Thursday, February 26, 2009

The price of the Liberal-Conservative "war" - $11.3-billion & ticking

PANJWAII DISTRICT, AFGHANISTAN
The direct cost of Canada's 10-year involvement in Afghanistan is estimated to be $11.3-billion, the federal government has quietly revealed.

It is the first complete fiscal accounting of the mission, which Prime Minister Stephen Harper last year suggested would run in the neighbourhood of $8-billion by the time the combat mission ends in 2011.

TIME TO RECAP THE REAL REASONS WE ARE IN AFGHANISTAN

REMEMBER, the real reason NATO invaded this country was to establish a secure route for a gas pipeline from the Caspian sea to seaports in India. Just like Iraq, all other reasons are pretexts and smokescreens. This is what is known an USA national interests.

WHO GOT US THERE

  • Liberals, followed by Conservatives who now form a Conservative-Liberal coalition Govt
WHAT WE COULD HAVE DONE OR COULD DO WITH ALL THAT MONEY
Imagine how much further ahead we'd be if we had put this money into reducing our dependence on imported energy. So, instead of, for example building a high speed rail link between Windsor and Quebec or retrofitting the country's old housing with better insulation or investing in Canadian built wind or solar power, for all that money we get nothing.
HOW DO WE LOWER THE DEFICIT?
  • Get out of Afghanistan
HOW DO WE GET THE MONEY TO INCREASE OUR SOCIAL SAFETY NET DURING THIS ECONOMIC DEPRESSION?
  • Get out of Afghanistan

HOW DO WE GET OUT OF THERE?

Simple - support & vote NDP - there is no alternative

War is costly, peace is priceless!

Bookmark and Share

Ignatieff - The New Tarsands baby & Warmongering Emperialist

Make no mistake, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is doing a complete makeover of the Liberal Party of Canada.

It's out with the Green Shift and in with Dirty oil.
Ignatieff is the oilsands very own new and improved spokes child ~ "Tar Baby."

It's in with extending "the war on terror" in Afghanistan and NOT out of Afghanistan in 2011.

It's well-known in wider intellectual circles that Ignatieff made two sharp breaks with the mainstream left,
first in Britain over Thatcherism and the miners’ strike, then in America over 9/11, Iraq and the war on terror.

In reference to Ignatieff's support of USA invasion of Iraq
His kind of liberalism looked compromised by his defence of torture, his talk of “lesser evils.” According to Judt, he was one of “Bush’s useful idiots.” The ideals that drove his writing from the early 1990s took a terrible beating.
Talking about compromises Ignatieff reveals his "warmongering American imperialism" and shift to "neocon lite".
But what happens when such ideals clash with the hard realities of politics, when you have to make decisions about Iraq or Afghanistan, or torture, which clash with your principles. “There are honourable compromises and there are dishonourable ones and you have to know the difference.” Pause. “There are some issues where no compromise is possible.” Such as? Afghanistan. We have to sustain and keep the mission there going. You do those things with the utmost seriousness. You owe your fellow-citizens the truth.”
Well not so truthful. Ignatieff has not come out and told Canadians the "new" Liberal Party of Canada "position" to extend the Canada's war effort in Afghanistan beyond 2011. He only whisper's those sweet meranderings quietly to others.

So let's recap, Ignatieff is for "dirty oil" and continued "empiral warmongering". Ignatieff split with left liberals a long time ago and was more comfortable and supportive of neoliberalism associated with "Thatcherism" and "Bushism".

No wonder the Liberals formed a coalition with the Conservatives - under Iggy remaking the Liberal Party of Canada into "liberalism" he is at more in home with" as their "new saviour" is on the RIGHT SHIFT & NEOCON LITE.


Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Liberals Mel culpa in the National Post

Poor old John McCallum who is finance critic for the Liberal Party of Canada and the official opposition who are propping up the Harper government wrote a Mel culpa in the National Post today. As we all well know, the Liberal Party of Canada has completely caved into Harper and the Conservatives, after months of Ignatieff's high-fullutin' rhetoric about
"helping Canadians", about "pay equity for women" and about "the green economy", after all the drama of the past couple of months, all Ignatieff wanted was three reports. His kingdom for three reports.
Meanwhile, John McCallum stays "silent" and on the "mute button" in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as they DON'T debate the budget bill, C-10, as they abandon social and union rights.
So McCallum offers the Liberal's Mel culpa in why they "swallowed easily" those "poison pills", where only a short while ago they were "talking tough."

McCallum, in "talking tough" Liberal rhetoric mode he writes,
Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals will be watching like hawks to see whether this Conservative government delivers. The quarterly updates which we have forced the government to produce will provide Canadians with transparency (except that those reports are already mandatory so who are the Liberals kidding - Canadians?).

Well, Stickings in the Guardian rips off the liberal's "fig leaf" of "do nothing" but "talk tough"
The key issue in Canada remains the economy, but where is Ignatieff on the economy? It was reported before the budget was tabled that he was "developing his own alternative stimulus plan for the Canadian economy with a close circle of advisers," but there weren't any specifics. "I think what Canadians want us to do is to have a budget at the end of January that protects the most vulnerable in our society," he said, which is all well and good, but high-falutin' rhetoric and the request for three reports just don't cut it. When presented with the opportunity to take a stand and help Canada's "most vulnerable", he backed down and cowered behind his political calculations and personal aspirations. He doesn't even seem to grasp the historic nature of the economic crisis, which he has called "once-in-a-generation". It is likely going to turn out to be far worse than that.
Ouch!

So after McCallum listed all the flaws in the budget the liberals are "silently" supporting and accused the Conservatives of "no vision", we see that Liberals also have "no vision" and provided "empty promises" - again. Their "big stick" is a joke.

Thank goodness the NDP and Mulcair are standing up - again - for the "most vulnerable Canadians," "women's rights," "the environment", and "social and union rights."

Liberals have no shame.

How about growing a spin, as talk is cheap in the National Post - and laughable!

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Liberal - Tory same old story

David Akin's On the Hill says that NDP rascal Mulcair is raising a ruckus in the finance Committee on parliament hill.

Mulcair is doing everything he can to goad the Liberals into doing something -- anything! -- to vote for his party's amendments and against the Conservatives.

Heavan forbid, he called all the Ontario MPs on this committee

"spineless, unprincipled MPs"

Here's NDP Mulcair's checklist:

* " it's scandalous that the Liberals are supporting the Conservatives by taking away women's rights ..."

* "The Liberal Party of Canada has completely caved."

* Liberals -- who, last December, were set to join the NDP in a coalition government that would have replaced the governing Conservatives -- of backing the Conservatives once the Conservatives abandoned plans to cut federal funding of political parties, a move that would have disproportinately hurt the Liberals because that party's difficulty raising money. "Now that they've gotten what they want for their own purposes, they're abandoning women, they're abandoning the environment, and they're abandoning social and union rights." SHAME!!!

* Ridiculed the use by MPs of funding "shovel-ready" projects. "None of these guys has ever even held a shovel!"

* Accused the Tories of playing a "shell game" with the budget because much of the federal spending will only happen if other levels of government chip in. He said that, for that reason, the budget is "an intellectual fraud."

* Argued that Infrastructure Minister John Baird is such a partisan that he will only direct infrastructure funding to those ridings that elected Conservative MPs.

Well ain't that the truth!

Once again, Liberals and Tories in lockstep - SILENT - no degree of separation - priceless!

The Liberals have gone back to being cowards as they were under Dion. What did one expect - for them to get off their hind legs? Forget it, they got their 3 pieces of gold. Harper is their homeboy!

So to wrap-up - liberals supported the budget, they voted for, they own it!

Bookmark and Share

Obama - Stiffen your Spine

Linda McQuaig - again - writes a great opinion piece ~ President needs to stiffen spine ~ in the Torstar. McQuaig throws in some "words of wisdom" for Obama to contemplate and for progressives to cultivate.

POPULIST MESSAGE
He's talked of "spreading the wealth," about reviving worker and labour rights and about a "common good."
OFFERED CHANGE
[scrap] "virulent form of capitalism, in which powerful corporate and financial interests have shaped public policy to their own advantage."
SIGN OF HOPE FOR THE MANY & NOT JUST THE FEW
Support for deeper Canada-U.S. integration – [IS] the agenda of the our financial elite. ... Obama's message is the first sign of a possible breakthrough in dealing with the world's two foremost crises, the global economic meltdown and climate change, both products of the unregulated capitalism of recent years.
IT'S NOT ABOUT NAFTA

