This is the second part of my previous entry.
I you find interesting the comments and quotes, consider them an invitation to consider those books in your reading list and get deeper into their authors' ideas.
In this entry, also two pictures from Aspca and the second part of yesterday's poll.
Against all enemies. Inside America’s war on terror. Richard Clarke. Free Press, 2004
This is an excellent book written by the man who warned the Bush administration about the upcoming al-Qaeda attack. In page 66 Clarke describes how the CIA refused to use an unmanned aircraft to kill bin Laden fearing retribution (and from General Anthony Zinni in another occasion –p. 375). In other parts of the book he describes similar resistances from the Pentagon. In page 72 and again in page 447 he describes how Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz took advantage of 9/11 to promote their agenda in Iraq. In page 108 he describes how Reagan covert actions rose from $35 millions in 1982 to $600 millions in 1987, leading to the Soviets retreating from Afghanistan in 1988-89. In page 112 he explains what the Reagan’s mistakes were and why we didn’t capitalize on our support to the Afghan rebels. In page 178 portray the Clinton position on terrorism and the resistance found in the FBI (and again in page 407) and the Department of Justice and writes about the Counterterrorism Security Groups in page 192 (his proposal of functions for this Group are described in page 319). In page 339 he describes how the CIA could not support its claims that al-Qaeda was seeking chemical or nuclear weapons. On page 358 Clarke describes how the use of missiles against al-Qaeda by Clinton was mischaracterized by the Right as an attempt to divert attention from the Lewinski scandal.
From page 428 on, Clark describes his many attempts to make the Bush administration to understand the danger posed by al-Qaeda and especially his request to each agency to be in full alert in page 444. In page 494, Clarke says:
"In the ideological front, we need to work with our Islamic friends an ideological and cultural response. During the Cold War, we found or created spokesmen, leaders, heroes, schools, books, films, development programs. In Algeria the French rounded all the leaders of the terrorist movement but lost the war because failed to address the ideological issue and new terrorist leaders replaced the already fallen. Instead, we did what al-Qaeda said we would do, go after the Iraqi oil."
Page 503 is one of many that describe how Bush engaged in identifying Iraq with 9/11. In page 526 he writes about the unreliability of Pakistan and in page 529 about the unreliability of Saudi Arabia as allies. Finally let me make three quotes:
"The Wahhabist version of Islam is shared by many leading Saudis of the House of Saud, so they used Saudi government funds to support the jihad in Afghanistan, in Bosnia and in Chechnya; to establish Wahhabist mosques and schools in jihad countries but also in Europe and the United States. The royal family has tried to control bin-Laden but also has supported the global spread of Wahhabist Islam and has replaced the technical, western-style curriculum in Saudi schools with Wahhabist education and turned a blind eye on al-Qaeda."
"An alternative source of oil in Iraq as reason for the war reveals the fear of Cheney and others that the House of Saud could fall as Iran fell in hands of extremists. Nevertheless, the war in Iraq has reduced support for the United States and the House of Saud inside the kingdom. Instead of helping to stabilize the kingdom, Bush, hated in the Arab world for trying to impose a United States-style democracy by force, has chosen to delivery a lecture in Washington about the importance of democracy for Arab states."
"People like Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, Roger Cressey and Paul Kurtz, who tried to warn the Bush administration about al-Qaeda and were in the situation room in 9/11, left the Administration frustrated. Mike Sheehan went to work for the NYPD as Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism and Randy Beers became the national security coordinator for the Kerry campaign."
I am taking these quotes from my notes, so they could not have been written exactly as I have posted them but the accuracy of the content may be corroborated with the numbers of the pages.
Bush’s brain. How Karl Rove made George W. Bush Presidential. James Moore and Wayne Slater. NJ, 2003.
This books begins with the participation of Rove in the White-Clements election of 1982 for governor supporting Republican Bill Clements pretending the White campaigned had bugged his office (From page 28 on). Clements lost. From page 61, the authors describe Rove’s support of the Republican candidate Rick Perry for Agriculture Commissioner against the Democrat Jim Hightower. Rove accused Hightower of misuse of federal funds during his service at the Texas Federal Inspection Service and, after Hightower was cleared by an audit, Rove accused his staffers of credit card misuse through surrogates at the Dallas Morning News and even a sympathetic FBI agent in 1989. An USDA’s audit found those charges unsubstantiated. Meanwhile, Rove was leaking details to the press and Perry was consistently using the case in his campaign. In 1991 staffers who didn’t collaborate in the smear campaign against Hightower were indicted.
From page 139 on, the authors described how since 1988 Rove connected to the Bushes. Thus, he supported George H. W. Bush’s from the White House in 1988 to the chairmanship of the RNC.
From pager 143 on, the authors describe the road of W. Bush to the White House, what required the resurgence of the Republican party in Texas for what he remade the Republican fundraising and assembled oil and anti-union interests. From page 151 the authors describe Rove’s plans to make W. Bush the Texas governorship and from page 174 on, the infamous attacks against the late Ann Richards, then governor of Texas with respect to whom spread rumors of homosexuality (He even baselessly accused her of filling the state government with lesbians), and political friends of her like Cathy Bonner, whose businesses with the Texas Education Agency he questioned. After Bush won, he controlled to access and the agenda of the Governor Bush administration. In page 223-227 the authors described how he used his control of Bush to advance oil, tobacco and anti-tax interests of his clients.
From page 240 on, the authors show the campaign against McCain and in page 256 the vile attacks against McCain are described. From page 259, the Bush nomination and the presidential campaign against Al Gore and the simplification of Bush’s message around taxes, education and personal responsibility is described.
In the 2002 mid-term elections, "Morality was the costume his politics wore again. Rove knows what he, Bush, the US military and corporate America wants. His job is creating a political climate that turns those wants into the public’s demand. Keeping it simple does that. We are good. Iraq is bad. We love freedom. They do not. A clear accessible message for an electorate too busy to read deeper into the story. The language must not be bloody. It’s regime change. Not war" (P. 284). The preparation for the war in Iraq since the message of preemption was launched in June 2002 was important for those elections and one more example of Rove shaping policy around politics (P. 310) and was used to advance the Republican agenda on deregulation to taxes (P. 318)
Karl Rove is a unscrupulous strategist but is also a extremely smart opponent who thinks in advance, knowing how to play in the long-run, who knows how to shape the mainstream and has been successful many times attacking his opponents not in their weaknesses but in their strengths. It would not be surprising to see his comeback with another Republican candidate shaped as he shaped W. Bush.
Bushwacked. Life in George W. Bush’s America. Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose. Random House, 2003
The late Molly Ivins left us this interesting book, from which I extract a couple of quotes. The first one is about campaign finance reform. Ivins do not address –at least in this book, the case of surrogates, like the infamous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, or the use of employment as bribe, like the infamous case of Dick Cheney and Halliburton but I agree that campaign finance reform is fundamental to prevent the recurrent problems resulting from crony capitalism. Her proposal of Iowa as an archetype to prevent gerrymandering is also part of this book. Also interesting are her proposals on re-regulation (even though one of the points of her concern has already been addressed by the Oxley-Sarabanes Act, which restricts auditing companies from providing non-auditing services to the same clients):
"If there were one thing we could change about this country by the wave of a wand, it would be to end the legalized bribery that has rotted the democratic political system. We know we don’t have to sell you on this one. Never met an American yet who is not perfectly well aware that the political system is stacked in favor of those with money. You can’t amaze an American with that news –they know politicians get bought. ‘Our’ elected officials answer to ‘them,’ the ones who give big campaign contributions, not to ‘us’ the people. Bullshit us no bullshit about how money ‘only buys access,’ it doesn’t buy votes. It buys votes. Time after time after time after time. This is open corruption. It reeks, it is rot, and it is rampant. It is killing this country.
There is a cure. It’s called public campaign financing."
"On corporate reform, about which nothing has been done in the wake of Enron, WorldCom, etc., the specific steps are painfully obvious:
• Treat stock options as expenses, under rigorous accounting practices, not some waffling halfway pressure.
• Build an absolute wall between research analysts and investment banks, with heavy legal punishment for breaching it.
• Prohibit accounting firms from providing consulting services while auditing a company’s books. Can you believe this is still not illegal?
• Regulate the special-purpose entities that Enron used for off-balance-sheet transactions.
• Strengthen whistleblower protections and insure that they shield all workers.
• Overhaul current accounting standards. After a disgraceful lapse of time, in April 2005 we finally got a chairman for the new accounting standards oversight committee.
• Dump Phil Gramm’s Financial Modernization Act, which repeals safeguards going back to the New Deal separating commercial and investment banking.
• Strengthen the independence of corporate boards, and use antitrust laws."
Immigration. Opposing Viewpoints. Bruno Leone and others – compilation. California. 1998
This edition of the series Opposing Viewpoints has excellent excerpts. It includes the famous speech of John F. Kennedy on immigration of 1963 that I have quoted several times. In his quote from Washington "we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment" I inspired my position of ‘deserved residence’ or character-based immigration. From this book, I extract the following quotes:
"The use of a national origins system is without basis in either logic or reason. It neither satisfies a national need nor accomplishes an international purpose. In an age of interdependence among nations such a system is an anachronism, for it discriminates among applicants for admission into the United States on the basis of accident of birth.
Immigration policy should be generous; it should be fair; it should be flexible. With such a policy we can turn to the world, and to our own past, with clean hands and a clear conscience. Such a policy would be but a reaffirmation of old principles. It would be an expression of our agreement with George Washington that ‘The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment."
(From John F. Kennedy’s ‘A nation of immigrants’, 1963. Pp. 50, 54)
"Numerous studies have found that immigrants actually create more jobs than they fill. The jobs immigrants take are of course easier to see, but immigrants are often highly productive, run their own businesses and employ both immigrants and citizens. One study found that Mexican immigration to Los Angeles County between 1970 and 1980 was responsible for 78,000 new jobs. Governor Mario Cuomo reports that immigrants own more than 40,000 companies in New York, which provide thousands of jobs and $3.5 billion to the state’s economy every year."
(From David Cole’s Nation, 1994. P. 77)
"Arguing that illegal immigrants are the source of unemployment, higher taxes, and spiraling healthcare and social service costs... flies in the face of well-documented studies. For example, a 1992 U.S. Department of Justice study found that less than 1% of immigrants legalized under the 1986 amnesty had received general assistance, Social Security, SSI, worker’s compensation or unemployment insurance. Less than one-half of 1% received food stamps or AFDC. As for jobs, it is well known that California’s agriculture industry is dependent on immigrants, who overwhelmingly work at jobs most U.S. citizens will not take because of the low pay, lack of benefits, and horrendous working conditions."
(From Rethinking Schools, Autumn 1994. P. 95)
"One of the best cases in favor of immigration is the Cuban miracle in Miami, Florida... In the early 1960s some 200,000 penurious immigrant thronged this stagnant urban community, more than the total black unemployed youths in all America’s urban areas at the time. It was the most rapid and overwhelming migration to one American city. Few spoke English and virtually none had jobs or housing. Yet in less than a decade, these Cuban immigrants revived Miami’s stagnant inner city and transformed the entire Miami economy."
(From Mark Skousen’s Freeman. September 1995. P. 167)
"The national-origins concept, which was introduced in the Immigration Act of 1924 and sustained though the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952, was explicitly –and shamefully- discriminatory toward particular nationalities and racist to the core. The family-preference system, which has been the foundation of American immigration policy since 1965, while superficially attractive (who wants to argue against reuniting families?) has been degenerating into a latter-day version of the national-origins system by increasingly skewing immigration toward the nationalities of recent immigrants."
(From Peter D. Salins’s ‘Assimilation, American Style’. 1997. P. 171)
Illegal Immigration. Opposing Viewpoints. Bruno Leone and others – compilation. California. 1997
Not as good as the title Immigration of the same series Opposing Viewpoint, this book has some interesting passages:
"According to a 1994 Utne Reader: ‘The rate of immigration relative to the nation’s base population is far below historic levels... Moreover the percentage of foreign-born people in the U.S. population has fallen from 8.89 in 1940 to 6.8 today.’
(From Richard Rayner’s ‘What immigration crisis?’ 1996. P. 71)
"In the most comprehensive study to date, the U.S. Department of Labor reported in 1989 that immigrants increase aggregate demand by encouraging investment; keep some U.S. industries competitive by increasing returns to capital; increase aggregate employment through higher rates self-employment; and increase wages and mobility opportunities for many groups of U.S. workers. The same report notes that in cities with many immigrants, U.S. natives have not experienced widespread job displacement. Those who most directly feel the impact of job competition and wage pressures are earlier groups of immigrants."
(From Frank Sharry’s ‘Myths, realities, and solutions’. 1994. P. 88)
"Not only is the effectiveness of border control questionable, but there is growing evidence that intensified border enforcement has some contradictory effects. Many illegal immigrants make repeated trips between the United States and Mexico, often staying in the United States only long enough to earn a fixed amount of money. However, intensified border control has pressured immigrants to stay longer. The more difficult it is to cross the border, the more expensive the journey becomes. As border controls are tightened, illegal immigrants must rely increasingly on ‘coyotes’ –professional smugglers- who take them across the border for a fee (the going rate to be transported to Los Angeles is about $700 per person). This fee must be paid whether or not the border crossing is successful. Thus, once detained by the Border Patrol and sent back to Mexico, illegal immigrants have even more of an incentive to try again, since the only way they can repay their debts to the smugglers is by earning the money in the United States.
The end result is that while tighter border control may reduce the number of trips made by illegal immigrants, it actually increases the incentive to successfully cross the border, and once across, to stay longer. Moreover, by forcing illegal immigrants to depend more on smugglers, border enforcement has unintentionally helped to create a highly profitable and increasingly sophisticated binational business in ‘human trafficking.’ Each tactic by the Border Patrol –such as deeper and longer ditches and stronger and higher fences- has been countered with new tactics by the smugglers."
(From Peter Andreas’s ‘The making of Amerexico: (Mis) handling illegal immigration.’ 1994. Pp.147-148)
The enemy within. 2,000 years of witch-hunting in the western world. John Demos, NY, 2008.
John Demos uses its study of witch-hunting to project this experience to other several latter social manifestations. Thus Demos finds interesting parallels between the witch-hunting of the XVI and XVII Centuries in Europe and America and the anti-Illuminati scare (1798-99), the anti-Masonry panic (1826-1840), the anti-Catholicism starting in the 1830s, the anti-radical (anarchist and socialist) scare of the 1880s, the Great Red Scare (1919-20), the McCarthyism (1950-54), and the child sex-abuse crisis (1983-1995). In all these cases, same kind an anxiety was projected on a scapegoated group from inside the group of the aggressors. You can seem similar psychological mechanisms playing in other twisted attitudes like racism and xenophobia. From this excellent book I extract the next quote:
"In each case, the underlying social and psychological vectors included what clinicians call ‘projection’ or ‘externalization’ (attributing to others unwanted parts of oneself), plus a closely related urge toward purity, unity, and inner coherence. No less was true of witch-hunting."
The Republican noise machine. Right-Wing media and how it corrupts democracy. David Brock. Crown Publishers, 2004.
Even though I don’t agree with every conclusions made by David Brock, from Media Matters, his is the most important book I have read on the Republican propaganda machine in its different manifestations. From his book I extract the followings quotes:
"In a 2003 Newsday article on the Limbaugh phenomenon, psychologist Paul Ginnetty offered this description of the core Limbaugh audience:
‘Their certitude consigns them to what psychoanalyst Erik Erikson called the state of psychic foreclosure. Foreclosed persons are easily attracted to the beguilingly simple, one-size-fits-all belief systems of powerful others that they adopt as their own so as to avoid the sometimes rigors of personal searching. The foreclosed are the ready disciples of demagogues in every age. (...) Limbaugh’s brand of talk radio provides a pathologically intense version of this wish to be singing from the same hymnal. Crucial to this phenomenon is the absence of any real controversy during the broadcast. There are constant sparks of apparent conflict that make for engaging entertainment as he shadowboxes (with one hand tied behind his back, of course) with select bites of Hillary Rodham Clinton or Ted Kennedy...
Note that there are never any actual guests on the program; guests, even the conservative ones, risk obscuring simple truths with inconvenient facts or alternative hypotheses.
Sadly, the tradeoff seems to be worth it for them. What they sacrifice in terms of individuality and intellectual integrity is seemingly more than offset b y the potent narcotic of reassuring simplicity. Many of them probably also derive a sense of inclusion and pseudo-intimacy via this electronic fraternity of kindred spirits. Consider the somewhat pathetic character, Marty, who checks in daily with his radio ‘buddy,’ Sean Hannity, a Limbaugh clone. There are plenty of other Martys out there who regularly light up the call boards of right-wink talk jocks –among them, G. Gordon Liddy, Matt Drudge, and Laura Ingraham- who unabashedly mimic the Limbaugh formula of ideological simplicity.
What’s more, callers get a sense of derivative celebrity and charisma from seeming to hang out –if only for a minute or two- with a mega-rich and politically powerful figure like Limbaugh. They get a chance to feel real smart when the master seems to agree with them, failing to see that it is actually they who are agreeing with him.’ "
"Limbaugh, who call himself ‘the most dangerous man in American,’ established himself as arguably the most important political commentator in America as well, with a contract reportedly worth more than one-quarter of a billion dollars. ‘He is more influential than Larry King or John McLaughlin or Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw or Peter Jennings,’ Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote in his book Hot Air. Legions of Limbaugh fans –calling themselves ‘ditto-heads’- gathered in ‘Rush Rooms,’ restaurants and bars across the country that played his midday broadcast. Though a column Limbaugh claimed to be a writing for the Sacramento Union proved short-lived when it revealed that it was ghostwritten, Limbaugh demonstrated the immense cross-marketing potential of radio when he published The Way Thing Ought to Be, which sold more than 4.5 million copies. The 1993 book was also ghosted, this time by Wall Street Journal editorial writer John Fund.
The Limbaugh model was so profitable that stations began to plan whole formats around his show, programming wall-to-wall right-wing talk at the expense of nonconservative programming. Following in Limbaugh’s footsteps were President Ronald Reagan’s eldest son, Michael; convicted Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy; Iran-contra felon Oliver North; Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the family advice maven who was notoriously stranged from her own family; FOX News Channel personalities Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly; right-wing African Americans Ken Hamblin (‘the black avenger’), Larry Elder, Alan Keyes, and Armstrong Williams; Mike Gallagher, who called for a ‘March on Washington’ against Al Gore during the Florida recount controversy; former right-wing Representative Bob Dornan; Mark Levin of the Scaife-backed Landmark Legal Foundation; the Atlanta-based Neal Boortz, who calls liberals ‘bedwetters’; former Scaife operative Joseph Farah of the right-wing Web site WorldNetDaily; Internet gossip Matt Drudge; gay basher Michael Savage, broadcasting from ‘Sicko Frisco’; Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association; right-wing cultural critic Michael Medved; right-wing women Janet Parshall (Family Research Council), Sandy Rios (Concerned Women for America), former Bush administration official Blanquita Cullum, and Laura Ingraham; Roger Hedgecock, convicted of conspiracy and perjury and forced to step down as mayor of San Diego; Tom Marr in Baltimore, Mike Rosen in Denver, Kirby Wilber in Seattle, Bill Cunningham in Cincinnati, Glen Beck in Philadelphia, Howie Carr in Boston, and Chuck Baker, broadcasting from a gun shop in Colorado Springs –and literally hundreds more."
