Mr Trudeau Goes To Washington

mrsmith

Today Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with US President Donald Trump in Washington. While some of Trudeau’s initial shine may be a wee bit smudged after a couple of years in office, a fairly normal occurrence no doubt, I think it fair to say that he enjoys better approval ratings at home than does Trump who is still causing havoc by being a business bull in a political china shop.  

Trump who is still causing havoc by being a business bull in a political china shop

These two leaders carry on a very long tradition of friendship between the countries. We share the world’s longest undefended border and are each other’s largest trading partner. Trump has been quiet regarding Canada, even dragging his feet when it came to issuing a statement about the Quebec City mosque shooting. When he speaks of changing NAFTA he tends to refer to how it affects trade with Mexico.

A potential sticky topic is Trump’s ban on accepting people from seven Muslim-majority countries while Trudeau is a great proponent of welcoming refugees from these countries. With the ban currently on hold after being twice struck down in court, Trump will no doubt be cranky should the subject come up.  Given his penchant for walls, will he warn Trudeau about those refugees welcomed by Canada making their way south across the undefended border? Will he turn his attention to a northern wall?

Given his penchant for walls, will he warn Trudeau about those refugees welcomed by Canada making their way south across the undefended border?

It is not always true that leaders of Canada and the US get along well. Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan seemed to forge a genuine friendship . On the other hand Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, was never a favourite of Richard Nixon’s. It seems that not only did Tricky Dickie call Trudeau pere a “son of a bitch” but on at least one occasion he referred to the Canadian Prime Minister as an “asshole”. Upon receiving the news Pierre Trudeau allegedly replied “I’ve been called worse things by better people”.

Hopefully all will go well when the two leaders meet.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Tom Brady’s Missing Super Bowl Jersey Located

trump12

Are you aware  that the mystery of Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey has been solved? When asked, President Trump said he was certain Tom would want him to have it. Seems he got it by issuing an Executive Order.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

#TBT Good Business Does Not Equal Good Government

With Donald Trump now the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential candidate the time has come to take a look at the big picture. One of Trump’s main selling points is his skill as a businessman. He  has amassed a fortune in business, but does that make him, or anyone with a similar background for that matter, a suitable country leader?  I do not believe that anyone can ‘run’ a country or state/province like a business for two primary reasons: the concept of profitability and that nasty old democracy.

What will a business-politician do, force them into domestic labour camps, organize covert actions to snuff out these leeches?

First the bottom line in business is just that, the bottom line on the balance sheet. Profit is all that counts, numbers, returns. And much like the system of determining the rankings of NCAA football teams if several have identical won/lost records by analyzing the opponents faced and the degree of victory, if it is a public company “The Street” will analyze and then determine what an acceptable degree of profit is. Just finishing in the black is not sufficient.

Trump has been criticized for bankruptcies in his past, but, odd though it may sound, sometimes declaring bankruptcy  is good for overall business. Not for those left with outstanding payments or those who lose their jobs, but for the company. A subsidiary that is sucking cash from head office is better off being bankrupted. Unless of course you happen to be a supplier who is owed money.

Individuals are hired and fired based on their contribution to the company’s profit margin or lack thereof. If a worker is not pulling his or her weight, there is an action that can be taken: as Trump likes to say You’re Fired. The deadwood is cleared out and the streamlined company hums along making the most money it can.

Frustratingly for the business-politician, they are not going anywhere, nor are they likely to be convinced to back down given they are representing their own constituents back home and hoping to be elected again.  

In a societal setting there are those who appear to not be contributing to the bottom line for any number of reasons, valid or otherwise. These include but not limited to Illness, age, or just good old-fashioned laziness, but  in the end the fact is these folks cannot be fired from the country. For those candidates who claim to be Christian, they are surely aware of the notion from the Bible that the poor will always be with us. What will a business-politician do, force them into domestic labour camps, organize covert actions to snuff out these leeches?

Secondly, a business leader who finds him or herself butting heads with a dissenting member of senior management over a project or plan can, if necessary, get rid of that person. Even people with contracts get fired all the time, it may cost the company money either in court costs or a cash settlement or both, but it can be done all the same.

A politician is constantly at odds with the opposition, it is the nature of the game. Even some on the leader’s side will from time to time go against the grain. Unlike employees these people are elected officials. Frustratingly for the business-politician, they are not going anywhere, nor are they likely to be convinced to back down given they are representing their own constituents back home and hoping to be elected again.  

Business should be run by business people, but countries are better off with a human touch.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

turkey

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Hey VP-Elect Pence: Lighten Up, Happy!

hamilton

The kerfuffle over the statement – see below – read to VP-Elect Mike Pence at the end of Friday night’s performance of Hamilton: An American Musical is lost on me. No matter how often I read it or listen to it I can’t for the life of me find anything offensive or harassing.

Well, it seems to me that since you become the VP-Elect your days of going to the theatre like an average citizen are gone

As has been reported the Trump people are outraged at the gall of the performers to single out Pence while he was out for an evening at the theatre. Well, it seems to me that since you become the VP-Elect your days of going to the theatre like an average citizen are gone. You are not a school commissioner, you are going to be the VP of the United States of America, get used to it. If you want to do ‘normal’ things you should never have accepted the invitation to run, and you should call it quits now.

Thank you so much for joining us tonight. You know, we had a guest in the audience this evening. And Vice President-elect Pence, I see you’re walking out but I hope you will hear us just a few more moments. There’s nothing to boo here ladies and gentlemen. There’s nothing to boo here, we’re all here sharing a story of love.

We have a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out. And I encourage everybody to pull out your phones and tweet and post because this message needs to be spread far and wide, OK?

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical, we really do. We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us — our planet, our children, our parents — or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.

Again, we truly thank you for sharing this show. This wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men [and] women of different colors, creeds, and orientations.

I have more time for the argument that while the statement was fairly benign, the platform was incorrect. But even that falls short in my opinion. Had the cast chastised Pence for any of his past then I might agree, but the statement was positive. Lighten up, Happy

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

“All we are saying, is give Trump a chance.” Good Idea? I Think Not

Yana Paskova/Getty Images
Yana Paskova/Getty Images

I understand the whole concept of party unity after a divisive leadership campaign. The tradition is for the losers in a leadership race to endorse the winner thereby making the election unanimous. All warm and fuzzy, rah-rah, all for one and one for all, let’s beat the other party in the general election.

The usual US election campaign is a battle for votes between two parties who hold different positions on the right/left, conservative/liberal, republican/democratic continuum. Variations on a theme if you will.

I can even grasp a country rallying behind a president-elect in an effort at unity. No matter how many candidates may have run for top spot, when one wins we all come together under his or her umbrella. All things being equal.

But that camaraderie only rings true when the campaign has been normal. Clashes between candidates about policies, leadership styles, and backgrounds can be smoothed over for the betterment of the country. The usual US election campaign is a battle for votes between two parties who hold different positions on the right/left, conservative/liberal, republican/democratic continuum. Variations on a theme if you will. But the most recent US election was anything but normal. I am finding it difficult to process the ‘I’ll give him a chance” approach this time round.

continuum

While I understand the concept, I find that some of the things Donald Trump said and did during his campaign and before he ran are so egregious that the usual rally around the president-elect attempts ring hollow. The fact that his first few appointments have fuelled the polarization of the country rather than make inroads and attempts at healing only serves to make giving him a chance even more difficult.

Perhaps right-wing wack job Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon could bed-down in one of Trump’s hotels. Call it a bed-in for a chance. “All we are saying, is give Trump a chance.”

But of course there remains the fact that the election is over, done and dusted, no amount of protesting, no calls to do away with the Electoral College will have any effect other than perhaps as an outlet for frustration. But to me accepting the outcome does not equate with getting behind Trump. I think I’d be more likely to find myself protesting in the streets and hoping for an early impeachable gaffe from him than giving him a chance.

Perhaps right-wing wack job Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon could bed-down in one of Trump’s hotels. Call it a bed-in for a chance. “All we are saying, is give Trump a chance.”

One interesting note is that Professor Allan Lichtman who has correctly predicted the last nine US presidential elections, including the most recent, also predicts that President Trump will be impeached. Food for thought.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Trump Victory: FBI 1 – Democracy 0

fbi

In the immediate aftermath of the 2016 US election heads around the world are shaking. If not spinning. How could this have happened? How could so many pollsters get it so wrong? What happens next?

It seems to me, sitting north of the United States, that a mere ten days ago Hillary Clinton was cruising to a substantial victory. Analysts and pollsters were illustrating just how difficult it would be for Donald Trump to get the 270 required Electoral College votes. Well, what caused the wheels to fall off?

And there’s some little jerk in the FBI
A keepin’ papers on me six feet high
– Rolling Stones, Fingerprint Files

Evidently a late campaign, October surprise, Hail Mary attempt proved successful when FBI Director James Comey issued a letter to Congress regarding more emails having been found. That’s it, no details, no explanation of what the emails contained, just that there were more. As irresponsible as a pilot stating over the intercom mid-flight that there is no need to panic, thereby essentially guaranteeing panic, the mysterious emails were spun by the Trump team. The letter to Congress came as a surprise to all but the Trump campaign who, I believe, were integral in its release.

From the moment the letter was made public and elaborated upon by Trump, Hillary’s numbers went into free-fall and never recovered. Even with a subsequent ‘all clear’ letter from Comey with a few days left, the damage was done and there was no time to drive home the truth.

Unfortunately dirty pool won the day: FBI 1 – Democracy 0.

See also: Did the FBI’s James Comey really win the election for Donald Trump?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+