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Saturday, January 18, 2014

TRAFFIC JAM IN NEW JERSEY


TRAFFIC JAM IN NEW JERSEY

A Cranky Opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with very little expertise on the subject opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome.  They are wrong, but they are welcome and please, no name calling.  That goes for you, you big stupid head!

The Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, is a big man.  He is a straight talker, and he is known for getting the job done.  He also has the reputation of being a bully.   Much of this reputation is the result of his demeanor at Town Hall Meetings.  When he is attacked, he attacks back, and he attacks back with facts, common sense and no bull shit.  Many people like his style.

Chris Christie is now being attacked again, all over a traffic jam.  Not just a little traffic jam, but a four day mess which almost shut down a New Jersey Town, Fort Lee, and delayed thousands of commuters for hours every day for four days.  The delays were the result of the Port Authority of New York closing down several access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, possibly the most heavily traveled bridge in the country.

The reason given for the shut-down was to conduct a traffic usage study.

The real reason it turns out was to punish the Mayor of Fort Lee for not supporting Christie’s campaign for reelection. 

The shut-down was requested by a high Christie official and ordered by a Christie Port Authority appointee.  When it became clear that the shut-down was ordered to punish the Mayor of Fort Lee, Governor Christie made a very emphatic apology.  He fired those directly responsible and made a special trip to Fort Lee and apologized again this time personally to the Mayor.  He also took responsibility for the debacle.  Well, he took responsibility while he also sidestepped it, something politicians do so well.  He did not order the shut-down; he did not know about it. He was embarrassed, humiliated and angry when he found out his trusted advisors were responsible and had lied to him about the whole incident.  It was, he said, an extremely stupid act.

As a New Jersey resident, I have liked and respected Chris Christie for a long time.  He is effective, fair, and his decisions are based on what he thinks are the best policies for the State of New Jersey.  Many people in New Jersey and in other states have the same belief in Chris Christie.  So many people like his style that he has been talked about as a potential Presidential candidate.

In my opinion, the traffic jam has derailed that train.

I do not think that Chris Christie ordered the traffic jam.  He is too smart for that.  I don’t think he knew about the deliberate lane shut-downs, but the incident does say something about the man and his leadership that worries me.

There was a mess in Fort Lee for four days because of lane shutdowns.   Four days, and the Governor never asked what was going on?  One day I can understand, two days maybe, but four days?  He either was unconcerned, clueless, or was covering up for friends.  There is no good explaination.

The fact that his high ranking officials orchestrated this idiocy does not speak well for Christie’s leadership.  Why would these officials order this act without first checking with the Governor, and what is the atmosphere of his administration that his own people would think the traffic jam was a good idea?

If Governor Christie ordered this act to punish a mayor for not supporting his reelection, than he is an egomaniacal idiot who deserves to be impeached. 

I am going to give him the benefit of doubt that he did not order the traffic jam and did not know it was done as a political act of retribution, but I will not give him a pass. 

The head of any organization is responsible for the idiotic acts of those under him.  He is responsible if not directly for their actions, then at the least for the bad judgment to put such stupid irresponsible people in a position of power.  He is responsible for setting the climate and tone of his administration that would, at the very least, allow underlings to think that screwing up traffic on a busy important interstate highway was an acceptable concept. 

Chris Christie should either step down as Governor of New Jersey, or quietly finish his term and forget all future political aspirations.

It pains me to say this. 

I thought Chris Christie was the real thing.  I thought he was a politician who cared about the job, who cared about all the people in his state, and was firm but fair.  I thought Chris Christie would be just what we need as President of this great country.

It is not be the first time a politician has disappointed me;  it will probably not be the last.

It still sucks!

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.     

13 comments:

  1. Not sure I agree Joe. If these were top, top, TOP aides who he knew well and met with daily (I am not that up on the story), then you might be right. But evey politician has to appoint hundreds or even thousands of people he doesn't know, and it's usually all his Appointments Secretary can do to come up with enough candidates who can pass a basic background check. They aren't all angels. When they're discovered, can 'em and move on. I don't know what other options there are.

    S

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  2. i would wonder about his ability to stay 'clued in' on things that were going on in his administration. this was a state...what about the country and the world.

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  3. Yet our president didn't know about many things and no one is holding him accountable. The buck stopped with Christie, not with Obama. He's done nothing but finger point since he was elected. Christie also takes the spotlight off all the federal government scandals.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  4. I agree Sandee...I would like to hold all our politicians to a higher standard otherwise we get what we vote for. We (the country)already voted for President Obama I would like our next President to have more integrity...sadly Governor Christie may fail that test.

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  5. I'm a Minnesotan and never knew much about Christie's policies or style until the storm. I kinda liked him (I'm married to a big guy with a New York accent) and I thought he was smart to work with Obama to get aid for NJ. But I think you're right about this scandal. It gives credibility to the charges of him being a bully and weakens his image as an effective manager, not to mention someone who can work in a bipartisan manner to make good things happen.

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  6. People have no problem with bullies when the bully is on your side, and I think this is why the people of New Jersey liked their governor. But now it looks like Christie, a known micro-manager, went out of his way to harm the people of New Jersey, who he's sworn to protect. This event on the bridge went on for four days. If he didn't know anything about it he certainly saw it on the news (I saw it on day one here in Oregon.) Why then didn't he order the traffic study aborted on day One? As governor he certainly had that authority. Much as I'd like to support an overweight candidate (yes I'm that childish) I just don't think Christie is presidential material.

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  7. Like Granny Anne says, we should each keep an eye on the leaders.

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  8. Having never set foot in New Jersey, unless the Pennsylvania turnpike runs though it on the way to Boston, I have no vested interest in this issue. But I must say that I agree with you.

    Now I'm off to brush up on my geography.

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  9. As ever, gods have clay feet.

    As for presidential material, I don't think that train ever left the station. They may like big in Texas, but even if he did carry Austin he'd go down in most every state from the California border to the Appalachians.

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  10. As Harry said, "The buck stops here." Sad for he did hold promise.

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  11. Governor Christie is in Florida today. Our own governor made sure that everyone knew he did not want to appear in any photos together with Christie.

    Of course, our governor was CEO of a hospital chain who ripped off millions from Medicare, so if I were Christie, I wouldn't want to appear in any photo with Governor Scott, either.

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  12. They created a traffic jam on purpose?
    I'm stunned.

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  13. I'm far away from New Jersey but I completely agree with your assessment. Sounds to me like he must have known something, and even if he wasn't involved he must have set a culture in which this kind of payback was made possible.

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