A relief: Max Clifford senses where to draw the line

Max Clifford has said he is ready to tell Jade Goody “enough is enough” and she should withdraw from the public eye if her condition continues to worsen.

This is welcome. I admire Goody’s move in highlighting the realities of cancer.

But I was rather concerned that, at the rate we were going, we might be in for a Bernard Manning moment.

Is John McCain really this stupid?

John McCain tweets. He tweets about meeting this or that official, or being interviewed by KTVK 3TV News in Phoenix AZ etc etc

But what he is seemingly tweeting most about is his favourite subject: Earmarks. Just look at his recent earmark tweetings listed below (all taken from the Fiscal Stimulus bill, I imagine). The man’s obsessed. He ran a substantial part of his Presidential campaign against earmarks and now he continues it day in, day out.

Just one small point, however. Let’s just take one example which he ridicules – $900,000 for fish management. It is his Number Two Porkiest project for today. He comments: “How does one manage a fish?” As Indavisable says: “Is he really this stupid?” Perhaps McCain, from land-locked Arizona, doesn’t know much about fish. But you don’t need to know much about fish to know what “fish management” is – roughly. The grant is for Mobile, Alabama, which is a very significant water area:

The Mobile Delta consists of approximately 20,323 acres of water just north of Mobile Bay. Second only to the Mississippi River Delta in size, the Mobile Delta is an environmental showplace that is 30 miles long and 12 miles wide. It covers more than 200,000 acres of swamps, river bottomlands and marshes. Congress named the Mobile Delta a National Natural Landmark in 1974; fewer than 600 sites have received that honor. It is formed by the confluence of the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers. The Mobile Delta is a complex network of tidally influenced rivers, creeks, bays, lakes, wetlands, and bayous.

John McCain just doesn’t get it, does he? He seems to see all “earmarks” or “pork barrel projects” as evil wastes of taxpayers’ money. But the money isn’t wasted is it? In this case, the $900,000 will buy goods and services which will employ people who will then spend money to employ other people who will then spend….see Maynard Keynes’ Accelerator effect.

The other thing, of course, is that if you live in Mobile, Alabama, you’ll be delighted by this news. And the other earmarks which McCain tweets are sprayed all over the States, resulting in a lot of grateful communities which will get an economic shot in the arm. That’s hardly evil is it?

#8. $118,750 for a building to house an aircraft display in Rantoul, IL from web

#9. $380,000 for a recreation and fairground area in Kotzebue, AK from web

10. $190,000 to build a Living Science Museum in New Orleans, LA from web

#1. $951,500 for the Oregon Solar Highway from web

#2. $900,000 for fish management – how does one manage a fish… from web

#3. $380,000 to revitalize downtown Aliceville, AL from web

4. $380,000 for lighthouses in Maine from web

#5. $819, 000 for catfish genetics research in Alabama from web

#6. $190,000 for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY from web

#7. $400,000 for copper wire theft prevention efforts from web

#8. $47,500 to remodel and expand a playground in Ottawa, IL from web

#9. $209,000 to improve blueberry production and efficiency in GA from web

#10. $285,000 for the Discovery Center of Idaho in Boise, ID from web

First arrest warrant for a sitting President

From Amnesty Blogs:

Momentous news from The International Criminal Court today. For the first time a sitting head of state has been issued with an international arrest warrant. But how long it will take before the President of Sudan is arrested is quite another matter.

An important legal precedent, I think. Some of us still dream of Blair and Bush standing in the dock at the Hague, but I think we can dream on.

Well done you Royals!

After moaning about Reading FC’s defeat last Saturday, which I saw at Madejski Stadium, I feel duty-bound to mark their fantastic victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough last night. When they were 1-0 down I was beginning to despair. But the lads came back with two goals, from Doyle and Long, spectacularly breaking the goal drought which had lasted for 604 minutes of playing time.

After the second goal, Tim Deller of BBC Radio Berkshire reported the Reading players celebrating “like they’ve won promotion”. And well they might.

Contestants for pillock of the year award

Ted Kennedy is to get an honorary knighthood. Hurrah! say I.

Bear in mind other recipients of that award include Terry Wogan and Bob Geldof. So, the currency is not exactly of high value, although those two characters deserve recognition in their own right.

But the award to Ted Kennedy has been questioned by a Tory frontbencher and Ann Widdecombe.

We are talking about one of the most successful and distinguished legislators in the history of the USA, who played a key role in bringing about peace in Ireland, as the Evening Standard mentions:
He became an influential figure in the Northern Ireland peace process through his ability to swing Irish-American opinion as figurehead of the Kennedy clan.

Although disliked by Unionists for his nationalist sympathies, he opposed violent Republicanism and worked to frustrate fundraising by IRA groups in America.
With peace talks under way, he lobbied to get Gerry Adams a US visa – but famously snubbed the Sinn Fein leader after the murder of Robert McCartney by Republicans in 2005.

Whatever is done to try to make the Tories look progressive, mealy-mouthed stupidity like this keeps slipping out to reveal their true colours.