Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Trudeau’s terrific travels!

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Canadians sure get full measure when they send their prime minister on a personal appearance tour. He did more in two days in New York than most rock stars can do in a week.  The British prime minister and that New Yorker who currently occupies the Washington White House were also in town but the young guy from Canada got the star treatment.

Trudeau must have planned to arrive after Trump’s speech which was smart. Nobody could have matched the hyperbole and B.S. of that Donald Trump classic. It was over the top, overdone, over dramatic and dreadful diplomacy. Trump took the U.S. to depths of dishonour not seen in the United Nations forum since Nikita Khrushchev took off his shoe and banged it on his desk to show his displeasure.

But after a day of special appearances and being lionized, Trudeau showed up at the United Nations. This is the world’s forum. He had this golden opportunity to tell the world of his thoughts and dreams. He could have followed the American president and the British prime minister with a balance of logic and reason, peace and temperance, love and understanding.

Instead, our nit-wit PM blew it!

What egotistical brain fart led him to devote his speech to Canadians’ historical crapping on their own indigenous peoples? What made our rock-star prime minister think these world diplomats give a damn? Most of them have a rooms in their palaces for their own shames. They hardly need to hear chapter and verse on our failings.

What you do, Mr. Prime Minister, is admit your failings and move on. Nor do you try to hide those failings and let them be used against you.

But there are problems in the world that need to be addressed in this world forum. Are we to leave the North Korean problem to a sabre-rattling incompetent in Washington? Cannot Canada take a role in helping the people in the Caribbean who have had the ground washed out from under them? Where is the promised plan for Canada to help with world peacekeeping? World trade is being endangered by a nincompoop in the White House and someone has to take a stand for reason.

Are you not afraid Mr. Prime Minister that those screaming kids at the We Meeting the day before will find out you are a coward?

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

How’s the kitchen coming Chrystia?

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Though not sure if the analogy of NAFTA negotiations being like renovating a kitchen comes from Canada’s foreign minister, by now she would disown the quote anyway. After meetings in Washington and in Mexico City, it is obvious that the discussions of North America’s trade agreements are going nowhere. By the time the three amigo countries get together in Ottawa there is likely to be a fist fight.

It seems that nobody is in a position to save this screw-up. History is going to have to remember Donald Trump as a master of disaster. He has sent American negotiators on an impossible task. They really cannot win agreement from people by constantly abusing them. The Mexicans are certainly mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.

Canada is hardly going to allow our dairy farmers to be screwed the same way American dairy farmers are routinely bankrupted. And that fixed smirk on the face of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when people mention Trump is starting to look like a death mask. The Mexicans are already pissed by Trump’s racist insults and his stupid wall.

But the Mexicans are also becoming annoyed with Canada. While the U.S. delegates simply scoff at Freeland’s environmental protection and balanced labour suggestions, the Mexican’s saw it as an attack on their labour-cost advantage. This is a three-way, two against one negotiation, when both Canada and Mexico could use an ally. Instead, they are all talking and nobody is listening.

There is no rule that says we have to resolve these questions this year or even three years from now. It would certainly be nice to find a faster solution to the softwood lumber dispute and Canada might have to apply some tit-for-tat tariffs if Trump thinks he can just ignore the existing treaties.

But an angry American Congress might have something to say if Trump tries to end NAFTA. Congress is confident that only it has the authority to accept or reject country to country treaties when the U.S. is one of the parties.

The one thing the three countries might agree on is that NAFTA needs some adjustments after a quarter century. It just cannot be as one-sided as Mr. Trump thinks it should be.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Justin Trudeau doesn’t have the chops.

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

It is often amusing when Canadian writers try to compare Prime Minister Trudeau with American President Trump. They seem to think that Justin Trudeau has been understudying for his current role all his life, while Donald Trump is an accidental politician and is only now learning that the job requires some serious time and attention.

What most observers do not see is that Trudeau is the dilettante. He is not as adept as Trump would be if the American ever exercised some discipline.

Trudeau is the bugle boy without the chops. Trump is the bully boy, angered at his own clumsiness. And it hardly helps that Trump is almost twice Trudeau’s age.

They are both products of their families. Trump honoured his father by taking over the family development business and carrying on in his sire’s tradition. Only at his father’s funeral did we realize that Justin had political ambitions. And only when we first saw him working political gatherings did we see the future of those ambitions.

There is no suggestion that Justin is like his father. He is not. He is definitely his mother’s son. Trump’s father must have been a mean son-of-a-bitch because his son so easily earns that sobriquet.

The Trudeau-Trump relationship is another matter. It is unlikely that either of them likes the other. Trudeau is probably very wary of Trump and inclined to stay away from him. Trump would see the Canadian as a pretty boy and an easy mark. If he had a building to sell, he would offer Trudeau an option.

But Trump’s assumptions about Trudeau and his government are wrong when it comes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). His bullying tactics hardly fit negotiations such as are required in international trade agreements. This is not a contest to see who can negotiate the best deal for their country. It is to see if they can negotiate a deal that can be sold to the citizens of the countries involved. Trade negotiations have to be win-win. Trump does not understand that.

And what Trump hardly understands is that he cannot threaten to dump NAFTA, like he did again the other evening in Phoenix, and then expect his negotiating team to do their job properly.

Trump shows his lack of self-confidence with his repeated campaign-type rallies. He just keeps on making Trudeau look good by comparison.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

“My Trump, right or wrong!”

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

(We are playing a bit of catch-up here.)

Not being a regular viewer of Late Night with Stephen Colbert, I had to watch the segment with Donald Trump’s friend Anthony Scaramucci on the Internet. I was still trying to figure out what this guy was doing passing himself off as a communications expert. I can now report with some confidence, he never was and never will be a ‘communications’ anything more important than a Florida bingo caller.

This guy is a fraud when it comes to communications expertise. Can you imagine going on to one of the major TV talk shows anywhere and starting out by trying to take over the program and threatening the lives of some of the show’s employees? Colbert quickly earned my respect by cutting the guy off at the pass. He was not going to take over Colbert’s show and he, even comedically, does not threaten any of his staff.

It was obvious that someone had assured ‘The Mooch’ that there would be no got-cha questions on the show, so Colbert asked him one. It was about the failure of Donald Trump to unequivocally denounce the white supremacists who incited the death and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia the previous weekend. And Colbert was not settling for some namby-pamby excuse.

Since the show is designed to be entertaining, we would have to admit that the funniest lines in the show came from Mr. Scaramucci. He lamented that Mr. Trump should be recognized as a “compassionate person” and appreciated for foregoing his previous “luxurious lifestyle” to take on his current job. Now that is loyalty for you. This guy was fired ten days after Mr. Trump gave him the job of communications director. The obvious reason was that he had absolutely no idea what that job entailed.

But whether Mr. Trump is a compassionate person is a question we should leave to his wife. That woman must have made a deal with the devil to marry him and sometimes acts as though she hates him. He might be keeping her in the style she wanted, yet you are sure aware that she has regrets.

And what is less than a luxurious life style than in the White House or at Trump’s two golfing properties in Florida and New Jersey has us stumped. Hell, Trump is on a perpetual holiday—divorced from reality.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

 

The Mad King of America.

Friday, August 18th, 2017

You have to admit that it has been a summer of bounty for those who comment on politics. We have started to think of it as the Summer of Trump. The man never fails to suspend belief, never ceases to horrify and has proved conclusively that he has the political instincts of a gerbil.

But—we keep telling ourselves—the guy is not a politician and what the hell do you expect? We have studied the clips of the news conference in Trump Tower the other day to practically memorize what he said. It is not a pleasant memory. That was a rant from a dangerously sick narcissist who needs an intercession by trained psychiatric personnel.

But what worries me more where those people with him who just stood there so woodenly while he emptied the ugliness in his sick mind. The woman on stage right of the shot puzzled me. Was she just a guest in the hotel who simply caught the same elevator? She stood there like a deer in the headlights so obviously wishing she was anywhere else.

The men on the other side of Mad King Donald, were all various of his aides and desperately wishing that Scotty would beam them up. They were looking everywhere but at their fearless leader. Each was contemplating their future career as a greeter at Walmart. Each had pulled on a mental picture of himself in one of those vests. Each of them had foolishly convinced himself that Trump would follow their advice and talk about infrastructure.

It makes you wonder why do these people delude themselves? Having stood with many politicians over the years, your biggest concern should be whether he or she was going to mispronounce any of your so well written words. Donald Trump has proved to them time and time again that he is incapable of following simple directions. Unlike a puppy, he is incapable of sitting or rolling over on command.

Mind you, it is understandable.  Trump is not a politician. He is not even a nice man. He is an egoist, a fascist, a narcissist, a womanizer and totally unqualified to be president of the most powerful country in the world.

The Americans deserve our sympathy.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

When Anger Transends.

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

The anger is in the air in the United States of America. It is frightening. It pits neighbour against neighbour and family against family. It seems to have something to do with a statue and yet has nothing to do with the statue.

It reminds me in some ways of a silly argument we had in Toronto years ago about a statue of King Edward VII. It was purchased at a very reasonable price in India—which was getting rid of symbols of the British era—and shipped to Toronto as a gift to the city by local businessman Harry Jackman.

Oddly enough, Mr. Jackman was not really much of a monarchist. He is believed to have thought the statue was of a damn fine horse. And if you can ever find the statue in the park behind the Ontario Legislature, you will agree: that is one damn fine horse. The guy astride the horse has been dead for more than 100 years and is a quite minor historical figure.

But I am not too sure that the American South needs to get rid of all the statues and monuments to the dead of the American Civil War. I can appreciate those who revile the symbols and flags of that war but it is the racism and bitterness that needs to be expunged first.

There is no question that the ascendency of Mr. Trump to the White House has encouraged American Nazis, skin heads and the new Alt-right movement. These white supremacists are emboldened and reflect the anger that Trump played on to win the election. If he keeps on scratching at that itch, it could easily rise up to destroy him.

But there is no “Alt-Left.” There are just people who are angered and revolted by Mr. Trump’s equivocation and the brazen ignorance of his followers. The most serious problem is that these people are prepared to believe anything. They are but a blunt instrument for the destruction of the Republic. Turned loose and encouraged, they resort to base instincts.

When Donald Trump was asked to help ease the problem, he did the opposite. He spread the blame to the people reacting to the white supremacists. This leaves the country in the middle of a maelstrom of political and racial origins.

What makes the situation more serious is that there is no leadership among the moderates who could bring some reason. The United States can hardly allow this situation to continue to escalate.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Diminishing Democracy.

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Around the world, from Venezuela to Poland, from Turkey to America, we are watching the destruction of democracy. Those who believe in democracy are routinely arrested, beaten, detained or killed on the streets of once-safe cities. It is a challenge everywhere. There is no safe haven.

And Canada is no bastion of democracy. Former Prime Minister Harper routinely showed us his distain for parliament and democratic principles. Prime Minister Trudeau is no saviour of democracy either as he disrespects and destroys the Liberal Party. Like Harper before him, Trudeau uses his party as a political ATM. He only comes calling for funds.

The political corruption and destruction of democracy has moved fast and furious in the United States where Donald Trump measures his supporters in their gullibility. He calls them together regularly to rally and reassure him of their fealty. They feed his narcissism and eat up his lies.

The political parties of the United Stares of America are on the downside of favour with the people. The two main parties are hopelessly committed to their monied masters. They replace concern for the people with ideology and argue that everything that goes wrong is the ‘other guys’ fault. And only the very rich in America have influence. They are the ones who collect politicians like they used to collect stuffed trophies of the hunt.

And nobody cares. Their attention is to their royalty; their entertainers. The youth would rather devote themselves to social media on the ever more intrusive Internet—allowing Big Brother to catalogue their lives in the electronic prisons of the uninformed.

And what happened to the friendly police who used to help the elderly across the street? The politicians arm the police like storm troopers to protect us from what?

And not even the tyrant sleeps soundly. Political and corporate oligarchies are unstable at best as they keep to ideologies of the past. Even the oligarchs of Russia reap early harvests as they show lack of faith in the coming dawn. Will there be democracy tomorrow?

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

The Cabal.

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Writers search every day for the right words to describe the calamity in the American White House. You can hardly call it an administration. Though there is a school of thought that it might be referred to as a maladministration. It struck me that Mr. Trump might be attempting a hunta but for that, he needs more than one general. Since he does tend to bring in temporary help from the business community, I think we have to use the word cabal.

That might work. A cabal is supposed to be a secret group of advisors who serve at the pleasure of the potentate—and Mr. Trump certainly thinks of himself as a potentate. And Mr. Trump’s pleasure seems to be very brief, so they might as well be secret. They can be here today and gone tomorrow.

They come and go so fast that I did not even find time to scold that guy called ‘Mooch’ who used unprintable language in a magazine interview. Not even Hugh Hefner would let language like that go uncensored in his Playboy Magazine. Using vulgar language is Mooch’s way of trying to be pals with the reporter. It is considered an ingratiating technique by the ignorant.

The trained and experienced interviewee can visualize the story line as he or she talks to the reporter. Yes, you usually should appear relaxed but the questions are a clear indication of the possible bias the reporter brings to the story. You have to be wary without indicating it to the reporter. It also helps if there is a trained communicator listening who can step in later, if needed, and spin the story line a little differently than the path the reporter is taking.

But speaking of Mr. Trump’s cabal, I must admit that I have never heard of a cabal that all reported through a general—especially a U.S. Marine. I really wonder what the general is going to say the first time he sees Mr. Trump’s son-in-law just walk directly into the Oval Office. This lack of discipline has been one of things seriously wrong in Trumpland but how the general will handle it is the question. I would suggest the kid be sent to the Marine training base at Quantico for a month or so of toughening on the live-fire obstacle course, before the general gives him a dressing down.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

 

Our poster-boy PM is the answer?

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Despite the wild ravings of Rolling Stone Magazine, our Prime Minister has to whip Canada into shape before taking on the added burden of the American presidency. Donald Trump’s job is safe, for now.

In corporate terms, Justin Trudeau might be able to pull off a reverse takeover, (That is where the smaller business buys the larger company because of better tax advantages.) It would also get around the problem of Justin not being born in the United States. If it all became part of Canada, who would care?

And by combining the best parts of being the American President and the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin could issue an edict making himself Chief High Potentate of North America for life. Before anyone jumps on a horse and runs around the combined countries shouting about “one by land, two by sea,” both countries can finally end the rampant corporatism that is destroying their democracies anyway.

After a couple years of confusion with President Trump, Americans will be even more willing to welcome Justin as their saviour. All we have to do is spread the word among America’s born-again that Justin was born on Christmas Day for a reason.

And if the South does not rise to the occasion with hearty huzzahs, we can threaten that we will also welcome the Mexicans into the One Big North America. We could make Spanish the lingua franca south of the Mason-Dixon line, English north from there to the former Canadian border and then French across the North.

The problem of where the new nation’s capital will be can be quickly solved by building a new one in Nevada. Government is nothing but a gamble anyway. Potomac Mosquitoes cannot survive there and if you have ever been in Ottawa in January, you would wonder why nobody thought to do this a long time ago.

Another piece of good news for the Americans; Trudeau is used to appointing Senators—that will break the deadlock there!

But full disclosure forces me to admit that Justin is not perfect. The guy tends to shoot from the lip. He is not great in keeping promises. He loves travelling around the world being lionized like a pop star.

P.S. They call this part of the summer the silly season. I wonder why?

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Missing Sean Spicer.

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

President Donald Trump has no sense of balance. He also has very little sense of humour. We counted on his press secretary to give us that bit of fun that made the White House scene safe for family entertainment.

But Sean Spicer is gone. He has been replaced. It takes two to replace him. We are getting a blousy Monica Lewinsky look-alike to cover the media room platform and a wise-ass New Yorker to run the fake news show.

And it is all show business as usual. Any connection between the American president and what the news media are being told is probably co-incidental. It just surprises us that it takes two people to replace old Sean.

Whether Sarah Huckabee Sanders will last on the White House stage as much as six months as did Sean is anybody’s guess. She did a workmanlike job as Sean’s assistant briefer recently. We are just waiting for the time when she runs out of patience with the denizens of the White House news media.

Her boss, the new communications director for the White House, has much greater challenges. He is a glib character whose main experience seems to be as a hedge-fund manager. So far, the only people he seems to have conned are his company’s customers and Mr. Trump. Now his challenge is the United States and the rest of the world’s media. In a single appearance before the media, we got the impression that his strategy is to talk fast and smile a lot. (Which is what hedge fund managers do—don’t they?)

But can we ever again see a press chief playing peek-a-boo in the dark of the White House Rose Garden? Will there continue to be briefings that say one thing and presidential tweets that say something completely different?

But there could be one serious request of this new communications guy that would go a long way to correcting the impression that the White House is in the hands of a legion of incompetents. Please, please sir: add an editor to your staff. Somebody who knows the English language is desperately needed in that zoo. We are not talking here about the occasional typo. Nor do we care that Mr. Trump missed all his spelling classes during his obviously limited schooling. We are concerned about official documents and media material. Proper spelling would go a long way in raising respect and understanding.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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