The Chinese president earns some boos from the blogosphere after being insulted by a protester. Meanwhile, the Iraqi prime minister gives up his struggle to stay in office, and the German chancellor suffers a real bummer.
Hu's feeling heckled: During a ceremony on the White House lawn Thursday to welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao for talks with President Bush, a woman shouted "President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong," among other comments. She was removed by the Secret Service. Reuters identified the woman as a reporter for a New York-based newspaper. Conservative columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin posts a video clip of the incident.
JasonBarnes5 at the Washington insider blog Beltway Blitz says huzzah for the heckler and hopes that such incidents during Hu's visit shine a light on the wrongs that the Communist nation has committed against its people. "Good thing she's not in China. She wouldn't be speaking anymore," barbs Barnes."I think it is terrible that government officials on the White House lawn would prohibit someone's freedom of speech. This isn't China and I think the government officials should have to simply deal with criticism," laments Amy on Amy's Blog. The Gun Toting Liberal is on the same page. "Bad timing? Bad policy? Or should the President have simply encouraged the Chinese President to address the protester? I say the latter," he offers.
Not everyone is ganging up on Hu and Bush. "It embarrasses China for random outbursts during an international visit and shames the U.S. for the lack of security which somehow allowed this woman in unnoticed. Good job Secret Service!" counters Florida student ReconCX, who claims to have lived in China. And at the National Review's The Corner blog, Kathryn Jean Lopez worries that Bush's comments regarding the need for dialogue about China's human rights record, commerce, and relations with Taiwan were overshadowed by the heckler. She recommends a rewind.
Republican Kevin W. at The Liberal Wrong-Wing skims over the heckler and offers an analysis of China's prospects as a world power on the military and economic fronts. "Slowly but surely, China will move to into the spotlight. As China grows it becomes more and more important to the United States. It may well replace the US has the sole world superpower one day," he writes. Chris at Deliriously Normal points to reports that China has cozied up to the two remaining prongs on the axis of evil—Iran and North Korea—and finds that "Hu deserves more than just a little heckling, he deserves some very close scrutiny."
The Drudge Report unsubtly hints that some of the protester's comments may have been censored. "On China TV: As Hu was speaking when yells of protesters became audible, the screen went black. When the feed came back the screen once again went black when woman was again heard. During CNN International's post-speech commentary, at mention of south lawn heckler, the screen also went black again. The CNN feed returned when the incident ended," Drudge sleuths. "It would be interesting to know who blacked out the coverage and why," ponders conservative Terresa Monroe-Hamilton at the Noisy Room. Finally, journalist Don Surber denounces the networks for "kowtowing to dictators with no penalty." He applauds the protester and sends a message to the Chinese president: "Hu don't like it? Screw Hu."
Here's more on President Hu.
No confidence: Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has conceded that he may not be selected by the Shiite party as a candidate for a second term as premier, moving Iraq closer to breaking an impasse that has prevented the formation of a permanent government.
Conservative Dafydd at Big Lizards thinks that Jaafari's stepping aside is a leap forward. "Fixing a permanent government is the first giant stride in stabilizing Iraq: with a real, elected government and an Interior Ministry not corrupted and controlled by al-Jaafari's puppetmaster, Muqtada Sadr, all the forces of order -- military and police -- can be focused on stopping the tit-for-tat violence and killing or driving out the terrorists," he writes.
The Middle East Foundation Blog posts an "extraordinarily rough draft" of an article on the Bush administration's efforts to push out Jaafari and how those efforts echo past conflicts. "To American policymakers focused on the grim prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, the failure of Iraq's Shia to re-orient themselves away from the Islamic Republic and towards the United States is unacceptable," the writer opines. It looks like a no-win situation for the Shiites, says Alex at group blog Martini Republic: "It appears likely that the candidate advanced by the Shiite bloc will be from al-Jaafari's Dawa party, which might raise similar objections from Sunni and Kurdish groups, who complained that al Jaafari allowed sectarian militias to fill key security and interior ministry posts."
Here's more on Jaafari.
Bummer: British tabloid the Sun published a photograph of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's bare backside on Wednesday, captured during a beach vacation in Italy. The headline: "I'm big in the Bumdestag." (The Bundestag is the lower house of the German parliament). For the prurient, Drunken Puppies posts the shot of Merkel's backside.
Mr. Farnham at Chuck's Weird World claims that the Germans are none too happy about the British insolence. The press has promised the Brits a retaliatory thrashing at the World Cup, he reports. Ben at Anglofritz thinks the Germans need to lighten up. "They can't take a joke, can they? It's not hatred. Mockery might look like hatred sometimes, but it's not, but the problem is that Germans just seem funny to the English," he explains. Meanwhile, John Rambow on Jaunted jabs that the British tabloids are "[s]howing that they're still classy after all these years" by running the skin pics.
Here's more on the chancellor's bum.