Monday, March 25, 2019


The full Mueller report (yet to be made public) is supposed to be the sum of all the Russia-linked facts in the Trump campaign. Nevertheless, the evidence was not considered to be a footprint for undeniable proof. It appears that the special counsel considered Trump to be more of a welcoming party for anything which might interfere negatively in the Clinton campaign than as an active colluder. Contrary to what the president says however, there is no "complete and total exoneration". The attorney general, Trump's ad hoc nominee , is already spinning a "closure" tale -a "preemptive strike before publication - while Trump's entourage stays accused of multiple federal crimes.

Fact is that the president scored a political victory. The Democrats pay the price for being a one-issue party. The speaker of the House wisely spoke out against impeachment now, but her "flair" came too late to reign in a party which is rightly indignant but which often appears to be off-center. Republicans will rally around the fig leaf that Mueller gave to Trump. The world wide political spectacle will be in overdrive : likeminded "cronies" (Bolsonaro , Orban, MBS, Putin & Co) will chuckle. The danger is that this Manchurian candidate will feel emboldened and that his cult followers in the US might look for vengeance of sorts.

Democrats surely feel that Mueller chose sophism over clarity. William Barr, attorney general, chose the mantle of a collaborator rather than the persona of a law enforcer above the fray. While the president will certainly upgrade his usual attack mode, the Democrats had better beware of the temptation to overreact to the latest emotional affront. This will be difficult since Trump's infamous "base" will not remain idle and the Republicans will play the martyrdom card of their 2020 candidate. This being said, other multiple investigations continue. They will be more aggressive since they do not risk being taken hostage by political intermediaries.

Netanyahu is in town. Americans should ready themselves for a performance of two "criminal minds".

Friday, March 22, 2019


Il semble qu'a propos de Trump, tout a ete dit. Ses mensonges, son bluff, son ignorance crasse, ses "piques" constituent le lot du quotidien. Il est remarquable que cela change peu a la configuration politique interieure aux Etats Unis. Le president compense son statut minoritaire par une strategie dont il espere qu'elle lui garantira le soutien du college electoral. Il se concentre sur une base monolithyque qui habite l'Amerique du "milieu", plus conservatrice". Il peut se permettre d'ignorer les elites"cotieres" et autres intellectuels dont il sait qu'ils lui sont irremediablement hostiles.

Dans ces conditions les clivages s'accumulent. Ils pourraient bien atteindre un seuil dangereux. La partie de la population qui soutient le president et qui est democratquement deficitaire supporterait mal qu'il soit mis en echec. Le fanatisme qui regne dans l'Amerique profonde est aussi reel que dangereux. Trump est passe maĆ®tre pour aggraver, militariser l'argument.

Aux Etats Unis l'independance du Judiciaire et de la presse est remise en question par un Executif usurpateur. Les gardes - fou qui garantissaient (imparfaitement) les droits fondamentaux (vote, representation, sante, education) sont remis en question. L'avancee dans la science, la recherche, la creativite se trouve dans un etat de coma avance. Les Republicains qui controlent le Senat ressemblent desormais a une secte epuisee qui a troque la probite pour la collaboration.

Les references hitoriques sont nombreuses. La lachete des caciques rejoint la resignation des opportunistes. Etrangement c'est le vocabulaire qui trahit le mieux cette "chute" (merci Camus). La desintegration americaine a active l'agonie du "Mot". Le president a impose une narration qui a recours a des phrase ou a des formules simples et , en priorite, a des "vers de l'oreille" (fake news, no collusion,hoax.) et a des epithetes au "curare". Ce barrage continu est propre aux personnaites autoritaires, plus enclines a renverser qu'a raisonner. Autour de ces totems linguistiques suspects, freudiens, il y a un second cercle ou les gestes, les appropriations, les parades militaires et les decibels proliferent.

La correction dramatique intervenue aux Etats-Unis est visible et ressentie a l'etranger. La politique etrangere de cette administration est depourvue de tout element metaphysique ou philosophique. Elle est conduite par des non professionnels et est teleguidee par les sautes d'humeur intempestifs de Trump. La Crimee comme le Golan deviennent les avatars d'une humeur. Dans le quarteron des tetes qui lui reviennent, Trump a un faible (passage) pour Kim Jong-un. Les alliances sont marginalisees ; les interets sont privilegies. Les petits avantages ont la priorite sur les grands defis. On attend toujours le plan de paix pour le Moyen Orient que le gendre de Trump est suppose finaliser (ou sont les Arabistes legendaires du State Department  ? ). Or s'il n'y a pas de mal a parler du statut de Jerusalem, du Golan ou de l'issue palestinienne, il est absurde d'imposer le fait accompli avant terme. La recrudescence perverse de l'anti semitisme est aussi partiellement liee a la personnalite du P.M. Isralien qui, contrairement a plusieurs de ses predecesseurs, n'a pas la quote. Les pays arabes pour leur part continuent a louvoyer, ce qui renvoie a la boutade de Houellebecq : "Vous n'auriez pas un pays arabe, non musulman ?"... qui rouvre toute la discussion autour de l'Islamophobie.

Devant tout ce deballage peu tonifiant, l'envie de regarder en direction de la Nouvelle Zelande est evidente. Apres tout, la P.M. a ete a la hauteur du drame et elle a eu la juste reponse...Quod erat demonstrandum.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


The Brexit debacle is ghastly. The humiliation of the British P.M. is painful to watch. The United Kingdom is meeting another of its darkest hours.

There are no winners in this Three Act tragedy (there is no other word). The E.U. might lose the Magna Carta added value which the British add to all the endeavors they are party to, albeit wholeheartedly or not. The United Kingdom might suffer from no longer having to match its traditional continental anti-thesis. Both sides could end up diminished. This tale of unnecessity was imposed by arrogance, continued by folly and ended through incompetence. On this battlefield only losers lie.

Whatever further tricks might lie ahead, both the British P.M. and the president of the European Commission (not the EU negociator Michel Barnier) had better read the play in which they acted and take their leave. They were not up to the lines they were supposed to say.

This "drama" cannot be reduced to a regional shared discourtesy. It has wide consequences in this new Trump era wherein siblings are now separated as Cain and Abel. The large jesters upstairs divide the downstairs ones, only paying them attention for their own menial, mercurial whims. The United Kingdom will be more of an island and the EU will appear more provincial.

Theresa May had been handed a bad set of cards. She was also an uneven player, prone to moves that were more quirky than Machiavellian. Her infamous Trump ouverture or her call for early elections (which afterwards made her a hostage of Northern Ireland) boomeranged. Now she can hardly been seen as the trusted steward of the Brexit Requiem which has exhausted the most patient mourners. Her Labor counterpart does not fare much better and maybe he should apply for a role in another Death of Stalin movie. Of course the cleaning up of this fiasco might have few claimers. But if brevity is the soul of wit it could as well be the recipe for bringing a bad play to an inglorious end, and for returning to the drawing board. After all, since Westminster still wants a "deal" of sorts, it might be advisable to have a back-up made out of brains rather than nays, but this supposes a different government than the "red herring sort" Theresa May leads.

Friday, March 8, 2019


It has been said here on (too) many occasions that things will get worse in the US. The chaos presidency is becoming even louder and more crass (if possible) and covers now any alternative sound. This mafia administration prefers carpet- bombing over counter-argument. Trump is getting in full pre-electoral mode and, given the Democrats "death wish", he will answer everything and anybody with his brand of napalm.

The majority of Americans could vote intelligently and Trump should not survive a challenge given the breakdown of any form of civility which is putting most off. Unfortunately the war against truth, checks and balances left most Americans incredulous at first and desperate now. This creates a form of shared induced coma, which is paralyzing the patient and gives the perpetrator a free-pass. It is not that Americans have lost their moral, intellectual compass, it is that they are anesthetized, brutalized by a strategy of sound and fury. The Republicans made a pact with the devil and the opposition is too shrill to be believable, for now.

The president will pursue this chaos doctrine both internally and externally. He might pull the Turkish plug out of NATO, giving the treaty the kiss of death, he will multiply trade wars, he will stoke the Venezuelan fire but will (as usual) not assume ownership of consequence. The cages will make a comeback at the southern border, (mostly) black Americans will die for lack of any gun control while poor white Americans are being fed opioids, with the compliments of the mostly Republican pharmaceutical behemoths. In his apocalyptic inaugural address, Trump described a nightmarish America. Instead of improving the situation however, he made it so much worse. The accelerated deterioration in positive expectancy is being shackled. The structural horror of the tax breaks is slowly becoming clear, for all to see; the infrastructure promised is nowhere to be seen ;  health is a dirty word. The president will start a crusade against "socialism"--which he knows nothing about--but will bow for the "good" dictators and "communists" who must chuckle when they oversee the magnitude of the self-damage that America has brought upon itself for the sake of a stupid electoral system which, under the "Southern strategy", is an affront to democracy.

Various pundits argue that the folie d'un will meet its fate or end. One wishes they were right. It all reminds one of the Hindenburg/von Papen deal regarding Hitler. The blind slightness of two pales in comparison with the better cunning of one.