Starting here in Quebec where the Bloc continue to lead in the polls but surprisingly Jack Layton’s NDP are now tied with the Liberals in second place at 21 percent, maintaining their record level of support for a second consecutive month.
Proof that the EKOS pollsters favour the Conservatives, EKOS pollster Frank Graves, declares Stephen Harper’s performance at the Conservative caucus Christmas party this week may just provide a needed bounce for the Tories as they go into the new year. Really? Have a look for yourself -- the preening pretentiousness should make a normal person gag but then I actually like music.
Oh, those polls? Right where they've been for two years and counting: Conservatives at 33.7 per cent, 29.2 per cent for Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals. Jack Layton and his New Democrats at 14.4 per cent support; the Green Party at 10.4 per cent and the Bloc Québécois is at 9.8 per cent. Plus ca change...
Australia is at odds with its major security ally the United States over Iran, saying it is not a "rogue state" and its nuclear weapons program is for deterrence, not attack, according to U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks. The Americans are still having conniptions over this and looking at the World War I-era Espionage Act as a way of prosecuting Mr. Assange. For the most complete coverage of what's in the WikiLeaks cables, go here to the Guardian's page for all things Wiki.
The President's Compromise
I am not an economist, nor do I play one at this blog or on my radio show. Economics has been called one of the black arts, an inexact science and voodoo and all descriptions seem appropriate. So with that in mind I will say I do not like the deal Obama has struck with the republicans mostly because I do not trust republicans as they have proven themselves time and again to be the agents of the wealthy and corporate classes whose sole purpose these past two years has been to see Obama fail even at the expense of the American economy.
Still, there are divergent views on the deal he has struck, beginning with Robert Reich's, the former secretary of Labour in the Clinton administration who believes this is not a good deal nor does it do anything to restore upward mobility for Americans. Howard Dean calls it a short term fix filled with easy promises. Charles Krauthammer and Joe Romm (an unlikely duo if ever there was one) think that Obama snookered the GOP and got himself a second round of stimulus spending that he otherwise could never have gotten given the current dynamics in Washington as well as renewable energy incentives. Judge for yourself but remember that there is talk of more draconian budget cuts to follow and they will likely kill any stimulative effect this bill will have. And not to pile on here but former Reagan budget director David Stockman believes this bill wiill bankrupt America and that the focus should be on creating more of what he calls "breadwinning" jobs.
Fox News Getting Its Hate On Every Day
One of fox news' regular scumbags Neil Cavuto does what he can to denigrate Bernie Sanders eight and one half hour speech against the tax cut deal by saying that if Bernie really wants to filibuster this bill then he's going to need diapers. Nice. As always the fox news people get it wrong. Is it possible that they don't know how the modern Senate works? You betcha'!
The German mainstream magazine Der Spiegel calls Glenn Beck an "agitator" and says that people like Glenn Beck are "nationalist, racist and proto-fascist. They take advantage of the economic situation, almost the way the right wing intelligentsia did back in the Weimar Republic." The article's subject is not Glenn Beck but rather a superpower in decline and asks the question, "Is the American dream over?" Go read the whole thing for yourself.
As for Glenn, he gets paid $33 million dollars a year to spew his hatred to 11 million listeners and promote the new corporate idea of what the American dream is all about -- it's one where 59 million people have no access to medical coverage, 132 million don't have dental coverage, 60 million have no paid sick leave and 40 million are on food stamps.
Here's Fareed Zakaria destroying Beck's hate-filled assertion that one out of every ten Muslims is a terrorist: