Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
ON Barack Obams – the sequel:
The BBC’s woman in Washington said the sight of Obama on Capitol Hill “warmed the soul“.
Richard Bacon on Radio Five Live wondered mused about a possible assassination attempt.
FOR non-Obama fans, some goods new: he’s halfway through his Presidency. For Obama fans, it was great to see him toss teddies into the crowd. And when Joe Biden cried – shuck! – it was soooo moving:
SO. Why does Egypt’s leader Mohamed Morsi not like Israel? The Guardian called him”the acceptable face of moderate Islamism“, “a famously boring speaker who reduces Egyptian journalists to teeth-gnashing frustration as he rarely says anything remotely quotable.”
BILL CLINTON has a word of warning for Democrats
Clinton said that passing the 1994 federal assault weapons ban “devastated” more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers in the 1994 midterms — and cost then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley (D-Wash.) his job and his seat in Congress.
“I’ve had many sleepless nights in the many years since,” Clinton said. One reason? “I never had any sessions with the House members who were vulnerable,” he explained — saying that he had assumed they already knew how to explain their vote for the ban to their constituents. . . .
He said that he understands the culture that permeates a state like Arkansas — where guns are a longstanding part of local culture.
“A lot of these people … all they’ve got is their hunting and their fishing,” he told the Democratic financiers. “Or they’re living in a place where they don’t have much police presence. Or they’ve been listening to this stuff for so long that they believe it all.”
BARACK Obama is anti-abortion. He’s ‘Pro-Life’. Well, so this video says:
QUESTION of the week: During Barack Obama’s Q&A on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything:
There was one question everyone on the team wished Obama had answered. [Teddy Goff, head of Obama’s digital team,] probably would have selected it, according to his colleagues, but he didn’t see it at the time.
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?
THEY’RE whining again. They’re very important people doncha know, these Members of Parliament. And as they’re very important people they should be paid lots more of our money:
Seven in 10 MPs said they were underpaid on £65,738 a year, according to a survey by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa). On average, MPs said they deserved salaries of £86,250 — a 32 per cent rise.
WHEN green activist Jonathan Moylan issued a fake press release that led to millions of dollars being wiped off the share price of coal company Whitehaven, he became God’s representative on Earth. Bob Brown, former leader of the Australian Greens, writes in the SMH:
History is full of this. Gandhi and Mandela went to jail. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Jesus Christ turned up at the businessmen’s tables and look what happened to him. Anti-slavery campaigner John Brown’s ‘’body lies mouldering in the grave’’ and suffragette Emily Davidson was killed when she ran in front of the horses at the 1913 Epsom Derby.
PARDON me, Mr Obama. Jacob Sullum compares Obama to past presidents who issued those justice-defying Presidential pardons:
Which of Obama’s predecessors managed to make less use of the clemency power during their first terms? According to numbers compiled by P.S. Ruckman Jr., a professor of political science at Rock Valley College in Rockville, Illinois, just three: George Washington, who probably did not have many clemency petitions to address during the first few years of the nation’s existence; William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia a month after taking office; and James Garfield, who was shot four months into his presidency and died that September.
TO Venezuela, where the men of Sebin (Bolivarian National Intelligence Service) have arrested Federico Medina Ravell:
Venezuelan intelligence officers have raided the home of a Twitter user suspected of spreading destabilising rumours about the health of Hugo Chávez ahead of an inauguration that the ailing president looks increasingly unlikely to attend.
Medina, who was not at home, is accused of instigating terrorism through social networking sites. He is said to be behind the @LucioQuincioC Twitter account, which has claimed that Chávez will not return from Havana.
FACE of the day: It’s Epiphany in Germany, and German chancellor Angela Merkel has met with a carol singer dressed as one of the Three Kings in Berlin. Sensitive stuff. You should see how Hans the pig farmer portrays the King of the Jews…
IN photos: Loyalist protesters converge on Belfast city hall. The protests and demonstrations continue at the removal of the Union flag from the city hall. There has been more violence. The BBC says protestors have pelted police with fireworks, bricks, stones and golf balls.
A 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after shots were reportedly fired at police also in east Belfast.
Leading Loyalist Jackie McDonald tells the Belfast Telegraph:
I share the anger in the loyalist community but somebody needs to stand up and tell the truth, which is that the flag is not going to go up again without an election or agreement … Sinn Fein has achieved this and until there is a change in the balance of power in City Hall, the flag decision won’t be reversed. There is no point giving people false hope.
SHADOW health secretary Andy Burnham wants to ban foods that contain what he considers too much salt, fat and sugar. Of course, this being modern politics, Burnham soon dissembles and wants us to join the debate:
“Labour wants to lead this debate. That is why we are asking the public and experts if new limits for sugar, fats and salts would be the right approach. Like all parents, I have bought products like cereals and fruit drinks, marketed as more healthy, that contained higher sugar levels than expected. I don’t think that any parent would be comfortable with their child eating something that is 40 per cent sugar.”
“We have lots of poor people, but living standards have surged over the years. There is certainly no need for food banks; no-one in the UK is starving and I think food banks insult the one billion in the world that go to bed hungry every day and ignore the fact a child dies of hunger every three seconds.”
He goes on:
“The fact some give food to food banks, merely enables people who can’t budget (an issue where schools should do much more and I have said the council should) or don’t want to, to have more money to spend on alcohol, cigarettes etc.”
JON Henley writes about his Brave New World in the Guardian:
In 1976 the National Council for Civil Liberties, the respectable (and responsible) pressure group now known as Liberty, made a submission to parliament’s criminal law revision committee. It caused barely a ripple. “Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in with an adult,” it read, “result in no identifiable damage … The real need is a change in the attitude which assumes that all cases of paedophilia result in lasting damage.”
It is difficult today, after the public firestorm unleashed by revelations about Jimmy Savile and the host of child abuse allegations they have triggered, to imagine any mainstream group making anything like such a claim. But if it is shocking to realise how dramatically attitudes to paedophilia have changed in just three decades, it is even more surprising to discover how little agreement there is even now among those who are considered experts on the subject.
The Conservative parliamentary party should be more representative of the population. It is good news that in recent years the Conservative Party has made steady progress in increasing the number of its ethnic MPs. In 2005 just two Conservative MPs were from Britain’s ethnic minorities, in 2010 the figure had risen to eleven.
Al Jazeera on Wednesday completed a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore…
THE Sandy Hook massacre: New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is no fan of guns. He wants change. He wants:
Pass the legislation of Fix Gun Checks Act that would require a criminal background check for all gun sales including all private sales and online sales
Ban deadly, military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which were previously banned under the now expired Federal assault weapons ban
Pass legislation to make gun trafficking a felony
IS the BBC biased in its reporting of global warming? The Global Warming Policy Foundation has written a litter to the BBC’s new Director-General, Lord Hall. It’s from Lord Lawson (Conservative), Lord Donoughue (Labour) and Baroness Nicholson (Liberal Democrat), the three Trustees of the all-Party and non-Party Global Warming Policy Foundation.
Over many years, the BBC’s treatment of climate change issues has been marked by bias, ignorance, credulity and – in the latest episode – unwarranted concealment. The behaviour of the Corporation throughout has failed to measure up to professional standards.
In their letter to Lord Hall, the GWPF Trustees have asked the Director-General Designate also to reconsider the implications of the controversial global warming seminar held in 2006 which has shaped BBC policy on climate-related issues ever since.
SANDY Hook Elementary School massacre: former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee see God. He tells Fox News:
“Ultimately, you can take away every gun in America and somebody will use a bomb. When somebody has an intent to do incredible damage, they’re going to find a way to do it… People will want to pass new laws, but unless you change people’s hearts, they’re our transition to the pastor side. This is a heart issue, it’s not something, laws don’t change this kind of thing.”
MARGARET Moran is 57. She looks 87. Before she was nicked for fiddling her expenses – aka stealing £53,000 from the taxpayer – the woman who was MP for Luton for 13 years looked a lot younger. Nowadays we only ever see her dressed in a big, ugly coat, granny hat and sniffing into a paper tissue.
We saw her in that new look as she went into Southwark Crown Court. The now former Labour MP, Margaret Moran, has been given a two-year supervision and treatment order. No prison.
MARIA Miller proves that politicians apply pressure on the media. Miller is the Conservative MP for Basingstoke and Culture Secretary being investigated for claiming over £90,000 expenses for a second home where her parents live. She says she’s done nothing wrong. Indeed, far from it. She has done us all a favour. She has shown everyone that the press are not the sole aggressors. She has shown that politicians can be deceiving and work to squash the facts.
Or, rather, her aide Joanna Hindley has, reportedly. When a Daily Telegraph started asking about Miller’s expenses, they were warned off.
“When a reporter approached Mrs Miller’s office last Thursday, her special adviser, Joanna Hindley, pointed out that the Editor of The Telegraph was involved in meetings with the Prime Minister and the Culture Secretary over implementing the recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson. Maria has obviously been having quite a lot of editors’ meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I am just going to kind of flag up that connection for you to think about,” said Miss Hindley.