Wednesday Night #2101

Written by  //  June 22, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

With the death of the irreplaceable Mark Shields, we feel as though we had lost a dear friend. We tried never to miss Brooks & Shields with its civil, intelligent and sometimes funny discussion of the major political events of the week.
This tribute from the NYT is one of the best
Mark Shields, TV Pundit Known for His Sharp Wit, Dies at 85
A former campaign strategist, he became a fixture in American political journalism and punditry and was seen on “PBS NewsHour” for 33 years

Watergate 50th anniversary – It was 30 minutes after midnight on June 17, 1972, when Frank Wills, a security guard patrolling the parking garage at the Watergate office complex in Washington, noticed masking tape covering locks on a stairwell door. … and the rest is history. The Washington Post covered the 50th anniversary lavishly – as is their right given the role of Woodward & Bernstein.

My six-degrees-of-separation moment (and yes, author John Guare was a Georgetown friend):
Douglas Caddy, with whom I went to school at Georgetown, played a minor role at the outset “Around 3 a.m. on the morning of June 17, 1972, Caddy stated that Hunt called him from an office in the Old Executive Office Building and said that they needed to talk. The two men met at Caddy’s house where Hunt’s predicament became evident. Caddy never spoke in court for Hunt, Liddy, or the five burglars. Inexperienced in criminal law, he enlisted the help of a criminal attorney to represent the five burglars. Liddy also retained Caddy’s services on Hunt’s advice.”

Woodward and Bernstein thought Nixon defined corruption. Then came Trump. In contrast to the daily accounts of of the House Select Committee January 6 Attack Investigation, Watergate seems pretty tame.

Jeremy Kinsman & Larry Haas: Can Trump survive these revelations? And how big is the EU/Ukraine family feeling?

The World Has a Choice: Work Together or Fall Apart
(NYT editorial board) Covid, climate change and now the specter of a global food crisis show clearly that the world’s problems are intimately linked, as are solutions. The power of cooperation has been on display in the coordinated response to Russia’s aggression. More cooperation, not less, is required to navigate a path forward through other crises.

Elections, elections…
France reshaped: Election emboldens Le Pen, undercuts Macron
France faced an ecstatic Marine Le Pen on Monday after her party’s far-right candidates sent shockwaves through the political establishment and helped deny President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance a majority in parliament.
Gustavo Petro is Colombia’s first Leftist leader and his vice president is Francia Márquez, an environmental activist, who will serve as the country’s first Black vice president. They face big problems including inequality, inflation and violence
Israel to dissolve parliament, call 5th election in 3 years
Israel’s weakened coalition government announced Monday that it would dissolve parliament and call new elections, setting the stage for the possible return to power of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or another period of prolonged political gridlock.

Unexpectedly positive news from the WTO
No monologues allowed and dancing to ‘I Will Survive’: how the WTO’s ‘Geneva Package’ was won and delivered the biggest package of multilateral trade deals since the Uruguay Round of Talks that launched the WTO 27 years ago

Bad news Canada’s inflation rate spikes to 7.7% in May, highest since 1983
prompting some to ask Should Canada join other countries and take a gas tax holiday? If U.S. President Joe Biden is successful in his bid to pause gas taxes in the U.S., Canada will be the only G7 country not to bring in a tax cut or subsidy to help deal with prices at the pump.
Higher oil and gas prices may be permanent: Stephen Poloz
Last Thursday, Chrystia Freeland gave her first major speech since the budget (video) Even fans seemed less than impressed. Many comments focused on ‘nothing new’. She detailed the 5-part plan to address inflation and the affordability crisis: respecting the role of the Bank of Canada, investing in workers, managing the debt, creating good jobs and funding the suite of programs that make up the Affordability Plan. Andrew Coyne writes that The government could do more to help the Bank of Canada fight inflation – or at least it could stop hindering it

Just in from Peter Frise New Liberal scandal just dropped and it’s a doozy
Bill Blair faces heated accusations of political interference by Liberals in N.S. mass shooting
Question period became so tense that the Speaker of the House of Commons scolded both Liberals and Conservatives to stop throwing insults at each other

Andrew Caddell writes that Quebec is shrinking because of its narrow parochialism – According to conservative estimates, around 600,000 left Quebec from 1971 to today, and the ones who left took with them their creativity, their money, and the capacity to create jobs. …for Quebec to grow as other provinces have in the last five decades, it has to throw off its parochial mindset and welcome newcomers. Otherwise, it will continue to shrink and lose any influence, nationally or internationally. And it will have only itself, and nationalist governments, to blame for that.(paywall, but full text on his Fb page)

Wednesday Nighters Mark Roper and Julius Grey are in Superior Court. Le Devoir reports:
Le quart des médecins de famille retraités ne sont pas remplacés
Malgré les imposantes listes d’attente pour l’obtention d’un médecin de famille, le ministère de la Santé du Québec s’est donné pour directive de ne remplacer que 75 % de ceux qui prennent leur retraite.
C’est ce qu’a révélé mardi un haut fonctionnaire du ministère, Martin Forgues, dans le cadre d’un procès en Cour supérieure.
Le haut fonctionnaire témoignait dans le cadre de l’action judiciaire intentée par un médecin de Montréal, le Dr Mark Roper, contre le système utilisé par le gouvernement pour répartir les médecins de famille sur le territoire, les plans régionaux d’effectifs médicaux (PREM).

The Parti canadien du Québec / Canadian Party of Quebec held its official launch on Monday. An orderly, fluidly bilingual but hardly inspirational event. Hard to fault the message: Repealing Bill 96 is “our flag in the ground” (oft-repeated phrase) .. Leader Colin Standish is not, in my view, charismatic, but he clearly laid out the principal issues and was admirably strong in criticism of the Legault/CAQ handling of the healthcare file. No candidates announced, but he reiterated the intention to field candidates in every riding – and not simply sacrificial lambs – that, of course, remains to be seen.
Found him to be better on radio on Tuesday morning (in person, he has a couple of annoying mannerisms) when he was interviewed by Shawn Henry of CBC: A conversation with Colin Standish: the leader of the Canadian Party of Quebec A new political party has launched, ahead of this Fall’s provincial election. It’s called the Canadian Party of Quebec. The party is one of a growing list of options for voters, on election day, October 3rd.

Travel woesFrustrated by passport wait ‘chaos,’ would-be travellers in Montreal take matters into their own hands
Hundreds of people throng the Service Canada passport office in Montreal Tuesday. Karina Gould, minister of Families, Children and Social Development, said there have been lineups of 400 people there most days in recent weeks. The arduous wait for passports isn’t unique to Montreal. Since commercial travel resumed, passport offices across the country have had to contend with an “extremely high demand” for travel documents, said Elaine Chatigny, Service Canada’s executive director for the Quebec region.
In a pre-recorded interview, Trudeau says passport delays are ‘unacceptable,’ promises the government will ‘step up’. With that, his passport being presumably in order, he hopped on a plane and headed to Rwanda for the Commonwealth summit where food security — particularly in Africa — is expected to be a major topic, as is the fact that multiple major countries abstained from a UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. From Rwanda he heads to Germany for the G7 leaders meeting – we guess he is hoping the passport crisis will have been mitigated before he comes home.
Meanwhile, Travellers, experts and now Canada’s transport minister are casting an increasingly wary eye on airlines’ role in the travel turbulence at airports across the country.
The federal government has been scrambling to respond to scenes of endless lines, flight delays and daily turmoil at airports — particularly Toronto’s Pearson airport — a problem the aviation industry has blamed on a shortage of federal security and customs officers. But at least one expert says airlines are scheduling more flights than they have staff or planes. … So the airport chaos is the fault of the airlines?
Need cheering up? This should do it.
Master KG – Jerusalema Worldwide Airlines Dance Challenge

Varia
Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov auctions Nobel medal for $103m
The Russian editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta has auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize medal for $103.5m (£84m). Dmitry Muratov said all the money from the sale would go to help refugees from the war in Ukraine. Muratov was co-awarded the peace prize in 2021 for defending freedom of expression in Russia. So far no word about who is the generous buyer.
Westminster Dog Show 2022 Live Updates: The Road to Best in Show
Live commentary, analysis and photos from Wednesday’s group finals and the Best in Show judging from Lyndhurst.

Long reads
June 20, 2022 Heather Cox Richardson recounts the story of the three civil rights workers murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Meridian, Mississippi in June 1964, before calling attention to the vicious campaign tactics of Republican candidate for the Senate in Missouri, disgraced former governor Eric Greitens, who has released an ad showing him armed with a shotgun and calling on his fellow citizens to “Join the MAGA crew. Get a RINO [Republicans In Name Only] hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire until we save our country.”
The Guardian view on Macron’s bad night: a rocky road ahead
A remarkable parliamentary election has transformed the political landscape
Fifty Years After Watergate, A Generation of Frightened Editors
The Washington Post’s strange journey from ousting Richard Nixon to ousting Felicia Sonmez.
The Liberals face a summer of discontent
…when the House of Commons reconvenes in September, there’s a decent chance that the seat reserved for the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition will be occupied by Poilievre — an ideologue who would love nothing more than to turn the ship of state around and head in the opposite direction.
The most important thing Trudeau did for himself this spring may have been signing that confidence-and-supply agreement with the NDP. It means (at least in theory) that the threat of an election is no longer constant. And it offers his government (again, in theory) some time to ride out the current turbulence, put an agenda in place and make the case that it’s the right agenda for the moment.

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