Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Biden and Harris have been named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2020
  • President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have been named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2020.
  • The pair were chosen for the honor over finalists that included President Donald Trump, the movement for racial justice, and frontline health workers with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
  • Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said that Biden and Harris received for the honor "for changing the American story" and "for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division."
... Biden and Harris defeated President Donald Trump in the November general election, making him only the 11th president in US history to lose a reelection bid. In winning the election, Harris became the first female, first Black, and first Indian-American vice president.

The FBI has subpoenaed Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general leading the long-shot lawsuit to overturn the 2020 election for Trump
  • The FBI has served subpoenas to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to local media reports.
  • The FBI launched an investigation into Paxton after former officials in his office alleged that he had abused his position to help a wealthy donor.
  • This week Paxton filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election in four swing states, and President Donald Trump's campaign filed a motion to join the suit.
  • Experts believe the lawsuit has little chance of success.
  • GOP Sen. Ben Sasse has also criticized the lawsuit, and suggested that Paxton filed it in exchange for a potential presidential pardon from Trump.
The FBI has served subpoenas to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as part of its investigation into abuse of office and bribery allegations, local media reported.

It is not clear exactly how many subpoenas were issued, or what information the agency is seeking to obtain with them, sources told KENS5.

... In October, the FBI launched its investigation into Paxton after senior members of his staff told the agency that he may have violated bribery and abuse of office laws in his dealings with a wealthy donor, real-estate developer Nate Paul.

The former employees allege that Paxton abused his office in hiring an outside lawyer to investigate Paul's claims that the FBI had improperly raided his home and office last year, according to the Associated Press. All of Paxton's accusers have resigned, put on leave, or fired since reporting on Paxton, the AP said.

Paxton has denied any wrongdoing.

... Some have speculated that Paxton's election lawsuit may be linked to his own FBI investigation, and that he may be seeking a pardon from Trump before the president leaves office in January.

... "I'm no lawyer, but I suspect the Supreme Court swats this away. From the brief, it looks like a fella begging for a pardon filed a PR stunt rather than a lawsuit — as all of the assertions have already been rejected by federal courts and Texas' own solicitor general isn't signing on," he said.

Trump has been labeled 'loser of the year' by one of Europe's biggest news magazines
  • Europe's biggest news magazine, Der Spiegel, has branded Donald Trump "loser of the year" in a lengthy article criticising the president's refusal to concede the US presidential election to Joe Biden.
  • It came as President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were named Time Magazine's "Person[s] of the Year."
  • Der Spiegel said that the president was "a man who ... was never concerned with the common good, but always with one thing - himself."
Der Spiegel, one of Germany's most widely read German-language news websites, published a long article in German about the president under the headline "Der Verlierer des Jahres," which translates as "The Loser of the Year."

The article, published on Thursday, criticised the president for refusing to concede the election to Biden and described him as "a man who ... was never concerned with the common good, but always with one thing - himself."

"Nothing is normal under Trump," the article, written by the publication's Washington bureau chief and a Berlin-based correspondent, said.

"He refuses to admit defeat. Instead, he speaks of massive electoral fraud, although there is no evidence for it. The whole thing is not surprising. Trump's presidency ends as it began. Without decency and without dignity."

Donald Trump's campaign finally paid this Wisconsin city's police bill. But others — from El Paso, Texas, to Erie, Pennsylvania — are still getting stiffed.
  • The city of La Crosse, Wisconsin got something many others are still waiting for. The Trump campaign finally paid some of the money it owes the town for a rally it held there.
  • The campaign wouldn't say whether its $5,574 payment to La Crosse for police services rendered was intentional or a mistake.
  • At least 15 cities have tried — and failed — to make the Trump campaign pay police and public safety bills stemming from Make America Great Again political rallies.
  • Trump's campaign has previously said it's not responsible for cities' police bills. It owes nearly $2 million in arrears to towns across the country.
La Crosse is the lucky one among several cities that together have unsuccessfully billed Trump's campaign nearly $2 million for protecting and facilitating the president's political events.

Trump check payment La Crosse
The payment, signed by Trump campaign treasurer Bradley Crate and received by La Crosse officials on November 9, covers municipal public safety costs associated with Vice President Mike Pence's visit on September 7.

The Trump campaign's check arrived a couple of weeks past due and 10 cents short.

But the payment nevertheless marks a rare occasion — if not the first time — Trump's campaign voluntarily paid a municipal police bill. Cities have regularly sent such invoices after hosting one of the Trump campaign's many — and often boisterous — Make America Great Again political rallies and appearances.

La Crosse Police assisted the US Secret Service in securing the vice president's events and provided traffic control and "dignitary protection," Assistant Police Chief Robert Abraham told Insider.

The city didn't necessarily expect Trump, who routinely touts his support for law enforcement, to pay.

That's because the Trump campaign has ignored other La Crosse police bills. And political campaigns — both Republican and Democratic — generally "don't want to ever pay for anything even though they collect millions of dollars in donations," Abraham said. "The local taxpayers always get stuck paying the bill."

... But to date, Trump's presidential committee has refused to honor police and public safety invoices from at least 15 different municipalities, each of which hosted a Trump campaign rally sometime in the past five years.

The collective tab is more than $1.82 million — at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has forced municipal governments to slash their budgets in sometimes draconian fashion.

The cities Trump has stiffed include El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; Mesa, Arizona; Spokane, Washington; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Billings, Montana; Erie, Pennsylvania; Battle Creek, Michigan; Lebanon, Ohio; Wildwood, New Jersey; Burlington, Vermont, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and Green Bay.

Trump acknowledges that there will be a 'Biden administration,' effectively admitting he lost while still calling for the election to be overturned
  • In effect, President Donald Trump admitted on Friday that he lost the 2020 election when he tweeted about the "Biden administration."
  • The president, however, continued to push for the result of the election to be overturned.
  • "Now that the Biden Administration will be a scandal plagued mess for years to come, it is much easier for the Supreme Court of the United States to follow the Constitution and do what everybody knows has to be done," Trump said.
  • Trump has repeatedly pushed the baseless claim that President-elect Joe Biden won due to mass fraud and has refused to concede.
In short, Trump is spending his final days in office attempting to invalidate millions of votes, and breaking from a hallmark of American democracy by refusing to concede and help foster a peaceful transfer of power.

A judge just threw out Trump's attempt to throw out 221,000 votes in Wisconsin — including votes cast by mail because of the pandemic
A state judge threw out President Donald Trump's attempt to challenge 221,000 votes in Wisconsin, affirming that Trump lost the state and that President-elect Joe Biden will receive the state's 10 electoral votes.

The lawsuit sought to invalidate votes cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties, where Trump requested a recount. After he lost the recount — and increased his loss margin — Trump sued the counties to dispute all of the votes, arguing that Wisconsin's election laws weren't properly followed.

Judge Stephen Simanek said the counties properly followed the law and praised them for their transparency in conducting the recount.

"The real dispute here is whether or not there were erroneous interpretations of law used in the recount involved in whether the ballots should be counted or not counted," Simanek ruled Friday. "The court is satisfied" that Wisconsin correctly interpreted those laws, he said.

Simanek issued the ruling immediately after a hearing between lawyers for Trump, and Wisconsin's Dane and Milwaukee counties. It also included lawyers representing Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who Trump sued personally even though the pair has no involvement in Wisconsin's election administration.

The judge said he was acting quickly because Wisconsin was the only state that has not yet certified its votes, missing the Electoral College "safe harbor" deadline before they formalize Biden's victory on December 14.

GOP-controlled Senate defies Trump and easily passes $741 billion defense bill despite the president's veto threat
  • The Senate on Friday passed a $741 billion defense bill with a veto-proof majority: 84-13.
  • Trump has threatened to veto the bill because it doesn't include a provision regarding his unrelated qualms with social media companies.
  • The House also passed the bill with a veto-proof majority.
  • If Trump makes good on his threat to veto the bill, Congress seemingly has the votes to override him.
Friday's Senate vote sets up a potential showdown between Trump and Congress in the final days of his presidency. If he decides to make good on his threat, it appears that the bill has enough support in both chambers to override Trump's veto — in what would be a first for him.

... Trump has issued eight vetoes during his presidency and none have been overridden.

2 fake states are trying to join the Supreme Court case to throw out votes in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania
  • Two states that do not exist are trying to join a Supreme Court case to invalidate votes in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
  • The lawyer for "New California" and "New Nevada," told Insider his "new states in waiting" have an "absolute right" to intervene in the case.
  • The lawsuit to overturn votes was initially brought by Texas and is backed by President Donald Trump, 17 other Republican-led states, and more than 100 GOP members of Congress.
  • Robert E. Thomas III, the lawyer representing "New" California and Nevada, says he's part of a movement to create new states and curb democracy.
Thomas told Insider in an interview that New Nevada and New California are "new states in waiting," and that each is a registered 501(c)(4) organization attempting to form new states using the proper Constitutional process. He said states like Pennsylvania administered their elections in a way that's "arbitrary and capricious."

