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Macaulay Culkin and Donald Trump in "Home Alone 2"

Screenshot from YouTube

The 45th President of the United States is in his gilded study at Mar-a-Lago with his loyal aide Jason Miller.

JASON MILLER: Mr. President, your lawyers are on the line.

DONALD TRUMP: I fired them, tried to gyp me on the expenses.

MILLER: Not those lawyers, your other lawyers. The new ones.

TRUMP: Put them on hold.

MILLER: It's about testifying in your second impeachment trial.

TRUMP: Could be a big cameo.

MILLER: What should I say?

TRUMP: Who cares?

MILLER: Oh, Mike Pence left a message.

TRUMP: Schlong Mike Pence!

MILLER: There's this letter from the disciplinary committee of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists about revoking your membership. I'm not going to answer.

TRUMP: Are you kidding? This is the greatest opportunity to remind them who's the biggest star. Get YouTube up. Let's decide which are the best cameos.

Miller clicks on YouTube on his computer.

TRUMP: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Hey, there's Marla with me! Watch, the kid Carlton says, "It's the Donald! Oh my God!" See, he faints. And the mother says to me, "You look much richer in person." Definitely put that one in.

MILLER: A classic.

TRUMP: Sex and the City. Watch how Miranda looks at me in a restaurant where I'm making a big real estate deal. But she doesn't come on to me. Leave it out. How about The Little Rascals? I'm playing a guy named Waldo Johnston II, and I'm talking to my son, Waldo Johnston III, and I say, "Waldo, you're the best son money can buy." That one goes in. How about Suddenly Susan?

Miller taps the video link.

TRUMP: Whoa! How about this line I have? "Make it snappy, I've got a plane to catch." Great line, or what? Then, yeah, here it is, they unveil a new magazine to show me." "We've created a magazine. We give you Skazzy." And how do you like that cover of me: "Our Next President?"

MILLER: That one goes in?

TRUMP: Nah, I am president.

MILLER: Next, Zoolander.

TRUMP: The best. Hey, there's Melania with me! Listen to my line. "Look, without Zoolander male modeling wouldn't be what it is today." That one is a keeper.

MILLER: Should we see the most famous?

Miller hits the link.

TRUMP: Home Alone 2! Here comes the kid lost in the Plaza. He doesn't know who I am. He doesn't know I own the Plaza. "Where's the lobby?" Here's my line: "Down the hall and to the left."

MILLER: Ready? Here it comes—Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

TRUMP: Maybe my ultimate best. I walk into a barber shop. Michael Douglas is Gordon Gekko. He's getting his hair cut. "Hey, is this the one and only Gordon Gekko?" I say. And he says, "Hey, Donald." And I say, "This is a great place to get a haircut." And he says, "I love this place. I've been coming since the Eighties." And I say, "The Eighties are no longer, Gordo. How's life, Gordo?" But, guess what, my biggest part ever maybe, I gave them my conditions—don't touch the hair, golden lighting. And they cut the scene! But I had a copy of the scene, put it out in a DVD, so it counts. Put it in.

MILLER: And the letter?

TRUMP: Take this down: "I write to you today regarding the so-called Disciplinary Committee hearing aimed at revoking my union membership. Who cares! While I'm not familiar with your work, I'm very proud of my work on movies…" And put in Home Alone 2, Zoolander and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. "…and television shows…" Put in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saturday Night Live, and of course, one of the most successful shows in television history, The Apprentice – to name just a few!"

MILLER: Perfect. And the close?

TRUMP: "You have done nothing for me."

MILLER: Perfect.

TRUMP: This is my most important document before that impeachment trial. Reminds everybody. I am big. It's the pictures that got small.

The phone rings. Miller picks it up, listens, hangs up.

MILLER: Mr. President, you won't believe this, but Kevin McCarthy is here again. Where should I tell him to wait?

TRUMP: Down the hall and to the left.

Sidney Blumenthal, former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, has published three books of a projected five-volume political life of Abraham Lincoln: A Self-Made Man, Wrestling With His Angel and All the Powers of Earth. His play, This Town, about a scandalous White House dog, was produced in 1995 by LA TheatreWorks. This is the fourth in his "Trump Cycle" series of one-act plays published in The National Memo, including The Pardon, Epstein's Ghost, and Ivanka's Choice.

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Eric Holder

The failure of major federal voting rights legislation in the Senate has left civil rights advocates saying they are determined to keep fighting—including by suing in battleground states. But the little bipartisan consensus that exists on election reform would, at best, lead to much narrower legislation that is unlikely to address state-level GOP efforts now targeting Democratic blocs.

“This is the loss of a battle, but it is not necessarily the loss of a war, and this war will go on,” Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general and Democrat, told MSNBC, saying that he and the Democratic Party will be suing in states where state constitutions protect voting rights. “This fight for voting rights and voter protection and for our democracy will continue.”

“The stakes are too important to give up now,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which for years has operated an Election Day hotline to help people vote. “Our country cannot claim to be free while allowing states to legislate away that freedom at will.”

In recent weeks, as it became clear that the Senate was not going to change its rules to allow the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to pass with a simple majority, there have been efforts by some lawmakers, election policy experts, and civil rights advocates to identify what election reforms could pass the Senate.

“There are several areas… where I think there could be bipartisan consensus,” said David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, in a briefing on January 20. “These areas are all around those guardrails of democracy. They are all about ensuring that however the voters speak that their voice is heard… and cannot be subverted by anyone in the post-election process.”

Becker cited updating the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which addressed the process where state-based slates of presidential electors are accepted by Congress. (In recent weeks, new evidence has surfaced showing that Donald Trump’s supporters tried to present Congress with forged certificates as part of an effort to disrupt ratifying the results on January 6, 2021.) Updating that law could also include clarifying which state officials have final authority in elections and setting out clear timetables for challenging election results in federal court after Election Day.

Five centrist Washington-based think tanks issued a report on January 20, Prioritizing Achievable Federal Election Reform, which suggested federal legislation could codify practices now used by nearly three-quarters of the states. Those include requiring voters to present ID, offering at least a week of early voting, allowing all voters to request a mailed-out ballot, and allowing states to start processing returned absentee ballots a week before Election Day.

But the report, which heavily drew on a task force of 29 state and local election officials from 20 states convened by Washington’s Bipartisan Policy Center, was notable in what it did not include, such as restoring the major enforcement section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was removed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. It did not mention the Electoral Count Act nor growing threats to election officials from Trump supporters.

“This won’t satisfy all supporters of the Freedom to Vote Act, but this is a plausible & serious package of reforms to make elections more accessible and secure that could attract bipartisan support,” tweeted Charles Stewart III, a political scientist and director of the MIT Election Data and Science Lab. “A good starting point.”

The reason the centrist recommendations won’t satisfy civil rights advocates is that many of the most troubling developments since the 2020 election would likely remain.

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