No matter how much MSM corporate media or Canadian neoliberal and neoconservative politicos (and yes, I'm talking about Harper & crew, and Iggy & crew) try to whip up fears Obama wants to reopen the deal, suggesting this could damage Canada-U.S. trade, it's a "cover up."
But NAFTA isn't just about trade. It's about enhancing corporate rights, often at the expense of workers and communities, which is why it's always been more precious to corporate interests than to the public.
Obama has talked about strengthening labour and environmental protections in NAFTA and even ending the right of foreign companies to sue governments for taking regulatory actions that protect citizens but interfere with corporate profits in the process. (That's the section of NAFTA that has allowed Dow Chemical to challenge a Quebec law banning the pesticide 2-4D.) Why wouldn't we want to revisit all this?
ALL IT TAKES IS COURAGE (my friend)

But can Obama deliver?

Certainly he's got to shed some of his illusions about the possibility of winning over enemies -
He can't satisfy the masses who love him and also satisfy the people responsible for the disastrous agenda of the last 25 years.
NEOLIBERALISM IS A BUST DON'T YOU KNOW

*Side note - just ask former proud & progressive ONDP PREMIER Bob Rae - learn from history and not repeat it - Bob too, tried to curry favour and love from bankers & the corporate sector.
*Get over it - they are not into "sharing the wealth", there is no "third way" - it's"no way", it's a "deadend"! Just ask Tony Blair, Tony who????

LISTEN UP & STAND UP

*Channeling Franklin Roosevelt
"the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking ... Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me – and I welcome their hatred."
*Channeling Tommy Douglas
Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world.

It only takes political will and the courage to do it. Yes we can!

Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rubber stampers needed - post haste

Flaherty is doing a big shout out to pass the Conservative/Liberal stimulus budget quickly. No need for second look-sees or sober second thought - only nodders and bobbers need apply!

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty called on legislators to pass his budget without delay, saying a partisan fight amid a global recession would be “reckless.”

You can read the rest here.

Yes it would be reckless to DELAY govt business to save your sorry butt for 6 weeks and than cry "crisis" - everything must be passed, all of it (including our partisan parts cause we need to throw women under the bridge to save the men folk during these "troubled times."

Maybe the libs will speak up for the women and worker rights. well, we can only hope that they move beyond mere lip service and stand up for something "progressive". Don't hold your breath, though, they already did the bob and weave.

P.S. Flaherty calling Iggy - we need you now post-haste.


Bookmark and Share

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Iggy for more Canadian War in Afghanistan

Iggy gets 30 minutes claim to fame with Obama but more importantly he's willing to sellout Canada's pullout in Afghanistan:

The Liberal leader hinted that his party may not insist that Canada honour its pledge to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 2011.

He said a 2011 withdrawal is his party's "current" position but said if Obama convinced Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stay longer, he would cross that bridge when it happens.


So let me get this straight: The liberal's position on Afghanistan is negotiable and he's willing to do another hand shake with Harper - priceless!

So we can take "honour" off the list of attributable traits associated with "imperial lite" Iggy.

Interestingly enough I saw Iggy on TV earlier, where he stated then that Canadians would leave in 2011 from direct combat but could be helpful in reconstruction and diplomacy. That was to the Canadian public. But in a private tat-to-tat with Obama, he gives him the real "LIBERAL POSITION."

Reminds me of the NAFTA liberal position. No we will rewrite and won't sign, but elected, quickly signed on the dotted line. Or what about that GST. Ditto

Iggy is more interested in currying favour with the new American President than crafting a independent Canadian sovereign position. Your in Canada now, don't you know Iggy.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cons doin the Con - Selling off our Canadian Jewels

This is so neoconish and down right wrong that I can't help but say - get rid of these losers now!
Major Canadian government assets could be sold - well not on this Canadian's watch. What was laughable was this line:
The budget states that Finance officials could conclude that "selling an asset to a private-sector entity may generate more economic activity and deliver greater value to taxpayers."
Deliver greater value to taxpayers? Oh, which ones?

Like a bad dream of the "Dark Years" with the Conservative Government of Premier Harris (and company) in Ontario, where everything private was better. Yeap, good old Jim Flaherty was the Finance Minister of Ontario. It was the same kind of thinking.

The one I liked the best was when he contracted out welfare types services with a new software system, and guess what, the cost started to balloon, and it never did what it was suppose. What taxpayer gained - the private corporation.

Anyway, get these losers out of the driver seat before they sell the "most money making assets" to their buddies for sweet-heart deals.

