Simanaitis Says

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IN TIME, I hope, there will be reconciliation between Trumpers and the rest of us. In the meantime, however, I am reminded of St. Augustine’s famously insincere plea, “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.”  

Augustine of Hippo, 354 A.D.–430 A.D., theologian, philosopher, and bishop of Hippo Regius. Typical of classic iconography, he is pictured here as a Swedish tourist rather than reflecting the place of his birth, what is now Souk Ahras, Algeria,

Perhaps I’m being excessive in enjoying schadenfreude of Trump’s being a loser. But, as these following tidbits show, there’s plenty to go around, both his loser status as well as my schadenfreude. 

One of my favorite presidential images, from

There Goes the Neighborhood. What about Trump just skulking away to what journalist Frank Bruni calls Mar-a-Loco? There’s a good story here, as described in “A Glitch in Trump’s Plan to Live at Mar-a-Lago: A Pact He Signed Says He Can’t,” by Maggie Haberman in The New York Times, December 16, 2020.

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private social club in Palm Beach, Florida. Image by Saul Martinez for The New York Times.

Maggie Haberman writes, “Neighbors of Mar-a-Lago sent a letter to the Town of Palm Beach and the U.S. Secret Service on Tuesday complaining that Mr. Trump has violated the 1993 agreement he made with the town that allowed him to convert the property into a moneymaking club.” 

This squabble has been going on since 2018 when Trump “changed his domicile to Mar-a-Lago, in part for tax purposes,” Haberman writes. “Part of that use agreement, which was reviewed by The Times, limits how long members can stay there. It says that there cannot be stays for ‘three nonconsecutive seven-day periods by any one member during the year.’ ”

Who would have imagined Trump not honoring a business deal?

On a Less Frivolous Note. A Pew Research survey, published in August 13, 2020, revealed the complex matters affecting our reconciliation.

Pew asked voters to identify “very important” issues in their choices of Trump or Biden. The right-most column shows results. Striking, though, are the splits of opinion between Biden supporters and Trump supporters.

Foreign Policy is the only category displaying an equal ranking of importance, 57 percent. By contrast, Race and Ethnic Equality is a category in which reconciliation would appear difficult: 76 percent of Blues consider it a very important issue; only 24 percent of Reds believe so. A similar split was displayed in the ranking of Economic Inequality: Blue, 65 percent; Red, 28 percent.

Even more striking, Climate Change ranks only 11 percent “very important” among Republicans, versus 68 percent with Democrats. It’s evident that goodly numbers of people cannot even decide upon which issues are worthy of reconciliation. 

Bidding on a Demolition Button. The Guardian, December 16, 2020, described, “One of Donald Trump’s former Atlantic City casinos will be blown up next month, and for the right amount of money, you could be the one to press the button that brings it down.” 

The Trump Plaza Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 2010. It has since fallen into disrepair. Image by Mel Evan/AP from The Guardian.

Marty Small, mayor of Atlantic City, commented, “…on his way out, Donald Trump openly mocked Atlantic City, saying he made a lot of money and then got out.”

The Trump Plaza casino in October 2020. Demolition work began earlier this year. Image by Wayne Parry/AP from The Guardian.

The mayor continued, “I wanted to use the demolition of this place to raise money for charity.” The project has become a fundraiser to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City. Mayor Small hopes it might raise in excess of $1 million.

Jimmy Kimmel said, “We should chip in and get this for Hilary Clinton, right?” ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2020


  1. Michael Rubin
    December 21, 2020

    Beside’s Frank Bruni’s “Mar a Loco,” I also like “Casa Belicosa” from Carl Hiaasen’s hysterical novel “Squeeze Me” set in Palm Beach and environs involving he who should not be named. He isn’t named in the book, just his fictional Secret Service code name: “Mastadon,” which he likes so much he wants to go to the zoo to see one.

  2. Bob DuBois
    December 21, 2020

    I think a read a comment that ,so far, $60,000 was the largest bid offered.

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