"What's New? How Is the World Treating You?"


In 1939 Johnny Burke (1908-1964) composed the music and Bob Haggard (1914-1998) wrote the lyrics for the hit song "What's New?" whose first line serves as the title of this blog.  To listen to Linda Ronstadt (born 1946) perform "What's New?" with Nelson Riddle (1921-1985) and his orchestra (Asylum, 1983), click here.  A new window will open, allowing the music to play in the background.

Check this web page for occasional posts containing news and commentary, mainly about events in Central Europe.  To read the article of your choice, either click on the title that appears in the table of contents or scroll down the page.
   
For news and commentary from the most recent past quarter, click here.  For earlier quarters in the year or previous years, see the Introduction and Index for "What's New?"

Table of Contents for the First Quarter of 2022


The EU and UK Battle over Ireland    23 May 2022

In order to prevent a border between Northern Ireland, which is in the European Union, and the Republic of Ireland, which is in the United Kingdom, the Brexit agreement calls for controls on goods between Northern Ireland and the UK before they ever leave Britain.  The Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland, however, see the agreement as weakening Northern Ireland’s ties with the UK and strengthening links with the Republic of Ireland.  As a result, they seek to undermine the agreement, and the Conservative Party is doing their bidding.  The whole matter threatens to poison EU-UK relations.  For an excellent explanation of the situation, see Cristina Gallardo, Shawn Pogatchnik, Leonie Kijewski, and Sebastian Whale, “ Here We Go Again: The Latest UK-EU Brexit Row Unpicked,” Politico, 22 May 2022, https://www.politico.eu/article/latest-uk-eu-brexit-row-questions/.

Media Reports on the War in Ukraine    21 May 2022

Since March 2022, I have been constructing a bibliography of media accounts of the war in Ukraine.  It is not complete, but it may assist some researchers.  This bibliography ends on 21 May 2022, and I will post additional bibliographies in the future.

Orbán Spoke to CPAC    21 May 2022

On 19 May 2022, the Hungarian authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which took place in Budapest, Hungary..  Other speakers included Tucker Carlson of Fox News.  Those at the conference decried America’s liberalism and praised Hungary’s political system.  Perhaps the American conservatives who traveled to Budapest are unaware of Orbán’s measures that have allowed his Fidesz Party to control all the levers of state, enabled the country to suppress the independent media, placed partisan judges on every court, and suppressed LGBTQ and other segments of Hungarian society.  Orbán’s political system is not yet totalitarian, unlike that of Vladimir Putin, with whom Orbán has an excellent relationship.  Nevertheless, it is inconsistent with democratic standards, including those that the United States has advanced, despite its own flaws, throughout its existence.

See Flora Garamvolgyi, “Viktor Orbán tells CPAC the path to power is to ‘have your own media,’” The Guardian, 20 May 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/20/viktor-orban-cpac-republicans-hungary.

For the opinions of two observers of the spectacle in Budapest, see Jamelle Bouie, “A Minor Strongman, Some Conservative Populists and Tucker Carlson Went to a Conference,” New York Times, 24 May 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/24/opinion/orban-hungary-cpac-republicans.html; and Kim Lane Scheppele, “Trump, DeSantis, Viktor Orban and the Use of Political Payback,” New York Times, 24 May 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/24/opinion/trump-desantis-viktor-orban.html.

Radio Silence    21 May 2022

I apologize for the lack of updates since the first quarter of 2021.  I have had to teach new courses, in addition to my research, and I had no time for keeping this part of the website up to date.  I likely will not add any new courses to my schedule, but I still have several research projects to complete, which means that I still will not be updating the site with any regularity.