Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tony Clement Plays Chicken WIth Ontario's Economy

Man, is it 1995 around here or what? All that was missing yesterday was a ring of OPP around Parliament. Here is what our Minister of Industry had to say about the auto sector in Ontario:
"The old rulebook is thrown out the window. I don't think anything is too big to fail, but we're going to give it our best shot at having a restructured auto sector and this is all part of it," Clement told CBC television.
This was after he told the unions to go back and rape their retirees some more.

Well, Mr. Clement, I think you are misleading the public with the "old rulebook being thrown out the window", talk. It is more a case of you picking up the old Harris rulebook and reading rule number one. Threaten, threaten, threaten and when all else fails, threaten.

It would be interesting indeed to see how many seats the Conservative Party would get in Ontario if they allowed the auto sector to sink into the Great Lakes on their watch. My guess would be pretty close to nil, so stop the threats and stop pretending that the Canadian auto sector has the same problems as the American one (remember our health system, the one you guys hate? Well the Americans would love to have that about now to lower their costs). Get to work and find a solution that doesn't screw the workers of Ontario.

Update: Even the head of GM Canada thinks Clement is nuts. He claims that the concessions already made by the union makes his Canadian operations cost competitive with other North American plants, including the non-union ones. So, if cost competitiveness is not the issue, then the real question is, what is Clement's and by extension Harper's real agenda here?

Update 2: Oh look, Mr. Dalton "I'm just as Tory as the next guy" McGuinty is piping up, too.

Update 3: And, people are starting to compare and contrast the treatment of stockbrokers with that of auto workers, by the Obama administration.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tell Me Progressive Liberals

What is the difference between a Tory and a Liberal? In Ontario, we have a Liberal government that is increasing the reach of a flat tax that hurts the poor more than the rich, while at the same time is lowering business taxes in an insane race to the bottom with Mississippi. In addition, this Liberal government has decided to kick the working poor by scrapping the one decent thing it has done since taking office, the raise in the minimum wage. If I close my eyes and listen, I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between Dalton McGuinty and Stephen Harper.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Everybody Limbo!

The Liberals caved again. It looks to me like the probation now includes conjugal rights. Ok Libloggers, let's hear those justifications fly. Let me start you off. "But, but, Jack Layton is a poopy head'.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cat Shit One

This is from the other side of my life. Only the Japanese could make the most realistic treatment of the war in Iraq...with rabbits.

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Hey Paul Krugman

It must be hard for the Paul Martin wing of the Democratic Party to hear coherent criticism coming from a Nobel Prize winner. Then again, toadying to Wall Street during a populist uprising can't be easy either.

H/t to West End Bob.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

When Blue Liberals Rule

The Tory makeover of the Liberal Party of Canada is almost complete. They are even using Tory blue in their web design, now. Liberal:


Can you see a difference?
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Iggy's Ongoing To Be Or Not To Be

Iggy was having another of his outraged if necessary, but not necessarily outraged moments today over George Galloway's banning:
If he's being barred on free-speech grounds, that's an outrage. You can come to Canada and talk rubbish all day long as far as I'm concerned.

If there's a security threat, that's another matter, and I've heard no evidence yet that he presents a security threat. And of course if there is one, as a responsible public official I will accept what security services say on Mr. Galloway.”
Iggy is wasting his talents in Politics. The man was born to play Hamlet.
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Even Kenney Has A Hatchetman

From Haaretz's story about Galloway's banning:
Kenney's spokesman, Alykhan Velshi said the act was designed to protect Canadians from people who fund, support or engage in terrorism."

"We're going to uphold the law, not give special treatment to this ... street-corner Cromwell who actually brags about giving 'financial support' to Hamas, a terrorist organization banned in Canada," Velshi was quoted as saying by the British Press Association.
Who is Alykhan Velshi? Thank God for Google. An interesting life, Mr. Velshi has had. Isn't it amazing that there seems to be no bottom of the toxic well that is the National Review? It has served as the creche for every nut job in the Republican Party and is now doing the same for our beloved Tories.

Update: According to Kady, Mr. Velshi also used to work for this group. Take a look at the roster of the "leadership team". It is who's who of the neocon establishment. The Bush era may be gone in the U.S., but here in Canada, it lives on.
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Just Wondering--New Anti-Semitism Version

I wonder if someone invited this young man to speak in Canada, whether our guardians of freedom would allow treat him as they have George Galloway? Bonus question, how long will it take for our conservative overlords to slap Jews who question Israel's policies, with the condescending prefix, "self-hating"?

