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No joy today. Red most places. FANG is down big. But Alibaba is green.

Am I depressed? Yes.

But it too shall pass. Today’s “action” stinks. Here are the three indexes today — S&P, Dow and Nasdaq.


Put today’s horror into perspective. Here are the same three indices over the past 12 months. If you had sold out at any time in the last year you would have missed some handsome gains.


The BIG theory on today’s drop — the second biggest drop this year — was unhappiness with the Trump Administration’s inability to get anything done.

Maybe this worry is only temporary? Maybe it’s an awakening?

I don’t worry about short-term moves — unless there’s something seriously awry happening.

This piece from Richard Trumka, who’s president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., sums up where we are:

Why I Quit Trump’s Business Council

On Tuesday, President Trump stood in the lobby of his tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and again made excuses for bigotry and terrorism, effectively repudiating the remarks his staff wrote a day earlier in response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. I stood in that same lobby in January, fresh off a meeting with the new president-elect. Although I had endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, I was hopeful we could work together to bring some of his pro-worker campaign promises to fruition.

Unfortunately, with each passing day, it has become clear that President Trump has no intention of following through on his commitments to working people. More worrisome, his actions and rhetoric threaten to leave America worse off and more divided. It is for these reasons that I resigned yesterday from the president’s manufacturing council, which the president disbanded today after a string of resignations.

To be clear, the council never lived up to its potential for delivering policies that lift up working families. In fact, we were never called to a single official meeting, even though it comprised some of the world’s top business and labor leaders. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. joined to bring the voices of working people to the table and advocate the manufacturing initiatives our country desperately needs. But the only thing the council ever manufactured was letterhead. In the end, it was just another broken promise.

During my January meeting with President Trump, we identified a few important areas where compromise seemed possible. On manufacturing, infrastructure and especially trade, we were generally in agreement. Mr. Trump spoke of $1 trillion to rebuild our schools, roads and bridges. He challenged companies to keep jobs in the United States. He promoted “Buy America.” He promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Here’s the thing: Working men and women have been promised the moon by politicians. Year after year. Campaign after campaign. Republican and Democrat. Too often, those promises have ended up being hollow; election year sound bites are often discarded as quickly as they are made. I told President Trump that this time must be different. I made clear that we would judge his administration on its actions.

Nearly seven months in, the facts speak for themselves.

President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill is nowhere to be found. And according to an analysis from the University of Pennsylvania, even if Mr. Trump did bring such a plan forward, his own budget proposal would wipe it out, leading to a net loss of $55 billion for highways, water facilities and public transit. President Trump has also remained silent on the future of the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, which requires contractors on federally assisted construction projects to pay their employees at rates prevailing in the communities where they perform the work.

What about Nafta? First, President Trump promised that the United States would withdraw. Then his administration sent a letter to Congress indicating the treaty needed only minor tweaks. Now renegotiation is underway with no clear principles for reform or negotiating goals in sight. Meanwhile, Nafta remains firmly in place.

Although President Trump has promised to protect the social safety net, his budget would slash $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, $59 billion from Medicare and up to $64 billion from Social Security over 10 years. It would strip funding for workplace safety research by 40 percent, even though about 150 workers die each day from hazardous working conditions. And it would force the people who make our government work to endure a 6 percent pay cut.

President Trump championed the Republican plan to gut health care and raise taxes on working people to line the pockets of the rich. And his executive orders that deport aspiring Americans and impose a religious litmus test for refugees are both morally bankrupt and bad economic policy.

Finally, rather than “draining the swamp,” President Trump has filled his cabinet with the authors and beneficiaries of our broken economic rules. He has elevated an anti-worker judge to the Supreme Court and appointed union-busting lawyers to the National Labor Relations Board.

His response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville was the last straw. We in the labor community refuse to normalize bigotry and hatred. And we cannot in good conscience extend a hand of cooperation to those who condone it.

In some ways, President Trump presented himself as a different kind of politician, someone who could cut through the gridlock in Washington and win a better deal for American workers. But his record is a combination of broken promises, outright attacks and dangerous, divisive rhetoric. That’s why we opposed him in the campaign. And that’s why he is losing the support of our members each and every day.

I visit the Amazon retail store at Columbus Circle, NYC

It’s airy. It’s friendly. It’s interesting. It’s not online It’s what you expect will sell in Manhattan — popular adult and children’s books and Amazon’s Kindle readers.

The store looks too well-staffed to make any money, but as research for Amazon management and a browsing tool for Amazon products it’s got to be highly successful.

After checking all the Kindles, the best one — by a huge margin — is the PaperWhite. You can read it under any light. And it’s ultra-light (not heavy). This is the Kindle I’d travel with, if I didn’t schlep a laptop with a much larger screen or my iPhone, with a much smaller screen, but easier to read in the subway.


For the paperwhite, click here.

The store has clever shelves that sport:


Amazon’s stock got hit today. I think it’s a bargain.

Favorite recent cartoons


Don’t Do Stupid, please.

Photographed last Friday in Columbia County, New York State. Note the total lack of safety equipment.



Harry Newton, who noted with pleasure: Alibaba earnings today were great. And Home Depot announced an 89 cent dividend — the 122nd consecutive quarter the company has paid a cash dividend. The dividend is not up. It’s the same. But it’s better than a slap in the belly with a cold fish, which is what we got today in the market.

