Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Shawn McCarthy discusses the Cons' latest plan to sell Keystone XL to the U.S. - which involves hoping that the best-resourced government on the planet will be suckered into accepting a transparently false pretense that the Cons have the slightest interest in addressing climate change. And Harper cabinet appointee Monte Solberg offers a window into the Cons' environmental mindset, trying to make a case against "thinking globally" on the basis that there are easier votes to be won by focusing on small vacation areas while shredding the rest of the planet.

- The Cons' latest Senate abuses have provoked plenty of discussion as to how in the world we can justify spending hundreds of millions of dollars on an unaccountable set of patronage appointees. Among those calling for (or at least musing about) abolition are Diane Francis, Paul Sullivan and Geoffrey Stevens. Kai Nagata recognizes that we should see Patrick Brazeau as entirely emblematic of the Cons - rather than accepting their spin that it's just bad luck that he's following in so many disgraced footsteps. Murray Dobbin compares Brazeau's abuse of privilege to the genuine movement for change behind Idle No More. Stephen Kimber contrasts Mike Duffy's one-time journalist persona against his current diminished state, while Dan Leger wonders whether Duffy has officially joined Brazeau in being cut loose by the Cons.

But the definitive word goes to Sixth Estate in discussing Duffy:
(W)e’re no longer talking about an issue of merely failing to uphold a few technical rules. We’re talking about fraud here.

The only question is: fraud against whom? Against Ontario taxpayers, for using an Ontario health card when he is really a primary resident of PEI, or against federal taxpayers, for collecting expense fees for his PEI cottage when he is really a primary resident of Ontario?

Either way, I guess we now know why right-wingers are so paranoid that lazy, self-interested gits are ripping off the welfare system. That’s what they think is going on, because it’s exactly what they do when given the opportunity.
- Digby compares the "donor class" of Americans who fund political parties to the wider citizenry - and finds that the U.S. government (like its UK equivalent) is paying far more attention to the frivolous deficit obsession of the former than the job and income security concerns of the latter.

- pogge rightly highlights the Cons' strict party control over private members' bills. But I'll add that the vetting of what's supposed to be the prerogative of individual MPs is far from new, as Garth Turner raised exactly the same concern after he was booted out of the Cons' caucus.

- Finally, CBC reports on the Cons' willingness to fund an anti-gay organization to work in Uganda (home of some of the most obvious homophobic policies on the planet). And Dennis Gruending compares the treatment of Crossroads Christian Communications to that of other groups such as KAIROS and Development and Peace who were de-funded for failing to share the Cons' values.


  1. The Solberg case is particularly silly because if there's one thing Cons don't want, it's empowered local communities in a position to say "no" to megacorporate development.

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