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...Gone?

Politics and its Discontents - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 06:27
The tale of Eve Adams gets increasingly melodramatic, and increasingly reminiscent of Helena Guergis. That she will suffer Helena's political fate is looking more likely with each passing day.

Readers may recall that prior to her fall from grace, Helena Guergis, at the Charlottetown airport in February of 2010, allegedly threw a tantrum and screamed obscenities at staff who asked her to take her boots off for security screening. An airport worker said it was among the worst meltdowns he had ever seen.

Fast forward a few years and a similar outrageous sense of political entitlement was acted out this past December by Ms Adams who, it seems, showed her displeasure over a bit of ice remaining on her bumper after a car wash by blocking some gas pumps for 15 minutes at an Ottawa gas station.

John Newcombe, a Conservative supporter and the owner of the Island Park Esso station in Ottawa’s west end, said he contacted the Prime Minister’s Office in January to complain about an incident with Adams in December 2013:

An analysis of the incident can be seen here, from yesterday's Power and Politics:

Finally, also like Guergis, who suffered her lethal blow over allegations of misuse of her office, Ms Adams is being accused of misusing her political clout in seeking the nomination for the riding of Oakville North-Burlington. It has already cost her affianced, Dimitri Soudas, his job as executive director of the Conservative Party of Canada.

On yesterday's Power and Politics, Jeff Knoll, a board member of the riding association in question, explained why he signed a letter asking the prime minister to look into allegations about MP Eve Adams:

One wonders what particular brand of bottled water our elected public 'servants' drink from. If the kind of outrageous and contemptuous behaviour evinced by Ms Adams and countless others proves to come from something they drink, the product should come under immediate investigation by Health Canada and recalled.

Then again, perhaps it is just the Kool-Aid that is served to the entire Harper caucus.Recommend this Post

Sheer Stupidity

Northern Reflections - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 05:47


The Harperites have always insisted that their principal virtue is competent economic management. But, recently, Christopher Flavelle has been making the point that their record tells a different story:

When the Conservatives took office in 2006, the median family income was $47,600. In 2011, the latest year for which Statistics Canada has released figures, it was $47,700. (Both figures are in 2011 dollars.)

In other words, at the end of Stephen Harper’s first six years as prime minister, a household in the middle of the income distribution was pulling in $100 more than it did when he took office. In fact, 2011 median income was $1,600 lower than at its pre-recession peak in 2008. 

Things have looked a little better for those at the top of the income distribution. In 2006, adjusted market income for the highest-earning 20 per cent of Canadian families was $104,000; by 2011, that had increased 5 per cent, to $109,200.

The change was less sunny for the bottom quintile of families, who saw their adjusted market income fall 6 per cent over the same period, to $8,300 from $8,800.
None of this should be surprising. Wedded as they are to the doctrines of Milton Friedman, the Conservatives are repeating the same pattern that drove the American and the world economy off the cliff in 2008.

And, just as Americans tried to deal with income inequality by going into debt -- particularly mortgage debt -- the same pattern is being repeated here:

As incomes stagnated, the cost of living rose, pushing households deeper into debt. In 2006, Canadian households had debt equal to 135 per cent of their nominal disposable income, a figure roughly equal to U.S. households and about one-fifth lower than in the U.K.

By 2012, household debt had jumped to 165 per cent of disposable income in Canada, while it fell to 111 per cent in the U.S. and 152 per cent in the U.K. In fact, of the countries for which the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports these data for that year, Canada’s household debt levels were the highest for 2012, the latest for which figures are available.
In Canada, history -- recent history, not ancient history -- is repeating itself.  The meltdown of 2008 held no lessons for the Harperites. They claim they stand for sound economic management. The truth is  they stand for sheer stupidity.


Eve Adams and the Trouble in the Garden Of Steve

Montreal Simon - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:35


Uh oh. Somebody call Jason Kenney or an exorcist.

Or an embalmer.

There is trouble in the Garden of Steve. 
Read more »

The Middle Class, an open letter to Tom Mulcair (and whomever else may be listening)

Sister Sages Musings - Wed, 04/02/2014 - 21:10
Dear Tom Mulcair.      Please stop worrying about the middle class.  Let Trudeau and Harper get mired in that bullshit argument.      Want a Big Idea?  Announce a plan to eliminate poverty.  Create a middle class.  It’s easy.  I’m not even an economist and I can tell you how its done.      Remember the . . . → Read More: The Middle Class, an open letter to Tom Mulcair (and whomever else may be listening)

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