Presidential Primary Debate, G20, US versus China, NRA, Station F, BMW, Bob Ley

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What I am watching today = June 27, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

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Presidential Primary Debate, G20, US versus China, NRA, Station F, BMW, Bob Ley


✔️ US versus China: A new era of great power competition

✔️ Trump arrives at G20 summit with a full agenda and list of grievances

✔️ Tech incubator Station F ‘putting France on the map’

✔️ BMW electric profits to rival traditional engines by 2025

✔️ ESPN anchor Bob Ley retires after 40 years with network


Welcome to Debate-A-Palooza #2

It is the night of the bigs.

Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be the marquee matchup as the second group of Dem candidates face off tonight.

The Democrats hold round two of their first presidential primary debate in Miami starting at 9:00 pm ET.

Unlike yesterday’s "children's table" debate, featuring the other half of the Democratic field, most of the leading contenders to take on Trump will be on stage tonight.

Though Julian Castro surged and Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, and Beto O'Rourke delivered serviceable performances, only Elizabeth Warren was among the big-hitters.

Sure Tim Ryan has some nice moments as he took a few swipes at the coastal elites that dominate and fund his party, but he should take his "yoga strategy" home and start plans for a statewide campaign.

Warren's performance was well-received and displayed passion, reminding voters she sees an economy that is “doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at a top” but “just not doing great for people who are trying to get a prescription filled”.

Not surprisingly she won loud applause for her defense of Medicare for All.

Looking at tonight spectacle the main drama will concern the performance of Joe Biden.

You have to think his closest rivals, including Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg, will want to make the case that Joey B is too old and out-of-touch to justify his frontrunner status.

Will they tread carefully, given the national and cross-party affection Biden enjoys, or look to take him down a notch.

You can't win an election with a good debate performance, but you can certainly lose an election with a poor debate performance.

Also, will Trump get more attention and more jabs tonight?

Mitch McConnell got more airtime and noise than the current occupant of the Oval Office, the ultimate person these Dem candidates need to defeat.



China to insist US lifts Huawei ban as part of trade truce: WSJ reports, Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to present President Trump with a set of terms the US should meet before Beijing is ready to settle a market-rattling trade confrontation, raising questions of whether the two leaders will agree to relaunch talks.

Sino-US trade truce hopes rekindle risk appetite: Reuters reports, risk appetite returned to world markets on Thursday following a media report the United States and China have tentatively agreed to a truce ahead of a highly-anticipated weekend meeting of the two nations' leaders in Tokyo.

NYT: US versus China: A new era of great power competition, but without boundaries

Bloomberg: Trump warns of ‘Plan B’ on China trade: Billions more in tariffs

“My Plan B with China is to take in billions and billions of dollars a month and we’ll do less and less business with them,” Trump said Wednesday during an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. The White House announced his meeting with Xi would take place at 11:30 am on Saturday in Osaka.

Bloomberg: Happy talk of Trump-Xi truce masks twisting path to a trade deal

"The US and China are headed for an uneasy trade-war truce and a return to the negotiating table. While financial markets may cheer such a breakthrough, the celebrations may be short-lived when the long path to a deal is considered."

BREAKING: Huawei staff have worked with China's military on projects ranging from AI to radio communications, indicating closer ties than previously acknowledged

"While (the research papers) don’t prove that Huawei itself has close links to the Chinese military, they do show that the company’s relationship -- or at least that of its employees -- with the PLA is more nuanced than its executives have previously outlined publicly."

Nikkei: Baffled by Trump, Chinese propagandists waffle ahead of Osaka

Surprise TV airing of pro-US romance movie reflects Xi Jinping's wavering.

Japan Times: On approach to Osaka G20, Trump whips up storm for Abe on defense and trade

NYT: Heading to G20, Trump once again assails America’s friends

Arriving at G20, Trump once again assails America’s friend
s: WSJ reports, Trump landed in Japan on Thursday, and opened his latest foreign trip by lashing out at allies. The president’s choice of targets, Japan, Germany, and India, seemed directly tied to his schedule of meetings.

Trump arrives for G20 summit after lashing out at allies: FT reports, US president’s attacks come as negotiators are locked in difficult negotiations over communiqué.

Trump arrives at G20 summit with a full agenda and list of grievances: WP reports, the president’s arrival in Japan was trademark Trump as he used the days and hours before his visit to ratchet up his rhetoric against allies and even his hosts.

AP: Trade, climate change, Iran focus as G20 leaders meet

Euro economy: A gauge of economic confidence in the euro-area dropped to the lowest level in nearly three years, with the decline primarily driven by industry malaise.

Germany's Merkel seen shaking again in Berlin: DW reports, Angela Merkel has again been seen shaking at a public appointment, after a previous incident was attributed to heat and dehydration. Germany is in the midst of a heat wave that has seen temperatures soar.

Greece’s voters turn to establishment amid Europe’s populist wave: WSJ reports, Greece is expected to elect a conservative leader from an eminent political family next month—and become the first European country in recent times to revert to its establishment after being led by populist outsiders.

Simon Kuper: Boris, Corbyn, and other English archetypes: Why public-school bounders, comedy toffs and cycling socialists appeal to the nation’s nostalgics.


Tech incubator Station F ‘putting France on the map’: Second anniversary follows record fundraising year for nation’s start-ups.

"more than 1,000 tech start-ups have taken advantage of Station F’s cheap workspaces, where desks cost from €195 a month."

According to the 2016 American Community Survey, languages spoken at home include:

Spanish – 40.5 million
Chinese – 3.4 million
Tagalog – 1.7 million
Vietnamese – 1.5 million
Arabic – 1.2 million
French – 1.2 million


NYT: Democrats diverge on economy and immigration in first debate

Democratic contenders spar over healthcare and migration
: FT reports, Warren able to set much of agenda during first debate between presidential candidates.

