2011 Correspondents’ Dinner

It’s always nice to see the President of the United States engaged in an event where the threat of bombing just refers to the possibility there may be some awkward moments of silence after having inadvertently hit the wrong comic note…

Anyway, it was another fairly deft performance at this year’s WHCA Dinner (aka the “nerd prom”) by Obama and his able team of writers.

While not nearly as brilliantly trenchant as it could have been – Stephen Colbert having set the bar almost impossibly high in that regard years ago when ironically fawning over Bush and mercilessly skewering the press with his withering sarcasm – Seth Myers competently delivered a pretty funny routine with some good lines.

Hats off, by the way, to the C-SPAN crew for cutting away from the stage and continually training their camera on Donald Trump – who was, understandably, the butt of a great many jokes at the event. Those repeated profile shots of him with a resolutely grim demeanour and the “fox on his head” were quite amusing counterpoints to the punchlines.

Why people vote the way they do…

When sifting through the aftermath of an election and attempting to make sense of the results, a lot of pundits (and politicians) are inclined to invoke the hilarious canard that the outcome reflects “the infinite wisdom of the Canadian voters” or something equally ridiculous. That appellation however never seems to square with the declared motivations of individual voters when quizzed about their intentions and preferences.

For example, take this fellow cornered at an event today who states that he formerly voted for the Conservatives, but is presently ticked off at them for spending too much money on “frivolous things” such as the G20 and is therefore now going to throw his lot in with the Liberals in hopes they will spend less. (Good luck with that!)

As dubious as the foregoing reason may be, there are many that are infinitely worse and more fantastically stupid. For example, I spoke with an elderly man today who’s reason for voting for Stephen Harper was twofold: 1) he thought that the “other guys” would take away his pension; and 2) he was impressed by the fact that Harper had given money to the Japanese for tsunami relief (or as he put it, “that thing that happened”) whereas, he felt, the “other guys” would have “kept it all for themselves.”

Where does one even to begin when dealing with such “infinite wisdom”?

Jacking Off Layton

The timing of this foolish distraction is fairly suspect, to say the least. Does anyone think for a moment that the Sun didn’t have this story in their back pocket all along? That they chose to drop it two days before the election indicates the frantic last-minute desperation of the Conservative Party media to derail the NDP and their dreaded “socialist hordes” as much as anything else.

By the way, doesn’t getting a “rub and tug” in a cathouse pretty much describe the daily activities of the Sun’s pundits (sometimes laughingly referred to with great irony as “journalists”)?

p.s. Does anyone else think that it’s totally weird that Sun TV thought it necessary to dramatically interrupt their regular programming with this “breaking news” about an “exclusive” non-story from 16 years ago?

All Over But the Voting

A quick scan of the papers indicates that press has rendered its verdict on the outcome of the election – the only questions now remaining being ones of degree. How large will Harper’s victory be? How much will the “orange wave” translate into new seats for the NDP? And finally, how long before the Liberals head into yet another leadership campaign?

Stumping in Montreal, Michael Ignatieff gamely draws a hockey analogy suggesting that many a reversal of fortune has been realized late in the third period and people need to stay tuned until the final siren. A comment that prompted John Ibbitson to whisper in the ear of a fellow reporter that “some people do turn off the TV when it’s 6-0.”

Meanwhile, over at the Globe & Mail, Jane Taber is already performing an autopsy on the Liberal campaign, citing various possible causes of death. So far, her findings are inconclusive, but are trending to “all of the above” as being the most likely culprit.

Tricky Dicks

Now, I ask you… is this the face of a lying douchebag?

Or (not to go all Glenn Beck on you here), perhaps just that of a more-than-willing “fall guy” for an elaborate hoax? After all, this weird little flap is, as Ignatieff rightly said “bizarro” in every respect.

According to Sun TV’s “star” bloviators and squad of sleeveless fembots, they should be commended for having performed the bare minimum of due diligence needed to arrive at the totally fucking obvious conclusion that the rather strange photo and concocted story attached to it was patently bogus. Moreover (again, according to Sun TV), they should be lauded for then refusing to print or broadcast it as “news” on their pathetic right-wing agit-prop channel… Bravo, Sun News!

At the same time however, in classic tabloid fashion, they sort of got to screw their cake and eat it too in terms of puffing up this ridiculous allegation for a few days worth of reckless discussion casting vague doubts about the Liberal leader’s past activities vis-à-vis the Iraq War, suggesting perhaps he was even a nefarious “secret foreign agent” of some kind… yet all the while ostentatiously pretending to take the journalistic high ground and distance themselves from the accusations being vigorously hinted at.

What a brilliantly played little charade.


Wow. That’s about all I can say concerning the latest poll showing that the NDP has the support of 31% of those surveyed – almost a statistical tie with the Harper Conservatives; an impressive achievement by any measure and something that would have inconceivable just a month ago. Meanwhile, Liberal support has collapsed, falling to a dismal 22%. Despite having run a competent and vigorous campaign, Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal team is no match it seems for “orange tide” presently sweeping the country.

Riding the current wave of enthusiasm, Jack now wants us to “imagine” him as the next Prime Minister… an event not likely to happen immediately, but certainly one that’s increasingly plausible and may even become reality in the course of events.

As I’ve said before, Canadian voters, or at least those surveyed in polls, are clearly signalling that they: a) reject the status quo in parliament; and b) believe Jack Layton and the NDP will be a more effective voice of opposition to the Conservatives than would be the Liberals – a party that (for understandable reasons) time and again has failed to “walk the walk” in that regard. And not to be discounted, there is the personal charisma of Layton, who compares favourably in that respect by a country mile to both the Liberal and Conservative leaders.

Barring a miracle of some kind, for the Liberals this election is looking more like another calamity in the making… (Now I know what if must feel like to be a Leafs fan). For whatever reason, their latest gimmicks (the fact that I felt compelled to refer to them as such may be telling) have failed to catch on and despite performing better than expected and having succeeded in dispelling many of the myths created about him by the HarperCon lie factory over the last several years, Michael Ignatieff remains a difficult sell. Even so, out of disaster comes opportunity. There’s always another season to play and maybe we’ll even get a better draft pick next time around.

Obama Trumps the Birthers

Today’s release by the White House of President Obama’s “long form” birth certificate likely still won’t satisfy some of the diehard loons, crackpot conspiracy theorists and racist haters that apparently inhabit the Republican party in surprisingly large numbers, but amongst the majority of relatively sane people, the “controversy” over Obama’s birth certificate should now finally be put to rest.

The funny thing is that Karl Rove may quite probably have been correct. Virtually alone amongst right-wing pundits, he has long been pleading with Republicans to drop the issue, insisting that they were being drawn into a trap to discredit them – a “roach motel” as Chris Matthews put it so well. If indeed that’s the case, the strategy worked brilliantly.

Queen of the Birthers Update:
After refusing to talk about the birth certificate she’s been demanding for the past three years and instead launches into a new line of attack, Larry kicks fanatical lunatic Orly Taitz off his show.


This cute little video came across the virtual transom today.

So I thought I’d check it out. Seems to be an “ABC” strategic voting resource, but quite aside from that, even if you don’t agree with the anti-Harper premise, it’s a fun little tool that provides local polling in your riding from various sources which it then extrapolates into a likely projection. Just out of curiosity I entered the two ridings of most interest to me and was actually quite surprised at the results in both cases.

To ensure that the projections weren’t skewed somehow, I also checked on Saanich-Gulf Islands. Looks like Canada’s tiniest minister is going to get re-elected without any difficulty whatsoever and Elizabeth May (who is the AVAAZ “pick” in this instance) will be lucky if she even comes in second.

Ezra Levant v. Cedar Tree

Armed only with a gas-powered chainsaw, Ezra Levant demonstrates how, thousands of years ago, the capricious God of the Old Testament gave doughy, bespectacled little cunts dressed in plaid, absolute dominion over the Earth and all its living things.

This absurd stunt where Sun TV’s wannabe Glenn Beck maliciously hacked a potted cedar down to a ragged stump was apparently connected to a ridiculous strawman argument purporting that misanthropic environmentalists and others of a “liberal” persuasion (or “cult” as Ezra prefers), hate mankind and would just as soon depopulate the planet rather than allow free markets to work their infinite capitalist magic just as God intended. Or something like that.

I’ve watched this program a few times and it just baffles me. Maybe it’s all being messaged in some sort of tacit code or dog-whistle frequency that only batshit crazy wingnuts and fellow travellers of the radical right blogosphere can properly comprehend. It certainly doesn’t relate to any kind of reality that I’m familiar with.


If the latest EKOS poll is to be believed, it seems that Jack Layton will be the next leader of the Opposition with a 100 seats to his credit. Heck, if he teams up with the Liberals to form a “reckless coalition” that Harper has relentlessly warned about through the campaign, he could even be the next Prime Minister!

As humiliating as such a projected outcome may be to diehard Liberals, I wouldn’t actually consider it to be such a bad thing. At last, the federal NDP would be held accountable for their votes in parliament.

Being elevated to the role of Official Opposition in a minority government scenario would likely impose some very awkward and compromising decisions on Mr. Layton and his party, especially should the Liberals decide to enjoy the newfound liberty that would be afforded them in such a situation by adamantly rejecting the Con’s proposed budget and any other confidence motions that happen to come down the pike, thereby firmly placing the onus on the NDP to prop up the Harper regime lest they precipitate an unwanted election.

And who knows… Such an outcome may even lead to more serious discussions about forming a Liberal Democratic Party at some point in the future.