Thursday, March 13, 2008

More election fallout: After the absentee ballots were counted, a seat from Barcelona has been reassigned from CiU to the PP, giving CiU 10 seats and the PP 154 in the Congress of Deputies.

Eduardo Zaplana, PP hard-liner and party spokesman, has resigned. About time. His negatives are extremely high, and they need to pick someone more moderate, both politically and personally.

Madrid mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, considered the most moderate and attractive among the current PP leadership, has announced that he plans to stay on as mayor and back Rajoy at the party convention.

Convergencia is already pushing Montilla to kick ERC out of the Catalan Tripartite. And that's not all they're going to want. Duran Lleida is in no hurry to make any deals.

By the way, Duran says that he's recovered from his bout with lung cancer. Good.

Chemical Inma Mayol, Communist leader in the Barcelona city council, has also stepped down.

Inflation reached 4.4% in the year ending February 29, the highest rate since 1995. There are no signs of it slowing down, what with oil pushing $110 a barrel. Economics minister Solbes says it's because of rising oil and grain prices.

So the damn bus drivers are on strike today; they're going out every Thursday until they get what they want. Six buses were sabotaged this morning, some with passengers on board; rock-throwing strikers broke the windows of one bus. The municipal bus company says it's going to take disciplinary action against some 25 strikers, but no arrests will be made, which is ridiculous, since throwing rocks at a bus with passengers in it is a violent crime. You could put someone's eye out doing that.

At the beginning I would have been willing to cut a deal with the drivers (who make upwards of €33,000 a year, by the way): You want two full days off a week, we'll make the schedule work out, but you'll have to take a small pay cut because you'll be working fewer hours. I would have been sympathetic if they'd struck peacefully, holding demonstrations with legal permits and the like. But after this wave of unacceptable behavior on their part, sabotage and violence (remember, they beat up a CCOO union rep the other day), I say screw them. Fire the lot, like Reagan did with the air traffic controllers.

The Eliot "Luv Guv" Spitzer scandal is, get this, La Vanguardia's top international story today. The press around the world is loving this: hypocritical law-and-order guy hoist by his own petard. It's not nearly as important as many other issues, though; Spitzer was merely one of dozens of state governors, and of no particular international importance. Imagine if the governor of, say, the Tokyo or Moscow or Paris or Mexico City region or province or whatever was forced to resign over a prostitution scandal. Would it make the Barcelona press? Maybe a couple of paragraphs, maybe not.

One of the greatest tabloid headlines ever: the New York Post's "Ho No!"

Have you seen the photos of the hooker involved? She's attractive enough, but five thousand bucks an hour for that?

From La Vanguardia's comments section:

The Americans are not a model for anyone but fools. A country with such a recent history is puerile from any point it is analyzed from. What made them believe they were the center of the world for a long time was their dollar. But that is all over.

I don't know what to say, I start laughing...the Americans are always so silly, and at bottom they are not and should not be a model for anybody.

I suppose we should not be surprised, knowing about the Americans' double moral standard.

There is a system worse than any other that allows its president to use policies of asphyxiating the country in order to continue his war games (many reasons he gave for the declaration of war have been proven to be false), and he denies medical care to children, citizens of his own country. This is putting money above conscience, not even we corrupt Europeans do that.

I live in the US and this is typical Yankee hypocrisy of moralism and puritanism. For going whoring, he resigns, but others declare an illegal war and invade another country causing the deaths of thousands of persons and nothing happens and hee waits to retire next January. And let's not mention the governors who use the death penalty whenever they want. Disastrous.

All the Yankees are sick. Raising such a scandal over prostitution and saying nothing about the violations of human rights they commit daily with their wars!!

The biggest hypocrisy I know is in the United States.

The funny thing is that they cause such a scandal over a "sin of the flesh" (there are no others), and they are the ones that we forgive most easily, while they are not bothered by the hundreds of thousands of deaths, men, women, and children, that they have caused in Iraq with an unjust war. Who is more "civilized"? I prefer Mediterranean morals to sick Anglo-Saxon Puritanism.

What I don't understand is why something that in Europe would not even make the news (at most it would appear in the celebrity press), in the United States causes a resignation. They are completely crazy.

For a pecadillo this guy resigns, and for destroying countries, on the other hand, they're happy and smiling.


A governor resigns because of a private and intimate pleasure and Bush vetoes the prohibition of waterboarding as a method of torture and nothing happens. No one protests. Stop the world, I want to get off.

Seems like there's a lot of free-floating hostility out there among Spaniards, and America is a very convenient target. Note that these commenters never say anything new or different: the standard anti-American tropes have been the same since the 19th century.

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