Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for May 6th, 2007

Margaret Thatcher wins French election

Posted by Charles II on May 6, 2007

Oh, wait. It was Nicolas Sarkozy.

New president seen as genial, conciliatory. As France’s interior minister and “top cop” during the 2005 riots, Mr Sarkozy was seen by young people on the estates as enemy number one. They were offended by his lack of sensitivity over the incident which sparked the riots: the death of two teenagers electrocuted in a power substation while evading police.

Workers volunteer for paycuts, longer work weeks. So what has Nicolas Sarkozy, who looks to be the likely victor, promised to do? He says France is craving a sense of direction and leadership amid recent fears of decline. He has promised a “reformist crash programme” as part of which he hopes to get agreement from the unions before the autumn on a unified, more flexible work contract, on minimum service standards during strikes in public services, and renegotiation of workers’ rights between unions and employers.He would also in effect do away with the 35-hour working week by imposing a 25% premium on overtime hours worked, paid for by scrapping any tax and national insurance on them.The unified, more flexible work contract sounds harmless enough but it goes to the heart of the problems in the French labour market. French workers are either “insiders” on permanent contracts and in effect have jobs for life with short working hours, or they are “outsiders”, either jobless or working on precarious short-term contracts.

Fireworks to celebrate Sarkozy victory.
Nicolas Sarkozy was last night handed a mandate to change France after a massive turnout in one of the most divisive presidential election campaigns in the country’s history….But as he talked, there were reports of car-burnings in the suburbs and trouble flaring in Lyon, with police firing flashballs after skirmishes between leftwing activists and Sarkozy supporters.

 The one person who is celebrating Nicolas Sarkozy’s election the loudest may well be Osama bin Laden. The extremist movement bin Laden heads thrives on internal Western conflict and decline. Nicolas Sarkozy is going to “rationalize” the French economy, put a firm boot on the many young and mostly Muslim immigrants, and restore a sense of French nationalistic pride.

One might even call it his crusade.

The saddest feature is watching the liberal European press, papers like The Guardian, say that this was “necessary.”  In the US, we said that about PATCO, we said it about NAFTA, we said it again and again and again as the right tore down the basic protections enjoyed by working people… and now we don’t have any at all. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Hit ‘Em With The Chair!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 6, 2007

Even as Twenty-Eight-Percent Bush continues his stumping for the war nobody likes, his fellow Republicans in the House and Senate are growing increasingly nervous about having the radioactive boat anchor known as the Iraq Occupation welded to their slave collars.

“We don’t even have all of the 30,000 additional troops in Iraq yet, so we’re supporting the president. We want this plan to have a chance of succeeding,” Boehner said.

“Over the course of the next three to four months, we’ll have some idea how well the plan’s working. Early signs are indicating there is clearly some success on a number of fronts,” he said.

But, he added, “By the time we get to September or October, members are going to want to know how well this is working, and if it isn’t, what’s Plan B?”

Of course, as was mentioned here and here in this blog last months, the Senate Republicans have privately met with General Petraeus to tell him that they’re only giving him until August to show some signs of progress before they “pull the plug”.  They don’t want to go into the 2008 election season with American troops still in Iraq.

Which is why Jack Murtha’s idea — to dole out the money in month-long increments, so as to force them to vote for Bush’s war over and over again — has merit.  Force them to choose between what Bush wants and what voters in the general election want. 

Posted in 2008, Bush, Congress, Iraq war, Republicans | 1 Comment »

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