Thursday thumbnails

Thumbnail sketches is one of those terms that is often used without thinking about its source. Per Wikipedia, it was first used in the 17th century, but was more widely used in the 19th century as a small pictorial of an idea, the size of a thumbnail.  But, it is often used nowadays for a brief synopsis. So here are a few thumbnails of thuggish behavior on this Thursday.

In the Philippines, the iron thumb leader Duterte has released a list of 200 names of people who may be involved with drugs, including their addresses. This thug has just put targets on this people, so do not be surprised if we read of more deaths.

Speaking of thugs, it is not ironic that Vladimir Putin and Basher al Assad have stalled entry by the UN inspectors to the alleged chemical attack site. Why is that? The only rational explanation is they have something to hide.

Speaking of Duterte and Putin, why does the US President speak more highly of them than he does German Chancellor Angela Merkel? It may turn out he is more than beholden to Putin for his election, but why would a leader spend his cache on Duterte? As for Merkel, he may be jealous of her being looked to as a leader of the western world or it may be something superficial. His emulation of thug like behavior such as lying about most issues, condemning the media, attacking people who criticize him or to off-load his errors, squelching civil rights, etc. is not Presidential, but autocratic.

Finally, something that needs even more notoriety is the imposition of tariffs on allies and other trading partners by the US President. Tariffs usually backfire and throw water on global and specific economies. Yet, the bullying of allies is another key part. This President has introduced a huge amount of uncertainty and threats to businesses that must import certain products that are not made here. The uncertainty is showing up in the capital markets and watering down hoped for greater growth from the Tax Law change. His own party leaders have not been too keen on this path.

That is all for now. Have a great rest of your week and keep your eyes open,