Friday, November 30, 2012

This Day In Snookland...Paging Dr. Gonzo.


Below is a passage written by an elderly Hunter Thompson.

It's from 'The Kingdom Of Fear'  and Thompson was, by then, almost done.

And yet....

It is a clear-eyed and unflinching comparison of two American politicians who did their best to ruin that country at the bookends of two full generations, with a figurehead and an oil-spook posing as a daddy figure that came in-between.

But here's the thing...

Imagine (purely as a thought experiment, of course), if you were to flip out the characters in red in the passage below and replace them with a couple of the characters who have been prominent in Lotuslandian politics for a quite some time now.

Would it ring even remotely true?

"Let's face it, the yo-yo president... knows nothing. He is a dunce. He does what he is told to do, says what he is told to say, poses the way he is told to pose. He is a fool.....

To say this goofy child president is looking more and more like Richard Nixon in the summer of 1974 would be a flagrant insult to Nixon.


Did I say that? Is it even vaguely possible that some New Age Republican .... false president could actually make Richard Nixon look like a (real) Liberal?...

The Boss was a certified monster who deserved to be impeached and banished. He was a truthless creature....a foul human monument to corruption and depravity on a scale that dwarfs any other public official in American history. 

But Nixon was at least smart enough to understand why so many honorable patriotic U.S. citizens despised him. He was a Liar. The truth was not in him."

Please Note: I Did a little snipping between the lines at the in Thompson's passage...Even I couldn't quite bring myself to go full-blown Conradian (times a billion) with some of the descriptors...'The Horror' and all that....If you get my drift...
Please Also Note: Even dunces can be 'pugnacious'....


The 64 Million Dollar Questions (ctd)....Why Not Unclog The Courts?


Given that our prevaricating Premier is still handing out our money, hand-over-fist, to various assorted sundry cronies to make ads to convince us that she and hers are actually doing something, today's question is included in this quick hit from CKWX covering the Dippers' justice critic's concerns:

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - The provincial New Democrats say there could have been a better way to spend $15 million than on the current TV ad campaign touting BC's jobs plan.

Justice critic Leonard Krog says people trying to navigate the courts with a poorly funded legal aid system would appreciate the money.

"The BC Liberals in power can take that money and put it into legal aid, instead of putting it into advertising," he insists.

Lawyers across the province have been trying to put on the spotlight on what they consider a poorly funded legal aid system.

This month, they've been refusing to take on criminal harassment cases, as a form of protest.

Why wurlitzer something that is, essentially, a press release from the Opposition?....Well, there is no question period in the real Ledge where this can be raised and, presumably, answered....And, thus, we note with interest, that this matter has not been picked up by any of the big corpMedia 'lectronic and/or print organs....


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Has That Crazy, Curmudgeonly HL Mencken Bot Been Reading My Stuff?

See yesterday's 'Sweater' post for a full explanation....

Here's the Menckenishable passage:

...Just before she passed away, in 2001, Grandma E., who always liked to tell people, especially real doctors, that her Grandson was also a 'doctor', asked me if I was ever going to finish going to school.

At the time I'd already been holding down a 'real' academic job long enough that I also had tenure.

Which meant that I was a lifer.

So I smiled and told her no - I was going to go to school until I retired, maybe longer.

Not sure what she thought about that...


Almost heebie-jeebies scary I tell ya.


Why Should We Believe Anything In The '2nd Quarter Budget Update'?


Shorter 2nd Quarterly Report from Mike de Jong and Christy Clark:

Resource, housing and transfer revenues, etc., all down....

Therefore, everything is much, much worse than we predicted/thought/made-up already....

As a result, we have a whole new set of numbers for you now that are really, really, really rock solid....

And these new numbers say that we have to start cutting programs, for reals, to save us all from financial armagideon times...


Sure thing Mr. de Jong and Ms. Clark.

Except folks are already starting to pushback against some of your numbers.

Here is one most interesting bit of this pushback, from Ian Reid:

...DeJong and minions have shuffled the numbers and reduced the forecast allowance for the second time this year, from $200 million to $100 million. The result is that the real projected deficit has grown even more than stated.

The forecast allowance is an amount of money the government sets aside in case things get worse. It’s in addition to contingencies – stuff that comes up that you just have to spend money on or people’s live go to hell, like election ads.

At budget time the actual deficit – prior to the forecast allowance – was expected to be $768 million. Now, it’s projected to be $1,369, million which means the actual projected deficit has grown by $601 million since Christy Clark’s first real budget.

That’s over a $100 million more than the BC Liberals told the media yesterday...


But, here's what I'm really wondering (which is pretty much the same thing as Ian, I think)....

How do we know that they (i.e. de Jong, Clark and minions) meant anything they said yesterday?

For example,  one of the weird tidbits in the feckless Finance Minister's press release is the following sentence:

...The projected (provincial budge) deficit for 2012-13 is $1.47 billion, a $328-million increase from the First Quarterly Report due primarily to the change in the completion date of the sale of the Little Mountain property...

What the heckfire is that 'Little Mountain' insertion all about, I wondered?

So I went looking for the actual 'number'....

And this is what I found in the so-called 'forecast changes' ledgers attached to the actual report (numbers in millions):

Two hundred and ninety-two million underwater in Quarter #2?


Is that just one of the rabbits that will be suddenly pulled out of a hat together with a bunch of suddenly new/unexpected resource and/or magically-projected megacasino revenue numbers that will save us all on, say, Apr 2nd 2013 just as the election campaign kicks into high gear?


Of course, it would be nice if we had a respected, impartial, competent, and decidedly non-feckless group of folks in British Columbia that could tell us what's really going on when it comes to our provincial finances and the job our government is actually doing.

