The Corner

Guy Verhofstadt! Who knew?

Via the Daily Telegraph:

In his new book, A Journey, Mr Blair writes that the former US president was confused by the presence of Guy Verhofstadt at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa. “He didn’t know or recognise Guy, whose advice he listened to with considerable astonishment,” Mr Blair writes. “He then turned to me and whispered, ‘Who is this guy?’ ‘He is the prime minister of Belgium,’ I said. Belgium? George said, clearly aghast at the possible full extent of his stupidity. ‘Belgium is not part of the G8’.” Mr Blair explained to Mr Bush that Mr Verhofstadt was there as “president of Europe”. Belgium held the presidency of the EU council at the time. Mr Bush responded: “You got the Belgians running Europe?” before shaking his head, “now aghast at our stupidity”, Mr Blair writes.

“Running Europe”? Well, not quite, but W’s aghastness will do nicely. In fact, very nicely.

As for not knowing who Verhofstadt was, one can only admire the president’s shrewdly selective assessment of what information is worth knowing — and what is not.

In case you were wondering, the current Belgian prime minister (if only, I think, on a caretaker basis) is Yves Leterme.

Yes, yes, I looked it up.

Most Popular

Culture

Jussie Smollett Jokes Declared Off-Limits

The Jussie Smollett story has been declared not fit for jokes. "It's a straight-up tragedy," declares the co-creator of a Comedy Central show, South Side, set in Chicago. Bashir Salahuddin, a former Jimmy Fallon writer, says “The whole situation is unfortunate. Particularly for the city, there’s bigger ... Read More
U.S.

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More
Film & TV

The Movies Take On Limbaugh, Levin, et al.

Oh, good, here’s the lefty British comic Steve Coogan to give us his take on American right-wing talk radio. Let’s all settle in for some deep insights. The comedy-drama is dismally titled Hot Air. No, seriously. That’s what they came up with. Coogan’s Lionel Macomb is introduced to us via his ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Ignorant Comments on Israel

Making the click-through worthwhile: figuring out what President Trump meant when he said Jews who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty”; examining the data on how American Jews actually feel about Israel; and why Democrats will always find a way or a reason to avert ... Read More