Do You Hear What I Hear?

In the Middle of All the Political News This week, I hear a Christmas Carol in My Head

 

The last few days have been dizzying in the speed and complexity of revelations about the Trump administration. To say anything less would be the Mother of All Understatements. It is coming fast and furious now, from all directions. More – much more – to follow, and at an increasing pace, I would wager.

I was trying to sort through the latest batch of all this a couple of days ago. Suddenly, in the back of my head (kind of an echo chamber effect – apparently,

This is What Betrayal Looks Like on a Grand Scale

The Kurds Suffered Over 11,000 deaths in Our Shared Fight against ISIS.                    Trump Thrashed That Sacrifice as an Afterthought

 

Let’s be clear about two things up front. First, the Kurds fought hard – are still fighting – for their own, valid reasons. They were not just helping us. Second, there are ties between the Syrian Kurds and the PKK, a shadowy group of Turkish Kurds fairly described often as Marxist terrorist. All of that is true. None of it justifies what Trump has done.

Trump’s precipitous decision (Whim? Reaction?

The Business Roundtable: Is This the Future of Capitalism?

We May Have Been Offered the Right Question at Just the Right Time

 

A New Vision of Economics in America

The Business Roundtable is a visible powerhouse in the American business community. It represents an important level of leadership within that community. It represents a significant amount of economic power.

The Roundtable pronounced last August that the purpose of a corporation is to promote “An economy that serves all Americans.” People took note; a different dialogue began.

This statement of purpose is a dramatic change from those that preceded it since the first such statement in 1978.

Impeachment: Familiar Ground, New Territory, and the Pull of History

Many Crossroads are Ahead. Oh, Yeah- and Elections are Next Year

 

Well, quite the week last week, wasn’t it? Impeachment went from a remote possibility with vague parameters to a fast-moving train. Looking around us now, we see interesting landmarks on our journey.

Two of these are strangely familiar.

One, it seemed that the move to impeach was stuck well short of enough votes to move forward. What happened? Seven House freshmen, all with military and national security service backgrounds, stood up and called for impeachment. Five of them are from tough,

Guns and Health Care: Touchstones or Third Rails?

 

Yes, They Are

Some interesting currents are afoot as we approach a presidential election year. The Democrats have choices to make on two defining issues. Guns and health care are at once rewarding and dangerous for Democrats

Whether one agrees with her positions on these two issues, Elizabeth Warren has done an admirable job of defining the question. Will her party go bold or go home?

There are plenty of nuances at work, of course. But in general, there are two Democratic approaches. Some lean toward modest positions. They do so,

Random Thoughts from a Mind Adrift

Assorted Thoughts About Everything and About Nothing

Do you ever have one of those days where your brain will not be still, but neither will it focus? Yeah, me, too. I have decided that when such periods appear, one might as well enjoy the ride. It’s a bit like high speed cruising through a bookstore you like. All sorts of interesting odds and ends can pop up.

I made one of those “bookstore drive throughs” recently. I thought I would share with you what popped up. I hope you find some of it amusing,

Use the Power of the Marketplace to Drive Social and Political Change

 

Changes People Seek by Politics and Government Can Be Helped by Free Markets

We Know the Big Issues

The case can be made that a good portion of the American public agrees on what we want as a nation, although we may have some differences on the details. This is the case even this far from the election. For example, most Americans want some version of the following:

  • Sensible gun policies. Break the growing randomness of deadly violence in public places. The vast majority want universal background checks and some form of registration.

With Friends Like Us, Who Needs Enemies?

 

Let’s review a few of the specifics.

EUROPE

  • President Trump has trash talked NATO from the beginning. The only time NATO activated its “attack on one is an attack on all” clause was when we are attacked on 9/11. Our allies responded, including with many deployments to Afghanistan at our request. Now our allies wonder if we would answer when called. Border states in Eastern Europe certainly wonder. So too the Russians. We are now the weak link in NATO. That was unthinkable for over 50 years.
  • Trump more than once tried to insert himself into the British elections.

The Fortune 500 List is Out. You Should Care About That

 

Some Really Interesting Trends Merit Our Attention, America

The Times, They Are A-Changing

Every year, Fortune magazine comes out with a list of the world’s top 500 corporations, with accompanying analysis and articles.

I don’t know the detailed history, but I would feel safe in betting that for many, many years, that list was about 90% American companies. More on why that is important later. For now, just note that there is a lot more diversity on the list – and another giant.

It was inevitable that American dominance of that list would decline.

Immigration, Refugees, & The Human Condition – Who Are “The Others?”

 

We have Learned – or Relearned – Some Hard and Important Lessons

First, a Correction

A few days ago, I mentioned three areas in this subject domain that are especially egregious. One of these became known the day I published the blog. This was denying automatic citizenship to children born of US parents serving overseas.

Two days later, the policy was clarified. While still reprehensible and immoral, it is much more narrowly focused than originally thought. Read more about it here: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/29/755506286/what-do-new-citizenship-rules-for-kids-of-u-s-military-workers-abroad-mean  

Now, on to today’s discussion.