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"...[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 top Canadian spin doctor...tells all!"

- The National Post

"Warren Kinsella’s new book is a must-read for anyone interested in political campaigning in Canada. And not just political campaigning.…I wish I’d had the chance to read The War Room before I became Stephen Harper’s campaign manager; it might have saved me from many mistakes and months of painful learning on the job."

- Tom Flanagan, The Literary Review of Canada

"The War Room is a rich, detailed, and substantive primer on how to run a winning war room - warts, pizza boxes, smelly couches and all - from a master war roomer."

- The Hill Times

"Kinsella has crafted a handy little guide for politicos and non-politicos alike. Just keep it away from the kids."

- The Winnipeg Free Press

"... a great read ... full of fascinating stories..."

- John Moore, CFRB

"...I don't want to say [he's a] genius...but there's valuable insights here..."

- John Oakley, AM640

"I just got one copy, but I plan to get more!"

- John Wright, Ipsos, CFRB

"I do recommend [The War Room] to everyone."

- Charles Adler, Adler Online

"He's Canada's James Carville...a must-read...If you really want to win, you need this book!"

- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD

"A fascinating book...full of great stories."

- Ken Rockburn, CPAC


John McCallum writes a fun letter, being way nicer than I'd ever be, about this.

Day: No recession! Flaherty: Um, er.

The Harper Reformatories: petty, mean-spirited and - more than ever before! - totally dopey.

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"The rodeo clown of Canadian punditry."

"[Who is] using freedom of speech in an unethical way."

And those quotes are from people who sort-of agree with his position! What do others think?

Which reminds me: I wonder what the Alberta Law Society will conclude about the "rodeo clown?"

I wonder.

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David Miller visually estimates his chances of re-election.

Here's something to think about in your morning commute, past mountains of rat-infested garbage, shuttered day cares, weed-clogged city parks and potholes (literally) the size of houses.

One, the central issue in the month-long strike - the thing that David Miller said he wanted changed - is apparently still unchanged. That is, Toronto's month-long ordeal - as the Globe's front page suggested yesterday - was for nothing.

Two, the union has now put off the ratification vote, meaning this goddamned thing may not be over, despite Miller declaring that it was.

This guy couldn't get re-elected dogcatcher in a one-light town. Seriously.

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1. They've kicked the story, big time. People are talking about it, again, all over. Wafergate had been dead for a month; now it's back, on steroids.

2. Journalists - who aren't exactly in a pro-owner mood, these days, and understandably so - are pissed off. What do they see? Two respected colleagues getting kicked to the curb. What do they see? The faint outlines of a link between the shipbuilding announcement and, hours later, the mincing, shit-eating apology. The media will protect their own - and they will ensure not even a tin fishing trawler is built anytime soon by you-know-who.

3. The Opposition - and, ironically enough, the Harper thugees - now can't go along with a penny being spent in that ship yard, even if they wanted to, because the whole file is tainted and/or too damned politically hot. In an era of minority governments, hot files = dead files. This one's dead. Good work, media magnates!

4. The apology is fundamentally false. The Roman Catholic establishment were upset that (a) Harper took communion when he should not have done so, and (b) speedily deposited the relevant host in a place other than his mouth. That's a fact, and it's a documented fact - see for yourself. Apologies, when warranted, are the right thing to do; when forced, they're not.

5. The geniuses at the T-J and PMO (Kory, come back!) have now persuaded thousands of people to again seek out the YouTube footage to see for themselves. And what they see there, with their own eyes, is what the Telegraph Journal originally reported: a Prime Minister taking a host (when he should not have done so), and tucking it in his pocket or a booklet (which is even worse).

Dumb, dumb, dumb. Good thing these guys aren't running the country or anything.

Stephen Harper puts the host (communion wafer) in his pocket from Karol Ramet on Vimeo.

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How do these things get out?

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You want scandal?

This is a scandal.

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It's over. And - if this is even remotely true - so is David Miller.

Toronto needs a mayor? After this - after going through a month-long strike for no reason - Toronto is going to get one.

He's done.


City dropped all concessions, union says

If true, Miller has explaining to do, councillor says after settlements are reached with two striking locals

July 27, 2009


CUPE Local 416 president Mark Ferguson said today that the union fought back all of the concessions the city had sought - but one councillor says that if that is true, Mayor David Miller has some explaining to do.

Ferguson wouldn't give specifics of the tentative deal reached with the city early today, but said that the support of his members gave the "bargaining committee the ability to fight back all of the concessions," the city sought.

"As I have said from the beginning, we will end this strike like we began," he told a news conference this morning at the Scarborough hotel where his local's negotiation took place.

Pat Daley, a spokesperson for Local 416, backed up Ferguson's statement that the union had managed to "fight back all of the concessions the city sought from us."

All 118 pages of concessions? she was asked."Yes," she said.

Councillor Doug Holyday said this afternoon that the union must be putting a positive spin on the deal. And if they aren't, Mayor David Miller would have a lot of explaining to do.

Holyday, a member of the city's labour relations committee that gives direction to the bargaining officials, said he spoke to the mayor early today and the impression left was that the deal was done "within the parameters set by the labour relations committee.

"Those parameters clearly included an end to the sick bank provisions that was a big sticking point in the talks.
They couldn't have settled something contrary without coming back to the labour relations committee," said Holyday.

"If we were to take all the concessions off the table, let them keep sick bank and pay higher than we want to, the show would be over. The mayor would walk the plank. The mayor would be done."

True enough.

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It's now confirmed. Very sad. He was one of the great ones.


Ottawa — The Globe and Mail Monday, Jul. 27, 2009 10:38AM EDT

Jerry Yanover, parliamentary strategist to a legion of Liberal leaders, has died suddenly. He was 62.

He was found by neighbours in his downtown Ottawa apartment yesterday, not far from his other home, Parliament Hill.

Mr. Yanover, who served every Liberal whip and House leader since Donald Macdonald in 1969, had been strategizing with Paul Zed, Michael Ignatieff's chief of staff, just hours before he was found. His beloved dog, Opie, a one-year-old Norwich terrier, was with him.

"He in many ways was the institution of Parliament," Mr. Zed said today. "Because whether it was the strategy of the opposition or the challenges of government, he knew every move and every rule."

His death will be a big loss to the Liberal leadership in the House of Commons. In addition to losing Mr. Yanover's expertise, his colleague, Richard Wackid, another procedural mastermind, has been sidelined by a serious illness.

Last week, Mr. Yanover had gone into the hospital to have a procedure done on his heart. He spent several days in hospital before being released. He was to return in September for surgery. Liberal House leader and good friend Ralph Goodale had visited him in hospital.

Mr. Yanover was quirky and brilliant. He had two passions: parliamentary procedure and the Cleveland Indians baseball team.

He had been a fan of Parliament since his elementary school days, becoming interested in government and procedure when he heard on the radio that as part of their promises in the 1957 election campaign, the Liberals would drop the tax on Fleers Dubble Bubble gum. His young mind figured that meant cheaper bubble gum because in Kingston, where he grew up, it cost two cents. Across the river in New York State, it cost one cent. But the Diefenbaker Tories won.

"That's when I decided politics needed attention in this country," Mr. Yanover said in an interview in 2007 with The Globe and Mail.

Since then, his career has been full of ups and downs. One friend recalled that as a young staffer he had to consult Pierre Trudeau on election night in 1972 about whether he could retain power.

Mr. Yanover retired from Parliament Hill several years ago but remained a consultant to the Liberal caucus and leadership.

Mr. Yanover's friend and long-time neighbour, Dena Gosewich, alerted police yesterday after Mr. Yanover's Sunday New York Times was still lying outside his apartment door late in the afternoon. She said she could hear Opie whining and scratching at the door. It was unlike Mr. Yanover to leave Opie alone, she said.

She is now looking after the little terrier. Mrs. Gosewich said a number of neighbours gathered last night at Mr. Yanover's favourite bistro. People were upset, she said, because Mr. Yanover and Opie were such a big part of the neighbourhood.

A funeral service is tentatively planned for Wednesday.?

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Today a number of us went to courtroom 111 at Old City Hall in Toronto to show our support for David Chen, the Toronto man wrongly accused by local police. When David's hearing was done, more than half of the spectator gallery stood up and left. I would hope that the Crown, the police - and the politicians who have been largely silent in this case - carefully consider what that means.

My daughter and I were there to cheer on David, as were many other citizens. If you object to what is being done to David, please take a minute to sign our petition, found here.

He's a good man and he deserves our support in this terrible ordeal.

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Seen arriving at the Reformatory "campaign college" this afternoon. Yeah, right.

I wonder if you get an "F" at the college for wrecking the economy?

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From Darren K., circa 1976. That's a John Lennon shirt I'm wearing, I think.

Some things never change. That, or everything has been done before, including whatever it is you are doing right now.

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