Like most of us, Richard Marx found the first 10 days of quarantine and lockdown perplexing — and so his “#SocialDistancing” web series, where he talks with guests about politics, music and life, happened mostly by accident.
“I was doing so much because it was occupying my brain,” the “Right Here Waiting” and “Hazard” singer tells Variety. He says the talk show, which he’s been doing on Instagram and YouTube since March 18, kept him from worrying about his kids, his mom and those he loved. Now he has two web series, “#SocialDistancing” and “#Beachin,” on top of a new podcast, “Tequila Talk.” Initially, at least, these home endeavors also served as a distraction from politics… although, for Marx, that always comes back as an irresistible lure,his new album “Limitless” was just released.
For those who follow Marx on Twitter, politics has been weighing on his mind. He’s been particularly vocal about Donald Trump to his 230,000 followers, calling out the president and his supporters. “This week, responding to a tweet in which Trump announced he planned to sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the U.S., Marx had a typically tart response: “Uh-huh. Can you sign something to keep the white f—sticks in Michigan waving confederate flags away from me?” he tweeted.
Marx, who has been in lockdown with his wife, Daisy Fuentes (of MTV fame), says he wasn’t always this passionate about politics. “It started when Bush lost the popular vote against Gore,” he says. “I still feel Bush should have been charged with war crimes.” It’s something that still makes him angry to think about. “I never thought he was a traitor. I thought he was dumb but I never thought he was a vile human being,” he continues, discussing Bush in the post-9/11 world. But one thing that struck him about Bush was his humanity: “I could see how he was with his father, and he was so publicly respectful of his wife.”
His feelings about Bush “pale in comparison to the anger I feel over this presidency. I feel this guy is a despicable piece of trash. The country will recover, even if he’s in for another four years. We will recover, but we will never be the same. He will leave a s— stain on this country for the next generation. He has no redeeming qualities.”
Marx says he’s found people trying to pointing redemptive elements of the administration out to him, such as unemployment rates being lower among African Americans. “What people don’t know is that they are brainwashed, especially when you point out that black unemployment is only 1% lower than it was when Obama’s term in office ended,” Marx says.
“At this point, I’d rather have Jeffrey Dahmer over Donald Trump,” he adds.
He’s not entirely thrilled with Joe Biden being the Democratic candidate — even though he wasn’t thrilled about Bernie Sanders, either — but to Marx, at least Biden is a decent human being: “He’s smart and compassionate.”
But he and Fuentes know when to strike that balance and when they’ve had enough fill of the day’s news. If they’re not meditating or scrolling through Instagram, he can be found performing snippets of songs on his social media pages, or putting on mini-concerts in the series “Beachin’” every Friday for his fans. “I did Car Songs where I jammed to other people’s songs in my car, and this was an extension of that.”
Guns N’ Roses bass player Duff McKagan, musician Kenny G and performer Laura Benati have all made guest appearances on his Instagram shows.
But two names he’s yet to land stick out for Marx, who loves the idea of speaking things into manifestation. “I’ve love to talk to Rod Stewart,” Marx says. “I’ve love to talk to Cher and we could talk about all different kinds of stuff.”
They go back, Marx performed backing vocals on Cher’s 1991 album “Love Hurts.” At the time, Toto’s Steve Lukather was producing “World Without Heroes” and called Marx in. “We had almost finished and in walks Cher. She came down to say hi and to thank me. We ended up talking for an hour. She was irreverent, sexy and fun,” Marx says, hopeful that his dream guest list will manifest.
Politics – Moe must continue to remember his roots – Yorkton This Week
More so than just about any business you can think of, politics is all about knowing whom you are and where you have come from.
The problem, however, is that it’s quite easy to forget all that, even under normal circumstances.
And with the stakes so high in this COVID-19 crisis, it’s likely even harder for our leadership to remember the fundamentals of this province.
As such, Premier Scott Moe had some mixed results in being able to do so.
There is one area in which Moe has been rather successful in remembering where he has come from and reminding all of us in Saskatchewan of exactly who we are.
