Sacré Bleu! Marxist Die-Hards Rejoice: Paris Gets its First Female Mayor, Socialist Candidate Anne Hidalgo Wins Election

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Socialist Anne Hidalgo to be first female mayor of Paris

Paris (AFP) – Anne Hidalgo, a Spanish-born Socialist, will be the first female mayor of Paris after an unexpectedly comfortable win in municipal elections on Sunday.

Hidalgo, 54, had been expected to be run extremely close by her centre-right rival, former government minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, on a night when the Socialists took a beating from voters across the country because of the unpopularity of President Francois Hollande’s government.

But Hidalgo emerged with 54.5 percent of second round votes in the capital, comfortably seeing off Kosciusko-Morizet’s challenge, according to exit polls.

An old school feminist socialist, Hidalgo has spent the last 13 years as a low-profile deputy to current mayor Bertrand Delanoe.

She will now join an exclusive club of women who have taken charge of major cities around the world.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! A wave of Tea Party libertarianism is sweeping…France? Je T’Aime, Ron Paul

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Photo Illustration: Ed Johnson/FP

 Libertarianism is sweeping France and upending Europe’s socialist stronghold

Robert Zaretsky writes:  France and Texas go way back. In 1839, as the handsome wood mansion in Austin that housed the French Legation still reminds us, France was one of the few nations to recognize Texas during its short life as a republic. (Although, relations weren’t always cordial, and during the famous “Pig War” of 1841 the French chargé d’affaires had his valet shoot a number of porcine marauders that had invaded his residence.) A few decades later, a motley crew of Provençal poets, enamored of “le wild west,” dressed up as cowboys and Indians, transforming the Camargue, a stretch of swampy land in southern France, into a Mediterranean Texas, replete with bulls and ranches. A few years after that, in 1984, French audiences and the Cannes jury hailed Wim Wenders stunning film “Paris, Texas” — an equally romanticized, though somewhat grimmer, French riff on the Lone Star state.

“Whether it reflected widespread apathy or hostility, France’s unprecedented abstention rate benefitted the conservative opposition’s base…”

Is it possible that France is now importing the brand of conservative politics peculiar to Texas? Following their first round of local elections last Sunday, the French, at least at first glance, seem intent on doing so. Though a second round of voting will take place this Sunday, French voters have already spoken. What they had to say echoes what Texas conservatives, in particular the Tea Party stalwarts, have been saying for some time: Less federal government (whether D.C. or Brussels), more traditional values, and please, no more immigrants trying to change things around here.

“…voter abstention is the ruling Socialist Party’s greatest fear. And the problem has only gotten worse as the approval ratings of national leaders have plummeted. “

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Sacré Bleu! Leftist Front-runner or Conservative Challenger? Either way, Paris Set to Get Historic First Woman Mayor

France Madame Paris-tv

PARIS –  Two women are at war to be the new face of Paris, the first time in this city’s long history that the mayor won’t be a Monsieur.

The discreet, hard-working Socialist Anne Hidalgo is the favorite to win municipal elections that start Sunday, which would keep this leading tourist destination in leftist hands despite the deep unpopularity of President Francois Hollande’s Socialist national government.

“A woman at the head of one of the most important cities of the world … will have of course a very, very important influence,” Hidalgo told The Associated Press. It will also send an important message to leaders and voters in a country where women only got the vote at the end of World War II and where sexist attitudes persist toward women in power.

“A woman at the head of one of the most important cities of the world … will have of course a very, very important influence”

– Socialist Anne Hidalgo

Hidalgo, 54, has experience on her side, after 13 years as the deputy to outgoing Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. In all recent polls, Hidalgo leads center-right challenger Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, a 40-year-old rising star of former President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s party known by her initials NKM.

The race for Paris mayor — one of the most coveted jobs in French politics — is one of several thousand underway across the country for municipal elections held in two rounds March 23 and 30. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! What Happened to France?

Illustration by Barry Blitt

Illustration by Barry Blitt

Liberté! Egalité! Fatigué! Is France Losing its Savoir Faire? … its panache, its je ne sais quoi?

A. A. Gill writes:An Englishman and a Frenchman are discussing the definition of the expression “savoir faire.” “Well,” says the Englishman, “as I see it, savoir faire is when you come home from work early, walk in on your best friend humping your wife, and have the presence of mind to say, ‘Sorry—do carry on.’ ”

“Hollande’s perfectly predictable affair was so revealing of the French state of affairs, and affairs of state, not because it happened…but because of the utter lack of savoir faire involved…”

“Mais non,” replies the Frenchman. “That is a very Anglo-Saxon attitude. That is not savoir faire—that is your politeness. Savoir faire is husband comes home from work early, walks in on best friend on top of wife, and says, ‘Sorry—do carry on.’ The savoir faire part is being able to carry on.”

