Middle East demos: It’s clear that your average Islamist fanatic has no better friend in the West than your average Christian fanatic. The President, as usual, demonstrated that he is a grown up, while Mitt Romney demonstrated that he is both a liar and unqualified for higher public office. And Netanyahu, certainly the worst Israeli Prime Minister, again attempts to interfere in American politics, all in hopes that his non-seriousness about peace and the non-threat of Iran won’t be noticed.
Euroland: Another week in which the promise and the reality remain far apart. The ECB say it will buy as many bonds as necessary to keep interest rates down, but the insistence on austerity means that Spain, Greece, and probably Italy will need further bailouts. The Germans, meanwhile, continue to play their mendacious, amoral game with millions of the unemployed. It will not end happily until competitive balance is restored, much more money is printed, much higher inflation is tolerated, and the ECB becomes a serious central bank.
Chicago: The teachers strike goes on. As does the curious approach of Americans to education: we say we want the best for our children, but aren’t really willing to pay to make that possible. Chicago’s children need parents who are employed. America needs politicians who put public education first, meaning no more wasting money on charter schools and reforms that line the pockets of reformers while doing nothing much at all for outcomes.
Putin: The thug is also a liar, having stage managed his various publicity stunts in the best tradition of socialist unrealism. A diathlon with Mao up the Volga and Yangtse would cap off this Olympic year.
Dutch elections: Muddling through remains the national impulse. So long as the neighbors don’t notice, the Dutch will continue doing as they please.
Gorilla says: “Only a week to go to my vacation, nothing to see here!”