tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC December 18, 2013 1:00am-2:01am PST
organizer in some way. the pope, the pope has his views, but he's earned them. the same can't be said for ms. fonda, mr. clinton, ms. gore, barack obama, elizabeth warren or other high priests. thank you all, that is all in for this evening. >> i am so tempted to start talking about jesus christ the original community organizer. >> that's a lot there. >> but that's going to make for a very long night. >> we should have that conversation sometime. anyway, thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. once upon a time, a member of congress shocks a watermelon. he shot a poor defenseless watermelon with a pistol. he thought that shooting a watermelon in his backyard might help him prove his theory that president bill clinton was secretly a murder.
>> we at my house with a homicide detective tried to re-create a head and fired a .38 four-inch barrel into that to see if the sound could be heard from 100 yards away, even though there's a effort mover making all kinds of racket and you could hear the bullet clearly. >> you could hear the bullet clearly when he shot the watermelon. or maybe it was a pumpkin, perhaps a honey dew. he shot it and that proved to him at least that a former deputy white house council who killed himself in the early 90s had probably been murdered by president bill clinton or something. it was never totally clear what exactly he was after with the backyard stunt. but indiana republican congressman dan burton did shoot a watermelon in his backyard. congressman dan burton also
spent years and millions of dollars mounting a full scale congressional investigation into the clinton white house christmas card and the list of people to whom this evil dastardly clinton christmas card was september. there's got to be a scandal there somewhere. dan burton also demanded to know whether taxpayer dollars were being extended to respond to fan mail that was september to the clinton family cat, who was named socks. congressman dan burton was involved in a lot of really embarrassing stuff involving witch hunting the clintons in his time in office. he also had his share of his own embarrassments, he got caught out in an fbi investigation of pakistan's military secretly funneling money to members of the u.s. congress. he got up on the house floor and invade against president clinton for his sexual immorality. >> no one, regardless of what
party they serve, no one in which branch of government they serve should be allowed to get a away with these alleged sexual improprieties. >> that was congressman dan burton speaking on the house floor, not long before he himself admitted that he too had had a long extramarital affair which included him fathering a child who he had kept secret for years. for all the years that he was saying publicly that politicians should never be allowed to get away with their affairs. that particular bit of hypocrisy led to shelly lewis to give dan burton the greatest -- she calls him hoosier daddy. dan burton had his own scandals, but dan burton's lasting legacy in congress was not just his own scandals and hipocrisy, but rather the way he tried to make up scandals for other people and the way he use the power of one particular part of congress to launch witch hunt after witch hunt.
when president clinton was re-elected in a landslide and the republicans lost seats in congress, the republicans themselves decided they were going to put dan burton in charge of the house oversight committee. that was the perch in which dan burton had the power to investigate the white house christmas card and socks's fan haters and the vince foster suicide and white water and white house fund rasing and, and, and, and. in the six years that they let dan burton keep that chairmanship, he used the facts that he was chair of that committee to issue more than 1,000 subpoenas. he issued so many subpoenas, at one point he issued a subpoena to a man who just had a name that was similar to one of the 140 -- dan burton was just crazed with hatred for the democratic president.
he told his hometown paper if i could prove 10% of what i believe happened, clinton would be gone. this guy's a scum bag, that's why i'm after him. and that's what dan burton decided should be the way that congress would treat the sitting president while bill clinton was in office. it's kind of clear from the get-go, as soon as he got that chairman ship that him being in charge of that very powerful committee was going to be a little ---democrats on the committee wrote him this letter after he had only been chairman for two months expressing their alarm that in the first month alone of his chairmanship, he had already issued 46. he also unilaterally -- he declared that he and he alone had the power to decide if he could release to the media any and all of the documents that he obtained by subpoena. and since the documents he was trying to get by subpoena were things like oh, say records of
doctors visits to the white house to treat members of the clinton family, the democratic members of this committee, they were able to sort of shut dan burton down a little bit. they were at least able to get a ruling from the congressional parliamentarian, that it's the whole committee not just one guy who has to decide how documents get handled and what documents could get released to the press. nothing that could stop dan burton from being the amazing congressman that he was for all those years that he was there. but the democrats way back in 1987, they were able to stop that one thing about him and him deciding what documents he was going to release, no matter how secret they were. now the republicans are bringing all that back. republican congressman whose now in charge of the oversight committee is darrell issa of california. when darrell issa's committee held hearings on tsa security at airports the tsa submitted -- security breaches at u.s.
