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Musical interlude

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 17:29
Esthero - That Girl

The Duffy Cover-Up: Why the RCMP Must Explain Itself

Montreal Simon - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 14:10

Now that we know that Stephen Harper's lawyer believed that Nigel Wright had Harper sign off on a five-point plan to payoff Mike Duffy. 

That good to go really meant good to go. And now that we know this:

Donald Bayne, Duffy’s defence lawyer, read from the transcript of a police interview Perrin did a year ago: “He [Wright] was explicit the prime minister approved of the responses to Ms. Payne [Duffy’s lawyer], so as I said at the time, the prime minister had approved all of the five points articulated by Mr. Wright.” 

“That was an accurate statement,” Bayne asked. “You said that to the police?” “Yes,” replied Perrin.

I think it's about time that the RCMP be asked to explain why it didn't charge Wright, or Stephen Harper's intimate advisor Ray Novak.
Read more »

If the Past Two Weeks Has Taught Us Anything, It's That There Won't Be Any More Debates for Shifty Harper.

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 13:39

Captain LayLow is already far over the horizon and he ain't coming back.  Shifty Steve has undergone his last debate - certainly of this election campaign and, with any luck, for good.

It would make for deliciously horrible television to see Steve standing onstage in a steaming pile of his own entrails, eviscerated by his opponents, especially Elizabeth May. Even the third-raters Shifty has as his aides these days would never allow that to happen.

And so Steve will spend the rest of the campaign attending Potemkin rallies and town halls with carefully screened guests asking manicured questions that all but beg for Shifty's bullshit answers.

Steve's cadre of morticians will do his makeup and hair every morning, adding just the right touch of rouge to his lifeless cheeks and a smidge of colour to his lips. The campaign tour reporters, meanwhile, will give up on asking the same questions and getting the same evasions and will content themselves with wading into the free booze.

I've been wondering whether the Globe & Mail will endorse Steve yet again or whether this time he's crossed even their blurry line.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, this time next week, Don Bayne will be finished spoon feeding the opposition leaders with their scandal news of the day.  Mulcair and Trudeau will have to carry the ball for themselves, earn their keep.  We'll have six weeks to see if either of them is really worth his salt. Me, I'm not holding my breath.

If Harper is defeated, Don Bayne deserves the Order of Canada, because he has contributed mightily to neutralizing Harper's campaign spending advantage.

Great line of the day

Cathie from Canada - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 12:22
From the Mound of Sound, writing about the Duffy trial revelations: The Disaffected Lib: Now It Makes Sense. It Was Magic.: Claiming Novak didn't open an email is about as convincing as telling the teacher the dog ate your homework.

Stephen Harper vs. Pinocchio

LeDaro - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 11:49
Stephen Harper wins.

Stephen Harper wanted

LeDaro - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 10:40

Will Sergeant Horton Please Take the Stand

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 10:14

There's a critical aspect to the Duffy trial that we're not going to get out of Harper's PMO staff or his "loyal unto death" shills in the Senate or the Conservative Party executive.

It's an aspect that goes to what appears to be a political prosecution that, it could be argued, calls justice into disrepute thereby violating Duffy's Charter rights.

It goes from then corporal, now sergeant Horton, the investigating officer straight up to the commissioner, Hank Paulson.  Did they "fix" the investigation of the Wright-Duffy scandal in the only way possible to nail Duffy and take everyone else off the hook?  Was this a setup by the state police apparatus?  Has the national police service become just another partisan political agency doing the bidding of Shifty Steve Harper?

I haven't found anyone who gets the concept of Precium Immaculata, the Immaculate Bribe, in which the person who transmitted the proceeds of a crime, the bribe, is cleared of any offence, leaving only the person to whom those proceeds of crime were transmitted to take the rap.  No one, nobody understands that.

Nobody understood that at the time it was announced Wright would face no charges and now that we've peered inside, through the masses of emails, this think reeks of a set up.

We need to know just what sergeant Horton did as he amassed witness statements and processed the email dump.  What role did Paulson and his boss, Vic Toews, play in shaping the investigation? Who saw the evidence? Was the prime minister let in on everything? Was Shifty ever treated as a possible suspect?

There's a very bad smell to this and a lot of questions that need answers.  Call sergeant Horton to the stand.

Ben Perrin Knows What Wright's Email Meant

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 09:48
To Shifty Harper's former special counsel, when he received Nigel Wright's "good to go" email it meant only one thing - Stephen Harper had cleared Wright's payment to Mike Duffy.

Nigel Wright chose to dismiss the email, in a "the dog ate my homework" way, by saying Harper had merely approved the media lines (why the "n" in lines?), not Wright's under the table, cash for expenses payment.

Let's see. One of these explanations is quite convincing.  One of these explanations borders on the absurd and sounds utterly contrived. And the winner is - Benjamin Perrin.

Take It From Seth Meyers - Donald Trump Will Never be President.

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 09:24

Some Americans are warming to a dark horse, independent candidate, Deez Nuts.  He's only just come to the public's attention and already, in a 3-way contest with Hillary and Trump, Nuts is polling at 10%.

Friday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 08:46
Assorted content to end your week.

- Ian Welsh rightly points out how our lives are shaped by social facts far beyond individual's control:
If you are homeless in America, know that there are five times as many empty homes as there are homeless people.

If you are homeless in Europe, know that there are two times as many empty homes are there are homeless.

If you are hungry anywhere in the world, know that the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, and that the amount of food we discard as trash is, alone, more than enough to feed everyone who is hungry today.

It is very difficult to argue that the current refugee crises are anything but social facts: War and famine are social facts, straight up.
If you don’t have a job, well, that comes down to how many jobs there are. If your job is shitty, it has less to do with you than the time and place in which you live: 40 years ago, the largest employers in the US were car companies, who paid much better than the largest employer today: Walmart.

Even most environmental facts are social facts. Climate change, the collapse of ocean stocks, the terrible pollution in China: These are all a result of human action.
We can remain victims of social facts, including our dominant technology, or we can decide that social facts are choices and make choices.

This is becoming more possible, not less, because of the rise of global culture. I’ll discuss this later. But for now, remember, while biology determines we all die, society generally determines how and when.  - And Gordon Cleveland discusses the ethics and economics of affordable child care for everybody as one social fact that's within our control to improve.

- Paul Barber writes that both Stephen Harper and Kathleen Wynne are playing with fire by spending the federal election campaign needlessly attacking leaders at other levels of government. That said, I'm pretty sure the NDP isn't complaining to the extent those attacks are aimed at Harper and Wynne themselves, building even more public fatigue with two dubious figures while allowing Tom Mulcair to stand out as the reasonable adult in the room.

- Dan Leger notes that a campaign built on leadership is turning into a disaster for an increasingly-distrusted Harper. And Warren Bell highlights the effect of the Duffy Senate payoff on a Con base which has less and less reason to care about keeping a discredited leader in power.

- Scott Reid comments on the foolishness of deliberately lying to the public as the Harper PMO did in covering up the Duffy payoff - even as a matter of strategy if not of ethics. But Michael Harris writes that the Cons' standard practice is to replace one debunked lie with another. The Star is stunned by the surreal spin from the Cons. Aaron Wherry points out that the Senate scandal can be traced all the way back to the long-questioned entitlement of Duffy and others to be appointed from provinces where they didn't live. And finally, the Globe and Mail sees it as largely reflecting the increasing unaccountable power of the PMO which dates back past Harper's time in office.

Now It Makes Sense. It Was Magic.

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 08:32

Okay, it's not the mystery of the Sphinx but...  yesterday's testimony by former Harper special counsel Ben Perrin goes a long way to explaining why Duffy stands alone charged with bribery.

Bribery is a crime of giving and taking so, unless the giver or the taker is dead, there should be two people charged.  Except in this case.  Just the one, the Cavendish Cottager. It's the stuff of magic, a glimpse into the Dark Arts of the state police apparatus.

Presumably Wright might have been charged with giving the very bribe Duffy is charged with receiving - except that might have dragged in half of Harper's PMO as accessories.  Wright, Novak, Perrin, Van Hemmen, Woodcock - they all apparently knew about it.  They all facilitated the deal.  They all participated and, presumably, that includes Shifty Harper himself.  A classic conspiracy.

Think this isn't a political prosecution?

Way back when Wright was "cleared" I wrote that the state police agency had to take Wright off the hook because that took everyone else, including Harper, off the hook.  If Wright stood trial, he wasn't going to go down alone. He'd take the rest with him.

And so we have this travesty of an investigation leading to a travesty of a prosecution all revolving around a theory of money that magically transformed into a bribe once it reached Duffy's hands.  Voodoo Justice.

By the way, Shifty.  When your principal secretary valet knew (or as Salamander calls him your "cabin boy"), we know that you knew.  Claiming Novak didn't open an email is about as convincing as telling the teacher the dog ate your homework.

North Korea Puts Army on 'Quasi State of War

LeDaro - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 08:32
This sounds very scary because if there is a war between North and South Korea it will spread if countries like U.S. and Russia get involved.

The Conspiracy behind the Conspiracy. . . .

kirbycairo - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 08:06
It is becoming increasingly clear and ominous that not only was the PMO involved in a bribery cover-up, and not only has the Prime Minister been consistently lying to the Canadian people, but that the RCMP has been acting at the behest of the Prime Minister. Michael Harris has written a great article today about the systematic way in which the Prime Minister has made lying central to his time in office.

But what he only touches upon, and what is becoming increasingly disturbing is the obvious way in which the RCMP has been acting as a branch of the PMO. When it was first revealed that Duffy was going to be facing bribery charges but Nigel Wright was not, the country did a collective double take. How could, we all wondered, a bribe be taken if a bribe wasn't given. When people wondered publicly about this strange contradiction, the Commissioner Bob Paulson assured us that it would all become clear in time. However, no explanation has ever been forthcoming, and anyone with any sense can smell a rat here. And now that the extent of the conspiracy has been made clear in court, this smells worse than ever.

There is, in other words, more than one conspiracy here. There are the ones that took place in the PMO, one to pay off Duffy's expenses and hide where the money came from, and the other to interfere with the audit. But the other, more ominous conspiracy, and the one few people are really talking about (and no one in the MSM) is the RCMP conspiracy to insulate the Prime Minister and the PMO from the full extent of the original wrong-doing. Harper's lawyer, Benjamin Perrin gave a sworn statement concerning the extent of those who knew of Wright's payment to Duffy. He had no conceivable motivation to lie about it, he just told what he knew. He then confessed to being shocked that the RCMP had ignored that information and publicly reiterated the PM's line that only Wright and Duffy knew of this conspiracy to pay off the money and then mislead the public into thinking Duffy had paid his own expenses. If the RCMP was, in fact, still an independent expression of the law, at the very least Wright would have been charged with bribery. But, more importantly, a raft of conspiracy charges would also have been laid.

It is now obvious to anyone who choses to look without a partisan eye that this country has been compromised in the most sinister, banana-republic fashion - the federal police force has lost its independence at the very highest level and become the plaything of the Prime Minister. They have intentionally ignored the real nature of the conspiracies inside the PMO and exonerated the people involved, all to avoid harming Stephen Harper. One can only imagine the real reasons that they even charged Mike Duffy. One must assume it was an effort to appear not entirely corrupt and to give the PM the ammunition to say that he had taken "appropriate action." Make no mistake, this makes all other national scandals in Canada pale in comparison. When you can't rely on the law enforcement system to act independently, when the Prime Minister and his cronies are above the law, that's when you know that the country is in deep, deep trouble. One can only hope, if Harper losses the election (and actually decides to voluntarily give up power and not stage some sort of coup) that the next Prime Minister will gut the management of the RCMP and begin a new unbiased investigation into the depth of this conspiracy. Otherwise, all really is lost.

Jimmy Carter Tells World His Cancer Has Spread To His Brain- NBC

LeDaro - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:02

Former President Jimmy Carter is one of the great men and courageous man. Best wishes for him and his family.

Your Morning Smile

Politics and its Discontents - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 06:03

Pinocchio, Snow White and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day.
As they walk, they came across a sign:
"Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world."
"I am entering," said Snow White.
After half an hour she comes out and they ask her,
"Well, how did you do?"
" First Place ," said Snow White.
They continue walking and they see a sign:
"Contest for the strongest man in the world."
"I'm entering," says Superman.
After half an hour he returns and they ask him,
"How did you make out?"
" First Place ," answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"
They continue walking when they see a sign:
"Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?"
Pinocchio says "this is mine."
Half an hour later, he returns with tears in his eyes.
"What happened?" they asked.
"Who the hell is STEPHEN HARPER?" asked Pinocchio.Recommend this Post

A Tangled Web

Northern Reflections - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 05:28

That's what you get, Shakespeare wrote, when first you practice to deceive. One lie follows another. That's certainly what happened in the Prime Minister's Office. Michael Harris writes:

It is becoming increasingly obvious that NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair had it right: the CPC code of conduct is not taken from the Bible or some list of sacrosanct conservative principles. It’s taken from the Criminal Code. Canada has returned to the Mulroney era, when everything was okay unless it was illegal — notwithstanding Judge William Parker’s ruling in the Sinclair Stevens case. Even the appearance of conflict, the judge wrote, had to be avoided to maintain public trust in the system. Canadians now trust discount sushi more than they do Parliament under Harper.

And despite Wright’s vaunted reputation as an upright man, his defence of his actions in the Duffy affair displays the same ethical bankruptcy and dizzying sense of entitlement that emanated from the very heart of Stephen Harper’s office. This is David Dingwall’s chewing gum to the power of ten. When asked by Donald Bayne why he lied to the PM about his payout to Duffy, Wright said it wasn’t a “bad misrepresentation.” That euphemism could stop a charging rhino.
What it comes down to -- and Jack Layton warned us of this long ago -- is that you can't take Stephen Harper at his word:

Bottom line? Canadians can’t trust a single statement from a party that thinks perception is reality and actively promotes falsehoods when they are deemed to be in the government’s interest. And if you doubt that, consider the absurdity of the conflict between the testimony of Nigel Wright and the RCMP statement of former Harper PMO legal counsel Benjamin Perrin.
Mr. Harper keeps insisting that this election is about leadership. But a leader you can't trust is no leader. And a leader who insists that, when he does something it's legal, is merely the ghost of Richard Nixon. In the end, Nixon became entangled in his own web.

Stephen Harper and the Great Con Adoption Scam

Montreal Simon - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 01:09

It's Stephen Harper's latest desperate plan to try to soften his image, and make himself more popular.

By buying more votes with OUR money. 

But sadly for him there's something terribly wrong with that picture.

And it's just more Con fraud.
Read more »


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