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Boom boom 

Overheard on the radio this morning: what food will Jacques Chirac be serving George Bush today? Conflict de canard.

National decline 

BBC: “Italy has reacted angrily to a Swedish TV advert which disparages Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s relationship with the media. The Italian foreign ministry summoned Sweden’s ambassador to complain about the spot for Sveriges Television (SVT).”

The Swedes quite properly have told Italy that if they have a complaint, take it up with the television station, not the government.

It’s a sign of how thoroughly twisted Italy’s polity has become that the foreign ministry gets riled by this sort of thing. I love Italy, but the continued tawdriness of Berlusconi and his crowd makes me despair.

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