Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Drill, Barack, Drill

Barack Obama:

- Against offshore drilling before he was for it.

- For "use it or lose it" before he was against it.

Look, when you have Repub Mitch McConnell saying this is "a step in the right direction", you know the planet is in trouble.

Barack Obama - never met a triangulation he didn't like.

Apparently, he thinks "negotiating" means giving away the farm (or the oceans, in this case) before you even sit down at the table. And, once you've done that, you give away even more - all in the spirit (choke choke) of "bipartisanship". That's what he did with the health insurance "reform" bill which garnered him no Republican support despite the fact that it's basically a Republican idea-filled piece of legislation and a massive giveaway to Corporate America. That's what he can be expected to do with every issue he intends to tackle during his presidency since he doesn't seem to understand that, no matter what he does, the Republicans will never be his best buddies. They don't have to steal his lunch money - he gives it to them willingly.

Some on the so-called American left seem to think this strategy is "brilliant" - that his "biggest problem is being decades ahead of the country he leads". Right. Because selling out every single "progressive" idea you have to the moneyed powers that be must be the brightest thing a US president has ever done! If only the rest of the serfs would catch up and recognize his audacity of wow.

The American left means nothing to this man - the real American left, not the online conservative Democrats who now call themselves "pragmatists" and defend absolutely every decision he makes as they contort themselves into believing that they really don't subscribe to the Daddy Knows Best philosophy of peons who let their leaders walk all over them. Obama lets the oligarchy trample on him, ergo, that must be the right thing for them to do too. Somehow, that translates into "progressivism". Neoliberalism - it's what's for dinner - and they eat it up.

But, don't forget to Send Money Now! to the Democratic party. Because, really, there is no other choice - is there? (And how dare anyone even ask that question!)

Iggy Accuses Guergis of Lying

Airport tantrum queen Helena Guergis is in hot water again. This time, she's being accused of lying about not knowing that her staffers have been sending "glowing letters about her to newspapers while posing as regular voters.".

CTV's Robert Fife has the latest.

Fife: "There's nobody in the Conservative caucus that supports her. They're all shaking their heads."

See you later, Helena.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Detainee Document Dump: Explosive Allegations

The Canadian Press has begun reviewing the 2,000+ heavily censored pages that the Cons unceremoniously dumped on parliament on Wednesday and have already discovered startling new allegations - including reports of summary executions of transferred detainees.

You can read what they've found so far here.

Further proof that a public inquiry is the only legitimate vehicle for uncovering the truth.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Afghanistan: Obama Wants Canadian Troops to Stay

Via the Globe and Mail:

The U.S. government will ask Canada to keep as many as 500 to 600 troops in Afghanistan after this country’s military deployment in Kandahar ends in 2011.

Sources inside and outside the government say the formal request is expected toward the end of this year through NATO. The troops would act as military trainers and would most likely be located in Kabul. The deployment would not involve putting Canadian troops in harm’s way, but could nonetheless set off a rancorous national debate among Canadians and especially within the Liberal Party.
If Obama thinks he needs a few hundred troops to train the Afghans, let him send Americans.

We should not be responsible for fixing the United States' government's perpetual training mistakes.

Canadians need to make it crystal clear to the Liberals that we will not support this extension.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Liberals' Family Planning Vote Fiasco

It should have been a simple thing: present a motion to force the Cons to take a formal stand on supporting maternal health initiatives (ie. contraception) in advance of the upcoming G8 meeting - a reaffirmation of Canada's foreign policy stance for the past 25 years.

But the Liberals, who introduced the motion, managed to defeat their own motion.

This, after catching the Cons in their own roller coaster of confusion over the policy last week and on the heels of Bev Oda laughingly calling the policy "anti-American". (Apparently, being against former and regressive Bush administration policies equals anti-Americanism to the spectacularly dull and ineffective Ms Oda).

And the Cons also believed that even talking about contraception was some sort of slippery slope to re-opening the debate about abortion - which wasn't even on the table.

Yet, the Liberals still managed to embarass themselves.

There were 3 "no" votes from members of their party and a number didn't even show up.

On top of that:

The Liberals' problems were compounded when a handful of members proceeded to get confused about how they were to vote on the next measure and accidentally voted in favour of the supplementary estimates attached to the budget. Once they realized their error, the MPs tried to vote against it. Finally, Speaker Peter Milliken allowed the MPs' nay votes to be counted.
If the upcoming speaker's ruling on the Afghan detainee document issue prompts an election call, as Chantal Herbert speculates, the disorganized Liberals had better hope that their little "thinking conference" to be held this week generates some way to make sure they're all on the same page. Of course, not inviting your own MPs to actually be there in person might make that just a tad difficult since Ignatieff doesn't even appear to want to have his party members in the same room. Maybe they should just hold their future caucus meetings via Twitter.


Ignatieff: dissenters face 'internal discipline'

I'm sure they'll get a sternly-worded letter...

Friday, March 19, 2010

This week in Conservatives behaving badly...

