Thursday, June 30, 2011

DSK Case Collapsing!!!?

The woman's veracity is in doubt.

Prosecutors met with Strauss-Kahn’s team on Thursday to discuss dropping felony charges. Both teams of lawyers are due in court in Manhattan on Friday morning, where it’s possible that Strauss-Kahn could immediately be freed from house arrest.

MLP Wants Christian Names for French Children

Marine Le Pen wants the first names of children born in France to be taken from the calendar of Christian saints, as in the past. This, she claims, always functioned as an "aid to assimilation." (h/t NV) Hmm. Steeve Briois, her party's no. 2, may be named after St. Stephen, but his name isn't particularly French. And Bruno Gollnisch may be named after St. Bruno, but it's not exactly Jean-Baptiste. On the other hand, it isn't Mohammed or Moïse, so I guess it has the proper "assimilative" quality. Gosh, even "Marine" might not pass muster if Marine becomes president. To be sure, she was born Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen, but if she had wanted to be a true daughter of the eldest daughter of the Church, mightn't she have chosen a "real" French name, like, say, Martine or François or Nicolas?

New York Magazine Does DSK

Lots of gossip.

A "Soft Dick" Kind of Guy

Did Martine Aubry really call François Hollande "couille molle" because of his limp support for the 35-hr week?

Ethics Inquiry into DSK Victim's French Lawyer

DSK's alleged victim has retained the services of a French lawyer, who has been charged by her American lawyer with searching for other supposed DSK victims in France. The head of the Paris bar association says that such a search for victims is unprecedented in France and has called in the attorney in question, Me Thibault de Montbrial, to determine whether the procedure is a violation of French legal ethics.

Lamy: "Démondialisation" is "Reactionary"

"Démondialisation," a word that has been in vogue in certain circles for some time and that has been seized upon as a campaign-defining slogan by Arnaud Montebourg, is denounced as "reactionary" by Pascal Lamy, head of the WTO. Well, if Lamy didn't defend globalization, I guess he'd have to resign, but his argument--that it is technologically determined, by container ships and the Internet--rather than driven by policies and ideas is open to criticism. Technology is what it is, but policies can be modified and ideas can evolve, as we saw yesterday when the European Commission proposed a Tobin tax. Globalization can be shaped, tamed, and regulated, and Lamy would be a better defender of free trade if he recognized this rather than polarize the debate in response to an opportunistic polemic.

Sarkozy Attacked

The president is grabbed by the lapel and collar:

"Casse-toi, pauvr' con!"

Why a Green Candidate?

Bernard Girard asks, pertinently, why the Greens are fielding a presidential candidate at all, when that candidate (who will surely be Eva Joly) has no chance of winning? Their intellectual heft, Bernard argues, would be greater if they participated in the debates that will be organized by the Socialists. I think this is correct, and it is surely part of the reason that Cohn-Bendit wanted the Greens to focus on gaining influence rather than running for the presidency.

That said, it's no doubt an indication of the maturity of EELV militants that they preferred Joly to Hulot. The latter has greater name recognition and celebrity, which no doubt accounts for his high poll numbers in the general population, but Green militants were apparently put off by his ties to major corporations, an embarrassment given that one of the Greens' principles is to break with the "productivist" logic of the capitalist economy.

On the other hand, I'm not sure that the best way to articulate the passions that motivate the Green movement are through a political party at all. The Greens have long since ceased to be a "single-issue" party, but the essence of politics is compromise, and the existence of a "green"-labeled party in my view has mainly served as an alibi for those who have been unwilling to make the compromises that governing parties are required to make. Non-governing parties of all stripes are good incubators of unorthodox ideas, but they are also vehicles of protest that serve the interests of those who value ideological purity over compromise. Sometimes this is healthy, sometimes not.

La Main de Mosco

Pierre Moscovici, the last of les éléphanteaux PS to make up his mind, has thrown in his lot with Hollande. At least we're spared yet another futile candidacy.

Pigenel Analyzes Aubry's Speech


DSK Revisionism

Michel Taubmann has revised his Roman vrai de DSK to reflect recent events, and the Times reads the dropped chapter of Tristan Banon's book.

France Arming Libyan Rebels

France conceded that it had air-dropped arms to the Libyan rebels.