Not that it really matters to some, but we're not really in a good place at the moment. Things could turn, and most of us continue to hope for the best. But, as of early morning, August 24, here we are: The Economy While the unemployment figures look very good on their face, they are clearly not translating to growth, especially at the cost of the exploding deficit that temporarily goosed the economy. GDP is currently at 2.1%, but we can certainly remain hopeful that it will reverse course and increase. There have been spotty signs that growth-push inflation may be ticking up, but the trade war is clearly effecting sentiment (not to mention data) at a terribly delicate moment. Right now, this is a decent economy, at best, with consumers lacking the resources to push it and their household debt above 2008 levels. Trade With China Our President doesn't appear to understand that China is paying attention. They realize quite well that he's trying to bully them into a trade deal, like an eight-year old boy trying to bully another child out of their lunch at the playground. Meanwhile, Trump exhibits zero (0) understanding of the fact that China can theoretically out-wait us here, since they don't have those pesky elections to worry about all that much if the populace gets pissed off. While anything is certainly possible, it's tough to imagine China making any long term commitments until after they see who they're dealing with in January of 2021. International Relations Our President has not only isolated himself and his country from the rest of the world with his actions, but also with his petulant behaviors. Even for those of us who have done all we can to lower our standards and expectations of his child-like behavior, the thought of this goofy, pointless dust-up with Denmark (Denmark!) makes us wonder if this man can get along with anyone outside his base. Meanwhile, the crazy fat kid in North Korea is shooting off rockets like he's in charge of the Fourth of July celebration at the park. Like China, the world is clearly looking ahead, with hope, to November 2020. The Wall Trump's signature, paranoid, shallow, hyper-simplistic election issue piece isn't exactly flying up with checks to pay for it coming in from Mexico. Even with the White House, House and Senate, this President wasn't able to do much more than slap up a few new two by fours to fix some areas of our existing wall. Any completely "new" wall is spotty at best, and now he's ready to steal cash from one place to placate his base with a few miles of a much less Trumpish wall here and there. Gee, great, so much for that idea. I guess "Build! The! Wall!" could still serve as a standby rally chant when needed. Race Well, examining this topic is most likely a waste of time here, since there are many on this board who are telling us that racism no longer exists, or it's fake news, or that if you don't show up to work wearing a white hood you can't be a racist. What a disaster. And minorities are supposed to ignore all of it, because the unemployment rate is down at the moment. While the sycophants continue to run interference for the President Who Doesn't Know Who David Duke is, the rest of the country and the rest of the world are simply not buying the bullshit. But it sure sounds good on talk radio. The silver lining? By far the most "successful" component of the Trump years will probably turn out to be the courts. The SC is in good shape for them, and they now have the added bonus of hoping that Ruth is quickly ravaged by cancer and dies soon. Ditto (no pun intended) for the lower courts, the nominations of which don't make much news but sure look like Sean Hannity picked 'em. Could the economy turn back up? Yes, definitely, hopefully, but some kind of GOOD trade deal with China is now pretty much mandatory for that to happen. The Courts are the Courts. They'll probably be able to gather enough Lego™ blocks to build enough of a wall somewhere to keep talk radio and the base happy. International Relations? Race Relations? Pffffft. Who cares. Fake news. .