Tuesday, October 21, 2014

For Pennsylvania's Republican Governor, Tom Corbett, There's A Wolf At The Door

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

My Dear America:

Democrats have had very little to cheer about lately.

Although they might be counting their chickens before they hatch, Republicans seem to be already counting on savoring their victories in upcoming off year elections throughout the American landscape.  It is hard for me to understand how and why American voters seem to continually vote against their interests and for seemingly more and more extreme Right Wing Republican Candidates.

In a world that has bogged down Democrats, especially President Obama, with Crises in the Ukraine, in Israel and most disturbingly in Iraq and Syria one would think that polls would show that voters might be coming to their senses and voting for candidates that look out for rather than look down on the American Middle Class.  Unfortunately most polls don't show voters headed in the direction of Democrats, however.  But as we have seen many times polls cannot always be counted on to accurately predict the outcomes of American elections. 

One can only hope that countless previously foolish American voters will somehow wise up by election day and not only pay attention to expensive and often less than accurate Television ads but also actually pay attention to real issues and save the day in the nick of time at the ballot box.

In the Northeastern State of Pennsylvania's Governor's race the outlook for Tom Wolf, a Democrat businessman and Former Revenue Secretary under popular Democratic Governor Ed Rendell, the prospect of a Democratic victory looks incredibly bright.  Wolf rather easily defeated a number of better known Democrats during the Pennsylvania Primary by a wide margin.  His rather wide margin of victory in that race has continued to progress as he winds down his campaign against incumbent Republican Governor, Tom Corbett.  Corbett barely squeaked out a victory in his last Gubernatorial Campaign but this time the life and legend of Tom Wolf apparently seems to have stopped Tom Corbett in his tracks.  

Wolf has shown in his television ads in the primary and in the general election that he has the kind of background that resonates well with Pennsylvanians.  His ads have featured mainly his family members and workers in his company, Wolf Industries, an office furniture manufacturing company.  His two cute daughters were effective in the primary ads and his parents are now being featured in ads during the waning days of the general election campaign.  Also featured have been Wolf's employees and co workers who have touted the generosity of Wolf's profit sharing with those employed in his company.  

One disastrous ploy made by Corbett early on was to try to tie Wolf in a television ad to a deadly racist incident in York, PA, where Wolf lives.  Wolf countered that ad with one featuring the black mayor of York (a woman, no less) who raved about what a racially sensitive man Tom Wolf was and how lucky Pennsylvania would be to have him as Governor.

Wolf has also featured his Jeep in his TV ads.  When he was PA Revenue Secretary Wolf refused to use a government car and traveled the state in his own jeep.  He continues to drive it as he combs the state these days in search of votes and Pennsylvania voters love him for it.  Although Wolf is a millionaire with deep pockets, which have kept his TV ads running constantly in his campaign for Governor, Wolf is also a man with a deep respect and concern for Middle Class and poor Pennsylvanians.

On the other hand Tom Corbett has shown his allegiance to the corporations, including the Koch Brothers and the Natural Gas Frackers who have bankrolled his Gubernatorial Campaigns during his time in office.  Under Corbett Pennsylvania was the only state in America not charging Natural Gas Drillers an extraction tax.  Since Wolf made this an issue and pledged to right this wrong if elected, Corbett has suddenly and late in the game changed his tune on this issue.  Corbett also put every school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania so far in debt that thousands of teachers have lost their jobs during Corbett's tenure.  Wolf has pledged not only to charge an extraction tax for the frackeers but he has pledged to take themoney raised by the tax on frackers and put the money into the Pennsylvania education budget.

Other Democrats throughout the country might learn some valuable lessons from the Wolf Campaign.

The number one lesson is that when the Democrats give their voters a good candidate, voters respond.  Tom Wolf may now be the darling of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party but it was not always that way.  Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Rob McCord was the Democratic party pick and Tom Wolf beat him and three other good Democratic candidates in the Pennsylvania Primary election in order to get the opportunity to run against Corbett.  

