Tuesday, June 12, 2012

French Catfight or Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

This story seems SO French as if it came out of a French 18th century novel. Maybe this is good - it plays along clich├ęs about France and the French.

France's new first lady took a very public swipe at her partner's ex, Segolene Royal, with a good luck tweet sent Tuesday to the politician standing against her in parliamentary polls.
Valerie Trierweiler's message on Twitter also put her at odds with her partner, Francois Hollande, who has declared his full support for Socialist Royal's electoral bid.
Hollande was Royal's unmarried partner for decades, is the father of her four children and stood at her side during her 2007 failed presidential bid even though he had been in a relationship with Trierweiler since 2005.
Reports of rivalry between the two women led to speculation, which Trierweiler denies, that the current first lady made sure Royal was airbrushed out of a film screened to Socialist faithful at Hollande's January campaign launch.
Trierweiler, a twice-divorced 47-year-old journalist, tweeted Tuesday that she wished "good luck" to Olivier Falorni, a Socialist dissident competing with Royal for a parliamentary seat for the western town of La Rochelle, about 250 miles (400km) from Paris.
Hollande, who is not married to Trierweiler, has publicly thrown his weight behind Royal, writing that she is "the only candidate of the presidential majority who can be assured of my support."
The second round of parliamentary elections is due Sunday. (Foxnews)

This is when I wish we had a French Jon Stewart - he'd get a ball out of this.

That being said, I think it is overblown by the media, but we'll see, I guess we'll soon see if this has an impact on public opinion.



Monday, June 11, 2012

A good American Debate.


The French love serious debates and long discussions. It is rare, however, to see good long exchanges of substance in politics and economy between people of different opinons on American television these days. That's why Jon Stewart's conversation with the author of Unintended consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy is Wrong last week is an absolute delight. 
In his book, Edward Conard (the name sounds like an insult in French) claims that that economic inequality and allowing individuals to make risky investments are good things. (also read this article and/or this interview
This is a great insight into the mind of a pro-Rommey Republican - Conard contributed to the Super Pac promoting Mitt Romney's candidacy - and a proponent of laissez faire economy including deregulation and lower corporation tax rates.
Jon Stewart has a great talen for those exchanges - his mind goes fast and he is able to come up with sound common sensical arguments and redirect the debate to a pragmatic perspective, even when faced with complex abstract claims.
Note how Edward Conard's arguments smack of hubris in his view of the rest of the world: Europe, Japan as well as immigrants, which Jon Stewart duly underlined. It is a view deeply rooted in the concept of American Exceptionalism
See for yourself: