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Regret Is Everywhere

Northern Reflections - Sat, 04/23/2016 - 04:40


Kellie Leitch tearfully regretted this week that she had had anything to do with the "barbaric practices" snitch line. And, when Mike Duffy ran afoul of Stephen Harper, he too regretted his decision to go to work for the man:

“The sad truth is I allowed myself to be intimidated into doing what I knew in my heart was wrong out of a fear of losing my job and out of a misguided sense of loyalty,” Duffy told his fellow senators. “… This kind of politics is not why I came to the Senate of Canada. It’s not why millions of Canadians voted for the Conservative party. It’s not the Canadian way.” 
Among Conservatives these days, regret is everywhere. It's interesting that no one admitted to any poor choices before the Harper government came crashing down. Susan Delacourt writes:
What would have been better, even Leitch and Duffy would probably agree now, is if these Conservatives had expressed their aversion to this brand of politics before it stopped working for them. It’s pretty easy to be regretful in defeat; it’s far more difficult, but also more courageous, to speak up when you’re in a position to stop bad behaviour in its tracks. 
Only one member of the caucus -- Michael Chong -- resigned on a matter of principle. Yet he, too, stuck with the boss. Some former Conservatives -- like Bill Casey -- took Harper on, paid a heavy price, and were eventually vindicated. But, all told, they were never a very courageous lot. They are, however, regretful.

Why Bernie Sanders' Campaign Must and Will Continue

Montreal Simon - Sat, 04/23/2016 - 02:33


Bernie Sanders is still attracting huge crowds to his rallies.

He still has the enthusiastic support of most young progressives.

In every one of the last three months, he has managed to raise more money than Hillary Clinton. Even though donations to his campaign average only $27, compared to the thousands Clinton gets from her wealthy supporters.

But after losing the big New York primary, the establishment voices calling on him to end his campaign, are getting louder and louder.
Read more »

You Don't Have to Like Mike Duffy

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 19:50

Many people have mixed emotions on Mike Duffy's acquittal on 31-corruption charges. Some people are torn.

Had Duffy been convicted the vindication of Stephen Harper, Nigel Wright & Co. would have left them deeply unhappy. Some will see in Duffy's acquittals the lesser of two evils.

I like Mike Duffy, at least the Duffy I knew back in the days when he and I worked for the same news outlet in Ottawa. He was a hard-charging, hard news fireball in those days and his efforts, talents and sheer stamina took him quickly up the ladder.

There was less to like in Duffy during his latter years at CTV when he was courting a Senatorial appointment. The hatchet job he did on Stephane Dion was appalling. The favouritism he lavished on Stephen Harper was probably worse.

He made his Faustian deal with Beelzebub and, as events of the past couple of years have shown, he got what he bargained for.  At least some of his ordeal seems to have been self-inflicted.

You don't have to like Mike Duffy to be pleased that he prevailed in the massive, 31-count case brought against him. From my professional experience I know that there are not many who could have withstood that. Despite his ailing health, Duffy did what many others might not have. Alone, he stood up to a corrupt prime minister, corrupt officials in the prime minister's office and the Tory Senate leadership, and, I suspect, a disturbingly compromised national police force. Think you could have done that? Think again.

The way Justice Charles Vaillancourt dragged these Harper & Co. miscreants out into the public eye it was as though he was tossing vampires out into the noonday sun.

Sixty days at trial. Twelve weeks before the Court. It's pretty rare for a criminal trial to run anywhere near that long. That's a lot of evidence. A lot of testimony. A lot of cross-examination. A lot of documents and other evidence. Harper apologists, political and media, have wasted no time coming to the defence of the Prince of Darkness but their assertions are strained, furtive. They ring hollow.

So, whether you like Mike Duffy or you despise Mike Duffy or just couldn't care less about Mike Duffy, let's thank Mike Duffy for standing up to these thugs and exposing their sleazy, abusive ways.

Coyne's Sniveling Bullshit

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 19:23

No matter how often you may disagree with him, Andrew Coyne is not a complete idiot. He can, in fact, present himself as rather intelligent. But, when it comes to the Duffy verdict, he's taken leave of his senses and plunged headlong into petulance.
Coyne is, to use Nigel Wright's now famous word, "pissed" that Justice Charles Vaillancourt acquitted the Cavendish Cottager of all charges. Coyne's first sentence offers a window into what is to follow: "So it was all a dream."Demonstrating that Coyne couldn't be bothered to read the reasons for judgment this unreliable scribe lashed out.
All of these things happened, and more. All that has changed is that a judge has decided that there was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt that any of them were crimes, or at least that there was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Duffy intended to commit any crimes.

No, sorry Andrew. I'll you'll tuck your editorial sophistry back from whence you extracted it and read the judgment you'll find that on count after count the judge found no need to decide the purported offences on reasonable doubt. He found there was nothing blameworthy in Duffy's conduct. Nothing at all, boyo.
That's not to say Justice Vaillancourt didn't find plenty of misconduct, skulduggery, underhandedness, dirty dealing. Not at all. Only he didn't find that in Mike Duffy but in Stephen Harper, Nigel Wright, Ray Novak, the Tory Senate leadership.
Coyne is so pathetically desperate to make his case, to pillory Mike Duffy presumably to ease the sting felt by our now discredited, disgraced former prime minister, that he simply invents specious "facts" that were not in evidence, even when it becomes necessary to ignore or mistake real facts that were in evidence, findings that were made by the presiding judge - who, remarkably, seems to have a somewhat better standing in judicial ranks than Mr. Justice Coyne himself.
The notion that Duffy was some unwilling victim of a plot to force him to accept being “made whole” for his expenses is not only contrary to common sense — the only price he faced for not taking the money was that he would not get the money — but to the evidentiary record. It was an explicit and repeated demand of his lawyer.

Coyne hasn't read the judgment. He hasn't read the testimony of the witnesses. He hasn't read the emails. The evidentiary record, apparently, is whatever Coyne would like it to be.
Duffy may have sincerely believed he did nothing wrong, and that may have made him unwilling to admit he had. But there is nothing in the record to indicate that he was averse to taking the cheque.

There is a great deal in the record that Duffy was averse to taking the cheque. Some of it comes out of the mouth of Nigel Wright. It's in the emails. Only in Coyne's alternate universe is there "nothing in the record."
Hard to say just what Coyne's problem is. Does he just resent Duffy? Is he furious that Duffy has now made it harder for other shills, perhaps Coyne himself, to get a cushy seat in the red chamber? Maybe he should see if he can get himself a job on the bench. I can see it now...


Musical interlude

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 17:11
Tritonal & Paris Blohm feat. Sterling Fox - Colors

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