Monday Morning Politics: NSA Changes; Christie's Troubles

Monday, January 20, 2014

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for The Washington Post, rounds up the latest political news, from the federal budget to Obama's NSA speech, to the national impact of Chris Christie's growing scandals.


Karen Tumulty

Comments [25]


Breaking News: Govenors of NJ are rumored to be corrupt!

Christie R
Corzine D
McCreepy D

The same appears to be in the White House as well:

Obama D
Bush R
Clinton D
Bush R

I guess it only matters if its not the guy you voted for.

Jan. 20 2014 08:50 PM
Keira from Manhattan

In the case of Hoboken, the Rockefeller development was being pushed by Christie/Samson's own political (and financial?) interests. In the Fort Lee case, the Christie administration was threatening a land development project as a means of retaliating against mayor Sokolich's withheld re-election endorsement. In denying any involvement in the lane closings, Governor Chtistie let this drop:

"The fact that one town has three lanes dedicated to it, that kind of gets me sauced," Christie said Dec. 2 in response to Democratic lawmakers subpoenaing the director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey".

The whole lanes shutdown was clearly engineered for this moment. That comment would have sent a shiver through Mayor Sokolich and the developers of the Fort Lee project. Of course the great Christie unravelling now makes a follow through on such a threat impossible.

Jan. 20 2014 02:25 PM

I seem to remember back during the invasion of Iraq at the height of the Bush years when an anti-war group ran an ad that called him "General Betrayus" all these future Bengazi kooks were crying and screaming. Oh how the times have changed...or should I say "flip-flopped"?

Jan. 20 2014 12:28 PM

Saint David of Petraeus -- CIA head during the time of the attack.

The CIA had an operational presence 1 mile from the Benghazi outpost.

Why did they not arrive to defend?

Why did the US military command in Africa not know that the CIA even had a presence in Benghazi so they could call them for assistance?

And WHY has Saint David of Petraeus NOT been called up to Capitol Hill for relentless grilling?

Finally, during the Bush administration, 11 embassies were attacked and 60 people were killed. How does this even compare to 1 embassy and 4 people dead?


Jan. 20 2014 11:10 AM

Saint David of Petraeus -- CIA head during the time of the attack.

The CIA had an operational presence 1 mile from the Benghazi outpost.

Why did they not arrive to defend?

Why did the US military command in Africa not know that the CIA even had a presence in Benghazi so they could call them for assistance?

And WHY has Saint David of Petraeus NOT been called up to Capitol Hill for relentless grilling?

Finally, during the Bush administration, 11 embassies were attacked and 60 people were killed. How does this even compare to 1 embassy and 4 people dead?


Jan. 20 2014 11:09 AM

When everything is "Gate", nothing is afforded the critical gaze that should be demanded!

Jan. 20 2014 11:01 AM

…'cause I'm sick and tired of being "sold" serious and complex issues with DUMBED-down soundbites!!

That's why.

Jan. 20 2014 10:56 AM
Hillary B-D from Manhattan

On Bridgegate: The smartest thing I've heard on Christie and Bridgegate, and only heard it once, was that Christie must have been aware of a massive traffic jam on a major bridge in his state. Why wouldn't he have looked into it and tried to resolve it asap??

On Dawn Zimmer: This mayor needed something from the governor so she tried to be a politician and cozy up to him for as long as she could. When she realized he was pressuring others, not only her, for something he wanted, she came forward. I think the fact that she had recently praised him to the media is specious. The mayor was just looking out for her city's interests and was still hoping the Sandy funds she requested would be forthcoming.

On Swift-Boating Kerry: Kerry won! The Ohio Sec'y of State just made sure OH didn't tally in Kerry's column. Someone wrote a book on this! It's amazing to me how long this has been quashed.

On Benghazi: Tragic. However, there were many hot spots and funding was limited. As has been said, Chris Stevens wanted to blend in as much as possible and turned down offers of greater security.

Do you mean to tell me that this issue is going to be more damaging to Hillary than going into a false war and destroying the balance of power in the Middle East was to George W Bush?

Maybe it will be because Democrats and allies of Hillary can never be as ruthless as swift boat types and Darrell Issa. Speaking of Issa, I will never forget that he was predicting if Kerry won the election he would be holding hearings during his whole tenure blaming the Bush administration for everything that went wrong during its time in office.

Wow. Looks like Issa is quite the hypocrite but somehow I don't think he minds the label and would deny until eternity.

There. I feel better now having said this.

Hillary B-D, NYC

Jan. 20 2014 10:45 AM


"PLEASE don't say the corporate media moniker, BridgeGate™."

I don't get the problem with calling it BridgeGate? The lane closure scandal is the first one since Watergate to have so many of that 42 years ago scandal's elements. Misuse of government authority, lying to cover-up misdeeds, eventual unraveling of the cover story...I'm waiting for an 18 minute gap in secret recordings! [There are also side elements: the governor's passive demurral, "Mistakes were made." Yes. We know. How did they get made and how are YOU going make sure they can NEVER recur? And the repeat of the near classic "I am not a ..." recast of Nixon's overstatement.] (I am pretty sure that some of these statements have lead to John Dean's doing a face palm!)

