Down on the Farm: GOP, Dems duel in Iowa over cutting the pork

Watch that ad (above). It’s from Joni Ernst as she was campaigning in the Republican primary in Iowa for the right to be on the ticket in November in Iowa’s senate election. Turns out, Ernst’s experience with castrating hogs was good enough for Iowa voters who gave her a runaway victory earlier this week.

But she’s not in the U.S. Senate yet (and in fact, Iowa has never sent a woman to the U.S. Senate). First, she’s got to beat the Democrat, Bruce Braley. Braley is not a hog farmer. He’s a “populist” trial lawyer. Within hours of Ernst’s primary win, Braley’s team had an attack ad out aimed at Ernst’s claim that she knows how to cut the “Washington pork”. Here it is … Continue reading Down on the Farm: GOP, Dems duel in Iowa over cutting the pork

How about a U.S. President from Calgary?


His name is Ted Cruz. He’s the freshman Senator from Texas. He was born in Canada. And here’s one of the most well-connected journalists when it comes to reporting on Republicans saying he could be running for president:

Cruz isn’t worried that his birth certificate will be a problem. Though he was born in Canada, he and his advisers are confident that they could win any legal battle over his eligibility. Cruz’s mother was a U.S. citizen when he was born, and he considers himself to be a natural-born citizen.

As Cruz considers a run, his staff keeps adding new speaking appearances to his calendar. This week, he’ll headline the South Carolina GOP’s Silver Elephant dinner; in late May, he’ll speak to Wall Street heavies at the New York GOP’s annual dinner.

Earlier this year, Cruz gave the keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he was greeted with a raucous reception and praised by Sarah Palin. She touted Cruz as a conservative who “chews barbed wire and spits out rust.”

via Cruz 2016 | National Review Online.

An article in The Atlantic has some important information about how Cruz might get around that legal battle involving his Canadian citizenship:

 In short, the Constitution says that the president must be a natural-born citizen. “The weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion appears to support the notion that ‘natural born Citizen’ means one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship ‘at birth’ or ‘by birth,’ including any child born ‘in’ the United States, the children of United States citizens born abroad, and those born abroad of one citizen parents who has met U.S. residency requirements,” the CRS’s Jack Maskell wrote. So in short: Cruz is a citizen; Cruz is not naturalized; therefore Cruz is a natural-born citizen, and in any case his mother is a citizen. [Read the full piece which includes the legal opinion]

Wall to Obama: Approve that pipeline, Mr. President

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall sends a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama encouraging Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The letter, below, is signed by 10 U.S. governors but not, notably, by Alberta Premier Alison Redford.

Continue reading Wall to Obama: Approve that pipeline, Mr. President

Reaction to resolution of U.S. fiscal cliff drama

Late last night, the U.S. Congressed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Read more about that here.

Here’s a comment on that Act this morning from BMO Capital Markets economist Michael Gregory (my emphasis):

“The bottom line is that taxes will be going up for most Americans, ranging from a 2 percentage point increase in payroll taxes for all employees, to higher tax rates on ordinary income, capital gains and dividends for those making above $400k …[There are] more fiscal battles on the horizon. For now, however, we can relish in the fact that the fiscal cliff was averted, political compromise was achieved (yes, 85 of 236 House Republicans voted in favour), and America’s finances are starting to move to a firmer footing.”

Here’s Scotiabank’s Derek Holt and Dov Zigler in their morning note on yesterday’s theatrics in Washington: Continue reading Reaction to resolution of U.S. fiscal cliff drama

First, a prayer. Then some discussion about guns.

Still struggling to respond to the events Friday in Newtown, CT.

A politician — Alberta’s minister for municipal affairs Doug Griffiths — found the words that I could not yesterday to express what I was feeling and kudos to him that he managed to do it in a 140-character tweet.

So now what? Well, first, for me, a prayer for those grieving families.

And then, inevitably, we will start to talk about America and its relationship to guns. Continue reading First, a prayer. Then some discussion about guns.

Romney's excuses and Jindal's repudiation

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Politico reports that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, seen here in April, 2012, says Mitt Romney’s post-mortem on why the Republican’s lost to Obama is “absolutely wrong”. (AFP PHOTO / Karen Bleier)

The New York Times reports:

A week after losing the election to President Obama, Mitt Romney blamed his overwhelming electoral loss on what he said were big “gifts” that the president had bestowed on loyal Democratic constituencies, including young voters, African-Americans and Hispanics. Continue reading Romney's excuses and Jindal's repudiation

Harper congratulates Obama: Full statement

Here’s the statement just issued by Prime Minister Stephen Harper from New Delhi, India:


“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate President Barack Obama on his victory in tonight’s election and on being re-elected by the American people for a second term.

“Canada and the United States enjoy one of the closest and most extensive relationships in the world.

“Over the last four years, the President and I have worked on several important bilateral initiatives to generate jobs and growth in both our countries. This includes the Beyond the Border Action Plan, which will speed up trade and travel across our borders while also enhancing security.

We are also working together with other partners to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which seeks to boost trade in the Asia-Pacific region.

“I look forward to working with the Obama Administration over the next four years to

continue finding ways to increase trade and investment flows between our countries. This includes putting in place the transportation and security infrastructure necessary to take bilateral commercial relations to new heights and reducing red tape so companies on both sides of the border can create more jobs.”

“I also look forward to continuing to work with President Obama on pressing global economic issues as well as on security challenges, such as those in Iran and Syria.

“I would also like to congratulate all incoming and re-elected Members of Congress and Governors. Close cooperation between our two countries will be essential as we seek to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity over the coming months and years.”

Drezner says: Why the foreign policy debate is already ruined

Couldn’t agree more with Tufts University international politics scholar Daniel Drezner who argues the U.S. presidential foreign policy debate is already ruined since two-third of the debate will be devoted to the Middle East and none of it will be devoted to American’s international trade or foreign economic policy.

Now I get that some of these topics won’t come up in a foreign policy debate that lasts only 90 minutes.  But I’m also thinking that maybe, just maybe, it would be a better foreign policy debate if they actually talked about, you know, SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE MIDDLE EAST!!!!!!

I’m not saying the Middle East isn’t important — we have lost blood and treasure there, some of it very recently.  But I simply do not believe that the region is so important that it should occupy 66.7% of a foreign policy debate

via Why the foreign policy debate is already ruined | Daniel W. Drezner.

I’d add that it looks like the topics have been selected to goose TV ratings rather than to explore issues that will be fundamental to the everyday lives of Americans on November 7. Most notably: $1 billion a day cross the U.S.-Canada border. Good? Bad? Could be better? Like to hear about that!



Candy Crowley was wrong. Here's why.

In the Saturday Night Live skit, above, that pokes fun at President Obama’s lousy performance in the first presidential debate, there is a point — at 4:24 into the clip — when a daydreaming Obama is interrupted by the moderator who asks: “Mr. President: Governor Romney has has just said that he killed Osama bin Laden. Would you care to respond?”

That, in my view, is exactly how a debate moderator should respond when the moderator perceives a blatant falsehood has been put forward by a candidate. Simply ask the other candidate to respond. Continue reading Candy Crowley was wrong. Here's why.