Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
December 18, 2020

Almost no one wants a neighbor like Donald Trump

Opinion by Helaine Olen

This week, The Post reported that a lawyer for the evangelical DeMoss family, President Trump’s next-door neighbor at Mar-a-Lago, had submitted a letter to the town of Palm Beach pointing out that an agreement Trump signed with the town decades ago forbids anyone — including the soon-to-be-former president — from using the property as a primary residence.

This presents a practical issue for Trump: In 2019, he changed his legal residence to the private club. That’s a problem, the DeMoss family has declared. “Palm Beach has many lovely estates for sale, and surely he can find one that meets his needs,” the family’s lawyer wrote in an admirably understated style.

This is quite likely true. I went on Zillow and found a just-listed three-acre compound listed for $64,900,000. It’s more than 15,000 square feet and comes with a four-bedroom staff apartment, not to mention what the listing describes as “stunning sunset views.”

But maybe those neighbors will start complaining, too. Trump, you will be unsurprised to learn, is not the sort of person you want living next door. Almost everywhere he goes, the neighbors want him gone. Think of it this way: Would you want to reside near someone who not only attracts protesters but needs them tear-gassed so he can stage a photo op? Or one who hosts covid-19 superspreader events?


December 18, 2020

Trump has won the only war he ever cared about

Opinion by Alexandra Petri

Donald Trump once complained, “No matter how good I do on something, they’ll never write good.” Well, he has done good on something, and I am going to write good.

People run for president because they want to effect big change. They dream of putting a man on the moon and bringing that man back, or putting several men on Mars and just leaving them there, or putting a picture of Salmon P. Chase on a big unit of currency and then discontinuing that unit of currency forever. They dream of enhancing the lives of their fellow citizens in some way, so that when those people look back, they can say, “Ah, I have health insurance that I did not formerly have!” or, “Look, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act is sure in effect!”

For his part, Donald Trump absolutely had something he wanted to do for all Americans that would uplift everyone, like a rising tide, and not just an oddly specific, personal vendetta that he would spend his whole time as president harping on to the confusion of everyone around him.

There was a scourge across America for a long time, and Trump finally ended that scourge. It was agony to many Americans who had expected to benefit from a strong outpouring and instead received only the faintest drops and trickles. No, not the tax cuts for the wealthiest, or the delay in covid-19 relief. Donald Trump does not speak metaphorically, except to say that people are fired like or unlike dogs. This is something far more literal and far more harmful.

The insidious enemy was everywhere, infiltrating our homes. It brought grief to individuals. It brought grief to families. America could not be said to be truly great until it was removed.

The coronavirus? ABSOLUTELY not. The opioid epidemic? Now you are just being silly. I am talking about something that Donald Trump cares about; I am talking, of course, about low-flow showerheads.


December 18, 2020

Sony Removes Cyberpunk 2077 From PlayStation Store After Complaints

Both Sony and Microsoft, the maker of Xbox, said they would also offer refunds to gamers while the developer of the much-hyped title works to fix bugs and glitches.

Sony, the company that owns and operates PlayStation, announced late Thursday that it would offer refunds to people who purchased Cyberpunk 2077 and remove what had been one of the year’s most highly anticipated video games from its online store, after a week of negative reviews and criticism from users over its poor performance.

In a statement on PlayStation’s website, Sony said it would offer full refunds to users who purchased the game through the PlayStation Store. Cyberpunk 2077, the company said, would also be removed from the store until further notice. Microsoft, the company that owns Xbox, announced on Friday that it would also be offering refunds to people who purchased Cyberpunk 2077 through the Microsoft store.

The game retails for $59.99, and its developer, CD Projekt Red, had touted receiving eight million pre-orders of the game.

CD Projekt Red said Friday that Sony’s decision to “temporarily suspend” sales of the game came after a discussion with the company, which is based in Warsaw.


This might be one reason for the refund...

Hilarious Cyberpunk 2077 glitch causes characters’ penises and breasts to poke through clothes
December 18, 2020

Trump Bows to Reality, Asks Confidants: Should I Do 'The Apprentice' Again?

And the show’s creator Mark Burnett is intrigued by the money-making potential of a post-presidency reboot, too.

As he begins his final weeks in office, amid a winter surge in coronavirus deaths, President Donald Trump has mentioned to confidants that he’s thinking about resurrecting The Apprentice or The Celebrity Apprentice reality TV show, two people with direct knowledge of the situation, and another person close to the president, tell The Daily Beast.

Among his inner orbit of family, political aides, and advisers, it is yet another sign that, despite the president’s public insistence that he won the 2020 election, he recognizes that he has lost and that his ongoing legal crusade to cancel Joe Biden’s victory will come up short.

