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Showing posts from November 11, 2014

Money is pretty good predictor of who will win elections

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[Not just a "pretty good" predictor - pretty well the best. *RON*]

By Domenico Montanaro, Rachel WellfordSimone Pathe, PBS Newhour, 11 November 2014
Can’t buy you love, but can buy you a duplex on Capitol Hill: We already know that the $4 billion spent on this midterm election was more than any other midterm in history. It was the most on congressional elections ever, including during a presidential year. What do the numbers really tell us? These two stats jumped out at us from a post-analysis done by the Center for Responsive Politics:
- 94 percent of biggest spenders in House races won, up slightly from 2012
- 82 percent of biggest spenders in Senate races won, up from 76 percent in 2012

What that means is, as one of us noted on NewsHour Monday night money, more specifically who spends the most, is about as good a predictor that there is of who will win a race. Those numbers, by the way, are pretty close to the incumbent reelection rat…

Suzanne Legault, Federal Information Watchdog, Says Office Almost Broke

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[Everything your government does in secret is for your own good, and for the great democratic fatherland. But the budget is balanced, they say, smiling for the cameras. Vote for us, we're financially responsible. *RON*]

By Jim Bronskill, CP / Huffington Post, 9 November 2014

OTTAWA - The federal information watchdog is almost broke, weathering a cash crunch Suzanne Legault says threatens her ability to protect the rights of Canadians.

Legault's office had just $37,000 left at the end of the last fiscal year — or 0.2 per cent of her overall budget.

The information commissioner is an ombudsman for users of the Access to Information Act, handling complaints about delays, fees, and difficulties in obtaining records from federal agencies.

The access law allows people who pay $5 to request a variety of records from federal agencies, from correspondence and briefing notes to audits and hospitality receipts.

Departments are supposed to respond within …

Tories Make Big Cuts To Transport Safety While Touting Safety

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[Spending on marine safety down 27% and spending on aviation and rail safety down 20%, all while pushing rabidly for increased transport of tar sands by tanker and rail. But the budget is balanced, they say, smiling for the cameras. Vote for us, we're financially responsible. *RON*]
By Bruce Cheadle, CP / Huffington Post, 10 November 2014


OTTAWA - The Harper government has made dramatic cuts in spending on aviation, marine and rail transport safety over the past five years, even as it was touting new safety measures in the transportation sector.

The latest figures from the federal government's public accounts show actual spending by Transport Canada on marine safety has plunged 27 per cent since 2009-10, while aviation and rail safety spending are both down 20 per cent or more.

Budget cuts to marine and rail safety have come over a particularly sensitive period, during which oil-by-rail shipments increased exponentially and the governmen…

Aboriginal Affairs Short Of Cash For Social Programs, Education: Doc

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["Mr. Harper's government can no longer hide their severe and chronic underfunding of critical needs like housing, clean water and education on reserve." But the budget is balanced, they say, smiling for the cameras. Vote for us, we're financially responsible. *RON*]
By Steve Rennie, CP / Huffington Post, 10 November 2014


OTTAWA - Canada's Department of Aboriginal Affairs has been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

In this case, "Peter" is the department's infrastructure budget and "Paul" refers to its cash-strapped social and education programs.

A new document shows Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) shifted half a billion dollars meant for infrastructure over a six-year period to try to cover shortfalls elsewhere.

The result? The department's already strapped infrastructure program is starting to buckle while its social and education needs are still falling short.

"Significant re…

Remembrance Day marked as veterans groups decry government changes

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[Harper is 'celebrating' memorial day shilling for oil companies in China. Never forget that this is the government that claimed in court that it does not have a social contract with veterans in response to a class-action suit brought by veterans upset with the compensation arrangement offered to wounded soldiers under the New Veterans Charter. See also: To Remember is to Work for Peace. *RON*]

By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Nov 11, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 11, 2014 10:00 AM ET
Canadians will gather to mark Remembrance Day today, but two groups of veterans are expressing anger at the Conservative government over its policies.

The main Remembrance Day event in Ottawa will be held at the National War Memorial, where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed nearly three weeks ago, two days after a man in Quebec drove his car into Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, killing him.

Ottawa police said there will be an increased police pr…

Cut benefits? Yes, let’s start with our £85bn corporate welfare handout

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[From last month. But I like it when someone makes the effort to find out what the total costs are. Billions of pounds of British public money has gone to business, with Disney getting £170m. They really are "taking the Mickey."]
Aditya ChakraborttyThe Guardian, 6 October 2014
Last week, as the Tory faithful cheered on George Osborne’s new cuts in benefits for the working-age poor, a little story appeared that blew a big hole in the welfare debate. Tucked away in the Guardian last Wednesday, an article revealed that the British government had since 2007 handed Disney almost £170m to make films here. Last year alone the Californian giant took £50m in tax credits. By way of comparison, in April the government will scrap a £347m crisis fund that provides emergency cash for families on the verge of homelessness or starvation.

Benefits are what we grudgingly hand the poor; the rich are awarded tax breaks. Cut through the euphemisms and the …

CBI conference: Increase free childcare, business leaders urge

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[American would faint in shock if they heard their industry associations calling for free daycare and lower taxes for the poor! The funny thing is, on Facebook (where I found this article), the Brits who commented on the story were complaining. "They should give us better wages to begin with!" "Why force us to stick our little ones in care?" *RON*]

BBC News, 10 November 2014
More free childcare and cutting taxes for the low paid are among the measures to raise living standards being recommended by business leaders.

The CBI said the slow pace of the UK's economic recovery had "hit people's finances hard", and "immediate help" from the government was needed.

The CBI, which represents more than 190,000 businesses, is holding its annual conference in London.

Living standards and the UK's place in Europe are expected to be major themes.

'No miracle cure'

Speaking ahead of the conference, the CBI&#…