Featured Articles — December 12, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

The Roots of the Mortgage Crisis — Alan Greenspan
Bubbles cannot be safely defused by monetary policy before the speculative fever breaks on its own.

America must resist protectionism — Michael Bloomberg
The US economy has turned downward. People are feeling insecure. There are grave concerns about jobs moving overseas and about losing ground to Asian countries. Heavy pressures are mounting on the presidential candidates in both parties to pander to protectionist and even isolationist sentiments.

The Huckabee Factor — Zev Chafets
Mike Huckabee walked into the lobby of the Des Moines Marriott at 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 3, deposited an armful of dirty laundry at the desk and checked to make sure he was being credited with Marriott Rewards points toward his next stay. Then, accompanied by his wife, Janet, his daughter, Sarah, and his press secretary, Alice Stewart — who doubles as his Boston Marathon trainer — he walked into the dark, freezing morning, climbed into a waiting S.U.V. and headed for Central College in Pella, Iowa.

Last debates could have ‘seismic impact’ — Thomas Beaumont
The Des Moines Register’s presidential debates, set for today and Thursday, are the last meetings of the candidates before the leadoff Iowa caucuses and most meaningful of the dozens already held this year, campaign strategists agree.

Bill Clinton to aid Hillary’s campaign — KENNETH R. BAZINET and THOMAS M. DeFRANK
Insiders say Bill Clinton is furious at some of the decisions made by wife’s campaign team. Bubba to the rescue! Alarmed by his wife’s slide in the polls and disarray within her backbiting campaign, a beside-himself Bill Clinton has leaped atop the barricades and is furiously plotting a cure – or coup.

That Does Not Compute — Jeffrey Lord
Mitt Romney has a passion for data. A great president needs a passion for principle.

Muscle Flexing in Senate: G.O.P. Defends Strategy — DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, operates with near-robotic efficiency when it comes to negotiating budget figures in public, consistently refusing to answer questions that would ever commit him to a specific number at the bargaining table.

Paper Trail — Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Who authorized the CIA to destroy interrogation videos?

Politics, Putin-Style — New York Times Editorial
The Soviet-style guessing game over Russia’s presidential succession seemed all but decided this week when President Vladimir Putin endorsed the candidacy of his loyal protégé, Dmitri Medvedev, and then Mr. Medvedev announced that, once elected, he would appoint Mr. Putin to be his prime minister.

Hugo’s Crude Politicsm — Investor’s Business Daily Editorial
Politics: Joe Kennedy’s back, playing Santa Chavez with a new sleigh full of Venezuelan heating oil for “the poor.” The tropical dictator’s politicized “gift,” however, comes with strings. We see Joe dancing on them.

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