The New Rat Pack?


I’m not sure if the Liberals want to be associated with the word “Rat” all considered. Nor can I can see the slightest resemblance between the current leader and his would-be successors to the suave and debonair band of entertainers of the same name, but aside from that Scott Feschuk does offer up some sound advice:

Stephen Harper is so cheerless and his ministers are so fearful and enfeebled that there has just got to be some public-opinion reward awaiting a party that showcases its humanity, displays a sense of humour and stops acting as though the fate of the free world depended on the government’s response to the second report of the third meeting of the Standing Committee on Whatever the Hell.

Calmly ask questions that are actual questions, not allegations. Heckle only if you’re got a killer one-liner. Don’t shriek like a little girl who’s skinned her knee. Don’t theatrically declare Stephen Harper the Worst. Prime Minister. Ever. (Do rob five casinos in one night, but only if you can get away clean.)

Considering the woeful state of Liberal fundraising efforts, an Ocean’s Eleven caper might not be such a bad idea… I doubt this crew could pull it off though.

Nothing to See Here, Move Along…


When Richard Dearden, Harper’s lawyer in the Chuck Cadman defamation case, stepped down on Monday I thought it may perhaps be a sign that he was preparing to let the legal action go quietly into that good night it so richly deserves. Certainly, it would have been in keeping with the PMs recent calls for greater co-operation in the Commons and his vow that “We are not seeking confrontation in areas that are secondary to the economic focus of this government.” An admirable sentiment indeed.

Well, so much for that silly bit of naivety on my part. The foolish, self-defeating case carries on unabated with inexorable futility for some unfathomable reason. Concerning the reason(s) why Dearden stepped down… it’s a deep, dark mystery. As with so many things when it comes to this government: why ask why? The answer is “just because” — the feeble sort of response that usually prompts contemptuous eye-rolls from your garden variety six year old. But still, that’s essentially what the Canadian public is routinely proffered by the Conservatives when it comes to justifying or explaining their actions.

“Getting into the ‘why?’ doesn’t really get us anywhere,” said Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton. “This is such a non-event in the course of a litigation where counsel change from one to another. It has nothing to do with the substance of a case.”

And the Conservatives have the laughable temerity to call the Liberals “arrogant.” Pot… meet kettle.

The Streets of San Francisco

One of the more unfortunate side-effects of the backlash against Prop. 8 is that it’s given Bill O’Reilly the chance to gin up his contrived “culture war” between a mythic “traditional America” and the dark forces of “secular progressivism.”

According to Bill O, this amorphous group of “secular progressives” has been “emboldened” by Obama’s recent election victory… Thus, it follows in Bill’s delusional wingnut mind that the “far-left” will now exert their scarily powerful influence on President-elect Obama to embrace their “radical” liberal values with the potentially horrifying result being a nation modeled after… San Francisco!!!

The “journalist” in the piece who concocted this highly skewed profile of the city mainly featuring interviews with people that are either homeless, addicted to drugs, prostitutes, crazy, or some combination thereof, is O’Reilly producer Jesse Watters — a man better known for shamelessly “ambushing” media personalities that Bill is feuding with (e.g., Keith Olbermann, Bill Moyers, etc.)

Of course, Bill’s hostility towards SF is nothing new. Back in 2005, when the city voted to oppose military recruitment in public schools and to ban handgun ownership he had this to say: “You know, if I’m the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium and I say, ‘Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you’re not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead. And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.’”