It started as a joke.
It’s still a joke, but nobody’s laughing anymore.
Donald J. Trump famously entered the U.S. Republican race back in June by riding a down escalator. C’mon, a down escalator? What better symbol of failure than a down escalator? Everybody had a good laugh, and went about seriously dissecting the ‘real’ candidates like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush and John Kasich and Chris Christie and Rand Paul and even Ben Carson.
Now, nine months later, only three remain: the moderate (by Republican standards) Kasich; the immoderate, rabidly right-wing Cruz; and the guy on the down escalator.
After this week, with Trump winning primaries in Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Florida, Trump added another 204 delegates, bringing him to 695, more than half-way to the 1,237 needed to secure the nomination. He even won —and won big — in Florida, forcing ‘Little Marco’ Rubio to call it quits, despite spending $55 million on advertising. The one non-Trump winner was Kasich, who prevailed in his home state of Ohio, keeping him in the race, albeit at a distance.
The Republican establishment is in full panic mode now. Like Dr. Frankenstein, the party has created a monster they can’t control. Trump, ever the gracious winner, said any efforts to stop him at the convention could result in “riots”, adding “I’m representing a tremendous, many, many millions of people”. Trump is calling the shots now, so much so that when he pulled out of the last scheduled debate, Fox just cancelled the whole thing, just the way they would if Gordon Ramsay quit Hell’s Kitchen (or Master Chef, or Master Chef Junior, or Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, or Hotel Hell). The only way to stop Trump now is to hope that he doesn’t earn enough delegates in the primaries to win outright (which seems likely), heading into a ‘brokered’ convention in Cleveland. According to Republican rules, after the first vote, the delegates are free to vote for whomever they want. This could create a chaotic free-for-all, which would tear the Republican party apart. With any luck, anyway.
The next big day is Tuesday, with 107 delegates at stake in three contests.
If you think Canadian prisoners are coddled, this story will blow your mind!
Sorry for the click bait. I couldn’t resist.
Remember Anders Behring Breivik? Probably not. But people in Norway sure do.
Back in 2011, Breivik committed the single worst mass murder in history. After planting a bomb in downtown Oslo that killed eight people, he proceeded to a Norwegian Labor Party youth retreat on the island of Utoya where he killed 69 mostly young people. Norway believes in rehabilitation, so he was sentenced to a mere 21 years in prison. He’s in solitary confinement, but he lives better than a lot of Norwegians. According to the New York Times, “He lives in a three-room suite with windows, about 340 square feet, that includes a treadmill, a fridge, a DVD player, a Sony PlayStation and a desk with a typewriter. He has been taking distance-learning courses at his country’s main university. He has access to television, radio and newspapers. He prepares his own food, and he entered the Christmas gingerbread-house baking contest at his prison.” No word on whether he won.
Not exactly hard time. But Breivik still isn’t happy. He says the solitary confinement is a violation of his human rights, so he’s suing the government. When he entered the court for a hearing, he performed a snappy Nazi salute. That grinding sound you hear is the sound of millions or Norwegian teeth gnashing together.
Pardon our French’s
The community of Leamington, Ont. was devastated when ketchup-maker Heinz shut down its operations there in 2014, leaving 740 people without jobs and leaving Ontario tomatoes to whither on the vine. French’s, sensing an opportunity, began buying Leamington tomatoes for its own ketchup brand, which is bottled in the US.
Brian Fernandez, a construction worker from Orillia, Ont., noticed the gesture, posted a vow on Facebook to quit Heinz in favour of French’s. The post went viral – 43,000 people shared it within a day (who knows why) — and the media took notice.
Incredibly, Loblaws (Superstore is its best known brand here) announced Monday it was dropping French’s because of low sales, even though French’s says its sales were up 400% in Canada. By Tuesday, facing consumer outrage, Loblaws knuckled under and welcomed French’s back. Later, a leaked memo from Loblaws indicated that French’s was cannibalizing business from President’s Choice ketchup.
So French’s get millions in free advertising, Loblaws gets a smallish black eye, and Canadians have found a ketchup we can use with pride. Is French’s ketchup any good? I have no idea, and I probably never will. I doubt my wife will allow it in the door.
A Calgary NDP MLA gave the finger to a fellow MLA. Things only got worse after that.
Calgary-Hawkwood MLA Michael Connolly gave the finger to Wildrose MLA Angela Pitt in the Legislature last week. When asked about it by the deputy speaker, he denied making the gesture and instead said he was throwing his hand in the air. That was lie no. 1. But the sergeant-of-arms saw him make the gesture, so he was caught red fingered. On Tuesday, while entering the legislature, he was asked by reporters about the incident — and he again denied doing it. That was lie no. 2.
But in the legislature, a suddenly contrite Connolly made a statement: “My actions were not befitting of this chamber and the dignity herein. When this matter was raised at the time, I sought to minimize the matter instead of taking full responsibility. To be clear, my actions were not acceptable, and my apology and explanation were not good enough.”
He was then forced to go outside the chamber and repeat his apology to the same reporters he had lied to moments before. It’s moments like this that contribute to the results of a poll later in the week that revealed that most Albertans think the NDP government will be a one-term wonder. Hey, Alberta, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.
Gary Lefebvre, 71, longtime Edmonton Eskimo/Montreal Alouettes punter and receiver from 1966-76. Lefebvre won two Grey Cups, one with Montreal where he had an abbreviated, injury plagued two years, and a second with the Eskimos … Frank Sinatra, Jr., 71, son of Old Blue Eyes. An accomplished singer and arranger in his own right, Frank Jr. could never escape the shadow of his old man. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack while on tour … Sylvia Anderson, 88, a creative force of the old Thunderbirds puppet show from the 1960s. She was also the voice of Lady Penelope, for those of you old enough to remember … Leilani Muir, 71, the first person to file a successful lawsuit against the Alberta government for wrongful sterilization under the Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta. Yes, there really was such a thing … Keith Emerson, 71, English progressive rock and rock keyboardist (Emerson, Lake and Palmer).