|Are these the traffic cones Christie once joked he had set up to close Fort Lee's bridge access lanes? Why don't police dust them for his fingerprints?|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The planning, execution, cover-up and public-apology phases of the Bridgegate lane blockages have passed.
After Governor Christie took a powder to Florida, his allies went on the attack, questioning the motives of the Democratic state lawmaker who has led the investigation (The Record's A-1).
For the first time in 12 days, the Woodland Park daily's front page is dominated by other news -- a column on the teams going to the Super Bowl and a woefully incomplete story on the tragic death of a young Hispanic couple whose bodies were found in a garaged car (A-1).
I glanced at the main headline on the front of the Sports section today, and found use of the word "come" in the big headline to be suspect (S-1).
Both Jorge E. Rodriguez, 24, of Garfield and Melissa A. Pereira, 25, of Wayne lived with their parents, so isn't it plausible they used a car in the garage of the woman's home for privacy?
Was the garage open or closed when their bodies were found? Was the car running inside the garage?
Why didn't The Record ask these and other questions instead of basing the story on an e-mail from Passaic County's chief assistant prosecutor?
GOP on the attack
This morning, I heard former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, demanding the recusal of state Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the panel probing closure of two of three Fort Lee access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in early September (A-1).
Giuliani claims Wisniewski is not impartial and has already said he doesn't believe Christie's version of events, including that he was blindsided by a close aid and cronies on the Port Authority.
But Wisniewski isn't a judge, Christie hasn't been accused of any crime and the GOP bully hasn't even been subpoenaed.
Of course, the lawmaker isn't the only one who doesn't find credible Christie's claim of being a victim.
The governor has been throwing his weight around since he took office in January 2010 -- from the racist dismissal of the state Supreme Court's only black justice to enacting his mean-spirited policies with intimidation, threats and vetoes.
Christie's "Reform Agenda," "Jersey Comeback" and "Partisan Compromise" have been thinly disguised battles in his war on the middle and working classes.
And critics can argue that Christie has ignored mass-transit improvements and used mounting traffic congestion as a way to suppress votes.
A recent study found people exhausted by their long commutes tend not to get involved in civic affairs or go to the polls.
In fact, the turnout in the Nov. 5 election that gave Christie a second term was the lowest of any gubernatorial election in state history.
So, isn't it plausible that during the campaign, Christie would retaliate against the Democratic mayors of Fort Lee -- home of the bridge -- Jersey City and Hoboken for not endorsing his reelection?
And that in Fort Lee, the natural way to do that was to cause gridlock in a borough that historically has co-existed uncomfortably with one of the world's busiest spans?
The Better Living cover features professional chefs urging home cooks to make chicken stock and basil pesto from scratch (BL-1 and BL-3).
If you make that a habit, when will you have time to earn a living?
And with organic chicken stock and fragrant basil pesto available at Costco Wholesale, why would anyone in their right mind make them at home?