Today in Crazy Talk

Rob Ford, drunk (is that redundant?), swearing in Jamaican patois.

Jennifer Rubin, one year ago:

McDonnell’s approval rating is already one of the highest in the country, and an impressive final year will cement his legacy as a constructive, accomplished conservative governor. He’s often overlooked as a contender for 2016, in part because he’ll be out of a job at the end of 2013. That said, he’s popular with nearly every contingent within the GOP (he’s making a name for himself among hawks by speaking out against the sequester) while keeping his purple state approval ratings high. While lawmakers aspiring for the presidency are creating a trail of hard votes and the personas of Washington insiders, McDonnell is cementing himself as a can-do outsider. If he can manage to remain visible, he will be a force to be reckoned with should he decide to run for president.

So for all that, well done, Governor.

As we know, McDonnell and his wife were just indicted for taking $165K in plane rides, money, clothes and other trinkets from a supporter, hosting a launch party for that supporter’s snake oil remedy in the governor’s mansion, and for trying to evade stock disclosure rules.

(JR’s column is via the top-rated comment in the Post’s McDonnell story).






108 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    Poor Jenghazi. She keeps throwing herself at men who prove ultimately unworthy.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    If he can manage to remain visible, he will be a force to be reckoned with should he decide to run for president.

    Mission Accomplished.

  3. 3
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Baud: :snicker:

    Yeah, McDonnell was the other guy, besides Rubio and Christie, that the GOP establishment (such as it is) could’ve pumped up and sold to the American people as a Moderate Who Could Get Things Done. They’re all extremely conservative by the standards of, say, 2006, and any of them would still have come out of the primary season beholden to the Teahadists, but the MSM would have papered over the former, and would have tried to convince us that they’d repudiate their sweet nothings to the Tea Party once in the White House.

    And then if they got there, and had a Republican Congress to boot, they’d sign the bills when the GOP Congress repealed Obamacare, block-granted Medicaid, voucherized Medicare, cut back food stamps and unemployment insurance even further, and who knows what else.

    So it’s just as well that we seem to have seen the last of the non-wingers.

  4. 4
    kd bart says:

    It’s great to be a political columnist and/or pundit. Not many jobs where you can be consistently wrong about thinga and still manage to hold onto your career and in many cases, prosper. Political and sports punditry offer that.

  5. 5
    Botsplainer says:

    Interesting juxtaposition, Mix. I’d argue that a drunk, stoned, ramblingly incoherent Rob Ford makes more sense than Jennifer Rubin any day of the week.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Beat me to it. I wonder if anyone in the GOP will investigate his coming disappearance?

  7. 7
    NorthLeft12 says:

    If he can manage to remain visible/out of prison, he will be a force to be reckoned with should he decide to run for president.

    Based on past history regarding criminal proceedings against conservative public officials, I’ll guess that prison is probably out of the question, but a guilty plea with the appropriate wrist slap will be a nomination killer too.
    But it is the GOP so you never know.

  8. 8
    Fuzzy says:

    Rob Ford. That guy who just keeps giving. I wish he was one of ours. Ford is so much better than McDonnell because he has absolutely no fear of getting caught, no sneakiness just “I is what I is” very refreshing for a politician. Enjoy yourself Mr. Mayor and do not slink away like our politicians.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Botsplainer: That’s because every now and again, Rob Ford is right.

  10. 10
    eric says:

    Wow, it is as if Jindal stopped being the great non-white hope overnight.

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NorthLeft12: Hmmm… I thought having a criminal record was a career enhancer in the GOP. My bad.

  12. 12
    Faux News says:

    @Betty Cracker: Betty I think there is a book called “Women Who Love Too Much”. Maybe we can send a copy to Jenghazi? The poor woman keeps getting jilted. I sense she might be co-dependent.

  13. 13
    Svensker says:

    @Fuzzy:

    I wish he’d slink away. Totally disfunctional gov’t now. Ridiculous.

  14. 14
    currants says:

    @kd bart: Weather forecaster?

  15. 15
    boatboy_srq says:

    Rob Ford, drunk (is that redundant?)

    It would certainly appear so.

  16. 16
    Belafon says:

    Gotta love the first Newsmax headline:

    Michelle Obama: Hanoi Jane’s My Role Model

    At least Newsmax doesn’t try to claim being objective.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    Maddow spent the first 22 Minutes of her show on Governor Transvaginal Ultrasound.

    Loved it all…LOL

    http://on.msnbc.com/1aoWMia

  18. 18
    Botsplainer says:

    @Fuzzy:

    Rob Ford. That guy who just keeps giving. I wish he was one of ours. Ford is so much better than McDonnell because he has absolutely no fear of getting caught, no sneakiness just “I is what I is” very refreshing for a politician. Enjoy yourself Mr. Mayor and do not slink away like our politicians.

    Dude is what he is, doesn’t really hide it.

    He’d be a lot of fun to hang with.

  19. 19
    MomSense says:

    If he can manage to remain visible

    Well he has certainly managed to do that.

  20. 20
    Svensker says:

    @Belafon:

    They know their readers are geezer enough to know who “Hanoi Jane’ is…and to care.

  21. 21
    boatboy_srq says:

    Rubin certainly seems vulnerable to the Reichwing’s Prosperity Gospel perversion of the PWE. McDonnell certainly looked the part of the Reichwing Elect Patriarch: well-presented and impeccably clothed and housed. As is tragically predictable, however, all those trappings actually should have belonged to someone else – and stands as solid proof that Governor Ultrasound did, too.

  22. 22
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Botsplainer: More proof that the pol you want to have a beer with may not be the one you want running things.

  23. 23

    @eric: Same GOP bootleg, in a different bottle that’s all. Rubio’s star is rapidly fading too. Who’s left, Nikki Haley?

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    As one might imagine, Jen had a sad this morning:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ghty-fall/

    To her credit, she doesn’t try to shift the blame.

  25. 25
    Botsplainer says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    McDonnell certainly looked the part of the Reichwing Elect Patriarch: well-presented and impeccably clothed and housed.

    I noted the chiseled jaw.

  26. 26
    GregB says:

    2009 saw the arrival and win of Scott Brown in the Mass. Senate, along with the wins of McDonnell and Chris Christie.

    The motion was all on their side, now we have McDonnell indicted, Christie will be lucky if he’s not and Scott Brown is reduced to being a carpet bagger in NH hoping to win a Senate seat against the very popular Jeanne Shaheen. Talk about a total reversal of fortunes.

    I haven’t seen this narrative seep into the mainstream and won’t likely see it because it ruins their ‘GOP is going to keep the House and re-take the Senate’ story that they seem bent on pushing.

  27. 27
    Suffern ACE says:

    Oh, if he can beat the rap, we’ll hear from Jim again. Because Solyandra or something like that.

  28. 28
    MikeJ says:

    @rikyrah:

    Governor Transvaginal Ultrasound.

    I’m not normally a fan of prison rape jokes, but I think those jokes will be told soon.

  29. 29
    gf120581 says:

    Rubin has crossed into Bill Kristol/Dick Morris territory of “Everything they say is wrong.”

    Or maybe she just has bad taste in men, since the GOPers she latches onto like a drooling groupie (Mitt, Christie, McDonnell) have a bad habit of crashing and burning.

  30. 30
    MattF says:

    @GregB: Also, I think the Cruz/Rubio ship is sinking. I recall that the Village was all agog about Cruz before he actually showed up in the flesh.

  31. 31
    aimai says:

    @Botsplainer: But what he is is a fat, drunken, asshole. Sure, he’s upfront about it, but there are plenty of people in the world who are upfront about being themselves, too–they just happen to be nice people at the same time. I don’t find that its hard, at all, to find genuine, authentic, people who are not drunken, drugged, abusive, power hungry, assholes to hang with.

  32. 32
    Botsplainer says:

    @aimai:

    @Botsplainer: But what he is is a fat, drunken, asshole. Sure, he’s upfront about it, but there are plenty of people in the world who are upfront about being themselves, too–they just happen to be nice people at the same time. I don’t find that its hard, at all, to find genuine, authentic, people who are not drunken, drugged, abusive, power hungry, assholes to hang with.

    I have a weakness for enjoying being in the presence of train wrecks.

