So, folks, it is another depressing week of news here at News from Nowhere. I guess the latest bad news has been this Tube terrorist attack at Parsons Green that is yet again the work of Isis. Two arrests have been made and the threat level has now been lowered from “critical”.
Anyway, it is more for people in the world to think about, in addition to North Korea’s usual antics and all the rest of it.
As for our friends in the “Upset States of America”, they have had another one of their usual weeks with everyone getting offended by everyone. Business as usual.
The big news earlier this week had to do with ESPN hosts injecting themselves into politics again as one of their hosts Jemele Hill trashed Donald Trump on Twitter, as she Tweeted out “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists“. Trump supporters demanded Hill be fired for these outrageous comments, but instead ESPN gave Hill a slap on the wrist — and allowed her to keep her job.
Then came the even more outrageous news that ESPN veteran Linda Cohn was suspended for going on the radio in April and saying ESPN overpaid for sports rights and pointing to politics as a reason for the ratings decline. She’s right! But for some reason, speaking the truth gets you suspended by ESPN while hurling slurs at the President gets you off scot-free. It almost seems like a double-standard at work.
Then, adding to this drama, persistent ESPN critic Clay Travis went on CNN to give his thoughts on this whole situation, in which he repeated what he said earlier in his print column: that the only two things he believes in are “the First Amendment and boobs.” And the entire interview immediately derailed as the uptight CNN host couldn’t believe what he just said!
But really, all outrageousness aside, the point Travis seems to be making is a valid one: that freedom of speech really is under attack in the USA, and that there is a double-standard. A good example has been what has gone on for months on end at ESPN, with conservative voices being muzzled while liberals get to rant and rave all the time, to the disgust of sports fans tuning in.
More proof the USA is still crazy: the culture wars are still on! Berkeley was, as usual, the scene of the crime yet again this week, except this time a conservative voice actually was allowed to get a word in, for a change.
Daily Wire editor/pundit Ben Shapiro went in to give his speech to students called Say No to Campus Thuggery, in which he went on the attack against Antifa and these other anti-free-speech fascists who like to shout down dissenting people.
“Thanks to Antifa, and the supposed anti-Fascist brigade, for exposing what the radical Left truly is; all of America is watching because you guys are so stupid. It’s horrifying, I am grateful, and you can all go to hell, you pathetic, lying, stupid jackasses.”
This speech went ahead amid massive security — $600,000 was spent on protecting Shapiro, apparently — as well as massive Antifa protests outside. These Antifa crazies were accusing Shapiro of being a white supremacist, of being a Trump supporter, of being a fascist, the usual slurs. Anyway, this is more proof of how freedom of speech is under attack in the USA. A speech by a conservative is enough to spark a big panic.
The real problem is it’s “all politics all the time” in America right now. Of course, a week ago we had the Miss America Pageant which was won by Miss North Dakota for the first time in its history — but not before judges put finalists through the ringer in the interview segment, by posing plenty of hot-button questions that encouraged contestants to slam the President.
I guess the latest news out of America is that a cop was acquitted of murdering a black man in St. Louis, so it is violence and protests every night now in St. Louis.
Isn’t America fed up yet with all this civil unrest? You would think one night would be enough. Also, I understand Hillary Rodham Clinton has a new book out on “what happened” in the election, in which she blames everyone for her defeat.
Finally, the Emmys go tonight and it promises to be yet another all-politics left-fest. Such is life in America. No matter where you turn, there is no way to avoid getting politics shoved down your throat whether you like it or not.
That’s all I feel like saying about all this U.S.A. nonsense for now.
Welcome to tonight’s News from Nowhere. As has been the case for the last several days in a row, hurricane news dominates yet again as Irma gets ready to sock Florida some time this weekend.
The news is the eye of this storm will likely miss Miami. Unfortunately, it looks like the Florida Keys, Naples and Ft. Myers are going to be in the bullseye now — and even worse yet, it looks like this will be a Cat. 5 storm when it hits the Keys. The whole Keys now look like they will be blown apart by this storm. Bad news.
As for tonight, this storm is now over top of Cuba and is back to being Cat. 5. with 160 mph winds. It sounds like the tourism companies have been spending the last 24 hours scrambling to get their clients out of Cuba’s hurricane zone. I’ve been tuning in these Cuban radio stations right now, trying to decipher what they are saying in Spanish, and it’s basically nonstop hurricane coverage there.
Sadly, it looks like the popular resort of Cayo Coco is going to take a direct hit, so that is very depressing news for Cayo Coco fans. Varadero, though, sounds like it won’t get roughed up quite as badly. We’ll see.
In addition to Irma, there are two other hurricanes going on at the same time! Katia is making landfall tonight in Mexico, while Jose is way out in the Atlantic and looks like it will clobber some of the same islands that have already been demolished by Irma. So this really is an active hurricane season, to everyone’s dismay.
So that is the weather news for tonight. Cheery stuff. Now here is a look at the other, more happier news going on:
How about some good movie box office news, for a change? After a dreadful August that put the exclamation point on a generally awful box office summer for Hollywood studios, it looks like Stephen King’s IT is going to scare up a big opening weekend, with a haul of upwards of $75-to-$100 million, according to estimates.
And there is more good movie news: the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival is now on.
I gotta say it again: I love the supermodels. I guess the big recent news from the modeling world is who’s been named to walk the runway at this fall’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China. A look at the lucky Angels here.
And in more news about gorgeous and talented women: the Miss America Pageant is this Sunday in Atlantic City.
Finally, the NFL season is on!!!
That will have to be it for the moment.
I really am in no mood to toss up a News from Nowhere column right now, but there is too much craziness going on at the moment. Mainly, this craziness is down there in the “Messed-Up States of America,” aka the USA, led by that maniacal lunatic President Donald Trump.
So he gives this speech on Monday on troop levels in Afghanistan, and then on Tuesday he goes down and gives this half-crazed speech down in Phoenix to his supporters where he once again completely bashed the “Fake News” media, hinted at a pardon for Sheriff Joe, and threatened to tear up NAFTA, among other things.
Once again, this display was enough to outrage the media, with a beside-himself Don Lemon of CNN describing Trump’s speech as a “Total Eclipse of the Facts.”
Meanwhile, all the usual anti-Trump crazies were out on the streets again and there ended up being clashes with police, with the police using pepper spray and the like to disperse these people.
To think that I honestly thought this nonsense in the streets would end when Obama left office. It’s simply more of the same under Trump, and there is no end in sight! What a country, folks. That place is basically off its rocker right now.
And if you want more proof that the USA is off its rocker, look no further than ESPN. In the wake of the mayhem in Charlottesville, ESPN decided their play-by-play guy Robert Lee (who, it should be pointed out, is Asian) should be taken off of a University of Virginia football game assignment and assigned to something else. Why? Because, according to Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage, Lee’s name is too similar to Gen. Robert E. Lee whose statue sparked all the mayhem in Charlottesville to begin with. They were afraid the lefties would be triggered, or that people would notice his name and make jokes or comments about it.
“MSESPN Pulls Asian Announcer Named Robert Lee Off UVa Game To Avoid Offending Idiots,” Travis’s headline stated. Folks in conservative media are having a field day with this latest instance of politically-correct nonsense out of ESPN. This is surely more proof the USA has lost its mind.
Want even more proof yet? The NAACP wants a meeting with the commissioner of the National Football League because quarterback Colin Kaepernick can’t get a gig in the league! They think he is being blackballed because of his bend-on-one-knee politics during the national anthems, and that he is being denied his First Amendment rights!
Uh, ahem, maybe the real reason is because the guy is no good anymore? Anyway, this is more fodder for the USA’s sports radio talk show hosts, who have been wall-to-wall with Kaepernick talk lately.
In other sports news, the Cavs traded Kyrie Irving to the Celtics but got a lot in return, including Isaiah Thomas. So they may have actually helped themselves with this deal. Anyway, this has been yet another story these radio sports talk show hosts have been slobbering over for months. It’s either Kaepernick, or all the drama with the Cavs and with LeBron, and with players like Kyrie Irving wanting out of there. It never fails.
And here is the big news from the UFC, which is trying to hype up this ridiculous Mayweather-McGregor nonsense this week. They had their big press conference today, but this fight/circus has suddenly been upstaged by news that Jon Jones flunked his in-competition drug test in connection to UFC 214. So now, Jones’ title and his entire future in UFC and MMA are now all up in the air.
That is all I feel like writing about. Goodnight.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for what is a hot Tuesday night where I am at the moment. Obviously, I have a lot of catching up to do here, because it seems like every day brings some new drama, some new piece of chaos, involving the White House of Pres. Donald Trump.
On Friday it was the departure of Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff, to be replaced by John Kelly. Then on Monday, it was the end of director of communications Anthony Scaramucci after just 10 days, following a profanity-laced tirade in an interview with a reporter.
Now, I guess the latest thing people are mad over are these reports that Pres. Trump weighed in on his son’s misleading statement to the press about Russian interference in the election. Anyway, it is still chaos there in D.C., but as far as I can see all the chaos mainly has to do with the White House staffing and the President’s political enemies in the “Swamp”, I mean Congress. It does not have much to do with his actual policies at the moment — which are getting no traction anyway, mainly because the White House is gripped with self-inflicted paralysis.
Anyhow, maybe this guy Kelly will impose some order and get the Trump agenda back on track. But this really is a soap opera – not a “reality show”, a “soap opera”, because there has been way too much “drama”. There have been too many “leaks” and too little “governing” getting done.
The governing had better start getting accomplished, because the world is looking to the USA for leadership right now in dealing with North Korea. A few days ago, Kim Jong-Un’s absolutely crazed regime fired another missile, this one capable of hitting the continental USA, and everyone is freaking out that North Korea’s lunatic antics will trigger World War III. And of course, too many world leaders and governments are sitting on the sidelines doing nothing. Something has to be done to stop this maniacal regime, right now, because they are a danger to all civilization.
Then you have Venezuela, a place formerly known for oil and for winning beauty contests around the world, but which now is rapidly descending into third-world chaos and economic and political ruin. The hard-left Nicolas Maduro regime held their sham referendum on the weekend designed to turn that democratic country into a total one-party dictatorship (ie. Cuba). Now, the place has erupted in deadly violence, and the USA is imposing sanctions. Etc. Etc. What a mess.
And once again, the question is: where is the rest of the world here? Sitting at home, for the most part, again.
- Other news of note: CBC’s The National will have four people fronting its revamped newscast this fall to replace Peter Mansbridge. Believe me, folks, the CBC needs at least that many people to explain the insanity going on elsewhere in the world to Canadians.
- Also going on: it seems Calvin Ayre recently settled his outstanding criminal charges against him in the USA for operating his Bodog online gambling empire. Ayre is interesting because he is from, get this, near Lloydminster, Saskatchewan! He has gone on from that to a life living large in the gambling business in the Caribbean, but you never hear about him in Saskatchewan. I guess the locals don’t consider Ayre to be one of them. Anyway, with this settlement Ayre can finally show his face on American soil again.
- In sports, good news for LA, they are getting the Olympics– in 2028.
- Finally, I notice the Tampa Bay region was socked by Tropical Storm Emily, a storm that served as a good reminder to folks in Florida that, hey, it’s Hurricane Season now and you need to be prepared. Yes, no major Cat.3 or above hurricane has made landfall there in the USA in some 4300 or so days, but it came really close with Matthew, and Sandy made a mess before that, and it would not surprise me if this is the year the luck finally runs out. Heck, luck seems to be running out on several fronts at the moment.
That is all I feel like doing. A reminder to myself to post soon about (a) the BC forest fire/smoke situation, and (b) the UFC, as there has been some news that Bisping vs. St.-Pierre is back on. More later.
I don’t feel like doing a News from Nowhere today. I’ve been way too busy working this weekend, so here are some of the Tweets I’ve posted or re-Tweeted over the last 24 hours:
And finally, I didn’t tune in to any of the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 27-10 loss to the Calgary Stampeders yesterday, which is just as well.
That is all for the moment.
Welcome again to News from Nowhere. The big fiery controversy over the last week has been Donald Trump Jr.’s infamous meeting with the Russians.
