Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
THE Croydonian notes that Peter Hain has at least one friend left….
“Mohammad Sarwar (Lab): What consideration he has given to amending the regulatory regime for tanning salons…The Minister will be aware that recent research suggests that sunbeds may be responsible for 100 deaths every year from skin cancer. Is not it time that, perhaps with the support of the Health and Safety Executive, a full review is conducted of commercial salons, with a view to drawing up legally enforceable guidelines for their management and operation?”
Peter, it is for your own good, really.
The future’s bright…
2008 US Republican National Convention Market show Huckabee and Romney has crashed…
RON Paul speaks Austrian to business leaders.
Hayek? …. Check!
Hazlett? …. Check!
Von Mises? …. Check!
Ron Paul talks Austrian to Seattle Business leaders – watch here.
ANN Widdecombe, who gives Express readers her views on stuff and nonsense, considers the Lolita range of furniture.
“Apparently,” begins Ann, with an insouciance that belies her brittle demeanour, “when some parents complained at a store advertising a range of children’s bedroom furniture under the brand name Lolita, nobody at Woolies understood what was wrong with such a crass notion.”
Readers expect Widdecombe to rail against the education system that fails to teach furniture designers and shop assistants to be prejudiced against a name that does very well for many Lolitas, including Lolita Quintero (Mask Of Zorro), Lolita Roughage (Dentist on The Job), Lolita Davidovich (Actress, Gods and Monsters) and many more Lolitas.
But Widdecombe is in understanding mood. “I would not expect the average counter assistant to be able to name the author of that famous book,” says Ann.
Whether the average counter assistant, or shop girl, as Widdecombe must surely call this doltish breed, expects a virginity-intact dolly dyed, Celebrity Fat Club star emeritus and Tory MP to know which footballer Danielle Lloyd is romancing, how to feed a family and in which aisle the Silly Putty is remains a moot point.
“I would however,” says Ann, “expect someone in the management to have at least heard of Lolita. Not to have done so is a bit like saying you have never heard of Darcy or Black Beauty” – a unit of permeability, named after Henry Darcy, and the name of a tuxedo-styled Gibson Les Paul guitar, respectively.*
Ann concludes: “If only she had been called Posh or Kylie or Britney. No need to check them on Wikipedia.”
Indeed, much more wholesome to name kiddies’ beds after a stick insect, a middle-aged singer with the body of an adolescent and a woman famous for dressing up as a schoolgirl…
* Like the boss at the Lolita shop, we too do our research on Wikipedia
“One day, there will be a woman worth electing to the White House. But not this one.”
SAYS Hillary Clinton:
As I have traveled around the country these past twelve months, what I sensed in my heart has been confirmed – America is embracing its LGBT sons and daughters with an acceptance and understanding as never before. On the campaign trail, a father of a gay son will ask about ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. A woman will ask why she can be discriminated against just because of who she is. Sometimes they wait furtively for the crowd to thin and then whisper their confidences in a soft voice and sometimes they stand up proudly at town meetings and want me to share my views on how I will help lead the change to assure that this country fulfills its promise to everyone.
Let me tell you what I have been telling voters across America. I am fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans. For seven long years, the Bush Administration has tried to divide us – only seeing people who matter to them. It’s been a government of the few, by the few, and for the few. And no community has been more invisible to this administration than the LGBT community.
I will change that. The best evidence of what I will do as President is what I have already done.
* I am proud of my record as First Lady, as a U.S. Senator and as a candidate for President in working toward the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans.
* I am proud that as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee in 2006, I worked closely with LBGT community to develop a smart strategy that defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment. I am proud of fighting the FMA as divisive wedge politics at its worst.
* I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligation Act which would grant the same benefits (including health insurance) to domestic partners of federal employees that are currently offered to employees’ legal spouses.
* I am proud to have authored the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which expands access to vital treatment options for low-income individuals living with HIV, and fought to fully fund the Ryan White CARE Act.
* I am proud that I hired a National Director of LGBT Outreach within a month of announcing my candidacy for President and to have openly gay and lesbian staffers serving at all levels of my campaign.
* I am proud to have a National LGBT Steering Committee of over 130 that includes openly LGBT elected officials, Board members and opinion leaders on issues ranging from transgender rights, to HIV/AIDS, to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
* I am proud to have marched in Gay Pride parades as both First Lady and as Senator and to have spoken in front of so many LGBT audiences ranging from the Human Rights Campaign, Empire State Pride Agenda, the Hetrick Martin Institute, PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis), and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
* I am proud to have fought Republican efforts to demonize and marginalize the LGBT community, and I will continue to do that as President.
We have so much work to do. When I am President, we will work together to make sure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal benefits and that nothing stands in the way of loving couples who want to adopt children in need. We’re going to expand our federal hate crimes legislation and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and assure that they are both fully inclusive of all people. And finally, we will put an end to the failed policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice – the traits that define our men and women in uniform – have nothing to do with sexual orientation.
My father was a conservative Republican, who held very traditional views for much of his life. Yet in his last years, it was a gay couple who lived next door who provided much of the compassion and comfort he and my mother needed as he grew ill. And it was that same neighbor who held his hand as he died. If my father can move, America can move.
To each and every LGBT American, I say this. You have done so much to help this country understand your lives by simply being open and honest about who you are and living your lives with dignity. Thank you for your courage. It is time that we recognize your hard work. I know that this country is ready for changes in the law that reflect the evolution in our hearts.
America deserves a President who appeals to the best in each of us, not the worst; a President who values and respects all Americans and treats all Americans equally no matter who they are or who they love. I want to be that President. I want to be your President.
IN US Weekly magazine, Hillary Clinton picks her all-time worst outfits.
On the creation featured here, says Hillary: “I’m a big believer in recycling — even carpets!”
Of course, in looking back and laughing along with us, Hillary may overlook the here and now.
Donatella Versace surveyed the ubiquitous Hillary trouser suit and noted: “She’s a woman and she should be able to show that. She should treat femininity as an opportunity and not try to emulate masculinity in politics.”
Hillary, who dresses like she’s about to award a vibrating club to the best female golfer, is touchy about her fashion.
A Gawker intern once endured this conversation with her Clintoness:
Me: “Senator Clinton, I must say you look splendid. Who are you wearing?”
Mrs. Clinton looks as if I have just asked her the eighth digit of Pi, but says nothing. PR minion quickly steps in.
PR minion: “What s it look like she s wearing? It s a white jacket. Just like I’m wearing a black shirt, and you re wearing a pink one.”
It appears PR minion is a master of deductive reasoning. This is going to be a fierce battle of wits.
Me: “I mean, who specifically designed it?”
Awkward silence ensues
PR minion: “Who are you?”
Well played, PR minion. Well played
Me: “I’m Neel. Who are you?”
PR minion: (Avoiding my question) “I suggest you leave.”
Me: “Was I wrong to ask that question? I mean, it seems to me kind of a layup, no?”
PR minion: “How about you, me, and your boss have a little discussion about all of this.”
Me: “Easy, easy. Sheesh.”
Should Hillary be judged on her fashion sense? And should she be judged against her presidential agonists or their First Ladies? Michelle Obama dresses like Oprah Winfrey’s tailor. And Cindy McCain wears polo necks that make her seem as if she’s being piped atop a additive-laced cake.
Hillary presents an opportunity for designers. We don’t expect to see her in a blue dress over a snappy thong, but she is attracting excitement.
It was the esteemed St Louis Post Dispatch that reported how “the fight to dress Hillary Clinton is turning into a wild, rocky ride, with New York, Los Angeles and Arkansas designers all vying for her favor.”
WHY WE DISLIKE CHERIE BLAIR – DISCUSS:
“Golly! Who would have guessed that Tony and Cherie were actually two halves of a bisected hermaphrodite?”
And then along came Cherie Blair who, at the top of her profession and with a mind of her own, represented everything that made them shudder. Once again, the gloves were off, and this time the liberal-Left misogynists were joined by Right-wingers who had been forced to button their lips in the Thatcher years.
A book published this week, The Darlings of Downing Street, subtitled ” The Psycho-Sexual Drama of Power”, seeks to turn Cherie-loathing into a science. In medical terms, it is all diagnosis and no examination, as the author, the biographer Garry O’Connor, provides little evidence and not a single note on his sources, if any.
DID you see the panoramic shot of a 14,000-strong Barack Obama crowd in Boise?
They’re going over-the-top for Obama.
