Kill Switch The Rise Of The Modern Senate And The Crippling Of American Democracy

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Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy

Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy Pdf/ePub eBook Author:
Editor: Liveright Publishing
ISBN: 1631497782
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Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy by Summary

An insider’s account of how politicians representing a radical white minority of Americans have used “the world’s greatest deliberative body” to hijack our democracy. Every major decision governing our diverse, majority-female, and increasingly liberal country bears the stamp of the United States Senate, an institution controlled by people who are almost exclusively white, overwhelmingly male, and disproportionately conservative. Although they do not represent a majority of Americans—and will not for the foreseeable future—today’s Republican senators possess the power to block most legislation. Once known as “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” the Senate has become one of the greatest threats to our democracy. How did this happen? In Kill Switch, Senate insider Adam Jentleson contends that far from reflecting the Framers’ vision, the Senate has been transformed over the decades by a tenacious minority of white conservatives. From John Calhoun in the mid-1800s to Mitch McConnell in the 2010s, their primary weapon has been the filibuster, or the requirement that most legislation secure the support of a supermajority of senators. Yet, as Jentleson reveals, the filibuster was not a feature of the original Senate and, in allowing a determined minority to gridlock the federal government, runs utterly counter to the Framers’ intent. For much of its history, the filibuster was used primarily to prevent civil rights legislation from becoming law. But more recently, Republicans have refined it into a tool for imposing their will on all issues, wielding it to thwart an increasingly progressive American majority represented by Barack Obama’s agenda and appointees. Under Donald Trump, McConnell merged the filibuster with rigid leadership structures initially forged by Lyndon Johnson, in the process surrendering the Senate’s independence and centrality, as infamously shown by its acquiescence in Trump’s impeachment trial. The result is a failed institution and a crippled democracy. Taking us into the Capitol Hill backrooms where the institution’s decline is most evident, Jentleson shows that many of the greatest challenges of our era—partisan polarization, dark money, a media culture built on manufactured outrage—converge within the Senate. Even as he charts the larger forces that have shaped the institution where he served, Jentleson offers incisive portraits of the powerful senators who laid the foundation for the modern Senate, from Calhoun to McConnell to LBJ’s mentor, Richard Russell, to the unapologetic racist Jesse Helms. An essential, revelatory investigation, Kill Switch ultimately makes clear that unless we immediately and drastically reform the Senate’s rules and practices—starting with reforming the filibuster—we face the prospect of permanent minority rule in America.

Politics or Principle?

Politics or Principle? Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Sarah A. Binder,Steven S. Smith
Editor: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815723512
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Politics or Principle? by Sarah A. Binder,Steven S. Smith Summary

Is American democracy being derailed by the United States Senate filibuster? Is the filibuster an important right that improves the political process or an increasingly partisan tool that delays legislation and thwarts the will of the majority? Are century-old procedures in the Senate hampering the institution from fulfilling its role on the eve of the 21st century? The filibuster has achieved almost mythic proportions in the history of American politics, but it has escaped a careful, critical assessment for more than 50 years. In this book, Sarah Binder and Steven Smith provide such an assessment as they address the problems and conventional wisdom associated with the Senate's long-standing tradition of extended debate. The authors examine the evolution of the rules governing Senate debate, analyze the consequences of these rules, and evaluate reform proposals. They argue that in an era of unprecedented filibustering and related obstructionism, old habits are indeed undermining the Senate's ability to meet its responsibilities. Binder and Smith scrutinize conventional wisdom about the filibuster—and show that very little of it is true. They focus on five major myths: that unlimited debate is a fundamental right to differentiate the Senate from the House of Representatives; that the Senate's tradition as a deliberative body requires unlimited debate; that the filibuster is reserved for a few issues of the utmost national importance; that few measures are actually killed by the filibuster; and that senators resist changing the rules because of a principled commitment to deliberation. In revising conventional wisdom about the filibuster, Binder and Smith contribute to ongoing debates about the dynamics of institutional change in the American political system. The authors conclude by suggesting reforms intended to enhance the power of determined majorities while preserving the rights of chamber minorities. They advocate, for example, lowering the number of votes required to end debate while increasing the amount of time for senators to debate controversial bills. Reform is possible, they suggest, that is consistent with the Senate's unique size and responsibilities.

Let them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality

Let them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jacob S. Hacker,Paul Pierson
Editor: Liveright Publishing
ISBN: 1631496859
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Let them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality by Jacob S. Hacker,Paul Pierson Summary

A New York Times Editors’ Choice An “essential” (Jane Mayer) account of the dangerous marriage of plutocratic economic priorities and right-wing populist appeals — and how it threatens the pillars of American democracy. In Let Them Eat Tweets, best-selling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson argue that despite the rhetoric of Donald Trump, Josh Hawley, and other right-wing “populists,” the Republican Party came to serve its plutocratic masters to a degree without precedent in modern global history. To maintain power while serving the 0.1 percent, the GOP has relied on increasingly incendiary racial and cultural appeals to its almost entirely white base. Calling this dangerous hybrid “plutocratic populism,” Hacker and Pierson show how, over the last forty years, reactionary plutocrats and right-wing populists have become the two faces of a party that now actively undermines democracy to achieve its goals against the will of the majority of Americans. Based on decades of research and featuring a new epilogue about the intensification of GOP radicalism after the 2020 election, Let Them Eat Tweets authoritatively explains the doom loop of tax cutting and fearmongering that defines the Republican Party—and reveals how the rest of us can fight back.

Nixonland

Nixonland Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Rick Perlstein
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451606263
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Nixonland by Rick Perlstein Summary

An exciting e-format containing 27 video clips taken directly from the CBS news archive of a brilliant, best-selling account of the Nixon era by one of America’s most talented young historians. Between 1965 and 1972 America experienced a second civil war. Out of its ashes, the political world we know today was born. Nixonland begins in the blood and fire of the Watts riots-one week after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, and nine months after his historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater seemed to have heralded a permanent liberal consensus. The next year scores of liberals were thrown out of Congress, America was more divided than ever-and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon. Six years later, President Nixon, harvesting the bitterness and resentment borne of that blood and fire, was reelected in a landslide even bigger than Johnson's, and the outlines of today's politics of red-and-blue division became already distinct. Cataclysms tell the story of Nixonland: • Angry blacks burning down their neighborhoods, while suburbanites defend home and hearth with shotguns. • The civil war over Vietnam, the assassinations, the riot at the Democratic National Convention. • Richard Nixon acceding to the presidency pledging a new dawn of national unity--and governing more divisively than any before him. • The rise of twin cultures of left- and right-wing vigilantes, Americans literally bombing and cutting each other down in the streets over political differences. •And, finally, Watergate, the fruit of a president who rose by matching his own anxieties and dreads with those of an increasingly frightened electorate--but whose anxieties and dreads produced a criminal conspiracy in the Oval Office.

It's Even Worse Than It Looks

It's Even Worse Than It Looks Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Thomas E. Mann,Norman J. Ornstein
Editor: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465096735
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It's Even Worse Than It Looks by Thomas E. Mann,Norman J. Ornstein Summary

Hyperpartisanship is as old as American democracy. But now, acrimony is not confined to a moment; it's a permanent state of affairs and has seeped into every part of the political process. Identifying the overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse, It's Even Worse Than It Looks profoundly altered the debate about why America's government has become so dysfunctional. Through a new preface and afterword, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein bring the story forward, examining the 2012 presidential campaign and exploring the prospects of a less dysfunctional government. As provocative and controversial as ever, It's Even Worse Than It Looks will continue to set the terms of our political debate in the years to come.

The Right to Privacy

The Right to Privacy Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Caroline Kennedy,Ellen Alderman
Editor: Vintage
ISBN: 0307765164
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The Right to Privacy by Caroline Kennedy,Ellen Alderman Summary

Can the police strip-search a woman who has been arrested for a minor traffic violation? Can a magazine publish an embarrassing photo of you without your permission? Does your boss have the right to read your email? Can a company monitor its employees' off-the-job lifestyles--and fire those who drink, smoke, or live with a partner of the same sex? Although the word privacy does not appear in the Constitution, most of us believe that we have an inalienable right to be left alone. Yet in arenas that range from the battlefield of abortion to the information highway, privacy is under siege. In this eye-opening and sometimes hair-raising book, Alderman and Kennedy survey hundreds of recent cases in which ordinary citizens have come up against the intrusions of government, businesses, the news media, and their own neighbors. At once shocking and instructive, up-to-date and rich in historical perspective, The Right to Private is an invaluable guide to one of the most charged issues of our time. "Anyone hoping to understand the sometimes precarious state of privacy in modern America should start by reading this book."--Washington Post Book World "Skillfully weaves together unfamiliar, dramatic case histories...a book with impressive breadth."--Time

The Hill to Die On

The Hill to Die On Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jake Sherman,Anna Palmer
Editor: Crown
ISBN: 052557476X
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The Hill to Die On by Jake Sherman,Anna Palmer Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The inside story of Donald Trump’s first two years in Washington as viewed from Capitol Hill, a startling account that turns “Congress into a Game of Thrones book” (Trevor Noah, The Daily Show). Taking readers into secret strategy calls and closed-door meetings from the House to the White House, Politico Playbook writers Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer trace the gamesmanship and the impulsiveness, the dealmaking and the backstabbing, in a blow-by-blow account of the power struggle that roiled Congress. Moving from the fights for advantage between Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer; to Mitch McConnell’s merciless, Machiavellian handling of the sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; to Paul Ryan’s desperate, failed attempts to keep Mark Meadows from pushing Trump into a government shutdown over immigration, The Hill to Die On bristles with fresh news and tells the story of what really happened in some of the most defining moments our era. Like The West Wing for Congress, or Shattered meets This Town, The Hill to Die On tells an unforgettable story of politics and power, where the stakes going forward are nothing less than the future of America and the lives of millions of ordinary Americans. Praise for The Hill to Die On “[Sherman and Palmer] go deep inside the halls of Congress to document the deal making, backstabbing, power struggles and political knife fights that have roiled the nation’s capital during President Donald Trump’s first two years in office. . . . Anything but boring.”—USA Today, “5 Books Not to Miss” “[The Hill to Die On] painstakingly chronicles the return to divided government and the restoration of an institutional check on a mercurial chief executive. . . . The book depicts a foul-mouthed president in love with his own reflection, a House GOP encased in the amber of self-delusion, and Nancy Pelosi’s unblinking focus on twin prizes: recapturing the House and returning to the speaker’s chair.”—The Guardian “If you are one of the many Americans who hates Congress, this book is for you. In the Washington depicted in Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer’s new book, there are no heroes—only winners and losers. . . . With these lawmakers, Sherman and Palmer get inside their heads and capture what they’re thinking in real time.”—The Washington Post

The Audacity of Hope

The Audacity of Hope Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Barack Obama
Editor: Crown
ISBN: 0307382095
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The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Barack Obama’s lucid vision of America’s place in the world and call for a new kind of politics that builds upon our shared understandings as Americans, based on his years in the Senate “In our lowdown, dispiriting era, Obama’s talent for proposing humane, sensible solutions with uplifting, elegant prose does fill one with hope.”—Michael Kazin, The Washington Post In July 2004, four years before his presidency, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Obama called “the audacity of hope.” The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a different brand of politics—a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces—from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media—that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment. At the heart of this book is Barack Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats—from terrorism to pandemic—that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy—where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, Obama says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes—“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”

In Defense of Elitism

In Defense of Elitism Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Joel Stein
Editor: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 1455591467
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In Defense of Elitism by Joel Stein Summary

From Thurber finalist and former star Time columnist Joel Stein comes a "brilliant exploration" (Walter Isaacson) of America's political culture war and a hilarious call to arms for the elite. "I can think of no one more suited to defend elitism than Stein, a funny man with hands as delicate as a baby full of soft-boiled eggs." —Jimmy Kimmel, host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! The night Donald Trump won the presidency, our author Joel Stein, Thurber Prize finalist and former staff writer for Time Magazine, instantly knew why. The main reason wasn't economic anxiety or racism. It was that he was anti-elitist. Hillary Clinton represented Wall Street, academics, policy papers, Davos, international treaties and the people who think they're better than you. People like Joel Stein. Trump represented something far more appealing, which was beating up people like Joel Stein. In a full-throated defense of academia, the mainstream press, medium-rare steak, and civility, Joel Stein fights against populism. He fears a new tribal elite is coming to replace him, one that will fend off expertise of all kinds and send the country hurtling backward to a time of wars, economic stagnation and the well-done steaks doused with ketchup that Trump eats. To find out how this shift happened and what can be done, Stein spends a week in Roberts County, Texas, which had the highest percentage of Trump voters in the country. He goes to the home of Trump-loving Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams; meets people who create fake news; and finds the new elitist organizations merging both right and left to fight the populists. All the while using the biggest words he knows.

Burning Down the House

Burning Down the House Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Julian E. Zelizer
Editor: Penguin
ISBN: 0698402758
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Burning Down the House by Julian E. Zelizer Summary

A New York Times Notable Book! A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice The story of how Newt Gingrich and his allies tainted American politics, launching an enduring era of brutal partisan warfare When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, President Obama observed that Trump “is not an outlier; he is a culmination, a logical conclusion of the rhetoric and tactics of the Republican Party.” In Burning Down the House, historian Julian Zelizer pinpoints the moment when our country was set on a path toward an era of bitterly partisan and ruthless politics, an era that was ignited by Newt Gingrich and his allies. In 1989, Gingrich brought down Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright and catapulted himself into the national spotlight. Perhaps more than any other politician, Gingrich introduced the rhetoric and tactics that have shaped Congress and the Republican Party for the last three decades. Elected to Congress in 1978, Gingrich quickly became one of the most powerful figures in America not through innovative ideas or charisma, but through a calculated campaign of attacks against political opponents, casting himself as a savior in a fight of good versus evil. Taking office in the post-Watergate era, he weaponized the good government reforms newly introduced to fight corruption, wielding the rules in ways that shocked the legislators who had created them. His crusade against Democrats culminated in the plot to destroy the political career of Speaker Wright. While some of Gingrich’s fellow Republicans were disturbed by the viciousness of his attacks, party leaders enjoyed his successes so much that they did little collectively to stand in his way. Democrats, for their part, were alarmed, but did not want to sink to his level and took no effective actions to stop him. It didn’t seem to matter that Gingrich’s moral conservatism was hypocritical or that his methods were brazen, his accusations of corruption permanently tarnished his opponents. This brand of warfare worked, not as a strategy for governance but as a path to power, and what Gingrich planted, his fellow Republicans reaped. He led them to their first majority in Congress in decades, and his legacy extends far beyond his tenure in office. From the Contract with America to the rise of the Tea Party and the Trump presidential campaign, his fingerprints can be seen throughout some of the most divisive episodes in contemporary American politics. Burning Down the House presents the alarming narrative of how Gingrich and his allies created a new normal in Washington.

Exceptions to the Rule

Exceptions to the Rule Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Molly E. Reynolds
Editor: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815729979
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Exceptions to the Rule by Molly E. Reynolds Summary

Special rules enable the Senate to act despite the filibuster. Sometimes. Most people believe that, in today's partisan environment, the filibuster prevents the Senate from acting on all but the least controversial matters. But this is not exactly correct. In fact, the Senate since the 1970s has created a series of special rules—described by Molly Reynolds as “majoritarian exceptions”—that limit debate on a wide range of measures on the Senate floor. The details of these exemptions might sound arcane and technical, but in practice they have enabled the Senate to act even when it otherwise seemed paralyzed. Important examples include procedures used to pass the annual congressional budget resolution, enact budget reconciliation bills, review proposals to close military bases, attempt to prevent arms sales, ratify trade agreements, and reconsider regulations promulgated by the executive branch. Reynolds argues that these procedures represent a key instrument of majority party power in the Senate. They allow the majority—even if it does not have the sixty votes needed to block a filibuster—to produce policies that will improve its future electoral prospects, and thus increase the chances it remains the majority party. As a case study, Exceptions to the Rule examines the Senate's role in the budget reconciliation process, in which particular congressional committees are charged with developing procedurally protected proposals to alter certain federal programs in their jurisdictions. Created as a way of helping Congress work through tricky budget issues, the reconciliation process has become a powerful tool for the majority party to bypass the minority and adopt policy changes in hopes that it will benefit in the next election cycle.

The Last American Aristocrat

The Last American Aristocrat Pdf/ePub eBook Author: David S. Brown
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1982128259
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The Last American Aristocrat by David S. Brown Summary

A “marvelous…compelling” (The New York Times Book Review) biography of literary icon Henry Adams—one of America’s most prominent writers and intellectuals, who witnessed and contributed to the United States’ dramatic transition from a colonial society to a modern nation. Henry Adams is perhaps the most eclectic, accomplished, and important American writer of his time. His autobiography and modern classic The Education of Henry Adams was widely considered one of the best English-language nonfiction books of the 20th century. The last member of his distinguished family—after great-grandfather John Adams, and grandfather John Quincy Adams—to gain national attention, he is remembered today as an historian, a political commentator, and a memoirist. Now, historian David Brown sheds light on the brilliant yet under-celebrated life of this major American intellectual. Adams not only lived through the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution but he met Abraham Lincoln, bowed before Queen Victoria, and counted Secretary of State John Hay, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and President Theodore Roosevelt as friends and neighbors. His observations of these powerful men and their policies in his private letters provide a penetrating assessment of Gilded Age America on the cusp of the modern era. “Thoroughly researched and gracefully written” (The Wall Street Journal), The Last American Aristocrat details Adams’s relationships with his wife (Marian “Clover” Hooper) and, following her suicide, Elizabeth Cameron, the young wife of a senator and part of the famous Sherman clan from Ohio. Henry Adams’s letters—thousands of them—demonstrate his struggles with depression, familial expectations, and reconciling with his unwanted widower’s existence. Offering a fresh window on nineteenth century US history, as well as a more “modern” and “human” Henry Adams than ever before, The Last American Aristocrat is a “standout portrait of the man and his era” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

Inside Congress

Inside Congress Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Trevor Corning,Reema Dodin,Kyle Nevins
Editor: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815727348
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Inside Congress by Trevor Corning,Reema Dodin,Kyle Nevins Summary

Required reading for anyone who wants to understand how to work within Congress. The House and Senate have unique rules and procedures to determine how legislation moves from a policy idea to law. Evolved over the last 200 years, the rules of both chambers are designed to act as the engine for that process. Each legislative body has its own leadership positions to oversee this legislative process. To the novice, whether a newly elected representative, a lawmaker’s staff on her first day at work, or a constituent visiting Washington, the entire process can seem incomprehensible. What is an open rule for a House Appropriations bill and how does it affect consideration? Why are unanimous consent agreements needed in the Senate? The authors of Inside Congress, all congressional veterans, have written the definitive guide to how Congress really works. It is the accessible and necessary resource to understanding and interpreting procedural tools, arcane precedents, and the role of party politics in the making of legislation in Congress.

