Tag Archives: Brexit

Britain selects Boris Johnson as PM? This is just great!

As if the world wasn’t unsettled enough with Donald John Trump serving as head of government — and head of state — of the world’s most powerful nation.

Now the planet gets to watch another buffoon take control of another great power’s government. That’s right, Great Britain’s Parliament has selected Boris Johnson to lead the Conservative Party, which means Johnson gets to become prime minister.

Johnson is as much of a goofball/fruitcake/buffoon as his good pal, Trump. What’s more, he even sports what one must define as a ridiculous head of hair, again just like Trump.

But beyond all the personal stuff, we have this matter of the incoming prime minister spouting intemperate utterances. He wants to fast track Britain’s departure from the European Union, which many of us wish wouldn’t occur in the first place.

Johnson succeeds Teresa May as prime minister. Sure, she has her problems, but at least she knows how conduct herself with decorum on the world stage. Boris Johnson, on the other hand, well … once again, he reminds me of the president of the United States.

Trump and Johnson. Oh, my. These two were made for each other.

Here we go again: Trump manages to ruffle ’em in the UK

I am slapping myself silly over the president of the United States’ inability to conduct himself with anything approaching the dignity his high office would demand.

Donald Trump is getting set for a state visit to the United Kingdom. He’ll meet with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and many other dignitaries. State visits compel him to meet with the high and mighty among his hosts.

But what in the world is this guy trying to do?

Prime Minister Teresa May has announced her resignation. Trump then weighed in with a virtual endorsement of Boris Johnson as May’s possible successor. Labor Party officials say that a U.S. president should meddle in a British election; one of them called Trump’s near-endorsement to be “unacceptable.”

Oh, and then there’s the dust-up over the Duchess of Sussex, the American-born wife of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, who said in 2016 that she might consider moving out of the country if Trump were elected president.

Trump responded by saying something about Markle being “nasty,” but then said he believed she would do well as a member of the British royal family.

White House officials say that Trump’s remarks were taken “out of context.” OK. Whatever.

If only the president of the United States would understand — let alone follow — the rules of diplomatic decorum.

He shouldn’t offer any public opinion on who should become the head of government of an allied nation in the midst of enormous economic and political turmoil.

Nor should he pop off about a beloved member of the royal family, tossing around the “nasty” epithet just because she — as an American citizen — was offering a political statement, which she is entitled to do.

It’s always something with this guy.

Texas is not alone in its secessionist fervor


Texas is far from the only state where nut jobs think it’s OK for their state to secede from the United States of America.

Others from Vermont to Hawaii think that since Great Britain has voted to withdraw from the European Union that Americans think they have license to do the same thing with Washington, D.C.


Am I missing something here?

The Brits remain part of a sovereign nation. The EU is a confederation of other sovereign European nations that sets certain rules for those nations to follow. They involve trade, currency and travel.

Every nation within the EU is free to self-govern according to their political framework.

Now we hear this goofy trans-Atlantic talk about states pulling out of the United States. Secessionists are tired of what they say is a government that’s too big, too intrusive and too out of touch.

Huh? What?

The federal government is responsible for the protection and well-being of 320-plus million Americans, all of whom live in states that are governed by that document called the U.S. Constitution. You remember it, yes? It grants us all rights and liberties. It sets forth the governing framework.

Oh, and then we have Congress, which appropriates money to pay for things like national defense, highways, Social Security and Medicare … and quite a number of other things we’ve come to cherish as American citizens.

This secession talk is crazy in the extreme. I need not remind everyone that some states tried that once. We went to war and the battles that ensued killed about 600,000 Americans.

Britain’s exit from the EU should be settled over there.

Such nuttiness needs to stay on that side of the ocean.

‘Brexit’ vote might not vaporize our money after all


I might have been a bit too quick to push the panic button in the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union.

My fear — which wasn’t exactly what I predicted would happen — was that my retirement account was going to fly out the window as investors bailed on stocks.

The Brits’ vote to leave the EU did cause some momentary panic. It seems to have lasted a couple of days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 800 points in those two days.

Then came a significant rally over the past two days. The Dow gained back nearly 600 of those points.

I had sent my financial adviser an e-mail message and implored her to “please tell me my retirement account is not going to vaporize.”

She called me right away. Her words were encouraging. Don’t worry, she told me. Your funds aren’t tied to the British markets. “You’re going to be fine,” she said.

It turns out — at least in the immediate term — that she is right.

As for the other pledge I made publicly — about not wanting to look at my retirement account for the next good while — I’m going to stay the course.

I might not look at it for the rest of the year. Then again, will I be able to resist opening the quarterly statements the investment firm sends us — the next one of which will arrive in the mail probably one day next week?

Oh, what a test of my internal fortitude.

I keep thinking of what the actor Danny Glover kept saying during those “Lethal Weapon” films … about being “too old for this s***.”

Texas cannot secede a second time


It’s coming again.

Fruitcakes are talking about looking for ways to allow Texas to secede from the United States of America.

The Texas Tribune has provided a fascinating primer on what’s allowed and what is not.

Secession is not allowed. Period.


What fascinates me more than anything are the phony parallels the Texas secessionists — which admittedly comprise a tiny fraction of the state’s population — are drawing with the British vote to exit the European Union.

There are no parallels.

Why? Well, for starters, Texas is not a sovereign nation. It belongs to a larger nation, with a federal government and a Constitution to which elected officials in all 50 states take an oath to “protect and defend.”

The EU is a loose conglomeration of sovereign nations that have within their own governing structures mechanisms to initiate a withdrawal from that group. That’s what the British voters did.

As the Texas Tribune reports: “The legality of seceding is problematic,” said Eric McDaniel, associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. “The Civil War played a very big role in establishing the power of the federal government and cementing that the federal government has the final say in these issues.”

The issue won’t die a quick and painless death, though.

The state has a history of once being an independent republic, from 1836 until 1845, when it became one of the United States. Texas did secede as the Civil War was breaking out.

According to the Tribune, none other than the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia put it all in its proper perspective.

“The answer is clear,” Scalia wrote. “If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, ‘one Nation, indivisible.’)”

Are we clear now?

No mulligans should be allowed on ‘Brexit’ vote


Those silly British citizens just plain surprised the world with that vote to remove the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Now, it appears at least 1.5 million of them want a do-over. They want another chance to reverse what a majority of Brits said they wanted. They’ve reportedly signed their names to petitions being circulated throughout Britain.

A part of me wishes a do-over election was feasible and reasonable. I dislike the idea of Britain exiting the EU. I fear for the future of this stellar alliance of nations and what its potential disintegration might mean to us on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

But in reality, the decision ought to stand and the British government should play the hand its been dealt.

Were it possible to grant electoral mulligans, Americans might have sought such a thing after the 2000 presidential election when Al Gore collected more popular votes than George W. Bush but lost the Electoral College by a single vote when the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the hand-counting of ballots in Florida; Bush had 537 more votes in Florida than Gore when the counting stopped, so he won the electoral vote by one more that he needed to be elected.

Our constitutional system worked.

The British referendum delivered a clear message, meaning that the British electoral system worked, too.

My hope — which is not exactly my expectation — is that the world financial markets will settle down eventually. Maybe it will settle down sooner than we think at the moment. That’s the one element of this tumult that upsets me … as a semi-retired American citizen.

A do-over on this referendum — which, incidentally, was a non-binding vote? It won’t happen. Nor should it.

The British government now must deal wit the harsh reality of re-creating an old relationship with the rest of Europe.

Reaction to ‘Brexit’ vote is most revealing


What am I missing here?

President Barack Obama is dismayed at the results of the British referendum that means that the United Kingdom is going to leave the European Union.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is saddened, too, by the outcome.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who staked his reputation on keeping his country in the EU, announced his resignation.

Meanwhile, Russia has applauded the result.

So has the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Here’s the best one yet: Donald J. Trump has joined Russia and Iran in cheering the referendum result.

Yes, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is now in league with Russia and Iran.

Aren’t these countries two of our more fearsome adversaries?

Oh, I almost forgot. Trump says Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is a “strong leader.” He’s also endorsed the ham-fisted tactics of other totalitarian regimes, such as Iran, for their firmness.

First it was ‘Brexit,’ now it’s ‘Texit’ … sheesh!


Many of us in Texas knew this might happen.

