Monday, September 30 Commentary
The fact that Egypt continues to hold two Canadians in jail without accusing them of anything is repulsive....made all the more so when their detention was extended.
Doctor Tarek Loubani and filmmaker John Grayson have been behind bars for 45 days now and on the weekend, the prosecutor decided to hold them for another 45 days without charge. The conditions in those prison are horrible. The two men say they've been beaten. They've been on a hunger strike for two weeks and they are said to be in poor health.
For whatever reason, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stayed publicly silent on this case...allowing his Foreign Affairs minister to carry the ball in conversations with his Egyptian counterpart.
After hearing of the additional 45 day extension, the Prime Minister's Office issued a statement last night demanding Egypt release the two men in the absence of charges. The statement offers no explanation of what, if anything, the Prime Minister intends to do about it.
Justin Podur, is a friend of John Greyson and Tarek Loubani. He was on NewsTalk 1010's Moore in the Morning about 20 minutes ago.
Podur says the Egyptian government has been very erratic in this matter....acting irrationally and vindictively.
PAN AM GAMES
The GTA's 2015 Pan Am Games were on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's hit list yesterday on NewsTalk 1010's The City. It's because of some of the piddly expense claims of the CEO Ian Troop and the CFO Barb Anderson.
Troop billed taxpayers 91 cents for parking...6 dollars and 45 cents for water....on a salary of more than 4-hundred-77-thousand dollars a year.
Barb Anderson ...on a 3-hundred-7-thousand dollar a year salary billed for two teas from Starbucks...a dollar-89 each cup.
Mayor Ford is livid. He's already sent an email to the city's auditor-general to audit the books
That was the Mayor yesterday. But let's take you back to May 11th of last year, Ford fresh back from the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara.
He was making a bold promise those days.
If you listen to the Pan Am people, the Games are on time and the capital budget is 50-million dollars under budget so do we want to quibble over 91 cents for parking or a dollar-89 for tea at Starbucks. Yes. Yes we do because in the face of those tiny little amounts, you have to wonder where else have things gone astray?
There was a brawl downtown overnight.
It was around 3:30. There were two groups of people in separate vehicles in an argument in the Spadina-College area. The verbal barrage was stepped up...the individuals poured out of their vehicles and got into a fight. One had a baseball bat.
Two people were injured seriously enough that EMS took them to hospital by ambulance. One is said to be in critical condition.
No word yet on charges.
US GOV'T SHUTDOWN
Just when it looked as though the American economy was about to grow wings, a political standoff in Washington which threatens to frighten off investors and slow economic growth....actions which would have a negative impact on our economy.
The current budget year ends at midnight and Congress has yet to approve departmental budgets. If nothing is passed in time, roughly one-third of the U.S. government would shutdown first thing in the morning. 8-hundred-thousand employees sent home with no pay. Essential services such as the military, air traffic controls, border patrol, Social Security and Medicare would continue.
In the near-term this won't affect the economy unless it lasts for two weeks or more.
The last time this political brinksmanship occurred was two years ago...when it was resolved just a few hours before the deadline. That dispute was followed by a credit downgrade by Standard and Poor's, which in turn, sparked a 6-hundred-35-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average the very next day.
It's all over Obamacare....CBS reporter Bob Fuss says Tea-Party Republicans are leading the charge in Congress to get that health care law killed.
To make matters worse, there's another political crisis looming later this month over Obama's demand that Congress raise the federal borrowing cap. If that's not resolved, it could be a disaster because the government would not have enough money to pay it's bills and it would be immediately required to cut spending by 32 percent. Failure to pay would cause a tidal wave of trouble right through the American economy and likely the global economy.