Reasons we’re drinking this week: Donald Trump causes havoc in Manhattan, Pat McCrory tries to defy election results, Media barons line up like schoolgirls for a scolding from Mr. Trump, and a recount effort gains steam.
One Drink: Trump in New York
Donald Trump confirmed this week what he had hinted at last week: he is unwilling to move to Washington full time to live in the White House (even though he just built such a great, fabulous, the best you’ve ever seen, grand, bigly hotel there).
Now, if Donald Trump wanted to split his time between Washington and a rural country estate, where the impact of the additional security that a presidential residence needs would be minimal, that would be one thing. But Mr. Trump doesn’t want to live at Mar-a-Lago, he wants to live in Trump Tower, in midtown Manhattan. New York City residents already dreaded the brief visits of previous sitting presidents, as the presidential motorcade shuts down whole avenues at a time, and security perimeters and no-fly zones are set up around wherever the president is staying. Now, the city is spending roughly one million dollars per day to host the additional security required to allow Trump to stay in Trump Tower. Makes forfeiting that $400,000/yr salary look like a pittance if the taxpayer is going to have to pay $1.46 Billion just on residential security for Trump Tower over the next four years.
We’ve talked about this before. Trump doesn’t care about other people. He’s a narcissist, and only considers his own convenience, other people be damned.
Two Drink: North Carolina: Governor McCrory vs. The Will of The People
Apparently taking a note from Trump’s authoritarian tune and running with it, this week in North Carolina, incumbent governor Pat McCrory is digging in deep against the election results that have him losing his governorship by just over seven thousand votes.
Lashing out against someone else for his own failing, as do many toddlers, the nationally shamed McCrory (who rose to national prominence this election cycle by imposing a statewide anti-Trans bathroom bill to prevent Charlotte from treating people with dignity) has now taken to blaming individual counties for voting irregularities, something fervently denied by every county he’s blamed. What McCrory is hoping to do here is invoke a loophole in the state’s constitution stating if a race’s results are questioned, it falls on the state legislature to elect the Governor. He assumes his colleagues would aid his coup. Remember, this is happening in the United States.
This is not the only election result this year where Governor McCrory is refusing to accept the will of the people. North Carolina voters also swung the state’s supreme court by replacing conservative Republican Chief Justice Bob Edmunds with Democratic contender Mike Morgan, shifting the court to 4-3 liberal control. In an effort to prevent this, McCrory and the Republican-controlled state legislature have floated packing the bench with two additional justices, which of course they would appoint in an emergency session before the end of the year, to ensure the court doesn’t change hands. This is so immoral I actually want to vomit.
Red Drink: Trump vs. the Failing New York Times
Why, you might ask, is the president elect in the offices of the New York Times when he should be interviewing for the four thousand West Wing staffing positions he needs to fill? Why would the president-elect call one of the nation’s most venerable news institutions “failing” when his very election has boosted their new subscription rate?
We didn’t get good answers to either of those questions this week as Trump started the week on Monday meeting with the heads of several cable news outlets off the record, and then went to the offices of the Times on Tuesday to meet on the record with reporters and speak off the record with Arthur Sulzberger.
It’s shocking that heads of national media would be meeting off the record with a president elect in the first place, not to mention that the president elect would reportedly berate heads of the free press about what Trump viewed as unfavorable (read: legitimate) coverage of his lies and flip-flops along the campaign trail and the questionable backgrounds of the people he has surrounded himself with.
What’s equally shocking about all of this story is that the heads of these media organizations attended the meeting in the first place. Drastically under-questioned in coverage of these events is the judgement of the heads of CNN, NBC, CBS, Fox, MSNBC, and ABC, who lined up like naughty schoolchildren to receive a scolding from their headmaster. You would think that the collective heads of all television news in the United States would have had more backbone.
Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, and the Republican Party leadership are letting this happen, meaning the national political leaders have by proxy launched an assault on the freedom of the press. Take that, Lincoln.
Blue Drink: Who Wants A Recount?
Is Clinton v. Trump the new Bush v. Gore? A group of computer scientists, led by the National Voting Rights Institute and the director of the center for computer security and society at the University of Michigan, digging into the election results in key swing states Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin seem to suggest so.
Analysis of voting data by county suggests a discrepancy between counties relying on electronic voting machines and counties using paper ballots. Apparently Trump did better in on electronic voting machines than on paper ballots, ironic for a man who doesn’t own a computer, and, according to the researchers, potentially indicative of inaccurate results (whether because of Russian hacking, polling place irregularities, rampant fraud, or technical glitches is unknown).
As of Thursday, Green Party presidential candidate and 9/11 conspiracy theorist Jill Stein had raised over $3 million to support the recount efforts ahead of a Friday deadline to challenge the results. This outburst of altruism from Jill Stein, who, along with Gary Johnson, nibbled away at Clinton votes from centrist libertarians and far-left Bernie Sanders supporters, seems out of place, and she may be acting as a surrogate for the Clinton campaign so they aren’t seen directly questioning the results of the election. Or it could be a last-ditch play for relevance for the candidate Americans have already completely forgotten.
Whatever is going on here, it’s all suspicious, but don’t get your hopes up.
Pop Open The Bubbly: (Don’t) Lock Her Up!
A small bright side this week as Trump continues to flip flop, and now says he will not try to prosecute Hillary Clinton for… whatever it was she did wrong (winning the popular vote, maybe?), won’t reinstate torture techniques if the generals don’t want to (which they’ve repeated over and over and over again), and will leave gay marriage as a matter of settled law (which, I’m sure, Trump’s fervently anti-LGBTQ cabinet will find surprising). Will this last? Who knows.
In honor of Thanksgiving, and in an effort to provide you with excuses to drink more because it’s “festive,” this week’s drink recipe is the Cranberry Old Fashioned. You can find the recipe below.
Dutifully Defending Democracy with Bourbon,
Drink of the Week: Cranberry Old Fashioned
This one is really simple, in fact, you can make it at the thanksgiving table or this morning with the leftover cranberry sauce. You just make a regular old fashioned but muddle cranberries in with the sugar and bitters. (If you’re using cranberry sauce, don’t use sugar, just put a little bit of bitter and mix it in with the cranberry sauce).