Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
Speaking of “God damn America,” if you read only the New York Times — if that were your only source of news — you might not even know that Wright had uttered those words. A Nexis search shows that the only place Rev. Wright’s “God damn America” proclamation has been reported in the Times was in Bill Kristol’s column yesterday. That column was noticed mostly for a factual error — Kristol repeated a claim from an inaccurate NewsMax report — but as serious as that was, it seems that Times readers should at least thank Bill for telling them what the news pages would not.
A conspiracy? Anyone told Mr Wright?
ELIOT Spitzer, the disgraced New York governor, has been given a free-sex-for-life pass by Nevada brothel, The Moonlite Bunny Ranch…
There is no room for sexism in a modern political campaign. There is no room for racism either. There is no room for remarks that could reasonably be interpreted as sexist or racist. In fact, given the history of sexism and racism in this country, there is no room for remarks that could even be willfully misinterpreted as sexist or racist… There is no room for comments of any sort by anybody a candidate might have met under any circumstances in the course of his or her life, unless they have been vetted for sexism, racism, rudeness, or the appearance of these qualities by the campaign’s senior staff. There is no room for unfair accusations that the opposition candidate has engaged in sexist, racist or rude remarks, or that anyone he or she has ever met has engaged in such remarks. And of course there is also no room for perfectly fair accusations of this sort, which can be misinterpreted, and usually are.
On this day we are all Irish on the inside. It’s fashionable to be Irish. Anyone can be Irish.
According to the Clare Heritage Centre in south-west Ireland, Muhammad Ali is Irish. His great-grandad was allegedly one Abe Grady from the Irish town of Ennis, who emigrated to America in the 1860s, settled in Kentucky and married a black woman. If only Ali was aware of his ‘Irish soul’, things could have been so different. I can just hear him now: ‘No Vietcong ever called me a nigger or a bogtrotter….’
Yesterday parade in Birmingham – location of the “world’s third largest St Patrick’s Day Parade” (and there is much competition) – featured such Irish notables as local group the Dhol Blasters, adding what the BBC calls “a Punjabi twist”.
A picture on the Ireland.com website is captioned: “Samba dancers in Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade.”
Says the Montreal Gazette:
Leslie Lopez calls herself a Mexican-Canadian, but yesterday she was all decked out in green at the 184th St. Patrick’s Parade. There’s nothing Irish about me, zero per cent, but I’ve been to Ireland and I like Irish culture,” she said, sporting a kicky green tinsel wig, Irish-themed buttons, a shamrock lei and green beads.
So can Barack O’Bama be Irish. Barack Sean O’Bama?. The man supported by O’Prah Winfrey? Hillary Clinton’s is at a St Patrick’s day parade in Pittsburgh. And this the Hillary who brought peace to Northern Ireland.
But which is the more Irish?
As we know:
US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama can now count himself as one of the millions of Americans with Irish heritage. Research by the genealogy website ancestry.co.uk reveals that Mr Obama’s great great great grandfather was born in Ireland, although it is not yet known where. Falmouth Kearney sailed from Ireland to New York in 1850 at the age of 19 on the S.S. Marmion arriving on the 20th of March.
I noticed over the last several weeks that the forces of division have started to raise their ugly heads again. And I’m not here to cast blame or point fingers because everybody, you know, senses that there’s been this shift. It reminds me: We’ve got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. We’ve got a lot of pent-up anger and bitterness and misunderstanding. …This country wants to move beyond these kinds of things.
He is, of course, talking about 800 long years of English oppression, the overbearing priests, the drunken father, the beatings and the miserable wretch of a mother.
Meanwhile in Dublin, the locals are wondering if the Guinness is organic…
Luck of the Irish to one you – most like the loser…
“Tony Blair offered to take the unprecedented step of holding secret masked meetings with the IRA as he fought to save the Northern Ireland peace process from collapse,” continues the piece.
It is one claim made by former No. 10 chief of staff Jonathan Powell, whose book is, coincidentally, serialised in the Guardian all this week. It also forms the basis of the paper’s lead leader piece. Book reviews are rarely so newsworthy.
But what of the story and news that Blair wanted to sit down for a face to balaclava chat with, well, who knows?
It could be anyone beneath the mask. Tony could be talking with the man who used to do the BBC voice for Gerry Adams, Coronation Street’s ‘Big’ Jim McDonald or just about any Northern Irishman looking for work. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
THE Croydonian notes:Azerbaijan has persuaded the UN to pass a resolution “reaffirm[ing] Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, expressing support for that country’s internationally recognized borders and demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories there“.
Given recent events in Serbia / Kosovo, it is intriguing to note that some countries are quite happy to dismember Serbia in pursuit of self-determination for Albanians but will not extend the same principle to the Armenians of Artsakh. So, here are the states which have recognised Kosova but have also signed the Azeri motion:
Meanwhile, all credit to the unlikely list of refuseniks: Angola, Armenia, France, India, Russian Federation, United States, Vanuatu. Our man in NY abstained.
Says David in the Mirror: “There are interests out there who don’t want me to progress.”
Says a voice in the crowd: “Better out than in, that’s what I always say!”
IN The Dallas Morning News, an explantaion as to why there are cameras on roads. Why? To make money:
“Dallas City Hall has idled more than one-fourth of the 62 cameras that monitor busy intersections because many of them are failing to generate enough red-light-running fines to justify their operational costs, according to city documents…
That leaves Dallas government with a conundrum. Its red-light camera system has been an effective deterrent to motorists running red lights – some monitored intersections have experienced a more than 50 percent reduction. But decreased revenue from red light-running violations means significantly less revenue to maintain the camera program and otherwise fuel the city’s general fund.
Does the Government make money or save lives? Can it work out how many lives saved are tax payers..?
During the seven days, couples could devote themselves to each other ”both at an erotic and emotional level” and ”find their way back to the path of love in order to find the wellspring of love again”.
Some MPs suspected that the proposal might discriminate against single persons, but others said that a love vacation would be the privilege of all, even the singles and the single parents.
Whether this is a good idea or not, we hesitate to say, more interested in how Finland is developing a repututaion as a European oddity.
The country formerty known as Finland Nil Pointsm needs a new identity, losing much of its international profile when Lordi won the Eurovsion song contest in 2006 and when the Moomins disappeared from children’s TV.
The country’s politicians are now vying to make Finland interesting to outsiders.
Matti Vanhanen, 52, prime minister since 2003, has been enjoying a wave of support since the disclosure that he likes to take a sauna before sex and enjoys his favourite meal of beef and baked potatoes afterwards.
And Finnish government bureaucrat Mikko Puumalainen wants to establish a Chinese-style governmental firewall on the internet to prevent Finns from reading websites that ‘strive to maintain an anti-immigrant political climate’ by e.g. publishing facts such as official statistics on crime rates.
The hope is that Finland can rise from mediocrity and come to stand for something…
MATTHEW Yglesias finds the Real Obama:
Obama’s going to have a hard time explaining that I take to be the truth, namely that his relationship with Trinity has been a bit cynical from the beginning. After all, before Obama was a half-black guy running in a mostly white country he was a half-white guy running in a mostly black neighborhood. At that time, associating with a very large, influential, local church with black nationalist overtones was a clear political asset . . . . Since emerging onto a larger stage, it’s been the reverse and Obama’s consistently sought to distance himself from Wright, disinviting him from his campaign’s launch, analogizing him to a crazy uncle who you love but don’t listen to, etc.
Obam’as too slick to be caught to easily…
Readers who want to know how Sian has moved on can read A Funny Kind Of Love, by Sian Lloyd.
In this extract, Sian recalls Opik telling her about a paragliding accident he’d been in. She recalls his words to her: “The wind just went flat and the chute had deflated into a rag. I dropped 80ft, fell like a rock. I broke my back in 12 places. Then my ribs, sternum, jaw, and I lost four teeth.”
Sian listens. She looks. “I wondered if that explained his slightly twisted but interesting face.”
The wind changed. And Lembit stayed like that. If only Opik had met Sian earlier, she could have warned him what weather lay in store. But this is not about looking back. This is about Sian moving on.
Says the News of The World: “THEY’VE already got Ed Balls and Alistair Darling…but the Labour party could have had porn film king Ben Dover as GENERAL SECRETARY.”
Ed Balls is not a real porn name, nor is Alistair Darling. Both monikers appear to owe more to It Ain’t Half Hot Mum or anything by Hale & Pace. They are suggestive of camp comedy.
Ben Dover features such titles as The Porn Ultimatum, Hey Fatty Bum Bum and Porn Idol. He is the real thing.
Ben did not get the Labour Party job.
But Given his love of the pun, Ben may consider the job of picking the new Prime Minister and contact Mr Rupert Murdoch (aka Dirty Digger) about being News International’s next editor in chief…
Please let an old black man have his anger in the privacy of his church. After 400 years of what has been done to African-Americans, it is the least that we can do. Are our hearts so small and our need for reassurance so great that we cannot allow an old black man who dedicated his life to his community his anger? Are you honestly going to tell me that this is the first time white America has seen and heard from black folks? Have we not heard what Rabbis routinely say about Palestinians across the US? Even our military is told to call Iraqis and Afghanis “ragheads” and “Ali Baba” as a part of their training. Have we not heard what predominantly white churches say about immigrants, African-Americans, LGBTQ communities, and Islam? Jerry Falwell gets a hero’s farewell, as does Reagan, who thought gay people deserved to die of AIDS, but Wright, he must be punished severely and publicly humiliated.
Such is the level of political debate. Racism, Anti-Semitism. White Supremicism. This one’s got the lot…
BARACK Obama is a man for the popular vote.
“All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn.” —Barack Obama
What does he stand for? What do you want him to stand for?
WHEN Eliot Spitzer was exposed as a member of a prostitute club, Britons responded by issuing a collective gasp, shocked that the boy from the ET films had grown up to be an adulterous perv.
After much nodding and the shaking of heads, we read on and learned that this Eliot is not a former film star recovering after the groupie years. Further digging and Eliot Spitzer is revealed as a politico in New York.
The story might end there, a scratch on the political bedpost. But the Sun gives the news relevancy by introducing a Britisher into the fray.
Says the paper: “The hunt is on for a rich Brit revealed as Client 6 of the global vice ring that brought down New York’s governor.”
Client No.6. All good scandals need a codename – The Third Man, The Hand Of God, Watergate. Given the level of interest in this story, the time difference between the UK and New York, and the appearance of a randy Britisher, we’d like to name this the Waterbottle Scandal.
FINLANDISATION: “Finnish government bureaucrat Mikko Puumalainen want to establish a Chinese-style governmental firewall on the internet to prevent all 5,000,000 (five million) people in Finland from reading websites that ‘strive to maintain an anti-immigrant political climate’ by e.g. publishing facts such as official statistics on crime rates.”
ANYONE for Ofcom Branded Bottled Water.
Tim Lang, the Government’s naural resources commissioner, told us:
“We have to make people think that it’s unfashionable just as we have with smoking. We need a similar campaign to convince people that this is wrong.”
You can read more at the Consumer Council for Water.
Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries.
The Chief Executive is Ed Richards, who was “Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister for Media, telecoms, internet and e-govt. Before that he was Controller of Corporate Strategy at the BBC. He also worked in consulting at London Economics Ltd, as an advisor to Gordon Brown MP.”
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has been Barack Obama’s pastor for the last 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s south side.
And he loves a conspiracy theory.
He told his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost”.
The Wall Street Journal hears more:
“We put [Nelson] Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”
And: “We started the AIDS virus . . . We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty. . . .”
On America’s blacks: “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people… God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”
God damn. Looking from the outside in on America, it’s always noticeable how American everyone is. Even in highlighting disunity and perceived unfairness, the American succeeds in sounding only like an American. He demands to be heard. He speaks of the power of America. An America leader has to believe in God. In the UK, we think a leader who wears his religion on his sleeve is a creep.
In “Alistair Darling what a tw*t”, Ryder, whose Happy Mondays band provided a 1980s antidote to Black Monday, tells fiscally minded Daily Sport readers:
Darling is “one of those people who hasn’t just got a face you want to punch, he’s got a name you want to punch as well.”
It’s a double whammy.
“I hate Chancellors…Ok, Tony Blair might have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, been embroiled in the alleged cash for honours affirm and changed politics for spin. But Gordon Brown was that c*** who out 9p on a packet of fags.”
As ever, the review begins with the vital stuff, the manna of British life: booze up; fags up.
A pint of beer will be 4p more expensive. A bottle of wine will be 14p more expensive. A bottle of whiskey will be 55p more expensive. If you are a cocktails man, you will be 73p-a-drink worse off.
And the ciggies. A packet of 20 cigarettes will rise by 11p.
The Government does not enjoy taxing smokers, taking their money. It wants you to give up. Of course, if you do give up, you might spend your money on something else, say, chewing gum. In which case, chewing gum will rocket in price and become taxed. It costs a fortune to clean it off streets. What is needed is chewing gum zone, paid for out of chewing gum chewers’ taxes, and policed.
YOU cannot help but notice that David Cameron’s kitchen is not too shabby.
Very soon all MPs will be setting up a camera in their kitchens. News is that MPs are now allowed to claim expenses of up to £10,000 for a new kitchen.
And they can kit it out. There is an additional £2,000 allowance for furniture and £750 for a TV or stereo. The one proviso is that they should own a second home. Or, failing that, they should invent one.
It all part of the so-called “John Lewis list” used by Commons officials to list maximum amounts for items.
MPs can claim items up to £23,000 per year.
That list in full:
THE Presidential Race is bought to you in conjunction with Sky Plus. You record the whole show, fast forward the bits where the agonists talk about policiezzz and societiezzz and affairzzzz and get to the good bit.
The latest pause, rewind, play, play and play to death is the segment where the former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro says:
“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any colour) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”
Ferraro sounds like one of those fat champ counsellors, only on a Black Camp. But you’re a beautiful person, she says to the black kid. You need to embrace yourself and learn to love yourself. You are lucky to be you. You are more then little black kid. You are a concept.
She then shows him pictures of Black Camp’s founding fathers, Al Jolson, Michael Jackson and Vanilla Ice…
RUTH Henderson, “a former booking agent for high-priced Manhattan call girls”, says of Eliot Spitzer:
Remember that scene from Casablanca, when Captain Renault declares that he is shocked, shocked to find gambling going on – just as the croupier hands him his winnings? I keep thinking of that scene when I read about all those politicians who are baying for Spitzer’s blood. Because I know, and they know, that almost all of them have been escort agency clients too. Show me a rich and powerful man between the ages of 35 and 60 who has never paid an escort for sex, and I will show you a man who is a very rare exception.
Barack Obama is how old..?