What I’ve Been Reading Lately

The latest twist in a local story that’s gone nationwide, the ICE raid at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa:

The New York Times: With the arrest of the former chief executive, Sholom Rubashkin, federal authorities extended their criminal prosecution to the highest level of management at the plant.

Let’s hope this story becomes irrelevant on Tuesday:

Des Moines Register: “This is one of the great mysteries of life: Why hasn’t Iowa elected a woman to Congress?” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for Women in American Politics at Rutgers University. “On the face of it, it doesn’t make any sense.”

Why even good news is bad news in the current economic disaster:

The New York Times: No, what the economy needs now is something to take the place of retrenching consumers. That means a major fiscal stimulus. And this time the stimulus should take the form of actual government spending rather than rebate checks that consumers probably wouldn’t spend.

And for a solid suggestion of what that stimulus should be, read on:

The New York Times: In times like these, the best a sensible leader can do is to take the short-term panic and channel it into a program that is good on its own merits even if it does nothing to stimulate the economy over the next year. That’s why I’m hoping the next president takes the general resolve to spend gobs of money, and channels it into a National Mobility Project, a long-term investment in the country’s infrastructure.

This would be a great program for The University of Iowa to consider:

The New York Times: The goal, college and university officials said, is to ease critical shortages of parking and to change the car culture that clogs campus roadways and erodes the community feel that comes with walking or biking around campus.

Nice story about one of my favorite musicians:

Los Angeles Times: Indeed, emotionally rich songs about the upside of relationships have become a hallmark of Hiatt’s body of work, which he discussed over lunch on a return visit to L.A., where he lived and worked in the early 1980s.

If after reading this newspaper article you want more, I can highly recommend Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson:

1900 hurricane changed Galveston — and forecasting

International Herald Tribune: The storm came without a name — without warning — and it shaped the future of weather forecasting. It’s known simply as The Great Storm of 1900, and it was the worst natural disaster ever to hit the United States.