Freezing Temps and Frozen Brains

Cold enough for you?

We sure can use some of that global warming now, couldn’t we? Har har har!

We’ve all heard versions of such questions this week as temperatures plunge into the low digits. And there’s only one appropriate response: Don’t be an idiot.

Yes, it’s cold enough for me, but I also know that climate change is real. President Donald Trump’s sarcastic tweet about “good old Global Warming” only makes us appear foolish to the rest of the world.

A millionaire who trips on a sheet of ice and rips his coat is still a millionaire, even if he “looks” poor for a few hours. If LeBron James catches the flu, he is still a super-athlete, even if he looks sickly for a few days. And a cold spell does not change the reality that the climate is heating up and endangering us all.

The planet has been steadily warming since the late 19th century, driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere, according to NASA. Sixteen of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001. The rising oceans have absorbed most of this increased heat, resulting in more and more killer storms.

This is not opinion, but measurable fact. The Earth is warming at dangerous levels. Weather and climate are not the same. Weather is short term, climate long term. A bully who doesn’t beat someone up all week is not suddenly a nice guy — he will soon revert to form and resume stealing your lunch money. Yes, this cold spell is awful, and I’m sorry if you have a cold or the flu. They both will pass. But only a fool loses sight of the big picture. Those who still minimize or don’t “believe” in climate change are either ignorant, or willfully ignorant.

Which is it with the president?

A Trump golf resort off the Irish coast last month won approval from a county council to build two sea walls. Why are they necessary? The first application mentioned climate change and the threat to the property from global warming. Only when people brought up that Trump had previously called it all a “Chinese hoax” did a new application make no mention of climate change and its devastating effects.

Hmm . . .

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How Will 2018 Compare to 2017?

Hang in there, a turbulent 2017 is almost over. Will 2018 be any calmer? Ha! Let’s look back and also prepare for the second year of the Donald Trump presidency:

February 2017: North Korea launches a ballistic missile. “We see this as part of an attempt by the North to grab attention by demonstrating its nuclear and missile capabilities,” said a South Korean military spokesman.

February 2018: The Winter Olympics are held in South Korea, with Russia banned for cheating. Many of the venues are just 60 miles from the North Korean border. What could possibly go wrong?

August 2017: Continuing its steady climb since bottoming out in 2008, the stock market hits another all-time high, with the Dow Jones industrial average topping at 22,000. Trump takes full credit for this latest market surge.

August 2018: Reacting to growing worldwide unrest, as well as increasingly bizarre behavior from a White House under siege from special prosecutor Robert Mueller, the stock market plunges 10,000 points. Trump says, “In the spirit of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I am declaring martial law and will begin locking up the disloyal opposition for causing this, starting with Hillary and thus keeping my campaign promise.”

October 2017: A staggering number of Hollywood power players, from Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey, are accused of sexual harassment and assault.

October 2018: The ongoing “Purge of Pigs” movement leaves only two people standing in Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Betty White.

November 2017: Trump celebrates a year since his election as president, and Republicans mark 12 months since voters gave them control of the White House, Senate and the House of Representatives.

November 2018: Democrats reclaim majorities in the House and Senate as record numbers of Americans turn out to vote. Trump fears for his presidency.

December 2017: In a directive straight out of George Orwell’s “1984,” the Trump administration bans the Centers for Disease Control from using certain words, including “science-based,” “fetus” and “transgender.”

December 2018: Trump desperately adds more words to the banned list, including “facts,” “impeachment” and “dotard.”

December 2018: In his final official act, after it becomes clear Congress is about to impeach him, Trump pardons himself, all relatives and Vladimir Putin. He also orders the National Park Service to begin work at Mount Rushmore to put his image just to the right of Abraham Lincoln.

Happy New Year, and keep the faith!

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Marlon Bundo Diss Makes Pet Owners Hopping Mad

President Donald Trump might have gone too far this time.

He bragged about sexually assaulting women, denigrated Mexicans and Muslims and mocked a disabled man. Still, his supporters stick by him. He even might have been right when he said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

But when he aims his venom at frisky Spot and little Cuddles, that’s when voters bare their teeth.

An adviser to the president told The Atlantic that Trump thinks owning pets is “low class,” and how “embarrassed” he was when Vice President Mike Pence and his family brought theirs to Washington. The Pence family pets include two cats (Hazel and Pickle), a dog (Harley), a snake (Snake) and a rabbit named Marlon Bundo.

