Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Tuesday notes: a brief but spicy edition

Update (1:50 p.m.): So the Newfoundland MPs will be voting against the budget...that is remarkable. Looks like the need to send a message to Mr. Harper about his unilateralism prevailed.

1. Senator Brazeau's ridin' around in a Porsche Cayenne SUV up there in Ottawa. We learned this last night from CTV who ratcheted up the coverage on Mr. Brazeau. Here's the online story and here's Graham Richardson's report on the national newscast. I'd say this new detail in particular constitutes a whole new round of embarrassment for Senator Brazeau and the vetting-challenged PMO. Issues about Brazeau's family situation were also raised, including questions of missed child support payments in the past.

Unseemly, to say the least, given his now former role as Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and the stats CAP cites on its own pages about aboriginal unemployment and average income rates as compared to the general population.

Cayenne. Like the pepper, as Carmela Soprano would say.

2. Today is the main budget vote and many eyes will be on the Newfoundland Liberal MPs who have stated varying degrees of intention to vote against it. Going to go out on a huge limb here and bet that this will not happen, that we will not see four Liberal MPs from Newfoundland voting against it. And if I'm wrong, well, it won't be the first time...:)

3. Are the Harper gang really going to ruin the Obama visit for the Canadian people? Hmmm? No public events? Who would want to be "...limited to a cloistered one-on-one with Prime Minister Stephen Harper," you know? What a "travesty," indeed, as one individual quoted in that report puts it. (Travesty is their middle name, you know.)

4. Conservative leadership pot-stirring that I somehow missed yesterday:
In the interview, Mr. Williams said Mr. Harper has already lost the support of moderate Progressive Conservatives and now risks losing the backing of harder-line small-c conservatives who don't like the large amount of spending in the budget, which calls for a $64-billion deficit over two years.

"They have to start wondering about how quickly they have to dump Harper," said Mr. Williams, who has been no friend of the Prime Minister in the past, although he said he asked him three months ago for a meeting to discuss federal-provincial relations.
"A" for effort, but a little too overt. An anonymous effort from a "leading eastern conservative" would be so much better.

5. Finally today, a video of one of my favourite writers, Scott Horton, who was actually on the teevee with Rachel Maddow last night. Starts just before the 3:00 minute mark. The discussion is about the practice of extraordinary renditions and the whisper campaign that the practice would continue under Obama. Horton clarifies the present news debate, here: