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DSK arrest - second thread

by Jerome a Paris Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:47:01 AM EST

His lawyer has said he would plead not guilty. Others talked darkly of a possible “setup” of Mr. Sarkozy’s most prominent rival.

But there was a general recognition that whatever the outcome — unless the police have made a horrible error — the arrest had exploded Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s political hopes, upended France’s political landscape and abruptly ended his career at the I.M.F., which is in the middle of crucial negotiations about loans for distressed nations of the European Union. (NYT)

A new thread for continued discussion.


[editor's note, by Migeru] DSK coverage:

Pre-arrest:

Display:
1) his political hopes
Unless a "clean" version of his can prevail unambigiously in the next few days, and a setup can be demonstrated (or suggested with credibility), it's certainly true that his career is over, for now

2) France's political landscape
The biggest winner is Marine Le Pen, as the standard bearer of the "they're all crooked" line. For Sarkozy, I'm not sure it's so good - it might re-ignite the ambitions of people like Borloo or others who might have been convinced to drop out given the risk of Sarkozy losing in the firstround, and who see an opening on the territory that DSK captivated in the center. For the PS, it's going to re-open things; a lot will depend on whether Aubry decides to run (in which case there will be n open fight with Hollande) or not (in which case Hollande looks to have a really good chance). Le Figaro has concern-trolled already that Fabius may give it a try again, but I don't believe this. I suspect that if he's out, DSK will actually be forgotten quite quickly once other people take the front row.

3) IMF situation
There's two things here: who will replace him (he's out either way), and what happens on the Greek negotiations. I suspect that his departure will have more of an impact on the first item (where Europe is decredibilised, and the only "instant replacement" that could have worked, Christine Lagarde, is now herself subject to a legal procedure in France and thus not available). Expect an emerging market candidate, with backtrading on other stuff (to be explored). On Greece, the technical teams will continue; the political fight has become a Germany vs ECB affair as much as a Germany vs others things so I'm not sure how this will influence anything.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:00:55 AM EST
REgarding the french politics, I'm thinking that it may be good for Sarkozy, and devastating for the left.

On the left side of the politic spectrum, you have the Parti de Gauche/Front de Gauche. Its rival Mélenchon has just said he would abandon the presidential race. This allows for a double digit score on the first round.

There is also the green party, which may get between 5 and 10%, more if the TV-presentator Hulot is candidate.

Then, the PS: Aubry will not get a good score, because too much of its electorate is persuaded she's responsible for the 35h-reform messup. The collective mood is not convinced by this kind of reforms anyway.
Hollande, nicknamed "Flamby", is  routinely mocked on TV as an uncharismatic, fat and slightly stupid politician.
The PS will get 20 something % on the first round, attacked from the left by the PdG and the greens and from the rigth by Sarkozy.

On the right side, Bayrou is out (or will get 5%), Villepin is out, and Sarkozy will prevail.

On th efar-right, Le pen will probably be in the low to mid-twenty %.

The result may well be a Sarkozy-Le Pen second round, and a reelection of Nicolas Sarkozy.

Champagne!

by Xavier in Paris on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 06:49:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
not implausible, but still stretched.

I don't see the PS getting only 20% or so only in the first round. Both Aubry and Hollande are seem as legitimate candidates of the party (more so than DSK who was widely hated inside the party); Hollande has done a good job shedding that "Flamby" image he did have.

I don't see Hulot getting more than Joly (and they pull from the center as much as from the left, and could get centrists votes that would have gone to DSK but not to Aubry anyway); and I don't see what you mean about Melenchon - it is Besancenot who dropped out, and Melenchon who's running.

In the center right, the disappearance of DSK will increase the temptation for Borloo (and Bayrou); while de Villepin's situation is more unpredictable - he hates Sarkozy, but both are cynical enough to do a deal.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:26:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Mélenchon will get more votes now than before Besancenot retired. I also believ that will reduce the PS vote, because the left leaning will see a unique candidature on the left more attractive than an old horse from the PS.

There is also Royal, who will probably try to sabotage the candidate from the PS, she's been doing meetings all over France for the last year or so and I'm afraid this means nobody at the PS will really have all the votes.

And France is globally right leaning, especially now. So, to be qualified, the left-wing candidate really needs to unify all the different point of view on the left, which is not the case now.

by Xavier in Paris on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:13:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Xavier in Paris:
an old horse from the PS.

Like Mélenchon, for example? ;)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:31:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aubry: ENA. Holland: ENA. Royal: ENA. Fabius: Sciences Po + ENA. Strauss Kahn: HEC + Sciences Po.

Mélenchon....standard-issue 3-year university degree.

There are elephants, and then there are elephans. Of the 6 socialists or former socialists named above, one isn't tainted by being a part of the elite who have gotten everything wrong up until now.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:23:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't change my view that Mélenchon is an old horse from the PS.

Also, a 3-year degree could be read as a sign of belonging to the elite, looked at from the point of view of most of the population. Are we supposed to automatically support those who have no higher education qualifications?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:54:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you forgotten the French élite view (shared by some of the Grandes-écoliers here on ET, too, apparently) that a holder of a mere university degree is some sort of intellectual underachiever?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:04:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean that kind of thing is specifically French? Or are we in belief system territory again here?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:25:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean this and the containing diary and thread and the previous threads referred to therein.
Those who can't make it into a Grande Ecole or can't afford (or don't make it into) the requisite école preparatoire between ages 18 and 20 will end up in the Universities. Which is why calling the university student protesters "elites" is disingenuous.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:38:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a fact that French universities are underfunded and overcrowded compared to the Grandes Ecoles. Which is deplorable. Still, I don't see evidence for your aspersion on graduates of the Gdes Ecoles on ET, that they consider

Migeru:

a holder of a mere university degree is some sort of intellectual underachiever

And there are elite schools and elite attitudes everywhere.

But I suppose there I go defending France again.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:53:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember some ET graduate of a Grandes École pointing out that some minister or other had gone to university as evidence of incompetence.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:55:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure you'll dig up the relevant link, but all I could say at this point is that Sarkozy has bragged about his lack of insider-y credentials (he did not go th ENA) to show he was not part of the system, but that in his case, it was a complete fraud - he's been in the system (by being an insider in the RPR party apparatus from a young age) and his failure to get into ENA, in his position (political ambitions, privileged family background) only means that he was not good enough to be admitted, so yes, in his case, it's a sign that he is less competent for the system (inside which he already was!) than those that did make the cut at the concours, and certainly not that he was a maverick.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:01:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This isn't about Sarkozy but as I recall some minister who happened to be a medical doctor, which happens to be a degree Grandes Écoles don't grant.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:20:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably Bernard Debré...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:26:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or Philippe Douste-Blazy, who, unlike B.Debré has actually been a minister in the French government until 2007.
by Bernard on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 12:39:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could be, but Bernard Debré was a minister under PM Raffarin.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 02:46:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but aren't you spending a lot of time explaining how I have no legitimacy holding left-wing positions and writing here on ET, having some money, education and faith in the EU institutions?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:03:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, Mig's been pointing out that "hard money" is not a left-wing position to take. That the Euro is - as a matter of constitutional law - a "hard money" project. And that therefore supporting the Euro means supporting right-wing economic policy. The Euro may have other advantages from a left-wing perspective (I consider myself a left-winger, and I'm in favour of the Euro - it's the Bundesbank I have a problem with), but as a matter of economics, it's a right-wing project.

And Mig knows what he's talking about when he says that. We've been researching this since before the Croatian currency went to shit in 2009(?). Well, that is to say, he's been researching and I've been bouncing stupid questions and slightly less stupid ideas off him.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, it's the Croatian economy that's gone to shit, not the currency, since they have been able to keep the Euro peg (if it kills them). So they have sound money, but an unsound economy.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... will be the epitaph of the European democratic experiment.

It was nice knowing it. Give it another three thousand years, and maybe we can have another go.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your politicians have university degrees? Even the ones on the left? Fascinating.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:31:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As brought up by others in that thread, if Sarko had wanted to destroy DSK as rival candidate, he should have done so later with much greater damage: once he was made candidate, when PS would have to scramble to find a new candidate.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:00:59 AM EST
Is Sarko really that bright?

Perhaps this happened to be a convenient opportunity.

But just think how much more entertaining it would have been if Gordon Brown had got the top job.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:03:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also from the other thread: Sarko reportedly feared François Hollande more than DSK; and the last head-to-head polls gave a majority to others too:

DSK y était crédité de 65 % des voix au second tour face au chef de l'Etat sortant si ce dernier parvenait à se qualifier. Contre 60 % pour François Hollande, 56 % pour Martine Aubry et 50 % pour Ségolène Royal.DSK was credited with 65% of votes in the second round against the outgoing head of state if the latter are successful at qualifying. Against 60% for Francois Hollande, 56% for Martine Aubry, and 50% for Ségolène Royal.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:12:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence: A game changer for the eurozone
Threat for the euro rescue packages

There are fears that DSK's arrest will affect the euro rescue packages. The IMF MD was scheduled to meet with Angela Merkel on Sunday in Berlin to discuss Greece and was expected to talk with the euro finance ministers tonight in Brussels the same topic. The IMF rushed to confirm that one of DSK's deputies was coming to Brussels today. Wolfgang Schäuble last night reassured the TV news magazine "Bericht aus Berlin" that the IMF remained functional and that the euro rescue programs remained unaffected by the arrest.

Leadership vacuum at the IMF

The IMF wanted to avoid the impression that the arrest of its MD decapitated the organisation. Several press releases since the arrest affirmend that the IMF stayed "fully functional" and the First Deputy MD John Lipsky hat temporarily taken over DSK's task. There are however problems, as Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and FT Deutschland point out. Lipsky, a US citizen and former chief economist at JP Morgan, had announced last Thursday that he was going to step down at the end of his term. So it is likely now that Europeans and Americans will try to agree on a package for the top post. There are several complicating factors though. On the one hand the emerging countries made it clear at the IMF's spring meeting that they no longer accept the European claim for IMF leadership and insist on a purely merit based selection process. The most convincing European candidate Christine Lagarde is handicapped by a legal inquiry into her responsibilities in handing over € 200 m in a late follow up to the Crédit Lyonnais scandal.

Alan Beattie writes in the Financial Times that the premature departure of DSK makes it more difficult for the Europeans to stitch up a dirty deal with the Americans on the leading roles in the IMF and the World Bank. Leading contenders for the succession are Kernal Dervis from Turkey, Trevor Manuel from South Africa, Stanley Fisher from Israel, Augustin Carstens from Mexico, and Montek Singh Ahluwalia from India. He says the probability that the IMF would be headed by a representative from an emerging country was now higher than ever.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:03:52 AM EST
Would a Chinese candidate not be the obvious solution, given the Chinese don't know what to do with their surpluses?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:28:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you really want the Chinese attaching the strings to the IMF loans?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:30:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I bet they wouldn't mind a few thousand hectares of prime Irish farmland.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:35:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't even need ownership, just a leasehold long enough to get the topsoil on the ships.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 06:09:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now we're really talking extraction.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 02:44:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  I don't, won't, comment in the idiot NY Times' readers' comments area because I refuse to register there; so, I'll react here to this comment from a Times reader,

 

  9.lps

  dover   May 15th, 201110:27 pmI believe it was Orwell who said something to the extent that inside the chest of every socialist beats the heart of a fascist. When people try to make rules for everyone -- except themselves -- then decent people must distance themselves from those people and their politics
 Recommend  Recommended by 56 Readers

 

 "lps" of Dover, no, Orwell never said or wrote that.  Orwell was himself a socialist and proud of it.  So he never said or wrote such patent rubbish--I contend.    I defy anyone to to show otherwise.  

   It's easy to claim such nonsense when most people don't know any better.  

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:09:03 AM EST
... he claimed that he believed that Orwell wrote that. Just as many avid movie goers have a well practiced ability to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy a story better, many right wing internet commentators have a well practice ability to adopt a belief whenever convenient.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 06:11:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 I doubt that Marine Le Pen will gain votes from the turn of events in the DSK affair.  

  How does one get from a disgruntled  would-be-DSK-voter to an additional vote for Ms Le Pen?  I don't see it except as statistical "noise" rather than "signal".

  I also do not count as credible the eventual ultimate electoral victory of Marine Le Pen in 2012.  Even if she gets past the first round, she would beat her opponent in round 2--or so I predict.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:15:25 AM EST

 that is,

  "she would not beat her opponent in round 2--"

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:17:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
she won't win  but she'll get 30-40% in the second round, close to 30% if running against Sarko (with massive abstaining) and closer to 40% if against the candidate of the left.

I'd like to see her against the left just to demonstrate that half the right will vote for her rather than for the left.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:28:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see a very real chance of parallel voter movements: would-be-DSK-voters go to Sarko (after all DSK pulls some centre-rightists if I read polls rights), while some would-be-Sarko voters go (back) to Le Pen.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 06:58:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in a transparently cynical, and largely unsuccessful, attempt to rake up DSK supporters.

It's a difficult balancing act, since he still needs to rake up supporters on the far right.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:18:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a balancing act he's been doing for years.

With how much real success..?

(Serious question)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:32:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the French fall for it again, after the past 4 years, they really deserve their fate.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:56:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is where I would normally say that the rest of us don't.

But looking at the garbage we routinely elect...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, isn't DSK the candidate for the cool urban 20-30 somethings, while le Pen generally attracts the digruntled working class? Shouldn't there be quite a small overlap?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:34:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
isn't DSK the candidate for the cool urban 20-30 somethings

Wonder how he got to 65% poll ratings...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:54:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  If he's exonerated, or, even if convicted, after serving his sentence, he can find employment in the following possibilities:

   candidate for Governor of California,

   talk-show pundit,

   join Tony Blair's influence-peddling empire,

   run the International Olympic Committee,

   start a "think-tank",

   write books of political commentary,

   open a restaurant or fine épicerie ,

  retire for pity's sake, he's 60+ years old; he's done enough harm for one lifetime.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:23:40 AM EST
He remains a full professor of macro and micro economics at Sciences-Po.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:26:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You forgot: President of Israel...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:29:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, no, you have to be a war criminal to qualify for that post.

Tory Bliar might apply, if he weren't Catholic.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:32:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Katsav was a war criminal. But he's definitely a rapist.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:35:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  Now, now.  Let's be charitable.  Being a war criminal is merely a "plus"--as so many of the preceeding office-holders have shown--rather than strictly required, right?

  So, it seems to me that DSK could put it on his list of possibilities--though I don't think he'd really like life in Israel.  I think he likes Washington, New York (or, well, he used to like New York), and Paris, London, L.A., --the usual favorite spots of the spoiled rich and powerful.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think he'd really like life in Israel.

It isn't that bad, as Ehud Barak has shown....

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:44:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(other than the very real pain to present and past women he has interacted with personally)?

As was discussed before, his time at the IMF pushed that institutition in the right direction; maybe not enough, but definitely a good thing. As minister of finance under Jospin, he ran a sensible economic policy that allowed to fund policies of the left (the 35-hour week (his idea, btw), funding for teachers, research, putting people back to work, police de proximité) while keeping the "markets" at bay (in fact, France had its lowest budgetary deficits of the past 30 years under him).

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:35:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  To do justice to that question would require more time and space than is available here.  But I can give you a unjust brief and general reply with the gist and a pointer toward other better, fuller sources of the more involved answer.

   I subscribe to a certain view of contemporary politico-financial affairs--certainly not my original ideas but a view which I've pieced together from a kind of 'course of self-directed reading/study' of my own design and serendipity---drawn from a number of key thinkers which I find have presented compelling cases (though, in every case, there are some important few details over which I'd argue, in the main, I agree with the authors' cases overall) a general view to which I've alluded to in other posts :

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2011/5/15/22621/6571#222
  http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2011/5/15/22621/6571#297

   According to this view, everyone who doesn't belong to what one of the Wall Street Journal's regular opinion writers refers to as the 'the Happy Conspiracy' that is, a relative handful of people who as a group can rightly be described as fabulously privileged, top-tier power-and-second-tier-wealth-Elite, the much-in-common-with-each-other class of major political and financial movers and shakers--and that would include the vast majority of the world and everyone frequenting this forum--lives for better or worse (and in my view mainly for worse) under the weight of the self-serving views and prerogatives of this aforementioned group privileged bunch.  To call their work a conscious conspiracy in the usual sense of that term is at once too reductive and simplistic.  The matter happens to range over far too great a stretch of time and across too many varied individuals and groups to be classified as a standard conspiracy of actors; instead, and much more interesting, it consists of a kind coincidence of interests which need no centrally-directed coordination since the mainsprings provide their own unifying "logic", one based in a technological progression which somewhat resembles evolution but is a cultural phenomenon rather than something which is wholly nature-made in character.
   If you happen to believe that it's only right and proper that such a crowd should for most intents and purposes have much to themselves the calling of the shots, the general direction of the world's social, political and economic affairs as it suits their whims, then there is nothing that I'm going to be able to do to in the way of an explanation.

  If, on the other hand, like me, you greatly resent their undue power and privilege and see it as being key to the continuation of world-affairs-as-usual over the past 70 or more years, and you hold these people responsible for the main share of the faults in this, regardless of their party affiliation, their undeniable talents at administration and their bargaining and negotiating skills (which above all serve their personal selfish interests before any others), then you could be susceptible to hearing the fuller, developed case against them.  It is not predetermined, carries no inevitable ideological constructions as an inherent part--except as technology's innovations randomly provide, so in a sense it resembles nature's evolutionary processes.

   It extends, in many and varied texts, over decades of critical analysis and among others, I recommend these:

   1)  George CORM /  Le nouveau gouvernement du monde : Idéologies, structures, contre-pouvoirs ; 2010

   2)  Janine WEDEL / Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market ; 2009

   (see also her website and rich links referenced in her book's end-notes; http://janinewedel.info )

   3) Jane MAYER / The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals ; (reprinted) 2009

  (see also the rich references in the end-notes of her books;  and these links from the Wikipedia site's page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Mayer#External_links )

  4) (this one, not as readily available but no less brilliant than the foregoing):

   John ALDRDIGE / In the Country of the Young ; 1970, Harper Collins, N.Y. (out of print)

  a brilliant and amazingly insightful and prescient presentation by a leading literary critic of his day.  Puts much about our times into fascinating relief and perspective.  

  5) Neil POSTMAN / Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology ; 1992

  There are only five suggested authors, and  from them five titles for starters.  From there, you will find that you'll have no shortage of leads into further reading which augments and enriches their views.

   Briefly, DSK can be seen as just one of many cogs in this process.  Though, in the micro-laboratory of our time and scale, he's currently--or was--a key member, proponent, of the world-wrecking order so, for damage, he has contributed a quite respectable share for one man.

  You write that, ..."France had its lowest budgetary deficits of the past 30 years under him."  Maybe so, but I see that as similar to arguing that, while a country's long-established social welfare system is being systematically destroyed, one should rather focus instead on the fact that there's a state-run  lottery and it distributes many millions in revenue to the lucky winners.

   Remember, this is the short version.  Interested readers will refer to the texts cited above.  And, of course, most readers won't be that interested.  

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:04:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  sorry, it's Georges CORM, of course, not George, as above.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:13:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

If, on the other hand, like me, you greatly resent their undue power and privilege and see it as being key to the continuation of world-affairs-as-usual over the past 70 or more years

You seem to be saying that the problem is that choke-hold the elites have had over power over the past 70 years. I thought the problem was what the elites had been doing over the past 30 years, when they moved from some sort of moderation (out of noblesse oblige, fear of communism, or otherwise) to unrestrained parasitism (wealth capture, shock doctrine, etc).

In the second option, there can be a debate as to whether DSK was slowing the ongoing process (by being a more moderate kind of elite) or making it easier (by making the left-in-power effectively support the process). But if we are in the first option (elites are been unreùittingly evil for the past 70 years), I'm not sure what your point is - apart from "anybody who has been in power is evil"

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:29:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  That's fair enough for a retort.  The problems are in the combination of the "choke-hold", as you put it(an apt enough way to put it and so I'll take that characterization) and, no less, what is being done by use of that choke-hold and to separate these or suppose that they can somehow be treated other than as integral parts of a larger whole is to miss the points.

  Also, in my view, it's a mistake to bring "evil" into this as it simply doesn't belong in a worthy analysis of the matters.  We don't especially (or at all) need "evil" people to compose this picture.  Completely ordinary people, from the brilliant over-achievers, to under-achievers, and everything in between, will do fine to explain our ills.  There are a few particularly "evil" people in the world but their impact depends very much on the rest of the world's people who are nothing like as "evil."  I very much prefer to stay clear of importing any good vs. evil view of things in all matters concerned here.  

  So, no, I definitely do not mean to assert, even by implication, that  "anybody who has been in power is evil", or see that as a fair characterization; but, it is true, I think, that the present and long-standing power structures and their systemic operation are currently inherently skewed to favor corruption and those who thrive on the advantages and opportunities it presents--and seriously worsening.  And in my view DSK has definitely contributed a part in that.

   Indeed, in my view of things, the preponderance of DSK's contributions have been very much in favor of maintaining the corrupted and corrupting status quo rather than against it--if only because opposing them would immediately and directly put him on the "outs" with the very élite world in which he's so clearly chosen to live.  In word, thought and deed, the preponderance of his real effect in action furthers the present ills rather than impedes or reduces them--whether that's his intent or not is another matter; he might have wonderful intentions, they just consistently get lost, run over, neglected, etc.  In that case, he gets what's due for good intentions left without real effect--and in my view, lots of good intentions on the part of many who won't really do the first thing to effect them where they have actual influence is a far larger part of the trouble than all the completely "evil" people put together.

   As I already pointed out, to elaborate further and further with each succeeding reply goes far beyond the scope of this forum.  To see the case as it deserves to be seen and considered reqiures attentive reading of several sources, texts;  there is no short-cut or suitable substitute for that as to attempt it reduces and trivializes the value of the works cited and other related ones.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:01:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Hollande or Aubry,  one or the other will get the PS nomination

  2. Borloo or Villepin : there is suddenly a much better window of opportunity for a centrist candidate.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:38:50 AM EST
Reportedly Aubry had a deal with DSK that they would not run against each other. If DSK is out, she's in.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:46:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. The current wisdom I'm hearing is that Hollande looks like the solid, reassuring candidate who can represent what the French feel a president should be (ie not Sarko). That Aubry doesn't give off the feeling that she really, really is deeply persuaded she wants to be president. Whereas Hollande does.

  2. Yes, the centre-right (the real one) is freed up by DSK's disappearance.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 06:16:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Aubry has to show she wants the job now, or let Hollande go almost uncontested (which would not be a bad outcome btw)

  2. indeed, and the most interesting source of uncertainty now for the election - uncertainty more for Sarkozy than anyone else, actually. This will be interesting to watch (ie Sarkozy going to woo and beg Borloo not to run, who's going to milk every minute of it, big diva that he is).


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:31:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NYT's source says police rushed to apprehend DSK to secure DNA evidence:

Maid Picks I.M.F. Chief as Attacker in Lineup - NYTimes.com

The authorities said they had moved to obtain a court order granting them a search warrant to examine Mr. Strauss-Kahn for signs of injury that he might have suffered during a struggle or for traces of his accuser's DNA.

"Things like getting things from under the fingernails," a law enforcement official explained, "the classic things you get in association with a sex assault."

 The official, who insisted on anonymity because the investigation was continuing, added that since the authorities believed there was a high likelihood that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would be allowed to post bail, investigators feared that he might leave the country with whatever clues his person might yield.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:18:28 AM EST
The article also has soe details on the chambermaid: African immigrant, living in the Bronx with a child, nice person, fellow maids told to not question her about the accident but give a hug as she is sad. And this:

A guest at the hotel, Mortem Meier, 36, a sales director visiting from Norway, said the livery driver who drove Mr. Strauss-Kahn to Kennedy Airport was also his driver on Saturday night.

"He said Strauss-Kahn was in a huge hurry," Mr. Meier recalled. "He wanted to leave as soon as possible. He looked upset and stressed, the driver said."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A perfect metaphor for the IMF- fuck the poor Africans.

She certainly doesn't sound like a Mata Hari type; Mata Hari would never live in the Bronx.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:09:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot to post this bit, too:

The police were called to the hotel about 1:30 on Saturday, but when they arrived, Mr. Strauss-Kahn had already checked out. At some point, Mr. Strauss-Kahn called the hotel and said that his cellphone was missing. Police detectives then coached hotel employees to tell him, falsely, that they had the telephone, according to the law enforcement official. Mr. Strauss-Kahn said he was at Kennedy Airport and about to get on a plane.

So he left within half an hour of the incident, and the cell phone story was to get his location but leaving him at unawares...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:12:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the previous thread, eurogreen commented
he phoned the hotel from the airport so they could send him his cellphone, which he had forgotten. This was the "tip off" which enabled the police to find him.

Hardly the behaviour of a guilty man on the run.

Or maybe the behaviour of somebody with an absolute sense of impunity and used to getting away with things, who expects the maid to go cower in a closet after she manages to run away rather than immediately report it to her coworkers and the police. So he imagines it's safe to call the hotel.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:12:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
D.S.K. IN JAIL: THE VIEW FROM PARIS


But these were private conversations. Marine Le Pen, however, made the thought public. D.S.K.'s "pathology"--she loved that word--was obvious, she said: "Yet for years everything was hidden by everyone because that's a little bit the system in France." In the coming days, she said, she expected there'd be more stories, and already by day's end young women were coming forward to say they regretted keeping quiet for so long.

At her office outside Paris a few days ago, I asked Marine Le Pen, whose personal brand of ultra-nationalist populism often makes a particular point of the challenges facing women, whether she sees herself as a sort of feminist candidate. Not at all, she said; she is a candidate for the French people. "But," she said, "women are French people too." Listening to the political classes attempting to come to terms with the destruction of Dominique Strauss-Kahn today, I heard hardly a thought for his accuser. It seemed a good measure of the depth of France's political malaise that it took a Le Pen to show solidarity with the working woman against the Socialist Party's favorite son.

That's Philip Gourevitch's writing.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:40:01 AM EST
His accuser was treated for minor injuries at a hospital, and he spent the night at that "commissariat in Harlem"--"in Harlem," "in Harlem," "in Harlem," the newscasters kept repeating.

Do the French think DSK was arrested in 1986 or something?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:28:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In this summary of political reactions, you can see at least Melanchon (party of the left), and Bayrou (center-right) referring to the victim: in this more recent list you can see the spokesperson of the NPA (left of the left) and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (minister of ecology) doing the same.

Many comments are completely neutral (of the "this is shocking, let's wait" or of the "innocent until proven guilty" kind) and only some are of the "we're with him and his family" kind.

In any case, it did not "take a Le Pen to show solidarity with a working woman" but it's always so much fun to bash the left...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:41:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, several of them also declared that 'this is not the man I know' or something to that tune, which IMHO is not completely neutral, and a lie from Hollande who was mentioned in the article on the Tristane affair as having intervened.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:22:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, there is one guy (Gilles Savary) speaking of Puritan America, libertine DSK and a trap.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:26:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New info via your second link: Bernard Debre, vice-mayor of Paris, wrote that this wasn't DSK's first assault on hotel maids and his behaviour was well known at Sofitel. He names the victim by first name and calles her chamring, as if he knew her. Huh? All this was blogged during his travel in China, and he claims the Chinese are laughing at him and call the French sex-obsessed.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:39:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have the police or the hotel staff or the media disclosed the name of the maid? Debré could just be making shit up to appear populist or something.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:59:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

 Yes,  I heard a first-name of the maid cited---though I didn't at the moment grasp what the first-name was---earlier today via France-Info radio; and I can't say precisely when the report first aired and have no way of knowing whether that radio mention was prior to or after the appearance of the page at the Express.fr and thus perhaps based on it.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He names the victim by first name and calles her charming, as if he knew her.

Well - that's completely normal behaviour for the vice-mayor of a city on a different continent.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:00:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do we know it's the right name and the vice-Mayor is not trying to pull a Marine Le Pen here?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:05:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because making up a name and pretending to get matey with it/her would be utterly bizarre, even by the usual low moral standards of politics.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:21:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks to me like the UMP MP is a bit unhinged himself.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:33:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's not the vice-Mayor, he's député which means an elected member of the National Assembly, not deputy (which means a number of different things in English). He's UMP, not PS (the mayor of Paris is PS).

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:10:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was too much in a rush to think... (I half wondered if I somehow missed Delanoë's replacement with an UMP mayor...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:27:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bernard Debré's claims are nothing short of spectacular:
Contacté par L'Express lundi matin, Bernard Debré maintient ses propos et accuse Dominique Strauss-Kahn de s'être déjà livré à des agressions sexuelles, dans ce même hôtel de New York. Elles ont été passées sous silence par la direction contre l'avis des employés.

"Il faut sortir de l'hypocrisie. Ce n'est pas la première fois que DSK se livrait à ce genre d'agissements au Sofitel. C'est là qu'il descendait toujours. Ça s'est produit plusieurs fois et depuis plusieurs années. Tout le monde le savait dans l'hôtel", déclare Bernard Debré, actuellement en déplacement en Chine.

"Les employés étaient sur le point de se révolter. La direction était au courant mais jusque là n'osait rien dire. Elle a étouffé toutes les autres affaires. D'autres femmes de chambre avant Ophelia - une femme charmante de 32 ans qui travaillait très bien - avaient été agressées. Il faut arrêter de jouer les vierges effarouchées. Vous croyez que les flics de New York l'auraient interpellé dans l'avion s'ils n'avaient pas d'informations précises?", ajoute le parlementaire.  

Contacted by L'Express Monday morning [presumably about his blog comments], Debré keeps to his words and accused DSK of having given himself to sexual aggressions before, in the same hotel in NYC. The aggressions were kept under wraps by the management against the opinion of the staff.

"We must get out of this hypocrisy. This is not the first time DSK gave himself to these kinds of actions at the Sofitel. It's there that he always swooped down on. It's happened many times over many years. Everyone knew it at the hotel", declared Debré, currently away in China.

"The staff were on the brink or revolt. The management was aware but they didn't dare say anything. They silenced all the other affaires. Other maids before Ophelia - a charming woman of 32 who worked really well - had been attacked. We must stop acting like shocked virgins. Do you believe the NYC cops would have detained him on the plane if they didn't have precise information?"



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:21:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Debrés blog on Sunday:
Il était connu de beaucoup que vous aviez des attitudes sexuelles débridées, en France, en Belgique. Les choses étant connues, les participants à ces parties fines s'en vantaient, mais la France est tolérante, trop tolérante. Beaucoup de vos amis vous avaient dit, semble-t-il, qu'il fallait vous calmer et certains pensaient que vous aviez compris. Une alerte aux USA vous avait quasiment disqualifié même si votre épouse vous avait pardonné, pour faire pleurer les chaumières.

