Friday, November 29, 2013

Paul Calandra attacks Glenn Greenwald and CBC

I think Calandra read off his bit of paper from Steve rather well today, don't you? 

Love the bit about how :
"CBC only admitted to their cash-for-news scheme after The Wall Street Journal forced it out of them"
...  by cleverly reading Greenwald's byline alongside those of Greg Weston and Ryan Gallagher at the top of the CBC article.

A byline that has also graced the pages of The Guardian and the New York Times, where, presumably, Greenwald also got paid as a journalist.

And I'm sure the actual subject matter of the CBC article :

New Snowden docs show U.S. spied during G20 in Toronto 

"Stephen Harper's government allowed the largest American spy agency to conduct widespread surveillance in Canada during the 2010 G8 and G20 summits.  
An NSA briefing note describes the American agency's operational plans at the Toronto summit meeting and notes they were "closely co-ordinated with the Canadian partner."
had nothing at all to do with monkeynuts using his parliamentary privilege to refer to constitutional lawyer/author/journalist Glenn Greenwald as a "Brazilian-based former porn industry executive". 

Transcript ... for Steve's scrapbook : 
Mr. Paul Calandra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister :
Mr. Speaker, the CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices make clear that and I quote : 
To ensure we maintain our independence, we do not pay for information from a source in a story.  
When CBC’s The National aired a report about U.S. activities during the G8 and G20, neither Peter Mansbridge nor Greg Weston disclosed that they had paid their source, Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald is a Brazilian based former porn industry executive, now assisting Edward Snowden leak national security information.  
CBC only admitted to their cash for news scheme after The Wall Street Journal forced it out of them. CBC is trying to justify the violation of their own ethical standards by claiming that Greenwald is a *freelancer*. 
Mr. Speaker Greenwald has strong and controversial opinions about national security and of course, that's his right, but when CBC pays for news, we have to ask why furthering Glenn Greenwald’s agenda and lining his Brazilian bank account more important than maintaining the public broadcaster’s journalistic integrity?
h/t Canadian Cynic for this link to Greenwald's blistering debunking of the unfortunate WSJ article referred to by Calandra :

Senate shits the bed, goes back to sleep

Last night's CBC At Issue panel, Nov.28 2013 on the Senate blocking a witness and the PMO continuing to run the Senate. Former Harper supporter Andrew Coyne is beyond disgusted. 
Mansbridge : The government blocks a key witness [Michael Runia, Managing Partner at Deloitte] from appearing before a senate committee to answer questions about whether he had tried to massage or even question the firm's audit of Mike Duffy's expenses.

Andrew Coyne : It's incredible. Step back from this. This is the auditing firm Deloitte that does the audits for the Conservative fundraising arm; they are also the recipient of millions of dollars in federal contracts. They are given this contract to investigate Mike Duffy's expenses by the Tory-dominated committee and there's all kinds of interference reported in the RCMP doc where they're calling them up to ask them how it's going; they're trying to influence it; Duffy's not talking to them et cetera.
At the centre of it is this fellow Michael Runia, who was the point man, the contact with Senator [Irving] Gerstein. We hear during today's testimony from the three auditors involved in the audit, he was in fact making these very inappropriate phone calls - they had to cut him off.

Just when you think ok that's the next step -clearly they'll call him as the next witness - they have a vote and vote not to call him. It's staggering. You cannot believe they would be that brazen about it."
No?  It was the last act on the last day in office before retirement for Gerald Comeau, Con chair of the Senate's internal economy committee, a position he was hastily shoehorned into following the departure of the former disgraced chair, David Tkachuk. Comeau shepherded his little Senate flock into voting against a motion to even hear from Gerstein's contact at Deloitte, longtime Con supporter and Deloitte partner Michael Runia.

Flashback to early March ...

PMO Manager of Parliamentary Affairs Patrick Rogers on March 8, as per the RCMP ITO
"Senator Gerstein has just called. He agrees with our understanding of the situation and his Deloitte contact [Runia] agrees. The stage we 're at now is waiting for the Senator's contact to get the actual Deloitte auditor on the file to agree. The Senator will call back once we have Deloitte locked in."
Then, 13 days later on March 21, Patrick Rogers makes a prediction weeks before the Deloitte audit is sent to the Senate [bold : mine]: 
"Deloitte can 't reach a conclusion on residency because lawyer has not provided them anything. This is despite their attempts use "public information" about residency. Their report will state that lawyer did not provide information when requested. They were asked to complete the work by the end of March and plan to.