Reuters: Democrats clash on healthcare, border in scrappy first US presidential debate

AP: Health care, immigration top issues at Democrats’ 1st debate

On climate change
: "Not all Americans are equally convinced of its immediate threat. Americans living in the Northeast (67%) or the West (67%) are more likely than those living in the Midwest (60%) or the South (53%) to believe climate change is now occurring." -- Gallup

CNBC: Democrats take aim at big business, spar over health care in the first 2020 presidential debate

Democrats led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren targeted big corporations and aimed to boost workers in the first debate of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Targets of Warren and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker included oil companies, private prisons, pharmaceutical companies, and opioid makers.

The knocks on corporate America come as the party increasingly focuses on arguing big business has hurt US consumers and the working class.

Bloomberg: Warren emerges unscathed on first night of Democratic debate


⚡ Castro had the best night
⚡ Warren + O'Rourke did no damage
⚡ Mitch McConnell + Big Pharma bad dudes
⚡ Klobuchar = competency
⚡ Ryan seemed too amped, no flow
⚡ Trump not a hot topic
⚡ China, China, China
⚡ Climate > manufacturing jobs
⚡ 120 mins is a long time

@murphymike: Scorecard: Among 1%ers DiBlasio, Castro & Delaney did best at getting badly needed attention. Warren just so-so, needs work on tone. Beto biggest loser; no restart. Booker did himself most good. Amy K didn’t get moment she so badly needs. And Tulsi will get a new cult following.

@jheil: End of night subjective assessment + collective views of Obama/Clinton campaign vets: Good nights = @ewarren, @JulianCastro, @amyklobuchar, @CoryBooker. Bad night = @BetoORourke. Not moving the needle meaningfully = everyone else.

@TimAlberta: FWIW, when @maddow came on stage during the shift change at intermission, she got louder applause inside the venue than any of the candidates so far tonight

@NateSilver538 @MorningConsult: 2020 National Dem Primary:

Biden 36%
Sanders 18%
Warren 12%
Buttigieg 6%
Harris 6%
O'Rourke 4%
Booker 3%
Yang 1%
Klobuchar 1%
Castro 1%
Gillibrand 1%
Gabbard 1%

Candidate odds for DEM presidential nominee:

Joe Biden +200
Bernie Sanders +500
Kamala Harris +500
Elizabeth Warren +600
Pete Buttigieg +600
Beto O'Rourke +900
Andrew Yang +1,600
Tulsi Gabbard +2,200
Bill de Blasio +2,500
Amy Klobuchar +3,300
Cory Booker +3,300
Steve Bullock +5,000
John Hickenlooper +6,600
Julian Castro +6,600
Kirsten Gillebrand +8,000
Jay Inslee +10,000
Tim Ryan +10,000
Marianne Williamson +10,000
Eric Swalwel +10,000
Michael Bennett +10,000
John Delaney +10,000
Seth Moulton +10,000
Wayne Messam +10,000

Edward Luce: Too many Democrats are chasing one goal: The debate between the contenders to take on Donald Trump showed the need to trim the field.

Janet Hook: This is not your father's Democratic Party: Debate shows how leftward it has moved.

Technical difficulties are every news producer’s nightmare.
Especially during a political debate.
On live national television.
With President Trump watching — and mocking — in real-time.

NRA splits with PR firm, lobbyist and TV amid infighting: AP reports, The latest turmoil emerged just a year before the critical 2020 presidential elections when the NRA’s ability to influence the outcome could decide the fate of gun rights. Lobbyist Chris Cox, long viewed as the likely successor to longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre, was placed on administrative leave about a week ago by the NRA, which claimed he was part of a failed attempt to extort LaPierre and push him out. It also came within hours of the association officially severing ties with Ackerman McQueen, the Oklahoma-based public relations firm that has shaped some of the NRA’s most memorable messages in the past decades.


Brigadoon Annapolis 2019 | Salon Dinner + Sailing
September 12-13

Starting Thursday, September 12 make plans to attend Brigadoon Annapolis | Salon Dinner + Sailing

Dinner will be held at Flamant on Thursday, September 12 and a morning cruise of the Chesapeake Bay will take place on Friday, September 13.

More details + tickets - here.


FT: Private equity races to spend record $2.5tn cash pile

Dealmaking at highest level since lead-up to global financial crisis.

Amazon is adding another option for customers to get packages from the online retailer: picking them up at Rite Aid drugstores.

FT: BMW electric profits to rival traditional engines by 2025

Forecast is one of first examples of an auto group recouping its investment.

RealReal wants to sell Wall Street on shabby chic for the 1%: Bloomberg reports, the reseller of expensive secondhand clothing, handbags, and jewelry is looking to raise $270 million in this week’s IPO.


HBD: JJ Abrams, film director, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), 53


AP: ESPN anchor Bob Ley retires after 40 years with network

The soccer team built to beat the US
: With increased funding from the sport’s top clubs and a swaggering style, France has emerged as a superpower—designed to take down the Americans.

Female footballers grab the world’s attention — finally: FT reports, France, the US, and the Netherlands attract crowds as large as their men’s national teams.

FIFA Women's World Cup = Quarterfinals


Norway vs. England @3:00 pm ET


France vs. United States @ 3:00 pm ET


Italy vs. Netherlands @ 9:00 am ET
Germany vs. Sweden @ 12:30 pm ET


Tuesday, July 2

Norway/England vs. USA/France @3:00 pm ET

Wednesday, July 3

Germany/Sweden vs. Italy/Netherlands @ 3:00 pm ET

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


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.