F. Gregory Gause at The New Yorker explains why Saudi Arabia fears the Iran deal. "The Saudis have no allies in American politics to rally against the Obama Administration, and no desire to set themselves against the other international powers who signed the agreement, ... But they are as unhappy as the Israelis, if for slightly different reasons," writes Gause, a political science professor at the University of Vermont and a senior fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. The Saudis worry that "geopolitical trends in the Middle East are aligning against them, threatening both their regional stature and their domestic security." While the Obama Administration "sees an Iranian commitment to foreswear nuclear weapons as a benefit to allies like Saudi Arabia," the Saudis, "without a seat at the negotiating table, fear that Washington will ratify Iranian hegemony in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Persian Gulf in exchange for a nuclear deal." Middle East scholar Andrew Exum tweets, "Really solid analysis from Greg Gause, as one would expect."
Adrian Chen at The New York Times on the currency bitcoin. "I know one bitcoin cost around $9 when I first stumbled on it in the summer of 2011. That was before I single-handedly sent the price of bitcoin soaring," Chen, a former Gawker writer, explains. "I wasn’t trying to manipulate an underground economy. I was just doing my job ... when I broke the story of the online underground illegal drug market Silk Road, on which bitcoin was the only accepted currency because of its relative anonymity." Now, "boosters say that bitcoin is the currency of the future. I’d argue that the phenomenon is a digital gold rush perfectly emblematic of the present," Chen writes. While the rise in bitcoin value has made some people wealthier, Chen insists, "the crash is going to be great. Bitcoin is too dependent on speculative mania to be of practical use as a currency." Mashable editor Megan Hess tweets, "the bitcoin craze suggests that getting rich is as easy as being an early adopter." Jared Keller, the social media editor at Al Jazeera America, notes who Chen replaces: "Adrian Chen is a freelance journalist ... Thomas L. Friedman is off today."