I find this hilarious. You know Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about that: that Americans have an insatiable appetite for self-praise and if a visiting foreigner fails to praise their country, they volunteer plenty on their own. Notice how American commentators talk about their live congressional hearings: they think that they are offering (and impressing) the world with their democracy. They don't know that sessions of the House of Commons are indeed impressive because the members are quick on their feet and are generally eloquent and informed. Now compare that to the US Congress. People I know (Americans and Arabs) are amazed how dumb most members of Congress are, politics aside, and how ill-informed they seem. I watched most of the hearings yesterday and other than Rand Paul (politics aside) and Sen. Edward Markey (politics aside) and Sen. Johnson of Wisconsin (politics aside) they all seem embarrassingly dumb and ignorant. They can't even ask a coherent question. But yet they have an air of self-satisfaction as they speak. Man, I live in a country where John Kerry is considered a good speaker.