Henninger: The New Stupid Party (5)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaigns for a fellow Democrat, Oct. 28. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democrats call Republicans the stupid party. But now, there’s dumb, and dumber.

A constant of political life has been that there is only one “stupid party” in America—the Republican Party. Then one day you get out of bed, look out the window and what do you see? Democrats. The Democrats are turning themselves into the new stupid party of American politics.

In the liberal pundits’ telling, Republicans are the party of the yahoo heartland, the anti-abortion religious right and the anti-government tea party. The stupid party.

Of course this is a caricature. Besides, none of this bad-mouthing matters unless too many average voters conclude that a weird political fringe now represents the party’s core.

Which brings us to the Draft Elizabeth Warren movement.

Last week more than 300 former Obama staffers signed an open letter urging the famous Harvard Law School professor to run in 2016. Days earlier, two big progressive groups, MoveOn.org and Democracy for America, also pressed the first-term Massachusetts senator to seek the party’s presidential nomination.

The implicit logic of the Draft Warren movement is that after eight years of the Obama presidency, the American people want to move . . . further left.

[Good Read]

See Also:

#1 — It’s official: GOP will have biggest House majority since before the New Deal

#2 — President Obama Rewards Media Matters with a Political Nomination

#3 — America’s Uneasy Path Abroad in 2015

#4 — Hillary Clinton Secretly Pushed Cuba Deal for Years


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Afternoon Update December 19th, 2014 (10)


#1 — CNews | Beavers make a comeback, study finds

The beavers are back, big time.

After being nearly eradicated by over-trapping a century ago, the Canadian icons are now plentiful, with a population that sprawls three continents and covers an area the size of Switzerland, University of Saskatchewan researchers have found.


#2 — CTV | Exact cause of fire at Que. seniors’ home likely won’t ever be known: police

RIVIERE DU LOUP — The exact cause of the fire at a Quebec seniors’ home last January that killed 32 people will likely never be known, a coroner’s inquest into the tragedy heard Thursday.


#3 — Globe | Alberta MLA defections were negotiated over a month, Prentice says

As talks progressed over the past month about a mass defection from the opposition Wildrose to the governing Progressive Conservatives, leader Danielle Smith publicly castigated two MLAs for being seduced by “the perks of power” when they crossed the floor of the Alberta Legislature.


Postmedia | Manning likes the look of PC and Wildrose unity

#4 — Postmedia | Record snow to no snow, a difference of Decembers

A year ago Thursday, Windsor had a record 19 centimetres of snow on the ground and the region was slipping into its snowiest winter.

This December, you couldn’t even make a small snowball with the few flakes that have fallen.


#5 — Sun | Senior cop told ‘take back the streets’ during G20 ‘lawlessness’

TORONTO — A senior city police officer accused of ordering the unlawful kettling and detainment of hundreds during the G20 protests says he was given the green light to “take back the streets” because “lawlessness” had gripped the city and overwhelmed law enforcement.



#6 — BBC | New record depth for deepest fish

A new record has been set for the world’s deepest fish.


#7 — CNN | Mad about free speech and North Korea? Hack back, says group

(CNN) — Jo Jin-hye, who escaped North Korea, wanted to watch “The Interview.”


#8 — Fox | Pakistan: 59 militants killed amid school massacre

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani jets and ground forces killed 59 militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, the army said Friday, days after Taliban fighters killed 148 people — most of them children — in a school massacre.


#9 — DM | American troops battle ISIS for first time as they see off attempted attack by militants on Iraqi base

A number of militants have been killed in Islamic State’s very first battle with U.S. ground troops after the extremists attempted to overrun an Iraqi military base.


#10 — WT | Secret Service needs outside leadership to drive culture change, review finds

Proud, insular and stung by security lapses, the U.S. Secret Service needs new leadership from outside the agency to drive accountability, strategy and cultural change, according to an independent report released Thursday that laid bare the flaws of the agency that protects the president and his family.


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Anxiety Over European Banks Amid Ruble Crisis (10)

FRANKFURT — On paper, the vulnerability of European banks to the sinking Russian ruble is manageable, less than their exposure to Greece during the height of the eurozone debt crisis.

Try telling that to the traders this week. The ongoing rout of the ruble prompted a broader decline in emerging market currencies like the Turkish lira, which hit an all-time low on Monday before recovering slightly on Tuesday. The turmoil also clobbered shares of banks and other companies perceived as being vulnerable to Russia or the ruble.

“The direct effects are likely to be small,” Ben May, a senior eurozone economist at Oxford Economics in London, said of the ruble’s decline. “It’s more the uncertainty it creates.”

The ruble meltdown served to reawaken a host of other latent fears about the state of the eurozone economy, slower growth in emerging markets, and continuing violence in Ukraine.


