Pollyana Day

Wed, 2017/10/04 - 2:06pm | Your editor
Printer-friendly version

I am not going to sing while being crucified like Monty Python, but today we have some Pollyanna notes, seeing the bright side result of bad news.

First off, the mounting list of victims whose data was stolen from Equifax by hackers, may result in the USA abandoning one of its silliest customs: using social security numbers for indentifying people. SS numbers routinely are used for verifying your identity when opening a bank, brokerage, or credit card account, to get medical treatment or hospitalization, to apply to vote or to drive.

That makes identity theft easy, something both the ex-Equifax execs and their congressional inquisitors agreed upon. Social security numbers need to be masked separately with codes created for each purpose: financial, medical, pension, or applying for something from the state or federal governments.

Another Pollyanna idea, unfortunately less likely to see the light of day. Richard Nixon, from the Republican right was able to open US relations with China more easily than his Democratic Party predecessors, who feared being called “soft on Communism.” Being a president best-regarded by voters in the heartland who live in areas where gun control is viewed as an attack on constitutional rights, Donald Trump may be the one who can add more sensible checks on the sale of rifles, handguns, and shooting irons—and particularly the horrific ease with which weapons can be modified to fire automatically to kill scores and wound hundreds. After all, Pres. Trump is a New Yorker and while he has a license to carry a gun he went through one of the country's most nit-picking license processes to get it.

Now that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has confimred his loyalty to the President, the State Department can use his brownie points (or brown-nose ones) to shift some of the extreme White House positions toward the foreign policy mainstream.

Finally, if the tax-cut brigade can blame the likely deficit to come on natural disasters, as Pres. Trump did yesterday in Puerto Rico, we may not wind up facing and end to our ability to deduct state and local taxes from our federal income statement. Again, as a New York taxpayer, Mr. Trump has experience with this deduction, even if his tax forms are still being kept hidden. Melania Trump and their son Barron were New York City residents for most of the current year and joined by Mr Trump (with considerable costs for cops and great mayhem in our neighborhood) when he came to NYC to visit with the UN chief and host a fund-raiser at Le Cirque, both in the zip code area where he used to reside (and where I still live.)

 

My note yesterday about Russia filling in the gap in internet access for North Korea has been confirmed by the mainstream press. I filed earlier than they did because I got the information from what I consider reliable sources, Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung and Foreign Affairs magazine websites. The latest news is that Putin-land is also offering other more critical economic and military help to Pyongyang from its Far Eastern border region of Primorsky Krai. This a Kremlin reaction to sanctions over its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine and Yalta.

 

Russia is also making nice to Nicolas Maduro which may wind up troubling the US on a different front. The rumor is that Rosneft of Russia is buying taking the US Citgo gas station chain over from the bankrupt petty dictator of Venezuela, supplier of filled tanks in our heartland, and indeed all over NYC. While we sanction Rosneft, it has taken a Citgo mortage as collateral for loans to the PDVSA sub in payment for crude oil So far Pres. Trump has excluded PDVSA and Citgo from sanctions, which cynics attribute to the Caracas-controlled oil co. having donated a half million bucks to his election campaign and continuing lobbying. However, I expect the blushing President to reverse course now and stop being a pal to Putin who may have got Trump his job.

 

Polyanna positivism also applies in our stock performance today, but I will only share that with paid subscribers. We have news from India, Israel, Argentina, Sweden, Britain, Russia, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica (a first), Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, and Canada. There will be no blog Thursday and only a quickie on Friday for a Jewish holiday and then the long-awaited installation of our our land-lines.

Full content is available to subscribers only. Subscribe now.