Rae on Ignatieff (Part II)

Another bit of a tease, as it turns out; in which, despite repeated attempts by his dogged interlocutor, Bob refuses to get drawn into a recriminatory discussion about the failure of the coalition to mount an effective opposition to the Conservative government.

News from the Dept. of Glass Houses

Ah, yes… after dutifully sucking up to Kate McMillan and then proffering yet another painfully yawn-inducing rehash of the Hitler bunker video, pathetic, anonymous wanker and loyal Bloggin’ Tory “Secrets of Vancouver” carelessly lobs a brick at yours truly today noting that:

Interesting our Canadian Lib Blogs don’t rate with their US counterparts. With crap like this and this, it’s no wonder. You need readers first.

The “this and this” are me and our friend, Red Canuck, by the way.

Well, lookee here, “Secrets of Vancouver”… I note that, according to Alexa, your traffic rank is 1,572,287, whereas mine is — wait for it — 998,536. Yes, that’s right SoV, you only need to surpass almost 574,000 other blogs and websites to get the same number of readers as I have. And that, I might add, is without the myriad of gimmicky hit-generating do-dads, useless polls, adverts and annoying gadgets you have on your otherwise abysmally dull site.

What is America?

Ronald Wright discusses some perennial questions about our friends to the south: more specifically, what he means by “The New World Order” in terms of the modern American Imperium and how he sees America in the future amongst other things…

I hadn’t heard of Wright until this morning (thanks to Ti-Guy for that) but will definitely be checking into his works in future as they look to be kind of intriguing if not entirely novel (I think Jared Diamond and Jospeph Tainter long before covered much of the same ground).

Remains of the Tax Day

Okay, I’m going to blatantly lie (yet again) and share a few residual Tea Party leftovers with you.

First up, is Sam Seder responding to a profile of a Tax Day Tea Party protester. Joanne Wilder is a 60-year-old great-grandmother in Syracuse, NY. who said, “I’ve been a quiet little person my whole life,” but yet felt compelled to protest against the spending policies of the Obama administration and Congress because “I don’t want to see this country turn into a welfare, nanny state.”

Wilder apparently retired on disability from M&T Bank three years ago after undergoing knee replacement and back surgeries and now lives on her Social Security and disability benefits. Last year, she petitioned the bankruptcy court for protection from creditors and said she didn’t pay federal taxes because her income was too low. Gee, that reminds me of someone else…

Second, is Bob Somerby’s viciously scathing (yet unintentionally hilarious) account of Keith Olbermann’s comical performance on last night’s Countdown. Now, it has to be said that I missed most of the program, but reading Bob’s witheringly contemptuous account of it, I couldn’t help but laugh even though I know the jokes about “teabagging” are painfully belaboured — even more so when Somerby dissects them with his usual meticulous scrutiny.

OLBERMANN: In all seriousness, while the tea-baggers may have been whipped up by Fox News, maybe misinformed about tax policy, their fears are real, and we salute their turn-out today. Can we have the video of the rally in Tallahassee, in Florida? [pretending to wait]

No?

All right. Well, this is what the State House looked like there — the imposing sight that greeted slack-jawed tea-baggers there today. [photo of tall, tower-like office building]

In addition to Neil Cavuto in Sacramento, we had Hackensack, Dixon, Dickinson, thousand oaks, Brownwood, Greenwood, Friendswood, Walnut Creek, Little Rock, The Twin Cities, Twin Falls, Marble Falls, Hot Springs, Grand Rapids, Cedar Rapids, Rogue River, Grosse Point, Lansing, Bangor, Bend, South Bend, Piscataway and Peoria. Duncan, Arizona, Duncan, Oklahoma, Mansfield, Manchester, Bowling Green, Portsmouth, Mount Juliet, Mount Vernon, Tomball, Morehead City, Oak Harbor and finally Sag Harbor.

In the face of all that tea-bagging, the claim that this is not a movement is just not — you just can’t swallow it. It’s pure fallacy.

You may have noticed a pattern in the names rattled off by Olbermann, but if not, Somerby painfully walks the folks on the short bus through the multiplicity of double-entendres involved. Try as they might, right-wing bloggers (Bloggin’ Tories or whatever) will never hold a candle to vigilant critics on the left that are far more harshly cynical and unrelenting in their abject scorn of the “liberal” mainstream media than they could ever be. Rather funny, that.

Third, and (I think) finally, here’s the witless crew at Fox’s “Red Eye” program (that we’ve all come to know and wholesomely despise) waxing jovial about the disappointing media coverage of their own network’s phony, over-hyped non-event.

By the way, just as a non sequitur aside, have you ever wondered where Stephen Taylor gets his graph-happy wonkiness from? Well, check this out.

Liberal Tax Hike Controversy

“A debate that will lead us into the next election” — Pierre Poilievre

While Ignatieff’s blindingly obvious remarks to a breakfast audience in Cambridge the other day that Canadians may face increased taxes if, after an economic recovery takes hold, there still remained a long-term “structural deficit” are easily enough defended on grounds of common sense, it also has to be said that the Liberal leader’s attempted clarification — some might call it backpedaling — wherein he brazenly stated: “This deficit is Stephen Harper’s deficit, it’s not my deficit. It’s his deficit,” is mightily disingenuous and terrifically galling to say the least.

Wasn’t it Ignatieff (together with the NDP and BQ) that pushed hard for massive amounts of deficit spending to get the economy out of the ditch its in at the moment? And isn’t the Liberal leader currently demanding even more deficit spending with his calls for a second wave of “stimulus” money to combat the recession? Not to spoil the mystery or anything, but the answer to both those questions is: yes. Unfortunately, he can’t have it both ways: at once disavowing any responsibility for urging the government to spend beyond its means, while presumably taking credit for doing exactly that should it eventually prove to be a successful strategy.

Perhaps it’s a bit much to expect consistency from our politicians (and before Conservatives get too smug here, their leading lights are some of the most egregious offenders in this regard), but it would be refreshing if they didn’t behave as if we were all complete idiots incapable of recalling what they said or did from one day to the next. If Ignatieff was truly attempting to be “honest” and upfront with Canadians about the different options on the table down the line in terms of dealing with the deficit, well then why not just leave it at that — or better yet, simply put the onus on Stephen Harper to explain how he plans on getting the government’s books in order once the economy pulls itself into some form of recovery mode.

Surely it would have been better to shift the focus of debate here to the Conservatives’ post-recession plans instead of shirking any responsibility for the current deficits… It’s perfectly reasonable for people to ask whether there will be tax hikes or expenditure cuts made to pay for all of the government’s stimulus spending. Harper’s favourite attack poodle, Pierre Polievre glibly states that “the recovery will bring new revenues; that will balance the budget” a patently ludicrous notion that hardly addresses the deficit, let alone the significantly increased national debt burden. I’d love to see him attempt to explain exactly what these unidentified “new revenues” are and how they’ll fill the rather large hole the Conservatives’ have dug for themselves (even before taking into account the stimulus spending, it’s important to note) with the enthusiastic help of the opposition parties.

No Teabag Left Behind

Okay, this is it… I won’t mention yesterday’s silly “grassroots uprising” again, but I couldn’t resist including Olbermann’s final kick in the nads last night at the hypocrisy of “outraged” tea-baggers and their enablers who are (again) oblivious to the amount of the tax burden that’s been shifted onto them as a result of corporations sheltered in off-shore tax havens like the Cayman Islands.

Update: I lied… one more thing. I’d be remiss for not including the interminable whining of Faux Friends and Michelle Malkin about the contemptuous and/or non-existent coverage by the dreaded “liberal” mainstream media of the teabaggers’ non-event.