"Morning" in Poland
BBC News, 21st September 2006
Polish admirers of Ronald Reagan say they will elect a statue of the late US president in Warsaw as mayor to thank him for helping to end communist rule.
The statue has promised to immediately begin the task of imbuing Warsawians with joyful optimism for the future, fierce civic pride in their city and emptying Warsaw's treasury into the pockets of its business associates and financial backers.
"This is a great city, a prosperous city of hard working people", said Janus Dorosiewicz, the businessman behind the statue's campaign for mayor. "We want the people of Warsaw to look at the stars and dream."
"That way they won't notice when we pick their pockets and hand their hard earned cash to arms manufacturers and electricity conglomerates."
Reagan's statue laid out its plan to slash government spending on public services and programmes, thus allowing the people of Warsaw to spend their own money as they saw fit.
His ambitious plan involves cutting municipal outlay by -25%, a measure which has so far proved very popular. President Reagan's statue's aides assured the public that he would preside over a decade of poor growth, while overseeing a massive redistribution of wealth to the top 2% of earners.
The appeal of President Reagan's statue is widespread, and it has earned the full support of the Warsaw elite. "We are confident that this statue of President Reagan will keep as firm a grip on the city's purse-strings as the Gipper himself did in the United States", agreed one local stockbroker.
Aides played down recent newspaper articles alleging that the statue had engaged in illicit arms deals with criminal gangs in Lodz, stating that rumours were being peddled with the aim of tarnishing the statue's image.
An official statement from the statue's camp read "President Reagan's likeness is on record as saying that he has no memory of any such activity, and that should be enough for the media to stop their hounding of an honest, hardworking man."
President Reagan's statue cost around 140,000 Euros, or £94,000, roughly 23.5 times the average annual salary of Poles.
"It's what he would have wanted", sniffed a tearful Dorosiewicz.
Update!: Since I'm harshing on the memory of the Gipper, I might as well have a crack at the Back To The Gilded Age Brigade's current White House sock puppet-
"If they get control of the House of Representatives, they'll raise your taxes. It'll hurt our economy. And that's why we're not going to let them get control of the House of Representatives," Bush said.
Now, the Americans are free to elect whoever they like, for whatever reasons they like, and I don't have any ground to criticise them for doing so. I'm no lover of the Democratic party either, and given the uncontrollable shitstorm Bush has led the US into, I don't see how significant gains for Dems is going to ameliorate the situation.
All I'm saying is that an Administration that has presided over a skyrocketing deficit, a slump in real wages for the majority of the populace, two disastrous wars, massive cuts in public education, the astonishing nosedive of American prestige around the world and which is now pushing for the legalisation of torture is perhaps not fit to lead the nation of Jefferson and Washington.
But since when did anyone listen to bloggers? If the public are more alarmed by higher taxes than they are by today's UN report by the special rapporteur on torture and the prospect of another disastrous war with Iran, then they'll get what they vote for, and best of luck to them.
They're going to need it.