Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Who’s congratulating Trudeau?

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Stephen Harper’s PMO had a revolving door for communications people, so it is not too surprising if we do not remember one of them. This is in reference to an op-ed in the Toronto Star last week by someone named ‘MacDougall.’ What was noticeable about the article was that he claims to be a Tory and was congratulating the Liberal prime minister. How rare is that?

This Conservative communications expert was congratulating Justin Trudeau for the smart way he is handling Donald Trump. What else can our prime minister do? Donald Trump is a 70-year old dirty old man who has landed in the White House. He acts like an uncontrollable 12-year old. And since he is president, you are not allowed to spank him.

Of course, Trudeau is trying to do a work-around. He had appointed David MacNaughton as ambassador to Washington before Trump rose to a level of concern on the horizon. The job was MacNaughton’s pay-off for the slip-shod effort he did in running Ontario for the Liberals in the last election. Trudeau might still have to replace him with someone with more diplomatic skills and knowledge of American politics and politicians.

Canadian diplomacy has come a long way since the quintessential diplomat Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson was dressed down by President Lyndon Johnson for “pissing on his rug.”

And only a conservative would think it was a win for Trump to approve the Keystone XL pipeline for Justin Trudeau. Pipelines for bitumen are the noose that will eventually hang our ’ecology-minded’ Trudeau.

And the writer might have thought we handled the milk production charges with derision but anyone knowledgeable knew that the NAFTA milk concerns sit entirely on the U.S. side of the border. Overproduction is a U.S. problem when you consider that Wisconsin has more dairy cows than all of Canada.

Usually in politics when someone pats you on the back as effusively as Mr. MacDougall, you expect he is checking for the best place to thrust the (rhetorical) knife. We better keep an eye on him.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

 

A purchased presidency.

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Is it possible to place a price on the American presidency? Can its worth even be determined? Whatever the price might be, it probably is nowhere near the damages being done to America’s honour and reputation by Donald Trump. And why nobody has thought to sue him remains a mystery. Does the American president have some form of immunity for stupidity?

Do we have to wait until Trump tires of the game? Do we have to wait until he retires permanently to his golf resort in Florida? Maybe then we can stop paying any attention to his ignorant tweets.

Admittedly, all our experience in politics told us that Trump would lose the election. We honestly never expected that there could be that many Americans who would not see him for what he was. (Or would see him for what he was and still vote for him.) Our assumption was that his supporters would not be motivated enough to vote. Nor did we think Trump would have much of a ground game to get his vote out.

Mind you, we have never dealt with election tactics so brutal and so corrupt. In the Land of the Free, buying an election is not a cheap process. Between super PACs and the ongoing struggle between the two dominant political parties, there seems to be little hope for meaningful reform.

Despite the lesson, Americans are now learning at the feet of school master Trump, what platform is there to launch much-needed change?

Can there even be an election law that says people have to tell the truth? Are all politicians liars? And, as a voter, can you tell when someone is lying?

Many Trump voters across the states were misled by the idea that once elected, he would have good advisors to whom he would listen and follow their advice. Those poor people could be somewhat disillusioned by now.

And who do you trust for truth? You know that Mr. Trump is a congenital liar. Hell, he lies to himself. He is a narcissist—which means he loves himself. He only loves his family because they are part of him.

Mr. Trump is also a misogynist—which means he dislikes women. He considers women to only be useful as mistresses and mothers.

All in all, you would not want your son or daughter to grow up to be president if they used Mr. Trump as a role model.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The tremors of Trump.

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Each year at this time, we do a little introspection. While Canada Day 2017 is as joyous as ever, we feel it is the impact of the American President that causes those ground tremors we are feeling. The man seems to stomp a lot.

At first, we were under the impression that he might just ignore Canada. Oh well, so much for that hope! We sent our Prime Minister down to the White House with a welcoming casserole but President Trump was not that interested. It did not seem to matter that Justin thought he had made another friend.

And maybe not. That ignorant man in the White House soon brought up the old chestnut about softwood lumber and threw in milk for good measure. Mr. Trump has never learned how to be a good neighbour. All he accomplished was to drive up the price of new homes on the American west coast and embarrass Wisconsin dairy farmers. The happy lumber kings of Oregon and Washington are making a killing. It was President Trump’s way of saying he wants to renegotiate the North-American trade deal between The U.S., Mexico and Canada.

The only problem is that Mr. Trump’s version of negotiating is to bully, cheat, lie and steal. There is no honour in a Trump style deal. That is how he made his billions whereby he could buy his way to the American presidency.

But deals between sovereign nations are based on good faith. That is an essential component of trade agreements. The objective to be negotiated has to be fair to all parties. And fairness is not just a word on paper, it has to be the perception of all parties.

No doubt both Canadian and Mexican negotiators will also bring their lists of trade irritants to the treaty meetings. Mr. Trump will soon learn that he cannot bully his way to creating advantage from a deal entered in good faith.

While most Canadians appear to consider President Trump to be something of a horse’s ass, we can expect him to be around for a while. He will continue to be stomping on things he should not. He is our neighbour and we might as well get used to him.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The anger factor.

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

A reader on the west coast asked the other day if we are seeing anger in Liberal ranks directed at Prime Minister Trudeau’s disrespect for the party? What was strange about the question was that most of that anger is building on the west coast. The flash point will be the funding and tooling up of the of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion over the Rockies.

Anger is the emotion you look for in politics. We saw it in the United States over the last election. We knew that Americans of all political leanings were angry at the stalemates and infighting of their congress. In Canada, we were angry at the arrogance of the Harper government. In England, it was the feeling of helplessness as a member of the European Union: enter Brexit.

And now that same English anger is re-directed at Prime Minister May. The French took out their angst on their right wing. Anger in itself is not political; reaction becomes political.

No doubt many psychologists have published learned papers on this anger. There is really mothing new about it in politics. Anger is a blunt instrument used by politicians at their peril. The key is to lead, to direct the mob against a person, party, race, religion, tribe or nation. Blowback is when the mob knows they have been used.

But you can never tell a mob that they are being used. Just think of the last time you tried to convert a Donald Trump supporter? That person has all their hopes and fears wrapped up in the promises of a professional con-man. Deprogramming the true believer is no easy task.

And what is really frustrating is the rejection of logic. You can use the simplest of easy to understand logic and your argument will be rejected. The true Trump supporter does not care. They want their pound of flesh at any price. They do not care what the cost is to them.

Given time, people such as Donald Trump destroy themselves. He is already showing his distaste for the job he thought he wanted. It is not offering him the satisfaction he expected. He is still hitting out at supposed enemies. He needs to spend more time playing golf.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

How would Harper have handled Trump?

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

When listening to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland give her very important speech on the new world order, there was one disturbing thought. It was a silly question as to how would our previous prime minister have handled the situation? The one thing for sure was that Stephen Harper would never have allowed his foreign affairs minister to make such an important speech. It could have only been Harper himself in the spotlight.

And the more you think of it, you realize that the speech lost something by being delivered in the House of Commons. Harper would have taken it far from the Hill. He might have even taken the speech to New York or Philadelphia. That would have guaranteed world-wide attention.

Mind you it has been most of a century since anyone gave a truly momentous speech in our House of Commons. And that speaker was a Brit by the name of Winston Churchill.

Freeland’s speech was in essence a proposed walk-around to the situation with American President Trump. And it never needed to mention his name. (The only insult the son of a bitch recognizes is being ignored.)

And Freeland’s proposed solutions are long overdue. Canadians have really had enough of being treated as two-legged pets by the Americans.

We might have counted on their protecting us under the North American Air Defence Agreement (NORAD) but who the hell is protecting us from Trump? (Are we hoping he will invade Mexico first?)

But it would sure be nice to have a real Canadian military again. Trump will be long gone before we get our military up to snuff but it will be the effort made that counts. We might even get fighter aircraft to meet Canada’s needs.

Harper would not have liked the spending part of the speech. It would be more his style to only threaten to have a real Canadian military. Yet he would have agreed to going after more bi-lateral trade deals to try to keep Canada on its feet if Trump continues to destroy the American economy with his ignorance.

But would Harper have really stood up to what is going on in the Disturbed States of America? Probably not.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Why progressive elites are losing.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

The disappointment progressives have felt with the New Democratic Party over the last couple decades has been something we have argued about but maybe not understood as well as we should. Maybe Robin V. Sears of the NDP put his finger on it the other day when complaining in print about the ease with which Donald Trump took much of the angry underclass away from the Democrats in the American’s 2016 presidential campaign. Donald Trump caught all of us progressive pundits with our pants down.

In Canada, we were still wondering why it was that NDP leader Thomas Mulcair blew away a sizeable lead towards winning the 2015 federal election. He could not even hold on to the seats in his own province brought to his party by former NDP leader Jack Layton.

But when the biggest policy argument of the NDP convention that fired Mulcair was the shallowness of the LEAP Manifesto, we should have twigged to what was wrong. This is a party that is out of touch with the people about whom it is supposed to care. It is a party dominated by unions that hardly know how to serve their own members.

What academics explain as the anger of the white working class is supposedly caused by the job losses to automation and the corporate ability to move production to lowest-wage jurisdictions. Add to that the realization that all politicians lie to them and that nobody can solve global warming and you can see how the frustration is building.

When stressed, voters turn to extremes. In America, we saw the accident of Trump. In Europe, we saw Brexit and the close call with Marine Le Pen. Canada picked the untried and unproven Justin Trudeau.

What the public is looking for are politicians that put principals ahead of promises. That is the lesson that at least Mulcair learned in the last federal election. Who was going to believe a socialist who promised a balanced budget? And where was the decency in arguing about Niqabs?

In the American tragedy of their last election, voters saw what anger, lies and distrust can produce. The only politician who came out of that horrendous selection process with honour was an aging democratic socialist by the name of Bernie Sanders. We should all take a page from his book.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

When the Pope meets the Antichrist.

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

The arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump in Rome needs a Cecil B. DeMille style Hollywood epic production. It would have trumpets and bass drums, rolling black clouds in the sky, flashes of lightening. We would see a Donald Trump dressed in black, towering over the gargoyles of Hell in his retinue. He would be met by a cowering claque of priests led by their Pope holding tightly to his cross.

That would be a bit melodramatic but Trump would like the showmanship involved. He certainly has no idea of how to act with a pope. There would be a considerable hypocrisy to him referring to the pope as “Your Holiness.”

There will be no epiphany. Trump would no more think that he is representing his country’s Catholics to the Vatican as he would be representing America’s Jews in Jerusalem. The Saudi’s had no thought of inviting him to drop in at Mecca as representing America’s Muslims.

The trouble with Trump is that he has no idea what he is doing or who he represents. He never seriously believed he would win the presidency. All he did was feed on the anger of the people coming to him. Tea Party darling Sarah Palin introduced Trump to the Republican convention as beloved of the rock ‘n’ rollers and holly rollers but she left out the bikers and white supremacists, the losers and the angry, the people mired in poverty without hope and anyone else that ‘civilized’ Americans had written off.

This American proletariat knew that Trump was a bigot, a chauvinist, ignorant and ill-equipped to be president but they all helped set up the accident that was the Electoral College. They chose him in anger and bitterness in a country of denied promises. They knew the weaknesses of America’s claim to greatness. They wanted their share and, if they could not have it, they simply wanted to get even.

And now they think Trump is serving them. He serves no one other than his own ego. They delude themselves and they delude Trump with their continued devotion. For Trump is the Antichrist.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The darkening clouds of the Trump presidency.

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

President Donald Trump took his case to the graduating cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy the other day. They did not rise up in support. They were surprisingly polite. And probably dumbfounded. Trump’s problems are not their concern.

When you are commissioned as a junior officer of the United States Coast Guard, your interests are in the right billet and career growth. You expect very little of America’s current, erratic and incompetent President.

But as he heads down the road to an inevitable attempt at impeachment, Trump grasps at any and all straws. No matter how many wiser and more knowledgeable advisors told him not to talk as he did to the cadets, he was steadfast in his determination to follow his path to destruction.

This is not a man to be humbled. He would neither understand the feeling nor has he the capacity to act humbled. He believes he can brazen out all they can pitch at him.

But his detractors should also weigh carefully their cause. Would they really prefer the ultra-conservative Mike Pence as president? Why trade a fool who does not know what he is doing for a fool who does?

The prospect of having President Pence dancing to the Koch Brothers tunes is both sad and frightening. If you thought Trump was ignorant about the environment, the Koch Brothers’ businesses make billions out of defiling the environment.

If you were not aware, the Koch Brothers of New York are the principal donors of the Republican Party in the United States. They spend hundreds of millions on Republican politicians and virtually own the extreme right-wing Tea Party. If Mike Pence becomes president, the Koch Brothers would own the White House, the Congress and the United States of America. God help America then!

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The myth of America’s FBI.

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

There is a very bad television show on television these days called Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. A weak spinoff from the highly successful Criminal Minds show that is now ending its twelfth year on CBS, the Beyond Borders version tries to replace strong characterizations with travelogues and requires that the viewer be foolishly gullible. Any similarity between that program and the actual responsibilities of American Federal Bureau of Investigation agents abroad is purely coincidental.

And it was seeing FBI Director James Comey before the Senate Judicial Committee the other day reminded us of the further fictions of the fallible FBI. Since the days of Director J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI has been a failed and fallacious organization that sucks the blood of America rather than serving its people. Hoover was a warped and devious director who was more interested in gaining advantage for himself than any concept of service to the country. Comey seems no better.

And why Comey has not been dismissed from his position is an indictment of the American system of justice. There is no question that his interference in the election in October 2016 propelled Donald Trump into the presidency. In the face of Clinton’s healthy lead in the election, Comey deliberately interfered to help Trump. Despite the votes of three million more American voters than Trump, Clinton lost the Electoral College and the presidency.

Both Director Comey and his victim Hillary Clinton consider that Russia’s involvement was also harmful but no clear proof of this has been made public.

It was the combination of the Trump tribes’ idiotic cadence of “Lock her up,” Comey’s false charges and Clinton’s inability to shake the suspicions that ultimately took her down to her core vote—leaving enough for Trump to win.

If Clinton is true to her disappointed supporters, she has only herself to blame. Trump was the neophyte during the campaign and she constantly struggled to figure out the best way to handle him. If she had settled on a basic strategy in the beginning when she saw why Trump won the Republican nod and stuck with that strategy, she would have won easily.

Instead, she treated Trump as a politician. Her realization too late that even he did not expect to win could only serve to confuse her campaign.

Clinton’s main regret in losing was most likely that she lost the privilege of signing the executive order to fire James Comey.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Plan B: Tell Trump to Get Stuffed.

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Watching a Canadian cabinet minister being interviewed on the weekend was almost painful. Despite the goading of the interviewer, he refused to say exactly what he thought of the stance by American President Trump on North American trade. Like most Canadians, he would probably like to have the opportunity to tell the American President to get stuffed.

But we know he cannot do that. While it is obvious that Mr. Trump is mouthing off to hear himself sound important, it would be foolish to respond in kind. Countries deal with their international relations with diplomacy, the fact that Trump does not understand that not withstanding.

Nor is it the role of Canadian politicians to tell the American President the facts that he could get from his own trade officials. Trump’s knowledge of the facts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seem deliberately limited. It might even surprise him to learn that Canadians are frustrated with some aspects of the trade deal. That is why dispute resolution takes up more than a few pages in the agreement.

And it is why the recently imposed softwood lumber tariffs are a just a form of harassment. This is the fourth time they have been imposed and they are just as likely to be dismissed again this time as they were previously. Lately China has been recognizing the opportunity to buy Canadian lumber and that looks like a more reliable market.

In all of the complaints we have heard from Trump’s White House, the lack of facts or understanding of the issues are apparent. He is playing to his audience of poor ignorant Americans who think he is doing this for them. He is not.

His threatening to end NAFTA immediately is about as dumb as the blokes in the United Kingdom who thought they could cut themselves off from the European Union overnight. Taking down NAFTA would take a lot longer than even the six months required in the agreement. It would take several years to sort out the earlier Auto Pact that became a key part of NAFTA—without bankrupting Ford and General Motors.

In his first 100 days, Donald Trump has proved he is ignorant, boorish and unsuited to be president of the most powerful nation on earth. His threat to unilaterally scrap NAFTA could cause the beginnings of a world-wide recession. That would be in nobody’s best interest.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me