Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Blanche Report: Helicopters, Open Doors & Corruption

The senate scandal is slowly turning into Canada’s version of Watergate and we all know the outcome of that scandal. Harper keeps changing his story and backtracking on what he said. The key to this complicated story is Nigel Wright, Harper’s ex chief of staff. If he starts singing and says that Harper knew about the $90,000 check given to Duffy, which Harper said he didn’t, you may yet get to see another leader leave in a helicopter. Only this time he won’t be giving a peace sign, rather another more poignant finger.
 
Denis Cordere, up until about 3 hours ago the front runner in the Montreal mayoral campaign, is, as we speak, screaming into a paper bag.

Robert Zambito (ex union Montreal, ex Gerald Tremblay dude), a council candidate for Coderre’s team in St. Leonard  is dropping out of the race because, as he had informed Coderre this afternoon, he is the subject of allegations of wrongdoing stemming from a land deal in 2010. It was suggested that Zambito offered money to a fellow councillor to obtain a reduction in price for a piece of city-owned land.

Same old, same old. Melanie Joly is going to have a field day with this one. She hinted to this in her recent ads on the radio and punkt! her wish came true. We wonder what will they do with those who voted for Zambito in the Sunday pre-election? Anyone’s guess given the shenanigans of the old guard.

We have been waiting for this door to open and zut alors, someone finally put the key in the lock. The door is now very slightly ajar.

A current sitting Parti Quebecois cabinet minister’s name unexpectedly came up today in a wiretapped conversation as the Charbonneau Commission hearing ties between the mafia and the FTQ, Quebec’s largest labor union. 

During one of the conversations, the head of the FTQ’s construction wing, Jocelyn Dupuis, is overheard saying he wants to speak specifically with Elaine Zakaib, a current PQ minister, about getting funding for a project. The company seeking the funding, the Mafia-linked firm Carboneutre, was trying to get $2 million from the FTQ’s investment fund. Zakaib was a senior executive at the FTQ fund at the time.

Did princess pauline know this was coming and that’s why she didn’t call an election? One thing is for sure. The PQ is just as involved as everyone else who had their hand in your pocket. It was only a matter of time before someone delivered the goods. 

Why would Houshang Nazemi, an Iranian, change his name to Antony Piazza? Who knows – maybe he likes spagetti.

On Sunday morning Piazza tried to board a flight to Los Angeles carrying a suitcase filled with components for making an explosive device, though it did not contain actual explosive material. He is claiming that someone gave him the suitcase to carry. In 1985, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for drug trafficking. Right now he’s in prison waiting to for a bail hearing. If convicted, he could repeat his sentence and spend yet another 10 years behind bars.

We kept this piece for last as we felt if you read it first you would want to throw something at your computer. Now all you have to do is shut it down.


Today Israel is releasing 26 Palestinian prisoners. These are not shoplifters. They are murderers.
The official spokesperson for the Israeli government said that the decision to let these men go was painful, but they feel that releasing them will help the ‘peace’ process. It will not. It will foment further aggression against Israel.

In case you were wondering who some of these prisoners are we will enlighten you:

Kassem Hazem Shabir murdered Holocaust survivor Yitzhak Rotenberg Hy”d. At age 67, as he was fixing a floor in Petach Tikva, Hazem and another terrorist attacked him from behind with axe blows to the back of his head. He died two days later. Hazem’s accomplice was released in the previous batch of terror prisoners. Rotenberg was survived by his wife and son.

Alabed Hilmi Amawi murdered Yigal Vaknin Hy”d, 22, in 1993, just before the Yom Kippur fast. Vaknin’s body was found in an orchard near Moshav Basra, where he lived and worked. He was survived by his parents and eight brothers and sisters.

Massoud Amar murdered Ian Feinberg Hy”d, 30, a lawyer involved with economic development in Gaza. In 1993, he was conducting a business meeting in Gaza when terrorists burst into the room and told the other Arabs there to leave. They murdered Feinberg with axe blows and gunshots. He was survived by his wife and three children.

The towns where these murderers come from are waiting to greet their ‘heroes’.

Only G-d can save Israel from itself now. The leadership in Israel is bankrupt.  Pandering to murderers does not garner respect. It shows pathetic weakness. The only thing that we in the diaspora can do is pray for those who live on the frontline in Israel.

Notre Montreal!

We’ll talk…

The Blanche Report: The Root of the Problem, The Zoo & New Hairdos

It appears that all those glitches and crashes of the Obamacare website can be traced directly back to a Montreal based company called CGI Group. When questioned about this, they in turn blamed the enterprise identity management (or EIDM) function provided by another contractor, which allows users to create secure accounts.  The EIDM acts as the “front door” that a user must pass through to enter the insurance marketplace and when this is bottle-necked, no one can access the site.

Maybe they should have staggered access at the beginning. Not rocket science: A-G day one, H-L day three and so one. That way the system would not have been overloaded in the first ten minutes. This is definitely not one of CGI’s finer moments, to say the least.

L’affaire the Senators in Ottawa seems to have taken on a life of its own, much to the chagrin of Stephen Harper.  What was supposed to be  brushed under the rug has now become the old ‘what did Harper know and when did he know it’ scandal. And as we all know, that little quote has brought down more than one leader.

So who’s who in this zoo?

Patrick Brazeau: The Senate has ordered Brazeau to repay about $48,000 in expenses because it found he had wrongly declared his primary residence to be in Maniwaki, Que. Brazeau disputes that finding. Since Brazeau did not meet its June 30 deadline, the Senate began docking his pay by 20% until the amount is repaid. 

Mike Duffy: At the root of the controversy was Duffy’s designation of a P.E.I. cottage as his primary residence. He also claimed expenses for a secondary Ottawa home. A senate committee looking into the living and travel expenses of Duffy  found the rules regarding residency were unclear. A Senate sub-committee, however, concluded that Duffy’s primary residence was in Ottawa. It ordered him to repay tens of thousands of dollars in ineligible expenses.

Other allegations have been raised about Duffy’s travel claims and the awarding of contracts from his office. Duffy has already repaid $90,000 in expenses, but the source of those funds has come under intense scrutiny. It was revealed that Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, gave Duffy a personal check so he could repay money owed.

Pamela Wallin: Questions arose about the amount and timing of Wallin’s travel claims and about her residency, because she still owns a residence in Toronto and was living in the city when she was appointed to the Senate and should have been living in Saskatchewan. An independent report  suggested she should repay approximately $120,000.  The Senate committee looking into the matter pegged Wallin’s final bill at $138,970 — an amount that includes $38,000 she already voluntarily repaid. The committee earlier recommended the RCMP investigate the case.

Stephen Harper: A few days ago he asked for the resignations of Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin – immediately and with no pay. That threat sparked Duffy and Wallin to give impassioned speeches in the senate making their cases as to why they will not leave without a fight.

We are now holding by one person’s word against another. We think that as both Duffy and Wallin are seasoned former journalists, they must have a very long paper trail to make their cases. Time will tell. Phew.

We are betting that princess pauline will call an election.
Why? New hairstyle. She still looks like she always has a bad hair day, but it appears she did a bit of redo. Not an updo – a redo. Anyway, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not she will call an election. We will know by Sunday night. Either way for her it’s a crap shoot. She’s not doing fantastically well in the polls so that would say wait it out. But if she waits it out she will have to deal with the budget which will overtake the camouflaging  charter of values.

No one is going to put one over on Hillary Clinton. 
During a speech at the University at Buffalo, Clinton first ignored a heckler’s shouts as she spoke of Buffalo as a model for problem-solving through cooperation. “Because we can’t move from crisis to crisis, we have to be willing to come together as citizens to focus on the kind of future we want,” she said. As the shouts grew louder from an upper section of bleachers, she added, “which doesn’t include yelling. It includes sitting down and talking.” She got a standing ovation from the over 6500 people present. The heckler was led out listening to the thunderous applause.

Stay tuned for the launch of Notre Montreal…

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk

The Blanche Report: Opting Out, The Glitch, Bibiane

After an inspection of the Turcot Interchange revealed damage requiring immediate attention, one of the two lanes were shut down. Immediate attention means that the overpass could not hold up the amount of cars, trucks and buses that travel on it daily. The quebec transport ministry said they are putting epoxy in the cracks, cleaning the concrete to add reinforcement.

There are two things to note here. The first is that the responsibility of that highway and overpass is the Quebec Transport. It is a provincial matter.  Do you think for half a second that princess pauline gives a hoot if the Turcot overpass falls? She’s way to busy with the charter of values, deciding if she should hold an election and fighting with Ottawa.

The second thing is if the overpass is shaky and the same amount of cars are passing over it on one lane instead of two, uh, would you be nervous on that road? Of course the minister says everything will be alright in a couple of months. Blanche, we have some land to sell you in Florida.

You better watch who you call if your phone carrier is Bell. Beginning November 16 they will literally know what web pages you visit, which search terms you enter, where you happen to be, what apps you use, what television you watch, even your calling patterns. All of this so that they can target you with relevant ads. But there’s some good news.

You have until November 16 to opt out. Ah, but only opt out of receiving the ads. You cannot opt out of them tracking you.

Bibiane Bovet has resigned. Who is she? A transgender lady of the night (how coy) who was running on Melanie Joly’s (who is running for mayor) ticket. It didn’t look to good that Bibiane was running given her background and cv, if you get the drift. Guess Joly is really a neophyte in terms of politics to allow someone like that on her team. And one more thing. What the heck name is Bibiane??

The mother-of-all never-ending computer glitches is continuing with Obamacare.
Get this – 19 million people have visited and only 476,000 have been successful in joining. It was reported today that the federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system. Uh Blanche, that could be a big problem.

It seems that Obama is searching out the best and brightest techies in the country to help with the problem. Why didn’t he call them in the first place?

Louise Harel who is running under Marcel Cote’s bid for mayor made a juicy announcement yesterday. She wants someone on the municipal level to be responsible for the promotion of the French language. Last we heard the office de la langue francais aka the language police to that.
 
First we heard that by saying this she’s trying to sabatoge Cote’s bid for mayor. Then we heard that she means what she says. We think that she must have either been smoking or drinking something before those words came out of her mouth. She couldn’t have made that statement being sober. Either that or princess pauline was behind her and she was the puppet. Hehehehe.

If you’re planning to go to China in the next while, stay away from the city of Harbin.
Seems everyone turned on their coal furnace at the same time causing smog the likes of which North Americans have never seen. Visibility was reduced to about 50 meters. Schools and factories were closed. From the pictures, it kind of looks like the plague of darkness.

Caroline Kennedy is the new ambassador to Japan.
Just keeping you in the loop.

Notre Montreal – Our Montreal

We’ll talk…

The Blanche Report: Blinking, Humpty Dumpty & Thin and Pretty

Seems that someone is blinking in the standoff between the Republicans and Democrats, but as they both appear to be wearing sunglasses no one is sure which party actually did the blinking nor what’s really going on. There will be a vote tonight to try and end the government shutdown which will ensure that on Thursday the US will not default on their loan – which would really make things hit the fan.  But wait  – part of the vote is that the peace treaty is only good until December when they may get a chance to do this all over again.

Once this is settled, watch for John Boehner, the speaker of the house to be looking for a new job. He’s toast as is the Republican party for a long time after this. What a bunch of losers.

This past Saturday night there was a shopping frenzy in Walmart in a couple of small towns in Louisana. We heard that Ellie-May told Joe- Bob to go git the truck outta the yard – the blue one not the red one and gun it to Walmart.

It seems that those had an EBT card (electronic debit card –  aka food stamps) from the government hit the jackpot. For two hours their balances showed unlimited funds. It was the old ‘computer glitch’ problem.

Zut alors at 9:00 pm the fun ended. One woman got to the cash with a $700 order and punkt! her balance showed $.49. Yes Blanche, that’s 49 cents. The store said they would not press charges if she left the baskets of food, which she did. Guess it was fun while it lasted.

A few days ago, we noticed  a new and very clean bus stop hut. We remarked on how long it will remain that way until a graffiti ‘artist’ gets his little spray paint can in there. And a few days ago we heard that if someone’s business gets nailed by those ‘artists’, the owners have a very small window to get it cleaned up before the city steps in a fines them.

Uh, Blanche, something’s very wrong with this picture. Why do these ‘artists’ think they are entitled to deface other people’s property when  they feel ‘creative’? Who exactly deemed buildings, underpasses, garage doors and any other outdoor surface their personal canvas? The lack of respect for others, be it their property or their being is what is the problem here.

And that is exactly what ails princess pauline. Her total lack of respect for others – be it their religion, language or how they dress is the essence of the issue. Doesn’t it sound like she was brought up in a barn?

Her sense of entitlement reminds us of humpty dumpty – I am the premier of the province and I can do what I want. Legally she can. Morally, she is empty.  Remember what happened to humpty dumpty? He fell off the wall and all the kings horses and all the kings men could not put him together again.

And now to the Montreal mayoralty election. Could someone please take the needle out of Richard Bergeron’s arm? He is focusing much of his campaign on building a streetcar system in Montreal. At least we know that he is delusional even before putting a toe into city hall. Next.

Melanie Joly has the best ads by far. She’s cute, young, blonde, thin and smart. Of course she is a neophyte when it comes to running the city, but hey, how bad could she be? The geniuses who said they knew what they were doing turned out to be criminals and losers. At least she can learn on the job and won’t profess to know everything.

Does it ever happen that you have to run to the grocery store and, uh, well you’re not exactly looking your best – to say the least.
Well, you may have to at least comb your hair beginning in 2015. Some big food brands are floating the idea of putting cameras on store shelves to see who buys their items – male or female, young or old. Get a life.

Je suis Montrealaise – and happy to be one!

We’ll talk…

The Blanche Report: Brainwaves, Tranquilizers & The Nobel Peace Prize

Detroit, as the mayor of Chicago indelicately put it, needs a bomb. Well, today it’s former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick got a personal bomb when he was sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption. Specifically racketeering, extortion and bribery. Sound familiar? It’s what has gone on in Montreal and Laval for decades. That’s what the Charbonneau commission is all about.

Let’s take a bet. Aside from Laval’s ex-mayor Vaillancourt who seems to be in a league of his own, how many of those who have had their sticky little fingers in your pocket for years will be serving any time? Two? Maybe three people?  And if they do get some time, it will be in one of those ‘hotels’ or to do community service or walk around with an ankle bracelet. Ding dong, Avon calling.

Marois’s missive in charge of Montreal, Jean Francois Lisee is not a happy camper. He woke up this morning and realized that all of the candidates running for mayor of Montreal want to opt out of the charter of values should it ever become law. Good morning America.

This brainwave revelation should be put into the same envelope as this one:  what kind of punishment will be doled out to the doctors who refuse to take off their yarmulkas, hijabs and other religious artifacts? Who is going to administer this ethnic cleansing? Blanche, time to get out the comet. We’re gonna havta do a hecka of a lot of cleaning in the next bit o time. Backwater brainwaves.

Best buy some tranquilizers for next week, specifically for next Thursday October 17. That is when the US must make a payment on its debt. What happens if the United States fails to pay due to the stalemate now happening in Washington?  Remember the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008-2009? Remember how the market went crashing down with a huge thud?

Policymakers in Washington know that a US debt default is no small matter and know what the consequences of a fresh crash will be. All of which suggests that somebody – almost certainly the Republicans – will back off before 17 October. The alternative is that the current vintage of US politicians will become infamous as the most incompetent in history.

As of this writing, it seems that the two sides are meeting. Maybe, just maybe they will come to their senses.

There are quite a few people up for the Nobel peace prize.
Amongst them is Malala Yousafzai, the 16 year old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for getting an education and encouraging other young woman to do likewise. We happened to have heard her speak today. She is wise beyond her young years and has a courage that we have not heard in a very long time. We think she should be introduced to princess pauline. Perhaps meeting someone of Malala’s ilk would rub off on her. Well, probably not, but maybe that grotesque smile would disappear for a while. Ich.

Don’t you find it odd that the Sochi winter olympics are starting in 120 days and you’ve heard nada a word about them?
Fear not, we’ll fill you in. 

Let’s start with the cost of $15 billion half of which is alleged to have disappeared in corrupt building contracts. We particularly liked this quote: An 18-mile road between Sochi, where events such as hockey, speed skating and figure skating will be held has become a symbol of the huge cost increases, spiraling to a reported $8.6bn. “You could have paved this road with five million tons of gold or caviar and the price would have been the same.” Who’s watching the store over there? Hey – same as here, the ones with their hands in the till!

Then there’s the issue of snow. They stored snow from last winter in case there’s no snow this year, which could easily happen as the average temperature in February is 10 Celsius. They also bought 400 snow making machines. And finally, there’s the problem of the remote location of the games. Seems it’s very far from anything and could affect the numbers of people wanting to actually buy tickets to the games. Who picks these places anyway?

And finally a pretty useless, yet juicy bit of information.
The Versace mansion in Miami sold for $41.5 million. Donald Trump was one of those bidding on the house, but lost out when he stopped at $41 million. It has 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms amongst other sundry features. It was bought by Joe Nakash, of Jordache Jeans and clothing fame.

I am a Montrealaise.

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk…

The Blanche Report: Snowden, Yellen & Wyoming

Ever wonder what happened to Edward Snowden after he left the Moscow airport? Well, it seems that he’s living somewhere in Moscow, still hiding and fearful of being snatched by US officials. He usually goes out with some kind of disguise but was spotted a couple of months ago shopping using his real face (hehehehe). Guess he was buying herring, black bread, potatoes and vodka as he’s now fully ensconced in Russia. What a way to live, eh?

Blanche, you may need the barf bag for this one. That group called Anonymous, the dudes who hack into mega companies and government sites when the mood hits will gather on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 5 for a march. They are calling it the Million Mask March. What a bunch of losers. They are taking Martin Luther King’s words and making them into a mockery. Feh. So far 13,000 people rsvp’d that they are attending the event.

By now everyone has heard of the US government shut down. Here’s a short list who’s who in the zoo, sitting in their ivory towers:

Obama: The president has so far remained resolute in his position: there will be no negotiations on Obamacare or anything else until Republicans re-open the government and agree to raise the debt ceiling.

Senator Ted Cruz:
Mr Cruz has become the unofficial leader of bloc of young senators who have made defending Obamacare their primary objective. This has led to backlash from some in the Republican establishment, who feel that the fight Mr Cruz has lead the GOP into cannot be won, and will be detrimental in the 2014 mid-term elections.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada: He has also been the strongest proponent of a hard-line on the standoff, urging Mr Obama not to give ground and delivering scorching denunciations of Republicans.

Speaker of the House Republican John Boehner: He is demanding concessions on Obamacare in return for funding the government and has attacked the White House for being unwilling to negotiate.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and leader of the Democrats in the House: She has been responsible for making sure that the Democratic caucus in the chamber remains unified in opposition to any bill which weakens Obamacare.

These people are all out of touch with reality.

Ben Bernake’s term as chair of the Federal Reserve is coming to an end. His replacement to be nominated by Obama? Janet Yellen – Jewish and born in Brooklyn. If approved by the Senate, her appointment would crack one of the highest U.S. glass ceilings and make her the first woman to head the central bank in its 100-year history.

Remember the G-d particle? Well it became the prize particle today winning the Nobel prize for physics to the tune of $1.2 million. Peter Higgs (of Higgs boson fame), 84 and François Englert, 80 will share the prize.

Being physicists could make people a tad, shall we say on the strange side. Dr. Englert’s response upon hearing that he won was, “You may imagine that this is not unpleasant.”  Okay, not so bad. Dr. Higgs on the other hand has not yet been contacted as he had gone off by himself for a few days without saying where, and that he would return on Friday. Dr. Higgs, who does not use a cellphone or a computer, does not yet know that he has won the Nobel prize. We assume that he uses a computer when figuring out the Higgs Boson business.

Whoever hired the dudes to set up the Obamacare website are probably holed up somewhere in a cave in Wyoming. A full week after its official launch, despite the efforts of officials who say they are working 24 hours a day to fix problems, people still cannot access the system. The web sites are central to the program’s success, because for large numbers of people to enroll, the process must be easy. And everyone must be registered by January 1. Houston – we have a problem.

I am a Montrealaise!

We’ll talk…

The Blanche Report: Flipping the Bird, Obamacare 101 & Parizeau

First two disclaimers on this piece. We are not wont to use any four letter words – however – and this is a big however, we just could not let this pass. And it’s a tad on the long side, but since Obamacare has come into being, we thought we would give you some of the highlights. Here goes:

Obamacare’s national call center list its number as 1-800-318-2596. After allowing for the lack of letters attached to 1 on a traditional American telephone keypad we will graphically show you what the number spells out – ready? 1-800-3(F) 8(U) 2(C) 5(K) 9(Y) 6(O). Oy vey Blanche – who would do something like that? As one report wrote, “Sadly, the Obama administration failed to swap the useless 1 for a more functional 8 to complete the heartfelt message. It certainly didn’t take long for someone to figure this out, eh?

Now here’s your Obamacare 101 Class

Who is Obamacare For?
The new law is geared to the millions of Americans who do not have access to health benefits through a job, cannot afford private insurance or who are ineligible for public coverage. The law requires all Americans to have health care on Jan. 1, 2014, or face a financial penalty. To qualify participants must live in the U.S., have citizenship or legal residence and may not be currently incarcerated.

What health care services does Obamacare cover?
The program offers four categories of coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. All of the plans in these tiers are required to offer the same basic benefits, including (but not limited to) hospitalization, prescription drugs, emergency care, ambulatory patient services, maternity and newborn care, laboratory services and pediatric care.

What Does Obamacare Cost?
About $328 per month. Premiums will vary not only based the kind of health plan people choose, but also on their state of residence and even the city they live in. In New York for instance someone would pay $416 a month for a mid-tier plan. But in upstate Ithaca, where fewer health insurers are available, the same coverage would cost $446 per month.

Most Obamacare enrollees are expected to qualify for financial subsidies to pay for the coverage, defraying the costs. One thing to remember: Private health insurers, not the government, will decide what plans to offer and set the rates.

Now What’s Wrong with Obamacare:

About one-third of American households received Medicaid, food stamps or some other means-tested program in 2010.  Add in Medicare, Social Security and unemployment and nearly half of all households are getting a government check. Thanks to ObamaCare that number will greatly increase.

Obama believes that if you get more people covered for even more services — including numerous “free” services — health care spending will go down. Health actuaries feel just the opposite will happen: health care spending will explode.  Consider that insured people spend a little more than twice what uninsured people spend on health care. ObamaCare is supposed to cover an extra 32 million previously uninsured people with very comprehensive coverage.

