Lies to Nowhere

Come on Chris… “not exactly true”? How about calling Palin’s oft-repeated claim that she told Congress “thanks, but not thanks” on the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” exactly what it is — a big, fat LIE, at least according to information reported in the leftie Wall Street Journal.

By the way, the unbuilt “Bridge to Nowhere” that would have connected Ketchikan, Alaska, to the Ketchikan International Airport on Gravina Island would have been nearly as long as the Golden Gate Bridge and taller than the Brooklyn Bridge (in order to accommodate cruise ship traffic). The airport in question handles 200,000 passengers a year (about 550 people per day). In comparison, the Golden Gate Bridge carries more than 43 million vehicles a year (about 118,000 per day) according to the most recent estimates.

Cut the Crap Already

I’m not going to belabour the point because the whole issue is really beneath contempt, but I can’t help but unload a few parting shots before dropping the subject altogether and moving on to more significant matters.

A lot of people seem to be fixated on the “puffin poop” (see Warren K’s video below in this regard) in the Conservatives’ online advertising campaign, but that’s actually not at all what bothers me. Indeed, as Charles Adler said on his radio program this evening, those claiming to be “outraged” or offended by that may well be “tiny” and “small” and “have their head up some orifice” (what is it about Adler and his obsession with shoving things up anuses…), but certainly no more so than the creators of this execrable facet of the Conservatives’ advertising campaign.

As we know, Stephen Harper has “apologized” for the ad, and the party’s official position has been to brush off “Poop-Gate” (as some have taken to calling it) as merely being the work of some over-zealous staffers, but according to CBC News, as reported on The National this evening, the highly interactive, craptacular notaleader website was intentionally designed to be “edgy” and “fun” in order to appeal to 20-somethings. So, by no means was this an accidental oversight — far from it. As shown in more detail in a previous post, it’s just the most egregious example of the defamatory slime being churned out by the Conservatives in order to appeal to jugend Stoßtruppen on the go.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise. Those of us who avidly follow the political scene south of the border are intimately familiar with this low style of campaigning where character assassination and personal destruction are pretty much the norm. While it’s quite natural that the Conservatives would readily adopt the same tactics employed by their Republican brethren (e.g., suggesting their opponents are anti-American, terrorist-loving, soft on crime, snooty elitists, etc.), it still comes as something of a shock that this poison has been injected into our political discourse. We expect this sort of thing coming from bloggers and other freelance cranks with keyboards, but when it’s authorized and approved by a political party… well then, maybe not so much.

While this may not be, as claimed by the leader of the Green Party, “the most important election in Canadian history,” there are certainly important issues on the table and highly contentious ideas to be discussed about tackling climate-change, achieving long-term energy security, as well as matters pertaining to sustainable economic development, poverty, education, health, and so on. It’s all too easy (and yes, sometimes fun) to get dragged into the gamesmanship, skulduggery, and ludicrous antics associated with an election, but please, let’s attempt to stay a little focused on the issues at stake here in the weeks ahead.

Update: Did you really expect the Conservatives to be ashamed of their “dirty” efforts? How delightfully naïve. “We have been speaking with the Conservative war room, e-mailing back and forth all morning long. They have kind of been bragging about it,” says CTV reporter Graham Richardson.

“Stéphane Dion is a Doo-Doo-Head!”

Hey kids, Stephen Harper wants to help YOU libel, defame and assassinate the character of Liberal leader Stéphane Dion!

Never mind all that mushy crapola about the “straight up guy” in the blue sweater-vest being a congenial “family man”… that’s so fucking yesterday. Now, the Dear Leader is getting down to the serious business of “crushing” the Liberals and for starters, he wants your help destroying the personal reputation and integrity of his political opponent.

How can you help out in this ambitious endeavour, you ask? Why, it couldn’t be easier! Just go here to create your very own lying, smearing, bullshit-laden negative ad. In your “personalized” defamatory ad, the Conservatives give you the option to say that Stéphane Dion: can’t relate to Canadians; can’t change; couldn’t balance a cheque book; thinks he’s your hero; wants to bring the Taliban to Canada; is a decorated seabird enthusiast; can’t set priorities; has no solutions, can’t even change a lightbulb; thinks he’s influential; and eats his hot dog with a knife and fork. Imagine! He’s downright un-Canadian! And a traitor who would sell out our country to the Taliban!

While you’re at the site, enjoy some of its other features, such as finding out how Stéphane Dion is a “weak leader” by re-enacting the 2006 Liberal Party leadership debates in a video game format where you can take quotes completely out of context for malicious fun, or discover more about the “out of touch professor who ‘has shown little ability to relate to Canadians on almost any level’ according to the Globe & Mail.” In this cute feature you’ll learn that Dion will: Cost you more; is soft on crime; is full of himself; and doesn’t get Quebec.

“Miss an important meeting? Went out with friend instead of going home for dinner? Don’t worry, Stéphane Dion is here to help,” the Con website says. “Time and time again when asked to take responsibility for his action Dion has had an excuse at the ready. And now you can harness his questionable talent to get yourself out of a jam with the Dion Excuse Generator. Don’t avoid responsibility without it!” Sample reasons include: I didn’t get it done; I wasn’t at the meeting; I missed dinner; I forgot to pick up the drycleaning; I didn’t pay the heating bill on time; I lost Outremont to the NDP.

This is just scratching the surface of the mountain of slime and negativity that even extends to attacking progressive bloggers personally. Now what was it that Conservative supporters were saying the other day? Oh yes, “when they go negative, it shows how desperate they are…” Uh-huh.

Update: Dippers, it seems quite like the site, at least if this fellow is in any way representative. He finds it “humourous” while also noting that “In an election where as much time, effort, and money as possible is needed to get valuable votes, notaleader.ca seem to be a waste of all three.” NBC Dipper also points the way to the Liberals’ “Scandalpedia” (something I wasn’t aware of), a Wiki that bills itself as “the free encyclopedia of Conservative scandals,” which unfortunately, he finds “kinda dry and boring.”

Update2: Over at My Blahg, Bob has a rather unique take on the campaign thus far. “So it’s Pappy Steve versus Grizzly Dion versus Barack Layton. Maybe the reason Lizzy Nader can’t get into the debates is because she hasn’t adopted a campaign persona. I bet if she rebranded herself as… Oh, I don’t know, lets say a hockey mom, the path to the vice presidency would be hers to walk… or skate along even.”

Update3: Some other reactions… Steve V. at Far & Wide derides the juvenile nature of the site describing it as the work of “those crazy kids.” He also points out the employment of an “angry little guy in the corner, holding a semi-automatic” which leads to a video of Deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff from his days as a journalist in central Europe — not quite sure what the point being made is, guns kill people… or something.

Impolitical is similarly dismissive of the antics of “Conservative wonder boys” (and has a screen-grab of the pooping puffin). I’m leaving out a lot, but they seem to follow the same lines.

Update4: Welcome “Empire of Dirt” readers! (I just love that name!)

Tintorspotting

Póg me hón,

Alas wee Tintor… It seems the reliably miserable right-wing hack and former Harris government assistant is moaning and whining up a storm about how the Scots and Irish are being “ridiculed with impunity.”

And what, you might well ask, is the object of her phony “outrage”? Why it’s none other than the harsh profile of Harper’s backroom fixer Doug Finley that appeared recently in the Toronto Star… Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!

Ach! Way to miss the point by a few trillion miles… No, you certainly wouldn’t want to focus on the undemocratic and dictatorial behaviour of Harper’s henchman now would you? Of course not. Much better to worry about the fact that he has a Scottish accent apparently and someone made fun of it.

Harper’s “Website Problem”

How terribly convenient that the press just suddenly awoke from their deep slumber to take note of the fact that the Conservative Party website was, until last week, a ludicrous joke that was so crudely offensive and disgustingly juvenile in nature that it even repelled many of its own supporters.

Saying the site was “in poor taste,” Harper said the puffin feature has been removed.

“And my apologies for it having been up… We have acted to remove this caricature. We can fight the Liberals without doing that.”

Even so, other new Conservative Internet ads cast Dion as an elite professor who is out of touch with ordinary people, a strong contrast to their portrayal of Harper as a gentle family man.

So, the execrable Conservative Party website that was “in poor taste” — but went entirely unnoticed (or at least unremarked on) by the mainstream press for more than two years — has now been replaced by an insipid mélange of bland puffery interspersed with vicious attacks against “Proffesseur Dion” that accuse him of being a criminal with Nazi affiliations, amongst other things… Not to mention this libelous sleaze-pit dedicated to filleting Stéphane Dion’s character with bucket loads of slime. Yeah, that’s something the “straight up guy” in the slimming blue sweater-vest should be really proud of.

A counter-site called “This is Dion” has been launched by the Libs. Fisherman, skier, hockey player, “family man”… you know the routine.

The Wrath of Bow!

Okay, “wrath” may not be the best word to describe James Bow’s public scolding of NDP leader Jack Layton, but given that writer’s notoriously temperate disposition and widely esteemed rank as the “dean” of Canadian political blogs (for good or bad, comparisons to David Broder may not be entirely misplaced here), it might be fair to describe Bow’s rather exceptional departure from his more usual equanimity and objective analysis into the realm of advocacy (or let’s say overt chiding if that’s preferable), as a somewhat significant event.

As of this moment, any possibility that I will be voting New Democrat in this coming election is lost. I had little patience for Harper when he promised to deliver better, more accountable, more democratic government for Canadians and failed. I have no patience for your platitudes either, sir.

Ouch! I won’t presume to read my own impressions into what James wrote, but “platitudes” is most definitely a word that comes to mind when regarding the vacuous blather espoused by Jack Layton.

It’s the Hypocrisy, Stupid!

According to the latest from the Washington Post, as governor, Sarah Palin, the God fearin’, moose huntin’ maverick and former mayor of metro Wasilla, “billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a ‘per diem’ allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.”

Additionally, Palin billed the state of Alaska $25,000 for expenses related to her daughters and was reimbursed for attending a basketball game. In true non-elitist fashion, she also charged the state more than $2,000 for a three-night stay at a $707 per night hotel room in New York City.

Too bad she’s not taking any interviews until the media shows her some “respect and deference” — and even then, only if Rick Davis, McCain’s sleazy, ultra-smarmy campaign manager, deems it advantageous.

Update: Sarah Palin Dupin’ the Rubes on the campaign trail.

And can I say, yet again… that quite aside from everything else, this woman is shrill and her pious, folksy, down-home, “small-town values” sanctimony is highly annoying. If that’s “sexist” or ”misogynistic” well too fucking bad. It’s quite possible that I’m guilty as charged in that regard.

O’Reilly: Obama Interview (Part 2)

As promised, the rest of Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Barack Obama is sputtering out in tasty dribs and drabs on his show. In this latest installment, behold the pan-galactic mendacity and ignorant comedy stylings of Bill O when talking about the economy and wonder in amazement at how Barack Obama didn’t just reach over and throttle him to death…

After rebutting his attempt to play “Gotcha!” with stats, this is what O’Reilly had to say: “I know, I know it’s bull…” Indeed. Especialy when skewed through the Bizarro prism of the Factor’s infamous “No Spin Zone”:

Moving on. Bill O countered the assertion that the majority of corporate profits and benefits of increased productivity during the Bush years went to the top one tenth of one percent with this gem:

“Let me submit to you that you’re wrong… we’ve been studying this issue, because we want to be fair and balanced and give all sides… the reasons that wages have been depressed and they’re not that much… it’s about four or five hundred dollars, ah, for the Bush administration… real wages up and about two thousand under the Clinton administration, because there are ten million immigrants… new immigrants in the workforce, most of whom are illegal aliens. Those ten million, with their salaries have… brought down… but again, that’s statistics…”

Now, I may be hopelessly biased, but I ask you to imagine your favourite politician [insert name here] handling this interview. Do you seriously think it would have been anything but a completely horrific trainwreck?

Stephen Harper: On Negative Ads

I thought it might be instructive at this early juncture in the election campaign to take a little trip down memory land and see what Stephen Harper had to say earlier this year about “negative advertising” in politics.

Earlier in the year, this is what Harper said about negative ads: “My advice to people who work on advertising plans is to make sure that the ads first of all are truthful, if they’re not truthful, I think you’ve got a big problem…”

Maybe you can reconcile the two. Seems that one or the other is a lie.