Voici maintenant que vous êtes arrêté aux États-Unis pour violences sexuelles, la honte. Vous saviez que la France était tolérante et, à tort, laissait la vie privée en dehors de la politique. Mitterrand et ses deux épouses, ses deux vies en témoignent. Bien que l'Etat ait beaucoup payé pour la famille illégitime pendant 14 ans, des milliers d'euros ont été dépensés pour les héberger et les faire vivre.

It was [long? widely? well?] known that you had out of control sexual attitudes, in France, in Belgium. These things were known, the participants in these fine parties bragged, but France is tolerant, too tolerant. Many of your friends had told you, it seems, that you needed to calm down and some thought you had understood. A caution in the US had almost disqualified you even if your wife had forgiven you, to move the gullible public (?)

Now here you are being arrested in the US for sexual violence, what a shame. You knew France was tolerant and, wrongly, left private life outside public life. Mitterrand and his two wives, his two lives, testify to it. Even if the State has paid a lot for the illegitimate family for 14 years, thousands of Euros have been spent housing and supporting them.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:31:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]

 It was [known by many, (or, "well" or "widely") ] that you had...etc.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:41:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A charming hard-working woman of 32 named Ophelia?

I can imagine he might be on good terms with the management of the NY Sofitel, but it seems unlikely that he would also be on first name terms with the maids - enough to know their ages, anyway.

Doesn't his statement seem creepy in itself?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:36:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Entirely. And he stands to be sued by the Sofitel management.

In fact, if he's not sued the Sofitel have a PR problem in their hands...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:39:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was assuming from his attitude that they were all - let's say - friendly.

If he's being a typical right-winger and making shit up for drama, he's going to have an interesting few months after this.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:45:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What? "I'm going to strengthen my friendship with the Sofitel management by accusing them of covering up serial sexual abuse of their staff"?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:48:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he's a typical right-winger, he probably assumed he was doing them a favour.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:45:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The age of the maid was in the news reports, but not the name.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:47:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I find all the details on Ophelia in this article.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:42:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So this info was out in the French media on Sunday already, and Debré was interviewed on Monday only.

I just noticed (or was it added now?) that the Debré article now includes Sofitel's denial of Debré's only own claim, about prior incidents during years of prior visits. They say DSK stayed at the hotel five times in 2010, and nothing was reported.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:58:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Assuming he's correct about his behaviour and reputation at the Sofitel, DSK definitely needs treatment.

Ay caramba. It's enough to make a conspiracy theorist despair. He shot himself in the foot, rather like Assange.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:39:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How on earth does Debré know this stuff about what goes on in the hotel?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who tipped off the Twitter twit.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:01:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Debré needs treatment for ranting about Mitterrand in this connection.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's Michel Debré's son. Loony ranting runs in the family.

Oh, and as a urologist, it was he who operated Mitterand's prostate. Which probably gave him intimacy rights.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:59:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You couldn't make it up, could you?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:46:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  RE:  "Do you believe the NYC cops would have detained him on the plane if they didn't have precise information?"

    Uh, possibly.  Such a remark has zero probative value.  Could da NY police 'a done such a t'ing? (go off w/out precise info)

  In a word, "yes."  Puh-leeese, mister!

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:09:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's just planting common sense ideas into the public that can be brought out by dogwhistles in the future.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:49:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]

("Watch the anti-Americanism come on strong in the next few days," one Parisian friend said.)

But that article is not anti-French, no, not at all. What utter crap, all of it.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:23:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
("Watch the anti-Americanism come on strong in the next few days," one Parisian friend said.)

I didn't detect anti-Americanism from the French public, which seemed to be of the same opinion on Polanski as the American public in general, as you pointed out.

There was a fair bit of anti-Americanism from the political establishment and the artsy-fartsy douchebags -- Mitterrand and his "darker side of America" bullshit, Agnes Poirier griping on Americans being prudes about Polanski "not playing by American rules" (I'm fairly sure the illegality of drugging and raping children is not simply American thing), etc.

Along with the endless ripping on the American judicial system -- which is quite right in many cases, but not so much when Polanski had, you know, confessed.  Not to mention the laughable idea of Polanski being treated unfairly, when if he'd been a plumber nobody over there would've given a shit about him.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:39:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only thing I've seen in terms of comments about America is that the country is less tolerant than France of the sexual foibles of its politicians (as long as it's between consenting adults) - (but then again it may just be linked to the fact that more US politicians drape themselves in family values and the like and so it is the hypocrisy rather than the foibles which are frowned upon).

French commentators have been quick to say that rape and consensual (if extra-marital) sex are definitely not the same thing, and the first one should not be tolerated; the question that's come up, which is a legitimate one, and without a clear answer so far, was whether DSK's behavior was predatory or not (ie abusing his position of power to gain sexual favors).

But the article itself is dripping with contempt with French elites, this looks like a tempest in a teapot between intellectuals jealous of each other, pot meet kettle.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:56:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree entirely on the whole pot/kettle element of it.  But that's the New Yorker for ya. :)

The only thing I've seen in terms of comments about America is that the country is less tolerant than France of the sexual foibles of its politicians (as long as it's between consenting adults) - (but then again it may just be linked to the fact that more US politicians drape themselves in family values and the like and so it is the hypocrisy rather than the foibles which are frowned upon).

I think it's true that France is generally more tolerant of sexual foibles than the US, but I think the idea of American Puritanism is mostly a function of foreign media taking the hyperventilating of US talking heads -- who love a good sex story because it gives them something to sensationalize and moralize about -- as being representative of what Americans actually think.

Obvious example: Bill Clinton's approval ratings during the Lewinsky scandal.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:46:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - there was that malfunctioning nipple moment too.

I think America is more confused and less consistent about sex, and more extreme in both directions. So there are prudes, there are pornographers, and there seem to be a lot of kids in their twenties for whom it's no big deal either way.

But because the prudes are noisy and often hypocritical - never mind older and inherently more serious - they get more air time.

I still find it bizarre that endless hours of war porn gunplay in films and on TV are considered less psychologically damaging than watching someone having an enjoyable orgasm.

I don't know enough about how these things work in France to comment, but the media tone in Europe generally does seem a little less fraught and frustrated.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I understand correctly, various militaries show gore films to soldiers who may later be in combat. It is a a process of desensitization: you can't follow orders if you go into shock when something takes off the head of your buddy next to you. You call a corpsman and get on with what you are supposed to do.

But war porn is meant to have no effect.

Both can't be true.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 12:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's some truth to that, although the Janet Jackson thing, too, was blown way out of proportion (see AP poll here and TIME magazine poll here).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 12:14:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyday nudity is a particular hang up for Brits and Americans. Admittedly the evidence is anecdotal, collected from my numerous foreign sauna guests over the years. The Dutch, Germans and Japanese need no encouragement to get their kit off for sauna - providing it's male only. (The Dutch probably wouldn't think twice about unisex). Swedes, of course, have the same attitude as in Finland, and possibly throughout Scandinavia, the Baltics and over to Russia. The French, as we know, suffer from acute hydrophobia. <runs and hides>

But mention a sauna to your average English-speaking Anglo, and a litany of excuses will tumble out. "You haven't got enough towels", "I thought of taking a walk by the lake", "I've had a bit of a cold lately", "The boss/wife might call any moment".

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 12:22:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that the nudity or the supposition that one will be asked to roll around naked on ice and/or be beaten with pine branches?

I rather like saunas - but then my DNA is European.

English attitudes to sex have transformed over the last few decades. I can remember having to swear that we were like, totally married when I was sharing a tent with a girlfriend in the 80s, because otherwise the owner of the field wouldn't let us camp there.

So there were still remnants of "living in sin" prudery in the 80s.

There isn't much of that left now, but it's still a bit odd. The attitude now seems to be that it's fine to enjoy sex providing you treat it like an Olympic sport - with a physique to match - and/or consider it a consumer pastime where moar is better.

So it's still not what you'd call relaxed.

As for pols - we still prefer them happily married. See e.g. Ed M's transgression, when he was (oh dear...) living in sin with a woman he'd made babies with.

As you'd expect, there are rumours that some Tories are secretly perverts and/or womanisers and/or gay, but it only ever seems to make the headlines in an election year.

(Not so different to France after all, perhaps?)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 12:35:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps it is the latter: a fear of the unknown, especially in the etiquette department. Is it OK to shake hands when you're naked? Does my bum look..? I've tried not to sweat all my life, what shall I do?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 01:25:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beating yourself with pine branches is only allowed if you've been fighting on the Winter Front for 3 months without a change of clothes and surrounded by death.

The rest of us use a bunch of fresh soft birch twiglets laid so all the leaves face roughly in the same direction and are tied off into a handle. There is no beating involved - it's more of a flick, so the leaves slap the skin, and leaf on skin causes no pain. More problematic is the fact that with air temperatures, say, 80  - 90 C, and high humidity, the kinetic motion of the birch viihta accelerates the motion of the steam-heated air over the skin, causing the opposite of the Chill Factor.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 01:35:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, it can be. And it's a bit random and down to local custom. Some (all male) changing rooms let it all hang out and in some that would be frowned upon. I've never worked out the code. It may have to do with tribalism. I'm told it's worse in the female changing rooms.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 12:36:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of Sweden, I think Göran Person made a bigger scandal when caught on camera sampling the candy in the make-your-own-bag section then when he divorced his wife and remarried.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 01:05:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of Sweden, I think Göran Person made a bigger scandal when caught on camera sampling the candy in the make-your-own-bag section

Oh, but that headline just writes itself: "Alla fingrarne i godisposan."

In 50-point boldface across a picture of Person.

Too easy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:16:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please notice i only had time to write it's Gourevitch's writing. Thought ET should see this particular spin. Perhaps shows poorly on what's become of the New Yorker.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:04:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and, for the avoidance of doubt, I was oh-bleh'ing the article, not you.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:50:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

It seemed a good measure of the depth of France's political malaise that it took a Le Pen to show solidarity with the working woman against the Socialist Party's favorite son.

Aubtry was on the radio this morning again, and each time she mentioned support for DSK, she took pains to also mention the woman. She specifically began the interview by saying that this was a tragedy where there was for sure a victim - either DSK if wrongly accused, or the woman if the facts are true, and she mentioned her again twice in the interview. It was in no way accusatory towards DSK, but nevertheless very clear she was not forgotten.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:04:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But did she use the (apparently previusly agreed because most PS people used it) 'this is unlike the man I know' line again?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:13:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She said again she was shocked by the events, which is neutral.

(Apparently, Sarkozy noted that she previously used the same word "coup de tonnerre" for Jospin's loss in 2002, sending a coded signal that she considers DSK out irrevocably)

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 05:20:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's toast, and she's considering her options.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 03:32:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Boyle in hot water over IMF tweet - The Irish Times - Mon, May 16, 2011
Former Green Party senator Dan Boyle has come under fire for a comment he posted on Twitter regarding the arrest of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

After news of Strauss-Kahn's arrest in New York broke over the weekend, Mr Boyle said the "Strauss-Kahn sexual assault allegations are of course of the utmost seriousness, but paying $3,000 for a hotel room isn't all that far behind."

His tweet elicited a torrent of messages on Twitter, with many claiming Mr Boyle's comment was offensive to abuse victims and belittled the seriousness of sexual crime.

One poster said: "Comparing sexual assault to paying exorbitant money to sleep on expensive sheets is trivialising the matter."

Another said: "Hypocrisy on austerity is annoying, but the tweet implied it's close to sexual assault in seriousness."

Mr Boyle said he had never meant to trivialise sexual assault, admitting his tweet was badly phrased. "Of course I believe sexual assault is far more serious, which is what I said," he said.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 07:51:24 AM EST
His lawyers apparently plan to claim an alibi: he dined with his daughter an hour before the alleged incident and checked out then. Well that will be easy to check.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:44:17 AM EST
Il aurait ensuite pris un taxi pour l'aéroport.
NYTimes, quoted already above:
A guest at the hotel, Mortem Meier, 36, a sales director visiting from Norway, said the livery driver who drove Mr. Strauss-Kahn to Kennedy Airport was also his driver on Saturday night.
Somebody's lying.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:51:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone is lying. And if they're not, by the time the media are done reporting, they may as well be.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:58:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only things really worth believing at this point are quotes from DSK's lawyer and the cops/district attorney.  Everything else has to be assumed bullshit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:04:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  some people refer to taking a stretch limousine as 'taking a taxi', i.e. they were driven there rather than driving their own vehicle.  I think these are two varied ways which intend the same thing.  After all, one citation is in English, one in French; right there, the door for varied interpretation is wide open.

   DSK was driven to the airport; who drove him and when are what counts, not whether it's called a 'taxi' or a'livery driver'.  And, it seems this much is already known anyway: 'the same livery driver who drove DSK to Kennedy Airport',etc.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
His story has him checking out, going to a restaurant, and then going to the airport. In that context, "taxi" is likely to mean taxi. If he returned to the hotel to go to the airport, it would surely be worth mentioning, wouldn't it, especially if he could point to somebody at the hotel who saw him return?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:20:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If someone saw him return after noon and before 1 pm, that would be evidence for the prosecution, not the defense.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:24:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If someone saw him come from outside, ask for a car, and leave, that would confirm his alibi. It seems a strange way to go to the airport, but I don't stay at this type of hotel, so what do I know?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 12:54:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

  No doubt the cops will pose these and other related questions.

   "How'd you get to the restaurant?"

   "And, from there, you went where?"

    (To the airport)

   By the same driver each time or did you take a different car from the restaurant to the airport?

    and like that.....

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:37:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who drove him and when are what counts

Np, what counts is neither of those but from where he was driven: from the restaurant/home of his daughter of from the hotel.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:22:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]

   (A)  "from where he was driven: from the restaurant/home of his daughter of from the hotel."

 (A) follows from the known identity of the chauffeur, or, in other words, that goes without saying, i.e. they're effectively the same thing--or did you imagine that I assumed the driver wouldn't be asked where he picked up his fare?
   

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:31:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Somebody's lying.

It may be the source as well. What kind of media is RMC?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:16:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Answering my own question: apparently Radio Monte Carlo, which seems well-respected.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:19:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  Nothing I've seen so far from either DSK or the maid making the complaint is entirely out of the bounds of plausibility.  The stories contradict, of course, but each one holds together if one supposes that the alleged assault could have spanned twenty minutes--this is possible but it seems rather unlikely to me.  Didn't she scream?  

  If he had lunch with his daughter, why then would he have seemed rushed and nervous upon entering the car to the airport?, according to the driver's cited account;  clearly there was time to get there and he did get there.  So why the rush or nervousness?

  If the police arrived as quickly as they're said to have done (mere one or two minutes from the 911 call), how, if the maid's account is true, did DSK get dressed, down 38 (? right) floors on an elevator and out of the hotel before the police entered and without anyone noticing?

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:28:02 AM EST
This is starting to remind me of the Clinton-Lewinsky matter as far as providing entertainment value. Does Jay Leno speak French?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 10:56:50 AM EST

  Whaddaya mean, does he speak French?  He doesn't even speak English!

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:04:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

 Does anyone know the duration of DSK's stay at the hotel?  Was he there one night, several?  Nothing I've heard indicated that.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:18:24 AM EST
I've read that he was there for just one night.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:27:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I.M.F. Chief Is Held Without Bail - NYTimes.com

But prosecutors said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn's resources, the lack of an extradition treaty between the United States and France and the defendant's history were all reasons that he should not be granted bail.

Indeed, Judge Jackson, before ordering remand, indicated that she was concerned about Mr. Strauss-Kahn's needing to be stopped at the airport.

"When I hear that your client was at J.F.K. Airport about to board a flight, that raises some concern," she said.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn has been charged with various counts of sexual assault including attempted rape, sexual abuse and criminal sexual act. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

After Judge Jackson announced that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would be held without bail, Mr. Brafman asked if she would be amenable to changing her decision if he were able to strike a deal with the Manhattan district attorney's office in which his client would wear an ankle monitor. Judge Jackson indicated that she would not change her ruling, meaning that Mr. Brafman may have to make a bail appeal to the appellate court.

Sounds like the judge, at least, is enjoying this.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 01:48:49 PM EST
Is it not enough to take DSK's passport away?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 02:09:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He is charged with serious and violent crimes. If he was released and committed another crime, the judge would be in hot water, as well as the DA.
One of the charges is attempted rape.
The victim's name is not made available.
DSK is in real trouble.
by Maude on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 02:34:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This has to be the most unexpected and precipitous fall from grace that I have seen in my 74 1/2 years on this planet.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:02:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DSK's sexual proclivities and the fact that they were a major weakness for him were already discussed extensively in 2006 (when he lost the primary to Royal) and since then.

Precipitous is for damn sure.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:07:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is wonderful to watch. The New York police really did this right. They had to move quickly along the the DA and they did.
by Maude on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The NYPD and NYC DA's office are used to high-profile celebrity cases and the DA wouldn't have moved without strong-ish evidence.  I'll guess they got a positive with the Rape Kit, physical evidence (bruising & etc.,) and enough circumstantial evidence to move.

The DNA evidence will be definite, but will take some time to come back.  

DSK is a flight-risk.  All he had to do was make it to the French consulate.  The Judge almost had to deny bail.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:16:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  This assumes a lot, doesn't it:

    first, he, being guilty, puts a big "X" over his career, life, etc. and flees to France where he remains hiding and avoiding all travel to places where he might be seized and turned over to U.S. authorities for trial; and this for the remainder of his life.

  Unlike Polanski, DSK isn't an artist with a life or artistic creation to pursue beyond the shores of the U.S.; he's joined at the hip to the world of power and influence in politics and high finance, so he'd be facing a life in reclusion by having to write off any further travel to the U.S.--albeit a luxurious reclusion if he fled to France, of course and that obviously beats going to prison.

  I don't think the French consulate in New York could protect him--and clearly, his limited immunity as the IMF chief doesn't apply here, so, at some point, he'd have to leave the consulate (or remain a prisoner there)--it's just not practical.  Nor is running away.  A high-profile figure such as DSK doesn't have the option of running and hiding; had the judge used a bit of common sense, she'd have understood that DSK has only one hope and that is that with money and the legal clout it buys, he can beat this rap in one way or another and escape a long prison term.

    In my judgment, the judge's reasoning was ridiculous and silly.  By the same reasoning, he'd have to be considered a high risk for suicide.  Are we there yet?

   Left free on a stiff bail he'd go back to his lovely home in Washington, D.C. (and, if allowed to travel, he try and assemble his support-network in France and work on a rescue strategy, legal, moral and political.  Failing that, he'd view his active life as effectively finished.

   A lot of criminal suspects can run and hide but, DSK, with his profile, isn't one of them.  The judge is howlingly narrow and provincial in her outlook.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 09:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unlike Polanski, DSK isn't an artist with a life or artistic creation to pursue beyond the shores of the U.S.; he's joined at the hip to the world of power and influence in politics and high finance, so he'd be facing a life in reclusion by having to write off any further travel to the U.S.--albeit a luxurious reclusion if he fled to France, of course and that obviously beats going to prison.

You're forgetting he's wealthy and a full professor at Sciences-Po... Doesn't sound like a life of seclusion to me...


Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 10:02:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  Yes, I overlooked that matter.

    Yet, I wonder:  could he keep that post as a fugitive from a N.Y. felony sexual assault charge hanging over him?  Isn't there a contract with Sciences Po (where, by the way, he'd be in direct contact with his young female students and in a position of authority over them) which concerns dismissal for serious moral turpitude?

 

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 10:11:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's an economist. At a Serious University, serious moral turpitude is a requirement for economists, not a disqualification.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 03:20:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The student body at Sciences-Po might have a different opinion.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 03:55:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A bail hearing turns on a number of considerations, none of which are "what the person will do once they have fled jurisdiction."  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 12:56:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tonight. I did not note it, but they said she was from Ghana, and showed the door to her apartment and interviewed various neighbors.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:08:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was the name Ophelia?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:17:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:45:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boards on the window
Mail by the door (cellphone)
Why would anybody leave so quickly for
Ophelia?
Where have you gone?

The old neighborhood
Just ain't the same
Nobody knows just
What became of
Ophelia?
Tell me what went wrong?

Was it somethin' that somebody said?
Mama I know we broke the rules
Was somebody up against the law?

Honey, you know
I'd die for you

Ashes of laughter
The ghost is clear
Why do the best things always disappear?
Like Ophelia
Please darken my door.

