March 14, 2006

America's Friend Berlusconi

A little over a week ago, the entire US Congress was borrowed for a campaign stunt:

Wednesday the Congress convened in joint session to hear an address by the leader of a major ally -- an infrequent and usually solemn occasion. Instead, I think we were cast as extras in an orchestrated political event for Italian TV.

We set aside legislative business and filed into the House Chamber only to hear right-of-center media billionaire Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi speak in Italian with no interpreter. Organized applause was prompted at certain points from the uncomprehending crowd (Members of Congress plus "blue-coated interns, sent in to fill empty seats").

C-SPAN snubbed the event -- a Joint Session of Congress! (Doesn't C-SPAN cover everything?) But the rousing reception aired live overseas, on Berlusconi's own TV stations, skirting his country's equal-time laws in a tough election cycle. ...

One can only hope that the Italian public wasn't fooled by this stunt. After all, our president can barely speak English, which should indicate to all and sundry the odds of having congresscritters that can speak Italian.

But it's understandable. After all, this guy practically sounds like a long-lost Republican. And that's good because since all the positions of highest responsibility in our government have fallen into Republican hands, they must of necessity be the gold standard of our ideals, breathing life into all our hopes and aspirations as they strive to do credit to those whom they represent:

Facing the possibility of a new trial, Premier Silvio Berlusconi denounced Italy's judiciary as a danger to democracy and promised changes to the system as he tries to hold on to the premiership in next month's election.

Italian prosecutors are "the disease of our democracy," Berlusconi said on a late-night talk show that ended early Saturday.

The judiciary "should be changed," said the conservative leader, who for years has blamed his legal troubles on magistrates he contends sympathize with the left.

Only hours earlier, Milan prosecutors sought the indictment of the media mogul on corruption charges. Prosecution efforts stemming from other investigations of his business empire dealings either have ended in acquittal or been thwarted by the expiration of statute of limitations. ...

Yeah, that sure sounds like a Republican to me. But for full verisimilitude, he should really publicly deny having anything to do with his accomplices in a shady financial deal:

ITALIAN Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday launched a bitter attack on David Mills, the husband of Britain's Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell. It came just hours after prosecutors requested the indictment of Mr Mills and Berlusconi on corruption charges.

The British lawyer has been at the centre of a political storm since allegations that he had received a 350,000 "gift" emerged last month. The money is said to be in return for silence about the politician's business affairs during two corruption trials in 1997 and 1998.

... Mr Berlusconi is also facing further conflict of interest allegations after it emerged that a film company owned by him - and linked to David Mills - benefited from hundreds of thousands of pounds of British government grants. ...

But I'm not satisfied somehow. To be a real Republican, a guy who so reminds you of Bush that you don't miss him when he's gone, this Berlusconi character should really demonstrate inappropriate bad temper and an unwillingness to answer substantive questions from the media:

Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, facing parliamentary elections next month, stormed out of a television studio on Sunday when pressed in an interview about his relations with George W Bush and conflicts of interest.

"This channel is a war machine set against the prime minister," Italy's media tycoon shouted, before gathering up his papers and marching out of the studio. ...

Ahhh. There it is then. I am well contented in knowing that we would only rent out the Congress to someone who met the same high standards of personal conduct that we as a people have come to expect from our own top elected officials.

Posted by natasha at March 14, 2006 06:23 AM | International | Technorati links |

For the Republicans, this is actually a step up. This go-round, they were just escorts instead of prostitutes....

Posted by: palamedes at March 14, 2006 07:12 AM

Well I guess that proves to me they don't need my money, Congress is making it big in ShowBiz. I love those Italian Art Films. Any idea when they'll be out on DVD as I don't get to town much. I suppose I'm too busy earning these elected officials a living. Too bad I can't trade places, 'cause when I look in the mirror, deep down, I'm sure I see an Actor. Better yet, we as AMERICAN TAXPAYERS--- I don't know, you figure it out!

This concept is - that you, the taxpayer - since it is YOUR money - should have
total control of how much taxes comes out of your pocket to support your
government, and with a 'yes' or 'no' - final say-so - agreement vote, a go or
no-go vote, on any and all budgets that said taxes contribute toward.

In other words, if you agree with how your tax dollars are going to be spent -
you vote yes. And if you don't agree - then you vote no, at which time the
legislature will have to come up with a budget that the taxpayers will agree to
vote yes on. Otherwise, the money just doesn't get spent - it sits in the

Afterall, you own all three - the money, the pocket it comes out of, and the
government it's spent on - it's your money, not theirs.

Michael Meyer, Chairman
Voter Initiative Political Party of Wyoming (VIPP).

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 14, 2006 06:53 PM