Reason Roundup

Amazon Welcomes You to "National Landing": Reason Roundup

In addition to tax credits, Virginia is giving Amazon the right to rename the area around its new headquarters.

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screenshot from Google Maps

It was just yesterday that Amazon officially announced the locations of its new headquarters and the company is already remaking the D.C.-metropolitan area in its image, with authorities blessing. Amazon will build one new outpost in Crystal City, Virginia—a place three Metro stops from downtown D.C. with an aesthetic Katherine Mangu-Ward aptly described as "late-'60s Bulgaria"—along with new digs in Long Island City, Queens.

Just to set the scene: Crysal City was named after a historic chandelier, features a bizarre and largely empty series of underground tunnels that they insist on calling a mall, and boasts a "gentleman's club" known for its breakfasts squeezed in the same strip mall as a 7-11, Chinese takeout, and a kabob place. And aside from that strip mall, it has all the charm of an old sweat sock.

Not that you would know from Amazon PR materials. The company is rebranding the area National Landing, "an urban community" with "abundant parks and open space with sports and cultural events for residents of all ages throughout the year." This is a name that Amazon just made up and convinced the state to sign off on. "If you've never heard of National Landing, don't be surprised—it didn't exist earlier today," says local radio station WAMU.

"National Landing is a newly branded neighborhood encompassing parts of Pentagon City and Crystal City in Arlington, and Potomac Yard in Alexandria," Arlington spokesman Ryan Hudson told NBC Washington.

"Crystal City was already a dumb enough name, but at least its kitschiness aged well," comments CNN's Nathan McDermott, in one of the nicer local comments about the name change. "National Landing sounds like an outlet mall from 2002."

The area has put out a helpful guide for relocating Amazon employees, with neighborhood descriptors that sound like they were written by bots and bear little resemblance to these actual areas.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called the Amazon get "a big win for Virginia." Here's Reason reporter Eric Boehm on why that's a laugh (or at least a sad chuckle):

In New York, Amazon will receive $1.2 billion in refundable tax credits through a state-level economic development program and a cash grant of $325 million that's tied to the construction of new buildings at the Long Island City location over the next 10 years. In Virginia, the state is ponying up $573 million in tax breaks tied to the creation of 25,000 jobs, and the city of Arlington will provide a cash grant of $23 million over 15 years funded by an existing tax on hotel rooms.

Yes, the numbers are staggering—New York state's pledge of $1.52 billion for 25,000 jobs works out to more than $60,000 in taxpayer support per new job created…

There was also this incentive:

As Boehm points out, "Amazon appears to have selected New York and the D.C. area based on more than just how many zeroes local officials agreed to put on the giant cardboard check." Other areas offered more incentives and bigger tax breaks. It seems that proximity to centers of power, business, and cultural cache may be bigger factors than government handouts.

Folks from Seattle have been warning its new East Coast cousins about how this will turn out. Writes Katie Herzog at The Stranger:

Once upon a time, baristas, bartenders, and self-described "artists" could rent in Seattle in exchange for a bag of weed and a few hundred bucks a month. Not anymore! Seattle rents have increased 57 percent over the last six years, with the average renter now paying nearly $2,200 a month—for a one-bedroom!

Herzog ends with this advice: "Move. You cannot save your city, but you can save yourself."

The only attractive photo of Crystal City ever taken, from Maura Judkis/Twitter

Some in the areas are trying to keep a positive face, but it's not terribly convincing. Here's the editorial board of the (Jeff Bezos-owned) Washington Post in what is ostensibly a piece in favor of Amazon coming to "National Landing":

Like most bonanzas, this one is certain to come with trials. San Francisco, with its epidemic of NIMBYism, hellish housing prices and squadrons of homeless, is a glaring object lesson in the limits of tech-driven prosperity.

By dividing HQ2, Amazon may have halved the headaches it will foist on state and local officials. Still, it will be their job to anticipate the fallout and disruption to people's lives, and take proactive steps to mitigate the effects of crowding, traffic and higher prices.

Those are serious headaches; in many ways, they're also the right headaches to have, far more desirable than anemic economic prospects, dwindling tax revenue and young people desperate to attend college and seek employment elsewhere.

Amazon: giving us the right headaches, at least?

Local businesses, however, seem pleased. "Whatever Jeff Bezos wants is fine with me," said Billy Bayne, the owner of the Crystal City Restaurant Gentlemen's Club, in the Washington Post. "I'm just happy he's here."

FREE MINDS

Yikes. From CBS News:

Shortly after 9/11, the CIA considered using a drug it thought might work like a truth serum and force terror suspects to give up information about potential attacks. After months of research, the agency decided that a drug called Versed, a sedative often prescribed to reduce anxiety, was "possibly worth a try." But in the end, the CIA decided not to ask government lawyers to approve its use.

