Mindblowingly good Jon Stewart rant about CNBC

The States’ blogo/mediasphere is buzzing with reaction to Jon Stewart’s monstering of CNBC last night (on Comedy Central’s Daily Show). I have now watched the videos (below in three parts). I have watched CNBC a few times, but I am not familiar with a lot of the stuff they talk about here.

However, as a shining example of passionate journalism and sheer mind-blowingly dramatic TV, this is breathtaking. It particularly takes off in part three. Full marks to Jim Cramer (presenter of CNBC’s “Mad Money”) for sitting there and taking it like a man (although his voice rises, at one point, to almost a pitch which can only be detected by dogs).

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The McGuiness watershed

With a holiday in Ireland coming up later this year, I have been taking quite an interest in the excellent Slugger O’Toole website. Here’s a particularly good article by Mick Fealty, producer of the website, who I met last year at my first and last appearance on 18 Doughty Street.

I have visited Belfast a few times in the last couple of years. One thing which shines through is the remarkable interest in politics of people in Northern Ireland. You can see that from the Slugger website comments.

So, I am not daft enough to posit an opinion on the Northern Ireland situation, except to observe that Martin McGuiness’s reaction to the recent shootings was quite extraordinary and represents something of a watershed.

Golly by gosh, Cameron at last comes up with a policy or twain

I found Cameron’s Birmingham speech rather refreshing. He admits his party made mistakes, related to the economy, in government and opposition. And at long last he proposes a couple of concrete policies apart from the much repeated National Loan guarantee scheme.

-A 6 month VAT holiday (sounds expensive except that it’s a “delay” in payments only)

-A one per cent cut in NI employers’ contributions for the “smallest” firms

-A corporation tax cut by two pence for small companies

Also, he talks about more help for manufacturing, singling out the car industry as needing more help. Crikey. If that means much, which I doubt, that’s quite a turnaround for the party which ended the government support culture for the car industry in the 1980s.