Foreign policy fast food: Analyses for the Ritalin nation

A U.S. government report indicates one in five Americans is mentally ill. This only partially explains the results of the last election. The Davenport family of St. Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday became the first people in the country to begin waiting in line for next Friday’s post-Thanksgiving Day sales. See prior point. Susan Boyle becomes ...

DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images
DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images
DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images

A U.S. government report indicates one in five Americans is mentally ill. This only partially explains the results of the last election.

The Davenport family of St. Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday became the first people in the country to begin waiting in line for next Friday's post-Thanksgiving Day sales. See prior point.

Susan Boyle becomes the first artist since the Beatles to top both U.S. and U.K. album sales charts simultaneously. See prior ... oh, this is becoming too easy.

A U.S. government report indicates one in five Americans is mentally ill. This only partially explains the results of the last election.

The Davenport family of St. Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday became the first people in the country to begin waiting in line for next Friday’s post-Thanksgiving Day sales. See prior point.

Susan Boyle becomes the first artist since the Beatles to top both U.S. and U.K. album sales charts simultaneously. See prior … oh, this is becoming too easy.

Heavily armed battle tanks arrive in Afghanistan for the first time in a nearly decade long war at roughly the same time President Obama arrives in Lisbon to persuade allies and the world that things are finally going our way in that benighted country. Who are you going to believe, the president or a battle tank?

Satellite imagery confirms that the North Koreans are building a new nuclear reactor. They would do more to send a message of progress to the world if the satellites sent back a snapshot of the opening of a Best Buy in Pyongyang (and you can be sure the Davenport family would be camped out in front for the grand opening.)

Protests over Haiti’s cholera outbreak have turned violent. Meanwhile, UN Haiti recovery champion Bill Clinton wraps up shooting for his cameo in "The Hangover II" in Thailand.

EU leaders pressure the Irish to raise their too-low corporate tax arguing that the country has gone bust trying to make itself attractive to foreign investors. Are you paying attention, Washington?

In an effort to win the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Michigan Republican Fred Upton has promised to reconsider his support for phasing out incandescent light bulbs. This comes in response to right wing attacks on what they characterize as "socialist" support for more efficient "squiggly" bulbs. (Note: Bloggers everywhere appreciate the recent proliferation of such self-ridiculing stories. A real time-saver.)

The Nobel Committee announces that China’s "unprecedented" campaign to shut down the peace prize ceremonies for Liu Xiaobo by keeping his family away and pressuring countries not to attend may succeed. Beijing could not have thought of a better way to validate Liu or to bring more attention to his award.

In related news, China sentences a woman to a year in a labor camp for retweeting a satirical message and thus "disrupting the social order." Yes, that’s the same China that George Soros says is better run than the U.S. (but then perhaps he feels the same way I do about Twitter.)

Aung San Suu Kyi is finally freed in what the press characterizes as a "Mandela moment" but she notes that in many ways South Africa had it easier. She and Liu remind us that the real progress hasn’t a thing to do with technology, economic growth or the shape of our lightbulbs.

P.S. Due to the tremendous response to this week’s Snookiism post, I wanted to more clearly define what I mean by the term. To me Snookiism is any movement that depends on the stupidity of its main actors or its supporters for its success. In instances of extreme Snookiism, it relies on both.  

David Rothkopf is visiting professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His latest book is The Great Questions of Tomorrow. He has been a longtime contributor to Foreign Policy and was CEO and editor of the FP Group from 2012 to May 2017. Twitter: @djrothkopf

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