The Least Among Us: Waging the Battle for the Vulnerable by Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (2017)
This congresswoman really impressed me when I was watching some of the C-SPAN coverage of her passionate commentary in favor of progressive values and in support of social justice. I had hoped for better, gripping, passionate writing in her book but was disappointed.
It reads more like a memoir that I expected. I thought it was going to cover substantial policy discussions “in the weeds” as has become the commonly used gag-reflexing golf analogy. The presumably editorial direction to have chapters arranged by mostly repetitive use of “In Defense of” is tiresome at best.
Chapters like “In defense of children, of women, of the hungry, and so on, are presented recounting some of the legislative action and negotiating at the time, such as in 2008. Well, that was nearly a decade ago and I am not sure anything relevant can be pulled out of journal notes or other contemporaneous documents. I think her voice and her passion is important to hear. Perhaps she will write another, organized around policy issues, using her details of what actually happened in service of the bigger picture.
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Thieves in High Places: They’ve Stolen our Country and it’s Time to Take it Back by Jim Hightower (2003)
Another funny book by the author of:
If the gods had wanted us to vote they would have given us candidates (2000).
Funny but it makes you want to cry way, book of commentary and actual facts from Jim Hightower. He starts the introduction with a very appropriate word for the W days: Kleptocrat Nation. I have since learned another word that better suits the 2017 administration: kakistocracy.
For those of you who don’t want to click the link, Wikipedia defines it to mean:
“a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens”
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Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth (2013)
I could start and end my commentary with this simple imperative: BUY THIS BOOK.
Economics was one subject about which I had little interest and a lot of hostility when forced to take it in college. The teacher tried his best, but trying to explain economic theory to a bunch of kids who have possibly never had any knowledge of how much money their parents make, spend, or what things cost is a rather hopeless proposition. At least for me, combined with minimal exposure to life long enough to seen the actual consequences of economic theory in policymaking and being able to see the short-term and long-term impact of such policies, made the content just too much of a word salad to be useful.
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Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism by Henry A. Giroux (2011)
Though the whole zombie bit grows old, this slim volume expresses my views on the current state of affairs only now we are worse off post 2016 election. This is a MUST READ BOOK!
I wrote about another of his books that was amazing too, The Violence of Organized Forgetting.
The author writes for Truth-out so his thoughts subsequent to this book are also available online at www.truth-out.org here are a few links I picked up on a Google search for “henry giroux” 2016 election:
Anti-politics and the Plague of Disorientation: Welcome to the Age of Donald Trump
This one begins with a great quote:
“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
— James Baldwin
The Authoritarian Politics of Resentment in Trump’s America (November 13, 2016) Here’s the opening paragraph to it (LOVE his use of language!):
In the face of a putrid and poisonous election cycle that ended with Trump’s presidential victory, liberals and conservatives are quick to argue that Americans have fallen prey to a culture of incivility.
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IF THE GODS HAD MEANT US TO VOTE THEY WOULD HAVE GIVEN US CANDIDATES: More political subversion from Jim Hightower (2000)
Note, there is an updated and revised 2010 edition. This cover image is from the 2000 edition I got from the library. They may have the newer version too, and I definitely want to check it out (pun intended!).
I had heard the name of Jim Hightower and recognized him as a politician. I had no idea he was so FUNNY! Since he was from Texas I just assumed he was one of the humorless, hostile, conservative types. Turns out he will SKEWER ANYONE with equal delight!
Jim Hightower, America’s most popular populist, is a bestselling author, radio commentator, public speaker, and all-around political sparkplug whose credo is “You can fight the gods and still have fun.” Twice elected to statewide office in Texas, he has long battled the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought to Be: the working families, consumers, the environment, small businesses, and just plain folks.
Though the jacket copy above used the cringe-worthy “folks” that has forever been made vomit-inducing from the W use of it (and followed by Obama continuation of same while speaking in an elegant fully literate way otherwise), I was delighted to read this description, itself amusing.
The title alone perfectly sums up the 2016 election without needing any updating. In fact, it might be even more applicable to 2016. The 17 losers (and I include 45 in particular despite the Electoral concept biting US all in the ass), was astonishing in the shallowness of the candidates, the YUUUUUGENESS of their egos (45!! Unbelievable. Trust me. Believe me. Sad.)
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