  33. 33
    Svensker says:

    @aimai:

    Amen.

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    @Svensker: Thought the same thing. How many people even know who “Hanoi Jane” is? And if they don’t know, would they bother to look it up?

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    @gf120581: She definitely has bad taste in men. It’s useful for those of us on the other side, though. See who she’s supporting and know they’ll crash and burn.

  36. 36
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Betcha’ that the GOP and its unanimous apologists spin the legal troubles of both governors into “Obama knew that either Christie or McDonnell would have easily beaten the Democrat in 2016 so he had the DOJ kneecap them for minor errors of judgement.”

    You read it here first.

  37. 37
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Maybe a recommendation from Jennifer is the kiss of death.

  38. 38
    LanceThruster says:

    Even us plebes know not to piss off the person cooking your food.

    xD

  39. 39
    aimai says:

    @Violet: Its a fox news watcher’s synecdoche, I think, for everything that is wrong with liberals and always has been. Its an all purpose “Judas” accusation for the post vietnam era and it still has enormous resonance for that near dead audience. But its use is a sign that they really don’t think anyone reads their site who is under 50 because I am 53 and barely remember the signficance of the accusation. However I met plenty of vietnam vets when I was door knocking for Kerry in 2004 for whom she, and Kerry, were a permanent source of irritation.

    Its a pretty good sign they are still using her as a symbol. It means that they are speaking in a code few new recruits will learn. see also: Chappaquidick.

  40. 40
    MattF says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Well, Jen limits her recommendations to Republicans. So, there’s the problem, right there.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Botsplainer says:

    @Violet:

    @Svensker: Thought the same thing. How many people even know who “Hanoi Jane” is? And if they don’t know, would they bother to look it up?

    Unlike Dick Cheney, George Bush and Mitt Romney, Jane Fonda at least went to Vietnam.

    And judging what Vietnam has become (stabilizing force, reliable legal system, valued trade partner), does that not tend to validate the opinions of many who opposed the military solution?

  43. 43
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I am assuming that with only a year or so to rehabilitate himself, McDonnell will be unable to erase the stigma in time.

    Although…….conservatives don’t believe in rehabilitation, do they?

  44. 44
    Honus says:

    If he can manage to remain visible, he will be a force to be reckoned with

    Mission accomplished. McDonnell is going to be real visible for the next few months.

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Belafon:
    Good God. That Hanoi Jane stuff was nigh on 50 years ago.

  46. 46
    Poopyman says:

    @Botsplainer:

    … does that not tend to validate the opinions of many who opposed the military solution?

    Why, that there must be the crazy talk DPM referenced in the post title. After all, the military solution is THE solution.

  47. 47
    aimai says:

    @MattF: I thought that for Rubin, that column was actually pretty honest and straightforward. The only thing that seemed classically awful about it is her refusal to ask how she could have been so hoodwinked. The guy and his wife were a common or garden set of grifters–they were not sturdily indpenedent businesspeople but utterly incompetent failed rentiers. They were not “cloth coat republicans” with good middle class values but pretentious, greedy, imitative people who were bought for comparatively little money and who sold themselves and, principally, government access. Were these the republican values and goals that Jen Rubin actually backs? Or not? She attempts to read into the story a kind of “both sides do it” and a “fall from grace through original sin of greed” but political corruption like this is not a case of “both sides do it” but rather that politicans and government both have to be wary of being co-opted by private, corporate or religious interests. This isn’t about individual greed, its about oligarchy trying to raid public coffers and using particularly susceptible politicians and their gullible reporter/followers to do it.

  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NorthLeft12: Nope. They believe in being Forgiven ™.

  49. 49
    Belafon says:

    @Botsplainer: My Dad was in Vietnam, though it’s my mom that likes to make the most noise about her (my dad doesn’t think Fonda’s worth wasting the energy). I’m not going to justify Fonda’s actions – she did go and meet the other side while our troops were there – but it’s definitely a relic of the previous era about an actress who isn’t that politically influential now. The same people who wouldn’t recognize Hanoi Jane now know her as the woman who portrayed Nancy Reagan, which I find funny.

  50. 50
    amk says:

    @Amir Khalid: And she turned out to be effing right too.

