The arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in connection with a sexual assault in New York risks throwing the French presidential race in disarray.
Strauss-Kahn is seen as the strongest potential challenger to conservative and unpopular President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012 presidential elections. Strauss-Kahn has not announced his candidacy but was expected to seek the Socialist Party nomination.
Political rivals expressed shock after his arrest in New York. Far right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said his presidential bid was doomed.
As the impact of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s predicament hit home, others, including some in the news media, began to reveal accounts, long suppressed or anonymous, of what they called Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s previously predatory behavior toward women and his aggressive sexual pursuit of them, from students and journalists to subordinates.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn behaved aggressively toward a young female journalist and novelist, Tristane Banon, in 2002, according to the newspaper Le Parisien and other Web sites, and corroborated by Ms. Banon herself in a 2007 television interview on Paris Première, a cable channel. At the time, she said that a French politician — whom she later said was Mr. Strauss-Kahn — had tried to rape her in an empty apartment in Paris after she had contacted him for a book she was writing.
“He wanted to grab my hand while answering my questions, and then my arm. We ended up fighting, since I said clearly, ‘No, no.’ We fought on the floor, I kicked him, he undid my bra, he tried to remove my jeans,” she said.
Afterward, she said that she had contacted a well-known lawyer who already had “a pile of files on Mr. Strauss-Kahn,” but that she never filed a complaint. “I didn’t dare; I didn’t wish to be the girl who had a problem with a politician for the rest of my life,” she said.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.