Some Quickies

I just wanted to do some quick hits on a number of topics in my notes and inbox – that’s my come up filing system for writing. Hopefully I’ll make you scratch your head and/or chuckle a time or more as you read this. Let’s explore.

Today is the day of the Nevada Democratic Presidential Debate. The new addition (why are we adding not subtracting at this point) to the stage is Michael Bloomberg. The “pre-game shows” are all taken up with speculation of whether the rest of the field will concentrate on attacking him or not. While I have mixed feelings about his addition, it will be interesting to see how Bloomberg comes off on the national stage. Word of caution to the other participants: Don’t make Trump’s commercials for him. What you say will be used against the eventual nominee and any of their financiers.

Monday Apple announced it will not meet quarterly earnings expectations in large part due to the negative effects of the coronavirus. I have to wonder if they are mistaken. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the outbreak will be good for American jobs. President Trump says it will all be over by spring (and we know about the groundhog). Then again those are two good reasons to not wonder. Maybe Apple CEO Tim Cook – or Tim Apple as Trump repeatedly calls him – will start spending a little less time in the White House.

Friday the news “leaked” from the Justice Department that charges will not be brought against former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that the long talked of rumor became fact (via “leak”) on the same day that excoriating comments from the presiding judge to the Justice Department attorneys became public via a FOIA request. No I’m not sure!

You knew it was coming if Pete Buttigieg became a serious threat to become the Democratic nominee. Last week Trump mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh attacked Buttigieg’s sexual orientation. Perhaps there is a silver lining in this cloud in that the Democrats can see how much this effects his electability before anyone is even a clear front runner for the nomination. Is there any doubt that Trump and his minions want to take America back to at least the early 1860’s?

Last Saturday President Trump was the guest of honor at a dinner held at the Palm Beach mansion of billionaire Nelson Peltz near Mar-a-Lago. The “paying customers” included about 15 couples who paid $580,600 per couple. To put that in perspective, if you earned $50,000 per year (which is above the median American income) you would have to work nearly a dozen years without any spending (including paying taxes) just to afford the “entry fee”. I hope dinner was good and in fairness it did include having your picture taken with the President.

Last Thursday it was announced that the Trump administration was moving an additional $3.83 billion from the Defense Department budget to fund building an additional 177 miles of Trump’s wall. You know, the wall which a portion of was blown over by the wind a few weeks ago. My degree is not in engineering but I have some doubts that a wall will stop the world’s most sophisticated narcotics dealers and terrorist when it can’t handle the wind.

The funds were taken from several aircraft development programs along with $1.3 billion from programs to upgrade deployed Army Humvees and trucks along with many items slated for National Guard and reserve units. Think about that the next time you encounter a young disabled veteran. The funds can be restored but the injuries will last those young veterans for the rest of their lives.

Also last Thursday, a federal court ordered the Pentagon to halt work on the Microsoft JEDI cloud. The plaintiff in the case was Jeff Bezos owned Amazon. I have not weighed in on the merits of the controversy simply because I lack sufficient knowledge and expertise in the matter. One fact to consider is that along with owning Amazon, Bezos owns the Washington Post. Lots of dots there and I’ll let you connect them.

I could continue but perhaps this is a good place to stop. My main goal was to inform not nauseate.

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