with the celebratory confetti. That campaign litter is piling up.

            My prediction, and I’m not guaranteeing, mind, is that post Grand Bargain, the MSM, all of it, is going to wake up to the economic debacle engendered by political cupidity and sleaze and drop any pretense to supporting Obama. Two years from now, he’ll be toasting up nicely in a national bonfire of bad press and utterly ineffective. A terminally wounded presidency. We should make every effort to throw Nancy onto the pyre with her dear leader. Could her head be any further up dear leader’s ass?

            When Pelosi first assumed the speakership, a male commentator described as her as being completely out of her depth on policy issues of any kind: “After five minutes, you’ve exhausted her knowledge.” At the time, I thought he was being an old boys’ club dick. How wrong I was. If I remembered his name, I’d email an acknowledgment apology.

            Lyndon Johnson used to say, “Don’t tell a man to go to hell unless you can send him there.” I don’t believe Christie can send Boehner to hell. Cantor, BTW, is reported to have speakership ambitions. All I can say is every time I look at that man, I feel sorry for his wife.

          • I didn’t know enough about Pelosi to have an opinion when she first attained the speakership. (Well, that’s not quite true. I knew her to be an anti-American Economic Treasonist when she supported NAFTA and World Trade Organization and MFN for China). When she announced that “Impeachment is off the table”. I realized what a closet Bushite she really was. I began referring to the CheneyBush-Pelosi Administration over at Hubbelaboo which first started getting me disliked over there. And her crappy little base of Latte Lapping Limousing Liberals and Perrier Progressives LOVED her for “Impeachment is off the table”. They returned her to Congress with the biggest majority of their votes that she ever got to that time, I think.

            Is she “policy weak”? I don’t know. I know that she is policy evil. I heard her odious and decietful probama interview on NPRs Morning Edition this morning and I am dizzy with hatred and bitterness.
            She fully supports using the “fiscal cliff” as an extortion tool to weaken SS/Mcare/Mcaide. She fully supports, shares, and co-conspires in the Wall Street Obamacrat “bipartisanship vision”. I only wish all her voters and supporters would become as poor as she wants to make the rest of us.

          • I wish she becomes as poor as she wants to make me, and a long, painful, bankrupting illness would go well, too. Simple justice.

          • mmmm . . . yes.

            I remember commenting on Hubbalaboo about how Pelosi owned a group of restaurants and I expressed the wish that Californians For Impeachment would organize a boycott against those restaurants until Pelosi reversed her “off the table” decision. I even offered to conduct such a personal boycott myself (which was easy for me . . . living in Michigan as I do.)

            I think I remember Commander Badgebunny Tazerluv getting upset about that.

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