WORLD WITHOUT FACTS, AMEN: The craziness of Matthews and Maddow!

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014

Interlude—No respect at all: Does respect for information and facts play any role in our “journalism?”

Any role at all?

More specifically: As the liberal world develops news organs, do we maintain any standards—any standards at all—for people like Matthews and Maddow?

Chris Matthews has been an obvious journalistic fraud since the 1990s. More recently, Rachel Maddow has been in a remarkable downward spiral. Her work resembles Matthews’ work more with each passing day.

We’re thinking of the way these TV stars have reported on the Mastro report. Before we examine the pitiful gong-shows these corporate millionaires have staged, we need to do a bit of review about what that document claims.

The Mastro report is very weak in a wide assortment of ways. But it seems to include some new information, and it offers a new theory about the possible motivation for the Fort Lee lane closings.

We’ll say one thing for the Mastro report—it explicitly says that it couldn’t establish the “ulterior motive” for the lane closings. Its basic stance concerning motive is laid out right on page 2, in its executive summary

To peruse the report, click here:
MASTRO REPORT (page 2): Our investigation found that David Wildstein (then of the Port Authority) and Bridget Kelly (then one of the Deputy Chiefs of Staff in the Governor’s Office) knowingly participated in this plan to realign toll lanes leading onto the George Washington Bridge at Fort Lee, at least in part, for some ulterior motive to target Mayor Sokolich...

What motivated this act is not yet clear. The common speculation that this was an act of political retaliation because Mayor Sokolich failed to endorse the Governor for re-election is not established by the evidence that we have seen. By his own account, Mayor Sokolich had a “good relationship” with the Christie Administration. He was therefore considered a Democrat who might cross party lines to endorse the Governor’s re-election. But by late March 2013, both the Governor’s Office and his campaign knew that Mayor Sokolich would not be endorsing, yet that had no apparent effect upon his working relationship with the Christie Administration over the next several months. Indeed, by April 2013, Sokolich was no longer on the list of Mayors whose endorsement the campaign would be seeking; yet in mid-May 2013, he remained on a list of Mayors being considered for honorary appointments by the Governor.
The body of the Mastro report goes into more detail, offering documentation. But that represents its basic approach to the question of motivation—more specifically, to the idea that Sokolich was being punished by the lane closings for his failure to endorse.

According to the Mastro report, the Christie Administration knew by late March 2013 that Sokolich would not be endorsing Christie. According to the report, Sokolich’s name was removed at that time from the list of Democratic mayors being pursued for endorsement, but he was still well regarded within the administration.

We can’t evaluate those claims, in part because major news orgs have almost completely ignored this part of the report. Below, you see a more detailed account of this matter from the body of the report.

Matt Mowers and Evan Ridley were Sokolich’s contact points within the Christie administration. They worked under Bridget Kelly:
MASTRO REPORT (page 51): In January 2013, Mayor Sokolich’s name appeared on a list of 21 Democratic Mayors from whom the re-election campaign intended to seek endorsements. According to Mayor Sokolich, neither Mowers nor Ridley ever “asked directly” for Sokolich to endorse Governor Christie…

Consistent with Mayor Sokolich’s recollection, according to Mowers, he and Sokolich generally discussed a potential endorsement of Governor Christie on two occasions. First, on February 5, 2013, Mowers met with Mayor Sokolich; during that lunch meeting, Sokolich first brought up the possibility that he might endorse Governor Christie. Indeed, in a contemporaneous email summary of the meeting sent to Sheridan, Mowers wrote that “the topic of endorsement” was “one he [Sokolich] raised.”

Second, on March 26, 2013, Mowers had dinner with Mayor Sokolich in Fort Lee, at which time Mowers and Sokolich again discussed a potential endorsement. Mowers recalled that Mayor Sokolich said he was supportive of Governor Christie, but could not publicly endorse the Governor...That night, Mowers confirmed Mayor Sokolich’s decision not to endorse in writing, texting Sheridan that Mayor Sokolich “is going to be a no. It’s a shame too—I really like the guy.”

