A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades dazzled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in one volume.
Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a passionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention. Things That Matter also features several of Krauthammer’s major path-breaking essays—on bioethics, on Jewish destiny and on America’s role as the world’s superpower—that have profoundly influenced the nation’s thoughts and policies. And finally, the collection presents a trove of always penetrating, often bemused reflections on everything from border collies to Halley’s Comet, from Woody Allen to Winston Churchill, from the punishing pleasures of speed chess to the elegance of the perfectly thrown outfield assist.
With a special, highly autobiographical introduction in which Krauthammer reflects on the events that shaped his career and political philosophy, this indispensible chronicle takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the fashions and follies, the tragedies and triumphs, of the last three decades of American life.
In this updated edition, a new epilogue shows Kettl urging political leaders to step back from the political barricades of hyperpartisanship to consider government’s contemporary dilemma: Is there any practical way forward for public administrators to manage government effectively? Reinforcing the ten principles of bridge building which he developed in the original book, Kettl adds an eleventh, which lays out five transformative strategies: redefining public law to promote public accountability; re-conceptualizing government agencies as instruments of leverage; launching government leaders as boundary spanners; using information technology for building authority and trust; and incorporating performance management into processes that drive collaboration.
With a new preface from Michael Nelson, editor of the Interpreting American Politics series, this award-winning book will be sought out by public policymakers eager to read a leading scholar's newest insights into the field.
A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis
Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery:
Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles.
Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail.
In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends—growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration—come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime—but it’s impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side.
In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistleblower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights.
Through astonishing—and enraging—accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide’s punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all.
Praise for The Divide
“Ambitious . . . deeply reported, highly compelling . . . impossible to put down.”—The New York Times Book Review
“These are the stories that will keep you up at night. . . . The Divide is not just a report from the new America; it is advocacy journalism at its finest.”—Los Angeles Times
“Taibbi is a relentless investigative reporter. He takes readers inside not only investment banks, hedge funds and the blood sport of short-sellers, but into the lives of the needy, minorities, street drifters and illegal immigrants. . . . The Divide is an important book. Its documentation is powerful and shocking.”—The Washington Post
“Captivating . . . The Divide enshrines its author’s position as one of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism.”—The Independent (UK)
“Taibbi [is] perhaps the greatest reporter on Wall Street’s crimes in the modern era.”—Salon
From the Hardcover edition.
In a searching examination of why the "competition prescription" has not worked well, Donald F. Kettl finds that government has largely been a poor judge of private markets. Because government rarely operates in truly competitive markets contracting out has not so much solved the problems of inefficiency, but has aggravated them. Government has often not proved to be an intelligent consumer of the goods and services it has purchased. Kettl provides specific recommendations as to how government can become a "smart buyer," knowing what it wants and judging better what it has bought.
Through detailed case studies, Kettl shows that as market imperfections increase, so do problems in governance and management. He examines the A-76 program for buying goods and services, the FTS-2000 telecommunications system, the Superfund program, the Department of Energy's production of nuclear weapons, and contracting out by state and local governments. He argues that government must be more aggressive in managing contracts if it is to build successful partnerships with outside contractors.
Kettl maintains that the answer is not more government, but a smarter one, which requires strong political leadership to refocus the bureaucracy's mission and to change the bureaucratic culture.
"Those hungry for political news will read Double Down for the scooplets and insidery glimpses it serves up about the two campaigns, and the clues it offers about the positioning already going on among Republicans and Democrats for 2016 ... The book testifies to its authors’ energetic legwork and insider access... creating a novelistic narrative that provides a you-are-there immediacy... They succeed in taking readers interested in the backstabbing and backstage maneuvering of the 2012 campaign behind the curtains, providing a tactile... sense of what it looked like from the inside."
In their runaway bestseller Game Change, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann captured the full drama of Barack Obama’s improbable, dazzling victory over the Clintons, John McCain, and Sarah Palin. With the same masterly reporting, unparalleled access, and narrative skill, Double Down picks up the story in the Oval Office, where the president is beset by crises both inherited and unforeseen—facing defiance from his political foes, disenchantment from the voters, disdain from the nation’s powerful money machers, and dysfunction within the West Wing. As 2012 looms, leaders of the Republican Party, salivating over Obama’s political fragility, see a chance to wrest back control of the White House—and the country. So how did the Republicans screw it up? How did Obama survive the onslaught of super PACs and defy the predictions of a one-term presidency? Double Down follows the gaudy carnival of GOP contenders—ambitious and flawed, famous and infamous, charismatic and cartoonish—as Mitt Romney, the straitlaced, can-do, gaffe-prone multimillionaire from Massachusetts, scraped and scratched his way to the nomination.
