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Donald in Wonderland


Exhibit One:

The past is never really repeated but it can be mirrored.

“Impolitic and impetuous, he never made a wise choice between alternatives and seemed incapable of considering consequences of an action in advance. Though brave in battle, he was anything but a great captain. Without evil intent, he was to foster disaffection to the point of revolt and lose half his kingdom and his person to the enemy…”

     -Barbara Tuchman on Jean II of France

Exhibit Two:

A UN resolution asks countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure that it is not imposed as a sanction for specific forms of conduct such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations. The U.S. stood with Saudi Arabia, and by extension Al-Qaeda, and voted against it.

Susan Rice’s tweet sums that vote up below.

Not even Russia and Iran stooped as low as we did.  Nice job, guys. Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) October 3, 2017

Exhibit Three:

Why did conservative Christians support Trump? Author Stephen Mansfield tries to answer this question in his new book, Choosing Donald Trump. Mansfield is a conservative Christian who did not support Trump, but he does his best to understand the wager his fellow Christians made when they threw their lot in with Trump.

He argues that religious conservatives knew Trump was flawed but took a chance on him anyway. Tired of establishment Republicans and weary of the Obama years, they were willing to roll the dice on a guy they thought could deliver on a few crucial issues, namely handing over the Supreme Court to pro-life justices.

“They supported him so fully that they own him in the eyes of the American people. And they've taken a great risk,” he told me.

But Mansfield also says he isn’t willing to call religious leaders like Franklin Graham hypocrites for cozying up to Trump. “Some of them I think are just sincere believers,” he said. “Some of them sincerely believe that Donald Trump was ordained by God and is actually going to put the right people on the Supreme Court and fight for religious liberty.”

From an Interview on VOX.COM

Exhibit Four:

-The Invisible Hand of the Market Place

 Cup It Up American Grill closed for good on Monday, three days after two of it’d three owners posted a politically charged Pro Trumpism statement on Facebook that prompted angry social media backlash and calls to boycott the University of Arizona area restaurant.

Fox News is having trouble keeping its advertisers happy.

Ad revenues plunged 17 percent in September over the same month last year, according to the most recent financial data for the operation.

Statistics from the Standard Media Index, which tracks media income, showed that Fox News took the biggest hit of any cable news operation. CNN, which President Donald Trump frequently describes as “fake news,” lost just 1 percent in revenue, and MSNBC was up 2 percent.

Cable news revenue was down an average of 7 percent for the entire third quarter (July, August, September) over the same period last year, Ad Week reported. [Museum Note: Some of this of course is that it is not an election year]

David Dayen at The New Republic —The Cause and Consequences of the Retail Apocalypse. Private equity firms overburdened businesses with debt, and now workers are paying the price. Will policymakers do anything about it?

The Macy’s near my house is closing early next year. The mall where it’s located has seen less and less foot traffic over the years, and losing its anchor store could set off a chain reaction. Cities across the country are facing this uncertainty, with over 6,700 scheduled store closings; it’s become known as the retail apocalypse.

This story is at odds with the broader narrative about business in America: The economy is growing, unemployment is low, and consumer confidence is at a decade-long high. This would typically signal a retail boom, yet the pain rivals the height of the Great Recession. RadioShack, The Limited, Payless, and Toys“R”Us are among 19 retail bankruptcies this year. Some point to Amazon and other online retailers for wrestling away market share, but e-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2017 only hit 8.9 percent of total sales. There’s still plenty of opportunity for retail outlets with physical space.

The real reason so many companies are sick, as Bloomberg explained in a recent feature, has to do with debt. Private equity firms purchased numerous chain retailers over the past decade, loading them up with unsustainable debt payments as part of a disastrous business strategy.

Billions of dollars of this debt comes due in the next few years. “If today is considered a retail apocalypse,” Bloomberg reported, “then what’s coming next could truly be scary.” Eight million American retail workers could see their careers evaporate, not due to technological disruption but a predatory financial scheme. The masters of the universe who devised it, meanwhile, will likely walk away enriched, and policymakers must reckon with how they enabled the carnage.

Brandon Morse at Redstate writes;

The NFL’s tanking viewership is definitely happening. Networks that show NFL are noticing subscribers slamming their decision into reverse and backing away as fast as possible. DirecTV had to offer angry customers refunds for their NFL ticket packages. ESPN lost a whopping 480,000 subscribers in October alone due to the controversy. [Museum Note: ESPN loses subscriptions every month, as people and situations change, but certainly some of these were because of the controversy.]

At the Exit:

 Perhaps what worries the fretting men is that this is about more than ending workplace harassment. It is the fear that society is being refashioned away from codes set by men. If women can refashion workplaces this way, who knows what other unwelcome changes may follow? Far better, then, to grab the warm blanket of victimhood and scream “witch-hunt”.

As so often in recent social furors, those with the greatest advantages in life claim a victim status they would not want to earn, portraying the erosion of a smidgen of their ascendancy as a monstrous purge instead of accepting that it may just be necessary to surrender a few of the spoils of the longest winning streak in history. — Robert Shrimsley at the Financial Times



Uncle Willie loves to have feedback from both readers who appreciate his point of view as well as from missguided souls who disagree.