Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday morning notes...

1. Lawrence Martin demolishes whatever credibility "Smilin' Jim" had left as Finance Minister today: "The Canadian finance minister who wasn't."
The answer to the survival question is hardly shrouded in mystery. Jim Flaherty stays because Jim Flaherty isn't really the Finance Minister.

To a degree seldom seen in Ottawa, his department has been stripped of influence. As opposed to being minister, Jim Flaherty administers. He passes along the PM's policies and directives. He's the yes guy. It's aye, aye, Prime Minister. "And what else would you care for? Coffee, doughnuts, pistachios?"
Not to totally excuse DJ, as Martin suggests. After all, if he wasn't prepared to defend the partisan horrors coming out of the PMO, he'd speak up, right?

2. If you care to have a listen, there is an interview with Michael Ignatieff on CBC's Sunday edition with Michael Enright from December 7th that's been posted to the internet. It runs about 20 minutes. If you don't care to listen to the entire interview, I would point you to this exact point where there is a very good response from Ignatieff on a question from Enright on the divisions in the country as a result of the turmoil in Ottawa. For partisans out there, including myself, it is heartening to hear a line being firmly drawn with Harper on such matters. While that may be a very simplistic kind of observation, as in of course that's what he'd do, we haven't had enough of it. Until the last few weeks, there has been too much hesitation, reluctance to call out sinister tactics, a pox on all our houses kind of equivalency that washes over Ottawa without responsibility being affixed to Harper for the odious words and deeds he's brought to our politics. Without getting too much into the personality thing here, there is a presence that Ignatieff brings that is hopefully going to give Harper fits going forward. Something like the bully meeting his match on the playground and no longer being able to get away with the stunts he's pulled thus far. Or maybe a radio interview is just a radio interview...:)

3. Buckets is doing wonderful blogging these days with the Western separatist developments. I wonder how long it will be until a Harper Conservative speaks out against such horrible, awful people? Aren't we all in mortal danger? And just what kind of flag is that they're touting for the new country, anyway? That's not the Canadian flag! I'm sure our flag-hall monitor PM will definitely get right on this.

4. Shipbuilding, you say, Junior? What is that, the stimulus plan taken from 1815? Guess the rumoured plans to build new vessels overseas are kaput for now...see this David Pugliese column on MacKay and Prentice talking up building the Joint Support Ships overseas. How quickly things change when the Conservatives need to be seen to be doing something economically.

5. Here is the article by Graeme Smith in the Globe today on the decaying security situation on the highway outside Kandahar that is eating our soldiers alive. And here is the minute or less he was given to explain it on the Cartoon News last evening. People really should read the first. But most will just see the second. Part of what's wrong with our clued out population.

6. Cartoon of the day: