Category Archives: politics

Isolation and Trump

I was thinking about this article in the New York Times which suggests that Donald Trump is alone and isolated in the White House.  I have been really hard on Trump in the past, I don’t see anything in common with him but I hate to see anyone working like this.

Usually around 6:30 p.m., or sometimes later, Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter. With his wife, Melania, and young son, Barron, staying in New York, he is almost always by himself, sometimes in the protective presence of his imposing longtime aide and former security chief, Keith Schiller. When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.

I wonder how healthy it is for the President of the United States to be without friends, allies or family in Washington.  From what I remember or have read, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan had long time friends and political staff (who had become friends) come with them to Washington to help keep them grounded.  Others became close because of shared interests like George W. Bush and Condi Rice’s love of sports.

For Trump, there seems to be no one.  Those he does call friends often repudiate it or give the impression it is a very casual friendship.  It just seems like a very lonely high stress existence.  Not the best picture of the guy with the nuclear codes and who seems obsessed with conspiracy theories.

Trump gives America’s ‘poorest white town’ hope

In a town dependent on Obamacare, they put all of their hope in Trump

“If you got a job here in Beattyville, you’re lucky,” says Amber Hayes, a bubbly 25-year-old mom of two, who also voted for Trump. She works at the county courthouse, but is paid by the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (K-TAP), a form of welfare.

Coal, oil and tobacco made Beattyville a boom town in the 1800s and much of the 1900s. Locals like to bring up the fact that Lee County — where Beattyville is located — was the No. 1 oil-producing county east of the Mississippi at one time.

“Growing up in the ’70s? Yeah, this was the place to be,” says Chuck Caudhill, the general manager of the local paper, The Beattyville Enterprise. He calls the town the “gem of eastern Kentucky.”

Today, the town is a ghost of its former self. The vast majority of Beattyville residents get some form of government aid — 57% of households receive food stamps and 58% get disability payments from Social Security.

“I hope [Trump] don’t take the benefits away, but at the same time, I think that once more jobs come in a lot of people won’t need the benefits,” says Hayes, who currently receives about $500 a month from government assistance. She’s also on Obamacare.

The coal and oil jobs are almost all gone, but already there’s buzz Trump is reviving the industry.

Donna Coomer is the manager of a busy Valero gas station in the heart of Beattyville. She knows the names of most people who come in and makes small-town chatter with folks. Mere days after Trump’s inauguration, she heard coal trucks were rumbling again.

“Someone told me this morning that in eastern Kentucky the coal trucks are already out and about,” Coomer told CNNMoney, beaming. She voted for Obama but feels he was just a good talker who did little for Kentucky. Trump got her vote this time. She’s praying for the new president.

It will be hard for Trump to revive the coal jobs, even if he does scale back environmental regulations on the industry. Top coal executive Robert Murray recently told CNNMoney coal employment “can’t be brought back to where it was before the election of Barack Obama.”

After the energy jobs evaporated, Beattyville was kept alive by a private prison and a clothing factory, Lion Apparel, that made firefighter suits. Then those jobs went away during President Obama’s tenure.

All that’s left are a few grocery stores, gas stations and small businesses. And drugs.

This story can be found all over Saskatchewan but the difference is that we don’t blame the federal government for the decline of small town Saskatchewan.  People have moved to larger centres where the economy is stronger because they know things have changed.  Farms have gotten larger, the rail lines have been abandoned and the elevators are gone.  Those who decided to stay either have to a way to figure out to make it work with jobs or business that people will drive for or have to move to larger towns that are able to support a local economy.

I found it interesting that over half of the town is on food stamps.  Basically Kentucky is subsidizing these towns.  It may seem cruel but the Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services has often told people that they will not support you in places where there are no jobs and little hope of getting one. 

Sadly, Trump is playing these people for fools.  The decline in coal came from natural gas being cheaper.  It’s not Obama that has hurt them, it’s the market and unless Trump is going to subsidize the price of coal, things aren’t going to get better.  Even coal execs are saying, “these jobs aren’t coming back”.  So instead of moving on, they stay and suffer.

There are some economists who feel that the North American value of home ownership traps people into staying in locations long after they should have gone elsewhere for jobs.  It provides more stability for towns and governments but hurts those that have no work. 

Canadian warship project a mess, as one of world’s largest shipbuilders threatens minister it won’t bid

From the National Post

Canada’s multibillion-dollar project to buy a replacement for its frigates is so poorly structured that one of the world’s largest shipbuilders has warned the Liberal government it won’t bid unless changes are made.

