Spinning La Belle Province

Pictured: CTV Global Media — Bought and paid for by the Conservatives!

Our good friend “Trusty Tory” wanted me to check out this video of today’s Mike Duffy Live program (which I missed, darn it), presumably so that I could enjoy the spectacle of CTV’s corpulent, chrome-domed clown prince of political spin gleefully rubbing his flabby grubhooks together and mordantly chortling, not only over the woeful state of disrepair the Liberals find themselves in with respect to the province of Quebec (e.g., Paul Martin’s riding of LaSalle-Émard has no money and no candidate! Outremont has no candidate!), but at the juicy prospect of a supposed “civil war” within that particular wing of the party.

Yes, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Mulroney has been completely forgotten and the “big blue wave” is rolling in again! And this is news on what planet? It’s a well known fact that the Quebec wing of the party has been an absolute trainwreck for years now for a variety of reasons and that support from the Bloc has been decaying as the romance of separatism inexorably fades away. Dion can’t count on anything outside of Montréal and even those ridings can’t be considered entirely “safe” anymore. Likewise, much the same can be said of Duceppe’s former strongholds. And so Duffy presents us with the completely obvious scenario that the entire election might hinge on the Conservatives winning big in Quebec. Well duh!

If that actually turns out to be the case, which by no means is an entirely certain thing, there will be a delicious irony of sorts in seeing the party that started as a populist movement in the West that shared much in common with grassroots separatist movements joining forces with disaffected Quebecers, many of them former separatists also it has to be assumed, to form the next government of this country. That seems like a rather unlikely and potentially quite volatile mix to me, but it could work I suppose. One has to wonder however what it is that unites them ideologically speaking… is it perhaps a foggy kind of “autonomist” position that both camps seem to find quite attractive, or is it simply the desire to be in power and rake in all the privilege and federal pork that naturally comes with power?

A Timely Reminder

A few commenters have astutely noted with some bemusement how hopelessly lame the “mainstream media” has proven itself to be of late (well, of late… oh, like say, the last eight years, but more specifically the past several weeks), so perhaps it’s appropriate to wheel out this lovely old chestnut from Bill Moyers Journal wherein he explored with Jon Stewart the paradoxical question of why the supposedly “fake” news has more veracity and courageous integrity these days than seems to be exhibited for the most part than the vacuous bilge churned out with almost relentless stupidity by the irredeemably compromised scribes that inhabit the fourth estate.

Let’s hope that our own resident court jester, Rick Mercer, returns quickly from his summer hiatus to skewer our pols (left, right and centre) with his rapier wit and incisive commentary, mitigating in some small way the pompously inane clowning of more “serious” so-called journalists that otherwise dominate the broadcast airwaves.

Another Weasel Bites the Dust

How completely unsurprising.

Now, what about the PM’s “special adviser on South Asia and the Middle East” who also crossed the floor (despite Harper having decried that dishonorable practice in the past) so that he could produce a very expensive colouring briefing book for the Dear Leader, the findings of which he had originally promised in earnest to share with the public, but then were mysteriously buried in a bulging “top secret” vault in the PMO as part of the government’s whole super-duper “transparency” agenda.

The Revolution Won’t Be Televised

Well, not by the Republicans anyway. Seems they took Joe Trippi’s famous dictum quite literally. I suppose it might have been a tad inconvenient to have an actual anti-Washington truth-teller at the RNC, what with the elderly John McCain and his callow new sidekick busy pretending to be change-agents. That must be why the Republicans had to ban him from speaking at their convention, even though he came in second or third in 20 states (unlike Rudy or Frederick of Hollywood who were given key speaking roles) and wouldn’t even acknowledge most of his delegates in the farcical nominating roll call.

Raw Story has the video of Paul’s appearance on The Colbert Report yesterday.

“You say you did not speak at the Republican National Convention because you do not feel welcome there,” Stephen Colbert suggested.

“No, I did not. I don’t like to be pushy,” Paul replied modestly, before flashing a wide grin.

“But just because you weren’t welcome, that’s no reason not to speak,” Colbert objected. “I mean, certainly Bush spoke, and he was not welcome.”

“Could you have gotten a slot if you’d played ball with those guys?” Colbert continued.

“Yes,” Paul replied

“What would it have meant to you?” Colbert asked. “What would you have to have given up?”

“Everything I believed in,” Paul stated.

“So, just like everybody else,” Colbert commented, adding, “Listen, you want to play with the big boys, you got to play along.”

“I would have had to do this,” said Paul, raising his hands as if to kowtow and intoning, “‘I accept everything in your platform and I love John McCain.’“

“What’s your problem with that?” Colbert asked. “When you’re a Republican, those guys are known for their discipline. … It’s a war, sir.”

“I didn’t feel too badly about it,” Paul affirmed. He added conspiratorially, “There’s a few members of Congress who say, ‘Would you help me out, because I’d like you to support me and send out an email and give me an endorsement.’”

More on Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty” here.

Jumpin’ Jack Obama!

So, Jack Layton is going to try and hitch his orange wagon to the campaign of Barack Obama by stealing his thematic “vision of hope” and making it the centerpiece of the NDP’s efforts to displace the Liberals as the official opposition, is he? Well, this should be très amusant, I’m sure.

On CTV’s Canada AM morning show today Layton’s phoniness was pointed out when he made a great show of peeling off his jacket at an Obama-ish “town hall” meeting, apparently due to the heat in the room, but it was noted that his shirt sleeves had already been rolled up in advance. Tsk, tsk… such transparent copycatting.

But more seriously, Layton claims that the Democrats’ environmental policy is “identical” to that of the NDP. Maybe that’s true, but I suspect that may not be something to be all that proud of. We’ll be checking into it…

RNC: McCain Nomination Speech

Okay, well I finally got around to watching it. Ho-hum. Kind of funny that his big crescendo at the end was drowned out by the audience that had been told to stand up but did so before the candidate called on them to “stand up!” Anyway, here’s one of the highlights from the speech:

CNN analyst Jeffery Toobin pronounced McCain’s speech to be “shockingly bad” and “very, very boring” amongst other critical comments. But then he would do that, wouldn’t he?

On Fox News, Charles Krauthammer called it “very strange” and described it as being an “oddity” — not exactly the unqualified endorsement on would expect. Actually, his comments were pretty astute.

”John McCain was re-branding his party as the party of change,” one CNN commentator said after the speech. “Re-branding” is of course a much-used phrase in marketing, but you can’t actually make something true just by saying it’s true. As Bill Clinton said at the DNC, on the two signature issues of this campaign — the economy and foreign policy — McCain’s positions are virtually indistinguishable from those of George W. Bush.

Heartless Republicans

According to CNN, Universal Music Publishing and Sony BMG have sent a cease and desist notice to the McCain-Palin campaign over their use of Heart’s song “Barracuda.”

“We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored,” the group said in a statement that said they “condemn” the use of the song at the Republican convention. Nice try, but that hasn’t stopped them ripping off music from other artists that have also protested against their music being used in connection with the Republicans.

By the way, does anyone else find it more than a little hypocritical that the McCain campaign and its supporters have been decrying the “sexism” and “misogyny” of anyone expressing criticism of Sarah Palin and yet they seem quite delighted to call her a “barracuda” and a “pit bull with lipstick” in addition to variations on her being “hot”?

She Means What She Said

Even though the facts say otherwise…

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien points out the contradiction between Palin’s record as governor of Alaska when it comes to special needs children — she cut the state budget by 62% for those kids — and the promise made in her speech the other night to be a strong advocate for the special needs community.

McCain campaign advisor Nicolle Wallace tells people to ignore the contradiction in fact and instead accept the premise that “she’s a woman of her word” simply because of what she said about this particular issue in the speech. “No one in this country should doubt anything she said,” according to Wallace. Well of course not. I mean, why should anyone doubt anything said in a speech written almost entirely by the same speechwriters who’ve worked for President Bush for the last several years?

The notion that simply mouthing the words written by someone else from a teleprompter at a partisan convention is undeniable proof of integrity, notwithstanding completely contradictory evidence of what Palin has actually done in the past while in office, is a fairly amazing demonstration of the delusional doubleplusgood thinking going on with the McCain campaign.

Here’s another clip of Wallace purporting that the only way the public should get to know Palin is through propaganda.

The folks at Sadly No rightly point out the extreme danger in this approach:

What Wallace is doing isn’t merely criticizing the behavior of the media — which everyone justifiably does — but rather attacks the idea that the media should exist at all. She wants to run a campaign where the American public only sees propaganda and never gets the contrary view. Ye gods, this is a dangerous and authoritarian mindset. If the media allow themselves to be bullied and if they stop asking questions because they fear that they’ll be tarred as “liberals,” then our democracy is truly dead.

I’d just add to that the labelling the media “sexist” or “misogynistic” for leveling any criticism of Palin also seems to be a favoured tactic being employed to insulate McCain’s VP pick from any legitimate scrutiny.