Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Georgia certifies Biden’s victory, hours after premature announcement.
Georgia’s top election official certified that President-elect Joe Biden won the state, despite President Trump’s claims that the process was corrupt.

The certification ensured that Mr. Biden would receive the state’s 16 electoral votes and dealt a blow to President Trump’s bid to overturn the vote in a half-dozen battleground states, and with it, the national election that Mr. Biden won decisively.

The call in the battleground state comes after a methodical hand recount of its five million votes found Mr. Biden defeated Mr. Trump by about 11,000 votes. In a blunt declaration of the final vote count, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said, “I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie.”

Georgia’s certification is the first of a series of states that could make official Mr. Biden’s victory over the next week.

Here’s What We Know About Trump’s Meeting With Michigan Lawmakers
President Trump will huddle with the Republican leaders of the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives Friday afternoon at the White House, a meeting that raised questions about the Michigan officials’ earlier pledges to respect the will of voters and award the state’s 16 electoral votes to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., as Mr. Trump continues to try to subvert the election results.

Details of the meeting with Mike Shirkey, the leader of the State Senate, and Lee Chatfield, the speaker of the state House, are still murky, but it appears to be a part of the president’s campaign to interfere with the state’s certification process that is expected to be finalized on Monday.

At least two other Michigan Republicans, Tom Barrett, a state senator, and Representative Jason Wentworth, who will take over as speaker of the state House in January, will join Mr. Shirkey and Mr. Chatfield at the White House. Mr. Barrett has been a vocal critic of Michigan’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, and has called for an investigation into perceived irregularities in the November election before the results are certified. He has been a vocal supporter of the president and attended one of his rallies in Michigan the week before the election.

Mr. Trump has already intervened in the process at least once this week, calling a Republican elections official in Wayne County, home to Detroit, after she voted to certify Mr. Biden’s victory there. Following the call, both she and another Republican official asked to rescind their votes, though there is no mechanism for them to do so.

As Mr. Trump’s legal efforts to prove widespread fraud during the election have sputtered almost to a halt, he and his allies have shifted to a different strategy, based on the dubious belief that if a state’s board of elections fails to certify its results, Republican legislatures could then appoint pro-Trump electors in states that Mr. Biden won, tipping the Electoral College in the president’s favor when it meets on Dec. 14.

While Michigan remains the focus of the president’s efforts, aides say that he has also asked about other battleground states where he could pursue a similar strategy. Legal experts say that the strategy is virtually sure to fail, partly because Mr. Trump would need to be successful in several states; Michigan’s votes alone would not be enough to tip the election in his favor.

After Trump meeting, Michigan GOP lawmakers affirmed Biden will win the state and urged Trump to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the US
  • After a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday, Republican lawmakers from Michigan said they "have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan."
  • The lawmakers released a joint statement following the meeting, saying they used the time to tell the president that Michigan is in need of federal aid to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • They also said Michigan's electoral votes would go to the candidate who received the most votes, affirming President-elect Joe Biden would win the state.

Trump’s Attempts to Overturn the Election Are Unparalleled in U.S. History
The president’s push to prevent states from certifying electors and get legislators to override voters’ choice eclipses even the bitter 1876 election as an audacious use of brute political force.

President Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election are unprecedented in American history and an even more audacious use of brute political force to gain the White House than when Congress gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency during Reconstruction.

Mr. Trump’s chances of succeeding are somewhere between remote and impossible, and a sign of his desperation after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. won by nearly six million popular votes and counting, as well as a clear Electoral College margin. Yet the fact that Mr. Trump is even trying has set off widespread alarms, not least in Mr. Biden’s camp.

“I’m confident he knows he hasn’t won,” Mr. Biden said at a news conference in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday, before adding, “It’s just outrageous what he’s doing.” Although Mr. Biden dismissed Mr. Trump’s behavior as embarrassing, he acknowledged that “incredibly damaging messages are being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions.”

Mr. Trump has only weeks to make his last-ditch effort work: Most of the states he needs to strip Mr. Biden of votes are scheduled to certify their electors by the beginning of next week. The electors cast their ballots on Dec. 14, and Congress opens them in a joint session on Jan. 6.

Even if Mr. Trump somehow pulled off his electoral vote switch, there are other safeguards in place, assuming people in power do not simply bend to the president’s will.

Will Manhattan’s Elite Really Spurn Ivanka and Jared (and Their Money)?
“Jared and Ivanka are poised to return to a Manhattan social scene that no longer welcomes them.” So declared a CNN headline that offered a wish-fulfillment response to questions so many New Yorkers have been tossing over obsessively in the aftermath of the election: Will Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner move back to a city stewing in its sense of betrayal? And what would their lives look like if they did?

Paradoxically, it is their most impassioned detractors — concentrated in 20 or so ZIP codes in Manhattan and Brooklyn — who seem to really want them back, who crave a theater of ostracism that would feel like retribution, a show staged multiple times a day on sidewalks, in the city’s boardrooms and dining rooms, in showrooms, parks, galleries, artists’ studios; vignettes of humiliation in perpetual review on Instagram and Page Six.

“I have had visions of Ivanka with her thousand-dollar hair and makeup trying to show up at the opera like that and getting ejected,” Jill Kargman, a longtime social figure on the Upper East Side told me. “The poetic justice is that coming to New York would put them in a kind of prison already.”

Theoretically, the couple could move anywhere — and they might go to Florida or New Jersey or somewhere else entirely. New York, where the performative distaste for the couple is unsurpassed, would present the greatest challenges — where to eat, entertain themselves, get their hair glossed to an ice-rink finish. Where could they walk freely in the center of the resistance?

... Ms. Trump has long maintained connections to the worlds of art and fashion, but those paths to re-entry seem to have run dry. Should she and her husband return to New York, they would be coming back in the age of cancel culture. Though the couple are known collectors, art galleries might turn them away rather than risk landing their names in the news for selling to them, Mike De Paola, a collector of contemporary art and member of various museum boards, observed. “I know many galleries that would go out of business before they would take Trump money,” he told me.

... The fashion industry, too, will present obstacles. Batsheva Hay is a young independent designer roughly Ms. Trump’s age who is favored by awards committees and celebrities and magazine editors. “The fashion world is pretty ready to shun her,” Ms. Hay told me. “No one is going to lend Ivanka clothing — she’ll have to buy it covertly at retail.”

And what of Mr. Kushner’s real-estate empire, which he ran for his family after his father was sent to prison? That landscape, too, is very different, devastated by the pandemic. Just this week a Brooklyn judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit claiming that Kushner Companies bypassed rent stabilization guidelines on a building it owns in Brooklyn. A lawyer for the firm called it baseless and accused the plaintiffs’ “enablers” of acting out of political motivation.

Trump waged a 4-year war against the press. Here's what 5 White House briefing room insiders want from the Biden era.
  • After four years of President Donald Trump's attacks on the media, White House briefing room veterans told Insider they are hoping for a reset when President-elect Joe Biden's new press team sweeps in.
  • Biden's transition team hasn't yet picked a new press secretary, but there are plenty of rumblings that senior advisors Symone Sanders or Karine Jean-Pierre could get the coveted post.
  • "How about not calling us scum, the worst people on the planet? That's what journalists want," said Judith Miller, a former New York Times Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter and author who is now a Fox News contributor.
  • "In the same way that abused dogs need time to adjust when they're adopted, the White House press corps is going to have to adjust to a normal traditional press secretary after four years of being berated, lied to and belittled every day," said Matthew Nussbaum, a former White House reporter.

A pay raise for troops is in danger because of a dispute over bases named for Confederate leaders
  • An annual defense policy measure, which would give the military a 3% pay raise starting January 1, among other provisions, has to pass next month to avoid breaking a 59-year streak.
  • The bill is in danger of cratering next month over efforts to rename military bases, such as Fort Benning, that are named after Confederate officers, which President Donald Trump has vowed to oppose.

This is what it looks like when things fall apart
  • At a press conference on Thursday Rudy Giuliani's hair dye dripped down his face while he spit conspiracy theories at a crowd of reporters who seemed (at best) embarrassed for him.
  • This is what it looks like when things fall apart.
  • Trump and his people have nothing but lame duck power — certainly no evidence of voter fraud — but they will do as much damage to this country as they can with what power they have for as long as they are able.
  • Keep your head up. Wear a mask. Look out for each other.
Rudy sweat so profusely that his hair dye ran down his face. He visibly spit into the audience during a global pandemic. He waxed philosophically about a favorite movie. It was like being stuck in a conversation with a drunk person at the dumbest Country Club in the world.

It was pathetic, and that's because things sometimes look pathetic when it all falls apart. This is the wail of ineffectual losers who feel their power slipping away. It's a blustering, boobish bluff.

This doesn't mean bad things won't continue happening in our country thanks to the Trump administration. They will. With the power of the White House behind them, even buffoons this tragic can do real damage to our belief in democracy. And of course, there is the fact that our nation is in crisis.

President Donald Trump has fully abdicated his responsibility to care for the American people during the worst of the coronavirus's surge. His public schedule remains blank, and negotiations for another stimulus package — which the American people desperately need — have stalled.

... If you ever thought his anger was a righteous rage at elites and liberals you were mistaken. Trump's anger has always been about his own inadequacy. He's the only person he has ever cared to do for. He does not care about his base, his party, or anyone else. And the longer he stays in office, the more he makes us like him.

Because of this weakness Trump cannot handle any reality that does not make him feel like he has power. He's primed his followers to feel the same way. He will never come around to actual reality. The more his comfort zone separates from fact the more unhinged and irrational he and his cronies will behave — from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to Giuliani.

Bernie Sanders says the 'GOP has ceased to be a political party' and 'is now a cult' for staying silent on Trump's election attacks
  • Senator Bernie Sanders criticized Republicans for refusing to speak out against President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
  • "It is beyond pathetic for a sitting president to try to subvert the results of an election," the Vermont senator tweeted on Friday. "It is even worse when the Republican Party, with few exceptions, remains silent over this outrageous attack on democracy."
  • "The GOP has ceased to be a political party," he added. "It is now a cult."

'Thank you Elizabeth, LOVE!': Trump thanks parody Twitter account he thought was his sister
  • President Donald Trump tweeted a link to a story falsely claiming that his sister, Elizabeth Trump Grau, had issued a "rare and bold statement" in support of him.
  • The story was based on tweets from a parody account, @TheBettyTrump, which was suspended later on Friday.
  • Twitter sleuths were quick to find red flags on the parody page, including a lack of tweets going back beyond yesterday and a bizarre photo of Natty Daddy beer as the "perfect Trump drink on a rough day."
Elizabeth Trump Grau has largely stayed out of the spotlight during Trump's presidency, and it's unclear if she uses any social media networks.

As of 4 pm Friday, the tweet remained on Trump's page despite the parody account it linked to getting suspended.

Donald Trump Jr. tested positive for COVID-19 and is quarantining
  • Donald Trump Jr, the president's eldest son, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, Bloomberg News first reported on Friday evening.
  • A spokesman for Trump Jr. told Business Insider that the president's son is asymptomatic and has been isolating since he received his positive test.
It's unclear whether Trump Jr. or the White House would have informed the public about Trump Jr.'s diagnosis if Bloomberg hadn't broken the story.

This comes after several other members of the Trump family and Trump Jr.'s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle were infected with and recovered from COVID-19 earlier this year. Guilfoyle was infected in August, while it was announced in October that President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron had tested positive for the disease.

Trump considers targeting birthright citizenship with executive order in his last weeks in office, report says
  • President Trump is reportedly considering putting out an executive order in his final weeks in office to target birthright citizenship, according to two sources who spoke to The Hill.
  • Ending birthright citizenship — which guarantees citizenship to anyone born on US soil, regardless of the citizenship of their parents — has been something Trump's talked about doing since his 2016 campaign.
  • Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is an example of someone who gained her citizenship this way. Her Indian mother and Jamaican father were not yet US citizens when they had her in California in 1964.
  • When reached for comment by The Hill, a White House spokesman said he wouldn't "speculate or comment on potential executive action."
Birthright citizenship is the policy whereby anyone who is born in the US is immediately granted citizenship, regardless of whether their parents have citizenship or not.

It's guaranteed under the 14th Amendment, which states in part that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." More than 30 countries — mostly in the Western Hemisphere — have birthright citizenship.

... Trump has been speaking out against birthright citizenship since his 2016 run for the White House, which was infused with anti-immigrant rhetoric. He brought the issue up again in a 2018 interview with Axios, in which he stated that he could issue an executive order to end the practice.

However, The Intercept reported in 2018 that this is "an idea rejected by an overwhelming consensus of conservative and liberal law scholars." A law written into the Constitution can only be ended through a new amendment.

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.