The crisis in the Caucasus has led to a great deal of discussion concerning the wisdom of bringing Georgia into NATO. These debates are almost uniformly focused on geopolitical, strategic issues, and that's unfortunate. Two of the big lessons of the post-Cold War period are that economic reform and geopolitical issues go hand in hand, and that international institutions can provide powerful leverage in generating economic and political reforms in former Soviet bloc nations.
The New York Times has asked three different writers to recommend ways to get New Yorkers moving around their city faster. The results suggest that we're still not thinking as clearly as we ought to be about improving mobility in a sustainable manner.
It isn't hard to understand the logic behind Tata's "people's car," the Nano, aimed at the emerging Indian middle class. The sclerotic government has an incredibly difficult time making public investments of any sort, leaving buses and trains old and perpetually packed (unfortunately the roads remain bad, as well). To avoid public transit, others walk, bike, or motorcycle around the country's enormous cities. This is likewise unpleasant, and frequently dangerous. With his Nano, Ratan Tata hoped to provide millions of Indians with a measure of comfort and safety, all at a price of 100,000 rupees, or about $2,500.
Jim Manzi has written the most sophisticated argument against comprehensive carbon regulation that you'll ever see. It's the best you'll find, and with it Manzi has managed to win over much of what you might call the smart conservative set--the Reihan Salams and Andrew Sullivans. Ultimately, I suspect much of his argument will trickle down to the troglodytes, who'll slowly abandon their increasingly ludicrous denialist positions to argue that climate change is real but that we don't need to do anything about it.