Friday, June 26, 2009

Sad Day For Children of The 70s/80s

Remember the time...

Words from a Michael Jackson song...

Growing up in the 70s and 80s, it was very often that you walked into a living room with Ed MacMahon on the tube, a bedroom with a Farrah poster on the wall, or a school dance with "Billie Jean" blaring from the speakers.  

Yes... we're posting about the recent passings of some entertainment greats.  

They will be missed.

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Error In Facts, Or Imitating Conservative Strategy?

We at WesternGrit like to ensure that we have all the facts before one of us posts a comment or link.  Yesterday, a post appeared that one of us either erroneously, or purposely contributed to an incorrect source.  This was certainly taken the wrong way, and for that we apologize (do we sound like Harper yet?)...  

Yes, we're apologizing for people taking the partisan shot the "wrong way".  That post may have been an experiment in what the reaction would be to the standard "imaginary accusations" shot across the floor of Parliament by your local Conservative MP.  You know: lie, conceal, fabricate.

For some who were concerned, we would think you would be more concerned about the billions$$$ taken from Canadian seniors via the Income Trust lie.  

For those of you who commented about our partisanship...  Go debauch yourselves.  We won't be apologizing for that fact that all of us are true red Grits, and that our blog is called WesternGrit.  If you're looking for "neutral" blogs, you shouldn't be anonymously trolling "LiBlogs".  Besides, the general negativity to all things extreme right, or left is something we are very proud of at WesternGrit - we being strongly "centrist" as a group.


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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kermit Roosevelt Jr - And The Creation Of Modern Iran

Recent events have led to a lot of talk about Iran, and it's politics.

While many of us know the "story of Iran" from the time of the Islamic Revolution onward, very few of us know how we got to that point.

To put it in short form, Iran was ruled by Kings (or "Shahs") over the ages.  Iran was one of the first nations in the Middle East to espouse democratic reforms in the 1950s.  There is a long history of "blood for oil" and Western interference before, in-between, and since.

The Imperial British had created (yes, CREATED) Afghanistan to buffer against the Imperial Russians at the turn of that Century.  They fought a war with Persia (Iran) to recapture the city of Herat (Afghan city).  In the 19th Century Britain continued to assert control over parts of the Persian Gulf.  Oil was the new fuel driving the Imperial British machine, and the Gulf was critical to British success - as was Persia and Persian oil.

A "Constitutional Revolution" in 1907 laid the seeds for increased public freedoms in Persia, but this dream was not realized.  In 1908 the Monarch died, after having agreed to the new freedoms.  His son (Mohammed Ali Shah) assumed the throne.  There were many conflicts between constitutional reformers and the Shah, but eventually foreign powers decided the result:  The Anglo-Russian Agreement of 1907 was a plan to sub-divide Iran/Persia into "spheres of influence".  

Reza Shah assumed rule of Iran after some years of turbulence.  He was a reformist, with a penchant for modernizing the nation.  He was known as an "anti-communist", but often clashed with the Persian clergy.  

Reza's son - Mohammad Reza Shah assumed the throne after his father, and was "partner" to one of the defining acts of Middle East politics:  In WW2, British and Russian forces invaded Iran to secure an oil supply for their countries.  Knowing the young Mohammad was a "big fan" of the West (Britain), they placed him in charge of the country.  This young Shah remained ruler until 1979, and is THE Shah we refer to when discussing the "Shah of Iran" (whom the Islamic revolutionaries overthrew in 1979).

The Shah was initially very "hands off", and the Iranian Parliament and Prime Ministers made much progress.  At around this time, the British began to realize that Iran was a key to their growing economic powerhouse...  In 1951 Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq acquired the vote required from the parliament to nationalize the British-owned oil industry (the Abadan Crisis).  The Brits fought the changes with propaganda and espionage, but the changes continued.  Mossadegh was briefly removed from power by the Shah in 1952 but was quickly re-appointed, due to a populist uprising in support of the PM.  In 1953 a failed military coup led to the PM ousting the Shah.  A short while later the British asked the CIA to help them remove Mossadegh.  The CIA dispatched Kermit Roosevelt Jr. to play the usual games.  He staged two coups, with the second one successfully overthrowing Mossadegh.  The coup — with a strong propaganda campaign designed to turn the Iranians against Mossadegh — forced Mossadegh from office, and was cause for much anger among Iranians. Mossadegh was arrested and tried for treason against his beloved land. 

With Kermit's move, the first fateful blow by the West, against Middle East peace was struck.  For our greed for oil, we usurped a popular leader in a democratically elected government, and replaced him with an autocratic ruler (the Shah) who would do our bidding (ie: the oil).  The oil was extracted from Iran at a pittance, with little to nothing going to the state.  The UK government actually increased the tax paid by the British state-run oil company (in effect keeping the money for themselves), just so that 15% of the profits would not return to Iran (the value agreed to by both sides).  The other stipulation in the deal was that the Iranians could never actually see the books of the British oil company to ascertain the truth.

The decades since have seen the "fruits" of the CIA/MI6 labors.  An Islamic revolution against the hated Shah.  The destabilization of an entire reason by a vitriolic and anti-West regime.  The constant threat to Israel.  The funding and supply of literally thousands of criminal/terrorist outfits.

The events of today may seem like a "revolution" in Iran... a move to more "freedom", but the only "freedom" is perceived by untrained Western eyes, and by stakeholders in the conflict.  

Many cry out for intervention.  Many of these are the very same conservatives who, like the 1950s Republicans chose to back the autocratic Shah.  Mr. Obama has chosen a wise route by telling everyone that Iran's people should decide it's fate.  Intervention would be folly, and he has done much to repair America's reputation in the region already.  While we all wish for a democratic uprising in Iran, it can only come from within - to spare us all the grief we've seen in the region the past 60-some odd years.

Funny how history often comes back to bite us in the ass, isn't it?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Coming Soon To A Stadium Near Me

Did you know that the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football has a son who plays football too?

Nick Montana - son of San Francisco 49er great, Joe Montana, is a rising star in the game.  He is ranked 13th among ALL high school QBs in the USA (incidentally, 13 was Montana's college number).  

The good news (for me - an ardent 49ers fan) is that young Nick has committed to attending the University of Washington (Huskies, in Seattle) next year.  He is currently ready to enter his senior year at his Westlake Village High School in California's Bay Area, where he led his team to a 14-0 season last year.

The fact that this young QB is already ranked #13 in the land - in GRADE 11 - means some pretty big things from this wiry young lad (like his father) when he hits college - and hopefully on to the pros...

Good genes and hard work - can't beat that combo...

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Check... Again...

We play chess to Harper's checkers...

Wow!  Didn't think the Reform-a-Tory's would cave like that.  If they really had us by the whiskers (as they were nervously claiming the past day or two), they certainly would not have admitted what they did today.  Big movement on EI (the admission that the system is wrong).  Nice to guarantee an extra report card and opposition day - just solidifying the "inept Conservatives" meme.

I look forward to the October election - and the BBQ circuit!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Layton Scrum

Jack admits two things (listen to the conference carefully):

1) He's afraid of a summer election (he would not answer the question on it at all)

2) He doesn't understand Mr. Ignatieff's very clear requests.  He said it plain as day, that he did not understand Iggy.  I thought Jack was more intelligent than that.  Now, I can understand if some Cons don't understand Ignatieff...

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Check... And Mate?

(Any references to "mating" are purely for Liberal ears, as we know how conservatives feel about mating...).

Mr. Ignatieff's move today was perfect.  Just what we had to do.  The ball MUST be put in Harper's court, as the focus MUST be put back on him.

Some Conservatives will claim that this offers Harper a "podium".  Yes it does... And we know what he does with podiums.  He's a "f up".  He'll either look contrived, robotic, and plastic (ie: fake), or he'll look like the angry partisan jerk that he is.  I believe the latter will be true.

