May 8th, 2014
04:18 PM ET

What I'm reading

By Fareed Zakaria

“Despite their reliance on relatively unsophisticated weapons, Uighur militants seem to have already mastered some of the most challenging problems that extremist organizations face,” writes Philip Potter in The Guardian. “The ability to conduct complex, coordinated attacks like those in Urumqi and Kunming are hallmarks of organizational strength. Moreover, while it might seem counterintuitive, restraint is also a clear indicator of capability. Weak movements lash out without discipline and coordination, while strong ones wait for opportune moments and symbolically valuable targets. Last week's attack in Urumqi certainly fits the latter description.”


“Brazil’s government does only one thing very well – raising taxes,” writes Joe Leahy in the Financial Times. “In 1999, consolidated government revenues were 31.7 per cent of gross domestic product, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. By 2005, this had risen to 34.9 percent and by 2012 to 38.9 percent. The latter compares with an average for the OECD group of developed nations of 36.2 percent.”

“The problem for Brazilian productivity is that unlike the big-spending but more efficient OECD countries, public expenditure out of Brasília seems to deliver little bang for its buck.”


“What Ukraine really needs is an Afghan-style loya jirga, a grand assembly, ideally under the auspices of the United Nations or Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, with the full backing of all outside powers,” write James Goldgeier and Andrew S. Weiss in the New Republic. “Participation in the loya jirga by representatives of all political, regional, and economic stakeholders from inside Ukraine would have to be mandatory. For nearly 25 years, the leaders and people of Ukraine have failed to agree on fundamental aspects of their statehood, to come together as a single nation, or to build a prosperous economy. Power is over-centralized in the hands of the government in Kiev and needs to be devolved to the regional level.”


“Until recently a common understanding of reality drove cross-party policymaking,” writes The Economist. “A Republican president, Richard Nixon, created the Environmental Protection Agency with bipartisan support. A Democrat, Bill Clinton, worked with Republicans in Congress to reform welfare, and came close to a deal to preserve the long-term sustainability of Social Security. Such comity is growing harder to find. Right and left do not just disagree on how to regulate pollution; most Republican voters do not accept that man-made global warming is happening. As for America’s future solvency, leading Democrats, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, question whether Social Security faces a crisis at all, suggesting that its benefits should in fact be expanded. What is going on?”



soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    May 8, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • Charles

      Define failed state? I just went to a grocery store packed with everything you'd ever need, drove on a federally subsidized and well maintained interstate, and am currently sitting a safe air conditioned office writing on my two thousand dollar computer. While I agree THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT (and not the American people as a whole) have made some devastating (and immoral) foreign policy errors, I'd still rather live here than pretty much anywhere else.

      May 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Also John Smith, you say america is the only country to shoot down a civilian airliner. Have you forgotten, or possibly before your time, or think that others don't remember the KAL flight 007 shot down by the soviets in 1982 ? I could list many more, but I suggest you research for yourself so you don't continue to make unsubstantiated claims.

      May 8, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
  2. chrissy

    Lol @ Charles i would say you're pretty damn lucky! Our interstate highways are full of potholes!!! Even so im not relocating...just rethinking my voting procedure!

    May 8, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      You have got to be talking about I-75. Those fifty (sarcastic exaggeration) axle steel trucks have really tore up that road. And if I remember correctly, I-94 & I-96 are no god send either. Unless, of course, they've done some major repairs over the last 38 years. (Yes, I'm trying to be funny)

      May 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
  3. chrissy

    Lmao you're spot on @ bobcat! And then my all time favorite...Michigan Ave! Holy moly! Im talking craters! Lol

    May 8, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Is that section of cobblestone still there ? I think it was in the area of the old Briggs (later called Tiger) stadium, heading into downtown.

      May 8, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
  4. chrissy

    Lol so you did mean 50 an hour right??? Trucks i mean. And that aint an exageration of course.

    May 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Yeah, and the multiple axles on them. Those things were so loaded down with steel, I don't know how they even moved. Hence the condition of the roads.

      May 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
  5. chrissy

    Sorry @ bobcat but i dont live in Detroit. Im on the cusp between Garden City and Inkster.

    May 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
  6. chrissy

    Oh and @ bobcat, you may have misread @ Johns post dear. He said the US is the only ones to ever shoot down an IRANIAN civilian flight.

    May 9, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
  7. j. von hettlingen

    Phillip Potter of The Guardian wrote: “Despite their reliance on relatively unsophisticated weapons, Uighur militants seem to have already mastered some of the most challenging problems that extremist organizations face.” It's sad to see the display of so much hatred and bitterness.

    May 11, 2014 at 10:06 am |

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