Monthly Archives: September 2019

Impeachment for the Hell of it

Asking a foreign leader for assistance in an ongoing investigation is neither a high crime nor a misdemeanour. Releasing the transcript of that conversation and the so-called “whistle blower’s” complaint about that conversation is not a cover-up.

President Trump is an exceptionally lucky man. A less lucky man would be facing an intelligent opposition led by people of integrity who had at least some clue as to the workings of the American Constitution. Instead, he faces a group of idiots convinced that the impeachment provisions of the Constitution are there so the House of Representatives can kick a President out of office for pretty much any reason at all.

The spectacle of the Democratic Party “impeaching the “motherf*cker” out of pique will, I suspect, pretty much ensure Trump’s re-election. All of the potential Democratic nominees will have to at least pretend to support the bogus effort. Which will leave them trying to pretend that somewhere at the bottom of the pile of horseshit there really is a pony.

The by-catch on this lame effort is Joe Biden. Corrupt or not, Biden is going to have to explain how, somehow, his son secured a Ukrainian sinecure for which he was entirely unqualified. Bluster will not do it as he’ll have the other Democratic candidates gunning for him. I am not sorry to see Biden sink but, realistically, he was the Democrat with the best chance of beating Trump.

When the Republicans impeached but did not convict Bill Clinton it was a hugely partisan affair. However, the actual articles of impeachment – lying under oath and obstruction of justice – had been thoroughly investigated and there was little doubt that Clinton had actually done the deeds. A Democratic minority in the Senate, along with several Republicans, found Clinton not guilty. It was a partisan impeachment and a partisan acquittal.

Which the Trump impeachment most certainly is in the House of Representatives. However, the huge difference is that, unlike Clinton, Trump has not actually done anything wrong. He has not lied, he has not covered up. Which will make the baying of the House Democrats sound all the more partisan. Clinton spent a lot of political capital defending himself, Trump will likely accrue political capital simply by pointing out the worthlessness of the charges against him and the nastiness of his accusers.

There is every chance that, as the hollowness of the accusations becomes apparent, Democratic members of the House in close races will actually be harmed by the sheer partisanship of the attacks on the Presidency. Flipping the House and retaining the Senate are now well within Trump’s reach.

Of course, Trump now has the opportunity to let justice takes its course with the various FBI, DOJ and IC people who were involved in the Russia fraud and, with them, the nasty pieces of work who abused their positions to exonerate Hillary on her emails and misused the spying capacity of the United States to surveil Trump and his campaign.

Trump is a very lucky man indeed.

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Boris Thwarted

The Decider

In a rather novel decision the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court has decided that its Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, acted unlawfully in proroging Parliament.

While I think the decision is unfortunate because it will interfere with Brexit, I rather like the limit it places on Executive power both in the UK and here in Canada. It effectively sets out a boundary which a Prime Minister cannot cross and that boundary is the right of Parliament to conduct its business.

Quite rightly, Boris wants an election in the face of this defeat. Unfortunately, the legacy of Nick Clegg in the form of the fixed term Elections Act prevents the very natural process of a government, thwarted by the Courts and Parliament, seeking a new mandate. Labour realizes that if an election were to be called it would lose in a big way. The remainers also realize this and will try to legally hamsting a no-deal Brexit in what can only be described as a rump Parliament.

The decision of the United Kindom’s Supreme Court, (a Blairite innovation), combined with the idiocy of the fixed term under the Elections Act, leaves British politics in a quagmire. It completely hobbles Johnson in any negotiation with the EU because he is bound by the remainer’s law requiring him to seek an extension in the event of no deal.

It is not at all obvious what a way forward for Johnson and Brexit looks like at this point. The odious Speaker Bercow has recalled Parliament. But it is not at all obvious how the business of that Parliament is to be conducted.

What had been a minor constitutional crisis has now become a full blown question of governance.

Breaking the impasse is going to require more than just “muddling through”.

Boris could resign and make way for a “caretaker” government but that raises the question, “Headed by whom?”. Corbyn appears to be a non-starter and it is difficult to see how a Lib-Dem Prime Minister could summon a majority. Boris could stay on – as he says he will – and then? It is not clear what he would actually be able to get through this Parliament.

The problem here is “this Parliament” so finely divided between Leavers and Remainers in all their many varieties. The fixed term provision of the Elections Act, a provision which is entirely alien to a Parliamentary Democracy, has actually broken the system. Prior to the fixed term Boris would have simply asked the Queen for an election and, likely with relief, the Queen would have given it to him.

And that may yet happen. The one person in England who is not bound by the idiotic “Fixed Term Parliaments Act” of 2011 is the Queen. And she happens to be the only person in England who can dissolve a Parliament and call an election on her own iniative. Yes, this would be more than a little unconventional but it would be the very opposite of undemocratic. Typically, the Monarch acts on the Advice of her Ministers. And Boris has been loud and clear on wanting an election. But he, legally and constitutionally cannot call an election in the face of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. The Queen can.

In this case the residual power of the Crown is pretty much the only solution to this Parliament’s deliberate thwarting of the result of the Brexit Referendum and its willingness to ignore the manifesto commitments of both the Conservative Party and Labour in the last General Election.

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It’s not the racism, it’s the hypocrisy

Justing trudeau blackfaceI fear I can’t get all that outraged about Justin Trudeau’s black, er brown, face. It was a party with a theme and he dressed and made up. (The black marks on the brunette’s clavicles may be a little more suspect but unless she was a student, in bounds.)

Scheer’s reaction was, I fear, the measure of the pasty faced man.

Max, on the other hand, got it right:

 

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What amazes me is the fact that the MSM, the NDP and the great and the good seem to think our black and brown and other shaded citizens are going to be outraged by Trudeau’s behaviour seventeen years ago.

Is this a campaign issue? Not the thing in itself, but the sheer hypocrisy of the man and his party accusing all sorts of Conservatives and People’s party candidates of “wrong think” for standing on the same patch of ground as alledged white supremacists will rankle.

Elections often turn on the question of “moral high ground”. Trudeau’s claim to that ground has just collapsed in a heap. He can apologize until the proverbial cows come home. His moral position, his sunny ways, are done.

The biggest winner? Maxime Bernier. Because now the Libs and the Cons have no racist stick left to beat him with. Try to use that stick – outrageous as it is – and Max points to Trudeau and his hypocrisy.

The way fifth parties become third parties is when they expose the lies the leading party and its “lite” version are based upon.

Trudeau gave the People’s Party a gift and Max is bright enough to exploit it.

 

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The trivialization of Canadian Politics

faith goldy and justin trudeauDock Currie (not related) apparently posted something to the internet several years ago which was offensive. So he felt he had to resign as an NDP candidate. [Anyone who sees Dock on Twitter has to wonder if he has ever posted something which is not offensive, but there is is.) Several conservatives have, at various times been in the same crowd of several hundred or thousand people as Canada’s answer to Toyko Rose, Faith Goldy. The shock, the horror.

I realize that a race between Trudeau, Scheer, Singh and May is not very inspiring. (It would have been so much more interesting had the Conservatives actually run a conservative like Max Bernier rather than whatever the hell Scheer is, but them’s the breaks.) But piling on to candidates for ancient statements or mau-mauing them for distant association with a cartoon fascist simply sets the bar even lower.

Having accomplished nothing of substance in their years in government – they even screwed up the pot file which took real ingenuity – the Libs are reduced to going negative from the outset. Their war room knows that Canadians are unimpressed with “climate change needs higher taxes” as a campaign theme. They also know that Trudeau’s legal and ethics problems offset what charisma he has as a campaigner.

So now it is time for “Project Fear”. Scheer = Harper = Trump. Scheer is going to take away abortion rights, Scheer is not an ally of the gay community because he does not jet all over the country to march in pride parades. The Conservatives hate immigrants and so on.

Going negative this early strongly suggests that the Lib’s internal polling is suggesting a fair bit of weakness. Conventionally, a party will save the negative stuff for the last couple of weeks of the campaign when it is the most damaging and the hardest to refute. I suspect the Libs have realized that with their own leader either under RCMP investigation or credibly accused of impeding that investigation, they need to distract and terrify the under 30’s, newer immigrants and the ladies if they are going to win.

After years of public school and woke university, the under 30’s are ignorant enough to fall for the climate scare. Newer immigrants might be frightened by conservatives who attended a rally at which Faith Goldy was present because, well, that would make them Nazis too. And the Libs think the ladies will swoon over the suggestion that Scheer (a major breeder and Catholic) will be jumping right in to create a Handmaiden’s Tale anti-abortion dystopia where the State will mandate that pregnancy will only end with birth.

With a bought and paid for mainstream media pumping out those themes, keeping Max off stage and lobbing Nerf ball questions at Trudeau, the Liberal war room may well be right.

After all, when not plotting with the Pope to make pregnancy mandatory, Scheer is a dull, decent, dog of a candidate. Dirty him up a bit and the poor man may never recover.

The Liberal war room and the mainstream media seem to think this is what politics is about. It isn’t. Right now there are actually serious issues facing Canada beginning with the fact that because of the disaster which is Canadian energy policy, the shut down of 50% of Saudi Arabia’s oil production may mean the Eastern Bastards really do freeze in the dark this winter. Will that come up on the campaign trail? Will real, if painful solutions to Canada’s deficit and debt problem come up? Will the fact that our current External Affairs minister is persona non gratia in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US come up?

These are real issues. Dock Currie’s usually odious comments and being in the same city as Faith Goldy are not.

The Liberals and the paid for Canadian media are pretty sure we’re too dumb to see the difference.

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Live From Belmoral

The PM spent Friday and some of Saturday with Her Majesty. A transcript has just been released.

The Queen: Prime Minister.

Boris: Your Majesty.

The Queen: Bit of a pickle Prime Minister.

Boris: Well yes, Your Majesty. Dominic thought it might turn out this way.

The Queen: Boris, you may think you are Pooh but I assure you, Dominic is more Owl like than you realize. He sounds quite smart but isn’t.

Boris: Perhaps your Majesty. But what can one do?

The Queen: Are you asking seriously?

Boris: Oh yes, your Majesty, I am up the spout without a pickle, or paddle.

The Queen: Well, yes, Boris, you are. Not the first Prime Minister and, the way things are going, not my last. But being a bear of very little brain you might take some advice. Do you know about residual powers?

Boris: I have heard of them but they have not been used in centuries.

The Queen: They most certainly have. Each time a Prime Minister cocks something up and needs to make Parliament go away for a while I prorogue the thing. Or, as my royal prerogatives are being abridged by the act I, or, rather, you can withhold consent. And you might suggest to me that my assent to the bill might be withheld for, say a month or two. And you might want to do that after prorogation. Or, and I doubt your clever Mr. Cummings has thought of this, you might ask me to write a letter to the EU asking for a one day extension to November 1. I am, after all the Head of State and can write in my own name on the advice of Cabinet which would put paid to any question of violating the “law”. Or you might try a combination of some or many of these maneuvers and then move a motion of non-confidence against yourself just for the sheer joy of the expression on Mr. Corbyn’s rather scruffy face.

Boris (doing a small dance as bears do when finding an unexpected honey pot): Thank you very much, Your Majesty. You have given me much to ponder.

The Queen: Well don’t ponder too long. My powers grow rusty in their scabbards and if you wait too long I might die and you’ll have to deal with Charles who has forgotten what a scabbard looks like.

Boris: Thank you Kanga, I mean, Your Majesty.

The Queen: You’re very welcome, Prime Minister. Now get on with it. Lovely gal by the way. Phillip was very impressed.

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