Now in the last days of the Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Campaign Tom Wolf is at the door of Tom Corbett's Pennsylvania Governor's office and is knocking hard. It appears to be only a matter of a couple of weeks before Tom Wolf will have found entrance to the Governor's office for good.

Hooray for a Pennsylvania Democratic Party Victory.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hard Choices for Hillary Clinton But Not For Me - This Book is a Political and Historical Classic

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

My Dear America:

It has been a long time since I took the time to write a book review.  The last time was back in the 70s when I had the pleasure of reviewing books for "Best Sellers" Magazine which was published by The University of Scranton. The Magazine is long gone now and I miss it.  

My first published review for the magazine was for "The Other Woman" by Rona Jaffe.  The book was awful and I was upset that I was not going to be able to write praise and accolades for my first published review.  What I learned from that review and others after it was that I could be honest and write actual Constructive Criticism rather than Destructive Criticism, finding both positive and negative things to say about the books I was reviewing.

I will not have any problems coming up with praise for Hillary Clinton's book.

The reason I am writing this review when I haven't reviewed a book in several decades is because I feel strongly that this book can and will undoubtedly have a significant influence on the Presidential Election of 2016. It certainly will have an influence if Hillary runs for President in 2016.  After reading this book I am convinced that if she is elected President she will do an extraordinarily good job.

Well, Ready or not - Here it comes

Title:  Hard Choices

Author:  Hillary Rodham Clinton

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster

Pages:  635

Hard Choices is a book that has almost everything going for it.  As a book it is well crafted and well published by one of the nation's leading publishers, Simon and Schuster.  The extraordinary digital photography included in the book of Hillary with National and World Wide Figures is First Rate, as is the Cover and Endpaper photography.

Hard Choices is also very well written by Hillary Clinton.  Certainly Hillary has enough power and influence to have organized a talented crew to help her with this project and she acknowledges that this was the case.  She also has another excellent writer in the family (Bill Clinton - A Book Award Winner) who no doubt assisted Hillary in completing this incredible historical undertaking.

In the end, however, this book is the product of Hillary Clinton's intellect and writing ability and as such it proves to be an incredible accomplishment.  The book is essentially a well organized series of chapters documenting what occurred during Hillary's extended period of employment as Secretary of State.

The book begins as her disappointing Campaign for President in 2008 ends.  Hillary acknowledges that the Primary Campaign loss to Barack Obama was not easy for her.  She was truly shocked when future President Obama, probably influenced by Doris Kearns Goodwin's Lincoln Biography, "Team of Rivals" which was popular at the time, asked Hillary to become Secretary of State in the Obama Administration.  Although she didn't decide quickly or easily she did finally say yes and the rest, as they say, is history.

Love her or hate her, Hillary Clinton has been and continues to be one of the most influential political figures of the 20th and 21st centuries.  In terms of political influence in the Obama Administration it appears as though she had a great deal of influence and was a trusted adviser particularly on International affairs.

Certainly the image of Hillary Clinton traveling around the world is one that we all recall.  Just how much traveling was involved is documented in the pages of Hard Choices.  It seems as though she traveled everywhere and met and dealt with everyone of any importance during her State Department Duties.  

Hillary not only tells the stories of National and International events but she also presents honest portraits of World leaders and people who worked with her and for her at the State Department.  One of the most touching verbal portraits that she paints is that of Richard Holbrooke, an outstanding personality who was almost single handedly responsible for the end of the Bosnian War during Bill Clinton's Administration.  Hillary Clinton put Holbrooke in charge of attempting to resolve the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, two equally impossible world conflicts.  In Hillary's estimation Holbrooke did an outstanding job but was not able to finish the assigned tasks.  Clearly Holbrooke's  sudden death hit Hillary hard, as did the death of two State Department Representatives and two CIA Agents in Benghazi.

Hillary tells the story of Benghazi in detail and after what appears to be her rendering of the complete story of Benghazi one wonders why Republicans continue to try to dig up more details in expensive inquiry after inquiry about this rather simple, yet terrifying story.

Hillary Clinton has much to say in her book about many world leaders, including Vladimir Putin of Russia and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, both of whom have much to do with what is currently occurring on today's world stage.

After finishing Hillary's highly readable and interesting Autobiography I felt as though I had traveled the globe with Hillary and in a sense I had.

This book is not only extremely interesting from a historic perspective it is simply extremely interesting from any perspective.  Clearly this book shows that when Hillary Clinton has a job to do she will do her best to do it well. Even Republicans would have to agree, after reading this book, that Hillary Clinton really did a good job as United States Secretary of State.  In my mind Hard Choices is evidence that Hillary Clinton is up to the task of being President.  In fact, if and when she is elected perhaps she can return the favor to President Obama and ask him to be her Secretary of State.  He will of course be out of a job in 2016 and may be as grateful for the opportunity to work for Hillary as she was to work for him.

Actually one of the amazing things about the Clinton-Obama relationship is just how much Obama trusted Clinton with regard to world affairs.  

They had occasional disagreements, however.  What has been revealed by Hillary recently and is revealed in this book is that she and President Obama did not agree on what to do about Syria.  Clinton wanted to arm the less extreme Syrian rebels to fight against President Assad and President Obama refused to do so.

As ISIS terrorists roll into the consciousness of the world it is still hard to see who was right about Syria, Obama or Clinton.  Many experts disagree as much as Clinton and her President did.  Many say that arming Syrian rebels other than ISIS could have made life tough for ISIS.  Others point out that ISIS has stolen and bought equipment from other Syrian rebels and still others point out that other Syrian rebels besides ISIS sold the recently beheaded American Journalists to ISIS.

The mysteries of World Politics continue and the truth is that we will never really know whether Clinton or Obama made the correct decision regarding arming Syrian rebels.  We also don't know from reading Hillary's book whether or not the Syrian Rebel arms decision was the one that led to her departure from the Obama Administration.

Certainly I feel that the question of her readiness for Presidential leadership is answered by this book.  Anyone capable of writing a book this good about a job well done by Hillary Clinton, in addition to the other outstanding items on her resume, including Senator from New York and First Lady of the United States, is enough for me and I think should be enough for anybody.

Hillary has stated that she will be making an announcement regarding whether or not she will run for President sometime early next year.  If we are lucky she will run.  If she is lucky she won't run and put herself through the wringer any more than she has already and she will ride off into the sunset with her grandchild.  Presently, however, the mystery of will she or won't she will haunt the media for the immediate future while she makes up her mind.

Presently, if you haven't made up your mind about Hillary, I suggest that you take some time and read this book and I will be very surprised if you don't get ready to sign up for her campaign.

Well, there it is.  Take it or leave it.  I admired Hillary before reading the book but I really admire her now.  I will certainly be in her corner if she makes the leap back into politics and I will vote for her in the Pennsylvania Primary just like I did last time.  This time, however, I hope that I will get a chance to also vote for her in the 2016 Presidential Election, as well.  

Certainly, I don't see anyone in the Insane Republican Clown Posse who can hold a candle to Hillary.  In fact, I don't see anyone in the Democratic ranks who could possibly steal the Primary from her.  But lets be cautious here. Nobody with any real insight saw Barack Obama coming the last time out in 2008 and it is Mr. Obama in the White House.  There could be other candidates, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Former Governor Brian Schweitzer.  We will have to see what happens after Hillary makes her decision and lets the rest of us know what it is.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

In A World Gone Mad, Why The Hell Is Anyone In Their Right Mind Paying Attention To Lindsey Graham

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

My Dear America:

I have tried very hard over the period of time that I have been writing my Blog to use language that I consider to be appropriate and not offensive to anyone. I admit that I have slipped a few times but for the most part I have been pretty successful in my effort not to offend anyone other than Republicans and Tea Baggers.  I have made this effort to be appropriate primarily because I wanted my Blog to be something that showed young people a modicum of appropriate language and might be something that did not lead young people in a wrong direction.  I still hope my Blog will not turn off young people but as I start this Blog Posting I must in advance apologize for some of my language.

