Gaius Publius: `Wall Street & the Security Apparatus Want a Real SOB… Chris Christie`

Yves here. I must confess I have not been paying much attention to the Chris Christie scandal, partly because it is on the periphery of this blog’s beat and in part because the reason it’s remained national news is that Christie was widely seen as a contender in the 2016 presidential election. Like Lambert, I find it painful to think much about 2016 now. And remember the seven dwarves of 1992? Viable candidates can emerge from crowded fields late in the game.

Even so, it’s been obvious that this story has gotten more media play than it seems to deserve and the Republicans are going to extreme lengths trying to preserve Christie as a national figure. Gaius’s story gives a plausible explanation as to why that’s taking place.

By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and contributing editor at AmericaBlog. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook. Cross posted from AmericaBlog

The Chris Christie story is becoming clearer and clearer.

I don’t mean the George Washington Bridge story, though thanks to people like Steve Kornacki and his MSNBC associates, that’s becoming clear as well.

I mean the story behind the story. Who’s sabotaging Chris Christie to force him out of office and off the national stage? And who’s supporting him in his bid for the power of the presidency?

About the latter — who’s supporting Christie’s White House ambitions — we have the invaluable Chris Hedges. Your bottom line — every mean SOB billionaire, from Wall Street to the Koch Bros, wants Christie in office. And every element of the “security and surveillance apparatus” — the NSA, the Pentagon, presumably the CIA- and FBI-aligned forces as well — also want him in power, at least as Hedges sees it.

I’ll give Hedges’ key point first, then a broader sampling of this interesting and readable article. Hedges, writing in Truthdig (my emphasis and paragraphing):

Christie is the caricature of a Third World despot. He has a vicious temper, a propensity to bully and belittle those weaker than himself, an insatiable thirst for revenge against real or perceived enemies, and little respect for the law and, as recent events have made clear, for the truth.

He is gripped by a bottomless hedonism that includes a demand for private jets, huge entourages, exclusive hotels and lavish meals.

Wall Street and the security and surveillance apparatus want a real son of a bitch in power, someone with the moral compass of Al Capone, in order to ruthlessly silence and crush those of us who are working to overthrow the corporate state. They have had enough of what they perceive to be Barack Obama’s softness. Christie fits the profile and he is drooling for the opportunity.

Activists, Democratic and Republican rivals for power, liberals, reformers and environmentalists will, if Christie becomes president, see the vast forces of the security state surge into overdrive to stymie and reverse reform, gut our tepid financial and environmental regulations, further enrich the corporate elite who are pillaging the country, and savagely shut down all dissent. The corporate state’s repression, now on the brink of totalitarianism, would with the help of Christie, his corporate backers and his tea party loyalists become a full-blown corporate fascism.

Several things to note here. First, working from the bottom of the quote up, reread the list of those who will feel the club if Christie wins big power. The vulnerability of “Republican rivals” makes Republican opposition to Christie make perfect sense. For other Republicans, a Christie win won’t be a Republican win — it will be a Christie win. And only that. And New Jersey Republicans especially have first-hand knowledge of the kind of vindictive threat he poses.

Second, notice the comment about Christie having the “moral compass of Al Capone,” and how lack of conscience makes him a perfect candidate for the conscienceless national spook state (my phrasing), Wall Street billionaires, and the industrial and corporate billionaire-elites like David Koch. They would unite their fists in one man — Chris Christie — and he would act crushingly in their behalf, at least according to Hedges. This is a stark portrait indeed. Ancient kings were like this man; bad ancient kings.

Finally, in the very first paragraph in the quote, Hedges mentions something I didn’t know but could have inferred — that Christie is “gripped by a bottomless hedonism that includes a demand for private jets, huge entourages, exclusive hotels and lavish meals.” Bottomless hedonism? We’re way past fat jokes and into ancient kings territory again. Emperor Nero comes to mind. If true, this is a whole different beast, this Christie.

About That “Bottomless Hedonism”

In case you think that Hedges’ hedonism comment is just a guess, here’s a little more from the article:

The Romney campaign, which reluctantly agreed to Christie’s incessant demands for private jets, ungainly entourages and expensive hotel rooms in return for campaign appearances by the governor in behalf of the GOP nominee, decided against selecting him as running mate because, as the authors write, Romney’s vetters were “stunned by the garish controversies lurking in the shadows of his record.”


A 2010 U.S. Department of Justice inspector general’s investigation of Christie’s spending patterns in the federal job he held before he became governor, the book [“Double Down: Game Change 2012”] notes, called Christie “the U.S. attorney who most often exceeded the government [travel expense] rate without adequate justification” and someone who offered “insufficient, inaccurate, or no justification” for stays at exclusive hotels such as the Four Seasons.


In addition, the inspector general’s report raised questions among Romney’s vetters about “Christie’s relationship with a top female deputy who accompanied him on many trips,” the book [“Double Down: Game Change 2012”] said.

I dare you to think Emperor Nero when reading these three quotes. Remember, Hedges was a first-rate mainstream reporter before he exited the mainstream. He’s still a first-rate reporter. Do you think this depiction is wrong?

Who Wants Christie in the White House?

I won’t quote too much more of the article — but you can see I think it’s a must-read. I will give you a list, however, gleaned from the article. These people are named by Hedges as backing Gov. Christie’s 2016 bid strongly and promising “massive financial backing”:

The Koch brothers

Stanley Druckenmiller
Kenneth C. Griffin
Daniel S. Loeb
Paul E. Singer
Paul Tudor Jones II
David Tepper, all hedge fund kings

Charles Schwab
Stephen A. Schwarzman
Mort Zuckerman
Richard Grasso (ex-NYSE)
Maurice “Hank” Greenberg (ex-AIG)
John J. Mack (ex-Morgan Stanley)

Jack Welch (ex-GE)
Kenneth Langone (Home Depot)

I’m sure the list doesn’t end there. Your take-away: Everyone with big money loves this big man. It seems none of the billionaires can resist what he offers. He’s a perfect front man for the people to whom people are things.

Wall Street, Revenge, Retribution & a Fawning Entourage

For more on Christie’s relationship with Wall Street, usually a Democratic Party source of funding, read the paragraph that starts “There was the fact that Christie worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the Securities Industry Association”. As Hedges said at the start of the piece, they want him bad.

For more on Christie’s love of revenge and retribution, start reading at “Christie’s large public entourage always includes a videographer”. It’s an ugly couple of paragraphs. Really, governor? 600 YouTubes of Christie squeezing the smalls, uploaded by Team Christie itself?

On that last note, Hedges points us to a video hosted at TMZ of Christie getting in-your-face with a teacher-friendly heckler on a warm Sunday in Jersey. From the transcript:

Gov. Christie (R-NJ) was hangin’ with his family in Seaside Heights … and had just ordered an ice cream cone when a passerby fired off some snide comments about Christie’s policy on education.

Christie got PISSED — and while clutching his cone, shouted back at the guy, “You’re a real big shot … you’re a real big shot shootin’ your mouth off.”

The man shouted back, “Nah, just take care of the teachers!”

The comment only inflamed Christie … who aggressively marched towards the guy and warned, “Keep walkin’ away … really good … keep walkin’.”

Just a Chris Chistie Sunday with the family.

Christie May be the Most Dangerous Man in Politics Today

I normally rail against the MSNBC evening hosts and their policy of “Eww Republicans, All The Time” pattern of reporting, especially when Obama’s evil deeds hang in the air like fruit. But in this case, if Hedges is right — if Christie indeed has “the moral compass of Al Capone” — they may be doing god’s work in helping take this man down.

If they succeed, I say, Amen to that. (And then want to ask, What made MSNBC’s owners decide not to join the Christie love feast? All of their friends are in it.)

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    1. American Slave

      With modern technology its more than possible to have a popular referendum on every law passed. The representative system doesn’t work for anyone but the corporations.

      1. Susan the other

        This Copiosis reminds me of recent revelations in Denmark and China. It is a synthesis of socialism and capitalism which could work. We all can probably agree that broad referendum policies would achieve democracy better than the corruption we now have. In Denmark there are small cities that are opting into an 80/20 deal. 80% of their income is taken by taxation for the necessities, and well provided; 20% is kept for luxuries. So taxation is the key here if everything is to be kept within a system of private property. And, as well all now know, if taxation is the key element then open and honest referenda are the best tool for some guaranteed level of democracy. And China seems to have a policy (which we are prevented from reading about in our oh-so-free press here) of old 19th c. freeports like Shanghai – wherefrom the Chinese can buy imported luxuries but all else in their economy is controlled and equitably distributed as much as possible.

      2. LifelongLib

        I’d agree if the general public took a serious interest in politics, but historically referendums have been vehicles for special interests with an intense interest in an issue to get things past the public, which often doesn’t pay much attention. A TRULY representative system would be better than that.

  1. LucyLulu

    Bridgegate is a scandal and was nasty retribution but is paling in comparison to Christie’s latest problem. Kornacki obtained an exclusive interview on his MSNBC show on Saturday with the mayor of Hoboken, a small town decimated by Sandy. The mayor had applied for $100 million in federal relief aid for her town. Meanwhile a development project represented by Samson’s law firm, the head of the Port Authority and a close friend of Christie’s, was seeking approval in Hoboken. The city was opposed to the project, along with the mayor. The mayor was approached by the Lt. Governor who allegedly relayed a message that the governor wanted the project approved and that Sandy aid money would be contingent on the approval. The Lt. Governor said she would deny the conversation ever happened if questioned (which she did in a news conference today, appearing to be reading from a script, with a rather unusual affect, then declined to take questions). The mayor recorded the conversation in her journal. The project was rejected by the city. Hoboken received $300,000 in aid.

    The day after the interview with Kornacki, this last Sunday, the mayor was questioned about the incident by federal prosecutors. She gave them her journal and other documents she had. The mayor knew she would be subject to prosecution if she lied to federal agents but she proceeded. By the same token, if it can be proven that federal funds were withheld as leverage for approval of a private project by Christie, he could receive prison time.

    1. rusti

      He could receive prison time in the same way that a pantheon of bankers or security state figures could, just sort of an academic exercise on our part.

      I wonder what sort of abuse and exposure it would take to actually lock well-connected Serious People up. Even if his particularly overt brand of megalomania winds up alienating him from his peers, putting someone in jail for corruption would set a dangerous precedent for the people with the power to do so.

      1. arby

        Is it not the case that the N.J. governorship comes with a blanket immunity from prosecution for life? Democratic governor Corzine stole about a billion and a half dollars from his clients at MF Global and violated about every securities regulation on the books and has never been investigated, let alone charged. He also had a penchant for lining the pockets of his Wall Street buddies both in Washington and while plunging his state deeper and deeper into swapped bond debt across multiple agencies. True, Corzine mixes better over Chablis and Brie but both Christie and Corzine have proven themselves perfect hosts for Wall Street predators.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The best part of the Hoboken story as far as I’m concerned is the “smoking gun” in the form of a 59 cent spiral notebook–the “diary.” HANDWRITTEN.

      The dazed and confused media keep showing pictures of this virtually unknown form of communication as if it was cave drawings.

      No cloud. No time-stamp. No forwards or reply alls. I’m pretty sure the NSA is hoping that this paper and pencil thing doesn’t get too much traction.

  2. YankeeFrank

    One thing we can be sure of is that there are powerful parties that don’t want Christie on the national stage. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe these stories are true and that, if Christie didn’t directly order these specific attacks, fostered an environment amongst his staff that made them fait accompli, which is the same thing.

    The truth is that scratch the surface of Christie, which Hedges did admirably with zero investigative budget, and you find scandal after scandal, shabby deal after shabby deal. This guy has the potential to ruin the republican “brand” in a big way, and that’s why the people who support him are the most delusionally megalomaniacal billionaires and Wall Street asshats. I think anyone with any sense in the Republican party knows this guy isn’t really electable and so they want to knock him out of the running early. Combine them with the Hilary supporters and that’s all you need for a full-on media barrage.

    I mean come on, the plutocracy in this nation didn’t get to where they are by acting like Tony Soprano, they got where they are by acting like John D. Rockefeller. If you need to win every single little fight you’re just not disciplined or mature enough to run things.

    1. Spring Texan

      YankeeFrank, You are so right! They don’t need or want Christie; Corzine or Obama will do just fine.

      Gaius Publius’s normally impeccable instincts have been misled here by Chris Hedges’ (who does tend toward the grim side) persuasiveness here. You can be just as nasty and not so obvious — witness Obama. Someone who gets everyone to vote for him with the idea that he is on their side — but he isn’t — and then never comes through is so much better for the plutocrats.

      1. diptherio

        Unless the PTB now figure that the groundwork has been adequately laid by the Bush/Obama “security enhancements” and now they’re looking for someone with enough of a don’t-give-a-f#@% attitude to actually use them to their fullest. I get the feeling the Obama is too good of a politician and too concerned with his legacy to employ the full force of the government jackboot, but not so Christie. That last anecdote, about the ice cream stand is telling, and the most disturbing part of the article, to me.

