Friday 18th of January 2019

help is coming against the revolution...


It looks like the liberal President Macron has turned to his right-wing predecessor for help with the protests raging across France.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is widely considered to be a left-wing liberal, seems to have turned to his right-wing predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy — who led France from 2007 to 2012 — for assistance, as the so-called "Yellow Vests" protests ravage the country.

On December 7, the current and the former presidents met at the Elysee Palace for a lunch. According to Le Figaro, the two politicians discussed public order as well as Macron's recently announced tax exemption for overtime work.

Roughly one week after the meeting, on December 16, Macron sent Sarkozy to Tbilisi, Georgia, to represent France at the inauguration of Georgia's new president, Salome Zurabishvili — a move that "caused a stir in French political circles," according to Reuters.

The official reason for picking Sarkozy to attend the inauguration was his mediation between Russia and Georgia during the Seven-Day War of 2008.


Sources close to the former president say this was Macron's way to send a signal to right-wing voters in France, who have been shocked by images of burning cars in upscale areas of Paris and Macron's attempt to placate the protesters with costly handouts.

"Emmanuel Macron has understood the personal and political benefit he could draw from [Sarkozy]," one source told Reuters.

Francois Patriat, a senator and close ally of Macron, suggested that in sending Sarkozy to Georgia, Macron had an internal political goal in mind.

According to Patriat, Macron seeks to undermine Laurent Wauquiez, the leader of the conservative Republicans, the biggest opposition party, to which Sarkozy also belongs.


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Macron is a left-wing liberal like a live dinosaur T-rex is a fluffy toy for kids. 

back to the futur...

using make-up like a woman...



Faced with what appears to be a growing hostility, is Emmanuel Macron trying to save appearances? This is suggested by a member of the presidential party quoted by Le Monde, with this member of parliament saying: "he [Macron] does not go out without [disguising] makeup — so much it is noticeable. He even makes up his hands ".

Booing and rain of insults ...


During his recent travels, Emmanuel Macron has regularly faced the antipathy of the citizens he met. While he has often distinguished himself by a desire to be in contact with the crowds, even the most hostile, the President of the Republic today seems to fear or even avoid them. Le Monde does not hesitate to recall the recent emergency escape of the President of the Republic, like the one that took place in Puy-en-Velay.

In the political crisis that opened several weeks ago, Emmanuel Macron seems to be the subject of a particular personal anger, beyond his politics or his function. On December 21, the yellow vests simulated a trial of the President of the Republic, after which they decapitated a puppet representing him. The public prosecutor in Charente announced an investigation "for provocation to commit a crime and for contempt", entrusting the investigation to the police station of Angouleme.


Translation by Jules Letambour.


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economic vernacular...

BONNIE FAULKNER: How has economic history been rewritten by redefining the meaning of words? What is an example of this? For instance, what does the word ‘reform’ mean now as opposed to what reform used to mean?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Reform used to mean something social democratic. It meant getting rid of special privileges, getting rid of monopolies and protecting labor and consumers. It meant controlling the prices that monopolies could charge, and regulating the economy to prevent fraud or exploitation – and most of all, to prevent unearned income or tax it away.

In today’s neoliberal vocabulary, ‘reform’ means getting rid of socialism. Reform means stripping away protection or labor and even of industry. It means deregulating the economy, getting rid of any kind of price controls, consumer protection or environmental protection. It means creating a lawless economy where the 1% are in control, without public checks and balances. So reform today means getting rid of all of the reforms that were promoted in the 19th and early-20th century. The Nobel Economics Prize reflects this neoliberal (that is, faux-liberal) travesty of ìfree markets.

BONNIE FAULKNER: What were the real reforms of the progressive era?

MICHAEL HUDSON: To begin with, you had unions to protect labor. You had limitations on the workweek and the workday, how much work people had to do to earn a living wage. There were safety protections. There was protection of the quality of food, and of consumer safety to prevent dangerous products. There was anti-trust regulation to prevent price gouging by monopolies. The New Deal took basic monopolies of public service such as roads and communications systems out of the hands of monopolists and make them public. Instead of using a road or the phone system to exploit users by charging whatever the market would bear, basic needs were provided at the lowest possible costs, or even freely in the case of schools, so that the economy would have a low cost of living and hence a low business overhead.


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Beyond this, we have hypocritical Scummo trying to "control" (lower) electricity prices — not to be a socialist reformer, but to help his carbon-burning mates against the impact of the necessary renewables...

G. L.


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no holidays for yellow vests...

French president Emmanuel Macron just can’t get away from Yellow Vest protesters. The anti-government demonstrators have even turned up outside his presidential hideaway on the Mediterranean coast.


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Meanwhile it appears that Melania has joined the yellow vests:



see: Trump comes clean… from world’s policeman to thug running a global protection racket




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pardon my french...


Today, hubris refers to the behavior of Emmanuel Macron, Carlos Ghosn or man in the face of nature 

For Vincent Azoulay, the term "hubris" is used to describe the disproportion of man in politics or environment. The historian sees a semantic drift: among the Greeks, the word qualified violent transgressive acts, such as rape.

A specialist in ancient history, Vincent Azoulay is director of studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and editorial director of Les Annales. He is the author of Pericles. Athenian Democracy in the Test of the Great Man (Armand Colin, 2010) and the Tyrannicides of Athens. Life and death of two statues (Seuil, 2014). He returns to the use of the notion of hubris in contemporary discourse.

There is an increasingly common use of the term "hubris" in the political commentary, to designate excessive pride. Why this return to the Greek lexicon?

In fact, I do not believe at all that it is a rediscovery of the Greek, but rather an effect of international circulation. Indeed, the term was not used before the 2000s in the French press, if not in articles devoted to antiquity. On the other hand, it is common, for a long time, in the American and British media world. For the New York Times, for example, there are more than 5,000 occurrences. There are only 200 in Le Monde, and still concentrated for the overwhelming majority between 2000 and 2018. This discovery of hubris seems to me rather one of those transfers of ideas that are today a cultural universe to another, more fluid and massive than before.


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Translation by Jules Letambour.


My friend Jules tells me with liguistic authority that the word "hubris" like many old words have changed meaning — often becoming diluted in their strength by being "over-used". But the problem here, tells me Jules, is that Le Monde has lost the french equivalent to "hubris" to an anglophonie of sounds and MacDonald's-zyzytion for food, instead of cuisine. The true French word to use here is "baratin", (sometimes "baraguouinage") meaning "soft bullshit" or "hubris" in the English hegemony (to gibber-jabber)... But should we wish to up the ante, we could say "baratin merdique" in regard to the Macronification of la langue Française...

the year of national cohesion...

Looking back at 2018 and the French president's vows to unite the nation, disappointed twitteratti noted the situation in the country, divided by the Benalla affair and the Yellow Vests riots, is not so rainbow-bright after all.

"In my view, 2018 will be the year of national cohesion," the centrist Macron ambitiously wrote in his New Year's Eve message a year ago. That prediction hasn't aged well, and Twitter noticed.



"What clairvoyance","#nostradamus", the sarcastic comments went on.

And, if 2018 was thought to be the year of unity, many people got worried about imminent 2019. "And after the cohesion of the nation, what would you call Year 2019?"

Others said that Macron was right, and there was "cohesion" in the country – against his government, that is.

France has never been as fractured as it was in 2018, one more person noted, adding that the president probably divided the nation "to better reign" over it.

Faced with record-low ratings, Macron was criticized for handling the case of his [now former] bodyguard Alexandre Benalla. The scandal, probably the biggest in Macron's presidency, kicked off in summer 2018 when a video emerged showing the 27-year-old Benalla dressed as a police officer and beating two protesters during a May Day rally in Paris. The 'affair' exploded after it was revealed that the Elysee Palace had been informed of Benalla's misconduct but failed to report him to police.

Soon after that matter cooled down a little in the media, another major event hit the headlines: The Yellow Vests movement. Started initially as a rally against fuel price hikes, the protest then swept the whole country, with demonstrators demanding lower taxes and even the resignation of the president himself. Though the government swiftly suspended the tax rise and even increased minimum wages, that wasn't enough to immediately end the protests.

Apart from these major events, Macron was occasionally caught making outlandish public statements. He was criticized for telling retirees to stop moaning about pension cuts, and for claiming that educated women won't choose to have a large family.

"King for the Rich," "King of bling-bling", "President of the Wealthy", "Jupiter" – these are a few nicknames given to Macron both by fellow politicians and by ordinary folk online. Even his New Year's trip to the posh resort of Saint-Tropez on the eve of planned Yellow Vests rallies came in for harsh criticism. "Saint-Tropez is the bling-bling symbol of France, it [embodies] success, the absence of problems," Benjamin Cauchy, one of the Yellow Vests' leaders, said, pointing out that it's not as sunny in the rest of the protest-plagued country as in the French Riviera.


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See also: brigitte and brigitte...

fatti gli affari tuoi...

France’s minister for European affairs hit back at Italian populist duo Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, telling them to mind their own business after the pair bashed French President Emmanuel Macron for his unpopularity.

Interior Minister and Northern League leader Matteo Salvini threw his support behind France’s anti-government Yellow Vest demonstrators on Monday, saying that he supports “honest citizens who protest against a governing president [who is] against his people.”

Vice-President of the Council of Ministers of Italy Luigi Di Maio, who is the leader of the Five-Star Movement (M5S), urged the demonstrators on his party’s blog “not to weaken,” and said that establishment politics in Europe “has become deaf to the needs of citizens who have been kept out of the most important decisions affecting the people.”

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