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Burt Prelutsky / Oct. 28, 2019

Gnomes in the News

Inasmuch as Barack Obama recently endorsed Justin Trudeau in his bid for re-election as Canada's prime minister, I would suggest that Trudeau pack his bags and leave the key under the mat for his opponent.

Inasmuch as Barack Obama recently endorsed Justin Trudeau in his bid for re-election as Canada’s prime minister, I would suggest that Trudeau pack his bags and leave the key under the mat for his opponent.

After all, when it comes to getting his choices elected, Obama is about 0-20 so far. As recently as 2018, he struck out with Bill Nelson, Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams. Whereas King Midas had the golden touch, Obama has the touch of bubonic plague.

By the way, does this qualify as American meddling in foreign elections, even if not to the same extent as in 2015, when President Obama sent his crew over to Israel with the specific task of helping Yitzhak Herzog defeat Bibi Netanyahu?

Feel free to add Mr. Herzog to the list of Obama’s failures even if Barack didn’t personally fly over to speak on his behalf. The man is toxic even when 5,000 miles away.

I was happy to hear that V.P. Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo were able to persuade Yecep Erdogan to comply with Trump’s reasonable request that Turkey not commit genocide twice in a century.

On the other hand, why does it always fall on the U.S. to deal with the loons in the Middle East? What the heck are our alleged allies in NATO, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, doing? I mean, aside from bad-mouthing President Trump. They’re all a lot closer to the Middle East than we are.

Thanks to the reporting of Ronan Farrow, the world now knows that the reason that NBC wouldn’t let Farrow report on Harvey Weinstein’s piggish behavior is because Weinstein threatened to blow the whistle on NBC’s news anchor Matt Lauer’s own swinish behavior if they did.

But it wouldn’t surprise me if another reason that NBC executives such as Jeff Zucker, Noah Oppenheim and Andy Lack, put the kibosh on Farrow’s well-researched story which he has turned into a book, “Catch and Kill,” is because they, too, are sexual predators.

I’m only guessing, of course, but when I was writing a lot of scripts for CBS, it was an open secret that, just like the executives in Billy Wilder’s Oscar-winning “The Apartment,” the suits at CBS had a nearby apartment they would use for their assignations with starlets and secretaries. But at least they were apparently paying the rent and not forcing a nebbish like the one portrayed by Jack Lemmon to not only provide the booze, but to roam the streets until they had concluded their tawdry business.

Just as the Democrats seemed to be on the verge of deep-sixing a number of contenders before the next debate, it appears that Michael Bloomberg just might be tossing his beanie in the race. Be still, my heart.

Every billionaire needs a hobby, apparently. But I fail to see what he thinks he’s bringing to the party. We know he hates guns, but apparently not as much as Beto O'Rourke, who has vowed to confiscate them.

Bloomberg worries himself sick over climate change, but not as much as Tom Steyer, who has apparently thought about nothing else for the past 10 years.

He’s Jewish, which I suppose counts for something in certain circles, but we already have Bernie Sanders checking that box. Speaking of Sanders, does he ever not sound like he’s delivering an angry anti-capitalism speech to his comrades in the Politburo?

Getting back to the other obnoxious New Yorker, Bloomberg is short; even shorter, I wager, than his claim to be 5'8". And whereas I would, for obvious reasons, count his lack of height a plus, it’s a fact that people nearly always vote for the taller of the two candidates. The height difference will be accentuated when during the presidential debate, Donald Trump, at 6'3", will tower over the diminutive Bloomberg. Of course Bloomberg can try to disguise the height differential, but he would then risk falling and breaking something while trying to navigate on his 7-10 inch heels.

I believe I first heard public chanting during the Vietnam War when college students never stopped chanting “Hell no, I won’t go.”

But a lot of them were lying. They went, but it was to Canada.

Ever since then, I have hated chanting, whether it was by striking union members, Never-Trumpers or the baseball fans in Atlanta.

Frankly, I don’t know why anyone would wish to engage in the annoying practice, but I do wish they would stop.

When asked if he thought he would have been named to serve on the board of a Ukrainian energy company and paid a million dollars a year to do so if his name wasn’t Biden, Joe’s son Hunter said: “I’m not sure…I’m not sure. Probably not.”

Others have mocked him, but I thought his words and his delivery were extremely droll. I couldn’t imagine a British actor in an Oscar Wilde drawing room comedy doing better.

Here’s a middle-aged fellow who knew nothing about the energy business and couldn’t have found Ukraine on a map, suggesting that he just might have lucked out even with a different last name.

And I suppose he’s right, if his name had been, say, Hunter Obama.

Lebron James, a prominent basketball player, was one of those who took exception to Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, voicing his support of the freedom-seeking demonstrators in Hong Kong. As Lebron put it: “Yes, we have free speech, but there can be consequences – financially, politically, morally and spiritually.”

It’s worth remembering that Mr. James, whose claim to the moral high ground is based on his ability to dunk a basketball, was one of the prime movers when it came to pulling the NBA All Star game out of Charlotte, North Carolina, because he was so offended that the state wouldn’t allow its transgenders (all three of them) to decide for themselves which public bathrooms to use.

But he’s just fine with kowtowing to a police state.

You might think that a guy who makes $50 million-a-year just in endorsements could afford not to grovel to fascists. But, as with the bosses at Facebook, Google and Amazon, who make even more money, you’d be wrong.

Sometimes it seems like it’s the wealthiest people who are the greediest. They’re like 500-pound gluttons who can never bring themselves to leave the table.

If the players in the NBA behave like spoiled brats, you can blame their employers. All the players had to do was whine that they objected to the owners being called owners because it harkened back to the plantation days, and the owners agreed to use the term “governors.”

So, now we have human giraffes earning upwards of $10 million-a-year comparing themselves to slaves who picked cotton in the scorching sun in exchange for room, board and an occasional whipping.

To find something equally obscene, you have to go to Hollywood where women who have never starred in a single hit film whine because they’re paid less than Robert Downey, who only appears in multi-million dollar blockbusters.

As bad as the folks in the NBA and Hollywood are, what is there to say about those in Congress who brought out their crying towels over the Kurds because they could use it to bash Trump, but fail to say a single word on behalf of the folks in Hong Kong waving American flags in the face of armed Chinese soldiers?

When Elijah Cummings died at the age of 68, he surprised a lot of us who assumed he was closer to 86. When Patrick Miano, who was the first to alert me to the happy news, let me know that the media was reporting that the man who had a face like a fist had “dedicated his life to the betterment of Baltimore,” Miano suggested he should have tried harder.

Apparently being a nicer person than Mr. Miano, I granted that Rep. Cummings had finally succeeded in bettering not only Baltimore, but Congress and the entire nation.

I’ll close with an appropriate quote of Hilaire Belloc passed along by Steve Maikoski.

“Here, richly with ridiculous display/The Politician’s corpse was laid away./While his acquaintances sneered and slanged/I wept…for I longed to see him hanged.”

Belloc, an Anglo-French wit who passed away in 1953, summed up my feelings even more perfectly on the occasion of John McCain’s passing.

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