I'm just a volunteer, etc.
"...[Kinsella is] a modern-day Machiavelli, the mastermind who ran war rooms for Jean Chretien and Dalton McGuinty... He's the ultimate political insider... [The War Room] has plenty of fascinating insights and is a must-read for political junkies."
- The Toronto Sun
- The National Post
- Tom Flanagan, The Literary Review of Canada
- The Hill Times
- The Winnipeg Free Press
- John Moore, CFRB
- John Oakley, AM640
- John Wright, Ipsos, CFRB
- Charles Adler, Adler Online
- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD
- Ken Rockburn, CPAC
As far as I know - and I would know - I'm not running anything.
I'm just a volunteer, etc.
Right here. Bang, bang, bang.
And, when Andrew says I am "many things," he wants to say that I am "sexy" and "a hunk," but Radwanski cut it out.
Oh, and Flames rule.
For this and other reasons. What a star.
I'm not entirely clear on all of the details, but it seems that the Department of National Defence is paying for a Conservative Party advocate, Damian Brooks, to go to Afghanistan.
As far as I am aware, this is a first, and it raises a number of fair questions - such as, was his unrelenting love of the Harper Administration a factor in selecting him? Who selected him - DND staff, or the Minister's Office? What is the cost? Where is he going, and why? Is this a new program, and how is it being funded? Should such junkets be funded, in the midst of a national recession?
Full disclosure: I've crossed swords with Damian before, when he suggested that I was happy - or, at least, not unhappy - about the death of a Canadian soldier. Being the son of an officer, as I am, I wanted to rip his lungs out for that one. But things cooled down thereafter, and we haven't paid much attention to each other.
I (unlike what he said in respect of me) do not doubt for a minute his support for our Armed Forces. I applaud his support of our men and women in uniform, and I share it.
I just question, however, whether it is appropriate that our tax dollars are being used to fete him around.
UPDATE: A Maclean's writer thinks it's a good idea. Here's why.
...and in Ontario - where Jim Flaherty infamously told people not to invest - the jobless numbers are worse.
Meanwhile, from the Prime Minister - on the suffering of thousands of Canadian families facing hardship, as well as on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East - we have heard nothing. Zero, zippo, zilch.
These guys are going down.
Israel must be allowed to defend itself, says Ignatieff
By The Canadian Press
Thu. Jan 8 - 7:52 PM
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says Israel is justified in taking military action to defend itself against attacks by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.
``Canada has to support the right of a democratic country to defend itself,'' he told reporters in Halifax on Thursday after speaking to a forum of business leaders on the economy.
``Israel has been attacked from Gaza, not just last year, but for almost 10 years. They evacuated from Gaza so there is no occupation in Gaza.''
...Ignatieff also said Hamas shoulders the blame.
``Hamas is a terrorist organization and Canada can't touch Hamas with a 10-foot pole,'' he said. ``Hamas is to blame for organizing and instigating these rocket attacks and then for sheltering among civilian populations.''
Ignatieff said Canada must do whatever it can to get humanitarian and medical relief into Gaza when there is a ceasefire, but rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas must stop first.
Canada should also continue to work towards a lasting solution to the conflict, he said.
``Ultimately this thing has to end with an Israel that is recognized, is safe and secure . . . and living side-by-side in peace with a Palestinian state,'' Ignatieff said.
A couple of Conservative Party publicists and shriekers are claiming to be upset about Liblogs, because a couple of pseudonymous pre-pubescents have been trying to publish anti-Israel crap there. (And, I note, notwithstanding the the fact that Liblog's administrators are promptly removing any group libel the moment it appears on that aggregator.)
Now, not to minimize "anti-Zionism" - which, as all of you know, I have written books about, making the point, inter alia, that "anti-Zionism" is almost always a P.R. flak's weasel term for "anti-Semitism" - but why all this attention for a pair of anonymous teenaged kooks, hmmm?
Could it be because a Conservative Member of Parliament has recently issued a press release, stating that Israel "hurts and targets innocents"?
That's a quote! Suggested headline: "CONSERVATIVE M.P.: ISRAEL TARGETING THE INNOCENT."
Speaking of which, does anyone have an info on that Alberta MP, perchance, so we can pass it along to Messrs. Levant and McParland?
The two of them are all about fairness and balance, and I'm confident they'll get right on it.
In case some of you are wondering whether I am incapable, now, of giving the Harper Administration credit about anything, let me give them credit for one thing: this little-noted exchange between the Prime Minister and Maclean's editor Ken Whyte (which, oddly, is on their web site and dated 11 days in the future):
Q: Will the government amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prevent unwarranted interferences in free expression by human rights commissions?
A: The government has no plans to do so. We're certainly aware of the issue. My understanding -- we've been monitoring this closely -- I think you'll actually see there's been some modification of behaviour on the part of the Canadian human rights commissions. The most egregious cases right now are mostly at the provincial level. And it is a very tricky issue of public policy because obviously, as we've seen, some of these powers can be abused. But they do exist for valid reasons, which is obviously to prevent public airwaves from being used to disseminate hate against vulnerable members of our society. That's a valid objective. It's probably the case that we haven't got the balance right, but I'm not sure the government today has any answer on what an appropriate balance would be.
It's not terribly Christian of me, but I would hope that answer - particularly the bolded stuff - gives coronaries to the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, red-necked libertarian blogosweird.
It is, however, me exercising free speech! Ha!
There was the Christmas-break orgy of Conservative patronage, and now - according to this morning's Globe - there's even more to come.
The minority Harper regime sure is looking a little panicky, these days. Desperate to cling to power, the former Reform stalwarts are jamming the Red Chamber with its hacks and flacks - thereby doing precisely what they said they'd never do. Thereby putting power ahead of their supposed principles. Thereby becoming what they swore to change.
Stephen Harper, sir, you had an option. Remember when your friend said that?
Of course you do.
Seemed right kind of day for this - Joe and the boys with 'Clampdown.'
URGENT US Budget Deficit, (URGENT-US-Budget-Deficit)
Source: The Canadian Press
Jan 7, 2009 9:25
WASHINGTON - Congressional estimators are projecting an unparalleled American budget deficit of US$1.2 trillion for the 2009 budget year.
A top congressional aide briefed on the estimate says the Congressional Budget Office also sees a $703 billion deficit for 2010.
The dismal figures come a day after President-elect Barack Obama warned of trillion-dollar deficits for years to come.
CBO's figures don't account for the huge economic stimulus bill that Obama is expected to propose soon to try to jolt the economy.
Obama officials say the stimulus measure will blend tax cuts with big new spending programs and could cost up to $775 billion over the next few years.
(The Associated Press)
INDEX: BUSINESS ECONOMY INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
...and, yes, if I could blame the crummy weather on the Harper Neocon Regime, I would:
Mulroney, Schreiber lawyers face off; Ethics probe into business dealings between former PM, arms dealer heats up
Times & Transcript (Moncton)
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Lawyers for Brian Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber are squaring off for their first real tussle at a public inquiry into the business dealings between the former Conservative prime minister and the German-Canadian arms dealer.
The skirmish set for today is just the opening round of what promises to be an epic battle. But the oral arguments presented to Justice Jeffrey Oliphant will help determine just how far the judge can go in probing the affair.
At issue is the legal yardstick by which Mulroney's conduct should be measured -- and, by implication, the question of whether he strayed beyond the bounds expected of a senior public official.
One of my former bosses on the Hill, Jean Pelletier, is very sick. Say a prayer for him, because he's a good man who has done many things for this country.
Source: The Canadian Press
Jan 6, 2009 19:04
QUEBEC - Jean Pelletier, a former chief of staff to Jean Chretien when he was prime minister, is gravely ill in a Quebec City hospital.
Pelletier, 73, is suffering from cancer.
He was admitted to Saint-Sacrement Hospital in Quebec City on New Year's Eve and later transferred to the Maison Michel-Sarrazin hospice.
He has been visited by a number of old friends including Chretien and Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume, a spokesman for Labeaume told CBC Radio.
A former mayor of Quebec City, Pelletier was Chretien's chief of staff from 1991 to 2001 before heading Via Rail. He was fired in 2004 by then-prime minister Paul Martin after he was judged to have belittled former Olympian Myriam Bedard.
Pelletier was also slammed by retired judge John Gomery, who was investigating the federal sponsorship scandal, where ad agencies were paid large sums by the Liberal government for little or no work.
Pelletier later won court cases for improper dismissal from Via and saw the Federal Court strike down Gomery's finding against him.