Actually, the insolvency of Greece also made rough waves in America. Shortly before 3 p.m., the major stock indices (S & P, Dow and NASDAQ) were about to register 10% southwards. Not good news. And the fact they all ended the market day at roughly 3.5% down was only relatively good news, very relatively. This was not a good week for Wall Street. Of course, it was a disastrous week for Greece, which, mirabili dictu, avoided default only because the professional Eurocrats in Brussels and in other boring cities where “Europe” is headquartered went into hysterics.
So what happens now? That's the question Britain asks itself this morning. It would have been easier to answer if the country had managed to make its mind up yesterday. but for the first time since 1974, a British general election has produced no winner, only multiple losers. Gordon Brown remains prime minister for now but his credibility is destroyed and it seems most unlikely that the country would wear any coalition deal he cobbled together.
The only good result of this trauma is that nobody died. And, of course, we now know—as if we didn’t know before!—that we can count on the local police, the FBI, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force to actually come through with the culprit and the evidence against him. (The fecklessness of the Justice Department is another matter. At first, it did not read Faisal Shahzad his Miranda rights. Then, when he began copiously to spill the beans, the Holder folk did inform him. Maybe they were afraid that they’d learn too much.
Overall Best One-Stop Shop Politics Home. With all the latest polls, headlines, and videos from the campaign trail, PoliticsHome is clearly the best and easiest-to-use election portal. It’s got enough detail to satisfy political junkies and plenty of overview material for novices and newcomers. Runner-up: the BBC. Best Conservative One-Stop Shop Conservative Home.
Corpses have been showing up on roadsides in North and South Waziristan for years. Some of the time they are headless; almost all of the time they display a note alleging that the deceased was a spy. Khalid Khawaja’s death was no different, except that he never hid the fact that he had once worked for Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, the ISI. The association gave him credibility in many circles.
And it is running the inquiry, according to a Washington Post dispatch, “because of indications it was connected to international terrorism,” according to a senior law enforcement source. The secretary of homeland security seemed out of the picture, perhaps because her Pollyannaish inclinations were needed for the other disaster on the Gulf Coast. In any case, “Obama administration officials said the incident increasingly appears to have been coordinated by more than one person in a plot with international links.” Here’s another comment from Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman: “I would sa
Janet Napolitano had another malapropism for a failed catastrophe. This one was about how the Times Square car bomb was a “potential terrorist attack.” Actually, it was a car bomb attempt that failed. The secretary of homeland security, who may have been tired from assuring folk down south that the gargantuan BP oil explosion was being put under control when it really wasn’t, calmed New Yorkers with the solace that there wasn’t “evidence right now that this is anything other than a one-off.” Let’s hope.
The Americans like Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. He is an extremely intelligent man, and U.S. personnel have dealt comfortably with him. The Israelis also like Fayyad, even Bibi Netantyahu, who believes that, if a deal can hold, it will be the P.A. PM who will hold it. Fayyad is, I am told by economist friends in Israel, practical, trustworthy, systematic ... and no patsy. The problem is that the Palestinians don’t seem to like him or, what’s more important, trust him.
My old friend Samantha Power, a member of the president’s National Security Council staff, came to dinner last Sunday night after a showing of the movie Sergio, drawn from her book of the same title and directed by Greg Barton. The film is an HBO production which will air on May 6. Sergio was Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Brazilian head of the United Nations mission to Iraq who was killed in a terrorist explosion at the U.N.’s headquarters in August 2003, months after the American invasion and months before Saddam Hussein was snared in his cave of hiding.