Chris Christie Called A Fat**s On Sports Radio Show

Chris Christie may have found his post-politics calling.The outgoing governor was guest-hosting a local sports radio show on  Monday when he got into a heated exchange with an irate caller who was no fan of Christie.

“Mike from Montclair” called into WFAN, a New York-based sports radio talk station, to berate the New Jersey governor. Mike went so far as to call him a “fat*ss” on the air. Without missing a beat, Christie responded by calling him a “communist” and a “bum.”

“Governor, next time you want to sit on a beach that is closed to the entire world except you, you put your fata** in a car and go to one that’s open to all your constituents,” Mike from Montclair started.

“Interesting, Mike,” Christie said.

“What’s that, Gov?!” Mike shot back.

“You know, Mike,” Christie said. “I love getting calls from communists in Montclair.”

“You’re a bully, Governor!” Mike yelled. “And I don’t like bullies!”

“You’re swearing on the air, Mike. You’re a bum!” Christie pointed out.

The caller was referring to what is now known as “Beachgate.” The New Jersey governor was photographed over the Fourth of July weekend lounging around at a local beach that was closed to the public due to a government shutdown. The footage caused a major uproar with his constituents and was just the latest in a number of setbacks for the governor, who currently boasts a 15 percent approval rating.

Christie was filling in during the show’s drive time program for Mike Francesca – a sports radio icon who has been hosting for nearly 30 years. The heated exchange over Beachgate wasn’t the only angry call Christie fielded that day. Numerous people called the program to lash out at the unpopular Republican.

The argument with Mike, however, is considered sports radio gold due to the attention it brings. A few more calls like that and Christie may have found a place to land after he leaves the governor’s office at the end of the year.

Side note: Christie’s obesity has been a target for critics (and allies) for years. 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reportedly passed on Christie as a possible running mate because of his weight. The former Massachusetts governor was described as being taken aback when Christie removed his jacket and revealed his enormous waistline.

An excerpt from Double Down:

“Romney marveled at Christie’s girth, his difficulties in making his way down the narrow aisle of the campaign bus. Watching a video of Christie without his suit jacket on, Romney cackled to his aides, ‘Guys! Look at that!’”

Chris Christie’s Whale of a Beach Tale Smells Fishy

First off, I’d like to say that seeing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in beach wear is an experience I could have happily gone through life without–but now that it’s happened, and neither I nor the rest of America can unsee it, I might as well toss in my two cents and try to make sense out of all the madness.

Some background:  New Jersey is having some budget difficulties because it’s New Jersey.  That is to say, in spite of having some of the highest taxes and fees in the nation, the state had to shut down its government because it didn’t have enough left in the coffers to keep the joint running.  Those fees, by the way, include around $75 in tolls you’d need to pay just to get to the Jersey Shore, plus the $50 or so you’d have to cough up to park there–but even all that wasn’t enough to keep the beaches open the weekend before the 4th of July.

Except for Chris Christie, of course.

The guv known for his girth apparently also has a voracious appetite for the sun, and didn’t let a little thing like the state budget keep him and his family from soaking up some rays even as his constituents were told to pound sand.  As you would expect, the media quickly got wind of the story, whipped out a wide-angle lens and snapped a pic of Christie in flagrante delicto–which led to no shortage of memes taking note of his hi-larious hijinks:

 

On the bright side, with the beaches as empty as Amity Island after Bruce the Great White Shark munched on some swimmers, the line for the governor’s favorite hot dog stand was a lot shorter than usual.  Unfortunately, a lot of people are also starting to say the same thing about Christie’s political career.

So how is he spinning a blunder so obvious that it has Anthony Weiner thinking he should have run for office in Jersey instead?  Well, let’s just say that he’s not exactly being contrite about it:

“I think my poll numbers show that I don’t care about political optics,” Christie said at a press conference. “What I care about is doing what’s right and wrong.”

