I've written on many occasions about the "utterly repulsive spectacle" of the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and this year's lame-o shtick was more pitiful than ever (scroll down, as low as you can go), and the court eunuchs' sycophantic laughter at the Sultan's leaden jests even creepier.
Ottawa's equivalent nerd prom, the annual parliamentary press gallery bash, isn't quite as nauseating, mainly because the relationship between the hacks and the pols isn't quite as psychologically unhealthy - but also because the event doesn't have the slick polish of hired gag men. I mean, say what you like about Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, but you can't complain she was over-scripted...
Ms May talked up Omar Khadr, a "Canadian" and former Gitmo detainee who murdered US army medic Sgt Christopher Speer in Afghanistan. Well, whoop-de-doo. Zillions of A-list Canuck lefties do that. But not usually while playing the theme to "Welcome Back, Kotter" on their Blackberry and marveling who knew it was spelt K-H-A-D-R: "Welcome back, Omar Khadr!" She concluded by declaring "Omar Khadr, you got more class than the whole fucking cabinet."
Elizabeth May, incidentally, is Maclean's Parliamentary Orator of the Year. Eat your heart out, Winston!
That's a Minister of the Crown trying to ease Elizabeth May off - or a f*cking Minister of the f*cking Crown, as Liz would say. "There's a lot unusual in your speech, Liz, but we need to go," suggested Lisa Raitt, a member of the self-same f*cking cabinet Omar Khadr has more class than. And so it fell to Canada's Transport Minister to transport Liz away and save her from herself.
That, too, is rather sweetly parliamentary - although a lot of the commenters on YouTube and Twitter seem to regard Ms Raitt as a control-freak gauleiter trying to shut up someone brave enough to speak truth to Stephen Harper's fascist power!!!!!!
On the morning after, Ms May said that Lisa's intervention was "the act of a friend" and regretted that "my attempts at being edgy and outrageous didn't work". Au contraire. In contrast to faux provocateurs like Russell Brand (now Russell Milibrand) never mind labored dullards like Obama, I'd say this was genuinely "edgy". And a lot of "Welcome Back, Khadr" fans would like to see more of it:
Diane Owen â€Ź@DianeOwen4
@TondaMacC YAY Ms. May. Gusto,opportunity and truth. Brava!!!!!!!!!
Final question from Kate McMillan:
Which of you "journalists" applauded @ElizabethMay's drunken rant?
~Meanwhile, back in the scripted world:
WASHINGTONâ€”Saudi Arabia's monarch pulled out of a summit to be hosted by President Barack Obama on Thursday, in a blow to the White House's efforts to build Arab support for a nuclear accord with Iran.
King Salman's decision appeared to ripple across the Persian Gulf. Bahrain said on Sunday that its ruler, King Hamad bin Isaa Al Khalifa, had opted not to travel to Washington...
Who can blame them? It's not a "summit". It's a photo-op in which Their Majesties are playing the extras in "The Barack Obama Show". It has no more real-world meaning than his routine at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. And, if you have the misfortune to live in the real world as Kings Salman and Hamad do, with Iran and ISIS and AQAP pressing in on all sides, you don't have time to fly halfway round the planet just 'cause Barack couldn't get a tee time on Thursday.
The New York Times report includes the following observation:
King Salman's decision to skip the summit meeting does not mean that the Saudis are giving up on the United States â€” they do not have many other options, said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "As upset as the Saudis are, they don't really have a viable alternative strategic partnership in Moscow or Beijing," Mr. Sadjadpour said.
But, he added, "there's a growing perception at the White House that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are friends but not allies, while the U.S. and Iran are allies but not friends."
Lord Palmerston's famous line was that England had no eternal allies and no eternal enemies but only eternal interests. Obama has gone Palmerston one better: As he sees it, America has no allies, no enemies and no interests. And, judging from his golf schedule, no interest.
So the Saudi and Bahraini monarchs did the right thing. As Liz would say: Fellers, you got more class than the whole f*cking Obama cabinet.
~I'm looking forward to joining all the A-list deniers in Washington, DC for the Heartland Institute's 10th International Conference on Climate Change next month. Michael E Mann's hashtag generator is already overheating: #KochScaifeDenialMachine-a-palooza! For more information on the conference, see here.
Several of my co-authors on the brand new book Climate Change: The Facts will also be present, so we may squeeze in a group book-signing or some such. It's available at Amazon and elsewhere, but you can always order it direct from the SteynOnline bookstore - and I'm happy to autograph it. Or you can get the eBook version instantly via Kindle, Nook at Barnes & Noble, or Kobo at Indigo-Chapters in Canada and around the world.