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Canadians try to boycott American-made food products

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A funny thing happened along the way as Canadians decided to start a boycott against American-made groceries. It turns out that so many Canadian food products are made in America that consumers don’t even realize how much is actually coming from their neighbors to the south.

A perceived one-two punch to Canadians delivered from the Trump administration has the “Canada-nice” reputation in jeopardy. The usually easy-going Canadians are downright angry about the tariffs levied on Canadian steel and other products. Then, adding insult to injury, President Trump mocked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak” at the G-7 summit in his own country.

A hashtag-worthy movement began as Canadians began calling for consumers to #BuyCanadian, #BoycottUSProducts, and #BoycottUSA. There is a catch, though. Up to 60% of the food on Canadian grocery store shelves is from America. Average Canadian consumers don’t know what products are and are not made in Canada. Not so easy, eh?

The country is the U.S.’s top export market, taking a little more than 18% of all U.S. goods that are sold abroad. Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, estimates roughly 40% to 60% of food on Canada’s grocery shelves is from the U.S. Closely linked production chains make it tough to determine how much of any given item was produced domestically.

That has left would-be boycotters scratching their heads as they untangle how much of a given product was made or grown outside the country.

Even when a food product is technically produced in Canada, the actual food comes from America. For example, sweet potatoes aren’t grown in Canada’s climate so the source of frozen sweet potato fries is America.

Susan Quinn-Mullins, a semiretired communications professional from Burlington, Ontario, said she turned to the frozen-food section of her local grocery store when she couldn’t find Canadian-grown sweet potatoes. Canadian food giant McCain Foods Ltd. makes sweet-potato fries, but the package said the potatoes were grown in the U.S., Ms. Quinn-Mullins said.

“I’m now becoming slightly radical about this,” said Ms. Quinn-Mullins, who skipped the fries and is still on the hunt for Canadian sweet potatoes.

A spokeswoman for McCain said its sweet potatoes are sourced from the U.S., where the climate is better for growing them.

Interesting development there. So far, the boycott efforts aren’t proving very fruitful. The movement is young but the sheer amount of goods exported from America is daunting.

It is difficult to say whether the nascent boycott efforts are having an impact. Goods exports to Canada were up nearly 4% in June from the same month last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, they were down 1.2% when compared with the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Some companies have wised up and jumped on the bandwagon to promote Canadian products by displaying the Canadian flag on labels. This is a sound marketing decision. I know that when I lived in south Louisiana, a push for locals to buy authentic Cajun products spurred companies to label their products as such on labels. For me, it helps when I shop for frozen crawfish, for example. Chinese crawfish importers can have very deceptive labeling. I buy crawfish from the Gulf of Mexico, not China.

So, what about the idea of boycotting travel to America for vacation? That idea isn’t showing as much support or enthusiasm.

One sector where the boycott efforts doesn’t seem to be working is travel. Overall cross-border car trips by Canadians were up 12.7% in June from the same month last year, according to Statistics Canada.

Canadians like to virtue-signal and illegal immigration is one of their favorite issues to drag the Trump over. Nevermind that even Justin Trudeau has now admitted that unlimited access to Canada via an open border approach on his side of the border isn’t such a great idea. Resources are being stretched thin.

Most of the migrants entering Canada from America are exploiting a loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement. The Safe Third Country Agreement spells out that asylum seekers must make their claim in the country in which they first arrived. But that only applies when claims are made at official border ports of entry. If, however, asylum seekers reach Canadian territory by avoiding ports of entry, they become entitled to stay while their claims are processed. That is because of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and because Canada is a signatory of the U.N. Refugee Convention. In this way, claimants knowingly avoid return to the U.S. and are placing a strain on Canadian federal, provincial and municipal resources.

In the absence of a mitigating policy, illegal migrants crossing the U.S.-Canada border will increasingly consume resources previously meant to help process overseas immigrants. Canadian citizens who seek to bring their family members into the country will be delayed. Employers who seek to bring over skilled workers will not be able to do so. Investors who want to come to Canada to start businesses and grow the Canadian economy will be pushed aside.

It turns out that when Canadians are planning some vacation travel to America, the decision becomes a bit murkier than in the past. With good deals to be had for summer travel, for example, family trips aren’t being sacrificed in the name of sticking it to President Trump.

Despite all the boycott talk, the number of Canadians returning from overnight trips in the U.S. has actually grown by six per cent, on a seasonally adjusted basis, since Trump’s inauguration.

Western Canadians, in particular, are flocking across the border in larger and larger numbers, with double-digit increases recorded in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan over that same time.

The individual pocketbook always wins in the end. Who is going to pass up a quick trip over the border for a baseball game or an easy weekend trip at a good price just to make a statement over an American policy that won’t be affected anyway? Canadians are practical in their outrage.

Time will tell how effective the boycotting of American good turns out. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a list of goods affected by  Canadian tariffs launched in a tit-for-tat retaliation.

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Forecast: GOP now more likely to have *at least* 54 Senate seats next year than to lose its majority

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A nifty catch by Philip Klein, eyeballing the latest data from Nate Silver’s model (as of 5:15 p.m. ET). Check it yourself. Democrats momentarily have an 18.4 percent chance of gaining two seats and winning a majority next month. Whereas Republicans have a 9.1 percent chance of gaining three, a 5.5 percent chance of gaining four, a 3.2 percent chance of gaining five, a 1.4 percent of gaining six, a 0.7 percent chance of gaining seven, and a 0.3 percent chance of shooting the lights out and gaining eight (which would leave them one seat shy of a filibuster-proof majority, for what it’s worth). Add those up and you get a 20.2 percent chance of 54 or better.

Which can be summed up in four words: Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Klein on the path to 54:

Though Republicans were always favorites to keep the Senate, their odds have improved in recent weeks, with three states in particular giving them a boost. Republicans are now considered “likely” to keep their seats in Texas and Tennessee and North Dakota seems ready to flip into the Republican column. Barring any other major upsets, victories in those three races would be enough for Republicans to keep the Senate — hence their 81.6 percent chances overall.

To get to 54, the most likely scenario would be that Republicans win the tossup states of Nevada and Missouri, and then surge to victory in Arizona and Florida (two races that are currently tilting Democrat, but well within range of Republican victory). Beyond that, they’d have to start flipping some seats that are currently considered “likely” to remain Democrat, such as Montana and West Virginia.

Eh, I don’t know if Montana and Indiana, the latter of which he neglected to mention, are all that “likely” to remain Democratic. They’re leaning that way, with both Jon Tester and Joe Donnelly clinging to three-point leads. But Montana hasn’t been polled in three weeks and the latest from Indiana has Donnelly up four but with just 44 percent of the vote. In fact, in none of the four polls dating back to August has Donnelly topped 44, suggesting that a lot of Hoosiers are thinking hard about whether to stick with the incumbent. It’s likely that the GOP will be disappointed somewhere on Election Night — Missouri, Nevada, and Arizona are all leading candidates — but going for one for two on Montana and Indiana seems doable.

Whichever way they do it, if they can get to 54 then Collins and Murkowski might well be nonfactors during the next SCOTUS battle. Flake won’t be in the Senate at all, of course. Trump really might have the arsenal he needs to fill a Ginsburg or Breyer vacancy with a conservative.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news, also from Silver’s model:

Click the link and add up the different probable outcomes and you’ll see that the GOP has about the same odds of holding the House as Democrats do of winning … at least 54 seats. They’ve got a 10 percent chance of winning at least 60. Gonna be a lot of subpoenas for Pat Cipollone to cope with next year.

There are no new swing-state polls as I write this but keep an eye on the one of Arizona that’s currently in progress (yes, in progress) at the NYT’s site, the Upshot. As I write this at a little after 5 p.m. on the east coast, they’ve compiled a sample of 299 people — not large enough yet to give us confidence in the topline numbers but large enough to make it worth paying attention to. Currently Martha McSally leads Kyrsten Sinema by four points, 49/45. If that holds through the end of the poll, it would be the second straight survey showing McSally ahead after trailing for most of the race. (The previous poll had her up six.) Stay tuned.

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Midterm 2018 TEXAS: Robert (Beto) O’Rourke vs. Ted Cruz

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Texas is Texas.

You don’t mess with Texas!

Texans don’t want a far left US Senator who lies about his background and police records, DUI included, and abuses everything the Lone Star State stands for.

Senator Ted Cruz is up by at least 5 points — but that is not enough.

Cruz is a real conservative and an intellectual giant. He has the highest possible ratings from conservative groups as a sitting US Senator.


We can’t let him down.

His opponent Beto (really Robert) O’Rourke isn’t Hispanic but he is loudly PROGRESSIVE.

He is a phony.

He is a Democratic Socialist and would spell doom for our Republic.

He wants open borders, more rights for criminals, and an end to the petroleum economy.

In Texas?

Trump won Texas by 9 points.

Cruz should win reelection by at least that amount.

Recall Cruz not only voted for Judge Kavanaugh but he articulately defended due process and innocent until proven guilty – the very hallmark of western jurisprudence.

We need him; America needs his voice in the Senate.

There has not been a Democrat to hold statewide office in Texas since 1994!

Keep it that way.

Cruz is a star in national politics and a firm vote for our side. He makes America first! And he is the best advocate for Texas bare none.

Turnout is critical.

Cruz MUST win.

Make this viral in every corner of Texas.

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Pat Robertson: C’mon, we’re not going to blow up a key Middle East alliance over one little murder

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Lefties are marveling that a brand-name Christian conservative would be encouraging followers to look the other way at an assassination, but they’re forgetting Jesus’s parting words at the end of the Sermon on the Mount: “If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break a few eggs.”

Wait, am I misremembering? My youthful memories of the gospels are not the best. I think perhaps the savior’s actual parting words were “Velvet glove, iron fist.”

I mean, that at least sounds like Jesus.

Lotta mixed feelings about the evangelical turn towards hard-nosed realpolitik under Trump. On the one hand, the gripe about Christian conservatives used to be that they were forever trying to inject morals into the messy business of politics, made more uncomfortable by the fact that many millions of people disagree with some of their stances on sexual morality and resent their attempts to convert them into policy. Well, good news: Between Robertson’s take on the Khashoggi affair and the complete pass given to Trump on matters like Stormygate, there’s less moralizing than ever.

The bad news? I’m unclear from the clip below on how many murders Pastor Robertson would be willing to tolerate in the name of preserving the alliance and “$100 billion worth of arms sales,” as he notes in passing. Presumably his interest in the latter answers my question: Some of those weapons will be used to continue killing civilians in neighboring Yemen, as he doubtless knows. If Robertson’s willing to condone that in the name of checking Iran, naturally he would condone looking the other way at a lot of things, Khashoggi’s murder just one among them. Christianity’s nice and all but we’ve gotta live in the real world.

I honestly don’t know whether to call him a fraud or to salute him for taking a cold but sober view of the international chessboard.

There may be another reason why he and POTUS’s friends at CBN are rushing to provide cover here, though:

To some extent the Saudis’ problem is Trump’s problem. Right now Trump can afford to ignore the Democrats’ interest in finding out how much his and the Kingdom’s interests overlap. In three months, with the House likely in Democratic hands, it’ll be harder.

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