Monday, December 21, 2009

Our Government's Work Ethic

I'm blogging to you tonight from Georgetown, Kentucky, just north of Lexington, on my way down to Florida with the family.

We lost CBC somewhere near Toledo, but we've managed to keep the radio on a sequence of NPR stations, thus avoiding the canned pop music and right-wing talk that dominates the rest of the dial.

The big news down here, of course, is the health care bill passing in the U.S. Senate last night. While the question of whether or not this bill will actually improve health care remains unanswered, the point that caught my ear was this:

All 58 Democrats and the Senate's two independents held together early Monday against unanimous Republican opposition, providing the exact 60-40 margin needed to shut down a threatened GOP filibuster.

The vote came shortly after 1 a.m. with the nation's capital blanketed in snow, the unusual timing made necessary in order to get to a final vote by Christmas Eve presuming Republicans stretch out the debate as much as the rules allow.

Wow. I can't remember our MPs ever being late for dinner, let alone sticking it out into the wees.

No, our government is a little more laid back. Like those Conservative members of the Special Committee on Afghanistan who gave themselves an extra-long Christmas break, thanks to this note from Official Afghanistan Obstructionator Laurie Hawn:

Dear Ms. De Pape,

I am writing to inform the committee that Conservative Party members of the Special Committee on Canada's Mission in Afghanistan will not to be attending Tuesday's meeting called under Standing Order 106.4.

The Christmas and Holiday Season is a time to spend with family, friends, and loved ones. One would hope that only the most serious of emergencies should interfere with these moments.

There is presently nothing urgent needing study on the subject of Taleban prisoners. The alleged events in question took place over 3 years ago under two different Governments. Subsequently, Canada's prisoner policy was improved by the present Government and remains the "Gold standard" of our NATO allies.

Please pass this correspondence along to opposition members so they do not make unnecessary travel arrangements during this Christmas and Holiday season.

I would also like to wish yourself and all committee staff a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays over the coming weeks.

Oddly enough, that reads exactly like the note my son forged last week to get out of school on Friday. Except his said "Social Studies" and not "Taliban Prisoners".


  1. I was disappointed by the availability of decent radio programs in the US. The commercial stations seem to all come from the same place, play the same music and have (almost) the same DJs.

    I had hoped to hear some regional sounds as I made my way south and all I got was homogenized blahs.

  2. Hey, listening to the right-wing radio in the states was one of my favourite things about the travel.
    It was like entering an alternate universe.  A few markets, like Boulder Co and the east and west coast had radio well to the left of NPR which was also cool.
    NPR I found a little bland

  3. An Unacceptable response re: human rights issues from Mr. Hawn.