12.11.2010 08:22 AM

Santa Saturday stuff

I’m off with the boys to have breakfast with Santa at the Eaton’s Centre. Before we go, some quickies:

  • Don Martin: Best wishes to a fellow former Herald alumnus, as he crosses over to the TV side. Don is fair, and has a genial way about him, so he’ll do well. I’ll miss his columns, however.
  • Julian Assange: Conservative pundit Margaret Wente declares the WikiLeaks founder innocent while simultaneously guilty. Personally, I think Assange is the best thing to happen to right-wingers like Wente since, well, Osama bin Laden. And I say so in tomorrow’s Sun.
  • Nick Kouvalis: When I saw this well-crafted story on Rob Ford’s campaign chief (and now Chief of Staff), I was reminded of two things: one, I forgot to call back Brent Popplewell (sorry, Brent). Two, I have heard all over that Kouvalis’ loose lips have ticked off Doug Ford one time too many, and he is being sent back to Windsor. Good reading in the Star.
  • Kid Kodak Kicked: Again, this time by Peter Worthington, who isn’t exactly an unabashed fan of Liberal governments. When will Marin ever cool his overheated rhetoric? Never, I hope. Nobody ever takes him seriously.
  • Rotten Apple: Steve Jobs doesn’t stumble often, in recent years (his grudge match with Flash being the notable exception), but putting a camera on the iPad is plain dumb. Can you imagine holding up a piece of machinery the size of a clipboard to take a picture of your kids? Bizarre.
  • Michael Ignatieff: Missed this anniversary (but remembered Babs and Bjorn: congrats, kids!) – Ignatieff becoming Liberal leader two years ago yesterday. From my seat in the distant bleachers – I happily have nothing to do with him or his party, anymore, principally due to the blundering of his senior staff – I increasingly doubt that he will ever become Prime Minister. He’s trying hard, however, so one never knows. But this week’s battery of polls – with Ekos increasingly looking like the outlier – have to have him wondering why he ever left Harvard.


  1. Jesse says:

    I absolutely cannot get enough of these stories where Kouvalis demonstrates his lack of professionalism by mouthing off about how great he is. It’s like watching a clown car wreck.

    • Brian says:

      It is entertaining. But I admit I’m starting to feel some mild pity for Nick, too. Had he had better counsel, he’d have taken a backseat political job, something akin to a provincial principal secretary, stayed on the sidelines, and remained around at a nice pay grade to veto anything that didn’t fit the ‘gravy train’ brand he’d created.

      Chief of Staff, though? It was dumb of Ford to offer it to him, but sad of Kouvalis to accept it. Running a Mayor’s Office in a City you’ve never worked in is insane, for reasons the Star profile makes clear. Too many names to learn, too many streets you’ve never seen, too many nuances you’ll never know until it’s too late.

      The learning curve is too steep, so he’s doomed to be hated even if he stays and does (relatively) well. Watching…

  2. here is the thing, if Iggy isn’t the right guy, no one that is there right now stands a chance. FULL STOP
    It is just relativity, or political thermal dynamics, Dion is an example of a leader who stepped back and made way, but he is a rara avis. The dynamics suggest to me, there are groups at play, if this is a continuation of the Chretien/Martin grudge match, it has to stop. If we are not a untied Liberal party, loyal to the leader than we are nothing, a ship without a captain is lost at sea, one in mutiny worse so. I do not believe this to be the case though, there is a certain ambiguity that belies a plan, maybe not a clever one, not a brilliant one, but one that allows for what is happening. And if anyone thinks the Conservatives have a better plan, it’s obvious they do not, this is a government on the verge of defeat and if the Liberal party stops naval gazing it will be the next government.

  3. orval says:

    If Liberals share Arnold Murphy’s belief that “this is a government on the verge of defeat and if the Liberal party stops naval gazing it will be the next government” then this is in my view what is holding the Liberals back. It is like saying the Pittsburgh Penguins will lose the Stanley Cup play-offs this spring which may turn out to be right but it sure doesn’t look that way today.

    The need in a minority Parliament to be election-ready every day is preventing the Liberal party from doing what it must do: turn the wreckage of “Team Martin” back into the Liberal Party of Canada. But this isn’t happening. It is like my teenager not doing his homework but still expecting to be able to pass the final exam.

    My advice is take an election off the table. State that the Official Opposition will oppose the Government and do its duty, but will not defeat it. Make the Government call the election “that nobody wants” (the declaration by Ignatieff that the Liberals will vote at second reading against the human-smuggling bill was a mistake – he gave PM Harper a way to have an election called with the blame going to the coalition).

    Then I would like to see some Conservative and Liberal cooperation in Quebec to limit the appeal of the Bloc Quebecois. Such cooperation would be good for Canada, and would assist both federal parties both in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada. It would permit the Liberals to win earn back some of its “national unity” credibility if it puts Canada’s interests ahead of the party’s political interests.

    But most of all it would force the Liberals to stop obsessing over polls and other trivia as an excuse to avoid doing what is needed: It could be a Kingston Conference a la 1960 (a real one, not a pretend one like in Montreal which was just nostalgia and PR for the leader). Having a real purpose and vision for a renewed and modern Liberal party will attract $$$, candidates and volunteers and most important of all enthusiasm.

    It’s worth a try. The status quo obviously isn’t working.

  4. Brian says:

    Oh, and the real reason I’d care about a camera for my second iPad is Skype/oovoo calls. The flash thing remains the one dumb misstep, and it’s annoyed me at least twice during recent experiments in iPad surfing.

  5. Cat says:

    Ignatieff needs to take a long walk in the snow. He needs to come to Lucan.

  6. Steve T says:

    As Arnold Murphy says above, there is not a strong heir-apparent to the Liberal throne. Rae has way too much NDP baggage, and….well, who else is there? Justin Trudeau would be a gift-wrapped majority for the Conservatives. He is all about riding Daddy’s coattails, and making simplistic naive comments on things he knows little about (such as his critique of Fantino’s comments on the Charter). But I suspect he will be the one that idealistic Liberals, especially young ones, will try to vault to the front of the line. And so another descent into the abyss of infighting between two divergent camps.

  7. jordan says:

    All this is just another case of wanting the moon and all the stars and ending up with a black sky, to quote Bob Rae, loosely. Too many of us are perfectly willing to endure a nasty piece of work and his cabal of nasties and fools because we believe the rot that has been spread about Ignatieff, all the Count Iggy and his arrogance nonsense. Harper did not reveal a program or a plan known to the voters in 2004/5 until the last minute and has forgotten or acted against much of what he proclaimed since then, his party was new and came together after a long period of infighting and, again, lying (Peter Mackay). Maybe fighting, nastiness and lying resonates with us as a people, maybe we had grandiose illusions about us as a decent and intelligent, and we just aren’t, let’s face it.

  8. Rick T. says:

    Your Eggnog is spiked with more than Rum.

  9. The Gator says:

    You know what would be really stupid? Producing a “high end” tablet PC that doesn’t have a camera that costs about $5 when every competitor has said camera. Of course the iPad isn’t going to be your camera of choice, but people simply expect mobile communications devices to have cameras, period. Especially with Apple pushing FaceTime as much as they are, it’s going to have dualie cameras in the very near future as well. The real question is why didn’t the original iPad’s have a camera?

    • Steve T says:

      Hey, how dare you talk about another part of WK’s post! Don’t you know all responses must be about politics? 🙂

    • mississaugapeter says:

      The reason the first iPads did not have a camera is the same reason they were not initially 3G/4G!

      Making a previous model dated/obsolete increases new sales.

      Jobs has a set list of items that he will keep on adding to the iPad every few months. Expect them to eventually do everything a laptop does. But not before numerous upgraded versions are introduced.

  10. jay says:

    The 27″ imac has a camera too.

  11. Peter says:


    The LPC needs another good defeat . They then need to give a shoulder tap to any MP over 55 and they need a 8 year plan to rebuild using younger people . There is no “pathway” to victory right now , they need to construct one . Earlier in the year Warren suggested that there was a plan a foot to look at a merger with the NDP . This could only happen if both of the leaders that are there now left at the same time .

    Personally I think a merger between the Greens and the NDP is a lot more likely .

  12. humble fan says:


    Seriously. The cam isn’t about taking photos. It’s about a/v conferencing. Think Skype.

    It was a huge omission from V1. But the cynical among us think it was to double up on sales when they launch V2 with a camera.

    I actually thought you “got it” more than this comment betrays.



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