Wednesday, September 4, 2019


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Latest on the storm: LINK

Latest on Hong Kong: LINK

Latest on Brexit: LINK

CONFIDENCE

***Team Biden does not have confidence the former VP can win Iowa or New Hampshire, but claims to have confidence he can garner the nomination even if he loses both of the first two contests.

My take: We live in unusual times, but there is no reason to think that if the Democratic frontrunner headed into 2020 loses Iowa and New Hampshire that said “frontrunner” could generate enough money, message, and momentum to begin to win contests after going 0-for-2.  Particularly since said “frontrunner” is not very juggernauty on those three Ms to begin with.  Biden aides said on a Tuesday conference call with reporters that their man is in it for the long haul, but he is more likely to pull off their scenario if he decisively loses his polling lead before Christmas than if he maintains it headed into February. #expectationsgame #comebackkid

***Boris Johnson has lost the confidence of a segment of the Tories.

My take: Just when you thought Brexit could not get any more complicated or unresolvable, Johnson begins expelling rebel Conservatives and sees his new government threatened.  It is too soon to declare Johnson no more able to solve this crisis than his predecessor.  But, on this trajectory, it will soon not be too soon.

***Hong Kong’s chief Carrie Lam and Beijing have confidence they can defuse the protest movement by making incremental concessions.

My take: The odds are greater than 67% that the thirst for freedom will continue apace despite the proposed withdrawal of the extradition measure that set the protests off in the first place.

***The president claims to have confidence he is already winning the tariff faceoff with China.

U.S. manufacturers have lower confidence in their economic future, in part because of the tariff war.

The Wall Street Journal ed board and op ed contributor Stephen Myrow have confidence Donald Trump is losing the trade war.

My take: The president’s twin goals of getting the best of China in a trade pact and winning reelection are going to be a very heavy lift until and unless he finds some addition allies for the tactics he is employing to try to break the spirit and back of Beijing.  The cycle of more U.S.-China animosity, more bad economic news, and more tariffs is the most poisonous thing in Trump World right now.

***Mitch McConnell has confidence that he can shield himself and his party from backlash against bottling up gun safety legislation by hiding behind process, the president, and the likely partisan split among Democrats about what kind of loaf to accept.

My take: All you need to know – not surprisingly, per the Wall Street Journal — the president hasn’t even told his own team what he is thinking.

“The officials said they believe they have made progress in their conversations with senators, but it remains unclear what a legislative package might include. ‘We’ll need direction from’ the president, said one White House official, who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record.”

***Walmart has confidence it can do well by doing good, cutting back on ammunition sales.

My take: It is time for someone to connect the dots on how a giant Arkansas company has become the corporate leader on moving American public policy to the left.  Why they are doing it, who is driving it, and what impact it is having are all grist for a book, or, at least, a very long magazine piece.  Some enterprising writer should get a long-term-stay package at the Red Roof PLUS+ Bentonville, and get to work.

***Nancy Pelosi was right to have confidence that the slow grinding of the wheels of justice in Trump investigation litigation brought by House Democrats would be her chief friend in running out the clock on impeachment proceedings.

My take: The latest ruling – delaying until at least October 31 the resolution of attempts to force public testimony from Don McGahn – makes it virtually impossible to launch a full-blown impeachment inquiry based on the words of the former White House counsel in time for the 2020 calendar.

***The Pentagon has confidence it can re-program money to build portions of a barrier on the Mexican border without being thwarted.

My take: As of now, neither congressional Democrats nor the courts are poised to stop this move.  Both the precedent being set and the policy implications are more deleterious to American traditions than those carrying out this order seem to realize.

***Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) has confidence that Congress can’t help stop another Russian hijack of the upcoming U.S. election unless the feds reveal more publicly about what Russia has done in the past.

My take: Essential reading Washington Post op ed suggests Kafkaesque behavior from Moscow has produced Kafkaesque behavior in D.C. that threatens the integrity of American elections.

***The New York Post has confidence that it can run regular stories on Representative Omar’s personal life.

My take: Res ipsa loquitur.

In other news:

The Democratic presidential candidates will appear sequentially on CNN tonight from 5pm until midnight talking about the climate crisis. 

While they are in Gotham City, Biden will appear on Stephen Colbert (Pete Buttigieg is scheduled for Thursday) and Bernie Sanders is stopping by “The View.”

Top sports story: 78th-ranked Dimitrov shocks Federer at US Open
ESPN

Top business story: Trade-War Damage Piles Weight of Global Economy Onto Consumers
Bloomberg

Top entertainment story: AT&T Elevates WarnerMedia Chief John Stankey to COO
Variety


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