Wednesday, June 21, 2006

George in Europeland

Reuters: Thousands of people have been flocking to worship a man in West Bengal who can climb trees in seconds, gobbles up bananas and has a “tail”. They believe that Chandre Oraon, 27, is an incarnation of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god.

Speaking of monkey gods, George Bush is visiting Austria for the very first time. He keeps looking for kangaroos. He had a press conference with his good friend, Austrian Chancellor Schüssel (“I call him Wolfgang, he calls me George W.”). Near as I can figure it, Bush was in Europe to send messages to non-Europeans. He told Iran, which says it will respond to the nuclear proposal by August 22: “It seems like an awful long time for a reasonable answer -- for a reasonable proposal, a long time for an answer.” Yeah, George, like you’re such a fast reader. He told North Korea it should “not fire whatever it is on their missile.” Kimchee? Bush was shocked and offended to hear that Europeans consider the US the biggest threat to global stability. “Absurd” he called it, chuckling. “It’s a -- we’re a transparent democracy. People know exactly what’s on our mind.” And you don’t see any correlation between people knowing what’s on your mind and them considering you a threat to global stability, George? He added, “For Europe, September the 11th was a moment; for us, it was a change of thinking.” And, let’s face it, a change of underwear.

Then there was a round-table thing with students. One of whom was from Kosovo, the daughter of a murdered professor, who asked George about whether a politically independent Kosovo could achieve financial independence through foreign investment... and asked Laura to describe a family day in the White House. George said you need “good law, good practice, and anti-corruption.” Oddly enough, Laura gave the same answer.

Some pictures. I like this one of Wolfgang and George W. because of the chairs.

Wolfgang brought along his giantess of a foreign minister, Ursula Plassnik. Is it wrong of me that my first thought was that she could take Condi in a fight?

That’s George and Laura at the far end, out of focus. Reuters photographer Larry Downing seems to have been distracted by something.

Sorry, I don’t know if that’s the Kosovar student. Nor do I have her number.

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