Live worldwide from the world of bangers and mash

Ordinarily I have this attitude about grand speeches from politicians such as tonight’s State of the Union address:

However, I have to watch the State of the Union tonight — recorded, at least — because I’m going to be live on the BBC World Service’s Newshour program (or “programme” to the British), scheduled (pronounced “SHED-U-ulled”) Wednesday at 8 a.m. Central time, which I think is 2 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time, discussing said State of the Union speech. The catalogue of channels on the satellite radios in the vehicles includes the BBC World Service (which seems to employ many Irish announcers, perhaps ironically) on SiriusXM channel 120.

I also recorded some segments Friday that will probably be on the Newshour page, Any way one listens, I imagine someone sitting in an Irish pub spitting out his (lukewarm) beer upon something I say, and in this case it means the entire world will have to learn to pronounce “Prestegard.” Right.

No one from the Beeb has offered to buy me a stereotypical English breakfast …

Would I eat this? You have to ask? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

… but then again we’re not in Britain, though the downtown here was designed in the manner of a British village in 1835. (Meaning: Narrow streets and no place to park.)

I have determined that the older of the BBC crew is an authentic Brit because he knows what this is …

… and even in our discussion threw this in …

… while the other (from Canada, but we haven’t discussed hockey yet) knows this …

… which is a clever spinoff of this …

… which has nothing to do with these, but I decided to throw them in anyway:

(Since I’ve already included one British spelling here I will endeavour to include other British-spelled words elsewhere in this blog.)

I will watch recorded Donald Trump because I have a basketball game to announce between two former conference girls basketball rivals, Platteville and Cuba City, tonight at 7 here. The two teams have a combined 27–6 record, so it should be a good game. (I wonder if the BBC needs a basketball announcer.)

Newshour picked my corner of Wisconsin because a majority of its voters voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016, and they’ve spent a few days here asking why. Of course, Wisconsinites have a reputation for merrily splitting their tickets. On the one hand, the Democrat won the state’s presidential electoral votes from 1988 to 2012, and this state had two Democratic U.S. senators from 1992 to 2010. During that time, however, there was a Republican governor for all but eight years, Republicans controlled at least one house of the Legislature most of that time (this area has been represented by a Democrat in the State Senate twice since statehood), and for the past seven years (minus a hiccup during Recallarama) have controlled both houses of the Legislature. I’m not sure if that makes Wisconsin the colour purple, as in the political centre, or it’s perhaps layered — blue on top, red below — though the entire state, minus a few legislative and Congressional districts, is pretty red right now.

Trump’s election seems to come down to one of two theories. The first is that while most establishment Republicans held their noses and voted for him, other voters voted for him because he resounded with them by refusing to play by establishment rules. The other, perhaps more simple, theory is that whatever his numerous faults are, Trump wasn’t and isn’t Hillary Clinton.

I’m certain he’ll sound statesmanlike tonight. He apparently did at Davos. It’s in those unplugged moments, when it’s him and his Twitter account, where he goes off the deep end. (Repeatedly.)  The longer he’s president, though, the more I wonder if those are calculated outbursts of calculated outrage and calculated offence targeted to his true believers.


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