I would propose that the Senator [Duffy] continue to not engage with Deloitte. I believe that we should make arrangements for repayment knowing that Deloitte will not say one way or another on his residency. If asked following the report why he did not participate with Deloitte the Senator [Duffy] can say because he had already made the decision to repay the money and as he said at the time, he looked forward to moving on. It is then up to our esteemed Senators on the committee and our Senate leadership to move on.
And voilĂ  - everything Patrick Rogers predicted before the Deloitte report was tabled came true and the "esteemed senators" are indeed desperately trying to "move on", including refusing to hear witnesses in the Senate, after first having Writewashed the Deloitte audit.
Mansbridge : We should mention that in the end, nothing was done to the Audit. There was no inappropriate ... the ethical wall wasn't breached.
Coyne, somewhat snidely : So Deloitte says.

It was Steve's PMO legal counsel Benjamin Perrin who asked Senator Irving Gerstein to work his contacts at Deloitte over the audit. Perrin returned to his job teaching law at UBC in April after all his emails in the PMO were erased, according to the RCMP.

PMO staffer Patrick "This is epic. Montgomery is the Problem" Rogers has since been removed from the immediate line of fire to Heritage Minister Shelly Glover's office.

Senator Irving Gerstein is still sitting in the Senate and is still in charge of the Conservative Fund Canada. When questioned about his bagman's leading role in all this, 
Steve - the Accountability Firewall Guy continues to refuse to say his name out loud in Parliament

Steve - the Accountability Firewall Guy

2006 Conservative Party Campaign Ad on Accountability
Interviewer : How is it that hundreds of millions of dollars go missing and no one's in jail?
Harper : Well, look who's in charge. I mean these guys can't even tell the difference between Wright and wrong. 
Interviewer : Ok, we've got a question ... "It's like you get to Ottawa and no one can touch you. How will you change that?"
Harper : You change the people in charge but you also have to change the system. The first thing I'll do is pass the Federal Accountability Act. It's a real plan to clean up government.
Now : Tory changes to accountability rules leave Harper blameless in Duffy affair
When the Conservatives first took power in 2006, Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Secretaries of State said that ministers were responsible for “the actions of all officials under their management and direction, whether or not the ministers had prior knowledge.” ***
But a version of the guidelines from 2011 says: “Ministerial accountability to Parliament does not mean that a minister is presumed to have knowledge of every matter that occurs within his or her department or portfolio, nor that the minister is necessarily required to accept blame for every matter.”
Whew - lucky for Steve, huh? 
Six of his own closest staffers he hired himself - staffers we did not elect and who are not answerable to us - variously colluded in a plot the RCMP allege involved bribery, fraud, and breach of public trust, all while supposedly managing to keep Steve completely out of the loop about it. And according to the revised Accountability Act rules, that isn't his responsibility! 

Presumably this also explains Steve's new mantra in the House of Commons when questioned about the actions of any of those staffers : "There are only two people under investigation."

"Not actually a convicted felon" - it's the new standard for the Federal Accountability Act.

*** The Cons worked this first version to avoid accountability also.
In 2010 - back when parliamentary committees actually worked - the Ethics Committee was investigating  "allegations of systematic political interference by ministers' offices to block, delay, or obstruct the release of information to the public" by political staffers. 
[In those days it was still considered an anomaly to have hired shortpantsers running the government.]
i.e. A gov dept would authorize the release of a document to the public and a Con political staffer would be sent down to retrieve it before it could be released. 
When said staffers were summoned before committees as witnesses to be questioned about it, John Baird or Pierre Poilievre would show up in their place under the guise of "ministerial responsibility for staffers" and run interference on the staffer's behalf.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Senate scandal : the missing emails

Here's RCMP Cpl. Greg Horton explaining why he does not have access to the emails of Stephen Harper's personal PMO legal counsel Ben Perrin who handled the negotiations for the Duffy/Wright cheque deal with Duffy's lawyer Janice Payne:
I was advised that the e-mails of Benjamin Perrin were no longer available because he completed his tenure at the PMO in April 2013.
The emails were deleted mere weeks after they were written and a month before the Duffy deal went public because, as it happens, that's apparently standard practice for a departing employee.
How is that even credible?

Harper's dcomm Jason MacDonald explains
"Under the guidelines the Treasury Board has, the individual is required to distinguish between what should be considered a permanent document that should be preserved and what's a transitory document, as they call it, and can be deleted, and the onus is on the individual to make that distinction."
So it was up to Perrin to decide what to delete? Really?

"I just don't understand how any regime regarding documentation relating to an employee who is departing can leave it to the departing employee to decide which documents shall remain available to the employer and which shall not. I just don't understand it."
It seems quite mad really, as it could theoretically encourage the practice of hiring shortpantsers on the taxpayers' dime, after which all written evidence of whatever nefarious schemes they were asked to perpetrate could be erased. 

Law prof Amir Attaran has laid a complaint of professional misconduct with the law societies of BC and Ontario re Perrin and Payne, and also he raises this important point :
Horton writes that that the prime minister’s office waived solicitor-client privilege for those emails. That doesn’t mean that the prime minister has also waived privilege, Attaran points out. “The wording of the ITO is that PMO has waived privilege, not that the PM has.”
That may be relevant, he said, because Perrin may have had a “joint retainer,” meaning that he may have had both the office and the prime minister as his clients.
Perrin is mentioned over 30 times in the allegations of the RCMP affidavit, and while Horton states Perrin was not involved in Wright's decision to cut Duffy a cheque, these excerpts give an indication of what we might be missing in Perrin's missing emails :
Nigel Wright decided that he would personally cover the cost of reimbursing Senator Duffy. After back and forth negotiations between Janice Payne and Benjamin Perrin (legal counsel within the PMO) terms of the agreement were set.
Mr. Perrin became involved after the February 19, 2013, exchange when Senator Duffy asked for the name of a legal representative who his lawyer could communicate with. Thereinafter, Janice Payne and Benjamin Perrin communicated on this matter; Mr. Perrin was aware of Mr. Wright's personal decision to pay the money, but was in no way involved in the decision. 
Mr. Wright was not happy with Senator Duffy, and was no longer wishing to debate the matter. He told Senator Duffy that from that point on they will deal lawyer to lawyer on the matter (Payne and Perrin);
On February 21, Janice Payne sent an e-mail to Benjamin Perrin requesting media lines
On February 21, Janice Payne sent an e-mail to Benjamin Perrin with a list of 5 conditions or demands Benjamin Perrin followed up with an e-mail to Nigel Wright advising that Janice Payne wanted the agreement in writing, and stated, "I explained that was not happening. We aren't selling a car or settling a lawsuit here. She seemed to get it eventually."
On March 1, Janice Payne e-mailed Benjamin Perrin for an update on Senator Duffy being withdrawn from the Deloitte audit.
On March 5, Janice Payne e-mailed Benjamin Perrin and Arthur Hamilton (Conservative Party lawyer) seeking advice.
On March 20, after sending an e-mail to Benjamin Perrin and Arthur Hamilton about the Deloitte process, Janice Payne sent an e-mail to Senator Tkachuk seeking confirmation that the audit would be called off upon repayment.
On March 23, Janice Payne e-mailed Benjamin Perrin and stated: "Ben, yesterday we discussed the Senator sending a cheque to Deloitte with a letter explaining our position that the ongoing review should now be moot. I am preparing such a letter." She then sent Mr. Perrin a draft of the letter she intended to send to Deloitte, and solicited comments from Mr. Perrin and Nigel Wright.
Nigel Wright responded to Benjamin Perrin: think that this is perfectly fine (and I resist making minor suggestions since I would prefer to be able to answer, if necessary, that PMO did not write it)
In an earlier e-mail to Benjamin Perrin, Nigel Wright stated: think her approach works. I will send my cheque on Monday.
On March 24, Janice Payne sent an e-mail to Benjamin Perrin stating that Senator Duffy . .. asks for assurance that should any Senator seek his removal, the Gov 't leader in the Senate will urge her caucus to vote against such a motion
On March 26, Benjamin Perrin received an e-mail from Janice Payne's office stating "we have just sent the cheque to Senator Tkachuk by courier".

