It figures, the week I proclaim my lack of time to post anything of true significance, we have a couple of major news items develop.
In a remarkable development unemployment fell to 6.7% with only 75,000 jobs added.
Needless to say this is not good news and, in most corners, is being received with the proper disdain. Ed Morrissey highlights the true problem:
The worst news comes in the workforce numbers. Those not in the workforce increased by 525,000 in December (91.808 million), after a one-time drop in the figure for November (91.283M from 91.756M in October). That’s a big exodus of people from the workforce, dwarfing the meager number of jobs added in the economy. Part-time work remained essentially constant at 7.8 million, so the exodus points to an ugly, ugly trend.
So while the President is:
Now about Chris Christie and bridge-gate.
I worked for the Christie campaign in 2009, declined to do the same in 2013.
First, let me start by saying I grew up in Fort Lee, NJ, my family still lives there so I know about Fort Lee NJ. This is a city where the local government approved the building of two new high-rises and then held public hearings on the matter. At those hearings, they informed the public it didn’t matter what they thought the buildings were already approved and going up. At those hearings, they presented traffic studies claiming there would be little impact to the city’s traffic patterns with the addition of the cars that would accompany those two 47-story towers.
Yes, the city is run by Democrats
I mention this because there were, in fact, traffic studies being performed.
With that said, Chris Christie is Chris Christie. In the best possible scenario his culpability is limited to the fact he created an atmosphere where this kind of conduct was deemed permissible.
Many of us in New Jersey are thinking of Bret Shundler. A former gubernatorial candidate, three-term mayor of Jersey city and also a man whose campaigns I worked on. As NorthJersey.com reminds us:
In August 2010 Christie claimed that his education chief at the time, Bret Schundler, lied to him about a bungled application for $400 million in federal Race to the Top funds. But Schundler fiercely disputed the charge that he misled the governor and quickly showed reporters emails to prove his case.
“The governor called me a liar,” Schundler wrote in a seven-page chronology of events relating to the application. “I have no choice now but to defend my name.”
At the time, a Christie’s spokesman said Schundler was engaging in “revisionist history.”
The dispute occurred when New Jersey lost the first round of the Race to the Top contest by only three points out of 500. The failure to include budget data for 2008 and 2009 in the application cost five key points.
After losing the contest, Christie said at a Wednesday press conference that the state had provided the budget data to a panel of judges in Washington D.C. – and blasted the Obama administration’s “drones” for being too bureaucratic in their rules. But a video released by the U. S. Department of Education the next day proved Christie’s remarks to be inaccurate; the Schundler team did not have the budget data on hand.
Christie fired Schundler soon after the video came out.
Hours after his termination, Schundler showed reporters emails that he sent to the governor’s top staff before the Wednesday press conference; the emails underscored that he did not present the necessary budget numbers to the panel. Schundler told reporters that before the governor’s televised tirade, Schundler had made it “crystal clear” that he did not have the precise numbers with him for the judges’ review.
Christie told reporters back then that the takeaway from the episode was “Don’t lie to the governor.”
Yes, Governor Christie stood there and took questions for over 100 minutes. The problem for many of us in New Jersey, we have heard renditions of this song before.