Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
Words attributed to one Roger Stone, billed in the Times as “a controversial Republican operative”, who alerted authorities four months before the Democratic governor was forced to step down in a sex scandal.
Says the paper: “He told the Miami Herald that he learnt about the governor’s behaviour from a high-end call girl at an adults-only club called Miami Velvet who confided in him that she was disappointed to have missed a chance to entertain Mr Spitzer. Instead, her friend met Mr Spitzer and noted that he kept his socks on, Mr Stone said.”
Readers should recall the name Stephen Byers, the married former transport secretary, who was revealed by one Barbara Cornish to have worn his black socks while in the act of a private consultation.
Can it be that before Mr Byers was exposed in a tabloid shag ‘n’ tell, Mr Spitzer was just a normal office guy in his novelty socks? On reading of Mt Byers’ sexual prowess, and considering the middle-aged man’s anodyne exterior, did Mr Spitzer place too much stock on those black socks, seeing them as the source of the Blarite’s sexual vigour; Samson’s hair in a nylon and viscose blend?
We can only wonder.
And recall to mind the old public school adage that you can always trust a man who tucks his vest into his Y-fronts – and leaves it tucked in until he returns home from chambers…
But why did he start to call himself Barack?
When Sen. Barack Obama moved from using the name Barry to Barack, his formal name, it was part of his almost lifelong quest for identity and belonging—to figure out who he is, and how he fits into the larger American tapestry.
Part black, part white, raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, with family of different religious and spiritual backgrounds—seen by others in ways he didn’t see himself—the young Barry was looking for solid ground. At Occidental College, he was feeling like he was at a ‘dead end’… ‘that somehow I needed to connect with something bigger than myself.'”
For similar reasons, Tony Blair will know be known as Anthony, Bill Clinton as William, Teddy Roosevelt as Theodore, Joe Salin as Joseph, Nelson Madela as Rolihlahla and Nick Clegg as…
“Groups sympathetic to anti-Chinese protesters in Tibet are under assault by cyber attackers who are embedding malware in email that appears to come from trusted colleagues.”
John McCain tells a Chinese reporter: “The people there are being subjected to mistreatment that is not acceptable with the conduct of a world power, which China is.”
And: “His Holiness [Dalii Lama] says we have to be realistic,” says Tenzin Taklha, a senior aide to the 72-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner… “From the exiled Tibetan leaders, there were no calls for sanctions, like those imposed when Myanmar suppressed pro-democracy protests last year, or even a boycott of this summer’s Beijing Olympics.
“It’s an approach that reflects the pragmatism of the Dalai Lama, who has long sought an accommodation based on his “Middle Way” dialogue with Beijing aimed at autonomy for Tibetans under Chinese rule.”
THE BBC: “A week after the initial riots, estimates of how many people were killed and accounts of who was to blame differed wildly. China says 18 civilians and a policeman were killed and hundreds injured. But the Tibetan government-in-exile says at least 99 people have died in the crackdown by Chinese troops.
“During the clampdown, troops have sealed off towns in the surrounding areas where unrest has taken place, according to witnesses. Authorities are not allowing foreign journalists into Tibet.
“Other witnesses have reported seeing hundreds of troop carriers heading for Tibetan areas in recent days. In Gansu, public notices and police broadcasts told protesters to surrender by midnight on 25 March or face arrest and punishment.”
China is eating Tibet alive.
The picture is from a Chinese food market. What is it? And can the Olympic torch arrive in time to cook it?
The Obama Cult: You’re Own Personal Jesus…
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” says Obama.
Obama has joked about his meesianic qualities, as spotted by that political BibleMen’s Vogue:
“When Morgan Freeman comes over to greet Obama, the senator begins bowing down both hands in worship. ‘This guy was president before I was,’ says Obama, referring to Freeman’s turn in Deep Impact and, clearly, getting a little ahead of his own bio. Next, a nod to Bruce Almighty: ‘This guy was God before I was.’”
And behold, Obama met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.
As Jack Tapper puts it: Obama Wept…
A US state department employee looked at the files of Republican candidate John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.