If you have the stomach to read yet another negative piece on Donald, read this one. It’s enlightening:

Trump’s Long History of Racism

Of course his response to Charlottesville was late and insufficient — this is who he is

Maybe Trump should have watched the news a little more closely this weekend. If he had, he might have seen large numbers of Americans carrying and saluting flags that weren’t the Stars and Stripes. Confederate flags, obscure racist insignia and straight-up swastikas were all on display.

The racists and Nazis and white supremacists of all stripes who carried that flag were heartened by Trump’s failure to denounce them or their ideology in the immediate aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville and the murder of Heather Heyer. And his tepid, reluctant, TelePrompTer-fed denunciation of racism days later appears to have done little to discourage their belief that he supports them in the deepest, darkest, most wizened recesses of his heart.

Though it’s technically true that no one but Donald Trump knows what’s in Donald Trump’s heart, he’s given us some pretty good clues. He likely thinks swastika-toting Nazis and hood-wearing KKK members are bad guys – those are the easy targets everyone knows we’re supposed to denounce – but the entitled, clean-cut, polo-wearing, torch-bearing racists chanting about how they won’t be replaced? Those are the people who put him into office. They’re his people. And they know he’s their leader because they know Donald Trump is, like they are, racist.

Oh, they wouldn’t put it that way. They think the real racism is the affirmative action that gives people of color a chance in a world that hands people who look like me privilege from birth. They believe the real racists are the ones who declare black lives matter. (“What, ours don’t?”) But like the president they cheer, they’re racist as hell.

You don’t even have to look into Trump’s heart to see his racism. You only have to look at all the things he’s done and said over the years – from the early Seventies, when he settled with the Justice Department over accusations of housing discrimination, to Monday, when just hours after his speech news broke he is considering pardoning anti-immigrant sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio was also Trump’s partner in crime in pushing the birther conspiracy that promulgated the ugly lie our first black president was born in Kenya. We’ve conveniently forgotten (if not forgiven) how Trump spent years – years! – pushing a conspiracy based on nothing more than the assumption that a black man with a funny name couldn’t possibly be a genuine American, not like we are.

Trump also has a weird obsession with the superiority of his own genes in the face of all evidence to the contrary. That may explain why racism so often seems like his default setting, like the time he took out a full-page ad demanding the execution of five kids of color accused of raping a jogger in Central Park. Even in 2016, years after they were proven innocent, Trump stood by his actions.

Last year was when Trump put his racism on full display for the country to see. From launching his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists, to going to war with the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in battle, to encouraging violence against minority protesters at his rally, to promising to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, he built a presidential campaign on racial resentment and fear. Those were deliberate choices he made. His campaign stoked white entitlement and outrage at every turn, sending out dog whistles and sometimes glaring billboards that this was the campaign for angry white people.

He didn’t improve as president. There was no pivot. Just weeks ago, he gave an ugly speech to a group of police officers during which he described gang violence in creepy, almost loving detail in a ham-handed attempt to smear immigrants as violent criminals. He started a commission to perpetuate the myth of rampant voter fraud – part of a long-running conservative scheme to deny black people and others their right to vote.

And just hours after he grudgingly gave his speech condemning racism in the wake of enormous public pressure, Trump retweeted Jack Posobiec, a prominent alt-right figure who’s been featured on the racist conspiracy site Infowars and who brought a sign reading “RAPE MELANIA” to a protest to frame anti-Trump activists.

The same day Trump called racism “evil,” he mollified his base of racists by promoting a racist on his huge platform. These are not the actions of a man who is genuinely concerned about racism.

His speech wasn’t enough. It’s not just that it came three days too late, or that he read it with all the conviction of a hostage video. If Donald Trump wants to say anything meaningful about racism, he needs to acknowledge his own complicity. He has to admit to his past sins, and commit to a future of activism from the most powerful perch in the world to fight racism in all its forms. And I’m not holding my breath for that.

Racism isn’t limited to the thugs marching in Charlottesville. It pervades American culture like humidity in the D.C. summer air. You don’t get to say guys in hoods are bad and declare the job done. For white people, fighting racism (and all bigotry) must be a constant effort that includes self-reflection.

Self-reflection isn’t Trump’s strong point. He may well believe it when he says he’s the least racist person in the world. But we don’t need to read his mind to know the truth. He has built a legacy of race-baiting throughout his career – from his apartment buildings in the outer boroughs right into the White House.

UPDATE: Trump gave a press conference Tuesday during which he essentially unsaid all the good things he asserted in his speech Monday. While he claimed he still condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists, he also said there were “many fine people” protesting alongside the people carrying swastika flags and shields bearing racist symbols. He expressed clearly his opposition to taking down Confederate monuments. He once again blamed both sides equally for the violence that broke out. He confirmed his complete inability to understand what systemic racism is and his own role in perpetuating it.

The moment that struck me in Trump’s make-up speech Monday afternoon wasn’t when he declared racism “evil” or finally name-checked the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. It was his remark about the flag. “No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws,” he said. “We all salute the same great flag.”

This article was written by Jesse Berney in Rolling Stone. There are some video clips of Trump speaking and of the weekend’s Charlottesville march. Click here.