I am happy to report to you (in case you haven’t heard) that the Soc Dems took a real beating in provincial (Lower Saxony and Hesse) elections in Germany yesterday. The fact that Lower Saxony is Schroder’s home base is especially notable. Also note that the German-French Axis (aka "Axis of Weasel") is already on the way toward disintegration; the French are more likely--as I have been saying they would--to more quickly return to the American fold than the Germans. This means that the Germans will be left alone, as the sole Weasel. In the end, of course, I think even they’ll turn back as well, but they are hurt by all this, as is the possibility of European integration under French-German leadership. The other countries (Poland, Hungary, et al) got a taste of what that leadership would be like, and they don’t like the taste. I love the way the foreign minister of Portugal put it: the French and the Germans will have to get used to, in a 25-member EU, "geometrical variations" outside their own axis. Worth two cups of contemplation.