Romney campaign embraces radical transparency

Romney's camp seems to be pushing its luck with the aftermath of last week's "hot mic" incident judging by this response to a request from the Obama campaign for the candidate's tax records from his time at Bain capital:

“The Obama campaign is playing politics, just as he’s doing in his conduct of foreign policy," Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul wrote. "Obama should release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders so the American people can be satisfied that he’s not promising to sell out the country’s interests after the election is over.”

The argument that all statecraft should be conducted in public so that voters can be sure there's nothing nefarious going on is a pretty impractical one, as quite a few people pointed out when WikiLeaks was making it. (Romney described the WikiLeaks CableGate release as "treason" for what it's worth.)

But questions of practicality aside, it's tempting to wonder just what might be in those transcripts -- or what Romney hopes is in them:

Obama: Mahmoud, I've got to keep up this sanctions stuff until the election. Then I'll get you those centrifuges. 

Ahmadinejad: I will transmit this information to the Supreme Leader. 


Obama: It's an election season, Hu. You know I've got to talk tough. Next year, I promise I'll get you those 100,000 American jobs I promised.

Hu: I will transmit this information to Xi.


Obama: Stephen, this Keystone stuff is just until November. Then we open up the border and roll out the plan for the Amero.

Harper: I will transmit this information to the NAFTA supercouncil.


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images


Map: Finnish metal is the densest of all metal

For your Friday afternoon map-viewing enjoyment, here's a map of heavy metal bands by population created by Reddit user depo_ by way of the good folks at the Atlantic Wire. Finland takes the crown, but the Nordic dominance shouldn't be surprising. Norway even trains its diplomats to be conversant on the finer points of True Norwegian Black Metal.

In 2010, I wrote about a slightly more academic effort to measure music exports as a percentage of GDP. The NORCs came out on top in that measurement too, with both Sweden and Finland -- not to mention Canada -- among the world's top musical exporters. Though I do wonder if the global cultural juggernaut that is K-Pop has shaken things up in the years since.