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

Author : Adam Jentleson
Publisher : Liveright Publishing
Release : 2021-01-12
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781631497780

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Book Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy Description/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.

Filibustering

Author : Gregory Koger
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Release : 2010-06-15
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780226449661

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Book Filibustering Description/Summary:

In the modern Congress, one of the highest hurdles for major bills or nominations is gaining the sixty votes necessary to shut off a filibuster in the Senate. But this wasn’t always the case. Both citizens and scholars tend to think of the legislative process as a game played by the rules in which votes are the critical commodity—the side that has the most votes wins. In this comprehensive volume,Gregory Koger shows, on the contrary, that filibustering is a game with slippery rules in which legislators who think fast and try hard can triumph over superior numbers. Filibustering explains how and why obstruction has been institutionalized in the U.S. Senate over the last fifty years, and how this transformation affects politics and policymaking. Koger also traces the lively history of filibustering in the U.S. House during the nineteenth century and measures the effects of filibustering—bills killed, compromises struck, and new issues raised by obstruction. Unparalleled in the depth of its theory and its combination of historical and political analysis, Filibustering will be the definitive study of its subject for years to come.

Politics or Principle?

Author : Sarah A. Binder,Steven S. Smith
Publisher : Brookings Institution Press
Release : 2001-09-19
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 0815723512

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Book Politics or Principle? Description/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.

Defending the Filibuster, Revised and Updated Edition

Author : Richard A. Arenberg,Robert B. Dove
Publisher : Indiana University Press
Release : 2012-08-21
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780253006981

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Book Defending the Filibuster, Revised and Updated Edition Description/Summary:

Recent legislative battles over healthcare reform, the federal budget, and other prominent issues have given rise to widespread demands for the abolition or reform of the filibuster in the US Senate. Critics argue that members’ traditional rights of unlimited debate and amendment have led to paralyzing requirements for supermajorities and destructive parliamentary tactics such as "secret holds." In Defending the Filibuster, a veteran Senate aide and a former Senate Parliamentarian maintain that the filibuster is fundamental to the character of the Senate. They contend that the filibuster protects the rights of the minority in American politics, assures stability and deliberation in government, and helps to preserve constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers. Richard A. Arenberg and Robert B. Dove provide an instructive historical overview of the development of Senate rules, define and describe related procedures and tactics, examine cases related to specific pieces of legislation, and consider current proposals to end the filibuster or enact other reforms. Arguing passionately in favor of retaining the filibuster, they offer a stimulating assessment of the issues surrounding current debates on this contentious issue.

Congress Overwhelmed

Author : Timothy M. LaPira,Lee Drutman,Kevin R. Kosar
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Release : 2020-12-07
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780226702605

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Book Congress Overwhelmed Description/Summary:

Congress today is falling short. Fewer bills, worse oversight, and more dysfunction. But why? In a new volume of essays, the contributors investigate an underappreciated reason Congress is struggling: it doesn’t have the internal capacity to do what our constitutional system requires of it. Leading scholars chronicle the institutional decline of Congress and the decades-long neglect of its own internal investments in the knowledge and expertise necessary to perform as a first-rate legislature. Today’s legislators and congressional committees have fewer—and less expert and experienced—staff than the executive branch or K Street. This leaves them at the mercy of lobbyists and the administrative bureaucracy. The essays in Congress Overwhelmed assess Congress’s declining capacity and explore ways to upgrade it. Some provide broad historical scope. Others evaluate the current decay and investigate how Congress manages despite the obstacles. Collectively, they undertake the most comprehensive, sophisticated appraisal of congressional capacity to date, and they offer a new analytical frame for thinking about—and improving—our underperforming first branch of government.