A number of other ship designers are also considering backing out because of the problems plaguing the project to spend more than $26 billion on a new fleet of Canadian Surface Combatants.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri sent Procurement Minister Judy Foote a detailed outline of why the acquisition process is in trouble, warning that, “Canada is exposed to unnecessary cost uncertainty,” according to the Oct. 24, 2016, letter obtained by Postmedia.

There is also a belief in industry circles that the federal government is favouring a design from the British firm BAE, which is offering the Royal Canadian Navy the Type 26 warship.

Foote had previously said only proven warship designs would be considered to reduce the risk of problems. But the Liberal government retreated on that and will now accept a Type 26 bid, even though the vessel has not been built yet.

Preparing a bid for the Canadian Surface Combatant or CSC will cost companies between $10 million and $20 million. If they see their chances of winning a contract as slim, firms could decide not to enter the competition, further narrowing the choices for the Liberals on a new vessel for the navy.

The government announced Oct. 27, 2016, that Irving Shipbuilding, its prime contractor, had issued a request for bids from companies on the design of the new ships.

We actually saw this during the efforts to rearm the Rangers.  Canada wanted firms to give them their intellectual property for a rifle that Canada would manufacture.  Now we see it with the Canadian Surface Combatants.  No wonder firms are balking.

Bumbler in Chief

From the New York Times

President Trump loves to set the day’s narrative at dawn, but the deeper story of his White House is best told at night.

Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room. Visitors conclude their meetings and then wander around, testing doorknobs until finding one that leads to an exit. In a darkened, mostly empty West Wing, Mr. Trump’s provocative chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, finishes another 16-hour day planning new lines of attack.

Usually around 6:30 p.m., Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter. With his wife, Melania, and young son, Barron, staying in New York, he is almost always by himself, sometimes in the protective presence of his imposing longtime aide and former security chief, Keith Schiller. When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.

It gets better

Cloistered in the White House, he now has little access to his fans and supporters — an important source of feedback and validation — and feels increasingly pinched by the pressures of the job and the constant presence of protests, one of the reasons he was forced to scrap a planned trip to Milwaukee last week. For a sense of what is happening outside, he watches cable, both at night and during the day — too much in the eyes of some aides — often offering a bitter play-by-play of critics like CNN’s Don Lemon.

Until the past few days, Mr. Trump was telling his friends and advisers that he believed the opening stages of his presidency were going well. “Did you hear that, this guy thinks it’s been terrible!” Mr. Trump said mockingly to other aides when one dissenting view was voiced last week during a West Wing meeting.

But his opinion has begun to change with a relentless parade of bad headlines.

Mr. Trump got away from the White House this weekend for the first time since his inauguration, spending it in Palm Beach, Fla., at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, posting Twitter messages angrily — and in personal terms — about the federal judge who put a nationwide halt on the travel ban. Mr. Bannon and Reince Priebus, the two clashing power centers, traveled with him.

By then, the president, for whom chains of command and policy minutiae rarely meant much, was demanding that Mr. Priebus begin to implement a much more conventional White House protocol that had been taken for granted in previous administrations: From now on, Mr. Trump would be looped in on the drafting of executive orders much earlier in the process.

Another change will be a new set of checks on the previously unfettered power enjoyed by Mr. Bannon and the White House policy director, Stephen Miller, who oversees the implementation of the orders and who received the brunt of the internal and public criticism for the rollout of the travel ban.

Mr. Priebus has told Mr. Trump and Mr. Bannon that the administration needs to rethink its policy and communications operation in the wake of embarrassing revelations that key details of the orders were withheld from agencies, White House staff and Republican congressional leaders like Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

Also, Mr. Priebus has created a 10-point checklist for the release of any new initiatives that includes signoff from the communications department and the White House staff secretary, Robert Porter, according to several aides familiar with the process.

Wait for it. 

Mr. Trump remains intensely focused on his brand, but the demands of the job means he spends less time monitoring the news media — although he recently upgraded the flat-screen TV in his private dining room so he can watch the news while eating lunch.

He often has to wait until the end of the workday before grinding through news clips with Mr. Spicer, marking the ones he does not like with a big arrow in black Sharpie — though he almost always makes time to monitor Mr. Spicer’s performance at the daily briefings, summoning him to offer praise or criticism, a West Wing aide said.

