February 13, 2013
Benedict XVI's central ambition was to evangelize his homeland. Why did he fail so badly?
Obama's Europe Troubles, Thomas Friedman’s Self Indulgence, and Women with Guns: Today's TNR Reader
August 10, 2012
Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Thomas Friedman’s columns are not just self-indulgent. They are an assault on humanity. Jacobin Magazine | 7 min (1,717 words) One woman reflects: does owning a gun make her, and other black females, a frontier feminist or an insurrectionist? Bitch Magazine | 15 min (3,803 words) Obama inherited strained relationships with Europe.
What Happened to Europe?
August 02, 2012
ABOUT FIFTY YEARS AGO, in 1961, Jean-Paul Sartre complained about the state of Europe. “Europe is springing leaks everywhere,” he wrote. He went on to remark that “it simply is that in the past we made history and now history is being made of us.” Sartre was undoubtedly too pessimistic.
Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Something new from an old master: A short story by Elmore Leanord. The Atlantic | 9 min (2,276 words) Spider-Man. Again. And Again. Why Hollywood keeps making the same movie. Grantland | 6 min (1,433 words) Everyone fears a return to the 1930s. Especially in Europe.
Europe's 1960s protest movement sought to chart a path to political power in the interest of a socialist agenda—a “long march through the institutions” is what they called it.
The Solution For Europe? Scott Walker.
June 15, 2012
It’s small consolation for the pain and havoc being experienced across much of Europe, and for the economic fallout that is hitting us over on this side of the Atlantic, but there is a bit of amusement to be had these days in the confusion that the European crisis is causing on the American right.
Europe’s Greek tragedy has now entered its final act, with potentially fateful consequences for the global economy—and for Barack Obama, whose reelection may hinge on the decisions of Germany in the coming weeks. The 2012 election will pivot on the public’s evaluation of the president’s economic stewardship, and a perceptible decline in the U.S. growth rate—which a badly handled Greek exit from the Eurozone would cause—could easily spell the difference between victory and defeat. Obama’s fate, then, may well lie in Angela Merkel’s hands.
When Francois Hollande, the newly elected president of France, arrives today in Berlin for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it will kindle memories of the long history of Franco-German partnership in leading the European Union. In France, it may even trigger the traditional condescension Parisian politicians feel towards their neighbors: the lumbering German economic giant that relies on French diplomatic, military, and nuclear savoir faire to achieve political clout. Increasingly, however, such sentiments are mere nostalgia.
May 04, 2012
I first saw Mitt Romney playing the dread Europe card on the campaign trail in Iowa. “I think President Obama wants to make us a European-style welfare state,” went the standard refrain. “What I know is that, if they do that, they’ll substitute envy for ambition. And they’ll poison the very spirit of America and keep us from being one nation under God.” At another stop, Romney warned that Obama’s policies were already “making us more and more like Europe. I don’t think Europe is working in Europe.
Europe’s Other Crisis
May 04, 2012
Europe’s Angry Muslims: The Revolt of the Second Generation By Robert S. Leiken (Oxford University Press, 354 pp., $27.95) After the Fall: The End of the European Dream and the Decline of a Continent By Walter Laqueur (Thomas Dunne Books, 322 pp., $26.99) In two separate incidents in March, Mohammed Merah, a French-born French citizen who thought he was waging jihad, ambushed four soldiers around Toulouse, killing three of them. A week later, he shot dead three children arriving for morning classes at a nearby Jewish school, along with a young rabbi who was father to two of them.