Turning Texas Blue by Mary Beth Rogers


book jacket with cowboy boot like flag colorsTurning Texas Blue: What will it take to break the GOP grip on America’s reddest state? by Mary Beth Rogers (2016)

Highly recommend reading this book

I was shocked and appalled when much admired Governor of Texas Ann Richards lost to George W. Bush. Reading Bush’s Brain (aka Karl Rove), I learned how his pernicious manipulations and lies accomplished W’s win. It turns out that Mary Beth Rogers ran the campaign that put Ann Richards in office for her first term as governor, so she knows Texan politics. This book is well written and really gives an inside view of the in the trenches kind of political action that goes on that we never hear about on the news — and that’s a real loss to creating an informed citizenry. I’m going to have to return to this book for my mega opus on Know Thy Enemy post I will eventually write because of the details of the connections of the people and lies and realities. Quick quote from pp. 164-165:

Republican congressman Louie Gohmert of East Texas, who can always be counted on to say something outrageous and often UNTRUE, reflects the tone too often used by public officials here. He claimed that President Obama’s immigration policies were “luring millions of diseased immigrant children” to the United States. And he urged Texas officials to “use whatever means’ possible, like TROOPS, SHIPS OF WAR, OR TAXES to ‘stop the invasion.’ “

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Pity the Billionaire by Thomas Frank

book jacket with cartoon figure of rich guyPity the Billionaire: The hard-times swindle and the unlikely comeback of the right,  by Thomas Frank, (2012). Author of several great books including new release MUST READ Listen Liberals and most famously his What’s the Matter with Kansas. [also on video]

Once again it is fun to see the title of the concluding chapter, in this case:
Trample the Weak. We who are living in this fake “free market” know that there can never be a free market because free markets are ruthless killers of all things, people, land, water, animals, and more, all for PROFIT. In fact, the religion of capitalism has now even shucked any pretense of their original charters with the obligation to serve the people by claiming “fiduciary” responsibility to their shareholders. How they can do that while taking $53 million a year in salary plus bonuses and stock options that cause them to waste capital on stock buybacks to jack the price up and contribute literally nothing in terms of goods and services, just shuffling paper money around, is beyond me. The shareholders aren’t even allowed a vote on the pay of the CEO but just their boards that are well-compensated people with next to no responsibilities except to rubber stamp whatever grand scheme the current CEO has to rape and pillage the people.

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Why the Right Went Wrong by E. J. Dionne Jr.

book cover upside down elephant logo of republican partyWhy the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism – from Goldwater to the Tea Part and Beyond

Doggone it, someone put a reserve on this book at the library so I will not have as much time as I wanted to completely read in detail the 475 pages. But it so fascinating how interconnected the books I’ve been reading are and since this is recent history, I lived it, although somewhat unaware of the depth and complexity of the issues and people involved. I don’t know why there wasn’t more liberal activism at that time, but perhaps I just haven’t come across a book on that. The Claire Conner book made it clear that there was serious radical right wing Bircher activism going on.

I find it fascinating to discover connections between people that I was unaware of, like the fact that Hillary Clinton worked for the Goldwater campaign at one point early in her career despite the fact that he was a serious racist and opposed segregation to the point that President Johnson sent in the National Guard to force the desegregation of Alabama schools when Goldwater was governor.

And I had read that Joe Scarborough was actually a conservative despite the fact that he is currently hosting on MSNBC and it used to be the “liberal” station but of course, it barely is since Comcast acquired it. Not much in-depth investigative journalism going on there anymore. Must rely on John Oliver for that, thank goodness for his HBO show and YouTube videos. And now we have Samantha Bee‘s Full Frontal and she is doing a fantastic job.

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