Re: Guest Post - A Bridge Too Far

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Yeah, but, is it too much to ask that he also have smoked crack? People expect a lot these days.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 6:50 AM
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Someone (JMM?) made the point that he was a "tough" prosecutor under the Bush DOJ and that if you weren't on their shit list it basically meant you were in the bag as far as using your office to promote Republican political goals.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:16 AM
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John Michael Montgomery.
Joint Math Meetings.
Jesus and the Merry Men.
Just Me Myself (and I).


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:20 AM
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Don't pretend you're not so addicted to the internet that you don't know exactly which political blogger that refers to.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:22 AM
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She might be but I'm not.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:23 AM
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Josh Marshall?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:25 AM
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Oh, I did. I just don't think of TPM as JMM.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:25 AM
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Obvs.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:25 AM
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I mean, I did actually think "joint math meetings" for a split second.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:25 AM
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That's the kind of math meetings I could get behind!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:35 AM
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2: I really don't know why nobody is willing to say this, other than the fact that Bob Menendez probably really is comically corrupt, but Christie launched an investigation into Menendez and his financial relations with a non-profit right before the 2006 Senate elections (when the Republicans had a fairly strong candidate). Like, literally, they launched the investigation in September 2006 and began leaking like a sieve. The case was quietly dropped after the election, and Christie kept his job.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:47 AM
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Who knows but that the Lord may be so kind as, out of His grace and infinite love, provide us a pay-per-view cage match meeting of Chris Christie and Rob Ford.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:49 AM
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Or perhaps using Sumo rules.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:52 AM
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Holy Christ, turns out I'm a long-winded motherfucker.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:57 AM
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11: Yes, Kornacki specifically covered that this morning on his show. I had to leave to take someone to the airport so missed most of it. But he was absolutely a leaky, politically-driven prosecutor in the mold of Ken Starr*. Many other examples as well. But it also means that deep in his heart of hearts he has a better insight than many politicians in his position as to exactly how things are likely to play out legally.

*Last seen taking time out from being a negative role model for Baylor students to write a letter in support of a child-molesting teacher at the fancy DC-area school his kids went to.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:02 AM
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11: You know, I don't best love Bob M., but he has been the subject of so many sleazy hit jobs (remember the Dominican prostitutes?) and consequently so carefully scrutinized that . . . Bergen Co. or no . . . maybe he isn't really corrupt?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:03 AM
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[R]emember the Dominican prostitutes?

A gentleman wouldn't have to.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:05 AM
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Christie was also one of the villains in an hour-long 2005 This American Life story.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:06 AM
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I wouldn't pay to watch Chris Christie fight Ira Glass, but I'd read a blog headline about it after the fact.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:14 AM
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Ah, I see the links did not come through:

Here is the link to the Christie email slamming Wildstein.

This is the story on David Samson's law firm's vastly increased government business under Christie. As Port Authority chairman, Samson is under scrutiny for his firm's ties to the development in Hoboken (proposed by the Rockefeller Group*) to which Christie's aides allegedly linked Sandy aid, and property near a new transit station in Harrison. I actually suspect at the bottom of the bridge thing is something to do with the new billion dollar development which completed a round of funding the week after the closures rather than mere political retribution against the mayor.

Also, he was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior is a direct quote from the counterattack email.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:14 AM
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18: Interesting tidbit from that piece: Chris Christie, was nominated to his job by President Bush on September 10, 2001.

The position was a reward for being a very successful bundler for GW in the 2000 campaign.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:21 AM
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OSTMWHYB


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:27 AM
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I don't have a single piece that is a good summary of all the threads that are unraveling for Christie and Samson right now, but for the few who are interested, "Well, That Escalated Quickly" an article at TPM written by Brian Murphy, another former employee of Wildstein as Wally Edge, is a good (and quite entertaining) summary of the situation at the moment.

He gets in a well-deserved slam at Politico as well (the attack email was leaked via Politico).

Obviously it is hard for me to take some of these criticisms seriously. They are so flailing and weak that I can't believe a journalist could claim Christie is "mount[ing] an aggressive defense." And they don't even seem to be true based on the article that Christie cites in his own email! Still, that's why you leak this to Politico rather than a home-state media outlet in the first place.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:35 AM
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proposed by the Rockefeller Group*

*?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:44 AM
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Did I miss the links in the email? I wondered vaguely about that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:51 AM
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12. I would certainly consider such an outcome to be strong evidence for the existence of some sort of benevolent power.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:56 AM
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24: Footnote was merely to say that earlier this week the Rockefeller Group publicly announced that they were disassociating themselves from the Wolff & Samson law firm on that development. I think beyond Christie himself, the Port Authority is going to undergo an agonizing reappraisal of its degree of politicization (notice how quiet Cuomo has been so far--quite understandably) and the many inherent conflicts of interest their board members etc. face. They do control many of the portals to Oz. The big tunnel was killed because its patronage potential was already used up.

Any chance of getting back to a marginally less political technocratic role? Maybe, but they control an extremely scarce and valuable resource.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:57 AM
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25: Yeah, they were embedded. But it's too long and boring anyway, and besides, no one ever clicks the links.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:58 AM
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27.1 - The big tunnel was killed because that was Christie making his bones for 2016, before Sandy reshuffled things.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:01 AM
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29: I'd say maybe killed for both reasons. Even though most of the funding was Federal it freed up some money to use for other things. Could be legitimate things, but also ones where the Christie folks could be in on the action, politically and/or financially.

But yes, I think a lot of the overreach was the hubris of running for 2016. So frustrating to see the main political press not make more of even "small" things like scheduling the separate special election for Senate when it could easily have been done at the general. I guess some of that will now get recast for what it was all along.

It might actually be worth watching Joe "dead intern in his office in 2001 not named Chandra Levy" Scarborough in coming days to watch him desperately try to pretend that the bus is still running.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:11 AM
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Christie also brokered sweetheart deals in corporate monitoring cases as US attorney, didn't he?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:14 AM
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30.3: That's the first I ever heard of that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:19 AM
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The TPM op-ed by Brian Murphy leaves me wondering whether Christie murdered Meredith Kercher. Jeez!!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:19 AM
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The deferred prosecution cases? From Wikipedia:

In one case, Christie recommended appointment of The Ashcroft Group, a consulting firm owned by his former boss John Ashcroft, as an outside monitor of Zimmer Holdings-- a contract worth as much as $52 million from Zimmer. In another case, Christie's office deferred criminal prosecution of pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers in a deal that required the company to dedicate $5 million for a business ethics chair at Seton Hall University School of Law, Christie's alma mater.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:19 AM
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2, 11: He was rumored to have been on the notorious US Attorney "drop list" before the Menendez case.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:21 AM
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32: IOKIYAAR


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:23 AM
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Now if we can only get Marco Rubio to implode, we can have another crazy, leaderless Republican primary like the last one.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 11:25 AM
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Exclusive from the Wall Street Journal twitter account (?!?): Philip Seymour Hoffman dead

|>

?!?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 11:30 AM
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Apparently so.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 11:52 AM
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Don't do drugs, kids. Unless you're Apo.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 12:00 PM
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The speed of wikipedia edits in response to news never ceases to surprise me:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunger_Games:_Mockingjay_-_Part_1


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 12:05 PM
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Or if you do, at least make sure the tabloids catch wind of it so it's not such a shock.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 12:05 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about PSH.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 12:15 PM
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Let it rain! A not very memorable role* but I liked that scene.

Although his character debuted "sharted."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 12:30 PM
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Ugh, that sucks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 12:31 PM
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||

Since the previous thread is dead, I'm cross-posting here:

I was basically right about the 6 floor inflection point, except it's more complicated than that:

- International Building Code prohibits wood construction above 5 stories, even if sprinklered. So that's a big threshold to cross (although not always, since not every building of 5 stories or less is wood frame).

- Pittsburgh defines "high-rise" as 70' above grade, which is driven by ladder access from fire trucks. In high-rise construction, you need all sorts of additional life safety measures (e.g. pressurized elevator shafts, ventilated stair towers; I don't really know, because I've never been involved in new high-rise construction). That limit will vary with municipality, but it's always going to be there somewhere.

So, bottom line: once you're above 5 stories, you're almost certainly not going to be building anything that's affordable to, say, the 80%, excepting the childless (I assume it's reasonably economical to build/lease studio apts even in true high-rises). Think in terms of all-in construction costs going from $150 or $200/sq. ft. at 5 stories to $300+ at 6 or above.

This info, btw, just fell into my lap at a Thursday evening meeting I happened to be at; it's not related to any work I'm doing nor to any research on my part.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 1:00 PM
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Christie got some nominal support from some "top" Republicans but it's all for show now, at this point bis national ambitions are a cartoon whose run off a cliff but whose legs are still churning.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 5:02 PM
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What I was actually kind of interested in before the latest flood of goofiness was the extent to which the general Christie administration behavior was just hardball-ish politics as usual with most of NJ playing along. At every level of government there is the equivalent of Samson's law firm that is the "right" one to use (but maybe literally making him the Chairman of the Pork Authority is the bridge slightly too far). Some of us have defended Don Siegelman on this very blog, and a lot of this has elements of that kind of thing. (However, the fact that Christie was such a practitioner of "criminalizing politics" himself imbues a kind of Game of Thrones grim satisfaction on these developments. "If you're going to go after the king, you have to kill the king."--former federal prosecutor Paul Butler.) but even without the schadenfreude I think this stuff is bit beyond.

But why didn't the Hoboken mayor come forward last Spring with her allegations of being told to support Christie-favored private development in exchange for Sandy funds*? because she knew she would have been crushed like a bug. And, you know, maybe considering whether or not to actually go for it--all in a 'gateway" mayor's day's work.

*Actually, the element that I think really adds credence to the politicizing of Sandy funds has been the identification of several very large Sandy grants for non-hurricane related projects in communities with politicians who played ball with Christie Inc.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 6:40 PM
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I think the foot-dragging response by cable types to the scandal as it's unfolded shows how hopeless any previous whistle-blowing would have been. If it's taken a month's worth of a steady drip of ever-uglier allegations, combined with ever-more-pathetic responses from the Christie camp, to get even a preponderance of pundit disapproval, imagine how a mayor would have been portrayed 8 months ago.

Our press is the fucking worst.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:36 PM
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Actually, I quite like Chris Christie.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 7:36 PM
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The high school wars continue, but if the anecdote from a WaPo article eviscerated here by Chait is an example of character rehab for Christie it's going to be a long haul. Article is titled ""Chris Christie less keen to play hardball as a young man." Take it away Mr. Chait:

What did Christie do that so impressed them? Well, he had been the starting catcher on the baseball team, and a better player transferred to the school and took his starting spot, and Christie decided not to sue to keep the kid out of school.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 8:53 PM
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48.1 - Don Siegelman lost his election in 2002 in what seems on the face of it to have been a pretty naked example of, if not election-rigging, complete indifference to the appearance of election-rigging, and then went to jail for giving a campaign donor a non-paying seat on a government board. If people were suggesting Christie should be impeached or possibly pistol-whipped for appointing a crony to the Port Authority, that would seem about comparable.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:04 PM
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The high school wars continue

I'm actually pretty surprised by how much this high school stuff keeps getting brought up. Is it just that Christie himself is still obsessed with it and keeps bringing it up himself?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:07 PM
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52: Yeah, you're right; I am guilty of glossing over the very large difference in the scope of questionable activities. I am missing what I am trying to capture--generally if there is any hint of a quid pro quo you're toast, but much more material "structural" corruption is rarely outed. Appointing a crony is appointing someone you can "work with", who understands what you "want to accomplish for the citizens of the state."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:13 PM
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The best that can be said for Christie is that he wasn't as stupid as his father there. Because suing to keep a better player off the team would almost certainly get you kicked off the team. Unless you sued the team. Anyway, there would be a certain amount of unpopularity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:13 PM
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Around here, people sue other teams to keep better players from taking field. It's petty, but at least it works better than suing your own team.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:15 PM
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Does the phrase "a bridge too far" predate the movie (by the way, fucking awesome movie). I use the phrase all the time.

