Saturday, June 28, 2014

Looks like NJ's Imperial Thieving Fat Bastard isn't going to be toiling on a chain gang anytime soon


"Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go." You'd think by now NJ's Imperial Thieving Fat Bastard governor would be packing his toothbrush for a decade or two in the slammer, but it isn't looking that way. And "Scummy Joe" Scarborough will tell us why.

by Ken

For now, anyway, the last word apparently goes to "Scummy Joe" Scarborough, who now seems to have officially set himself up as apologist of and coddler of right-wing Imperial Thieving Fat Bastards.

MediaMatters took the trouble to document ("STUDY: New Investigation Into Gov. Christie Adminstration Virtually Ignored By Major Networks") that essentially no TV network news attention was paid, except by MSNBC, to the New York Times's carefully researched and documented story earlier in the week ("2nd Bridge Inquiry Said to Be Linked to Christie," by Matt Flegenheimer, William K. Rashbaum, and Kate Zernike) about multiple dimensions of illegality under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission to the way New Jersey's Imperial Thieving Fat Bastard of a governor swindled a couple of billion dollars out of his favorite patsy, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. (Okay, that's my characterization of the ITFB's alleged crimes.)

As Erik Wemple subsequently noted on his blog, "No surprises in that data set. MSNBC, after all, has provided extensive coverage of all things related to Christie and Jersey infrastructure ever since the George Washington Bridge scandal exploded in January."

However, Erik also notes:
Some of that MSNBC coverage, however, wasn’t terribly complimentary of the New York Times scoop. On his June 24 program, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough ripped the story and its placement on page A1: “This is garbage,” he said, adding that it’s a “joke of a story to put on the front page.”
Apparently Scummy Joe has higher standards when it comes to possible illegalities imputed to Republican thieving bastards. Stealing a couple of billion dollars? "A joke of a story to put on the front page."


Well, no, I don't like his politics, but I don't think the people who elected him governor twice don't know much about the politics being practiced in their name.

The money in question is money that -- and I don't think there's any question about this -- the Imperial Thieving Fat Bastard extorted out of the PANYNJ for use to do repairs to the Pulaski Skyway. It's money that magically became "available" after the ITFB unilaterally canceled the long-planned trans-Hudson tunnel, in a fog of obfuscations and outright lies (as the man ever told the truth about anything in public? ever?), despite its substantial and obvious value to large numbers of New Jerseyans, and then magically became available. Like for pilfering ITFBs.

Okay, let's have some facts. MediaMatters quotes two chunks from the NYT report:
The inquiries into securities law violations focus on a period of 2010 and 2011 when Gov. Chris Christie's administration pressed the Port Authority to pay for extensive repairs to the Skyway and related road projects, diverting money that was to be used on a new Hudson River rail tunnel that Mr. Christie canceled in October 2010.

Again and again, Port Authority lawyers warned against the move: The Pulaski Skyway, they noted, is owned and operated by the state, putting it outside the agency's purview, according to dozens of memos and emails reviewed by investigators and obtained by The New York Times.

But the Christie administration relentlessly lobbied to use the money for the Skyway, with Mr. Christie announcing publicly that the state planned to rely on Port Authority funds even before an agreement was reached. Eventually, the authority justified the Skyway repairs by casting the bridge as an access road to the Lincoln Tunnel, even though they are not directly connected.
Hmm, "Again and again, Port Authority lawyers warned against the move," eh? "Not directly connected," eh, the skyway and the tunnel? Well, and this is just an Imperial Thieving Fat Bastard brainstorming, what if we were to make up some cover name?
In bond documents describing the Skyway reconstruction and other repairs, the Port Authority has called the projects "Lincoln Tunnel Access Infrastructure Improvements."

The accuracy of this characterization is now a major focus of the investigations, according to several people briefed on the matter. Under a New York State law known as the Martin Act, prosecutors can bring felony charges for intentionally deceiving bond holders, without having to prove any intent to defraud or even establish that any fraud occurred.


I know I will be castigated for referring mockingly to the Imperial Thieving Fat Bastard's all-adulthood grotesque obesity. I'm sorry, though, it's who he is -- a loathsome, greedy, self-absorbed beast of limitless ravenous appetites who has flaunted his loathsomeness, greed, self-absorption, and limitless ravenous appetites. I think he want anyone who deals with him to know that he is an imperial thieving fat bastard. Play ball with him (and you remember how, when he was trying to separate himself from the crackpot-thug high school crony David Wildstein whom he planted at the PANYNJ, he depicted is old pal as a solitary high school wacko and himself as "an athlete"), and you'll be rewarded; fuck with him and, well, you risk suffering the wrath of an Imperial Thieving Fat Bastard.

You know, sort of the way Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer revealed the ITFB administration had threatened her city's Sandy recovery money if she didn't play ball with one of his high-stakes development scams. Does anyone really believe Mayor Zimmer made this up? It fits perfectly with the ITFB adminsitration's pattern of carrot-and-stick intimidation and thuggery. And again, I don't think the ITFB's "people" were all that shy about it. Intimidation doesn't work if the people you want to keep in line don't know they're under threat. It's just that nobody dares go public, for fear of, well, incurring the consequences. And the ITFB had a near-ironclad defense: You can't prove nuttin', coppers. And he should know, having been the kind of U.S. attorney Karl Rove loved, the kind who knew which criminals to sit on and which to send on their way with a friendly athlete's pat on the rump.


Well, lucky for them. Their ITFB did a little something for them. At the same time, of course, he was bribing labor unions to whom chunks of that money would be flowing into playing ball with him. And who knows how many other ITFB cronies and seduction targets got their cuts? We do know about the merriment with which once-respected former NJ AG David Sansom, installed by the ITFB as his personal stooge-chariman of the PANYNJ, approved deals for which he got his cut as attorney for the lucky recipients.

But gosh, you say, the Pulaski Skyway needed rebuilding, and the state of New Jersey couldn't afford to do it.

Well, boo-hoo. Did you notice just recently that when the state of New Jersey couldn't afford to honor its legal obligations, and the ITFB decided that meant he could slash $904M from the state's contribution to its retirees' benefits (and another $1.57B next year!), and a bunch of unions sued, just this week --
A New Jersey judge on Wednesday refused to force Governor Chris Christie to restore almost a billion dollars in funds that he cut from the state's 2014 pension contribution.

The state's fiscal crisis trumped public workers' contractual rights, granted under the state's 2011 pension reform law, to the full contribution, according to Judge Mary Jacobson's ruling.
Public sector unions sued the Christie administration after he slashed $904 million from this year's pension contribution and directed the legislature to cut $1.57 billion from next year's budget, too.
Golly gee, wasn't it just this past fall that the state was a picture of financial health thanks to its ITFB governor's bold fiscal prudence? And now, gosh sucks, there's just no money for retired state workers. Apparently when it comes to state workers, as opposed to private-sector unions he's trying to bribe or connected cronies he's trying to enrich, boo-hoo, Your Honor, there's just no money to be found.

"Scummy Joe" Scarborough doesn't see anything wrong here. After all, he's just being a forceful leader for the people of his state. Well, no, he's being a forceful enforcer and enricher for the rich of his state, or else he wouldn't be doing it in secret through intimidation, extortion, and embezzlement. I guess "Scummy Joe" understands that the reason we have government is to help the rich become richer, and the reason we have elections is so the people can decide who they want deciding which rich people should get how much richer.

In the case of the canceled trans-Hudson tunnel, I think we can conclude that

These are, after all, economically troubled times -- after the ITFB's reelection win, that is. State government can't fill the pockets of every overprivileged supplicant.

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