Corruption matters

Amid all the post-election “how the hell did we get here” analysis, a lot of which has focused squarely and rightly on the myriad failures of the Democratic Party, another piece of the puzzle has gotten lost a bit, and that has to do with what Donald Trump represented to a lot of voters–a vote… Continue reading Corruption matters

Hurricane Matthew: where to donate

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, though that’s more about my inattention than any decrease in the amount of pain and suffering in the world, unfortunately. But as you probably already know, Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm, hit Haiti earlier today. It’s far too early to assess either the human… Continue reading Hurricane Matthew: where to donate

Finding unity in terror

The death toll from Sunday’s car bombing in Baghdad just keeps climbing; Reuters says the Iraqi Health Ministry has now raised it to 292. 23 people are still hospitalized with injuries from the attack, but from what I can gather most of the increase in the number of dead has come from people who were… Continue reading Finding unity in terror

Oil price ping-pong

Don’t look now, but oil prices are starting to rise again. After bottoming out around $26/barrel in late-January, they’ve come back up into the $50/barrel neighborhood in recent days. There are several reasons, but they all come back to basic economics: supply is down and demand is up. The latter is relatively simple: cheap oil… Continue reading Oil price ping-pong

My Iran election primer, at Medium

I just posted a primer for tomorrow’s Iranian elections at Medium: The parliamentary elections are important  — a less hardline parliament means more space for Rouhani to implement his domestic agenda (although even an outright reformist parliament would be subject to being overriden by the Guardians’ Council and the Supreme Leader), and a more hardline parliament… Continue reading My Iran election primer, at Medium

How people in the Middle East explain ISIS

My latest at LobeLog looks at a recent Zogby Research poll of people in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. It’s a wide-ranging poll with a lot of meat to it, but the most illuminating material to me was how people answered the question of what causes extremism: Still, it… Continue reading How people in the Middle East explain ISIS

Don’t help ISIS get what it wants

First of all, here’s something I didn’t write last night, because sometimes I am an idiot: to all those who lost friends and loved ones last night, and the day before in Beirut, and everyday in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere; to Parisians, Beirutis, the French people, the Lebanese people, and everyone else whose lives have… Continue reading Don’t help ISIS get what it wants