Visitors to the Oval Office say Mr. Trump is obsessed with the décor — it is both a totem of a victory that validates him as a serious person and an image-burnishing backdrop — so he has told his staff to schedule as many televised events in the room as possible.

To pass the time between meetings, Mr. Trump gives quick tours to visitors, highlighting little tweaks he has made after initially expecting he would have to pay for them himself.

Flanking his desk are portraits of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, a recently acquired personal hero often cited by Mr. Bannon. He will linger on the opulence of the newly hung golden drapes, once used by Franklin D. Roosevelt — for a man who sometimes has trouble concentrating on policy memos, Mr. Trump was delighted to page through a book that offered him 17 window covering options.

Trump is playing a role, that of President Trump with really no idea of what it means and his actions are having on people.  That and from other reports you realize that Jared Kushner is more concerned with his brand and standing than the President he should be serving.

Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying

This is discouraging

Mr. Trump understands that attacking the media is the reddest of meat for his base, which has been conditioned to reject reporting from news sites outside of the conservative media ecosystem.

For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in that conditioning by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined. The cumulative effect of the attacks was to delegitimize those outlets and essentially destroy much of the right’s immunity to false information. We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience. Instead, we opened the door for President Trump, who found an audience that could be easily misled.

The news media’s spectacular failure to get the election right has made it only easier for many conservatives to ignore anything that happens outside the right’s bubble and for the Trump White House to fabricate facts with little fear of alienating its base.

Unfortunately, that also means that the more the fact-based media tries to debunk the president’s falsehoods, the further it will entrench the battle lines.

During his first week in office, Mr. Trump reiterated the unfounded charge that millions of people had voted illegally. When challenged on the evident falsehood, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, seemed to argue that Mr. Trump’s belief that something was true qualified as evidence. The press secretary also declined to answer a straightforward question about the unemployment rate, suggesting that the number will henceforth be whatever the Trump administration wants it to be.

He can do this because members of the Trump administration feel confident that the alternative-reality media will provide air cover, even if they are caught fabricating facts or twisting words (like claiming that the “ban” on Muslim immigrants wasn’t really a “ban”). Indeed, they believe they have shifted the paradigm of media coverage, replacing the traditional media with their own.

In a stunning demonstration of the power and resiliency of our new post-factual political culture, Mr. Trump and his allies in the right media have already turned the term “fake news” against its critics, essentially draining it of any meaning. During the campaign, actual “fake news” — deliberate hoaxes — polluted political discourse and clogged social media timelines.

Some outlets opened the door, by helping spread conspiracy theories and indulging the paranoia of the fever swamps. For years, the widely read Drudge Report has linked to the bizarre conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who believes that both the attacks of Sept. 11 and the Sandy Hook shootings were government-inspired “false flag” operations.

For conservatives, this should have made it clear that something was badly amiss in their media ecosystem. But now any news deemed to be biased, annoying or negative can be labeled “fake news.”

Trump just got checked and balanced

Trump isn’t a monarch

Drafted by a small circle of aides, who kept the contents secret from lawmakers and most government officials, the contentious ban has drawn legal scrutiny since it went into effect last weekend. At the Justice Department, the acting attorney general was fired from her post on Monday night after telling agency lawyers not to defend the measure. Trump replaced her with a US attorney who vowed to enforce the ban.

But with the judge’s ruling on Friday evening, even Trump’s own appointees will be forced to follow the court’s order. Less than three hours after the decision was handed down, Customs and Border Protection officials told representatives from major air carriers they could allow previously banned passengers to board flights bound for the US.

The Department of Homeland Security, headed by Trump pick John Kelly, said it is suspending implementation of the order, even as it insisted the ban was “lawful and appropriate.”

And the State Department, run by Trump appointee Rex Tillerson, said it is revalidating visas it revoked only days ago.

“We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas under Executive Order 13769,” an agency official said. “Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid.”

The order and its subsequent reversal have led to rapid-fire changes in US policy, leading some to view a government in disarray.

Shopify Employees Quietly Urged The Company To Stop Doing Business With Breitbart

From Buzzfeed

Employees at Shopify have quietly urged the company to cut ties with Breitbart News and stop hosting the right-wing media outlet’s online store, but those concerns have largely fallen on deaf ears at the Canadian startup, BuzzFeed News has learned.