Over in Los Angeles, they’re going bonkers for Barack.
Cameras to the left, fans to the right, celebrity supporters straight ahead…
LEMBIT Opik, darlign of glossy mags and a Cheeky Girl has a lookalike.
Stage actor Neil May, 40, from Leicester, signed with an agency but demand for a Lembit lookalike, so far, has been a little disappointing, reports the BBC.
Perhaps he needs a Cheeky Girl. We hear there is one going spare…
The Sunday Times reports that officers from Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist branch bugged visits by Mr Khan to Milton Keynes prison in 2005 and 2006.
Khan wants to know the truth. And this is the same Mr Kahn whose views on civil liberties – ID cards, anti-terrirsm laws – can be found here.
Would he be upset if one of us were bugged?
UPDATE: The BBC 10 ‘clock news says officials knew of the bugging last year, but Ministers only just found out. Maybe if they had the ability to gather intelligence..?
HILLARY Clinton cried once. Her composure wasn’t shaken by a question about the poor or the downtrodden, but by a softball lobbed by a woman at a coffeshop asking how she managed to get out of bed and soldier on each day.
And now President Jeremiah is at an event at the Yale Child Study Center, where she worked while in law school in the early 1970s.
Penn Rhodeen, who was introducing Clinton, began to choke up, leading Clinton’s eyes to fill with tears, which she wiped out of her left eye. At the time, Rhodeen was saying how proud he was that sheepskin-coat, bell-bottom-wearing young woman he met in 1972 was now running for president.
“Well, I said I would not tear up; already we’re not exactly on the path.”
English speakers might not be able to understand what Hillary is talking about, her language is that of the American corportate office, but her rheumy eyes tell a universal story.
This is a woman prepared to repeat herself. Can we cry? “Yes we can!,” reply the masses in full cry.
The risk is that Hillary’s tears will become cliched, a nervous tick. At moments of high tension, President Ahmadinejad will introduce a kitten into the summit and reduce America’s leader to a wet-faced mess.
We are unsure how Americans will react to so much crying. In Britain we like to think of oursleves as grounded stiff-upper-lipped cynics. But when Princess Diana died we emoted. Indeed, anyone not crying was seen as the essence of evil, something much less than human, a Nazi or a member of the House of Windsor, perhaps.
But Hillary knows her audience.
Look out for Hillary ululating as the sun rises over a field of corn and she tells us how lonely she is. Vote for Hillary – she needs your support…
REPORTS the LA Times: “The California first lady, who apparently wavered until almost the last minute, aligns herself with other members of the Kennedy clan.”
Do the Kennedys get to vote, what with them being American royalty?
Shriver tells us: “I thought, if Barack Obama was a state, he’d be California.”
Rich, spoilt, lacking in power, depleted of energy, sticky, prone to tremours, ready to fall into the Ocean, famous for its faults, the third largest state …
Says Shriver, reaching the stage at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion after attending her daughter’s equestrian show: “Diverse. Open. Smart. Independent. Bucks tradition. Innovative. Inspirational. Dreamer. Leader.”
Bucks tradition, says the unelected daughter of the Kennedy clan…
THE Croydonian sees William Hague:
“Having rediscovered a really rather good second hand bookshop the other day, I have availed myself of ‘Stranger than the Bullet – an unconventional history of the vote‘, and will be doling out snippets from it whenever the mood takes me”:
“The shockingly silly photo opportunities continued unabated in 2001…First, there was the mistake only narrowly stopped from turning into a disaster when William Hague spoke outside an aircraft museum in Essex [Doubtless Duxford. C]. A smart aide noticed that he was speaking in front of a World War Two Luftwaffe plane. Only the strategic movement of a few supporters and their placards made sure that he did not appear in the next day’s papers against a backdrop of swastikas“.
ANORAK’S fairly regular look at those petitions appearing on the Prime Minister’s website.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Introduce cat control restraint whereby cats are confined to their owner’s property and a compulsory neutering and microchipping scheme to protect cats put in place… Change legislation that affects cat ownership, they have slipped under the radar for far too long - Rozzalin White
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Lower the legal age for the purchase of ‘Sex Toys’ to 16. Currently the legal age for purchase of sex toys is 18. The legal age for consent to sex is 16 – Danny Beattie
McCain beats Clinton.
Clinton beats Romney.
