Krauthammer: A Referendum on Competence (5)

An anemic economy and sense of national decline portend a bad Election Day for Democrats.

Is this election really about nothing? Democrats might like to think so, but it’s not.

First, like all U.S. elections, it’s about the economy. The effect of the weakest recovery in two generations is reflected in President Obama’s 13-point underwater ratings for his handling of the economy.

Moreover, here is a president who proclaims the reduction of inequality to be the great cause of his administration. Yet it has radically worsened in his six years. The 1 percent are doing splendidly in the Fed-fueled stock market, even as median income has fallen.

Second is the question of competence. The list of disasters is long, highlighted by the Obamacare rollout, the Veterans Affairs scandal, and the pratfalls of the once-lionized Secret Service. Beyond mere incompetence is government intrusiveness and corruption, as in the overreach of national-security surveillance and IRS targeting of politically disfavored advocacy groups.

Ebola has crystallized the collapse of trust in state authorities. The overstated assurances, the ever-changing protocols, the startling contradictions — the Army quarantines soldiers returning from West Africa while the White House denounces governors who did precisely the same with returning health-care workers — have undermined government in general, this government in particular.

[Good Read]

See Also:

#1 — Health-Care Hell

#2 — The Outsourcing Canard

#3 — New IRS Horror Story Far Worse Than Previous

#4 — Our Make-It-Up World

Watch!

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Afternoon Update October 31st, 2014 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | TransCanada plans new natural gas pipeline for Ontario, Quebec

CALGARY – TransCanada Corp said on Thursday it is planning a new, C$1.5 billion natural gas pipeline serving southern Ontario and Quebec, as it converts other lines to oil service as part of its massive Energy East pipeline project.

[...]

#2 — CTV | Income splitting among new tax breaks aimed at families

The federal government has introduced a new income-splitting benefit for couples with children under the age of 18 as part of a series of proposed new tax measures designed to appeal to young families.

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#3 — Globe | Oil, gas incentives have already cost B.C. $1.25-billion: report

British Columbia’s Auditor-General says doing business with the oil-and-gas industry has cost the province’s coffers about $1.25-billion in royalties even before most of the product has been pulled from the ground.

[...]

#4 — Postmedia | RCMP investigate Redford administration

The RCMP’s Serious and Organized Crime Branch is investigating allegations Alberta’s auditor general levelled against former premier Alison Redford and her administration last summer, a source close to the police investigation confirmed Thursday.

[...]

#5 — Sun | Wind turbines blowing Ontario taxpayers’ money: Report

TORONTO — Wind turbines are sucking money out of Ontarians’ wallets, a new report says.

What Goes Up, a Fraser Institute report by Ross McKitrick and Tom Adams to be released Thursday, makes a number of controversial recommendations to ease the upward pressure on electricity bills.

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WORLD

#6 — BBC | US police killing suspect Eric Frein found after manhunt

A man who eluded capture in the forests of Pennsylvania for seven weeks after the fatal shooting of a police officer has been found and arrested.

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#7 — CNN | Ebola update: Maine can’t reach deal with nurse Kaci Hickox

(CNN) — In the tense standoff between a Maine nurse and state officials, it was a surreal scene.

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#8 — Fox | Colorado election law prompts concerns about voter fraud

Colorado’s new election system is being panned by critics as a “ridiculous experiment” that could lead to more voter fraud — in a year of very tight races with nothing less than control of the Senate on the line.

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#9 — DM | 50,000 sacred objects from stone sculptures to shells found in ancient Mexican tunnel

A sacred tunnel discovered in the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan is filled with 50,000 ritual objects and may lead to royal tombs.

[...]

#10 — WT | Obama official on Iraq: ‘We had to leave in order to find a way back’

The Obama administration’s Deputy National Security Adviser Antony Blinken told a New York City think tank the U.S. needed to leave Iraq in 2011 so that it could return.

[...]

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McInstry: Political class is responsible for Britain’s immigration crisis (10)

No foreign power could have inflicted more damage on Britain than our treacherous political class has done through its wilful demolition of our borders and its aggressive imposition of the dogma of diversity.

Contrary to all the deceitful propaganda about cultural enrichment and economic growth, mass immigration has brought endless abuse scandals, overstretched public services, home-grown extremism, gang violence, falling living standards, racial divisions and ballot box fraud.

