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Ground shifting merger? 惊天动地的合并

中国日报网 2023-06-16 13:06


Reader question:

Please explain “ground shifting” in this sentence: The two biggest organizations in golf announced a ground-shifting merger.

My comments:

In the news, two of the biggest professional golf organizations, the PGA Tour and the LIV Tour, have announced a merger, which many believe is potentially ground shifting.

Big change coming, in other words.

The LIV Tour is backed by Saudi Arabia, which means money galore. The PGA Tour is the world’s most prestigious, but lacks funding. So the merger makes a lot of sense, sort of.

After the merger, will the world see a new behemoth with both prestige and the financial wherewithal to push the sport to greater heights?

Or to unprecedented criticism and controversy?

Without going into detail, we can feel that change is coming.

We can feel like the ground is shifting underneath our feet.

That’s the literally meaning of “ground shifting”.

Yes, like what we feel during an actual earthquake.

Metaphorically speaking, ground shifting change means, well, a sea change, to use another expression of geological origin.

Sea change?

Literally, that refers to the fact that mountains grown out of seas (and vice versa) due to geological change, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Needless to say, those are tumultuous, gargantuan changes.

Hence, metaphorically speaking, ground shifting change refers to major changes that will transform the landscape.

In our example, professional golf will never be the same.

All right, let’s read a few examples of “ground shifting” in the news:

1. When standing on shaky ground, you have two options: Move to stable ground or suffer the consequences. “President” Donald Trump is choosing the latter. New transcripts have been released, and the testimony contained therein is rapidly causing a shift in the ground beneath Trump’s feet.

The latest bombshell transcripts contain the testimonies of OMB official Mark Sandy and State Department official Philip Reeker. Not only do their testimonies fill in more blanks, that testimony shows just how insidious Trump’s actions were. More importantly, they show the lengths to which he went to hide his activities. That, my friends, is consciousness of guilt.

Sandy’s testimony outlined “highly unusual” activities with respect to releasing aid to Ukraine. Extremely telling is the fact that the OMB took the first official step in withholding Ukraine aid on the evening of Trump’s phone call with President Zelensky, July 25, even though the agencies were notified a week prior to the call – July 18 – that the “aid had been frozen.” Sandy testified that Trump had been interested in the aid as far back as June, likely seeing it as a bargaining chip. Sandy voiced his concerns, raising a little-known federal law, the Impoundment Control Act, notifying Trump that he would be in violation of that law should he continue to “unilaterally withhold” funds that had been approved by Congress. Sandy also knew that if the funds weren’t released by September 30, they would be lost.

Mark Sandy also poked holes in Republican talking points on Trump’s illegal behavior. For example, when asked whether the aid was withheld because Trump wanted other countries to contribute to the aid, Sandy said that White House officials never brought that issue up until September, long after Trump froze the funds. He also testified that aid to Ukraine is “consistent with the national security strategy” because it “opposed Russian aggression” in the region. Trump was serving Putin, again, and not the United States. Sandy simply could not understand the holdup on these funds, but Philip Reeker’s testimony appeared to clear those questions up on some level.

Reeker testified that the hold on Ukraine’s aid “was orchestrated at the highest levels” in the White House. Reeker believes that Mulvaney was withholding the funds but was not certain. Mulvaney answers to Trump, so it obvious that while he might have appeared to be the holdup, he could not have done such a thing without Trump’s knowledge and approval. Reeker also confirmed Kurt Volker’s testimony that he and other diplomats had concerns about Rudy Giuliani’s direct involvement with Ukraine, as he believed Giuliani to be providing negative information to Trump. As with Mulvaney, Giuliani could not have made any moves, negative or otherwise, without Trump’s approval. As expected, this all points back to Trump.

- The ground is shifting beneath Trump’s feet, PalmerReport.com, November 29, 2019.

2. Democrat Pat Ryan said a “one-two combo” of protecting abortion rights and promising economic support were the key parts of his campaign after defeating his Republican opponent in a special election in New York.

Ryan beat GOP candidate Marcus Molinaro in the hotly contested race for New York’s 19th District on Tuesday, with the bellwether election in the competitive swing seat seen as a test of how voters will react to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade come November's midterms.

Ryan made maintaining access to abortions a key part of his campaign and described the special election as a vote for “freedom.” In comparison, Molinaro believes the decision to impose stricter access to abortions should be made on a state-by-state basis.

Speaking to MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday, Ryan said he was able to capitalize on the “catalyzing, energy driving” calls for rights to abortions to remain untouched and felt the “ground shifting” away from the GOP in the final few weeks of the campaign.

“I’m so proud that our community stood up at this moment,” Ryan said. “I think it is an existential moment for our democracy and my community delivered.”

- Pat Ryan Felt ‘Ground Shifting’ Against GOP After Abortion Ruling, Foxx-Business.com, August 25, 2022.

3. How U.S. companies invest in certain foreign jurisdictions is about to face potentially “ground-shifting” government intervention, attorneys warn, as governmental interests in screening U.S. outbound investment focus on national security concerns while keeping the U.S. competitive globally.

The Treasury and Commerce departments are due to deliver a report to Congress by the end of February, outlining concrete policy guidelines for U.S. outbound investment screenings, with a primary eye toward China. At the same time, President Joe Biden has been working on an executive order, currently under interagency review, that will define requirements for outbound investment screenings.

“There is some momentum,” said Emily Benson, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The administration is making decisions right now that could be potentially ground-shifting,” said Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Aimen Mir.

What Does the Government Mean by Outbound Investment?

For Washington, D.C., law firms, the upcoming new requirements pose a whole set of questions as to the scope of the measures as well as implementation challenges for clients in various industries.

“How do you define those industries in a way that’s clear enough so that the business community and investors know what you’re trying to regulate,” Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom partner Brian J. Egan told NLJ. As to scope and precision of the upcoming regulations, it’ll be “a very difficult line-drawing exercise,” Skadden counsel Brooks E. Allen added.

“I think what we’re seeing is an attempt at strategic decoupling,” Covington & Burling partner Jonathan R. Wakely said. The administration will likely prioritize a narrow set of sectors of strategic interest including semiconductors, quantum computing and artificial intelligence. “Companies should be evaluating their business in China and potential future transactions from the perspective of how they will be viewed by U.S national security regulators.”

And then there’s the question of financial flows versus transfer of know-how. “We suspect to some extent the government is actually more concerned about investment of know-how overseas, where a U.S. company sends employees into another country to develop a project or product” Egan said.

“The challenge for the government will be to define those areas with enough specificity,” Wakely said, in order for investors to do their due diligence and figure out if a company has any activity in any of the areas under scrutiny.

- It’s ‘Potentially Ground-Shifting’: US Outbound Investment Rules Are About to Change, Law.com, February 21, 2023.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣   编辑:丹妮)


Tied himself in knots? 搞得一团乱


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