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Cuomo and Trump are political twins — but only one gets media heat

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Cuomo and Trump are political twins — but only one gets media heat

So it turns out Gov. Cuomo is more like former President Donald Trump than even . . . Trump.

Remember how media routinely portrayed the then-prez as a bully? Last September, “Frontline” actually ran a piece titled “Trump the Bully.” Now, Cuomo’s fellow Democrat, Assemblyman Ron Kim, says the governor threatened to ruin him if he didn’t help make Cuomo’s nursing-home scandal go away.

“You have not seen my wrath,” Kim says Cuomo fumed. “You will be destroyed.”

Right on cue, Cuomo on Wednesday fired torpedoes at Kim, charging him (sans evidence) with “unethical, if not illegal” behavior. The gov just happened to make the allegations right after Kim — whose uncle died in a nursing home in April after suffering COVID symptoms — slammed Cuomo for his handling of nursing homes and refused to recant.

It’s not just the bullying. Think about it: Both Trump and Cuomo hail from Queens, followed in their father’s business and eventually reached high office. They share enormous egos and thin skins, insult critics childishly — and exaggerate and outright lie to embellish their record and to hide damaging facts.

Indeed, the pair behave so similarly, you might wonder what’s in the water in Queens.

Yet Cuomo’s darker qualities, the kind so often attributed to Trump, may have escaped ordinary New Yorkers’ notice, because the press so often closes its eyes to them.

Start with their fibs: Many are so transparent, and bizarre, as to be near humorous. Trump claimed audiences far larger than what video actually showed. Cuomo once feigned shock over toll hikes he himself had surely OK’d.

Trump’s biggest whopper: insisting he won the 2020 election. That, critics charge, “incited insurrectionists” to invade the Capitol. Trump lied; people died.

Cuomo’s biggest: understating COVID nursing-home deaths after he forced homes to take in COVID-positive patients. People died; Cuomo lied.

While the press blamed Trump instantly for the Capitol riot, only The Post and a few other outlets fully covered the nursing-home scandal from the start.

This week, the governor again insisted nursing-home deaths “were always fully public and accurately reported.” Huh? His top aide admitted his staff withheld info, supposedly out of fear it might be used against them in a federal probe.

That revelation has critics calling for Cuomo’s impeachment. Trump, meanwhile, has already been impeached — twice.

Then there are their egos: Trump claims he accomplished more than any other president. Cuomo wrote a book offering himself as a model of “leadership” amid his disastrous COVID decision-making.

They share a short temper, intolerance and a sharp but juvenile tongue: Just this week, Trump called Mitch McConnell “unsmiling.” Cuomo once insisted “conservatives” — he called them “extreme conservatives” — “have no place” in New York. His attacks on folks in private are far more vicious.

Mayor Ed Koch long blamed Andrew Cuomo for campaign posters that read “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo” during the 1982 Democratic gubernatorial primary against his dad, Mario.

Then there’s how they deal with negative news stories. Trump dismisses them as “fake news” (many really are untrue). Cuomo likewise denies unflattering reports, calling them “political.” This week, he accused The Post of getting it wrong on his nursing-home debacle. (We didn’t.)

The men have their differences: They’re on opposite sides, politically. One is an experienced pol, the other a real-estate mogul, TV celeb and political outsider.

Yet the biggest contrast is how the media treat them, routinely depicting Trump as a cartoon villain while helping Cuomo become a heartthrob for “Cuomosexuals” who went on to win an Emmy.

Which raises an important question: All else equal, who’s more dangerous — a leader like Trump, whose flaws and lies are blatant, obvious and called out unfailingly? Or one who’s more skilled at deception, more polished politically and less subject to scrutiny?

True, Cuomo is no former President Barack Obama, who could say almost anything and have many people buy it. Yet even as the governor’s nursing-home coverup was being exposed, Cuomo still managed to win a favorable approval rating from 56 percent of New Yorkers, a Siena poll this week found. Fawning media coverage no doubt contributes to that.

Trump and Cuomo are two sides of the same coin. But unless you scratch the surface of both sides equally, you can easily miss that fact. New Yorkers are only now beginning to find out just how costly an oversight that is.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — March 8, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — March 8, 2021

The Issue: Calls for Gov. Cuomo to step down in the wake of nursing-home deaths and harassment claims.

