Posts Tagged ‘Kevin McCarthy’

Letter From New York 10 19 15 Refugees, Politics and Canadian politics

October 19, 2015

Canadian voting. Stephen Harper. Justin Trudeau. Liberal Democrat. Pierre Elliot Trudeau. George W. Bush. Jeb Bush. Donald Trump. Benghazi Committee. Trey Gowdy. Kevin McCarthy. Hillary Clinton. Howard Bloom Saves the Universe. Domestic abuse. Joe Biden.

The drive at the cottage is scattered with leaves, even though it was thoroughly cleaned forty-eight hours ago. THE BATTLE OF THE LEAVES has begun. Sweeping out the drive today, I left them all behind and road the rails down to the city.

It was the first really chill day of the season; it was only 21 degrees when I checked the weather app this morning. I came into the city not sure whether I would stay in the city tonight or not but now think I will.

I have to be back tomorrow evening and am not feeling like a round trip.

Stupidly, I locked myself out of my own home today. In changing jackets, I took the keys out of the one I decided not to wear and failed to put them in the pocket of the jacket I decided to wear and left them on the table by the door.

While I am typing this, Canadians are voting for Members of Parliament and the results will determine whether Stephen Harper will continue to lead Canada or whether the baton will pass to Justin Trudeau, son of the late Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who headed Canada for a very long time.

Harper is a Conservative and Trudeau is a Liberal Democrat. The collapse of oil prices have stressed the Canadian economy and recent polls have the two running neck and neck.

I’m very fond of Canada after having spent a fair amount of time there in my college years and have watched Canadian politics with some interest. Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

The Canadian election season has gone on for an enormously long time, for Canadians. It began on August 4th.

Tomorrow will see many refugees continue their struggle to reach Western Europe. Cold weather is setting in and many of them were walking through cold rain today.

While the refugees strive to get across Europe, and Canadians decide their future, Jeb and the Donald are sniping about each other. Donald is declaring Bush was responsible for 9/11; Jeb is denying it, saying his brother kept us safe.

Some journalists are asking Jeb exactly what he means by safe? While there were no more 9/11 attacks, W. did invade Iraq and ignored Afghanistan. We have a broken Iraq and Afghanistan lingers. IS rose from the ashes of Iraq. Syria broke apart. Thousands of American soldiers have died and thousands more have been badly scarred.

I have no confidence that Trump can do the job of President but his lack of self- control has asked questions that might need to be asked of a Bush who has indicated he would bring back much of his brother’s team as advisers.

Hillary did well in the debate, according to almost everyone. But her numbers remain flat.

Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina runs the Committee that is investigating Benghazi and is having trouble keeping his colleagues in line.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who has dropped out of the race to be Speaker of the House, opened his mouth and inserted his foot, giving the impression that the Committee was politically motivated.

As has Representative Richard Hanna of New York also indicated on a talk show recently.

Oh my!

Some key Democrats are suggesting it is not a good idea for Biden to enter the race; he keeps us guessing. Though rumors are swirling tonight he will run and soon.

While writing this I have been at a taping of the podcast, “Howard Bloom Saves the Universe,” where there has been a fascinating conversation about the nature of domestic abuse. Powerful.

Get it next week on iTunes.

Letter From New York 10 08 15 From Minneapolis…

October 8, 2015

Speaker of the House. Kunduz. Doctors Without Borders. Russia. Iran. Obama. Putin. Rupert Murdoch and “real blackness.” Paul Prudhomme. Spencer Stone. Sepp Blatter. Svetlana Alexievich.

Letter From New York originates in Minneapolis today, where the sun burst through the sky and it was charming this morning, warm after a light rain last night. But, alas, now the sun has slipped behind dark clouds and rain is threatening.

Tonight I will be having dinner with Jean Cronin Olson, who once, very long ago was a student of mine and in the intervening years, for the most part, we have kept in touch and often when I am in Minneapolis we gather for coffee and a long chat. Tonight it’s dinner at her home with her husband Jon and whatever of her four children will be about.

The idea that my students have adult children is very sobering to me.

Sobering to the Republican Party was the unexpected announcement that Kevin McCarthy, widely thought to be the man who would replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House, was withdrawing his name from consideration. Apparently, he, like Boehner, doesn’t want to content with the forty or so hard to the right, Tea Party Republicans who think they should be running the show.

By all accounts, it’s all rather mad and according to the Washington Post, very much like Neflix’s political drama, “House of Cards.” Now who will be playing Francis Underwood in this real life drama?

President Obama phoned Dr. Joanne Liu, the head of Doctors Without Borders and offered an apology for the bombing of their hospital in Kunduz. At least thirty-three workers are dead. She has acknowledged she “received” the apology but there is no indication that she has accepted it. She wants an independent investigation of the incident.

Russia has been firing missiles from ships in the Caspian Sea at targets in Syria. Four of them fell short and landed in rural Iran. I wonder what the Ayatollah thinks about that?

Putin turned 63 and celebrated with a lot of hockey themed events. He and his staff played against a team of professional Russian players. Not so shockingly in today’s Russia, Putin’s team won! Imagine that! And Putin got a gold medal for the most successful shots. Amazing! Is there nothing this man can’t do brilliantly?

He is, in fact, if not in title, Tsar Vladimir of Russia. But let us not forget the brutal end of the last real Tsar. Nicholas II and his family ended in front of a firing squad.

Rupert Murdoch is one of the “Tsars” of global media. He has become infatuated with Ben Carson and tweeted that he wondered what it would be like to have a “real” black President. Rupert has since apologized. As he should.

In the 1990’s the great television gathering called NATPE [National Association of Television Programming Executives] met one year in Las Vegas and the following year in New Orleans. On one of the New Orleans’ excursions I met Paul Prudhomme, the Cajun chef, who passed away today after at short illness at 75. He shot around his restaurant on an electric scooter. He was near his heaviest at the time, weighing well over 550 pounds. It was a good meal.

Spencer Stone, who helped stop a massacre on a French train a few weeks ago, was stabbed in Sacramento early this morning after leaving a nightclub. Seriously wounded, he is expected to survive.

Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA, has been suspended. So have a few other senior officials. One wonders who is running the place though one has wondered that even when they were there.

And finally, Svetlana Alexeivich, a writer from Belarus, has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She tells history through the voices of people who lived it. Hats off.

Soon it is time for me to go and get ready for dinner. May yours be good.