Don't actually mean to derail the thread, which is great. I wish I had picked Christie over Marco Rubio as my official "Republican candidate to fear" so I could be happier now instead of just fascinated.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:15 PM
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I am continuing to love the Schadenfreude of watching Christie's slow-motion downfall.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:16 PM
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I guess there was a Cornelius Ryan book before the movie came out.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:17 PM
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54 - I believe what the phrase you're looking for is "Chicago-style politics". (Hiring the right lawyer or particularly the right insurance broker used to be the classic way of making a payoff legally, right?) But that term only gets used when describing one politician in America, because Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:17 PM
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Does the phrase "a bridge too far" predate the movie (by the way, fucking awesome movie)

Was a book, the last of Cornelius Ryan's interview books--most famous was The Longest Day

Movies of both the books stood out for having just about every male star available in them.

In the book, the British General Browning coins the phrase, which I never heard before that, and I was a grownup then.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:20 PM
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New Jersey–style politics is typically more blatantly corrupt. Christie probably is unusual within the state in relying mostly on the less obvious structural channels rather than straight-up payoffs.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:21 PM
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59: Wiki claims: " The title of the book comes from a comment made by British Lt. Gen. Frederick Browning, deputy commander of the First Allied Airborne Army, who told Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery before the operation, "I think we may be going a bridge too far."

Don't know if it was in any common usage before that, but if that is correct it sounds more like it arose from the specifics of the raid.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:21 PM
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Can any of you New Jerseyans tell me exactly what George Norcross is delivering to the politicians of South Jersey? Is it just voter turnout? It seems like it must be hard to have a corrupt urban political machine without serious amounts of patronage jobs to throw around.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:24 PM
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Or what Idp said, who seems to have memory instead of Google. Crazy, I know!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:25 PM
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57: I thought Christie was a sure thing as the nominee. Generally one of the more moderate candidates in a Presidential primary pool wins, and the media was openly rooting for him. So here too I get to have the only appropriate and ethical reaction: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:27 PM
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64: I've never come close to understanding NJ politics in any detail, but one thing to keep in mind re: Norcross is that South Jersey is mostly rural rather than urban, so the political machine there is probably somewhat different from the traditional Northeastern urban model.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:31 PM
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I forget the guy's name, but a former indicted state lawmaker (from Missouri I think) he has had on summed up where Christie is at (or well past) quite succinctly: "At some point your political interests and your legal interests diverge."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:38 PM
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Operation Market Garden State


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:46 PM
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Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:47 PM
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Thread merge. Apparently it is quite the nightmare leaving the SB via transit. Thousands still there on platform despite thousands having left the blowout early. If only there were another tunnel. Nah, absurd (actually, not even sure if it would have been complete , or even helped if it had) .


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 9:59 PM
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I don't know if it would be complete by now (probably not), but I'm sure it would have helped to some extent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 10:27 PM
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I still think the scandal should be called Standstill Bridgegate.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 10:30 PM
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Yeah, looks like construction wouldn't have been complete until 2018.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 2-14 10:31 PM
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" The title of the book comes from a comment made by British Lt. Gen. Frederick Browning, deputy commander of the First Allied Airborne Army, who told Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery before the operation, "I think we may be going a bridge too far."

Stupid thing to say anyway (if he said it) because the whole point of the operation was to take the bridges over all the water obstacles between the Allies and Germany. Taking just five out of six bridges (which is what happened) was a failure. It's like saying "you know the mistake we made at Omaha? We tried to go all the way up the beach. We should have just gone most of the way and then stopped."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 2:51 AM
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Monty should have responded along the lines of "and your Corps HQ is 10 glider lifts too far". (Browning insisted on deploying it although it had no role in the operation and was intended to be an administrative command; it took up 10 Horsas IIRC.)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 2:54 AM
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We should have just gone most of the way and then stopped.

Like Anzio.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 5:43 AM
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74: Tunnel aside, it exposed the oddness of the placement of the Meadowlands venue's placement within the most transit-intensive metropolitan area in the country (but yeah, land prices).

Which also see Xanadu (I guess now called American Dream Meadowlands). A place where Christie chose to invest state money along with dumb guarantees for Atlantic City gambling ventures.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 6:11 AM
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And no one gambles at Atlantic City anymore is part of the one area where big business thoroughly admits to understanding the rise in inequality--how they sell stuff to people.

