Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
MIKE Huckabee is a professional Christian, but, as Volokh notes:
From a Beliefnet interview:
And the same thing would be true of marriage. Marriage has historically, as long as there’s been human history, meant a man and a woman in a relationship for life. Once we change that definition, then where does it go from there?
“Christians and modern Jews do not approve of polygamy, but surely anyone who believes in the Bible has to acknowledge that it attests to the widespread existence of marriage between a man and multiple women. (Nor is Huckabee just saying ‘a man and a woman’ as a slip for ‘heterosexual’; immediately after this, he goes on to distinguish ‘a man and three women.’)
Huckabee is so certain of the history of marriage. So certin that he can only be wrong…
Now to the pages of the Rocky Mountain News. “Joke leaves ’em gasping,” says the headline. “Obama quip stuns Citizen of the West banquet crowd.”
It’s the National Western Stock Show’s annual Citizen of the West banquet.
A Mr William R. Farr is pretending to read telegrams congratulating this year’s award recipient, University of Colorado President Hank Brown. He retrieves a piece of paper and says: “I have a telegram from the White House.”
What does it say?
“They’re going to have to change the name of that building if Obama’s elected.”
“I gasped,” says Gov. Bill Ritter, who was sitting at the table with Farr.
“I think it was uncalled for and atrocious,” said U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, who was also in attendance.”
Matt Drudge considers this story important enough for inclusion on his page of clippings
(“Racial joke about Obama leaves Colorado banquet crowd gasping…”)
The Anorak notes the cover of this week’s Private Eye magazine. Thereon is Barack Obama saying “Black house here I come”. Hillary Clinton tells him: “I’m going to find some dirt on you.” Says Obama: ““I’m whiter than white”.
Offended? Of course you’re not. What is of interest is the reaction of the politicos (sharp intakes of breath) and the media (outrage and shock).
Racial comments begin to look a lot like porn: if you all agree to love it, it’s fine; if one of you likes it in the wrong setting, then it’s embarrassing; and if no-one admits to liking it, you can grab a magazine and scurry home…
WHEN she’s not crying, Hillary Clinton’s knocking ’em dead in the aisles:
“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome aboard the maiden flight of Hill Force One” said the former First Lady as the plane took off from Las Vegas to Reno, Nevada. “My name is Hillary and I am so pleased to have most of you on board.”
Hello, Bucket residence. It goes on:
“In a few minutes, I am going to switch off the ’Fasten Your Seat Belt’ sign. However, I’ve learned lately that things can get awfully bumpy when you least expect it – so you might want to keep those seat belts fastened
“And in the event of an unexpected drop in poll numbers, this plane will be diverted to New Hampshire”
Women in comedy. Politicians in comedy. Discuss:
“If you look out from the right, you will see an America saddled with tax cuts for the wealthiest and a war without end. If you look out from the left, you will see an America with a strong middle class at home and a strong reputation in the world.Once we’ve reached cruising altitude, we’ll be offering in-flight entertainment: my stump speech in its many variations.
“Once again, thank you for joining us on Hill Force One.We know you have choices when you fly, and so we are grateful that you chose the plane with the most experienced candidate.”
[Insert joke about Bill Clinton and the cockpit here]
GEORGE Bush can turn the desert to rain. Now for the milk and honey:
It’s been a chilly welcome for America’s president: The Mideast, known for blazing sun and scorching winds, has been hit with an uncharacteristic wave of heavy rain, frigid gales — and even a smattering of snow.
If President Bush thought he would escape Washington’s winter weather when he jetted to this region for eight days, he should have stayed home. It was nearly the same temperature in Washington, where it briefly snowed on Tuesday, as it was in Saudi Arabia — about 40 degrees.
The weather affected Bush’s trip from the get-go. During his first stop in Israel, morning fog grounded his helicopter, forcing him to take a motorcade to the West Bank from Jerusalem. His plane touched down in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday amid heavy rains. In the Saudi Arabia capital of Riyadh on Monday and Tuesday, the president was greeted by overcast skies and temperatures hovering around freezing.
It is the inconvenient truth. The frozen Bush…
TRACY Flick Is Hillary Clinton:
TO Mike Huckabee, a question, via The Hill: “If you are president in 2009 and Congress brings you a bill to outlaw smoking nationwide in public places, would you sign it?” That from MSNBC host Chris Matthews.
Huckabee: “I would, certainly would. In fact, I would, just like I did as governor of Arkansas, I think there should be no smoking in any indoor area where people have to work.”
He called it a “workplace safety issue”. Huckabee added that the “same reason that we regulate that you can’t pour radon gas into a workplace is the same reason that we shouldn’t allow people to pour the toxic, noxious fumes of a cigarette into a place where people have to work.”
Clear? But now…
PETER Hain is..:
All Mr Hain would be without his office, and the preening vanity it bestows on him, is a noisy, smarmy, unprincipled ex-student agitator whose contribution to our good governance remains not even debatable: for most of us could not, for the life of us, start to imagine what real or illusory achievements he has that might be debated.
