THINK DIFFERENT

1. It’s Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

2. It’s the 40th anniversary of Apple Computer Inc., whose products help make this blog possible.

3. Here’s an idea for both Trump and his North Korean alter ego, Kim Jong Un: Why don’t you guys just do what you really want – a real pissing match?

You can set the terms. Most accurate, longest, who can spell out words, whatever.

You could stage it on worldwide TV, and show everyone the endowment that you both seem determined to prove exists.

As uninterested as I would normally be in such a competition, I would gladly watch it, and recruit as many people as I know to join me.

Just as long as you both are more preoccupied with your, um, gifts than in incinerating large portions of the planet with nuclear weapons. Which both of you seem to have as unhealthy a fixation as on proving your manhood.

Otherwise, stop it.

4. Why are people surprised that House Republicans voted to be less accountable for their behavior? Especially any of the people who voted for them or for their standard bearer, Trump.

Remember when they griped about too much political correctness? You thought they meant that it should be OK to tell a little racist or sexist joke among friends. And yes, it probably meant that too.

But what these Republicans against-the-lawmakers also saw was the perception that you are tired of hearing about them being forced to behave in a certain way. You know, ethically – as if serving the public shouldn’t be seen as a license to make a fortune.

As they see it, don’t rules about taking gifts from foreign agents and companies just muck up the works? Why not just let everyone buy their way to government favors? What’s the harm?

Yesterday’s move was so bad that even Trump, who still hasn’t told us how he’s going to avoid ethical conflicts starting in 17 days, thought it was over the top.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. ET: And, of course, to make their new master look good, the Republicans retreated.

Trump will take credit for forcing the Republicans to back down. Remember that that’s bullshit: The outcry of journalists and Democrats had a lot more to do with it.

5. Democrats worried that there’s no front-runner for 2020 seem to be the target for Andrew Cuomo.

The governor of New York has made quite a splash the past few weeks. It started with his visibility at the opening of New York City’s Second Avenue Subway, the biggest expansion of the nation’s biggest mass transit system in my lifetime.

Cuomo’s association with the Second Avenue Subway opening – underline the word opening – is fortuitous. That’s because the Second Avenue Subway has been an idea in New York – and nothing more – for nearly 100 years.

They were working on it 41 years ago when I got my first job on Second Avenue and 13th Street – and the new line might not go there until the second half of this century, if ever.

So tying yourself to success in this is certainly a good idea.

Today, the governor announced a proposal to make tuition at the state’s colleges and universities free for anyone whose family makes $125,000 a year or less.

If that sounds like a Bernie Sanders idea, it shouldn’t surprise you that Cuomo made the announcement with Sanders at his side.

Both men – who shout a lot when they speak with accents from the boroughs where they were born – insinuated that proposals like this are the way Democrats can get back in the game. As Trump helps himself and those who already have money, Cuomo sees an opening for Democrats to appeal to the people who abandoned the party to elect the charlatan.

Now here’s what’s going to happen: Republicans, and some Democrats, are going to try to stop Cuomo. They’re going to raise ethical issues, which might or might not have traction. They’re going to say he’s a heavy-handed executive.

Republicans are going to say he’s a tax-and-spend liberal. So-called progressive Democrats are going to say he’s not progressive enough.

I wouldn’t bet money on Andrew Cuomo as the 2020 nominee just yet. But as an Italian-American who still believes Mario Cuomo would have been the best POTUS of our lifetime, I hope his son takes his best shot at it.

Standard

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