Double Down exposes blunders, scuffles, and machinations far beyond the klieg lights of the campaign trail: Obama storming out of a White House meeting with his high command after accusing them of betrayal. Romney’s mind-set as he made his controversial “47 percent” comments. The real reasons New Jersey governor Chris Christie was never going to be Mitt’s running mate. The intervention held by the president’s staff to rescue their boss from political self-destruction. The way the tense détente between Obama and Bill Clinton morphed into political gold. And the answer to one of the campaign’s great mysteries—how did Clint Eastwood end up performing Dada dinner theater at the Republican convention?
In Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann take the reader into back rooms and closed-door meetings, laying bare the secret history of the 2012 campaign for a panoramic account of an election that was as hard fought as it was lastingly consequential.
Is America a source of pride, as Americans have long held, or shame, as Progressives allege? Beneath an innocent exterior, are our lives complicit in a national project of theft, expropriation, oppression, and murder, or is America still the hope of the world?
Dinesh D'Souza says these questions are no mere academic exercise. It is the Progressive view that is taught in our schools, that is preached by Hollywood, and that shapes the policies of the Obama administration. If America is a force for inequality and injustice in the world, its power deserves to be diminished; if traditional America is based on oppression and theft, then traditional America must be reformed—and the federal government can do the reforming.
In America: Imagine a World without Her D'Souza offers a passionate and sharply reasoned defense of America, knocking down every important accusation made by Progressives against our country.
Provocative in its analysis, stunning in its conclusions, Dinesh D'Souza's America is a new classic.
An unlikely political star tells the inspiring story of the two-decade journey that taught her how Washington really works—and really doesn't—in A Fighting Chance
As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher—an ambitious goal, given her family's modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but fifteen years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington DC to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws?
Thus began an impolite education into the bare-knuckled, often dysfunctional ways of Washington. She fought for better bankruptcy laws for ten years and lost. She tried to hold the federal government accountable during the financial crisis but became a target of the big banks. She came up with the idea for a new agency designed to protect consumers from predatory bankers and was denied the opportunity to run it. Finally, at age 62, she decided to run for elective office and won the most competitive—and watched—Senate race in the country.
In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing book, Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class—and why she has become a hero to all those who believe that America's government can and must do better for working families.
Stephen Goldsmith and Donald F. Kettl head a stellar cast of policy practitioners and scholars exploring the potential, strategies, and best practices of high-performance networks while identifying next-generation issues in public-sector network management. They cover the gamut of public policy issues, including national security, and the book even includes a thought-provoking look at how jihadist terrorists use the principles of network management to pursue their goals.
Contributors: William G. Berberich (Virginia Tech), Tim Burke (Harvard University), G. Edward DeSeve (University of Pennsylvania),William D. Eggers (Manhattan Institute), Anne M. Khademian (Virginia Tech), H. Brinton Milward (University of Arizona), Mark H. Moore (Harvard University), Paul Posner (George Mason University), Jörg Raab (Tilburg University), and Barry G. Rabe (University of Michigan).
Hurricane Katrina not only devastated a large area of the nation's Gulf coast, it also raised fundamental questions about ways the nation can, and should, deal with the inevitable problems of economic risk and social responsibility. This volume gathers leading experts to examine lessons that Hurricane Katrina teaches us about better assessing, perceiving, and managing risks from future disasters.
In the years ahead we will inevitably face more problems like those caused by Katrina, from fire, earthquake, or even a flu pandemic. America remains in the cross hairs of terrorists, while policy makers continue to grapple with important environmental and health risks. Each of these scenarios might, in itself, be relatively unlikely to occur. But it is statistically certain that we will confront such catastrophes, or perhaps one we have never imagined, and the nation and its citizenry must be prepared to act. That is the fundamental lesson of Katrina.
The 20 contributors to this volume address questions of public and private roles in assessing, managing, and dealing with risk in American society and suggest strategies for moving ahead in rebuilding the Gulf coast.
Contributors: Matthew Adler, Vicki Bier, Baruch Fischhoff, Kenneth R. Foster, Robert Giegengack, Peter Gosselin, Scott E. Harrington, Carolyn Kousky, Robert Meyer, Harvey G. Ryland, Brian L. Strom, Kathleen Tierney, Michael J. Trebilcock, Detlof von Winterfeldt, Jonathan Walters, Richard J. Zeckhauser.
The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn’t past but prologue. The grifter class—made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding—has been growing in power, and the crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they’ve hijacked America’s political and economic life.
