Daily View 2×2: 22 March 2010

by Stephen Tall on March 22, 2010

Happy Monday, everyone. And happy birthday to actress Reese Witherspoon (34), author James Patterson (63) and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (62). Now let’s find out what’s happening in the world …

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Budget 2010: Giles Wilkes guides us through what to expect of Labour’s (last?) budget.
  • Anna was porn for the job: so says Lembit Opik in his political column for the Daily Sport (with thanks to James Graham for bringing us Lembit’s NSFW insights.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Overseas Stories

Obama wins key health reform vote

The Washington Post reports:

House Democrats scored a historic victory in the century-long battle to reform the nation’s health-care system late Sunday night, winning final approval of legislation that expands coverage to 32 million people and attempts to contain spiraling costs.

The House voted 219 to 212 to approve the measure, with every Republican voting no. The measure now awaits President Obama’s signature. In remarks Sunday night, he said that the vote “proved that we are still capable of doing big things. We proved that this government — a government of the people and by the people — still works for the people.”

A victory for Obama. A big win too for Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Sarkozy trounced, as Socialists win 54% in French regional elections

The FT reports:

Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s centre-right president, took a battering last night in regional elections, with exit polls suggesting that the opposition Socialists had won 54 per cent of the vote.

Mr Sarkozy escaped the humiliation of seeing a centre-left clean sweep of all 22 regions of France after exit polls indicated his UMP party had retained control of Alsace, its last remaining regional stronghold on the mainland, although it lost the island of Corsica. The centre-right was also poised to win two of France’s overseas territories.

However, the scale of the centre-left’s expected victory over the UMP, which was estimated to have won only 36 per cent of the vote, raises serious questions about Mr Sarkozy’s ability to win a second five-year term as head of state.

In another warning sign for Mr Sarkozy, the far-right National Front acquired a new lease of life, securing an estimated 8.7 per cent of the vote.

The regional polls are the last nationwide electoral test before the presidential election in 2012.

Mid-term blues, or a sign that France has tired of its hyper-active President?