Here Goes.

Ukraine, Israel, Gaza, Syria, Lybia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Korea, China and Russia.

People, we are truly up Shits Creek without a paddle.  There is no doubt about that.  We are loaded up with Crises across the Globe.  Some of them appear to be easily solvable but many, if not most of them, seem to be without the possibility of any solution and instead of moving toward getting solved these problems seem to be moving toward getting worse.

Certainly the problem of Israel and Hamas is one that seems to be headed toward more death and destruction, not less.  Yes, Israel deserves to live without fear of bombs dropping on them from a terrorist organization.  But the residents of Gaza also deserve to live without fear of death and destruction at a moments notice.

In the Ukraine the death of nearly 300 innocent airline passengers in a plane shot down by a Russian Air Defense System seems to have encouraged Russian President Vladimir Putin to step up Russia's belligerent activities in the Ukraine, rather than to cause him to become more hesitant to act.  Any illusions about Putin being a sensible and sensitive world actor at the present time are being put to rest as Vlad pushes on in his plan to conquer all the territory he has seen some of his more peace loving predecessors allow to become free and independent states.  Georgia and Crimea are back under Russian control.  Clearly Ukraine is next on the Russian agenda.

According to Self Appointed Republican Guru, Arizona Senator John McCain, we have never seen it so bad.  He may be right but He may also be wrong.  Has he forgotten the Vietnam War in which The U.S. lost fifty million Soldiers killed and God knows how many more wounded.  During that war McCain spent a great deal of time in a North Vietnamese prison camp.  Doesn't he think that that experience was worse than today.  Perhaps McCain, a failed Republican Candidate for President in 2008, can claim some credibility in his statement based on his experience.

On the other Hand, why is Lindsey Graham, the man described by Comedian-Commentator, Bill Mahr as "McCain's Bitch", showing up constantly on Television commenting on the deteriorating state of world affairs.  Graham recently won his Republican Senatorial Primary Battle to keep his Senate Seat. I suppose that in a world where many politicians are fearful of Tea Party challengers this has gained him some credibility but the truth is that neither McCain, and certainly not Graham, have any real standing when it comes to commenting on world affairs.  

McCain and Graham are twins in one respect.  They trace pretty much all of the world's problems to President Obama.  Even though the world is falling apart and now would be a good time for Republicans to get off the Benghazi Bandwagon and start believing in and practicing the concept of "My Country, Right or Wrong", That doesn't seem to be happening. 

Republicans continue to blame President Obama for the messes they clearly started.  Witness Dick Cheyny, Ryan Crocker, John Bolton and other Bush era strategists having the gall to get on Sunday Television news and talk shows following the ISIS crisis in Iraq and blame ISIS on Obama's rush to get out of Iraq, instead of their own rush to get into Iraq in the first place.

As much as I didn't appreciate George W. Bush when he was in office I thoroughly appreciate the fact that he seems to be keeping his mouth shut while his advisory parade of fools have continued to embarass themselves on Television.

And following the ISIS crisis the parade of Bush Era Has Been Obama Haters on Television were joined by none other than Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

So My question is who determines who will be invited to television shows like "Meet The Press', "This Week", "Face the Nation" and "State of the Union". 

And also who determines the topics discussed.  Whoever is in charge of these mostly well respected programs should take some care in deciding on who will or will not appear on these shows and take pains to only include appropriate guests who actually have something worthwhile to contribute to discussions other than whining that "Its all Obama's fault."  

We expect Unfair and Unbalanced News on Fox News.

We expect something better from Network and Cable News Networks other than Fox.

In a World Gone Mad Let's at Least get Lindsey Graham off News shows where he has nothing worthwhile to add to any discussion other than bashing President Obama.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Monday, June 2, 2014

Welcome Back To The Homeland, Sergeant Bergdahl

Monday, May 30th, 2014

My Dear America:

Yesterday the Sunday Morning Talk Shows spent a great deal of time discussing the previous Saturday release from 5 years of captivity of American Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.  Sergeant Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban when he apparently left his Afghan base without permission.  

Today, although most politicians welcomed the Sergeant home enthusiastically, some like John McCain and Ted Cruz seemed to focus mostly on the fact that in exchange for the Sergeant's release the Taliban got five of their leaders back from an extensive all expense paid vacation at the Guantanamo Bay Hilton in Cuba.

While I certainly don't like the fact that we had to release 5 Taliban Leaders in exchange for one Army Sergeant, I support the trade of this young man's life for the Taliban Thugs.  Will those cutthroats come back to harm us?

Perhaps, they will.

Yet that one prisoner who we had not been able to free up until now will soon be home and his attractive mother and hipster looking dad will also now be free to resume their lives with their son.

Surely it will not be easy for this young man to return to a country where his very presence will be a target for Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to rail at the President for supporting this deal. 

I would hope that before the Fox News Hounds and the Dittoheads begin bashing this young man who has obviously suffered enough, that they would think about what they say and what they do.  For God's Sake, give this young man a chance to return to a normal life and not have his homecoming and his life turned into a political football.

I would suggest that Chicken Hawks like Rush Limbaugh and Ted Cruz, if they don't like this deal, should volunteer to take Sergeant Bergdahl's place so that those released from Guantanamo Bay could be immediately recaptured and Cruz and Limbaugh could take Bergdahl's place with the Taliban in Afghanistan.  If Rush and Ted are unwilling to put their freedom on the line then they should shut up and joyfully welcome home Sergeant Bergdahl.

Please, America, give this fine young soldier time to recuperate and once again become accustomed to being an American again.  It will not be easy for him but if Americans can accept him back to his country with enthusiasm and good wishes perhaps we can make his life much more comfortable than it has been for the last five years.



Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher   

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mystery Plane - Where in the World is Flight MH370

Monday, March 17th, 2014

My Dear America:

Today begins another week in which we the people of the world continue to look with fascination at what happened to the formerly routine flight from Koala Lampur, Malaysia to Beijing, China.

As the clues have piled up over the last week the news looks weirder and weirder and the consequences of what is up with this Mystery Plane become tougher to figure out and understand.

At first it was thought that the mystery of Flight MH370 would be easily solved in figuring that the plane sank for some unknown reason in the South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.  

But things have not turned out to be quite that simple.  As more and more aviation experts from more and more countries became involved with the investigation it was discovered that after the Transponders shut off and the plane could no longer be tracked easily it became apparent from other methods of tracking that right after the Transponders were apparently turned off by someone on the plane the direction that the plane was flying changed course and headed out in an entirely different direction.  

Most experts now seem to agree that someone on the plane, possibly the pilot or co pilot, physically turned off the transponders and manually changed the course of the aircraft.  Now, experts and non experts seem to agree that this odd behavior on the part of this aircraft may very well be sinister, or at the very least worrisome.

I certainly do not think of myself as an expert on air travel but it occurs to me that some aspects of this continuing aviation mystery sound ominous, indeed.  
Where is this plane, we ask.  Did it disappear into some distant ocean?  Did it get taken by aliens.  Or did it get taken by aliens of a different stripe, terrorists possibly, who may be planning to fly the plane into some long distance target like the 9/11 hijackers did.  The best and brightest of our aircraft experts continue to look for clues and for answers to this high flying mystery.  

Hopefully we will find out the answers to this modern day mystery soon.  As Agent Mulder used to say on "The X Files," "The truth is out there."  Hopefully we will find that truth in time to keep another high flying airliner bomb from blowing up something else up in America or elsewhere.  

I would certainly hope that we find the Malaysian airliner landed on some deserted island with a home made landing strip and that the passengers are hungry but otherwise healthy and alright.  That would be wonderful to have this aviation nightmare end like that but I would be very surprised if it does end like that.

I can be hopeful, though, and will try to be just that until there is good reason to be less than hopeful.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hillary Clinton's History Lesson

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

My Dear America:

"These are the times that try men's souls," a Great American once said.

"I can't believe we're on the Eve of Destruction," another Great American once said.

"Why don't these destructive Republican Windbags just shut up," I say.

I am talking about John McCain and Lindsay Graham, among other Whiners.

Don't these people have any common sense.  We are possibly on the brink of a situation which could destroy the world in the blink of an eye and all these people can do is find fault with President Obama and harken back to Benghazi.

I've got news for you, Foxholes.  We are Waaay Past Benghazi at this point in time and it is about time for those people who have made their reputations and their money by riding the back of the President of the United States to get off his back and get behind him as he tries to deal sensibly with possibly the most dangerous individual in the world.  It is time for Republicans to realize that this political nonsensical game of "Hate the President" that they are playing is just what Vladimir Putin needs to succeed in his attempt to annex the Ukraine.  As long as Republicans tie the President up in their ridiculous political game of "Loudest Fool Of The Week" Putin will be not only taking advantage of the President but he will be walking all over all of us.   

Hillary Clinton said it best when she compared what Putin is doing to what Hitler did during World War II.  Clearly Putin is using the same excuses to invade Crimea that Hitler did to invade nearly all of Europe.  I am tired of people trashing Hillary for saying something that was absolutely true when she found Putin's actions eerily similar to Hitler's.

We are clearly in a dangerous and truly life or death situation in the Ukraine and whether people like or don't like President Obama if they are American citizen's it is time to recognize that the President's choices are limited.  Now is not the time to be finding fault with him as he tries to keep this extremely dangerous situation from getting completely out of control.

Those Warmongers who drumbeat for Military action need to wake up to reality.  We are living in the Nuclear Age and if we aren't careful here we could truly be living on the Eve of Destruction.  The consequences of foolhardy actions by anyone in power at this point in time could very well be the end of all of us.  So Please let the President do his extremely difficult job while trying to make the best of this Very Very Bad Situation.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Monday, February 3, 2014

Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge Over Troubled Watergate Scandal

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

My Dear America:

                                          In A World Gone Mad

                                           Chris Chistie is Sad


                                            and Embarassed 

The Super Bowl is over now and New Jersey can get back to finding out what their Governor Knew and when he knew it regarding the September shutdown of two lanes of traffic over four days on the George Washington Bridge separating Fort Lee, New Jersey from New York City.

Clearly this story of lane closures on the George Washington Bridge would have been nothing but a local story if it were not for two things.  One,The George Washington Bridge is a main thoroughfare into probably the most important city in the world.  Two, The Governor of New Jersey was, before this scandal occurred, one of the top contenders for the Republican Nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 Election.  Now this terribly tainted politician will be lucky to be elected Dogcatcher in 2016.

What already seems obvious to me in this ugly and embrassing scandal is that Chris Christie's reputation as a Political Bully has been well deserved. 

Clearly Chris Christie has earned his bully boy reputation by repeatedly showing his ugliness to many of his constituents over the course of his Governorship of New Jersey.  Many New Jersey residents including teachers, parents, politicians and reporters have had the low honor and lack of privilege of being called an "Idiot" or worse by Governor Christie.

To me, as one who has been obsessed with "Watergate" since the Seventies, I am fascinated by some of the similarities between the Watergate Scandal and the Bridgegate Scandal.  

For one thing it was never necessary for either Richard Nixon or Chris Christie to do anything wrong or cause a scandal.  They were both landslide vote getters at the time they tried to cover up illegal actions.  

Both Nixon and Christie seemed to feel entitled to do whatever they wanted in their administrations and to punish people who they felt did not bend to genuflect to their Meglomania.

Both Nixon and Christie were well known to be control freaks who one would certainly assume would know what was going on in their administrations.

Both Nixon and Christie, whether or not they had approved the initial illegal activities by their staffs in the end tried to cover up the illegal activities.

Nixon and his administration tried to over up the Watergate Break in by firing his White House Counsel, John Dean and placing the entire blame of Watergate on Dean's shoulders.

Christie seems to be taking a chapter out of Nixon's playbook by distancing himself from David Wildstein, the Christie's appointee, whose E Mails between himself and Christie's Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly show involvement in the lane closings.  Now, after Wildstein's Lawyer in a letter to the Port Authority indicates Christie involvement in the lane closings, Christie has taken his distancing between himself and Wildstein much further.  In a memo sent to selected Christie insiders, suggestions are made regarding how to implement a scorched earth policy with regard to David Wildstein.  This memo indicates a willingness to destroy David Wildstein's reputation in every ugly way possible including stating that David Wildstein was not liked in high school.  Wildstein and Christie were high school acquaintances, although now Christie claims he barely knew Wildstein in high school.

Clearly what the Bridgegate scandal shows is that Christie's ugliness is not just skin deep.  Even if Christie was not personally involved in ordering the closing of the lanes on the George Washington Bridge, there are other matters which have come up as a result of the lane closures that to my mind are far more disturbing than closing those lanes for four days.

First of all, if the lanes were closed to punish the Democratic Mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey for not supporting Christie in his 2013 campaign that is disturbing enough.  Why in the hell should a Democratic Mayor of any city in New Jersey be expected to endorse the Republican Candidate for Governor?

In addition to political retribution against the Fort Lee Mayor, as a result of the GW Bridge Scandal some poking around by reporters has unearthed some other tales of Political abuse of Democratic Mayors in New Jersey.

Mayor Stephen Fulop of Jersey City was even mentioned in one of the Bridgegate E Mails.  When reporters went to talk with Mayor Fulop they found out that after Fulop's election he was told by representatives of Governor Christie that the Governor was willing and anxious to work with Mayor Fulop in every way possible.  Indeed, a day was set aside by the Governor's Office for several representatives of New Jersey Government Agencies to meet with Fulop and begin helping him in every way they could, Fulop was told.  Just a short time before Fulop was scheduled to meet with the several representatives from the state Fulop was asked whether he would agree to support Governor Christie in his Re Election bid.  Fulop advised the representative of the Governor's office that he was not willing to support Christie in the Governor's race and within days all of the state agency representatives who had been scheduled to meet with Fulop canceled their previously scheduled meetings with him.  When Mayor Fulop tried to recontact these NJ Agency reps he was unable to reach them and reschedule.

Also Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken claims that she was advised by high ranking Christie officials that if she did not support a land deal with the Rockefeller Group that Hurricane Sandy funds for Hoboken could be adversely affected. 

These intimidation and extortion tactics seem to be business as usual for the Christie Administration.  Why is that?

While we're at it, Where was the New Jersey State and National Democratic Party in 2013 when Barbara Buono (a very good candidate) was running her lonely campaign for Governor of New Jersey with little in the way of money or support forthcoming for her from her party?  Why couldn't some of the Democratic Party All Stars like Barack and Hillary stop by the state to help her?

And by the way what was up with those Democratic Mayors who did support Christie in his bid for re election?

And how did Christie get away with spending enormous sums of Hurricane Sandy funds on the "Stronger than the Storm" commercials featuring Christie and his family that ran constantly during the middle of his re election Campaign in 2013.

What we are left with in January of 2014 is a sitting Governor who is spending a fortune from the state on legal representation and a legislature that is doing the same, while David Wildstein can't seem to get the Port Authority to pay his legal bills.  No wonder he is angry.

Wildstein is, after all, the John Dean sacrificial lamb in this latest ugly New Jersey version of Watergate.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher