Over There

Anyway.  If you’re up watching this crap from Merrie Old, feel free to vent here.

I will say this: the quality of media coverage of this was not unexpected, yet is still shocking.  The buy-in is total.  Only with an event like this can you have somebody bringing trees inside a church for a wedding, and have talking heads come across and say that they were going for “sustainable” rather than “absurdly decadent.”

And yet the media are shoveling this into their mouths as if it were oatmeal on a cold, winter morn.  And so are the great unwashed masses, lining the Mall with fake plastic crap on their heads, and lining up at the buffets at street parties with fake plastic crap on their heads (perhaps with feathers sticking out or something).

Really. When the President rolls by (whoever it is, however you feel about the guy), we either wave and shout a little bit, or flip him off and shout a little louder.  When they see the Queen rolling (or, in this case, kids who won’t be King and Queen for at least 40 years), everybody acts like they’re back in the first grade.

No (more) official commentary from me.  Your observations, as events (finally) unfold, in the comments box, please.

Oh, Gordon Brown.  Dude’s rumored to have a bit of a temper.  But the pain, the shame of saying what you really think with a live microphone still attached to your shirt:

Here’s what happened. Brown was in Rochdale doing a television interview about the deficit. As he was speaking, a woman called Gillian Duffy, a 65-year-old Labour voter, heckled him about the subject.He engaged her in conversation and they had a rather awkward chat that was filmed live on TV. It was a bit excruciating – mainly because she seemed to be criticising him for everything – but eventually she said local schools were getting better.

Brown tried to joke about her wearing the right colour, red, but that did not seem to go down well. He was still trying to speak to her as she was walking away. That was all I saw. It struck me as a fairly typical “politician meets grumpy voters” moment.

But Brown then got into his car, still wearing the television microphone. Apparently, he was recorded saying that the encounter had been a disaster and that she was a “bigoted woman”. Short of doing a Prescott and punching someone [in re John Prescott, a Labour minister that actually did such a thing once], that’s about as bad as it gets.

Brown is on Radio 2 now. The “bigoted woman” remark has not been mentioned yet. But he sounds extraordinarily tetchy.

One: “Tetchy?”  God help us.

Two: I’m sure that some candidate after a campaign stop in — say — Arizona might be wont to say something just like that, out of principle.  But to do it a week before the polls?  YIKES.

This is running up every flagpole on (what used to be) Fleet Street, which is deeming it at the moment as an earthshaking disaster.  The Guardian liveblog (here) has more.  So far?  A posting of the Channel 4 tape (complete with the hot microphone), a non-apology apology on BBC Radio 2, followed by a call to the woman to actually apologize, and then a DRIVE BACK TO HER PLACE to apologize in person.  But also: opposition parties cautiously trying to retain their glee, followed by a suggestion that the woman may be — OH DEAR — the Brit’s version of Joe the Plumber.

Here is how ladies around the globe talk about their time of the month. Dissing other countries and referencing food seem to top the list. Also, Japan just officially became one giant Hello Kitty store. Read more »


Andrew Sullivan interprets this Gallup map to mean that maybe the bad Muslims out in Saudi Arabia don’t hate us as much as we thought, because they want to be us.   Of the 700 Million people who want to migrate, a quarter would like to end up in America, and another 6% want to go to America Lite, which is Canada.   Of course, Sullivan forgets to consider that perhaps all those people want to move here to murder us.  That’s 175 million more terrorist illegal immigrants we’re going to have to kill.  And we’ll probably do something stupid like go and elect one of them President Barack Obama.

700 Million Worldwide Desire to Migrate Permanently [Gallup]

Why Do They Hate Us (or Maybe They Don’t)? [The Daily Dish]


The Chief Electoral Officer has released the preliminary result of the Citizens Initiated Referendum on the question ‘Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?’

87% voted against it.
No word yet on whether this will allow me to smack other people’s children, but I’m buying a plane ticket just in case.

Citizens Initiated Referendum 2009 [New Zealand]

Ladies and gentlemen, your foreign correspondent brings you good tidings from Il Bel Paese – and I introduce you to our very own hot mess right wing nutjob, Mara Carfagna!


Adorable, isn’t she?  Yeah, she sucks; I’ll tell you why in a minute. But lest you think I’m grasping at straws to make the “hottie” comparison, join me after the jump for a photo from her previous career.

Read more »

had meetings with ministerial colleagues, cried a lotOh, sad Gordon Brown. About to get relieved of his pants in elections for the European Parliament tomorrow — with dissatisfaction so rampant that xenophobic clowns from the British National Party are in with a chance to scoop a seat.  Cabinet ministers quitting left and right — with the Chancellor about ready to walk the plank next.  The backbenches in more-or-less open revolt.

Technically speaking, Labour could hang on for another year.  But the stain of self-serving pols on the take has just about set.  Things could change if the economy turns around in a hurry, but … stick a fork in him, methinks.