Today was a dark day in European history – Ireland finished last in the Eurovision Song Contest ….. out of 26 countries ….. with this epic tune.
They got five points, just 276 fewer than the winners, Denmark.
Their only votes came from Cyprus (2), Sweden (2) and the UK (1) – nothing from Greece, for example, which Ireland will remember next time there’s a European Union vote on bailing them out.
This is the musical equivalent of the fall of the Roman Empire, because Ireland have won more Eurovision Song Contests than any other country in the entire, total and complete history of Europe.
What’s gone wrong? Democracy, that’s what. Before the break up of the Soviet Union, everything was fine, Ireland kept winning, but then about 95,000 new Eastern European countries won independence, got to enter the Eurovision Song Contest, didn’t like Ireland’s music, gave them no votes, and that was that.
So tonight I say: “Mr. Gorbachev, put that wall back up.”
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark talk at the end of their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Feb. 24, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Christian Kettel Thomsen, Permanent Secretary of State; Peter Taksoe-Jensen, Ambassador of Denmark to the United States; Liz Sherwood-Randall, Senior Director for European Affairs; and Bill Moeller, Director for Central European Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Guardian: Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney’s much-heralded economic speech flopped Friday, overshadowed by a gaffe over luxury Cadillacs and his choice of an over-ambitious venue….
Romney opened himself up to derision for choosing a 70,000-seat stadium which attracted just over 1,000 people, many of them school children bussed in to help fill out the crowd, tucked into a corner of the astro-turf pitch….
The speech too turned out to be a flop …. It will be the picture of the near-empty stadium, contrasting with a much fuller one when Barack Obama was campaigning in February 2008, that will be remembered.
…. his words echoed round the empty stadium seats. He was not helped by the near-silence, winning only an occasional round of applause. At one point, having made a joke about the reluctance of children to leave home, only a handful of people in the audience laughed, an embarrassing response that the empty stadium amplified.
… In an attempt to ingratiate himself in the motor capital of America and undo some of the damage caused by a call in 2008 to let the car industry go bankrupt rather than be bailed out by the federal government, he listed cars owned by himself and his wife Ann.
He would be a president who loves cars, he said. “I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pick-up truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck, so I used to have all three covered.” …. It is a mistake on par with his $10,000 bet in a televised debate with Texas governor Rick Perry.
Steve Benen: Paul Krugman argued today that Mitt Romney “is running a campaign of almost pathological dishonesty.” That need not be considered hyperbole.
Indeed, Greg Sargent added this morning that Romney’s “falsehoods and all around dissembling” may be designed to “simply wear reporters and commentators down by trafficking in them so heavily that they throw up their hands and give up on trying to track or debunk them.”