Can’t You Just Sense the Excitement?

After what seems like an interminable leadership race, Dippers are on the verge of selecting the next leader of the Official Opposition and… possible future Prime Minister of Canada (at least in their dreams!). Can’t you just sense the excitement in the air as people all across the country wait with baited breath to see the thrilling outcome tomorrow?

To be honest, like 99% of Canadians, I haven’t been avidly following the NDP race to replace the late Jack Layton. From what I can gather, the Dippers’ leadership contest has been noteworthy only for not being noteworthy. Can anyone other than the 50,000 or so people voting actually name more than two or possibly three of the people running?

In any event, the televised coverage of convention itself should be interesting. These events usually are, no matter which party is involved or who the field of mostly unknown hopefuls may be; at least, that is if there isn’t an outright winner on the first ballot.

Smart money seems to be on Thomas Mulcair to emerge victorious which would present a somewhat curious scenario given the past reversal of party affiliations of both the NDP and Liberal leaders.

“Pretend it’s Obama”

During a campaign stop in Monroe, Louisiana, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum stopped at a shooting range for some target practice. Before aiming for his second target, a woman in the background can be heard to say, “Pretend it’s Obama,” then chuckle at her own amazing wit.

Note: The comment is made at 0:37 of the video.

BNTITW: Secret Service Ducklings

A couple of Secret Service officers stationed outside the White House give a family of ducklings a lift…

Maddow says that it’s “100 percent politics free” but I disagree. Obviously this proves the officers are liberals because had they been Republicans they would have just let the stranded mallards fend for themselves on the sidewalk rather than giving them a helping hand to make it over the fence. Kidding… sort of.

5.37%

No surprise that the NDP would breeze into Jack Layton’s old seat, but the Conservative result barely cracking 5 percent was a bit… well, hilarious. So much for two-time loser Andrew Keyes – “a recognized leader in the communications industry.” Who knows, maybe there will be a Senate seat or plum appointment in his future as reward for all his sacrificial efforts to the cause…

Defending “Rae Days”

Unlike his two immediate predecessors who unwisely allowed themselves to be negatively defined by relentless campaigns of character assassination from the Conservatives, Bob Rae is making it clear that he’s not going to sit idle and simply allow attack ads by Harper’s mufti-million dollar smear machine to go unanswered. Instead, he’s determined to set the record straight (as he sees it), hit back and fight fire with fire…

As with the video noted in a previous post, this seems to be indicative of a more confident and aggressive communications strategy emanating from the LPC – one that has been sorely lacking for many years now.

Charlie Brooker on “Kony 2012”

Charlie Brooker’s rant about the Kony 2012 viral video, as seen on the British comedy program 10 O’Clock Live last week, including the round-table discussion that followed.

Along with countless millions of others, I watched the “Kony 2012” video recently, but unlike most, was completely creeped out by it. In fact, I couldn’t even make it through the whole thing because it was so incredibly puerile. Nice to see my intuition corroborated to some degree by Brooker’s focus on the “strange, weird, culty side” of this dubious marketing campaign/social media phenomenon. As David Mitchell said of the film’s director Jason Russell, “Nobody that certain can fail to be a maniac.”

“Freeloading Welfare Queens”

As a counterpoint to Alexandra Pelosi’s somewhat controversial piece the previous week interviewing “typical” Republican voters in Mississippi, on last Friday’s Real Time, Bill Maher aired “the thing that would make liberals go insane”…

In the video, multiple welfare recipients proclaim they were at the welfare office (or “Job Center”) to get their “Obama bucks” and that they supported Obama because he “gives me stuff” and “because he’s black.”

Harper’s F-35 Joint Strike Farce

Here’s a brand new video from the LPC regarding the Harper government’s constantly shifting position with respect to the purchase of an unconfirmed number of F-35 stealth fighter jets that could cost billions more than was initially planned for.

You may recall that during the election the Conservatives claimed they had a contract in place to purchase the new planes – one that would protect taxpayers’ from spiralling costs. Eventually, however, that turned out not to be true (surprise!). Now as things stand, according to associate defence minister Julian Fantino, “The . . . decision has not been made as to whether or not we are actually going to purchase, buy, acquire the F-35,”

Apart from the subject at hand, the nature of the video itself is worth noting. I believe this marks a significant departure for the Liberals – it’s the first full-on, issue-specific attack that I can recall being posted on YouTube. Until now they’ve mostly just uploaded raw clips of testy exchanges in Question Period or lengthy speeches – fairly unremarkable stuff, to be honest. By contrast, this is an engaging, aggressively direct piece that demonstrates some actual effort in terms of production. Good job! Let’s see more of these in the future.

The Burning Hypocrisy: Part XXXIV

It’s been suggested by some media pundits that Dick and Liz Cheney abruptly cancelling their appearance at an upcoming speaking engagement in Toronto due to “security concerns” the other day was nothing more than a publicity stunt to rollover existing ticket holders and hype the “Steynemite!” event featuring controversial author Mark Steyn and another loopy English ex-pat, Michael Coren. Certainly not a theory beyond the realm of plausibility…

Somewhat aside from that, it’s amusing that both Steyn and Coren vehemently promote themselves as champions of free speech – as do their legion of so-called “conservative” supporters, such as SDAMatt2a, the “owner” of the above-noted video. But in reality, do these folks actually “walk the walk” when it comes to the matter of free speech? In my experience, they most certainly do not:

That’s just one glaring example, but I could produce countless more where these phony advocates for free speech don’t practice what they preach.

By the way, I’m not sure why I got “blocked” by this particular individual. I think I made a couple of comments that took issue with remarks made by others, but it was nothing terribly heinous – certainly not of the calibre that would warrant being “blocked” from his channel. Some people, it seems, just can’t tolerate dissenting opinions. Apparently, their idea of “free speech” is limited to that which aligns with their own point of view.

Too Crooked to Fail

Matt Taibbi on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan show the other day talking about the systemic culture of corruption in the financial sector and how it’s rewarded and effectively encouraged by the American government.

In his latest Rolling Stone article (which is a must read) Taibbi describes Bank of America as “a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time.” And it just gets better from there…