Wraps it up, puts a bow on it
The holidays can be a time of loneliness and depression for many, and each of us handles those kinds of feelings in different ways. For one such tale of seasonal depression, read Philip Rucker at The Washington Post, ‘I am all alone’: An isolated Trump unleashes a storm of Yuletide gloom. As Tracy Jan says, “T’was the night b4 Christmas when @PhilipRucker offered this story with a superior beginning to ‘It was a dark & stormy night’: The Christmas Eve grievances billowing from the White House on Monday formed a heavy cloud of Yuletide gloom.” Sounds a bit like “Trump celebrates Festivus a day late,” as Jim Roberts tweets. Either way, “Masterfully, @PhilipRucker wraps up this day of presidential rage and recrimination and puts a bow on it. Essential evening reading,” tweets Shane Harris.
FACT CHECK: True!
Misery loves company, as they say, and maybe that’s why Trump asked a child if 7-year-olds still believe in Santa during a Christmas Eve phone call, which Eric Levenson writes about for CNN. Apparently, Trump asked the child, "Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at 7, it's marginal, right?"
Daniel Victor says, “Did my best to write about Trump's Santa Claus incident without giving away the big secret to our 7-year-old readers.” But just in case, for all you Muck Rack Daily and New York Times readers under 8 out there, heed the headline and pass on his piece, Kids, Please Do Not Read This Article on What Trump Said About Santa Claus. Especially because, as Niraj Chokshi points out, “Well... FACT CHECK: True!” Maybe the age limit needs to be raised though. “Wait. What are you telling me?! #spoileralert,” tweets.
Oh wow this is a weird one. Ryan Parker of The Hollywood Reporter reports that Kevin Spacey Has Been Charged With Felony Sexual Assault for an alleged assault on a male victim at a Nantucket bar in July 2016. He’ll be arraigned on Jan. 7, 2019. Here’s where it gets weird. Writes Parker, “As news of his arraignment broke on Monday, a video was shared from Spacey’s official Twitter account of the actor seemingly addressing real-life events while in character as his Frank Underwood from House of Cards. The video is titled, ‘Let Me Be Frank.’” Parker describes the video, but you really just have to see it. “Look who showed up to ruin your holiday. This insane video may be a new low,” tweets Matt Belloni.
Adds Brian Balthazar, “Just in case you didn’t think Kevin Spacey was creepy and deranged already, he released a video to seal the deal.” And Kim Masters shares, “This video is creepy AF. I have a source and I dearly wish he’d go on the record.”
Matt Rocheleau and Jaclyn Reiss of The Boston Globe first reported on the story of Spacey’s felony charge, Actor Kevin Spacey faces criminal complaint in alleged sexual assault at Nantucket bar.
The only major threat
Welp, the Dow dropped 653 points in its worst Christmas Eve trading day ever (100,000+ shares), reports Kalhan Rosenblatt of NBC News. And at The Washington Post, Thomas Heath writes, U.S. markets continue sharp sell-off, ignoring efforts by the Trump administration to stabilize stock prices. Michelle Singletary’s advice: “If you've got some time before you retire just don't look at your portfolio.”
Meanwhile, in a good news/bad news story, Neil Irwin writes at The New York Times, The Economy Is Still Strong. The Risk for 2019 Is That Leadership Turns a Mild Shock Into a Crisis. Tweets Noam Scheiber, “@Neil_Irwin's take is very sensible: US economic fundamentals are sound, only major threat is chaotic leadership. But should that diagnosis make you calm or panic? Unclear.”
- Julian Aguilar of The Texas Tribune reports that ICE dumped hundreds of migrants with nowhere to go at a bus station on Christmas Eve without warning shelters. As Jonathan Cohn tweets, “Merry Christmas to everyone except for ICE.” Officials at El Paso’s Annunciation House are asking the public for donations of money, food and new clothing.
- “Dear Santa: This is what I want for Christmas.” Alexander Lobrano links to Thomas Friedman’s latest column for The New York Times, Time for G.O.P. to Threaten to Fire Trump (50,000+ shares). And James Taranto says, “I wish Trump had the wit to tweet, ‘If I've lost Friedman, I've lost Middle America.’”
- “Happy holidays! No better time to take a look at how America's electricity mix is changing, state-by-state.” At least, that’s what Nadja Popovich says. Unwrap her New York Times interactive, How Does Your State Make Electricity? Seems like there’s a lump of coal joke in there somewhere.
- “Because many LGBT people can’t spend X-Mas Day with their blood relatives, many gay bars stay open so they can be with their chosen families instead—and some even serve a full Christmas dinner at no cost, a.k.a. FREE HAM,” explains Samantha Allen. At The Daily Beast, she provides this helpful list: These LGBT Bars Are Open on Christmas Day For Cheer and Company.
- The iconic Apollo 8: Earthrise photo was taken 50 years ago on Christmas Eve. NASA tweets the Jim Lovell quote, “The vast loneliness up here of the Moon is awe-inspiring, and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth. The Earth from here is a grand oasis to the big vastness of space.” And in case you’re curious, Hanneke Weitering of Space.com lets you in on Christmas in Orbit as Space Station Astronauts Celebrate a Special Cosmic Holiday.
- And finally today, “Season’s grievings: nearly all Christmas lights are awesome; nearly all Christmas songs are dreck,” tweets David Kocieniewski. Read about The rise and fall of Christmas music, by Michael Hann for The Economist’s Prospero blog. After all, tweets The Economist, “Eric Clapton’s EDMish version of ‘Jingle Bells’ is so spectacularly horrible that it almost demands to be heard.”