Two Big Strikes Against the Trump Agenda
President Trump’s White House has been dealt its most serious blows yet. The guilty plea by Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer, and the conviction and plea deal of Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager, will rock the administration. Especially damaging: Mr. Cohen’s admission to paying a porn star hush money at Mr. Trump’s request, apparently violating campaign finance laws.
How much will that hurt Mr. Trump’s ability to govern—and to continue deregulating business?
Well, legal and political experts agree that Robert Mueller probably won’t seek to indict Mr. Trump while he is in office, and that lawmakers are likely to shy away from impeachment.
But all eyes are on his allies in Congress. Mr. Trump, Jonathan Bernstein of Bloomberg Opinion argues, is now “an unusually weak president.” The rewards of helping and protecting him may be shrinking.
Women-owned Businesses are Rising. Their revenues? Not so much.
American Express commissioned a report on the state of U.S. women-owned businesses, based on Census Bureau data. Some findings:
• Some 40 percent of U.S. businesses are now female-owned, up from 29 percent in 2007.
• Women of color made much of the difference. While the number of women-owned businesses grew 58 percent from 2007 to 2018, the number owned by women of color grew 163 percent.
• But employment and revenues aren’t on the same course. All these businesses are responsible for 8 percent of total employment (it was 6 percent in 2007) and claim 4.3 percent of total business revenue (up from 4 percent).
Justice Kavanaugh Will Win The Confirmation War
After an extended series of hearings and last-minute accusations, Brett Kavanaugh survived a sad, chaotic arena of politically inspired character assassinations to become a member of the Supreme Court, only to be delayed by a 7th FBI investigation of Prof. Ford’s unsubstantiated allegations.
Based on the available evidence to date, the FBI will most likely conclude they can neither confirm nor deny Prof. Ford’s allegations.
In the process, America lost a long-standing tenet of our legal precedent. The presumption of innocence has now been obliterated by the gender warriors who clearly stated, if you doubt any woman’s accusations about misconduct, you, too, are an abuser.
What a horrendous cost to pay for abandoning and forsaking the rules of fair play into approving/disapproving a nominee. It was a disastrous blow to democracy no matter whether you wanted Kavanaugh approved or not.
A Hard Day’s Work is its Own Reward…at Least in Theory
Consider this: 86% of Americans men and 67% of American women work MORE than 40 hours a week.
Annually, that’s 137 MORE hours than Japanese workers, 260 MORE hours than British workers, and a staggering 499 MORE hours than French workers.
67 Million People in the U.S. Do Not Speak English at Home
A record 67 million people living in the United States do not speak English at home, a new study has revealed, accounting for just over a fifth of the population. The study was carried out by The Center of Immigration Studies. It is based on the newly released Census Bureau Data for 2017.
California has by far the highest number of non-English speakers per state, with 16.5 million people (44 percent of its population) favoring other languages. Texas, where the number is 36 percent, has the second highest percentage, followed by New Mexico, New Jersey, and Nevada. In the country’s five major cities, the numbers are especially high. In New York City and Houston, the figure is 49 percent; in Los Angeles, it is 59 percent; it is 36 percent in Chicago; and 38 percent in Phoenix. The highest percentage per city of anywhere in the country is in Hialeah, Florida, where 95 percent of the population do not speak English.
Monday Night Football
For Americans who fear the country is in decline on a social level, a sports analogy might demonstrate that very well. The passage of time has not been kind to Monday Night Football. Once the biggest cultural event on TV, it is now a telecast that is actually hard to watch because of awful production values and lack of star power.
When Roone Arledge put together the broadcast for ABC in the early 1970’s, he eventually selected three major stars to call the game: Frank Gifford, Don Meredith, and the uber-controversial Howard Cosell. Ratings were enormous as politicians and celebrities swarmed into stadiums hoping for a few minutes of recognition.
John Lennon even showed up in the booth. America and MNF were made for each other!
No longer. As with many other television situations, the Monday night broadcast has deteriorated. The opening song by Hank Williams, Jr. is tired and the montage over it headache-inducing. The show goes downhill from there.
Our PC culture has badly damaged spontaneity and creative analysis. If Howard Cosell were alive today, he’d be eaten alive by the grievance mob. And there is no Roone Arledge to protect him. Many football announcers now fall back on clichés; they are masters and mistresses of the obvious, living life in the safe zone.
And it’s not just TV that’s in trouble. The Miss America telecast in September was a disaster, losing 20 percent of its viewers from last year.
Potential Democratic Presidential Candidate
Word on the street is that former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg may run for president as a Democrat in 2020.
Bloomberg, who was a decent mayor, has been an independent but realizes that he needs the Democratic machine to defeat Donald Trump. Like President Trump, Michael Bloomberg is a billionaire with vast business holdings. He is generally a liberal thinker but not far-left like Bernie Sanders, who is also likely to run.
Trump and Bloomberg Don’t Like Each Other.
Don’t Fear a Flattening Yield Curve
The yield curve is essentially the difference between interest rates on short-term government bonds and long-term government bonds. Every time since 1960 that it has inverted—when long-term rates are lower than short-term rates—a recession has followed. For much of this year, the spread has been at its narrowest level in more than a decade. Many economists believe it will invert next year.
But Jay Powell, the Fed chairman, has played down the yield curve’s significance as an omen. The curve is “just one factor that you want to look at” when setting interest-rate policy, he said. Of the economy as a whole, he added, “there’s no reason to think that the probability of a recession in the next year or two is at all elevated.”
Counterpoint: Martin Feldstein, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan and a professor at Harvard, argues in a WSJ op-ed that a long, deep recession is looming—and the Fed has few tools to solve it.