South Africa, Stoner, Environment, Walt Disney, Cleveland Browns

Marc Ross Daily May.png

May 8, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

South Africa, Stoner, Environment, Walt Disney, Cleveland Browns


✔️ South Africa’s president faces verdict from disillusioned voters

✔️ The stoner as gym rat

✔️ Preference for environment over economy largest since 2000

✔️ Walt Disney unveiled its new slate of movies through 2027

✔️ OBJ aims to make Cleveland Browns the 'new Patriots'


US-Hungary: Trump will welcome Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary to the White House on May 13, 2019.

Crude calculation: The Canadian government's likely decision to proceed with a key oil-pipeline expansion before October's election is a risky gambit. PM Justin Trudeau is deeply unpopular in oil-rich areas and relies on environmentalists as part of his center-left coalition. Developing the Trans Mountain project may make economic sense for a country short on shipping capacity, but the political cost could be high.

Murray Brewster: Scheer rolls out an ambitious defense agenda, but critics ask: Where's the money?

The Canadian Conservative leader's foreign policy speech was a grab-bag of old party favorites - minus the specifics.

Turkey election result overturned: Turkey’s election board on Monday canceled the results of Istanbul’s mayoral election, which was won by the opposition Republican People’s party’s main candidate, and ordered a rerun of the race, raising fears of further political upheaval. The decision sent the Turkish lira to its lowest level since October.

Turkey's rule of law is looking distinctly shaky after its electoral body apparently bowed to pressure from Erdogan and invalidated the result for Istanbul's mayoral election.

South Africa’s president faces verdict from disillusioned voters: NYT reports, millions will cast ballots today, voting for the first time since President Cyril Ramaphosa assumed power last year. Many question whether he can outflank rivals and root out the corruption that has come to define the African National Congress, the party of Nelson Mandela.

Brexit Outlook: Will Brexit be sorted out by its Halloween deadline? Not according to a CNBC global survey of chief financial officers, 35.6% of whom expect the EU to have to grant the UK yet another extension at that point. A fifth see another referendum as being on the cards, and 26.7% are confident that PM May will get some sort of deal through her fractious Parliament. 

Robert Shrimsley: A new Brexit divide is driving the UK to a second vote: Intransigent purists on both sides are going to force the issue back to the electorate.

"Brexit is not going to stop being the faultline of British politics. There is no Brexit fix and no speedy return to politics as normal."

Polly Toynbee: With Brexit talks floundering, a public vote is May’s only chance of getting her deal through: This failing prime minister will leave office with nothing unless she compromises and allows the electorate a final say.

Prime Minister Theresa May is now close to setting out a timetable for her departure from office.

MoD boosts space defense as threat to satellites grows: Britain is planning new defense and military surveillance capabilities in space as concern grows over “increasing and diversifying” threats. Whitehall’s first defense space strategy, obtained by The Times, has identified ten key risks to British satellites.

FT: New Zealand urged to ban foreign donations to counter Chinese

Parliamentary committee is investigating meddling by Beijing after row over influence.

Richard McGregor: Time for Australia's campaigning leaders to debate China?

Politicians avoid arousing voter concern despite Huawei and South China Sea disputes.

China completing more ballistic missile subs, with plans for a new version: Defense News reports, China has launched two more nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines and might fit anti-ship ballistic missiles on a new cruiser class on the verge of entering service, according to a new Pentagon report. 

Chinese companies face surging write-offs: Nikkei reports, after a global investment spree, impairments weigh on tech and energy companies.

China backtracked on nearly all aspects of trade deal: Reuters reports, the diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations, sources said.

Trump turns the screw in US-China trade dispute: FT reports, a threat to raise tariffs fuelled by fury at Beijing’s tactics and confidence in economy.

The yen continues to climb amid US-China trade tensions.

TJT: Nikkei drops to five-week low as US-China trade worries deepen


Making connections with the new digital consumer: To thrive in a world of apps, platforms, and privacy concerns, marketers have to become multitaskers.

"According to PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook, digital advertising is growing at a rate that is twice that of all advertising, and of the overall entertainment and media sector."

The stoner as gym rat: Many people who frequently use cannabis also seem to be people who frequently exercise.


White House tells McGahn to rebuff subpoena for Mueller documents: WSJ reports, the White House directed former White House counsel Don McGahn to rebuff a congressional subpoena for documents related to the special counsel investigation.

As Trump seeks to run on the economy, trade war threatens to roil 2020 race: WP reports, the trade war has exposed a rift among Trump allies, with some pushing for a quick resolution to calm the markets, and others warning that a weak deal with China could leave the president politically vulnerable.

It's the economy: Jobs are growing at a faster rate in Trump country than in the Democratic-leaning urban and coastal areas that long had been a main driver of US economic expansion. 

US farmers are struggling with multi-decade low grain prices amid trade uncertainty.

Fewer in US say it is a good time to buy a house: Gallup reports, Americans are less positive about homebuying now than at any time since the mid-2000s housing bust and ensuing economic recession. Currently, 61% say it is a good time to buy a house, the lowest since 53% held this opinion in 2008.

Preference for environment over economy largest since 2000: Gallup reports, by the widest margin since 2000, more Americans believe environmental protection should take precedence over economic growth when the two goals conflict. Sixty-five percent now choose the environment, up eight percentage points from a year ago, while 30% choose the economy.

By 65% to 30%, more Americans prioritize environment than economy

Gallup: Non-college whites had affinity for GOP before Trump

The group's support for Trump may largely reflect their political leanings as much as their affinity for Trump, as currently, 59% of non-college whites identify as Republicans or say they are independents who lean toward the Republican Party.

Morning Consult Political Intelligence: based on over 15,000 interviews with registered voters over the last week:

Biden's surge continues: The former Vice President picked up another 4 points, leaving him with 40% of the vote share and a 21-point lead over Sanders. Biden also picked up an additional 6 points in early primary states, giving him a strong lead with 44% of the vote.

Older voters continue to coalesce around Biden: Since his announcement, Biden has seen a 14-point gain with voters ages 55-64 and a 12-point gain with those 65+.

Sanders is on the decline: The Vermont senator has 19% of the vote share, down from a high of 27% in February. O'Rourke and Buttigieg have also slipped in the last few weeks.

Biden - 44% 
Sanders - 20% 
Buttigieg - 6%
Harris - 6%
Warren - 6% 
Booker - 4%
O'Rourke - 3%


A vision of the dark future of advertising: Companies will know more about you than you can even imagine.

Walt Disney unveiled its new slate of movies through 2027 following the $71.3 billion acquisition of the major entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox. The company on Tuesday listed several former 21st Century Fox properties, including the release date of “Avatar 2” in 2021, a new untitled “Kingsman” movie and “New Mutants,” from the “X-Men” series, in 2020. Disney also said it plans to release three future untitled “Star Wars” films every two years between 2022 and 2026.

FT: Crypto exchange Binance says hackers stole $40m of bitcoin

The exchange said 7,000 digital tokens were siphoned off in single transaction.

Toyota became the first Japanese company to report annual sales topping ¥30 trillion, thanks in large part to brisk sales in China. 

GM autonomous vehicle unit to receive $1.15 billion investment from Honda and others.


Iceland’s next big thing: bananas: An Icelandic architect has a $37m proposal to tempt tourists and offer locals relief from long winters: heated biodomes that will re-create Mediterranean conditions and grow tropical fruit. 

Jo Ellison: Some see Jack Dorsey as a guru — I’m just worried for him: The tech entrepreneur’s status as some sort of wellness expert is a neat example of our basic gender bias.

"He drinks “salt juice” every morning, a mix of water, Himalayan salts and lemon, which is also dispensed among his colleagues at Twitter offices around the world. He walks five miles to work on those days he goes to the office, and does high-intensity interval training on those he doesn’t. He starts each day with an ice-cold bath and swears by infrared lit saunas. He tries to do two hours of daily meditation and consumes barely any food."

Dave Chappelle to receive the 2019 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.


Guardian: Odell Beckham Jr. aims to make Cleveland Browns the 'new Patriots'

“I plan on being [in Cleveland] for the next five years and trying to bring as many championships there as possible, turning [the Browns] into the new Patriots,” Beckham told GQ in an interview published on Tuesday.

WSJ: Liverpool pulls off a shocking comeback against Barcelona in Champions League

The English club overturned a three-goal first-leg deficit to advance to the final for the second straight year.

"If Liverpool was going to fail in its herculean task against Barcelona, then manager Jürgen Klopp wanted his team to fail beautifully. Klopp saw a strange kind of freedom in that. He reminded his players before the game that what they were trying to do was impossible. Failure, on this one particular night, would be understandable."

“We know that this club is the mix of atmosphere, emotion, desire and football. My heart was pounding like crazy,” Klopp said.

The Times: The greatest night in Anfield’s European history

'I will remember this forever': Klopp hails Liverpool after Barça comeback

Champions League - (2nd Match):

Tottenham v Ajax - Today @ 3:00 pm ET (Ajax +1)

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.