Running on Empty

That could be an apt metaphor for McCain’s whole campaign to date.

It seems that singer-songwriter and “life long liberal” Jackson Browne is suing John McCain over the use of his hit Running on Empty in one of his many, many attack ads (aren’t they all?).

The suit claims a modest $75,000 in damages to Browne’s reputation by association with McCain. Heh. It’s also noted in the complaint that other musicians, including ABBA and John Cougar Mellencamp, have asked McCain to stop using their work.

In a terrific show of personal responsibility, McCain’s campaign team has disowned the ad, saying it wasn’t created by them. Robert Bennett, chairman of the Republican party in Ohio, where the ad was running before it was pulled, dismissed the lawsuit as a “big to-do about nothing.”

Orwell: Not Down & Out

I knew that the great writer was rolling in his grave of course, but I wasn’t aware that he was blogging.

From 9th August 2008, you will be able to gather your own impression of Orwell’s face from reading his most strongly individual piece of writing: his diaries. The Orwell Prize is delighted to announce that, to mark the 70th anniversary of the diaries, each diary entry will be published on this blog exactly seventy years after it was written, allowing you to follow Orwell’s recuperation in Morocco, his return to the UK, and his opinions on the descent of Europe into war in real time. The diaries end in 1942, three years into the conflict.

h/t: The Blog of Walker. Despite poking fun at it recently for the “infernal” artwork, it’s actually one of the better additions to “The Blogging Tories” as it turns out (if you can stand that awful, eye-straining white on black layout).

Winning Hearts & Minds on the Rock

Pictured: Rare photograph from 1867 of Confederation ceremonies in Ottawa.

During a funding announcement Thursday in Cupids, N.L., as part of his pre-election campaign swing through Atlantic Canada, Stephen Harper delivered this whopper:

“So when Newfoundland finally joined together with us in Confederation in 1867, we all say it was like a family reunion.”

He misspoke, of course. Still… as if Danny Williams needed any more fodder for his comedy stylings.

London-Centre Redux?

Pictured: Almost-all-candidates debate. (Kovach with protective headgear.)

Maybe there was some part of “all candidates meeting” that Conservative candidate Gloria Kovach didn’t understand.

As noted by Scott Tribe, this no-show and the lame excuses provided does seem a little reminiscent of the “peekaboo” campaign that the Conservative party hacks tried to pull off in London-Centre a while back. Although, unlike Dianne Haskett, I don’t believe that Kovach is a homophobic religious nutjob with strong ties to the Republican Party.

Tory Art Appreciation

Harper: “Look, kids make this stuff for free, so what’s the big deal?”

If it’s Friday, it must be time to kick the arts community in the nuts — again.

Without any pesky formal announcements, the Harper government has made it known that the Canadian Arts and Heritage Sustainability Program will be cut by half. The projects being axed provided financial and administrative support to arts organizations. Other cuts were made to the AV Presentation Trust and the training program of the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund.

Well, we couldn’t have that kind of frivolous nonsense going on when the government is once again running heavily in deficit, now could we?

Update: From Beijing York in the comments.

The Arts Stabilization Program was designed to encourage and reward fiscal management, basically an attempt to appease those voters who felt that arts organizations were fiscally irresponsible and not to be trusted with taxpayer funding. Ditto for the Capacity-building programs that encouraged a more commercial outlook (or “more bums in seats” as we used to say). Arts organizations had to focus on administration and marketing to get federal support as opposed to creative and innovative programming. These changes were introduced in the late 1990s as a method for restoring earlier Liberal funding cuts in a fiscally responsible way.

These are not arts welfare handouts as the Harpercons like to imply. If anything, it’s amazing that any thinking out of the box gets accomplished with the constraints imposed by the current programs about to be axed.

These cuts do not bode well for the Canada Council for the Arts. Add to that the recent appointment of investment banker Joseph Rotman as the Chair.

Ah, the irony of it all.

Beijing also provides some other clarifications and corrections to my original post regarding the affected programs.

Fighting Back!

The other day, when discussing Jerome Corsi’s new “piece of scholarship” attempting to swiftboat Barack Obama, one of the semi-regular, right-wing trolls here asked: “Why doesn’t the NYT just attack the facts of the book . . . typical lefty junk they attack the author, call him names . . . just like the ball-park in a pickup game with 8 year-olds.”

Ah yes, the “facts of the book”… like on p. 145, where Corsi says: “The year 1995 was a banner one for Obama. He had just married Michelle and the couple bought a Hyde Park condo, the first home Obama ever owned.” In reality however, Obama and Michelle Robinson were married in 1992 and they purchased a condo for $277,550 in 1993.

Or on p. 103 where Corsi says: “Senator Obama could claim to be a citizen of Kenya, as well as of the United States. Obama can trace his heritage back to his mother, who was born in the United States and was an American citizen when he was born, and to his father, who was born in Kenya and was a Kenyan citizen when Obama was born.” That might conceivably be true if it wasn’t impossible due to the fact that Kenya doesn’t allow dual citizenship applications for people over 21 years of age.

There’s plenty more where that came from in this 41 page investigative report (PDF format) called Unfit for Publication that not only illustrates that Corsi is incapable of even getting the most basic facts right, also lays waste to his desperate fabrications, distortions and baseless claims. As Rachel Maddow said the other night, the book “stretches the credulity of its classification as non-fiction.”

Just for fun, here’s Corsi from an interview with Western Standard magazine in 2006 about his nutty book Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil claiming there’s an unlimited supply of oil because it’s not a finite product of fossils and prehistoric forests, but rather, according to Corsi, the result of an ongoing biochemical reaction below the earth’s surface that’s brought to attainable depths by the centrifugal forces of the earth’s rotation.

“I remember driving with my dad in a 1952 Plymouth and listening to him talk about the end of oil. Hasn’t happened yet, and it’s not going to happen. I’m at the point where the dinosaur theory seems silly. You take a pile of cats and you bury them, dig them up 10 years later and you don’t get oil. The truth is that there is so much oil around the world that it’s been easy to find. We’re awash in oil. There’s more oil today in proven reserves than ever before in human history.”

As Paul Waldman asked the other day, why on earth would anyone listen to what this kook has to say about Barack Obama? Okay, he didn’t say “kook” — that’s just me playing pickup.

Update: Via Dr. Dawg, here’s a big surprise. Sometimes you can judge people by the company they keep, especially when they’re neo-Nazis, Klan associates and Holocaust deniers.

Profiles in %&#@ing Courage

Pictured: Emerson and B.C. Minister Colin Hasen in “The Impaler”

What kind of rueful nitwit would possibly take seriously the incredibly silly proposition made by the editors of the Edmonton Journal last Saturday who, by their own admission, were prematurely afflicted with a bout of “election fever” (don’t worry, it’s not catching) and so decided to waste our time completely by making the hopeless case that Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson should run for re-election in Edmonton?

Why “The Dumbest Blogger on the Planet®” of course!

My word, it must certainly take mountains of that “intellectual honesty” he’s always prattling on about to boldly tell the hypothetical candidate to “fuck off” four days after the Journal’s silly editorial and declare with terrific originality that, having “made his bed, now he’d fucking well better lay in it.” (Might have been funnier if he’d said “LIE in it” but, oh well.)

While Patsy was at First Bank of Hackneyed Clichés, here’s another withdrawal that he made: “Go back to Vancouver-Kingsway and take your fucking medicine like a good little boy,” he sternly says. Courageous stuff indeed! Funnily enough, this profanity laced twaddle seems to have mildly impressed our friend CC, but why that might be, I can’t possible imagine.

Look, the chances of Emerson running in Edmonton are precisely ZERO, and if I turn out to be wrong about that, I’ll eat Werner Patels’ bowler hat. No, as reported by Steven Chase at the Globe & Mail on Tuesday (a day before Patsy’s bold declaration), the Tories appear to be shopping around for a riding in B.C. that would be more welcoming to the Liberal turncoat than his present seat. Citing a “senior Tory” and “another Tory” (gotta love those reliable sources), Chase enumerates the possibilities for us that include a couple in Vancouver, as well as the not altogether improbable riding of Kamloops Thompson Cariboo (a relatively “safe” seat because of the dreaded Lib/NDP split).

Is it conceivable that Emerson might actually have the gumption to run again in Vancouver-Kingsway? Highly doubtful it seems to me, given his apparent diffidence about facing the rabble after having so flagrantly betrayed their trust immediately after the last election. But who knows… maybe he’s redeemed himself through his good works since then. Like the softwood lumber deal. Okay, forget that one, but he has been associated with a lot of infrastructure goodies in the region. Time will tell of course; until then, only the Tories’ internal polling knows for sure.