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


  • Release: 2021-01-12
  • Publisher: Liveright Publishing
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 336 page
  • ISBN: 9781631497780
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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

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


  • Release: 2020-07-07
  • Publisher: Liveright Publishing
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 288 page
  • ISBN: 9781631496851
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A groundbreaking account of the dangerous marriage of plutocratic economic priorities and right-wing populist appeals—and how it threatens the pillars of American democracy. The Republican Party appears to be divided between a tax-cutting old guard and a white-nationalist vanguard—and with Donald Trump’s ascendance, the upstarts seem to be winning. Yet how are we to explain that, under Trump, the plutocrats have gotten almost everything they want, including a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, regulation-killing executive actions, and a legion of business-friendly federal judges? Does the GOP represent “forgotten” Americans? Or does it represent the superrich? In Let Them Eat Tweets, best-selling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson offer a definitive answer: the Republican Party serves its plutocratic masters to a degree without precedent in modern global history. Conservative parties, by their nature, almost always side with the rich. But when faced with popular resistance, they usually make concessions, allowing some policies that benefit the working and middle classes. After all, how can a political party maintain power in a democracy if it serves only the interests of a narrow and wealthy slice of society? Today’s Republicans have shown the way, doubling down on a truly radical, elite-benefiting economic agenda while at the same time making increasingly incendiary racial and cultural appeals to their almost entirely white base. Telling a forty-year story, Hacker and Pierson demonstrate that since the early 1980s, when inequality started spiking, extreme tax cutting, union busting, and deregulation have gone hand in hand with extreme race-baiting, outrage stoking, and disinformation. Instead of responding to the real challenges facing voters, the Republican Party offers division and distraction—most prominently, in the racist, nativist bile of the president’s Twitter feed. As Hacker and Pierson argue, Trump isn’t a

The Cynic

The Cynic


  • Release: 2014-09-16
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 50 page
  • ISBN: 9781476761077
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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.

Why We re Polarized

Why We re Polarized


  • Release: 2020-01-28
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 336 page
  • ISBN: 9781476700397
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The New York Times Bestseller The Wall Street Journal Bestseller “Few books are as well-matched to the moment of their publication as Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized.” —Dan Hopkins, The Washington Post “It is likely to become the political book of the year....Powerful [and] intelligent.” —Fareed Zakaria, CNN “Superbly researched and written..." —Francis Fukuyama, The Washington Post America’s political system isn’t broken. The truth is scarier: it’s working exactly as designed. In this book, journalist Ezra Klein reveals how that system is polarizing us—and how we are polarizing it—with disastrous results. “The American political system—which includes everyone from voters to journalists to the president—is full of rational actors making rational decisions given the incentives they face,” writes political analyst Ezra Klein. “We are a collection of functional parts whose efforts combine into a dysfunctional whole.” In Why We’re Polarized, Klein reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America’s descent into division and dysfunction. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump’s rise to the Democratic Party’s leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture. America is polarized, first and foremost, by identity. Everyone engaged in American politics is engaged, at some level, in identity politics. Over the past fifty years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. These merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together. Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the twentieth century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarized political identities and polari

