It seems Mitt Romney has a small problem with his advisers. If they exist, they lie about as much as Romney does. They’re also just as cowardly, as they chose to anonymously spew lies about the President of the United States while on foreign soil, which I thought was supposed to be a major no-no (at least, the Republicans see it that way.) The latest little twist of reality involves the famous bust of Sir Winston Churchill that was on display in the Oval Office during the Bush Administration. It appears that the Right Wing has gotten its knickers in a twist claiming that Obama insulted the Brits by returning the bust when he took office and refusing an offer to keep it. The problem is that, as is often the case in things that upset the RW, it is not exactly true. To make matters worse, famous RW crap spewer Charles Krauthammer repeated this twist on reality in one of his columns, which enabled the Romney advisers to anonymously and, in a cowardly fashion, repeat it to British reporters. It didn’t help that the White House initially said that this bust was not returned to the UK at all but is on display in the White House residence. This is slightly inaccurate, as well, but not as egregiously wrong as the lie that Obama was deliberately insulting the Brits by returning it.
It turns out there are two busts in question. One was originally given to the White House during the Nixon Administration and was put on display in the White House residence. According to the White House website:
The White House has had a bust of Winston Churchill since the 1960’s. At the start of the Bush administration Prime Minister Blair lent President Bush a bust that matched the one in the White House, which was being worked on at the time and was later returned to the residence. The version lent by Prime Minister Blair was displayed by President Bush until the end of his Presidency. On January 20, 2009 — Inauguration Day — all of the art lent specifically for President Bush’s Oval Office was removed by the curator’s office, as is common practice at the end of every presidency. The original Churchill bust remained on display in the residence. The idea put forward by Charles Krauthammer and others that President Obama returned the Churchill bust or refused to display the bust because of antipathy towards the British is completely false and an urban legend that continues to circulate to this day.
So, as usual, the RW is taking a non-issue and trying to turn it into an international incident.
This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you want.
Our bloggy friend, 5thState, presents his take on the recent media madness in the U.S. over some wedding in England…
This week the American corporate mass media has shifted into ‘over-bonkers-drive’ coverage of everything to do with Friday’s matrimonial shindig in London, England-shire, of Prince William Windsor (of the Windsor Windsors) and Catherine Middleton; a bit of middle-class crumpet from Buckleberry (best known for its hobbit-friendly, Nazgul thwarting ferry).
Such gushing attention might appear extremely odd given America’s anti-monarchical foundations, until one considers a few facts and features of the WASPy American psyche that has been molded from the nation’s vague subconscious memory of its birth, its awkward pubescent years in search of a moral compass, its first experiences with the sexiness of war (and subsequent depression over war-erectile dysfunction), its personal battle against oil addiction punctuated by episodes of political paranoia to form its contemporary state of ADD, Alzheimer’s and dependence on pseudo-scientific remedies, blockbuster-movie sponsored food-type “Happy-Meals” with the extra spiritual nutrition of toxic choking-hazard toys, and FDA approved pharmaceutical solutions to problems that most Americans probably wouldn’t ‘have’ if drug-company psy-ops departments weren’t such a great source of the advertising dollars and campaign contributions that allow the mental midgets of the media and politics to enjoy the privileged lifestyle of the fabled American Dream of owning time-saving appliances and hanging with the celebrities of human endeavor who usually actually have worked-hard for their life-rewards.
Note: If you struggled with the above run-on paragraph or in fact totally comprehended-it, just getting through it means that you are a contemporary and real American! Continue reading →
The UK has tired of the United States trashing their universal health care system and are speaking out.
Contrary to what Americans are being told, the British love their universal health care system. I used to work for a British owned corporation and my counterparts in the UK always received good health care and never complained about how they were treated.
How many countries are clamoring for our health care system? If our health care was so great, other countries would be eager to switch from their universal coverage to our “you’re not covered” system. Do keep paying your premiums because the insurance companies might change their minds, maybe, and cover your treatments (if you are lucky).
Remember the Falklands War and the Iron Lady who so courageously grabbed British soil from the grasp of Argentine dictatorship? Did you wonder what, good gracious, was so important about a few rocks 7’500 miles from the homeland to wage a war and shed the blood of 900+ young men and women for ? Well, that one’s easy: Protecting some 3’000 of her Majesty’s subjects and countless more sheep from oppression by a brutal regime!
Wrong! – It’s the oil – Stupid!
Largely unnoticed, except by the formidable “Guardian” Great Britain is moving to secure large parts of the Atlantic for exploitation. The Falklands, as well as Ascension Island near Africa and Rockall in the North Atlantic form the centers of an area of tens of thousands of square miles to be annexed in the hope of getting control of huge oil fields. Read more here.
As resources dwindle and “peak oil” looms, more and more areas are going to be exploited, even if protected now. Russia has claimed most of the Arctic. Only Antarctica is not yet up for grabs – yet.
The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 reserves the area for research and demilitarizes all of Antarctica south of the 60° South Latitude. However, the signatory states have stated in Article IV:
1. Nothing contained in the present Treaty shall be interpreted as:
a. a renunciation by any Contracting Party of previously asserted rights of or claims to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica;
b. a renunciation or diminution by any Contracting Party of any basis of claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica which it may have whether as a result of its activities or those of its nationals in Antarctica, or otherwise;
c. prejudicing the position of any Contracting Party as regards its recognition or non-recognition of any other State’s rights of or claim or basis of claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica.
How long until the claims for territorial sovereignty start to come in?
And back to Great Britain! One latitude is 60 nautical miles. The British claims are now surrounding the Falklands for 350 miles. The Falkland islands are situated on 52° South Latitude. Start calculating – pretty close innit?