Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Who Would Replace Him?

There's lots of talk these days about Justin Trudeau resigning. Michael Harris writes:

With Trudeau having notched three electoral victories since 2015, nobody is going to push him out — at least not yet. After all, with a handsome face and a famous name, he took the Liberals from political oblivion to a majority government in 2015. But confronted with his own deepening unpopularity, will Trudeau himself step down?

That is what the summer of 2024 is all about — whether Trudeau will take a walk in the sand, as his father famously took one in the snow before resigning. Will Justin decide that for the good of the party, it’s time to make room for a new leader?
There is every reason for the PM to feel conflicted. Trudeau prides himself on his toughness. Remember how everyone thought that Sen. Patrick Brazeau would knock the stuffing out of him in their boxing match? It would be personally difficult for Trudeau to walk away from a fight with a man for whom he has so little respect, a man whose values mirror those of Stephen Harper.

There is precedent for resigning for the good of the party:

After nine years in power, for the good of that same party, all signs point to the wisdom of a Trudeau resignation sometime this year. That way, the new PM would have a chance to showcase his abilities before heading into an election in 2025.

The Liberal house is on fire, and the task at hand is to save as much of the furniture as possible. Trudeau must decide if he is the one to do that at a time when he personally trails both Poilievre and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in the polls.

The bottom line here? Justin Trudeau is not nearly as bad as his detractors claim, often in personal and reprehensible ways. But politics is not Sunday school. Perception, not reality, governs the game. Messaging and narratives, rather than the facts, ultimately carry the day.

Once the electorate sours on a leader, as the evidence shows it has on Trudeau, all faults are amplified and all accomplishments largely ignored. We have all but reached the anybody-but-Trudeau point in national politics, thanks to a relentless personal attack on the PM that goes well beyond policy differences and politics.

Who would replace him? Dominic Leblanc's and Mark Carney's names are being bruited about. But nothing will happen until Trudeau resigns.

Image: CTV News

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Who He Is

You know a man by the company he keeps. Consider this from Althia Raj:

Perhaps Poilievre thought he had little to risk when he decided to stop and say hello to an encampment at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, where a group of citizens, surrounded by weathered Canadian and “F— Trudeau” flags, was protesting the carbon levy.

In videos made by the protesters and circulated on social media, you can see Poilievre come out of a trailer with the flag of Diagolon — a far-right, white nationalist group described as “extremist” by the U.S. State Department — drawn on the side.

Poilievre may not have known what he was walking into when he stopped for a sunset visit. (In 2022, after he was criticized for posing for a handshake photo with Diagolon’s founder Jeremy MacKenzie, he complained to police the group had discussed sexually assaulting his wife, Anaida Poilievre, on a podcast.)

But after arriving on site, speaking to demonstrators, and seeing their symbols, Poilievre assured them that, “Everyone is happy with what you’re doing.”

This kind of stuff isn't new:

It recalled moments during the Conservative leadership race when former Quebec premier Jean Charest tore into Poilievre’s support for the so-called “Freedom Convoy.”

“You cannot make laws and break laws, and then say, ‘I will make laws for other people.’ I’m sorry, but that is a question of basic foundation of principles in my life,” he told Poilievre.

Charest was loudly booed. But he likely represented a mainstream view. You can believe the Liberal government went too far with mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, or oppose its use as a divisive wedge during the last campaign, but supporting a group that takes over the capital’s downtown, shuts down businesses, and puts thousands of people out of work so the protesters can party in the streets, intimidate residents, and blast truck horns at all hours of the night for weeks, is not something that should be tolerated, let alone encouraged or celebrated by political leaders.

Poilievre and his followers are telling us who they are.

Caveat emptor.

Image: Press Progress

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

An Intergenerational Battle


A battle is brewing between Canada's generations. Max Fawcett writes:

Young Canadians can be forgiven for being a bit confused by the latest federal budget. For the first time in their lives, they’re looking at a budget that explicitly tries to cater to their needs and interests — and listening to politicians fighting for their votes. If their growing political power wasn’t apparent to them before, it should be now.

As Generation Squeeze noted in its analysis, “Never before has the Government of Canada formally acknowledged that hard work isn’t paying off for younger Canadians today the way it did for previous generations. Budget 2024 labels this sad reality as the starting point for a new economic framework to achieve ‘Fairness for Every Generation.’” At long last, young Canadians are getting their moment in the political sun.

The problem is that the budget doesn't do enough:

While the Liberal budget does more to address intergenerational inequality for younger people than any in Canadian history, it still doesn’t do nearly enough. According to Generation Squeeze, Budget 2024 increases spending for Old Age Security by $31 billion and sends an additional $17 billion toward health care, which is used disproportionately by those over 65. But it only allocates $2 billion towards housing, with an additional $8 billion for measures aimed at building a clean economy. The intergenerational balance is still badly skewed, in other words.

It may yet get worse, too. As more boomers exit the workforce and the ratio of working-age residents to retirees continues to decline from the high of seven-to-one in the 1970s to just three-to-one today, the pressure on today’s taxpayers will only continue to grow. Young Canadians are paying the price for the failure of previous generations to properly plan for this demographic inevitability, and it’s one the Conservative Party of Canada seems determined to ignore. As Generation Squeeze’s analysis concluded, “Any party promising to balance the budget easily without tax increases or gutting spending on retirees ignores this hard truth.”

The result seems to be that no one is happy:

Derek Holt, the vice-president and head of capital markets at Scotiabank, went even further than that. “[Justin] Trudeau and [Chrystia] Freeland are ripping off Canada’s youth who will be the ones left to face the bills for many years to come,” he wrote in a recent column in the Globe and Mail, one of many he’s written of late attacking the government. “It’s an insult to portray such a budget as being in the best interests of Canada’s youth who have fled from the Liberals in droves.”

The bigger insult, though, is older Canadians using the supposed long-term well-being of young people as a stalking horse for their own near-term self-interest. Conservatives have been doing this for decades, of course, talking up the risks associated with deficits and debts while studiously ignoring the ever-expanding price tag associated with climate change.

How will this be resolved? I confess I don't know.

Image: Quote Fancy

Sunday, April 21, 2024

It's About Over-Extraction

The Liberals say that their budget is about restoring generational fairness. Some economists say that the problem is over-extraction. Evan Dyer writes:

"Income matters less than it used to. Access to secure housing matters so much more," said Paul Kershaw, a professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health and founder of the group Generation Squeeze, which lobbies for what it calls "intergenerational equity."

Kershaw said his own Vancouver home is an example of how real estate consolidates wealth.

"I've gained about a million and a half in wealth in the last 20 years while I've been watching TV, cleaning in the kitchen and sleeping," he said. "And that's coming at the expense of a younger person being able to be just as smart as me, just as hardworking as me, but who now can't live where I do."

Kershaw said he's seen his students struggle "to get the degrees that are necessary to compete for jobs that don't pay as much as in the past. And then they face home prices that are up to a staggering level, which means they have to pay more for rent because they're locked out of ownership.

Kershaw said the housing shortage is just one example of "over-extraction" by the boomer generation.

"Climate change reflects the over-extraction of the atmosphere's ability to absorb carbon," he said. "We've done that over the last many decades. Now the legacy is extreme weather for those who follow in our footsteps."

Many young people are despondent about environmental degradation and climate change. Those fears are compounded by anxiety about their own economic futures.

"The third example of over-extraction," Kershaw told CBC News "is over-extraction of the revenue produced from economic growth.

"The fastest-growing part of the federal budget is spending on Old Age Security. The second-fastest part is the Canada Health Transfer, half of which goes to the 20 per cent of the population that's over 65."

Back in the 1950's Ayn Rand wrote a little book entitled Selfishness As A Virtue. By the early 1980's policy makers began to build in economic incentives based on her ideas. We are living in a world Rand helped to create. It will take a while to reverse what has happened over the last forty years.

But one thing is for certain: If the young buy what Pierre Poilievre is selling, they'll get more of the same.

Image: Radio Canada

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

In The Gutter

Craig Wallace writes that you can't run a country on outrage and insults. But that, apparently, is what Pierre Poilievre intends to do. Wallace writes:

If recent polls remain the same, sometime between now and October 2025 Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) Leader Pierre Poilievre will become Canada’s next prime minister.

If the CPC does take power, it will be interesting to see what type of government they will be.

Certainly it is hard to tell, as to date they appear to have no plan as to how they will govern. They have released no policies on climate change outside of opposing the current carbon tax and vowing to eliminate it. What would they replace it with, or do they even believe in climate change? The CPC won’t say. They denounce the current state of the Canadian military, however they refuse to outline their own plan on how to rebuild our armed forces. What will they do with taxes? Who knows?

One area we know a CPC government will continue to embrace is anger and an utter lack of class and decorum. For example, on April 4 veteran New Democratic Party MP Charlie Angus announced he will not seek re-election in the next federal election after more than 20 years in Parliament. For the record, I rarely agreed with Mr. Angus’s politics, but I greatly admired his support for the First Nations and his outstanding ability to represent his constituents. (In 2006 the Toronto Star selected him as one of the 10 top opposition MPs and in 2012 Macleans magazine voted him as one of the 25 most influential Canadians.)

So how did Poilievre react to this news? On X (previously known as Twitter) Poilievre tweeted, “Charlie Angus jumps ship rather than face voters after he voted to hike the carbon tax and ban the hunting rifles of Northern Ontarians. Common sense Conservatives will axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget, stop the crime — and let you keep your hunting rifle.”

That's Poilievre in a nutshell: no class and no grace. But he's not the only one:

Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie commented “I’d like to thank the member for Timmins-James Bay for relieving us of our misery and announcing his resignation. Thank you so much; I truly appreciate that. You know, we’re all gonna really miss him on this side of the House. Not!”

Conservative leaders used to be statesmen:

Conservative leaders were not always this crass. Here in Ontario in the last 70 years we saw highly successful, dignified premiers in Leslie Frost, John Robarts and Bill Davis. All of them were policy driven, made decisions based on objective evidence and logic and behaved in classy, dignified ways.

Federally in my life time, while not as successful as the Ontario premiers, Conservative Party leaders Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark stood out for their decency and well thought out detailed policy alternatives. Recently deceased Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney was renowned for his kindness and class. People from all over the political spectrum spoke about how Mulroney reached out to them when they were in a time of need. One wonders why Poilievre and his party feel it is necessary to behave as uncouth boors so much of the time.

Today's Conservatives live in the gutter.

Image: Justin Tang/Canadian Press

Monday, April 15, 2024

Today's The Day

Today's the day Donald Trump goes to criminal court. Jennifer Rubin writes:

The day has finally arrived for the historic trial in Manhattan of Donald Trump on charges of falsifying business documents. The case concerns Trump’s scheme to conceal embarrassing information from voters in the 2016 election. Derided as a “rump” case, or “trivial,” it actually may be the most consequential of the four criminal cases facing the former president.

“This is the case that reflects the efforts Trump went through to influence the 2016 election — and it worked. He won the election,” says Karen Friedman Agnifilo, who worked for decades in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. “And he only won by a slim margin of fewer than 80,000 votes in three swing states.” Trump sought to buy off two women who said they had sexual encounters with him (Trump denies that) because he not unreasonably feared he would lose if, in the wake of the Access Hollywood tape, these allegations came out.

Some people claim that the case is a storm in a teacup. Not so, writes Rubin:

If you doubt the importance of this case, consider an alternate history: Trump never silenced these women, Hillary Clinton won, three right-wing justices did not get appointed, Roe v. Wade remained law, and Trump never had the chance to attempt a coup in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Much depended on the facts set out in the indictment.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has not changed his theory of the case. What’s changed is the slow realization among commentators that the case revolves around allegations that, if proven true in court, will amount to Trump’s first — and only successful attempt — to use deception and illegal means to gain power.

To begin, we can never prove that “but for” the payoff scheme Trump would have lost. Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe tells me, “It’s inherent in the nature of things and the limits of human knowledge that one can never demonstrate with certainty how history would have unfolded had one or another pivotal event, including an obviously crucial deception of tens of millions of people who hadn’t yet come to expect the worst of Mr. Trump, not occurred.”

But if any crime in pursuit of office would be deemed the decisive event in 2016 and beyond, Tribe said, “the felonies charged by Alvin Bragg in the New York prosecution that is about to unfold in real time qualify for that designation.”

In sum, the case that begins today is not frivolous, minor or particularly prurient. To the contrary, the first trial of a former president has grave importance as a means of holding Trump accountable for the scheme that lifted him to power. It marks the first instance of Trump maneuvering to win an election through deception. To boot, a multi-count felony conviction might result in prison time. That may explain why Trump has been so desperate to delay it.

Exactly. This is the case that set the whole sad saga off. We await a decision.

