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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

President Joe Biden

The U.S. economy is expanding at a seven percent rate over the last three months, up by five percent from the beginning of the year. That number isn’t just three times the expected growth rate in Europe, it almost doubles the rate of growth in China. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. economy is genuinely a world-beater. It’s doing so well that for the first time in years, “The force of the American expansion is also inducing overseas companies to invest in the U.S., betting that the growth is still accelerating and will outpace other major economies.”

Less than two months into his presidency, Biden pushed through the American Rescue Plan. That plan provided emergency payments to every American, an increase in the Child Tax Credit, extended unemployment payments for those nearing the end of their benefits, lowered the cost of health care subsidies, picked up 100 percent of COBRA costs, and offered a host of benefits for small businesses that included outright grants. It took the better part of a year to get the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act through Congress, but by that point the economy—bolstered by Biden’s policies, a renewed confidence from business leaders, and a robust rollout of vaccines against COVID-19—had cut unemployment numbers by a full two percent.

Rolling into the holiday season, America is enjoying record low levels of unemployment and levels of economic growth that exceed the wildest unfulfilled promises of Donald Trump. But at the same time, CNN reports that President Biden’s approval levels for handling the economy are at record lows. The best economy in 50 years enjoys just a 44 percent approval rating.

Because a disaster-addicted media will find disaster, even if it has to create it.

The front page of Wednesday’s New York Times contains nothing about the record pace of the economy. It does contain dire warnings about supply chain issues affecting Christmas gifts and what seems to be an obligatory feature on the threat posed by inflation. Cost of baguettes is up in Paris! Sacré bleu! CNN offers up the story about Biden’s bad economic ratings but nothing on the booming economy. The Washington Post is economy-free when it comes to their front page—either on paper or internet.

For most of the year, the Times has led the way pounding on the drum about inflation. It doesn’t matter if the focus was the cost of burritos or the end of the $1 pizza slice, the Times has been there to keep the inflation hysterics running at an extra-high pitch. The New York Times even hosted an online chat so that people could share how they were “victims” of rising inflation. That story about $1 pizza? A phenomenon that largely existed only in New York City to begin with? That was page one.CNN and other outlets have certainly not been slackers on the economic doom front. Every penny increase in the price of gasoline became a screaming headline. And repeatedly—repeatedly—outlets ran stories in which they quoted people making outrageous claims of 30 or 40 percent inflation without bothering to correct those claims.

There are no headlines to report that gas prices are down. There are no headlines to report that America is enjoying the best economy in 50 years under Biden.

There are no headlines to report a simple truth: The economy is not just booming because of Biden’s economic policies, or even because Biden’s work in fighting the pandemic has reassured business about the future. The economy is booming because, under the control of Donald Trump, no one knew what was coming next. Trump’s policies were utterly dependent on who had most recently kissed his butt, what industry he vaguely connected with a political enemy, and what he thought would piss off people who had not invited him to the best parties in New York City.

The economy is not just booming under Biden because Biden’s policies are good—even though those policies are good. The economy is booming under Biden because the economy was repressed under Trump, squashed under a weight of fear and uncertainty spawned by Trump’s erratic, spite-based approach. Trump handed out money to companies that had no evidence of potential, and he denied to it industries that he saw as aligned with his enemies.

Rationality turns out to be a better economic stimulus than owning the libs. But you wouldn’t know it from the media.

Five years of dealing with Trump demonstrated to the media that there was no better way to grab eyeballs than reporting the daily lies, insults, and disruptions. But what to do when there is no stream of verifiable lies? No Twitter rants filled with threats and childish names? What does the media do without their predigested disaster of the day?

Well, they can always create one. For the moment, the swelling omicron wave is satisfying the need to fill the page with legitimately downbeat articles. But don’t worry. There are Times reporters hard at work gathering unverified anecdotes to explain why inflation is going to make your next meal require a mortgage.

In the meantime, America is enjoying an economy that’s the envy of the world. And a press … that isn’t.

And when it comes to that issue with supply chains, here’s a part that isn’t getting much coverage:

Major U.S. ports are processing almost one-fifth more container volume this year than they did in 2019, even as volumes at major European ports like Hamburg and Rotterdam are roughly flat or lag behind 2019 levels. The busiest U.S. container ports are leaping ahead of their counterparts in Asia and Europe in global rankings as volumes surge.


Article reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Stewart Rhodes

Ten of the eleven members of the white supremacist militia group Oath Keepers who have been charged with seditious conspiracy, including founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes, pleaded not guilty in a virtual hearing on Tuesday. The eleventh person charged was not present, and did not enter a plea.

The judge in this case is U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, the same judge who earlier dealt with, and dismissed, claims that Trump has “absolute immunity.” Judge Mehta also forced Trump’s attorney’s to backtrack over claims that Trump had tried to calm down the situation on January 6, 2021.

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