The Great Zimbabwe Collapse

August 7, 2007

Over at RealClearPolitics, Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group discusses the ongoing economic meltdown of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. It’s a good primer for those who haven’t been following the story. The conclusion pretty much sums it up:

But the risk for southern Africa of complete chaos in Zimbabwe may finally have become too great. When Mugabe goes, it will probably be the ZANU-PF elite that pulls the trigger. The president’s lieutenants have hesitated up to now because no viable presidential alternative has emerged from among them. They may soon decide that any alternative is more likely than Robert Mugabe to pull Zimbabwe back from the brink.

Meanwhile, Foreign Policy’s Carolyn O’Hara points to another development along the country’s southern border: the influx of immigrants into South Africa has resulted in the formation of the country’s own variation of the Minutemen. This, it follows, will undermine Mugabe’s support in South Africa, possibly to the point where the South African government ceases its attempts to uphold his legitimacy. For the sake of Zimbabweans, we can only hope.

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The Rundown

July 25, 2007
  • Michael Gerson makes a pretty persuasive argument for close US and international attention to the resolution of the ongoing conflict in Uganda.
  • Alan Weber argues, not at all persuasively, that Detroit ought to be embracing stricter fuel standards. I am no lover of inefficient vehicles, but I think the comments showcase a number of critical flaws in his argument.
  • Tyler Cowen makes a provocative, if inconclusive, post questioning whether buying local produce is really all it’s cracked up to be.
  • David Bernstein points to some disturbing news about Hezbollah. As usual, he can’t resist the urge to make an absolutely ridiculous remark, but the content is newsworthy.
  • The Politico suggests that Obama’s campaign may be taking some cues from Ronald Reagan’s.
  • Bad news from the housing market (via TPM Cafe).

The Rundown

July 23, 2007
  • Your weekly Guantanamo controversy story at the NYT.
  • Matthew Yglesias points to a pretty revealing chart discussing the role of the filibuster in the current Congress.
  • Adam Cohen suggests that the founding fathers would find our fearless leader somewhat appalling.
  • Freakonomics hosts an interesting discussion (“quorum”, if you prefer Stephen Dubner’s somewhat pretentious terminology) about rhino conservation in Africa.
  • More from Mark Kleiman on the defunding option as a means of ending the subpoena v. privilege standoff.

The Rundown

July 17, 2007
  • Libya finally revokes the death sentences of the Bulgarian doctors in the AIDS case. I can’t say I’m surprised, not even Ghaddafi is that crazy.
  • Friendly reminder: Actually being innocent doesn’t necessarily get your conviction overturned under US law.
  • Would an Iraqi civil war take the wind out of Iran’s sails? And how should we feel about that?
  • Ron Paul rising. Weird.
  • This has been widely reported, but the contents of an unintentionally hilarious Richard Nixon memo came out today.
  • A pretty good Boston Globe piece draws parallels between the British occupation of Palestine and a certain other Middle East quagmire.

The Rundown

July 12, 2007
  • Greg Mankiw, former head of the Council of Economic Advisors under the President, discusses one suggestion for resolving our massive “fiscal gap.” Importantly, he notes that it isn’t going to be cheap, no matter how we do it.
  • Over at Slate, Emily Bazelon notices that people who buy a Toyota Prius tend to do it — gasp! — for, er, less than altruistic reasons. Trey Parker and Matt Stone beat her to it by almost a year, of course.
  • Tyler Cohen points to a provocative solution to Africa’s resource curse. Enticing, but on the other hand, this is Africa we are talking about, home of much of the worst governance in the world.
  • Zimbabwe continues to fall apart. More here.
  • Congress to take on OPEC? I doubt it, but that would sure be interesting.
  • Some interesting data on a shift of attitudes about abortion is here. I don’t really have a comment, but it’s interesting
  • If getting nuclear material is this easy in the US, I don’t even want to know what it’s like in Russia or Pakistan.