From a purely personal curiosity stand-point (not a good for the country/world way) I'd be interested in an Ivanka Trump run. But I don't think it is likely; DT Jr. might but that would end in disaster - he's far too meek and lacking in self-esteem from a lifetime of living in his father's shadow.

Oprah is totally a narcissist too - you have to be to want a TV show, magazine, and cable channel named after you - , but not an insecure, paranoid, idiot one. I expect she'd be like a less competent Trudeau - she'd spend her time touring the world making happy speeches (though without the skilled diplomacy of Justin) while leaving most actual governing to more competent people.

We'll never get a totally normal person because a certain degree of arrogance is required to think you deserve/want to run the most powerful country in the world and put up with journalist analyzing every moment of your life to do so.

How about a normal non-rich, non-celebrity, non-lawyer

I doubt that person would be electable.

We have guy up here in Canada, Kevin O'Leary, who is a former panelist on two venture capitalist "reality" TV shows. He is currently running for leader of the Progressive Conservative (an oxymoron if I ever heard it) Party. He recently stated that he doubts he will win because the process is rigged. He also wants to give newly arrived immigrants a "values" test.

I thought I asked you people to keep that shit in your own country.

Kevin O'Leary had better lose. He's a complete ######## but not an idiot/bumbling fool like Trump so he won't get himself thrown out or have his shitty policies overturned in the courts.

The Shark Tank guy?

I don't see him as very Trump-like. There are a few similarities, but more differences as far as I can tell.

RJ, I'm seeing a lot of hits tying Kelly Leitch to the immigrant values-test stuff. O'Leary at least TALKS a pretty decent pro-immigrant platform and seems put off by her immigration stance.

Can't see over-the-top Trump-style immigrant-bashing talking points working too well in Canada. Might get you some Conservative votes in Quebec, but the rest of the country? Seems like a losing platform. Canada ain't Texas and O'Leary knows that. I imagine pro-Trump Canadians are few and far between, if for no other reason than Canada values good manners more than the US and Trump revels in being rude, which his supporters love. Makes him seem more Alpha Male to them.

Canada values good manners more than the US

I dunno. I would have thought that as well but after a few years of "my way or the highway" Stephen Harper I'm not so sure anymore.

If anyone here recalls the Reagan years - the Soviet Union basically bankrupted itself by it's out-of-control military spending. Their economy collapsed because of it. This year, Russia slashed its military budget by 25%. Meanwhile, Trump has upped the US military budget by 10% and is cutting social and environmental programs to pay for it (and also for the tax gifts to the 1%). Combinie that with further deregulation and I foresee another economic collaps on the horizon.

Seems pretty deja vu-ish to me.

I dunno.

You would know far more Canadians than I do, so I'll have to defer to you on that one. I'm not knocking my own country when I say that by the way. Good manners is a good thing, usually, but sometimes being polite can get in the way of getting angry when you need to be.

Pretty much everyone agrees we have a border security problem here that's being ignored. Thus some of the Trump folks cringe when he says "Mexicans are rapists", but then say "Well, if that's what it takes to get people to address the issue, so be it" and they're willing to overlook the phrasing.

The Canadians I know wouldn't be willing to overlook the phrasing. They wouldn't say "Well he lies and says terrible things, but...", then go onto the "deeper" issues. They'd be so appalled by the stuff he says that they would never see any possible silver lining to it or get to the part after the "but".

Good manners is a good thing, usually...

Usually. We had a thing a few months back where Trudeau had an "altercation" in Parliament where he elbowed another member. He apologized (and rightly so). But then he apologized again. And again. And again. Once was sufficient. The other ones just made him look weak.

And then you have people like Trump who bitched about the number of times Obama played golf. Now Trump plays (it seems) every other day and his response is basically, "I like golf so f**k you."

Finally revealed - the reason that the TrumpCare plan is so much thinner than ObamaCare. It consists of only three words.

  • Don't
  • Get
  • Sick

The other ones just made him look weak.

Not to me, it made Tom Mulcair look bad for overreacting and not accepting the PM's apology. Apologizing isn't weak, hurling childish insults at the opposition is weak.

O'Leary at least TALKS a pretty decent pro-immigrant platform

O'Leary is just as bad as Leitch just for different reasons. Leitch is a pathetic populist panderer, though I don't think she is as self-deluded as Trump. Leitch would be a return to the desperate-Harper's last campaign which failed so you'd think the Tories would learn from that but apparently not. Whereas O'Leary is an ideologue like Harper was just adhering to a different ideology. Harper was "Oil/resource extraction is King", whereas O'Leary is "Business/markets will solve every problem".

It's interesting to contrast that to the Michelle Fields elbow grab by Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. True to form, no apology from the Trump camp on that one, instead demanding an apology from HER, first saying nothing happened, and that the Secret Service all said nothing happened, then admitting it did, but ludicrously claiming she was a security threat because her pen could have been a bomb. At the time I was surprised that he got away with that. Your campaign manager supposedly spots a security threat that the Secret Service missed, takes it upon himself to grab her by the elbow since she might have had a bomb rather than tackling her, then releases her and doesn't tell the Secret Service about this threat, so she walks free, unsearched. Ridiculous. I'm no longer naive enough to think there are consequences for that behavior.

Trudeau's apology had an awful lot of stammering from someone who normally doesn't stammer much so I'm guessing he must feel that HE wouldn't get away with that. Then he gets a standing ovation for it. Then he kept apologizing. I figured a standing ovation would mean "Apology accepted". I think I'm with Jim on this one. On stuff like this, apologize once, get it right, and everyone has to decide whether that's enough. If the first apology wasn't convincing, why would the second apology?

I'm guessing both events would have been non-issues if the person grapped/elbowed had been male, so chivalry isn't yet completely dead.

Funny. You often hear someone say "Chivalry isn't dead", but you never actually hear anyone say "Chivalry is dead."

I figured a standing ovation would mean "Apology accepted".

Well the NDP are such a small caucus I'm not sure they were among the standing ovation (most of them were Liberals who of course would aplaud their leader). But Mulcair kept bringing it up in interviews with the media and in the House, thus prompting the additional apologies. I don't know what Mulcair thought he was going to achieve by not letting it go - other than maybe keep the NDP in the news a few extra days - but he mostly made himself look bad.

I've been seeing the news stories about Trump handing Merkel a $370 billion NATO bill. That gives a little context to his tweets right after that meeting as well as the weird no-handshake press conference. The White House Press Secretary denies it happened, but really, that's meaningless.

This is actually playing well in some pro-Trmp circles. They WANT to believe that he did this as a dis, so are disappointed at the denial. If he did do it, I imagine it would have to be a symbolic bill rather than a real one, but who the hell knows with this guy.

If it's popular he'll claim it and if it isn't then he'll just say "What? You don't understand sarcasm?"

Ambiguity - the devil's volleyball.

  • Emo Phillips

I've been seeing the news stories about Trump handing Merkel a $370 billion NATO bill.

No way that happened, there are enough people around him that would have told him no. Plus there were no cameras for the meeting so nothing to grand-stand for. Watching the no-handshake clip it's obvious Trump was miffed at Merkel not the other way around so my guess is they discussed it and she wouldn't budge on the 2024 plan, so he sulked through their press conference - cause he's such a big boy.

No way that happened

That's the problem you run into swhen you have a president who consistently behaves in the way that he does. Nothing, no matter how outrageous, seems beyond the pale anymore.

And when I see several clips of Trump during the campaign saying that he will immediately repeal and replace Obamacare with something better, followed by a recent clip of him saying "I never said immediately", then all the denials coming from Spicer mean exactly SFA.

Michael Flynn has requested an immunity deal in order to "tell all" about the Trump/Russian involvement. The Senate Investigation Committee has announced that they have refused him immunity. Possible scenarios:

  • He "knows all" and wants to testify
  • The GOP, knowing he "knows all" but won't testify without immunity, has refused his deal to shut him up
  • Flynn wants immunity so he can then claim it was him and nobody else (fall on his sword)

As a retired general, perhaps the last scenario is the most likely (take one for the team). But as a Republican, the party of "personal responsibility", I can't see him doing anything other than putting all the blame on someone else.

He is on record as stating that anyone who asks for immunity is obviously guilty, and a criminal, so that leans me back toward the "falling on his sword" scenario. But then again, the president has, on multiple occasions, denied ever saying things for which there is clear video evidence of him saying.

My head hurts.

My head hurts.

It should hurt. That's the intention. This whole fiasco at every level involves throwing so much misdirection around and allowing for so many possibilities that we give up trying to make sense of it because there is too much dishonesty to keep straight.

The fact that the lawyer made this PUBLIC is telling. I view it as intended for PR purposes rather than a lawyer trying to actually make a "deal". Keep in mind that Flynn's career was in Intelligence and all the leaks, both authorized and unauthorized, that go along with all of this. Also consider what a liar and schemer he is, as are all the other folks involved in this.

Your normal immunity deal happens when you're a guilty party to a conspiracy and think you'll be prosecuted and found guilty, so you're looking to "rat". First one to tell all to the prosecutor gets the best deal. In return for your cooperation, you tell the prosecutor EVERYTHING or the deal is off, and you keep your mouth shut or the deal is off, and you don't lie or the deal is off. It's an unpleasant high stakes poker hand and you've decided your best play is to make the prosecutor happy. Note that you have to tell the prosecutor everything BEFORE they give you the full immunity deal.

The initial "deal" is a "Queen for a day" deal where you tell-all, but don't agree to testify. Thus you tell them "On April 1st, I shot Willy The Weasel in the head with a .357 Magnum on 1st and Main at 11 am on the orders of Frank The Fixer."

The prosecutor then checks out all the details and makes sure there are no inconsistencies. If there are, you're screwed and your confession can be used against you, plus they prosecute you for lying. If they decide they can get Frankie the Fixer without you, you're screwed. If they decide they don't have a case against Frank The Fixer even with your testimony, you're screwed. They can't use your actual statement against you, but they know exactly what you did, so it's easier for them to find evidence against you outside of your direct statement. If they decide you're a bigger fish than Frankie The Fixer, again, you're screwed. If they think Frankie The Fixer is the bigger fish and your testimony is key to getting him, you're in.

Usually the prosecutor wants these deals as secret as possible. If Frankie The Fixer knows you're making deals with the prosecutor, he'll adjust strategy. Thus a fantastic way to blow your chance at making a deal is to do what Flynn did, which makes him far less useful to the prosecutor in taking down bigger fish.

Hence, I doubt Flynn wants to actually make a "deal", or at least he doesn't want to make the "traditional" deal described above. I somehow doubt he's willing to fall on his sword and take one for the team. Those folks are few and far between. Unless of course it's an "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" type of thing where Trump rewards loyalty by interfering in the prosecution. That would be a risky venture for Flynn. I don't see Trump as a loyal guy.

Fascinating stuff, for sure, lots of moving parts, lots of agendas, many of which don't involve getting to the bottom of it all.

It's hard to tell considering the investigations are quite rightly being kept underwraps until they are ready to press charges. We do know Flynn probably has some information relevant to the investigation and he isn't going to escape all the dirt dug up by the investigation. We also know that Sally Yates thought Flynn is vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.

(1) It's possible Flynn is cooperating with the FBI to try and smoke out other people involved - if they think Flynn is trying to make a deal they might come forward to try and make their own deal.

(2) It's possible Flynn is being blackmailed/threatened by the Russians and is trying to protect himself from them either through some deal with the FBI involving (1) or just by getting public attention.

(3) It could just be some PR stunt because Flynn is going to publish a book "telling all" since he knows his political career will be over after the investigation.

It's unlikely Flynn actually knows enough to get an immunity deal or he never would have gone public about it, that is unless multiple people are already trying to get immunity deals (which I find doubtful).

I don't see Trump as a loyal guy.

Interesting, I've read several in-depth peices about Trump and the one virtue(?) they attribute to him is loyalty and his valuing of loyalty - may explain his fury over the on going leaks.

the one virtue(?) they attribute to him is loyalty and his valuing of loyalty

He values loyalty all right, but it's one-way loyalty: you to him. Him to you not so much. What LOOKS like loyalty is generally something else if you scratch the surface. For example, if his subordinate screws up like Lewandowski, he'll "be loyal and not fire him" because it allows him look tough and to thumb his nose at all the folks who demand that Lewandowski be fired for manhandling a woman for no reason or to brag about how loyal he is or whatever. A true loyalty test would involve him taking a hit on something he cared about, not getting credit for it, and doing it anyway simply because someone who was loyal to him now needed loyalty back. Thus let's pretend that Michael Flynn had nothing on Donald Trump and was willing to take one for the team and untruthfully tell the Feds that Trump was innocent in all this, I and only I did something wrong and will testify to that. My guess is that Trump simply washes his hands of Flynn as opposed to quietly paying his family's bills, setting him up with a sweet job after he serves his time, etc. Trump is loyal when he thinks it's in his own short-term best interests to be loyal.

may explain his fury over the on going leaks.

Again, one-way street. Leaks are fine as long as they aren't done to hurt HIM. It's like a Jerry Springer Show episode where one person calmly tells his partner that he's been cheating on her and intends to continue, but then gets outraged when she tells him she's been cheating too.

Well it happened. Donald Trump has finally been truly tested. Syria launched a poison gas attack and Trump quickly sent in the cruise missiles. An appropriate response in my view, and I hope it's only the opening gambit in making clear that gas attacks won't be tolerated in the 21st Century.

There are of course all the expected allegations that this was a false flag operation from the usual suspects. The bulk of the "reasonable experts" talking about it publicly seem to mostly be saying that it was NOT a false flag: Assad did it.

The problem is that there have been so many fake news stories, so many real news stories labeled as fake news, and so much dumbing down and disdain for the truth from mainstream people (ie not fringe lunatics waving signs in Times Square. Those folks you can simply ignore) that really, who knows whether the weighty job of intelligence analysts figuring out whether it was a false flag operation prior to taking military action that could potentially lead to war is being done honestly. Now is the time that the President needs to be able to assure everyone that this analysis was done correctly and soberly and our military response was justified because we know Assad did it, and... he has no credibility. I believe Assad did it, but Trump saying so means absolutely nothing.

It sucks. World leaders will have both Trump and Putin telling them two different stories and have to decide who to believe and they'll simply have to make their best guess, trusting neither of them. How far we have fallen when the "first world" democracies distrust the American and Russian presidents equally.

The disturbing thing is that Trump, and most Americans, think they are the world's policeman with the right to intervene and kill people they don't approve of in a foreign country even when they do not present a clear and present threat to the USA.

(IMHO the USA should support the UN as the nearest thing we have to a world authority, despite its shortcomings, but of course the USA won't accept that authority if it appies to the USA.)

Reminds me of a TV miniseries we had in Canada where a former Canadian PM's evil plan is to punish the USA by getting elected President and making them behave as a model world citizen.

UN doing it, NATO doing it, the US doing it with allies, the US doing it alone but telling allies and Congress and the American people that we're positive Assad did it, the common denominator is having to tell people that Assad did it, it's true, we've done our due dilligence in figuring out that it's true, that reality and truth matter, that THIS TIME I'm not playing games or that I care about the truth and please ignore all the times I've insulted all of you and told you I don't need your help and put out phony outrage over trivial stuff. I need you to join me in fighting this outrage, and my outrage and tears are real this time, and I won't throw you under the bus this time after you help me. I need you, France and Germany, to get me the help of the Europeans. Forget about my insults to Merkel and my "Paris is no longer Paris" comments. Not that I'm sorry about them or anything, just forget about them.

It's going to be a tough sell. But hey, he's the dealmaker, right? Boy who cried wolf and all that.

Regarding the UN and being World Policemen, Syria is being propped up by Russia. Assad would be long gone if it wasn't for Russia, Russia is on record saying Syria didn't commit this atrocity, and Russia has a veto at the UN and wouldn't hesitate to use it, so I can't see how the UN could solve this one. And who but the US could bomb a Russian client state (Syria) without Russian acquiescence? Turkey, of course, and them shooting down that Russian plane could have been a real disaster for NATO. Since the Cold War ended (has it actually ended? Putin seems to want to restore the good old days and become a superpower again), there's been an identity crisis regarding America's role as sole superpower, leader, and World's Policeman. Many of us would like to ditch or at least share that role, but who is willing to take our place? Should anyone? The post-Cold-War record of the UN or anyone else preventing or stopping genocide and war crimes is a dismal one. The world either needs to ditch the "Never Again" slogan regarding genocide or actually start stopping them.

The world either needs to ditch the "Never Again" slogan regarding genocide or actually start stopping them.

Just because something is hard doesn't mean we should just give up on it. We've been trying to eliminate various forms of crime for decades but they all still exists just to a lesser degree, but that's no reason to give up fighting crime. Genocides were relatively rare already so how do can we even tell whether our efforts are or aren't working?

Many of us would like to ditch or at least share that role, but who is willing to take our place?

In East Asia at least it looks like China is interested, though whether that is a "good" thing is definitely up for debate.

I really can't understand what the “one event” bombing in Syria regime air base (that it wasn't fatal for the capacity of the base) could offer other than that it is good for TV ratings and the “reality show” extra-right (and not alternative (to what?) ) president of the US. I understand that US with this president has a real live TV drama reality show in its politics. Sometimes also I am suck in to that , I read , I view and I comment into what these clowns are doing.

We can't call names and refer to every USA citizen as clown. There are many different types of persons inside USA , we can't blame them all. Some are just clowns, some really believe in HATE , some are liberal with HATE , some are real liberal and many more. We can't call names because USA voted for a that. Of course USA now is not leading the word any more and because it can't be absence of leadership in any field I understand the Russia / China hostility in order to gain that leadership.

If you are not leading you are fallowing … simple rule but not as appealing as to have TRUMP drama in TV every day.

Back in 2011 I was a strong supporter of a intervene in Syria. We were really few of us , USA didn't want to mess with something that was really mess and EU was counting to USA for a leadership. Both were wrong. I am not sure if EU got its lesson , they should go alone into war and to create a “safe zone” inside Syria. If EU have done that none children would die in Mediterranean , maybe Brexit wouldn't happen (although I believe that Brexit is great for EU), and sure not so many people would suffer (and to speak in language of Brussels , it would have cost us less) . But EU decided to let USA lead , so I believe that this is a lesson we will not forget.

Realize it … noways USA is not competing even for the second place in the leadership of the word, fourth or maybe sixth.

Let me end this with how I admire liberals in USA , they are a beacon for all of us. I really hope to take back your country and lead to prosperity and not in hate.

We can't call names because USA voted for a that

In 2016, 56.9% of eligible voters actually voted. The rest were either deliberately disenfranchised, or have given up on the system. So Trump was elected by less than 29% of the eligible voters.

Let me end this with how I admire liberals in USA , they are a beacon for all of us.

Keep in mind that Hillary was bound to be a "status quo" president. She was pulled to the left only through the efforts of Bernie Sanders.

I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.

  • Will Rogers

I really can't understand what the “one event” bombing in Syria regime air base could offer other than that it is good for TV ratings

Simple it demonstrates that the US still has the capacity and some degree of willingness to be the global "policeman". It was 100% a show, because I'm pretty sure the US has decided letting Assad win is the best option for the region (though it's a lesser-of-many-evils choice far worse than the US election).

It was probably also intended to reduce criticisms of the Trump administration's cozyness with the Russians, and get some good PR for Grumpy Trump.

Keep in mind that Hillary was bound to be a "status quo" president.

Depends on the area of policy. She is definitely a centrist rather than a "liberal". But there are plenty of things I think she would have changed (or tried to change) - more support for women's rights groups, improvements to Obamacare, efforts to protect/enhancing voting rights for minorities, probably immigration reform of some kind. Was she going to massively reform the banking industry, create a universal public health insurance scheme, or make Uni free for all Americans? Of course not, but realistically Bernie Sanders wasn't going to either, he might have gotten halfway on one of them (like Obama did with healthcare) but the system is so resistant to change it would take a bloody miracle to deliver all those promises.

Simple it demonstrates that the US still has the capacity and some degree of willingness to be the global "policeman".

I doubt the capacity was ever in doubt. The willingness certainly was. Again assuming the intel analysts told him this was not a false flag operation, I don't see that he had much of a choice. Speaking of TV, images of children being gassed forced his hand. Cruise missiles were a pretty high-impact, low risk message to Putin, Assad, the American people, and the world. I see Trump as a pretty compassionless guy, so I doubt the pictures of the little kids had much of an effect on him personally, but it's longstanding American policy (which he has not changed) to not allow NBC weapons in any conflict and he saw Obama as flunking his test the first time and looking weak. I think a quick strike like he did was a good opening move and message to Putin, Assad, and other tyrants taking notes from the sidelines (ie Iran and North Korea). I'd like to see it followed by enlisting the rest of the world and drawing an extremely firm red line. Obviously I don't see this happening, for reasons I stated in earlier posts. There is a lot of blame to go around. The US needs to shoulder a good chunk of the blame, but not all of it. If some other country feels they might be able to solve this diplomatically, by all means let's give it a try. I'm just skeptical of that. Hard to compromise on NBC attacks. I think Assad needs to go.