The American Senate

The American Senate Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Neil MacNeil,Richard A. Baker
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199339570
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The American Senate by Neil MacNeil,Richard A. Baker Summary

Winner of the Society for History in the Federal Government's George Pendleton Prize for 2013 The United States Senate has fallen on hard times. Once known as the greatest deliberative body in the world, it now has a reputation as a partisan, dysfunctional chamber. What happened to the house that forged American history's great compromises? In this groundbreaking work, a distinguished journalist and an eminent historian provide an insider's history of the United States Senate. Richard A. Baker, historian emeritus of the Senate, and Neil MacNeil, former chief congressional correspondent for Time magazine, integrate nearly a century of combined experience on Capitol Hill with deep research and state-of-the-art scholarship. They explore the Senate's historical evolution with one eye on persistent structural pressures and the other on recent transformations. Here, for example, are the Senate's struggles with the presidency--from George Washington's first, disastrous visit to the chamber on August 22, 1789, through now-forgotten conflicts with Presidents Garfield and Cleveland, to current war powers disputes. The authors also explore the Senate's potent investigative power, and show how it began with an inquiry into John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. It took flight with committees on the conduct of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and World War II; and it gained a high profile with Joseph McCarthy's rampage against communism, Estes Kefauver's organized-crime hearings (the first to be broadcast), and its Watergate investigation. Within the book are surprises as well. For example, the office of majority leader first acquired real power in 1952--not with Lyndon Johnson, but with Republican Robert Taft. Johnson accelerated the trend, tampering with the sacred principle of seniority in order to control issues such as committee assignments. Rampant filibustering, the authors find, was the ironic result of the passage of 1960s civil rights legislation. No longer stigmatized as a white-supremacist tool, its use became routine, especially as the Senate became more partisan in the 1970s. Thoughtful and incisive, The American Senate: An Insider's History transforms our understanding of Congress's upper house.

The Mansion of Happiness

The Mansion of Happiness Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jill Lepore
Editor: Vintage
ISBN: 0307958507
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The Mansion of Happiness by Jill Lepore Summary

Renowned Harvard scholar and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has composed a strikingly original, ingeniously conceived, and beautifully crafted history of American ideas about life and death from before the cradle to beyond the grave. How does life begin? What does it mean? What happens when we die? “All anyone can do is ask,” Lepore writes. “That's why any history of ideas about life and death has to be, like this book, a history of curiosity.” Lepore starts that history with the story of a seventeenth-century Englishman who had the idea that all life begins with an egg and ends it with an American who, in the 1970s, began freezing the dead. In between, life got longer, the stages of life multiplied, and matters of life and death moved from the library to the laboratory, from the humanities to the sciences. Lately, debates about life and death have determined the course of American politics. Each of these debates has a history. Investigating the surprising origins of the stuff of everyday life—from board games to breast pumps—Lepore argues that the age of discovery, Darwin, and the Space Age turned ideas about life on earth topsy-turvy. “New worlds were found,” she writes, and “old paradises were lost.” As much a meditation on the present as an excavation of the past, The Mansion of Happiness is delightful, learned, and altogether beguiling.

The Liar's Dictionary

The Liar's Dictionary Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Eley Williams
Editor: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 0735281505
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The Liar's Dictionary by Eley Williams Summary

“You wouldn’t expect a comic novel about a dictionary to be a thriller too, but this one is. In fact, [it] is also a mystery, love story (two of them) and cliffhanging melodrama.” —The New York Times Book Review An exhilarating, clever, funny debut novel from a prize-winning talent, chronicling the misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman who decodes his trail of made-up words a century later. Will enthrall readers of CS Richardson, Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Mountweazel (n.), the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement. In the final year of the nineteenth century, Peter Winceworth is toiling away at the letter S for Swansby’s multivolume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Increasingly uneasy that his colleagues are attempting to corral language and regiment facts, Winceworth feels compelled to assert some sense of individual purpose and artistic freedom, and begins inserting unauthorized, fictitious entries into the dictionary. In the present day, Mallory, a young intern employed by the publisher, must uncover these mountweazels before the work is digitized for modern readers. Through the words and their definitions, she begins to sense their creator’s motivations, hopes and desires. More pressingly, she also has to contend with threatening phone calls from an anonymous caller. Is the change in the definition of marriage (n.) really that controversial? And does the caller truly intend for the Swansby’s staff to “burn in hell”? As these two narratives combine, Winceworth and Mallory, separated by one hundred years, must discover how to negotiate the complexities of the often untrustworthy, hoax-strewn and undefinable path we call life. An exhilarating and laugh-out-loud debut, The Liar’s Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity and joy of language while peering into questions of identity and finding one’s place in the world.

The Red and the Blue

The Red and the Blue Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Steve Kornacki
Editor: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062438999
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The Red and the Blue by Steve Kornacki Summary

From MSNBC correspondent Steve Kornacki, a lively and sweeping history of the birth of political tribalism in the 1990s—one that brings critical new understanding to our current political landscape from Clinton to Trump In The Red and the Blue, cable news star and acclaimed journalist Steve Kornacki follows the twin paths of Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, two larger-than-life politicians who exploited the weakened structure of their respective parties to attain the highest offices. For Clinton, that meant contorting himself around the various factions of the Democratic party to win the presidency. Gingrich employed a scorched-earth strategy to upend the permanent Republican minority in the House, making him Speaker. The Clinton/Gingrich battles were bare-knuckled brawls that brought about massive policy shifts and high-stakes showdowns—their collisions had far-reaching political consequences. But the ’90s were not just about them. Kornacki writes about Mario Cuomo’s stubborn presence around Clinton’s 1992 campaign; Hillary Clinton’s star turn during the 1998 midterms, seeding the idea for her own candidacy; Ross Perot’s wild run in 1992 that inspired him to launch the Reform Party, giving Donald Trump his first taste of electoral politics in 1999; and many others. With novelistic prose and a clear sense of history, Steve Kornacki masterfully weaves together the various elements of this rambunctious and hugely impactful era in American history, whose effects set the stage for our current political landscape.

Election Meltdown

Election Meltdown Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Richard L. Hasen
Editor: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300252862
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Election Meltdown by Richard L. Hasen Summary

From the nation’s leading expert, an indispensable analysis of key threats to the integrity of the 2020 American presidential election As the 2020 presidential campaign begins to take shape, there is widespread distrust of the fairness and accuracy of American elections. In this timely and accessible book, Richard L. Hasen uses riveting stories illustrating four factors increasing the mistrust. Voter suppression has escalated as a Republican tool aimed to depress turnout of likely Democratic voters, fueling suspicion. Pockets of incompetence in election administration, often in large cities controlled by Democrats, have created an opening to claims of unfairness. Old-fashioned and new-fangled dirty tricks, including foreign and domestic misinformation campaigns via social media, threaten electoral integrity. Inflammatory rhetoric about “stolen” elections supercharges distrust among hardcore partisans. Taking into account how each of these threats has manifested in recent years—most notably in the 2016 and 2018 elections—Hasen offers concrete steps that need to be taken to restore trust in American elections before the democratic process is completely undermined.

Good Thinking

Good Thinking Pdf/ePub eBook Author: David Robert Grimes
Editor: The Experiment
ISBN: 161519794X
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Good Thinking by David Robert Grimes Summary

Good Thinking is our best defense against anti-vaccine paranoia, climate denial, and other dire threats of today Publisher’s Note: Good Thinking was previously published in the UK as The Irrational Ape. In our ever-more-polarized society, there’s at least one thing we still agree on: The world is overrun with misinformation, faulty logic, and the gullible followers who buy into it all. Of course, we’re not among them—are we? Scientist David Robert Grimes is on a mission to expose the logical fallacies and cognitive biases that drive our discourse on a dizzying array of topics–from vaccination to abortion, 9/11 conspiracy theories to dictatorial doublespeak, astrology to alternative medicine, and wrongful convictions to racism. But his purpose in Good Thinking isn’t to shame or place blame. Rather, it’s to interrogate our own assumptions–to develop our eye for the glimmer of truth in a vast sea of dubious sources–in short, to think critically. Grimes’s expert takedown of irrationality is required reading for anyone wondering why bad thinking persists and how we can defeat it. Ultimately, no one changes anyone else’s mind; we can only change our own–and give others the tools to do the same.

Four Threats

Four Threats Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Suzanne Mettler,Robert C. Lieberman
Editor: St. Martin\'s Press
ISBN: 1250244439
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Four Threats by Suzanne Mettler,Robert C. Lieberman Summary

An urgent, historically-grounded take on the four major factors that undermine American democracy, and what we can do to address them. While many Americans despair of the current state of U.S. politics, most assume that our system of government and democracy itself are invulnerable to decay. Yet when we examine the past, we find that the United States has undergone repeated crises of democracy, from the earliest days of the republic to the present. In Four Threats, Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman explore five moments in history when democracy in the U.S. was under siege: the 1790s, the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Depression, and Watergate. These episodes risked profound—even fatal—damage to the American democratic experiment. From this history, four distinct characteristics of disruption emerge. Political polarization, racism and nativism, economic inequality, and excessive executive power—alone or in combination—have threatened the survival of the republic, but it has survived—so far. What is unique, and alarming, about the present moment in American politics is that all four conditions exist. This convergence marks the contemporary era as a grave moment for democracy. But history provides a valuable repository from which we can draw lessons about how democracy was eventually strengthened—or weakened—in the past. By revisiting how earlier generations of Americans faced threats to the principles enshrined in the Constitution, we can see the promise and the peril that have led us to today and chart a path toward repairing our civic fabric and renewing democracy.

The Invisible Bridge

The Invisible Bridge Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Rick Perlstein
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476782431
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The Invisible Bridge by Rick Perlstein Summary

The New York Times bestselling dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous political and economic times of the 1970s. In January of 1973 Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term—until televised Watergate hearings revealed his White House as little better than a mafia den. The next president declared upon Nixon’s resignation “our long national nightmare is over”—but then congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. The collapse of the South Vietnamese government rendered moot the sacrifice of some 58,000 American lives. The economy was in tatters. And as Americans began thinking about their nation in a new way—as one more nation among nations, no more providential than any other—the pundits declared that from now on successful politicians would be the ones who honored this chastened new national mood. Ronald Reagan never got the message. Which was why, when he announced his intention to challenge President Ford for the 1976 Republican nomination, those same pundits dismissed him—until, amazingly, it started to look like he just might win. He was inventing the new conservative political culture we know now, in which a vision of patriotism rooted in a sense of American limits was derailed in America’s Bicentennial year by the rise of the smiling politician from Hollywood. Against a backdrop of melodramas from the Arab oil embargo to Patty Hearst to the near-bankruptcy of America’s greatest city, The Invisible Bridge asks the question: what does it mean to believe in America? To wave a flag—or to reject the glibness of the flag wavers?

Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy

Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy Pdf/ePub eBook Author: William G. Howell,Terry M. Moe
Editor: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022672882X
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Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy by William G. Howell,Terry M. Moe Summary

Has American democracy’s long, ambitious run come to an end? Possibly yes. As William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe argue in this trenchant new analysis of modern politics, the United States faces a historic crisis that threatens our system of self-government—and if democracy is to be saved, the causes of the crisis must be understood and defused. The most visible cause is Donald Trump, who has used his presidency to attack the nation’s institutions and violate its democratic norms. Yet Trump is but a symptom of causes that run much deeper: social forces like globalization, automation, and immigration that for decades have generated economic harms and cultural anxieties that our government has been wholly ineffective at addressing. Millions of Americans have grown angry and disaffected, and populist appeals have found a receptive audience. These are the drivers of Trump’s dangerous presidency. And after he leaves office, they will still be there for other populists to weaponize. What can be done to safeguard American democracy? The disruptive forces of modernity cannot be stopped. The solution lies, instead, in having a government that can deal with them—which calls for aggressive new policies, but also for institutional reforms that enhance its capacity for effective action. The path to progress is filled with political obstacles, including an increasingly populist, anti-government Republican Party. It is hard to be optimistic. But if the challenge is to be met, we need reforms of the presidency itself—reforms that harness the promise of presidential power for effective government, but firmly protect against the fear that it may be put to anti-democratic ends.

In Defense of Elitism

In Defense of Elitism Pdf/ePub eBook Author: William A. Henry, III
Editor: Anchor
ISBN: 1101912413
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In Defense of Elitism by William A. Henry, III Summary

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning culture critic for Time magazine comes the tremendously controversial, yet highly persuasive, argument that our devotion to the largely unexamined myth of egalitarianism lies at the heart of the ongoing "dumbing of America." Americans have always stubbornly clung to the myth of egalitarianism, of the supremacy of the individual average man. But here, at long last, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic William A. Henry III takes on, and debunks, some basic, fundamentally ingrained ideas: that everyone is pretty much alike (and should be); that self-fulfillment is more imortant thant objective achievement; that everyone has something significant to contribute; that all cultures offer something equally worthwhile; that a truly just society would automatically produce equal success results across lines of race, class, and gender; and that the common man is almost always right. Henry makes clear, in a book full of vivid examples and unflinching opinions, that while these notions are seductively democratic they are also hopelessly wrong.

The Future of Power

The Future of Power Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
Editor: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1586488929
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The Future of Power by Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Summary

The Internet's ultimate impact on the nature of power is a concern shared by nations around the world. The Future of Power examines what it means to be powerful in the twenty-first century and illuminates the road ahead. Power evolves. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, unsurpassed in military strength and ownership of world resources, the United States was indisputably the most powerful nation in the world In The Future of Power, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a longtime analyst of power and a hands-on practitioner in government, delivers a new power narrative that considers the shifts, innovations, bold technologies, and new relationships that will define the twenty-first century. He shows how power resources are adapting to the digital age and how smart power strategies must include more than a country's military strength. Today, China, Brazil, India, and others are increasing their share of world power resources. Information once reserved for the government is now available for mass consumption. The Internet has literally put power at the fingertips of nonstate agents, allowing them to launch cyberattacks on governments from their homes and creating a security threat that is felt worldwide. The cyberage is rendering traditional markers of power obsolete and has created a new power frontier among states, ripe with opportunity for developing countries. To remain at the pinnacle of world power, the United States must adopt a strategy that designed for a global information age.

