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In Knives Out, both liberals and conservatives are the villains – Washington Examiner

Knives Out, an Agatha Christie-style whodunit that will likely snag some Oscar nominations soon, is not really political.

You can enjoy the film as a pretty standard murder mystery without unpacking its characters beliefs, from the Trumpism of one character to the open borders rhetoric of another. One of the most interesting things about the film is the way its able to lampoon both.

Liberal magazine Sojourners described the movies perspective as a merciless skewering of white privilege. More fundamentally, its a critique of hypocrisy.

Hollywood liberals took a beating this week when Ricky Gervais blasted their double standards: touting moral lessons about society while cozying up to Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. Knives Out follows suit.

The film is about a rich, white man and his rich, white family, who hope to inherit his wealth after his mysterious death. During a discussion at old Harlan Thrombeys birthday party the night before he dies, his son-in-law and daughter-in-law get into an argument.

Richard, whom daughter-in-law Joni pejoratively refers to as red-hat wearer, echoes the pull yourself up by your bootstraps rhetoric of the GOP. Immigrants should be rewarded for entering the country the legal way, etc.

Joni, an Instagram influencer who meditates and spouts platitudes in a way that would make Gwyneth Paltrow jealous, responds that the government is putting kids in cages.

To settle the argument, Richard calls in Marta, Harlans Latina nurse. She did it the right way, he explains. But Marta has a secret: Her mother is undocumented.

Marta becomes the unofficial protagonist of the film, leading detective Benoit Blanc through the idiosyncrasies of the family and ultimately to the truth of the murder. And while the film had a chance to present the liberal, excessively pro-immigration side as heroes, it turns them, as well as the right-wingers, into villains.

No one in the family can remember which country in South America Marta is from, and at least three different options are mentioned throughout the film. (Brazil? Paraguay? Educador?) When it is revealed (spoiler alert) that the unselfish Marta will receive all of Harlans fortune, the Thrombey family goes ballistic.

In an effort to wrest the fortune back for themselves, they threaten to expose Martas mother as an undocumented immigrant unless Marta gives them what they see as their rightful inheritance. All of the characters, from the MAGA ones (one of whom calls Marta an anchor baby) to the woke liberals, are in on the scheme. That talk about caring about immigrants seems pretty empty when one immigrant becomes an obstacle to a huge wad of cash.

Instead of using the political tension in the film to stir controversy, Knives Out plays off it for humor, particularly in the scene where the family begins fighting and hurling insults from alt-right troll to SJW student.

Everyone kind of sucks, except Marta, who, like many young immigrants in America, grew up in a difficult situation that she did not choose. The film refrains from overly politicizing her plight, but it does offer this commentary: Neither conservatives nor liberals are really on her side.

The film's director, Rian Johnson, has said Knives Out is not a "message movie." But, he told the Associated Press, it was important that the film seem modern.

"Right now, if you have dinner with your big family and you have a few glasses of wine, and you start arguing, guess what you're going to be arguing about?" he asked. "It's the same stuff we're all arguing about. And so hopefully the movie portrays that in a way where you can go with your family and you can all kind of laugh at yourselves a little bit."

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In Knives Out, both liberals and conservatives are the villains - Washington Examiner

Did Eleanor Roosevelt Say This About the Word ‘Liberal’? – Snopes.com

In early January 2020, Snopes readers inquired about the provenance and authenticity of a quotation attributed to former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt that contained her reflections on the word liberal and the importance of the concept of freedom in American society.

On Dec. 31, 2019, for instance, a Facebook account posted a widely shared meme containing a portrait of Roosevelt and the following quote:

Long ago, there was a noble word, liberal, which derives from the word free. Now a strange thing happened to that word. A man named Hitler made it a term of abuse, a matter of suspicion, because those who were not with him were against him, and liberals had no use for Hitler. And then another man named McCarthy cast the same opprobrium on the word We must cherish and honor the word free or it will cease to apply to us. Eleanor Roosevelt.

The same meme was promulgated even further two days later, when the left-leaning Occupy Democrats Facebook page posted it, along with the message Who else is a PROUD liberal?

The quote is authentic and did indeed originate in something Roosevelt wrote: her 1963 book Tomorrow is Now, which was published shortly after her death in November 1962. The relevant section, towards the end of the book, reads in full as follows:

Long ago, there was a noble word, liberal, which derives from the word free. Now a strange thing happened to that word. A man named Hitler made it a term of abuse, a matter of suspicion, because those who were not with him were against him, and liberals had no use for Hitler. And then another man named McCarthy cast the same opprobrium on the word. Indeed, there was a time a short but dismaying time when many Americans began to distrust the word which derived from free. One thing we must all do. We must cherish and honor the word free or it will cease to apply to us. And that would be an inconceivable situation. This I know. This I believe with all my heart. If we want a free and a peaceful world, if we want to make the deserts bloom and man grow to greater dignity as a human being WE CAN DO IT!

The meme shared widely in early 2020 left out certain words taken from this section, but it properly acknowledged that omission with the use of an ellipsis, and the omission did not misrepresent or change the meaning of what Roosevelt wrote. As such, the meme was accurate and authentic and properly attributed the quotation to its true author.

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Did Eleanor Roosevelt Say This About the Word 'Liberal'? - Snopes.com

The End of Pseudo-Liberalism | John Waters – First Things

The self-styled intellectual class is growing excitable. Under the onslaught of Trump, Brexit, Europe-wide populism, and Jordan Peterson, can we be certain, they ask, that the open society will continue? The only way on from liberalism, they believe, is backward into the darkness whence we allegedly emerged. Even those who are not enthusiastic about liberalisms tender mercies are required to moderate their hopes for its demise, lest the new nurse turn out to be worse than the serving one. A lot of people, including people who call themselves conservatives, appear to be concerned about the future of liberalism, and this concern is causing the age to be misread.

For the discussion is bogus to begin with. What is called liberalism here is not liberalism at all, but its direct opposite. It is liberalism only in name, and therefore offers no guarantee of an open society at all. By corrupting the meanings of terms like equality, tolerance, and human rights, the liberal ascendancy of the past three decades has overburdened the skeleton of our civilization, leaving it weakened and susceptible to collapse.

We should stop using words like liberalism as though they were not already subsumed in irony, as though the sense of virtue and good intention that they are supposed to connote remained valid. I believe it has become necessary to prefix certain words in our political lexicon to alert bystanders to their hidden corruption. For three decades I have referred to pseudo-liberalism. What we call liberalism is no longer to be thought upright. If it dies, it will be a cause of celebration, not dismay.

This pseudo-liberalism is founded on a lie: the idea that freedom resides in getting whatever you demand and doing whatever you desire. In the words of the diabolical occultist Aleister Crowley: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. A moments thought reveals such ideas as civilization-threatening. By definition, what one person demands must be taken from someplace where it already benefits others, and doing exactly what you want will invariably be a cost to someone else or, ultimatelybecause of the complexity of the human instrumentto yourself. There are libraries of philosophy and theology on these topics, but as far as contemporary conversations are concerned, it is as though not a word of this is relevant.

The Sixties generation, which introduced these incoherencies into the bloodstream of modern societies, has not been honest about its own experience of these much-vaunted freedoms, which have left a trail of devastation behind them. One symptom of this is that there is virtually no lucid witness to the errors of pseudo-liberalism, not just in the intimate areas of human relations, but in relation to economics and the movements of people in the modern world. For half a century, these converging strands of insipid thinking have dominated Western societies, steamrolling everything and everyone with the help of corporate money and devious propaganda, their incoherencies protected from scrutiny by the influence and dollars of Big This and Big That, by corrupted media and the force field of political correctness. Self-styled liberals have hijacked the idealism of the young, enlisting them for a project that has the outward appearance of virtue but is rotten to the core. They have convinced even our own children that globalism is an unequivocal good and that human safety and well-being can be maintained without the assistance of the civilization that made all these qualities possible in the first place.

Thus, pseudo-liberalism seeks to turn upside-down the value system of the civilization that once was Christendom, attacking its core institutions and mocking and censoring its history. It justifies genocide in the form of abortion and is clearly intentsometimes unwittinglyupon engineering the cultural and moral demolition of the West itself, by dint of godless relativism, induced migration, the elimination of distinct nations, and the destruction of the nuclear family.

And although this is quite clearly the most intolerant ideology to have emerged in the West since World War II, signs of the demise of this liberalism are met with handwringing from people who ought to know better. All right-thinking people must agree that populism is a bad thing. We must, while admitting its minor blemishes, still accept that what is called liberalism offers the one best way forward for Western societies.

Liberal-progressivismto give it its most informative nameis actually an advanced form of colonialism, imposing itself not just on territories but also claiming dominion over all future time, brooking no dissent and remorselessly punishing recalcitrant doubters. In this sense it is deeply totalitarian, insisting on one best way that cannot be questioned.

In his 1987 essayStories and Totalitarianism, Vclav Havel defined the mechanism of totalitarianism as the assassination of history to achieve both nihilisation of the past and mastery over the future. The instrument of this process he identified as the removal from history of the possibilities of human choice, mystery, and autonomy: History becomes a fixed sequence of unfolding inevitabilities, and the role of human beings is merely to acquiesce and embrace what is pressed upon them.

To put this another way, under the new colonialism the future is a city already constructed, waiting to be moved into. There is no space for human discussion or disagreement. It is already decidedand not, we are archly informed, by some arbitrary human authority but by the mechanistic mind of time, which ordains the course of history according to immutable and unchallengeable laws.

We are now, it is certain, seeing the early stages of the disintegration of this pseudo-liberalism. This liberalism has promised untrammeled economic growth, itself an example of its incoherence: Increasing growth never delivers increasing happiness. Moreover, in ignoring the inevitability of boom-bust, this promise provides an example of pseudo-liberal dishonesty.There is no final glorious destination.

This pseudo-liberalism also promises free speech, while curtailing it in the name of civilityemploying sophisticated abuses of language to impose censorship so as to protect its own incoherence, and arrogating to itself the right to stifle anything that offers a significant threat to itself.It also promises increasingly purer forms of democracy but in reality is pushing us ever closer to mob rule.

Pseudo-liberalism lays claim to the universalization of human rights, but it requires just a moments reflection to realize that what is meant by this is not universal in the least, but a highly ideological recalibration of the balance of power between establishments and minorities, which provide human shields for the prosecution of an undeclared war on what is.

Moreover, it is precisely the pseudo-liberal insistence on a selective understanding of human rights that lies at the heart of the current threat to Europes future. For if universal rights are to trump rights of culture, history, place, locality, home and hearth, the outcome will be the destruction of all culture, loyalty, and trust, creating an intercontinental incontinence that will sweep all order and coherence before it.

What is called liberalism attacks what is most precious in our tradition of community solidarity, opposing those values we have held dearestlove of God, nation, and familyin favor of an empty and faithless materialism and the pseudo-laws of the new ideologies. The flaws of this pseudo-liberalism amount to an indictment that far outweighs even the sum of the promised benefits, for it amounts, in truth, to the negation of democracy, free speech, and meaningful liberty.

It is true that there are actors waiting in the wings who represent something even more illiberal than the present dispensation. But we should not cling to a nurse for fear of something worse.Perhaps somewhere about the precincts of this paradox lies the explanation of why liberals have so far supported the influx of Muslims into Europe: This is part of the liberal program of disintegrating the culture, traditions, and civilization of the West. Often one is forced to wonder if liberals know anything about the nature of Islam and its ambitions, whether they are aware that the Islamic concept of the infidel disqualifies all such peoples from what they think their entitlements. No sane person could ever have accused these pseudo-liberals of being far-sighted. Still, here they have surely surpassed themselves with their willful myopia and stupidity. If they wish to imagine how it will end, I recommend they have a quiet read of Michel HouellebecqsSubmission, which tells of the capitulation of a future French establishment to the blandishments of Islam.

But the problem does not lie merely with pseudo-liberalism. Paradoxically, a dangerous tendency of thought has arisen in late times among conservatives: the idea that any flaws of liberalismsuch as, one presumes, its blind utopian globalism and politically correct excessespale compared to the barbarism to be observed elsewhere in the world. They take this to mean that we should not raise a fuss about what is happening in the West, but rather express gratitude for the openness we enjoy and the tolerance liberals extend to their opponents. This, too, is bogus. Tolerance here, like equality, means something different than it used to. Once, tolerance meant not interfering with, or attempting to suppress, beliefs that contradicted ones own, but this response has given way to a dictatorship of intolerance wherein everything is tolerated except the views of those who do not subscribe to the tenets of pseudo-liberalism.

Liberals speak of what they call the liberal order as though its virtues were self-evident. This allows them to adopt a tone of moral sanctimony. Those who disagree, therefore, mustipso factosuffer from some kind of pathological perverseness: They oppose the good out of fear, vexatiousness, or worse. But the pseudo-liberal sense of the good is selective and self-serving, and has no good plans for those who dissent from it. We have seen this, again and again, and what we have seenat the hands of social justice warriors, LGBT activists, #MeTooers, and the likeprovides evidence of what the liberal end of history would actually look like.

So let us not be frightened into shoring up that which is finally disintegrating. Pseudo-liberalism is finally disintegrating under belated retaliation from those it treats with contempt, as well as the weight of its own senselessness. The liberal state of affairs is a bit like the current state of rock n roll: Though on its last legs, no one can imagine what, if anything, comes next.This for a time appeared to be the strongest card of the self-proclaimed liberals: that they did indeed represent the end of history.Now, what is (often pejoratively) calledpopulismhas arisen to put paid to that idea.

This populism may represent the future, in one form or another, or simply the precursor to something we are not yet able to imagine.Butwhatever it is, it seems our only hope. The choice we face is not between left and right, orstill lessliberal and far right. Certainly, the choice is not between a continuation of the present pseudo-liberalism or a descent into Islamismthe first willinevitably give way to the second. Rather, the choice is between civilization and its antithesis. It could hardly be more serious.The time has come tolet the delusions of the Sixties finally die in their dilapidated beds.

John Watersis an Irish writer and commentator, the author of ten books, and a playwright.

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The End of Pseudo-Liberalism | John Waters - First Things

The Washington Post’s latest liberal news from the swamp – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Do you wish the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was more or less likely to mail you one of their ominous audit letters?

You know, the kind that lands in your mailbox like the carnival sledgehammer in the high striker game. Only, instead of ringing a bell, it sends your blood pressure soaring and has you running for boxes of receipts in the basement even if you did your taxes honestly and accurately, which we all should.

If not, you must be an editorial writer for The Washington Post, the government newsletter. The Post railed against Republicans this past Thursday for trimming the IRS budget.

The agencys audit rate has plummeted, The Post thundered from its prime spot in the belly of the swamp. If you pay your taxes, on time and in good faith, you should be outraged.

Or relieved, depending on your point of view.

Calling for a bigger IRS budget and more audits, The Post labeled the GOP effort to hobble the IRS an irrational populist spasm that Congress should finally suppress.

Somehow, The Post was not overly moved or spasmodic its own self when the IRS under President Obama was caught red-handed using its power to kneecap the Tea Party movement in 2009, 2010 and beyond.

Ample documentation emerged of IRS officials repeatedly visiting the White House during this time to, oh, I dont know, have tea?

Meanwhile, IRS agents were demanding years of financial records and piling on with other federal agencies against Mr. Obamas perceived political enemies. They even demanded to know if some groups seeking a tax exemption started their meetings with prayer.

It soon became clear that Lois Lerner, who was in charge of the nonprofit sector at the IRS, was illegally using the government like a Third World brute squad to hobble a major Republican constituency. Of course, nothing ever happened to her, other than retiring with a full pension. Thanks, suckers.

No wonder The Post wants the IRS to be bigger and more powerful. Its nice to have them in your corner hassling conservatives when youre trying to elect more socialists, er, progressives.

Along those lines, The Post also ran a column the same day by a self-described Republican woman who penned, How Democrats can attract Republican voters.

This swamp creature, who once chaired a major federal agency and worked in Republican and Democratic administrations, is The Posts kind of Republican. She wants Democrats to choose an experienced candidate like Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren. She warns against being lured by young Mayor Pete, who has been surging in primary state polls.

I like Buttigieg and would be happy to endorse him 20 years from now, this Republican writes. But, hes too wet behind the ears, unlike Mr. Obama who, she swoons, was, and is, an exceptional, inspirational leader, skilled politician and grass-roots organizer.

As for Mr. Trump, she says he beat Hillary Clinton only because a large segment of the electorate wanted to register a vote against her perceived elitism and disinterest in the working class.

This simplistic explanation couched in the language of Marxist class warfare is not why I voted against her. Its not even because Hillary is a crook and a liar and hung our people out to dry in Benghazi.

Its because, unlike her centrist Democrat husband, shes a hardcore leftist in the mold of Mr. Obama, whose administration put hundreds of loons in judges robes, rammed through his own version of HillaryCare and knocked America down a peg all over the world, especially in the Middle East. Thats where he did his apology to Muslims tour and shipped pallets of cash to our enemies in Tehran.

On top of all that, Mr. Trump is actually pro-American, pro-life, pro-religious liberty, appoints excellent judges and is not afraid to take on the left, including the Marxist brain trust otherwise known as mainstream media.

Did I say Marxist? How else to explain things like a lengthy, sweetheart obituary in The Washington Post on Thursday for Harry Pombo Villegas, right hand man to Cuban revolutionary leader Che Guevara? Most of the article is about the dashing Che, beloved of T-shirt wearing, clueless college students. They have no idea that he was a ruthless thug who personally executed many of Fidel Castros opponents without trial or mercy. Neither do The Post obits readers.

Villegas followed Che to Africa and South America, where, backed by the Soviets, Che was trying to turn more countries into communist hellholes.

Che finally was captured in Bolivia with the CIAs help in 1967 as Villegas escaped and got back to Castros Cuba. A Bolivian sergeant executed Che, with a nefarious CIA agent orchestrating it to look like he died in battle, according to Villegas memoir cited in the obit.

The very last line is a quote from Villegas: Che died as he lived; full of optimism.

So, CIA bad, Che and Villegas good. Par for the course.

Between the call for a more powerful IRS, the political advice to Democrats from the Republican woman, and the ode to one of the most vicious murderers of our time, The Post lived up to its front-page motto: Democracy Dies in Darkness.

Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times.

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The Washington Post's latest liberal news from the swamp - Washington Times

Liberal Swim Teams Takes Third in Wichita – KSCB News.net

Team Scores

1st Place Garden City 534 Points2nd Place Kapaun Mt Carmel 357 Points3rd Place Liberal 221 Points4th Place Wichita Classical 166 Points5th Place Trinity Academy 152 Points6th Place Garden City Brown 142 Points7th Place Wichita West 76 Points

Wichita West Meet1/11/2020

200 Freestyle7th Aaron Barboza9th Seth Fitzgerald

200 IM6th Jack Maxwell7th Edgar Cortez

50 Freestyle4th Jacob Sautter16th Seth Fitzgerald

100 Butterfly6th Yared Romo

100 Freestyle4th Jacob Sautter12th Jack Maxwell15th TC Stephenson

500 Freestyle8th Aaron Barboza9th Sea Jiamsripong

200 Freestyle Relay6th Jacob Sautter, Jack Maxwell, Seth Fitzgerald, Aaron Barboza9th TC Stephenson, Malachi Martinez, Yared Romo, Aidan Rice

100 Backstroke9th Malachi Martinez

100 Breaststroke7th Aidan Rice9th Edgar Cortez

400 Freestyle Relay4th Jacob Sautter, Jack Maxwell, Seth Fitzgerald, Aaron Barboza

Coach Mary Stephensons comments

It was a great Meet in Wichita. The team PRed in 14 different races. We continue to see improvement in every meet we compete in. Next meet will be next Tuesday in Hutchinson.

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Liberal Swim Teams Takes Third in Wichita - KSCB News.net

To The Liberal Media’s Dismay, There Will Be No Disastrous War With Iran – The Federalist

The last few days have been an ongoing spectacle of media bias and incompetence in the coverage of the Qassem Suleimani strike and its fallout.

Mainstream outlets, suffering mightily from Trump derangement syndrome, practically rooted for a wider conflict with Iran in the hopes it might damage Trump, then evinced genuine disappointment when Iran backed down after half-heartedly lobbing a few short-range ballistic missiles in the direction of U.S. troops stationed in Iraq, which inflicted no casualties.

But just think what could have been! Three days ago, The Atlantics David A. Graham wrote a piece headlined, Its 2003 All Over Again, in which he argues the recent killing of Iranian general Suleimani by U.S. missile strike last week is just like the runup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq under George W. Bush.