Two of the defining characteristics of today’s liberals is their fawning self-adulation and undeniable hypocrisy (“Cuomo’s Corrupt Lies,” Editorial, March 6).

Gov. Cuomo was lauded a year ago for his leadership in the early stages of COVID. Only now it turns out that he flat-out lied about the number of COVID-related deaths in nursing homes.

On top of that, he has been accused by several women, including former staffers, of sexual misconduct. Except for a few state lawmakers, the left is silent — notably Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose failed presidential run was based on women’s rights.

Cuomo, who demanded that Judge Brett Kavanaugh take a lie-detector test, refuses to do so himself. The sham is laid bare for all to see.

John Bliss

Newburgh

When is this all going to finally end with Cuomo?

First it was the nursing-home deaths that his staff did not report. Then it was him allegedly putting his hands on younger women and making sexual advances, including propositioning one of his 25-year-old aides.

This governor is out of line and should not be sitting in Albany. Either he resigns or should be impeached.

Cuomo, you’re a big disappointment to New York. It’s time for you to be replaced.

Rob Johann

Queens

I can only feel continued anger and dismay regarding our illustrious governor.

This man knew full well that his former aide Charlotte Bennett had experienced sexual trauma in her young life, and yet he continued on with sexual advances and innuendos. How low can a person go? He, a father of daughters, should all the more be ashamed of himself.

I agree with using the appropriate process, however I believe what Bennett has said, and I applaud her for her strength.

Judy Anastasio

Staten Island

The polls show Cuomo disintegrating daily.

Now that everyone knows he’s a pervert, the Emperor of New York needs to held responsible for covering up thousands of deaths from his deadly mandate.

This ruthless, pompous dog of a leader needs to be indicted and impeached. Cuomo lies as the walls are closing in on him hard and fast. Good riddance.

Vincent Conti

Staten Island

The hits just keep on coming when comes to Cuomo.

It’s bad enough that information about the sexual harassment allegations is coming to light, and it’s even worse than we first thought.

There’s also the nursing-home scandal involving the deaths of elderly people in the thousands.

Cumo’s top aides hid the extent of this fact. Of course they are guilty, but they didn’t do this by themselves.

If the attorney general has all involved parties give statements under oath, I am quite sure no one would want to take the fall for Cuomo and commit perjury as well.

Many families rightfully want a full explanation for why this was allowed to happen in the first place.

Cuomo could also be looking at a class-action lawsuit as more of the sad truth comes out.

Joseph Comperchio

Brooklyn

This is what happens when there are no term limits for a politician. They think they can get away with it because they have so many people in their back pockets.

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer stepped down for less. Why not Cuomo? Who cares if he’s single? He still acted inappropriately.

Theresa Rohr

Hamburg, NJ

The worst of Cuomo’s crimes is not his abuse of women, which is bad enough.It’s the thousands of nursing-home deaths he’s responsible for.

Before that, it was making New York the highest taxed state in America, causing residents to flee to friendlier climates. He has been a colossal failure during his tenure as governor.

He should open the city, open the schools, open the restaurants, then go away.

And note to liberals: Start voting with your head, not your bleeding heart.

JR Cummings

Manhattan

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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Opinion

Biden rejects common-sense center on everything from schools to border

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Biden rejects common-sense center on everything from schools to border

It’s truly astonishing how much President Biden in his first weeks has opted to side with his party’s left wing and its special interests — and against even moderate Americans’ desires.

It’s most obvious in his Mexican-border madness: President Donald Trump worked out perfectly reasonable, humane policies that stemmed the record-breaking, Obama-era surges of migrants at the border. Yet Biden has needlessly moved to kill Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” deal and other agreements with Central American nations that were clearly working. Instead, he set up a temporary freeze on deportations and is talking up plans to offer a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.

All of which has encouraged Central American migrants to rush for the US border: Already, the number of children who cross over this year is on pace to break the all-time record by 45 percent. And he’s had to resort to the notorious “cages” to detain kids who crossed without their families, and it’s only going to get worse as summer hits.