The existence of the drug research program — dubbed "Project Medication" — is disclosed in a once-classified report that was provided to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) under a judge's order and was released by the organization Tuesday.

QUICK HITS

• Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Neomi Rao will replace Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, President Trump announced yesterday. Jonathan Adler of Volokh Conspiracy and Case Western Reserve University Law School says it's "an excellent choice."

• Zuri Davis has the latest details on the Florida recount drama.

NEXT: Brickbat: London's Burning

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  1. Zuri Davis has the latest details on the Florida recount drama.

    Recap: It’s Florida.

    1. Hello.

      “Just to set the scene: Crysal City was named after a historic chandelier, features a bizarre and largely empty series of underground tunnels that they insist on calling a mall, and boasts a “gentleman’s club” known for its breakfasts squeezed in the same strip mall as a 7-11, Chinese takeout, and a kabob place. And aside from that strip mall, it has all the charm of an old sweat sock.”

      What? No dry cleaners?

      I for one appreciate the convenience of a titty bar, Chinese restaurant and 7/11.

      1. I have never been a titty bar guy, but I so fucking want to go to that breakfast one! (Just so long as the only pancakes in sight are on the buffet.)

        1. Nothing like pubes in the pancakes!

          Is that a Chantal or Manon?

        2. Is that a Chorizo or are you just glad to see me?

        3. I requested to have my going-away lunch there but was told it would be at Ted’s.

      2. It’s not really a titty bar. The dancers wear pasties to cover their nipples. This is Virginia, after all.

        1. “Go-go bar,” then, it must be more properly known.

    2. +1, geography, political insight

  2. Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Neomi Rao will replace Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, President Trump announced yesterday.

    Bring your personal calendars with you.

    1. She was great in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by the way, but Prometheus sucked.

      1. Prometheus was such a disapointment. It could have been so kick ass.

          1. I heard Prometheus had several key scenes cut at the insistence of the studio, which was concerned about run time. As a result, the storyline became nonsensical. I expect an extended director’s cut will be along someday to fix it.

            1. i will watch it and hope so. fwiw the last scene Theron is in is worth watching a million times just for what happens.

    2. I heard she gang raped a goat

      #BaahlieveIt

      1. The goat was an ordinary Nigerian Dwarf meat goat but identifies as a majestic endangered Markhor so it is doubly monstrous.

  3. Lewinsky, on Bill Clinton:

    “If you want to know what power looks like, watch a man safely, even smugly, do interviews for decades, without ever worrying whether he will be asked the questions he doesn’t want to answer.”

    1. The power of a sycophantic press.

    2. That has to be the most obnoxious click bait title I’ve ever seen

      1. So you were born today?

    3. She’s bang on with that.

      Sickening.

  4. Shortly after 9/11, the CIA considered using a drug it thought might work like a truth serum and force terror suspects to give up information about potential attacks.

    A bucket was then filled to the brim with the serum and poured over a towel wrapped around a supine terrorist’s face.

  5. …and boasts a “gentleman’s club” known for its breakfasts squeezed in the same strip mall as a 7-11, Chinese takeout, and a kabob place.

    That place sounds fucking awesome.

    1. That kabob house needs to step it up with some Dance of the Seven Veils shit.

    2. Regrettably, it is not awesome. The 7-11 is frequented by unsavory folks; the kabob place has a dumpster that smells impressively horrifying; the Crystal City Restaurant is a gentleman’s club of the Virginia variety, which is to say, you don’t get to see any of the good bits.

      I haven’t had the breakfast, but the chocolate cake was good.

    3. Breakfast beer and strippers is pretty awesome, as is the day-long disorientation.

      “The Mound”, on Mound Street on the city line between Davenport and Bettendorf Iowa, had 24 hour strippers for the reason that within 10 miles or so International Harvester, Alcoa and John Deere had something like 20k employees working graveyard shifts, getting off* between 6:30 and 8AM. Sooo…titties and breakfast!!

      Weird when you go out to the parking lot with a hoo…dancer to ply her with drugs and there’s people jogging in the sunshine, kids on bikes, stores all opening up. Just…not the preferred atmosphere for that kind of fun.

      *-see what I did thar?

  6. Breaking Report: Broward County Deputy Says Civil Rights Attorneys Were Handing Out Absentee Ballots to Inmates AFTER ELECTION? (Update)
    The Broward County Deputy explained that on Thursday November 8, 2018, after the midterm election, absentee ballots were delivered to the jail for the inmates and the deputies were told to pass them out.