"The Supreme Court gives states in a case like this an absolute right to intervene," Thomas said. "And we regard ourselves as one of those states with an absolute right."

The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the votes of tens of millions of voters in those states, all of which President Donald Trump lost.

Since Texas first filed the lawsuit Monday, 17 other Republican-led states, Trump himself, and 106 members of US Congress have thrown their support behind the attempt to overthrow the democratic elections in those states.

The lawsuit contains numerous factual inaccuracies and legal experts expect it to fail

Trump Counted on the Courts to Deliver Him a Win. He Lost.
President Donald Trump was hedging his bets on a judicial branch that now carries a powerful Trump imprint, hoping judges and justices would do what voters and state secretaries of state did not: give him a second term.

But in the end, the courts didn't come through for Trump, who Friday evening lost what was almost certainly his last, long-shot effort to hang onto power after failing in his reelection bid against President-elect Joe Biden by more than 7 million votes. A Supreme Court that is one-third Trump appointees rejected a lawsuit led by the state of Texas and joined by 17 other GOP-led states to challenge the results in several battleground states that voted for Biden.

For Trump, a former CEO and reality TV character used to publicly firing and belittling people who cross him, the experience was a final and important lesson in the nature of America's democracy and system of checks and balances. Presidents can appoint hundreds of jurists to the federal bench, but once in the job judges and justices don't work for the president and have zero obligation to do his bidding.

"It's not inaccurate to say that the three (Supreme Court) Trump appointees are extremely conservative. That doesn't mean they are going to do whatever the incumbent president or the conservative majority in the Senate or congressional minority in the House want them to do. It just doesn't work like that," says Mark Tushnet, a Harvard Law School professor who clerked for the late Justice Thurgood Marshall.

"They're conservative in an ideological sense, not in a partisan policy sense," Tushnet adds. The case launched by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was so weak, Tushnet says, that it was always going to be nearly impossible for the high court to rule in team Trump's favor.

Trump wants a special counsel to investigate purported election fraud and Hunter Biden allegations, report says
  • President Donald Trump wants a special counsel to investigate unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter and election fraud related to the 2020 presidential race, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Senior White House officials are also said to be interested in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations surrounding President-elect Joe Biden's son, Hunter.
  • Trump's focus on a special counsel comes as federal judges across the country, as well as the Supreme Court, reject dozens of Republican legal challenges seeking to overthrow the election results.
  • Justice Department rules say the attorney general can appoint a special counsel, but it's unclear if Attorney General Barr will do so given his own pronouncement that the department did not uncover evidence of widespread fraud in the election.
Since losing the election, Trump, his legal team, GOP lawmakers, and media loyalists have leveled hundreds of baseless and incoherent claims that Democrats conspired with election officials, "big media," and dead communist dictators to win the White House while simultaneously losing key downballot races.

... The younger Biden has not been charged with any criminal activity but is the focus of federal tax investigations from the Delaware and Manhattan US attorneys' offices. The probes were initially broader in scope and looked into Biden's foreign ties and possible money laundering, but the money laundering investigation has since fizzled out from a lack of evidence, and the inquiry now primarily focuses on Biden's taxes.

'No Wisdom, No Courage!': Trump lashes out at the Supreme Court after it rejected a Texas bid to overturn the election results
  • President Donald Trump criticized the Supreme Court on Friday after it rejected a legal challenge that would overturn the results of the presidential election.
  • "The Supreme Court really let us down," he said in a tweet. "No Wisdom, No Courage!"
  • The lawsuit, which was brought by Texas and joined by other Republican-led states, sought to have the election results overturned in four states. The court rejected it due to lack of standing.
The court said that Texas lacked the standing to bring the case.

Trump decried the decision, noting the many "wonderful" states and Republican officials who supported the case.

"But, within a flash, it is thrown out and gone, without even looking at the many reasons it was brought," he said. "A Rigged Election, fight on!"

Prior to the decision, the president had hyped up the importance of the case. He has also suggested in the past that the election would be decided at the Supreme Court.

Trumpism
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.