Tony Clement Announces 3.5 Billion Dollar Automotive Bailout

by matttbastard

CTV News:

The Canadian government will provide a $3.5 billion lifeline for the Canadian auto sector, a move which aims to soften the blow of the economic downturn and preempts an American bailout plan, CTV News has learned.

The announcement follows a meeting Friday between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in Ottawa where the two leaders hashed out a plan.

However, the fund falls short of the nearly $7 billion package which Ford, GM and Chrysler requested earlier this month.

I for one welcome our new (half-assed) socialist overlords.

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Colin Powell Calls Out Sarah Palin and the GOP Over “Small Town Values”

by matttbastard

I’m sure by now you’re all overwhelmed with nostalgia for the 2008 presidential campaign (you betcha!) I mean, it’s been, what, just over a month since the election, right?  So, to help satisfy your endless electioneering jones, check out this clip of Colin Powell, in an interview with Fareed Zakaria that will air on CNN this Sunday, goin’ all South Bronx on Gov. Palin and the GOPizzle:

Partial transcript:

Gov. Palin, to some extent, pushed the party more to the right, and I think she had something of a polarizing effect when she talked about how small town values are good. Well, most of us don’t live in small towns. And I was raised in the South Bronx, and there’s nothing wrong with my value system from the South Bronx.

And when they came to Virginia and said the southern part of Virginia is good and the northern part of Virginia is bad. The only problem with that is there are more votes in the northern part of Virginia than there are in the southern part of Virginia, so that doesn’t work.

Apparently small town value systems apparently don’t take into account demographics and simple mathematics. (Hint: there are a lot of eligible voters–many of them *eek* not white–in the Bronx.  And in Arlington. To say nothing of Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Cleveland…)

Pshh.  Wevs.

Who needs complicated statistics and a viable long-term political strategy when you have fresh moose-burgers and a collective annual oil stipend (which, btw, is so not socialism) to cling to, along with guns, religion and marginalizing resentment?

h/t Think Progress

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Return of the Midnight Appointments

by matttbastard

(Current) Prime Minister Stephen Harper is quickly going nuclear, apparently about to play his one possible trump card–18 vacant seats in the Senate just waiting to be filled:

“It’s outrageous,” said New Democrat MP and reform critic David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre), whose party advocates abolishing the Senate. “I can’t believe that the Prime Minister is just literally giving Canadians the finger.”

Christopherson was angry over both Harper’s change of position and his timing.

“This is about a blatant power move by someone who does not have the legitimacy of the Canadian people in terms of the votes he got, nor does he have the confidence of the House,” Christopherson said.

“I can’t believe that the Prime Minister is just literally giving Canadians the finger.”

Why are we still surprised by the depths in which Stephen Harper will sink in order to further his partisan Conservative agenda? Ever since the election, he has comfortably settled into the role of a Nixon-like figure, veering wildly between equally potent expressions of partisan aggression and grievance, his deliberately divisive calculations polarizing the nation and Parliament along increasingly unstable regional and ideological faultlines with apparent disregard to the long term consequences.

This latest maneuver is precisely why Liberals–especially Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff–must remain firm in their commitment to taking down this government.

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by matttbastard

Ok. I’ve gone on a bit lately about the recent 90s retro trend in political discourse. And I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to be a trendsetter or ‘thought leader’ or or something by obsessing over this apparent (perhaps self-imposed and projected) pattern. But c’mon — Western separatists and senate reform? The Tories are really channeling their Manning-era Reform ancestry atm.

Of course, when journos like David Aiken use their valuable inches to name-drop Pierre Trudeau and Barack Obama (in that order) while discussing the suddenly novel (and enigmatic!) technically-interim Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, you can sense that cut and paste mash-up politics (ie, wrapping up a successful formula in an unfamiliar package) are all the rage in the newly engaged Canadian political landscape.

(As a parenthetical aside, dontcha love how Gormley breaks out the Jack Layton = “reckless socialist” talking point without even bothering to dress it up in careful equivocation?)

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