Given her media blitz leading up to the release of her 2016 campaign memoir Hacks, Donna Brazile’s recollection of what it was like to be on the receiving end of the Russian cyberattack against the Democratic National Committee was far more enlightening than I’d had any expectation.
That’s because, ahead of the Virginia state elections in November 2017, Brazile’s press interviews and excerpts tended to be internecine and conspiratorial, focusing on how the Hillary Clinton campaign had unethically bought the DNC at “Bernie’s” expense, or how Hillary didn’t call Brazile for a while after she lost the Electoral College, or how staffer Seth Rich’s murderer still needed to be found.
Now, this is not what most of the book, subtitled The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House, turns out to be about, but the strategy was successful. It reached No. 5 on the New York Times bestseller list, sold out on Amazon, then was subsequently completely forgotten.
The modern political memoir and tell-all has become the publishing equivalent of Hollywood’s superhero and sci-fi franchise films.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The airing of grievances in Donna Brazile’s “Hacks” comes at her true crime memoir’s expense”
The Official Proceedings of Congress, Published by John C. Rives, Washington, D.C.
House of Representatives, 36th Congress, 1st Session
Feb. 29, 1869
The CHAIRMAN. When the committee rose it had under consideration resolutions of reference of the President’s message. On that question, the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Reagan] is entitled to the floor.
Mr. REAGAN. Mr. Chairman, I avail myself of the general range of debate, in Committee of the Whole on the President’s message, to discuss some topics which concern the whole nation. And, as I cannot expect to occupy the attention of the committee soon again under our rules, I shall have to try to discuss a greater number of questions than may be conveniently considered or clearly presented in one speech.
Continue reading “U.S. Rep. John H. Reagan: A moderate pro-slavery advocate circa 1860”
Today president-elect Barack Obama gets to drop the “elect” and become president-proper. Whether he’ll make a proper president, no one knows for sure, but everyone except bigots and professional partisans certainly has to be hoping he will, out of self-interest if not patriotism.
Change is constant in America, and whatever our nostalgia, once we start preferring the old to the new wholesale, we’ll know it’s the end of us. But that hasn’t happened yet, and whenever we find ourselves exhausted, stagnant or frustrated, we manage to find a source of rejuvenation and come out the other side better for it.
Continue reading “Two things are constant: Change and the Constitution”
If you have a basic cable package, you probably have C-SPAN and C-SPAN2. And you probably watch them about as much as if you didn’t own TV. But you should watch them more (and by that I mean “some”) because when you complain that “nothing is on,” C-SPAN is, and you can learn a lot.
For example, you learn that government is mind-numbingly boring, stupid and inarticulate. Otto von Bismarck once said, “Laws are like sausage; it’s better not to see them made.” To some extent, C-SPAN is a window into that sausage factory. You can’t see everything, but what you do see makes your stomach turn. Congressman Mark Pryor of Arkansas has pointed out you don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate, and he was being honest. Sit down for just a few minutes to watch the nation’s most professional and powerful legislature and its proceedings, and wonder how some of these people were ever elected. Then wonder just how much you want these people’s decisions affecting your daily life.
It’s possible C-SPAN is actually the propaganda wing of the Libertarian party.
Continue reading “You can learn a lot by watching C-SPAN”