April 20, 2017

People are saying …

Where is America’s aircraft carrier?  The Trump administration revealed last week that the U.S.S. Carl Vinson and an armada of warships were in the Sea of Japan, headed toward North Korea.  Millions of people in East Asia held their breath, fearing a nuclear showdown was imminent. Actually the ships were headed in the opposite direction, in the Indian Ocean for joint exercises with the Australian navy.

Soon, you may be able to buy Ivanka Trump shoes and handbags in China, but not at Nordstrom.  China has just granted trademark rights to Ivanka’s line of ladies clothing and accessories.   Ethics experts are uncertain whether her business interests represent a conflict of interest.  Both her father and his spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway, have spoken (or tweeted) supporting Ivanka’s business.  U.S. laws and the Constitution prohibit an individual from profiting from his or her position as a public official.  We could know more about Trump’s conflicts of interest, if we could see his tax returns, but that might not happen soon.

A (fake?) coup attempt and a bogus election have made Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a virtual dictator.   Donald Trump was the first international leader to call to congratulate him after the election.  Turkey is a member of NATO and an important ally in the volatile region, despite recent strains in the relationship over the ongoing war in Turkey’s neighbor, Syria.  If you want to visit Turkey, you could stay at the Trump Towers in Istanbul.  For a good, five-minute video explaining the conflict in Syria see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKb9GVU8bHE

The President ordered a missile strike against Syria while he shared dessert with China’s President Xi at Mar-a-lago last week.  He said the cake was “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen.”

Who is Jon Osoff?  In a special election in Georgia this week, Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly missed receiving 51 percent of the vote, forcing a run-off election June 20 against the runner-up, Republican Karen Handel.  The election was widely considered a test of President Trump’s popularity in a traditionally Republican district.  Dems hoped that an Osoff victory would be a sign of a rising anti-Trump tide that could help the party in Congressional elections in 2018.  We will have to wait till June 20 to find out.