Month 2 down. It’s time to take stock.
Things made in China do not say, “Made Around the Corner.” Dogs run around, unleashed, beside their owners, and they maintain a reasonable proximity to passerby traffic. Despite their small size—poodles are popular here—they do not bark or try to intimidate like the poodles and Chihuahuas back in the US. The price of winter coats goes down during the fall, not up like in the US; I chalk that up as a victory for the socialist part of China’s socialist market economy. Gratuity is factored into the final price and every restaurant, including McDonald’s and KFC, will clean up after you. The metro system is fast, clean, and routinely cramped, sometimes to the point of bursting, on which occasion you have no choice but to wait for the next train and hope for better luck. Apartments reign supreme in Nanjing, so I have no idea what houses look like in China. Life hasn’t been very different from living in the US, save for the obvious language transposition. Oh, and I’m much closer to North Korea now. Continue reading Wary Observer
With a few weeks to go before the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, and with the two presumptive nominees already, presumably, chosen, we need to think about a few issues that have gone largely unnoticed, but which, in my mind pose difficult policy questions for Hillary Clinton. President Obama’s time in the oval office is almost up, his popularity is surging, and while Trump and Clinton pivot to the general election, Obama himself is pivoting to become Hillary’s most influential surrogate. Her election would largely secure his policies and those of Democrats, generally. From embracing a multilateral approach to combatting ISIS, to keeping in place the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Affordable Care Act, Hillary would effectively secure a figurative Obama third-term and use her mighty veto to strike down any Republican attempts to repeal whatever they please.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, continues to tank his campaign, but let’s think back to some of the serious policy issues he somehow stumbled upon, issues which Hillary Clinton will have to face, either from Trump himself in a debate, or from his supporters. Members of the #bernieorbust movement will similarly require assuaging of their disdain, if possible. Continue reading My Buddy, Obama