Richard Lutz survives another week that was…
Well, here’s one for the records. The guy who wanted to bomb Iran and North Korea and invade Venezuela thinks Trump is a dope, an ignorant joke who sucks up to the Chinese, the Russians and a whole slew of dictators so he can win the next election.
Why am I not surprised by the revelations in John Bolton’s book? I’d be shocked if Trump didn’t show these traits as he sat behind the Oval Office desk. I’d be shocked if the president turned out to be moral, honest and humane. What the book, called The Room Where It Happened, reports is as obvious as electricity, as gravity, as cold water running in the sink, as snow in winter. That’s the sad bit. It’s obvious. Mr. Trump is infantile and criminally incompetent.
Anyway, a US judge rejected the White House bid to ban the book. And, as a reporter this weekend pointed out, Trump displayed just how unhinged he is with the irrational argument that Bolton was using classified information and also telling lies. Which one was it? After all, as columnist Henry Mance wrote, if the book is all lies it wouldn’t be classified. Good point. And guess what? Just off stage is the next book on the president – a tell-all horror tale from his niece.
I’ll move on. Next up is the Covid-19 pandemic. What better way to indicate how we spend lockdown than to reveal just which businesses are growing fat? The Financial Times looked at what is called market capitalisation, and how some sectors have flourished. The instrument it used was how value increased for some companies in the first quarter of 2020.
Big winners are pharmaceuticals, tech giants and online retailers. In other words, the firms that are trying to stop the virus, the firms that give us social media access and the firms that sell us stuff as we sit at home in our favourites chairs. These are the ones flush with cash and this is how much they’ve grown this year so far:
- Amazon: Added $400 billion in value. It’s a major winner in remote shopping
- Apple: Added $219bn. Though its shops were shut, punters continue to buy, buy, buy
- Facebook: Up $87bn. It’s been hit by misinformation issues but launched its retail arm, known as Facebook Shops
- Netflix: Up $55bn. Well, you put your feet up some nights and just binge. It doubled its forecast for new subscribers this year
- Zoom: Up $47bn. Hey, we all gotta chat.
And chat we do, as the UK stumbles like a drunk slipping in the gutter screwing up one half-baked decision after another: Boris’s government had to abandon its ‘world-beating’ Covid contact/trace app. It didn’t work, and the government had to re-align its food programme and listen to a 22 year old footballer who made sense about feeding poor kids during the summer. It’s still doing 180s about schools re-opening; amid the disease and scandals, it’s decided to spend 900,000 on a facelift for its diplomatic plane; and, it can’t shake the appalling scandal that only a minority of the elderly have been tested for Covid in our old folks homes, and that despite pensioners being the most vulnerable at risk group.
Shame, shame, shame, in a bizarre week. I’m off to do more gardening, paint a fence and shop online.