Says US State department spokesman Sean McCormack: “In the case of Senator McCain, we detected earlier this year… one of the same people who accessed Senator Obama’s passport file also accessed Senator McCain’s passport file.”
McCormack said a trainee accessed Hillary Clinton’s file last year.
It’s awfully fair that all three candidates have been snooped on. Perhaps the game is to see who takes the most offence?
And what price one of the candidates being an impostor? Old Mr Anorak thinks John McCain resembles a young Bobby Chartlon, Barack Obama looks like the Messiah and Hillary Clinton looks like the kind of woman who plays a lot of golf because she likes the shoes.
Howard Berman, the Democratic chairman of the foreign affairs panel, compared the passport spying flap to a similar 1992 breach committed against then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton.
“[I]t is worth noting that that earlier situation also was characterised as isolated and non-political when the news initially emerged,” Berman said. But a subsequent inquiry found that government employees were hunting for information that would help embarrass Clinton during his campaign.
Joseph DeGenova, a lawyer involved in the 1992 Clinton investigation, said of the Obama breaches: ‘It’s really remarkable that something like this could have gone unreported. What’s disturbing about it is there are three separate breaches. It strains the imagination that somehow they were not linked.”
Two State Department employees were fired and a third has been disciplined for improperly accessing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s passport file, the State Department announced Thursday night.
Senior Department officials said they learned of the incidents only when a reporter made an inquiry Thursday afternoon. They said an initial investigation indicated the employees – all of whom worked on contract – were motivated by “imprudent curiosity.”
HAVING brought peace to Northern Ireland, Hillary Clinton, who would have saved Rwanda had only she been listened to, starred in porn, cried and cried, and was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, is in the Balkans.
SAYS Hillary: “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”
–Hillary Clinton, speech at George Washington University, March 17, 2008.The Washington Post keeps its head up and journalist John Pomfret notices:
Far from running to an airport building with their heads down, Clinton and her party were greeted on the tarmac by smiling U.S. and Bosnian officials. An eight-year-old Moslem girl, Emina Bicakcic, read a poem in English. An Associated Press photograph of the greeting ceremony, above, shows a smiling Clinton bending down to receive a kiss.
“There is peace now,” Emina told Clinton, according to Pomfret’s report in the Washington Post the following day, “because Mr. Clinton signed it. All this peace. I love it.”
But it was hell:
According to Sinbad, who provided entertainment on the trip along with the singer Sheryl Crow, the “scariest” part was deciding where to eat. As he told Mary Ann Akers of The Post, “I think the only ‘red-phone’ moment was: ‘Do we eat here or at the next place.'” Sinbad questioned the premise behind the Clinton version of events. “What kind of president would say ‘Hey man, I can’t go ’cause I might get shot so I’m going to send my wife. Oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.”
One like Bill Clinton, apparently…
John McCain is talking about Prince Harry, leader of the Ronald McDonald Army.
“His willingness and his eagerness to serve provides an inspiration to other young men and women to serve the cause of freedom in Afghanistan.
“All of us Americans and British are proud of him. Americans admire the Royal Family. I respect and admire the Royal Family and I think those two young princes are very good role models.
“I would like to see Prince William serve if it is possible.”
Just as soon as Wills gets back from Baghdad, we’ll pass on the message from his would-be commander in chief…
Picture: via Jay
A new Anorak site is coming. And with it new competitions.
In the meantime…
DANA Perino is the White House Press Secretary. She is blonde. Her presence means George Bush is made to look smarter.
This is Dana Perino who on the subject of the Cuban Missile Crisis offered:
I was panicked a bit because I really don’t know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis,” said Perino. “It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I’m pretty sure…I came home and I asked my husband,” she recalled. “I said, ‘Wasn’t that like the Bay of Pigs thing?’ And he said, ‘Oh, Dana.'” Seriously, no, the point was that it wasn’t like, oh man, Jesus Christ. Anyone out there read 13 Days? It’s seriously, like, the least complex, most Cosmo-simple foreign policy book ever written, and I remember thinking, when I read it, “Man, this book is so idiotically simple, a true, like, idiot could read it.”
