The world as seen by cartoonist Tom Stiglich, Creators.com.
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When Ukraine’s president, pressed by the leaders of France and Germany, signed a peace agreement for eastern Ukraine on Feb. 12, he hoped it would purchase several months of calm during which the beleaguered government in Kiev could move ahead with economic reforms and bolster its military defenses. That didn’t happen: Russian forces launched a major attack immediately after the conclusion of the agreement and captured a key town, Debaltseve. That raised the question of whether Western leaders would take action to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s violation and impede further aggression.
WASHINGTON — “I don’t know.”
What makes climate change dangerous isn’t just what we know, which is that human activity is warming the planet. It’s also all that we don’t know. How far will temperatures rise, and how fast? What damage will it cause? Will governments finally confront the problem seriously, and how effective will their efforts be?
The world as seen by cartoonist Ken Catalino, Creators.com.
Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro paid a visit to Havana and met with Raúl and Fidel Castro, who have been his patrons and who helped to install him in power after the death of Hugo Chavez.
CHICAGO — The most portentous election of 2014, which gave the worst-governed state its first Republican governor in 12 years, has initiated this century’s most intriguing political experiment. Illinois has favored Democratic presidential candidates by an average of 16 points in the last six elections. But by electing businessman Bruce Rauner, it initiated a process that might dismantle a form of governance that afflicts many states and municipalities.
Regular readers know that I sometimes mock “very serious people” — politicians and pundits who solemnly repeat conventional wisdom that sounds tough-minded and realistic. The trouble is that sounding serious and being serious are by no means the same thing, and some of those seemingly tough-minded positions are actually ways to dodge the truly hard issues.
Washington is short on fresh thinking about almost everything, taxes and tax reform very much included. So it was encouraging to see Maryland’s junior U.S. senator, Benjamin L. Cardin, D, promoting a plan to overhaul the tax code that is nothing if not radical. Though imperfect, and unlikely to pass Congress any time soon, Mr. Cardin’s plan deserves to be taken seriously by anyone searching for a way out of the blind alley that is the current partisan discussion of fiscal issues.
With their tentative agreement on financial aid for Greece, the euro zone’s finance ministers have paused a drama that could still end in disaster and that should never have happened in the first place. The deal outlined on Friday won’t be concluded until next week, and could still fall apart, but Friday’s talks are being seen as a breakthrough.
By MICHAEL GERSON
The world as seen by cartoonist Chris Britt, The State Journal-Register.
Five years ago, President Obama declared that the United States should double exports by 2015. At that time, the Federal Reserve was expanding its balance sheet and holding interest rates near 0 percent, the combined effect of which was to weaken the dollar. Americans understood that there was no overt coordination between Mr. Obama and the Fed. A foreign observer, however, could easily have concluded that Washington was manipulating its currency to meet a specific economic goal at the expense of other countries. Indeed, many alleged just that.
For all the high expectations, and deep anxieties, that surround the U.S.-Cuba thaw that President Barack Obama announced two months ago, the reality is that the process is still in its very early days. The two countries have not agreed even on one of the simpler bilateral issues: opening full-fledged embassies in each other’s capitals. Cuban President Raúl Castro sounded an ominous note by hinting that complete normalization might depend on such far-fetched demands as the hand-over of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay or reparations for the U.S. embargo.
WASHINGTON — What Rudy Giuliani did last week was stupid.