We know it was too good to be true. As he explained in his Checkers speech yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has no idea who Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich is. So much for a Republican playing hard ball with a Democrat. We’re back to the basic model, in which your typical Republican honcho can’t even get Republicans to back him. It’s also probably safe to assume Christie doesn’t know the difference between a Serb and a Croat either. He is after all a Springsteen, not a Bob Dylan, fan.
Incidentally, which of those last two will be the first to compose “The Ballad of Fort Lee”? A city heretofore famous only thanks to Gilda Radner whose captives’ lone escape is via the George Washington Bridge — and who know how long it will remain standing if Gov. Christie ever comes to that bridge and crosses it? Bridgegate is going to be multi-spanned.
There’s a new Koreagate too. We’ve heard more than enough about Menace the Dennis Rodman, who’s hogged the searchlight at the expense of his better shooting teammates, who also performed for North Korea’s Jock for Life, little Kim Jung-un. Can we please shine a tiny ray of light on them as well? (As we know, North Korea doesn’t have much light to shine on anyone — word is it’s now having to import daylight.) A few of our favorite NBA former greats survived roster cuts and made the trip as part of Rodman’s All-Star collection. There’s Kenny Anderson, who at last word had spent every penny of the $60 million he had earned as a point guard; Vin Baker, whom alcoholism had done in during the Just Say No era; Craig Hodges, who sported a dashiki on visiting the White House with fellow Chicago Bulls during the Bush I presidency; and Charles Smith who, in the most humiliating moment in New York Knick history, failed on an unprecedented four last second putback attempts against Michael Jordan’s Bulls in a showdown playoff game that would have given his team a one-point win. It bears watching and rewinding….
Unless you prefer to see your NBA-ers in girlie t-shirts, as everyone did on Christmas Day. Even Mark Cuban, the normally t-shirt clad owner of the Dallas Mavericks, couldn’t stand them. Apparently the NBA wants to market said style. They’ll probably become the rage of Pyongyang if the NBA settles on meaningful overseas expansion. If not, they’ll still make a great gift for Kim Jong-un and his dogs next time any one of them decides to celebrate a birthday.
Back home we’ve got bigger concerns. Where last year we marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, this year we’ve just observed the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, and if everything goes according to plan, in 450 years we’ll be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the ongoing war. We’ll have men in combat, women, children, pets, illegals, maybe even Dennis Rodman’s North Korean descendants.
Of course, not everyone is happy with the Republican observances of this year’s 50th. The Washington Post’s wondrous Dana Milbank called it “The GOP’s War on the War on Poverty.” He singled out the Republican Study Committee’s Rep. Steve Southerland, “who led five other white men in suits on the stage Wednesday and declared the war on poverty a failure.” For a moment there we misread Milbank and thought he was attacking five men in white suits, the sort one normally wears to a First Communion. Not to worry, though. Milbank attacked Republicans on religious grounds in a separate column (“Has the Republican big tent evolved into a house of worship?”) He’s a stickler for separating poverty and religion.
Still, it concerns us that Milbank could only judge Republicans by the color of their skin and their clothing preference. Would he rather they play for Dennis Rodman? Panhandle on the George Washington Bridge? Sport NBA-approved apparel? He’s leaving himself open to a class-action civil rights suit, which is likely to be sped by the EOW prize we’re about to bestow on him. Once one has been proclaimed an Enemy of the Week, the content of said recipient’s character is set in stone — and even the War on Poverty won’t improve his chances of finding a better life.
Or do you think Dennis Rodman might give him a tryout?