Not all about Nigel? (5)

Nigel Farage used to claim he wanted to move away from the idea Ukip was a one-man band which relied on his own personal profile.

But at the launch of his party’s pledge card today, he was photographed in front of no fewer than seven images of himself.

Amid a media scrum, Mr Farage used the event to boast that Ukip is ‘quite reflective of what modern Britain is’, as he called to leave the EU, control borders, spending £3billion more on the NHS, cut foreign aid spending and scrap income tax for the minimum wage.

Ukip hopes to use the election to make a major breakthrough into the Commons, securing enough seats to hold the balance of power in the event of a hung Parliament.

Mr Farage said a strong showing for Ukip at May’s election could boost the calls for electoral reform, which in turn could make his eurosceptics a ‘big party in British politics’.

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See Also:

#1 — Fiscal balance turns negative in February on revenue slump

#2 — Greece to meet creditors to discuss debt reforms

#3 — Searchers forced to build road to Germanwings crash site

#4 — Greece says not backing down on debt relief goal

#5 — Markets look to sentiment reports for Euro gains – Euro Currency update

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MSM Incurious About Harry Reid’s Gym Equipment Accident Story

It has been three months since Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s exercise equipment accident story and he remains blind in his injured eye. So when will Reid sue the exercise equipment company or even mention the brand name? So far nothing solid on this from Reid and the mainstream media continues to remain on incurious mode.

This was particularly noticebable last week when Reid announced that he won’t be seeking re-relection. Speculation again heated up on talk radio and in the blogosphere about this accident but from the MSM…..the sounds of silence. Among those taking note of the strange circumstances of Reid’s accident were Rush Limbaugh and John Hinderaker of Powerline who wrote two articles on this subject. In the large ranks of the strangely incurious is Michael McAuliff of the Huffington Post who back in January noted that Harry Reid Won’t Rule Out Suing Exercise Equipment Maker Over His Injury:

[“Heh!”]

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Republicans see Obama as more imminent threat than Putin: Reuters/Ipsos poll

(Reuters) – A third of Republicans believe President Barack Obama poses an imminent threat to the United States, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A Reuters/Ipsos online poll this month asked 2,809 Americans to rate how much of a threat a list of countries, organizations and individuals posed to the United States on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being no threat and 5 being an imminent threat.

The poll showed 34 percent of Republicans ranked Obama as an imminent threat, ahead of Putin (25 percent), who has been accused of aggression in the Ukraine, and Assad (23 percent). Western governments have alleged that Assad used chlorine gas and barrel bombs on his own citizens. Read graphic here bit.ly/1BQ7g0r

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Brian Jean says Danielle Smith made a decision he would never make

It is the first day in power for the new leader of Alberta’s Official Opposition party and Brian Jean is primed for a fight, taking a hard jab at former leader Danielle Smith.

Jean, a former member of Stephen Harper’s Conservative caucus defeated two challengers to become the leader of the Wildrose Party last night in Calgary.

The party has been without a permanent leader since Danielle Smith led eight other party member across the flood to join Jim Prentice’s Progressive Conservatives. The move decimated Alberta’s Official Opposition.

Jean, a 52-year-old lawyer from Fort McMurray, Alta. is ready to push the party out of the shadow Smith left behind, he says Smith made a decision he would never make.

“I don’t believe in crossing floors, I don’t believe in stabbing your family in the back,” Jean said after Saturday night’s victory. “This is a family, this is my family and I’m not going to betray my family.”

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Provinces to snatch back the bulk of Ottawa’s tax breaks: BMO

Provincial governments are wasting little time snatching back the breaks the Canadian government gave taxpayers.

By the time budget season among the provinces is over, BMO Nesbitt Burns estimates, the provinces will have taken back some 75 per cent of the $4.5-billion in Ottawa’s relief on taxes and fees.

Already, says senior economist Robert Kavcic, the four provincial budgets to date have chalked up more than $2-billion in tax and fee hikes for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

And there’s going to be more, he says in a recent report.

“Most of what Ottawa will be returning to one taxpayers’ pocket, the provinces will take out of the other,” Mr. Kavcic said.

“All told, while Ottawa’s package of tax cuts/benefit increases will come in at around $4.5-billion in FY 15/16, it looks like the provinces will take back about three-quarters of it,” he added.

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Canadians missing chance for cash with medical tax credit

One of the least-used tax credits is also one of the murkiest. But by not claiming certain health-care costs via the Medical Expense Tax Credit, Canadians could be losing big dollars.

“The opportunity to save money is not used…because you’ve got to keep some records and have some efficient way to calculate the deduction,” says John Crawford, chartered accountant and chief financial officer of health insurer Pacific Blue Cross. “There’s a lot of interpretations as to whether something qualifies or doesn’t qualify in relation to the Canada Revenue Agency. Certain items need qualification and certain items are not quite clear. But things that are not claimed can all add up.”

A good example is premiums paid to a provincial health plan. These are not eligible. However, premiums you pay to an insurer through workplace benefits programs generally are.

“Why is one deductible and why is one not? It depends what province you’re in as well,” Crawford says.

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McCarthy: Obama’s Mental Health – A Checklist

If anyone had doubts about the mental health of the president and some of the other more visible people within the Obama administration, there can be doubts no longer. In the past few days Yemen has further erupted into explosive chaos and the long-known but finally admitted facts of Bowe Bergdahl’s desertion were announced. But his spokespersons, Josh Earnest, Marie Harf, and Jen Psaki, with blank, straight faces, still doggedly maintain that that Yemen is a “counterterrorism success” and that turning over five Taliban terrorists of the Taliban’s choosing in exchange for Bergdahl was a wise and wonderful plan.

Like a schoolyard bully, the president continues to find treacherous ways to punish Bibi Netanyahu and Israel in increasingly vicious ways. He has leaked details of Israel’s nuclear program, threatened to circumvent Congress on the Iran deal by going to the UN, and threatened to withhold from Israel needed supplies for its self-defense. Denis McDonough spoke at J-Street and called for, “an end to the occupation,” a wholly inaccurate term for Israel’s existence and present boundaries. Jews around the world have not known such peril since the 1930s.

Many people have written about the president’s narcissism. Some have suggested that he may be a sociopath. There is a checklist, developed by Dr. Robert D. Hare in the 1970s and used around the world to diagnose psychopathy. Dr. Hare would likely admit that it is not perfect but it is widely used in psychiatric settings and prisons to determine if an inmate is safe for release. It may be useful in assessing our president and the people with whom he has surrounded himself.

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Fund: Hillary – The Democrats’ Nixon

She’s secretive, scandal-plagued, and seemingly inevitable.

Ever since Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal broke earlier this month, comparisons between her secretive style and that of Richard Nixon, whom she ironically pursued as a young lawyer on the House impeachment committee, have been frequent. But with Friday’s revelation that she wiped her private e-mail server clean after her records were requested by the State Department last year, the comparisons are becoming more concrete. Washington wags note that even Nixon never destroyed the tapes, but Hillary has permanently erased her e-mails.

Exactly what would a Hillary presidency look like, and could it plunge the nation into another round of debilitating Clinton scandals? That’s a question Democrats should ask themselves before they hand the nomination over to her with barely a fight. Indeed, while a new CBS poll finds more than eight out of ten Democrats want her to run, a surprising 66 percent want to see her run with strong competition in the primaries.

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Morning Update March 31st, 2015 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Wildrose candidate turfed for off-colour wisecrack

CALGARY — If the party wasn’t mad, Albertans should be.

On a night that’s supposed to be about renewal and — hopefully, maybe — the resurrection of the only real opposition threat many Albertans have ever known, the Wildrose Party finds another way to shoot itself in the foot.

[…]

#2 — CTV | Can crowd-sourcing help solve First Nations health care challenges?

VANCOUVER — A long and dark list materializes when tabulating the health problems plaguing First Nations communities across Canada: HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, nutritional deficits, alcohol and drug dependency, suicide.

[…]

#3 — Global | Up to 15 investigators probing Air Canada flight 624 crash site

TORONTO – Accident investigators continued to search for the cause of the Air Canada flight 624 crash in Halifax on Monday morning.

Upwards of 15 Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigators were expected at the Enfield, Nova Scotia airport Monday along with other investigators from Air Canada, the airport, Airbus, Nav Canada, and Transport Canada.

[…]

#4 — Globe | U.S.-Mexico sign climate co-operation deal as Canada stalls on UN emissions bid

The Harper government is temporarily standing on the sidelines as international negotiations ramp up for a United Nations climate conference at the end of this year.

[…]

#5 — Postmedia | Election Moneyball: Trail of donations favours the Tories

The pattern of political contributions made in 2014 shows that the Conservatives are winning the fundraising battle across Canada’s new riding map, suggesting Stephen Harper’s party is en route to another majority government in the next election if votes follow the dollars.

[…]

WORLD

#6 — BBC | Alps crash: Lubitz ‘had treatment for suicidal tendencies’

The co-pilot of the crashed Germanwings plane, Andreas Lubitz, had received treatment for suicidal tendencies before getting his pilot licence, investigators say, but not recently.

[…]

#7 — CNN | Man shot dead at Fort Meade after trying to ram NSA gate

(CNN) — Two men tried to ram the main gate to enter the headquarters of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland on Monday, according to a federal law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. An NSA police officer shot one of the men dead and seriously injured the second.

[…]

#8 — Fox | Commencing jihad: ISIS tweets photos of military ‘graduation’

The black-clad graduates listened intently as speakers inspired them to change the world, but instead of caps and gowns, they wore masks and fatigues, and in place of diplomas, they clutched AK-47s.

[…]

#9 — DM | Move over margarine, now there’s spreadable OLIVE OIL

Olive oil has long been linked with lower levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and a multitude of other health benefits.

And while food companies have attempted to get it into the diets of more people by adding it to margarine, a team of scientists has gone a step further.

[…]

#10 — WT | Arab League to forge NATO-like military alliance of Sunni powers

Seeking to combat threats from Iran and the Shiite rebels it is supporting in the Middle East, Arab leaders meeting in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, agreed in principle Sunday to forge a NATO-like alliance of Sunni powers to engage in regional military action with or without leadership from the U.S.

[…]

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