Was it somethin' that somebody said?
Honey, you know we broke the rule
Was somebody up against the law?
Honey you know
I'd die for you

they got your number
scared and runnin'
but I'm still waitin' for
the second coming

of Ophelia
come back home

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:49:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  If so, that's quite bad since it means that, in order for DSK's account to hold up, the hotel maid and presumed victim of assault would have to have had some other opportunity to recognize and know who DSK was, some means, other than his having assaulted her, of being able to pick out DSK from a line-up.  She'd either have had to have "encountered" him personally through his presence in the hotel outside the occasion of his most recent stay (that is, over the course of her three years there-- a very plausible possibility of course), or, from gossip, become acquainted with his name and recognized him from press coverage, and hatched a plan (either of her own design or that of other DSK enemies) and acted on it by who-knows-what amazing set of perfect coincidences which put them both in his room at the right time to entrap him in a sordid plot, OR, on the other hand, she's telling the truth and, prior to his stay on that fateful day, and her actual presence for the purpose of cleaning his room, she wouldn't have had the faintest idea of who DSK was--and of course didn't have, even as she was trying to fight off his alleged assault.

   

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 10:07:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  While there is no absolute right to bail (as indicated below,) the legal theory of bail presumes  that it should be granted except when the likelihood of the defendant's flight is deemed real rather than hypothetically imaginable.

 On bail, from Findlaw.com

 

 Bail is an amount of money that a criminal defendant may be ordered to pay before being released from custody pending trial. Its purpose is to ensure a defendant's return at subsequent trial proceedings. Bail is typically determined during a defendant's first appearance in court. A judge or other court officer sets the amount and conditions of bail. At a bail hearing, a judge has three options:

*Release the defendant on his or her own recognizance or upon an unsecured appearance bond
*Deny bail to the accused
*Set terms of bail, including the amount of bail and any special conditions for release
In common usage, bail typically refers to criminal proceedings. However, in rare instances bail may be imposed in civil cases. Civil bail is used to directly or indirectly secure payment of a debt or to secure a performance of a civil duty. For example, bail may be employed in a civil case to arrest someone to prevent them from fleeing to avoid litigation, or it may be used to prevent an unlawful concealment or disposal of assets. The amount of bail set will be based on the probable amount of damages the plaintiff could collect. Sometimes the deposit may be used to pay the judgment to a plaintiff.

Bail law came to the U.S. through English tradition and laws. Even before the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, a judiciary act in 1789 guaranteed a right to bail in all noncapital cases. For a person charged with a capital offense (where death is a possible punishment), bail was discretionary, depending upon the seriousness of the offense. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides, "excessive bail shall not be required." The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution permits holding a defendant without bail pending a criminal trial. No absolute right to bail exists.

  Bail is not meant to act as pre-trial punishment or as a fine. Modern bail laws reflect an intentional emphasis on non-monetary methods to ensure a defendant's appearance at trial. This is meant to avoid discrimination against poor defendants.

Bail may or may not be required in misdemeanor cases, depending upon the circumstances and seriousness of the offense. More serious misdemeanor cases and felonies often require a bail determination. Bail may come into play at three stages of a criminal proceeding:

*During the pretrial period
*Pending imposition or execution of sentence
*Pending appeal of a conviction or sentence

If bail is not required, a defendant may be released on his or her own recognizance. Releasing someone on personal recognizance means that the person has promised to show up for trial or other court proceedings, without posting a bond. Release on personal recognizance may be appropriate when a person has ties to the community and has lawful and steady employment. Family status is also taken into account. Before release, a defendant must sign a document promising to appear. Failure to abide by the terms of release on personal recognizance may result in revocation of the privilege, or further criminal charges, including immediate arrest. A defendant released on personal recognizance may be required to abide by certain rules. For example, the defendant may be forbidden from traveling outside of the court's jurisdiction, or may be forbidden from contacting the victim or the victim's family.

A court may also impose an unsecured appearance bond on a criminal defendant. A bond amount is set, but the defendant is not required to post any money. If the defendant fails to appear at subsequent proceedings, or violates any terms of the bond, he or she will be required to pay the full amount of the bond.

 



"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 10:27:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are presumed sex offenders typically allowed bail?

Would house arrest and withdrawal of passport normally suffice?

You don't think a former minister of a foreign government is a flight risk?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 10:43:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  You're offering an illustration of the mind-set I think the judge is suffering, and, while in our case, as laymen from the legal profession's standpoint, it's understandable, I find it inexcusable on the part of Judge Jackson or any other criminal court judge.

  to wit:

   "Are presumed sex offenders typically allowed bail?"

   DSK isn't a presumed sex offender, he's a suspect in a criminal case, charged with a sexual assault, and is supposed to be presumed innocent by the court, under the law, and thus, unless there are some objective reasonable grounds to fear he'd flee and not appear to face the charges, then, yes, q suspect in sexual assault cases would be allowed bail---absent something else such as knowledge that the suspect had threatened a witness, or the plaintiff, or posed an actual danger to the public if released etc., which changes the picture.

  Let me ask:

  In your view, is DSK at this point an actual danger to the public if he's released on bail pending trial?  Remember--the slightest infraction while out on bail would bring him back before the judge and he'd be immediately subject to having the bail revoked and being placed in detention.  Can we assume that, with the charges pending against him now, he'd behave himself in the interim pending appearance for trial?

  "Would house arrest and withdrawal of passport normally suffice?"

   I read that his lawyers had proposed the judge grant bail with an agreement that DSK wear one of those electronic-monitors on his leg and she refused that.  But, if you're asking me, I think confiscating his passport would have, should have sufficed, yes.

  "You don't think a former minister of a foreign government is a flight risk?"

   "a former minister of a foreign government" is an abstraction.  We're dealing, in each instance, not with an abstraction but a real individual with his or her own set of particulars.  For me, the judge's task was not to ask,  Is a former minister of a foreign government a [serious] flight risk"? but rather, "Is this individual, given what we know the circumstances to be, a serious flight risk?"  

  In her place, my answer, especially if his passport had be seized, would have been, "No."

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 11:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the slightest infraction while out on bail would bring him back before the judge and he'd be immediately subject to having the bail revoked and being placed in detention

But the judge would also find her own head on a pike, as Maude pointed out upthread.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 11:24:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  That's a poor excuse, it seems to me, for refusing to treat an accused according to the law's provisions--which, while I admit they don't grant a presumptive right to bail, the practice is supposed to be that the judge's prerogative isn't abused and excercised with prejudice or partiality.

  If a person is afraid of public opinion, of its ramifications, afraid of the fall-out from applying legal judgement in rulings without consideration for what's momentarily popular in public opinion, then I think such a person should have not accepted or sought the position of criminal court judge in the first place.

   Yes, sometimes it requires courage of a judge to do the legally (not to mention morally) "right thing" underr the law, but that comes with the job.  If you can't stand the heat, don't ask to be head chef in the kitchen.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 11:34:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  By the way, I'm interested to know your view here,

  Let me ask:

  In your view, is DSK at this point an actual danger to the public if he's released on bail pending trial?  Remember--the slightest infraction while out on bail would bring him back before the judge and he'd be immediately subject to having the bail revoked and being placed in detention.  Can we assume that, with the charges pending against him now, he'd behave himself in the interim pending appearance for trial?

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 11:36:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would have assumed he'd get house arrest without a passport, especially since the defence had proposed that he wear a tracking device and post $1M bail.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 11:37:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To follow up on some points I made yesterday:

  1. The maid is apparently a 3-year employee, Ghanan (so she doesn't speak French most likely), and the hotel management has publicly supported her credibility in the way they can.  

  2. DSK, a rich fuck in charge of the damned IMF, has been denied bail.  This means that the DA has some goods on him.   They definitely believe the maid and think he did a crime here.  Even OJ Simpson got bail, so consider that this does not look good at all for DSK to those who understand the US criminal justice system.

  3. I asked around a bit with some real security people in the NYC hotel world.  There wasn't the slightest hesitation to believe that DSK did exactly what he is accused of.  They actually scoffed at how often such people behave poorly.  Rumors abound about staff at Sofitel knowing DSK's reputation.   As an aside, I heard a great story about Sarkozy scaring away a massage therapist.  I guess he's a bit creepy, too.  

  4. Had the maid's story been inconsistent with the facts available in the hotel (records, technology, etc) the case would be playing out differently today.  This suggests clearly that her story is plausible.

It doesn't look good at all for our apparently sexually-deviant DSK.  In the least it is good to see someone very powerful being forced to answer for their crimes, for once.  Spitzer, whose work I loved, committed major crimes in his prostitution bit, crimes that he enforced in his government job, but was never charged with any crime.   This is par for the course.  

Politically, I think this impacts the IMF situation greatly and in terms of the French political sphere it is primarily good news for Hollande, who is the most credible and likely person to succeed Sarkozy at this moment.   It is time to seriously examine his effort and policies.  I think on the personality-contest part of the election he is making strides.  The losing weight and changing of his image (but not falsely or drastically) is a good sign that will earn him respect.  Further, having shed Segolene (and in the eyes of many been wronged by her) he gains further sympathy.  

Sarkzoy is in no way helped by this.  His failures are his own, and my view is that he's not terribly interested in staying President either.  He seemed to lose all enthusiasm for actually doing anything as soon as he got the job.  Clearly his goal was to get the position and the lifestyle.   If the PS doesn't fuck it up he is toast, and I believe there is a very strong chance he gets knocked out in the first round, leaving a PS- FNP finale.

by paving on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 12:27:29 AM EST
Good summary, in my view.

DSK has been jailed on Riker's Island, big symbol, how are the mighty fallen. He has less and less time to turn the accusation round, and it doesn't look at all likely he will.

In terms of the French election, I agree that Hollande looks like the strongest candidate for the PS, already making gradual gains with a clear-set image and long view on the presidency. Yes, we need to be looking into what kind of president he would be. With the PS, of course, all potential candidates are supposed to be backing the same platform, but that doesn't mean much.

I wouldn't underestimate Sarko's motivation, though. But if he loses centre-right support in the first round, it might turn out as you say in the second. Expect to see him buy the centre-right. They're usually for sale.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 02:13:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The effect on the IMF is probably more important. The recent move under Strauss-Kahn to slide away from what was left of the Washington Consensus may well find itself halted. Not that the IMF was actually saving any peripheral euro countries, but a contrast (however sketchy) with the ECB was becoming and looked like continuing to be useful in terms of weakening TINA's hold on minds.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 02:26:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can that shift really be attributed to DSK, or was it underway through the decade?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 02:32:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I honestly don't have the answer. It was commented on under DSK.

