Slate Incompetence and Mendacity Watch
Michael Pettis: China's CPI numbers look bad

The Economist Is Shrill

Also schizophrenic: it denounces both George W. Bush and itself:

The Annapolis peace summit: Much to be modest about: The pious hope of this newspaper that America's president might fill the gap was confounded too.... Had Mr Bush wanted to signal what sort of deal America wanted, this was his chance. Yet his own speech was almost miraculously content-free....

So Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president Annapolis was intended to strengthen against the rejectionists of Hamas, returns to Ramallah with little to show except the promise of a year of bi-weekly meetings with Ehud Olmert.... Mr Olmert may feel that he came out better from Annapolis. But what a barren victory: how can he or any other Israeli centrist persuade Israel's religious hawks to accept the need to give ground on Jerusalem, for example, while America has a president who is not willing to make such a demand?

It is of course better that the two sides talk.... Talks might also prepare the ground for the day when America does have a president who is genuinely willing to spend political capital on Palestine....

In the White House, Mr Bush's speechwriters are no doubt congratulating him on a good week's work. They appear to think that simply attracting a big crowd of Arabs to Annapolis and talking loftily about an independent Palestine strengthens the region's moderates against the extremists of Hamas and Hizbullah, and the Iranians behind them. But in asking Mr Abbas to lead his exhausted and sceptical people back into the tunnel of negotiations, and neglecting to switch on a light at the end of it, Mr Bush is asking a lot of the Palestinian moderates. If they fail, he will deserve a big share of the blame.

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