Here’s what we’re reading today.
1. Vancouver home sales fall by 40 per cent in January
“Home sales in the Vancouver region last month dropped by almost 40 per cent from the year before with the sale of detached houses falling hardest.”
2. Canada’s public safety minister admits CSIS kept its data analysis centre secret
“Nobody told the Trudeau government that Canada’s spy agency was running a large data analysis centre until a federal court started looking into whether the facility was collecting troves of data on Canadians who were never suspected of a crime.”
3. It’s Putin’s World
“After the global financial crisis of 2008, populist uprisings had sprouted across Europe. Putin and his strategists sensed the beginnings of a larger uprising that could upend the Continent and make life uncomfortable for his geostrategic competitors. A 2013 paper from the Center for Strategic Communications, a pro-Kremlin think tank, observed that large patches of the West despised feminism and the gay-rights movement and, more generally, the progressive direction in which elites had pushed their societies. With the traditionalist masses ripe for revolt, the Russian president had an opportunity. He could become, as the paper’s title blared, ‘The New World Leader of Conservatism.'”
+1: Foreign policy insider: ‘No readout of Trump-Putin call because White House turned off recording’ – Raw Story
+1: U.S. Congress is also stressed as hell about how intense all this Trump news is – BuzzFeed News
4. Is Steve Bannon the second most powerful man in the world?
“Act I of the Trump presidency has been filled with disruption, as promised by Trump and programmed by Bannon, with plenty of resistance in reply, from both inside and outside the government. Perhaps this should not be surprising. Trump told America many times in 2016 that his would be no ordinary Administration. Having launched his campaign as a can-do chief executive, he came to see himself as the leader of a movement–and no movement is complete without its commissar. Bannon is the one who keeps the doctrine pure, the true believer, who is in it not for money or position, but to change history.”
+1: Bannon’s first major play is shaping up as a full-blown fiasco – Washington Post
+1: Steve Bannon in 2016: legal immigration is the real “problem” – Vox
5. The cult of the paranoid Medium post
“A viral, speculative scenario can be either a fantasy or a nightmare, but both usually share one thing: a promise of certainty. There’s a weird sort of relief that comes with believing you understand, at least, why a bad thing is happening, even if you’re powerless to stop it. Increasingly, the paranoid Medium post has entered to provide that relief.”