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November 23, 2003 Odds and Ends

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"I'm sure he's not fearful of English food."
On being of adventurous culinary proclivity. 
George W. Bush, it seems, offended Queen Elizabeth II by bringing no fewer than five of his personal chefs to Buckingham Palace on his recent trip. 
"Her Majesty greeted the news that Bush was coming with his own chefs in absolute silence."
She was not amused?
"That's her general way of expressing disapproval. She's not thought to be [thrilled] about the whole visit anyway, but when you consider that she has excellent cooks herself, you can see why this would be taken as a bit of an insult."
You will find the whole thing in London Spy, a subset of Conrad Black's Daily Telegraph: Five personal chefs are in Dubya's entourage
According the Spy -
The five Yankee fajita fillers - rather than being put up in Buck House - have instead been banished to the servants' quarters at the US Ambassador's Residence, Winfield House. "The chefs, along with most of the rest of the entourage, will either be staying at Winfield House or in nearby hotels," says a US Embassy spokesman helpfully.  "As for why the President needs five chefs, I really can't say. You'd better ask the White House."
The White House had no official comment.
Unofficially the Spy reports this for an unnamed source: "I mean, he's the President of the United States - maybe he needs a late night snack.  I'm sure he's not fearful of English food."
Bush does not come across in this as a trusting sort of fellow.  Or one of adventurous culinary proclivity.
Is he too insular?   Ah heck, maybe he just likes what he likes.
A friend responded with this:
I have heard the food in England has improved.  But since I haven't been there since '91 I don't have any idea if that's true, and if so, how it manifests (where do you find this new and improved British cuisine?).
Would the Queen Mum served Bush traditional food out of state pride?  Bangers and mash anyone?  Mince meat pie?  An exciting bowl of cooked cabbage?
My reponse?
The problem was probably that someone felt the Brits just couldn't do fried pork rinds right, or that they'd really mess up the chicken-fried steak.  They don't do Texas there.
And from another friend in Paris:
London has one of the hottest food scenes in the world right now.  Of course Gordon Ramsey's the star.  One of my favourite places there will be St. John's - have not dined there yet but have had the great pleasure of friends bringing me over some of their stuff.  Check out egullet for their Brit boards.
Ah, one day I will get back to London then.  And I will not take along five personal chefs, or even one.

Wine with dinner?  What?
You must be an anti-Bush liberal!
Don't you just love polls?  This one is from the Los Angeles Times.
We do life-style out here.  Consider this result:
Those who drink wine with dinner prefer a Democrat over Bush for 2004 by seven percentage points, and those who drink beer back Bush over a Democrat by twenty-three points.
Ah HA !
The rest in as expected.
Men prefer Bush over a Democrat by eight percentage points, while women prefer a Democrat by sixteen points.  Whites give Bush an eleven-point lead; minorities prefer a Democrat by forty-one percentage points. 
Among white men, Bush's lead swells to fifty-one percent to twenty-eight percent, while white women split evenly.
Oddly, single voters give the Democrat a twenty-point edge, while married voters narrowly prefer Bush.  I have no idea why.  Tour guess is as good as mine.
Church attendance, a critical predictor of support in 2000, remains telling: Bush leads by thirteen points among voters who attend church at least once a week, while trailing narrowly among those who attend monthly, and running fifteen points behind among those who rarely or never attend.  Of course.   As expected.
Urban voters prefer the Democrat by two to one, while rural voters back Bush by more than two to one.  Ah, cities ruin you, right?  Go there and you get all corrupted by them there panty-waist liberal gay folks.
And the usual - voters who think abortion should be illegal, gay marriage banned and gun control laws loosened - all strongly prefer Bush; those on the opposite side of those issues bend even more sharply toward the Democrats.  Yeah, yeah.
But get this - Democrats lead Bush both among Americans earning less than $40,000 annually and families earning $60,000 to $100,000 -- Bush leads strongly among families clustered right around the median income those earning between $40,000 to just under $60,000 and those who earn more than $100,000 a year.  Fascinating.
The full results are here: Doubts Create a Voter Split Over Bush ...  Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, November 20, 2003