Economic Illiteracy

Marc Thiessen, SFB bootlicker, takes aim at Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in his WaPo opinion piece today.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an economic illiterate — and that’s a danger to America

The left complains that conservatives are “obsessing” over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Well, there is a reason for that: Ocasio-Cortez is driving the agenda of today’s Democratic Party — and her economic illiteracy is dangerous.

Case in point: Last week, Ocasio-Cortez celebrated the tanking of a deal negotiated by her fellow Democrats in which Amazon promised to build a new headquarters in Long Island City, New York, right next to her congressional district. Amazon’s departure cost the city between 25,000 and 40,000 new jobs. Forget the tech workers whom Amazon would have employed. Gone are all the unionized construction jobs to build the headquarters, as well as thousands of jobs created by all the small businesses — restaurants, bodegas, dry cleaners and food carts — that were preparing to open or expand to serve Amazon employees. They are devastated by Amazon’s withdrawal.

Ocasio-Cortez was not disturbed at all. “We were subsidizing those jobs,” she said. “Frankly, if we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district, ourselves, if we wanted to. We could hire out more teachers. We can fix our subways. We can put a lot of people to work for that amount of money if we wanted to.”

[It continued.]

Pogo says:

Says the trump bootlicker who apparently has no problem with a $399B deficit increase to pay for a tax cut that disproportionately benefits the wealthy since SFB took office, representing a debt to GDP increase of from 3.1 to 4.0%. Which, btw, Marc, affects all of America, not just Queens.   Talk about your economic illiteracy?  You personify it.  

That said I can’t imagine why she was opposed to Amazon locating in Queens.  The DC area will benefit from that decision.  But she is not the leader of the Dem party.

So what do you say?

2018, we hardly knew ye.

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

In my haste to run away from 2018 – which I rank right up there with the worst years this country has ever seen, governmentally speaking, and ended on a somewhat familiar note – a government shutdown delivering a trumpian lump of coal to 800,000 people, including our own Blue Bronc – I thought I might not be being quite fair to 2018, so I cast my net a bit wider to see whether there is anything worth remembering (except to remember not to do this again) from the old year passing out of our lives tonight.

Looking about I did find this from Wapo: Best of 2018

Editors and critics from across The Washington Post choose their favorite stories, highlights and achievements that defined the year — from unforgettable movies and music to our most-read recipes. This is their roundup of the best of 2018.

There were apparently all sorts of things to see and read last year – enough to make me think I may have been too hasty in my dissing of the year. (Of course I just can’t shake the nagging feeling that something about 2018 was simply awful, and we shouldn’t do that again. For some reason the color Orange comes to mind.)

Regardless, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Christory

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

Compliments of the History Channel, a bit of history of Christmas.

Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.

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Irving Reinvents Christmas 

It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?

The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving’s fictitious celebrants enjoyed “ancient customs,” including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving’s book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended – in fact, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.

A Christmas Carol 

Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story’s message-the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind-struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday.

The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention-and gifts-on their children without appearing to “spoil” them.

As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards and gift-giving.

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Christmas Facts 

  • Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
  • Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

  • In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous—a lot like today’s Mardi Gras parties.
    From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and law-breakers were fined five shillings.

  • Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.
    The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement.

  • Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
  • Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.

  • Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.

So, Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good life. (Sorry…)

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Of Walls And Memos

 

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

WaPo reports that our president is lying to his base about progress on his wall.

As pressure mounts on President Trump to fulfill his key campaign pledge to build a border wall, he has hit on a quick and easy method to demonstrate progress: Just inflate how much his administration is already spending on the project.

Over the past week, including at a campaign rally Thursday night in Billings, Mont., Trump has begun boasting that he has spent $3.2 billion on the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border — twice as much as has been authorized by Congress.

“We’ve started the wall,” Trump told thousands of supporters at the event. “We’ve spent $3.2 billion on the wall. We’ve got to get the rest of the funding.” Later, he repeated the monetary figure and added: “We’ve done a lot of work on the wall. A lot of people don’t understand that.”

Perhaps that is because it is not entirely true. The Trump administration has begun work on 14 miles of a wall in San Diego and 20 miles in Santa Teresa, N.M., under a $341 million appropriation from Congress last year, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Additional border security projects, including levee walls and a secondary wall in San Diego, have been planned and could begin soon under $1.6 billion allocated in the spring, the agency said.

But Trump, who touted the $1.6 billion figure in rallies in June and July, has suddenly upped the figure, suggesting at a rally in Charleston, W.Va., in late August that the administration has spent “over $3 billion. It’s moving along very nicely.”

And I can hear the chants now, ”Build the Wall,  build the wall” [rinse and repeat].  When he wants to sell shit as shinola we know where he goes – Charleston. And they buy everything he has.  I’m so proud.

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It’s the message, not the messenger, stupid

patd By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor

Mark Shields (PBS Newshour):

The anonymous thing — I disagree with many of my colleagues, […] — when I first ran political campaigns, an old manager said to me, never have anybody sign a memo. Just give the memo and let read — and I said, why? He said, because you want to look at the substance, not the source. You don’t want to be deferential because it’s somebody important writing it or dismissive because it’s somebody young and inexperienced.

And if the person’s name had been on this piece, the anonymous piece in The New York Times, then the response would have been the typical Washington attack machine. They would have gone after the writer, attacked, and say, here — got a DWI charge in 1983 or something of the sort, and just try and savage that.

As a consequence, we’re forced to look at the substance of what was written. And I think these together, they come from Republicans, they come from people who work in the Trump administration. And, I mean, the significance of it demands our attention.

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WE Will Perpetuate That Which WE Dislike

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

From Michelle Ye Hee Lee in Wapo:

Top officials with the donor network affiliated with billionaire industrialist Charles Koch this weekend sought to distance the network from the Republican Party and President Trump, citing tariff and immigration policies and “divisive” rhetoric out of Washington.

At a gathering of hundreds of donors at the Broadmoor resort here, officials reiterated their plans to spend as much as $400 million on policy issues and political campaigns during the 2018 cycle. Earlier this year, they announced heavy spending aimed at helping Republicans to hold the Senate. But in a warning shot at Trump and the GOP, network co-chair Brian Hooks lamented “tremendous lack of leadership” in Trump’s Washington and the “deterioration of the core institutions of society.”

He called out the White House and Trump-allied GOP lawmakers, particularly over trade policy and increased federal spending, and added that “the divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage.”

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Asked about Democrats possibly retaking control of the House, he said: “I don’t care what initials are in front, or after, somebody’s name. . . . I’d like there to be many more politicians who would embrace and have the courage to run on a platform like this.”

In reality, the network is expected to be a powerful force for the political right during the midterm elections, particularly in states where Senate Democrats are most vulnerable. It is also heavily backing the confirmation of federal judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Some of the network’s biggest donors and most experienced activists are Trump’s most ardent supporters.

All nonsensical shots across Republicans’ bows, somehow I can’t seeing the nutty donor network be anything more than the funding source for Republicans to keep the House and Senate majorities they currently hold.

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