Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Today's news: Truth and Reconciliation

Excerpt from the poem Forgiving Our Fathers,from one of the best movies ever made, Smoke Signals. An important thread:

Today's news: Soothing the savage b(r)east

What is it with these guys? 
Today we learned that White House staff were soothing Trump's rages by playing show tunes he liked: This reminds me of one of the funniest revelations about Canada's own famously thin-skinned prime minister Stephen Harper -- this happened during the Prorogue crisis in 2008
During the past week, while the nation wondered if the government would fall, junior Conservative staffers were ordered to be outside 24 Sussex Dr. by 6:15 in the morning. Their job was to stand there in the dark with the temperature well below zero and wait for the PM to appear. Their instructions were to applaud, wave and sing O Canada loudly as the motorcade pulled out of the gates and drove Stephen Harper to work. 
 Mr. Harper, by all accounts, actually believed that the young people were there of their own accord and represented a groundswell of love and support for his actions. Staffers in the Prime Minister's Office know that he is easier to handle when being applauded and not questioned. This way, nobody has to suffer at the hands of the inconsolable bear. 
Its these guys, who boast about how tough they are, who are actually way too easy to manipulate once their staff figure out how to do it. 
The leaders with a little more humility are the ones more likely to recognize when they are being played, or pandered to.
And in other news, of course Covid continues to ravage Saskatchewan and Alberta. And Saskatchewan's health minister seems to have disappeared: But finally, here's some happy news:

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Today's news: maybe the Jan 6 insurrection actually messed up the plan?

 Here's an important new story about what was supposed to happen on Jan 6: I have been saying for months that the FBI and the Justice Department should have been holding regular briefings to explain to the American people what happened on Jan 6. 
They haven't been doing it, and now Americans are either forgetting what happened, or thinking it was really no big deal, yada yada yada. 
But today's news from Sydney Powell really does help explain for the first time what I always found to be the most inexplicable thing about that day: why was Trump trying so hard to delay the certification for a few hours or a day? What on earth was the point?
Remember all the stories about Rudy phoning Senator Tommy Tuberville to plead with him to throw up roadblocks to Senate certification?  Remember the goofy idea of getting the House and Senate reps from six states to demand the House and Senate each have 2-hour debates on each state certification, which would have turned the process into an all day marathon and might well have adjourned it until the next day? 
I could never understand why they were trying to play these games with the certification - what was the sense anyway?. 
In the end, it didn't work. Yes, the House and Senate members for Arizona and Pennsylvania did force the extra debates for these states. But then, before the assembly could consider Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada, the insurrectionists had invaded the Capitol buildings and everyone ran for their lives.  After that, when Pence and Pelosi reconvened later that evening, the mood had changed - lawmakers were spooked and no longer had any appetite for games and delays. So only the two states were debated and each vote was handled as quickly as they could. Everybody stayed until 3 am and finally Biden was declared president. 
And after it was all over, I did wonder: What on earth was the point of the game-playing? Why were they trying so hard just to delay the inevitable for a day or two? 
Now we find out why - Trump thought if they could delay the Biden certification until Jan 7, then Supreme Court Justice Alito would have time to overturn the problematic state certifications and then Republican state legislatures could throw the election to Trump.
 ....Powell's interview "suggests that the purpose of the insurrection was to DELAY the electoral college certification to give [Justice Samuel Alito] time to intervene on this legal challenge. But, Powell says they didn't anticipate Pelosi reconvening Congress that day." 
 Powell said that while then-President Donald Trump was inciting a riot at the Capitol, her team was filing a "12th Amendment constitutional challenge to the process the Congress was about to use."
 "Justice Alito was our circuit justice for that," she recalled. "And we were suing the vice president to follow the 12th Amendment as opposed to the Electoral College Act." 
 Powell alleged that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi learned of the lawsuit and rushed to have Congress certify the election despite the ongoing attack on the U.S. Capitol. 
 "Everything broke loose and she really had to speed up reconvening Congress to get the vote going before Justice Alito might have issued an injunction to stop it all, which is what should have happened," the attorney said
So that makes it much easier to understand why Trump wanted the delay.
 And it makes me realize again, how close the US government came to being overthrown by a failed president. 
And in the end, maybe Trump did it to himself -- if Trump's insurrection hadn't been so successful, invading the Capitol and terrifying the House and Senate members, then maybe the Senate and House wouldn't have worked so hard on that critical night to get Biden confirmed then and there!

