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Archive for September, 2010

A Fine Whine:What More Do Progressives Want?

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I am getting sick and tired of pundits asking rhetorically, as Chris Matthews did today, “What more do progressives want?” in reference to the so called “enthusiasm gap”. Democratic turnout is supposed to be depressed this year, in contrast with the Republican Tea party, whose voters are said to be lining up to vote like techno geeks waiting to buy the latest toy from Apple. In recent weeks, the President, the Vice-president and all the President’s surrogates have taken to lecturing Democrats to “buck up” and vote because it is too important not to.

Somehow all this exhortation gets translated into the Democrats and the Obama administration blaming progressives for not being supportive enough. Now one can’t get through an hour of cable news or the Sunday chats without hearing “What more do progressives want?” Progressives, you see are supposed to be happy and grateful for all the legislation passed by the Democratic congress and signed into law by the Democratic president. Things like the health care reform, financial regulation and the economic stimulus of 2009.

As I have indicated in previous posts, I am in fact disappointed with the Obama administration and the Congressional Democrats. But that’s OK. I am not a big D Democrat. I am a progressive (a socialist, really) but I almost always vote for whatever Democrat on the ballot. This year will be no different. I anticipate splitting my votes between the Green and Democratic parties. And I always vote. Even if I only have a ficus plant to vote for. I am not the problem. The people who might not vote are less interested in politics than your garden variety progressive blogger. You know, like the unemployed and working poor, some minorities, poor people, youth. Progressives would like to have seen the Dems do more to address the concerns of these groups and others, but we will still vote against the GOP.

And that’s the Democrats’ last resort in capturing the progressive vote. The other guys are worse. Way worse. Worse than ever.

So let me try to answer the question “What more do progressives want?” Maybe I’ll throw in (for free) a few things I, at least, did not and do not want.

For starters, I wanted anyone who committed war crimes on behalf of the U.S. government held accountable. Maybe not a prison sentence for W, but at least some acknowledgment that U.S. and International laws were violated and at least a hope that it would not happen again. I did not want to see Obama’s first Solicitor General (now a Supreme Court Justice) argue in Federal Court that, “the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying — that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes.” That’s not what i voted for.

Of course, I wanted health care reform to include a single payer health insurance system. I knew it wasn’t politically doable, but the proposal and the argument should have and could have been made. Failing that I would like to have seen the President fight vigorously for the public option. Would a greater effort have changed the immediate outcome? I don’t know, but again, making the effort would at least have altered the debate, making future progress more likely. I certainly did not want to sere the President’s Chief of Staff (he (who must not be named), make backroom deals with big pharma and the health insurance companies.

Continuing the war in Afghanistan does not constitute a broken promise on Obama’s part, but his escalation there was a foolish step further into quick sand. Everyone knows we are wasting time, treasure and lives there, but the generals and the officer corps apparently need their war, or else how will they ever get combat experience and promotions. Some civilian control over the military would be nice, I think.

Finally, I hoped that the new administration would take decisive action to mitigate the effects of the recession that (ha ha) ended last year. Instead, Summers and Geitner made sure that the stimulus of 2009 was weakened.

Well, I have tried to explain to anyone who accidentally reads this some of what progressives have wanted and really continue to hope for. If the president or anyone on his staff should somehow hear about this I want them to know I hope it helps.

SNL 9/25/10: Wedding Venue

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SNL was a new one last night. Is summer over? Anyway, it was a pretty good episode as these things go. Never hurts to put Amy Poehler in the lineup.

Here is the bit that made me laugh the loudest.

Oh Really was pretty good too.

Written by slothropia

September 26th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

White Mystery: Ye Olde Stone

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And now something for the youngsters, as Ed Sullivan would say when introducing the early Stones or Herman’s Hermits.

I was “turned on” or “introduced” to these kids by the guys on Sound Opinions on the CBC, I mean the NPR.
White Mystery is a brother/sister red headed duo, Alex and Francis White, that makes rock and roll music recordings. They are known as a garage band and there is certainly a lo fi quality to the record. Alex does the vocals and plays guitar and that’s Francis on drums.

Do not, repeat, do not confuse White Mystery with the White Stripes. In fact, Alex’s singing sounds a bit like early Grace Slick to me, and her guitar sounds a little like the early Stones. Or am I betraying my boomerness?

Written by slothropia

September 22nd, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Progressives on Election Day: Digby Says it Better

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In my last post I tried to anticipate how U.S. Progressives are feeling these days and what they might do in the coming election. Turns out I’m not the only one thinking about this. Some have in fact done it better.

Digby grabs this presidential quote from Glenn Greenwald:

Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get — to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed — oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. If you get the financial reform bill passed — then, well, I don’t know about this particular derivatives rule, I’m not sure that I’m satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and — (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.) We have had the most productive, progressive legislative session in at least a generation.

Digby then comments:
Well, I think at least one thing is clear. Robert Gibbs wasn’t freelancing with his similar comments.

Regardless of whether you agree with Obama’s characterization there, I think most people would agree that it’s an odd way to fire up the troops. There seems to be some misapprehension on the part of the DC Dems that trying to browbeat people into appreciating you is smart politics. I’m thinking maybe a little ass kissing at this point might be a little bit more effective.

More importantly, it’s a complete misreading of what ails the base. It’s not about a bunch of liberal bloggers being pissed about the health care bill or the wars. Sadly, there just aren’t enough of us to make a difference. And it’s not about a bunch of liberal pundits in DC fretting about “tidal waves.”

Digby goes on to quote Susie Madrak:

[T]hose of us left living on a wing and prayer thanks to your “half full”, half-assed economic policies just don’t have a sense of humor about our continuing plight. I know it’s been a long time since your mom got food stamps, but you might want to give that empathy thing some thought.

Finally, Digby drives the point home:

Unfortunately, midterms are almost always partisan elections, driven by the hardcore base of both parties. Behaving as if your voters are petulant and unappreciative may be therapeutic, and it may even be true, but it doesn’t get the job done.

As I noted in my previous post, there are some faint hopeful signs that the White House political operation is beginning to understand that an alienated base is a problem, however Gibbs, Emmanuel and BHO himself feel about those idiots and troublemakers who put them in office. On the other hand, remarks like those of the President quoted above do not help matters.

Strategically, it makes more sense to attack Republicans right now rather than progressives and other members of Obama’s coalition. It would also make more sense for the Democrats to stress that they are fighting for those who are struggling and stop apologizing by constantly repeating that the economy is improving. I still get nightmares about previous Presidents who saw light at the end of the tunnel and claimed that prosperity is right around the corner.

Written by slothropia

September 18th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Where Will Progressives Be on Election day?

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They say there are no atheists in foxholes. In the absence of evidence to support it I cannot believe this statement. They (actually Samuel Johnson) also say that the prospect of hanging in a fortnight concentrates
the mind wonderfully. This is true and for evidence view the recent behavior of President Obama and the Democrats.

Collectively (with a number of honorable exceptions), the Washington Democrats have spent the last two years poking progressives in the eye. Now suddenly, with an election disaster looming, the Dems want to buy everybody a drink – even the effing hippies.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

But after alienating civil libertarians by continuing the Bush wiretap policies and not prosecuting war crimes; after alienating economic populists with a stimulus package that was too timid and by giving the economic portfolio to Geitner and Summers (two of many authors of the current depression); after campaigning on the public option and expressing support for single payer and then throwing bazillions at the heath insurance companies; after hearing Rahm Emmanuel belittle the “professional left’ and express an desire to have intercourse with a labor union (eff the UAW), is it too little too late?

Some at least on the (sorta) left are not buying. Chris hedges has a piece on truthdig titled Do Not Pity the Democrats. Hedges thinks the Dems should pay for being too far to the right since Obama’s inauguration.

We will, once again, be bombarded in this election cycle with messages of fear from the Democratic Party—designed, in the end, to serve corporate interests. “Better Barack Obama than Sarah Palin,” we will be told. Better the sane technocrats like Larry Summers than half-wits like John Bolton. But this time we must resist. If we express the legitimate rage of the dispossessed working class as our own, if we denounce and refuse to cooperate with the Democratic Party, we can begin to impede the march of the right-wing trolls who seem destined to inherit power. If we again prove compliant we will discredit the socialism we should be offering as an alternative to a perverted Christian and corporate fascism.

We do not have much time left. And the longer we refuse to confront corporate power the more impotent we become as society breaks down. The game of electoral politics, which is given legitimacy by the right and the so-called left on the cable news shows, is just that—a game. It diverts us from what should be our daily task—dismantling, piece by piece, the iron grip that corporations hold over our lives. Hope is a word that is applicable only to those who grasp reality, however bleak, and do something meaningful to fight back—which does not include the farce of elections and involvement in mainstream political parties. Hope is about fighting against the real forces of destruction, not chanting “Yes We Can!” in rallies orchestrated by marketing experts, television crews, pollsters and propagandists or begging Obama to be Obama. Hope, in the hands of realists, spreads fear into the black heart of the corporate elite. But hope, real hope, remains thwarted by our collective self-delusion.

Up to a point, I sympathize with Hedges. The Democrats remains compromised in their relationship with the nation’s corporate masters and have not earned progressive support. In fact the Party has sometimes seemed to disdain that part of the Democratic party base. Until now, after Labor Day in an election year.

The appointment of Elizabeth Warren, the populist tact on the Bush tax cuts, the attempt at least to communicate with progressives is welcome, but these would have been more welcome and more effective six months or a year ago.

So let the Democrats twist in the wind. Let them learn some life lessons at the hands of the Teabaggers. And there’s the rub. At the very least, Congressional Democrats can serve as a flimsy firewall against the excesses of the sociopathic GOP. So can Obama and the presidential veto. Therefore most on the left – activists, bloggers, people who read The Nation Salon and watch Maddow – will turn out to vote, but in many cases without any great hopes or sense of accomplishment.

As for me and my house, here in Illinois 18 I will probably vote for Democrat D.K. Hirner, as long as I am convinced she would not become a Blue Dog once elected (an admitted long shot this year). But I won’t vote early and often, and I hope there isn’t a Leafs game on Versus that night.

Schock and Bush at the Riverplex

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Early yesterday afternoon I went to the Peoria Riverplex for my semi regular workout. I was a gluttonous pig during the Labor Day weekend and will be working off that karma for quite awhile yet.

When I got to the front entrance I found that the glass doors had been plastered with signs saying that between 3:00 and 6:00 pm, access would be restricted to the track, gym and game room (where they have these nifty exercise video games, like wii and others, that I am far too old to enjoy).

When I checked in I asked about the signs and their meaning. Turns out that the reason for the restricted access was a special event hosted by U.S. congressperson Aaron Schock (R IL). Apparently Mr. Schock has some sort of summer reading program for the youngsters in the fightin’18thand the participants gathered at the Riverplex to be read to by Laura Bush and Schock.

In preparation for the Post Imperial visit by Mrs. Bush, the secret Service was all over the place. There is a 1/8 mile oval track that circles above the gym at the Riverplex that was closed during the event. I went for a run on the track an hour before the event and got the evil eye from a guy in a suit who was up there checking every nook and cranny for what? Dust bunnies? BTW, the French translate dust bunnies as “mouton” or sheep.

And when I left the facility I had to fight my way past what seemed like hundreds of kids and their parents. Which it actually was.

I’m guessing there were no snipers up on the track because the event went off without a hitch:

Former first lady Laura Bush arrived at Peoria’s Riverplex to a room of almost 500 children. These students participated in Congressman Aaron Schock’s summer reading program.

After praising the children for reading 15 books this summer, and reading her children’s book she wrote with her daughter Jenna, the former librarian and teacher answered some personal questions from her young audience.

After all this hullabaloo, Mrs. Bush attended a fund raiser for Schock at the home of the Caterpillar CEO who has a German sounding name I can neither remember nor spell.

Hey, that’s right. This is an election year and Schock is up for reelection. And isn’t this a swell way to campaign? Spend time with children and the ever gracious and elegant former First Lady. No need to get all sweaty talking about jobs and the economy – even though voters are apparently ready to punish Democrats for the lack of jobs and a weak economy.

But then if Schock did get down into the real world he might have to explain the failure of the GOP to offer any solutions to the nation’s problems. I would hope his main opposition, Democrat D.K. Hirner, is going after Schock for his shortcomings as well as the Bush administration’s disastrous handling of the economy and everything else. It is an uphill climb for Hirner, but it’s important to keep making the case against Schock and his party. it will pay off one day, even if it’s not this year.

Ted Koppel Agrees with Me

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In our last episode, I recounted my recent experience trying to get back into the U.s of A after traveling to the failed state and terrorist hatchery of Canada. I suggested that maybe the U.S. is overreacting to the terrorist threat and that some of what the government is doing is counterproductive.

Turns out Ted Koppel agrees with me, though he comes at the subject from a different angle. I was talking about how the security overreaction has had the effect of punishing U.S. citizens and others for the sins of Bin Laden. In this piece, Koppel is concerned with the military and intelligence (sic) excesses since 911. :

The goal of any organized terrorist attack is to goad a vastly more powerful enemy into an excessive response. And over the past nine years, the United States has blundered into the 9/11 snare with one overreaction after another. Bin Laden deserves to be the object of our hostility, national anguish and contempt, and he deserves to be taken seriously as a canny tactician. But much of what he has achieved we have done, and continue to do, to ourselves. Bin Laden does not deserve that we, even inadvertently, fulfill so many of his unimagined dreams.

Koppel is correct about this and about this:

But the insidious thing about terrorism is that there is no such thing as absolute security. Each incident provokes the contemplation of something worse to come. The Bush administration convinced itself that the minds that conspired to turn passenger jets into ballistic missiles might discover the means to arm such “missiles” with chemical, biological or nuclear payloads. This became the existential nightmare that led, in short order, to a progression of unsubstantiated assumptions: that Saddam Hussein had developed weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons; that there was a connection between the Iraqi leader and al-Qaeda.

He is wrong about this however:

While President Obama has recently declared America’s combat role in Iraq over, he glossed over the likelihood that tens of thousands of U.S. troops will have to remain there, possibly for several years to come, because Iraq lacks the military capability to protect itself against external (read: Iranian) aggression. The ultimate irony is that Hussein, to keep his neighbors in check, allowed them and the rest of the world to believe that he might have weapons of mass destruction. He thereby brought about his own destruction, as well as the need now for U.S. forces to fill the void that he and his menacing presence once provided.

This is either naivete or deception on Koppel’s part. Or maybe he is just in CYA mode. The Bush administration knew that Saddam had no WMD, but lied about it to create an excuse to invade Iraq. There is still no consensus about what the true motives were for the 2003 war, but it most certainly was not fear of Saddam and his mighty weapons.

And getting back to domestic security, let us not forget how the Bush administration used terrorism as a political weapon, never mind the consequences for the citizens and the economy of the U.S. or the failure to pay heed to real threats. Sadly, the new regime seems content to continue at least some aspects of the costly charade.

Finally, Koppel is correct when he says:

Through the initial spending of a few hundred thousand dollars, training and then sacrificing 19 of his foot soldiers, bin Laden has watched his relatively tiny and all but anonymous organization of a few hundred zealots turn into the most recognized international franchise since McDonald’s. Could any enemy of the United States have achieved more with less?

Could bin Laden, in his wildest imaginings, have hoped to provoke greater chaos? It is past time to reflect on what our enemy sought, and still seeks, to accomplish — and how we have accommodated him.

Update from the last post: Dr. Peter Watts, referred to in the last post, was convicted on March 19, 2010 of obstructing a Customs and Border Protection officer. In April of this year he received a two year suspended sentence, but of course being such a violent science fiction writer, he can now not enter the U.S.

Also, tomorrow’s On the Media, on NPR, will include a story about suspicionless laptop searches at the border:

On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security over its suspicionless border searches of electronic devices. While the government considers its authority to search laptops and PDAs to be consistent with its power over briefcases and backpacks, ACLU attorney Catherine Crump says that the nature of information on a personal laptop can make these searches unconstitutionally intrusive.

Good luck with that lawsuit, ACLU.

Written by slothropia

September 11th, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Northern Border Follies

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In our last episode, I reported that I was on my way to Canada on family business. My traveling companions and I drove from Central Illinois to Southwest Ontario beginning last Friday at about 5 p.m. We arrived at a little town near Stratford ON at about 6 a.m. EDT the next morning. The only harsh part of the drive was this part of 80/94 near the Indiana/Illinois state line where you go about a 10 mph for about 2 hours. But after that, the driving was good, even though until about midnight the traffic was very heavy. Not surprising since it was the start of Labor Day weekend.

Getting through the Canadian border was a breeze, though I was a little worried that Canadian Customs might be suspicious of anyone choosing to go through at 4 a.m. But no, the nice man just waved us through upon learning we did not have thousands of liters of booze in the trunk.

Fast forward to Tuesday (you really don’t want to hear about family reunions and in laws and stuff). Left small town Ontario at 8:30ish a.m. Goofed around in London ON for an hour or so and got to the Blue Water Bridge from Sarnia to Port Huron Michigan around 11:30 a.m. EDT.

Piece o’ cake so far we all thought (four people, two male two female, one young couple, one couple not so young). But when we got the car in line we discovered that the line was moving verrrrrry slowly. And a bunch of the border thugs – er, I mean nice border patrol DHS/ICE guys were standing together like they were plotting something.

When our car finally got to the booth for the perfunctory interview, the guy looks at everybody’s passports and asks about vegetables and booze and stuff we were or were not bringing back. He was out of questions but he still didn’t wave us through.

Awkward pause.

Finally he said (with a straight face) “The computer has selected your vehicle for a secondary review” or something like that. What it meant was that we had to park the car leaving baggage and cell phones inside the vehicle. We were instructed to take our passports and wallets and money to the administration building.

I thought at that point we would just go inside and wait on the Group Dubbya benches and wait for them to toss the car. But no. Turns out there was a lineup to get into the building, a lineup composed of other hapless motorists waiting to be interviewed inside.

While we waited I freaked. “What if they put me in jail for having prescription drugs?” A fellow passenger thought that the ICE people would steal her antibiotic ointment – legal in Canada but not the U.S. Happily, they did not confiscate any drugs but the anxiety just added to the party atmosphere.

As we waited to be dealt with I observed a curious fact. I seemed that the majority of the people waiting for their third degree were from South Asia. “That’s some racist computer,” I told myself, “randomly selecting all these people from India and Pakistan to grill and humiliate.” Or maybe the computer was racially profiling. I dunno, I’m not a cop.

It’s true. It seemed like a majority of the innocents caught up in whatever sweep was going on were just a little browner than real Americans (sarcasm). But I had no way of quantifying the phenomena nor of calculating the odds in favor of specific ethnic and racial groups being under or over represented in out little sample size.

At the same time I spotted a young blond mother, no more than 30, working hard to keep a similarly golden haired toddler entertained. I noticed as well that the child had bandages on both hands. Maybe it was a computer generated crackdown, for what cold hearted dickwad would so inconvenience such a sweet young family. Btw, I don’t know if there were anyone traveling with this Madonna and child.

In any case we were all in line together, in a sort of vestibule or foyer inside a set of doors but not within the customs and immigration building proper, waiting for we knew not what. Actually, what we were waiting for was the the ICE/DHS people take each carload of pilgrims into the actual customs and immigration building for some sort of intensive interview, at the end of which, if all went well, the happy traveler or travelers would exit the building and continue into the United States of America.

Inside the building were two rows of counters, behind which agents were examining passports and visas, and typing something into computers, the monitors for which were of course invisible to the examinees. Washrooms and a water fountain were situated near the exit door, which was next to where we came in.

So We arrive at the border at 11:30 or so, wait 20 minutes to talk to a DHS guy, then stand in line for about half an hour. Home before dark was getting to be out of the question.

Finally we were allowed into the building and directed to a female agent who had our passports – they had been seized when we handed them over while still in the car. Our interrogator asked questions and typed, but in between questions made small jokes about, um I don’t remember. They were pretty inane and we were all tense and fairly pissed off, so the laughter offered was merely polite. I got the feeling that the agents had been instructed to make jokes and show a sense of humor to in order to keep tensions at bearable level – or something.

Twenty minutes of typing and questions were apparently sufficient, because at the end of that time, our agent informed us that she had enough and just needed to take a quick look at the car. So we got to wait over by the washrooms where there were maybe four plastic chairs to sit on. All the time we were waiting for our agent to finish inspecting our car, there was a very young couple (Caucasian if that matters) waiting as well. Something about their case was taking longer than everyone else. I had noticed them well before our interview began and were still there when we were finally released.

Which we actually were, after our lady agent finished looking at the car and its contents and declared us to be neither criminals nor combatants (not in so many words of course).

Funny story. One of out passengers was suffering from a respiratory ailment and had some nyquilly stuff in the car. After we had driven several hours after leaving the border, she discovered that the inspectors had opened the medicine but not re-secured the bottle cap. So when she went to use it, it spilled allover everything. Ha ha. Those ICE/DHS people sure know how to prank, don’t they?

I have heard people say – on teevee, not in real life, oddly – that they don’t mind all this inconvenient extra security at airports and border crossings if it makes us safe. I have never agreed with that sentiment.Well, actually, I would agree if all this extra security were making anyone safe. But me dumping my shampoo before boarding an airplane, or thousands of innocent travelers interrogated for maybe an hour, neither and none of these measures adds to anyone’s safety. And everybody knows it. And everybody ignores it.

Bin Laden gets a hard on of course whenever the U.S. engages in these empty charades of pretend security. Because its a waste of resources and wealth to conduct them. One successful terrorist attack has caused the United States to undermine its economy with needless and costly security measures that add nothing to security. No need to bomb any shipyards if we will do it for him . Or them.\

I don’t know why security was so tight a t Port Huron the day after Labor Day. Maybe it was the same at all border crossings, or they rotate or who knows. I did not get the feeling it was personal on the part of the border guards.

OTOH,Porrt Huron is where Dr. Peter Watts was attacked by border guards.

And apparently, its not just the U.S. side that seems to be less user friendly. I have heard reports from friends about difficulties faced by professionals trying to enter Canada for work. But I need to investigate that more before I start throwing out definitive accusations of wrong doing or paranoid stupidity.

Bottom line: Both canada and the U.S. have for a long time benefited from an open border. Making it more difficult to travel between the two countries will harm the economies of both and piss off a lot of innocent people. But I suppose that’s all been factored in.

Written by slothropia

September 9th, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Gone Fishin’

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Just so ya know, I’ll be in Canada for the next few days and away from blogging. Semi regular posting will resume on Wednesday, September 8.

Have a great Labour Day everybody!

Written by slothropia

September 3rd, 2010 at 11:23 am

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Toronto Mayoral Race: Rob Ford Wins Crucial Endorsement

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Honestly, I don’t know anymore where the news ends and satire begins (damn you Jon Stewart!).

First, a little background: There are municipal elections in Ontario this autumn, and that means a race for Mayor of Toronto, Canada’s answer to New York 🙂 Among the Candidates are: a former Liberal provincial cabinet minister, George Smitherman; an allegedly left wing city councilor, Joe Pantalone; a business man and political and community big wig, Rocco Rossi; Women’s Post publisher and CEO, Sarah Thomson;and Rob Ford, right wing flavor of the month.

The incumbent, David Milleris not running again, which is a good thing because he has become unpopular. He is or was a member of the NDP so his unpopularity is rubbing off on Pantalone. So who is the current front runner? Why Rob Ford of course. T.O. is going through a little tea party spasm, and Ford seems to qualify as a mama grizzly of sorts (although Ontario only has black bears).

Unfortunately for Ford, a lot of his past statements and actions are on the record and some have been captured by those crack researchers at Wikipedia.

em>Regardez:

Ford and fellow councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, who occupies a neighbouring ward, have often scrapped with each other and these exchanges have made headlines in local newspapers. Controversy erupted when several councillors reportedly heard Ford call Mammoliti “Gino boy” in the debate over the 2002 budget. Mammoliti filed a complaint for the ethnic slur. Mammoliti’s son Michael filed his papers to run against Ford in the 2003 municipal election but withdrew at the last moment. In March 2003, in a debate over the budget of the Toronto Zoo, Ford called Mammoliti, who chairs the zoo board, a “snake” and a “weasel” in council.

In 2002, Ford strenuously objected to the possibility that a homeless shelter would open in his suburban Etobicoke ward. Later in the same year he was quoted while berating an anti-poverty activist, “Do you have a job, sir? I’ll give you a newspaper to find a job, like everyone else has to do between 9 and 5.” In 2005, Ford told a homeless protestor, “I’m working. Why don’t you get a job?”

In 2006, allegations arose of his conduct at a Toronto Maple Leafs game. Two audience members alleged Ford instigated a shouting match. Security at the Air Canada Centre later ejected Ford from the venue. Initially, Ford denied involvement, claiming mistaken identity. The following day, Ford confirmed the allegations and announced his apology to the couple. He cited “personal problems” as a reason for his behaviour.

Further controversy erupted in a Toronto City Council session when Ford argued against the city spending $1.5 million on AIDS prevention programs. Ford stated that “(AIDS) is very preventable,” and that “if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably, that’s bottom line.” With respect to the increasing rates of women contracting the disease, Ford said; “How are women getting it? Maybe they are sleeping with bisexual men.”
Police photo after Ford’s 1999 arrest for drunk driving and marijuana possession.

Again sparking controversy in March 2008, during a debate at City Hall, Ford said “Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out … that’s why they’re successful in life. … I’m telling you, Oriental people, they’re slowly taking over, because there’s no excuses for them. They’re hard, hard workers.” He drew criticism for those remarks from Mayor David Miller, budget chief Shelley Carroll and other councillors.

On August 19, 2010 it was revealed that Ford was arrested in Miami for driving under the influence (DUI) and marijuana possession charges in 1999. According to the statement recorded by the arresting officer, Ford was acting nervous, had blood shot eyes and had “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath”. Ford threw his hands up in the air and told the police officer, “Go ahead, take me to jail.” Until he was confronted by reporters, Ford said that the marijuana charge had “completely, totally slipped my mind” because the more serious issue during that arrest was the drunk driving charge. (A charge which he initially denied, claiming instead he was arrested because he “refused to give a breath sample”.) Ford also admitted to an assault charge he received after a hockey fight when he was 18, but that it was later dismissed.

On August 26, 2010, the Toronto Star reported that Ford had responded to an E-mail inquiry from a prospective voter through the mechanism of a computerised form letter, and when filling out the form letter, apparently forgot to replace a bolded entry field in the second paragraph of the letter reading “Insert vague response on policy”.[

Classy, no?

Again, My understanding is that Ford is leading in the T.O. Mayor’s race, and the news just got better for him. He has been endorsed by Dmitri the Lover. “Who dat?” you say?

Dimitri’s real name is James Sears. A former doctor, Sears lost his license after sexual assault allegations; years earlier, a military psychiatrist determined there was “something seriously wrong” with him. Now, he’s Toronto most visible and most despised pickup artist: when he’s not trawling for women himself, he hosts meetings of the “Toronto Real Men” (“North America’s Only Legitimate Seduction Lair”) and offers “seduction” courses to men that cost thousands of dollars.

That’s who. Here’s is Dmitri’s endorsement (love letter?) to Ford:

Only one procedure can effectively cleanse a chronic infestation from an enclosed cavity,” writes Dimitri the Lover, making a metaphor out of City Hall in a not-even-close-to-civic email to his followers on Tuesday night. That procedure, Dimitri writes, is “A DOUCHE! Ladies and gentlemen …ROB FORD is that DOUCHE!

So take that, Toronto Mayoral candidate’s who are not proctological orifices!!!

Written by slothropia

September 1st, 2010 at 11:55 am