In Ontario, the race for Premier — the leader of that Canadian province — has been marred by something very rare: negative campaign ads, and anti-gay marginalization by Tim Hudak.Â Today’s election will tell who won and who lost, but in the end, all Ontarians lose when politics becomes this ugly. A Canadian in America, Michael Talon, explains.
While Canada has long served as an example of progress socially, both toÂ the U.S. and the world, there has been a slow, creeping yet powerful forceÂ that is moving within the borders of the “friendly and nice” country.Â Conservatism as a whole is not a concept that we as Canadians view in theÂ same right-wing rhetoric based stupidity that we often see exemplifiedÂ here in the U.S. (Michele Bachmann, the Mormon Church,the Tea Party.)
Canada’s Conservative Party — born through the amalgamation of theÂ Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party — is one that is fiscallyÂ and governmentally conservative. Platforms have long held to reform and aÂ move to a more right of centre model that would allow continued andÂ maintained structure of a country solidly building on a foundation set outÂ in 1864 when we branched off from the British Empire and began to governÂ ourselves.
Proudly, Canadians boast that we never supported slavery and in factÂ maintained a free end destination for the Underground Railway, universalÂ healthcare, community-built free clinics and hospitals, employmentÂ and housing anti-discrimination, equality and standards that have pavedÂ the way for lesbian and gay rights bills and marriage stemming from aÂ Constitution ratified in 1982 that was to keep the federal government outÂ of the bedrooms of the nation.
Overall, as a country that receives more immigrants from varyingÂ backgrounds, including strict to extreme Christian, Muslim and otherÂ faiths and cultures, progress continues to be made. In fact, former PrimeÂ Minister Jean Chretien was proud of the work that we as a people did inÂ support of each other to include protections for all in each step of ourÂ evolution. Allowing for same-sex marriage, for example, while at the sameÂ time protecting the sanctity of the pulpit and not forcing denominationsÂ to perform these marriages as their faith would see fit.
Both sidesÂ peacefully and equally co-existing. A shining, at least to the best of anyÂ imperfect entities ability, beacon of hope to all that we could be equalÂ and yet maintain the differences that enhance and enrich our worldÂ culture.
In the early 1990’s, the election that would see the greatest of lossesÂ for the Progressive Conservatives under the leadership of the first womanÂ Prime Minister, Kim Campbell, sweeping in a victorious Jean Chretien and theÂ Liberal Party, there was a shift that many allowed to go unnoticed in theÂ grander scheme. Campbell employed an attack ad, reminiscent of a U.S.Â election, where they played on the crooked way Chretien spoke, due toÂ Bell’s Palsy. This was the first of many influences divisive messagingÂ would begin to creep into Canadian politics, and by proxy the public’s wayÂ of reacting to situations.
As many readers know, MP Tim Hudak of the Ontario PC Party, recently sentÂ out attack ads that painted Liberal Premier McGuinty as keeping parents inÂ the dark about the true education being given to school children. WithÂ emphasis clearly on LGBT issues and the anti-discrimination measures putÂ in place for all minorities and socially accepted, vetted groups, HudakÂ and the PC Party have once again shown the right-wing agenda that isÂ growing. Attack ads of this sort were unheard of in most political racesÂ in Canada. Policy and administration are often prime targets, howeverÂ there is a standard that has long served our country well, you do notÂ attack minorities and you do not bring religion into the mix. Those areÂ personal beliefs and protected welcomed unique attributes that we cherish.Â Those days seem to be fleeting into the memories of true Canadians, to be
replaced by religiously slanted and immoral rhetoric.
Being born and raised in Ontario, as well as having lived under theÂ McGuinty administration in my province, I would like to disclose at thisÂ juncture that I am not supportive nor do I feel McGuinty is doing/hasÂ done a very good job with leading the province. However, the attack adsÂ led by the PC Party are inexcusably linked to attacking the LGBTÂ community and the very fabric of a nation that is fiercely proud of allÂ its groups, minorities, cultures and celebrated differences. We acceptÂ the right-wing, left-wing and everything in between. Vote to keep yourÂ freedoms and vote to allow those freedoms to be extended to others, forÂ you never know when you will be the group in the hot seat.
It is sad to see this change happening and I can only hope that there willÂ be a shift back to the proper and true course of Canada. I have personallyÂ extended the invitation to the PC Party in Ontario and in particular to MPÂ Hudak to interview with me and The New Civil Rights Movement concerningÂ the ad and the beliefs of Mr Hudak as well as the Party and the directionÂ they believe the province should be moving.
The completely intolerant and homophobic rhetoric is enough! This is oneÂ Canadian who will not stand by and let everything we have built be tornÂ down by easily influenced and semi-reasoning, self-promoting politiciansÂ and religiously influenced. U.S. LGBT citizens have seen what happens whenÂ complacency and a fear of “rocking the boat” instead hoping for a civilÂ discourse that would valiantly change people’s hearts and minds. WhileÂ thundering proclamations on behalf of some “loving and all knowing” godÂ fuel bigots and the ignorant, gain sway. We have said that it is enough.
Across Ontario, parents and education boards, trustees and teachers haveÂ forced many of the politicians to take more than a step back from thisÂ attack ad, they are back pedaling faster than a Bible belt fundamentalistÂ minister caught in the local department store men’s room giving a helpingÂ hand. I applaud the fact that there is still a progressive zeal withinÂ Canadians to not let those who would tarnish and sully the good work ofÂ past generations and woefully negate that progress.
Join your voice with ours, sign this petitionÂ on Change.org that is calling for Mr Hudak and the PC Party to explain itsÂ attack on the LGBT community, along with its continued bigotry against us,Â by doing an interview with The New Civil Rights Movement, answeringÂ questions from outraged and vigilant advocates for equality, no matter theÂ citizenship.
Growing up in Northern Ontario as aÂ Jehovahâ€™s Witness,Â Michael TalonÂ experienced firsthand the struggle for equality. Now living in the U.S. with his partner, they work with advocates for federal equality, including immigration. Working side by side, Michael and his partner Brad, head of Luna Media Group, help to deliver messages for equality to the nation.
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‘Total Nonsense’: Joe Scarborough Pours Cold Water on Panic Over Kamala Harris in 2024
On Friday morning, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough rushed to Vice President Kamala Harris’ defense over hand-wringing in some Democratic quarters that Pressident Joe Biden should boot her as his running mate in On Friday morning, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough launched into a full-throated defense of Vice President Kamala Harris, stating that she should absolutely remain President Joe Biden’s running mate in 2024.
According Scarborough, a former Republican who served in the U.S. House of Representatives, the panic in some Democratic quarters over Harris is “total nonsense.”
“Well, there is this undercurrent, like she’s black and a woman, and that’s why people don’t like her because she’s a vice president. ‘What are we going to do? We need to change her.!” the aggravated “Morning Joe” host began. “I just go, where were you when Dan Quayle was vice president? Where were you? Nobody remembers this.”
“Every vice president, we hear this all the time: ‘Change your vice presidents,'” he continued. “I’m here to say, it’s total nonsense. Nobody has ever voted against any presidential candidate because of who their vice president was.”
“If you look at Kamala’s numbers, they’re not that far off from where every other mocked and ridiculed and loathed vice president has been,” he concluded.
‘Sexy’: Comer Obtains Unredacted Emails to VP Biden Revealing Women ‘Privately Mused’ They Found Him Attractive
Amid the chaos of what top Democrats are calling the GOP House’s “civil war,” infighting that threatens to shut down the federal government in nine days, Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer has been obtaining some of then-Vice President Joe Biden‘s emails from the National Archives.
Politico reveals Chairman Comer has been able to obtain several unreacted emails, including one which relayed a tidbit of hearsay, or, “private musings,” from 2009, after an overseas trip Biden took: “multiple” women said they found the Vice President “sexy.”
The emails “include schedules with ordinary family get-togethers,” Politico adds. “One shows Biden had lunch with Hunter Biden’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan. Another reveals that the Ukrainians were praising his now-deceased brother, Beau. And then there are the private musings of multiple Georgian women saying they found Joe Biden ‘sexy’ during a 2009 trip that also included a stop in Ukraine.”
“’Must-read email below,’ read an email forwarded by Biden’s then-national security adviser Tony Blinken to Joe Biden and his sons, Hunter and Beau. The email’s subject line: ‘Biden as new Georgian sex symbol.'”
Other emails from the National Archives’ trove include a “June 14, 2016 schedule card shows Biden was to meet with the prime minister of Ukraine. The newly unredacted portions show he was also scheduled to work out with his personal trainer, and to dine with Hunter’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan, in the vice president’s office.”
Politico, noting that “Republicans have yet to turn up direct evidence that Joe Biden benefited personally or that he took any official action as a result of those [Hunter Biden’s] connections, also reveals a “May, 27, 2016 schedule card includes a call with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Hunter Biden was copied on the day’s schedule. It’s already been reported that Biden was also due to attend the one-year anniversary of the passing of his son, Beau, back home in Delaware.”
“Comer had been pointing to this scheduling item, since it was also emailed to then-Vice President Biden under a pseudonym email address. Comer even said the vice president was sending a secret message to his son that he was about to fire the prosecutor. As recently as last week, Comer included that email on a list of ‘evidence’ of Joe Biden’s ‘involvement in his family’s influence peddling schemes.'”
Politico also notes that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy “and his allies insisted that opening a formal impeachment inquiry would empower them to dig deeper. Yet the emails are another example of the House GOP failing to turn up evidence they’ve assured the public exists and that will implicate Biden in some form of corruption that rises to an impeachable offense.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘Total Breakdown’: House Sends Members Home – Experts Warn ‘Republicans Can’t Govern’ And Have No ‘Working Majority’
Nine days before an increasingly-likely shutdown of the federal government of the United States, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has effectively adjourned the House for the rest of the week, with GOP leadership telling members they may go home and come back next week, after a procedural vote to fund the Dept. of Defense failed for the second time this week.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram reports, “Note that the House has not officially dismissed everyone.. but everyone expects they are done for the week. Why? They House lacks the VOTES TO ADJOURN.”
He later added that “Things are very fluid,” and “there could be votes TOMORROW or this weekend still in the house. This could be a problem if some members already got on flights.”
Fox News online is reporting, “House abruptly cancels votes for the week without spending deal after series of defeats for GOP leaders,” and notes members are not expected back until Tuesday.
McCarthy this week has repeatedly denigrated and attacked the extremist members of the House Republican conference on camera to reporters, and Thursday was no different, saying, “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) blasted House Republicans upon hearing the House was about to adjourn for the week.
“What you need to understand is that chaos is the point for a big chunk of House Republicans. They came to congress to BURN THE GOVERNMENT TO THE GROUND,” the Connecticut Democrat wrote. “Their goal is a shutdown.”
The sentiment is being echoed by political experts, but many of those are placing the blame on Speaker McCarthy.
Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett, senior advisor to former Obama Cabinet secretary Julián Castro Thursday afternoon wrote: “Reminder: Kevin McCarthy could put a clean bill to fund the government on the floor right now and it would pass easily. Instead, he’s sending members home for the weekend with 9 days until a shutdown—all because he’s afraid he’ll lose his job.”
Evidence that the far-right extremist House Republicans, led by U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are effectively in control comes via Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman:
At 1:13 PM ET Sherman posted that Rep. Gaetz had “just emerged from” Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s suite. “Gaetz said that he’s advocating for pausing consideration of the Pentagon spending bill and moving to bills that cut spending. He mentioned: State-Foreign Ops, Agriculture, Energy and Water.”
Sherman noted that Gaetz “said again there are not enough votes” for a continuing resolution, legislation to keep the government open temporarily, possibly 30 days past the September 30 deadline.
“Just to review, the plan right now is to begin passing 11 appropriations bills with relatively open rules allowing for amendments between next tues (possibly wed) and Sunday.”
At 2:40 PM, Sherman added, “This is now the strategy. They’re going to bring up individual approps [appropriations] bills next week, per lawmakers who just met with @SpeakerMcCarthy.”
Others were less pleased.
Veteran foreign policy journalist Laura Rozen wrote: “truly insane. Mccarthy surrendered to Gaetz.”
Even before McCarthy adjourned the House for the rest of the week, political experts had warned the volatile situation was worse than it may have appeared.
Sherman, late Thursday morning, issued this warning on social media after the failed Defense Dept. vote: “Just to put this in context, republicans cannot even agree to debate the pentagon spending bill. This bill usually passes by big margins. It failed twice this week. Kevin mccarthys House Republicans are in a state of crisis.”
Josh Chafetz, Georgetown Law professor of law and politics, responded to Thursday’s failed Defense Dept. procedural vote, writing: “if you can’t pass the procedural stuff you don’t have a working majority.”
Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) is calling the state of the GOP House a “total breakdown.”
“I started working in the House nearly 11 years ago, I’ve seen some crazy days and some chaotic votes but never seen anything like what is happening with this majority. Just a total breakdown,” he wrote Thursday morning.
Professor and American historian Aaron Astor on Thursday asked, “Does the GOP actually have a working majority in the House?”
Veteran journalist John Harwood quickly replied, “clearly not.”
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