Honestly, I have not been paying too much attention. It still looks like a big fishing expedition by President Donald Trump’s opponents about collusion with Russia over the election. Moreover, I was preoccupied with covering Canadian politics last week.
I covered the New Democrats leadership debate and interviewed candidates Niki Ashton and Guy Caron, both of whom campaigned in my area, and had no time for any of this usual Trump nonsense we have come to expect on an almost minute-by-minute basis out of the USA.
Now, I understand the repeal of Obamacare is on hold again, after Sen. John McCain fell ill and after a couple more senators pulled their support. Anyway, this is more misery for a miserable White House.
Other news: Venezuela is a mess. The opposition held this big plebiscite against the Maduro regime in that crumbling country, opposing the government plans to scrap the Assembly and rewrite the Constitution. Now the Trump administration is threatening sanctions. What a state of affairs there.
In other news from the “Left Coast”, their new NDP government has been sworn in.
Also, here is the latest on that near-miss by that Air Canada flight at San Francisco last week.
In sports news, Friday marked the last of those four Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor “world tour” events in London, promoting their upcoming boxing match. The prevailing impression I got was that people were finally tired of them.
In TV news, Game of Thrones is back and has shattered HBO’s ratings records.
In other TV news, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota has quit Twitter.
Finally for now, here are the Emmy nominations.
That’s all for the moment.
Welcome to News from Nowhere on what is the Canada 150th holiday weekend here at our base of operations, and so I am trying desperately to take a break from the news for a few short days. Unfortunately, the news is not taking a break from me.
President Donald Trump made the news this week, which surely must be a big surprise to everyone. You know, this ought to have been a great week for the President. His big “travel ban” was reinstated, sort of, by the Supreme Court. Moreover, all these “Russia election collusion” allegations against him are coming up very short on evidence. The credibility of the entire media took a colossal hit after word that three CNN staffers resigned over an online story about Russia ties that was retracted.
So, yeah, it turned out to be a big “I told you so” week for the Trump administration.
But then Trump goes right ahead on Twitter and blows it by getting into a feud with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and his future wife Mika Brzezinski on Twitter again! Trump doesn’t know when to quit!
See, this is the real problem with the Trump administration: no class. And also, a lack of humility. If Trump had simply displayed a little more class and, actually, far more humility, things wouldn’t be such a gong show down there in D.C. and Trump might actually be able to get on with most of his agenda. But he simply insists on enraging people, no matter what. This is what the real problem is here, not Russia or any of that.
Now I understand he’s sent out another Tweet this morning about CNN. Something to do with wrestling, I guess. Seriously, Trump needs to leave Twitter immediately, this is beyond embarrassing now.
In other media news from the week, Greta Van Susteren has left MSNBC after only a few months of her new show. The word on the street – or, more precisely, from the White House – is it’s because she didn’t want to join in the Trump-bashing on her new network.
Other news from TV: Canada held its 150th anniversary celebrations this weekend and the big one in Ottawa was covered by the CBC, with Peter Mansbridge hosting for the final time in his last on-air appearance before his big retirement.
Speaking of milestones: Pam Anderson turned 50 on July 1!
Let’s see, other news:
Oh, there was another huge cyberattack this week, with Ukraine particularly hard-hit. This is getting to be a real nuisance.
In sports news from Canada, Edmonton Oilers’ enforcer from their Cup-winning days, Dave Semenko, has died.
It was a big weekend in Canadian Football as the Saskatchewan Roughriders held their home opener at their new stadium. Unfortunately, they also found a way to lose in OT to Winnipeg, 43-40.
While that game was happening, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. found a way to win a crash-fest of a Coke Zero 400 race down in Daytona.
And in a big freaking boxing upset, Manny Pacquiao was decisioned by Jeff Horn to lose the WBO welterweight title! Unbelievable.
There was movement in the NBA this week with Paul George going from Indiana to the OKC Thunder.
Meanwhile, Blake Griffin is staying with the Clippers.
And I notice TSN had their NHL free agent frenzy coverage, as usual.
Finally, the box office report: $75 million for Despicable Me 3 whose numbers came in below expectations, as the storyline of this summer — the lack of enthusiasm for the usual sequels and retreads — continues yet again.
That is all I feel like posting today. Now, back to the holiday goofing off for yours truly.
Honestly, I’m getting tired of him and his insane Tweeting, and I’m also tired of all of his opponents obsessing about Trump all the time and telling us how awful he is. “We know, we know.”
After this latest terrorism attack in London, which ISIS has claimed responsibility for, Pres. Trump took the opportunity to promote his travel ban, on Twitter. That got the masses fired up, as usual.
Meanwhile, people are still mad over the other big news of this week: Trump’s pullout of the USA from the Paris Accord on climate change. So yeah, it’s been that sort of week.
It has also been the week of Kathy Griffin. She held her big press conference the other day, supposedly begging forgiveness again for that revolting Trump bloodied-head stunt that got her fired from CNN. But instead, she took the opportunity to blame Trump for it, accusing Trump of trying to ruin her life.
Um, wait a minute: Trump kind of had nothing to do with this. This stunt was entirely Kathy Griffin’s doing. Griffin has no one to blame but herself for her own self-immolation. When I say I’m tired of Trump’s opponents, it is this sort of thing I am talking about. (Update: Jerry Seinfeld has now weighed in on Griffin and doesn’t see what the big deal is.)
In other news, this has been a big week for comedians self-immolating. Bill Maher has apologized for using the N-word on TV.
On to the weather — it is starting to get a little too wild for my liking. There was a big tornado that touched down in central Alberta the other day near Three Hills. Yikes, that’s just one province over! We don’t need any of those here, too, we have enough problems.
That’s about all the news I can stand. Coming up next, the box office report.
Fresh off the heels of the national Conservative leadership vote comes major developments in British Columbia politics. After an indecisive election night, followed by recounts and absentee ballot counts that confirmed a “Hung Legislature”, yesterday the Greens leader Andrew Weaver signed a deal to hand power to John Horgan and the NDP.
That means Horgan likely becomes Premier, but not before the legislature comes backs into session and votes on a confidence motion to formally kick Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals out. All in all, I don’t like what is going on, this looks like a “palace coup” and the new government’s policies look positively scary for the economy, with all this talk of scrapping the Kinder-Morgan pipeline.
The same day this was happening, Nova Scotia was having an election, which took all evening to count before it was determined the Liberals got back in.
To other news now, this time from the USA where life continues to be unhinged. Kathy Griffin was fired as co-host of the CNN New Years show after posing with a bloody severed head of Donald Trump. How low can you go?
Meanwhile, it was a bad day for media people in general. It was announced that Scott Pelley is out as anchor of the CBS Evening News, demoted to a correspondent role at 60 Minutes, presumably because of lousy ratings.
And in perhaps the biggest sporting news of the week, Tiger Woods‘ life is in the sink again after he is charged with DUI after being found asleep at the wheel with his car damaged. For his part, Woods is saying this is NOT alcohol-related. Still, this is just sad to watch, seeing the great golfing career of Tiger Woods go down in flames like this.
That is all I feel like doing for now.
Actually, I don’t feel much like doing individual posts about all these news stories, which is why they are all going up here. It is the same old nonsense we have come to expect, particularly when it involves the Donald Trump administration.
Trump clearly has one foot out the door of the White House after his firing of FBI director James Comey. Trump says he fired Comey because everyone’s lost confidence in him, but of course all his opponents are now saying this is “obstruction of justice” because of all the FBI investigations still going on into the Trump links to Russia. People are comparing this firing to the Saturday Night Massacre that eventually did in Nixon.
Whether firing Comey was justified or not, this move has simply added more fuel to the partisan fire that has engulfed Washington, D.C. lately. The Democrats are suffering from full-on “Trump Derangement Syndrome” and will stop at nothing to get rid of Trump, preferably by impeachment. If the Dems take over Congress and the Senate in 2018, Trump’s as good as gone. You heard it here.
I think Trump’s biggest problems are political and PR-related right now. And those issues are all internal. Trump needs to fire people, all right — folks in the White House.
Other news from the week: the big story was this massive ransomware attack on Windows operating systems that took down the National Health Service in the U.K. and computer systems in about 100 other countries, with the Russians apparently hard-hit. As bad as it was, it sounds like our side of the world was spared. It also sounds like the worst of it might not yet be over.
Another story is that North Korea test-fired a missile again, but it’s almost getting to the point where this sort of thing isn’t really news anymore. What would be news is if one of these missiles hits somewhere and touches off World War III.
In political news, South Korea elected a new President this week. Also on the same day, BC held a provincial election and the final result is still uncertain, pending recounts. The BC Liberals under Premier Christy Clark won the most seats at 43, one short of a majority, but there is a recount going on in one seat that the NDP won by nine votes. As well, there is a lot of absentee votes still to be counted, so this really isn’t decided yet,
The other story has been the flooding situation across Canada, with Ontario and especially Quebec hard hit. They are also seeing a flood threat in Kelowna, but the latest I am hearing from there is that it’s not a bad situation there, yet.
A reminder to myself to tune in the Miss USA Pageant, tonight. From Las Vegas.
In sports news, Chelsea clinched the Premier League on Friday.
And finally, I have come to the rather sad conclusion that my taste in sports is rather gruesome. My favorite sports really are the ones loaded with violence and lots of death and destruction, with a lot of blood and guts being spilled. Such as: auto racing.
Last night, I tuned in the TV to see a big fiery wreck in the NASCAR race in Kansas, involving Joey Logano, Danica Patrick and Aric Almirola, with Almirola taken to the hospital! Yikes. Well, anyway, at least he wasn’t killed.
And that is that for that.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Sunday, the final day of April. I guess the big news this weekend is that the White House Correspondents Dinner happened last night with the Commander in Chief President Donald Trump conspicuous by his absence. Then again, how unpleasant must it be, eh, to have to sit and listen to all these biased media people, trashing and ridiculing your administration? I didn’t hear much of this dinner, but during the portion I tuned into they were making a joke of Steve Bannon being a Nazi. You get the picture.
Anyway, in typical Trump fashion, he held a counter-event — a rally in Pennsylvania celebrating 100 days in office. Take that, all you fake-news people in DC. He also took the opportunity to invite Philippine president Duterte to the White House! The Correspondents may have had their Dinner on Saturday, but once again, Trump eats the press.
In other news from the week, the left-wing protesters were at it again at Berkeley, trying to prevent yet more people they disagreed with from speaking. What happened there was that Ann Coulter’s speech was first cancelled, then it was rescheduled, and then it was cancelled again, all at the urging of these protesters.
All in all, this is pathetic.
Free speech is taking a beating at college campuses across America and the world, but especially at Berkeley. And every time something like this happens, where some protest is staged over a speech by someone right-leaning, the left’s credibility takes another blow, because conservatives are incensed and won’t put up with being silenced like this anymore. Most definitely, Ann Coulter is incensed.
In fact, I read that Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity are talking about teaming up and going on a college campus speaking tour, just for the heck of it. This is bound to attract all these “Alt-Left” people, as Hannity likes to call them. And of course, these protesters will all look like fascists again, as usual, trying to shout down the people they disagree with.
What they don’t realize is they have lost the public. Folks, it’s exactly this sort of mayhem, this shutting down of dissenting opinions, that led to Trump being elected President — and which will surely lead to his re-election, while we are at it.
Sadly, we are into tornado season in the United States. Four people lost their lives to a tornado in north Texas and 11 people died in the South overall from the storms that hit this weekend.
There is still a lot of concern about North Korea, there are a lot of war preparations going on there and more failed missile tests, and people are really worried that their unhinged leadership will ignite World War III. I guess the good news is nobody has been nuked — yet.
In music news, a total fiasco happened at the Fyre Festival. This was a music festival in the Bahamas that had been heavily promoted by all these supermodels like Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, but which ended up being poorly organized and a total mess, including lousy food that looked like something served right out of a really bad school cafeteria. And apparently people paid thousands upon thousands of dollars to go to this.
In sports: Stanley Cup playoffs are still on, and to show you how bored the people of Canada are, the big controversy earlier this week was that hockey fans were all upset at Ottawa for not selling out the Ottawa Senators playoff game.
Could it be, folks, that maybe Canadians simply can’t afford the tickets anymore to this ridiculously overpriced National Hockey League?
Finally, I notice that it’s not just me who is interested in Baywatch actress Donna D’Errico, because the Daily Mail tracked her down and got some photos of her in a red swimsuit on the beach in Malibu, at age 49. Oh, Donna!
That is all for now.
It has been a crazy and bizarre several days of craziness and gaffes to report on for this edition of News from Nowhere. First, we had the infamous Kendall Jenner “protest” ad for Pepsi. Then we had this United Airlines overbooking nonsense. As if that wasn’t enough stupidity, yesterday White House press secretary Sean Spicer commits a White House gaffe of epic proportions. In making his case about how evil Syria’s Assad is, he tells the press corp that even the evil Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons“.
Uh, well, what about those gas chambers Hitler had? Anyway, Spicer has egg all over himself over this. I notice Dan Rather weighed in on it and said “a bar, already set low, continues to drop.” I simply think this is another example of Spicer being in over his head, looking like a rank amateur. It’s not the first time for him, either.
You know, it’s incompetent stuff like this that continues to drag down the Donald Trump presidency, one that I keep on comparing to “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. But this no longer only describes Pres. Trump — it describes his whole team at the White House, with all these stories about infighting there. The dysfunction is obvious to everyone. Seriously, Trump needs to do something he did so well on reality TV for years, and that’s fire people.
Trump himself is, at least, showing a few signs that he might finally be getting the hang of how to do this “presidency” job of his. Last week, Trump actually seemed to be presidential, very “Jekyll-ish”, by making a widely-hailed presidential decision to bomb the heck out of Syria for the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on their own people. The United States was finally showing them who was boss and standing up to these rogue regimes, they said. Now granted, people like Sen. Rand Paul were complaining about Congress not being consulted, but still, most people agreed that Assad had it coming.
The problem is the Russians are reacting badly to all this as they continue to be all-in with this lousy Assad regime. They were raising the prospect of war over this attack, and quite honestly, I’m really worried. I worry one more incident in Syria could be the spark that ignites World War III.
Just today, with his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson over in Russia to attempt diplomacy, Pres. Trump was saying relations with Russia could be at an all-time low. Given the four decades of Cold War that went on, this is saying a lot. Let me add this: if the Russians can’t get along with Trump, of all people, then there’s no hope of them getting along with the Americans, period.
On a cheerier topic, let’s talk about North Korea, who have been threatening nuclear war in the wake of this Syria bombing.
Apparently, this half-crazed Kim Jong-Un character has planned some “big event” for tomorrow, which is speculated to be a nuclear test. (Update – Friday: the “big event” turned out to be the opening of a new street! What a joke.)
Meanwhile, the US and the Chinese have been talking and trying to figure out what to do about this maniacal regime.
While all this is happening, we have attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt on Palm Sunday, no less, and Piers Morgan cannot believe this is not major news.
Also this week: a bomb explosion on the team bus of Borussia Dortmund prior to their UEFA Champions League game with Monaco. One player was injured; the match was postponed.
I mean really, the world has gone mad! You cannot even tune in the sports without being reminded.
In other sports news, the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are on. There better not be any bomb scares there.
As for Canada’s other favorite sport, the CFL, commissioner Jeffrey Orridge is walking the plank.
Other craziness: you may have seen the last of Bill O’Reilly, who is on vacation from Fox News this week amid rumors he might not be back over sexual harassment allegations.
Sad news for viewers of David Letterman’s show: his mom died.
Box office news: another winning weekend for The Boss Baby, swamping Smurfs 3.
That is all I can stand, for now. I think I will spend the rest of tonight watching live South Korean all-news TV, just for the heck of it.
Welcome to News from Nowhere during what has been a tumultuous week in politics in the USA, as the goofy Republicans wilted under the political pressure and withdrew their health care bill to replace Obamacare. So, Obamacare gets to stay, for now.
This is being seen as a big defeat for Pres. Donald Trump and for Capitol Hill Republicans. Their big majority in the House and Senate has amounted to absolutely nothing in coming up with a suitable replacement health care plan that could get passed, and the finger pointing for who is to blame is now on! What a joke. Still, some Republicans are smiling, with Sen. Rand Paul declaring victory in defeating “Obamacare-lite”.
Other news from the week: legendary TV game show producer Chuck Barris who brought you The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game but is best known as host of the Gong Show, has, according to Salon, been “gonged at last”. He’s dead, age 87.
It was a scary situation Saturday on the Las Vegas strip as a shooter killed one person on a bus and injured another – for no apparent reason, says police.
In other news concerning Las Vegas, it looks like the NFL will approve the Raiders’ move to their city on Monday.
Finally, the Writers Guild of America could soon walk out on strike.
As for me, I think I’ve written about enough for now.
Welcome to News from Nowhere and the big news from the weekend is that 2017 is proving to be another big year of celebrity deaths. The latest is musical legend Chuck Berry, who basically invented rock and roll in the Fifties with hits like Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode. When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in Cleveland, Berry was the first inductee.
Now, he’s dead, age 90. It almost feels like rock and roll, too, has died right along with him.
And that is not the only big loss from the weekend: we also got word that journalist Jimmy Breslin, too, is dead. Age 88.
What else is going on? Well, there was James Comey testifying today about how the FBI was investigating collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russians.
Also, the trial of an ex-MMA fighter called “War Machine” has ended, and the jury handed him 29 out of 34 possible convictions for his role in assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
In political news from western Canada — namely Alberta — Jason Kenney has won the leadership of the PCs and is now moving full steam ahead on his main platform: uniting the province’s right into one party.
In other important news, Tom Brady’s missing jersey from Super Bowl LI has been recovered.
I notice that the list of the world’s happiest countries is out and Norway is Number One — it always seems like Norway is always at or near the top of surveys like this, for some reason.
Quite honestly, I question this list’s credibility. For instance, it ranked Finland in the top five, but that makes no sense at all because everyone knows the Finnish are notorious for being absolutely miserable. Even 60 Minutes did a piece years ago on how melancholy they are. So this list is completely suspect.
Also conspicuous by their absence from this list: Latin American and Caribbean countries. You would think there would be at least three or four but only Costa Rica made this list, even though the weather is sunny and a lot of people move to Latin America and the Caribbean to escape their depressing, awful lives in the “Uptight States of America”.
Speaking of Latin America, the PokerStars Championship from Panama is playing to a winner tonight. Updates here. See, life in Central America can actually be pretty good. Proves my point.
That is it from here for tonight.
This was a vote closely watched out of fear that the latest EU-hating, right-nationalist Islamophobe, Geert Wilders, might take power.
Fortunately, all that talk in the media about his ascension to power in the Netherlands just proved to be more “fake news,” because he LOST. Instead, incumbent PM Mark Rutte is set to retain power. Anyway, good.
In other election news I notice the Francois Fillon presidential campaign in France continues to circle the drain as he is now placed under formal investigation over the Penelopegate fake jobs scandal. As an aside, what a gong show that presidential race has become, it seems like all the major contenders are tainted by one accusation or another.
In the wake of the British parliament’s backing of Brexit, now I see First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants yet another Scottish independence referendum. Oh, great, this is exactly what the UK needs right now. Another referendum! Good grief.
On to the USA:
- The latest news involving President Trump is Rachel Maddow’s big scoop about his taxes from 2005. Ho, hum. So Trump is a millionaire who paid a lot of money in taxes. Not much to see here.
- Other news, there was an uproar over Trump’s removal of 46 US attorneys with one in particular, Preet Bharara, being fired after he refused to resign. Of course, this sucks for the people involved, but again there is nothing new about this sort of activity; it happens all the time when a new party takes over the White House. The only reason this is controversial now is because Trump is doing it, so now everyone’s automatically offended.
- Regarding Trump’s claims of wiretapping at Trump Tower, the House Intel committee says it finds no evidence of it.
- Then, of course, you have this revised travel ban that has ended up blocked in court again.
- Also, WikiLeaks leaked a lot of CIA secrets last week and I agree with Bill O’Reilly on this one: whoever did this are traitors who ought to be tried for treason.
On top of all this nonsense is North Korea. The world is justifiably freaking out over their missile tests, and now the US is so concerned about Kim Jong Un that they’re building up near the Korean Peninsula. Quite honestly, I am getting really worried about this. We are used to this rogue regime in North Korea being an absolute nuisance, but now this state is starting to be a danger to the whole wide world.
Meanwhile, down in South Korea, and after months of fighting the decision, the impeachment of their President Park Geun-hye finally was upheld in the Constitutional Court. So she’s officially done.
She finally was forced to vacate the Presidential palace, and left a bunch of her dogs behind. A new President must now be elected within 60 days. Exciting times in Korea.
I guess that’s it for today.
Welcome to News from Nowhere, where we once again try to link you with the “real” news going on in the world, not this “fake news” nonsense of other websites and outlets.
The cold hard truth is that we are now into the fourth day of the reign of U.S. President Donald Trump, and it is exactly what I think everyone expected it to be. Those of you who thought the circus had permanently left town with news that Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey was closing up shop were sadly mistaken. The big top has clearly packed up and permanently moved to a new locale in Washington D.C., namely the White House, and the ringmaster is the new leader of the free world — as evidenced by his inauguration on Friday.
First, there was Trump’s speech, which really was a take-no-prisoners, rock’em sock’em address in which he took on all comers. He was saying this wasn’t a transition from one party to another, but from the Establishment to the people! Trump stood up there and ripped to shreds the policies of the people he replaced, with Barack Obama sitting there listening to it all! It really was a throw-down-the-gauntlet moment.
This address was seen in person in D.C. by fewer people than Obama’s past inaugurations. That was evident simply by watching the TV coverage of the crowds, yet Trump’s folks were going around spinning otherwise. Sean Spicer, the new Trump press secretary, slammed the media for their coverage and claimed this was actually the most watched inauguration ever!
Of course, the press then paraded out all their mounds of evidence (D.C. Metro numbers, video footage, etc.) to show that Spicer was, of course, embarrassingly dead wrong.
On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway doubled down on the hyper-partisanship by going on NBC’s Meet the Press, where she was talking about how the press secretary presented “alternative facts“. Interviewer Chuck Todd couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and frankly, neither could I.
It is plain to see the new Trump administration is on a mission, as Spicer stated Saturday, to hold the press accountable. Think about it. Instead of the media holding the government to account, which is the usual way of doing things in a free society, the Trump administration is pledging to hold the media to account.
The last time I checked, this is how governments normally act in tinpot dictatorships. They are really good at holding the media to account by bossing them around and censoring them, and they are also good at presenting “alternative facts.” This used to be called “propaganda” back in the old Cold War days.
As for the opponents of President Trump, there is clearly no shortage of them. The transition to Trump’s new law-and-order regime has not stopped any of the mayhem in the streets that were a hallmark of American life during the latter part of the Obama administration.
It’s basically the same as usual. First, there were the riots in D.C. by Trump opponents on the day of the inauguration, with lots of arrests. Then, on Saturday, you had the women holding protest marches in Washington and all over North America.
Big marches, lots of people, lots of passion, well-organized, better Metro ridership than the Trump inauguration the previous day, etc. etc. Yet it also makes you wonder: where was all this passion and energy during the election, when Hillary Clinton really needed it?
The mainstream media gave all of these protests big airplay, but that plays into the Trump arguments about how the media is simply out to undermine his presidency.
Keep in mind: the protesters lost the election. A big reason why they lost is because the “silent majority” are sick of all of them and all their protests! It doesn’t matter what the issue is that they are promoting or whether it is worthwhile or not. They want these professional protesters to go home, at long last, but it looks like the “culture wars” are here to stay whether the silent majority likes it or not.
By Monday, the trade wars had begun, too. Trump signed the order to withdraw from TPP and to renegotiate NAFTA as well! And of course, Trump has been in his usual feuds all week with folks like Rep. John Lewis, and with designer Tom Ford, and other people.
We are only four days in, and this is just the start! There is still almost four more years of this nonsense left to go! Four very long years.
Other news:George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush have both been in the hospital, but both seem to be getting better.
There is apparently a lot of sex in this latest season of The Bachelor, and people are offended!
It is going to be New England and Atlanta in the Super Bowl after two more blowout playoff games on the weekend! This NFL postseason really has lacked excitement for the most part.
Uh, that’s it for now. Hopefully, this will also be the end of the Trump coverage for a while, here, too, because I am getting sick of writing about his antics.
Welcome to 2017 here at News from Nowhere, which has started on a down note for me personally as I am at home sick, likely struggling to recover from the same ailment as Queen Elizabeth II and many other people. I am now on antibiotics and drinking lots of tea and juice, and hopefully I’ll be better soon.
Anyway, everyone is trashing 2016 as a lousy year because of all the terrible things that happened and all the people that died, etc., and it ended on a predictable wrong note as technical problems ruined Mariah Carey’s lip-synch performance on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
Carey’s people promptly blamed Dick Clark Productions and accused people of “sabotage.” Dick Clark Productions fired right back and said there was no sabotage.
Anyway, this whole thing is a mess. Jenny McCarthy had something to say about it here.
As bad as it was for Mariah Carey, others had it far worse on New Year’s Night. It was a far worse scene in Turkey where an ISIS terrorist attack at an Istanbul nightclub killed 39 people. What an awful start to 2017 — or awful end to 2016, one or the other.
Other news from the weekend: the pilot of a Sunwing flight destined to fly to Cancun from Calgary has been arrested after being found drunk in the cockpit!!
This was quite a strange story to say the least. Of course, this got my attention because I had flown this same airline to Cancun back in November! Yikes.
Donald Trump isn’t even President yet, but already he’s fulfilling his pledges to “Make America Great Again” by going after automakers and threatening them with tariffs so they will stay in the USA. The latest “great” news: Ford is cancelling its plans to go to Mexico, will instead expand in Michigan. But Trump is not done — he is now going after GM on Twitter over their foreign-made cars.
In TV news, Megyn Kelly has made it official, she has announced she is quitting Fox News and going to NBC News.
In other TV news, the new NBC Boston station is now up and running, forcing former NBC affiliate WHDH, aka “7News”, into life as an independent.
This switch has been felt as well by cable systems throughout Canada relying on Boston for the NBC feed, including in frozen Saskatchewan. So we, too, now get our NBC feed from this new “NBC Boston” station now.
My former home base, Toronto, is just not the same place it was when I used to be there. Too many favourite places there have closed. The latest iconic store gone forever: Honest Ed’s.
Speaking of Toronto, they held an NHL outdoor game there on Jan. 1.
Finally, anyone else notice that the attendance has been crummy at a lot of these World Juniors hockey games in Toronto and Montreal? I think the real reason people aren’t buying tickets is simply because the tickets cost way, way too much. Seriously, all these sports think fans are a bottomless pit of money. That is why these events aren’t selling out.
That is about all I can hack tonight.
Aaargh, I want to go back to Mexico! It is bitterly cold here at this edition of News from Nowhere — not just here, but across North America! To blame is the polar vortex which is hovering over much of Canada and bringing Arctic air down to the south. It makes it an early winter for everyone (winter has technically not started yet, believe it or not).
How bad is it? So bad that BC is now meant to get colder than normal weather well into January. Folks in the lower mainland are having a difficult time dealing with all the cold and snow.
To folks in Vancouver, I simply say: welcome to life in Canada.
On to other news. I notice President-elect Donald Trump has been busy doing his victory tour of places across America. I get the impression he likes doing these rallies — for the heck of it! Also, the other day he was at the Army-Navy game, won by Army for the first time after 15 years. The final score was 21-17.
In between, Trump has been putting together his cabinet and the rumors are Rex Tillerson may be named Secretary of State.
Also, I notice Trump had something to say about the CIA’s claims that Russia was involved in influencing the election. He’s calling these claims ridiculous. The Democrats are all up in arms and want an investigation, but honestly I think this is yet more evidence that these folks on the left are still in total denial about the election results and how people really feel about the state of the country.
In other “yet more evidence” news, Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s effort to recount the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania has been an embarrassing flop so far.
Finally, everyone is up in arms about Trump retaining executive producer credit on The Apprentice and claiming this is a conflict of interest. Folks, Trump isn’t going to be doing a darn thing for this show, he is simply retaining credit as co-creator of the production and earning royalties! This is just plain business, as Arnold Schwarzenegger says. And Trump was defending himself on that point on the talk shows today. Anyway, enough about President-elect Trump.
Speaking of Trump, his style of political rally has made its way up to Canada. The big political story up here was about a anti-carbon tax rally in Alberta where the crowd started yelling “lock her up!” in regards to Premier Rachel Notley.
And people across Canada vented outrage at this behaviour, but one politician who actually thought these chants were okay was Conservative leadership candidate Brad Trost. He was saying these people were not being listened to, and was saying you should take them seriously but don’t take them literally.
Anyway, bottom line is that Trump-style politics is here. Be ready for it, Great White North.
French presidential election news: an independent candidate has entered the race. He is Emmanuel Macron, former French economy minister, but the thinking is that all his candidacy will do is bleed votes from Manuel Valls (likely Socialist nominee) and split the left, and produce the Conservative-Nationalist runoff that everyone is predicting will happen anyway.
In other opinions, the Guardian is raising the alarm that France is somehow about to elect Marine Le Pen as President. This won’t happen, folks. It’s gonna be Francois Fillon, folks, trust me. The French electorate isn’t as crazy as people think they are.
On to Sports from Nowhere, and “nowhere” is right when it comes to Toronto and their sports title hopes for 2016.
It was a dismal night at the MLS Cup final in Toronto, where Toronto FC dominated the play all game, incredibly holding the Seattle Sounders to no shots on goal, but they just couldn’t beat goaltender Stefan Frei.
So the predictable happened: after it ended 0-0, Toronto FC lost on penalty kicks 5-4. It figures.
All in all, a game like that won’t win converts to the sport of soccer across Canada, with all the choppy play and injuries, the no-scoring, and of course the way it ended. That was no classic. The UEFA Champions League this is not.
And in other sports news from Toronto on Saturday night, UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre ended with Max Holloway winning the interim featherweight title in the third round beating Anthony Pettis. In all, it was surely a far more enjoyable evening for Toronto’s fight fans than for soccer fans at BMO Field. The results are here.
I’ve run out of things to say, so that is all for now.
Welcome to a sad edition of News from Nowhere. The sad news is all about the story of former NFLer Joe McKnight who was shot to death in an apparent “road rage” incident in Terrytown, Louisiana.
But while this story is getting a lot of play in the USA, it has local implications because McKnight was a current member of the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders. So folks up here are as surprised and bewildered by what we are hearing about what is going on down there in Louisiana — particularly these stories about Louisiana’s “stand your ground” laws, and how the shooter was questioned by police and released.
Anyway, I linked to a bunch of stories from New Orleans, simply to show the local folks up here in frozen Canada how much airplay this news is getting in the ‘States. People there are quite upset about this.
In other upsetting sports news, the public memorial was today for the Chapecoense soccer team, and after tuning in a little of it online on YouTube today, I had to turn it off. It was simply unbearable to watch as a sports fan.
I ended up thinking of the teams I root for and how I’d feel if this sort of tragedy happened to any of them. Then I remembered that, in fact, this did happen before to one of my teams: in 1956, four Saskatchewan Roughriders all-stars were killed in a plane crash in BC after appearing in the All-Star Game. This was not on this scale of what happened to this Brazilian squad, but bad enough. Heck, just losing one player to death is bad enough.
Anyway, that was what happened today. On a happier note, Toronto FC won their two-game with Montreal in extra time, so they play Seattle next Saturday at home for the MLS Cup. Who knows what the weather will be like.
Other good sports news: I am happy to report that the recent end of both the NASCAR and Formula 1 auto racing seasons has freed up my time to watch plenty of football and soccer games on TV.
Last week marked the end of the F1 season, and it turned out to be the last race for a lot of people. It really is the Year of the retirements in F1, when you think of it. That race in Abu Dhabi was the last for Felipe Massa and Jenson Button, and now we are also getting word that the newly crowned champion Nico Rosberg is also quitting, at age 31.
Apparently he wants to spend more time with his young family, which is fine. Before you start criticizing Rosberg’s decision, keep in mind auto racing is a dangerous sport where drivers get killed! So I don’t blame Rosberg, really. He’s quitting while he’s still ahead.
Enough about sports. Some news items to pass along —
- Tomorrow there is a big referendum in Italy to change the constitution and alter the electoral system to give the winning party bonus seats in the Parliament. The idea is to bring an end to all the instability from all these minority governments Italy has had. But it sounds like voters may vote “no” to it and deal another blow to the “Establishment” and the EU, and in the process sink the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
- Quite honestly, if I were in Italy I’d be voting against this, too. This “bonus seats” plan really sounds ridiculous; it gives the sitting government way too much power. They also want to scrap direct elections to the Senate! I think people will be voting no for these reasons alone; it really has nothing to do with what they think of the EU! But these pundits want to make more of this vote than what it is.
- The other vote tomorrow is the re-run of the botched Austrian presidential election, and it could result in a victory by far-right Norbert Hofer. If that does happen, it will be a huge story and will have everyone in liberal democracies across Europe shaking in their boots — not to mention financial-markets people.
- In other news, people are freaking out this week because US President-elect Donald Trump took a phone call from the president of Taiwan.
- I guess Cuba’s Fidel Castro is finally having his state funeral tomorrow. I had thought he already had a funeral this week, but I guess that event on Tuesday in the Plaza de la Revolution in Havana was more of a public memorial – one of several. Anyway, the real, and final, funeral goes tomorrow in Santiago de Cuba.
Finally, I have been watching the Boston TV news on my local cable system and they were covering this huge 10-alarm fire in Cambridge, where a few buildings were affected and at least one of them totally collapsed! The Boston TV stations were having fun covering that one today. Reminds me of a few big fires I’ve covered in my time.
And that’s that about that.
Oh, what the heck, I might as well talk about Donald Trump. Heck, everyone else is. In fact, I find it fascinating that Trump’s legendarily oversized mouth managed to upstage an entire massive fearsome hurricane in the news cycle yesterday.
What is worse, this was Trump’s big mouth from 2005 coming back to haunt him, with lewd “hot mic” remarks to Billy Bush, then of Access Hollywood, about trying to “f—” a married woman, and of grabbing women by the “p—y”, and so on. And it was all caught on tape!
Now, it’s been reported the married woman Trump was referring to was none other than Nancy O’Dell. Yikes.
Anyway, Trump has issued an apology — rare for him, I know. This is the latest embarrassment forcing Republicans to run for cover this election cycle. Many GOPers are distancing themselves and some are either revoking their endorsements or even calling on Trump to step down as the candidate.
All this is nothing new, this sort of thing has gone on all campaign long. What’s new is that it hasn’t stopped yet! In fact, it shows no sign of stopping, ever! The fact that these big “bozo eruptions” just keep on happening on a consistent basis — every couple of weeks or so, by my estimate — is surely Trump’s downfall. All this does is remind people on the fence about what a gong show the Presidency would become if Trump got in.
I guess there’s another Presidential debate tomorrow, but I’m rapidly losing interest in this race now — I’m simply fed up with all the mudslinging. I don’t know if I’m in the mood to see Hillary Clinton run laps around the hopeless Trump yet again in a debate.
In fact, I think the big debate is up against the Toronto Blue Jays-Texas Rangers Game 3 of the playoffs. Well, that settles that. I’m definitely watching the Blue Jays, and hopefully they will beat up on the Rangers again and advance to the ALCS.
As for Hurricane Matthew, I tuned in the coverage yesterday as the storm skirted the north coasts of Florida. Today, it made landfall in South Carolina, and it sounds as if the place is in store for lots of flooding.
I think I now know why the weather and media folks in the USA were freaking out about people not taking hurricane warnings seriously. It’s because of the likes of Matt Drudge, who sent out tweets claiming government officials were exaggerating the storm’s impact!! And of course, this talk simply encourages people to disbelieve all the officials and weather forecasters, when the fact is they need to pay attention to them, for once.
Folks, this storm is terrible, and if you don’t believe me, believe the reports out of Haiti where the death toll could be over 800 people.
That’s enough from me for today.
I am assigned to cover an awards ceremony tonight — missing out on a lot of the other news going on. Such as Matthew.
This Category 4 hurricane slammed into Haiti this morning and caused a lot of flooding. Now it is threatening Florida where watches have now been issued for the east coast of the state near Miami.
I was watching the Miami TV news stations online today and they were doing the usual freaking out that they do whenever a hurricane is threatening. There is also real worry for other parts of the USA by later this week, so I plan to keep on following this story as it unfolds.
In other news, I am going to be missing the Tim Kaine-Mike Pence vice-presidential debate tonight.
That is too bad because it should surely be a bloodbath as Pence tries to undo the damage Donald Trump did with his lousy performance in last week’s presidential debate, followed by his rantings and ramblings about Alicia Machado, his taxes, and all that. Trump needs to cool off.
Another thing I will be missing: the Toronto Blue Jays-Baltimore Orioles baseball wild-card game. Which is just as well, because watching it would only raise my blood pressure.
I’m also going to be missing another contest involving a Toronto professional sports team, with far less at stake: tonight’s Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators pre-season NHL game, from Saskatoon.
The one thing I missed this morning was Julian Assange’s big WikiLeaks announcement, which is just as well because it turned out to be nothing. But there could still be more revelations to come.
The other story from earlier this week was the robbery of Kim Kardashian in Paris. That’s right, Kim was robbed in a big heist in which she was tied up and the robbers made off with $11 millions in jewellery. A lot of people can’t believe it and think this was yet another one of those Kardashian publicity stunts. Anyway, here is a link to the Us story on what we know so far.
That will have to be all for the moment.
Welcome to News from Nowhere, and we all wake up on this NFL Sunday to the story about the explosion in the Chelsea area of New York City last night that injured 29 people. The officials are calling this an intentional act.
So the United States is back to being in chaos. As I have said before, every time these mayhem stories hit the news I’m convinced it means more votes for Donald Trump, because this sure as heck doesn’t look good for Hillary Clinton or her buddy Barack Obama, or anyone else in power now. Mr. Trump, a.k.a. “Mr. Law-and-Order”, doesn’t even need to lift a finger or to say something. Whenever something terrible happens in the USA, it hits the news, and the news cycle ends up talking about Trump’s main issues whether the “liberal media” wants to or not.
As for the rest of this week in politics: everyone was still going on and on talking about Hillary’s health after her very public collapse on 9/11. Also, Trump took time to release his medical records on the Dr. Oz show, and the usual people who are too into politics are complaining this wasn’t enough, either — that he’s hiding something. I’m sorry, but Trump wasn’t the one who collapsed in public and had pneumonia this week.
Beyond that, though, I think this is getting to be a big sideshow. It’s time for everyone to chill out about the health of the candidates and get on with talking about some real issues again, but nobody seems to want to do that. I notice another controversy that people are mad about is that Trump had finally conceded Obama was born in the USA, after years of publicly questioning his citizenship and his eligibility to be President. It’s this focus on the non-issues, the sideshows and the other distractions that are the real reason people are sick of this race and sick of these two candidates. You just want to turn these cable news channels right off.
With that rant done, I should say Trump has finally shown some discipline and has had another relatively good week of staying out of trouble (mostly). Now the polls have this race neck and neck which nobody thought was possible a few weeks ago. Indeed, the Democrats have reason to be nervous.
On to the third parties now, and there are table scraps of good news to report about the Libertarian campaign of the Gary Johnson-William Weld ticket. Some newspapers have finally noticed that someone else other than Trump and Clinton is running for President, and they like what they see. In fact the New Hampshire Union Leader did something they hadn’t done in something like 100 years — they refused to endorse the top of the Republican ticket and endorsed Johnson-Weld instead.
The bad news for Johnson is that the polls still have him way, way under 15 percent, and because he doesn’t meet that completely arbitrary polling threshold, he is being refused a chance to be on the stage in the presidential debates.
Which, of course, is an affront to democracy, but it’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened this election year in the Undemocratic, I mean United States of America. Maybe it’s Johnson who should be the one going around saying this election is rigged, instead of Trump.
That’s all for the moment.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Sunday. Obviously, this is a sad and solemn day, marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It has been felt even during these NFL Sunday games, with pre-game ceremonies at these various locations. I notice former President George W.Bush was at the pre-game ceremony at the Dallas-Giants game in Texas.
As well, I guess everyone was also watching to see if any more players were going to do the Colin Kaepernick thing and refuse to stand, take a knee or otherwise protest during the national anthems. It sounds like a lot of that did indeed happen. People cared more about the pre-games today than the actual games!
It was an active last few days of the presidential race. Today, of course, people paused for 9/11 ceremonies, but Hillary Clinton had to leave early from one of them — prompting the usual people to point out all her health problems again. The breaking news now from Fox News is that it’s pneumonia.
Network TV news interrupted their programming to report on this story. Anyway, this business of Mrs. Clinton’s health is surely not going to go away as a story any time soon after this.
As for the rest of the week — the big news from the campaign was probably that Commander-in-Chief forum on NBC hosted by Matt Lauer, in which Clinton and Donald Trump appeared. It sounds like the biggest loser was Lauer. A lot of people blasted him for his lousy hosting job — though I really think most of the criticism is coming from pro-Hillary people. I think they think he was too hard on her, and too soft on Trump. It looks like sour grapes to me.
It was also a particularly bad week for third-party Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who went on Morning Joe and failed to recognize “Aleppo” (the city in Syria that is the current hot spot for all the problems in the civil war there) when asked about it by Mike Barnicle. Johnson later said he thought it was an acronym they were referring to.
In any event, people are now saying Johnson’s answer “disqualifies him from the Presidency”. Good grief, people, isn’t there anyone left on this November ballot qualified to be President?
All I hope is that these candidates know where North Korea is on a map, because this latest nuclear test of theirs frightens me far more than the already scary stuff already going on in Syria.
Still with the US presidential race, Hillary went on the attack the other day against Trump’s own supporters, calling half of them a “basket of deplorables“. She called them racist, sexist, xenophobic, the works. Wow. It is one thing to hurl insults at your opponent, but at a whole group of voters? That is surely not going to look good with the people.
Hillary looks like the presidential candidate in full “implosion” mode right now. Meanwhile, Trump is the one lying low for the moment, as he looks all too happy to let Hillary self-destruct on the stump. He was in St. Louis for the Phyllis Schlafly funeral this weekend, and got a warm reception there. For Trump, it’s been another decent week.
Of course, what would this blog be without beauty pageant news!
I’m sorry folks, I like the ladies. This is a big reminder to myself to tune in the Miss America pageant tonight on ABC from Atlantic City. This pageant is making news because one of the contestants, Miss Missouri Erin O’Flaherty, is a lesbian who might become the first out lesbian to become Miss America. Needless to say the mainstream media is quite excited for this prospect. But I’ve read many of these “expert predictions” online and they don’t seem to give Miss Missouri much of a chance. We shall see.
This pageant is up against NFL football tonight, though, so I don’t expect too many guys will be tuning in. Heck, being the big football fan that I am, I might even forget to tune in — that’s why I’m reminding myself that Miss America is on tonight. Anyway, the Miss America Pageant is a unique piece of Americana worth tuning in for. You never know what might happen on live television; they could announce the wrong winner or something.
In other sports besides the NFL, the men’s final for the US Open tennis is today.
Finally, after last night’s Richmond race the field is set for the Chase. What — you really thought I would get through a whole blog post on the happenings of the week without mentioning NASCAR? I had to mention it.
That’s all for now.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Friday afternoon prior to the Labor Day/Labour Day weekend. Let me tell you, this is one weekend in particular in which I am literally crawling to the finish line again — although even the finish line will have to wait, because I have a work assignment tomorrow.
There is a variety of news this week and one of them is Hermine which indeed hit the north Gulf Coast of Florida as a Cat. 1 hurricane and is now a tropical storm. Here’s an update on what it did from Fox News.
Also, read the comments beneath it because apparently there were lots of people unimpressed by this storm’s impact, with “LOL”-type comments directed at the “lamestream” media.
The other story is Hurricane Lester which could have an impact on Hawaii. Or maybe not. Anyway, hurricane season is on and things are active.
The American presidential race is still going on but I don’t think I’m going to talk much about it today. I’m actually quite fed up with all this talk about putting up “walls” to keep the immigrants out of the USA.
As it turns out, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson says he is also fed up and wrote up his piece about the issue for CNN.
To which I say “right on.” In my eyes Johnson looks like the only one in this race talking sense on the whole immigration issue, but unfortunately common sense seems to have left the station down there in the “Upset States of America” — and many other countries for that matter (ie. Brexit).
Other politics news: moderators for the presidential/vice presidential debates have been selected and for whatever reason I’ve been reading lots of whining articles by political-correct people lately as to “why is it only white males who are chosen as debate moderators?”
Except, for these upcoming debates, one of the moderators is black (Lester Holt) and two of them are female (Martha Raddatz, Elaine Quijano)!
The lone white male is in fact Chris Wallace of Fox News. So, by my count, that’s only one of four. (Sorry, folks — no Megyn Kelly for these debates.)
Speaking of Fox News, I notice New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman is still going after Roger Ailes in print, with this latest piece on his downfall running this week.
In space-travel news it was not a good week, as a SpaceX rocket blew right up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, taking out a Facebook satellite that would have launched along with it.
It is a sad time in the entertainment world. I have not had a chance yet to note the death of Gene Wilder, star of many Mel Brooks movies including The Producers, and who starred opposite Richard Pryor in movies like Stir Crazy — a movie that I thought was funny as heck. His talent will be missed.
In sports the US Open tennis is on. As well, US college football is on but I’m already mad because none of the Canadian all-sports channels bothered to show one game of it Thursday, and I see nothing on the schedule tonight (although I guess TSN will be showing that Boston College-Georgia Tech game in Dublin, Ireland tomorrow, among others.)
Doesn’t anyone in this country watch football anymore? This is outrageous. Maybe I need to immigrate to the ‘States.
(But if I am going to move to the ‘States, I’d better get on with it right now — before the election.)
Finally, the NFL pre-season is now over and the biggest story to emerge from it all was the antics of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the national anthems.
Last week, he refused to stand for the anthem — on principle, in protest of the treatment of black people in the country. Then this week in San Diego, on Armed Forces Night no less, he protested again, but this time opted to kneel down during the anthem along with another player.
I don’t know what to make of this, but the USA is a free country with freedom of speech written right there in the U.S. Constitution, so that means Kaepernick gets to do what he does, even though people may not like it and think it’s unpatriotic.
By the way, Kaepernick has had a lousy training camp and there are rumors he may be cut by the 49ers for his lousy play AND for his national anthem theatrics. So he might soon have to look for another team with pressing QB needs. Maybe the Vikings will take him.
I don’t have a lot to say in News from Nowhere. Just two items:
First, Donald Trump gave a very tough foreign policy speech today in Youngstown in which he proposed turning all of the USA’s attention towards defeating Radical Islamic Terrorism. And for once, Trump didn’t look or sound half-crazy like he usually does.
The other news is the violence that erupted on the weekend in Milwaukee after another police shooting of an African-American, and the rioting that erupted afterwards sounded really bad — so scary, in fact, that reporters felt particular unsafe and even pulled out of there. Milwaukee sure ain’t the land of Happy Days or Laverne and Shirley any more, is it?
That is all for tonight.
Welcome to News from Nowhere and to day two of the Democratic National Convention. It looks to me as if normalcy has been restored — as much as you are going to get, anyway. It sounds like the Bernie supporters might at least be trying to get with the program now, unlike some of these #NeverTrump people last week.
The first night had the usual pro-Hillary speeches we have come to expect, as well as the usual Trump-bashing. Hilites are above from ABC News.
Speaking of ABC News— that network is in deep doo-dah today with fans of the ABC show The Bachelorette. It turned out that Bernie’s speech (in which he endorsed Hillary) ended up going over time, which meant that The Bachelorette show did not get started on time in several markets in the Pacific time zone! Oh, the horrors.
Anyway, for Bachelorette fans who want to know what happened on the show, here it is.
Tonight, Hillary will be officially nominated in the roll call vote and her hilarious husband Bill will be speaking, too. Makes me almost wish I PVRed The Bachelorette. Just kidding; actually, I never watch that show anyway.
Finally, while still on politics, here is a link to a pessimistic Huff Post article from a very depressed-sounding film director Michael Moore on why he thinks Trump will win. Frankly, he makes a lot of good points, particularly about the mood in these rust-belt states.
So that is the news on goings on in Philadelphia, now here is more in the News from Nowhere.
- The big news in business is that Verizon is taking over Yahoo!. The former tech giant was acquired for a puny $5 billion — a far cry from what it was worth before.
- We have more news about deadly massacres going on in the world. The latest was in Japan where 19 people were killed by a knife wielding lunatic.
- In box office news, the winner at the domestic box office this weekend ($59 mil) was Star Trek Beyond. But over in China the winner was Jackie Chan in Skiptrace ($60 mil.)
- In Olympics news, the IOC chickened out and decided not to kick out the entire Russian team from the Olympics in Rio. Instead, 37 of the athletes are being banned. Strangely enough, I actually feel this was the right decision — a lot of innocent people would have been impacted if the whole country was banned.
- Zika is still running amuck. Not only is it amuck in Brazil, but now you way want to reconsider your vacation plans for the Dominican Republic.
- And in local news, there was a huge oil spill into the North Saskatchewan River that has impacted the water supply for a number of communities in Saskatchewan including North Battleford and Prince Albert. A big headache for officials to say the least.
That is it for the moment.
This pre-GOP convention News from Nowhere will be relatively short tonight for a lot of reasons — one of them being I’m tired and want to go to bed.
But I followed the news today about more police shootings in the USA, this time in Baton Rouge where three police officers were killed today and three injured.
I really don’t feel like saying any more about it, mainly because I want to heed President Obama’s advice and help bring the temperature down in the USA. Tensions are just too high there and all this media coverage is simply fanning the flames and making things worse.
And speaking of tensions, there is mounting concern about the Republican National Convention which starts tomorrow. It would surprise no one if violence erupts in the streets of Cleveland. I’m convinced every troublemaker in the USA will want to be there to make trouble in order to get noticed by all the media. All these folks who were down in Ferguson will be there, guaranteed.
The other big international story was that the coup failed in Turkey and now the President is rounding up all the plotters.
Finally, sports news about Henrik Stenson’s near-perfect British Open.
Welcome to this latest effort of News from Nowhere, and I am going to try and cut down on news from Dallas, Texas to focus on the rest of what is going on in the world. The key word is “try”. Unfortunately, it just ain’t happening. We are still hearing a lot of talk from the “Black Lives Matter” people about the shootings of black people by police. To counter that, we are now getting the pro-police people who are saying “Blue Lives Matter”.
My only concern is that it seems to me that Americans are once again being encouraged to take sides with this sort of talk — with the “black”, or the “blue”. I gotta say it again — “don’t any lives matter?” All lives ought to count for something, that is my view.
And the protests go on. Just last night, I was watching the news live streams and I noticed there was a big Black Lives Matter protest up in Minnesota that blocked one of the freeways, and the police had to use tear gas to break it up.
Up here in frozen Canada, people are looking at what is going on in the ‘States with disbelief. People here are thinking America is coming apart at the seams. It reminds people of what went on in 1968, with all of that year’s violence! Meanwhile, President Barack Obama gave his big statement in Warsaw and he was saying this is nothing like that, that America is not as divided as some suggest. Well, you could have fooled me. In my opinion, something has got to be done to calm this situation once and for all — otherwise, we will have another 1968 on our hands before long.
On to other news now from what is surely the “Upset States of America”. The latest to be upset: Gretchen Carlson, who has filed a big sexual harassment lawsuit against former employer Roger Ailes after being fired by Fox News!
This has brought out the hit pieces in the press with more accusations levelled against Ailes and the predictable comparisons to Bill Cosby. Meanwhile, you are also seeing a perhaps surprising number of Fox News women – Maria Bartiromo, Greta Van Susteren, Kimberly Guilfoyle – backing Ailes. You know what I think? I think the TV news business sucks, that’s what I think. As for these accusations, we’ll see what transpires.
Other news: the political conventions in the USA are later this month and the hot speculation is all about vice-presidential running mates. We have heard the rumors about who Donald Trump might pick — Newt Gingrich, Joni Ernst etc. — but the latest name being floated out there is retired Army general Michael Flynn, who, quite frankly, I’d never heard of before this week.
The problem is Flynn just went on ABC’s This Week and confirmed he was pro-choice! Well, this would not be a pick that would promote GOP party unity, with all the pro-lifers in the party. Flynn may be out of the running as of right now.
Meanwhile the Democrats have been writing their platform and it really is taking a leftward direction to appease the Bernie Sanders people who are still mad that he is not the nominee. As for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, her search for a running mate is reportedly down to five people.
That brought out the outrage from people – mainly Trump and Sanders supporters – all saying “crooked Hillary” was getting let off the hook, again. Now we hear the State Department has reopened its probe of the Clinton emails. Methinks this is far from over.
In Australian election news, the Labor opposition has finally conceded defeat.
In trial news from South Africa, I notice Oscar Pistorius got sentenced to six years for murder this week. (Six years?!)
Here is the latest Brexit whining, I mean news: a piece in the Guardian by someone who feels the Brexit vote makes his British passport a “badge of shame”.
This guy sounds like he’s ashamed to be British to begin with. I’m not a Brexit fan either, as everyone knows by now, but come on — this talk is nonsense.
Also, I notice a new pro-Europe newspaper has started up to speak for “the 48 percent”. Good.
As for the referendum, the British government says the result ought to be respected. They have rejected a petition to toss the referendum result out.
Still with the U.K., the Conservative leadership is going to a second ballot and it looks as if the next PM will be a woman. So you can add Michael Gove to the scrap heap, now, of post-Brexit political losers in the UK. The scrap heap pile is getting to be quite large.
That is it for now – now, time to watch Euro2016.
Welcome to this edition of News from Nowhere. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this will end up being another one of those “the world is going to heck” type of posts, especially after what happened at an Orlando nightclub last night.
Someone went in there and opened fire, killing at least 50 people in the worst mass shooting in American history. Another 53 were injured.
It happened at a gay nightclub so a lot of people are calling this a hate crime. Worst of all, it sounds like this gunman had pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Obviously, this news has ruined the morning and put me in a particularly foul mood for watching the Canadian Grand Prix race on TV. Live local TV coverage of the shooting here. I understand President Barack Obama will be speaking on this, soon.
This tragedy happens soon after The Voice singer Christina Grimmie was murdered after a concert held in — you guessed it — Orlando.
So it’s sad times in central Florida. Scary times. And now, an update — news from southern California that someone has been arrested with possible explosives who was going to the LA gay pride parade there today!
In all, this is a good time to stay away from the good old USA with all of its shootings and mayhem.
In other news, it looks like my citizenship in the European Union could be heading straight into the trashcan thanks to my fellow citizens in the U.K., as polls put the Brexit in the lead heading to the June 23 referendum.
I don’t know what to make of this. On the one hand, I get why the pro-Brexit people want out. The EU has way too much power over the UK’s affairs as it is, and what’s more, Europe has proved itself monumentally incompetent in dealing with any number of issues, whether it is terrorists in France and Belgium, migrants flooding their other borders, or any number of these financial crises afflicting any number of their member states.
Why would the British want to be part of that? So I understand why there’s frustration. I get it. But still, man, what’s going to happen to the trade relationships with the rest of Europe if this happens? And what about British citizens who have to work in other parts of Europe because they can’t get similar good jobs at home? Will they all lose their work privileges and have to go home, then? That’s really the issue I’m most concerned with. That, and the possibility that the breakup of Europe will send the world economy into another tailspin. Anyway, I don’t like where this is going.
I ran into this item while looking for news on the Brexit referendum: “Why MP sex scandals no longer shock.” I guess someone else got in trouble over there, again, but nobody cares like they did with Christine Keeler and the Profumo scandal years ago.
It looks like the lyrics to O Canada are going to be changed to become gender-neutral. That raises another issue: could other lyrics get changed? Could the word “God” be removed from the lyrics, too?
In Cuba news, six American carriers have been approved to fly to the island nation.
In sports media news, Bill Simmons has let loose on his departure from ESPN and on what he’s doing now for HBO.
And since I particularly have MMA on the brain this week, here is an item I found about the rise of the ONE Championship which has quietly become the biggest promotion in Asia.
That is all I feel like talking about. Now, back to watching depressing mass-shooting news coverage on TV.
The top story of this edition of News from Nowhere is the uproar in the House of Commons yesterday.
Seriously, I cannot believe what I am reading about this: a scuffle actually broke out in the Commons in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went over and ended up actually elbowing NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau.
This is exactly the sort of WWE-style mayhem that Donald Trump political rallies have become famous for.
And in fact, there was a huge controversy down there in the USA when a Breitbart reporter got shoved by Trump’s campaign manager. This is that incident involving Michelle Fields who ended up quitting Breitbart in a huff after what happened. It’s also happening with the Democrats as well. Just this past weekend in Nevada, Bernie Sanders supporters caused a big ruckus at their Democratic state convention there, too.
Obviously, folks here in Canada need to be far less snooty about how well-behaved and dignified we are with our politics compared to the USA, because obviously we are getting as bad as they are. We had something similar happening yesterday in Ottawa, except this took place not in some convention hall, but in the House of Commons. And the guy who was elbowing people wasn’t some underling, it wasn’t some overzealous campaign supporter. It was the Prime Minister of Canada.
You think maybe Stephen Harper wasn’t so bad after all? This would never have happened if he was still in charge.
Anyway, it’s fair to say we have never seen this before in Canada — at least, not outside of a hockey arena or wrestling ring. And the bloom is definitely off the Justin Trudeau rose now. He’s had his honeymoon period with the public with his rock-star treatment and people wanting to take “selfies” with him and all that, but this incident puts a screeching halt to all his momentum.
In other political news, there will be no prosecution of Senator Pamela Wallin. I guess that entire Senate expenses scandal was much ado about nothing, then? What a waste of time that all turned out to be. Anyway, enough about these jokers in Ottawa.
On to other news in the world and as usual, the world news is bad.
An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo carrying 66 people has apparently gone down, and the worry is this could be terrorism, again.
If that doesn’t put you off the idea of flying, this surely will: insane lineups for security at Chicago airports.
Hours of waiting, people missing their connecting flights; it really is a disgrace. A video went viral about the lineup at Midway airport there and it gives you an idea of what it is like for frustrated travellers. It doesn’t sound like flying to and from the Windy City is going to be much fun this summer. Time to cross Chicago off the list of potential summer destinations.
And Venezuela is absolutely going to hell. Food shortages, economic chaos, a state of emergency imposed — it really is a mess down there that I need to follow more than I have lately.
Big news from TV news today: Canadian TV journalist and 60 Minutes star Morley Safer, just days after his retirement tribute was shown on TV, is dead, age 84.
Also, I mention this only because my brother worked on The New Addams Family with him, but actor Michael Roberds who played Uncle Fester on the TV show has died.
I guess I will end this edition with news from Qatar, and if you think it’s bad for women to get around various places in the Middle East with all the restrictions put on them, you should also know it is also getting really bad for single guys.
I am not making this up, folks: Qatar has put into place restrictions which bans bachelors from certain parks, malls and other places on certain days of the week. Only for families, they say.
Really?! Really!? I guess I’m not going to Qatar, then. Really, who makes the rules over there?
That is it! I now have four full days off to relax and hopefully forget about the news business for at least a little while. Happy Victoria Day long weekend, all you Canadians!
There has been a lot of breaking news on this day of News from Nowhere, so let’s get on with it.
First, the bad news. Prince has died. Age 57.
Yes, another musical legend has left us in what is turning into a really bad year of musical legends leaving us (David Bowie, Merle Haggard, etc.). And yet again, this is another one of these musicians from my time growing up in the Eighties who has died. I have almost the same reaction to this as to the death of Michael Jackson.
The two main things I will remember Prince for is (a) he ditched his name and wanted to be known by some weird symbol for a time (and was referred during that period as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”), and (b) ahem, he always seemed to be surrounded by women. In particular, among the amazing talented women he was associated with were Vanity (RIP) and Carmen Electra.
There had been stories this week that Prince was not well, there was that incident in which a plane had to make an emergency landing because he was so ill, and he had to be taken to a hospital? Apparently he was battling the flu for weeks. But no one expected this news. Anyway, RIP Prince.
On to happier news — happy for one person, at least. Here in Canada, the big decision came today in the trial against Mike Duffy, and he totally walked — beating 31 charges in total. This is yet another total defeat and total humiliation for prosecutors in Ontario, far worse than what happened with Ghomeshi.
So Duffy gets to go home free. I have no idea what to make of the entire Senate expenses scandal now, based on this. I guess we were all wrong about Duffy and about the Senate. He must be a good guy after all, having worked so hard on behalf of the people of Canada.
So why did everyone raise so much heck about Duffy’s expenses and about his PEI residency qualifications in the first place, then, if what he did wasn’t criminal (according to this judge’s ruling)? One word sums it up: Politics. This was all about getting rid of Harper, nothing more. And as everyone has noticed and has pointed out already, media interest in the Duffy trial went straight downhill right after Justin Trudeau won the election. Anyway, this is definitely the end of this story.
In other news from Canada, this country is going to pot. Legalization coming.
In the USA this week came the big announcement that Harriet Tubman is the woman chosen to go on the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson. This is all in the name of progress, and too bad for Andrew Jackson.
Of course, here in Canada we are way more progressive than these Americans. We’ve had women on our currency for years — namely, Queen Elizabeth II, who is now age 90.
Finally, the world is freaking out over the recent deadly earthquakes in Japan and in Ecuador, and people are worrying this could soon mean earthquakes in other places — such as the Pacific Northwest! Aargh!
With that, I will call it a day.
(Pictured: a photo I took of Tom Mulcair in Saskatoon for the News-Optimist when the provincial NDP were choosing a leader in 2013.)
I bring you News from Nowhere today on what has been a tumultuous weekend for the federal New Democrats in Canada.
They held their national convention in Edmonton and earlier today delegates voted 52 to 48 percent for a leadership convention. That means Tom Mulcair is going to be done as leader, though he says he will stay on until his replacement is chosen (the convention could be held anytime in the next two years).
This is nothing short of a stunning result and a total repudiation of Mulcair’s leadership. But it is also not surprising given how badly the NDP did in last fall’s election. Honestly, Mulcair should have stepped down long before this convention, then he could have had a graceful exit and spared himself this humiliation. But no, he decided to stay on. Well, he won’t be able to now.
In another stunner, the convention also endorsed a motion to study their controversial hard-left LEAP Manifesto at the riding level, which is pretty much seen as a victory for the LEAP Manifesto supporters. That manifesto endorses moving away from fossil fuels, among other things, which is something nobody in the oil or energy industry in the West is going to endorse. Few people in Saskatchewan or Alberta are going to like this. Good luck on keeping seats in either province, now, NDP.
In other news, the vote to adjourn the convention carried unanimously, which is not surprising because the delegates likely could not wait to get out of there. It’s hard to imagine any of them coming out of Edmonton enthusiastic or excited about the party or its prospects. What an implosion that was, folks, that was on display there.
May I add that this has been a rough time for the NDP lately. They just got blown out again in Saskatchewan’s election and they look like they will be violently hurled from power in Manitoba, by Brian Pallister and the Tories, next week. All in all, it is no fun to be an NDP supporter today. The NDP comes out of Edmonton looking ready for a long dry spell in the political wilderness in Canada, and the big winners from this weekend? The federal Liberals. Obviously.
So that’s that for federal political news. On to other news, now:
The big news story of the week was about the leak of the Panama Papers which exposed all the people stuffing their money in offshore trusts to avoid paying taxes! That has caused a big brouhaha and the political fallout has been immense.
Just this week the prime minister of Iceland stepped aside over funds he had stashed in these offshore trusts. As well, it was revealed UK Prime Minister David Cameron had holdings in his father’s offshore fund as well, and the calls were on for him to resign, too. He won’t, but it has been a bad week for him regardless, politically. I would say he is far from out of the woods.
In other news Belgium authorities say they have IDed the “man in the hat” spotted with suicide bombers at the Brussels airport.
In other Europe news, the EU may soon require visas for Canadians and Americans, which is just going to be more needless bureaucracy the world doesn’t need.
I notice Bruce Springsteen cancelled a concert in North Carolina over their controversial LGBT laws.
Also, I find this funny but Bill O’Reilly recently had a vacation in Cuba. He went on the “Factor” to talk about it and he made it sound like it was a lousy trip, the service at his “five star” hotel was substandard and he didn’t get fresh towels. My guess is O’Reilly won’t be going back to Cuba again on vacation any time soon.
I think that’s it — now, time to watch Masters golf coverage.
Welcome to what will be a fairly short News from Nowhere — although honestly it is going to seem more like “Bad News Roundup” given the bad news going on in the world.
First of all, this Easter saw a horrific terror attack in a public park in Lahore, Pakistan in which some 70 people were killed. It just never ends, anywhere in the world.
Then just today, in Washington D.C. at the visitor center at the Capitol, a suspect pulled a gun and was shot by police. That put the White House in lockdown for a time.
In Toronto, the mourning is on for former Mayor Rob Ford who lies in repose at City Hall.
In supermodel news Janice Dickinson has announced she has breast cancer.
Ahem. Remember how President Barack Obama was trying to open doors to Cuba? Seems Fidel Castro has some thoughts of his own, and none too complimentary, either.
In other news, the governor of Georgia is vetoing a controversial “religious liberty” bill.
Other US politics news: Democrats held their “Western Saturday” contests on the weekend and Bernie Sanders is not going away. He swept Alaska, Washington and Hawaii. But Sanders is still way behind Hillary Clinton in delegates.
On that happy note, I think I’d better call it quits.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Monday “Leap Day”. I guess everyone is still settling down after the big Oscar telecast last night.
As I had threatened, I didn’t bother to watch most of the first part of the show — instead, I followed much of the reaction on Twitter. A far better way to follow this borefest, in my opinion, though I did tune in to the last hour on TV. It sounds like this was actually the most watchable Oscar show in years, believe it or not, mainly because host Chris Rock took everyone down a notch and put an end to the usual self-congratulation we have come to expect from the Academy. When he called Hollywood “sorority racist,” he nailed it exactly.
Also, the entire night was helped by some big surprises, as Spotlight took Best Picture and Sylvester Stallone failed to win Best Supporting Actor to the shock of everyone. So in general, it was probably a more interesting show than usual, even though it went on way too long. Again.
In other news — we are on the eve of Super Tuesday, the slate of primaries impacting a large number of states and with a large number of delegates at stake. Based simply on what happened Saturday in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton should pretty much have the Democratic nomination all wrapped up as of tomorrow. Bernie Sanders really is sinking fast, and the South clearly has no use for him.
As for the Republicans, it looks like a near sweep is possible for Donald Trump, with Texas likely a holdout for Ted Cruz. And the endorsements have been rolling in for Trump. Among the latest endorsing him: David Duke of the KKK!
Well, that has proved to be yet another farce. Trump’s clumsy attempt to disavow Duke’s dubious endorsement has proven to be yet another controversy for his circus act of a campaign.
It’s stuff like this that would usually sink other people. It’s this sort of thing that makes it mind-boggling that Trump is actually ahead with voters. Yet it is also pretty obvious why Trump is winning. Nobody is speaking up for the blue collar workers in American politics anymore, and most definitely, not in the Republican Party! These blue-collar folks are being hit and socked by plant closures and jobs being shipped abroad. The trade deficit issue is real, and so is homeland security and ISIS. But the only GOP candidate even bothering to really give lip service to their issues is Trump, even though his general approach is just plain nuts.
Many commentators are already talking about how American politics is undergoing a realignment, with the old left-right divide giving way to some sort of populists-versus-the elites dynamic which Trump is capitalizing on. Peggy Noonan wrote something for the Wall Street Journal about it called Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected. Also, Laura Ingraham wrote a piece about how the traditional Republican leaders have for years ignored what the Republican voters really wanted.
All in all, it sounds as if the pundits have gotten a very early start on the analysis of Super Tuesday. The results are not even in yet! Anyway, we should be in for an interesting night tomorrow.
TSN TradeCentre was a bust! Very little happened at the NHL trade deadline today, so we were reduced to seeing Martin Biron firing T-shirt cannons at Jennifer Hedger. Surely, an all time low for TradeCentre.
In other NHL news, people north of the border are already starting to freak out of the prospect that no Canadian teams will make it to the NHL playoffs, and what this shocking turn of events will mean for NHL rights holder Rogers. (Answer: it means more people will tune in to “Rogers Blue Jays Baseball” instead, come April.)
In other sports, last week was the first Entry Draft for something called the Global Poker League, and you can read more about it here. Basically, it’s poker turned into a team sport, with a number of franchises all around the world.
People are touting this concept as something that will spark the next “Poker Boom,” but to me the whole idea sounds crazy. I watched some of this GPL Entry Draft on Twitch last week, and the selections by some of these “franchises” were insane. I’ve literally never heard of many of these people. And also, from what I read at least one big name, Antonio Esfandiari, unexpectedly decided to opt out of the whole thing entirely! In any event, we shall see how this concept all turns out. At the very least, these “games” will prove ready filler programming on sports TV channels — particularly in Canada with none of their NHL teams in the playoffs.
News from TV news! Gord Martineau retired today as anchor of Citytv Toronto! This all happened rather suddenly. So another name from my time living in Toronto has departed the scene.
And George Kennedy missed out on being in the “In Memoriam” segment of the Oscar show by one day. The former Airport and Naked Gun actor died today.
That is it for now.
Welcome to this edition of News from Nowhere where we count down the hours to the poll closing on Saturday in South Carolina (for the Republicans) and Nevada (for the Democrats).
Polls show Bernie Sanders closing in on Hillary in Nevada. On the GOP side, as usual it is Donald Trump with an enormous lead, even though I notice there is a new NBC News poll out suggesting the national lead belongs to Ted Cruz(!).
Meanwhile, the story of today on the Republican side is that Gov. Nikki Haley has endorsed Marco Rubio, much to the shock of the Jeb Bush campaign who thought Haley would endorse him! This, my friends, is a staggering blow to the Bush sinking ship. I gotta say, if Bush doesn’t put in a decent showing against Rubio in South Carolina, this could very well be it for him. His own supporters seem to getting especially nervous about what is going on in the race nationally, with the Donald still winning despite all his lunatic ranting and raving. Another Bush loss, and they all could bail out on him.
As for Hillary Clinton, she is clearly getting more and more desperate. I notice she recently rolled out Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright to try and shame their fellow women into voting for Clinton.
I guess coming up with compelling and exciting policies for Americans to get behind is too much for the Hillary campaign. Maybe she should try that instead.
So that whole race goes on. I notice there are a couple of GOP town halls going tonight. I think I’ll watch hockey, instead.
In other news:
The Grammys were a glitch-fest, highlighted by Taylor Swift taking Kanye West down a notch.
In magazine news, the new, redesigned, safe-for-work Playboy magazine is out and it is terrible! Not only is the nudity gone but worse yet, they also got rid of the cartoons!
In fact Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner has spoken out about the changes at Playboy and has denounced the current management, basically saying “what the hell are they doing!?” Good on Cooper for telling it like it is.
In other magazine news, Sports Illustrated will have three different covers on their swimsuit issue and one of them is Ronda Rousey, who this week went on Ellen to say that she almost committed suicide after her UFC title loss to Holly Holm.
I dunno. Honestly, I think the public is really getting sick of Ronda Rousey. Not only is she in SI, but she was on Saturday Night Live as well. All this publicity for a woman who no longer has the title! People are tired of her hype, and if she doesn’t get back to training soon instead of doing all this other stuff she’s doing, she’ll stay the non-champ.
As for the rest of sports, the reality of the NFL off-season has hit us all. This weekend, breaking the monotony is the Daytona 500.
But if you want your offseason NFL fix, I notice the American sports talk hosts are still ranting about how Cam Newton blew off the press and sulked off in that Super Bowl post-game press conference after losing to the Broncos. I guess these folks on the radio don’t know what else to talk about.
That is all I feel like talking about for now.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Tuesday, and as usual I am once again watching the live continuing coverage of the US presidential campaign on my iPad. This is my life, folks, this is what passes for entertainment in my household at the moment.
As I write this, I am watching a live feed of Donald Trump campaigning in Ames, Iowa. I guess the big news is he is getting a big endorsement from none other than Sarah Palin herself tonight. So the ultimate “rogue” candidate for Vice-President is endorsing this year’s “rogue.” Makes sense to me.
I will say this about Trump: I may not agree with his policies and his rhetoric, he really is the “intolerance” candidate as I said before, but I agree with some of what he is saying — like whenever he says “America is going to hell.”
And you know what? He’s right! Just look at what is going on down there with their politics! It’s all this hate-mongering. Of course, you also have people shooting at each other, there, too. America is really a mess. So yeah, Trump’s right, but it is his proposed “solutions” that leave me shaking my head in disbelief.
Anyway, here is the News from Nowhere.
First, there is the news about President Obama and Iran. I guess Republicans consider this bad news and proof the world is going to hell.
It is not just America going to hell. Tennis is going to hell. The sport is embroiled in a match-fixing scandal. This is bad, bad news.
The Academy Awards are going to hell. Their nominations came out and the acting nominations are lily-white, as usual. No wonder African American folks are upset and boycotting — they are underrepresented both in the nominations and in the movie business in general. They have every right to be mad.
The Canadian economy is going to hell. The dollar is sinking and the oil industry is a mess, and people are out of work everywhere. Opposition leader Rona Ambrose is begging and pleading for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do something about the situation. Also, the Conservative leadership vote is officially set for next May and Kevin O’Leary is thinking of running.
And terrorism in Burkina Faso has claimed the lives of Canadians — six of them.
Canadian journalism is going to hell. But this is nothing new. Just today, Postmedia cut 90 newspaper jobs by merging newsrooms in four cities. Good luck trying to gain more readers with a decision like that. The “race towards mediocrity” continues for the media business in Canada, thanks to all these layoffs. And all of us notice that the quality of the finished product is really suffering.
This is the type of news which makes people still in journalism in Canada want to quit the business, or better yet, leave the country. Maybe it’s time to move to China and cover the economic problems there. Come to think of it, maybe not.
In other journalism news, Al Jazeera America is shutting down. Honestly, though, few Americans were watching.
It is a bad time for music. Glenn Frey of the Eagles is dead. This follows on the heels of news that another big legend, David Bowie, is dead. And Celine Dion lost both her husband Rene Angelil and her brother Daniel within days. Wow. Tragedy.
I guess I haven’t been on the media bandwagon about El Chapo getting recaptured or about the interview Sean Penn did with him for Rolling Stone which helped landed him back in captivity in the first place. Anyway, this has been a huge story.
Also, I haven’t seen Making a Murderer on Netflix so I can’t comment on the recent controversy about whether the filmmakers left stuff out in their account of accused killer Steven Avery. For the record, Nancy Grace is convinced this guy is guilty, but a lot of viewers of this show seem to disagree.
Finally, I should point out this past weekend was a cold and miserable one here on Canada’s prairies with wind chills below minus 40! It’s been terrible!
Is there any good news out there? Just this — Canadian Mike Watson won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event.
Happy dead of winter, folks. That is all.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Wednesday, and if it seems like I have been miserable here lately, well, wouldn’t you be? In my case, I am coming off a relaxing month of December in which I was able to get a number of days off. Believe me, I needed it.
Now here it is, January, and I am back to covering the news in this frozen and desolate place Saskatchewan. And the news has been depressing beyond belief.
Among the main stories around here this week: a drunk driving crash north of Saskatoon in which a whole family was wiped out.
Obviously, this story has really started this week on a down note for everyone. So if I have been coming across as cranky and miserable here lately, I think this explains it. Well, that, and my vacation being over.
Other major stories in the news:
Canada didn’t do so well at the World Juniors this year in Finland.
A fed up President Barack Obama has announced executive action on guns.
Our friends in North Korea are once again doing their part to make the world a better and more stable place by testing a hydrogen bomb. Thanks for nothing, guys.
Here at home, the winter weather is still unusually mild for this time of year, as this monster El Niño continues to rage on.
More uplifting news now. The new Baywatch movie continues to take shape and gorgeous model Kelly Rohrbach has been cast as CJ Parker, the legendary role Pamela Anderson made famous in her red swimsuit on TV. And honestly it is an absolute no-win situation for anyone else taking that role on, simply because the previous actress was such a legendary sex symbol of the 90s era. (Sorry, Kelly, but you’re no Pam Anderson.)
In UFC 195 Robbie Lawler decisioned Carlos Condit in what was an epic welterweight title fight.
And here is a story I found interesting — it is about which states are getting the biggest influx of people. It turns out Oregon topped the list of states people were moving to.
Which is interesting, because by coincidence I know someone here in the city who left her local TV job here to move to — surprise, surprise — Oregon.
Their list of top 10 states really didn’t surprise me much — the Pacific Northwest, the Carolinas and sunbelt places like Florida and Texas were all bound to be there.
As for the states people were moving out of, it was mainly the usual suspects in the Northeast again — New Jersey, New York, etc. etc. All these states with the high taxes and the big regulations, and the big costs of living. New York City may seem like an exciting place, but there are far better places to live in the USA with lower taxes and much better weather.
I don’t have my mind on the news much at all at the moment, I am sort of focused on other things, but I do have a few updates to share today.
First, the San Bernardino mass-murder shooting is looking worse by the day. Now it is being reported that the female attacker had pledged herself to ISIS.
In South Africa, their appeals court has convicted Oscar Pistorius of murder.
In sports Ross Atkins is the new Blue Jays GM.
In entertainment, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots is dead.
I suppose I could also mention the Pirelli calendar, but everyone else has mentioned it already anyway.
That is it for now.
Just wanted to get this News from Nowhere post out of the way with all the news I really care about in the world today.
First, the big Fox Business GOP debate goes tonight. Hence, this picture of an elephant with stars on it. This event ought to be make or break for the usual people (ie. Jeb Bush). Hope this debate goes better than that other debate did on the other business channel.
Second, the belief is it was a bomb that caused that Russian airliner to go down in Egypt.
Third, this is a big time for news about Russia. The latest thing that this country is in trouble over is their doping of athletes for the Olympics.
In poker, the WSOP Main Event is now down to three people: Joe McKeehen, Neil Blumenfield and Josh Beckley. Cards in the air tonight at 6pm Pacific time in Las Vegas. Live updates here.
(Update: McKeehen won. He collects a cool $7.7 million dollars for his effort.)
And in junior hockey news, the Flint Firebirds have embarrassed not just themselves but also the entire OHL and CHL. The entire team quit the other day, because the team owner fired the entire coaching staff because his son didn’t get enough ice time!
This is the sort of meddling worthy of a Pee Wee or Atom level hockey team, but this is supposed to be the OHL!! Embarrassing.
I guess the situation there is resolved now, but not before delivering a big black eye to junior hockey, something it doesn’t need.
That’s it for me, later tonight I head off to the Civic Centre for the Battlefords versus Melfort in the SJHL.
Welcome to an Election Eve edition of News from Nowhere. Yes, like most people I am glad the election is coming to a close tomorrow, because finally I might be able to relax a little afterwards.
It increasingly looks like Canada could be in store for a change in government tomorrow with Justin Trudeau and the Liberals ahead in most of the major polls. Of course, election polls have become increasingly unreliable as the folks in the UK found out, and as folks in Israel also found out during their election.
But I do believe there is an undercurrent out there. All these latest Liberal TV ads seem to be doing a number of the Conservatives. The latest one featuring Hazel McCallion was particularly funny. “Stephen, do I look scared to you?”
Beyond that, voters just seem fed up with Stephen Harper and the Tories, and it’s all because of their style of government. It seems like people think this government is all about “politics” and “partisanship”, and about getting every political advantage for themselves over their opponents.
What boggles my mind is that this Conservative government has a pretty good record on a lot of things. They have kept taxes low, have finally balanced the books and done a far better job in managing the economy than any other Western democracy did during this Great Recession. And they’ve taken principled stands against ISIS, and against the Russians on the Ukraine.
People ought to be hailing the Tories as heroes! But they aren’t, and as I said before, it’s because people don’t like Harper’s style and don’t like the way the Conservatives play politics. And of course, there’s the Senate and what has gone on there. Still, it boggles the mind that Trudeau is promising to run deficits and that people now say they support that, after spending years harping on Harper over deficits.
Also, a lot of newspaper endorsements seem to be endorsing the Tories, but I question whether they will sway voters at all, because all those newspaper endorsements did nothing to save Jim Prentice in Alberta’s election this year.
Anyway, that is my read on the situation. I am convinced we are going to get “Prime Minister Trudeau” on Monday — at least a minority government, maybe a majority if the NDP freefall gets to be any worse than it is. But we’ll see.
Here is my last local election story before the vote. I’ll be busy Monday night with election coverage but I might post something at this blog when I get a chance to.
Also, might I add there seems to be a new political party running in the election called “the CBC”. Lots of lawn signs popping up that say they support the CBC.
Other news from the world:
Most of the news this week is from the Unfun States of America, which continues its war on fun at a fast clip.
Just this week, Nevada announced a ban on unlicensed Daily Fantasy Sports sites in their state – FanDuel, DraftKings etc. – and you won’t guess why. The reason? Because they consider these to be gambling sites.
Folks, you read it right. Nevada is cracking down on gambling.
Honestly, this makes absolutely no sense. The world keeps getting stranger.
In other strange news, here’s more on the fallout from that wacky decision by Playboy this week to drop the nudity in their magazine. It continues to provoke reaction. Former Playmate of the Year Jenny McCarthy, a woman not known for being bashful, declared this week she would be willing to do the last nude pictorial in Playboy ever.
However, McCarthy won’t be the last in any event, because many of Playboy’s international editions are not going along with this move. Among the editions who say they are keeping the nudity are Germany, the Netherlands, Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico.
Mexico?! Time to go there, clearly, as there is no fun to be had anymore in the Uptight States of America.
Lost in the shuffle is news that Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke was named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive. Of course, Clarke is not known for being bashful, either, appearing on that notoriously scantily-clad HBO show.
In other magazine news, it sounds like Maxim is having problems, they are doing a redesign again and have cut their base rate. Clearly, desperation moves such as putting guys on the cover aren’t working over there.
They’ve apparently gone back to doing covers with gorgeous women such as the stylish and sexy Lea Seydoux. That’s more like it.
Speaking of desperate times, here’s another story about another iconic American brand: McDonald’s. Lots of worry from the franchisees about the brand being in “terminal decline” and this being the “end of days”. And so on.
That’s funny — everyone I talk to around here doesn’t believe McDonald’s is in trouble for one second, because they are everywhere.
But Woolworth’s used to be everywhere, too. So if it could happen to Woolworth’s it could happen to anyone, including McDonald’s.
I do think there are probably too many McDonald’s. Also, the general perception in the USA is that their food is just too unhealthy, and that has caught up to them. They need to do something different, for sure. The way America is going, the edict from head office could come soon to eliminate all hamburgers from the menu! Bye bye, Big Mac.
I’m joking, I think.
In other USA news, everyone is wondering whether or not Joe Biden is ever going to make a decision on whether to run for President. That decision could come soon. Or not.
And the sad news of the week was about former NBA player Lamar Odom who was found unconscious and was in a coma, but now seems to be improving.
That is it for the moment.