Harper and cons got to go - unless the liberals think selling off our Canadian Jewels is fine with them, and is another thing they are willing to sellout for.


Bookmark and Share

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chavez wins Referendum - another victory for democracy in Venezuela

Chavez wins referendum with 54% of the vote.
President Hugo Chavez has a won a referendum to eliminate term limits, allowing him to run for president again in 2012.

"Today we opened wide the gates of the future. Venezuela will not return to its past of indignity," Chavez proclaimed.

Chavez, who has already been in power since 1998, has argued the move would allow him to advance his socialist ideals in the country.

He claims that he needs at least another decade to finalize Venezuela's transition to socialism.
Read rest of article here.

Another victory for democracy in Venezuela

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Some paybacks are worth it: Libercon family time

H/T to My Blahg for reminding us during these hard economic times that the importance of family matters. Well some family.

Letting bygones be bygones and where silence can be so golden, now that the Conservatives have dropped the lawsuit against their new coalition partners.
In Iggy's coup to save Harper and install himself as Harper's "flawed conscience", the least he could expect for supporting the budget (and being Harper's backup party), is getting something out of this, so....

Said elsewhere, "the Liberals sold out cheap again. That lawsuit was a pretty sure loser, so Harper would have dropped it anyway."

But then Iggy has backed Harper before, so family ties are important to both of them.

LESS WE FORGET

"After all, Ignatieff earned Harper's respect, especially when Ignatieff emerged as one of the few Liberals who supported the continuation of Canada's military presence in Afghanistan. In May 2006, Ignatieff persuaded 23 other Liberals to join him in voting with the Conservatives to extend the mission in Afghanistan to February 2009 (which has since been extended to July 2011). After the vote, Harper crossed the floor of the House of Commons to shake Ignatieff's hand. Ignatieff probably saved the Conservative government from falling that day" TOO!
It's the tragedy of the Commons where certain handshakes and gentlemanly agreements are more valued and promising, unless its that kindred spirit thingy

WHERE CERTAIN
Birds of a feather flock together
(and integrity matters)

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bobby Rae - you are voting for it so you eat it!

Dear Bobby Rae,

I think it is quite clever of you to welcome "Harper Holidays" to the deficit club of "Rae Days". Whitty and funny and at your best!
You forgot to mention a few things in your piece now that you are a big time liberal, so I thought

I'd help you out in your "forgetfulness."

  • The previous LIBERAL GOVERNMENT LEFT YOU A DEFICIT TURD BUT TOLD EVERYONE THERE WAS A SURPLUS during that 1990 election campaign - kinda of reminds me of the Harper Tory's in the last election saying all was ticky-boo. Harper Cons lied and so did the Peterson Liberals.
  • You were not elected as an autocratic leader and last time I checked it was an NDP government in power in 1990, so all that "I" stuff in your article is egotistical. Your baggage is the NDP's baggage and if you want out of the penalty box, and think you deserve it, so does the NDP.
  • Going back in time, thank goodness it was an NDP government in power and not another big business party like the liberals or conservatives. Why pray tell. Well NDP govts place people and communities first, and stick by their socially progressive principles. They don't sellout! You and the Ontario NDP did that, except for that social contract mis-step. If you had left things alone, let the public sector unions work it out, they would have done so. Now you are selling out workers again!
  • Also, the last time I checked Pierre Trudeau, a liberal leader was not anywhere near power when both the Liberals and Conservatives were hanging the NDP with the baggage. He left in 1984. It was your good liberal friend and Liberal opposition leader Chretien who gave you the baggage. He's your buddy now!
  • Today, you and your new liberal party will vote in support for a Conservative federal budget that will, for example, “attacks the right of women to have pay equity.” That's not funny, and I'm so surprised you didn't mention that you as a Liberal are willing to sell women out.
  • As for those docks, and sods. Well if you actually checked the fine print, what someone actually gets back in income tax is not worth a chunk of sod. Of course you and your wife will be able to afford it - the working class who is the base of your previous party, who you again are selling out, will not see the liberals as all shiny and new. Just the same old! So forget about that bright red trophy coming your way.
When I was a kid we had a saying: You wear it, you eat it, you own it.

After you vote for Harper's budget, Harper will now be your homeboy. You had a choice, Sir!
Too bad, I almost was liking you again. But when you sell out your potential base of support - AGAIN - well forget it. Twice bitten, twice shy.
Get over it - no whining. It's now the libercon coalition in all but name, and all the baggage it carries. You wear it well.

Warmest regards, Janfromthebruce, a proud New Democrat

Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 02, 2009

Iggy doin' the Dion redux

Flanagan writing on, what DAN LEGER calls the Tory-Liberal coalition in all but name, gives his analysis:
Michael Ignatieff, a prize-winning novelist, scripted an exit from the coalition designed to make the Liberal Leader look powerful. But in fact, his position is relatively weak.
WHY, PRAY TELL:
In the end, he had to imitate St├ęphane Dion - denounce the Conservatives' budget but let it pass - and, like Mr. Dion, he may have to do it again and again. Stephen Harper, having gotten his budget through, can be sure of getting an election from the Governor-General if he wants one, so he can afford to attach confidence to important pieces of legislation without worrying that a defeat will put the opposition in power without an election. Mr. Ignatieff can try to look imperious, but he can't escape the objective weakness of his party.
So Iggy and the Liberals will be "doin' the Dion." 'Nuff said . There will be no whining from the Libs and their supporters will now have to stand by their man Harper! Ruff.

Flannagan provides some ideas for Harper:
As he sees, Harper has to shore up his base. So.....
He could start, for example, with the criminal-justice measures from the party's platform in the 2008 election. Why not make these a matter of confidence and run them straight at the Liberals? Will Mr. Ignatieff force an election on behalf of criminals? I don't think so.
Meanwhile, Hill Times says PM Harper's Conservatives agree: it's an election budget.
"The focus of this budget is not on setting Canada on the road to recovery. Rather, the principal goal appears to be ensuring a Conservative victory at the next election," wrote National Post columnist John Ivison in his column last week....
NO SURPRISE THERE:
The Pundit tells us that "Conservatives raise[d] a record $21.2 million in 2008." The Conservatives beat there personal best, but this little gem was also revealed:
The NDP also scored a personal best of $5.5M just behind the Liberals, who at $5.9M managed to improve on their 2007 performance of $4.5M, but were still down from their 2006 showing of $9-9.8M (see below for some notes on the data).
No small accomplishment for the 4th placed party who also, the pundit reminded us, showed
The New Democratic Party obtained 37 seats + 67 second-place finishes in the 308 ridings it contested (its largest share of seats-plus-seconds in this database). Its candidates obtained the 10% or better vote share required to become eligible for election expense rebates in 244/308 ridings. Nationally its percentage of the vote increased by 0.7%, and its share of the vote increased in more ridings than it declined (176 vs. 132).
Make no mistake, the NDP might have missed its goal of overcoming its party standing, but through funds raised and actual votes, the NDP solidified its supporter base for the progressive NDP brand.

So Harper has the bucks for the next election, and he see's this as an election budget. The NDP has the bucks, but the Liberals, not so much, according to speculation by the pundit and articles like this.
The last thing Harper wants is a Liberal-NDP coalition coming to power and getting the "media" and gaining "brand recognition" and thus support. By Iggy and libs supporting Harper and the cons "election budget", Iggy has ensured the GG will call an election over a defeat in the House of a confidence matter - exactly the position Harper wants. Way to go libs!

So the Harperites goal is to sink the liberal party's ability to "raise money" and cut off their tap to money. I wonder how he could strategically do that.
Maybe that hidden strategy is in this political tidbit. Flanagan suggests

NDP Leader Jack Layton has interesting choices to make. He lost a lot when the coalition broke up, but he gained new room to manoeuvre. With Mr. Ignatieff repositioning the Liberals closer to the centre, the NDP can renew its play for left-wing voters who balance between the two parties. In fact, the party has done just that by starting a radio ad campaign attacking Mr. Ignatieff for "propping up Stephen Harper."

Beyond attacking the Liberals' left flank, Mr. Layton may reconsider his pout against Stephen Harper (as Palmerston said, "no perpetual enemies"). As the leader of a party standing at 14 per cent in the polls (well some), Mr. Layton can't realistically refuse to deal with the leaders of both major parties. It would be in his interest to look for points of agreement with Mr. Harper to achieve some legislative victories, thus strengthening his new claim to be the "NDP Opposition."

Hmm, I wonder what points of agreement there could be. Oh well, I will let us all ponder with $$$ dancing in our heads.

MEANWHILE

I'm sure Mercer will come out with Liberals abstain - redux - YOU KNOW, doin' the Dion. And the beat goes on.

Bookmark and Share