Sunday, 22 February 2015

Kathleen Wynne, Justin Trudeau and the thrusted penis of power

I nearly wept this morning reading Robin Sears' scathing analysis of the current state of politics in Ottawa and Ontario. Sears used two examples to demonstrate why voters, old and young, are so cynical.

Example A: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's chief of staff is fingered by the province's Chief Electoral Officer for trying to bribe a hard working Liberal to stop him from running against the preferred candidate. (Criminal charges pending.) Example B: The well-coiffed son of a former revered prime minister accepts sloppy seconds from the Prime Minister. Mucho gusto!

As a voter, I'm loving it. I find day-to-day politics exceedingly boring, and I frankly don't care where John Baird hangs his hat.

I'm here for the dirty stuff.

Ontario never, ever, disappoints. And we have David Peterson to thank for all of it. Peterson is the Canadian version of Kevin Bacon. All the shenanigans -- and people -- can be all tied back to Peterson, even Robin Sears who once toiled for Peterson as his man in Hong Kong.

We have Peterson to thank for some of the great scandals and bungles.  Ontario Place, Fridge-gate, Patti Starr. And now he's given Kathleen Wynne the greatest gift of all: Pat Sorbara.

Pat Sorbara once toiled in the office of Shelly's husband. She ate bear paw with the Chinese. She organized and whispered in the backrooms with the best of the good old boys. Now she's taken everything she learned at Peterson's knee and smeared it all over Kathleen Wynne like cream cheese on a lox bagel.

It's what happens, you know, in politics. Some people leave and grow consciences and make money, like Robin.  Other people can't seem to manage it in the private sector. So they hang around and begin to smell bad. After a time, like many old pros, they begin to develop political amnesia. They might have read the rule book back in the 80s, but it's soon been forgotten amidst the thrill of using the thrusted penis of power.

Given Wynne's trouble, Justin Trudeau might prove to be a genius after all.

He may have been right to turf all and sundry political veterans from his team. Names like David Smith, Gordon Ashworth, Terry Mercer have all been scrubbed from the walls at Liberal Party HQ. The good news is that Trudeau's team may be political dementia-free but the bad news is that it leaves a vacuum on the team which needs to be filled by someone. So I guess that explains why Eve Adams, is to Trudeau at least, seen as a good catch. She has absolutely no links to Liberals whatsoever, so she is perfect for his new-fangled team: devoid of any loyalty whatsoever, willing to use her Jimmy Choos' to step on anyone to do his dirty work, certain to spill the guts of Stephen Harper all over the floor.

Trudeau may, indeed, be offering Kathleen Wynne a solution to her current dilemma. She will be looking for people to fill in the blanks of her office when she has to turf David Peterson's sloppy seconds. And there are plenty of federal Liberals out of jobs thanks to Justin. And old Liberals have to work somewhere, right?

Perhaps this is all some grand Liberal strategy, wherein the Liberals take a page out of the playbook of, say, Twin Peaks or the X-Files. Hmmmm, maybe the Twilight Zone.

In the meantime, we lovers of As the Political Stomach Churns, can't wait to see what will happen next.


Monday, 16 February 2015

Family Day is the Stupidest Holiday Ever

Family Day is the stupidest holiday ever.
It only makes sense to skiers and provincial civil servants.
Teachers, maybe.
But for the rest of us, Dalton McGuinty's legacy is nothing more than a huge pain in the ass.
You can't buy groceries. I hate any time I can't buy groceries.
You can get your mail delivered, but you can't get your drink on.
The kids are off school, but you have to work.
It's a babysitter's dream; a parent not so much.
Those of us who work on Family Day can't get anything done. In my case, I work with doctors and their associations from across Canada. The doctors are at work, a lot of them, but the associations have the day off -- in Ontario.
I can't take the day off because the rest of Canada doesn't have the day off.
So it's a kind of damned if you do, kind of holiday.
Aside from the huge inconvenience, Family Day falls on one of the coldest days of the year.
That means it's too cold to take the kids anywhere other than to the movies or the mall. Ooops! Not the mall cause the stores are all closed.
So the parents who do take the day off have to listen to screaming rugrats and indoor fights or spring for a new video game for the PS4.
Family Day is expensive.
Sure, you can take them to the museums in Ottawa. Again, ca-ching.
Anyway, I don't have school aged kids, so I don't care about all that.
But I do care about my gym and it is full of little ankle-biters. The pool is full of peeing, pooping, farting little tykes, so I'm not going near it until next week.
That's why I'm here at my computer, talking to you, you who work for the federal government, you who run a daycare, you who have clients NOT in Ontario.
How's Family Day going for ya?
Passive-aggressive, that's what it is.
Thank you, former Premier McGuinty.
I will think of you today when I don't get my emails answered.


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Is Eve Adams "Oakworthy"?

Former Conservative pop tart Eve Adams is working closely with her arm candy, Dimitri Soudas, on a plan that will prove to Oakville Liberals that she is indeed "Oakworthy".

We have learned here, exclusively, that the love birds, who are now being called DimEve by affectionate Liberals, are in talks to put a strip shopping mall on the very site of Dalton McGuinty's failed gas plants as an olive branch to the well-heeled folk whose mansions buffer the stink fest that is Lake Ontario.

The mall will be aptly called All About Eve and will include many exclusive boutiques where Oakvillians can get their hair and makeup done at ridiculous prices and have their cars lovingly washed and detailed using Argon oil and sea sponges while they wait. It's not just for the ladies; there is also a Hair Club for Men!

Eve's campaign headquarters will be run in a prominent piece of real estate in the centre of the mall, proving once again that she is, indeed, the centre of her universe.

"I'm really hoping that some of the other Liberal candidates will come and experience All About Eve," said the candidate herself on a call from a spa in Colorado. "Good, Lord! Have you seen some of those women? They could certainly use a little Botox in their lives!"

Should her bid for office fail, Eve is already planning her next move.

She is in talks with Andy Cohen to produce a Real Housewives of Oakville series which will run on a new specialty channel which will replace the Sun News Network.

"I'm hoping I can do both," Eve chirped over Skype. "I've been a Cabinet Minister, well, sort of, and I know there's lots of down time in those jobs. Justin (Trudeau) has promised me a position that would mean I would have plenty of free time. Something like Health. I'm not really sure. Maybe Revenue. Personally, I'd like National Defence, but he says he doesn't want me near any of those soldiers who are, you know, sick in the head."

As for Dimitri Soudas, he has landed a job in the Parliamentary barber shop shining Liberal shoes and is just waiting for the campaign to get under way.

"I simply can't wait," said Soudas who famously was canned from his job for spending too much time polishing Eve's shoes. "Justin is a remarkable man. He's handsome, he's perky. He's just what the doctor ordered after working for Herr Harper."

Soudas is also writing a tell all book about Stephen Harper entitled, The Devil is in the Details, a work that is planned for a pre-fall election release.

"It's my Valentine to Stephen whom I always considered a father," said Soudas with an uncharacteristic grin. "Daddy Dearest."

And now, this....


Friday, 13 February 2015

Justin Trudeau and Harper's sloppy seconds

As a woman, and as a sometime Liberal, Justin Trudeau has just stepped on my last nerve.
By embracing Stephen Harper's sloppy seconds, Eve Adams and Dimitri Soudas, and bringing them into the Liberal fold, he has created a party that is both undemocratic and a laughing stock.
Libs are well known for parachuting in tainted meat as a cynical means to an end. (Who can forget Jim Coutts?) It seems to be the inherent right of the leader to step on and over people who have worked hard to get a nomination. But this.
This is beyond anything I've ever seen before.
It's not like Eve Adams was a prized catch. She and her little henchman were turfed from the party they claimed to dearly love for electioneering regularities.
Plus, her Diva behavior, disrupting the lives of little people who just want a bit of gas cause her car wasn't clean enough, I mean...imagine what she would be like as a CABINET MINISTER!
Justin, I need a bigger car. Justin, I don't like my office. Justin, there is dog shit on my shoes, lick it off!
What exactly do Liberals get in this deal with the devil?
A little dirt on Stephen Harper?
If they want dirt on Stephen Harper, they might as well have invited Frank publisher Michael Bates in for a little talk about his election prospects.
This is not the kind of scenario I want to read about in the morning paper.
I want to believe that Justin Trudeau is focused on policy not Botox.
Besides, I've been around politics long enough to know not to trust a turncoat.
Even Bob Rae couldn't explain to Liberals, or the electorate, how he got to be a Liberal after screwing up Ontario as an NDP premier!
I want to believe that candidates actually believe in the policies they are flogging, that they have a philosophy that matches the party playbook.
Instead, we get Eve Adams who has been a Tory since she was 14 whipping her blue dress off and putting on a red sash. In other words, she seems to believe that a person can change their political stripes as quickly as they can get hair extensions.
Attention, Justin Trudeau. You better come up with a few better plays before the election or even Mike Duffy won't be able to save you.

Read the Bible. See what can happen when you get mixed up with the wrong, um, pair.


Sunday, 8 February 2015

Brian Williams: The Brother Glib

Let the eggs be cast.
It's bad enough that NBC anchor Brian Williams "misremembered" the fact that he wasn't riding in a helicopter that came under fire.  But he couldn't even manage a sincere apology to the people who were there.
I have questions, so many questions.
How is it even possible he was allowed to fib about his whereabouts for a decade, particularly considering the event took place with witnesses everywhere?
When he first told the story, didn't he think "hmm, maybe I'll be called out for bullshit?"
And as he continued to embellish, going from a passenger in the follow helicopter to the pilot, didn't he think "well, maybe that's stretching the nose a bit too far"?
Evidently, his hubris and delusion knows no bounds.
Clearly, Williams can no longer find the demarcation line between the truth and a lie which is an odd landmine on which to sit if you're trying to be the voice of reassurance and trust.
Maybe his head exploded, as he snuggled with his daughter watching her performance in Girls, the one in which she had a man licking her up the backside while she purred softly. I cannot even imagine the supportive conversation, but it might have gone something like this:
"Hey honey, that was tremendous, especially the way you arched your back so perfectly. I give you tens all round."
Williams has morphed into some kind of creature that is akin to a Muppet animatron, with that staccato deliver. Bam, bam, bam, bam, the kind they teach in broadcast school in America, the delivery that is void of any kind of sincerity or emotion.
You'll never see Williams emulate Walter Cronkite, who famously took off his glasses as he shed tears for President Kennedy. Williams has capped teeth, hair plugs and Lazik. Probably Botox and filler, too.
See for yourself. His face doesn't move.
Clearly, Brian Williams is the kind of guy who shoves another into harm's way if he messes with his closeup.
He is the cowardly lion without a heart, a man who is so deep up his own ass that he cannot empathize with the suffering of others, or put others first in his race to the finish line.
The real puzzler is his misremembering.
Part of the job description of a news anchor is to have a near perfect memory and an encyclopedia brain full of facts, figures and events that put everything in perspective.
So how can we trust a man who can't remember where he was when the bombs went off?
If he's having a senior's moment, then he needs to be put out to pasture.
If he's simply a blowhard, he needs to be fired.
It's probably too late to save his reputation.
Brian Williams has already had his Breaker Morant moment in the court marshal of public opinion.
If NBC doesn't get rid of his ass, it's time for us all to switch the channel.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Sandie Bergen: Imagine Dragons

My childhood friend, Sandie Bergen, died two days ago, the victim of a drive-by set of brain tumors that she only learned she had three weeks ago.
The neurologist had concluded that she'd only recently developed three massive and horrible tumors in the days around Christmas. Those tumors plumped up her brain and caused her to forget things and to fall down, and that is the reason for her visit to the hospital, her Green Mile visit which involved MRIs and, ultimately, a biopsy which resulted in a brain hemorrhage from which she never recovered.
Sandie, for her part, had been optimistic going in.
"We're going to fight this," she told her husband, Charlie, the love of her life, the former Vancouver volunteer Fire Chief. The kids put up a friendly wall hanging in her room. They knew it wasn't good. They prayed for the best.
But shit happens, as Sandie might have said. Shit happened, indeed with a tumor that burst taking away her from her life, her family, her friends and the  many fans of her fantasy fiction series.

I knew Sandie in high school, I think I might have known her in public school. The 58-year-old brain plays tricks. I knew that I loved her as a friend; I remember her as a person who had a touchstone quality to her. Always up, always engaged, always a warm soul.
I've asked my high school friends to post their remembrances of Sandie. And I ask, too, for others to post in this space. They are all crying tonight. Wayne and Barb and Wendy and Ed, all of us who formed The Geek Squad at West Park Secondary School, all of us square pegs who belonged to the Audio-Visual Club. Sandie was there, front and centre, sporting the first pair of green contact lenses -- God, we were impressed by that -- a present from her dad, the optometrist.
She always had a book on the go, she was fascinated by video games and J.R.R. Tolkien which led her to publish a successful number of fantasy fiction titles.
Sandie had fans everywhere.
I believe that if she had lived, she'd have been a fixture at Comicon gatherings around the globe.
It was not to be.
God gave Sandie only so many heart beats, only so many words to put onto pages.
She was a bright flame burned out too son.
Her family holds her memory tight, and we, her high school friends, we now worship her from afar.
But the good news -- if there is any -- is that her spirit lives on in her many books and in the eyes of her children.
Sandie Bergen had a legacy
She will be remembered.
And we will remain, forever sad, in the news of her passing.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Attention Target Shoppers: I'm Nick from Target's mom and I'm packin'

My son Nick came home yesterday after an exhausting day dealing with jerks and morons who are salivating over the deals they are expecting as Target Canada closes.
"I came up with a good line," he said, whipping off the Target badge that will soon be memorabilia.
"Adults can only be served if accompanied by children."
He and his girlfriend both work at Target. They lost their jobs a couple weeks ago and, in spite of that, are still being good soldiers, showing up on time, not calling in sick.
In turn, Target has rewarded them by giving them work loading and unloading trucks because the heavy lifting staff has been let go. They have been told if they don't show up for work, they'll be let go with no severance. It is, after all, up to Target to determine when the axe will fall on their poor young heads.
Some of the managers at Target walked away with a cool $11,000. Others will get nothing. The worker bees will get nothing except for the scraps they are currently being fed.
They've even had their employee discount cards ripped from their cold dead hands.
Meanwhile, Target shoppers are making things a whole lot worse.
They are lecturing and hectoring the poor staffers, and offering lots of opinions on why Target Canada bit the dust. They are tying up these poor workers with mundane questions about the deals that are available. Word, people, you get 5% off Apple products! A lot of stuff won't be going on sale because the vendors -- people like book writers and sellers -- are taking their merchandise off the shelves lest they be paid fire sale amounts.

The deals will be on the shelves with stickers. Look before you query. Leave the poor staffers alone.
In other words, go ahead, open your wallets but keep your mouths shut.
It could be you, you know, so don't be in such a hurry to abuse the poor people who are too busy liquidating Target to look for jobs.
Jobs? What jobs?
Sears offered to hire some of them in six months, but I believe I heard somewhere that Sears is moving out of Canada.
They can forget about an exciting career in banking, too. Layoffs are happening there, even though the banks are continuing to realize record profits.
The only recourse for many at Target is to go back to school.
And the federal government, Gawd bless it, is giving them that opportunity if they are on EI. That's swell, I suppose, living on scraps in your mother's basement, while taking up some sort of trade that the Harper government deems worthy for you. (Ma, the meat loaf!)
I suppose it's something.
Remember Target shoppers that the close down of this once well-intentioned American giant affects more than the 17,000 people who are out on their asses in a couple of weeks time. It affects people like me who look forward to rent from the youngins living downstairs.
I will be subsidizing them while they go to refrigeration school or while  they get diplomas in dirty Harper-supported, environmentally-unsound careers. So I have a stake.
I have to listen to the Target employees crying in the basement.
I have to buy milk for my granddaughter.
I have to give them bus money.
So, please rewind and be kind.
Don't let me come over there.
I'm Nick from Target's mom and I'm packin'.