What a great man. But evidently, in Sarkozy's France they just put the trinkets on silk pillows and allow the president's idiot children to stare at them, as seen here:
The only other thing worth noting is that Taiwan got a new Prime Minister on Monday. Or at least that's what the mainstream media says. I have a bit of a pet peeve with the way the media, and the encyclopedia people, and all the rest, try to awkwardly pretend that all countries of the world operate under basically analogous systems of government. The main way they do this is by throwing around the word "prime minister," in reference to all manner of foreign leaders.
The problem is, very few countries actually have a "prime minister" other than England and the former British colonies. In these nations, the PM is a sitting legislator who serves as leader of the largest parliamentary caucus. It is through this role that he serves as the nation's most powerful politician, as he alone presides over the lawmaking process. Many other countries have a parliamentary system as well, but these are often vastly different from the British model we tend to assume is standard.
In other countries, the parliament may be entirely independent from the executive branch of government, meaning there is no one official who controls the legislature in the way a British-style prime minister does. In such systems, there is often a strong president who holds independent executive powers. But sometimes there is a weak president, or a weak monarch, who holds very little power. In such circumstances the government's executive power is controlled by a sort of "middle" figure, who is neither a creature of the legislature nor the full head of state. In Holland, for example, their government is run by a "Minister President" who is an official appointed by parliament, but is not a member of parliament while he governs, nor is his cabinet. I understand a lot of western Europe actually operates on this system.
Now in Taiwan their system is even more complex. There are in essence six branches of government:
The judicial branch, which consists of the courts
The executive branch, which consists of the cabinet
The legislative branch, which consists of the parliament
The "control" branch, which consists of various government watchdog and scrutiny institutions
The "examination" branch, which consists of the senior bureaucracy
Then there's the President of the Republic, whose office is treated as a distinct super-branch that supersedes all the others. But wait! There are other presidents in Taiwan too! Each branch of government is administered by a different president, who is appointed by the President of the Republic and ratified by the parliament. So there is a president of the judicial branch, and a president of the legislative branch, and so on.
The President of the executive branch presides over the cabinet, so people in the English-speaking media have affixed the label of "prime minister" to him. Using that term ignores the complexities of the Taiwanese system of government, however, and implies that he, and say, Tony Blair, occupy offices that are basically the same. I'd like it a lot better if the media would just call people by their own titles.
But anyway, the old "prime minister" was named Su Tseng-chang. He wanted to run for President of the Republic, but earlier this month he was unsucessful in his bid to win his party's nomination. So he resigned, and the PotR appointed a new guy, Mr. Chang Chun-hsiung. He will be the fifth premier in seven years, which should be some indication as to how important that position is in the Taiwanese government. On the right we see the official "passing of the golden thing" ceremony.