Unfortunately, we do not.

Which is not to say we didn't, up until very recently, have such a group 'round here.

Because we did.

It was called the 'Progress Board' and it was killed by Christy Clark in one of her first meaningful acts of (non) governing after she became Premier.

Here is how the peripatetic Paul Willcocks called that killing back in the Spring of 2011:

...The B.C. Progress Board, (was) killed by Clark last week...

{snippety doo-dah}

...The board (reported out on) out six important areas — economic growth, standard of living, jobs, the environment, health outcomes and social conditions. Then it identified key indicators that could be used to measure how well the province was doing each year, things like exports per capita and birth weights and educational achievement....

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...When Campbell was pushed out, I (Mr. Willcocks) turned to the Progress Board reports to assess his government’s effectiveness over the years.

It was barely average, according to the board. B.C. slide backward in the rankings in more categories than it improved over Campbell’s tenure.

B.C. ranked fourth in economic output per capita in the board’s first report in 2002. It was in the same spot in the 2010 report. It was second in real average wage, also unchanged. Employment improved from fifth to fourth. Productivity ranking fell from fifth to seventh among provinces.

On balance, the economic rankings slipped slightly from the NDP years....


Couldn't have a group of fair, independent-minded folks standing up and saying stuff like that, could we.

So they had to go, right?


Oh, and just in case you've forgotten....The commie-pinko, no good BC Liberal government-hating folks on the Progress Board over the years included the likes of David Emerson and one Mr. James Pattison.

Are you getting my drift on this whole thing now?

The truly ironic thing about this Little Mountain 'business'?..... Literally hundreds of Christy Clark's struggling 'families' that she cares about most were kicked out of there years ago...The thing has been a fallow, tragic mess for, like, forever (ie. since the 'downturn')....


The Sixty Four Million Dollar Questions (ctd)...Where The Cuts Are?



Here is today's question that some enterprising reporter could direct towards the feckless Finance Minister, the prevaricating Premier and/or the actual Minister (supposedly) responsible who refuse to state where the cuts will come from...

"Is it true that Ministry of Children and Family Development managers have already told district supervisors to cut their staff's full time equivalents (FTE's) by 8% in the coming year?"

Where did today's question come from?....Well...We have readers....And they send us stuff...So...Feel free to send us even more stuff ....And feel free to do so offline if you like (top-secret, super confidentiality and all that absolutely assured) to... pacificgazette at yahoo dot the two letter suffix for canada (any trouble deciphering?....address is here)....


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gordon Campbell's Chief-Of-Staff...The Man With Two Brains?


North Van's Grumps does an absolutely fantastic dissection of Martyn Brown's two amygdalas over at his place. There's a lot of great stuff there.

Here's NVG's lede:

It must be great to stand up on a Daily newspaper soapbox in Vancouver and talk about current affairs and yet seemingly turn a blind eye as to what happened under his watch when the Main players of David Basi, Bobby Virk and Aneal Basi were toasted by the Press for seven long years.

It was bad enough for some, to lose their memory of what took place inside the Hallowed Halls of the BC Legislature Premier's Office, to then have a Director for BC Rail, who had no trouble, whatsoever, defending his position, his actions, of the Government of Gordon Campbell who told them that the selling off of BC Rail was best for the Province. Yeah sure....


Go and read it all so that you can savour the fruits of NVG's very careful multiple bouts of laser capture microdissection.



The Penultimate Lecture....It's Sweater Day!


Where I work classes end this Friday.

Which means that today was the second-to-last lecture of the really, really big course I teach in the fall.

Which also means that today is the day I wear....

'The Sweater'.

What the heckfire am I talking about this time?

Well, it's all explained in the post below, from a couple of years or so ago.

Please note: Because the post below was written in early 2010, it means that the Bigger E in the story is no longer 17...She did, however, go to school today...The difference? It's 3,000 km away...


My Favourite Sweater


My Grandma E knitted the sweater pictured above when I was still in Gradual School.

Which is a long time ago now.

In fact, yesterday, I was leading a seminar with a new batch of cell biology graduate students and we were discussing "differentiation-dependent changes in G-protein-coupled signal transduction" when one of the kids brought up a paper I wrote back when I was still one of them almost twenty years ago.

But, for the record, the sweater is older.

And I still wear it during at least one gigantor undergraduate lecture each year.

A no-longer-kid who left my lab a while back, and who is now on her way to work at that West Coast private school that plays Berkeley every year in the 'Big Game', really likes my sweater because, she says, "It seems like something Jughead would wear."

The no-longer-kid also, and only half jokingly, always asks if I'll give her the sweater.

I always say no.

And I am not joking.

But that doesn't mean that I'm not as proud of that no-longer-kid as my Grandma E. was of me.


Just before she passed away, in 2001, Grandma E., who always liked to tell people, especially real doctors, that her Grandson was also a 'doctor', asked me if I was ever going to finish going to school.

At the time I'd already been holding down a 'real' academic job long enough that I also had tenure.

Which meant that I was a lifer.

So I smiled and told her no - I was going to go to school until I retired, maybe longer.

Not sure what she thought about that.


When Grandma E. died, our older daughter Bigger E. was eight.

Tonight, she asked me if she could wear the sweater to school tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Friday.

Jan 29th.


Which makes it Bigger E.'s 17th birthday.

Oh my.

Back in Realtime 2012....Sent E. a picture of me in the sweater this morning just before class...Later saw somebody from Montreal touched down on the old sweater post....It's a crazy mixed-up digital world we live in, eh Em?


