A good morning, &c.


Move, now, to Europe — to France in particular. As I was scanning the news, I saw a photo that made me stop: A man had a green star affixed to his lapel. What was going on? The story that the photo accompanied began, “French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ousted adviser on diversity called the president’s conservative party the ‘plague of Muslims’ amid a growing furor over its plans to debate Islam’s role in France.” The ex-adviser, Abderrahmane Dahmane, “is a controversial figure of Algerian descent who has called on French Muslims to wear a green star Tuesday in a sign of protest, similar to the yellow star that Jews were forced to wear under Nazi occupation.”

Yes, yes: because there are such great similarities between Jews under the Third Reich and Muslims living in France today. The greatest danger European Muslims face, it seems to me, is sores on their backsides — from having them kissed so much by European political and cultural elites. (You don’t mind a little hyperbole — especially indignant hyperbole — in a column like this, do you?)

The photo of that man with the green star is one of the most obscene things I have seen in months . . .

Feel like something domestic? I had a thought about this report, from the Associated Press — maybe you’ll have it too:

Sometimes in politics and legislation, whether you win is less important than how you win.

That’s the dilemma facing House Speaker John Boehner as he tries to round up the votes to pass a fast-approaching spending compromise and avert a partial government shutdown by week’s end.

Boehner, R-Ohio, wants the overwhelming majority of those votes to come from his fellow Republicans, even if dozens of easily attainable Democratic votes could help carry the budget bill to victory.

And so on. Okay, the thought: It’s perfectly true, that sometimes how you win, or how you proceed, is more important than whether you win. But did you hear that opinion expressed all that much from the mainstream media when the issue was health care — and the Democrats were determined to ram their new system through, by hook or crook? With nary a Republican vote?

You can call me an overly sensitive Republican (and I wouldn’t disagree with you).

Late last week, I was talking with a colleague of mine about President Obama. And I said, “You know, one of the flaws of Obama is that he doesn’t poke fun at himself — even gently. He seems too vain to do so.” Reagan was the opposite. Once, someone gave him a still from Bedtime for Bonzo to sign. I guess people wanted Reagan to be embarrassed by this: by having appeared in a movie with a chimp. Rep. Bella Abzug used to talk about Reagan’s “Rambo-Bonzo foreign policy.” Or was it “Bonzo-Rambo”?

Anyway, someone gave Reagan a picture to sign, showing actor and chimp. Reagan signed it, “I’m the one with the watch.”

And do you remember that people used to mock him as an old, doddering man who needed naps? Now, as it happened, Reagan did not take naps. He just didn’t. But he went with it. About some big problem, he’d say, “It has cost me many sleepless afternoons.”

Anyway, I was telling my colleague that Obama was incapable of remarks like this. And the very next day — or maybe it was later the same day — I read what he did with his energy secretary, Steven Chu. He said, “He’s got a Nobel prize in physics. He actually deserved his Nobel prize.”

Obama has talked this way before. At every Nobel ceremony, there is what’s called the “presentation speech,” usually given by the committee chairman. And that evening, there is the traditional “Nobel banquet.” At his banquet in Oslo, Obama said the following, in reference to the chairman and his presentation speech: “I told him afterward that I thought it was an excellent speech — and that I was almost convinced that I deserved it.” Deserved the prize, that is.

Good for Obama.

End with a little story? It’s not really mine — comes from a friend of mine. And it’s about two friends of his. If I heard correctly, they are a married couple, and hard-core libertarians — also hard-core health nuts. (Sorry, “nuts” is pejorative — hard-core health watchers.) One day, their three-year-old said to his father, “Daddy, which is worse, the government or sugar?”

Well, they’re both vital, in their places, I’d say!

Anyway, have a good one . . .