In The Barber Shop

George W Bush and Barack Obama somehow ended up at the same barber shop.

As they sat there, each being worked on by a different barber, not a wordwas spoken.

The barbers were even afraid to start a conversation, for  fear it would turn to politics. 

As the barbers finished their shaves, the one who had Obama in his chair
reached for the aftershave.

Obama was quick to stop him saying, ‘No thanks, my wife, Michelle, will
smell that and think I’ve been in a whorehouse.’

The second barber turned to Bush and said, ‘How about you sir?’ Bush replied,

‘Go ahead; my wife doesn’t know what the inside of a whorehouse smells like.’

Short And To The Point

From a Teacher. 

In the world of hi-tech gadgetry, I’ve noticed that more and more people who send text messages and emails have long forgotten the art of capital letters.

For those of you who fall into this category, please take note of the following statement:  

“Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.” 

Is everybody clear on that?

BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades!

Let me see if I have this straight. Congress gets wind of this purchase of these helicopters from Russia, but that is not the issue. No, rather it is the “human rights” aspect that Russia is supplying Syria with armaments. No where in the post does anyone question why we would do this. But them it turns out that much of our stimulus money went overseas to create jobs. so why would I think it might be good for the U.S. to supply the helicopters and create jobs here. Best of all, they will contain the latest technology. Just wait until after Obama’s re-election when he will can “be more flexible” as he famously said to them before. Why not let everyone have our latest technology. It fits in nicely with Obama’s point of view. Yes, we are in a bind. Here we go.

The choppers the Pentagon is purchasing for Afghanistan include full Western…

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Another Bad Day For Dave

MORNING BRIEFING – By Benedict Brogan (Daily Telegraph)

Another difficult morning for David Cameron. Westminsterwill focus on the Leveson inquiry and the appearance by Rebekah Brooks. All questions essentially boil down to Mr Cameron’s judgement (the Independent has helpfully provided us with a list here ). He will be hoping that she will put in a confident performance to match Andy Coulson’s, who emerged unscathed from his session yesterday.

Lord Justice Leveson put the PM on the spot yesterday by declaring that Jeremy Hunt’s integrity was not a matter for him, which amounted to a rebuke to Mr Cameron for playing the ball his way in the first place. Read our report.

It’s worth remembering that whatever the media may says, Leveson is scarcely registering out in the real world. No 10 clings to the idea that however bad it gets, no one will notice.

Dave is also hoping nobody notices that he’s dropping his anti-lobbying legislation. The Times (£) reports the statutory register of lobbyists that was expected in next year’s Queen’s Speech has been downgraded to draft form.

Mr Cameron may note that today is the 200th anniversary of the assassination of Spencer Perceval. Lord Lexden calls on Henry Bellingham to apologise on behalf of his ancestor in a letter in the Telegraph.


All this and Dave still has to worry about trouble in his own ranks. This week’s 1922 Committee meeting descended into all out “civil war” with Osborne loyalists swearing at the old guard, read Donata Huggins’ blog.

This does make a reshuffle look more likely. No 10 tell me that it may now happen earlier than was thought, but nothing is planned and rumours of something imminent are off the mark. I’m not sure I believe them though. My bet is he won’t wait for the autumn. For more read my blog .

The rumours about when it might happen are swirling though. Many are saying that it could be as soon as the Whitsun Recess, two weeks away. Their thinking is that the week off is a great time to try to re-harness the media agenda and give a week’s breathing space for the MPs doing the switch-a-roo.

And Mr Cameron certainly needs to re-harness. He’s quoted in the papers today for saying that his government isn’t on “cruise control” . Not sure that sort of coverage reassures anyone, Dave.


Ed Miliband looks set to reshuffle the Shadow Cabinet too. The Guardian reports that Liam Byrne could be stripped of responsibility for the party’s policy review. He’s long been thought of as a Blairite outsider, but his public intention to stand as Mayor of Birmingham – a post the electorate chose not to create – can’t have helped.

A senior Labour source tells me that the reshuffle could be as soon as Monday and Rachel Reeves is tipped to take on Mr Byrne’s job. An interesting call – particularly if Mr Cameron makes his a week later.


Ed Miliband is hopes to shake up Europe while he’s at it. On Thursday he made a pact with François Hollande to form a united front on promoting anti-austerity across Europe. Read the FT’s report here.

