What a month! The news and events of this last month have been as volatile as the stock market. Trump, Comey, Mueller, Stormy, Rosenstein; it’s been a war of words and innuendos, as well as a torrent of unethical (maybe illegal) leaks and claims. Along with it has come an ongoing turnstile of White House and administration nominees and officials.
It’s amazing with all the turmoil how much has been accomplished. More on this later.
Views on the Holocaust
The conference on Jewish National Claims Against Germany released the results of a survey of 1,350 American adults with some disturbing facts.
- 2/3 of Americans did not know what Auschwitz was.
- 11% of Americans and 20% of millennials were not sure they had heard of the Holocaust.
- 30% of Americans and 40% of millennials believe no more than three million Jews died in the Holocaust. Experts believe the number is six million.
Qatar Airways nabs title of world’s number one airline. Qatar Airways was tabbed as the world’s best airline in 2017, according to the annual World Airline Awards published by Skytrax. Gulf rivals Emirates, which finished first last year in the rankings, dropped to No. 4 this year, behind No. 2 Singapore Airlines and No. 3 All Nippon Airways. Cathay Pacific rounded out the top five of the rankings.
U.S. to Exit Iran/Nuke Deal
Keeping another campaign promise, President Trump, as well as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and a number of other observers, felt we gave away too much in the 2015 deal. The only thing they did was put their nuclear arms program on hold—nothing more. They have continued to enrich uranium and develop their ballistic missile program to carry nuclear warheads.
We removed all the crushing economic sanctions and gave them $11.9 billion over a two-year period, which they have spent spreading more terrorism throughout the Middle East.
Since the deal, the mullah’s in Iran have increased their military budget 40% while their economy and their people continue to suffer.
Comments on the Economy
According to Gregory Daco, Chief U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics, the U.S. economy is doing pretty well.
Despite an uncertain outlook for the future, the U.S. economy activity remains solid. Consumer confidence remains strong. Employment continues to grow strongly. Wage growth is gradually picking up. There’s a stronger growth in exports and business. The travel industry has been outpacing the economy and the trend appears positive.
Based on hard data readings, the U.S. economy is growing at a 2%. Although the growth percentage is not as high as expected, Daco provides some encouragement. He will “take 2% any day if it’s sustainable.”
Changes at the “Scouts”
After about 108 years the Boy Scouts of America, more familiarly known as the Boy Scouts, has made a significant change. In February, girls can join the Scouts, now to be known as Scouts BSA.
Much to my surprise, the membership of the Girl Scouts is three times the size of the Boy Scouts.
I am puzzled by the name change and even somewhat incredulous that girls can or want to join the Scouts—in their own units.
So why did they bother with these changes? I think to avoid the harassing of the politically-correct police led by the ACLU.
BlackRock Wants CEOs to Show They do Good
Larry Fink of BlackRock is sending a letter to CEOs of public companies saying that they must show how they contribute to society, or risk losing the money-management firm’s support.
The leverage: BlackRock has $6 trillion under management, making it the biggest investor in public companies in the world.
Mr. Fink’s letter pits the investment mogul against many of the companies that he’s invested in, which hold the view that their only duty is to produce profits for their shareholders, a position long held by Nobel Prize economist Milton Freidman.
IG Report Delayed Again
Michael Horwitz, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, has once again delayed issuing his report on the conduct of the FBI and its top executives. Maybe’ he’s waiting for a new suit. This is long overdue.
A snippet of the report was leaked in April excoriating Andrew McCabe, one of Comey’s key deputies, for his unethical work in the Clinton email probe and violations of FBI policy.
It seems almost certain when the final report is released Comey will get similar treatment. Releasing the report a little earlier could have cost Comey some book sales, but saved the rest of us a lot of noise and commotion.
In Spite of All the Battering
With all the Trump haters and a hostile antagonistic media trying everything they can to derail the Trump presidency and his administration—like nothing we have ever seen, in at least my lifetime—has still managed to accomplish a fair amount of positive governing.
Since the election of Mr. Trump in November of 2016:
- The economy has grown almost 3%
- The 2017 tax plan appears to be generating positive results in raising wages and creating economic expansion
- The 3.9% unemployment rate is at its lowest point in almost 20 years
- Hispanic and black unemployment are at the lowest point in history
- Our military has put ISIS on its last legs
- The stock market is up over 20%, although quite volatile
- Positive steps are unfolding on the Korean peninsula. Three Americans just released and a summit planned in Singapore on June 12th.
Pretty good for someone the haters claim is unfit to govern.