May 16th, 2011

Initials in the news: DSK head of IMF arrested in NYC

Translation: the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was staying at a Sofitel in New York City. A maid at the hotel has accused him of committing crimes against her and he has been arrested (quite dramatically -- taken off an Air France flight after leaving in such disarray that he left his cell phone behind, at least according to some coverage). The police have taken DNA samples, so anyone thinking this is going to devolve into he-said-she-said probably will be forced into a very lengthy explanation if there's skin under fingernails and defensive wounds. Further, it's more of a he-said/they-said at best.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheat-sheet/item/strauss-kahn-hit-with-new-complaint/scandal/

A journalist/novelist in France, Tristane Banon says even her mother pressured her not to press charges against DSK for something similar that happened in 2002.

DSK was expected to run successfully for President of France and their registration/campaign/election timeline is drastically compressed compared to ours. This is extremely disruptive to the political process in France, far more so than the John Edwards scandal, which is the most similar recent event in the US.

The above is my summary of the coverage I've been cackling over for the last dayish. Here's the commentary bit: a _maid_ got taken _seriously_! For accusing a powerful man staying in a $3000/night hotel room! There are signs of _light_ in this country.

ETA:

Here's a summary of what they're hearing in France:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/16/us-strausskahn-alibi-idUSTRE74F35M20110516

DSK says he was at lunch with his daughter and the timeline doesn't work out.

People Who Aren't Going to be Elected President in 2012

Huckabee decided against running. This is what everyone was expecting, altho he did do a nice job of getting everyone all excited about the announcement by feinting as if he might possibly run ... and then announced he really wasn't going to run. Because I have a myopic view of the universe, I think this is Jon Stewart's doing. He had Huckabee on the Daily Show several times to discuss his views on things like gay marriage and abortion. They were long interviews, shown uncut on the web. Huckabee -- give him credit -- spoke relatively freely about what he believed, partly because he is that kind of guy and partly because I think he honestly believed that if he could be persuasive and articulate the audience would come around to his way of thinking. A few rounds of seeing that in action probably convinced Huckabee that his appeal might get him the primary but would probably not win him the general. Also, Stewart then had that horrifying "historian" on even more recently which probably added a few nails to that coffin.

Really, probably a totally irrelevant exchange, but in my world, very compelling.

Trump decided against running. This is what everyone was expecting, except possibly the Iowa Republican Party which announced him as the headliner at a fundraiser.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-donald-trump-iowa-dinner-20110516,0,3551705.story

I don't have the energy to come up with anything more clever to say, other than that comics everywhere are weeping, much as an earlier generation of comics did when they no longer had Dan Quayle to pick on.

Interestingly, Newt Gingrich _is_ running, but I still feel very confident listing him here with other people who aren't going to be elected president in 2012. For one thing, he's attempting some sort of play for the center by picking on Paul Ryan's plans to save Medicare for future generations by making it something that no one would really want anyway. I think it's a little too tight a timeline for that contentious a beginning. Also, there's that string-of-wives-with-a-family-values-platform problem (altho Ezra Klein is doing his bit to spread the debunkery of the served papers on the wife dying of cancer story).

I could expand upon this list, but I think I will wait a little and watch developments before saying outright at Tim Pawlenty, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum will _also_ not be elected president in 2012. (Altho apparently I didn't wait very long, did I?)

ETA: Oh, and obviously, Ron Paul.

http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/88421/ron-pauls-racism