Barack Obama


I watch the doings in the House of Commons. Question Period. Debates. Members addressing green chairs.  Even when I don’t watch, I follow the pundits on Twitter who live tweet the House and the various committees and press conferences. It’s a good way to stay informed. To know what the government and our representatives – and no, they are not one in the same – are up to.House of Commons

Often they are up to nothing. That is to say, they have work to do, but they err on the side of doing as little as humanly possible for as long as possible. Whether this is good or bad depends on your point of view and who the government of the moment is.

The government of the past eight years has been the Conservative Party of Canada. Not to be confused with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, which exists now only at provincial levels. The Conservatives lead by Stephen Harper are not progressive and find the whole notion of Canada as progressive and terminally left leaning (which it is) something that should be slowly, carefully and methodically excised. If they could euthanize the idea of the common good, they wouldn’t blink while doing it.

So, naturally, when I decided to get my politics back on, I didn’t go with the sitting government.

At first, I scoped out the Greens. Not because I have any natural affinity for them but simply because I could. They exist here as a real political party. In fact, had I the option of exploring the Bloc Quebecois (which only exists in Quebec), I would have checked them out too because I like to be as contrary to the status quo as I am legally allowed.

But the Greens were a no go, sadly, I  cannot lack enough sense to truly buy in. Greens are not practical enough for me and yes, I do believe that one can be progressive and practical at the same time. Greens, however, don’t. Or at least they appear not to and when you try to point out the contradictions between their first world lifestyles and their politics – well, that’s a conversation that has nowhere to go.

Liberals or the New Democratic Party (NDP) then.

And I watched them both in the lead up to 2011.

The NDP emerged, for the first time, as the Official Opposition and the Liberals faced a catastrophic collapse that left them with a mere 34 seats in the House of Commons.

Neither was a surprise.

The NDP had a very charismatic leader, who has since died, and the Liberals were being lead by a Canadian academic who’d spent the vast majority of his adult life living outside of Canada. In fact, he currently teaches at Harvard. More American than I ever was.

I pondered the NDP for a nano-second following their ascent, but I am an Albertan – and my father’s daughter. I simply cannot embrace in your face socialism, or even take it seriously as a good idea, because it hinges on the misguided notion that people will always, or mostly, default to their better instincts and act accordingly, which just isn’t true.

People can and are usually decent, but not when it comes to the common good. This, I think, is because it is difficult for humans to really work up a “give a fuck” about anyone they don’t know.

You will argue with that that this isn’t so.

Look at all the concern for the Gazans when Israel was bombing the crap out of them.

And Israel is still containing the people of Gaza in their open air prison, systematically knocking down their cell blocks one neighborhood at a time. Children are still in danger. Where are the headlines? The tweets? The outpouring of concern? Outrage? Anything?

It’s no surprise. No matter how immediate the various medias make the disasters and tragedies of others seem, inevitably the pull of the reality around us – filled with the family, friends, neighbors and co-workers who make up our real worlds – will be what matters most to us.

Still don’t believe me?

How’s Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine going? It wasn’t that long ago when Putin – not Hamas or now ISIL – was the Big Bad.

What about those poor Central America children pouring across the US’s southern border?

Ebola ravage West Africa?

All horrors have their moment but the moment passes once we get tired of tweeting and liking and the MSM has found a new story to boost the ratings up again once we’ve tired of the current calamity.

Liberals then.

Their Americanized (the kiss of death in Canadian politics) leader fell on his “sword” and resigned after the party’s implosion on 2011.

Just an interesting aside. Here, losing by a big margin means party leadership will be changing hands. It’s a given. You simply cannot lose big and stay on as the leader of your party. Bad form.

The Liberals had an interim leader and then a short leadership race.

Aside again. Most races are short. Even an election takes weeks as opposed to the marathon of months and years that it takes in the United States.

A new leader emerged. Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau’s father was the late Pierre Trudeau who was also once the leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister from 1968 til the early 80’s.

Justin was born while his father was in office, which in Canada doesn’t translate into an inevitable career in politics with dynastic aspirations, but in his case, it has.

Political dynasties, however, make Canadians itchy. After all, we have a Queen and a royal family. We are not keen to crown another or several others.

As I mentioned in my post the other day, I spent some time sizing up Mr. Trudeau. I found him … not blatantly insincere nor idealistically offensive, and he appeared to have some common sense.

He was a teacher. I liked that. Though he didn’t teach very long, which made him a bit suspect and worse, being a Member of Parliament is the only job he’s held for more than a few years. It stunk a bit of Barack Obama, a bad sign.

But he was not Stephen Harper, which is probably the most appealing thing about him. His chief good quality. Followed up with that fact that he seems genuinely committed to staying away from the mud pits of politicking, and since I hate partisan politics and all that goes along with it – I was game.

Canadians are fed up with Harper and Canadians (I love this about them) make it a habit to hand over the keys of 24 Sussex (the Prime Minister’s official residence in Ottawa) to someone new on a regular basis. Prime Minister’s and their parties are like litter boxes in that they should be dumped out regularly to prevent … stinky-ousity.

I joined the Liberal Party a year ago.

I volunteered. I sit/sat on our riding’s executive board for the Liberal Party. I helped with the social media.

Today, I am quitting

It wasn’t one thing. It was a lot of one things.

It was the wishy-washy stance on Gaza over the summer. The lack of detailed policy on just about everything. The infatuation with Barack Obama (and yes, I put up with that from the get go, and you all know me. I loathe Obama and everything he stands for and to hold my nose while his campaign team riff-raff infiltrated and advised Trudeau and his people was difficult. I held me tongue a lot. Yes. Me.)

But this last weekend as the “should we join the new Iraqi war coalition or not” thing began to play out and Trudeau’s tepid performance – and good gawd was it a performance – drove it home for me that I can’t stay a Liberal.

Not officially.

I am still more liberal than not. I absolutely object to the idea that not being socially backward or religiously bent disqualifies me from being practical, fiscally responsible and generally and firmly planted in the realm of common sense. You don’t have to espouse conservatism in order to lay claim to wit.

But, I am simply not a sheep, and I’d have to be a really blind one to stay a member of the party.

Today I followed the debate in the House of Commons on the NDP’s proposed amendment to the Conservative’s Iraq motion.

The Conservatives spouted nonsense mostly, though Laurie Hawn seemed a less ideologically driven yes-man than Pierre Pollivere, who will rot in the lowest level of hell if there turns out to be one.

The NDP, mostly made sense, if moving in a perpetual circular motion in the hopes that others will eventually hop on the merry-go-round with you makes sense.

The Liberals seemed to have left their C team on the floor. I won’t critique them any farther than that.

The vote – on the amendment  – as Canadian participation in the US’s latest mistake in Iraq is a forgone conclusion – will be tomorrow.

The Liberals have withheld their approval, as have the NDP, but I will go out on a limb and say that they will vote with the Conservatives on the overall mission and with the NDP on their amendment, which will probably lose because the Conservatives won’t support it because they don’t have to.They hold the majority of the votes.

And off we will go to Iraq to fight the “war on terror”.

A decade-ish ago when George W. Bush first uttered that mangled bit of English, did you think it would still be hanging about like a stray cat?

Even if Trudeau hangs onto his dignity and votes against the Iraqi action (and I don’t think he will), I am still done.

Because where was our fearless leader today during the debate?

He was attending one of Hillary Clinton’s Canadian book tour stops at Canada 2020.

Seriously. He was.

Took his wife. He gets a point for that.

But much as I loved Clinton back, back in the day. She sold out when she took the job with Obama. She’s tainted and willingly so.

A woman does what a woman has to do to get ahead in a man’s world, but doesn’t mean I have to respect her for it.

Saddens me. Once upon a time, I would have voted for Clinton, but that was when I was an American and younger.

I am a Canadian now. Older. Wiser. And nobody’s sheep.


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facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

In contrast to the 2008 election year, I have barely written a word about politics or the POTUS race here on my blog.

One of the reasons is the fact that I have decided not to vote. After all, I am working toward the disgruntled American liberal’s unicorn known as Canadian citizenship.  In terms of immigration, a person should – in my opinion – be all in or all out.  I am moving towards “all in” and this means I need to disengage from America politically though I concede it is difficult for me not to give voice to my concerns and frustration as I watch the land of my birth spiral down the toilet.

But mostly I haven’t written much because I have Facebook, which makes it easy for me to share, cut/paste and move on.  Writing a blog post requires more of my time because I have to explain my views in my own words where Facebook just needs a link and a blurb.

This morning I shared yet another article stating that President Obama still isn’t hope, change or all that remotely different from Mitt Romney despite the valiant efforts of the MSM (main stream media) to keep actual facts about the man’s first term from a public that it has stirred into an irrational frenzy over vagina politics and health care.

After my husband read the following quote:

“…during the transition itself, Bush’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson offered a deal to Barney Frank, to force banks to write down mortgages and stem foreclosures if Barney would speed up the release of TARP money. Paulson demanded, as a condition of the deal, that Obama sign off on it. Barney said fine, but to his surprise, the incoming president vetoed the deal. Yup, you heard that right — the Bush administration was willing to write down mortgages in response to Democratic pressure, but it was Obama who said no, we want a foreclosure crisis.”

He looked up at me and said, “Is this true? You should really blog about this rather than waste it on your Facebook friends if it is.”

It is true.  The article goes on to state that Neil Barofsky’s book, Bailout, discusses how that tax cheat, former Goldman Sachs employee and now Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, revealed that the foreclosure mitigations were never about homeowners but about slowing down the process to allow banks the ability to slowly absorb the pain.  It was all about financial institutions for Obama – because he was their candidate not yours – before he even took his oath.

Obama the hope and change was only about hope for Wall Street, who backed his horse, and the change has allowed corporations to come to the point that they are at today. A place that allows them to pocket 93 cents of every dollar  as opposed to the mere 63 cents they collected during the administration of Bush II.

That Obama and Romney approach the near twinship on more topics than not was neatly driven home during the third Presidential debate when Romney seconded the POTUS so often it was almost embarrassing, but my Facebook friends, the majority of whom are female, many bloggers and/or political commentators in one form or another, have been drinking so much MSM kool-aid that a person might think they were already living in a Margaret Atwood dystopian novel, have their fingers in the ears or have muted my feed via the “unsubcribe”.

The truth can’t free them because the truth is too depressing to contemplate and they don’t want to hear it.

That they have been duped by yet another male politician who only finds his inner vagina when he needs actual vagina-possessors to vote for him.

If a person stops believing in the mirage the media pushes so relentlessly, the real Obama is not that inspiring. He professes to be in favor of immigration and making things easier for long-term undocumented workers to become legal Americans while sanctioning the aggressive deportation of them.  More illegal aliens – 93% of them law-abiding and productive – have been deported under the Obama regime than any other POTUS.  He’s launched a hard-ass crackdown on perfectly legal under state law medical marijuana businesses and their customers in states like California, for example, despite the fact that he has been an admitted casual drug user in the past and used that admission to sell himself as a friend of medical marijuana to get himself elected in 2008.

His administration has softly and covertly promoted Chinese investment in American infrastructure and actively pursued trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would off-shore American jobs even while it accused Republicans of being the reason so many American manufacturing jobs have disappeared over the last decade.

He favored charter over public schools and the linking of teacher pay to standardized test scores, removed labor protection from the FAA authorization bill, promotes the punishment of whistle-blowers, lied repeatedly about NDAA and has second term plans for expanding his kill or indefinitely incarcerate list over which he, and only he, is judge, jury and prosecutor.

