A great man once said, "Politics is inherently stupid." That great man was me.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Is Dead

And justice is served? Perhaps.

Whether his hanging was about vengeance or justice is a debate that will see no end, I am sure. In any event, Saddam has certainly paid the price for 24 years of tyranny against the Iraqi people. Now it is only God who renders justice upon him for the pain he has caused.

As for his body, who knows whether or not they'll follow the Islamic tradition regarding burial? The best bet would be to cremate him and spread his ashes in an unknown location, to prevent someone from setting up a shrine or whatnot.

And that's that.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

T Minus 90 minutes

In 90 minutes, Saddam Hussein will be dead.

I'm ambivalent. I don't believe in the death penalty, but this is the verdict rendered by the Iraqi justice system.

I do remember when I was five, hearing about the first gulf war (and buying these weird "Desert Storm" cards). And I remember the nineties during the "no-fly zone" era. And now he's going to hang for his crimes.

Well, So long Saddam. You lived your life, and chose your path - and this is where it has led you.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Britain Finally Pays Off WWII Loans

This Friday, Jim Flaherty should be getting a nice big cheque:


"LONDON (Reuters) - The government said it will on Friday pay back the final instalments of loans taken out at the end of World War Two to finance vital reconstruction. The payments of $83.25 million (42.4 million pounds) to the United States and $22.7 million to Canada will close the final chapter of the war and mean that in total the country has paid close to twice what it borrowed in 1945 and 1946.

"This week we finally honour in full our commitments to the U.S. and Canada for the support they gave us 60 years ago," Treasury minister Ed Balls said on Thursday.

"It was vital support which helped Britain defeat Nazi Germany and secure peace and prosperity in the post-war period. We honour our commitments to them now as they honoured their commitments to us all those years ago," he added.

Britain borrowed a total of $4.3 billion from the United States in 1945, followed in 1946 by a loan of $1.2 billion from Canada -- both at an interest rate of just two percent."



And as for the loans: Anytime, friends. Anytime. Freedom is priceless.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Non-Story

--Moved to the top for updates--

Hopefully this will be the last non-issue of the year to make the news:


...the report indicates the Conservative party then discovered three delegates -- including Harper -- had exceeded their $5,400 annual limit for political contributions. As a result, the party refunded $456 each to Harper and the other two delegates.

The party has also been forced to send belated 2005 tax receipts to the roughly 3,000 delegates who attended the convention, with instructions on the complicated process required to retroactively claim the tax credit.

So, the moral of the story is that the Conservatives are bad because they paid the money back?

Mark Holland, professional fatuous twit, is still just outraged over this:


"To me, that's just as scary (as deliberately breaking the law). I mean, we have a Treasury Board president who doesn't even understand the laws he's attempting to rewrite. I mean, it's astounding. It's breathtaking.''

I think he's actually outraged that the Conservatives paid the money back. No self-respecting Liberal would have ever done that.

Update:

"Quelle Scandale!"

It's also important to point out that the Conservative party has always been open about its belief that delegate fees should not be considered political donations. So why exactly is the line of reasoning behind this principle?

For starters, the fees paid by delegates serve only to cover the costs of the convention and do not end up in the party's coffers once the convention is over. Delegates essentially pay their own way to have a voice in policy and leadership issues at conventions; the party does not benefit financially from this in any way.

It should also be noted that if delegate fees are counted as political donations then it is the Canadian taxpayer ends up picking up the tab for the delegates in attendance, as all political donations can be tax-credited. The CPC doesn't believe that Canadian taxpayers should be on the hook for CPC conventions, or, for that matter, the conventions of any political party. It is not the responsibility of the Canadian taxpayer to cover delegate fees for political conventions, but rather the responsibility of those who choose to take part in such conventions. By standing against the classification of delegate fees as political donations, the Conservative party is trying to help the Canadian Taxpayer take one less hit in their pocketbook. It is for this reason that the party attempted to pass a law that would have exempted delegate fees from being classified as party donations; Unfortunately, all three opposition parties voted against this move, even the LPC (even though it would have helped them concerning their fundraising attempts this year due to their convention).