Romney beats Obama.
Obama beats McCain.
Who’s who? And is Obama wallpaper?
NEWS is that husbands with multiple wives will be allowed to claim extra welfare benefits.
Reports the Telegraph: “Even though bigamy is a crime in Britain, the decision by ministers means that polygamous marriages can now be recognised formally by the state, so long as the weddings took place in countries where the arrangement is legal…
New guidelines on income support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state: “Where there is a valid polygamous marriage the claimant and one spouse will be paid the couple rate … The amount payable for each additional spouse is presently £33.65.”
In Britain, bigamy is punishable by up to seven years in prison. Jail may be more costly than paying out benefits.
We will wait and see how long it is before an MP is found to be paying his entire harem from the Commons’ cheque book…
Hain has used Adelaine Hain as a part-time secretary for 16 years.
The Telegraph reports that more than 170 MPs – one in four – employ family members.
Indeed, more power to them. The money saved on advertising positions vacant and interviewing candidates must save the public purse a not inconsiderable sum.
Anroak recommends this policy being developed and candidate MPs required to have at least one member of the family with decent shorthand, a sound telephone manner and their own pen…
Owen Paterson, the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland whose wife Rose is paid almost £30,000 year to work for him, said: “If you can find me a Cambridge graduate who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of my constituency, who is willing to work long and anti-social hours at very short notice for that sort of salary then good luck. Until then, my wife is the best person for the job.”
My fellow Americans: ‘It’s not the despair, I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.’
Chris Cillizza in The Fix: Runnign mates
Mickey Kaus in Slate: Obama’s Hispanderama
It’s the Sunday’s Express’ front-page news, and the headline of the year.
“Tory peer Lord Tebbit wants to tackle Britain’s gun culture by teaching boys how to shoot.”
Isn’t it time we brought back National Service, let the lads take the Empire shooting test, perhaps at each other?
Little changes about Norman Tebbit. A picture proves Tebbit to look very much as he did in the pomp, all skin, hollowed cheeks and pied dog hair.
One thing that has altered is that Tebbit plan provides for free bullets, based on hand-outs not earnings, a reversal on the former Conservative Party chairman’s traditional position.
“Kids should go out on shoots. It gives them a sense of excitement and kids, particularly young boys, have a need for a degree of violence.
“It is much better than playing a ghastly computer game. To have them struggling through the brambles, seeing people shoot is much more in the interest of the kids.
“Boys would soon find themselves in a man’s world and having to obey instructions.”
It’s an idea. But there is a suspicion that the strategy is a ruse to cull the hoodies and reduce the country’s Asbo mountain.
Look out for jousting-style tournaments, in which lads get on their bikes and cycle towards each other with guns blazing…
“HUSBAND of MP probed by police over f-word phone rant,” notes the Mail.
The celebrity polce force was called in after a local councillor complained about a call from Tony McCarthy, husband to Portsmouth North MP Sarah McCarthy-Fry, who happens to be a senior parliamentary aide to Labour Chief Whip Geoff Hoon.
Says the paper: “He was furious after they jokingly discussed her actions during a protest march when she helped drag a dead Christmas tree through the streets of the city.” What to joke about there? She was making a valid point about who hard it is to drag a dead Christmas tree through the streets. Blessed are the dead Christmas tree draggers.
McCarthy told Councillor Fazackarley:
“I do not suppose you will give me a ring back because you are an odious little b*****d . . . You don’t have the bottle to ring me back, do you, because you are a real little t****r. Why don’t you join the f*****g Tories, you odious little t****r.”
Says Mr Fazackarley: “I was shocked that someone I have known for 15 years should use such language. You don’t expect the husband of an MP to ring you up in the early hours effing and blinding.”
Indeed, usually you leave that kind of thing to the MPs themselves, or to someone speaking to a call centre…
CNN to Senators Clinton and Obama: “People all over the country are saying if you got together it would be a Dream Ticket”.
Senator Obama: “I was a friend of Senator Clinton before the nomination race began and I will be a friend of Senator Clinton’s after the nomination race is over”.
Senator Clinton: “The Republicans are more-of-the-same, we represent change. You can tell that just by looking at us”.
Change is a woman and black man. Everything else is pretty much the same…
Feel the electricity. Feel the change…
Or is it static?Spotter: Althouse