Democracy Under Fire: Speaking Truth to Power.

By now most readers will have read that Sen. Jeff Flake ripped Trump a new one last Wednesday in a speech in the U.S. Senate and perhaps read some extracts from that speech in news reports. If you have not already done so I encourage you to read the entire speech, it is no less ...

Politics and its Discontents: A New McCarthyism

We all knew them growing up – the kid who would do anything to curry favour with the teacher, the one we knew variously as ‘the brown-noser,’ the ‘suck-up’ or by any number of similarly unflattering terms. This kid did it, presumably, to curry favour, to gain some kind of imagined classroom status that his ...

Alberta Politics: Thanks to Donald Trump, the post-war American imperium that’s run like a Swiss watch is coming unsprung!

PHOTOS: U.S. President Donald Trump’s inaugural parade makes its way through Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2017, just before the stuff hit the fan and everything went to hell in a handbasket. (Photo: United States Navy.) Below: President Trump, former president Barack Obama, the late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and former Australian PM and ...

Politics and its Discontents: When All Else Fails

… claim voter fraud. That is what the notoriously graceless Alabama loser and alleged pedophile Roy Moore is asserting, as he steadfastly maintains that he didn’t lose the election to Democrat Doug Jones. If you ever had any doubts about the cracker’s racism, consider this: the main basis of his fraud claim is that he ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your holiday reading. – The Star tells the stories of a few of the people working to make sure Christmas runs smoothly. And Erin McCormick points out other workers stuck in precarious (and largely care-related) positions who don’t have a choice but to take on holiday shifts in order to try to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Jessica Corbett charts the U.S.’ unacceptable (and worsening) inequality. Robert Reich discusses how the Republicans’ tax scam represents a triumph for oligarchy. And Ben Steverman notes that the bill passed this month is ripe for abuse – and already being exploited to the fullest by the U.S.’ ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Tom Campbell notes that we may not be far away from seeing the world’s first trillionaire – and that there’s a strong likelihood it will involve a confluence of extreme wealth and concentrated political power. – Meanwhile, Robert Reich observes that the U.S. Republicans’ tax scam is reinforcing ...

Democracy Under Fire: Shades of Orwell

The thought police are increasingly active in Trumps Americka, ‘The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey report that cash for access is the only way for anybody to raise issues with the U.S. Republicans’ tax bills. And Ronald Brownstein views the tax debacle as conclusive evidence of the closing of Republican minds. – Meanwhile, Mark Kingwell offers a ...

Democracy Under Fire: Tending the Garden

“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens,” Former president Barack Obama In these days of a clearly ‘unstable’ individual in a position of great power in the US of Eh who does not seem to realize that his words ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Christopher Ingraham discusses the U.S.’ distorted distribution of wealth – and how both existing inequality and the Republicans’ plan to exacerbate it run contrary to the values of the general public: Among rich nations, the United States stands out for the extent of its wealth inequality. The top ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 46: Trump loses it.

I swear I didn’t want to write another word about Donald Trump. But some weeks – almost any week, in fact – he’s inescapable. So, with apologies, here we go again… When the history of the Donald Trump presidency is written (my guess is sometime around mid-2018), Dec. 1, 2017 will be seen as the ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the spin behind the Trump administration’s push for a massive tax giveaway to the rich has no basis in economic reality – and how Canada shouldn’t be suckered into following suit. For further reading…– Michael Linden examines the overall effects of the Senate’s version of tax reform legislation, with income levels under ...

Alberta Politics: Lack of information and weak enforcement let private health care clinics fudge public-private health-care line

PHOTO: Parkland Institute researcher Dr. Rebecca Graff-McRae. Below: The cover of the Parkland Institute Report, Blurred Lines, Private Membership Clinics and Public Health Care. It doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that so-called “private membership health care clinics” in Alberta have been fudging the line between public and private health care for years, using poorly ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Karl Nerenberg writes about Bill Morneau’s conflicts of interest – with particular attention to the NDP’s justified criticism of legislation aimed at privatizing pension management to benefit forms like Morneau’s. And Brent Patterson discusses a push back against the Manitoba PCs’ plan to privatize public services through ...

Alberta Politics: Which way will the wedge slice? Alberta NDP and UCP adopt opposite strategies on gay-straight alliances

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney may be the UCP’s leader now, but he’s still doing his best to appeal to his red-meat social conservative base. (Photo: Dave Cournoyer, Daveberta.ca.) Below: NDP Education Minister David Eggen, NDP Premier Rachel Notley, and UCP House Leader Jason Nixon. The impassioned, at times bitter, tone of the debate over the latest ...

Alberta Politics: One year has passed since Donald Trump’s election and, here we all are, still in Crazytown!

PHOTOS: Donald J. Trump. (Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons.) He’s President of the United States, you know! Below: Hillary Clinton (Wikimedia Commons), who won the vote but lost the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who promised to fix Canada’s electoral system, and didn’t. Today is the first anniversary of the ...

Alberta Politics: This is not just what terrorism looks like; it’s what a failed state looks like

PHOTOS: Is Old Glory, as the American flag was once known, now the banner of a failed state? Below: Donald Trump, president of the United States, divider, deceiver and denier in chief, incompetent and seemingly powerless to change anything (Photo: Flickr, Gage Skidmore.) “AT LEAST 58 DEAD AND 500 HURT IN LAS VEGAS AFTER GUNMAN ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 37: Terrorism in my backyard

You know that it could happen in your town. You just don’t expect that it will. I went to the Edmonton Eskimo game last night, and as I entered the stadium I was struck by how much security there is today. Bags are searched, and for some reason wands were used to check random fans ...

Accidental Deliberations: Book Review: Politics Without Stories

David Ricci’s Politics Without Stories was released in the midst of an election campaign which upended many assumptions about U.S. politics. But it nonetheless offers a plausible explanation for much of the U.S.’ political environment as it’s continued to evolve – while leaving open what strike me as interesting questions as to whether what he ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 30: Bad boy gets caught with hands in cookie jar

The political career of Derek Fildebrandt is coming to an end. We hope. Fildebrandt, the United Conservative Party (and fanantical former Wildrose) MLA for Strathmore-Brooks, was revealed last week to be cashing in on his taxpayer-supported rental apartment in downtown Edmonton. Out-of-town MLAs get $23,160 a year to own or lease property in Edmonton. Fildebrandt ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 20: RIP, USA

Donald Trump, the Leader of the Free World crown, officially relinquished the title on Thursday when he announced that the U.S. – the second-biggest polluter in the world –would withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Accord. In stepping aside from the Leadership of the Free World position, the U.S. has now thrown its lot in ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 19: Will there be ‘Scheer madness’?

At long last, the federal Conservatives have a new leader … and it’s NOT Maxime ‘Mad Max’ Bernier, who would have been the first deeply libertarian leader of a major Canadian political party. After a vote counting process that was only slightly less difficult to understand than watching Game of Thrones midway through a season (the ...

Alberta Politics: Madmen in the White House … this time it’s a thing, not just a ‘strategy’

PHOTOS: U.S. President Richard Nixon pointing the way to the exit for Donald Trump’s benefit. Below: Mr. Nixon about to board the helicopter that would take him away from Washington for the last time in an official capacity; a recent photo of President Trump; the sinister Dr. Henry Kissinger, then and now.  Richard Nixon wasn’t ...

Alberta Politics: Rachel Notley’s tough talk on pipelines evokes the Peter Lougheed Era of energy policy confrontation

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at yesterday’s news conference in Edmonton. (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta) Below: Earth scientist David Hughes (Post Carbon Institute photo), B.C. Premier Christy Clark (B.C. Government photo), and B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan. Using language that, intentionally or not, evoked the Peter Lougheed Era of Tory energy policy confrontation ...