For months, employees have been asking for an updated policy on what types of clients Shopify will work with. The ubiquitous e-commerce platform powers more than 325,000 online stores, including those for the Democratic Party and Donald Trump. Breitbart launched its own official swag shop in October, and multiple sources say the site’s worldview clashes with the tolerant and inclusive workplace Shopify says it wants to foster.

Breitbart’s early embrace of Trump’s presidential candidacy and relentless promotion of his policies have made it one of the most influential conservative media outlets in in the US. Its former chairman, Steve Bannon, is currently serving as chief strategist to President Trump. He has described Breitbart as “the platform for the alt-right,” the online movement of white nationalists who loudly oppose feminism, multiculturalism, and political correctness.

Why Trump’s Staff Is Lying

A must read column by Tyler Cowen on Bloomberg View

Why Trump's Staff Is LyingOne of the most striking features of the early Trump administration has been its political uses of lying. The big weekend story was the obviously false claim of Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, that Trump pulled in the largest inauguration crowds in American history. This raises the question of why a leader might find it advantageous to promote such lies from his subordinates.

First and most obviously, the leader wishes to mislead the public, and wants to have subordinates doing so, in part because many citizens won’t pursue fact-checking. But that’s the obvious explanation, and the truth runs much deeper.

By requiring subordinates to speak untruths, a leader can undercut their independent standing, including their standing with the public, with the media and with other members of the administration. That makes those individuals grow more dependent on the leader and less likely to mount independent rebellions against the structure of command. Promoting such chains of lies is a classic tactic when a leader distrusts his subordinates and expects to continue to distrust them in the future.

Another reason for promoting lying is what economists sometimes call loyalty filters. If you want to ascertain if someone is truly loyal to you, ask them to do something outrageous or stupid. If they balk, then you know right away they aren’t fully with you. That too is a sign of incipient mistrust within the ruling clique, and it is part of the same worldview that leads Trump to rely so heavily on family members.

In this view, loyalty tests are especially frequent for new hires and at the beginning of new regimes, when the least is known about the propensities of subordinates. You don’t have to view President Trump as necessarily making a lot of complicated calculations, rather he may simply be replicating tactics that he found useful in his earlier business and media careers.

He continues

Trump specializes in lower-status lies, typically more of the bald-faced sort, namely stating “x” when obviously “not x” is the case. They are proclamations of power, and signals that the opinions of mainstream media and political opponents will be disregarded. The lie needs to be understood as more than just the lie. For one thing, a lot of Americans, especially many Trump supporters, are more comfortable with that style than with the “fancier” lies they believe they are hearing from the establishment. For another, joining the Trump coalition has been made costlier for marginal outsiders and ignoring the Trump coalition is now less likely for committed opponents. In other words, the Trump administration is itself sending loyalty signals to its supporters by burning its bridges with other groups.

These lower-status lies are also a short-run strategy. They represent a belief that a lot can be pushed through fairly quickly, bundled with some obfuscation of the truth, and that long-term credibility does not need to be maintained. Once we get past blaming Trump for various misdeeds, it’s worth taking a moment to admit we should be scared he might be right about that.

So the overall picture is this: The Trump administration trusts neither its own appointees nor its own supporters, and is creating a situation where that lack of trust is reciprocal. That is of all things a strategy for getting things done, and these first one hundred days are going to be a doozy.

Four More Years

I despise lying politicians.  I know most of them are liars but Trump seems to be taking this to another level.  Seeing the work that Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale is doing trying to chronicle Donald Trump’s lies is just overwhelming.  It is three days into the Trump Administration and it is just overwhelming.

I could do nothing for the next four years other than writing about Trumps lies and delusions but to what end?  He’s not my President and it’s not my fight.  While large parts of the United States are resisting the Trump administration, I have some other things to do.

As my friend Sean tweeted today, how long can you keep your mouth open for a firehose?  It’s been an exhausting few days, how do you do it for four years?

So I decided today to just ignore the delusional psychopath today on Twitter.  He is going to lie and lie and lie some more.  Unless he takes the United States to the brink of war, I am going to move on to doing something with a net benefit to society.   I have other things to do than listen to alternative facts and how many people were at the inauguration. 

The Disruptive Career of Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor

An unflattering look at the incoming National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn.

In 2012, Flynn became director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in charge of all military attachés and defense-intelligence collection around the world. He ran into serious trouble almost immediately. I’ve spoken with some two dozen former colleagues who were close to Flynn then, members of the D.I.A. and the military, and some who worked with him in civilian roles. They all like Flynn personally. But they described how he lurched from one priority to another and had trouble building a loyal team. “He made a lot of changes,” one close observer of Flynn’s time at the D.I.A. told me. “Not in a strategic way—A to Z—but back and forth.”

Flynn also began to seek the Washington spotlight. But, without loyal junior officers at his side to vet his facts, he found even more trouble. His subordinates started a list of what they called “Flynn facts,” things he would say that weren’t true, like when he asserted that three-quarters of all new cell phones were bought by Africans or, later, that Iran had killed more Americans than Al Qaeda. In private, his staff tried to dissuade him from repeating these lines.

Flynn’s temper also flared. He berated people in front of colleagues. Soon, according to former associates, a parallel power structure developed within the D.I.A. to fence him in, and to keep the nearly seventeen-thousand-person agency working. “He created massive antibodies in the building,” the former colleague said.

Flynn had been on the job just eighteen months when James Clapper told him he had to go. Clapper said that he could stay for another nine months, until his successor was vetted and confirmed, according to two people familiar with their conversation. Flynn was livid.

After he left government, Flynn followed the path of many other retired generals and got on the television and speaking circuit. He wrote a book with Michael Ledeen, a controversial neoconservative foreign-policy analyst, about defeating terrorism. Islam is not a religion, Flynn and Ledeen wrote, but a political ideology bent on destroying Judeo-Christian civilization. Flynn began saying that he had been fired because President Obama disagreed with his views on terrorism and wanted to hide the growth of isis. I haven’t found anyone yet who heard him say this while he was still in the military. In the past, I’ve asked Flynn directly about this claim; he has told me that he doesn’t have any proof—it’s just something he feels was true. (Flynn did not respond to requests for comment for this article.)

As Flynn’s public comments became more and more shrill, McChrystal, Mullen, and others called Flynn to urge him to “tone it down,” a person familiar with each attempt told me. But Flynn had found a new boss, Trump, who enlisted him in the fight against the Republican and Democratic Party establishments. Flynn was ready. At the Republican National Convention, Flynn boiled over in front of an audience of millions. He led the crowd in chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” His former colleagues say they were shocked by what they saw.

What Flynn saw was corruption: Clinton, the media, the Justice Department, the intelligence community—they are all corrupt. I spoke to Flynn three months ago, while working on a profile of him for the Washington Post. “Is this some kind of hatchet job!” he roared into the phone when I asked why, exactly, he thought Clinton should be in jail.

The lifelong intelligence officer, who once valued tips gleaned from tribal reporters, has become a ready tweeter of hackneyed conspiracy theories. He reposts the vitriol of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim commentators. “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL,” he tweeted in February, linking to a false claim that Islam wants eighty per cent of humanity enslaved or exterminated. “U decide,” he posted one week before the election, along with the headline from a linked story that appeared on a Web site called True Pundit: “NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w/Children, etc. . . . MUST READ!”

Last week, Trump announced that Flynn would be his national-security adviser, a job that requires strategic vision and consensus-seeking among competing big-dog agencies. Mullen, this week, suggested to me that Flynn would need to change in order to succeed in his new role. “Mike Flynn was a terrific intel officer when he worked for me as a two-star and was both dynamic and often contrarian,” Mullen said. “Those qualities need to be tempered as national-security adviser in order to serve the next President as a thoughtful and strategic adviser.” Whether Flynn now learns to bottle his rage, whether he reëmbraces fact over fiction, whether he’s capable of playing the role of a contemplative counsellor, will determine the outcome of his most difficult and important mission yet.

Conspiracy theories, false facts, making decisions with no evidence.  All of the characteristics you want in a National Security Advisor.

Jansen to receive security protection because of death threats

This is sickening news

Calgary MLA Sandra Jansen is now being protected by security after receiving death threats after crossing the floor from the Tories to the NDP government last week.

The government confirmed Wednesday that its Executive Protection Unit is providing security for Jansen on a temporary basis.

In an interview, Jansen said there have been death threats and threats of violence made towards her on social media since she joined the NDP government last week.

“There was a concern from the NDP, our government, that they wanted to make sure that I was protected in the event that someone decided to make good on the threats,” said the Calgary-North West MLA.

What is wrong with people that they feel the need to call for vile threats of violence (often rape) and death towards female politicians every time they do something they disagree with?  What happened to the decency that everyone deserves?  More importantly how do we get it back?

This isn’t looking good

From the Wall Street Journal

During their private White House meeting on Thursday, Mr. Obama walked his successor through the duties of running the country, and Mr. Trump seemed surprised by the scope, said people familiar with the meeting. Trump aides were described by those people as unaware that the entire presidential staff working in the West Wing had to be replaced at the end of Mr. Obama’s term.

After meeting with Mr. Trump, the only person to be elected president without having held a government or military position, Mr. Obama realized the Republican needs more guidance. He plans to spend more time with his successor than presidents typically do, people familiar with the matter said.

Some quick post-election thoughts

  1. Some Charlie Clark supporters need to chill out more.  I made the joke on Tuesday about another election happening so soon after the civic election and that it felt like Charlie Clark had accomplished nothing since being elected.   It was a joke.  Learn to laugh.  Either that or you need to stop following me.
  2. In the run up to the Ford election in Toronto, every time a scandal would hit Ford (and they were serious), people would say that Ford was finished.  He actually became more popular.  I tend to think the same thing happened to Trump.  People saw themselves in him.  That isn’t a good thing as we found out with Ford and America will find out with Trump.  The good news is that Toronto went the opposite way the next election with John Tory.  So if they can survive four years, there is hope.
  3. Trump did not win, Clinton lost.  Trump’s vote total didn’t increase and in fact many Republicans did not vote for him.  The reality with Clinton is that more Democrats chose not to vote for her.  We sometimes look back at the Clinton years with rose tinted glasses but a lot Americans hated Bill Clinton when he was in office and that hatred and distrust never left.  Would I vote for Trump?  Never but there is a lot of animosity towards Clinton as evidenced by the fact she lost Arkansas.
  4. Winning the presidency didn’t make Donald Trump less dangerous and unacceptable. It made him more so
  5. Trump’s victory will impact Saskatoon.  Murray Mandryk hits on the economics in his excellent column today but I am talking in other ways.  Wendy works with the public.  Many of you see her there and are wonderful to her.  Wendy is also an immigrant and came to Canada in 1975.  Being from Guyana, she is of mixed ancestry because of their history of indentured slavery.   Nothing bothers her at work until this last month when she would deal with a flood of racist comments almost all day long about immigrants, her co-workers who are also immigrants, and people of color in general.  It was vile and disgusting.  Luckily her company has good policies on dealing with this stuff but the line out there about Trump’s victory normalizing racism and hatred against minorities having an impact on more than just
  6. For all of the positive talk about Keystone XL, I don’t know if it is the slam dunk that everyone is saying it is.  Here is why?  Canadian crude flowing down to the U.S. hurts their fracking industry which needs a boost in prices to be feasible.  That and Trump is protectionist and  I could see that the pipeline being stalled.  Again.
  7. There is the alt right.  I also think there is something called the alt stupid.  I have been told of how Hillary Clinton had a son that was an abuser and she covered it up (not the son but the abuse).  Umm, she has a daughter named Chelsea.   There was also the story about how her and Bill raised millions for Haiti but used it to build luxury hotels. 
  8. Kellie Leitch has no soul.  She knows that Donald Trump stands for.  She knows what Donald Trump did.  Yet all she cares about is cheap electoral gain at the expense of Canadians.  I have never had as little respect for a MP as I do Leitch and I live in the same city as Brad Trost.
  9. I tend to think that Trump will spend most of his first term in office enriching himself.  This will bring Democratic scorn which will mean retribution from him and the thugs he surrounds himself with like Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani. 
  10. I’ll just toss this in there but it is in-excusable that Saskatchewan Party MLAs blocked an investigation into what went wrong with the Global Transportation Hub.  As Murray Mandryk pointed out, In legislative public accounts committee on Tuesday morning, Sask. Party backbenchers Glen Hart, Larry Doke, Warren Michelson, Jennifer Campeau, Herb Cox and Randy Weekes did their utmost to ensure anyone who had anything to do with the GTH decisions (including Boyd himself) will now never be held to account by a formal legislative body.  By doing this, they have failed at the primary responsibilities as MLAs which is to hold the government (the cabinet) to account.  Those MLAs are representing you, they are representing the office of the Premier.
  11. This chart shows you the divide in America.  It’s an urban/rural divide as much as it is a Republican/Democratic one.The GOP/Democratic Divide county by county
  12. Despite Trumps win and the dark times ahead, I remain committed more than ever to trying to build a great city and community.  It’s not a time to give up, it’s a time to dig in, help out, and serve others.  If we don’t, all of the progress that has been made will be lost.