A deal has been negotiated between NDP Leader Jack Layton and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion that would see them form a coalition government for two and a half years, the CBC’s Keith Boag reported, citing sources.
The NDP would be invited into cabinet and get 25 per cent of seats, Boag said, adding that the party wouldn’t get the position of the finance chair or the deputy prime minister’s post.
“The most difficult question is who’ll be the leader,” Boag said, adding that Dion, who negotiated the deal, believes he has the right to be prime minister.
Goddammit–someone (ok, probably at least a million someones) already took my snark re: ‘I for one welcome our coalition overlords.’
So, who wants to take bets on the likelihood of prorogue before December 8th?
Update: John Ivison reports that Iggy will be PM, with Bob Rae likely getting the Foreign Affairs portfolio.
Update 2 (12/01): Well, so much for Ivison’s fleeting flirtation with something resembling credibility. CTV News reports that Dion will helm a proposed coalition government, having attained the support today of the three Liberal leadership candidates, Dominic LeBlanc, Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae. h/t pogge @ BnR
Shorter Stephen Harpercons:
Regarding the high dudgeon and great consternation from the Serious Set (farts in Bob Fife’s general direction) at the notion of the Bloc and the NDP (SEPARATISTS! SOCIALISTS!) doing the unthinkable and actually *gasp* talking with each other, what Impolitical said:
…and? It’s news that the NDP and Bloc have been speaking? In a minority parliament? How scandalous. The other parties outnumber the Conservatives and if the Conservatives aren’t acting in a manner that the other parties agree with…then such discussions are entirely appropriate. It’s appropriate to explore at any moment and lay the groundwork for alternatives in an inherently fragile parliament, which, contrary to Conservative spinning, it is.
Uncle Steve appears to have become quite enamoured with governing like he had a majority last session (thanks in large part to perpetual Liberal acquiescence) and seemed fully prepared to continue the trend in the current session. Alas, in actuality, the Conservatives only hold a minority of seats in Parliament and minority governments have to maintain the confidence of the House. If the government loses the confidence of the House, the government falls.
Maybe if Mr. Harper weren’t so hostile to the concept of Canadian parliamentary democracy he might, y’know, have a better understanding of how it works [link corrected -- mb].
Regardless, methinks Fife (SEPARATISTS! SOCIALISTS!) should perhaps pay more attention to the real scandal here: Members of our government are apparently so terrified their little empire may be in decline and on the brink of collapse that they believe it’s entirely appropriate (justified, even) to employ what some might call Nixonian ratfucking tactics, specifically, “invade other party telephone calls, tape them and distribute [them] to the media”, as Impolitical put it. Or are such piddling matters simply not newsworthy inside the Queensway cocktail circuit? Oh, wait, I forgot — Guy Giorno already sent out the script, and you’re not allowed to make any rewrites mid-production.
Related: Chet takes a closer look at the the ongoing meltdown in Toryland (update: more here), while fern muses about drafting a list of demands now that our not-so-New (perhaps soon-to-be-former) Canadian Government is in such a giving mood. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pour a glass of schadenfreude shiraz to sip on while I observe the all-too-amusing exhibit of wingnut splutter and flail.
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
- Alice in Wonderland
The Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) study disclosing that Barack Obama actually raised most of his campaign money from “larger” not “small” donors has gained wide, approving, coverage in recent days, from USA Today to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times and countless web sites, even making Huffington Post at least twice, including as a top link. Inevitably the headlines refer to the “myth” of Obama riding a wave of small donations to victory. That study’s author himself uses it.
But the “myth” is actually in the spinning of the report, including by its author, Michael Malbin, a former speechwriter for Dick Cheney, when he was Pentagon chief, and a resident fellow at The American Enterprise Institute from 1977 to 1986.
As usual in these cases, it’s not that the numbers are wrong, it’s the analysis and how the interpretation is being played by the media. Because, buried in the report, are all the figures and arguments for showing that the CFI’s “myth” is actually a myth.
Make sure to read the whole thing, as Mitchell quite thoroughly addresses a lot of the issues brought up by both the report and its breathless beltway boosters. With that said, I suppose it would do you all well to keep the following caveat in mind, in the interest of fairness: Don’t let, y’know, facts and reality automatically stand in the way of all those oh-so-balanced-and-objective attempts to erect a solid foundation of misinformation that reinforces lazy conventional wisdom.
