My American friends might think they have 'problems with government', and indeed the mounting evidence points to that being somewhat true.
But we plucky denizens of the chilly wastes beyond the 49th parallel are not immune to the sort of blatant insults to intelligence that mes amis Americains have come to take for granted in the modern world of politainment.
Indeed, the fellow who once dragged our nation around by its frozen nose has been back in the news again, and if he's breathing, he's prevaricating:
Brian Mulroney is surely sincere in regretting what he described to the committee as the first-and second-biggest mistakes of his life: agreeing to be introduced to Mr. Schreiber and receiving what he says were three cash payments of $75,000 from him.
According to the former prime minister, Mr. Schreiber insisted on paying cash for legitimate international lobbying work and described this as standard practice for "European businessmen."
He says that he was never asked to file written reports with Schreiber or anyone else at Thyssen in exchange for this lucrative work, nor asked for details of his expenses.
He never deposited the three $75,000 payments in any bank or other credit account, supposedly choosing to stick bundles of thousand-dollar bills in safety deposit boxes and drawing upon them as needed. He says that when he received the third and final payment in New York, he put the money in a safety deposit box there, instead of bringing it back with him to Canada where it would be close at hand.
And he claims he kept a record of how much he had drawn down from these various stashes, but that the ledger has long since been discarded or destroyed, along with any other records relating to the $225,000.
There are apparently no surviving notes or diaries on the meetings for which he was paid, either.
It seems almost equally odd that in 1999, after Schreiber was charged with bribery and corruption in Germany, Mr. Mulroney unilaterally decided that the remainder of the money was only now formally "his" and that it was finally time to report the existence of the $225,000 to Revenue Canada.
He paid taxes on the entire sum, even the deductible portion he apparently had used up in meeting his lobbying expenses.
Well, isn't that nice. Pardon me while the excess I.Q leaks out of my ears, I didn't need it anyway.
This guy was balls deep in the pockets of corporate America before he ever ran for office, thought nothing of telling a voter to 'go fuck yourself' during an election, and now swans about Palm Beach with his benefactors in the winter season...His just reward for lining the pockets of the privileged at the expense of the many.
To be fair, he has won compensation from the Canadian government for impugning his 'good name' in the above referenced affair, as with no hard evidence at the time to support charges of corruption prosecution could not go forward...Of course, the fact that Lyin' Brian actually took the loot and ran was somewhat obscure at the time.
And thus the taint will never go away as he might hope for, for in his own words 'there's no whore like an old whore'...And the corner streetlight apparently needs propping up again.
For those with a further interest, Warren Kinsella has rounded up some of the relevant headlines.