“…First, he was caught on a moped. Really, how pencil-dick is that?”

Maintenant, France looks like it’s losing its savoir faire—its adroitness, that innateje ne sais quoi understanding to do just the right thing in just the right manner. France has never looked quite so laughably en détresse as it does at the moment—so utterly out of step, so wrong-footed. Let’s begin with the marvelously dropped gâteau of President François Hollande’s love life, and what it represents for civilization’s chosen people.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! Far Right Set to Surge in French Local Elections

Marseille (France), 16/03/2014.- Marine Le Pen (C), leader of the French far-right political party Front National, is applauded by supporters after delivering a speech during a political rally for the local elections, in Marseille, southern France, 16 March 2014. French municipal elections will be held on 23 and 30 March 2014. EFE/EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO

Marseille (France), 16/03/2014.- Marine Le Pen (C), leader of the French far-right political party Front National, is applauded by supporters after delivering a speech during a political rally for the local elections, in Marseille, southern France, 16 March 2014.  EFE/EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO

Paris (AFP) – France goes to the polls on Sunday in the first round of local elections set to represent a landmark for women in politics and, possibly, the far-right National Front.

“The vote is also set to be a groundbreaking one for women: whatever the final outcome of the two rounds of voting on consecutive Sundays, it is certain that Paris will end up with its first female mayor.”

9b5781c893d9a30a4e0f6a7067004532The first nationwide vote since Francois Hollande‘s 2012 election as president takes place with the ruling Socialists battling record unpopularity and the main opposition UMP party grappling with scandals embroiling former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

[See also: François Hollande Named Worst Politician in the World]

Against that backdrop, polls have suggested around one in four voters are considering casting their votes for Marine Le Pen‘s National Front (FN), setting the scene for what could be a breakthrough election for the anti-immigration, anti-EU party led by the daughter of its founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

The vote is also set to be a groundbreaking one for women: whatever the final outcome of the two rounds of voting on consecutive Sundays, it is certain that Paris will end up with its first female mayor, while changes to the electoral rules are set to significantly increase the number of women in local governments across France’s rural heartlands.

There has been much agonising in the build-up to the vote that the turnout may fall below 60 percent as a result of the widespread disenchantment with mainstream parties — although that would still be considered a triumph for local elections in most industrialised countries.French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen arrives for a campaign meeting in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, March, 16, 2014. Municipal elections will take place on March 23 and 30 throughout France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Just under a million people (nearly one in 60 of the population) will stand as candidates in an election that will produce over 36,000 new mayors for municipalities ranging from the tiniest of agricultural hamlets to metropolises like Lyon, Marseille and Paris.

Marine Le Pen believes her party could claim the mayorship of 10 to 15 mid-sized towns. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! EU Tries to Ban Cheese Names Outside of Europe

ParmesanThe EU is attempting to ban American companies from using the names of European cheeses to describe their own products. As part of ongoing trade negotiations between the European Union and United States, the EU has requested that only cheeses imported from Europe should bare the appropriate name.

This would mean, for example, that American-made Parmesan would have to change its name as it is not made in the Parma region of Italy. Similarly, feta cheese will only be allowed to be described as such if it comes from Greece.

The EU has already concluded a similar agreement with Canada, where feta cheese manufactured domestically can now only be marketed as “feta-like” or “feta-style”, and the use Greek symbols on packaging is forbidden.

American dairy producers are fighting the plans, which they say would hurt the $4 billion domestic cheese market by confusing customers and making their products seem inferior.

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Sacré Bleu! Peasants, Peek Behind the Scenes at the France State Dinner, See the Menu…

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The Royal Palace White House


Sacré Bleu! Est-ce Vrai? This Poll says Americans Love France Again

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The  Washington Post‘s Max Fisher reports:  Since 1991, Gallup has been asking Americans about their views of France. Americans tend to like other Western liberal democracies. But in 2003, after France opposed the Iraq War, only 34 percent of Americans said they have favorable views of France. That’s roughly on par with attitudes toward Saudi Arabia or Cuba.

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It took more than a decade, but American views of France have now fully rebounded to a very high 78 percent favorable. That’s more than double – much more than double – what it was at the bottom. French President Francois Hollande seemed to hint at that trajectory when he joked at Tuesday night’s White House state dinner, “We love the United States and you love the French, but you don’t always say so because you are shy.”

But have American views of France really substantially changed? I’m not sure.Jokes about the French – a form of ethnic humor that would be a fireable offense if it referenced any other ethnicity but is considered widely acceptable in the United States – long predated 2003 and the “Freedom fries” era.

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Sacré Bleu! François Hollande Halts Same-Sex Parenting Law After Huge Pro-Traditional Family March

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Dr. Susan Berry writes:  In the wake of tens of thousands of people participating in pro-traditional family protests in France and throughout Europe, French President François Hollande backed down from submitting a new family-law bill to parliament that would make legal “assisted procreation for lesbian couples” and “surrogate motherhood for gay men” who want children.

According to France24, a source in Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office said Monday that France’s socialist government would no longer present a bill to modernize family law to reflect “diversity” of families.

Over 100,000 protesters in Paris and Lyon, many Catholic and some Muslim, and thousands more in Brussels, Bucharest, Madrid, Warsaw, and Rome, demonstrated in favor of marriage and the traditional family last Sunday.

The demonstrations were led by La Manif Pour Tous (Protest for Everyone), a fast-growing coalition of groups that has organized massive rallies against same-sex marriage legislation throughout Europe.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! A French concept Car with its Own ‘Flying Companion’ Drone

renault-kwid

Renault says,

“…perfectly suited for ‘the needs of young customers in new markets’”

The Kwid’s drone can operate on an automated setting or manual mode, which lets the driver or passenger control it from a tablet inside the vehicle, Business Insider reported.

Launched from its dock at the rear of the Kwid’s roof, the Flying Companion can be operated in two modes: automated, where it uses a pre-programmed flying sequence and GPS satellites to locate and perform its functions; or manual mode, which lets the driver or passenger control the drone from a tablet in the Kwid.

The Flying Companion can also be used for more than finding open parking spaces, including scouting traffic, taking photos of the landscape, and examining road obstacles.

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Sacré Bleu! French Socialists Retreat on Family-Law Change after 100,000 Protest

People protest in support of traditional family and education values, in Paris February 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Protest in support of traditional family and education values, in Paris February 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France’s Socialist government dropped plans on Monday to update family law this year after huge weekend protests by conservatives against gay-friendly reforms they say harm traditional families.

[NRO's Maggie Gallagher notes: "Apparently, they do not want taxpayer-financed IVF procedures extended to same-sex couples, but it is what the schools may teach that these parents are most concerned about, according to Reuters...]

The government tried on Monday to reassure the protesters, who numbered over 100,000 in Paris and Lyon on Sunday, that the new law would not legalise assisted procreation for lesbian couples or surrogate motherhood for gay men who wanted children.

But when Socialist lawmakers insisted they would amend the planned bill to include those reforms, the government announced the draft law – which would also define the legal rights of step-parents in second marriages – needed more work.

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Sacré Bleu! French Soap Opera Update: Hundreds Detained in Anti-Hollande Protest

French President Franois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Jan. 16, 2014. Michel Euler / AP

French President Franois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Jan. 16, 2014. Michel Euler / AP

  writes:  Nineteen police officers were injured and about 250 people detained in Paris on Sunday, authorities said today, at a protest against the leadership of French President François Hollande.

No injuries were critical, police said, after an estimated 17,000 people took part in a largely peaceful demonstration against the president’s handling of the economy. Some 50 associations were involved, including far-right and conservative groups.

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Sacré Bleu! Anti-Semetic French Comedian Busted Again

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France24.com


Sacré Bleu! French Study Shows a Majority of Men and a Third of Women Cheat

The majority of French men and a third of French women cheat on their partners, a new poll has found  Photo: ALAMY

The majority of French men and a third of French women cheat on their partners, a new poll has found  Photo: ALAMY

Poll finds that 55 per cent of French men and 32 per cent of French women are unfaithful and that infidelity is on the rise but that the French are champions of forgiveness

From Paris, Henry Samuel reports:  A majority of French men and a third of French women cheat on their partners, a new poll, has found indicating that infidelity is on the rise in France among both sexes.

The study also found that Left-wing French are more likely to cheat on their partners than those who identify themselves as on the Right

In figures that could help explain why so many French are unfazed by the dalliances of their president, François Hollande, the Ifop study found that some 55 per cent of French men and 32 per cent of French women admit to cheating on their other halves.

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Sacré Bleu! The French, Too? France Surpasses U.S.A. in Whiskey Consumption

First Japan buys Jim Beam. Now this. 

Roberto A. Ferdman writes:  Japanese beverage giant Suntory is acquiring Beam, which makes Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, among other spirits, for $16 billion. The two companies control nearly 10% of the global whiskey market, according to International Wine and Spirit Research. Combined, they will obviously be going after a larger share.

whiskey-liquor-store

A quick gander at global whiskey consumption helps show where the promise lies. India is far and away the world’s biggest guzzler, owing in part to its large population. Roughly half of the world’s whiskey is drunk by the sub-continent, according to Euromonitor. Most of it is made by UB India, the world’s largest whiskey company by volume.

But when those numbers are broken down per capita, India falls well outside of the picture. France, Uruguay, and the United States soar to the top…

[See the chart, and weep]  Read the rest of this entry »


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