Is it that -Gate suffix has lost so much of its meaning or is there another reason not to use it?

Jan. 20 2014 10:42 AM

A NJ county prosecutor is sacked after looking into a sheriff's officer with Republican links and he's fired by the state...

Jan. 20 2014 10:35 AM
Amy from Manhattan

sk & dboy, Brian's analogy was not btwn. the actual events at Benghazi & at the GWB (& at the Watergate Hotel) but about the way the gov't. officials' reaction to the original events made each incident into a much bigger scandal.

fuva, Brian said the possibility of a direct connection w/Gov. Christie & the order to close the GWB lanes could turn out to be nothing, not the orchestration of the closure by high officials in his administration. It's exactly the "AT LEAST" that you mention.

oscar, "son of Zion"?? "Cuban crimewave"?? *huh*?? What are you talking about, & even if Christie were Jewish &/or Cuban, what would that have to do w/whatever he has or hasn't done as governor?

Jan. 20 2014 10:34 AM

Brian, do you really believe that the foreign spying was secret from those foreign countries we spied on????

It's another instance of letting the American public know what we are doing even though our foreign targets are well aware of at least some of our actions due to their intelligence operations & their ops counter to ours.

Let some reality into the discussion.

Jan. 20 2014 10:34 AM

PLEASE don't say the corporate media moniker, BridgeGate™.


Jan. 20 2014 10:23 AM

Which is worse?

1) Evidence of willful misuse of the power of the state to hurt political enemies regardless of how many citizens are collaterally harmed?


2) Failing to take steps to avoid a preventable attack on embassy personnel. There are many "If only we had..." in the Benghazi attack. Congress cut $450M for the State Dept. security budget over the previous two years; Ambassador Stevens liked to be among the Libyans and was well-regarded by him (but harder to protect); co-location of the CIA station with our embassy. This failure is far more than HRC's baby. However, it's not how the FoxNewsies are being sold and like it or not FoxNews is preaching to 40% of the electorate.

Yeah...four dead is worse than a traffic jam but the level of direct culpability isn't really comparable, is it?

Jan. 20 2014 10:22 AM

Benghazi = Jersey lane closures??


Oh, that's right, a disgruntled Hillary Clinton called-in those embassy strikes for retribution…

Chris Stevens forgot to have the caterer bring in Hillary's favorite almond toffee crunch flavored decaf coffee for the last meeting she attended at the Embassy.


Jan. 20 2014 10:20 AM
fuva from harlemworld

sk, exactly. We cannot solve the problems we face with this poor analysis.

Jan. 20 2014 10:20 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Benghazi may have been a complete failure, but it wasn't completely on the part of the State Dept. It wasn't their fault that no military resources were available that could reach Benghazi in time to help the people at the consulate.

Jan. 20 2014 10:18 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Bridgegate is orchestrated by senior Christie officials (AT LEAST), and yet "it could turn out to be nothing"?...Yet more failing analysis.

Jan. 20 2014 10:17 AM

When Mayor Zimmer was on Brian's show a week or so ago, she said that, with hindsight, she was wondering if the small amount of Sandy funding given to Hoboken was due to her not endorsing Christie. Why do you think she would say that if she knew it was linked to the building project?

Jan. 20 2014 10:17 AM

how is benghazi the same thing as bridgegate??? with bridgegate, christie and his cronies had no misgivings about using their power to deliberately screw over innocent people. with benghazi, people died from a bad decision but it wasn't as a result of the state dept deliberately trying to kill people to "get back" at republicans. the comparison makes no sense.

Jan. 20 2014 10:16 AM
Estelle from Brooklyn

What does it show about right wing Republicans that they embrace Christie because he may be totally crooked?

Jan. 20 2014 10:12 AM
oscar from ny

..disgusting ..Christie again is part of the Cuban crimewave..I rather watch TV than to be insane enough to go and vote this legitimate son of Zion into anything..this country will be ruined by corruption of these high ranking devil slaves..

Jan. 20 2014 10:11 AM

Bri'…consensual sex between adults (Clinton/Lewinsky) is not analogous to traffic terrorism retribution.

Jan. 20 2014 10:10 AM

'Politics as usual' in New Jersey are apparently very much a case of 'You wash my hands, I'll wash yours.' I would like to see it end but we have nothing effective to take its place. I can imagine a more proper method yielding lower costs and better government but I can also imagine it becoming worse.

Jan. 20 2014 10:07 AM
Ed from Larchmont

A UN committee grilled a Vatican official last week in Europe. (It's so ironic - the committee to defend the child. Meanwhile the UN promotes the killing of how many million children in abortion around the world, while the Catholic Church protests against it, in defense of children.)
Anyway, the official revealed a fact that had been reported in public reports of the Vatican, but overlooked since it's in Latin, that during the last two years of his pontificate Pope Benedict laicized (returned to the lay state, removed from the priesthood) 400 priests who had been clearly guilty of sexual abuse of minors.
The media has been saying that the Church didn't care, wasn't acting, etc., blah, blah, when in truth Pope Benedict, while making sure people were judged fairly, has always worked on this problem, to the point where the Church has a model program of child protection.

Jan. 20 2014 08:07 AM

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