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DECEMBER 22,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT: 

GLUM NATION – FROM BREITBART:   Americans’ confidence in the economy is the “worst since the Great Recession,” according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday.  The Economic Confidence Index (ECI) is down to -33, which while far from the record low of -72 in October 2008, reflects a negative growing sentiment toward rampant inflation. Notably, the ECI is just as low as it was in April 2020 — the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.  “With inflation in the U.S. at its highest point since 1982, Americans’ confidence in the economy has dropped to where it was in April 2020, when nationwide shutdowns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the nation into a recession,” the poll report states.   The percentage of U.S. adults who think the economy is the country’s most important problem increase three percentage points to 29 percent, which is the highest level in roughly five years. The percentage is still “well below” 86 percent in February 2009 and 73 percent in 1991 during economic recessions.   Happy New Year.

December 22, 2021       Permalink

 

INTENTIONS – OVERNIGHT:  Mr. Biden publicly addressed speculation over whether he'd run again in 2024.  His comments are noteworthy mainly as human interest.  Many things, obviously, are out of his hands.  From the New York Post: 

President Joe Biden said he would run for re-election if he was “in good health” and he believed “fate” would help bring him a second term.

Biden, 79, made the caveat in an interview with ABC News Wednesday, telling “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir he would welcome a rematch with former President Donald Trump.

“If I’m in the health I’m in now – I’m in good health – then, in fact, I would run again,” Biden said.
“I’m a great respecter of fate. Fate has intervened in my life many, many times.”

Biden also said a rematch against his 2020 rival would make him more likely to run.

“You’re trying to tempt me now. Sure. Why would I not run against Donald Trump if he were the nominee? That would increase the prospect of running,” the Democrat said.

Trump, who is 75, would also be in his 80s in the White House if he won a second non-consecutive term.

Biden also said the US response to the Omicron variant surge was not a “failure,” but regretted not ordering millions of free rapid tests for Americans “two months ago.”

Biden was grilled by Muir on the lack of availability of tests in the days before Christmas, a year into his presidency and two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nothing’s been good enough,” he conceded. “But look, look where we are. When last Christmas, we were in a situation where we had significantly fewer vaccinated — people vaccinated, emergency rooms were filled. You had serious backups in hospitals that were causing great difficulties.”

Biden, who announced plans Tuesday to purchase 500 million at-home tests and give them out for free next month, said the administration should have been better prepared to combat the highly transmissible variant and the long lines at testing centers and empty pharmacy shelves.

COMMENT:  If the president thinks he's in "good health" now, I'd love to see what he'd mean by bad health.  The fact is that he often comes off as confused and out of touch.  I will not speculate about 1984, but the Democratic Party had better have a new team ready to take over. 

December 22, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER 21,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

WHAT A NICE SURPRISE – FROM DAILY MAIL:   An anonymous surprise package containing a donation of $180,000 in cash was found at the City College of New York (CUNY) in Harlem, a year after it had been delivered to the university's mailroom.  After returning to campus to teach in-person this semester, Dr. Vinod Menon, a physics professor at the school, finally went through a pile of mail that had been gathering dust in his office for the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic.   He eventually found a mysterious cardboard box that had been postmarked November 10, 2020.  The package, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), was so heavy that it was worth $90 in postage for priority U.S. mail.   The delivery address written on the box was intended for the 'Chairman, Physics Department' - Dr. Menon's position.   Once he finally opened the box, Dr. Manon had the shock of his life, as he discovered  $50 and $100 bills stacked on top of one another and tied up in paper bands, totaling $180,000.  A letter addressed to the physics professor explained that the cash was a donation meant to help fund the cost of tuition for physics and math students at City College, who are in need of it.  'It was a complete shock - I know a lot of academics and I've never heard of anything like this,' Dr. Manon told The New York times. 'I didn't know if the college accepted cash, so I didn't know if they'd keep it.'  The letter also elaborates on the donor's motives.   'Assuming that you are bit curious as to why I am doing this, the reason is straightforward,' the letter read, mentioning that the donor had taken advantage of the 'excellent educational opportunity' of being a student at both Stuyvesant High School and City College, where he earned a bachelor's and master's degrees in physics and mathematics, 'long ago.'  The anonymous author added that studying at both institutions led him to 'a long, productive, immensely rewarding' scientific career.  That is a wonderful Christmas story, and a tribute to the power of real, quality education, the kind we used to have.

December 21, 2021       Permalink

 

DUMB AND DUMBER:   SOME PEOPLE SHOULD BE BANNED FROM POLITICS BY AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION – OVERNIGHT:  Little Evita from the Bronx has done it to herself again.  You can't make it up.  From Fox: 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., wrongly suggested she represented more people than Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., in an interview on Monday.

In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe, Ocasio-Cortez seethed at Manchin, who announced Sunday he would vote against the massive Build Back Better social policy package, and complained that the U.S. Senate was "notoriously" designed for smaller populations to have more power than larger ones.

"The House of Representatives, and that’s even with the gerrymandering, is the only majority that most reliably delivers the actual will of the majority of people and voters of the United States of America. That is why they call this the people’s house," she said. "It is extremely difficult to hold together a House majority, and especially with the razor-thin margin that we have around this agenda.

"So the idea that Joe Manchin says he can’t explain this back home to his people is a farce. I mean, it’s a farce in terms of playing democracy, because I represent more, or just as many or more people than Joe Manchin does. Perhaps more."

Ocasio-Cortez wasn't corrected by her MSNBC interviewers, but she wasn't close in her pronouncement. West Virginia has about 1.8 million residents, making it the 10th-least populated state, while her district in Queens and the Bronx has around 700,000 residents, as of 2019 estimations.

In Ocasio-Cortez's 2020 re-election bid, she received 152,661 votes in a landslide victory over GOP opponent John Cummings. While her victory was never in doubt in her deep-blue district, Manchin faced one of the country's toughest re-election bids in the 2018 midterms, winning more than 290,000 votes in a narrow victory over Republican Patrick Morrisey. Former President Donald Trump carried West Virginia in landslides in 2016 and 2020.

Manchin said on "Fox News Sunday" that he had worked hard to reach an agreement with the Biden White House and his Democratic colleagues over Build Back Better, a $1.75-trillion social policy bill addressing a spate of issues, but he could not support it in the end.

"This is a no," he said. "I have tried everything I know to do."

His opposition effectively kills the bill, with all 50 Republicans in the chamber also in opposition. The White House, progressive Democrats, and liberal media members erupted in anger over his pronouncement, with some even saying he had threatened the future of the planet.

The House passed its own version of Build Back Better solely with Democratic votes, but it was always going to be an uphill climb in the 50-50 Senate. Ocasio-Cortez, long a critic of Manchin's as one of the most far-left members of the House, said progressives warned of this when the bipartisan infrastructure bill was passed and signed last month without Build Back Better as part of the deal.

"We have every right to be furious with Joe Manchin, but it's really up to leadership in the Democratic Party, who made this decision to get us to this juncture," she said.

COMMENT:  Do you know that there are people who are already boosting Ocasio-Cortez for the presidency?   I mean, can't you just feel the wisdom in her remarks?  Clearly, she's right up there with Lincoln.  If not Abraham Lincoln, then certainly Fred.

December 21, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

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