Okay – it’s over.

It seems that Princess Pauline had stomach issues (feh) after eating some bad food and wound up in the Jewish General Hospital.  Yikes!! In the place where doctors wear hijabs and yarmulkas.  Yes Blanche, in the very place where they said outright that they will not follow any charter of values. Why didn’t she go to the hospital in Rimouski? Or somewhere in the Saguenay where they all seem to adore the charter of values?

Seems that when the mighty get sick they don’t really care what’s on the head of their doctors, rather what’s in their head. A great line that will outlast all of those bigots.

On the same subject Jacques Parizeau has finally weighed in on the charter saying that it went to far. We had a sneaking suspicion he would do that as the author of  ‘we lost the election because of ethnics and money’ was too quiet for too long. It appears that this is not the vision he has of Quebec. We can only hope that others in his party who have been silent and feel as he does will finally step forward. And then – there will be a split in the ranks. Sounds good, eh Blanche? Start praying.

We spent a few days in New York recently and heard about things happening due to the government shutdown that are not making headlines.

It is taking many more personnel to keep people out of state parks than in them. They now have to man all the entrances and exits to keep the ‘folks’ out.  All of the restaurants and hotels in the small towns around the state parks are laying off waitresses, cooks etc because there are no people in those parks to frequent those establishments.

As of Friday: Low income single women with infants will stop receiving formula for their babies;  Breakfast that was given to inner city school children will also stop; Pregnant women who need food will stop receiving it.

Blanche – the elected officials in Washington are completely and totally out of touch with reality. They live and work in some kind of castle on a mountain and are basically telling their population to, as Marie Antoinette said – Let them eat cake.  We say that someone should take both the Democrats and Republicans on a tour of regular America to see what their temper tantrum is doing.

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk…

The Blanche Report: The Shutdown, Alouette & Hurricanes

The United States government shut down last night at midnight. Although essential workers are still on the job, hundreds of thousands of government employees were told to come in to their offices today, clean them out within 4 hours and not to return until further notice – with no paycheck in sight.

What is happening there has a huge ripple effect. The woman who works for the government needs a babysitter to watch her children. Well, now that woman is also out of work. Those vendors who sell food and trinkets near the Statue of Liberty have to find somewhere else to sell their wares. It is interesting to note that more than 4 million people visit the Statue of Liberty annually at $17 a person. It’s a huge money-maker for the state of New York that is now empty.

For a country that is supposed to be the most powerful in the world, the fact that large swathes of their nation closed for business is humiliating. We have read in more than one newspaper about the agonizingly slow decline of America as a super-power.  This is just another nail in the coffin. Pretty sad, n’est pas?

The Quebec Association of Health and Social Services Institutions  has declared its position against the PQ’s proposed Charter of Values. 
This group represents more than 100 health institutions in the province, including hospitals and CLSCs says a survey among its members concludes there aren’t any problems regarding religious accommodations or symbols in their centres.

You may be saying whoppdidoo – what difference does it make? Well, if all the institutions and cities on the island of Montreal opt of her charter, then what? Is she going to send it the religious police together with the language police? They can come skipping into people’s offices singing alouette gente alouette while holding hands. Sounds ridiculous? So is this small-minded, bigoted government.

Ah, but you could be living down south where Obamacare came into play today.
Now that’s a mess. A combination of high demand and technical glitches seemed to overwhelm the online system early in the day.  Seems that although the site officially opened at 8:00 am, over a million people tried to get on at 7:00 am.

Let’s see now – this has been talked about for years. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the website would be flooded the first few days and a back-up plan should have been in place. Then again, it appears that those in charge of governments are the absolute antithesis of rocket scientists so they would never think of back-up plans.

In case you haven’t noticed, we are in the month of October and thankfully have heard of no hurricanes. As a matter of fact, the weather is simply unbelievable. Although we love a good snowstorm, it can wait until December or January.

We’ll talk…