airports. as soon as those confidential documents were given to darrell issa, they ended up in usa today. usa today was very excited to have that scoop. they wrote the documents obtained in a advance by usa today were submitted to a house subcommittee on homeland security. and then as soon as they were submitted to that committee, they were forwarded immediately to the press. in 2012, same thing, darrell issa convened a hearing on the fast and furious gun program. they were going to be used in a criminal case. but as soon as darrell issa got them, he published them. he put them in the congressional record. quoting them, describing them in detail. role call noted at the time that because those wiretap applications were under court seal, releasing that kind of information to the public ordinarily would be illegal. ordinarily but darrell issa does
not care. he just release what is he wants to release. later in 2012, he held hearings on the attack in benghazi. the state department had released to him information about specific libyan nationals who had worked with the u.s. government in their country. at his hearings on benghazi, darrell issa revealed their identities, the libyans who were working with us. oh, what could possibly go wrong. congressman issa did not bother to redact the names of libyan civilians and local leaders mentioned in the cables. why would he? congressman darrell issa is a human sive. he's a piece of tupperware where the lids shrank in the dishwasher and will never close again. at least dan burton said he wanted to be able to freely released whatever documents he felt like as a form of political intimidation. darrell issa doesn't seem to be able to stop himself from doing it.
the fact and furious documents, the ones that were under a court seal, when the democrats in the justice department came back to him on that and said what are you doing? this stuff was ordered sealed, his office's explanation for why they leaked those documents is that they forgot they were under court seal. oops. but now darrell issa is doing his thing on his next obsession which is obama care. the top democrat on his committee has just written to congressman issa complaining that nobody wants to give their committee any sensitive material anymore because darrell issa leaks it all. because telling darrell issa anything that's a secret is the equivalent of putting that secretly up on a billboard. quote, just last week your office leaked to cnn emails that had that just been produced to the committee. it does not appear that you took any official action associated with this leak such as a letter or even a press release, but rather it appears that your
staff simply e-mailed the documents to a cnn reporter as soon as they received them. that letter was sent late last week. at the same time, the white house, the obama administration also just started saying no to dan burton. i mean darrell issa. darrell issa had asked for documents that the department of health and human services says would essentially provide the blueprint for potential cyber attacks, not just on healthcare.gov, but on any spectacularly constructed federal it system. it's the security testing documents for this website. as such, these are obviously really, really sensitive documents and if there's one thing that darrell issa has shown he has no -- the obama administration as of the last few days is now officially and in writing saying to darrell issa, no. no, you can not have these documents that you want to have. you can see them, but you cannot
take them with you. you can look at them. you can review them with your own staff and with your own experts, but you cannot have copies of this stuff, because any time you get copies of anything, you e-mail them to cnn. it's a fight that remains unresolved. yesterday the administration went so far as to go around darrell issa and write to john boehner as speaker of the house. it's a really interesting fight in congress. it is a legit fight and it is one for which there is lots of precedent earned in part by the man who called more than 34 witnesses and demanded attorney 34,000 documents to investigate this christmas card back in the 90s. our new version of dan burton, darrell issa is taking his show on the road. doing what he calls congressional field hearings. but which are essentially traveling darrell issa road shows.
where he's arranged all the testimony in advance, he asks specifically for what he would like to hear. only people opposed to obama care have been invited to testify at these previous hearings. members of the audience are not allowed to speak at them at all so anybody who wants to say anything positive about obama care has basically been talking out on the streets and in front of darrell issa's hearings because they are not allowed to speak if they go inside. and the state of texas, the proportion of the population that does not have health insurance of any kind is the highest in the nation. and texas is doing everything it can to try to keep it that way. they could have cut the number of people who are uninsured by half just by agreeing to expand their public insurance program, texas said no to that as soon as they had a chance to say no this past summer. and texas went so far as to pass this 64-page long set of regulations that's designed to
make it almost a criminal act, almost legally impossible to help someone sign up for private health insurance in texas. in texas, health care navigators will be banned by law from explaining to people the differences between types of health insurance plans that are being offered. they will be barred by texas law from recommending that they do sign up for health insurance. texas is doing everything it can to keep texans from having health insurance, by any means necessary. and darrell issa loves the texas strategy and to celebrate it, he brought his traveling anti-obama care road show to texas last night, specifically to go after the health care navigators issue the way that texas has. and although chairman issa did make a little progress, he did allow one democrat to speak last night. otherwise he just called on republican congressmen so they can talk about how much they hate obama care. that's what they call a hearing. there was this one amazing moment when one of the texas republicans decided to call
essentially a new witness, at least to bring forth the new evidence, when he sprung a surprise on the people assembled for the darrell issa hearing and decided to play for everybody there at the hearing a little thing he saw on fox news. >> the american people are frustrated with these changes and it is simply adding to the confusion surrounding their health care. and then we haired this, and i would have you look at the screen. >> when you look up at the scene, look, it's bill o'reilly. they showed clips from the bill o'reilly show at their fake hearing. so as to get at the facts of obama care. amazing. and then at the very end of the hearing, the administration, the administrator who was in charge of medicare and medicaid for the state of texas, he testified at this fake hearing, he testified that private medical information
is not stored online at the healthcare.gov website. and darrell issa was incensed by this system. and the quote was you need to watch more fox, i'm afraid. that's a quote. if you really want to know what's going on with texas health care, i'm afraid you're going to have to watch more fox news, guy that's in charge of texas health care. darrell issa is not the most amazing member of congress ever, but give him time. right now the obama administration is in a really big fight with darrell issa over what powers he has claimed for himself and the fact that he leaks like a sive when we gets any sensitive information. darrell issa is now calling himself the lead overseer of the nation. as such he is now traveling the country holding essentially sham
congressional hearings at which he shows clips of the bill o'reilly show and berates health care administrators about how they need to be watching more fox news if they really want to understand what's going on. this cannot possibly end well. joining us now is zeke emanuel. thanks very much for being here, it's nice to have you here. >> nice to be back. >> so at these somewhat ridiculous field hearings, congressman issa this week decided to target navigators, what is a navigator and why are they needed? what role do they play in the law? >> well, navigators are people who help other people who are looking for insurance go through what they care about, what kind of insurance they want, help them with the website or if they're doing it on paper, help them on paper. we should remember navigators have a long history. we called them other things, agricultural extension workers
to help farmers adapt to certain new seeds, we had these kind of extension workers to help people sign up for medicare in the past. we have used this kind of technique for in different approaches and different kinds of outreach by the government. and i think one particular function they serve is in complicated families. you know, it's one thing to go on and shop for two parents and two kids. but there are a lot of families in america that have a lot more complicated relationships, a grandmother raising a granddaughter or a niece, a and those kind of situations create problems for getting insurance and figuring out what people are eligible for and the navigators can help those kind of people. >> aside from playing fox news clips and berating state administrators saying they didn't understand it if they didn't understand fox, which was amazing. i think what they were doing is they were trying to nationalize, at least put a national