The Afghanistan Papers

The Afghanistan Papers Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Craig Whitlock,The Washington Post
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1982159022
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The Afghanistan Papers by Craig Whitlock,The Washington Post Summary

The groundbreaking investigative story of how three successive presidents and their military commanders deceived the public year after year about America’s longest war, foreshadowing the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan, by Washington Post reporter and three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Craig Whitlock. Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: to defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and US officials lost sight of their original objectives. Distracted by the war in Iraq, the US military became mired in an unwinnable guerrilla conflict in a country it did not understand. But no president wanted to admit failure, especially in a war that began as a just cause. Instead, the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations sent more and more troops to Afghanistan and repeatedly said they were making progress, even though they knew there was no realistic prospect for an outright victory. Just as the Pentagon Papers changed the public’s understanding of Vietnam, The Afghanistan Papers contains startling revelation after revelation from people who played a direct role in the war, from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines. In unvarnished language, they admit that the US government’s strategies were a mess, that the nation-building project was a colossal failure, and that drugs and corruption gained a stranglehold over their allies in the Afghan government. All told, the account is based on interviews with more than 1,000 people who knew that the US government was presenting a distorted, and sometimes entirely fabricated, version of the facts on the ground. Documents unearthed by The Washington Post reveal that President Bush didn’t know the name of his Afghanistan war commander—and didn’t want to make time to meet with him. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted he had “no visibility into who the bad guys are.” His successor, Robert Gates, said: “We didn’t know jack shit about al-Qaeda.” The Afghanistan Papers is a shocking account that will supercharge a long overdue reckoning over what went wrong and forever change the way the conflict is remembered.

Tuesday Night Massacre

Tuesday Night Massacre Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Marc C. Johnson
Editor: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806169745
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Tuesday Night Massacre by Marc C. Johnson Summary

While political history has plenty to say about the impact of Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency in 1980, four Senate races that same year have garnered far less attention—despite their similarly profound political effect. Tuesday Night Massacre looks at those races. In examining the defeat in 1980 of Idaho’s Frank Church, South Dakota’s George McGovern, John Culver of Iowa, and Birch Bayh of Indiana, Marc C. Johnson tells the story of the beginnings of the divisive partisanship that has become a constant feature of American politics. The turnover of these seats not only allowed Republicans to gain control of the Senate for the first time since 1954 but also fundamentally altered the conduct of American politics. The incumbents were politicians of national reputation who often worked with members of the other party to accomplish significant legislative objectives—but they were, Johnson suggests, unprepared and ill-equipped to counter nakedly negative emotional appeals to the “politically passive voter.” Such was the campaign of the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC), the organization founded by several young conservative political activists who targeted these four senators for defeat. Johnson describes how such groups, amassing a great amount of money, could make outrageous and devastating claims about incumbents—“baby killers” who were “soft on communism,” for example—on behalf of a candidate who remained above the fray. Among the key players in this sordid drama are NCPAC chairman Terry Dolan; Washington lobbyist Charles Black, a top GOP advisor to several presidential campaigns and one-time business partner of Paul Manafort; and Roger Stone, self-described “dirty trickster” for Richard Nixon and confidant of Donald Trump. Connecting the dots between the Goldwater era of the 1960s and the ascent of Trump, Tuesday Night Massacre charts the radicalization of the Republican Party and the rise of the independent expenditure campaign, with its divisive, negative techniques, a change that has deeply—and perhaps permanently—warped the culture of bipartisanship that once prevailed in American politics.

Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone

Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Astra Taylor
Editor: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 1250179858
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Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone by Astra Taylor Summary

What is democracy really? What do we mean when we use the term? And can it ever truly exist? Astra Taylor, hailed as a “New Civil Rights Leader” by the Los Angeles Times, provides surprising answers. There is no shortage of democracy, at least in name, and yet it is in crisis everywhere we look. From a cabal of plutocrats in the White House to gerrymandering and dark-money compaign contributions, it is clear that the principle of government by and for the people is not living up to its promise. The problems lie deeper than any one election cycle. As Astra Taylor demonstrates, real democracy—fully inclusive and completely egalitarian—has in fact never existed. In a tone that is both philosophical and anecdotal, weaving together history, theory, the stories of individuals, and interviews with such leading thinkers as Cornel West and Wendy Brown, Taylor invites us to reexamine the term. Is democracy a means or an end, a process or a set of desired outcomes? What if those outcomes, whatever they may be—peace, prosperity, equality, liberty, an engaged citizenry—can be achieved by non-democratic means? In what areas of life should democratic principles apply? If democracy means rule by the people, what does it mean to rule and who counts as the people? Democracy's inherent paradoxes often go unnamed and unrecognized. Exploring such questions, Democracy May Not Exist offers a better understanding of what is possible, what we want, why democracy is so hard to realize, and why it is worth striving for.

Tax the Rich!

Tax the Rich! Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Morris Pearl
Editor: The New Press
ISBN: 1620976641
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Tax the Rich! by Morris Pearl Summary

A powerfully persuasive and thoroughly entertaining guide to the most effective way to un-rig the economy and fix inequality, from America’s wealthiest “class traitors” Most American people believe the economy is rigged against them. And they’re right. So how do you “un-rig” the economy? You start with the tax code. In 2017, Republican lawmakers rewrote the entire federal tax code, deliberately and permanently rigging the economy against working people in favor of the political donor class. In Tax the Rich! Morris Pearl, the millionaire chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, and Erica Payne, the organization’s founder, take readers on an insider’s tour of the nation’s tax code and show how the rich (and the politicians they control) structured the tax code to make themselves even richer. They explain how to un-rig the economy through the tax code to reverse America’s ever-growing and dangerously destabilizing concentration of wealth and power. Conversational and punchy chapters such as “Their Money vs. Your Sweat,” “Economic Jenga,” and “When a Dollar Is Not Actually a Dollar,” feature charts, infographics, cartoons, and sidebars. They show exactly how we should tax wealthy individuals and corporations, focusing on existing mechanisms like marginal income tax and capital gains, loopholes to eliminate, and new methods of taxation, such as a wealth tax, that could be used to achieve a fairer system. A final section debunks common tax myths, offering crucial information to push back against Fox News and opponents on the right. In the wake of the economic devastation of COVID-19, never have the arguments in this book been more timely—or more critical. And who better to pull back the curtain on all the ways that the wealthy avoid paying taxes, and deprive the state of essential resources, than the rich themselves?