The U.S. stands on the brink of an unpredictable war in the Middle East, Graham writes, then describes a scenario in which an American president, untutored in foreign affairs, is pushed into war by a hawkish vice president and a powerful Cabinet secretary seeking to follow through on their deep-rooted ideological commitments. Meanwhile, as civilian leaders march toward war, military officers seem unprepared and startled by the administrations belligerence.

See the connection? Graham sure does. Each new piece of information about President Donald Trumps decision to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani produces sobering parallels with the situation 17 years ago.

What a difference two days make. After a face-saving missile attack on an Iraqi airbase that houses some U.S. troops, which American officials were apparently told about in advance by Iraqi intermediaries, the fight seems to have gone out of Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted Tuesday night that Iran had concluded proportionate measures and that it does not seek escalationan admission by Tehran that President Trump had called its bluff and the ayatollahs arent willing to risk a broader conflict.

Further confirmation came when Shiite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told pro-Iranian militias in Iraq not to retaliate, saying in a statement, the crisis is over.

On Wednesday, Trump confirmed that no U.S. troops were injured in the missile attack and that Iran now appears to be standing down. Instead of ratcheting up the bellicose rhetoric, Trump gave the Iranians an off-ramp, saying America is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it, and calling for new multilateral negotiations to replace the defunct 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

So far, all of this is very unlike the leadup to the Iraq War, let alone the beginning of World War III. To the medias dismay, Trump isnt turning into Bush, and Iran isnt turning into Iraq. In fact, the entire saga has been deterrence-through-strength 101. Trump surgically took out the worlds number-one terrorist and successfully managed a de-escalation with Iran, but all the liberal media can muster in response is fear-mongering, dissimulation, and what amounts to a collective sneer at Trump and his supporters.

The Atlantic ran a column by David Frum on Wednesday crowing about how the American people still arent rallying around Trump. The Trump administration and its supporters seem to have hoped for a rally around the flag effect from the killing of Soleimani. This did not happen.

Can you imagine Frum or any other mainstream pundit writing such an article after, say, Benghazi? Of course not. Yet that was a legitimate crisis of the Obama administrations own making, a deceit-laden screwup brought on by a needless Libya campaign that turned the country into a failed state. Remember all the Atlantic think pieces on how Americans werent rallying around President Obama? Me neither.

It seems the mediaalong with no small number of Democratswill say anything and take any position, no matter how asinine, if it might hurt Trump. Theyll even praise a murderous theocratic regime. Heres the Washington Posts Dave Weigel, with a case in point:

And heres Joy Behar of ABCs The View, touting the good news that Richard Spencer, the racist neo-Nazi provocateur, regrets supporting Trump because of the Suleimani strikeat which the audience applauded.

No wonder so many people hate the mainstream press. No wonder, for example, that in the aftermath of the shooting at West Freeway Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas, the churchs minister, Britt Farmer, refused to speak with anyone in the mainstream media. He gave only one interview to the editor of a Christian outlet, who said Farmer feared how a conservative Christian minister in a pistol-packing congregation might be portrayed. Smart man.

Of course, no one can predict what will come next in the Middle East. Perhaps Iran will retaliate further, maybe with a terrorist-style attack against U.S. targets somewhere. But for now, by any reasonable standard Trumps gambit has worked. He dealt a harsh blow to Iran and the mullahs backed down. Just dont expect the media to be honest about it.

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To The Liberal Media's Dismay, There Will Be No Disastrous War With Iran - The Federalist

Meet the six candidates vying to lead the Ontario Liberal Party – iPolitics.ca

The Ontario Liberal Party suffered a wounding in the last provincial election, with results knocking the Grits from a majority government to a minuscule caucus stripped of its official party status. In March, hordes of OLP faithful will assemble in Mississauga to select a new leader, whom the Liberal camp is hoping can spark renewal within their ranks.

This month, iPolitics interviewed each of the six leadership hopefuls about their visions for the party ahead of a 2022 election. (Profiles are listed in alphabetical order by surname.)

Michael Coteau is betting on coalitions.

He credits them with securing his provincial seat in the 2018 election a race he clinched over Toronto deputy mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong by 1,028 votes. There were other elections before that, but Coteau was one of just seven Liberals to hold a seat in 2018; the party has since whittled down to five. Ive won six elections in a row. And Im not saying that to sound like, I win elections. Its more to me about building a coalition, Coteau said in a recent interview with iPolitics, examining his bid to become leader of the currently miniature Ontario Liberal Party.

Were not going to win this next election, as Liberals, by just betting on Doug Ford failing, Coteau said. Make no mistake. There are a lot of people who do agree with what Doug Ford is doing there are a lot of people who are loyal to him and his party. I think we need to build a coalition in this province that exceeds that kind of support.

And he extolls his faith in doing exactly that. He sees the ability as a key differentiating factor against his opponents in the leadership contest as well as his ministerial experience, though candidates Mitzie Hunter and Steven Del Duca each served as ministers in the last government as well. (Hunter held onto her seat in the 2018 vote. Del Duca was bumped from his role by PC Michael Tibollo.) Coteau sees himself as a fixer in Queens Park someone who, in his view, stabilized files like the Pan Am Games or autism services in Ontario. Critics may present dissenting views, asnews reports from 2016lay out a public disagreement between Coteau and Ontario Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk over whether the 2015 Games cost taxpayers more than planned.

Coteau acknowledges that his 16 years in public office first as a school board trustee, then as an MPP and cabinet minister at Queens Park may work against him in some ways. Some folks wanted a fresh face, new energy, he speculated. (Two of his opponents, Kate Graham and Alvin Tedjo, are former candidates. The final hopeful to be green-lit, Brenda Hollingsworth, is a lawyer in Ottawa.) People look at me and say, Oh, hes been around for some time. Hes one of those guys whos an insider, Coteau said. Shortly afterward, he offered a clarification. Hed been on the inside, certainly; but he insists hes been on the outside of what he calls the circle of the Ontario Liberal Party telling iPolitics that he had challenged the party on matters like education reform.

Read more about Coteaus leadership bid here.

Steven Del Duca considers himself a very traditionally partisan person.

The admission comes as the Ontario Liberal leadership hopeful discussed climate change, in a recent interview with iPolitics about his bid for the partys top post. He tacks on an addendum that the file, in his view, should transcend party partiality. But Del Duca, who has beenframed by at least one of his five competitorsas a sort of symbol of the partys establishment, doesnt shy away from talking about his three decades of immersion in Liberal politics nor discussing how a prolonged stretch of time in government work can narrow your vision.

When youre inside the bubble, when you hear the same advice consistently, over and over again, and when the challenges can be considerable a lot of the things thrown at you can be tough to untangle it becomes easy to fall into the default, Del Duca reflected.

The former cabinet minister was already being described as well-connected in the Toronto Star a decade ago, before his time representing a Vaughan-area riding provincially, which began after a by-election in 2012. But he was bumped out of office by the Progressive Conservatives Michael Tibollo in 2018. (All but seven Liberal candidates provincially faced the same fate.) Del Duca acknowledges that he had at least one clear blind spot during his last go-around at Queens Park, which was a lack of understanding about Ontarios inequalities and disparities that he attributes to spending his whole life living in the Greater Toronto Area.

One of my biggest personal deficits was falling into the trap that my reality was aligned to everyone elses reality, Del Duca admitted, couching the statement by saying he always knew there were inequalities in an intellectual way, but that it had never been visceral to him before visiting a host of varied ridings across the province during the last year.

Read more about Del Ducas leadership bid here.

Kate Graham believes that Ontario could stand to learn a thing or two from local governments.

The provincial Liberal leadership hopeful, who spent a decade as a public servant in London, Ont., and teaches politics at Western University, maintains that Queens Park doesnt invite the same public participation as city halls across the province. Simply strolling into the building feels more difficult, she said. Its a very distant relationship with the public.

Local councils, which generally operate without the same formal party systems as the province, see collisions of individuals ideas and perspectives something Graham admits doesnt always work. But when it does, she sings the systems praises, denouncing what she calls hyper-partisanship and division at higher government levels.

Most people are pretty turned off by politics. They dont care much about political parties, Graham said in a recent interview with iPolitics, pointing to the sparse percentage of Canadians who are card-carrying party members. (As of 2013, Statistics Canada noted that only four per cent of respondent Canadians were members of political parties or groups.)

And while tamping down partisan views may be a tricky sell for someone like Graham who, in slightly more than two months, will face throngs of dyed-in-the-wool Grits at a leadership convention in Toronto, with hopes of gleaning their support over the five other confirmed candidates and gunning for the Ontario Liberal Partys top post she espouses a belief that even party loyalists will see a need for the change after the provincial Liberals blistering 2018 defeat.

In some ways, were in the worst spot in our history, Graham assessed, noting the 2018 loss first, then elaborating. Weve got more people running for leader than currently sitting at Queens Park. Were in debt. Weve got a lot of work to do to rebuild in ridings all around Ontario. But its also an opportunity to think big about who we are and what we stand for.

Read more about Grahams leadership bid here.

At a downtown Toronto convention centre, on an evening in late November, five hopefuls vying for leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party were handed a microphone, and given time to make their pitch to an assembled mass of party loyalists. One candidate, meanwhile, was stuck in the crowd not yet eligible for a five-minute slot on stage.

Brenda Hollingsworth, an Ottawa lawyer who was the last to toss her hat in the ring for OLP leadership, had submitted her paperwork and met the financial deadline for the race, but was still in the throws of a third-party vetting process. It wasnt because I didnt want to (run), Hollingsworth said, defending her last minute sign-up in a recent interview.

The issue was, Im a trial lawyer, she continued. I had a case that I thought it would settle in the summer, and it kept not settling. This is somebody with a catastrophic injury. I couldnt leave them, and I wouldnt have been allowed to leave them anyway. And so, the case settled towards the end of October, and I took a week to decide if it was too late or not, and decided to go for it. So, it was just sort of circumstantial.

The under-the-wire decision left Hollingsworth with a short runway to meet yet another party deadline, which loomed large. New memberships could only be sold until Dec. 2, which was mere days away. Hollingsworth said she pulled in somewhere between 300 and 325, notwithstanding any who were disqualified for any reason. Its a scarce number compared with the 14,173 new members that opponent Steven Del Duca says his campaign sold before the cut-off date. Those members factor into a pool of 37,831, who will elect delegates to select the party leader in early March.

