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Recent amendments to Florida statutes now require foreign drivers to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to a valid driving license from their own driving license authority. The law went into effect at the beginning of January without being publicized outside the state. Today, the first day of the law's announcement in Canada, over 900 Ontarians lined up for hours trying to obtain the permit from the Canadian Automobile Association.

Canadian media report that representatives for the Florida Highway Patrol and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said the law would not be enforced for the time being. The new legislation was intended to make law enforcement easier because the IDP shows foreign license information in English, in addition to multiple other languages.

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Canada is about to enter the election cycle with the imminent defeat of the Conservative's federal budget. Once that happens the election date will be set, usually 6 weeks from now.

I'm calling up my candidate to volunteer. What I really need is your best advice on strategy, tactics, GOTV, and resources so we can defeat the Harper government.

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 06:53 PM PST

Dem's Darkest Hour? Never Give In

by paul2port

I have never felt so dispirited in all my years here at DailyKos. Some here seem to wish President Obama had never been elected. You should be deeply grateful for the improvements in the country considering the only other alternative was a McCain/Palin led nation. So now when frustration and impatience rule the day, remember this:

First, no matter where you find yourself in the Democratic big tent: Never Give In!
Winston Churchill
:

...this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished...

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Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 07:32 AM PDT

Not the ugly American

by paul2port

There were five of them at the bar. Big men. Black men. Loud men. Smoking cigars. And it didn’t take more than a word or two for me to know they were New Yorkers. The one man pointed at me “Come on over here.”

I’m Mr. Milquetoast, a meek, mild-mannered Canadian. Balding, bi-focaled. In the tropical sun that day I was as pale as one of those larvae you find under a rock, kind of sickly looking. I’d just escaped the Toronto winter, landing in Puerto Plata for a week and now I wanted to crawl under a rock.

“Me?”

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And you're not being helpful if you say don't come to DC.

We can't get a flight. We're hoping to see the Obama train either in Philly or Baltimore. We're coming by automobile.

My buddy Tony and I just decided to become part of the celebration. We're driving down from the Toronto area for the weekend before the Inauguration. We want to see some sights, meet some people, eat some food, drink some drinks, soak in a big tub of Hope, buy a few souvenirs and say we were part of the whole thing, even if we don't have  tickets to the ball. He's got a cousin in Philly. I've got a cousin in Baltimore. Our wives refuse to take part in this madness. We're like Bob and Buh-Buh-Buh-Bing off on the road to the Inaugural. None of the relatives know we might end up on their doorstep.

Have pity on a couple of naive kossacks. Help us out with some advice on what to see and do. Places to go. What to see and do.

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Some of us are crossing our fingers, others crossing ourselves. Larry David is so nervous he says he can't sit down. Maybe if he crossed his legs...

Though I'm not particularly superstitious, after losing an entire season of high school football I swore that if we ever won I'd never change my athletic socks. We were undefeated the next season. For three years in a row I kept my promise and wore those socks. I didn't even wash them. There were advantages. I had privacy in an otherwise crowded locker room. But I digress.

Time magazine published the contents of the candidate's pockets. The Candidates' Lucky Charms: Barack Obama It showed:

Poll

Your lucky charm?

20%7 votes
8%3 votes
41%14 votes
17%6 votes
11%4 votes

| 34 votes | Vote | Results

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was Opposition leader in 2003. On March 20, 2003, a day and a half after Australian Prime Minister John Howard declared his support for the Bush administration's Iraq war policy Harper rose in the House of Commons to speak. Half his speech was exactly the same as Howards. WORD. FOR. WORD.

In case you'd forgotten I'll remind you that Canadians are in the middle of a snooze of an federal election campaign. Liberal leader Stephane Dion appeared to be on the road to ruin. Harper was ahead in all the national polls.

This is the game changer. Video below

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University of Maryland economics researchers Craig Garthwaite and Tim Moore have just released their paper on The Role of Celebrity Endorsements in Politics:

Studying the geographic differences in the sales of Oprah's media properties, (O!, Oprah's Book Club etc.) to determine her influence on the Democratic primary endorsement of Barack Obama the pair determined that Oprah's endorsement provided about a million additional votes to Obama.

Celebrities have long been criticized for their involvement in politics. Why should people be influenced by the famous? Perhaps the low information voter is more influenced by celebrities. Indeed the McCain camp must be wondering why their attempt to use Paris Hilton in their attack ad could go so horribly wrong and how much it might hurt them.

But wait there's more.

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Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 01:10 PM PDT

Teeth and "Uninsured in America"

by paul2port

In August of 2005 The New Yorker Magazine published Malcolm Gladwell's The Moral-Hazard Myth: The bad idea behind our failed health-care system

Several years ago, two Harvard researchers, Susan Starr Sered and Rushika Fernandopulle, set out to interview people without health-care coverage for a book they were writing, “Uninsured in America.” They talked to as many kinds of people as they could find, collecting stories of untreated depression and struggling single mothers and chronically injured laborers—and the most common complaint they heard was about teeth.

More:

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In a front page story Tim Harper of the Toronto Star reports that 27 year old lobbyist Frank Sensenbrenner is at the "epicentre of a scandal over a leaked Canadian memo which wounded Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama."

Sensenbrenner, was not registered as a lobbyist at the time he received a no-bid contract from the Canadian government with the backing of Prime Minister Harper's office and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day. The Canadian embassy employed Sensenbrenner to exert influence in Congress where his father, Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) was once the head of the House Judiciary Committee. He introduced the Patriot Act.

Frank Sensenbrenner denies having anything to do with the scandal.

More:

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Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 06:57 AM PST

'Canadian': the new N-word?

by paul2port

What? Hey I resemble that remark.

In Houston there's an investigation going on regarding Republican District Attorney "Mr. Executioner" Chuck Rosenthal's contempt case. He's alleged to have destroyed thousands of e-mails, embarassing e-mails. According to Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle in When is a Canadian not a Canadian?

It's one e-mail, only about 100 words, sent in 2003. But it had achieved near-urban legend status in some corners before being unearthed recently and leaked to a few members of the media.

The document — yet another gem from the Harris County District Attorney's Office's treasure trove of embarrassing and inappropriate correspondence — is being debated on local lawyer listservs, blogs and in secret meetings.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the mysterious missive may be a topic of questioning in Chuck Rosenthal's contempt hearing next week — even though it has nothing to do with the DA's deletion of thousands of subpoenaed e-mails.

Instead, the e-mail involves another unlikely topic — Canadians. And not the hockey-playing, Molson-gulping, health insurance-having kind, either.

Poll

Is "Canadian" a racist word?

31%18 votes
50%29 votes
0%0 votes
17%10 votes

| 57 votes | Vote | Results

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Earlier today U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates criticized NATO allies for their conduct of the war in Afghanistan. It seems America's friends just don't measure up.

In a Los Angeles Times article by Peter Spiegel Gates faults NATO force in southern Afghanistanthe British, Dutch and Canadian forces were criticized by implication.

But coming from an administration castigated for its conduct of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, such U.S. criticism of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is controversial. Many NATO officials blame inadequate U.S. troop numbers earlier in the war in part for a Taliban resurgence.

"It's been very, very difficult to apply the classic counterinsurgency doctrine because you've had to stabilize the situation sufficiently to start even applying it," said one European NATO official, who discussed the issue on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the alliance. "Even in the classic counterinsurgency doctrine, you've still got to get the fighting down to a level where you can apply the rest of the doctrine."

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