Wednesday Night #2010

Written by  //  September 23, 2020  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2010

As the Globe & Mail noted, according to the Trudeau government, “Wednesday’s Throne Speech [was expected to] chart a new course through the pandemic, but without the opposition’s help, they’ll be headed for a political reckoning instead … [Canadians] may hear MPs talking at length about how they don’t want to trigger an election this fall, but they’re ready to fight one if it comes.”
Here are the highlights of the Speech, which the Conservatives have rejected.

Following the Throne Speech, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians in a national broadcast Wednesday evening. Billed as a non-political speech, it is expected to include a summary of the government’s plans in the Throne Speech to fight the virus and economically recover. We are not quite sure how that remains apolitical.

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg is mourned not only for the loss of an exceptional, beloved, human being and jurist — the ‘last of the just,’ but also for the danger of the vacancy on the Supreme Court it creates. David Rohde lays out the threat in unequivocal terms in How Trump’s Supreme Court Maneuver Could Dangerously Increase the Powers of the President
Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas assess the effect of the Trump/McConnell decision to move forward with the nomination of a replacement, including the positive impact on Democrats’ campaign fundraising, before moving on to “the US parallel universe sanctions on Iran.”

There are those who believe that Trump welcomes the outcry over the rush to nominate Justice Ginsburg’s successor as it serves as a distraction from the mismanagement of the pandemic What pandemic? Trump tries rapid shift to Supreme Court. The death toll in the U.S. is now over 200,000 and much, if not all, blame rests with the White House. There was good news on Wednesday as Dr. Fauci told Congress “it might take some time” for FDA-approved inoculations for Covid-19 to become available because of the “rigorous clinical testing required” to develop a safe and effective vaccine. Still, he added, there is “growing optimism” that scientists will find one or more safe and effective vaccines by the end of the year or early 2021 and the U.S. could have enough vaccine doses by April.

After a few weeks of relative silence on the issue of Russian influence over Donald Trump, a top-secret CIA assessment, published on August 31 but reported on 22 September details how Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach, who, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Treasury Department is a Russian agent, is disseminating false stories about Democratic nominee Joe Biden through congressmembers, lobbyists, the media, and people close to the president. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been openly working with Derkach for several months.
“We assess that President Vladimir Putin and the senior most Russian officials are aware of and probably directing Russia’s influence operations aimed at denigrating the former U.S. Vice President, supporting the U.S. president and fueling public discord ahead of the U.S. election in November.” (See Heather Cox Richardson: Letters from an American for more).
An interview with Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, published in The Diplomat gives important insights into the current state of Russia’s relations with China and the Indo-Pacific, and the prospects for Russia as an Indo-Pacific power.

We highly recommend Cleo Paskal‘s lengthy and detailed examination of relations between China and India in “China’s 5-Fingers” Approach to Strangling India, a China Unscripted in-depth interview. While highly informative, it is also relaxed and entertaining.

Justin Ling: The Liberals are hypocrites
Just like every party before them, Liberal ideas are running aground on the reality of governing. What’s grating is that they pretend to be better.
As it prepared to call two by-elections, the Liberal party made some announcements via tweet: In Toronto Centre, to replace fallen finance minister Bill Morneau, the party installed former CTV host Marci Ien. In York Centre, the lucky Liberal is Ya’ara Saks.
Many of us had high hopes that our friend and Wednesday Nighter Brett House would win the nomination in York Centre, but that is not to be. It could have been an exciting contest, attracting attention and new voters. Instead, the imposition of a nominee who lives outside the riding and has  not been involved at the community level will likely be a turn-off for many. All in the interest of promoting ‘diversity’. But, by imposing Marci Ien  and Ya’ara Saks as the candidates, the LPC does her -and other qualified minority candidates- a disservice; if she is as accomplished as the Party seems to believe, why not encourage an open, competitive, process? Not to mention that the action disenfranchises Liberal voters.
Meanwhile, CBC reports that “People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said he’s considering running in one of the upcoming Toronto-area byelections.” That should be fun.

A very fair assessment
Canada’s Kennedy to yesterday’s man: former PM John Turner dead at 91
His journey began as a dashing young politician with the world at his feet and ended nearly 30 years later when he could no longer overcome his image as a relic of the past.
Smart, athletic and blessed with movie-star good looks, Turner was dubbed “Canada’s Kennedy” when he first arrived in Ottawa in the 1960s. But he failed to live up to the great expectations of his early career, governing for only 79 days after a difficult, decades-long climb to the top job.
“The most unfortunate thing to happen to anybody is to come in at the top in politics,” Turner said in 1967.
David Kilgour‘s highly personal tribute to his brother-in-law concludes “In short, as a gentleman statesman, he was without equal.” John Turner, an appreciation

In case you somehow missed this outstanding example of Quebec’s prioritizing and timing skills
Quebec giving OQLF $5 million to enforce French language charter
The money, earmarked in last March’s budget, will pay for 50 additional employees, most of whom will work in the Montreal area. … The money will also pay for enforcement personnel, with 11 new employees dedicated to the inspection of signs in the province.
Meanwhile, Quebec’s second COVID-19 wave presents new challenges, and they’re daunting.
In unrelated Montreal news, we are sad and disgusted by Global’s decision to replace Jamie Orchard with Toronto-based anchor Tracy Tong, and cancel Focus Montreal/ It’s an unfortunate development that simply underscores how little Corus cares about its Montreal audience (and, for that matter, Toronto, Halifax, New Brunswick, Peterborough, etc., too).

Andrew Caddell writes that Pandering to Quebec is unseemly, and it rarely works In his meeting with Quebec Premier François Legault, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s “endorsed Quebec’s ‘provincial right’ to pass the odious secularism law Bill 21, and apply Bill 101 to federal companies. In doing so, he sounded like George Wallace or Neville Chamberlain. Applying the constraints of Bill 101 to federal employees won’t change the status quo, and could prevent English-speaking Quebecers from working or being served in their mother tongue, a right they hold as Canadians.”

Good reads:
Journalists must face the 2020 challenge: This isn’t a normal election, and the truth is at stake
Not taking sides in the 2020 election is basically just taking Trump’s side — and refusing to be honest about it
If the McConnell Rule Is Dead, Court-Packing Is Permitted
Congress has the constitutional authority to alter the number of justices on the Supreme Court, and it has done so six times since the Republic’s inception. All that stands in the way of a Democratic president and Congress from legislating themselves a liberal Supreme Court majority are norms. And this is what’s actually at stake in the bizarre, mutually disingenuous procedural argument about election year Supreme Court appointments: McConnell wants to disguise the fact that he is subordinating norms of forbearance to the attainment of power, and Democrats want to expose this fact.
John Cassidy: How Boeing and the F.A.A. Created the 737 MAX Catastrophe
The basic outlines of the Boeing 737 MAX tragedy are already well known—or should be well known. Even so, a detailed new report that the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released on Wednesday morning is a remarkable document. In two hundred and thirty-eight pages of clearly written prose, it goes a long way toward explaining not only what went so wrong at Boeing but what has gone badly askew with the American corporation in general, and with American governance.
Why hard-core Trump supporters ignore his lies
The 20 per cent or so of Americans who follow Trump no matter what, as opposed to the other 20 plus per cent who vote for him as a Republican or because they believe he’ll cut their taxes, are largely the forgotten, the ignored, the disrespected.

Complementing  POLITICO Pro Canada,  Politico has introduced a new newsletter, Corridors, delivered to your inbox every Wednesdaycould be a welcome substitute for those of us who do not subscribe to the pricey Hill Times.

Not much to laugh about, but this should make you smile:
Noted Philosophers Reconsider Their Key Insights After a Month of Social Distancing

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