        I mean, this guy is a politician, right? He’s supposed to care what people think about him, and yet he all but assaults a guy for making a snide comment and walking away? Any other politician would have said something along the lines of, “that’s what makes this country great, we’re allowed to disagree,” and let it go at that. Christie is obviously a man who operates mostly on emotion and adrenaline, which is just the type of person you’d expect to go overboard with a police state, and just the type of man you’d want in charge if you were looking for that outcome.

        How he ever got this far in politics is a mystery to me…I sure hope he doesn’t get any farther.

        1. Susan the other

          good comment… almost as if christie is a split personality because he has the capacity to empathize (the photo op with a contrite christie and obama after the sandy devastation) yet he goes completely off, spitting a mouthful of ice cream, at a citizen with a comment about the sad state of NJ education …

      2. Banger

        I think Obama knows full well the nature of the political arrangements in Washington. He was sponsored but the oligarchs as the candidate who would defang the left which for the first time in decades actually had some life due to the excesses of Bush. It worked perfectly and is still working. But The threat now comes from the right and Christie can defuse that growing movement and oppose it through his Big Man-ism which always delights the right who love male authority figures who are willing to break a few eggs to make an omelet.

        1. g3

          Defanging the left has always been the primary function of the Democratic party. I highly recommend Lance Selfa’s book “Democrats A critical history”. There is more to O’s election than just that. Glenn Greenwald mentioned in a speech that there was a CIA report prior to 2008 elections which said Obama’s election is very crucial to stemming the tide of European opposition to US wars and anti-americanism. Of course, Wall Street had its use too – to diffuse any revolt after their excesses which predominantly affected women and colored people.

          1. LucyLulu

            The plan in the CIA’s report didn’t work out so well. Obama got a good start with his anti-war rhetoric and his speech in Egypt. Europeans loved him and even Muslims were hopeful. After four years of subsequent trampling of civil liberties along with hawkish and pro-Israeli war policies, the tides have turned. Drone attacks on civilians and massive surveillance of your friends aren’t endearing strategies.

      3. Doug Terpstra

        Yup, Obama is far and away the more effective evil, the camo predator anti-messiah with cult reverend status. Christie is a passing infatuation, hardly close to fall-guy stature for Hillary, as Mitt was for Obama. No, absent outright electoral fraud, there’s no way a Jersey goon like Christie comes close to inspiring the kind of idolatry Obama enjoys, which is essential to Wall Street’s agenda.

        Then again, if the mother of all stock market bubbles bursts before 2016, a wise guy like Christie might have a shot. Obama’s halo may well have slipped enough to tarnish Hillary by then.

    2. Synopticist

      “I mean come on, the plutocracy in this nation didn’t get to where they are by acting like Tony Soprano, they got where they are by acting like John D. Rockefeller.”

      I take that point, he’s risky, but remember these people are very smart and will do what it takes to maintain and expand their power and wealth. They are the intelligent faction of the right wing plutocrat party. These are guys who think Obama isn’t oligarch friendly enough, and who fear hillary isn’t close enough to wall Street.

      They don’t want some social conservative candidate who’ll upset the upper-middle class, or another super-monied Romney type who can’t hide his contempt, or even a libertarian who will be too open about his intention to gut social security.

      The fact is, Christie has an appeal to the centre that no other republican can match right now. Who else is there?

  3. geoff gray

    yesterday christie defending himself that his situation was to jamie dimon’s when jamie learned that a trader in london put on a trade–he didn’t know. he also told a reporter who asked him if he should have known what his subordinates were up to that the “question is ignorant.”
    i mean wow. imagine christie as president with the surveillance state and war on terror apparatus he’s inherited.

  4. QuarterBack

    How’s this for an interesting choice of defensive metaphor by Christie (NYDailyNews):

    “How could Jamie Dimon not have known about a trade that was being put on by a trader in London?” Christie mused. “Well, you know, I think it’s fairly safe to say that Jamie Dimon didn’t know that a trade was being put on and that when people lied about it, he didn’t know they were lying.

    Just sayin.

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      Put the two of them, Christie and Dimon in the same cage. They’ll find it easier to compare notes.

  5. Steve

    As a lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore,,, I can tell you that Sandy aid from the Feds including the national flood insurance program is sporadic and seemingly ad hoc…
    I don’t know the specifics of the Hoboken case but in general it’s typical for local pols to ask for the moon … and negotiate downward.. Just think if every Mayor in every town got as much aid as he/she asked for….. Allocation is in the job description..

    As for quid pro quo in politics……. I tell you I’m am SHOCKED and APPALLED… I can’t believe this kind of thing happens (tic) …………..

    Isn’t Chris Matthews show named “Hardball” ??????

    1. YankeeFrank

      “They all do it” is not a defense. And clearly Christie does it with a vengeance. And please, from $100 million to $300,000 for a city the size of Hoboken? Christie is a dangerous thug. Even Mitt Romney the corporate hitman couldn’t stomach his tactics.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        It really is saying something that Romney, of all people, found Christie too hot to handle.

        1. Massinissa

          Mentioning Romney and his eventual VP choice, Romney mostly chose Ryan because Romney understood Ryan (according to accounts from his campaign). Ryan was alot like the young up-and-coming enthusiastic businessmen Romney had dealt with before, dealt with successfully, and in a way Romney even liked the guy. Though first and foremost Romney chose Ryan because: Ryan was easy to get along with (for Romney and his staff: Personally I would balk…). Ryan was manipulable (With Christie, would be Tail-Wagging-Dog). And most importantly, Ryan was safe (both with the constituency, and with big money donors).

      2. Steve

        “And please, from $100 million to $300,000 for a city the size of Hoboken?”

        A city the SIZE of Hoboken ??? It’s ONE SQUARE MILE…

        Regarding the $300,000 # from CNN:

        “Marc Ferzan, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, said that her accounting is “a mischaracterisation.”

        After Sandy, Hoboken was 80% underwater. Zimmer said it received about $300,000 of the roughly $100 million in state funds the city requested for flood prevention.
        (NOTE: ZIMMER SAID flood PREVENTION… Not recovery from)

        Ferzan said Hoboken has been approved for nearly $70 million in aid. But that aid was given mostly to individual residents and small businesses, not the city of Hoboken.”

        Hudson county NJ… Corruption central in NJ….

  6. Ep3

    Beautiful, just beautiful

    One thing tho I disagree with. It’s the comment on Obama being soft. What I interpret the author to mean is that Obama tries to make peace between rich & poor. I see Obama in much the same vein as our Michigan governor granholm. She had a republican legislature that refused to work with her. And she went along with on the margin changes, but pretty much did nothing. Which forced michiganders into disgust for apathy. And so they elected a psycho republican who has cut all business taxes, brought in right to work in the state where the uaw was founded, as well as other things. So I see Obama the same way. He is being somewhat apathetic so that stupid voters demand a radical like Nero.

    1. trish anderson

      “Obama tries to make peace between rich & poor.”
      more like tosses occasional handouts to the poor while essentially catering to the rich.

      “…a republican legislature that refused to work with [him] (comparing obama to granholm). ” Hmmm. seems to me Obama and the repubs have been more like good cop/bad cop. They’ve essentially worked together to continue redistribution upward in myriad ways at the expense of the public. And the republicans- the far far right ones- have been a great foil for Obama.
      And it’s worked. The media, many supposed liberals have obediently bleated out the meme that it’s all those big bad republicans’ fault- meanwhile from day one of his presidency he’s essentially done and continues to do wall street’s/ the oil companies’/ big Ag’s- all corporate america’s- bidding. softened somewhat, sure. Way softer than an overt thug like Christie? Not hard.
      But it tells you something about the arrogance & ruthlessness & greed (and sense of their own frightening power today) of the kochs et al that they want to push for a Christie son of a bitch when they can get so, so much done with someone “soft” like Obama, who gets away with a lot more by masquerading as a progressive and has been seemingly immune from criticism…

      1. Banger

        They are playing a balance of power game. Since the populist right began to take more power they became dangerous to the oligarchs who have always felt cultural contempt for that segment of the population. In 2008 the threat was on the left and that was easily met with Obama.

  7. Jay

    I think the reason that MSNBC is pounding this so hard is that it is a way to tie past support for Christie around the necks of individual GOPers like a millstone before he goes down. Future introductions would read: “Former supporter of discredited (convicted felon?) NJ ex-governor Chris Christie put his hat in the ring for *federal office here*.” It would indicate a lack of judgment and intimate an air of corruption.

    Perhaps more importantly, the reason several prominent GOPers and corporates don’t want Christie is that such a, well, dictatorial authoritarian in the White House has the potential to strip them of their individual fiefdoms or prosecute them if they fall out of his favor, especially if they have already fallen from his favor. He wouldn’t share power, any of it, and the first thing he’d do after getting into the White House wouldn’t be going after Democrats. Oh no, the first order of business would be to destroy anyone in the GOP not loyal to Christie and his organization. The powers that be always need someone who has a handle; laughably compromised, weak, manipulable . . . Bush II was inexperienced and weak of mind. Obama is arguably similar but he and his party are desperate for contributions. Most of the past Senate majority leaders have had difficulty getting reelected (Reid, McConnell, Daschle, Frist, Lott).

    Emperor Christie would upset everything.

    1. Banger

      As I said below, the most important struggle is not between left and right but between those who seek a neo-feudal relatively decentralized government (populist right) and a more centralized neo-fascist state (Wall Street and their fellow-travelers). The left has yet to engage itself other than complain and make jokes.

      1. Jim

        Banger I think you are really on to something with your sentiment that the most important struggle is between those who seek a neo-feudal relatively decentralized government (populist right) and a more centralized neo-fascist state (Wall Street and their fellow-travelers).

        But what if the progressive left, rather than seeing the State, as now configured, as the only instrument of reform, would have the courage to explore its own model of a decentralized state (more populist and federalist) in which some of the insights of monetary reformists (chartalists and Circuitist) could be inserted.

        Then the possibility of a coalition between populist left and right might emerge in a new political vision and the centralist, neo-totalitarian formation(Big Capital and Big State) could come under real public pressure.

        1. Banger

          In basically agree with you–that seems the only opening for a revival of the left but all aspects of the establishment left are opposed to such an alliance.

          1. Jim

            Unfortunately, that is an accurate description of the establishment left at the moment.

            But if the Left is to be viable in the future it will eventually have to offer a compelling version of how the modern state ought to operate in the future.

            This will mean the activation of political categories (like bureaucratization) that are usually ignored by the traditional Left.

            Its time for the Left to focus (through a new decentralized vision) on how to use power, rather than its usual obsession of how to take power.

            1. Banger

              Interestingly during the golden age of the radical left in the late 60s there was a lot of talk about local control, small is beautiful (before the book) anti-bureaucratic sentiments. In fact the hippie mentality (and mine at the time) was anarchist in temperament.

              1. James Levy

                Nice ideas, but too many of us remember what local control meant for black people and workers in this country. The only force powerful enough to push through the Wagner Act and the Civil Rights Act and make them stick was the Federal Government. Without it, you can image what will happen to black rights, gay rights, and women’s rights in large swaths of the disassembled USA. If you want to sell those folks down the river so that you can have your little ecotopias, well, I guess that’s your call but for me the hazards of decentralization outweigh the benefits. But of course, if James Howard Kunstler and the Archdruid are right, we’re getting a fragmented future whether we like it or not.

                1. Jim

                  The original civil rights movement in the South( Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham) was strong because it was built around local black churches and their indigenous leadership as well as the support of the lower middle class black community institutions (such as black cab companies that charged passengers standard bus fares, as well as radio stations, newspapers and local colleges).

                  In addition that movement was built on middle-class values of thrift and responsibility.

                  Only the culmination of that type of initially local/regional struggle–was the national civil rights legislation of 1964 and 1965.

                  Once the civil rights movement moved out of the South it basically collapsed because the North lacked the stable black communities which had deep roots in Southern culture.

                  I would also argue that the Wagner act along with other pieces of national labor legislation lead to federally mandated collective bargaining and the eventual national administration of labor, which was eventually accepted by Big Capital and resulted in corrupt labor bureaucracies and the gradual decline of American unions.

                  1. different clue

                    The Civil Rights Movent people sought Federal legislative/enforcement intervention on behalf of equal rights in places without such. Would they have been able to attain those rights in a small local context? The local people and organizers organized themselves as parts of a big co-ordinated movement. The SCLC was an interstate organization, after all.

  8. Inhibi

    Christie is definitely not anywhere close to being dangerous. He is way too loud and obnoxious to ever become president, and doesn’t have anywhere close to the amount of connections or rhetorical skill like Obama.

    To be dangerous you have to be, at least, sly and manipulative and able to hold your face under pressure. Christie is like a big blundering bear; too stupid to realize that once everyone thinks your a meme, you will always be a meme

    1. diptherio

      I seem to recall a certain failed art student who once seemed like a real long-shot to even be able to put food on the table, much less run a whole country…just sayin’, crazier things have happened…

      1. fajensen

        … and that student had the same kind of sponsors: Financiers, Industrialists, e.t.c… who thought they could control him. The present lot probably think that with enough blow and a steady flow of ‘roids, their puppet will follow orders.

  9. Banger

    I think Wall Street and the national security state (which evolved out of Wall Street directly) have the ultimate power and have had it for quite a few years. I believe, since the latter part of the Bush administration, what we have seen internal divisions in Washington including the national security state. I believe there are conflicting visions within CIA, within the Pentagon and certainly within the State Department. I think both major parties are deeply divided, I believe regions are divided, I believe that even some of the corporate sector are divided as well.

    After years of trying to weaken the central government those Wall Street/Nat-sec state stalwarts want the trains to run on time–they are tired of a confused and scattered government unable to do much that routinely has leaked secrets and can’t even roll out a website. Of course the oligarchs have only themselves to blame for routinely weakening and corrupting the bureaucracy. These oligarchs see us moving into a neo-feudal and decentralized state and they want a fascist and centralized state–I think that’s where the conflict is. Since the left may, who knows, actually be able to muster some sort of political voice besides sitting on the sidelines and wailing we need a tightening grip.

    Hedges, though I disagree with him in many ways, is our most astute cultural and political critic and has been courageously throwing stones at the oligarchs for some years now. If you haven’t read him please do.

    1. Susan the other

      I used to think Hedges was a little too willing to be a self-sacrifice. But now I’m starting to like him not just for the points he makes but because he finally got really pissed off.

    2. Jim

      But the problem with Hedges is that, at this point his total focus is on discrediting endlessly the private plutocracy, not seeing that it is necessary to simultaneously articulate an alternative vision of the state–which is not centralized.

      Such a course of action for the progressive left would be totally outside the box, since Marx dealt with the State by hypothesizing that it would simply disappear when, in fact it has become a neo-totalitarian entity aligned with Big Capital.

      Unless the progressive left is at least willing to consider such a step, it is only going to sound as if it is in some type of weird alliance with our corrupt centralized network (both public and private).

      There is a segment of our ruling oligarchy already calling for a constrained social democratic future. See the latest issue of Foreign Affairs put out by the Council on Foreign Relations and entitled “America’s Social Democratic Future.” My guess is that the reason this faction supports a constrained Social Democracy is because such a centralized alternative does not really threaten its power.

      What would threaten its power would be an engaged populist left and right dedicated to a decentralized state with progressive and libertarian factions.

      1. different clue

        If public government is weakened and decentralized, the still strong and still centralized corporations and other rich-class social organizations will become the total and overt government through superior strength. If the non-rich majority could capture government at various levels they(we) could use it as a sword and shield against the oligarchs and plutocrats.

    3. JTFaraday

      Well, I think at least some on the Tea Party right have pretty much nailed what I consider to be Christie’s defining characteristic, and that is that he is deceptive.

      He is a Big Government NJ Republican, who engages in bombastic diatribes against the politically correct government constituencies– public workers and public school teachers being a big one (I bet he did load those YouTubes himself)– but if you look a little closer, and most people don’t, he’s no Scott Walker, who can already claim a real record of achievement against government workers.

      Thus far, Christie has pretty much proven himself to be a personally ambitious status quo politician, with a colorful act. (Granted, the status quo is pretty awful).

      The post seems to suggest that, push come to shove, wealthy so-called “small government libertarian” Republicans like the Kochs are throwing over their own Ayn Randian Tea Party populist creation– and whoever that creation might try to advance for 2016– on the chance they might actually be serious about limiting the power and expanse (and expense) of the federal government, whereas Christie is not.

      To me, this just says that Christie is deceptive in exactly the same way that wealthy so-called “libertarians” and neoliberals are deceptive, which is that they’re not “anti-government” in any way, so long as they can firmly control the power of the government and manipulate it—and the money that it can deploy– in the service of their business interests, however they happen to define those business interests at any given moment in time, (which may well be one way today and some other way tomorrow).

      In light of that, the particular obsessions of the tea party libertarians/ populists, like their obsession with the federal deficit and limiting certain federal powers and federal pograms, are just not going to cut it.

      Sometimes you have to spend some money to break some eggs to make yourself an omelette. Any wealthy businessman knows this, whether they claim to be “libertarian” or not, (and it’s not like it’s their money).

      1. JTFaraday

        “limiting certain federal powers and federal pograms”

        ooops– I really didn’t mean to say “federal pograms.” I really meant to say, “federal programs.”

        Assuming there’s still a difference.

  10. Bernard

    I think there will be some form of neo feudalisitic state to evolve out of what we have now. with Christie, well, that would be a worst case scenario, like Hedges claims. Christie has the backing to do whatever with little if any blowback, as we have seen.
    like Voting Democrat or Republican, only difference is the use of Vaseline

  11. John Mc

    Wow, this is quite a list. We have known for awhile that our system is captured, strangled in a bathtub, but my questions have always been why now and where does a totalitarian society take us long term? We know about the Neoliberal order and its progression into about every major institution in our culture — has been pretty well documented (Yves, Bill Moyers, Matt Taibbi, Naomi Klein, Henry Giroux, Bill Black and the Heterodox economists, Michelle Alexander, Bill McKibben, Josh Fox, Jeremy Scahill, Glen Greenwald, and academics, public intellectuals).

    This list below of very powerful interests must have a plan of where they want to take us beyond Chris Christie? Repealing the social safety net has already begun, mass species die-offs, oil-gas explosions engulfing entire towns, mining accidents, water pollution, fukishima radiation, extreme weather etc. — how do they think they will escape the consequences of their decisions?

    The Koch brothers
    Stanley Druckenmiller
    Kenneth C. Griffin
    Daniel S. Loeb
    Paul E. Singer
    Paul Tudor Jones II
    David Tepper, all hedge fund kings
    Charles Schwab
    Stephen A. Schwarzman
    Mort Zuckerman
    Richard Grasso (ex-NYSE)
    Maurice “Hank” Greenberg (ex-AIG)
    John J. Mack (ex-Morgan Stanley)
    Jack Welch (ex-GE)
    Kenneth Langone (Home Depot)

    I struggle knowing where the endgame is. Is it a one world currency? Is it the combined effort to clear out world population, while getting rich? Is it creating a permanent system for capital’s dominance? Are these global political, social, economic battles about long term resource monopolies in some Malthusian hunger games? What is particularly ludicrous is that we live during a time where our ability to diagnose the origins, patterns of our problems (income inequality, pollution-climate, perpetual war, mass incarceration, and a history of on-going epic frauds in our economy). It could be a combination of all of these, but doesn’t resistance involve getting out in front of history so as to prevent and to refuse the current path.

