Wednesday Night #1872

Written by  //  January 24, 2018  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

We and the world survived the first anniversary of DJT’s inauguration and the government shutdown that so inconveniently prevented the Trumps from celebrating at the grand dinner ($100k per couple). Nasty plot by the Democrats.

Editorial comments regarding the government shutdown and its rapid resolution varied as Tuesday’s NYT Opinion Today points out. Benjamin Wallace-Wells asks Did Schumer Cave on the Shutdown? and concludes that “The Dreamers’ hopes, and his, had rested on a version of the President that did not materialize. Washington, with the 2018 elections on the horizon, is again in a partisan lock.”
His colleague, Susan Glasser, believes that “The truth is that real deals are all but dead in Washington. The Great 2018 Kick-the-Can-Down-the-Road-on-Immigration-for-Two-More-Weeks Accord is further proof of it. And no one, not even “Art of the Deal” Donald Trump, can bring them back.
For more background see Schumer’s ‘cave’? Shutdown deal puts spotlight on Dem leader

The Women’s March 2018 drew hundreds of thousands of protesters across North America and around the world last weekend. In the U.S. demonstrations did not only focus on dissatisfaction with Trump, but emphasized a broader agenda: voter registration and turning the wellspring of political activism that has emerged in the past year into results at the polls ahead of this year’s midterms. John Cassidy of The New Yorker opines The Women’s Marches Could Have More Lasting Consequences Than the Government Shutdown “this emerging constituency, which believes the Trump Presidency represents a national emergency, isn’t going anywhere, except to the next protest or political meeting. Just as the Tea Party provided the Republican Party of 2010 with the organizers and doorbell-ringers that are so important in off-year elections, many of the attendees at this weekend’s women’s marches will be working from now until November to turn Trump into a lame duck. Their attitude, defiant and determined, was summed up by a pair of signs held by two marchers in Washington, D.C., The signs said: “GRAB ’EM BY THE MIDTERMS.”

It’s Davos week and everyone is holding their breath until Donald Trump’s appearance on Friday. Coincidentally (?), for the first time, Davos is 100% led by women World Economic Forum asks seven women to co-chair Davos – and zero men, including the formidable Christine Lagarde ““I have a theory that women are generally given space and appointed to jobs when the situation is tough. I’ve observed that in many instances. In times of crisis, women eventually are called upon to sort out the mess, face the difficult issues, and be completely focused on restoring the situation.”
Peter Baker sums up the dilemma surrounding Trump’s appearance “[his] decision to attend the World Economic Forum at Davos, something American presidents generally avoid lest they look out of touch hanging out with the jet-setting crowd, sets the stage for one of the most intriguing encounters of his year-old presidency. Not only will he finally crash the party that would not have him, but he will also bring his protectionist, “America First” message to the ground zero of globalization, addressing the very people he has cast as the villains of his political narrative.”

World Economic Forum: Security forces outnumber delegates at Davos
The airspace over and around Davos has been declared a no-fly zone, with aerial policing measures on standby from January 22 to January 27.
One Friend of Wednesday Night informs us that “The Swiss news [Monday] afternoon noted that the security costs for the WEF at Davos are 9.5 million Swiss francs – shared between the town, the canton and the Swiss gov’t. In addition because of Trump’s visit the USA also has a large number of Security forces present there.”
Not to mention all the other security people protecting their respective heads of state and mega important people.

For those digging deeper into the challenges facing the delegates, you might want to explore the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Update, January 2018 and the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects Broad-Based Upturn, but for How Long?

Meanwhile, as NAFTA negotiations continue in Montreal, Canada has signed on to TPP 2.0 aka Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Not everybody is happy (Canadian industries split on new TPP trade deal), but then, when does any trade agreement satisfy all concerns? We suggest a careful read of Joshua P. Meltzer’s analysis for Brookings Battered in 2017, trade may face Trump’s full wrath in 2018, in particular the section on NAFTA in which he states “Chances of Trump pulling the U.S. out of NAFTA are higher. Trump sees leaving NAFTA as a clever negotiating tactic that could force Mexico and Canada to agree to U.S. demands. This could be bluster, as he did not mention NAFTA withdrawal in his January 2018 speech at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s convention.”

It is very rare that we find ourselves agreeing with Conrad Black, however in There can be no real justice when everyone is a victim his conclusion “Canada is constantly officially apologizing and making reparations in all directions — natives, gays, militant women, trans-gender and sexually ambiguous people. Everyone wants justice but there can be no justice if everyone is a victim. Confession is good for the soul and the mind, when it is sincere and proportionate, but we are running the risk of being the first people in history to induce a state of profound moral complacency by the torment of endless self-accusation.” makes sense.- Not that we support Sen. Lynn Beyak, nor the bordering-on-racist tone of Mr. Black’s comments about indigenous matters.

For those who were not preoccupied with the parlous state of Montreal’s weather on Tuesday, the news of a tsunami alert in BC was alarming. Fortunately, it was soon cancelled. But before complacency sets in, consult ‘Ring of Fire’ earthquake zone will shake planet to its core
And this from 2015 bears rereading: The Really Big One An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
David and I were honoured to be invited to witness the announcement on Tuesday by MP Anthony Housefather of the investment of $2.5 million from the Government of Canada for dementia research.
The funding includes $1 million to establish a Canadian brain bank network that will be linked to the international Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). The Canadian ADNI BraIn bank Network, or CABIN, will provide the personnel and physical infrastructure needed to contribute to the ADNI program and more broadly support brain donation and tissue banking for dementia research programs in Canada. Canadian brain bank network to advance research on Alzheimer’s disease

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