Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike knocks Geraldo on his ass

Of course there isn't anything funny about hurricanes. We hope those of you that are affected by Hurricane Ike are safe and we wish you well.

But a blowhard reporter trying to show his moxy by broadcasting live in the storm and getting knocked on his backside? Now that is funny.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia supports Helena Guergis

The endorsements for Helena just keep coming in. The Prime Minister must be envious.

Mom steals daughter's ID to be cheerleader

She's 33 years old, but authorities say a Green Bay woman wanted to get the high school experiences she missed in her youth. So she enrolled at Ashwaubenon High School and signed up for cheerleading, all under the identity of her 15-year-old daughter, who lives with the girl's grandmother in Nevada.

After a day in school, she didn't return and a school liaison officer started investigating. Now Wendy Brown faces a felony identity theft charge that carries up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A judge set her bond at $8,000 during her initial appearance yesterday, via video conference, in Brown County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint, Brown gave the cheerleading coach a check for just over $134 for her uniform, but the check bounced.

Just figures, not only is she a wacko but a deadbeat as well. Now how the hell did she look only 15. School officials should get their eyes checked.

Thoughts on the 1st week of the election campaign

  • Elizabeth May was the big winner during the first week of the campaign. She bullied her way onto the leader's debate by calling the other leaders and the TV networks chauvinists and anti-democratic. Now she has to deliver if she wants to maintain that visibility.
  • The campaign got nasty right from the get go. Conservatives released a web ad that showed a puffin crapping on Stephane Dion. Liberals cried "fowl" and Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams found it necessary to defend the bird. The ad quickly disappeared.
  • The campaign saw 3 resignations in the first week. Conservative spokesperson Ryan Sparrow was suspended for calling a father of a slain soldier - a Liberal! How offensive! Quebec Liberal candidate Simon Bédard was fired for contentious comments about natives. Nova Scotia Conservative candidate Rosamond Luke was forced to quit too when it was discovered she had a criminal record. (It's different when you get one while in office.)
  • Prime Minister Harper insists on showing up in cardigan sweaters and powder blue suits on the campaign trail. Give it up Stevie. You are never going to pull off a makeover.
  • Dion is not being welcomed by very big crowds at campaign stops. Maybe he needs to bring along some star power to bring out the crowds - like Justin Trudeau or the Tragically Hip.
  • A blogger known as Buckdog, was threatened with a lawsuit by Green Party communications director John Bennett for posting a link to Stephen Taylor’s YouTube video. Total over reaction. They are now going to apologize.
  • The Conservative lead in the polls is growing but not quite in majority territory yet.

Mug Shot of the Week - Hotornot?

Anaheim Duck owner likely headed to jail

A federal judge Monday rejected a plea deal that had called for Broadcom Corp. co-founder and Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli to get probation rather than prison for his role in a stock options backdating case that led to the largest corporate writedown of its kind.

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney wrote that the deal calling for five years' probation and $12-million (U.S.) in payments by Samueli would erode the public's trust in the judicial system.
"The court cannot accept a plea agreement that gives the impression that justice is for sale," Carney wrote.

Prosecutors and Samueli asked the judge for time to renegotiate their plea deal or to allow Samueli to withdraw from the agreement. Carney set another hearing for Sept. 29.
Samueli struck the plea deal with prosecutors this year in a larger criminal probe into stock-option backdating at Broadcom.

So why would the judge reject the plea agreement? Well it was 48 times the maximum fine of $250,000. No kidding he got the impression that Semueli was buying his way out of jail. That's exactly what he was doing. It looks like he will have to do some jail time.

This is just more bad news for Gary Bettman. Samueli was one of his "A'' owners but it is now unlikely that he will be invited back to the ranks of the owners.

Texas Tech is playing football here on Saturday

Yeah they got over a half a foot of rain compliments of Ike. Looks more like an aquatic centre. That's a lot of water to pump off that field but hey its Texas and football season.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why don't they sell the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic in North America?

Check out the Ford 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic: it’s fast, it has a navigation system, it’s a subcompact that seats five, it gets 65 miles to the gallon, it’s… not being sold in the Canada or the United States.

