Democracy Under Fire: Obama on Democracy

Last Tuesday President Obama presented his final speech of hispresidency before the incoming Twit in Chief take power this coming Friday. The focus of his speech was as he said “the state of our democracy.”, meaning the state of democracy in the U.S. which surely looks bleak given the Twits recent twittering, however many of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Sean McElwee offers his take on the crucial failings which have led the U.S. Democrats to their current nadir in which principles and values have been discarded in the pursuit of power they’ve failed to secure. – Mike Konczal and Marshall Steinbaum highlight the importance of effective government ...

Alberta Politics: Deep irony in the deep state: Some thoughts about those post-Christmas American ‘spy’ expulsions

PHOTOS: A couple of Russian “intelligence operatives” pensively contemplate the news they’re about to be kicked out of the United States for acting like journalists. Actual GRU deep cover agents may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Russian President Vladimir Putin disguised as well-known journalist Clark Kent; U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in a characteristic pose; ...

Democracy Under Fire: Mixed Scientific Message’s

After nearly a decade our federal scientists are now free to speak about their research and findings to the public without censure. Scientists working for the Canadian government have successfully negotiated a clause in their new contract that guarantees their right to speak to the public and the media about science and their research, without ...

Politics and its Discontents: If You Are Stumped When It Comes To Inspired Gifts

…. may I suggest Trump On A Stump? Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Taking Responsibility

The other day I came across the following stinging but very accurate indictment of those who voted for Donald Trump: Not all Trump supporters are racist, misogynist, xenophobes. All Trump supporters saw a racist, misogynist, xenophobe and said “this is an acceptable person to lead our country.” You may not have racist, misogynist, xenophobic intent, ...

Alberta Politics: If Donald Trump won’t knuckle under, could he face an American ‘Colour Revolution’?

PHOTOS: One of many anti-Trump rallies in the United States in the past few days (from Facebook). Below: U.S. President Elect Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, U.S. Senator John McCain and Julius Caesar. It would be an irony if the troubles the United States has visited on much of the earth were now ...

Alberta Politics: If Alberta PCs can’t ensure basic rules around inclusivity and harassment, they’re not fit to govern: Rachel Notley

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at yesterday afternoon’s press conference in the Legislature media room. Below: U.S. President Elect Donald Trump and his unsuccessful Democratic Party challenger, Hillary Clinton (Photo by Gage Skidmore, Flickr). When a few journalists showed up in the Legislature’s media room yesterday afternoon for Rachel Notley’s news conference, called to offer ...

Alberta Politics: The question must be asked: Was Brad Wall’s party being paid to undermine Alberta’s NDP?

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, not looking quite like himself, were still smiling and standing side by side at the start of the July 2015 premiers’ meeting in St. John’s. A week later? Now? Not so much. Below: Mr. Wall as we’ve come to know him, interfering Alberta premier William ...

Alberta Politics: Just say no to term limits! They’re fundamentally undemocratic and that’s why the right likes them

PHOTOS: Given the alternatives, most of the world would be delighted if this scene could be repeated, don’t you think? Probably most Americans would be too. Below: Four-time presidential winner Franklin D. Roosevelt and other presidents who contemplated third terms, but were thwarted for on reason or another, Ulysses S. Grant, Woodrow Wilson and Grover ...

Alberta Politics: Where’s Pat Paulsen, now that America needs him? And why didn’t Jason Kenney phone Brian Jean?

PHOTOS: Pat Paulsen and Bobby Kennedy. Below: Mr. Paulsen in 1970 … and in focus, putative PC leadership candidate Sandra Jansen and Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean. Where’s Pat Paulsen, now that America needs him? Or, to put this another way, seeing as Mr. Paulsen permanently departed this vale of political tears back in 1997, ...

Alberta Politics: Canadians can be thankful for small, and probably temporary, mercies in wake of U.S. presidential debate

PHOTOS: Republican candidate Donald Trump stalking Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton around the debate stage in St. Louis yesterday evening (CNN Photo). Below: 20th Century screen star Bela Lugosi, Edmonton political commentator Chanchal Bhattacharya and a Wildrose supporter in a Trump-style ball cap (National Observer photo). Happy Thanksgiving! I guess we can be thankful, after watching ...

Alberta Politics: Media scolding about ‘political correctness’ is baloney; hats off to MRU student who spoke out against Trump cap

PHOTOS: “Make America Hate Again.” (Jake May, MLive.com) Below: U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Canadian politicians Kellie Leitch and Jason Kenney. They’re not the only ones, unfortunately. Can anyone in Alberta’s mainstream media seriously claim to have been surprised by the vile stream of threats, abuse and harassment unleashed on a Mount Royal University ...

Accidental Deliberations: In case we didn’t have enough reasons to want Donald Trump to be trounced…

…he’s now serving as Brad Wall’s latest excuse for climate obstructionism. We’ll see if anyone asks the implied follow-up question: whether Wall is actually hoping for a Trump win on the basis that a bigoted lunatic trying to squeeze still more money and power out of the working classes to be sent to the top ...

Accidental Deliberations: The Breitbartist Song

Needless to say, #MakeAmericaBrannigan has been one needed source of comic relief within an alarming U.S. election campaign. But I’m not sure that should be the sole opportunity to mine Futurama for campaign material. So without any further ado, here’s The Breitbartist Song (sung of course to the tune of The Bureaucrat Song): Stephen Bannon:When ...

Alberta Politics: New York Times coverage of Russian hacking deserves another Pulitzer – for fiction!

PHOTOS: Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, who the New York Times blames for everything. (Photo from Kremlin.ru.) Below: Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary R. Clinton; former Nixon speechwriter Patrick J. Buchanan; Republican Party presidential candidate Donald J. Trump; and Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, director of the Soviet secret services from 1917 to 1922. As readers shall ...

the disgruntled democrat: The U.S. Presidential Election: A Drowning Man Will Clutch at a Dragon

Well, it’s done.  The Republican and Democratic Parties have nominated their candidates to become President of the United States of America, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Really? These are the choices? The sociopath who can do the least harm? In some ways, they both appeal to the same constituency, the super rich.  Neither of the candidates ...

the disgruntled democrat: The U.S. Presidential Election: A Drowning Man Will Clutch at a Dragon

Well, it’s done.  The Republican and Democratic Parties have nominated their candidates to become President of the United States of America, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Really? These are the choices? The sociopath who can do the least harm? In some ways, they both appeal to the same constituency, the super rich.  Neither of the candidates ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Andrew Jackson discusses the challenge of ensuring that stable jobs are available in Canada: Good jobs are a central mechanism in the creation of shared prosperity. What matters for workers is not just being able to find any job but also security of employment, level of pay, working conditions, and ...

Politics and its Discontents: Looking Into The Abyss: A Guest Post By Pamela MacNeil

Yesterday, my post consisted of three letters culled from a larger series by Star readers reflecting on the dire state of both the U.S. Republican Party and American society. Pamela MacNeil, always an insightful commentator, offered some very interesting observations about both. I am featuring them here as a guest post: I listened to a ...

Politics and its Discontents: Kool-Aid, Anyone?

Unless you have taken a strong slug of a particular Kool-Aid, I suspect you will be suitably appalled by the following. Indeed, the responses of the folks who were asked what it would take for Donald Trump to lose their vote reminds me of an old tune sung by Tammy Wynette. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Some Fascinating Speculation

I readily admit to not following U.S. politics too closely; my emotional resilience has limits. However, given the American media saturation coverage of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, it has been hard to ignore the run-up to their respective parties’ presidential nominations. Never, it seems, has either party offered such unpopular and unpalatable mainstream candidates. ...

Politics and its Discontents: Obama: On Bended Knee To The Saudis

I’ll defer to others much better versed than I am in the vagaries of international politics to offer a more informed analysis, but the recent deference of the U.S. toward Saudi Arabia warrants a closer look. Despite, or perhaps because of, an unfortunate recent characterization by Barack Obama of the repressive Middle East kingdom as ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 12: Bombings, and bodies, keep piling up

Another week, another atrocity. This time, it’s Brussels, Belgium (a city described in January by Donald Trump as a “hellhole”) that came under sophisticated and yet cowardly attack by ISIS on Tuesday. Bombs went off in three locations leaving at least 30 people dead. That an attack would happen in Brussels is hardly surprising. The ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 11: The Trump express rolls on; the Canadian ketchup controversy

It started as a joke. It’s still a joke, but nobody’s laughing anymore. Donald J. Trump famously entered the U.S. Republican race back in June by riding a down escalator. C’mon, a down escalator? What better symbol of failure than a down escalator? Everybody had a good laugh, and went about seriously dissecting the ‘real’ ...