I've been reading Losing America by Senator Byrd about the Bush administration. In the first chapter he describes, based on his experience with eleven presidents (since Truman) leadership qualities necessary for a president: "... presidential leadership requires much, much more than an expensive pollster and God-given charisma. Skillfully guiding a great nation...requires a vision,... a plan..., mature, solid judgment...wisdom and restraint. Experience..., good working knowledge of history, a thorough understanding of...our constitutional system and an intuitive grasp of...human nature." Then comes my nomination for understatement of the year: "George W Bush entered the White House with few tools than most." Runner-up understatement in the introduction to Byrd's book: "How can we be so comatose as a nation when so many damaging and radical changes are at once thrust upon us?"
Also, who can resist this list of dangerous books on the website of conservative newsletter Human Events. My favorite, in the runner-up list, is the incorrect title of The Origin of Species which they list as Origin of the Species. I found the dangerous book list, and other fun things, last night in Brad DeLong's blog.
It was interesting to hear Ariana Huffington this morning both on Washington Journal and at the Take Back America conference covered by CSPAN.
On a personal note, much of the past week has been taken up with looking for my horse and mending the pasture fence. Five of the past seven mornings he wasn't in the pasture. He's discovered many more low spots in the fence than I knew existed. And now he's discovered that the people half a mile down the road have horses and they're a lot more fun than our solitary confinement.