Obama & Harper Stimulus Stumping

At his townhall in Indiana this morning, President Obama was confronted by an audience member who thought he should have a beer with Sean Hannity. “I’m one of those that thinks you need to have a beer with Sean Hannity,” said the woman, after having asked about his Cabinet picks’ tax issues.

“I didn’t know that he had invited me for a beer,” Obama said after responding to her question. “I will take that under advisement. Generally, his opinion of me does not seem to be very high, but I’m always good for a beer.” Obama said on The Daily Show in October that some of Hannity’s fans “probably wouldn’t want to go have a beer with him”

Meanwhile, north of the border, Stephen Harper wowed a crowd of local worthies in New Brunswick with his visionary plan to fix-up the country’s arenas.

Election Flashback

Seeing as President Obama was in Elkhart, Illinois (where the unemployment rate is currently running around 15%) this morning, going over the heads of lawmakers to talk up his “stimulus” plan in front of a crowd of “real Americans” (also described by CNN anchors as “economic casualties”), I thought it might be fun to look back to this old chestnut from the last election where, in an appeal to working-class voters, then candidate Obama claimed his economic plan would save millions of backbreaking, mind-numbing shitty jobs.


What part of “independent” don’t you understand?

It’s fairly mystifying why Toronto-St. Paul’s Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett would be kvetching about the “tone” of media attention paid to reports coming from the PBO and apparently want to rein in Kevin Page when the Libs’ own finance critic has expressed his support both for the Budget Officer and his work.

Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, who last week warned that Ottawa’s projections for climbing out of deficit within half a decade may be too optimistic and said the government’s $40-billion stimulus package may have a smaller and less effective impact than billed, is garnering too much media attention and shouldn’t be allowed to release his sensational reports unilaterally, says Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett.

Moreover, Ms. Bennett told The Hill Times that she’s concerned with the tone of the massive media attention regarding Mr. Page’s office budget and the public disagreement with the Library of Parliament chief librarian William Young, and said she believes it damages the institution of Parliament and the respect of the Speakers of the House and Senate.

I must be missing something here because I just don’t understand her objections at all.

Israeli Election: The War Vote

Israeli voters go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new prime minister. The top two candidates in the race, Benjamin Netanyahu from the right-wing Likud Party and Tzipi Livni from the ruling “moderate” Kadima Party, are seeking to replace Ehud Olmert, who announced last July his intent to step down.