Rae Bails, Changes Channel


Well, here’s another theory on today’s little tiff at the LPC(O) “Leadership Forum” (en famile)… this one from Rob Silver:

Of course the story about whether the debate was open to the media had little to do with whether the debate was open to the media.

One candidate needs to change the channel and cause a serious wound to his main opponent in the next 2-4 weeks or this thing is over (if it isn’t already). In order to do so, every tactic in the book will be used.

The front-runner who doesn’t want to be called a front-runner but is trying to run a front-runner campaign has a different challenge. His team’s communications efforts to date have been as delicate and nuanced as a Jay-Z video.

So on the one hand, he is trying to avoid knock-out punches, instead he looks like he is avoiding the fight when ducking was so easy.

Does any of this matter? Um, no.

Possibly not, but it does establish some interesting fault lines from the start and may have diminished news of several prominent Kennedy supporters throwing their support behind “the Great Man” (as Tim Powers has taken to snidely calling Ignatieff).

Are You Taking the Challenge?

Reverend Ed Young, pastor of the nondenominational Fellowship megachurch in Dallas, in his attempt to strengthen the bond of married couples, is challenging them to have sex at least once a day for the next 7 days. It starts today. So get “busy” folks…in the name of God!

As noted in this Sun article, “Earlier this year, a southwest Florida pastor, perhaps having more faith in his congregants’ stamina, issued a 30-day sex challenge.” Heh, right.

The Intolerant, Angry Right


Yesterday, we were treated to the revelation from a self-declared “free market Christian” that “the Left” is “intolerant” and a lecture from a smug Conservative commenter about the “angry Left”…

With that bit of context in mind, comes the story from The Telegraph that a “bigoted backlash against President-elect Barack Obama, America’s first black leader, threatens to snuff out the post-election glow of racial progress and harmony.” Amongst the disgusting incidents included as part of the “Conservative backlash” is the story that:

In Madison County, Idaho, a firmly Republican state, the schools superintendent was obliged to remind teachers and bus drivers that pupils must show proper respect for elected officials, after parents complained that children on one school bus were chanting, “Assassinate Obama!”

Also featured is the incident where:

A Roman Catholic priest in South Carolina told his parishioners not to seek Holy Communion if they voted for Mr. Obama, because supporting him “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil” as the President-elect backs abortion rights.”

Gee, didn’t that “conservative minded” Christian tell us that “the Right” doesn’t think that “the Left is “evil”… just wrong? Why yes, he did!

In another article also in The Telegraph it’s reported that there’s been an alarming upsurge in violent speech and threats against the President-elect and his supporters:

• Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free speech expression, including one that used a racial slur and said he should be shot in the head. Obama has received more threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.

• At Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read: “Osama Obama Shotgun Pool.” Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. At the bottom of the marker board was written “Let’s hope someone wins.”

• Racist graffiti was found in places including New York’s Long Island, where two dozen cars were spray-painted; Kilgore, Texas, where the local high school and skate park were defaced; and the Los Angeles area, where swastikas, racial slurs and “Go Back To Africa” were spray painted on sidewalks, houses and cars.

• University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur. “It seems the election brought the racist rats out of the woodwork,” Houston said.

• Black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. The president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas said a rope found hanging from a campus tree was apparently an abandoned swing and not a noose.

• Crosses were burned in yards of Obama supporters in Hardwick, New Jersey, and Apolacan Township, Pennsylvania. Cross burning has been used as an intimidation tactic by white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

• A black teenager in New York City said he was attacked with a bat on election night by four white men who shouted ‘Obama.’

• In the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills, a black man said he found a note with a racial slur on his car windshield, saying “now that you voted for Obama, just watch out for your house.”

Unfortunately, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of racism in America have been greatly exaggerated.

Charles at 60

For a year, BBC cameras filmed the Prince of Wales at home, abroad, at work and on duty. This revealing film (shown on TV in Britain earlier in the week) goes behind the closed doors of the Prince’s world and gives viewers the chance to make up their own minds about the man who, one day, (maybe) will be king.

I know that he’s frequently mocked and dismissed as an irrelevant kook, but I happen to think he’s vastly underestimated.

Additional segments can be viewed here.

Colbert Roast


The tables were turned on Stephen Colbert the other night when he was the subject of a withering barrage of insults and good-spirited abuse at the 20th Annual Roast for Spina Bifida at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. (the same location of his infamous press gallery appearance two years ago when he hilariously skewered the Bush administration).

The Huffington Post has a bootleg video that features shtick by future Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel followed by Colbert’s own remarks (which are priceless). It will be nice to see a better quality version emerge from C-SPAN via YouTube.

Speaking of roasts, here’s one from 2005 featuring Emanuel being ribbed by his former colleague and now boss that C-SPAN rebroadcast the other week:

Best line was in reference to Emanuel’s middle finger getting partly amputated in an accident with a meat slicer while working at a deli many years ago which “rendered him practically mute.”

Closed Encounters of the Stupid Kind


According to a press release fired off from Bob Rae’s leadership campaign to Macleans last night:

The Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) is hosting a leadership candidates’ forum with Bob Rae, Michael Ignatieff and Dominic Leblanc on Sunday afternoon. The party has indicated the debate will be closed to the media, but is prepared to open the debate to media if all campaigns agree. The Leblanc campaign agreed, but the Ignatieff campaign, as of 8:00 pm Saturday, refused to open the session to media.

Unsurprisingly (and quite rightly in my opinion, I might add) Rae has refused to attend the forum unless it’s opened to the media:

Liberal Leadership hopeful Bob Rae will not participate in the leadership candidate’s forum… unless the campaign of Michael Ignatieff agrees to withdraw its objection to opening the debate to the media, and its suggestion the debate be cancelled if a closed encounter cannot be agreed upon.


“This isn’t a good note on which to start this race, and I think Liberals will be disappointed,” said Rae. The Rae campaign has called for a series of many open debates, starting immediately, across the country.

“I am calling for open debates, and I think we have to start right now, this weekend,” Rae said.

Hmmm. Yes, I would say that “disappointed” is putting it mildly. This secretive, closed-door, media-averse attitude and lack of transparency is precisely the sort of thing that so many people find thoroughly obnoxious about Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Why was conceived of by the LPC as a closed session in the first place? And why is Michael Ignatieff so resistant to having it opened up? What is he afraid of being said on the record?

What a crummy start to the race. Way to go Liberals!