In the past two weeks, the people familiar with the matter note, Trump has casually slipped into conversation lines such as, “How would you like to see The Apprentice come back?” and “Remember The Apprentice?”

The president has also bragged about how much of a ratings draw and money-maker the series was for him and creator and Trump pal Mark Burnett, and that if he wanted to, he could do it again. Whether a network would have him is another question. The Apprentice aired formerly on NBC. But that was an era before Trump was president. And the controversy of his time in office will likely follow him after he leaves.

Also unclear is to what extent Trump and Burnett have made contact this month. But Burnett has been talking up the prospect and has told associates he sees a revived Apprentice as a potential huge money spinner, according to a person familiar with his thinking.


Gawd I hope not...
December 18, 2020

Inside the Ivanka-Melania War

They’re the two most important women in Donald Trump’s life. And they absolutely loathe one another.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the former Melania Trump confidant and author of Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, spills the tea on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, starting with the very first days of the administration.

“Melania didn't come to D.C. that week, but Ivanka stayed and Donald stayed there. And all of a sudden, that's the weekend, Donald signs the, immigration, what was it called? The ban. Yes. Ivanka shows ‘Finding Dory.’ Now, if you couldn't be more tone-deaf. Children were being separated from their parents. And here you're screening a film where again, this trout fish is being separated from its mother.”

“Is that because Ivanka is dumb or is that because Ivanka is evil?” Molly Jong-Fast asks.

“Listen, I say it as it is. I think it's a mixture. I really do. I think that Ivanka is Donald in a suit, right? All of the Trumps are taught to be Trumps. They don't show emotion. A Trump is a Trump because they are authentically and unapologetically skin deep, and also self-serving. And their attitudes and disrespect for each other is again, you have to get any inside to see it,” Wolkoff answers.

And Wolkoff does indeed go inside, accusing Ivanka of purposefully boxing Melania out at every turn.


December 18, 2020

If Trump pardons himself, Biden should un-pardon him

Opinion by Ken Gormley

Ken Gormley is an expert on the Constitution, the presidency and the pardon power. He is president of Duquesne University.

If President Trump makes the ill-advised decision to try to pardon himself before he leaves the White House in January, incoming president Joe Biden should respond with another unprecedented step: He should “un-pardon” his predecessor.

That might sound strange, even extra-constitutional. Certainly, there’s nothing in the words of the Constitution or in historical precedent that speaks of undoing a self-pardon — but that’s because there’s nothing that authorizes a self-pardon in the first place. The Constitution’s text, its original meaning and historical precedent all point strongly against the validity of a self-pardon.

In part because it’s unlikely that the legitimacy of such an audacious act would be determined in court, it’s important for the new president, with the advice of his Justice Department, to take a stand against this dangerous precedent.

The Framers of the Constitution gave the chief executive enormous discretion in wielding pardons. Presidents have used this sprawling power to pardon political allies (George H.W. Bush pardoned former defense secretary Caspar Weinberger), and even family members (President Bill Clinton pardoned his half-brother, Roger Clinton). The pardon power permits the president to pardon individuals of all past federal crimes, and even crimes that have not been specified. If Trump chooses to pardon his children or any other person within his orbit, he can do it.

But no president has ever tried to issue a self-pardon, for good reason. Taking a pardon for oneself constitutes an act of self-dealing, running counter to the clear text that says presidents can “grant” pardons, which implies a grant to others. It also runs counter to the landmark holding of United States v. Nixon, the Watergate tapes case, in which Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote for a unanimous court that not even the president is above the law.


December 18, 2020

A disgusting GOP attack ad shows what's really at stake in Georgia

Opinion by Greg Sargent

If you want a single fact that neatly captures the stakes of this political moment, you probably can’t do better than this: The Republican Party is pumping millions of dollars into an attack ad in Georgia that spends literally less than one second mentioning the coming recovery.

Which underscores a basic fact about this moment once again: At a time when our country is confronting arguably the biggest crises it has faced in the modern era, much of the Republican Party, with just a few exceptions, has nothing serious to say about any of it.

The GOP’s attack ads in Georgia are detailed in an important new report in The Post. The story provides an illuminating glimpse into many of the deeper pathologies afflicting the GOP, one that illustrates what’s on the line in Georgia with great clarity.

There’s a deep contradiction in the GOP argument in Georgia right now, as the report shows. The two GOP senators campaigning in the runoffs — David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — still refuse to admit that Joe Biden won the presidential election. Vice President Pence, campaigning there on Thursday, insisted that President Trump’s fight for reelection is still alive.


