The guest list at the Hamptons

So, Jared and Ivanka and Kellyanne are partying in the Hamptons with the former owners of the Washington Post, and Democrat Chuck Schumer and “liberal moneybags” George Soros. And when you look at the guest list, it’s full of liberals and conservatives whose main interest is how much money they have.

Which tells me that the only thing the one percent truly believe in is serving each other filet mignon no matter what political party they claim to be a part of.

So if you’re depending on some rich guy to come to your rescue to stop the Babyman from taking away Obamacare from your dying kid or kicking your mom out of the nursing home because she’s reached her Medicaid limits, you better wake up to reality and vote your interest, not theirs.

(From Ben Jacobs at The Guardian because, really, you’re not going to get it from the folks on the TV)

I guess the commander-in-Cheeto has a time machine

Take a good look at the editorial cartoon above from April 8, 1930.

Got it?

Now here’s an interview Orange Narcissus gave to the Economist this month:

But beyond that it’s OK if the tax plan increases the deficit?

It is OK, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two years where you’ll … you understand the expression “prime the pump”?

Yes.

We have to prime the pump.

It’s very Keynesian.

We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that expression before, for this particular type of an event?

Priming the pump?

Yeah, have you heard it?

Yes.

Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just … I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.

Honest to God, I didn’t remember that 1930 was last week.

Maintaining the family business

541085768Some people say we shouldn’t point to the foibles of President Hookerpiss’s family, because criticism of him should be aimed at his policies. But if you know about this

President Trump lashed out on Wednesday at the Nordstrom department store chain for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s accessories and clothing line, once again raising ethical questions about the relationship between his presidency and his family’s sprawling business interests.

And this …

Melania Trump’s lawyers recently noted in a February 6 court filing that the First Lady’s “brand” had lost “significant value” and that “major business opportunities” in the “multiple millions of dollars” that “were otherwise available to her have been lost and/or substantially impacted.”

Her attorneys further lamented that Melania Trump “had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson, and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories,” among them apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance. As my colleague Emily Jane Fox recently noted, Melania Trump is at least being transparent about the way that other members of her family may be viewing the White House—as a vessel to get filthy rich.

And let’s not forget the boys

One of President Trump’s sons made a business trip to Uruguay in early January that cost taxpayers $97,830 to put Secret Service and embassy staffers in hotel rooms, according to a new report.

Eric Trump visited the South American nation on behalf of the Trump Organization before his father’s Jan. 20 inauguration, The Washington Post reported Friday.

In the coastal town of Punta del Este, Eric Trump met with real estate brokers, dined at a beachfront eatery and spoke at an “ultra exclusive” party at Trump Tower Punta del Este, according to the report.

The Secret Service spent $88,320 on hotel rooms, according to purchasing orders analyzed by the Post, and the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Montevideo paid another $9,510 so staffers could stay in hotel rooms and “support” the Secret Service for the “VIP visit.”

… you see that the motto of this clan is “grifters gotta grift.” The Lugenorange’s economic policy for America is to put as much money in his family’s pockets as possible.

So the family is fair game.

Let the games begin.

While so much of his attention is taken up with making sure that he and his family are adequately enriched by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Trump hasn’t actually done much of anything real on the economy. There’s been no legislation signed, and just a few executive orders preparing to roll back regulations from the Obama years protecting workers and consumers. As NBC pointed out, by this time in previous presidents’ terms, they had either signed major economic legislation or were well on their way.

What Trump has done instead, in addition to try to prop up Ivanka’s clothing line, is stage a bunch of events in which he took credit for micro developments he had nothing to with. For instance, on Wednesday the chief executive of Intel went to the White House so he could announce in Trump’s presence that the company will be creating 3,000 jobs at a factory in Arizona. This is the latest in a series of such events, at which clever business leaders realize they can get a bunch of free publicity and win the favor of the most powerful person in the world by letting him take credit for something they were going to do anyway.

 

A Nightly Scene in London: 1855

An observation on homelessness and poverty from Charles Dickens titled “A Nightly Scene in London”

On the fifth of last November, I, the Conductor of this journal, accompanied by a friend well-known to the public, accidentally strayed into Whitechapel. It was a miserable evening; very dark, very muddy, and raining hard.

There are many woful sights in that part of London, and it has been well-known to me in most of its aspects for many years. We had forgotten the mud and rain in slowly walking along and looking about us, when we found ourselves, at eight o’clock, before the Workhouse.

Crouched against the wall of the Workhouse, in the dark street, on the muddy pavement-stones, with the rain raining upon them, were five bundles of rags. They were motionless, and had no resemblance to the human form. Five great beehives, covered with rags— five dead bodies taken out of graves, tied neck and heels, and covered with rags— would have looked like those five bundles upon which the rain rained down in the public street.

“What is this! ” said my companion. “What is this!”

“Some miserable people shut out of the Casual Ward, I think,” said I.

We had stopped before the five ragged mounds, and were quite rooted to the spot by their horrible appearance. Five awful Sphinxes by the wayside, crying to every passer-by, ” Stop and guess! What is to be the end of a state of society that leaves us here!”

As we stood looking at them, a decent working-man, having the appearance of a stone-mason, touched me on the shoulder.

“This is an awful sight, sir,” said he, “in a Christian country!”

“GOD knows it is, my friend,” said I.

“I have often seen it much worse than this, as I have been going home from my work. I have counted fifteen, twenty, five-and-twenty, many a time. It’s a shocking thing to see.”

“A shocking thing, indeed,” said I and my companion together. The man lingered near
us a little while, wished us good-night, and went on.

We should have felt it brutal in us who had a better chance of being heard than the working-man, to leave the thing as it was, so we knocked at the Workhouse Gate. I undertook to be spokesman. The moment the gate was opened by an old pauper, I went in, followed close by my companion. I lost no time in passing the old porter, for I saw in his watery eye a disposition to shut us out.

“Be so good as to give that card to the master of the Workhouse, and say I shall be glad to speak to him for a moment.”

We were in a kind of covered gateway, and the old porter went across it with the card. Before he had got to a door on our left, a man in a cloak and hat bounced out of it very sharply, as if he were in the nightly habit of being bullied and of returning the compliment.

“Now, gentlemen,” said he in a loud voice, “what do you want here?”

“First,” said I, ” will you do me the favor to look at that card in your hand. Perhaps you may know my name.”

“Yes,” says he, looking at it. ” I know this name.”

“Good. I only want to ask you a plain question in a civil manner, and there is not the least occasion for either of us to be angry. It would be very foolish in me to blame you, and I don’t blame you. I may find fault with the system you administer, but pray understand that I know you are here to do a duty pointed out to you, and that I have no doubt you do it. Now, I hope you won’t object to tell me what I want to know.”

“No,” said he, quite mollified, and very reasonable, ” not at all. What is it?”

“Do you know that there are five wretched creatures outside?”

“I haven’t seen them, but I dare say there are.”

“Do you doubt that there are?”

“No, not at all. There might be many more.”

”Are they men? Or women?”

“Women, I suppose. Very likely one or two of them were there last night, and the night before last.”

“There all night, do you mean?”

“Very likely.”

My companion and I looked at one another, and the master of the Workhouse added quickly, “Why, Lord bless my soul, what am I to do? What can I do ? The place is full. The place is always full—every night. I must give the preference to women with children, mustn’t I? You wouldn’t have me not do that?”

“Surely not,” said I. “It is a very humane principle, and quite right; and I am glad to hear of it. Don’t forget that I don’t blame you.”

“Well!” said he. And subdued himself again. …

“Just so. I wanted to know no more. You have answered my question civilly and readily, and I am much obliged to you. I have nothing to say against you, but quite the contrary. Good night!”

“Good night, gentlemen!” And out we came again.

We went to the ragged bundle nearest to the Workhouse-door, and I touched it. No movement replying, I gently shook it. The rags began to be slowly stirred within, and by little and little a head was unshrouded. The head of a young woman of three or four and twenty, as I should judge; gaunt with want, and foul with dirt; but not naturally ugly.

“Tell us,” said I, stooping down. “Why are you lying here?”

“Because I can’t get into the Workhouse.”

She spoke in a faint dull way, and had no curiosity or interest left. She looked dreamily at the black sky and the falling rain, but never looked at me or my companion.

“Were you here last night?”

“Yes, All last night. And the night afore too.”

“Do you know any of these others?”

“I know her next but one. She was here last night, and she told me she come out of Essex. I don’t know no more of her.”

“You were here all last night, but you have not been here all day?”

“No. Not all day.”

“Where have you been all day?”

“About the streets.”

”What have you had to eat?”

“Nothing.”

“Come!” said I. “Think a little. You are tired and have been asleep, and don’t quite consider what you are saying to us. You have had something to eat to-day. Come! Think of it!”

“No I haven’t. Nothing but such bits as I could pick up about the market. Why, look at me!”

She bared her neck, and I covered it up again.

“If you had a shilling to get some supper and a lodging, should you know where to get it?”

“Yes. I could do that.”

“For GOD’S sake get it then!”

I put the money into her hand, and she feebly rose up and went away. She never thanked me, never looked at me— melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost.

One by one I spoke to all the five. In every one, interest and curiosity were as extinct as in the first. They were all dull and languid. No one made any sort of profession or complaint; no one cared to look at me; no one thanked me. When I came to the third, I suppose she saw that my companion and I glanced, with a new horror upon us, at the two last, who had dropped against each other in their sleep, and were lying like broken images. She said, she believed they were young sisters. These were the only words that were originated among the five.

And now let me close this terrible account with a redeeming and beautiful trait of the poorest of the poor. When we came out of the Workhouse, we had gone across the road to a public house, finding ourselves without silver, to get change for a sovereign. I held the money in my hand while I was speaking to the five apparitions. Our being so engaged, attracted the attention of many people of the very poor sort usual to that place; as we leaned over the mounds of rags, they eagerly leaned over us to see and hear; what I had in my hand, and what I said, and what I did, must have been plain to nearly all the concourse. When the last of the five had got up and faded away, the spectators opened to let us pass; and not one of them, by word, or look, or gesture, begged of us.

Many of the observant faces were quick enough to know that it would have been a relief to us to have got rid of the rest of the money with any hope of doing good with it. But, there was a feeling among them all, that their necessities were not to be placed by the side of such a spectacle; and they opened a way for us in profound silence, and let us go.

My companion wrote to me, next day, that the five ragged bundles had been upon his bed all night. I debated how to add our testimony to that of many other persons who from time to time are impelled to write to the newspapers, by having come upon some shameful and shocking sight of this description. I resolved to write in these pages an exact account of what we had seen, but to wait until after Christmas, in order that there might be no heat or haste. I know that the unreasonable disciples of a reasonable school, demented disciples who push arithmetic and political economy beyond all bounds of sense (not to speak of such a weakness as humanity), and hold them to be all-sufficient for every case, can easily prove that such things ought to be, and that no man has any business to mind them. Without disparaging those indispensable sciences in their sanity, I utterly renounce and abominate them in their insanity; and I address people with a respect for the spirit of the New Testament, who do mind such things, and who think them infamous in our streets.

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