I have long said DC is like high school but with access to nuclear weapons. When one global leader taunts with "rocket man" the other responds with "mentally deranged," grade school may be more appropriate.
Pro-tip: If you do advocacy work with and/or for foreign governments in DC someone in the USG is paying attention - always.
Steve Bannon is the new Henry Kissinger. While in Asia, Bannon had a secret meeting with a Wang Qishan, the second most powerful Communist party official and longtime friend of Wall Street. The meeting is notable for several reasons. I am certain the Chinese want a better understanding of Bannon's economic nationalism ideology as well as gain insights on how to handle Trump's scheduled visit to China this fall. Thirdly, the meeting suggests Wang may continue to work as the nation's top financial technocrat during Xi Jinping's second term in office.
Regardless of voter turnout, Catalonia will declare independence within 48 hours of a “yes” vote in next month’s controversial referendum. This is a problem.
Speaking of voting, Germany holds a federal election on Sunday, and all polls predict Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives will come in first. However, the make-up of her coalition government is still in question. The election is a race for third place as the party that finishes there will be the foundation of the coalition government.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May will deliver a major speech in Florence, Italy on how the UK would like to move forward on Brexit around 9:15 am ET. Expectations for the speech include a dollar amount to pay for the divorce, asking for a two-year transitional deal after the UK formally leaves, and establishing rights of EU nationals working in Britain.
From an advance perspective, PM May will make this speech in the Catholic church of Santa Maria Novella - the same place where Galileo was first accused of heresy for daring to think differently about the world. This reminds me of the time I was working on a campaign, and the victory party was held at the Waterloo Restaurant - the candidate lost the election.
Facebook is becoming the shadow FEC of the digital campaign world. In an address yesterday, Facebook announced it will make political advertising much more transparent and will work with election commissions around the world. I must say, I am super impressed how the company is handling this issue and is thinking long-term. Whatever squabbling the comes from the political operative class working used to working the dark arts of campaign messaging, Facebook is now on the side of sunshine and MNCs which spend more money and produce better content.
Uber lacks the knowledge as London's transport authority said it will not re-issue a private-car hire license to Uber. This is a big win for labor and the black cabbies who set the standard for professionalism and expertise.
Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading.