USA-Canada News

Statement by the Prime Minister on the launch of Christmas Lights Across Canada

December 5, 2018
Ottawa, Ontario

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the launch of the 34th edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada, which will run in Canada’s Capital Region until January 7, 2019:

“Tonight, Canadians will gather on Parliament Hill to take part in the official illumination ceremony for the 2018 edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada.

“Every night for the next month, thousands of Christmas lights will shine in Canadian capitals from coast to coast to coast – reminding us that light will always win out, even on the darkest winter nights.

“The Christmas holidays bring neighbours together and connect loved ones near and far. But while we look forward to the traditions that come with the season, the holidays can be a difficult time for some families. Let’s do what we can to support people in need in our communities. Let’s also honour Canadian Armed Forces members who are spending the holidays away from home.

“As the holiday season kicks off and 2018 draws toward its end, let’s lend a hand to our neighbours, appreciate the people in our lives, and celebrate everything that unites us. Together, we’ll keep building the Canada that makes us all proud.

“On behalf the Government of Canada, I invite Canadians to take part in the Christmas Lights Across Canada festivities in person or to watch the event live on the Canadian Heritage Facebook page. On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish everyone celebrating a merry Christmas.”

President Trump Has Kept His Promises
USA Today
“The facts are clear: No president has done more in two years to strengthen our military and reform the Department of Veterans Affairs to better serve our nation’s heroes than President Donald Trump,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie writes. “Until Trump, no candidate in history had made serving our veterans the centerpiece of a presidential campaign. In office, Trump has kept his promise.”
Trump Embraces Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Legislation
USA Today
This week, President Trump put his full support behind historic criminal justice reform in an announcement from the White House, USA Today reports. “The ‘First Step Act,’ developed by [Jared] Kushner and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, is designed to improve rehabilitation programs for former prisoners and give judges more discretion in sentencing offenders for nonviolent crime, particularly drug offenders.”
It’s the Right Time to Pass Criminal Justice Reform
New York Post
“With President Trump leading the way, the push is on to get serious criminal justice reform done by Christmas. Resisters on the left and right would be fools to stand in the way,” the New York Post editorial board writes. The bipartisan FIRST STEP Act would fund educational and vocational training programs in American prisons while easing certain mandatory-minimum sentencing rules.
Donald Trump Honors Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth in First Medal of Freedom Ceremony
USA Today
“President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to seven people Friday, including the late rock ‘n’ roll star Elvis Presley. The nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the United States’ national interests and security, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” Cat Hofacker reports.
Boom: Record High Business Optimism, Need for Employees at 45-Year High
Washington Examiner
“The record level of economic optimism among small businesses is continuing, and those firms trying to fill jobs is at a 45-year high,” Paul Bedard reports. “The National Federation of Independent Businesses said the optimism has only been this high three times in the last 43 years and has consistently been high all year long.”
Vice President Pence: Veterans Day – Veterans Have No Better Friend than President Trump
-Fox News
“President Trump has signed the most substantial veterans’ health-care reform in a generation, making Veterans Choice a permanent part of American law,” Vice President Pence writes in an op-ed for Fox News. “Today our veterans have access to the real-time, world-class care they have earned, whether at a private health-care provider or the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell: Will Dems Work With Us, or Simply Put Partisan Politics Ahead of the Country?
-Fox News
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) lays out how the expanded Republican Senate majority plans to help govern in the coming two years. “We’ll keep working to lift the burden on American job creators and small businesses. We’ll stay focused on helping communities across the country seize new opportunities and realize greater prosperity. We’ll seek new ways to make life easier for working families.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell: Will Dems Work With Us, or Simply Put Partisan Politics Ahead of the Country?
-Fox News
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) lays out how the expanded Republican Senate majority plans to help govern in the coming two years. “We’ll keep working to lift the burden on American job creators and small businesses. We’ll stay focused on helping communities across the country seize new opportunities and realize greater prosperity. We’ll seek new ways to make life easier for working families.”
Pence, Abe Agree on North Korea Sanctions, New Trade Talks
The Associated Press
While visiting Tokyo this week, Vice President Mike Pence joined Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and “reaffirmed the need to keep sanctions on North Korea to achieve its denuclearization as they showcased their bilateral alliance, while Pence also urged Japan to do more to reduce the U.S. trade deficit,” Mari Yamaguchi reports.

USA President Press Note

four countries focused on their shared goals, including support for sustainable development, connectivity, and good governance.
November 15, senior officials from the United States, Australia, India, and Japan met in Singapore for consultations on the Indo-Pacific region. The officials reaffirmed a shared commitment to maintain and strengthen a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific in which all nations are sovereign, strong, and prosperous. They further highlighted the complementary visions for the region held by their four countries, grounded in a shared support for a free, open, and inclusive region that fosters universal respect for international law, freedom of navigation and overflight, and sustainable development.
Officials from the four countries focused on their shared goals, including support for sustainable development, connectivity, and good governance.
The officials highlighted the importance of good governance in strengthening the rules-based order and reviewed initiatives to enhance regional security, including through cooperation on maritime, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, and cyber issues. They committed to driving broad economic development that harnesses the region’s full potential and fosters connectivity and development of infrastructure based on transparency, genuine need, sustainable debt burden, and other principles in accordance with international standards. They reaffirmed their strong support for ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN-led regional architecture, as well as their support for other regional institutions such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the Pacific Islands Forum. Participants highlighted the importance of coordination and collaboration with all interested countries and institutions to support a diverse, peaceful, and prosperous region.
United States officials underscored the importance of coordinated and complementary engagement to advance shared regional interests, including support for the new Maldivian government and encouragement of an outcome to political developments in Sri Lanka consistent with democratic principles.

Joint Statement on U.S.-UK Strategic Dialogue
In Washington on November 14, 2018, the United States and the United Kingdom held a Strategic Dialogue co-chaired by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and UK Political Director Richard Moore. The Dialogue was attended by U.S. National Security Council Staff Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs Fiona Hill, U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Katie Wheelbarger, UK Deputy National Security Advisor Christian Turner, UK Director General for EU Exit Lindsay Appleby and UK Ministry of Defense Director General for Strategy and International Angus Lapsley.
The delegations discussed a broad range of global foreign and security policy issues of mutual concern and agreed to continue to work closely together. The countries pledged their continued commitment and efforts to strengthen the broader transatlantic community for challenges of the future.
At the close of this Strategic Dialogue, the United States and the United Kingdom reaffirmed that the U.S.-UK special relationship yields unparalleled cooperation, which will only grow stronger in the years ahead and as the UK exits the European Union.


NOVEMBER 15, 2018

9:30 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Pompeo meets with Mexican Foreign Secretary-Designate Marcelo Ebrard, in Houston, Texas.
Deputy Secretary Sullivan is on travel to Japan, Singapore, Australia, and Papua New Guinea from November 11-18. Please click here for more information.
9:30 a.m. Administrator Green delivers remarks at a Council on Foreign Relations event, in Washington, D.C. Please click here for more information.
Under Secretary Hale has no public appointments.
Assistant Secretary Breier is on travel to Colombia from November 13-17. Please click here for more information.
Assistant Secretary Fannon is on travel to Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt from November 11-20. Please click here for more information.
Assistant Secretary Risch is on travel to the United Kingdom and Ireland from November 12-16. Please click here for more information.
9:30 a.m. Assistant Secretary Royce moderates a Facebook Live panel discussion with Fulbright Program participants for International Education Week, at the Department of State.
1:00 p.m. Assistant Secretary Royce delivers remarks at the Fall 2018 Professional Fellows Congress, at the Washington Hilton Hotel, in Washington, D.C.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Murphy is on travel to Singapore, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong from November 11-20.

‘Full Trumpism’: The president’s apocalyptic attacks reach a new level of falsity

Trump on Abrams: ‘You’re going to have Georgia turn into Venezuela’

President Trump criticized Georgia Democratic governor candidate Stacey Abrams at a Nov. 4 rally in Macon, Ga. (The Washington Post)

By Philip Rucker
November 4 at 6:34 PM

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — President Trump is painting an astonishingly apocalyptic vision of America under Democratic control in the campaign’s final days, unleashing a torrent of falsehoods and portraying his political opponents as desiring crime, squalor and poverty.

As voters prepare to render their first verdict on his presidency in Tuesday’s midterm elections, Trump is claiming that Democrats want to erase the nation’s borders and provide sanctuary to drug dealers, human traffickers and MS-13 killers. He is warning that they would destroy the economy, obliterate Medicare and unleash a wave of violent crime that endangers families everywhere. And he is alleging that they would transform the United States into Venezuela with socialism run amok.

Trump has never been hemmed in by fact, fairness or even logic. The 45th president proudly refuses to apologize and routinely violates the norms of decorum that guided his predecessors. But at one mega-rally after another in the run-up to Tuesday’s midterm elections, Trump has taken his no-boundaries political ethos to a new level — demagoguing the Democrats in a whirl of distortion and using the power of the federal government to amplify his fantastical arguments.

In Columbia, Mo., the president suggested that Democrats “run around like antifa” demonstrators in black uniforms and black helmets, but underneath, they have “this weak little face” and “go back home into mommy’s basement.”

In Huntington, W.Va., Trump called predatory immigrants “the worst scum in the world” but alleged that Democrats welcome them by saying, “Fly right in, folks. Come on in. We don’t care who the hell you are, come on in!”

And in Macon, Ga., he charged that if Democrat Stacey Abrams is elected governor, she would take away the Second Amendment right to bear arms — though as a state official, she would not have the power to change the Constitution.

Trump in Pensacola, Fla., on Saturday. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Unmoored from reality, Trump has at times become a false prophet, too. He has been promising a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class, though no such legislation exists. And he has sounded alarms over an imminent “invasion” of dangerous “illegal aliens,” referring to a caravan of Central American migrants that includes many women and children, is traveling by foot and is not expected to reach the U.S.-Mexico border for several weeks, if at all.

[Trump ratchets up racially divisive messages in a bid to rally support in the midterms]

With his breathtaking cascade of orations, tweets, media appearances and presidential actions, Trump has dictated the terms of the political debate in the final week of the campaign even though he is not up for reelection for two years.

“He goes out and says crazy, horrible things, blows race whistles and sits back and watches his topic of craziness dominate cable TV for the next 24 hours,” said Republican strategist Mike Murphy, a Trump critic. “Everybody repeats his charge, and then there’s a lot of pearl-clutching and tsk-tsking, and then repeating it again.”

Trump’s omnipresence has frustrated Democrats, who are attempting to stay focused on their campaign messages of health care and other pocketbook issues.

Trump attends a rally for Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale in Belgrade, Mont., on Saturday. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

“It’s really important not to take the bait from the president, with his scare-a-thon and his this-and-that,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in an interview this weekend. “That diverts people from what is really important in their lives and how this election will make a difference.”

Trump has had only one formative political experience: His 2016 race for president, which he won against odds by galvanizing his conservative base around nativist themes. Two years later, he is returning to the same playbook.

“This freneticism at the end . . . him ratcheting up to a new level of histrionics and fear, the question is, ‘Is there a point of diminishing returns?’ ” asked David Axelrod, who was former president Barack Obama’s chief strategist. “Do these tactics at once offend some people but also appear so fundamentally contrived that even some who are inclined to vote for Republicans say, you lost me here?”

“His gamble is that this will work,” Axelrod added. “Certainly the veracity doesn’t bother him, and the optics don’t bother him. The only thing that would bother him is losing.”

Trump is campaigning as if his presidency were on the line — and in a way, it is. Should Democrats win the House majority, as public polling suggests, they probably would use their subpoena power to launch investigations into the president and his behavior and, perhaps, begin impeachment proceedings.

“All his bad characteristics get amplified when he’s in a crunch,” Murphy said. “He doesn’t have any allegiance to the truth or reality to begin with, so he’s drunk on crowds, in a corner and under great political pressure.”

Trump’s campaign maneuvers — which Vice President Pence and many Republican candidates are reinforcing and defending — are not only rhetorical.

The president last week deployed thousands of U.S. troops to the border, ostensibly to protect the United States from the coming caravan, and has gloated on the stump about the “beautiful barbed wire” they have installed there. Several prominent former military leaders have denounced the deployment as a political stunt.

Trump has been fueling the baseless conspiracy theory that the caravan is being funded by George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and Democratic mega-donor who was the target of a mail bomb last month. The same conspiracy theory allegedly motivated the suspect in the mass slaughter at a Pittsburgh synagogue eight days ago.

“They want to invite caravan after caravan, and it is a little suspicious how those caravans are starting, isn’t it?” Trump asked at a Saturday night rally in Pensacola, Fla. “Isn’t it a little? And I think it’s a good thing maybe that they did it. Did they energize our base or what?”

Trump also has floated the idea of signing an executive order to end birthright citizenship. Many legal experts argue he does not have that power because the 14th Amendment to the Constitution protects the right to citizenship for any child born in the United States.

[Amid incendiary rhetoric, targets of Trump’s words become targets of bombs]

“These ideas are mostly stunts that serve to act as a semaphore,” said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law and a former chief speechwriter in the Clinton White House. “The executive order is flatly unconstitutional. The tax cut that is going to be passed by Election Day is nonexistent. And the generated panic over the caravan and sending up to 15,000 troops to the border is expensive political theater and not much more.”

Trump’s focus on immigration and nationalist appeals is part of a strategy to counter high voter enthusiasm on the left by mobilizing all of his 2016 supporters to turn out for other Republicans. As Pence says in his stump speech, “That blue wave is going to hit a red wall.”

“Their calculus is that every voter that surged for Trump is a Trump person first and foremost and not a DeSantis person or Scott person, so they’re leaning in on full Trumpism,” Steven Schale, a Florida-based Democratic operative, referring to the state’s GOP candidates for governor and Senate, respectively.

At his Saturday rally in Belgrade, Mont., Trump told a cheering crowd, without a hint of irony, “I’m the only one that tells you the facts.”

But Trump’s flood of misinformation has swelled to epic proportions in recent weeks, according to an analysis by The Washington Post’s Fact Checker. In the seven weeks leading up to the election, the president made 1,419 false or misleading claims, an average of 30 a day. That compares with 1,318 false or misleading claims during the first nine months of his presidency, an average of five a day.

Each of Trump’s rallies usually yields 35 to 45 suspect claims, which he has repeated in media appearances, according to The Fact Checker analysis.

[President Trump has made 6,420 false or misleading claims over 649 days]

Trump’s supporters say they don’t much care about the falsehood meter. At his rally Wednesday in Estero, Fla., one Trump fan after another explained away the president’s disregard for the truth.

Hope Heisler, an emergency room doctor: “I’m not a fact-checker. All of the candidates, whether they be Republican or Democrat, don’t say things completely accurately all the time. But I trust in President Trump.”

Linda Sears, a housewife: “Presidents should tell the truth, but sometimes they make mistakes. . . . At least Trump tells it like it is. Trump is a truth teller.”

Pat Banker, a retired registered nurse: “I don’t think he lies. He gets excited when he’s talking, and he likes to exaggerate a little bit. But that’s just his way.”

Trump has never had much of an appetite for nuance, and he has been framing the choice before voters on Tuesday in terms of black and white, right and wrong.

“This election is a choice between Republican results and radical resistance,” Trump told a rally crowd Thursday in Columbia, Mo. “It’s a choice between greatness and gridlock. It’s a choice between jobs and mobs. And it’s a choice between an economy that is going strong and the Democrats who are going crazy.”

When it comes to assailing Democrats, Trump — who for years was a registered Democrat — has adopted a kitchen-sink strategy. On Friday night in Indianapolis, he told thousands of red-capped supporters, “If Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the legendary Maxine Waters, if they take power, they will try to erase our gains and eradicate our progress.

“The Democrats want to raise your taxes. They want to restore job-killing regulations. They want to shut down your steel mills. And that will happen.”

He kept going.

“They want to take away your real health care and use socialism to turn America into Venezuela,” Trump continued. “Lovely place, lovely place. And Democrats want to totally open borders.”

The crowd reacted, just on cue, with loud boos.

Mike DeBonis in Washington contributed to this report.

Courtesy : the washington post-u.s.a. leading News Paper
(The Washington Post)
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