Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Slow Week - Week 47 - Mar 19-26

Not much going on this week, save for the NDP electing a new leader.
Stephen Harper takes the high road with his first public comment and suggests that Mulcair is an "opportunist".  Which, when you think about it, is true.  Generally people need to be presented with "opportunities" for anything to happen.

Irwin Cottler again.  Some detail leaks out about his "shadow mp".  I still don't really understand what his job is, but apparently he gets to speak in public about whatever he wants but it's all okay because it's "off the record" so he can say whatever he wants.  Which happens to be a bunch of shit about Israel.  But we still don't know what his role is or how much money he makes.

The Fighter Jets start looking worse and worse and worse.

More robo-calls.  Elections Canada has dug up information on a...gosh...Nixonesque plot to phone voters in the middle of the night claiming to be a Liberal Candidate.  Elections Canada also stated that they planned on visiting voters houses to dunk sleeping people's hands in cold water as well as a downright sinister plot to deliver unordered pizzas.

In the Globe and Mail...we have a story on how we need to pull back mortgages to slow down the "booming housing market" as well as a story on house prices being "dangerously over-valued".  I guess that is one way to hedge your bets.

Oh.  Don't worry about China buying everything.  They're only concerned with "equity stakes" in all of the companies they are buying up.  Because there is no chance they would change that once they have that controlling ownership stake.

In more under-reported science news, many, many scientists have come out asking Stephen Harper to change his plans for the Fisheries Act.  Yes.  Appeal to his sense of reason and equity.  That should work well.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meeting Targets - Week 46 - March 12-19

Hey look.  All these people like me.

Can you believe this?  We're 46 weeks in, Stephen Harper is just getting his Omnibus Crime Bill passed, and he has somehow still made his 100-day target?  If there's one thing you can say about Parliament, they sure know how to sandbag a goal.  And...Quebec is well and truly telling them to pound sand.

Speaking of Parliament, they're really starting to catch on to this whole Internet thing.  They've finally admitted that they're not really sure how they will hold Anonymous responsible for threats against Vic Toews and they're even admitting that it might be a bit silly to even speak of trying to do such a thing.

And governments are just like people.  Nobody likes gossipy Sue.  And nobody trusts Canada with their secrets any longer since members of our military started giving secrets to Russia.

Somebody has decided that preserving (some of the) CBC Archives is not a good idea.  They're going to digitize it instead.  Some of it.  No.  Wait a second.  They sold it to some guy in Calgary.  I'm not even joking.

Back to robo-calls.  You know, amongst all the shenanigans that have happened in the US in recent years...court cases deciding elections.  Electronic voting machines with no oversight.  Crazy stuff.  I've always said "at least Canada has a strong, independent, centralized voting system that wouldn't allow for stuff like that."  Personally, I don't really think that too many people didn't end up voting due to a phone call telling them to drive across town (the last minute voter registrations is another matter), it has still shaken my confidence in our democratic system.  But, I feel like Elections Canada is going to figure this out.  And that makes me happy.  Oh.  The Liberals are co-operating.  And some of the Conservatives own buddies want an investigation.

Asbestos!  Gosh, we haven't heard anything about asbestos in a while.  Another story about the mines closing.  All that nonsense and the mines are going to close...

More happy news.  Somebody in the Conservative government has admitted that the F-35 Fighter Jet isn't all sunshine and roses.  This is a pretty amazing step, admitting that something isn't quite as it should be.  I'm sure the poor bastard will be fired within the month.

The Natives are getting serious about delaying the Northern Gateway PipelineAs the Conservatives talk about gutting the environmental review process in the name of "pragmatism".  I mean, who wants to take a bit of time planning things out when there's only hundreds of fish bearing streams and 1/3 of the nations coastline at stake?

Hey!  Oil sands!  Lets kill some wolves!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Kinder Tone - Week 45 - Mar 5-12

This could almost be Stephen Harpers "Mission Accomplished" moment, with a change in uniform.
 I'm going to start in a different way this week.  I was reading a story yesterday about business groups being upset about a 2.5% tax increase in Vancouver and how they responded with a childish newspaper ad.  The story itself doesn't matter, but as I read through the comments on the story I started to see some things.  Everybody that read the story already had their minds made up.  People were resorting to name calling and the conversation really degenerated.  I realized two things:

1) As soon as you start calling people names, any chance of a productive conversation is lost.
2) I've been doing some of that myself.

So, moving forward, I am going to try to eliminate personal attacks from this blog.  Don't get me wrong, I'm going to continue to ridicule ideas and suggest that people are ignorant, ill-informed or wrong.  But I'm not going to call them names and go for the cheap cheap score.

For example.  Rob Anders.  While last week there was a possibility that I could have resorted to calling him "Sleepy Time" Rob.  This week, I'm not going to do that.  I'm going to suggest that he's an incompetent buffoon for calling a group of veterans a "bunch of hacks" after they asked him entirely appropriate questions and then only apologizing once he realized that people were really, really angry.  So.  Yes, not entirely civil, but not scraping the bottom of the barrel either.

Now, back to the robo-call scandal.  Mr. Stephen Harper has decided to demand that the Liberals release all records related to their use of robo-calls, but feels it's entirely unnecessary to release their own logs as they are "obviously...not behind the calls".  Which is a really impressive re-purposing of logic.

A different type of fraud has raised its head, as apparently several thousand people signed up to vote at the last minute in a specific riding, many of them without addresses or with fake ones.  But not to worry, the Conservatives tell us everything was "fair".  Honestly though, what is Elections Canada doing to allow this?

In more election fraud news, some team members of a Conservative Minister are asking Elections Canada to take a look at the finances or their own campaign as they seem a bit fishy.

Copyright reform discussion is drawing to a close.  As Michael Geist points out, the industry is really trying to screw with things.  It's tough to feel like there is any kind of process, fair or otherwise, in how this bill is being handled.

Maher Arar points out that we haven't really learned anything about our experience with torture.  It seems like we've actually made it our official policy to encourage other nations to torture.

More back to work legislation.  This time for Air Canada.  Again.

Some information on the F-35 and how the US Military is cheating their own testing process.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Smears - Week 44 - Feb 27 - Mar 5

This weeks picture is "Sleepy" Rob Anders.  Who wouldn't trust that face?
So, we'll start not with the biggest story of the week, but on my favourite story of the week.  Conservative MP Rob Anders has been accused of falling asleep on the job.  Not in the figurative "neglecting to do his duty" sense.  In the literal, showing up to meetings and Parliament and then falling asleep sense.  And, in the new Conservative Party of Canada tradition, not only is there no apology or admittance of guilt...no...anybody pointing this out is a "hack" perpetrating a "smear job".  There's since been a bit of an apology, but it seems a bit too little, too late.

Of course, the big news this week continues to be the robo-call scandal.  It all comes so wonderfully together with Stephen Harper blaming others for this "smear campaign".  Which is a pretty amazing response, when you take some time to think about it.  And now...wow...really upping the ante.  Suggesting that it's actually the Liberals fault with regards to another batch of robo-calls.  And now...lawsuitsProtests.  It's really getting crazy.

As well, Steve-O seems to be making a big deal about the fact that the Liberals used American telemarketers (and therefore, by extension, this is all their fault)...but...well....Ahem...glass houses and such.

Hey!  Look!  Over Here!  More smears.  Steve-O does his best Houdini and tries to draw some attention back onto Vikileaks.  Is it still a "smear" if the information that you presented is true?

This week also seemed to be the week of surveys and polls.  I've seen three poll results this week that make me very happy that we don't live with US proposition-style politics.  If we're to believe all of this, Canadians are in favour of:

Can you imagine if these surveys had been binding?  Because nothing would make Canada better than  cuts to social programs, increased police powers and throwing people in jail for vague and arbitrary crimes.

The Conservatives tightened the belt today and announced $12 Million in ad spending to promote their "jobs first" times-are-tough budget.  Tomorrow they're expected to announce their controversial "Beatings to Prevent Violence" campaign.

And if you don't think Copyright is a fiasco, the Canadian Music Industry is already demanding more rights, control, policing, etc.  This is on top of the demands that they've already made that are before Parliament as we speak.  On top of SOPA style proposals they made a month or so back.  Talk about forward thinking.  "We know we said the first batch of legislation was what we needed, and we know that we came back and said that we needed more after that, but just in case you decide to approve all of that stuff...we've got a few more things on top of that."  These guys won't stop until the very concept of sound and/or noise falls completely under their control.

The Canucks took on a burlier presence today and the Liberals followed suit.  Announcing their intentions to not get pushed around any longer, the Liberals admit to being the source of Vikileaks.

The Conservatives break the silence on the hiring of the candidate that lost to Irwin Cotler.  Surprisingly, they did nothing wrong and everybody else is making things up.

Steve-O announces that everybody else is going to see cuts, so MP Pensions are going to be cut as well.

And Jason Kenney suggests that Corporations should be more involved in determining which immigrants are allowed into the country.  Yes, I can't see a problem anywhere in that plan.

Stephen Harper.  Benjamin Netanyahu.  Iran.  Blah blah.