Stuff Still Happens, week 34: More Donald Trump (sigh)

Sigh. I really didn’t want to write one more word about Donald Trump, but the guy just continues to astound.

Consider the past week. He told African-Americans – or “the blacks” as he once called them – that they live in poverty with horrible education and no home ownership. He told African American and Hispanics, “what the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance.” He also said that at the end of four years of Trump rule, he would get 95% of the African American vote. Right now, he is polling at 1%, so there is plenty of room for improvement. (This claim is so spectacularly stupid, that even his running mate, Mike Pence, couldn’t help laughing out loud when he heard it.) He is already claiming the election will be rigged, prepping his fanatical followers that when loses, it won’t be his fault. It was also revealed this week that the Republicans used party money to buy copies of his books to give away to delegates. And it was also revealed that the woman who wrote Melania’s infamous stolen speech to the convention was paid about $365 for her efforts, which is about $300 more than it was worth. In a desperate attempt to derail Hillary Clinton, Trump and his mouthpieces at Fox News are trying to sell the public that Clinton is seriously ill because he once had a concussion after fainting. She’s not strong enough to be president, Trump says. Oh, and she’s a racist. Yes, SHE’S a racist.

While this election is a joke or a tragedy, depending on your point of view, Hillary Clinton has troubles of her own, most related to the Clinton Foundation, the hugely wealthy charity set up by Slick Willie Clinton. Turns out, that well healed donors were sometimes given access to Hillary when she was secretary of state. This is a rather arcane so-called scandal, difficult to get your head around, but it is just another brick in the wall of questionable ethical decisions that surround Hillary. Clinton would have been vulnerable to defeat by a Republican challenger this year – except for the one they chose.

Smile for the camera!

The Trudeau government got a taste of small town cheap Canadian politics this week. Two ministers were revealed to have spent lavishly (by our standards) on limo rides and photographers. Health Minister Jane Phillpot spent $1,700 for a day of travelling around in Toronto and Hamilton. The car service just happened to be owned by a Liberal party donor. Compounding the matter, Phillpot at first denied using a “limousine service” because it wasn’t a limo, it was a Lexus. Oh, well, then it’s OK.

Later, a much more substantial petty problem arose when it was revealed that Environment Minister Catherine McKenna dished out $6,600 to a photographer to document every moment of her trip to the climate change conference in Paris. (Hey, Catherine. Fly me to Paris and I’ll take the pictures for free!) Of course, the Trudeau government is not the first to have a fetish for photos. Stephen Harper had a video crew follow him around all day for an online site the documented his various boring comings and goings. But six grand for a photographer, and for pictures that will not be seen by more than maybe a dozen people? The Trudeau government is image conscious, to say the least, and chances are 100 per cent that we will hear many, many more cases of egotistical ministers spending on self-promotion. In the grand scheme of things, this incidents should hardly merit a squib in the paper, but it’s often the little things that give governments the biggest headaches.


Toots Thielmans, 94, the world’s preeminent jazz harmonica player. That’s Toot your hear on the haunting theme to the movie Midnight Cowboy, and that’s also Toots you hear on the Sesame Street theme … Steven Hill, 94, who played DA Adam Shiff on Law and Order.



By Maurice Tougas

Maurice Tougas is a lifelong Albertan, award-winning writer and reporter, and a former MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark.

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