I love The Internets!
I just have to share with you some links to articles that I believe deliver a unique perspective, or a particularly insightful analysis of the sometimes scary, dramatic, important events that are happening in our world right now.
First, the markets: I had been secretly wondering, in the middle of this mortgage/lending/financial crisis, why nobody is talking about the responsibility of individual buyers who borrowed way more than they should have. Everyone loves sticking the knife into greedy bankers, and everyone loves decrying the greed and corruption on Wall Street--but what about home-buyers who borrowed injudicious amounts of money in order to live in a neighborhood they couldn't afford, and walk on Italian marble tile that was way out of their price league?
When Mr. Peevie and I bought our first home seventeen years ago, our second house ten years ago after selling the first, both times we qualified for twice as much mortgage as we actually borrowed. We said to each other, why would people with our income put themselves into that much debt? It seemed ridiculously and unnecessarily risky.
I am not trying to place blame on uneducated buyers that were persuaded to sign on the dotted line by unscrupulous bankers. I'm sure there are many of those scenarios out there. I'm talking about people, regular people, who out of greed, ambition, or a simple lack of prudence borrowed too much money for a house, for shoes, for hundreds of insignificant credit card purchases--and now they can't pay it back. Finally, this guy said what I was thinking.
In other news, here is an article by Slate's John Dickerson that describes one of John McCain's town hall meetings in Wisconsin recently. Apparently, the locals are tougher and angrier than the candidate himself! The article notes a moment of McCain integrity: "In a close contest embracing media-bashing would have helped him, McCain refused."
And in case you were wondering if any conservatives have crossed over to support Obama:
Frank Schaeffer (son of evangelical leader/author/activist Francis Schaeffer)
Wick Allison (former publisher of The National Review)
Andrew Sullivan (conservative journalist and commentator; former editor of The New Republic)
Susan Eisenhower (granddaughter of Dwight D. Eisenhower; author; business consultant)
and a whole bunch of Republicans for Obama.
Many conservatives are concerned about Obama's friends and associates. They might want to look into Sarah Palin's radical right-wing pals, who unabashedly advocate Alaska's secession from the U.S. and who brag about having "enough weaponry to raise a small army in my basement."
And in the interests of fairness and open-minded dialogue, I submit this item from the Washington Post which raises excellent questions for the candidate "in the pole position." I think these questions present an excellent opportunity for Obama to strengthen his base by reassuring the undecideds that he is indeed a forward-looking, strategic-thinking leader who can bring leaders from all sides together in a crisis.
I just spent some time cruising around on votegopher.com, a non-partisan election resource that compares the candidates on the issues in their own words. It's pretty cool, really, especially if you're undecided--and I know there are one or two of you out there.
And finally, another good site for research and reporting from both sides of the aisle is Real Clear Politics, where you can click on all sorts of interesting articles from across the political spectrum.
Here's my challenge to you: If you're leaning left, read a few articles from right-leaning sources. If you're leaning right, read a few from left -leaning sources. Let's try to wear the other guy's shoes, even if it's just for a few minutes.
Maybe it will help us all remain (or become) civil and open-minded in these last three weeks before the Big Election.