Its not a very long runway to do those things, Hollingsworth conceded, reflecting on her campaigns early days. Cautioning that she didnt want to take away from Del Ducas success, she noted that his campaign in particular had been building momentum for the better part of a year. In addition, candidates like Del Duca, Michael Coteau or Mitzie Hunter had spent time in provincial politics before their bids. Theres no question that its a challenge when youre coming in, literally, as an outsider. Im introducing myself to a lot of people for the first time, Hollingsworth said.

Still, despite the myriad of hurdles that come with being a late entrant and an unfamiliar face, Hollingsworth is banking on an appetite for a true political outsider to be leader propelling her nascent campaign forward.

Read more about Hollingsworths leadership bid here.

Two years after an electoral reform pledge was abandoned on Parliament Hill, flickers of a similar conversation are igniting at Queens Park with Ontario Liberal leadership candidate Mitzie Hunter saying she would absolutely pursue the matter at the provincial level, if she assumes the helm of her party and it eventually forms government.

Hunter, a former cabinet minister and one of six in the running for the OLPs top post, has pushed in the past for electoral reform at the most local level, introducing a private members bill as an MPP that focused on allowing municipalities to conduct elections using a ranked-ballot system. (The idea later became a government bill, and the City of London, Ont., became the first to use ranked ballots for its local vote in 2018.)

I believe that its better. I believe that it provides a more inclusive form of electing leaders, Hunter told iPolitics in a recent interview, during which she confirmed that electoral reform was something she would pursue provincially if successful in the ongoing leadership race. Also, it forces candidates in the race to be more respectful of each other and focus on the issues rather than the personalities, and thats probably something that would be welcome at this stage in our political process, she added.

Hunter currently has no intention of reconsidering the voting age in Ontario, but she would consider a move to register teenagers for the vote while theyre still in their high school years in order to cut down on the potential of young people becoming lost in the shuffle between high school and any post-secondary education they might pursue.

But before any of that comes a rebuild, the primary task facing whomever is selected as leader of the OLP in early March. Hunter currently sits as one of just five Liberal MPPs at Queens Park, representing the Toronto riding of ScarboroughGuildwood since a byelection in 2013. (Another member of the diminutive caucus, Don Valley Easts Michael Coteau, also has his hat in the leadership ring.) Hunter is pitching her role at Queens Park, having survived the 2018 race, as a favourable position for a party leader to be in.

Read more about Hunters leadership bid here.

Alvin Tedjo is prepared to ruffle some feathers.

Tedjo, one of six candidates gunning for leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, punctuates discussion about his platform with more abstract ideas the mainstream political norm as he sees it, for example, versus what he calls the mainstream ethos. Those phrases sprung forward while discussing a chief component of Tedjos pitch to voters, which is a merging of Ontarios public and Catholic school systems.

Since I was born, in the 80s, this has been an issue. And every government, of every political stripe, has been afraid to talk about it because theyre afraid of political backlash, Tedjo claimed in a recent interview with iPolitics, discussing his bid for leader. Certainly Ive run into some people that said, well, I dont think this is a good idea, (but) most of those people are saying they dont think its a good idea politically. Theyre not saying they dont think its a good idea morally, ethically, or policy wise.

Tedjo cites aNovember poll from public opinion form Abacus Datato back his campaign pledge. The survey of 785 voting-aged Ontarians which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20 found 56 per cent support for merging the Catholic and public school systems in Ontario. One in four strongly supported the idea, and on the other side, one in 10 surveyed Ontarians were strongly opposed to it. The strongest opposition came, predictably, from Ontarios Catholic population, as 45 per cent of provincial Catholics opposed consolidation and 15 per cent said they were unsure. (Forty per cent of Catholics supported the idea.)

Despite pushback, though, it would be tricky to claim that Tedjo opposes Catholic education in Ontario wholesale; his children are currently enrolled in the system themselves. They have a great education. I love what theyre getting. But what theyre getting is exclusive to them, because a) theyre Catholic, and b) my wife has French language rights. So we had four times the amount of choices than any other family in Ontario, Tedjo said. I dont see how thats fair at all.

Read more about Tedjos leadership bid here.

The Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention is scheduled to take place March 6 and 7, 2020.

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Meet the six candidates vying to lead the Ontario Liberal Party - iPolitics.ca

Liberals dropped in on-reserve voting in 2019 federal election as NDP remained on top – CBC.ca

Liberal support among voters living on reserves fell significantly in October's federal election, as the New Democrats remained the top choice. But the Liberals nevertheless retained more than two-thirds of the support they had gained in the previous election, before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's stated commitment to Indigenous reconciliation hit some obstacles during his first four years in office.

Indigenous engagement in the 2015 federal election was high, with turnout reaching a historic summit of 61.5 per cent on First Nations reserves. While the NDP won that vote, the Liberals made significant inroads among First Nations voters, more than tripling their support.

On-reserve turnout figures for the 2019 federal election are not yet available, but an analysis of Elections Canada data by CBC News finds that the New Democrats were able to win the vote in on-reserve polling divisions for at least the third consecutive election but their lead over the Liberals was virtually unchanged from four years before.

A measure of First Nations people living on-reserve represents a minority of Indigenous Canadians, as it excludes any who live off-reserve as well as Inuit, Mtis, and non-status Indians. Only about half of First Nations peopleand around a quarter of all Canadians who claim Aboriginal identity in the census live on reserves. Additionally, roughly 10 per cent of people living on reserve are not Indigenous.

But among those in October who voted in polling divisions located entirely on-reserve, the NDPreceived the greatest share with 40.2 per cent of ballots cast. The Liberals finished second with 32.5 per cent, followed by the Conservatives at 17.2 per cent and the Greens at 7.5 per cent. Together, the People's Party, Bloc Qubcois and other candidates earned2.5 per cent of the on-reserve vote.

This suggests First Nations voters at least those living on reserves were more than twice as likely to vote for the NDP as other Canadians. The party captured 15.9 per cent of the vote nationwide, less than half of the share it received on reserves. Conversely, the Conservatives were twice as popular in the country as a whole as they were on reserves.

The Liberal vote share on reserves and nationwide was not significantly different.

Despite finishing first, for the NDP this representsthe party's second consecutive decrease in support on reserves. The NDPreceived58.4 per cent of the vote in polling divisions located entirely on reserves in 2011, when the New Democrats formed the Official Opposition. That dropped 12 points to 46.4 per cent in 2015 and another six points in 2019.

The Liberals saw their share of the vote on reserves drop eight points since 2015, though their score was still significantly higher than the 12.9 per cent the party received in 2011. While their drop was more than any other party's, itis perhaps not as steep as some expected, particularly after the SNC-Lavalin affair and the expulsion of Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada's first Indigenous attorney general, from caucus.

The Conservatives saw an increase of eight points on reserves between 2015 and 2019, though their result was still lower than the 22.8 per cent earnedin 2011.

There were some significant regional variations in how First Nations voted in on-reserve polling divisions.

The Liberals were the top choice onreserves in both Atlantic Canada and Quebec, outpacing their nearest rivals by 23 and 27 percentage points, respectively.

That advantage for the Liberals appears to have been decisive in two ridings. The Liberals won the New Brunswick seat of MiramichiGrand Lake by a margin of 370 votes over the Conservatives, fewer than the gap of 414 votes separating the Liberals and Conservatives onreserves in the riding.

In the Nova Scotia riding of SydneyVictoria, the Liberals won by an overall margin of 1,309 votes over the Conservatives. Their edge over the Conservativesin on-reserve polling divisions was 1,711 votes.

In Ontario, however, the New Democrats were particularly strong. The party received58 per cent of the votes on reserves in the province, well ahead of the Liberals' 29 per cent. That is a big shift from 2015, with the New Democrats widening their margin over the Liberals by 20 points.

In TimminsJames Bay in northern Ontario, the NDP's Charlie Angus earned86 per cent of the vote in on-reserve polling divisions, more than twice his share in the rest of the riding. He received 99 per cent in KashechewanFirst Nation up from 88 per cent in 2015 where a state of emergency was declared in April due to flooding.

In Grassy Narrows First Nation, where residents have struggled with the health effects of mercury poisoning, Chief Rudy Turtle captured 72 per cent of the vote for the NDP. Defeated Liberal incumbent Bob Nault took just 27 per cent of the vote, roughly half of his share from 2015. He was probably not helped by Trudeau having to apologize after sarcastically thanking a Grassy Narrows protester for their donationat a Liberal fundraiser last year.

Turtle, however, was not able to win the Kenora riding despite his strong support on reserves. The NDPreceived67 per cent of the vote in on-reserve polling divisions in Kenora, compared to just two per cent for the Conservatives' Eric Melillo, whose support was strong enough in the rest of the riding to secure the seat.

This was also the case in the Saskatchewan riding of DesnethMissinippiChurchill River, in which 71 per cent of the population claims Aboriginal identity. The Liberals' Tammy Cook-Searson, chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, won 49 per cent of the on-reserve vote, edging out NDP incumbent Georgina Jolibois by five points.

The Conservatives' Gary Vidal took just six per cent of the vote in on-reserve polling divisions, but managed to get 56 per cent of the vote in the rest of the riding. This made the difference, as Joliboisand Cook-Searson finished well back in other polling divisions with only 23 and 18 per cent of the vote, respectively.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer received only five per cent of the vote in on-reserve polling divisions in his ReginaQu'Appelle riding. He won theSaskatchewan riding,in which 21 per cent of the population claims Aboriginal descent, with 63 per cent of the vote.

This was typical for the Conservatives in the region. Across Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the partywon 47 of 48 seats, the Conservative had just 10 per cent support in on-reserve polling divisions. The NDPhad 47 per cent, followed by the Liberals at 39 per cent.

Only in British Columbia did the Conservatives edge out the other parties in on-reserve voting, with 31.4 per cent of ballots cast to the NDP's 30.8 per cent and the Liberals' 21 per cent.

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Liberals dropped in on-reserve voting in 2019 federal election as NDP remained on top - CBC.ca

Ricky Gervais Reveals Why He Roasted ‘Hollywood Liberals’ – The Daily Wire

On Wednesday evening, comedian Ricky Gervais revealed that the reason that he roasted Hollywood liberals during this years Golden Globes was because theywear their liberalism like a medal.

I didnt roast Hollywood for being a bunch of liberals, explained Gervais via social media. I myself am a liberal. Nothing wrong with that.

I roasted them for wearing their liberalism like a medal, he continued. Im such a snowflake, liberal, I cant even really hate them for it. But my job is to take the piss. I did that.

On Monday, Gervais took a swing at Hollywood while hosting the award show, and he didnt hold back, telling liberal elites to can their sanctimonious sermons and f*** off.

So if you do win an award tonight, dont use it as a platform to make a political speech. Youre in no position to lecture the public about anything, the After Life actor and creator told the audience. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.

So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your God and f*** off, he continued, Okay? Its already three hours long. Right, lets do the first award.

In another portion of Gervais fiery monologue, the actor took a shot at Apple:

Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. Well, you say youre woke but the companies you work for in China unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service youd call your agent, wouldnt you?

The scathing monologue was met with criticism from the press, as noted by The Daily Wire.

I always knew that there were morons in the world that took jokes seriously, but Im surprised that some journalists do, Gervais responded via Twitter. Surely, understanding stuff is pretty fundamental to their job, isnt it? Just makes it funnier though, I guess.

The comedian even offered a list of reminders about humor for the perpetually offended:

Below is the transcript of Gervais Golden Globes monologuevia The Daily Mail:

Youll be pleased to know this is the last time Im hosting these awards, so I dont care anymore. Im joking. I never did. Im joking, I never did. NBC clearly dont care either fifth time. I mean, Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars for some offensive tweets hello?

Lucky for me, the Hollywood Foreign Press can barely speak English and theyve no idea what Twitter is, so I got offered this gig by fax. Lets go out with a bang, lets have a laugh at your expense. Remember, theyre just jokes. Were all gonna die soon and theres no sequel, so remember that.

But you all look lovely all dolled up. You came here in your limos. I came here in a limo tonight and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman. No, shush. Its her daughter I feel sorry for. OK? That must be the most embarrassing thing thats ever happened to her. And her dad was in Wild Hogs.

Lots of big celebrities here tonight. Legends. Icons. This table alone Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro Baby Yoda. Oh, thats Joe Pesci, sorry. I love you man. Dont have me whacked. But tonight isnt just about the people in front of the camera. In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world. People from every background. They all have one thing in common: Theyre all terrified of Ronan Farrow. Hes coming for ya. Talking of all you perverts, it was a big year for pedophile movies. Surviving R. Kelly, Leaving Neverland, Two Popes. Shut up. Shut up. I dont care. I dont care.

Many talented people of color were snubbed in major categories. Unfortunately, theres nothing we can do about that. Hollywood Foreign press are all very racist. Fifth time. So. We were going to do an In-Memoriam this year, but when I saw the list of people who died, it wasnt diverse enough. No, it was mostly white people and I thought, nah, not on my watch. Maybe next year. Lets see what happens.

No one cares about movies anymore. No one goes to cinema, no one really watches network TV. Everyone is watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out, going, Well done Netflix. You win everything. Good night. But no, we got to drag it out for three hours. You could binge-watch the entire first season of Afterlife instead of watching this show. Thats a show about a man who wants to kill himself cause his wife dies of cancer and its still more fun than this. Spoiler alert, season two is on the way so in the end he obviously didnt kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein. Shut up. I know hes your friend but I dont care.

Seriously, most films are awful. Lazy. Remakes, sequels. Ive heard a rumor there might be a sequel to Sophies Choice. I mean, that would just be Meryl just going, Well, its gotta be this one then. All the best actors have jumped to Netflix, HBO. And the actors who just do Hollywood movies now do fantasy-adventure nonsense. They wear masks and capes and really tight costumes. Their job isnt acting anymore. Its going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids, really. Have we got an award for most ripped junky? No point, wed know whod win that.

Martin Scorsese made the news for his controversial comments about the Marvel franchise. He said theyre not real cinema and they remind him about theme parks. I agree. Although I dont know what hes doing hanging around theme parks. Hes not big enough to go on the rides. Hes tiny. The Irishman was amazing. It was amazing. It was great. Long, but amazing. It wasnt the only epic movie. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, nearly three hours long. Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere and by the end his date was too old for him. Even Prince Andrew was like, Come on, Leo, mate. Youre nearly 50-something.

The world got to see James Corden as a fat p****. He was also in the movie Cats. No one saw that movie. And the reviews, shocking. I saw one that said, This is the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs. But Dame Judi Dench defended the film saying it was the film she was born to play because she loves nothing better than plunking herself down on the carpet, lifting her leg and licking her [expletive]. (Coughs) Hairball. Shes old-school.

Its the last time, who cares? Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. Well, you say youre woke but the companies you work for in China unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service youd call your agent, wouldnt you?

So if you do win an award tonight, dont use it as a platform to make a political speech. Youre in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.

So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your God and f*** off, OK? Its already three hours long. Right, lets do the first award.

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Ricky Gervais Reveals Why He Roasted 'Hollywood Liberals' - The Daily Wire

Should the Liberals stay left or go back to the centre? Heres why thats the wrong question – TVO

If the Ontario Liberal Party is very lucky, 2020 will be the year it looks back on and remembers as the beginning of its march back into the halls of power at Queens Park. That would mark a substantial improvement over 2019, when it languished in irrelevance and lost nearly 30 per cent of its caucus (that is, two MPPs) to greener pastures. But, then, almost anything would be an improvement.

The beginning of the new year will definitively end the relatively quiet phoney war phase of the Liberal leadership race, which will see the party vote for delegates in February for the leadership convention in March. The party announced Monday that just under 38,000 people are registered to vote for delegates, who will then in turn vote for the eventual winner. This more intense period of the campaign will involve more debates, more prominent endorsements (on Tuesday, front-runner Steven Del Duca announced one from Thunder BaySuperior North MPP Michael Gravelle), and potentially more acrimony as contestants try to distinguish themselves.

If things go well, the choice of leader will settle a bunch of arguments within the party. Some of them are relatively prosaic and of little interest to the general public: Should the party keep the delegated-convention system of picking a leader or abandon it as the other major parties have? Should the party adopt a free supporter category to expand the membership from the relatively small numbers it has today? Some involve more salient policy questions: Will it pursue Alvin Tedjos proposal to unify the Catholic and public schools in one secular system? Will it support fare-free public transit, which Michael Coteau has called for? Basically, the leader will, to some extent, get to shape the policies the party pursues going forward.

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At least as important, though, is the fact that the party will have to determine at least, for now the direction it wants to take post-Kathleen Wynne. The former premier is still a sitting MPP, and shell be a presence at the March convention, but which direction the party should go in 2020 has been the implicit question behind all the other questions in the race so far. Its usually summed up as should the party stay left or go back to the centre, but that oversimplifies both Wynnes legacy and the choices that lie ahead.

In 2018 and 19 it, became common to say that Wynne had taken the party to the left of the NDP, but her record in office is certainly more complicated than that. Wynne partially privatized Hydro One the provincial hydro utility something the NDP never forgave her for and something thats still controversial even in Liberal ranks. Her government struggled with balancing the provincial budget for years precisely because it spent those years being leery of substantial tax increases, although that changed relatively late in her tenure. Those are real parts of her record just as surely as the Universal Basic Income pilot and the $14 minimum wage are.

Numerous contestants in the current race could plausibly lay claim to part of Wynnes legacy, if they were so inclined. Michael Coteau and Mitzie Hunter served in her cabinet. Kate Graham ran as a Liberal in 2018, supporting Wynnes final platform, and has attracted some important allies of the former premier: Deb Matthews, the former deputy premier and a close friend of Wynnes, is supporting Grahams race. Pat Sorbara, Wynnes former deputy chief of staff, has joined Grahams campaign as an adviser.

Graham, for her part, doesnt endorse the idea of a hard pivot away from Wynnes legacy.

All of the issues we ran on in the last election were very, very popular things that Kathleen and the party championed. They did well at the doors, and they polled well, Graham told TVO.org on Tuesday. Theres an opportunity now to address the much bigger question of what kind of culture we want to build inside the party, instead of turning course away from one person. The partys much bigger than that.

The avatar of returning to the centre in this race is Steven Del Duca, and Del Duca himself has suggested that the Liberals were perhaps too activist under Wynne or, as he put it in debates last year, swung at a few too many pitches. But here, too, its worth appreciating the nuances. Del Duca started his leadership campaign by promising that, if he were leader, half of all Liberal candidates in 2022 would be women. Del Duca supports getting back to the $15 minimum wage, which the Tories abandoned, and has proposed a public group-benefits package (including pension, dental, and other perks) for self-employed and contract workers. It may not be a UBI, but it would represent a substantial expansion of the social-welfare system and meaningfully help the people who could use it.

Its easy to describe the recent history of the Liberal party as a swing to the left and to imagine that someone like Del Duca would move away from that, but leaders arent the sole masters of their parties fates: 2022 wont be like 2003, when the Liberals could start a 15-year-long winning streak with a mix of wonky centrism and not being Mike Harris. Even someone like Del Duca, for all his establishment support, is offering voters policies substantially more progressive even that those Wynne was willing to run on in 2014. Events of the past decade have pushed left-of-centre parties around the world to embrace more progressive policies (even the U.S. Democrats are currently engaged in a pitched debate over the proper role of the state), and the Ontario Liberals havent been, and wont be, immune.

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Should the Liberals stay left or go back to the centre? Heres why thats the wrong question - TVO

Liberal Democrat MP savaged by Brexiteer get a job with the EU and clear off!’ – Express

The MP for Oxford West sat down with Iain Dale to discuss the Withdrawal Agreement Bill passing yesterday. A caller introduced as Cornelius then joined the conversation and he did not hold back.Cornelius accused Ms Moran of failing still failing to accept the general election and referendum results.

He said: "She still doesn't accept the general election result, the result of the referendum.

"They will still try to oppose any deal and make it difficult for Boris Johnson to bring back any deal to parliament."

The Liberal Democrat MP replied: "Yes I will oppose his deal, I voted against it today."

The caller continued: "We had to have another general election because parliament was blocked and you're still rabbiting on about staying in the EU.

READ MORE:Lib Dems seek to scupper Brexit with public inquiry

"If you are so entrenched in the EU, why don't you just get a job with the EU? Clear off!

"The country has listened to people like you for three and a half years and youre still talking about it."