Christie was polled as the most unpopular governor in at least 20 years last month, clocking in with an approval rating of 15 percent.

That’s an interesting way of putting it, governor.  But if I were you, I’d work on doing what’s right–because you already got that whole wrong thing down cold.

As for not caring about political optics, I’m guessing that was true–all the way up to the moment Christie got caught.  Much like Bill Clinton when he took a dip in the intern pool, he obviously didn’t see anything wrong with what he was doing, otherwise he woudn’t have done it.  What Christie doesn’t seem to understand, however, is that most of the time things look bad because they are bad.  In this case, the highest official in state government was perfectly happy to inflict punishment on his citizens that he was unwilling to suffer himself.  Put that together with what happened during Bridgegate, and a pattern emerges:  Chris Christie views himself as above the people he was elected to represent.  In common parlance, that makes him a jerk.  And jerks don’t tend to be very popular.

In that light, governor, the optics are the least of your problems.  It’s your attitude that needs to change–because right now, it stinks like a beached whale.

Gov. Christie On The Closed Beach

 

Gov. Chris Christie got caught Sunday having a private beach party at a Jersey Shore park that he closed to the public.  The New York Post reports that Christie and company were lounging at Berkeley Township’s Island.  The New York  Beach State Park was among the public facilities Christie shut down because of a budget standoff he is having with state legislators.

During a press conference held later Sunday, Christie denied he got any sun Sunday:

When asked by reporters in Trenton if he got to enjoy the clear summer day, the governor demurred.

“I didn’t,” he said. “I didn’t get any sun today.”

When told about pictures of the beach party Christie’s spokesman claimed the governor’s baseball hat shielded him from any rays:

“He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on,” the spokesman, Brian Murray, told NJ.com.

Christie is worse than Obama who outrageously barricaded open air facilities such as the World War II Memorial and even the Grand Canyon in a childish effort to cause pain on his constituents hoping there would then pressure their representatives to do Obama’s bidding.

But not even Obama had the audacity to shove the closures in the face of citizens by actually visiting any of the closed federal facilities he forced to close while citizens were not permitted to use them.

People certainly don’t appreciate it when so-called leaders attempt to inflict pain on them for a political vendetta such as trying to seal off open air “facilities.” They will like it, and Gov. Christie, even less for using the facility he closed while Cub Scouts and other citizens were forced to leave a state park campsite.

After the bridgegate scandal and Christie’s failed presidential run his support in New Jersey has collapsed and he is now the country’s least popular governor.

Trump’s FBI Pick, Christopher Wray, Worked For Comey, Praised By Christie

One day before fired FBI Director James Comey is to testify under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Trump announced his nominee to be the next FBI director.

Christopher Wray is no stranger to the Department of Justice. From his bio:

Mr. Wray first joined the DOJ’s leadership as Associate Deputy Attorney General in May 2001 and was soon appointed the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General in September of the same year, with oversight responsibilities spanning the full Department. From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Wray served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. As a prosecutor in Atlanta, he handled a wide variety of federal jury trials, grand jury investigations and appeals as lead counsel.

He was appointed by President George W. Bush as head of DOJ’s Criminal Division in 2003 under Comey, who was Deputy Attorney General, and resigned in 2005 before Comey himself resigned.

That was in the midst of the Valerie Plame/Scooter Libby scandal. While at Justice, Wray led the Enron Task Force, which resulted in five convictions and the end of Enron.

Since then, Wray has been a partner at white-shoe law firm King & Spalding‘s Washington D.C. office. He was Chris Christie’s personal attorney during the Bridgegate scandal investigation and trial.

Christie praised Trump’s choice.

When I had to retain legal counsel during a very, very troubling, confusing, difficult time for me, I made one phone call, and that was to Chris Wray. So I can’t give a better recommendation than that. I think the President of the United State should be commended. He did a deliberative process. He met lots of people from what I understand.

