Babel-on-the-Bay: Waiting for Mr. Trump.

Is this the day Mr. Trump sends the world to war? We wait. We wonder. It might not be a good day to plan next year’s vacation. The man has his finger on the button. He makes jokes about it. Who else knows when he is just kidding? He exchanges insults with a mindless puppet ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump-lite is not Trump.

Have you been reading the media pontificators who are comparing Ontario conservative leader Doug Ford with U.S. President Donald Trump? It is a sad comparison. It would annoy Donald Trump, if he cared. Doug Ford is a wannabe. He would dearly love to have as much money as Trump and to have ripped off so ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ceding civility.

It is the same in every country. It is obvious that simple civility is missing in our politics. Whether elected or self-appointed, our politicos are turning nasty. We are even electing cretins who think the thing to do is revile rivals, turn on their own, reject diplomacy, dispatch pacts, and make sure the needs and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump should not bully China.

U.S. President Donald Trump is a bully. That is how he negotiates his way through life. He bullies women for sex. As a developer, he bullied politicians for building rights. He bullies lawyers and courtiers, underlings and peers, wives and children, and lately, countries and their leaders. It is his nature. But he probably should ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Choosing champions.

One of the aspects of populism that confuses people is that they can come from the left or the right or any other part of the political spectrum. Typically, the populist rises from the environment that generated the specific populist movement. This is why Donald Trump in the United States is not considered a populist. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The last adult has left the White House.

President Donald Trump has fired secretary of state Rex Tillerson. He fired him on that children’s program Twitter. And, in case Tillerson might not have checked Twitter, Trump phoned him from Airforce One and made sure he knew he was fired. Tillerson will, regrettably, go down in history as the least effective American secretary of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “We stand on guard for thee.”

The last time our parliamentarians screwed around with Canada’s national anthem, they were trying to make it gender neutral. What they accomplished was to have some of us singing different words, others of us confused and all of us stuck with awkward phrasing. And it is tough to fake that you are singing along under ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Bully Pulpit of Donald Trump.

President Theodore Roosevelt said, more than 100 years ago, that the White House is a bully pulpit. It means something very different to the bully in today’s White House. Roosevelt saw the bully pulpit as a position for good. Trump sees it as a position to abuse the less powerful. He is a bully in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Small men. Big rockets. Bad news.

What are the similarities between Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un? They all think they have the biggest, fastest, most invincible nuclear weapons. They all think of themselves as wielding immense power. They all fear for their position in a true democracy. How would Mr. Putin survive in a country with a free news ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The bravado of President Trump.

Every time we have needed a warming thought in these blah days of winter, we have pictured President Trump running into a school to rescue children from a mentally ill person with a gun. It is similar to the bravado of a 12-year old suggesting that teachers be armed: ludicrous. There are times when that ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: They are killing their children in America.

It seems that Bashar al-Assad needs the Russians to help him kill children in Syria. Many world organizations have already charged al-Assad with crimes against humanity. But what about Donald Trump’s crimes against humanity? Is he not culpable when he caters to his friends in the National Rifle Association (NRA)? Does he really think the ...

Scott's DiaTribes: Will gun control become the issue that puts the nails in the coffin of the Republican Party?

-Another school shooting. More needless deaths from a semi-automatic weapon. -An inane proposal from the President that teachers should be armed and that would stop all these deaths. – At the Conservative Political Active Conference (CPAC),  the National Rifle Association spokespeople are even more unhinged and looney then normal (the quote from NRA spokesperson Dana ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trashing Trump.

It is the new cottage industry in North America—and probably the entire world. We just need our daily fix on what is wrong with American President Donald Trump. The best laughs are at the artificial attempts to temper the tragedy by mentioning something nice about him. We were reminded of this the other day when ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump follows the formula.

That did not need to be the real Donald Trump addressing Americans the other evening. The State of the Nation address is now down to a formula that a trained monkey could handle if you just dubbed in the usual clichés and platitudes. I spent the obligatory hour and 20 minutes wondering if Hillary Clinton ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Report from the front lines of America.

While Vassy Kapelos of Global Television was interviewing David Frum last Sunday, the wife kept asking me questions. When she asked why a Canadian would write a book about Donald Trump, I explained that he is now an American citizen, a registered Republican and worked in the White House for George W. Bush. She stopped ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Walls of NAFTA.

There is more than one wall to consider when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiators meet in Montreal this week. The wall that the negotiations is creating between Canada and the United States of America is just as serious as the wall of ignorance President Trump wants to build against Mexico. The difference ...

Politics and its Discontents: Thought For The Day

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Babel-on-the-Bay: Shilling for the politicos.

Full disclosure requires me to admit that I was a political spin doctor before I knew what a spin doctor was. I am not as proud of it as I should be. Maybe it is because I always felt embarrassed for people who claimed such expertise. Case in point is Barbara and Murray Frum’s son ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In Trump land, I’ll make my stand.

For some reason, the tune for “Dixie” was running through my mind this morning as I read of the latest exploits of U.S. President Donald Trump. We did know he was a racist—did we not? We did know he was not fit to appear in polite company—did we not? So why is everyone surprised at ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: No, no Oprah!

The people advising Oprah Winfrey about going into politics seem to have as little knowledge about politics as does Donald Trump. We have seen many of these dilettantes over the years and experience says that no good comes of it. And at this stage, Donald Trump can supply most of the reasons why not. A ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tales of the Trump White House.

The Brits have a saying that no gentleman is a hero to his valet. And in politics, all the apparatchik insiders are a form of valet. The politician has to hire carefully and fire even more carefully. We all have a book in us. As Donald Trump has none of the instincts of a politician, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump’s Terrific Triumph?

We have been told that U.S. President Donald Trump wants to have another inauguration this month. This time he wants a proper count of all his supporters out in the cold of Washington and a second chance to do things right. This is despite all those writers who have summed Mr. Trump’s first year as ...

Politics and its Discontents: Voter Suppression And Gerrymandering

Robert Reich does his usual fine job of warning about threats to American society and democracy posed by the entrenched interests who care nothing for principle and everything about the acquisition and retention of power: Voting rights are under attack. States across the country have adopted voter suppression laws and the Trump administration could try ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A New Year rich in political opportunity.

This political junkie is looking forward to 2018. Starting with the Ontario election in June, Quebec scheduled for October 1 and then the American mid-term elections in November, there will be much on which to comment. The only recommendation we can make at this stage is to ignore the pollsters. And one other suggestion at ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The trying times of Trump.

Canada’s prime minister told Global News the other day that there is “a level of unpredictability” to the current trade talks with the Americans and Mexicans. What is really amazing is that one man, on a whim, can be allowed to jeopardize US$17 trillion in annual trade between the three countries. And yet, he might. ...