American Dynasty: Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
- Written by Super User
This book was referenced in the latest UFPPC statement from Mark Jensen. I'm finding it increasingly interesting that this president is being doggedly attacked from within his own party. Phillips, a lifelong Republical who worked in the Nixon White House, traces the history of the last four generations of the Bush family.
How to use "book notes"
- Written by Super User
Fixing Elections by Steven Hill
- Written by Amy Biscovich
Steven Hill is co-founder and Associate Director of the Center for Voting and Democracy, a nonprofit organization promoting election reform. He attacks the "majority rules" myth and breaks it wide open for easy dissection. The 2000 congressional elections voter turnout in the United States "has lurched to 138th in the world -sandwiched between Botswana and Chad." Steven Hill explains why Americans feel misrepresented and explains why those fears are legitimate. He explains why the Electoral College is representative only of a minority of Americans and explains the natural progression and necessity of redistricting to a political party in this system .necessary enough that congress people will pay $20,000 to consultants overseeing the line drawing of these maps. It ensures the congressperson's incumbency for the next decade.
Because the maps are drawn such as to ensure an official's incumbency, it is no longer necessary for he/she to be accountable to the people. In fact, to maintain status as a player in this game, it is necessary for the incumbent to often times ignore the majority of his/her constituents (Congress currently votes with the majority of people only 40% of the time). The fund-raising pecking order is discussed where the House leadership "hinges the reward of leadership positions and chairmanships of powerful committees to those incumbents who raise the most "soft money" for the party. Since committee chairs have near dictatorial powers to set committee dockets, dole out pork, and establish the national agenda." These are the rules of the game if you want to play .corporate dollars are an integral tool to a congressperson's survival in today's environment.
The author states that the money raised for election campaigns is not spent on the incumbents but on swing vote districts which account for 10% of all districts and these campaigns are targeted to the 15% of the people in those districts who are considered "swing" votes and are categorized by marketing researchers as "by definition are those least informed and interested in politics.You motive these people with fear, or 30-second sound bytes that are simplified to make someone who is not interested or not informed take action. If you can't tell them in eight words or less, you're probably going to lose." This is where media conglomerates make a killing. Commercial spots usually running for $500 have gone at bid to $50,000 in an election year. And this may be why media conglomerates play their own part in perpetuating this electoral process. The effect of the swing votes explains why the politicians change their stance on issues depending on how far along they are in the campaign.
The author touches solidly on what he calls The Big Five: who gets elected and who wins representation, how many voters will participate in the elections, the quality of political campaigns, the extent that money will affect representation and policy, regional balkanization, and, ultimately, what kind of policy will be passed. Steven also discusses the repercussions of this system on; representation, participation, political discourse and campaigns, legislative policy, national division. He then discusses the need and feasibility (as proven in other countries) for proportional representation if we are to save this democracy at all.
I have not done this book justice in covering its spectrum of complications regarding this issue of "our democracy" .and I cannot say enough how much I wish every American would/could read this book. This (and our consumer dollar) is where the revolution must begin.