Showing posts from February, 2022

Hey, It's Moscow. People Disappear All the Time.

  There's been some speculation that Putin's decision to invade Ukraine has little to do with Kiev and much to do with threats at home in the Kremlin. There's a pattern here whether it's invading Ukraine and seizing Crimea or helping an old reliable put down a democracy uprising in Belarus or crushing Chechnya or exchanging artillery barrages with Georgia in 2008. Every now and then Putin has to flex his muscles, sort of like the tail wagging the dog. So far the invasion hasn't gone entirely Putin's way. That could be a problem for Vlad at home. The war, it seems, is not very popular with the folks at home. There have even been mass protests resulting in hundreds of arrests.  The big setback has been Russia's flagging economy.  The already weak ruble has dropped a further 30 per cent.  Back in 2012 the ruble was worth about 25 cents, USD. Today it's less than a penny .  The central bank's lending rate has jumped to 20 per cent.  Foreign corporations

Mitt Romney - Treading Water in a Sea of Morons

Flawed he may be but Mitt Romney isn't afraid of calling out his fellow Republicans. "Look, there is no place in either political party for this White nationalism or racism. It's simply wrong ... it's evil as well," Romney told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." "(Rep.) Marjorie Taylor Greene and (Rep.) Paul Gosar, I don't know them, but I'm reminded of that old line from the 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' movie where - where one character says, 'Morons, I've got morons on my team.' And I have to think anybody that would sit down with White nationalists and speak at their conference was certainly missing a few IQ points." Liz Cheney, battered by the fascists spreading through Republican ranks, called them "the Putin wing of the GOP." The comment from Romney follows criticism from Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney , a Republican, of Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona fo

What's at Stake? Nothing Less Than a Liveable Future.

With our attention glued to Ukraine and seditious truckers, this is not the best moment for something even more serious. Today, the final day of February, 2022, brings a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. You could sum it up with one question - do we want to live? Do we want a liveable future? Do we want that enough to finally do what that requires in the limited time remaining? “The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, a co-chair of working group 2 of the IPCC. “Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.” There are but two options, life or death. Death irreversible and on a scale unknown in the history of this planet or life for our children and grandchildren. If we want option A, a liveable future, we'll have to work for it. A carbon tax at the gas pump is futile. There

Will the Arctic Become the Frontline for Cold War II?

  It looks like we're heading for another Cold War showdown between the Russian bear and the NATO nations. This time the Arctic may be Russia's front line. The Arctic is the one region where Russia has unrivaled dominance  over both the US and China.  In recent years the Russian military has been re-activating military installations that were mothballed since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  NATO, Canada and the US did not respond in kind. Russia's ability to influence Europe is iffy. The Black Sea fleet can enter the Mediterranean only so long as Turkey permits its warships to transit the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits.  In the Baltic, Russia's vital sea port, St. Petersburg, which sits at the end of the Gulf of Finland, is also vulnerable. This has led  Putin to threaten both Finland and Sweden with "military repercussions" should they seek shelter within the NATO alliance.  Even Russia's access to the Atlantic from its Barents Sea ports has to pass

Putin Puts Finland and Sweden on Notice

  Vlad Putin's superpower psychopathy is running wild. Now he's threatening Finland and Sweden - join NATO and there'll be military repercussions. A spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry has warned that the accession of either Finland or Sweden to the defence alliance Nato would spark a serious response from Moscow. Maria Zakharova threatened if either Nordic country sought to join the security alliance it "would have serious military and political consequences that would require our country to take reciprocal steps", BBC reported quoting Russian news agencies. "We regard the Finnish government's commitment to a military non-alignment policy as an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe," spokesperson Zakharova said during a news briefing in Moscow. Meanwhile, here's a summary of the day from Pravda . UPDATE Both Finland and Sweden have responded to Putin's threats - Putin, mind your own damned business

Earth's Water Cycle Broken

  Life on Earth depends on two elements, water and oxygen. Water is constantly recirculated by the hydrologic cycle . Water goes up into the atmosphere via evaporation and transpiration and it comes back down as precipitation.  When the cycle works well it's wonderful. When the cycle goes haywire it's anything but wonderful. Today, thanks to global heating, the hydrologic cycle is going haywire and faster than we had ever imagined. Rising global temperatures have shifted at least twice the amount of freshwater from warm regions towards the Earth’s poles than previously thought as the water cycle intensifies, according to new analysis. “When we learn about the water cycle, traditionally we think of it as some unchanging process which is constantly filling and refilling our dams, our lakes, and our water sources,” the study’s lead author, Dr Taimoor Sohail of the University of New South Wales, said. Sohail said the volume of extra freshwater that had already been pushed to the po

Top Trump Prosecutors Quit

  Not one but two heavy guns recruited by former District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. for the criminal investigation into Donald Trump have resigned. Carey Dunne, the office's former general counsel, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in a successful fight for Trump’s tax records. Mark Pomerantz was brought out of private practice by Vance last year to add his expertise in white collar investigations to the probe. Vance was succeeded in January by Alvin Bragg. The New York Times, citing sources, reported that Dunne and Pomerantz quit after Bragg raised doubts about pursuing a case against Trump.

When No One Has Clean Hands or How to Reap the Whirlwind

  It's one of those complex issues.  Russia makes an apparent land grab in two separatist enclaves in Ukraine. Boil off all the inconvenient complexity and that's what you've got. What is playing out today is something rooted in the Berlin Wall and the reunification of East and West Germany back in the days of Mikhail Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush.   The fall of East Germany (and other states of the Warsaw Pact) threatened chaos that could destabilize the superpower detente. Something had to be done. There had to be some quid pro quo . The two leaders came up with a compromise. East and West Germany would reunite. The Soviets would withdraw. East Germany would be allowed to become part of NATO.  Just one more thing. NATO would go no further east than the border of the new/old Germany. The other eastern European nations would be buffer states. They could join the EU but not NATO. Along came another Bush this time with Dick Cheney at his side. It was as though there was no d

What, Trucker Tokers?

  We're all feeling the pinch from the breakdown of freight transport. Goods are just not getting to market as normal. Short supply, costs and prices go up. There's a shortage of truckers to haul goods. Business Insider cites one cause - marijuana testing . Even as more states liberalize their pot laws, standards for drug testing truckers have become more stringent. Insurers don't want the guy driving that 18 wheeler toking up. According to Chris Harvey, Wells Fargo's head of equity strategy, drug screenings paired with the nature of the job — which often requires truckers to spend weeks-on-end away from home — has led many truck drivers to leave the industry. Harvey said the issue will "continue to push that price even higher," worsening a surge in transportation costs that have left consumers facing price hikes and shortages . "It's really about drug testing," Harvey said, speaking at an industry conference on Wednesday. "We've legal

The End of the Postwar World

  Today marks the end of the post-Cold War world. At least that's how the editorial board of the Washington Post views Vladimir Putin's decision to recognize two disputed regions of Ukraine as independent, sending Russian forces in to back up his words. This is the way the postwar world ends, and the post-Cold War world, too: not yet with a bang, and not with anything close to a whimper, but with a rant. In an extraordinary soliloquy viewed live around the world Monday, President Vladimir Putin of Russia attacked and delegitimized not just independent Ukraine and its government but all facets of the security architecture in Europe, declaring both to be creatures of a corrupt West — headed by the United States — that are unremittingly hostile toward Russia. ...More ominous, given his subsequent dispatch of “peacekeeping” troops over the border into the regions, was Mr. Putin’s demand that “those who seized and hold power in Kyiv” cease hostilities, or else “all responsibility f

Drowning in Greenwash

November, 2015. A newly elected Canadian prime minister took to the floor of the Paris Climate Summit and proclaimed "Canada's back."  The climate pariah, Stephen Harper, had been vanquished. Canada would again change direction.  Yeah, right. The Paris summit was notable for the remarkable agreement that global heating must be limited to not more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. We were all on the same page. In attendance was the then head of Germany's Potsdam Institute, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. A reporter asked him if the 1.5 C target was achievable. He said yes but it would require the "induced implosion" of the fossil energy giants. Governments would have to put down the oil and gas and coal giants and rapidly transition to clean energy alternatives. Some cast it as the Marshall Plan for the 21st century. Of course, nothing of the sort has happened. A new analysis suggests that the fossil fuel industries' claim to be transititioning to clean energy is gree

Flash Floods in London???

