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Chris Christie: Faux Outrage or Genuine Distress?

I’ve read a lot of skepticism about Chris Christie’s harsh words for his party.  Even the NYTimes is jumping into the speculation frenzy by pointing out that Christie’s harshest words were for Speaker Boehner while he was rather conciliatory towards Eric Cantor.  So, is Chris Christie just trying to score some political points for his future presidential campaign by contrasting himself against his own party or is he genuinely frustrated?

I’m going to go with the latter and here’s why.  First, everyone in Congress expected a vote on Tuesday for Hurricane Sandy funds.  Chris Christie and Peter King were not the only people who were surprised that the Sandy vote was pulled at the last minute.  We can debate whether it was personal ire towards Christie from the Republicans or some bigger strategy.  I lean towards a bigger strategy.  Republicans are not stupid.  They’re like zombies who think.  You can never turn your back on them. Pulling the Sandy bill serves some purpose of theirs.  We don’t know what yet but they’re going to use Sandy and New Jersey for something.  Count on it.

Secondly, the shore businesses that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy need to be at least partially up and running by Memorial Day.  That’s only 5 months away.  People tend to forget that New Jersey’s economy relies heavily on shore business during the summer.  We’re not all trashy, spangly Guidos and Guidettes.  The shore money usually comes from families renting houses for 1-2 weeks in the summer in places like Avalon and Lavalette.

Time is of the essence.  Christie’s re-election will definitely hinge on whether or not he can deliver the funds in time or not.  Getting people all fired up against Republican House members isn’t going to help him *this* year.  It might have an impact in 2014 but Christie might be gone by then.

Now, is it possible that Christie is playing a part in some elaborate game where he blusters and storms about Sandy relief and the Republicans wring their hands and say, “All that money will increase the deficit.  We can’t afford it without some skin in the game from every American in the form of cuts to Social Security and Medicare.”  Well, I hate to be tin-foily but anything is possible with this bunch.  But if this all hinges on the debt ceiling crisis that’s coming up in March, then I think Christie doesn’t give himself enough time to get the job done at the shore by going along with it, something I’m sure he has reiterated to Boehner’s office.

So, I’m going with genuine distress.  That doesn’t mean I like Christie (I don’t) or think he’s secretly a nice guy (as if) or that he’s undergoing a character building experience (dream on).  I think he’s as self-interested as any other governor who’s running for re-election.  Sandy might be Christie’s Waterloo and he knows it.

The latest news is that Boehner is scheduling the Hurricane Sandy vote for Friday.  It’s very interesting timing.  The bill includes money for fisheries in Alaska and the Gulf coast that were also damaged by Sandy.

huh?

Also, the funds would be split into two parts.  $27 billion now and $33 billion for later projects.  If we assume that the Republicans know they can’t get around passing *some* kind of Sandy relief, splitting the bill into two parts still gives them leverage to get what they want later.

 The new Congress is sworn in today.  So, one of the first things they will vote on is a spending increase, which Republicans will use next year against their opponents when they run for their seats.  Sweeeet.  Can’t you just hear the campaign stump speeches now?  “My opponent was sworn in only a year ago and the very first thing he/she did was vote to increase the deficit by $27 BILLION dollars.  We’ll be working for the Chinese before you know it.  The world will end, dogs and cats will be living together…”

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30 Responses

  1. The supposed lessons of Katrina and the first TARP debacle of simply approving expenditures with no controls may, likewise, be factors. For once, the eventual recipients of this aid will not be the “helpless, hapless” MidWest Red Staters who routinely re-elect parasitic politicians, but rather, East Coast Blues off whom the entire country (by THEIR rationale) parasitically exists. Face it, RD: The strategists know there’s money on this table and only TIME will tell them how to get their grubbs on it. In the meantime, why not send all those vacationers to the recently rebuilt (at FEMA’s expense) Gulf Coast? Regardless of Party, the New York, New Jersey delegations invariably stiff their colleagues and, for once, their colleagues – noticing that the Reed/Schumer/Gillibrand/Menendez/Lautenberg collective had left for their districts and would not be around to complete the vote process until after the new Congress is sworn in- left a door open through which the Speaker could re-introduce his antagonists to effective redress. If that message didn’t make it to Hawaii, then the howling of the incumbents most certainly did. When you’re quoting high, make it sting. By the time they recover from shock at the audacity of a GOTO whipping boy, they’re resigned to paying up.

    • WE don’t call the red staters parasites. They got that from reading too much Rand.
      HOWEVER, we do pay a lot of money in taxes for which we get the least amount of return of federal aid of any state in the union. If Alabama and Mississippi would get their shit together we wouldn’t need to be giving them money.
      I suppose people will go to other parts of the country this year to vacation but that does create a huge hole in income for New Jersey. I have no idea why you would suggest such a thing for a state with >10% unemployment.
      If you think government is all about revenge and opposition then no wonder the country is screwed up. I didn’t vote for Obama. I don’t think he’s a good president and he’s sure as hell not a good negotiator. But the logic of fucking over the hard working people of new jersey in order to send Obama a message in Hawaii makes no damned sense.
      As for the NJ/NY delegation going home, they’re better off waiting for the new Congress to be sworn in. There will be even less of a reason to kowtow with irrational tea partiers.

  2. Christie reminds me of Jackie Gleason as Ralph Cramden: tall, big and handsome, very handsome. If he loses fifty or seventy five pounds, he’ll be devestating.
    If he loses the R after his name and gains an I, hell, I might even vote for him in 2016. There’s no way he could get past the slack jawed moon howlers that are the Republican primary voters and he must know that.
    I liked his righteous anger, yesterday; I liked how he’s unafraid to align himself with Andrew Como; I really liked how he called NY and NJ “donor states”-it’s true, and, oh, how the tea partiers hate to hear it. And, boy howdy, did he get results and I really like that.
    I’m not in love with the guy and don’t agree with many of his present positions, but I look at him and think, “I could work with that.”
    Christie reminds me of another big lug, Ed Rendell. I wish he shared Rendell’s views.
    Anyway, there are only two pragmatic politicians that I genuinely love, both are named Clinton.
    Eight days into this once in a lifetime cold and I, finally, think I’m going to live. You?

  3. Auch du lieber (apologies to Brooke), of course, it’s Ralph Kramden.
    Gee, maybe I’m not as old as I thought.

  4. Oh, and I was being kind, Christie has to lose one hundred-one hundred and fifty pounds.
    By the way, is it mean spirited to notice that Mike-aw Shucks-Huckabee has regained all the weight he lost to so much acclaim?
    Shucksabee even wrote a best selling book about it.
    Tant pis.

  5. Okay, I shut up, now.

  6. The Sandy bill is loaded with pork. Christy demonstrated in public his hypocrisy regarding deficit spending. It was a political grand standing with bad acting. Just looking at him makes me ill.

    • With you.

    • Um, federal disaster relief should not be considered “deficit spending”. If the bill is pork laden, that’s a different problem. But deciding not to put my state together or save people’s businesses because it might increase the deficit is really not an option.
      I don’t care if he’s a bad actor or not. I saw him in debate and didn’t like him then. I still don’t like him.
      But it’s not an act that the state needs immediate assistance. Everything else is just distraction to throw you off of this fact.

      • Native NJ person here. Since when did we categorize emergency/disaster relief as ‘deficit spending’????

        For all those howling about the amount of money NJ and NY needs to rebuild basic services, get homes repaired and businesses up and running, the next ‘disaster’ may be in your backyard. Drought, wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc., etc. will only increase with the disruptive and devastating effects of Climate Change that is upon us [yes, I know there are people who consider this a myth. Reality sets in when it's your house/community blown away, your kids left homeless, your parents living in a shelter]. Btw, insurance companies are now true believers in the Climate Change scenario.

        When infrastructure is destroyed [or left to rot], it needs to be repaired and rebuilt. Unless, of course, we’re all willing to accept 3rd World status, raw sewage flowing into our water supplies, dirt roads, etc.

        I cannot believe some of the things I’m reading. Chris Christie may be working from a combination of frustration, anger and political self-interest. I’m no Christie fangirl but the man is right on this issue. Congress refusing to reach out in an expedited manner, provide funds and aid for restoration of the MidAtlantic region is callous and disgusting.

        Shame on all of them!

      • I’m not saying that many of those expenditures are not valid, but let’s not call them “disaster relief”

        From Town Hall dot com:

        Other big-ticket items in the bill include $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries.

        • Well, we could call them disaster repair, then. Because if this damage was caused by the Sandystorm, and the ManMedCen, the bases, etc. don’t function unless repaired, and if the damage they need being repaired from was indeed caused by Sandy . . . then fixing that damage is Sandy repair. It is not sufficient to give people a bunch of tents (as was done in post-earthquake Haiti) and say “these are your new homes now till forever”. That may be relief, but it is not repair.

  7. Just saw Ed Rendell on MSNBC arguing for Social Security and Medicare “reforms.” Ugh, to think that I really liked him once.
    His big argument is that people are living longer, today–so what?
    We longer livers need less health care and income?
    Dead men don’t wear plaid, Ed. and they don’t go to doctors.
    What a tool.
    And he’s dying his hair blond, looks like first runner up in the Lou Dobbs’ lookalike contest.
    No words.

    • yep, he lost my vote

    • I suspect that “living longer today” to be a false canard to begin with.
      I have read that “shorter life expectancy” in the 1930s is only “shorter” if you begin counting from birth. Infant/childhood death was higher back then, so you could achieve a “lower life expectancy” figure by throwing in all those pre-adult deaths. “Life expectancy” for surviving 21-year-olds in the 1930s was far less different than “life expectancy” for 21 year olds today. So comparing “life expectancy from birth” to “life expectancy from first job” was a sleight-of-mouth bait-and-switcheroo con-job right from the start.

      And that con-job was the conceptual base on which the Great Social Security Rescue Plan of 1983 was based. They raised our FICA taxes DOUble to TAKE aCCOUNT of that so-called “greater life expectancy”.
      So to raise “greater life expectancy” all over again is Two . . . Two . . . Two con jobs in One.

      Was Rendell Governor of Pennsylvania for a while? I wonder if he is one of the Axis-Of-Wall-Street DLC Moneycrats . . . along with Bill Dailey and some others.

      • It is a little more “poetic” to shorten that phrase down to
        ” Two . . .Two . . . Two frauds in one!” So if anyone wants to use it in the right context, feel free.

      • Two term gov.

    • I saw Ed at a book signing…for some ginned up book he’s has supposedly written… he’s gone whore. He’ll say whatever he has too for the crumbs tossed his way.

      It was a very bad sign when he and his wife broke up. Midge is a fabulous woman…either he was idiotic enough to leave her , or he’s gotten so crazed , she left him. Either way…it’s Ed falling down
      into Bill Richardson territory. Sad

      • Do you know her personally?

        • No, I’ve watched her as a member of the public for 30 years. She’s a judge and a wonderful woman…he’s nuts if he left her..call it post mid life crisis…going with the yellow hair is tip off as well. Actually if Ed is reduced to this whoring for benefit cutting. That tells one we are in the post party political era…If there was still a Dem party…he wouldn’t have been brought to this point imo

  8. It looks to me like the Dems and Reps of the Northeast are thinking like a regional caucus on this issue and not just like two rival parties.
    One hopes they are taking names now . . . to kick asses when the opportunity arises.

    They will be able to note down how which officeholders vote and behave on Sandy Relief and Repair. Those who vote to delay relief or deny relief or divide relief for hostage extortion should have disasters in their own areas treated in exactly the same way. Those who vote to relieve and repair . . . should be supported when their own regional disasters need relief and repair. The Northeast Caucus
    should do their best in that regard and should remember that revenge is a dish best served cold. Also, revenge is a dish best served over . . . and over . . . and over again.

  9. I think the vote on Sandy was nothing more than Boehner securing his speakership votes. I think Christie was outraged just as King and some of the other Repubs who represent that part of the country. The Repubs wouldn’t have played those kind of games with a red state. Politics sucks and politicians suck the most…parasites! We should be taking care of each other in this country. Instead we are like that kid in school pulling the chair out from under some kid’s seat. We are bullies with each other and politicians are the supreme bullies!

  10. Congress approves $9.7 billion in Sandy flood aid
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The new Congress has passed a $9.7 billion bill to help pay flood insurance claims to homeowners, renters and businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy

    Am I reading this right? $9.7 billion was just given to Insurance companies…which means at least 40% of that stays with the company…and most likely the rest of it too since they will deny your claim of course.

    Do they think we are stupid??

    that was rhetorical

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