Ready, Aim, Backfire!

Earlier in the week, a gaggle of outraged “conservative Christians” signed the letter of complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council, the body responsible for overseeing the conduct of federally appointed judges, demanding that Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin be removed from her post for her role in awarding the Order of Canada to Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

One slight problem. Justice McLachlin purposely didn’t cast a vote at the committee meeting where his name was proposed as a recipient. In fact, McLaclin’s policy isn’t to vote at all for or against a particular name if she can possibly avoid doing so. She’s reputed to have once done so to break a tie, but doesn’t have any recollection of it.

One wonders why these over-zealous buffoons didn’t check to verify this before launching their effort to impeach the Chief Justice, rather than simply assuming what they believed to be true. Oops. I think I just answered my own question.

The Saddleback “Faith Down”

Gosh, I’m all-a-tingle at the prospect of Barack Obama and John McCain sharing a stage later this afternoon with evangelical Pastor Rick Warren at the Saddleback mega-church in Orange County, California. Who can pander to superstitious ignorance and look the most sincere and heartfelt doing it?

The folks at Little Green Footballs (who are liveblogging and “comment swarming” the event) have tossed out a delicious teaser, wondering whether Warren, who’s church promotes “hard core creationism” will raise the topic of evolution. Given it’s understood that, unlike Warren and his followers, neither candidate subscribes to the crackpot notion that the earth was literally created in seven days and that dinosaurs and humans co-existed, it would certainly be most interesting to see how that particular issue might be handled. Oh, and their thoughts about adultery would be a fun subject too!

Obama to Clark: Don’t Report for Duty

Steve Clemons at The Washington Note confirms that Gen. Wesley Clark has been told by the Obama campaign team that there’s “no reason to come” to the upcoming Democratic convention.

As Clemons points out, this is fairly wounding considering that the “theme” of Wednesday’s convention agenda is “Securing America” which also happens to the very same name as Clark’s political action committee. It should also be noted that WesPAC’s primary goal is to “Elect Democrats to the White House…”

Although he’s very popular with the party’s netroots, Clark isn’t universally loved by veterans, some of whom regard him as a “perfumed prince” and self-aggrandizing media hound. More to the point, he made the fatal mistake recently of pointing out the obvious: getting “shot down in plane” doesn’t automatically qualify you to be president of the United States — a statement that infuriated many veterans and right-wingers who seem to feel otherwise.

Paging McDonald’s

According to various reports, here’s the pre-competition routine of Jamaican Usain “Lightning” Bolt, the record-breaking winner of the 100 meters at the Olympics: “Woke up at 11. Had some lunch — some nuggets. Watched some more TV. Went to my room, slept for three hours. Went back, got some more nuggets, then came to the track.”

Can an endorsement deal be far behind?

Good thing for the loony “Christian news” website OneNewsNow that American sprinter Tyson Gay didn’t qualify for the 100 meters. Considering the name of one of the other runners in the race, Bronze medal winner Walter Dix, their amazingly dumb “autoreplace” feature might have gone berserk.

“Personal & Professional Reasons”

So ends the political and professional career of one-time Liberal candidate Garret Oledzki. At least for a while.

Well, now we know why there was so much “mystery” surrounding the oddly “frigid” announcement the other week that he wouldn’t be running in the Saskatchewan riding of Palliser. What a dumbass.

Although I certainly wouldn’t expect any of the “Blogging Tories” who confidently asserted that Oledzki’s resignation was due to the “Green Shaft” (as these jokers like to call it) to admit they were barking up the wrong tree, I’d hope they won’t be too utterly predictable and might spare us the pious sanctimony of suggesting that this fellow’s unethical behaviour is somehow uniquely endemic to Liberals.

You’re Welcome

Heh. That Garth — what a scoundrel.

If he’d asked me, I would have given him a better version. Silly man.

Update: Instead, he’s now changed the picture to something completely different. Can you say “douche”? I know you can…

Surprise, Surprise!

We had it all wrong!
Harper government the new Medici compared to past Liberals.

In an effort to push-back against a negative public reaction to recent cuts arts program cuts, it’s now revealed by the National Post that the “conservative” Harper government has in fact actually been a rather surprisingly generous patron of the arts.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for example, will receive $1.1 billion from the Tories this year, an increase of $133 million or 13.5 per cent compared to the last year under the Liberals.

Other agencies include:

• The Department of Canadian Heritage will spend $1.4 billion this year, up $273 million or 24.4 per cent compared to 2006.

• The Canada Council for the Arts will spend $181 million this year, up $30.3 million or 20.2 per cent.

• The National Arts Centre Corporation will spend nearly $50 million this year, up $18.3 million or nearly 60 per cent compared to the Liberals.

• The National Gallery of Canada will spend $53.3 million, up $8.8 million or nearly 20 per cent.

Despite various indications from the PMO and Conservative party insiders that the program cuts were little more than politically-motivated pandering to the party’s grassroots, “Corny” Teneycke, the PM’s newish spokesthingee maintains that the program cuts were “not about less money for the arts” but about “having government programs that are meeting their objectives.”

Calling programs like the Arts Stabilization Program that was designed to encourage and reward fiscal management “boondoggles,” Teneycke rejected the notion that their cancellation means that Ottawa doesn’t support the arts and denied news reports that the Harper government is about to announce sweeping cuts to arts and cultural programs.

Well, that’s all very nice to hear, I must admit, although I don’t imagine it will exactly come as cheering news to the small government, extreme right-wing, free-market über alles crowd amongst “The Blogging Tories.” Once again, they’ll have bite down hard on the fact that, rather than fulfilling their long-coveted dreams of crushing the CBC and kicking the arts community to the curbside, the Harper government has disappointed them. Not only that, but they’ve actually done the impossible in making the “tax and spend” Liberals look positively stingy by comparison in terms of lavishing money on the arts.

h/t: Unambiguously Ambidextrous. Sobering thoughts indeed.

The War Party

This documentary film for the BBC program Panorama originally aired in May of 2003, shortly after the Americans’ “shock and awe” bombing and invasion of Iraq. It’s fascinating to watch it now, five years later, not only with the benefit of hindsight, but also framed in the context of the present geopolitical conflicts and even more specifically, with respect to Sen. John McCain’s remarks the other day when denouncing the aggressive posture of Russia, claiming that: “in the 21st century nations don’t invade other nations.”

Going behind the scenes of the sinister, but not-so-shadowy neo-conservative movement in the US at the height of its power and influence in Washington, the film offers some quite revealing (and alarming) insights into the thinking of hawks like Michael Ledeen, Richard Perle, Bill Kristol, and of course, our own native son, David “Axis of Evil” Frum.

While McCain’s suggestion that, in this day and age, countries don’t invade one another may have been meant in innocence, given that the US is currently occupying two foreign nations, it’s difficult not to see it as being indicative of either monumental hypocrisy or a stunning lack of awareness concerning the powerful ideological forces that have been driving US foreign policy for the last seven years. Or, somewhat perplexingly, perhaps a bit of both.