The Cynic

Author : Alec MacGillis
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2014-09-16
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9781476761077

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Book The Cynic Description/Summary:

From a dogged political reporter, an investigation into the political education of Mitch McConnell and an argument that this powerful Senator embodies much of this country’s political dysfunction. Based on interviews with more than seventy-five people who have worked alongside Mitch McConnell or otherwise interacted with him over the course of his career, The Cynic, which will be published as an original ebook, is both a comprehensive biography of one of this country’s most powerful politicians and a damning diagnosis of this country's eroding political will. Tracing his rise from a pragmatic local official in Kentucky to the leader of the Republican opposition in Washington, the book tracks McConnell’s transformation from a moderate Republican who supported abortion rights and public employee unions to the embodiment of partisan obstructionism and conservative orthodoxy on Capitol Hill. Driven less by a shift in ideological conviction than by a desire to win elections and stay in power at all costs, McConnell’s transformation exemplifies the “permanent campaign” mindset that has come to dominate American government. From his first race for local office in 1977—when the ad crew working on it nicknamed McConnell “love-me-love-me” for his insecurity and desire to please—to his fraught accommodation of the Tea Party, McConnell’s political career is a story of ideological calcification and a vital mirror for understanding this country’s own political development and what is wrought when politicians serve not at the behest of country, but at the behest of party and personal aggrandizement.

Grounded

Author : Jon Tester
Publisher : HarperCollins
Release : 2020-09-15
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9780062977502

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Book Grounded Description/Summary:

An inspiring and eye-opening memoir showing how Democrats can reconnect with rural and red-state voters, from Montana’s three-term democratic senator Senator Jon Tester is a rare voice in Congress. He is the only United States senator who manages a full-time job outside of the Senate—as a farmer. But what has really come to distinguish Tester in the Senate is his commitment to accountability, his ability to stand up to Donald Trump, and his success in, time and again, winning red state voters back to the Democratic Party. In Grounded, Tester shares his early life, his rise in the Democratic party, his vision for helping rural America, and his strategies for reaching red state voters. Leaning deeply into lessons on the value of authenticity and hard work that he learned growing up on his family’s 1,800-acre farm near the small town of Big Sandy, Montana—the same farm he continues to work today with his wife, Sharla—Tester has made his political career a testament to crossing the divides of class and geography. The media and Democrats too often discount rural people as Trump supporters; Tester knows better. His voice is vital to the public discourse as we seek to understand the issues that are important to rural and working-class America in not just the 2020 election but also for years to come. A heartfelt and inspiring memoir from a courageous voice, Grounded shows us that the biggest threat to our democracy isn’t a president who has no moral compass. It’s politicians who don’t understand the value of accountability and hard work. Tester demonstrates that if American democracy is to survive, we must put our trust in the values that keep us grounded.

Medicare for All

Author : Abdul El-Sayed,Micah Johnson
Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
Release : 2021
Category : Medical
ISBN : 9780190056629

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Book Medicare for All Description/Summary:

A citizen's guide to America's most debated policy-in-waiting There are few issues as consequential in the lives of Americans as health care--and few issues more politically vexing. Every single American will interact with the health care system at some point in their lives, and most people will find that interaction less than satisfactory. And yet for every dollar spent in our economy, 19 cents go to health care. What are we paying for, exactly? Health care policy is notoriously complex, but what Americans want is quite simple: good health care that's easy to use and doesn't break the bank. Polls show that as many as 70 percent of Americans want the government to provide universal health coverage to all Americans. What's less clear is how to get there. Medicare for All is the leading proposal to achieve to universal health coverage in America. But what is it exactly? How would it work? More importantly, is it practical or practicable? This book goes beyond partisan talking points to offer a serious examination of how Medicare for All would transform the way we give, receive, and pay for healthcare in America.

The Liar's Dictionary

Author : Eley Williams
Publisher : Anchor
Release : 2021-01-05
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780385546782

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Book The Liar's Dictionary Description/Summary:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “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 award-winning novel that chronicles the charming misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman put on his trail a century later to root out his misdeeds while confronting questions of her own sexuality and place in the world. 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. But his disaffection with his colleagues compels him to assert some individual purpose and artistic freedom, and he begins inserting unauthorized, fictitious entries. In the present day, Mallory, the publisher’s young intern, starts to uncover these mountweazels in the process of digitization and through them senses their creator’s motivations, hopes, and desires. More pressingly, she’s also been contending with a threatening, anonymous caller who wants Swansby’s staff to “burn in hell.” As these two narratives coalesce, Winceworth and Mallory, separated by one hundred years, must discover how to negotiate the complexities of life’s often untrustworthy, hoax-strewn, and undefinable path. An exhilarating, 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.