Matt Taibbi has combined deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing account yet written of this ongoing American crisis. He offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals of the bailout; tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the “vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”; and uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world.
This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of this country, and the profound consequences for us all.
This book provides practical and timely guidance to those trying to improve government performance. The focus of successful attempts, the authors argue, should be sustained evolution, not bursts of invention aimed at sweeping transformation. Specific proposals address ways to change government over the long term, ways to streamline bureaucracy, attract more resourceful and innovative workers, and make agencies more responsive to their customers, the citizens.
In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption—and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China's educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which "that used to be us." They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.
And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is within reach. They show how America's history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face. They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscovery of some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new thirdparty movement to galvanize the country.
That Used to Be Us is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.
The current civil service system was designed for a government in which federal agencies directly delivered most public services. But over the last generation, privatization and devolution have increased the number and importance of government's partnerships with private companies, nonprofit organizations, and state and local governments. Government workers today spend much of their time managing these partnerships, not delivering services, and this trend will only accelerate in the future. The authors contend that the current system poorly develops government workers who can effectively manage these partnerships, resulting too often in a gap between promise and performance.
This short, lively, and bipartisan volume, authored by the nation's leading experts on government management, describes what the government of the future will look like, what it will need to work well, and how in particular the nation can build the next generation of workers required to lead it.
Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. To understand how we've arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring Reagan's radical presidency, the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse.
Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about our vast and confounding national security state.
Dinesh D’Souza, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller America: Imagine a World Without Her, has a warning: We are on the brink of losing our country forever. After eight years of Obama, four years—or possibly eight years—of Hillary Clinton as president of the United States would so utterly transform America as to make it unrecognizable.
No more will America be a land of opportunity. Instead, it will be a land of rapacious crony capitalism, run solely for the benefit of friends of the Obamas and the Clintons and the Democratic Party. It will, in fact, be the fulfillment of a dream the Democratic Party has had from the beginning…a dream of stealing America for the politically favored few.
In Hillary's America, D’Souza reveals the sordid truth about Hillary and the secret history of the Democratic Party, including: how Democrats transitioned from pro-slavery to pro-enslavement; the long-standing Democratic political war against women; how Hillary Clinton’s political mentor was, literally, a cold-blooded gangster; how the Clintons and other Democrats see foreign policy not in terms of national interest, but in terms of personal profit; how Democratically controlled cities have turned into hotbeds of crime and corruption; and much, much more.
Not only is Hillary Clinton a liar and a criminal—who would have been indicted for mishandling classified information on her secret email sever had the Democratic Party not closed ranks around her—she is also the culmination of her party's deliberate and stunning plot to redistribute wealth and political power to the liberal elite.
Find out how Hillary and Bill used the Clinton Foundation to ruthlessly sell State Department influence to the highest foreign bidder. Find out what shady backroom Democrat dealers taught Hillary Clinton her particular brand of corrupt party politics. And most importantly, find out whether America can stop her from destroying the country once and for all.
In Ventura’s eyes, the murder of Abraham Lincoln and the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, all need to be re-examined. Was Watergate presented honestly, or was the CIA involved? Did the Republican Party set out to purposefully steal two elections on behalf of George W. Bush? Has all the evidence been presented about the 9/11 attacks or is there another angle that the media is afraid to explore? And finally, is the collapse of today’s financial order and the bailout plan by the Federal Reserve the widest-reaching conspiracy ever perpetrated?
“If you’re talking outspoken, unconventional, and no-holds-barred, you’re talking Jesse Ventura.”—Larry King
“I wouldn’t mind seeing Ventura run for president (or for senator, or dog-catcher, or whatever). In addition to talking conspiracy, he’s likely to raise all sorts of other trouble.”—Damon W. Root, Reason Magazine
Written in 1955 by the then junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage serves as a clarion call to every American.
In this book Kennedy chose eight of his historical colleagues to profile for their acts of astounding integrity in the face of overwhelming opposition. These heroes, coming from different junctures in our nation’s history, include John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert A. Taft.
Now, a half-century later, the book remains a moving, powerful, and relevant testament to the indomitable national spirit and an unparalleled celebration of that most noble of human virtues. It resounds with timeless lessons on the most cherished of virtues and is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Profiles in Courage is as Robert Kennedy states in the foreword: “not just stories of the past but a book of hope and confidence for the future. What happens to the country, to the world, depends on what we do with what others have left us."
Along with vintage photographs and an extensive author biography, this book features Kennedy's correspondence about the writing project, contemporary reviews, a letter from Ernest Hemingway, and two rousing speeches from recipients of the Profile in Courage Award. Introduction by John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline Kennedy, forward by John F. Kennedy’s brother Robert F. Kennedy.
Public education is never mentioned in the constitution. Why? Because our founders knew that it was an issue for state and local governments—not the federal one.
It’s not a coincidence that the more the federal government has inserted itself into public education over the years, the worse our kids have fared. Washington dangles millions of dollars in front of states and then tells them what they have to do to get it. It’s backdoor nationalization of education—and it’s leading us to ruin.
In Conform, Glenn Beck presents a well-reasoned, fact-based analysis that proves it’s not more money our schools need—it’s a complete refocusing of their priorities and a total restructuring of their relationship with the federal government. In the process, he dismantles many of the common myths and talking points that are often heard by those who want to protect the status quo.
Critics of the current system are just “teacher bashers”…Teachers’ unions put kids first...Homeschooled kids suffer both academically and socially…“local control” is an excuse to protect mediocrity…Common Core is “rigorous” and “state led”…Critics of Common Core are just conspiracy theorists…Elementary school teachers need tenure...We can’t reform schools until we eradicate poverty…school choice takes money away from public schools…Charter schools perform poorly relative to public schools.
There is no issue more important to America’s future than education. The fact that we’ve yielded control over it to powerful unions and ideologically driven elitists is inexcusable. We are failing ourselves, our children, and our country. Conform gives parents the facts they need to take back the debate and help usher in a new era of education built around the commonsense principles of choice, freedom, and accountability.
Keep all the money in your paycheck ...
Pay taxes on what you spend, not what you earn ...
And eliminate all the fraud, hassle, and waste of our current system?
Then the FairTax is for you. In the face of the outlandish American tax burden, talk-radio firebrand Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder are leading the charge to phase out our current, unfair system and enact the FairTax Plan, replacing the federal income tax and withholding system with a simple 23 percent retail sales tax on new goods and services. This dramatic revision of the current system, which would eliminate the reviled IRS, has already caught fire in the American heartland, with more than six hundred thousand taxpayers signing on in support of the plan.
As Boortz and Linder reveal in this first book on the FairTax, this radical but eminently sensible plan would end the annual national nightmare of filing income tax returns, while at the same time enlarging the federal tax base by collecting sales tax from every retail consumer in the country. The FairTax, they argue, would transform the fearsome bureaucracy of the IRS into a more transparent, accountable, and equitable tax collection system. Among other benefits, it will:Make America's tax code truly voluntary, without reducing revenueReplace today's indecipherable tax code with one simple sales taxProtect lower-income Americans by covering the tax on basic necessitiesEliminate billions of dollars in embedded taxes we don't even know we're payingBring offshore corporate dollars back into the U.S. economy
Endorsed by scores of leading economists and supported by a huge and growing grassroots movement, the FairTax Plan could revolutionize the way America pays for itself. In this straight-talking book, Neal Boortz and John Linder show you how it would work—and how you can help make it happen.
How is it that politicians often enter office with relatively modest assets, but then, as investors, regularly beat the stock market and sometimes beat the most rapacious hedge funds? How did some members of Congress know to dump their stock holdings just in time to escape the effects of the 2008 financial meltdown? And how is it that billionaires and hedge fund managers often make well-timed investment decisions that anticipate events in Washington?
In this powerfully argued book, Peter Schweizer blows the lid off Washington’s epidemic of “honest graft.” He exposes a secret world where members of Congress insert earmarks into bills to improve their own real-estate holdings, and campaign contributors receive billions in federal grants. Nobody goes to jail. Throw Them All Out casts light into the darkest corners of the political system — and offers ways to clean house.
"Throw Them All Out is filled with stories of petty theft and so-called 'honest graft' . . . Unsparingly bipartisan in [its] criticism of Washington . . . Mr. Schweizer has performed a valuable service to his country." — Washington Times
In a sweeping narrative about the people and the politics behind the budget--a topic that is fiercely debated today in the halls of Congress and the media, and yet is often misunderstood by the American public--Wessel looks at the 2011 fiscal year (which ended September 30) to see where all the money was actually spent, and why the budget process has grown wildly out of control. Through the eyes of key people, including Jacob Lew, White House director of the Office of Management and Budget; Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office; Blackstone founder and former Commerce Secretary Pete Peterson; and more, Wessel gives readers an inside look at the making of our unsustainable budget.
Ann Coulter is back, more fearless than ever. In Adios, America she touches the third rail in American politics, attacking the immigration issue head-on and flying in the face of La Raza, the Democrats, a media determined to cover up immigrants' crimes, churches that get paid by the government for their "charity," and greedy Republican businessmen and campaign consultants—all of whom are profiting handsomely from mass immigration that’s tearing the country apart. Applying her trademark biting humor to the disaster that is U.S. immigration policy, Coulter proves that immigration is the most important issue facing America today.
