Sunday, December 31, 2006

Google News Breaks Tory Hearts

More than a few Tory hearts were broken this morning when they went onto Google News and saw this screen. Note the poll shot next to the headline "Political Winds of Change". Unfortunately when you click on the link for the poll it refers to the numbers of the British Tory party viz Labour. Cruel, cruel Google News, taunting Tories that way and on New Years Eve, too.

I guess one could ask why Google news would provide a picture of a poll that looks like a Canadian poll on a page supposedly about Canadian politics. Conspiracy theorists could say they were trying to fool the casual observer into thinking the Canadian Tory party was actually ahead in the polls, but I am not a conspiracy theorist.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Vatican Right

In its opposition to the death penalty for Saddam Hussein. I realize conservative Catholics hang onto a warped interpretation of the catechism as some sort of talisman against reality, but the Church has moved on. JPII set such stringent conditions on using the death penalty that he virtually removed it from the state's bag of tricks.
56. This is the context in which to place the problem of the death penalty. On this matter there is a growing tendency, both in the Church and in civil society, to demand that it be applied in a very limited way or even that it be abolished completely. The problem must be viewed in the context of a system of penal justice ever more in line with human dignity and thus, in the end, with God's plan for man and society. The primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is "to redress the disorder caused by the offence".46 Public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfils the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people's safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated. 47

It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.

In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: "If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person".48 (From Evangelium vitae)
I always thought that it was crazy that a church which defended life from natural conception to natural death alway made an exception for one group -- even if it is the most vile group imaginable. So, I am glad the Church is being consistent and is speaking out against this barbaric practice.
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Jean Pierre Kingsley

I think the Jurist is on to something. It makes sense that Kingsley thought Harper was a rat bastard (I mean who doesn't?), who if he ever gets a majority would put someone like Gerry Nicholls in his job. Not wanting to take that chance, Kingsley chose to go now, while there is a minority, in order to make sure someone a little less "no government for me or thee", got the position. If that is case, we all owe Mr. Kingsley a debt of gratitude. We can see clearly what cash and carry governing has done to the States. We don't need that here.
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Friday, December 29, 2006

Conservative Reaction To Bad News

Oh no, a huge sheet of Arctic ice has broken and they are blaming global warming! Christ, someone might want the Harper government to do something about this. What's that? You say it happened 16 months ago, but we only just discovered it? Thank God, we can blame the Liberals, since it happened during their watch. The pressure is off. Go back to sleep.
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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Note To Evangelical Christians

From the Globe today:
Political scientist Roger Gibbins, head of the Calgary-based Canada West Foundation, said he doesn't think Mr. Harper has a lot to gain from implementing the anti-abortion or anti-gay-marriage agenda.

As a matter of fact, he believes that Mr. Harper has effectively put an end to the gay marriage issue by holding a free vote on it earlier this fall.

Although skeptical at the outset, Prof. Gibbins now believes the vote will effectively put an end to arguments that the government plans to go back to the old definition of marriage at a later date.

He also believes the Prime Minister doesn't necessarily have to start delivering victories to the Christian right because those voters typically have no other party to go to, at least not now.
The Tory Party is laughing at you. I can hear them now. "Go ahead, be mad. Who cares? It's not like you are going anywhere." They are almost as predictable as they think you are. Prove them wrong. Don't be chumps.
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Calling All Blogging Tories

So, the party in power breaks the political finance laws, stonewalls for months and then admits it did it, during the dead zone between Christmas and New Year's Day. In any other year, with any other party in power, the BT's would be howling for blood. Let's see what they do, now that it is God's party that has broken the law. My bet is, the two common stances coming from that corner will be silent acquiescence and the classic "everybody does it" defence.

Btw, my favorite part of the official Tory defence comes in this line:
The Conservative Party of Canada does not believe that delegate fees paid to cover the basic costs of a convention should be subsidized by taxpayers through the political tax credit system," says a letter accompanying the receipts.

"However, we have recently been advised that Elections Canada takes the position that the amount of a convention fee paid by a delegate, less the value of certain `tangible benefits' received such as meals, are to be treated as a political contribution by that delegate."
It's like me saying, "While I don't believe that driving drunk with my pants down is a crime, this policeman disagrees".
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Friday, December 22, 2006

The First One Is Always Special

Ah, the first juicy scandal of a new government. It is always the most special one. Imagine, a Tory government placing its "private sector uber alles" ideology above passenger safety in a 9/11 world. Who'da thunk it? Watch the government go to ground on this one (by that I mean of course, Stephen Harper). Luckily for Steve he has that steady performer, Lawrence "Don't as me who is a Quebecer" Cannon on the case. I think I am going to sit back and enjoy this.
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Thursday, December 21, 2006


There was a time, not too long ago, when I would have been outraged by a Conservative Minister of the Crown using the term "spear-chucker" in a sentence. Now I just want to get Stock, and all the rest of those stupid, cracker, assholes, the help they so desperately need.
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I Almost Feel Sorry For Harper

It must be Christmas, because I almost feel sorry for the bastard. It must be terrible to be so terrified of being thought a queer, that our Prime Minister won't ride on the back of his own wife's motorcycle when she is driving.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More Clues Of An Impending Robbery

Chantal Hebert gives us more evidence of something I noticed yesterday. Harper is getting ready to throw open the vault to Quebec (and I suspect the rest of the robber barons disguised as premiers). Hold onto your wallets folks. This is going to cost us big.
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A Mr. Stephen Harper Of No Fixed Opinion

This is what happens when you ram through a resolution in the House without really understanding what it means. You end up looking like a tool in subsequent interviews.
"I think you identify yourself. It's an identity, not a legal definition," he said.

"Being a Canadian carries a legal definition - you're a citizen or you're not.

"But the idea of a Quebec nation is strictly a matter of identity and you can't define it for everyone."

He said the concept implies ties to the French language and the territory of Quebec.

"Obviously this idea is linked to the French language. For that reason, if you're speaking of a Quebecois nation you're speaking of French," he said.

"You're speaking of the Quebecois, not Quebecers."

He was asked: does that mean anglophone Quebecers aren't part of the Quebecois nation?

"I think some anglophones and some ethnic groups identify with the Quebecois nation. Maybe some don't," he said.

"I don't think it's possible to put precise terms to it."

If the main criterion is an attachment to the French language, then does that mean all French-Canadians - even those outside Quebec - belong to the Quebecois nation?

"I'm not sure," Harper said, speaking in French.
So, I could be Quebecois too, or maybe not. How 'bout my cat?
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In Whose Interest

This quote from an "analyst" in the National Post this morning shows clearly in whose interest the Conservatives are acting in its dispute with the wheat board:
David Newman, an analyst who follows agribusiness at National Bank Financial, said the removal of Mr. Measner suggests the government is serious about fixing what many observers feel is a flaw at the Wheat Board.

As it stands, Western farmers get to elect 10 of the 15 members of the agency’s board of directors, and so far they have been choosing mostly pro-monopoly candidates. But Mr. Newman says that’s because votes are skewed in favour of small growers under the current one-farmer, one-vote system.

“You shouldn’t be giving a hobby farmer the same weight as a as a large-scale corporate farmer,” Mr. Newman said. “There should be a fair vote.” If large-scale farmers were better represented, the Wheat Board would likely not have a monopoly on wheat pricing, he said.
Sure and why do we give average "hobby citizens" the right to vote in federal elections, when restricting the vote to the great and good would be much more efficient? That's a "flaw" in democracy I'm sure the Tories will get around to fixing eventually.
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Because They Have Nothing Better To Worry About

Even when Psycho Steve tries to look likes he gives a shit about the environment, he comes off looking like a dick. Look at his response when asked about why his clean air bill got such a bad reception:
"We have to point out why the environment is a priority for the public,'' he said in French.

"Because there are no more scandals, there are no more threats against national unity, there is no longer a government that never acts, there is a strong economy . . .

"Things are going well for Canada and for Quebec. It's not the same for the environment.
Stupid Canadians. Give 'em real problems to worry about and we can forget about all this environment bullshit.
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God Bless Us, Everyone...Except In Quebec

Stephen Harper's good friend and supremo at the National Citizen's Coalition, Gerry Nicholls, has created a meditation on Christmas miracles, in a light-hearted attempt at humour. Here is a sample of what Mr. Nicholls and his friends are laughing at this year:
Indeed, I am surprised there aren’t special interest groups out there protesting the lack of a National Miracle Program.

But would we really want to nationalize the miracle business? Would it really be in the best interests of the population to set up, say, a Ministry of Christmas Miracles in Ottawa?

I don’t think so. In fact, in the spirit of ideologically tainting Christmas, here is what I think miracles would be like if they were run by the Canadian government.

Miracles would be marketed by ad companies associated with the Liberal party.

There would be about 10 times as many angels as required to do the job.

Every other year the miracle-givers would go on strike to get a richer pension.

A disproportionately large share of the miracles would end up being performed in Quebec.
It goes on (and on) from there, but you get the idea. I wonder if Quebecers appreciate the humour in this piece? I wonder if Steve thinks it is a hoot, too?
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Harper Must Be Planning To Give Away The Store

In order to get seats in Quebec. He must be getting ready to open up the treasury for the provinces to plunder. That's the only explanation I can come up with. Harper must be planning to do something so outrageous, he is convinced he will sweep Quebec. Otherwise, why would he be so cavalier about seats on the prairies?
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Monday, December 18, 2006

Chantal Knows

Chantal Hebert nails the central failures of both Stephen Harper and Jack Layton since the election:
With Liberal morale low and the official opposition distracted by a marathon-style leadership campaign, NDP Leader Jack Layton was presented with a unique opportunity to step up to the plate as main critic of the Harper government.

But Layton ended up spending too much time re-fighting his last wars against the Liberals and not enough time defining new terms of engagement against the Conservatives.

If Harper had consistently stuck to the middle-of-the-road approach to policy that had ensured his election victory, the NDP strategy of equating past Liberal failings to present Conservative ones might have worked. (emphasis mine)

But with the government regularly reverting to its Reform roots this fall, many voters quickly started worrying more about a future under a Harper government than about the recent Liberal past. Far from sinking Liberals further, the NDP approach ended up creating a convenient vacuum for its resurgent Liberal opponents.
Ms. Hebert kindly lets Jack off the hook a bit (in a backhanded way), by going on to say the NDP is too minor to make much difference. The point is, Harper failed by moving off the centre (his five points were brilliant). Layton has failed by keeping his focus off Harper's failure and chasing after a party that has been out of power for a year.
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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Natural Rights Part 2

Ben, the Tiger has sided with Kathy Shaidle on the topic of natural rights.
What do I think? Well, I'm actually with Kathy -- there is no constitutional right to a cheese sandwich at Woolworth's.

Saying that I have a right to someone else's services is just plain silly, and those students could have been arrested for what they did. (And often were.)

That being so, however, sometimes one has to break the law to make a higher point. And that point is, of course, that those people in exercising their property rights and freedom of commerce were behaving like racist assholes, and making the lives of their fellow citizens a seemingly endless train of humiliations.

And the other point made there was that the system of everyday humiliations that was the private side of Jim Crow was only possible as long as those who were being stomped on implicitly tolerated it.

That still doesn't create a right to a cheese sandwich -- it just means it was worth breaking the law and getting arrested to make a point about higher justice.(emphasis mine)
It is an interesting argument, but I think he undercuts himself at the end. I ask you , what is this "higher justice", of which Ben speaks? It is quite obviously, the protection of the natural right of all individuals in a free society to be treated like everybody else. No more, no less. That overarching natural right trumps all other considerations. It certainly has primacy over freedom of commerce and property rights, Ben admits that by admitting there is a "higher justice" at stake. Therefore, since we both agree that natural rights are paramount, our only disagreement is whether a person needs to be arrested in order to point out the offense against natural rights. I think it an unnecessary obstacle to a just society for all.
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Friday, December 15, 2006

The Stupidest Question You Will Read Today

I really have to stop reading Kathy Shaidle. She gives me heartburn. Here is Kathy struggling with the concept of human rights:
Now maybe some of you understand why some conservatives were worried about the Civil Rights Movement back in the 1960s.

Yes, it is very brave and noble to refuse to give up your seat on the bus (an incident that was planned in advance, just like this one) or at thelunchcounter . Those people had real guts. I sympathize with their feelings and can't begin to imagine how humiliating and frustrating their lives must have been at the time.

But does anyone really have a Constitutional right to eat a cheese sandwich at Woolworth's, or even to this or that seat on a bus owned by a private company? (emphasis Kathy's)
Um, yes. Yes they do. The Declaration of Independence declares "all men are created equal" and this is backed up by the ninth amendment to the Constitution. So all people are entitled to eat at Woolworth's and to a seat on a bus, private or not. It's called treating people like a human beings, Kathy. You should try it some time.
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Headlines Steve Didn't Want To See With A Possible Election Looming

PM, Bush have similar ideologies, U.S. State official says
Another huge windstorm rumbles across B.C.
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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Okay, This Isn't Funny Anymore

I have outrage fatigue. While Steve is obsessed with such burning issues as "Senate Reform", he is, it seems, totally unconcerned with a little thing like the development of our high tech sector. Senate Reform/High Tech Sector, Senate Reform/ HighTech Sector. You would have to either be an idiot or a Conservative Party supporter to choose the former over the latter. Bring on an election. I can't wait. Warren Kinsella, if you need a recruit in your new battle against the forces of darkness, drop me a line at
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Kathy Shaidle's Fractured Fairytales

I don't usually do this, but I thought I needed to comment on this quote from Kathy Shaidle's blog:
The problem isn't your or my interpretation of the Koran. It is the interpretation of the Koran on the part of people who will kill us. You may have noticed that no Christian or Jew in the last 2000 years has actually carried out the capital punishment verses of Leviticus (emphasis Kathy's), but every day, Muslims around the world carry out violent injunctions in the Koran. That is why we have to be more worried about them.
That (Kathy's emphasised section) may be the case (although she offers no proof of this blanket pardon and there is evidence that she is, in fact, quite incorrect), but the Christian Church certainly followed the advice of the book preceding Leviticus until relatively recently.
Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
I should remind Kathy too, that Christians cheerfully slaughtered each other over competing interpretations of the Bible, into the 21st century (Northern Ireland anyone?). When religion is introduced into the mix, excuses for carrying out "capital punishment" for offenses, real or imagined, are almost limitless. This is an issue of extremists doing what they do, killing in the name of their "truth". It is not an issue confined to Islam. Extremism is a human burden. I guess Kathy's consuming paranoia (the last "challenge" is especially disturbing in its bile) about Muslims caused her to miss another passage from the Bible, this one from the New Testament.
Matthew 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
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Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Douche Bag Of Liberty On Citizenship

Stephen Harper took a break yesterday, from pulling the wings off flys, long enough to weigh in on the "issue" of Mr. Dion's dual citizenship. Guess what, he's against it. What a surprise. Harper's views on dual citizenship were made clear this past summer as he showed absolutely no remorse at the deaths of Lebanese Canadians during the unplesantness with Israel. Thanks Mr. Harper for reminding us, once again, what a douche bag you truly are.
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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Say What? Same Sex Edition

"You bury the issue by having the thing defeated and it looks like it will be," a senior Tory campaigner said. "I'm not saying you deliberately try to lose the vote . . . You try your best, but the reality of the vote being defeated is it makes it very hard for the opponents of the Conservative Party to attack the Conservatives for a lack of moderation."
So, I guess raising the issue from the dead in order to mollify your reactionary wing won't tip people off that you may have some less than progressive elements in your party, then? The drugs they are passing around Conservative Party headquarters must be really, really, good.
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ezra Levant And Dual Loyalties

One of the more absurd "controversies" floating around the country today is the "issue" of Mr. Dion's dual citizenship. Ezra Levant, never one to miss the opportunity to make an ass of himself, has published a smear job in the Calgary Sun called "Question of Loyalty". Mr. Levant takes several paragraphs to come to the conclusion that we may not be able to trust Mr. Dion's loyalty because he has dual citizenship with France. This is a highly ironic argument coming from the Jewish Mr. Levant, as it the same kind of nonsense antisemites spread around about Jews. Does Mr. Levant now think the "dual loyalty" argument holds water? Is he willing to renounce his Jewish religion as a sign of loyalty to Canada? Perhaps Mr. Levant will enlighten us all in upcoming columns.

If Ezra needs a hint as to how he can pretzel his way out of this, he should look at Jack Layton's comments:
"I would prefer that a leader of a party hold only Canadian citizenship, because one represents many Canadians, and for me that means that it's better to remain the citizen of one country," Layton told The Canadian Press.

"But for a person that isn't in a position of representing others, holding dual citizenship is fine with us."
ie Dual citizenship is ok for voters (and presumably columnists), but not for party leaders. What nonsense.
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I just love saying the word! Last year's bash was the social event of the season. It was like Woodstock -- without the mud. I have cribbed Bob Tarantino's directions thusly:
Proudly co-presented with Joey (Accordion Guy) deVilla and Jason Cherniak, please join us on Friday, December 8, 2006 at Toronto's Fiddler's Green, 27 Wellesley Street East - right across from Wellesley subway station on the Yonge line (so don't be a dumbass and drink and drive - but if you are driving, there's a paid parking lot right next to the bar) for the latest blogstravaganza, a gathering of the tribes of bloggers, readers, friends and enemies.
It is slated to get under way at around 8ish. Sadly, I won't be there this year, as I am expected to be at my employer's less exciting event. Sigh, the lonely road of the middle manager. As much as that will break some hearts (not!), I don't want to discourage anyone who was thinking of going. This is going to be a fabulous event and who knows you might see a celebrity there (Greg Staples, perhaps).
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You have to hand it to the Tories and their eager mouthpieces in the press. They learn from the best. The meme, du jour is "Dion has a secret agenda to destroy the economy of Canada." Harper's people must be wetting themselves with laughter over that one. They are so clever. I wonder though, if they want to go to the Canadian people and defend the idea that if we do anything, anything, to combat global warming, we will destroy the economy? Well, I guess that might sell in Alberta, but then again, they don't need convincing.
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Monday, December 04, 2006

Be Prepared For The Return Of The "Sheeple"

Today the BT's are denouncing Alan Gregg's poll as Liberal propaganda (think about that for a second). If the next few polls are as bad news for the Tories as today's was, be prepared for the denunciations of the "sheeple" to start up from the right side of the blogging aisle.
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Dion Has The Whip In Hand

It looks like the Liberals under Dion, will not be Paul Martin's Liberals. Dion does not see rights as being a matter of conscience. Good on him.
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Tory Strategy

The Tories are going to present themselves as the federalist party in Quebec, in response to Dion's election. What a joke. They are "federalist" in the same way the "stood up for Canada" in the softwood lumber deal. That is to say, not at all. The Tories are provincialists. Period. I think Dion will quite successfully point that out to the voters. What the Tories think they will gain in Quebec (not much as the sovereigntists already have a place to vote), they will lose in the rest of Canada.
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Way To Go Blogging Tories

Stephane Dion has been Liberal leader for two days and the BT's are already suggesting he is gay. Way to go guys. My faith in your dumbassitude has been upheld, once again.
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Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Party Of Immature Little Boys

This is why I hate the Tory Party. It isn't their policies (which are fucking awful), or their obsessive genuflection toward Washington (which is nauseating). No, it is their smirking, frat-boy approach to politics that generates the hatred in me. There is no dirty trick that is out of bounds for these guys and it is all passed off as "a boys will be boys" thing (kind of like date rape after a kegger, wink, wink).

If I was working at Liberal Party headquarters, I would put extra locks and the doors and hire the best security in the world. Any party that would try to manipulate democracy like the Harper Tories have, would not think twice about using other "unusual" methods to achieve their ends.
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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dion, Dion, Dion, Dion, Diiiion, Dion

It's 11:00 am, but I get the sense that the anybody but Iggy movement is shifting to an anybody but Rae movement. If that happens, Dion is my bet to win it all.

Update: 3:20 pm. One more ballot to see if my crystal ball needs cleaning. What did I say about the "Anybody but Rae" movement? Bye, bye Bob. Enjoy your retirement, bud.

Update 2: 6:30 pm. Good to know the crystal ball still works. Now to go look up what Jack said about Dion at the policy convention a couple of months back.
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Dutch Treat?

Um, I thought Canadian forces knew all this stuff. I thought we were the big peacekeeping experts. Is this story for real and if it is why the hell aren't we doing things the Dutch way, rather than the American way? After all, I thought the Dutch techniques were the Canadian way.
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Friday, December 01, 2006

Thursday Night Massacre

Are the Tories going to do something evil every day of the Liberal convention? They are such sneaky cowards. I wonder if Chuck Strahl was informed of this decision? Yes, I know the letter was from Strahl, but with this government, that means less than zero.
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