THE MORNING BANTER: Money Addictions, Polar Vortexes, Harry Reid Punches, and Canine Cinematic Recreations

If you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving the cold winter night. Here’s what’s happening on the interweb:

1. How Money Changes The Way We Think And Behave

The term “affluenza” — a portmanteau of affluence and influenza, defined as a “painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste, resulting from the dogged pursuit of more” — is often dismissed as a silly buzzword created to express our cultural disdain for consumerism. Though often used in jest, The Huffington Post reports that the term may have more truth than many of us would like to think. Apparently, rich people are more likely to be assholes. Who would have guessed?

2. What is a Polar Vortex, and Why is it Here?

Apparently it is not, like I originally thought, a football meant for the snow brought to you by Nerf. You live, you learn.

3. Harry Reid Throws the First Punch

On Sunday’s Face the Nation, the Nevada senator said there was little hope that Congress would be better in 2014 than it was in 2013, a year in which the institution achieved greatness only in scoring historic approval-rating lows. That’s the kind of American spirit and fortitude you love to hear when embracing improvement for the new year.

4. Man Recreates Famous Cinematic Love Scenes with a Dog

A man named Chris Naka used his boss’ dog Wrigley to recreate classic romantic moments from famous movies. As of now, there are 12 pictures, covering everything from Titanic to Top Gun to Brokeback Mountain. It’s most likely the result of someone with way too much time on their hands, but his wasted 2 hours become our pleasant 2 minutes. And at least it’s not another f*cking cat.