Friday, October 25, 2019

A Country Called Potemkin.


From Astead Herndon and Maggie Astor writing in the NY Times:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — President Trump, speaking to a handpicked audience of supporters at a historically black college here on Friday, belittled the Obama administration’s record on racial issues and claimed that his own administration had helped African-Americans beyond anything “in the history of our country.”...


...Mr. Trump and his allies billed the speech, at Benedict College in Columbia, as a chance for the president to step outside the friendly confines of his supporter base and promote his administration’s record on criminal justice reform and black employment directly to a black audience.

But only about 10 students from Benedict were given tickets to the invitation-only event, which had room for about 300 attendees, said Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin of Columbia. More than half of the seats were reserved for guests and allies of the administration, organizers said.

The ticket distribution was first reported by McClatchy DC.

The friendliness of the audience was clear from the moment Mr. Trump took the stage, when someone shouted, “We love you, Mr. President, we love you!” More than once, the audience broke into chants of “four more years,” to which Mr. Trump responded at one point: “Just don’t say 16 more years. You’ll drive them crazy.”...


Have our good friends to the south reached peak despot yet?


Thursday, October 24, 2019

And So It Begins...'Find Us A Real Tory!'


Yesterday we were ruminating about how the Conservative Reform Alliance Party cannot win as currently constituted because they are a faux facsimile of the former 'Tory' party.

And now, it would appear that some of a conservative bent may have become emboldened enough to start ruminating for a move back toward the (progressive?) center...

Check out the comments at the link.

Personally, I wonder if a rabid base unchained (and constantly prodded by well-funded rebellers and strongists) can be restrained by reason.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Failure.


Harvey O has an interesting take on why the 'Tories', as currently constituted, cannot win:

...What failed the Tories?

I believe, if there’s a lesson in the election results for the Official Opposition party … it’s that MOST Canadians (if you add up the Liberal, NDP, Green or even Bloc popular vote) SUPPORT the fight against climate change, ACCEPT the carbon tax, FAVOUR women’s choice on abortion, UPHOLD respecting LGBTQ rights, and AGREE with foreign aid, welcoming refugees and immigration.

Canada has changed … and, if they want to win, the Tories must as well.

Fair enough, particularly the part about what most Canadians support, accept, favour, uphold and agree with.


For the 'Tories' to change they would have to throw out the grifters, firewallers, and the discourse destroying, Manning-back 'strongists' first so that they could actually become...

What's that term, again?

Oh, ya...



Sunday, October 20, 2019

What If...


A crazy thought popped into my pretty much pundit-free head during an Email back and forth with reader e.g. earlier this evening.

What if, by, say, 11:30 pm Pacific time Monday night, things are so close that JWR holds the balance of power from her perch in Vancouver Granville?


With A Rebel Yell...


Did anyone paying attention not think that this would happen sooner or later?

Today, in Lotusland, Mr. Scheer blamed the chanting on a 'few individuals, 'rebel'lious or otherwise.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Mr. Scheer Takes The Fifth...


Mr. Scheer has taken the fifth on the 'seek and destroy' Bernier affair.

Here he is responding to questions from the former Sushiboy and current CTVBellTSNGlobeCraveRDSVuVenus'NEverythingElse guy, Glen McGregor:

It's almost as if the current leader of the former Conservative Reform Alliance Party has been transported to Fantasy Island to shout 'Boss! Boss! The Rulez!'

Or some such thing.


Scotty On Denman Weighs In...

...On 'Tactical' Voting.

Longtime reader S on D wrote the following in a comment to our recent post on the Green candidate who took a hard look at all the numbers in his Redmonton(ish) riding and suddenly quit and asked his supporters to consider voting for the Dipper:

"...This is yet another occasion to gage leader Elizabeth May’s cavalier position(s) on tactical (“strategic”) ~voting and voting ‘from the heart’ instead of with the head.

She sniped at the NDP for clarifying allegations that its “candidates” had gone Green —which May initially welcomed until the disingenuity of the report was outed. She retorted her party “gave” the NDP leader his by-election win in a riding the Greens wouldn’t have won. The NDP leader had to defend against this smear, not apologize.

It’s May’s conceit that the Greens will hold the balance of power in a minority: the NDP or Bloc are much more likely to win that position.

May insists the BoP will empower her to force a minority government—even a ScheerCon one—to implement proportional representation without the alleged divisiveness of a referendum (after a series of convincing referendum defeats). Can May expect a ScheerCon minority to impose pro-rep on an electorate that’s reiterated its distaste for it—all to advantage a small party like hers? (The day is yet to come when the Cons want pro-rep as much as May; they have to be reduced to fringe party status first.)

In today’s Tyee, May said not to “worry about strategic [sic] voting, or at least decide the strategic [sic] vote is Green,” speaking to voters who want to help “wild salmon, climate policy and reconciliation.” But in ridings like mine that would split the vote, elect the Conservative candidate, and maybe a Conservative government—a curious recommendation for a professed environmentalist given the incumbent NDP MP here has done all those things and more whilst in Ottawa. For May, tactical voting equals ‘bad’ (so ‘bad’ as to recommend pro-rep which, May claims, would preclude such ‘evil’)—unless it tactically helps the Greens, a remarkably flexible ethic).

May is flexible, not only about tactical voting and balance-of-power brokering, but also about which ridings Greens may or may not run in. Nominated candidates may not continue to run if they pre-concede the contest in favour of an environmentalist candidate with better odds of winning (who released Green supporters can assist); they may not run in by-elections where the leader of another party is seeking a seat; and they may not run in ridings where May is courting a stand-offish Independent candidate like Jody Raybold Wilson. But it’s too bad a Green may run in ridings like mine where the risk of Green supporters splitting the vote and electing an environmentally unfriendly party is almost certain without tactical voting.

It’s remarkable is how poorly the Greens have polled despite the environment being the number-one issue. What is holding an overtly environmentalist party back in this circumstance? Perhaps it’s not so much what as who.

I don’t wish the Green Party ill, I just want Green supporters to vote tactically in ridings where the Party has little chance of winning but where Green votes are likely to split the anti-ScheerCon vote; the party simply isn’t strong enough yet to discount this electoral tactic —or to get preachy about tactical voting as if this general election is a referendum on electoral systems. The Greens have made this their centrepiece platform in every election without reward. If electoral-reform was so good to JT and BC’s NDP and Greens, why not for the federal Greens?

May I say to my Green compatriots: whatever happens on Moon’s Day, you might consider making this the last election to use Elizabeth May as leader considering y’all should be doing much, much better than having to affect cavalier conceit about parties, elections, parliaments and voters."

Hard, for me at least, to argue with that.

In our riding here in Lotusland's near Eastern Townships, which apparently has something to do with way of Kings not named Emerson, I sure do hope that progressive leaning folks of a certain bent realize what kind of disastrous split an impulsive vote for the former TeeVee teleprompter regurgitator could lead to given the rapidly rising European SUV quotient around here.
Which reminds me...Might be time to grind out this election's version of 'Stopping Cons In Lotusland'... Trouble is, compared to last time there appears to be a bit of a dearth of riding-specific publicly available polling available (unless I've missed something).


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Strategic Voting Is One Thing, But What About Strategic Campaignery?


David Climenhaga has the story on his truly excellent Alberta-focused blog. Here is his lede:

Michael Kalmanovitch, the Green Party of Canada Candidate in the tight Edmonton-Strathcona race, told an all-candidates’ forum at the riding’s King’s University College yesterday that he is dropping out and asking his supporters to vote strategically for the NDP’s Heather McPherson.

“Based on polling projections, it has become clear that success is unlikely under our first-past-the-post system,” Kalmanovitch said in a news release on his personal website. “The Climate Crisis is too important for people and parties to play politics as usual.”...

The response from the FedGreens is the most succinct, unequivocal thing they have said all campaign:

...Within hours, the Green Party issued a statement in Ottawa announcing Kalmanovitch “has been removed as its candidate in Edmonton Strathcona and is no longer a member of the party.

“The Green Party will have no further comment,” it concluded...

Imagine that!


Monday, October 14, 2019

Separation Of Church And...



(from US State's front page, seriously, Oct 14/19)


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Star Ladders For Sunday.


On Friday afternoon, C. and the whackadoodle picked up Bigger E. from her place before prying out of the lab so that we could all head for the ferry.

And, just for the record, whenever possible we always travel the Spirits when crossing the Salish Sea.

Later that evening we stopped on the other side to gather up littler e. from the basement suite she shares with her friend G. that is located smack-dab in the middle of Elizabeth May Ville on the southern-most tip of Vancouver Island.

After that we headed west, to Colwood, so that we could all spend Thanksgiving weekend with Grandpops.

A weekend that is, as of this writing on Sunday afternoon, still ongoing.



As you may have gathered from the babble above, the two E.'s both have places of their own now.

Luckily, they still like to do (at least some things) with C. and me.

Kids these days...

Image at the top of the post is the E's doing two of the things they still like to do almost the most in downtown Lotusland awhile back.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Keef Report...Who's Answering Now?

Sometimes, when it comes to the insider access POV's of the Legislative Gallery's Glimmer Twins all you have to do is wait a couple of weeks to see the worm fully turn.

To wit, Mr. Shaw's recent Postmedia Mama Mia calorie-free Cuppa piece:

The legislature’s former sergeant-at-arms cannot be disciplined for a finding of discreditable conduct in a new report because he abruptly retired last week.

The NDP government house leader, Mike Farnworth, said there’s no ability to recover any salary, retirement, vacation or other benefits given to Gary Lenz when he was sergeant-at-arms. Lenz is accused in a new report of lying about his knowledge of missing liquor at the legislature and failing to investigate the incident...


...(Former clerk of the legislature Craig) James resigned in May. He was found to have committed workplace misconduct in an investigation by former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley McLachlin.

Lenz was cleared by McLachlin and asked for his job back.

But Plecas launched the LePard probe instead. LePard concluded Lenz had lied to McLachlin over what he knew about $8,000 in missing liquor that James had loaded into his own pickup truck at the legislature in 2013...

Imagine that!

Again, Mr. Plecas gave his side of the story to Bob Mackin while those with all the glimmers, not to mention the smirks and smarm, were smacking the speaker down over his travel budget.


Saturday, October 05, 2019

The Grey Lady Buries The Inverted Pyramid Lede By...

...Re-Inverting It.


Kenneth Vogel and Michael Schmidt wrote a piece that was published, above the fold, on the front page of yesterday's dead tree version of the New York Times.

The headline over top the thing was 'U.S. Envoys Drafted Statement Binding Kiev To Inquiries'.

The first paragraph went like this:

Two of President Trump’s top envoys to Ukraine worked on a statement for the country’s new president in August that would have committed Ukraine to pursuing investigations sought by Mr. Trump into his political rivals, according to three people briefed on the effort and documents released Thursday night...

And if you wanted to know something about the validity of the 'investigations' being sought by Mr. Trump you had to wait for the 21st paragraph that appeared on pg 21 after the jump:

...Mr. Trump’s regular suggestions that Ukraine, rather than Russia, was responsible for the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee have been thoroughly debunked. While some Ukrainian officials expressed opposition to Mr. Trump in 2016, claims by Mr. Trump and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, that documents released in Ukraine that year implicating Mr. Manafort in financial fraud were falsified or doctored have not been substantiated...

Which is as straightforward and explicit as it should be.

So good on Mess'rs Vogel and Schmidt for getting it in there.


When the facts that matter are buried so deep in the story that 98.3% of readers have already moved on to the latest slop from David Brooks on the same day's NYT OpEd page, is it any wonder that those not paying very close attention have no idea what's really going on here?

Real question, of course, is...Who positioned 21on 21, the authors or the editors?


Thursday, October 03, 2019

Elections BC will not be making further comment on this issue...


From Elections BC:

VICTORIA (Oct 1) – Elections BC’s review of an issue brought forward by Kelowna West MLA Ben Stewart is complete. The review found that no provisions of the Election Act were violated.

MLA Stewart wrote Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman on August 1, 2019, to advise him of the issue. It involved a political contribution to the BC Liberal Party that was reimbursed to the contributor by the party. The review found no evidence that the political contribution and reimbursement were made in contravention of theElection Act.

Elections BC now considers this matter closed. To protect the privacy of the individuals involved, Elections BC will not be making further comment on this issue.

Mr. Mackin has more:

...Kelowna West MLA Ben Stewart is back in the BC Liberal caucus after a two-month absence.

He also broke his silence Oct. 1 and talked to, but refused to discuss the reasons for the Elections BC investigation that eventually cleared him...


...“I’ve subjected myself to the scrutiny of Elections BC, you can ask them,” Stewart said in an interview...

Apparently, not.

Because, according to Elections BC, you most definitely cannot ask them.


Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Mr. Trump's Most Excellent Ukrainian Adventure...What's Rudy Got To With It?


Turns out it all goes back to Mr. Manafort frolicking with the oligarchs.

WNYC's 'Trump, Inc.' has the story:

Once you listen you will fully understand why they always smear those they fear most.