Friday follies and fumbles

Happy Friday all. The mornings have been surprisingly cool these last few days of summer here in the northern hemisphere in the US south. We are ending a work week which has several notable follies and fumbles.

At the top of the list is the surprise of many Russians as their troops are hightailing it out of northeastern Ukraine. But, Mr. Putin, but you said we were winning? I think the news brought a smile to many Ukrainians and non-Russians beyond the borders of Ukraine.

Unfortunately, Prince Andrew came out of hiding to pay respects to his mother. It is unfortunate as it brought to the front pages the reactions of his and other Epstein/ Maxwell victims. Mind you a son should be able to grieve his mother, but it is sad that he did what he did to dishonor his position and harm his relationship with her the last few years.

It also saddens me that two famous womanizing ex-presidents had a relationship with Mr. Epstein. I am not saying anything happened, but there is evidence that Messers. Clinton and Trump knew Mr. Epstein. What also saddens me is how easily Trump’s presidential career could have ended before it started if Mike Pence had not rescinded his resignation from the team after the famous “locker room talk” recorded where his running mate bragged on grabbing women by the private parts in public just because he could. Trump survived by painting Hillary Clinton with her husband’s indiscretions. How that worked is beyond me.*

In the southern hemisphere, “Brazil’s presidential hopeful Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva leads incumbent Jair Bolsonaro by 12 points, a Thursday poll showed, while the far-right leader seeking reelection has lost the pace against his leftist rival’s edge ahead of the Oct. 2 vote.” Now, Bolsonaro has already made Trump like statements about the pending election (as his counterpart did before his 2020 election), so take it to the bank – if he loses, Bolsonaro will pull a Trump and call foul.

Finally, Florida governor Ron De Santis is bussing migrants to Democratic majority cities to make it their problem. It should be noted punishing your neighbors is not the wisest of strategies, but these kind of bullying antics are not unusual for DeSantis dating back to when he was a Congressman. I would not be surprised if the governors of these states retaliated as it is obvious shaming DeSantis does not work. An expected retaliation would be to deny state workers reimbursement for any business travel and to suggest conventions be held elsewhere. Nothing in this paragraph should be construed as being helpful to American citizens and is playing up yet another wedge issue.

On the flip side, kudos should be offered to the Biden administration for their role in garnering a deal between the unions and Amtrak. A rail strike helps no one and harms many. Well done for getting it done to all concerned.

*Note: I have been in many locker rooms in my career as an amateur athlete and I must state that I have never heard talk like Mr. Trump said in a locker room. I especially never heard it in a locker room where businessmen were dressing before or after golfing which is the only locker room I could envision him being in. In fact, if I heard someone bragging on grabbing women by the private parts, it would not sit very well with me as that is bragging on sexual assault.

Russian oil company calls for end to Putin’s war

This interesting headline caught my attention yesterday. As you read this, please remember oil is the number one industry in Russia, accounting for a large hunk of their GDP.

Lukoil: Russian oil company calls for an end to Putin’s war by Charles Riley, CNN Business is an article with a major statement. The article can be linked to below, but here are a few salient paragraphs:

Russia’s second largest oil company has broken ranks with President Vladimir Putin.

Lukoil, which produces more than 2% of the world’s crude oil and employs over 100,000 people, has called for an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The company’s board of directors said in a statement to shareholders, staff and customers that it was ‘calling for the soonest termination of the armed conflict.

‘We express our sincere empathy for all victims, who are affected by this tragedy. We strongly support a lasting ceasefire and a settlement of problems through serious negotiations and diplomacy,’ the board added.”

Two comments. First, this is not just one CEO saying this. This statement comes from a Board of Directors, who would take a sober vote on such matters. Second, they would not make such a vote if they did not feel Putin was in the wrong. These folks know what they are risking, but seeing civilians in Ukraine being harmed, protests in Russia and global reaction to Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, they are making a statement to the world and too the Russian people.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/lukoil-russian-oil-company-calls-for-an-end-to-putin-s-war/ar-AAUBqH8?ocid=msedgntp