Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, April 21, 2014

Scaring Russia - Week 155 - April 14-21

Really?  We're sending six CF-18's to Eastern Europe scare big old Russia?

Nigel Wright appears to be let off the hook.

This whole temporary foreign workers thing is a disaster.  Another story out of Saskatchewan where  a bunch of waitresses have been displaced by temporary foreign workers.  This is starting to stoke some crazy racism and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Conservatives don't like the answers that they're getting on Economic Action Plan Ad questions.  So they're not going to ask the people of Canada what they think any more.  In other survey news, Canadians aren't convinced that pipelines are the answer.

I tend to not put too much stock into these "Conservative insider" reports.  But really...who would be shocked that Conservatives think Pierre Poilievre is a douchebag?  Where has this cartoon been all my life?  From the Tyee article hereAnother summary of the terribleness of the "Fair Elections" Act.

This is an interesting theory.  As Conservative incumbents flock to safer ridings, who is going to fight the tougher battles?  This could impact their numbers at the next election.

My argument against owning Real Estate in Vancouver has long been this - the carrying costs for the average home are far higher than the average annual household income.  If the average person can't come close to affording the average home, how can that be sustainable.  Garth summarizes this nicely.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jim - Week 154 - April 7-14

Man.  What a depressing end.  Serve as Finance Minister to an asshole, retire and then die a few weeks later.  Poor Jim Flaherty.  Garth nicely sums up the good and bad of Jim Flaherty.

Pierre Poilievre is doubling down on awful.  He's accusing Marc Mayrand of a power grab in his opposition of the "Fair Elections" Act.  Is it really a power grab if you want to keep doing the job that you are paid to do?  Can you believe these Conservative jagoffs have decided that the talking point needs to be that Elections Canada shouldn't be in the voter turnout game?  As well, looks like the guy who is supposed to take over investigations from Elections Canada wasn't consulted either.

These people are children.  One Conservative minister makes a "shooting a gun" gesture at an NDP MP, and then another runs over and trots out the beautiful "Say it outside of Commons!" refrain.  These people are idiots.

This is awesome.  "Sleepy Time" Rob Anders lost his nomination battle.

It's remarkable the job Stephen Harper has done of shirking any responsibility for Patrick Brazeau.  Not to kick a man when he's down, but it seems like it's all really unravelling.

Another tough on crime bill doesn't survive scrutiny by the courts.

In Australia, government employees aren't allowed to criticize the government online.  "Shit, what a great idea!" somebody in Ottawa just said.

More companies taking advantage of the temporary foreign workers program.

Why are MP's allowed to accept paid travel from companies/organizations/countries?  If it is important enough to go, Canada should pick up the tab.

Trudeau took shit for not letting his bullying candidates run for nomination.  Steve has no problems with his bullies...shit...it might be a prerequisite.  Eve Adams is allowed to continue.

Greenpeace is asking for an investigation into the ties between the Conservatives and "Ethical Oil" from an election finance perspective.  Interesting response from the "grassroots" Ethical Oil.

An interesting idea.  CBC asked people to tweet their stories about vouching/getting vouched for.  Of course Conservative commenters point out that these people are all probably lying about it.

Kitimat decided that it doesn't want a pipeline.

More bad news for Attawapiskat.  And Theresa Spence.  Her partner/the co-manager of the first nation, has been charged with fraud.

There's some fallout from decreasing subsidies and no more Hockey Night in Canada.  600+ at CBC are out of work.

Huh.  This guy talks a bit about the potential speed restrictions coming to the de-restricted sections of the Autobahn.  He equates it to the gun control argument in the US.

A bunch of yahoos that work for the Minister of Public Works have been accused of interfering with access to information.

More Quebec corruption with ties to Stephen Harper appointees...or attempted appointments...or something.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sandbaggin' - Week 153 - Mar 31-April 7

Leona Aglukkaq points out that the Conservatives are doing really well with cutting CO2 when you compare the real world numbers to imaginary ones that they made up.

Beautiful.  I love this article.  Why would we sell our oil resources so cheaply?  Other countries have proven that oil companies will pay to get at this non renewable resource.

