Showing posts from August 6, 2016

Why We Pine For Manufacturing

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[Do promises to strengthen manufacturing jobs by all parties make sense in today's economy? Is this useful or even possible? *RON*]

By Gary Sernovitz, The New Yorker, 6 August 2016
While this year’s Democratic and Republican platforms don’t agree on much, aside from that the other party’s candidate will drive America into ruin, there is at least one area of unanimity: a phrase like “one of the best ways to innovate, prosper, and create good-paying jobs is to make more in America” could be an expression of Trumpian jingoism, Sandersonian egalitarianism, or mainstream thought of either party. (That particular line is from the Democrats’ platform.) There is a bipartisan consensus that the shrinking of American manufacturing is a central story (or even the central story) of America today. No President has ever used the word “manufacturing” in his State of the Union messages as often as President Obama has. Donald Trump put the word “make” on the …

Jason Kenney on the road: Time theft, corporate gifts and the mysterious absence of 'Porky the Waster Hater'

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[Must be nice to be running a provincial political campaign on Ottawa's (i.e., our) dime. *RON*]
By David J. Climenhaga,, 6 August 2016

Go away. Don't bother us.

That was the message from officials in the office of Parliamentary Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson to folks who wrote to complain that Calgary Midnapore MP Jason Kenney is campaigning for another job in another jurisdiction on their dime.

"Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has no jurisdiction over the issue you raise," says the form letter such uppity Canadians receive. "I wish to draw your attention to Section 23 of The Parliament of Canada Act which allows Members of the House of Commons to remain Members until elected to the legislature of a province…"

Annoying as Kenney's conduct is in this regard, it's not really the problem at the heart of this issue. The money question is about gifts and services.

Muskrat Falls has become a millstone around Newfoundland's neck

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[Extremely interesting: this nightmare energy project might as well be called "Site C East." *RON*]

Konrad Yakabuski, The Globe and Mail, 28 July 2016

By his own admission, former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams entered politics in 2001 to turn his proverbially have-not province into the master of its own destiny.
For too long, Newfoundland had sat angrily by while its fishery resources were dilapidated by the federal government and the benefits of its vast hydroelectric potential, including the massive Upper Churchill generating station, accrued almost entirely to Quebec.

Who Slogs over Christy Clark’s Slogans?

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[Election 2017. Every photo-op has a theme on banners, signs, cards, and you pay for it out of Christy's $38 million PR budget. " Transparency about advertising budgets leading up to the election is non-existent. If the government had nothing to hide in its pre-election government 'communications,' they should be able to itemize every single public information campaign they have... Spending public dollars on suspect program advertising which mirrors campaign brochures is a complete abuse of the public dollar,” said Vicki Huntington, independent MLA. *RON*]

By Bob Mackin,, 1 Aug 2016

Somewhere in the bowels of the BC Liberal government, a team of public funded “creatives” is given one challenge after another. The next photo-op for the premier or her ministers demands one more pithy slogan, thought up and transferred onto podium, backdrop, placards and often, little cards handed out to the audience.

On April 15, for example…

Registering EU nationals in UK could take 140 years at current rates

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[Dealing with residence claims from Europeans settled in Britain using existing procedures would take more than a century. The UK has been given a shrunken role within the EU. *RON*]
Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian, 3 August 2016
Registering more than 3 million EU migrants already living in Britain would present the government with a huge administrative task, according to a new report.

Experts looked at the existing regime for applying for permanent residence to examine possible issues that could arise if any new system was introduced following the Brexit vote.

Their analysis suggests that if all the European Economic Area (EEA) citizens living in the UK at the beginning of 2016 applied for permanent residence in the same year, this would amount to the equivalent of around 140 years of work at recent rates of processing.

Britain is expected to seek to changes to free movement rules following the outcome of the referendum in June, but details of the sy…

Paul Ryan rules out ‘lame duck’ congressional vote on Trans-Pacific Partnership

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[Still no Congressional support for the TPP - yahoo! :-) With CETA stuck in a wrangle among the EU member states, this doesn't look to be a good year for corporatocratic 'trade' agreements. *RON*]
By Susan Cornwell, Reuters / Raw Story, 4 August 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday that he saw no point in bringing up the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal for a vote in any “lame duck” session of Congress later this year after November elections, because “we don’t have the votes.”

“As long as we don’t have the votes, I see no point in bringing up an agreement only to defeat it,” Ryan, a Republican, said in an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio.