Back when Christie was elected, I thought that it would only take a few months before all the dark chatter about corruption would derail his administration and, if not force a resignation, make him unlikely to run for reelection. And now we’re nearly on the eve of the election that would keep him in office, and the feeling everywhere is that his victory is inevitable to the point of not even exciting comment.
And yet this stuff from Halperin and Heilemann’s new book about the underside of the Romney campaign and the vetting of Christie as a possible VP candidate shows how close to the surface the signs of missing and misspent money, possible conflicts of interest, and shady deals have been all along:
The list of questions Myers and her team had for Christie was extensive and troubling. More than once, Myers reported back that Trenton’s response was, in effect, Why do we need to give you that piece of information? Myers told her team, We have to assume if they’re not answering, it’s because the answer is bad.
The vetters were stunned by the garish controversies lurking in the shadows of his record. There was a 2010 Department of Justice inspector general’s investigation of Christie’s spending patterns in his job prior to the governorship, which criticized him for being “the U.S. attorney who most often exceeded the government [travel expense] rate without adequate justification” and for offering “insufficient, inaccurate, or no justification” for stays at swank hotels like the Four Seasons. There was the fact that Christie worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the Securities Industry Association at a time when Bernie Madoff was a senior SIA official—and sought an exemption from New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. There was Christie’s decision to steer hefty government contracts to donors and political allies like former Attorney General John Ashcroft, which sparked a congressional hearing. There was a defamation lawsuit brought against Christie arising out of his successful 1994 run to oust an incumbent in a local Garden State race. Then there was Todd Christie, the Governor’s brother, who in 2008 agreed to a settlement of civil charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission in which he acknowledged making “hundreds of trades in which customers had been systematically overcharged.” (Todd also oversaw a family foundation whose activities and purpose raised eyebrows among the vetters.) And all that was on top of a litany of glaring matters that sparked concern on Myers’ team: Christie’s other lobbying clients, his investments overseas, the YouTube clips that helped make him a star but might call into doubt his presidential temperament, and the status of his health.
Ah, yes, his temperament:
via Double Down Excerpt: Mitt Romney Feared Chris Christie\’s Baggage | TIME.com and https://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/396739207105757185.
“A judge has denied a Southern California factory town’s attempt to shut down production of the popular Sriracha chili sauce over complaints about the pungent smell of pepper and garlic fumes emanating from the factory.
“Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien rejected the city of Irwindale’s initial bid Thursday to cease operations at the Huy Fong Foods plant until the company can reduce the odor, City News Service reported.”
via Sriracha Shortage Avoided! Judge Rules Against Factory Closure (UPDATE).
Perhaps the funniest part of Somer’s editorial is the “Corrections and Amplifications” now added to it:
An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin (“Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”) that has been widely disputed. And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill (“Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens“) that the Journal has been unable to confirm.
Also, the cover of a Maclean’s magazine issue in 2008 showed a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the photo showed and headline referred to a horse.
Ah, yes. “Unable to confirm.”
Shorter Bachmann, King, and Gohmert: “Your brutal repression of political dissent is an inspiration to us all.”
The contingent of the House GOP’s mentally and morally challenged released this lovely piece of pro-Egyptian military propaganda after meeting with General el-Sissi. In the video the three manage to equate unchecked state violence with the advent of “more freedom, more prosperity and more jobs.” Might make more sense to you if you listen to it while giving your monitor a straight-arm salute.
Let’s not forget that these clowns are not simply opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood but the efforts of Egyptians and others in the Middle East toward democratic self-determination generally.
via Max Fisher
is that its education model seems to have been little different than your typical bait-and-switch time-share condo hard-sell scam:
The inquiry into Trump University came to light in May 2011 after dozens of people had complained to the authorities in New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois about the institution, which attracted prospective students with the promise of a free 90-minute seminar about real estate investing that, according to the lawsuit, “served as a sales pitch for a three-day seminar costing $1,495.” This three-day seminar was itself “an upsell,” the lawsuit said, for increasingly costly “Trump Elite” packages that included so-called personal mentorship programs at $35,000 a course.
Most “for-profit” universities are investment schemes meant to use student-loan programs to divert tax dollars to Wall Street clients. Too sophisticated for Trump, apparently. It figures his version would just be a cheap con.
LOL. Though the question was apparently not ludicrous to college freshman Ted Cruz when he appeared at Princeton with a copy of a book of that title under his arm. The book actually exists, and in several translations!! (Cruz had the Spanish-language version.)
This is the point where it’s worth remembering that Cruz came to college fresh from the twin sheltering influences of private religious education at Faith West Academy and the extracurricular libertarian ideological purism courtesy of the Free Market Education Foundation, a program of the Center for the American Idea, which taught high school kids the rather musty theories of Austrian economists, modeled after the educational program of the anti-communist weirdo, Glenn Beck inspiration, and crypto-fascist W. Cleon Skousen. Did I mention that Skousen was a Canadian?