I wonder if the the two leaders cooked up that idea over the roast they shared in the House of Commons in February when Mr Hollande was visiting? Dave must be kicking himself now for ditching him that night.


Meanwhile, Dave is looking at an institutional shake up closer to home. We’ve splashed on Dave’s plans to sack poorly performing civil servants. Apparently, he’s grown impatient with the “useless” advice he’s receiving from “lazy” staff who are unwilling to have “difficult conversations”.

Dennis Skinner will be pleased with his judgment. Just last month he told the PM that “When posh boys are in trouble, they sack the servants”.


Michael Gove, however, is kicking back at Skinner’s suggestion. At a conference in Brighton yesterday he said that the dominance of former private schoolboys at the upper ends of society was “morally indefensible”. Read our report.

A good thing too, really. One of the few things Mr Coulson ‘fessed up to yesterday was that he worked to try to dispel the to the “Lord Snooty” myth about David Cameron peddled by Labour. He wanted the public to recognise that the PM was not someone “lounging around a mansion in top hat and tails, sipping champagne and nibbling on caviar” . But it looks like he wasn’t around long enough for that to have worked.


And finally, the Guardian reports on the high-drama of yesterday’s police strikes:

“Two hundred officers felt strongly enough about the issue to make the journey from north Wales, a pattern echoed in forces across the country. How many had attended in total? The Police Federation was confident there had been more than 35,000.”

The Mail takes a different tact: “Strike? What Strike?” dismissing the protest as a damp squib.


Latest YouGov/The Sun results: Conservatives 34%, Labour 44%, Lib Dems 7%, UKIP 7%

Overall government approval rating: -38


In The Telegraph

Fraser Nelson: Gay marriage: importing America’s culture wars has backfired on David Cameron

David Richards: This change of course on aircraft carriers is essential

Leader: The Left’s anti-austerity message is delusional

Leader: Security review all at sea

Best of the rest

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: A British FBI has got no chance against London’s very own KGB

Samuel Brittan in the Financial Times (£): A real alternative to austerity economics

William Rees-Mogg in the Times (£): Don’t use our institutions as political pawns

Owen Jones in the Independent: This austerity backlash across Europe could transform Britain


Today: Tim Loughton, the Children and Families Minister, will make an announcement on adoption

Today: EU foreign ministers meet in Denmark today

10am: Rebekah Brooks gives evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. The Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand,London

Warrior Poet Wisdom

Code of Bushidō: Benevolence (Jin)

The third virtue of Bushidō
Is their benevolence
Although they possessed deadly skill
Their mercy was immense

They didn’t focus solely on
Themselves or their rich kings
They had acuity to notice
All the little things

The sick, the poor, the downtrodden
The broken ones in need
The samurai were never too
Busy for a good deed

Understanding, slow to anger
Full of patience, grace
Tolerance and charity
For those who could not face

Challenges and struggles that
Were too much to endure
Suffering for Bushidō
Acted much like a lure

A sense of duty to assist
To use their heightened state
For the benefit of others
To reduce their weight

Benevolence is a kind act
That needn’t be returned
It isn’t only saved for those
Who have paid or have earned

Benevolence is doing what
You know deep down is right
An integral part…

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It’s too late for Germany to save the euro

Greece’s motorcycling Marxist, Alexis Tsipras, makes an unlikely champion, with his commuter leathers and largely unrealistic Left-wing views, but he seems to be about the best of a bad bunch right now. As far as I can see, he’s the only member of the Greek political class who makes any kind of sense, albeit only marginally so and with one rather important deficiency.

Rightly, he’s rejected Berlin’s austerity programme as “barbaric” and counter-productive (though, incongruously, he rides to parliament on a German-made BMW), but he’s not yet managed to reconcile himself to the logical corollary of this analysis – that Greece must take back control of its own destiny by leaving the euro. As it is, the economy is condemned only to permanent depression.

Youth unemployment in Greece was yesterday revealed to have overtaken even that of Spain, at an almost unbelievable 53.8 per cent. This for an economy which, if it sticks to the programme, has a further 150,000 public sector jobs still to shed. Those who think that, with the requisite degree of structural reform, the private sector will automatically move in and fill the gap can forget it.

Read more….