Friday, September 24, 2010

Bad optics

Hey, it never hurts to ask...

"...royal aides were looking for a way to pay the queen's spiraling utility bills, which had risen by 50 per cent to more than 1 million pounds ($1.58 million) in 2004. A letter written that year and addressed to Britain's culture department asked whether the queen could get a community energy grant to upgrade the heating systems at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, the monarch's favourite weekend residence...the royal household was not initially aware that the money had been earmarked for low-income Britons."

- From CTV. Every so often, a right-leaning (most frequently) US politican will use the expression Welfare Queen. It's a hell of a lot more negative on the west side of the pond, granted. But c'mon. It just would have fit so perfectly here...

'Yeah, I am doing this. No, really!'

“...Mr. Colbert was mugging for and winking at the cameras. Representative John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, seemingly miffed, suggested that Mr. Colbert 'excuse yourself' from speaking. Looking baffled, Mr. Colbert said he did not understand the question, and threw himself on the mercy of the chairwoman, who allowed that he should stay. On the whole, the mood of the hearing alternated between the serious and the absurd. (His spoken testimony departed significantly from his prepared text, which was straightforward and earnest.)"
- From the New York Times. Colbert has skewered the US right so perfectly with his truthiness schtick that it kills me to see him walk into a trap of his own making. The Fox crew will claim that Colbert wasted the committee's time and they're right. Politico is reporting unimpressed Twitters from both Mother Jones and the National Review, extraordinarily unlikey bedfellows without a tray of free B-52s backing up a Spanish Fly & Viagra sampler platter. Rep Conyers all but yelled "Stay off my side!" in his direction when the wind-up started. You can make a case for the 'awareness building' chestnut for as long as you want, but the tit-for-tat wheels have been put in motion and Dennis Miller or Larry the Cable Guy will be appearing in front of a sub-committee with tongue firmly in cheek within a few months. This helps nothing. Al Franken, Reagan and Fred Freakin' Grandy all had the good sense to be elected before spouting off in front of (or as part of) congressional committees, good on 'em.


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