The PSOE has decided to grab onto the immigration issue, since their surveys tell them it's the PP's strongest weapon against them. Get this: the PSOE promises to "guarantee respect for social norms that, before the arrival of immigrants, our society had never seen broken, in such important areas as housing, quality of life, commerce, opening hours, or the use of public space, which have suffered evident tensions because of the arrival of foreigners coming from different cultures." They also promised to "prioritize employment for Spaniards." Yet Socialist deputy prime minister De la Vega just made a fool out of herself by criticizing Italian immigration policy as racist and xenophobic.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Moratinos announced that he wanted to "take ambitious steps" to make Spain's relationship with the US "deeper and more profound." Unfortunately, Zap took a couple of ambitious steps in the other direction a few years ago which are going to keep bilateral relations cool as long as he's prime minister.
The Ted Kennedy story is getting play over here; of course, it's news only because he's a Kennedy. If some other Democratic senator had a couple of seizures and was hospitalized, it wouldn't be trans-Atlantic newsworthy.
Another thing that's getting massive press is the 40th anniversary of May 1968. Every newspaper is literally devoting entire pages every day to romanticizing a bunch of pseudorevolutionary middle-class mama's boys. I'll spare you the reminiscences of those who claim to have been in Paris at the time. May 1968 has to be the most overrated historical event ever, since it changed absolutely nothing.
Relatives of the 14 alleged terrorists arrested in January for plotting suicide bomb attacks in the Barcelona subway, among other places, held a demo demanding their release. The high point was when a young daughter of one of the arrestees made a weepy plea for her daddy's freedom. They got a mere 200 people out, which shows that almost everyone is happy that these guys are behind bars because at least in jail they can't blow us up. Naturally, our friends the Communists, along with the rest of Barcelona's trendy suicidal extreme left, helped them organize it.
Sometimes I can't believe the crazy shit that gets talked up around here. The Basque Parliament has passed a resolution accusing the Socialist Zap Spanish government of torturing ETA prisoners. Can you imagine an American state legislature passing a resolution accusing the federal government of torturing, say, that lot in Guantanamo?
National Health hospital infections update: A court ruled that the Madrid regional government had to pay an indemnity of €90,000 to the family of a baby girl who died of the pseudomona aureginosa bacterium contracted at the 12 de Octubre hospital. In the US a jury would award them at least $9 million.
Remember the Great Barcelona Blackout of last summer? The city's electrical system won't be completely repaired until June, a mere eleven months after the breakdown.
You may have heard that the Spanish cops arrested five hackers--it made the American press--who were going around breaking into other people's websites, including the US government's. Don't worry, they're not ideologically oriented, they tried breaking into everybody's site, including that of the Spanish Communist Party; they substituted caricatures of Rajoy and Zap for the Commie website's content.
Get this headline from El Pais: "Woody Allen fills Barcelona with intelligence." Seems Woody's Made in BCN movie has been released. Penelope Cruz is in it, which is the only reason to pirate it when it comes out on DVD; I wouldn't bother paying to get in at the theater. I think the last Woody Allen movie I liked was "Annie Hall."
Lynching in Reus, right here in Catalonia: A mob of six to ten persons were chasing two men through the streets at 4 AM in the city's downtown. One of the men tripped, was caught, and was stabbed to death. The press is not reporting the ethnicity of those involved.
Barça finished its regular season last night with a 3-5 victory in Murcia, already sentenced to relegation to the second division. The press is unanimous that this was a season to forget. Eto'o is leaving, along with Ronaldinho, Deco, Zambrotta, and company. Marquez will stay because Milito is out until at least January. Supposedly Alves and Keita have already been signed from Sevilla, and Piqué from Man United. Champions Real Madrid play relegated Levante tonight, but the club owes the Levante players millions of euros in back pay, and they've threatened to strike.