Trying vainly to catch flying time .. Canada, Japan, Iowa, local media, India, K Wynne, Rihanna, and Drake!

Jan 30th, 2016 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

“Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda attends a press conference following a monetary policy meeting at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo on Jan. 29, 2016. The Bank of Japan had decided to adopt negative interest rates to prop up the world's third-largest economy amid slumping consumption and China's slow economic growth.” (FRANCK ROBICHON / EPA.)

How time flies … Already it is almost the last day of January 2016. And a host of other business in the office has meant our last post was a dozen days ago. Here are a few quick notes until next week … when we’ll be having more time on our hands. (We hope!)

To start with, yesterday’s headline —  “Canada’s GDP grows by 0.3% in November … 1st growth in economy in 3 months” — has helped dampen some of the local neo-hysterical economic gloom with which this year began.

Meanwhile “Japan announces negative interest rate in bid to boost economy” has pushed a button the Bank of Canada has not yet pushed : and we think for good reason.

Note as well this comment from Elaine Kurtenbach at the Associated Press : “Pushing the banks to lend will only work if companies borrow and invest … ‘Corporate Japan has accumulated substantial cash on balance sheets, while the Japan labour market is getting tighter,’ Ajay Kapur of Merrill Lynch said in a recent report … ‘The key is to recirculate Japan’s corporate cash to Japan’s household-labour sector via wage increases.’”

The races for Republican and Democratic presidential nominees begin in earnest on Monday, February 1, as party supporters cast their votes in the Iowa caucuses. Stay tuned! (Carroll Daily Times Herald/Jeff Storjohann/Associated Press.)

And then of course there is the crazed election season south of the (as yet) un-walled Canada-US border. Eg : “Trump rallies after debate: ‘Cruz is an anchor baby in Canada … Ted Cruz is an anchor baby in Canada, but Canada doesn’t accept anchor babies, they just waited a long time’.” (Who knows what any of this means? Except it seems to work! And don’t forget the first taste of political reality at the Iowa caucuses on Monday, February 1.)

Meanwhile again, up here in the northern woods we are still vainly imagining that there are lessons in our various recent stories. As in, eg : “Did Canada’s election foreshadow leftward tilt in US race?” (see also our recent “Boogie woogie rumble of dream deferred not so loud as PM Trudeau visits T.O. just after State of the Union”) ; and “The Trump show – a Rob Ford rerun?

We certainly still have our problems in the home and native land of both Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper. As in : ”Bleak times for local journalism in Canada …  Century-old daily newspapers have stopped printing. Small television stations are struggling to stay on the air.”

“Announcing Ontario’s trade mission to India. One of the world’s fastest growing economies. “

And yet in the wider global village : “Read all about it! The news biz is booming in India … India’s fast-growing economy is why Premier Kathleen Wynne is leading an Ontario trade mission here, and delegates on the trip have been impressed by the dizzying array of publications available at every stop on their itinerary.”

Back in Premier Wynne’s capital city of Ontario, the Toronto Sun, usually on the other (anti-Liberal) side of Ontario’s regional variation on the toxic contemporary politics theme, has just editorialized on how “Wynne is right on Energy East.”

And back at the Toronto Star Christopher Hume has penned an admirable (and accurate) column on a key local  urban issue today : “TTC [Toronto Transit Commission] problems run deeper than chronic underfunding … The TTC still hasn’t learned how to put passengers first.”

Rihanna and Drake : Barbados babe(y) meets Canadian boy and can never quite forget him? In any case their latest tune together (“Work”) is impressive!

In any case, all of us here at this second-storey outpost will be back next week …

when (again) we really do hope to have more time on our hands

While you’re waiting you can check out “Listen to Rihanna and Drake’s new single ‘Work’.”

And if this seems just too much like work …

Canadian apologies …

we’ll be back again soon,

after the Iowa caucuses,

and we’ll try to remember

when Trump was the name of a package of cigars

you bought for your father   …  in neighbourhoods where crazy super-rich guys from New York would never dare to venture  …  (well … or want to, of course) … But if Drake had been alive then, he would have been there … hard at Work.

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