“Low class? Not only do pet owners have more class than Trump, so do their pets,” said Terry Russo of Staten Island, who has two cats.

Trump is the first president in 150 years not to have a pet in the White House.

Having pets has relieved the stress of being president — from Barack Obama and his Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny, to George W. Bush’s Scottish terrier, Barney. John F. Kennedy loved his many pets, including 10 dogs, rabbits, ponies and birds.

So perhaps Trump should reconsider his attitude about pets. Among the Russia probe, sexual abuse accusations and sagging popularity, he can use a loyal friend more than ever. A Trumperdoodle might do wonders for his blood pressure and temper. When he feels the impulse to tweet, he could instead frolic with a four-legged friend.

Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are slim, according to former spouse Ivana Trump.

“Donald was not a dog fan,” she wrote in her memoir. When she bought Chappy the poodle to their home, Trump expressed his displeasure. Chappy wasn’t thrilled with Trump either, especially when he ventured near Ivana’s closet. “Chappy would bark at him territorially,” she wrote.

But does not liking pets make Trump a bad guy?

“I’m suspicious of people who don’t like dogs,” actor-comedian Bill Murray tweeted, “but I trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person.”

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Welcome to the Couch Potato Revolution

Are you tired of people telling you to stop stuffing your face with junk food, get your butt off the couch and exercise? Me, too.

Do you know who will never scold us for that? President Donald Trump.

A new book by his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and former deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, reports a typical McDonald’s meal for Trump is “two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish and a chocolate malted.” Of course, Trump doesn’t eat such calorie-laden, artery-clogging meals every day. Some days he balances his diet with pizza or buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken, according to the authors.

And if Trump can do it, why can’t you? The elitists think they’re so superior with their locally grown tomatoes and regular exercise regimens. Thank God we finally have a president who doesn’t shame us for sitting in front of the boob tube all day and shoveling crap down our throats. Who needs Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden?

Trump is proud of the fact that he rarely exercises. “Other than golf, he considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy,” according to The New Yorker. Sounds like sane thinking to me!

Yet some still seem baffled how President Hamburglar won the election. Don’t they get that the most overindulgent, obese nation on Earth would elect someone with whom they can identify? We real Americans don’t appreciate people telling us to control ourselves and our big mouths, whether that involves stuffing it with junk food or spewing nasty remarks.

By the way, libtards, who asked you to serve my kids healthy foods in school? I don’t need svelte, know-it-all kids calling me a bigoted tub of lard. When I shovel fast food down their gullets, I’m giving them a little taste of freedom.

While we’re on the subject, why are calorie counts listed on the walls of fast-food joints? If I wanted to count calories, I wouldn’t be at Wendy’s!

The United States is No. 1 (in obesity), and we’re going to eat whatever junk we want, sit on the couch all day watching TV if we please, and say whatever crap comes to our minds.

So deal with it, losers! And pass the KFC.

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“Shameless” Isn’t Just a TV Show

Shame on you!

Did your mother ever say that when you did something you knew was wrong? Did your teacher? Good! You should feel rotten when you cheat, lie or do anything that brings shame on you, your family — or your nation.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about discussions with then-Russian Ambassador and alleged spymaster Sergey Kislyak. This just 16 months after Flynn whipped up the GOP National Convention against Hillary Clinton with chants of, “Lock her up!” Karma?

In Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, counter-protesters shouted “Shame on you!” at Nazis, KKK-ers and other white supremacists marching in their city. They were wasting their time. Didn’t they notice that Klan members were parading without the traditional hoods that hide their identities? Empowered by President Donald Trump, who said there were some “very fine people on both sides,” why not show their faces?

From mocking Al Franken after the Minnesota senator was accused of inappropriate sexual touching (Trump himself has more than a dozen sexual harassment claims against him), to wisecracking about Pocahontas at an event honoring Navajo code-talkers, the president continues to lower the bar on shamelessness.

Meanwhile, the growing number of famous men revealed to have sexually harassed women is mind-boggling. In the past month, both CBS’ Charlie Rose and NBC’s Matt Lauer were fired on claims of sexual misconduct. In Congress, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan is retiring after accusations that he demanded sex from women who worked for him, while taxpayer money was used to pay an $84,000 sexual harassment settlement against a House member Politico identified as Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas.

But it’s not just Trump or media stars or congressmen who exhibit shamelessness. On a somewhat lighter note, a former British Scrabble champion was barred from tournaments for three years for dumping lousy tiles back in the bag on the sly to pick better ones.

