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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


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What's the best and safest place to get a tattoo in TeeDot? Price no object. It's for a friend who has lost his mind.

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About this, my respectful response:

Dear [NDP Official]:

It has come to our attention that your party is considering changing its name from the “New Democratic Party” to, well, something else. Specifically, we are intrigued by the suggestion that your party, having been in existence for approximately four decades, now realizes it is no longer “new.” We certainly agree.

In the spirit of Parliamentary cooperation, my Liberal friends and I have assembled a list of possible names for your newly-branded political party. Here are some of our favourites:

• The You Don’t Know Jack Party: This name reflects the fact – from his perspective, at least – it’s all about Jack. This name will only work if Jack Layton remains party leader indefinitely, which we particularly favour.
• The Middle Aged Party: Given the fact that your party is clearly going through a troubling midlife crisis, and searching for a new identity, we thought this name might be appropriate. As in all midlife crises, we advise against garish tattoos or radical hairstyle changes.
• The We’re Still Here Party: Canadians periodically wonder if your political party still exists, so often does it slip into the political equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle. This name reflects an attempt to address that challenge, while displaying a degree of humility – a notion with which some might argue the NDP has only a passing acquaintance.
• The Dippers: As you are painfully aware, it is what many media people call your party already. There is a pejorative connotation associated with this appellation (cf. you are "dippy"), but - from our perspective - it is highly, highly accurate.
• Paris Hilton Party: This name refers to the fact that, while you may be famous among some people, you tend to lack talent. Sorry.
• The Transformers Party: The movie is popular, you're not. It'll generate some interest, perhaps. You never know.

There are many other possibilities for a new name for the NDP. By way of conclusion, we would only echo that old adage: if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

Yours sincerely, etc.

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In every war room, in every election campaign, I try to nominate a catchy little ditty to rouse sleepy-eyed war roomers at all times of day or night. I play these tunes at ear-splitting volume. It gets the creative juices flowing, among other things.

This year's nominee is 'Hail Destroyer' by the Cancer Bats. It's a guaranteed war room waker-upper, and - added bonus - these loveable moptops are all-Canadian!

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The Grit Girl is back - and she's pissed.

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Pardon my language, but this is beyond stupid - it is a f@*king outrage:

In a precedent-setting move, Toronto council has agreed to use public money to pay for a local politician's "one-off" defamation lawsuit against a community tabloid.

...Members voted 25-5 yesterday to cover up to $25,000 in legal expenses for Councillor Sandra Bussin, who is considering suing the publisher of Ward 32 News. An independent lawyer for the city said the tabloid's May edition and related online videos defamed Ms. Bussin.

We've just gone through a crippling municipal strike that left millions of people without any basic services - one in which the Mayor and his minions repeatedly claimed how fiscally-responsible they were.

So what do 25 of these idiots do at one of their very first get-togethers? They take care of themselves.

Questions abound. Who gets the money, if she wins? Do taxpayers pay court costs, too, if she loses? Won't there be more of these taxpayer-funded lawsuits in the future, as other councillors try to figure out ways to silence their critics? Will city workers - who get no end of shit and abuse from the public, being on the front line - get to rely upon this added job benefit, too? Why not, if not? Julian Porter is respected, and he's also one of the highest-paid lawyers around: did these morons consider, even for a moment, someone with a lower billable rate?

Some of you have wondered why me and my friends aren't fans of Sandra Bussin. This is yet another example of why, but there are others - here and here and here and here.

If you want to express yourself on this to Ms. Bussin, her contact info is here. The "mayor" who approved this perq for a political crony, meanwhile, is here.

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This internal note was sent to me by a Bay Street analyst his morning. The bottom line: Canadians are continuing to lose their jobs at an astonishing pace - and the Harper regime's spin (eg. the recession is "over") is unadulterated bullshit.

Who lives in "fantasyland," now, Reformatories? You do. And, ultimately, it is the thing that will defeat you.

The analyst:


Our first impression is that this is a much worse than expected report
on both headline and details.
The headline July decline was worse than
expected, both full-time and part-time jobs fell, private and public
sector jobs were lost, the hit to private sector jobs was the worst
since January's massive decline
, self-employment rose but discount that
at this point in the cycle, and people exited the workforce thereby
driving a decline in the labour force. Canada's job market remains
fully back on its heels.

Net change in jobs (000s) / UR (%):
Actual: -44.5 / 8.6%
Prior: -7.4 / 8.6%
Consensus: -15 / 8.8%

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Spotted over at BCL, by 'TheGritsRule." Something tells me he/she is a Liberal.

And something tells me the old adage has changed to "Who d'ya know, who has left PMO?"

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September 2, in Toronto: Motorhead, Rev. Horton Heat and Nashville Pussy! Sweet Lord Almighty, I know where SFH is gonna be that night!

Take it, Ruyter and Karen!

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Two here, courtesy of the NME. You can go find the others at the NME's site, but I'm not going to help you.

Tipper Gore, please return our calls, urgently.

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On the one hand, it's kind of silly to overstate the importance of political staff and advisers. Staffers, mostly unseen, come and go; politicians are the ones who are remembered. That’s just the way it is.

On the other hand, it's fair to observe that Stephen Harper is losing - or has lost - the experienced people who helped him win power. Patrick Muttart, Kory Teneycke, Mark Cameron, Tom Flanagan, Ian Brodie, Sandra Buckler and now Carolyn Stewart-Olsen - whether you like them or not (and I know and respect most of them), you have to acknowledge that each have contributed significantly to the Reformatory leader’s fortunes. They got him to where he had no business being.

It may be that they, and other RefCon staffers, are eyeing the exits because perpetual minority governments aren’t very amenable to long-term life-planning. It may be that some, or all of them, got tired. And it may be that Mr. Angry is a very, very difficult man to work for. More than anything else, I suspect that last reason is the big one – but we’ll never know for sure.

What we do know is that the adults who got Stephen Harper into 24 Sussex are voting with their feet. And the puerile crew they’re leaving behind are the ones who – soon enough – will be experiencing the joys and splendor of Opposition, or the private sector.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll even learn from the experience.

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Conspiracy theories abound in wafer-gate fallout

The controversy over whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper consumed the holy communion at the state funeral for former governor general Roméo LeBlanc, on July 3, in New Brunswick, and who was behind the story, took on a new life last week. The Telegraph-Journal, which broke the story that said Mr. Harper had pocketed the host, ran a front-page apology last week to Mr. Harper and to the two journalists who wrote the story, then fired its editor and suspended its publisher.

The Prime Minister's Office said last month that the Prime Minister did consume the host.

The original story stated that a senior Roman Catholic priest in New Brunswick demanded that the PMO explain what happened to the communion wafer that was given to Mr. Harper. The original story also said that the Prime Minster "slipped the thin wafer that Catholics call 'the host' into his jacket pocket." Last week's apology said "there was no credible support for these statements of fact at the time this article was published, nor is the Telegraph-Journal aware of any credible support for these statements now." Liberal strategist and blogger Warren Kinsella has hinted on his website that there might be a connection between the Irving-owned Telegraph-Journal's apology and the company wanting to woo recently-announced federal shipbuilding contracts.

Mr. Kinsella said Doug Finley, director of political operations, was fanning the fires of the controversy at the Tory boot camp last week as a ploy to raise money by charging that the Liberals are manipulating the media. Mr. Kinsella said he suspects the Conservatives fear a backlash from Catholic-voters, a group that has shown increasing support for the Tories in recent years.

"Doug Finley would use a bad rash as an excuse to wring more money out of the Reformatory donor base," he said. "They're also terrified about Harper's mistake hurting them with the Catholic vote."

Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro demanded in a press release, headlined "Liberal Leader's Office Refuses to Deny Planting False 'Wafergate' Story," that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff owes it to Canadians to say whether any Liberal staffers, executives or advisers "communicate[d] with the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal regarding the Prime Minister's acceptance of the host at Romeo LeBlanc's funeral?"

Last week The Telegraph-Journal was directing all questions about the apology to public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard, but the spokesman declined to answer questions about why the story was edited.

A spokesperson for Mr. Ignatieff responded that if Canadians want to know what Mr. Harper did with the wafer they need only look at the video of the incident.

The video, which was pooled and broadcast on CPAC, shows Mr. Harper taking the host from the priest officiating over the funeral mass, but instead of promptly consuming it, as is the custom, he holds onto it. It's unclear what he does with it after that.

—The Hill Times

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