When Mayor Sokolich decided not to endorse, his name was removed from the Christie re-election campaign’s internal target list. Mayor Sokolich’s name did not appear on several internal endorsement status memoranda prepared by Sheridan and Renna in April and June, 2013. And Ridley’s contemporaneous summaries of his meetings with Mayor Sokolich confirm that Mayor Sokolich’s position on endorsement did not change throughout that summer.

Mayor Sokolich’s decision not to publicly endorse Governor Christie, conveyed to Mowers on March 26, 2013, does not appear to have affected Mayor Sokolich’s standing with respect to the Administration. To the contrary, Mayor Sokolich was included on an appointment list of Mayors considered for potential appointments. And more broadly, numerous other Democratic municipal officials whose endorsement the campaign targeted ultimately declined to endorse Governor Christie publicly, yet were typically treated no differently.
In the judgment of the Mastro report, that chronology casts doubt on the idea that the lane closings were intended to punish Sokolich for his failure to endorse.

According to the report, the administration knew in March that Sokolich wouldn’t endorse.

According to the report, the administration didn’t seem upset or offended. Kelly’s email about Fort Lee was sent almost five months later.

Making use of various emails, the report asserts that Kelly and Wildstein did seem to have a fairly obvious animus toward Sokolich. But the report says it couldn’t determine the nature of that animus.

We can’t confirm the accuracy of the history laid out above. In its latest amazing display, the press corps has almost completely ignored this part of the Mastro report.

Few news orgs have even reported the fact that the Mastro report lays out this history. They’ve preferred to search for single words in the 340-page report which can be used to drive preferred cultural narratives.

Obviously, those same news orgs haven’t tried to evaluate this part of the Mastro report. Is the basic history well documented? How strong are the judgments which are based on that history?

The New York Times hasn’t tried to answer those basic questions. This part of the Mastro report went unmentioned in the Times’ initial reporting last Friday. According to a Nexis search, this part of the Mastro report has never been mentioned in the hard-copy Times at all.

The New York Times hasn’t discussed that part of the Mastro report. Disgracefully, Matthews and Maddow have.

In a journalistic world, they’d be fired for the way they’ve done that.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at Matthews’ astonishing work on Monday and Tuesday nights of this week. After that, we’ll look at Maddow’s appalling performance last Thursday night.

Matthews has been an obvious fraud for a very long time now. Maddow seems to be losing her soul to her wealth and her fame, as has happened to many before her.

That said, their work has been astoundingly bad. Once again, we ask our basic questions:

As the liberal world creates its news organs, do we maintain any standards for the work of our multimillionaire TV stars?

Any standards at all?

More personally, will the Drums, the Chaits, the Pareenes, the Dionnes ever speak up about our tribe’s obvious frauds and their endless journalistic hoaxes? When push comes to shove, do we in the modern “liberal” world maintain any standards at all?

Tomorrow: A long-standing fraud

Barely discussed in the Times: As best we can tell, this part of the Mastro report has never been mentioned in the hard-copy New York Times.

On-line, this minor, two-paragraph treatment appeared. Given the prominence of the “failure to endorse” theory, the news judgment strikes us as strange.

60 comments:

  1. At what stage of gestation does the Liberal World develop new organs?

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    1. Should have said "news" organs. But I could have said any organs.

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  2. Bob - the walls have come down. A long time ago. Progressives don't care about these standards. Drum, Pareene ect will not speak up to the Maddows etc. If they do, they will be attacked by fools in the same way you are. The quality of mainstream journalism will not improve. You are chasing your tail. We are like drunks. We have to crash. There is no other hope. It's a very human arc.

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    1. Yes, the quality of mainstream journalism has deteriorate so badly that mainstream reporters are no longer taking official reports like Mastro's at face value, but instead are testing them against known facts to see if they hold water, while continuing to ask tough questions.

      How will democracy ever survive?

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    2. Democracy has already not survived.

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    3. On Bill Maher's show, Josh Gadd was talking about how widely and quickly false tweets propagate. The hope was that the internet might provide a place for correction of false info because of the opportunity for individual access, but when falsity occurs in such massive waves that it swamps individual voices, what good does it do any single person to have a blog and try to correct the massive amounts of misinformation? Somerby is trying to hold back the ocean. Cynical folks are instead trying to direct those waves in ways that serve their own purposes. I count Maddow among them, and Zernicke.

      People as individuals are smart. People in mobs are dangerous and very dumb. If our communication devolves into group think directed by hidden interests, we might as well be living in a totalitarian state. Soon there will be no way to get off the grid. Where will you all live then and will you miss the opportunity to assert an individual viewpoint when it is gone?

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  3. If we've really lost Drum, it's too sad.

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    1. You should have kept a better eye on him while we had him.
      Next time we get someone like that we should keep him or her leashed.

      Delete
    2. You never had Drum. That was obvious during the 2008 primaries.

      Delete
    3. Once upon a time, The Daily Howler was considered a pioneer in political blogging and was widely cited and linked to.

      Slowly, this blog morphed from serious commentary into a vanity blog in which the author his loathing of a handful of selected targets in extremely personal tones.

      The citations and the links came fewer and far between, and usually only to demonstrate how off-the-wall bizarre Somerby has become.

      And now, Somerby pimps a report he admittedly can't vouch for in order to beat on his two of his three favorite targets some more. (I am sure he'll get around to Maureen Dowd sooner or later).

      He's even lost his value as a laughingstock.



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    4. In what universe has Somerby been pimping this report?

      You people see what you want to see. The Democrats once referred to themselves as the "reality-based" party. Obviously that is not true any more, if it ever was.

      Many Republicans complain that they haven't left their party, their party left them (as it veered crazily to the right). Increasingly, I feel that way about the Democratic party. If Somerby is no longer linked by websites like TPM, perhaps it is because they have changed, and not in a good way.

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    5. "In what universe has Somerby been pimping this report?"

      Answer:

      The same universe in which he (Somerby) is understood to demand that news orgs ought to be"taking official reports like Mastro's at face value" -- in other words not our own universe, but the Bizarro universe, the trolliverse.

      Delete
    6. In the universe where people who don't have their heads lodged up Somerby's hindquarters.

      A bit of Howler history for you. Once upon a time, Josh Marshall and Somerby used to link back and forth to each other's work.

      Then Marshall committed the unforgiveable sin of expanding his blog into quite the news-gathering operation that not only made money to hire a staff, but began attracting millions of hits per month.

      Somerby, stuck with a late '90s model of personal blog and not knowing how to develop it, soon gave way to the green-eyed monster inside him and began attacking Marshall in very hateful and personal terms.

      And their relationship ended.

      Don't believe me? Go ahead. Check the Incomparable Archives. You will find this entry, among many others, from Jan. 25, 2008, long after Marshall chose to ignore Somerby completely. It truly illustrates the pettiness of Bob Somerby:

      ---

      A bit of background: Our opinion of Josh has dropped and dropped over the past several years. In our view, he was out there in the summer of 2002, saying things he knew were untrue, and he has refused to tell you, over the years, about the real shape of your politics. (Today’s post in an example.) With growing surprise, we’ve watched him turn himself into the Inconsequential Republican Blow-Job Police, presumably as a way to throw bones to his readers, whom he apparently takes to be dimwits. (If we may borrow from the Steinbeck: Whenever an inconsequential state senator gives someone a blow job, Josh will be there.) A few months ago, we reviewed his work from 1999 and 2000, and we were truly stunned by its brilliance—stunned because we’d grown accustomed to the dumbed-down version of Josh we’d been reading over the past several years.

      But last night’s post really does take the cake for disingenuous running of rubes. With this post, Josh sends his readers a message: Hey, you big dumb f*cking rubes!

      Delete
    7. TDH was right about Josh Marshall's self-repurposing. You liked the criticism then but not now because the only question for you is "whose side is he pimping now?"

      Delete
    8. Of course, "TDH" has never erred since its inception in 1998. To think otherwise would get us drummed out and marshalled out of the One True Fan Club.