Update: Mr. "I can take a punch" is going to be hauled up in front of judges and soon.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

David Dodge Speaks

In today's Globe:
Policy-makers, especially in Canada, need to be thinking longer-term and more “sensibly” about their recovery plans, he said, rather than setting up spending plans that just paper over today's problems or “piss money down a rat hole” in the hopes of a quick recovery.
Amen to that, brother. Unfortunately, the two main parties in this country consist of one that doesn't believe in government at all and the other that doesn't believe it needs any policy but power. We are screwed.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Message To Those Considering Buying A Chrysler Product

Have you driven a Ford lately? Seriously, if Chrysler's management thinks any Canadian will buy a Chrysler if it pulls completely out of Canada, it has another think coming.
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Linda Duncan On Newman

I just watched Linda Duncan talk about the Tory gutting of environmental assessment. IP, she is a treasure. If you didn't see the segment watch here after 6 pm eastern. It is near the start, the second item, I think.
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Nationalize AIG

Do it now.
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Not Seen In Either The Globe Or Star

Read the follow and ask yourself why the publishers and editors of our two big papers rejected it:

Over 150 Jewish Canadians signed a statement expressing their concerns about the campaign to suppress criticism of Israel that is being carried on within Canada. The signatories include many prominent Canadians, including Ursula Franklin O.C., Anton Kuerti O.C., Naomi Klein, Dr. Gabor Mate, and professors Meyer Brownstone (recipient of Pearson Peace Medal), Natalie Zemon Davis, Michael Neumann, and Judy Rebick.

The signatories are particularly concerned that unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism deflect attention from Israel's accountability for what many have called war crimes in Gaza. They state that B'nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have led campaigns to silence criticism of Israel on university campuses, in labor unions and in other groups. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff unquestioningly echo the views of these particular Jewish organizations.

They strongly state that they are against all expressions of racism. While firmly committed to resisting any form of prejudice against Jewish people, their statement explicitly states that these spurious allegations of anti-Semitism bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind. The statement underlines the immeasurable suffering and injustice to the Palestinian people due to the severe poverty, daily humiliations, and military invasions inflicted by the State of Israel.

Statement: Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of Israel

We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism, anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy "Never again" means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its dream of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable suffering and injustice to the Palestinian people.

We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of Israel. We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that those organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott of Israel are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect attention from Israel's flagrant violations of international humanitarian law.

B'nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have pressured university presidents and administrations to silence debate and discussion specifically regarding Palestine/Israel. In a full-page ad in a national newspaper, B'nai Brith urged donors to withhold funds from universities because "anti-Semitic hate fests" were being allowed on campuses. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have echoed these arguments. While university administrators have resisted demands to shut down Israel Apartheid week, some Ontario university presidents have bowed to this disinformation campaign by suspending and fining students, confiscating posters, and infringing on free speech.

We do not believe that Israel acts in self-defense. Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $3 million/day. It has the fourth strongest army in the world. Before the invasion of Gaza on 27 December 2008, Israel's siege had already created a humanitarian catastrophe there, with severe impoverishment, malnutrition, and destroyed infrastructure. It is crucial that forums for discussion of Israel's accountability to the international community for what many have called war crimes be allowed to proceed unrestricted by specious claims of anti-Semitism.

We recognize that anti-Semitism is a reality in Canada as elsewhere, and we are fully committed to resisting any act of hatred against Jews. At the same time, we condemn false charges of anti-Semitism against student organizations, unions, and other groups and people exercising their democratic right to freedom of speech and association regarding legitimate criticism of the State of Israel.


Abigail Bakan
Adam Balsam
Sharon Baltman
Julia Barnett
Lainie Basman
Jody Berland
Sam Blatt
Geri Blinik
Anita Block
Elizabeth Block
Sheila Block
Hannah Briemberg
Mark Brill
Stephen Brot
Meyer Brownstone
Eliza Burroughs
Smadar Carmon
Gyda Chud
Charles P. Cohen
Nathalie Cohen
David Copeland
Natalie Zemon Davis
Eliza Deutsch
James Deutsch
Judith Deutsch
Abbe Edelson
Jack Etkin
Elle Flanders
Danielle Frank
Ursula Franklin
Dan Freeman-Maloy
Miriam Garfinkle
Alisa Gayle
Jack Gegenberg
Mark Golden
Brenda Goldstein
Sue Goldstein
Cy Gonick
Marnina Gonick
Rachel Gotthilf
Amy Gottleib
Kevin A. Gould
Daina Green
Lisa Frances Greenspoon
Ricardo Grinspun
Cathy Gulkin
Rachel Gurofsky
Deboran Guterman
Yesse Gutman
Freda Guttman
Judy Haiven
Michael Hanna-Fein
Jean Hanson
Jan Heynen
Maria Heynen
Adam Hofmann
Jake Javanshir
Jeannie Kamins
Marylin Kanee
Howard S. Kaplan
Gilda Katz
Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta
Mira Khazzam
Bonnie Sher Klein
Mark Klein
Martin Klein
Naomi Klein
Joshua Katz-Rosene
Ryan Katz-Rosene
Judy Koch
Anton Kuerti
Jason Kunin
Aaron Lakoff
Michael Lambek
Natalie LaRoche
Richard Borshay Lee
Andy Lehrer
Gabriel Levin
Gabriel Levine
Joel Lexchin
Kim Linekin
Abby Lippman
Lee Lorch
Martin Lukacs
Audrey Macklin
Elise Maltin
Richard Marcuse
Wayne Mark
Gabor Mate
Arthur Milner
Anna Miransky
Dorit Naaman
Joanne Naiman
Neil Naiman
Michael Neumann
David-Marc Newman
David Noble
Clare O'Connor
Robin Ostow
Andre W. Payant
Jenny Peto
Simone Powell
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Fabienne Presentey
Yacov Rabkin
Diana Ralph
Naomi Rankin
Judy Rebick
Ester Reiter
Jillian Rogin
Richard Roman
Joseph Rosen
Herman Rosenfeld
Martha Roth
Marty Roth
Ruben Roth
E.Natalie Rothman
B. Sack
Ben Saifer
Miriam Sampaio
Jacob Scheir
Fred Schloessinger
Alan Sears
Shlomit Segal
Edward H. Shaffer
Noa Shaindlinger
Ray Shankman
Eva Sharell
Elliot Shek
Sid Shniad
Max Silverman
Samuel Singer
Elizabeth Solloway
Susan Starkman
Greg Starr
Jonathan Sterne
Jeremy Stolow
Rhonda Sussman
Vera Szoke
Joe Tannenbaum
Howard Tessler
Marion Traub-Werner
Ceyda Turan
Sandra Tychsen
Cheryl Wagner
Jon McPhedran Waitzer
David Wall
Naomi Binder Wall
Kathy Wazana
Karen Weisberg
Barry Weisleder
Paul Weinberg
Judith Weisman
Suzanne Weiss
Abraham Weizfeld
Ernie Yacub
B.H. Yael
Yedida Zalik
Melvin Zimmerman

H/t to most of the rest of the progressive blogosphere.
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

John Hamm Is Lex Luthor

I just hope Dan K. sees this before he flies off to Tokyo. LOL

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The Scales Are Lifting

His Royal Igginess is slowly coming to realize that just because he votes with the government, it doesn't mean he won't be blamed for all the ills befalling the nation. As he said himself yesterday:“
This Prime Minister cannot live without creating artificial crises,” he alleged. “From the 28th of January when I decided to vote this budget, I did so because I believe stimulus was in the national interest, right? I cannot understand why he wants to provoke difficulties where there are none. My only hypothesis is this economy’s falling like a stone and he’d like you to write about something else.”

Then, for good measure. “It’s ridiculous,” he said. “It’s a joke.”
Yes, it is Iggy and at your expense. This PM is a psychopath with whom you thought you could do business, rather than sully yourself with a coalition. So enjoy the "joke". Harper has an endless supply of them.

Update: Iggy shouldn't be complaining so much. Conservative pundits absolutely adore him.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Taking Comfort Out Of The Misery Of Others

Shorter Psycho Steve: Canada may have polio, but the U.S. has cancer.
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The Problem Isn't Too Much Red Tape

As Impolitical notes, our PM seems obsessed with getting rid of red tape (otherwise known as "getting out of the way of business" or deregulation). But wasn't the lack of red tape and giving a green light to all sorts of crazy business practices and outright criminality, the very reason the world economy is in the mess it is in? Why on earth would the Prime Minister fixate on duplicating the failed deregulation regime of the U.S.? It beggars belief.

I realize I am not really being clear. I understand Harper is talking about getting rid of impediments to spending the stimulus but, "cutting red tape" is a mindset and it does not get turned on and off like a light switch. The mania to minimize government involvement in the affairs of the world has led us to the edge of economic catastrophe. For someone who is supposedly a smart fellow, Stephen Harper sure looks stupid for championing a clearly discredited policy path.
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Monday, March 09, 2009

Words Of Warning

From Paul Krugman, on the Paul Martinesque, establishment-approved, neo-liberal, Obama administration. As someone once said, "The problem with being 'middle of the road' is that's where the traffic is". As Martin found out, trying to be all things to all people leads to disaster. Obama has time to turn it around, but I don't think it is in his nature to be anything but a conciliator.
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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Memories Of The Fall

I bet a lot of Newfoundlanders are happy they didn't follow Iceland's example after all. I remember seeing the documentary (Hard Rock and Water) a few years ago and thinking that the Icelanders were geniuses. Some geniuses.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Time For Progressives To Look For More Excuses

The Liberals are looking for ways to surrender again.
Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale said Friday his party is not seeking a confrontation with the Conservatives over the fund. Harper had previously said that the fund is a matter of confidence, and a vote against it by opposition parties would force an election.

The Liberals plan to table a motion Monday calling on the government to detail how the money is to be spent.

But Goodale said they won't debate the motion or force a vote on it until late March, giving Liberals and Conservatives several more weeks to reach a compromise.
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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Countdown To The Memory Hole

When you have an issue of possible CSIS illegality that spans both Liberal and Conservative governments, what are the chances that those two parties are going to be eager to get to the bottom of it? Not much? I thought so, too.
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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bad Day Ahead

The coincidence of this question and this headline occurring on the same day, is going to make for a very long day for our beloved PM.
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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

We Haven't A Clue

Dueling headlines, today. From the Star: GDP decline heralds long slump

From the Globe and Mail: Sharp drop into recession suggests pain will be short

It reminds me of the old joke, "If you laid every economist end to end, it would probably be a good thing."
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Sunday, March 01, 2009


It is time for Steve to stop talking to the right wing American press. He is beginning to channel Bush again.
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