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  • Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy's Open Mic

    Last week's G20 meeting gave world leaders the opportunity to find common ground. For instance, President Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy found out that they both love to complain about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

    "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.

    "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.

    While this has promised to be an embarrassment to both leaders, there's a variety of ways the two could have dismissed this gaffe. First of all, improv. The two men could have been doing an improvisational exercise for their Netanyahu roast. You know, the super secret one they were planning for that very night? Well, not anymore now that the stupid media ruined everything!

    If that didn't work, they could have flown Ashton Kutcher over to tell Netanyahu he'd just been punk'd. Heck, Kutcher probably has a direct portal from his home to Cannes. And after all, everyone knows that Obama is the George Clooney of world leaders.

    While both of these ideas are undeniably genius and completely foolproof, Obama and Sarkozy have decided to take the "no comment" route. Netanyahu also said mum, leaving Vice Premier Silvan Shalom to explain it this way…

    "Everyone talks about everyone. Sometimes even good friends say things about each other, certainly in such competitive professions," Shalom, a former foreign minister and rival of Netanyahu in the rightist Likud party, told Israel's Army Radio.

    "So you have to consider the main things. Is Obama a friend of Israel? Is Sarkozy a friend of Israel? Is their policy a consistent policy of support for Israel? The answer to all of these questions is affirmative and, as far as I'm concerned, that is what's important."

    *Swish* Perfect diplomatic save. With friends like these, there's no such thing as enemies.

    Photo by Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, G-20, Israel, Nicolas Sarkozy, Palestine
  • From the Pork Barrel: Debt and Taxes

    * Newly announced senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren makes a somewhat simple but overlooked point: "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody!" That's the problem with this country — even the capitalists are socialists!

    * Warren currently leads incumbent Republican Scott Brown by two points in a recent poll. But don't worry; Brown should regain the advantage once we get to the swimsuit competition.

    * Anti-government intervention, free-market Republicans ask Harvard to stop paying Elizabeth Warren's salary.

    * Barack Obama patiently explains to United Nations why United Nations is kind of useless. Wasn't quite as well received you might expect.

    * Ted Haggard is supposedly going to be on ABC's Celebrity Wife Swap. Somebody has told him that in the whole swapping business, he ends up with another wife, right?

    Tags: ABC, Barack Obama, Education, Elizabeth Warren, Haggard's Law, Israel, Massachusetts, Palestine, Polls, Pork Barrel, Scott Brown, Senate, Ted Haggard, Television, United Nations
  • Barack Obama to Awkwardly Address United Nations General Assembly

    Important persons from all over the world are descending upon New York for the season premiere of everyone's favorite teevee show, United Nations: General Assembly. It is kind of like The Real World: San Francisco, what with all the concern about HIV/AIDS, the challenge of living together in peace and harmony, and the controversy over who stuck a finger in somebody else's jar of peanut butter (Puck = United States).

    President Barack Obama will make a speech, because this is what U.S. presidents do when tons of government employees from other countries come over to hang out, wear their colorful native costumes and take advantage of their diplomatic license plates by double-parking wherever they damn well please.

    But when he stands at the podium, will he face a warm, lively room or a pack of pissed-off hecklers?

    This week the President is in the hot seat, confronting Palestinian demands for statehood and a rising tide of anti-UN sentiment in the U.S. Congress. By pushing a UN Security Council vote on statehood –supported by a supermajority of UN member states — the Palestinian Authority (PA) has put Washington on the defensive. The United States will surely veto the resolution, which it considers a threat to Israel and a distraction from the peace process. But doing so will be excruciatingly awkward.

    Ooh, "excruciatingly awkward" like leading an impoverished existence in a squalid refugee camp with no hope of socioeconomic mobility or "excruciatingly awkward" like forgetting to sign your boss's birthday card? We need some clarity, CNN.

    Anyhoo, since there's not a snowball's chance in Ramallah that the United States will actually vote in favor of the resolution promoting Palestinian statehood, watch for some grumbling and booing from our planet's louder occupants when Obama speaks.

    Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, Israel, Palestine, United Nations
  • Barack Obama Says Thing About Israel, Conservatives Explode with Anger

    Oh my God! Did you guys hear about that speech on the Middle East that President Obama gave earlier today?

    I didn't really get a chance to listen to or read anything about what he said. However — based upon the reactions to the speech ("Obama is now ready to advocate the next step of his plan to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth") — I gather that he advocated sawing around Israel's border and pushing it out to sea. And I think that is simply unacceptable! I am wholeheartedly opposed to such sawing and pushing action.

    Mitt Romney has my back on this

    "President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus. He has disrespected Israel and undermined its ability to negotiate peace," Romney said in a statement. "He has also violated a first principle of American foreign policy, which is to stand firm by our friends," added the former Massachusetts governor.

    Ditto Tim Pawlenty

    "President Obama’s insistence on a return to the 1967 borders is a mistaken and very dangerous demand," Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, said in a statement… "To send a signal to the Palestinians that America will increase its demands on our ally Israel, on the heels of the Palestinian Authority’s agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization, is a disaster waiting to happen," said Pawlenty.

    Exactly! Total under-the-bus maneuver and a disaster waiting to happ– Wait, what? A return to the 1967 borders for Israel-Palestine? Like, what both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were negotiating with Israel and Palestine for?

    So, he's not planning on casting Israel out to sea? Oh, I see…

    Well, I'm still really really angry!

    (Can somebody please explain to me why I'm so angry?)

    (via Andrew Sullivan)

    Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, Israel, Middle East, Mitt Romney, Palestine, Primaries, Republicans, Tim Pawlenty
  • Palestinians Trying to Overshadow Wills and Kate

    Everyone on Earth knows that the most important thing happening this week is the marriage of one inbred (but seemingly very nice) English helicopter pilot to some hot chick. Everyone, that is, except for the Palestinians, who remain annoyingly obsessed with lifting themselves out of poverty and desperation.

    Hey, guys, we don't even know who designed Kate's wedding thong yet. Try and focus on something important, maybe? No? Ugh, fine. Then go ahead and form a coalition government, as if that's some kind of big development

    The two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, announced Wednesday that they were putting aside years of bitter rivalry to create an interim unity government and hold elections within a year, a surprise move that promised to reshape the diplomatic landscape of the Middle East.

    The deal, brokered in secret talks by the caretaker Egyptian government, was announced at a news conference in Cairo where the two negotiators referred to each side as brothers and declared a new chapter in the Palestinian struggle for independence, hobbled in recent years by the split between the Fatah-run West Bank and Hamas-run Gaza.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz… Oh, I'm sorry, was someone saying something about World Peace or the destruction of Israel or something? We couldn't hear it over the sound of ourselves screaming with excitement over the marriage of two insanely rich white people in the country that maybe had something to do with the division of territories in the Middle East, or something?


    Tags: Israel, Kate Middleton, Middle East, Palestine, Prince William, Royalty, United Kingdom