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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jim Stanford discusses how the Trans-Pacific Partnership is renegotiating NAFTA – and taking away what little Canada salvaged in that deal. And Jared Bernstein highlights the TPP’s impact on prescription drug costs.

- Rick Smith rightly challenges the effort some people have made to minimize the difference between Canada’s political parties: Though the constant spinning of basically unchanging polling results is annoying, I’m not sure it’s corrosive to the democratic process.  On the other hand, the notion that it doesn’t matter who we elect is not only factually inaccurate, it does (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: You’ve Heard This Story Before


Bruce Carson’s trial did not last long. We now await the judge’s decision. On one level, the trial was about one individual’s corrupt behaviour. But, on another level, the trial revealed yet again how the Harper government corrupts everything it touches. David Keith provides a little context:

In the spring of 2004, University of Calgary President Harvey Weingarten recruited me back to Canada to help build a top-notch research centre that would inform the hard energy choices faced by Alberta, Canada, and the larger world. In September 2006, I travelled to Ottawa with Weingarten to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Paul Weinberg discusses the need to focus on inequality in Canada’s federal election, while Scott Deveau and Jeremy Van Loon take note of the fact that increased tax revenue is on the table. The Star’s editorial board weighs in on the NDP’s sound and progressive fiscal plan. And Matthew Yglesias includes the rise of the NDP as part of the growth of a new, international progressive movement.

- Rank and File interviews Michael Butler about the privatization of health care in Saskatchewan, as well as the role of the federal government in (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Jesus Harper and the Not So Miraculous Surplus

It looked like a scene in that sordid B-movie, The Rise and Fall of Jesus Harper.The one where the Oily Messiah takes a fishy deficit and miraculously turns it into a tiny surplus.Stephen Harper seemed to have some extra spring in his step Monday after struggling on a variety of fronts in what has been a tough campaign so far. The reason? News that the government posted a surprise $1.9-billion surplus in 2014-15 — bringing the country’s books back into balance a year earlier than expected.Only to have it revealed that he is no Jesus, (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: For Harper, It’s Showtime – the Sequel. Fremdschamen, Indeed.

Okay, it’s not Mike Duffy. We won’t hear much of him again until the election is over.

Today’s fare is more like a light lunch, maybe just a handful of trail mix. It’s Bruce Carson time!

The two-time jailbird, fraudster and, naturally, top Harper aide goes back to his old stomping grounds today, the prisoner’s box in an Ottawa criminal court, to stand trial for influence peddling in connection with a scheme to flog water filtration gear to First Nations reserves.

Carson raises memories of Harper’s standard modus operandi when he’s been caught out with dirty hands. It goes like (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Will Stephen Harper Go For a Late Fall Election?

It's been the subject of much fevered speculation. Will Stephen Harper call an early election? And if so how early?And no doubt Great Desperate Leader is consulting his crystal ball, and the fevered voices in his head.And in his brief moments of lucidity, probably wondering if he DID go early what would be his excuse?But now some Cons are apparently saying that he already has two good excuses, and he should pull the plug immediately.Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Jim Armitage discusses how the privatization of public services in the UK is being mashed up with the principles behind subprime lending and debt bundling – leading to a bubble which promises to take down investors and the public alike.

- Dylan Matthews offers what would seem to be a natural conclusion about the simplest, most effective answer to poverty: As solutions to global poverty go, “just give poor people money” is pretty rock solid. A recent randomized trial found that Kenyans who received no-strings attached cash from the charity GiveDirectly built more (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Lonely At The Top?

If Stephen Harper isn’t ‘feelin’ the love,’ it is a situation of his own making. Two brief excerpts from Tim Harper’s column in today’s Star, entitled Stephen Harper’s slide into isolation, are instructive.

Tom Flanagan, former best-buddies with Dear Leader, wrote in his recent book, Persona Non Grata, this about Harper:

“He can be suspicious, secretive, and vindictive, prone to sudden eruptions of white-hot rage over meaningless trivia, at other times falling into week-long depressions in which he is incapable of making decisions.’’

Also getting in on the tell-all craze, disgraced former senior Harper aide Bruce (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Blindness of the Media, and the True Nature of Stephen Harper

It's the question that haunts me the most. The one I keep asking myself, but can never answer:Why after all the horrible things he's done to Canada and its values do so many in the MSM still not recognize the true nature of Stephen Harper ?Or ask themselves whether it's normal for a Canadian leader to behave in the depraved way he does? And whether he's still fit to remain in office.Instead of pretending that despite his crazed assault on our democracy, and his many other atrocities, it's still politics as usual.Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Jim Stanford looks into the fine print of the Hudak PCs’ assumptions about corporate tax slashing and finds that even their own numbers show that most of the money gifted to corporations would be thrown away (emphasis added): On second reading there are other interesting aspects to the Conference Board simulation of corporate tax reductions.  The one that jumped out at me was their estimate of increased business capital spending after the tax cut (reported in Table 5, and the main driver of economic benefits in the simulation), reported in the fifth (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Harper Enemies List: A Prominent Member

Yesterday I wrote about a fund-raising plea that the Harper machine has sent out to its true believers with deep pockets; the missive stressed the need for big dollars to get out the truth to Canadians about what a fine job the regime is doing, a message that is, according to the neocons, being impeded by a leftist media apparently in the thrall of Justin Trudeau.

While that letter places the media in general on the Harper Enemies List, an individual who occupies a prominent place in that august pantheon surely is Linda McQuaig, a journalist I have long admired (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Ex-Harper aide charged with illegal lobbying, influence peddling

by: Obert Madondo | May 18, 2014

Obert Madondo, Editor, The Canadian Progressive

The RCMP last week charged Bruce Carson, a former aide to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, with illegal lobbying and influence peddling.

This is further confirmation that Harper is the world’s worst talent scout. Even more interesting is the fact that the charges against Carson mirror the Harper government’s petrostate-style support of Big Oil and the Alberta tar sands.

As CTV News reports:

Carson has been charged with three counts of lobbying while prohibited and one count of influence peddling in relation to his work for the (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Ex-Harper aide charged with illegal lobbying, influence peddling

Montreal Simon: Could Stephen Harper Soon Be Toast?

It's all going horribly wrong. His foul voter suppression bill is only making even more Canadians want to vote to throw him out of office.He has more scandals than he can count. His Cons are fighting themselves or urging people to vote for another party.Pro-life Conservative MP Kyle Seeback told attendees at Campaign Life Coalition’s national pro-life conference on the weekend that when he was first elected three years ago, he would have told people to “vote Conservative” to make a pro-life difference in the country. “I don’t agree with that anymore. You have to find the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Scandalous Senate and PMO appointments say Harper is unqualified to criticise Trudeau’s f-bomb

by: Obert Madondo | March 31, 2014

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau dropped the f-bomb when he addressed the crowd at the Fight for the Cure charity boxing match in Gatineau, Quebec, over the weekend.

“I’m going tell you, there is no experience like stepping into this ring and measuring yourself,” Trudeau said. “Your name, your fortune, your intelligence, your beauty, none of that fucking matters.”

The crowd reportedly cheered.

But, as usual, the Conservatives weren’t amused. Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to capitalize on the expletive to score cheap political points.

“This is yet another example of Justin Trudeau’s lack of (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Few Escape The Bruce Carson Taint

Nigel Wright to Bruce Carson in 2011 as the later conducted his allegedly illegal lobbying:

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about you. Feel free to give me a call at any time.

You can read all about it here.

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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Return of Bruce Carson

Well I think it's safe to say it's the last thing Stephen Harper needed, what with all his other scandals.It must be a bit like Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past.But like it it or not old Brucie is BAAAACK !!!! Read more »

The Disaffected Lib: He’s Back! Bruce Carson Under Investigation for Influence Peddling.

Former top aide to Stephano Harper, Bruce Carson, is back in the news and, predictably, it’s bad news.

CBC reports  that the disgraced senior advisor to Mr. Harper is the subject of an RCMP investigation into illegal lobbying.  This scandal may also have snared another Harper senate appointment, Doug Black.

CBC News has learned the RCMP have seized banking records for Bruce Carson, a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, amid their investigation into allegations he illegally lobbied his former government colleagues.In court records CBC News retrieved Wednesday, the RCMP allege Carson used his connections to lobby (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and My Fabulous Con Reunion

Well as you know the Con convention in Calgary had to be postponed due to an extreme weather event.And Stephen Harper is terribly depressed because he can't press the reset button on his old and tired government.So I thought I'd try to cheer him up eh?By organizing a smaller convention, or Con reunion, of some of those nearest and dearest to him.And you won't believe who is going to be there !!!! Read more »

somecanuckchick dot com: Former CPC candidate Saulie Zajdel arrested — what does this say about PMSH?

You remember Bruce Carson, a [former] top adviser to PMSH?

And, then there was that $90K cheque from PMSH’s right-hand man, Nigel Wright, to Mike Duffy…

Well, now there’s Saulie Zajdel… you remember Saulie Zajdel, right?

Saulie Zajdel was arrested this morning by Sûreté de Québec and faces five charges, including abuse of confidence, defrauding the government and acts of corruption in municipal affairs.

FYI: Saulie Zajdel left municipal politics in 2009.

Presumably, these [alleged] crimes took place before Saulie Zajdel was vetted as a candidate to the Conservative Party of Canada… so, what does (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Ghost of Bruce Carson

Golly. I wouldn't be surprised if Stephen Harper is having nightmares these days, like Ebenezer Scrooge did in A Christmas Story.

Waking up in the middle of the night, sweating like a pig, staring at the ghost of Bruce Carson come back to haunt him.Read more »

The Disaffected Lib: He’s Back. Stevie Boy’s BFF, Bruce Carson, Charged with Fraud

I’ve been wondering what rock Harper aide Bruce Carson has been hiding under of late.

Bruce Carson, 66, has been charged with one count of what’s formally referred to as influence peddling, RCMP said Friday.

He served as Harper’s chief policy analyst and fixer from 2006 to 2008 and returned to the prime minister’s office briefly in 2009.

Carson is alleged to have accepted commission from a third party in connection to a government business matter.

It’s believed Carson was trying to set up a water purification deal to benefit his then 22-year old stripper/escort/girlfriend Michelle McPherson.

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: December 12, 2011

Monday, December 12 saw two main topics of debate. But perhaps most striking was the introduction of the Cons’ newest tactic to dictate the terms of discussion in the House of Commons.

The Big IssueMuch of the day’s discussion focused on the Cons’ copyright bill. And Paul Calandra started proceedings by moving that question be put in order to prevent any amendments to the legislation at the last stage where the bill could be amended in substance; naturally Scott Simms among other lamented the fact that the Cons had started using yet another means to shut down discussion of

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: December 12, 2011

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: More Hands Found in Harper’s Deep Pockets

In 2007, knowing that they couldn’t ride Adscam forever, the Harper government put our tax dollars to good use, by hiring a private investigator to dig into the Liberal’s polling expenses.

However, the firm he hired did not uncover the results he was hoping for. An independent investigator hired by the Harper government to look into past Liberal polling practices has wound up shining an unfavourable light on the Tories’ penchant for polling. Daniel Paille notes that the Conservative government has commissioned more than two polls per business day, a figure he calls “quite astounding.”

His report shows that

. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: More Hands Found in Harper’s Deep Pockets

The Disaffected Lib: Has Harper’s Buddy Bruce Carson Conveniently Fallen Between the Cracks?

What happened to the RCMP investigation into Bruce Carson that Harper himself ordered, presumably to get his own lard arse off the hook?   Carson, you will recall, is the convicted fraud artist/disbarred lawyer/courtesan frequenting and purported influence peddling dirty old man who wangled his way into a fixer job in Harper’s inner sanctum, the PMO.

It’s not easy finding anything recent about Bruce Carson.  He seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.   Last September, Aboriginal TV news tried to follow up with the RCMP and got the runaround.  One RCMP spokesperson said

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Has Harper’s Buddy Bruce Carson Conveniently Fallen Between the Cracks?

It’s Your Turn PMO

It seems that the NDP has given the Conservative government a well deserved slap in the face. After weeks of hounding CBC to produce documents about their internal operations, likely to give competitors an inside look at how the Crown Corporation operates, a question has now been put on the order paper by MP Tyrone Benskin (you can [...]