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January 09, 2014 1:31 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

Chris Christie’s press availability has finally ended, I think. He clearly decided the “take all questions” approach would help his credibility, and/or encourage Republicans to sympathize with him as the target of a media “wolfpack.”

I may have more to say later, but in terms of Christie’s basic position, and in light of my background as a staffer for three governors, I don’t think a governor really “takes responsibility” for an event while he’s accusing a staffer of “betrayal.” There may be exceptions, but generally when staffers do unsavory things they are acting so the Boss can maintain “plausible deniability.” That may be an abuse of delegated power, but it’s not a “betrayal.”

In any event, here are some midday news/views items for your consumption:

* As Mark Kleiman notes at Ten Miles Square, the consequences of the Fort Lee lane closures were a bit more lethal than traffic delays, at least for one woman.

* Predictably, WSJ’s James Taranto damns Christie for actions that are reminiscent of “Obama’s IRS scandal.” Guess we shoulda realized they were two peas in a pod during Sandy, eh, conservatives?

* TAP’s Abby Rapoport argues many voting problems could be resolved simply by reviving the “zombie commission” created by the Help America Vote Act.

* Multimillionare GOP candidate for governor of IL backtracks from proposal to lower minimum wage. Them’s some old talking points, all right; this used to be a standard conservative “idea.”

* CA Gov. Jerry Brown’s new budget calls for restoring slashed education funds and for paying down some of state’s debt and boosting rainy day fund. This would have been hard to imagine a couple years ago.

And in non-political news:

* In CFB coaching news, in addition to Petrino’s return to Louisville, Penn State lures away Vandy’s James Franklin, and Bama interviewing Lane Kiffin (!) for coordinator gig.

As we break for lunch, here’s another clip from the 1979 UNICEF concert, wherein an all-star cast performs the Jackie DeShannon standard, “Put A Little Love in Your Heart.”

While we’re at it, here’s Jackie performing the song a decade earlier.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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