Weekly Recap

Your weekly recap

Politics

  • North Korea
    • President Trump met with Dictator Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam for a second peace summit. The meeting did not go as planned, and resulted in Trump walking away. The reason for the walk was Kim refusing to abandon all nuclear weapons, and simultaneously requesting that all sanctions be removed. The quote that will live on from this attempt was Trump stating, “Sometimes you gotta walk.”
    • A small side story was the fallout in the media, and in particular, Twitter. The hashtag ‘Trump Fail’ was the top trend soon after. This prompted a rebuke from even Liberals. Congressman Ted Lieu issued the days most popular rebuttal. It’s important to note that Lieu is one of the presidents harshest critics, so, his words held weight.Untitled
    • Speaking of bipartisanship, Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings stood up for Republican Congressman Mark Meadows after newly elected Congresswoman Rashid Tlaib accused Meadows of being racist. Cummings publicly paused the hearing, chastised Tlaib, and stated he and Meadows are ‘best friends.’ It was a good moment.
  • Cohen
    • In what was the most covered story of the week, American politicians again showed they are exceptionally good at one thing, and that is putting on a circus. That’s all this was. Cohen delivered nothing new. He could have stood in front simply said, “Yes, I did lie to Congress, and yes I did tell other lies that have resulted in my prison sentence. Also, our president used me to pay off a porn star for a consensual sexual affair he had.” This was all we needed to hear. It’s what we already knew.
  • Bernie Sanders and CNN
    • An intriguing investigation conducted by a lesser known journalist concluded CNN potentially stacked the deck against Bernie in his televised Town Hall. It’s not known if CNN did this, or someone else, but the fact is someone did. Four people who asked Senator Sanders questions had political backgrounds, or currently holding high ranking government jobs. Dare I say we are experiencing a repeat of 2016 again? Why do people insist they sabotage his campaign?
  • Cory Booker and Marijuana
    • Democratic Senator, and presidential hopeful Cory Booker announced he is introducing a bill to legalize marijuana across our country. The bill is likely to fail, and nothing more than a campaign stunt, however, it does drive the conversation of legalization on the Federal level into 2020 presidential debate topics. President Trump seems to not mind legalizing the ‘drug,’ and most on the Democratic side appear in favor, as well. It’s hard to imagine marijuana not being federally legalized in the next decade. While we’re discussing marijuana, Canadian marijuana company, Canopy Growth, has announced a partnership with Martha Stewart. The deal was partly brokered by Snoop Dogg.

Sports

  • LeBron and The Lakers
    • The team continues to struggle, and appears in danger of missing the playoffs. They are three-games out of the eight-seed in the West. They are winners of only five games in their last sixteen. Fourteen of their remaining twenty games are against playoff contenders, including a five-game road trip that could be the nail in their coffin. This would be catastrophic, and undoubtedly the number two most popular story of the NBA season behind whoever wins the championship. LeBron cannot go to eight-straight Finals in the Eastern Conference and then jump ship for the Western Conference and miss the playoffs entirely. It would be damning for his legacy.
  • Boston Celtics
    • Like the Lakers, the Celtics are struggling. They have only won three of their last nine games, however, remain solidly in place to take the five-seed in the Eastern Conference. The team will prove an interesting story line in the playoffs, especially surrounding Kyrie Irving and the likelihood he remains a Celtic.
  • Jason Witten
    • Witten surprised everyone by announcing he is returning to the Cowboys for a season and leaving the Monday Night Football booth. The story is fun, but also set off rumors that Romo will return, as well. It seems unlikely, but only time will tell.
  • Robert Kraft
    • Kraft has officially been charged with misdemeanors soliciting prostitution down in Jupiter, Florida. The NFL will take their time in deciding on a punishment for him. Most commentators are all over the board on the predictions. Some have said this will be the end of him, and he’ll remove himself from the Patriots, while others have suggested a large fine, but only a few game suspension. Others have speculated that the team itself lose draft picks, which seems entirely unfair.
  • Bryce Harper
    • The Philadelphia sports writers deserve a win for this one. They had called on this to happen for months. The longterm speculation is that Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have a gentleman’s agreement to join forces in Philly. It seems this is coming true. The deal gives the Phillies enough space to bring Trout in since Bryce enabled them to creatively structure the deal. Trout, a long time Philadelphia sports fan, and Eagles season ticket holder seems all but certain to leave sunny Orange County for the always sunny Philadelphia next season.

Entertainment

  • Oscars
    • The ratings rose, the host wasn’t missed, and the confusion over the Best Picture winner was deserving. The Academy produced an amazing show, and then royally dropped the ball with their last two awards. Glen Close lost again, and hardly anyone had heard of the Best Picture winner. They almost had it! The upside = minimal political b/s.
  • Pokémon
    • Busy week for Pokemon and Nintendo. New features and games were released, as well as a new trailer for Detective Pikachu. Make fun of this all you want, but this is serious cash, and a big deal among a loyal, global fan base.
  • Star Wars Land
    • Speaking of a loyal fan base, Disney showed fans more pictures of their upcoming, highly anticipated addition. One executive in charge of the project suggested the park may experience lines in excess of 10-hours to simply get in to Star Wars Land. The popularity and excitement will be massive.
  • Rotten Tomato Censor
    • Rotten Tomatoes introduced ways they plan to censor reviews that, in their opinion, unjustly drive down the audience score of certain movies. This typically comes out once or twice a year, and has largely been isolated to trolls on the far-right. For example, Black Panther last year, and now with female superhero Captain Marvel. The interesting part is how exactly can an algorithm tell is someone is being racist or sexist, versus simply saying they don’t like the movie?
  • #MeToo
    • Emma Thompson made waves earlier this week when she decided to publicly explain she is leaving a movie she had already signed on to because #MeToo target John Lasseter is part of the film crew. She could have just not joined on in the first place instead of making a spectacle after the fact, right? The allegations against the founder of Pixar are vast, but relatively light in terms of the seriousness when compared to other, more deserving targets, such as Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Kevin Spacey. I am not excusing Lasseter, but we need to stop lumping everyone together in the #MeToo era and treating them all the same.

