Thursday, September 30, 2010

Has the PMO released the Flying Monkeys?

First it was Harper friendly MacLean's with the Quebec = corrupt messaging. Simple sound bite regardless of the facts.

Today, the Bad Cop of the PMO Pravdas has this headline: "Is Quebec the most DEFENSIVE Province in Canada? (Notice the bright red All caps "defensive"?)

Is this another example of hard hitting balanced investigated journalism? O.K. now. Stop laughing. I am just trying to be fair. Let us explore other reasons for this spate of "news" with a derisive focus on Quebec. Maybe it has to do with the recent polling of the Conservatives in Quebec. Maybe it has to do with the "Separatist Coalition" meme.

It is quite possible that The Greatest Strategic Genius Evah (TM) has determined that the Cons are going to get wiped out in Quebec. The dreams of a majority are over. Now it is time to solidify the base by riling up the French haters in the base. And so the Dictaphone tapes go out to the stenographers.

So what if it drives a wedge between Quebec and the ROC? All that matters is preserving Steve's power base. In the final analysis, I agree with the conclusions of the posts in TGB this morning.
Recommend this Post

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How is the CBC Radio 1 program "Day Six" like the Campus Conservatives?

O.K. It may seem like a tough one. Let me give you some clues. First to Calgarygrit for context regarding the CampusCons. To quote commenter drewski:
If I learned on thing as a kid, the really cool kids don't say they're cool, everyone knows it. So if they're trying this hard, it means only one thing, THEY ARENT COOL!
The strategy is obvious. Fool some naive first years to a meeting and expose them to all of the usual nonsensical conservative garbage and hope to catch a few of the mentally unbalanced ones. It reminds me of a fake ad in the Getaway. (The Getaway was a bi-annual spoof version of the Gateway, the U of A student paper). It went something like this:
The U of A Communist Club is renaming itself the U of A Ski Club. At least this way someone will come to our meetings.
As for Day Six, it puts a lot of effort into being hip. Brent Bambury prattles on about all of the latest trends. But as with the the Young Conservatives, it is just a Potemkin Village. Once they have lured you off the main street, it quickly becomes apparent that it is a vehicle for extremely loony right wing views. Last week, a featured guest was Ezra Levant. The day after he was confirmed to be full of it. Having Levant on the show just validates his distortions of reality.

Being a fair-minded sort, you might be inclined to think "But it all happened so close to the broadcast time there wasn't an opportunity to pull the segment and replace it with something else". Fair enough. Maybe it was a coincidence.

Fast forward to this weeks episode and the discussion on Harper's desperate effort to not be the first P. M. to lose Canada's regular turn on the Security Council. And the guest to discuss this issue with? John Bolton. Yes that John Bolton. The angry walrus mustached neo-con who, as U. S. Ambassador to the U.N., disrupted Security Council business as best he could. Almost as though he was following the Harper manual. A man whose appointment to the post was so controversial it could only be done as a recess appointment. A man who was instrumental in neutering the U.N. attempt to prevent the invasion of Iraq. Out of all of the former U.N. Ambassadors this is the one they chose?

The answer to the question posed in the title should now be apparent. Both try (and fail) to draw people in by being kewl to subject them to all sorts of right wing wackiness. I don't grudge the Conservative effort. They have to trick people into listening to their addled message.

In the case of Day Six, it is just another example that this is not the CBC of Gzowski days. Standing up to bullying by the right is so last century. They recognize the implied Conservative threats to the Mother Corp funding and have utterly capitulated.
Recommend this Post

Monday, September 20, 2010

Silly me. I thought she was talking about Harper's cabinet

The 10 things Susan Delacourt feels we can do without.Recommend this Post

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tolkien wasn't so bad after all

It was with some trepidation that I clicked on the link in this tweet by Antonia Z. There are so many things coming out about people that I was worried about finding out some unsavoury things about the author of the books I loved so much as a teenager. Nice to see he wasn't so bad.

Go Sam go (the real hero). Pretty cool that there really was a Sam Gamgee.
Recommend this Post

Isn't reflexively attacking critics a display of lacking confidence

Kady O' Malley has an interesting series of tweets regarding just what can form the justification of a non-confidence motion. It centres on an interesting question. "Could the LGR vote be framed as a confidence measure?"Recommend this Post

Remember this weekend next time you hear "Left wing" main stream media

Notwithstanding a very public abasement on Friday Ezra Levant has if anything been more visible in the mainstream media. Yesterday he was polluting CBC Radio 1. Today an interview on the CTV and another column in the Sun.*

This schmuck was just exposed as a fraud and a mendacious hack. A media worth following would have cancelled anything to do with this fool. I have a newsflash for the news media. People are tuning out because they recognize you bring little to the conversation.

*(You don't have to read his dross. I only linked to document this embarrassment).
Recommend this Post

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An exploration of the Conservative - Postmedia - QMI relationship

Both of these "newspapers" have a distinct utility to the Harper regime. Think of it as Bad Cop, Really Bad Cop. The Sun chain is used to disseminate the really odious stuff. Think Lock and Load type editorials. They are the Really Bad Cop. This is the tool the Conservatives use to spread the hate.

The National Post is allowed to gussy itself up as a respectable newspaper. Neanderthals with excellent vocabularies. Decent Arts and Sports sections. Financial pages are coherent enough. And the editorial line up, although starboard leaning, comes across as quasi-sane when compared to the dreck on the Sun pages. The Post is the Bad Cop.

Even then you can see the dictation from the PMO shining through the articles. Yesterday. And today.‘Orwellian’ bureaucrats shielding PM from media surprises: documents

Read it if you must but the key unanswered question is; "Why are the bureaucrats doing this shielding?". Is it out of love and concern for the PM? Nearby chairs? Are they going rogue? Or is it more likely that they are following orders?

I expect that you, being a logical creature, will chose the latter. And the implications are that Harper being a coward and unable to face up to his mistakes planted this garbage in the Bad Cop paper to assign the blame for his recent cock-ups on the bureaucrats. Leaders cowboy up and accept responsibility for their mistakes. Stephen Harper: Not A Leader.

Recommend this Post

In search of the perfect post

Impolitical comes close with this post tearing John Baird a new one. It was perfect up until the last three sentences.
Knock. It. Off.
In my mind "Keep. It. Up." would have been more appropriate for the cause. Once they have sterilized the electoral soil in the GTA, people this unbalanced will move on to insulting voters elsewhere.


Recommend this Post

May gets Harper's suppress the vote strategy

Lawrence Martin gives May some condescending keyboard time in a review of her speculation of a fall election. Even the title is a bit rude and more in keeping with a QMI piece. The points May addresses is important so I am going to quote extensively (MEIB).
The theory – shared by few – is that Stephen Harper will call an election this fall. People don’t understand what he is up to, Ms. May said. It doesn’t matter that he’s not even at 35 per cent in the polls and the Liberals are crowding him. The point we’re missing is that “he doesn’t think about elections the way the rest of the world thinks about elections.”

For him, it isn’t “I am trying to become more popular.” Rather, his strategy, she says, rests on “voter abandonment.He wants to drive the ever-diminishing participation in Canadian elections down further. Then it becomes a matter of which party can get its base to vote in the largest numbers. The Harper base, as she noted, is more committed.

In the 2008 election campaign, she maintained, Mr. Harper purposely drove down voter participation in several ways. He called a snap election, he had the minimum numbers of days for a campaign, he had election day right after the long Thanksgiving weekend, he had changes in the Elections Act that meant people couldn’t vote without additional ID, and his attack ads had increased cynicism toward politics. The result was that every party’s total vote number went down, except the Green Party’s. The Liberals’ dropped the most and Mr. Harper was able to increase his minority.

In the May view, the cynical plan this time is to drive down the numbers even more. Michael Ignatieff, Ms. May said, doesn’t know what is about to hit him. From his pre-political history, he has made more controversial statements than can be imagined. The Tories have them all stored and ready for attack-ad delivery. An example, she said, is some incredible statements the Liberal Leader made on torture when he appeared once on the Charlie Rose show. “The Conservatives must have a video archive of him saying things that Harper believes will make him unelectable.” The Prime Minister is saving them for the campaign because “he wants the shock value.”

She added: “I think we’re going to be into a November election. We’ll see it coming, when we start getting soft, warm friendly ads about how wonderful Stephen Harper is. They’ll probably feature him with the Queen and the G8 leaders. Then the attack ads will hit.”

Everybody thinks Mr. Harper’s right-wing manoeuvring, like his move on the census, has been disastrous, Ms. May said. “I bet he doesn’t think so. For his base, which is essentially the tea party of Canada, these are good messages.”

I am one of the few Mr. Martin refers to. I have been saying this since the last election. If you subscribe to conventional wisdom you will think that low turn outs make a mandate less legitimate. Since when has Harper cared about legitimacy?

Ignatieff's past comments are troublesome. The best way to cleanse this stain is for Iggy to go out and repudiate his past comments in a sincere and thorough fashion. Does he have the guts to do it?

Overall, I am glad Ms. May has highlighted this strategy and she is correct in her assertion that the way to defeat Harper is to get out the vote. Ideally Harper is defeated as a result of a massive turnout. But does it not raise a question? If he is success in his tactic, might May, Duceppe and Layton just as well wear buttons proclaiming that "I support Harper"?

Recommend this Post

With regards the notion that the Conservatives achieved their LGR goals

Most importantly. I don't care. The Opposition appears to be able to stand up for what is right. And it is about time. Secondly, it hasn't come to pass yet.

Even though I pointed out the pitfalls for Harper in abolishing the LGR a couple of weeks ago, I don't for a second buy the notion this is part of a grand design. This theme was nowhere on the horizon from any of the usual sources. And then once it appears the Conservatives will lose the vote, Don "The PMO Pipeline" Martin further debases himself with: Tories thrilled by NDP’s rumoured saving of the gun registry

This entire article screams of sour grapes and ass covering. To state that the Conservatives are happy with the turn of events implies that they had not thought the ramifications through. Kind of destroys the vestiges of Stephen "Strategic Genius" Harper. Conversely to see this as part of a master plan is ludicrous. The entire scenario is so convoluted with so many critical variables only a fool would have tried to set it into motion. It depends on manouvering the NDP into position and then destroying the vote advantage by a planned means (MEIB).
The blame (or credit) goes to a one-issue MP yahoo named Garry Breitkruez who unleashed rabid registry overkill last month.

By suggesting RCMP were just itching to storm the homes of anyone whose gun license has expired and seize their weapons was the sort of distortion which made it increasingly difficult for New Democat MPs to join the Conservatives in a registry take-down. Which may have been his bizarre assignment all along.

...

Things didn’t any better when they sent studious attack dog Pierre Poilievre to the microphone wrapped in the Maple Leaf to denounce the Liberal’s anti-registry position as a conspiracy insulting all rural Canadians.

...

Deep in the bowels of Conservative party backrooms, gleeful laughter can be heard from a government celebrating a defeat.

This is just Harper whining through one of his mouthpieces in a fit of pique. True, Stephen Harper is evil. But he isn't Dr. Evil.
Recommend this Post

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shorter Don Martin

"It is always good news for Harper"

Mr. Martin must be the only pundit left who buys into the omniscient Steve shtick. Of course since he writes for the NP we can rest assured that hardly anyone reads his columns.
Recommend this Post

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Harper gets no travel points for this trip

Signs of a restless media? Harper's meaningless visit only puzzles. The likely reason for the visit. (MEIB)
The timing and abruptness of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's campaign-style visit to central Vancouver Island is puzzling....

The prime minister made no new funding announcements and offered few clues about the purpose of his visit, leaving us to speculate that he may be more concerned about recent public opinion polls than he and his party like to admit.