    1. trish anderson

      “how do they think they will escape the consequences of their decisions?”

      long term consequences don’t matter. short term enrichment does.

      Where’s it leading? Look to the TPP. A global neo-feudal third world world where the mega- corporation rules and maximize profits, pitting the serfs against each other in competition for ever-lowering wages perhaps?

      the security state will work well here to quell dissent.

      1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        The Aztec leaders I’m sure thought there would never be an accounting for their epic mismanagement. Same for the Nazis and the Roman senatorial class.

  12. weinerdog43

    It’s my opinion that Mr. Christie is not only not going to be President, or the Republicica nominee… he is not even going to finish his term.
    Years ago, I worked for a VP who could only be characterized as a gigantic dick, but home office loved him. He belittled his staff, encouraged petty rivalries for his affection, cut budgets for everyone but himself and generally made life miserable for virtually all of his subordinates. Because he ‘hit the numbers’, HO thought he was just fantastic. It was obvious he was being groomed from senior VP status and upwards. Life was so miserable, I had already had a couple of interviews and was trying to ease out the door. One day, however, HR was a buzz with closed door activity. It turns out he was also a serial harasser. Because the charges were pretty awful, HR actually had to do an investigation. Mr. VP was sent home, and later there was literally a line outside the door of people who had a story to tell. He was fired that afternoon. It turned out he fudged the numbers; groped a number of female staffers; and accepted expensive, non reported ‘gifts’ from vendors.
    The moral of my story is that when you step on people, they’ll line up to kick you back when you’re down. We all realized you had to ‘kill the king’ lest he come back. I’m wagering there are dozens of stories where Mr. Christie bullied someone into silence. Only now, they have the protection of an even bigger bully. Christie is going down. He just doesn’t know it yet.

  13. trish anderson

    Christie is the thug-of-choice for the wall street/corporate barons but has been also for many of the “red necks doing the dirty work of the elite” voters, too.
    Christie appeals to the keep-govt-off-my-medicare types, many of whom ignorantly vote against their own interests. They love his bullying I-don’t-take-shit-from-no-teachers (those “over-paid” spongers).
    And I think he appeals to the young wealthy trader/hedge-fund types, too. He’s a bully, self-absorbed, master of the universe, like them…he’s on their side.
    And as Hedges points out, Christie has been pitched to the public as a “regular guy” like Bush, “someone who speaks bluntly and candidly, someone you would want to have a beer with.” But, as he says, “this is public relations crap.”
    Once again our mainstream media taking a politician’s PR and dishing it out like fact.

  14. Chris

    is there any evidence that all of those wall street guys have promised “massive financial backing” besides the author’s word?

  15. Paul Tioxon

    New Jersey is a barrel tapped at both ends according to Ben Franklin. Today, the governor is standing in the place of his state, by being tapped by national and local media of NYC and the local media of Philly. He is bleeding from all orifices and the beatings have only started. Because S Jersey, like its brudder to the North has no TV stations, the NYC and Philadelphia media markets serve the state of NJ with news coverage. So, we on the PA side of Delaware river are never spared one bit of NJ political drama emanating from Trenton. The capital is also on the Delaware River, as is Philadelphia, but the hearts and minds of NJ politicians are firmly controlled by the business interests of the densely populated and heavily dominated by NYC informed North Jersey business interests.

    Gov Christie has been frequently featured for his verbal abuse of the public that dares to voice familiarity or disrespect while out as a man among men on the boardwalk or streets of NJ. Unfortunately, he can’t handle the insolence of the little people who do not all fall down with approval of his bi-partisan, plain talking, get your heads screwed on straight lectures.

    In the above CNN interview the Gov says, sure, I say things that I later apologize for, for going to far, crossing the line, and that’s going to happen again in the future, but with me, you always know who I am and what I’m thinking. He references a conflict on the campaign trail with a teacher where he looks like the bully he is. There are too many clips to present, the parade of Gov as preyed upon victim by idiots, morons, simpletons giggling when he addresses them in an audience. What they reveal is his defensive mindset of a guy who just trying to do his job being beset by rude, impolite, activist elements of an other wise docile electorate. Christie reveals his contempt for citizens by not controlling the simplest immediate impulse to cry like a little child when another person pushes him out of the center of the universe by daring to speak up for themselves, as if he alone deserves respectful attention and can never be publicly contradicted. Such contradiction of his views to him, is an affront to modest, civil discourse where he sets forth his plan of action to destroy schools, universities, teacher unions, journalistic bad form and all of the other modern evils of America as we know it.

    He is not a politician, he does not realize that as the office holder with the power of his entire state bureaucracy at his beck and call, the lone citizen standing before a mic at a town hall is not a rude power grabbing, show seeking questioner of his presumed authority that he tries to characterize. The normal political process for him is too slow, like a deliberative governing body that is not acting like a decisive business, but one that has to take everybody’s concern to heart before handing out the rule of law. He wants to fire at will, say what he wants, as if it is HIS business, his personal property with the right to dispose of anyone and anything as he pleases. This in not politics, this is naked power by abusive force, fear and intimidation wielded by an unbridled ego.

    But the in depth look at Christie is just beginning. It has gone beyond the bridge. It now includes $billions of dollars of federal relief money for Sandy, to help out the victims of NJ battered by the storm. Hoboken after the hurricane was a peace and love moment for the Gov and the Pres, but more like the New Orleans Superdome for 20,000 stranded people who had to wait for several days before the National Guard showed up to retrieve them from the city of 50,000, who live in one square mile, half of which was completely underwater. For days, underwater with no way out the building and raw sewage flushed from sewers into the swamp that used to be the sidewalk. Now, Christie is saying the city of Hoboken was not one of the hardest hit. The mayor of that town, who is now coming out with her allegations that Sandy funds are tied to politically connected real estate developers and without her cooperation the state will hold back relief money, is peeling back the layers of corruption beyond bridge traffic. Aside from the bromide that NY is tapping NJ at its end, there is another saying: New Yorkers are all so depressed because the light at the end of the tunnel is New Jersey.

  16. LizinOregon

    Christie is clearly a jerk and probably a crook. But painting the Republican candidate as another Nero also puts incredible pressure on progressives considering a protest vote to stay in the Democratic fold and vote for Hillary. Get there in the fast lane or a bit later driving the speed limit – we still end up in the same place.

    1. Gaius Publius

      Understood, LizinOregon. I hate the blackmail that comes round every two to four years. trish anderson earlier in this thread talked about how the corporate Dems and Rs act like good cop–bad cop for the wealthy they both serve. Very true.

      That’s why I want to see Christie’s chess piece off the board before 2016 even starts to roll around. He may well be unelectable — I wrote in 2011 that he has scandals like anvils around his feet, just waiting to come to the surface in a real national race — but why take that chance?

      I do think Hedges is right, that Christie is uniquely dangerous, and would therefore overly-focus progressives on his defeat if he were the nominee. We need instead to be focused on the Dem nominee, to make sure we don’t have a neoliberal frontrunner chasing every real progressive from the race. IMO of course.

      Thanks for the comment.


      1. LizinOregon

        I totally agree, Gaius Publius, with your desire to see Christie off the stage before he can play the role of big, bad cop. His bullying alone is reason enough for me. It’s frightening to imagine that sort of personality holding the reins of foreign policy.

        A good post with much to think about.

      2. Synopticist

        Yes, I agree, he’s particularly dangerous. Every time I start thinking that nothing could be as bad as the wall street wing of the democratic party, along comes a mad dog like McCain, an entitled machine-gun-lying plutocrat like Romney, or a psychotic union-busting corporate hatchet man.

        William Neil’s comment just below illustrates Christies’ appeal, the right wing, reactionary populist who’ll “level the playing field” in favour of those common folks who don’t have public sector unions and enviromental regulations to protect them. He has the Reagan-like potential to make non-southern whites vote against their own interests

        It would be great to take him down now, because no-one else in the republican party has that populist/oligarch/corporate combo on anything like the same scale. That might give the democrats a chance to run some genuinely left candidates of their own, rather than a “safety first’ Hillary type.

        1. JTFaraday

          “That might give the democrats a chance to run some genuinely left candidates of their own”

          Not going to happen.

        2. William Neil


          Christie’s early success and his ability to hide what Bill Wolfe has called a hard-right policy agenda all along leads me to ask a broader question about the range our society gives to the emotional side of politics: are there two standards, one for the left and one for the right? Does the right get a chance to exercise more “animal spirits,” to harness the anger of the middle class and direct it downward (see Rick Perlstein’s “Nixonland” ) in a way the left does not get to exercise it upward, no matter the “objective” circumstances of the political economy?

          And were the 1960’s also an example when the left outside the Democratic Party was more visceral, in the street, black protest and anti-war protest, generating the tinder for the reaction that Nixon helped capture, and with the nation moving steadily to the Right since the mid-1970’s? When things go very wrong in our economy, where does that anger go? Is Howard Dean’s fate – and he was not very left in matters of political economy – an example of this limited emotional range?

          Is President Obama symptomatic of this tendency, taking extra-pains not to be seen treading near that dangerous ground of the angry black man, to point where, during the stand-offs with the Right in Congress, he was always retreating until the nation as a whole seemed to demand that he not retreat? Arguably, Bill Clinton was able to display passion – I’ve called him the most passionate Centrist around – but note that it was not an ideologically oriented passion.

          1. JTFaraday

            “Christie’s early success and his ability to hide what Bill Wolfe has called a hard-right policy agenda”

            Anything you think Chris Christie is hiding right now, in January 2013, any nationally successful D-Party candidate is going to be hiding in 2016.

            They’re just going to use a slightly different style sheet. One that appeals to you.

            1. William Neil

              Sorry, how many times do you think someone would fall for the left “populist” head fakes: 1976, 1992, 2008…give me a break. I don’t believe Mrs. Clinton would be good for the nation. A genuine populism of the left has to be built outside the Democratic Party and any inside the party candidate who gestures in that direction will have a very heavy burden of evidence to overcome.

              1. JTFaraday

                I wasn’t referring to Hillary Clinton. There are plenty of faux progressive policy entrepreneurs out there already from which you (and she or whoever) can choose.

                It’s not like they come up with this stuff by themselves.

              2. JTFaraday

                I said they would style sheet would appeal to you, just like they sold the Heritage Healthcare plan to liberals c. 2008 using Jacob Hacker.

                There are plenty of faux progressive policy entrepreneurs planted out there already from which liberals c. 2016 (and HRC or whoever else) can choose.

                It’s not like they come up with this stuff by themselves. You’re probably eating it up already.

                The hallmark of the whole era is deception.

                1. JTFaraday

                  Okay, let’s try that again:

                  “I said they would use a style sheet that would appeal to you”…

                  These people aren’t stupid.

    2. Linda J

      That is what this story added up to for me. The Repugs are so bad we just have to vote Dem. I’m sick to death of this lesser evil game. I’ve been sick of it since I started working and voting for Nader in his first run.

      The country has continued to suffered from this psychosis and will not snap out of it until we stop playing. As Hedges must remember, Obama is worse than Bush. Why is Hedges playing this game? The democracy he speaks of is already gone. Time to win it back by independent activity instead putting lipstick on the Democrat pig, whomever that may turn out to be.

      1. Linda J

        What I mean is that we cannot operate out of fear.

        “This playbook of fear has not been limited to motivating military actions. Environmentalists, once ridiculed as “tree-huggers” are now often characterized as “environmental terrorists” — as individuals we should fear and neutralize. The hacktivist Jeremy Hammond, who exposed the nefarious dealings of the private intelligence corporation Stratfor and its clients, was characterized as someone seeking to cause “mayhem” by Federal District Judge Loretta Preska when she sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

        “In each case, the images of mushroom clouds, environmental terrorists and agents of mayhem were used to justify actions that would otherwise seem excessive – all in the service of protecting corporate interests.

        “Whatever their motivation, by using fear to induce the rollback of individual rights, politicians, judges and lawmakers are working against the hard-won democratic principles and ideals that we and other democracies have defended for almost 250 years. They are manipulating our fears to undo centuries of democratic reform. And it doesn’t matter if the empowered leader is called a king or a prime minister or a president; the end result is that fear has been used to place us back under the yoke of Hobbes’s sovereign and Machiavelli’s prince.

        “Yet ultimately we are not powerless. We can resist the impulse to be afraid. We may not at the moment have answers to the very real dangers that we face in this world, but we can begin to identify those dangers and seek solutions once we overcome our fear. Or as Bertrand Russell rather more elegantly put it, as World War II was drawing to a close, “to conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”

        Peter Ludlow in NYTimes “Fifty States of Fear”:

  17. Larry Barber

    Why are they slandering Al Capone so? He would at least kill you in person, and be honest about why he was doing so.

  18. Maude

    I don’t know… A coworker who would never say anything bad out loud about a possible GOP prez candidate was crowing the other day that Christie was going down. It was rather strange. I think someone on the right is feeding this because they smell blood in the water and they hate Christie. It’s seems like a fight within the party.