A fringe outfit called the Texas Nationalist Movement has hailed the British referendum that endorses Great Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Now these yahoos want Texas to follow suit. They want a referendum to decide whether Texas can exit the United States of America.

Sigh …


“It is past time that the people of Texas had their say on our continued relationship with the Union and its sprawling federal bureaucracy,” said Daniel Miller, president of the TNM.

Really, dude?

He’s asking Gov. Greg Abbott to support the idea of referring this idea to Texas voters. Keep asking. Abbott ain’t going to do it.

The “sprawling federal bureaucracy” is responsible for providing a lot of services that even Texas nationalists would support. Medicare health insurance? Social Security retirement income? National defense?

I feel the need to remind Daniel Miller that we did this once already. We joined several other states that went to war with the Union. Texas and the rest of the Confederate States of America lost that fight.

The parallel with what has transpired in Great Britain just doesn’t exist.

This is a free country where people are guaranteed the right to speak out, even when they spout idiocy in the public forum.

I am reminded of President Abraham Lincoln’s pearl of wisdom that “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

This “Texit” talk is the stuff of fools.

Brits please conservatives on this side of The Pond


Great Britain has voted to leave the European Union.

The reaction in the former British colony — now known as the United States of America — has been sharply divided.

Conservatives are hailing the decision; progressives are bemoaning it. Donald J. Trump, the upcoming Republican nominee for president, said he’s glad the Brits have voted to end their EU membership; his foe this fall, Hillary Clinton, is decidedly not glad.

Me? Well, I align more with the progressives. I don’t have a particular feeling about the Brits’ decision to bail out of the EU. I’m more concerned with the money I lost today from my retirement account. It’s that “enlightened self-interest” thing that drives me these days.

However, I am alarmed at the tone of the cheers I’m hearing from this side of the Atlantic. There’s an element of fear in it.

They’re hailing the Brits’ escape from the EU because of what they say are concerns about who’s coming into Europe from, say, the Middle East. You might have heard Trump say that the fear of many in this country mirrors the sentiment that was expressed by the “Brexit” vote in Britain.

Therein lies where Trump might seek to gain some political advantage over Clinton.

Fear and loathing.

The economic implications of the British exit from the EU are yet to be determined. Some economists believe this vote might trigger more national movements in other EU countries, that the Brits are the first of many EU members to bolt.

More economic mayhem is sure to follow if that’s the case.

Someone will have to explain to me: Why is that a good thing?

Brits to leave EU … and it will hit us hard


I might remember this day for a while.

I woke up, turned on my computer to catch up with the overnight news and learned that Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to resign, Wall Street took a dive … and a leading American politician who advocated all this mayhem might benefit politically in the United States.

Holy retirement fund, Batman!

The Brits decided they’d had enough of their economic marriage with the rest of Europe. So they bailed. Cameron staked his political reputation on the vote; it went badly for him and so he’s moving out of 10 Downing Street.

My retirement account is going to shed a lot of value today and perhaps for the next good while. Sheesh!

But here’s the element of this story that might underscore perfectly the weirdness of the American presidential election season.

Republican candidate Donald J. Trump — who at this very moment is touring a golf course resort he owns in Scotland — said he wanted the Brits to leave the EU. His Democratic opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton — along with President Obama — pitched for the Brits to stay in. Trump argued for nationalism in Britain; Clinton and Obama argued for economic stability.

Who might gain from this chaos? Trump.

“They’re angry over borders. They’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over, and nobody even knows who they are,” Trump told reporters after his helicopter landed in Turnberry, Scotland. “They’re angry about many, many things.”


Why does that matter here? It matters, according to Trump, because he says he’s angry about the same things. How he connects the EU situation with U.S. domestic policy, though, remains a mystery to me.

He also said that Clinton “misread” the mood of the British, which I guess in Trump’s view is another strike against the Democratic nominee-to-be.

It’s going to take some time for all this sink in. The markets will go wild and retirement accounts — just like those my wife and I are hoping to live on while we enjoy our “Golden Years” — will bleed heavily as investors push every panic button they can find.

Then we’ll get to listen to a major-party presidential candidate take “credit” for being on the winning side of a losing argument.

Crazy, man. Simply crazy.