Ten Things Worth Reading, More than Half Economics: February 16, 2010
Dana Perino's Epitaph on the George W. Bush Administration

The Mainspring of Civil Society Is Profit, of the Republic Is Virtue, and of the Aristocracy Is Honor...

Montesquieu did not write that--but he shoud have:

Henry Farrell: In praise of the European Parliament:

Just as it isn’t because of the benevolence of the butcher or baker that we get our dinner, it’s often because of the amour-propre and power-lust of politicians that we get a system that works. The desire of the Parliament for a voice in international justice and home affairs issues, and of individual MEPs for the limelight, means that Parliament is likely to be a highly awkward customer. With any luck, it will continue to prevent security officials on both sides of the Atlantic from reaching mutually convenient deals that are likely to seem rather less politically attractive when they are exposed to the rigors of a public vote by elected representatives. As there are more and more of these deals being cooked up in the EU and elsewhere (a whole world of information sharing arrangements, some justifiable, some not so justifiable, but few exposed to processes of public justification,3 this would be a good thing. MEPs are surely as venal as the next bunch of politicians, but without the Parliament, there would be next to no public debate of these deals, let alone any possibility of vetoing them. It would be nice to see Economist type liberals (who care, I have no doubt about civil liberties, as well as market freedoms) acknowledging this every once in a while.