This Day In Snookland...The Sixty-Four Million Dollar Questions Continue.


Today Christy Clark is going to, apparently, tell British Columbians that she feels our pain.

Also, apparently, she will tell us this right before she bashes us over the head and then informs us that there are going to be tough decisions to make so that we (ie. the people of British Columbian) can clean up the mess/balooning deficit that her government, and the government of her predecessor, has saddled us with.

Presumably, she will not tell us which tough decisions will be made to end her 64 million dollar propaganda program.

And, also presumably, she will not explain (as one of her MLAs, the outgoing Randy Hawes, has done) the details of the subsidy that we (ie. the people of British Columbia) have been paying to her, her brother's, and her advisors' buddies in the beer business.

Gary Mason, in the Globe, has the latter story.....Look specifically for the numbers '$9.4 million per year' and '59 cents a litre'.

So, having said, and presumed, all that....

The 64 million dollar question for today is....

How, exactly, Ms. Clark, do you 'feel the pain' of British Columbia's families?

The above linked-to story is s a good one.... Kudos to the Maceman on this one - nothing obvious, ronnish or otherwise, this time around.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Sixty-Four Million Dollar Questions Continue...

1) Will tough decisions include the axing of all family-funded propaganda budgets immediately?

2) Will difficult choices include firing taxpayer-supported caucus staffers who develop democracy-destroying smear sites on family-funded time?

Just askin'...

(and ya, the droppin' of the 'g' was entirely intentional)


The $64 Million Dollar (Ad-Buy) Question....

...Will The Water Carrying Never End?


You know...

We have to cut ferry services to save $26 million.

Sixty-Four million?.....For ads?.....You betcha!


Nevermind The Bollocks, Here Come The Snook's Ad-Buys.


Vaughn Palmer, in the VSun, gives all those ad-buys we were talking about yesterday a number:

VICTORIA -- While the B.C. Liberals plead poverty on any number of spending priorities, they’ve not exercised restraint on a government advertising budget that is poised to hit $64 million over Premier Christy Clark’s two years in office.

Clark, on becoming premier in March 2011, straightaway presided over a major increase in the advertising spending....

Meanwhile, the BC Ferries schedule is about to be strangled in an 'effort' to save $26 million over the next four years.

Don't know about you, but I'd rather see that money go into the pay-packets of folks working the ferries, folks like you and me, than the consultants and the TeeVee moguls with their snouts in the trough.

And besides, nobody can hop on an ad to get home for Christmas.



Monday, November 26, 2012

Bye-Byes Going Down...


10:12pm....OK, there it is...log-jam broken....205/256 polls in Victoria...Dipper Rankin up by 800 votes over Greenguy Galloway...Looks like Dipper scrutineers had it right (see below; and f.t.r. @justine_hunter had that info early too, unlike that Global TeeVee guy who came in to story way late)...That's it for me...Still have to ride home (was doing grant reviews with 8 windows open...not most efficient way to work)...Hey....One last thing....Will the Harpoon still front up a third of the money for Poop-Treatment in Victoria?...

10:10pm...Have E-Canada hamsters running their website gone home for the night?...Victoria polls reporting stuck on 200/256 for the last 20 minutes...Dippers up by ~300 votes..

9:55pm...RadioCanada's Sophie Rousseau tells us, via the Twittmachine that the late poll surge in Victoria is coming from Dippers' own scrutineers (reported by MLA Rob Fleming inside NDP HQ)...On E-Canada site, now passed 30% of pop vote with only ~2/3 of polls reporting...May hit 40% pop in Victoria...Historically pretty good for a Bye-Bye? (am pretty sure that Bernard von S. will have an historical breakdown up by tomorrow am)...

9:50pm...OK...Starting to see a bit of a move toward the Dipper on E-Canada site now...Beachside/downwind vote must be starting to come in...

9:45pm...Radio Canada apparently has some numbers way ahead of E-Canada in Victoria...Has Dipper Rankin pulling ahead (fo' real?) of GreenGuy Galloway in last 20-30 polls...Don't see those kind of numbers yet on E-Canada site...Or are those numbers that the Dippers themselves have?

9:40pm...Didn't know that Victoria GreenPoopGuy Galloway won nomination after losing (yes losing!) a coin toss in wake of a tie vote at nom. mtg (20-20 votes cast - ha!...He now has over 8,000 from electorate, up by almost 200 now)...Info comes from best regional Tweeter on Vic. Bye-Bye @AMacLeod of The Tyee...

9:30pm...Wowzer!...GreenPoopGuy Galloway just surged to a 150 vote lead over Dipper Rankin in Victoria...

9:20pm...OK, getting a little surreal now...150/256 polls in Victoria...1 vote separates Rankin and Galloway...Does it go to a shoot-out if they're tied at end of regulation (with Mr. Floatie in goal, of course)?

9:10pm...135/256 polls in Victoria now reporting...Green guy Galloway has pulled ahead ever so slightly....Clearly, a whole lotta folks in the Garden City want to keep pumping the poop into the water untreated...

9:00pm...Almost half of polls reporting in Victoria (to heckfire with hashtags!)...Dipper Rankin still up by less than a hundred votes over GreenPoopInTheWaterguy Galloway...Calgary over - with Greeniac still at ~25%...Quite a bit of chatter from the back-eastern Twitterati about how the Dippers got more than 25% in Durham...

8:45pm....With 3/4 of polls reporting looks like Con will prevail in Cgy...Barely...Will be much misplaced JTrudeau bashing tomorrow I reckon...Victoria is unbelievably close Dipper/GreenPoopGuy...

8:30pm....Vote splitting talk/whining has begun in all quarters!

