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Cold Comfort

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With the mercury plummeting, the city bundled up for a frosty week. Harlem congressman Charles Rangel felt a military draft coming on, but fellow Democrats warned him that such talk was skating on thin ice. Hillary Clinton was revealed to have shoveled $37,500 in cold hard cash to her pal Maggie Williams during her senatorial campaign; the Clinton office said the payment had been an error made during a blizzard of check-writing. A Chappaqua neighbor of the Clintons was killed in a mysterious slay ride on Saw Mill River Road; the victim’s husband was a disbarred lawyer with a suspicious history of suffering brain freeze during closing arguments. The New York Sun estimated that Mayor Bloomberg’s fortune had snowballed into a cool $22.5 billion, which could make him the richest man in the city. State courts ruled that Governor Pataki can’t keep sex offenders on ice in mental hospitals, but left open the possibility to stash them in some other bureaucratic Sub Zero. Golan Cipel claimed he’d given the cold shoulder to ex-Jersey governor Jim McGreevey’s come-ons, including romantic icebreakers such as “Everybody’s a little bit gay.” Parka-swaddled geeks waited through the raw November night to see if Nintendo’s Wii stacked up against Sony’s PlayStation 3; shivering Times Square shoppers expecting to schlep to the North Pole and back to find a bathroom were shocked to find Charmin sponsoring (temporary) relief facilities as clean as the driven snow. After allegedly offering “hush money” to the families of Ron Goldman and Denise Brown, Rupert Murdoch threw frigid water on his own plans to publish and broadcast O. J. Simpson’s hypothetical In Cold Blood. Isiah Thomas, unhappy with the Knicks’ glacial progress, banished his $32 million guards Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis to Siberia on the team’s bench. And erstwhile Seinfeld co-star Michael Richards, who apologized on Letterman for unleashing a racially tinged, expletive-laced whiteout at an L.A. comedy club, surely wished his career had frozen about the time Kramer joined the Polar Bear Club.

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