Weekend Digest: The Best Presidential Biographies

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 9 views 

For our weekend political readers:

November 22, 2013.  That will be the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK in Dallas and the city has tepidly begun to make plans.

It’s expected the date will bring media scrutiny from around the world focusing once again on that tragic day in American history.  In an essay for Texas Monthly, writer Mimi Swartz says, “That this could, in fact, be the biggest moment in Dallas history since, well, the assassination itself.”

For five decades, this most self-conscious of Texas cities has attempted to work its way out of the shame it suffered internally and externally because of this catastrophic event, and thanks largely to the passage of time, it’s finally approaching what therapists like to call “closure.” But as Mayor Mike Rawlings told the Dallas Morning News last March, this particular occasion “is very important—unbelievably important—as to our place on the world stage.”

Swartz’s essay not only focuses on preparations, but she goes along with one author on his daily rounds of supporting his personal conspiracy theory.  She interviews power brokers about it all and the fear that the anniversary could in fact not turn out well.

Clearly, no one in the Dallas power loop wants to see a poorly dressed mob occupying Dealey Plaza, chanting about conspiracies and cover-ups — at least not while Wolf Blitzer is broadcasting worldwide. It’s a serious game with uneven stakes. With exactly one year left to prepare for the event, the city knows that if everything goes right — if nothing happens but a tasteful ceremony honoring the slain president — the world will move on in a nanosecond. But if anything goes wrong — anything at all — Dallas, after fifty years of ignominy, will find itself right back where it started: at best, mortified; at worst, vilified.

For an extremely provocative read , click here for the full story.

From George Washington to Barack Obama, The Washington Post’s The Fix collects the best Presidential biographies on every American President.

The D.C. political must-read asked its readers to submit their favorites and the long list delivers.

Stephen Ambrose, David McCullough, Douglas Brinkley, David Maraniss, and Doris Kearns Goodwin — all of their contributions are there and more.

This list may also spark a few holiday gift ideas for the hard-to-buy-for political junkie. Click here to access the full list.

He will have only been in Congress seven weeks and his term will be over.  In a complex and bizarre occurrence of events, Michigan Democrat Dave Curson will be leaving the U.S. House of Representatives almost before his seat got warm.

So Curson is spending his final weeks boning up on issues like the fiscal cliff even as he plans his return to Michigan. Those nice digs in Rayburn? No more. Like others exiting after this year, Curson had to pack up his office to make room for a new arrival come January.

How could this have possibly happened and what were the series of events that led up to it?  Politico can fill you in on this strange but true art in American politics.

It’s possible if Republican legislators ban mandatory union-dues for organized labor.

“Right-to-work is on the agenda; we are having discussions on it,” Republican Governor Rick Snyder told reporters in Lansing yesterday after emerging from a meeting with the party’s legislative leaders. “We haven’t made any decisions.”

The issue has inflamed organized labor, which lost a costly ballot campaign in November to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution. Unions have urged members to visit the capitol personally to lobby lawmakers on the issue.

If the measure passes Michigan would follow Indiana as the second Midwest industrial state to ban mandatory dues.

States that ban compulsory union dues have greater growth in jobs, personal income and population than those that don’t prohibit the practice, said state Representative Mike Shirkey.

Read more about this contentious issue in a post from Bloomberg at this link.