Roundup: The appalling situation

Senator Brazeau made an appearance in a Gatineau court yesterday morning, facing charges of assault and sexual assault. Aaron Wherry sets the scene here. Later in the day, Stephen Harper called the situation appalling and disappointing, and said he was feeling let down. When the Senate reconvenes on Tuesday, Brazeau will be put on enforced leave, and while he still draws a salary (remember, nothing has yet been proven in court), he won’t get the usual range of office and travel budgets he normally would have. And if he is found guilty, then in all likelihood, he’s out of the Senate. And no, the lesson here is not that the Senate is inherently bad, but rather, it’s that Stephen Harper should make better appointments. John Geddes reminds us why Harper appointed him in the first place, what’s changed since, and the feasibility of Senate reform (hint: not at all).

As for those three Senators facing questions about their expense claims, they’re being referred to an outside auditor, and additional legal advice is being sought on Senator Duffy’s residency. Could this be enough to trigger him as not being eligible to sit in the Senate as a PEI senator? There are a couple of questions about Pamela Wallin’s residence as well, but seeing as she doesn’t own a home in Ottawa, it doesn’t seem as much of an issue. The NDP seem to think that the RCMP should be called in – but perhaps they should wait for the external auditors to complete their work first.

In case you were wondering, Senator Bert Brown continues to spout nonsense as he starts packing up his office. And if you read the John Geddes piece linked above, you would also have seen that the PMO distanced itself from Brown’s comments earlier in the week about Harper agreeing to a constitutional amendment for a supremacy-of-the-Commons clause, which gives you an idea about just how much stock to put into anything Brown says.

The search for a replacement for the PBO is being hamstrung by the job description and salary classification, which was supposed to have been changed during Page’s tenure and wasn’t, and now makes it unattractive to find anyone of sufficiently high level.

As expected, the government tabled its legislation to get tough on mentally ill offenders deemed not criminally responsible. Because you know, moral panic and all.

Navy spy Jeffrey Delisle has been sentenced to twenty years in prison, but with time served, that’s eighteen-and-a-half to go.

Here’s a look at why Jason Kenney’s plans to strip citizenship away from dual-citizens who commit acts of terrorism is a slippery and unconstitutional slope.

Economist Stephen Gordon believes the deficit numbers will be lower than projected this year.

Colin Horgan talks about MPs taking personal agency for their lot in life – which is exactly what we need to say every time they start whinging about how powerless they are and how awful party discipline is.

Here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, including Kerry-Lynne Findlay bulldozing past questions with talking points, and insisting that you don’t need statistics, only compassion for victims, when it comes to creating crime legislation.

And it looks like the Prime Minister’s hockey book will have to be published in the States, thanks to rules in the Investment Canada Act. Oh, the irony.