Washington is no longer about lawmaking, it’s about moneymaking
Conventional wisdom holds that Washington is broken because outside special interests bribe politicians. The reverse is true: politicians have developed a new set of brass-knuckle legislative tactics designed to extort wealthy industries and donors into forking over big donations — cash that lawmakers often funnel into the pockets of their friends and family.
Inside this best-selling bombshell of a book, Schweizer reveals the exorbitant secret “fees” each political party charges politicians for top committee assignments; how fourteen members of Congress bagged hundreds of thousands of dollars using a little-known self-loan loophole; how politicians use PACs to bankroll lavish lifestyles; and much more. Washington’s extortion racket has gone unreported — until now.
The U.S. tax code is a total write-off. Crammed with loopholes and special interest provisions, it works for no one except tax lawyers, accountants, and huge corporations. Not for the first time, we have reached a breaking point. That happened in 1922, and again in 1954, and again in 1986. In other words, every thirty-two years. Which means that the next complete overhaul is due in 2018. But what should be in this new tax code? Can we make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient? Yes, yes, and yes. Can we cut tax rates and still bring in more revenue? Yes.
Other rich countries, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK—advanced, high-tech, free-market democracies—have all devised tax regimes that are equitable, effective, and easy on the taxpayer. But the United States has languished. So byzantine are the current statutes that, by our government’s own estimates, Americans spend six billion hours and $10 billion every year preparing and filing their taxes. In the Netherlands that task takes a mere fifteen minutes! Successful American companies like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google effectively pay no tax at all in some instances because of loopholes that allow them to move profits offshore. Indeed, the dysfunctional tax system has become a major cause of economic inequality.
In A Fine Mess, T. R. Reid crisscrosses the globe in search of the exact solutions to these urgent problems. With an uncanny knack for making a complex subject not just accessible but gripping, he investigates what makes good taxation (no, that’s not an oxymoron) and brings that knowledge home where it is needed most. Never talking down or reflexively siding with either wing of politics, T. R. Reid presses the case for sensible root-and-branch reforms with a companionable ebullience. This affects everyone. Doing our taxes will never be America's favorite pastime, but it can and should be so much easier and fairer.
Whether you just want to know how government works, or you want to get involved to change your country, this simple guide covers all the ins and outs of Congress. It’s a nonpartisan look at Congress that includes forewords by Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. Inside you’ll find easy explanations and helpful tips on how to:Get involved in the democratic process Influence legislation that’s important to you Understa nd Congress and the media Contact your senators and representatives Check out Congress in action, in person Deal with congressional staff
Expert author David Silverberg — Managing Editor and a columnist at the Washington weekly The Hill — takes the mystery out of getting something done in Congress, introducing you to the players and explaining everything from legislation and lobbying to caucuses and coalitions. Written with the citizen advocate in mind, this helpful guide gives regular people the tools and knowledge they need to achieve their aims. Inside, you’ll discover:How the three branches of government work together How to register your opinion with your elected officials How the legislative process works — from idea to law How debates, conferences, and vetoes work How budgeting and appropriations work How to get the most effect from your political contributions How the lobbying process works How to advocate for legislation How to deal with congressional staffers How to make use of congressional services
Getting something done in the messy confusion of democracy and bureaucracy is no easy task. Full of the kind of information and knowledge that Washington insiders take for granted, Congress For Dummies levels the playing field so that regular people — just like you — can make a difference, too.
Why the Right Went Wrong offers an “up to the moment” (The Christian Science Monitor) historical view of the right since the 1960s. Its core contention is that American conservatism and the Republican Party took a wrong turn when they adopted Barry Goldwater’s worldview during and after the 1964 campaign. The radicalism of today’s conservatism is not the product of the Tea Party, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne writes. The Tea Partiers are the true heirs to Goldwater ideology. The purity movement did more than drive moderates out of the Republican Party—it beat back alternative definitions of conservatism.
Since 1968, no conservative administration—not Nixon not Reagan not two Bushes—could live up to the rhetoric rooted in the Goldwater movement that began to reshape American politics fifty years ago. The collapse of the Nixon presidency led to the rise of Ronald Reagan, the defeat of George H.W. Bush, to Newt Gingrich’s revolution. Bush initially undertook a partial modernization, preaching “compassionate conservatism” and a “Fourth Way” to Clinton’s “Third Way.” Conservatives quickly defined him as an advocate of “big government” and not conservative enough on spending, immigration, education, and Medicare. A return to the true faith was the only prescription on order. The result was the Tea Party, which Dionne says, was as much a reaction to Bush as to Obama.