And then Mr. Perrin, along with all his emails, was gone.  Image from CTV.
Dec 2 Update : Well, wouldn't you know it? They'd just fallen down the back of the couch.
Dec 5 Update : ITO contains 24 references to PMO legal counsel, Benjamin Perrin, dating from the time Mr. Wright began arranging a plan to end the controversy over Sen. Duffy’s expenses until it was completed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stephen Harper and his "rogue representatives"

Sept 4, 2008 : Harper says alleged Cadman bribe 'preposterous'
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper has told a court that an alleged offer to the late MP Chuck Cadman of a $1-million life insurance policy in exchange for his vote in the Commons in 2005 is “preposterous” and that only “rogue representatives” of the Conservative party could have done such a thing. 
Harper says he authorized party officials Doug Finley and Tom Flanagan to meet with Cadman May 19 to assure him that if he rejoined the Conservative caucus he would automatically secure the party nomination in his B.C. riding and get all the party help he needed to campaign. 
Harper said that when Dona Cadman first asked him in September 2005 if he knew anything about Conservative representatives offering her husband a $1-million life insurance policy, he did not know her husband had told her about it and did not ask where she heard that."

Sept 4 2008 : Harper testifies he OK'd approach to Cadman, unaware of insurance offer
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper has testified that he personally authorized an offer made to late MP Chuck Cadman in 2005 in exchange for his help defeating the Liberal government. But he maintained he knew nothing about an alleged offer of a $1 million life insurance policy to get Cadman's vote, saying he only approved an offer of campaign financial support in the event of an election."
Sept 9 2005.  Tom Zytaruk, biographer of independent MP Chuck Cadman, interviews Stephen Harper [h/t PaulGraham for audio] in the Cadman driveway on Sept 9 2005. Harper was accompanied by executive assistant Ray Novak and Carolyn Stewart Olsen, then Harper's press secretary. Excerpted : 
Zytaruk: "I mean, there was an insurance policy for a million dollars. Do you know anything about that?" 
Harper: "I don't know the details. I know that there were discussions, uh, this is not for publication?" 
Zytaruk: "This (inaudible) for the book. Not for the newspaper. This is for the book." 
Harper: "Um, I don't know the details. I can tell you that I had told the individuals, I mean, they wanted to do it. But I told them they were wasting their time....But they were just, they were convinced there was, there were financial issues.
Zytaruk then asks how official these 'individuals' are.
Harper: "No, no, they were legitimately representing the party. I said don't press him. I mean, you have this theory that it's, you know, financial insecurity and, you know, just, you know, if that's what you're saying, make that case but don't press it...."
"After my meeting with Mr. Harper concluded, Mr. Tom Zytaruk interviewed Mr. Harper for approximately 10 minutes in my driveway. When that interview concluded Mr. Zytaruk came into my house and I told him that Mr. Harper told me that he had no knowledge about a $1 million insurance policy offer made to my husband by Conservative Party representatives." 
Mike Duffy tries unsuccessfully to tone the story down ...

Steve Vai on Mike Duffy's take on his interview with Chuck Cadman via Galloping Beaver :
"Duffy was trying to tone down the story, offering up a conversation he had with Cadman, wherein he said he didn't want to vote against the budget, for fear he would lose his seat in an election and the insurance he had as an MP because of it. Duffy said Cadman was concerned that he would die and his wife would suffer. What nobody has picked up, Duffy actually connects some dots here. If Cadman was concerned about his insurance as an MP, then what better way to allay his fears in voting with the Cons, than to offer him assurance on that score. Insurance was on Cadman's mind, according to Duffy, which puts the offer into complete context."
Update : Which brings us up to today ... and the RCMP's charges of "criminal conspiracy" within the PMO of breech of trust, fraud and bribery
PM didn't know staff asked Conservative Party to pay Duffy's expenses: spokesperson
"Harper’s director of communications, Jason MacDonald, says Harper had no idea his staff had asked the Conservative Party to pay Sen. Mike Duffy’s ineligible expenses, ... and didn’t know PMO staff wanted a Senate report into Duffy’s expenses sanitized, or that the party’s chief fundraiser tried to influence the independent audit of Duffy’s claims."
Just another case of "rogue representatives" in the PMO again.
Image at top from CBC At Issue panel..

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Harper's Parade of Perps with Perks #8

Please welcome Senator Irving Gerstein, chief Con bagman and in-and-out election scheme perp, to Harper's Parade of Perps with Perks for what the Mounties allege was his role in trying to kill off the Deloitte audit into the expenses of Mike Duffy.

At a Con Party meet earlier this month, Gerstein announced to the party faithful :
“First, I made it absolutely clear to Nigel Wright that the CFC [Conservative Fund Canada] would not pay for Senator Mike Duffy’s disputed expenses,” the Ontario senator said.
“And it never did.”
Having the Con Fund pay off Duffy's expenses had actually been the PMO plan all along; Nigel Wright paying them instead was merely a later variation on that plan when the amount was three times what they expected. 

More serious is the attempt out of the PMO to muscle the Senate into shutting down the Deloitte audit using "back channels", and to hide it from the public and the RCMP with the complicity of Senators Stewart Olsen, LeBreton, and Tkachuk, all of whom previously publicly stated they knew nothing about doing a deal with a number of PMO staffers to change an audit, whitewash their reports on it, and hide the Duffy money trail. 

PMO staffer Patrick Rogers on March 8, from the RCMP ITO
"Senator Gerstein has just called. He agrees with our understanding of the situation and his Deloitte contact agrees. The stage we’re at now is waiting for the senator’s contact to get the actual Deloitte auditor on the file to agree. The senator will call back once we have Deloitte locked in."
Harper continued to deny in QP yesterday that he knew anything at all about the actions of all these people he personally hired for the PMO or appointed to the Senate. 
The RCMP ITO notes there is "no evidence to suggest that the Prime Minister was personally involved in the minutiae of those matters", and Nigel Wright has also said Harper was unaware of the specific details.

So what. That's what the six people in the PMO wrangling out those specific details were for.

The Perps with Perks Virtual Boxed Set ... with perp bios .. to be continued...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ford Family Circus Show

SunNews VP Kory Teneycke explained he canned FordNation after the very first episode because the talking points repeated numerous times throughout the 40 odd minute show that finally made it on air took 5 hours to record and "a day and a half" to edit.

I'm guessing the 4 hours of outtakes were indistinguishable from the good stuff.

But in case you missed it : social elite gravy train ... only human not perfect creating jobs subways ...  saving Toronto billions of dollars ... largest number of votes in Canadian history ...  lowest tax increases in North America ... can't change the past ... best attendance record on council ...moving forward ... subways ...  can't change the past ... average guy fighting for the little guy.

Pretty much a repeat of the same guff Mayors Rob/Doug gave Mansbridge on Monday as well ...

William Wolfe-Wylie at PostMedia 
Rob Ford lies three times in first minutes of Peter Mansbridge interview

It's time for media to call out lying liars when they hear them lie

"In the first two-and-a-half minutes of his lengthy CBC interview Monday, Rob Ford told three lies. They were uncontested by Peter Mansbridge, and it went downhill from there.
The first lie: “The people elected me with the largest mandate in Canada’s history.”
The second lie: “Having the lowest tax increase of any major city in North America.”
The third lie: “I’ve showed up every day to work for the last 13 years.”
He refutes each of those lies and then goes on to ask the hard questions. 
Does the mayor know Anthony Smith? What was in the packages Lisi dropped into his car so secretively? Does the mayor still have connections with drug dealers? Did he pay the utility bills for a crack house? Did Lisi act on his orders or suggestions when he allegedly sought out the crack video? Do the mayor’s homophobic and racist remarks while under the influence reflect his true opinions?
Rob Ford was not stripped of his powers because of recreational drug use. It was because the mayor has consorted with criminal elements, lied about it, and then refused to speak to police about it on the advice of his lawyer. He was stripped of his power because council realized they can no longer trust him, that they no longer know what influences him and that he refuses to answer questions that desperately need answers.
The whole column is excellent. Thank you, Mr. Wolfe-Wylie.
"Ford family circus" coined by Cathie from Canada.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Rob Ford Apologia

Tell me this isn't what immediately went through your mind when you heard the *pussy* apology and the SunNews FordNation "reality show" announcement on the same day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ford shitshow resumes and what really matters

What a screaming shitshow that was today. 

Inside the Toronto city council meeting, Mayor Rob Ford and his handler/brother Doug Ford were unsuccessfully fighting off an unenforceable council motion to have Rob Ford step down temporarily while demanding everyone else on council submit to mandatory drug screening. 

Grilled about the infamous photo of himself with 3 men - one of whom, Anthony Smith, was soon after shot and killed while Khattak was shot and survived - outside the Windsor Street crackhouse described as an ad hoc 2005 Ford campaign office, Rob Ford said repeatedly today that it was "not a crackhouse" and : 
"I had never met these three men in my life. They came out and asked me to take a picture with them." 
Meanwhile outside the council meeting, more info was unredacted by Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer.  Drugs, sex workers, drunk driving, Oxycontin, bullying, racism, lewd remarks to women, and trying to punch out staffers will make headlines tomorrow but never mind all that - here's what's really important from the police ITO [bold mine] :
"The mayor did indicate to [former Rob Ford press secretary]CHRISTOPOULOS that he knew Anthony SMITH."
"On May 19, 2013 ... it was decided that no further interviews would take place in relation to the suggestions that Mayor FORD was smoking crack or the possibility that the recording is on the cell phone of Anthony SMITH that was stolen at the time of his murder until Project Traveller was completed. The concern was that any additional interviews would potentially compromise Project Traveller in relation to the arrests, recovery of fireams and narcotics." [page 36]

Thursday update ... 


Ford brothers to host show on Sun News Network

Apparently the shitshow has been picked up by FoxNewsNorth Sun News.

"Following the cancellation of their top-rated radio show, we approached the Fords about hosting a show on our network," said [former Harper spokesy] Kory Teneycke, Sun News Network vice-president. "We are delighted to announce they have agreed."

"Rob is like Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh," said Councillor Doug Ford. "You just never know what he is going to say."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bobblehead Trifecta

The Toronto mayor's office is selling a Rob Ford bobblehead as a fundraiser for United Way. The Robbie Bobbie looks a whole lot more like Doug Ford actually and certainly the old Steve bobblehead could do with an update too so here's the whole teacon trifecta.

h/t Willy Loman

Monday am update : While the budget meeting goes on upstairs at city hall, Rob and Doug and 7 city staffers are down in the lobby working the bobblehead sales line which goes round in a circle like caterpillars on the rim of a saucer. 
Doug Ford “I don’t think there’s a politician in the country, including the prime minister, that could have bobblehead dolls and have them line up around the corner.”
Wed update : Judge releases some more details from police Ford/Lisi ITO


Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Brothers Ford, in reruns

~~~updated below~~~

Seven years ago, a loud and drunken Rob Ford, then a city councillor, was at a Maple Leafs game at the Air Canada Centre. He was shouting things like "My sister was a heroine addict and was shot in the head" by way of making conversation at people seated near him. 
A couple seated two rows in front of him asked him to “tone it down a little” and Ford blew up at them, as quoted in various accounts :
"Who the fuck do you think you are? Are you some kind of right wing Commie bastard? Are you a fucking teacher? Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?"
He was escorted from the stadium by security guards.
Initially Ford denied it
"This is unbelievable," he told the Star. "I wasn't even at the game, so someone's trying to do a real hatchet job on me, let me tell you."
But unfortunately Ford had handed out business cards to people seated near him at the game and the couple he yelled at, who were from out of town and had no idea who he was, used one to look him up and wrote a letter of complaint.  
Later, Ford spent what he called "the toughest day of his career" issuing apologies :
"I reflected on it last night, and talked to my family. I came forward and admitted it. That's all I can do. I mean, I'm not perfect," said Ford.
“I made a mistake. I'm only human. I don't know what more to say. I sincerely apologize.”
"I feel terrible about it. My wife and I had a little bit too much to drink . . . I made a mistake that will never happen again.”
Doug Ford said he knew nothing about it.

In 1999, Rob Ford was pulled over and busted for DUI and possession of marijuana in Florida. He copped to one charge, paid a fine, and did 50 hours community service with his football team in Canada. 
Asked about it during his 2010 run for mayor, Ford denied it
"No to answer your question," Ford said.
"I'm dead serious. When I say no, I mean never. No question, now I'm getting offended. No means no."
When presented with the arrest details, Ford explained : 
"The reason I forgot about the marijuana charge ... is because that same evening, I was charged with failing to give a breath sample," he told reporters.
... although court documents and an affidavit from the Miami-Dade police officer who made the arrest show Mr. Ford was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  
"I'm not perfect," Rob said. "I owned up to my mistake."
Again, Doug Ford said he knew nothing about it.

On Tuesday, Doug Ford was aggressively calling for Toronto Police Chief Blair to step down for doing his job. 
Hours later Rob Ford wandered out alone into a scrum of reporters and announced, after months of denial, that he had smoked crack cocaine due to being drunk. 
Doug, who had been unable to reach Rob by phone all morning, characterized Rob's crack confession as the worst day of his own life. The two of them later held a presser in which Rob read out an apology for his crack-smoking to Toronto ... and to Doug, who he was at pains to state knew nothing about it.

It's been their standard MO for years but it isn't working for Rob. 

Edward Keenan : Doug Ford. Worst. Brother. Ever.
10am Update : And a new Rob Ford video surfaces. Lovely.
So who is so close to Ford he's actually present to record him saying :
"Cause I'm going to kill that f**king guy. I'm telling you it's first-degree murder .....  I will, f**k, when he's dead, you help make sure that motherf**ker's dead. I need 10 minutes to make sure he's dead."
but would then release sell it to the media? Ford must be able to tell from the dining room angle who shot it.
There's no date to it ... maybe it's a response to that WWE wrestler Iron Sheik challenging him to fight?
Noon update : Sooey Says : Schadenfreude, eh? No, Mr. Minister of Whatever, we’re way past schadenfreude ... 

Kathy and Rob's mom do a bizarre tv interview today, blowing off any suggestion of rehab for Rob and demonstrating for 20 minutes what privileged enabling really looks like.
10pm Update : Remember this guy, Scott MacIntyre, Kathy's ex?  He broke into Rob Ford's house 18 months ago demanding money owed to him and threatening to expose the Fords to the media if they didn't pay up. He was jailed for possession, turned up in court with a broken leg from a jailhouse beating and pled guilty, ensuring no further related evidence would be released. 
Tonight in the Toronto Sun : 
"A former common-law spouse of Kathy Ford who vowed to expose the Ford family to the media was savagely beaten in jail because he was a “bother” to the mayor, a judge told his sentencing hearing.
At the sentencing hearing, both Fords generously urged leniency and freedom for MacIntyre."
The news report doesn't mention whether Rob Ford's surprise night visit to the jail in March demanding to see a different prisoner is related to MacIntyre's beating.
CBC The Fifth Estate : The Rob Ford Story
 New - interviews with Rob Ford crack video broker Mohamed Farah

Monday, November 04, 2013

Rednecks, Lies, and Videotape

With his unofficial driver Sandro Lisi busted for trafficking and extortion, Rob Ford advised his talk radio bunker listeners on the weekend that he would get himself an official chauffeur. 

That's great and all but according to the Toronto Police Oct 2 ITO, when the two of them were not popping in and out of gas station restrooms from their separate vehicles, it was sometimes Rob Ford who was driving Lisi around so I'm guessing the actual driving is not the main problem here.

Montreal Simon and Haroon Siddiqui point out the similarities between Harper and Ford today, to which I would add two more :
  • Both of them have overcome their privileged backgrounds to fashion themselves as populist outsiders fighting the elites on behalf of the Con base and FordNation, and
  • Neither of them give a shit what you think about that.
Photo with Ford quote from G&M media reporter Steve Ladurantaye via CC
Ford timeline graphic with map and bios from NaPo

Friday, November 01, 2013

Well at least now we know ...

... why there are so many photos of Rob Ford squinting up at the sky :
Ford himself has been the target of a police investigation that witnessed and photographed him in months of on-the-ground and airplane surveillance ...

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