Katy Burns: Only in America

Monitor columnist
Published: 12/15/2019 6:45:11 AM

On Tuesday, we made Christmas cookies while listening to NPR news report the details of the pending impeachment of America’s 45th president. It was a little surreal.

Outside, a foot-deep blanket of snow deposited about a week ago was rapidly disappearing in the 56-degree heat, and forecasters told us the next day’s high would – if we were lucky – be a shivery 30 or so degrees.

Meanwhile, a presidential election is scheduled for next year. And so running around the state on any given day in the last few months, putting up with the fluctuating temps, have been up to 20 Democrats – plus self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, trying once again to steal the Dems’ primary – who would, at least in their imaginations, be president.

The latest news on that front is that Steve Bullock and Joe Sestak have dropped out of the race. Uh, who?

It’s a strange ending of a strange year.

Just in the last few weeks, our governor – Chris, the latest of an apparently endless tribe of Sununus – has proclaimed he is taking a bold stand against the awesome power of the ruthless federal government to defend the sanctity of … um, New Hampshire’s highway exit numbers?

Yes! Young Sununu is going to war with the feds because they want to renumber the exits on our interstate highways – highways that, in a sense, belong to the federal government, which largely financed them, so it can name them whatever it likes.

Rather than being Exit 1 or 8 or whatever, the exit would be named for its distance in miles from the highway’s beginning. Sort of makes sense, because it helps travelers find out where they actually are. And almost all states now use mile markers to identify exits, so adopting that system is survivable.

Sununu, though, is Taking a Stand! Our exit numbers are “iconic,” presumably right up there with the Sacred Presidential Primary. They are “a point of pride” – yes, I marvel every day that we live between I-89’s Exits 1 and 2! – and “we shouldn’t let Washington bureaucrats threaten to take that away.”

And our orator-in-chief was just getting warmed up as he told WMUR: “The exit you live on says something about us and your town. . . . We’re going to put up a fight on this one.” Even if that would cost the state $1 million of its own money to defy the feds? Yeah, sure. Reader, prepare yourself for new exit signs.

While our governor is fretting about highway exit signs, our president – the guy all those Democrats want to replace – has weightier concerns on his mind.

One is a Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, who has drawn worldwide acclaim as a climate activist traveling the globe to speak for her generation’s stake in a livable future. Time magazine just picked her as its Person of the Year. It’s a tribute Donald Trump thinks he’s entitled to every year, and he hit out at the thieving Thunberg in a fit of rage, describing the award as “ridiculous” and tweeting that the teen “must work on her Anger Management Problem…. Chill Greta, Chill!”

Her anger management problem?

Yes, the 73-year-old president of the United States – arguably the most powerful person in the world – is jealous of and picking on a 16-year-old girl. We are so proud.

He’s also very exercised about the FBI, insisting – with no evidence whatsoever – that its leaders were in cahoots with Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016, hell-bent on getting her installed in the White House, and so did their devious best to sink the Donald’s candidacy.

Uh, has Trump ever met an actual lawman (or lawwoman)? Whether lofty personages in the head offices of the FBI or rookie cops assigned to parking meter duty, law and order people are pretty overwhelmingly … well, law and order people. And likely politically conservative. That’s just the way it is.

For those who are not Trump fans, there was some news from his political opposition, foremost among whom right now is Joe Biden, former senator from Delaware and former vice president of the United States.

Biden was meeting and greeting folks in Iowa, which is almost as important as our own wonderful New Hampshire when it comes to picking presidents. And one of those he encountered was an older geezer who, in the forthright manner of proud geezers everywhere, told Biden that he, Biden, was too old to be president.

Well, one thing led to another, and within minutes a thoroughly steamed Biden, age 77, had challenged the opinionated 83-year-old gent to compete with push-ups, running or an IQ test. Politics at its finest!

Finally, in artistic news, a banana – already browning and gooey – was fastened to the wall of a Manhattan art gallery with a hunk of duct tape, labeled “Comedian” and priced at $115,000. And it sold! The artist then recreated his masterpiece, and it, too, sold. He is now said to be looking into the profit possibilities of other rotting fruit and vegetables. Perhaps zucchini or kumquats.

America, 2019. Gotta love it.

(“Monitor” columnist Katy Burns lives in Bow.)

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