Chasing spies. How the FBI failed in counterintelligence but promoted the politics of McCarthyism in the cold war years. Athan Theoharis. Chicago, 2002.
As the subtitle says, this book shows how not even the Hiss and the Remington indictments were for spying. Alger Hiss was convicted for perjury and the Venona files were so unnecessarily plagued with irregularities, that no indictments were gotten from them. You can make your parallels with illegally obtained evidence from places like Guantanamo. From this book I extract the following quotes:
"The FBI’s extensive use of illegal investigative techniques effectively foreclosed prosecution of any of the suspected Comintern Apparatus recruits. Any acquired evidence could not be used for prosecution."
"Documenting Communist employment in the film industry could not lead to prosecution, for no evidence had been uncovered that Hollywood Communists either committed espionage or conspired to overthrow the government ‘by force or violence.’ Nor was Communist employment in Hollywood covered under the Federal Employee Loyalty Program instituted in 1947 by President Truman. Frustrated by his inability to use the FBI’s accumulated information for legitimate law enforcement or counterintelligence purposes, Hoover soon decided to disseminate this information covertly to the chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, J. Parnell Thomas, and the committee’ chief counsel, Robert Stripling. Hoover’s decision marked a reversal in FBI policy toward this committee."
"The Hoey Committee’s report might not have commanded public attention, but it provided an opening for FBI officials to utilize information that agents had been collecting about homosexuals since 1937. FBI director Hoover moved quickly to exploit Congress’s insistence on purging homosexuals as justification for an increase in FBI appropriations."
"In his secret office file FBI director Hoover maintained some of the more sensitive ‘summary’ memoranda. These records related to Democratic senator and 1960 Democratic presidential nominee John Kennedy, Republican senator and 1960 Republican vice presidential nominee Henry Cabot Lodge, and Illinois governor and 1952 and 1956 Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson."
Prohibition. Thirteen years that changed America. Edward Behr. Arcada Publishing, 1996.
This book has been very helpful to draw the parallels with the current immigration law I have made several times. It’s also interesting to cross the information of this book with the history of organized crime in America. That helps to understand how it could incubate inside immigrant communities alienated by nativist groups. Curiously one of the major traffickers of illegal beer was George Remus, of German origin but no gangs were formed inside the German community.
"Old-established Anglo-Saxon American Protestants, of British lineage, guardians of traditional values and religion. Andrew Sinclair says that the Prohibitionists’ victory in 1920 was ‘the final victory of the defenders of the American past. On the rock of the 18th Amendment, village America made its last stand.’ They felt their privileges and ‘natural right to rule’ increasingly threatened by the massive arrival of largely despised (and feared) beer-swilling, wine-drinking new American immigrants."
"Germans came due to political unrest for socialists and liberals (Metternich’s policy of repression in 1832, revolution of 1848, Bismarck’s authoritarianism after 1870). There were a high proportion of well educated immigrants but Cincinnati from 1850s onward was almost a German city. In 1917, 35% were German, almost 50% were German speakers. Most spoke only German, found it unnecessary to learn English and the culture and religion were German in a climate of tolerance."
"Wayne Wheeler, the unofficial leader of the Anti Saloon League, reminded Americans in 1914 that the brewing interests were almost all in German hands, and that at some brewers’ meetings the very language used was German. German were overwhelmingly Republican and voted against Woodrow Wilson."
