Today reader "Adrienne" asks:
i'd be mostly interested to hear any/all thoughts you have on the EU
...and directs me to the article below.
So glad you asked, Adrienne! I have any/all thoughts on EVERYTHING.
Quit yer bitchin', Zapatero
NY Times, February 2, 2010
Ok. So Obama was supposed to go to the EU Summit meeting in May, for... um... not certain... for kicks? Because they have great museums over there? Point is, he never really said he was going, and now he's definitely not, and Prime Minister Zapatero of ¡Spain! is mighty steamed about it.
Dude. If you had a friend who lived in this crazy loft, and sometimes it was totally the best party ever over there, but normally, there was like, a fistfight, you couldn't rely on there being any cold beer, it was out of the way, and the people who lived there were always pissed about how you were dressed, and always insisted you pay for the pizza that you all agreed was a good idea to order, and this friend invited you over on a Wednesday night when you had just gotten off a 2nd shift, had homework to do, and had to get to work by 7am the next day*, would you go?
Europe didn't fucking coordinate their stimulus with us for SHIT last year, when it was crucial to do so (blame the Krauts for that one), Obama's already been there a zillion times, and there is nothing important whatsoever on the agenda for this May summit. Going is a total waste of time.
The E.U. is largely dysfunctional because they have a central bank and common currency, but they don't coordinate their fiscal policy, so when a country (like Spain, and recently, Greece) gets in trouble, they can't devalue their currency to help out: people are just up the creek. But even though they're supposed to be in a "European Union" of sorts, France and Germany and other rich countries never want to bail out the losers like Spain and Greece, etc. I guess I don't blame them, but then, what's the point of a Union? At least in this country, when Nebraska insists on getting way more budgetary dollars than it deserves or can be justified by any standard of morality, California and New York ante up. Also, we have a common minimum wage and a few other important thingies.
Normally I'm a big fan of the Europeans, and I hate the whole "Europeans are snobby and weak" mentality that fat, lazy, worthless Americans often espouse (there'd be no United States of America without the French navy, and if you dispute that, you are goddamn ignoramus and should move to Russia), but in this case, I do have to say to the Spanish (a.k.a. "The French of Italy"), "WAAAAH WAAAAH WAAAAH, shut up, crybabies."
* In case my analogy isn't obvious I'm equating the 2nd shift/homework/early work day to dealing with health care reform, bailout, stimulus, horrible economy, putting up with Republicans all the time, etc.