Showing posts from September 1, 2015

Kentucky clerk defies gay marriage court order again 'under God's authority'

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[Welcome to the American jihad. One of the couples who attempted to apply for a license on Tuesday confronted Davis inside the office.  “Under whose authority are you not issuing marriage licenses today?” he asked.  “Under God’s authority,” Davis said. *RON*]
Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian, 1 September 2015

A county clerk in Kentucky has again refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds, risking jail time or fines as she continues to ignore orders by courts and the governor.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis’s office denied licenses to several couples on Tuesday morning in spite of a supreme court order on Monday night that meant she had to comply with a lower court decision ordering her to issue marriage licenses.

A federal judge has ordered her to appear on Thursday morning to explain why she should not be jailed for contempt.

One of the couples who attempted to apply for a license on Tuesday confronted Davis inside the of…

Cutting Losses, Kochs to Sell Scott Walker

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[Good humour piece in today's New Yorker. *RON*]
By Andy Borowitz, New Yorker, 1 September 2015

WICHITA (The Borowitz Report)—Saying that “things just didn’t work out,” the billionaire Koch brothers have decided to put Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker up for sale.

The Kochs, who earlier had purchased Gov. Walker with great fanfare, announced their plan to sell the politician in a terse statement from Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita.

“Scott Walker is a fine individual, and we wish him well,” the Kochs’ statement read. “We are confident that he will be a good fit for some other billionaire industrialists.”

Republican insiders, however, called the Kochs’ plan to sell Walker highly optimistic, and noted that the market for the Wisconsin Governor was, at this point, virtually nonexistent.

The Kochs, who reportedly had been frustrated by Walker’s poor performance in the polls, finally decided to sell the Wisconsinite after last weekend’s odd pr…

Less than five per cent of Conservative candidates agree to interview requests

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[Only 14 Conservatives seeking election across the country responded favourably to requests for interviews made by the Ottawa Citizen to ask them whether the party has truly clamped down on candidates' availability to the media. Apparently they are also staying away from all candidates debates. *RON*]
Glen McGregor, Ottawa Citizen, 31 August 2015
Only 14 Conservatives seeking election across the country responded favourably to requests for interviews made by the Citizen to determine whether the party has truly clamped down on candidates’ availability to the media.

The Citizen emailed interview requests to 318 nominated candidates who are listed on the Conservative Party website.

Ten candidates declined the request outright while the vast majority — 87 per cent — did not respond in any way.

The informal survey follows reports that Conservative MPs are shying away from talking to the media or attending all-candidates debates.

Native Vote Could Make The Difference In Canada's Elections

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[A good piece on the Aboriginal community and the upcoming election. *RON*]
Julian Brave NoiseCat, Huffington Post, 31 August 2015

Canada is facing a critical moment in its history.

The Canadian dollar is at an 11-year low, and some say the country is in a recession. Oil producers in the tar sands are selling at a loss. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which had banked on turning the country into a sort of petrostate, is now mired in scandals. A scathing critique of the Harper administration, entitled "The Closing of the Canadian Mind," recently became the most-read story in The New York Times.

Meanwhile, in oil-rich and notoriously conservative Alberta, the left-wing NDP swept to victory in the May provincial elections — a seismic shift that Globe and Mail columnist Doug Sanders described in a tweet as akin to "Bernie Sanders becoming Texas governor by a big majority."

With a national election scheduled f…

The problem with the Fraser Institute's consumer tax index

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[For when your irritating conservative neighbour brings this up - and you know he will! :-) *RON*]
By Iglika Ivanova,, 1 September 2015

Every summer, the Fraser Institute releases a report pointing out the average family now spends more on taxes than food, clothing and shelter. But is it really a bad thing that as our economy grows we spend less of our income on basic survival and more on better education, better health, parks, environmental protection and the other public services our taxes fund?

And while their press release makes a nod to the fact that "taxes help fund important government services," and "the issue is the amount of taxes that governments take compared to what we get in return," there is nothing at all in the Fraser Institute report about what those returns already look like.

This is particularly troubling when you consider that the report (and one of the accompanying infographics) compares taxes toda…

ICBC to seek increase in insurance rates for drivers

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[Yet when ICBC was making a profit, this extra cash was drained away into 'general revenues' into the Provincial coffers: Ratepayers be damned, ICBC has become a valuable cash cow for unrepentant Liberals. "Transportation Minister Todd Stone urges Crown corporation to put brakes on costs to keep rise under the 6.7-per-cent maximum." *RON*]

By Lori Culbert, Postmedia / Province, 31 August 2015

B.C. drivers should brace for a probable rise in basic insurance rates in 2016, potentially as high as 6.7 per cent.

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. says it may need a substantial increase to offset higher costs, partly because of an increase in claims for soft tissue injuries and potentially more exaggerated or fraudulent claims.

ICBC president Mark Blucher said the corporation is working with government to try to keep any requested hike as low as possible.

“We are united in our goal to find a way to have a rate increase lower than 6.7 per …

Vote Compass

[In case you're still not sure how to vote. You answer the questions - designed by political scientists - on this web site, and it tells you which party you should vote for based on your views. *RON*]

Canada's economy contracts in second quarter as recession hits

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[The best one of the day: Harper: New GDP Numbers Show Canada's Economy Rebounding. You can tell which media outlets are Harper supporters; they are the ones that insist on referring to this as a 'technical' recession. This is like saying that someone who purposefully shoots someone in the head is a 'technical' murderer. The Globe & Mail wouldn't even use the word 'recession'; they will only say Economists cut Canada’s growth projection. Otherwise, we have the Toronto Sun, Canada in technical recession, and CTV Canada in 'technical recession' as GDP declined. Also: Harper won’t talk recession a day before release of key economic data, and Canadian PM denies recession despite 2 negative quarters. Business Insider: IT'S OFFICIAL: Canada is in recession. *RON*]

By Leah Schnurr, Reuters, 1 September 2015

REUTERS/Todd Korol (Reuters) - Canadian economic activity shrank again in the second quarter, putti…