For all we know, up really is down.
“This is pure political self-interest and they are doing this in the most undemocratic fashion.”
- Kory Teneycke, communications director for PM Stephen Harper, reacting to news that the opposition may (may) have finally grown a spine after the Tory government assassinated the NSOC with its proposed economic update.
Flashback: Props to Murray Dobbin. That is all.
Update: Canadians for a Progressive Coalition — add your name.
A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.
The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the store opened at 5 a.m.
Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.
“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too…I literally had to fight people off my back.”
Talk about a great reason to celebrate Buy Nothing Day.
h/t Patti Digh
(image: Wikipedia Commons)
Related: Dave Neiwert highlights Coulter’s new business endeavour, “[s]hilling for Patriot-style right-wing moneymaking scams,” while Steve M. wonders if the report is part of a Machiavellian plot on the part of Coulter to garner sympathy (and, more importantly, as many schadenfreude-laden missives from the left as possible) prior to the release of her new book. Yes, she has a new book set to be released, and, yes, the subject is–wait for it–the evils of ‘liberalism’. Try to hide your shock, true believers.
Even though I’m hardly his biggest fan (*cough*), I gotta give Andrew Sullivan props for his recent scorching takedown of a blithely banal WaPo op-ed by High Contrarian torture apologist (and former WaPo editorial page editor) Benjamin Wittes.
Detainees [currently held at Guantanamo] who pose a grave national security threat might be unprosecutable for a variety of reasons: because of deficiencies in the criminal law as it stood in 2001, because evidence against them would not stand up in court, because the government might not have enough evidence to convict or because it obtained key evidence under coercive conditions.
“Under coercive conditions”. Excuse me, but what does that mean in English? Try: Because they got intelligence from torturing people. Coercion means force. It means they forced “information” out of them. Not coax, trick, lure, force. That means the victims had no choice. And the only way in which human beings can seriously have no choice at all is by subjecting them to such severe mental and physical pain and suffering that they have no option as human beings but to tell their torturers something.
This is the defining line of torture: not some arbitrary comic book technique, but a psychological and physical fact: pushing another human being to the point where choice becomes unavailable to him or her.
The conclusion is especially on-point:
[P]eople wonder why I seem so angry and concerned about this issue, about its centrality to this election, and about the unique, once-in-a-century chance to put it behind us before it infects us beyond cure. It is, in my judgment, the biggest single crisis we now face, because it does not simply affect our wealth or our safety, but because it affects who we are.
We cannot know hope until we end torture.
John Brennan, President-elect Barack Obama’s top adviser on intelligence, took his name out of the running Tuesday for any intelligence position in the new administration.Brennan wrote in a Nov. 25 letter to Obama that he did not want to be a distraction. His potential appointment as CIA director has raised a firestorm in liberal blogs that associate him with the Bush administration’s interrogation, detention and rendition policies.
In a 2005 interview on “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,” Brennan defended rendition as “an absolutely vital tool.” In 2007 on CBS News, he said the CIA’s harsh interrogation program, which included waterboarding on at least three prisoners, produced “life saving” intelligence. Waterboarding is a form of simulated drowning.
Brennan has spoken out publicly against waterboarding.
“The fact that I was not involved in the decisionmaking process for any of these controversial policies and actions has been ignored,” he wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press. “Indeed, my criticism of these policies within government circles was the reason why I was twice considered for more senior-level positions in the current administration only to be rebuffed by the White House.”
Glennzilla explains why every decent human being should be breathing a sigh of relief at this development, and why Brennan’s contention that he should have gotten a plate of cookies because he was out of the loop with regards to the sausage-making process of torture “enhanced interrogation” is, in a word, bullshit:
Whether he “was involved in the decision-making process for any of these controversial policies” is not and never was the issue. Rather, as I documented at length when I first wrote about Brennan, he was an ardent supporter of those policies, including “enhanced interrogation techniques” and rendition, both of which he said he was intimately familiar with as a result of his CIA position. As virtually everyone who opposed his nomination made clear — Andrew Sullivan, Digby, Cenk Uygur, Big Tent Democrat and others — that is why he was so unacceptable.
You can read Brennan’s withdrawal letter in full here.
h/t pogge @ BnR