'War' on Christmas
United States Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch returned a greeting to his host on a Fox News show last week with the salutation "Merry Christmas!"
That's all he needed to say.
Within minutes of the start of the interview about his recent book, "A Republic, If You Can Keep It," the assault started.
"Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch just appeared on Fox and Friends this morning," Playboy writer Amee Vanderpool tweeted, "making a point to parrot the 'Merry Christmas' talking point of the GOP. If he's willing to go on Fox and throw a shout out to Republican narratives, what else is he willing to do?"
We're not sure where the writer has been, but the "MC" phrase has been around a while. And when it became a Republican talking point is also a mystery. Certainly, Christians prefer it to "Happy Holidays," but most use the phrase where they feel it will be welcomed.
The phrase also bothered stand-up comedian Sean Kent, who said Gorsuch used it "like he just gained the freedom to say it under [President Donald] Trump." And The American Independent senior writer Oliver Willis figured the greeting must have been part of the conspiracy that "Fox News has for years lied to viewers and claimed there is a 'war' on Christmas."
We imagine Gorsuch was just being polite, but three of his attackers unknowingly did their best to confirm a "war" on Christmas.
Breaking down the silos
If Democrat Michael Bloomberg is elected president in November 2020, the vaunted Oval Office will be no hangout for him. Oh, he said he use it for some official functions but for the most part would "sit in the open with everyone else."
We imagine the New York billionaire eventually would change his mind, given the fishbowl the White House has a reputation for being, but he said in a tweet last week he didn't regularly use a private office after he was elected New York mayor in 2001.
Bloomberg said in a LinkedIn posting that accompanied the tweet that he brought the tradition from his business, Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, saying it make no sense for executives to wall themselves off from their teams, makes it harder for employees to work together and keeps workers from trusting each other.
"The job of a leader is to unite," he said. "If I'm elected president, I'll run the White House the way I've always run things — out in the open."
The White House will look different to visitors without interior walls, but perhaps they'll get used to it if Bloomberg is elected.
We don't mean this, really!
Five Washington Post staffers were caught showing their bias — surprise! — last week, tweeting a photo from dinner with the tag "Merry Impeachmas from the WaPo team."
When that tweet was questioned by others who, perhaps naively, still thought the newspaper really did mean it when it put the slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" on its front page in 2017, the poster, Rachael Bade, deleted the tweet. Oh, and she had an explanation. It was just a misinterpretation.
"I'm deleting a tweeting tonight that is being misinterpreted by some as an endorsement of some kind," she wrote. "To be absolutely clear, we at the Post are merely glad we are getting a break for the holidays after a long 3 months. I will retweet the group photo w/ a better caption!"
Well, at least they didn't say "Merry Christmas." That might have gotten them fired.
Yes, these are different times, but President Donald Trump's impeachment last week looks to affect the stock market more like former President Bill Clinton's impeachment did than Richard Nixon's did.
During the impeachment process involving Clinton, which went from October 1998 to February 1999, the 500-stock index rallied more than 26%. During the process involving Nixon in 1973 and 1974, the S&P 500 index fell 13%.
With Trump, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment hearing in September, the S&P 500 has risen nearly 7%. According to LPL Financial, if stocks under Trump track like they did under Clinton, they could rise some 40%.
Following Clinton's impeachment, which came in the midst of the dot.com bubble, the S&P 500 rallied 18.9% within a month, 41.6% within three months and 39.2% a year later. Under Nixon, it fell 11% in a month, more than 15% in three months and had slid more than 33% in a year.
"If Democrats meant to diminish the strength of the president," Joe Watkins, a former White House aide to President George H.W. Bush, said on CNBC's "The Exchange" last week, "I think the opposite is going to happen."