Showing posts from November 24, 2014

On Keystone and the N.S.A., Clinton Remains Quiet

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[So, does this strike anyone else as an incredibly bad sign? *RON*]
By Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker, 21 November 2014

On Friday, Ready for Hillary, a super PAC that has been described as “a make-work program for former Clinton hands,” and that is busy building a database of donors and volunteers that the group will eventually sell or rent to an official Clinton campaign, held an all-day meeting at the Sheraton on Fifty-third Street, in New York.

In what it billed as a National Finance Council meeting, the super PACsponsored a series of panels with well-known personalities from the Clinton world. Interspersed between seminars on politics and the media, state officials delivered testimonials before donors under the rubric “Why I’m Ready for Hillary.” Clinton was actually in town to deliver a speech a few blocks away, at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, but she didn’t stop by the Sheraton. The Ready for Hillary event was like a “Star Trek” convention where…

Radical left is right about Europe’s debt

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[It is logically inconsistent for the eurozone to enter secular stagnation and not restructure. But Münchau's point is that, in today's step-lock ideological political climate, only those farthest to the left are capable of entertaining what would usually be considered normal economic ideas. *RON*]

 Wolfgang Münchau, Financial Times, 23 November 2013
Let us assume that you share the global consensus view on what the eurozone should do right now. Specifically, you want to see more public-sector investment and debt restructuring.

Now ask yourself the following question: if you were a citizen of a eurozone country, which political party would you support for that to happen? You may be surprised to see that there is not much choice. In Germany, the only one that comes close to such an agenda is Die Linke, the former Communists. In Greece, it would be Syriza; and in Spain, it would be Podemos, which came out of nowhere and is now leading in the…

$1.1 Billion In Lapsed Funding For Veterans 'Not Lost Money': Fantino

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[Utter venality. And they count on their belief that you, the voter, is no better. With an election around the corner, and the appearance of a story demonstrating that they were 'unable' to spend $1.1 billion in funding for veterans, the Conservatives suddenly discover $200 million they urgently need to spend on veterans' mental health services. They are beyond shame, and the answer to the question "How stupid do they think we are?" is "Very, very stupid indeed.". *RON*]
By Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 23 November 2014

HALIFAX - Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino said Sunday the department's $1.1 billion dollars in unused funding over seven years is "not lost money."

The department was unable to spend more than $1.1 billion of its budget over seven years, and like other departments that are unable to spend their appropriation within the budget year, Veterans Affairs was re…

'Canada Brand' Harmed By Misbehaving Mining Companies, Feds Finally Realize

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[The Canadian mining industry is home to some of the most egregious corporate behaviour seen around the world. This has attained such a nadir that even the Harper government has twigged to the fact that this might create an 'image problem' (= an 'investment problem' in their lingo). Hence they have rather belatedly discovered an unaccustomed seat on a moral high horse. *RON*]
By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 23 November 2014

OTTAWA - It's taken almost a decade of loud, often unwelcome advocacy, but the federal government appears to finally recognize that Canada's international brand needs a little spit and polish.

In back-to-back addresses this week to a Mining Association of Canada luncheon, two federal cabinet ministers repeatedly stressed the critical importance of what they called the "Canada brand" — and how it is a key to grabbing new business in the mining sector.

"We as a governme…

Stephen Lewis roars once more in takedown of Stephen Harper government

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[Canada and its politics, the former Ontario NDP leader says, are in free fall with contempt for parliament degrading political life and fostering voter cynicism; racist policies toward Aboriginals; an attitude of blind obscurantism toward global meltdown; and civil society being slapped down and ignored. *RON*]

By Tim Harper, The Star, 23 November 2014

At the age of 77, Stephen Lewis describes himself as being “happily in his dotage,” a man free to bare his soul and dispense with diplomatic niceties.

He did just that in Charlottetown last Friday. The one-time lion of the left unleashed a withering roar over eight years of Stephen Harper government that deserves to be moved from the relatively tiny confines of the Confederation Centre of the Arts and into a larger forum.

Lewis focused on five fronts of perhaps irreversible decline in this country, five only, because time did not allow him to get into all the factors that “scar my soul.”

The former O…

Income inequality is killing thousands of Canadians every year

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[Not a matter of inconvenience, or hardship, but actual lives. A new study from Statistics Canada shows that income inequality is associated with the premature death of 40,000 Canadians per year (110 per day) - 13 times the number killed on 9/11 dying every year, and comparable to all deaths by coronary heart disease. *RON*]

By: Dennis Raphael Toba Bryant, The Star, 23 November 2014
The crash of an airliner is a tragic disaster that triggers major investigations and quick action to make sure the same problem doesn’t occur again. As a result, these events are, thankfully, extremely rare. Imagine the response, from industry, government and the public, if a plane crashed every day.

And yet a recent report by Statistics Canada highlights a preventable cause of death that is having exactly that kind of impact, but which is being largely ignored. The study demonstrates that income inequality is associated with the premature death of 40,000 Canadians a y…