December 18, 2020

Abortion, Guns and Trump: A Church Group Tries to Navigate America's Divisions

Calvary Christian Reformed in suburban Michigan seeks understanding through dialogue; ‘my soul is hurting’

WYOMING, Mich.—The evening after Election Day, Mark and Nick Elders gathered nearly a dozen members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in suburban Grand Rapids over Zoom. The brothers asked each person to reveal which presidential candidate they voted for and why.

The churchgoers had been meeting weekly to work through their conflicting stances on health care, immigration, gun control, abortion and other issues. They started in early March in the church youth room, seated inches apart on worn couches. Now they were holding their last meeting amid a raging pandemic. Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump was just coming into focus.

One by one the participants, a mix of conservatives, liberals and independents, disclosed their White House pick. Jayne Quist said she and her husband, Jim Quist, voted to re-elect President Trump because he is antiabortion and “socialism scares us.” Mark Westrate said he backed a Democrat for the first time in a half-century of voting because “everything seems to be falling apart.”

Mark and Nick Elders picked Mr. Biden after voting for Mr. Trump in 2016. That put them at odds with a group member they deeply admire: their father, Dale Elders, who backed the Republican incumbent a second time.

The Elders brothers, lifelong members of the church, asked the participants to crack open their 194-page workbooks and begin the difficult process of understanding those who voted the other way. The workbooks, developed by a nonpartisan Christian group, warned them not to treat people with opposing political beliefs as the enemy. Nick Elders closed his eyes and asked God to keep them from losing sight of this for the next four years.

“Help us all to remember that we’re Christians first,” prayed the 28-year-old boat salesman. “We’re Republicans or Democrats or third party second.”


This article is an excellent example of what the WSJ is capable of producing, despite the fascist leanings of its editorial page writers. It's probably blocked but perhaps can be found elsewhere.
December 18, 2020

Wealthy patients scramble for a vaccine: 'If I donate $25,000 ... would that help me?'

Concierge doctor’s offices are stocking up with ultra-low temperature freezers and are being inundated with calls from well-heeled clients

They’re offering tens of thousands of dollars in cash, making their personal assistants pester doctors every day, and asking whether a five-figure donation to a hospital would help them jump the line.

The COVID-19 vaccine is here — and so are the wealthy people who want it first.

“We get hundreds of calls every single day,” said Dr. Ehsan Ali, who runs Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor. His clients, who include Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, pay between $2,000 and $10,000 a year for personalized care. “This is the first time where I have not been able to get something for my patients.”

With the first doses in short supply, California has laid out a strict order of vaccinations based on need and risk: Healthcare workers and nursing home residents, then essential workers and those with chronic health conditions, then, finally, everyone else.

December 17, 2020

Trump and his party are threatening our constitutional order

Opinion by Michael Gerson

President Trump’s coup attempt has failed in every place but his fevered mind.

The president’s claim of comprehensive electoral fraud has been distinguished by a complete lack of supportive evidence. Legal representation by swaggering, bungling windbags has done little to advance the president’s cause. And Trump’s diversion into deranged conspiracy thinking while national challenges mount is a fitting end to this sad, shabby chapter in the American story. One imagines the other 43 presidents in Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents pointing and laughing at their most embarrassing successor.

It is thankfully true that American political institutions have survived a time of testing. But this positive judgment is complicated by three factors.

First, the challenge has been a relatively weak one. Trump combines the ambitions of a despot with the strategic planning and operational competence of a hamster. He is an evil mastermind without the mastermind part. Would our system have held firm in a closer election against a more talented authoritarian plotter? We have no idea. And the openness of the question should terrify us. Democracies tend to end not by revolt from below, but by erosion from above. They are less vulnerable to revolutionaries than they are to demagogues. While we have not lost our republic, we have glimpsed how it might eventually be lost.

Second, our democratic culture has only held selectively. The judiciary, to be sure, survived its stress test. State and federal judges swatted away the meritless lawsuits of Trump and his cronies like so many fat, lumbering horseflies. And many state officials charged with organizing and implementing elections rose to the moment as well. They generally did their jobs with integrity and refused to be silent objects of presidential slander.

But this test has also revealed the soft and rotting parts of our democratic system. This begins with a significant portion of voters — mainly Republican voters — who seem determined to believe Trump’s disproven lies. While no sane politician would call these voters to account for their corrupting influence, I am perfectly willing. The determined self-delusions of Trump loyalists egg the president on. By siding with the president’s libels against our constitutional order, they help delegitimize it. Whatever these citizens’ intentions, they are making America a weaker country.


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 15,943
Latest Discussions»Zorro's Journal