Chris Christie lopes from the starting gate four years late

Chris Christie should have run for president four years ago. His moment, like that of V8 tapes, has passed.

The cold light of hindsight seldom is kind to the eyes.

Christie’s White House aspirations drowned in the troubled waters cascading from the Bridgegate scandal.

That scandal consumed much of his governorship the past 18 months and took a major toll on Christie’s standing among fellow Republicans.

Christie today became the 14th Republican presidential candidate to officially enter the race.

He won’t get lost in the crowd.

He is about as subtle as an avalanche and never flinches in the white gauze of the spotlight.

With his girth, when he falls out of the boat everybody will know he hit water.

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Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage and Obamacare subsidies leave Republicans privately wearing nothing but party hats and whipped cream

If you think the Republicans swallowed the plumes of defeat in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling Friday legalizing same-sex marriage, think again.

Publicly most Republicans disagreed with the ruling because their party base remains socially conservative and opposes gay marriage.

But the fuel tank in the fight over gay marriage has run drier than an empty promise. Public opinion over the last decade has surged in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

With their fight lost, Republicans no longer have to sweat bullets as big as elephants to preserve their credibility over the matter within a critical voting bloc of their party.

Freed from that yoke, Republicans have more flexibility to court Democrats and independents.

The court ruling gives Republicans a clear way to both satisfy their base without alienating the rest of the country.

Indeed, the Supremes also did the Republicans a huge favor Thursday when they upheld the federal Obamacare subsidies.

While the decision was a setback policy-wise for the GOP, it is a good thing politically in the long run for the Republicans.

They found drainage in the decision and no longer are flooded with public pressure to fix a law they refuse to touch, as if it had leprosy, except to repeal it.

Please tell me that Diddy didn’t get a kettlebell for Father’s Day

Rap stars and violence go together like peanut butter and jelly, Romeo and Juliet, gin and tonic, the Kardashians and superficiality.

Sean “Diddy” Combs was arrested on assault charges with a deadly weapon — a kettlebell — on Monday at the athletic facilities of UCLA, where Diddy’s son Justin is a defensive back.

Reportedly the old man was angry because Justin was being ridden by UCLA strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi.

Hell, that’s what football coaches, especially strength coaches, do. They ride players like Victor Espinoza rode American Pharoah to the Triple Crown.

A weight room for a major college football program like UCLA is not exactly Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

A hip-hop music mogul like Diddy should have remembered that before he went all Robert Young and Ward Cleaver.

By the way, Diddy evidently isn’t all that deadly with a kettlebell, which aimed properly could knock out a rhino. Nobody was injured.

Stay tuned for potentially more testosterone-laced macho fireworks at UCLA. Snoop Dogg’s son, Cordell Broadus, is a Bruin wide receiver.

50 Cent, who has feuded with Diddy, couldn’t hide his glee at Combs’ misadventures as Daddy, mocking him in a series of Instagram posts.

Only in America.

Of course, Kettlebellgate now is a great recruiting tool for USC.

Trump’s latest presidential run a surefire cure for insomnia

Did you feel the Earth hiccup on its axis when Donald Trump brazenly and boldly announced his candidacy for the presidency?

Did you see the masses dancing the Bulgarian polka in the streets stringing across the land?

Of course not.

Nobody’s throat gulped into his or her mouth upon hearing the news.

Been there. Done that.

Trump’s political relevancy vanished quicker than a street corner drug transaction a long time ago.

The Donald, all sheen and gloss, joined The Dirty Dozen running for the Republican nod simply to reinforce his brand.

After all, the man never flinches in the white gauze of the spotlight.

Needless to say, Trump’s chances of securing the nomination already are deader than a convention of funeral directors.

Fatal police shootings geysering

There always are some scoundrels sequestered with the saints.

Human nature is not a perfect entity.

Blame Adam and Eve for biting into that damn apple.

I think most of us realize that the vast majority of cops are good cops.

Thank God, because society depends on cops to rein in chaos.

Still, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of people killed by police in the U.S. this year.

According to a Guardian investigation, the 2015 body count reached 500 today after two young black men were shot dead in New York City and Cincinnati, respectively.

That is double the rate of fatal police shootings over the past decade.

More than one in every five peopled killed so far this year were unarmed.

I would hope that almost all fatal police shootings are justified and the unfortunate residue of good cops doing a dangerous job.

Still, the dramatic spike in their number is triggering alarm bells.

The echoes of those bells ringing across the country make it a harsh time to be a cop.

Any fracture in the trust between the populace and the police is even more dangerous than a walk down a dark alley in a bad neighborhood.

In a society honeycombed for survival, respect for the law is paramount.

All hail Mother Nature? Not!

Mother Nature kills a lot of people with her nasty fits of temper.

Which is surprising, considering that she has no known religious or political leanings.

A year ago last May our neighborhood was totally assaulted with hail the size of Volkswagen bugs.

It was almost as if a colossal robot brandishing a monumental machine gun had riddled our roofs, siding, downspouts, gutters, decks, windows, and car roofs, hoods and windows.

Granted, that sort of destruction apparently happens twice a day in the Midwest and South. But zoning ordinances in the Northeast were written to prevent such nonsense.

Of course, we know what a bitch Mother Nature can be, even in more benign experiences like a splashing rig in a downpour making our cars behave like bars of soap in a tidal wave.

There was large hail in the forecast tonight where we live. So far plenty of rain but no hail. Still, all my neighbors are so much tapioca right now.

I’m keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that Mother Nature’s ice maker is on the fritz tonight.

American Pharoah saddles up with a run toward destiny

Once upon a time horse racing was a very big deal in our country.

Then again, so were Model Ts and radios as big as refrigerators.

Now most folks only pay attention to the Triple Crown races.

And if if a horse doesn’t win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, those fans drop out quicker than Timothy Leary used to drop acid.

Now another horse has a Triple Crown opportunity squarely aligned in the cross hairs of destiny.

A withered horse racing community craves another Triple Crown winner more than its next breath, thinking it will resuscitate its shrunken industry.

It won’t, but that is a narrative for another day.

The wheel in the sky has kept on turning for 37 years since we last had a Triple Crown. Bruce Jenner still was a stud back then.

Tomorrow American Pharoah, who runs better than his owner spells, seeks to become the first horse since 1978 and the 12th ever to sweep the Triple Crown series.

Thirteen horses since 1978 came to Belmont Park with a chance to reach horse racing immortality and all 13 left without the biggest crown in the Sport of Kings.

The Unlucky 13.

The whip of such devastating failure comes down and leaves an everlasting welt on the hearts and minds who make horsing racing their lives and their living.

Those heartbreaking losses haul smiles of hope away with cruel dispatch.

Seven horses have been entered against American Pharoah. Five of these challengers chased him in the Derby; then skipped the Preakness to rest up.

Past Triple Crown aspirants have been weakened by the grind of the Triple Crown, draining their tanks.

A sense of foreboding flicks its snake’s tongue in the faces of all us who would love to see another Triple Crown.

American Pharoah is the only horse this year to run in all three races of the series. He will be making his third start in five weeks, his fourth in eight weeks.

But perhaps fatigue won’t cripple his legs. Those were the only four times he has raced this year. He has had only one stressful race, the Kentucky Derby.

However, there is another critical concern burrowing worry lines into the weathered face of Bob Baffert, the trainer of American Pharoah.

The Belmont is a long distance trek of 1.5 miles, not the relative sprint the Derby and the Preakness are. Good sprinters usually don’t make good milers and vice versa.

It takes a versatile animal to sweep the Triple Crown, one with fleet feet and a deep reservoir of stamina.

Here’s hoping that oodles of horse racing enthusiasts will be sporting an aurora borealis of a smile tomorrow evening.

Myself included. And I’ve never ridden or bet on a horse in my life.