- You'll take Jean-Pierre Blackburn's tequila from his cold dead hands. And if you're airport security, he's going to make sure you pour it out in front of him just to make sure you don't drink it!

The NDP's Comartin thinks Steve needs a "code of conduct" for his increasing number of unruly cabinet ministers. Yeah. I've got your code, tories - right here.

Just as an aside, the tequila reminded me of the infamous 'Tequila Sheila" comment from days gone by. Searching for it, I found this helpful page on the CBC's site: Political insults: a short history of personal attacks.

When you look at the larger picture, should it be any surprise that Harper cabinet ministers are acting out illegally when their daddy continually flaunts the laws of parliament?

- They were against contraception for poor women this week before they were for it.

Facing a squall of condemnation from aid groups and opposition politicians, Prime Minister Stephen Harper disavowed his foreign minister Thursday, promising that the federal government would include contraception programs in its maternal-health foreign-aid initiative.

“The government is seeking a dialogue with the countries of the G8 to save the lives of mothers and children all over the world,” Mr. Harper said in the House of Commons. “We are not closing the door to any option, and that includes contraception, but we do not want a debate, here or elsewhere, on abortion.”
Dictator Harper strikes again. What's there to "debate"? If women don't have access to necessary abortions, they can die. Of course, those "pro-life" Conservative types don't care one bit about that so they don't want to hear about it. Debate closed.

As Antonia Zerbisias notes: Bible, not medical texts, guide Harper

- Dimitri Soudas: punked on Facebook.

A Quebec television show has exposed an embarrassing hole in the personal security of prime ministerial communications director Dimitri Soudas.

Soudas, who is Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief spokesman, took down his personal Facebook page on Friday, shortly after learning he had been the target of the Radio-Canada show Infoman. A message posted on the show's site Friday said, in French: "Here's hoping that he has learned his lesson and that he will be more careful in choosing his friends."

Using the name Christopher David Meer, the show sent a friend request to Soudas, who accepted the overture and gave "Meer" access to his personal Facebook site, which displayed photos of himself, his family, his friends and his home.

However, a quick Google search would have revealed that Christopher David Meer is being sought by the RCMP in connection with two 2007 arson cases in Alberta.
Poor Dimitri - such a serial dupe.

Margaret Wente There

According to Margaret Wente, I'm a man. And all of these bloggers apparently suffer from "Male Answer Syndrome" (MAS) too.

Who knew?

And that's about all you need to know about Margaret Wente. Except that she doesn't mind being called an "idiot". (I wonder if sexist idiot is out of bounds.)

Regardless, with all of this raging testosterone and adrenalin now coursing through my system, I have to hurry up and finish this post because after I'm done scratching my (imaginary) nuts, I'm going to rush out to shoot and skin a deer for my (imaginary) little woman to cook up for supper. And, of course, after that I'll force her to stuff the (imaginary) dead deer's head so I can mount it on the wall. Because that's just the kind of (imaginary) manly man I am!

Blog on!



The little wimmens speak out. You can join the live debate with Wente at 12pm ET today - or not.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This is democracy?

The maxim goes that if you don't have anything to hide - don't act like you do.

Apparently, Harper's Conservatives either:

a) don't understand that concept


b) have something to hide

The smart money is on b).

From filibustering a committee meeting to refuse to have the widow of the former Rights and Democracy president to testify to, of course (and for years now), using every single obstructionist tactic it can possibly dream up to deny MPs access to documents about allegations of torture on Afghan detainees handled by Canadian forces, this perpetually arrogant minority government cadre of Conservatives believes that democracy is only something that works according to its restrictive rules.

The only good news is that the Canadian people, according to the latest poll, don't think these Cons are anywhere near deserving to rule as the majority party. And it looks like the collective opposition is finally growing a real spine by threatening MacKay et al with contempt of parliament. What is truly laughable in the situation with these torture documents is that MPs are not to be trusted with national security matters - unless they are in the governing party, apparently.

That's not the way to run this country.

And that the opposition refuses to push this government out of office while its attempts to rule by fiat only increase in audacity every week shows how truly weak they really are.

We're talking about a cover-up of torture here.

But, after all, what have we learned from our neighbours to the south these past few years when it comes to concerns about torture and their lack of urgency as expressed by so-called "liberals"? We've learned that those who authorized torture and who publicly condone - even flaunt - its use in public (a la Dick Cheney and Karl Rove) can admit their war crimes without any consequence whatsoever from those with the power to go after them legally.

There's not much breathing room on the political scale between the Democrats and the Liberals (not that the NDP is off the hook for this lack of urgency either) when it comes to forcefully and immediately standing up for the human rights of torture victims. Why? Because they're just as complicit - either by taking part in the cover-up or in failing to act in any way that actually mattered when they had the power to do so.

So, we coast and wait and coast and wait until the powers that be deem that "Canadians want an election" or until some international body finally forces some actual accountability - which could be years, decades from now.

In the meantime, we boast about how wonderful our "democracy" is and how those "third-world" countries would do so much better to mimic our so-called "representative" and uncorrupted systems.

Just who are we trying to fool - besides ourselves?