Archive for the ‘American Politics’ Category

Major moments in life.

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

No doubt each of us has had one or more major moments in life that help to define us. I was wondering about that during the recent State of the Union address by Donald Trump. It seems to be one of his many excesses that define his presidency.

I thought he reached the ultimate in political overdoing it when he introduced one of the few remaining Tuskegee airmen from World War II in a U.S. Airforce uniform whom he had promoted to (honorary) general.

What was wrong was that the general is 100 years old and Trump was so obviously pandering to the black vote.

In an interesting counterpoint, Trump also had his wife on the balcony to put a medal on radio trash-talk host Rush Limbaugh. While we can all sympathise with someone newly diagnosed with cancer, Limbaugh has really had enough years of preaching to the ignorant of America. When he goes to meet his maker, let us hope that the Lord does not pitch him back.

In each case, Trump had overdone it. It was like the rest of the overly long and less than accurate spiel that was not so much the state of the nation as the state of a sick and deluded mind.

You listen to Trump for a while and you expect his next claim to be that he made the sun shine. Yes, people are working in America. Many are employed at jobs at below a living wage. They are working at jobs that make money for Mr. Trump’s fellow climate change deniers. Millions are still working with no guarantee of health benefits.

Many Americans seem unaware that a critical part of the state of their nation is its relations with other countries. While there was reference to trade and the new deal with Canada and Mexico, there was nothing to help Americans understand the North American pact.

Frankly, Mexicans have a right to be more than annoyed at the continued insults to their country by Trump and the building of his fence. He has earned a reputation for the U.S.A. throughout the Americas for being bigoted, cruel and selfish. America does not do well by Donald Trump.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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The motivated American voter.

Saturday, February 8th, 2020

You do recall, do you not, that the voter turnout that elected Donald Trump president four years ago, was the lowest turnout in a presidential election in the past two decades? When less than 60 per cent of voters make the decision in a presidential election, there is lots of room for change in the next. Nothing is guaranteed.

What confounded the politically knowledgeable in that last election was that we did not expect the Trump supporters to have the numbers, the expertise or the information necessary to get out their vote. And they really did not.

But what little impact they had at the time was more than offset by the failure of the democratic party to motivate its base. And, do you really think that base is not going to be motivated this time? We like to assume it, but we simply do not know that yet. As they say, a lot of water will pass under that bridge before we know the answers.

The democratic party is currently mired in America’s archaic and corrupt presidential candidate selection process. It looks like Pete Buttigieg is the first break through in the geriatric wall of Biden, Sanders and Warren but whether he is the answer remains to be seen. He certainly has to make nice with blacks to go anywhere.

But there are many pieces of the puzzle to be put together before you can even make a dent in Emperor Trump’s armour. He is a stranger to the truth and it will not set him free. He is a danger to peace and he abuses America’s friends and allies. He belittles women and uses them. The more lies he tells his followers, the more they drink of his Koolaid.

Politically, we know Trump will fail. The question is, will the democrats succeed? Will they come together and get behind their party’s choice? Will they have a clear, concise and understandable platform? Will they get out their vote? Will they win the undemocratic College of Electors?


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Can an atheist claim ‘divine right?

Saturday, February 1st, 2020

This might not be a theological question. How can a well-known American lawyer stand in front of the senate and the nation and tell us a man elected by the self-serving rabble of America, is really the choice of God? When Alan Dershowitz defended Donald Trump in his senate trial by claiming that he was not guilty of abuse of office because of his divine right as president, he held the country up to ridicule by the rest of the world.

But the problem with God selecting Mr. Trump to be the leader of the world is not for him to be the next Noah and build an ark. Donald Trump is the flood.

Thankfully, the white house will not float. Nor will any of the Trump pleasure palaces up and down the east coast of America.

The last English-speaking person to be defended on the claim of divine right of kings was Charles 1 of England. A week or so after using that defence, Charles stepped out a window and they chopped off his head.

Since they stopped beheading kings with delusions, we have been more practical about this divine right business. What it comes down to in today’s world is a basic contract. If you choose, or a party chooses you to run for a certain political position, there is a usually a defined role applied in that position. Nobody gets a carte blanche to do as they wish in any position. It would not make sense.

The theory is that the public purse pays you a defined amount during the contract to carry out the job. No matter how high up the position and generous the salary, nobody pays you to break the law. There is no place in this contract that allows God to intercede and bestow additional powers on you or enable God to forgive you your crimes.

We do have to admit though that Donald Trump has led something of a charmed life. There are people who consider him a thief and a scoundrel. He is a womanizer and person who has been known to scoff at those who obey the Ten Commandments. Maybe, it is about time, God got in a few licks of His own.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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The newest ‘persecuted class.’

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

It has always been amusing that the news media make a point of having reporters on hand who represent this persecuted class or that one. They are always at the ready to claim that the racial group or demographic they represent is being persecuted by the presumed powers who are running things. What is amusing about this is what I have always thought of as the Pogo Effect. This is cartoonist Walt Kelly’s creation from the Okefenokee Swamp. Pogo is a possum who has met the enemy and discovered that ‘It is us.’

But we saw the ultimate conclusion of this thinking the other day. It was in a detailed explanation of the quandary facing the republican senators in the Trump trial. A senior Washington bureau chief of a Canadian newspaper was saying that the newest persecuted class in the United States is republicans. Standing in the vanguard of this class is the much-pilloried Donald Trump.

And now tell that to a kid from a hardscrabble childhood in downtown Toronto. Please do not tell me about the vagaries of life and the feeling of rejection. Ill-fitting, hand-me-down clothes and a bad haircut are just as identifying as skin colour and the shape of your eyes.

But we hardly need a tag day for American republicans. The republican senators in Washington are a self-serving lot. Their masters are the real climate-change deniers. They are the spawn of John D. Rockefeller’s oil barons, the coal exploiters who are destroying the Appalachian Mountains, and the military-industrial complex who thrive on the rumours of war. And more to be pitied are the adherents to this warped and dying concept of right-wing politics spreading like a disease across the continent.

History will not be kind to the Trump presidency. It will be a dark blob on the story of a once-envied nation. A nation that is being reduced to a ‘could have been.’


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Trump’s guilt is not the question.

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

What kind of trial is this in the U.S. senate chamber, where the rules are controlled by the jurors? Does a trial matter if people have already made up their minds? Can ordinary citizens be satisfied with a moral victory? Can the voters be satisfied with a sham? Maybe it is a question of whose strategy you buy into.

The Democratic party senators and representatives are going for the high ground. The house of representatives has already impeached the president. It is now in the hands of the higher court in the senate. Very few have to be convinced to make history.

But is not the real jury the American people? The more the republicans obfuscate, the greater the swing in the vote in November. There are republican senators on the knife edge. A democratic majority in the senate will also be a game changer.

The constant quandary for the republicans is how far they dare go. How short can they keep this show trial? How much can they deny? Is there no point where enough is enough? Is there no point where the evidence convinces?

Sure, the defendant will continue to deny. Everyone knows he lies. His followers admire him for it. They will take the Trump denier over the democratic reality any day.

The defendant is not at his trial. He is not facing his accusers. U.S. president Donald Trump is at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Just what he could contribute to the discussions of world economics is a puzzle. What he might gain in understanding from the conference, to the benefit of America is open to question. He contributes not. He learns nothing.

It is no surprise that he keeps telling the world news media at Davos of his displeasure with the proceedings back in Washington. He is petulant and self obsessed.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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The terrors of Trump’s testosterone.

Monday, January 6th, 2020

You never know what you will read in the Economist. Just the other day I was reading about the lower levels of testosterone in modern American males. Despite the changes in diet and the higher levels of male obesity, this is probably good news for the Me-too movement. Let’s face it: Modern men are wusses.

Except Donald Trump. The president is old school. He used to brag about grabbing what he wanted, whenever he wanted some. It sounded more like locker-room talk than civilized discourse between gentlemen. The difference was that he paid for his wants and ladies who did not like his advances or tired of them, seemed to have the opportunity to leave a bit richer. As some ladies have been heard to note: He might be a pig but he can be a generous pig.

Like it or lump it, this pig is more equal than other pigs (according to George Orwell and some republican senators).

But as men age, their testosterone levels tend to lower. Donald Trump is a septuagenarian. He might not be up to the game quite the way he used to be. And that can make some older men cranky. In fact, Mr. Trump might be the crankiest American president in U.S. history.

Just look at Trump the other day when he, in a fit of pique, so gleefully sanctioned an Iranian general. The Donald was so happy, he was embarrassing the boys and girls at the Pentagon and enraging the professionals at Foggy Bottom (U.S. foreign affairs headquarters). Wouldn’t you rather he just took a Viagra?

There is no way of telling where Trump’s next excursion into foreign affairs might lead him. He just sent thousands more troops to the Middle East. Their only problem is that their leaders have absolutely no idea just who they are there to fight.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Only the brave make predictions.

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

People love to make predictions as we start a new year. I was laughing at a particularly amusing one the other day by a Toronto Star writer, Tony Burman. He was predicting that Donald Trump would resign from the presidency and get a pardon from incoming president Mike Pence. All that prediction proved was that Mr. Burman does not understand Mr. Trump.

Not that many of us do understand Donald Trump. He is not exactly rational in his behaviour. In fact, he is the most irrational of all the American presidents. He always reminds me of the Forrest Gump philosophy about life being like a box of chocolates. You never know when you are going to get one that is nuts.

But we must acknowledge that Mr. Trump is not going to sit still for a process that forces him to resign and be beholden to that guy Pence for saving him from persecution. In fact, the very idea of Mike Pence following him as president would curl the Donald’s hair.

Trump would be fully prepared to fight any legal attacks after he leaves the presidency down to his last billion dollars. His only problem would be his family trying to have him declared incompetent before he wastes all of their inheritance. Be warned, anyone who wants to take on Trump before the courts needs to have billions to waste on lawyers and ten years to spare. And do you really think the American supreme court is made up of those democratically inclined?

I agree that Dick Nixon had no alternative but to get a pardon before leaving the White House. People really were out to get him. Tricky Dick was caught bare handed and bare faced. He belonged in jail more than any of his party plumbers. The difference between Nixon and Trump is that Nixon knew his limits. Trump thinks he is omnipotent.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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‘You’re a mean one,’ Mr. Trump.

Wednesday, December 25th, 2019

It is a surprise that nobody has taken that novelty Christmas song about the Dr. Seuss character who did not like the Who having Christmas and simply substituted ‘Mr. Trump’ for ‘Mr. Grinch.’

But here it is Christmas and it is the proper thing to find something nice to talk about. We simply cannot have Grinchy topics over our turkey dinner. It would not be appropriate. And it could cause indigestion.

So, we have searched hard and long and we finally found something nice to say about Mr. Trump. He might be a greedy bugger but his greed is paying off for me. Have you seen the stock market recently?

I think I finally got some improved earnings in a surprisingly robust market. It is my first substantial raise in earnings in the last 30 years. I used to think I had the anti-Midas touch when it came to the stock market. Anything I touched immediately changed to dust.

You really got to hand it to that slimy bastard Trump. He insults world leaders, toys with despots, defies Congress and scares the Fed. He thinks he can bully the bankers to keep down interest rates.

And it worked, we have a hot market heading for the election in the United States in November 2020. After that, all bets are off. All that Trump is focussed on is getting re-elected. A hot market up to then can help him.

He promised those dummies who supported him that he would make America great again. So far it has been fabulous for multi-millionaires and not-so-bad for us retirees. (And I’m only really getting the spillover to the Canadian market.)

But as a consequence, he has also got more people working in America and he has had to cool it on the trade wars because it finally got through to him that trade wars stifle growth.

Mind you, don’t let the Christmas spirit get you saying anything you might regret next year. Americans still have to get rid of that cretin Trump next November.


Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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In a divided America.

Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

Where else would the GOP be? But sitting on Donald Trump’s knee.

The symbiotic relationship involved defies logic. Donald Trump, his followers and the republican party are bound together at the hip. They need each other and they deserve each other. And do not use logic to try to split them asunder.

It is an alliance of red necks and manipulators wallowing in their mutual ignorance. They know only where they have been and not where they are going. It is Christers and the unchurched rabble drinking their Trumpian Kool-Aid. It is self-immolation in a once-powerful nation.

And what does it gain them? The right to Hail Trump!

Trump’s impeachment is like the Crucifixion. All Hail to Trump!

Donald Trump never was a republican. Hail the wisdom of Trump!

Trump never showed any tax returns. Hail the sanctity of Trump!

He never wasted his time in church. Hail the righteousness of Trump!

Donald Trump is always rallying his troops. They give him the reassurance and strength to carry on his fight for a nation that panders to the rich and powerful. Trump followers do not believe everything that Donald Trump tells them. He is Trump, he is omnipotent and a Trump can tell lies and it does not matter.

It is alright for a Trump to hate Muslims. The churches tell us that Christ loved us all. Donald Trump, as the Antichrist, can hate anybody who displeases him. He hates people who defy him. He hates people who try to explain things to him. He hates people who ridicule him. He has many people to hate.

But he is spending this Christmas holiday at his resort in Florida. It is a time when people ask their God for peace on earth and goodwill towards others. He is busy strategizing his role for when the impeachment process moves to the Senate. Even Emperor Trump needs to take a few days off for golf, contemplation and bacchanalia.


Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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Gunfighter versus Gunfighter.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

It’s a classic Hollywood film script. The ‘good’ gunfighter has to buckle on his six-gun just one more time to take on the ‘bad’ gunfighter. Whether the ‘bad’ guy is coming in on the noon train or waiting down behind the livery barn, there is always a lot of worrying and fretting by the town folk.

And all you have to do is substitute billionaire for gunfighter and you have the current situation in the good-old U.S. of A. It is multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg pitting his billions against Donald Trump’s billions to see who spends the next four years running things from the White House.

It has come to who wants to spend the most money. The expert at this is actually Bloomberg. He spent hundreds of millions on his three self-financed campaigns for the New York mayoralty, while his wealth kept growing by the billions. And when you are among the 15 richest people in the world, what’s another 100 million dollars?

Compared to Bloomberg, Trump might be considered just a petty grifter who bamboozled his way to a few billion.

The serious difference is that Bloomberg built his empire on his skills as a security broker with high technology smarts and a sense of what the business audience really needs: timely news and information.

In practice, Michael Bloomberg is considered more of a right-wing liberal, than a social conservative. He seems to be able to live with abortions and same sex marriages but some of his business-oriented solutions to social issues, while mayor of New York, came to unhappy endings. He has been both Republican and Democratic and is quite independent. And with the money he has to spend, why not?

He is only a year younger than Bernie Sanders but obviously better preserved. You can be sure he would not want Bernie Sanders on the Democratic ticket with him. That would be unless his pollsters told him he needed more credibility on Medicare.

But it has come to this, ladies and gentlemen. One presidency is up for auction. Gone once, gone twice, sold to the gentleman at the back of the room with $58 billion to spend.


Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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