Can Gov. Chris Christie Make Political Play Of The Year?

The real harm that came to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie last week when the bombshell of emails landed concerning the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge was the opening of doors that might show all other sorts of chicanery that took place in his administration.  From those investigative searches for documents and information about ‘Bridgegate’ comes the threat of a whole series of new scandals and headlines.

There is also the drip-drip-drip effect of more news that runs counter to the image that Christie has tried to foster over the years as someone who works in the interest of his state and the voters who elected him.  Once political problems begin it is often impossible to rein them in or allow for handlers to get past them.

That is the real problem for Christie who is still pondering–though more remotely now for sure–his presidential ambitions.

The news this morning surely must have felt like a blunt blow to the head.

CNN has learned that federal officials are investigating whether Christie improperly used some of that money (from super storm Sandy) to produce tourism ads that starred him and his family.

It will be fascinating to watch the headlines play out from New Jersey.  But I am also eager to see how Christie attempts to create his own set of political plays in order to step from behind his problems and once again be in charge of the headlines.  If he can do that it might make for the ‘political play of the year’.

Senator John McCain Admires Everybody

This is just too funny–and well researched.

McCain’s actually a fan of a lot of people, it turns out. He’s been using the phrase repeatedly for at least a decade. Just for fun, here’s a hardly comprehensive list of the people—and in some cases things and nations—McCain admires.

Wisconsin Department Of Administration Needs Editor For Irony

Well, it is about time.

That was my initial response to the news this morning that the first floor doors at our beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol will be opened again and able to be used.  They had been shut since the horror of 9/11 and the fear of what might happen led to all sorts of actions that may, or may not have been overdone.  (Nor only here but around the nation.)

So I am really glad to hear that doors on East Washington Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, West Washington Avenue, and Wisconsin Avenue all will swing open and allow citizens and visitors to once again walk through them while enjoying the stone and architecture.

But I must say I had to smile at reading the statement from the Department of Administration when making the announcement.   In light of all that has happened–not since 9/11 but rather since Governor Walker took power–the words just seemed odd and hypocritical.

“Our focus is open and transparent government, and the Capitol’s entrances should be open to our citizens that visit this beautiful building each year.”

Based on that statement am I to understand that in the budget cutbacks they did eliminate the editor for irony at the DOA?

Madison Bishop Morlino Did Not Make The List

Here is a list of 19 churchmen that Pope Francis will install as new cardinals in a Vatican ceremony on Feb. 22.  

Sixteen of the appointees are younger than 80, meaning they would be eligible to elect the next pope, which is a cardinal’s most important task, after the Feb. 22 ceremony to formally install them.

Since his election in March as the first pontiff from Latin America, the pope has broken tradition after tradition in terms of protocol and style at the Vatican. But in Sunday’s list, Francis stuck to the church’s rule of having no more than 120 cardinals eligible to elect the next pontiff.

The College of Cardinals is 13 shy of that 120-mark among eligible-to-vote members. In addition, three cardinals will turn 80 by May. That means Francis chose the exact number of new cardinals needed to bring the voting ranks up to 120 during the next few months.

Alfred Hitchcock Holocaust Documentary ‘Memory of the Camps’ Finally To Be Seen

Hat Tip To James

An Alfred Hitchcock documentary about the Holocaust which was suppressed for political reasons is to be screened for the first time in the form its director intended after being restored by the Imperial War Museum, reports the Independent.

Hitchcock was asked to assemble footage shot by a British army film unit cameraman of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. But the resulting documentary, which had been commissioned in an attempt to inform and educate the German populace about the atrocities carried out by the Nazis in their name, was ultimately held back.

It was not shown at all until 1984, in an incomplete version at the Berlin film festival, and was missing a sixth reel and in poor quality when it was screened on the PBS network in the US a year later. Now the film, retrospectively titled Memory of the Camps, is to finally see the light of day in a format Hitchcock would have approved of.

“It was suppressed because of the changing political situation, particularly for the British,” Dr Toby Haggith, senior curator at the Department of Research for the Imperial War Museum told the Independent. “Once they discovered the camps, the Americans and British were keen to release a film very quickly that would show the camps and get the German people to accept their responsibility for the atrocities that were there.”

Haggith said test screenings had left colleagues, experts and film historians extremely disturbed. The film’s narration, which has been re-recorded with a new actor, features descriptions of “sightseers” at a “chamber of horrors”.