Ms Moran responded: "If the winner takes all and you have all MPs voting the same way all the time, that's not a parliamentary democracy, that's a dictatorship."

LBC host Iain Dale said: "I think you could have voted for the second reading of the bill, then people would of understood at least you recognised were leaving."

Ms Moran replied: "We do. The parliamentary maths is what it is and I hope you've heard an understanding of where we are now.

"But you don't just go along with everything.

"Good decisions are made when all of the good points of view are in the room.

"That's what we're doing and we have a mandate to do that."

Yesterday SNP's Ian Blackford unleashed a furious rant directed at Boris Johnson demanding a Scottish independence referendum following the passing of the Brexit bill.

Mr Blackford said: "This is an important point in the election we held last December the people of Scotland stood by the SNP on the basis of our right to choose.

"We will not accept being taken out of the European Union.

"I say to the Prime Minister respect democracy, respect the election result, respect the right of the people of Scotland to choose our future.

"We will have our referendum Prime Minister, Scotland will remain an independent European country!"

Continued here:

Liberal Democrat MP savaged by Brexiteer get a job with the EU and clear off!' - Express

Iran’s Messaging About The Downed Airliner Echoes Democrats and Liberal Media – PJ Media

President Trump has accused the media of being "enemies of the people," and he has been proven to be even more correct than he could have known.

Iranian officials originally denied responsibility for the Ukrainian airliner that crashed near Tehran. On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Sharif tweeted his official statement about it, he conceded it was accidentally shot down, but blamed the United States, nonetheless.

Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster, he tweeted.

Of course! They shot down the plane, but it's America's fault, which is to say it's Donald Trump's fault! Just as the left couldn't quite celebrate the news that General Soleimani had been killed, they also are willing participants in the Blame America Brigade, even Democrats running for president.

American media has also chosen the blame America narrative. In their story about the crash, the Associated Press published a story with the headline, An Iranian general dies in U.S. attack, and innocents suffer, which prompted significant outrage. The Associated Press attempted to explain the absurd headline.

The headline was updated to more clearly describe what the story is about: Canadians struggling to come to terms with how the killing of an Iranian general in a U.S. drone strike may have led to the deaths of dozens of their citizens in a plane crash, an AP spokesperson told Fox News.

Why is it that the messaging of Democrats and the media so often sounds the same as that of our enemies? Is it because Barack Obama made it cool, is it Trump Derangement Syndrome as usual, or something bigger?

_____

Matt Margolis is the author ofTrumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacyand the bestselling bookThe Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter@MattMargolis

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Iran's Messaging About The Downed Airliner Echoes Democrats and Liberal Media - PJ Media

There Was Crossfire! That Latest Attempt By Democrats And The Liberal Media To Blame Trump For Ukrainian Airline Crash – Townhall

Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner. It occurred during the nations missile attack against U.S. forces in Iraq that blessedly ended with zero American casualties. The worlds largest sponsor of terrorism had to save face after President Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qasam Soleimani, commander of Quds force, and the regions grim reaper. He was a top terrorist and how hes an ashtray. For those who love this country, its a win. Its a good thing. It was a good kill. It was a lawful kill. For the hate America crowdwe call them Democratstheyre acting as if the Iranian version of Gandhi was blasted half-way to hell. There were worries about war. The missile attack allowed liberal media outlets to hyperventilate for about 36 hours before Iran decided to stand down. There was no war. There is no war. Most of the world slept through World War IIIand the liberal media was once againwrong.

It was a win for Trump. Time magazine editor Ian Bremmer, who is no MAGA supporter, said that on CNN this week since it reestablished the red lines and deterrence that was degraded by the Obama administration. There is now a window for diplomacy to resume. Even with a partisan impeachment plot against him, Trump is still riding high and scoring wins. The Left probably cant sand that which is why theyre peddling this piece of misinformation that a Ukrainian airliner shot down by Iran outside of the capital Tehran was due to crossfire. We didnt fire back. This is fake news that some members of the media and the 2020 Democratic field were peddling. Some threw a tantrum when they got dragged for it. Oh, and they lectured us of course, like CNNs Susan Hennessey:

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) outright blamed Trump for the downed airliner (via Free Beacon):

Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Calif.) on Thursday said that Iran's shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner was collateral damage from President Donald Trump's killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

"If what is being projected is true, this is yet another example of collateral damage from the actions that have been taken in a provocative way by the president of the United States," Speier told CNN.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer had asked Speier if she believed Iran confused the commercial flight for a U.S. military plane, suggesting that "it certainly sounds like it was a mistake by the Iranians." Speier did not mention Iran in her response, only implicating Trump in the downed flight.

Trump killed a terrorist. Iran was put in its place. And now, in their anger, the Left is using dead civilians who were shot down by Iran to blame Trump. This is the definition of insanity. Its Trump Derangement Syndrome. Im so sorry this is happening to you, liberal America. Not really though.

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There Was Crossfire! That Latest Attempt By Democrats And The Liberal Media To Blame Trump For Ukrainian Airline Crash - Townhall

Liberal argument in India needs an overhaul, says T.M. Krishna – The Hindu

The biggest problem of liberals in the country is creating a dominant narrative condescending of faith, religions and rituals. There needs to be an overhaul of the liberal idea and it needs to be rooted in cultural ideas, said Carnatic musician T.M. Krishna, who delivered the third U.R. Ananthamurthy Memorial Lecture in the city on Sunday.

He said faith is essentially a hope for a better tomorrow. It needs challenging and questioning, yes. But we need to renegotiate faith and rebuild rituals. Of course it will be problematic as we need to handle the question of caste. But we should not discard the goodness of humanity, he said, giving instances of the dilemmas he faces on singing certain regressive lyrics of many composers.

Delivering the speech as an open letter to the late Ananthamurthy, Mr. Krishna said India as a country had failed to inculcate the culture of democracy over the last seven decades. The greatest danger of the present regime is that it may have changed the social fabric of our society and the way we think. Politicians will keep it going if it works and it will be normalised. We are very precariously poised and we need to recognise that, he said.

The Constitution is itself our samskara and not western as some people want us to believe. Civilisationally, India has never been of one religion, language or rule. We need to take ideas like secularism and fraternity to the people, he said. But who understands secularism? The preamble should have been sung as songs. Why did we not institute Sarvadharma Prarthana in every school? he posed. Critiquing the private education system, which he was also a part of, he said it had essentially created a segregated schooling system on class, caste and religious lines, and it was hard to expect children who go through it to understand egalitarian values suddenly.

But he expressed hope in the youth taking part in protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. While showing us what is precious, they have showed us we need to be on the streets and not in our homes, he said.

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Liberal argument in India needs an overhaul, says T.M. Krishna - The Hindu

FALSE: Convicted Ampatuan brothers are ‘Liberal Party members’ – Rappler

Claim: Facebook page Pork Ng Ina Mo claimed that Andal Ampatuan Jr., who was convicted in the gruesome Maguindanao massacre in 2009, was a Liberal Party member. (READ: WATCH: Trial of the decade: Highlights of Ampatuan massacre case)

The page posted it on December 20, a day after the verdict on the Ampatuan massacre was handed down.

The post also included a graphic that included a screenshot of a tweet by Liberal Party president Kiko Pangilinan and a photo of former Datu Unsay, Maguindanao mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. wearing a yellow shirt.

The caption for the post reads: Isn't it wonderful how Dilawans praise the conviction of the Ampatuans, who are members of their political party?

The post has gained over 300 shares with 650 reactions and 140 comments, as of writing. The claim was flagged by Facebook Claim Check, a tool used for spotting potentially false posts spreading on social media.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The masterminds of the Ampatuan massacre were officials of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD, the party of former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In fact, the Ampatuans were expelled from Lakas-Kampi CMD two days after the massacre.

The Ampatuans were allies of Arroyo, head of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition at the time of the massacre. Arroyo is now a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Ampatuan family delivered votes for Arroyo in the 2004 presidential elections as well as a 12-0 sweep in favor of her selected senatorial slate, Team Unity, in the 2007 elections.

When the massacre happened, Zaldy Ampatuan one of those convicted in the massacre was the regional chairman for Lakas-Kampi, while his father, Ampatuan clan patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr., was the party's provincial chairman for Maguindanao province. Both were stripped of these positions following the massacre.

Andal Ampatuan Sr. was also among those accused of masterminding the massacre. He died in 2015 while on trial for the massacre.

At the time of the massacre, the senior Ampatuan had already reached the limit of 3 terms for the post of provincial governor of Maguindanao. The man convicted for leading the gruesome massacre, then-mayor of Datu Unsay town Andal Ampatuan Jr., was selected by the family to succeed his father as governor.

Then-vice mayor of Buluan town Esmael Mangudadatu (now Maguindanao 2nd district representative) also chose to run for governor. (READ: Who is Toto Mangudadatu?)

Mangudadatu's wife, his female siblings and other relatives were among those slaughtered in the massacre. They were headed for the provincial capitol, Shariff Aguak, to file a certificate of candidacy on his behalf when they were abducted and eventually murdered. Glenda Marie Castro and Gemma B. Mendoza/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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FALSE: Convicted Ampatuan brothers are 'Liberal Party members' - Rappler

The Liberal Democrats place in progressive politics – The Guardian

I would not be averse to being described as centre-left, social democratic, liberal and moderate, but I am unable to agree with Vince Cable (The centre-left parties must work together more closely, 17 December) that Labours manifesto was advocating radical socialism.

Proposing to raise the level of public expenditure to around that of Germany or France is hardly revolutionary. Its promise of public ownership and control of railways and public utilities is modest in contrast to the commanding heights of the economy run by governments during the 1970s. Even the offer of free broadband is positively Wilsonian in its faith in the white heat of modern technology. Overall, its range of practical and costed measures to deal with the modern day manifestations of want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness was firmly in the reformist tradition of Beveridge. Its intention to borrow at low interest rates in order to promote (green) industrial growth and full employment was essentially Keynesian.

On the other hand, when in office from 2010 to 2015, the Liberal Democrat party, pursuing its own Orange Book principles, shared responsibility for the imposition of neoliberal economic policies of austerity, in combination with the privatisation and fragmentation of public services.

As Cable was himself the minister who virtually gave away our Royal Mail to hedge funds and City institutions, he really needs to reflect on whether it is actually the Liberal Democrat rather than the Labour leadership that has made the radical departure from social democracy.Simon HinksBrighton

I agree with Vince Cable that excessive zealous Europeanism was a huge error in their campaigning and a grave disappointment.

But for me it started with the crass T-shirts declaiming Bollocks to Brexit worn delightedly by their new tranche of MEPs. I am an ardent remainer and, if that ship has now sailed, this party needs to row back from such divisive messaging. I voted for the Lib Dems in the European elections because they had an unapologetic and stalwart remain stance, but I fear it went horribly wrong with the very idea of revoking article 50 and cancelling Brexit. Added to which, Jo Swinsons arrogant position of who she would or would not do a coalition deal with. Judith A DanielsCobholm, Norfolk

It was probably about time we had the ritual call for a party of nice, civilised people. Up pops Vince Cable, right on schedule. As Liberals know from their fraught experience, there is a crucial distinction between working together and the enfeeblement of a distinctive Liberal party by narrowing its electoral opportunities, and that the first-past-the-post electoral system exacts a high price for any fragmentation of a worthy appeal. Vince Cable acknowledges this truth, but glosses over any renewed campaign to change the system.

The consequences of the recent election are not just unfair to specific political parties but, even more so, they traduce the electors. The Brexiters have repeated incessantly that the 52% to 48% vote at the referendum is a democratic authority for Brexit. How can they now claim that a 43% vote for the Conservatives gives them the authority to force Brexit through?Michael MeadowcroftLeeds

What a silly column by Simon Jenkins (The Lib Dems helped the Tories to victory again. Now they should disband, 16 December). If the Liberal Democrats had not won seats like Twickenham, Richmond Park, Kingston and Bath, who on earth does he think would have won them?

When a long-term Conservative government was defeated in 1997, their defeat was partly brought about by a series of Lib Dem byelection wins and the 28 gains made by the Lib Dems from the Tories in that general election (as well as a result of Labour members choosing someone with greater appeal to the electorate than Jeremy Corbyn).

It is arrogant to assume that if the Liberal Democrats did not exist, all of their voters would prefer Labour irrespective of Labours leader and programme. Who else would have solidly stood in support of our membership of the EU?Lord RennardLiberal Democrat, House of Lords

Simon Jenkins correctly recognises the problem of progressive disunity. Since 1945 regressives have only won a majority of the vote at one general election, yet have led 60% of UK governments in that time. However, his diagnosis represents the kind of domineering tribalism that has prevailed in progressive circles and serves us badly. It rejects the diversity of opinion that exists in Britain and compels the disunity to continue.

With Labour and the Lib Dems conducting leadership elections at the same time, there is an opportunity to lay foundations for a winning progressive realignment ahead of the next election. Two Lib Dem leadership candidates (Daisy Cooper and Layla Moran) already indicate they would steer the Lib Dems in an even more progressive direction (as occurred under Charles Kennedy and Paddy Ashdown). Far from preventing a progressive victory as Jenkins holds, the Lib Dems could make a significant contribution. Of the 30 seats the Lib Dems are currently best placed to gain on a uniform swing, 26 are fights versus the Conservatives. Only two are versus Labour.

Progressive voters are already ahead of the parties, with many hundreds of thousands having voted tactically last Thursday and, in the process, they restrained significantly the size of the Conservatives majority. It is time the progressive parties caught up and stopped discarding the pluralistic and cooperative values we say we uphold.Paul PettingerCouncil member of the Social Liberal Forum

Simon Jenkins suggests that the Lib Dems should disband to give Labour a clear run. Here are the results for Cheltenham: Con 48%, LD 46%, Lab 5%, Monster Raving Loony 1%.

Perhaps Labour and the Loonies should shut up shop? I suppose Labour can celebrate the fact that they didnt come last.Nick ChiplenCheltenham, Gloucestershire

Join the debate email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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The Liberal Democrats place in progressive politics - The Guardian

Gun-toting, Wrangler-wearing, truck-driving red stater has a message for liberals, and its not what you might think – MarketWatch

DumpsterFire45s cyberhandle pretty much gives it away.

In other words, he explains, hes just like the typical Trump supporter that he comes across in his everyday life except for one thing: Hes a fiscally conservative and socially liberal Democrat.

From there, DumpsterFire45 launched into a viral tweetstorm based on seven insights he has gleaned on the ground rather than, say, in a roadside diner with a cable-news camera in MAGA country.

Heres a breakdown:

1. The talking points are all-pervasive: Decades of faux and talk radio in combination with conservative social media have ingrained right wing talking points into even casual viewers. Its everywhere. On every TV at the doctors office. In every gym. On every radio. Everywhere.

2. Right-wing views are rarely questioned in public: Even the folks that are starting to (only just now) realize that something is wrong about Individual-1 are actively shamed if they question [President Trumps] actions openly.

3. Potential Democratic voters are swayed culturally: Im sorry. I dont like it either and I wish it wasnt so. But if everyone around you is claiming that the dems are out to destroy the country ... its a goddamn stretch just to vote blue. And if done, will mostly be done in secret to avoid ridicule.

4. Its still about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: They cant get past it. These folks are so radicalized against Obama, he is literally seen as a usurper and foreign agent that took the presidency with the help of the deep state (Hillary) and tried to bring down democracy.

5. Those willing to change must be convinced: We want them and we need them. If crossing over will result in more shame folks will stay where they are. We can teach them all about embracing progressive values after we get em. ... Wars are won one battle at a time. We need to take any victory we can get.

6. Democrats need to embrace reality: Im uninsured right now and its scary. I cant afford the [Affordable Care Acts] marketplace and Im cash-n-carry at the doctors office. I want a progressive. Badly. But if a centrist gets the nomination Im all in. This is about democracy.

7. Maybe its better we dont get our top pick: Twitter is not our country, and we have to accept that. Not everyone has the same understandings we do and we all still need each other to stay intact as a democracy. Vote for the dem that can win and encourage/help others to do the same.

DumpsterFire45s thread rapidly drew tens of thousands of likes, shares and comments, most of them, like this one, cheering his observations:

To be fair, when it comes to grabbing media attention, the I-am-the-exception formula seems to work on both sides of the aisle.

Just ask Bryan Dean Wright, the prolific Im a Democrat, but ... guy, who, as you can see from this tweet, appears to be a regular on Fox News.

Excerpt from:

Gun-toting, Wrangler-wearing, truck-driving red stater has a message for liberals, and its not what you might think - MarketWatch

‘False and unfounded’: Liberal MP denies claims that he’s worked with Iran – CBC.ca

A Liberal MP is denying allegations, broadcast on an Iranian-language television network, that he has worked with and accepted money from Iran's government.

"These accusations are absolutely false and unfounded," Majid Jowhari told CBC News in a written statement. "I strongly deny any accusations."

The allegations against the member of Parliament for Richmond Hill were made by freelance journalist Alireza Sassani on the program Window on the Homeland on the Iran-e-Farda network.

CBC News has not been able to independently verify Sassani's claims.

Sassani is described as a close collaborator of Masoud Molavi, an Iranian intelligence agent who defected and revealed details of Iranian influence operations overseas.

Molavi was shot dead on the streets of Istanbul on November 14. He had been granted asylum in Turkeyafter fleeing Iran and had set up a digital channel, BlackBox, which he used to broadcast revelations about corruption and wrongdoing within the Iranian regime.

The U.S. government blamed his assassination on Iran's intelligence services.

Describing Iranian government influence operations in other countries, Sassani said that "Masoud talked to me about someone by the name of Majid Jowhari. He's a member of the Parliament of Canada. He's from the Liberal Party, representing Richmond Hill.

"He said that Jowhari was in touch with some of the intelligence officers of Iran, and that he even visited the representatives of Taeb and Mojtaba Khamenei. He even received financial support from these people.

"Now he's been elected in Canada for a second time."

Hossein Taeb is the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) intelligence division. Mojtaba Khamenei is a son of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and is sometimes described as head of the Basij militia, a pro-regime force that is heavily involved in suppressing protests in Iran.

Since 2010, the IRGC has been a listed entity under Canada's Special Economic Measures Act. The law prohibits Canadians from engaging in any financial, service or goods-related transactionswith listed entities and individuals; Hossein Taebhimself is a listed individual under the law. Part of the IRGC is also listed as a terrorist group in Canada.

Mojtaba Khamenei has not been named as a listedindividual under the Special Economic Measures Act. He was, however, designated last month by the U.S. TreasuryDepartment "for representing the Supreme Leader in an official capacity despite never being elected or appointed to a government position aside from work in the office of his father," according to a press release. The assets of those designated by Treasury are blocked, and Americans are banned from dealing with them.

"The Supreme Leader has delegated a part of his leadership responsibilities to Mojataba Khamenei, who worked closely with the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and also the Basij Resistance Force (Basij) to advance his father's destabilizing regional ambitions and oppressive domestic objectives," says the Treasury release.

Jowharisaid today that he's being singled out "without a shred of evidence ...

"Those who spread these slanderous and baseless accusations want to instigate hate and fear without providing a single fact to support it. We should stand together against this hateful behaviour."

The allegation is already drawing pointed political reaction, with Conservative Sen. Linda Frum calling for an investigation.

It's not the first time Jowhari has had to push back against claims that he is close to the regime in Iran.

Shortly after he was elected in 2015, he was heavily criticized for inviting three Iranian parliamentarians to visit him in his riding office. He also drew negative attention for some of his tweets including one he sent out during the wave of protests that shook Iran in December 2017.

Jowhari said he hoped the protesters would be able to demonstrate "with the support of their elected government".

Jowhari was condemned by many Iranian-Canadians for appearing to suggest that the regime was "elected"and that it was supporting protesters. In fact, government forces were suppressing the protests with considerable bloodshed.

Thomas Juneau researches Middle Eastern affairs at the University of Ottawa and is a former strategic analyst at the Department of National Defence.

Last year, he conducted a research project on the debate over whether Canada should re-establish ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, a hugely controversial topic in the Iranian-Canadian community.

Advocates of re-engagement include both regime supportersand people who merely want to make it easier to visit family in Iran or send help to family members in the country.

"[Jowhari's] name did come up on a number of occasions. He was known inside the Liberal caucus as one of the main proponents of re-engagement with Iran a view that I agree with," he said."But he was viewed as being a bit too much of a proponent of that view and a bit too much with individuals associated with the Islamic Republic."