The Long Game

The Long Game


  • Release: 2016-05-31
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 288 page
  • ISBN: 9780399564123
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The candid, behind-the-scenes memoir of the of the Senate Majority Leader and GOP veteran. In October 1984, a hard-charging Kentucky politician waited excitedly for President Ronald Reagan to arrive at a presidential rally in Louisville. In the midst of a tough Senate campaign against an incumbent Democrat, the young Republican hoped Reagan’s endorsement would give a much-needed boost to his insurgent campaign. He even had a camera crew ready to capture the president’s words for a TV commercial he planned to air during the campaign’s final stretch. Alas, when Reagan finally stepped to the microphone, he smiled for the crowd and declared: “I’m happy to be here with my good friend, Mitch O’Donnell.” That was hardly Mitch McConnell’s first setback, and far from his last. He swallowed hard, put his head down, and kept going. Four weeks later, in the biggest upset of the year, his dream of being a US senator came true—by a margin of about one vote per precinct. By persevering, he’d be the only Republican in the country to beat an incumbent Democratic US senator. McConnell learned patience and fortitude during his post–World War II youth in Alabama. His mother helped him beat polio by leading him through long, aching exer­cises every day for two years. His father taught him the importance of standing up to bullies, even if it meant tak­ing the occasional punch. It turned out to be the perfect childhood for a future Senate majority leader. “In the line of work I would choose, compromise is key, but I’d come to find that certain times required me to invoke the fight­ing spirit both of my parents instilled in me.” For more than three decades, McConnell has worked steadily to advance conservative values, including limited government, indi­vidual liberty, fiscal prudence, and a strong national defense. But he has always cared much more about moving the ball forward than about who gets the credit. Now McConnell reveals what he really thinks about

Exceptions to the Rule

Exceptions to the Rule


  • Release: 2017-07-18
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 233 page
  • ISBN: 9780815729976
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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.

Undaunted

Undaunted


  • Release: 2020-10-06
  • Publisher: Celadon Books
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 464 page
  • ISBN: 9781250241757
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**THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER** "John Brennan is one of the hardest-working, most patriotic public servants I've ever seen, and our country is better off for it. As president, he was one of my closest advisors and a great friend. And in his memoir, Undaunted, you'll see why. I hope you'll read it." —President Barack Obama A powerful and revelatory memoir from former CIA director John Brennan, spanning his more than thirty years in government. Friday, January 6, 2017: On that day, as always, John Brennan’s alarm clock was set to go off at 4:15 a.m. But nothing else about that day would be routine. That day marked his first and only security briefing with President-elect Donald Trump. And it was also the day John Brennan said his final farewell to Owen Brennan, his father, the man who had taught him the lessons of goodness, integrity, and honor that had shaped the course of an unparalleled career serving his country from within the intelligence community. In this brutally honest memoir, Brennan, the son of an Irish immigrant who settled in New Jersey, describes the life that took him from being a young CIA recruit enamored with the mystique of spy work, secretly defiant enough to drive a motorcycle and sport a diamond earring, and invigorated by his travels in the Middle East to being the most powerful individual in American intelligence. He details his experiences with very different presidents and what it’s been like to bear responsibility for some of the nation’s most crucial and polarizing national security decisions. He pulls back the curtain on the inner workings of the Agency, describing the selfless, patriotic, and invisible work of the women and men involved in national security. He also examines the insularity, arrogance, and myopia that have, at times, undermined its reputation in the eyes of the American people and of members of other branches of government. Through topics ranging from George W. Bush’s intervention in Iraq to his though

Down   Dirty

Down Dirty


  • Release: 2001-04-03
  • Publisher: Little, Brown
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 528 page
  • ISBN: 0759523185
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Acclaimed journalist, Jake Tapper explains what actually happened, who got away with what and how both sides, Democrats and Republicans, plotted to steal the presidency in 2000.

Patient Capital

Patient Capital


  • Release: 2021-04-13
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 264 page
  • ISBN: 9780691217086
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How to overcome barriers to the long-term investments that are essential for solving the world’s biggest problems There has never been a greater need for long-term investments to tackle the world’s most difficult problems, such as climate change, human health, and decaying infrastructure. And it is increasingly unlikely that the public sector will be willing or able to fill this gap. If these critical needs are to be met, the major pools of long-term, patient capital—including pensions, sovereign wealth funds, university endowments, and wealthy individuals and families—will have to play a large role. In this accessible and authoritative account of long-term capital investment, two leading experts on the subject, Victoria Ivashina and Josh Lerner, highlight the significant hurdles facing long-term investors and propose concrete ways to overcome these difficulties.

Nixonland

Nixonland


  • Release: 2010-07-29
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 896 page
  • ISBN: 1451606265
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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.