There are so many reasons why this scandal knocks New Jersey Governor Chris Christie out of the 2016 presidential lineup. Christie’s exposure as a flat out bully tops the list. Watch him take apart this poor teacher (below) who challenged him in a Q and A during the campaign. She asks a tough question. What does Christie do? He castigates her for making faces while he speaks. We can’t see her face but we sure hear governor blowhard yelling at her.
Classic bully tactic – take advantage of a superior position to beat yoru opponent. Christie has the microphone, he has the podium. He can lie about the teacher making faces without his victim’s ability to fight back. This scene is repeated again and again. He did it with a veteran who challenged him (below) and on many other occasions.
Some people like this; people who are idiots or voyeurs, people who want to behave this way but can’t. It’s vicarious sadism. Christie is utterly repulsive. Now it’s his turn for a beat down.
Today’s morning delight features a first rate column by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, New Jersey Narcissist.
“Things we learned about Chris Christie during his 108-minute apologia:
“I’m a very loyal guy. I’ve worked for the last 12 years in public life developing a reputation for honesty. I’ve engendered the sense and feeling among the people closest to me that we’re a family. I’m a person who cares deeply about doing my job well. I’m incredibly loyal to my people. … Narcissism is the dominant theme in American politics today, and the man Christie would succeed in the Oval Office appears to suffer from an acute sense of his own righteousness. But Christie takes worship of self to a whole new level.” Dana Milabbank, Washington Post, Jan 9
The salvage operating for Christie is of epic proportions. Christie’s media operation uploads his nastyness to ordinary citizens on a web site. The ugliness is then tweeted targeting rightists. You know, He’s no liberal. He hates the people, one of our guys. But the real machine that covets Christie is the financial elite in NYC. Such a deal! He’s in our pocket and he’s got populist appeal. Back him. To wit, the salvage operation has emerged featuring Rudi Giuliani and others. Read More
The Republic of Turkey is consumed by intense conflict, conspiracy charges, and underlying financial problems that simply won’t go away. A perfect storm is brewing in Turkey.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government and supporters are charged with a secret gold-for-oil deal with Iran. The deal, in violation of trade sanctions against Iran, enriched the PM’s ministers and other key supporters involved (including the PM’s son), according to prosecutors. The deal also involved misreporting billions of dollars in trade, which, in turn, resulted in Turkey overstating national income and understating its current account deficit.
A more ominous charge focuses on Erdogan’s open support of a wealthy Saudi known for funding al Qaeda and the PM’s alleged support of Al Qaeda fighters engaged against the Syrian government. Just today, we saw this headline: Turkish governor blocks police search on Syria-bound truck reportedly carrying weapons . Erdogan is a strong supporter of the Syrian rebels, assumed recipients of the weapons.
The crisis started on December 17, 2013 when dozens of Erdogan’s close associates were arrested for corruption. The arrests included the CEO of Turkey’s state bank caught with million in euros stuffed in shoeboxes. Charges and arrests continued. Prosecutors and police who handled the case were fired at the behest of the Prime Minister. The Turkish supreme court ruled that the government couldn’t interfere with police investigations through firings and intimidation. Undeterred, Erdogan fired more prosecutors claiming the charges were an attack on the Turkish state. To top it all off, authorities banned reporters from police stations and pressured the media to stop focusing on the scandals. Read More
A horse! A Horse! My kingdom for a horse!
Erdogan campaign banner – will the Sultan abdicate or be forced from his thrown? Image
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ruled Turkey with a progressively firmer hand since the AKP (Justice and Development Party) took power in 2003. His caustic comments and authoritarian style earned him the nickname of Sultan among his critics. His rule and freedom are threatened by a massive corruption scandal aimed at his cabinet ministers and chief backers. On December 17, police arrested 50 officials and others in the initial phase of arrests. More have followed.
Erdogan made some powerful enemies, including the shady Fethullah Gulen, leader of Hizmet, a supposedly moderate Muslim political and social movement. Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, had been a strong supporter and ally of Erdogan. Over the past few months, a split surfaced when Erdogan shut down a network of private schools/madrassahs run by Gulen.
Erdogan blames opposing politicians and the United States for the corruption charges, which he says are an attack on the Turkish state (presuming Erdogan is the state). His ally now adversary, Gulen, has some curious connections to the U.S. intelligence community. The involvement of the U.S. is at the stage of conjecture, but worth considering given Gulen’s background (more on this later). Read More
Virginia’s First Lady Maureen McDonnell
That may be what Virginia’s Governor Robert (Bob) McDonnell is doing right now. McDonnell and Virginia’s first lady, Maureen McDonnell, attracted the wrong type of attention when the news broke that Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams provided Maureen with $50,000 loan and his sister with a $70,000 loan. The governor may not have reported the loans on required disclosure forms. The bigger question is were any favors done by the governor in return for the private financing.
McDonnell’s camp says “he learned of a $50,000 loan Williams made to his wife in May 2011, about two weeks after the money arrived, by which time it had been spent.” His flacks also claim that “he knew little of his wife’s decision to buy stock in Star — an investment that meant the McDonnell family held a personal stake in the company even as the couple took steps to promote it.”
While I disagree with a great deal of what is said in tonight’s Nelson Report, I think it is extremely useful to read it to understand how the “insiders” see the leak. They have absolutely no conception of how Main Street sees it. How run of the mill people involved in small scale retail politics who are trying to make the world better, how this program(s) scares them. And so much more. Regardless, read the report:
THE SNOWDEN/FOX/AP/PRISM DEBATE…a couple of real life Loyal Reader insiders add some very important personal experience perspective: Read More
My morning newspaper Feb. 17 provided several depressing reports. I learned more about the spread of horsemeat in Europe’s human food supply. Subscribers read also about austerity measures in the United States that hurt the young, old, and those in between.
The downward developments are worth noting, especially because they contrast so much with the uplifting words and stagecraft of the president’s recent second-term Inaugural and State of the Union speeches.
Our normal topic in this space — injustice — is gloomy in its own way. Legal rights will seem increasingly like a luxury in hard times ahead, subject to new limits on freedom. Few will recall that due process and other legal rights are not a luxurious token of the nation’s success, but were a necessary precondition.
As for Europe, we now know that unwitting consumers there have been eating horsemeat. It’s cheap for the food processors and under-funded, lax regulators have not been careful about eliminating mystery meat from processed foods. Read More
Sydney Morning Herald, By Rory Callinan & Josephine Tovey, November 12
More than 70 per cent of the Brothers from the St John of God order are suspected child abusers and the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney should immediately shut it down, says a psychologist who was employed by the order to meet scores of victims.
Michelle Mulvihill, who dealt with more than 120 of the order’s child abuse victims during compensation negotiations, claims Cardinal George Pell was aware of a loan by the Catholic Church to the order, which was later used by the order to pay victims of abuse.
She also alleges the order has never properly supervised suspected paedophile Brothers and has hid documents relating to the abuse in places where police ”would never find them”.
Dr Mulvihill’s revelation came as the former prime minister Malcolm Fraser joined the independent MP Tony Windsor and the senator Nick Xenophon in calling for a national royal commission into sexual abuse by religious groups and other institutions, after claims by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox last week that the church was still covering up the crime.