Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mid Summer Blues - Week 117 - July 22-29

Colin Hansen was on CBC this morning talking about how safe pipelines are after this spill in the Kootenays.  Prepare for the giant Christy Clark flip-flop on Northern Gateway.

Did you see how low the crime rate is?  Lowest since 1972.  Man, these Conservative tough-on-crime bills are really having an affect!  What?  It was that low before any of them took effect?  Oh.  Regardless, congratulations Kelowna!  You're finally best at something!

The "transparent" Harper Government isn't sharing information with the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Stephen Harper is bungling negotiations with our foreign diplomats.  Workers in 15 embassies have walked off the job.

Justin Trudeau has won the vote of 16-year-old boys everywhere, as he advocates for the legalization of marijuana.  Will it pull him out of his polling slide?

A Conservative MP (of course) wants to follow England's lead and install a national internet porn filter...deemed totally unworkable by most.

12% more Canadians have debt this year?  I thought things were getting better?

You heard about the insane Calgary columnist who wrote that Cory Monteith died as a result of Vancouver's harm reduction strategy?  I guess the one good thing is that it brought attention to the actual statistics since Insite has come into play: Fewer overdose deaths and fewer infections.

Somehow the Financial Post thinks that stores paying elevated fees for fancy credit cards is a win for consumers.  Because we all know those costs stop there and don't make their way into the price of the item.  Essentially all you poor bastards without a fancy credit card are subsidizing my air miles.  Thanks!

Stephen Harper sucks at Twitter.  I follow him...he really does.

The whistleblower who let us all know that Stephen Harper had instituted quotas for EI rejection numbers has been suspended.  I mean...we all love a good whistleblower until they let people know about the bad shit that we're doing.

Initial reports (very initial) suggest that the BC Carbon Tax might actually be working.  Who knew that insanely high gas prices would cause people to use less fuel?  Not me, actually.  I traded in my oh-so-fuel-efficient diesel Jetta for a Tacoma right around the time this thing hit.

The Premiers are not fans of Harper's job training plan.  There seems to be many reasons.

The charity that demanded repayment from Trudeau has kicked out the directors that leaked the demand.

The CBC can't seem to win.  People are pissed that they won't air an ad critical of the governments dealings with the CBC.  Can't they see their predicament?  Oh well.  They probably got more interest by the snub than if the ads had run in the first place.

Did you hear about this one?  A lady with a Candian father, who fought in WWII, is being denied citizenship.  The reasoning is positively horrendous.  She was born "out of wedlock" for one.

Mac Harb looks to be up on charges soon, no?

Read about the environmental viewpoints of the Republican Senators on the "Environment and Public Works Committee".  Hint - They're not very progressive.

Oklahoma Christian Scientists for Progress!  200 Evangelical Christian Scientists from Oklahoma are urging acceptance of the fact that climate change is a thing that needs to be dealt with.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Evil Empire - Week 116 - July 15-22

I feel like the bastards are lulling us to sleep with all these scandals and screw-ups.  "They can't possibly win the next election."  I'm having a hard time keeping my interest level up.  Which is odd, seeing as there's some real Evil Empire type shit going on these days.  

"This cabinet shuffle is all about providing a fresh start for government.  Please provide a list of enemies and ne'er do wells on your way out the door."  Stephen Harper channels his inner Richard Nixon, and asks ministers to draw up lists of enemies before leaving.

Happily demoted Peter Kent sees the link as well, and comes out with a straight up comparison of Stephen Harper to Richard Nixon.

The Conservatives have been criticizing Trudeau for speaking to the Islamic Society of North America.  And have scrubbed any record of Jason Kenney doing the same thing a few years ago.

The PMO denies that it is hiding an e-mail on the Duffy/Wright affair.

