Saturday, November 7, 2009

Understand Your Man

On Thursday November 5th, (i) Sacramento mayor and former NBA All-Star point guard Kevin Johnson and (ii) Washington DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced that they are engaged to be married. (I have always been skeptical of too much pomp and circumstance over engagements; viewing a marriage as a merger, an engagement is merely an agreement to agree, and we know those don't always work out. My colleague EarlDaGoat also opined recently on a baller's broken plans to wed. But seriously, I do wish Johnson and Rhee all the best.)

As a child, I admired KJ; he was my second-favorite point guard after Isiah, the people's champ of my home town. I certainly rooted hard for Phoenix when they opposed Chicago in the '93 Finals. Yet recently Johnson's integrity has looked mushier than before; a federal investigation found that his nonprofit organization in Sacramento mis-used hundreds of thousands of dollars of AmeriCorps grant money, which misuse included car washes for Johnson's personal vehicles. (I invite you to read more details about the story at this Wall Street Journal link, this New York Times link, and this Washington Examiner link.) The wrongdoing occurred before Johnson was elected in November 2008. Earlier this year, President Obama fired the AmeriCorps Inspector General, Gerald Walpin, who was causing trouble by pushing for Johnson, and possibly the city of Sacramento, to be barred from receiving AmeriCorps funds. Ironically, Obama may have violated a federal law regarding inspector generals** that he sponsored as a Senator.

Obama thinks of himself as the first basketball president, so it is not surprising that he would support Johnson. Also, Sacramento's ability to receive federal funds was important for the Recovery Act i.e. "stimulus package" passed earlier this year.

Ms. Rhee, who like me, Bhel Atlantic, is a former Teach For America member, is a real character herself. She posed for this photo below for the December 8, 2008 cover of Time Magazine, and then later claimed she didn't realize the pic would offend people. Note to Ms. Rhee, if you made that comment in good faith: Never suggest that you are considering firing every one of your employees.

** I know the preferred declension is "inspectors general", but that sounds stuffy to me. Adjectives are supposed to come first in English.


Hari said...

Couldn't KJ do better?

Bhel Atlantic said...

Hari, sorry bud, but I disagree with your comment. I admire KJ for going after a highly successful, big-dreaming professional woman. She's nice looking, too. (Of course I have no idea what she is like on a personal level as a romantic partner. Her first marriage ended in divorce, but that could be caused by any number of things.)

EarlDaGoat said...

Mr. Atlantic never fails to spout some elitist nonsense:

I know the preferred declension is "inspectors general", but that sounds stuffy to me. Adjectives are supposed to come first in English.

This clearly does not belong on this board.

Bhel Atlantic said...

Don't understand why Earl is going out of his way to quibble with me. I chose a non-elitist spelling of the phrase, and then I put the disclaimer at the end in case anyone felt like criticizing me for such. Guess a guy can't win around here!

Hari said...

Agreed Bhel Atlantic. Seems more appropriate to say these ad hominen attacks by Earl don't belong on this board. Perhaps Earl didn't get enough hugs as a child.

In any case, join me in suggesting to Earl that he go chew on some cans.

EarlDaGoat said...

The only point I was making is that BA is fooling no one with his attempt to be anti-elite with his footnote.

But Hari I take your point. (By the way, it is ad hominem. Are you from India or something?)

Ramiro said...

I think I agree with the first comment. Michelle Rhee seems like a scary bee-yatch.

Bhel Atlantic said...

Ramiro, I don't believe in deleting comments, but please keep your language civil. I am not comfortable with the comment you just left. If you have a problem with Ms. Rhee, please state it straight-up (as I did in my original post).