Cathie from Canada: Hillary sweep

I was so so glad to see Hillary sweep the five Super-Duper Tuesday states tonight — she comfounded the polls just like Bernie did last week in Michigan, except this week she took Illinois, Ohio and Missouri from him, as well as maintaining significant leads in Florida and North Carolina.
Why did he lose? Two main reasons I think — first, however odious Trump is, Americans are totally committed to free speech, so I think they had a visceral negative reaction to Bernie Bros trying to shut down Trump rallies. And I think it was offensive to democrats for Bernie to say in an interview Sunday that he was running in the Democratic primary, not as a service to the Democratic party or to the country but because of the media coverage he would get as a Democratic candidate.
And why did she win? She had an awful week with the Nancy Reagan HIV flub in spite of her somewhat-graceful recovery. But she hit it out of the park with the painfully-honest answer about why people didn’t like her, the nuanced response on capital punishment to the wrongfully-convicted man, and the post-debate follow-up which we could see off-camera to the Guatemalan woman whose husband was deported. These small-ball moments added up to a home run.
UPDATE: And we are already seeing an uptick in Clinton Derangement Syndrome.
In her victory speech, Hillary pivoted to attacking Trump because she no longer needs to deal with Sanders.  So one of her lines in this speech was about how America needed to “engage its allies, not alienate them” — quite obviously an attack line against Trump and his slanging of Mexico, Europe etc.   But later in the evening I saw a tweet from Max Blumenthal with a retweet by Billmon, that she was referring to Obama and Israel and she was “dissing” Obama for supposedly not supporting Israel.
What???  Why would any sane person jump to the conclusion that she meant something like that?
It horrifies me to realize how deranged the Hillary-Haters have become.

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Cathie from Canada: Enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival, boys!

Our social services ministry has finally figured out how to deal with homeless men in North Battleford — give them a one-way bus ticket to BC:

A decision by a Saskatchewan government social worker to buy bus tickets to British Columbia for two homeless men is raising concerns in both provinces.
According to Caitlin Glencross, who works with the Lighthouse homeless shelter in North Battleford, Sask,, the out-of-work men were applying to the province for a spot at the shelter.
But instead of getting funding to stay at the shelter — which has been locked in a funding dispute with the province of Saskatchewan — one of the men was offered a bus ticket to anywhere outside of the province, she said.
When he said he had a friend on B.C’s Sunshine Coast, he was offered a one-way ticket on a Greyhound bus to Vancouver, Glencross said.
The second man, who managed to secure funding for a bed at the shelter, then asked for and was issued a ticket to B.C., even though he had never left the province before, she said.
“I’m almost speechless,” said Glencross. “Like, I don’t know what to say. We can’t start shipping people off when we haven’t done our due diligence in our own province. It’s just not acceptable.”
In B.C., Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang called the decision “absolutely appalling.”

Of course, an election campaign just started — Saskatchewan can’t bother our beautiful minds about poor homeless people.   An election is no time to discuss serious issues.
And who wouldn’t want to be in BC at cherry blossom time!

Cherry Blossoms Vancouver

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Cathie from Canada: Justin, you’re wrong as wrong can be

In response to calls for police to immediately stop arresting people for using marijuana, Trudeau has apparently decided to ignore the people who elected him and instead follow the stellar leadership of Bill Blair and the police.
Trudeau has reminded everyone that marijuana laws haven’t changed yet — yeah, we noticed.  And he also set up a ridiculous parsing between “legalization” and “decriminalization” which will give the Liberal government enough wiggle room to avoid ever changing these laws:

News 1130’s Reaon Ford subsequently asked what Trudeau would say to a teenager stuck for life with a marijuana charge on their record, and whether marijuana could be decriminalized on an interim basis, until a regulatory framework allows for full legalization.
“I think decriminalization is a bad idea because it doesn’t do anything to make it more difficult for young people to access it and it doesn’t do anything in terms of keeping the black market and the criminal organizations from profiting from it,” Trudeau replied. “That’s why I believe in control and regulation that actually will do the protection of public safety and of minors that we need. And in the meantime, it’s still illegal.”

In other words, its business as usual until Bill Blair can figure out some absolutely perfect way to “protect minors”.    Good luck with that.
And in the meantime, police can just continue to make its easy arrests of those kids, and organized crime can just continue to make its easy profits.
This isn’t what Canadians voted for, Justin.

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Cathie from Canada: Brer Barak

So the Republicans are saying they’re not even going to talk to any proposed Supreme Court Justice nominee named by Obama.
And in response, Obama is pleading with them: Please, Mr. Republican Senator, please vote on my Supreme Court nominee!

The GOP-controlled Senate has said loudly and repeatedly that they’re going to refuse to hold a hearing for any Supreme Court nominee President Obama might pick. In response, he wrote a blog post appealing to the Senate’s sense of fairness, law, and Constitutional responsibility. Hmm.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he’ll refuse to even meet privately with any Obama SCOTUS nominee, and there’ll definitely be no confirmation hearings: “I’ve said repeatedly and I’m now confident that my conference agrees that this decision ought to be made by the next president, whoever is elected.”
In response, the president wrote a guest post for SCOTUS Blog, the heavily-read, well-respected outlet that tracks Supreme Court news and opinions. In it, Obama pretends like everything is normal here and he’s not hostage on a speeding legislative train with shoddy brakes and a bunch of screaming maniacs setting the engine room on fire out of spite.

Because heaven forbid that the Senate not even call a vote on an Obama nominee.  Why, this could become a major election issue, which Hillary to use to get herself elected AND to flip the Senate! Heaven forbid!

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Cathie from Canada: Letting the drunk poors freeze

You can recognize when the Sask Party government is doing something based on ideology rather than common sense.
First, they won’t announce it or admit to doing it.
Second, when finally called on it, they can’t explain it in a way that makes any sense.
And third, its always about money. Added bonus: when it grinds a few more bucks from the poors, just to show them they have no right to exist in The New Saskatchewan.
The latest is that Saskatchewan social services apparently decided IN NOVEMBER that it would refuse to pay anymore for emergency beds for drunks. Yes, just as Saskatchewan was heading into its coldest time of year, our Social Services agency apparently decided it doesn’t care if drunk people freeze in the streets.
After all, drunk poors — why should our government waste its beautiful mind worrying about what happens to them anyway?
As a result, the Lighthouse in North Battleford, which annoyingly persists in providing emergency beds for drunk people, is no longer getting enough funding from Social Services to stay open.  And the Saskatoon Lighthouse is in financial trouble too.
We’re presently at the denial and obfuscation stage in this story — Social Services denies funding rule change at North Battleford shelter . Here’s the nut graph:

In a Dec. 16, 2015 message from a ministry employee, Glencross …was told, “Social Services mandate is to provide emergency shelter for the homeless who have no other means to meet their immediate need of shelter. Our mandate is not to fund the lodging of publicly intoxicated individuals.
A more inclusive community response including police and health services may be required for the latter.”

These people need emergency help  because the Sally Ann won’t admit people who have been drinking.  And the police have been trying not to spend their limited time and resources arresting harmless drunks just to get them off the streets when it is cold.
Last winter, the social services ministry apparently stepped up. This winter, not.
The rest of the news story quoted above is a sorry mess of disingenuous bafflegab:

When asked if liability for refusing services to intoxicated people is a concern for the Ministry, Redekop said he wasn’t familiar with where the statement came from, that he isn’t qualified to provide a legal response and that he is “not specifically” aware of any discussions about liability for refusing intoxicated people.
“I didn’t say if I’m aware of the issue or not,” he said.
“We would need to have more information about what the question means. Liability is obviously a very big issue and there’s a lot of elements to it that are beyond my ability to discuss without maybe a legal opinion.
“I want to make sure I’m giving you good information rather than getting into something I don’t have specific information about,” he said.
Redekop stressed the ministry provides shelter in the short term and in the daytime staff work to find the right solution.
“They may be eligible for other programs,” he said.
When asked if the programs are adequate, he said, “Adequate is a very subjective word.”

And we’re not exactly talking luxury accommodation — here’s the room in the North Battleford Lightouse where the men sleep:

NORTH BATTLEFORD —  Beds in the men's dorm at the Lighthouse shelter in North Battleford.

Its a few bucks a night, folks.  But its enough to prevent people from freezing to death.
Social Services minister Donna Hapnauer is still denying there has been any change in policy or else its all the auditor’s fault or else its Lighthouse’s own fault, or something:

Harpauer said they have a mandate from the provincial auditor to scrutinize the organizations managing shelters to ensure they aren’t doubling paying for someone.
“The other community based partners that we work with for emergency shelter provisions have not had this issue. “When (Lighthouse) expanded their services with the stabilization unit, their intake rose significantly which brought them under a bit more scrutiny,” said Harpauer, adding the stabilization unit was launched without their input or funding to sustain it.

Yeah, right –how dare Lighthouse develop a program for the poorest of the poor?

“This particular shelter is aimed at individuals who are the most chronically homeless and who often have been kicked out of every other waiting room and 24-hour coffee shop. So there’s not a lot of places for them to go,” DeeAnn Mercier, communications director with the Lighthouse, said.

The Star Phoenix ran an editorial about this today, calling out the Social Services ministry for what they are doing (not posted yet so no link).
So I expect we’ll be at stage two next week.

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Cathie from Canada: The awfulness of the Ghomeshi trial

Did ALL of the women that Ghomeshi supposedly abused so badly later sleep with him again and send him bikini photos and love letters? Or only the three who have testified so far at his trial?
And here I was thinking that police and prosecutors only bring charges against someone when they think they have a winnable court case. With Ghomeshi, they apparently scurried to court with charges that are proving so far to be ludicrous.  Was their goal not to protect women but actually just to display their contempt for the CBC and for Ghomeshi’s egotistic celebrity?
I know things have reached a truly awful state when I find myself agreeing with Margaret Wente: The Ghomeshi trial turns into a fiasco:

Everybody knew a guilty verdict was far from sure. The bar for a criminal conviction is, as it should be, high. But nobody, not even the most experienced court-watchers, could have predicted how this trial would go. It has turned into a fiasco . . . .
I know the dynamics of abuse can be complex. I know that women can both love and fear their abusers. But these women were not battered wives. They were not in relationships with Mr. Ghomeshi. They barely knew him. They had no reason to fear him, and he had no power over them at all – except the power of his charm and celebrity. They could have walked away. They didn’t.
And all that’s left is their word about unpleasant encounters that may or may not rise to the standard of criminal assault.

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