Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities. All is vanity. — Ecclesiastes 1:2 (KJV)
King Hollande pays extravagant fee to hairdresser
Francois Hollande, so-called socialist French prime minister, acts like a capitalist. He pays his hairdresser $10,000 a month to clean, comb and brush his hair daily–at government expense. The money is about what a government official makes a year. Moreover, the hair of Francois Hollande is sparsely adorned to begin with.
No wonder the French are calling it Coiffeurgate. (Coiffeur is French for hairdresser.) Social media are both outraged and amused.
Outraged: one Frenchman complained bitterly that his yearly income tax was just one week’s salary for the hairdresser.
Amused: French men and women are shopping for royal wigs, toupees (artificial hairpieces) and mullets (a hairstyle short in front and long in back).
The scandal was revealed recently by the satirical weekly, Le Canard Enchaine, which exists for just such idiocies.
Hollande is ripe for satire. His approval rating has plummeted.
When elected in 2012 he promised to lower the 10 percent unemployment rate, particularly among young people. He failed. His unpopular anti-labor law, enacted by the National Assembly, led to months of street protests.
For good reason. The law made it easier to fire workers, created poorly paid jobs without contracts and allowed companies to move jobs overseas.
Hollande even wanted to ban protests but backed off when confronted by workers and advocates of a free-speech right to demonstrate.
He is not the first politician to have problems with a hair stylist:
• In 1993 King William Clinton kept two runways blocked at the Los Angeles International Airport for an hour while His Majesty had his Beverly hairstylist come aboard the presidential Air Force One to cut his hair.
• In 2007 King John Edwards charged $800 to his presidential campaign to pay for two haircuts.
• In her vice presidential campaign in 2008, Queen Sarah Palin spent tens of thousands of dollars on hairdressing and makeup.
GINSBURG STUMBLES BADLY
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of my favorite justices on the Supreme Court. Yet it is unfathomable why she uttered criticism of Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
“He is a faker,” she said publicly. “He has no consistency. He says whatever comes into his head.”
Maybe so but it is hardly the role of a justice to comment on public figures no matter how reprehensible she deems them.
She apologized later for her injudicious remarks but the damage had been done to the court and to her.
BLAIR’S LIES OFFICALLY REBUKED
An Iraq Inquiry Committee of Britain recently released a devastating 2.6-million-word report denouncing Tony Blair for leading his nation into war with false claims and then mismanaging the occupation.
The official investigation found Blair as prime minister blindly following U.S. President G.W. Bush with the declaration: “I will be with you—whatever.”
Bush ordered the invasion in 2003. Blair, with his head in the sand, followed the Bush lead despite much criticism at home warning of the terrible consequences of an unnecessary war.
Those dreadful consequences were 4,500 American soldiers killed and 150,000 Iraqis dead. Some 250 Britons also died fighting for falsehoods.
Not surprising. Blair, Labor Party PM for 10 years, sold out Laborite leftist principles with a shameful conservatism.
COURT RAPS FRACKING
A federal judge struck down recently an Obama administration regulation on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the seeking of oil and gas on public lands.
President Obama wisely took a strong stand on the extraction of fossil fuels.
According to the New York Times, the regulation was designed to increase the safety of fracking. The rule would have required companies to comply with federal safety standards on the construction of fracking wells and to disclose chemicals used in fracking.
Judge Scott Skavdahl of Federal District Court in Wyoming ruled that the Interior Department lacked the authority from Congress to issue the regulations.
FREE COLLEGE FOR RICH
One of the frequent arguments against free universities is that taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing higher education for rich kids. But the nation already is, a report by the New America Foundation noted.
Stephen Burd, one of the report authors, declared: “It’s more profitable for schools to provide five Merit Scholarships for $5,000 each to entice affluent students who will be able to pay the balance than provide a single $25,000 grant to a low income student.”
In other words, for-profit colleges tell poor kids the to apply for Pell grants and other federal aid then cannot pay back the loans.
In any case, free public education is essential to the health and welfare of the nation.
Jake Highton is a journalism professor from the University of Nevada, Reno. (firstname.lastname@example.org)