Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ms. May's Greenshifting.


To the best of my knowledge no one has ever confused the Green's new war room guy Warren Kinsella with Otto von Bismark.

However, someone sure as heck has Ms. May talking out loud about the art of the possible in raw political terms.

Mia Rabson had that story recently in the Canadian Press. Here is her lede:

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May would work with any other party in a minority Parliament with a serious climate plan—and even thinks she could influence Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives to drop their crusade against carbon pricing “if it means the difference for them between governing or spending more time in opposition”....

Thing is, Ms. May's own attempts to be pragmatic and serve up something electorally palatable, platform-wise, has caused a bit of a rift in her own party.

And it turns out that the fuss is about something pretty darned significant, namely whether or not to keep all that ethical ooze flowing from the Alberta's tarsands.

Alex Ballingall had that story last week in the Star:

The federal Green Party’s openness to continued activity in Alberta’s oilsands has created a rift with some supporters — including party leaders in two provinces — who want to rapidly shut down the industry that employs tens of thousands of people and is responsible for a large portion of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions...


May defended her party’s plan as a “hugely ambitious” blueprint for political action to slash emissions in accordance with what the international community of climate scientists has called for. The plan seeks all-party co-operation to tackle the crisis of climate change and rapidly reduce emissions by 60 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 — double the government’s current target — and then to net zero by 2050.

The plan would also halt all new development of fossil fuels in Canada — including multi-billion dollar natural gas export projects — and stop all oil and gas imports from other countries. In their place, May proposes that Canada use energy that’s already produced here for domestic needs while the country shifts to 100 per cent renewable energy. By 2050, the Greens would ensure all bitumen produced in Canada would be used only for the petrochemical industry, but May said the country will need to stop burning fossil fuels “well before” that...


Interestingly, one thing Ms. May did not mention is the considerable cost, in climate warming terms, that it takes to keep all that ooze flowing:

...Emissions from extraction in the oilsands have climbed 158 per cent since 2005, and the oil and gas industry was responsible for 27 per cent of total emissions in Canada in 2017, according to the federal government’s national tally submitted this year to the United Nations...

Imagine that!

Why do some actually think
of that ooze as 'ethical'?....Well, you can thank the pre-Rebel Glimmer Twins, Mr. Levant and Mr. Marshall for that one...


Cover Thee...

Putting these here because a few mobile readers who can't see the sidebar asked...


Monday, July 22, 2019

How Base Is Base? (#CdnPoli Edition)


The conventional media wisdom is that Donald Trump solidifies his base every time he brings out the worst in its members.

But can Mr. Trump win with that body politic-not to mention nation-, destroying strategy?

It's debatable but not impossible given that the American Electoral College helped Trump and Bannon win with just 46% last time. In addition, certain swaths of Mr. Trump's base punch way above their demographic weight.

And, in case you missed it, Mr. Trump's numbers have actually risen since he went on his latest overt racism rampage:

...President Donald Trump's overall approval rating ticked upward to 48 percent in July, compared to 45 percent in a NBC News|SurveyMonkey online poll in September. The president's disapproval rating decreased to 51 percent, compared to 54 percent in the September poll...



Does this type of thing mean that we will see such base brazeness during the upcoming Canadian Federal Election Campaign?

Well, given the past performance of Mr. Scheer and his current campaign chair, Mr. Hamish Marshall, there certainly have been whispers in the dog whistles according to the CBC's Catherine Cullen:

...During the (Conservative Party)leadership race (in 2017), Scheer and Marshall teamed up to run a campaign based on keeping the party united and not straying too far from the Harper orthodoxy on policy.

The campaign made a series of targeted pitches, like tax relief for families who homeschool their children. In another pledge, he said he would "prioritize real refugees" by standing up for persecuted Christian minorities in a way the campaign said the Liberals had failed to do.

Scheer also pledged to pull federal grant funding from universities that didn't defend free speech, though he has since said that wouldn't apply to "extreme examples" like white nationalist rallies...

But will Mr. Scheer go all in on the overt stuff in a Trumpian way in the run-up to the October 21st vote?

Given that Mr. Marshall is an avowed master of the demographic slice 'n dice b/w psychological profiling, I doubt that will happen in the early going.

However, if Mr. Scheer does not do well with the middle and the Greens rise enough to significantly impact Liberal numbers in multiple ridings, including in BC's lower mainland, Mr. Marshall's microtargetting of the various and sundry psych-rages visible within his rebellious database just may go macro in an effort to squeeze every single possible vote out of the base.

After all, don't forget that the last time Liberal numbers sank significantly in 2011, Mr. Harper won a majority with...

Wait for it...



Friday, July 19, 2019

If Woody Guthrie Flew In Today...

...What would his guitar say?


Here's our cover of a Guthrie classic...

Header at the top of the post giving you a wee earwormoapalooza?...This.
And...If you're going to the Lotuslandian Folk Festival this weekend, make sure you check out Sarah Shook and the Disarmers...


Saving Canadian Journalism?



How much of the federal government's, 'Save The (Legacy) Press!' subsidy will go to, say, Postmedia this year?

Canadaland's Johnathan Goldsbie reports that it will be close to $10 million:

In its quarterly earnings report released today, Canada’s largest newspaper company said that it expects to receive $8 to 10 million per year from the federal government’s new tax credit for journalist salaries.

“Based on our current staffing levels,” wrote the management of Postmedia, “we expect the per-annum journalism tax credit to be between $8 million and $10 million,” dating from January 1 of this year [pdf]...