There was another Sea King crash.  While this was an accident and perhaps shouldn't be used as an opportunity to heep scorn on the bungled procurement of new helicopters...well...it's kind of tough to ignore these helicopters coming to the forefront once again.  50 years old!  While we are not the only military that continues to use them (ours are much older though), it is absolute insanity that we have been working to replace these helicopters since 1983.  Blame Chretien.  Blame Harper.  Lots of blame to go around.

Not sure if this is true or not...but it sure is interesting!  Vice talks to an ex-Taliban fighter.

I don't get these clowns.  Sweeping government intervention into social issues (abortion, gay marriage, drugs)? "It's Gods will man!"  Any sort of regulation to forward public health or safety (gun control, fast food, smoking, global warming, etc., etc., etc.)? "Get yer hands off my freedom, Nazi!"

This is truly what is wrong with the World.  Honestly.  We're going nowhere like this.  Corporations are making massive, massive profits while paying employees a pittance.  CEO's are making massive, massive salaries at the expense of shareholders.  The "have nots" are vilified as takers.  The "haves" own the media companies and the politicians.  We're just all kinds of fucked.

A pretty great cartoon on how millenials get blamed for all of the problems caused by others.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

An analysis of the new Cabinet (aka What is wrong with Canada)

Well...not a whole lot different than the old cabinet.  There are a lot of names that we've seen a lot of.  But in reading through this article, two things struck me:

1) James Moore seems to be a bit of a Jerry Gergich.

2) A lot of similar professions seem to pop up

So, have a look at this list, Canada.  I think I know why our country is broken.  We are a nation run by lawyers first and foremost (13 of 34 members of Cabinet are lawyers, by my count - 38%).  And then career politicians and  PR/Communications professionals.  The below list is Title - Name - Education - Previous Career.

Prime Minister - Stephen Harper - Bachelors and Masters in Economics - Political Staffer
Aboriginal Affairs - Bernard Valcourt - Lawyer - Career politician (Mulroney Minister, NB Provincial PC Leader)
Defence - Rob Nicholson - Lawyer - Career politician (Mulroney, municipal)
Justice - Peter MacKay - Lawyer
Health - Rona Ambrose - BA, MA Political Science - Journalist
Public Works - Diane Finley - BA, MBA - Businesswoman (founded publicly funded ambulance service company), Consultant
Foreign Affairs - John Baird - BA Political Science - "Consultant"
Treasury Board - Tony Clement - Lawyer
Finance - Jim Flaherty - Lawyer
Government Leader - Peter Van Loan - Lawyer
Employment - Jason Kenney - Philosophy? - Career politician
Agriculture - Gerry Ritz - Contractor, Farmer
International Development - Christian Paradis - Lawyer
Industry - James Moore - BA, MA Political Science - Broadcast Journalist
Queen's Privy Council, Infrastructure - Denis Lebel - Hotel Manager
Environment - Leona Aglukkaq - No degree? - Public Servant, Politician
Transport - Lisa Raitt - bachelor of Science, Master of Chemistry - Manager
Fisheries and Oceans - Gail Shea - No degree? - Career Politician?
Veterans Affairs - Julian Fantino - Police Officer
Public Safety - Steven Blaney - Engineer, MBA, Business Owner "Engineer/Businessman specializing in environmental technology"
International Trade - Ed Fast - Lawyer
Natural Resources - Joe Oliver - Lawyer, Investment Banker
National Revenue - Kerry-Lynne Findlay - Lawyer
Canadian Heritage - Shelly Glover - Police Officer
Citizenship and Immigration - Chris Alexander - BA, MA Political Science - Diplomat
Labour - Kellie Leitch - Surgeon
State (Small Business and Tourism) - Maxime Bernier - Lawyer
State (Foreign Affairs) - Lynne Yelich - Unknown Education - Farmer, Banker
State (Economic Development) - Gary Goodyear - Chiropractor
State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities) - Rob Moore - Lawyer
Whip - John Duncan - Forester - Career Politician
State (Multiculturalism) - Tim Uppal - Education? - Radio Producer, Mortgage Manager
State (Seniors) - Alice Wong - Education Phd - Education
State (Sport) - Bal Gosal - Bachelor of Science, Stationary Engineer - Insurance Broker
State (Democratic Reform) - Pierre Poilievere - No degree - Communications, PR
State (Finance) - Kevin Sorensen - No degree? - Farmer
State (Social Development) - Candice Bergen - Financial planner
State (Science and Technology) - Greg Rickford - Lawyer and nurse
State (Western Economic Diversification ) - Michelle Rempel - BA Economics - University Admin.

Worst of all, Harper seems to stuff the people with actual practical experience off in the boonies.  Chris Alexander, an experienced diplomat would seem like a suitable head of Foreign Affairs.  Nope - Citizenship.  Hey, we have a surgeon!  Put them in charge of labour.  What about the engineer with experience starting up environmental technology engineering firms?  Why, sounds like a great Public Safety Minister.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Get the Pitchforks - Week 115 - July 8-15

It's amazing what sort of shit Canadians get upset about.  Billions wasted on bungled military procurement?  Meh.  Using the government as your own PR firm/propaganda arm?  No biggie.  Selling Canada's soul for oil and gas?  Jobs, jobs, jobs!  A few hundred thousand dollars in improper expenses?  Lynch the bastards!  Canadians are really pissed about the Senate and are letting Stephen Harper know about it.  The irony is delicious.  It's like Ralph Nader getting killed driving a Corvair.  Or David Suzuki getting a speeding ticket in a Ferrari.  Or something.  Some detail on the RCMP case against Mike Duffy.

Update - Cabinet shuffle!  Lot of familiar names in there. End Update...

Oh man...Even Israel thought that Canada's cut to Palestinian aid was over the top.  And it was supposedly for Israel's benefit?  Not that we were doing much in Palestine in the first place.

Do these bozoes not read the news?  Are they totally unaware of what a conflict-of-interest is?  Another Tory MP (a parliamentary secretary to boot) is accused of improper lobbying on behalf of a constituent.  Since then she's been promoted.

The F-35 is turning out to be a bit of a piece of shit.  So much so that the American military keeps dumbing down its flight requirements.  In a few years we'll end up with a Cessna with a machine gone mounted to the wings.

In a story I am unable to read, the Montreal Gazette outlines a new Harper budget cutting technique...don't spend the money budgeted to various departments.  Kind of ingenious, really.  You could announce billions in new, budgeted spending while slashing budgets.

More specifically...Transport Canada is accused of doing just that.  Not spending their rail safety budget...etc.  Tough to say you're doing all you can for rail safety when you leave a chunk of your budget on the table.  Nearly half, in fact.

Oil shipments by rail have increased 28,000% since 2009.

Details on the de-regulation of Canada's railroads.

The Conservative obsession with past military accomplishments and royal ass-kissing have reached new heights.  We're changing our ranks back to the British style, as well as uniform designations.

Stephen Harper's deport-the-criminal-immigrants trap has caught a Canadian born man.  They might deport him to India even though he's never been there in his life.  Technicalities abound as he is the son of Indian diplomats.

I'm still trying to sort this one out.  David Suzuki suggested that we (Canada) are doing the world a disservice by only allowing the cream of their crop to immigrate into Canada.  And that we should do more to bring refugees into the country.  Jason Kenney freaked out.

I really don't know much about what is going on in Egypt.  But the response from the west does seem kind of odd.  I guess we don't like democracy in other countries if it gives us governments we don't like.  See Chavez.  See Egypt.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vic Toews! - Week 114 - July 2-8

Well...We won't have Vic Toews to kick around any more, as he announces his resignation (shortly before getting kicked out of cabinet?).

So a train full of crude oil derailed and levelled a town in Quebec, if you haven't heard.  Which has logically prompted some questions about our practices of hauling crude oil in trains.  At first, I was taking the position that it is easy to blame the government after a disaster, but that perhaps we shouldn't jump to conclusions.  But then on the CBC I heard a man from Greenpeace explaining the history of hauling oil on trains:  Train companies lobbying to use obsolete cars, self regulation, etc.  And ya, I think there might be some blame for the government here.

