Plain talk

The news is never dull when the world has too many leaders that do not embrace facts to address problems. This is not unique to the US, but is indicative when other fact-challenged leaders are called the British Trump, the Philippino Trump, the South American Trump.

A threat to other countries’ national security is being identified in a country on the other side of the world and other hemisphere. The Amazon rain forest produces 30% of the planet’s oxygen, absorbs huge amounts of carbon and creates countless medicines. Yet, it is burning out of control and more is being harvested when it is not. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, like Trump, says climate change is a hoax and is slow to act on the fires and wants to develop more of the rain forest. This is a major concern. The planet needs more trees, not fewer.

The UK is headed for a trainwreck which makes me incredibly sad. They are unfortunately being led by a man who promises to make Great Britain great again. Financial analysts have said from the outset that Brexit will be dilutive to the British economy. Companies are moving and will move EU headquarters and distribution centers to EU cities like Dublin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, etc. because of Brexit. And, what would be even worse, in spite of assurances to the contrary by PM Boris Johnson, is a no deal Brexit. Picture semi-trucks lined up on both sides of the borders trying to get through. Picture the Scottish and Northern Irish parliaments taking serious votes for referndums to leave the UK and rejoin the EU.

Italy will be having a new vote after the PM resigned over conflicts with his popular populist number two had created a stir. Snap elections are not conducive to stability. Just ask Theresa May, who made a horrible unforced error, losing a lot of support when she overstated her appeal.

Let me close with the most fact-challenged person in a position of lesdership outside of Putin, Erdogan, Kim and other autocrats, the regal-minded Donald Trump. His former ally and short-lived Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, has started a group to assure Trump is not reelected saying Trump is “off the rails.” Sadly, I agree with The Mooch.

As Trump’s tariff and trade wars push the global and US ecomomy closer to recession right when the ten plus year old growth market is feeling its age, he is blaming everyone else. Yet, what he is up against is financial and non-financial news shows consistently referring to the dampening impact of the Trump tariffs and trade wars as a cause and concern.

These increasing temper tantrums (let’s call them what they are) fail to recognize the role he has played in this with poor decision-making and lying to support such. It was reported by two insiders yesterday that Trump was surprised by China’s response that morning. Really? So, the person in the White House is barking orders and calling the Fed Chair a greater enemy than Xi.

Harry Truman’s words “the buck stops here,” are words that we are unlikely to hear from this president. And, if you ever wonder what a narcissist is worried about, a key trait is to blame others with their own faults.

You can’t play with them

Little Donnie came home in a huff and went to his room to sulk. When his mother asked him why he was so upset, he said because Johnny is playing with Steven and Joey.

His mother asked why he did not go play with them? Donnie said, “Because I am mad at Johnny and told him he is not my friend anymore. I told Steven and Joey they could not play with Johnny either if they wanted to be my friend.”

Seeing where this was going, his mother said, “Well you can sit here alone, you can go play with other friends or you can go make amends with your friends. But, if you choose one of the first two approaches, you may just get mad at them, too. So, why don’t you go make peace with Johnny?’

“Mother, I cannot do that as I will look like a weakling. It is important that they know I am tough. Plus, he made up stuff about me. I cannot believe Steven and Joey fell for his fake story about me. And, Uncle Roy told me never to apologize about anything.”

His mother sighed and said, “Well, it is up to you. Uncle Roy is smart, but he does not have many friends. So, take his advice with a grain of salt. If I were you, I might want to go see Johnny and become his friend again. Friends are like gold. Treasure them.”

“Mother, that is not true. Friends are people you use to do favors for you. If they don’t, then they are not your friends. Believe me. That is what Uncle Roy and Father said.

“Oh, boy,” said his mother to no one in particular.

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Fast forward to 2018. Turkey, France, Germany and Russia meet to discuss ending fighting in Syria. China and India are continuing to trade with Iran for oil, as the world’s supply cannot support their needs outside of Iran. And, the first anniversary of an Asia-Pacific trade agreement is approaching which includes all TPP partners, but one notable exception.

Saturday is alright for fighting

One of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s earlier songs is indicated in the title above. It is a true rock and roll song which is very much in tune with its lyrics. It is about being young and foolish combining too much time and alcohol with too little judgment.

I was thinking of this song as footage was aired this morning of a fight which occurred on an airplane. The fight started when an off-duty police officer intervened after the steward decided not to serve an unruly and drunk passenger any more beer. Fighting on a plane is not the best venue for fisticuffs or subduing an unruly passenger, so others just got in the way.

The song also is a metaphor for the lying, combative and vindictive President and his sidekick Rudy who are fighting back as much as they can, truth be damned. They are fighting against an ongoing investigation that might reveal the President is guilty of everything he is charged with and more. We knew it would get uglier as the spotlight got hotter. Sadly, the President’s sycophants in Congress and pseudo-news outlets are not letting the truth get in the way of defending the Dishonorable Donald.

The questions one might ask is if the FBI was so against this man, how did he wind up getting elected when even he did not expect it? The sad truth is his followers believe these deep state accusations. This lying man is scorching the press, the FBI and Justice Department for making up all of these things about him. This vindictive man wants to close down papers that are critical of him and use the arms of government to punish people.

It is troubling this schtick seems to work with his followers. This man does not give a goddamn about his followers. He just wants them to think he does with some window dressing changes. As an energy expert said a few months ago, “Donald Trump is not for coal workers, he is for coal owners.” He openly revealed his true colors during the campaign insulting his followers. “I could stand on 5th Avenue and shoot someone and they would still follow me,” he said. Just think about that – my interpretation is he is saying my followers are so stupid, I could commit murder and it would not matter.

The truth is not as exciting as the story this man portrays. Fiction sells. The real story is this is a man with a fragile and insatiable ego who will do anything to keep feeding it. And, that is why he fights.