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Archive for July 23rd, 2011

Last week, we compared a bone-headed display of incompetence by the German government with a perverse form of harassment by a local government in the United States.

We have another America-v-Europe contest, but the roles are reversed. This time, the buffoons in Washington get dinged for a spectacular screw-up, and it is a local government in England that earns ridicule for a brainless decision.

Let’s start in America, where a Virginia newspaper has the gory details, including this excerpt.

They are the two ships no one wanted, almost constantly embroiled in one dispute or another for the past 25 years. The two Navy behemoths have never gone on a mission, were never even completed, yet they cost taxpayers at least $300 million. Now the vessels, the Benjamin Isherwood and the Henry Eckford, are destined to leave Virginia waters for good and be scrapped at a Texas salvage yard, with no money coming back to the U.S. Treasury.

Isn’t that wonderful. A $600 million disbursement of tax dollars, getting absolutely nothing in exchange. Though I suppose that’s better than some other federal expenditures that have negative rates-of-return.

Now let’s turn to the United Kingdom, where a local government put a keep-off-the-grass sign on a plot of grass so small that it would be a challenge for two people to stand in it. Here are the key passages from a Daily Mail story.

It’s a patch of scruffy grass barely big enough to sit down on – but that hasn’t stopped one town hall making a great deal of fuss about it. The verge measures only 3ft by 2ft but has its own ‘Keep Off The Grass’ sign. The warning has appeared as officials plan £70million of cuts. Resident Tom Beardmore, 29, said he was ‘flabbergasted’ when he saw it in Raynes Park, south-west London. …A council spokeswoman said the matter was being looked into but was unable to confirm how much the sign had cost or why it was placed there.

Maybe I’m just being jingoistic, but I think the Brits win this contest. Yes, the American government flushed a lot more money down the toilet, but there is something truly breathtaking about what happened in London.

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Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon have the best ones this week.

From Jay Leno:

  • President Obama’s motorcade was fined $16 for traffic it caused while in the United Kingdom. Typical for Obama, he said, “My grandkids will pay for it.
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry says God is calling on him to run for president, and Michele Bachmann says God is calling on her to run for president. If God is so indecisive, he’s probably for Mitt Romney.
  • President Obama said he turns 50 this week, but he actually doesn’t turn 50 until Aug. 4. This means that even he hasn’t seen his birth certificate.
  • President Obama’s staff got raises of 8 percent, more than double the average for regular Americans, which is 3 percent. But to be fair, many of them will be unemployed next November.

From Jimmy Kimmel:

  • Republicans are blaming President Obama for bringing the heat from his native Kenya.
  • The Republican presidential candidates held a debate on Twitter. It combined the excitement of C-SPAN with the suspense of typing.

From Conan:

  • MSNBC suspended one of their commentators for calling President Obama a bad name. Meanwhile, Fox News suspended one of their commentators for not calling President Obama a bad name.

From Jimmy Fallon:

  • A woman in Colorado was arrested for groping a TSA agent last week. On the bright side, today she was offered a job with the TSA.
  • The U.S. is now in serious danger of defaulting on our foreign loans. Which explains why today, China showed up and broke the Statue of Liberty’s kneecaps.

From David Letterman:

  • Mitt Romney is so boring, he introduced his own fragrance called “Unscented.”

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