So now that the RCMP are digging in to things, a whole lot more information is coming out about Mike Duffy and Nigel Wright.  The party had originally agreed to make the payment?  And then decided not to?  And the PM didn't know?  Ya right.

The Conservative Senate Leader is stepping down.  And another MP is announcing that she won't seek re-election.  Rats from a sinking ship?  Polls suggest maybe so.

Peter Kent thinks his upcoming demotion is going to be awesome!

It seems like the majority of failed terrorist plots, especially in the US, reek of entrapment.  A disillusioned loaner is spurred along to act in a violent manner by a police informant.  They tend not to catch to not catch the ones with the ambition and ability to truly act on their own (see multiple school shootings, Boston bombing, etc.).  The bumbling idiots are encouraged and caught.  The scary ones follow through.  We've talked about this before.  So why is there so little information out there about the BC Legislature bombing?  Yes, it's only been a few days, but this Tyee article speculates that perhaps something like this is going on with this case.

More on the bombing suspects.  Sounds like there were a number of people who continually met with them leading up to the bombings.  But nobody else has been arrested.  Were they police?  How responsible were they for the actual plot planning?  How does a guy, described as broke and a bit slow by friends, pull this off?  I'm all for stopping terrorists.  I'm not for creating boogiemen to justify our state security apparatus.

Something about this really pisses me off.  Not only are you cutting funding to Environment Canada...but you're bringing in communications experts to provide advice?  This suggests that you know it's not the right thing (or at least the popular thing) to do.  Are they providing spin control as well?

Like a deadbeat parent, Patrick Brazeau is going to have his wages garnished to pay back his expenses.  Which sounds awesome, but when you think about it...essentially he's just getting a bit less taxpayer money to screw us over in the future.

Oh man...we're still talking about flood residents guns?  This is a story?  "Onus on law enforcement"?  Here's a new headline: "Idiots don't properly look after guns"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Senate Redemption - Week 113 - June 24 - July 2

I'm reminded of Dumb & Dumber right now.  "Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this...and totally redeem yourself!"  The Senate votes to send the union finances bill back to the House of Commons.

If you constantly have to spend a lot of money telling everybody how great you are, how great everything is and how great of a job you are doing...chances are it might not be so.

Is it common for elected officials to issue politicized talking points to bureaucrats?  About another bureaucrat?  Man.  What a bunch of assholes.  The Conservative encouraged diplomats and bureaucrats to talk shit about the Auditor Generals report on fighter jet procurement.  What a bunch of stupid assholes.

Too bad.  I had hoped Vic Toews leaving politics would have been the result of pitchfork wielding farmers.  Not retirement.

A new report on drug use in Vancouver suggests some not-all-that-surprising conclusions:  One, Vancouver's "harm reduction" strategy seems to be resulting in more treatment and less jail time.  Two, federal drug supply strategies (i.e. the "war on drugs") seems to be having little to no impact on drug pricing or availability.

The Conservatives are seeking a shitpile of money from the Council of Canadians to pay for the robocalls trial.  Didn't they basically lose this trial, but it was found there was no proof that the election outcome was affected?

What a pandering asshole...can't have a gun lover angry at the Prime Minister.  How is this deserve comment from the PM?  The RCMP in High River picked up some unsecured, out-in-plain-view guns when they were searching houses for flood victims and this is some sort of tragedy for the PM and his gun lobby buddies.

This Tyee article blames Calgary flooding on climate change and hopes that the oil industry will see the error of their ways.

Quebec seems to have lost their court case to try to hold on to Quebec long gun registry data.

Convenient.  The trial of a former Harper aide has been delayed due to health concerns.

An interesting Slate article linking up statistics and studies into gun violence.  In the US.