Gail Collins: Bret, I guess we should start with things we’re thankful for this year. Don’t suppose the imminent end of the political career of the dreadful Representative George Santos rises to the level of holiday cheer.
So you go first. No fair counting family and friends.
Bret Stephens: It’s a depressing world, Gail, so we need to find cheer wherever we can, and the House Ethics Committee report on Santos does make for delightful reading. My favorite bit: “During the 2020 campaign, a $1,500 purchase on the campaign debit card was made at Mirza Aesthetics; this expense was not reported to the F.E.C. and was noted as ‘Botox’ in expense spreadsheets ….” Santos would have been around 32 years old at the time.
Gail: You’re right. Makes me cheery just hearing it.
Bret: On a loftier plane, I was delighted to see Joe Biden describe Xi Jinping as, well, “a dictator” of a “Communist country” while Antony Blinken, his secretary of state, visibly winced. That was another wonderful moment.
Gail: I can see how Biden felt a little cornered when a reporter asked him if he still believed Xi was a dictator. I mean, what was he supposed to say? “No, I think he’s changed a lot?”
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