Quick Hits - June 1

So, you wanted to know the real reason Christopher Eccleston left Doctor Who after just one season? Well, now the truth can be revealed.

This piece starts a bit slow, but the joke kicks in about halfway through and then they milk it for all they’re worth.

Also funny is the ten Doctors Christmas.

And to top it all off, if you can get the whole thing to load, check out William Shatner singing a tribute to George Lucas. Shatner really has become quite comfortable with his character in his later years.

I don’t know about you, but if I were eleven years old again, and had $5,400 rattling around in my pocket, I don’t think I’d have much trouble figuring out how to spend it. And I would also think that, on a list of things to spend $5,400 on, contributing to the campaign of a third-rate Liberal leadership candidate would be way, way down the list. Heck, do these kids know what Joe Volpe stands for, other than “stuff that convinced my parents to tell me to hand $5,400 over to him? Thanks to Calgary Grit for the link.

Well, at least Joe has returned the money, but as Greg Staples says, the damage has been done. As a political candidate, Joe Volpe has gone from joke to radioactive. The best thing he can do now to save himself further humiliation is to resign. The Liberals would be much better off without him. Because, trust me, more humiliation is coming.

In the last Bloggers Hotstove, I called the press gallery “petulant” for their staged walkout on Harper over a week ago. I had previously called Harper “petulant” for his reaction to the opposition voting down his choice to lead the government appointments commission, and I felt that Harper was being petulant when he nixed his advantage against the press by crying “bias”. Greg Staples asked me if I’d just learned a new word and was trying it out. Yeah, maybe I overused it a little.

Despite the fact that Harper has had no miscues this week, perhaps you’d like to send him a baby soother anyway? If nothing else, stories like this show that Harper’s actions do resonate with more than just the chattering classes of the blogosphere. (Link courtesy Andrew Gurudata)

To balance the ledger, I think I’d like to add a couple of points where I give the Conservatives credit where it’s due. It is good, good news that the federal surplus for 2005-6 is $4 billion higher than what finance minister Jim Flaherty predicted. Though I know a few people are upset that the numbers have again been lowballed, I don’t think you can blame Flaherty for this, as most of this year’s surplus was accrued while the Liberals were in power. Besides, paying down our federal debt by an additional $4 billion frees up as much as $200 million per year in reduced interest payments. That’s $200 million that can be applied each year to further tax cuts or spending reinvestments.

I’m not happy that the Conservative tax cut proposals have cut future surpluses down from the highs they could have achieved. I personally believe that we should make it a target to achieve $20 billion surpluses which we apply directly against the debt. If we could sustain this pace, we’d have the debt paid down in under 30 years, and each year we’d free up a billion dollars worth of interest payments which we could put to better use.

So, lowballing concerns be damned. If Flaherty can keep us rolling in unexpected surpluses for years to come, I’ll say nice things about him.

The other credit where it’s due is the Conservative’s sensible compromise with the NDP on the matter of raising our nation’s age of consent. This sort of negotiation and discussion is how a minority parliament should work, and why I hope we have minority parliaments for at least the next five years.

Now that the Edmonton Oilers have returned to the Stanley Cup finals after a multi-year absense, I penned this comment on Candice’s blog, which I think deserves repeating here:

I got to tell you, though this is blasphamy, I hate hockey. Actually, I hate NHL hockey and its overinflated ticket prices and salaries and sluggish gamesmanship, and I’m indifferent to the other forms of hockey. I prefer baseball and soccer (World Cup variety).


I love underdogs, and the Edmonton Oilers epitomize that. Coming into the playoffs in eighth place in their conference, racking up impossible win after impossible win? Pulling together as a team and overcoming near impossible odds? How can I not get caught up in that?

So I say, without reservation: GO EDMONTON!

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