8:25pm...Durham NC hits 30% on pop. vote - Con over half of votes cast...Con up less than 300 votes in Cgy...Shrieking down by river heard.

30 polls (~10%) reporting in Victoria and Greeniac (Floaties Forever!) lover in lead...Heads start to explode in National Press Galleryland....Including deep within the abode of that Mr. Akin guy...

8:05pm...Half of polls now reporting in Cgy - it's a total split Green/Lib/Con (latter with 2point lead), Dipper non-factor...Victoria - it's Dipper/Green...Neither Con nor Lib a factor (but still very early there)...Will any riding get to 30% turnout?....Rockin' hardest on the TwittMobile?....@kady.

7:50pm...Dipper Rankin early lead in Victoria based on kids hanging around Topaz Park (3 polls only)...Durham ON moves to North Carolina, apparently...Looks like a lot of big polls in Calgary have not come in yet...Shift coming if those include the anti-Ralphie vote?

7:25pm (PST)...With about a quarter of the polls reporting it looks like the Con will prevail in Calgary Centre if...Get this!...The Greeniac continues to siphon pretty big numbers from the Lib...This is not Ralph Klein's Cowtown.


Big Rich Goes To PG....Big Donor Wins! (Again)


They can puff it up with all the flack-hackery (and pretend 'give-backs') they want....

But the fact of the matter is that Pacific Western Brewery held its workers hostage while they got their political stooges to give them a better deal than other 'big' breweries.

From the Canadian Press (unbylined in The Globe):

The B.C. government has approved a tax break that it says will allow smaller breweries to expand without paying the full taxes that major beer producers face.

The change comes after Pacific Western Brewing of Prince George said it might lay off staff or even close rather than pay the increased taxes that would result from higher production levels.

Under the old policy, a higher tax rate kicked in when a brewery produced 160,000 hectolitres of beer – each hectolitre being 100 litres of beer.

Deputy Premier Rich Coleman says under the new policy, breweries can produce up to 300,000 hectolitres of beer and still qualify for a favourable tax rate, which rises on a sliding scale depending on the amount of beer produced...


What will happen in, say, two years when the hostage-holding brewery hits 300K on the hectolitre scale?


My Suggestion For Dealing With The BC Ferries Shortfall.



Update: At the bottom of the post

Glen Korstrom of BIV notes that hearings, ostensibly meant to get 'public input' into how to deal with budget shortfalls at BC Ferries, start tonight in downtown Lotusland:

Public hearings to help the B.C. government get ideas for how it can achieve $26 million in savings by 2016, as well as get input on the long-term vision for coastal ferry services in B.C., get underway today.

The first of the public open houses, announced last month, will be held tonight (November 26) at 6 p.m. at the SFU Segal Graduate School of Business at 500 Granville Street.

Victoria earlier this year urged BC Ferries to find efficiencies and cut service in the wake of a financial report that showed vehicle traffic at a 13-year-low and passenger traffic at a 21-year low.

The quasi-private corporation, which is owned in part by the provincial government and receives taxpayer dollars to fund its operations, reported in June $16 million in losses for the fiscal year that ended March 31....

A lousy twenty-six lousy million?


Let's see.

If we got rid of those stupid jobs ads etc, apparently put together by an army of consultants when they are not designing smear sites with the PAB-Bots, that are costing us approximately the same thing (plus or minus an overseas junket or seven)....


Speaking of PAB-Bots....Have you ever peeked at their 'official' all cheery/no smeary YouTube channel?...Check out the traffic (I would never, ever suggest you subject yourself to the content - unless, of course, you are interested in bringing on a bout of self-induced narcolepsy)...That's some bang for that absolutely anti-viral buck, eh?....As for regular ferries to the small islands?....Well, we just can't afford that anymore.
Update: Of course, Norm Farrell knows how to really take care of the Ferry Corp's  so-called 'shortfall'.


Hey National Media!....Just Stop With The Hand Wringing Would Ya.


PLG, over at POGGE (it's an acronym day!), has lots to say about Jeffrey Simpson's "Oh, woe is us" piece in The Globe today about how the Harper government just refuses to talk to the press about icky stuff it doesn't want to talk about.

I like this part best (but the whole post is worth the read):

...If the Conservative government doesn't want to talk, there are lots of people with interests in policy, who don't like the Conservative government much, who would be happy to get some coverage. If the Cons won't talk about their environmental policies, ask David Suzuki--you'll get lots better quotes anyway. If they won't talk about First Nations, ask Charlie Angus, or maybe even (gasp!) a First Nations leader. Imagine: "In answer to our queries, a communications representative of the minister repeated an irrelevant talking point. But First Nations band leader Joseph Awesomedude said the policy seemed designed to punish First Nations who attempt to take independent steps forward."..

And then, of course, there is always the 'Shame The Watercarriers' approach.

More on that later...


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Plumbers In The BC Legislature... "Who Knew?" Says Mike Morton



Update: Please note that this post has been changed (as of 6:00pm Sunday) due to the discussion in the comment thread...Specifically, the two questions regarding Mr. Millar's remittance at the bottom of the post are now "new and improved" thanks to additional information brought to our attention by NVG... 

To his great credit Mike Smyth of The Province has made like the back-end of Woodstein (I reckon COlivier is the front-end) and gotten a few folks in the Premier's inner elipticies on the record about what they knew about their caucus staffers designing anti-Adrian Dix smear-sites under the watchful digital eye (and direction) of Christy Clark's personal 'consultant' Don Millar:

..."I had no idea it was happening," said (Mike) Morton, executive director of the government caucus at the time. "If I had known, I would have said, 'No way. This is way over the line.'"

Clark also didn't know what was going on, an official in her office said.

But someone who clearly did know what was happening was one of Clark's key personal supporters: private-sector consultant Don Millar.

Millar is a longtime friend of Clark who served as communications chair of her Liberal leadership campaign.

In a string of internal government emails, Millar gives direction to government caucus staff to create a schedule for completion of the CantAffordDix website and to set up a Twitter account to promote it.

Why was a private-sector consultant giving orders to staff at the legislature?

"He clearly had no line responsibility and no organizational responsibility," said Liberal MLA Gordon Hogg, chair of the government caucus.

"He had some power because of the position he held with the premier, I guess, and he was trying to flaunt that in some way. Our staff have now been told not to take direction from people other than their supervisors."

Shortly before the CantAffordDix website launched, Millar landed an untendered $10,000-a-month consulting contract with the government. He has not responded to several requests for an interview.

Please note....

While a PR Pledge-Pin in her office has said that Ms. Clark had no knowledge of the plumbers doing ratf*cking under her longtime friend and 'consultant's' direction, Ms. Clark herself has taken no direct questions from the press on the matter and she, herself, has not stated clearly, for the record, that she had no knowledge of what was going on...

So.Why does this matter?

Well, because as we have pointed out, the plumber-based ratf*cking that is 'the politics of destruction' (which, do not forget, also included a BC Liberal ' Party' smear-site) has already worked (at least in their collective hive mind's jaundiced eye) when it came to the taking down of John Cummins and the BC Conservative Party...

Now, with all that in mind...

Here are another couple of questions for the Premier and her innermost elliptics....

"Was any portion of the amount paid to Mr. Millar remitted for incorrectly administered 'consulting' remitted to the people of British Columbia?"

And, given what Mr. Morton and, especially, Mr Hogg had to say...

"If not, why not?"



Of Bridge Tolls And Contracts....The Coming Comeuppance Of The PAB-Bots?


Well, well, well.....

It looks like the PAB-Bots have bitten.

And I, for one, can only wonder if they know what's about to hit them.


Don't know about you, but I'll be keeping a close eye on the goings on over at Laila's place over the next few days.

After all, she's got a king-heck way to deal with PAB-Bots and their propaganda catapults.

Which is that, essentially....

She reads.

And, especially....

She reads....




Is PostMedia Killing Off All It's Editorial Cartoon(ist)s?


A source on double secret-sauce deepest darkest background (and that guy on the Twittmachine too, Brett Mineer) says that The (former) Province cartoonist Dan Murphy has not been fired.

Instead, he's been reassigned to the 'Web Desk', whatever the heckfire that is.


What's next....

Cassidy Olivier sentenced to 10 years of hard time on the janitorial chain gang if he doesn't stop writing blockbusters immediately?


And why not just let all of  the scribblers go?....Well, the double-deep secret source says it has something to do with a crazy little thing called a 'collective agreement'...Guess Conrad The Marauder and Boo Radley didn't quite destroy everything they were done...


Saturday, November 24, 2012

You Didn't Build That...."Thank God For The TVA"


Jason Isbell, doing his real thing, sans Cooley and Hood and all that lot...

This was actually started out as a 'Saturday Night's Alright For Uke (Cover) Fighting!' post featuring this original and this cover....But then I stumbled upon the power of Mr. Isbell's family glory...
Can't quite place the front half of the header?.... Well, there was that antithesis to the 47% thing that went like this... “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”...
TVA?....Tennesee Valley Authority...
As always, thanks to LA photo maven Ellen Bloom for the image of the Uke peghead at the top of the post...Even if we didn't need it this time around...


Showdown In Ho-Ho Town...Stop Blaming The Union.


And who might be saying anti-lazy-ass wire story conventional soundbite wisdom stuff like that?

Commie-pinko labour apologists?



It comes from Michael Hitzlik writing in the Business section of the LA Times. Here is Hitzlik's lede, and a wee bit more:

Let's get a few things clear. Hostess didn't fail for any of the reasons you've been fed. It didn't fail because Americans demanded more healthful food than its Twinkies and Ho-Hos snack cakes. It didn't fail because its unions wanted it to die.

It failed because the people that ran it had no idea what they were doing. Every other excuse is just an attempt by the guilty to blame someone else...

{snippety doo-dah}

...Hostess management's efforts to blame union intransigence for the company's collapse persisted right through to the Thanksgiving eve press release announcing Hostess' liquidation, when it cited a nationwide strike by bakery workers that "crippled its operations."

That overlooks the years of union givebacks and management bad faith. Example: Just before declaring bankruptcy for the second time in eight years Jan. 11, Hostess trebled the compensation of then-Chief Executive Brian Driscoll and raised other executives' pay up to twofold. At the same time, the company was demanding lower wages from workers and stiffing employee pension funds of $8 million a month in payment obligations...

It never ceases to amaze me how often it turns out to be the case these days that, the more you know, the more the conventional 'wisdom' turns out to be anything but.



Ending The Curmudgeon...The Real Numbers


Spurred on by lazy, misleading and conflicty proMedia 'analysis', Norm Farrell has crunched the numbers from the latest Angus Reid poll and this is his conclusion:

...During the last few months, the Liberals conducted guerilla war against the Conservative Party of BC. Supporters of the targeted party who lost faith in its leadership were more likely to migrate to the BC Liberals than to either of the progressive opposition parties. Angus-Reid reports little change in support either for the supposed "coalition of free enterprisers" and the groups that style themselves progressives...

Go see Norm's wizardry (ie. real arithmetic with sums and everything) for yourself. You will not be disappointed.



Ending The Curmudgeon....The Emboldening


As we were saying...

The subheader?.....Croce.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Apparently, Dan Murphy Has Penned His Last Cartoon For The Province.


There is an update to this story.....Here


Didn't something like this happen once already?

Why yes, I believe it did.


CClark and Co's Playbook...Ron Obvious Finally Has A Look



That's right.

Once again running from behind, The Globe's Gary Mason does his best to keep up:

...What the Liberal Party did to Moe Gill was rotten. By all accounts, Mr. Plecas is a smart and decent person. But he should never have accepted the (BC Liberal) nomination (in Abbotsford South) under the conditions he did. It says as much about him as it does about the party he represents...

Nothing, of course, on the prickly morning meeting in an otherwise empty Cactus Club between Mr. Gill and the enforcer, Rich Coleman.

Guess nobody was ready to leak that one and/or help the obvious one eat Chichester Cathedral.


Christy And Co.'s Playbook?..."They Have This Bullying Tactic That Works Really Nice..."


That's 'former' potential BC Liberal Party candidate and Abbotsford South de Jongian foot soldier Moe Gill giving his version of how he was kneecapped in an early morning rendezvous with Rich Coleman in an otherwise empty restaurant out in the valley.

Charlie Smith has the story in the GStraight.

Here's the full quote excerpted in the header above:

...Gill said they (he and Coleman) talked for two hours. "I keep telling him, this is the riding I work in," he recalled. "They have this bullying tactic that works really nice. They do this professionally, I think....He said to me, 'You are not approved.' "

The Abbotsford councillor (Mr. Gill) said he persisted, saying he was going to run in Abbotsford South.

"He said 'You can't run in this riding. You're not approved. The Liberal party is not approving you. How can you run?'," Gill claimed...


And here's something else interesting from Charlie Smith's piece.

According to Mr. Gill, Mr. Coleman also told him this:

..."I'm working for only two people (Coleman apparently told Gill). I listen to those two people and I speak for those two people. One is Christy Clark. The other one is [B.C. Liberal campaign manager] Mike McDonald."...



Who, exactly, was Mr. Coleman listening to when he made that big 'ol beer bong decision?


The End Of The Curmudgeon...Why Dirty Tricks Matter.



Even people like Keith Baldrey are now snarking on about how the $15 million dollar ad campaign from the Campbell/Clark government (paid for by me and mine and you and yours) is not working because the BC Liberal Party is still 18% behind the BC NDP.

But that is not the real news in the latest Angus Reid poll.

Instead the real story is that, despite that wee bit of legislative office memo-sending recently, the smear site merchants and the 'faux' revolutionaries are now fully emboldened.


Because their politics of destruction, specifically as it pertains to John Cummins and the BC Conservative Party, has worked.

And it's all there in the rolling poll timeline ticker (pay particular attention to those red and blue lines since Sept when the 'revolution' was front page/top o' Mr. Baldrey's 6 o'clock news)...


I'm not saying that these people (ie. the smear-site merchants) can get that last 10% from the BC Cons that will get Ms. Clark and her minions to within striking distance of the Dippers (ie. to the high 30's) where all the big money spends, both public and private, that would surely follow just might give them the remotest of remote shots.


What I am saying is that you can now fully expect the fine folks running the young ratf*ckers to have the ears and the attention of everyone in the BC Liberal Party sphere of influence that matters.

And that means that you can also fully expect those same fine folks to send their operatives out in waves to crank up the smears, full-bore, against Mr. Dix et al., in the next 4 months in an effort to inflict as much destructive damage as possible before the campaign gets going for real in mid-April of next year.



Canada Just Got Better.



Because our good friend West End Bob just became one of us.

Head on over to to his place and congratulate him.


And,  for the record, Bob was one of the first to stop off and cheer on the Three Buskateers....I, for one (and maybe only?) will be forever grateful....Here's his video of the event.


How Much Has The HST Cost British Columbians So Far?


Norm Farrell has crunched the actual numbers and he figures that the combination tax grab/tax shift is costing rank and file British Columbians (i.e. those of us who don't have a direct lobbshop pipeline into the Premier's office, and/ the offices of his 'n her minions [eg. ministers]), approximately 3 billion dollars.



Every year.

Here's Norm's kicker (but go read it all!):

...According to public accounts for the fiscal year ended March 31 2010, provincial sales tax revenue was $4.76 billion. In fiscal 2011, sales tax revenue was $5.51 billion. Rather than dropping as Colin Hansen predicted, it was up more than $700 million.

A year later in 2012, HST was $5.64 billion, an increase of 18%, almost $900 million from 2010....

....Of course, one other factor to consider is tax incidence, the effect of a particular tax on the distribution of economic welfare. We were told that, by moving to HST, businesses in British Columbia would save about $2 billion a year. Since HST actually brings in substantially more money and business was largely relieved from paying the tax, the policy move added almost $3 billion a year to the tax burden of consumers...

And if you were to break it down proportionally by income, I'm pretty sure you would see who has really been hit hardest by a hardline, non-progressive consumption tax.

Speaking of hardline and non-progressive....I'll have more to say on the Fraser Institute's latest combination parlour trick/roof-top golf game soon....And yes, it will follow up on this, from John Moore....


Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Wild Progressive Boys...The Mexican...And The Beer Bong.


Thanks to Gary Mason, writing in The Globe, everyone (else) now knows the starting line-up in the Big Brewery Boondoggle...

