Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, Gen Zers, Digital Advocacy, Mac Pro, Keanu Reeves

Marc Ross Daily May.png

What I am watching today = June 4, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Queen Elizabeth II, Gen Zers, Digital Advocacy, Mac Pro, Keanu Reeves


✔️ Trump is all insults and gripes as European trip begins

✔️ Teens put off getting their licenses and buying cars

✔️ GOP lawmakers mull vote to stop Trump’s tariffs on Mexico

✔️ FANG stocks plunged on the news of antitrust probes

✔️ Jay-Z is now considered a billionaire


LAT: Trump is all insults and gripes as European trip begins — until he meets the queen

"Trump set a cantankerous tone for his five-day European trip, tweeting out a series of attacks and complaints."

"Trump was, by contrast, gracious in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, whom he praised as the embodiment of “duty and patriotism.”"

Trump promises Britain a post-Brexit trade deal: Reuters reports, Trump promised Britain a substantial post-Brexit trade deal, quipping to outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May that she should stick around to clinch it though she is due to step down.

May to take tough line with Trump on China: The Times reports, PM Theresa May is set for a confrontation with Trump over Huawei on the second day of his state visit as she rebuffs US demands to block the Chinese company from a role in Britain’s 5G network.

Corbyn makes a very public stand against Trump visit.

Tory leadership race: James Cleverly has withdrawn from the Conservative leadership race because MPs are unwilling to “skip a generation” for the next prime minister.

OTD: In 1940, after the retreat from Dunkirk, Winston Churchill delivered a speech containing the famous line “We will fight them on the beaches . . .”; 

Mexico is exploring possible retaliation to the threat of US tariffs on all of its exports but would rather convince the Trump administration that a negotiated solution is in both countries’ best interest.

The Mexican peso fell further on Monday amid trade worries.

Trump’s Mexico tariffs leave US business reeling: FT reports, America’s business executives are struggling to figure out how the global trading system will be reshaped by Donald Trump’s policies after his decision last week to open a second front in his trade war by targeting Mexico.

Mexico was also the second biggest national exporter of goods to the US last year after China, which ships more than $500bn a year to America.

Brazil: Support for Bolsonaro has been deteriorating.

Kremlin dismisses Trump tweet on alleged Venezuela withdrawal: Reuters reports, the Kremlin said on Tuesday it didn't know where Trump had got the idea Moscow had removed most of its military specialists from Venezuela, who it said continued to work there.

Italian PM warns Salvini to stop causing trouble: The Times reports, Italy’s prime minister has threatened to resign unless his two deputies stop fighting each other, a move that shortens the odds on new elections being held in September.

Italy's manufacturing is in contraction mode, but the declines are moderating.

France chalked up the biggest number of manufacturing and R&D projects by foreign investors in Europe last year, a report said Tuesday, boosting President Emmanuel Macron's claim the country is increasingly open for business. EY counted 144 major research and development deals -- an 85 percent surge from 2017 -- and 339 manufacturing projects, pushing France past Germany or Britain for the first time.

Germany: SPD's simmering identity crisis erupts: DW reports, the resignation of Social Democratic leader Andrea Nahles reveals the drastic toll that long-term problems have taken on Germany's oldest political party. Part of the SPD's woes lie with Angela Merkel's government.

China warns citizens over US travel: FT reports, the government cites ‘repeated harassment’ by US authorities as tensions between countries mount.

Soybean stockpile: China will stockpile up to 7 million tonnes of soybeans bought from the United States during an earlier truce in the trade war between the nations.

Tiananmen at 30: World grapples with crackdown's consequences: China's ensuing economic rise empowers Beijing but spurs backlash. https://s.nikkei.com/2QLyJBC

Thirty years after the Tiananmen killings Beijing remains a closed regime.

30 years after Tiananmen – Is China's pro-democracy movement losing steam? DW reports, many pro-democracy activists fled China after the Tiananmen massacre, but they continue to support dissidents from abroad. With Beijing intensifying its crackdown on civil society, the movement faces new challenges.

Minxin Pei: Tiananmen and the end of Chinese enlightenment: Thirty years on, Beijing's leaders will struggle to suppress liberal ideas if the economy runs into trouble. https://s.nikkei.com/2QI8c85

Hackers steal student data from Australia's top university: DW reports, a "sophisticated operator" has broken the cyber defenses of the Australian National University (ANU) and stolen years' worth of sensitive student data. Many of ANU's ex-students now work for the Australian government.


Meatless burgers are popping up on more fast-food menus, leading to product shortages.

Teens put off getting their licenses and buying cars: About a quarter of 16-year-olds had a driver’s license in 2017, a sharp decline from nearly half in 1983.

J.D. Power estimates that Gen Zers will purchase about 120,000 fewer new vehicles this year compared with millennials in 2004, when they were the new generation of drivers—or 488,198 vehicles versus 607,329 then.

Fatih Birol: How hydrogen can offer a clean energy future: Tapping the most abundant element in the universe holds tantalizing promise. https://on.ft.com/2QJ30Rq


GOP lawmakers mull vote to stop Trump’s tariffs on Mexico: WP reports, the vote, which would be Republicans’ most dramatic act of defiance since President Trump took office, could also block billions in border wall funding.

Fed: Economists are projecting that uncertainty created by the Trump administration’s actions on tariffs will prompt the Fed to cut rates later this year. 

The probability of a rate decrease at the August FOMC meeting (or earlier) hit 90%.

Trump’s plans to increase tariffs on Mexico and China would wipe out benefits from tax cuts for the poorest Americans, analyses show.

Mueller Report: The House plans to vote June 11 on holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena.

House plans sweeping antitrust probe of tech giants: WP reports, the investigation would put Silicon Valley’s business practices on display at a time when lawmakers are in rare bipartisan agreement that the tech industry has been unregulated for too long.

LAT: California’s long-overlooked Central Valley holds new allure for 2020 candidates

"2020 contenders have focused their travels on the San Joaquin Valley, the lower two-thirds of the Central Valley and home to roughly 4 million residents. About 1 in 5 live below the poverty line. Six of its eight counties are majority Latino."

Digital advocacy: Borrell Associates Inc. found political digital advertising jumped to $1.4 billion in 2016 from $159 million in 2012. It is projected to hit $3.3 billion in 2020.

Trump 2020 campaign chairman Brad Parscale recently predicted his campaign would spend as much as $1 billion on its overall reelection effort. 

Biden + climate: Joe Biden’s climate change plan calls for the United States to entirely eliminate its net emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution by 2050, the same goal put forth in the Green New Deal.

LAT: Biden proposes $1.7-trillion plan to combat climate change

Antitrust troubles snowball for tech giants as lawmakers join in
: NYT reports, lawmakers said they would investigate the dominance of the world’s largest tech companies. The intense scrutiny on companies like Google, Apple and Amazon could last years and lead to the first overhaul of antitrust rules in decades.

"the industry is in the sights of Trump, Democrats running for president, Congress and consumers. Silicon Valley has faced fierce criticism over disinformation, privacy breaches, and political bias."

John Boehner’s journey from House Speaker to cannabis pitchman: NYT reports, in Congress, Mr. Boehner “unalterably opposed” legalizing marijuana. Now he’s pushing for it, with a potential $20 million payday from the industry.

David Brooks: The coming GOP apocalypse: Stumbling blind into the age of diversity. https://nyti.ms/2QJeZ1g

"According to Pew, 57 percent of millennials call themselves consistently liberal or mostly liberal. Only 12 percent call themselves consistently conservative or mostly conservative. This is the most important statistic in American politics right now."

Brigadoon Workshop: Capturing Press Attention: On Thursday, June 27 make plans to attend Brigadoon Workshop | Capturing Press Attention = developing press contacts, speaking with the media, and creating content that is newsworthy. Book your spot - here.


Exposed health records: A data breach at a collections agency that works with Quest Diagnostics and UnitedHealth may have exposed the information of an estimated 11.9 million patients.

Hotstar, a mobile-first streaming platform in India has 300 million monthly users and a new corporate parent—Disney.

Nikkei: Huawei to sell undersea cable unit to deflect US spy claims

Smaller Chinese group to buy venture that installed lines in Asia and Africa.

FT: Tech shares slide as US prepares for antitrust probes

DOJ and FTC agree oversight of Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple as Congress also acts.

FANG stocks plunged on the news of antitrust probes into Alphabet and Facebook.

Apple unveils $6,000 new Mac Pro.


World's biggest Nutella factory blocked by striking workers: DW reports, a factory in northern France that makes a quarter of the world's Nutella has been blockaded for a week. Key ingredients are reportedly running low and the owners have threatened to heavily fine the strikers.


How oil and beef shaped America: Two new books explain their massive socio-economic impact and how prosperity came at a price. https://on.ft.com/2QG5mjO

The Michelin Guide + LA: The guide awarded stars to 24 Los Angeles restaurants, including two stars for n/naka, Providence, Somni, Vespertine, Sushi Ginza Onodera, and Urasawa.

