Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, June 24, 2013

I thought it would be a short one - Week 112 - June 17-24

But no.  The stories just keep piling up.

This doesn't surprise me.  But it's still interesting to see some of the behind-the-scenes action as the Harper Government slowly turns itself into the marketing arm of large oil companies.  I understand that Governments are, by definition, supposed to set the strategy for a country.  But there's something very wag-the-dog about this.  Deciding on something and then using PR tactics to vilify opponents and change public opinion?  Shouldn't they be acting on the public opinion that is already there?

Certain people are questioning why the Prime Minister is launching attacks on Justin Trudeau using his taxpayer funded office.  There's a certain irony in using criticizable tactics to criticize your opponents.  The Tyee expands on this and shows the crazy extent to which the PMO's office is involved in political slagging and partisan story creation.  Taxpayer funded PMO's office.

The Tyee lays out the depressing story of Canada's submarines.  Why are we so incapable of buying military hardware?

Conservative Senators don't like Stephen Harper's union finances law.  It's taking some work to get them to vote for it.  I had never thought about it much before, but one of them mentioned the double standard of pursuing this but not pursuing doctors, lawyers and engineers professional organizations.

The RCMP investigation in to the Mike Duffy payment seems poised to unleash a shitstorm of awesome as records for nearly a dozen Conservative candidates have been seized.

Man.  How meta is this?  Dean Del Mastro called out Elections Canada and a witness against him for "sullying his good name" last week.  So the witness speaks out this week about the "sullying of his good name."  It is pretty chickenshit for Del Mastro to use his speech protected parliamentary privilege to suggest a witness is lying.  Or, as phrased in the CBC story, "a privilege to slander".

Another reason to hate the Census.  New data points out that 40% of native children live in poverty.

The biggest thing for me about building new pipelines, is that the companies looking to build these new pipelines do a terrible job of managing their existing pipelines.  The Tyee points this out that this is how it works in Alberta as well.

Sounds like Shelly Glover has caved in to Elections Canada expense demands.  Was this really all it took to get them off her back?

It seems sad that defeating a frivolous bill to strip the citizenship from "terrorists" is something to really celebrate.

I will admit that it seems pretty stupid for a sitting MP to collect speaking fees from a charity.  Perhaps some fees to cover travel expenses?  But $20,000?  From a charity (I'll admit, they do seem to be a pretty terrible charity).  And paying the money back once there is an uproar seems like a pretty disingenuous move.  This article outlines many of the bizarre allowances for MP's and Senators to earn extra income.The charity that requested money back from Trudeau is concerned that they created a giant political mess.

Oh Senate!  So, somebody thought it would be a good idea to bring in a bunch of high paid motivational speakers to boost the low Senate morale due to all of their expense scandals.  Gotta spend money to spend money, I guess.

Canadian Real Estate professionals are insisting that all is well with Canadian Real Estate.  Not sure which statistic they're using this time around.

I have a personal theory that no male children are born any longer.  It's all females.  Turns out that there might be something to this.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Perp Walk - Week 111 - June 10-17

As in...the Conservative caucus meetings are turning into a bit of a perp walk.

Nigel Wright is under investigation by the RCMP for the Mike Duffy payment.

Dean Del Mastro is demanding to be either charged or cleared by Elections Canada.

Irwin Cotler catches a break!  Lost in the shuffle of the mayor of Montreal getting arrested...also arrested was Saulie Zajdel, infamously hired by the Conservatives as a "shadow MP".  Nice candidate selection, guys.

Conservatives just don't seem to understand election expenses.  And it seems to be somebody elses fault every time this happens.  Eve Adams attempts to claim personal campaign expenses way over and above what is allowed.  Including Salon visits.  And a cupcake.

Some of the records related to Conservative MP elections expenses are missing/not publicly available?  I'm not clear here on who the CBC seems to be blaming.  Elections Canada or the campaign?

So Peter McKay launched his own secret surveillance program a few years ago.

Why is Stephen Harper not interested in International Tax Evasion cooperation?  As well, the CRA seems to be making things up and including non offshore tax evasion arrests in their statistics.

Crikey!  Mac Harb may owe up to $240,000 in improper expenses.  And the Conservatives jump for joy!  Surprising that they seem so eager to get this information out there.

How come every spill or disaster related to Oil and Gas comes with some sort of "The new stuff is going to be totally different!" disclaimer?  Another bad leak in Alberta.  Whose fault?  I'm guessing anybody but the company responsible for all the chemicals or the government tasked with regulating it.

Big moves on "transparency".
- The Conservatives defeated a bill that would create more independence for the Parliamentary Budget Officer
- Rumour has it that the next Parliamentary Budget Officer is going to perhaps be a Conservative party flunky (former Chief of Staff to Peter Van Loan)

Vic Toews!  Rejects the idea of a civilian management board for the RCMP as recommended by a federal advisory panel.

A fart in a windstorm.  The Harper Government announces $12 Million to fund "history education" in Canada.

Don't worry about the expense scandal or leaking pipelines.  Thomas Mulcair didn't stop at a security checkpoint!  That's the real tragedy.

What a schmozzle.  It's actually kind of absurd that QuebecSoccerHeadwareGate has reached a level where it requires comment from our Federal Politicians.  And even sadder that there are actually people defending their decision.  And that this has anything to do with language relations in this country.

So this is why governments are so pissed off at Snowden.  His leaks have compromised the shady world of international, government on government espionage.  I'm sure Britain isn't too happy about their G20 spying efforts made public.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Things fall apart - Week 110 - June 3-10

 So.  How does one refuse to give a breathalyzer sample, and then get found not guilty of refusing to give a breathalyzer sample?  Peter Goldring must have had some good lawyers.  Stephen Harper is "happy to welcome him back."

A Conservative backbencher has quit the caucus and will sit as an independent.  Why?  Well, they gutted his civil servant salary transparency bill.  I love that his idea of an "open and transparent" government rests on knowing salaries of senior civil servants.  His team didn't follow with him.

Two other Conservative MP's are in trouble for improperly filing their election expenses.  Elections Canada says they over spent (Obviously, they think it's Elections Canada's fault).  And the speaker seems to be making it up as he goes along.

There is something delightfully odd about Conservatives picketing a Justin Trudeau announcement on Parliamentary expenses.  Anyhow...Justin Trudeau promises that Liberal Parliamentarians will post their expenses online for everybody to see.  And the "Young" Conservatives picketed the announcement and suggested he "loves the status quo".

This is what happens when you draw attention to yourself.  Not only was Mike Duffy stealing taxpayer money...he was doing a terrible job at the same time.  Missing half of his Senate Committee meetings.

The Conservatives insist that the Mike Duffy payment didn't come from a Nigel Wright controlled slush fund.  Here's my wild-ass guess - Nigel Wright paid Mike Duffy with his own money...and then the slush fund paid him back.  In fact, they are claiming that there is no secret account to pay for expenses.  Well...there is an account...it's just not secret.

What the fuck?  Pamela Wallin continues to pull fat bank while sitting on the Board of Directors for many, many companies?  Oh well.  Her corporate filings reveal that she is not a resident of Saskatchewan and   shouldn't be a Senator.  And she resigned from one of her Board of Directors gigs.

A Liberal MP is pushing a bill that would mandate party leaders endorse attack ads that they create.  I think this is a tremendous idea.

Psh.  Real Estate is fine.  Buy, buy, buy.  Don't listen to the OECD when they say Real Estate in Canada is over-valued by 30-60% based on income and rents.  Those guys are biased!  Unlike our banks and real estate boards.  And Federal Government.

The Conservatives are going to make it more difficult to open up safe injection sites.  Seeing as it's been near impossible to open one up in the last few years, I wouldn't expect a rush on getting these opened in the next few years.  Hey!  Shut up, hippie!  Government regulation is only bad when it does things I don't like.

65+ countries signed a UN treaty in an attempt to limit the flow of cross-border arms sales.  Canada did not.

Once again, the Conservatives are not cooperating with the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Thank-you Quebec Soccer Federation for making Canada seem like a bunch of bigoted imbeciles.  Oh, turbans and other headgear are not allowed due to "safety"?  Yes, fabric on heads has been known to cause serious injury.  This is not going to help people like you, Quebec.  Special rules for you, no consideration for the needs of others.

This Tyee article comes to a similar conclusion to the one I made a few weeks ago: Alberta doesn't charge much money in tax on Oil Sands producers.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Has it been a good week? - Week 109 - May 27-June 3

Hey guys.  You're doing great!

Hey, another Conservative is full of shit.  Julian Fantino claimed he knew nothing about partisan letters posted to government websites.  Which is true. You know.  Other than his direct employees being entirely responsible for the whole thing.  But of course we know that Conservatives are in no way responsible for their direct reports that they hired.

Harper is trying to strongarm Newfoundland into dropping legislation that supports local fish processing in order to facilitate a European Free Trade agreement.  Really?  Europe cares this much that fish is being processed in Newfoundland?

Some leaked e-mails outline Mike Duffy's quest for compensation beginning quite early in his tenure.  He wanted to become a member of cabinet so that he could have taxpayer funded employees to help with his fundraising.  And Stephen Harper's insistence that he "knew nothing" is slowly getting picked apart.

The Bank of Canada has forced the removal of a Canadian parody bill/political cartoon, due to "counterfeiting".  Because somebody could print off their $90,000 Mike Duffy bill and commit a crime?  And would they have made this demand if it was a Liberal on the bill?

Edmonton now has one more person not happy to be living there. Omar Khadr.

The Conservatives decrying their "delayed justice" in getting answers on the Robocalls scandal.  The Chief Electoral Officer points out that they are the primary source of delays.  In the meantime, some fines have been handed out.

There are some questions about our new Ambassador to Jordan's management style.  Sounds like a bit of a dick.

The former head of the organization that oversees CSIS has been arrested in Panama on fraud charges in Canada.

Wow.  Christy.  I'm impressed.  BC formally rejects the Northern Gateway.  Proving that perhaps the election trail isn't the best place to make major environmental announcements.

Awww fuck.  This Slate article outlines the declines in sea ice.  And these Slate comments outline the new climate change denial.  Climate change embracement!  You stupid climate change fearmongers just can't embrace change!  How dare you infringe on my right to earn a profit and air condition my house with your petty right to not drown or starve.  And animals don't have a say in this.  They don't even shop.

Oh man.  Toronto.  What is wrong with you?  Rob Ford's crack scandal...hasn't changed his polling numbers!  I finally understand why we have Stephen Harper.

In other Rob Ford news, apparently one of the people in his crack video was killed recently.  Over the crack video!  Probably.  And as one guy in the comments points out, "sure looks fake to me!"  Okay.  So you figure the video, that nobody has seen, looks fake to you?  Fuck.  Do people have no critical thinking skills?  I mean...I'm not saying he smoked crack.  I'm just saying I'm going to hold off on judging whether or not the video is fake for now.

I got really excited when this story suggested Jean Chretien went Kitesurfing.  But it was really just wakeboarding.  Any buffoon can stand on a wakeboard.

An incredibly interesting letter written by the CIA officer who blew the whistle on the American Torture Program.  Who is now in jail for blowing the whistle on the American Torture Program...or for something like that.

Nate Silver has an interesting breakdown on NHL Stats.  He asks the question "Why has no Canadian team won the Stanley Cup in 20 years"...but doesn't really answer it.