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How Chris Christie Could Use the NSA Playbook 266

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Conor Friedersdorf has written a tongue-in-cheek article in The Atlantic advising New Jersey Governor Chris Christie how he can use the NSA playbook to successfully defend himself of the charges that a senior member of his staff was involved in shutting down George Washington Bridge traffic, a stunt meant to punish the mayor of an affected town for opposing his reelection. Christie's NSA-inspired explanation would include the following points: There are almost 9 million people in New Jersey, and only one was targeted for retribution, an impressively tiny error rate lower than .001 percent; The bridge closure was vital to national security because [redacted]; Since the George Washington Bridge is a potential terrorist target, everything that may or may not have happened near it is a state secret; Going after a political rival is wrong but it's important to put this event in context; Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was the only target of non-compliant behavior. No other Fort Lee resident was ever targeted for retribution, and any delays that any Fort Lee resident experienced were totally inadvertent and incidental; Finally a panel will be formed to figure out how to restore the public's faith in Chris Christie. "To some readers, these talking points may seem absurd or deliberately misleading," concludes Friedersdorf, "but there isn't any denying that so far they're working okay for the NSA.""
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How Chris Christie Could Use the NSA Playbook

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 11, 2014 @09:48AM (#45925841)
    From your link:

    In 2010, Christie took the unprecedented step of refusing to reappoint a New Jersey Supreme Court justice for another term, which set off the New Jersey Democrats, who got back at Christie by shooting down all the other Supreme Court justice nominees he put forward.

    So when a Republican member of the New Jersey Supreme Court came up for reappointment last year, NJ Senate Democrats promised to make it a brutal fight, so Christie decided to stop the reappointment. He was furious at Senate Democrats, and held a press conference getting really angry with them.

    That press conference, expressing much anger with Senate Democrats, was held on August 12, 2013, a day before the Bridgegate e-mail was sent. And Fort Lee, the town that got backed up, is part of the legislative district represented by Loretta Weinberg, the leader of the Senate Democrats.

  • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @10:08AM (#45925901) Homepage

    It wasn't to punish someone who wouldn't endorse him. That's just a flashpoint scandal, nothing big. I half suspect it to be one that's being sent out intentionally to exhaust the media's attention before the real scandal starts getting out.

    Basically he screwed over some Democratic Judge, and the Dems in his area announced they would be very critical of a Republican Judge that was coming up for reconfirmation in retaliation, so he pulled the same screwjob on that Republican Judge to prevent her from being questioned by the Dems. The next day he pulled the bridgegate crap in the home district of the head Democrat.

    Rachel Maddow has done all the work and has an interview with said head Dem. []

    Or you could turn to Fox News, where somehow it was Obama's fault because Benghazi.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @10:16AM (#45925941) Homepage
    the mayor of Fort Lee has nothing to do with this:

    Recently Christie had unloaded on Democrats in a particularly angry press conference concerning the renomination battle of a N.J. Supreme Court judge, a battle that had been several years in the making. The woman who headed the state Senate committee causing embarrassment for Christie at the time was N.J. state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D), who happens to represent Fort Lee.
  • Re:beacon of freedom (Score:4, Informative)

    by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @11:00AM (#45926121) Homepage

    It is really telling that the ATF gave over 2500 guns to Mexican drug cartels, and no one from the ATF, DOJ, or Obama Administration is sitting in jail.
    It is really telling that the IRS targeted political opponents during an election year, and no one from the IRS, DOT, or Obama Administration is sitting in jail.
    It is really telling that Obama campaign donors at Solyndra got $500,000,000 of tax payer money, promptly went bankrupt, and no one from the DOE is sitting in jail.
    It is really telling that the Fed prints $75,000,000,000 a month, totaling over $4,000,000,000,000 in the last 5 years, and no one from the fed is sitting in jail.
    It is really telling that the president himself breaks the PPACA on a daily basis by announcing parts he will be temporarily or permanently not enforcing, and he's not sitting in jail.

    Wow, that's a fun list. I count 3... 4? outright lies, 4 completely made up scandals, 1 thing taken completely out of context, several words that don't mean what you think they mean, and a complete lack of understanding as to how civics works.

