The bankruptcy of Detroit, which has been a widely appreciated fact for some time now, has now become sanctioned by law. As Reuters reports:
Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday after determining the city is broke and had too many creditors to make negotiations over more than $18 billion in city debts and other obligations possible.
Those “obligations” include the pensions that were promised municipal employees who are now retired and had assumed that promises made by the city were good.
The story is sad and infuriating. The city was driven to this condition by corrupt, one-party rule that made extravagant promises (when it was wasn’t busy stealing) it never had the ability – and, perhaps, the intention – of keeping.
The ruling could be seen as an opportunity and license to bail in cities that also inherited the fruits of maladministration and the buying of votes with public money.
It does, however, seem like only yesterday that President Obama was saying that he “refused” to let the Motor City go bankrupt. Must have been Romney, then, who did it.
INTERPOL issued a “global security alert advising increased vigilance for terrorist activity” on Saturday. While the U.S. government has warned of al Qaeda’s terrorist plotting against embassies and consulates, ordering 22 diplomatic facilities closed over the weekend, INTERPOL is alarmed by al Qaeda’s role in several large-scale jailbreaks.
"Because of the way in which baseball links the generations it has been a channel through which vital traits of American character are instilled. The health of baseball concerns all of America, and the health of America — perhaps especially the American family — finds itself reflected in the state of our national pastime. Baseball is a mirror of American liberty and of the virtues necessary to sustain it."
The hot dog is in decline in America, writes Paul Lukas at Bloomberg, and one thinks, "What isn't?" What institution, anyway. If everything were not in decline, then what would there be for journalists to write about (see Andrew Ferguson on George Packer and Haynes Johnson) and what would politicians have to campaign about?
For the second time in two years, an Egyptian autocrat has been deposed. In Syria, another embattled tyrant – this one robustly supported by Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia – looks like he might hang on. Across the Muslim world, the political future hangs in the balance.