True, that was twenty years ago, but it was still, you know, cultured and everything. Now, it’s… becoming something else.
— Ofensywa Wolnosci (@OfensywaW) July 13, 2014
At least the major Democratic donor (Jane Hartley) that Barack Obama is nominating for the ambassadorship to France is reported to actually speak French. I know, I know: it’s a low bar to jump. Then again, Barack Obama has been having trouble clearing bars that are actually recessed into the floor, so every little bit helps.
Moe Lane (more…)
There is precisely one bright spot in this depressing story about the rise of anti-Semitism and national socialism* in France.
…people debating the issue of a resurgent anti-Semitism would resort in good faith to the reassuring remark that “after all, Nazis were not marching in Paris.”
Since the Jour de Colère rally, even die-hard optimists must recognize that this is no longer true. Nazis are marching in Paris, unchecked.
Postmodern Nazis, to be sure: no brown shirts. But Nazis nevertheless — nazis who relish in anti-Jewish paranoia and are eager to spread it everywhere.
Radical politics usually develop when classic politics fail. According to an Ipsos/Steria poll published on January 21 by Le Monde, 8% of the French — only 8%! — trust the political parties. Only 23% trust their National Assembly representatives. Trade unions do not fare much better: 31%. Nor does the judiciary, at 46%.
Real confidence starts only with local powers: 63% of the French trust their mayors. The increase culminates with such last-resort players as the police and the army, credited, respectively, with a 73% and a 79% confidence rate.
These three quotes, when taken in all at once, seem to somehow resonate.
Byron York wants you to read the two NYT pieces in reverse order than I do… which pretty much illustrates the current foreign policy disagreement in the Republican party. Byron presumably wants people to note that we’re being drawn into intervening in Mali despite the fact that the country is falling apart, and he presumably is against intervention on those grounds; I want people to note that Mali is at least falling apart because we – and by ‘we’ I mean ‘the Obama administration’ – messed up our commitments there, and now an actual American ally* is going in their to clean it up. (more…)
Close-run thing, but close only counts with horse shoes and hand grenades.
Socialist François Hollande was elected president of France on Sunday, defeating conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in a race that focused heavily on the country’s economic woes.
Sarkozy conceded defeat shortly after the polls closed, wishing Hollande “good luck” as the nation’s new leader.
He’s gonna need it.
PS: Your guess is as good as mine as to what’s going to happen now. Except that France – like most of the rest of Europe – is pretty much hosed, but then we knew that going in.
New Media types over there have to do their pre-election analysis and speculation in code:
The French are going to the polls on Sunday to pick their next president, and until the last polling station closes at 8 p.m., it is forbidden to release polls and preliminary results to avoid influencing voters and uphold fair play.
On Friday, rebellious Internet bloggers began laying the foundations of subversion by developing codes to circumvent the ban on publishing results before it is time.
So, if your French friend tweets “the Netherlands are beating Hungary at half time,” he may actually mean that Socialist Party candidate François Hollande has emerged from the first round of the election with a lead on French President Nicolas Sarkozy—who has Hungarian roots.
Via Legal Insurrection. Always interesting to see what other cultures consider to be an intolerable affront to their rights – and what they don’t so consider, huh?
Apparently he got shot in the head, jumped out a window, kept firing, and was then found dead: I fully expect that the coroner will rule the whole thing a suicide. I am given to understand that your average European terrorist – and this guy appears to qualify – is remarkably prone to ending it all by shooting themselves in the head, multiple times. How did Tom Clancy rather infamously put it once, again? Something like “A real death-grip on the gun.”
As you might imagine, I have very little sympathy for a jihadi mass murderer… and, frankly, there’s a good rule about messing with French counter-terrorist organizations: don’t. Police or military, those guys are legitimately hard-edged tough SOBs who operate as if the laws don’t apply to them, mostly because those laws effectively don’t. The only thing keeping Merah alive was probably the concern that he might have had useful counter-terrorist info. Based on circumstances, I’m going to guess that the consensus was that he did not. Or at least that the information would have been less useful in the long run than would be the spectacle of the French squashing a bug with a sledgehammer.
A sledgehammer made of explosives.
During two hours of bitter exchanges during a meeting of all 27 EU leaders before a crisis summit of the eurozone’s 17 members on Wednesday, [French] President [Nicolas] Sarkozy fought hard to get [British Prime Minister David Cameron] barred from talks that would finalise a 100billion euros cash injection into banks.
”We’re sick of you criticising us and telling us what to do. You say you hate the euro, you didn’t want to join and now you want to interfere in our meetings,” the French leader told Mr Cameron, according to diplomats.
Seriously. Now is not a good time.
PS: What’s that? I’m being condescending? Well, guess what: 712 million a year to NATO buys me a little condescension, I think. Besides, England and France should know better.
…with the only thing left keeping him in-country is that they’re keeping his passport*.
If I had a nasty, suspicious mind I’d be publicly wondering what the over/under is on him taking advantage of the Fourth of July weekend travel madness to get out of the country and back to France. Good thing that I don’t have a nasty, suspicious mind, huh?
*Short version of why: the accuser’s credibility has been called into question, based on her associates, a call made after the alleged attack, and her apparent misrepresentation of her past history to law enforcement officials. Note that there’s still physical evidence that nobody’s attempting to deny, and the fact that DSK ran for it. IOW, not conclusive proof, but the courts more or less had to take this all into account when assessing DSK’s flight risk.
…for French officials? From this story about a guy abruptly quitting over sexual harassment charges:
A statement by the prime minister said Civil Service Minister Georges Tron had acted “in the general interest”, and noted he denied the allegations.
His resignation comes in the wake of the US arrest of ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn earlier this month.
He is charged with sexually assaulting a chamber maid in a New York hotel.
OK, I admit it: the Ambassador to France part is mostly mentioned because of the Yo Gabba Gabba thing. Which is something that I’ve never actually watched, although I have a sinking feeling that as the kids get older I will be forced to correct that. Anyway, it’s business as usual when it comes to giving out the prestige diplomatic appointments:
Yo Gabba Gabba, indeed.
President Obama last night announced his intention to nominate a dozen individuals to key ambassadorships. Among them: entertainment executive and Democratic fundraiser Charles Rivkin, who the president has tapped to be Ambassador to France.
In 2005 Rivkin became president and CEO of W!LDBRAIN, an award-winning entertainment company that produces the Nickelodeon hit “Yo Gabba Gabba!” He served as the co-finance chair in California of then-Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
RS’s Mark Impomeni lets us know that we’re snubbing the French for a change:
Reports out of London indicate that President Barack Obama declined an inviation from French President Nicholas Sarkozy to visit Normandy’s Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-mer on his way to Strasbourg for the NATO summit last week. The Daily Telegraph reports that White House officials travelled to France last month to discuss the visit with their counterparts on Sarkozy’s staff. But one American official familiar with the negotiations said that President Obama never had any intention of making the stop over.
The Telegraph also indicates that the French claims that Obama will be in Normandy for the 65th anniversary of D-Day have not been corroborated by the White House.
[rubbing head with hands] (more…)