A Big Week

We have in front of us a big week. This may determine the course of the next year or so in the stock market, the economy, and in politics.

A lot is about to happen. Let’s run it down, day by day.

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I’ll Thrash the Economy For You! (?)

Over the weekend, financial markets were sleeping. They awoke on Monday as if the weekend was a bad dream, filled with chatter about a trade war and how it was actually a good idea.

It’s not a dream, it’s reality. But is this all a stupid attempt to promote a candidate in a tariff-loving industrial district that should be winning a lot bigger? Nevermind the unreality of it, including the fact that the Pennsylvania 18th is certainly going to go away with court-ordered redistricting. There’s a special election on 13 March, and losing it would be very embarrassing.

This might all be a show to avoid losing a place where Trump should be winning bigly.

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DACA Debacle

Should the Democrats push hard on the Dream Act, fighting hard for those who need them and never giving up? Or should they bide their time, crafting whatever small deals they can to save as many people as possible?

There is nothing more repugnant than to put the words “play” and “DACA” in the same sentence, yet that is where we are. We have to know how to play DACA in order to do as much of the right thing as we can. There’s nothing new about this, given that all legislation has to be “played” through the system in Washington. The problem with DACA is that it has become an oversized issue full of pointless symbolism, stripped of its real essence.

This is about the lives of hundreds of thousands of good, decent, and innocent people.

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Fractured World

How many articles will you read about the annual conference at Davos? How many will miss the point?

If you are a news junkie, the answer to the first question is “A lot.” The answer to the second question, sadly, is about the same. In a polarized world where everyone is more enthralled with their own opinion than any sense of objective truth most of what will be written on this conference will be colored.

And that’s a damned shame, because Davos has evolved into Ted-talk-o-rama. It’s really accessible and interesting – and worth reading up on whether you agree with the presenters or not.

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No One is Indispensable

“Politics is not about power and money games, politics is about the improvement of people’s lives”
– Sen Paul Wellstone (D-MN), paraphrasing Eleanor Roosevelt

Sen Al Franken (D-MN) resigned today from the seat once held by Paul Wellstone. It came after many of his colleagues in the Senate expressed a lack of confidence in him from numerous allegations of inappropriate touching of women.

It is a sad day in Minnesota, but we move on. There are many lessons here, but what’s most important is that in a truly open system based on service to the people of the nation no one is indispensable. We are shaping the Democratic Party to be one which stands for principles first.

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No Time for Laughs

What is Trump’s plan to get the United States out of trillions in debt?
Up it to quadrillions of dollars, then declare bankruptcy. He’s a successful businessman.

All kidding aside, it was one Hell of a week. We found out that Mike Flynn did indeed “flip” to give evidence against Trump, although we have yet to learn exactly what he knows. And the Senate rushed through a tax bill scribbled in crayon at the last minute because they were not up against any deadline at all. Or is it because they see the end coming and know they needed to shove something through?

It’s not a time for a bunch of lame jokes, not at all. It’s a time for much better jokes than I have.

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Be Not Afraid

“Be not afraid.”
Saint John Paul II

It may be the start of the joyous holiday season, but it’s time realize a reckoning is upon us. Things are likely to get a whole lot worse.

It’s not about various predators being pushed into the light of day, although that can be unnerving as well. Politics is getting uglier and less predictable, especially with the increasingly crazy president. His eventual removal will bring a sense of relief, but the process is also going to increase tension and possibly even violence.

We are entering a time when we have to manage fear. The only way to manage it is to reject it.

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