Friday, January 17, 2014

Trying to Make a Deal in Jersey, Justice in Pennsylvania, and a Date That Won't Go Away

Everyone wants to make a deal now days. David Wildstein certainly does. He was appointed to the New Jersey Port Authority by Governor and GOP presidential hopeful, Chris Christie. He is also the guy who threw the monkey wrench into the works at the Ft. Lee entrance ramps to the George Washington Bridge last September. It was an act which, among other things, stalled ambulances carrying patients to hospitals and made scads of children late for school--and--it was all because Ft. Lee's democratic mayor wouldn't endorse Christie's re-election bid.

Earlier this month he sat in front of a committee of NJ Assembly members and took the 5th. They were having none of it and charged him with contempt. Today MSN News is reporting Wildstein's attorney, Alan Zegas issued a statement saying, "If he (Wildstein) has immunity from the relevant entities he'll talk." According to MSN Zegas told the AP, as of today, there has been no such offer from the U.S attorney's office.

Which, of course, begs the question, why would they offer this goof anything? The U.S. attorney has just begun reviewing the affair and they already have reams of damning emails and texts. Wildstein, former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly, and Christie Port Authority appointee Bill Baroni appear to be geese fully cooked. The only thing, Wildstein might possibly offer at this point, which could be worth immunity, is the semi rotund head of the New Jersey governor himself.

It is a revelation that seems highly improbable. Christie might be a brute thug, but he isn't stupid. The denials he has issued about the ugliness in Ft. Lee are as black and white as you can get. There was no song and dance, no smoke and mirrors. When it comes to him, he knew nothing of the disastrous lane closures--end of story. The governor also understands, as well as anyone, that everyone squeals these days. Screw prison, there are simply too many book deals floating around, too many talk show opportunities, too much cash on the speaking circuit for people not to spill the beans. The fact is if he was involved in any way there is someone out there who will eventually rat him out, then take the money and run. His stone cold denials are a rock solid indication he really didn't have any idea of what was going on up in Ft. Lee. Well, it is either that, or Christie knows the only persons who could connect him to the scandal are currently sleeping with the fishes.

NJ Assembly member John Wisnieski chairs a committee probing the mess. He claims 20 subpoenas have been issued. Odds are when this is done several heads, known and not known at this time will roll, but the governor's won't be one of them.

Meanwhile a Pennsylvania judge threw out the state's voter photo ID law. MSN reported Judge Bernard McGinley ruled the statute, "places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote."

Oopsie daisy. Yes, in theory voter suppression is a great idea. Lets face it, if you're a tea party purist compromise and tolerance just doesn't go down, even with a spoon full of sugar. You bet, rather than give in to the teeming mobs of unwashed who aren't as pale as you in the sunlight, just keep 'em from voting. Besides, if you're really an over the edge right wing sort, you're convinced they're all here illegally anyway.

Unfortunately there is that whole constitution thing and the people who aren't like you have rights too. The state, led by a republican controlled legislature, is going to appeal. Of course they are. Never say die and all that. It is the True American way.

Finally, twenty five years ago today, a guy named Edward Purdy exited his van after he had parked it in front of Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. He pulled out a Chinese version of the AK-47 assault weapon he had bought legally in Oregon, despite a criminal record, drug abuse problems, and issues with mental health. Then he fired 105 rounds into the student body just because he could. He killed five kids under the age of 10 and wounded another 30 students and teachers. He ended the rampage by blowing his brains out with a handgun.

MSN News quoted retired teacher Judy Weldon, who was there that day and helped the victims, as saying, "This just doesn't go away. I think that's something the outside world just doesn't get."

No, it doesn't go away. And besides the outside world, the people running this country certainly don't get it.

sic vita est


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