Monday, February 3, 2014

Last Call For The Wheels Coming Off The Christiemobile

The only person in New Jersey who had a worse weekend than Payton Manning was Chris Christie.  His camp's response to Friday's accusations from former aide David Wildstein that evidence exists that Gov. Christie knew about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge and lied about it at his January 15th press conference was so childish as to all but prove he's guilty as hell.  Here's Saturday's response, in part, sent to media outlets:

Josh Marshall sums it up.

Look at this passage. 
It's genuinely shocking that a sitting governor and presidential aspirant finds himself or his key defenders writing a sentence like this: "He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior." 
I mean, is that a joke? Or, he's someone who "made moves that were not productive"? 
Seriously, who wrote this?

"Smacks of desperation" doesn't even begin to describe the Christie camp at this point.  These guys are coming apart at the seams.   When you're reduced to not only attacking the messenger (and one who was a former trusted aide) but attacking them in such a ridiculous fashion, you've lost.

Hell, even Chuck Todd has figured it out.

After the last 72 hours of new developments in the scandals hitting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, the political story here is no longer about whether Christie can survive to be a top presidential contender in 2016. Rather, it’s about whether he’ll be able to hold on to his governorship. For starters, former Christie Port Authority aide David Wildstein is now saying -- through his lawyer -- that “evidence exists” that Christie had knowledge of the lane closings in Fort Lee, NJ. Given that Wildstein appears eager to cooperate with investigators and tell his own story, who else follows suit? Former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly? Anyone else? It’s looking like it will be every man and woman for him/herself. (Wildstein didn’t produce any evidence, but he’s clearly in survival mode for himself. And that has to have the Christie folks in a mini panic, because who else could break?)

The comedy of errors will only continue, right up until Christie is forced out of office.  Oh, and things got worse this weekend when yet another Christie aide resigned from his office.

A Chris Christie aide who was subpoenaed in a growing New Jersey traffic scandal resigned Friday, the aide’s lawyer confirmed to POLITICO.

Christina Renna becomes the second person to leave the Republican governor’s office since the scandal escalated in January. But she did not say the scandal, which has threatened Christie’s potential presidential ambitions, was the reason for her departure.

Sure, the scandal has nothing to do with it.  And I have a bridge to sell you.

Christie may yet survive, but if this is an example of the thought processes his advisers are using, he's got longer odds than Manning and the Broncos did down 4 touchdowns plus in the 4th quarter last night.

America The Not-So-Beautiful

Last night's Super Bowl was effectively over in the second quarter when the Seahawks were up 22-0, but the biggest controversy of the night was a commercial that offended millions of Americans from one of the most famous brands on Earth.

A simple message from Coke:  America is beautiful, and we're made up of many cultures from many lands, with many languages  Buy our sugar water with acid in it.  But don't tell right-wing bigots like Allen West that.

No, many conservatives didn't much care for Coca-Cola's one-minute spot, which showcased several singers performing "America The Beautiful" in languages such as English, Arabic and Spanish. 
Former tea party congressman Allen West even took time to write a blog post during the game to voice his displeasure. For West, the ad started out strong enough. 
"Then the words went from English to languages I didn’t recognize," a troubled West wrote, calling it "a truly disturbing commercial." 
Michael Patrick Leahy over at Breitbart was offended, too. 
Not only did Coke use "a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity – in several foreign languages," but Leahy noted that the "ad also prominently features a gay couple."

You see, if you're an LGBTQ person, or wear a hijab, or speak Spanish, you're not an American.  Even though there's millions of Americans who do those things regularly, here in America.  Twitter showcased the awesome hate.

But please, tell me again how racism and bigotry don't exist in America, and how they are all the invention of the delusional liberal mind.  Allen West and his buddies are the same guys who scream that minorities are captive on the "Democrat plantation" and that we should vote for the awesome, inclusive GOP, but apparently anyone other than straight, white Christians don't qualify as American enough.

And they wonder why minorities of all stripes vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, and why refusal to pass immigration reform is the biggest problem facing the GOP right now.

Great Art Is About Conflict And Pain And Guilt And Longing...

Rest in peace, Philip Seymour Hoffman, dead at the age of 46.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation, who gave three-dimensional nuance to a wide range of sidekicks, villains and leading men on screen and embraced some of the theater’s most burdensome roles on Broadway, died on Sunday at an apartment in Greenwich Village he was renting as an office. He was 46. 
The death, from an apparent drug overdose, was confirmed by the police. Mr. Hoffman was found in the apartment by a friend who had become concerned after being unable to reach him. Investigators found a syringe in his arm and, nearby, an envelope containing what appeared to be heroin. 
Mr. Hoffman was long known to struggle with addiction. In 2006, he said in an interview with “60 Minutes” that he had given up drugs and alcohol many years earlier, when he was 22. Last year he checked into a rehabilitation program for about 10 days after a reliance on prescription pills resulted in his briefly turning again to heroin. 
“I saw him last week, and he was clean and sober, his old self,” said David Bar Katz, a playwright, and the friend who found Mr. Hoffman and called 911. “I really thought this chapter was over.”

Struggles with addiction, whether it's substance abuse, addictive behavior, overindulgence or otherwise, are never "over".   You just try to keep the bouts off the wagon as short as possible, and climb back on for as long as you can hold on for.

The quote in the title summed up Hoffman's acting pretty succinctly, and it's from one of my favorite roles of his, Rolling Stone editor Lester Bangs in Almost Famous.

Lester Bangs: That's because we're uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don't have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we're smarter.
William Miller: I can really see that now.
Lester Bangs: Yeah, great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love... and let's face it, you got a big head start.

He will be missed.


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