Watch Live as Chris Christie Tries To Explain Away That Traffic Jam His Office Created

This Time cover came out a year ago today. Prescient!
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's in big trouble, and he knows it. Yesterday morning, it was definitively revealed that his office helped orchestrate a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee, New Jersey leading onto the George Washington Bridge. Emails obtained by North Jersey paper The Record revealed that one of his top deputy chiefs, Bridget Anne Kelly, planned the traffic jam with David Wildstein, a Christie guy in the Port Authority. The whole thing was a harebrained revenge plot to get back at the mayor of Fort Lee for declining to endorse Christie's re-election bid. As an added dose of awful, the traffic jam delayed EMS crews responding to at least four emergency calls; one was an unconscious 91 year-old-woman who later died of cardiac arrest at the hospital.

It looks bad. Real bad. Possible criminal charges bad, if New Jersey Democrats have anything to do with it; State Senator Ray Lesniak told CNN this morning he's calling for a federal investigation. And, as Christie's crew is almost certainly more worried about, it could harm the governor's carefully crafted image of an affable, reasonable dude who plays well with others and gamely eats doughnuts on late-night talk shows. That could potentially sink any hopes he'd had of becoming president before he even launches a campaign.

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A Guide to Chris Christie's Fun Traffic Jam Scandal [UPDATED]

Image via Twitter
Christie deputy chief Bridget Kelly celebrates her 40th birthday, as Christie hovers in the background.

Update, 4:35 p.m.: Christie has issued a statement denying all involvement in the controversy, and pledging to hold his staffers responsible. We've reprinted it in full at the end of this post.

Original post:

If you were on Twitter earlier today, you might have noticed every reporter on the planet hyperventilating and repeating a number of words, chief among them "Chris Christie," "emails," and "traffic."

Oh, Jesus. Traffic? This sounds like one of those Important Civic Stories You Should Care About, a sort of eat-your-vegetables infrastructure deal, more soporific than a pound of Ambien and half your freshman reading list. Who gives a damn about this stuff besides transportation nerds and journalists, the two lowest lifeforms?

In fact, though, you're watching a tremendously entertaining little scandal in progress, featuring the governor of New Jersey, some deeply incriminating emails, and an ex-blogger and former small-town mayor who, with Christie's help, turned into one of the most powerful men at the Port Authority, and then used that position to extract mind-bogglingly petty revenge on his political enemies. It also has Chris Christie's top aides laughing at school buses full of stranded children. Let's get caught up, shall we?

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New York Daily News Reports Its Beef With Chris Christie is Officially Squashed

Facebook/Chris Christie
Love is in the air. Chris Christie seems to have reconciled with the Daily News after a blow-up over the paper's New York Jets coverage last week. The dispute sprang from the co-hosting bit Christie did on August 26, when the governor called the Daily News's Jets reporter Manish Mehta an "idiot" and a "dope" for mocking Jets coach and Christie's friend Rex Ryan over a bad call late in a game.

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Did Cory Booker Fake a Friendship with a Drug Dealer Named T-Bone?

Flickr/Veni Markovski
There aren't many scandals that have the horsepower to derail Cory Booker's ascendant political career. But the Mayor of Newark is, after all, a man, and men are prone to ... pretend to be friends with drug dealers. Will the news that Booker might have faked being friends with a drug dealer named T-Bone for the majority of his political career make a difference in his bid for U.S. Senator? Probably not, though right-wing media will try to get in a few licks.

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New Jersey "Stronger than the Storm" Ads To Be Discontinued, Finally

Governor Christie's "Stronger than the Storm" ad campaign is about to go off the air! If you've ever been unlucky enough to see the schmaltzy 30-second spot, you'll be celebrating right along with us. Sweeping shots of New Jersey's coastline, super cute cupcakes, smiling children making sand castles, Christie helping himself to a seaside meal: What's not to barf?

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Chris Christie Is Co-Hosting the Boomer & Carton Show on WFAN

The Jersey pol will try his hand at radio disc jockeying. Governor Chris Christie will co-host the Boomer & Carton Show on WFAN this morning from 6 to 10 a.m. He will be filling in for Boomer Esiason, who is on vacation, going by the predictably folksy "Chris from Mendham."

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Top 5 "Chasing New Jersey" Segments So Far

A virulent new strain of local TV news emerged in New Jersey last week; it's called Chasing New Jersey, and it is both awesome and terrible.

It's like TMZ, but set in New Jersey instead of Hollywood, and, in this production, the character of Harvey Levin is played by failed Congressional candidate and former Chairman of the College Republican National Committee Bill Spadea.

Chasing New Jersey is so awesome (and terrible) that, the day after the show's first broadcast, Senator Robert Menendez urged the F.C.C. to put the station's broadcast license under review.

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Jersey Lawyer Gives His City Council a First-Rate Spanking in Hilarious Memo

Photo Credit: &y via Compfight cc
What do you get when you mix one part smart-ass lawyer with one part overly litigious city government, and shake it all up in the merciless expanse of the Internet? The sassiest legal document to ever hit the blogosphere, that's what.

The story: Jake Freivald of West Orange, New Jersey, opened the website as a clearinghouse for the goings-on in the tiny Jersey suburb. Apparently the City Council of West Orange was none too pleased about it, because a website that looks like it was made on an Etch A Sketch could have been confused for the city's official web portal.

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Barack Obama Depicted As a Witch Doctor In Is It Racist?

Is it racist?
A business owner in New Jersey is catching a lot of shit lately over a display in front of his store that depicts President Barack Obama as a witch doctor.

The display -- in front of the Skuby & Co. Lifestyle Clothing company in Spring Lake --  shows the president's face superimposed on the body of a witch doctor. Underneath the image is the word "ObamaCare."

It also includes a tombstone with a picture of Obama holding a stethoscope with the words, "I Told You I Was Sick" written on it. There's also a mannequin wearing a hat with the acronym "F.Y.B.O.," presumably meaning "fuck you, Barack Obama."

Some people like the display, while others find it offensive -- some even say it's racist.

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NJ Voters Actually Support Bill Requiring Dogs to Wear Seat Belts (Sigh)

A bill proposed in the New Jersey State Legislature that would require animals to wear seat belts in the car has the support of the majority of voters, according to a recent poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind.

According to the poll, conducted earlier this month, 45 percent of voters actually support the idea of making dogs and cats wear seat belts, while only 40 percent oppose the bill.

The bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Grace Spencer in July. The proposed law would give law enforcement the authority to issue a $20 ticket to anyone caught driving around with his or her dog unharnessed. Additionally, the offender could be hit with animal-cruelty charges.

As we mentioned in prior posts, there is some logic behind forcing animals to wear seat belts (none of which was used by Spencer in explaining her bill).

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