...Pacific Western (Brewing) hired Liberal insider Patrick Kinsella and his partner, Mark Jiles, to lobby for precisely the change the L(iquor)D(istribution)B(ranch) announced. Making appearances worse, the policy move was announced a week after (Pacific Western's owner) Ms. Komatsu made an in-kind gift donation valued at nearly $27,000 for use as an auction item at a fundraiser Mr. Coleman held in his riding...

{snippety doo-dah}

...You would think that the Premier of the province would have been given a heads-up on this. Christy Clark’s brother, Bruce, was a senior-ranking executive in Pacific Western until three years ago. He’s a good friend of Mr. Kinsella. While there are no direct links between Mr. Clark and this decision, at least on the surface, the Premier should still have been notified about what was coming down the pike given the discussion it might ignite....


Now who's going to ask the hard questions about the playbook?


SmearSiteGate, ctd...Was The Premier Involved?


While he reckons she sets the tone for her party's political bullying, Les Leyne of the VT-C thinks Ms. Clark was probably not directly involved:

...Clark has shown a penchant since winning the B.C. Liberal leadership for going negative in a big way on opponents like Dix and B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins. She wasn't likely directly involved in the (smear) websites.

But she set the tone, which encouraged the party to ignore the line that used to divide caucus work from partisan hackery...


Here's the thing...

To the best of our knowledge no one in the proMedia has asked her, or members of her office, if they were involved.

In fact, they have refused to speak to the matter.

And no one in proMedia is banging down the door demanding an answer, one way or the other, for the record.

Which makes no sense at all based on Cassidy Olivier's original report in The Province that made it clear that people very, very close indeed to Ms. Clark were involved.

Essentially, right from the very beginning:

A Liberal Party attack website aimed at NDP leader Adrian Dix was crafted by government employees at the B.C. legislature under the watchful eye of the Premier’s Office and a Christy Clark loyalist, a series of government emails obtained by The Province reveal...

{snippety doo-dah}

...The recipients included two caucus research staff, a senior issues management co-ordinator with the Premier’s Office, and Don Millar, a close friend of Christy Clark who served as communications chair for her successful leadership campaign...

{snippety doodle dandy}

Hours after the initial Aug. 23, 2011, email was sent, Millar — who currently holds a lucrative contract with Government Communications and Public Engagement allowing him to bill up to $10,000 a month for advisory services — added Mike Wilson to the correspondence chain.

A former vice-president of the communications firm that helped Clark win the party’s leadership, Wilson was at the time on contract with the B.C. Liberal Party for “various” communications duties.

“This is good, adding Mike Wilson so he can get the domain in order,” Millar wrote. “Thomas, maybe you can develop a schedule for this project.”...

{snippety doodle-dandiest}

...On Aug. 31, 2011, Marshall sent out an email at 4:58 p.m. from his work account to the “team” under the subject heading “CantAffordDix” advising them that design on the site had been completed.

By this time, Shane Mills, director of issues management in the Premier’s Office, had been added to the thread. The message was sent to his private Gmail account, the documents show....





Rather than just assuming, as Mr. Leyne has has done, that Ms. Clark was not involved when members of her office and inner circle clearly were, why isn't the proMedia demanding that Ms. Clark answer, for the record, what she knew and when she knew it?

After all, when Woodward and Bernstein found out that Liddy, Haldeman and Mitchell were involved in Mistah Nixon's dirty tricks that was NOT the time that they walked away from the story.


Meanwhile, it would appear that the Wild Progressive Boys are up to their old tricks again, too....Bob Mackin has the definitive, back-story laden take on that one....


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This Day In Snookland...Revolt In South Sliverville


Turns out some members of the grassroots of the BC Liberal Party don't like being dictated to by the dictator and those who pull the strings for her.

Laila, b/w a report from Abbotsford Today, has the story:

In a letter issued this afternoon (Nov 20th) the BC Liberal Abbotsford South Riding Association has resigned saying the election of Darryl Plecas was “both unfair and not democratic.” The letter came from former Riding Association president Stephen Evans....

(snippety doo-dah)

...Clearly, the powers that be running the show at BC Lib headquarters are bound and determined to demonstrate to the public that they don’t even care about democratic process in their own den of inequity...


Wonder if this will get as much Lotuslandian proMedia play as that massive 'revolt' against The Curmudgeon got?

Just askin'.

Wondering about that mysteriously nonsensical sub-header?....It's all


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cigar Tube Musings...


Just got out of the bloody thing.

The cigar tube I mean.

And now I'm in the Ottawash 'tube hanger, which is the only airport I've stumbled across where the pre-board line-ups have more passengers in them than those for the rest of us hoi-polloied.


I'm waiting for a fellow sci-geek to arrive so we can gossip a little and split the cab-ride to the bunker.

So I've got time a little time to kill.

And checking out the BlogCrawl (on the left), I stumbled across a raucous discussion of Translink 'optimization' over at FABula's place.

It really is a heck of a comment thread (250+ and counting)...

And, as far as I can tell, Ms. Bula didn't have to make like Mr. Tweedy* to make it appear.

*And, no, I'm not talking about Jeff, the guy from Wilco....Think chickens and running...


SmearSiteGate: Slapping The PAB-Bots On The Pinkie Toe...


Here's the dressing down that the junior Donnie Segrettis and their CClark-connected seniors got for sitting 'round the digital campfire to cook-up their latest 'When did you stop beating your wife?' smear site while they were, apparently, working for the people of British Columbia (and taking our money for doing so)....

Good morning,

As you have read in today’s Vancouver Province, there is an article in which staff are accused of using Caucus funded email accounts to work on a partisan activity during business hours.

Given the nature of our positions, I realize that there are unique challenges that we face in performing our day-to-day tasks in supporting our BC Liberal MLAs. That being said, all of us must make sure we do not cross the line and perform tasks that contravene our Standards of Conduct.

Please note that our Standards of Conduct states that:

“If engaging in political party activities, employees must be able to retain the perception of impartiality in relation to their duties and responsibilities. Employees must not engage in political party activities during working hours or use government facilities, equipment or resources in support of these activities.”

What happened over a year ago is a reminder of what can happen when these lines are crossed. Those who had involvement in this incident have been reproached.

I wish to remind everyone to follow the Standards of Conduct. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,

Prim Carson
Primrose Carson
Executive Director of
B.C. Government Caucus


That's it.

So...Move along...Nothing to see here.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Re-Invasion Of The PAB-Bot Snatchers....Fire Them All!


Cassidy Olivier, in The Province, has the blockbuster of a story.

Here's his lede:

A Liberal Party attack website aimed at NDP leader Adrian Dix was crafted by government employees at the B.C. legislature under the watchful eye of the Premier’s Office and a Christy Clark loyalist, a series of government emails obtained by The Province reveal.

Launched by the B.C. Liberal Party in October 2011, the website featured aggressive assaults on Dix’s character and unflattering photos of the NDP leader. The site called Dix “Pinocchio” and the “chief architect” of B.C.’s “nightmare” ’90s.

Featuring a smashed piggy bank as a central piece of art, the site also included a legal notice stating it was produced by the Liberal Party of B.C.

But emails leaked to The Province show the site was in reality conceived and developed by government employees, who used a taxpayer-financed computer network to brainstorm the project and, later, to liaise with the B.C. Liberal Party...

I mean, seriously, how low does one have to go to keep one's seat at the table in Snookville these days?


All snark aside, this is disgusting, corrosive to the body politic, and profoundly anti-democratic.

And it is being done by people who are being paid with our money while they do their Ratfucking. 

This type of stuff, which goes right back to  the 'media-monitoring' days when Mr. Basi was still in the Campbell-Clark government good books, is the real reason that they all must go.

Because they are ALL culpable.

(and, given that everyone knows it, anyone who signs up as a new 'star' candidate must go too)



Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Rehabilitation Of Ms. Wente...


This just in from the Gelber Foundation and the UofT's Munk School of Global Affairs:

The Lionel Gelber Prize, a literary award for the world’s best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs that seeks to deepen public debate on significant international issues, was founded in 1989 by Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber. A prize of $15,000 is awarded to the winner. The award is presented annually by the Lionel Gelber Foundation, in partnership with Foreign Policy Magazine and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto...

Which means that they have a jury of esteemed experts on Foreign Affairs to figure out who should win said prize.

And, well, you know...

The Jurors for the 2013 Lionel Gelber Prize are: 

• William Thorsell, Jury Chair (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

• Daniel W. Drezner (Medford, Massachusetts, USA)

• Gaynor Lilian Johnson, Ph. D. (Manchester, UK)

• Walter Russell Meade (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA)

• Margaret Wente (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) 

Media Culpa has more.

Much more.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Hey, Let's Get The Internet To Try It...



The Internet won't like it.

He hates everything.

Hey Inty!......He likes it!

(pundit shaming)


Sunday, November 11, 2012

When Sammy (First) Met Christy...


It was September of 2005...

And Smilin' Sammy Sullivan was fighting it out with Christy Clark for the NPA's nomination for Mayor of Vancouver.

And the Smilin' One was not a happy camper.

Sean Holman had the story then, and his PublicEye archives still have the story now:

Last night, a special meeting of the Non-Partisan Association's board of directors was held at the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel to discuss concerns about the mayoral nomination process. Those concerns were contained in a letter sent to the board last Friday by Warren Smith, a representative of nomination hopeful Sam Sullivan's campaign. Those familiar with the letter inform us the Sullivan campaign challenged the eligibility of 194 new association members to vote at the upcoming Saturday nomination meeting. According to review of 429 forms conducted by the campaign, those members aren't on the provincial voters list. Additionally, Mr. Smith questioned whether former Campbell administration cabinet minister Christy Clark's mayoral nomination campaign paid for the memberships of those they signed-up...

Fast forward to November of that year...

Sammy had vanquished Ms. Clark and he swept to power with an assist from James (not Jim) Green and his big green bus.

And here is what Ms. Clark had to say on election night about the Greenian misdirection, on the air, on the radio station that had not yet hired her to resurrect her sagging career:

"You can't steal an election in a democracy."

We note, with interest, that Ms. Clark didn't say anything about nominations and/or leaderships.

Then, or now.



The Return Of The Bartender!


Billmon that is, with a 'Death of The Southern Strategy' chaser from Randy Newman...

And here is a small chunk of the word version....

...In the end, though, what really makes it hard for me to dine with gusto at the schadenfreude buffet is that the grieving faces on the other side of the partisan divide aren't those people, they're my people -- the middle-class neighbors of my Southern childhood, the kids I went to school with, my redneck uncles and cousins, my own mother and father.

The sagging chins and pot bellies, the crew cuts and blue hair, the bad make up and worse fashion sense -- these are all as familiar to me as the lines on my own face. I know these people too intimately, their pasts are too intertwined with mine, for me to look at them and see only the despised Other, even though I have no doubt that's how many, if not most, of them would look at me.

I also know that they have been lied to, with ferocious intensity and relentless dedication, by the conservative propaganda machine and its political masters. If we must have demons to hate, better to seek them among the con artists who have turned Rwandan-style hate speech into an industry profitable enough to rival the porn business...


If the good Docktor was Player One in the Bloggodome (even before it ever existed), this guy, this Mon named Bill, will always be 1A.

At least to me.