spotlight on what texas has done to shut down navigators, i looked through those 64 pages of regulations, they essentially tell you it's against the law, it's at least against state regulations to tell anybody the differences between various health plans or to advise someone that they should sign up for health insurance. they have made it almost criminal to help anybody sign up. do you think that will have an overall substantial material effect on whether or not texans are going to be able to get signed up? >> it's going to have an effect. the navigators are an important element. there's lots of other ways people can sign up. but there's certain people who are either suspicious of things on the internet, find healths care complicated and having someone they can talk to right next to them who can help them and guide them through the process is going to be important. almost all of us have been
frustrated when we have gotten on the web and tried to call a help line, and having someone next to you instead of at the other end of a telephone can be a good way to these complicated issues. they are trying to try everything they can to obstruct people being helped and i think the intention is pretty clear, texas has made very clear that they don't want any part of obama care, even though they do have about a quarter of their population without health insurance. and that i think is the tragedy that the very poorest of the poor in texas are going to be the people particularly hurt by their policies. >> as we come up on new enrollment deadlines as we roll through the end of the year and toward that important march date for example, one of the things that seems like it's another sort of x factor in terms of whether or not it's going to affect how many people sign up is this plan by the insurance companies, the insurance industry to spend roughly half a billion dollars on advertising next year letting people know
about their options, trying to encourage them to sign up. what do you anticipate in terms of the effect of that spending? >> i think, you know, this is a case where the insurers are aligned with the expansion of the exchanges because this is the new area of business, this is going to be a growth market. they would like to see people come in to this markets. they want to see a balance pool that has young people as well as sick people. it's in their interests and i think they're showing this by advertising and trying to get people to sign up. i think that will correspond with a push by the federal government and the president to get more people to sign up and to make them aware of their options, now that the website is working reasonably well, i notice that over the last couple of days, they improve the shop and compare that is the unanimous shopper where you can just see what's available in your state, so that you can see the actual premium you'll pay with the subsidy included. so these improvements are being
made and i think they're getting ready for a big push for people to sign up over the -- they basically have about 3 1/2 more months and i think this wave of advertising by the insurance company is going to add to that push. >> half a billion dollars never hurts. zeke emanuel, former health policy manager at the white house. all right, if new jersey governor chris christie was hoping that today was the day that people stopped talking about a certain traffic jam on the world's busiest bridge, turns out today is really not that day. starting to make a leap today and has helped that story motor its way way beyond the tri-state area. how this became a national story today is coming up. [ mom ] because we have people over so often, we've learned how to stretch our party budget. ♪ the only downer? my bargain brand towel made a mess of things. so goodbye so-called bargain brands,
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this is such an amazing story i cannot believe it. this is a man named frank abbignail, who you may have heard of. frank was an airline pilot for pan am airline. he was also a doctor, he was also an accomplished lawyer. he also spent a little time teaching college. all of that by the ripe old age of 21. frank abbignail was a con artist, he was actually never any of those things by trade. but he managed to convince people he was all of these things even when he was still just a teenager. if you recognize the name frank abbignail, it was probably
because of this movie. he was portrayed in that movie by actor leonardo decaprio. he cashed fraudulent checks across the country, he did serve a stint in prison, but then when he got out, he went to work for the government. he took a job with the fbi doing consulting for the government and teaching fbi agents how to catch fraudsters like him. teaching the fbi the tricks of the trade that he had enjoyed for so long. we now know that that means that the frank abbignail, one of the country's most prolific and famous con artists was working inside the u.s. government at the same time that a federal fellow government employee somehow managed to pull off one of the craziest con man stories since the days of frank abbignail.