  7. MATH ERROR: SCIENTISTS ADMIT ‘MISTAKES’ LED TO ALARMING RESULTS IN MAJOR GLOBAL WARMING STUDY
    Scientists behind a headline-grabbing climate study admitted they “really muffed” their paper.
    Their study claimed to find 60 percent more warming in the oceans, but that was based on math errors.
    The errors were initially spotted by scientist Nic Lewis, who called them “serious (but surely inadvertent) errors.”

  8. Yes, the numbers are staggering?New York state’s pledge of $1.52 billion for 25,000 jobs works out to more than $60,000 in taxpayer support per new job created…

    PLUS free shipping.

    1. Amazon employees don’t get free Prime last I saw. So the hopes for these guys is lower still.

  9. Yeh, yeh. Amazon has jumped the shark as an innovative corporation. They all eventually do. That’s how it works unfortunately.

    For now, just send my items on time and keep customer service at its best.

    The thing about Amazon people should keep in mind is it doesn’t necessarily have the best prices. I usually shop around before committing anything to it.

    1. Use Bookfinder for books. Any aggregation site recommendations for other stuff?

      1. Use Amazon to find things and then contact the seller directly to buy.

        Amazon takes a huge cut and many companies will give you free shipping over a certain amount.

        1. I’ve done that a few times. I sometimes worry about going in there without Amazon’s consumer protection, their guarantee of mediation. Are you saying that’s not really much of an issue?

          1. Depends on the product and company but many reputable companies stand behind their products in an honest way.

            1. Backpage, for example.

          2. I wouldn’t take the chance. Amazon customer service protection is worth it in my view.

            But so far I have to admit most companies I’ve dealt with who sell on Amazon have been courteous and professional. Knock on wood.

            1. Statistically, the only way Amazon can financially get away with such a strong customer protection service is if they are dealing with companies that are 99% solid in the quality of their product, which would suggest they are safe to deal with directly.

              I successfully and safely and satisfactorily bought stuff online long before I did it via Amazon.

      2. Jet is often quite good. Honestly, shopping around randomly is good too.

        Last year I got my sister this coffee maker thing for Christmas. 100 bucks on Amazon. 50 at Macy’s website. I paid 5 bucks shipping and I morally refuse to add numbers, but I think I came out well ahead there.

    2. the Jack Ryan series entertains.

    3. I practically stopped buying on Amazon when they opened a physical site in Illinois and started collecting sales tax. Now that internet sales tax is here there’s no incentive to use Amazon. At least Ebay put some effort into trying to stop the internet sales tax. Bezos apparently feels secure in Amazon’s position that he don’t give a damn.

  10. By dividing HQ2, Amazon may have halved the headaches it will foist on state and local officials.

    Or doubled the take.

    1. The Democrat politicians know what’s up. Bezos is dividing his risk.

      If one of the states does what Seattle did and enact taxes basically to go after Amazon, Amazon can shift sites and close the other sites.

      Watch for major changes to Seattle Amazon HQ.

      1. ^This . A lot of big companies have learned from what happened to Amazon and before that Nike. The city of Beaverton tried to annex the unincorporated area that housed Nike’s campus for the sheer greed of being able to seize more tax from Nike. Luckily for Nike that failed but having a single big campus like that makes you a target.

  11. Wow. One day before the Federalist Society’s annual convention, longtime member George Conway (@gtconway3d) has announced the formation of Checks and Balances?a new group of conservative lawyers who believe Trump is undermining the rule of law. https://t.co/GhY59LUKvK pic.twitter.com/NJGOj9qGkM
    ? Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) November 14, 2018

    The first president to dare to do so.

    1. How is he undermining the rule of law? No one ever seems to have any actual examples of that. Appearently there is some law that prohibits the President from being a big meanie to the press that I am unaware of.

      1. If he at all stonewalls the incoming House investigations of his staff, he will indeed be doing that. But what president doesn’t?

        1. Lets see what happens. Regardless, these people are claiming he is undermining it now. And I don’t see any examples of how he is doing that. What illegal things has Trump done in office? The whole thing is absurd. It is just a bunch of people repeating the same lie and convincing themselves it is true because everyone is saying it.

          1. Every president is undermining the constitution and deserved impeachment. Well, at least that’s what the other team says.

            1. Okay. Again, what has he done that qualifies as “undermining the Constitution”?

              1. Fuck if I know. I’m not on either team.

              2. Your team was all about how Obama and Hillary were undermining the constitution, while Tony and his team would have disagreed on every point. Now the tables are turned. Same old song and dance.

                *yawn*

                1. I can give you several concrete examples of Obama undermining the law. He set a record for lowing 9-0 decisions before the Supreme Court. He launched an illegal war against Libya and when called for exceeding the time limits imposed by the War Powers Act claimed it wasn’t a war but a “kinetic action”. The IRS paid out millions in settlements for improperly targeting conservative groups under his administration. He claimed the right to unilaterally ignore the Immigration and Naturalization Act as “prosecutorial discretion” with DACA. His AG was declared in contempt of Congress. He ordered the assasination of an American citizen outside of a war zone. He released people from GUITMO without Congressional approval in direct violation of a federal statute that required it.

                  Now, if you have examples of Trump doing similar or worse things, give them. If you want to defend the things I list as “lawful” do so. If you can do neither, shut the fuck up and stop wasting my time because you are tiresome and boring and have nothing to add to the conversation.

                  1. Like I said, I’m not on either team.

                    1. Not being on either team doesn’t excuse you from making a salient point. You don’t have to be on a team to make a judgement about the things Obama did or have some idea about what Trump has or has not done. You don’t seem to know much of anything or have an intelligent opinion on this. Sorry, but claiming “I am not on either team” doesn’t have anything to do with the conversation. The question is what has Trump done that undermines the rule of law. If you have an answer to that question, give it. Otherwise, go talk on some other thread.

                    2. You don’t seem to know much of anything or have an intelligent opinion on this.

                      When a Republican is in the White House, the Democrats are crying “Impeach the evil SOB.”

                      When a Democrat is in the White House, the Republicans are crying “Impeach the evil SOB.”

                      One doesn’t need to make judgments or know specific talking points to make that observation.

                      I’ll let the team players continue their whining and crying.

                      Carry on.

                    3. The question is what has Trump done to undermine the rule of law. You stil have nothing intelligent to say about it. When you do, get back to me. Otherwise, you are just proving to anyone who reads this you are an idiot who doens’t know much.

                  2. He set a record for lowing 9-0 decisions before the Supreme Court

                    Cases that were filed while the Bushpigs were in office.

                    All you do is lie.

                    1. No they were not. And even if they were, Obama could have reversed the position and conceded the lawsuit. They only went to the Supreme Court because the Obama DOJ chose to defend them and take them there.

                      I know you are retarded but you need to understand not everyone else is.

                    2. “Sarah Palin’s Buttplug|11.14.18 @ 10:17AM|#

                      He set a record for lowing 9-0 decisions before the Supreme Court

                      Cases that were filed while the Bushpigs were in office.”

                      All you have to do to get that stupid ass prog shreek to cry is make a point about Obama being a known, proven shitbag.

                    3. Didn’t you hear? Buttplug is the only true libertarian here.

                    4. Didn’t you hear? Buttplug is the only true libertarian here.

                      Compared to the loudest voices here, BP is indeed a libertarian. That’s really fucking sad.

                    5. Libertarian cred isn’t graded on a curve.

                    6. That’s me. I’m the only true Libertarian.

      2. Using national security reasons to raise taxes even though that is a farce since we haven’t declared war since WWII I don’t believe Congress has the authority to delegate authority to the Executive – so a pox on both branches – unless there is one of those hidden clauses in the Constitution that says except when the Executive wants too.

        1. Trump has the power to impose tarriffs under the law. And I don’t think it is unreasonable to say that perserving a manufacturing base, especially in the steel industry is a national security issue. There is a long history of Presidents intervening in economic issues in the name of national security.

          You don’t like his policy. And that is fine. It is a debatable point. But, you cannot say it is undermining the rule of law when the law clearly gives him the power to do it and his doing so is not out of line with the actions of previous Presidents. The rule of law is about practice as well as the letter of the statute.

          You are just trying to make a policy dispute into a legal one.

          1. You are absolutely right, and I hate tariffs. If Congress did not want the President to wield this power they should not have given it to him. Once you say the magic words “National Security” they are like an abracadabra that places an Emperor’s crown upon his head and a scepter of infinite power in his royal hands. We need to start holding these people accountable for the power they conveniently love giving away, if we don’t like it.

          2. Where in the Constitutions do the People grant Congress the authority to delegate their authority to the president? The entire document is based on checks and balance and when those can just be thrown away then we are no longer living in a Republic but a quasi dictatorship. If Congress wants to raise a tariff then they have the authority, I would disagree with that policy but it would be legal. Just another in long line of abuses to the Constitution (yes these things happened before Trump and it will happen after; doesn’t make it legal).

            1. You are making a larger point about the legality of the regulatory state in general. You see the law as being different than what the government and nearly every judge who has considered the matter thinks it is. That is fine. But it is a different debate than whether Trump is undermining the rule of law. The law as it currently stands says he can do this. You think it shouldn’t. You may be right about that. But that just means you disagree with the law not that Trump is undermining the rule of law.

