Tuesday was my good friend and Santa Monica resident since 1963, Jerry Rosenblum’s 97th birthday. The word that best describes Jerry is “mensch,” Yiddish for a high character, stand up guy. Remarkably well-informed, he often gives me updates of the news, politics and even the latest book he’s reading. He’s 97 and frankly I have to be on my toes to keep up.
Jerry leads such a full life, he ought to do an infomercial. He’s actually too busy living, and singing, which is his greatest passion. A perfect example was this past Saturday night and his fun-filled birthday party at a Culver City karaoke club.
Fifty of Jerry’s friends, including BFF, Katie, 28, had a great time as Jerry sang his favorite songs, including Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” (Jerry, who has 18,500 Instagram followers, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, received over 100 birthday cards from all over the country.)
When I called to wish Jerry a happy birthday it was Day 19 of the Trump shutdown and also Don the Con’s fake “Border crisis” address to the nation. I swore I wouldn’t watch and so did Jerry, but we ultimately got off the phone to see what additional havoc our perplexing POTUS would perpetuate.
“Individual 1’s” Oval Office address was boring as he struggled to read from the teleprompter a demagogic litany of his anti-immigrant greatest hits. If presidential addresses are designed to calm a frightened population, Trump’s was designed to frighten a calm population. It was also filled with a falsehood every 34 seconds. (That’s not easy unless you’re pathological.)
Reportedly, that noon, in an off the record lunch with TV news anchors, Trump said he didn’t want to give the address and that his visit to the border yesterday would be a pointless photo op. He blamed his PR team for both. Clearly his delivery of the address had all the enthusiasm of someone who didn’t want to be there. Can you say, “low energy?”
You might be asking how does a pu**y-grabber who cheated with a porn star and Playboy model on his 3rd wife, pregnant with his 5th child, even get to be in the Oval Office? Answer: Russia. (See below.)
As I watched Trump’s speech I wondered why does he sniff so much? And then there’s his excessive hair spray. Given the current hit movie, “Aquaman,” I call Trump “Aqua Net Man.”
Optically, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s “rebuttal,” sharing one seemingly tiny podium, left a great deal to be desired. The Dems couldn’t afford a 2nd podium? That said, they sounded rational and logical whereas Individual l sounded delusional.
Prior to the address, Trump’s staff sent out an urgent email to supporters asking for donations to “The official Border Security Fund.” (Fine print revealed it’s really his re-election campaign.) The massive missive (sorry about that) gave his followers until 9 p.m.
After the speech another email was sent out extending the deadline. (It’s so crass, all it needed was “operators are standing by.”) Trump doesn’t have “followers,” he has “marks.” I’m surprised he didn’t offer donors a case of Trump wine and two Trump steaks.
As Trump’s government shutdown approaches the longest in history, let’s never forget in December he said “I’ll be proud to shut the government down.” On Wednesday he met with Democrats but the meeting didn’t last long. After shouting like a child, “You won’t give me what I want!” temper-tantrum Trump slammed the table with his fist and stormed out of the room. (Can you say “2-year-old?”)
Today marks the 1st missed paycheck for some 800,000 federal workers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck. Absurdly, Trump said of these poor folks, “I can relate” adding, “they’ll just have to adjust as they always do.” (Too bad they can’t call daddy like he did throughout his life.) Instead, Trump suggested that “federal workers should paint their landlord’s property in exchange for rent.”
In the latest developments of Trump’s shutdown, TSA workers are calling in sick in droves so our airports may be unsafe. And the FDA is stopping food inspections which may make what we eat unsafe. All for a vanity project wall that will serve as a perpetual monument to government waste and an impulsive, child-like president. Ironically, reasoning with Trump is like talking to a wall. (Meanwhile, it appears in 2016 that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort shared internal GOP polling with the Russians! Can you say “collusion?”)
On a brighter note, Jerry’s charming memoir “What Goes Around, Comes Around,” is due out in June. Currently, he’s busy editing it with his publishers. Imagine being 97 and having the energy to do all that and remain ever upbeat and optimistic. Jerry’s already talking about a sequel. As for Trump, he’s the exact opposite of a mensch.
To see a genuine Oval Office address by an adult, Google “YouTube JFK Cuban Missile Crisis.” Jack is at: facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and email@example.com