  51. 51
    Sherparick says:

    While we are on the subject of vile Republican politicians (sorry for the redundancy), could someone please explain to me the the “success” of David Vitters, multiple philanderer, someone who has slept with more prostitutes then Eliot Spitzer could dream about, and who is becoming with his campaign against foods stamps and unemployment insurance a front runner for the title as “Meanest Man in Congress.” Wouldn’t even the Louisiana political establishment get embarrassed at some point?

  52. 52
    Botsplainer says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    Although…….conservatives don’t believe in rehabilitation, do they?

    Actually, as long as a conservative miscreant recites the correct words while scrunching his face into a sad expression, he has infinite passes, even if he was videotaped naked, snorting blow out of the asscrack of a dead underaged rent boy, in which independent labs confirm the existence of seminal fluid coming from said conservative.

    All the miscreant has to say is “Ah done sinned, and with the hay-ulp of mah personal Lord and Savior Jesus Chrast through mah prayers, Ah’ll do better”.

    They have infinite forgiveness for that.

  53. 53
    GregB says:

    McDonnell is making Blagojevich look like a humble public servant.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Amir Khalid says:

    If I were a Republican presidential hopeful, I’d pay Jennifer Rubin good money (on the down low, natch) to keep her from talking up my prospects.

  56. 56
    Botsplainer says:

    @GregB:

    McDonnell is making Blagojevich look like a humble public servant.

    Spoils of the election win, man.

  57. 57
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If you like that one, try Grandpa snorts Viagra

  58. 58
    jibeaux says:

    @Amir Khalid: Did you grow up speaking English? It’s a compliment, you speak (write) very naturally and with turns of phrase I don’t usually hear from people who’ve learned it as a second language.

  59. 59
    different-church-lady says:

    Is there any way we can get Jennifer Rubin to write a column describing all the reasons I’ll never be a millionaire?

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sherparick: Well, it is Louisiana.

  61. 61
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Botsplainer:

    And judging what Vietnam has become (stabilizing force, reliable legal system, valued trade partner), does that not tend to validate the opinions of many who opposed the military solution?

    Nope, no way, no how. According to my 70-ish neighbors, Kerry and Jane Fonda and others were traitors by not going along with the government about the war. They don’t have a answer about the chickenhawks like Cheney but they are SURE about everything the opposition said or did.

  62. 62
    different-church-lady says:

    @Belafon: Did we ever get an authoritative answer regarding why Cole has that thing cluttering up the right side of the screen?

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    Off topic, but has anyone heard yet about the rabbit in Mandela’s ear? The South African government wants it removed. But I like to think Madiba would have seen the funny side of it, and let it stay.

  64. 64
    Belafon says:

    @different-church-lady: Because they pay him money. Occasionally, it gives us something to talk (and laugh) about, so I don’t think it’s all bad. It’s our constant link to the mind of crazy.

  65. 65
    Poopyman says:

    @Sherparick:

    Wouldn’t even the Louisiana political establishment get embarrassed at some point?

    I don’t believe anyone can come up with a single example over the entire course of Louisiana history that that has happened. I’m waiting to be proven wrong.

  66. 66
    Botsplainer says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Nope, no way, no how. According to my 70-ish neighbors, Kerry and Jane Fonda and others were traitors by not going along with the government about the war. They don’t have a answer about the chickenhawks like Cheney but they SURE about everything the opposition said or did.

    I kept wondering what Vietnam and all Southeast Asia would look like had America “won”. I tend to think military autocracies all around, with great repression and grinding poverty and hopelessness across the vast majority of the populations.

    Think Myanmar on steroids.

  67. 67
    Belafon says:

    @Botsplainer: Vietnam would probably look like South Korea, or possibly the Philippines, if we’d won. Considering that Ho Chi Min and the other Vietnamese were going to fight until the US gave up, there was never any winning without wiping out half the population. So it’s even less useful to speculate on that than if we’d managed to keep control of North Korea.

  68. 68
    Tommy says:

    @Botsplainer: I wonder as well. I am a military brat. .My family until me has fought in like every war. I question wars. I don’t see the need for them. Sure WWII I get fighting the Nazi’s and we did 24/7. But more recent wars I don’t get.One of the things that always seems to amaze me is that we are always at war someplace. You know somebody has to go fight that war, and I hate it might be your child.

