American, Dutch, French and Spanish politics, by Nick Ottens
Nick Ottens writes Atlantic Sentinel, an opinion blog and newsletter about the politics of France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States. He has reported from Amsterdam, Barcelona and New York for various Dutch- and English-language media, including the Atlantic Council, EUobserver, Newsweek, NRC, Trouw and World Politics Review. He is a columnist and investigative journalist for Wynia’s Week, and he designed prize competitions to accelerate innovation in agriculture, food and health care at XPRIZE.
In his spare time, Nick edits the online (alternate) history magazine Never Was and writes about the making of Star Trek for Forgotten Trek. He is a member of the Netherlands' liberal party, VVD, and its Liberal Green network.
Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is “very disappointed” with the suggestion that a new consumer protection agency might be placed under supervision of the Federal Reserve. The Senate Banking Committee has been working on a financial regulatory reform bill for several months now. A new agency is to […]
A novel idea from British Conservatives: allow schools to set their own standards. Tory Politico reports that the party intends to put an end to government interference with so-called A Level certificates: the internationally-recognized standard for entry into British universities. The A Level’s reputation has been on the decline in recent years, leaving the prestige […]
In an article entitled “We The Problem,” Evan Thomas, editor at Newsweek, is trying to establish what’s wrong with his country. The problem isn’t the political system, he writes. “It’s us.” For decades now, Americans have lived “as if there is no tomorrow,” according to Thomas. “They have racked up personal debt, spending more than […]
Proponents of health-care reform in the United States obviously have the patients’ interests at heart. For millions of Americans today, medical treatment is impossible to pay for while the system altogether is growing evermore expensive. The needs of those who can’t afford care are at the forefront, but the wishes of doctors and nurses are […]
Since the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal warned that, “Government interventions in financial markets and the automotive sector have raised concerns about expropriation and violation of the contractual rights of shareholders and bondholders” in the United States, it is prudent to explore the necessity […]
Appearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, offered an aggressive defense of the central bank’s role in the future supervision of the financial sector. “Stripping the Federal Reserve of supervisory authorities in the light of the recent crisis would be a grave mistake,” he said. The Fed […]
In spite of ever rising costs and increasingly disappointing results, the government monopoly on education is hardly ever called into question. Education, defenders of the system argue, is too important to leave to the free market. The arguments put forward by those in favor of a state-run system typically boil down to two misleading claims. […]
It wasn’t too long ago that NATO’s post-Cold War purpose seemed perfectly clear. During the Clinton Administration, the United Stated led allies in humanitarian efforts around the world but in Europe’s backyard especially. Up to this very day, Western forces are actively engaged in peacekeeping in former Yugoslavia and, of course, in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan […]
In an interview with Bob Schieffer on CBS’s Face the Nation this Sunday, Colin Powell expressed no regret for endorsing Barack Obama in the 2008 election. Although the president might have taken on too much too soon during the first year of his administration, the country, said Powell, is not less safe. According to the […]
Europe may be reluctant to embrace Turkey but the country is well underway to establishing itself as a regional power. As a gateway to the West, it engages with nearby Middle Eastern states, signing free-trade agreements with Egypt, Israel, Morocco and Tunisia. It is currently in negotiations with the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, to […]
The governing coalition in the Netherlands was brought down Saturday, unable to bridge a divide between Christian Democrats and socialists over whether or not to keep forces in Afghanistan after 2010. For the fouth time, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende had to announce that a government of his had come to its end prematurely. His […]