Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mid-Week Post

Look under the tree...

Danielle Smith, the leader of the Wild Rose party, now quits it and crosses over to the Conservative Party:

Premier Jim Prentice and Danielle Smith announced the unification of Alberta's conservatives as nine members of the Wildrose caucus were welcomed into the Progressive Conservative caucus Wednesday afternoon.

The PCs stated the party will continue to welcome Wildrose MLAs, of which there are five remaining.

"Throughout my public and political life, I have always believed conservatives should be united in bringing our common principles and combined energy to public service. Today, we once again represent the full diversity of voices and regions from across Alberta ─ north, south, urban and rural," the premier said around 4 p.m.
The MLAs who crossed the floor are: Danielle Smith (Highwood), Rob Anderson (Airdrie), Gary Bikman (Cardston-Taber-Warner), Rod Fox (Lacombe-Ponoka), Jason Hale (Strathmore-Brooks), Bruce McAllister (Chestermere-Rocky View), Blake Pedersen (Medicine Hat), Bruce Rowe (Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills) and Jeff Wilson (Calgary-Shaw).

Smith resigned as Wildrose leader Wednesday morning and the caucuses agreed to unite under a set of aligned values and principles.

"When I became Wildrose leader more than five years ago, I did so with one singular objective in mind: to return to government the conservative values and principles that I had spent my life defending. Under Premier Prentice's strong leadership, I believe we can work together to lead Alberta with a renewed focus on the values and principles that we share," Smith said.

The whole point, one imagines, of starting a new party was to give disaffected voters another alternative. Smith's defection has let those voters down.

The ruble is at an all-time low:

The ruble was volatile in morning trading Wednesday despite the Russian Finance Ministry saying the beleaguered currency was “extremely undervalued” as it announced plans to start selling its excess foreign-exchange holdings. 

The currency USDRUB, -3.27%  dropped as much as 5% against the dollar shortly after the market opened, before it recovered to trade more than 5% stronger. In late morning, the ruble was trading around 68.50 a dollar, compared with 67.50 at the end of Tuesday. Oil prices CLF5, +0.11%  were slightly weaker.

The Finance Ministry said it “considers the ruble to be extremely undervalued and has started selling foreign currency from its balances on the market.”

It should also be noted that Putin has acquired quite a bit of gold.

Obama, while in his last two years in office, has warmed (not unpredictably) to the communist Cuban government:

In a move to wipe away one of the Cold War’s last vestiges, President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced that the United States and Cuba will start talks on restoring full diplomatic relations for the first time in the half-century since the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

Americans voted in this communist twice. Can you believe it?

South Korea needs to get off its @$$, form an alliance with Japan to battle its over-reaching overlord, China (which backs North Korea, I might add) and not let the US (led by a communist) dictate what's what to it:

South Korea will not conduct maintenance of its new fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighters in Japan, a South Korean official said on Thursday, despite a new deal by the Pentagon to service the stealth jets in Asia.

The Pentagon said on Wednesday it chose both Japan and Australia to carry out heavy airframe maintenance for the jets in Asia, given the high cost of transporting jets across vast distances in the region.

Back-stabbing Hollywood is now apprehensive over releasing the movie, "The Interview", over fears of terrorism from the North Korean state:

The controversial comedy The Interview is scheduled for released on Christmas Day, but the threat of attacks on movie theatres that air the film have prompted several chains to scuttle their plans.
Including here in Canada.

Five major America theatre chains have already announced they will not play Sony’s The Interview. And Canada’s Cineplex Entertainment chain now says it will “postpone” showing the video until the perceived danger is gone.

"After careful consideration of this unprecedented and complex situation, Cineplex Entertainment … will postpone presentation of the Sony Pictures movie, The Interview,” reads a statement attributed to company vice-president Pat Marshall.

"Cineplex takes seriously its commitment to the freedom of artistic expression, but we want to reassure our guests and staff that their safety and security is our number one priority. We look forward to a time when this situation is resolved and those responsible are apprehended."

What. Ever.

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