See Also:

#1 — Russian Bank Run Could Be ‘in the Cards,’ UralSib Capital Says

#2 — Europe Is Following Italy Into A Minefield Of Permanent Austerity And Debt Crises

#3 — ‘Absolute kick in the teeth’

#4 — No end in sight to rises in domestic electricity bills

#5 — Tories chasing the Celtic vote as hung Parliament beckons

Afternoon Update:

#6 — IMF freezes funding over foreclosure suspension, Georgiades lashes at lawmakers (Update 1)

#7 — EU summit wraps up a day early

#8 — Europe’s drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy

#9 — EU can’t sign up to key rights convention, court rules

#10 — EU leaders baulk at money for Juncker investment plan

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LA To San Fran In 30 Minutes?

PLAYA VISTA (CBSLA.com) — It takes about six hours to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco – depending on your speed – and more than an hour to fly.

But in the future, the trip may take a matter of minutes.

Designers of the speed tube called Hyperloop say they are one step closer to making that happen.

Tesla founder Elon Musk says the technology is being developed with the help of about 25 UCLA graduate architecture students at a facility in Playa Vista.

Hyperloop has teamed up with the students to create the tube technology, designed to connect cities less than 300 miles apart.

“They look at this like a blank sheet of paper on which they can realize their fantasies,” UCLA professor Craig Hodgetts said.

On top of pylons is a hovering capsule inside a low-pressurized tube, which can reach speeds of up to 760 mph.

“The only resistance would be the air in front of the capsule, which we moved to the back by using a compressor,” Hyperloop CEO Dirk Ahlborn said.


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Siege gunman’s wife may have bail revoked as NSW Attorney General demands review

Amirah Droudis, 35, has been charged with the 2013 murder of his ex-wife Noelene Pal, who was stabbed and burned to death in a stairwell in a Sydney unit block.

Now AG Brad Hazzard has asked the DPP to apply for a Supreme Court review of her bail.

Questions have already been raised as to why Man Haron Monis himself was out on bail when he had also been charged with being an accessory to that murder.

Monis also faced dozens of indecent and sexual assault allegations before his death early on Tuesday morning in the Lindt Cafe where two innocent hostages also died – at least one of them, Tori Johnson, executed by him.

“The charges laid against Amirah Droudis are extremely serious and her alleged actions involve a murder,” Mr Hazzard said in a statement on Thursday.

“The allegation is that Monis and Droudis were involved in the murder of Monis’ ex-wife,” Mr Hazzard said.

“On behalf of our community I want to know whether every aspect of her being on bail has been examined in all possible detail,” he said.

It’s alleged Ms Pal was stabbed 18 times.


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Ottawa hospital axes nativity scene

A lovely Christmas tradition has been axed at the General Hospital.

And frankly, that’s sad.

Not surprising, but sad nonetheless.

A nativity scene that has graced the lobby of the once proud Catholic hospital for what seems like forever was not put up this year after several years of complaints.

But please, before you get your Christmas knickers in a knot, keep on open mind when reading this.

Christmas has not been killed by the hospital, nor is it in any danger of disappearing, as long as those of the Christian faith — of which I am one — want to celebrate it.

The General campus of the Ottawa Hospital is no longer a faith-based hospital, despite its beginnings.

It’s a publicly funded, non-denominational institution that has a mandate of healing the sick.

That is, and must continue to be its priority.


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Ghomeshi content removed from CBC website

TORONTO ─ The CBC is removing much of its Jian Ghomeshi content from its website, but it won’t be a total erase of his work on Q, a spokesman says.

The public broadcaster’s announcement Monday it planned to do some Ghomeshi housecleaning sparked online outrage by die-hard fans of Q, the show he hosted on CBC Radio.

“This is not a massive wipe. People are reading way too much into this,” CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said Wednesday.

Some Q fans took to social media alleging the CBC was erasing history.

News of the content removal came from Q during a show discussing whether the media can separate the artist from the art, using as examples Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby, who are both facing allegations of sexual assaults.


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Coren: As Obama Wavers, Canada’s Harper is the True Leader of North American Values

Just a few weeks ago Canada suffered its first terrorist attacks in more than two generations. In one incident a young convert to Islam ran down two soldiers in Quebec, killing one of them. When he was shot dead by the police he was carrying a large knife and was presumably intent on slaughtering his victims as Lee Rigby was slaughtered in Woolwich.

In the second attack, another Muslim convert killed a soldier in Ottawa and then ran into the House of Commons and was only yards away from a group of MPs when he too was shot dead. Amongst those MPs was Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Conservative leader has been in office for more than eight years now and his response to the terror attacks was entirely typical. Firm, resolute, controlled, slightly boring but utterly uncompromising.

While opposition leaders and liberal newspapers were reluctant to even describe the crimes as terrorism, Harper used the word repeatedly and spoke of the need to combat this darkness internationally as well as domestically. Indeed, along with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot, Harper has led the world in candour concerning Islamist aspirations and the need to affirm western values.


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Fernandez: Let’s Get Ready to Rrrrubble!

Russian consumers flocked to stores to buy what they could before the value of their money dropped further. The ruble is crashing. The Associated Press says that “Russian authorities announced a series of measures to ease the pressure on the ruble, which slid 15 percent in the previous two days and raised fears of a bank run, many Russians were buying cars and home appliances — in some cases in record numbers — before prices for these imported goods shoot higher.”

Apple has stopped online sales. Ikea stores have been overrun with frenzied buyers. A run on banks could be just a few days away. The big time guys are panicked too. The Daily Mail says Russian oligarchs are converting away from the ruble like it was going out of style. “‘I’ve got £100m to spend, what can I get in Mayfair?’ … Russia’s oligarchs have started a new stampede for high-end London property to protect their wealth from country’s collapsing economy”

Walter Russell Mead, writing in the American Interest says that with Putin’s back up against the wall he may be as dangerous as the proverbial wounded bear.

Will Putin surrender to the West or double down, Mead asks? If he doubles down, Mead suggests two ways Putin can run. First, he could pawn the country to Beijing. China would bail him out — for a price. Second, Putin could attempt to boost the price of oil by stirring up trouble in the Middle East.


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Thomson: Smith’s defection from Wildrose party a blow to democracy (5)

EDMONTON – It is being called a takeover, a capitulation, a travesty, and the greatest betrayal in Canadian political history.

It is all of those things.

Most of all, perhaps, it is a sad day for democracy.

The leader of Alberta’s official Opposition — who vociferously condemned the Progressive Conservative government for five years — has abandoned her party to lead eight of her fellow MLAs over to the enemy.

Making it much worse is the admission by Danielle Smith that there have been feelers going back and forward between the government and Wildrose since October.

[Good Read]

See Also:

#1 — Reunited — and it feels so good?

#2 — Alberta’s new politics: why try to beat them when you can just join them?

#3 — How could Smith do that to her party?

#4 — The Wildrose Nine sell out

#5 — Highwood residents not pleased with ex-Wildrose leader Smith’s defection

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Morning Update December 19th, 2014 (10)


#1 — CNews | Creepy photos in park bring awareness to woman’s disappearance: Sister

If nothing else, a pair of disturbing photos posted in a Calgary park has made the mysterious disappearance of Shannon Burgess a source of widespread speculation and gossip.


#2 — CTV | Not criminally responsible defence not a ‘get out of jail free card': lawyer

TORONTO — Critics may see it as an easy way out, but defence lawyers argue those seeking to be declared not criminally responsible for their crimes must overcome serious hurdles at trial and may end up spending more time in custody than if they had pleaded guilty.


#3 — Globe | Tories appoint two conservative law professors as judges

Justice Minister Peter MacKay has appointed two of the country’s most conservative law professors as judges in Ontario, one of whom has publicly criticized the court he is about to join.


#4 — Postmedia | Crystal meth: ‘It’s going to be an epidemic’

It’s “just a point” of crystal meth, Angela says. No big deal. But the fix will send her into orbit.


#5 — Sun | Judge nullifies byelection to oust Manitoba First Nations chief

WINNIPEG — A federal judge’s ruling will keep the chief and council of a Manitoba First Nation in power, shooting down attempts from a former chief to have them removed.



#6 — BBC | Boko Haram unrest: Nigerian militants ‘kidnap 100 villagers’

Militants have stormed a remote village in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least 33 people and kidnapping at least 100, a survivor has told the BBC.


#7 — CNS | Conservatives Lambaste 20 GOP Senators Who Voted for Amnesty

(CNSNews.com) – There is a growing backlash against 20 Senate Republicans who less than a month ago publicly stated that President Obama’s executive amnesty was unconstitutional, only to turn around and vote in favor of funding it last week, conservative leaders say.


#8 — Fox | 14 charged in deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak

BOSTON – Federal prosecutors charged 14 people in a 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people nationwide in what authorities called the largest criminal case ever brought in the U.S. over contaminated medicine.


#9 — DM | Life is found thriving 8,000ft below the sea bed

Life has been discovered nearly a mile and half underground, raising hopes bacteria might be able to survive deep beneath the surface of other planets.


#10 — WT | Hollywood endangers U.S. special forces by revealing tactics to Islamic extremists

In the secretive special operations community, officials are debating whether to tweak tactics for daring and risky missions involving hostage rescue and terrorist targeting that have been compromised by years of detailed news accounts and Hollywood portrayals.


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