Monday, November 1, 2010

Loads of Links

You can certainly make the argument that Canada's Conservative Party more closely resembles the American Republican Party now more than at any time in the recent past. Tea Party North is not hyperbole considering the policies and kinds of spending the Harper government advocates. i.e. $10-$13 billion for more prisons when the crime rate is going down, more on the military even though there is no urgent need. In fact the planned spending of $16 billion on the F-35's is so indefensible that the Tories come up with the most ridiculous reasons imaginable. And they say things that don't even rise to the level of a schoolyard taunt, like for example this gem from Dmitri Soudas, the Prime Minister’s director of communications: “Michael Ignatieff's Liberals and their coalition partners would rather use kites to defend Canada than fighter jets”

 The press, sadly, never feels it's their business to call the Conservatives out on their demagoguery even when they're being absurd and saying moronic things about kites. As for the opposition, they never call out the Tories on these issues in a loud enough manner to make the majority of Canadians sit up and pay attention. That's not the fault of our press.

There's a new job posting for the independent role of Canada's Auditor General and the Tories say they are looking for a "team player." This Freudian slip says all you need to know despite protestations to the contrary.

The shameful railroading of Omar Khadr is all over now (even the Globe and Mail editorial board calls it a wrongful prosecution) and after one more year in Guantanamo in what will essentially be solitary confinement he will be repatriated to Canada.

When you read that during the Gulf oil spill the federal government didn't want anyone to talk about what happens if there was an oil spill off the coast of Newfoundland, it's hard to figure out if it's because they're stupid or if it's because they're in the pockets of big oil -- either way, it's not a pretty picture. Apparently there's a government document that says, it would be “risky” to discuss the scenario. The document also describes the potential fallout from a large oil spill off Newfoundland's  east coast which includes damage to the fishing industry and the deaths of many sea birds. Discussing this would be risky to whom? To the oil and gas giants that want unfettered access to our off-shore oil resources? It seems like not discussing it is the equivalent of burying our heads in the sand.

Go read this report that about the upcoming budget and the committee hearings taking place amidst what is described as a "bleak mood," as no one expects the government to do anything but slash and burn in an attempt to shore up their so-called fiscal conservative creds. Thomas Mulcair (NDP, Outremont QC) describes it rather starkly:
"They're going to start attacking government programs, government spending and government jobs. Because they don't care for the details of governance, they're going to do it as they do everything else, they're going to do it across the board, and they're going to do it blindly," he said. "You send in somebody like [Treasury Board President] Stockwell Day to cut in government. He's not going to be doing it with a scalpel, he's doing it with a rusty machete and that's ... the theme I think of the next budget."
On the same page is a note that says last year MPs spent $142.6-million on office budgets. That's almost half a million dollars on average per MP. Is it just me, or are they high?

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