The Crimson Permanent Assurance

Amidst all of the economic gloom and doom, it’s refreshing to take a somewhat more lighthearted view of banking and high finance…

“And so, heartened by their initial success, the desperate (and reasonably violent) men of the Permanent Assurance… battled on. Until, as the sun sets slowly in the West, the outstanding returns on their bold business venture became apparent. Once proud financial giants lay in ruins… their assets: stripped; their policies: in tatters.”

Thanks to Ian for reminding me of this absolute delight — arguably the most wonderful short feature film ever.

Harper’s “Creepy” Budget

Fairly predictable criticism from the usual suspects regarding the so-called Conservatives’ feckless new SOS (“Save Our Skins”) budget.

What’s perhaps somewhat less expected was the relatively unvarnished reaction of Harper’s political mentor a couple of days ago:

“I spent five years getting Harper into power, so God knows I want him to survive,” Tom Flanagan, a political scientist at the University of Calgary, said in an interview Wednesday.

“I perfectly understand the imperatives of political survival and the need to make compromises and to adjust, etc., etc. etc. But . . . it’s got a creepy feel to it.”

What a shame that, like most “Conservative” supporters (Stephen Taylor and other fatuous jerks over at the Blithering Tories, for example), he didn’t have the fundamental integrity and/or intellectual honesty to denounce Harper’s bogus budget in more forceful terms.

Well, I can hardly wait for the PBO to publish its analysis. Soon I hope! Speaking of which, does anyone know if Kevin Page got the money he was looking for? It would certainly be a cruel irony indeed if he didn’t given the orgy of spending.

“Change” Comes to the RNC

After six ballots, former Maryland Lt. Gov., Fox News commenter and dooche Michael Steele edged out South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, 91 votes to 77, to become the new chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Obviously, the fact that Steele is the first African-American to hold the post is a significant departure for the Republicans and may be a sign of desperately needed change in the GOP… or maybe not.

Ad Nausea

I’m sure everyone not living under a rock has heard the NDP’s radio ads that were launched immediately after Ignatieff announced that he would be supporting the Conservative government’s deeply “flawed” budget without any significant amendments whatsoever.

Sadly for the NDP, almost nobody outside their traditional base of support will take these ads seriously. Aside from presumably attempting to define Ignatieff as a failure, what are they really saying? Jack Layton is “the only leader strong enough to stand up to Harper and get us through this economic crisis” the ad laughably claims. As if.

All Layton has done here is to demonstrate that, rather than putting average families first, as the ad implies, the NDP leader is far more interested in tooting his own horn and attacking his erstwhile coalition partner because his one chance to ever be in government has slipped away from him forever.