Meanwhile, his end to deportations is also prompting a return to “catch and release” — posing a public-health hazard: More than 100 illegal border-crossers released last week had tested positive for the coronavirus, yet still got sprung. And that’s only one of the ways this policy slams border towns.

None of this is common sense: 55 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden’s curb on deportations, and only far-lefties are happy to see the border surge resume.

And even as he embraces open borders, he’s passively letting schools stay closed. Abandoning his pledges to get most open in his first 100 days, he’s now pretending that it can’t be done without vast new federal spending contained in his “relief” bill — even though the nation’s schools have billions left from last year’s relief measures, and his proposed outlays are mainly for years in the future.

The science clearly shows that reopening poses no real health risk to students or adult staff, but the president just refuses to say a word of criticism of the teachers unions (and the politicians they control), which are without question the real barrier to reopening. That’s why US parochial and private schools, and public schools in areas of low union power, opened up weeks ago.

He’s also gone extreme-green on energy policy. Though most Americans support moderate efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, that doesn’t cover his multi-trillion-dollar plans to decarbonize the entire country. With one action alone, killing the Keystone XL pipeline, he killed thousands of good US jobs and slapped America’s good friend, Canada — while actually harming the environment, since the Canadians will simply ship their oil by rail and truck (meaning more pollution and greater risk of spills) to consumers who will still burn it, probably in dirtier plants than the ones here.

Then there’s his culture-war nonsense, such as his order mandating that biological males be allowed to compete in sports with girls — another policy a majority of Americans disapprove of, according to a Harvard University and Harris Insights and Analytics poll.

He’s so reluctant to defy the hard left that he played along with the nutty drive to cancel Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, dropping all mention of the beloved author in his Read Across America Day proclamation. Never mind that the day comes on March 2 because that’s Seuss’ birthday, nor that then-President Barack Obama and his wife as recently as 2015 highlighted Seuss’ work to interns and kids. “Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss,” Obama said. Heck, now-Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted Seuss a happy birthday wish in 2017.

But the ravenous left wants Seuss’ scalp, and Biden obliged in canceling an author who’s showed countless millions that reading is fun.

Whether he fears the power of the left, or has no real idea how extreme his administration is proving, the president is rejecting the sensible center across the board. He’s not only being foolish, he’s doing the exact opposite of his inaugural vow to unify the nation.

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Opinion

Take away de Blasio’s emergency COVID powers, too

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Take away de Blasio's emergency COVID powers, too

Hand it to city Comptroller Scott Stringer for catching out Mayor de Blasio in a bit of rank hypocrisy, by demanding he live up to his own stated principles on the need to end pandemic-emergency powers.

De Blasio this month joined the chorus calling for the end of Gov. Cuomo’s special COVID executive power. (And indeed the Legislature on Friday moved to cut it back.)

But when Stringer this week called for the mayor to yield up his own extraordinary pandemic powers, de Blasio declined. A mayoral spokesman said Stringer, a candidate to succeed de Blasio, was letting “mayoral ambitions” interfere with pandemic response.

Interfere how?

Ambitious Stringer may be, but he’s simply looking to do his day job here: The City Charter gives the comptroller the power to review most proposed city contracts, approving and registering them as appropriate. But de Blasio one year ago seized emergency authority to skip that step so he could rapidly buy protective gear, set up a contact-tracing system and so on.

That was reasonable at the time — but the mayor hasn’t let go, even though no dire needs remain. This was Stringer’s third attempt to get back to normal; he flagged de Blasio’s repeated “overextending, overpaying and over-purchasing” last August and again in October.

Stringer rightly says the mayor is using the pandemic as “a shield to circumvent the independent oversight enshrined in longstanding statutes and rules” — and wasting millions along the way.

In the past year, the mayor spent $5.2 billion on 1,238 pandemic contracts, many with questionable sources and some that went bad, such as a $91 million deal with a de Blasio donor who never delivered the promised N95 masks or ventilators.

Mind you, this mayor has a long track record of doing favors that help his donors but harm the city, such as the notorious Rivington Street flip. Absent last spring’s extreme circumstances, he has no excuse for dodging Stringer’s oversight.

Let him get through his final nine months in office with as few powers to sell out the public interest as possible.

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