Staying Focused in the Age of “The Donald”

Col. Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan): Why are you dressed like an Italian usher?

Col. Samuel Flagg (Edward Winter): Can you keep a secret?

Col. Potter: I'd like to think so.

Col. Flagg: I'm disguised as Ling Chow. A Chinese double agent.

Col. Potter: Funny, you don't look Chinese.

Col. Flagg: Neither would Ling Chow if he was dressed like this. You follow me?

Col. Potter: As far as I'd like to.

Col. Flagg: I'm off.

Col. Potter: I couldn’t have said it better myself.

(From “M*A*S*H”, Season 5, Episode 6, 1976)

George Costanza (Jason Alexander): Hey, I just found twenty dollars! I tell you this, something is happening in my life. I did this opposite thing last night. Up was down, black was white, good was -

Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld): Bad.

George: Day was -

Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus): Night.

George: Yes!

Jerry: So you just did the opposite of everything?

George: Yes. And listen to this, listen to this; her uncle works for the Yankees and he's gonna get me a job interview. A front office kind of thing. Assistant to the travelling secretary. A job with the New York Yankees! This has been the dream of my life ever since I was a child, and it's all happening because I'm completely ignoring every urge towards common sense and good judgment I've ever had. This is no longer just some crazy notion. Jerry, this is my religion.

(From “Seinfeld”, Season 5, Episode 21, 1994)

Geopolitics dominates the news these days, over-shadowing what remains a fundamentally solid global economy. As always, Donald Trump is at the center of most of the “noise”, whether it is his hard line on global trade negotiations, his seemingly soft line on Vladimir Putin, or the increasingly partisan obsession with “meddling” in the 2016 election. If you do believe there was meddling, your opinion as to who is to blame depends very much on which side of the political spectrum you occupy (and which news channel you watch).

House Republicans announced legislation aimed at further tax cuts plus retirement planning reform, but in the current rancorous and “swamp-like” environment in Washington, DC, passage of any meaningful legislation before the mid-term elections in November is highly unlikely.