Juneau says many of those he spoke to who supported re-engagement were still reluctant to be seen associating with Jowhari, who had a "controversial history".

But he cautions that an allegation made by an "individual associated with a dead Iranian spy" falls far short of the evidence he would need to see to conclude that Jowhari crossed a line.

"To label an individual an asset of a foreign government is a very serious accusation, and it has to be made on the basis of clear information,"he said. "And we do not have we're not even close to having enough information publicly available to make that accusation toward that MP."

Shortly before the federal election in October, a email was widely distributed in the Richmond Hill riding drafted byLiberals who said they had come "to the regrettable conclusion that we simply could not vote for" Majid Jowhari.

The email quoted four prominent Liberals: former Ontario cabinet minister Reza Moridi, who represented the provincial riding of Richmond Hill for over a decade; Bryon Wilfert, who previously held the federal riding for the Liberal Party; Sarkis Assadourian, who represented the federal riding of Brampton Centre for the Liberals; and Richard Rupp, past president of the Richmond Hill federal Liberal riding association.

In their email, they state that their decision is "based on a review of the Liberal candidate's record and of various media reports regarding some of his activities over the past four years."

They did not give details on which aspects of Jowhari's record they took issue with.

"Team Jowhari" responded on the MP's Facebook page: "This communication represents the worst type of campaign tactics a non-specific note from a group who do not have the courage of their convictions to say what party and policies they do support but are prepared to say only what they don't support."

More:

'False and unfounded': Liberal MP denies claims that he's worked with Iran - CBC.ca

Liberal party member denies links to Chinese Communist party after Belt and Road controversy – The Guardian

A Liberal party member who helped organise a Chinese-Australian business fundraising dinner has denied links to the Chinese Communist party after references to Chinas Belt and Road initiative appeared on invitations to the event.

The Australia Chinese United Business Association Federation (Acubaf), representing more than 50 associations and 1,000 individual businesses, is hosting a charity dinner on Friday to raise money for the Salvation Army and its bushfire appeal.

Invitations to the dinner, seen by Guardian Australia, advertise Acubafs role as to provide a bridge between Australian Chinese business and to offer the chance to cooperate for all Chinese associations, meanwhile offering access to the One Belt, One Road policy in China.

The Belt and Road initiative is the Chinese Communist partys $1tn global infrastructure project, building trade and supply routes and subsequent influence across the world.

After inquiries from the Guardian, one of the dinners organisers, Lina Zhao, provided an alternative invitation, identical except that the reference to Belt and Road was absent. She suggested that the original invitation might be fraudulent.

There is no evidence of manipulation on the original invitation, and it was sent to Guardian Australia by several independent sources.

Zhao said the organising committee never approved or distributed the original version of the invitation, and Acubaf was not a vehicle for Belt and Road.

Acubaf is an independent and Australia-based business association, registered in NSW, which is not affiliated with any Chinese government organisation.

Zhao said the dinner was a charitable event to help people affected by these catastrophic bushfire conditions.

A Liberal party member, Nancy Liu, who was also on the organising committee, said she had no political connections or links to the Chinese government.

I have no connection at all to any foreign government or organisation, she said. This isnt anything related to any foreign countries. This dinner is a local fundraising event for our local community. It is a good chance for the Chinese business community to contribute to their mission of building our local community.

The website of the Chinese embassy in Australia says one of the purposes of Acubaf is to provide opportunities for the innovative development opportunities brought by Chinas Belt and Road.

The Australian government has declined to become involved in Belt and Road, though the Victorian state government has signed on, as have several Pacific Island states.

The Acubaf previously also known as the Australian Chinese Chamber of Commerce Association has hosted the prime minister, Scott Morrison, the immigration minister, David Coleman, and a suite of federal and state government ministers, Chinese embassy and government officials.

Acubaf is the peak body for Chinese business associations in Australia and was established at a meeting held at the Sydney premises of the Australian Council for the Peaceful Reunification of China in 2016, when the exiled Chinese businessman Huang Xiangmo was its president. Liu served as vice-president of the ACPPRC and Jiang was on its executive committee during the time Huang was president. Lius name has been removed from the ACPPRC website.

Huang served for three years as president of the ACPPRC, which is regarded as the most significant of dozens of organisations in Australia controlled by the United Front Work Department, a Chinese government agency overseen directly by the Chinese Communist partys central committee.

The United Front Work Department leads operations outside China aimed at influencing overseas Chinese and western elites, in particular business leaders and politicians, to back Beijings policies and aims. The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has described it as important magic weapon for the victory of the partys cause.

Liu, who sits on the Georges River council in Sydney and the Liberal party Chinese council in New South Wales, said she had ceased all involvement in the ACPPRC and had no personal contact with Mr Huang.

Huang said he did not retain any links to business chambers in Australia.

Huang is in Hong Kong after the Australian government rescinded his permanent residency last December on character grounds. His application for citizenship was withdrawn. Australian intelligence agencies had consistently warned political parties not to accept money from Huang, cautioning that he may have been acting as a conduit for Communist party influence.

Huang is currently locked in a court battle with the tax office which alleges he owes $140m in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. The tax office has won a freezing order over his assets worldwide, including over a $12m mansion in Mosman held in his wifes name, but which the ATO says he paid for.

Huang is contesting the charges and has accused the tax office of being a despicable tool for political persecution, and saying unknown dark forces within an Australian deep state were conspiring against him.

Since having his visa revoked, Huang has pulled more than $50m out of Australia, and the tax office may seek to bankrupt him as part of the federal court proceedings, arguing he no longer has the assets in Australia to pay his tax bill.

Huang has also been a significant if absent feature of the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings into NSW Labor party corruption.

It was alleged by party figures that Huang was the secret donor who illegally gave $100,000 in cash delivered in person in an Aldi shopping bag which was then disguised by the party through a series of false straw donors.

Huang has denied the allegations made before Icac but has declined to give evidence.

Originally posted here:

Liberal party member denies links to Chinese Communist party after Belt and Road controversy - The Guardian

Liberals in dilemma over carbon taxes, greenhouse gas emissions and a $20B mine in Alberta – National Post

OTTAWA The Liberal government has likely painted itself into a corner on carbon taxes, particularly after Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said he was wrestling with the approval of a major oilsands mine.

Ottawa has declined to commit to major carbon tax increases after 2022, despite Liberal claims that the levy will play a key role in meeting their climate targets. The Liberal government has committed to meeting its 2030 Paris agreements as well as a more recent pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Wilkinson on Wednesday signalled that the 2050 target could weigh heavily on his decision to either approve or reject Teck Resources $20.6-billion oilsands mine in Alberta, saying it was not clear the project would fit into the Liberals environmental goals.

That is something that we will have to be discussing and wrestling with as we make a decision one way or the other, Wilkinson told reporters in Calgary on Wednesday.

The stakes are very, very high

The Frontier project north of Fort McMurray would mark the most significant new investment in the Alberta oilpatch in years. It is expected to generate $70 billion in tax revenue for the federal, provincial and local governments, create 7,000 construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs.

It would also generate about 4.1 million megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year over its 40-year lifespan. A federal-provincial review this summer found that the project would be in the public interest, while also laying out a number of environmental damages that would come from the mine.

Wilkinson will make a final decision before the end of February on whether to approve the project.

But killing it would be a major blow, said Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon.

It would send a signal to investors that Alberta is not open for business and the federal government is going to go out of their way to stop projects. The stakes are very, very high, he told the Edmonton Journal.

Wilkinsons dilemma over the approval seems to underscore the challenge facing Prime Minster Justin Trudeau as he continues to claim that the Liberals can accommodate environmental concerns while also grow the economy. The environment minister will have to account for new sources of greenhouse gas emissions like Frontier, even as his office has declined to raise its carbon tax over the $50 per tonne threshold.

A report by the Parliamentary Budget Office, meanwhile, estimates that Ottawa would have to introduce various carbon levies of a combined $102 per tonne by 2030 in order to meet its environmental goals. By its own projections, the Liberal government is currently set to fall well short of meeting its Paris targets.

Various environmental policies under Trudeau have been met with intense criticism by some voters, particularly those in oil-rich Western provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan. Critics of the policies argue that carbon emissions reduction should come entirely through technology, rather than taxes placed on households.

Wilkinson has said his office would conduct an early review of the carbon tax in 2020 and a second review in 2022, where it will consider further increases above the $50 threshold. Trudeau recently laid out directions in his mandate letter for Wilkinson, which included strengthening existing environmental policies while seeking to exceed Canadas 2030 targets.

A spokesperson for Wilkinson said Ottawa would close the gap on its emissions reduction shortfalls by planting two billion trees, subsidizing electric vehicles, retrofitting homes, and subsidizing clean technologies through a separate $5-billion fund.

Environmental groups broadly agree that Ottawa needs to raise its carbon tax well beyond $50 per tonne, and that it should be more open about the pace of that increase in order to give families and businesses time to plan for the additional costs.

What we need to see is transparency and consistency in how this is applied, said Josha MacNab, director of policy at the Pembina Institute, an environmental group.

What weve heard from business and industry consistently is that changing the rules of the game, rolling back policy, introducing new policy, not being clear about whats happening its not helpful.

Industry groups, meanwhile, have long claimed that Ottawa could continue to approve emissions-intensive projects like oilsands facilities, while achieving emissions reductions through other measures.

Oilsands producers have managed to make strides in reducing emissions in the past 20 years, largely through technological investments that they claim will continue to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and costs.

What we need to see is transparency and consistency

The Frontier project has been called one of the last major oilsands mines that will be built in northern Alberta, largely because producers are increasingly using steam-driven production methods as a way to target deeper-lying bitumen formations.

A November report by Canadas Ecofiscal Commission found that carbon taxes would have to reach as high as $210 per tonne by 2030 in order to meet the countrys targets, a move that it said might prove politically challenging. The increase would raise costs of gas by roughly 40 cents per litre, the report estimated.

The report said that the alternative to rising carbon taxes could be achieved through regulations, which it said was an even more costly option. People both opposed and supportive of carbon taxes have warmed to the more expensive regulatory option, as it is often hidden from sight and less likely to raise a political fight.

Under the Harper government, Canada agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Trudeau promised in September to implement legally binding policies that would bring Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050 if re-elected.

See original here:

Liberals in dilemma over carbon taxes, greenhouse gas emissions and a $20B mine in Alberta - National Post


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