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General

LeDaro: Meanings of Life

Posted August 29, 2015 by LeDaro

Don’t eat apple and don’t vote for Harper.

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General

The Disaffected Lib: Paul Martin Gives Tommy Angry Beard a Well-Deserved Kick in the Ass.

Posted August 29, 2015 by Anonymous

Paul Martin was the finance minister who plucked the federal government from the brink of fiscal chaos. It was a tough time for all including the provinces, even the Canadian Forces, but he balanced the budget and paid down $90 billion of our national debt. He kept the bankers in line and when he handed the reins to Harper he bequeathed a full treasury ready to absorb the brunt of the great collapse of 2008.

Put simply, Martin pulled our fat (yours and mine) out of the fire. Which is why he deserves to be heard on the mess we’re (Read more…)

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General

Paul Martin Gives Tommy Angry Beard a Well-Deserved Kick in the Ass.

Posted August 29, 2015 by Anonymous

Paul Martin was the finance minister who plucked the federal government from the brink of fiscal chaos. It was a tough time for all including the provinces, even the Canadian Forces, but he balanced the budget and paid down $90 billion of our national debt. He kept the bankers in line and when he handed the reins to Harper he bequeathed a full treasury ready to absorb the brunt of the great collapse of 2008.

Put simply, Martin pulled our fat (yours and mine) out of the fire. Which is why he deserves to be heard on the mess we’re in yet again and where we’re headed.


The public has grown used to the Harper government’s mantra on deficits, but should be startled by what they hear from New Democrats, he said.

“That Tom Mulcair is now a student of Stephen Harper’s economy makes absolutely no sense,” said Martin.

“Where is the conscience of those who belong in the NDP? How can the NDP party — those who’ve worked it for all these years — stand for the fact that the party is now holding hands with the Conservatives and saying that our goal in the next mandate is to do absolutely nothing?”

The current Conservative government has ground the economy down so far, trapping our most vulnerable of citizens in the process, that the next government has to act and that the NDP doesn’t understand that boggles the mind. Conservative obsession with eliminating the deficit down to the final decimal point is more than short-sighted. It’s yesterday’s war.”

Further evidence of how Mulcair and Harper are on the wrong page with their babble about balancing budgets comes from a new poll that finds Canadians believe their country is in a recession and support the federal government running a deficit to stimulate the economy.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I’ve been pretty tough on young Trudeau but I will give him credit for his commitment to a major, 3-year infrastructure programme. Sure he’ll run a deficit but that’s not the point. It’s like bad cholesterol and good cholesterol. Harper’s “throw a deck on the cottage” stimulus budget of 2009 was bad cholesterol. It was money squandered, gifted away, with no lasting return. Infrastructure spending, of the sort Harper didn’t have the vision or courage to implement, is good cholesterol. It’s money invested in public assets – highways, bridges, overpasses, power grids – that bolster the economy and reap returns for decades.

Of course, with this latest poll, the bearded chameleon may change his colours as effortlessly as he has on other situations in the past.

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Federal Politics

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair: Canada’s boy in the bubble.

Posted August 29, 2015 by Peter Lowry

In the Imperial Prime Minister’s Office of today, Canada’s Prime Minister is isolated and alone. Protected and guarded by the sycophants of privilege, his minions mind the doors. In this cloistered sanctuary, the Hair rules. There are neither naysayers nor critics allowed where the Hair travels. Audiences are vetted for their loyalty. The people walls behind the microphone are carefully selected for a nice blend of colour. It is a false scene.

And you wonder what will happen when the Hair’s bubble bursts. Can any emperor return to being an ordinary man? Can Calgary serve as a suitable Elba? Could (Read more…)

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Canada

Rabble: Fact-checking the Conservatives’ rural broadband strategy

Posted August 28, 2015 by Anonymous

The government’s rural broadband strategy falls way short of our digital platform and here’s why.
We need to fight back by pledging to vote now at OurDigitalFuture.ca
Article by Nora Loreto for…

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General

Wherein John Ibbitson Explores the Darkness that Lurks Within Stephen Harper

Posted August 22, 2015 by Anonymous

Let’s be blunt. John Ibbitson is probably the most prominent journalist in Canada totally in the bag for Stephen Harper.  Note that I used the word “journalist,” a noun that eliminates most of the hydrophobic scribes at PostMedia.

When it comes to Harper you can trust Ibbitson never to put the boot in. Which is why reading excerpts of Ibbitson’s new Harper biography, “Stephen Harper, The Making of a Prime Minister,” serve as a powerful yardstick for considering Harper’s fiercely concealed role in the Wright-Duffy scandal.

There are disagreeable aspects to Stephen Harper’s personality. He is prone to mood swings. He can fly off the handle. He goes into funks, sometimes for long periods. He is suspicious of others. The public is aware of these traits mostly through what’s written and reported in the media. In public, Harper is almost invariably calm, measured, and careful in what he says and how he says it. Yet none of us, watching him, have any difficulty believing that this closed, repressed personality is capable of lashing out from time to time. We all get the vibe. His personality also comes out in the tactics that the Conservative Party uses against its enemies, both perceived and real – which are, in a word, ruthless.

As with most of us, Harper’s character flaws are the reverse side of his character strengths: One would not exist without the other. He has been Prime Minister for a decade not despite these qualities but because of them.

…He can descend into rages, sometimes over trivial things, at other times during moments of crisis. A former aide to Harper recalls a time during the 2004 election campaign when things suddenly started to go very badly for the Conservatives, for reasons we’ll examine later. Harper was on the campaign bus, in Quebec, leading a conference call with senior campaign staff back at headquarters in Ottawa. “He was very, very angry,” the former aide recalls. “It was: ‘We are fucking going to do this, and you are fucking going to do that and I want to see this fucking thing done right now.’ And then he paused and asked: ‘And why does nothing happen around here unless I say ‘fuck’? ”

Harper’s temper manifests itself in different ways. Some days, he just gets up on the wrong side of the bed. Other times, he flies off the handle when confronted with bad news. That’s when the decibel level goes through the roof and the f-bombs start flying. Harper’s reaction when he was told in April, 2008, that the RCMP had raided Conservative Party headquarters in connection with the in-and-out affair, carrying out boxes of material past the TV cameras, was wondrous to behold.

…Another of Harper’s less attractive qualities is a perceived lack of loyalty toward others. One-time political adviser Tom Flanagan points out that Harper has betrayed or estranged many in the conservative movement who were at one time senior to him – Joe Clark, Jim Hawkes, Brian Mulroney, Preston Manning. This, Flanagan believes, is the product of Harper’s need to dominate whatever environment he is in. “I think he has this very strong instinct to be in charge,” he said. “He really wants to be the alpha figure, and he’s achieved that. So part of that is to dispose of anyone who might be considered to be a rival in some sense or another.”

Flanagan also asserts that “there is a huge streak of paranoia in Stephen. And he attracts people who have a paranoid streak. And if you don’t have one to begin with, you develop it, because you’re constantly hearing theories.” At its root, “looking back, there’s a visceral reluctance to trust the motives of other people,” Flanagan concludes. “He often overcomes his initial suspicions and will sign on to other people’s ideas. But the initial response is always one of suspicion.” Flanagan believes Harper is prone to depression. “He can be suspicious, secretive, and vindictive, prone to sudden eruptions of white-hot rage over meaningless trivia,” he wrote in 2014, “at other times falling into week-long depressions in which he is incapable of making decisions.”

…Some leaders like to micro-manage; others prefer to delegate. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses. But Harper’s determination to grasp all of the levers, and even the widgets, of the federal government is matched by an equal determination to control the flow – or rather, the trickle – of information coming out of the government. Bureaucrats are prohibited from speaking to reporters. Scientists are prohibited from releasing the results of their research. Ambassadors have been ordered to obtain permission from the Centre before representing Canada in meetings. (The mantra from the PMO, as diplomats bitterly put it, is: Do nothing without instructions. Do not expect instructions.) Access to Information requests are routinely held up for so long that by the time the information is released, it’s no longer of any use, and the pages are mostly blacked out in any case.

Although they are in fact separate issues, this general air of secretiveness gets mixed up with the Conservatives’ willingness to demonize opponents. In fact, the Tories don’t have opponents; they have enemies. The Leader of the Liberal Party is an enemy. Judges who strike down their legislation are enemies. Union leaders are enemies. Authors and other artists who criticize the Conservatives are enemies. Journalists who cast a more-than-occasional critical eye on the government are enemies. And toward his enemies Stephen Harper bars no holds.

The Conservatives’ autocracy, secretiveness, and cruelty, critics accuse, debase politics to a level that threatens the very foundations of Canadian democracy. “Hardly anything in this world hints of Putinism more than Harperism,” columnist Ralph Surette of the Halifax Chronicle Herald opined.

From his boyhood in Leaside, Harper learned not to trust those beyond the inner circle of family and close friends. That circle is not much larger today. Relations with those outside the wall can be cordial, but they are rarely based on implicit trust, an emotional resource that Harper invests in only a very few. And his encyclopedic memory includes not only the history of maritime border disputes, or who starred in what film; it also includes every act by every person who has slighted, offended, or betrayed him. Such acts are never forgotten and only rarely forgiven. Stephen Harper holds grudges.

He has never successfully cultivated the social skill of pretending to connect. He has difficulty feigning interest. His associates talk of him sometimes simply turning his back and walking away from them while they are in mid-sentence. He rarely displays much ability or desire to be collegial, or even polite. This tendency toward abruptness gets worse when he is tired or under stress.

because his suspicion of the intentions of others is so overt, those who serve under him inhabit an environment of suspicion, and are, or become, suspicious as well – the culture of paranoia that Tom Flanagan observed when he worked for Stephen Harper. The reservoir of goodwill in the Prime Minister’s Office is shallow and quickly drained.

That said, if Harper is suspicious about the world around him, he has reason to be. As Joseph Heller famously said, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” Harper sees himself as an outsider because he is an outsider. He is from the West, but most of the country lives near the Great Lakes or St. Lawrence River. He is from the suburbs, but the Laurentian elites generally live downtown. Harper is hostile toward these elites, and they are hostile toward him. He is contemptuous of progressive academics, and they reciprocate. He distrusts the judiciary, and the judiciary has vindicated that distrust by striking down parts of his law-and-order agenda. The gala-goers he derides spit out his name in the foyer at intermission. When Stephen Harper rejected the University of Toronto, when he rejected the life of a Tory political aide in Ottawa, when he embraced the West, he fled from the commanding heights of the Central Canadian academic, cultural, and political landscape. He is the embodiment of alienation. 


What comes through is that Ibbitson, while seeking to describe Harper’s character, in actuality documents his psychopathy.  Ibbitson’s “this is the way of great men” apology is fine if by great men he means the likes of Caligula. What he describes is more akin to a high-functioning psychopath.
Now, assuming that Ibbitson hasn’t depicted Harper unfairly or inaccurately, how does this relate to the Wright-Duffy scandal and the already preposterous claim that Harper knew nothing despite what the documents indicate and despite the revelations that his entire staff of top aides were well and truly in on it?
Harper is this profound control freak determined “to grasp all of the levers and even the widgets” of government except, we’re asked to believe, when it came to the blossoming scandal of Mike Duffy.  In this case, and this alone, Harper simply left it to his footmen to sort out.  In this one moment in time the cloud of suspicion, distrust and paranoia lifted off Harper’s shoulders.  Harper was magically released from “his need to dominate whatever environment he is in.”
Harper’s smokescreen would be difficult, if not impossible, to accept even from an emotionally stable prime minister.  But emotionally stable is not Stephen Harper. He would have required sedation to the point of near unconsciousness to let Wright-Duffy, in its minutest details, escape his control.  And none of that happened, did it.

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General

Will Sergeant Horton Please Take the Stand

Posted August 21, 2015 by Anonymous

There’s a critical aspect to the Duffy trial that we’re not going to get out of Harper’s PMO staff or his “loyal unto death” shills in the Senate or the Conservative Party executive.It’s an aspect that goes to what appears to be a political prosecution…

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Rearguard election

Posted August 21, 2015 by Boris

Harper wanted a long campaign to spend his warchest. Great. All other things being equal, that would have helped him in his offensive attack-attack-attack approach to elections. Now, barely a few weeks in, events at the Duffy trial have turned that str…

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General

Duffy Days: Perrin, Harper

Posted August 20, 2015 by Boris

Well, if I were a lawyer and my client ignored my advice and did his/her own thing…well, don’t come crying to me when it goes pear shaped, pal.

"I was immediately taken aback by the prime minister’s decision that if
you simply owned $4,000 of real property, that made you a resident,"
said Benjamin Perrin, testifying at the Mike Duffy trial in Ottawa.
Ouch. No PM’s holiday card for Perrin,

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General

Duffy days: Novak, Harper

Posted August 20, 2015 by Boris

"I’ve always loved you."

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General

Getting a bit touchy ’bout Duffym, eh?

Posted August 18, 2015 by Boris

Witness an angry and confused Harper supporter call a reporter outside a Harper campaign event a "lying piece of shit". Because swearing at and insulting reporters in the campaign press pool will lead to nothing but an election victory for Dear Leader.

Still, shows that Harper folks are feeling rather touchy about what is emerging from L’affair Duffy. 

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Ok, so pick a fight with Wynne and Notley, why dontcha?

Posted August 6, 2015 by Boris

Good grief.

A political spat that erupted this week between Conservative
Leader Stephen Harper and the Alberta and Ontario premiers is being seen
by some as a calculated move on Harper’s part to shore up his
traditional party base.
So the theory …

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General

Disenfranchisement

Posted August 3, 2015 by Boris

Losing your right to vote in your own country’s election, when that country is Canada…there are no words. He’s finally gone to the GG and picked his fight with the electorate. Those of you still with votes, please do your utmost to evict him "from office, right out of the country, and into the deep blue sea if possible."

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General

The CPC, liars since 2006…

Posted July 31, 2015 by trashee

Yeah, forget about the Parliamentary Budget Office saying that we are already in deficit. Like, what do they know? The Harper Reform Party – lying comes so naturally to them.    (0) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

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Economy

Harper is talking about our recession…

Posted July 12, 2015 by trashee

… er, economic downturn in front of a crowd of Grade fivers because… – They are only a few years younger than the PMO short pant staffers who set up this photo-op, so could talk about cool stuff common to them in between takes… – He has found a group of economic advisors with better insights […]

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