Rejecting Compromise

Author : Sarah E. Anderson,Daniel M. Butler,Laurel Harbridge-Yong
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2020-01-31
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781108487955

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Book Rejecting Compromise Description/Summary:

This analysis of legislative behavior shows how primary voters can obstruct political compromise and outlines potential reforms to remedy gridlock.

If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved

Author : Michael Tomasky
Publisher : Liveright Publishing
Release : 2019-02-05
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781631494093

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Book If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved Description/Summary:

A game-changing account of the deep roots of political polarization in America, including an audacious fourteen-point agenda for how to fix it. Why has American politics fallen into such a state of horrible dysfunction? Can it ever be fixed? These are the questions that motivate Michael Tomasky’s deeply original examination into the origins of our hopelessly polarized nation. “One of America’s finest political commentators” (Michael J. Sandel), Tomasky ranges across centuries and disciplines to show how America has almost always had two dominant parties that are existentially, and often violently, opposed. When he turns to our current era, he does so with striking insight that will challenge readers to reexamine what they thought they knew. Finally, not content merely to diagnose these problems, Tomasky offers a provocative agenda for how we can help fix our broken political system—from ranked-choice voting and at-large congressional elections to expanding high school civics education nationwide. Combining revelatory data with trenchant analysis, Tomasky tells us how the nation broke apart and points us toward a more hopeful political future.

Burning Down the House

Author : Julian E. Zelizer
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2021-07-06
Category : History
ISBN : 9780143110705

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Book Burning Down the House Description/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.

The American Senate

Author : Neil MacNeil,Richard A. Baker
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Release : 2013-05-31
Category : History
ISBN : 9780199339570

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Book The American Senate Description/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.

Freedom From the Market

Author : Mike Konczal
Publisher : The New Press
Release : 2021-02-02
Category : Social Science
ISBN : 9781620975381

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Book Freedom From the Market Description/Summary:

The progressive economics writer redefines the national conversation about American freedom “Mike Konczal [is] one of our most powerful advocates of financial reform‚ [a] heroic critic of austerity‚ and a huge resource for progressives.”—Paul Krugman Health insurance, student loan debt, retirement security, child care, work-life balance, access to home ownership—these are the issues driving America’s current political debates. And they are all linked, as this brilliant and timely book reveals, by a single question: should we allow the free market to determine our lives? In the tradition of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, noted economic commentator Mike Konczal answers this question with a resounding no. Freedom from the Market blends passionate political argument and a bold new take on American history to reveal that, from the earliest days of the republic, Americans have defined freedom as what we keep free from the control of the market. With chapters on the history of the Homestead Act and land ownership, the eight-hour work day and free time, social insurance and Social Security, World War II day cares, Medicare and desegregation, free public colleges, intellectual property, and the public corporation, Konczal shows how citizens have fought to ensure that everyone has access to the conditions that make us free. At a time when millions of Americans—and more and more politicians—are questioning the unregulated free market, Freedom from the Market offers a new narrative, and new intellectual ammunition, for the fight that lies ahead.

Nixonland

Author : Rick Perlstein
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2010-07-29
Category : History
ISBN : 1451606265

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Book Nixonland Description/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.

Congress's Constitution

Author : Joshua Aaron Chafetz
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release : 2017-01-01
Category : Constitutional law
ISBN : 9780300197105

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Book Congress's Constitution Description/Summary:

Cover -- Half Title -- Title -- Copyright -- Dedication -- Contents -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- PART ONE: SEPARATION-OF-POWERS MULTIPLICITY -- Prelude -- 1 Political Institutions in the Public Sphere -- 2 The Role of Congress -- PART TWO: CONGRESSIONAL HARD POWERS -- 3 The Power of the Purse -- 4 The Personnel Power -- 5 Contempt of Congress -- PART THREE: CONGRESSIONAL SOFT POWERS -- 6 The Freedom of Speech or Debate -- 7 Internal Discipline -- 8 Cameral Rules -- Conclusion: Toward a Normative Evaluation -- Notes -- Index -- A -- B -- C -- D -- E -- F -- G -- H -- I -- J -- K -- L -- M -- N -- O -- P -- Q -- R -- S -- T -- U -- V -- W -- Y -- Z

On Corruption in America

Author : Sarah Chayes
Publisher : Knopf
Release : 2020-08-11
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780525654865

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Book On Corruption in America Description/Summary:

From the prizewinning journalist, internationally recognized expert on corruption in government networks throughout the world, author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security ("I can't imagine a more important book for our time,"--Sebastian Junger; "Required reading,"--Tom Friedman; "compelling, fascinating . . . a call to action,"--The Huffington Post), a major, unflinching book that looks homeward to America, exploring the insidious, dangerous networks of corruption of our past, present, and precarious future. Now, bringing to bear all of her knowledge, grasp, sense of history and observation, Sarah Chayes writes in her new book, that the United States is showing signs similar to some of the most corrupt countries in the world. Corruption, as Chayes sees it, is an operating system of sophisticated networks in which government officials, key private-sector interests, and out-and-out criminals interweave. Their main objective: not to serve the public but to maximize returns for network members. From the titans of America's Gilded Age (Carnegie, Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, et al.) to the collapse of the stock market in 1929, the Great Depression and FDR's New Deal; from Joe Kennedy's years of banking, bootlegging, machine politics, and pursuit of infinite wealth, as well as the Kennedy presidency, to the deregulation of the Reagan Revolution, undermining the middle class and the unions; from the Clinton policies of political favors and personal enrichment to Trump's hydra-headed network of corruption, systematically undoing the Constitution and our laws, Chayes shows how corrupt systems are organized, how they enforce the rules so their crimes are covered legally, how they are overlooked and downplayed--shrugged off with a roll of the eyes--by the richer and better educated, how they become an overt principle determining the shape of our government, affecting all levels of society.

Let the People Pick the President

Author : Jesse Wegman
Publisher : All Points Books
Release : 2020-03-17
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781250221988

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Book Let the People Pick the President Description/Summary:

“Wegman combines in-depth historical analysis and insight into contemporary politics to present a cogent argument that the Electoral College violates America’s ‘core democratic principles’ and should be done away with..." —Publishers Weekly The framers of the Constitution battled over it. Lawmakers have tried to amend or abolish it more than 700 times. To this day, millions of voters, and even members of Congress, misunderstand how it works. It deepens our national divide and distorts the core democratic principles of political equality and majority rule. How can we tolerate the Electoral College when every vote does not count the same, and the candidate who gets the most votes can lose? Twice in the last five elections, the Electoral College has overridden the popular vote, calling the integrity of the entire system into question—and creating a false picture of a country divided into bright red and blue blocks when in fact we are purple from coast to coast. Even when the popular-vote winner becomes president, tens of millions of Americans—Republicans and Democrats alike—find that their votes didn't matter. And, with statewide winner-take-all rules, only a handful of battleground states ultimately decide who will become president. Now, as political passions reach a boiling point at the dawn of the 2020 race, the message from the American people is clear: The way we vote for the only official whose job it is to represent all Americans is neither fair nor just. Major reform is needed—now. Isn't it time to let the people pick the president? In this thoroughly researched and engaging call to arms, Supreme Court journalist and New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman draws upon the history of the founding era, as well as information gleaned from campaign managers, field directors, and other officials from twenty-first-century Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns, to make a powerful case for abolishing the antiquated and antidemocratic Electoral College. In Let the People Pick the President he shows how we can at long last make every vote in the United States count—and restore belief in our democratic system.