Bitter dispute over sugar ad may bounce Czech government

A Czech government ad touting its turn to hold the presidency of the EU may and featuring a sugar cube may actually result in the downfall of the government.

The ad, built around the claim that the Czech’s invented the sugar cube (I always thought it Bjork), features the slogan, “We sweeten it for Europe.” However it “can also be translated in Czech as promising to give Europe a bitter lesson, making trouble for it or causing disgust. … [However] this has soured relations within the ruling coalition, with traditionally pro-European Christian Democrats attacking it.”

Apparently this kerfuffle is because the ruling party is split between pro & anti EU types.

Further confusing the issue is whether or not the Czech’s should claim ownership of the sugar cube. The ad claims it was a Czech invention dating from 1843. However reporters at the daily Lidove Noviny pointed out that the although it was created in what today is the Czech republic but was then an outcropping of the Austro-Hungarian empire by a Swiss named Jacob Christoph Rad. Speaking as a professional journalist, this is what’s known as a fun story.

Silly Czechs. How stupid to take an argument over sugar so seriously. They should follow our lead and argue about lipstick and whether it is placed on pigs or pitbulls.

For those of you not up on leading-edge political stupidity: The McCain campaign (slogan: “Truthiness is everything!”) is attacking O’Biden for saying “that Sen. John McCain’s claim that he will shake up Washington after agreeing with President Bush for so long is like ‘putting lipstick on a pig.‘”

It is a disingenuous attack, at best, given that McCain himself has used repeatedly, even to describe a health plan put forth by Hillary last year. Trotting out former acting Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift as the attacker is a nice sound-bite move that looks really dumb if you examine the facts.  True Ms. Swift is A) female, B) a mom and C) was sort of governor.

However her time in office was not a pretty one. She was named acting governor when her predecessor decamped to become ambassador to Canada. Despite having the governor’s office she couldn’t even carry her own party in her one attempt to win the job for herself and was defeated by Mitt Romney, a name you may have encountered. She was a notably inept governor:

By the end of her term, Swift was extremely unpopular with voters in the state (at one point having the dubious honor of a single-digit approval rating). This unpopularity was due in part to a perceived lack of effectiveness and in part to apparent abuses of her gubernatorial privileges, including: her use of a Massachusetts State Police helicopter to commute cross-state, from Boston to her home in North Adams; and, the use of State House aides to babysit her children.

Given all that is surfacing about Ms. Palin’s troubles in Alaska, Swift is not the best shade of lipstick for this issue.

Apparently the lesson Sen. McCain learned from his 2000 primary loss to Pres. Bush was that voters really don’t care that much about facts. I wish I could argue that it was a bad conclusion to come to.

BTW, Talking Points Memo has the following: A former McCain spokeswoman — who defended the senator when he made a joke about a woman raped by a gorilla — is also author of a book about being a political flack. The book’s title? Lipstick on a Pig.

During McCain’s 1986 Senate race, McCain was hit with allegations from women’s groups in Arizona that he’d told this knee-slapper (as quoted at the time by the Tucson Citizen)…

“Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?'”

McCain was defended by Torie Clarke who said, “John does not recollect telling that joke … And he has a very good record on women’s issues.” The reporter who wrote the original story disagreed then and now with Ms. Clark.

I want to see a pitbull put some lipstick on that pig.

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