Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life on Riker's Island

Described here by a former inmate.

Members of Terra Nova Working Group on Why They Refused to Sign

Here:


Mais nous n'avons pas pu nous retrouver, malgré des échanges réitérés, dans le schéma de raisonnement que soutenait Olivier Ferrand depuis le début. Le point dur est cette notion de "coalition", transposée sans précaution de méthode des usages de la vie politique des Etats-Unis.
Cela consiste à construire les thèmes et les évènements d'une campagne autour d’une définition préalable de groupes sociaux et démographiques "cibles", dont on cherche à capter l’intérêt pour obtenir leur participation électorale. Un exemple marquant a été donné par la campagne présidentielle de Barack Obama, autant d’ailleurs lors de la primaire où il était "challenger" que dans l’élection elle-même.

All Over for DSK

DSK's defense is "consent." In other words, he doesn't deny the sexual contact. This defense is, in a word, risible. No American jury will buy it. He's cooked.

It's unbelievable that a man in a position to become president of France would risk it all for an orgasm, but there it is. Sometimes the unbelievable is true. After the initial shock and attempts to rationalize away the facts as they began to emerge, it now seems impossible to avoid the stark conclusion: the head of the IMF is a (likely recidivist) sexual predator and will spend the next 25 years of his life in prison.

I should add the usual "innocent until proven guilty," etc., but I'm feeling angry at being betrayed by a candidate I thought I might be able to support (not for the first time).

"The Morality Battle"

Sarkozy reportedly believes that because of the DSK affair, the PS has lost the "morality battle" and is therefore in a much weaker position going into the 2012 presidential elections. I think he may be right, although he's hardly standing on the high moral ground when he says this. Count on Marine Le Pen to remind voters of the Woerth Affair, the cigars and jets bought by ministers with the Republic's money, the payoff to Bernard Tapie, Bolloré's yacht, the post-election dinner at Fouquet's, the luxurious vacations, Alliot-Marie in Tunisia, Sarkozy's pretend marriage to Cécilia right up to the divorce, Casse-toi pauvr'con, etc.

Interesting Comparison

Le nombre de détenus en France atteint un niveau historique

Le nombre de détenus dans les prisons françaises s'élevait à 64 584 au 1er mai, selon l'administration pénitentiaire. Le dernier pic historique (64 250) avait été enregistré en juillet 2008. (AFP)

Rikers Island, where DSK is being held, is a complex of ten prisons serving New York City alone. It holds 11,000 prisoners. So, 64,584 prisoners for a country of 60 million, 11,000 for a city of 8 million.

Me on TV!

With my colleagues Laura Frader and Bill Keylor discussing the DSK case with host Emily Rooney yesterday.

I hope the image of me in the flesh doesn't shock blog readers quite as much as the image of DSK in the dock has shocked France, but there it is: the lens is merciless.


Pal Sarkozy Is Expecting a Grandchild

So he says, by way of Germany. No confirmation of the blessed event from the Élysée.

Hollande Has Large Lead in Poll

With DSK out, François Hollande has a large lead in a Harris Interactive poll: 49% of Socialist sympathizers and 37% of left sympathizers favor him to win the Socialist primary. Other contenders:

François Hollande arrive loin devant tous les autres candidats, déclarés ou non, à la primaire socialiste : Martine Aubry obtient respectivement 23 % et 22 % des voix, Ségolène Royal 10 % et 14 %, Arnaud Montebourg 1 % et 4 %, et Manuel Valls 3 % et 2 %. 14 % des sympathisants socialistes et 21 % des sympathisants de gauche indiquent souhaiter qu'aucune de ces personnalités ne soit désignée à l'issue de la primaire socialiste, dans l'hypothèse où DSK ne serait pas candidat.
I had expected Hollande to be in the lead--he has been the most active campaigner--but he has opened up a more impressive gap than I had imagined. Aubry's next moves will be interesting. If she decides to stay out of the race, it may signal that she wants to put a quick end to the fight by handing victory to Hollande. But the temptation may now be strong for a Fabius or even a Lang to tempt fate. Perhaps even Hamon, who might make a bid for support of the party's left wing and beyond.

Ségo's weakness is also rather surprising. I would have guessed that she had stronger inside support. And clearly the younger generation has not succeeded in making much of an impression, despite assiduous efforts to court the media. Both Montebourg and Valls are frequently before the cameras, but no one is noticing.

Michel Broué Says We Should Have Known

A very pertinent rebuke to those of us--I include myself--who took the stories about DSK too lightly, with an--hélas--all too Gallic shrug:

 Ils connaissent tous au moins une femme journaliste ou politique (en ce qui me concerne, j'en connais deux) qui leur a raconté une histoire analogue à ce que rapportait Aurélie Filippetti dans un interview il y a trois ans : les femmes, politiques et journalistes, évitent en général soigneusement de se retrouver seules avec DSK, par peur de tentatives de drague "très lourdes, très appuyées"....On a ri jaune, ou on s'est indigné, quand Stéphane Guillon conseillait aux femmes de se mettre aux abris lors de la venue de DSK à France Inter, alors que tout le monde savait bien pourquoi Guillon disait cela.