Wednesday Night #2110 with Peter Berezin

Written by  //  August 24, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2110 with Peter Berezin

Almost everyone expected that Russia would carry out one or more devastating attacks on Ukraine (Russia to step up strikes on civilians, US warns) in the days leading up to Ukraine Independence Day, the August 24 anniversary of the date when Ukraine’s parliament vowed to separate from the Soviet Union in 1991, especially as this year, it also marks six months since Putin’s War began.
Consequently, Kyiv hosted a different kind of parade to celebrate Ukraine’s independence day
Instead of the Soviet-style events — a ritual that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had called wasteful — Ukraine’s military lined the route with the burned-out husks of Russian military equipment.
Indeed, on Wednesday, Russian forces launched a rocket attack on a Ukrainian train station, killing 22 people

Ukraine marks Independence Day with little fanfare as war with Russia continues
(CBC radio The Current) With Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, a Ukrainian MP and the chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Integration of Ukraine to the EU and David Marples, a distinguished professor of Russian and East European history at the University of Alberta. He’s also a research fellow at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. His latest book is The War in Ukraine’s Donbas.

We welcome Peter Berezin this Wednesday and the opportunity to explore his almost flippant Special Report: Dispatches From The Future: From Goldilocks To President DeSantis. He leads off the report with the statement that “Stocks will rally over the next six months as recession risks abate”, and by October 2022, “Europe’s Prospects of Avoiding a Deep Freeze Improve.” But the outlook for 2023-24 is not so cheery: “While financial conditions are currently not tight enough to induce a recession, they will be by the end of next year.” Venturing into the political realm, he predicts that November 2022 “will bring a Divided Congress and Trump 2.0: In line with pre-election polling, the Democrats retain the Senate but lose the House. Markets largely ignore the outcome. To no one’s surprise, Donald Trump announces his candidacy for the 2024 election. …however, the former president has trouble rekindling the magic of his 2016 bid. His attacks on his main rival, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, fall flat.”
A few recent comments to spark debate:
A month ago, the IMF reported that Global Economic Growth Slows Amid Gloomy and More Uncertain Outlook adding that “The world’s three largest economies are stalling, with important consequences for the global outlook. Inflation is a major concern.”
Why the Russian economy keeps beating expectations
Few thought it would be holding up six months into the war
Eurozone economy index drops to its lowest level in 18 months
“it appears that any alleviation to the inflation situation is coming too late to provide any real support to demand”, [Andrew] Harker [of S&P Global Market Intelligence] said. “The remainder of 2022 is therefore looking to be one of struggle for firms across the eurozone.”

About Peter’s predictions regarding mid-term results, Nate Cohen, Chief political analyst at the NYT. would disagree. Growing Evidence Against a Republican WaveSince the fall of Roe v. Wade, it’s increasingly hard to see the once-clear signs of a G.O.P. advantage., citing the results of five special congressional elections since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.
Coming to Democratic campaigns: Dobbs, and a reminder of the MAGA menace
And then there is this: Don’t underestimate Charlie Crist. He’s going for DeSantis’s jugular.
Chris Goodfellow, who divides his time between Quebec and Florida, confirms the positive outlook for Crist: “Yesterday’s result here very positive in that the MAGA Commissioner who once voiced he would put all progressives on trains out of Flagler County was defeated in his primary by a resounding 70%-30% spread by a MODERATE Republican…. Also the school board benefitted by the election of two moderates concerned about the book banning and anti woke laws of DeSantis.”

None of this mitigates growing concern among thoughtful people that the fallout from the Mar-a-Lago ‘raid’ may well bring on a wave of violence across the country – far more difficult to contain than the single albeit terrifying events of January 6.
The Grifter in Chief’s Dangerous Game
… Responsible political leaders work to lessen these kinds of tensions for the good of the nation. Mr. Trump cares nothing about that. He has spent years working to delegitimize the entire Department of Justice, claiming political persecution by the deep state to advance his own ambitions.
The G.O.P. may fancy itself the party of law and order, but Mr. Trump has endeavored to redefine which laws matter and what kind of order is legitimate. Short answer: only ones that ensure he comes out on top. It is the ultimate grift, and one that grows ever more dangerous.
As Stephen Marche, author of The Next Civil War, writes in The Mar-a-Lago raid brings the United States a step closer to civil war, “The left should recognize the situation it finds itself in. Nearly half of their country no longer believes that equality under the law is as important as their own party controlling the machinery of government.”
Need more persuading? See Guns and Political Violence Play Central Role in MAGA Republican Campaign Ads
At least 104 MAGA Republican ads this cycle display and feature firearms or weapons, blowtorches, and even “Tommy” gun auctions, with many including threats against opponents on both the left and right.

Quebec elections
Legault announces Quebec election campaign will begin Sunday (August 28)
Let the promises begin!
Polls suggest Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec party holds a commanding lead heading into the campaign. … A Léger poll published earlier this month found support for Legault’s party at 44 per cent, compared with 18 per cent for the second-place Quebec Liberals. Québec solidaire and the Conservative Party of Quebec polled at 15 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.

The story of Lisa Laflamme‘s abrupt departure from her position as CTV anchor continues to enrage. Bell Media executive suite could not have performed worse, more ineptly, had they tried. Kelly McParland sums it up With ineptitude like this, maybe the ‘suits’ at Bell Media should go into politicsThe ouster of CTV news anchor Lisa LaFlamme has been a debacle, and the corporate honchos have only made it worse and Andrew Coyne nails it in L’Affaire LaFlamme: how was it imagined this would end well?

On the brighter side
While news stories regarding the visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz focus on bilateral energy cooperation, Jeremy Kinsman and Ben Rowswell write that Germany and Canada can work together to reinforce democratic values. They describe the Scholz visit as one the most important diplomatic opportunities for a Canadian prime minister in years.
And if you are wondering about all the talk about hydrogen: Germany inaugurates world’s first hydrogen-powered train fleet – A fleet of 14 trains powered entirely by hydrogen is launched in Germany’s Lower Saxony state.

Congratulations to former Wednesday Nighter Sean Silcoff, who writes that there is a movie “BlackBerry,” based on the book he co-authored with Jacquie McNish Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry. According to Variety, it has now wrapped production and will be presented to buyers at the TIFF.

Moshe Safdie, the renowned architect behind some of the world’s most celebrated buildings, has donated his professional archive to his alma mater, McGill, and pledged his personal apartment at Habitat 67 to ensure that it remains a resource for the University and the public at large. Safdie’s donation to his alma mater features never-before-seen materials from more than 300 projects, including the thesis that inspired the iconic Habitat 67.

With the news that The world’s rivers are drying up from extreme weather, one being The Loire, Chris Goodfellow comments: I guess Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé will go up in price.
Bloomberg CityLab: Hong Kong is piloting a novel approach to keep distracted pedestrians — particularly those glued to their smartphones — from jaywalking. The city has installed LED lights that bathe crossing points in a red glow in hopes that it will catch the attention of people gazing down at their devices and remind them to stop. Reaction has been mixed.
How Québec’s Bill 21 could be vanquished by a rarely used Charter provision
…what the Québec government appears to have overlooked is the existence of Sec. 28 of the Charter, which states: “Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights and freedoms referred to in it are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.”
Trump Is Completely Innocent, Argues Fellow Criminal
Black, a convicted criminal who served time for fraud and obstruction of justice before Trump pardoned him, has more reason to empathize with and feel gratitude toward Trump than perhaps any other Trump supporter. (Trump has enjoyed an outpouring of support from his base of criminal friends.) Indeed, Black’s experience as both a fellow convicted offender and a recipient of Trump’s favor is the most relevant credential he possesses to comment on the case. Alas, the column fails to mention either his conviction or Trump’s pardon.

Long reads
Beyond munitions: A gender analysis for Ukrainian security assistance
(Atlantic Council) From the hospitals of Mariupol to the streets of Bucha, the Russian war in Ukraine has extracted an unacceptably high cost, while banding NATO allies and partners together in an unprecedented tide of support. … how should future military assistance account for the different impacts of the war on Ukrainian civilians? What strategies remain for NATO allies and partners to enhance their support beyond weapons and materiel? The answers lie in using gender analyses to zero in on the unique human security challenges facing Ukraine.
Ben Simoni helps steer the way for the Youth Climate Corps
The work in wildfire risk reduction, flood control and wetland enhancement is making a real difference.
Everyone wins. The young people experience making a difference and receive training, certificates, networking and job readiness skills to find permanent work or higher education. Municipalities benefit from energetic, well-trained help implementing climate protection.

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