In other news today, I guess nobody told Post Media that the election is over. COVID news keeps getting worse every day - more than a thousand new cases in Saskatchewan just this weekend. This is absolutely nuts - the anti-vaxxers are terrified of COVID but they're now trying to demonize doctors and nurses, and they're putting together "protocols" to breathe hydrogen peroxide and gargle iodine. My brother was at the Saskatoon Symphony performance this weekend, and there was one anti-vax cellist playing out front for spare change, because she refused to get vaccinated - so now she is losing her career and all her friends, just because of anti-vax ignorant stubbornness. 

And it makes me absolutely furious that so many innocent people are being hurt by the anti-vax intransigence. I see more and more doctors speaking out: I agree with this too:

Friday, September 24, 2021

Today's news: great news X 2

First, The Michaels are coming home. We're finished with Meng Wanzhou too: Second, the Canadian catholic bishops are stepping up to take responsibility for residential school abuse -- unfortunately this story has been overshadowed tonight by the Michaels news, but a really significant story overall: And now I'm thinking maybe Pope Francis was active behind the scenes: Its Corn Maze season, too: There's nothing that people can't turn into an art form:

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Today's news: frustration and sadness in our hospitals

COVID here in Saskatchewan is horrible, and I am deeply angry -- first, at the thousands of unvaccinated-by-choice who are to blame for this mess, and second, at the politicians who pandered to them. 
I wonder if provincial politicians like Jason Kenney in Alberta and Scott Moe in Sask now understand that people died because they took the cowardly way. 
Here's a chart showing Sask statistics for the last year:

Surgeries and other hospital treatment across Saskatchewan have now been cancelled and we have even stopped doing organ transplants.
Back to the election -- I think the final results in several of the seats that were too close to call on election night have been reported tonight, with the counting of mail-in ballots. But I haven't been able to find anything yet showing a summary of the final results -- the Liberals have picked up a couple of seats just tonight, I think, and the NDP seem to be up 2 in Alberta. I think the Liberals are totalling around 160 seats, but I'm not sure yet.
It was, by the way, a 62% turnout - not the highest since 2000, but not the lowest either. 
The recriminations are continuing as the losing parties try to explain their loss. 
I saw this Frank Graves tweet tonight: In other news, each year the US Fish and Wildlife Service has an art competition and last year the Trumpers decided that all of the bird artists had to include hunters and guns in their artwork. 
So they did: Another funny one: Ahhhh

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Today's News: Its high school all over again

Joe Biden said something nice about Australia and then Canada immediately gets the vapours? We really are still living in high school, aren't we: Proportional representation anyone? Well observed! Funny:

Today's news: Moving On!!!

Groan! Moving on from the election: So finally today, Alberta sent a letter to the federal government to ask for help dealing with the Covid crisis in their hospitals. When asked if they had deliberately waited until after the election -- to save Kenney the embarassment of asking Trudeau for help, even though this caused even more misery to Alberta people -- the province perished the thought - it was, they said, just because they didn't know who they should address the letter to. I guess nobody thought of sending it "To Whom It May Concern"? And Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe held a bizarre press conference about this today: Here's some random funny stuff:

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Election Follies and Funnies #30: it's over (almost)

