Thursday, January 31, 2008

Attack On Free Speech!!!!!!!!!

I wonder if Ezra and Steyn will rush to Dion's aid?
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Beware Harpers Speaking Of Greeks

Psycho Steve was at it again. Really, he is becoming Canada's answer to Britney Spears. Yesterday, there was a bizarre exchange in the House of Commons between a Bloc member and Steve, over the alleged misdeeds of his press liaison and a Mr. Leo Housakos, a Tory fund raiser and recent VIA Rail board appointee:
"The prime minister cannot plead ignorance concerning what Mr. Housakos did," said Guimond.

"It was his own government that appointed him to Via Rail. In that context, can the prime minister tell us whether he himself has met Mr. Housakos at 24 Sussex, his official residence?"

Harper shot back in French: "The Bloc member mentioned two people who are of Greek origin: one who was an employee here in Ottawa, another one who is a supporter of the Conservative party in Montreal. The fact that (there's) two Montreal gentlemen of Greek origin doesn't mean there's a conspiracy here."
Now the question is, why would the psycho one even mention the ethnicity of the two gentlemen? You just know it was a political calculation of some kind (as bizarre as that sounds). Was Steve sending a message to the pure laine in Quebec that he knows that Quebecois are not crooks, it's the Goddamn immigrants? Or, was he trying, in his own charming way, to send a message to the Greek community that he has hired a couple of guys from their fold and the Goddamn Liberals (because even though this was a Bloc question, it's all about the Liberals) are picking on them? It's a head scratcher, but given the context(Steve speaking in French), I suspect it was the former. In Steve's twisted and sick world view any scandal involving Quebecers must in no way be connected with Quebecois, not when there are seats in such garden spots like Herouxville to be won.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Calling Don Newman

The next time you convene a panel of "serious" pundits to discuss "serious" options for Afghanistan, why don't you invite this guy? My guess is he would make your "serious" pundits very, very uncomfortable. It would make for great TV. Think about it.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lamest Answer To A Question Period Question Award

Goes to, our beloved Prime Minister:
NDP Leader Jack Layton rhymed off numbers of detainees handled by British, Dutch and American forces and asked why Canada can't be as open as its allies.

“Are the Americans imperilling their national security by releasing information about their detainees to their public?” Mr. Layton said.

Mr. Harper replied, “I guess what it means is that Canada makes its own policies.”
(emphasis mine)
He forgot to add "as stupid and opaque as they are."

Update:It appears that our libertarian Prime Minister is now taking the libertarian maxim "The government that governs best, governs least" to its ultimate end. That is, the best government is no government at all.

What I find extraordinary about the exchange quoted in Impolitical's post is the sense of detachment evident in Harper's statement. It's like the military is a separate entity from the government. It's like Harper just doesn't understand governing. In the last couple of months we have seen Harper veer from one extreme to the other. He demands total control and blind obedience of some departments (like the nuclear regulator) or he disavows even the slightest idea that he is in charge of others (like the military). It is a truly bizarre way to run a government. It certainly isn't my idea of leadership.
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Sweet Jesus! My Eyes!

I just pictured Stephen Harper, naked.
Photographs of Mr. Harper in various poses, at various sites, are hung throughout the private and cosy government lobby of the House of Commons.
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Honest Debate?

I was going to write about this, but Kady has done such a great job, go read her. After you read Kady, go read Robopundit. I suspect he is one of those "pundits" to whom Kady is referring (though to be fair, he isn't totally gung ho). It is becoming conventional wisdom among the MSM chatteratti that Manley's report is the only "serious" option among "serious"people.

In fact, I believe I heard Newman say, in tones that were just short of ecstatic, that "It was like finally, the adults were in charge". Well, that might be so, but the "adults" seem to be suggesting that if we only had a 1000 more troops, we could beat the Taliban on the battlefield. Does anyone really believe a 1000 troops stand between us and total victory? Dion, I think sees this fallacy , but he is being boxed in by the Ignatieff wing of the party and the "serious" people of the MSM. If he doesn't go along with the "let's do more of the same, but more so" crowd, he is going to get fried by those same "serious" pundits.

Update: Radwanski is most definitely, a "serious" fellow.
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Monday, January 28, 2008

I Love You. However, I Hate You

Do you think Psycho Steve will ever get his story straight? Now he is arguing (in direct opposition to the position his government's lawyers took last week) that the prisoner transfers have not been halted at all, but are only in suspended animation. He quotes national security as the reason for not revealing what is being done with the detainees but won't explain why the Americans send out press releases about their detainees.

Could it be that this is a trick? Do you get the feeling that Steve believes that if he bombards the Canadian people with enough blinding illogic, we will overload and shut down? Is Steve trying the "KIRK DEFENSE"!!!???

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Media Manipulation Basics

With respect to Kady, this is entirely expected. How else to make sure that tonight's newscasts are not dominated by clips from question period of an embattled Stephen Harper? It is much better to have images of your guy, surrounded by Canadian flags, taking questions from the ink-stained wretches of the fourth and fifth estates.

I can guarantee two things. Tonight and tomorrow, there will be a lot of ink spilled about how good he is in this format and there will also be plaintive cries for more news conferences. And, any "news" to come out of this conference will be purely coincidental.

Update: Harper accepts the Manley Report. That will be the big headline tomorrow rather than "Harper Defends Embattled Press Flack". Harper may not be a very good Prime Minister, but he sure knows how to manage headlines.

Update 2:

See what I mean about the visual. The background is much better than a bunch of sweaty backbenchers.
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Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Am With Blatchford On This One

Almost. I disagree that the PMO got a totally free pass on this , initially. Skepticism was more the rule than the exception in the coverage I read. It was only on the right side of the aisle where the PMO's word was accepted as Holy Writ.

It amazes me how Tories can on the one hand say they love, love, love the military and on the other, use that same institution as their private whipping boy. Talk about your situational ethics.

Update:It seems some people in the military are not falling for the professions of love from our government.
I need to repeat: I am a card carrying, regularly contributing true blue Conservative; I wouldn’t vote for Dion’s Liberals if they were the only choice on the ballot and I think Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton, and their parties, are bad jokes. But: I am not blind to the fact that Prime Minister Harper and his close, personal staff are anti-military and, at the very best, weak sisters when it comes to the Afghanistan mission.

They (Harper’s closest advisors and staff assistants) have lied, over and over again, about Gen. Hillier in an attempt to control or undermine him and to subvert his “message” to the armed forces he heads and to Canadians – the parents, spouses, children, brother and sisters and friends and neighbours of our armed forces’ members.

Prime Minster Harper has been a notable and singular failure at explaining (much less defending) the mission in Afghanistan – most likely, I believe because he only considers the mission as a partisan political device that he can use to sow dissention in the ranks of the Liberal Party of Canada. In other words: Prime Minister Harper – my prime minister, head of my party – cares little about the troops and their mission. His only concern is the next election.
It is good to see that our armed forces contain people who are smart enough not to be gulled by political BS. I am troubled though, that it contains people who are now alienated from every last political party in Canada. But hey, why should they be any different from the rest of us?
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Friday, January 25, 2008

The Buck Stops Somewhere. How About There?

The military didn't tell us? That's the best they can come up with? Does anyone really believe military wouldn't have told the government that they changed the most controversial policy of the Afghan mission? Support the troops. Let's dump this government and get one that won't blame the army for its own twisted communications strategy.

Update: Oh, look here. The military doesn't want to carry the can for these losers and so pushes back. And what do our brave warriors of the right do? They fold like a cheap tent.
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Good On The Government , But...

Do you think they might have told Canadians about this important shift in policy? Do you think this was yet another ham-fisted attempt to "manage" public opinion ahead of the Manley report? As we have been discussing. This government does political maneuvering against the Liberals well. It's all the other stuff it has problems with. Hat tip to Ace.

Instant Update: Also, given that our government might be handing over these prisoners directly to the Americans, might this not explain why they were so quick to deny that the Americans should be included on the "torture" list (but tellingly did not strongly object to Afghanistan's inclusion)?

Update 2: Off topic but meaningful. Here is another view of the situation in Afghanistan. The problems seem intractable but if someone has suggestions, I am open to them. They seem though, beyond the power of 1000 more troops to correct.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

John Manley Eats His Own Tail

Shorter John Manley: "We must threaten to leave Afghanistan, in order to gain concessions from our allies, even though I am here today to tell you we will never leave Afghanistan".

Update:What do I think? I think Manley will give blue Liberals enough cover to strong arm Dion into extending the mission. Another win for the Ignatieff wing. A big win for Harper if my prediction comes true.
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Sunday, January 20, 2008

From The Department Of "I Wish I Hadn't Done That"

Liberals are licking their lips at the chance of going after Maxime Bernier. A word of warning. If you don't think the Tories are pouring over things like this, looking for choice quotes, think again. They will use Iggy's past as a club, to fend off your attacks. Either you will have to find a way to neutralize their club, or you will have to leave the attacks to the Bloc and NDP.
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Brave, Brave, Brave, Sir Maxime

Shorter Maxime Bernier: "It's better to live on one's knees than die on one's feet"

Update: Maher Arar's lawyer had this reaction:
"This is what we've always suspected. It's outrageous," Toronto lawyer Lorne Waldman said yesterday. "The government is more concerned with international relations than making sure Canadian citizens aren't tortured."
If I were a minority of a faith not beloved by certain of our allies, I would be very, very, wary of crossing any borders. This government cares more for invitations to Crawford cookouts than my safety. If the Tories thought the Linda Keen firing was "difficult", they ain't seen nothing yet.

Also, if you are keeping score, this is just another fine example of how this government reacts when a problem comes up and they don't have time to write a proper script for their meat puppets - with haste and with their ideological phasers set to kill pesky reality.
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Friday, January 18, 2008

Ugly Indeed

My local fish wrap jumps into the Linda Keen fray. They capture the essence of how I feel about it, without the profanity.
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Jason Kenney Superman Or Hitman?

Jason Kenney is an amazing man. One week he is a nuclear expert, the next he is an expert on Canada's foreign policy. One wonders when he gets the time to run his own portfolio?

Update:Last night's "At Issue" panel had some interesting things to say about the whole Pakistan thing. The podcast isn't up as of 7:30 am EST, but I am sure it will be shortly.

Update the Second: Thanks to my anonymous commenter, I present yet another piece of the puzzle that is Jason Kenney. Mr. Kenney takes the time to answer a letter sent to him by Khurrum Awan of the Canadian Islamic Congress.

Notice Mr. Kenney's style. It is perfectly in sync with the new ethos sweeping Ottawa. Why defend one of the agencies of your own government when you can attack it (characterizing a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission as "an attack on freedom of expression") and the person defending it? Are we to expect the head of the Commission to be fired like Linda Keen if it rules contrary to the wishes of Mr. Kenney? Notice too how he takes the time to send a copy of his letter to Mr. Awan's employer for "clarification". It takes a special kind of man to go out of his way like that. Mr. Kenney is just that kind of man. No wonder Stephen Harper calls on him whenever he needs someone kneecapped. He is Stephen Harper's kind of guy.
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

At Long Last Sir Have You No Sense Of Decency?

Watching Harper go after Linda Keen, is like watching old tapes of Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. The man is walking filth.
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Has Harper Jumped The Shark?

John Ivison asks this morning. He also adds:
But does anyone seriously think Mr. Harper emerges from the isotope screw-up looking more competent or trustworthy?
The answer to the first question is yes and to the second, no. This whole Keen firing stems from Harper's unscripted remark in the House about her being a Liberal. From that moment on her fate was sealed. What has transpired since then has been an attempt by the government to justify Harper's remarks, even going so far as to fire Keen, with the certain knowledge that Canadian taxpayers will have to pick up the tab for any lawsuit.

The opposition, if it is smart, will use this case as a prime example of Harper's lack of leadership. It is painfully obvious to even a casual observer that Harper is completely out to sea, unless he has absolute and total control of every last contingency. If even one thing is not in his control, he is in big trouble.

