- Walter Russell Mead says the Eurozone crisis has metastasised into a democracy crisis:
Fewer and fewer voters want austerity policies (wisely or not), but no matter who they vote for, the European elite insists that the new politicians follow the same script as the ones who just lost the election. This turns democracy into a joke, which helps explains why the Italians voted for clowns. Who better to serve in office when office has become a mockery and democracy has no more power?
- Reuter's Macroscope puts hard numbers to the claim the drop in the US unemployment rate is largely due to a drop in the labour force:
the U.S. jobless rate, which dropped to 7.7 percent in February, would actually be around 11.3 percent without the decline in labor force participation. This would put American unemployment a lot closer to the euro zone’s recently reported record high rate of 11.9 percent.
- Stephen M. Walt does not believe the sequester will leave the US “defenceless”, but force it to be more choosey in it's conflicts:
Even after the 9 percent budget cut mandated by the sequester, the United States is still going to spend at least four times more than the number two military power (China). Moreover, the United States is in a remarkably favorable geopolitical position — with friendly countries on both borders and no great power rivals nearby — and it has thousands of nuclear weapons to deter attack. As I've noted before, this remarkably high level of basic territorial security is why foreign policy mavens in the United States can devote their time to worrying about and meddling in far-flung backwaters.
- Ahead of Tuesday's conclave, Reuters Faithworld have put together a list of favourites to be the next Pope.
- ProPublica have released a report on what online 'Data Brokers' know about you:
Data companies are scooping up enormous amounts of information about almost every American. They sell information about whether you're pregnant or divorced or trying to lose weight, about how rich you are and what kinds of cars you have.