meet john beale. john beale for more than two decades was an employee of the epa, the environmental protection agency. he actually was a legit environmental expert. he worked on the clean air act of the 1990s. john beale for years and years, somehow managed to convince his supervisors that he was also simultaneously secretly working for for cia. he convinced his bosses and apparently everybody at the epa that he was an under cover agent at the cia and because of that, he just had to disappear from his work at the epa for very long periods of time and they shouldn't really ask him about it. the deception started in 2001 when mr. beale informed one of his epa managers that he had been assigned to a special advisory group. that's the branch of the cia that conducts covert operations. his assignment, mr. beale said
required him to be out of the office for one day every week. now his manager at the epa signed off on that agreement. but one day a week at the cia at the quote, cia. soon turned into lots of days a week. in june 2008, mr. beale failed to report to the epa offices for approximately six straight months, mr. beale told epa managers and employees that he was spending time working for langley. so in 2008 he disappeared for six whole months without telling anybody. during this lengthy unexcused absence, mr. beale continued to receive his epa salary. he was not just a low profile epa employee. he was the single highest paid employee at the epa and he just disappeared to go be a spy, he said. and it was not just those six months that he took off in 2008. he also took two whole years off
between 2011 and 2013 all under the guise of his super super top secret work at the cia. as you might imagine, the folks at the epa eventually started to get a little bit suspicious about the cia story, after a while. but every time they questioned him about it, he always had an answer. quote to explain his long absences, mr. beale told epa officials that he was engaged in intelligence work for the cia either at agency headquarters or in pakistan. at one point he claimed to be urgently needed in pakistan because the taliban was torturing his cia replacement while he was away. and this thing worked. the epa believed him. even when they questioned him and he said stuff like that. they believed him and they kept on paying him to the tune of nearly a million dollars all in salary and benefits. john beale did not get busted until earlier this year. he pulled this off for more than a decade. when the epa's inspector
general's office asked him what he was really doing when he claimed to be working for the cia. he stated that during these periods, he was actually was working around the house, riding his bicycle and reading books. he said he perpetrated this lie to, quote, puff up the image of myself. the epa's assistant inspector general who led the agency's investigation into mr. beale. i have worked for the government for 35 years and i have never seen a situation like this. he has never been to langley. the cia has no record of him ever walking through the door let alone employing him. john beale pled guilty to fraud this pasts september in federal court tomorrow he is finally going to be sentenced. as i said, this is a crazy story. watch this space.
the winter olympics in russia are less than two months away, they start on february 7. today the white house announced the american official presidential delegation to represent the united states at the opening ceremonies and the closing ceremonies of the winter games. now in years past, the leaders of the u.s. delegation to the olympics have been really high profile political figures like first lady michelle obama, vice president joe biden, president george w. bush. this year, though the leader of the u.s. delegation will be former secretary of the department of homeland security janet napolitano.
no offense. but janet napolitano. in addition the delegation includes the u.s. ambassador to russia, a presidential assistant from the white house, a deputy secretary of state and a bevy of former u.s. olympians, figure skater, a speed skater, also two u.s. athletes who are openly gay. tennis star billy jean king and ice hockey olympian kaitlin kayhow. no word on whether the decision to send this particular group, including two openly gay athletes has been -- but the combination of having openly gay people in the delegation and pointedly, not sending any high ranking high profile people from
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the woman you see here in this picture won the lottery. she may not look all that lucky. she is after all standing in the wreckage of her own life. a giant tornado destroyed the town of moore, oklahoma where she lives. you'll remember that that tornado was one of the biggest tornadoes every recorded on earth. it leveled everything in its path, including this woman's house. but look, she is pointing to something, she's pointing to the purpose built storm shelter where she rode out the terrifying storm that wrecked her house and her whole neighborhood. the ap photographer who took this picture reports that the woman and her husband had literally won a lottery for government rebates on shelters, they won which meant the cost of it was paid for it and so they got a shelter. a and when the storm hit them dead on, they lived because they had that shelter to climb into.
over the last decade or so, the town of moore, oklahoma has really been in a true tornado alley. after another deadly tornado there in 1999, the federal government helped thousands of people pay to install storm shelter. designed and tested to help you survive what otherwise might not be survivable. and these shelters work, i mean that's the important part, right? after the utter devastation this year in moore, oklahoma, scientists from texas tech where they design safe rooms and they test them, they went to moore and they walked through the neighborhoods looking for evidence of how their research had held up in the actual storm and it turn outs that the old-fashioned under ground shelters, yeah, they worked. also the newfangled above ground shelters, they also worked. if you got into a purpose built shelter, you survived. that's the way most of the tiny town of tushka, oklahoma rode out the storm in 2011 also in
their modern above ground safe room in the loll school. having a shelter, and not everyone has that. sometime heart breaking consequences. you might remember that in moore, oklahoma this year, the tornado struck a pair of elementary schools, one of them it hit square on. in the harder hit school, the walls collapsed and seven children died. they were smothered in the collapse of their building. because when that tornado hit, they really had nowhere to go. schools in moore, oklahoma do not have shelters or safe rooms. all around the town of moore who had those safe rooms were opening those hatches and those doors when the storm passed finding themselves and their neighbors alive. all of those kids in that school who had no place to take shelter, those kids were lost. after that storm, oklahoma's republican governor mary fallon was asked whether the state should do more to put shelters in schools.
