Friday, June 29, 2007

Jean Chretien the Greatest Ever

I've said this before and many of my friends will attest to it. History will show in decades to come that Jean Chretien was the most successful Prime Minister in the history of Canada.

Today was the first step in that acknowledgement...the Order of Canada. Too bad there's not some kind of World Leader Hall of Fame. That would be the next step.

CW Jeffereys Principal Suspended

Maybe we should investigate all of our schools more often. Find out what is going on. I assume everyone in this case is innocent of any wrong doing, but I think the process is not a bad idea.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Should Four Year Olds & 2 Year Olds Be Left Alone?

I'm sorry, but I had to say it. I don't want to be controversial or seem uncaring. I pray for the safety of this child almost daily. I am devastated that this young child is missing...and furious with her parents.

I have to say though, that if you and I lost a four year old child in Ontario because we left them alone to go for dinner...we'd be charged with neglect. And, our 2 year olds would be with Children's Services right now.

We've seen it already in cases where children have been left in cars unattended. There are horror stories here in my town about children being left alone while their parents take a trip into the Casino - and many of those parents have been charged.

I pray today that the detention of an Italian suspect leads to a safe return of young Miss Maddy McCann.

I'm sorry, I've just never felt very good when children disappear due to negligence. I have struggled with my inner self about this issue and I just couldn't sit in silence any longer. Sorry, no offense meant to anyone. Just frustrated and sad about one more lost child.

Harper Down to 6 Per Cent!!!

Poor Stevie boy. I bet he never thought he'd be down to 6 points in Atlantic Canada. Meanwhile 69% are against him. Thank god he has re-united Canada!

Facebook's Canadian Wishlist a Sham?

CBC Continues to be plagued by problems with their online voting ploys.

First there was the 7 Wonders scandal over Thunder Bay's Sleeping Giant receiving over 80,000 votes over the last 7 days of the contest. Now there is the Great Canadian Wish List, which has become a discussion over whether or not abortion should be banned.

You would think that with the resources CBC has at its disposal they could have a little techie person available to advise them on how to limit the voting to one person, one IP address. Anyway, by the looks of it, abortion will be banned.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Harper Takes Credit for Unity

....NO....I meant Canada!

I found it interesting that PMSH is taking full credit for the unity of Canada. Yes, Steve. It was all you man. All you.

Elizabeth Edwards takes on Ann Coulter

Sorry for any earlier inconvenience with the link. I imposed an o instead of a zero. OOOOOOOPs.

Last night on Hardball, Elizabeth Edwards phoned in during Coulter's interview and gave her a "why for". The You Tube is here. Have a peak.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Free At Last! We're Free at Last!

Paris' Jail stay can only be described as ... well... I'm at a loss. Anyway, she's out, and Hollywood's a better place.

Polls, Polls and MORE Polls

If you are a fanatic about what your favourite Republican or Democrat is looking like in the eyes of John Q. Public, then you will love these links.

Here's the Democrats

Here's the Republicans

And here's the Democrats vs. the Republicans in a general election.

Looks like Giuliani would have the best shot to knock off the Dems. In the meantime, it's a toss up and no clear cut leader emerges from the democrats. Almost all of the top 4 win by similar margins over their Republican counterparts. In fact, I was astonished to see Gore wasn't ranked somewhat higher in these polls.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Joe Comuzzi - An Ordinary Conservative

Tomorrow Joe Comuzzi announces his trip across the floor. His new buddy Steve will be there. A great start for the fall election campaign. Steve will be happy to have Joe on his team. Good luck with that.

Here's his wiki

Friday, June 22, 2007

We NEED to Do This in Canada Too!!!


Building One America: Taking On Abusive Lenders And Helping Families Save

"The engine of our economy is not Washington, D.C., or Wall Street. It is the tens of millions of men and women in offices, factories, and fields across America who go to work every day. When we stand up for them, our middle class grows and our economy grows." – John Edwards

American families are working harder to get by. Despite living in the land of opportunity, most families' incomes have stagnated for the past generation. Meanwhile, George Bush's Washington has let corporate interests grow stronger than ever. The result is Two Americas, one struggling to get by and another that has everything it could want. As president, John Edwards will put our government and our economy back in line with our values. Today, he announced his plan to take on abusive lenders, create a new Family Savings and Credit Commission on the side of families who are investing and borrowing, and give families alternatives to high-cost debt.

Middle Class Debt In The Two Americas
Debt is now a central fact of middle-class life. In Washington, the financial services sector gives more money to politicians and spends more money lobbying than any other sector of the economy. With no limits on interest or fees, loans have become more costly and deceptive. Consumer debt has increased eightfold and foreclosures have skyrocketed in recent years. [Open Secrets, 2006; Federal Reserve Board, 2007]

Regular Families Are Borrowing to Make Ends Meet: Half of Americans say they live paycheck to paycheck. For most families, wages have not kept up with rising costs for middle-class essentials like health care, housing and child care. More than half of middle-class families do not have enough savings to survive a job loss at 75 percent of their income for even one month. [MetLife, 2003; Warren, 2007; Demos, 2007]

Credit Card Rates Are Skyrocketing: Interest rates and fees have skyrocketed since rates were deregulated in 1978 and fees in 1996. Penalty interest rates now top 39 percent. One in three accounts is assessed a late fee a year, averaging $35. Deceptive tactics include bait-and-switch marketing on interest rates, penalty rates triggered by unrelated debt under "universal default" clauses, and mailing statements later in an effort to induce more late fees. Credit card debt helped drive increasing numbers of families to the bankruptcy courts. One in 53 households filed for bankruptcy in 2005, more families than got divorced or graduated from college. [NCLC, 2005; Cardweb, 2005]

High-Cost Financial Services Exploit Low-Income Families: Financial services companies collect high fees in urban and working-class neighborhoods where there are few mainstream bank branches. Payday loans -- short-term unsecured loans that carry high interest rates -- have ballooned to a $28 billion industry. Annual rates on payday loans typically exceed 400 percent a year. Families pay check-cashing stores as much as $500 a year for services that banks offer for $60. Interest on car title loans quickly exceed the amount borrowed. Low-income tax filers pay more than $1.2 billion a year for the "refund anticipation loans" that are aggressively marketed by tax preparers, even though they could get their refunds from the I.R.S. for free within ten days. [CRL, 2004; Fannie Mae Foundation, 2006; CFA, 2005; NCLC and CFA, 2006]

Predatory Mortgages Have Led to Millions of Foreclosures: While subprime mortgages are a valuable option for families with poor credit, predatory mortgages have abusive terms that deceive and exploit borrowers. Americans own a smaller share of their homes today than they did a generation ago -- down from 68 percent to 55 percent -- despite the housing boom. Some banks and mortgage companies refinance mortgages with high rates and often deceptive terms. Repeated refinancings create millions in fees for lenders while hurting homeowners. Today's homeowners are more than three times more likely to lose their homes than they were a generation ago. [Demos, 2007; Warren, 2003]

There Are Two Economies: The number of Washington lobbyists has tripled in the past decade. Drug and insurance companies write our health care laws, oil and power companies write our energy laws, and banks write our lending laws. It is no coincidence that regular families are finding it harder to get ahead. Working families face less income mobility, more inequality, and more risk.

A Generation without Progress: Middle-class families' incomes have grown slowly in recent years and are largely the result of more hours worked, particularly by women. Men in their thirties today earn less in real terms than men of their fathers' generation did 30 years ago. Only 30 percent of Americans think life will be better for the next generation. [Pew, 2007; Edison Media Research, 2006]

An Economy Only Growing at the Top: Over the last 20 years, American incomes have grown apart: 40 percent of the income growth in the 1980s and 1990s went the top 1 percent. The top 300,000 individuals now make more than the bottom 150 million. If all Americans were sharing in economic progress as they were nearly thirty years ago, families in the bottom 80 percent would be earning $7,000 more a year. [EPI, 2006; Saez, 2007; Summers, Furman and Bordhoff, 2007]
More Risk for Regular Families: Families' hold on the middle class is more precarious than ever. Families in their forties are almost three times more likely to fall into poverty than they were a generation ago. The chances that an average person will experience a 50 percent or larger drop in income more than doubled since the 1970s. [Hacker, 2007]

Taking On Abusive And Predatory Lenders
Washington has stood by as the financial industry has ripped off millions of families with deceptive and unnecessarily expensive loans. To stand up for regular families, Edwards will:

Protect Families from Abusive Financial Products: Families need someone on their side to help them get a fair deal from lenders and investment companies. The current crazy-quilt of five federal regulatory agencies share oversight responsibility but overlook consumer protection in favor of bank profitability. Federal law prevents states from effectively regulating financial products offered to their own citizens from out-of-state banks. Edwards will create a new Family Savings and Credit Commission to protect consumers. It will review all financial services products marketed to families, from six-figure exotic mortgages to $30 bank overdraft charges. It will ensure that terms are reasonable and fairly disclosed and oversee all types of financial institutions, whether chartered under federal or state law. To reduce excess regulatory bureaucracy, Edwards will eliminate the Office of Thrift Supervision. [Warren, 2007]

Prohibit the Most Abusive Practices: Edwards will enact strong national legislation to protect families from the most abusive practices in the credit card, payday loan, and mortgage industries:

Limiting Abusive Credit Card Practices: Edwards will restore balance in the credit card market through a Borrower's Security Act. The strong new law will require credit card companies to: (1) disclose the true cost of making only minimum payments, (2) restore a 10-day grace period before imposing late fees and penalty rates, (3) apply interest rate increases to future balances only, and (4) end the practice of universal default, where a creditor can change borrowers' terms based on their debt and payments to other creditors. [Demos, 2003; GAO, 2006]

Banning the Most Abusive Payday Loans: After the Pentagon concluded that exploitive payday loans undermined military readiness, Congress capped interest rates on payday and other loans to military families at 36 percent, a cutoff that many states use to prevent loan sharking. Edwards will extend this cap to all payday loans. [Center for Responsible Lending, 2006]

Protecting Homeowners against Predatory Mortgages: Edwards will pass a strong national law to prohibit the worst abuses in the mortgage market, such as steep prepayment penalties, mandatory arbitration clauses, balloon loans, loan flipping, and excessive fees. The law will strengthen underwriting standards to ensure that borrowers receive affordable loans suited to their means and reach non-bank lenders and mortgage brokers. To help the estimated 2.2 million families already facing foreclosure, Edwards will create a Home Rescue Fund to help families get into more affordable mortgages and let families shed excess mortgage debt that exceeds their home's value through bankruptcy. [Center for Responsible Lending, 2007; New America Foundation, 2007]

Create Alternative to Abusive Lenders: Edwards believes we must help families gain independence from high-cost debt:

Supporting Alternatives to High-Cost Credit: Because commercial banks rarely make personal loans anymore, high-interest credit cards and payday loans are often the only option for families with unexpected expenses. Edwards will help non-profits and states administer low- or no-interest emergency loans directly to taxpayers. States could choose to use state tax refunds as collateral. Because neighbors have a stake in one another, Edwards will help community groups establish up local revolving loan funds. [Center for Financial Services Innovation, 2006]

Helping Families Save and Get Ahead: Savings are how families cushion themselves against bumps in the road. Edwards will create new "Work Bonds" to help low-income workers save up to $500 a year. He will subsidize banks to offer free savings accounts to the 56 million Americans without them, giving them a way to save and avoid exorbitant check-cashing fees. Finally, he will give taxpayers the option of directly depositing their tax refunds into a retirement account. [Center for Economic Progress, 2004; BEA, 2007; Barr, 2003]

Modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act: For decades the CRA has led financial institutions to serve millions more families, helping them save. However, lower-income families, people of color, and rural Americans are still underserved and President Bush has weakened the law's requirements. Edwards will modernize this important law by expanding its reach to non-bank finance and mortgage companies, securities firms, insurers, and services in areas without bank branches. The new CRA will reward financial institutions for marketing financial products at fair terms to underserved consumers and collect the data we need to ensure that all Americans have equitable access to financial services. [Woodstock Institute, 2006; NCRC, 2007]

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It May Help if We Had a Candidate

Thomas Mulcair has been getting on my nerves for at least the last 2 months. Extolling the virtues of the NDP like they were his own Vatican version of how Federal Politics should be run.

Why is he getting away with these comments? I'll tell you why. We don't have a candidate in place. That's why.

Now, I know - and all of you know - Outremont is a Liberal "safe house". But, if there is a by-election in the next 90 days, one might consider at least getting a candidate in place. If it's Marc Garneau, so be it. Just get it done!

One thing I detest... complacency. Taking this riding for granted is not a very good approach. My strategy would be to throw every resource into every by-election and win with overwhelming popular vote percentages thereby sending a clear-cut message to the other parties.

Anyway. That's just me. And, as you know, I know nothing.

Prince William Gets $640K/Yr.

Hey. I'm happy for the guy. Truly I am.

The funny part about the turning 25 thing is the fact that he doesn't need the Queen's "consent" to get married. That, my friends, is funny.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Me and Bill Clinton

So here I am at the YNot in Yorkville chillin' and along comes a crowd of 500 and parks outside the window. Blocking the crowd is a whole bunch of guys and gals in Navy Blue suits with little pins affixed to them.

Of course a black tinted window entourage is also in tow. ....

Now there's a 1000 or so. Holy. He's lost serious weight.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Hill Times Best/Worst

The Hill Times poll: Best-dressed, sexiest, and funniest MPs

by David Akin on Tue 12 Jun 2007 05:59 PM EDT

The Hill Times, which bills itself as Canada’s politics and government newsweekly and is widely read here on the Hill when it comes out every Monday, today publishes its annual survey of MPs . The survey was conducted between May 22 and June 6. The paper says 97 political staffers, three Mps and two interns from all parties participated in the survey. Here are some excerpts:

Sexiest Male: Peter MacKay (Conservative)
Sexiest Female: Ruby Dhalla (Liberal)
Best Dressed Male: Scott Brison (Liberal)
Worst Dressed Male: Myron Thompson (Conservative)
Best Dressed Female: Belinda Stronach (Liberal)
Worst Dressed Female: Sylvie Boucher (Conservative)
Best Sense of Humour: Peter Stoffer
Worst Sense of Humour: Stephen Harper (Conservative)
Best House Orator: Stephen Harper (Conservative)
Best Speeches Outside the House: Michael Ignatieff (Liberal)
Most Discreet: Paul Martin (Liberal)
Biggest Gossip: Belinda Stronach (Liberal)
Hardest Working: Ralph Goodale (Liberal)
Hippest: Rahim Jaffer (Conservative)
Best Hair, Male: Pablo Rodriguez (Liberal)
Best Hair, Female: Helena Guergis (Conservative)

Feel free to give me your best/worst MPs.

I gotta agree. Pablo has great hair man.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

McCallum Says We'll Fight

It's interesting that John McCallum stated that this morning on Canada AM.

What I really found even more interesting was the Premier of Nova Scotia's comment: "But until I see something signed and on paper,I won't be pleased."

Um. Don't you already have a signed piece of paper that ain't worth doo doo?

These "stale" Conservatives sure have a funny way of making all the provinces happy.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Powell Calls for the Closure of Guantanamo

The Former General/Secretary of State has counselled Barack Obama and has stated if it were up to him, he would close the torture chamber known as Guantanamo today. Not tomorrow. Today.

I have a couple of things to say. This is the same man that made the case for war in Iraq. The same man that was in a position of power that he could have spoke up years ago. Too little, too late. No power. No resolution. No closure.

Stephen Lewis Jumps on the Assault Train

I like Stephen Lewis.

He seems to be one of the few people on the planet that is able to talk dollars and cents rationally when it comes to Governments and theire spending paractices for world aid. His point hit home with his comparison of Government spending reaching $120 Billion Dollars for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the inability of governments to raise $60 Billion in a set timeframe to save 50% of the population of the world.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another Colour Barrier Broken

In what is one of the few sports left in the world that had yet to crown a black champion, Formula 1 welcomed its first non-Caucasian to win a race. It happened -as I predicted this morning- in sunny Montreal. Where else would it!!!

Lewis Hamilton made many a first today in Montreal. He is the youngest man to win the Canadian Grand Prix. He was the first rookie to take the pole for the Canadian Grand Prix. He is the first rookie to reach the podium in all of his first six starts. Just to name a few.

Much like his young teammate, Fernando Alonso, this young man has a bright future in Formula 1, which many thought would lose its glamour after the retirement of Michael Schumacher this year.

Young Lewis now leads the points standings for the world championship with 11 races to go. Not bad for a 22 year old.

It Could Only Happen In Canada

It seems fitting. Lewis Hamilton, the first black man to take a pole postion in Formula 1 racing is the odds on favourite to win the Montreal Grand Prix today. Hamilton has been billed the Tiger Woods of Formula 1 racing.

In a country that has long been the standard bearer of ethnicity and multi-culturalism, Canada would seem to be right place at the right time for this major breakthrough in a purely dominated whiteman's sport.

Good luck on your success today young Lewis. We're all cheering for you.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Edwards tees up on Giuliani

John Edwards was in New York, and wasted little time getting on the nerves of the Republican front runner. Let it not be said John Edwards is a man afraid of a little competition.

Again, this is a man that I would vote for if I were 1. American and 2. a Democrat. and 3. A Republican. Enough said.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Paris Hilton....Free At Last!

Do your time like a Lady.

Oh well. For all of you that said, "Paris Hilton won't last a week in jail!" You were right.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Libby Gets 2.5 Years

Needless to say, it is not very wise to expose undercover agents and then lie about it. Mr. Libby is trading in his suit for an orange coloured one.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I'm Watching John Edwards

vault himself back into the leadership contention. Right now he's beating up the competition in the New Hamphire debate. Watch and learn. It's on CNN.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Conservatives Blame Liberals for O'Connor

Typical of the "Stale" Government of the day, Yaroslav Baran, the Conservatives' official spokesperson blames the Liberals for O'Connor's inability to know his portfolio.

On Duffy Live yesterday, Yaro went on to explain that O'Connor simply inherited troubles from the Liberals. Martha Hall-Findlay then took poor Yaro to task, explaining that O'Connor simply has no idea what he's talking about.

I really did find the look on Hillier's face priceless yesterday when O'Connor stated he had asked the General to make sure all these funeral issues were taken care of. He's like: WTF? Hilarious. Nothing like being stabbed in the front by the guy you supported for so long on a failing mission.

On a more serious note though, my heart goes out to the family of Master Cpl. Darrell Jason Priede, a military Imagery Technician serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kandahar. The young lad died in that Chinook shootdown. Hopefully his family won't be put through the same hardships as those that have fallen before him.

Priede was casualty #56. It's becoming time to leave Afghanistan my friends.

The Sleeping Giant?????

Are you serious? Refresh my memory, what is the population of Thunder Bay-Atikokan again?

Current Top 7 Wonders:

1. Sleeping Giant: 155540
2. Niagara Falls: 76036
3. Bay of Fundy: 63798
4. Nahanni National Park: 58719
5. Northern Lights: 57124
6. The Rockies: 51556
7. Cabot Trail: 41417

Just how many times did James Bowie Vote?

14 Million tourists a year come to Niagara. Next to Vegas, Niagara hosts the most amount of newlyweds. We are already one of the Seven Natural Wonders. Now, I've been to the ain't no Niagara and it ain't no Northern Lights either.

I love Thunder Bay as much as the next guy and eating breakfast at the Hoito, but really?