Time For Major GOP Funders To Withhold

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In the wake of yet another mass killing at yet another US school, the rallying cry has gone out to get elected officials to do something about the ridiculously easy access to high-powered guns in the United States. And as usual, one party, the Democrats, are standing with those shouting for an end, while Republicans blather on about “thoughts and prayers”.

Gun proponents often trot out the tired old saw that they believe explains how guns don’t kill people, people kill people. It’s cute but totally absurd. Guns don’t kill people: people with guns kill people. That’s just more simple logic: no guns = no gun deaths.

Is it that Republicans have little care for future victims? Do they not think the situation is now long out of hand? Well if they do they have a funny way of showing it. Sadly it all comes down to one thing in their stony hearts: money. Filthy lucre.

According to an Opinion piece in the New York Times from October 4, 2017:

Most Americans support stronger gun laws — laws that would reduce deaths. But Republicans in Congress stand in the way. They fear alienating their primary voters and the National Rifle Association.

I don’t know about their primary voters, but the National Rifle Association donates millions of dollars to candidates and spends millions more sponsoring events supporting primarily GOP candidates. In the last election, they spent upwards of $30M getting Donald Trump elected (of course, as we will all soon find out, the Russians helped out as well). No wonder he refuses to do anything about the situation. The logic is simple: it is not in the best financial interest of politicians to bite the hand that feeds them. And the NRA is a harsh master, threatening to withdraw funding at the mere mention of undeniably sane proposals (background checks for one). They are not big on the idea of compromise. No art of the deal for them.

Is it conceivable that a major donor to candidate X could threaten to withhold contributions unless the candidate refuses NRA money?

Gun proponents often trot out the tired old saw that they believe explains how guns don’t kill people, people kill people. It’s cute but totally absurd. Guns don’t kill people: people with guns kill people. That’s just more simple logic: no guns = no gun deaths.

But what if some of the other big donors took a stand? What if pressure was brought to bear on other large donors to GOP candidates? Is it conceivable that a major donor to candidate X could threaten to withhold contributions unless the candidate refuses NRA money? Should the gun control advocates be lobbying other major donors in an effort to get them to apply pressure?

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 Losing Grip, Soon The Funnel Be Over

Since the bombshell dropped last week, no, not the weather bomb that pounded the northeast with snow and frigid temperatures, but the publication of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury, many have been questioning President Trump‘s mental state. Is he capable of carrying out the duties of the office?

No this is full-fledged ego-fed looney-tunes, and it’s running the biggest country in the world.

As soon as several excerpts of the book were released 24 hours before publication, news channels had a feeding frenzy. All Wolff all the time. Even the president himself panicked and, bypassing White House counsel, had his personal lawyer issue a cease and desist letter to the author and the publisher. All to no avail, as the book hit shelves and Kindles as planned. Trump then dissed the book as fiction, but his initial reaction had already spoken volumes.

So now the focus is on Trump’s mental capacity. Dr. Bandy X. Lee Yale University psychiatry professor had already raised concerns about the potential of mental illness. The president Tweeted that he is no less than a ‘very stable genius’. I am not a doctor, but it seems to me that diagnosing anyone based on a person’s public persona rather than an actual medical examination is a bit dicey.

But what’s worse than Trump being a wacko is that millions of people knowingly voted for him.

However, Trump has been the same all through the election process. The debates, speeches, and rallies were all circus-like events thanks to his juvenile antics. He has always given me the impression that he, in my non-medical opinion, is bonkers. But what’s worse than Trump being a wacko is that millions of people knowingly voted for him.

It is unfair of those Trump supporters who put the man in the Oval Office to now jump ship because the world is openly questioning his sanity. You voted for him, now help get rid of him. We’re not talking just a wee bit bent here, there are always personal attributes that one person sees as abnormal, while others just brush off. (Frankly, I never thought Ronald Reagan was playing with a full deck, even before the Alzheimer’s diagnosis.) No this is full-fledged ego-fed looney-tunes, and it’s running the biggest country in the world. The funnel soon be over I fear. Now that’s scary.

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+

Take Back The U.S.A.

TakeBackUSA

A snippet of observation from the safety of my armchair sociologist’s lair. It is not news that in the last US election Hillary Clinton garnered 48.2% of the popular vote to Donald Trump’s 46.1%. A not insignificant difference of 2.1%. However the Electoral College system gave the election to Trump based on the distribution of votes. That’s the way it works, frustrating as it may be.

… those in the majority appear to be taking a weather approach; as in, everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything.

But Electoral College aside for a moment, the fact that more people voted against Trump, in a two candidate race – more people voted against Bill Clinton than for him 1992, but Ross Perot split the Republican votes – cannot be swept under the carpet. However those in the majority appear to be taking a weather approach; as in, everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything.

Immediately following the election and inauguration there was a flurry of activity in the form of marches, protests, and demonstrations.  What happened? I’m not seeing on CNN wall to wall coverage of peaceful expressions of dissatisfaction not with the system, but with Trump. Evidently the 65,844,610 electors who voted for Hillary Clinton have opted to leave their plight in the hands of Robert Mueller and his investigation at best or with billionaire Tom Steyer and his www.needtoimpeach.com movement at worst. While I believe Steyer hits the nail on the head with his ads, I cannot quite see his venture being successful.

Trump once said: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters”. At first that sounded totally absurd, but conceivably he may be onto something. Did he understand before others that his base, his peeps, were with him through thick and thin?  No matter what he says or does, for all the outcries and editorials, he just coasts right along. Everyday he tweets or comments something that tests the strength of his people; most recently calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas at, of all place, an event honouring Native veterans.

I think the 48.2% need to start a Take Back the Country, movement, the one that has been wrested away from you,  before it is too late.

Watching all of this play out from north of the 49th parallel makes me wonder if the majority, those who cast ballots not for Donald Trump, comprehend the damage this man is doing to your country as seen from the outside. Trump claims he is working to make America great again, as a neighbour I would suggest the country has never not been great, but is now in serious peril of becoming a laughingstock.

There is a movement to expose and end violence against women called Take Back The Night, make it safe for women to walk at night again. I think the 48.2% need to start a Take Back the Country, movement, the one that has been wrested away from you,  before it is too late.

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+

Updated: Donald Trump, Charlottesville and Chubby Checker

(KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

In a recent post I mentioned how the video from Charlottesville was a bit grainy you might mistake for something from the sixties. Lately, one line of a Chubby Checker song, also from the sixties, has been stuck in my head. As I watch the news in the US, again and again, this snippet of lyric pops into my mind. It has nothing to do with twisting, a word that would make Checker a rich man over the years and one that could certainly be applied to President Trump’s take on history as well as current events.

He has an ability to twist facts and images to his liking

He has an ability to twist facts and images to his liking. But people are not fools; looking at the coverage of the heinous events over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia it is clear that there was a group of armed Nazi thugs and a group of protesters. The fault falls on one side – the Nazis – and one side only. No amount of twisting will change that.

What ignited this riot was the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee … That Lee is on a horse did not bring to my mind the Checker song Pony Time.

What ignited this riot was the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The white supremacists and Nazis look to Lee as a hero, so they were spitting their vile racist epithets in protest if the statue’s removal. That Lee is on a horse did not bring to my mind the Checker song Pony Time.

No, the song came to me after the riots, after the murder of Heather Hayer, after two statements from Trump. While watching the ‘leader of the free world’ rant and rage in the lobby of his tower in New York, listening to him equate the protesters and the Nazis, levying equal amounts of blame to each side (in fact, placing the onus on the protesters who did not have a permit) is when the Checker lyric burned itself into my mind. The words come from his 1962 hit Limbo Rock and are ‘How low can you go?”.

Every time I have seen rebroadcasts of Trump’s hissy fit I can’t help but repeat that line to myself.

How low can you go?

Id_Limbo

My greatest fear with regards to Trump is that he is soon going to show just how low he can go.

Sad.

 

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+

President Trump: Impeach and Imprison

Bob Woodward, left, talks with Carl Bernstein during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, Saturday, April 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

There is a poll out that illustrates how some 96% of people who voted for Donald Trump last November would do so again. This seems to be interpreted as a positive sign for the President, but it occurs to me that he has lost 4% of his base. When your own constituency is eroding, even as slowly as this, it cannot be a good thing. Perhaps in light of President Trump’s disastrous first 100 days it is surprising that not more people have had their eyes opened.

Not only did he not attend the dinner, thereby reducing the honour bestowed upon the young scholarship winners who would normally meet the president, but he held a campaign-like rally in Pennsylvania in direct opposition to the WHCD

On Saturday night the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner (WHCD) was held in Washington. The event is a fundraiser for young journalism students as well as an opportunity to present awards to several working journalists. Traditionally the president uses the dinner to humorously, good-naturedly skewer the various media outlets in attendance.

Unfortunately the current president is in a snit when it comes to the media. Not only did he not attend the dinner, thereby reducing the honour bestowed upon the young scholarship winners who would normally meet the president, but he held a campaign-like rally in Pennsylvania in direct opposition to the WHCD. In a long line of childish exploits, this may have been the most infantile. He spent the first ten minutes of his speech insulting the media. Carl Bernstein called it the most “venomous” speech he had ever heard by a president. Much like a child who has fallen out with a classmate and refuses to go to his birthday party, Trump revelled in his belief that by not being at the dinner, the event was doomed to fail.  

How long will Americans put up with an allegedly duly elected president who on a daily basis demeans the Oval Office? How long will Americans continue to allow this buffoon to sully the reputation of the presidency?

How long will Americans put up with an allegedly duly elected president who on a daily basis demeans the Oval Office? How long will Americans continue to allow this buffoon to sully the reputation of the presidency? To incite violence at his rallies by urging police to ‘get him outta here’ when a protester dissents? How many more rallies will Americans foot the bill for so the thin-skinned President can energize his batteries by having a roomful of morons cheer on his inane actions?

I believe that contrary to some, Trump backers and not, who call for the media to ‘give him a chance’, it is incumbent upon journalists to call him out loudly whenever he lies or misleads. I can understand someone in a new job getting a chance, but you don’t get a chance to be president. It’s not Celebrity Apprentice. It’s not golf, there are no Mulligans. Much as Bernstein and  Bob Woodward did with Watergate, reporters must dig up and expose Trumps foolishness even if they are frustrated by so many Americans refusing to believe irrefutable evidence.

Trump is keen on slogans and chants: lock her up, build the wall, repeal and replace. The time has come for sane folks to take up the banner. I suggest impeach and imprison, but only because I’m too nice to suggest Impeach and Impale!

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+

Donald Trump Signs Super Bowl Executive Order

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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+

White House Press Secretary Not Striking a Balance

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I think it fair to say that the job of White House Press Secretary is a tough one. Dealing on a daily basis with hordes of reporters from around the world, all of whom need answers to their questions, requires a special kind of skill.

To be a good press secretary you have to know your stuff forwards and backwards, inside and out, and be able to think on your feet when you don’t. You must always appear to be in control, even when you are not.

To be a good press secretary you have to know your stuff forwards and backwards, inside and out, and be able to think on your feet when you don’t. You must always appear to be in control, even when you are not. And perhaps most important, you must strike a delicate balance between being firm with the press, and providing them with information. The relationship between the media and the White House works both ways.

Press secretaries tend to reflect the president they speak on behalf of. Dee Dee Myers was Bill Clinton’s first press secretary. She was smart and projected an air of calmness, much like her boss. George W. Bush had Ari Fleischer, also bright and certainly capable of being caustic when needed.

Like Donald Trump, Spicer would have us believe he is doing the media, and by extension US citizens, a favour by impatiently answering their questions.

The current press secretary Sean Spicer clearly portrays many of his boss’ traits: he is confrontational, treats reporters as if they are school children, never seems to really be in control, nor to have a full grasp of things. Like Donald Trump, Spicer would have us believe he is doing the media, and by extension US citizens, a favour by impatiently answering their questions. Evidently neither man is terribly fond of the part of the First Amendment that  “…prohibits the making of any law infringing on the freedom of the press”.

It has been mentioned that Spicer was not Trump’s first choice for press secretary but rather it was Reince Priebus who pushed for him. If that is accurate, I think Spicer is in for a tough ride not just from the media, but from Trump himself as was evident when Spicer went before the media and upheld obvious inaccuracies.  Trump’s preference was Kellyanne Conway who has proven to have no problem with “alternative facts”.

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+

Quebec City Shooting: Spurred By Trump’s Anti-Muslim Rhetoric?

(PASCAL RATTHE / LE SOLEIL)

(PASCAL RATTHE / LE SOLEIL)

Two armed masked men armed stormed into a mosque on Sunday evening just as prayers were ending. They opened fire killing six men and injuring 19 others, five of whom remain in hospital in critical condition.  

A nasty divisive debate has gripped the US regarding the nature of the bans. Are they religion-specific?  Is the move anti-Muslim or anti-terror?

Forty-eight hours earlier  President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. This spurred numerous protests across the country, many at airports, as travellers already en route were detained upon arrival.

A nasty divisive debate has gripped the US regarding the nature of the bans. Are they religion-specific?  Is the move anti-Muslim or anti-terror?  Does the new US administration even understand the difference between those two concepts?

So is it surprising that, in light of this debate, this horrific shooting should occur?  No doubt someone must have figured out that sooner or later some rabid anti-Muslim fanatic would take matters into his own hands. It was bound to happen.

But what does come as a surprise is that the murders were not carried out in Michigan or Iowa. But in Quebec City, here in Canada.

Has the cauldron of hate that has been stirred by Trump’s rhetoric throughout the election process, leading to his victory, splashed over the border?  

I suspect some will point out that this just does not happen in Canada. But it does, it did. Others will state that we have lost our innocence. But we lost that long ago, just ask the friends and families of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.and the victims of 1989’s École Polytechnique massacre.

While more will ponder whether the debate to our south played any role in the killings. Often perpetrators of mass shootings take their own lives or are killed by law enforcement officers (commonly called suicide by cop) while in the act. But in the Quebec City case both suspects are alive and in custody. Will they fess up to being influenced by President Trump’s bombastic approach being implemented a mere three-hour drive to the south?  Has the cauldron of hate that has been stirred by Trump’s rhetoric throughout the election process, leading to his victory, splashed over the border?  

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+

Canada’s Justin Trudeau Welcomes Refugees: “Diversity Is Our Strength”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Cole Burston—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Cole Burston—Bloomberg/Getty Images

On September 11, 2001 while planes that had been hijacked by terrorists from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon were being flown into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, thousands of other flights were in the air. For obvious reasons the air space over the United States was soon closed and was being patrolled by the military. Therefore these flights had to be diverted prior to reaching their destination.

There are numerous stories of Canada’s role in accommodating several of those flights in what became known as Operation Yellow Ribbon.

Many such flights were able to land in various Canadian airports, big and small. There are numerous stories of Canada’s role in accommodating several of those flights in what became known as Operation Yellow Ribbon.

I find it interesting that almost 16 years later new US President Donald Trump’s recent Executive Order to ban citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, Muslim majority countries, from entering the United States has created a similar reaction from Canada.

Not unlike the situation in 2001, while Trump was signing his Executive Order last Friday, there were people with legal visas who were already en route to the US and who, upon landing, were greeted with a detention cell.

Not only did Trump move the finish line, he took it away completely.

Once again Canada has stepped in by inviting those who were seeking what they believed to be legal access to the US to come here should they be turned back upon arrival. I suspect there will be those Trump supporters who will say we are welcome to these people, while others will fear having them so close.

It is not Canadian policy to accept terrorists with open arms; but these people are not terrorists, they have been vetted and given visas for entry to the US. They have had the rug pulled out from under them after passing through the system. Not only did Trump move the finish line, he took it away completely. Leaving these folks stranded. Welcome to Canada!

 

 

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+

Make America Clean Again

The folks at Procter & Gamble have announced a new look for Mr. Clean. The new iconic brand character will be African American. After 59 years the time has come to give the original a break. I have to admit that the way things have been going in the United States recently, when I first heard about a new look for Mr. Clean I did fear he may look like this:

clean

Talk about a repurpose! Will yellow hair become trendy? Will we say in four years “Remember how yellow his hair was when elected and now it is so very grey.”

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+