(In recognition of the federal government shutdown, day 1) “Confidence Men – Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President” by Ron Susskind.

I originally read this book in October of 2011, and at that time wrote the following:

Four hundred eighty two pages about economics! Took me a while, but I’m glad I presisted. I learned a great deal, though to make the most of it, I should go right back to the beginning and read it all again.

The President in question is Mr. Obama, and the time period his first two years in office plus a few months, but Suskind (a “Wall Street Journal” writer) goes back through the years since 2000. He traces the steps in the financial collapse of 2009, and I understand better what happened.

Suskind has great admiration and affection for Obama, and respect for the complexity of being President. He is (quite appropriately) skeptical about Wall Street and its power.

So, as I am reading this, what happens? OCCUPY WALL STREET  breaks out! I know many sympathizers (most of my friends, I think) and one active participant, who despite his compromised health, is, I believe, in the very thick of it. So, a ray of hope!

And I wish Obama better fortune in his next two years of office. END OF COMMENTS FROM 2011. Read the book! Well worth your attention.

9 pm, October 1: We have teetered over the brink into a shutdown. I believe that Obama is  now a much tougher man than when he was first elected. I see that the term “re-litigated” is being used. I first encountered it in Confidence Men. Obama’s underlings, Republican holdovers, simply did not do what he told them to do. They repeatedly brought up “issues” after decisions had been made. I’m surprised Obama didn’t clean house sooner. His staff made him so nervous about the psychology of the marketplace that he didn’t act. Both in health care and economic regulation, he missed the chance to move decisively. Now, I think we are seeing a more clear headed and determined President, but he’s up against astonishingly irresponsible stubbornness. 

It matters who “wins”, and also who gets the blame. Seldom have we been so in need of rational discourse. 

OCCUPY WALL STREET has disappeared from the news. But don’t think it has gone away…

Time for me to go back to CNN.com, and see if anything has changed.


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