Lewis Mackay, who observed the sneaky move, posted on Facebook, “I thought I was seeing things at first — I was shocked to witness this at all.”

“Shocked” at shameless Scrabble cheating, Mr. Mackay? In 2017 America, that would be just another day.


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Tree Lighting Sparks Memories

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting is upon us, and the giant spruce will remain lit through Jan. 7. The event brings back memories that seem more appropriate for a poem than prose.

So here you go:

Tonight they’ll be lighting the Rock Center tree.

And floods of sweet memories will pour back to me

Of a young Brooklyn boy on his way to “the city.”

(“Brooklyn’s also the city!” would only draw pity.)

Those gigantic blond people blocking my view

Did not look at all like the neighbors I knew.

But tourists were part of the whole magic scene,

As the colored lights shined on pine needles of green.

The Christmas tree lighting drew loud gasps and cheers

As I looked up in wonder and mom held me near.

The skaters below were a dazzling sight

As they whirled ’round the rink on this mystical night.

These beautiful people of such style and grace

(Tho’ there always was one who’d fall smack on his face).

While I watched from above as ice queens below twirled,

I was so mesmerized by this magical world.

There were no TV hosts then to guide us along

No Roker, no Lauer, no one singing songs.

There was no Pentatonix and no Gwen Stefani,

Just my mom and my dad and my goofy friend Lonnie.

But that’s all we needed, my family and me,

And my friend and the rink and the lights and the tree.

This magical memory won’t fade away,

A tradition that carries on right ’til today.

The smiles on the faces, the season’s first snow,

New York at its best, and it still makes me glow.

The sights and the sounds and the sweet chestnut smell

As the lights filled the plaza — and our hearts as well.


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Holiday Warmth in Chilly Climate

In these stressful times, it’s vital to remember what we are thankful for. This Thanksgiving, people who get together only on the holidays may be shocked by guests’ political views. Careless seating arrangements can turn such formerly innocent Thanksgiving questions as “Who likes white, who likes dark?” into total chaos.

All the more reason to remember that in 2017, family and friends are more important than ever. So unless you all agree on the state of the nation, avoid political discussions at all costs!

But sometimes that’s easier said than done. In that case, take a deep breath and look across the table at someone you care about deeply. Think of the classic Jule Styne-Jimmy Durante lyric, “Where’s the real stuff in life to cling to? Love is the answer!”

That song, “Make Someone Happy,” says it all. And now’s your chance to create that warm holiday glow.

What to do first? Be on time! Smile. Give hugs. Share stories. Go around the table and say what you’re thankful for. Then go around again and tell the host and person beside you what you love most about them. Don’t hog the drumsticks. Don’t force your delicious, homemade cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie on someone who hates it. Be happy yourself — it’s contagious.

It’s not surprising that Thanksgiving ranks only behind Christmas as America’s favorite holiday, according to The Harris Poll. No obligations, no gifts, just gathering with loved ones to give thanks and stuff our faces with goodies (in fact, stuffing ranks just behind turkey as our favorite holiday food, according to the poll).

While President George Washington called for a national day of thanksgiving in 1789, it didn’t become an annual celebration until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it in 1863. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt changed the date from the last to the fourth Thursday in November.

And here we go again. The weather is finally starting to turn cold, and unfortunately, the political climate remains even chillier. It’s time to create our own warmth.

And it starts with family and friends. In the end, that’s all we’ve got — “the real stuff in life to cling to.” Keeping that in mind, have a happy Thanksgiving!

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The Super Rich Finally Catch a Break

Confused about the latest tax cut proposals out of Washington? Some of us will win, some will lose, but one thing is becoming clear: super rich people stand to super-duper benefit.

And it’s about time! After using tax dodges and loopholes available only to them, including hiding huge sums of cash in offshore accounts, some of our wealthiest citizens still actually had to pay taxes last year — and it really stressed them out.

Thankfully, President Donald Trump and Congress are coming to their rescue. Haven’t the wealthiest among us suffered enough? For example, last month five members of the Walton family, heirs to the Walmart fortune, made a collective $5 billion in one day without lifting a finger, when the company’s stock price shot up.

Which put enormous pressure on them. What to do with this unexpected windfall? Buy another house or two? Three or four new cars? Or just park the cash in a foreign bank or shell company? The pressure must be agonizing.

But isn’t this a bit obscene, you ask, especially when many of us must work two jobs just to get by? How many homes, cars and yachts can billionaires own? Many! Who do you think is putting bread on the table of luxury car and yacht salespeople? The filthy rich, that’s who!

Which is why Trump and Congress are looking to give these troubled kids a break. The elimination of the estate tax will mean the children of these heirs will also never have to get their hands dirty working, thank God.

“The deal is so bad for rich people, I had to throw in the estate tax just to give them something,” Trump actually said. Sad!

This explains why Congress keeps seeking creative new ways to help their suffering benefactors. Perhaps they will propose a steak-and-lobster exemption. No longer would the wealthy have to pay sales tax on these pricey meals, whether purchased in a restaurant or when the help runs out to fetch them. Of course, Congress will insist this is really geared to help cattlemen and lobster fishermen — the working man!

Who will eventually pay for these innovative tax breaks for the neglected rich? Hint: Are you standing in front of a mirror?

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A President Rages as the Noose Tightens

The president is still furious.

The Washington Post and The New York Times won’t let up on what they call “illegal activity” conducted by people on his campaign team. Worse, they now suggest that the president may be involved in what some call a betrayal of our democracy.

This is all fake news, he screams, as White House staff hear him rage through the doors of the Oval Office. He was not involved in wrongdoing, he says over and over. The lying press is our enemy!

But now, a special prosecutor is involved, and calling witnesses, as the noose slowly tightens. Will those closest to him take a plea deal and spill the beans? Whom can he trust in his inner circle? And the hardest question: Is he legally liable, and can he actually be impeached?

An aide testifies that not only did the president know all about these illegal activities, but that he might have secretly recorded all Oval Office conversations. If the special prosecutor gets his hands on these recordings, it indeed could be grim news for the president.

A few advise that before things get out of hand, he should fire the special prosecutor. Most on his legal team say that would only make it worse.

The president fires him anyway. A constitutional crisis erupts. All congressional business freezes, and the stock market plummets. The president appears to be in full meltdown, alternately screaming and teary-eyed.

The Democrats introduce a resolution for the president’s impeachment. A few Republicans decide to put patriotism over party and join them. The president’s poll numbers hit bottom. A bipartisan congressional delegation tells the president it has counted the potential impeachment votes, and he is doomed.

Realizing all hope of surviving the scandal has vanished, the president resigns, angrily proclaiming his innocence to the end. Protesters outside the White House gates chant, “Jail to the chief!”

Richard Nixon’s helicopter takes off from the White House lawn, as he waves defiantly. Gerald Ford is sworn in as president. The Watergate scandal has finally come to an end. Our long national nightmare is over.

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POTUS: The Ultimate Status Symbol?

Has the presidency become just another status symbol for billionaires, like yachts and arm-candy wives?

Since Donald Trump became president, other billionaires have sent out feelers for the 2020 election. They’re thinking that if a rich reality TV star with no political experience who bragged about groping women can be elected president, why not them?

Billionaire investor and reality TV show host Mark Cuban told The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd he is considering a 2020 run. As a Democrat? Republican? Independent? Doesn’t seem to matter much to Cuban, who said he would have accepted an offer to be either Trump’s or Hillary Clinton’s running mate, according to Dowd. Hmm . . .

Meanwhile, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg also seems to be testing the waters, planning to visit all 50 states before 2017 ends. For those intoxicated by the idea of a President Zuckerberg, a quick viewing of “The Social Network” should sober you up.

But it’s not just male billionaires under consideration for a possible run. When New York Post columnist John Podhoretz called Oprah Winfrey the “Democrats’ best hope for 2020,” she tweeted, “Thanks for your vote of confidence!” Pollster Nate Silver tweeted, “She’s running.”

In ancient Rome, bread and circuses bought off the masses too apathetic to keep up with corrupt politics, until the empire crashed. Today, substitute tax-cut trickery and TV for “bread and circuses,” and you’ll see how our too-easily distracted population is pointing America toward that same cliff.

So let’s hope our 2020 choices aren’t only rich celebrities. The way things are going, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a reality show titled “POTUS: Let’s Choose America’s Next President!” featuring Trump, Cuban, Zuckerberg, Winfrey and God knows who else vying for the ultimate status symbol.

Imagine the excitement! With the outdated Electoral College under attack, perhaps you won’t even have to get off the couch__just tweet your preference. The winner becomes president, the runner-up vice president, and one lucky viewer ambassador to France.

Never happen, you say? All I can say is, please direct me to the local U.S. Copyright Office, pronto.

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