Time to act Ontarians!

Good on the Toronto Star for bringing this up, I feel ashamed to say that I follow politics on all levels here in Canada and didn’t know about this.

Long-term care is big business. Money politics is also big business in this province — a place where time is money, and a minister’s time is worth a lot of money.

That’s how it still works in Ontario, the Central Canadian province that remains the Wild West of fundraising in this country.

The Hoskins event is a reminder that without any rules to ban corporate and union contributions, all three parties keep cashing in on the desire of powerful interests to influence the party in power. In between elections, the governing party profits most; but just ahead of elections, when companies and unions hedge their bets, the opposition parties also get their take.

Source: The Star

This is definitely a problem and you can bet I’m going to write (an actual letter) my MPP to relay my displeasure at that!  Money and politics do not mix and this is how business and the rich buy the government, please do your part and get involved as well because it’s important to get whoever governs the province to ban contributions from unions and corporations!

This would be funny if it weren’t real…

So the Democratic leaning Public Policy polling firm released a poll that says Louisiana Republicans blame President Obama more than President Bush for Hurricane Katrina…  That’s great, Katrina hit in 2005 at the start of W’s second term while Obama was still in his first year as a senator.

Twenty-eight percent said they think former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time, was more responsible for the poor federal response while 29 percent said Obama, who was still a freshman U.S. Senator when the storm battered the Gulf Coast in 2005, was more responsible. Nearly half of Louisiana Republicans — 44 percent — said they aren’t sure who to blame.

Source: TPM

The polling firm is Democratic leaning but I mean I don’t think Republicans need to anyone to help them look stupid.

We need more politicians like this

I guess it should be no surprise but I really like Bernie Sanders.  I wish we had more straight shooting politicians like this in the world, it certainly would be a better place.

Trickle down economics or supply side economics doesn’t work, if it did the US (and Canada) would be swimming in jobs as the tax rates are at the lowest point ever. Mr. Sanders is correct, businesses don’t hire people because they have more money or because taxes are lower, there needs to be demand to justify it. Sales drives the economy and in order to promote sales, you need a thriving middle class.

Sigh, unfortunately our politicians in power have bought into this supply side crap (even though it doesn’t work) and people like Mr. Sanders seem “extreme”. I always tell my younger staff that politics matters and to pay close attention to what the politicians say.

For the record I hated supply side economics before it was cool. 😉

What now?

So I have been talking to some friends & family about the events in France and I’m rather surprised by some of the responses.  But before I get to that I’d like to say hopefully with the terrorists dead, the families of those who were slain can grieve.  I think as a society we need to ask ourselves, what do we really believe and are we willing to curtail some freedoms for security?  Just like with the hack and threats that were made surrounding the movie The Interview, I firmly believe that the answer to that is no because if we give in now, the terrorist of tomorrow will ask for more.

Freedom of expression is a sacred right, while I may not agree with what is being said I wouldn’t stifle someone else’s right to free speech (as long as it’s not directly threatening to someone).  Sometimes it’s distasteful, other times it can be down right hate filled but in order to live in a free society, that’s what we sometimes have to endure.  Really, if Muslims want the right to protest things like the video Innocents of Muslims, then in turn it should allow others to do what they want.  Blasphemy is a sin in all religions and the punishment is always suppose to be severe but no one actually practices that anymore.

Myself I probably pick on Christians more so than any other group (it’s the largest religion here in Canada & in the Western world), there’s nothing that’s off limits and they’re not killing people for insulting Jesus.  If one wants to focus on Islam, so be it really is the religion or the “prophet” so easily insulted that it requires human intervention?  Wouldn’t being damned for eternity be enough?

In the next little while the governments around the world will use the French attacks to justify curtailing even more rights from its citizens and it’s important that you stand up and say “no I will not trade security for freedoms and I do not want to live in a police state”.

I’m sorry to any Muslim friends who were hurt by my rant below, offence was not my intention.  You should know I do not have hate in my heart, that I am a man of reason (I try to be anyway) and that I dislike all forms of organized religion.  Let’s not focus on who said what and instead focus on how we can make the world a better place tomorrow.

Mark this day…

So as I ranted about a few days ago, the Wall Street bank rider attached to the congressional spending bill passed the House, it’s expected to pass the US Senate and President Obama and that means it’ll be only time before we have another bank crisis…  This deregulates the $700 trillion derivatives market and allows the bank to use government insured client money to bet on anything they want.

A year ago, Mother Jonesreported that a House bill that would allow banks like Citigroup to do more high-risk trading with taxpayer-backed money was written almost entirely by Citigroup lobbyists. The bill passed the House in October 2013, but the Senate never voted on it. For months, it was all but dead. Yet on Tuesday night, the Citi-written bill resurfaced. Lawmakers snuck the measure into a massive 11th-hour government funding bill that congressional leaders negotiated in the hopes of averting a government shutdown. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation.

Source: MotherJones

Americans should be absolutely outraged at this, this means the banks can once again gamble with your hard earned savings and if things go bust so be it, it’s all backed up by the federal government!  Again this is privatized profits and socialized losses, if there are no risk to the banks bottom line it’s in their interests to bet on the riskiest things hoping for a big score.  Who cares right, they ain’t covering the losses…  Boggles the mind how Congress can think this is ok and that the American electorate just lets this happen.

Worst of all this crap will infect the rest of the world’s financial markets, just like it did with the previous crash god I hope I stash away enough money to weather that coming storm.

Stand for something

I know I post a lot about American politics but yeah I care because as I’ve said before what happens there affects the rest of the world. NY mayor Bill de Blasio posted a bit of a rant on Huffington Post and I couldn’t agree more…

This year, too many Democratic candidates lost sight of those core principles — opting instead to clip their progressive wings in deference to a conventional wisdom that says bold ideas aren’t politically practical.

To working people, it showed Democratic weakness — a weak commitment to the change desperately sought by struggling families, and a weak alternative to a Republican philosophy that has held America back.
Source: Huffington Post

The Democratic party (and the progressive parties in Canada) should stand on principle. When the Democratic candidates ran as Republican-lites, all they do is demotivate their base from voting and you can be sure that Republicans won’t be swayed to vote Democratic when they have one of their own running… Just like the train wreck of a campaign Senator Mary Landrieus has been running, yeah trying to pass the Keystone XL bill through the Senate (so glad it failed) that your opponent passed in the house is a sure fire way of getting Republicans to vote for her.

Hopefully they learn to be the progressive party in 2016.

Dead on

This is definitely one thing that drives me up a wall…

When politicians say “I’m not a scientist,” it is an exasperating evasion. It’s a cowardly way to avoid answering basic and important policy questions. This response raises lots of other important questions about their decision-making processes. Do they have opinions on how to best maintain our nation’s highways, bridges, and tunnels—or do they not because they’re not civil engineers? Do they refuse to talk about agriculture policy on the grounds that they’re not farmers? How do they think we should be addressing the threat of ISIS? They wouldn’t know, of course; they’re not military generals.
Source: Richard Dawkins Foundation

Haha anyone reading my blog for the first time probably thinks I have a lot of rage (I guess you could argue that) but we don’t expect our elected leaders to be experts in everything however they should defer to the expert opinions when making a judgement call. If one is truly uninformed about climate change then ask scientists what their thoughts are as they’re the experts and you’ll quickly find that the overwhelming majority feel that it’s an urgent matter that needs to be dealt with immediately!

It’s disgusting and absolutely unacceptable for politicians to fake ignorance on such important matters.

LOL what?

Man seems like I’m posting a lot about politics these days. Anyway yesterday President Obama came out in full support of net neutrality and of course the right wing backlash started almost immediately.

Republicans also are ready to go to war over the issue.
“Net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted shortly after the president’s announcement, while Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) dubbed the president’s proposal “a Trojan horse for a government takeover of the Internet.”

Obama’s vision would reclassify broadband as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act, broadening the agency’s authority over Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon. He called for a ban on “paid prioritization,” the idea of ISPs charging content companies like Netflix for Internet fast lanes to consumers.

“This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies,” the president said in the statement.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pledged that “Republicans will continue our efforts to stop this misguided scheme to regulate the Internet” in the next Congress. “Federal bureaucrats should not be in the business of regulating the Internet — not now, not ever,” he said in a statement.
Source: Politico

I LOL’ed at Senator Cruz’s comment, what does that even mean… Funny you’d think the party of the free market would be for a level playing field for everyone but no, rather it’d prefer ISPs be able to pick and choose what you can see like we have with TV channels. Industry regulation is important, look at what happened to the unregulated financial markets, it was a huge bust.

I swear if President Obama said the sky was blue, Republicans would say otherwise.

If business is for it, I am against it!

Just saw this tidbit and I mean god Americans are freaking blind… Did any of the Republican candidates campaign on cutting corporate regulations or taxes? LOL I love the buzzwords like pro growth, tax reform or concrete progress in this article…

Business groups are licking their chops to work with an all-Republican Congress, believing they now have the chance to roll back years of frustrations.

“We believe all can unite around a pro-growth agenda that reforms the tax code and immigration system, and expands trade,” said John Engler, the president of the Business Roundtable. “Congress needs to roll up its sleeves and resolve these tough issues to make our businesses and country more competitive.”

Similarly, Republicans have long been critics of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, a central legislative achievement that McConnell on Wednesday dubbed “ObamaCare for banks.” But those in the financial industry eager to get out from under some of those new rules are not anticipating a GOP Senate would immediately try and scrap the entire law, though there are some hopes that previously bipartisan efforts to alter the law could get new life next year.
Source: The Hill

My favourite is the last quote, yeah I bet the financial industry can’t stand the new financial laws put in place after the last recession which was created by them alone due to greed of the bankers. I would have preferred Congress reinstate the Glass-Steagall act but of course the government bought by business wouldn’t allow that.

Wake up America, when Republican talk about jobs, the middle class and all the other fluffy stuff, it’s always lies. I guess it doesn’t help that the Democratic party is guided by retards and lost the mid term election badly by running against Democratic principles and instead as Republican-lite.

I seriously hope President Obama sticks to his guns and vetos any bullshit legislation that comes across his desk. Yes if there’s middle ground maybe the two groups can work towards something but when one party is so overtly pro business (and anti individual), I can’t see them passing anything that would benefit the average US citizen.

Huge LOLs

How anyone could be fooled by the Republican messaging I don’t know. Yeah both parties suck but one sucks much more and that’s the one that controls Congress now, though thankfully with only a slim majority in the senate so they can’t ram what they want through that chamber. Big conservative money won the night and I hope that President Obama sticks to his guns and doesn’t give in further…

I always laugh when I tell my American friends that Obama is more conservative than our Conservative Prime Minister, they’re always shocked.

Oh and on another note, a very classy way to stay relevant Vatican…

“We don’t judge people, but the gesture in itself is to be condemned,” said Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which is responsible for ethical issues in the Catholic Church.

“Assisted suicide is an absurdity,” Carrasco de Paula told the Italian news agency ANSA. “Dignity is something different than putting an end to your own life.” Source: USA Today

So instead of choosing when to die, I guess everyone with a terminal illness should just hang on for as long as they can sucking up resources and suffering till the pitiful & painful end.