1. It’s Monday, October 5, 2015.
2. For 20 of baseball’s 30 teams, the season is over. But not my Mets. How much longer that lasts is a big question, and depends on how much of a whammy we can put on two of the game’s best pitchers: Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke. But it’s at least another week. And that’s smile inducing.
3. It has been a godawful weekend in the Carolinas where record amounts of rain have produced widespread flooding. In some places, 25 inches of rain fell in a day. That’s hard to comprehend. Here’s to hoping it stops raining soon, and these folks can get their lives back together.
4. The first thing that struck me about the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal announced this morning was that one of the 12 countries involved is Vietnam.
Keep in mind that we lost more than 40,000 Americans and rent this society apart over the idea of making sure Vietnam didn’t become the Vietnam it is today.
And yet here we are, 40 years after the choppers left the U.S. Embassy roof, embracing the Hanoi government in a deal aimed at keeping the interests of China away.
I wonder what kind of reaction that would garner if we were able to go back in time and tell all the people who talked about domino theories and the like in the Sixties. I wonder how Vietnam veterans and the families of those who died feel.
The lesson is hard. There are times when a nation needs to act militarily. The world had to stop the Nazis and the Japanese. But the use of force needs to have a high bar. That bar was never met in Vietnam or, even worse, in Iraq.
Today, Vietnam is our partner is the biggest trade agreement ever. Who’d a thunk it?
5. Trade agreements have a bad rap.
Unions, and I’m an old union guy, believe they kill jobs. I don’t know that I buy that. The world is getting easier to navigate, both actually and virtually, and without a modicum of understanding, there will be chaos.
President Obama will be out trying to sell this agreement to the American people. Presidential candidates, led by Donny Trump and Bernie Sanders, will be out to trash it. With the fast track approval he got from Congress, the President holds the trump card, so to speak. Let’s see if he can get Americans to see it his way.