Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- PressProgress offers its annual reminder not to be taken in by the Fraser Institute's anti-tax spin. And Robert Frank reports that support for a more fair tax system in the U.S. extends even to millionaires, a majority of whom approve of a wealth tax for fortunes above $50 million.

- Fiona Harvey writes about the continued growth in greenhouse gas concentrations to level never seen in human history. And Helen Briggs points out how all kinds of species ultimately suffer from a growing wave of plant extinctions, while Al Jazeera reports on the threat posed by warming oceans.

- Meanwhile, Gordon Laxer implores the Trudeau Libs not to waste any more public money on the Trans Mountain pipeline or other fossil fuel infrastructure. John Paul Tasker reports on the Parliamentary Budget Officer's conclusion that a federal carbon price needs to be doubled in order to meet even Stephen Harper's emission reduction targets. And Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood warns about Canada's backsliding on what were already pale excuses for action to avert a climate breakdown.

- Tabatha Southey discusses how the Scheer Cons are needlessly providing platforms for hate speech even while claiming to want nothing to do with it. And Doug Cuthand comments on the importance of recognizing genocide for what it is - and working on ensuring that we end it rather than perpetuating it. 

- Finally, Andray Domise offers a painfully apt summary of politics as practiced by the Libs:
Canada’s centrist Liberal party—for the millions of dollars it collects in donations, and the ability it has as a governing party to reshape our most pressing national issues such as housing policy, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, immigration and refugee policy, electoral reform and, of course, the environment—seems to find it completely out of its power to follow through on the political interests of the voters who elected it to begin with. For this party, politics is the aesthetics of hope, the promise of technocracy to solve our problems and the utter incapability of mustering the power to deliver on either within our lifetimes.

Politics, in other words, has long ceased to be the art of the possible for the Liberal Party. It is the art of procrastination, the art of kicking the can down the road, pledging that things will get better once we find an end to our endless crises, and simply trust that, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, we’re all in this together. Which raises the question: if the Liberal party were truly a corporate consulting firm operating under the auspices of party politics, how would its track record be any different?

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