In terms of women’s rights and issues, Obama is no less a man than any other man in Washington D.C., refusing to back Plan B for over the counter until it began to cost him political points with women and then refusing to make it available to teens under 17.  He supports the Hyde Amendment, which means that women who access health care via Medicaid programs have no access to abortion – even if their lives are in endanger.  He’s done nothing about predatory lending practices, which disproportionately affect women, nor has he done anything of consequence to stem the corruption in the foreclosure industry that hits women more than men as well. His amped up drug war and deportation jihad are also “women’s issues” because of the disproportionate effect that he chooses to ignore while touting instead his “johnny-come-lately” stance on birth control access.  Because it’s an election year.  And he crows about a health care act that is losing teeth by the day as employers began to strategically shift to the “part-time is the new full-time job” regime to avoid having to provide health insurance to workers once the HCA kicks in.

In 2008 he decried the Patriot Act, which as POTUS he fought to extend to 2014. He said he’d close GITMO but instead he is having it renovated. He said he’d get the troops out of Iraq, which he did, but only because the Iraqi’s kicked America out when it wanted to leave a few thousands troops behind and expected the Iraqi government to grant them immunity if they broke Iraqi law or … killed people without cause.  Apparently both things were a problem.

One of my Facebook friends responded to the article I posted with the following:

“The final point of this article is to vote for a 3rd-party candidate.  I have done so in the past, and found that my ideological stance did nothing to change things.”

But the point of voting is not to change things as much as it is merely a granting of permission or assent. Voting for X candidate or Z candidate means you are okay with what he/she is going to do and/or has already accomplished, and I find it hard to believe that anyone can be okay with the steady erosion of privacy, civil rights and the wholesale power grab of the Executive Office that includes – but isn’t restricted to – the arbitrary slaughter of civilians in the pursuit of alleged terrorists who haven’t been publicly charged or legally adjudicated.  Fine with that?  Dead children?  Or the support of Al Qaeda groups (the terrorists who supposedly caused 9/11) to topple the governments of other countries like Libya and Syria?

I wouldn’t begin to claim that Romney will be an improvement. He is such an enigma his own party is afraid of what he might or might not do, but knowingly casting a vote for Obama is to sanction all that he has done and all that he plans to do. It’s saying that you totally approve things like murder and skirting the Constitution whenever it is inconvenient.

My father, who died four years ago today, stopped voting for mainstream candidates after casting his ballot for Gerald Ford in 1976, which he did even as he encouraged my 12-year-old self to stump fervently for Jimmy Carter. He was quite proud of me despite not agreeing with me.

From 1980 on, he voted third-party. It was John B. Anderson in 1980 by the way. Unlike me, he went to his grave knowing that he never sanctioned politics that have effectively ruined what little credibility America has left as an actual democracy and plunged it -perhaps prematurely – into its twilight years though arguably that might not be a bad thing for the world in the longer run.  Dad changed nothing in the grand scheme but his efforts locally – through his work in building up a small parish credit union to an independent banking institution that has supported the efforts of thousands in my home town – counts for more than any ballot I ever cast – including the one for Obama in 2008.

Change is local. Your local candidates matter because you can access them, and they are more directly responsible to the people in their community than any POTUS ever was.

A week from this coming Tuesday, you will vote. Although I have promoted defensive and lesser evil voting before – I won’t ever again.  It’s bad for one’s karma, which always circles back at some point and it’s often bitchy when it does.


Senators' party membership by state, since Feb...

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It’s Midterms, people, and though I am not as frenzied as I was for the ’08 POTUS race, I have fears.

Not for me personally as I live in the Canadian Utopia, but for all of you, who should be planning your exit strategies if things go drastically to the right because 2012 is the year the Mayans decided to end their calendar with – just saying.

As I imagine the airways are polluted with negative ads and phones are bombarded with robo-calls, perhaps a good movie is in order. Fave political movies?

Let’s see. This is what Time Magazine thinks:

I’ve seen Bob Roberts, The Candidate, Citizen Kane And Primary Colors. The last is probably my favorite Travolta role ever and the saddest, most apt commentary on the enigma that is Bill Clinton ever.

But I loved Kevin Kline in Dave.

And Michael Douglas as The American President.

I like my politics with a bit of chick flick.

How about you?