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NBA great: On the court, I can kick Obama's ass

By Ed Hornick, CNN
Former NBA star Charles Barkley dissed President Obama's basketball game in an interview with Conan O'Brien.
Former NBA star Charles Barkley dissed President Obama's basketball game in an interview with Conan O'Brien.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Charles Barkley jokes that he can beat President Obama in a one-on-one game
  • Incoming House Speaker John Boehner criticizes art at the Smithsonian
  • Senator finds himself on an open mic
RELATED TOPICS

Washington (CNN) -- Politics is serious business, but not all of the time. From the halls of Congress to the campaign trail to the international stage, there's always something that gets a laugh or a second glance. Here are some of the things you might have missed:

Barkley's court

One of the NBA's greats has a message for President Obama when it comes to his basketball game: You're toast.

"I'm an old fat guy now, but I'll kick his ass," Charles Barkley told Conan O'Brien, referring to the two playing a one-on-one basketball game.

Testing, one, two, three

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, could take a lesson from Vice President Joe Biden, who was caught on mic saying that the health care reform bill was a "big f****** deal."

On the Senate floor Wednesday, Bennet was "caught bitching to a colleague ... about his party's lame duck strategy ... thanks to a friendly hot mic," Gawker reports.

"It's all rigged," he complained to fellow Democrat. "It's all rigged. The whole conversation is rigged. The fact that we don't get to a discussion before the break about what we're going to do in the lame duck. It's just rigged."

Grey matters

"Dancing with the Stars" winner Jennifer Grey, better known for her role as Baby in "Dirty Dancing," isn't mincing words when it comes to the Tea Party's possible influence in voting Bristol Palin on to the finals.

"For me, a tea party was just something I did for my daughter and her friends," she said on MSNBC's "Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday. "I was just so in the dark about the whole movement. Seriously, I just was focusing on my dancing. ... They're so organized ... don't you respect that?"

Critics complained that Palin, whose dancing was hardly something Arthur Murray would approve of, moved on to the finals because of her mom's supporters.

Speaker of the museum?

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor aren't just targeting Democrats, but also a new exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

"On Tuesday [they] called for the dismantling of an exhibit in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery after they learned that it contains video of a Jesus statue with ants crawling on it, as well as works of art with strongly sexual themes," The Hill reports.

Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith lashed out, saying that "Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake and correct it, or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January when the new majority in the House moves [in]."

Headline of the day

Associated Press: "Lowden defends chickens for medicine stance"

Hollywood bound

Congrats to CNN Audience Interaction Producer Eric Kuhn on his new job in Los Angeles, California. Kuhn will join the United Talent Agency in a newly created social media and technology role beginning on January 10.

The Twitter and Foursquare fanatic writes in an e-mail to staff: "CNN has been amazing -- especially at a time when social networking has become such an integral part of newsgathering and storytelling. ... I leave a better person and journalist having had the chance to learn from the best."

"And I cannot promise I will stop bugging you if you have not updated your status in the past five minutes!" he added. "Have a great holiday season and I will see you down the road. Make Magic!"

Notable quotable

"I think you're underestimating how cynical Americans are about our government already. ... So unless in these WikiLeaks we are going to find out that the aliens from Area 51 killed Kennedy, stop with the drama." -- Jon Stewart, to WikiLeaks head Julian Assange.

Late-night laughs

Jay Leno: "Today's my 30th wedding anniversary. ... actually I'm a little disappointed. I have a big surprise planned for my wife and read about it today on WikiLeaks."

Jimmy Kimmell: "Two hundred and fifty thousand classified documents [were released] when an American soldier downloaded them on a USB drive and they were posted to WikiLeaks. Many embarrassing opinions of foreign leaders were released. I kind of feel like the world just read our diary."

George Lopez: "They are recalling 650,000 Toyota Priuses. ... Half of those Priuses will come from the parking lot of Whole Foods."

 
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