      But perhaps before you snuggle up too close to him at night, or the next time he lectures you about how to be more like Malala, King and Mandela, you might want to take a look at how he drives away his friends and pay particular close attention to the language that he uses.

      He "seems" like a bitter old coot filled with rage at a life that has passed him by. It is possible. We don't know.

      Delete
  4. Our trolls here are more concerned about David W. Chen than about what actually happened in this scandal. Chen is listed by the NY Times as Town Hall Bureau Chief and former Trenton Bureau Chief. He wrote a lengthy profile of Bridget Kelly that appeared on Jan 1, 2014, as sole author. I suspect his name is included with Zernicke's on her recent report because her report incorporated some of Chen's work. Chen has appeared as coauthor with several other NY Times reporters, so he is not part of a writing partnership (as Woodward and Bernstein were). I believe Somerby's failure to lambaste Chen along with Zernicke arises from a belief that it is Zernicke and not Chen who is misstating facts, such as attribution of motive about the lane closures to a desire to punish Sokolich. Somerby can observe this because Zernicke has written the same statements in articles without Chen. Is it then fair to be critical of Chen when the mistake is Zernicke's?

    This situation in this blog illustrates why we need real journalists to function according to journalistic principles and ethics. Someone like Somerby can raise his voice about propaganda, but look what happens when he does. He has been besieged by a bunch of trolls whose sole purpose is to discredit him -- not to discuss his observations. They can stifle democratic discourse effectively by flooding comments with garbage so that interested commenters cannot get a word in edgewise. Without intelligent analysis in the highly visible media, there is little chance for our press to act as a check and balance on our system, given that a few dollars can buy enough trolls to make meaningful dialog among everyday people difficult, if not impossible. Trolls are not just annoying -- they are depriving us of our right to participate in public democracy.

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    1. "Trolls are not just annoying -- they are depriving us of our right to participate in public democracy."

      Please get help.

      Delete
    2. Yes, indeed. Democracy can't possibily survive the vigorous exchange of opposing ideas. It will only survive unless everyone starts thinking exactly like our friend at 10:58.

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    3. "I suspect his name is included with Zernicke's on her recent report because her report incorporated some of Chen's work."

      Thank you. You "suspect" but you don't know a damned thing for certain. And guess what? Neither does Somerby.

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    4. Democracy cannot survive being buried in piles of shit so that no one can find real communication any more. It is called having the signal be lost in the noise and it truly does affect communication. I remember voices I used to see here only a few months ago. They have given up because it is frustrating to compete with the trolls here. The absence of coherent voices has not diminished the trolling. When trolls are the only commenters, we have no participatory dialog and that is a loss.

      Delete
    5. And yes, without clear thinking people with vastly superior brains like Somerby, we poor uneducated rubes would be buried in piles of think and totally unable to sort truth from fiction ourselves.

      Well, excuse me for thinking that self-proclaimed geniuses are also pretty full of shit.

      Delete
    6. He has to my knowledge never proclaimed himself to be a genius or to be enlightening any of his readers. If you are a poor uneducated rube, I feel for you, but I think you might be better off reading more and speaking less until you come up to speed on things.

      Delete
  5. OMB (Before and After with BOB)

    Before:

    Yesterday morning, a fascinating report appeared on the front page of the New York Times...The report concerns an impending review of the Fort Lee lane closings—a review of events from Team Christie itself!.....Wow! Will this review include real information about the “motivations leading up to the closing of the lanes?”...Obviously, we don’t know the answer to that. But it sounds like that could be possible, given the materials to which the authors say they had access."

    Immediately After:

    Plainly, the report doesn’t answer all questions. On the other hand, the report is straightforward about the fact that it can’t explain the motivation for the lane closings....We’re still reading the report, but it seems to include some new information about the Fort Lee matter."

    A Week After:

    "The Mastro report is very weak in a wide assortment of ways. But it seems to include some new information, and it offers a new theory about the possible motivation for the Fort Lee lane closings."