We are living through the most profound social revolution in our history.

With more than 550,000 foreigners settling here every year, many Britons now feel like aliens in their own land while the traditional concept of Britishness is rapidly losing its meaning.

[More]

See Also:

#1 — Revealed: UK contributions to the EU have DOUBLED in five years to £8billion

#2 — Ukip The Movie

#3 — European Arrest Warrant rebellion shrinks after Cameron pledges pre-Rochester vote

#4 — No amnesty for Britons who join Islamic State

#5 — UK politicians should have no role to play in Calais

Afternoon Update:

#6 — EU-brokered Russia-Ukraine gas talks succeed

#7 — Civil servants to be investigated for transferring money abroad

#8 — Power rates soared 60 pct in six years

#9 — ECB dons new hat as eurozone banking supervisor

#10 — Europe’s tax haven investments in Africa

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Chafets: White House Netanyahu insults – What a ‘chickens***’ knows about lame ducks

After months of humiliating inaction in the Middle East, the Obama administration has finally launched a full scale attack.

On Israel.

It comes in response to an announcement by Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu that Israel is going ahead with plans to build about a thousand housing units in Jerusalem. In Jewish neighborhoods, yet!

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki denounced this as a “unilateral step” that would prejudice the outcome of talks on Jerusalem’s future. She called Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem illegal and a danger to the moribund American-sponsored peace process.

[More]

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Over 214,000 Doctors Opt Out of Obamacare Exchanges (2)

Over 214,000 doctors won’t participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA,) analysis of a new survey by Medical Group Management Association shows. That number of 214,524, estimated by American Action Forum, is through May 2014, but appears to be growing due to plans that force doctors to take on burdensome costs. It’s also about a quarter of the total number of 893,851 active professional physicians reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In January, an estimated 70% of California’s physicians were not participating in Covered California plans.

Here are some of the reasons why:

[More]

See Also:

#1 — Less than half of doctors in insurance directories may be available

#2 — The spreading Obamacare virus

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Den Tandt: France is looking for a seat at the defence procurement table

PARIS — Europe, led by France, wants a seat at Canada’s defence procurement table. It’s a not-unreasonable request, given that the prize being sought, as French President Francois Hollande prepares for his first state visit to Canada Sunday, is merely a level playing field, as opposed to the stacked deck that has so often characterized this country’s military purchases.

In an exclusive interview with Postmedia News, Hervé Guillou, who heads France’s majority state-owned military shipbuilder, DCNS, said the company is “keen and eager” to begin discussions with Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding, with a view to offering both a design and combat systems for the new Canadian navy, a $26-billion project unveiled with some fanfare by the Conservative government in October of 2011.

“We have no real limits into what we can offer in technology transfer,” Guillou said. “And we can build in fact, completely, this ship in Canada. With any partners that (the) Canadian government would appoint for this program.”

[More]

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Caucus can’t boot Premier Selinger, but he could still fall: Expert

WINNIPEG – Premier Greg Selinger’s leadership remains in question and his demise could come in a number of ways.

There are currently at least five dissidents within his cabinet and multiple NDP party members challenging his leadership – as well as at least 15 MLAs who pledged their support by standing beside him on Tuesday when he announced he was staying on as leader.

Despite that controversy, there’s no formal mechanism for caucus to remove him, Paul Thomas, political studies professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba, said.

A possible, but unlikely, scenario could happen after the premier’s throne speech – which usually happens in November – when the Tories could bring a motion of non-confidence.

If enough runaway members of the NDP caucus joined in, Selinger’s government would be defeated, forcing an election.

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Smith should clean house, advises only Wildrose MLA venturing an opinion

Wildrose MLAs were keeping quiet for the most part Wednesday on the planned review of Danielle Smith’s leadership, but one outspoken caucus member said it’s not Smith who is causing the party’s problems.

Joe Anglin said he supports Smith, who on Tuesday called for a leadership review at the party’s upcoming annual general meeting after Wildrose failed to win any of the four byelections held earlier this week.

But Anglin, who has at times been at odds with the party, said it’s some of the people around the leader, not Smith, who need to go.

He said Smith should “clean house” of staff in the caucus and campaign who helped steer the party towards “failure” in the byelections in Calgary-Elbow, Calgary-Foothills, Calgary-West and Edmonton-Whitemud, all of which were captured once again by the long-governing Progressive Conservatives under new Premier Jim Prentice.

“Clearly we’ve got to change the way we move forward and Danielle has chosen to do a leadership review as the first step and that’s her prerogative,” Anglin said in an interview Wednesday.

“I would’ve rolled some heads.”

[More]

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Lifson: Scott Walker surges to lead in Wisconsin as former colleagues accuse opponent Burke of lying about her career

Scott Walker’s reelection campaign as governor of Wisconsin got double good news yesterday. In the latest poll, done by Marquette University, he has surged to a 7 point lead over challenger Mary Burke. Ms. Burke is heiress to the Trek Bicycle fortune, and champion of the government employee labor unions that resent the need to actually ask their members to join, instead of being able to force them pay dues, as they had done before Walker’s reforms The Real Clear Politics average of polls, still shows Walker with a slim lead of two points, but the Walker trend is unmistakable.

Perhaps even worse news for the Burke campaign comes from some of her former colleagues when she worked at Trek. Her major claim to competence as a Democrat candidate for an executive position is that she was effective in the private sector. The company was founded and built up by her daddy, and is privately held, so there are no public reporting requirements, making evaluation of its and her performance difficult for outsiders. Stephen Gutowski of The Free Beacon reports on the controversy.

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Blizzard: Doug Ford could win PC leadership

TORONTO – Don’t underestimate the power of Doug Ford to win the leadership of the provincial PC party.

Tories at Queen’s Park are abuzz at the prospect of the former Toronto mayoral candidate throwing his hat in the ring.

It would be a seismic shift. He’s a political juggernaut and could steamroll opponents in the leadership campaign.

The weighting system Tories use in ridings across the province gives Ford a massive advantage.

Based on his surprisingly strong showing in the mayoral vote Monday, where he polled 330,610 votes across Toronto, he’d likely win the support of at least 30-35 ridings in Toronto and the GTA.

Ford has plenty of time to make up his mind.

Leadership contenders don’t have to file nomination papers until noon, Jan. 30.

[More]

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Morning Update October 31st, 2014 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Tory turns down Jimmy Kimmel Show

TORONTO — Hollywood has come calling for Toronto’s new mayor.

However, John Tory has said thanks, but no thanks.

[...]

#2 — CTV | Government prepared for possibility of losing refugee health care case

OTTAWA — Immigration officials are working furiously to finalize contingency plans for refugee health care coverage in the event the government loses a court battle this week on how much coverage refugee claimants ought to receive.

[...]

#3 — Globe | Health Canada approves sales of Spartan DNA testing device

A small Ottawa biotechnology company has received Health Canada approval to sell an innovative DNA testing device that will allow quick genetic checks in doctors’ offices or pharmacies.

[...]

#4 — Postmedia | Will booming population mean more trick-or-treaters on doorsteps?

EDMONTON – Many a childhood hour is wasted on coming up with tricks to maximize the haul of Halloween treats — but most adults are more concerned about having enough candy on hand for the hordes on the doorstep.

[...]

#5 — Sun | Ontario makes licence exchange easy for Irish immigrants

TORONTO – Must be the luck of the Irish, because the Ontario government is now allowing drivers moving between the province and Ireland to easily exchange licences.

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WORLD

#6 — BBC | UK ship with Ebola aid docks in Sierra Leone

A UK ship has arrived in Sierra Leone to help deal with the deadly Ebola outbreak in the West African country.

[...]

#7 — CNN | Scientists link 60 genes to autism risk

(CNN) — Researchers have found dozens of new genes that may play a role in causing autism, according to two studies published Wednesday in the medical journal Nature.

[...]

#8 — Fox | Former Marine banned from daughter’s school after dispute over Islam lesson

A former Marine who served in Iraq says he’s been banned from his daughter’s Maryland high school after a heated argument over a lesson on Islam.

[...]

#9 — DM | Police arrest man, 73, over murder of Jean McConville

A pensioner has today been arrested by detectives investigating the kidnap and murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville in 1972.

[...]

#10 — WT | ‘No one has the guts to sell submarines to Taiwan’ as China pressures Pentagon

The Obama administration is backing away from a 2001 commitment to help Taiwan acquire submarines to defend the island from Chinese attack.

[...]

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