By Emily Senger, Jaime Weinman, Jonathon Gatehouse, and Mika Rekai - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 0 Comments
Obama gets caught in “Skeetgate” and HMV learns the power of social media
Shorn for love
America isn’t the only place where young pop stars have to apologize for having a sex life. Minami Minegishi, a 20-year-old member of the Japanese musical group AKB48, shaved her head in penance after a gossip magazine showed her leaving the apartment of a backup dancer from another band. It wasn’t the romance with a rival group that caused the scandal, but the fact that, as Minegishi said in an apologetic YouTube video, she did not “behave as a good role model” and follow the band’s rules about sexual behaviour—namely, it’s off-limits to girls. The tearful apology didn’t help her cause—management demoted the star to a trainee team.
When U.S. President Barack Obama told the New Republic that “up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” he probably never dreamed he’d set off a full-fledged new conspiracy theory, now dubbed “Skeetgate.” Many conservatives accused Obama of lying about his gun fandom; one Republican representative demanded to know “if he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of it?” The outcry grew so great that the White House released a photo of Obama shooting skeet at Camp David, which simply resulted in accusations that it was photoshopped, plus mockery of the “mom jeans” he was wearing in the picture. Continue…
By Paul Wells - Monday, July 4, 2011 at 9:45 AM - 2 Comments
Paul Wells on how the fate of first class letter delivery was binding up the House
It didn’t take long for this new Parliament’s odd character to assert itself. The NDP launched a filibuster to stall back-to-work legislation aimed at Canada Post employees. One NDP MP after another got up to hurl thunderbolts at the government and chew up time. Under Hansard’s rules, the clock accompanying the House of Commons’s workday stopped. The fourth Thursday in June lasted until Saturday night. The Prime Minister played host at a late-night hospitality suite for his MPs. The little dog laughed to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon.
Let’s unpack all of this and see what we can learn from it. As soon as Jack Layton dropped his stalling tactics the NDP lost, which means postal-union employees lost too. Stephen Harper’s government legislated a smaller pay increase than Canada Post had proposed in its final offer. Jean Chrétien took his pound of flesh in precisely the same way when he legislated posties back to work, at a discount, in 1997.
So the NDP learned it’s unable to shout back the tide. In a way this reinforces Ottawa’s latest conventional wisdom. Layton, it is fashionable to say, has less influence with 103 MPs against a majority government than he used to have with 37. He can’t force an election. He can’t block legislation. What good is he?