Sunday, May 29, 2011

Whose Blackberries were they?

Interesting. The Toronto Sun is still reporting it's Rookie PC candidate George Lepp's junk that was posted to his Twitter stream while every other media source is uncritically repeating Lepp's claim that the package in question must belong to whoever stole his Blackberry.

Is it just that the original version makes for a better story?  Nobody's in the office to update the story?

Or is this another sign of the breach between the Sun chain and the Conservative movement that opened during the campaign when they accused the Conservatives of trying to plant a phony Ignatieff story with them?

UPDATE: Lepp's PR guy denies aver admitting they were Lepp's meat and two veg:
The Sun story says Alan Sakach, communications director for the Ontario Conservatives, told the paper the device was operating on camera mode in Lepp's front pant pocket when it went missing.
But Sakach quickly denied the report, telling the Toronto Star the image was not of Lepp and that he has no idea how it was taken. “This is crap journalism,” Sakach told the Star, accusing The Sun of misquoting him.
Clearly some kind of identity line up is called for here.  Presumably there are ... distinguishing features.

Rolling in the Deep

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Canada's proud role sabotaging Mideast peace

As part of Harper's longstanding policy of defining pro-Israel to mean pro-Likud he jumped to serve Netanyahu when the Israeli PM asked him to throw Obama under a bus.
At the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper thwarted an announcement Friday by the G-8 countries that would have supported U.S. President Barack Obama's statement that talks between the Palestinians and Israel should be based on the 1967 borders with exchanges of territory.
The grateful thanks of Israel's far right government were delivered by vicious racist and ethnic cleansing proponent Avigdor Lieberman:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke over the weekend with Canada's foreign minister, John Baird, and thanked him for Canada's position during the G-8 deliberations. "Canada is a true friend of Israel and with a realistic and proper view of things, it understands that the 1967 borders do not conform to Israel's security needs and with the current demographic reality," Lieberman said.
'current demographic reality' being a polite euphemism for 'years of illegal settlement building on stolen land.'

Remember when Canada's role on the world stage was something to be proud of?

Monday, May 23, 2011

In case there was ever really any doubt...

...That the BC Liberal Party is actually a far right party:
Former Treasury Board president and retired Conservative MP Stockwell Day says he's backing the provincial Liberals in British Columbia because any other choice would result in an NDP-led government.
In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio's The House, Day said he will campaign for Premier Christy Clark's party, but also believes the party's name should be changed to reflect the reality of its support base.
"I know for people living outside of B.C., it sounds strange," Day said.

"'BC Liberals' really is, if I dare I use the word, a coalition of the non-socialist vote that took place a number of years ago … That particular coalition by-and-large worked."
It doesn't really sound that strange if you know that the BC Liberals are just the latest camouflage suit that the right wing chamber of commerce tendency has worn in BC like the Social Credit Party before them.  They ride one of them until they are so tainted with extremism, dirty deeds and contempt for the public they become unelectable and then they change their names or abandon the husk for a new party shell like digger wasps animating a corpse.  The BC Conservatives are probably next.

If things go well for the federal NDP opposition, if progressives break for them and they actually look like they may form a government in four years, watch the federal Liberal Party that's left merge with the Conservatives rather than let progressives form government.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There are blogs that get more viewers than Sun TV

Not, you know, mine, but not by that much.
The so-called "Fox News North" specialty service initially struck estimated ratings of about 31,000 viewers on its evening launch of April 18, but has now dropped to as little as 4,000 and 5,000 viewers in the evening slots with hosts Brian Lilley and Charles Adler, CP reported.
CP said sources had provided it with overnight estimates from BBM Canada.
Ezra Levant’s program “The Source” received an estimated 31,000 viewers on launch day, but those numbers fell to 12,000 on Wednesday that week, and by the following Monday had reached an estimated 19,000.
CP reported that at 7 p.m. last Friday, Sun News Network journalist Theo Caldwell was drawing an estimated 11,000 viewers nationally while CBC News Network rated 263,000 and CNN 38,000 viewers in Canada.
We now rejoin the view from the couch in Ezra's mom's basement...

"Ezra's World! Party on! Excellent! The free market is bodacious and Muslims are bogus!"  etc...etc...

I encourage Quebecor and the Sun Chain to double down.  Pour money into this pit boys! Hold on by your fingernails until you've drained Quebecor dry the way the National Pest helped suck CanWest dry.  Ideology demands it.

Pile-on Backlash

Appended to an unrelated piece about Harper's clear intention to administer a deathblow to the Liberals by finally getting his way on killing the vote subsidy, Jane Taber notes that the media pile on Ruth Ellen Brosseau has resulted in backlash sympathy and support for the embattled fledgling NDP MP.  Canadian women in particular watched the gleeful attacks on a working single mother who idealistically signed up as a candidate in a race she had no expectation of winning, and got angry.
What Ruth Ellen Brosseau brings to the House

After much negative publicity, skepticism and raised eyebrows over Vegas-vacationing New Democrat Ruth Ellen Brosseau, public opinion may be changing.

The pile-on over the young woman’s ability to serve in the Commons has turned off some Canadians – especially women – and there are many now who are rooting for her to succeed in a big way in the Commons.

Anecdotally, there are many women who believe that the 27-year-old former pub server and single mother’s presence in the Commons is refreshing. Finally there will be more than middle-aged blue-suited professionally-trained men in the House. With the addition of Ms. Brosseau, the Commons will take a small step toward reflecting real life.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Clearly

You don't even have to live here to figure it out.  Talking Points Memo's insights on our election:
Starting back in the 1960s, the traditionally centrist Liberals shifted leftward and co-opted many of the NDP's issues, first under Prime Minister Lester Pearson, and then especially so under the long-serving Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (who had previously been an activist with the NDP's radical socialist predecessor, the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation, and had only been a member of the Liberals for three years when he was elevated to the top job). After a big defeat in 1984, the Liberals shifted back to the middle in the 1990s, with fiscal austerity and pro-business policies under Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
But then in the last few years, when it was again clearly necessary to shift leftward and impress progressive voters, the party instead picked the decidedly centrist Ignatieff as leader, sealing their fate to be squeezed out between the right and left.
There it is in a nutshell.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The scent of Debacle

The new Fox News North, I mean SCTV, I mean the very professional and not at all amateurish looking Sun News TV operation has had a rough start.  A massive drop off in viewers after its initial half hour, mockery for its cardboard sets and pretty but vacant personalities and of course, Ranty McHatey Ezra Levant's fevered ego and ongoing car crash of a show.  Now they appear to have been evicted from their corner of the satellite TV bandwidth over a fee dispute.

Canada’s newest 24-hour news channel, Sun News Network, has been yanked off the air by Bell TV in a dispute about fees.
Quebecor Inc. (QBR-B), which owns the channel, sent a letter to BCE Inc. (BCE-T35.690.090.25%) on April 18, demanding the channel be removed from Bell’s satellite TV service if an agreement was not reached by May 3. Bell did just that at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Now, Quebecor plans to file a complaint with the federal broadcast regulator, charging that BCE is discriminating against channels that it does not own.
After Canadians rejected their last minute desperate smear against Jack Layton and their falling out with Harper's campaign team before that its hard to miss an aura of frantic impending catastrophe emanating from Quebecor 's headquarters.  This should be the best of times for them - instead they seem to be circling the drain.

The coming Prison Industrial Complex

For those still baffled by the Harper government's insistence on spending untold billions on new prisons with no big increase in crime to justify them, there are specific policy and political goals this pledge satisfies.

In the US the Prison Industrial Complex serves the very specific constituencies and interests of the Republican Party and its regional supporters. The phantom crime wave explanation by the Harperites is purely a cover for a massive subsidy to rural and exurban constituencies.  One could almost applaud the Conservative embrace of a massive Kensyian public works program if it was only butter instead of bars.
Three decades after the war on crime began, the United States has developed a prison-industrial complex -- a set of bureaucratic, political, and economic interests that encourage increased spending on imprisonment, regardless of the actual need. The prison-industrial complex is not a conspiracy, guiding the nation's criminal-justice policy behind closed doors. It is a confluence of special interests that has given prison construction in the United States a seemingly unstoppable momentum. It is composed of politicians, both liberal and conservative, who have used the fear of crime to gain votes; impoverished rural areas where prisons have become a cornerstone of economic development; private companies that regard the roughly $35 billion spent each year on corrections not as a burden on American taxpayers but as a lucrative market; and government officials whose fiefdoms have expanded along with the inmate population. Since 1991 the rate of violent crime in the United States has fallen by about 20 percent, while the number of people in prison or jail has risen by 50 percent. The prison boom has its own inexorable logic. Steven R. Donziger, a young attorney who headed the National Criminal Justice Commission in 1996, explains the thinking: "If crime is going up, then we need to build more prisons; and if crime is going down, it's because we built more prisons -- and building even more prisons will therefore drive crime down even lower."

Of course justifying such a massive spending increase in cells requires an equally massive increase in incarceration - a 'tough on crime' agenda and large scale contraction of the social safety net to help pay for dungeon construction should start ramping up those numbers nicely.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

What Erin Said

Go.  Read.  Give yourself permission to celebrate.

Don't Blame the NDP

It's not the NDP's fault that the Liberals finally alienated progressives completely by repeatedly campaigning from the left and governing from the right. It's not the NDP's fault that the Liberal Party finally alienated Quebecors completely by treating being in power as one big open milk bar where their friends, family and friendly advertising agencies could skim off all the cream. It's not the NDP's fault that the Liberals managed to alienate everybody else by picking an arrogant, George W Bush supporting neoconservative leader who openly sneered at anyone who disagreed with him about staying in Afghanistan and was responsible for pulling the Liberals out of a coalition arrangement we could still have been in today

It's not the NDP's fault that the Liberal Party has always opposed any move away from First Past the Post and towards Proportional Representation. I predict now that they've been on the receiving end of the downside of First Past the Post they are about to become born again Proportional Representation supporters.

It's not the NDP's fault that so many of the Liberal Party's supporters had no ideology greater than power and when the chips were down voted Conservative in huge numbers rather than support the NDP.

As someone else put it much more succinctly: It's not the NDP's fault that the Liberal Party sucks so much.

Many Liberals are approaching these results with class and dignity, others with frothing, hateful meltdowns.  In the coming months and years the Liberal and New Democratic Parties are going to have a lot to talk about.

It will not be on the basis that the NDP should apologize for winning the support it did this election.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Real Split

The real story tonight is all the center right Liberals who voted Conservative. Blame the NDP all you want Libs. This likely Conservative majority is on your own heads.

CBC declares the NDP the Official Opposition

It's a new dawn. Its a new day.

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