One thing that still amazes me when these climate emergency events occur is how easily our resilience is overwhelmed. Next week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release its long awaited sixth assessment report on adaptation, what nations must do to cope with climate breakdown now and in the near future. The title, "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" provides a pretty good idea of what's coming. Britain's largest city, its capital, is getting a crash course in vulnerability caused by its Victorian-era drainage system. There is now a significant risk of people drowning in London as the threat of major flash floods increases in the city because of climate change. According to a report by a London Councils taskforce published this month, the danger is particularly severe because there is no overall plan or authority to tackle the increasing threat of flooding in the city. In its analysis of the citywide disruption that struck last July, when torren

"Useful Idiots"

Andrew Nikiforuk has always been a very credible journalist. I don't dismiss his work lightly and neither should you. His latest column, however, will trigger some of you to skepticism. It's about the supposed Freedom Convoy and the role Russia is believed to have played in it.  Read it for yourself and then tell me that this all a conspiracy theory.

"Don't Call Them Protesters" - Michael Harris

Michael Harris writes that the mob that occupied Ottawa's Centretown were no more "protesters" than the mob that ransacked the Capitol on January 6th were "tourists" or "patriots." And he says the media allowed themselves to be duped, imbuing thugs with an undeserved legitimacy . The right to protest is a vital part of democracy. Everybody believes that citizens have the right to speak up lawfully against public policies they don’t support. There are a lot of places where doing that will land you in jail or worse. Thankfully, Canada is not one of them. But that is not what the occupiers in Ottawa were doing. You don’t have to look very far to confirm that. One of their stated goals was to topple the government. Another was to secure the resignation of Justin Trudeau, implying he was a Nazi. Which is to say, that they did not come with a critique and a point of view, as legitimate protesters do. They came with ugly biases, lies and an ultimatum. Get ri

The J. Trudeau Memorial Pipeline Now Way, Way Overbudget.

  Justin Trudeau's legacy project, a.k.a. the Trans-Mountain pipeline , a.k.a. Trudeau's Folly, was well overpriced to begin with. Now that inflated figure has swelled by another 70 per cent. It has gone from a foolish 12.6 billion to a just plain stupid 21.4 billion. The Liberals unconvincingly blame the extra 9 billion on the pandemic and last November's flooding. As if. It seems that Ottawa is now crying "uncle."  The feds just don't want to put up any more cash. Deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, said the Crown corporation will need to secure "third party funding."  With a straight face she said the government will take another stab at selling this boondoggle to the private sector this fall. The private sector wouldn't touch it at the original price but I'm sure they'll be crawling all over each other to get it for an additional 9 billion. 

The Same Old Song. Privatize Profits, Socialize Costs.

When will we learn?  The Faro mine was supposed to be a boon for the Yukon. It was said to be the largest open-pit lead/zinc mine in the world. Now it stands abandoned, Ottawa left to pick up the tab for remediation. On February 15, Canada signed a $108 million contract with Parsons Inc. for construction management and two years of care and maintenance on the Faro mine site. Parsons, one of the largest players in remediation in the world, boasts that their “contract could span over 20 years and exceed $2 billion.” Ottawa has budgeted just 2.2 billion in funding over 15 years but that's for eight mines in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The Faro mine has already sucked 600 million dollars out of the federal treasury. Geology drove the creation of the mine, and drives the clean-up. The tailings, which cover an area equivalent to over 26,000 football fields, creates acid-rock drainage, which, if not mitigated, grows worse over time. There are an estimated 70 million tonnes of ta

Sure, It's All Trudeau's Fault

According to the National Post , Canadians have lost faith in the federal government's ability to keep peace and order.  Predictable NatPo nonsense. There's probably a kernel of truth in it but imagine how the rightwing media would have howled if the feds had cracked down on the truckers. There would be no end to their outrage. That said, the Trudeau government did drop the ball. It showed a civility to the protesters and their cadre of agitators that stands in marked contrast to the RCMP's heavy handed treatment of the Wet'suwet'en people on their own, unceded lands.  When the truckers arrived in Ottawa some in their ranks were ready for violence and, if possible, even harm the prime minister. The Wet'suwet'en wanted to be left alone to run their own territory. The nerve. Perhaps Mr. Trudeau should disband the Harper-era Pipeline Stasi and put their skills to work ferreting out those who would deny Canadians peace, order and good government and the shadowy

Ottawa Knew

  Days before the Freedom Convoy reached Ottawa the feds were warned that violent extremists had infiltrated the protesters. The Guardian reports that the federal government was notified that the protesters were useful idiots of extremists. Intelligence assessments – prepared by Canada’s Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (Itac) and seen by the Guardian – warned in late January that it was “likely” that extremists were involved and said that the scale of the protests could yet pose a “trigger point and opportunity for potential lone actor attackers to conduct a terrorism attack”. The assessments offer the first real glimpse into how federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies have assessed the threat of Canada’s anti-vaccine and conspiracy theory movement. “ We knew these people were coming ,” said a federal government source, who indicated that the Security Intelligence Service Canada – Canada’s main intelligence service, of which Itac is a part – had flagged the involvemen

Krugman on Truckers

Paul Krugman's post-mortem on the supposed truckers' convoy.  Casting bones and reading entrails he discerns the ugly face of today's right wing .  The “Freedom Convoy” has been marketed as a backlash by truckers angry about Covid-19 vaccination mandates. In reality, there don’t seem to have been many truckers among the protesters at the bridge (about 90 percent of Canadian truckers are vaccinated). Last week a Bloomberg reporter saw only three semis among the vehicles blocking the Ambassador Bridge, which were mainly pickup trucks and private cars; photos taken Saturday also show very few commercial trucks. So this isn’t a grass-roots trucker uprising. It’s more like a slow-motion Jan. 6, a disruption caused by a relatively small number of activists, many of them right-wing extremists . At their peak, the demonstrations in Ottawa reportedly involved only around 8,000 people , while numbers at other locations have been much smaller. Any attempt to put a number on the eco

Plain Talk. We Deserve Better.

A searing op-ed from Al Jazeera goes for the throat of the " truckers' revolt ."  Nobody, not the truckers, not the agitators who stirred these idiots, not the police and definitely not the federal government will be remembered for the part they played in this. What has been happening in Canada lately is not the product of a “lone wolf”. It is a broad, well-organised, well-financed, right-wing “siege” to dispose of a sitting government, using “freedom” from vaccine mandates as a convenient and PR-palatable fig leaf to do it. Where was CSIS? What has been happening in Canada lately is not the product of a “lone wolf”. It is a broad, well-organised, well-financed, right-wing “siege” to dispose of a sitting government, using “freedom” from vaccine mandates as a convenient and PR-palatable fig leaf to do it. For days and weeks, hostage-takers in big rigs, tractors, and, of course, pick-up trucks, have been allowed, carte blanche, to block key land border crossings where lots

Why Does a Trucker Need Body Armour and Guns?

  So much for peaceful protest.   RCMP have arrested members of a " core group " at the Coutts border crossing after finding rifles, handguns, ammunition, body armour and high capacity magazines in their vehicles. RCMP say a large farm tractor and a semi truck attempted to ram a police vehicle on Sunday evening, providing "an example of the militant mindset of a small segment of the protest," the release said. Officers were able to get out of the way and avoid a collision. The driver of the tractor was identified and officers are working to locate him and arrest him, RCMP said. Meanwhile, we may soon know the names of the donors who used a Christian site, GiveSendGo, to funnel money to the protesters.  A group, Distributed Denial of Secrets, has 30 megabytes of donor data hacked from GiveSendGo's computers.  Oopsie! Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoS) has a long record of hosting leaked data from right-wing organizations, including the far right Patriot Front a

A "Darwinian Sensibility"

  With Covid restrictions falling like autumn leaves, what awaits? New York Times columnist, Charles M. Blow , reminds us that Covid-19, in one or more variants, is here to stay. As Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, said last month: “If you look at the history of infectious diseases, we’ve only eradicated one infectious disease in man, and that’s smallpox. That’s not going to happen with this virus.” Fauci said that what we should hope for is that Covid would eventually be reduced to a “low level” where it is “integrated into the broad range of infectious diseases that we experience.” Covid is likely to be here to stay.  ...The urge, both political and social, to simply “get on with it,” is incredibly strong. The number of lives taken by Covid in this country alone — north of 900,000 — is almost unfathomable. But, somehow the public has absorbed and reckoned with it in some way. We have taken on a Darwinian sensibility about it all, accepting it as sudden th

The Age of "Collective Helplessness"

  We live in a time of existential challenges. The climate breakdown, resource exhaustion and depletion, the strains of overpopulation, the rise of tribalism accompanying the decline of democracy, the list goes on. Back in my undergrad days I became interested in fatalism, societies that have learned to accept grave perils as inevitable. Back then we thought ourselves masters of the universe, "can do" people. From that perch fatalism seemed incomprehensible, aberrant. A half century later how we have changed. It's not just individuals or communities that can succumb to fatalism. Nations and communities of nations can exhibit what is called " collective helplessness ." It's the subject of this year's Munich Security Conference. The report describes a mood of "collective helplessness." In the same way as ordinary individuals, whole societies can be overcome by a sense that they simply have no answer to the challenges they face. "There can b

A Basket Just Full of Tools

  If prime minister Trudeau or premier Ford or Mayor Watson want to clear miscreant truckers who have beset the city of Ottawa for much too long there's no shortage of tools at their disposal. Two I've already mentioned, the Riot Act, s. 67 of the Criminal Code. Mr. Watson has that power. Under the section, a justice, mayor or sheriff or a deputy who receives notice that 12 or more people are “unlawfully and riotously assembled together” can go to that place, approach as close as is safe and read what is colloquially known as “the Riot Act” in a loud voice: “Her Majesty the Queen charges and commands all persons being assembled immediately to disperse and peaceably to depart to their habitation or to their lawful business on the pain of being guilty of an offence for which, on conviction they may be sentenced to life in prison.” Where is Charlotte Whitton now that she's needed. Next up is the successor to the War Measures Act, the 1988 Emergencies Act. The Governor in Cou

The Grand Experiment Begins

  Why do I feel like a lab rat? Why don't you? After two years of Covid 19, we're about to be left to our own devices.  Those of us who are all vaxxed-up (Covid, influenza, pneumonia) should weather the virus with a good chance of survival. After all, it's only Omicron or "Covid-Lite."  Some won't but, hey, collateral damage. Exposing us to Omicron seems understandable. Unlike other strains, such as Delta, it doesn't seem to savage the lungs. The infected are far less apt to require hospitalization or an intensive care bed. Many will be asymptomatic. Others will feel crappy for a few days. We can cope. Omicron, however, does not present a worst case scenario. Most of the Covid 19 variants have been far more lethal, far more demanding to treat. Omicron, if anything, could be an outlier. Two years experience has shown that Covid 19 mutates fairly rapidly. What's next? How is that new vaccine facility progressing, the one that was supposed to free us from

The Issue That Refuses to Go Away - Rights versus Responsibilities

It goes to the heart of the trucker protest in Ottawa and elsewhere. The truckers accept no responsibility for the misery they're inflicting on those unfortunate enough to live anywhere near them. They assert their rights as sacrosanct, screw everyone else. It's becoming a norm in many nations. Thomas Friedman laments the hold it has taken over America. This pervasive claim that “I have my rights” but “I don’t have responsibilities” is unraveling our country today. “We are losing what could be called our societal immunity,” argued Dov Seidman, founder of the How Institute for Society . “Societal immunity is the capacity for people to come together, do hard things and look out for one another in the face of existential threats, like a pandemic, or serious challenges to the cornerstones of their political and economic systems, like the legitimacy of elections or peaceful transfer of power.” But societal immunity “is a function of trust,” added Seidman. (Disclosure: Seidman is a

Pushing Earth's Oceans Over the Edge.

  It's one of the most important stories of this year but it's largely been overlooked.  A report released one week ago by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warned that our oceans have permanently entered a state of extreme heat .  Today the story made it to CBC's web site . "What you're going to see over time is that parts of the Arctic Ocean will begin to look like Pacific and Atlantic oceans and the species, the ecosystems that thrive here, you're going to see their numbers decrease," said Hilu Tagoona, a senior Arctic adviser for Oceans North, a charitable organization that supports marine conservation together with Indigenous and coastal communities. "And that's already being seen. Over the last 25 years, the species that typically thrive here, the numbers are going down." Tim Boyer, an oceanographer with NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, said it's hard to quantify just how much a

Barbarians at the Gate - Canada's Gate.

Canadians are becoming fearful of our next door neighbour, the disunited state of America. An Angus Reid poll finds that nearly 70 per cent of us believe that democracy in the US, such as that is, cannot survive another Trump presidency. And we're worried about what that means for Canada. Four-in-five Canadians say they are worried the current state of U.S. democracy will negatively impact Canada’s economy and security. This is the majority belief across regional and political lines, though past Conservative voters are most likely to dissent at one-in-five (22%). Further, there are many Canadians who believe Trump winning a second term in 2024 would mean the end of democracy in the United States. Seven-in-ten (68%) of Canadians agree that democracy in the U.S. cannot survive another four years of Trump as president. They are joined in that sentiment by half (49%) of Americans, but many (44%) on that side of the 49th parallel believe democracy in the U.S. will be fine even if Trump

What Two Millennia of Chinese Dynasties

  Wars, revolutions and assassinations can trigger regime change but climate events destroy societies . A paper, published in the journal Nature , traced major volcanic events over two millennia that had global impacts. The timing matched major upheavals from ancient Egypt to dynastic China. What stunned [Joseph Manning, a Yale Egyptologist], was that the paper recalibrated earlier chronologies by seven to eight years, so that dates of the eruptions neatly coincided with the timing of well-documented political, social, and military upheavals over three centuries of ancient Egyptian history. The paper also correlated volcanic eruptions with major 6th century A.D. pandemics, famines, and socioeconomic turmoil in Europe, Asia, and Central America. The inescapable conclusion, the paper argued, was that volcanic soot — which cools the earth by shielding its surface from sunlight, adversely affecting growing seasons and causing crop failures — helped drive those crises. Since then, other sch

Mark Carney - "This Is Sedition"

Mark Carney writes that it's time to stop coddling the "freedom convoy" miscreants.  Enforce the law and follow the money. In our capital city, many people have been terrorized for more than a week. Women fleeing abuse have been harassed. Many elderly have been too afraid to venture outside their homes for groceries. Families have been deprived of sleep for days on end by the constant barrage of 100 decibel noise. Control over the city’s downtown core, which includes the Parliamentary Precinct, was ceded by the police and taken over by what the chair of the Police Services Board describes as an “insurrection.” "A Policy of Engagement ...A Reality of Appeasement"  The goals of the leadership of the so-called freedom convoy were clear from the start: to remove from power the government that Canadians elected less than six months ago. Their blatant treachery was dismissed as comic, which meant many didn’t take them as seriously as they should have. in its s

Understanding Boris Johnson - Jonathon Pie on BoJo


"Legitimate Political Discourse" - GOP

In a brazen affront to decency, the Republican Party has declared the January 6th attack on the Capitol as " legitimate political discourse ." The Republican National Committee’s voice vote to censure Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois at its winter meeting in Salt Lake City culminated more than a year of vacillation, which started with party leaders condemning the Capitol attack and Mr. Trump’s conduct, then shifted to downplaying and denying it. On Friday, the party went further in a resolution slamming Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger for taking part in the House investigation of the assault, saying they were participating in “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.” It was the latest and most forceful effort by the Republican Party to minimize what happened and the broader attempt by Mr. Trump and his allies to invalidate the results of the 2020 election. In approving it and opting to punish two of its own

What's That Smell? Is It Fear?

Reliably rightwing newspaper columnists seem rattled by the ouster of former Conservative leader, Erin O'Toole. They're suddenly worried about the extremists in the Tory ranks, perhaps fearing some sort of Tea Party takeover akin to political ebola. The latest is NatPo's Kelly McParland . O’Toole’s margin of defeat — 73 of 118 caucus members voted against him — doesn’t necessarily reflect the actual number of Conservative MPs who would have been content to keep him on. What it does indicate is that the guerrilla war against him was so effective that even those who supported him realized he couldn’t survive. If there’s going to be a lynching, better to get it over with and move on. His opponents succeeded by undermining him at every opportunity — questioning his decisions, defying his instructions, challenging his authority. A more domineering figure might have banished them all and dealt with the consequences, but that’s evidently not what O’Toole was about. If anything, he