Friday, January 17, 2014

Subpoenas issued in closing of George Washington Bridge scandal show the noose is tightening around Chris Christie.

Courtesy of New

 The list of high-level Port Authority and Christie administration officials who received subpoenas from newly formed state Assembly panel investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal includes the governor's incoming chief of staff and his communications director, according to two sources close to the investigation. 

A total of 17 people and three organizations must produce records to Assembly's investigative committee. They include Regina Egea, Christie's incoming chief of staff; Christie's communications Director Maria Comella; Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye; Deputy Director Bill Baroni; and GOP Party fundraiser Nicole Davidman Drewniak, who is married to Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak, according to the sources who requested anonymity because they were not permitted to release the information publicly. 

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the Assembly committee, said the subpoenas seek documents from the recipients, but subpoenas for testimony will follow. Wisniewski declined to confirm who received the first round of subpoenas. 

On Thursday night, The Star-Ledger reported subpoenas were sent to Kevin O’Dowd, Christie’s pick to serve as the state’s new Attorney General; Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff for the governor who has been one of the key names in the investigation; Bill Stepien, Christie’s former campaign manager; Charles McKenna, the governor’s former chief counsel; Michael Drewniak, Christie’s spokesman.

Now if all of that did not cause Christie's sphincter to close up enough, learning that one of the main players behind the bridge closing is seeking immunity before spilling his guts should slam it shut for good.

Also from New  

The former appointee of Gov. Chris Christie who directed lane closures that backed up traffic for hours in one New Jersey town is reiterating that he is ready to share more information if he can be granted immunity from prosecution. 

Look I know that Christie is a slick politician, but he is going to really have to smear some serious pig grease around his chubby ass in order to wriggle out of this one.

Another thing that I remember thinking the very first time that I heard about this scandal, and then forgot about later, is that the entire excuse of the closures being the result of a traffic study simply does not hold water.

This from Network World:

 The explanation that New Jersey closed access lanes on the heavily traveled George Washington Bridge for a "traffic study" is a head scratcher for traffic engineers. 

Engineers today use so-called microscopic traffic simulations to create virtual environments that can model driver behavior to road changes with exacting detail. 

There's plenty of data available for the simulations. One of the best sources are video camera systems that use software to count vehicles on roadways. 

The simulation software can model the impact of road changes with precision and without any need to close lanes to test theories, according to several traffic engineers interviewed by Computerworld. 

There is no evidence, in documents released late last week by investigators, that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey considered computer models in lieu of a real world action. 

I have to imagine that the New Jersey investigators have already dismissed this ridiculous excuse, and therefore view as highly suspicious that Christie continued to cling to it like a drowning man trying to stay afloat in a sea of pointed questions and skepticism. 

Like I said, the noose tightens.


  1. Anonymous5:14 PM

    Kinda off topic...but not so much...but last summer, there was 'big' news about Christie embarking on a diet and exercise know --- for his health...not know...he was thinking of running for the presidency in 2016. Just for his health. Yeah. Health.
    So, how has that worked out for Christie? I mean it was well over 7 months ago....maybe 8. Has he lost a pound yet?? I'm know...for his 'health'...
    Bottom line: He's a fat slob, bully who has no business being anywhere near the White House. OK? He's not going to be president. Not at that weight and not with regressive policies.

    1. Anonymous5:29 PM

      He had his stomach stapled and no, he doesn't look like he has lost much weight.

    2. Anonymous5:51 PM

      He had his stomach stapled??? Really? And he hasn't lost a pound, it looks like. What is up with that?
      So he had his stomach stapled so he could lose weight so he would look good on the campaign trail and look more presidential......and now this? Just goes to prove...he's not worth it. He doesn't have what it takes. Can he stomach the campaign trail? Well... yeah! He's got that. But that doesn't mean he's got what it takes to be the president of this country.

    3. Being a bit rotund myself, I've read up on stomach stapling and stomach banding procedures. Many people who undergo those procedures are only able to eat a tablespoon of food at a time, so their nutritional needs are very VERY closely monitored -- and, of course, one's overall health can be more in jeopardy from the cure (the stapling) than the disease (morbid obesity).

      I personally observed one person who underwent the procedure. She lost about 30 pounds, then began stretching the smaller stomach pouch larger and larger by increasing those tablespoonfuls to a larger intake, bit by bit. Eventually the banded stomach was its original size, and so was her body.

      There's no way I'd ever undergo that procedure. Since mid-August I've lost 30 pounds the old-fashioned way. I took a holiday vacation from good eating habits, and now am back to keeping close track of what I'm eating. No excuses.

      I suspect Governor Christie isn't ready yet to get serious about his morbid obesity. And now he has bigger problems, anyway.

    4. I'm sure he has lost some weight - and if he wanted to be President - he had to - imagine him going up the stairs of AF1 let alone running a Presidential campaign.

      Now that it is unlikely he'll even be a candidate - might as well go back to comfort food.

    5. Anonymous7:43 PM

      Sarah needs to get off her bony ass and "write" that self-discipline/fitness/healthy cuisine book to save the Republican Party. Hurry, Sarah! Your party needs you!

    6. Anonymous8:04 PM

      NJ citizen here - Yes, he has lost weight. However, he is so overweight that a loss of 30ish pounds might not be so clear if you haven't been watching him closely for a while.

    7. The funny thing about that 30 pound weight loss is that in this Buzzfeed article he's quoted as saying he's a little more than halfway to his weight loss goal.

      That'd only be 50 pounds! We're talking about a goal weight of 300 pounds for a guy 5'11"!!

      I'll bet his doctor isn't too happy about that. Once he gets to HIS goal weight, he might think about losing another 100 pounds.

  2. Anonymous5:19 PM

    Could he get jail time for closing a bridge?

    1. Anonymous5:47 PM

      Yeah, he ought to. I mean, people's lives were in danger. he had to have known about it. He's a bully, through and through.

    2. Sally in MI6:03 PM

      Well, I suspect if there was intent to harm..maybe. The lying will not hurt him bit with the GOP. They love liars. And besides, BENGHAZI!!

    3. Anonymous8:23 AM

      From what I've been reading and watching, it doesn't seem likely that he will serve any jail time for that. However, if there is ANY evidence that he was directly involved, his political career will probably be finished.

      Considering how his former BFF is now begging for immunity and looking like one of my kindergarteners, raising his hand and yelling "Me, me, meee, pick meeee!!!!", I suspect he's got some damaging testimony to give.

      On the other hand, the new federal investigation into improper use of Sandy recovery funds might have a lot better chance of putting Christie's arrogant ass behind bars. There would probably be a much more concrete paper trail of documentation because it involved the distribution of federal disaster money, which always comes with reams of red tape.

    4. Anita Winecooler5:29 PM

      Christie? Jail Time? Just for closing a bridge? I don't think so. He's woven a tangled tale may have painted himself in a corner politically. His "friends" want immunity, and that's not given unless they have some inside information Christie doesn't want anyone to know about. And besides, it's not a "crime" when a Governor does it.

  3. Anonymous5:29 PM you here that? I wait....yup it is....that's the sound of Christie's career being flushed down the toilet.

    Little Rabbit

    1. Anonymous8:24 AM


      It's a lovely sound, isn't it?

  4. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Anyone who utters one syllable of sympathy for this depraved human being is a bonehead..............

    1. Anonymous7:52 PM

      But but but... He's seen Springsteen 127 times, and besides, Ben Gay, er, Ghazi.

      "Hey, I gotta take a leak"

  5. Balzafiar5:37 PM

    "Now if all of that did not cause Christie's sphincter to close up enough, learning that one of the main players behind the bridge closing is seeking immunity before spilling his guts should slam it shut for good."

    I imagine just about now, with all the stress, Christie's big ass is likely chewing a hole in his chair.