Well, its all over except the shouting. 
As Gerry Butts pointed out on CBC, there may well be a few changes yet as the mail-in ballots and recounts get finished -- there seem to be at least a dozen seats where tonight's result may change. 
Overall, I'm very glad that Trudeau will remain our Prime Minister - I hope his Liberal government will last until 2025. Twitter has been commenting on the concession speeches. Paul went first, but CBC actually cut away from her during her speech = she wasn't saying anything particularly interesting, and considering how poorly she did even in her own seat, she's not going to be around Canadian politics very long anyway. Then I think O'Toole was next: Blanchet was after that, another odd one: Finally Singh spoke, and his speech was actually very good. He simply congratulated Trudeau on winning the election, and talked positively about the future. How refreshing! Lastly Trudeau spoke - somewhat chastened, I thought, but upbeat even though he didn't get the majority he had wanted. He thanked the people who voted for him, but more importantly he also vowed to work for the people who hadn't voted for him too. I sense a little grumpiness among the pundits: And what's next? One thing we can count on - there won't be another election for years, because the opposition parties cannot ask for a do-over again: Finally, I just loved this: I hope she frames it.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Election Follies and Funnies #29: decision day

Well, that's the ball game: I am still hoping that Trudeau might be able to pull out a few more seat flips and end up with a majority -- but as usual, it will all come down to who can get their vote out. 
Here's a last minute reminder of what's at stake: In a nutshell, this cartoon summarizes why O'Toole won't be elected Prime Minister - when the going gets tough, he can't figure out how to be a leader:
Jasmeet Singh may gain some seats tomorrow, but his relentless and bitter negativity toward Trudeau combined a poorly articulated NDP platform have really put me off. Singh followed up his airport skateboarding yesterday with a bizarre TicTok shower video today, and Twitter wasn't impressed: I definitely agree with this - I hope the Justice Minister will investigate because people died! Alberta Conservatives are upset with Kenney and signing letters asking for leadership reviews. And I suspect this is what will happen now with O'Toole: I thought this was sort of funny:

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Election Follies and Funnies #28: Covid Critical Care Stage Fuck!

Here's today's good news about the election: But then again, there's this: So I think we can agree that the pollsters are all agreeing that it will be a Liberal Minority government. But the Majority question is going to go right down to the wire -- depends what happens in the Maritimes. And in Quebec. And in Ontario. And on the Prairies. And in BC. Here's perhaps the final word on media endorsements: And now for the really important stuff, the terrifying Covid news here in Saskatchewan.
Our hospital system has reached what they call Critical Care Stage 2, but what I call Critical Care Stage Fuck! 
Here's a thread from Canadian Press reporter Mickey Djuric, talking to Sask Health Authority chief medical officer Dr. Susan Shaw (see the article, too): Abandoning the old on the ice floe to save the rest of the tribe is called Senicide, and it looks like we have reached that point with Covid now. 
As I have already told my family, if it comes to Critical Care Stage Fuck! then just let me go. 
I'm 72 and I have had a great life, with people I love.  So I would be willing to give up my ICU bed to a child, or to a parent of young children. 
I'm calling this Senicide Choice and I just hope its never going to be a choice that anyone has to make.

And on that happy note, see you tomorrow for my last Election Follies post. Here's a palate cleanser for ya:

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Election Follies and Funnies #27: Endorsement-paloosa

First Trudeau gets two high-profile endorsements: Then Singh gets one as well: And even O'Toole gets the pardonned felon nod: Some reactions: The Beaverton gets it again: Except for the Manitoba chiefs endorsing Liberal candidate Shirley Robinson (in front of Singh, at that priceless press conference!) I think Canada's First Nations leadership has been walking a fine line, I think to avoid problems with provincial issues across the country. Former AFN chief Phil Fontaine does endorse Trudeau today: Work is continuing on lifting the boil water orders as the most intractable problems are getting resolved one by one: Here are some priorities that Canadian Aboriginal organizations want to discuss with the next government. New AFN chief RoseAnne Archibald tweeted this priorities document on its priorities for the next government: And the BC chiefs are sending this Open Letter: Here's a few more tweets from today: Canadians are starting to try to evaluate this whole election experience, to figure out what it all means, too: Late news tonight -- from Frank Graves at EKOS - A call to arms: Here's a thread for strategic voting: