Ever since Canadian Bacon warned me of the syrup-soaked menace to the north, I've been properly skeptical of Canada's image as a friendly and peaceful locale. The second largest country in the world, with 90% of its citizens massed along the longest undefended border in the world, presumably just waiting to strike, there's obviously a dark side to the land of Mounties, politeness and universal healthcare.
Unfortunately, few American officials have seen through the facade, with Barack Obama choosing Canada as his first international destination as president. But one man's
heartventricular assist device knows the score…
Former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has cancelled an April appearance in Toronto citing concerns Canada is too dangerous.
"He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high," said Ryan Ruppert, president of promotions company Spectre Live Corp., which had booked Mr. Cheney for an April 24 appearance at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre…
"God forbid there was ever an emergency," said Ruppert, noting Cheney's history of heart problems.
It's not the first time Cheney has been afraid to go to a foreign land. Though unlike Vietnam, I don't think he'll have trouble finding volunteers to take his place.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Bush Administration, Canada, Dick Cheney, Health, Protesters
* In The Washington Spectator's new animated video series, A Brodner Minute, illustrator Steve Brodner has the candidates swapping spit with their benefactors.
* Jeff Ross is going to Canada to roast an entire country.
* Republicans get cheeky with their Valentine's, via Buzzfeed.
* From McSweeney's: "American Policy Suggestions from a Chicago Sports Fan."
* All the world's books on Abraham Lincoln could build a 3 story tower. No, really.
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Canada, Chicago, Daily Links, Democrats, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Sports, Valentine's Day
The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal have a new report promoting the 18th annual release of their "Index of Economic Freedom," the right wing's gold standard for international comparisons of public policy.
It almost goes without saying that since the results "demonstrate that when countries adopt policies leading to high scores, they also enjoy prosperity, economic security and success," the key to winning the future, according to Heritage and the WSJ editorial page, is to become a small East Asian dictatorship…
Hong Kong scored 89.9 on the 1-100 scale, highest worldwide. Singapore, which has ranked second all 18 years, scored 87.5. Australia and New Zealand ranked third and fourth, respectively, enabling the Asia-Pacific region to account for the four highest-ranked countries.
But, but! Mitt Romney says the United States is "the greatest nation in the history of the earth!" By which he must mean we're the greatest at being number 10, since that's where we're ranked, behind sixth place Canada and in a statistical dead-heat with Denmark.
The interesting thing, besides the discovery that Heritage analysts are actually Canadian infiltrators (admitting that other people are better than you was the giveaway), is that many policy interventions that are controversial in the United States come standard in the high-ranking countries.
Hong Kong's public healthcare system is still modeled on the Beveridge Plan that created the British NHS. Canada is well regarded for its single-payer insurance scheme known as
Death to GrandmaMedicare. Switzerland joined the universal healthcare club in 1994. The Danes contribute 49% of the nation's GDP to taxes. Every country in the top 10 has a higher union density than does the United States.
It's almost as if systems of subsidized heath-care, egalitarian tax and spending schemes and pro-labor policy can be a part of "freedom." Just don't tell the Wall Street Journal about the Wall Street Journal's own research — extreme cognitive dissonance isn't covered by most private insurers.
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Tags: Canada, Economy, Health Care, Heritage Foundation, Hong Kong, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Unions, Wall Street Journal
* This sexual harassment training video with Herman Cain is appropriately NSFW.
* Don't forget that December is National Awareness Month. Maybe. I'm not sure.
* Americans say neigh to horse meat, via The Onion.
* The pepper spray users manual shows you the dos and dos of using pepper spray, from Funny or Die.
* The This Is That podcast is like a Canadian Onion with an extra side of Canadian.
Tags: Canada, Daily Links, Funny or Die, Herman Cain, House of Representatives, Occupy Wall Street, The Onion