The state of the Republican party, controlled by the strictest base, is diminished, Dionne writes. It has become white and older in a country that is no longer that. It needs to come back to life for its own health and that of the country’s, and in Why the Right Went Wrong, Dionne “expertly delineates where we are and how we got there” (Chicago Tribune)—and how to return.
In Back to Work, Clinton details how we can get out of the current economic crisis and lay a foundation for long-term prosperity. He offers specific recommendations on how we can put people back to work and create new businesses, increase bank lending and corporate investment, double our exports, and restore our manufacturing base. He supports President Obama’s emphasis on green technology, saying that change in the way we produce and consume energy is the strategy most likely to spark a fast-growing economy and enhance our national security.
Clinton also says that we need both a strong economy and a smart government working together to restore prosperity and progress. He demonstrates that whenever we’ve given in to the temptation to blame government for our problems, we’ve lost our commitment to shared prosperity, balanced growth, financial responsibility, and investment in the future. That has led our nation into trouble because there are some things we have to do together. For example, he says, “Our ability to compete in the twenty-first century is dependent on our willingness to invest in infrastructure: we need faster broadband, a state-of-the-art national electrical grid, modernized water and sewer systems, and the best airports, trains, roads, and bridges.
“There is no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty-first century with an antigovernment strategy,” writes Clinton, “with a philosophy grounded in ‘You’re on your own’ rather than ‘We’re all in this together.’” Clinton believes that conflict between government and the private sector has proved to be remarkably good politics, but it has produced bad policies, giving us a weak economy with few jobs, growing income inequality and poverty, and a decline in our competitive position. In the real world, cooperation works much better than conflict, and “we need victories in the real world.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
There was a time, not so very long ago, when perfectly rational people ran the Republican Party. So how did the party of Lincoln become the party of lunatics? That is what this book aims to answer. Fear not, the Dems come in for their share of tough talk— they are zombies, a party of the living dead.
Mike Lofgren came to Washington in the early eighties—those halcyon, post–Nixonian glory days—for what he imagined would be a short stint on Capitol Hill. He has witnessed quite a few low points in his twenty-eight years on the Hill—but none quite so pitiful as the antics of the current crop of legislators whom we appear to have elected.
Based on the explosive article Lofgren wrote when he resigned in disgust after the debt ceiling crisis, The Party Is Over is a funny and impassioned exposé of everything that is wrong with Washington. Obama and his tired cohorts are no angels but they have nothing on the Republicans, whose wily strategists are bankrupting the country one craven vote at a time. Be prepared for some fireworks.
Patashnik peers into some of the most critical arenas of domestic-policy reform--including taxes, agricultural subsidies, airline deregulation, emissions trading, welfare state reform, and reform of government procurement--to identify the factors that enable reform measures to survive. He argues that the reforms that stick destroy an existing policy subsystem and reconfigure the political dynamic. Patashnik demonstrates that sustainable reforms create positive policy feedbacks, transform institutions, and often unleash the ''creative destructiveness'' of market forces.
Reforms at Risk debunks the argument that reforms inevitably fail because Congress is prey to special interests, and the book provides a more realistic portrait of the possibilities and limits of positive change in American government. It is essential reading for scholars and practitioners of U.S. politics and public policy, offering practical lessons for anyone who wants to ensure that hard-fought reform victories survive.
Clean House takes us through incriminating documents from the attack in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s secret emails, the IRS scandal, and the Obamacare swindle.
As the president of Judicial Watch, America’s largest non-partisan government watchdog, Tom Fitton has investigated the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. Judicial Watch is the group that helped impeach Bill Clinton and took the Bush White House secrecy all the way up to the Supreme Court. Since the beginning of the Obama administration, this grassroots group has filed over 700 open records demands and dozens of lawsuits, including a successful fight over the secret Obama White House visitor logs.
Americans are rightly worried they are losing their country. How did five Congressional committees miss the smoking gun on Benghazi? How did Hillary Clinton keep a secret email server quiet for years? Does the IRS audit you because of your politics? Did the first American target of Obama’s drone program work for the US government? How did Congress commit fraud to get Obamacare taxpayer subsidies?
In Clean House, Tom Fitton answers these questions and provides shocking evidence of the corruption endemic to the Obama White House.
Barbara Sinclair traces the current ideological divide to changes in the Republican party in the 1970s and 1980s, including the rise of neoconservativism and the Religious Right. Because of these historical developments, Democratic and Republican voters today differ substantially in what they consider good public policy, and so do the politicians they elect.
Polarization has produced institutional consequences in the House of Representatives and in the Senate—witness the majority party’s threat in 2004–2005 to use the “nuclear option” of abolishing the filibuster. The president’s strategies for dealing with Congress have also been affected, raising the price of compromise with the opposing party and allowing a Republican president to govern largely from the ideological right. Other players in the national policy community—interest groups, think tanks, and the media—have also joined one or the other partisan “team.”
Party Wars puts all the parts together to provide the first government-wide survey of the impact of polarization on national politics. Sinclair pinpoints weaknesses in the highly polarized system and offers several remedies.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the weeks following the attacks of 9/11, the Central Intelligence Agency received over 150,000 résumés from people wanting to serve their nation. T. J. Waters became one of more than a hundred students admitted into the CIA?s Clandestine Service to become Class 11, the first post- 9/11 training class. Filled with more information about the CIA?s Clandestine Service Training Program than has ever been allowed into the public domain, Waters takes readers behind closed doors, where the trainees learned methods of subterfuge, mastering disguises, how to withstand interrogations, and how to cross into hostile territory undetected?and provides a moving portrait of ordinary Americans with the courage and determination to go to any lengths to protect their country.
It’s time to bring America back to its rightful owners—the American people.
I’m not going to play the same game politicians have been playing for decades—all talk, no action, while special interests and lobbyists dictate our laws. I am shaking up the establishment on both sides of the political aisle because I can’t be bought. I want to bring America back, to make it great and prosperous again, and to be sure we are respected by our allies and feared by our adversaries.
It’s time for action. Americans are fed up with politics as usual. And they should be! In this book, I outline my vision to make America great again, including: how to fix our failing economy; how to reform health care so it is more efficient, cost-effective, and doesn’t alienate both doctors and patients; how to rebuild our military and start winning wars—instead of watching our enemies take over—while keeping our promises to our great veterans; how to ensure that our education system offers the resources that allow our students to compete internationally, so tomorrow’s jobseekers have the tools they need to succeed; and how to immediately bring jobs back to America by closing our doors to illegal immigrants, and pressuring businesses to produce their goods at home.
This book is my blueprint for how to Make America Great Again. It’s not hard. We just need someone with the courage to say what needs to be said.
In Why Washington Won’t Work, Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph argue that a contemporary crisis of trust—people whose party is out of power have almost no trust in a government run by the other side—has deadlocked Congress. On most issues, party leaders can convince their own party to support their positions. In order to pass legislation, however, they must also create consensus by persuading some portion of the opposing party to trust in their vision for the future. Without trust, consensus fails to develop and compromise does not occur. Up until recently, such trust could still usually be found among the opposition, but not anymore. Political trust, the authors show, is far from a stable characteristic. It’s actually highly variable and contingent on a variety of factors, including whether one’s party is in control, which part of the government one is dealing with, and which policies or events are most salient at the moment.
Political trust increases, for example, when the public is concerned with foreign policy—as in times of war—and it decreases in periods of weak economic performance. Hetherington and Rudolph do offer some suggestions about steps politicians and the public might take to increase political trust. Ultimately, however, they conclude that it is unlikely levels of political trust will significantly increase unless foreign concerns come to dominate and the economy is consistently strong.
In today’s post-truth political landscape, there is a carefully concealed but ever-growing industry of organized misinformation that exists to create and disseminate lies in the service of political agendas. Ari Rabin-Havt and Media Matters for America present a revelatory history of this industry—which they've dubbed Lies, Incorporated—and show how it has crippled legislative progress on issues including tobacco regulation, public health care, climate change, gun control, immigration, abortion, and same-sex marriage. Eye-opening and indispensable, Lies, Incorporated takes an unflinching look at the powerful network of politicians and special interest groups that have launched coordinated assaults on the truth to shape American politics.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The third and fourth presidents have long been considered proper gentlemen, with Thomas Jefferson’s genius overshadowing James Madison’s judgment and common sense. But in this revelatory book about their crucial partnership, both are seen as men of their times, hardboiled operatives in a gritty world of primal politics where they struggled for supremacy for more than fifty years. With a thrilling and unprecedented account of early America as its backdrop, Madison and Jefferson reveals these founding fathers as privileged young men in a land marked by tribal identities rather than a united national personality. Esteemed historians Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg capture Madison’s hidden role—he acted in effect as a campaign manager—in Jefferson’s career. In riveting detail, the authors chart the courses of two very different presidencies: Jefferson’s driven by force of personality, Madison’s sustained by a militancy that history has been reluctant to ascribe to him.
Supported by a wealth of original sources—newspapers, letters, diaries, pamphlets—Madison and Jefferson is a watershed account of the most important political friendship in American history.
“Enough colorful characters for a miniseries, loaded with backstabbing (and frontstabbing too).”—Newsday
“An important, thoughtful, and gracefully written political history.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Thomas DiLorenzo, economics professor and senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, deconstructs the retrograde ideology that has suddenly become disturbingly hip in The Problem with Socialism.
More than almost any other nation in the world, the United States began as an idea. For this reason, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood believes that the American Revolution is the most important event in our history, bar none. Since American identity is so fluid and not based on any universally shared heritage, we have had to continually return to our nation's founding to understand who we are. In The Idea of America, Wood reflects on the birth of American nationhood and explains why the revolution remains so essential.
In a series of elegant and illuminating essays, Wood explores the ideological origins of the revolution-from ancient Rome to the European Enlightenment-and the founders' attempts to forge an American democracy. As Wood reveals, while the founders hoped to create a virtuous republic of yeoman farmers and uninterested leaders, they instead gave birth to a sprawling, licentious, and materialistic popular democracy.
Wood also traces the origins of American exceptionalism to this period, revealing how the revolutionary generation, despite living in a distant, sparsely populated country, believed itself to be the most enlightened people on earth. The revolution gave Americans their messianic sense of purpose-and perhaps our continued propensity to promote democracy around the world-because the founders believed their colonial rebellion had universal significance for oppressed peoples everywhere. Yet what may seem like audacity in retrospect reflected the fact that in the eighteenth century republicanism was a truly radical ideology-as radical as Marxism would be in the nineteenth-and one that indeed inspired revolutionaries the world over.
Today there exists what Wood calls a terrifying gap between us and the founders, such that it requires almost an act of imagination to fully recapture their era. Because we now take our democracy for granted, it is nearly impossible for us to appreciate how deeply the founders feared their grand experiment in liberty could evolve into monarchy or dissolve into licentiousness. Gracefully written and filled with insight, The Idea of America helps us to recapture the fears and hopes of the revolutionary generation and its attempts to translate those ideals into a working democracy.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway musical Hamilton has sparked new interest in the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers. In addition to Alexander Hamilton, the production also features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr, Lafayette, and many more.
Look for Gordon's new book, Friends Divided.
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Amateur and Blood Feud . . .
Unlikeable is the stunning, powerful exposé of Hillary Clinton and her floundering race for the White House. With unprecedented access to longtime associates of the Clintons and the Obamas, investigative reporter Edward Klein meticulously recreates conversations and details of Hillary Clinton's behind-the-scenes plotting in Chappaqua and Whitehaven. Klein, the former editor in chief of New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, draws a deeply troubling portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton, a highly unlikeable presidential candidate and a woman more associated with scandal than with accomplishments, with lying than with truth, with arrogance than with compassion.
Yahoo's national political columnist and the former chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine brilliantly revisits the Gary Hart affair and looks at how it changed forever the intersection of American media and politics.
In 1987, Gary Hart-articulate, dashing, refreshingly progressive-seemed a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination for president and led George H. W. Bush comfortably in the polls. And then: rumors of marital infidelity, an indelible photo of Hart and a model snapped near a fatefully named yacht (Monkey Business), and it all came crashing down in a blaze of flashbulbs, the birth of 24-hour news cycles, tabloid speculation, and late-night farce. Matt Bai shows how the Hart affair marked a crucial turning point in the ethos of political media-and, by extension, politics itself-when candidates' "character" began to draw more fixation than their political experience. Bai offers a poignant, highly original, and news-making reappraisal of Hart's fall from grace (and overlooked political legacy) as he makes the compelling case that this was the moment when the paradigm shifted-private lives became public, news became entertainment, and politics became the stuff of Page Six.
From the Hardcover edition.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has tackled every obstacle she's encountered--her parents' divorce, her father's alcoholism and recovery, her political campaigns and Washington's gridlock--with honesty, humor and pluck. Now, in The Senator Next Door, she chronicles her remarkable heartland journey, from her immigrant grandparents to her middle-class suburban upbringing to her rise in American politics.
After being kicked out of the hospital while her infant daughter was still in intensive care, Klobuchar became the lead advocate for one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing new moms and their babies a 48-hour hospital stay. Later she ran Minnesota's biggest prosecutor's office and in 2006 was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from her state. Along the way she fashioned her own political philosophy grounded in her belief that partisan flame-throwing takes no courage at all; what really matters is forging alliances with unlikely partners to solve the nation's problems.
Optimistic, plainspoken and often very funny, The Senator Next Door is a story about how the girl next door decided to enter the fray and make a difference. At a moment when America's government often seems incapable of getting anything done, Amy Klobuchar proves that politics is still the art of the possible.