Monday, September 29, 2008
Like a scene out of Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, people of normal
calm were tossed into a bank-run frenzy Monday when the US House of Representatives
voted down President Bush's $700 billion parachute for the buckling American
Politicians of all stripes turned to the easiest response, of pointing
fingers. On this side of the border, the reactions from the campaigning
leaders were predictable -- Smilin' Jack wanted an immediate hootenanny to
talk about possible WPA programs; Sweater-wearing stiff Harper dug into his
pockets and offered the equivalent of belly-button lint ("Here, these tiny
tot tax credits should keep your mortgage afloat another day").
"We cannot pretend that Canada will not be affected by what George Bush said (Wednesday) night. And he said that our entire economy is in danger...(Harper) has allowed our economy to hit a brick wall," (Stephane Dion) said. "Canadians have to ask themselves, do we really want more of this? Can Canadians afford more of this?"
Harper's whole routine has been that of pretending first that he smells no smoke. Then, he covers his ear and says 'What siren?' As he walks out of the burning building, he asks 'Do you feel warm?'
His strategy behind breaking campaign promise #34 is fairly obvious now, even to thick headed CON rubes. Beat the meltdown and then ride it out. And an economic recession will create the perfect scenario for the rumoured 'slash and burn' agenda that he keeps hidden under that sweater.
But the signs of trouble have been around for over a year. To help prepare us for the possible financial genesis, Harper began spending like Paris Hilton. Nothing was too good for his 'boys'... Soon, that big fat contingency fund was mere wallpaper money for the focus-group room. Does he deserve some blame, despite the roots of the collapse coming during the Bush error? As Austin Powers would say, Oh Yeah Baby!
There are plenty of suspects that fingers should be pointed to, lest the
ghosts of R.B. Bennett and Herbert Hoover (Calvin Coolidge, you're off the
hook again!) shake their jacob marley-esque chains in defiance.
Thanks to those Bush economics, much of the problem has created a
firetrap for pensioners, mortgageholders and investors, big and small.
Banks across the globe are scared to look in their files, aware that bogus 'wobbly mortgage' bonds lurk.
And Harper's answer, at least while his job remains on the line? "What me, Worry? I'll leave that to the rest of you suckers."
Sunday, September 28, 2008
We have the platform and the policies. We have integrity and plenty of talent.
So just what are we missing?
Dion has looked much sharper in the past few days and perhaps it's partially being the underdog. Our rivals would say it could be a result of lowered expectations, but I'd suggest that is a media creation and competition spin.
Now that Harper has demonstrated that no low blow will go unused, I believe what we need to do is to increase the heat in the leader's message -- continue with a strong focus on policy, but also striking back. Not with low blows like that prince of narcissistic sanctimony, but with sharply chiselled honest shots right at the heart of the so-called CON leadership. This is what I'd say...
Stephen Harper's Conservatives may be feeling that their goal of Dividing and Conquering the hearts and minds of Canadians is nearly achieved. With the polls in their favour, Stephen Harper has lowered his aim with gutter attacks at those who question his policies. Unfortunately, Stephen Harper does not think Canadians need to have answers.
He has shown he doesn't want to debate the issues man-to-man. In his contempt for the electoral process, Stephen Harper has chosen to hide, silence and stifle his own candidates for fear their own words could inform Canadians on just what Stephen Harper knows.
We've had two-and-a-half years of a Conservative government, a government that is no longer New, no longer guided by the North Star, and apparently no longer needing the Blessing of God. A government that out-spent all others, one that reduced Canada's economic standing to the bottom of the G8, and still pretends that everything is A-OK. His government has overseen job losses, economic instability, ministerial bungling and environmental sliding, and his answer is to put on a sweater.
What Canadians have also had in the past two-and-a-half years is an administration that cannot function without creating enemies.
It has spent energy and funds dividing Canadians on the purpose of government, on the good that government can do. Attacking the governments of Ontario and Newfoundland for political gain. Scaring public sector employees, scientists and the men and women who are sworn to protect Canadians' food sources and who watch over our nuclear industries, or who study climate change. Dissent nor questions are permitted, and those who do are declared enemies of the national good.
Stephen Harper's actions go against the ideals of justice and integrity that Canadians deserve from their leaders. There is no line that he would not cross, no fight he would not pick, for pure partisan gain. One has to wonder, who will he target next? Consider who he has targeted already.
He would not tolerate a few protesters from the AIDS conference in Toronto -- instead, choosing to punish those who are already victims by delaying funding announcements. Ask arts and cultural groups across this great nation, the people who are vital parts of local economies, what it feels like to be on the wrong side of Stephen Harper. Stephen Harper would even deny Canadians the right to share their grief in the repatriation of our valiant soldiers, if not for the outcries of the soldiers' families.
