Saturday, October 13, 2007

Weekend Reading

I’ve been doing more reading than writing so I thought I’d pass some of it on.


In politics sincerity is everything…
… and once you’ve learned to fake that you’ve got it made.

Along those lines let me recommend an interesting and somewhat skeptical piece about Hillary in this morning’s Salon. According to Michael Scherer Hillary’s performance is as smooth as silk:

“President-in-waiting Hillary Clinton says she has come for a "conversation," a candid give-and-take, a sharing moment to connect the politician with the people while the television cameras roll. She sits with two New Hampshire voters, Kim Beauregard and 16-year-old daughter Ashley, on a stage under bright lights. Beauregard explains how hard it will be to pay for her daughter's college education.”

Clinton is shocked and surprised to learn that Beauregard might have to sell her house to send Ashley to college. Later she reports that she had tears in her eyes and her listeners come away impressed by her sincerity, concern, and competence

“In this context, the blatant artifice of her campaign shtick hardly registers for many voters, who brag afterward about having just shaken the hand of the next president of the United States. Who cares if Clinton's shock and emotion at the Beauregard story was planned and forced? Does it matter that Kim Beauregard volunteers at the Clinton campaign in Laconia, where Ashley works as an intern? So what if Clinton held a card laying out the details of the Beauregard story even as she expressed astonishment at the details? For the Clinton campaign, what matters is that the day's message came through: Hillary Clinton cares. And Hillary Clinton has a plan.”

To read the whole piece, click here.


Unhappy Days are Here Again?

Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect. On October 2 Kuttner testified before the House Financial Services Committee. His testimony, under the title 1929 Redux: Heading for a Crash, was posted at

We’ve all been reading about the sub-prime mortgage debacle, but there has been very little coverage of the slow erosion of investor protections that made it possible. Kuttner’s article is an excellent primer on the history of the control of the investment, banking and financial services business that followed the collapse of 1929. It is an excellent analysis of the attack on those controls, and an explanation of what is called the ‘securitizing of debt’

You don’t have to be an economist to understand the Glass-Steagal act or the fine American tradition of watering stock. Kuttner’s explanation of all this was so simple even a Congressman could get it. This is information every political activist should have in hand. This article is fairly long. You may want to print it out. Click here.


The Sliming of Graeme Frost

Thanks to the New York Times’ new policy of open access we can read the columns of Paul Krugman for free. Krugman’s most recent column began thus:

“Two weeks ago, the Democratic response to President Bush’s weekly radio address was delivered by a 12-year-old, Graeme Frost. Graeme, who along with his sister received severe brain injuries in a 2004 car crash and continues to need physical therapy, is a beneficiary of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Mr. Bush has vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have expanded that program to cover millions of children who would otherwise have been uninsured.”

What followed was the conservative sliming of Graeme Frost.Krugman nails those responsible for this despicable attack. Click here

1 comment:

Liza said...

I read the Kuttner article a few days ago but I can't remember where. I thought it was Asia Times Online but I don't see it there now. Anyhow, Asia Times usually has excellent articles about the financial markets and the "world economy."

You should check out Henry C. K. Liu. Go to and look on the left side of the home page for "The Complete Henry C K Liu." The guy is brilliant. A little hard to read, but definitely worth the effort.