Don't you love it when bad things happen to bad people?  I had no idea that Dimitri Soudas' fiance was Eve Adams.  They seem like the kind of couple that brings out the worst in each other through reinforcement of shared bad qualities.  This article reminded me that this definitely isn't the first weird Conservative relationship fiasco.  Eve Adams seems like a bad person.  So does Dimitri.

Sheila Fraser comes out against the "Fair Elections" Act.  Calls it...well...calls it lots of bad things.  Conservatives are up in arms because She has taken $2500 in payment from Elections Canada.  So of course she is biased in wanting them to continue as an organization.  Of how about this..."Of course we can't trust her...another arm of government gave her some money!"

I remember reading somewhere about...I think it was Team America...where they added a few scenes that were just so over the top so they could focus the censors on a couple of things that they were willing to cut and just slide through the rest of the things they wanted.  I feel like vouching is just that for the Conservatives.  "Let's add some really stupid ideas, fight hard for them for a month or so, then cave in on one of them so we can force the rest of our stupid ideas through."

Some more Michael Sona/Robocalls info is coming out.  Seems like it most likely wasn't just Michael Sona.

I was a toddler when the USSR got its ass handed to it by Afghanistan.  How many thousands of movies have been made about not fucking with Afghanistan?  Yet Peter MacKay says things like "I don't think the ferocity of the mission perhaps dawned on even military leaders, let alone political leaders of two different governments,"  What an idiot.  Delusional idiot.

The fake Rob Ford election signs have inspired me.  Come the next election, I'd like to create some election signs for Pre-PM Stephen Harper running against current Stephen Harper.  These comments about election reform are perfect.

Justin Trudeau swore at a boxing match.

The Conservatives are freaking out about some things Justin Trudeau said about Israel and Iran.  Unfortunately, he didn't say them.

This guy thinks that Stephen Harper is trying to criminalize criticism of Israel.

A nice little summary piece of how terrible Stephen Harper is.

Nobody seems to be able to make sense of Poor Irwin Cotler getting poisoned in Russia.

No surprise.  Canada's richest now have a lot more money.

A pretty great comment on GM recalls and how this calls bullshit on the need for high paid CEO's.  When the CEO of GM has no idea what is going on and shirks all responsibility, why do we pay her millions?

This article, sort of, lays out how Private Equity works and why it is bad.  Simple, yet difficult to follow.

An article pointing out the science deniers on the US House Science Committee.  Yikes.

Monday, March 31, 2014

If the Conservatives love mailing things so much, why the hate for Canada Post? - Week 152 - Mar 24-31

We'll start with a joke.  What is a Conservative?  Somebody that cares a lot about taxpayers money until they get elected.  Eve Adams uses taxpayer funded mailouts to ease her transition into a new riding.

Oh my goodness.  "Sleepy Time" Rod Anders...If he's not making misleading phone calls, he's banking on a non-endorsement from the PM and threatening to sue his opponent.  And seems to be unaware that more than one person can have the same nameHis own party has told him to cut it out.

Of course we have Russia.  Now that Russia has responded with travel bans for our politicians, it's all a giant joke.  So let me ask this question: If we think Russia's travel bans are a joke, than why do we expect people to take ours seriously?  That, and Irwin Cotler claims Russia poisoned him.

10,853 of 10,855 scientific papers published last year (that dealt with global warming type topics) concluded that global warming is very real.  So...it sounds like science has made up its mind, no?  Or are they just making things up to get at those fat stacks of research grants worth thousands?

Somebody else isn't buying into the governments labour shortage argument.  The Parliamentary Budget Officer calls bunk.  Which leads to my favourite headline of the week.  "Tories defend use of Kijiji data in face of opposition ridicule".  Because of course they cherrypick data to suit their policies.

There's a plebiscite in Kitimat on the Northern Gateway Pipeline?  How is that not bigger news?  Enbridge certainly thinks this is big news.  They've sent all kinds of people in to make sure the vote goes their way.  Gizmodo reminds us how terrible oil spills are and how we're not really ready for the next one.

The Conservatives are once again moving to cut off debate on a piece of legislation.  This one contains elements of added Internet surveillance.

Joe Oliver is promising "tax relief".  Great.  Took us years to get back to a "balanced budget", better start cuttin'.  I wonder when his "You're either for these tax cuts or you're a radical tax terrorist" speech is scheduled?

Stephen Harper has a crew of roughly 4 employees working on 24-7 videos highlighting his amazing accomplishments.  For the Jan 23-39 episode, 100 people watched it in English and 19 watched it in French.  Man...I don't feel so badly about nobody reading this blog.

We have a second MP who all of a sudden realized that there was all kinds of election fraud going on a few years ago.  Elections Canada doesn't think much of Laurie Hawn's voter registration fraud story.

Another Conservative spending scandal.  How thick do you have to be to break spending rules the way things are going right now?  Don Meredith expensed a trip to Washington for some kind of prayer meeting.  After it was specifically not approved.  Business Class.  With his wife.  Yeezus H. Chris.  Three MP's went along as well.  Elizabeth May did the whole trip for $980 though...less than what Don Meredith claimed for hotel and food.

The F-35 is delayed again.  This time due to software.  I'd imagine this means costs will go up as well.  Time to jump aboard the gravy train!

It's odd how far out of their way the Conservatives go to block harm reduction strategies, scientific drug use, etc.  Not only here, but on the world stage.  They can't stop harm reduction here, so why not stop it elsewhere?  Insane.

The modus operandi of the Conservatives seems to be push as hard as you can until people freak out enough.  I guess the freak out was enough...they've backed away from their gag order requirements for House of Commons staff.

Seems to be some appetite for a crackdown on temporary foreign worker abuse, in the way of fines.  How did this take so long?

Peter McKay seems to be ready to double down on stupidity, defending the Marc Nadon appointment and thinking about trying it again.

Be interesting to see what happens with the Conservative private members bill on assisted suicide.

This New Yorker/Malcolm Gladwell essay will change the way you think of the FBI and the Branch Davidians.  Crazy, sad stuff.

Monday, March 24, 2014

If individuals are proud of being banned by Russia, what does that say about our own sanctions against them?

I've been struggling to figure out why I'm so troubled by this whole "badge of honour" thing over Russia banning certain Canadian politicians from traveling to Russia.  John Baird hereIrwin Cotler hereEverybody else here.  There are just so many reasons why this is an insane thing to do.

I think first and foremost, our politicians actions have shown us how ridiculously useless our own sanctions on Russia are.  We ban you and you make jokes so you ban us and we make jokes.  Nobel Peace prizes for everybody.

Next, everybody hates childish name calling.  Worse, everybody hates childish name calling from politicians.  Now have politicians throw down childish name calling while there's a real international crisis going on and it's just a gigantically ridiculous enterprise.  I expect these jackasses to take things seriously and this doesn't give the impression that they are.

Third, and last...don't poke the fucking bear, you know?  You're...literally...poking a bear.  We're Canada.  Our fighter jets saw action in WWII.  We can't afford to poke a bear.

Legally Challenged - Week 151 - March 17-24

How many court challenges did the Conservatives lose this week?

#1 - Marc Nadon's appointment to the Supreme Court is overturned.  By the Supreme Court.
#2 - A BC judge grants a reprieve for previously legal, home grown, medical marijuana.
#3 - They aren't allowed to retroactively eliminate early parole.

The Conservatives refuse to release the information that Pierre Poilievre used to come up with his election reform laws.

Remember all those ads over the last few months about cheaper cell phone rates?  That we spent millions of dollars on?  Ya...cellphones are getting more expensive.

Russia laughs at our sanctions.  "Sleepy Time" Rob Anders thinks we should go to war.

Flaherty is out and Joe Oliver gets a promotion.  Every time I think of Joe Oliver I can't help but think of drunk Joe Namath.  This article points out that Joe Oliver's riding is linked to the robocalls scandal.  This article points out that he's a bit of a dinosaur.

