FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY: Entacher

Entacher: Literally, to stain or to mark with a spot.  Is also employed figuratively in the sense of diminishing the reputation or a person or organization, ie to sully, to discredit.

As seen in: « Une première accusation criminelle a été portée mardi à la suite de l’enquête d’Élections Canada sur de présumés appels frauduleux qui auraient entaché les élections fédérales de mai 2011. »

(Translation: “An initial criminal charge was filed Tuesday after the Elections Canada inquiry into the alleged fraudulent calls that are said to have sullied the federal election of May 2011.”)

http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/374699/appels-frauduleux-une-premiere-accusation-est-portee

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COMMENT OF THE DAY: Stephen the Omniscient…

From: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/05/04/pol-robocalls-ip-address-traced.html

According to this CBC commentor, Stephen Harper couldn’t have possibly ordered the Pierre Poutine robocalls, not unless he’s God–or an alien!

Not saying it’s gonna happen, but I would certainly hope that the mandatory minimums for election fraud would be greater than those for marijuana possession.  After all, only one of these crimes harms all Canadians…

Will the real Mike Sona please stand up?

In a bizarre sidebar to their latest story on the Pierre Poutine robocall scandal, the National Post is reporting that someone NOT named Michael Sona is behind the YouTube video “Michael Sona Speaks Out,” which sees our erstwhile antagonist “taking responsibility for the robocalls and promising to get revenge on the Conservatives for firing him by revealing more about robocalls.”  In a truly strange twist, the reported man in question isn’t even Canadian.

According to the Post, the video was made by a University of Florida football fan in Orlando, whose previous work includes a video “that threatened to commit physical violence to fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide.”  Furthermore, it seems that those resourceful Bama backers have identified him as Brett Warren, a 31-year-old currently on probation after being arrested for burglary and three counts of theft of items worth less than $3,000.  No word as to whether those items included a ballot box. ;)

So maybe Sona can’t rap, but next to Stephen he looks awfully slim, and he’s sure got himself caught up in some shady dealings here.  Perhaps he’ll need some peroxide once this all blows over—and then he’d really look the part!

COMMENT OF THE DAY: This Redneck Albertan blames the Reds for robocalling–no, not the Liberals… those dirty Commies!

From: http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120301/ontario-election-robocalls-120301/20120301/?hub=CalgaryHome

The latest twist in the ongoing robocalls scandal saw Stephen Harper go back into his bag of (dirty) tricks and pull out the tried-and-true Conservative tactic of blaming the Liberals.  “I wonder if the reason the honourable leader of the Liberal party will not in fact show us his evidence is it will point in fact that it was the Liberal party that made these calls,” Our Fearless Leader proclaimed in question period, referring to the harassing phone calls that originated from the United States.  On the CTV comment sections, this Redneck Albertan takes things a step further.  He’s not blaming the docile Liberal red, but the most heinous Reds of all—the Commies!

 

And if you call within the next 10 minutes, because we can’t do this all day, we’ll throw in this astounding comment at no extra charge:

 

(This would hafta be the first time I’ve seen the Bachar al-Assad dictatorship referred to as liberal—sorry, fiberal—and I have no prior knowledge of them making robocalls.  Why do I get the feeling that the above commentor has never been to Syria?)

In today’s political climate, it makes sense to revisit Hunter S. Thompson…

Between the vicious Republican primary going on in the states and our Canadian government involved in some nasty spying and dirty tricks that have Bob Rae using Nixon as an adjective, it’s almost like we’ve been transported back to the 70′s.  What better time than to dig out my Hunter S. Thompson anthology, The Great Shark Hunt, which includes excerpts from Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 as well as the Rolling Stone articles Fear and Loathing at the Watergate, Fear and Loathing in Washington and Fear and Loathing in Limbo, the latter three dealing with Watergate and its aftermath.

I bought this book for seven bucks at Powell’s Books in Portland about a year and a half ago, and I had put it down somewhere halfway through the Campaign Trail, not seeing much interest in reading about the 1972 Democratic primary at the time.  That’s all changed in an election year, although it’s the Republicans, not the Dems who are having their primary this time around.  In Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Thompson hitches his horses to George McGovern, a seemingly long-shot candidate from South Dakota who went on to win the Democratic nomination before being thoroughly trounced by Nixon in a 520 to 17 Electoral College blowout.  I think that the last line in the section about his primary campaign on Wikipedia sums it up nicely: “But in the end, McGovern succeeded in winning the nomination by winning primaries through grassroots support in spite of establishment opposition.”

Could Rick Santorum be the George McGovern of 2012?  The conservative Catholic candidate has seemingly come out of nowhere to pose a serious challenge to the front-running “establishment opposition” of Mitt Romney.  However, it should be noted that McGovern’s platform draws more parallels to Romney’s.  While the latter is often accused of being a “Massachusetts moderate,” opponents tried to paint McGovern as a radical in favour of Acid, Amnesty and Abortion.  Did I mention that there was a strong “Anyone But McGovern” movement back in the day, much like we’re seeing with Romney now?

While there are parallels between the losing candidate of the ’72 election and the two leading candidates in the Republican primary, I think that the GOP only stands to get trounced by the incumbent if Santorum gets the nomination.  I feel that he’s just too right-wing to appeal to anyone but hard-line, religious Republicans, and I can’t see too many independent voters flocking to him.  Personally, I could see myself maybe voting for Romney, but definitely not Santorum.  Then again, I don’t get a say either way.  After all, I’m Canadian. ;)

Speaking of Canadian politics, I started reading Thompson’s Watergate-era articles right around the time that Bob Rae invoked Stephen Harper’s “Nixonian Culture” in relation to the robocalling scandal.  I gotta say that the language Thompson frequently uses to describe Nixon would make NDP attack dog Pat Martin blush, and I’m surprised he didn’t get sued for libel.  Then again, Nixon was almost certainly guilty, although he was pardoned of any wrongdoing by his successor, Gerald Ford.  Truth might be a defence for libel in the States, but that’s not the case in Canada, as Pat Martin might be about to find out.  I guess he’ll just hafta wait for Prime Minister Thomas Mulcair to pardon him…

LOL, I couldn’t even say that with a straight face.  But something tells me that Harper won’t get his Watergate moment either.  That is, not unless Michael Soma knows more than he’s letting on

Dayumn.  Where’s Dr. Thompson when you need him?

Dirty tricks!? Robocalls!? Gee, where I have I seen this before?

One common complaint about the Conservatives’ robocalling campaign is that they’re borrowing tactics from the Republican Party.  A quick look at this Guardian article about the Republican primary in Michigan would appear to validate this concern.  Here are a few choice snippets for your perusal:

“Romney used a rare press conference to take a swipe at Santorum, describing him as ‘desperate’ for resorting to what he called dirty tricks in the Michigan primary, where voters are flooding to the polls on Tuesday.”

“Santorum, in an effort to bridge the gap with Romney, has resorted to robocalls pleading with Democrats to come out to vote against Romney because he had opposed Barack Obama’s 2008 bailout of the car industry on which Michigan depends.”

“If Romney was to lose Michigan, the robocalls offer him an opportunity to claim he won among Republicans but lost because of mischief by Democrats, encouraged by Santorum.”

All that’s missing is a reference to Nixon, eh Bob Rae?

COMMENT OF THE DAY: How not to vote for the Conservative party…

From: http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/02/28/guelph-and-everything-after/

The latest on the robocall scandal is that the phone used to call RackNine was registered to a Pierre Poutine of Separatist Street in Joliette, Quebec.  Yeah, that’s not a fake name or anything.  Did I mention there’s a Pierre’s Poutine in Guelph?  The Ottawa Citizen does here.  And Restaurantica gives it 3.5 stars!

That said, the most interesting conversation I’ve read on the topic today comes from a Macleans Magazine blog that does little more than provide a couple links to other stories.  I like how the respondent misconstrued the question here.  Gee, the CPC wouldn’t know anything about that, would they?

 

(What happens if you go to vote after work, though?)

FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY: Fourbir ses armes

Fourbir ses armes: To prepare for war, a battle or confrontation.

As seen in: « Les partis d’opposition à Ottawa ont fourbi leurs armes contre le gouvernement conservateur lors de la période de question pour des appels frauduleux durant les élections en mai dernier. »

(Translation: “The federal opposition parties came prepared for war against the Conservative government during Question Period over the fraudulent calls during the election last May.”)

http://www.branchez-vous.com/info/opinions/evenement/2012/02/le_parti_conservateur_a_triche.html