    2. This sounds like the work of Never Trump Machiavelli Bill Kristol’s outfit called “Republicans for the Rule of Law”.

      https://tinyurl.com/ybdrfcjq

  12. http://twitchy.com/sarahd-3130…..-rhetoric/

    Nerdy Jewish man gives speech on the campus of Ohio State. Panic ensues. People were forced to run for cover and hide in safe spaces for days!!

    I have no illusions about the nature of mankind. But, this insanity cannot last forever. There is no way people are going to find being this way appealing.

    1. OK, that was epic.

      1. It is the Putz Who At Columbus. The horror of it.

      2. The Putz Who Ate Columbus

    2. “But, this insanity cannot last forever.”

      Yep. One day, Mom and Dad will die and they’ll have to find a job. Working for a boss. Who doesn’t care if you have panic attacks on seeing a MAGA hat.

    3. Did they hand out pacifiers and binkies?

  13. If anybody here cares about tolerance and inclusion ? which as Koch / Reason libertarians you absolutely should ? you need to boycott Victoria’s Secret.

    Jezebel: Victoria’s Secret doesn’t want plus-size or trans women walking the runway

    I cannot believe this science-denying bigotry still exists. It’s 2018! Some women have penises, testicles, Adam’s apples, and thick beards. It doesn’t make them any less female, or any less beautiful, than Gisele Bunderson or whatever her name is.

    (The fat-shaming is problematic too, but not as bad as the transphobia and transmisogyny.)

    #TransWomenAreWomen
    #NothingInherentlyMasculineAboutAPenis

    1. John what say you about this outrage? Doctrinaire libertarians would simply let Victoria’s Secret continue to flout the public good with this elitist anti-thicc discrimination. What sort of government intervention should a real conservative support on behalf of the preferred tastes of hardworking middle America?

      1. Look Diago, if Victoria Secret thinks America would rather see young, thin beautiful women in lingerei rather than men and fat women in linergei, they are just out of touch with America. Who doesn’t want to see half naked men who are convinced they are women wearing women’s lingerei?

        1. gonna get bucs all worked up.

        2. Who doesn’t want to see half naked men who are convinced they are women wearing women’s lingerei?

          Raises hand.

    2. “It’s 2018! Some women have penises, testicles, Adam’s apples, and thick beards. It doesn’t make them any less female, or any less beautiful,”

      OBL, that’s more like it. You’ve been slipping lately.

    3. Why is fatshaming not as bad as transphobia? Doesn’t it affect more people?

      1. Perhaps I’m biased because I’m non-binary and thin. But IMO trans people are a more severely marginalized and brutally oppressed group than fat people are, even today. Especially with the anti-science Drumpf regime attempting to erase trans people’s existence.

        1. You should work out more, OBL.

      2. There is no shame in trans fats.

  14. What’s good for Amazon is good for America! and maybe they can deliver a good five-cent cigar, too…

  15. “In New York, Amazon will receive $1.2 billion in refundable tax credits through a state-level economic development program and a cash grant of $325 million that’s tied to the construction of new buildings at the Long Island City location over the next 10 years. In Virginia, the state is ponying up $573 million in tax breaks tied to the creation of 25,000 jobs, and the city of Arlington will provide a cash grant of $23 million over 15 years funded by an existing tax on hotel rooms.

    Yes, the numbers are staggering?New York state’s pledge of $1.52 billion for 25,000 jobs works out to more than $60,000 in taxpayer support per new job created…”

    Tell us more about not taxing being spending.

    1. Remember when Progressives were all about defending the small shop owner from the big evil corporations like Walmart? Funny how Jeff Bezos spreading some money around to the right places put an end to all of that.

      Amazon has done more damage to small brick and mortor retailers than Walmart ever did. It is almost like Progressives hatred of Walmart was about their hatred of Walmart’s customers rather than any concern for small businesses.

      1. If they really have that attitude I am switching to Geico!

      2. “Remember when Progressives were all about defending the small shop owner from the big evil corporations like Walmart? Funny how Jeff Bezos spreading some money around to the right places put an end to all of that.”

        If Bezos had just announced he was building new HQs here and here, the locals would have fought him tooth and nail.
        Instead, he turned it into a contest, and got everybody swinging at the pinata plus handing over all sorts of goodies to him!

        1. He collected a ton of data that he will now use in marketing. Smart move on his part. But sleazy none the less.

  16. Support abortion and immigration, and the “eat the rich” crowd leaves you alone. Your taxes are a virtue signaling status symbol.

    Wealthier Americans swing hard toward Democrats. Now, maybe, a brief pause in constant vilification of “millionaires and billionaires”?