It runs on diesel, for one thing, and even though diesel vehicles are generally now equipped with pollution-fighting technology, and diesel is now as clean or cleaner than gasoline (and 30% more fuel efficient), North Americans still don’t want diesel.

None of this is stopping European and Japanese automakers, which are betting they can jump-start the U.S. market with new diesel models. Mercedes-Benz by next year will have three cars it markets as "BlueTec." Even Nissan and Honda, which long opposed building diesel cars in Europe, plan to introduce them in the U.S. in 2010. But Ford, whose Fiesta ECOnetic compares favorably with European diesels, can't make a business case for bringing the car to the U.S.

One Hit Wonder

Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby (1990)

Some people have objected to some of my one hit wonders. Now I've never claimed that these artist have only had one song. Most have had long musical careers and released numerous singles. But they've only had one hit. That goes for Vanilla Ice too.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gina Gershon as Sarah Palin

See more Gina Gershon videos at Funny or Die

Mats Sundin Update

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega endores Helena Guergis

On hearing that the Canadian election date has been determined, Nicaragan President Daniel Ortega cut short a trip through Eastern Europe to come to Canada to endorse Helena Guergis in Simcoe-Grey. Ortega indicated that he was attracted to powerful and intelligent women and was impressed with the former beauty queen since the first time they met.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Streak is Finally Over

The Blue Jays winning streak has ended at 10 games after losing 6-5 to Chicago. They almost managed to come back in the game scoring 3 runs in the top of the 9th. The 10 game streak was the second longest in franchise history.

My concern is that in the euphoria around the Jays' turnaround since Cito Gaston arrived, J.P Ricciardi will survive. Because he shouldn't.

Let's bring things into perspective. The Jays' streak was during the month of the September after they had all but mathematically fallen out of the pennant race. Seems the Jays play some of their best baseball when there is no pressure to win. What about the first 2/3 of the season?

You need to judge the team and Ricciardi based on the entire season (not to mention the previous 7). What I see is a team that for the 15th straight year did not make the playoffs. I see a team that can play .500 but never is quite good enough to play with the big boys. You need to be more than just good to make the playoffs in the AL East. You need to be great.

Ricciardi loves this team and has already said that he doesn't plan to make any big moves this offseason. That's not good enough for me. The only thing he loves more than this team is himself. He also put his foot in his big mouth far too many times. He has alienate free agent who may not have been considering Toronto, would definitely not come here to play for J.P.

Cito Gaston deserves to come back next season. He is like a breath of fresh air. He has also dispelled some long term views that he wasn't much of a manager but always had a great lineup. But the biggest move this team could make this winter is find a general manager that can build a winner. I'm not sure how much tinkering is need with this great pitching staff. But changes have to be made - starting at the top.

Will anyone give up their seat for this poor guy

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory is having as much luck finding a caucus member willing to give up their seat in the Legislature as I do trying to find a seat on the Yonge subway during rush hour.

Tory's seat search was the first item on the agenda at the Conservative caucus meeting in Barrie, Ont., today, but so far no one is publicly offering to step down.

He says it's only understandable that an elected member who doesn't have a pension plan would want a guarantee of a government job or some other form of income.

Tory says he's discussed the possibility of getting a public sector appointment for one of his caucus members or having them go to work for the party.

Caucus chair Frank Klees says Conservative members told Tory not to worry about his self-imposed deadline of finding a seat by year's end.

Tory says he wants to make sure he runs in a riding he is sure to win, noting his political career would likely end quickly if he loses again.

Be Smart Licke Mi Like Me

To the marketing campaign geniuses over at Stampede Beer,

I’m confused. I don’t know , maybe I should start drinking some of your beer to ‘smarten’ me up but I’m kind of scared of your product because I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say with Jessica Simpson as your spokesperson. Am I going to end up on the back of a truck full of hay, in cowboy tranny gear, with my mouth half open like a slow kid who breaths loud if I drink or don’t drink your beer? Please explain.

I know the mind automatically jumps to Jessica Simpson when the word “smart” is involved. The word ‘SMART’ written in front of her sends confusing messages about your beer.

Next time might I suggest using the tried and true selling point of Jessica Simpson? (I’ll give you a hint; they’re under her shirt).

Exploitation or clever marketing?

It is an advertising campaign meant to get people talking about the most pressing issues in Toronto. Created by the zig ad agency for CFRB 1010, the campaign features a number of placards and flyers posted around the city.

One, tied to a bicycle, asks, “Should cyclists have to obey traffic laws?” Another, pasted to a Queen West utility pole, asks, “Is advertising out of control?” All come with the campaign’s tagline: “We need to talk.”

But the most controversial element of the campaign has homeless people holding signs that read, “Should panhandling be illegal?”

It turns out that the people holding the signs are bona fide down on their luck, and are being paid by zig to highlight their indignity for the sake of a corporation's ad campaign.

Exploitation or clever marketing?

Harper keeping tabs on the Jews

The Conservative Party is facing questions about religious profiling after Jewish Canadians received cards from Stephen Harper wishing them a happy New Year. This is the second year in a row the cards have been sent out, and critics also say the cards raise serious concerns over voter privacy.

In Wednesday's Globe and Mail, Conservative spokesman Ryan Sparrow said the party doesn't use any prepared lists and hasn't purchased any from the Internet. He also wasn't sure how many cards were sent out this year.

Canada's Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart has investigated the lists and found that they don't break any privacy rules. However, since political parties are exempt from many of the rules.

So why is it that Stephen Harper has decided that it is important to track who is Jewish, and where they live? And where does the list come from?

Lipstick, Pig...what a lot of nonsense

So, Barack Obama said on Tuesday: "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years."

What a lot of phony outrage!

People Power gets the Greens on the Leaders' Debates

The bloggers can stop their chatter. The other party leaders and the TV networks have relented. Elizabeth May will be allowed to participate in the Leaders' Debates. The change in position was partly as a result of an internal revolt in the NDP who recognized how undemocratic their position had been. Jack Layton was the first to admit he was wrong and the Conservative had to go along as well. Give some credit to Stephane Dion who supported Elizabeth May all along.

Strategically, May could regret the reversal. She could have played this all during the campaign - the other parties were ganging up on the Greens; the other parties are afraid of them, etc. But now the pressure is on her to perform. If she doesn't show well then she is sunk. It should be interesting if any of the leaders even bother going after May. Afterall she represents a party that barely has one seat in the House - that being a member tossed out of the Liberal caucus.

Open Letter to Susan Kadis

I received a notice in the mail from your Parliamentary office asking for my support of Bill C-547 which if passed would create a Holocaust Monument in Ottawa. I'm puzzled over why you mailed out this notice and why you chose now to send it.

I commend you for introducing the bill but that was back on May 14, 2008 and you didn't send out this notice until the first week of the election. In fact I don't recall in the 3 years I've lived in the riding that you ever sent out a separate mailing specifically on a single bill before the House. I understand that this bill might be important to you since you introduced it and the riding is about 50% Jewish. But you know that once Parliament is dissolved for an election, all bills die.

I'm a pretty cynical guy. What I see is a politician who might be in for a tough battle against a high profile candidate. You introduce a private member's bill in the spring in anticipation of a possible election. The bill would be viewed favourably by many of your constituents though most private member's bills rarely achieve 3rd reading. You then wait until the election to inform your constituents using public funds and ask for a support of a bill that has died on the order paper.

And you wonder why the electorate is turned off by politicians.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fashion Disaster

Mischa Barton looks like she survived a shark attack.

Group offering Jews $50,000 to relocate to Alabama

Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services is offering the incentive to help repopulate the Jewish community of Dothan, a largely Christian town of 58,000. Participating families that stay in Dothan for five years and become active in the local synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, do not have to repay the grant. About 20 Jewish families have sought information on Dothan, but none have moved.

Hurricane season

82-0, now that's a blowout

So you think you've been in some bad losses.

At a women's Olympic pre-qualifying hockey tournament, Slovakia beat Bulgaria by a score of 82-0. That was in one game not a best 4 out of 7 series. Bulgaria was outshot 139-0, yup they didn't get a single shot on net. So the Bulgarian goalie's save percentage was just 41.1% Makes Andrew Raycroft look like an all-star. Actually Bulgaria switched goalies with 3 minutes remaining. The back up let in the last 5 goals. Top scorer was Janka Culikova with 10 goals.

It was 19-0 after just 10 minutes. The Bulgarian women also lost 30-1 to Croatia and 41-0 to Italy. The goal scored against Croatia was their only shot on net. Begging the question, what are they doing in the tournament?

Reaction from the Bulgarian Hockey Federation: "What the Slovaks did to us was kind-of an insulting mockery, and is not at all sportsmanlike". Sure blame the other team. There are 33 countries ranked in women's hockey with Slovakia ranked only 17th and Croatia 30th. Bulgaria is a new entry so I'm guessing they will be ranked 34 out of 34.

Deadspin suggests there should be a 60 goal mercy rule.

Man shot and dumped on 401 near Keele

Reports say that a shooting occurred in a car on the 401 and someone was dumped out on the highway near Keele Street. All eastbound collector lanes of Hwy. 401 at Keele St. are closed.

It's believed a suspect's car, possibly a Lexus, was seen racing away from the scene. The car fled off the Keele ramp and has been found on fire near Albion and Weston. Horrendous traffic jams followed.

Looks like this might be Toronto's 49th murder though police have an number of theories:
  • The victim was shot on the highway and dumped on the roadway;
  • the victim was shot somewhere else and dumped on the highway;
  • the victim was dodging gunshots when he jumped out of the car and was hit by another vehicle, dying on the highway or
  • the man was shot at the scene but was only wounded, jumping out to avoid further injuries, when he was hit by a car.
UPDATE: A woman has been picked up for questioning. CTV suggests she may be the owner of the car.

The NFL Equalizer

The Patriots regular season winning streak may have extended to 20 games on Sunday, but the knee injury to Tom Brady brings some parity back to the NFL. I doubt anyone is expecting the streak to last well into the season despite their strong lineup. In fact the Patriots are 2.5 points underdogs this weekend against the Jets.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A sad day for democracy in Canada

Canada's national television broadcasters have barred Green Party leader Elizabeth May from the leaders' election debates, to be held on Oct.1-2. And what reason did they give - well the NDP, Bloc and Conservative were opposed to May's participation.

Harper's rationale is almost insulting. He suggests that since the Liberals are not running a candidate in Central Nova where Elizabeth May is also a candidate, then she is a Liberal candidate. The NDP is arguing that the Greens are a "one issue party". Well think about it - the Green Party runs candidates in every riding while the Bloc only run candidates in Quebec. Yet the Duceppe is allowed to participate in the English language debate.

I suspect there will be a huge backlash from voters who will rightly perceive that the other leaders are ganging up on May because she poses a threat to them. Not that she can win the election. The Greens would be hard pressed to win a single seat. But the Green Party will attract voters away from the major parties and possibly influence the outcome in individual ridings. Still the bad PR directed at the major parties will only help Green Party candidates in an election where none of the big 4 inspire anyone outside of the core constituents. I was telling my own MP today when she came around canvasing how disappointed I was with the mainstream parties and their leaders.

It's a disgrace!

Conservatives inch toward majority territory

According to the latest DemocraticSPACE projections, the Conservatives are edging closer to majority government territory (which requires 155 seats). Current projections are:

Conservatives at 141 seats on 36.9% support
Liberals at 97 seats on 28.6% support
NDP at 30 seats on 17.4% support
Bloc at 38 seats on 8.3% support (31.6% in Québec)
Greens with no seats and 8.3% support

The 'Borat" law suits have come to an end

No fewer than 16 plaintiffs ranging from fraternity brothers to Romanian villagers were involved in the 10 suits filed against the makers of “Borat.” But only one of them -– a Mississippi woman who appears for only three seconds in a scene depicting a crowd of worshippers at a Pentecostal camp meeting –- survived a motion to dismiss. A New York judge recently threw out the last 3 suits because each plaintiff had “executed a valid agreement releasing the claims he or she now attempts to litigate.” source

This gives the lawyers enough time to begin preparing for the onslaught of law suits once the 'Bruno' movie is released (supposedly May 15, 2009).

Canada's reigning Queen of Hockey Moms

As the Toronto Star points out Linda Staal is Canada's reigning queen of hockey moms. Sons Eric (Carolina), Marc (NY Rangers) and Jordan (Pittsburgh) are NHL stars. A fourth, 18-year-old Jared (Phoenix draft pick), is on his way.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Helena Guergis campaign update

Helena has already hit the campaign trail. Oh Helena...umm its a fall election not a winter election. You can ditch the coat.

Jews for Obama...Jews for McCain?

OK, not the biggest demographics in the U.S. election but I happen to stumble upon websites imploring Jewish voters to support both Obama and McCain.

And there is still a Jews for Hillary website and Jews for Biden website.

Sorry no Jews for Palin website but I'm sure it's coming.

Streaking Jays getting their fans excited

The entire season the Jays talked about climbing back into the pennant race but it never happened. Now all of a sudden it just might be happening. Well until the bubble burts.

Rookie Dave Purcey out pitched Jays killer Matt Garza to help the Jays sweep the Rays and put their winning streak at 8 games. The Jays won 1-0 and It was Toronto's first run off Garza since May 7. The current winning streak is the longest streak in nearly 10 years.

The Jays have jumped past the Yankees for 3rd place in the East and 9.5 back of the Rays. The problem is that the Red Sox keep winning so the Jays are still 8 games back of the wild card spot with 20 games remaining. But as long as they keep winning the keep inching closer.

Since July 7 the best record in the American League belongs to your Toronto Blue Jays. Their team ERA is better than any other major league team by a considerable margin. All along we all were saying - if only the Jays had some hitting. Well with Cito, the hitters have reappeared.

Niklas Hagman's wife Piritta Hannula is a former Miss Scandinavia

Piritta Hannula was the 2003 Miss Finland runner up. She won Miss Europe the same year. Piritta went on to win Miss Scandinavia in 2004. She married Niklas in 2005.

Election called despite new Election Law

In April, 2007, Parliament passed a law introduced by the Conservatives that would require federal elections to be on fixed election dates every four years, the first being 19 October 2009. The law excludes minority governments that have lost the confidence of Parliament (though a non-confidence vote). Stephen Harper was quoted saying: “Fixed election dates prevent governments from calling snap elections for short-term political advantage. They level the playing field for all parties and the rules are clear for everybody.”

Only 17 months later we have ourselves a snap election for political advantage. The minority Conservative government did not lose a vote of confidence in Parliament. In fact, it could be argued that the Conservative have been operating in Parliament like they have a majority. it is Stephen Harper who has declared that Parliament has lost confidence in the government. Not quite what the law had in mind.

Governor-General Michaelle Jean could have refused to dissolve Parliament and hold an election. She could have forced the Prime Minister to recall Parliament and prove that Parliament has lost confidence in the government. But governor-generals never mix in with politics. It's better to let the people decide.

Frankly, this will be the most difficult election for me. I find none of the party platforms or leader inspiring. For everything good thing I see out of Harper, he does 3 other things which infuriate me. He is his worse enemy and his Cabinet is one of the weakest in memory.The Liberals are divided, with a flawed energy policy and leader. The NDP hasn't been a viable option since Ed Broadbent retired as leader. The Green Party has no track record and I hope that they win a seat or two so that they can finally join in the political debate that occurs between elections.

Wasilla City Hall

I can't verify authenticity but I've seen many similar small town city halls.

Conservatives out trying to buy votes

In advance of today’s election call, the Conservatives have been traveling around Canada dishing out pork (cash) to support projects in ridings that are key to their push for a majority government. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is tracking the Conservative spending spree ($8.8 billion since June 2). They’ve put together a handy list.

Here are some examples of the the vote-buying, keeping in mind all of these have been announced in the last 60 days. So much for doing things differently. Once again voters are being bribed with their own money. Will there ever be a politician with integrity?

Québec got a whopping $4 billion in general infrastructure funds, $1 billion for work on the Champlain Bridge, and $187.5 million in highway funds, which should help the Conservatives profile in the province, which is the key to their winning a majority. And Bombardier, a key Québec employer, also got $350 million in subsidies (remember Harper said he didn't believe in subsidizing the private sector).

CFB Trenton got $500 million to rehab its facilities, and another $2.1 million for water infrastructure, which should help rookie MP Rick Norlock get re-elected in Northumberland-Quinte West, a riding the Conservatives won by 5% in 2006.

Beauport got $18.3 million for a new park. That should help the Conservatives hold Beauport-Limoilou, a riding they won by just 820 votes in 2006.

Lawrence Cannon got $6.1 million for a recreation center in Chelsea in his home riding of Pontiac, which he will face tough competition. As the government’s Québec lieutenant, Cannon has been announcing the billions of dollars throughout Québec.

Northern Ontario got $13.6 million for various economic development and infrastructure initiatives. This should help Tony Clement who announced the funds hold his riding in Parry Sound-Muskoka, which we won by a scant 28 votes in 2006.

Rick Dykstra annouced $1.8 million for a housing project in his riding of St. Catharines, which should help him hold it. He won by just 246 votes in 2006.

Niagara Falls got $62 million in infrastructure funds, which certainly will help Rob Nicholson hold the riding, which he won by 5% in 2006.

Vancouver Island got $147 million in rural infrastructure funds, which should help the Conservatives re-take Vancouver Island North from the NDP’s Catherine Bell, who won the riding by just 616 votes in 2006. Another $2.2 million was given to improve several Vancouver Island harbours.

St. John’s got $2.5 million for a recreation centre and another $1.1 million for Memorial Universal, which should help the Conservatives hold two key ridings of St. John’s East and St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, where both incumbents are retiring.

Toronto got $622 million for its subway extension, which may or may not help Conservative candidates in North York, home to ridings with the biggest chance (although still slim) of voting Conservative in Toronto.

Jewish groups around Toronto got nearly $400 million much of it to upgrade security, as the Conservatives hope to make in-roads with the traditionally Liberal-voting Jewish population. Montreal Jewish organizations got nearly $150 million.

Manitoba got $718 million for infrastructure, which should help in critical ridings such as Winnipeg South, Saint Boniface, and Elmwood-Transcona, which the Conservatives hope to win. And Winnipeg itself got $5 million for a park, another $4.4 million for mental health research, and $43.4 million for Bristol Aerospace (for the Joint Strike Fighter program).

Peter Mackay’s riding of Central Nova got $8 million in tourism dollars and $1.9 million in economic development funds, which should help him fend off the challenge from Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Mackay also announced the $870 million agreement with the Province of Nova Scotia on retaining energy revenues.

The North received $18.3 million for aboriginal skills training, which may help the Conservatives in Nunavut, which they are targeting to win.

The Gaspésie got $5.5 million for road work, which should help the Conservatives win two targeting ridings of Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Haute Gaspésie-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia. Another $7.3 million went to rehab Rimouski’s port, another targeted riding for the Conservatives.

Baie-Comeau got $46 million for port improvements, which will help the Conservatives win targeted ridings in the Côte-Nord and Saquenay regions. Another $6 million was targeted for the region for entrepreneurial development.
The town of Grand Falls in the riding of Tobique-Mactaquac got $4.5 million for a civic centre, which should help rookie MP Mike Allen hold the riding, which he won by just 336 votes. Allen has been busy running around New Brunswick making multiple funding announcements.

Kamloops got $42.8 million to improve the Trans-Canada highway in a riding where the incumbent MP Betty Hinton is retiring and where the Conservatives face challenges from both the Liberals and NDP.

Tobacco farmers got $300 million, which should help the Conservatives hold several key ridings in the Southwestern Ontario.