Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sounds Like Big "L" Liberalism To Me

Poor Matt Taibbi. He is writing about the American healthcare debate:
It won’t get done, because that’s not the way our government works. Our government doesn’t exist to protect voters from interests, it exists to protect interests from voters. The situation we have here is an angry and desperate population that at long last has voted in a majority that it believes should be able to pass a health care bill. It expects something to be done. The task of the lawmakers on the Hill, at least as they see things, is to create the appearance of having done something. And that’s what they’re doing.
That describes every Liberal government we have had for 30 years. I know he is describing a Liberal government, because if he was describing a Conservative government he would have said that they wanted appear to be doing less than nothing.
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Robert "Arar Must Be Guilty Because Someone Told Me" Fife Strikes Again

This time Bob was told that the Liberals concocted the wafer story:
Lisa, most of us will remember the story that went all around the world about the prime minister apparently not eating the host when he was at the funeral of former governor general Romeo LeBlanc. That story was first published in the St John Telegraph Journal which is owned by the billionaire Irving family. The prime minister hit the roof. Well, today, a grovelling apology from the paper. They said the story was not true. So what happened? Well, I'm told that the Liberals passed the story to young Jamie Irving who was the publisher of the paper. He passed it to the editor who put it in the paper without checking it out, and today the editor has been fired, and Jamie's father has suspended his son for thirty days, and I'm told the prime minister is pretty thrilled with that. (emphasis mine)
Who told Bob Fife it was all a Liberal plot? The Liberals? The Catholic Church? The Irvings? Or, was it someone in the PMO? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Update: Just to refresh everyone's memory. This isn't the first time Bob has been used as a helpful stenographer.
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It Is Never The Crime That Gets You

It is always, always, always the cover up. This story has legs. What was merely an embarrassing incident for the PM, has suddenly blossomed into a scandal. But of course, we all know is responsible for this, don't we? Yes that's right, the Liberals.
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Shorter Michael Warren

Since public sector unions have succeeded in getting more for their members than those in the private sector, the answer is to take away the gains from the public sector workers. Our motto should be "A race to the bottom for all (except CEO's, naturally)".
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Obama Had It Right

Last March, during his "Race Speech" in Philadelphia:
But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn't make it - those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations - those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright's generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings.
In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren't always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze - a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

This is where we are right now. It's a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy - particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.
That's where Gates and Crowley were during their fateful meeting. America (and Canada too, truth be told) has still a lot of facing up to do, when it comes to racial issues. History shapes the present and ignoring it only makes things worse (and it allows the oligarchs to continue to play one side off against the other). Hat tip to Judith Warner at the NY Times.
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thought Of The Day

It's funny, as I watch the American debate over healthcare, that the same forces who put down electoral reform is this country, the comfortable, the powerful and their corporate press minions, have American counterparts who are determined to deny Americans their human right to decent healthcare for all. The Oligarchy doesn't like change that challenges its economic or political stranglehold. No, it does not.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Things Are Looking Up For The Investor Class Oligarchy

The recession is dead. Long live the recession. Note to the oligarchy and its minions in the corporate press. Call me when unemployment in Ontario goes down to 5%.

Saturday Update: Of course, it could all be a scam, in which insiders are playing small investors for chumps.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blue Liberals Talk Health Reform

I am sure when Rob Silver talks healthcare reform he means raising taxes, changing the way doctors are paid, and ending big pharma's ridiculously long patent protection on drugs, right? Believe that and you are probably a "progressive" Liberal voter.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Blah's And American Healthcare Follies

I haven't been posting much lately. The crappy weather, combined with a certain amount of outrage fatigue, have taken a toll. But, I have been reading other people's stuff. Yes I have. And if you read nothing else today, read Ian Welsh's piece on the debacle that is the Obama healthcare plan. I am so glad Tommy Douglas got us healthcare before big pharma and big insurance were as organized as they are today. Now, I am going back to look outside for any sign of the sun.
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Kiwi Sign Of The Apocalyse

New Zealand 30 centimeters closer to Australia than it was last week.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thanks Bob Rae

We could have had provincial auto insurance, but you wimped out. Now, Ontarians are paying huge premiums to cover the insurance companies' losses in the casinos of New York. Thanks again Bob, for nothing.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Thanks to Warren K. for pointing this out. Steve. your staff blew it. They didn't give you great advice and you looked like a tool in front of the country. To try to turn this into some kind of vast left wing media conspiracy, is just you coming off of your medication. It isn't real. Go lie down, or kick some chairs, or something, ok? I can imagine the Pope smiling kindly and wondering who let the crazy guy into his audience chamber.
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Full Calendar

Suddenly, 2010 is looking to be a very full year. Canada is hosting the Olympics, the G8 and now the Queen is coming for a sleepover. When will we find time for an election, with all of that going on?
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Is This The End Of Rico?

God, I hope so. The big speculation now is about whether the "secret program" was this secret program. Will Obama's DOJ make a move against Cheney? I doubt it, but as I said, I live in hope.

Update: Today is a good day to be optimistic.
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stephen Harper, Economist

From the Globe:
Reguly: Do you regret cutting the GST now?

Harper: No, not at all.

Reguly: No?Harper: No, it's ... First of all, I believe cutting all taxes is good policy, okay? I... I'm of the school that... You know, there's two schools in economics on this, one is that there are some good taxes and the other is that no taxes are good taxes. I'm in the latter category. I don't believe any taxes are good taxes.
Harper is from the don't tax but spend school of economics. He believes the way to build a prosperous nation is to not to pay cash up front for goods and services through taxes, but to borrow heavily from Chinese investors. The way Steve sees it, this strategy has worked so well for the United States, that we would be fools not to get a piece of that action for ourselves.
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Friday, July 10, 2009


Our nuclear industry is in meltdown (no pun intended). You are doing a heckofa job Steve.
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Since Mr. Harper has called raising taxes "dumb", I think he owes Canadians an explanation of what programmes he intends to cut, to wipe out the structural deficits, his "smart" tax cuts have created. And before the next election please. Or, perhaps deficits don't matter.
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Just Thinking

Since Canada is to play host to the next G8 Summit, next June and the Olympics will be held next February, the window for a federal election before fall 2010 is very small indeed. The question is, will the opposition have the guts to pull the trigger this fall? If I had to guess, I would say Harper is safe until the end of next year, when other excuses will crop up and "no one" will want an election.
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Irony Watch

Prime Minister Harper slammed the media for reporting on an "unsubstantiated story" and then attacked Michael Ignatieff, based on an unsubstantiated story.
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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Question Is

Why was Stephen Harper (who is, not a Roman Catholic) taking Holy Communion in the first place? Surely, someone in his office should have known that that sort of thing is just not done. A non-Catholic can receive a blessing from the priest in lieu of receiving Holy Communion. The non-Catholic signifies his or her wish by folding his or her arms across their chest. Harper should have been briefed better. It would have save a lot of embarrassment all around.

Update: And if Harper did pocket the Communion wafer, there will be a shit storm.

Update: Weak justification of the day, from Dimitri Soudas:
Soudas said he doesn't see how Harper had a choice.

"I would simply say, 'Who is the prime minister to question a priest who offered him communion?'"
Um, he had a choice about whether or not to join the line for Communinion and he chose the former. Someone in your office fucked up big time, by not briefing Harper and made the boss look like a goof. Just admit it and move on.

Update: Here is the tape. Harper was in the first pew and the priest apparently approached the pew to hand out Communion (which is kind of odd, but whatever). Harper, if he had been briefed properly, should have asked for a blessing and all would have been well, but instead he reaches out for the wafer and then doesn't know what to do next. AWKWARD.

Update: Looking at the tape again, it appears as if Harper was, in fact, in line for Communion. Seriously, if that was the case, someone in his office needs to get a new job. Of course, it could be a case of not telling the boss something, because he "knows" everything.
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Morning Cynical Soccer Post

Oh no, Canada is doing well at the Gold Cup. It must be time to dump Steven Hart, in favor of a coach who favors a more traditionally Canadian (creativity free) approach.
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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Is Sarah Palin An Alien?

I ask only because she seems to be using Kang as her speech-writer.

Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me – sports… basketball. I use it because you’re naïve if you don’t see the national full-court press picking away right now: A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket… and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win. And I’m doing that – keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities – smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it’s time to pass the ball – for victory.
My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball, but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward,
and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.
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Friday, July 03, 2009

RIP Mrs. Slocombe

Mollie Sugden is dead. On behalf of all "Are You Being Served?" fans, thanks for the laughs Mollie. Never has the line "My pussy got soaking wet. I had to dry it out in front of the fire", been said more innocently and more wickedly.
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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Helping Dan

Out of the realm of confusion. It is all about Megan Fox. Glad to be of help. P.S. I warned you. I warned you, but did you listen?
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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Thank God There Was No Summer Election

Or we would have had this issue come out in the middle of it. Whew, we dodged a bullet there. Thanks Iggy!

Instant Update: Of course, Iggy (Hi, I'm Alberta's new best friend!) may not have wanted to cross swords with Harper over greenhouse gases -- carbon tax don't ya know. Iggy wants to forget it. Harper doesn't.
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It's Home And We Love It

From today's NY Times, the best appreciation of the country I love (and speaking as someone who grew up just a few miles away from Exeter, this guy is not joking about the snow):
I miss the snow. Yes, I know the United States gets snow, but to my Canadian eye, American snow is like American health care: sporadic, unreliable and distributed unevenly among the population. In my hometown, Exeter, in the heart of Ontario’s snow belt, punishing squalls were a fact of life from November through mid-April. One time, 39 inches fell on the town in three days — and school wasn’t even canceled. And it wasn’t just the quantity of snow — it’s the speed with which it arrived.

When I was a child, it wasn’t unusual for my 15-minute walk home from school to begin under clear skies and end in a blizzard. I remember once, when I was 8 years old, stumbling into my house, my hair covered in powder and my eyelashes frozen together, and screaming, “Why do we live here?!” My mother took my face in her warm hands and said, “Because it’s where people love you.”

At the time, that struck me as the lamest statement ever uttered by a human being. But today, as I sit under the California sun, it only strikes me as halfway lame, and maybe even less than that.

— TIM LONG, a writer for “The Simpsons”
Happy Canada Day!
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