Still. Shut. Down… President Trump and the Democrat Congressional leaders remain at odds over funding more wall at the Southern border.
What it means – We’ve moved from a farce, to a spectacle, to a travesty. Now federal employees are closing in on their second missed paycheck. With so many Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, this is starting to take a toll.
Direct federal employees will be made whole when the shutdown ends, but others won’t. Those who do contract work for shuttered agencies are simply out of luck, as are businesses that rely on timely government services, like permits and approvals.
Brewer Sam Adams revealed that it would have to dispose of a large quantity of new craft beer because it couldn’t get the approval required to sell it. At least the employees at Sam Adams can drown their sorrows.
Retail Sales, Housing Starts, and Other Reports Delayed… The Bureau of Labor Statistics remains funded, so we get their reports, but the Bureau of Economic Analysis and other agencies are closed.
What it means – For some things, like retail sales, government reports serve as affirmation of what we learn from other sources. But in other areas, like GDP, the government is the sole arbiter. Investors and business owners are now flying their metaphorical planes without some critical data.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Plan Fails… British Parliament voted down May’s Brexit plan and has yet to offer a substitute.
What it means – British Parliament is playing a game of chicken, with itself. The lawmakers quashed May’s plan, which called for a soft exit that would essentially keep the current structure in place while the two sides worked things out. It also came with a $50-plus billion price tag. The problem is that the lawmakers are split among three factions, with no one enjoying a majority.
Some want an even softer Brexit deal, while others want to remain in the EU. The third group wants a hard Brexit, leaving with no deal at all. The main sticking point appears to be the land border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland, which is a separate country and part of the EU. After all this time, Ireland remains a thorn in Britain’s side.
As the March deadline for the Brexit gets closer, expect people to get nervous. Without a workable alternative, it’s likely that Britain will vote to rescind its invocation of Article 50, which will allow Parliament to go back to the drawing board.
New Migrant Caravans Start Toward U.S… Two large caravans and one smaller one set out from Honduras toward the U.S.
What it means – News of the caravans, which total between 1,000 and 1,500 migrants so far, gives President Trump more ammunition in his fight to secure the Southern border.
Although the migrants seek to enter the country legally by declaring asylum and then waiting for their hearing, as they mill about in Tijuana waiting to apply, some are trying to cross illegally. The confrontation is creating chaos and a humanitarian issue south of the border.
Gillette Creates Ad Telling Men to Shed Toxic Masculinity… After telling men that Gillette products were The Best a Man Can Get, the company is now asking if this is The Best That Men Can Be?
The online video shows young – and white – boys running wild and fighting, and then bullying others. This turns to young men watching sexist programming on TV, and ends with dads saying, “Boys will be boys.” The president of Gillette said that this is an important, honest conversation. While the ad depicts some poor behavior among boys and men, it does nothing to acknowledge any positive contributions.
No word on when the president of Gillette will cede his position and everything he’s acquired in life to a woman.
Data supplied by Dent Research/Delray Beach Publishing
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