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Speaking of polls, how about some US ones?

It is generally thought that Clinton needs to win by 20 points in PA to make a noticeable dent into Obama’s lead of delegates. Rasmussen’s polling today shows that Obama has pulled to within 10 of Clinton. Some of that could be attributed to Obama’s speech on race-relations last week, some of it could be blowback on Clinton for exaggerating her sniper fire story in Bosnia a couple of days ago. North Carolina also shows a big swing back to Obama in this poll, where he went from a one point lead back to a 21 point lead:

Obama leads Clinton 55-34 in the state. His gains were particularly strong in the Triangle, the media market where his major speech on the war last week in Fayetteville got the greatest amount of attention. Obama also pulled within a 47-40 margin of Clinton with white voters after trailing Clinton 56-30 last week, an indication that his speech on race in Philadelphia last week may have earned him some points.

May I again repeat that Clinton is for all intents and purposes done, particularly if Obama is indeed closing on her in Pa and continues to pull away in NC. She can’t win the nomination now without a super-delegate coup, which would split the party into DLC and DFA factions (which might not be a bad thing long term if it were to lead to the creation of a couple of centrist and liberal parties, but it would scupper the Dems for winning the presidency this year), and if she gains no real delegate advantage in PA, the continuation of her race is pointless, unless it’s designed to be a scorched earth policy to ensure it destroys Obama’s chances in the general presidential election.

UPDATE: One columnist says (even before all these new polls came out) Hillary’s chances of winning  are now down to 5%. Take that for what you will but the media narrative is definitely turning against her big time, and for what result? According to the columnist, this:

For three more months, Clinton is likely to hurt Obama even more against McCain, without hurting him against herself. And all this is happening so she can preserve that 5 percent chance.When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness.

Another poll…

….another deadlock:

The survey, administered March 18-20 by Ipsos Reid, showed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and the Liberals led by Stéphane Dion are in a virtual tie in public support. The Grits, with 33 per cent of the decided vote, were up two points from a previous poll conducted March 4-6. The Tories remained at 35 per cent. The New Democratic Party moved down two points to 13 per cent, and the Green party had eight-per-cent support, down one point. Seven per cent of Canadians were undecided.

With the polls remaining close, you must wonder why Jim Flaherty and the Conservatives continues their unprecedented assault on Ontario and its Budget plans. In a deadlocked country, it should be rather obvious that you need to keep your Ontario seats to retain power, and expand them to get a majority. Continuing to diss Ontario when 2/3 of those polled here say they pick Mcguinty’s view over Flaherty’s (knowing full well how much of a disaster he was when he was Ontario finance minister) puts you at risk of losing most of your suburbia seats here.

Perhaps the Flaherty/Harper strategy is that they feel bashing Ontario will get them votes and make up seats elsewhere – but I have my doubts that strategy will work. The other reasoning is they’re trying to make McGuinty’s government a scapegoat for the economic downturn that is coming that won’t be helped by their failed federal policies — that probably makes more sense to me. The Conservatives have invested in blaming everyone else but themselves for problems that have popped up during their tenure, so this would follow that pattern

Actions have consequences, Part 2.

There’s been a lot of blogging and blogpieces done today on Kate’s latest loathsome blogpost at Small Dead Animals and whether it warrants Stephen Taylor removing or suspending her as a Blogging Tory affiliate from his group.

A few thoughts:

First, I liked Jeff’s blogpiece best of all the ones I read, since it shows how Kate and Kate’s Cult are being hypocrites on defending what she wrote, when she and they were decrying similar (but a lot more tame) stuff a couple of years ago (one word of advice to Jeff: I’d advise getting a screenshot of the link that you quoted from there. Incriminating or embarrassing blogposts tend […]

Actions have consequences.

In this particular case, the decision of the Liberal strategists and the Nervous Nellies to persuade Dion to abstain from voting down the Budget is the action. The consequences are that the Conservatives are emboldened by this to stick controversial immigration reforms, which asks Parliament “to relinquish its decision-making power on immigration policies to a single person – the (Immigration) Minister” into the budget implementation bill, meaning that it will be considered a motion of confidence to try and defeat this.

Speaking of the reforms, this is a draconian piece of legislation that Diane Finley (the Immigration Minister) and the Conservatives are proposing. Passing this bill has its own consequences:

The bill would allow the minister to discard applications from specific countries, reject applicants who otherwise meet all immigration criteria, and accelerate some applications, allowing queue-jumping. Worst, applicants couldn’t appeal. Lawyer Lorne Waldman said the approach goes against the points system that was introduced in the late 1960s to make the system non-racist and accountable. “This new change will undo all of this by allowing the minister to override the established criteria by directing that whole categories be not processed and by giving the minister the power to direct that applications be processed despite them not meeting the objective criteria,” Waldman warned. The bill could also terminate the processing of humanitarian applications from overseas and limit the number and type of applications each person could file.All these scenarios could happen via “minister’s instructions” that circumvent the traditional process of public consultations, parliamentary committee reviews and oversight, critics charge…The current law obliges the immigration department to consider, process and decide all applications to ensure every foreigner who meets the requirements is entitled to enter Canada. The new provisions give the minister the right to discard applications or retain them permanently – allowing the department to chop the backlog with no legal consequences.

It’s rather telling that the Conservatives would slip this into the Budget provisions rather then bring this forward as a separate piece of legislation on its own, because they know it would probably be defeated or heavily amended if it was, and they’re also aware that the Nervous Nellies hold the most sway in the Liberal caucus right now. Perhaps the Liberals feel that they can afford to wait on this and repeal it when/if they are elected back to power, but as Steve says, this issue could be a trigger for an election if the Liberals want it, as they would certainly be on the same side of the issue as their traditional allies in the immigrant communities, who are urging Dion and the Liberals to vote this down, even if it forces an election.

The Liberals keep saying they will go to an election at their choosing, not Harper’s. On an issue like this which the Liberals have always been strong on, I believe this could be the issue of their choosing, if they have the political will to do so.

No guts, no glory. No risk, no reward.

It’s a good thing Brenda Martin isn’t imprisoned without charge in Greenland..

…I mean, there would be no excuse for Helena Guergis to use to travel there so she could get some sun and vacation time in, rather then visiting a Canadian who’s being held in a prison without charge. This is the same Helena Guergis who breached Dion’s and Ignatieff’s security by doing a partisan attack on their visit to Afghanistan and blowing their cover when she revealed where they were going to be before they had reached the destination – a security no-no. She’s just put on display more of her incompetence and worse, her utter disinterest in a Canadian’s fate (though she obviously did enjoy the socialite scene down […]

China, Olympics and boycotts

As we see more news stories today of China sending in more troops to try and quell Tibetans, and we also see evidence that they  are doing a preventative crackdown on other minority groups in order to stop them from joining in on the protests, I think I’ve come to a personal decision on my earlier question about whether Canada needs to do to show China we disapprove of their behaviour. I believe we now do have to send a signal.

A boycott of the Opening Ceremonies is at least one thing we can do – the European Union has talked about doing this – but if the repression gets worse, and/or we see the Chinese killing demonstrators or executing them, I think nothing less then a full-fledged boycott will suffice.

The Democratic “race” is over for Clinton..even her campaign admits it.

My rebuttal to Steve’s post and others of like mind, or who are overwhelmingly or over-the-top Clinton partisans who somehow think that Clinton still has a snowball’s chance at winning the Democratic campaign is this column underlining why she won’t win. In this column, after a list of reasons is given why her chances are slim, we see that her own campaign operatives  don’t believe she’ll win either:

As it happens, many people inside Clinton’s campaign live right here on Earth. One important Clinton adviser estimated to Politico privately that she has no more than a 10 percent chance of winning her race against Barack Obama, an appraisal that was echoed by other operatives…Her advisers say privately that the nominee will be clear by the end of June. At the same time, they recognize that the nominee probably is clear already.

Want more evidence of the Clinton campaign in trouble if you don’t believe her own operatives? How about the fact her campaign is now essentially in the red?

Some folks love a good horse-race; others just plain dislike Obama. That doesn’t change the facts that Clinton can’t win this race without a massive intervention by the superdelegates – which would tear the Democratic Party apart. That doesn’t seem to concern her or her supporters however. Hopefully the Supers will come to their senses, see what is going on, and give their endorsement to the acknowledged front-runner who has won more states primaries, more state caucuses and more popular vote – that would be Barack Obama – and allow him and the Dems to take on the real enemy, which is John McCain and the Republicans.

Is George W. Bush the worst president ever?

That’s sort of like asking whether the sky is coloured blue or not, isn’t it? But, that’s what Thomas Walkom asks this morning anyway, and then goes on to seemingly answer that question by calling Bush a “unique and unmitigated disaster”. I think most people who aren’t Rush Limbaugh listeners would probably agree. Obviously, some of the other really bad Presidents Walkom lists are hard to compare to Bush to make a proper historical context, but when you see that he combines the failings of several presidents into what he’s done during his tenure, it’s hard to argue that he’s not #1 in that list.

The only thing that might […]

The Supreme Court of Canada agrees to rule on Gitmo’s legality under international law.

Well, this was rather unexpected and big news this morning. This is a front page story in the Toronto Star in today’s edition. As you might know, Omar Khadr is the last remaining Westerner to be held in Guantanamo. He has been held there since 15, without charge or trial – for 6 years. Khadr’s lawyers are already going to be arguing this week in court whether or not they are allowed to gather evidence from the government of Canada that could help in his defence at Guantanamo, and whether or not Canadian officials who travelled to the base to interrogate him in 2003 and 2004 breached his constitutional rights.However, […]

Stockwell Day: Standing on Guard For Thee.

Don’t you feel safer knowing that Stock Day is the guy in charge of Public Safety in Canada? No?

You have good reason not to. He can’t even keep top secret blueprints of the building which will hold the new counter-terrorism unit from being thrown out in the garbage – unshredded – by his own Department, by the Dept. Of National Defence for any random person to find:

Mr. Day was asked Thursday about the 26 blueprints, which the Ottawa Citizen said were found March 13 by an Ottawa couple in a pile of garbage on Bank Street.The documents, stamped with Department of National Defence markings, show the floor plan for the new home of the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit at CFB Trenton, Ont., and include sensitive details such as the location of security fencing, the electrical grid scheme and details about the sewer system, the newspaper reports.

But never fear, Stockwell Day is here:

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day says he has “great confidence” in government security measures in Ottawa… “We have a very secure parliamentary precinct,” he said.

Well, that makes me feel safer already. Thanks Stock for putting my mind at ease, both about the security of the place, and your ability to lead the Public Safety Department and protect all Canadians (not).

(By the way, does anyone else refer to the area around there as a “precinct”? That conjures up the image of the place having police buildings surrounding the place, or something)

[email protected] 4:06pm: I had a little discussion with Kady O’Malley of Macleans who’s based in Ottawa. She does say that the precinct is an actual term, but if these documents were found where the various reports say they were – Bank St, Glebe District, 15 minutes walk from downtown Ottawa – Kady says those documents in that location is not remotely close to the “parliamentary precinct”. So, while Stock assures us the parliamentary precinct is safe, unfortunately the documents were found outside of said “secure parliamentary precinct”… so I’m not sure those assurances of Stock make me feel any better.

UPDATE [email protected]:22pm: I should also be giving raspberries to Peter MacKay, since he’s the head of the Department whose employees decided that since there wasn’t a shredder nearby, throwing it out in the garbage would be fine. I just found Stock’s reassurances on how secure the parliamentary precinct was to be amusing – even more so now that we find the documents weren’t even located there.. so he was either clueless where the documents had been discovered or else was well aware, and throwing out a red herring (or both).

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