she said the public should have a very vigorous discussions about what we can do within budget means. in oklahoma, within budget tear means whatever your town can afford or wants to spend. whether your town is relatively wealthy or relatively poor. or whether your town was lucky -- local democrat lawmaker in oklahoma decided he was going to try to do something about that. how can it be that you have to win a lottery to prepare for tornadoes, that people in rich towns will have ways for their kids to survive storms but nobody else will. how can it be when we know what works? state representative joe doorman asked the legislator to set aside $500 million to build safe rooms in the 2/3 of oklahoma schools that do not have them. 2/3. and when oklahoma's very
republican legislature blocked that idea, mr. doorman decided he would ask oklahoma voters directly to approve that funding. volunteers fanned out across the state collecting signatures at comic bookstores at gun shows, football games and hockey games. they kept working after governor fallon said she would not support the proposal to build the storm shelters for oklahoma schools. they kept working even after the state reworded their ballot measure. they worked until the deadline yesterday, and ultimately they fell short by about 25%, in bright red anti-tax small government oklahoma. now the story could have ended there. you try a couple of ways to get something done, you work really hard at it, you come up short, the state says no. what did you expect in oklahoma, right? but today joe doorman announced that he's taking another run at the issue and lots of other issues aside. today he says he's taking the very first steps to run for
governor next year as a progressive democrat in oklahoma. joe doorman wants to run for governor in oklahoma against a republican incumbent who won last time by 20 points. call him crazy, but his first exploratory town hall is scheduled for a day after tomorrow. he's going for it. joining us now for the interview, state representative joe doorman, he's leading the petition drive for shelters in those schools. thanks for being with us tonight. >> so mary fallon won the governor ship in 2010, by a huge margin, and oklahoma is really, really republican or at least votes really, really republican. what makes you think that you might be able to unseat here next year. >> going out and visiting with the persons that signed this petition, the oklahoma voter who is saw a need for storm shelters in schools, many of those people expressed disappointment in the governor and i will tell you, they admitted they were republicans and they were
ashamed that she was opposed to this issue. and i have hope that we will see some success with that, that we will keep this effort up and people will vote for the individual, they won't just vote for the party, that we will see some common sense prevail here. >> why do you think that your referendum drive to try to get storm shelters into the schools, why do you think it came up short, that must have been a big disappointment? >> the problem we faced was opposition from our state capitol. the polling number showed that this was very popular. initially the republican party chair in the state fought us, then governor fallon joined in that discussion. and then attorney general scott pruitt challenged our ballot title. we saw republican official after official fight this and this was simply to put this issue on the ballot to let the voters decide.
>> you could argue that a central processive idea may be the central progressive idea is that the people should -- the people should be able to use our government to accomplish together what we can't do alone. like for example building storm shelters or for that matter schools to put them in. why is that central idea such a hard sell in oklahoma? why at least have the republicans in oklahoma been so successful selling against that idea? >> and it's a difference between the officials inside the capitol building and those citizens outside. they had to lie and mislead and confuse the voters in oklahoma to throw in that doubt. we had so many people that were supportive of this until time and time again, these officials kept throwing doubt to the voters and i'm convinced we would have accomplished this goal if they would have kept their mouth shut or they would have provided a suitable alternative. so this point the only alternative governor fallon has proposed is to let the local districts raise their own property taxes. there's been no other solution presented.
>> if you are going to be running for governor, a and you're going to be the democrat on the ballot in november this upcoming a year this issue about storm shelters in schools will be a central part of your campaign? >> it will be a central part of the campaign and it will be a continued discussion. we will work hard to make sure that this oklahoma voters have the opportunity to vote on this issue sometime in 2014. the voters the people who worked hard in this position, they deserve the student to have a vote. >> joe doorman leading the fight to try to get short shelters in oklahoma schools. it's amazing to me that the majority of schools in your state do not have them. good luck to you sir, stay in touch, let us know how it goes. >> still to come, the biggest little traffic jam in the whole wide world, today made it all the way to washington.
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done as a country since 2009. on the other hand, as senate republicans scrounge up the votes to do this, they also announce they have no plans and no intention to pay for the spending that they just voted for, thank you very much. the senate's top republican, mitch mcconnell, told reporters that the house or the senate will be willing to vote for a debt ceiling increase next year, which, of course, is necessary in part because of the debt they just agreed to incur. so, to review what they just passed in the house and what they are about to pass in the senate, republicans will not agree to pay for when the bill comes due in march because fiscal conservatism? lost the calculator? something. more ahead. please stay with us. [ mom ] with my little girl, every food is finger food.
so it's been a big day for the new jersey bridge story. it was in multiple pages "the washington post" and "the new york times." all now reporting how one of governor chris christie's appointees, one of his high school buddies suddenly and without explanation ordered the shutdown of two of the entrance lanes onto the world's busiest bridge. that decision, quite predictably, gridlocked the entire town of new jersey for nearly a week back in september. just crushing epic traffic that paralyzed a whole town for four days imposed on purpose with no warning and no reason given. now, the initial attempt to explain was traffic study. there was a traffic study? yeah, there was a traffic study. that claim was quickly contradicted by the executive director of the agency that runs the bridge. he said, no, there was no
traffic study. then it turned out that two weeks before onramp-geddon chris christie in his bid for re-election. governor christie was on his way to election victory. it makes very little sense that his allies would intentionally gridlock that town, use the busiest bridge on earth in order to teach that a lesson. his high school friend resigned saying that the story was distracting. governor christie says that there was nothing political at all. mistakes were made and whatever those mistakes were, don't ask me, it has nothing to do with me. today, a big move in the case.
subpoenas between governor christie's office and the agency that runs the bridge during the period when the shutdown happened. and just like the press on this scandal, the investigation on this scandal has spread from the local regional issue to now being a national one. the chairman of the commerce science and transportation committee in the united states senate has now sent a letter to the agency that runs the bridge stating his concerns about political appointees abusing their power. "unwarranted lane closures without notice can have serious ramifications on interstate commerce and safety in the region." and what is the standard process for lane closures? how long does this planning process typically take? what process was followed for the lane closures?
did anyone conduct research into the potential impacts of closing access lanes to the busiest bridge in the nation? and on and on and on. the senate is asking for a response to all of those questions and many more by the middle of january. but wait, there's more. that same senate committee and its chairman, senator jay rockefeller have also now asked for a federal investigation. they have asked the federal department of transportation to launch their own simultaneous federal agency investigation into what happened in new jersey. whatever did happen still has not been explained. governor christie has gone so far as to say that mistakes were made and has accepted two top resignations. and so far he's trying to stick to the line that it was a traffic study. that has never seen credible and the director of the agency says it's not true. it seems we are likely to learn
definitively if the traffic study line is true. and if it's proven to not be true, what happens to chris christie then? good wednesday morning. mega millionaires, the second largest lottery jackpot has two grand prize winners. we'll tell you where. blackhawk down. six u.s. soldiers pay the ultimate price in afghanistan as war against the taliban rages on. battle in big sur. hundreds of fire fighters are facing raging flames and thick smoke in california's driest season on record. plus, police chief for a day brings joy and shaq to a a-year-old. the voice crowns a new winner during a star studded evening. and president obama sends a clear message to russia about
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