That’s Cuban missiles. What about other kinds of weapons? Perino is on Fox News:
“Some of the terms I just don’t know,” she explained. “I haven’t grown up knowing. The type of missiles that are out there: patriots and scuds and cruise missiles and tomahawk missiles. And I think that men just by osmosis understand all of these things, and they’re things that I really have to work at — to know the difference between a carrier and a destroyer, and what it means when one of those is being launched to a certain area.”
Can you launch a destroyer with anything other than a bottle of champagne and Her Majesty’s best wishes? Or do you need a really big gun?
Today Kelvin MacKenzie plays the game by listening to comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli calling LibDem MP Lembit Opik “Lemsip”.
Says MacKenizie in the Sun: “Lembit has an Estonian background and is therefore going to have an Anglo-Saxon name, in exactly the same way as Hardeep.”
Well, not exactly the same way. We are no experts on Estonian names, but Hardeep does sound more Asian in origin than Baltic.
Says MacFrenzie, who met both Hardeep and Lembit on the celebrity version of The Apprentice: “Supposing Lembit has referred to him as Hardup, then almost certainly there would have been a massive ‘race row’.”
Or not. MacKenzie says the unsayabale, Toothpik gives a watery smile and Hardeep gets a call to play Baron Hardup in Cinderella…
“At Downing Street upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t Blair,
He wasn’t Blair again today,
Oh how I wish he’d go away.”
Tory Shadow Business Secretary Alan Duancan says its Business Secretary John Hutton.
Not so, says Hutton: “I would write better poetry than that.”
This is John Hutton who can rhyme entreprenewer with sewer. So, perhaps, yes. Or no.
So who wrote the poem? And can you do better?
Of course it doesn’t. That’s why the Obamites are chanting it.
As AP’s Charles Babington writes:
“But in the seven weeks since, race has mattered more and more in his presidential struggle against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, threatening to dent his lead. On Tuesday, Obama addressed it head-on in a speech that bluntly described a history of injustice to blacks, acknowledged the resentments of whites, and ended with the hope that his campaign can help heal racial divisions.”
Race doesn’t matter. Did you hear it? Race DOES NOT MATTER!
Barack Obama’s speech is front-page news on the Daily Telegraph. A speech given by an agonist in the Race to The Whitehouse, a man not yet his party’s nominee, is front-page news on a
Says Mickey Kaus on Obama’s Speech on race – “Can’t We Ignore Race? Please?” Well, No.
We can listen, and like Kaus look at segments of the speech we like best:
Obama: “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street...”
The most disastrous sentence in the speech. If Obama’s saying that those who fear young black men on the street are racists, the equivalents of Rev. Wright in offensiveness, then he’s just insulted a whole lof ot people. If he loses the votes of everyone who fears young black men, he loses the election. People fear black men on the street–as even Jesse Jackson once momentarily admitted–because they cause a wildly disproportionate share of street crime. Does Obama want to be the candidate who says that thought is verboten?
Her bag is agape.
Kenneth Cooper approaches. He is a pickpocket. He sees the bag.
Says Prentice: “I was just turning round to ask him to stand back when he got off the bus. I knew straight away that something was wrong and looked into my bag to discover my purse had gone.”
“He’s nicked my purse,” exclaims Ms Prentice.
As we have heard from Ms Prentice’s colleague Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary and customer of “KATIES kebabs and burgers” in Lewisham, the streets of South London are dangerous places full of dragons and many-headed beasts in checked caps and brandless white trainers.
MS Prentice is in danger. Luckily, reports the Times, an “off-duty” detective sergeant is stood in the queue behind Ms Prentice. He gives chase.
The guarantee is not for all time, and a glance at the small print, and a look at the opinion polls, shows that it will be voided at the next general election. There is also no money back guarantee and if the economy breaks you cannot have a new one.
He “urges the nation to put its faith in him”. If we all believe enough, we can make it. You just have to believe.
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.