TLP Week in Review, 9/3-9/9
Your weekly summary of what we've been up to here at The Liberal Patriot.
What We’re Reading (and Watching and Listening To…)
“China’s demand dilemma could spell trouble for the world”: Financial Times Asia editor Robin Harding details the potential damage China could do to the global economy if it returns to its tried-and-true strategy of building up massive trade surpluses with the rest of the world. Leaders at the upcoming G20 summit in India should “signal—to everybody, not just China—their objection to policies that seek to stabilise domestic economies on the back of demand from others.”
“China’s Road to Ruin”: In Foreign Affairs, Stanford University scholars Michael Bennon and Francis Fukuyama outline the ways in which Beijing’s much-vaunted trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative series of infrastructure projects “have generated disappointing returns or failed to stimulate the kind of broad-based economic growth that policymakers had anticipated” while leaving local governments “burdened with huge debt overhangs—unable to secure financing for future projects or even to service the debt they have already accrued.” “The recalcitrant creditor in today’s emerging market debt crises,” they observe, “is not a hedge fund or other private creditor but rather the world’s largest bilateral lender”—China—”and, in many cases, the largest trading partner of the debtor country.”
“The Super PACs Are Worthless. Donors Should Stop Torching Their Cash." The Bulwark’s Tim Miller writes exactly what most political types know to be true but won’t say out loud: Super PACs are a giant and ineffective scam. Looking back at 2016 and 2020 Miller argues, “In both cycles, the major parties nominated standard bearers with middling to poor fundraising and near-nonexistent organizational capabilities thanks to their brand positioning with voters and earned media momentum (Clyburn!). And in both cycles, the parties rejected campaigns with well-capitalized super PACs and massive campaign teams as the moneyed candidates ran headfirst into the law of diminishing returns for presidential campaign spending targeting voters who have already heard enough and decided they aren’t interested in what they are being sold.”
A Dance to the Music of Time: Anthony Powell's 12 volume masterpiece is one of greatest works of 20th century English literature, but sadly little known or read in the United States. That's a shame because Powell's incredibly intricate and beautifully written portrait of English society from the end of World War I through the 1960s, with a cast of hundreds, is an immersive experience that should not be missed.
The Equalizer 3: Denzel Washington returns to takes on a brutal, ISIS-linked mafia gang when they disrupt the tranquility he’s found in a charming Italian seaside town. Suitably violent and brutal—the kind of adult action flick people say Hollywood doesn’t make any more.
Beck & Phoenix with Weyes Blood at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Cap off summer with a superb double bill of indie rock greats plus a brilliant new singer-performer. TLP will be “Where It’s At” in the Merriweather pit this Sunday. Come on out!
What We’ve Posted
“Why Activists Keep Telling You the World is Ending: ‘Doomerism’ is just nihilistic chic,” by TLP contributor Seth Moskowitz.
“It’s Official! The Democrats Have a Nonwhite Voter Problem: The data can no longer be denied,” by TLP politics editor Ruy Teixeira.
“Coups, Counterterrorism, and Competition: America needs a new game plan in the Sahel,” by American Enterprise Institute fellow Katherine Zimmerman.
“You Say You Want a Revolution...: A review of Christopher Clark's ‘Revolutionary Spring: Europe Aflame and the Fight for a New World, 1848-1849’,” by TLP senior managing editor Peter Juul.
Ruy’s Science-Fiction Pulp Cover of the Week
Just one more thing…
A sea shanty for the ages: fifty-one year old Florida man Reza Baluchi was taken into custody by the U.S. Coast Guard last month during his fourth attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a “buoyant human-sized hamster wheel” of his own design and manufacture.