Primary Politics by Elaine Karmack

book cover primary politicsPrimary Politics: How Presidential Candidates have Shaped the Modern Nominating System by Elaine Karmack (2009)

This is a book that I discovered on BookTV on March 28, 2016 that was recorded in February 2016 so the author was discussing her book in the context of the 2016 election. I hope to grasp the developed of the “rules” that the parties  developed, sometimes in collusion with state legislatures, to tweak laws to enable or disable the method by which president nominations are chosen. She mentioned the fact that when St. Ronnie was running, the state of Massachusetts had been a winner take all state and was expected to go to Gerald Ford. So the Ronnie campaign twigged to the impact of this knowing Ronnie was going to lose the popular vote, so they went to the legislature and had them CHANGE THE LAW so that it was no longer winner take all, but awarded proportional delegates.

Continue reading Primary Politics by Elaine Karmack

The World as It Is by Chris Hedges

book jacket with small boy peeking over wall of a tent city of refugeesThe World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress by Chris Hedges (2001)

Okay, here is the fact. Everyone must buy and read and reread Chris Hedges’ books. The writing is passionate, the facts and logic of his statements are unassailable, and he is saying things that NO ONE ELSE IS SAYING because, no doubt of suppression by the people who are profiting from the status quo. But especially in his writings on the Israel vs. Palestine genocide and terrorism being waged and the lies behind it and ongoing playing of the Holocaust card that seems to be why the USA gives them 5 billion dollars annually, the freaking evangelical Christian’s give them a pass for once by invoking the “Judeo-Christian” beliefs as crucial — despite thousands of years of Christian persecution because the Jewish religion denies Christ as the Messiah so I am just mystified why they constantly get a pass on anything they do; oh wait, THE PALESTINIANS are Muslim maybe? My ignorance is showing because I am not sure. I will have to look it up.

Continue reading The World as It Is by Chris Hedges

Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

book jacketDeath of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), (2010)

The author page at Amazon link is here. He has written a number of good books and online at where he lays it all out with a passionate intensity. Love that! He also is extremely cynical (for good reasons) and very sharp in his critiques of the status quo.

In this book, it begins with a quote by the author who is probably my favorite author of all time, George Orwell.

At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is “not done” to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals. (George Orwell, “Freedom of the Press”)

Continue reading Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

The Life of the Parties by A. James Reichley

The Life of the Parties: A History of American Political Parties (2000, 1992)

the life of the partiesThis link is to the 2000 edition, the one I am reading is 1992 but not as dated as one might think given that it begins at the beginning of America’s founding and all the information up to then and is extremely detailed and analyzed and described very well.

This book answers the many questions I have had over the years of how we ended up with an essentially two-party system that is run like two warring corporations for a monopoly of the United States government as the prize.

I knew that the Founding Fathers had not begun nor wanted political parties, but apparently not “until they began running parties themselves.” Thomas Jefferson was pro-party. Alexander Hamilton “associated parties with ‘ambition, avarice, personal animosity.'” I’m going to side with Hamilton on this point. James Madison “wrote in Federalist Number Ten of ‘the mischiefs of faction. John Adams expressed ‘dread’ toward ‘division of the republic into to great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.'” Now that was prescient!

Continue reading The Life of the Parties by A. James Reichley