Instead of being part of a global solution to climate change, he chose to drag the world back from a possible landmark agreement. Under Stephen Harper, Canada is no longer a leader, a beacon of hope that other nations can turn to for guidance. Instead, Stephen Harper has us following the beat of the do-nothings, who stand at the door arguing 'After you.' These are not the actions of a government that cares about what kind of world our grandchildren will inherit.
We must give Stephen Harper his due, though. When it comes to insulting the Canadian public, he has set new standards. He's able to blame every misstep and dangerous decision he's done in the past two and a half years on past Liberal governments, while taking credit for the last eight Liberal balanced budgets. He's appointed his own Elections Canada commissioner, and when he didn't like the job he was doing investigating Conservative shenanigans, made him a Liberal.
When his team members insult the families of our gallant soldiers or make jokes about people dying from the Listeria crisis, he's responded true to form. He gave Ryan Sparrow a vacation, and put Gerry Ritz in the Conservative witness protection program.
Accountability won't get in the way of a Stephen Harper government -- it was only a disposable election slogan, like his promise to not tax income trusts. Well, we Liberals are up to the challenge of governing for all Canadians, with a platform that responds to the challenges of today and tomorrow.
In 1993, Canadians said 'Enough!' of fiscal mismanagement and growing deficits, and asked a Liberal government to correct the mistakes by a Conservative government. Jean Chretien and Paul Martin delivered. Now, the challenge is on a larger scale, one that if unanswered will bring the global economy to its knees. The Green Shift -- where Canadians have more take-home pay, while polluters pay more -- is meant to meet that challenge. Our platform has been vetted and scrutinized by independent economists and environmentalists and received positive support. The Liberal Party is ready for the job.
Stephen Harper is not up to the challenge. He has offered nothing but silence, misinformation and indifference to the economic and environmental tests that we face. The truth is, Stephen Harper doesn't want to lead Canada. He wants to divide it. We ask that Canadians who cherish social justice, compassionate and fiscally responsible governance choose the Liberal Party, for a richer, fairer, greener future.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
It kind of hit me over the head like a sack of Gerry Ritz; God has gone.
Like that Jar-Jar Binksian Northern Star, He is no longer a member of Harper's homeboys. I don't know if He's been given the Michael Chong treatment or if God has cut his ties with our so-called leader due to irreconcible differences. Maybe God just doesn't make the grade now that Harper is trolling for a majority.
It may have happened a year ago or maybe just a month back; but either way, someone's been dropped like a doobie-smokin' socialist.
Let's be clear, when our CEO of the New Government started using that tagline 'God Bless Canada', I was a trifle uncomfortable. It seemed overly ambitious for us, a nation with oil, minerals, trees and vast tracks of gorgeous coastal regions to want big ol' God to give us more. Maybe, just maybe, God had better things to do, places that really needed his blessing. Plus, it seemed to be something that Jethro Bodine's cousin southside, GWB, would demand between gun club meetings.
The official response from CON Control was that 'God hasn't left, he's still hanging with the Big Guy. He prefers to take a back row seat, that's all.'
That doesn't sound like the God I know. Oh, I'm not inferring that God's a glory hogging showoff. We all know He doesn't care to be the most popular messiah. Matter of fact, from the conversations I've had with Him, and admittedly they've been few and far between, He seemed to be kind of shy, and reminded me of Bob Hartley, no not that guy - this guy. Maybe He was ashamed of being asked to put His stamp of approval on a nation where the Saviour comes in many shapes and spirits - Canada after all is one of the most multicultural countries on the planet.
Then it hit me. God may not like narcissistic liars who treat the 10 commandments like they were some so-called list of Five Priorities. Choosing some and playing 'hide the priority' with the others wouldn't likely go well with the All Mighty.
So I was wondering, where did God draw the line? Was it Thou Shalt Not Make For Yourself an Idol? Or was it You Shall Not Make Wrongful Use of God's Name? Maybe it was You Shall Not Steal? Would his decision to disregard You Shall Not Bear False Witness To Your Neighbour be a deal breaker?
Unless of course it's Harper who's put God on the sidelines. Maybe it didn't mix well with that new image, Mr Relaxation without the talent or compassion, that he's trying to style himself on. Now that the CONs have learned that voters come in all shapes and colours, perhaps God's kind of passe. Oh, Harper will always remember His son's birthday and check in to see that all is Right on the Q-T, but maybe it was so-called leader dude who thought, "well God, time I made like a banana and split. Smell yah later."
But if Harper gets his majority, I'm sure you can guess who he'll be welcoming back with open arms. Yep, front and centre, like ol' times. Right beside Sparrow, Ritz, Bernier and Lukiwski. Hope God has a sense of humour.
Posted by rockfish at 12:17 AM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
According to myth, if you keep yelling something long enough, it becomes fact.
Not always, though.
And when the one doing the yelling has proven to be somewhat prone to, well, un-truth telling himself, perhaps it's time that they should look in the mirror. Or at least face some tough questions.
Something about crying wolf while trying to hide those big teeth, I suppose.
Eyes are opening. Click the Victory button at your right to help it along.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The image makeover of the so-called CON leader has so far scored major points. Despite a few missteps and retro-tastes of Harper's mean streak -- c'mon, you don't think Ryan Sparrow didn't have the operational guide at his fingertips when he dialled up that CTV reporter regarding the dead Canadian soldier's father, do you? -- he's flying high in the polls.
Perhaps its that family guy image, ala Peter Griffin, with a blue sweater to match his heart.
Funny thing, apparently the 'family image' makeover and the sudden 'urgent need to address raging gas prices' may play well in the short term, but we know from experience, right? It's like that laugher 'fixed election dates', or the always hilarious 'make parliament work.'
But give the image consultant some credit, even if her psychic abilities didn't help prewarn that his reversal on Afghanistan ("I was against set time lines before I was for them!") would result in some blow-back. A sweater on a cold-hearted SOB does warm the cockles, apparently.
Here are a few other of Harper's favourite 'family men':
Harold Kvisle, CEO TransCanada Pipeline, who met with Harper's director of policy Mark Cameron two months ago.
Ron Brenneman, CEO Petro-Canada, who met with Harper key advisor Bruce Carson.
No doubt, they were very apologetic about the summer holiday 'price spike' and cautiously warning that, while the cost at the pumps always jumped overnight when oil's price on the market rose, any dip in the value of crude would be tempered by external circumstances, like, well, storms caused by climate change.
Kvisle, who likes playing cards with his children and sharing a beer with his chauffeur (well, the chauffeur gets the empty), is a fellow Uof Calgary alumnus, like our so-called PM. Kvisle knows about the hardship that high oil prices can bring, what with his 2007 income of $1.175m salary (oh, plus $1.55 bonus and a $3.6 long-term payout) making it hard to maintain his hobby of waxing down all of his Lexuses with fresh poodles. He's also a BMO director.
Brenneman also takes his family man position seriously, playing lots of cards with his kids while soaking his corns in champagne, in between trips to the bank. He had to skimp by on a mere $1.2m salary (and $1.5m bonus, ontop of a $3.2m long-term compensation package), and cancel his monthly caviar enemas. Yep, true family men who have the ear of our so-called leader. I wonder who they are supporting?
I'm sure Harper's 'quickly sketched on a napkin' policy prounouncement on gas prices will be a doozy that will have the energy producers' pre-approval. Because just like a lot of Harper's promises, it'll evaporate within 30 days.
Posted by rockfish at 11:54 PM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
It's the advice that Stephen Harper has obviously taken to heart.
He began his minority government with a broken promise, that bald fart who doesn't like democracy being hoisted into the senate to act like an untouchable minister. Then proceed to poach a former minister from the past government -- apparently it was a hat tip to Paul Martin, because doing what Harper whined so much about ala Belinda is the sincerest form of flattery that a CON can give.
Economics? Well, no one said he knew what to do with his degree. Canada's economy hitting the skid isn't all the fault of Harper's half-wit measures, but spending like a saucy Hilton wasn't what real conservatives had in mind.
Now, he's ending his gov't with a broken promise. Oh, it's only the fixed election law that likely won't tarnish his bogus image much -- on its own. People expect governments to fall. That apparently Harper's whole urgent drive to improve our democracy was only meant to impinge on Liberal governments.
And what else does chess-playing Harper know? Perhaps he knows what's in the pages of Coulliard's book, which is slated to hit the streets by coincident Oct. 14th. You know, the predicted day at the polls. It's also the day when Elections Canada is expected to deliver a bases-loaded double or a grand slam on the CONs' weasally suit. Of course, suing is also something Harper's very familiar with. His words of 'We made no promises or offers' to that CON candidate didn't stand up in court - the CONs folded like a tent but did get their silence. Stifling opposition questions on the inferred bribery comment that Harper said, caught on tape. Yep, you've got it, there is suppose to be some major answers or at least more questions due on that Cadman scandal due, oh, about Oct. 14th.
Maybe Harper knows something else.
But I know what I know, and Harper's a CON. And that's enough to have me energized.