Which, of course, is supposed to help pay for all kinds of reporters:

The refundable labour tax credit introduced by the government in its most recent budget will subsidize 25% of the salaries of “eligible newsroom employees,” to a maximum of $13,750 per person per year. A subsidy of $9 million would represent about 650 employees with annual salaries of at least $55,000 each...


This is all fine and good, except...

Based on past performance, an argument could be made that our money will actually make it possible for the hedge fund debt-strapped, money losing company to keep-on-keepin'-on with its habit of compensating the very private entitity's top five executives at the super-fine levels they so richly deserve.

The Halifax Examiner's Tim Bousquet published an analysis of those super-fine justly deserved numbers recently:

Yesterday, Postmedia released its Management Information Circular in preparation of January (2019)’s shareholder meeting; the circular shows that CEO Paul Godfrey was awarded a $1.2 million bonus on top of his $1.2 million dollar salary in 2018, and with stock options brought in over $5 million in 2018. The top five execs at Postmedia collectively received over $10 million in compensation...

Imagine that!

Please note: No legacy press investigatory resources were used in the construction of this post...


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Hang Up The Phone. The Trolls Are In The...

...White House!


From Will Sommer of the Daily Beast:

Donald Trump has invited personalities from across the right-wing internet to the White House on Thursday for a “Social Media Summit,” but the event is causing his administration headaches even before it begins.

So far, the summit has stirred up resentments among pro-Trump personalities who were never invited to the party, and one invitee has been disinvited over an anti-Semitic cartoon—raising questions for the White House about why he was invited in the first place.

The White House hasn’t released a public list of attendees for the Thursday afternoon event, but a number of pro-Trump personalities have posted invitations on Twitter. They include Ali Alexander, a right-wing operative pushing a smear that Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (CA) isn’t really “an American Black,” a pro-Trump “memesmith” who goes by the screenname “@CarpeDonktum,” and blogger Jim Hoft, whose Gateway Pundit blog frequently promotes hoaxes...


...Notably, the group so far doesn’t appear to include anyone who has actually been banned from major social platforms, even though those bans have played a significant role in driving accusations on the right that the social giants are biased. Pro-Trump figures like anti-Muslim activist Laura Loomer, InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and Proud Boys men’s group founder Gavin McInnes, for example, don’t appear to have been invited.

That fact hasn’t been lost on fringe Trump supporters. In a livestream from Washington, D.C., InfoWars reporter and Jones lieutenant Owen Shroyer raged that no one from InfoWars was invited to the event, while people who hadn’t been banned were...

In other words, the worst of the worst is not, apparently, the absolute worst.

Or some such thing.

But really, who needs rabid plumbers in the basement when you've already filled the pipes to bursting with political propagannonists?

You can hear Mr. Sommer talk about this, and more, with WNYC's  Brooke Gladstone on a recent edition of 'On The Media'...


Mr. Hansen's Own Private Andrea True Connection.

Ear worm in the title to the post burrowing into your brain?

More! More! More!

How scared are the Status Quo Vadists of that PoCo mayor?...Crapless.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Folks I'm In Awe Of...


I'd read his column in the Georgia Straight, but it was reader Glen C. that brought Stanley Q. Woodvine's blog to my attention.

Mr. Woodvine is an amazing guy who is always up to something interesting while he simultaneously goes out of his way to give his friends and compatriots a leg-up.

And, oh yeah, Stanley is also homeless.

Just one of the many things I've come to realize by reading Stanley's stuff is just how hard he and his have to work to make a go of it every single day (and night).
Most recently, SQV has been on a quest to map all of Lotusland's remaining pay phones which spurred on Chris Cheung to go out and photograph them for the Tyee...


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Bonfire Of The Flack Hackeries.


Former ClarkWorld paper-free guy and more recent member of the flack hackery to all stars Ken Boessenkool has weighed in on the hiring of  Warren Kinsella by Ms. May and the federal Green team.

You know, all snark aside, I can't help but wonder if this extreme fetishization of the brass political expediency ring is a true indication of the increasing Americanization of our culture.



Monday, July 15, 2019

What Was The Real Motivation Behind The Little Mountain Land Sale?

Photo mantage - see note at bottom of post


One thing we, the idiot bloggers who said so at the time, now know for sure, it was not about using the money from the sale to generate more affordable housing elsewhere.

How do we know this?

Because Lori Culbert and Dan Fumano just told us so in their most excellent recent VSun piece:

...The (B.C.) Liberals have maintained that selling Little Mountain gave them the money to build social housing in other locations, but Postmedia discovered that — because (developer) Holborn hasn’t yet paid for the bulk of the land — the Liberals instead borrowed the money from the Treasury Board and promised to pay it back once Holborn settled its debt...


What was the sale of a massive 15 acre chunk of public land in the heart of Vancouver and the resulting demoviction of hundreds of families that followed really all about then?

Was it a really big favour for a favoured  $300K, plus, big donor?


However, I think I'll stick with my original hypothesis, which was formulated after the discovery of a small item buried in Cookie Dough Mike de Jong's budget update in the fall of 2012:

Now those suddenly negative numbers, which if you think about it kinda/sorta presaged the Culbert/Fumano rumination by almost seven years, got me thinking of the long con of the original budget bump that occurred with the sale of the land back in 2008.

And the conclusion I came to is that all those families and, as we now know for certain, all British Columbians, were screwed so that the BC Liberals could claim, yet again, that they were running a surplus in the run-up to the last of the GordCo, Inc. election victories the following spring.
Which was ten years ago.

My, but that 'Golden Era' sure does have a long tail, eh?

The image at the top of the post is not real...Mr. Campbell most definitely did not campaign, or put up campaign signs, at the soon to be destroyed Little Mountain housing complex in the spring of 2009...We just wish he had.