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5+ Works 3,075 Membros 99 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: Jane Mayer, journalist born 1955 (credit: Larry D. Moore, Texas Book Festival, Austin, TX, Nov. 1, 2008)

Obras de Jane Mayer

Associated Works

The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 (2008) — Contribuinte — 47 cópias
The Best American Political Writing 2008 (2008) — Contribuinte — 37 cópias
The Best American Political Writing 2005 (2005) — Contribuinte — 37 cópias
The Best American Magazine Writing 2011 (2011) — Contribuinte — 36 cópias
The Best American Political Writing 2009 (2009) — Contribuinte — 26 cópias

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Want to know about George Bush's extraordinary rendition program? Here it is.
 
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MylesKesten | outras 25 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |
There is little doubt in my mind that in writing this book Jane Mayer has performed an important public service. Big money has been part of American politics for a long time. Commentators in the 1890’s decried Mark Hanna’s outsized contributions and fundraising for William McKinley’s elections. But today’s Radical Right uses very subtle means to infect the system.

Still, that doesn’t answer Mayer’s most serious charge, that the Koch brothers and their billionaires club have built a third national political party (a third column?) using the Republican Party as its stalking horse, much like the early Greeks used the Trojan Horse to defeat the walls of Troy.

By extension: have they used their cadres to effect a coup d’état in the 2016 election of Donald Trump?

This is a much more difficult question to answer.

Clearly, Donald Trump was not their favourite and yet Paul Manafort managed to convince Trump to adopt Mike Pence as his running mate. Pence is as close as anyone to the Koch brothers.

Trump could be forced out of office any day, or so soiled by his business dealings that he’ll resign rather than see himself or his children indicted for serious federal and state crimes.

This would leave Pence and by extension, Charles and David Koch in the catbird seat.

Mayer gives us plenty of background to figure out what would happen next:
- to satisfy the Christian Fundamentalist wing, eradication of the divide between church and state
- to satisfy the industrialists, complete eradication of environmental controls on big business
- to satisfy the energy hawks, drilling in the Arctic, more fracking, more pipelines through indigenous peoples’ lands
- serious reduction in government services, very likely including prosecution of white collar crime, more resources for incarceration and particularly outsourced incarceration
- the distribution of weapons in the schools
- a serious decline in social entitlement programs, and very likely wider differences between the rich and the poor

Would this lead to a counter-revolution? A Bernie Sanders’ led counter revolution?

I wouldn’t rule it out.

Funny thing is that I kinda agree with some of the tenants of the Ultra Right in the US.

For example, I do think that government could be smaller. In Canada, we have 10 provincial governments that do the work one government could do more cheaply. In the US, you have 50 states that basically do the same thing and replicate each other’s laws.

Pfft. Automation could eradicate these useless obsolete governments.

Even municipal governments, for that matter, duplicate each other.

I’m usually loath to reduce the role of local government because its the only level of government that most people understand. The Kochs and their buddies hate federal government mainly because it:

A) Makes them pay taxes
B) Regulates their use of the commons
C) Tries to make them treat blacks and other peoples fairly
D) Assumes, fairly in my opinion, that failures in the marketplace will not redistribute income to all the owners of the commons

It’s pretty hard to sympathize with these rich people. Especially when they subvert the purpose of non-for-profit organizations toward political ends.

They don’t seem to have a problem with state governments, at least governments they can control. Nor do they have a problem spending unsustainable amounts for worldwide military domination.

My point is if under these circumstances the ability to vote does not produce democracy, or any incremental freedoms, why not just flush them down the toilet, then make rules to ensure majority rules?

Do we need 17 people on the ballot?
… (mais)
 
Marcado
MylesKesten | outras 67 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |
Everyone who cares about American politics should read this book. It's a hard slog, not because of any lapses on the author's part, but because the story itself is full of twists and turns and deliberate obfuscations (shell organizations that are only a PO box, etc). If you want to understand how Charles and David Koch, two unelected billionaire brothers, motivate, steer, and fund the radical right, attempting at every turn to buy politicians and votes and elections, this is your book. A shameful, dark chapter in our democracy, which, unfortunately is not only not over, but is instead in full, hideous flower. Congratulations to Jane Mayer--I don't know how she stood it.… (mais)
 
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fmclellan | outras 67 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |
"Urgent" and "compelling" are two words critics love to use. Most books to which these adjectives are applied are neither; Jane Mayer, happily, has written a book here which is both. If you are interested in understanding how our democratic institutions have been subverted, and how our legislative branch has become larded with incompetent, ignorant, and highly ideological obstructionists, this book will serve you well.

Very highly recommended.
 
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Mark_Feltskog | outras 67 resenhas | Dec 23, 2023 |

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