Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Alarming Statistic

Read this:

Surtout, 32 % des sympathisants UMP se déclarent en accord avec les idées du Front national. "C'est 12 points de plus que l'année dernière", relève Edouard Lecerf, directeur général de TNS-Sofres.
32%!  No further comment necessary.

The Primaries

I don't know about you, but I'm weary of the Socialists' hand-wringing over the date of their primary. Too early? Too late? Advantage Royal? Disadvantage DSK? This pseudo-debate is, I'm afraid, just a continuation of (Socialist) politics by other means--a substitute for perfecting a platform, confronting real issues, and defining the party in the eyes of the voters. And frankly, if DSK wants to be president of France, it's time for him to show it. The IMF can get along without him, and is it really asking too much of someone who aspires to be a head of state to sacrifice in order to get there? A decision would be a token of commitment, without which he won't deserve the presidency. Strauss-Kahn seems to think that his charm will be irresistible once he chooses to exercise it. Or perhaps, more realistically, he knows that his aura of irresistibility will evaporate once he throws his hat in the ring. True enough, but it's cowardly to put off the day of reckoning in the hope that the candidacy will fall to him by default, after which people will be able to ascertain just how good a candidate he might be.

A Brilliant Solution

Debt-ridden European countries have come up with a brilliant solution to their problems after being shut out of international bond markets: they leaned on their domestic banks to buy their paper. So now they are in a box: if they attempt to restructure their debt, they may bring down their own banks. Postponing the day of reckoning may well result in a worse disaster for their own people than if they had simply defaulted in the first place.