The Premier recently wrote: “Hats off to our farmer for perseverance and hard work this season” to congratulate that seeding was at the five-year for this date.
In a world where nothing seems normal – Saskatchewan lost a staggering 53,000 jobs in April – agriculture saw a 1.4-per-cent increase in employment in April as seeding got into full swing.
It’s done so without receiving anything resembling the federal subsidies other business are getting. So far, only $252 million has been made available to farmers across the country to deal with effect of COVID-19 – very little of which has made its way to western farmers and ranchers. Moreover, it’s only one-tenth of what the Canadian Federation of Agriculture requested.
Yet farmers are demonstrating what Moe aptly described as “perseverance” in carrying on with seeding that will be an estimated 37 million acres this year. Some of them have had to leave last year’s crop in the field because of horrific harvest conditions last fall.
Agriculture is simply soldiering on, pumping millions into the local economy as farmers buy seed, fertilizers, chemicals and fuel.
The net result is that Saskatchewan has seen an increase in exports in the first quarter of 2020, largely due to canola, pulse, agricultural machinery, oats and soya beans sales.
It is important for Moe and others to acknowledge what we are – especially, in these tough times when the impact of the pandemic is taking its toll on all of us.
However, Moe and his government hasn’t always been quite so successful at remembering its roots, as was demonstrated by the recent Saskatchewan Health Authority driven decision to temporary close to 12 rural hospital emergency rooms as part of the SHA’s pandemic readiness plan.
One gets the need to prepare health staff everywhere in the province for the potential impact of a COVID-19 outbreak.
But the simply fact of the matter is there has been no more than one active COVID-19 case in all of central and southern rural Saskatchewan for a month. To even “temporarily” completely close rural ERs during seeding poses a very real problem.
That it comes from a government that represents all 29 rural seats is even more bizarre.
It took a letter from 21-year Arm River-Watrous MLA Greg Brkich to the SHA and to his own cabinet before the Sask. Party administration seemed to realize this.
In his letter, Brkich expressed frustration over the temporary closure of the Davidson Hospital ER – the only hospital between Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Outlook.
“Local folks are being short changed again in rural Saskatchewan” by being left without quality emergency care, Brkich wrote.
Given the history of the closure of 52 rural hospitals by the former NDP government 27 years ago, it’s especially strange that the Sask. Party government would have missed the significance of what it was doing.
To his credit, Moe took responsibility for the “communication” problem and offered assurances the closed ERs would be re-opened in mid-June.
But it does seem to demonstrate how important it is for politicians to remember where they come from.
Murray Mandryk has been covering provincial politics since 1983.
Politics This Morning: Parliamentary group calls for creation of special Hong Kong envoy – The Hill Times
Good Thursday morning,
A handful of Parliamentarians from Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K. have banded together to call on their governments to establish a special envoy for Hong Kong to address the situation in Hong Kong, where a new national security law from China that bypasses the city’s legislature is expected to come into effect this fall. Liberal MP Michael Levitt, the Canadian representative of the group, issued a press release saying “we must move rapidly to ensure there is a system in place for the observation and transparent reporting of the true impact this new law will have on currently legal freedoms in Hong Kong.” The group sent letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and UN Secretary General António Guterres, appealing to them for their support in providing a mandate for an envoy to be deployed when the special session convenes later this month.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that foreign detractors who are raising alarm over the new law are applying “blatant double standards.” She argued that China within its rights to introduce the law because of the local resistance.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, in a press briefing, said the some 300,000 Canadians living abroad in Hong Kong are “very, very welcome to come home anytime.” She was asked whether the government is considering following the U.K.’s lead in pledging to admit three million people from Hong, making what he called would be one of the “biggest changes” to the country’s visa system. Ms. Freeland declined to say whether it’s being considered, only noting that “Canada continues to be a country that welcomes immigrants and asylum seekers from around the world.”
A joint Canada-U.S. study found that hydroxychloroquine—the drug frequently touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a preventative medication for COVID-19—is ineffective at inoculating one’s self from contracting the virus. Mr. Trump had made the claims about its effectiveness without scientific basis, saying that he was taking the drug himself.
Canada’s Supreme Court is ready to make the switch to virtual hearings amid the pandemic. Starting next week, the top court will be conducting hearings over Zoom.
All four police officers at the scene where George Floyd died now face charges for their alleged role in his death. The lesser charges include aiding and abetting, while Derek Chauvin, the white officer who was first charged, is now facing second-degree murder, which was upgraded from third-degree murder.
Former Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day stepped down from his post as a board member of Telus amid outcry over his comments equating racism with getting teased for wearing glasses during an interview with CBC. The telecom giant issued a statement distancing itself from Mr. Day, saying his views “are not reflective of the values and beliefs of our organization.” In a tweet, retreating from his remarks the previous day, Mr. Day said, “by feedback from many in the Black and other communities I realize my comments in debate on Power and Politics were insensitive and hurtful.I ask forgiveness for wrongly equating my experience to theirs.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to deliver remarks during the virtual Global Vaccine Summit, which the U.K. is hosting. The summit kicks off at 8 a.m.
In other scheduled events, the House Affairs and Procedure Committee is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. to hear from former Speaker Bill Blaikie and former acting clerk Marc Bosc, among others. The House Finance Committee, meanwhile, is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. to hear from a range of witnesses, including Genome Canada and the Colleges and Institutes Canada.
The Human Resources Committee, meanwhile, will meet at 4 p.m. to hear from groups such as the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
The Hill Times
Stockwell Day exits CBC commentary role, corporate posts after comments about racism in Canada – CBC.ca
Former Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day has stepped down from his role as a commentator on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics — and has left senior positions at two major companies — after making comments on Tuesday’s show about racism in Canada he later admitted were “insensitive and hurtful”.
“I ask forgiveness for wrongly equating my experiences to theirs. I commit to them my unending efforts to fight racism in all its forms,” Day said in a tweet earlier today.
Day also notified CBC he was stepping away from his role as a commentator for the program.
Day, a former federal opposition leader and later a cabinet minister in Stephen Harper’s government, was asked during a panel debate on Power & Politics to react to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments Tuesday morning on protests that have swept across the U.S. following the police killing of African American George Floyd.
Trudeau’s comments did not address Trump’s threat to call on the military to remove demonstrators, but they did point to what Trudeau said were Canada’s own problems with systemic racism.
“We have to recognize that our system is not perfect in Canada,” Day said during the panel discussion. “Yes, there’s a few idiot racists hanging around but Canada is not a racist country and most Canadians are not racist. And our system, that always needs to be improved, is not systemically racist.”
Day went on to compare the bullying he endured as a child with the discrimination faced by visible minorities across the country.
“Should I have gone through school and been mocked because I had glasses and was called four-eyes and because of the occupation my parents?” Day asked. “Should I have been mocked for all that? No, of course not. But are Canadians largely and in majority racist? No, we are not.
“We celebrate our diversity around the world and for the prime minister to insinuate — and it is an insinuation — that our system is systemically racist is wrong.”
Fellow panellists Amanda Alvaro and Emilie Nicolas pushed back against Day, challenging his assertions about systemic racism and the comparison Day made to his own experiences being bullied.
By feedback from many in the Black and other communities I realize my comments in debate on Power and Politics were insensitive and hurtful.I ask forgiveness for wrongly equating my experiences to theirs.I commit to them my unending efforts to fight racism in all its forms.
That argument appears to have cost Day his position on the board of directors for Telus and his role as a strategic adviser for McMillan LLP.
“At McMillan LLP, we believe that systemic racism is real and that it can only be addressed when each of us — as individuals and organizations — commits to meaningful change,” the company said in a statement signed by Teresa Dufort, partner and CEO, and posted to its Twitter account.
“Yesterday, Stockwell Day made comments during a televised interview that run counter to this view. Today, he offered his resignation as a strategic advisor at our firm and it was accepted.”
Telus also issued a statement announcing that it had accepted Day’s resignation from its board of directors effective immediately.
“The views expressed by Mr. Day during yesterday’s broadcast of Power & Politics are not reflective of the values and beliefs of our organization,” the statement said.
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