With the first week of public impeachment hearings in the books and three very credible witnesses having testified, it’s time for a few thoughts.
Elevator Pitch is another exciting novel from Linwood Barclay. I enjoyed the characters and their complexities. The ending was a surprise. If you like mysteries, Elevator Pitch won’t disappoint.
Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent is an exciting legal fiction that had no trouble keeping my interest.
It has been years since I read something from Scott Turow. Remembering I liked his work and looking for new fiction, I decided to read Presumed Innocent. Having finished the book, I’m glad I rediscovered Turow’s work.
Prosecutor Carolyn Polhemus was murdered and sexually assaulted. Rozat (Rusty) Sabich, the assistant prosecutor is investigating the murder even though he previously had an affair with Carolyn.
As the story unfolds, there are several interesting twist and turns. Some of the legal situations are also intriguing. What made the story, though, was the surprise ending.
At one point I started thinking I knew who did it, but I couldn’t quite figure out how. By the end, the pieces made sense.
The moral questions raised by the characters actions were not so clear. Rusty Sabich had some good qualities, but I didn’t wind up liking him very much. I don’t need to like the main character to appreciate a book’s value. So, I would recommend Presumed Innocent.
Stephen Kinzer’s All the Shah’s Men is one of those books far too few Americans have read.. In All The Shah’s Men, Kinzer details how the CIA led a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Iranian government of Mohammad Mosoddegh after his decision to nationalize Iran’s oil industry.
Since many Americans don’t realize the reality that America has a long history of overthrowing democratically elected governments in favor of governments that will enable corporations to exploit their people,, I will share two links. Here, the CIA publishes a review of All the Shah’s Men. While it is unwilling to go as far as Kinzer has, the review makes it very clear that the CIA played a leading role in overthrowing Mossaddegh and that the regime change era it embodied hasn’t worked out well for America.
The State Department has released reports on the United State’s action in Iran providing numerous details about the CIA-led coup in Iran.
Stephen Kinzer’s Overthrow reviews a century of America’s overthrowing governments from Hawaii to Iraq. Overthrow is simply one of the most consequential books I have ever read about American foreign policy. Given what is happening in Syria and Chile and the reality of the 2020 election, people interested in politics would do well to read Overthrow now.
Steven Greenhouse’s Beaten Down Worked Up is a critical look at the past, present and future of unions in America. While Greenhouse’s work, as he acknowledges, doesn’t provide the detail into historical incidents other books do, Beaten Down Worked Up is an important read.
Richard North Patterson’s Degree of Guilt was an exciting read. I was so interested in discovering how the story would end that I read it in one night.
While I was glad I read Degree of Guilt, there were a couple of things about the book that bothered me.
Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman are two economists at the University of California, Berkeley. Their book The Triumph of Injustice demonstrates how America’s system of taxation benefits the wealthy more than it has since the 1920s; in fact, the 400 richest Americans now pay less than any other group of Americans.
You may have seen this point being disputed on social media. Corporate-sponsored centrists say Saez and Zucman are wrong because their work doesn’t consider the Earned Income Tax credit that benefits low and middle income families. To that foolishness I say the following:
The idea that we are even debating whether billionaires pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than do people who have children and are struggling to make enough to feed them is embarrassing to the United States of America. In anything approaching a fair society, people would intrinsically know that billionaires pay more than people struggling to put food on the table. The idea that centrist Democrats are engaging in this debate demonstrates why the Democratic Party is out of touch with what is happening in America.
I have been resisting writing this post for months. I kept telling myself Andrew Yang isn’t worth the trouble. But he keeps fooling too many. He distracts from important debate topics by smugly asserting nonsense. So, I can’t resist any longer.
Most people know the ever-increasing wealth gap between the rich and the poor in America is a huge, embarrassing problem. Demonstrating the stupidity of Yang’s ideas only requires us to agree on two things: anything that gives the wealthy more is stupid; anything that makes the rest of us pay more is stupid. With those agreements established, let’s look at Yang’s ideas.
For those who don’t know, political dog whistles are things said that seemingly mean one thing but which are meant to communicate a hidden meaning to those who understand the language. In the Democratic primary, we are inundated with the political dog whistles of reasonability and sensibility. As you will see, the corporate-run media and their beloved bought and paid for centrist candidates use the dog whistles of reasonability and sensibility to ensure old white people they have their backs.