Five Best Friday Columns

Dana Milbank on Obama's evasiveness, Paul Hodgson on bank clawbacks, Timothy Egan on the idiot undecideds, Jonathan Weil on hedge funds from prison, and Thomas J. Espenshade on affirmative action.

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Dana Milbank in The Washington Post on Obama paying for his evasiveness Obama only has himself to blame for his performance: "For the past four years, he has worked assiduously to avoid being questioned, maintaining a regal detachment from the media and other sources of dissent and skeptical inquiry." Without that practice, he couldn't handle the pressure of a real-time debate.

Paul Hodgson in Bloomberg View on getting money back from bank execs Executives at banks who made money off of excessively risk investments or ethics violations have not had to return the cash. The only way to check behavior is to implement "clawbacks," or make execs pay back the money they earned on illegal or unethical investments. "Ultimate responsibility for wrongdoing of this magnitude lies at the top of an organization, both in the executive suite and on the board."

Timothy Egan in The New York Times on the idiot undecided voter Egan is sick of pretending to care about the undecided voter, an uninformed idiot. "You’re not Solomon, carefully weighing the choices. You’re a ditherer. You probably panic at “paper or plastic” in the supermarket, backing up the checkout line. ...we don’t like you. Not because you can’t make up your mind, but because you won’t."

Jonathan Weil in Bloomberg View with how to run a hedge fund from prison Jon Horvath of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to insider trading charges last week. Weil explains how one could run a hedge fund from behind bars. There are two kinds of crooks: "Those who get rich by cheating their clients, and those who make their clients richer by cheating everyone else. You are the latter kind. ...[Clients] should park their money with you—someone they can trust who, due to extenuating circumstances, won’t be able to touch it, either."

Thomas J. Espenshade in The New York Times on moving beyond affirmative action The downfall of affirmative action "would spur Americans who care about racial inequality to seek alternatives to [it] by addressing the deeply entrenched disadvantages that lower-income and minority children face from the beginning of life." Racial differences in education start far earlier than college, and higher education has a responsibility to build from the ground up.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.