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Welcome to a sneak peek of the Maclean’s Politics Insider newsletter. Sign-up at the bottom of the page to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

Congratulations if you had “Canada’s top civil servant rides to Justin Trudeau‘s rescue against Jody Wilson-Raybould” on your SNC-Lavalin Bingo cards.

Appearing before the justice committee, Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick said there was nothing to the idea that when Wilson-Raybould was Canada’s attorney general the PMO tried to pressure her into helping SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution for fraud and corruption.  “At every opportunity, verbally and in writing in December, the prime minister made it clear that this was the decision for the minister of justice to take. She was the decision-maker,” he declared. He blasted the Globe and Mail story that first raised the allegations of political interference, saying it “contains errors, unfounded speculation and, in some cases, is simply defamatory.” And he praised Trudeau and his staff for their integrity: “You may not like their politics or their policies or their tweets but they have always been guided by trying to do the right thing, in their own view, in the right way.” (Canadian Press)

Wernick also used his testimony to go well beyond the question of political interference in the SNC-Lavalin case, warning darkly that “somebody’s going to be shot” during the next Federal election campaign, that “trolling from the vomitorium of social media” was making its way into the “open media arena”, and without naming him he singled out Conservative Sen. David Tkachuk who urged the yellow-vested convoyers who descended on the Hill this week to get in their trucks and “roll over every Liberal left in the country. Because when they’re gone, these bills are gone.” Wernick called the Senator’s words “totally unacceptable,” given the Toronto van attack, and said “I hope that you as parliamentarians are going to condemn that.”

Incidentally, Conservatives who fell into fits earlier this month when Liberal MP Adam Vaughan extended a whack-a-mole analogy to suggest someone should “whack” Ontario Premier Doug Ford—whack being what the mobsters say when they kill someone, in case you didn’t know—have been silent on the Conservative Senator’s call for truckers to drive around the country ploughing down Liberals. Candice Bergen, we’re looking at you.

Also, fun fact: no one has ever used the word “vomitorium” on the Hill before, according to Hansard and the Library of Parliament.

Wernick’s statement was overtly political, coming from a civil servant, which didn’t go unnoticed. “Fine. I’ll just say it. Parts of this performance are why politicians like Stephen Harper can plausibly argue the Canadian Public Service is the Liberal Public Service,” tweeted constitutional scholar Emmett Macfarlane. “Some of the Clerk’s comments today amount to cheerleading for the current government.” (Twitter)

John Geddes parses Wernick’s full testimony, which offered “a glimpse inside the way the powerful interact—and evidently sometimes don’t—around Ottawa”:

Then Wernick made the link to how Canadians might process news of Wilson-Raybould and SNC-Lavalin. “I think Canadians need to be assured,” he said, “that their police and investigators with the powers of the state operate independently, and that the prosecution services—the state charging people with offences—are completely independent.”

He stressed repeatedly that even though SNC-Lavalin had aggressively lobbied the federal government, the company never did manage to get the remediation agreement it so badly wanted. Wernick was eager to put on the record the fact that he personally refused to meet with the company more often than he agreed, and even walked out of a National Arts Centre gala last Oct. 3—an event headlined by pop singer Diana Ross—to avoid proximity to SNC-Lavalin executives. (Maclean’s)

On the question of whether Wilson-Raybould will be able to speak freely next week when she appears before the committee, current Attorney General David Lametti, who also testified Thursday, wouldn’t give an answer. (Global News)

Every time Justin Trudeau has tried to free himself from the SNC-Lavalin affair with a new explanation, Wilson-Raybould has been there to hem him back in, writes Andrew MacDougall:

To date, there have been several ifs, many ands, and one lost (Gerry) Butts —with no end in sight. And the next cut might just be the deepest: on Monday Jody Wilson-Raybould rolls into Justice Committee looking to “speak her truth”.

Trudeau is clearly not in control of events. But somebody is, and that somebody is…Jody Wilson-Raybould. Indeed, when you beam the SNC mess through the Wilson-Raybould lens, everything snaps into focus. As one wag in London said to me the other day: right now, Ottawa has gone all House of Cards because Jody Wilson-Raybould is going all Frank Underwood. (Maclean’s)

Tariffic news: We’re not sure exactly when Canada ceased posing a national security threat to the United States, but apparently we’re a more docile lot now, and the Trump administration is ready to remove the tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum that have mostly served to make things more expensive for Americans. Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, said he’s confident the tariffs will be lifted “in the next few weeks” though he hasn’t said why he thinks that. If the tariffs aren’t lifted, Ottawa might just forget to proceed with legislation to implement the USMCA treaty, suggested Transport Minister Marc Garneau: “We will be doing some serious thinking about whether we want to proceed forward with it … you know the situation with respect to steel and aluminum is not yet resolved.” (Global News, CBC News)

Double Dipper departure: Two more NDP MPs have announced they won’t be running in the next election. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet and Anne Minh-Thu Quach, who both serve ridings in Quebec, bring the total number of New Democrat drop-outs to 11. (Canadian Press)

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Why China is vulnerable to its own economic crash… and why it’s so desperate to keep screwing America with unfair trade deals

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(Natural News) The administration of President Richard Nixon sought to ‘normalize’ relations with China in the early 1970s in large part to use the Asian giant as a bulwark against our superpower rival, the Soviet Union.

It made sense since China and the USSR had recently fought a vicious border war (1969) and though both were communist nations, they did not trust or like each other. 

Over the next few decades, the U.S. sought to integrate China into the West as a means of cracking open its vast market; a billion people is a tempting economic magnet. But also, it was hoped that by strengthening China economically, that would mitigate the authoritarian leadership of the Communist Party and even lead to its demise as the Chinese people embraced capitalism and the freedom it embodies.

By all accounts, U.S. policy objectives did not bear fruit. 

“The United States made a gamble that as China became more and more involved on the global stage, it would open up domestically and become a constructive stakeholder in the … international system. It’s pretty clear that gamble hasn’t paid off in the way we hoped it would,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing on China’s rise May 8.

For years, subsequent U.S. administrations ignored not just China’s rise but the manner in which it was rising: Grossly unfair trading arrangements with the U.S., China’s largest (by far) export market. 

Donald Trump promised to fix this massive trade imbalance during his 2016 campaign and he’s certainly giving it his best effort, having implemented a tariff regime aimed at forcing Beijing’s ruling Communist Party to accept better trade terms with Washington.

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However, according to a report this week from SinoInsider, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may be about to unveil an economic “Pearl Harbor” attack on the U.S. in order to not simply save their own economy but also to remain in power.

China’s leaders may be getting desperate

According to the analysis website, it’s possible due to a confluence of events allegedly occurring inside China now, the CCP may decide that “unrestricted warfare” strategies to include potential military action as well may be ‘necessary’ in order to perpetuate party leadership:

— China is currently being pressured by a deteriorating economy and rising social unrest around the country;

— As the Trump administration’s tariff regime continues and, perhaps, grows (POTUS threatened to expand tariffs to even more Chinese goods after the upcoming G-20 meeting), the CCP could begin to get more desperate.

That means:

— The Chinese may seek to disrupt American financial markets (even as POTUS Trump’s policies and the GOP tax cut have led to record growth). This could come as soon as this month as new 25-percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods take effect.

— “The CCP could seek to influence and interfere in U.S. politics and society,” the report noted. No doubt this would take the form of Russian interference in the 2016 election (few people doubt that Moscow attempted to interfere; it’s just that the Trump campaign wasn’t in on it).

— The CCP may “find ways to influence politicians in both major parties to disrupt governance or Trump’s policies.” For example, the party could seek to have the president’s tariff authority restricted, though there doesn’t seem to be a congressional majority in both chambers of Congress for that to happen over a presidential veto.

There are other potential disruptions as well, SinoInsider reports, including increased Chinese influence in Europe and Asia to fracture American alliances and weaken Washington’s position around the world — though China’s money only goes so far because it comes with CCP authoritarianism. (Related: Gingrich: China’s economy ‘can’t take the battering’ POTUS Trump is set to deliver.)

The Chinese economy could be in a similar position as the U.S. economy in 2007-08: Dangerously overextended and on the verge of collapse. That would have negative global economic implications, just like our collapse did.

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Abortion advocates claim “medical” reasons for abortion include the mother changing her mind about pregnancy

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(Natural News) One of the oft-repeated arguments by pro-deathers in favor of legalized abortion contends that women sometimes need to murder their unborn children for “medical” reasons, and that we shouldn’t deprive them of this “right.” But as admitted by Death Cult Disciple Leah Torres, the word “medical” can mean pretty much anything in the context of abortion, including a woman’s desire to simply no longer be pregnant.

During a recent interview with Dank Pro-Life Memes, Torres openly admitted that not wanting to be pregnant anymore is a valid “medical” reason for wanting an abortion, as is simply changing one’s mind about having a baby. Torres also contends that abortion is just another medical procedure whereby the “products of conception are removed from the uterine cavity” – hence why she also believes that everyone, including people who support abortion, are somehow “pro-life.”

Though she previously stated on Twitter that unborn babies are, in fact, “human beings,” Torres apparently doesn’t believe that unborn human life has any value whatsoever, let alone human rights. In her view, unborn babies are a “medical indication” for women by their very existence, which means that women should have the right to deal with unborn human life however they see fit until it “no longer alters maternal physiology and no longer poses health and life risks to pregnant people.”

In other words, unborn babies are a burden on pregnant women, according to Torres, which means these women have a right to unburden themselves through abortion if they so choose. It’s the epitome of selfish disregard for society’s most vulnerable, and yet this is considered to be “progress” in the eyes of death-loving Leftists who refuse to take personal responsibility for their own reproductive organs by not getting pregnant in the first place.

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For related news, be sure to check out Abortions.news.

Abortion is NEVER medically necessary, nor does it EVER save women’s lives

Though it might seem to be factual considering how often it’s repeated by pro-deathers, the truth is that abortion is never medically necessary. It’s also a fact that getting an abortion has never saved a single woman’s life – this, according to former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino.

“Dr. Levatino has saved hundreds of pregnant women’s lives, working against the clock in the face of devastating health situations, and not once did he find that it was medically necessary to deliberately kill the unborn baby,” write Lila Rose and Donna Harrison for the Washington Examiner.

“Abortion is not a procedure done in true emergency situations. The purpose of an abortion is to produce a dead baby, not to separate the mother and the baby.”

But if you try to explain any of this to members of the Death Cult, you likely won’t get very far. That’s because those obsessed with abortion have been programmed to trigger immediately upon being challenged, demonstrating that they’re unable to receive and digest actual facts that contradict their deranged world view, which perceives violent murder as some kind of “virtue.”

And they have Roe v. Wade as backing, of course, seeing as how the vaguely-written court ruling defines “medical” reasons for abortion as “all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient.”

“This vague language means women can have an abortion for any reason whatsoever, and it can be marked up to an issue of emotional health,” writes Cassy Fiano-Chesser for LifeSiteNews.com.

“And while Torres breezily waves off ‘not being pregnant anymore’ as a medical reason for an abortion, the reality is that most Americans strongly oppose this kind of pro-abortion extremism.”

“And while Torres breezily waves off ‘not being pregnant anymore’ as a medical reason for an abortion, the reality is that most Americans strongly oppose this kind of pro-abortion extremism.”


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GOP Sen. Hawley introduces bill to force YouTube to end its “catering to pedophiles” even as the platform bans conservatives and indy media

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(Natural News) As Missouri’s attorney general, Josh Hawley went after the big tech platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for allegedly violating the privacy rights of the citizens of his state, as well as other practices that were inconsistent and unfair.

As a U.S. senator, Hawley has continued his quest to hold these behemoths accountable as they selectively enforce “community standards” that allow them to discriminate against conservatives and independent media while coddling those engaged in disgusting and potentially illegal behavior.

As reported by Fox News on Thursday, GOP Sen. Hawley introduced legislation “that would force video-sharing websites such as YouTube to turn off their recommendation systems for videos featuring children.”

Specifically, Hawley’s legislation comes after a New York Times report noting that the video platform’s algorithm system has curated and recommended scores of videos featuring children, which is helping to spread such content to predators and their associates.

The Times noted that a Brazilian woman named “Christiane C.” was initially unconcerned when her 10-year-old daughter and a friend uploaded a video of themselves as they splashed and played in a backyard pool.

“The video is innocent, it’s not a big deal,” the woman, who lives in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, told the paper.

But soon her daughter excitedly informed her that the video received thousands of views. Within a short time, it garnered more than 400,000 views, “a staggering number for a video of a child in a two-piece bathing suit with her friend,” the Times noted.

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Then Christiane became very “scared,” and for good reason. The Times added: 

YouTube’s automated recommendation system — which drives most of the platform’s billions of views by suggesting what users should watch next — had begun showing the video to users who watched other videos of prepubescent, partially clothed children, a team of researchers has found.

This is a much needed first step

In February, YouTube disabled comments on many videos featuring children. But the recommendation system remained intact and continues to push them out to pedophiles and other predators. (Related: Google, Facebook, YouTube censorship of conservative sites, voices just like Communist CHINA.)

Now, YouTube has been reducing such recommendations, but Hawley says that’s not good enough.

“Every parent in America should be appalled that YouTube is pushing videos of their children to pedophiles,” he said, in a statement obtained by Fox News. “It’s equally outrageous that YouTube refuses to take the most effective step necessary to fix the issue. I’m proud to announce this legislation to force YouTube to do the right thing and place children’s safety over profits and pedophiles.”

If passed, the legislation will impose stiff fines and criminal penalties for violations, but it would only apply to videos that primarily feature minors — not all videos that happen to have minors in the background, for instance. Also, professionally-produced videos such as those for talent shows and whatnot would also be exempted.

In response, YouTube has also begun updating enforcement of the company’s live-streaming policy in order to prevent minors, especially younger children, from uploading videos unless an adult is clearly accompanying them.

But what about other actions taken by YouTube that involve outright bans, especially of conservatives and independent publishers like Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, founder/editor of Natural News? Or the defunding of other popular conservatives such as Steven Crowder of TheBlazeTV, which just occurred this week?

Is Congress prepared to begin treating these social media Nazis like public utilities, meaning they can be regulated? While raking in billions of dollars off of video content uploaded to giants like YouTube and Facebook, the companies then claim they’re not responsible because they’re a private-sector distribution platform.

These companies can’t — or shouldn’t — have it both ways. Hawley’s legislation, if it passes, is a much-needed first step at reigning in discriminatory practices by the social media behemoths.

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