Keanu Reeves’ ‘Always Be My Maybe’ role has everyone obsessing: Here’s why https://lat.ms/2QHqRko

Keanu Stories: fans share unexpected meetings with 'sweet, quiet, nervous' Reeves: Outpouring was sparked by a profile of the actor that declared he was ‘too good for this world.’ http://bit.ly/2IfgJeS

Jay-Z is now considered a billionaire.

Forbes: Artist, icon, billionaire: How Jay-Z created his $1 billion fortune http://bit.ly/2QHDUlY

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


Queen Elizabeth II, Kim Jong Un, CRISPR, Joe Biden, Guy Raz

MRD July.png

What I am watching today = April 24, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


✔️ Trump finally gets his British state visit

✔️ Drones to deliver medicines to 12 million people in Ghana

✔️ Beer and cigarette makers join the pot lobbying parade

✔️ Beyond Meat targets $1.2 billion valuation

✔️ Tribeca Film Festival opens in New York


Brigadoon Remote 2019 - Save the Date

Think of four days where you can work remotely in a country estate, spend the day as you want, work on your book, strategize, think, read, whiteboard, check-out, go for a hike, and have evening dinners with fellow participants where the topic of conversation is business development and entrepreneurship.

November 11-15, 2019
One hour outside of Edinburgh, Scotland
Limited to 7 participants
$250.00 deposit secures your spot

Ping at marc@thebrigadoon.com if you want to attend.



London Town: Trump and FLOTUS accepted the invitation of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to visit the United Kingdom from June 3 to 5, 2019.

Trump finally gets his British state visit — but tensions that led to delay remain: WP reports, the president, deeply unpopular in Britain, will probably not be able to avoid massive demonstrations against his visit, scheduled for early June.

May approves Huawei involvement in UK 5G network: FT reports, Chinese telecoms group banned from most sensitive parts of project on security concerns.

The Times: Theresa May set to anger US with ‘limited access’ for Huawei

: The funeral of Lyra McKee, the Northern Irish journalist who was shot dead last week during riots, is held in Belfast.

China's Belt and Road cracks down on corruption in image revamp: Bloomberg reports, the Belt and Road Initiative is getting a makeover to tone down government rhetoric and tighten oversight, after allegations of corruption and a lack of sustainability dogged some of its highest-profile projects. Beijing is taking a range of steps to exert more control over the program, officials and participants said, including a more muted publicity drive, clearer rules for state-owned-enterprises, restricting use of the BRI brand, and building overseas auditing and anti-corruption mechanisms. It’s also stepping up efforts to get developed nations to join in to spread the risk of building projects in poorer nations and to counter allegations that BRI is just an attempt to build China’s political influence.

Beijing to defend initiative as it welcomes 37 heads of state to summit this week.

Chinese enterprises invested over $90 billion in BRI countries.

China has signed 173 cooperation documents on BRI with 125 countries and 29 international organizations as of April 18, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

OTD: In 1970 China launched its first satellite, which orbited the Earth transmitting the patriotic tune The East is Red.

Mnuchin and Lighthizer to head to Beijing as trade talks resume: FT reports, talks to focus on stubborn hurdles of intellectual property, technology transfers.

“The subjects of next week’s discussions will cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement,” the White House said.

Kim and Putin set for talks as Russia seeks influence: FT reports, Pyongyang pivots to northern neighbor as ties founder with US.

‘I have long dreamed of visiting’: Kim Jong Un arrives in Russia for talks with Putin: WP reports, the Kremlin has said no major agreements will be signed during Kim’s meeting with Vladimir Putin, which is expected to take place behind closed doors.

Russia's Putin meets North Korea's Kim: Side-show or power move in nuclear crisis? DW reports, in the wake of stalled nuclear talks with the US, Kim is seeking diplomatic assistance from the Kremlin. Russia wants stability on its far-eastern border — but President Putin may have a bigger picture in mind.

Martin Wolf: The age of the elected despot is here: People want to believe a powerful and charismatic leader is on their side in an unjust world.


A new normal: A journey through America’s complex history with cannabis. Directed by Spike Jonze. (video) http://bit.ly/2L7kPdw

University of California gets its CRISPR patent: Six years after the initial application — and after a legal dispute that sucked up tens of millions of dollars — a foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patent will be granted to the University of California. The patent, based on the work of Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier, and their colleagues, covers CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in every kind of cell, in lab dishes and in living organisms. 

FT: Drones to deliver medicines to 12 million people in Ghana

Zipline project is the world’s largest drone delivery network. The drones are planned to be able to deliver to 2,000 clinics across Ghana.


WP: White House plans to fight House subpoena of former counsel Donald McGahn for testimony on Mueller report

: In 1800 President John Adams approved the spending of $5,000 to establish a Library of Congress.

WSJ: S&P 500 and NASDAQ hit closing records

Stocks have flourished this year—the S&P 500 is up 17% while the Nasdaq has gained 22%.

Morning Consult Political Intelligence report:

- Biden remains the top overall pick among all likely Democratic primary voters and voters in early primary states.

- Buttigieg moves up to third place with 9% of the vote: More than half (64%) of likely Democratic primary voters have now heard of Buttigieg.

- Health care and the economy remain the most important issues to Democratic voters.

- Trump's approval hits record low: The President's net approval of -18 is his worst since taking office.

Trump camp descends on Pennsylvania as alarms grow over 2020: Politico reports, the president's team is set to meet with a state Republican Party riven by dissension.

Larry Hogan derides Trump as ‘dear leader’: Politico reports, Maryland Governor Hogan (R) said he's unafraid to stand up to the president but is in no rush to jump into the 2020 race.

Joe Biden: He’ll be the 21st Democrat to enter the party’s 2020 presidential field and will now announce his 2020 presidential bid on Thursday.

WP: Joe Biden to enter 2020 presidential race with Thursday video announcement

Inside Biden's battle plan
: Politico reports, he is seeking to mark his entrance into the 2020 race with a rush of union support, early-state endorsements, and fundraising figures.

Rivals are scrambling to dig up dirt on Pete Buttigieg: NBC News, Buttigieg was on nobody's radar as a serious presidential contender until a few weeks ago. Now his competitors are scrambling to find vulnerabilities.

Beto O’Rourke opens his California campaign Saturday in Los Angeles: LAT reports, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke will launch his 2020 California Democratic presidential primary campaign on Saturday with a four-day swing, stopping in Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Central Valley, and San Diego.

Trump orders administration officials not to attend White House correspondents dinner: Reuters reports, Trump, who bemoaned his treatment by the news media in a flurry of tweets on Tuesday, has barred members of his staff and administration from attending the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday, officials said.

Beer and cigarette makers join the pot lobbying parade: Politico reports, the push to legalize marijuana quickly transformed the cannabis industry into a multibillion-dollar legal business. And now Fortune 500 companies and elite K Street lobbying firms have joined the green gold rush. Altria, the tobacco giant better known for Marlboros, recently took a $1.8 billion stake in the cannabis company Cronos Group. Constellation Brands, which makes Corona beer, has spent money on cannabis lobbying after making a major investment in Canopy Growth, a Canadian marijuana company. On K Street, powerhouse firms like Holland & Knight — which has represented Comcast, Google and Dow Chemical — have taken on marijuana clients.

Pot may be illegal at the federal level but corporate giants and K Street are preparing for the push to legalize.


Applied Materials halts work for red-flagged Chinese chipmaker: FT reports, US supplier pulls staff from San’an Optoelectronics following government listing.

Pepsi dispenser: PepsiCo has announced a new beverage dispenser for the food service sector, colleges, and workplaces. The "hydration platform" is aimed at encouraging people to fill up their own reusable bottles, and not with soda, but rather with flavored, carbonated water. 

Ancestry.com is preparing to take the family tree research/DNA testing company public amid increasing consumer interest in DNA tests.

Beyond Meat targets $1.2 billion valuation when it becomes the first plant-based meat company to IPO.

PayPal's Venmo closes in on a new partnership to launch a credit card.

Luminary, flush with $100 million in funding, wants to sell you a $8/month subscription to deliver exclusive podcasts. It’s planning to eventually roll out more than 40 ad-free shows, which include Guy Raz (of How I Built This fame), Lena Dunham, and Trevor Noah.

Wing Aviation, a unit of Alphabet’s Google, received the first US authorization to operate a fleet of consumer delivery drones.

SoftBank Group plans to invest about $1 billion in Wirecard, forging a partnership that allows SoftBank to take a minority stake in the German payments company.

Nikkei: Huawei closes technology gap with Apple on chip design

Chinese 4G semiconductors already 'equal to or better than' US tech giant.


LAT: As Coachella raged, the LA tech world made plans to live on Mars

Betaspace, billed as the place where “Burning Man and the Consumer Electronics Show collide.” 

Today: Tribeca Film Festival opens in New York.

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.