Oh yeah - one more key, KEY, point:  Mr. Ignatieff gets to respond to Harper's "answer".  THAT, my friends, will determine the course of the battle lines drawn this summer.

Some pundits are saying Mr. Ignatieff won't "go" right now.  Michael, however, is doing his best "Just watch me"...

It's a beautiful day!

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Golden Ears Bridge (Greater Vancouver) - First Look

Got a personal tour of the bridge yesterday - with nary a person on it...  The views of the North Shore Mountains - and Mount Baker in Washington - are just amazing!  It's a beautiful structure connecting Port Kells in Surrey to Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge to Langley and Surrey on the South...  Part of the Gateway Project started with cooperation from the Federal Liberal Government, it should save commuters many thousands of hours in commute times, and FUEL - helping the environment immensely in the offing.  Trucking will be routed to this bridge to the warehouse and cargo centers in Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, and New Westminister, and the new "South Fraser Connector" will be a truck route running along the South of the Fraser River... diverting trucks to the 2nd busiest Port on the West Coast of North America (Surrey's Fraser Docks).

Above is a shot I took, looking South towards Langley and the US Border... using a 200mm Sigma lens on a Canon DSLR...

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Harper Conservatives Set Commonwealth Example For Sri Lankan Gov't Action

When Canada refused entry to a British Parliamentarian (MP), we set a Commonwealth precedent, which has allowed the Sri Lankan government reject the visit of a peaceful Parliamentarian from Canada...

Bob Rae is certainly not nearly as inflammatory or callous in his actions - when compared to the Brit MP. Not even close. Very few of us agreed with much of what Mr. Galloway had to say. Bob Rae, on the other hand, is a champion of human rights, and has been outspoken in his support of the "little people" - the ones who are hurt by conflict world-wide.

To reject someone for hate speech is one thing - and I'm all for it. To reject someone for support of a particular side in a conflict - or rather the weak "little people" on BOTH SIDES who suffer - is not in any way helpful to democracy. It is a shame that nations whose laws (British Common Law) and Parliaments are so similar, can seem to see differences in the values of their citizens.

As a member of a minority who has often felt discrimination and hatred, I find it much better to hear the attack and shout it down. Let people see how stupid the person is (if they truly are saying something hateful, etc.). The court of public opinion is often the best "shout down" to morons who spout off stupid things, while real courts can deal with hate crimes and hate speech.

Getting back to the Rae situation (who in no way is one of the aforementioned "haters"), to call a Commonwealth MP a "threat to security" is a joke. It is clearly a political statement. While we don't take sides in this conflict (there is a long history), there are very clear needs from the human rights standpoint - which need to be pointed out.

We can't selectively choose which human rights abuses are "abuses", and which are not. The measuring stick is pretty clear. There is a defined code set out by the UN. A Universal Declaration.

One cannot recall a past situation where a Commonwealth MP has been refused access to another Commonwealth nation (with the exception of South Africa - and for good reason). The Harper Government started a ball rolling, which could quickly get out of control...

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The Conservative "Incompetence File" grows...

This is one so-called "rising star" in the very weak Conservative line-up, which was definitely "over-rated"...

No resignation?  Not yet?  Maybe we need more tape info coming out?  

Which leads to another question:  When our "Nixonian" PM said he had lots of tapes, is THIS what he meant?  Lol...

There will be more tapes looking to bite Mr. Harpoon and the Reformatories in back-side...  Keep your ears tuned to LiBlogs...

"Lots of tapes" indeed.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Nuclear Reactor Problems "Sexy" According To Conservatives


We got it.

Making it up as they go along: While trying to convince a driver of distorted lies about Canada's bankers...


Later in her conversation with Ms. MacDonnell, Ms. Raitt tells the man driving them around Victoria that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff had backed down from defeating the Conservative government on a budget a few days earlier because he got a message from Canadian bankers.

“They did it at the Canadian Council of (Chief) Executives, there was three presidents of major banks who stood up in the room — and this is not from cabinet so I can talk about it — stood up and said, ‘Ignatieff, don’t you even think about bringing us to an election,’” said Ms. Raitt.

“'We don’t need this. We have no interest in this. And we will never fund your party again.’ That was very powerful. So he heard it from very powerful people in the industry. He was definitely muzzled.”

Liberal finance critic John McCallum, who was present for the closed-door Jan. 20 meeting with about 100 executives, says they were against the coalition and an election, but there was “not even a hint of a veiled threat,” and bankers would never make such a threat in a meeting with so many people present.

“That’s absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “Can you imagine a bank president standing up in a room like that with more than 100 people in the room and saying something like that? It makes no sense.”

This further highlights how terrified they are of an election, and how much of a Dictator Harper is. Can you imagine a less talented cabinet? Only in Mike Harris' Ontario...

This is a gem:

Elsewhere on the recording, Ms. Raitt suggests that Manitoba Conservative MP Joy Smith could pay for her decision to introduce a private member’s bill that would impose mandatory minimum sentences for trafficking in children.

She starts by lamenting that she can’t go to Hy’s, an Ottawa watering hole favoured by journalists and politicians.“I don’t do the Hy’s thing,” she says. “I can’t. I’d love to, but I can’t. That’ll be a career-limiting move, as we would say. Speaking of career-limiting moves, I’m in shock that that MP Joy Smith brought forward private member’s legislation on human trafficking.”

“I didn’t see that,” says Ms. MacDonnell.

“She’s on Canada AM. And the reason being is that there’s no way any of us should be introducing anything around justice issues or finance issues right now. You just can’t touch those two things.”

The implication is that the Prime Minister’s Office would be displeased with Ms. Smith for putting forward legislation that interferes with the government’s own law-and-order agenda.


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The Raitt Story - A Western View...

This is all hyperbole and conjecture... pure speculation...

People are curious as to why the ex-employee is trying to cover tracks? Oftentimes... in such cases (and not necessarily in this particular case), the employee was terminated with a request to "take the fall for this one - one for the team" (missing docs, other indiscretions - whatever it may be)... in return they will be able to continue in a "high up" role within the party (we've seen this with other Conservative hacks who have taken the fall for their Minister/MP, PM, etc.). Of course, employability is severely diminished when you can't be seen to be able to cover up for (or protect) your superiors or company secrets... so, if for anything but partisan work, the "appearances" would be better if this staffer would ensures that Raitt takes the fall...

This may be the case - it may not be. We await the results of the Halifax court case.

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Conservative Incompetence - Part 2

Speaking of Conservative incompetence, here's a great Weekly "Goodale Report", from Ralph Goodale (our last "star" Liberal Finance Minister)...


A weekly commentary by the Member of Parliament for Wascana

For the week beginning June 8th, 2009


The Toronto-Dominion Bank has just released a shocking report on the Harper government’s financial miscalculations.

The TD says the Conservative deficit this year will be a whopping $51 billion – the biggest ever (on top of a hidden $2 billion loss last year). And over the next five years, expect a gusher of red ink totaling over $170 billion. How did it get so bad?

Back-up to February, 2006 when Stephen Harper first came to office.

He inherited a lush situation from his Liberal predecessors. Canadians had enjoyed a decade of balanced budgets, a strong economy, and the creation of more than 3.5 million new jobs.

The annual Liberal surplus was more than $13 billion. And over five years, federal financial flexibility was projected at $100 billion. Canada was in its best fiscal shape since Confederation – at the top of G-8 world-leading economies.

But short-sighted, partisan Conservative budget decisions blew all that strength out the window. They put Canada in deficit before any recession. And that’s incompetence!

Mr. Harper’s slowness to be honest with Canadians is further proof.

In November, he claimed four more years of surplus budgets. Then in January, he finally admitted he was in the hole by $34 billion. In April, he insisted that figure was still accurate. But two weeks ago, he confessed his calculations were actually out by 48% -- his real deficit this year will be over $50 billion.

Such erratic, worsening arithmetic screams of incompetence.

Top it off with a “stimulus” plan that’s not working. More than 360,000 jobs have been lost. Perversely, Employment Insurance is hardest to get where job losses are the worst. Only 6% of Conservative infrastructure promises have been fulfilled. And there’s no plan to fix the deficit.

Conservative incompetence cannot be denied.

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Conservative Incompetence

With a history of NEVER getting it right, just why - oh, why - are Conservatives considered "competent fiscal managers"? Not only in Canada - but in our closest cousins (UK/US) - NeoCons (modern Conservatives) have consistently screwed up the economy.

It seems they are critical about "tax and spend liberals" because they don't like our KIND of spending:

Conservatives prefer tax cuts to spending on health care

Conservatives prefer tax cuts to spending on research and innovation

Conservatives prefer tax cuts to... err... tax cuts (as in, the STUPID GST cut, when most Canadians would have benefited much, MUCH more from an income tax cut)...

Conservatives prefer military spending (given to their friends) vs. childcare spending and foreign aid...

Conservatives prefer sealing borders to "invisible enemies" vs. spending to grow trade with other nations (and Conservatives constantly embarrass us Internationally)...

Conservatives prefer handouts to Big Oil vs. fostering alternative fuel research at local universities, and certainly vs. Global climate change agreements...

There are a few ways to skin a cat... The Conservative way IS, and always has been, to shred government coffers, give tax cuts to people who already benefit from them the most (the rich), and (in effect) shrink the economy.

The Liberal way is to grow the economy by fostering a better educated work force (with free health care, and other benefits); strategically fostering research and development that grows local Canadian businesses; spending to build bridges with foreign lands - which one day will be trading partners; ensuring that a well-trained (with benefits/healthcare) work force attracts foreign investment... etc., etc.

Our "spending" is strategic - and focused on growing Canada's ability to thrive in the world. We are not looking to "the past", not sitting idle, depending on the US of A for all our trade (remember the Team Canada Trade Missions and all the trade they fostered?). Liberal spending comes back to government coffers. We GROW the economy, and we create more jobs. More jobs mean a bigger tax base and a healthier government and NATION.

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Lower Mainland Liberal Shoots Ignatieff Scrum

Made ya look!

Here's a great panoramic shot of Michael Ignatieff's scrum at Horseshoe Bay Park (next to the Ferry Terminal). Al Payne of Newton-North Delta took the shot.

ps: In earlier posts I forgot to mention the delicious "breakfast spread" provided by the good folks of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast- Sea To Sky Riding...

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"Nixonion" PM Has Another Tape-Recording Scandal On Hand?

You're kidding?  Right?  It just never ends with these guys...

This Conservative government "lived by" the nasty and sneaky tactics of tape-recordings and law suits...  It's pretty likely that this is also how they will die a slow "political death by a thousand minutes of magnetic tape".  Live by the sword, die by the sword.  When you come into power on a crusade, claiming you are somehow "cleaner", or "more perfect" than another party, and you use what many would consider underhanded tactics to gather info - which you distort and blow up beyond all recognition (just to catch the public eye) - then there is a good chance your opponents will use that against you...

More tape recordings to come... we're sure...

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"Nixonion" PM Has Another Tape-Recording Scandal On Hand?

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Horseshoe Bay Liberals Greet Igg-Meister...

-- Post From My iPhone

Michael Ignatieff Attracts Crowd At Horseshoe Bay

Nice crowd catches Michael on a quick pit stop at Horseshoe Bay this afternoon...
Jason Lamarsh asks a question about EI (view full interview at Liberal Minute)...

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Michael Ignatieff In West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast... Etc...

Please note the following Liberal event tomorrow AM:

West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast--Sea to Sky Country Federal Liberals
Sunday, June 7, 2009
11:30am - 1:30pm
Horseshoe Bay Park
Bay Street at Royal Street
West Vancouver, BC

Yes... We will be there.

