Christie calms down; Pa. pols get a break; The Greatest wins again

    First, I’m pleased to note that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seems to have made it through a week without calling a reporter an idiot or getting into a shouting match on the boardwalk. I’d like to think he took the advice I offered last week and practiced keeping his cool when provoked.

    (On the other hand, what was i thinking? He’s so beautiful when he’s angry).

    Somebody finally gets it about email

    On the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware, it seems the political corruption investigation from the State Attorney General’s office known as bonusgate that ripped through the capitol like Sherman through Georgia seems to have finally ground to a halt.

    Brad Bumsted of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports from sources that after getting convictions and guilty pleas of top Democratic and Republican leaders and staff in the State House, investigators found “no substantial evidence of wrongdoing among Senate Republicans.”

    Bumsted notes that some, including a GOP State Senator who wanted an investigation see political motives in the pass on Senate Republicans. But it also seems the Senate leaders weren’t handing out lavish bonuses to staff who did political work the way House Democrats did.

    And there’s this: Top Republican senators and staff  “used email sparingly, if at all. Incriminating emails and corroborating testimony gave prosecutors much of their case against House Democrats. Their evidence against House Republicans included contracts, emails and testimony.”

    While the State Attorney General’s Investigation didn’t nail any state senators, Allegheny County prosecutors convicted former western Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Jane Orie in a campaign-related corruption case, and FBI investigations brought down former Democratic senators Bob Mellow of Scranton and Philadelphia’s own Vincent Fumo.

    Fumo loved email, and paid dearly for his obsession.

    Muhammad Ali, the greatest – really?

    I was surprised to see the National Constitution Center named Muhammmad  Ali as recipient of this year’s Liberty Medal. I understand the center wants someone with star power to draw attention to the event, but Ali?

    The center cites his many good works and efforts to free Americans imprisoned abroad, but I’ll always remember Ali as the guy who taught us a champion should never be humble.

    If you’ve ever coached little league and tried to teach kids the true spirit of competition – that you work hard and compete to win but always respect your opponent – you know how dispiriting it is when they see pro athletes they look up to pound their chests and trash their rivals.

    Ali’s record of berating and humiliating his opponents speaks for itself, and doesn’t recommend him to me for a medal. Daily News columnist Stan Hochman had this interesting remembrance of Ali’s treatment of Joe Frazier.

    For the other side, here’s the Constitution Center’s statement on their selection of Ali.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.