Meanwhile, Wolfgang Münchau argues for a European head of the IMF to replace DSK:

FT.com / Comment / Op-Ed Columnists - The IMF needs another European head

What is perhaps not so much appreciated outside the eurozone has been the IMF's political role in keeping the eurozone's rescue strategy on track. Mr Strauss-Kahn was respected by both Angela Merkel (whom he had planned to visit on the weekend when he was arraigned) and by George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister. He supported the view, also held by the European Central Bank, that a eurozone member should not rush into default. The eurozone clearly needed the IMF's technical competences in dealing with its sovereign debt crises - a set of skills largely absent in the European institutions. It also needed the IMF's co-financing. But the IMF's single most important influence in eurozone crisis resolution has been political. In a situation marked by a lack of political leadership, the IMF filled a vacuum.

So I wonder to what extent a highly competent Mexican central banker, for example, would be able to fulfil this role? The various candidates mentioned as potential successors to Mr Strauss-Kahn are technically skilled, but in assessing their relative merits, we should take into account that the new IMF chief will deal with mostly European issues for most of his or her first term at the top level. He or she will have to bang heads together in meetings of European finance ministers, and will have to converse effectively with some notoriously difficult heads of government and state. Whoever is appointed should, in principle, be able to have the German chancellor's ear. Mr Strauss-Kahn did. His visit ahead of the announcement of the first Greek loan programme a year ago was a critical step in preventing a calamity. A PhD in economics and an extensive experience in dealing with financial instability may be desirable qualities. But at a time like this, they are not sufficient. The game has changed.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 02:59:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Special pleading.

At this point I think Europe deserves a disorderly default.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 03:52:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The conventional wisdom has a very short memory...

Reuters: IMF's Rato says will step down in October (28 June 2007)

Rato's departure from the IMF comes in the middle of the biggest shake-up in the institution in a generation, amid debate over whether the IMF's relevance and an outdated membership voting structure that ignores the rise of economic powers in Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.

Rato's legacy as IMF chief will be the reforms he launched in September 2004 that seek to modernize the 62-year-old institution and give developing nations a greater say in the way it is run after years of dominance by Europe and the United States.

Without the reforms, many fear the IMF would not be able to wield the influence it needs to police the global economy at a time when fewer countries are seeking its emergency loans and governments often ignore its policy advice.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:05:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The shift will be attributed to DSK by those who do not like it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 02:59:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DSK's moral failings will also presumably be blamed for Europe losing its right to hold the IMF Managing Director job, even if it was already in the cards after the G20 that an Emerging Economy would get it next.

And, honestly, if neither of the last two IMF MDs have finished their terms early, I don't know why the world will be inclined to appoint another European with a more political than technical profile as Münchau is arguing.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:02:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They should hire Koo.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:05:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds about right:
Richard C. Koo (Japanese: リチャード・クー, IPA: [ɽit͡ɕaːdu͍ ku͍ː]; Chinese: 辜朝明; pinyin: Gū Cháomíng; born 1954) is a Taiwanese economist residing in Japan specializing in balance sheet recessions. He is Chief Economist at the Nomura Research Institute.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:21:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See Richard Koo's Awesome Presentation On The Real Reason Why This Recession Is Completely Different (April 14, 2010)
Repeat after me: Fiscal consolidation should begin only after it is ascertained that funds NOT borrowed by the government will be borrowed and spent by the private sector.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:26:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that Germany moved from profit maximization to debt minimization as a result of the Weimar-3rd Reich experience, and haven't moved out of it yet. They've also managed to convince all EU countries to include legal or even constitutional "debt brakes" on government policy.

Are we doomed yet?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:46:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither public nor private debt is particularly low in Germany, compared to other countries...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 05:23:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Koo is an economist, typically, wouldn't be appointed for a political post such as IMF Managing Director.
by Sargon on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 07:39:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not true about Michel Camsessus or his predecessors, but yes about the last three appointees. I think the appointment of politicians rather than technocrats or civil servants is part of the "this time is different" mentality around the "great moderation" of the past decade. Now that macroeconomics is back with a vengeance, a professional is needed.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 08:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Koo is a type of an economist who would publish in professional journals I read. Camsessus definitely wasn't.

Someone like Koo could be considered for the IMF Chief Economist position, of course, but I doubt it very much - the profile not high enough.

by Sargon on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 09:13:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if neither of the last two IMF MDs have finished their terms early

Okay, it's either both and early or neither and completed their terms, you get my drift...

<coffeeeeee...!>

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:12:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if you're arguing what's needed is "disorderly default", then there is no reason for the IMF to need a European head.

But what scenario are you envisaging exactly? What advantage is there in disorderly default?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:28:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't believe the "rescues" are "rescuing" the "rescued" countries, and the evidence is that the "rescued" have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the "rescue", and the ECB has to apply strong political pressure and threats to crash the respective banking systems.

I don't believe Eurobonds are the solution. One feature of Eurobonds is that they would be issued under EU law, not mamber state law. This only deepens the private state character of the EU periphery. See also recently Paul de Grauwe

This problem is not unique for members of a monetary union. It has been found to be very important in emerging economies that cannot issue debt in their own currencies.  In this sense member-countries of a monetary union have been downgraded to the status of emerging economies.
Eurobonds will only make the next Euro crisis more difficult for the periphery to get out of.

Trying to get out of non-defaultable (being non-national) Euro-debt actually does run the risk of leading to hyperinflation in the periphery if it is done by issuing scrip (or "greenbacks", or "local currency").

There is one spiteful advantage of disorderly default is the same as the advantage of austerity: punishment for moral failing. The EU has wilfully failed in its solidarity duty so it probably deserves a disaster. Just like the EU now preaches that debtors deserve to suffer, à la austrian. But the real advantage is that a defaul would force creditor countries to bail out creditor banks above-board, and not by becoming loan sharks to the debtor countries.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:41:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
There is one spiteful advantage of disorderly default is the same as the advantage of austerity: punishment for moral failing. The EU has wilfully failed in its solidarity duty so it probably deserves a disaster.

That is the subtext I thought I read in your comment. Without denying for an instant that economics is politics and that politics should be concerned with morality, I'm not sure quite what disastrous punishment you wish on whom.

If it's

Migeru:

force creditor countries to bail out creditor banks above-board

why, yes. But is there no way other than disorderly default and disaster for the EU to bring that about?

No, I'm not saying the IMF will. Nor am I falling for a probably exaggerated narrative re DSK's influence. But when the narrative is out there, it does in fact suggest to the journos and pundits and through them to broader public perception that the ECB is utterly dogmatic and inflexible. And may open up the possibility of alternatives to There Is No Alternative.

Not that I'm particularly optimistic. It still looks as if we are stumbling towards disaster anyway.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 05:15:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As if, depending on the meaning of "we".

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 05:22:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Temporary suspension of free movement of capital (and hence necessarily free movement of people) to stem the ongoing capital flight. Issue of a Gesellian government scrip backed by the treasury/central bank reserves of gold and hard currencies (including Euros, of course). Rationing of essential imports (energy, food). A scrip-funded state job guarantee programme.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:57:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It increasingly looks like DSK was that stupid - or felt that entitled. It's long looked like all major politicians in France were obsédés sexuels but this is beyond words.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:08:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding Hollande, who now used the 'this is not the man I have known' line when commenting the hotel maid story, what exactly was his role in the Tristane affair? Is my translation below correct?

Les "coulisses" de la nouvelle affaire DSK - AgoraVox le média citoyen The "backstage" of the new DSK affair - the Citizen Media AgoraVox
François Hollande, qui la connait également, préfère soutenir la jeune femme sans l'influencer. Il passe des coups de fils de réconfort.Francois Hollande, who also knew about it, preferred to support the young woman without influencing her[?]. He called her to give consolation.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The danger here for the PS is that they may all end up tainted by the DSK affair.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:50:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On one hand, it's a danger. On the other hand, if DSK was a ticking bomb and at least Hollande knew it, there was lack of political foresight.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 05:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Political organizations are notorious for being unable to purge their own members.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 05:12:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. in the earlier story, it can be argued that it was borderline, so a discreet amicable solution is not completely unreasonable, and it can be argued that Hollande at least tried to help the victim to some extent

  2. as the the"ticking bomb" notion, as I noted previously (i) insiders knew of DSK's proclivities, but not the general public, (ii) DSK was highly unpopular within the PS, but he was about to be selected by much more widely open primaries, open to all comers (in 2006 he only got 20% of the vote in a primary open only to party members).


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 05:29:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters
SATURDAY ABOUT NOON EDT (1600 GMT) - A 32-year-old maid entered Strauss-Kahn's suite, room 2806, which she apparently thought was unoccupied.

Following routine procedure, the maid announced herself when she entered the suite, and left the front door to the suite unlocked and ajar, the law enforcement source said. She entered the living room and did not see anyone. Then she opened the door to the bedroom, where she saw Strauss-Kahn naked. She apologized and said she would come back later, and started to leave the room.

So much for the alibi. When and why did the timeline change? Or was the 1pm time invented by the press?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 03:25:26 AM EST
I've see another version where, when she entered, someone else from room service was exiting the suite and telling her it was empty. And then DSK emerged from the bathroom.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:05:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the woman exiting was a covert agent of Sarkozy who had slipped a sexual stimulant into the toothpaste of DSK.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 07:16:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bernard-Henri Lévy is at it again:
What I know as well is that nothing, no earthly law, should also allow another woman, his wife, admirable in her love and courage, to be exposed to the slime of a public opinion drunk on salacious gossip and driven by who knows what obscure vengeance.

And what I know even more is that the Strauss-Kahn I know, who has been my friend for 20 years and who will remain my friend, bears no resemblance to this monster, this caveman, this insatiable and malevolent beast now being described nearly everywhere. Charming, seductive, yes, certainly; a friend to women and, first of all, to his own woman, naturally, but this brutal and violent individual, this wild animal, this primate, obviously no, it's absurd.

This morning, I hold it against the American judge who, by delivering him to the crowd of photo hounds, pretended to take him for a subject of justice like any other.

For heaven's sake, stop talking!

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 09:34:50 AM EST
I hold it against the American judge who ... pretended to take [DSK] for a subject of justice like any other

What is BHL implying here?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 09:45:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  "What is BHL implying here?"

  My reading is that he's implying (to put it politely) that it's unseemly to treat ["to pretend to take"] DSK as a subject of justice just like any other" or, in other words, "How dare this judge mess with a friend of mine! and one so important and one I've known for such a long time!"

