It was quite week for the Christie boys. Chris, the tubby one, was up to his jowls in self-mortification (“humiliated”, “heartbroken”) and personal blamelessness (“blindsided”, “stages of grief”) over what Gail Collins has dubbed Bridgegate: the closing of two lanes onto the George Washington Bridge and snarling traffic for four days in Fort Lee, N.J. as an act of political revenge. Doug, the tall one with the reality show wife, was part of Dennis Rodman’s team of basketball players celebrating Kim Jong Un’s 30-somethingth birthday 7,000 miles away in Pyongyang. The Americans, whose average age is 48, lost the competitive half of the game – which enabled the Korean team to avoid ruining the birthday party of the Great One, a man believed to be even more vindictive than the governor of New Jersey. It’s a strange world in which Americans lose a basketball game to a country where the average height is 5’5” and The New York Times devotes three op-ed pieces to smarmy politics in New Jersey. Isn’t this fodder for supermarket tabloids, rather than the last citadels of responsible journalism? Perhaps. But think what we learn about the current state of our political system in which people at the highest levels of power gleefully inconvenience – and even endanger – the lives of thousands as an act of petty vengeance. And what an image we get of North Korea, watching Dennis Rodman sing Happy Birthday to a man who has summoned his entire government to watch a pick-up basketball game.