For example, luxury gambling properties like Wynn and the Venetian in Las Vegas are booming, drawing in more high rollers than regional casinos in Atlantic City, upstate New York and Connecticut, which attract a less affluent clientele who are not betting as much


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 6:14 AM
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56: Seriously? People sue to keep other kids off the field. Here, there was a hockey father who killed another father, so I guess that I shouldn't be surprised.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 6:55 AM
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75: I wouldn't take his point to have been "Let's go partway and then stop", but rather, "I don't think we can actually take and hold 6 bridges."

Of course, that may be hindsight. But it's entirely possible for the strategically correct move to be tactically impossible*.

*if nec., replace strategically/tactically with tactically/operationally


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 7:56 AM
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the oddness of the placement of the Meadowlands venue's placement within the most transit-intensive metropolitan area in the country

Land prices aside, I simply don't think transit was a major factor in the thinking wrt the Meadowlands' placement. This was before my time, but certainly my sense of it as a HS kid in Jersey, one who attended a dozen or two events there*, was that the whole point was to be car-friendly, in contrast to the car-unfriendly NYC alternatives. In a better world, Meadowlands II would have incorporated a more explicit transit element (that is, use it as an excuse/opportunity to leverage a significant extension of the transit network, as opposed to just adding a station or whatever), but poor transit was baked into the cake in 1970.

*including Jethro Tull for my 15th bday, my 2nd rock concert ever


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 8:00 AM
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Jimmy Hoffa's family have cars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 8:04 AM
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64: I'm in South Jersey, in Stephen Sweeney's district (he's the President of the Senate and the main pro-Chirstie democrat, and a Norcross ally. First of all, Norcross is from suburban Cherry Hill, not a rural area, and Sweeney is from a urban old industry district on the Delaware River.

they have delivered quite a few highway improvement projects here, where they aren't much needed. Also Rowan University has been expanding while most of the rest of the state system is hurting. And the formula for state education aid has some quirk that gives several of Sweeney's townships more money than the rest of the state, with real tangible benefits like smaller class sizes. So Sweeney's getting his money's worth for selling his soul. Also, Sweeney's power base is the Ironworkers Union, and his union and related ones have others have benefited quite a bit from state construction work. Of course, my main source of news is the Philadelphia Inquirer, which Norcross owns.

Norcross is more interested in money for his buddies, and I understand he's getting that for things like the Revel Casino, which was funded by guarantees from Christie in his first term and is already in bankruptcy. The construction unions (Sweeney) and the construction companies/fatcats (Norcross) did well. Norcross isn't elected to anything.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 8:10 AM
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BTW, we suspect that the anti-teacher and anti-education bias of the Christie administration has something to do with (1) the rivalry between the construciton unions and the public unions that represent the teachers, and (2) Sweeney didn't go to college, so he isn't much interested, except for goodies for his own district.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 8:15 AM
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I have nothing substantive to add, but this is a great thread.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 8:36 AM
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As pointed out by Igor Volsky on Twitter, movement conservatives appear to like Christie more the more they can draw battle lines around him.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 8:49 AM
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Random local highway improvements as payoff for political favours seems totally Irish of the Haughey era to me. But I suppose it's quick and easy to set in train, it probably happens most places.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 9:00 AM
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We had political payoff-deploying Irish politicians in this country well before the Haughey era, thank you very much.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 9:04 AM
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It's kind of a thing here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 9:07 AM
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Picking up the minor theme for contrapuntal effects:

Monty should have responded along the lines of "and your Corps HQ is 10 glider lifts too far". (Browning insisted on deploying it although it had no role in the operation and was intended to be an administrative command; it took up 10 Horsas IIRC.)

Yes. Dirk Bogarde was well-cast as Browning in the movie, not a sympathetic portrait. Edward Fox stole it as the ebullient showman Brian Horrocks.

I'm waiting at my car dealer's.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 9:09 AM
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89. Yes, but did they specialise in uncoordinated road building?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:05 AM
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93

Have you heard of The Big Dig?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:08 AM
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94

Crossfit gets weirder and weirder.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:08 AM
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95

I realized the other day that people elsewhere don't realize that the big dig is actually awesome. Oh well!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:15 AM
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96

92: Our specialty! New York City and Philadelphia are two of the largest cities in the U.S. They both border New Jersey. You can't take an interstate (divided lmited access) highway from one to the other.

Thus Interstate 95 runs from South Florida to Maine, but fizzles out North of Philadelphia at the New Jersey border, then picks up again 20 miles later.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:18 AM
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Well, you can get from NYC to Philly on limited access highways -- you don't get dumped onto side streets -- but I suppose you do have to change roads a couple of times.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:23 AM
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96: Huh, you're right. Google recommends a route that has you taking a non-limited access road through Cherry Hill. I thought I found an alternative-- going north, 95 to 276 to Jersey's 95--but that presupposed a 95/276 interchange that doesn't seem to exist. The shortest such path seems to be 476 to 80.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:32 AM
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And taking I-95 south from NY you are on the NJ Turnpike. But after a while the I-95 signs just vanish. Does the NJ Turnpike even have signs for Philadelphia?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:32 AM
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from the wiki on 95: At this point, I-95 continues northeast on the mainline of the New Jersey Turnpike, still not signed.

if you know where you are going you don't need signs; if you don't know then you shouldn't be here.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:37 AM
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101

It's called "West Cherry Hill."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:37 AM
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102

This more or less works: 95N to PA 63 to US 1 to I276 to I95 and such. That only gives you a light or two once you're outside the Philadelphia city limits, and even then that's only a couple miles before you're on the Turnpike. I think you're entirely limited access through Jersey (but I've never driven I78 east of Newark; doesn't it do something weird right before the tunnels?).


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:38 AM
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103

In New Jersey, that is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:38 AM
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104

95: Right around the time it was completed I saw a TV show about it that did a pretty good job of showing just how much of an improvement it was. I think the whole "almost a decade late" thing got people down on it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:38 AM
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100: That's throughout NYC, which specializes in road signs that become visible only when you've just passed the turn you needed to make.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:39 AM
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106

Huh, never noticed before that the Georgia font puts the numerals except for 6 and 8 at a weird baseline: ABC123456789.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:40 AM
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107

All part of the master plan to make driving more annoying and force people onto Chinatown buses.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:41 AM
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108

I've gotten to Phily via the Chery Hill exit. It wasn't that bad. It reminded me of how the PA Turnpike won't build proper highway interchanges (e.g., Breezewood and H'burg). My theory is that it encourages shopping at local businesses.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:43 AM
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109

As far as Breezewood goes, that's not a theory. That's just why it's there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:45 AM
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110

That's throughout NYC, which specializes in road signs that become visible only when you've just passed the turn you needed to make.

Aiyah. Boston's old Central Artery had a few like that. My favorite was that going north the sign for Storrow Drive/North Station was only visible after passing the turn.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:46 AM
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Road signs in Boston are designed to offer occasional reassurance to people who already know exactly where they're going, in case they're briefly worried they forgot where the Dunkin Donuts used to be. Any other use is strongly deprecated.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:52 AM
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But! The new central artery has thoughtful, informative signage! It falls apart pretty fast as soon as you get to ground level, but in the actual tunnel itself it isn't bad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:53 AM
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||

Are campus tours an auspicious thing to do on Lunar New Year, or something? Because this really doesn't seem like the weather for it otherwise.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:57 AM
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While we are on this tangent...I was quite annoyed by the signage on I-280 in the SF area. My print out from Google maps had helpfully told me to take certain exits, such as Exit 20. Exit numbers that are not listed on any of the highway signs!!!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 10:59 AM
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Oh are we bitching about poor signage? If these signs were at the entrance of the bridge, they would be clearly visible. Where they are, you can't tell what lane you want to be in until you are almost directly underneath them and it is likely too late to get over.

Due to the placement of the signs (just about halfway over the Ohio River) I suspect this is because Ohio paid for the signs and didn't want to put them in Kentucky.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 11:00 AM
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116

This is my favorite bad highway signage story.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 11:02 AM
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109: It may have played a role but I think the main reason was an issue of federal highway funds. Don't recall the details, but there are various rules about the circumstances under which states can toll federally funded highways, and I think building a proper interchange would have impaired PA's ability to toll the Turnpike. Ah, wikipedia is more informative than my memory, although it's a bit confusing.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 11:04 AM
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The Wiki article in 117 has an aside which answers dalriata's question in 102: but I've never driven I78 east of Newark; doesn't it do something weird right before the tunnels? I-78 does go surface just before the Holland Tunnel; it is where the gas stations are (and I have found it a little too easy to almost forget that the lights with cross-traffic are there after a long drive from P'burgh).

117: Did not know that story.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 11:24 AM
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117: I was talking about why it is still there, not how it started.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 11:25 AM
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115: the signs are just as bad around Folkestone, which (coupled with an inattentive driver) is how I almost ended up in France by mistake.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 11:27 AM
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119: Of course, they could have easily linked up both I-70 and US-30 with one interchange at some point. With some frequency in years past we would find ourselves going west on the turnpike on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and the slowdown on the other side could extend as far as Somerset (~50 miles)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 11:31 AM
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120: So you guys went ahead and conquered it?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 11:32 AM
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Further to point about mayor in Hoboken in 48.2 coming forward, here is a fairly pathetic CNN hit piece on her from today. Turns out she's "full of contradictions"!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 11:44 AM
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109: Right, but remember that for 30 or 40 years, there was only one interstate there: it was where US 30 met the Turnpike.

Now, when they did build I-70, presumably it was local businesses that insisted the two not have a proper exchange*, but that's not how Breezewood grew up.

*FWIW, where 70 departs the Turnpike, at New Stanton, it is a normal interchange.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 1:08 PM
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118: A few days after Xmas I was driving from k-sky's hometown (north of Philly) to NYC in order to see the Chris Burden exhibit (amazing) and was duly waiting in line after the I-78 toll booth. And waiting. ANd waiting. Took fully an hour to reach the tunnel. In the meantime, my need to pee grew more and more desperate. I knew damn well none of the gas stations had public facilities. I considered dashing across traffic to get to the Home Depot. Before we entered the tunnel I actually emptied a soda bottle in the street, but I didn't think I could physically pull off the maneuver. In the event, I got through the tunnel, got down Canal, and found a bar where I could dash in before disaster struck, but I've never been so desperate in my life.

Oh, and the museum closed while we were in traffic. We had to drive back in (from my dad's in Jersey, not from PA) the following day.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 1:16 PM
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122: I prefer "liberated", actually. But yes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 1:19 PM
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106: That's a traditional typographical feature.


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 02- 3-14 9:16 PM
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120. Tell me. I've ended up in Wales while trying to go north out of Bristol on more than one occasion.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:23 AM
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115: I drive that almost every day and people make stupid angry merges at the sign constantly. The regular flow of traffic usually leaves room for that. It's probably even more annoying for people who didn't know the airport would leave them in a different state and want to get to the city. There's another little southbound highway that's an option at 71N but gawdforbid they tell people how to get back to KY. Topically, that bridge and plans to modernize/expand/move/install tolls(!?!) on it are huge political issues that get fought about all the time on both sides of the river and willl probably never get resolved.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:35 AM
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Further to 129, I checked this morning while driving the other direction, and there's now a large and accurate sign on the KY side a quarter mile or so before the bridge. I was pretty sure there was but didn't want to claim it and be wrong.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 6:14 AM
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129: Time for some traffic problems in the Queen City.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 6:21 AM
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131: I can actually see the highway from my desk and that direction is essentially stopped now and has been all morning, so that's really cracking me up! (Lots of accidents, I guess, and several road closures. POSSIBLY for political rather than weather-related reasons. Who knows?)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 6:56 AM
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133

I don't even have a window.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 7:00 AM
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134

Or any spice drops that aren't stale. Stupid CVS.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 7:02 AM
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My current junk food drawer hypothesis is that binging is in part driven by scarcity, so if it's filled I will actually eat less. Unfortunately, my current snack food is dried fruit, so I daren't test this.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 7:22 AM
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