    It's always fun to debunk these kinds of lists, because I always learn something new, usually something that makes me proud of what our country is doing.

    The only sad thing is that it takes me hours and the people posting them will either blindly ad hominem them ("YOU LINKED DAILYKOS THAT MEANS YOU ACTIVATED MY TRAP CARD~!~!"), call me a "liberal commy fagg 'MERICA hater", or ignore me and go right back to posting about how Obama was raised by Karl Marx on the Socialist Moonbase on the dark side of Mars or something. Or go back to quoting from the sites those guys run. Same difference, really.

    Anyway, lets go!

    1. Fast and Furious was made up. The entire thing was based on one right wing ATF source, who was discovered to be lying. It has been debunked so often that even the actual GOP doesn't mention it, only ultra-far right idiots in the Tea Party talk about it nowadays. []

    2. Ditto for the IRS scandal, which was also made up. Darrel Issa asked the investigator to ignore the fact that the IRS was looking at all groups claiming to be charities, as they are REQUIRED TO DO BY LAW, and merely provide him talking points on Republican ones. The real scandal? The IRS failed to notice 10 out of 11 of the Koch brothers fake charities were fake charities. You'll note that Issa doesn't even bother talking about this one anymore, he's too busy trying to use Benghazi to kneecap President Hilary Clinton before her 2016 victory. []

    3. Solyndra's loan was one of Bush's projects, not Obama's, and there's a HUGE difference between George Kaiser (a billionaire who raised a whopping 50-100k for Obama) and the Kaiser Family Foundation (a charity he started). There's a whole boatload more of made up crap about Solyndra, it's a very transparent manufactured scandal to try and drive us away from Solar and Wind technologies -- because oil will never run out or anything. I'll just leave this link as an exercise to the reader: []

    4. Literally not true. The "Fed prints $75,000,000,000" is such a common meme that there are so many Tea Party sites shatting it out that it's hard to discover it's source. Took a while, but I found it - The fed is buying back a bunch of T-Bonds and Mortgage Bonds at the rate of 75 billion a month as part of the stimulus package, but that's not "printing money." The Feds have a FAQ entry up on it here, for those who don't roll

  • Re:beacon of freedom (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @11:38AM (#45926293)

    1. Fast and Furious was made up. The entire thing was based on one right wing ATF source, who was discovered to be lying. It has been debunked so often that even the actual GOP doesn't mention it, only ultra-far right idiots in the Tea Party talk about it nowadays. []

    That link is to a completely unrelated story about the IRS. I was hoping you had some proof, because that was the first time I've heard that Fast and Furious was all bullshit. So I searched the same website for more info and didn't find anything to support your claim. What I did find was an article from july 2013 talking about two more deaths in mexico linked to those guns - not something I'd expect to see from "huffpo" if the scandal had been debunked. []

  • Re:beacon of freedom (Score:4, Informative)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @12:55PM (#45926643)

    All they did was fuck up tracking guns that were sold to known drug runners by people whose idea of tracking gun sales is to write them on rolls of toilet paper and whose idea of background checks is to look behind the guy.

    No, it's worse than that. They simply didn't track these weapons or notify Mexican authorities that they were doing this (Mexican authorities learned about Fast and Furious when the scandal became public via whistleblowers after the death of a US Border Patrol agent involving two guns from the program), and the gun sellers were in on the alleged sting and were authorized by the ATF agents involved to sell those weapons as they did.

    In addition, the Sinaloa Cartel got a free ticket for at least a year to smuggle guns and who knows what else into Mexico in addition to those 2000 or so guns. Maybe it was a sting and maybe it was substantial aid for a favored cartel.

    He's half right, Solyndra started the process to get the loan in 2007. Should Obama have known to cut them off halfway through? Who knows... They didn't get the money then "promptly go bankrupt" though.

    Yes, he should have cut off the process. And yes, they did go promptly bankrupt [] since they were out of cash in about 15 months of getting the loan money and bankrupt in two years.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas