Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Useless Employees, Except When They're Not

If it continues on the current track, from a flooding perspective this could be a 100-year event. People should not take this lightly.

Friday, the New Jersey governor bellowed

You know I saw some of these news feeds upstairs of people sitting on the beach on Asbury Park. Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out. You’re done. It’s 4:30, you’ve maximized your tan. Get off the beach.

It's always comforting to see a governor who summons a team of experts, gathers all facts, and then acts decisively because he "saw some of these news feeds upstairs of people sitting on the beach." "Saw some of these news feeds" as in "watched television."

But the situation was severe, with more than a half million New Jersey homes and businesses still without power as of Monday evening. As of Monday morning, numerous highways and other roadways were still closed due to damage or flooding- including a major highway in the state's capital of Trenton. Closed were the governments of the city of Trenton, the county in which the state capital is located, and the garage providing parking for the executive and legislative members of the state government. On Tuesday, the Governor wrote to President Obama, requesting federal disaster aid.

Unsurprisingly, Governor Christie's message for private-sector workers on Monday was uncomplicated: "if you can stay home, stay home." On Sunday, the Governor, ever eager to lambaste government and state employees (other than himself), had remarked "philosophically, I believe government is too big, and I've said that many times." Monday, he told private sector workers "if you can stay home, stay home."

But for public employees, whom the Governor repeatedly has implied are of little value, there was a different, sarcastic, message: "Folks sat in traffic this morning, my apologies. Toughen up and get to work."

The sky is falling, Chris Christie said Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday. And Monday. And Tuesday. Workers in the private sector, for the benefit of their safety and to facilitate response to emergencies throughout the state, ought to stay home. But for those overpaid, pampered, and generally worthless government workers, the governor roared "get to work."

We knew Chris Christie was bellicose, belligerent, and self-consumed. Add hypocritical to the list.

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