The Trudeau government made good on one of its election promises this week. Whether it was a good decision remains to be seen.
As promised, Trudeau is pulling our fighter jets out of the international bombing mission that is kicking the crap out of ISIS. Trudeau has never fully explained why we would pull out, other than it’s not “the Canadian way”, a.k.a. “the Liberal Party way”. Instead, we’re going to train anti-ISIS fighters, and put a lot more boots on the ground. We will continue to assist in the air war, but only in a support capacity. The decision to end the bombing mission seems like one of those promises parties make during an election campaign to differentiate themselves from the other parties. They are often made with little thought (see: NDP, Alberta) when it looks like you’re not going to win, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your promise. This, too, is the “Canadian way”. The Postmedia papers have been relentlessly negative on the new plan, but when it got the backing from the Pentagon, that bit of news went unreported.
The Jian Ghomeshi trial ended this week, and if you believe the media coverage, Ghomeshi is going to be back on the dating scene pretty soon. The consensus amongst the media covering the trial is that it was a bit of a fiasco for the Crown, and the Toronto police. All three complainants were demolished on the stand; at least according to the National Post’s star trial blowhard Christie Blatchford. For example, from the Blatchford “report” on the trial: ” … it’s now apparent he case was built upon the self-serving and carefully edited allegations of dishonest complainants, two of whom have been colluding and gleefully anticipating Ghomeshi’s ruination …” This is what passes for reporting in the new era of Postmedia. I suspect part of the National Post’s consistently pro-Ghomeshi reporting is because the Toronto Star broke the Ghomeshi story, and they would love nothing better than to discredit the Star.
On the interminable U.S. election campaign, they finally got down to some actual voting this week with the New Hampshire primary. New Hampshire is, apparently, a state. Who knew? It has about 1.3 million residents, making it the 42nd largest state and basically inconsequential — except at election time. Being the first state to hold a primary (New Hampshire law demands that the state will always be the first to hold a primary), it serves as the first litmus test for presidential campaigns. On Tuesday, Donald Trump easily won on the Republican side with 35% of the vote, as expected. Less expected was the second place finisher, a previously third-tier candidate named John Kasich, who has made little impression so far because he seems reasonable and moderate, two traits not found in Republican candidates. The vile Ted Cruz finished third, and the dead man walking, Jeb Bush, finished fourth. Marco ‘Mr. Roboto’ Rubio, after his impressive performance in Iowa, finished fifth. The New Hampshire results ended the delusions of Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, who both pulled the plug. On the Democrat side, crazy old man Bernie Sanders continued to rock the boat, whumping Hillary Clinton. Interestingly, Clinton can’t even depend on female voters. Despite being the on the verge of being the first female presidential candidate, New Hampshire women were unimpressed. Sanders won 53% of the female vote compared to Clinton’s 46%, according to exit polls. Among young women, Sanders’ numbers were even higher: 69% of Democratic women under 45 backed him in the primary, a statistic which includes 82% of female primary voters under the age of 30. I’m still certain that Clinton will rebound and win the nomination easily — and by November will be the president-elect — but Sanders is going to be a very large fly in the ointment for some time.
RIP: Dan Hicks, 74, musician best known for his band Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. One of his song titles was the classic How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away .. Edgar Mitchell, 85, sixth man on the moon … Xymena-Zaniewska-Chwedczuk, 91, Polish scenographer, architect and fashion designer. I have no idea who this guy (girl?) is, but I love the name.