Wray should be a good fit at the FBI and well respected at DOJ. Whether he meshes with his ultimate boss in the Oval Office is a whole different omelet, with plenty of broken eggs to show for it.

Chris Christie Shaking Down a Non-Profit to Fund His Plans

Chris Christie and his staff had the reputation of being playground bullies long before the bridge closure tied to his re-election. But they seem to have learned nothing from that or from him being passed over by the administration. Now Governor Christie is hell bent on shaking down a major non-profit in New Jersey to fund his government programs.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey serves close to 4 million people in New Jersey and operates as a non-profit. It is not getting rich off the backs of New Jersey residents, but it has accumulated healthy reserves and generated $12.2 billion in revenue, not profit.

Governor Christie wants to fund a state program to cover drug treatment for poor people and those who have no insurance. Horizon offered to contribute $135 million to the fund, but that was not good enough for Chris Christie. He expects the non-profit to cough up $300 million.

Horizon is not budging because it insures over 60% of the people in the Obamacare exchange and it has been experiencing a decline in its return on revenue. According to Standard & Poor’s, “The company’s return on revenue slid slightly from 1.9 percent in 2015 to 1.8 percent in 2016, and could decline to 1.3 percent.” (Source) So yeah, keep that in mind when you hear “$12.2 billion in revenue” cited. Again, that revenue is not profit.

How is Christie responding?

He is trying to get the state legislature to pass a bill that would force the non-profit health care provider to fork over cash.

At a press conference Thursday, Christie announced he had shared the outline of a bill that would allow the state to claw-back money from Horizon whenever its reserves exceeded 550 percent of what was needed to pay claims. The money would be handed it over to the state Department of Health to be spent at the discretion of future governors.

Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) confirmed the Senate Majority Office received an outline of a bill on Thursday from the governor’s office, but no one has decided yet whether to sponsor it.

Horizon officials have criticized the governor’s proposal, arguing the reserves are needed to protect policy holders from premium rate hikes.

S&P’s report suggests Horizon is doing the right thing by its customers, Horizon CEO Robert Marino said.

S&P says it is a bad idea. The company is a private non-profit. And Christie is shaking them down. Is it any wonder businesses are looking on New Jersey and realizing it is not a place to do business?

Colin Hanna at Let Freedom Ring released a statement on this shakedown that is worth reading. In part, he said

The Governor knows full well that his stewardship of New Jersey’s finances over the past 7 years has been anything short of an absolute disaster! The state’s credit rating has been downgraded an historic 11 times! Why the Governor would want to destroy a well-regarded, highly rated healthcare company at the expense of its healthcare policy holders, 3.8 million NJ consumers, makes no sense! It’s just his outrageous ego! He desperately wants to improve his political image! Desperate people do desperate things! He knows he can’t get the state to pay for his pet projects, so the only card he has left is to steal from the policy holders of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield!

Look, I realize Chris Christie needs to do something to make himself look good to angle for a job in the Trump administration. And there’s no better way than claiming he helped the poor and uninsured get over drug addiction. But shaking down a private insurer operating responsibly for its insured is not a smart way to do it. He risks the long term solvency of a non-profit responsible for the health care of a sizable portion of the people in New Jersey.

Chris Christie Wants to Raid Insurance Reserves to Boost His Image

Chris Christie still seems a bit sore at not being in the White House. His popularity rating in New Jersey hoovers around 20% and he wants to go where he is loved, i.e. Trump’s shadow. Right now, he is being looked at as the new director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy so in New Jersey it seems he’s trying to prove he can do it. But he is doing it by sticking it to the people of New Jersey.

Christie wants to get an opiate reform plan passed through the New Jersey legislature and to pay for it, he wants the New Jersey legislature to let him raid the reserve funds of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield is a private, non-profit New Jersey healthcare insurance company and these reserves are used to protect the health of millions of New Jersey citizens, especially in emergency medical situations.

But he’s got to make himself look good for Washington. This has draw the notice of even guys like Steve Forbes who released a statement saying, “While Governor Christie’s efforts to combat drug addiction has good intentions, his plan to raid the reserves used to protect the health of millions of New Jersey citizens for this purpose is not the right approach. When government steps in to the marketplace in this fashion, as we have seen in New York, higher taxes and increased consumer costs are sure to follow. Opiate abuse is a serious problem in our country and one sensible approach to addressing it is to engage New Jersey’s pharmaceutical companies. There are also many charitable organizations working to combat drug abuse that can engage. However, imposing a permanent tax increase on the back of New Jersey residents and patients is not only fiscally reckless, but sets an awful budget precedent.”

Yup.

Snake Bites Governor

Chris Christie should’ve seen it coming.

At various moments during his seemingly never-ending campaign, Donald Trump could sense his audience getting bored. It was during those times that he’d employ two tricks to get them to reengage: Often, he’d talk about building his beautiful, southern wall and then ask the crowd who would pay for it. MEXICO! they’d yell, gleefully (as an aside I’ve always wanted to try this out in a restaurant after a meal my family or I didn’t particularly enjoy. I hand the bill to the waiter, yell “who’s gonna pay for it?” and my kids scream MEXICO! Envisioning the joy on their faces contrasted against the confusion in the waiter’s eyes is almost too much to pass up).

The MEXICO! tactic always worked; it always revived his crowd. But sometimes, Trump would try something different. Sometimes he’d pull a piece of paper from his jacket containing the lyrics to Al Wilson’s The Snake and dramatically read the song’s dark words.

On her way to work one morning

Down the path along side the lake

A tender hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake

His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew

“Poor thing, ” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”

“Take me in tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake

The action was meant to alert Trump’s audience to the dangers of not addressing the United States’ porous borders and lax immigration policies. But I always imagined it to mean something more. I always imagined his referencing The Snake was a warning to those closest to him (excluding his family, of course) that in the end, everybody is gonna get bitten.

So Chris Christie was the first. By now we are familiar with his story. He was the first major Republican candidate to drop out and endorse Donald Trump. He worked tirelessly for the man in hopes of landing the VP slot. He was passed over and put in charge of “transition planning,” when it appeared that there was little chance in hell that there would ever be a Trump win, requiring a transition plan to be implemented. And when the impossible happened and Trump won, Christie was almost immediately removed from the role and subsequently passed over for every available cabinet position, including Attorney General, a post in which he fiercely and frequently “auditioned,” for.

And now here we are. Whether it’s a grudge held by Trump Sr. Advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for Christie sending his father to jail, or for the Bridgegate Scandal, or simply because Christie doesn’t look like a government official sent straight from central casting—a characteristic very important to President Trump—Christie is a man alone. A Quinnipiac poll this week shows that just 17 percent of New Jersey voters approve of Christie. He’s rapidly approaching congressional levels of disdain. And on Tuesday night, hours after President Trump announced Neil Gorsuch as his choice to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, there was Chris Christie, appearing live on television to give his opinion on the nation’s state of affairs. On MSNBC.

She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight

Instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite

“Take me in, tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake

“I saved you,” cried the woman

“And you’ve bitten me, but why?

You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”

“Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin

“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in”

Everyone Should Be Encouraged By What Donald Trump and Mike Pence Just Did

Donald Trump has removed Chris Christie from heading his transition team and replaced him with Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Everyone, regardless of ideology or party, should be encouraged by the very first action Mike Pence took. He ordered all lobbyists off the transition team.

The moment Trump won a bunch of Republican lobbyists started circling like vultures and the Christie led transition team opened the doors to them. Not so with Pence. Pence, you will recall, was a leader in the fight against earmarks in Congress. He is a stalwart conservative and knows lobbyists help grow the federal government.

This is a refreshing and encouraging move.