   It sort of amuses me to read so many of the political class who personally know DSK say things like,

    "This is simply not like the person I've known so long."

    Well---as Americans say-- "Duh!"  

  Dear "Freinds-of-DSK,"

    You're surprised that in your long acquaintance with him DSK has scrupulously avoided showing you his tendencies to treat women as disposible objects of sexual gratification?  And, therefore, since you haven't observed it in him, it's just inconceivable that it be in his character?

  I suggest that people in general don't make a habit of revealing such a side of themselves to their near and dear friends.  The hotel maid was offered a "privileged" view of a part of DSK which others, his regular and close friends, wouldn't be given to see.

   And this is surprising?  To such a worldly and sophisticated bunch?  Methinks they protest too much.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 11:28:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, let him go on ! If BHL can ridicule himself enough, maybe we'll finally get rid of him which would be a positive side effect of this gruesome scandal.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 09:49:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everything he has said in the past 20 years is either superfluous or embarassing.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 03:24:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
En 2008, relayant l'alerte de Jean Quatremer de En 2008, relayant l'alerte de Jean Quatremer de Libération, Mediapart avait posé la question politique centrale, au croisement des passions privées et des vertus publiques : n'était-ce pas prendre un risque politique inouï que de promouvoir dans un monde de culture anglo-saxonne un responsable connu pour cette « addiction au sexe » décrite par la mère de Tristane Banon (lire ici l'article de Philippe Riès)


Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 12:32:12 PM EST
  As things now look, BHL and other friends and family  had better prepare themselves for severe blows to their hopes for DSK's eventual release:

  On friday, if things go as expected, a state prosecutor will present compelling evidence to a New York state grand jury that DSK should be bound over for trial on charges of assault, attempted rape, and unlawful imprisonment of a 32 year-old hotel maid employed by Sofitel at New York's Times Square who'd innocently entered his room to clean it and make it ready for the next occupation.

  All previous rationales offered to this point by DSK and his defenders will be exploded by video and other electronic evidence showing that, contrary to the defendant's claims, the maid fled the room, terrified and that DSK left it, too, shortly afterward, and then left the hotel, and was not, as earlier claimed, at lunch with his daughter at the time of the acts alleged by the state's attorney.

   The grand jury will have no choice in the face of the evidence other than to return a decision finding cause for DSK's trial on the charges.  When his lawyers become acquainted through the discovery process with the state's evidence against DSK, they'll have little choice left but to urge their client to seek a plea bargain with the state's attorney in which a guilty plea is entered in return for a reduced sentence--one which will certainly require a substantial prison term, though less than the full sentence DSK faces upon what would be his almost certain conviction at trial.

   His legal troubles, even then, may not be over.  The hotel maid in all likelihood, will bring a civil suit for damages at a very substantial level.  He'll have a choice then of settling out of court with her or facing a trial on civil charges and a jury's award of damages.

   

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 03:46:33 PM EST
Or they get the maid to drop charges upon immediate and direct payment of a bribe mountain of cash.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 03:54:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  While I suggested in an earlier post--a day ago--that DSK's U.S. lawyers were probably frantically trying to do just that, at this point, she may reason that DSK, on his way to prison one way or another, is in no position to bargain with her over withdrawing her complaint.  She now sue in her own right for this mountain of cash and very very likely win it without making any concessions at all-- concessions which, by all indications, DSK in no way deserves.

  She might well reply to his lawyers,

   "Your client is going to pay me damages and he's going to prison, too.  You have nothing to offer that I can't claim and gain legally for myself, sir.  You'll be hearing from my lawyer."

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:47:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is the risk DSK will spend all his money on legal fees dragging the case on for decades and she can go whistle for her money at the end of It All.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 05:16:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  Sounds like something his lawyer would tell her.  She should know (or be informed) that his family fortune runs into the multi-millions of dollars.  It would be amazing if it all went for legal fees.  This trial is not likely to last long or be very expensive--either to prosecute or to defend.  After all, the state's evidence will be clear, straight-forward and irrefutable; video and other electronic data will show exactly what happened, when joined with her testimony.  Arguing consent won't work as video shows her fleeing the room terrified, and her work-mates and management found her in that same state.

  Such ploys will appear for what they are:

   desperate.

   A humane, morally decent person, having done what he did, would have turned himself in, stated his profound regret, admitted his guilt and offered the most abject apologies to his victim for what he did to her and offer her money damages without conditions.

   But such a morally respectable person is not to be expected in from the morally bankrupt political and social system in which we live.

   The typical power player in his spot tries, through his lawyers and their hired investigators, to smear and ruin the image and reputation.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 05:49:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A legal team, at a top law firm, can eat through money faster than you can say "billable hours."  

:-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 06:19:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the usual rate is $300/hr for underlings, up to $1000/hr for the heavy artillery.

DSK's salary is supposed to be in the region of $500kpa, although he probably has further investment income, and a fine understanding of the difference between "insider trading" and "market intelligence."

If the evidence is cast-iron he's wasting his money anyway.

If it isn't - we'll see.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 06:47:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His family fortune is mainly his wife's. Can she shelter it from lawsuits?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 12:51:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are married under full separation of ownings. His wife's fortune is entirely shielded from his problems.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 02:26:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  "His wife's fortune is entirely shielded from his problems."

    Oh.  So they're "his problems" alone, as far as she is concerned, then?  

   And, so, if DSK was sued for civil damages, Anne Sinclair would protect the (that is, her) family fortune from legal claims and he (DSK) could go bear the burden of a damages judgement hanging over him if, after all, the victim in this case declined to assent to a settlement in return for her desisting from her criminal charges?  

  She's going to lose her husband to a prison term of some length one way or the other.  

   Money, love, betrayal, crime, passion, and people desperately trying to save themselves--what a tableau!

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 04:31:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was money she had before she married him, so it isn't a case of them using legal tricks to protect his assets. Why should she have to pay for her husband's actions?

In any case, she hasn't said that she won't pay. In the case of some reasonable settlement, she may well be nice enough to come to his help. But the victim's lawyers can't depend on the huge fortune being there to meet any judgement they may get.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 04:42:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"His wife's fortune is entirely shielded from his problems."

Oh.  So they're "his problems" alone, as far as she is concerned, then?

Legally, possibly. Personally, I don't think she has been making public statements about her concern or lack thereof except for her initial reaction to the effect that she "didn't believe for one second" the allegations.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 04:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
she is allegedly his closest political advisor, best friend etc.

She, of all people, will not have been shocked by his reported behaviour. Appalled, I guess.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 05:02:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  My sentiments, too.  As it seems to me, she's, uh, very invested in his political fortunes.  Now that they've come 'a cropper, how far does "for richer, for poorer, through sickness and health,..." go?

  We know he's a thoroughly political animal.  Now we have an opportunity to observe how much of one she is.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 05:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But she recently said they were very much in love ;)

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 05:34:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you seem to doubt this?
From friends who know them, that seems to be the case.

She knew he was a womaniser. So what? That's not incompatible with love (plus she seems to have liked an adventurous life herself).

Look, I really don't think that's the case, but were I to learn tomorrow that my wife had ten lovers, it would not change my feelings for her one bit (I'd just make sure she had been careful for our mutual health).
Why should we assume that every couple demands physical exclusivity?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 07:05:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But "for richer" is better....

Seriously, though, given how he hasn't exactly made a point of keeping to every detail of the marriage vows, is it really reasonable to expect her to?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 06:07:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they could offer her even more than she would be getting -that could be one way.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 02:27:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus, there is always an element of uncertainty in the US judicial system -OJ Simpson was acquitted after all! I must admit that I doubt that a socialist Frenchman would get even the benefit of the doubt so the benefit of no doubt, if that's what it really is, would be an extreme outcome.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 02:29:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
   While it's true that a jury trial is always subject to lots of imponderable factors affecting the outcome, in this case, if O.J. Simpson had faced the sort of evidence DSK must overcome, I think he'd have gone to prison for life. (By the way, where is O.J. Simpson these days?) There's physical evidence of a struggle leaving traces of DNA linking the maid and DSK and only one exculpating way to account for it--this includes his admitting having concocted a bunch of lies in previous accounts.

   First he denied en bloc having had any encounter with the victim--he wasn't even in the hotel at the time, he was at lunch with his daughter.  Now, he has to retract that--and explain it, right?  It must have been a lie.  There was an encounter, and now, he has to insist that it was at worst a misunderstanding on his part: he thought she was interested in his advances, etc.  Or claim that this victim is truly someone diabolical: that she first deliberately lead him on, only to suddenly throw up a fierce resistance and physical struggle, so that, in a premeditated plan, by fleeing, she could claim he assaulted her and tried to rape her and there'd be the physical evidence to support her charges.

   That will be a very hard sell, I believe, as well as being a preposterous fairy-tale.

   

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 04:52:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I'm pretty sure he's guilty, but I think the key evidence will be the video and other evidence we haven't seen.

As far as the lies so far, how many of them were given in court, and how many were just provided by the media, with unclear attribution? In the latter case, the jury may not get to hear them.

As for the rest, don't underestimate how low his lawyers may go. Let me just say that the maid is apparently Muslim, and that I prefer not to think about what they may try to do with that. This could get very nasty.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 05:12:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  (I'm counting on someone tipping me off to when this should move to thread #3)

   You're quite right.  All we know so far is what the news media have reported.  It could be that, to police interrogators, DSK has steadfastly refused to answer any question without the presence of his attorney(s).  If, so, maybe he hasn't falsely denied anything.

  But, if he willingly told police, after having been advised of his rights, that

  >  he never saw the maid

     >>  because he was absent, at lunch, etc.

  > or that he saw her but never while in his room,

  or any such similar stuff, all that can be read back to the jury (or submitted to them as evidence) for their consideration, whether or not DSK testifies or not.  I can't imagine his lawyers agreeing to his testifying in court.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 05:21:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're waiting for [ET Pretty Policing™ Technology] ?

What authoritarian expectations.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 05:28:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  I think an exclamation point goes after "expectations".

   ;^)

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 05:55:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Simpson faced far more damning evidence than can ever be obtained in this case.
There could be no argument that he had believed that his victim wanted to be killed. And there was full evidence of his involvement.

But of course, he was the star and could play on the jury's stupidity. Not going to happen to a French socialist.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 06:59:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm assuming DSK will eventually change his plea and make a deal. What's the plea-bargained charge, and how much time does he do?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 03:27:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

Over 200 comments, so new thread.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 04:45:05 AM EST


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