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Devion's Views #173

                WELCOME TO 2019 (posted Jan. 6, 2019)

            Every New Year begins with the handoff of an ancient timepiece

At the stroke of midnight every December 31st, a battered old man turns the hourglass upside down. With trembling hands, he gently places it into the tiny up stretched palms of a newborn.

His task is to carry it for 12 months, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds and then pass it on.

The exhausted elder is glad to be rid of it, for 2018 brought much more bad than good to the planet.

The innocent child stares at the strange object, watching the first grains of coloured sand trickle through the narrow opening, not yet understanding that each one of the 31,536,000 grains represents one moment in the passage of time that will bring unpredictable events.

The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920 - H.L. Mencken

"As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron."

                                     ...and so, it came to pass

On Christmas Eve, 2018, the mad Emperor tweeted from his bedroom...

"I am alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point, the Democrats, not wanting to make a deal, will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!"

Update for the uninformed or unconcerned:

During the presidential campaign, the rookie candidate promised his rabid followers a great Trump border wall to keep out the invading hordes of Aliens, adding "and Mexico will pay for the wall!".

Trumps great wall has been estimated to cost between $22-25 billion USD, plus annual maintenance costs.

Former Mexican President, Enrique Fox, fired back, using an appropriate, obscene word of early 16th century Germanic origin, to clearly express the attitude of Mexicans, telling the delusional Emperor what he could do to himself.

Doubling down on the promise to his base, he pivoted, suggesting Americans would gladly pay for the wall.

Americans quickly responded with "No way Jose, Trump!"

No Democrats, and only a handful of 'fearful' Republicans supported the Emperor's nonsensical notion.

In a fit of frustrated peek, the Emperor declared he was shutting down the government at midnight, December 22nd. 

Foregoing his monthly golf vacation and New Years Eve festivities at his Mar-a-Lago resort, as a gesture of a personal sacrifice for the nation, the angry man-child spent the holiday season holed up at the White House stewing and passing the time watching himself on television, phoning advisers and tapping out furious tweets castigating the Democrats for opposing his border wall.

All of which made him crazier, more determined and dangerous.

The "situation" now rose to the level of a classic political 'Mexican standoff'.

What is a Mexican standoff?

A Mexican standoff is a confrontation amongst three or more parties in which no strategy exists that allows any party to achieve victory. As a result, all participants need to maintain the strategic tension, which remains unresolved until some outside event makes it possible to resolve it.

WHAT - THE APPRENTICE...take seven

WHERE: Washington, D.C. - Chaos Central

WHEN: The present

WHO: The three most powerful politicians in the 'Divided States of America'

WHY: To resolve the standoff and avoid a national disaster with international implications.

Donald: "I want my wall"

Nancy: "We're not going to give you your wall!"

Donald: "OK, then I will keep the government shut down for weeks, months, even years!"

Nancy: "Go ahead"

Donald: "I will, I really will...and it's my decision"

Nancy: "Yes it is, and remember what Chuck said...you will own it"

Donald: "Yes, but it will be your fault"

Nancy: "No, it won't"

Donald: "Yes it will, yes it will"

Nancy: "We have you owning it, on tape"

Donald: "OK, have it your way, until you give me my wall, the government stays shut down"

10 minutes later

Donald: "Mitch, it's me, your President and Commander in Chief. I want you to meet with Pelosi and fix this, pronto. I can't deal with this woman. Who the hell does she think she is?"

Mitch: "Yes, Mr. President. I'll get right on it"

24 hours later

Mitch: "Mr. President, Nancy and I met as you requested. We have worked out a compromise that will enable us to reopen the government"

Donald: "Fantastic, send it over and I'll sign it"

Mitch: (to himself) Geez, I hope he just signs it and doesn't read it.

4 hours later

Donald: (having quickly skimmed the document) ""What the hell Mitch, there's funding in there to keep the government running for a few months, some extra money for border security, but where the hell are the billions for my wall?"

Mitch: "Mr. President, the way we now have to work with the Democrats is in a spirit of compromise. We give them something, they give us something. Remember, they control the House. This compromise proposal is what will work to reopen the government"

Donald: "I don't give a rat's ass about the government, I want my wall"

Mitch: "Mr. President, with respect, the government cannot be interminably shut down. Hundred of thousands of government workers are not being paid. Some are protesting by calling in sick, people who run our airports. This compromise will buy us time to work on the Dems to get more money for your wall. Please sir, leave it to me, sign the document" 

Donald: (face turning from orange to red/purple) "I'm the President damnit, not you McConnell, and your President wants his wall. You and Nancy can shove your compromise up your X%##&KK...I will not sign"

Mitch: (pleading) "But sir, please understand things have changed. We no longer control all four branches of government. We now have to negotiate with the Democratic leadership to get stuff done"

Donald: (shouting) "The loss was all your fault. You and Ryan. You're both losers. I like winners. If I don't get my wall money...splutter, splutter....uh, uh...wait for it.....I will close the Mexican border"

Mitch: (sighing deeply, almost weeping) "Mr. President, please don't do that. On top of the government shutdown that would be a catastrophe. I will get a bipartisan committee together, work all weekend, and if we can get an agreement on say a $5 billion downpayment for your wall, would you sign?"

Donald: "Do it, but don't call me back until you have good news"

Mitch: "Yes sir, thank you sir" (and to himself) I'm too old for this shit, it's making me crazy...like him.

Any bets? Who will blink first, capitulate and resolve another standoff in the mad Emperor's wild and crazy America?

                   MEANWHILE...IN THE GREAT WHITE NORTH

The year began with Mother Nature bookending the country with more warnings.

Record rain on the Wet Coast, mountains of snow on the Rock and wacky weather in between. Constant reminders to everyone that climate change is a real and present danger and over time our greatest threat.

If you remember when Pierre Trudeau was reelected Prime Minister, he smiled at the TV camera's and said "Welcome to the 1980's"...you're getting old.

This year, his son faces the electorate for another run at the country's top political job.

There is growing discontent across the land providing his opponents amunition to defeat him.

However, Andrew (Mr. Smiles), Jagmeet (I need a seat), Elizabeth (party of only  one elected), and malcontent, Max (no party at all), are unlikely to convince voters they have the answers.

It's clear the biggest challenge facing the Prime Minister will come from provincial premiers.

If Justin wins, will he be cheeky enough to utter "Welcome to the 2020's"

If only two 'critical issues' (that are costing all Canadians billions of dollars every year) could be resolved, it could end as a very good year for Canada.

They are:

1) The self-inflicted trade barriers, within our own borders.

2) Getting our most valuable natural resources to market, across provincial barriers.

This will only happen if our provincial/federal leaders drop their petty jurisdictional jealousies, bureaucratic gridlock and political indecision.

Does the current elected crop have the guts, fortitude and courage, risking their own reelection, to make the tough, ofttimes unpopular decisions that can benefit the nation as a whole?

I remain skeptical.

Ron Devion, No Guts, No Glory