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A Different Point of View....: Will Harper protect Canadian secrets at "the Donald Trump” of law firms?

Former Conservative Prime Minister  Stephen Harper apparently isn’t satisfied with having destroyed a lot of wonderful and important things in Canada. Now he has signed on with Dentons, the world’s largest elite law firm, to spread his dark viewpoints around the globe.

Dentons proudly announced Monday that Harper – who does not have a legal degree – and his new consulting company will work from its Calgary office.

For Harper, the appointment is his reward from the corporate set for many years of stalwart service. He will now be able to stuff his pockets with greenbacks and 76-cent Canadian dollars.

The recently resigned Calgary MP will no doubt stick a Canadian flag on his suitcase as he peddles his anti-social ideology. Hopefully, this will be Harper’s final insult to our national pride.

Dentons is like an octopus. It has more than 7,200 lawyers in over 50 countries, and seems to be constantly expanding.

In easily translatable jargon, Dentons  said Harper has teamed up with the firm to provide clients with “advice on market access, managing global geopolitical and economic risk, and maximize value in global markets” – i.e. postulating himself based on the credibility he gained during none years as PM.

The Donald Trump of the legal set

“Dentons is the Donald Trump of the legal vertical,” writes legal expert and columnist Mark A. Cohen. “The firm is brash, bigger-than-life, and something entirely different. It receives a disproportionate amount of press because it is always doing something that drops jaws.”

The firm surprised the legal/business world by forming a partnership with a huge Chinese firm closely tied to the Communist Party. They employ more than 6,000 lawyers that are working on hundreds of projects, both inside the country and internationally.

Dentons isn’t fussy about which companies it represents in litigation. It works for Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, Citigroup, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Barclay’s Bank, Wells Fargo, and others.

It’s no surprise that Harper will pick up fat pay cheques from Dentons. The firm likes buying former politicians.  Former Liberal PM Jean Chretien and former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer are also on the Dentons payroll, as is former Harper Cabinet Minister James Moore. Last year, Dentons snapped up controversial former U.S. politicians Newt Gingrich.

Harper’s cold personality could damage his one-on-one work for Dentons. The former PM  once famously said: “I can’t even get my friends to like me.”

Outrageous move by Harper

It is outrageous that a former Prime Minister is able to join a massive, influential international corporation such as Dentons when his seat in Parliament has barely cooled.

Dentons is deeply involved in all kinds of wheeling and dealing at the highest levels around the world. Part of its success is based on collecting inside information on corporations and governments.
There are few legal constraints for Harper in his new job. Canada’s Lobbying Act  prevents Harper from being directly involved in lobbying the Canadian government for five years.

In addition, the Conflict of Interest Act says that “no former public office holder shall give advice to his or her client, business associate or employer using information that was obtained in his or her capacity as a public office holder and is not available to the public.”

Having been Prime Minister for more than nine years, Harper is aware of what is supposed to be confidential information concerning corporations in Canada and what are supposed to be secret arrangements among foreign governments.

Harper will claim he will not reveal privileged information, but there is no way of knowing whether he will break his word. Just imagine – if he was hosted by the King of Saudi Arabia and seeking approval for some energy-related project – would he not be tempted to spill the beans about what he knows about the fossil fuel industry worldwide?

Former PM a valuable asset

Harper will be a medium-sized fish at Dentons, but he can help the firm in countries where he has good relations with government leaders, and on some issues.

Given Harper’s record of spending little money on fighting climate change, he could work with government clients on how to avoid spending millions on carbon reductions and he probably could help corporate clients avoid carbon penalties.

Instead of marketing his skills through Dentons, it would have been more appropriate for Harper to get involved in academia. He would have been welcomed at the University of Calgary, where a group of professors and some students established the influential right-wing “Calgary school.

And Harper doesn’t need the money. Currently 57, he is receiving $127,000 in annual pension payments. When he turns 60, the amount will increase to $134,000 per year. The Canadian Tax Federation says that Harper’s MP pension pay would add up to roughly $5.5 million up to age 90 (factoring in for inflationary increases to the payments).

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. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Will Harper protect Canadian secrets at "the Donald Trump” of law firms?

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Beware of Those Bearing Pledges. They Might Just Have to Honour Them

Men should pledge themselves to nothing; for reflection makes a liar of their resolution.  Sophocles

Pledges are nothing new for politicians.  Some are broad in scope, like FDR’s pledge to a New Deal for Americans, or President Obama’s pledge to not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

In 1994, Newt . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Beware of Those Bearing Pledges. They Might Just Have to Honour Them

Eclectic Lip: Norquist knee-capped by Koch-backed “Shift Disturbers”

Well, it looks like Grover Norquist’s support for a carbon tax shift last Monday (Nov 12) lasted as long as a mayfly. By the time Tuesday (Nov 13) rolled around, he was back to opposing it, and likening government to a tapeworm. I suppose it’s a brave thing to say, considering that the highly-trained, armed […] . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Norquist knee-capped by Koch-backed “Shift Disturbers”

DeSmogBlog: What To Expect When You’re Electing: Part 1 – What’s At Stake

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Environmental and energy issues became one of the central issues of the 2008 U.S. presidential election. While the economy itself took center stage, energy issues were right behind it, being pushed by the insufferable chant of “Drill baby drill.” In the four years that have followed, the U.S. has seen a . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: What To Expect When You’re Electing: Part 1 – What’s At Stake

LeDaro: Evolution and Republican Nomination Race

There is a serious misconception that Democrats believe in evolution and Republicans don’t.

Republicans not only believe in evolution but that they practice it plentifully. You have to look at the current race for the Republican Presidential nomination race and you will understand what I mean. They understand and practice to the . . . → Read More: LeDaro: Evolution and Republican Nomination Race

Progressive Proselytizing: The importance of fundamentals for a stable nomination race

For any analyst, covering this GOP Presidential Nominee race is a humbling experience. Almost everybody – myself included – has made bad predictions. It has been so wildly unpredictable and erratic experiencing swings up and down in the polls for almost every candidate. While the eventual winner, Mitt Romney, has long been relatively clear, exactly . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: The importance of fundamentals for a stable nomination race

DeSmogBlog: Tracking The Origins Of The "Blame Obama For Gas Prices" Talking Point

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Since at least last summer, conservatives have been parroting the oil industry talking point that President Obama is somehow the one responsible for the spike in gasoline and oil prices. As we have pointed out, they base this on their assertion that the President has been “hostile” towards the dirty energy . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Tracking The Origins Of The "Blame Obama For Gas Prices" Talking Point

From Orangutan: Dear Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich,

Your tone is more convincing than your words.

Red Tory v.3.0.3: Newt-a-Mania!

I guess winning the Georgia primary in tonight’s discount version of “Super Tuesday” may help Newt stay puft for a while longer in the race to be the standard bearer of ignorant, batshit-crazy white people across America, but what is up with the poor lad forced to hold a sign reading “Newt-a-Mania”?

Should . . . → Read More: Red Tory v.3.0.3: Newt-a-Mania!

From Orangutan: Dear Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich,

If you were my father, I’d be very ashamed.

gay persons of character: Catholic Priests, not Obama Administration, assaulting Catholics

As American Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, continues to decry the Obama administration for its so-called assault on the Catholic Church, the fact of the matter is that Catholic priests, not the secular left, are the ones as… . . . → Read More: gay persons of character: Catholic Priests, not Obama Administration, assaulting Catholics

gay persons of character: Catholic Priests, not Obama Administration, assaulting Catholics

As American Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, continues to decry the Obama administration for its so-called assault on the Catholic Church, the fact of the matter is that Catholic priests, not the secular left, are the ones assaulting (literally) Catholics in America. For the facts, check out the Database of Publicly Accused Priests in the United States to . . . → Read More: gay persons of character: Catholic Priests, not Obama Administration, assaulting Catholics

Progressive Proselytizing: How the GOP candidates choose who to attack

Ron Paul: There has been a lot of buzz recently about the fact that Ron Paul, while viscously attacking his other opponents, seems to give Ron Paul a free pass. And vice versa. ThinkProgress has a count which shows that Ron Paul has, despite 20 debates and 39 attacks on other candidates, has not . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: How the GOP candidates choose who to attack

LeDaro: GOP Debates and the State of the Republican Party

I admit, I am a political junkie. I enjoy following elections and rarely miss any national level debates whether Canadian or American.

Watching the GOP presidential debate on February 22nd in Arizona, I have to say, this is the worse group of candidates any political party has ever put forward – Ron Paul . . . → Read More: LeDaro: GOP Debates and the State of the Republican Party

Progressive Proselytizing: Iran and the CNN Arizona GOP Presidential Debate

CNN Arizona GOP Debate

As it often has been in the past, Iran was the principle foreign policy topic discussed in what may well be the last GOP Presidential Debate that we have to suffer through. If it is possible, the hyperbolic, warmongering rhetoric reached a new low. Additional debate comments outside of the . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Iran and the CNN Arizona GOP Presidential Debate

Red Tory v.3.0.3: Newt Will Destroy Alberta’s Economy

Desperate Republican no-hoper Newt Gingrich is currently promising that, if elected, he will reduce the price of gasoline to $2 per gallon. Maybe a terrific prospect for gas-guzzling American consumers feeling the pinch of rising oil prices, but not one without consequences…

To realize the promise of $2 per gallon gasoline would require . . . → Read More: Red Tory v.3.0.3: Newt Will Destroy Alberta’s Economy

Progressive Proselytizing: Rick Santorum signals the declining relevance of the Tea Party

Rick Santorum’s recent rise to the number one contender spot versus perennial front-runner Mitt Romney has frequently been described as simply being the last in line of a long list of not-Romney flavor of the months. As in, there is nothing particularly special or meaningful in his recent and likely transient rise. However, this . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Rick Santorum signals the declining relevance of the Tea Party

Trashy's World: Cousin in Tennessee…

… apparently shares the political satire genes with her northern kin! Good one! Gotta meet these relatives one day! I think it would be a blast! Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: When is the Price of a Politician Too High?

Since Citizens United paved the way for the wealthy to buy U.S. political candidates outright, there is more for Americans to worry about than losing their democracy, though that is certainly a blow to a once democratic country.

The people with all of this money expect something in return and in the case of Newt . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: When is the Price of a Politician Too High?

Impolitical: You’re doing it wrong

Newt makes another appeal today on Keystone: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke directly to Canadians at a campaign stop in Tampa Monday, vowing to kick-start the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in the Oval Office.

“I want to promise Canadians on the very first day I will sign an executive order authorizing . . . → Read More: Impolitical: You’re doing it wrong

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who Would You Like to Send to the Moon?

Newt Gingrich frightened even Republicans this week with his plans to develop a colony on the moon by 2020.  He had obviously given this a lot of thought, because he indicated that the colony would consist of 13,000 people and would be named the 51st state.

What he didn’t say was how he would . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: So Who Would You Like to Send to the Moon?

The Sixth Estate: Newt Gingrich is a Visionary

Well, not really. Actually Newt Gingrich is a corrupt, overly ambitious, unexpectedly arrogant candidate. The fact that he is still seriously in the running for the Republican ticket is evidence of how pathetic a spectacle American corporatist politics has become. But I cannot stress how much more pathethic has been the public response to Newt’s . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Newt Gingrich is a Visionary

“What kind of man would mislead, distort and deceive just to win an election?”

“This man would: Newt Gingrich.”

That, from a new ad about to hit the US from Newt Gingrich (except the last NG bit, it actually says, ‘Mitt Romney’) attacking frontrunner Mitt Romney.

Which begs the question: does Gingrich have even the remotest sense of self awareness or shame? The ethically-challenged, disgraced former Speaker could be . . . → Read More: “What kind of man would mislead, distort and deceive just to win an election?”

Impolitical: Late night moonwalking

Just too fun to resist. How the Gingrich moon base plan fared in the Republican debate tonight. Predictable responses from his fellow candidates, largely challenging the expense it would represent. Not so predictable, Newt’s invocation of Chinese competition on the moon front. Even as he spoke at the CNN debate, Gingrich’s three rivals . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Late night moonwalking

Impolitical: So Newt wants to build a moon base

I don’t know, these things never seem to end well. Always too many hatches and lasers and super villains around.

Where to start with Newt’s big announcement yesterday? It is a very serious announcement made during a presidential nomination contest, after all, it deserves some kind of attention, at least.

So let’s . . . → Read More: Impolitical: So Newt wants to build a moon base