Business

  • Millennial Student Loan Debt > $1 Trillion
    • It is official. The total student loan debt handed out to Millenials like candy from Willy Wonka offering a golden ticket has ballooned to over one-trillion. In short, We. Are. Fucked. In length, you cannot remove the debt in bankruptcy, you cannot pivot to a new, higher paying career, and you cannot escape the ballooning interest payments the banks kindly allowed you defer when you took the loan on as a super smart eighteen year old. Sanders wants to give tuition away, Warren wants to take money from the rich, and Trump wants to lower taxes, but no one seems to want to discuss the elephant in the room. Fix the student loan debt crisis.
  • Roundup and Beer
    • A study showed that the pesticide, Roundup, which is now known as a pesticide inclusive of cancer causing particles has shown up on almost every major beer. How? The hops. The pesticide used on the hops makes its way into beer. Is there anything left that we can eat or drink that doesn’t cause cancer?
  • Gap divorces Old Navy
    • The company has decided to split up. This is historically a good move. Wall Street loved it, rewarding the stock with a 16% bounce. The two lines of business are not similar, and have grown apart for years. Look for this to become a longterm success, and expect more corporations to divide up by spinning off lines of business in the coming decade in efforts to become more profitable through a leaner, efficient business structure.
  • Tesla
    • This was a comedy. See the tweets for yourself. Elon Musk hates the SEC, and despises the Wall Street analysts. Fair enough, so does everyone else, but here’s the deal, Elon Musk runs a publicly traded company. He tried having an off the record, private moment in the earnings call, which obviously backfired. He also is moving away from dealerships, and selling all of his cars online, now. When asked on an earnings call what the profit margin would be on his new model, he replied “Yeah. Were not going to answer questions like that. Next question.” Unreal. The market responded with an 8% drop in Tesla stock.
  • Merrill lost Lynch
    • Bank of America rebranded the hundred-plus year old brokerage house by changing their name from Merrill Lynch to Merrill. Sorry, Edmund Lynch, but you’re old news, now. Anyways, this was a long time coming. Moynihan, who heads Bank of America has always had it out from Merrill Lynch. It is more surprising it took a decade for him to do this.
  • Southwest Airlines
    • SWA officially got the OK from the FAA to begin flying to Hawaii. This likely helps consumers, as Southwest will increase competition in a market that has largely been controlled by Hawaiian Airlines. It is interesting to see over time if tourism to Hawaii increases because of the price drop. Also, what is the damage to the beautiful landscape of Hawaii if tourism rises? The beauty of capitalism and Instagram influencers.
  • Huawei
    • A boring, slow story demands your attention. Huawei is the leader in mobile technology in China. The company is also ahead of AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile in 5G. This is big because the US Government has not been shy in stating they do not want a Chinese telecom giant controlling the way information is transmitted. The Trump Administration has actually expressed to foreign governments this concern, and threatened to change trade agreements if the country adopts the Chinese tech. A few months ago in a volatile moment of the China vs USA trade negotiations, the US DOJ indicted the CFO of Huawei. Canada has officially approved her extradition to the USA for trial. The charges actually backdate to the Obama era. The company allegedly did business with Iran, when sanctions prevented it. The case is interesting for a variety of levels. The battle for world dominance with 5G, as well as how this case impacts Trump and Xi negotiating. 
  • Budget Deficit
    • Federal Reserve Chairman Powell has spoken out this week on our ever-growing deficit. The debt is above $22-trillion, and rising, and the deficit in the budget continues to expand. This is 100% the biggest problem facing America in the next generation, and both politicians seem oblivious. The leaders of the left want to give more away to Americans, while Trump has been on the record saying ‘at least I (Trump) won’t be around when this problem comes to fruition.’

Global Headlines

  • India and Pakistan
    • Tensions have escalated on the shared border between two countries that have a nuclear arsenal, and minimal peace between them. This story came out of nowhere, appeared to hit a fever pitch earlier in the week, and has since calmed down. It is reminder that not all problems in the world result from our biased USA lens. This is always a looming threat, and hopefully works itself out peacefully.
  • Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu
    • It is appearing that a corruption trail against the former leader of Israel is reaching a conclusion, and it is not good news for Netanyahu. Feel free to explore.
  • ISIS Bride
    • A story that shouldn’t get media attention has stuck around. A woman who was living in America is trying to come back after she left to join ISIS. Trump, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have made it clear she is not coming back, but her dad is suing Trump, and the media is eating the story up. This is interesting, because maybe she can prove as an asset for our intelligence agents if we grant her the chance to come back?

Honorable Mention

  • Twitter star, and journalist Yashar Ali controlled the narrative for a few hours when he posted a deeply personal thread on ADHD. The information he shared was very valuable, and a must read. Whether you suffer from ADHD, or think you may, you should give it a look. Even if you don’t suffer from ADHD, but feel you know someone who does, it will offer an insightful look into what they struggle with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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