His fights with the ethics commissioner, the head of the Wheat Board, the head of Elections Canada and now Linda Keen, all have one common thread: Harper can not deal with independent actors. He is completely unable to work with others if they are not meat puppets. If any outside actor does not toe his line, he attacks. How can a government be sustained when its head can't work with the bureaucracy? In the long run, the answer is, it can't. If the government's leader cannot work with and inspire the people who works for him, he will fail. Harper has consistently shown he can do neither and he too will fail. Harper is not a leader. He is obviously not up to the job.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Linda Keen Fired

The third worldization of Canada continues apace. Linda Keen was fired in the dead of night. I guess she should just count herself lucky that she wasn't "disappeared". I hope taxpayers are ready to pay out big time, cuz we are going to be sued. Psycho Steve and the Gang That Can't Shoot Straight have outstayed their welcome. Time for them to go.

Update: If Kady O'Malley's scenario plays out, this could get ugly. If we were anyone other than Canadians, riots in the streets ugly. Revolution ugly. As it is, I would say the government's days are numbered in the low two digits.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ya Know

I really think Ezra believes he lives in the U.S. All of his political references are American (separation of church and state, ACLU, 10 commandments in courthouses, etc.). Then again maybe it is just wishful thinking on his part.
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Steve's Cannon Fodder

For those following the Helena Guergis fiasco and are not yet convinced this was a put up job by the PMO, I give you "Exhibit A". John Ivison yesterday, writing on another Tory fiasco, the Gary Lunn/Linda Keen contretemps.
The Minister of Natural Resources hasn't been seen in public since before Christmas, except by one alert letter-to-the-editor writer who spotted him in a Canadian Tire store in Vancouver.

No wonder he's made himself scarce. Who'd want to be hauled in front of a parliamentary committee and asked awkward questions such as: "Minister, did you really write that letter to nuclear regulator Linda Keen asking her to give one good reason why she shouldn't be fired, or was it penned by someone in the Prime Minister's Office, who told you to sign your name to it on pain of political death?"

We are reliably informed that's what happened. Mr. Lunn has been widely condemned for making Ms. Keen, president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the scapegoat in this whole affair. But it's possible that the Minister is the fall guy for a caper dreamt up in the Prime Minister's Office.
This is the way this government works. The PMO comes up with a "brilliant" strategy, writes it out and then shoves a hapless Minister out on stage to deliver pre-scripted attacks on the enemy of the day. Then when things go south, the PMO hides in its bunker while the Minister (Lunn one day, Guergis the next) gets grenades lobbed at them. Harper and the thugs who surround him see everyone in government, even his senior ministers, as expendable assets in their unending war on anyone who challenges the absolute authority of Stephen Harper.
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Monday, January 14, 2008

More Ezra

For once I agree with Kate at SDA. This is appalling. Thank goodness there is a Human Rights Commission Mr. Levant can complain to about this, and he should.

Update: Warren Kinsella chimes in.
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Funny I Didn't Even See Stephen Harper's Lips Move

Does anyone really thing Helena Guergis thought up this "witty" insult all by herself? It has Stephen Harper's shit-stained fingerprints all over it:
"It has taken more than a year after becoming Liberal leader for St├ęphane Dion to finally find Afghanistan on the map," Helena Guergis, secretary of state for foreign affairs, said in a statement Saturday.

"The irony of Dion and Iggy being in a war zone and being protected by the same troops who protect Afghan women and children is palpable," Ms. Guergis said.

"I think he should apologize to our troops while he is touring the PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) in safety because the same reason he needs bodyguards is why our troops need to stay to protect democracy, women and children," she added.
Look, I am no fan of Stephane Dion, but the Canadian Armed Forces belong to the people of Canada. They are not a private militia of the Conservative Party. Dion need not apologize to the troops. They are an instrument of the Canadian people. If the people of Canada want a change in direction in foreign policy, it is up to the army to say "Yes, of course". The only apology necessary here is from the government of Canada to the people of Canada, for acting like they are some kind of Latin American junta, instead of a democratic government. Politicizing the army is worthy only of a third-world dictatorship. It is completely unworthy of the Prime Minister and his party. At least it should be.
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Ezra's "Oh Oh" Moment

Me? I'm rooting for the Imam. I hope he takes Ezra to the cleaners. His own video will be available as evidence, I'm sure, with special reference to the "trained at an officially anti-semitic university in Saudi Arabia" (around the 5:17 mark).

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bravo Warren Kinsella

For slapping at the right wing morons who are attacking the CBC. Unfortunately, I don't expect showing up the Post as being hypocritical on this issue will silence the Blogging Tories. To them it is perfectly ok for the Tories to be fed stuff from the Post, because the Post is privately owned ( a line the Post editorial faithfully parrots). They firmly believe that the CBC, since it is public must be seen to be "non-partisan", which is code for must always report the government line (well the Harper government line at least) without question or comment. In other words, the CBC is to become Tass (at least until the next Liberal government, when it will be expected to slice up the new boys without mercy).
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That's For The Courts To Decide

John Ivison is shaking his head over the latest antics of organ grinder, Steve Harper and his pet monkey, Gary Lunn. In fact, Ivison claims that Lunn is channeling Homer Simpson these days. I would agree. Ivison makes an interesting point about whether or not the government has "cause" to fire Linda Keen.
She concluded that Mr. Lunn can't fire her unless the government can prove just cause, "and there are no grounds upon which an objective reviewer would conclude that cause exists in my case."

Ms. Keen may be overreaching herself on this point. Eminent policy analyst and scholar Donald Savoie suggests that this interpretation is debatable.

"It depends on where you sit. There may be cause in the eyes of the government, and it will probably come down to the courts to decide," he said.
As we have seen before, this government and this Prime Minister are not shy about saying "So sue me". By the time Steve and his thugs are finished, the taxpayers in this country may on the hook for millions in compensation. That is, in anyone's book, just cause to fire them.
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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

An Exerpt From Stephen Harper's Diary

January 8, 2008. Thank God the House is not in session. Never mind. When I am appointed Maximum Supreme God-Head, things will be different.

Update: Ms. Keen has some steel in her spine. I suspect the Conservatives have just invited God's wrath upon themselves. Good.

Update 2: I suspect the PMO is calling all over town looking for advice about how they can go about shutting down this web site.
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Toronto Star: The Perfect "Progressive" Newspaper

These kinds of editorials from the Star drive me insane. Today, the Star is on its high horse about P3 hospitals, questioning both their value to the public and their cost. They also pose some interesting questions to the Liberal government which is championing the P3 model. Good, right? So, why does this drive me nuts? Well, the Liberal love for P3's has been well known for some time (before the last election). The time for this kind of editorial was during the last election campaign, which as I recall, the Star was firmly behind the party it now accuses of wasting taxpayer money on P3's. How brave of the Star to bring up this issue now that the Liberals are safely in power until 2011. The Star is typical of "progressives" in this country. They bitch about the Liberals but God help anyone who suggests voting for anyone else.
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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Compare And Contrast

Politics of hope:

Politics of cynicism. It has been two years and the Harperites have completely mastered the Friday afternoon news dump. Bravo.
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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Goodnight Mr. Flashman

I am pretty sad this morning, to learn that George MacDonald Fraser has passed. I have loved his Flashman books since I was a teenager. Flash Harry was one of the great literary characters. He was a coward, a braggart and a bully, but he was also funny and cunning and a great anti-hero. Thank you Mr. Fraser for many years of reading pleasure and goodnight Flashy. I expect you have conned your way into Heaven by now and are busy chatting up Joan of Arc.
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hubris In Conservativeland

The arrogance behind this posting is the reason why the Conservative Party will never form a majority. I mean, there are only so many smirking, frat-boy-men out there for whom this message would have an appeal and they already vote Conservative. It must be a terrible thing to know that your party has so little appeal on its own that it needs vote splitting to even have a shot at power. No wonder so many Conservatives are bitter and twisted individuals. I would feel sorry for them, but they spend so much time feeling sorry for themselves that it is waste of time.
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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's Over

Greg Staples has decided to call it quits. Only Orbison can capture the emotion of a moment like this.

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