Friday follies

I hope you have had a great week. Since there are several issues bouncing around inside my head, here is a summary review of the follies for the week.

The Brexit clock keeps ticking while the British parliament keeps placing their collective thumbs in their more southern orifices. A second Brexit vote would likely end with a different conclusion, but it would take more time than they have and would involve another decision by an uninformed public. Let me give Parliament its out, but it will take more courage than they have. They should either accept May’s terms or vote to remain. I would urge the Brits to remain, as I would hate to see Northern Ireland and Scotland leave the UK.

Here in the US, Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was sentenced to 47 months in prison. While a much lighter sentence than many felt, he does have another sentence coming in another court. If Trump is as innocent as he proclaims, with the guilt of Manafort and other Trump associates, Trump is not very good at judging friends and associates. Yet, as I have witnessed time and again as a consultant, an organization takes on the personality of its leader. So, if subordinates are guilty of lying, cheating, and criminal behavior…

China’s slowing economy is impacting orher countries as expected. It was reported yesterday that China is buying less from abroad and using those dollars internally. The US trade deficit with China has grown not lessened the past year. And, the EU banks have softened economic projections as a result. What continues to surprise me is how little the US President understands how trade deficits and tariffs work. This may be the best metaphor of his Presidency as economics were supposed to be his strength.

Finally, populists are popping up in more countries in greater numbers. To me, a name that implies a broader appeal should not give greater license to spread hate and bigotry. In spite of all of our many faults here in the US and some leaders who need to find a conscious, we have benefitted greatly from being a melting pot. Diversity is a strength. I fully understand the need to govern the numbers of people immigrating in, yet painting all newcomers as evil, is not appropriate. What frustrates me is issues over immigration should be fact-based and reflective of the country’s mores and ideals and not sold on fear.

That is all for now. I know I have overlooked a great deal. Have a great weekend.



13 thoughts on “Friday follies

  1. Note to Readers: One of the better Peesidential candidates dropped out of the race, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. I heard an important statistic that should be a caution to Democrats courtesy of columnist Mark Shields. 206 counties that voted for Trump also voted for Obama in the two previous elections. Dems must ask themselves why? Shields also noted that nine of thise counties are in Ohio, of which Brown won seven. If Dems want to win the White House, they need a candidate that will appeal to middle America. It cannot be said any plainer.

    • Dear Keith,

      You know that I like Gov. Jay Inslee but there’s another guy, the South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg who came across great at a recent CNN Town Hall TV event. He is definitely on my list along with Senator Kamala Harris. I have a bias/ preference towards candidates with some executive experience as they tend to be more pragmatic.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, it is a good bias. I hope they get listened to. Dems need to stop the circular firing squad and listen. If someone is not pure enough, that should not discount them. Keith

  2. I was so sorry to see that Sherrod Brown decided not to run… he was my favorite in a very crowded field. But, I can’t say that I blame him – who would want to subject themselves to the ugliness of a presidential campaign, especially with the probable candidate in the other party?

    • Janis, he would have been a good candidate. Jay Inslee is intereseing as well. If Joe Biden gets in, he will likely be best candidate to win.

      Per The New Yorker article, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes abetted the Trump effort. So, The National Enquirer and Russians were not alone. Keith

  3. A good week, did you say? Hmmmm … well, nobody I know died. A meteor didn’t crash through the roof of my house. I didn’t lose my entire life’s savings … all $70 of it. So yeah, I suppose it was a good enough week 😉

    Brexit concerns me, especially since I have many friends in the UK. There will almost certainly not be a new vote, and Brexit will happen, either with or without a deal. They have some of the same stubbornness problems we have in that some will not agree to anything if Ms. May proposes it. My biggest immediate concern is that some fear there may be severe shortages of food, medicine and other goods.

    As for Manafort … you already saw my opinion of that, but I think next Wednesday he may not be so lucky. But, he probably isn’t overly concerned, for he has likely already worked a deal with Trump for a pardon.

    As I’ve said before, Trump failed Econ 101, for he does not understand economics, how trade works, how budgets and borrowing works. This, after all, is the ‘man’ who said while on the campaign trail “we won’t need to default on our debt … we just print more money!” And he’s also the one who thinks you need a photo I.D. to buy groceries. No, he’s no economic genius. He lucked into an economy that was already in good shape, but by the end of this year, it’s unlikely to be near as good.

    And lastly, the populist movement is an entire story unto itself, with roots in several directions, climate change being partly to blame, though the world leaders will never admit that. It is concerning … I was speaking to a blogging friend who is in Australia, and they have a Trump-like leader now, although less popular. France has a large portion who would vote Marine LePen into office in a heartbeat. Austria … the UK … it’s spreading, and I don’t see an end in sight.

    Thanks for the Friday Follies … I always enjoy them! Have a great weekend, my friend!

    • Jill, thanks for the detailed response. I read this morning that the US President feels the light sentence for Manafort as a victory for him. I also find it amusing that he calls Cohen a liar except when he says something favorable about Trump. This reinforces Trump treating the truth as a commodity, almost like a cafeteria. He selects truthful apple pie to go with his lying pork chops and exaggerated mac and cheese. Keith

      • I read that also and wanted to throw something. So, if Judge Jackson gives Manafort a hefty sentence next week, as I’m hoping she will, I wonder if Trump will take that as a defeat for himself? Yep, he cherry picks his ‘facts’. They are only facts if they suit his purposes … or his mood of the moment. What a prez, huh?

      • Jill, and now he is feuding with Ann Coulter calling her a “nutty whack job. Mr. President, didn’t she support you early on and throughout? So, if she is a nutty whack job, does that mean her support for you is in question?

        A long time Trump employee said, if you are on Trump’s good side, do not get used to it. Keith

  4. Dear Keith,

    Leaders around the world need to pay attention to their disaffected workers/ citizens who have been left behind in the more global economy.

    Those forgotten folks are ripe/ easy pickins for populist leaders to come along to stoke their anger towards the other like immigrants. If and when there’s another World economic forum, this issue needs to be on top of subjects, they need to address.

    As for Mr. Manafort, I have faith in Judge Amy Jackson of VA. He’ll get his comeuppance then. But I’m betting that President Trump plans to pardon him. So unless the State of NY decides to charge him with something, he’ll be out within next couple of years.

    Brexit is a mess. The EU believes it offered the UK the best possible deal but the UK’s House of Commons have rejected it by 149 votes. MPs will now have a free vote 3/13/2019 on whether to leave EU without a deal. If there isn’t an EU agreement accepted by Parliament, there’s a legal risk that the UK would have no way out of the Irish backstop.

    Of course, Jeremy Corbyn is again calling for a general election.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, good points. Trump would be foolish to give Manafort a pardon, but that may not stop him. As for Brexit, I would love to see someone float the idea of a vote not to leave at all. Keith

  5. Note to Readers: The British Parliament voted down the revised Brexit deal. They are likely to vote down a no-deal Brexit and vote for an extension. Then, it will be up to the EU.

    Yet, I will reiterate what should happen. These politicians should gather some courafe and vote to remain. No new referendum. That is the chicken way out. I saw a former British ambassador say succinctly tonight, if Brexit occurs, the Kremlin will cheer. Take it to the bank, Putin’s fingerprints were involved in the first Brexit vote. And, like America voting for an ego-centric, untrurhful bully, the UK voted on something where they did not know the full story.

    I strongly emcourage rhe UK to remain in the EU and tell Putin to stop screwing with your country.

    • Note to Readers: Pending the EU agreeing, the British parliament has approved a delay of Brexit. While they also voted down another referendum, my hope is they will fimd their spines and evaluate the data informed pros and cons of leaving or staying. A factor is what will Scotland and Northern Ireland do if the UK leaves. They should also evaulate planned and actual EU headquarter moves away from the UK. Parliament needs to do its job and not punt it to an ill-informed public on such a complex issue.

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