MacParland: MPs defend their $804 million in pension benefits, but attack PM over hockey ticket (2)

As a study in selective rage, you can’t much beat this:

MPs are upset that Stephen Harper took his daughter to Boston to watch the Vancouver Canucks play (if you can use that word) the Boston Bruins.

Meanwhile, MPs discover they can happily live with a report indicating Canadians now pay $5.50 for every dollar MPs and senators contribute to their own rich pensions.

Hmmm. Bit of a disconnect there, don’t you think?

Here’s what they had to say about the prime minister going to the hockey game. (He paid for the tickets himself, by the way, and for the cost of a commercial flight to and from Boston. He has to fly a government jet because he’s, you know, prime minister and all.)

Peter Stoffer (NDP): “Using those types of tax dollars for his personal entertainment? No, that’s simply not on,” NDP MP Peter Stoffer said. “He should do what we all do, which is watching the game on TV and hoping the Canucks score a victory.”

Elizabeth May (Green): “All Canadians are cheering on the Canucks, but only the Prime Minister would think of taking a government jet to Boston to do it,” she said. “It’s a bad idea.”

Jim Karygiannis (*Liberal):  “Excuse me, aren’t we in a time of tightening our belts? Aren’t we in a time of making sure that we use our money wisely? I’m not sure if that is a wise move.”

Oh for pity sakes, he’s the Prime Minister, Canada has one team in the Stanley Cup finals, hockey is the national game (not to mention passion) and the PM flew down to lend support and maybe provide a little boost for the home team. And he paid for the ticket, you dolts.

Meanwhile, about that pension plan:



Kelly’s correct to make fun of the “lefty pinheads” who make up a large part our opposition MP’s.  But I’ll go him one better.

If you really want to hit them a slap “upside the head” read this column and then donate to the CPC as soon as they get their regular website back online — they’ve been hacked and the donation area appears to be down right now.

My view — nothing will register your disapproval of “lefty” small-mindedness more than millions of extra bucks pouring into CPC bank accounts everytime they pull this kind of stunt.

They’ll soon get the message and shut up.

In My Mail:

Paraprosdokian (a teachable moment)

“Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

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Afternoon Update June 9th, 2011 (10)


#1 — CNews | Judge spanks AWOL lawyer

OTTAWA – A Superior Court judge stripped an Ottawa lawyer of his practice and assets Tuesday amid allegations he vanished overseas with hundreds of thousands of his clients’ cash.


#2 — Globe | RCMP cash crunch puts squeeze on organized-crime investigations: audit

The RCMP is cutting back on organized-crime investigations, border security, drug enforcement and money-laundering probes as it struggles to manage its ever-rising costs.

A review of Canada’s national police force by the Auditor-General found that even with rising funding from Parliament, the RCMP overspent its original annual budget for the last five years running.


#3 — LFP | Not told about H1N1: nurse

A few hours before she died, Laura Straughan fell out of her bed onto the cement floor of her cell at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre.

Her cellmate, Tracey Robertson, called guards who got Straughan back in bed, then put mattresses on the floor in case she fell again.


#4 — NP | MPs to vote on Libya extension: MacKay

BRUSSELS — The Canadian government plans to extend until the end of September a Libya mission that will have by then cost Canadian taxpayers about $60 million, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Thursday.

He also said Canadian MPs will debate and vote on a motion next week to extend the mission until early autumn.


#5 — Star | Conservatives misled Parliament over G8 costs: Auditor General

OTTAWA—Stephen Harper’s government misled Parliament and skirted spending guidelines as it sprinkled tens of millions of dollars across Muskoka to provide a G8 legacy, an independent probe has concluded.



#6 — CNN | Squatter Nation: 5 years with no mortgage payment

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Charles and Jill Segal have not made a mortgage payment in nearly five years — but they continue to live in their five-bedroom West Palm Beach, Fla. home.


#7 — Fox | Unemployment Aid Applications Stuck at High Level, Suggesting Slowing Job Market

WASHINGTON — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits hardly changed for a second straight week, stuck at a high level that points to a slowing job market.


#8 — DM | ‘We must stop pandering to climate scaremongers’: Ex-Civil Service chief blasts ministers for global warming ‘evangelism’

Politicians and Whitehall mandarins are pandering to global warming ‘alarmists’ and consigning Britain to a future of inflated fuel bills and economic misery, the former head of the Civil Service warned last night.

Lord Turnbull – who served Tony Blair as Cabinet Secretary from 2002 to 2005 – accused MPs and civil servants of failing to challenge the ‘climate change consensus’.

He suggested that by blindly following the green agenda, the Government had hit hard-working families with a range of costly policies.


GWPF | Lord Turnbull: The Really Inconvenient Truth

#9 — Irish Independent | Central Bank to give pre-crisis directors initial written warning

THE Central Bank will next week write to directors of bailed-out banks asking them to confirm if they intend to “still be in place” by January and warning them of the new powers to remove bank bosses who contributed to their institutions’ collapse.


#10 — Telegraph | Carswell/Hannan: David Cameron must hand power to the people before it’s too late

Seven years ago, a small group of Conservative modernisers began to meet discreetly to set out a radically different programme for the party. Whereas Tories had traditionally sought to wield power from Whitehall, we localists wanted to diffuse and democratise power, to have decisions taken as closely as possible to those they affected.


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Hanson: Europe Is Warning Us

ROME — If Americans think fuel and food prices are high, they should try Europe, where both can nearly double those in the United States — while salaries here are often lower.

Italians, like most now-broke Southern European countries, are desperate to privatize bloated public-owned utilities. Politicians are trying to curb pensions, and to encourage the private sector to hire workers and buy equipment, as a way of attracting wary foreigner parents to lend such perpetual adolescents more bailout money.

In theory, Italians accept that they are going to have to be a lot more like the Germans, and less like the Irish, Portuguese and Spaniards. In fact, they may end up like the Greeks, who are still striking and occasionally rioting because too few foreigners wish to continue subsidizing their socialist paradise. Red graffiti on Italian streets still echoes socialist solidarity, while Italian politicians talk capitalism to foreign lenders.

The European Union, like the 19th-century Congress of Vienna, can point to one achievement — a general absence of war in Western Europe for more than 60 years. Otherwise, almost all its socialist promises of an equality of result are imploding before their eyes.


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Worries grow that U.S. could default on debt

SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON — The possibility that the United States could default on its debt — if only for a few days — is starting to alarm the global community even as the idea gains favour among Republicans as a way to force Washington to cut runaway spending.

Fitch Ratings agency warned Wednesday that U.S. treasury bonds, seen worldwide as a risk-free investment, could be labelled “junk” if the government misses debt payments by Aug. 15.

Meanwhile, an advisor to China’s central bank said U.S. Republican lawmakers are “playing with fire” by contemplating even a brief debt default while a prominent Fed official said the reverberations in global markets would be “very severe.”

The idea of a technical default — essentially delaying interest payments for a few days — has gained backing from a growing number of mainstream Republicans who see it as a price worth paying if it forces the White House to slash spending.

But “even a so-called ‘technical default’ would suggest a crisis of ‘governance’ from a sovereign credit and rating perspective,” Fitch said in a statement.


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Greece Needs a New Bailout (2)

The troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF has prepared a sobering report on Greece’s efforts to combat a debt crisis. The document, which has been obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE, concludes that Athens will not be able to return to capital markets in 2012 and further massive bailout will be needed soon.

It may be just nine pages long, but the report by the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) packs a punch. According to the keenly awaited report, which has been obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE, it is unlikely that Greece will be able to return to borrowing money on the capital markets in 2012 as previously foreseen — meaning European taxpayers will probably have to prop up Greece with billions in payments for much longer than was originally planned.

The troika’s prognosis is bleak. Although there is some evidence that “the rebalancing of the economy is ongoing and the quarter of deepest contraction (has) already been passed,” the report warns that “a further contraction in real GDP is still expected in the second half of 2011.” The real GDP growth rate for 2011 is now protected to be minus 3.8 percent, the authors conclude, adding that positive growth rates are not expected before 2012. Even then, they will only be “moderate.

The current negative outlook presents the troika with a major challenge. The IMF’s statutes stipulate that the organization can only lend a country money if it is certain that the state will be able to meet its payment obligations for the next 12 months.



Obama Presses Europe, Pledges Help for Greek Crisis

German plan for Greece will hammer Irish bonds

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U.S. Is Intensifying a Secret Campaign of Yemen Airstrikes

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.

The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power.


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Steyn: Blank Page

If you’ll forgive me going all Bagehotian for a moment, in a country such as Canada, the post-election Speech from the Throne is the defining act of constitutional monarchy: the Queen or her viceroy comes to parliament to read words placed in her mouth by the Prime Minister of her newly elected government. It’s the logical endpoint of Magna Carta: the state as servant of the people. So, when you urinate all over a Throne Speech, it’s not like lobbing a pie at the Defence Minister during a war debate: You’re disdaining the very essence of the constitutional order.

But that’s all a little too fusty for a know-nothing like Brigette DePape.

Miss DePape applied to be one of the 15 young Canadians who get chosen by Black Rod (for American readers: don’t worry, it’s an ancient parliamentary title, not a porn star from the Seventies) to intern as pages as the Canadian Senate. So take a look at this picture of last week’s Throne Speech in Ottawa: The Governor-General is reading out the government’s program, and Miss DePape steps in front of him to hold up for the cameras her own ingenious substitution for representative government: A “STOP HARPER” sign. When she’s removed from the chamber, she’s ready with a press release and a publicist to book media appearances. She says Canada needs its own “Arab Spring”.

What, you mean with virginity tests for female protesters?


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