    After a week of reading the new information still "seems" to be there but BOB can't quite state what it is. And a "new theory" is at hand, which as best we can tell seems to be that Mastro can't confirm or disprove any theories.

    Later: We'll look at the new information BOB actually presents without understanding its implication.

    KZ



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    1. "Matt Mowers and Evan Ridley were Sokolich’s contact points within the Christie administration. They worked under Bridget Kelly."

      No, Bob. Until April, they worked under Bill Stepien who had the job Kelly was promoted to until he left to run Christie's re-election campaign. Kelly was still working as Christie's liaison with the Assembly.

      A couple of other inconvenient truths that Bob ignores.

      Way back in his "sad" press conference of Jan. 9, Christie told us that Sokolich was so far under his radar that he couldn't pick the mayor of Fort Lee out of a lineup.

      Yet in the Mastro report, here Sokolich's name appears on a list of 21 mayors from whom Christie wanted an endorsement, and Sokolich is wined and dined, and asked for his endorsement in March, which he denies.

      The Mastro Report also includes another important and previously undisclosed piece of information that it immediately swept under the rug.

      On the night before sending Wildstein the infamous "traffic problems" e-mail, Kelly called a staffer to make certain that Sokolich had not endorsed Christie, ending the call with words to the effect of "That's all I needed to know".

      But of course, the "lane realignment" (remember, "closures" is no longer the buzzword) had absolutely nothing to do whatsoever to do with the campaign. After all, Stepien had already "behested" Kelly and they weren't speaking, even though they were all looped into the e-mail exhanges.

      Delete
    2. Of course, as you know, Somerby isn't reviewing the report, but rather, reviewing the media's reviews of the report.

      You knew that, right?

      Delete
    3. 135: Read Comp Fail

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    4. What KZ said about Stepien holding Kelly's job before her is true, but so is Somerby's statement. KZ throws these red herrings into discussion in order to make Somerby appear factually inaccurate. He knows most people won't waste the time checking out what he says and he hopes his criticisms will seem superficially plausible enough to drive a wedge between Somerby and readers. This is something a paid troll or disinformationist might do. My question is why Somerby has been targeted for this kind of attention and who has the money to pay people to do this?

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    5. My dear Anonymous @ 2:51

      I said not a word about Stepien holding Kelly's job. Everything I said was a direct quote of the work of the
      Holy Trinity: BOB, Somerby, and TDH. If that is a red herring you've been wallowing in fish for a long, long time.

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    6. We, of course forgot our own byline. As well as our royal plurality. Confronting the Trinity makes us feels singularly honored.

      KZ

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    7. What was this then:

      "No, Bob. Until April, they worked under Bill Stepien who had the job Kelly was promoted to until he left to run Christie's re-election campaign. Kelly was still working as Christie's liaison with the Assembly.

      Delete
    8. "This is something a paid troll or disinformationist might do. My question is why Somerby has been targeted for this kind of attention and who has the money to pay people to do this?"

      Rachel Maddow.

      Delete

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    9. Anon @ 6:14: What the "this" you refer to was written by someone using the same name you use at 11:44.

      You then launched a thoroughly stupid personal attack based on mistaken identity much like Chris Matthews did when he almost got somebody killed fifteen years ago.
      On a blog based on real journalism principles you might have been banned by now.

      KZ (Fortunate not to any tires that could be slashed)

      Delete
    10. Not only an egregious case of mistaken identity, but a sad attempt by Bob fans to excuse a rather basic error in who was employed by whom before Stepien stepiened aside to run the campaign he was apparently already running as deputy chief of staff.

      And not only did Somerby mistakenly assert that they were instead in the employ of the soon-to-be behested Kelly, they conject/speculate/ass/u/me that a person who would point out the latest in a string of basic Somerby errors must be in the employ of Rachel Maddow.

      Silly Bob fans. I told them long ago that I was a hireling of Alex Wagner. Or at least I was until her checks bounced.

      Delete
  6. When push comes to shove, do we in the modern “liberal” world maintain any standards at all?

    No. The only question asked is Whose side benefits? Modern "liberals" are not known for standards. Liberals once were.

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    1. Yes. When liberals embraced abortion on demand, it messed up the gestation period necessary for the proper development of news organs.

      Those who once knew liberals know not the standards which these modern liberals questionably maintain, if any.

      Delete
  7. Headline:

    WORLD WITHOUT FACTS, AMEN: The craziness of Matthews and Maddow!

    Buried way down:

    "Tomorrow, we’ll look at Matthews’ astonishing work on Monday and Tuesday nights of this week. After that, we’ll look at Maddow’s appalling performance last Thursday night."

    In between is the further lipstick-on-a-pig pimping of the Mastro report, including the astonishing disclosure:

    "We can’t confirm the accuracy of the history laid out above."

    And the people who are crazy? Why Bob Targets of longstanding Matthews and Maddow!




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    1. Again, there was never any such pimping. Bob explained parts of what the report says, and notes how, strangely, the media has failed to discuss it in any way.

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    2. Just a comment before this you said Bob was not writing about the report, just its coverage by the media.

      You knew that right?

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  8. I agree with KZ. On this particular post, I think he has really hit the nail on the head.

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    1. KZ thanks you. However, we have not noticed many nails around here. Lots of hammers. But they seem to be sacked up and left lying around with boxes of rocks.

      What we do notice are screws. Lots of screws. Loose screws.
      We'll apply a screw driver to one shortly.

      KZ

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    2. Thank you for bringing order to the chaos around here not just from the exalted blogger but also from and his submental followers. The time you spend here is so well worth it and I'm sure you can feel. And no I am not drunk again!!!

      Delete
  9. OMB (We Salute BOB for Fresh Evidence of a New Almost-Crime)

    SCANDAL GROWS!

    BOB says the Mastro report "seems" to have new information. We agree, although BOB, in covering it, tripped right by without seeing it.

    BOB also says the Mastro report puts forwrd a new theory as to motive for the act we all know by many different names, but which we describe as an act performed on or about the GWB toll plaza by a Captain Licorish with traffic cones. The Licorish Cone Caper.

    We have to differ with BOB on the "new theory" theory, or the "new motive" meme, or whatever piddly poo thing it is. The Dove of Peace did not find a new theory and drop it into the big hole that is in the middle of the Mastro report.

    BOB details the new information when he starts quoting the Mastro report on page 51. It is indented so you can scroll right up, find it easily, and reread it. This really isn't totally new. Christie alluded to it in his press conference. And it is offered by Mssr. Mastro to debunk the endorsement retribution theory/meme of motivation for the Licorish Cone Caper.

    Problem is, while all these people are assembling lists and holding meetings to get Democratic mayoral endorsements of Christie, they are holding taxpayer funded jobs with the office of the Governor of New Jersey. There is not a person involved who was with the campaign of Chris Christie, Republican nominee for Governor on any of the dates cited. Not even Bill Stepien had left for the campaign at the time referenced by Mastro.

    Now, your Zarkonship is not an expert in New Jersey law. But we have read up on swirling dervishes and controversies in Wisconsin. In that fine state these public stewards could be committing a criminal offense for campaigning on the public dime and time. Of course the messages might be being sent on private accounts and the meetings might be after hours when they are just "volunteers." But it "seems" that in the spring of 2013, the entire function of the IGA office of the Chris Christie administration was to serve as place of employment for the Christie re-election staff-to-be and the assembly point for decidedly partisan lists.

    The press seems to have missed this. So has BOB. But not those of us with highly developed visual organs and standards. We are, of course, from out of this world, not Liberal World.

    KZ

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    1. Keeping a list of who would endorse and who wouldn't does not mean "the entire function of the IGA office...was to serve as place of employment for the Christie re-election staff-to-be..." They were engaged in legitimate government activities and the report does state that anyone's decision to endorse or not had no effect on their treatment in these other government activities by the staff involved. Unless you want to list the campaign activities you think were going on, I think you don't have a legitimate point here. It is pretty normal for campaign staff to become government staff when a politician is elected and vice-versa when the politician needs to be re-elected. That doesn't mean they spend the interim campaigning on the government dime.

      Delete
    2. You are quite the imbecile. We do not need to list any activities. They are described in the Mastro report.

      KZ (Oh, I did indeed call you an imbecile, make no mistake. I could add ignorant, foolish, and stupid.)

      Collecting a list of mayors who will endorse a governor's re-election efforts is not a legitimate government activity in most places with which we are familiar.

      KZ

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    3. "the report does state that anyone's decision to endorse or not had no effect on their treatment in these other government activities by the staff involved."

      The report states that?

      Does the report also mention what happened to the newly elected mayor of Jersey City when he informed the governor's staff that he would not be endorsing the governor?

      Of course it does! And who does it blame for all those Christie department heads suddenly and individually calling to cancel previously scheduled meetings with the newly elected mayor?

      Why, none other than Bridget Kelly.

      To quote the great philosopher Gomer Pyle, "Surprise, surprise, surprise!"

      Delete
    4. That takes about 10 minutes. What else were they doing?

      Delete
    5. I would imagine that if the laws of New Jersey line up with those of the other 49, it would also be an offense to campaign using the people's money.

      But then again, it was the people's money that exonerated the weepy, emotional governor.

      And again, for poor Bob fans, it makes no difference if a employee on the public dime and time spends 10 minutes or 10 days or 10 weeks working on the campaign.

      It's still a no-no.

      Delete
  10. I really don't understand your respect for "the Drums, the Chaits, the Pareenes, the Dionnes". No, they will not speak out because they (especially Drum) are approval-seeking cowards. They will bite their tongues because to speak out would cost them power and influence and approval of the tribe.

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    1. It must be a terrible burden to be as gifted and courageous as Somerby.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps less so because he doesn't read his blog comments.

      Delete
    3. I have been in many a tribal council meeting. Drum is often applauded for his subservience, Pareene for ratcheting things up. Chait lost whatever modest following he had due to excessive concern for football and Dionne is simply too old to matter any more.

      The Council is now looking for a few brave trolls to take out the final voices of those who steal away and night to sleep with sheep.

      Delete
    4. Brave and troll don't belong in the same sentence. If that's how you think of yourself, that is very pathetic.

      There is nothing clever about writing a bunch of garbage to mess up someone else's discussion. Remember the "dark triad" of personality traits? Trolls are narcissistic, Machiavellian and psychopathic. That means they care about no one but themselves, have an inflated sense of grandiosity, and have no empathy or conscience. There is no better side to appeal to and they pretty much do whatever they want to make themselves feel good. It sucks to be that kind of person and people like that take it out on everyone else. THAT is what the trolls here are and why they post so frequently. There is a dark place where their sense of humanity should be and they try to fill it with words. And yes, that IS a personal attack against you and your ilk.

      Delete
  11. In case anyone is ever asked for an example of the metaphor "lipstick on a pig," I offer the following:

    "We’ll say one thing for the Mastro report—it explicitly says that it couldn’t establish the “ulterior motive” for the lane closings."

    So the taxpayers of New Jersey are stuck with a $1 million bill for a "comprehensive and exhaustive" study that still can't explain, six months later, why they did it.

    And Somerby thinks that speaks "for" the report.

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    1. And I'll add one more thing. The NJ legislature now has to subpoena Mastro to get all the documentation and transcripts of their interviews of the people on the public payroll and watch how Mastro fights this.

      Delete
    2. So, Christie shouldn't have tried to investigate wrongdoing in his administration?

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    3. Instead of spending a few months mocking it and ridiculing questions about it, Christie should have seriously investigated it months ago -- long before the disclosures of documented evidence had put his back to the wall.

      And even at this late date, we are STILL waiting for a serious investigation from him that answers all the questions, nearly THREE FULL MONTHS after "sad, embarrassed, humiliated" Chris Christie assured the people of New Jersey that he was finally getting around to getting to the bottom of all this.

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  12. I really hate these trolls.

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