With today's presidential inauguration, we embark on a social, political, market, and economic journey arguably unlike any we've ever seen in our lifetimes or in the history of this country. The degree of disappointment and hurt on one side is balanced by joy and hope on the other. We will likely see and hear equal amounts of both for weeks and months time to come.
As we bid adios to 2016 and anticipate 2017, many of the 'givens' from years past have vanished. The healthcare industry will almost certainly undergo another sea-change, like it did in 2010 with Obama Care. Taxes are apt to fall significantly with both a White House and Congress on parallel courses to cut virtually all tax rates, corporate and personal. International trade is headed for a shakeup as Mr. Trump promises to end or re-negotiate all major agreements on the table and in force that in his view unfairly penalize American interests. Major federally-funded construction projects will renovate highways, bridges, dams, waterways, and airports, but which ones and at what cost to the debt? Immigration laws will be strenuously enforced, impacting families, sanctuary cities, farms, and high tech companies dependent on lower cost visa workers. And foreign policy? If there ever was a case of 'out of the frying pan and into the fire,' we are there. The world is a mess and likely to to get messier, unless and until American diplomacy, backed by credibility and power, is reestablished.
This year's presidential race has destroyed any remaining remnants of normalcy in our country's quadrennial 'peaceful' transition of power. The breadth of its chaos has shattered precedents in civility, legality, political polling, expectations, and reporting. Both candidates have survived what almost certainly would have led...
Among my fondest memories are those late Sunday night drives back to Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown. The music was great, but it was Casey’s back stories of the songs and singers that made the experiences so much richer. It felt like Casey, with his melodic baritone voice, was riding beside me in the car as he told his colorful stories of those early 70's artists and their music. He had a way of penetrating the mystique of those mighty rock stars of the day, making them seem real and approachable. The music took on new meanings when Casey described how it was inspired, how it fit into the history of the genre, and how it impacted millions of fans as he shared their letters.