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Weekly Roundup
Thai Turmoil, Backstabbing Democrats, and the Fruits of Green Folly

Good evening, readers! We hope you’ve had a restful weekend. Take a break from your Super Bowl preparations to read what you may have missed over the past week:

Too much of a good thing? The editors of n+1 seem to think so, as they bemoaned the overabundance of opinions the average citizen in this information age is confronted with on a daily basis. The internet opened gave everyone a voice, but the resulting cacophony can be overwhelming. But, Roger Berkowitz argues, that doesn’t mean that we should flee opinions altogether.

Pay more, get less. That seems to be the tagline for American health care, where price and quality seem to have no correlation. If you want a stark illustration of the problems with our health care problem, look no further.

The worst is yet to come…or at least that’s how it’s looking in Thailand right now. But some of the key drivers behind the unfolding crisis are often overlooked by foreign correspondents. The country’s ethnic and regional divisions are crucial to understanding what’s going on in the South Asian country, as is the role of the Thai monarchy (and the health of the 86 year old Thai king).

Et tu, Harry? The Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters he was against the “fast track,” a key trade policy President Obama pushed in his State of the Union address. It seems the White House has lost control of Capitol Hill Democrats.

The seven “don’ts” of freedom and human rights promotion. When considering how the US should promote democracy and freedom abroad, a list of “don’ts” is more valuable than the more traditional “to-do” variation.

A list of the five mistakes Obama made in his State of the Union address on Tuesday includes a conflation of energy security with energy independence, fuzzy math in the ACA’s new sign-ups, and an imperfect understanding of who really stands to benefit from the new Iran nuclear deal.

The revolution goes on, until it doesn’t. That’s the conclusion of Peter Mellgard’s review of the new Netflix documentary “The Square,” which attempts to find the “heroes” of the recent Egyptian revolution. In the attempt to personalize the conflict and deify the country’ liberal democracy activists, the filmmakers glide over the much thornier realities of today’s Egypt.

Ukrainian unrest a sign of things to come for Russia? As Ukraine continues to boil in the aftermath of President Yanukovych’s decision to snub the EU in favor of closer relations with Moscow, Putin must be feeling some concern. Despite his consolidation of power in the Kremlin, Vlad could still be vulnerable to some of the perils of mismanagement his Ukrainian counterpart is experiencing.

Two decades of sky-high electricity prices, coming right up. That’s what Europe ordered with its pie-in-the-sky green policies, the costs of which are being seen in consumers’ power bills. European industry is paying double what its American counterparts are for electricity, and the IEA doesn’t see that price gap closing for at least another 20 years.

So long, it’s been a bit strange to know you. So writes TAI editor Adam Garfinkle in his send-off to the late Pete Seeger. Garfinkle argues that Seeger’s controversial communism “emotional in origin, not intellectual—and that their net impact remains mostly emotional as well.” Criticism of his politics may have borne too personal an edge.

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