Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

The whitewash wears on the White House.

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

It was two years ago when that jaw dropping campaign saw a braggart and a bully win the White House. It was obvious that politicos, both in America and abroad where dumbfounded by the brashness, ignorance and foolhardiness. It was a campaign that collected the angry, the bigots, the jealous, the lawless, the self-entitled, and gave them justification. It gave succor and a savior to self-destructive lemmings.

To this Canadian commentator, America was clearly a nation divided. It failed as a democracy. It failed in its aspirations. It failed to produce the leadership it needed. With the weakness of the electoral system, the voters opted for autocracy.

What is important for Americans to understand is that this is not an internal matter. Their opting for Donald Trump has impacted the world. We all have a stake in America’s choices.

And it has taken the subsequent two years for us to understand America’s dilemma. The deplorables are not the voters but the elected. Congress is in the hands of the Huns. And they have Mr. Trump to thank for their transcendence.

The key question though is how can Trump continue? Can the con-man continue to con the voters? Or has the sheen worn off his shining?

How far has Trump come? How long is the journey that lies ahead of him?

Trump has proved he is a bigot. Muslims beware. He has fought Obamacare and seems to be losing. He wanted to build a wall and has hardly drawn a line in the sand against the Mexicans. He says he wanted to Make America Great Again but first he must tear the country down. He offered tax cuts and is starting by giving cuts to the wealthy.

Trump said the Canadians were taking advantage of the North American trade agreement. His solution is to sign a separate deal with the Mexicans and then try to bully the Canadians to accept his terms. He is destroying relationships that have stood America well over time.

Donald Trump is a man conflicted. He reaches out to his claque for approval. His paranoia becomes a more dominant trait. He is so obviously fearful of the probe of his relations with Moscow. America’s foreign relations are in tatters.

The world has not seen the last nor has it seen the best of Donald Trump. God help us if we see the worst.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Is ‘Lyin Brian’ Trump’s Judas goat?

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

We saw how former prime minister Brian Mulroney negotiated the original NAFTA. When the public service negotiators hit an impasse, Mulroney sent in finance minister Michael Wilson to replace the professionals and close the deal. Canadians ended up with free trade with the United States of America. Whether it was fair trade was a subject for debates.

But there was no debate until now that both countries did well by the agreement. With the inclusion of Mexico, the three countries economies became closely intertwined. And they shared the benefits of being a highly successful trading group.

Enter Trump. Donald Trump decided to run to be president of the United States of America on a whim. He campaigned on hollow slogans and obvious falsehoods. One of those many falsehoods was the claim that Canada was given unfair advantage under NAFTA. He said it so often to his claque and to his mirror that he came to believe it.

But Donald Trump has been given a lot of static from his political allies and supporters that he should not end the deal with the Canadians. He has determined that he needs some sort of a win over the Canadians to show his claque that he is a good negotiator. His problem is that he is a bully and a bad negotiator. He thinks he can threaten the Canadians on social media and get his way. He wants to negotiate in public. All he is doing is turning Canadians against him.

Mind you, he has the odd friend. And speaking of odd friends, one of Trump’s friends is Brian Mulroney. The former prime minister has been advising prime minister Trudeau on how to handle Trump. His advice, we are told, is to give up on some part of the supply management Canadians have with its dairy industry. If Donald Trump can take some win on dairy products to his supporters, he can claim it is a win for America and spare NAFTA.

This proposal is about the worst advice that Mulroney can give to Trudeau. First of all it would cost the prime minister seats in parliament from both Quebec and Ontario. It would make his government a single term event.

Trudeau would be far better off to tell Mulroney and Trump to stick their suggestion where the sun does not shine. Win or lose on NAFTA, Trudeau would still be in better shape for the election next year.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Obama’s Oratory Opens Opportunity.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

That is how it is done! The former American president has finally directed his skilled oratory at that disgusting Donald Trump. Obama brought honour to the office of president now held by Trump. Somebody had to say it. Mr. Trump dishonours the office. Enough is enough.

But so what? What good does it do? The bigots in Trump’s claque of voters never liked Obama anyway. He was not even talking to them.

Trump tried to brush off what Obama said. There is nothing he can do to Barack Obama and nothing Obama can do about him—except tell it like it is.

Obama was talking to students at Illinois State University at Urbana-Champaign. He was also speaking to the wider audience of democrat voters across America. Somebody has to bring that disorganized rabble to their feet and to the polls in November. The prospect of a republican senate and house after November would lose America any credibility it has left. It could spell the bitter end of what is left of American democracy.

Maybe that is why Obama launched his campaign in Illinois—the Land of Lincoln. America can no longer afford to have less than a third of its potential voters make decisions for the country. He held back little in an erudite and scathing denunciation of the Trump presidency.

He sees the Trump situation as more of a symptom of the problem though than as a result. He delivered a scathing indictment of republican politics in Washington. He pointed out that republicans have been fanning the flames of resentment in America for many years. This is how the right wing redirects the anger that rightfully belongs to the very rich who control Washington to their own benefit.

What America needs now is for other opinion leaders across the U.S. to join in the chorus of condemnation. Even leaders of concerned neighbouring countries such as Canada and Mexico could express their concern for the directions American politics have been taking. For Donald Trump to lie constantly about the supposed benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement for others was hurting American efforts to expand trade and denying jobs to Americans. His wall of bigotry across the south has disgusted fair-minded people around the world.

Trump’s arguments about NAFTA are based on ignorance. Trade agreements can only work when they satisfy the mutual needs of the countries involved—not the foolish demands of a person who does not understand the objectives.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Keeping calm in chaos.

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Not being a big fan of Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, I must admit that she is very good at handling the news media. Being a former journalist certainly helps. And you have to admit that she is under a great deal of pressure from the media to tell it like it is about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.

For her not to admit that some of the chaos created by president Trump has to be impacting the negotiations is just not credible. It is like when you are in the eye of a hurricane, it might feel calm but you can see the surrounding mayhem of the storm.

Nor can Freeland and her team not feel the tensions of the people on the other side of the table. Their work is compromised daily by the irresponsible carrying-on of their commander-in-chief. Nobody is capable of negotiating in good faith in such an atmosphere.

In the same way, it is impossible for prime minister Trudeau’s team to give in on any of the key issues that Trump is demanding. Boiling it down to supply management of dairy products, fair dispute resolution and protection of Canadian culture makes resolution even harder as there is really nothing left with which to negotiate.

It is almost as though the U.S. negotiators are complicit with Freeland in the role of Ulysses’ wife, Penelope, unraveling her daily stint of weaving the shroud for Ulysses father. That is great but it makes us all wonder about the end game when the Canadians flip Trump the bird. (That is also known as the Canadian salute.)

It is hardly possible that they could be hoping it would cause the American president to have a stroke. That child-man has been practicing tantrums for 70 years and it is just a daily exercise for him. If anything would cause him a stroke, it would be finding out who on his staff wrote the recent anonymous opinion piece for the New York Times. America’s better media are bent on destroying Trump and lately have been showing some muscle.

But Freeland’s problems are in the here and now. She needs to understand that she might have to fall on her sword and take the blame if the entire negotiation fails. It is what the good soldier does.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Poker playing politicos.

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

It has been a while since playing poker at the local casino. The people who work the tables as a team, at that place, play a rough game. I stick to blackjack and craps at the casino and play poker monthly with a group of friends who have played together for years. The more interesting games when I was younger were the late-night games with politicos at party conferences.

This comes up because someone asked me the other day if I would want to play poker with Donald Trump. Expletive deleted, I said ‘No.’ The simple reason was that I would have no reason to not expect him to cheat. This is a man whose entire business career was a constantly cascading house of cards.

With Mr. Trump, you can always tell when he is lying. He opens his mouth. That is something of a cliché but he exemplifies the branding.

The same person then asked me if I would like to play poker with Justin Trudeau. I thought about that. I finally said ‘yes’ because I would certainly like to add some of the Trudeau wealth to my bank account.

But I would feel guilty. The Canadian prime minister is an easy read. I have been fascinated watching that man turn his public persona on and off. And as that gal from Timmins sings, “That don’t impress me much.”

And it makes Trudeau a ‘patsy’ for Trump. The American is holding up our prime minister to ridicule. He is holding Canada in contempt. He needs to be told in no uncertain terms to ‘Get stuffed.’

That is not a diplomatic term but its use would do him a favour. He has no understanding of diplomatic. “Get stuffed,” the jerk is likely to understand.

To be honest, we would be doing the dummy a favour. As the best friends America has ever had, Canada has the right to use plain American English. We have no need to pussy-foot with Trump. Why would you ever want to?

This game of his with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a deep insult to Canada and, win or lose, Canadians are not going to be forgiving. If Trudeau caves in on even one of Trump’s stupid demands, Trudeau will be out on his ass in next year’s elections.

Canada could be facing a few tough years without NAFTA, but in the long run, we might be better off without it. And no tin-pot dictator is going to hold our country up for ransom.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Trudeau trusting Trump?

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Is that nice of Mr. Trump or is it not? He has given Canada this week to cave in to his absurd demands on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The U.S. president has proved to Trudeau on many occasions now that he is a liar, a braggard, a boor and a bad neighbour. His negotiators just finished putting the screws to the Mexicans, offering them a bilateral deal without Canada in the mix.

And now he is allowing Canada to come to the table. “Do it this week, if you do not mind.” Do it for the convenience of the Americans—after all, they are including Canada as an afterthought.

All Trudeau and his half-pint foreign minister have to agree to is giving up something on dairy supply management, agreeing to a sunset clause and letting the Americans weaken the dispute settlement clause. “And when you agree to those, we have another half dozen clauses you can cave in on.”

Mind you the reason the Americans have such a glut of milk to sell is that government subsidies account for more than half of their dairy farmers’ incomes. If the Americans would consider their own supply management of dairy products, their government could save as much as $20 billion per year.

The proposed sunset clause is also something of a red herring as any trade agreement is subject to partial or full review at any time. A sunset clause is always a worry for business. It threatens their long-term planning. They do not like uncertainty.

And, if anything, Mr. trump has proved that a dispute resolution clause in the agreement is essential. What if every occupant of the U.S. White House unilaterally imposed tariffs on America’s trading partners at a whim?

Despite Mr. Trump not being very respectful of laws, customs, decency and ethics, America is a country of law. It is a country with ambitions for world leadership. It is a country yearning for democracy.

They will need to admit that Mr. Trump’s current tenancy in the White House is an aberration and they should try not to let it happen again. Mr. Trump might seem to be having a fine time as Commander in Chief but he should remember that his occupancy is only a rental. He should try to leave things in decent shape for the next incumbent.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Exploring electoral ennui in America.

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

The one overriding perception of the 2016 American presidential election was that people were angry. Their disgust with Democrat and Republican party politics was visceral. A wise host and hostess tried to avoid discussions of politics among their guests. There was the common feeling that politics in America was not working. Washington was a quagmire. Politicians were failing to represent the people and there were many answers to the “Why?”

But what was at the root? Your senator or representative, Democrat or Republican, could always point at the other guy. There was no easy answer.

Take a look back at the campaign of Donald Trump. He broke all the rules. He hardly cared. The more the man proved himself shallow and unqualified for the presidency, the larger his claque grew. They supported him despite his limitations. They dug in their heels. They would shout down common sense.

And with the election of Donald Trump as president, the barbarian had breached the gate. As the incumbent, he was able to command centre stage as the court jester. What are you supposed to think?

Donald Trump has given succor to every tin pot dictator and aspiring tyrant in every country around the world. Let a mantra of lies carry you to your destiny, he tells them.

And yet this is a man who is becoming increasingly paranoid as he also realizes that the job of president is far beyond his capabilities. He is becoming the buffoon who entertains the troops. His rambling screeds at his ego-boosting rallies are becoming more and more incoherent.

Mr. Trump is not making America great again but destroying friendships with America. Under Trump, America stands alone, a pariah among nations.

But it is the lessons others are learning from the Trump experience that cause concern. Where can politics be headed when these egotistical supermen (and some ladies) decide they alone represent ‘Truth, Justice and their country’s Way’ in your local elections?

All the candidate needs to do is: Build on bitterness—conquer civility—defy definition—encourage evil—foment feuds—galvanize the gullible—hasten hostility—inculcate ignorance and the list goes on.

And candidates always have to remember that the news media are your enemy. Keep them guessing. You only have to pander to the needy. Promise them anything for their vote. Deliver at your whim.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Is Trump really the king of Twits?

Friday, August 24th, 2018

No, we do not shun social media. I have tried a few of them and I simply find them wanting. It came as a surprise that when I decided they were a terrible waste of time, I could not get rid of them. It is insidious but I guess it substantiates some of the outrageous membership figures they tell us about. It would be like the New York Times keeping the names of deceased subscribers on their daily circulation figures forever.

I am pleased to say that I am not included in the numbers who follow the real president Trump on Twitter. The last figure I looked at was over 50 million. It does seem odd that the news media have to subscribe to Twitter to be able to tell us what is going on with the American administration. It is also odd but it is more shocking that the president of the most powerful nation on earth uses such poor language skills.

When Twitter was first presented to the public, I thought it was an interesting challenge to people to communicate in just 140 characters. What it is really achieving is the destruction of English as well as many other languages. It has been embarrassing for me that I have never figured out what many short forms for words such as ‘LOL’ really mean. And those emoticons are a poor substitute for words at any time.

Luckily most politicians who use Twitter to communicate with voters have professionals who do the final writing and placement. What foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland placed in Twitter recently about human rights in Saudi Arabia was unfortunate. There was nothing new about what she tweeted. What she did was gravely insult the Saudis by using Twitter in English to reach her voters in Toronto. It’s a World Wide Web, lady!

Of course, Trump is no diplomat. When he insults some foreign leader from Trudeau in Canada to Erdogan in Turkey, they do not recall their ambassadors. They probably have multiple meetings with high-priced staff and consultants and nothing happens. It is just the news media that goes crazy. And Trump gets off again—because he can.

What the world needs to do (and to think I used to charge huge fees for advice like this) is to stop allowing it to go unpunished. Just insult the bastard right back. Do it intelligently. Do it with humour. If you can get the Americans laughing at him, you win. What the hell have you got to lose?

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

 

The troubled trials of Trudeau and Trump.

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

It’s embarrassing. Our prime minister cannot handle Donald Trump. We might as well admit it. It is doing less and less good to keep hoping Justin Trudeau will grow into the job. He does not have the gonads of his father. He lacks the wit and gumption to put the American president in his place.

And he is hardly solving the problem with our half-pint foreign affairs minister. Her problems with the Saudis are a perfect example of our failed foreign affairs situation. If Trudeau had the American president under control, do you think the Saudis would have the nerve to complain about her?

If Trudeau could manage Trump do you think we would be undergoing all this crap about the North American Free Trade Agreement? Do you think Mexico would dare negotiate separately—not having Canada at the table—if Trudeau was managing the file properly? Donald Trump is going around saying Canada has some unfair advantage. That is nothing but horse manure and we are letting him get away with it.

Canada has all its foreign affairs resources going around telling American underlings that President Trump might be incorrect. What needs to happen is that some one has to take Donald Trump to the woodshed. It is like the way President Johnson addressed Prime Minister Pearson about his speech at Temple University in 1965. Better that a friend shouts at you, instead of someone who really dislikes you.

The problem is that Canada’s relations with the United States of America are at their lowest point in over 150 years. And this is not what the saner members of either congregation want. And president Trump has been the cause. He has to clean up his act.

And what is really annoying about this situation is that the Conservatives and the NDP are all encouraging the PM to be a wus! Why? Do they also lack the intestinal fortitude?

What nobody seems to understand north of the U.S. border is that Trump is laughing at us. This guy negotiates by telling lies. He bluffs his way through life. If nobody calls his bluffs, he wins.

Some people think Trump is a bully. That is true.

But inside every bully is a coward. Donald Trump is a coward. He needs to be treated accordingly. And Trudeau better get off the dime or we will get somebody else to do it.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Trump trumpets truth?

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Every time you see president Trump at one of his campaign rallies, the people around him are all too busy with their cell phones to pay any attention to him. It makes you wonder what the point is of these rallies. Oh sure, it feeds his ego and serves to reinforce the image of his support. It is also an opportunity for him to harangue the news media.

And the media do not dare not go. They are penned in as prisoners—for protection, we guess. Trump points at them as a prosecutor making his case. The audience roars its approval. There is no judge to call for quiet.

But is there not a small bit of unctuous truth to what Trump says? Every media outlet that accepts paid advertising is guilty of hypocrisy at some level. It has to, to survive. And surprise, surprise, reporters, rewrites, editors and publishers have their own view of the truth. Truth is not an absolute. You have supreme court judges for that!

But this does not give Donald Trump carte blanche to call the media ‘disgusting.’ It makes him the fool and his claque with him.

But Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Donald Trump’s hillbilly press secretary appears proud that she needs Secret Service protection for standing up for Mr. Trump’s (and her) version of the truth.

And is Donald Trump not entitled to a little annoyance with the news media when they question the value of his meetings with Kim Jong Un of North Korea? Frankly, this observer thinks Kim Jong Un did a better job of representing his military handlers than Donald Trump did in representing the American people. Of course, that is opinion—and is not presented as fact.

But how in hell can Trump say one thing for the cameras in Helsinki at his meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia and then two days later tell us he misspoke? The man said what he said. He denied the information given to him by the American security agencies and alibied the Russian president who poisons and imprisons his opposition. So where does the truth begin?

Somebody paid for that ridiculous rally for Trump in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania last week. It was all in aid of the embarrassing republican candidate for senate in Pennsylvania this November’s mid-term election. Maybe Donald Trump should let nature take its course and let the voters decide. They could hardly all be as ignorant as those people with their cell phones at this recent Trump rally.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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