  69. 69
    danielx says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yeah, her and K-Lo – there’s a lot of that going around in conservative/wingnut circles. Seriously, though, Rubin has such an unerring sense of wrong predictions that she’s clearly destined for a long and lucrative career as a right wing pundit. With the immunity from criticism of her erroneous predictions that goes along with it, natch. Almost (dare I say it) a worthy successor to Bloody Bill Kristol, although she’ll have to graduate to being wrong about geopolitical events before she can match his record.

  70. 70
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    50 years ago:

    How time flies.

    Here in the US, we have the 49th super bowl of football coming up and I remember the first one!

    I remember Jane, too, with the pictures and the name calling and all the hoopla.

  71. 71
    Glocksman says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I’m too young to remember the war, but I work with several vets and the ones I talked to about the war when the traveling wall came through town several years ago to a man *hated* Jane Fonda.

    Not for being opposed to the war but for actively supporting the enemy.
    Even my uncle Jerry who didn’t support the war and joined the Navy to avoid ground service*, hates her for that.

    *Supply officer on the Constellation during the early 70’s.

  72. 72
    elmo says:

    @Violet:

    How many people even know who “Hanoi Jane” is?

    Really? I don’t think of myself as an Old – I’m not yet 50 – but “Hanoi Jane” is as familiar to me as “Tokyo Rose,” or for that matter, “LBJ” or “Tricky Dick.”

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    @jibeaux:
    You don’t get through the school system here in Malaysia without getting good in both English and Malay. (Malaysians who grow up trilingual, with a mother tongue other than Malay, are also very common.) As it happens, I was a toddler living in London when I began talking, so extensive exposure to English began a bit earlier for me than for most Malaysians. As a journalist, I also wrote professionally in English for about 20 years.

  74. 74
    Tommy says:

    @Glocksman: I didn’t serve either. I’d go see the Wall. Rolling Thunder. It is one of those things.

  75. 75
    danielx says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    Although…….conservatives don’t believe in rehabilitation, do they?

    Why, they most certainly do! Just look at Senator David Vitter (R-fetish), aka Diaper Dave. He’s been so rehabilitated he’s going to run for governor of Louisiana! Considering some of the other yahoos that Louisiana has elected as governor, such as Edwin Edwards, one of my favorite sinners, he’ll probably win too.

  76. 76
    feebog says:

    I know there have been some comparisons to Blagojevich and McDonald, but I’m thinking the case against McDonald is much stronger. Blago was recorded talking about “selling” Obama’s Senate seat, but so far as I know, there was never any concrete offer. His first trial ended in a hung jury IIRC. McDonald and his wife received thousands in gifts and cash for concrete action; access to lawmakers and use of government property and resources to promote a product. I wouldn’t be surprised to see McDonald and his wife make a deal, but it is going to include some pretty hefty jail time.

  77. 77
    Glocksman says:

    @Tommy:

    I guess it’s one of those things you have to live through.
    While I dislike Fonda for her active support of the enemy, I don’t have that visceral hatred that a lot of vets do.
    In other words, associating her with Michelle O really doesn’t mean all that much to me, while to others it’s the equivalent of waving a red flag (heh) in front of a bull.

  78. 78
    Tommy says:

    @feebog: I am an Illinois guy. We hate Blago. I mean 3 of our last four governors ended up in jail.Ponder that for a few. What McDonald did would have gotten him a long, long time in jail here.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    And furthermore, if you come to KL you’ll be more likely to hear English being spoken than Malay. I knew a guy from Cleveland who worked in IT retail here. He used to gripe that he never got a chance to practise his Malay conversation skills, because everyone here spoke English all the time.

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid: I hadn’t seen that story! Love it, and I agree with you that Mandela almost surely would have been greatly amused. It’s in the lovely tradition of the craftsmen who worked on the great Gothic cathedrals (more modest churches, too, of course) and tucked all kinds of romping animals, less-than-saintly humans, and other grotesqueries in out-of-the-way places. Their own private jests and homages, as well as a kind of anonymous “Kilroy was here” signature.

    I hope the South African government reconsiders. RABBIT MUST STAY.

  81. 81

    @Amir Khalid:

    You don’t get through the school system here in Malaysia without getting good in both English and Malay. (Malaysians who grow up trilingual, with a mother tongue other than Malay, are also very common.)

    Sounds exactly like Bombay (Mumbai) India. Except for Malay substitute Hindi and the state language for the third language. How long was Malaysia under British rule?

    ETA: In India the states were originally established along linguistic lines.

  82. 82
    catclub says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Scott Walker. Pierce says not to go to sleep on the guy.

  83. 83
    catclub says:

    @danielx: “he’s going to run for governor of Louisiana! ”

    But he gets to do it while remaining a senator. Big risk taker there.

  84. 84
    amk says:

    @Amir Khalid: Except for their tendency to tack a ‘la’ to every sentence. That’s truly Malaysian. I was doing projects there in cameron highlands for five years. Loved the food & pub scenes at KL.

    Also. Too. Great roads.

  85. 85
    elmo says:

    @Glocksman:

    *Supply officer on the Constellation during the early 70′s.

    Your uncle Jerry may have served with my Dad. Aviation electrician and SAR swimmer on various flattops, including Connie.

  86. 86
    Mike in NC says:

    Please proceed, Governor McDonnell …

    To the nearest federal penitentiary.

  87. 87
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    How long was Malaysia under British rule?

    Depends on which bit of Malaysia you’re talking about. It didn’t happen all at once. This Wikipedia article has the rather complicated story, which runs from 1786 to 1957 and beyond.

  88. 88
    Ricky says:

    MM recently you suggested Bob Somerby over at the Daily Howler should write something of a retraction regarding his many posts criticizing Rachel Maddow for her coverage of Chris Christie’s bridge fiasco.

    I found this headline over there dated yesterday: Governor Ultrasound still hasn’t been charged!

  89. 89
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think it should be removed. Not appropriate for the statue & just because they wouldn’t let you write your name down the pant leg. There are other ways in 21st century to get it out there that you sculpted the statue.

  90. 90
    GRANDPA john says:

    @Belafon: like to read the headlines ,although I never open any of them, because they give me an insight to what its like to live in an alternate reality and to note the totally insignificant and irrelevant people whose opinions they consider that people in the real world would be interested in knowing

  91. 91
    Jay C says:

    @Botsplainer:

    And judging what Vietnam has become (stabilizing force, reliable legal system, valued trade partner), does that not tend to validate the opinions of many who opposed the military solution?

    Nope. Not according to a dwindling, but still non-trivial segment of the (voting) populace, who aren’t EVER going to let go of their resentments over being on the losing side of a protracted and bloody war. Whether they actually fought in it or not:
    Case in point: the 2004 Presidential campaign: I don’t think that the GOP’s disgusting “Swiftboating” and “Purple Heart Band-Aid” crap actually made a significant difference at the polls: but obviously, it was a meme that someone thought still had relevance…

  92. 92
    Chris says:

    @Botsplainer:

    But only if it’s the right miscreant.

    Bill Clinton’s mea culpas complete with prayer breakfasts and meeting with religious leaders and all didn’t convince them, nor would any Democrat doing the same.

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    @Jay C:

    I think Iran is a similar, but more ridiculous thing; a massive chunk of the population (including plenty of people in the policymaking rungs) simply will not hear of anything involving an opening or communication with Iran, not because of any geopolitical reasons but just because they remember them embarrassing the U.S. government for 444 days in a row.

    (“AND A MAN IN MY POSITION CANNOT AFFORD TO BE MADE TO LOOK RIDICULOUS!!!!….” etc).

  94. 94
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    @schrodinger’s cat: How long was Malaysia under British rule?

    Depends on which bit of Malaysia you’re talking about. It didn’t happen all at once. This Wikipedia article has the rather complicated story, which runs from 1786 to 1957 and beyond.

    Actually, Malaysia was never ruled by the British. The name was adopted post-independence.

  95. 95
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:

    Actually, Malaysia was never ruled by the British. The name was adopted post-independence.

    Malaysia as a political entity did not exist until six years after Malaya got independence from the British, true. But all of its various bits were under British rule, or at least hegemony, at some point between 1786 and 1957. Like I said, the story is complicated.

  96. 96
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid: From Francis Light onwards, yes. It’s a fascinating story — and a wonderful place to visit.

    Not sure I could stomach the political system — but then that’s true almost everywhere.

  97. 97
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Paul in KY:
    If you think a little bronze rabbit tucked in the ear of a 30-foot-high statue, and impossible to see without binoculars, is inappropriate, you might want to take a look at some of that European church art that Siubhan Dunne mentioned.

  98. 98
    brantl says:

    I want a t-shirt that says : Hot messes, separated at birth, that shows Rob Ford and Chris Christie.

  99. 99
    brantl says:

    @Betty Cracker: For the win!!

  100. 100
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    It is funny how many true patriots still hate Jane Fonda and Oliver North is a hero with his own radio show.

    One did very little as a youngster to materially help the enemy, and apologized later – the other directly helped an enemy of the United States securing them weapons, broke more laws covering up his treason, and helped use the the profits from his treasonous act to support an illegal war.

    One was a celebrity with no political power who was in some photos — the other an agent of the government, an officer and had taken an oath to defend the constitution.

    I don’t really care if anybody hates Jane Fonda, it is a waste of energy. Perhaps when Jimmy Carter destroys the Republic…which he still has the power to do thanks to Clinton, King Obama I will appoint Jane Fonda our ambassador to Viet Nam and I will be shown the light.

  101. 101
    Yatsuno says:

    @Amir Khalid: That kind of happened to me in Germany. Oftentimes I’d order from a shopkeeper in German, get a big smile, and an answer in English. The longest conversation I had was with a German student while I settled in to her apartment where she was hosting me. We kept it up all through dinner until she said STOP! in English. I said What?” She said, We speak English. (Her boyfriend had joined her, I’m not sure if he live there or not.) I said, I know, but I know German. She said yes, but we want you to speak English. They wanted to practice with me! So it can be a funny thing what happens when you’re a Native English speaker.

  102. 102
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Yatsuno:
    One difference between here and Germany: among themselves, Germans speak German. We KL city folk, however, tend to speak English among ourselves — and quite well, too — so we have far less of a tendency to pounce upon foreign speakers of English to practise our perbualan dalam Bahasa Inggeris.

    It might amuse you to know that once or twice, German tourists who, while sitting in a food court, saw me reading a book in their language have struck up conversations with me. Alas, my German wasn’t good enough yet for much of a chitchat.

  103. 103
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: How did anyone see it, if it is invisible? This isn’t the 1400s & these dudes (who made sculpture) didn’t have the freedom/authority those old stonecutters had anyway.

    The fact that they are Afrikaans and it is a play on Afrikaans word for haste makes it more problematic (IMO).

    After seeing it, they could have made it more discrete (wouldn’t see it unless you were up there cleaning out portion of statue). I’m sure you can see it with a decent pair of binoculars or a camera phone with some zoom capability.

  104. 104
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bill in Section 147: Certainly I long for that day, comrade!

  105. 105
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Botsplainer: Isn’t it amazing what you can buy these days? Who needs plastic surgery on your own self when you can purchase the perfect pol complete with the requisite physical features to front for you?

  106. 106
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Paul in KY:
    It’s not actually invisible. It’s sitting at the edge of Mandela’s (well, the statue’s) right ear-hole, as the picture with the BBC story shows. No doubt someone pointed their binoculars/camera in the right direction one day..
    Perhaps you disagree, but to me the sculptors’ joke seems lighthearted rather than malicious, something that might have amused Mandela himself. And I wouldn’t have refused them permission to sign the statue in the first place, although I might have picked a less conspicuous spot for the signature than the trouser leg.

  107. 107
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: I would be OK with a discrete place to place their signatures. The ones who commisioned it weren’t at time & they should have either agreed with that or not taken their money.

    I just can’t believe that they thought they would get away with it It might just be something that Pres. Mandela would have laughed off (he probably would have).

  108. 108
    mclaren says:

    @Baud:

    Oh, well handled, sir. Well handled.

    “The snark is strong with this one.”

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