Image: The Washington Post

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Idiocy -- Pure And Simple

Arizona women are now living with an anti-abortion law that was passed in 1864, before they had the right to vote. Dana Milbank writes:

Trump accurately boasts that “I was able to kill Roe v. Wade” and “I was proudly the person responsible.” As a result of his achievement, conservatives on Arizona’s Supreme Court, freed by Roe’s demise, resurrected on Tuesday an 1864 law that bans nearly all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, from the moment of conception. Trump invited just such Wild West jurisprudence the day before when he said abortion policy should be left “up to the states.” Now, Arizona has restored women’s health care to an era when bloodletting and mercury pills were the standard of care and patients had limbs sawed off without anesthesia.

During the same week Trump took credit for what happened in Arizona, he compared himself to Nelson Mandela:

After all, the similarities are uncanny!

Mandela led the African National Congress. Trump led white nationalists to attack Congress.

Mandela did 18 years of hard labor on Robben Island. Trump made the hard decisions for 14 seasons on “The Apprentice.”

Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de Klerk for abolishing apartheid. Trump won both the Club Championship trophy and Senior Club Championship trophy at Trump International Golf Club.

Mandela built the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to heal South Africa. Trump built Truth Social after he got kicked off of Twitter.

You get the point. This is sheer idiocy.

Image: CBC

Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Dumbest

 Max Fawcett writes that Doug Ford is dumbing down Ontario:

At an announcement for a new medical school at York University, Ford suggested that he wanted to get rid of all the province’s international post-secondary students. It does not appear to have occurred to Ford that those students currently make up 18 per cent of the student body at Ontario’s colleges and universities or that they’ve helped keep these institutions afloat after Ford’s government cut tuition by 10 per cent in 2019 and kept it frozen there ever since. “I’m not being mean, but I’m taking care of our students, our kids first,” he said. “I want 100 per cent of Ontario students going to these universities.”

This is the sort of narrow-minded parochialism you might expect from Quebec’s government, not Ontario’s. But then, even describing Ford’s remarks as parochial gives them credit they don’t deserve since it presumes he’s at least thought about the issues at play for more than a few seconds. As The Canadian Press reported, “Ford then lamented the fact that some kids and parents have said some Ontario students study abroad and then do not return home after they meet someone.”

That’s right: Ford is willing to risk bankrupting his province’s post-secondary institutions because sometimes people leave Ontario to study and don’t return. And while Ford will walk this back in due course, it’s just the latest demonstration of his monumental intellectual shortcomings that are turning the province he governs into a second-rate echo of its former self.

Ford takes the same position when it comes to housing:

Nowhere is that more apparent than on the housing front, where Ford’s enthusiasm for building housing quickly evaporated after it became clear he couldn’t use it to enrich developers and other friends and donors. First, he made it clear he wasn’t about to allow municipalities to build fourplexes as a right, in part because he doesn’t even seem to understand what a fourplex is. “You go in the little communities and start putting up four-storey, six-storey, eight-storey buildings right deep into the communities, there's going to be a lot of shouting and screaming. That's a massive mistake.”

An even bigger mistake would be turning down the federal government’s new offer of billions of dollars for housing simply because you don’t want to meet their conditions, but that’s exactly what Ford sounds like he'll do. Ford has tried to defend this indefensible decision on the basis that he won’t tell local governments what to do, but as David Moscrop pointed out in a piece for TVO, his government has done just that in issuing almost 10 times as many MZOs (minister’s zoning orders) since 2019 as the previous Liberal government did during its 15 years in power.

“The government has no problem meddling in municipal planning,” Moscrop wrote. “Its problem is that it hates urban density, preferring single-family homes and the occasional townhouse.” This is the height of self-defeating stupidity when you’re in the midst of a housing crisis, and it’s even dumber when the federal government is offering you billions of dollars to do the things your own housing affordability task force already recommended.

This week the Ford government announced that it would include nursing home rooms as new houses when counting the number of homes built. I don't know who is Canada's worst premier. But Ford gets my vote as the dumbest. 

Image: Toronto Life

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

A Weird, Weird World

Fifty years ago, Louis Armstrong had a big hit singing "What A Wonderful World." That song doesn't characterize the world we live in. Susan Riley writes:

Anyone looking for evidence that we live in a post-policy, post-fact, increasingly incoherent political moment only needs to look at the war against the federal carbon tax. It isn’t just that it appears to be succeeding; worse, it is drowning out serious conversations about climate change and other urgent issues.

It is a case study in how politics works now: how ambitious attempts—or claims, if you prefer—to improve the economy and life of Canadians become a bludgeon, or an albatross, in a war for political power.

Facts support the tax:

Fact one: the tax, as has been amply documented, contributes less than one per cent to the national inflation rate, which itself has been steadily declining. It is expected to reach the Bank of Canada’s preferred two per cent level this year. And, as is repeatedly noted, some 80 per cent of households that pay the carbon tax get a quarterly rebate—the Canada carbon rebate—which more than compensates for increased costs at the pump or for home heating.

Less well-advertised fact: according to one recent study from the independent Canada Climate Institute, the carbon tax on individual consumption will lower greenhouse gas emissions from eight to 14 per cent in coming years—a modest gain, especially compared to the less visible levy on big industrial polluters. That one will be responsible for 20 to 48 per cent of reductions by 2030. However, the same report says both measures—and others, including levies on methane pollution, and a long-awaited cap on oilsands emissions—are required to reach a desired 50 per cent reduction by the end of the decade.

And, for those wondering, the institute says emissions have been on a downward trend since 2005, with a slight uptick last year. According to its analysis, Canada is on track to meet 90 cent of the current government’s emissions reduction target by 2030—which should be a useful fact to exploit. But why isn’t Justin Trudeau and his cabinet letting Canadians in on the secret?

Unfortunately, the Liberals have bungled the messaging:

The delivery of federal climate measures has been so bungled, so half-hearted, that the fact-free enemies of climate action—various conservative premiers, federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre—are winning the communications war. Poilievre’s schoolyard chants (Axe the Tax/Spike the Hike) drown out the clear-eyed consensus of some 300 “so-called experts”—prominent economists of all persuasions—who explained recently that the hated carbon tax is the least costly, most effective, way of pricing pollution, and, by extension, of moving consumers away from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives.

Initially, Ottawa hid the rebate in annual tax filings. Then it deposited it directly into bank accounts as the Canada Climate Initiative Payment—which probably left as many recipients puzzled as pleased. It finally hit upon the more accurate Canada Carbon Rebate, delivered at regular intervals, but it may be too late to penetrate the mesh of lies surrounding the mostly innocuous carbon tax.

No one wants facts. They spoil a good protest. 

Pierre Poilievre isn't the only one piling on the carbon tax:

While Poilievre has preferred rhyming couplets to impartial analysis, many premiers and other actors are feeding the bonfire of inanities so successfully stroked by Poilievre. They have bought into the lie, too—even though some, including Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, are on record as once touting a consumer carbon tax as the most effective way of reducing emissions. But public opinion has shifted, and so, apparently, have the facts. 

Not all premiers reject climate action outright; Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Manitoba are talking about producing their own climate plans that probably will not include a consumer tax—but, in the meantime, climate progress could be hard to discern through the wildfire smoke. 

That said, the federal Liberals cannot be accused—like the Conservatives—of not having a climate policy. They have one. It has several elements, all too wordy for an election placard: financial help for purchasers of new electric cars (which remain too expensive for many), some relief for those switching from oil and gas to heat pumps for home heating, public transit funding, and other niche offerings. But you need to act quickly while supplies last.

A popular green home-retrofit program, for example, which offered grants and low-cost loans to anyone intrepid enough to navigate the paperwork, was so popular it was halted last December. A new version, tailored to low-and-middle income earners, is in the works, but, meanwhile, installers and homeowners have been left dangling.

The outlook isn't good -- for Canada and the planet.

Image: One Accounting

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Here Come The Nutbars

InfoWars nutbar Alex Jones has endorsed Pierre Poilievre. Emily Leedham writes:

Pierre Poilievre has earned a new admirer — conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Jones, who regularly promotes conspiracy theories and hateful rhetoric through his website InfoWars, took time during a recent broadcast to heap praise on Canada’s newly elected Conservative leader.

During an interview with John Birch Society Program Director Robert Owens, Jones identified Poilievre as one of the leaders of a “rising” global far-right movement that is challenging the “New World Order.”

According to Jones, those far-right leaders include Canada’s new Conservative leader as well as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Italian President Georgia Meloni.

“As negative as things are, we got Bolsonaro, we got Georgia Meloni in Italy, we got the new Canadian leader who’s set to beat Trudeau — who is totally anti-New World Order,” Jones said on his September 30 broadcast.

“You look all over the world, we are rising right now.”

Just what the world needs. Ask the Sandy Hook parents of the kids who were gunned down there. They are still chasing Jones to pay up on the judgment they were awarded for the lies he told about what happened there. 

Caveat emptor.

Image: Press Progress

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Climate Fools

Max Fawcett writes that Conservative climate policy is a joke:

There’s a growing irony in the carbon tax increase falling on April Fools’ Day every year, since it now offers an annual reminder of just what a joke the Conservative Party of Canada’s approach to climate change has become. As if to really underscore that point, former CPC environment and climate change critic Dan Albas shared a piece from a retired economics professor named Steve Ambler that seemed to question the science behind climate change. "If greenhouse gases are a problem,” it reads, “they’re a global problem. Canada can do nothing by itself to solve it.”

That “if” is a massive tell, but it’s hardly the only one in the piece. It also suggested, bizarrely, that a recent study shows “we should be subsidizing rather than taxing the use of fossil fuels” and trades in the obvious straw man that Canada is supposed to solve climate change on its own. What’s worse than these sloppy arguments is the fact they were published in The Hub, an online publication that’s generally regarded as the home of serious and sophisticated conservative thought in Canada. Its willingness to endorse what amounts to warmed over climate change denialism speaks to just how far the Conservative movement it supports has slipped since 2022 when Pierre Poilievre took over as leader.

Poilievre is a master of the glib phrase that fits well on a bumper sticker. But he's a threat to the planet as well as Canada:

We should instead be talking about what a Poilievre government would do here and what that could mean for our future. Might it eliminate the entire carbon pricing infrastructure, including the industrial pricing system that long predated the federal carbon tax and will do the heaviest lifting on Canada’s emissions? Might it even pressure provincial governments in Alberta and Ontario to repeal their own industrial carbon pricing systems?

That’s a very real possibility. And while it would thrill those within the Conservative base who helped elect Poilievre as leader, it would also put Canada at odds with the vast majority of our major trading partners at the very moment when they will be accelerating their investments in clean energy and decarbonization. In the process, we would surrender whatever control we might have had over the energy transition’s impact on our export-oriented economy. As University of Alberta economics professor Andrew Leach noted in his recent book, “There is no option for business-as-before. Our choice will increasingly become whether to act responsibly on our own initiative or have standards imposed on us by the rest of the world.”

One has to ask what planet are the Conservatives living on? And just how bright are they? Stupidity is a social disease. It spreads like syphilis and it eats human brains.

Image: National Observer

Monday, April 01, 2024

Holy, Holy, Holy


Donald Trump is hawking Bibles. Michael Harris writes:

It wasn’t cologne.  

It wasn’t those $399 Never Surrender gold high-top running shoes. 

It wasn’t a T-shirt featuring Teflon Don’s mugshot.  

It wasn’t even dubious steaks, or third-rate wine.  

It was the Bible. And Pastor Trump was making it available in Holy Week.

I doubt Mr. Trump has spent much time in its pages. But Donald's legal bills are piling up. And now that his daughter-in-large is in charge at the Republican National Committee, she's made it clear that any funds the organization raises will go first to pay those bills. But that will not be enough:

The quadruple-indicted presidential candidate, facing 88 felony counts, has exhibited his endlessly imaginative financial genius yet again. He has figured out a way to monetize God.  

Only one thing was missing from his greasy sales pitch. Anyone who really wants a Bible can go online and get one for free. Mind you, it won’t be endorsed by Pastor Trump.

No one should be surprised at Trump’s latest display of scuzzy fundraising for his favourite cause: himself.  

This is the guy who dipped into his own charity for personal expenditures, including money to buy his own portrait. The Donald J. Trump Foundation was closed down by court order in 2018. A year later, Trump was fined $2-million for misusing charitable donations.

This is the guy who had to fork over big bucks in damages after the Trump University fiasco. Trump University promised to teach students the “secrets of success” in real estate. Instead, the students were fleeced. A federal court finalized a cash award to the students of $25-million. Trump University is now defunct.

This is the guy who solicited money for his official legal defence fund after losing the 2020 election. It turned out that the fund never existed. But that didn’t stop his Save America political action committee from raking in millions of dollars by “hitting up” what Amanda Carpenter of the bulwark.com called Trump’s “gullible admirers.”

Mark Twain knew a lot about con men. He knew that the most successful among them posed as men of the cloth -- and that they became rich because, as he wrote in Huckleberry Finn, "the fools are the majority in any town."

Image: The Hill Times