Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
THE Gettysburg Address happened 150 years ago. On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made his speech at a dedication to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, where thousands of Union soldiers were laid to rest. The Gettysburg battle saw federal forces fighting back a Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania.
MARTIN Bashir apologises for his comment on Sarah Palin. Bashir works for MSNBC. He’s not a journalist. He’s an opinion massager blessed with all the circumspection of a dog eyeing a lamppost. Bashjir said Palin has the “well-established reputation as a world class idiot”.
PRESIDENT John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
Close to the shooting was a man carrying an open umbrella.
OPRAH Winfrey tells the BBC that President Barack Obama attracts “disrespect” because he’s black.
“There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it.”
Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that.
Can you clearly misspeak?
The NYT regrets the error and now reports
The split between lawmakers and the White House reflects the dilemma the president finds himself in as he seeks to follow through on last week’s acknowledgment about his incorrect promise on health care coverage.
DAVID Cameron’s in India. Caption this:
ONCE, politicians were thrilled with their speeches. They’d be written down and shared and MPs would pat themselves on the back, all the way to the House of Lords.
However, the Conservatives have been acting really weird and looking for all the world like they’re ashamed of their past.
They have attempted to erase a record of all party speeches from the internet; the ones given in the decade before they came to power. What are they up to?
THE other week I watched a troop of people working out how they could make poppies appear over the banner mastheads of every single one of their websites without having to re-upload all the images through the CMS. I sat there pondering who would actually complain if it turned out that your website didn’t have an extra little graphical adornment for a few days a year.
It’s the mask sported by anti-capitalist protestors. It is also the mask from the film V For Vendetta:
A shadowy freedom fighter known only as “V” uses guerrilla tactics to fight against his terrorist, totalitarian society. Upon rescuing a girl from the secret police, he also finds his best chance at having an ally.
The Warner Bros film cost $54m to make.
A cut of every mask sold goes to Warner Brothers. Another cut of every one sold on Amazon goes to Amazon – the company that paid £2.4m in corporate taxes last year, the online retailer’s accounts show, despite making sales of £4.3bn.
The tax bill was almost as much as the £2.5m in government grants Amazon received over the same period, according to a Companies House filing.
So. Buying that mask to wear as a protest against capitalism and corporate greed profits the very companies you dislike.
Rubies Costume Company, which makes the mask, sells around 100,000 a year worldwide, and 16,000 in the UK, according to spokesman Steve Kitt, who seems a little concerned that any association with activists might harm the company’s image.
“We sell over 100,000 of these masks a year, and it’s by far the best-selling mask that we sell,” said Howard Beige, executive vice president of Rubie’s Costume, a New York costume company that produces the mask. “In comparison, we usually only sell 5,000 or so of our other masks.” The Vendetta mask, which sells for about $6 at many retailers, is made in Mexico or China, Mr. Beige said.
Mr. Beige said he did not know why the mask was so popular until recently. “We just thought people liked the ‘V for Vendetta’ movie. Then one morning I saw a picture of these protesters wearing the mask in an online news article,” he said. “I quickly showed my sales manager.”
The masks are being manufactured in bulk in a factory in Brazil.
Isn’t this all a little… hypocritical?
The pro-Anonymous account @youranoncentral tried to stem Twitter’s tide:
“Hey look everyone, our masks were made in some factory in a developing nation. We are the only hypocrites.” (see here)
And a number of people came out with views similar to Reddit user sayheykid24, who wrote: “How do people think the masks were made? Did they think they were lovingly handcrafted by anti-corporate artisans, or something?”
It’s true that Anonymous are not the only hypocrites. But not all hypocrites are entirely dependent on having a moral leg to stand on. Some, like big corporations, have other resources. But punishing other people’s bad behaviour is Anonymous’s recruiting message – join them, they suggest, and you are on the side of the good guys. This means that the group stands and falls on its integrity – and if it can’t afford to play by it’s own rules, it certainly can’t afford to break them.
How can Anonymous break out of the system?
Just be careful who you buy the ink, pinter, paint and paper off?
HOW’S Obamacare working out for you?
BARACK Obama is not a liar. He’s just economical with the actualité:
President Barack Obama told his enthusiastic supporters Monday night that he never promised what video recordings show him promising at least 29 times. The videos show Obama promising 300 million Americans that “if you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan, period.”
But that’s not what he really said, Obama announced Monday…
Here’s the chart:
Says Obama to the “folks”:
PRESIDENT Assad of Syria is a cool guy. His wife is a fragrant “rose in the desert“. On Assad’s Instagram account, we get this photo below of the man, the woman and the child who they are neither molesting nor murdering with toxic gases or bullets. Anyone who says they are is a dirty liar.
HOW’S coolness working out for Obama?
On September 11, 2008, Ben mMith write in Politico:
“Barack Obama addressed the wide distaste for government… ‘Our campaign from the beginning has been about changing government,’ he said, recalling some great accomplishments of American government: Civil rights legislation, the interstate highway system, and the National Park system. Obama would, he said, ‘transform Washington’ and ‘make government cool again.’”
IN 1907, the Progressive Party campaigned for the London County Council Elections.
It was founded in 1888 by a group of Liberals and leaders of the labour movement. It was also supported by the Fabian Society, and Sidney Webb was one of its councillors. In the first elections of the London County Council (LCC) in January 1889 the Progressive Party won 70 of the 118 seats. It lost power in 1907 to the Municipal Reform Party (a Conservative organisation) under Richard Robinson.
The Westminster Gazette featured this advert from the Party. “Electors, beware of false names and Vote Progressive’,” declared the message.
JIM Angle of Fox News, recalls his experiences calling Obamacare’s 800 number:
THE London borough of Brent is now a fracking-free zone.
A council spokesman said: “This is where it gets a bit hazy. Theoretically, Brent Friends of the Earth should let us know…It probably would not happen in Brent because it’s quite a built-up part of northwest London, although there are a lot of parks.”
This is good news for Brent Friends of the Earth, which had used placards and shouting to picket the council’s office. Their spokesperson adds: “I’m trying to remember the source. But I think Edgware was one of the areas being considered, along with Croydon.”
FLASHBACK 1884: Future President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 2, perches on a pet donkey with his dog Budgy.
Before The Trumpet:
At five months, Franklin was put into short skirts, “as he liked to kick and feel free to move about.” He had cut two teeth by the end of his first summer, but his mother worried that he was “rather too thin, not as fat as a baby ought to be”; he would, in fact, remain remarkably slender until middle age. By November he was trying “to imitate Budgy [Mr. James's white spitz] and the cats and manages to say a semblance of papa and mama.” That same autumn he was taken to his first adult party on a nearby estate. “Baby wanted to dance,” Sara wrote. “I could hardly hold him.” In May of 1883, Franklin walked unaided for the first time and “was quite proud of his accomplishment.”
Franklin had the bad luck to have been born at the height of the fever of sentimentality kindled in American mothers’ hearts by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel Little Lord Fauntleroy. In emulation of its precious hero, Franklin’s mother kept him in dresses and long curls until he was nearly six. Then she dressed him in Scottish kilts and highland caps, and finally reluctantly permitted him to wear.
ON This Day: October 30: Jerzy Popieluszko was found. He’d been murdered.
Photo above: Solidarity union leader Lech Walesa appears on the stage of a Warsaw theater in 1980 under a large solidarity banner. Date: 01/01/1980.
LAST week, the Financial Times revealed a story many missed. Ed Miliband, the Labour Party leader was talking at a “private dinner” for Labour donors at the Phoenix Palace, a smart eatery in London. There, a bowl of soup can set you back £18.
Ed was talking about newspapers and media coverage of his party and his family:
“We’ve got to be willing to call these people out. They are less powerful than people ever thought and they are less powerful now than they were.”
DID you see Al Gore’s 24-Hour Global wARming TV spectacular? No. One of the 707 people who tuned in should own up.