What I am watching today = June 10, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Oak Tree Diplomacy, Mexico, Hong Kong, San Antonio, Elizabeth Warren, ESPN
✔️ Oaktree planted by Macron, Trump has died
✔️ The sad decline of the sensible company name
✔️ Deal to avert tariffs leaves unease between Trump, GOP
✔️ United Technologies and Raytheon to merge
✔️ ESPN and Fox ante up for sports-betting jackpot
“If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.” -- Anthony Bourdain
Oaktree planted by Macron, Trump has died: DW reports, a sapling planted by the French and US presidents on the White House lawn, meant to symbolize friendship between the two nations, has died. It had been living in US quarantine for the last year.
All you need to know about Trump's foreign policy adroitness.
Mexico rejoices after averting Donald Trump’s tariffs threat: The Economist reports, but the cost—and the length—of a new truce remains unclear.
AMLO claims victory.
Ioan Grillo: Trump’s bullying won’t fix the migrant crisis: The problems in Central America won’t go away, and Mexico will struggle to sustain a crackdown.
Venezuela is running out of fuel.
Liberals plan to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021: source: The Liberal government will announce on Monday that it intends to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, a source tells CTV News. The exact products that will be banned in Canada will be determined after public consultations, according to the source. The move follows a plan by the European Union to force all member states to outlaw single-use plastic cutlery, straws, stir-sticks and cotton swabs by 2021. The United Kingdom is planning to ban the same items.
China’s imports dropped sharply last month, in a fresh sign of anemic demand in the domestic economy, adding to the pressure on Beijing as it struggles to manage trade tensions with the US.
China’s renminbi hits weakest since November.
'Made in China 2025' forges ahead with EV dominance in sight.
China attacks milk ‘hysteria’: Chinese state media condemns reporting of mass purchases of baby milk on its navy visit, saying nothing else in Australia was worth buying.
"Baby formula made in Australia, the US and Europe has been highly sought in China for the past decade... in the wake of the melamine scandal in 2008 when the industrial chemical was found in locally made products, leading to the deaths of six children."
Hong Kong extradition bill: China signaled no retreat from pursuing legislation to allow extradition from Hong Kong, despite massive weekend protests against the proposed law in the Chinese territory.
Yi-Zheng Lian: Hong Kong’s government may cave in to China. Its People will not. Judging by the crowds on Sunday, scorn for the government on the mainland has reached new heights.
AFP: Chinese media blames Hong Kong demo on collusion with West
Gerard Gayou: Who’s afraid of the Belt and Road? The ‘debt trap’ results from Beijing’s blunders. It would be a lousy strategy for global influence.
Why a ban on Huawei is being ignored by some of the oldest U.S. allies in Asia: LAT reports, Southeast Asia is still eyeing Huawei's 5G technology, illustrating an erosion of US influence in the face of growing Chinese investment.
China stays silent on G20 Xi-Trump meeting but says door open for talks: Reuters reports, China is open for more trade talks with Washington but has nothing to announce about a possible meeting between the Chinese and US leaders at this month's G20 summit, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
UK: Deadline for entries in the Conservative Party leadership contest.
Eleven candidates are vying for the leadership of Britain's oldest political party, and the keys to 10 Downing Street.
Simon Kuper: Eight reasons Tory MPs keep getting it wrong https://on.ft.com/2K4JD4D
Easily the best essay and analysis on the current state of British (and American) politics I've read - not exaggerating.
Boris Johnson woos the hard-Brexit brigade as Michael Gove is eclipsed by cocaine woes: Bloomberg reports, Boris Johnson, the front-runner to succeed Theresa May as U.K. prime minister, pledged a hard line on Brexit — including the option of leaving without a deal — as contenders to lead the Conservative Party sought support before the list of candidates is finalized Monday. Johnson, who also said he would scrap the Irish border backstop and withhold £39 billion ($50 billion) owed to the European Union until an agreement is reached, was helped by the discomfort of Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who saw his campaign submerged under revelations that he used cocaine decades ago.
The Times: Hunt leadership bid gains momentum
Defense secretary Penny Mordaunt backs candidate’s ‘experience and values.’
Britain and South Korea sign trade deal: The Times reports, Britain and South Korea have agreed in principle to sign a separate free trade deal in advance of Britain’s scheduled exit from the European Union in October. Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, signed the preliminary agreement with Yoo Myung-hee, the minister of trade, in Seoul today.
OTD: In 1940 Italy declared war on Britain and France.
Breaking: At least 95 killed in attack on ethnic Dogon village in Mali, defense ministry tells FRANCE 24.
TJT: G20 finance chiefs meeting in Fukuoka warn 'intensified' trade dispute could damage global economic growth
“Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified. We will continue to address these risks, and stand ready to take further action.”
Millennials prize experiences: Forget the thread count, plush bathrobes and white goose-down pillows. A vacation is no longer defined by where you stay, but what you do—at least for many millennials.
Pilita Clark: The sad decline of the sensible company name: Many modern businesses offer baffled outsiders no clues about what it is they actually do.
Canada ‘blew’ its chance to be the world’s pot leader: Bloomberg reports, a lack of policy innovation, a messy patchwork of provincial regulations and severe restrictions on marketing and branding have left Canadian pot companies eating the Americans’ dust, according to Neil Selfe, founder, and chief executive officer of Infor Financial Group Inc.
San Antonio as a TV market: It is bigger than Kansas City, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Las Vegas on its own. Combine it with Austin, and you have 1.71 million TV households, which is more than Miami-Fort Lauderdale or Denver, + in the ballpark of Minneapolis-St. Paul and Seattle-Tacoma.
WSJ: Deal to avert tariffs leaves unease between Trump, GOP
GOP senators praised the agreement struck by the president, just days after angering him by criticizing his tactics.
What's the deal POTUS?
Seems like tariffs are a tactic to shape foreign policy and secure domestic constituencies.
It's the age of personality trumping policy, sad.
Trump defends deal with Mexico that critics say will do little to curb flow of migrants: WP reports, with arrests at the border soaring to their highest monthly totals in more than 12 years, the president is under pressure to address the issue.
“His rock-the-boat strategy makes everyone uncomfortable, but at least, in this case, appears validated,” said Dan Eberhart, a Republican operative and donor who supports Mr. Trump. “He extracted something we didn’t have two weeks ago, and if the cost of that is everyone being nervous, I think it’s worth it.”
Guardian: ‘All I have done, no credit!’ Enraged Trump defends US-Mexico migrant deal
President tweets ire at New York Times and opponents as agreement to avoid tariffs comes under scrutiny.
Globalization now: there is no political advantage in grasping reality if your voters don’t. Steven Sloman, a cognitive scientist at Brown University, points out that most people cannot describe the workings of a toilet. The EU and the international trade system are even trickier.
I've enjoyed numerous so-called principled Republicans twisting themselves in knots to get onboard the Trump Tariff Train.
It's all "I don't like tariffs, but we need to stand up to (insert county) and their unfair (insert policy)."
WSJ - Editorial: Paying for Mexico’s wall: Trump “indefinitely suspended” his threat of unilateral tariffs on all U.S. imports from Mexico late Friday, but the result is more relief than policy victory. Mexico will increase its migrant-control efforts, but the use of tariffs to achieve non-trade goals is bad policy that won’t stop with immigration.
Trump upends three decades of US-Mexico bridge-building: FT reports, concerns rise about lasting damage of president’s mercurial approach to trade ties.
“He’s violated all the norms by applying pressure and threatening Mexico in this way. He’s completely ignored what Mexico is already doing on migration at some political cost.” -- Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue
Bloomberg: Democrats hold out on USMCA as Trump walks back Mexico tariffs
Trade, in general, has become a complicated ideological and electoral issue since Trump in his 2016 campaign denounced NAFTA as the worst example of globalism run amok with little regard for US workers.
