To the brilliantly ironic strains of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” Donald Trump descended a moving staircase at his perfectly air-conditioned Trump Tower in Manhattan on Tuesday morning and proceeded to tell us what was wrong with America and why, and – most importantly – whose fault it is.
He appeared to wrap up his “speech” (he had one prepared but didn’t look at it too often) with a flourishing declaration that he was running for President. Cue Neil’s capitalist-killing riff again.
But then he went on speaking.
It was, at times, jaw-dropping stuff. It was certainly must-see TV, as he set the democratic process up as a circus and the existing candidates its hapless performers.
Of course, despite the show he made today of releasing a “financial statement” his candidacy isn’t official until he files the paperwork with the FEC.
You can watch the speech on CSPAN at the link at the top. In the phone-in that followed, the calls were 80 or 90 per cent in support of Trump.
The DNC had a simple response.
(But within their own race, there was some tricky reading this morning for front-runner Hillary Clinton.)
Here’s just part of the Twitter reaction to Trump’s announcement.
ah – was wondering how long it would take..
but of course, you can’t beat the old oxygen of publicity…
* WORLD * The Hong Kong government is set to unveil a political reform package on Wednesday ahead of a vote later this week. But the BBC reports that “pro-democracy lawmakers look set to vote against the reforms despite warnings from the Chinese government not to do so. If that is the case, it is unlikely to get the two-thirds majority it needs to pass.”
Security is tight amid tensions ahead of Wednesday’s announcement.
After Russia moved to put more than 40 new ICBMs into service this year, as part of what Moscow called a military modernization program, Nato said such nuclear sabre-rattling “is unjustified, destabilising and dangerous.” Talking of which…
Martin Wolf at the Financial Times writes that neither Greeks nor their partners should imagine a clean break if they were to leave the Euro.
Some argue that Greece at least would be far better off after a default and exit. It is indeed theoretically possible that a default to its public creditors, combined with introduction of a new currency, a big devaluation (accompanied by sound monetary and fiscal policies), maintenance of an open economy, structural reforms and institutional improvements would mark a turn for the better. Far more likely is a period of chaos and, at worst, emergence of a failed state. A Greece that could manage exit well would have also avoided today’s plight.
* BUSINESS * Fitbit, the maker of wearable health-trackers, is heading for an IPO on Wednesday which could see the company become the fifth-largest US offering this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Investor Kirk Kerkorian, who the LA Times reported, “shook up the car, movie and casino industries.” died aged 98.
* MEDIA * The 2015 Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute shows “a quickening of the pace towards social and mobile news, a decline in desktop internet, and significant growth in video news consumption online.”
On average people use a small number of trusted news sources on the mobile phone. The average across all countries is 1.52 per person, significantly fewer than on a tablet or computer. We also find that, even though 70% of smartphone users have a news app installed on their phone, only a third of respondents actually use them in a given week, reinforcing the difficulty many news brands have in cutting through on this crowded and very personal device.
* SPORTS * The St Louis Cardinals are under investigation by the FBI for allegedly hacking into an internal computer network owned by the Houston Astros, and attempting to steal information about players. The New York Times reported that the attack “would represent the first known case of corporate espionage in which a professional sports team hacked the network of another team.”
Law enforcement officials believe the hacking was executed by vengeful front-office employees for the Cardinals hoping to wreak havoc on the work of Jeff Luhnow, the Astros’ general manager, who had been a successful and polarizing executive with the Cardinals until 2011.
Both teams and Major League Baseball are co-operating with the investigation.
Finally, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship by winning Game Six in Cleveland, beating the Cavs 105-97. It was the Warriors’ first title in forty years. Cleveland’s LeBron James became the 6th player in NBA history to score 5,000 points.