"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Catching up

No particular order, but wanted to post some links on items I've come across
Starting with

Secret Lives of the Presidents - Timothy Egan Blog - NYTimes.com

Reminder that one should not take politicians at face value
Such as :

"We see more of them than we do most family members. We know what kind of dog they like and what beer they drink. Strangers bring up the most intimate details of their lives for rabid dissection, and intimates bring up the strangest details.

Yet for all the perceived closeness Americans have to their presidents, we don’t really know them, as a slew of recent revelations make clear. They are layered thick with the armor of artifice.

George W. Bush, who got Ned Flanders Nation to see him as a righteous Christian guided by Biblical principle, had a soft spot for gay marriage, and didn’t believe his own speeches on the subject. This from ex-speech writer Matt Latimer."


"Bill Clinton comes across in Branch’s just-published book, “The Clinton Tapes,” as the closest thing to the guy we recognize. He is needy, petulant, brilliant, with those oversized appetites. It’s no surprise that he is dead-on in his assessment of why Al Gore lost the 2000 campaign: failing to run on the Clinton prosperity, or even use the Big Dog. But what if Clinton had come out and said at the time that Gore was blowing it, as he told Branch. Most likely, Gore would have been forced to use him, and needing only a handful of votes in a few states, it would have tipped the 2000 election. But then again, as Clinton is quoted as saying of Gore: “I thought he was in Neverland.”

The very wealthy are concerned - in part about what may happen with confiscatory taxes or other government actions towards assets. That and commercial real estate.

Wealth Matters - Too Rich to Worry? Not in This Downturn - NYTimes.com:

"According to a study the Family Office Exchange plans to release this month, the super-rich are most worried about what they do not know. Some 45 percent of the 108 ultrahigh-net-worth families surveyed in August ranked the economy and financial markets as their No. 1 concern. They were most concerned about government intervention in the financial markets and a commercial real estate bust."

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