Seeking to penetrate the inner working of the Kochtopus, the good people at Mother Jones decided to engage in some daring investigative journalism and surreptitiously record audio from a right-wing gathering in the mountains of Colorado sponsored by the brothers Koch. Free of public scrutiny, who knew what deep, dark secrets would be unveiled behind closed doors? Let's take a look at what they found...
[Napolitano] views the PATRIOT Act as the "the single most abominable, hateful, unconstitutional piece of legislation [ever] enacted"; and that he believes former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales undermined the Constitution when he threatened to prosecute the New York Times for exposing spying by the National Security Agency.
He went on to mock President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address, which he had watched with Andrew, his 17-year-old son. He and Andrew agreed, Christie said, that the president "had failed the fundamental test of leadership, which I believe is to tell the people who hired you the truth." He'd offered similar thoughts on Meet The Press that morning but amped up his rhetoric for the Koch crowd. On the show, he said the country had been "careening into an economic crisis." At the gathering, he declared that America was "careening towards insolvency."
It was time to tackle the "big things," he said, like "Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security systems, because they are bankrupting America." In New Jersey, the big things were to "return our budget to fiscal sanity by cutting spending and under no circumstances raising taxes"; "reform a pension and health benefit system" that was underfunded by $120 billion dollars and had New Jersey, too, "careening towards insolvency"; and "reform a broken K-12 education system…where the feelings of adults were given more respect than the needs of children."
So I asked them for a joint session speech…I basically said this: "You left me with a $2.2 billion problem. You want me to raise taxes. I'm not going to. I just impounded the money by executive order. I fixed your problem. Thanks, have a nice day." And I walked out.
At the Koch gathering, Christie preached an inspirational tone. "Everybody who's here for this weekend is here because they know that the opportunity that was presented to us as Americans is one of the most special gifts that will ever, ever be given," he said. "We want that same thing for our children and for our grandchildren," he added. "And we're here because we know that it is no longer a sure thing if it ever was.…In fact, under this administration, it is at greater risk than it has been in my lifetime."
During the Q&A, one of the questioners wondered what Christie had learned in New Jersey that might be applied to the nation. His answer was direct: "This is not hard. We spend too much. We borrow too much. We tax too much. It is time to turn those three things around."
"Now, pain will be inflicted when we change that," he went on. "People are going to do with less. People who are used to having entitlement at a certain level will not have them at that level anymore. That's the story." Christie cited Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's "courageous" and "thoughtful plan" to "fix those systems" by replacing Medicare with a voucher program.