It's funny when the Conservatives launch an attack ad, and it makes you think "Hey, that's actually a pretty good idea!"  Somehow, I think the Conservatives spending a lot of money to convince us that Justin Trudeau will legalize marijuana might backfire.

Yet another reason to legalize pot.  Illegal outdoor grows are destroying forests in California.

An article about Stephen Harper's obsession with the original Trudeau.  Clouding his judgement perhaps?

I don't know why this never came to me before.  It took wolf killings to do it.  Christy Clark is the Canadian Sarah Palin (this is good news!  I actually tried to put the "h" in the last name, not the first.  Things are good when you can't remember how to spell "Sarah Palin").  Now, I know this is a pretty unfair comparison to make to any human being.  But hear me out.  The simplistic folksy sayings.  The love of natural resources.  The unexpected rise to power.  Quitting politics to become a political pundit.  A distrust of science.  Killing wolves.  It all fits.

I know StatsCan can get things wrong.  But I like that they're so directly contradicting the Conservatives "lack of skilled workers" claims.  I wonder how temporary foreign workers fall into this though?

Military supply companies are sensing blood in the water.  A French conglomerate is pitching fighter jets, and jobs, for Canadians.

A Conservative Senate Staffer has been accused of fraud and breach of trust, after promising influence over contracts.

This article highlights how much funding has been cut for Cities from the Feds and Provinces.

I haven't read an article on Quebec in quite some time that makes me feel good about that place.  They seem to be making it difficult for students to vote in the upcoming election.  Perhaps I'm a closet Conservative?  But then again...now they're talking about banning burkas.  This must really be a tough one for the Conservatives to figure out which side they are on.

This is what happens when you ignore science.  Wait.  No.  This is what happens when you use some science to create a frankenstein monster and then ignore warnings that science presents with you.  Big Agriculture made a rootworm "proof" corn and it turned out badly.  There was another way, though.  There's always another way.

I like articles that cut through the noise about corporate taxes and how corporations game the system.  This Salon article highlights how tech companies transfer patents to offshore holding companies and use that to siphon profits in to low tax countries.  It's not a fair system.  It doesn't create jobs when a company skirts tax law.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Not Like the Norwegians - Week 150 - March 10-17

My favorite section of my favorite article of the weekAt one iconic meeting in 1974 the Norwegian government announced to a delegation of oil companies that they were raising the level of taxation on petroleum profits to 90 per cent from 50. After the shouting had died down, the minister expressed disappointment that some of them did not walk away from their offshore leases. "We should have taken more," he admonished his bureaucrats in full view of the enraged oil executives.

If you can't ignore science or advice from experts, the next best thing is a selective reading of it, with a total bastardization of the facts used to justify your opinion.  Pierre Polievre has been accused of just that with his use of a report on election fraud.

We're pulling out of Afghanistan.

I'm not really feeling very good about what is going on with Quebec right now.  If this leads to the break-up of Canada, the Conservatives will deserve their fair share of the blame.

The Tyee points out that the "good guys" in the Ukraine are pretty terrible themselves.

Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page speaks about forecasting recessions, fighter jets, cuts to libraries and science, old age security and on and on.  Very interesting.  He does not paint the Conservatives as any sort of open and transparent.

Of course Stephen Harper thinks it's unacceptable for the Truckers to be striking.  How dare they hold up Canadian trade!  They need to just be happy that they even have jobs before these inconsequential humans are replaced by truck driving robots.  I find the dichotomy interesting...the work they are doing is so important that they must get back to work before they screw up the country...but how dare they expect more money and don't they know they're lucky they even have a job and how dare they actually think they matter?  Joseph Heller would be proud.

CIBC sticks it to Mark Carney for stickin' it to Canada.  Stickin' in with a high dollar and high housing prices.

Canada's navy ships, and shipbuilding program, appear to be in a bit of trouble.

Michael Geist likes the South Korean free trade agreement!  No crazy anti-piracy provisions.  This is a low hurdle to clear.

The Winnipeg Free Press points out that Vic Toews made terrible decisions before he became a judge.

I think I like Kevin Spacey more now.  Netflix must be pissed though...like 10,000 assholes in Toronto won't be watching House of Cards now.