This venue is right beside the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. Come enjoy a beautiful view, a beautiful day, and a conversation with our Next Prime Minister!

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Dhalla - Vindicated - Kenney Should Resign

I said it all along.  Ruby Dhalla was the VICTIM of a drive-by political smear orchestrated by the office of Jason Kenney - by the "Party of Political Drive-by Smears".

Ms. Dhalla deserves and apology from the government, on this "witch-hunt" and "smear campaign".  Kenney was knee-deep in it, while remaining (publicly, at least) out of the fray.

Jason Kenney should resign.

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"Tough On Crime" - Hardly - While The Economy Burns...

Can't say I don't support the Liberal "strategic move" to "back seat" the crime issue.  

... Meanwhile we've hit an 11 year high in unemployment under Harper... Sense a "turning of the channel" anyone?  Let's keep our minds on the prize...

There IS an election coming - FAST - and it will be on the abilities (or lack of) and incompetence of the Harper Conservatives.

While we don't like (okay... I'm holding my nose right now) the empty sabre-rattling of the Conservatives on crime (we know these so-called tougher measures never work - and have been proven useless scientifically), we do have an out.  That would be winning the upcoming election.

Things will be "fixed" when we are making the laws.  We can almost guarantee it.  This issue is simply being neutralized.  I know of very few Liberal MPs who actually would ever have supported such a measure.  

We are FOCUSED on something quite different.  The Crime issue was one of the FEW that plays well for Cons with "Joe Public".  Let this one pass under the bridge.  We will fight them on "the Economy stupid": on EI; on gas prices going through the roof (coming soon to a pump near you); on the lack of this government doing ANYTHING substantive on the current economic morass...

Let Harper play to his base (by our neutralizing the issue, that's all he has)...  We'll just turn it back when we have a Liberal Justice Minister.

Don't worry our "intellectually honest" little heads on this one.  It will change.

Meanwhile, unemployment has hit an 11 year high under Harper.  8.4%.

Top news story today.  This is hitting home with Canadians in Ontario and Quebec.  There's something to talk about.  

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CTV - Can We See The Video Footage From The Green Room Please?

Heard some pretty lame excuses for incompetence from the governing (loose definition) Conservatives.  

Loved hearing some Reform-a-Tory hack comment on a blog that "$hit happens".  Yeah, right...

$h!& doesn't just "happen" with people who know the role of a cabinet minister. Briefing docs are critical. MPs who know Parliamentary protocol, diplomatic protocols, and general job confidentiality protocols would know better. Too bad Harper's "team" has very few "experts" in any field. He couldn't, because they would be "elitist intellectuals" living in "ivory towers", and we know how much grassroots Conservatives hate those people. When was the last time a Liberal MP in government, let alone a Cabinet Minister did this? How about NEVER. This has shades of the old Reform Party turned Alliance, turned Conservative, who thought they'd go to Ottawa and get rid of all the so-called "pork". When they got there, they began to understand that all those "bureaucrats" actually work damned hard for a living, that there is a purpose to Stornaway and 24 Sussex, and many of our important institutions... This situation is just the natural progression. Provincial types learning the hard way that things actually DO work in the big city just fine, and that there are millions of people who think so.

Obviously Raitt lost the papers. I'm sure there is a camera in the Green Room - there always is. Of course the "friends" at CTV probably have removed any damaging evidence, but this thing could be resolved quite easily.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Conservative "Plan" To Kill Deficit... Lol...

Interesting read over at Tory Tattler today...

Of COURSE the Conservatives have a plan to kill the deficit... It's not "structural"... It's not "long-term"... Blah, blah, blah... We'll be "back on projected targets" soon... kittens... blah... blue sweater... blah, blah, blah...

Here's the plan... It's very simple, and has worked well for Conservative Canadian governments for decades:

1) Lose election to Liberals

2) Watch a brilliant member of the "elite intellectual bunch" (the Liberal PM - ANY Liberal PM) and an equally brilliant Liberal Finance Minister kill the deficit.

3) Of course cutting the deficit, and tackling the national debt will require program cuts, and potential tax increases. The very simple (elementary school economics - which somehow neither Flaherty or Harper GET) reason is that government revenues have to increase in order to pay the debt. This will mean some groups will be upset with the Liberals (for the cuts). Most cuts will be to "Conservative "pet" ideological causes", but there would have to be cuts to more mainstream, and even "social" causes which would anger some typically Liberal voters - or voters who left the NDP to support the Liberals. After about two terms of cuts, these voters would be significantly "disenfranchised", that they actually my jump to another alternative - back to the NDP, or to the Conservatives.

*This is a long term plan, but given the shape of Harper's leadership in his own party, it is very plausible and reflects past events and past Conservative governments.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

More Conservative "Incompetence, Deception, and Fabrication"

Latest Goodale Commentary - It's a good one...


The Harper government has finally confirmed it was already “in the red” last year, before any recession hit Canada, and the trouble is getting worse this year.

The Conservatives were in the hole by more than $2 billion in the 2008-09 fiscal year, which ended on March 31st. And now, only 2 months into 2009-10, they’re short at least $50 billion more. That’s 48% worse than the $34 billion deficit they admitted to back in January.

Stephen Harper wants Canadians to forgive him for this, saying it’s because the recession is worse than expected. But he cannot wriggle off the hook of his own incompetence so easily – for four strong reasons:

First, because he hasn’t come clean with Canadians.

Last October, he said he would never run a deficit. In November, he dishonestly projected four more surplus budgets. In January, he deliberately low-balled the arithmetic to hide the growing disaster. In April, he claimed his false estimates were still “on track”. The man simply cannot be trusted.

Secondly, for three years before any recession hit our economy, the Harper Conservatives destroyed Canada’s fiscal security by spending beyond their means, eroding the tax base, and eliminating all previous “prudence factors” that were in the government’s books to protect against nasty surprises.

So their deficit now is about one-third bigger than it would otherwise need to be.

Third, their “stimulus” plan is not working. Their infrastructure program is paralyzed. More than 350,000 jobs have been lost. No new jobs have been created. And thousands of Canadians cannot even get Employment Insurance.

Fourth, Mr. Harper has no plan to restore fiscal responsibility. Just wishful thinking. And the net result will be a big debt passed along to our children and grandchildren. This will be the legacy flowing from Stephen Harper’s incompetence.

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When Polls Attack!

(And for you ultra-right wing Conservative racist-types out there, I said "polls", not "Poles", so don't go reliving your 1939 fantasies).

Perhaps we should title this "Dawn of the Attack Polls"???

Canadian Rosebud indicates the Federal Conservatives are busily running attack spam phone blitzes crudely disguised as "telephone polls"...

We may want to be using a company like Vincero, or First Contact to get our own "unbiased but heavily biased" poll out... These things don't cost very much (not necessarily), and can have a nice "PR effect", if questions are worded "correctly":

1) Stephen Harper lied about Canada's national deficit. Knowing this, are you more or less likely to vote for the Conservatives?

2) (In more ethnically diverse ridings) The Federal Conservatives believe that people who have lived or worked outside of Canada are somewhat less Canadian. Knowing this fact, are you more or less likely to vote Liberal?

3) Stephen Harper eats kittens. Knowing this fact, are you more or less likely to vote for the Western Canada Reform-based Conservative Party?

4) (In Surrey and Mississauga/Malton ridings) Conservative MPs think Sikhs are "hotheads who play the "race card". Knowing this fact, are you more or less likely to choose another party in the next federal election?

5) (In bedroom communities with lots of seniors - like Kelowna) Jim Flaherty lied about taxing income trusts. Many of your neighbors lost their life savings thanks to the Federal Conservatives. Knowing this, are you less likely to vote Conservative, not likely to ever vote Conservative again, or willing to donate to another federal party to help end the "Stephen Harper experiment"?

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