Chris Christie escapes chopper story updraft

    Dick Thornburgh was governor of Pennsylvania for eight years, and I don’t remember much about tax hikes or budget battles in his administration. I remember two things: Three Mile Island, a story about state troopers driving his wife and kids around.

    The troopergate thing is the kind of story, like Delaware River Port Authority hacks getting free EZ Pass, that can generate the populist fury that truly wounds politicians.

    Which is why I knew yesterday that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s lame response to the story of his taking a state helicopter to his son’s baseball game would not cut it.

    Christie smartly got ahead of the story today by disclosing there was a second chopper jaunt we didn’t even know about, and by announcing that he and the Republican party would reimburse the state $2,100 and change for the cost of the trips.

    (Even though the state police say the trips cost taxpayers nothing, because the state police use the flight time for training purposes to acclimate pilots to the aircraft).

    If you want to get steamed at somebody else, check out this Pro Publica story about big banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank putting the screws to people who got mortgage modification agreements.

    And the next time you hear somebody say the war in Iraq wasn’t such a bad move even if we were sold a lie about WMD because we did replace a cruel dictatorship with fledgling democracy, get them to listen to this.

    It’s a remarkable story on WNYC’s On the Media about the current Iraqi government’s suppression of internal dissent, which apparently extends to tolerating the murder of journalists.

    And in case you missed it, former NPR chief Vivian Schiller has landed on her feet, getting a gig as chief digital officer for NBC News.

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