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Tag: emmanuel macron

Praising Biden, Macron Agrees That 'America Is Back’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday declared to reporters that President Joe Biden definitely" convinced allies that "America is back" following their meeting at the Group of Seven (G7) summit.

Speaking to the press, Macron lauded Biden's leadership as he admitted that he believes the president is prepared to resume the United States' role as a collaborative ally on the global stage, reports The Hill.

According to Macron, Biden's willingness to cooperate and co-exist will give leaders the ability to work toward developing effective resolutions to global obstacles such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of climate change.

"For all these issues, what we need is cooperation, and I think it's great to have the U.S. president part of the club and willing to cooperate. And I think that what you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership," Macron said.

Biden echoed similar sentiments as he reiterated that the United States "is back."

"The United States, I've said before, we're back, the U.S. is back," Biden replied. "We feel very, very strongly about the cohesion of NATO and I, for one, think that the European Union is an incredibly strong and vibrant entity that has a lot to do with the ability of western Europe to not only handle its economic issues but provide the backbone and support for NATO."

When Biden was asked whether or not he'd convinced global leaders of America's return, he opted not to answer the question but instead, welcomed Macron to answer the question himself.

He responded saying, "Definitely."

Macron's praise of Biden is a distinct contrast in comparison to his previous interactions with former President Donald Trump. Back in 2019, Macron and Trump clashed over the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) amid the former president's "America first" policy as well as his stance on trade and other global issues.

Trump Praises Bolsonaro As Brazilian Leader Lets Amazon Burn

Trump praised Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, after he rejected millions of dollars in international aid pledged to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest.

“I have gotten to know President @jairbolsonaro well in our dealings with Brazil,” Trump wrote on Tuesday. “He is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil – Not easy. He and his country have the full and complete support of the USA!”

Trump’s support of the Brazilian authoritarian comes a day after Trump skipped the G-7 session in which climate change was discussed, and world leaders announced a $20 million aid package for the rainforest.

But Bolsonaro rejected the aid and complained about purported insults from French President Emmanuel Macron.

“[Bolsonaro] said that if Mr. Macron withdrew ‘insults made to my person,’ and what Mr. Bolsonaro interpreted as insinuations that Brazil does not have sovereignty over the Amazon, he would reconsider,” the New York Times reported.

Bolsonaro has been described as a “second Trump” and has used incendiary and bigoted rhetoric that echoes Trump’s polarizing leadership style.

“Brazil’s president has long been notorious for his hateful and homophobic declarations – he once proclaimed that he would prefer a dead son to a gay one,” The Guardian reported.

“Since the start of August, Bolsonaro has called for criminals to ‘die on the streets like cockroaches’, described Argentina’s likely incoming leaders as ‘leftie crooks’, called a Brazilian journalist a ‘plonker’, lashed out at Norway and mocked Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel for challenging him over a surge in Amazon deforestation.”

Trump has repeatedly used the American presidency to prop up autocratic world leaders and to praise dictators and other officials who share his authoritarian world view.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

IMAGE: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (left) meets President Donald Trump at the White House.

Teetotaler Trump: Just Another Empty Boast?

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

“I never had a glass of alcohol,” President Donald Trump said at a press conference in 2018. It’s a claim that he’s made many times before that’s as much a part of his persona as are his golfing and incessant tweeting. In 2017 Trump made a toast at a UN dinner (photo), and drank “maroon liquid” from the glass. The White House would not respond to questions, according to reports.

Earlier this month Vice News reported on Trump’s claim he doesn’t drink and never has. In a lengthy exposé, the news media outlet interviewed people who say tea-totaling Trump is a myth.

“I served him. And he drank at the bar. He’d come in with John Casablancas. He’d go to the side of the bar [at Spy] by the waitress station, because he liked the waitresses. He would order light beer. It was usually Miller Lite or Bud Light,” the bartender, named Laraby, told Vice. “If they could get some large-breasted beautiful young European girl’s attention, they would get a nice bottle of wine, sometimes champagne, and move to a table. He drank his beer out of the bottle. He would nurse his beer. Even if they were there for hours, he would have three beers at the most.”

Laraby was one of nine people who described Trump’s drinking.

And now, many are questioning Trump’s claim he never drinks and never has.

In an angry tweet Trump attacked France for taxing U.S. companies. At the end of his screed he threatened President Emmanuel Macron, saying he will impose taxes on French wine.

“I’ve always said American wine is better than French wine!” Trump concludes.

White House reporter for the L.A. Times, Eli Stokols, was among the first to remind Americans that “Trump does not drink.”

He wasn’t the only one who picked up on Trump’s apparent slip.

 

#EndorseThis: Kimmel Explains Why Trump Won’t Show His Taxes

Donald Trump’s ongoing determination to conceal his tax returns — unlike any other president since Nixon — is annoying Jimmy Kimmel, who snarks: “He’s holding onto those tax returns tighter than an extra-crispy drumstick from KFC.” But the late-night comic has his own theory to explain why Trump doesn’t want us to see his tax returns. It’s an ego thing.

That oversize Trumpian ego heaved into view when he visited Mount Vernon, the home George Washington, with Melania, Emmanuel Macron, and the French president’s wife last year. We’re only learning details about the embarrassing incident now, but it seems that Trump insulted the Washingtons’ distinguished American home. He said the rooms were too small.

Quickly bored by the tour, he demanded to know whether Washington was “really rich” — and confided what the first president would have done “if he was really smart.” You’ll never guess.

As Kimmel observes: “If he were your uncle, it would be funny, right?”

Right! So click and chuckle as if someone else is president.

In France, A Grave Embarrassment For Patriots

Perhaps you recall the last time a French politician angered a certain kind of hairy-chested American nationalist. In February 2003, Dominique de Villepin, France’s conservative Minister of Foreign Affairs, cautioned the UN General Assembly about the sheer folly of invading Iraq.
“We all share the same priority—that of fighting terrorism mercilessly,” de Villepin said. “This fight requires total determination.” He added that “[n]ot one of us feels the least indulgence towards Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime.
De Villepin nevertheless warned that having conquered Iraq, the United States would then face “incalculable consequences for the stability of this scarred and fragile region.” He urged that UN Arms Inspectors searching for Saddam’s (non-existent) nuclear weapons be allowed to finish their job. Because he knew his audience, he also stressed his country’s eternal gratitude toward the United States:
“This message comes to you today from an old country, France,” he said, “…that has known wars, occupation and barbarity. A country that does not forget and knows everything it owes to the freedom-fighters who came from America and elsewhere.”
Even so, belligerent followers of George W. Bush erupted against “cheese-eating surrender monkeys.” Furious nationalists dumped French wine into gutters. French fries became Freedom Fries. After I joked about “Freedom ticklers,” a reader sent me a photo of a vending machine in an Arkansas truck stop actually selling the fool things.
Today, hardly any serious observer doubts that the French were right. Bush’s Iraq adventure proved catastrophic: costing hundreds of thousands of lives, countless billions of dollars, inspiring ISIS terrorists, and spreading deadly ethnic and religious strife across the Middle East. Even President Trump now claims that he opposed the war, although like his apocryphal tale about Arabs celebrating 9/11 on New Jersey rooftops, it’s sheer make-believe.
If Trump had his doubts in 2003, he kept them to himself.
So now comes French president French President Emmanuel Macron, who delivered a forceful speech marking the 100th anniversary of the Armistice ending World War I by warning against a rising tide of nationalism worldwide which he deemed a “betrayal of patriotism” and also against “old demons coming back to wreak chaos and death.”
“Patriotism,” Macron insisted, “is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is treason.”
Treason against France’s governing ideals of liberté, égalité, and fraternité (liberty, equality and brotherhood), he implied (speaking in French). Putting race and ethnicity above citizenship is a cardinal sin in today’s Europe.
Because Trump was sitting there sulking like a child, American commentators assumed it was all about him. Because everything is all about Trump in his mind.
But Macron was also clearly referring to Vladimir Putin’s aggression, and to growing ethnic tensions elsewhere in Europe: Poland, Hungary, Italy, even in Great Britain. He was referring, in short, to the kinds of ideological and racial hatreds that led to the terrible cataclysm of “the war to end all wars” and the exponentially worse World War II that followed it. He was defending the international organizations devoted to avoiding a repeat: the United Nations, NATO, and the European Union. Imperfect all, but maintaining peace and prosperity across Europe, the U.S., and Canada for seventy years.
The distinction between patriotism and nationalism was perhaps most persuasively made by George Orwell. Writing in the shadow of World War II, he insisted that “[b]y ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally.”
Nationalism, on the other hand, Orwell defined as “the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad,’” but also “….of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests.”
“A nationalist,” Orwell continued, “is one who thinks solely, or mainly, in terms of competitive prestige….his thoughts always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations. He sees history, especially contemporary history, as the endless rise and decline of great power units, and every event that happens seems to him a demonstration that his own side is on the upgrade and some hated rival is on the downgrade. Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception.”
Sound like anybody you know?
In Paris, the American Achilles went AWOL—skipping a solemn ceremony commemorating the dead of Belleau Wood for fear of getting his hair wet. Nicholas Soames, a conservative British MP and the grandson of Winston Churchill, tweeted:“They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen.”
As a patriot, I am embarrassed for my country.

#EndorseThis: Samantha Bee Exposes Pompeo As A Loony Homophobe

A good storyteller never begins at the beginning. Likewise, a good satirist will always open with a few laughs. Comedy is about defying the audience’s expectations. Besides, in the era of Trump, it’s healthy to cut-up. Otherwise, we might go crazy.

Samantha Bee knows that. She also knows when a subject is serious enough to warrant getting right down to the bone. Oh, sure, there are a few jokes in her latest YouTube monologue. Bee joins the cavalcade of comedians making fun of the Trump-Macron bromance (“power flirting”) and the strange relationship between France and America. But the Canadian comic soon turns to Mike Pompeo, 45’s dangerous pick for Secretary of State.

Bee reminds her audience of what the media seems to have forgotten. Pompeo is a far-right cuckoo. Not only is he fond of saying “Obama,” “Muslim,” and “evil” in the same breath, the CIA director is a long-time opponent of gay rights. Watch to the 6:00 mark for Democratic senator Cory Booker’s questioning of Pompeo’s Stone Age LGBTQ stance.

Click play to see Sam stop playing around.

#EndorseThis: Trevor Noah Is Mad Macron, Toddler Trump In Epic State Visit Recap

French President Emmanuel Macron is catching heat for buttering up to President Trump. By the time the pair shared a state dinner at the White House on Tuesday, TV cameras and stand-up comedians were catching every smooch, embrace and hand-clasp in the awkward “bromance.”

Trevor Noah senses something deeper, arguing that France has become like a sober bar patron trying to give a very wasted America a taxi ride. Macron is drawing on his past life as an investment banker to stroke Trump into doing his bidding. Noah drives the point home with footage of the En Marche! party leader pretending to be wowed by 45’s old-fashioned office phone.

But never fear, the punchlines are flying. The Daily Show anchor manages an unforgettable bit as a drunken Donald Trump, morphs into baby Donald, and finally Monsieur Macron for an accès de colère, or fit of rage, over Trump’s space-invading buffoonery.

Regardez cette vidéo. Magnifique!

Macron’s New Party Headed Toward Huge Parliamentary Win

 

PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron’s fledgling party is set to trounce France’s traditional main parties in a parliamentary election and secure a huge majority to push through his pro-business reforms, projections after the first round showed on Sunday.

The vote delivered a further crushing blow to the Socialist and conservative parties that had alternated in power for decades until Macron’s election in May blew apart the left-right divide.

With 90 percent of voters accounted for, Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) and Modem allies had won 31.9 percent support, Interior Ministry results showed.

The conservative party The Republicans and allied center-right Union of Democrats and Independents held 18.9 percent, the National Front 13.8 percent and the Socialists 7.45 percent.

Pollsters project Macron’s alliance could win as many as three-quarters of the seats in the lower house after next week’s second round of voting.

That would give France’s youngest leader since Napoleon a powerful mandate to make good on campaign pledges to revive France’s fortunes by cleaning up politics and easing regulations that investors say hobble the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.

“France is back,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on French TV. “Next Sunday, the National Assembly will embody the new face of our republic.”

Voter turnout was a record low for parliamentary elections in the post-war Fifth Republic at 48.6 percent, taking the shine off Macron’s margin of victory in the first round.

Both the Socialists and the conservative Republicans urged more voters to cast their ballots in the June 18 second round, warning them against allowing too much power to be concentrated in the hands of one party.

Macron professes to be of neither right nor left. His one-year-old LREM party fielded both seasoned veterans and political novices including a former bullfighter, a fighter pilot and a former armed police commander.

“It’s a renewal of the political class,” said Jose Jeffrey, a Health Ministry administrator who voted LREM.

Projections by three pollsters of LREM’s tally after the second round ranged from 390 to 445 of the assembly’s 577 seats – potentially the biggest majority since president Charles De Gaulle’s conservatives won more than 80 percent of seats in 1968.

Macron, a former investment banker, wants what supporters describe as a “big bang” of economic and social reforms, including an easing of stringent labor laws and reform of an unwieldy pension system.

The pro-European leader’s program enjoys strong support among liberal, well-educated voters in France’s big cities, but he is less popular in poorer areas where industry is in decline.

Sunday’s projections pointed to another torrid night for the two main traditional parties, which have suffered high-profile defections to Macron’s government, as well as the far-right National Front.

The Socialist Party suffered in particular. Its chief, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, confirmed he had been eliminated from his long-held Paris seat, a symbol of his party’s stunning demise after five years in power. Benoit Hamon, its failed presidential candidate, was also headed for the exit door.

Cambadelis acknowledged that the first round marked an “unprecedented” setback for the party, set to win a paltry 30-40 seats, and the broader left.

“It is neither healthy nor desirable for a president who gathered only 24 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidentials and who was elected in the second round only by the rejection of the extreme right should benefit from a monopoly of national representation,” Cambadelis said.

Francois Baroin, who led the campaign of the conservative Republicans, projected to win 80-100 seats, echoed the sentiment.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who led the voting in her northern constituency, called the huge abstention rate “catastrophic” and urged supporters to turn out in a week’s time.

Pollsters projected her party, which is still reeling from her disappointing showing in the presidential run-off vote against Macron, will next week win just a small handful of seats – perhaps as few as one.

Among the LREM political newcomers who went through to second round were his key ministers and a retired bullfighter.

(Additional reporting by Cecile Mantouani, Antoine Boddaert in Paris, and Gabriela Baczynska and Charlotte Steenackers in Brussels; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Cynthia Osterman)