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In New Jersey, the Best Revenge Is a Traffic Jam, and a Reminder That Joe Biden Is Influential—THE EDGE In New Jersey, the Best Revenge Is a Traffic Jam, and a Reminder That ...

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The Edge

In New Jersey, the Best Revenge Is a Traffic Jam, and a Reminder That Joe Biden Is Influential—THE EDGE

January 8, 2014

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office was closely involved in the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge, according to staff emails implying it was done out of retaliation. The White House defended Vice President Joe Biden from criticism in former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's memoir. Partners who married after a federal judge ruled that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional will have to wait for an Appeals Court to take up the case before their marriage is recognized. And Democrats' victory on unemployment insurance might be short-lived, as House Speaker John Boehner said he would not support the bill without some sort of spending cuts.


CHRISTIE STAFF SOUGHT TRAFFIC JAMS AS REVENGE: Newly obtained emails suggest officials closed lanes on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge in September as political revenge against a mayor who declined to endorse Christie in his bid for reelection as governor. "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," read one email from a Christie staffer to a Port Authority official. (Kate Zernike, NYT)


HOW BIG A DEAL IS BRIDGEGATE FOR CHRISTIE'S 2016 HOPES? And why, in an age when all digital communication is immortal, would staffers talk about shutting down traffic in emails and texts? Get your Fix. (Chris Cillizza, WaPo)

WHITE HOUSE REALLY WANTS YOU TO KNOW BIDEN IS INFLUENTIAL: Gates's memoir was critical of President Obama and downright condemning of Vice President Biden, so the White House naturally responded Wednesday by playing up Biden's contributions. A spokeswoman released a statement calling Biden "one of the leading statesmen of his time," and his activities were conspicuously publicized in the president's schedule Wednesday. (Matt Vasilogambros, NJ)

UTAH SAME-SEX MARRIAGES ON HOLD: Utah's state government will not recognize about 1,000 same-sex marriages that occurred before the Supreme Court issued a stay on a federal judge's ruling that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The couples will be in legal limbo until a federal Appeals Court takes up the case. (Abby Ohlheiser, The Wire)

BOEHNER WON'T BUDGE ON UNEMPLOYMENT: The House speaker continued to insist today that the Senate unemployment-insurance bill include an amendment that offsets the additional spending. (Russell Berman, The Hill)

BLUE DOG'S LAST YELP? McINTYRE'S RETIREMENT SIGNALS DECLINE: Rep. Mike McIntyre announced his retirement today, continuing the decrease in the number of moderate Dems in the House. McIntyre and Rep. Jim Matheson, who is also retiring in 2014, were the two most conservative Democrats in National Journal's 2012 vote rankings. (Scott Bland, NJ)

PROOF AMERICANS ARE BORED WITH OBAMACARE (AGAIN) IN ONE GRAPH: The best news for the divisive health care law is no news. Mentions in the news of Obamacare are dwindling, either because fewer things are going wrong with health insurance sign-ups, or because more problems haven't popped up yet. (Sarah Kliff, WaPo)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Obama will make remarks at 2 p.m. on antipoverty proposals called "Promise Zones" centered in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The House and Senate are in session.

Tuesday's Edge incorrectly stated the Senate had passed an unemployment-insurance bill. It should have said the Senate cleared a procedural vote to set up full debate on the legislation.


RADEL'S MEA CULPA: The Florida Republican who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor cocaine possession charge asked House colleagues for forgiveness today. (Robert Costa, WaPo)

McCAIN ON RODMAN: Sen. John McCain said he felt sorry for ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman during his visit to North Korea because "he's so stupid." (Talia Mindich, The Hill)

NO SOUP FOR YOU: After decades of growth, the soup market contracted during the recession in 2009 and has been flat ever since. A preference for fresh food might be to blame. (Roberto Ferdman, Quartz)

DESTROYING CHEMICAL WEAPONS: The logistics behind destroying Syria's chemical weapons may be complicated, but the chemistry is not. Water and some household chemicals will do the trick. (Brian Resnick, NJ)


POOR AND UNINSURED IN A RED STATE: Health care is a challenge for poor people who don't live in states that haven't expanded Medicaid to include low-income adults. (Olga Khazan, The Atlantic)

SOTU HISTORY LESSON: President Obama's speech later this month won't be all that different from the first State of the Union address given by George Washington. (Marina Koren, NJ)


LAST NIGHT'S LATE NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: America is still producing one important product domestically: income disparity. And Dennis Rodman says North Korea is "not that bad." (Reena Flores, NJ)

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE POOR: On the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, a look at how the face of poverty has changed. (Thuy Vo/Kim, Al Jazeera)

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