His only function in life at the moment seems, I fear, to be a standing reminder to us all of the utter absence of leadership in the higher reaches of our politics today. To say that he was too busy (for which read too important) to deal openly with the small matter of £103,000 in donations is simply laughable.
And those are his better qualities…
HILLARY Clinton says living in the the White House is like being in prison.
“I don’t feel lonely,” Clinton said. “But I do feel sometimes isolated. Because when you are in these positions that I have been in, it can be very isolating. It is one of the reasons I put on the dark glasses and the baseball cap and go out of the White House. President Harry Truman once said that the White House was like the crown jewel of the American penal system because you can feel confined.”
Of course, she’s not right – prison is full of villains, you can’t leave prison when you like (unless the president parsons you) and only the spouse is entitled to conjugal visits…
CHRISTOPHER Hitchens notes how Hillary Clinton got her name. Why are we interested? Because, if true, it says something about the way she operates:
Seeing the name Hillary in a headline last week—a headline about a life that had involved real achievement—I felt a mouse stirring in the attic of my memory. Eventually, I was able to recall how the two Hillarys had once been mentionable in the same breath. On a first-lady goodwill tour of Asia in April 1995—the kind of banal trip that she now claims as part of her foreign-policy “experience”—Mrs. Clinton had been in Nepal and been briefly introduced to the late Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest. Ever ready to milk the moment, she announced that her mother had actually named her for this famous and intrepid explorer. The claim “worked” well enough to be repeated at other stops and even showed up in Bill Clinton’s memoirs almost a decade later, as one more instance of the gutsy tradition that undergirds the junior senator from New York.
Sen. Clinton was born in 1947, and Sir Edmund Hillary and his partner Tenzing Norgay did not ascend Mount Everest until 1953, so the story was self-evidently untrue and eventually yielded to fact-checking.
And the Clinton part of her name is proving useful, too…
The State Visit will begin on 26 March 2008 at Windsor Castle and will last until 28 March 2008.
And the Sun’s Fergus Shanahan reports that “snooty courtiers” (are there any other kind?) want separate rooms for Sarkozy and his leggy lover Carla Bruni. This, we are told, is because they are unmarried.
Perhaps a compromise can be reached and two single beds be divided by a bedside table, or a member of the household cavalry?
But, hold on, five pages earlier, the same paper reports: “Sarkozy has wed his Carla.” Surely now the President and his wife can share a double bed and not have to meet in secret by the big tree…?
CAMILLE Puglia is America’s answer to Germaine Greer. Writing for Salon, she notes on Hillary Clinton:
Hillary’s willingness to tolerate Bill’s compulsive philandering is a function of her general contempt for men. She distrusts them and feels morally superior to them…
It’s no coincidence that Hillary’s staff has always consisted mostly of adoring women, with nerdy or geeky guys forming an adjunct brain trust. Hillary’s rumored hostility to uniformed military men and some Secret Service agents early in the first Clinton presidency probably belongs to this pattern.
As Clive Davis notes, “I like the use of ‘rumoured’ and ‘probably’ in the same sentence.”
For someone so full of firm opinion, a paid commentator, this sounds a lot like mindless chatter.
Today the Independent plugged a book from the Centre for Policy Studies entitled Lexicon of Contemporary Newspeak.
A sample given is: “We do need to have a debate about it … We have to have a very big debate about this” said Harriet Harman when asked on the Today programme whether paid sex should be made illegal. When asked for a view, she called for a debate.
The Newspeak politician is like Ms Paglia, and many journalists, all uncertain, fearful of making a decision and trusting their own authority.
Of course, this all gives credence to the bloggers, who can feed off so much uncertainty. The people who post comments on websites can be said to “fuel the debate”.
The point of the debate is lost. It is just a mass debate, an onanistic din of voices all vying to be heard but lacking any authority or objectivity.
This article will of course now form part of debates on journalism, Ms Paglia, the use of the world “objective”, the web, Anoraks, men and women, and the ever popular debate on sex.
Let’s have a heated debate!
“SCIENTISTS have created a beating heart in the laboratory in a breakthrough that could allow doctors one day to make a range of organs for transplant almost from scratch,” notes the Times.
No need to donate, like Gordon Brown wants us to. Why not just the State a test tube and the encouraging words “Go for it!” instead?
THE plan so far: Gordon Brown wants to take your organs.
For now, the talk is of waiting for you to first die, although do you really need two kidneys, two eyes (Gordon has made it to the top with just one) and two arms?
Indeed, now with hands free phones, Polish gardeners and Filipino maids, middle class women might need no limbs at all, and can surrender them to people who really need them, like our Olympic hopefuls, pensioners and builders.
Make body part sales tax deductible and the trade may yet take off and aid the UK’s balance of trade.
To the present, and Brown is in the Sun stood beside the headline: “I saw pal nearly die waiting for heart. Donor let him live.”
“British peoples are a giving lot,” says Gordon, noting the Blue Peter bottle tops appeal and donations made to good causes via the National Lottery.
“A friend from school was within a few hours of dying because there was no donor available,” says Gordon, whose heart aches. “People were doubting the operation could happen. Then an organ was found hundreds of miles away. A life that could have been lost now flourishes.”
The moral of the story is clear: the exiting system works just fine.
Thanks for sharing with us…
IN “The Globalization Election”, Fred Siegel writes:
Clinton’s slide in the polls began when she muffed a debate question about whether she supported New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. But when, in a subsequent debate, Obama botched his answer to the same question, he suffered no political penalty. That’s because Clinton draws her support heavily from white and black working- and middle-class voters who feel threatened by the double bind of increased internal and external economic competition. Obama’s core constituency, by contrast, is made up of people who have benefited from outsourcing and immigration, so the issue of illegal immigration doesn’t cut against him.
As Clive Davis notes, “there’s a clear class divide”…
GEORGE Bush in the Middle East spot the difference contest: 2003 (Iraq), 2008 (UAE)…
Spot five differences and win a good stuffing…
Good for the ill in need of an organ. But does it mean that your body is owned by the State, unless you opt out?
And does that mean that the State takes precedence over religious beliefs?
Will the wake be enjoined by wonks playing games of Operation with the dearly departed?
At 2:45 a.m. Central Time, the Gulfstream 2 plane that carried Obama, nine other passengers and two crew members struck a parked Cessna 208 general aviation plane, which can carry 10 to 12 passengers.
“There was minor damage to the wings of both aircraft, although no one on either of the planes was injured”
What’s that talke we hear? A warning, you say? A conspiracy? You thought Obama could fly unaided?
SOME economic analysis from Hillary Clinton: “I think we’re slipping toward a recession,” she said. “A couple of people that I met on the street, they work in construction. They tell me it’s slowed down.”
Hillary’s common touch…
BLOGGING peace. The White House has a new blog – Trip Notes From the Middle East. This from Ed Gillespie “Counselor to the President:
On a personal level, this is an exciting way for someone to visit the Holy Land for the first time. Our delegation made a visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem today. It was incredibly moving to see the site believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, and thinking about the impact on thousands of years of humanity that was begun on this sacred spot.
Thousands of years of humanity. Anyone guess how many years? Go on, have a go. And, indeed, it is always good to visit a famous site on your own, with the nutters, tourists and Thompson reps kept at bay by the men in shiny suits…
PRIME Minister Petitions: “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to make it compulsory for the Under 5’s to wear corsets”
And: “It is a known medical fact in the UK that most under fives are now obese or the size of small elephants. Therefore, it would make perfect sense to make it compulsory for under 5’s to wear a wale bone corset, thus creating a better posture and slender look!!” – Michelle Minnett
Rejected: “It was intended to be humorous, or have no point about government policy”
Although make it synthetic whale bone, and you’re on to something…
“TONY Blair will earn around £2 million a year in his part-time role as adviser to the Wall Street bank JP Morgan without ever having to go into the office,” says the Telegraph.
“BLAIR’S £1m-A-Year PAYBACK FOR IRAQ,” thunders the Mail’s front-page headline.
Says Reg Keys, whose son was killed in Iraq: “If he had a conscience or any sensitivity he would not have taken this job.”
Chimes Conservative defence spokesman Gerald Howarth: “It will be viewed with some contempt by the armed forces that he picks up this large cheque when he was happy to send British troops into battle ill-equipped and in insufficient numbers.”
“It’s almost like blood money,” comes the headline inside the paper.
But surely if Tony is earning money and domiciled in the UK, he is paying UK taxes. His wages will go into the big pot and be used to pay for things like better guns, improved armour and more soldiers.
Like him or not, Blair has the right to earn money…
LIFE for Hillary Clinton just keeps getting better: “Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for the White House.
Kerry the flip-flopper. The loser. He backs Obama. Bill Clinton backs Hillary.
Quoting a black American hero in endorsing the man who hopes to be the first black president, Kerry told a cheering crowd, “Martin Luther King said the time is always right to do what is right.” Now is the time, Kerry said, to declare “that Barack Obama can be, will be and should be the next president of the United States.”
Your white loser pal plays the race card. You’re doomed…
Peter Hain is preparing to admit to the Electoral Commission that he has failed to declare more than £100,000 in donations to his campaign for Labour’s deputy leadership.
It is understood that there are almost 20 donations that his team failed to declare, in breach of the rules for party political elections.
The scale of the under-reporting – more than half the total income received by the Hain campaign – will shock many party members and raise questions as to how such a massive apparent oversight occurred.
An oversight. And these people make the rules…
PAUL Efthemios Tsongas won the New Hampshire primary in 1992.
BARACK Obama’s 2nd Place in New Hampshire Primary Speech.
Big promises. And then some bigger promises. And then some really big ones. But he just lost. Didn’t he?
But can we do it? Yes we can? Or, moreover, can he do it [become president]? Yes he can. Can I do it? Yes I can etc. etc. etc. Remind me one more time…
It’s a perfect job
Can you fix it
Left a bit, right a little, O.K. straight down
We can tackle any situation
Look out, here we come
Can we dig it Yes
Can we build it Yes
Can we fix it Yes
Bob the Builder
Can we fix it
Bob the Builder
Yes, we can