Posted by Jason O on Jan 28, 2009 in Not quite serious.
A spokesperson for President Clinton has expressed disappointment on the changing of his public status. During the Bush administration, President Clinton was lauded as the cool, saxaphone playing lovable rogue ex-president who knew how to run the economy properly and not get bogged down in dumb invasions.
However, since the swearing in of President Obama, the former president has now been reclassified as “Just another white guy” and “That guy who liked plump skirt.”
The office of the former president has lodged a formal objection with the US Secret Service after his codename was changed from “Silver Fox” to “Grabby”.
Posted by Jason O on Jan 27, 2009 in Irish Politics
, Lisbon Treaty
There’s a lot of it about. British rags and their Oirish lackies whinging about our membership of the Euro.
The same people, by the way, who have spent the last ten years predicting that the Euro would collapse as a currency.
Let’s get a few facts straight.
They say that we have no control over our interest rates. That’s true. What they never tell you is that we never have. Pre-1979, before we joined the EMS, we were linked, pound for punt, to Sterling. Our interest rates were set in the Bank of England, where, unlike the European Central Bank, we had no representation.
Not that such a thing would bother this crowd. For all their finger pointing at Brussels and Frankfurt and roaring about national sovreignty, they transform into forelock tugging lickspittles getting moist at the thought of us under the rule of the Bank of England.
Don’t get me started on their Sinn Fein pawns who seem to want us to go back to worrying about what will the British do with our currency? The Euro and the EU is the bulwark for small nations, and until Sinn Fein have the sense to see that they don’t deserve to be in government.
Supposing we suddenly had our own currency again, what would happen? As a tiny currency of a nation with a serious budget defecit, the currency would plummet. Short term, that would be good for exports, but long term, we’d have to put up interest rates to stabilise the currency, far higher than they are now, as we had to before the EMU currencies locked.
So these brainiacs would have us putting up interest rates massively in a recession. Well, there’s a plan.
The Euro isn’t perfect, and one-size-fits-all has its challenges, but I don’t fancy the alternative. Go ask Iceland.
Posted by Jason O on Jan 26, 2009 in Irish Politics
, Not quite serious.
It’s the title that gets him first, especially when he sees it on his passport for the first time. Senator! He can’t help but see himself in the great senatorial pantheon. Hello Senator Kennedy! Good to see you Senator McCain! That and the fact that he’s just fought the scruffiest, dirtiest, filthiest election this side of Palermo City Council, and somehow managed to scrape through on the 47th count with 1/47 of a preference electing him. For just one moment, he imagines himself going into oratorical battle on the floor of the house, in defence of The Republic.
Of course, once the elation dies down, reality comes roaring back in. Joe Public not only hasn’t a clue, but thinks he’s trying to sell him double glazing. And the party expects him to run for the Dail next time, which all looked great when they were talking nominations but now seems a bit stressful.
He thinks that after driving up and down every boreen in the country speaking to the greatest assembly of pathological liars ever assembled by Man he can now take it easy. Then he tries to have his tea in the members restaurant, and watches as the old hands practically stampede the door every time a county councillor darkens the door. Three weeks in he’s throwing his chocolate digestive over his shoulder as he runs for the restaurant door. He’s pretty sure that he’s just recognised a county councillor for Borris-in-Ossory. Either that or your man is just a fella delivering photocopying paper, but he can’t take the risk. His nerves won’t let him.
Posted by Jason O on Jan 26, 2009 in Irish Politics
According to the Irish Times, an interesting proposal has come out of John Gormley’s office. Read it here.
It would allow a return to the large Dail constituencies (Galway in the 1920s was a nine seater, for example. ) that the state had in the 1920s, before FF and FG decided to start rigging the system in their favour, in the name of “stability”.
I have always wondered why the small parties in government accepted the mantra of having relatively disproportionate constituencies, where a party pretty much needs 12% plus of the final vote to get a seat, which is quite high by continental standards. It means that there is a geographic obsession to our political system (Sure isn’t Mickey Joe one of our own? Wasn’t he born in a manger only out the road? So what if he can’t read like all dem fancy fellas up in Dublin?) as opposed to, well, an obsession with politics, you know, policies and ideas.
The PDs presided over the creation of a load of three seaters about the place, on the bizarre grounds (This argument was actually made to me internally within the party.) that large seat constituencies would only “help Sinn Fein.”
Turns out Sinn Fein didn’t need help, but the PDs did. They got 56,000 first preferences, which is more voters then there are full time farmers in the country, but because those votes were dispersed throughout the country, the party got annhilated.
The Greens should pay attention here. Actually, if FF think their own first preferences may be hugely down in the next election, they might see the benefit themselves. Gormleymander, anyone?
Posted by Jason O on Jan 24, 2009 in Movies/TV/DVDs
The Contender tells the story of a President (A pretty cool one too. Jeff Bridges as The Dude In Chief, President Jackson Evans) who nominates a female senator (Played by Joan Allen) to fill a vacancy as Vice President, and the subsequent vicious battle to get her confirmed.
Gary Oldman is superb as the Republican Congressman leading the fight against her, and keep an eye out for a pre CSI William Petersen (Grissom) as her chief rival for the nomination. Best scene in the movie is Bridges taking a freshman rebel congressman played by Christain Slater on a tour of the White House.
A good watchable tale of grown up politics with a sprinkling of idealism.
Posted by Jason O on Jan 23, 2009 in Not quite serious.
Sources in the Federal Bureau of Investigation have confirmed that murder mystery author and prolific serial killer Jessica Fletcher was gunned down by an FBI SWAT team early this morning.
Fletcher had been on a murder spree for most of the 1990s killing vague associates on a weekly basis, and then framing innocent suspects for the murder, having used her fame to gain access to police investigations and crucial evidence.
An unnamed FBI agent described the author’s motive: ” JD FLletcher was only interested in two things. Her psychotic bloodlust, and dick. She would engage in wanton acts of depraved sex with most of her victims, filthy, filthy stuff. Sometimes involving live stock and weird mechanical sex devices. But during it all, the abandon, the debauchery, her hair never moved once.”
Posted by Jason O on Jan 23, 2009 in Books
Sometimes, a country just gets a break, and the most unlikely of people end up being the right man at the right time. When FDR was elected president in 1932, Harry S. Truman was a county judge (A kind of super county councillor.) in rural Missouri. Twelve years later, he was President and a reluctant one at that, bullied into the vice presidency by Democratic powerbrokers who didn’t want then Vice President Wallace (The closest the US ever got to having a European style socialist in the White House.) as president, and chose Truman as the least harmful option.
David McCullough’s Truman is very open in it’s admiration of its subject, but don’t let that put you off. The story rolls easy, taking the reader through the stunning list of challenges that faced him. He decided to use the atomic weapon (He felt he would have been impeached if he had not used this “wonderweapon” to quickly end the war with Japan.), split the Democratic party by supporting civil rights, faced down an exceptionally popular Douglas McArthur over the issue of who decided foriegn policy (McArthur wanted to invade China!) at massive personal cost to himself politically, and rebuilt Europe with Marshall Aid and secured European freedom with NATO. He also won the 1948 presidential election when every single national political corrspondent had written him off. All this whilst surviving an assasination attempt by Puerto Rican nationalists (He watched the gun battle from his bedroom window.) and having a mother in law who felt her daughter could have done better, even after he was elected president in his own right in 1948!
A truly great man, and the book is a treat, particularly in audiobook format over a long drive or journey. Go on, treat yourself!
Posted by Jason O on Jan 22, 2009 in Just stuff
This story was in the London Independent today. Someone lives in a backward country and is (Shock! Horror!) affected by their backward laws. Don’t like it, don’t live there.
The same applies to living in the West. Want to live in a judgemental theocracy where some sections of society are treated as second class citizens? Fine. Piss off to Saudi Arabia, so.
Posted by Jason O on Jan 22, 2009 in Irish Politics
Gerry Adams spoke last night about that great SF panacea to all problems, an “All Ireland” approach. Honest to jaysus, if you stubbed your toe SF would be demanding an All Ireland response.
But surely shoppers in Dundalk, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan are putting that All Ireland approach into practice by going North for what they believe are better prices. Yes, it is costing jobs down here in stores like Superquinn, but isn’t this an actual Sinn Fein policy in action?
Fair play to the likes of Arthur Morgan TD (Louth) being willing to back the party and the national policy at the cost of local jobs in Dundalk. A man of principle, no doubt.
Posted by Jason O on Jan 22, 2009 in Irish Politics
Watching the Anglo Irish thing, you can’t help wondering how in Ireland nobody ever goes to jail for dodgy practices.
Good job they don’t live in China.