    1. NeverTrump’s Billionaire Leftist Benefactors
      So why is a group of so-called principled “conservatives” accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a leftist billionaire who has shown zero dedication to conservative causes, an activist who finances interests that are inimical to conservative values and policies, and who bankrolls Democratic candidates hostile to mainstream conservatives?

      Because the same phonies who claims to be all about principles and integrity are now the folks willing to do almost anything to take down Trump. (Remember that the next time they lecture pro-Trump Republicans about being a cult.)

      1. NeverTrump “conservatives” are aiding Schiff and the media in their campaign to paralyze if not remove Whitaker. Commercials attacking the acting attorney general were aired on several Sunday morning political shows. The ads were sponsored by “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” a group founded earlier this year by Bill Kristol, the editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard. The group’s primary role so far appears to be pimping for the Mueller probe, a political witch-hunt that Kristol and his fellow NeverTrumpers pray will lead to the impeachment and removal of the president

        These RINOs are pissed that they are losing power as the Republican base is demanding Republican politicians support Trump and not be Lefty operatives.

        All that money pouring into Lefty operative groups and they are still losing. Reaganomics does work. The rich put money to work. In this case, there is little return on their investment though because of bad investments.

  17. Obama’s Divided America.

    “Everything is terrible. We’re so divided.” If you spend any time at all on social media, you have likely seen several versions of that statement from pretty much everyone. We are most definitely divided and have no common ground anymore. We share no first principles with each other and should go our separate ways, but that’s another matter. Rather than speak about where we are going, perhaps we should find out where this divide began. It began with Barack Obama.

    Obama wasn’t the one who pushed us over the edge on excessive spending, unaffordable healthcare, or any of our other issues. Though he was certainly a huge contributor to those problems. The tangible problems we face as a nation have many an author. What Obama did was completely change the political culture and how we relate to one another. That issue, he owns alone. Sure there were many on the Left and Right who made contributions to this divide. Lyndon Johnson stands out as one of the worst offenders. Trump, when all is said and done, certainly won’t be remembered as a great unifier either as he’s fully embraced this modern political climate. But America reached its final form under Obama. Obama was the tipping point. He was when America crossed the Rubicon and now exists politically in a constant state of strife and angst.

    1. This is one of the best and most accurate pieces of writing on Obama’s true legacy that I’ve seen yet.

      1. Did Obama call Neo-Nazi killers “fine people” and offer to pay the legal fees of his fans who violently attacked opponents?

        Two more years of the Dotard and the GOP will be flushed down the toilet again just like in 2008.

        And then the cycle will start all over again.

        1. >one person killed another person

          >everyone in the crowd is therefore also a killer

          Imagine being this retarded.

        2. See? Swipe at Obama and out of the rafters comes shreek to fellate him in defense.

        3. “Did Obama call Neo-Nazi killers “fine people””

          No, but he offered etiquette tips for knife fights.

      2. It’s like the 50s and 60s never happened.
        Obama simply isn’t significant other than for displacing Nixon as most evil President. And it was petty, incremental evil, not some grand super-villain thing.

        1. Yeah it’s really just a matter of executive branch authoritarianism creeping further and further with every president for decades. Watergate brought a very, very anomalous setback in the other direction. Obama was worse than the other presidents really only because he was the latest, in the grand scheme of things. Just that much worse than the last guy, as usual, as you point out; what else is new?

        2. Uhhhh, the 50s was one of the most tranquil decades in American history, what the hell are you talking about? Eisenhower was so beloved by the nation he won two massive landslides with basically no serious opposition.

          And while the late 60s did see the rise of the revolutionary New Left, they were then still just an extremely vocal and violent minority. By 1972 the “silent majority” of mainstream America was so sick of them and their antics that the (admittedly evil) Nixon easily won in a massive landslide.

          1. The 50s began the government takeover of health care via insurance, and saw the start of our involvement in Vietnam.
            Nixon drove the final stake through the heart of the gold standard, implemented wage and price controls, and created the infamous ‘enemies list.’ The escalations in Vietnam and extension into Cambodia foreshadowed what was to come.
            Obama formalized extrajudicial murder of anyone anywhere because fate.

            1. The 50s had a lot of big government, but it was still a huge walk back from the New Deal. And our involvement in Vietnam before 1960 was virtually nil. The 50s were a very trasformative decade. In many ways more so than the 60s. But it was not a particularly divisive decade when compared to the 60s and 70s. There were no huge race riots in the 50s. There was no forced busing. The sexual revolution was still on the fringes. The Civil Rights movement had started and made significant progress but it had not turned violent. The 50s were a lot of things but they were not divisive relative to the decades that followed. The 50s, 80s and 90s were the least divisive decades of the 20th Century in America.

  18. Checks and Balances?a new group of conservative lawyers who believe Trump is undermining the rule of law.

    Hey, a few Republicans don’t guzzle the Trump semen.

    1. If only they could all be as wise as Bruce Bartlett.

      1. Bartlett actually believes in small government, smaller deficits. and cutting spending.

        The Trump-tards don’t.

        1. That’s fine and all, but I was referring more to his strikingly original analysis comparing Drumpf to Hitler.

          Have you read his book on how to fight fake news? Is it as insightful as his tweets?

    2. Those RINOs are all full of Obama semen.

    3. “Hey, a few Republicans don’t guzzle the Trump semen.”

      Hey remember the other day when you stupidly whined about fixation on oral sex?

      Yeah, you’re a hypocrite and a moron, we know we know…

    4. slut shaming?

  19. The area has put out a helpful guide for relocating Amazon employees, with neighborhood descriptors that sound like they were written by bots and bear little resemblance to these actual areas.

    “Rohan chose the Foggy Bottom neighborhood for its bohemian vibe and great restaurants. He also considered an apartment on Florida Avenue, but said ‘fuck that shit, I don’t want to get car jacked and murdered my first week of work'”.

    1. Can you imagine having to work with a douche like that guy looks to be?

      1. You misspelled “millennial.”

    2. It’s only apt that instructions for NPCs are written by bots.

  20. Is it just me or does that Amazon logo look like a penis?

  21. Hahaha. Amazon chose high crime, high tax, high regulation areas!

  22. WASHINGTON ? The federal government recorded a deficit of $100.5 billion in October, a big increase from a year ago that was primarily caused by quirks in the calendar.

    The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the deficit shot up 59 percent from the same month a year ago. Last year’s October deficit was smaller because the government paid $48 billion in benefits in September because Oct. 1 fell on the weekend.

    AP

    1. I thought we were deploying troops to intercept the invasion force.

      1. Probably sent them to the wrong spot.

      2. A few thousand troops and thousands of miles of border.

    2. Wow, they got here fast. Where did they park their DeLoreans?

    3. “Wednesday” in TJ/San Diego…

    4. If they can just climb over the fence in *Tijuana* – then what’s the point of building any more of it?

      1. The border patrol was waiting for them after they get into the no man’s land area.

  23. Doctors claim authority over A2:

    “Doctors take on NRA over tweet warning them to ‘stay in their lane'”
    […]
    “”We are not self-important: we are important to the care of others,” Choo tweeted. “We are not anti-gun: we are anti-bullet holes in our patients. We consult with everyone but extremists. Most upsetting, actually, is death and disability from gun violence that is unparalleled in the world.”
    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/415806
    -doctors-take-on-nra-over-tweet-
    warning-them-to-stay-in-their-lane

    Yes, Ms Choo, you are both self-important and ignorant of A2.

    1. If you are anti bullet holes in your strippers you should probably stay away from Northeast Virginia strip malls, I am guessing.

      1. When I first glanced at that comment I thought you were anti Butthole Surfers.

    2. I am waiting for the pediatricians to campaign as hard against swimming pools as they do against latex balloons.

  24. There are many different strands to Republican-establishment hardcore opposition to Trump, but I think the most prominent one is people who believe very, very strongly in the dominant foreign policy principles of the postwar, and are absolutely outraged at the disrespect he appears to show for it. I think these concerns of theirs are greatly overblown, personally, but no matter. In-house disagreements like the ones they had with W Bush over his wars they can abide, but Trump and his rhetoric is miles beyond the pale. Most Democrats are pretty cool by them, and they do not care about domestic policy very much. This is a very powerful strand within Republicanism; and while some are (in my opinion wisely) remaining calm and trying to work with Trump others are shitting themselves.

    1. Much like Reagan, Trump is forcing the foreign policy establishment to live the counterfactual of their most sacred beliefs. The reality is that collective security is a joke and Wilsonian internaionalism nothing but an excuse for the US to fight wars defending people who are too lazy or don’t care to defend themselves. The foreign policy establishment rationalizes its continued commitment to failed ideas by telling itself “it would be worse if he hadn’t done it this way”. This allows them to ignore all of the evidence of their failures and dismiss anyone who questions their assumptions as beyond the pale. And that works just so long as no one ever gets in power who is willing to do things differently. When that happens, the world is forced to live the counterfactual and we find out if things would be worse if we acted otherwise. Reagan did this by confronting the Soviet Union. The consensus in 1980 was that the Soviet Union was never going to go away and confronting it was just risking war for no gain. Trump is doing this by putting US interests over international norms and commitments.

  25. I live only a few miles from Crystal City and am not too thrilled about HQ2. Sure, it will raise my home value, but also my property taxes, and for all Amazon says about “giving back” I doubt it will match what they are getting in tax breaks and favors from Virginia and local counties. Also, nobody has dared to ask the question of what will happen if Amazon gets acquired by another company that decides to close one, or both, of the campuses, ten years from now.
    I grew up in Mass. in the 1980s when Wang Computer was a big deal, with their HQ in Lowell. By the early 90s, they went bust and Lowell quickly turned into a shithole. Not saying the same thing will happen with HQ2, but people tend to be too rosy in their future projections.

    1. NOVA traffic is already insane. And the Metro is a joke. I can’t imagine what the commute from Virginia is going to be like once they get that thing running. And since they gave them billions of dollars to do it, I doubt there will be any improvements in the infurstructure to accomodate it. Building it in Crystal City rather than somewhere outside the beltway where people could commute from far away or do a reverse commute if they lived in the city is retarded. Why on earth would you want to put it there?

      1. Building it in Crystal City rather than somewhere outside the beltway where people could commute from far away or do a reverse commute if they lived in the city is retarded. Why on earth would you want to put it there?

        Because, they are planning on hiring mostly urban hipster types who don’t believe in cars and will commute to work on electric scooters

        1. Yeah, good luck with that.

      2. Maybe because Crystal City, the original prototype of the live-walk-shop-work-all-under-one-roof community model, was a pathetic, empty, echoing failure? Any use anyone could imagine for that “dense population” mess would be an improvement. *And* it *is* on Metro. With large public restrooms accessible to Metro riders, iirc (insert joke of choice about toilets being the neighborhood’s big attraction here).

        What a pity no Amazon employee was quoted as wanting to live in one of those wonderful apartments-right-in-the-mall.

    2. I would be far more concerned about the debt bubble than Amazon going bust.

      It was the debt bubble and the accompanying explosion in federal contracting that almost singlehandedly turned DC into the richest metro area in the country, and if and when that ever pops, there will be serious trouble for the entire region.

    3. And those salaries don’t seem terribly generous for the roles.

      It’s almost as if Amazon is leveraging their market power to keep costs low for their customers!

  26. Just to set the scene: Crysal City was named after a historic chandelier, features a bizarre and largely empty series of underground tunnels that they insist on calling a mall, and boasts a “gentleman’s club” known for its breakfasts squeezed in the same strip mall as a 7-11, Chinese takeout, and a kabob place. And aside from that strip mall, it has all the charm of an old sweat sock.

    I wonder how Elizabeth Nolan Brown sneers at the great unwashed in Middle America.

    1. I have patronized most of these places, except the strip club (those days ended long ago). The last thing the area needs are more yoga studios, cutesy cafes, and dog bakeries, but that’s what it will get.

    2. The joke was that Crystal City was meant to attract rich people to that lovely-in-theory model of packing the whole city into one big block with towers above and tunnels below the ground level. And it, er um, failed. To the extent it attracted anybody, it attracted the kind of little strip mall shops that attracted students and young office workers. As one of whom I remember thinking “What a *few* interesting shops scattered among such a *lot* of empty tunnels.” But it wasn’t for “the great unwashed.” That would’ve been P.G. Plaza.

      1. If Crystal City had appealed to the well washed yuppie-types, in theory that would have generated backing and funding for the construction of similar but cheaper models for the poor. Which rather conspicuously failed to happen…You’d think city planners would have learned something from this. The ones involved in AFFH evidently did not.

    3. I went there to do a patent search & interview w the examiner. That was before we could all do them even better online. I’m amazed to learn Xtal City has any presence in the open air.

  27. I could get behind this if Amazon was going to build their own roadz. (And private metro lines).

  28. >>>Checks and Balances?a new group of conservative lawyers

    “conservative” means too many things to mean anything.

  29. Virginia is giving Amazon the right to rename the area around its new headquarters.

    I’m confused as to how the state government can give permission for someone to rename a city. That’s something I would think would reside solely with the city government.

  30. ” the state is ponying up $573 million in tax breaks tied”

    For the last time, this is not a COST. Failure to take from one party is not the same as seizing their stuff. Jesus christ.

    The net effect of AMZN being there will be HUGE for all the residents. Jobs, infrastructure and entertainment and cultural elements will improve. how could anyone see this as a bad thing because the state also decided not to seize 573 MILLION dollars from them too is ridiculous.

    1. The subsidies that these democratic party controlled enclaves are willing to throw at giant businesses do make you wonder if they believe 90% of their own BS when it comes to tax policy.

  31. Another thing about Versed, about which I’m well versed: In a high enough dose (about twice what’s required as an anxiolytic IME), it induces anterograde amnesia. I’ve experienced this twice?or did I? So the fink won’t even know s/he’s finked.

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