    Also, all these Dem mayors ‘endorsing’ Christie? I think they were all scared he would come after them (read the stories of Christie as AG) and rattle the skeletons in their closet so they played along until this… Safety in numbers.

  19. William Neil

    Bill Wolfe, who heads the NJ office of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has been documenting the troubling rise of Governor Christie ever since his election, and has directly anticipated, called head-on, the temperament only now breaking into full press examination. Here’s a very recent sample at his website:

    Full disclosure: Bill is a friend and my former environmental colleague in New Jersey, but he understands the full political ramifications of Christie for public policy, and has been equally tough on the Democratic politicians who have helped enable him, and Michael Powell has a good sample of that in today’s NY Times.

    On the day the Fort Lee traffic jam payback story broke on the front page of the NY Times, there was another story running on page A-17 (this was January 9th: “Fighting a Pipeline, but Feeling and Fearing Christie’s Influence”) about another effort emanating from the Governor’s office to knock off a potential no vote on the Pinelands Commission weighing approval of a fracked gas pipeline through their jurisdiction. It is not pleasant reading but illuminating here at

    I think your story has got some of the Christie appeal; a touch of Nixon playing upon very frustrated and economically troubled middle class voters, but also more than a touch of William Graham Sumner’s late 19th century “The Forgotten Man’s” theme, how the middle class taxpayer will pay for programs to help the poorer portions of society…skillfully playing on all the bitterness underneath the American Dream, now souring…and the hard to understand but nonetheless very real resentments towards helping the allegedly undeserving. That’s the reactionary populist side of Christie, going after the alleged fat pensions of public employees, and scapegoating public school teachers for the broader failures of our culture. I think Bill Wolfe has said it…the potential to be a rightwing Huey Long.
    I’ll leave it at that.

    1. Dwight

      The story in the NY Times was interesting. Law professor and commission member Ed Lloyd recused himself because he was falsely told that the State Ethics Commission had ordered him to recuse himself, then learned in the NY Times that the State Ethics Commission had not made such an order. Sad that lawyers lied to a lawyer, and sad how easy it was to get a lawyer off a commission with a false claim.

      1. William Neil


        How many lawyers are there in NJ – tens of thousands, if not more…but they don’t seem to have jumped into this recusal matter, which is very troubling from start to conclusion. I believe Professor Lloyd plans to appeal to the Ethics Commission, who didn’t make the decision! The basis of the Attorney General and Gov’s office demand didn’t look very solid to me: a non-profit legal entity Lloyd sits on the Board of sent a letter to the Pinelands protesting lack of timing for public notice, Lloyd didn’t know about it at all and the request was later withdrawn. Meanwhile, the Christie appointee who heads the Pinelands Commission staff has extensive experience as one of the chief lobbyists for the NJ Builders – which in my experience in NJ, seems to be directly at odds with the mission of the Pinelands Commission, which is to preserve, not build, except in very limited and specified areas. Go figure; looks like hardball on shaky grounds all the way to me. What say you, lawyering tens of thousands?

  20. sgt_doom

    Chris Christie’s Shysters

    The newsies recently announced that the law firm Chris Christie has retained is none other than Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (GD&C), the White Shoe shyster firm with a most illustrious past.

    Smart move on Christie’s part as the US attorney has sought the FBI to aid in their investigation of Christie, and FBI director, James Comey, once worked for GD&C (small world, huh?).

    When a major corporation has hired assassins to murder union organizers and protestors in Columbia, who you gonna call?

    Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, of course, who have successfully represented such demon corporations in the past.

    Iran-Contra? Who do you think, GD&C, naturally!

    GD&C represented George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore, successfully helping in the stealing of the 2000 presidential election!

    They successfully represented Citizens United, as one would expect, furthering the dismantling of the American economy by helping further the super-rights of vile corporations.

    And some of those shyster doods at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (GD&C): Antonin Scalia’s son (Antonin is on the US Supreme Court, in case you weren’t aware of that), and Ted Olson, George W. Bush’s solictor general, whose wife sadly died aboard one of those four airliners involved on that horrible day of 9/11/01; after the insurance settlement came through on her, Ted quickly moved on to wife number four. Olson was also on Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra legal team, then would later work for Richard Mellon Scaife on his “Arkansas Project” — digging up dirt on the Clintons (also on that project was Kenneth Starr, grandnephew of the founder of AIG, Cornelius Vander Starr, and a future special prosecutor of President Clinton).

    Ted Olson also represented Geo. W. Bush in Bush v. Gore at GD&C, and would later be lead attorney representing Citizens’ United before the Supreme Court — small world, huh?

    [Historical Note: Shyster was originally coined by New York City reporter, Rip Van Dam, in reference to corrupt politicians at Tammany Hall, NYC’s City Hall back in the day. Shyster was a nickname used for the workers who followed the horse and carriages (this was before automobiles) to shovel up the horse droppings. As many politicians also “read the law” (were lawyers), the derogatory term came to be used interchangeably with politicians and lawyers. Originally from the Old Dutch, similar to German Scheisse.]

  21. g3

    I wonder why the sudden violent interest by the lamestream media in amplifying this scandal after they propped him up as a bipartisan figure? If media had done their job, maybe Christie wouldn’t be governor now.
    I am not an NJ resident but learnt that he did it smoothly what Scott Walker did with fanfare – attacking public sector unions’ rights. He used a turncoat from the Dem party for the deciding vote. Wonder how much traction this got among NJ liberals who voted for him? I have (liberal) family members who voted for him and all they said was “Dem party machine! Corruption! we need to teach them a lesson!”. They even played down the teacher who was attacked by Christie saying she was the one who started the problem and she deserved to be shamed.

  22. Jeremy Grimm

    I’m curious about the timing of the tempest around Christie. We just had an election for governor in New Jersey. The Democratic party offered no support to Barbara Buono who ran a forgetable campaign with what resources she had to work with. Suddenly, in January after the election, the newspapers discover that Christie has more skeletons in his closet than Fibber Mcgee has junk. Why now? Why couldn’t they discover this sometime before the election? I could never get very excited about Barbara Buono as governor but Christie?
    The timiing may be just coincidence. This particular coincidence is indeed puzzling. If Gaius Publius is correct in identifying the faction supporting Christie, who are the memebers of the opposing faction? I don’t believe the free and responsible press only now discovered the facts and discovered its voice. What wheels are in motion and who is turning them? I think there’s much more behind this little new event but I’m not sure exactly what.

  23. Don Lowell

    Rather than Capone he reminds me of Nucky Thompson…… The investagators are now talking RICO which ups the ante big time. It also seems his LT GOv. is just like him.

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