Repeatedly. as he passed down and back up Las Ramblas, Malcolm was offered all those items without which life is never complete:
- football shirts for teams he’d never heard of,
- straw hats,
- cuddly donkeys,
- pictorial key-rings,
- dubious sexual appliances …
- and “palinistas’.
These last, apparently and in Spanish, are the fashion gear sported by the late Arafat (see right, with almost-suitable gesture).
Since last week the term acquired new dimensions of meaning, with Senator McCain’s well-considered and deliberated choice of Sarah Louise Heath Palin as running-mate. Governor Sarah looks well deserving of “Cactus Jack” Nance Garner‘s “bucket of warm piss” (Malcolm accepts no euphemistic substitutes).
The well-travelled Governor Palin has at least two stamps in her new (as of 2007) passport:
Two whole days in Kuwait, visiting the fine men (and women?) of the 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment. This required the statutory photograph in steel camouflaged helmet and flak jacket (Kuwait, of course, being currently a war zone — or not). However, the John McCain media machine insists:
GOP VP Nominee-to-be Sarah Palin has been to the Iraq Theater of Operations.
So, come on, girl: hands on hips, chest out for the lads, grin at the totally-unexpected camera, cue YouTube clip …
The after day her photo-op in Kuwait, she was in Germany. To visit the wounded at Landstuhl:
Let’s hear it again from the McCain gospel-of-truth:
She also has been to Landstuhl, Germany to visit wounded soldiers – unlike the decision of Barack Obama on his overseas trip to skip a visit to wounded soldiers since he could not make a media event out of it.
What was that about Americans and their sense of irony?
Which brings us to the third nation on Governor Palin’s extended world-tour: Ireland. The original McCain story was quite definite: Palin had visited Ireland.
Well, yes, for an aircraft refuelling stop.
- Did she venture off the ‘plane?
- Did she enjoy the Shannon duty-free facilities?
- Did she pass from “airside” to “landside”?
- Did she get her passport stamped?
The problem of definition here — what constitutes a visit to Ireland — could be significant. Far more significant than the McCain team appreciates.
So, brazenly stealing an idea from Myles Gloriosus, Malcolm offers a preview of this autumn’s Dáil Reports, probably on Questions to Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha:
Deputy S. O’TOOLE (South Clare Liberation Front): To ask the Minister whether Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska honoured this country with a visit last year.
THE MINISTER OF STATE: With you permission, Ceann Comhairle, this answer falls to me.
I am assured by my opposite number in the US State Department that Governor Palin did land at Shannon International Airport last July 26th. The passport control at Shannon, however, have no record that Governor Palin formally entered the country.
Should Governor Palin, in whatever capacity she occupies after November, wish to make a lenghier visit to Ireland, I am sure we will make her very welcome.
TDs: Hear, hear!
Deputy O’TOOLE: I am grateful to the Minister of Sate for that clarification. I wholly agree with his welcome to Governor Palin in the future: after all, in our present economic state, we need all the visitors we can get…
Fewer TDs: Ha ha! Hee hee! Hear, hear!
Deputy O’TOOLE: … However, in the light of the statement that Governor Palin was in the confines of the International Airport, but also in Ireland, and therefore in our jurisdiction, how does that change the Department’s view of our powers over extraordinary rendition?
The MINISTER OF STATE: [drools; quivers; collapses].