Trump’s position sets him apart from free-trade Republicans, and it also creates a dilemma for 2020 Democratic candidates. Democrats traditionally have been more skeptical than Republicans when it comes to free trade.
The 2020 presidential race also squeezes the timing for a vote on the bill to implement the USMCA. Lawmakers of both parties have warned that passing such a deal will be politically tricky in an election year. That means the best chance for a vote would be before Congress recesses in August to avoid typical end-of-the-year budget fights.
Gideon Rachman: Trump is making America scary again: The more the president deploys weapons of economic destruction, the more he undermines trust in the US.
Oh: Trump on Monday hinted more details were to come about a migration pact the United States signed with Mexico last week, saying another portion of the deal with Mexico would need to be ratified by Mexican lawmakers.
No deal with Trump is ever a deal - it's just a dead-cat news cycle tactic.
@axios: Trump's tariff threat against Mexico appears to have caused an unintended side effect. Business leaders have begun urgently discussing ways to claw back the virtually unchecked trade powers that Congress has handed to presidents over the past 80 years.
Fed: The probability of a rate cut next month blasted past 80% after the employment report.
The average size of a new car loan hit a record high (about $31k).
Acting budget chief seeks reprieve on Huawei ban: WSJ reports, the White House’s Russell Vought is pushing for a delay in implementing key provisions of a law that restricts U.S. government’s business with Huawei, citing the burdens on US companies that use its technology.
"Astonishingly, the 2016 Clinton campaign conducted no state polls in the final three weeks of the general election and relied primarily on data analytics to project turnout and the state vote." -- Stanley Greenberg
Elizabeth Warren’s nonstop ideas reshape Democratic race — and give her new momentum: WP reports, after a rocky start to her presidential bid, the senator from Massachusetts is drawing energized crowds and standing out in a crowded field.
“She’s got chutzpah,” one Iowa voter said of Elizabeth Warren. “Forgive me, but she’s just got balls.” Via @hollybdc
Guardian: Joe Biden’s lead slips as Elizabeth Warren surges, Iowa poll shows
Former VP at 24% and Sanders second on 16%, but Massachusetts senator and Buttigieg close behind as race tightens.
Jonathan Bernstein: Is Bernie Sanders finished? Democrats like him. They just show no signs of wanting to vote for him this time around.
United Technologies and Raytheon to merge.
FT: UTC deal with Raytheon creates aerospace powerhouse
Concerns about scale of merged entity behind critical supply of military equipment.
Salesforce to buy Tableau Software in $15.7 billion deal: FT reports, acquisition to bolster dominance in managing information and analytics of blue-chip companies.
Nissin to introduce plant-derived plastics to instant noodle cups.
Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console to be fastest ever.
Hadestown wins eight Tonys, including Best Musical.
LAT: Top-seeded UCLA eliminated by Michigan in NCAA super regional upset
@sbell021: Here's a comprehensive list of every school to make a New Year's Six Bowl in football, a Sweet 16 in basketball and qualify for the College World Series in baseball this season:
1. The University of Michigan
End of list.
ESPN and Fox ante up for sports-betting jackpot: WSJ reports, sports gambling is legal in only a handful of states, yet many of the major sports broadcasters are grabbing for a piece of the action.
CBC: The Jays World Series win sparked 'pandemonium' in Toronto. Could the Raptors do the same?
500,000 people celebrated in the streets of Toronto after the Jays 1992 victory.
OTD: In 1829 Oxford won the first Boat Race at Henley-on-Thames.
Around the world in seven years: Taiwanese cyclist's odyssey: It was four years ago when Jacky Chen embarked upon a challenge after quitting his job as an electronics engineer: riding his bicycle across the world. The 40-year-old Taiwanese man has now traversed the Americas, Europe and parts of the Middle East, sleeping in his tent or finding places to rest his head through apps like Couchsurfing. http://bit.ly/2X2s23i
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.