Another Ho-Hum Poll

To be taken, as always, with more than a grain of salt:

The Canadian Press, Harris-Decima survey suggests the Liberals have pulled ahead in support in Ontario and Quebec, crucial battlegrounds that will determine the outcome of a nationwide vote.

Nationally, Liberal support was up slightly to 33 per cent, statistically tied with the Tories at 32 per cent and followed by the NDP at 15 per cent and the Greens at six per cent.

In Quebec, the Liberals were statistically tied with the Bloc Quebecois, at 30 per cent and 29 per cent respectively, followed by the Tories at 24 per cent, the Greens at eight per cent and the NDP at six per cent.

In Ontario, the Liberals enjoyed a healthy lead with 40 per cent, compared to the Tories with 31 per cent and the NDP and Greens with 14 per cent each.

I have to confess that the results surprise me a little. I would have expected support for the Liberals to have decayed over the survey period for various reasons. And yet, according to Sue Bailey of the Communist Press: “The Liberal brand has begun to recover as the sponsorship scandal dissipates and leader Stephane Dion proposes a bold and high-risk carbon-tax strategy.” Go figure. All that money spent on “tax trick” negative advertising seems to have had little impact on the public — so far, at least.

Who You Gonna Believe?

The guy who lied about the weapons of mass destruction, or, um, the other guy who lied about the WMDs? Wild speculation from “America’s Election HQ”…

First, we have Kristol:

“[Powell] may well give a speech at the Democratic convention explaining his endorsement of Obama,” Kristol m a FOX News contributor, said, citing inside sources.
“This is not an absolute done deal, but these people are very confident that Powell will endorse Obama,” Kristol said, adding that he thinks Powell, a Republican, still has “a high respect” for John McCain, Obama’s Republican rival.

And then, in the same article, we have Powell’s spokeswoman Peggy Cifrino:

“There’s absolutely no truth to it whatsoever,” Cifrino told “Colin Powell will not be at either convention. There’s absolutely no truth to this.”

Roll Call executive editor Mort Kondracke, also a FOX News contributor, said he personally has spoken with Powell, who denied the report and said he has made no endorsement decisions, according to Kondracke.

Given Kristol’s track-record of being dead wrong about absolutely everything, he’s not exactly a reliable source of information, although it does seem a little odd that he’d be peddling this story with such a strong degree of certainty if there was more than a little doubt about it. Time will tell, I guess.

From Words to Deeds

It was hard not to chuckle a bit this morning watching Georgia’s straight talking president Mikheil Saakashvili on live TV calling his close friend Sen. John McCain’s rhetorical bluffing:

“Yesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, ‘We are all Georgians now,’” Saakashvili said on CNN’s American Morning. “Well, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, it’s time to pass from this. From words to deeds.”

Whatever you might think about Saakashvili or which side of the blame game you happen to be on, he’s right about one thing: mere expressions of support ring fairly hollow and aren’t going to “end the barbarism,” as French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner put it.

Let’s just hope that the “deeds” he has in mind don’t include the suggestion by some of the more bellicose wingnuts like Bill Kristol or Max Boot who wants to escalate the conflict by arming the Georgians with Stinger and Javelin missiles.

Oh yeah, that would be a splendid idea. But heck, why stop there? Send them some F16s, B2 bombers, then load them up with Aegis missile cruisers and LA class attack subs while you’re at it…

Factor Fiction

Methinks thou doth know much of this sordid business, Bill.

O’Reilly is really one of the last people who should be getting on his high horse about the John Edwards affair. Talk about a stunning lack of self-awareness.

Camp In-And-Out

Aside from several witnesses being instructed by backroom Conservative political operatives not to show up, what struck me as particularly significant from yesterday’s fiasco was this passage from one that did:

David Marler, an unsuccessful Tory candidate in the riding of Brome- Missisquoi, told the committee he refused $30,000 from the national campaign when Quebec Tory officials refused to explain what it was for, only “that I had no reason to be worried.”

“You don’t let people put money into your account and then take it out again, whoever they are, without knowing what the purpose was and that was my problem,” said, Marler. He added that when he pressed party officials to say what the money was for, he was told it was none of his business.

That speaks volumes for the level of disrespect the Conservative Party not only has for parliament, but for its own candidates.

Kady O’Malley documents the farcical atrocities, live from the Hill.

Let the Whines Begin!

There was already a fair bit of derogatory sneering amongst “conservative” bloggers about the Olympics in general and our country’s “embarrassingly wasteful” team in particular, but those feelings are sure to turn into outright hostility following this story in today’s Globe & Mail about Canadian athletes blaming their lack of success at the games on government funding that “lags behind that of China, Russia and other modern countries.”

Doubtless, the assorted cranks and molemen of “The Blogging Tories” will soon be clambering out of their burrows to rail at what’s likely to be perceived as the ungrateful impertinence of our Olympic athletes. Oh look, there’s one now!

Do you really want to steal money from people and give it to some guy so he could learn how to run faster? Does a physiological freak (which is what most athletes are if you think about it) really more deserving of your hard earned money?

Toss another group of people that aren’t “ordinary” or “hardworking” Canadians onto the Conservatives’ free market Bonfire of the Vanities, I guess.

Harper on the Georgia-Russia Crisis

Perhaps I missed the statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the Georgia-Russia crisis… Didn’t he take a break from his pre-election campaigning to declare, “Today, we are all ethnically Georgian South Ossetians” or something like that?

Cultural Imperialism?

Trust the comedians over at what’s left of The Western Standard, to crack wise about the Conservatives’ arts funding cuts. According to the ersatz magazine’s current proprietor, Matthew Johnston, it’s a good thing that the government has abandoned the “White Man’s Burden” and has ceased funding “cultural imperialism” around the world when they “scraped [sic] almost $15 million in funding” for the TradeRoutes and PromArt programs.

I’m assuming that this is satire, but one can never be entirely sure with folks that used to extol the glories of an unfettered free market while greasing the wheels of their own floundering operation with government subsidies through the Publications Assistance Program (they did however complain bitterly about having to make that fact public, something they called “offensive”). But never mind that; just for the sake of argument, let’s take Johnson at face value.

Does his contention that we should let “cultural ideas and products flow freely in an open market without the interference of government” in order that the “best ideas win” make the least bit of sense with respect to a regime like Cuba? I mean, it’s hardly like there’s an “open market” of ideas in that country, so this is just complete nonsense. Wouldn’t you think he’d actually be quite pleased that our government was helping in a small way to facilitate the “creatively subversive” efforts of our embassy in Havana by “bringing in experts to talk to groups of influential Cubans about how things work in free societies”?

I find the incoherency of wingnuts highly puzzling at the best of times and even more so when they’re trying to be funny.