Saturday, March 15, 2008
The Conservatives essentially delivered on their original platform in the first year of their mandate because they had not expected to be around any longer. Since that time they have been looking for the right time and set of circumstances to bring down their own government. The polls have not been very cooperative because the electorate has not shifted its views of the government since it was elected 2 years ago. So they are still in minority government territory. So they've done a lot of nothing in the last year. They certainly haven't tackled any of the bigger problems in the country.
The Liberals well they picked themselves a weak and ineffective leader which hasn't exactly inspired the voting public. They had been avoiding bringing down the government, well because they too are waiting for the right time and set of circumstances. To ensure that the government isn't defeated on a key issue or confidence motion by another party, they have actually not shown up for votes in Parliament. Stephane Dion has made some noise about a spring election because the Liberals think that 2 minor scandals (the Cadman bribe and the Obama leak) have weakened the government. They hope to focus on the environment during the next election while the Conservative will focus on leadership.
Oh I haven't mentioned the other parties in the Commons. They have been even less visible. The only party that have registered any growth in the polls have been the Green Party but you wonder if those numbers will hold up in an election. There seems to be a lack of cohesion within the party that may surface during an election campaign.
So I thought the following Rick Mercer piece was so appropriate.
Friday, March 14, 2008
A Christian in California didn't like it. He wrote:
Mr. Adams I just want to tell you that I don't really appreciate you making a mockery of my faith. I used to think that your comic strip was funny, now I think it is very disgusting and not funny at all. I have found your last comics strips in reference to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ very offensive. There is a place for everything and there is a place for humor and humor has its limits, especially when it comes to those things and issues that some of us hold as sacred. I will pray for you and that some day you may come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Otherwise you will find Him some day as your judge, and He will justly judge you for your sins and whether or not you believe in Hell that day you will believe and you will repent when you see Him face to face, but then it will be too late. Repent from your wicked ways and stop making fun of my Savior.
Thank you for taking time out from feeding the poor to complain about comic strips. I know Jesus would have played it the same way.
Atop Philadelphia City Hall stands a statue of William Penn, the city founder and original proprietor of the then-British colony of Pennsylvania. Under a gentlemen's agreement, no building in the city rose above this statue (specifically Penn's hat), up to March 1987. It gave the city an interesting look but was not very practical as real estate values soared. A modern steel-and-glass skyscraper called One Liberty Place opened three blocks away in 1987. One Liberty Place dwarfed City Hall by 397 feet, soaring 945 feet in height compared to City Hall's actual height of 547' 11-3/4" to the top of Penn's hat.
Word is that a supertall skyscraper proposal is in the works. At 1500 feet, the American Commerce Center would dwarf Philly's recently-crowned king, the Comcast Center (975 ft), and if completed today, would stand as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and fourth-tallest building in the world. All this in little-old-Philadelphia, which felt guilty about looking down on William Penn's hat just 20 years ago.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Her real name is María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza Rasten. She married 66-year-old band leader Xavier Cugat when she was 15. She was first exposed to a national audience on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In in 1968. She did some Vegas for a while and now entertain on cruise ships. Just one of several reason why I don't do cruises. If you look closely you will discover why she is on a first name basis with West Coast plastic surgeons.
Here is an interview with the moronic boyfriend.
Let me see, at the beginning of the season, Leaf management characterized the team as one that could contend. Not for a playoff spot, but for the Stanley Cup. As for the players, well they just sucked for 4 entire months. In January management decides the team sucks. They fire the GM and bring in Cliff Fletcher who has nothing nice to say about the team. He wants to blow it up and start again. Except the players disagree and start playing inspired hockey. In fact some of the most maligned players are carrying the team.
Leaf Nation, what are you supposed to do? Cheer the team on or sign up for Tank Nation? Welcome to the most dysfunctional team in the NHL. Where management, the coaches and the players are never on the same page.
Either we are watching the biggest comeback in NHL history. Equal to the 1989 Blue Jays who were struggling in sixth-place in a seven-team A.L. East division with a 38-45 won-lost record before going 51-28 in the final 12 weeks of the season to win the division crown by two games over the Orioles. Or our inspired Maple Leafs are chasing their favourite spot - 9th place.
Maybe this year is different. No I don't mean the Leafs will pull it off. It would take Divine Intervention for the Leafs to make the playoffs but the Big Guy appears to be too busy getting Barack Obama elected President. I think this year most members of Leaf Nation aren't fooled by the late season charge. We've seen it before. Cliff Fletcher isn't being fooled either.
What's really happening is that players and coaches are auditioning for jobs next year. Whether you have a no trade contract or not, people are being evaluated and no one wants their head on the chopping block. Maybe some late season heroics might change some minds about your value to the team.
Obama has run a flawless campaign and has captured the imagination of the Democratic party and beyond. He has attracted large numbers of young voters and independent voters to the Democratic primaries. He has at times played the race card but not the way that an Al Sharpton does. He lets others raise the issue and then steps back and watches the sparks fly. The Clinton camp has tried over and over again to trip him up and failed. The latest suggestion that he run as Hillary Clinton's running mate is just a trap to get him to acknowledge he hasn't got enough experience for the top job. The offer going to the front runner truly is absurd on face value.
I'm not convinced that Obama will be an effective President. It's hard to say if he will be the next John Kennedy or Jimmy Carter. His legislative experience is razor thin. Certainly Clinton and John McCain have much more experience. Clinton was unable to exploit that weakness and I predict that McCain will also fail. Obama's strength is as an orator with a powerful message. He has tapped into the political psyche of Americans who currently are cynical and disillusioned. The American public is looking for someone to take the country in a different direction and they see Obama as the person who can do that. This is an election where years of public service might be a disadvantage.
In the next election, the winner will be the person who can reach out to Democrats, Republicans and Independents, to men and women, to whites, blacks and Hispanics, to Blue and Red states. You can't build that type of broad support through a policy platform. I think Obama has it figured out.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
They conclude that if you're looking to really improve driving conditions and reduce accidents, you should be researching engineering solutions to improve intersection safety.
It appears that Spitzer ended up as the subject of an investigation into the prostitution because his bank branch in Manhattan turned him in to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as someone who might be engaged in suspicious currency transactions. He was tripped up by a money transfer of over $10,000.
Spitzer had the money broken down into several smaller amounts of less than $10,000 each, apparently to avoid federal regulations requiring the reporting of the transfer of $10,000 or more, the sources said. The regulations aim to help spot possible illegal business activities, such as fraud or drug deals. The bank, as required by law, filed an SAR, or Suspicious Activity Report, with the Internal Revenue Service, reporting the transfer of the money that exceeded $10,000, but had been broken into smaller amounts.
The IRS began investigating because they suspected he might be the victim of a blackmail scheme. Their other theory was that perhaps he was involved in some sort of political corruption.
He actually realized that the bank would report the transaction so he asked the bank to remove his name for the wires but the bank refused. It's a little ironic because his heavy handed approach while New York Attorney General has likely made banks less likely to "break the rules". So give them credit because they said no the the governor of New York. And the IRS and FBI gave this file special attention no doubt because it involved a public figure.
The standings are deceiving because over the past month it has appeared as if there are multiple teams fighting for playoff spots in the East and West. It's all a mirage in the era of single points for losses. Only Buffalo and Nashville are actually still chasing playoff spots but with Buffalo's depleted defense, they are dead as well.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Under a plea agreement, three misdemeanor counts — driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance — were dropped.
- A series of sex Republican sex scandals likely contributed to mid-term losses in 2006 and had Democrats a little too smug. They never had the right to moralize and certainly can't now.
- The Governor, also known as Client 9 had built a reputation as a ruthless, self-righteous prosecutor who didn't wasn't satisfied with seeking justice but also in ruining lives. It is that type of power that can contribute to such arrogance and hypocrisy.
- It wasn't his attraction to prostitutes that astonished me as much as the price he paid. One hour at $4,000 to $5,000 would cover a very nice holiday for my wife and I. So you can add decadence to arrogance and hypocrisy as descriptors for Client 9.
- I don't know anything about his wife but she looked ashen standing next to him while he read his statement yesterday. You really have to feel sorry for the woman who probably made many sacrifices for his career. That brief statement wasn't nearly enough and really underscored his arrogance.
- You can add stupid to my list as well. He used his own cell phone, the name of a close friend to book a hotel, and was transferring around large sums of money that the feds originally thought were bribes.
- Hard to say how this will impact on the Democratic presidential race but Client 9 was a big Clinton supporter. She yanked Spitzer's endorsement off her website within minutes of the scandal coming out. I understand he is also a superdelegate.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Research studies have turned up minute amounts of more than 15 drugs or their byproducts in several pristine-looking rivers, a reservoir, and aqueducts feeding the country's biggest water system.
Though barely measurable, these pharmaceuticals are present in a variety worthy of a
medicine cabinet: drugs for aches, infections, seizures and high blood pressure; hormones for menopause; the active ingredient in a popular sedative; and caffeine….And while these waters are processed at wastewater treatment plants upstate, much of the pharmaceutical residue passes right through, studies show.
They used wireless microphones to amplify the vocal performances and mix them together with the music through the mall’s PA system. They filmed the mission with hidden cameras, mostly behind two-way mirrors. Apart from the performers, no one in the food court was aware of what was happening. Typically they do not seek cooperation from the location but in this case they worked with the mall. The mall even let them rehearse the night before in the food court.
Pearson Airport, 15 (centimetres)
High Park, 30
East York, 27
Thornhill, 25 to 30
As far as how close we are to the 1938-39 record of 207.4 centimetres. Environment Canada reports that 189.6 centimetres have fallen on Toronto this winter. These numbers apply to Pearson Airport. Depending on where you live in the city, numbers can be quite different from storm to storm as you can see by the weekend numbers above.
If you click on LaMattina’s Montmorenci Avenue address in East Boston on Google Maps, up pops a street-view picture in which the councilor can be clearly seen, hose in hand, sans shirt and in green shorts in front of his house.