The Shock Doctrine

The Shock Doctrine Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Naomi Klein
Editor: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 0307371301
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The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein Summary

The shock doctrine is the unofficial story of how the "free market" came to dominate the world, from Chile to Russia, China to Iraq, South Africa to Canada. But it is a story radically different from the one usually told. It is a story about violence and shock perpetrated on people, on countries, on economies. About a program of social and economic engineering that Naomi Klein calls "disaster capitalism." Based on breakthrough historical research and 4 years of reporting in disaster zones, Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically, and that unfettered capitalism goes hand-in-hand with democracy. Instead, she argues it has consistently relied on violence and shock, and reveals the puppet strings behind the critical events of the last 40 years. "The shock doctrine" is the influential but little understood theory that in order to push through profoundly unpopular policies that enrich the few and impoverish the many, there must be a collective crisis or disaster—real or manufactured. Klein vividly traces the origins of modern shock tactics to the economic lab of the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman in the 60s, and beyond to the CIA-funded electroshock experiments at McGill in the 50s which helped write the torture manuals used today at Guantanamo Bay. She details the events of the recent past that have been deliberate theatres for the shock doctrine: among them, Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; and, more recently, the September 11 attacks, the invasion of Iraq, the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. And she shows how—in the hands of the Bush Administration—the "war on terror" is a thin cover for a thriving destruction/reconstruction complex, with disasters, wars and homeland security fuelling a booming new economy. Naomi Klein has once again written a book that will change the way we see the world.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
Editor: Cosimo, Inc.
ISBN: 1616405414
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The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report by Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Summary

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report, published by the U.S. Government and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in early 2011, is the official government report on the United States financial collapse and the review of major financial institutions that bankrupted and failed, or would have without help from the government. The commission and the report were implemented after Congress passed an act in 2009 to review and prevent fraudulent activity. The report details, among other things, the periods before, during, and after the crisis, what led up to it, and analyses of subprime mortgage lending, credit expansion and banking policies, the collapse of companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the federal bailouts of Lehman and AIG. It also discusses the aftermath of the fallout and our current state. This report should be of interest to anyone concerned about the financial situation in the U.S. and around the world.THE FINANCIAL CRISIS INQUIRY COMMISSION is an independent, bi-partisan, government-appointed panel of 10 people that was created to "examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States." It was established as part of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009. The commission consisted of private citizens with expertise in economics and finance, banking, housing, market regulation, and consumer protection. They examined and reported on "the collapse of major financial institutions that failed or would have failed if not for exceptional assistance from the government."News Dissector DANNY SCHECHTER is a journalist, blogger and filmmaker. He has been reporting on economic crises since the 1980's when he was with ABC News. His film In Debt We Trust warned of the economic meltdown in 2006. He has since written three books on the subject including Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books, 2008), and The Crime Of Our Time: Why Wall Street Is Not Too Big to Jail (Disinfo Books, 2011), a companion to his latest film Plunder The Crime Of Our Time. He can be reached online at www.newsdissector.com.

Freedom in the World 2011

Freedom in the World 2011 Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Freedom House
Editor: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 1442209968
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Freedom in the World 2011 by Freedom House Summary

Freedom in the World, the Freedom House flagship survey whose findings have been published annually since 1972, is the standard-setting comparative assessment of global political rights and civil liberties. The survey ratings and narrative reports on 194 countries and 14 territories are used by policymakers, the media, international corporations, civic activists, and human rights defenders to monitor trends in democracy and track improvements and setbacks in freedom worldwide.

The Emerging Democratic Majority

The Emerging Democratic Majority Pdf/ePub eBook Author: John B. Judis,Ruy Teixeira
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743238559
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The Emerging Democratic Majority by John B. Judis,Ruy Teixeira Summary

ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR AND A WINNER OF THE WASHINGTON MONTHLY'S ANNUAL POLITICAL BOOK AWARD Political experts John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira convincingly use hard data -- demographic, geographic, economic, and political -- to forecast the dawn of a new progressive era. In the 1960s, Kevin Phillips, battling conventional wisdom, correctly foretold the dawn of a new conservative era. His book, The Emerging Republican Majority, became an indispensable guide for all those attempting to understand political change through the 1970s and 1980s. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, with the country in Republican hands, The Emerging Democratic Majority is the indispensable guide to this era. In five well-researched chapters and a new afterword covering the 2002 elections, Judis and Teixeira show how the most dynamic and fastest-growing areas of the country are cultivating a new wave of Democratic voters who embrace what the authors call "progressive centrism" and take umbrage at Republican demands to privatize social security, ban abortion, and cut back environmental regulations. As the GOP continues to be dominated by neoconservatives, the religious right, and corporate influence, this is an essential volume for all those discontented with their narrow agenda -- and a clarion call for a new political order.

Winner-Take-All Politics

Winner-Take-All Politics Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jacob S. Hacker,Paul Pierson
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416593845
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Winner-Take-All Politics by Jacob S. Hacker,Paul Pierson Summary

A groundbreaking work that identifies the real culprit behind one of the great economic crimes of our time— the growing inequality of incomes between the vast majority of Americans and the richest of the rich. We all know that the very rich have gotten a lot richer these past few decades while most Americans haven’t. In fact, the exorbitantly paid have continued to thrive during the current economic crisis, even as the rest of Americans have continued to fall behind. Why do the “haveit- alls” have so much more? And how have they managed to restructure the economy to reap the lion’s share of the gains and shift the costs of their new economic playground downward, tearing new holes in the safety net and saddling all of us with increased debt and risk? Lots of so-called experts claim to have solved this great mystery, but no one has really gotten to the bottom of it—until now. In their lively and provocative Winner-Take-All Politics, renowned political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate convincingly that the usual suspects—foreign trade and financial globalization, technological changes in the workplace, increased education at the top—are largely innocent of the charges against them. Instead, they indict an unlikely suspect and take us on an entertaining tour of the mountain of evidence against the culprit. The guilty party is American politics. Runaway inequality and the present economic crisis reflect what government has done to aid the rich and what it has not done to safeguard the interests of the middle class. The winner-take-all economy is primarily a result of winner-take-all politics. In an innovative historical departure, Hacker and Pierson trace the rise of the winner-take-all economy back to the late 1970s when, under a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, a major transformation of American politics occurred. With big business and conservative ideologues organizing themselves to undo the regulations and progressive tax policies that had helped ensure a fair distribution of economic rewards, deregulation got under way, taxes were cut for the wealthiest, and business decisively defeated labor in Washington. And this transformation continued under Reagan and the Bushes as well as under Clinton, with both parties catering to the interests of those at the very top. Hacker and Pierson’s gripping narration of the epic battles waged during President Obama’s first two years in office reveals an unpleasant but catalyzing truth: winner-take-all politics, while under challenge, is still very much with us. Winner-Take-All Politics—part revelatory history, part political analysis, part intellectual journey— shows how a political system that traditionally has been responsive to the interests of the middle class has been hijacked by the superrich. In doing so, it not only changes how we think about American politics, but also points the way to rebuilding a democracy that serves the interests of the many rather than just those of the wealthy few.

The Wrecking Crew

The Wrecking Crew Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Thomas Frank
Editor: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 1429929812
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The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank Summary

From the author of the landmark bestseller What's the Matter with Kansas?, a jaw-dropping investigation of the decades of deliberate—and lucrative—conservative misrule In his previous book, Thomas Frank explained why working America votes for politicians who reserve their favors for the rich. Now, in The Wrecking Crew, Frank examines the blundering and corrupt Washington those politicians have given us. Casting his eyes from the Bush administration's final months of plunder to the earliest days of the Republican revolution, Frank describes the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquarters—the wages of government-by-entrepreneurship practiced so outrageously by figures such as Jack Abramoff. It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state. Stamped with Thomas Frank's audacity, analytic brilliance, and wit, The Wrecking Crew is his most revelatory work yet—and his most important.

How Democratic Is the American Constitution?

How Democratic Is the American Constitution? Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Robert A. Dahl
Editor: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300133723
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How Democratic Is the American Constitution? by Robert A. Dahl Summary

In this provocative book, one of our most eminent political scientists questions the extent to which the American Constitution furthers democratic goals. Robert Dahl reveals the Constitution's potentially antidemocratic elements and explains why they are there, compares the American constitutional system to other democratic systems, and explores how we might alter our political system to achieve greater equality among citizens. In a new chapter for this second edition, he shows how increasing differences in state populations revealed by the Census of 2000 have further increased the veto power over constitutional amendments held by a tiny minority of Americans. He then explores the prospects for changing some important political practices that are not prescribed by the written Constitution, though most Americans may assume them to be so.

American Sniper

American Sniper Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Chris Kyle,Scott McEwen,Jim DeFelice
Editor: Harper Collins
ISBN: 006208237X
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American Sniper by Chris Kyle,Scott McEwen,Jim DeFelice Summary

The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir of U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, and the source for Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster, Academy-Award nominated movie. “An amazingly detailed account of fighting in Iraq--a humanizing, brave story that’s extremely readable.” — PATRICIA CORNWELL, New York Times Book Review "Jaw-dropping...Undeniably riveting." —RICHARD ROEPER, Chicago Sun-Times From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him “The Legend”; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

The Senate

The Senate Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Daniel Wirls
Editor: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813946913
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The Senate by Daniel Wirls Summary

In this lively analysis, Daniel Wirls examines the Senate in relation to our other institutions of government and the constitutional system as a whole, exposing the role of the "world’s greatest deliberative body" in undermining effective government and maintaining white supremacy in America. As Wirls argues, from the founding era onward, the Senate constructed for itself an exceptional role in the American system of government that has no firm basis in the Constitution. This self-proclaimed exceptional status is part and parcel of the Senate’s problematic role in the governmental process over the past two centuries, a role shaped primarily by the combination of equal representation among states and the filibuster, which set up the Senate’s clash with modern democracy and effective government and has contributed to the contemporary underrepresentation of minority members. As he explains, the Senate’s architecture, self-conception, and resulting behavior distort rather than complement democratic governance and explain the current gridlock in Washington, D.C. If constitutional changes to our institutions are necessary for better governance, then how should the Senate be altered to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem? This book provides one answer.

The Development of the American Presidency

The Development of the American Presidency Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Richard J. Ellis
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 100056911X
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The Development of the American Presidency by Richard J. Ellis Summary

A full understanding of the institution of the American presidency requires us to examine how it developed from the founding to the present. This developmental lens, analyzing how historical turns have shaped the modern institution, allows for a richer, more nuanced understanding. The Development of the American Presidency pays great attention to that historical weight but is organized by the topics and concepts relevant to political science, with the constitutional origins and political development of the presidency its central focus. Through comprehensive and in-depth coverage, Richard J. Ellis looks at how the presidency has evolved in relation to the public, to Congress, to the executive branch, and to the law, showing at every step how different aspects of the presidency have followed distinct trajectories of change. Each chapter promotes active learning, beginning with a narrative account of some illustrative puzzle that brings to life a central concept. A wealth of photos, figures, and tables allow for the visual presentations of concepts. New to the Fourth Edition Explicit and expanded attention to the role of norms in shaping and constraining presidential power, with special focus on Trump’s norm-breaking and Biden’s efforts to shore up norms; Enhanced focus on the prospects for institutional reform, including in the electoral college, presidential relations with Congress, war powers, and the selection of Supreme Court justices; A full reckoning with the Trump presidency and its significance for the future of American democracy, presidential rhetoric, the unilateral executive, and the administrative state; Coverage of the first year of Biden’s presidency, including presidential rhetoric, relations with Congress and the bureaucracy, use of the war powers, and unilateral directives; Comprehensive updating of debates about the removal power, including the Supreme Court cases of Seila Law v. CFPB and Collins v. Yellen; In-depth exploration of the impact of partisan polarization on the legislative presidency and effective governance; Analysis of the 2020 election and its aftermath; Expanded discussion of impeachment to incorporate Trump’s two impeachments; Examination of presidential emergency powers, with special attention to Trump’s border wall declaration; Review of Biden’s and Trump’s impact on the judiciary; Assessment of Biden’s and Trump’s place in political time.

The Betrayal

The Betrayal Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Ira Shapiro
Editor: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1538163985
FileSize: 1492kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1492

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The Betrayal by Ira Shapiro Summary

In two previous highly regarded books on the U.S. Senate, Ira Shapiro chronicled the institution from its apogee in the 1970s through its decline in the decades since. Now, Shapiro turns his gaze to how the Senate responded to the challenges posed by the Trump administration and its prospects under President Biden. The Founding Fathers gave the US Senate many functions, but it had one fundamental responsibility—its raison d’etre: to provide the check against a dangerous president who threatened our democracy. Two hundred and thirty years later, when Donald Trump, a potential authoritarian, finally reached the White House, the Senate should have served as both America’s first and last lines of defense. Instead, we had the nightmare scenario: today’s Senate, reduced through a long period of decline to a hyper-partisan, gridlocked shadow of its former self, was unable to meet its fundamental responsibility. Shapiro documents the pivotal challenges facing the Senate during the Trump administration, arguing that the body’s failure to provide leadership represents the most catastrophic failure of government in American history. The last section covers the Senate’s performance during President Biden’s first year in office and looks forward to the 2022 Senate elections and beyond.

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