"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"
Friday, September 26, 2008
For I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep
"In what respect Charlie?"
"I'll try to find some and I'll bring'em to ya"
"I'm still in shock over how terrible the Palin/Couric interview was. "Train wreck" is being charitable -- it was more like a train derailing on a bridge, tumbling a thousand feet into a canyon and landing on a pile of old dynamite and gas drums. And then a jumbo jet crashed into the flaming wreckage. Followed by an earthquake that caused the whole mess to slide off a cliff into the sea, where the few miraculous survivors were eaten by sharks."
Thursday, September 25, 2008
A pause for the GOP cause?
As we've been reminded again and again and again, John McCain is genuine hero POW who was tortured and stuff after he was shot down during a bombing mission to burn women, children and villages in North Vietnam from several thousand feet in the air. Apparently this brave air warrior is askeered of debating Barack Obama and is calling for a time out in the presidential campaign to "put country first" once again and deal with the financial crisis as only he can.
It's interesting that McCain came up with this brainstorm only a day after his poll numbers took a serious hit. It's also interesting to note that he hasn't voted in the Senate in five months and has missed more votes this term than any other member except Tim Johnson, who had major brain surgery. Also interesting is the fact that two days ago, McCain hadn't even read the three page bailout proposal he now feels that only he can push through Congress and save us all from the mess he and his helped make. Especially interesting since he told us only the other day that the "fundementals of the economy were strong" and has previously admitted he doesn't understand economics.
George W. Bush managed to debate John Kerry twice while he president of a country that was at war and McCain thinks he is indispensible in getting this no-strings-attached, no-oversight $700 billion handout through congress? Or is he just chicken? This is all about keeping himself and Caribou Barbie out of the debates.
Thankfully it doesn't look like the Obama campaign and the media are going to play along with his attempt to get himself some political breathing room and put the brakes on the Democrats momentum with this cheap stunt.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
No more Mr. Nice Guy
Remind me again why Ken Dryden is not at least leader of the opposition, if not Prime Minister?
Then there’s the blue vest, the “Mr. Nice Guy” ads. Ad firms are paid millions to tell the story their client wants told. It’s much easier for them when it’s a new “product” or a new “person” launch. When the information they provide is the only information - when the public knows nothing else. The problem for Mr. Harper is that the public does know something else. They’ve been watching him for 2 ½ years and Stephen Harper, they know, may be lots of things, but he’s not a “nice guy.”
He’s not. Nice guys don’t cut literacy programs. Nice guys don’t cut funding to women’s groups, aboriginal groups, health and childcare and poverty and disability groups. Toying with them month after month, teasing them with silence and desperate hope. If, they say to themselves, if I don’t say anything, if I just go quiet, maybe I might get something. Please. Then crumbs, or nothing.
Nice guys don’t decide there’s only one voice in this country that matters. Not these voices of our communities. Not those of his own Cabinet or Caucus. Not voices in the arts who get their programs cut because they say things that might make us squirm. Not any voice competent and professional who disagrees - Linda Keen, Adrian Measner, Jean-Guy Fleury - who then feel the pulverizing weight of a Government machine come down on them just so they know: you don’t mess with “the vest”.
Arts groups, literacy and poverty and childcare groups - it’s the same story. Nice guys don’t make the weak weaker and the vulnerable more vulnerable.
Nice guys don’t act like there are Canadians and not-quite Canadians. Those who fit Mr. Harper’s understanding of how life is supposed to be lived, and those, Canadians too - single mothers, addicts, gays and lesbians - who don’t.
And nice guys don’t take someone else’s person, as he did Monsieur Dion, they don’t take their personality, their character, their life, what they’ve worked hard to build, what is decent and substantial and good. What they’ve earned. They don’t take that, twist it, stretch it, caricature and distort it. They don’t buy air time
and in front of millions of people, assassinate it. And pretend, ahh, that’s just politics.
Oh, and the puffin and the poop - oops, sorry. Didn’t mean it. Just like I don’t mean all the other just-as-new ads on the Conservatives’ website, that reach tens of thousands just like the Mr. Nice Guy ads on TV, that are just as abusive as the others in the pre-Mr. Nice Guy time.
Dryden goes on to say a bunch of other good things - mostly pointing out the small, petty nature of the Harper campaign and the need to address larger issues and provide a vision of a Canada that is greater than the sums of its parts, the notion that the election should be about more than the ability of the Conservatives to buy taxpayers off with their own money.
Seriously, remind me why the Liberals picked Dion and not Dryden, because I'd really like to know. I think Dryden would have mopped the floor with Harper by now. I wish I could vote for him. Say what you want about the track record of his party over the last ten years, Dryden's vision of A Big Canada is the closest to mine that has been enunciated by any politician since Trudeau.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Stop them, stop them NOW!
Dear fellow Canucks,
I know there is a distracting spectacle south of the border what with the minority elitist who was raised by a single mother on foodstamps running against the son-and-grandson-of-admirals, 11-house owning everyman for leader of the pack and all, and that whole global financial meltdown thing happenning, but we have an election going on too. I read the polls every day and I have to ask-- what the hell is wrong with you people?
Watching things in the Excited States over the last eight years, we've all seen what happens when you put a bunch of proudly ignorant neoconservative dingbats in charge for an extended period. Given Stephen Harper's propensity to crib from the Republican playbook, do you really think its a good idea to give him a majority? Really?
Aside from the apology for the Residential School tragedy, name one thing he's done right in the last two years, name one promise he's kept -- no, really, I'll wait, you go ahead and google around and tell me all about his successes with the nuclear safety watchdog, with the Arar affair, with ongoing, neverending war in Afghanistan, his environmental record --- and let's not forget about his insatiable hunger for the flesh of innocent children. The more you look, the more reasons you'll find to dump this chump.
The most recent scandal over bad meat has Tory fingerprints all over it, but the media seems more concerned about a few tasteless jokes by the minister in charge rather than his removal of inspectors from meat plants.
Recently he's been beating the usual conservative drum about "getting tough on crime" by sending 14-year-olds to prison for life, except in Quebec. I've addressed this kind of brainless pandering before. It's all part of the usual conservative obsession with talking tough and striking macho poses. A key element of right-wing politics is the notion of a "strong" leader who will "act decisively." Yes, well, we can see how that has worked out in the past for Germany, Italy and Spain and how it is working out now for the United States. Strength and resolution are all well and good, but if you make stupid, wrongheaded or just plain evil decisions and then stick to them in the face of all evidence, that doesn't make you a maverick or strong leader, it puts you somewhere on the spectrum between stubborn fool and diabolical meglomaniac.
I know Stephen Dion is not Pierre Trudeau and Jack Layton is no Tommy Douglas, but for the love of Lester Pearson, Maurice Richard and Laura Secord -- would you all just pick one of the two and stop Dead-Eyes from getting re-elected by dividing and conquering yet again?