A psychotic and hilariously edited version of Chris Christie’s presidential campaign announcement (For a related video, click here

Chris Christie (R-NJ) Signs Bill To Fast Track The Privatization of Public Water

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law on Thursday legislation that critics say sells out the state’s water supply and democratic process for private profits.

The Water Infrastructure Protection Act, which purportedly aims to address aging infrastructure , allows for fast-tracking of sales of municipal water systems to private entities.

Among the sponsors of the measure, which passed the state legislature in December, was Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), who stated Thursday: “We recognize that there are times when private entities might be most capable of operating, maintaining and upgrading drinking water and sanitary wastewater systems,” and keeps “the public’s ability to be part of the process.”

Quite the opposite, according to the law’s critics.

“Governor Christie has sided with private water companies over our water supply,” stated Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “This law will raise rates, hurt consumers and businesses.”

Sometimes a false narrative enters the mainstream conversation, is demonstrated to be false, and it vanishes from the mainstream conversation. But it does not retreat entirely. Many times these false narratives find a place in a tribe’s echo chamber, being repeated and circulated among one group of people who are still convinced the false narrative is true, providing increasingly desperate rationalizations for why the false narrative is being ignored by the mainstream.

Sometimes these false narratives are potent, explaining why they are held on to so viciously. President Obama directing terrorists to attack the Benghazi embassy (or whatever it is conservatives think he did), for example.

Other times these false narratives are mild or powerless, and one wonders why anyone would hold on to them. The idea that Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina are viable presidential candidates, for example.

I mean, I know why people like Henry Payne mention them in the same breath as Christie, Cruz or even Bobby Jindal (you know, people who are actual politicians and know how to campaign successfully). It’s because Republicans are so eager to be able to say ‘We got us a black guy’ or ‘We got us a woman,’ because even a fig leaf of protection against the claim of racism or sexism being endemic in the party is better than nothing.

But the narrative, the idea that Carson or Fiorina are, as candidates, legitimate in the sense of having a shot at winning even just a single primary, is completely false. It is so utterly wrong that I have trouble believing that Payne believes it, but what is the alternative? That he thinks the rest of us are foolish enough to believe Carson or Fiorina’s candidacies are worth anything?


New Jersey Governor and GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie made a bold decision today, using a speech at Iowa State University to declare that the idea of debt-free college is morally “wrong,” Politico’s Allie Grasgreen reports.

Christie introduced the idea by harkening back to his father, a Army veteran who attended Rutgers thanks to the G.I. Bill, and said that if he became president he would install “a system where we all need to take personal responsibility to grasp the opportunities in higher education, but also one where we can get a leg up when we need it.”

Could he have chosen an audience less likely to be receptive to his message than college students?

1) Since becoming governor, reports indicate he has grossly abused his expense account

According to New Jersey Watchdog, an Internet transparency group ran by Mark Lagerkvist, Chris Christie has spent $360,000 of his taxpayer-subsidized expense account over the last five years. Of that amount, $300,000 was used to purchase what the state budget describes as “an allowance of funds not otherwise appropriated and used for official receptions on behalf of the state, the operation of an official residence, for other expenses.”

2) He has allegedly used Hurricane Sandy relief money for political purposes

As the Newark Star-Ledger reported last year, nearly one-third of the federal house aid money allocated to Hurricane Sandy victims went to areas of New Jersey that weren’t particularly impacted by the storm. “Nearly a third of the money—$47.6 million, earmarked for new affordable housing projects—landed in Essex and Middlesex counties,” wrote Ted Sherman, “while many hard-hit Jersey Shore communities in Ocean saw relatively little of it.”

3) He has purportedly misused billions in Port Authority funds for unrelated projects in New Jersey

Only a few months after taking office, Christie killed an $8.7 billion transportation project known as the ARC Tunnel, which was already in development when Christie took office (and, indeed, had been development for 30 years) and aimed to clear congestion by providing commuters with a public train under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey to New York City.

4) He has privatized the state’s public pension system, enriching wealthy business interests at the expense of taxpayers and state workers

Since taking office, the Christie administration has moved the retirement savings of public workers like teachers, firefighters, and police officers over to private financial firms on Wall Street, as Salon reported last week. “While Christie says the pension system cannot afford to maintain current retirement benefits, pension fees paid to financial firms have quadrupled to $600 million a year,” writes David Sirota, “or $1.5 billion in total since he took office in 2010.”

5) He has reportedly blocked reforms that would clean up New Jersey’s government

While it isn’t illegal to veto legislation that is necessary for the maintenance of the public trust, it is certainly scandalous—especially for a politician who, like Christie, has presented himself as an advocate of reforms that would clean up the state government.

Read the full article

Study: Gov’t figures off by $1 trillion; Social Security trust funds will be gone by 2033

New studies by Harvard and Dartmouth Universities have concluded that the SSA’s trust funds will be depleted by 2033.

From CNBC:

The Social Security Administration projects that its trust funds will be depleted by 2033—not an optimistic forecast. But it may be even bleaker than that.

New studies from Harvard and Dartmouth researchers find that the SSA’s actuarial forecasts have been consistently overstating the financial health of the program’s trust funds since 2000.

“These biases are getting bigger and they are substantial,” said Gary King, co-author of the studies and director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “[Social Security] is going to be insolvent before everyone thinks.”

The Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ 2014 report to Congress last year found trust fund reserves for both its combined retirement and disability programs will grow until 2019. Program costs are projected to exceed income in 2020 and the trust funds will be depleted by 2033 if Congress doesn’t act. Once the trust funds are drained, annual revenues from payroll tax would be projected to cover only three-quarters of scheduled Social Security benefits through 2088.

Read the Rest

“…have been consistently overstating”

When I lie to the government about how much money I have, they call it “perjury” and I go to jail. When the government lies to me, they call it “overstating” and nothing happens.

And by how much have they been “consistently overstating” it? About $1 trillion. Look, even if you love love love all things government and support the current social security system, this should make you angry. If it doesn’t, ask yourself why. They’ve been lying to you.

Look, something’s got to give when it comes to Social Security. It’s simple math. It simply cannot continue on its current trajectory and remain solvent. Of course, the only real solution is to stop forcing people to pay into an inefficient, bloated, flailing government program and instead allow them to privately invest their money as they see fit. But very few politicians would ever agree to that. It would give them less power.

So what are the “solutions” being thrown around at the beginning of this election cycle? Let’s examine one from prominent “Republican” Chris Christie:

In other words, we’ll soak the rich. We’ll redistribute the money. We’ll tell all the people who have paid into Social Security (in many cases against their will) over decades that they won’t be getting that money back, in spite of the “lock box” promises, etc. From what I hear, Hillary Clinton’s “solution” (for the purposes of getting elected, of course) is to scoff at the notion that there’s anything wrong and hit Christie for wanting to take money from little old grandmas. Sheesh. Politicians have ruined this country.