Once again, it was time for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s annual Teddy Waste Awards held in Ottawa this afternoon. Vancouver’s Olympic Village was “honoured” for ending up in debt in connection with the athletes’ village to the tune of $875,000, with other dubious prizes going to the auto industry, an employee spa day in Manitoba and federal arts spending on a giant inflatable banana.
CTF’s Kevin Gaudet talks to CTV’s Dan Matheson about the award.
By the way, if you’re curious about the “flying banana” (actually called a geostationary banana), you can go here to find out more. It’s kind of a neat project actually.
It’s beyond astounding that former press secretary Ari Fleischer could not only be indignantly offended at the suggestion that 9-11 happened on the watch of the Bush administration, but that he could then go on to deliver this steaming whopper: “After September 11th, having been hit once, how could we take a chance that Saddam might not strike again?” Absolutely un-fucking-believable.
A very illuminating interview for the hour. Well worth the time listening to what the embattled Treasury Secretary has to say. I don’t know why so many people are knocking him. He seems eminently sensible to me.
It seems Peter Pocklington was arrested today on bankruptcy fraud charges in California. The Alberta government has alleged in the past that the former Edmonton Oilers owner is a long-time con artist who owes $12-million to provincial taxpayers and millions more to U.S. creditors. When he filed bankruptcy last year, his net worth was declared as $2,900 with personal liabilities at $19.7 million. Nothing suspicious there…
I wonder if Jabba the Roy and other Bloggin’ Tories will start an “I support Peter Puck” campaign, seeing as they’re so fond of corporate criminals like “Lord” Conrad Black.
Seeing as there’s an election coming up shortly, the BC Liberals want folks to know that the premier isn’t just an arrogant, out-of-touch, dictatorial prick, as some seem to believe. Personally, I’m fairly agnostic about the man and have to admit that this spot is quite effective at humanizing him.
After watching yesterday’s mediocre speech from Stephen Harper that was intended to put a positive spin on the economy but ended up being, to paraphrase Scott Feschuk, a lovestruck crush on the Recession, it’s almost depressing to watch the new U.S. president deliver an address (in this instance dealing with the contentious issue of earmarks, both in the present spending bill now before Congress and on a going forward basis). I suppose it’s unfair to make such comparisons, but why should it be?
And the Wrong Way…
Adam Radwanski provided one of the best critical accounts of Harper’s speech. In case you haven’t read it, here’s a salient part that pinpoints one of the key flaws when it comes to our leader’s inability to control his partisan political impulses even in times of crisis:
…For 90 per cent of today’s speech, Harper managed to stick to the former. Then, out of nowhere, he proceeded to announce that he’s “been very frustrated with the opposition since the election,” took a trip down memory lane to attack the coalition and encouraged his audience to tell the dastardly Liberals that it’s time to “stop the political games.”
This was possibly the sincerest part of Harper’s speech; he absolutely loves this stuff. But it also undermined everything else he was trying to accomplish.
Set aside that his attacks weren’t all that grounded in reality (without the coalition, this vaunted economic plan would not have been produced), since every leader takes liberties in bashing his or her opponents. The real problem here is that when these broadsides land like a lead balloon at the end of his text, they serve to cast the entire thing in a different light.
Suddenly, it’s no longer about rallying Canadians around a common purpose; it’s about positioning himself against his opponents, about scoring points that nobody should be tallying right now.
As reported by the CP in the Globe and Mail yesterday, it seems that Warren Kinsella, “a private citizen who is a volunteer for the Liberal party and nothing more” (a risible description proffered by his legal team), has filed yet another high profile libel suit; this time, against the Tories for insinuating that he’s “unsavoury” and “dishonest” and, furthermore, a “disgraced Chrétien backroom organizer.” The story also mentions Kinsella’s allegation “that Tory MPs have abused their Parliamentary privilege by making ‘defamatory’ comments in the House of Commons, where they enjoy legal impunity for their remarks.”
Hmmm. While I suppose there’s some perverse enjoyment to be derived from seeing the Tories get a taste of their own medicine when it comes to filing nuisance lawsuits against their political enemies, it’s hard not to conclude that “two wrongs don’t make a right” and that “what goes around, comes around” — an expression that could perhaps be applied equally to each of the parties here. Too bad they can’t both come out of the affair as losers and be forced to pay for having wasted everyone’s time with their malicious, self-serving antics.
The latest salvo from Jon Stewart firing back at Jim Cramer; this time employing the assistance of Dora The Explorer to carefully explain the point of the original critique about the relentless and completely wrongheaded hyping of bogus stocks to retail investors at the height of the bubble.
Note: Chances are almost certain that the above video will be removed due to copyright violation, so catch it while you can. If it gets taken down, just go to Comedy Central (USA) or the Comedy Network (Canada) to view it.