Talking to Americans

RT takes to the streets of Manhattan in their own little “Jay Walking” segment to quiz “average” Americans about the world around them…

The results are predictably appalling, but before getting too smug, they likely wouldn’t be that much different if this informal survey of incurious knownothings was taken on the streets of Toronto or elsewhere in Canada.

Frank Luntz: Xmas C-SPAN

Brilliantly evil wordsmith, Republican pollster and Fred Flintstone look-alike Frank Luntz holds forth on C-SPAN’s Christmas program about the current state of politics in America. (It’s kind of sad… but Frank isn’t married and says “my family is all gone now” which may account for the fact that he’s appeared on C-SPAN every Christmas Day for the past 9 years!)

Not much that’s terribly new or interesting here, to be frank (heh), although his disparaging remarks about the toxic demeanour of Ron Paul’s core of fanatical supporters will doubtless raise the hateful ire of that disaffected group of kooks and deranged libertarian malcontents.

Great American Debate (With a Poll!)

Hard to believe that’s not necessarily an oxymoronic construction, I know, despite the terminology having been debased by countless so-called “debates” as part of the contrived circus/televised horse-race that is the primary political process in the USA.

This past weekend, ABC News staged an ideological face-off, ostensibly about the proper role of government in people’s lives, between conservative columnist George Will and Republican congressman Paul Ryan on the one hand and liberal economist Robert Reich and retiring Democrat congressman Barney Frank on the other. The results were… at times, surprisingly interesting.




If you have the patience to sit through the whole thing (despite the multiple videos, it’s not actually that long), take a moment to cast a vote in the following poll as to who you think/feel “won” the debate:


 

Till Madness Do Us Part

The other day on his “700 Hundred Club” program, Pat Robertson made a most astounding pronouncement in response to a man asking what advice he should give to a “friend” who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. “I’m not quite sure what to tell him,” the man wrote.

“I hate Alzheimer’s,” Robertson said. “It is one of the most awful things because here is a loved one – this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years. And suddenly that person is gone. They’re gone.” Then came the controversial kicker… “I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again,” Robertson said. “But make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her,” he added.

Robertson’s sidekick Terry asked him about couples’ marriage vows to take care of each other “for better or for worse” and “in sickness and in health,” to which Robertson replied that “This is a kind of death.”

So, what do you think…


 

NDP… WTF?

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.

AVAAZ.org

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.

RMR: Prorogation Backlash?

From last night’s show: “Yes, we are apathetic, but the minute anyone tries to use our apathy against us… suddenly we start to care big time.”

I’m not sure if I can agree with that, although it would be nice to be proven wrong. I suspect that Harper won’t pay much of a penalty for having closed down parliament, especially if, as has been suggested, his pending legislation is fast-tracked when it resumes in March.