Sunday, January 07, 2007

Odds and sods ...

Today we see Brodbeck do an absolutely fawning requiem for Vic Toews's mercifully short stint as justice minister. It is absolutely over-the-top in burnishing the Vicster's rep and blaming others for the guy's missteps.

Check this out:

"Making major changes to the Criminal Code is no easy feat, especially when those changes run afoul of the political ideologies of senior bureaucrats...Try telling senior justice officials that what they’ve been doing for the past 13 years, like allowing killers to get house arrest, was the wrong thing to do and that you want to change it... They don’t like it very much. And because politicians are vulnerable to the far-reaching powers of senior bureaucrats, it’s easy for senior officials to sabotage the efforts of any minister."

Could you imagine Tom saying the same about ANY minister in, say, the Doer government? That they in fact were not responsible for problems, but in fact it was the fault of entrenched and powerful senior bureaucrats?

Actually, Tom has argued strongly for a very narrow version of ministerial responsibility in the past, including taking aim at Gomery's excusing of Paul Martin in Adscam on the exact same basis Tom now uses to excuse Vic's failures.

Ah, well. We suppose it all depends what team is up at bat.


Bunkbeck's most recent attack on government advertising involves his taking umbrage with the "Manitoba Means Business" campaign, claiming our province is pretty much in the crapper, business-wise, therefore the advertising is dishonest, says Tom.

Interesting, though, the lead business story in Saturday's 'Peg Sun is how Winnipeg's real estate market keeps on breaking records and the supply can't keep up with demand. Curious how that can happen in a weak economy, eh?

And in his best 1984/War is Peace, writing style, our Tom attacks employment growth in Manitoba, demanding why it is not as red-hot as Alberta's -- ignoring that Manitoba still has statistical full employment, as it has for the past several years under the NDP, now down to 4.1%.

Manitoba employers can't hire enough people. Everyone knows that. (Again, funny how that could possibly be the case in a weak economy.)

Well, maybe everyone know this except our erstwhile Sun scribbler.

It must be said, Tom has become a cartoon character of a right-wing columnist -- a bit of a self-parody like Gordon Sinclair or Lindor Reynolds.


Very interesting stuff emerging about Sam Katz's hero, Rudy Giuliani -- who of course came here last February during the City Summit to wax eloquent about his crime fighting efforts as mayor of New York. Since then, Katz has been pushing to adopt the CompStat computer system Giuliani claims helped reduce crime by 60% in NYC in the 1990s. Critics say CompStat is more gimmick and make-work project than an effective crime-busting tool.

However, apparently Giuliani's campaign team's greatest worry in their manoeuvering towards the 2008 presidential race is his many business dealings since leaving the mayor's chair, including lending his name to big coal, big nuke and big pharma -- which has apparently made Rudy very wealthy in the past few years, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

We wonder if CompStat will seem as sexy to Sam if Rudy turns into a political non-starter?