Bridges

English: , spanning the Hudson River between N...

English: , spanning the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey. New York Tower . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bridges are troublesome things; they cost money to build and will fail if not maintained. Some bridges generate controversy, such as the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska that was to connect Ketchikan to an island where its airport is located, replacing a ferry-boat. In war, rivers form natural defensive lines and bridges across them are natural choke points for advances and retreats. An example of that was the Bridge Too Far in WW2 where the Allies tried to advance too far, too quickly and were halted by the German defenders.

The George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York is the latest bridge to make the news. Someone ordered two lanes of traffic on the New Jersey side closed for four days, apparently to punish the residents of Fort Lee, New Jersey, whose Democratic mayor failed to endorse Chris Christie‘s re-election bid. At this time, everyone is denying responsibility, but I expect that the forthcoming investigation will identify a culprit, who will then apologize. It may be that a Christie aide took his boss’s jest for a suggestion to act. Just as Henry 2 of England’s exasperation with the Archbishop of Canterbury led to Thomas à Becket‘s death. Pope Alexander 3 threatened to excommunicate Henry if he did not repent.

Expert testimony is that 10,000s of US bridges are badly in need of maintenance and Barack Obama has asked congress to fund a modest start. Why won’t Congress authorize needed repairs? Because bridge maintenance will generate many jobs and make the President look good. The GOP want to defer job creation until after the 2016 election which they hope to win. In the meantime, many without jobs will remain unemployed, and motorists and others risk life and limb every time they cross a bridge.

It’s not their money

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of Ne...

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chris Christie spent $24 million taxpayer dollars to hold a special election in New Jersey that recently elected Cory Booker to the US Senate. Ted Cruz led a government shutdown that cost the economy $24 billion, one thousand times the amount wasted by Christie. At the same time the GOP are moaning about the national debt, the GOP are wasting taxpayer money on schemes they support. And who do they stick with the bill? The 99% who are asked to embrace austerity. The 1% refuse to pay their fair share.

Cory Booker

Image representing Cory Booker as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

Largely overlooked yesterday was the good news that Cory Booker was elected to the US Senate from New Jersey. I have been impressed with him for some time now. He tried to live on stamps for one week to see the effects. I wish all the members of Congress were required to try to do that before they vote on a reduction of food stamp benefits. Moments ago on CNN, Senator-elect Booker quoted an old saying as to how he intended to conduct himself in the Senate, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Cory Booker

English: Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey

English: Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cory Booker, the high-profile mayor of Newark, New Jersey, intends to live on a food-stamp budget for one week to demonstrate how difficult it is to do. I wish him well, I am looking forward to his reaction and report on the experience. I wish that every critic of food stamps and hunger in America would take a food-stamp challenge before uttering any criticism. As I watch the well-fed pundits and politicians on TV, I know that none of them are hungry.

2016

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hillsborough, NJ 3/2/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is not about the anti-Obama propaganda film which I intended to see but did not. I read the book instead. This post is my very early suggestion about who the nominees might be in 2016. It would be ironic if the two major party nominees were the governors of New York and New Jersey, whose states were most affected by hurricane Sandy. Andrew Cuomo for the Democrats and Chris Christie for the GOP. They would be judged, in part, on how well they responded to the hurricane and its aftermath. True leaders rise to the challenge as Rudy Guiliani did after 9-11. It is difficult to tell at this distance, but from here in Utah it appears that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not meeting the challenge of a devastated Staten Island.

As an aside, I would like to say that Chris Christie, favored by the GOP in 2012, may be opposed by some in the GOP in 2016 for his praise of President Obama. It is a shame that Republicans are punished like Charlie Crist of Florida for speaking the truth.