"The Volstead Act was broken from the first moment it became law as the Prohibition of 1916 in Washington state."
"A citizen wrote a Washington official for a loan for a submarine saying ‘I will supply a crew. We will go to sea and sink without trace every rum boat we can find... I am sick of seeing foreigners thumbing their noses at the United States. Am I out for Prohibition? Hell, no. Just tired of fiddling, fooling and graft’ and ‘ I’ll clean the seas of the graft as Forrest cleaned the woods of niggers.’ (Major General Forrest massacred black Union troops at Fort Pillow in 1864)"
"Replying to a Congressman from Georgia who urged him to respect the constitutional sanctity of the law, including its Prohibition provisions, [Congressman Fiorello] LaGuardia reminded him the 14th Amendment about human rights and liberties. He also said that after a decade of Prohibition ‘politicians are ducking, candidates are hedging, the Anti Saloon League is prospering, people are being poisoned, bootleggers are being rich, and government officials are being corrupt."
"The depression affected tax revenues, alcohol taxation was an interesting alternative and the Prohibition importance was downgraded in the 1932 presidential contest between Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Besides that, Prohibition Commissioner Moran had told Congress in 1927 that any attempt to enforce the Volstead Act would cost $300 million."
I am taking these quotes from my notes, so they could not have been written exactly as I have posted them but the accuracy of the content may be corroborated with the numbers of the pages.
Fraud. The strategy behind the Bush lies and why the media didn’t tell you. Paul Waldman. Illinois, 2004
This is an interesting book that addresses Bush’s excesses since an angle somewhat different. It begins with the use of Iraq and anti-intellectualism as political flags. Then the author examines the supposed liberal bias of the press and the role of Fox News. Then Bush’s record as businessman before he began his political career, his record as governor of Texas (especially on education). As president, the book examines the stonewalling and disregard for FOIA that characterized the Bush administration. The book also has several interesting pages Pp. 201-232) dedicated to the use of labeling and oversimplification to advance regressive taxation. Finally the book gives some attention to the Republican use of racism and xenophobia to attack political opponents and to the development of the K street project.
Hubris: the inside story of spin, scandal, and the selling of the Iraq War. Michael Isikoff and David Corn. Crown Publishers, 2006
This is maybe the best recount of the events leading to the war of Iraq, including the bizarre case of Curveball.
Imperial life in the Emerald City: inside Iraq's green zone. Rajiv Chandrasekaran. Alfred A. Knopf Publisher, 2006
This amazing book describes the deep stupidity and missed opportunities of the lost year of the Paul Bremer administration of Iraq, reaching moments of real hilarity. Samarra would not have been the milestone of the Iraqi insurgency if the Bremer’s de-Baathification had not been performed in such a mediocre way. This book can also help you understand why the Surge, without political agreements (specially on the way Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis are going to share the oil revenue), is just a band-aid.
No excuses. Concessions of a serial campaigner. Robert Shrum. Simon & Schuster, 2007
Bob Shrum’s book is an interesting chronicle of an insider of several presidential campaigns. The book begins with some notes on the Kennedy-Nixon election of 1960, continues with the Johnson-Goldwater election of 1864 and continues until the Bush-Kerry elections of 2004.
The death of the West: how dying populations and immigrant invasions imperil our country and civilization. Patrick J. Buchanan. Thomas Dunne Books, 2002.
Why am I recommending this book? Because it has an unsaid premise without which you cannot understand the book: race determines culture. From here to NumbersUSA's conception of Third World immigrants there is only a step. Read it with that in mind.
NOTES TO THE POLL
On Palin’s pastor persecuting witches in Kenya:
On Palin’s policy on rape kits: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... and http://video.google.com/...
On Limbaugh’s position on coups in American and in Honduras:
On the Tea Douche-bag Parody a.k.a. Tea Party’s obsession for identifying Obama with Hitler:
On Palin’s shopping spree in Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue:
On Palin's policy for Africa: