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Leadership 2017 Reference Page

accidentaldeliberations - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:04
A one-stop source for general links on the 2017 NDP leadership campaign, to be updated as the race progresses. Please feel free to add additional suggestions in comments.

General Information
NDP Constitution (PDF)
Leadership Rules (PDF) - Voting Process
NDP Leadership 2017
Leadership Debates: Ottawa (March 12) - Montreal (March 26) - Sudbury (May 28) - Halifax (June 10) - Saskatoon (July 11) - Montreal (August 27) - Vancouver (September 10)

Candidate Information
Candidate Website Twitter Profile Analysis Ranking Charlie Angus CharlieAngusNDP.ca @CharlieAngusNDP Profile

Niki Ashton NikiAshton2017.ca @NikiAshton Profile

Guy Caron GuyCaron.ca @GuyCaronNPD Profile

Peter Julian PeterJulian.ca @MPJulian Profile

Pat Stogran n/a @PatStogran Profile


Posts
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Discussion
Babble threads: 1 - 2 - 3
Peter Julian Forum
Twitter: #ndp - #ndpldr

Can Donald Trump Pass A Sanity Test?

Montreal Simon - 56 min 42 sec ago


As you can imagine, even some of Donald Trump's closest advisers are said to be deeply worried about his mental state.

They say he appears shell shocked. He apparently had no idea that government was so difficult, and that he would have so little time for golf.

And of course he blames the media for EVERYTHING.


As one thing after the other goes horribly wrong.
Read more »

Frightening To Behold

Northern Reflections - 2 hours 21 min ago

Two days ago, as Donald Trump signed an executive order to roll back Barack Obama's environmental legacy, he was surrounded by coal miners. “Come on, fellas,” Trump said. “You know what this is? You know what it says, right? You’re going back to work.” It was all part of the con.  E. J. Dionne writes:

Trump already signaled his indifference to the lives of his working-class supporters by backing the failed House Republican health care bill. It would have deprived 24 million Americans of health insurance. And the administration’s next big priority is corporate tax cuts, not an issue high on voters’ wish lists in Erie, Pennsylvania, or Bay County, Michigan.
   
Then again, not many proletarians hang around at the Trump resorts and golf courses where our commander in chief has already spent nearly a third of his time in office.
It is a con being played on the country's most vulnerable citizens:

In a paper released last week by the Brookings Institution (with which I am associated), they show that the rising death rates among less well-off whites aged 45-54 contrast sharply with the falling death rates among comparably placed citizens in Europe.
   
“Mortality declines from the two biggest killers in middle age—cancer and heart disease—were offset by marked increases in drug overdoses, suicides and alcohol-related liver mortality,” they write.
   
We are living in a society where the long-standing injustices of racial discrimination against African-Americans and Latinos are compounded by the injuries of class. These afflict all lower income groups, but they are currently hitting white Americans particularly hard.
The painful truth is that the coal mining jobs Trump promised are not coming back. They have been replaced by automation, natural gas and renewable energy sources. Those who surrounded Trump were being conned -- arrogantly -- and in public.

Trump came to office by stoking their legitimate economic anxiety. But he sold them a lie. And, as they discover that lie, their anger will be frightening to behold.

Image: IndustriALL Global Union

Your money, his friends

accidentaldeliberations - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 21:06
So much for any talk of economic diversification, shared sacrifice or responsible budgeting - the Saskatchewan Party is on another corporate giveaway binge, and no amount of public money is off the table if it'll buy a photo op with a CEO.

Shorter Brad Wall today:
PLZ MR. OIL BARONS TAKE ALL OF OUR MONEYZ!!!! Meanwhile, Trevor Tombe notes that Saskatchewan already hands more free money to corporations than any other province in Canada:
SK Premier Wall to subsidies HQ relocation https://t.co/1WrpEAgoHC Their subsidies to private firms already highest in Canada #skpoli #ableg pic.twitter.com/PXiw8HIWLm— Trevor Tombe (@trevortombe) March 29, 2017Which, for a government interested in rational policy-making, might serve as a hint that giveaways to businesses aren't a means to avoid the type of pain now being applied to everybody but Wall's would-be targets.

Wall, Wall, Who Gets the Wall?

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 14:25


Trump's interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, has stumbled across a problem with the Cheeto Benito's plan to wall off Mexico from the United State - a wall works two ways.

“The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall,” Zinke said. “The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.”

Zinke didn’t elaborate on how the wall would get built if it wasn’t located on America’s side of the Rio Grande or in the middle of the river, which implies that it would be built on the Mexican side of the border.


Apropos of Absolutely Nothing at All

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 14:02
A musical interlude with Vlad "The Impaler" Putin



Well This Is Awkward

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 11:52

House and Senate Republicans created a stir with their support for a law that would allow internet providers to sell sell subscribers' internet data including their browsing history.

That got net neutrality advocate, Adam McElhaney thinking. Why not crowdsource funds to buy the browsing history of all congressmen, executives and their families and put it all online in a searchable database. Everything they've looked at, searched for or visited - medical records, porn sites, every conceivable online peccadillo.

That could give "Hi honey, I'm home" a brand new dimension. Endless hilarity ensues. "You did WHAT?"

That Could Touch a Nerve

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 10:28

There was a quiet and barely noticed event at last year's Republican convention when Donald Trump was officially chosen as the party's presidential candidate. It involved one plank of the official Republican platform that called for America to provide "lethal defensive weapons" to Ukrainian forces fighting off Russian intrusions. Of all the policies in the platform it alone was something the Trump campaign couldn't abide and so it was quietly pulled, shelved.

When it was noticed and questions raised, Team Trump responded with apparent surprise and confusion. No one seemed to know how that had happened. Then campaign chairman Paul Manafort who had been on the Russian payroll to the tune of several millions of dollars denied he had anything to do with it. Not Paul, no, never.

On Sunday’s [July, 2016]“Meet the Press,” Manafort said that the effort to keep the platform from supporting arms for Ukraine, which I first reported last month, “absolutely did not come from the Trump campaign.”


Trump, when questioned, said he heard about it but only after the fact. He didn't know who was behind the deletion of that policy.



Months later it emerged that Trump's campaign advisor on national security, J.D. Gordon, admitted that he was responsible for getting the platform policy scrapped and did so at Trump's direction. Gordon also had a number of meetings with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

Diana Denman, the GOP delegate who proposed amending the Ukraine platform to include the "lethal weapons" language, contradicted Gordon's version of events in an interview with Business Insider in January. She said Gordon and another Trump campaign representative asked the cochairmen of the subcommittee to table the amendment after she read it aloud.

"Two men sitting over to the side of the room — I had no idea who they were but later found out they were Trump representatives — jumped up and tore over to get behind the three cochairmen," she said.

Gordon then left the room to make a phone call, Denman said. Equal parts confused and angry over her proposal being scuttled, Denman said she confronted Gordon about whom he was calling.

"I'm calling New York," Gordon replied, according to Denman.

"I work for Mr. Trump, and I have to clear it," she recalled him saying, apparently in reference to the amendment.


Joining Gordon at some meetings with ambassador Kislyak, was this guy, Carter Page. Page is now said to be one of the individuals under FBI investigation.
All of which now brings us to Russia and Ukraine and NATO and, again, those pesky "lethal defensive weapons."
Yesterday the U.S. House Armed Services Committee held a briefing session with four star general Curtis Scaparotti, commander of the US European Command and Supreme Commander of NATO.
Scaparotti told the Congressmen that Russia has put NATO back on a warfighting footing. Beginning around the 17:00 mark he discusses Ukraine and, at 18:30, renews the call for the US to provide lethal defensive weapons to Ukrainian forces.

Which puts Trump's top general in Europe, the Supreme Commander of NATO, foursquare at odds with the general's own commander in chief now widely suspected of being compromised by the same Russians that so worry general Scaparotti.














Wednesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 09:21
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Scott Clark and Peter DeVries point out that with interest rates still at historically low levels, Canada would be far better off funding infrastructure for itself rather than locking itself into privatized structures:
But that is not true at all at the federal level.  The federal government funds its infrastructure projects by issuing 30 or 50-year bonds, which it currently can do at historically low interest rates.  The costs are amortized over the service life of the project.  The impact on the budgetary balance is spread over the lifetime of the investment, perhaps as long as fifty years.  If it loans these funds, without concessions and covers its borrowing costs, there is no direct impact on the budgetary balance.

In other words, the government currently has access to unlimited and cheaper funding for public sector infrastructure investments than the private sector.
...
(W)hy does the Finance Minister want to create an independent CIB that will focus only on “National Economic Development projects such as toll highways and bridges, high-speed rail, port and airport expansions, smart city infrastructure, national broadband infrastructure, power transmission and natural resource infrastructure?  Projects considered by the Bank should generally have an all-in cost in excess of $100 million to meet the minimum to attract institutional investment”.

In other words, the Council wants an independent CIB that will concern itself with only about 2 per cent of the “national” infrastructure gap.  The remaining 98 per cent that is provincial and local is too small to attract large investors.

Perhaps the Finance Minister should concern himself more with the 98 per cent of infrastructure needs and less with the 2 percent.  It is at the provincial and local level where there are in fact revenue and borrowing constraints that could inhibit infrastructure investments.- Meanwhile, Brent Patterson questions why the Libs are also pushing "development finance" aimed toward allowing the corporate sector to exploit the developing world, rather than toward improving conditions for people. And Chris Hedges discusses the Trump kleptocracy.

- Alex Ballingall reports on a new Environmental Canada projection showing that Canada is expected miss even the watered-down greenhouse gas emissions targets set by the Harper Conservatives.

- Emma Gilchrist notes that subsidies for the fossil fuel sector - such as the B.C. Libs' power giveaways - lead to disastrous economic consequences as well as environmental destruction. And Judith Lavoie points out how Imperial Metals' corporate political donations fed into Christy Clark's choice to saddle the public with a $40 million cleanup bill.

- Finally, Paul Taylor examines how unnecessary medical testing can do more harm than good - both in terms of the use of medical resources, and in terms of the health of the individual patient. And Andre Picard points out the example of tuberculosis in the North in showing how vital it is to have care available when and where it's actually needed.

Ottawa Police: served and protected

Dawg's Blawg - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 08:59
That Cst.Daniel Montsion of the Ottawa Police viciously beat an unarmed Somali man who died in front of horrified onlookers is not in dispute. He treated a number of eyewitnesses to a gruesome display of violence, assisted by Cst. Dave... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

Now Can We Call the Cons the Bigot Party?

Montreal Simon - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 05:43


Yesterday was the deadline for the Con leadership candidates to sign up new members. 

And as you can imagine, as the clock ran out on them, it was not a pretty sight. 

The stench of desperation hung heavy in the air, and the squealing was deafening.

But at least they did manage to provide even more proof that the Cons should now be known as Canada's Bigot Party.
Read more »

Sending Him To The Showers

Northern Reflections - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 05:06


The Liberals want to change the rules in the House of Commons. They want to limit Justin Trudeau's required appearances in the House to once a week. That's the way the Brits do it. But, Lawrence Martin writes, that won't wash here:

The optics on accountability are dreadful. That the Liberals were perceived to be intent on proceeding unilaterally on this and other changes to parliamentary procedure had critics in high dudgeon.

Trying to defend the initiative was Liberal House Leader Bardish Chagger. She was beaten up, as she often is. It’s hardly her fault. She’s a greenhorn, a 36-year-old rookie MP who inexplicably was handed a job that requires more seasoning than practically any other post in government.
The stench that arises with the abuse of power is growing stronger: 
The Liberal gambit comes off as just the latest in a long line of heavy-handed conduct. Broken promises, underhanded efforts to limit parliamentary debate, elbowgate, cash for access fundraisers, secrecy over the Aga Khan trip, so-called open nominations in ridings, and so on.
Given all the negative blowback, one would have thought that Mr. Trudeau would have been particularly sensitive to doing anything that smacked of anti-democratic arrogance again. Not so.
Martin recognizes Trudeau's unique talents: 
Give him his due. He is more accessible, candid and forthright than other prime ministers and no one should underestimate his impact. In short order, he completely resurrected the Liberal Party. In short order, 18 months in office, he has refashioned Canada’s global image. We’ve gone from being seen as uptight on the right under Mr. Harper to an open and forward-looking society that much of the world looks up to under Mr. Trudeau. Doubters need only read the laudatory assessments in the foreign media.
Nonetheless, if Canadians get the idea that it's all gone to Justin's head, they'll send him to the showers in the next election. 
Image: WND.com

USA Today Links Trump, Trump Jr. and the Trump Organization to Shady Russians and Their Money

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 17:32

USA Today + investigative reporting - who'd a thunk it?

In any case McNews Inc. has been reviewing records, connecting the dots, and links America's president, DJT Jr. and the Trump organization to "Russian mobsters" and their shady money.

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

accidentaldeliberations - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 15:57
Captured cats.






Yeah, So What Else is New?

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 12:20

A big story in today's Washington Post about a new study finding that the warming Arctic is altering the jet stream, creating Rossby waves that can drag warm air out of the south to the polar region and cold polar air far to the south. The study also found that this elongated jet stream could lose energy and basically stall over one area for an extended period giving rise to extreme flooding events.

As I scoured the article I was left wondering "yeah, so what else is new?" This discovery has been around for several years - warm air north, cold air south, Rossby waves, extreme flooding events. We saw it in action, first hand, in the flooding of Toronto and then even heavier flooding in Calgary in 2013. We saw it just months later, in February, 2014, when Atlanta, Georgia froze solid while in Alaska a village basked in 62F temperatures. We've seen it elsewhere - Britain, central Europe - since then.

This new paper simply presents additional research corroborating the science we already had. What I found most interesting was the timing of the release - the same day that el presidente Trump signed an executive order rolling back Obama's climate change initiatives.

With the exaggerated stroke of a pen, the Cheeto Benito ensured the United States will be unable to meet its commitments under the Paris climate agreement. Not that we have any cause for righteous indignation.  At least Trump is brazen. Our leader, Justin, ensured Canada would foreclose our Paris summit commitments a good while ago when he recklessly approved the expansion of the Tar Sands and new pipelines to make that a reality. Yet Trudeau says that increasing our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is how we'll achieve a green future. Trump simply does it. Trudeau covers his ass with outright lies.


On empathy

Dawg's Blawg - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 10:27
I am running a risk by reproducing a work of art that is presently causing no end of controversy: Dana Schultz’s “Open Casket” (2016). Context is crucial, so here it is. The painting is of a 14-year-old Black boy, Emmett... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

Trump's Termites in Action

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 09:13

Victoria Hermann spotted the signs in January. The managing director of America's Arctic Institute watched as data was wiped out by Team Trump.

At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies.

I had no idea then that this disappearing act had just begun.

Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic. I now come to expect a weekly email request to replace invalid citations, hoping that someone had the foresight to download statistics about Arctic permafrost thaw or renewable energy in advance of the purge.

In the waning days of 2016 we were warned: save the data. Back up the climate measurements. Archive the maps of America’s worst polluters. Document the education portals that teach students about backyard ecosystems.
...

Each defunct page is an effort by the Trump administration to deliberately undermine our ability to make good policy decisions by limiting access to scientific evidence.

We’ve seen this type of data strangling before.

Just three years ago, Arctic researchers witnessed another world leader remove thousands of scientific documents from the public domain. In 2014, then Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper closed 11 department of fisheries and oceans regional libraries, including the only Arctic center. Hundreds of reports and studies containing well over a century of research were destroyed in that process – a historic loss from which we still have not recovered.

These back-to-back data deletions come at a time when the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average. Just this week, it was reported that the Arctic’s winter sea ice dropped to its lowest level in recorded history. The impacts of a warming, ice-free Arctic are already clear: a decline in habitat for polar bears and other Arctic animals; increases in coastal erosion that force Alaskans to abandon their homes; and the opening up of shipping routes with unpredictable conditions and hazardous icebergs.

Tuesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 07:56
This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Charles Smith and Andrew Stevens examine how Brad Wall's slash-and-burn budget is intended to exploit a crisis for political ends - while also highlighting the type of response needed to reverse the damage:
In our view, Budget 2017 should be viewed in two ways. First, it is clearly a reactionary document drafted by an openly conservative government responding to the dramatic fall in natural resource prices that began in 2014. Second, and perhaps equally important, the budget is also a calculated political decision to exploit the fiscal crisis to further transform the provincial state to facilitate long-term private capital accumulation in the natural resource sector, keeping those sectors free from a burdensome tax regime or regulatory pressure. In other words, the government is using the fiscal crisis to push through the so-called “Saskatchewan Advantage,” which it defines as the province having “the lowest corporate tax rate and the lowest tax rate on manufacturing and processing in the country.”
...

To date, opposition to the Saskatchewan Party has been largely waged by organized labour in response to wage reductions, job losses, and changes imposed upon the province's labour relations system. Notwithstanding a large labour organized demonstration outside the legislative assembly on 8 March, throughout the Saskatchewan Party's tenure, many of these struggles have been largely legal in nature and have not mustered serious community mobilization and rank-and-file activism. But now, with austerity and tax measures that will undoubtedly impact small towns and rural areas, the terrain of struggle might be shifting. With the amalgamation of health regions on the horizon, the winding down of the STC, cuts to education and libraries, and potential threats to municipal service levels, the space for broader opposition to austerity has widened.

Recent initiatives like SaskForward, which formed in 2017 as a means of constructing an alternative vision of “transformational change,” have brought together a coalition of civil society groups to work on charting a different political path for Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour has launched the Own It! campaign, designed to reach out across the labour movement to build a larger fight-back strategy and Unifor, CUPE, SEIU-West and SGEU have been vocal critics of the Saskatchewan Party's austerity agenda. Equally promising is that the Fight for $15 and Fairness movement that has been growing across North America has surfaced in the province. Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) has remained virtually silent as their members face layoffs and significant funding cuts. Adding teachers to the chorus of anti-austerity efforts could create conditions for mass demonstrations against the government not unlike Ontario's Days of Action. If the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) were to add their significant influence to the struggle by joining forces with healthcare unions already engaged in the fight, we are convinced that the movement would be a formidable obstacle to the government's austerity agenda.

What is required now is the capacity to bridge public sector austerity and labour struggles with the conditions of employment and poverty facing low-wage workers and sectors in Saskatchewan. There is also a need for engagement with the growing number of refugees, migrant workers, and immigrants that call the province home. Anti-colonial, anti-racism, and feminist struggles combined with environmental justice also need to become a mainstay of community mobilization. This must be done with a focus on enacting change at the local and provincial levels of government. Most importantly, it's critical that this energy is channeled into community-based movements, and not partisan political action alone. Recognizing that the NDP's time in government during the 1990s and 2000s was defined by its own brand of austerity should not be forgotten. Now is the time to create a broader, inclusive, and democratic alternative to the austerity driven “Saskatchewan Advantage.”- Larry Elliott writes that the growth of toxic populism can be seen as a natural response to "unpopulist" policies which have further enriched the wealthy at the expense of the public. And on that front, Alex Cobham and Petr Jansky tally up (PDF) the hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate taxes lost each year to a combination of lowered corporate tax rates and offshore tax avoidance.

- Sid Ryan argues that this year's federal budget represents the return of the traditional, cynical Liberal Party - though I'm not sure when they're supposed to have gone away.

- Greg Suttor points to Canada's history of social housing development as showing the importance of the federal initiative that's sorely lacking under Justin Trudeau. And Kent Driscoll reports on the dire state of housing in Nunavut due to a lack of public investment.

- Finally, Jon Stone points out a multipartisan UK report favouring the introduction of separate parental leave for each parent in a family.

Donald Trump: When Reality Bites

Montreal Simon - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 06:51


Donald Trump called his best known book the Art of the Deal. 

And he has always tried to portray himself in that regard as a genius or an artist.



But after his Trumpcare plan went up in smoke the other day.

Reality took a big bite out of him, and shattered that image.
Read more »

Fools And Their Fantasies

Northern Reflections - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 05:42

Today, Donald Trump signs an executive order to rollback Barack Obama's environmental protection policies. Last week he re-started the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline, Ross Pelot writes, is another Trumpian pipedream:

Keystone’s ultimate rejection by the Obama White House never had anything to do with the environment, of course. A 2015 State Department assessment stated that “approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including (Keystone XL), is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands”.

Obama didn’t actually cancel the line until the discount on Alberta crude disappeared once other pipelines were expanded to eliminate the bottlenecks. Once it was clear the line was not needed anymore, Obama announced the rejection — and polished up his environmental cred in the process.
The truth that no one wants to talk about is that the economic case for Alberta bitumen has collapsed:

When OPEC agreed to cut output, the Saudis and other cartel members cut production of the kind of crude that fetches the lowest price — heavy crude. Now Canadian heavy crude and others, like Mexican Maya, are enjoying narrower spreads versus light crude. But since Canadian heavies are increasing production because of investments that were launched before the price of crude collapsed, we are helping to undo the effect of the OPEC cuts.

Couple that with the fact that U.S. shale oil production has improved its cost efficiency — and has now risen back to production levels higher than they were this time last year — and you have the reason why crude prices have dropped back below $50 due to long supplies. The principles of supply and demand are working — and we can no longer expect substantial future growth in the oilsands.

Trump has gone bankrupt four times. Justin Trudeau praised Trump's decision to restart Keystone XL. Fools and their fantasies.


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