If the Conservative Party is guilty of anything, it's developing and practising good policy for the taxpayers of this country. Ironically, by voting against the Conservative bill to exempt delegate fees from being considered political donations, the Liberals have ensured that every taxpayer will be on the hook for each party's political gamesmanship; The CPC is now compelled to oblige the taxpayer to pay for it's conventions, instead of those who actually have business at the convention.

The Conservative party paid back the amounts donated to those who "over donated" according to a piece of poor legislation, and did it openly and transparently. Canadian Taxpayers are still waiting on the Liberal Party to pay back the millions that disappeared in brown bags over a decade. As such, the LPC has no moral authority to dole out any criticism. However, don't expect this to get in the way of the howling and shrieking from the party of mock outrage.

(updated by Griff)

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Gerald Ford, R.I.P.

Zing!!

I was bored so I ventured over to libblogs to find a few gems. This post is quite humourous; the responses are even funnier...
Link

Ladies, Please Listen Up: Prime Minister Harper is the Man of this House.

When asked about whether he has ever taken a ride on Laureens motorcycle, Harper said no. Not because he has a fear of speed. Or that the bike is too small. He stated: "You've got to worry about image. I don't want to be on the back with my wife driving." At least he's honest about his chauvinism, right?

This kind of statement is in line with scrapping Ken Dryden and Paul Martins[sic] hard work with childcare and the dismantling of the SWC.
At 3:09 PM, lance said...
Actually, he's being honest about societies chauvinism. That's why he mentioned image.
At 3:13 PM, Michelle Oliel said...
Lance, so he's a status quo kind of guy? Do you want a Prime Minister that perpetuates silly values held my [sic] few?


At 3:43 PM, deaninregina said...
No, I want a Prime Minister that isn't going to tax me to death.


Followed by this gem:

At 4:38 PM, thepelliott said...
...Sounds more like he's honest about the media's chauvinism. The guy's married to an obviously modern, independent woman who besides riding a motorcycle, has run her own business. Does that sound like typical mate of a chauvinist to you?
Well said, ladies and gents. Unfortunately for the party of mock outrage, the truth belays the spin.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Everyone else is probably saying it on their blogs, but what the hell, why not add one more voice to the chorus? I'd like to take the time to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from my family to yours. May the peace of the Newborn Lord be with you all. May the peace of the Newborn Lord be with you all (and a Happy Hanukka to all of our wonderful Jewish friends)!

Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday Evening Update:

New Cufflinks? Check.

New "Freedom" Cut Shirt? Check.

Christmas Shopping done? Check.

Helped lost little boy find his mommy? Check.

Ensured that the outside sign at work said "Christmas" and not "Xmas" even though it was harder to fit?

Check.

(as much as I wanted to throw it up there, I doubt my boss would accept a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS" sign. Might tick off the progs.)

Just in case you were wondering ;)

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Just a Question...

How do you "quietly publish" something?

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Voters See Dion As Blank Canvas -- With Potential?

...But only if you're a writer for the Canadian Press...or Bruce Anderson. (From the "Only ten easy payments of $29.99!" crowd.)

OTTAWA -- Canadians are optimistic that Stephane Dion will turn out to be a good Liberal leader and potentially an excellent prime minister, a new poll suggests.

The Decima Research poll, made available exclusively to The Canadian Press, suggests that Dion is still an unknown quantity to many Canadians.
Nevertheless, 43 per cent said he has "the potential to be an excellent prime minister of Canada one day.''

And almost one-third -- including roughly one-third of NDP, Bloc Quebecois and Green party supporters -- would like to see Dion win the next election.

"Voters are mostly showing an open mind towards Mr. Dion, with more optimism than cynicism about how he will turn out,'' said Decima CEO Bruce Anderson.

Let's see how this article reads with a little re-writing - to reflect reality.


OTTAWA -- Canadians are not optimistic that Stephane Dion will turn out to be a good Liberal leader - nor do they believe that he has what it takes to make an excellent prime minister, a new poll suggests.

The Decima Research poll, made available exclusively to The Canadian Press, suggests that Dion is still an unknown quantity to many Canadians.
Overall, 57 per cent said he does not have "the potential to be an excellent prime minister of Canada one day.''

According to the poll, over two-thirds would not like to see Dion win the next election.

"Most voters do not seem to have a favourable opinion of Mr. Dion, with more cynicism than optimism about how he will turn out,'' said Decima CEO Bruce Anderson.
It's all in how you frame it.

Source

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Trump to Rosie: You Got Served!

Remind me never to piss Donald Trump off. Talk about harsh - and I don't even like Rosie O'Donnell.

H/T to Drudge.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

France Remains Staunch Ally

Link

In a bid to secure the freedom of afghani men, women, and children as well as to enhance its efforts in fighting the global war on terror, France has decided to pull 200 of its best troops from Afghanistan.

Oops!

What I really meant to say was "In a cowardly move designed to further enhance the image of France as a nation with no stomach for honourable sacrifice in the name of freedom, France has decided to pull out 200 of its best troops from Afghanistan.

Left to pick up the slack?

Perhaps the French need a reminder as to why they should never forsake their allies.
"There is strong skepticism about the relevance of NATO in Afghanistan if it is not for stabilization and rebuilding of the country," said Francois Gere, head of the French Institute of Strategic Analysis, a think tank. "If it is for waging nasty guerrilla warfare, there is no appetite in France and, I think, most European countries."

Emphasis mine.


I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

A dose of blindingly obvious common sense for the opposition, from Prime Minister Stephen Harper:


“The Liberals and the Bloc tell me: rebalance the mission. What does that mean? I mean, what the hell does that mean?”

“We’ve got guys there, they’re in the most dangerous province in the country. Yes, we’re trying to do development and humanitarian assistance and we’re doing that. But the fact of the matter is that they’ve got guys shooting at them. And they’ve got the most concentrated group of enemy combatants right there. It isn’t an option to cut down the military side of the operation. They have to do what is necessary to protect the local people and protect themselves. And nothing less.”

Harper said it would be “completely irresponsible” to reduce Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan.

“If other parties want to go to the people and take that position - ‘We’d leave them there but we’d tell them not to defend themselves’ - let them explain that to the Canadian people.”*



Succinctly put: "HEY IDIOTS! YOU CAN'T BUILD THINGS WHEN PEOPLE ARE SHOOTING AT YOU!"

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Not Everything is Done In the Pursuit of Power

Sheila Copps has an article out where she discusses the Conservative plans to eliminate taxpayer-funded left-wing advocacy groups:


The government is gambling Canadians don't care about the shortage of women in the House of Commons. By closing Status of Women offices and eliminating the "advocacy" role of women's organizations, Conservatives appeal to an important base, those who detest funding to "liberal" interest groups.

The problem is, they already own that base. If Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to win a majority government, he has to appeal to the broad Canadian electorate, in every sense of the word. Instead, he may be awaking a sleeping giant.



Nothing can be more indicative of the particular lens through which Liberals see all government action: everything is done in the pursuit of power. To Copps, the Government's actions are puzzling: why on earth are the Conservatives appealing to a base they already control? How can they possibly gain votes in this manner?

What Copps and most Liberals fail to understand is that the Conservative Party does not solely exist to maintain power over Canadians. Whereas every move made by recent Liberal governements has been analysed in terms of how it will affect the LPC's electoral fortunes, the same is not true for the Conservatives. This isn't about appealing to our base. This isn't about trying to win a majority - it's about taking care of business. It's about getting rid of of the government funded left-wing advocacy industry, which serves to benefit only those sucking at the government teat at the expense of hardworking taxpayers. It's about doing right by Canadians regardless of concerns for political power. It's about levelling the playing field for Conservative voices in this country. It's about ending the forces calling for social engineering.

It's about taking the bullhorn away from the extremists and giving a voice back to mainstream, moderate voices in this country. And it's about time.

It may come as a surprise to Liberals that, yes, Conservatives believe in things too. We just happen to believe things other than absolute power.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

If Dion Can Name His Dog Kyoto

...Which is indicative of the Liberal climate change strategy over the past thirteen years ("Do nothing and try to win the next election with a few symbolic but meaningless gestures"), then surely I can do something similar. I present to you, my re-named little buddies:


"Political Obscurity" (AKA Fuzzball) and

"Stephane Dion" (AKA Brain)


From a friend of mine: "haha wouldn't it be funny if kyoto the dog got rabies and stephane dion had to shoot him like in old yeller?"

One word: Awkward...

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PLUMBAT's Legacy

Has Ehud Olmert, in a Freudian slip, accidentally admitted Israel's possession of nuclear weapons?

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Monday, December 11, 2006

No Offense Kevin, But You're Not The Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

In addition to Kate's post on this particularly cheerful little thread, I thought I'd point a little something out:


"I've found myblahg.com to be one of the most non-partisan, balanced blogs in the Canadian blogosphere. There are swipes taken at all parties, and a issues looked at from a variety of progressive points of view." (Because to liberals, diversity means "diversity of liberal opinion - Just ask Carlton University! -Danté.)


From a December 9th post entitled "They Lie About Everything"


"So quite clearly Stockwell Day is a lying ass. But then you knew that already, didn’t you."

Yeah.

Robert's blog is also nominated as a weblog awards finalist this year, ostensibly for "Most Numerous Use of the Phrase 'Blogging Whories' " (or maybe the swimsuit competition). I'd like to remind people that it is possible to discuss politics with a modicum of class. Really.

Oh, and if you want to vote for SDA, you can do so here!

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Real Nation

As a member of the only province in Canada that has ever actually been its own nation ("Hello Canada and hockey fans from the United States and Newfoundland"), I'd like to comment on how, despite the necessity of coddling Quebec to keep Canada together, I'm a little sick of it sometimes.

It'd be nice if someone down in those copper-green towers paid attention to my province's concerns once in a while.

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Mark Holland is Fatuous Twit

"Perry Mason on Steroids" indeed. I've been watching Mark Holland over the past few days, and he's such a phoney. Maher Arar went through hell because of the RCMP under his government's watch. Now he's acting as if Arar's ordeal is the fault of the Conservatives - my, my, what a short memory Mr. Holland has.

The worst part about this is that he doesn't even seem to care for what Maher Arar went through. His primary concern seems to be milking the Arar tragedy for all its worth in a weird and nonsensical effort to defame the Conservatives. Despite the fact that the Public Safety Minister has already answered his rather fatuous questions in committee, Holland went ahead and asked the very same questions again in Question Period this week - for the benefit of the cameras and those of you viewing at home. That Mark Holland, what a go-getter!

And CTV's coverage of his asinine behaviour almost reeks of cheerleading. "Tough answers" are what Holland is seeking, apparently. Well, he's already got them. So why is he still asking the same questions?

And then there's this little gem:


"Now we have deputy officials and the security advisor who despite this file being as large and important as it is are saying they're simply too busy to talk to our committee."

Holland wouldn't go so far as to say they were told by the government not to show up, but said the decision is suspicious and questionable.


Oh, Holland won't bother going that far - possibly because the CTV reporter went there for him.

This whole strategy by the Liberals over Maher Arar makes no sense - they're acting as if the Conservatives have skeletons in their closet over this, when they were the ones responsible for it. They claim that the Conservatives may have pressured Zaccardelli into resigning, but they called for his head at the same time. And now they're calling the government out because members of their previous government refused to show up and testify before an important committee because they were "too busy?"

This, my friends, is known as the strategy of "hoping no one's paying attention."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hot Damn!

If this doesn't excite you, I don't know what will. It seems Britain has finally come to its senses regarding its failed policy of multiculturalism.

I don't know why anyone would want to make their nation a modern-day Austro-Hungarian Empire, bursting at the seams with dozens of different groups that want to split off and form their own nation. That particular historical case study, by the way, makes me uneasy about Canada's future.

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Working on things

Yep, the comments seem to be down. Danté and I are a little busy with exams so there's no telling when we'll be able to get them up again, but it will hopefully be very soon.

The joys of moving!

-EDIT- Comments are back - Danté

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Beta Blogger

So, they finally sent me an invite to switch over to Beta Blogger (heh, "beta blogger...beta blocker"...sorry, biochemistry thing).

I'm still exploring it. I like this label search thing, however.

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Maher Arar

Give the man his apology and money and let's move on.

-EDIT- You guys have got to be kidding me. A Sleeper Agent?

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Friday, December 08, 2006

HOT HOT HOT!

Okay, I have to say: I totally had this idea the instant I heard him say it. Being in the middle of exams, however, limits my time. And I knew someone would go ahead and do it, anyways. Lo and Behold - they did!

Mamma's Boy

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

CTV's Tacit Admission

I just watched the greatest admission ever made by Television News Media. CTV's Dan Matheson was interviewing someone from the "Center for American Progress" about John Bolton's recent resignation. Immediately red flags went up in my mind - and for good reason. Matheson tacitly admitted that it was a "somewhat" (his emphasis) liberal think-tank.


Oh sure, just a little tiny bit:


Sure! Why believe in a future of freedom and peace for these people? I mean, they're not valuable Americans, they're just worthless Iraqis!


I don't think so.

Something tells me Jack Layton would find the content on the site quite agreeable. I can't even imagine CTV calling "Focus on the Family" a somewhat conservative think tank.

It sounded to me like CTV felt a little bit guilty and wanted to throw us a tacit admission.

(Or maybe they could have offered an opposing conservative viewpoint...naaaaah.)

-EDIT- I just heard Lloyd Matthews let slip, "we have a new leader," before he corrected himself and said "a new face in government." Freudian slip?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Does This Turn You On?

While I understand where the ACLU is coming from on this one, I think their fears are unfounded. Given the immense volume of actual porn on the internet, I highly doubt anyone is going to waste their time looking at grainy X-ray images of that old lady sitting in seat 55 the other day.


H/T to Drudge.

On the Poll

Same thing I always say: pay attention to trends, not Polls. The Liberals are momentarily enjoying their post-convention bounce. It won't last long, especially when Canadians tire of hearing "hard-right, neo-conservative neanderthals" from the Liberals in lieu of something valid.

The best thing the Conservatives can do to counter that, incidentally, is to shrug it off and continue with more good government - actions speak louder than words. Then, come election time, we run on our record - and Dion tries to run on his, handing us a majority in the process.

"Marshall Plan?"

Stephan Dion clearly doesn't know anything about history - suggesting that a "Marshall-Plan" style is a solution for Afghanistan is not only historically ridiculous in and of itself, it's tantamount to switching your business strategy when you're already reaping great profits. Our Afghanistan strategy is working, and no amount of naysaying from the Liberal politicos for partisan gain is going to change that (If you get a chance, check out Bill Graveland's Afghan coverage in your local newspaper - he's doing an outstanding job).

It reflects poorly on Dion that his first tactics are the same ones used in the past two Liberal election campaigns - tactics that in the end didn't work, I might add. I'd have hoped Mr. Dion would be interested in debating policy on its merits rather than engaging in silly fear-mongering. Already we're "far-right," "hard-right," and "Neo-conservative." About that last one - funny, I don't recall ever having been a Liberal. I guess Dion musn't know what neo-conservative actually means.

Well, when you don't know what you stand for, all you can do is try to make the other guy look as bad as possible.

And if Dion thinks that he's a George C. Marshall, well, he's even more deluded than I thought.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Post Leadership Debate Blogging Roundup: Choice Picks

Conservative majority!!! - Conservative Life

The Right Choice - The Phantom Observer

The new Liberal Party looks like the old Liberal Party - Steve Janke

Celebration!! - Joanne's Journey

On the Liberals - And as always, sage words of advice from Adam Daifallah


And a little bit of Silly Liberal "Prime Minister Dion"-ing

Good afternoon Prime Minister Dion!

This last one takes the cake: Dion Wins the Liberal Leadership!!!

I mean, just look at this thing:



If this is the face of the "saviour" of the Liberal Party, the one who's going to route "Big Bad Stephen" from 24 Sussex Drive and bring back the Trudeau era, well...oh my. Those poor Liberals.

To be honest, I think it's probably too early to count Dion out simply on the basis of the fact that he's a nobody. However, on the strength of Harper's leadership? I suggest Dion pick out nice curtains for Stornaway, he's going to be there a while.

Message to Danny: Cram It

We didn't come this far just to watch a self-aggrandizing politician threaten war on the feds over fairy-tales of Newfoundland and Labrador being negatively affected by changes to the equalization formula.

At the same time, Harper had better keep his promise. It just makes sense. He has no reason not to, and if he doesn't he's going to suffer for it in Newfoundland come election time.

And the winner is.....

Stephan Dion!

Dion: 2521 -57.4%
Ignatieff: 2084 - 45.3%

Needed to win: 2304

And there you have it.

However the Lib Convention Turns Out....

...I would like the be the first to congratulate Stephen Harper on winning the next Canadian General Federal Election. One of my über-liberal friends is despondent, and no longer wants to even associate himself with his party. Let's hope that feeling prevails, though it seems that there is a bit of uniting going on amongst liberals this evening. I wonder if it'll last.

Oh well. I guess we'll just have to put up with a few more years of good, clean governance. Sigh.

Dryden Moves to Dion

More coming as it happens.
Dion is looking more and more ecstatic every moment; I think this one's clinched for Dion.

Craig Oliver: "Is Stephan Dion turning into Jean Cretien before my eyes?"
Lloyd Matthews: Harper, Dion, 'two towering intellects'
Tobin Plays the 'Stupid Redneck Conservative' card in response.

Sgro moves to Ignatieff

Judy Sgro has just moved to Ignatieff's camp, and tossed on a scarf.

It looks like a little momentum is swirling around Ignatieff but I'm not making any attempts to call this yet. Dion still seems to have the most momentum.

Paul Zed says the Quebec caucus is quite supportive of Ignatieff.

Rae looks desolate. It all comes down to who he chooses to endorse, and if his delegates will even listen.

-update-: Rae leaves his delegates open.

Chretien's Daughter moves to Dion....oh....joy.

Paul Wells: "The Dion camp's about to run out of green scarves"

I'm hoping Ignatieff pulls ahead, personally, but we'll see.
More coming as it comes in!

Brison goes to Iggy

Iggy just got interviewed by Lisa LaFlamme - he looks like he's under an awful lot of stress right now.

I'm a little sad that Rae lost. I still held up hope that we'd be able to go up against his record in the next election.

Brison moves to Ignatieff, as I always suspected he would.

More coming!

Rae Gone, Dion pulls ahead

Stephan Dion has just pulled ahead on the Third Ballot, with Ignatieff second. Rae Is out.

Dion - 1782 37%
Iggy - 1660 34.5%
Rae 1375 28.5%

Quote from Dion "Hey, I'm a Front runner now!"

The poor bastard!

Dante Sez: I don't think anyone was more surprised than he was. I'm guessing Rae's supporters are going to shamble all the way over to the Dion camp. I think this is it for Iggy.

-EDIT- Looks like I was right.

Irony abounds in Liberal Leadership Speeches

Bob Rae's joke at the leadership convention yesterday:



It seems Mr. Harper took his entire cabinet out to dinner. When they were all seated around the table the waiter began to take the order.
"I'll have the steak," Harper said.
"And what about the vegetables?" the waiter asked.
Harper said, "oh, they'll have the steak too."


Bob Rae would object to ordering a nice, lean steak. Had the joke been about himself, they would have ordered pork.

Scott Brison's openening statement: "It is time for us Liberals to reflect on the reasons and momentous events that have brought us here today"

heh.

(spelling errors fixed, sorry. When you only get an hour's sleep and you're up at 5 am, things get lost along the way!)

Friday, December 01, 2006

In case you missed it...

Did anyone else happen to catch Jane Taber on Question Period the other day? After finishing up a discussion with a number of political pundits, she ended a segment with a lead-in promo for Howard Dean's address at the Liberal Leadership Convention later that night. It went something like this:

"And coming up later on tonight, we'll have coverage of "The Scream" Howard Dean's Keynote of death - er, address at the Liberal Leadership Convention. Don't miss it!"

I laughed so hard at Taber's freudian slip that my family thought I'd lost it. Sometimes that woman is prophetic, I tell you.

Well, never when she intends to be, but you know how it goes.

It's Not Scientific...

...but it's encouraging. I don't count myself among those who desire a completely private health care system in Canada, but I certainly don't think Canadians should be denied viable choices when it comes to making decisions about their health.



Via CTV