TenCount -> President Trump has decided on an Afghanistan strategy

Sphere Consulting - TenCount News at HoaxAndChange.com

TenCount -> President Trump has decided on an Afghanistan strategy

A highly selective view of events in the week ahead with important financial, legislative and political implications, put together by your friends at Sphere Consulting.

Edited by Edward Wyatt

  • Happy Eclipse Day! In the District of Columbia, odds are at least 50-50 that the eclipse will be viewable, according to the Washington Post. Which means either you’ll be able to see it or you won’t. “Pop-up clouds may hide the sun at time for the partial solar eclipse this afternoon, but windows of opportunity should open up to see it,” the Post reports. Of course, we know how accurate weather forecasts often seem to be.
  • Two weeks of summer left, and what else could happen? Congress remains on recess, but the White House renovations are scheduled to be done by today, meaning that President Trump can come back home anytime from his working vacation. One who won’t be coming back with him is Steve Bannon, who on Friday became the 14th senior administration official to leave the Trump Administration since inauguration. Bannon is returning to Breitbart News.
  • President Trump has decided on an Afghanistan strategy, according to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and he is expected to announce the details to the American people Monday night at 9 pm EDT.  The current betting is that Trump has decided to increase troop levels by several thousand. Mattis described the new plans as “a South Asia strategy; it is not just an Afghanistan strategy.”
  • Here’s a switch: The Federal Reserve is worried that inflation isn’t rising quickly enough. Minutes of the most recent Fed meeting, released last Wednesday, showed several members growing wary of further rate hikes this year unless inflation picks up. Members generally do support lightening the Fed’s balance sheet, however. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen could touch on those issues on Friday when she addresses the Fed’s annual summer confab in Jackson Hole, Wyo. It could be Yellen’s last such conference; her term expires in February.
  • War of words: Is the relationship between President Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill steady enough to get a tax bill – or any other legislation – passed? On Fox News Sunday, Trump ally David Bossie spoke of “a lack of leadership on one side of Pennsylvania Avenue.” Which side is to blame? “Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have to step up,” Bossie said. “The House and Senate leadership has not bought into the president’s agenda fully.”
  • Remember North Korea? The world breathed a sigh of relief last week when Kim Jong Un decided not to order a test of missiles around the U.S. territory of Guam, opting instead to “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees,” according to North Korean state media. Things might heat up again this week, however, as the U.S. and South Korea begin annual military exercises that The Wall Street Journal says “have a history of enraging Pyongyang.”
  • Economic Policy Director Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin seem inclined to stay in the Trump Administration, despite rumors that the former was preparing to leave and the urgings of former Yale classmates for the latter to resign. In a response to a letter posted online urging him to resign, Mnuchin said, “I don’t believe the allegations against the President are accurate, and I believe that having highly talented men and women in our country surrounding the President in his administration should be reassuring to you and all the American people.”
  • No congressional hearings this week, of course, with members of the House and the Senate scattered afar. But plans are being made, particularly in the wake of Charlottesville. The chairman of the House Homeland Security committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, said last week that the committee has invited the heads of the Homeland Security Department, the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center  “to discuss the most serious threats America faces” on Sept. 12, including threats of domestic terrorism.
  • ISIS already has a foothold, of course, in the Middle East. Now, it is gaining strength in South Asia, as well, adding adherents and setting up affiliates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. On Monday, the Atlantic Council will host “The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham: Options and Ways to Respond,” a panel discussion about how the group operates and how governments should respond.
  • Attention bosses: It’s National Employee Freedom Week! Which is not as exciting as it sounds, however. It’s actually about an employee’s right not to have to join a union, which is the subject of a Supreme Court decision known as Abood. That decision upheld the right of states to force public employees to pay union dues even if they didn’t want to join the union. It enjoys a narrowing majority, and many think it ripe for reversal. On Thursday, the Heritage Foundation hosts “Protecting Public Employees’ First Amendment Rights: Major Cases Challenging ‘Abood.’”

    Edward Wyatt is a senior vice president at Sphere Consulting LLC, which he joined in May 2015 following a 20-year career as a reporter and correspondent for The New York Times. He works with public affairs clients in the financial services, technology, and industrial sectors.

Leave a Reply