Monday, December 24

ByKevin Sheekey

Op-Ed of the Day by Mike Bloomberg:
Trump Rings in the New Year in the Worst Possible Way – One Week Sums Up a Failing Presidency
(Bloomberg Opinion)

“There are many reasons to be optimistic about 2019. The increasingly isolated man in the Oval Office is not one of them.

With the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency drawing to a close, the past week all too perfectly exemplified its destructive effect on competent government in Washington — and it should give all Americans, in all parties, cause for concern.

On Thursday, one of the last remaining seasoned and respected professionals at the top of the administration announced his resignation, for reasons he explained in a letter that was as courteous as it was devastating. On Saturday, government services were (yet again) shut down because of the quarrel between Congress and the White House over the president’s obsession with a border wall that won’t work but will waste billions of taxpayer money.

And in between, the stock market dove to its worst week since 2011, as investors concerned about Trump’s taste for trade wars delivered a vote of no-confidence.

Each of these mistakes has a common denominator: Trump’s recklessly emotional and senselessly chaotic approach to the job. At the halfway mark of this terrible presidency, one has to wonder how much more the country can take…

Unless something changes — unless, in particular, Republicans in Congress start showing some spine — two more years might be enough to test whether we can sustain Trump’s model of bad government. This past week, we got a glimpse of what the beginning of the collapse may look like — and what it may ultimately cost us.”

Read the full op-ed here.

Most Read on the Bloomberg:
Trump Sees Winning Hand as Critics See Presidency Spiraling Down

Mission Not Accomplished:
-US Troops are Leaving, but ISIS Not Defeated in Syria
(Military Times)
-‘Very telling’ that Trump Didn’t Know his Own Anti-ISIS Point Person (Washington Post)

Markets Update:
-Mnuchin Bid to Calm Markets Risks Making Bad Situation Worse (Bloomberg)
-First on the Bloomberg: Trump Discusses Firing Fed’s Powell After Latest Rate Hike (Bloomberg)

Indonesia Tsunami: Fears of New Wave as Anak Krakatau Volcano Seethes (BBC News)

Keep Calm: Queen Elizabeth II Calls for Unity Ahead of Brexit in 2018 Christmas Message (CNN)

Climate of Hope: New York City Plastic Foam Ban Goes Into Effect January 1, 2019
After a judge backed New York City’s proposed ban on plastic food containers in June, the city’s long-awaited ban on plastic foam containers begins on January 1, 2019. The rules ban plastic foam takeout containers, cups, packing peanuts, plates, bowls and trays for sale or use in the city. In Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s 2013 State of the City address where he first proposed banning plastic foam containers, Bloomberg said the waste increased the cost of recycling by as much as $20 per ton, and said “something we know is environmentally destructive, that is costing taxpayers money, and that is easily replaceable, I think, is something we can do without.”
Flashback: NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg Seeks Ban on Plastic Foam Containers (CNN)

The Weeks Ahead.

Click here for the calendar through January 4, including the inauguration of Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as minimum wage for Lyft and Uber drivers in New York City taking effect.

Most Popular Stories of 2018.

Best of late night.

On a woman in the UK who made a Christmas Tree out of surgical gloves:

“I really hope those gloves are new.”
— James Corden

“It’s very hard to explain to Jesus why people celebrate his birthday by putting antlers on their mini-vans, but we do.”
— Jimmy Kimmel

“Christmas is less than one week away, and then it’s right back to the attic for Michael Bublé.”
— Seth Meyers

Programming note: The Sheekey Daily Read will be on hiatus for the remainder of this week, returning next week.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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