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Over two years since I started this blog, three things consistently make me feel like an outsider in the US. You can’t be a Brit in this country without being shocked by the tenor of the abortion debate, the frequency of shooting massacres, and the patronising inefficacy of most TV news anchors.

More and more, I blame the last one for the other two. Without someone like Jeremy Paxman or (radio, but still) John Humphrys to hold the commentariat to account, instead you have news anchors simply passing the metaphorical microphone back and forth. And as a result, the loud voices of the lobbies don’t see the need to speak the truth.

This week, as the dust settles on the budget battleground, the spotlight has grown brighter on Arizona senator Jon Kyl. As neatly dissected here, he told the Senate that “You don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”

It’s actually 3 per cent, but when asked about his 87 point margin of error, his office responded that it was “not intended to be a factual statement”. Kyl’s due to retire soon; how lovely of him to give such great parting gifts to Colbert, Stewart, Maddow and co…

We’ve already had subway tickets made out of Lego – sorry, Legos. It was therefore only a matter of time before we got the rest of New York:

Classic example of toy that no child would ever actually ask for but Wallpaper-buying parents wouldnt mind having in their architect-designed house

Classic example of toy that no child would ever actually ask for but Wallpaper-buying parents wouldn't mind having in their architect-designed house

Mind you, I’d be quite happy to have the forthcoming Empire State Building kit for my next birthday. As long as I got a proper present as well. And some plasters (sorry, bandaids, keep doing that) for the sore fingers that will inevitably ensue when attempting to pry apart two bricks that mistakenly get stuck together.

Really? I mean, really?

Really? I mean, really?

And this, posted in the ladies at a New York university:

Is it unreasonable to expect a student of college-level to know how to wash their hands?

Is it unreasonable to expect a student of college-level to know how to wash their hands?

From the sandwiches to the average waistline, Americans don’t do anything by halves. So when you get a windy day here, this is what happens:

Tree beats car

Tree beats car

I was walking up the other side of the road, as, fortunately, was everyone else left standing there open-mouthed. On the news today, a woman in New Jersey was killed when the exact same thing happened, only she was inside the car.

Note to self: must sort out some health insurance…