Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Post

Defying the odds of pollsters and naysayers, Alberta’s long-ruling Progressive Conservatives elected their 12th straight majority government Monday night.

Despite the most contentious election campaign in living memory, the Tories were on track to become the longest ruling provincial party in Canadian history.

Early unofficial results saw the Tories leading 60 seats, the Wildrose following by 20. The NDP was ahead in four constituencies, followed by the Liberals with three. At least 44 seats are required for a majority government.

Both Wildrose leader Danielle Smith and premier Alison Redford won their seats: Ms. Smith will form the official opposition….

Ms. Redford, a human rights lawyer with a plethora of international experience, became the unlikely leader of the PC party last October. She took over from an unpopular Ed Stelmach, who stepped down amid caucus infighting and a spiraling budget deficit.

Since becoming premier, she has been dogged by her party’s record, which includes a long list of scandals, allegations and broken promises.

The most notorious of these was the “no-meet” committee, a pan-partisan group of MLAs who collected $1,000 per month despite not meeting since 2008. Ms. Redford told Tory caucus members who sat on the committee that they had to pay the money back in the second week of the campaign.

I guess one had better get used to the “Red Tories” and their spend-happy ways.

Ontario's minority Liberals will survive Tuesday's crucial budget vote and avoid another election after striking a deal with the New Democrats to hike taxes for the wealthy.

Placing a two percentage point surtax on incomes over $500,000 was a key concession to lock in NDP support, even though the Liberals didn't meet all their demands.

The budget still falls short, but the public is better served by the two parties working together than "chasing votes" in an election, said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

I’m sure what she means to say is that the concession appeals to her more socialist nature. For now.

Remind me again why this moron was let back in.

North Korea’s military Monday threatened “special actions” soon to turn parts of the South Korean capital to ashes, accusing Seoul’s conservative government of defaming its leadership.

The North has for months been criticizing the South’s President Lee Myung-Bak in extreme terms and threatening “sacred war” over perceived insults.

There have been no incidents but the language has become increasingly vitriolic. Some analysts said they believe a military provocation is likely.

“The special actions of our revolutionary armed forces will start soon to meet the reckless challenge of the group of traitors,” said a statement on the official news agency.

The North said its targets are “the Lee Myung-Bak group of traitors, the arch criminals, and the group of rat-like elements including conservative media destroying the mainstay of the fair public opinion”.

It said the actions “will reduce all… to ashes in three or four minutes… by unprecedented peculiar means and methods of our own style”.

Tens of thousands rallied in Pyongyang last Friday, screaming hatred for Lee and calling for his death over alleged insults.

Last week the nuclear-armed North accused Lee of “desecrating” mass celebrations marking the 100th anniversary on April 15 of the birth of Pyongyang’s founding president Kim Il-Sung.

It bridled at anti-Pyongyang demonstrations in Seoul and at comments by Lee and conservative media. These questioned the cost of the anniversary celebrations for a nation suffering acute food shortages.

Lee said the estimated US$850 million cost of a rocket launch intended to mark the anniversary could have bought 2.5 million tonnes of corn.

The launch, purportedly to put a satellite into orbit, was to have been a centrepiece of the celebrations. The rocket disintegrated after some two minutes in what was seen as an embarrassment for the regime.

Monday’s statement castigated Lee for comments last Friday, which urged the North’s new leader Kim Jong-Un to reform agriculture and improve human rights.

It also took issue with the South’s unveiling of a new cruise missile said to be able to reach any target in the North.

This is seen as Kim Jong-Eun’s sabre-rattling and is backed by China, the unaccountable octopus:

Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed on Monday to bolster ties with North Korea and backed its young leader, Kim Jong-un, despite an international outcry over the North's recent rocket launch and the possibility of a third nuclear test by the isolated state.

Hu made the show of friendship in a meeting with Kim Yong-il, the Korean Workers' Party director of international affairs, according to China's official Xinhua news agency in a report that did not mention the rocket launch or a dispute over North Korea's nuclear program.

North Korea has said its failed rocket launch on April 13 was meant to put a satellite into orbit.

Other governments have said it was meant to boost North Korea's ability to make a ballistic missile that could hit the continental United States.

Although chiding North Korea over the launch and its disputed nuclear ambitions, China's ruling Communist Party has stressed its hopes for steady ties with its neighbor, which it sees as a traditional ally and buffer against U.S. influence. Hu stressed that friendly theme to the visiting Kim.

"The traditional friendship between China and North Korea was personally created and nurtured by our two parties' and countries' former generation of revolutionaries, and is our precious common treasure," Hu said, according to Xinhua.

"Constantly consolidating and developing Chinese-North Korean friendly cooperation is the firm and unbending policy of China's party and government," he added.

Hu's comments underscored the extent to which China remains committed to shoring up North Korea, in spite of regional tension over the rocket launch and the possibility of another, third nuclear test explosion by the North.
China joined other powers in backing a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the North's rocket launch and warning it of consequences if it carries out another launch or nuclear test.

But China has repeatedly fended off calls for harsher pressure and sanctions on the North.

North Korea should be dealt with like an errant pet as that is what it with China’s hammy hands on the leash. Why not every time North Korea plays up, its handler, China, gets penalised? Anyone want to relocate a shoe factory to Ontario where the jobs are certainly needed?

Related: Camp 25, one of North Korea's many concentration camps.

“Michelle and I we’ve been in your shoes. Like I said, we didn’t come from wealthy families”
“When we graduated from college and law school, we had a mountain of debt. When we married, we got poor together.”
“Now check this out, I’m the President of the United States. . . We only finished paying off our student loans about 8 years ago”
Obama on young folks with student debt: “I didn’t just read about this. . . when we married. . . we added up our assets and there were no assets”

Obama went to Punahou School, a private school, the fees of which were paid by his wealthy grandparentsMichelle Obama's salary at the University of Chicago Medical Centre was quite a lucrative one even after working part-time.

How are these people hard-up?

And now, enjoy some tea at the Cat Cafe.

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