    1. Anonymous6:37 PM

      It wasn't too smart of Christie to imply that Wildstein hung out with the wrong crowd in high school while Christie was the class president and an athlete. Stay tuned!

    2. Anita Winecooler5:33 PM

      So THAT'S what that noise was! Thundersnow and arctic vortex my ass!!!!

  6. Is it wrong that I am smiling?

    And worth watching Chris Hayes (first time in 12 months I have seen his show) and Rachel - both led with Christie tonight & given the topic of the President's speech today - that indicates the trouble Christie is in.

  7. Anonymous5:44 PM

    In college, Chris Christie was overjoyed when a bridge was kept open preventing traffic problems at his graduation

  8. Anonymous5:50 PM

    The right’s “narrative skewing”: How it dupes itself over Obamacare, Benghazi and Christie

    Remember poll skewing? Here's GOP's new self-delusion:
    Obama's done, Hillary's imploding and Christie's doing great!

    ...In the conservative information bubble all of these issues have been settled, and not in some anti-climactic middle zone between best- and worst-case scenarios. On the right Obamacare isn’t just a political liability for Democrats and a substantive letdown for liberals. It’s already collapsing under its own weight into what health wonks call an adverse selection death spiral. As luck would have it, this unrecoverable failure is happening just as Hillary Clinton has become unelectable and Christie is rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of Bridgegate.

    Think I’m exaggerating?

    ... don’t claim to be clairvoyant, but I think the likelihood that Obamacare is collapsing, Hillary Clinton is collapsing, and Chris Christie is brushing off Bridgegate, all at the same time, is about zero percent.

    And yet, judging by the things they say and write, conservatives are certain that all three things are true.

    This isn’t an accident. It’s an echo chamber effect. It’s the outgrowth of GOP and conservative efforts to spin ambiguous and developing political stories into favorable realities. It’s also a strategy that, like poll unskewing, entails misleading supporters about what’s actually happening in the world, and having no good answers when things don’t turn out as expected.

    Romney, in a landslide!!!

    1. Boscoe8:18 PM

      @5:50 PM: It's just more proof of what I've been saying for years: Conservative Brain Orientation is a mental illness. A complete delusional disconnect from reality.

      When your point of view is not consistent and instead is arbitrarily generated on-the-fly to strike a specific posture against imagined "enemies" on each issue individually as it comes up, (regardless of what the issue is, what the context is and what your position on the issue or other issues connected to it have been in the past) you end up insane.

      Conservatives are constantly pitting themselves against some fantasized "liberal enemy" in their minds and reinventing themselves with every statement with the goal of pissing their imaginary "friend" off. People like Sarah Palin and Limbaugh are terrific at this, but at what personal cost? They're both degenerate frothing lunatic morons who'll say ANYTHING whether it makes any sense or not and are attractive only to other hate-filled delusional idiots who look to them for guidance and snarky bumpersticker slogans.

      Enough cognitive dissonance will eventually make you have a psychotic break. Just ask Frank Luntz. I predict that guy will be in an institution by the next election.

    2. Speaking of Obamacare, apparently Rep. Darrell Issa is still up to his old ethics-free tricks, leaking some rather dangerous security code information from records he's subpoenaed from the team.

      Darrell Issa is one criminal who should have been in jail long ago, and I hope someone nails him for his House committee shenanigans the past 2 years.

  9. Anonymous7:01 PM

    Christie should hire Sarah and Todd Palin as "consultants." They and their state-employee "friends" simply ignored a lawful supenea of the Alaska Legislative committee investigating Troopergate.

    A bi-partisan legislative committee that found Sarah had illegally used her powers and that Todd should never have had any "state power" to begin with.

  10. All of the pig grease in NJ won't help Christie slither out of this.
    He is so done - and good riddance too! That's all, folks!!

  11. Anonymous7:48 PM

    I hope that Bill Baroni wasn't under oath when he cited that fake traffic study when he had to give testimony before his state legislature last November. Rachel showed it was all a performance and that it was all a lie. Wildstein, Kelly, and Nicole Drewniak were VERY HAPPY with his performance.
    Bastards thought they put one over on the NJ legislature and their citizens. Go to jail and burn in hell, a**holes! Wildstein's gonna sing once he's given immunity.

  12. Anonymous7:49 PM

    It's never the bad behavior it's always the cover up.

  13. Anonymous7:56 PM

    Unfortunately I don't think that Christie's fingerprints will be found - he's just that slick. So I'm comfortable going with the story that he was a clueless governor with rogue actors for underlings that he himself chose. Shit happens when you are a bully and don't treat others with respect because then there is no one who feels sorry for you, Mr. Christie.

    1. Anonymous9:22 PM

      Doesn't matter if they are or aren't. If this was all done behind his back then it still makes him appear stupid and not in control and unaware of what was going on in his state for over 5 days. Either way he threw away his presidential hopes.

  14. Anonymous8:27 PM

    As crazy as this theory may sound. David Wildstein is begging for immunity to tell all. This I believe had been planned from the beginning in the event the case started getting some legs on us. Here's what I think is going on.

    Wildstein gets immunity from any form of prosecution. He takes the blame for it all. He claims he was running the show and swears the governor had no knowledge....thereby clearing the governor and anyone else involved. Not one person gets jail time. Maybe probation, but no jail time. Civil suits will get thrown out of court. And every last person in Christies administration....including Wildstein and especially Christie walk away with their hands clean. I believe that's their goal. I hope against all hope that NO ONE is given immunity.

    1. Anonymous8:31 AM

      From what I've read about granting immunity in exchange for testimony, the prosecutor gets to hear exactly what the defendant has to offer BEFORE deciding whether or not to award immunity. In most cases, prosecutors appear to only award it IF the defendant has some evidence or firsthand testimony against a bigger target.

      I don't think that Wildstein can say "Trust me, I've got some good proof!", be given immunity, and then say "Snap! I did it all myself! See ya!"

  15. Anonymous8:51 PM


    In the email dump, there is a draft letter written by Wildstein and dated *after* the lane closure on GWB, that appears to be a half-assed attempt at portraying the closures as a traffic study. It's already widely believed this document was deliberately begun to disguise the real purpose - but it' was a day late and a dollar short and Wildstein gave up - never finished it.

    There are so many holes in Christie's story - on the other hand we've already seen this crap work for Sarah so - fingers crossed.


    1. Anonymous2:21 PM

      Well Oz, it worked for Sarah cuz she had Tawd, the Pimp working with her. He would use his prostitutes and take pictures of people in compromised positions to keep them from exposing them as frauds. How else do you explain that NO ONE has come forward the last six years with the Trig truth? I guess people just don't care about the Tundra Turd anymore.

  16. Anonymous2:30 AM

    Christie made one mistake -- he fucked with the commute of the editors of the Wall Street Journal. This isn't going to be ignored. They are going to keep digging into this and the guy on the story already seems to have quite a few inside sources.

    The fact that it's the Wall Street Journal makes it all the sweeter -- they're conservative to the core! No whining about liberal bias here!

  17. Our Lad3:56 AM

    It is indeed telling that the good governor,who attended over a hundred shows by a performer who is as populist a writer as Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger, managed to misinterpret Mr. Sprigsteen's lyric content. The governor attended these shows as the fawning teenager he is inside,imagining himself as Bruce, driving down thunder road in a '62 409. Reminds me of Reagan trying to co-opt Born To Run till an aide sidled up to him and told him " uh,hey boss, The Boss, he ain't on our side." Conservatives and rock and roll, strange bedfellows indeed, and one of 'em ain't gettin' laid.

  18. Martha again5:06 AM

    I can't find where I read it, but there's something about a triangle of multi-million dollar property in the middle of all that, and how it got effected somehow.

    1. Anonymous8:35 AM

      Steve Kornacki and Rachel Maddow at MSNBC both had stories about that.

      Kornacki spent years covering NJ politics and actually worked for Wildstein so he knows his stuff and has lots of contacts.

      Out of all the possible motives for this incindent, this one seems the most likely. I heard something (may have been on Rachel's show) that Christie has a friend who is a competing developer.

      Things that make you go hmmm...

  19. Anonymous5:58 AM

    Christie camp held Sandy relief money hostage

    ...In this account – supported by email, public records and Zimmer’s own diary entries – Christie’s inner circle was willing to cut off devastated constituents, muscle a friendly mayor and arrange public funds to finance a study for a project the governor supported.In a news conference last week, Christie rejected the notion that his administration engages in retribution or seeks political payback. Zimmer’s account paints a different portrait.

    Zimmer claims they leaned on her twice to get their way. By the second encounter, Zimmer said – this time with Constable – the 45-year-old mayor and mother of two young children was despondent, according to her own notes.

    “I was emotional about governor Christie,” she wrote in a diary entry she provided that is dated May 17, 2013. “I thought he was honest. I thought he was moral. I thought he was something very different. This week I found out he’s cut from the same corrupt cloth that I have been fighting for the last four years.”

    1. Anita Winecooler5:53 PM

      I think THIS is even worse for Gov Girth than the Bridge Closing. Add the extra taxpayer money for a campaign to build morale featuring Gov Girth, MaryPat and the fruit of their loins.

  20. Anonymous6:01 AM

    Hoboken Mayor Alleges That Chris Christie’s Lt. Governor Extorted Her Over Sandy Funds

  21. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Speaking of his weight. His food problem is an addiction. It has to be , made worse by his genetics. His kids are all huge like him. Either they have no food boundries, or fat genes run rampant, or a combination.
    Personally, I do not want my leaders to have any addictions.
    It is a weakness. He is unhealthy. It is gross to be that big and unhealthy. The human make does not need 12000 calories a day to function. For years, he has had to eat huge portions to get to where he is today.
    I would never elect someone who can't even respect his own house!!

    1. eclecticsandra10:02 AM

      What about Obama's nicotine addiction? Even FDR was addicted to the stuff.

    2. Anonymous12:23 PM

      Sandra, that would be PRESIDENT Obama and he has quit smoking. And he didn't expect the tax payers to pay for any surgery to get rid of a bad habit like Christie did. Now run along back to the puddle.

    3. Anonymous6:25 AM

      @ eclectic: PBO quit smoking.
      He was not a chain smoker which would be the appropriate comparison to Christie's food addiction.

  22. Anonymous3:02 PM

    This whole Christie thing sort of reminds me of Tiger Woods when his first affair was made public. Pretty soon all the other women who quietly had affairs with him were outraged and realized they weren't the only ones getting "screwed". It sure looks like Christie has a history of being a thug/politician to get what he wants. I expect many more mayors, etc, who have been suffering in silence will realize there is now safety in numbers to speak out about their governor's actions against them.

  23. Anita Winecooler6:08 PM

    There was a time that I had a little respect for Christie during the storm, when he respected the office of the President, after speaking against him during Gov Romney's epic fail at running for president.

    Learning that money was purposely held back in retribution for a Democratic Mayor's right to remain neutral is just beyond me. He's not the Governor of the Republicans in the State of New Jersey, he's the Governor of New Jersey and ALL are his constituents.
    He has a history of bullying behavior, abusing his office (Heelycopter ride to his kid's ballgame), getting pissy when he cut funding to public school, when he sends his kids to private school, and his public temper tantrums while eating junk food on the boardwalk. He makes crude gestures with his hands toward his crotch when a female reporter asks him something he doesn't want to answer.
    And now this. The buck stops on the Governor, he can't plead ignorance because these issues were big. Ft Lee's business depends on traffic running smoothly, how many small businesses were effected and by how much after four days?
    As this plays out, lets just sit back and watch the greased pig squeal, you KNOW his "friends" have the goods, and they're willing to spill it.


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