Friday, August 18, 2017

Mr. Bannon's Gold-Leaf Wingnut Welfare-Laminated Parachute Club.


From Maggie Haberman's NYTimes piece on Steve Bannon's firing from Trumpland:

...Mr. Bannon had made clear to allies after the American Prospect interview that he expected to be back soon at the right-wing website that he had steered before joining Mr. Trump’s campaign. He had dinner in New York City on Wednesday night with Robert Mercer, the hedge fund billionaire who is also Mr. Bannon’s chief patron, to discuss the future, according to a person briefed on the discussions...


If that doesn't work out one can only wonder if Mr. Bannon will, perhaps, turn his lonely eyes north in the direction of the good Mr. Levant.

After all, Mr. Levant is in need of new partner, isn't he?

Update: Friday Evening....And so it is done.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Thoughtful Conversation On Race In America.

I remember seeing this picture of a young Lew Alcindor when I was a kid.

At that time I was rabid for all things basketball.

So much so that my friend Danny M. and I actually joined a church just so we could play on their team and, more importantly, acquire a key to their gym.


Even back then I was skeptical that a young superstar like Alcindor (who by the time I first saw the picture above had already crushed the NCAA while at UCLA with John Wooden, won an NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks, and changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar) was ever as truly thoughtful as the kid in the picture above appeared to be back when he was riding the subway in his high school letterman's jacket.

Well, for the record, in this case at least, my skepticism was misplaced.

How do I know I was wrong?

Because I listened to Mr. Jabbar talk to Marc Maron for an hour or so yesterday.

It's an enlightening conversation on a whole lot of levels, not the least of which is the fact that there is no discussion whatsoever of career statistics, et cetera.

The link is....Here (starts at the 41 min mark).

And, slightly tangentially to the topic....I find it most interesting that a small clutch of Canadian media types who have long associated themselves with hate mongers are now suddenly surprised to learn that such mongering actually begets hate...Sheesh.


Monday, August 07, 2017

Musical Gold Panning On A Holiday Monday...


I spent a chunk of Saturday working on the real thing, analyzing populations of tumor infiltrating cells by flow cytometry. It's a workhorse tool of immunologists that lets you characterize immune cells based on various physical characteristics and molecular markers. Not my favourite way to go given that I've spent most of my career assessing phenotypes based on what cells actually do rather than using somewhat fungible, and sometimes capricious markers - still, it's powerful and we're working with folks who really know what they're doing on the project.

This afternoon was different though. All catch-up and paper-worky given that it is the season for reference letter writing, lecture prepping, and getting various and assorted registrational and CV-type bits done in advance of the grant writing season to come.


I spent a good chunk of the kinda/sorta administrative afternoon listening to one of my favourite musical podcasts. It's produced by a guy named Bill Frater and near the top of queue in show #388 from back in mid-July I stumbled across a tune from a group of kids from Los Angeles I hadn't noticed before called 'The Wild Reeds'.

All of which led me to their recent KEXP showcase, above, and an even more recent appearance at the Newport Folk Festival.

Then, rooting about in their feeds landed me here....which ultimately sent me off to listen to a whack of classic, pre-big fame Jackson Browne.

Music, as opposed to poli-pods, etc., helped me got a lot done this afternoon.


And do not cry for me Argentina because I really like my job...The real thing is best, of course, but the other stuff isn't so bad either...The upshot - on average I get to spend at least half of my time on the real thing all of which is stuff that we as a research group have chosen to chase...Can't complain about that.
Oh, and in case you were wondering....Ever since I was a kid I've had this thing that one of my best friends dubbed 'two-track'...It allows me to pay pretty close attention and be absorbed by two different tasks at once...Got me out of many a jam in school when a teacher thought I was goofing off...I was, of course, (goofing off I mean) but was often also simultaneously paying attention...Has been known to drive my kids crazy though.


Saturday, August 05, 2017

The Ol' Turdstormer To The Rescue.



As Bob Mackin noted on the tweet thread, you'd think the good Mr. Bennett could at least spell Mr. Plecas' given name correctly.

Old Turdstormer?....Well...You know.


Friday, August 04, 2017

A 'Club' Versus 'Not-Club' Lotuslandian ProMedia Battle Royal...


In the' Club' corner, Mr. Mason of the Globe:

We may never know if there were darker forces behind Christy Clark’s surprising decision to resign, effective this Friday, as both Liberal leader and MLA. So absent any titillating information to the contrary, we are left to accept the explanation she is now offering up for her swift and sudden departure...


...While the majority of the caucus stood behind her, Ms. Clark, as savvy a political operator as they come, could sense trouble on the horizon, especially the longer the NDP was able to govern. She said she took a “walk along the water” last Thursday evening and along the way “my head caught up with my heart.” The next morning she informed her caucus of her decision...

In the 'Non-Club' corner, Mr. Mackin, of the Lance of the Free:

...“I talked to the caucus the day before [her July 28 resignation], I asked them all, did they want me to stay, did they want me to go?” Clark said July 31 in Vancouver. “Every single person in the room asked me to stay.”

That is not the way it went down, according to two independent sources intimately familiar with the caucus retreat at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. Clark chose to quit instead of being dumped...


...The sources told theBreaker that, during the retreat, Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas demanded a review of Clark’s leadership. He even threatened to quit caucus and sit as an independent when the Legislature reopens this fall.

Plecas was not alone in the release of pent-up anger directed at Clark. Of the prevailing mood at the retreat, one of the sources said bluntly: “It was really ugly.” ...

Looks like a 3rd Round TKO, Mackin, to me.

There is a Club?....Darn tootin'!
Update: Mr. Plecas confirms....


This Fundraising Thing Is A Problem.


From Lindsay Kines in the VTC

...The NDP is billing the event as the “Leader’s Golf Tournament” and inviting people to join (Premier John) Horgan and “MLA Rob Fleming” for a round of golf and a dinner reception on Thursday, Aug. 24.

The NDP is charging $2,000 for a foursome of golfers and confirmed Thursday that the event will operate under “existing rules” — meaning that corporations and unions are free to buy tickets...


...Fleming said the government will follow through on its promise to prohibit union and corporate donations once the legislature resumes sitting in September.

“We’re going to ban them at the first legislative opportunity and that’s in the fall,” he said.

In the meantime, the golf tournament will operate under existing rules, he said.

“I’ve had golf tournaments for years. I think this is the 10th annual. The price is the same. The time of year is the same, and we’ll continue to have golf and other fundraising events under the new rules because they’re fun and they’re open to the public.”

A financial report on the Elections B.C. website shows that the NDP charged $500 a ticket for a Leader’s Tournament last September, pulling in $32,000 from organizations. Once costs and other sales were tabulated, the NDP made nearly $22,000...

Back in the run-up to the last election campaign I was happy to defend the need for Dippers to go after big money so that they wouldn't be forced to battle the corporate Wizards of Clarklandia with one hand tied behind their backs.

But now, well...

I'm sorry but stuff like this golf tournament thing just can't stand.

Because Mr. Fleming is no longer just 'an MLA'.

Instead, he is now the Minister of Education and his boss is the Premier.

Thus, I can only conclude that this is straight-up cash for access.



The Dippers needn't worry about the screamers and the shillophants from the various and assorted sundry BCL Klout Klub bunkers who will seize on this.

As for Andrew Weaver and the Greens? Well, that might be of some concern.

But I think the folks they should really worry about are individual people like me.

Individuals that will actually give the Dippers a big advantage, both donor number and dollar wise, once the big money is out of it.

Personally, I'm ready and waiting to give the maximum an individual can give once the legislation Mr. Eby is currently crafting is in place.

So get it done.

And in the meantime stop with the silly fundraisers that will bring in some measly $20 to  $30K at the price of your/our integrity.



Wednesday, August 02, 2017

In Which Ron Gets More Obvious Than Ever.


In his latest column, Mr. Mason of the Globe does some amateur psychoanalyzing of our former premier before he gets down to brass tacks about who the next leader of the BC Liberals might be.

After mentioning the usual suspects, Mr. Mason then wrote the following about someone he thinks would be a 'strong contender' for the leadership:

...Another person apparently getting pressure to consider it is Gary Collins, the former finance minister under Gordon Campbell. (Mr. Collins is related to a Globe and Mail staff member, who was not involved in this piece.)

Mr. Collins, who was in government from 1991 to 2004, has worked in the private sector since retiring from politics and would be a strong contender should he decide to take the plunge...


I think Mr. Mason my have left out a couple of details there.

Specifically, why, exactly, did the good Mr. Collins step down from the Golden Era government of Gordon Campbell in 2004?


Where, exactly, did he fly away to before landing in the private sector?

Why might those two specific bits of missing information matter to British Columbians who are interested in a more complete description of the track record of a very fine former politician who could, potentially, become a future leader of a major political party in this province?


...You know (from the autumn of 2010, just after the six million dollar Railgate Trial ending deal went down):

We have already established the following.....

....Former RailGate era Finance Minister Gary Collins once worked for David Ho's now defunct Harmony Airways.

....Current Deputy Finance Minister Graham Whitmarsh, who helped Deputy AG David Loukidelis put together the super-secret $6 million dollar plea-copping bonus-baby deal that ensured that former Minister Collins would never have to testify, under oath, in front of transcripts of RCMP surveillance wiretaps, at the RailGate trial, also worked for Harmony back in the day.

But here's something we didn't know, courtesy of Sean Holman's (still!)fantastic archives over at Public Eye.....

.....Current Deputy Finance Minister Whitmarsh was 'relieved' of his duties at Harmony on Nov. 30th 2006.

....Former RailGate era Finance Minister Collins resigned from Harmony just one day later on Dec. 01 2006...

Imagine that!

For those interested, the above connections and associations form the core of an important, in my opinion at least, unanswered question about Railgate (scroll down to the question in red if you want to skip the preamble).


Our Former Premier...Extremely Economical With The Truth To The Bitter End.


At her 'last press conference' yesterday, Ms. Christy Clark was asked the following about Linda Kayfish, Rod MacIsaac's sister:

Reporter: “Are you going to reach out to her again before you leave at the end of the week?”

CClark: “I have asked her for meetings several times, but she hasn’t accepted.”

Marcella Bernardo of CKWX/1130 followed up and went straight to Ms. Kayfish for comment:

...However, Kayfish says she has no record of Clark or anyone from her staff reaching out to her. “No. There’s no messages. I was actually astonished that she said the things they did. I would like to know if we could do an FOI to see all of the times they tried to reach out.”...



Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Bye-Bye To The Sparkle Pony Purveyors, Every (Single) One.



The big news is that the Flippiest one them all is gone, as noted by Charlie Smith in the GStraight:

One of Christy Clark's most vocal supporters in the 2013 election campaign has received his walking papers from the new NDP government.

Gordon Wilson was appointed in October 2013 as the Buy B.C. LNG ambassador by the B.C. Liberal government. This came after a high-profile pre-election endorsement of Clark...


...According to Jobs, Trade and Technology Minister Bruce Ralston, Wilson was paid more than $550,000 by the Christy Clark government.

Yet Ralston claimed that his staff has been "unable to locate any reports written by him", according to an article in the Times Colonist.

But, as Bob Mackin notes, it would appear that the original trillion dollarist has moved on as well:

Imagine that!

Meanwhile, the good Ms. Tyabji says don't believe anything your read, see or hear....Or some some such thing.