The impression made on the local media.

It's interesting to contrast the approach Harper had with local media and the public during his visit to the Island on Wednesday with that of Ignatieff when he visited Nanaimo.

Harper's carefully managed and scripted visit kept him away from the public.

Ignatieff met and listened to the concerns of the public at a Nanaimo cafe on Aug. 20.

Harper and two other Tory heavyweights -- Defence Minister Peter McKay and Treasury Board president Stockwell Day -- were on the Island Wednesday, flown out here at taxpayer expense. Presumably, taxpayers also paid for the large security contingent that kept Islanders from getting close to their prime minister.

Ignatieff's trip was paid for by the Liberal Party of Canada and he was accompanied in Nanaimo by Toronto-area MP Ken Dryden.

Both Harper and Ignatieff have a reputation for being aloof. If Wednesday's visit is any indication, Harper's is well-deserved.

Why come all this way at taxpayer expense and refuse to discuss issues with local media? The visit can hardly be called a goodwill or glad-handling exercise when local people were kept away from the PM.

The conclusion by the hinterland.

He ridiculed the suggestion this visit was part of any pre-election campaign and said it was just a coincidence he was following Ignatieff just two and a half weeks after the Liberal leader's visit to Nanaimo.

Harper was correct in one thing however: Canadians don't want a federal election right now, but he should realize they do want their federal representatives to make good use of taxpayers' money. Flying to the Island with his entourage and saying nothing about local issues can hardly be seen putting taxpayers' money to good use.

If Harper wants to increase his party's chances of forming the next government, he is going to have to do much better than Wednesday's waste of time.

The virtuous circle continuous to turn.

Recommend this Post

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Alberta has a bad case of unrequited love

It is an all too common form of a psychologically abusive relationship. The faithful wife has supported her chosen mate through thick and thin. She has given him all she has to give. Even through the harshest criticism of his failures which hurt the family, she stood by her man. She hopes to eventually be rewarded with beautiful jewels. But they never come.

But it never comes to pass. Instead she finds out through local gossips that her man has been showering affection and money on the beautiful women with the exotic accent four houses to the east. This beauty has thus far resisted his flirtations. He is too coarse and uncouth for her refined tastes. But he is stilling willing to try.

Meanwhile she sits at home and waits for him to notice her. Perhaps if she had an affair of her own. That sure would smarten him up.


Recommend this Post

Either Robert Silver sincerely flatters me

Or it is a case of great minds think alike and fools seldom differ.

A week ago in a post titled: Abolishing the Long Gun Registry: What is in it for Harper? I laid out how there is no upside for Harper in dismantling the LGR. Today, Robert Silver said: Harper could be the real gun registry loser.

I mean, what are the odds that he doesn't read this blog?
Recommend this Post

Monday, September 6, 2010

A question about must carry channel provisions

If Fox News North gets must carry ruling and the current must carry channels get the same amount of money they currently receive, does it not follow that our cable rates will go up?  Is this not something that would hit home with the "Timmies" demographic?

Sounds like ammunition to me.  Will Harper expose a flank here.  The increase doesn't have to be much.  Just the ability to say that "Harper increased your cable bill so Kory could force propaganda on you".
Recommend this Post

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Canada's sovereignty and place in the world

It seems to be a slow news day. Everyone is taking a rest after Friday's self-immolation by Krafty Kory. It appears The FFN guiding light has run away to lick his wounds at the Magic Kingdom and see if that really is the place where dreams come true.

So this is a good time to bring up a couple of things from this week that have been like two burrs under my saddle that I haven't been able to blog about and thereby remove.

The first is with regard this post by Impolitical. About that Prime Ministerial Coup. She fights unfairly by the application of logic, a weapon to which Mr. Ivison cannot avail himself of, to conclude (MEIB):
Canada has been absent for the past decade. OK...and this means that it would be a coup should we be elected now? Well, if you look at our history of membership on the Council since 1966, if we were to be elected now it wouldn't really be a "coup." It would just be us taking our pretty regular turn, every decade. Here are our years of membership:

1967-68
1977-78
1989-90
1999-00

So if we are elected in 2010, that seems like right on schedule to me. Or, if you're John
Ivison, aka standing "on the brink of a foreign policy coup." Gee, hopefully we beat out Portugal, who have been on the Security Council a whopping total of 4 years since 1966, to take our regular turn.
Now this leaves an obvious corollary unasked. "If Canada is not elected according to the established schedule, is that not a diplomatic disaster for Harper? Does it not indicate a world wide chastisement for the current government?"

That is better. Trigger will be happier now. Now for that other burr. It has to do with Harper's news conference meltdown this week regarding the unwanted jets. Impolitical and Dave at The Galloping Beaver did a much better job of covering the details of this than my attempt.

My saddle blanket won't be clean, however, until I re-emphasize this quote again:
But Jay Paxton, a spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay, argued that a competition was already run — by the Americans.
I am well aware of the ideological considerations driving this statement but has there ever been a more barefaced statement of their lack of commitment to Canadian sovereignty?
Recommend this Post

Friday, September 3, 2010

Harper has competition for title of "Strategic Genius"

And it is being provided by Krafty Kory. Imagine what was running through his mind as he sits in front of his internet machine to pound out today's editorial.* (you don't really have to hit the link. It's not that good. The informative stuff follows). He must find a way to inoculate Fox News North from the Avaaz internet petition against his nascent network.

How does he attempt to do this? The way any true conservative would of course. Invalidate this expression of the popular will (Over 62,000 signatories as I type this. Don't be afraid to add yours) by adding several fake names. Throw in the names of some public figures who really should be impartial (Kady O' Malley and Chris Hall of the CBC to name two) and the whole thing can be brushed off.

Done and done. Now he can get back to the really important things like finding synonyms for words like lock. And load.

But a funny thing happened on the way to media domination. He got found out. Those journalists smart enough that they don't have to stoop to working for QMI cottoned on to the scam. And that is just the stuff that hasn't been covered on Twitter.

So then the poor sap has go on Twitter and act surprised that his name was "suddenly" added too. No one buys it. On top of this, Avaaz is pissed off and trying to get to the bottom of it all. But that isn't the worst. He is put on Power & Politics with Ricken Patel of Avaaz and gets shredded.

Genius at it's best.

*Now you might argue that it hasn't been proven that Kory is behind this all. That is true and this entire post might be baseless conjecture. But no more so than a Sun editorial, it it?
Recommend this Post

The virtuous circle


Stupid ideological decisions on the census and fighter procurement combined with. Michael Ignatieff starting to perform much more competently leads to. A series of polls starting to show Canadians believe the Liberals have a chance to defeat Harper. Results in the first signs of panic from the bunker. This all will lead to Liberals coalescing behind Ignatieff. This will lead to better polling for the Liberals. The resultant behaviour by Harper will provide much schadenfreude similar to that seen in this clip (bonus b. s. calling).

And on it goes.
Recommend this Post

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

But. But. The Liberals did it. v. 19578238754.1.0.3

What a spineless bunch our oppressors are.

Blowing up F-35 deal would cause collateral damage, Tories say

The economic and diplomatic strings attached to Ottawa’s multi-billion dollar deal to buy the F-35 stealth fighters would make it extremely painful — if not impossible — for a future government to unravel or cut, senior Conservatives insisted Wednesday.

Gotta love the can't do attitude. That is the western spirit. Better not let a Sutter hear you say that.

But it isn't their fault.

“I don’t understand why the Opposition is playing political games with this,” Harper said at an aerospace announcement in Montreal.

“It was the Liberal government that in 2002 committed Canada to the development of this aircraft.”

Too bad they didn't the same respect for the Liberal Legacy with regards the Kelowna Accord, the surplus etc., etc., etc. But the jets will help us defend our sovereignty!. You mean sort of like this defence of the sole source nature of the contract?

But Jay Paxton, a spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay, argued that a competition was already run — by the Americans.

But this article is puzzling in other ways. The Stenographer attending the Harper propaganda conference wrote:

When Chr├ętien cancelled the $4.8-billion replacement for the air force’s geriatric Sea Kings in 1994, he ripped up one contract with European Helicopter Industries Ltd, an Anglo-Italian consortium. It cost taxpayers $500 million in cancellation fees.

Tearing up — or putting on hold — the F-35 Lightning II plan would be far more costly.

This Speaker of Pillow Talk to Power presented the following evidence of the costs involved:

It could endanger Canadian defence contractors, who’ve already won $375 (how is this directly lost to the government? - CV) million worth of work on the planes, anger allied nations already committed to buying the planes and waste hundreds of millions of dollars under existing agreements signed as far back as 1997.

...

In Ottawa’s case, that’s amounted to US $160 million, which allows Canadian companies access to bid on contacts associated with the project. Think of it as the federal government paying the cover charge to get into a club.

Between now and 2051, the federal government is committed to spending an additional US $551 million in order to remain part of the club.

So all the evidence that was actually presented is that the government would lose the tax revenue on $375 million. The $160 million in development fees allowed us to bid on the contracts, so we lose those how? The future commitments allow us to bid on contracts that would presumably net Canada more than that. In what way is this impacted by cancelling the deal? Evidence please. In any event, there have been no examples provided to support the statement that the penalties would be higher than the EH-101 cancellation. Sadly the Sun and National Post aren't the only organizations prone to regurgitating the garbage provided by the government.

Recommend this Post

Harper is turning into a One Trick Phony

Almost two years and one leader ago, the Liberals took part in an effort to form a minority government due to a lack of confidence in an incompetent Conservative regime. Since then Parliamentary governments in Britain and Australia have formed actual coalitions establishing a new normal for Westminster governments. But Mr. Angry?
Go ahead and use your persuasive powers. Ain't gonna get traction. The last "coalition" attempt was led by Stephane Dion. As much as I personally admired Dion, the Conservative trash talk had left its mark. This allowed the Conservative anti-democratic distortions about our form of government to stick.

But this is 2010. The year of the census. Fighter jets. ATV rides and rule making. The Liberal Express. Canadians have elected three minority governments in a row because that is the mood Canadians are in. There isn't any evidence they are ready to change their minds. But with ongoing improvement in the performance by Ignatieff and the implosion of the NDP; voters may very well decide to pass the minority mantle to the Liberals.

Harper's personal attitudes reflect the 1950s. His electoral strategy reflects 2008. Talk about yesterday's man.
Recommend this Post

The all powerful Liberal Party extends its reach

The Dark Lord Donolo has gone beyond bloggers to coerce columnists into toeing the Liberal Line (I love alliteration!).

Columnists such as:

I feel like a fool for believing in the NDP’s devotion to women’s rights.

...

Why did this happen?

A smart NDP friend once explained that life is actually very nice for the caucus. Even though they aren’t in power as such, they have comfortable lives on the high moral ground. No radical or even interesting ideas emerge because it would disrupt the picnic. New ideas and brave stands are messy, like sand on the rug or spilled jam.

I abandoned the NDP after 12 members supported the Tories’ first go at the bill and I politely told a fundraiser over the phone never to contact me again for money or support. I like Joe Comartin, NDP justice critic, who’s working hard to change the NDP’s collective mind and would be happy to see him replace Layton.

No, the NDP will be staid, cowardly and in this case retrograde. The corpses of the Montreal Massacre are silent and the yapping gun-freedom brigade is so very loud.

The Star

Faced with the choice of whipping his caucus into line to save the long-gun registry or letting his MPs vote to kill it, NDP Leader Jack Layton has opted for the latter. It is a choice of expediency over principle

.The columnists at QMI and the NP have thus far been resistant to the commands of the OLO. They are next!

Recommend this Post