Sunday Observations

Ok, so I chose to spend this lovely spring Pittsburgh day outside with my daughter and her friend playing soccer and lacrosse. So sue me. But seriously, sorry for the delay in getting up my weekly post.

Today’s big story is the French election victory of conservative Nicolas Sarkozy over Socialist Segolene Royal. The story seems to have the conservative blogosphere all excited although I am not sure why other than the prospect of their finally being able to return to McDonalds and order “French fries” without looking like idiots. The real impact of this election is the potential for civil unrest that it has sparked in the French capital.

Fears of a repeat of the rioting that swept France two years ago intensified as the final opinion polls pointed to an overwhelming victory for Sarkozy. A crowd of up to 40,000 Sarkozy supporters was expected on the Champs Elysées in central Paris to celebrate the result. Police believe that gangs of youths from the suburbs might confront them.

Sarkozy has promised a “fraternal” republic but said last week that he did not regret having described young delinquents as “scum” in 2005 in remarks widely believed to have ignited the rioting.

The interior ministry said that 8,000 riot police were being placed on stand-by in the suburbs — equivalent to the force deployed at the height of the violence, when 10,000 cars and dozens of businesses were burnt in three weeks of mayhem.

Think about that for a minute, “gangs of youths from the suburbs.” If that doesn’t illustrate the stark differences between French and American culture I am not sure what does.

Anyway, the political landscape in our “homeland” is certainly heating up with the 2008 election cycle beginning to generate headlines. The problem is, what kind of headlines are they? Glenn Greenwald over at Salon.com makes the point very well with a great piece on the extraordinary play John Edwards’ hair is getting over at Politico.com. Howard Kurtz seems slightly disappointed by the fact that Brian Ross chose not to reveal more names in the DC Madame scandal. Then there is the question over at the L.A. Times as to whether Fred Thompson’s will survive the impact of an all but forgotten role he played on a show I am sure nobody remebers from 1988. Deep.

To be honest, I would lose all faith in our discourse were it not for the hard work of our brethren in the reality based community:

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